|Main enemy:||Wesley Sparks|
|Main setting:||Stormlight House, Proxima System|
|Editor:||Tom Spilsbury & Scott Gray|
|Printed in:||DWM 406 - DWM 407|
|Release date:||5 March 2009 -|
|Format:||Comic - 2 parts|
|DWM comic stories|
|The Stockbridge Child||The Age of Ice|
Part 1 (Mortal Beloved)
The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Majenta to a house floating on the edge of a vast galactic storm in the Proxima System. As they enter, they are almost killed by an eccentric robot known as Owl. The Doctor makes his peace with the robot when he agrees to fix a projection device that the machine is guarding. While the Doctor sets about fixing the projector, Majenta heads off into the depths of the house. Before long, the Doctor successfully reactivates the machine, triggering a hologram projection of a party from long ago, and a sentient Brochure, who welcomes the Doctor "to the future". Meanwhile, Majenta is walking through the corridors and finds a terrifying zombie robot called Violet. The - clearly mad - robot tries to take Majenta to her "Master". Majenta hits her over the head with a metal figurine and flees into the dark, with Violet in hot pursuit. Back in the foyer, the Doctor meets a hologram of a man called Wesley Sparks, who reveals that the Holograms are composed of Solid Engramme Tachyonics (SET-Forms) - and that they know that they are not real. As the Doctor is registering all of this, Wesley introduces Majenta Pryce in Hologram form. Elsewhere, Majenta is running away from Violet and encounters a room of murmuring zombies in business suits who are connected to a central computer. They halt their business spiel when they notice Pryce. A vote is taken - and the businessmen agree that Majenta Pryce is to be taken to the master. At that moment, Violet springs from the shadows, her claws outstretched.
Elsewhere, Wesley introduces the Doctor to set-form Majenta. The Doctor is stunned to see Majenta looking as she once did - young and confident and full of life. Meanwhile, one of the set-form guests seems to take violently ill. File corruption, concludes the Doctor - and it seems to be spreading. Within seconds, all of the guests are corrupted - and they start to advance on the Doctor, Owl and Wesley. Elsewhere, Majenta is shaken to discover a range of robot simulacra designed to look exactly like her. But before she can investigate further, Violet leads her to the inner sanctum - where she meets a lumbering, hissing mess of a cyborg. A wizened human head grins down from atop a rusting metal hulk and asks - "don't you recognise your darling Wesley?"
Part 2 (Till Death us do Part)
The Doctor and Wesley are being swarmed by the corrupted set-forms, but the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to send sonic resonance through the chandelier, causing the guests to stop advancing, and scream in pain. The Doctor, Wesley and Owl take advantage of this, and escape.
Meanwhile, the rusting cyborg version of Wesley reminds Majenta that they were betrothed to be married, which Majenta denies. The cyborg Wesley orders two humanoid robots to hold Majenta back, and Wesley explains that after Majenta had escaped from him, he continued waiting as his body degraded, and that he had told the directors that when Majenta returned, she and Wesley would be wed.
As the Doctor, Wesley and Owl walk down the corridors of Stormlight house, the Sonic Screwdriver picks up traces of Majenta's psychic spoor in the air. Suddenly, Violet jumps up in front of the Doctor, ripping Owl's legs off, and trying to attack the Doctor. After telling Violet that he's a Doctor, the Doctor is asked by Violet to look inside her head. After the Doctor installs a vital update in Violet, her personality stabilizes, and she warns the Doctor that Majenta "may be in rather a lot of trouble".
Elsewhere, the cyborg Wesley is dressed up for the wedding of him and Majenta, with Majenta gagged and tied up by Wesley's robots. Wesley then reveals his plans to give Majenta a new form, and take her to a cave on a distant rock. Wesley removes Majenta's gag so that she can say her wedding vows. However, Majenta jumps up and bites Wesley's hair, and Wesley lashes out, knocking Majenta to the floor, prompting him to look down at Majenta with remorse.
Suddenly, Violet, the Doctor and the set-form version of Wesley appear. Set-form Wesley shouts at Cyborg Wesley for attacking Majenta. Cyborg Wesley stares at his set-form equivalent, and they realise that they are different versions of the same person. Wesley orders his humanoid robots to shoot at Wesley, Violet and the Doctor, but they hide behind a church pew, avoiding the line of fire. Suddenly, the directors enter the church, and inform cyborg Wesley that he is fired, that the Sparktech company is to be liquidated, and that the Stormshield has been disabled, so that the house is destroyed. The Doctor runs off to reactivate the shield.
Wesley orders the robot vicar Mr Gardener, to marry him and Majenta, or die. Wesley's set-form counterpart runs up and protests, only to be shot four times by the humanoid robots. Majenta screams, and set-form Wesley gets up and twists cyborg Wesley's metal arm, causing him to push his Laserson probe into his chest, killing him.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is looking for the Stormlight shield controls. Owl's torso tells the Doctor that the controls are behind him, but that due to his programmed orders, he must kill the Doctor to prevent the shields being reactivated. Owl shoots at the Doctor, but misses. The Doctor reactivates the Stormshield, and the house is returned to safety.
Back at the church, Wesley's set-form file is beginning to corrupt. He asks Majenta if she remembers. Majenta says "I do", and seconds later, Wesley's file corrupts, and he begins to degrade.
As the TARDIS leaves with Majenta on board, the Doctor tells Majenta that Violet has downloaded a business degree, and is rebuilding Sparktech. Majenta criticises the Doctor for taking her back to Stormlight house, but the Doctor tells her that they should be on Panacea according to the co-ordinates. Majenta is confused, but then a creature appears on the TARDIS scanner, telling Majenta to "Remember the Hand...".
- Mnemonic Crystal
- Sparktech, Wesley's company
- Stockbridge, the location of the last adventure.
- Transmat, how people travelled to Stormlight House
- Omnivax Inc.
- Intersol - This is the third time Intersol has been mentioned, informing us it acquired Sparktech's off-world set-form division.
- The Hand
- The comic's title is a play on a key phrase from the traditional marriage vows: "dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..." - while also referring to the mysterious "Immortal Beloved" of Beethoven's life.
- At the end of the strip, the phrase "Remember the Hand" is spoken, a foreshadowing of the events of COMIC: The Crimson Hand.
- Majenta mentions Thinktwice prison and Stockbridge, indicating that she and the Doctor have had no adventures in between comics.
- The way the Doctor takes Majenta to Stormlight House is like the way the Seventh Doctor took Ace to Gabriel Chase.
- On Dan McDaid's website, it hints that Wesley may return in 2009 New York, to develop the company Electrizz, hiding an army of Skith dressed as Gordon Brown in his backyard, only to discover that they killed Majenta and are betrothed to Lenny Henry (sarcasm).