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Doctor Who Internet Adventure #24 - "Remiel"


Chapter 4
"Breaking Points"
by Pab Sungenis


---


"Be all that someone else can be."

— Maxine, Being John Malkovich


* * *


Two figures sat there watching the scope as events unfolded and time streams unfurled.


       "No," said one.


       "It must not be allowed."


       A short silence passed between the two.


       "But how?"


* * *


Ruth held on for dear life to the beam as the lift resumed its descent. She watched as the Doctor plunged out of sight below her.


       "This is it," she said to no one in particular, "this is the end." She morbidly thought of the funeral that would follow. Would all of her friends be there? She chuckled. What friends? A solitary tear started down her cheek, followed by others caused by the smoke that was filling the lift shaft.


       Then she moved her thoughts to the autopsy. Would the doctors in attendance laugh at her for her stupidity? "What was the dumb woman thinking, hanging from a beam in a shaft?" The something within her shuddered. They could know exactly what she was thinking; they could graft her biodata after she was gone.


       She shuddered. What if the rumours were true? What if there really was more to biodata grafting than they had led her to believe? What if a grafted person really did lose their soul? What if....


       Her musings were suddenly interrupted by a creaking sound above her. She looked up to see the beam giving way, and prepared to follow the Doctor down the shaft.


* * *


The thoughts came once again, more insistent this time.


       "Your name is Ezekiel Barnes you are..."


       "Bullshit!" Kirena countered. "I am Kirena Morok, the head of the..."


       "You are a policeman. You uphold the Law. These experiences are not a person, they are..."


       "I am a bounty hunter. I act when the Law is too cowardly to do so. I am more of a person than you are."


       "Hold on to who you are."


       "To hell with this," thought Kirena, "get out of the way, here I come."


* * *


Jadi and Luke had staked out Holmes' flat. Mavis had somehow managed to lead them there, despite taking the most circuitous route imaginable, and they had spent the better part of three hours following him around before he returned.


       "So, tell me," Jadi whispered, "what is the plan?"


       "I'm not entirely sure."


       "How reassuring." The bounty hunter let out a sigh.


       Luke looked at his chronograph. "I'm willing to bet that the next time he comes out, he's going to be on his way to the restaurant. With any luck, we'll be able to come up with a plan."


       "We'd better think fast," Jadi said, "here he comes."


       As Holmes stepped out of the door, Mavis yelled "Pumpkin!"


       Holmes turned his head to find the source of the voice, as Jadi and Luke quickly muffled Mavis and pulled her into deeper cover.


* * *


"The die is cast," the first figure said as he turned to face the other.


       "Yes. We must act."


       "We cannot intervene."


       "But we must."


       "No," said the first figure, "but there might be a way."


* * *


Just as Ruth was beginning to square herself with impending death and possible eternal oblivion, she felt a jerk as something reached out and caught her left arm.


       She looked up and found herself staring into the Doctor's eyes. His right hand was holding on to her, his left onto a rope. At the end of the rope was a grappling hook.


       "If you ask me where I get my wonderful toys," he chuckled, "I will drop you."


       Ruth, in spite of herself, smiled. "Come on," she said, "let's get out of here."


* * *


Kirena carefully examined the body she found herself in. Powerfully built; she could make use of this one. She checked to make sure everything was in working order.


       "Hey," a little voice inside her head said, "what do you think you're doing?"


       "I'm getting out of here, that's what. Now where am I?"


       "These experiences are not...."


       "Will you shut up? You made the mistake of grafting someone with more willpower than you could ever hope to muster." How did she know what had happened to her? Something else to ask when she had a chance. "I may let you take control again if you help me figure out exactly what's going on."


       "Why should I help you?"


       "God helps those who help themselves."


       "Ha ha," said the voice. "Very funny."


       "At least I didn't do the one about 'I'm schizophrenic and so am I.'"


       "I think we're going to be sick."


       "I don't, and I'm in control. Now — Zeke, isn't it? — which is the quickest way out of here?"


* * *


The Doctor and Ruth managed to jimmy open a lift door and climb out of it. Klaxons were sounding through the now empty halls. "I guess they must have evacuated when the bombs went off."


       "Smart people," Ruth concurred. "I think we'd better do the same."


       "Not so quick. I need to know more about this biodata grafting process.Why have I never heard of it before this if it's such a breakthrough? It has to be a technological dead end!"


       "How can you be so certain? And what's this about your friend bringing the universe to an end?"


       The Doctor stopped, reached into one of his capacious pockets, and pulled out an elastic band. "Do you see this?" he asked. Somehow, it was easier when he had to explain this to Grace. "Imagine that this is the time stream, looping around in a circle, with cause and effect following each other in an orderly fashion.


       "Now, as minor changes are made," he said as he stretched the band, "the continuum will eventually adapt, snapping back into place." He relaxed the band, which resumed its original size and shape.


       "And what your friend is trying to do?"


       The Doctor pulled the band back as far as he could, and shot it down the hallway.


       "That's bad."


       "You have a remarkable gift for understatement. We must find a laboratory."


* * *


Holmes slowly turned, not having found the source of the noise. He knew that someone had been following him, but he could have sworn that the voice he had heard was Mavis'.


       He turned and re-opened the door. "Mavis, would you come here, please?"


       Jadi and Luke struggled harder to restrain their Mavis as the Mavis from twelve hours before walked out the door.


       "You understand what you must tell him?"


       "Yes."


       "And nothing more."


       "Yes."


       "Then good luck."


* * *


The Doctor and Ruth skidded to a halt outside the door to Ruth's lab. Waiting for them was a man with spectacles and a ponytail. In his hand he held what looked to be a metal ring, which he held out, as if beckoning the Doctor to grab a hold of it.


       "Doctor," said Gwilym Young, "we need to talk."


* * *


Mavis-now finally broke free from Jadi and Luke's restraint, and bounded out from their hiding place. Yelling something unintelligible, she went running toward Holmes and Mavis-twelve-hours-ago.


       Luke and Jadi turned to face each other.


       "What was that you said about paradoxes," asked the bounty hunter.


       Mavis-now looked at her doppelganger. "Hello."


       "Hello. You look like me."


       "No, you look like me."


       A flash of recognition crossed the Mavis' faces. Everything became clear for a fleeting moment.


       "What is the word," Mavis-now asked Holmes, "for when things stop being?"


       "The end," said Holmes.


---
To be continued...



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