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Doctor Who Internet Adventure #22 - "Clockwork Orange"


Chapter 2
"For we look at things through different eyes, and lo - the world is changed"
by Alan Taylor


---


Book One: Wind Up


Washington DC, January, 1963.

Roni lay back on the bed waiting for Freddie to come and collect her. "Going to take you out for dinner, doll," he had said. "Going to take you somewhere nice." She had been waiting for over two hours. On the radio, the president was talking about Cuba. Yeah, and five years ago he had been a lousy lay. She couldn't take him seriously when she thought about him with his pants round his ankles. The most powerful man in the world.


       She'd had better.


       She hoped she looked okay for Freddie.


       She needed a cigarette, so she reached for the dresser drawer, felt inside, and found the Lucky Strikes and matches hidden at the back where she had left them.


       Freddie hated her smoking, especially in the bedroom. Said it would be the death of them both. What if she dropped it, set the whole place on fire? He was only looking out for her, but she wasn't completely useless. So she hid the cigarettes from him so that he wouldn't worry. So sweet.


       "Hi there doll!"


       He was home early, she thought. Rushed back to be with her. Damn. She stubbed the cigarette out on the wall and let the stub fall behind the dresser. She hoped she looked seductive enough for him as he stepped through the bedroom door.


       "I swear you get better looking every day, doll," he said and she smiled.


       "And I'm sure you do too, hon."


       He sat beside her on the bed, put his arm around her and they kissed; her hand found the rough denim of his thigh and worked its way upwards as his hand started to unbutton the back of her dress. "Hey!" He pulled away suddenly. "I almost forgot! I got you a present." She knew he hadn't forgotten really, but he was always lousy with birthday presents. She found his romantic hamfistedness so endearing at times. She knew what his next line would be too.


       "Close your eyes - no peeking." He always forgot how insensitive that was.She turned a blind eye to it. Fact was, no matter what he had bought for her was too much. They couldn't afford anything much, what with her not able to work. "I bought this for you because I love you," he said, "and because it's your birthday too. You love surprises, don't you doll?" She nodded.


       Freddie was directly in front of her, low down - probably on his knees. She was perched on the edge of the bed, her dress half-undone, and her pale legs dangling. She reached forward and touched the hairy flesh of his forearms as he reached towards her, the gift in his hands. "This is because I love you, doll," he said again, and she could hear that there was something wrong with his voice - it sounded shaky, like he was crying.


       As she inched her hands towards his, she already knew what was in them. She felt him shake, felt the goose flesh on his wrists. "Please, Freddie, don't do this to me," she said, quietly, calmly. "Don't do this to us."


       The gun was cold in his hand, the barrel a short stub, no more than eighteen inches from her face.


       "I'm sorry, doll." She could hear that he was crying now. She reached forward, felt his face, brushed a tear from his cheek. "Things will be okay, hon. Listen to me. Yeah, our lives have changed, but we're still together, we've still got each other, and we're strong. We survived back in LA in '58, we'll survive now. I love you, Freddie. I always have, and I always will."


       She wished that she still had her sight, wished she could see him.


       "I love you too, doll."


* * *


He remembers this in slow motion.


       Gently at first, but with increasing, inexorable force, his finger pulls back on the trigger. He's fired many guns before, but this time it feels different, like there is more than just the normal pressure against his finger. As he pulls back he raises his hands, feeling her fingers digging into his flesh, her ruby-red nails drawing lines of fresh ruby on his skin. Her sunglasses fall from her face, revealing the gaping holes where her pretty eyes once were. The gateway to her soul. Gone. Their blankness accuses him.


       The smell of gunpowder hits him before the sound of the shot or the recoil. He's not braced properly and falls back, twisting his ankle slightly. Roni falls back on the bed so slowly. The bullet has passed straight through her head, and the back of her skull is?


       He can hardly bear to look at her. The gun drops to the floor as he stands.


       He stands and looks at her forever. He loves her so much. He snapped round suddenly at the banging on the door, the shouting. Old Carlton, the building super - who should have been fast asleep.


       Shouldn't have heard the shot. Damn.


       Panic kicked in, followed almost immediately by a feeling of calm. He'd been in worse situations than this before. He scooped up the gun and jumped over the bed, out through the kitchen window and onto the fire escape. His feet barely touched the metal steps as he threw himself downwards, head first, running out of the alley into the streets of Washington. And he ran.


* * *


Only a couple of miles away from him, between Seventh, Ninth, F and G streets, stood the National Portrait Gallery; a grand building, formally opened less than a year earlier. There was a woman sitting on the steps; smartly dressed, in her mid thirties, with reddish brown hair hanging over her shoulders, and a tired expression on her face. She had a guidebook in one gloved hand, including glossy images of several works that the gallery had yet to acquire. She had found it slightly less useless than she had expected.


       The thing was, she had taken slightly less time to tour the museum than she had expected. With the result that - and she checked her watch to be sure - she had forty minutes of sitting on steps to do before the Doctor and Luke returned.


       She looked over at the TARDIS. So close. Sitting there at the intersection, somehow incongruous next to the Stop sign, faded paint roudly advertising that it had been there for decades. If she had a key - even the spare - she could have nipped in, made herself a nice cup of tea and read a bit more of 'Pistols for Two'.


       Instead, she was stuck on the steps, waiting. Not even a coffee shop where she could get a half-decent cappuccino. Really, twentieth century America was a lot more backward than the brochures had said.


       "Kirena!"


       She didn't recognise the voice, and the man running towards her wasn't familiar. Dark hair, thick built, maybe her age, maybe a little older. Maybe if she ignored him he would go away. Maybe he meant some other Kirena.


       Maybe it was a really common name in this time period. He threw himself down on the steps next to her and buried his face in her neck. He was shaking, sobbing.


       "I'm so glad to see you," he said, his voice muffled by her scarf.


       "I'm terribly sorry," she said, inching away from him. "But I don't believe we've met. I think perhaps you have me mistaken for someone else." He looked her firmly in the eye, then.


       "Lady, if you're not Kirena Morok then you look very like her. Are the Doctor and Luke with you? God, I've not seen you guys since '58." He burst in to tears again.


       Think Kirena. He obviously knows you, and that probably means that you meet some time in his past and your future. Yuck, that's got to be messy. Anyway - it's kid gloves treatment for this one.


       "I killed her, Kirena," he said.


       "Killed who?"


       "Roni. I just couldn't bear it. She was so..."


       Kirena looked up at the sound of someone clearing their throat.


       "Doctor!"


       She hoped he'd be able to handle the situation. She felt that she was about to drown in a sea of knowing too much about her future.


       "Mister Merker! How jolly good to see you again!" said the Doctor, offering his hand to Freddie. "Now, do tell me, what seems to be the matter?"


* * *


"And this would have been a bad time to interfere for what reason exactly?" Kirena glared at the Doctor. She took off her coat as they entered the TARDIS and threw it over the console, where it hit one of the controls and started a red flashing light. The Doctor hit the console with his fist and the flashing stopped.


       "Kirena, Kirena, Kirena," he began.


       "And don't you start that condescending nonsense with me, Doctor. He was upset. He had just killed the woman he clearly loved - blatantly a mercy killing, I may say - and all you do is buy him a cup of coffee, say 'there, there' and leave him to get picked up by the police. What sort of intergalactic responsibility is that?"


       "Every kind!" he shouted. "We know nothing at all about the man, about this Roni woman. What was I supposed to do? Take him with us?"


       "No, but, take him somewhere, somewhere where the police would never find him. Australia, or one of the lunar colonies."


       "Ignoring for a moment the fact that there are no lunar colonies yet, what's that supposed to achieve? He's a fugitive from the law. He must have known the consequences of his actions before he killed her, surely. Who are we to act as gods and help him escape the consequences of his actions?"


       "He needed help. We could have helped him. We didn't. Enough said."


       "Would you like a cup of tea?"


       Kirena grimaced.


       "Yes please."


       She followed him to the far end of the library and into the little galley kitchen with the stucco walls where he kept the kettle and the second best china.


       While the Doctor busied himself with cleaning some cups, filling the kettle, finding a brown plastic tray with a McDonalds logo on it, and arranging some ginger cookies on a plate, Kirena slumped herself against the door frame.


       "I guess," she said at length, "that I may have over-reacted. He just had that haunted look. The one you get when you know that no matter how long you live, you'll never be able to run far away enough from yourself. He'll never forgive himself."


       "I know," said the Doctor, reaching up to pull a tin of shortbread from the top shelf. "It's so sad."


       "And another thing - how did you know his name?"


       "Well, that was on his driver's licence," explained the Doctor. "Add that to the fact that I had been standing there for about thirty seconds before I drew any attention to myself, and you have an effective charade. Noted that down for future reference?"


       Kirena nodded. "Duly noted, Doctor."


       He reached in to his inside pocket, pulled out a small handgun and put it on one side, reached back in to the pocket and pulled out his watch. "Luke should have been here by now," he said as he replaced the watch. Kirena looked at the gun, at the Doctor, back at the gun.


       "Tea's up," he said.


       The china rattled as he lifted up the plastic tray. "And then we can go back to 1958 and find out a little more about Mister Merker."


       Luke ran into the TARDIS - finally - over an hour later. "Well," he said as he collapsed into an armchair. "Let me tell you guys a story... unfortunately its not the best story in the world, but it's not far off."


       "This better be good, said Kirena," tapping her foot.


       "I met someone. Sex is good, I've been too distracted by buggery to call. I've thought about it, and once I even tried to reach the phone, but I sort of let things slip away with me. Sorry I'm late. Lovely eyes."


       "Oh for fuck's sake," muttered Kirena.


       "No harm done," said the Doctor, reaching over the console to push the dematerialization lever.


       "Anyway," continued Luke. "We're in love, and I'm leaving. Just thought I would pop in to pick up some stuff and say goodbye. It's been fun."


       The Doctor looked at the meshing and unmeshing lights of the time rotor.


       "Oops."


* * *


Five years earlier.

Harris approached the vehicle his gun pointed at the window of the driver.


       "Sir could you please put your hands on the wheel." Freddie placed his hands on the wheel and he imagined Roni beating into him because he loved her.


       He closed his eyes, tight shut, watched the shapes moving, the street lamps and headlamps behind his eyelids. Waited for the "step out of the car please" that followed. Groaned when it did.


       He knew the drill. Out of the car, legs wide, frisked for weapons. The cop had his hands on Freddie's shoulders, his waist, his outer thighs, inner thighs...


       "I say, that looks like fun, can you do me afterwards?"


       The cop paused and both Freddie and the cop looked at the newcomer. "Oh, don't let me interrupt your fun, boys, but I'd warn you that you really ought to be more discreet. I hear that the local constabulary don't look too kindly to your kind."


       Harris pulled his hands away from Freddie's crotch, pulled his gun out and aimed it squarely at the stranger's head, pulled out his badge with the other hand and waved it in his face.


       "I don't know what your game is, kid, but I'm giving you thirty seconds to get out of here before I do something we'll both regret."


       "Oh, okay." He turned back towards the dark corner where a large blue packing case stood.


       "It's been lovely meeting you, Officer. I do hope we bump into each other again."


       Harris followed him with his gaze until he disappeared round the back of the case. Weird kid. He let Freddie off with a caution. This time.


       "Christ," said Luke, closing the TARDIS door behind him. "That was close. For a second there I thought that guy was going to kill me. I guess it's more dangerous out there than the Doctor told us."


       Kirena shrugged. "But you're okay. And the Doctor made it in to the back seat of Freddie's car?"


       Luke nodded. "Crazy way to meet people. I caught him out of the corner of my eye."


       Kirena picked up her raincoat and started to put it on. "I'll be back in an hour," she said. "I need some space. To think."


       "To think?" asked Luke. "About what?"


       "Consequences."


       "Oh right, go all intellectual on me," he teased. "But be careful - there are some nutters out there."


       "Oh, I'll be careful."


       She reached her hand into her pocket, felt the butt of Freddie's revolver.


       Better safe than sorry.


       Three hours later neither she nor the Doctor had returned. Luke swore, and set out into the foggy LA night.


* * *


Frankly, she was a perfect specimen. Sitting on her own, nobody else around for blocks. Probably wouldn't be missed for a while anyway. He made up a little fantasy about her. She was a bored housewife, walked out on her old man because he didn't know how to satisfy her. So she'd stormed out, slammed the door in his face, left him to reach under the bed for the stack of eight by tens.


       Hell, she was probably naked under that coat. Perfect specimen.


       He'd take her back to the precinct, show her what she was missing, first. Then later, when she cried out in pain, she'd be crying his name. He could feel little pinpricks on the back of his hand. He liked that feeling. "Good evening, Miss, are you all right?"


       Start with the genteel. Dames love that.


       "I'm fine. Leave me alone please, officer."


       "I'm sorry, miss," he said, sitting next to her on the bench. "But I would be shirking in my civic duty if I did that, now wouldn't I? So why don't you tell me all about it?"


       She fixed him with a glare, and he looked deep in to her eyes. A perfect specimen. "I'm fine." Gritted teeth. "Leave me alone please."


       "Why don't you come back to the precinct and we can talk about it there. Or I could arrest you for solicitation. So which is it to be?"


       He had his hand on her leg, digging in to the flesh of her thigh. Firm. She tried to stand, but he wouldn't let her.


       "I don't think you're listenin' to me rightly, sweetheart." His free hand pulled his revolver from the holster and he jabbed it into her ribs. "You're coming with me."


       "Oh," she said, unfolding her arms and putting them in to her pockets. "Why didn't you say so?"


       There was a shot, although he hadn't pulled the trigger. He was confused for a moment, disoriented before he realised that the bitch had shot him in the foot. With that realisation came pain, and the automatic reaction - a slap across the face with the butt of his gun, knocking her unconscious, and cutting her forehead. Eyes undamaged though.


       He called Harris for backup, and hauled the unconscious dame in to the back seat of the car. When she woke up she wouldn't have any idea what had hit her.


---
To be continued...



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