|Doctor Who Internet Adventure #24 - "Remiel"
by David Allen
We can do that here, because the time lines are a mess. Cause has become effect, truth has become... debatable.
We're watching a little pocket of time and space, an island floating both in the Pacific Ocean and in its own little recursive bubble of consequence.
So we need an outsider's angle here.
We've got so many to choose from.
* * *
He's 27. He has a square jaw. He has blue eyes that he can use to his advantage any time he wants.
He has a squatter living in his mind.
She's benign. He knows because she's told him that, and they don't have any secrets from each other. She knows about his crush on his fellow officer, the one that he tries to cover up with his brash naivete. He knows that she's almost as devoted to justice as he is. He also knows that she's in control. Sure, he can walk, he can talk, and he can do anything he wants — unless she decides otherwise. Then it's no more Mr Nice Girl and time to
dispense poetic justice.
* * *
A crude facsimile of a former companion of the Doctor's. Dragged the Doctor off somewhere that he claimed was Gallifrey, convinced him of something close enough to the truth that the Doctor would react in the ways that he wanted.
Maybe he's a Time Lord. Maybe he's Gwilym Young, brainwashed and drugged. Maybe he's something more than a distraction.
* * *
He sits on a park bench, the rain dripping down the back of his neck, running down his back. He prays to a goddess that he doesn't quite believe in any more.
A couple of years ago, it wasn't like this. Black was black, white was white. Nobody was grey. He shot people. He killed people. But he never regretted it afterwards.
Now, cold and alone, and half a universe away from home, he prays for forgiveness for all of them. He feels stupid.
Once — a long time ago, it seems — the Doctor introduced him to Dorothee. She'd talked about the web of time, and about how the beating of a butterfly's wings — perhaps even an imaginary butterfly — can change the world in a myriad of ways. He'd scoffed — mainly because he was trying to act all macho, and paying more attention to Dorothee's charms than to her wisdom. She'd been right though.
Mavis, sitting on the other end of the bench from him. A huge city, but somehow people seemed to find each other again and again. Just his luck.
"There's a word," she began, but then caught the snarl beginning to form on his face and let it lie.
"Sometimes," she said. "Bad things happen to good people. I should know. Somewhere inside of me are more than thirty people. Every now and then one of them comes out, says hello, disappears again. They talk to me. They're my friends. But they hurt. Once people die, they're meant to stay
dead, no matter how much you may wish it."
"I killed your friend," said Jadi, looking down again. "How do you know I won't kill you?"
"I can see it in your eyes. Because although you struggle to be a man of violence, you are really a man of peace. Because you've tasted more flavours of chocolate because there are rainbows. Because your friend needs you, and you won't abandon him."
"Mister Shouty. He broke his little ship. I watched. Or I will watch.
Depends on how you look at it. Oh I do hate it when there's two of me."
"He broke his little... ship?"
* * *
"I beg your pardon?" snarled Ruth.
The young officer remained seated, but shook visibly. She was angry, suppressed rage seeping out of every word.
"I... I'm sorry..."
"Not good enough. Start at the beginning."
"Yes, ma'am. So it was like this. Bramley, the prisoner was tied up against the wall, and he was all moaning and shouting and then he fell very quiet, like he knew what was going to happen to him. I've seen that before ma'am. They even say it happens in slaughterhouses, with the livestock falling silent when they know that their time's almost up.
"I opened the door of his cell, unshackled him, and marched him down the corridor like you said I should. To the sealed room. Bramley could smell it — could smell the death even before we were halfway there. He said something. It sounded like "no", but I couldn't be sure, and to be honest with you I was trying not to treat him as a human being by that point. It doesn't help if you get too close to them. Makes it harder to flick that
"Officer Barnes was waiting for my by the door. I'd been expecting yourself, ma'am, but he explained that you were busy, and since protocol requires two officers to supervise an execution I was happy to see him there. We secured Mr Bramley in the chair, and bolted the door closed behind him, and checked the seals.
"I was about to release the gas when I was knocked unconscious. Next thing I knew I was awake, but Officer Barnes and the prisoner were gone."
Ruth swore then, and not prettily. Half of her was angry, but half of her was relieved. She'd been against the execution of Bramley on circumstantial evidence, but the word had come from higher up.
His escape, and Barnes' disappearance only meant more problems for her.
"Put out an APB. They won't get far."
But maybe they would get far enough.
* * *
Jadi couldn't be certain, but the figure approaching him through the rain certainly looked the part, the dark patches around his eyes making him look like a dark angel. As he drew closer, yes, it was him.
"Luke! Am I glad to see you?"
He stood, and the two men embraced.
It was only once he had convinced himself that it was Luke in the flesh, and not some shadow of the man, that Jadi noticed the figure behind him. The tall, brawny policeman.
Jadi drew back. "It seems," he whispered to Luke, "that we've got company."
"I know," said Luke. "This is my rescuer. I think it might take a little explanation?"
"I don't think so," said Zeke, stepping forwards. "Josiv Adirun Morok, it's damn good to see you again."
And he gathered Jadi up in his arms and squeezed him tight.
"Icky hug things," said Mavis. But nobody was listening.
"Just as well I was here to clean up the mess. Again," said Zeke as Jadi staggered back, confused.
There was something in the cop's voice that sounded familiar. The way he said the words as much as the words he said.
"Technically," said Luke, "this is Kirena. Kirena, Jadi. Jadi, Kirena. I suspect that it's a long story."
"I want cakes," decided Mavis. "Can we go and get some buns?"
* * *
One long story and several mugs of cocoa later.
They're in a cafe just off the park. It's warm inside, a friendly shelter from the rain outside. Mavis is sitting by the fire, legs out-stretched, wriggling her toes. She doesn't really know what all the fuss is about, since she's got no problems understanding what Zeke and Kirena are going through.
Jadi's still a bit down in the mouth. He can't see Zeke as Kirena, no matter how he tries. He looks at Zeke in the corner, sitting with a beer, adjusting his crotch. That's his sister? And yet, sometimes he can almost see her behind Zeke's eyes. And that's when it hurts the most.
Luke's torn as well, between relief at still being alive, and worry that they're all cracking up. Technically he's a fugitive — there goes settling down in this time period — and he's sure that it's only a matter of time before they catch him. And next time, he may have a less friendly
Zeke and Kirena are coping pretty well. They're trying to work things out so that they can both have control at the same time. That's easier than it sounds. They have similar goals in many ways, and frankly, Kirena's got the balls to do things that Zeke would flinch at.
"So what do we do now?" asks Mavis.
Luke and Jadi shake their heads.
"It's quite simple," says Zeke. "Look at us. We're not useless here. We're not helpless. And critically, we're still alive. And where there's life, I'm told, there's hope.
"More than that, we've travelled with the Doctor. We know what he'd do in a situation like this. He'd go out there, and he'd sort out the mess that we' ve managed to get ourselves in." He glared at Luke at this point but he didn't meet his gaze.
"So that's what we do. We go out there. And we fix things."
To be continued...
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