Tag Archives: fiction

Not Completely Soulless 3

“Do you normally walk to work like that? You’ll destroy someone’s personality.” Hank asked.

“Just having a sensitive day. It’s not a permanent effect.” Sari looked but did not sound apologetic.

“In most circumstances. But humans have a complex psychology, a single moment of that could irreparably damage someone’s self image.”

“If their image was that fragile then it would do them good to rebuild it.”

 

Hank sighed and swivelled around in his chair, back to filling out some forms. He was still wearing his big woollen coat so Sari assumed he wasn’t staying long.

 

“What are you doing here anyway, you don’t have a shift till later.” Cherise’s voice came from a short haired ginger cat sitting another chair beside Hank.

“I came in to help with the deliveries. You know having animals in here violates health codes.”

 

The cat gave a little shake as though getting a static shock, then swiftly became a woman. After catching up on recent media Sari started to liken shifter transformations to bad CGI. She had remained clothed through the shift with the help of an amulet that Hank had provided. Unlike Sari, Cherise could feel the cold and as such wore a thick dark jacket, black pants and a scarf almost the same colour as her cat hair.

 

“My fur doesn’t shed unless I fully regress into an animal state.” Cherise looked about Sari’s age but that didn’t really mean anything in this room, each of them being at least a hundred years old. She had her hair down, another health code violation, it was shoulder length and dark brown. Her normal brown-green eye colour had come back but her iris was still a feline slit shape instead of the human round. “Imagine what they would say if they knew about you turning into a big mosquito.”

 

Cherise and Sari enjoyed giving each other a gentle ribbing but it was all in good fun. It was hard to take offence when you’ve outlived a civilization or two.

 

“There are no deliveries today. They’re changing the route so we get them Mondays now.” Hank said without looking up.

“Wait… It’s not Monday?”

“How do you not know what day it is?” Cherise asked tilting her head with her remaining feline intent.

“You try being in a box while the rest of the world changes the calendar on you.”

 

There was a knock at the front door of the shop. “See, deliveries.”

“That’s not a delivery.” Hank fluidly got up from his chair, moved around the front counter and went to the door.

“Wait. What is it then?” Sari asked, genuinely confused. Cherise said nothing but knowingly smiled.

 

Hank opened the door for the new arrival and in the same motion cast a small spell dulling Sari’s shimmer. “No, you can’t be.” Sari started to figure it out.

 

“Travis, hello. You’re here for the interview yes?”

“Yes. I-I-I am.” A timid boy just over eighteen stood in the doorway.

“Cherise, Sari, some privacy please.” Hank motioned his head at Cherise indicating that she should take Sari with her by force if needed.

 

Cherise grabbed Sari by the hand and pulled her out into the alley behind the store.

 

“A human! You’re going to hire a human?” Sari put on some anger as the situation seemed to be something she should be angry at.

“No, we’re just interviewing one for a position.” Cherise didn’t respond to the anger, she knew it wasn’t real.

“Are you interviewing anyone like us?”

“Well we’re definitely not interviewing any vampires.”
“You know what I meant. Like you and me, Cain’s brood.”

“Brood? Is that what you call us?”

“Does Cain’s Children sound any better?”

 

“You’re right.”
“That you’re going to hire a human?”

“No, brood does sound better.”

“I will bite you Cherise.”

“If we get any non-human applicants they have a higher priority at the moment but there hasn’t been any.”

“How can there not be? Every supernatural in this town know about us.”

“But they aren’t looking for what will likely be minimum wage work. We’re a pizza place not the Refuge. Maybe we’ll get lucky and hire someone who doesn’t know they’re like us.”

“A Taniwha? That could be interesting actually.”

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Low Dopamine

“What am I doing here?” Charlie asked himself. The driver couldn’t hear him and had stated as much when she picked him up. There was supposed to be a phone call coming through to him that was apparently classified. The driver didn’t appear to be military but something about her demeanor made Charlie both fear and respect her immediately.

 

This experience was planned, so he wasn’t as freaked out as perhaps he should have been. He had received an email and a call a week ago setting up this meeting. A patient he used to treat for an on and off basis had wanted to meet. Gregory Latimer, he had mild anxiety and depression during some time at university. Initially Charlie thought that maybe Greg had relapsed after going into workforce, which was common.

 

Although Charlie had not provided personal details with his patients the University must have provided them. So whatever Gregory needed him for must have been important.

 

It wasn’t until now that he was sitting in the back of a soundproof limousine that he realised he should have asked for more details before agreeing to be involved.

 

The red telephone beside him chirped. Charlie picked up the receiver and held it to his ear.

 

“Hello Charlie.”

“Gregory? How are you?”

“I’m fine actually.”

“Oh, I see.”
“Yes, but I do have need of your services. However not for myself.”

“You are talking to me on behalf of a friend?”

 

Charlie almost rolled his eyes, it was a usual tactic, not wanting to own our problems. However Greg did not have a history for that nor did it sound like he was lying.

 

“I am hiring you on behalf of a friend actually.”

“Right okay. So who is this person and why are they not talking to be directly?”

“That’s the classified bit I’m afraid. I cannot tell you more details about the patient until you agree to see them and be sworn to secrecy yourself.”

“It’s going to be hard to agree to something if I know nothing about it.”

“You will be moved closer to the patient, living and housing costs paid for. Your regular fee for an hour session will be paid for as ten back to back sessions every business day. However your actual session times will be unscheduled and you may have to do some on weekends. Any details of the patient will be kept classified, you will not be able to publish any findings even anonymously.”

 

Charlie did not reply. The idea of a fifty sessions a week as a salary was good enough but living and housing on top of that. But even without the money this was an interesting case he had found himself with, a patient with a classified mental condition. Even without being able to publish anything on this Charlie wanted to know what that condition was.

 

“I’ll take the job.”
“The driver will have you sign a contract and bring you here. It is very imperative that you start as quickly as possible.”

 

*

 

The driver hadn’t said a single word to him since she had told him that the rest of his belongings would be moved to his new abode. Charlie had been trying to quickly pack a suitcase.

 

They were now miles out of the city, coming upon what seemed to be an abandoned airport.

 

He could just make out Gregory through the tinted windows. Charlie had always thought that Greg had the gait and face of a man who knew something, something that burdened him. Therapy didn’t seem to disrupt that effect.

 

The car came to halt and Greg opened the door.

 

“Hello again Gregory.” Charlie greeted him as he shuffled out of the car.

“Yes, hi. Please, follow me.” He spun around and started to move towards the decrepit hanger

“Sure.” Charlie noticed that he still dragged his feet when he walked. Greg hadn’t been working on the physical exercises that Charlie had prescribed him. He shrugged it off, it was only meant to help in theory.

 

The hanger didn’t hold an airplane, instead in the center of it was what seemed to two smaller hangers. Charlie soon realized that they were just two elevator openings when they got closer and Gregory pressed a button on the outside.

 

“This scans a fingerprint but there is an optical scanner at the bottom. We’ll get you in the system before you leave for your new abode.”

“Is that enough security? It seems like this is a bit more than top secret.”

“This is just a precaution, we’re not expecting enemies of the state to infiltrate this place even if they did know about it.”

 

“So what are you keeping down here there?”

“Your patient obviously.”

“I got that much. Can’t you tell me more about them?”

“I was going to leave it as more of a surprise but I guess it’s important if we expect you to do a good job…”
“So who is he? What does he need me for?”

“She… is an artificial intelligence… And as far as we can tell, she has depression.”

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Not Completely Soulless 2

The wind blew an icy chill over Sari. Her skin responded by popping up with some goosebumps. This reminded her to do a little shiver, rub her arms in a vain attempt to warm herself back up.

 

Just in case someone was watching.

 

She had just stepped out of her apartment building into the little ocean facing alcove at the front. Up here on the top of this hill that was called a mountain barely anyone walked passed. Still, just in case, she performed the ritual of blowing into her hands.

 

A piece of her soul flared up again, though this emotion was not her own, a resonance with another full soul on the edge of her perception. It was amusement. Perhaps someone in the building laughing at a soulless creature pretending to be cold. Or maybe a human in a house nearby watching a comedy show.

 

“It’s going to be one of those days.” Sari didn’t let the emotion creep into her voice so it came out as icy as the wind.

 

With a step forward she went into hyperspeed, the cold wind tried its best to cut into her but she couldn’t feel the temperature of it, only the pressure of it on her skin. Within the space of a few heartbeats she had made it down the hill.

 

No-one would have seen her even if they had been paying attention. She wasn’t sure if it was a function of her shimmer or her speed but she was imperceptible at her highest speeds. Usually her shimmer just made her appear more attractive or less noticeable at will, never had she become fully invisible. Yet, if she was actually moving fast enough to outrun human sight then really her clothes should not have been able to withstand the incoming air.

 

Regardless she had practiced controlling her shimmer every day, there were stories that her Uncle was able to become fully invisible.

 

Sari slowed to a brisk walk as she came upon an alley between two buildings. Now that she was in the more populated area of town it was harder to move that fast without disrupting anyone. Even though she was fairly thin and aerodynamic the air she displaced had previously knocked over several people even a couple of small cars.

 

This had also sparked another idea, could she turn her drag into lift. More study into flight was required for figuring that one out. But she wanted to finish off this game series she had gotten into. There were fourteen games and each of them were hundreds of hours to fully complete. Now that she thought about it they were probably made expressly for soulless like her, surely humans don’t have as much time on their hands.

 

There were several people going her way through town which was fairly normal for this time of the morning. She passed them easily with her quick pace, this got her a few glances but it was probably more because her shimmer was turned to eleven. It was much easier to mentally block the onslaught of human emotion if she was focused on projecting the shell of confidence and beauty.

 

Many would have been unable to look upon her directly without feeling completely inadequate and shamed. But most would only catch the full effect for a moment and just be in awe. This effect would only last seconds and once she was out of their view any negative connotation of the feeling would be gone. A shimmer was able to project an image and influence those who are very suggestible but it was only ever temporary.

 

Even though she wasn’t in hyperspeed it felt like she had made it across town in an instant. She decided to slow down her pace a bit there was plenty of time in the day to do what she needed. First though she was going to pop into work.

 

“Dear Lucifer woman turn down the brightness.” Hank physically shielded his eyes from her Shimmer.

“Sorry, sorry.” Hank was technically human but besides being a landlord and business owner he was a very powerful Warlock.

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The wizard of Coz

I always loved taking the subway, the cool clean Oz of the recyclers, the whooshing sound of the water in and out of the airlock at each station. I haven’t been on one since I was a child. My mother worked at the government building in the centre of the city, far from the Agropolis that our housing unit was docked at.

 

She used to take me and my sister with her because they had an onsite daycare.

 

Looking down from the bottom walkway I could see the rails on which the subway cars travelled. The flashing red lights almost invisible deep under the blue-green water. Air bubbled up as the nearby station prepared to eject one of those cars onto the rail.

 

I couldn’t smell the crisp acidic air of the lower levels because of my filtering mask. But I remembered the burning in my nostrils as clearly as I could see the waves gently lapping at concrete and steel under the walkway.

 

Out here in the open the air wasn’t safe to breathe anymore, not that it really was before even without all the Coz. That was probably one on of the reason Mom stopped bringing us with her. Our housing unit was sealed and the main function of the Agropolis besides making food is producing Oz from the Coz.

 

My filtering mask has an electrolyzer that can convert the Coz on the fly for about an hour before needing recharging. They were originally designed for maintenance men stationed in the high atmosphere monitoring stations but once the Coz got down to sea level it became the new fashion. Mine is a simple black but there are designer ones with angles and pastel colors. I wouldn’t call myself fashionable and I don’t usually venture outside these days anyway.

 

It’s probably been about ten years since the last trip I took on the subway and probably ten months since I last needed to leave the housing unit.

 

I stopped leaning on the railing, turning away from the waves like waking from a dream. The walkway was anything but empty. I’ve heard that our city has the largest population of those above water, I could believe it.

 

It would only take a few full breaths of the Coz out here to give mild nerve damage and that’s if you get your mask back on and don’t faint from mild asphyxiation. But even so hundreds of people walked by, several had full face masks, only one in fifty people used complete body covering suits.

 

I stepped into the crowd and followed the flow until I got to the subway entrance.

 

No-one followed me down the stairs. Usually only commuters took the subway, it was too expensive to use as casual transport around the city. Those who worked in the center of the city had their travel reimbursed as it was the only place you couldn’t live close by to. There were no Housing docks in the Agropolises there as it was all dedicated to filling workplaces or the manufacture of goods that require Oz.

 

My ears popped from the pressure change once I got to the bottom level. The station was clean black and white tile with fluorescent lights reflecting off every plastic advertisement enclosure hung on the walls. The enclosures were empty, apart from one or two which I think were just old PSAs reminding people getting off to put their masks back on now that they were off the subway.

 

The subway guard looked at me with her scanning blue lights. The last vestige of the robotic workforce, standing around looking menacing.

 

I made my way to the airlock separating the stairs from the subway platform.

 

“Please wait for the airlock cycle.” The guard said in her chirpy yet somehow aggressive tone.

 

She didn’t even want to check my ID or ask where I was heading today. I always hated that about the AI swarm, they knew everything there was to know on earth but generally kept it to themselves. No wonder we stopped them from taking all the jobs.

 

“Please enjoy your trip.” That same voice pushing me to get into the airlock and hurry along so it could put its processing power back into undoing entropy or whatever it was that they did with it.

 

I got in the airlock and was immediately blasted with that chilled crisp Oz. I rushed to take my mask off so I could savor the nostalgia for it but was not quick enough. For some reason I blamed the robot guard for this, even though I knew she wouldn’t have cared enough to rush the airlock cycle just for that.

 

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Not completely soulless

Sari lifted her feet off of her desk and swung herself around on her chair. The alarm on her phone had started it’s morning mating call. She switched it off and turned back to what she was doing.

 

The game she was playing pulsed blue and grey light over her. Her research into this pastime suggested that doing this all night every night would not be healthy for a human mind or set of eyes. Luckily she wasn’t exactly human.

 

She reached forward and turned the screen off. She would just leave the game paused, having not reached a savepoint recently. The room went completely dark, her apartment was effectively subterranean, so this room didn’t need curtains to reach this pitch black darkness. It was meant for a different type of inhuman but it had been the last apartment available in the building Hank owned.

 

Not that Sari minded at all. She could still see, light was unnecessary.

 

In the time before her confinement, having light at night time was limited so she hadn’t developed the habit of keeping the light on in her sleepless nights.

 

The thought of her time in the coffin got her moving. Not with her top speed but something approximating normal human movement, there was no need to rush. Sari whipped off her fluffy pajamas and put on some clothes.

 

Doing so she mused again at how much she prefered the modern fashion. Thin fabrics, less layers, less mock proportions and less frills. She pulled on a skirt and top before remembering it was winter. She groaned, like the dead body she was, and pulled out some more clothes from her chest of drawers. Cold was no obstacle for her kind, in fact it was beneficial in some cases. However it was one of the requirements of staying in this apartment that she at least try to blend in.

 

Now armed with a scarf, heavy coat and thick tights she was ready to venture outside. She picked up her discarded clothes and put them in her washing basket. Sari didn’t sweat, at least, not in the conventional sense. Her clothes never get dirty from wearing them even if she has exerted herself, a difficult task in its own right, and her skin repealed grease, dirt and other blemishes. This made it difficult to regularly schedule a human routine even outside the fact that she didn’t sleep.

 

To keep herself from wearing the same clothes or giving away any clues to her nature, she showered every night and washed every item of clothing after wearing it once. It was a waste of time, she admitted to herself, but she had more than enough to burn.

 

Sari pulled open her door, the light in the hallway flooding her room.

 

Looking back she took a mental picture of her apartment for later reference. She was going furniture shopping today.

 

On the left was the bathroom, nothing needed for there. Further in but still on the left was the kitchen separated from the living room by a countertop.

 

Living room was still a little bare, there was space on the wall for a couple of paintings. Sari thought about a plant but it would never get any sun.

 

There would be enough room for a settee or whatever they were called in this era. If she planned on having anyone over they would need somewhere to sit. Her thoughts quickly flicked to the idea of having someone stay the night.

 

Somewhere in the remnants of her soul something half remembered how to feel embarrassed. This only sparked more thoughts about what she would do with anyone handsome enough to fulfill her tastes.

 

The remnant of soul core burned out. Her face did not change expression since she had left the game but now she had a question on her brow.

 

“I don’t even have a bed.” She remarked at the images fleeing from her mind.

 

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It’s only a door

At the edge of the creation, hidden behind the collision of neutron star and black hole stuck in an endless time loop, halfway between the fourth and fifth dimensions, sits a door.

 

The door was made from an abnormally large and abnormally straight Pōhutukawa, a tree only found on two little islands at the bottom of a small blue planet infinitely far from the edge. Thousands of curves were carved into the door, the curves were present even at an atomic level, electrons only popping in and out of existence where the wood had remained.

 

Despite being made from organic material it did not wane, it did not decay. Not many space travelers had come upon the door, the fundamental laws of the universe prevented most approaches to the edge of creation both in time and space.

 

Those who had happened upon the door always remarked about its sturdiness. It could be burned, broken or bent. Even the highest level scan, radar or x-ray couldn’t penetrate even a millimetre of its mass. But it wasn’t locked.

 

The key remained in the hole. It was black and molecular analysis would determine that it was made from diamond yet light did not penetrate it. Not one traveler had been able to remove it, or even turn it, for further study.

 

With only the slightest nudge the door would swing open slamming into the nothing that it was set into, with the sound of a thousand supernovae. The sound would never reach a traveler as there was nothing for it to transfer on.

 

Behind the door was another time, another place, a small restaurant in the Earth year Nineteen Sixty Five. The time was well known to agents of frequent temporal travel as a nexus in time. The place however was unremarkable other than being from the same planet as the Pōhutukawa.

 

The door was also set aside from other natural wormholes in time and space. It did not appear to bend the fabric of the universe, no gravitational wave emission, no heat not even the tiniest amount of gravy radiation.

 

Again unlike a portal, travelers that came through to the restaurant found themselves with a existing booking and a pre-planned meal. Usually five courses but occasionally three. The scallops were delightful but if you got the pasta you would find that your childhood pet was actually still alive and had run away to keep its immortality hidden.

 

There were other patrons and apon interview they would all appear to have arrived through the door.

 

If by some miracle you can eat each course and emotionally survive the onslaught of the most excellent Blues ever played. Then you will be able to leave through the front door onto the busy streets of London even though it appeared like you were in Rome.

 

If you cannot finish a meal or find yourself overcome by the melancholy of the harmonica player whose face could not be seen. Then you will find yourself waking under the stars on a small moon in red dwarf star system, the system with the Restaurant outside of the visible universe.

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Not the homecoming we were hoping for.

The carriage moved slowly down the street, pulled by two horses made of pulsing green light. The driver held one arm out, a similar green light shining through his white embroidered coat. It passed by another carriage, coming against it on the other side of the road. This one not drawn by horses but floating through the air on a foggy haze. The drivers tipped their hats at each other in courtesy.

 

Flukia waved at the floating carriage as well, it wasn’t often that she saw an air mage like herself. She wondered if it was transporting a royal envoy from the Northern states, that would seem to be the most likely scenario. The curtains on the carriage were closed but she could sense the breath of at least one person inside, probably a man, he gave a deep sigh of relief.

 

She continued to look out the window once it had passed. The carriage was taking her back into Sothwood, the Capital city of the Western states. The only road entrance to Sothwood was beside both a cliff and lake. She could see the lake from this side, it was a deep red from the algae blooming on the surface. The lake broke out to sea at its south-most point, right there was where Sothwood had been built.

 

The story was that Knarrian the Avatar of the Ocean was trapped here, he turned himself into a gigantic whale and forced his way out of the lake. On the other side of the lake was Knarria, a smaller town that housed the Western states military academy. Flukia had just come from there she could just make out the shape of the watchtower she had occasionally been posted at.

 

“We have arrived young lady.” The driver called out as the carriage slowed and came to a halt. Flukia waved her hand at the door behind her a white light flashing on her hand, it popped open a little too fast and made a thud as it hit the carriage.

“Sorry! Can you get my luggage?”

“Of course.” He replied trying to hold back an indignant tone.

 

Flukia climbed out of the carriage, she was wearing her under-armor overalls with a light blue dress over top, the same colour as her hair that was held back loosely in a bun. The overalls were made from white dragon fur, they could stop a sharp blade that was being dragged across them even a blunt one with a stab. Her dress, she had fashioned herself from the same material, but used one of her air charms to make it appear the blue colour. It was her favourite.

 

The building they had arrived at was an old church of Knarrian, it had been damaged during the last war but had since been refurbished and turned into a kind of nursing home. It was a place for those who by all other means would be dead if not for their own magic keeping them on this plane. It had a great view of the lake.

 

She caught a glimpse of the horses as they faded into a green mist. Back to the else-plane, not to be confused with the place people go when their magic is gone. Those trained in the arcane can easily come and go from the else-plane, it would have been how this driver made those horses his own, if they had not been passed down in the family.

Flukia had been there, just like all the other recruits, a trip to the else-plane to find an animal companion. Those who have never been liken it to going to the stables with a bag of gold but it is not that simple. There are a myriad of eldritch beasts present there, most of them hostile, many of them deadly. Also the spirit animals that are peaceful are not always easy to befriend, which you would have to before you could summon them.

 

“Are you sure this is where you wanted to go?” The driver’s arm was now covered in white stone as he struggled to carry Flukia’s trunk. It was holding all of her worldly possessions.

“Yes, I’m meeting a friend here. I have your payment sir.” She pulled a couple of silver coins from her pocket and held them out to him.

“I can carry this inside if you like.”
“I’ll manage, thank you.”

 

He put down the trunk and accepted the coins. Waving his arm the stones disappeared and the green light shone through once more, the horses reformed with the sound of snapping a branch.

 

Flukia turned around and looked up at the nursing home. It had some marvelous brickwork, stones that had been placed to look like waves crashing onto the entrance way. Flukia wasn’t looking at the bricks however she didn’t have an eye for that.

 

The patchwork that had been done interested her though, magical fire was the same as any other but in the war there were much more powerful uses of all forms of magic. Around the new brick were large sections of melted stone and a lingering feeling, the twang of the arcane. No wonder they kept the elderly here, it would supplement their own magic at least a little bit, take the edge off. Flukia pointed her arm over towards her trunk.

 

Invisible patterns on her arm became clear now as white light shone from them. Her trunk wobbled like a defiant toddler then gave into her power, rising from the ground. A dark cloud formed below it, blossoming around it into a cushion. It floated over to her as she put her arm down, the tattoos on her arm still white but not as bright.

 

She entered the old church calmly, using her buoyant trunk to push open one of the large doors.

 

“Flukia?” There was a young woman sitting behind a desk just inside the door. She was scratching at her arm, consciously avoiding where she had recently got a new tattoo. It was a dark blue and seemed to move as she did. Water mages were more common in Sothwood, it being the original proficiency for the Western states, but it was also more expected in a caring facility as they have innately stronger healing magic. “Abhain has been waiting for you. He’s up on the second floor.”

“Thank you.” Flukia nodded. “Do you mind if I leave my trunk here?”

 

*

 

“Kia! You made it.” There was both joy and relief in Abhain’s voice. “How was the trip?”

“Good to see you too Abby.” Flukia have a cheeky grin. “No stick ups, so as pleasant as it could be.”
“Mmm, I heard there were some bandits on the roads, but I knew you could handle them.”

“Is that why you were stressing out the lady at the desk?”

“Aquiquese is pretty used to my stressing.”

 

“No patients up here then?” Flukia looked around, the second floor at this end of the building was a long chamber overtop of the main entrance hall. There was a wooden table lined with chairs in the center and right at the back was a circle of more comfortable cushioned chairs.

“Not patients Kia, they aren’t sick.”

“They’re just not well.”

 

Abhain just smiled at her, he thought about continuing to correct her but knew it was in vain.

 

“No, the patients aren’t allowed up here.”
“So why a nursing home Abby? As far as I knew you were one of the top healers.”
“A lot has changed since you enlisted.”

“No it hasn’t, your mother wrote me too you know.”

 

“I wanted to help people Kia.”
“And you would have, people who had a chance.”

 

He turned away and walked up to the window looking out to the lake. He put his head against it with a thunk.

 

“And why did you enlist then huh? Why did you even think that they wanted a air mage in the Western Corp?”
“You know what I’m good at.”

“Fighting, I know, but you didn’t have to do it for them. You could have done it here. Why did you want to get away from me?”

“Abby, you know that’s not the reason.”

 

“What was I supposed to think? You didn’t tell anyone until you’d already done it.”
“I’m sorry Abby, I was selfish back then.”

“It’s only be three years.”
“That’s a lot of growing, even more so when everyday is an intense training program.”

“So why you leave then? That sounds like your dream.”

“Just because I’m good at it doesn’t mean I like it.”

 

They stood quietly. Flukia walked up to the window beside him and looked out at the water.

 

“So was the nursing home ‘cause of me or…?”

“I don’t know. I think it was probably just me lashing out at the world.”

“Weird way to do it, but that’s you in general, right?” Flukia teased.

 

Abhain laughed, put his fist on her shoulder gave her a hardy push. That used to be enough to shift her balance but this time she stayed stiff. She grinned back at him.

 

“I couldn’t have got this view working at a hospital or apothecary.”

“Very true…” The high pitch whistling of an alarm cut her off, she spun away from the window.

 

Flukia flicked her hand down beside her lightly tapping her leg. There was a swirl of air around her flapping her dress. Suddenly she was holding a short sword. It’s blade glinted silver in the light, the hilt was wrapped in white fabric.

 

“That’s not an attack alarm Kia. Someone has reached critical magic le…” Several similar alarms started drowning him out. “What in the four realms is that?”

 

Flukia turned back to the window. The lake had gone dark, but it wasn’t the algae it was the sky that had turned black.

 

An energy storm had started to form darkening the area. The telltale red and blue arching of magic gave it away.

 

“A portal to the else-plane.”

“In the sky?”

 

The storm spread out in a ring across the sky with a boom of thunder leaving behind an unfamiliar starry sky. Once it reached the horizon the ground shook violently knocking them both off their feet.

 

Flukia was suddenly holding a shield over top of the protecting them from debris.

 

The shaking slowed to stop but the sound of crumbling buildings continued. There were a few muffled shouts then nothing, complete silence.

 

They both jumped up, Flukia glanced out the window and froze in place.

 

The water was being displaced, drained out to sea, revealing the bottom of the lake. The sand had started to move, huge black tendrils underneath it wiggling their way out.

 

Each tentacle moved independently but had the common goal of burrowing to the surface.

 

“A demon under the lake?” Abhain asked, Flukia hadn’t noticed that he was staring along with her.

“No not a demon, an else-plane guardian.”

“Did the portal bring it here?”

“No… We were brought to it.”
“B…but, how is that possible?”

“Your patients! You need to go sa…” There was another quake but they both stayed on their feet.

 

The wet sand had finally cleared away and the guardian was now exposed. The tentacles weren’t just black but they seemed to drain the light around them diffusing the very sight of them. Its central mass was much the same but covered in large pure white spots, eyes.

 

A piercing screech dulled their hearing even though they tried to block it out with their hands. Flukia knew what came next but trying to warn Abhain would have been in vain. She didn’t know if there was anything he could have done anyway.

 

The guardian sucked in air and puffed itself up to about twice the size. The eyes rolled around until the pupils were visible, huge and black with the thin outline of white.

 

Abhain fell to the floor, he wasn’t braced for his magic to get drained away.

 

Flukia’s sword and shield turned to smoke.Her vision grew dim as she tried to fight it, even the worst magic fatigue would never have felt this bad. Her fingers and toes felt like they were covered in molten iron. Every bone in her body started to ache and she felt stabbings all over her back. She put her hands onto the windowsill ignoring the broken glass, trying to hold herself up.

 

The draining stopped but the pain remained. With another quake the guardian lifted itself up and pushed off the ground floating off into the sky, still bloated but now with magic instead of air.

 

She would survive with this remaining amount of magic, so Abhain probably will too. She fell back onto the ground with a sigh of relief knocking herself out.

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Jamee The Unwitting Necromancer

The dirt was liquid under her feet, each step was a battle. The mud fumed out a pungent fog of tree sap and the decomposition of flesh. She had a long strip of fabric wrapped around her head, keeping her mud-caked hair and the disgusting smell out of her mouth or nose. The fabric was well made, a silk and cotton blend dyed purple, the same as her dress.

 

Another step forward revealed the torn section of her gown, it now only came up to her knees. The remaining pieces of her outfit were soaked in blood. She reached out and grabbed a low hanging branch of the nearest swamp tree. Pulling with all her might she managed to free herself from the ground and swing her legs up as well.

 

She lay there on the branch for a while, regaining her strength. She tried to figure out where she was, there weren’t many swamps she could remember. The smell pretty much gave it away however. This was the Grutal Marsh. About twenty years ago this was a battleground, there’s only a thin layer of mud between her and hundreds of dead men, women, horses.

 

“How did I get here?” She asked herself in a whisper, her voice raspy. She coughed, winced in pain and rubbed at her throat. There was a scab there, from the back of her chin to her collar bone. The crusty piece of skin had already started to come away from her neck.

 

There was a sunken area of skin where the scab had been, where it had struggled to grow over the area. ‘How did I survive a cut like this?’ She thought, being sure not to speak. ‘Did I survive?’

 

She knew the stories about the Marsh, about the battle that was fought here. A fight against the dead. Not that she really believed it. Necromancy was such an abhorrent magic, there was no-one who could really consider using it. This couldn’t be the case anyway, the battle was won, the dark magic’s vanquished.

 

But maybe, the magic lingered. It has a habit of doing that, the unexpected.

 

Using what strength she had regained she reached out her arm and focused her energy. The dirt on her arms shook right off as her skin started to glow purple. Her hidden runic tattoos revealed by their use. A pale lilac mist formed around her. There were no other magics at work here.

 

She didn’t notice that the mist she formed floated down to the ground. It swirled around underneath her, overcoming the swamp’s natural fog.

 

The mud began to move.

 

Now with enough physical strength she decided to move, jumping down. The mud didn’t squelch, ‘looks like I got out of the flooded area’ she decided.

 

Up ahead she could see a clearing. Maybe things were looking up for her after all.

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I love a rainy night

This is kind of a continuation of ‘Taidan for fear’ so if you haven’t read that one, I suggest you go back and do that.


Nova turned away from me, giving away the truth of her appearance. She became a flurry of random pixels, a ‘snow crash’ was what I’ve heard some people call it. The holographic avatar was designed for face to face communication nothing more.

 

“What were you doing there?” She turned back to face me, the pixels realigning to my vision like stepping out of the rain.

“I could smell something dead.”

“Well of course you could, why didn’t you just call the Superintendent?”

“The super should have picked it up before I got there.”

 

I looked around me, Nova’s office hadn’t changed since I went on leave four months ago. Soft black carpet, small green couch and matching single chair. All immaculate.

 

Her hologram moved behind her long metal desk and appeared to sit. She wanted me to know that she was upset with me, holograms can appear however you want them to that didn’t have to represent your current state. Nova had made her avatar look like herself as many do, dark skin, big green eyes and purple, dead straight hair.

 

“We put you on leave for a reason. So that you could stop working so hard.”

“I had a nice vacation.”

 

I walked over to the window. Nova had a corner office with a window large enough to see the horizon. It was under the cloud layer which meant I could see the city tonight during the scheduled rain cycle. The reds and blues of the bustling metropolis twinkled in the water droplets. I could see my building from here but not my floor.

 

“It wasn’t long enough. So you’re staying on leave.”

“That’s fine. Have you followed my lead.”

“Yes.”

“Can you at least tell me what you found out?”

 

The hologram squinted at me.

 

“You aren’t planning on working this case.” That wasn’t a question.

“No, I’ve got tickets for an off world trip actually.”

“Fine then. We couldn’t find her missing tattoo in the Earth crime database.”

 

I shifted my weight onto my other foot but kept looking out the window. An automated police drone flew past on its way to the detainment entrance. It looked like it had a passenger, at this time of night it was probably vagrancy. Not that they wouldn’t have had a home to go to, but a lot of people get too drunk and can’t make it there.

 

“So we had Interpol check all the databases from the inner systems.” Nova liked to talk through all the steps. I half wished I hadn’t asked. “But there was nothing there either.”

 

I brought up my AR, still looking out the window. The view became a sea of colour and flashing lights. Advertisements. In the Real Reality, even in the Virtual one, advertisements have been regulated beyond affordability. Cannot be targeted at children, must be in context, cannot be for ingestible substances. But in AR those regulations don’t exist, they can’t be regulated, AR above the last floor of any building was declared free game and written into the Declaration of Virtual Realities and Matrices.

 

“But obviously you described it as a Taidan character so we had the embassy from that sector send us their database. As it turns out, that is the gang symbol for a Yakuza style gang they have out there called…”

“Fear.”

“Well yeah, but in Taidan. Not sure how they pronounce it though. There probably isn’t even one. The gang is supposedly based on the Taidan homeworld. They mainly deal in drugs, ones that are still illegal in that part of the galaxy, but they’ve been working up into the slave trade. We’re checking incoming and outgoing to see if we catch any of them in our space.”

 

“Can you send me any information you get regarding this?”

“You’re now added to the case file.”

“Thank you.” I turned away from the window and started to leave.

 

“So where’s the destination of your off world adventure? I hear that the Virgo Constellation just got a new luxury space station.”

“Not sure yet. Probably the Taidan homeworld.”

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The New Pilot

So I really struggled to write anything this week, I was getting over a cold/flu that was rather tenacious so I barely had the energy to be at work.
Anyway that means we’re pulling out of the archives, here is the first part to that Doctor Who fanfiction/spin off I started. Let me know if you would want to see more of it.

 


Susan Campbell was old now, the oldest person on Earth was her title these days. She had never wanted to leave unlike many of her friends throughout the years who had made their way off world.

 

There was a knock on her cabin door. She silently cursed her strange ability to make friends with these humans, despite being far more evolved than them she could always empathize so well. She’d even married one, that’s what got her so stuck here in the first place.

 

She wriggled in her bed not really wanting to get up. There were another few knocks. ‘Ugh’ she thought then slid herself around the bed her joints complaining heavily. Sitting over the side she paused to breathe and gather strength. As she grabbed her metal cane she heard more bangs on her door.

 

“I’m coming, hold on!” What could possibly be so urgent that you’d pester such an old woman. Susan was already wearing her night robe, must have slept in it. She pulled herself up and hobbled towards the door.

 

Susan was not suffering from arthritis or any of those age granted ailments that humans suffer from, three hundred Earth years have just taken their toll. The human doctors, at least the ones still on earth, had tried their best to help but they couldn’t do much. They normally just wanted to try and give her replacement parts which Susan would never have agreed to. She always wondered how much different humans could be from her when she was able to have a child with one.

 

“What can I do for you?” Susan asked as she started to open the door. The warm breeze flowed over her, it was mid afternoon so she shouldn’t have been late for anything.

 

“Doctor?” Susan’s heart jumped in her throat, like it did every time people addressed her by her title and not her name.

“What have I told you about that Kalis? My name is Susan.” The man at the door was one of her many students, she had taken up teaching physics over the years, once the humans were at her level of knowledge anyway.

“Susan, something as appeared in the center of the campus that you should see, we think it’s might be time capsule based on its materialization.” He was tall with dark skin and even darker hair.

“Let me get dressed.” She shut the door quickly with a slam. Then she stopped and opened it again. “Sorry didn’t mean to slam it on you.”
“It’s okay, I’ll wait for you.”

 

She moved quickly now, somehow she suddenly had the energy to disregard the pain in her legs. It had been a very long time since she had met another time traveler. That Face of Boe was quite a character, he was the last Time-Agent she remembered touching down in this time period but they didn’t use capsules. Come to think of it she couldn’t remember if humans had ever used capsules to travel in time, maybe cabinets?

 

Susan was dressed in record time and almost at the door before she realized that she’d still need her cane. She stepped over to her coat rack which also doubled as her cane holder. She had a variety of canes these days as that was what people always seemed to give her as a present. Susan grabbed a blue wooden one, it reminded her of her grandfather so it was her favourite.

 

“Okay I’m ready Kalis.”

 

*

 

The Campus was about the size of a fishing village, the center was a large grassed area with statues of notable human academics and explorers. Susan had felt close to home in this park, the reverence for learning and science was something that sat deep in her hearts.

 

“Slow down Doctor Campbell, you might hurt yourself.”

“You said it was in the middle of the campus. Where is it?”

“It’s near the Marco Polo statue.”

“Ah yes, I remember Marco Polo.”

 

Susan made her way through the hedges and trees past Columbus, Cook and Clark before she started to feel tired. She couldn’t bare the pain anymore and took a seat on one of the benches just around the corner from the Polo statue.

 

“Are you okay Susan?”

“I am okay Kalis, just got too excited is all.” She had her legs outstretched and was flexing her feet up and down to promote blood flow.

“You don’t think it could be one of your…”
“My kind, no, they all died in the War. But I’m still hopeful that I’ll find a working dematerialization circuit. Even a broken one would be nice.”

“Where would you go?”

“I haven’t the faintest idea. Probably just see where I end up.” Susan smiled so hard that her face hurt.

“Not back to see…”
“No, I couldn’t go back on my own time stream, too dangerous. Anyway I think I’m okay now.”

 

Susan stood up, almost fell back but caught herself on her cane. She took a few steps to make sure she was stable. Satisfied she continued round the corner to where the Capsule was supposed to be.

 

She fell backwards and landed in a sitting position facing towards the statue.

“Susan! Are you okay?”

 

Susan opened her mouth but only said one word.

“Grandfather.”

 

*starting theme song*

 

“Kalis, Doctor!” A woman, about the same age as Kalis came running over from the blue Phone-Box next to the statue. Another of Susan’s students, the only other person nearby. “Are you okay?”

“Erin! Susan’s fallen over can you find an assistance droid or a medical student?”

“Don’t worry about me.” Susan grumbled as she tried to pick herself up. “Okay, maybe help me up.”

 

Erin grabbed her cane off the ground and gave it back as Kalis had got her back on her feet. Erin was about the same height as Susan, and had the same ghostly white hair despite being in her mid twenties. It was the new fashion around the college.

“You said ‘grandfather’ while you were on the ground there Susan, is this the Doctor’s Tardis?”

“Yes Kalis, it’s particular shade of blue is different but that’s probably normal with its broken chameleon circuit.”
“No-one has come out of it Susan.” Erin mentioned.

 

“Well he might be being cautious, you never know what kind of rationals his current regeneration might have.”

“How do you know he’d be like you remember?” Kalis asked as they got closer.

“Timelords might act like different people when they change face but he would always be my grandfather.” Susan knocked on the Tardis door. ‘I don’t blame you.’ She thought to herself, in response to any of the things he may have apologised for.

 

The Tardis remained silent. “Are you sure that no-one came out?”

“Of course, there’s always been someone here watching it since it materialized.” Erin responded abruptly.

 

“Guess we’ll have try and get in then.” Susan reached into for the handle, she heard the tumblers click open at her touch, the Tardis was keyed to her. “Grandfather?” She called out. No response.

 

Susan pulled the doors outwards, stepping inside. “Grandfather?” She continued to shout. As she looked around the console room.

 

“Wow!” Her students had followed her, their faces covered in happy surprise. The console room was huge, like a mansion and cathedral rolled into a chinese festival of lights. Susan walked right past the main console and made her way over to a small alcove on the left covered by book cases, there was a short little table in the middle of it.

 

A cup of tea was sitting on the table. Susan touched the side, it was still warm, that could have meant anything when it came to the internal timezones of the Tardis.

“Hey, don’t touch anything!” Susan called out to her students, they jumped back from the console and held their hands up to indicate that they weren’t. “Grandfather doesn’t seem to be here.”

 

“Where could he be?” Kalis asked.

“Anywhere in space and time. It would appear that he sent me the Tardis, maybe he’s in trouble, or maybe he’s just decided to settle down for once.”

 

*

 

“Susan, the war in Orion is taking its toll, we can fight the Mondasian’s easily enough with the glitter cannons but the other kind, they’ve upgraded.”

“This isn’t my war.”
“You helped us against the Daleks?”

“That was my war.”

“You must know of a weapon that we could use against the Cybermen.”

“I know of a weapon, but even if I could build it, even if you could power it, you would never be able to use it appropriately and I am not your soldier.”

“Then why don’t you piss off back to your home world, if you’re not going to help us.”

 

‘I would if I could’ Susan remembered that conversation from a few years ago, when she had started building her own time machine. Her machine wasn’t going to be needed any more.

 

“Well, I’m going to find him.”

“Find your grandfather? You’re going to leave in the Tardis?”

“Yes. And I might not be coming back. So you best be off.” Susan pointed to the door.

 

Kalis and Erin looked at her, the happy surprise replaced with a terrible longing. “Okay fine, you can come, but don’t complain if you never get home.”

“Thank you Susan!” Kalis cheered.
“But how can we find your grandfather, The Doctor?” Erin stepped in.

 

“The fast return switch.” Susan pointed to a section of the console “This little feature will push the Tardis back along her own time stream.”
“But you said that going back on your own time stream is dangerous.”

“Yes I did, but of course if you paid any attention in my classes Kalis you would know that Time Lord Tardises are the absolute forefront of temporal engineering. The Tardis could even, in theory, be used to hold a paradox in place, she won’t cause any damage when used appropriately. The only problem would be, going beyond the time space continuum but we should have plenty of leeway in that regard.”

 

“How would it go beyond the continuum if it was only going back on it’s own time stream?” Erin was suddenly very curious.

“Tardises can also travel between universes, also if goes before it’s own creation or if the button gets stuck down.”

“Oh.”

“Not that I would like to do any of that.”  Susan pushed a button on the console and the tardis doors pulled themselves closed. “Let’s go!” She clicked the switch on. The centerpiece of the console started to rise and fall as the Tardis lurched to life.

 

“But Susan your home and your belongings.”

“It’s just stuff Kalis, I have everything that I need right here.” Susan pushed a few buttons on the console, the tardis dematerialized and groaned its familiar vortex entrance noise. Susan beamed happily at the console. ‘It’s good to be home.’

 

*

 

Susan made sure to push hard on the fast return switch to turn it off. Pulling on the materialization lever the Tardis slowly re-entered time space. Once the main lights turned back on and the console stopped flashing she spoke again.

“We’ve landed.”

“Where?” Erin wondered while Kalis made his way to the doors.

“Not sure. Last materialization point of the Tardis at least. No time travel though, same time exactly.”

“There’s no way to know?”

“It supports life, and it’s about Earth size. Some low level radiation, nothing dangerous.”

“Can you scan for your grandfather?” Kalis turned away from the doors ready to push them open.

 

“Good idea.” Susan twisted a few knobs and pushed a button or two. “He’s not here.” She was disappointed. “We should look around though. Find out what happened to him.”

 

“There’s a whole planet out there, he could have been anywhere.” Erin thought outloud. “We might need to split up.” Susan walked around the console flicked a few switches, twisted a dial and pushed a lever upwards.

“I’ll get you some keys then just in case we do split up.” Finally she tapped on the keyboard by the main monitor which suddenly produced two identical Yale lock keys. “Here you go.” Kalis put his hand out first and Susan put one of them in his hand. She then pushed the door control button and Kalis ran right out.

 

“Uh I don’t think this is actually a good idea.” Kalis’ voice shook with terror.

“What is it?” Susan made her way from the console out the door and looked up at what Kalis was staring at.

 

It was a huge metal sculpture about the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

 

“Dalek.” Erin had come outside as well.

 

“We should leave.” Kalis said still very afraid.

“No.” Susan pushed the doors to the Tardis shut. “If my grandfather was here then he will definitely need our help.”

 

They had materialized deep inside a dense jungle, the towering dalek monument they saw was one of many they could see just over the treetops. Susan started to walk in the direction of the closest one.

“But we can’t fight them! We have no weapons!”

“We don’t need any weapons.” Susan continued walking, Erin chased after her, Kalis hesitated until they were almost out of view before he ran to catch up.

 

*

 

“You’ve fought the daleks twice, you know how dangerous they can be.” Kalis had not given up trying to make them leave.

“More than twice, you are right they are dangerous. I came to find my Grandfather, you didn’t have to come with me.” Susan was leaning on a tree regaining her strength.

“Kalis, you can go back to the Tardis if you want, we’re just going to look around, these monuments look like they’re ancient anyway, the Daleks are probably long gone.” Erin was very calm and collected.

 

Susan straightened out again and continued to move. Erin went with her, Kalis begrudgingly followed.

It was only few more steps away but the dense trees made it hard to find a direct path close to the metal. Finally they had come upon it, both Susan and Erin smiled ever so slightly, Kalis was still in his mood.

 

“Interesting. This design is different to other Daleks”

“Perhaps a vortex streamlining? They used temporal shifts to travel in time didn’t they?” Erin postulated.

“But the ones that attacked Earth had time travel and they didn’t have these angles.” Kalis entered the conversation. “Maybe they added larger power units?”

“That’s the spirit Kalis.” Susan beamed at the return of his curiosity.

 

“YOU WILL DESIST YOUR INVESTIGATION!” Susan, Erin and Kalis all froze. Then slowly turned to face the Daleks behind them.

“Hello there.” Susan smiled at them. “We were just admiring your statue. Very good likeness.” Kalis looked at her, his eyes wide in disbelief.

“YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!”

“Now hold on just a moment!” Susan started to hobble over towards the Dalek. “You can’t just go around exterminating anyone who sees your artwork, that’s no way to get good reviews.”

“Surely you want to know how we got here?” Erin asked.

 

The Dalek twisted it’s eyestalk between Erin and Susan.

 

“YOU ARE A TIMELORD! YOU WILL HAVE ARRIVED BY TARDIS!”

“Correct.” Susan continued to move towards them “And would you ever find that Tardis without me telling you where it is?”

“YOU WILL COME WITH US!”

“We sure will. Come along Erin, Kalis.”

 

“Aren’t you a Time Lady Susan?” Erin started to wonder as they trudged along the path through the jungle.

“Well no, Time Lord is a rank of High Gallifreyan rule, I never technically received that ranking.”

“Isn’t your race Gallifreyan then?” Erin continued.

“That could refer to any of the life on Gallifrey, we appreciate the distinction, so most beings say that it is our race.”

“Surely you have a better name for yourselves?”

“Of course, which in English means Time Lord.” Susan struggled to keep moving at the same pace as the daleks, Kalis held her up acting as a second cane. “It is a bit arrogant but the idea is that we lord over time so we are Time Lords. You can be a Lady that lords over something, not that it matters anyway because we can switch between genders.”

“Oh I see, Lady and Lord is only for gender nouns whereas Time Lord is actually a translation from a word that means to lord over time.”
“Exactly.”

 

“YOU WILL BE SILENT!” The browner of red Daleks in the group screamed in its usual tone.

“Just trying to fill the time till we get there.”

“WE HAVE ARRIVED!”

“Ah. That was quick.” Susan looked at the metal wall in front of them, there were two other Daleks on guard outside an open door. One of them had one large gun on it instead of gun and plunger. Kalis looked at Susan with a question on his face, Susan shook her head not wanting to annoy the Dalek’s further.

 

*

 

The Daleks lead them through a series of hallways, Susan walked through them confidently. Kalis and Erin were more hesitant making sure not to make any sudden movements. They passed many other Daleks on their way to where-ever they were being taken. Some were of the same design that Susan had fought long ago, some were gold plated, others with the larger base were painted bright colours.

 

Every doorway so far was open before it had even come into view except the one they had just come upon.

 

“OPEN!”

 

There was a dull thump and a twang of metal as though a seal was opened. The door started to slide upwards making a slight grind as it did. The trio saw the bottom of a Dalek casing under the door.

‘Dalek Supreme’ They all thought, roughly around the same time.

 

“Hello Doctor.” This was not a Dalek voice. “I assume you are the Doctor. You have similar genetic markers but not exactly the same.”

 

The door opened fully. It was not a Dalek but a man, he was sitting in the casing like it was a wheelchair. His face was burned, deformed and his eyes sealed shut, but he had another eye shining blue in the center of his forehead.

 

“I do not know you, but how do you know the Doctor?” Susan stepped forward.

“A different Time Lord? Interesting, how is it you came to have the Doctor’s Tardis?” His casing twisted as he moved his hand very slightly in a pointing motion. Two Daleks pushed the blue box into the room via another door.

“How did you find it?” Kalis shouted.

“Dear boy, my Daleks are always on the lookout for this Tardis.”

 

“This is my Grandfather’s Tardis. How do you know him?” Susan’s voice was stiff.

“The Doctor? Your Grandfather. He is my greatest enemy.”

 

Susan leapt forward, far more nimble than she should have been. She pulled up her cane and held it in two hands. She landed on the Dalek casing and pushed her cane up against his throat.

 

“What have you done with my Grandfather?” Susan screamed at the top of her lungs.

“EXTERMINATE!” All the Daleks in the room pointed their guns towards her.

“Wait!” The man shouted over them all. “I haven’t done anything to your Grandfather, not recently.”
“Where is he?”

“I don’t know!”

 

Susan pulled herself off the casing, taking her cane away from his neck.

“Who are you?”

“I am Davros, creator of the Daleks.” He explained as he rubbed where he was being choked. Kalis and Erin looked at each other quizzically.

“You’re running a bit of patchwork operation here Davros. Daleks of all different designs. My Grandfather must have put you through the ringer.”

“Not without losing his entire race to us.” Susan’s eyes went wide, and her knuckles went white gripping her cane.

 

“Daleks were the enemy of the time war!” Erin’s words fell out her mouth. Susan went quiet.

“Oh you didn’t know. Your Grandfather never told you about the time war? How he sacrificed the Time Lords to kill us and didn’t even succeed?” Davros started to laugh, his shrill voice echoing through the hallways. “Take them to a cell, we might have need of hostages later.”

 

Erin and Kalis looked at Susan, she just looked at the floor silently.

 

*

 

“The Daleks defeated the Time Lords in the time war.” Kalis paced around the cell.

“They couldn’t have, if they had won they would have wiped out all other races in the universe.” Erin responded, the cell was more of a garbage disposal, there must have been enough Dalek parts laying around to build two full casings.

“But you said it yourself they were the enemy and we know the Time Lords lost.”

“Maybe they both lost. These Daleks are hardly an army now, maybe the Time Lords did enough damage, like a nuclear mutually assured destruction.”

“How do we get out of here? Can you see any other opening?”

“No. We’ll have to wait to see if they bring us back to Davros. They’ll probably try to make us open the Tardis.” Susan finally spoke. Erin and Kalis looked at her, she was sitting against the wall looking at the floor, completely silent.

 

“Susan?” Kalis knelt next to her. “Susan are you okay?”

“I’ll be okay Kalis. I’m just remembering something.”

“What are you remembering?” Erin asked softly

“Long ago now, before either of your parents were born, back when… after my Alex passed away.”

“Susan, you don’t have…” Erin tried to stop her.

“A Time Lord came to earth to speak to me, he was dressed up in clothing from the nineteen eighties. Can you believe that? For masters of time they never get it right.” Susan let out a short laugh. “He asked me to come back to Gallifrey, re-enroll to the academy. I asked why they would suddenly let a renegade back in. He said that they had changed the rules, I pushed and found out about the time war. I knew the Daleks were the enemy but he didn’t tell me, I could feel it.”

 

Susan flipped over her cane and used it to pull a piece of Dalek over to her. It was one of the baubles that would normally stick out the side, it was actually a metal sphere.

 

“What are we going to do Susan?” Kalis sat next to her.

“We’re going to build something to use as a distraction.”

“What could we use a as a distraction?” Erin asked.

 

“Remember back in temporal linearity two zero five when I went over the concept of Functional and dysfunctional dematerialization?”

“No I didn’t take that class.” Erin stated.

“I did, functional dematerialization is when you disembark from space-time and enter the vortex in a way that you can safely re-enter. Dysfunctional is when your time stream is severed and unravels out of space-time. You said that Dysfunctional dematerialization is only theory though.” Kalis answered

“Well I lied, Dysfunctional dematerialization is just hard to get right. Most time faring races have figured a way to do it in a roundabout way.”

“Weaponized time technology!” Erin gasped.

“Yes Erin. Normally though their methods just leave a wound in time perfectly capable of being restored. Only one people ever mastered both dematerializations.”

“The Time Lords!” Kalis pointed his finger like a gun.

 

“Perfect Demat will remove a being completely from time with no trace. Every Time Lord that goes through the Academy is taught how to make the demat gun.”
“What? Why? That’s crazy?”

“I don’t know why, but they all have it sealed behind a barrier in their mind only accessible under extreme duress or expert hypnotism. I however was taught how to make it by my grandfather.”

“You could build this gun with these parts?”

“Not a chance.  Wouldn’t do much good anyway, it could only be powered by Rassilon’s Time Key. However I think I can make something that will do the trick.”

 

*

 

“I did not get your name Time Lord.” Davros was sitting close to the Tardis.

“It’s Susan. My Companions are Kalis and Erin.”
“Companions, yes, that is what the Doctor always had with him. His greatest weakness.”

“Ian and Barbara?”

“I am not familiar with those names. Sarah and Harry, Romana, Tegan and Turlough, my list goes on and on.”

 

“Are those my Grandfather’s companions names?” Susan hobbled towards Davros non-threateningly.

“Many of them, they weren’t all there at once of course, the Doctor does lose them at an astounding rate.”

“How did you come to know My Grandfather? You weren’t there on Skaro when we defeated the Daleks with the Thals.”

“My Daleks were not defeated by the Thals!” Davros shook with anger.

 

“Oh did he not tell you, how your Daleks were beaten by simply turning off the power switch.” Susan smiled ducking down to make sure that he could see on her face.

“Do not taunt me woman.”

“Don’t try to dodge the question. How do you know the Doctor?”

“He was there when I created the Daleks, he tried to stop me from making them.”

“To stop the Daleks from ever existing. Why are you still around then?” Susan put her hand inside her coat.

“He couldn’t do it, he had the switch in his hand but his precious laws of time wouldn’t let him. He failed. Like he will. Forever.”

 

“But I won’t.” Susan grabbed the grenade out from her coat and slammed it down into where Davros connected to the casing. It dropped below where he sat, there was no way he could reach it.

“What have you…!”

“EXTERMINATE!”

“Wait Daleks! I have put a bomb into the casing of your creator here.”

“How did you get a bomb? How did you get it into this chamber?”

“I made it out of Dalek parts you left laying around. Now Daleks, despite all your fancy appendages you’ve gotten yourselves none of you would ever be able to get it out without hands.” She waved her fingers at the closest one.

 

“Daleks stop. What do you want?” Davros’ voice started to break

“First, allow me and my companions to leave in the Tardis.”

“Daleks do not fire on Susan or her companions.” Kalis and Erin power-walked over to the Tardis, Kalis fumbling with the lock for a moment before ripping open the doors and jumping inside.

“Secondly, are you sure you don’t know where my grandfather is?” Susan started to back away.

“No! No, I have no idea! Get his bomb out of me!”

 

“Not this time Davros.” Susan flipped around and darted towards the Tardis.

“Daleks kill her!”

Susan managed to dodge the laser blasts as she ran. Kalis was standing in the doorway yelling.

“But Susan you can’t leave the bomb!”

“Get in there Kalis!”

 

A bolt hit her in the shoulder. She tumbled and fell on top of Kalis.

“Shut the doors Erin!” Kalis screamed out “Susan are you okay!”

“Get… us… away.” Susan managed to get out between breaths.

“Already done, starting dematerialization.” Erin called out from the console.

 

There was a loud popping sound and the tardis shook violently. “Our dematerialization was interrupted. I can’t start it back up, I don’t know what to do!” Erin shouted again.

“Doesn’t… matter… now… out of the fire…” Susan pulled herself up with Kalis’ help.

“You were hit by a Dalek blast, how are you not dead?” Kalis asked.

“Takes more than that to kill a Time Lord.” Susan took a deep breath “Not exactly how I wanted it to happen but if I’m glad I waited otherwise I’d be two bodies down now.”

“Huh?”

“You might want to stand back.” Susan’s face started to glow.

 

Kalis stepped back now having to cover his eyes. Susan got brighter and brighter filling the whole tardis with white light. Kalis and Erin had to look away.

 

“The light is gone now.” This wasn’t Susan’s voice. Kalis looked back able to see again and saw a different woman standing in Susan’s clothes. Her hair was brown and much longer than Susan’s had been, she was significantly younger. “I’m sure I told you about regeneration.”

 

*Introducing Hayley Atwell as Susan ‘The Doctor’ Campbell*

 

“You told us, but you never did it. You said that Time Ladies could choose to regenerate, we thought you had run out.” Erin started to walk over.

“Because I let myself grow old? I just wanted to make the most of it, I only get thirteen goes.”

“Can’t you also choose what you look like?” Kalis asked unsure of himself and his surroundings.

“Mostly, if I hadn’t been shot then I would have been able to do some test runs.”

“Test runs?” Erin asked.

 

The new Susan twisted around to the face Tardis doors without answering the question. She grabbed the door handles.

 

“You can’t open that they’ll kill us!” Kalis shouted.

“Kalis, you remember the words but never took it in did you.” Susan pushed open the doors. Outside there was only jungle.

“Huh?” Kalis ran up to the doors. “But that blast would have only reached a couple of the Daleks.”

 

“Davros made the Daleks.” Erin started to type into a keypad on the tardis console. “He never existed, the Daleks never existed.”

“Correct Erin. Passing grade.”

“But, how? If the Daleks never existed how do we remember them? How do we even exist? The Daleks reshaped the state of our world!”

“Erin?”

“I didn’t take temporal linearity but I think it’s because we were functionally dematerialized from our time stream.”

“Correct again, why did you not take that class?”

 

“It clashed with Xenobiology and I was already taking temporal construction.”

“You did see the note about how they were complementary courses?”
“I thought I could just retake it, but then your movement degraded and you didn’t do it the next year.”

“Fair enough Erin. But yes Kalis, that has all been changed now. The Daleks are gone.”

“Our homes? Our Families? They’re gone, never happened.”

“No Kalis, not gone, the timestream that has them still exists it’s just not part of linear time. Once I find my grandfather he can make the Tardis go back there. If you really want to be a part of a time that has them in it.”

 

“My family is there! How could you even say that?” Kalis started to back away from Susan.

“Your family has a history of genetic defects caused by Dalekanium poisoning!” Susan went into a flurry, throwing her arms around. “The Daleks were never supposed to invade when they did and it took me over two hundred years to get humanity back on track!” Her eyes closed and she fell face first onto the wooden floor of the Tardis with a thunk, she began mumbling to herself in a sleepy haze.

 

“S-Susan!” Kalis shouted jumping forward to help her.

“She’s okay Kalis, she’ll need to recuperate after the regeneration.” Erin pressed a button on the console closing the tardis doors. “Help me pick her up and we’ll put her over in the sofa chair over there.”

 

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