The Doctor, The Professor and The Turk
The Doctor, The Professor and The Turk stories
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As Mr Pagliacci left, Professor Markus entered, His temples tight, his skin turned white, his tie not even centered,
By NeonTempo https://www.reddit.com/r/...

The Doctor, The Professor and The Turk

by NeonTempo

As Mr Pagliacci left, Professor Markus entered,

His temples tight, his skin turned white, his tie not even centered,

He quivered and he shivered running fingers through his hair,

Till the Doctor quelled his fractious mind and offered him a chair,

 

"My dear Professor Markus" said the Doctor with concern,

"I know you as a character both logical and stern,

As stoical and sensible as any man can be,

So to catch you in this fearful state's a sorry sight to see,

The treatments for Hysteria are plentiful in number,

Morphine, Teas, Tobacco Leaves or sometimes merely slumber,

But first you must permit I ask what caused you such distress",

 

The man replied, or rather cried, "... I lost a game of chess."

 

The Doctor struggled not to laugh. "Well that's a fearful shame",

I've heard it told by many you're a master at the game,

Who is the twisted gentleman who'd manage such a thing?

To break your reasonable resolve as well as take your king"

 

"The Turk." Said Markus full of dread "The World's Fair's greatest prize,

An Ottoman automaton a mere five feet in size,

It's upper half is humanoid it's lower half a chest,

Its clockwork fingers play a game no single man can best,

Its face is made of chiseled wood, its eyes are made of glass,

It slid a white knight cross the board toward me as I passed,

I stood stock still, a shocking chill careering though my brain,

Then took a chair and met its stare, and so began the game,

 

My strategy was tactically, and practically sublime,

Yet every piece that I removed, The Turk took two of mine,

It met my every tactic with superior riposte,

And once it took my second rook, I realised all was lost,

With every trick, each rotary click, it marched towards its prize,

A cold and stark intelligence behind its lifeless eyes,

I tipped my king and left the thing, my only thoughts to flee,

That creature is a monster, more intelligent than me."

 

The Doctor laughed uproariously, "My man you've no idea!

A simple trick has left you sick and trembling with fear,

A person hides within the chest, and watching through a scope,

He orchestrates the Turk's advance through dials and pegs and rope,

The clockwork figure's every move is subject to his will

The fact the Turk has never lost speaks only to his skill

So now the matter's straightened out and all's as it appears

Your quarry was a mortal man, does this allay your fears?"

 

Professor Markus hung his head, and somberly replied

"No Doctor. For I'd just stepped out..."

 

"... I was the man inside."

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