Chapter Fourteen

Jack felt like his lungs were about to explode. They finally managed to evade the robot reindeer long enough to take refuge in a large shop. The shop seemed to carry an assortment of different items but apart from a few sledgehammers there didn't seem to be anything that could stop the reindeers. They dimmed the lights and sat in a dark corner, resting their bodies and getting their second wind back.

"D'ya think the Doctor's alright?" Rose asked.

"Don't know but at the moment he's on his own until we can shake the robo deer," Jack said. "I just wish we could find something that could help us do that."

Ianto looked around and spied something on a nearby shelf. He got up and quickly walked over to it. Jack and Rose watched while he pulled a large white electronic device off the shelf and examined it before carrying it back to them.

"I think this is a fog machine," Ianto said to them. "If we can get enough fog going in here, we have some cover while we make our escape if they come in here."

"Good idea," Jack said.

Rose kept watch while they plugged it in and figured out how to work it. They turned it on and a door opened in the side and fake fog started to quietly pour out of the hole. They set it a few feet in front of them and sat back down as the room slowly started to fill up with fog. Rose didn't say anything but now that the room was filling up with fog, the whole room looked a hell of a lot creepier.

"This isn't filling up fast enough, is there a faster setting?" Jack asked as he walked over to the fog machine.

He found a speed dial, turned it all the way to the right and the fog shot out of the machine like a cannon. The fog began to fill up the whole room and in five minutes it was chest level as the three friends sat on the floor and waited for the reindeer to either find them or give up. They could tell by the sounds of destruction and screams that the reindeer were still on the hunt for them. Then when the fog was swirling around the room, they heard the sound of splintering wood as the reindeer finally entered the building. Rose, Jack and Ianto slowly made their way to the door, using the pea soup thick fog for cover. Then something happened that caused them to freeze. They heard a faint weeeeeeee sound and a bright light suddenly cut through the fog. They stayed motionless for a moment wondering where the light was coming from and then they noticed that the light was coming from the nose of the lead reindeer.

"Oh, hell, no," Jack said.

The three of them suddenly leapt up and ran out the door while the three deer burst through the walls. The light on the nose of the lead reindeer acted like a headlight and it blinded Jack when he glanced back over his shoulder for a look at them. Then the lead reindeer leapt up and got in front of them, bringing them to a halt. The other reindeer quickly surrounded them and the three friends threw up their hands and surrendered.

The Doctor's eyes snapped open and he looked around. After the Deer Master left the room, the Doctor was left with his thoughts for awhile until suddenly, out of the blue, a gas shot up from the floor on either side of him, rendering him unconscious. And now he was waking up somewhere where he wasn't restrained. He got to his feet and was shocked when he noticed that the furniture in the room was enormous, nearly three times his height. He looked around the room, taking in the massive chairs and tables and then he looked down at himself and noticed he had a snow white beard and was wearing a green elf outfit. His eyes bulged when he remembered the Deer Master's threat.

"No, he didn't..." the Doctor said, running his hand down his long snow white beard that came down nearly to his navel.

He looked around at the extra large furniture and had a thought.

"Wait, the furniture must be the same size, it's me that's... shrunk."

He looked around, frantically looking for a way out but there was none. He walked over to a large leather chair and touched it.

"This can't be happening, I can't be an elf," he said to himself. "If he's done this to me, I'm gonna rip those antlers off his hat and shove them up an unpleasant place!"

He began to walk around the room, muttering to himself about making the Deer Master eat his Christmas lights, while he tried to find a way out.

Meanwhile the three friends rode the mechanical deer down an underground ramp into a large room beneath the town. They had been forced onto the deer's back and it took several pokes to their asses before they realized what the deer wanted. The room they were in was festively decorated except for the empty metal table with straps at the center of it.

"Christmas for masochists?" Jack said, gesturing to the table as they got off the deer's backs.

"Where's the Doctor? Where are we?" Rose said.

She turned to the deer and got down in the lead deer's face.

"Look, whoever you are, you better let us and the Doctor go right now!" she yelled in case someone was watching and listening to them.

Nothing happened. The deer stayed motionless and Jack sighed as he walked around the room.

"Alright then, if you're not gonna show yourself, I'm taking a gift," he said, picking up a large one.

"Um, Jack... should you be doing that?" Ianto said when he started shaking it. "What if those are bombs?"

"Then we die and get away from the insane robo deer. Well... you die, I die and come back, I suppose. But anyway, until our host shows him or herself, I'm opening presents."

He tore open the present in his hand and pulled out a black teddy bear with a big blue bow.

"Hey, they're real gifts! Brilliant!" he said.

He handed the bear to Rose and went for the next gift. Rose examined the bear, thinking it might be a weapon of some kind and when she realized it was just a teddy bear, she snuggled it against her. Meanwhile, Jack whistled when he opened a box and pulled out a black leather jacket.

"Ooooh, please let this be my size," he said, slipping his blue coat off.

"What are you doing?"

Everyone turned around and saw the Deer Master standing behind the deer, glaring angrily at them. The three friends stared at him, then their eyes slowly went up to the...

"I said, what is the meaning of this? Why are you opening my Christmas gifts?" the Deer Master demanded.

"Oh... um, sorry, it's just that you didn't show up and I was bored and curious," Jack said sheepishly. "Nice jacket, by the way. So... where is the Doctor? What have you done with him? And what's with the goofy outfit?"

"I have summoned no doctor," the Deer Master said. "And as for the outfit, I am... the Deer Master! And now... you will obey me."

"Yeah, I might be a bit more scared if you dressed like a normal bad guy, not like you're returning from an all night Christmas bender," Jack said. "Now what have you done with the Doctor?"

"I told you there is no doctor here."

"The Doctor. The skinny man those things kidnapped," Rose said, pointing to the deer.

"Oh, you mean Bob? He's fine... for now."

"Bob?" Jack said. "His name's not Bob, you idiot. It's the Doctor."

"No, he is Bob. She is Ruth and you are either Simon or Bartholomew. I've seen it in Bob's mind when I did a mind scan."

The three friends glanced at each other.

"Okay, obviously not playing with a full deck," Jack said to them before he turned his attention back to the Deer Master. "Look, Deer Master, take us to Bob right now."

"You will see Bob in time but first you will come with me. I want to turn you into elves so you will serve me and my children."

"Children?" Ianto said. "You mean someone was actually nuts enough to procreate with you?"

"Oho, score one for Yan," Jack said while Rose chuckled. "So where is Bob?"

"I told you, you will see him in good time. For now, you will come with me for your conversion."

"No, I don't think so," Jack said.

He suddenly rushed past the deer, knocked the antler cup off the Deer Master's head and shoved the leather jacket down over his eyes. While the Deer Master tried to get it off, Rose and Ianto shared a glance, ran behind him and shoved him hard, knocking him into the table. The Deer Master grunted and slipped into unconsciousness.

"And just for being rude, I'll take this coat and keep it," Jack said, grabbing the leather jacket.

They looked at the deer but they never moved through the whole attack and were quietly standing at attention.

"Apparently, Larry, Moe and Curly don't move unless Wacko says so," Jack said.

"What do we do now?" Ianto asked.

"Now we find the Doctor, wherever he may be," Jack said. "And we find a way out of this room. So..."

He made a search of the Deer Master's robes, flinching for a moment when he pulled up his robe and saw no underwear. Fighting back revulsion, he slipped his hand up under the robe when he noticed there was a brown bag tied to a belt that went around his bare waist. He fished around in the sack, found what looked like a remote control to something and tried it.

"Thank God, I don't have to put my hands up near Nutsy's wrinkled balls any more," Jack said when the door slid open. "Right, let's go find the Doctor and get the hell out of here and off Noel for good!"

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