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Doctor Who Internet Adventure #29 - "Destiny Rules"


Chapter 3
"Find The Lady"
by Philip Alderman


---


The Doctor gasped, or tried to.


       "Now, lads...no need for any aggro, eh?" he wheezed. Then before the prisoner knew what was happening, the Doctor had wrapped both arms round his ankles, and rolled sharply to one side, causing his aggressor to topple as a result. Quickly he jumped to his feet, grabbed the man by his shirt collar and slammed him against the bars of the cell. The attacker slumped to the floor, dazed.


       In his peripheral vision, the Doctor spotted the second thug making a dive for him. Swiftly he jerked back his elbow so it made contact with a precise point in his opponent's stomach, and watched him crumple satisfyingly.


       "Anyone else want to try?"


       His other cellmates declined to comment.


       "Right then. Now we've been introduced," he yanked the first attacker up so they were face to face, "perhaps you'd like to tell me exactly who put you up to this little stunt. And why."


       "I did."


       The Doctor spun round, startled, letting the man drop.


       The tall, blonde woman was standing behind him in the cell.


       "Ah. How lovely to run into you again, Miss, erm... what did you say you were called?"


       "Names are unimportant."


       "True, but since you're going to kill me anyway, you could at least do me the honour of telling me yours."


       The woman thought for a moment. "Very well, then. Lachesis will do"


       "Thank you! I'm known as the Doctor, usually. " He held out his hand for her to shake, but the woman only stared at it blankly.


* * *


"Now, Miss...Tyler. Perhaps you might like to explain exactly what you and your friend intended by removing evidence from a crime scene?"


       Rose was sat opposite May in the interview room. Although Rose knew she wasn't technically under arrest, she couldn't help thinking the outcome of this discussion could prove very unpleasant, for the Doctor at least. And she didn't fancy finding her own way home from New York.


       "Yes, we really are *very sorry* about that, Detective," she began, giving May her best puppy-dog eyes. "The Doctor picked up that card without realising, and we were on our way here to return it to you. I hope we didn't cause any trouble..."


       "Okay, whatever," sighed May, but he seemed to be buying it. "But to tell you the truth, I don't care about the damn card. What I really want to know is...what's your angle?"


       "Come again?"


       "Miss Tyler, I'm not stupid. I don't walk around with a box on my head. First, I get a call that some guy in a bar got skewered like a cocktail weenie. Okay, so this is NYC, stranger things happen. Then I find out the perp was a lady with a full-size sword, who proceeded to vanish from sight in full view of the entire bar. So far, so Matrix. But then — get this — the guy who got a sword through his neck gets up and starts talking, just like nothing happened!


       "So when some space-case and his girlfriend show up out of nowhere and immediately find their way into the crime scene...I start to think: this is more than mere coincidence, Jim Lad. I say to myself: there are dots waiting to be connected here.


       "So I'm asking you: what do you know about this dead guy?"


       Rose frowned. "Don't you mean the alive guy?"


       "Right. The dead guy who is now the alive guy."


       Before Rose could answer, the door burst open and a puffing, red-faced Sergeant staggered into the room.


       "Uh, Jim, you know your dead guy? The one that didn't stay dead?" he panted.


       "I believe I do," sighed May.


       "Well, he's dead. Again."


       May put his head in his hands. "Are you absolutely certain this time, Sergeant?"


       "I'm sure, Jim. Stabbed right through the heart. Witnesses identified our Vanishing Lady from the bar -seems she came back to finish the job."


       "Dammit!" May slammed his fist down on the table. "I suppose you didn't think to lock this place down to stop her getting out again?"


       "Wouldn't do much good, boss. Seems she can, ah, walk through walls."


       "Oh no..." An alarming thought had just crossed Rose's mind.


       "Jesus, what now?" May didn't think he could take much more.


       "Don't ask me how I know, Detective, but I'm sure she'll go after the Doctor next. Please, we have to stop her!"


* * *


"So what's this gentleman's story?" The Doctor nudged his prone would-be attacker with his foot, who only groaned in response.


       Lachesis shrugged. "He's no-one. A mere tool. I foresaw that he would meet you in this place - I offered him a thousand dollars to kill you. That was before I realised it would've been simpler just to do the deed myself."


       His situation was becoming desperate, the Doctor realised. He had to stall her until help arrived - surely someone outside must've heard the fighting?


       "Pardon me for asking, and I realise it's all a bit academic now, but would you have given him his reward had he succeeded?"


       Her eyes burned at him. "Of course. He has very little in his life, and only a brief time left to live it before Fate turns this city into a graveyard. What reason would I have to cheat him?"


       "Ha! You could almost call that noble, if the outcome wasn't so violent."


       "Enough idle chit-chat, Time Lord." The Doctor stepped back in alarm as she drew her sword. "I have dealt with your associate, and know I will deal with you. Your masters were foolish indeed to think two of you would be enough to halt my mission...."


       "Put the weapon down and back away, NOW!"


       The Doctor released the breath he had been holding. Detective May and another officer were outside the cell, their guns drawn and pointed at the blonde.


       Lachesis turned to face them. Then she smiled thinly


       "The odds are in your favour, Doctor. But you can tell your masters that while they sit and drool in their gilded cage, I will be the one to deal with Fate. Farewell."


       There was a sudden flare like sunlight on a mirror, and she was gone.


       "Now, that is interesting. How do you suppose she does it? Some kind of light-refraction technique, perhaps. Or maybe she just moves too fast for our eyes to follow. But that doesn't explain how she got through the bars..."


       Rose arrived, panting. "Doctor! Are you okay?"


       "I'm not sure. Hold on a moment..." he fingered his neck cautiously. "No, I'm fine. How are you, Rose?"


       She grinned with relief. "Not so bad, thanks"


* * *


May had to admit that, since he had no actual charge to hold them on, they were both free to go. "But if I catch you involving yourself in this or any other investigation again..."


       "I know, you'll lock us up and throw away the key. Goodbye, Detective!"


       He took Rose by the arm, and together they walked out into the late afternoon sunshine.


       Outside on the sidewalk, Rose drew away from her companion and looked him sternly in the eye.


       "It's not all over, is it?"


       He tried not to meet her gaze. "No, I'm afraid it's not."


       "What did the woman tell you?"


       "Not much. Hints. Implications. Something about fate, or possibly Fate. Something terrible about to descend on this city."


       "But something you don't know anything about?"


       "No, and I don't *know* why I don't know. For all my knowledge of Earth's past and future, this one seems to have slipped me by..."


       "Something terrible," echoed Rose. "Hasn't this city suffered enough?" She turned to look at the horizon, where an ugly scar tainted the familiar skyline.


       The Doctor smiled sadly. "Not yet, it seems."


       "So what can we do?"


       "What we always do - defeat the villains, kill the monsters, try and stop people from dying. One thing I do know for sure - the woman is the key to it all. We have to talk to her."


       "How? She could be anywhere by now!"


       "I rather think she'll be looking for us."


       "Why are you so sure?"


       "Because I have a feeling she'll be wanting these back."


       He held up a pack of playing cards.


       Rose tutted with mock indignation. "Oh, Doctor. Won't that nice Detective May be cross?"


       He grinned wickedly. "I won't tell him if you won't!"


* * *


"Yeah...Whatever's going on, this guy's in it up to his neck. Don't let him out of your site - I wanna know exactly what he's up to."


       May hung up the phone.


---
To be continued...



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