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But if you can still dream – 25

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Chapter 12: If a man could pass through Paradise

If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake – Aye, what then?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Doctor: Sleep paralysis

Jack was inconsolable.

Jack was tearing about the TARDIS, furious at himself, the Doctor, TARDIS and the universe.

Jack was half-dead, judging by how he was constantly walking into walls, furniture and pillars. And tripping over his own feet.

Doctor sat in his chair, staring at the readouts in front of him, somewhat unable to even pick himself up and react to Jack’s plainly destructive actions.

“Doctor” the Captain’s voice rasped with effort.

“Yes.”

“I think there may be something wrong with this.”

Jack handed him a perfect, sky-blue glass marble and promptly fell on his face, just in front of the console.

Doctor regarded the tiny sphere for a moment, but finally pocketed it and shrugged. Then he crouched next to Jack’s snoring form and pushed his hands under his friend’s side, slowly turning Jack over. Then he hooked his arms into Jack’s and dragged him down the steps – feet bumping loudly on every step – and to Jack’s room. He managed to get the prone body on the bed, eased his boots off and left, turning towards the medbay.

He really had no plan this time. They had her, she was there, and then, suddenly, she was gone. Again. He rested his forehead against the cold door of medbay. He had to think, but ideas in his head were jumping around like frightened rabbits. There was nothing concrete, nothing coming.

Argh.

He lowered himself slowly into the chair by the bed. Spreading his fingers wide, he touched the bed’s surface, hunting for the body heat long gone from the plastic coating. She had been there. They had a proof. TARDIS managed to make a quick scan and was now processing the data collected.

They already knew the basics.

Rose was mutating towards something far enough from basic human that her body was not coping with it at all. The drugs that the other side dosed her with had slowed the process down slightly, giving her more time, but at the same time altering her body chemistry so much that the changes might have gone wrong. They would have been able to guess how wrong, had they had any idea what the final form was supposed to be.

Still, it seemed Rose would be better off on TARDIS then in Torchwood, seeing as Torchwood probably had no idea what was going on and how to help her. They had to get her back and preferably fast.

He laid his cheek on the smooth plastic and looked at the room from that angle. He really had no hope, he could see no way to break through. Each time it was her coming to them, not the other way round. And it was obviously something so outside TARDIS’ knowledge that the ship had no suggestions (or even helpful hints) for their next steps.

One of the printers by the far wall started spitting out a long ribbon of some kind of graph. He looked as it gathered on the top of the low table next to it, but had no strength to move – in fact, he could not even lift a finger. He could only blink slowly as the printout ended with a cutting noise and the folds of paper rested quietly on the flat surface. Another machine dinged quietly and something started revolving on the screen, but he could not lift his head, feeling more and more stuck in the position he was sitting there, leaning over the bed.

He blinked, even slower this time.

Machines around were coming to life and he started having problems breathing, feeling as if something was pressing on his back, blocking him from inhaling, and he felt the dizziness coming – which he normally never experienced, due to the respiratory bypass system – and in the corner of his eye he saw another machine opening some images on a big screen, images of Rose looking sullenly at the camera, of Rose lying prone on the bed, of Rose on an operating table, her insides being poked by surgeons, of Rose’s photo with a big stamp “ALIEN, POST MORTEM ANALYSIS” over it…

He squeezed his eyes shut and tried breathing slowly, if shallowly, but the feeling of intense pressure was still there, squeezing air out of his lungs and pushing him into the bed. He heard the blood pounding in his ears and his double-hearted pulse pick up in tempo.

Then he felt himself slip down and he was floating, loose in the Vortex, the waves of space-time-reality contracting and stretching around him, his mouth opened in silent scream.

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Written by Srebrna

2016/06/28 at 22:29

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