My fanfiction and other random ramblings

Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Posts Tagged ‘eleven

Two for the price of one – 5

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She felt exhausted and small black spots were fluttering in front of her eyes. She stumbled more and more often, even with his support.

He watched her weaver and looked around, searching for the best possible hiding spot. Over Rose’s head he made an expressive face to Romana, who nodded wearily, but soldiered on.

‘Rose’ he finally sighed after watching her trip over her own feet again. ‘We have to stop. You need rest.’

Her eyes shot wide open and she shook her head.

‘You do. I will run ahead, bring TARDIS here and pick you up. I’m the fastest of us three. You stay with Romana and she’ll keep you safe. Please?’

She drew a laboured breath and clung to his sleeve desperately.

‘I don’t want to leave you. I really really don’t want to leave you here, but if we want to get out of here safely, I need you to stay calm and hide with Romana. Please?’

He wasn’t expecting easy acceptance, but finally she sighed let go of his hand.

What he also wasn’t expecting was both of her hands reaching for his head and pulling him down into a fierce kiss.

It was a bit of surprise, so he didn’t respond at the first second, but in a moment he felt his awkwardness melt away – unlike with the other first kiss this body had received – and he kissed her back.

She broke it off, still holding his face in her palms and looked at him angrily. She pursed her lips and gave him a frowny, stern gaze.

‘I will. I will be back. You just hide and wait. Take this’ he pushed his screwdriver into her hands. ‘Activate it every five minutes or anytime when you feel threatened. TARDIS will zero in on it once I’m inside.’

***

He hurried up, following Romana’s instructions for the shortest route. The multitude of views on all sides of the tower was tempting him on every corner, but he kept repeating her name to make himself scale the stairs at his top speed.

Not all obstacles were as easy to pass.

‘I need some kind of identification from you, my lord.’

The guardsman seemed quite firm, young and completely indifferent to the fact that he was speaking to the Saviour of Gallifrey, ex-Lord President, etc etc etc.

He wanted an official planetary ID card with appropriate authorisation chip, and psychic paper wasn’t working at all.

‘My lord, I need you to remove yourself from this area. We’re handling a delicate situation with a construction collapse. I’m sure you will be able to use the observatorium tomorrow the latest.’

‘Actually, I may be of a help in this’ he grinned, whipping out his… Ah. ‘Well, I mean, I’ve already been there and my TARDIS should be nearby, so I could hover her outside whatever happened and help…’

‘Your TARDIS?’ the boy’s face creased in puzzlement.

‘Yes, my TARDIS. You know, the ship. Travels in time. And space. TARDIS.’

‘Ah! You mean the travel capsule. So it’s yours! Do you know how much damage you’ve made?!’

And suddenly, the lance was up, pointing at Doctor’s middle.

‘It wasn’t exactly a controlled landing, my lad’ the Doctor’s hands went slowly up and towards the tip of the weapon. ‘I was homing in on the beacon affixed on the ball thingy at the top and the landing kind of happened to me when I wasn’t paying attention’ he moved the spear aside. ‘So, would you let me go up there, remove it and let you proceed with whatever it is that needs to be done, or would you rather stand here, point that stick at me and force whoever is working there to deal with my TARDIS as it is, sitting in the middle of the wall and quite unwilling to leave?’

***

In the end, he had to resort to intimidation, and the young guard resorted to chasing him down with the magnetized spear – it was a painful way of finding out it was not purely ceremonial. Fortunately the guard’s motivation was not as strong as his own, and apparently the youth of Gallifrey were not so well versed in the science of running and hiding in twisty corridors anymore.

As soon as the young man passed his small nook, he darted out and dashed back towards the observatory in hope of reaching his TARDIS before anyone tried to force her open or move her from her parking spot.

The hole in the wall was empty.

Written by Srebrna

2015/10/23 at 00:32

Two for the price of one – 2

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He couldn’t actually kill the holo, so he turned his back to him and tried to ignore any new sounds. Holo finally gave up and wandered away – or simulated doing so. It was quite enough.

Something simple, something obvious, something so normal that nobody will think to remove it or… Or something not so easily visible. Maybe high up? Maybe…

He raked his hair with both hands.

Something clicked in his brain and he pulled his hair, hard.

The tallest spire of the central tower.

The rest was, in fact, very simple.

Or as simple as a hidden planet full of angry people almost-frozen in time can be.

***

He was convinced that his whole race was crazy. Bonkers, Donna would say. Out of their mind.

Two nuts short of a fruitcake. One nut, now, and the very thought of the other one, who perished, giving Earth the chance of survival, still stabbed him like a knife.

He wasn’t the same man anymore, and Master would never be the same boy that walked with him to look into the Untempered Schizm, but the link was there and the hole in his soul would never quite heal.

Actually, one other nut was missing, giving him a reason to rejoice. Apparently whatever the Master did to Rasillon was quite, quite permanent. Lovely and deadly, and the fear in the eyes of the witnesses was more than enough to make the darker parts of his hearts fill with delight. No regeneration. No enlightenment. No ascension. No living as energy forms. No president. How lovely it was to deal with the council only, prepared now (however short the time was) to negotiate, if not in good will, then at least in fear of consequences of failure. He had to exhibit all of his various people skills, from blinding them with his brillance to outright blackmail, but he finally got them to understand that under no circumstances would they be allowed a repeat performance of what Rasillon attempted to do. That he was absolutely, definitely prepared to leave them as they were until they think his offer over. Carefully.

The offer was very simple – he would attempt to crack the pocket-dimension lock only if they go under a planet-wide cloaking spell and nobody ever leaves the surface to meddle with other races unless they were personally vetted by him. He didn’t actually supply the “or else” part, but he felt they understood his meaning quite… clearly.

***

She was lying on the nice, plump mattress they gave her. The IV helped and she felt much stronger, but the migraines came and went and she didn’t want to get up unless someone was holding her. Being as close as possible to the floor – and to the wall – seemed the best solution with her head spinning so much.

The nice lady was worried. Apparently she wasn’t doing that well. The bruises were healing slowly, but she still couldn’t understand what was said, or written – she thought what they showed her was writing, but she couldn’t understand any of the signs. She blamed the lack of sleep for this.

She tried writing, but her muscles didn’t obey and the letters she tried were twisted beyond recognition. So, no written communication until she gets her fingers to cooperate. At least she could eat by herself, if only soups.

Something seemed to be stuck or broken inside her. She tried explaining it to the nice, worried lady medic, but gestures could convey only so much. Especially not something more psychical than physiological.

She carefully rolled to face the room and tried putting everything in a logical order. Maybe it would be easier to draw pictures?

The door opened suddenly.

***

‘Please, Doctor’ he heard the breathy female voice behind him and turned tiredly. ‘Please, I need help.’

Young, harried face of a medic. She stood no more than five feet and an inch or so, quite short for a Time Lady, but she looked at him with hard, experienced eyes.

‘Ha! Doesn’t everybody?’ he asked bitterly. ‘I think I’ve saved enough lives for the next decade, I need some rest.’

He didn’t, not really. But after tending to the entire planet as a whole and dealing with personal issues of each separate Time Lord and Lady of the Council, he didn’t have much left for yet another discussion about his methods and means of saving everybody. He was quite sure he didn’t have to do anything more at the moment, unless the Daleks came back.

‘I’m sorry’ she cringed. ‘I really need your help. Nobody else knows anything and I’ve never seen a case like this, and my patient is getting worse…’ she trailed off, looking at him hopefully.

‘Your patient?’ he sighed and raked his hair with fingers. ‘What’s wrong with him?’

‘It’s a her, actually. From what we can guess, it is head trauma, but none of the available diagnostic tools shows anything. She is half-conscious most of the time and was injured all over her body, as if due to a fall or roll in a rough terrain. She doesn’t seem to recognise spoken language or any kind of writing I’ve shown her, but otherwise behaves perfectly normally, so I don’t think it’s a general defect of brain function, just the language portion is somehow… missing. She can communicate with handsigns, but that’s obviously limited to everyday activities and, well, bodily functions. I can’t get her outside, she panics every time someone tries to walk her into a bigger open space – that’s actually how they found her, curled up next to a wall of a tumbled-down house, covering her eyes. Please, Doctor’ she implored, her hands shaking. ‘I hoped with your experience… You might have seen something…’

He sighed again and shut his eyes for a moment.

‘Just give me a… What is your name, actually?’

She smirked and shook her head with a sudden flirtiness.

‘I know I’ve regenerated since we last met, but really, Doctor’ she giggled.

‘Romana…?’ he ventured carefully and gathered her in his arms upon her short nod. ‘Oh, I’ve never hoped to see you again! And, well, you could have chosen a taller form, you barely reach my shoulder now!’ he measured with his large palm.

She swatted said shoulder lightly.

‘You’re discussing my height and I have a patient waiting. Are you coming, or not?’

‘For you, my lady, everything’ he bowed his head and did something curtsylike with his feet.

‘Stop it’ she gestured towards an internal corridor. ‘We keep her here. She hates windows, so she was quite happy with the isolation room. This way she’s safe in case of convulsions or nightmares, she’s having these quite often. Last two days, no sleep, only nightmares. She’s keeping a guard up with them most of the time, but they seem not to mind that much. Now, please, be careful. She reacts badly to all new faces…’

They turned into the corridor and faced a scene of a battle.

Waged between a tall, imposing Time Lord, two guards, visibly unsure as to who should be supported, and a thin, wiry girl with closely-cropped blonde hair. The girl was losing, obviously, but her opponent wouldn’t leave the scene unscathed. She managed to use her nails quite effectively on his face, his tall collar seemed dislodged and the bruise around his eye was impressive.

‘Crap’ Romana muttered and strode into the fray.

‘Delightful’ the Doctor echoed her sentiment and followed not a step behind her.

‘My Lord, you must let go of her, immediately’ he heard her say to the high dignitary, who seemed intent on getting the patient into the open area. ‘I have been assured by the High Lady Thorena that the girl will not be moved or approached again by anyone outside the normal staff! You were repeatedly told that your interventions do more harm than good!’

She looked like a miniature terrier trying to get a big husky to move – he saw something like this on Earth, once – and the Time Lord was giving her exactly the same amount of attention as the husky was paying to the terrier on that day.

‘My Lord’ he put a hand on the stranger’s hand, taking it off the girl’s arm. ‘Please unhand the patient and let Lady Romana do her work.’

‘If this stupid girl was doing her work, we wouldn’t be having this… this… crazy parasite here with us, disrupting everyone’s work!’ the man turned towards him. ‘And what is she to you, eh?’

‘She asked for my assistance’ he uttered slowly, moving his body between the gasping girl and the angry man. ‘And I want to check the patient myself, before…’

He glanced over his shoulder and froze. The girl was now held by Romana, crying and shivering in the corner of the corridor and he heard her voice, gasping some half-formed words and moans and he drowned in the sound. Not really caring, he pushed the overbearing Time Lord into the arms of the nearest guard and with one fluid move knelt next to both females.

He barely dared to hold out his hand, she looked so fragile and breakable.

Written by Srebrna

2014/01/14 at 00:36

Two for the price of one – 1

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Ever since watching the 50th anniversary special THIS was following me. No idea, really, how it should end, but I hope it will end somehow (unlike some of my other stories).

***

He was so tired.

He was tired, but he simply had to see this through.

Gallifrey Falls No More – could he had given himself a hint even a bit less subtle? And that “Who knows” still sent shivers down his spine. And revisiting the favourites? Well, he’d have to learn something new in order to do that. Not every male Time Lord had the ability to even steer their regeneration in the general direction of what they wanted (he never got ginger, after all) and even they couldn’t just, well, roll back to the previous bodies. Once a form was used, it was lost.

And even with the hint and the premonitions he had a lot of hard work still before him, and the slight suspicion that he was missing something big – maybe not planet-sized but still big – wasn’t really helping. Sometimes he felt his brainpower just shunting to the side to resolve that vague impression instead of doing the proper work of finally finding his home planet.

What he really hoped for was finding Gallifrey and being informed that he was just a little bit late and that the President had died of injuries just before they went into stasis (not to mention someone conveniently having shot him when he was incapacitated during regeneration, just to make sure he stays dead). Wouldn’t this be nice? No Rassilon to deal with, no need to confront his once-friend and wannabe puppet master, much less hassle, eh? Well, he would take what he could get, and if that meant facing Rassilon on the touchy subject of him driving the Master mad, well, he could work with that.

He kept seeing double and he really hoped it wasn’t some new, interesting effect of time distortion. Main console seemed slightly out of sync with the rest of the control room and it seemed to take so long to find the right keys…

‘You really should get some sleep.’

‘Look who’s talking’ he grunted.

‘You.’

He only shrugged. He couldn’t really argue with himself – even if the other self was the previous one.

He was also a hallucination – slash – TARDIS supported hologram. He wasn’t exactly sure which, but he felt somewhat comforted by his presence all the same.

‘You will be able to think after you have a nap, really.’

‘You’re nagging.’

‘Yep. You left Clara at home so I have to nag. Go, sleep. You’ll do this much faster if you do. Also, you may find the answer to the additional question.’

He turned to face his holo-double.

‘Which is?’

‘What the hell am I missing’ the other him snorted. ‘It’s driving you mad, isn’t it? So just go, get some shut-eye and get back to this in a few hours. After all, Gallifrey isn’t going anywhere, right?’

He rolled his eyes expressively, but gave up.

***

Sleeping helped a bit, but not that much.

Also, his double was temporarily gone. Maybe TARDIS shut him down when he finally listened.

The calculations were almost done, giving him a good estimate of the area in space he should search – not that small, at least a dozen of Sol systems would happily fit in it without even touching, but still, it was better than just “out there”.

***

She was hurting – not in some specific spot, but just hurting. Her eyes, especially, she felt them growing hot and cold, in waves. She could hear movement around her and hear voices, but the language sounded so strange she couldn’t even pinpoint the possible place on Earth it may come from. It didn’t sound like any European language she spoke, or even the ones she could remember ever hearing.

There were things on her arms which felt like restraints, but she didn’t have strength to fight them. Also, she could feel an IV line connected, so she could at least guess that she was, in fact, in a hospital.

Maybe we were in an accident? Oooh, that’s why I don’t understand anything – I got hit in the head and something broke… Not good, girl, not good. You’re gonna communicate with them somehow.

Ouch, my eyes.

Someone put a cooling compress on her eyelids and she actually welcomed the slight sting of an injection with relief.

Asleep, finally.

***

The calculations. They were a stroke of genius, simply. He couldn’t be happier with himself – he still didn’t know which one, but he suspected he must have punched in the code the moment he stopped burning after his regeneration from the Warrior. Sometimes he was sick, sometimes he was hungry, or crazy. Sometimes he was brilliant and inspired. He didn’t exactly remember waking up after that regeneration – just that the mirror in the wardrobe was smashed – but he definitely must have done at least three things. Start the calculations, get changed and lock the memories of the Warrior from direct contact.

He could remember being the Warrior by now, again, although it was still a bit patchy in places, but there was a big gap from the moment he started glowing to sometime around landing in the docs just as the Titanic was getting prepared for the journey.

He could live with that – he had other gaps like this, after all. At times they would suddenly fill in and he knew there was something important and dangerous hidden in them, dangerous enough for Warrior – or the next him – keeping it covered until certain signal comes. Well, hopefully this one wouldn’t interfere with his current plan and he was really grateful to himself for having set up this calculating routine, the observation procedures that were collecting data for the last – khm – years and combining it into an array of information that provided him with all the gravitational anomalies he could wish for, ever. Also, with several other kinds of anomalies, including unexpected neutrino streams and several interesting kinds of radiation, all layered one onto another and delivering him the almost-exact location of a tiny hiccup in space and time which might have, but didn’t actually have to be, the sign of the pocket universe containing stasis-frozen Gallifrey.

Now, what he would need to do when he finds it… Well. He would have really appreciated some actual company – the other him was cool, but someone he could touch would have been so much better. Not Clara, though. He didn’t really want to risk Clara and she confessed she remembered her short stay on Gallifrey (still mind-boggling) and she didn’t really care for meeting all those people again.

So here he was, alone, with a hallucination-hologram for company and an unclear goal…

‘You’re doing it again.’

‘What?’ he didn’t even turn to look at himself.

‘No idea, really, but definitely not what you are supposed to do.’

He walked into his line of view, all insolent smile, trainers and ‘brainy specs’.

‘Come on, you are supposed to help me!’

‘Not really, no. I’m supposed to nag and push you. I can’t help you, as in telling you what to do – I only know what you know and what she knows’ he gestured vaguely around. ‘If you don’t know what you’re missing and she doesn’t know what you mean, I can’t help.’

‘You’re annoying.’

‘But I got you to rest, that’s positive. Thinking any better today, eh? Old brain cells finally firing up? Lately they seemed a bit sluggish.’

‘No need to be offensive’ he frowned and moved around the console. ‘Oh, this was brilliant. Exquisite. I never would have… Well, apparently I did, but I still don’t remember how!’

‘What are you raving about this time?’

‘Oh. I’ve set this thing up to gather all the data… you stupid, why are you asking me about this? You are in there, you should know’ he moved a slide up and a whole new array of buttons rode up from behind the main keyboard. ‘All this data, all this information… you must have access to it.’

The holo frowned, blinked and seemed to be thinking. He never knew he looked that weird when deep in thought.

‘I think I found it’ he finally uttered. ‘It’s weird. I know what they mean, but I don’t… who did it?’

He clapped and hooted.

‘I even blocked the TARDIS from remembering about it, yay!’

‘Or TARDIS is simulating me not remembering’ the brown-suited holo added.

‘You’re messing with me’ he pointed a finger at the holo.

‘Sure. Nobody else around to get on your nerves, you gotta have an imaginary friend then.’

‘Or an imaginary fiend. Imaginary… menace. I-ma-gi-na-ry-meee-nace’ he sang, strolling around the readouts and monitors. ‘You seen this?’ he pointed and the holo rolled his eyes.

‘Yeah. You mean that little blinking spot? Seen it. Been there for the last minute or so.’

‘You’re useless’ he muttered again.

‘I can hear you.’

‘You are meant to. Anyway. We’ve narrowed the scope of search to a very, very tiny area. Volume. Now the question is, what do we do with it? How do we get them out?’

‘How did you get them in in the first place?’ the holo leaned against a pillar, his coat slightly sinking into the structure.

‘Well, I had help. Some help. You. I mean, him, me, in your version. You know.’

‘But you needed them only for the pure, machine, power. You had all the calculations on your sonic’ he pointed ‘and you just needed the other TARDISes to work with it properly. You didn’t need them for the solution itself.’

He shook his head.

‘I could really use another head. Or two, or twelve, in fact. My own just doesn’t work correctly. Not that I’m going mad, as…’ he trailed off.

‘Yes?’ the holo whispered finally.

‘How they did it the last time. Not how I did it, because one way can work completely different than the other, but how they did it. They broke out of a time lock, linking to the Master. They had a, a, a lifeline. They threw a White Star at him, after all. And he pulled them in. Now if only I could think about something that could reach inside…’

***

It wasn’t actually that hard after all. Blood worked best for everybody and although Doctor wasn’t very happy to admit it, he did have a close relative or two still – hopefully – alive during the Time War and living at home. Using something that the holo christened “hi-tech voodoo doll” he tried to create a link to the interior of the pocket universe, only to see it go suddenly “fizz” instead of the expected “snap”.

He didn’t exactly curse, but the collection of animal names from Salxyfatoria he growled made the holo shake his head.

‘You should make sure you don’t use these in front of company. Especially the xenologists. You know they consider these to be quite vile.’

‘Why do you think I’m using them now?’ he threw his arms up in exasperation. ‘If only I had had enough foresight to leave a marker on Gallifrey itself, it all would have been so simple. Something obvious and common so that everyone would…’

Silence was only broken by his hissing breath and TARDIS’ slight rumbling.

The holo chewed his lip in expectation.

He turned slowly to face his double.

‘Are you telling me I did actually leave a marker?’

‘No-pe’ the ‘p’ was explosive. ‘I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already.’

Written by Srebrna

2013/12/14 at 21:37