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Doctor Who Internet Adventure #29 - "Destiny Rules"


Chapter 1
"It's In the Cards"
by Molly Schlemmer


---


'When I see you again
As I always do
It appears to me that
Destiny rules
That the spirits are ruthless with the
Paths they choose
It's not being together, it's just
Following the rules
No one's a fool'

— Fleetwood Mac, Destiny Rules


Shuffle.


       Cut.


       Shuffle.


       Cut.


       Shuffle.


       Cut.


       The bartender watched the blonde at the end of the bar shuffle and cut over and over, cursing under her breath at whatever result she wasn't getting.


       Shuffle.


       Cut.


       She was the only chick in the joint that night. Tall, blonde, and gorgeous, she was out of place in the rough, smoky atmosphere that pervaded every corner of the pub. In the dim light her eyes seemed to shimmer oddly, the slightest hint of alcohol-induced stupor behind them.


       Shuffle.


       Cut.


       She cursed again and reached into her black leather trench coat, withdrawing a cigarette. The bartender walked over to her and flicked open his lighter, offering her the flame. She inhaled deeply. The end of the cigarette glowed orange.


       "Thanks," she murmured around the cigarette. She spoke with a hint of a British accent.


       "No problem," the bartender replied. "Can I get you something to drink?"


       "Not until Fate tells you you can."


       The bartender smiled. She was drunk. Normally, he would leave drunks to themselves, unless they were making trouble. But she was pretty. Maybe he could convince her to go home with him tonight. "And how will Fate tell me I can fix you a drink?"


       Shuffle.


       Cut.


       She cursed again. "I'll cut to the nine of spades."


       "That's silly," the bartender chuckled. "What you are doing has nothing to do with fate and everything to do with probability."


       She shot a glare at him. He could tell his chances with her were dwindling. She returned her attention to her cards. "You do not believe in fate, in destiny?"


       "No. Fate- destiny, whatever you want to call it - eliminates choice. We have the ability to choose what actions we take and what future we pursue." How did he wind up in a philosophical argument?


       A pause. "You are a fool," she said coldly. His chances with her were gone. "Everything hangs on Fate's thread. That man, for example--" she gestured to a man in a business suit sharing a happy hour drink with some co-workers, "--is destined to lose his job tomorrow because he's been banging his secretary on the Xerox machine every morning, and he has yet to realize there's a security camera in the copy room."


       "That's a very interesting story, but you don't know--"


       "And the man standing behind me is destined to kill me tonight."


       The bartender looked. She was hallucinating now. He should kick her out before she caused any trouble. "No one is standing behind you, honey--"


       Her eyes shone bright white light for a split second, looking almost fierce, and then she was gone, disappearing into nothingness. The bartender jumped backward in surprise, crashing into the rows of liquor behind him. Chairs and tables, some with patrons sitting at them, were shoved out of the way by an invisible force.


       There was a flash of light, and then the woman appeared again, holding a bloody sword at the throat of a man pinned to the ground by her booted foot. "But I am not fated to die." She lifted her sword and ran out the door.


       The bartender grabbed the phone and called the police.


* * *


Rose took one lick of her ice cream cone and nearly died. "Mmmm! It's been ages since I've had ice cream!"


       The Doctor paid the vendor and took a bite of his own ice cream. "Nonsense. You had some in the TARDIS kitchen two nights ago."


       "An ice cream-like substance dispensed from the TARDIS hardly counts as real ice cream," Rose replied, playfully sticking her tongue out at the Doctor.


       "I rather like the ice cream in the TARDIS."


       "Yes, and you also think that fried Terileptilian blood beetles are a rare delicacy."


       "Well they are!"


       The Doctor and Rose shared a smile as they walked down the busy New York sidewalk. It felt good to be back on Earth, Rose decided. There was a feel to Earth that she hadn't found on any other planet the Doctor had taken her to. She looked up and admired the sunset light reflecting off the windows of the skyscrapers.


       Suddenly she found herself looking up at the Doctor as well. She gasped for air, the wind having been knocked out of her by the force of the collision. The Doctor knelt down and helped her as she sat up, a supporting hand on her back as she caught her breath. "Are you okay?" he asked. Rose coughed and nodded. The crowd that had gathered around them murmured.


       The Doctor then turned his attention to the other woman lying on the sidewalk, the woman who had run into Rose. She too was gasping for air, though it seemed more out of pain than being winded. "Are you okay?" the Doctor asked the woman, who now had chocolate ice cream all over her black leather coat.


       The woman snapped to her senses and backed away from the Doctor. She slipped her hand around the grip of a long, sleek sword as she hissed, "Go away, Time Lord. Your destiny has found you. The universe does not want your kind any more!" Her eyes flashed, and she disappeared. The crowd took a step back in shock. Several people screamed.


       Rose recoiled from the area where the woman had been. "Doctor, who the bloody hell was that?"


       "I don't know. Chase after her or retrace her steps?"


       "We don't even know which way she came from. It's like she came out of nowhere."


       "Right. Retracing her steps it is." He offered her his hands and lifted her up onto her feet. "Come on, Rose. There's work to be done."


* * *


Detective James May looked down at his notes and wondered how he was going to write up his report. None of the witnesses had actually witnessed the murder, had only seen tables being pushed around by no one, and then the body and the murderer 'appearing' out of thin air.


       It didn't take much detective work to figure out that all the witnesses were very drunk.


       Even more insane was the bartender's description of the murderer disappearing right in front of him, only to reappear having lanced a man through his throat with a sword. The murderer probably had an obsession with samurai movies. Or Highlander.


       Great, May thought, a loony. Just what New York City needed more of.


       Just then, a commotion started at the door. A tall man in black and a woman in a white jacket were trying to get past the officers at the door, ignoring repeated warnings and threats of arrest. Somehow, they were able to push past and enter. May rushed over to them, angry. "I'm sorry, sir, ma'am, but this is a crime scene. Leave now or I'll be forced to arrest you."


       "Arrest me?" the Doctor asked, indignant. "But I have galactic diplomatic immunity on this planet. At least, I think I do. What year is it, Rose?"


       "Sir, you must leave now."


       "Doctor, let's get out of here. We're not-"


       Both the man and the woman spoke with British accents. Wasn't the precinct's new coroner supposed to be arriving today from England? "Are you the new coroner?" May asked.


       The man smiled and extended his hand. "Yes, I am. Doctor John Smith, at your service."


       "Doctor..." the woman hissed.


       "And this is my assistant, Rose Tyler. Now, I really must get to the body." The Doctor bent down and examined the trauma to the victim's throat, poking and prodding with his fingers. Rose stepped back with her hand clasped to her mouth.


       "Doctor Smith, shouldn't you be wearing gloves for that?"


       "Hmmm? Never have before."


       "Oh."


       After prodding a little more, the Doctor cocked his head quizzically. "Now that's very odd. Very odd indeed."


       "What is, Doctor?" May asked.


       "This man isn't dead."


       "What are you talking about?" May began to wonder if Doctor Smith wasn't just another loony who'd walked in from the street and proclaimed himself coroner. "The man doesn't have a pulse!"


       "Not one you can feel, Detective. I'll even admit that a Time Lord's second pulse is hard to find, and I'm a Time Lord. And when the respiratory bypass system kicks in, then it's near impossible to distinguish an injured Time Lord from a dead human. Now if I just..."


       May had had enough. "Doctor Smith, if that is your real name, you're under arrest for--"


       The body sprang to life. With a cat-like agility, he jumped up, simultaneously grabbing his sword from where it had skittered to a stop by a table leg. Reacting only to the sight of a figure in a black leather coat kneeling in front of him, the body brought the sword up and swung down with fury at the Doctor's exposed neck.


---
To be continued...



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