|Dr. Darr leads Jack and Simon deeper into the facility until they come to an unassuming door, which the Doctor opens with a key from his belt.|
Beyond the door stands a second doorframe containing a strange latticework of crackling green energy.
“Don’t stare,” Dr. Darr admonishes them. “As a wise philosopher once said, ‘if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.’”
Before Jack can question the Doctor about his meaning, Darr steps through the vortex and vanishes. Dark Simon follows without hesitation, and Jack shrugs. No doubt, the Doctor’s words will be clear soon. Jack steps through the vortex and finds himself in a long, vast chamber. A narrow bridge leads away toward a set of massive doors set in a forbidding wall of stone – the first use of that material he has seen in the construction of this place. However, it is not the wall or the door that captures Jack’s attention. All around, above, and below the bridge is an abyss of darkness in which strange stars shine and twinkle. The impression is dizzying – are they standing in space? His mind grapples with the impossibility of what he sees. There must be a window or a bubble around them – but how can he see stars? It is daylight outside the laboratory.
“Where –” is all he can manage.
“Somewhere not of this world,” Simon whispers at his side. “Do as the good Doctor advises. Do not stare into the darkness. Best you don’t know where you are.” Simon gestures toward their destination at the end of the bridge, where Dr. Darr and his construct wait. “Come, friend.”
Dr. Darr operates the lock on the door, which appears to be even more complicated than the lock on the wall safe. When the doors open at last, Jack catches a glimpse of the space beyond. He can see shadowy bulks of machinery, stacks of steel crates painted with strange symbols and logos, shelves and shelves of bottles containing liquids of a dozen hues… The construct guards the door while Dr. Darr rustles and clatters within.
The Doctor emerges and smiles at Jack. “Now then. Where would you like to start?”