Enemy Unseen

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Sat May 01, 2010 3:43 pm

Thanks Paksena - getting really interesting now Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue May 04, 2010 2:26 pm

Jennyjenkins wrote:Thanks Paksena - getting really interesting now Smile

Thank you for your comment. Sorry there was a break in updating. I was in Nashville this week and just got back. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/tennessee-flooding-photos_n_561436.html

new chapter next post.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue May 04, 2010 2:26 pm

The Doctor was idly moving his food around on his plate with his fork. He had planned on just having some soup and maybe a salad, but Jack had had other ideas and had ordered for him, insisting he tried some of the restaurant’s specialties. The hummus appetizer had been excellent, smooth texture, the slight acid taste of lemon, balanced by a nutty flavor of a fine olive oil. The pita bread had been soft, but not doughy, a perfect back drop to the hummus it held.

It should have been a fantastic experience and indeed it had been, until he swallowed and his stomach knotted itself against the food, resulting in him feeling as if he had consumed a rock, one with extremely sharp points. The feeling was so intense for a few brief moments he feared he had been poisoned. But a quick glance at Jack, who was eating it with no ill effects eased his mind enough that he was able to assess the situation clinically. He closed his eyes and concentrated, pretending to be savoring his food. His stomach was tense, not producing any digestive juices and there was no peristaltic action to move the food along. This was going to be a very difficult and painful meal to get through.

He chose to disguise his discomfort by chattering away about the storm, whose fury was visible from inside the glass walled restaurant. He talked about the last time he had eaten there, the various ways Blon had tried to kill him and how laughably ineffective they all were. He talked about anything that came to his mind, so long as he kept his mouth occupied with words and not food. All the time holding a piece of pita in his hand, gesturing with it as he talked, using it to point out features of the storm, where the table where he and Blon had sat, waving it all around as he used it to illustrate whatever he was talking about, but never letting it near his mouth. Unable to get a word in, Jack had eaten the rest of the appetizer on his own.

But now the main course was in front of him and it was apparent he hadn’t eaten a single bite of his shish kebab and had only made a token effort with the rice pilaf, while Jack was almost finished with his. Even with his tea the Doctor had only managed a sip or two.

“I thought you said you were hungry?” Jack asked. “Don’t you like the food?”

The Doctor took a deep breath as he considered his response. Blaming the food would be easy, but a quick glance at the hovering waiter told him his dish would be swept away and he would be fussed over until they found something he did like. “The food's fine. I just lost my appetite that’s all, probably the company,” he said with a smile.

“You had no problem with the company this morning,” replied Jack, playing along, to the Doctor’s relief.

“Yes, well, you might have a point, except you were hardly at the table if you remember.”

Jack suddenly became serious. “Are you sure you’re alright? You don’t look well.”

“I’m fine, stomach's just a bit off. It’s really nothing. It will straighten itself out shortly. Now if you’ll excuse me.”

The Doctor pushed back from the table, his chair sliding along the floor with a screech as he did so. He quickly made his way to the restroom. He gave a worried glance over his shoulder, making sure the captain wasn’t following him before entering. To his relief the facility was unoccupied. He promptly entered a stall and emptied the contents of his stomach. It was a voluntary not an involuntary action, though still a rather unpleasant experience that caused him to screw his face up in disgust. He quickly went to the sink where he cupped his hand under the tap using the cold water to rinse the horrid aftertaste from his mouth.

Water however, proved ineffective to totally remove the aftereffects of the emesis, so he reached into the left outside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a strong and very effective mouth wash. He took his time with it, moving the solution back and forth in his mouth, feeling it dissolve the unpleasant tasting material that the water had been unable to remove. After he spat it out into the sink, he ran his tongue along his teeth and the roof of his mouth. Nice and clean with no silly after taste like spearmint, that would taint the flavor of anything he ate afterwards.

He splashed his face with the water and reached into the wicker basket that sat on the counter filled with neatly folded thick clean hand towels. He grabbed one of the cloth towels out the basket and used it to pat his face dry. As he finished, he looked up at his reflection in the mirror. It startled him to see the haggard face peering back at him, the sallow complexion, the dull sunken eyes. He sighed, he was in bad shape. If he didn’t want Jack following him around like an over anxious nursemaid, he was going to have to do something.

Reluctantly he reached deep into his breast pocket and pulled out a small packet of red pills, so bright they almost seemed to be strobing, a warning sign he was about to ignore. They were from Gallifrey and would fix him right up, get his stomach working again and put the color back in his face, but there was, as with all things, a price to pay. When the crash came it would be spectacular, almost narcoleptic in nature. They were also highly addictive, taking two within a single day almost a guarantee of a lifetime dependency. A dependency that had been known to endure past regeneration. The crash should not be a concern. If he had the timing right, he would be fast asleep when that occurred. Maybe for once getting a restful night’s sleep as a result.

He held a pill in his hand as he considered his options, weighing the pros and cons. One, just one, wouldn’t be a problem. He was taking it for its physical effects, as the medication it was originally meant to be. It’s why he carried them after all, for occasions such as this. If he wasn’t better in the morning he would seek help. It was just to get through this evening, nothing more.

Suddenly, he felt or saw something over his right shoulder at the very edge of his vision. He turned quickly but nothing was there. Just a bit of paranoia on his part he assured himself, probably his subconscious worrying Jack would be coming in to check on him soon. He quickly swallowed the pill and chased it with a handful of water.

He picked the packet of remaining pills off the counter, wondering if he had made the right decision in taking one. Or had his fear of Jack walking in on him, rushed him into an ill considered action? Too late now to change his mind, he could feel the drug entering his blood stream, he wouldn’t be able to get rid of it has he had the appetizer. He looked briefly at the restroom stalls. Flushing the rest of the pills would prevent him from making the wrong choice later. Instead he put them back in his pocket, telling himself he could get rid of them later if he needed to.

Studying his reflection, he saw the effects of the pill were already taking place. He looked much better. His color was back, his eyes were clear and bright. He smiled at his image, brilliant! A quick finger comb of his hair and he was perfect, ready to face Jack and the rest of the dinner, if not the world. He patted the pocket where the pills were, glad he had decided to keep them. How could anything that made him feel so good be bad? A finger of doubt in the back of his brain warned him that kind of reaction was exactly what made them so dangerous. “Nonsense,”he thought. “I can handle it. I am the Doctor after all.”

With an exuberant bound he was at the restroom door, opening it with such vigor he almost hit Jack square in the face. Fortunately the captain’s reflexes were such that he jumped back in the nick of time, the door missing him by the slightest of margins.

“Whoa there, you might want to slow down a bit,” exclaimed Jack. “I was just about to check on you, feeling better I gather?”

“Yes, I am, thank you,” replied the Doctor. “In fact, I would like to get back to dinner, I feel positively ravenous.” His stomach growled in agreement.

“Ah, that might be a problem,” Jack said sheepishly looking down at the floor as he scratched his head. “I had the waiter take it away.”

“You what? My dinner? What did you do that for?” asked the Doctor as he bounded over to the table to see his place had been cleared. “Have him bring it back!”

“It’s too late, it’s already in the bin most likely,” explained Jack as he pulled out the Doctor’s chair for him. “Come on, sit down, we’ll order you something else.”

“Just order what you did before,” replied the Doctor as he sat down. “There was nothing wrong with it. I told you my stomach would sort itself out soon and it did. I can’t believe you had them throw out my dinner!”

“Alright, alright, I’m sorry. I had no idea you still intended to eat it,” explained Jack. “What did you do by the way? I’ve never see someone turn around as fast as you have.”

“What, you working for the Atterians now? I’ve had my personal life poked into quite enough for one day, thank you very much. I just freshened up a bit. Now why don’t you get that waiter to bring me something to eat. You can start with some of that hummus. You ate so much of it I barely got more than a sample.”

Jack rolled his eyes. “You were the one… Oh, never mind.” He looked over at the waiter, who nodded. “It will be coming right up.”

“Good,” the Doctor put his hand on the pot of tea, “and any chance we can get some hot tea? This appears to have gone a bit cold.”

Before the Doctor finished the sentence the maitre’d appeared to take cold pot away and replace it with a new one.

“Well, that’s efficient,” stated the Doctor, pleased with the service. Soon he had his tea, hummus, and pita bread. He made quick work of them, barely taking the time to enjoy the flavor and texture. Jack had a bemused expression on his face as he watched the Doctor wolf down food that he had barely been willing to touch earlier.

When he finished the appetizer, the Doctor looked at Jack and realized something was on the captain’s mind. “Well, out with it.”

“Out with what?” asked Jack.

“Out with whatever it is that’s bothering you. I don’t need you staring at me, waiting for the right moment. The right moment is now, before my entrée comes. So what is it?”

Jack shook his head. “Nothing, nothing really, it’s just…”

“Just what?”

“You’d let me know if something was wrong, wouldn’t you? I have people I am responsible for now. I need to be to be sure they are safe.”

“What? You think I’m a danger?” asked the Doctor, offended at the suggestion.

“No, no, not at all. It’s just, you seem different, secretive. I need to make sure there’s nothing going on that could be a danger for Torchwood.”

“You have my word, everything is quite innocent. The TARDIS is upset with me because I was careless and let her fuel get too low. In fact that is why we had such a rough landing, she was running on fumes as it were. Entirely my fault, she tried to warn me and I ignored her. Nothing you or Torchwood needs to worry about.”

“And she’s pushing everyone else away, because?”

“She’s just cranky, doesn’t want anyone getting near her. Most likely she's upset that rift isn’t putting out as much fuel as it used to. She'll settle once she gets close to being topped up,” the Doctor explained with an assurance he didn’t feel.

“And you?” asked Jack as the Doctor was again served shish kebab by the confused waiter.

“I’m fine. I just had an upset stomach, nothing more. No need to start an investigation over it.” The Doctor proceeded to apply himself to his food.

“Alright, you win, just promise me you’ll tell me if you need help.”

The Doctor swallowed before responding, “Of course I will, why wouldn’t I? Thank you by the way, this food is delicious.”


The food was indeed quite good and the Doctor ate it eagerly, sure that he would be better in the morning. The pill was just providing a needed break from whatever was wrong with him. With two good meals inside him today and a sound night’s rest assured when the pill wore off, he would be ready for anything the next day had to offer. Everything would all work out brilliantly. The TARDIS couldn’t stay angry at him forever. She needed him as much as he needed her. All his worry had been pure foolishness.

He’d only been partially paying attention to Jack as he ate. Enjoying the food and his good mood too much to want to listen to the day to day bureaucratic problems Jack had to deal with, but then something Jack was saying sparked his interest.

“So every single truck in Harwood’s car park had to have its solenoid replaced,” Jack was saying.

“Really? Any idea why?” asked the Doctor.

“They don’t know how it was done. but they all had been burned from an overvoltage,” Jack replied.

“An overvoltage, that is odd. So they suspect vandalism then.”

“Yes, most likely, though very sophisticated vandalism. Not some random gang of teenagers. All the cabs were locked and the bonnet release in on the inside. There was no sign of tampering of the locks on the cabs or the locking mechanism for the bonnets. There wasn’t a mark on any of the lorries. So the local authorities figure it’s some fringe group. Rhys suspects it might be an animal rights group. They just signed a contract with a large meat packing house that has had problems with them in the past.”

“You don’t sound like you’re convinced,” commented the Doctor between bites of his meal.

Jack rubbed his chin before answering. “I’m not. The groups that have caused trouble for the packing house always leave a calling card. Letting everyone know why the damage was being done. Here, there was nothing.”

“They could have been scared off before they had a chance to leave their message. Any other cases of this kind of damage?” asked the Doctor, intrigued by the mystery.

“No, and the locals have even checked with Interpol. This is an entirely new kind of attack. Harwood’s has taken precautions though and tightened up security in their car parks. It won’t happen to them again at least.”

“So that’s it then. No further involvement from you or Torchwood?” asked the Doctor.

“No, the local police can handle it.”

“Too bad, it could have been interesting,” stated the Doctor as he finished his meal.

“If they get stuck, I’ll offer your services, how’s that?”

“Fair enough. Well, shall we be off then? I’m sure you need to get back and I do have a few more things in that store room of yours I want to take a look at.”

“Let me get the check first.” Jack signaled the waiter, who understood and left to tot up the bill. “Now, about you looking at things in the store room. Could you at least ask me before you destroy something?”

“Surely you didn’t want that conversion unit to remain functional?”

“No, no, I didn’t, but I don’t want the only thing to show for your being here be a pile of scrap either. Try to find something that might help us, will you?”

“Help you what? Jack, you know the dangers of a civilization progressing too fast.”

“Yes, but…” Jack was interrupted by the waiter returning with the bill. He took the leather folder containing the final total from him, gave it a glance, and promptly returned it to the waiter with enough cash in it to elicit a smile and a little bow from the man before he left.

“Come on, let's go,” Jack said as he stood up. “We can discuss your job description on the way to the Hub.”

“No need, I get your meaning,” replied the Doctor, deciding he would just have to be more circumspect in the future when he destroyed something humans weren’t ready for.

Jack studied the Doctor carefully, “That was too easy, What, no arguments? Are you sure you’re okay? I could take you back to the hotel if you want.”

“I’m fine, can’t I be cooperative occasionally?” asked the Doctor as he put on his coat.

“Not from what I’ve observed,” replied Jack.

“Well I can be,” stated the Doctor and with a flourish he held the door open for Jack, emphasizing his point.

“Okay, okay,” replied Jack with a laugh. “I believe you.”

“Good,” said the Doctor, letting the door close behind them. “Now, can you tell me, how did a device from Gallifrey wind up in your store room?”

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Thu May 06, 2010 12:33 am

Paksena wrote:
Jennyjenkins wrote:Thanks Paksena - getting really interesting now Smile

Thank you for your comment. Sorry there was a break in updating. I was in Nashville this week and just got back. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/tennessee-flooding-photos_n_561436.html

new chapter next post.

Eeek - that's a lot of flooding!!

thank's for the new chapter Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sat May 08, 2010 10:04 pm

“So it was just sitting there at the base of the Tower,” Jack finished explaining as they approached the entrance to the Hub. “I recognized the writing on it, but I have no idea what it was for. I gather you do though?”

“Actually, I’ve never seen anything like it,” replied the Doctor, not sure why he was lying. “I was hoping you could provide a bit more information to go on.”

“Doesn’t the writing on it tell you anything?”

“No, it’s just where it was made and who made it. It wasn’t anyone I recognized,” said the Doctor as he unlocked the Torchwood entrance with his sonic screwdriver and held the door open for Jack, a mischievous smile on his face.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that,” complained Jack.

“Consider it pay back for breaking into my room this morning.”

“That wasn’t a break in. I had a key,” Jack protested.

“And so do I,” replied the Doctor, flipping the sonic in the air and catching it with a clatter before putting it back into his jacket pocket. The entrance door closed behind them as they proceeded into the Hub itself. Suddenly the Doctor sprinted across the open area near the base of the water tower, his footsteps ringing on the metal catwalk. He turned and laughed as he watched Myfanwy’s mistimed attack. The predator suddenly changed direction and looked about, confused by its prey not being where she expected. Jack shooed her away and with a scream of protest Myfanwy returned to the upper reaches of the Hub.

“I’m glad you have a sense of humor about this now,” said Jack.

“Ah, it’s no problem,” responded the Doctor cheerily. “Just a bit of fun. No idea why it bothered me so much before. I’ll get back to work now. I’m sure you have things to do.”

“You sure you are okay?” asked Jack. “You seem a bit…”

“Trust me, I’m perfectly alright. In fact never felt better. Good as new. Don’t worry, if I need anything I’ll let you know.” The Doctor turned his back on, Jack dismissing him, and proceeded down the hallway.

Once he entered the storeroom he saw the energy extractor sitting on the table. The mess of the spilled sandwiches had been cleared up, most likely by Ianto. He doubted that chore had endeared him anymore to the Welshman, but no worries he could always charm his way into Ianto’s good graces in the morning.

He sat down on the chair next to the table. Smiling, he ran his hand over the exterior housing of the device, feeling the etched Gallifreyan symbols under his finger tips. A memory of home. He owed it to that memory to try and fix it. At least make it ready for the replacement of the broken frangilizer he had taken out earlier. Once the TARDIS let him back in he would just get one out of storage and it would be ready to go.

Something in the back of his mind screamed at him, “No, don’t. It’s far too dangerous. It’s better left broken. In the wrong hands it could be devastating.” The Doctor pushed the warnings away. His hands were the right hands he was sure, it wouldn’t be any problem getting the device from Jack. There was nothing at all to worry about. He’d been worrying far too much recently. Time he stopped. Everything was going to be great.

He put on his glasses and started to working on the device, finding it much easier this time. Carefully he traced the circuits and soon found a short. Adjusting his sonic screwdriver to the proper setting he fixed the problem and continued his examination, trying to find the cause of the damage. He traced it back to the containment section. It had apparently at one point tried to swallow more that it could handle. Whatever it had held had broken out and destroyed several circuits and components in the process.

The Doctor tisked at the containment and disposal section’s lack of proper engineering. From what he could tell no redundancy had been built in. So if a single part failed the whole system failed. Aside from that arrogant ommision, it was a clever design. It would hold the life force energy long enough to determine the best way of extinguishing it. It was that feature that was the most elegant part of the design, something only Time Lords could have made. It would fracture the life force at the quantum level, in all possible dimensions, not just the paltry three, well maybe four, that humans operated in.

Seeing how the system could be strengthened he decided to do as much of the work as he could toward that goal. He suspected the containment field had failed when the operator had tried to contain a very powerful life force in it, instead of letting the device destroy it. He decided to make sure that didn’t happen again. Anything in the containment field would be destroyed as soon as its life force energy had been pattern analyzed and the means for destruction determined. It did mean, however one would have to be very careful in how they used it. If the wrong life force was extracted there would be no going back. That didn’t worry him however, he would be the only one to ever use it, if indeed it was ever used again. He had no intention of leaving it behind for humans to play with.

Soon he had accomplished as much of the repair job as was possible until he found the parts he needed. Time to examine the rest of the Torchwood junk pile. The first item he found was a compact and very powerful energy source, suitable for using in a sonic blaster or other portable energy weapon. Well, he had no need of anything like that and he certainly wouldn’t want Jack and his friends using it to power a weapon. So this needed to be rendered totally inoperable. It was quick work for the sonic and soon it was in such a state even he wouldn’t be able to repair it.

The next device he found was a medical scanner. Unfortunately the civilization that developed it was made up of large single cell beings. They were talented in developing pseudopods that were even more functional than a human hand, but they their physical structure was so different from humanoids, the device was useless here on Earth. It had a large display screen however, and plenty of data storage. The Doctor made a few tweaks and voila! He had an excellent electronic book reader, capable of handling all formats and storing every piece of writing ever created on Earth with space left over for the libraries of Gallifrey. How all that was going to get loaded into the former scanner he decided was someone else’s problem.

Then he found a small device that looked like a weapon but wasn’t, though it had caused a planetary civilization to fall. It was badly battered but it was possible to repair it. He smiled as he did so, hoping Jack would get the joke. He was just finishing the final touches when the captain walked through the door.

“Ah, good to see you actually repairing something,” commented Jack as he approached the Doctor. “So what does that thing do anyway?”

“This?” asked the Doctor as he stood up and aimed the device at Jack while pressing a button.

Jack jumped to one side and yelled as a beam of light came out, “Hey watch it with that thing!”

“It’s harmless,” assured the Doctor as he held up the blaster shaped device. He tapped a display screen set into the top of it. “Seems to be something wrong here.” He gave the screen a final thump. “There we go. There were no Jack Harknesses for sale on Vetterina.”

“What do you mean I’m not for sale?”

“Well, I don’t know about here, but you definably weren’t for sale there,” joked the Doctor. “This is a price scanner, for want of a better term. On Vetterina you could point it at just about anything and see where to buy it and how much it cost. Unfortunately it caused an economic collapse.”

“It what?”

“Caused an economic collapse. With this device you could determine the cheapest source for everything.”

“That’s good. Isn’t it?” asked Jack clearly confused.

“For the consumers yes, but for the businesses it ended up being a disaster. They kept slashing prices to be the lowest source, squeezing out the smaller businesses. But the competition between the larger companies was so fierce the only way to keep customers was to sell for less then it cost to produce and hope your competition shut up shop before you did. People lost jobs as companies lost money. So there was less money to spend, causing prices to fall until in order inventory to be moved, more jobs lost, etc, till it all just spiraled out of control. Planetary economic collapse, all from devices like this.” He gave the scanner a toss in the air and caught it.

“So why fix it? It’s no good here.”

The Doctor pursed his lips and tilted his head from one side to the other. “Well, for practice mainly and you never know, you might get something from Vetterina falling through the rift here. This did come through after all.”

“Still, it’s not much help for me. I can hardly pop to Vetterina and buy anything,” replied Jack, looking pointedly at his vortex manipulator.

The Doctor ignored the unspoken hint and answered Jack’s question. “Oh, but this holds more than just prices and store locations. Tap this here,” the Doctor touched the lower right corner of the display screen for emphasis, “and up comes the owner’s manual. No more guessing. Well, no more guessing if what you are scanning comes from Vetterina.”

“Okay, okay,” said Jack with a laugh taking the scanner from the Doctor. “Look I’m about to call it a night. So it’s time for me to drive you back to the hotel.”

“No thanks, I’ll walk. I don’t want to spend five minutes watching you try to get out of a parking space again.”

“That won’t happen. I only park it like that when I think Ianto is driving it next.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow and stared at Jack, a half smile on his face as he waited for an explanation.

“It’s just a practical joke we play on each other. Seeing who can make it the hardest for the next person who drives the SUV. Just a game really. I told you it’s been quiet here. It’s something to keep us from being too bored.”

The Doctor shook his head in false dismay. “Things must be slow if that counts as entertainment. Still, I’d rather walk. Fresh air before bed is always good,” stated the Doctor as he headed out the door.

“Okay, suit yourself,” replied Jack as he followed behind.



The Doctor strode across the hotel parking lot, heedless of the puddles left by the storm as he splashed through them. He’d gone around the very edge of the Plass to get there. The TARDIS had increased her field of repulsion almost to the Millennium Center. He’d briefly felt sorry for all the tourists who had come to enjoy the Plass and now would be returning home with no memories or photos of it or the famous water tower. He imagined them trying to explain to their friends and family why they hadn’t seen one of Cardiff’s greatest attractions. Hopefully that wouldn’t be the case much longer.

As he entered the hotel he saw the Atterian with the ambassador by the lifts. He smiled and gave her a wave, waggling his fingers when she looked at him. She cringed and leaned into the ambassador, who put a protective arm around her giving the Doctor a warning stare as they entered the lift.

Standing in reception, the Doctor was confused and a bit hurt by the response his friendly greeting had received. He knew of no reason why the Atterian should fear him so. He actually had liked her, he just wasn’t willing to have his ‘data’ collected by her, or anyone for that matter. Well, nothing he could do about it tonight. Maybe he would run into her at breakfast tomorrow. He could straighten it out then.

He summoned a lift and went up to his suite. His coat landed with a flap and a thud as he flung it over the couch in the main living area of the suite. He plopped down next to it and put his feet up on the coffee table. Hands folded behind his head, he considered what to do next.

The pill was wearing off. Physically he still felt good and most likely would continue to long after it wore off. That was the legitimate use of Synival, to straighten out the functions of the major organs. It couldn’t cure cancer or set a broken bone, but for things like improving the function of the Time Lord equivalent of a liver or kidneys it was quite useful. Fixing a dicey digestive system was trivial. It was the mental side effects that were of concern. There would be an incredible crash from the euphoria the medication brought on. And that crash was starting.

He stood up suddenly, knowing what he had to do. It was time to get to sleep, before the worst of the effects started. There the delusions would manifest as nightmares until the comatose part of the crash began. The time between the start of the delusions and the coma varied. It could be as long as two hours or they could occur simultaneously. With his luck it would be the former, not the latter.

There was a surprise waiting for him when he entered the bedroom. On top of the immaculately made bed was a package. He approached it cautiously. It was gift wrapped in expensive gold paper that had a smooth waxy feel to it, with a sheer silver ribbon tied around the package in a bow. He untied the bow and took off the wrapping paper. Inside were his pajamas, cleaned, pressed and the buttons sewn back on. He wondered just how much that extra service Jack was paying for cost.

On the night stand next to the bed he found something called a sleep hygiene kit. He wasn’t sure if this was a part of the extra service or something the staff had added after seeing the state of his room that morning. There was a card describing what steps to take to ensure a good night’s sleep, a lavender sachet to put under a pillow, a CD of ocean sounds, and finally some chamomile tea. He dismissed the card and the tea but gave the sachet a sniff. It was a pleasant scent and did calm his brain down a somewhat. He couldn’t detect any ill effects from it and maybe it might tone down the nightmares that were sure to come.

A dull pain was starting in his head, a sign he needed to get to sleep soon. He put the sachet under his pillow and the CD in the player that was on the night stand. As he dressed in the pajamas he noticed the sound of the waves on the CD would match the pattern of his breathing when he was asleep. That would be a help, if he synced his breathing with it, he should fall asleep quickly.

He stood over the bed and tried to think of anything he might have forgotten. He became aware of another presence in the room, dark, malevolent. He turned quickly, his sonic screwdriver held at the ready. There was nothing, nothing there at all. The delusions were starting. He gasped and squeezed his eyes shut as the pain in his head became sharp and penetrating. He needed to get to sleep quickly, before sleep became impossible.

Settling into the bed he pulled the covers over himself. He worked on relaxing, breathing in time with the CD’s ocean waves, concentrating on that sound, ignoring the pain in his head. Slowly, too slowly, he felt peaceful, his limbs heavy and logy as sleep started to take him away. Relief took him that last step to slumber, where all the dark thought and memories, that his mind came up with as the crash continued would just take the form of a dream. A dream that hopefully this night, like the previous night, he wouldn’t remember. As sleep took him between one breath and the next, the back of his mind screamed at him that something was wrong, very, very, wrong.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Sun May 09, 2010 2:03 am

Thanks Paksena Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun May 16, 2010 5:13 am

Sorry for the late update. Life kind of took over. Thank you for your patience.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun May 16, 2010 5:13 am

“Good, pillow, covers,” thought the Doctor as he woke up. “Much better than last time.” His eyes snapped open when he started to stretch and felt the carpet against his skin as his pajamas caught on the rough, scratchy surface. He found himself staring at the bed frame. He was on the floor.

With a sigh he rolled over onto his back. Another rough night he remembered nothing about. Someone had put a pillow under his head and put a blanket and quilt over him, there was no prize for guessing who. He almost called out Jack’s name, but stopped himself. Jack having seen him passed out on the floor was enough humiliation for one day. He wanted to be cleaned up and fully clothed before he confronted the captain.

As he got up off the floor, he noticed his pajamas were damp, soaked in cold sweat, causing them to cling to his body and bind when he moved. He was sitting on the bed removing them when he noticed the lamp on the nightstand was missing. Its remains were in the trash basket next to the desk. The thick wire harp that held the shade, sticking up over the top of the container, the shade itself sat relatively unharmed on top of the desk. The Doctor breathed in with a hiss as he shook his head. It must have been a very rough night.

Wearily he stood up and stretched. Sleeping on the floor may be desirable for some people but his bony frame was ill suited to such a surface. His body snapped and cracked as he stretched the kinks out. A shower was next on the agenda. He completed it quickly, not wanting Jack to walk in on him before he was ready. With a clatter he checked the closet. The brown suit would do again for today. The blue one was still too much a reminder of things gone wrong.

Soon the Doctor was fully clothed and groomed. He gave one last look in the mirror, running his fingers through his hair to give it that casual I don’t care look he preferred. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He didn’t feel great, but good enough to face whatever the morning would have to offer. He patted his breast pocket. The pills were still there, just in case he needed them. He put a false spring in his step as he approached the door, wanting to impress his friend with his vigor as he entered the living area.

His act was for nothing. To his surprise he found no one was waiting for him. The living area was empty. Lit only by a single light in the wet bar area. The curtains were closed against the outside. He felt a moment of panic when he saw his coat was no longer on the couch where he had left it. To his relief he soon discovered it neatly hung up in the closet, no doubt Jack’s handiwork again.

Unsure of what to do next, he went over to the hospitality tray to prepare some tea. It would help him wake up a bit more before he dealt with Jack. Once the electric kettle was heating the water the Doctor went over to the window and drew back the curtains. Cold hit him as the window was revealed. He put his hand on it, the glass was so cold it was almost painful to hold it there.

He dropped his hand and surveyed the sky. Another grey day was in the offing. A cold miserable grey day, he felt his mood shift to match it. He turned away when he heard a click behind him, indicating the water had reached the boiling point and was done. He lay the sachet of black tea in a white china cup and proceeded to pour the hot water over it. Watching the steam rise up from the cup made him realize how cold he felt.

Cup in hand, he checked the thermostat, twenty one degrees Celsius. That should be more than warm enough for him. Had to be an aftereffect of the pill he hadn’t been aware of. Maybe if he just took half of one it would ease the symptoms he now felt, just give him a little bit of that euphoria to help him through the day. He found his hand sliding towards his pocket and stopped himself. No, that was how it started he thought. Just a little more and then… It was best they stay in his pocket, unused, at least for now.

He sat down on the couch, finished his tea and found himself feeling peckish. Jack or no Jack, it was time to go downstairs for breakfast. Some food would put him in a better frame of mind. Surely the captain could find him there. He put on his coat and walked to the door, only to find a note stuck to the handle. Impossible for him to ignore. He pulled it off with a wry smile, amused by the location. The message however confused him.


Stay put.
Whatever you do, don’t leave the suite.

Jack


The Doctor shook his head. Jack was being melodramatic, certainly there was no harm in him going down to breakfast. He tossed the note aside and was about to open the door when he felt the handle turn under his hand, seemingly of its own accord. He stepped back as the door opened in front of him and Jack slid sideways into the room, careful not to let anyone outside see in.

“Hello, Captain, I was about to go to breakfast. Care to join me?” asked the Doctor.

Jack looked down at the crumpled paper on the floor, then back to the Doctor. “Didn’t you read the note I left?”

“Yes, but surely you meant stay inside the building, not the suite. I can have breakfast, can’t I?”

“Yes, you can. I’ve ordered it brought up here.”

“What, the whole buffet? Wouldn’t it be easier to go down there?” quipped the Doctor.

“No, not the buffet,” replied a tired and exasperated sounding Jack, “but a full English breakfast, with extra bacon. Come on, I’ll make you some tea. We need to talk.” Jack took the Doctor by the elbow and guided him away from the door.

“Why can’t we go outside?” asked the Doctor as he looked over his shoulder at the door. “I’ve already had some tea. I don’t need any more.”

“Doctor please, just trust me. You don’t want to go out there. Here, let me take your coat,” said Jack as he put his hands on the Doctor’s shoulders and started to remove the coat.

The Doctor ducked out from under his hands and turned to face him. “I’ll keep it on, thank you. It’s a bit chilly in here this morning,” he protested as he flopped down on the couch, crossing his arms to emphasize his displeasure.

Jack stared at him, puzzled at the respone. He was about to say something, when there was a knock at the door. The Doctor started to get up from the couch.

“No, you stay here. I’ll get it,” said Jack as he motioned to the Doctor to sit back down. The Doctor frowned but reluctantly did as Jack directed. Soon Jack was back with a trolley, filled with food, which he proceeded to place on the table. The Doctor casually wandered over and sat down.

“So I gather this is mine?” he asked as he picked up the plate whose fare included barbequed beans. Just the smell of the food was improving his mood. The digestive problems of the previous night were indeed gone.

“Well, it’s certainly not mine,” replied Jack as he took a plate of fried eggs, toast and bacon for himself. “Doctor, I need to ask you a few questions about yesterday.”

“Yesterday? What questions could you possibly have about yesterday? You were practically on top of me the whole day. I felt like I couldn’t take a breath without you sharing it,” the Doctor responded irritably. Yesterday was over and done with. He didn’t look forward to rehashing it.

Jack sighed and shook his head. “Doctor this is serious. I need to know everything that happened yesterday. Starting with when you first met the Atterian.”

“I told you yesterday, nothing happened. She asked me to join her and the ambassador for breakfast. I turned her down and she planted a tracking device on me. That’s it.”

“And the ambassador, did you talk to him at all?”

“No, just her.”

“You never went near their table or touched anything she brought back to it?”

“No, what’s this about?” replied the Doctor confused.

“I’ll get to that. I need you to concentrate on yesterday for now,” said Jack, his uncharacteristically serious tone making the Doctor feel ill at ease. “Now yesterday at the Hub, for a moment she looked terrified of you. What was that about?”

“I don’t know. I can’t be responsible for how someone reacts to me. Maybe my lecture had sunk in and she realized she’d had a close call. Other than that I have no idea,” answered the Doctor, growing concerned at where this questioning was going.

Jack looked down at his plate and ate a few bites before resuming his questioning. “Did you run into her or the ambassador after you left the Hub for your walk this afternoon?”

“No, I didn’t run into anyone, you know that. I could hear the CCTV cameras following me every step of the way.”

Jack rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at the floor in embarrassment. “Ah… We weren’t actively watching it the whole time. Gwen wanted to get home and Ianto and I became, ah, distracted. We used an image recognition program to follow you automatically. I haven’t had a chance to view the recording yet.”

“Well, when you do view it, you will see I was actively avoiding running into anyone.”

“Okay, that’s good to know. Now what happened with you at dinner?”

“Nothing, I just had a little upset stomach and it went away. There’s absolutely nothing sinister about it,” snapped the Doctor. Picking up his orange juice he drank down it quickly to hide his irritation with Jack’s revisiting a subject he had already declared closed. The sudden influx of the acidic fluid didn’t sit well in his stomach. He ate some toast to act as a buffer, easing the pain before it took hold. Looking up from his plate, he saw Jack studying him intently.

“Doctor, I’ve never seen anyone turnaround from being that sick as fast as you did.”

“Had much experience with Time Lords, have you? We may look like you, but we are quite different from you, I can assure you.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll give you that,” said Jack holding up his hands in surrender. “Now, last night, what happened after you left the Hub?”

“Nothing, I walked back here and went to bed.”

“What about in the reception? Didn’t you run into the ambassador and Celeste?” persisted Jack.

“Not really, I smiled at her and gave a little wave. Hardly an encounter.”

“How close were you when that happened?”

“I was just inside the doorway. They were at the lifts. I was at least 10 meters away.”

“You didn’t ride up with them or have any other contact?”

“No, they looked like they wanted to be alone, so I didn’t intrude.” The Doctor shook his head in frustration. “What does this have to do with me having to stay here?”

“Just a few more questions then I‘ll tell you.”

“Why can’t you tell me now?” the Doctor asked, raising his voice in frustration.

“Keep it down,” admonished Jack. “For your sake, I have to follow procedure on this.”

“Procedure? Since when have you been concerned about procedure?”

“Since following it may be the only way I have of protecting you.” Jack leaned forward resting his folded arms on the table. “Doctor, please, just bear with me a little longer,” he asked softly. “This really is for your own good. I don’t like it any more than you do.”

The Doctor saw the plea for understanding in his friend's eyes. He looked down at his almost empty plate as he considered his response. “Alright, I’ll play it your way for now,” he reluctantly agreed.

“Good. Now, last night, did anything unusual or out of the ordinary happen?”

The Doctor pursed his lips and shook his head as he answered, “No, nothing.”

“Your bedroom was a wreck when I came in. How did that happen?”

“I don’t know. I went to bed and wound up on the floor. Sometimes I can be pretty restless in my sleep. It’s not that unusual. What were you doing in my room anyway?” asked the Doctor.

“I was making sure you were alright,” answered Jack before continuing with his questioning. “So you didn’t hear anything at all last night? Nothing woke you up or disturbed your sleep?”

“No, nothing, I already told you that.” The Doctor put down his fork and pushed his plate away. The questions were making him feel more and more uneasy. Why, he didn’t know.

“I was afraid of that,” replied Jack. “Any unusual dreams you remember?”

“No, I don’t remember anything between when I went to sleep and when I woke up. What do my dreams have to do with anything?”

“Nothing, I’m grasping at straws here,” responded a despondent Jack. “Even they have to admit you were out cold when we first got here.”

“They? There was more than one person in my room? What did you do? Put me on display? Sell tickets?” The Doctor was appalled at the revelation it had been more than just Jack who saw him passed out on the floor.

“No, just one other person as a witness to your condition. Don’t worry, I had everything straightened up before they saw you.” He took a deep breath, looked at his watch and sighed. “We don’t have much time. They are going to be getting impatient.”

Jack stood up, glanced at the Doctor and turned away, swallowing hard as he did so. He started unnecessarily to put the empty breakfast dishes back on the trolley. The Doctor saw it for the obvious delaying tactic it was. “Jack, what is it? What’s going on?”

“Doctor, I’m going to need you to cooperate with me, as of now you are officially in my custody.”

“I’m in your custody? What, with handcuffs and everything?” replied the Doctor holding out his wrists, trying to make light of what was obviously distressing Jack. “What’s the charge? Parking the TARDIS improperly? Interfering with the tourist trade?”

“No, no handcuffs, I promise I’ll do whatever I can to avoid that,” replied Jack, desperation for understanding apparent in his voice. “You have to help me by not trying to take over and act like you are in charge. Doctor, once we go through that door you are my prisoner.”

The word prisoner was barely audible. The Doctor could tell it had pained the captain to say it. “Jack, what is it? What’s happened?” he asked, suddenly more concerned for his friend than himself.

“Doctor, it’s the Atterian, Celeste. She’s dead. Murdered. And you have been declared a person of interest in the case.”

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Sun May 16, 2010 11:37 am

Paksena wrote:Sorry for the late update. Life kind of took over. Thank you for your patience.

No worries - I was assuming something of the sort and wondered if we needed to send up the bat signal.

It was worth the wait Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Wed May 19, 2010 6:08 pm

Jennyjenkins wrote:
Paksena wrote:Sorry for the late update. Life kind of took over. Thank you for your patience.

No worries - I was assuming something of the sort and wondered if we needed to send up the bat signal.

It was worth the wait Smile

Nope no need for the bat signal yet.

Thanks

More below

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Wed May 19, 2010 6:09 pm

The Doctor sat stunned, trying to absorb what Jack had told him. Make some sense of it. The Atterian was dead and he was somehow implicated, it made no sense. He opened his mouth to speak, but words wouldn’t come. Not because he had nothing to say but he had so much to say, it was all stuck, with him not knowing where to start. He stared at nothing as he tried to sort it out, get a handle on a knot of words and ideas which were so mixed up, that as soon as he thought he had hold of one coherent idea, another one pushed it out of the way before he could utter it.

He reached for his orange juice pretending to be getting the last little bit of fluid from the bottom of the glass as he composed himself. “How… How did she die?” was the question that finally came out after he put the glass down.

Jack looked down at the table briefly before meeting the Doctor’s gaze. “I sorry, I can’t discuss the details with you,” he said as he stood up. “We need to get going.”

“Where?” asked the Doctor as he pushed away from the table.

“First, next door, MI5 wants to talk to you at the crime scene. Hopefully Torchwood after that. Oh and Doctor, I need your sonic screwdriver.”

“What? Why?” The Doctor felt oddly panicked. He was already without his TARDIS, he didn’t want to give up his sonic. What next his coat? His suit?

“Sorry, MI5 considers you dangerous if you have it on you. You are going to have to surrender it either to me or them. With me at least you’ll get it back. I promise.”

“And if I choose not to?” snapped the Doctor.

“I won’t take it from you by force, but MI5 will and they will then take you into their custody. Look, they are itching for an excuse to get their hands on you. I’m not sure why, but I can’t imagine it’s for your benefit.”

The Doctor stared at Jack with narrowed eyes and a frown on his face. He made no move to produce the sonic but waited for Jack to continue.

Jack sighed. “I don’t like it any more than you do, but I have to play along for now. The Atterian dying within twenty four hours of being picked up by us isn’t playing well. Right now I am having a hard time convincing the powers that be that I can control you. And if they think I can’t, you will be turned over to MI5.”

“Why would…?” A quick knock at the door interrupted the Doctor’s response. It opened and the Doctor saw the hallway was crowded with UNIT soldiers and a few men wearing suits. Ianto quickly closed it behind him as he entered the room.

“Sir, Mr. Fisher is getting impatient. He is threatening to call Whitehall again,” the Welshman reported.

“Tell Frank he can call Whitehall all he wants. The Doctor is an alien, therefore he’s our jurisdiction,” answered Jack.

“Yes sir,” Ianto responded and left the room.

Jack looked at the Doctor. “So, you going to help me out or not?”

Reluctantly the Doctor reached into his breast pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver. “Take care good care of it, will you?” he asked as he handed it over to Jack.

“Don’t worry, I will,” Jack assured him as he put the sonic into his own pocket. “Now remember, you aren’t in charge. So don’t start trying to take over the investigation. I'm not sure why MI5 wants their little melodrama of you at the crime scene, but right now it’s their show and it could be to your advantage to see it.” Jack stood with his hand on the door handle. “You ready?”

“Of course, I’ve handled worse than MI5,” replied the Doctor with false cheerfulness as he put his hands in his pockets.

Jack screwed up his face, uneasy with the picture he saw in front of him. “Uh… Doctor, you need to keep you hands visible at all times.”

“Oh, right, right. Quite right, sorry. Forgot myself for a bit there. Well, shall we go?”

Jack opened the door and led the way into the crowded corridor. A tall blond man in a well tailored single breasted dark grey suit, and a white shirt broke away from talking to two UNIT soldiers as soon as he noticed the Doctor.

“So, is he healthy enough for questioning now?” the man asked sarcastically his blue eyes staring at the Doctor in disdain.

“Give it a rest, Frank. You saw him this morning. He was practically comatose,” replied Jack in annoyance.

The Doctor looked sharply at Jack, but said nothing, trusting him to handle the situation, content for the moment to try and figure out why this man had so much animosity towards him.

“Still, it seems awfully convenient. For all I know you told him to play possum. Suspicious, you leaving a murder scene to go tuck in your friend here,” insinuated Frank.

“UNIT was right behind me when I got here. They secured the area and the crime scene. Not my fault you were slow of foot as usual.” Frank’s expression soured at the implied insult. Jack ignored it and continued. “Besides, Ianto was here to supervise, not that they needed it. I had to make sure the Doctor was okay.”

“What about the ambassador? He was in shock. His health wasn’t important?”

“Torchwood doesn’t currently have any medical personnel, UNIT does,” countered Jack. “They were able to handle the ambassador’s ‘shock’ much better than we could have. If you are going to stand there and argue procedure with me I’ll take him back to Torchwood now.”

“You can’t do that,” said Frank with a hint of threat in his voice.

“I can and I will. He’s an alien and therefore our jurisdiction…”

“Or UNIT’s,” Frank corrected.

“That’s moot, UNIT has already agreed to let Torchwood have custody of the Doctor. I’m not sure why you’re here at all. The Doctor is alien, the victim is alien.”

“But the ambassador isn’t. He’s a government official and that makes it our jurisdiction.”

“I still say that makes the ambassador your jurisdiction, not the crime itself. Unless you’re willing to admit he is the guilty party.”

Frank was quiet for a second or two while he considered his options. Suddenly he acted. “You come on, I want you to take a look at your handiwork,” said Frank as he grabbed the Doctor by the upper arm and roughly pulled him forward.

The Doctor was about to jerk his arm away, when he felt the grip on his arm loosen. He looked down in surprise to see that Ianto applying a nerve hold to Frank’s elbow. “You have no authority to touch the Doctor while he is in our custody,” Ianto explained calmly as he release his hold on the MI5 agent.

Jack grinned briefly when the Doctor glanced over at him, then composed himself to a more professional demeanor before speaking up. “Frank, there’s no need to manhandle him. He’s here voluntarily. He’s even surrendered his sonic screwdriver as you requested.” Jack reached into his pocket producing the Doctor’s favorite device. “See? Satisfied?”

“Good,” said Frank holding out his hand, a sly look on his face.” Let’s have it.”

“Oh no,” replied Jack, smiling at him as he put the device back in his inside coat pocket. “This is definitely alien technology and clearly our area.”

“Can we just get on with this?” asked the Doctor, tiring of the bureaucratic interchange. He started walking towards the suite door, only to be stopped by Frank’s hand on his shoulder.

“Frank, what’s the problem?” Jack asked.

“I don’t believe he is really under your control, I want him in handcuffs, leg irons would be even better,” said Frank, keeping a grip on the Doctor’s shoulder.

“Don’t be ridiculous, he’s cooperating fully and showing more restraint than I would if I were him. There is no need for handcuffs. If he was a citizen he wouldn’t even be under arrest. Just get on with it, and get your hand off him before I ask Ianto to demonstrate what other pressure points he knows.”

Frank sized up Ianto, who rewarded him with a stony stare, before removing his hand from the Doctor’s shoulder. “Alright, I’ll let it go this time, but you,” Frank jerked his head at the Doctor. “You don’t go anywhere until you are told to.”

Jack had come up alongside the Doctor while Frank was exerting his authority. The Doctor slid his eyes over to him. Silently asking if he could please speak his mind on just how ridiculous this all was getting to be. A short shake of Jack’s head was his answer. Frustrated the Doctor worked to keep control of his temper. Having to play along with this idiot Frank was irritating, but he owed Jack, so he complied.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Get in there,” said Frank indicating the open doorway to the suite next to the Doctor’s. With an exasperated roll of his eyes the Doctor strode forward and entered the living area of the suite. The room was brightly lit and at first glance appeared filled with UNIT soldiers, but a quick count revealed only four and two men in plain clothes, who he assumed were from MI5.

The center of attention was the ambassador, who was sitting on the couch in white and blue stripped pajamas, a hotel white terry cloth dressing gown draped over his shoulders. His cuffed hands fell between his knees as he stared blankly at the floor. Frail and shaken, he looked nothing like the imposing authoritative figure the Doctor had seen the night before in the reception. Blood was splattered on the man’s clothes. Fresh blood.

“This way Doctor,” ordered Frank, indicating the open bedroom door. The Doctor was about to enter the room when a voice stopped him in his tracks.

“You, you,” rasped the ambassador. “Why did you do it? She did nothing to you. She wouldn’t even tell me what frightened her. She kept your secret.”

The Doctor turned to the ambassador and saw the man’s distraught face, skin pale, almost colorless, cheeks sunken, eyes red rimmed and watery. It was the face of a man broken and tormented.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” said the Doctor.

“You killed her… It… it… was terrible… I couldn’t stop it…” The ambassador’s words came out in gasps, the horror in his eyes growing. He looked down at his fettered hands and the blood splattered sleeve. “My body wasn’t my own… my hand kept… it kept… stabbing her… again and again. I couldn’t stop it. But worse was the laughter… in my head… so cruel…” he sobbed. The UNIT medic started preparing a syringe as the ambassador stared up at the Doctor, his neck taut, the tendons showing under the skin, his tears running freely down his face as he continued.

“Then I was laughing… Heaven help me… the last thing she heard was my laughter as she died.” At these words the ambassador broke down, face in his hands, sobbing uncontrollably, shaking so hard the dressing gown fell from his shoulders. The Doctor started to step forward, wanting to comfort the man, assure him he was not responsible for the horrific events that had happened, that he would work to discover who was responsible, make sure they were brought to justice, only to be stopped by Jack.

“Later,” said Jack as the medic administered the shot to the devastated man, “they’ll take care of him for now. Though I don’t agree with their reasons, I do feel you need to see the crime scene. You’ll see things I’m sure MI5 has missed.”

The room smelled of sex and sweat but strongest of all was the wet iron and copper smell of blood that hit the Doctor’s senses as he entered the room. His eyes were drawn to the source of the odor, the blood soaked bed in the center of the room. The Atterian lay there in a pale pink nightgown, her lifeless eyes staring at the ceiling. Her shape shifting talent apparently too slow, requiring too much concentration for her to use it to defend herself. There were numerous wounds in her torso, the most prominent one a slash across her throat, the source of the largest pool of blood on the bed.

He forced himself to look at the scene objectively, try to find clues as to what had happened. Her defensive wounds were minimal. She had most likely died quickly, but still horribly, her flesh torn as blood and life had drained out of her. Her nightgown was relatively undisturbed, not neat as if someone had arranged it after she had died, but covering enough to indicate the assault had not been sexual in nature. Anything along those lines must have occurred before the attack.

He touched her bare arm with the back of his hand. The body was still warm, the blood on the bed was still damp, the murder was recent. “Do you know when this happened?”

Jack looked at his watch. “About an hour ago. We heard it as soon as it started, this room is heavily monitored. We got here as quickly as we could, but too late for her.”

“No, no, no, no,” thought the Doctor. He should have woken up, heard her cries. There was only a single wall between this room and his. Not enough to block out the sound. If he hadn’t been passed out like some burnt out addict he might have been able to stop it, save her life.

The packet of drugs he had been so happy to rely on earlier, now burned in his pocket like the poison it was. He had to get rid of them. Get rid of them now. He carelessly let his hand brush one of the pools of blood. “Oh,” he said holding his hand up to for Frank to see. “Do you mind if I clean this off?”

Frank frowned as he considered the question. “No, go ahead,” he finally responded. “Just make sure you leave the door open.”

The Doctor entered the ensuite and turned on the tap in the sink. He quickly washed off the blood and took out the packet of pills, shielding his action from anyone who might be peering in. A sharp stabbing pain in the front of his head made him gasp and clutch the edge of the sink to steady himself. For an instant he considered taking just one last one to get rid of the pain, then realized that was a very bad sign. Quickly, and with a pang of regret, he dumped the pills into the sink. Relief washed over him as they swirled down the drain. Gone, out of reach, where they belonged. He had thought he could handle them. Now someone was dead. He wondered if there was any end to his stupidity.

He splashed water on his face and toweled it off before turning around. He was startled to find Jack standing there in the doorway. Whether the captain was watching the Doctor or providing extra cover, he couldn’t tell. He thought most likely it was both.

“Are you alright?” asked Jack.

“I’m perfectly fine. Didn’t want to get any blood on my coat, that’s all,” replied the Doctor, more cheerily than he felt as his head began to throb. He pushed past Jack and back into the room.

Reentering the room, he noticed the murder weapon on the floor next to the bed, almost concealed beneath it, a numbered piece of tape marking its location. Squatting down, careful not to disturb it, he examined it carefully. It was a small knife, its blood smeared blade had a serrated edge. Its tip had been broken off, possibly from hitting a bone. “What’s a knife doing in a bedroom? Did he bring it with him?” asked the Doctor.

“No, room service had delivered a wine and cheese tray last night. The knife was part of the tray,” Jack explained.

“You sure? It looks more like a knife one would use on steak or meat than on cheese,” the Doctor observed.

“We are checking up on that, but I doubt it will come to much. Most likely just lazy staff in the kitchen,” said Jack.

The Doctor shook his head as he stood up. “So not premeditated then.”

“No, we don’t think so. You heard him, he thinks something took over his body, made him kill her. I think it was a crime of passion and he’s convinced himself of that so he doesn’t have to live with the guilt.”

“And I believe him,” Frank interrupted. “Time Lords have a history of mind control. She was terrified of the Doctor, not the ambassador. The night clerk saw it. The ambassador had no reason to kill her.”

“And what possible motive would the Doctor have?” countered Jack.

“I don’t know, but the Atterian was scared of something, something about him.”

“Look, for him to connect with someone he has to physically touch them. He didn’t have any physical contact with the ambassador. There is no way he could have done what the ambassador is saying,” Jack reasoned. “The ambassador most likely went into a rage when he found out the Atterian was leaving him. The Doctor is no more guilty than the member of kitchen staff who put the knife on the tray.”

The Doctor decided to examine the room further, letting the conversation fade into the background of his consciousness. Everything was neat and orderly. The violence had been contained to the bed, not even the night stand had been disturbed. He was studying blood splatter on the headboard when he had a sudden flash, like a memory in his mind, only it wasn’t his memory. It was filled with blood and violence. It was a memory of the murder. Had Celeste in desperation tried to reach out to him mentally? Had her feeble telepathic power, unable to rouse him, somehow managed to leave an imprint of the crime in his mind?

No, no, that wasn’t it. With increasing dismay he realized he was wrong. Terribly, horribly wrong. He could see the thick fat drops of blood hit the headboard in the exact pattern of the drying splatter. He turned and left the room, ignoring Frank’s call to stay where he was. The ambassador, tranquil now from the drugs he had been given, looked at him blankly as he entered the room. The Doctor stared at the man’s hand. The one that had held the knife, a gold signet ring was on one of the fingers. A ring he hadn’t noticed before, but now recognized as the one he saw in his mind.

He studied the pattern of the blood on the ambassador’s sleeve. In his mind he saw that splatter occur, felt the knife in his hand as it penetrated her flesh, saw the individual drops hitting the fabric. The signet ring slipping against the handle of the weapon when the blade would go no further.

He was seeing the murder, but not from the victim’s point of view as he had first thought, but from the murderer’s. He felt dizzy and weak, unaware he was leaning back against the door jam for support, as a sound rose in his mind, a maniacal sadist laugher. A laugher he was now sure, was the same as what the ambassador had heard.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue May 25, 2010 6:19 pm

The Doctor sat stunned, trying to absorb what Jack had told him. Make some sense of it. The Atterian was dead and he was somehow implicated, it made no sense. He opened his mouth to speak, but words wouldn’t come. Not because he had nothing to say but he had so much to say, it was all stuck, with him not knowing where to start. He stared at nothing as he tried to sort it out, get a handle on a knot of words and ideas which were so mixed up, that as soon as he thought he had hold of one coherent idea, another one pushed it out of the way before he could utter it.

He reached for his orange juice pretending to be getting the last little bit of fluid from the bottom of the glass as he composed himself. “How… How did she die?” was the question that finally came out after he put the glass down.

Jack looked down at the table briefly before meeting the Doctor’s gaze. “I sorry, I can’t discuss the details with you,” he said as he stood up. “We need to get going.”

“Where?” asked the Doctor as he pushed away from the table.

“First, next door, MI5 wants to talk to you at the crime scene. Hopefully Torchwood after that. Oh and Doctor, I need your sonic screwdriver.”

“What? Why?” The Doctor felt oddly panicked. He was already without his TARDIS, he didn’t want to give up his sonic. What next his coat? His suit?

“Sorry, MI5 considers you dangerous if you have it on you. You are going to have to surrender it either to me or them. With me at least you’ll get it back. I promise.”

“And if I choose not to?” snapped the Doctor.

“I won’t take it from you by force, but MI5 will and they will then take you into their custody. Look, they are itching for an excuse to get their hands on you. I’m not sure why, but I can’t imagine it’s for your benefit.”

The Doctor stared at Jack with narrowed eyes and a frown on his face. He made no move to produce the sonic but waited for Jack to continue.

Jack sighed. “I don’t like it any more than you do, but I have to play along for now. The Atterian dying within twenty four hours of being picked up by us isn’t playing well. Right now I am having a hard time convincing the powers that be that I can control you. And if they think I can’t, you will be turned over to MI5.”

“Why would…?” A quick knock at the door interrupted the Doctor’s response. It opened and the Doctor saw the hallway was crowded with UNIT soldiers and a few men wearing suits. Ianto quickly closed it behind him as he entered the room.

“Sir, Mr. Fisher is getting impatient. He is threatening to call Whitehall again,” the Welshman reported.

“Tell Frank he can call Whitehall all he wants. The Doctor is an alien, therefore he’s our jurisdiction,” answered Jack.

“Yes sir,” Ianto responded and left the room.

Jack looked at the Doctor. “So, you going to help me out or not?”

Reluctantly the Doctor reached into his breast pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver. “Take care good care of it, will you?” he asked as he handed it over to Jack.

“Don’t worry, I will,” Jack assured him as he put the sonic into his own pocket. “Now remember, you aren’t in charge. So don’t start trying to take over the investigation. I'm not sure why MI5 wants their little melodrama of you at the crime scene, but right now it’s their show and it could be to your advantage to see it.” Jack stood with his hand on the door handle. “You ready?”

“Of course, I’ve handled worse than MI5,” replied the Doctor with false cheerfulness as he put his hands in his pockets.

Jack screwed up his face, uneasy with the picture he saw in front of him. “Uh… Doctor, you need to keep you hands visible at all times.”

“Oh, right, right. Quite right, sorry. Forgot myself for a bit there. Well, shall we go?”

Jack opened the door and led the way into the crowded corridor. A tall blond man in a well tailored single breasted dark grey suit, and a white shirt broke away from talking to two UNIT soldiers as soon as he noticed the Doctor.

“So, is he healthy enough for questioning now?” the man asked sarcastically his blue eyes staring at the Doctor in disdain.

“Give it a rest, Frank. You saw him this morning. He was practically comatose,” replied Jack in annoyance.

The Doctor looked sharply at Jack, but said nothing, trusting him to handle the situation, content for the moment to try and figure out why this man had so much animosity towards him.

“Still, it seems awfully convenient. For all I know you told him to play possum. Suspicious, you leaving a murder scene to go tuck in your friend here,” insinuated Frank.

“UNIT was right behind me when I got here. They secured the area and the crime scene. Not my fault you were slow of foot as usual.” Frank’s expression soured at the implied insult. Jack ignored it and continued. “Besides, Ianto was here to supervise, not that they needed it. I had to make sure the Doctor was okay.”

“What about the ambassador? He was in shock. His health wasn’t important?”

“Torchwood doesn’t currently have any medical personnel, UNIT does,” countered Jack. “They were able to handle the ambassador’s ‘shock’ much better than we could have. If you are going to stand there and argue procedure with me I’ll take him back to Torchwood now.”

“You can’t do that,” said Frank with a hint of threat in his voice.

“I can and I will. He’s an alien and therefore our jurisdiction…”

“Or UNIT’s,” Frank corrected.

“That’s moot, UNIT has already agreed to let Torchwood have custody of the Doctor. I’m not sure why you’re here at all. The Doctor is alien, the victim is alien.”

“But the ambassador isn’t. He’s a government official and that makes it our jurisdiction.”

“I still say that makes the ambassador your jurisdiction, not the crime itself. Unless you’re willing to admit he is the guilty party.”

Frank was quiet for a second or two while he considered his options. Suddenly he acted. “You come on, I want you to take a look at your handiwork,” said Frank as he grabbed the Doctor by the upper arm and roughly pulled him forward.

The Doctor was about to jerk his arm away, when he felt the grip on his arm loosen. He looked down in surprise to see that Ianto applying a nerve hold to Frank’s elbow. “You have no authority to touch the Doctor while he is in our custody,” Ianto explained calmly as he release his hold on the MI5 agent.

Jack grinned briefly when the Doctor glanced over at him, then composed himself to a more professional demeanor before speaking up. “Frank, there’s no need to manhandle him. He’s here voluntarily. He’s even surrendered his sonic screwdriver as you requested.” Jack reached into his pocket producing the Doctor’s favorite device. “See? Satisfied?”

“Good,” said Frank holding out his hand, a sly look on his face.” Let’s have it.”

“Oh no,” replied Jack, smiling at him as he put the device back in his inside coat pocket. “This is definitely alien technology and clearly our area.”

“Can we just get on with this?” asked the Doctor, tiring of the bureaucratic interchange. He started walking towards the suite door, only to be stopped by Frank’s hand on his shoulder.

“Frank, what’s the problem?” Jack asked.

“I don’t believe he is really under your control, I want him in handcuffs, leg irons would be even better,” said Frank, keeping a grip on the Doctor’s shoulder.

“Don’t be ridiculous, he’s cooperating fully and showing more restraint than I would if I were him. There is no need for handcuffs. If he was a citizen he wouldn’t even be under arrest. Just get on with it, and get your hand off him before I ask Ianto to demonstrate what other pressure points he knows.”

Frank sized up Ianto, who rewarded him with a stony stare, before removing his hand from the Doctor’s shoulder. “Alright, I’ll let it go this time, but you,” Frank jerked his head at the Doctor. “You don’t go anywhere until you are told to.”

Jack had come up alongside the Doctor while Frank was exerting his authority. The Doctor slid his eyes over to him. Silently asking if he could please speak his mind on just how ridiculous this all was getting to be. A short shake of Jack’s head was his answer. Frustrated the Doctor worked to keep control of his temper. Having to play along with this idiot Frank was irritating, but he owed Jack, so he complied.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Get in there,” said Frank indicating the open doorway to the suite next to the Doctor’s. With an exasperated roll of his eyes the Doctor strode forward and entered the living area of the suite. The room was brightly lit and at first glance appeared filled with UNIT soldiers, but a quick count revealed only four and two men in plain clothes, who he assumed were from MI5.

The center of attention was the ambassador, who was sitting on the couch in white and blue stripped pajamas, a hotel white terry cloth dressing gown draped over his shoulders. His cuffed hands fell between his knees as he stared blankly at the floor. Frail and shaken, he looked nothing like the imposing authoritative figure the Doctor had seen the night before in the reception. Blood was splattered on the man’s clothes. Fresh blood.

“This way Doctor,” ordered Frank, indicating the open bedroom door. The Doctor was about to enter the room when a voice stopped him in his tracks.

“You, you,” rasped the ambassador. “Why did you do it? She did nothing to you. She wouldn’t even tell me what frightened her. She kept your secret.”

The Doctor turned to the ambassador and saw the man’s distraught face, skin pale, almost colorless, cheeks sunken, eyes red rimmed and watery. It was the face of a man broken and tormented.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” said the Doctor.

“You killed her… It… it… was terrible… I couldn’t stop it…” The ambassador’s words came out in gasps, the horror in his eyes growing. He looked down at his fettered hands and the blood splattered sleeve. “My body wasn’t my own… my hand kept… it kept… stabbing her… again and again. I couldn’t stop it. But worse was the laughter… in my head… so cruel…” he sobbed. The UNIT medic started preparing a syringe as the ambassador stared up at the Doctor, his neck taut, the tendons showing under the skin, his tears running freely down his face as he continued.

“Then I was laughing… Heaven help me… the last thing she heard was my laughter as she died.” At these words the ambassador broke down, face in his hands, sobbing uncontrollably, shaking so hard the dressing gown fell from his shoulders. The Doctor started to step forward, wanting to comfort the man, assure him he was not responsible for the horrific events that had happened, that he would work to discover who was responsible, make sure they were brought to justice, only to be stopped by Jack.

“Later,” said Jack as the medic administered the shot to the devastated man, “they’ll take care of him for now. Though I don’t agree with their reasons, I do feel you need to see the crime scene. You’ll see things I’m sure MI5 has missed.”

The room smelled of sex and sweat but strongest of all was the wet iron and copper smell of blood that hit the Doctor’s senses as he entered the room. His eyes were drawn to the source of the odor, the blood soaked bed in the center of the room. The Atterian lay there in a pale pink nightgown, her lifeless eyes staring at the ceiling. Her shape shifting talent apparently too slow, requiring too much concentration for her to use it to defend herself. There were numerous wounds in her torso, the most prominent one a slash across her throat, the source of the largest pool of blood on the bed.

He forced himself to look at the scene objectively, try to find clues as to what had happened. Her defensive wounds were minimal. She had most likely died quickly, but still horribly, her flesh torn as blood and life had drained out of her. Her nightgown was relatively undisturbed, not neat as if someone had arranged it after she had died, but covering enough to indicate the assault had not been sexual in nature. Anything along those lines must have occurred before the attack.

He touched her bare arm with the back of his hand. The body was still warm, the blood on the bed was still damp, the murder was recent. “Do you know when this happened?”

Jack looked at his watch. “About an hour ago. We heard it as soon as it started, this room is heavily monitored. We got here as quickly as we could, but too late for her.”

“No, no, no, no,” thought the Doctor. He should have woken up, heard her cries. There was only a single wall between this room and his. Not enough to block out the sound. If he hadn’t been passed out like some burnt out addict he might have been able to stop it, save her life.

The packet of drugs he had been so happy to rely on earlier, now burned in his pocket like the poison it was. He had to get rid of them. Get rid of them now. He carelessly let his hand brush one of the pools of blood. “Oh,” he said holding his hand up to for Frank to see. “Do you mind if I clean this off?”

Frank frowned as he considered the question. “No, go ahead,” he finally responded. “Just make sure you leave the door open.”

The Doctor entered the ensuite and turned on the tap in the sink. He quickly washed off the blood and took out the packet of pills, shielding his action from anyone who might be peering in. A sharp stabbing pain in the front of his head made him gasp and clutch the edge of the sink to steady himself. For an instant he considered taking just one last one to get rid of the pain, then realized that was a very bad sign. Quickly, and with a pang of regret, he dumped the pills into the sink. Relief washed over him as they swirled down the drain. Gone, out of reach, where they belonged. He had thought he could handle them. Now someone was dead. He wondered if there was any end to his stupidity.

He splashed water on his face and toweled it off before turning around. He was startled to find Jack standing there in the doorway. Whether the captain was watching the Doctor or providing extra cover, he couldn’t tell. He thought most likely it was both.

“Are you alright?” asked Jack.

“I’m perfectly fine. Didn’t want to get any blood on my coat, that’s all,” replied the Doctor, more cheerily than he felt as his head began to throb. He pushed past Jack and back into the room.

Reentering the room, he noticed the murder weapon on the floor next to the bed, almost concealed beneath it, a numbered piece of tape marking its location. Squatting down, careful not to disturb it, he examined it carefully. It was a small knife, its blood smeared blade had a serrated edge. Its tip had been broken off, possibly from hitting a bone. “What’s a knife doing in a bedroom? Did he bring it with him?” asked the Doctor.

“No, room service had delivered a wine and cheese tray last night. The knife was part of the tray,” Jack explained.

“You sure? It looks more like a knife one would use on steak or meat than on cheese,” the Doctor observed.

“We are checking up on that, but I doubt it will come to much. Most likely just lazy staff in the kitchen,” said Jack.

The Doctor shook his head as he stood up. “So not premeditated then.”

“No, we don’t think so. You heard him, he thinks something took over his body, made him kill her. I think it was a crime of passion and he’s convinced himself of that so he doesn’t have to live with the guilt.”

“And I believe him,” Frank interrupted. “Time Lords have a history of mind control. She was terrified of the Doctor, not the ambassador. The night clerk saw it. The ambassador had no reason to kill her.”

“And what possible motive would the Doctor have?” countered Jack.

“I don’t know, but the Atterian was scared of something, something about him.”

“Look, for him to connect with someone he has to physically touch them. He didn’t have any physical contact with the ambassador. There is no way he could have done what the ambassador is saying,” Jack reasoned. “The ambassador most likely went into a rage when he found out the Atterian was leaving him. The Doctor is no more guilty than the member of kitchen staff who put the knife on the tray.”

The Doctor decided to examine the room further, letting the conversation fade into the background of his consciousness. Everything was neat and orderly. The violence had been contained to the bed, not even the night stand had been disturbed. He was studying blood splatter on the headboard when he had a sudden flash, like a memory in his mind, only it wasn’t his memory. It was filled with blood and violence. It was a memory of the murder. Had Celeste in desperation tried to reach out to him mentally? Had her feeble telepathic power, unable to rouse him, somehow managed to leave an imprint of the crime in his mind?

No, no, that wasn’t it. With increasing dismay he realized he was wrong. Terribly, horribly wrong. He could see the thick fat drops of blood hit the headboard in the exact pattern of the drying splatter. He turned and left the room, ignoring Frank’s call to stay where he was. The ambassador, tranquil now from the drugs he had been given, looked at him blankly as he entered the room. The Doctor stared at the man’s hand. The one that had held the knife, a gold signet ring was on one of the fingers. A ring he hadn’t noticed before, but now recognized as the one he saw in his mind.

He studied the pattern of the blood on the ambassador’s sleeve. In his mind he saw that splatter occur, felt the knife in his hand as it penetrated her flesh, saw the individual drops hitting the fabric. The signet ring slipping against the handle of the weapon when the blade would go no further.

He was seeing the murder, but not from the victim’s point of view as he had first thought, but from the murderer’s. He felt dizzy and weak, unaware he was leaning back against the door jam for support, as a sound rose in his mind, a maniacal sadist laughter. A laughter he was now sure, was the same as what the ambassador had heard.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Tue May 25, 2010 8:33 pm

still a good installment


(waits for next part)



very good job with this so far!

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Lucy McGough on Wed May 26, 2010 2:33 am

The only problem is, I like this story so I will be sad when it ends Sad

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Wed May 26, 2010 5:49 am

(maybe there'll be another one --- bounce )




(at least we can hope)

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Lucy McGough on Wed May 26, 2010 6:11 am

Yeah, that'd be nice Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Wed May 26, 2010 11:55 am

Indeed - I really liked the one she wrote on the alt doc 10, though that was very sad Sad

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun May 30, 2010 11:33 am

thanks guys it really great to see all the support. There is still quite a bit left to this one, about 10 more chapters I think. There should be another one after that. Don't know what yet but then i didn't know what this one was going to be about until Myfawnny dive bombed the Doctor.

Next chapter is below.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun May 30, 2010 11:34 am

The Doctor shook his head, trying to clear it. He immediately hissed in pain and pressed the heel of his hand to his forehead, his skull felt as if Pallas Athena herself was trying to break out. He winced away from Jack’s hand was on his shoulder.

“Just give me a moment,” the Doctor gasped. He squeezed his eyes shut then opened them wide as he stretched his jaw. Giving his forehead a final rub he straightened up and froze as he realized he was sitting in a chair with no memory of how he had arrived there. Jack was crouched down in front of him, peering at his face worriedly. Frank standing behind him, watching like a bird of prey and the Doctor was the prey.

“You sure you’re okay?” Jack asked “I thought you were going to faint for a second there.”

“What?!” exclaimed the Doctor, who then immediately flinched at the sound of his own voice. “I don’t faint. It’s just…, it’s just my headache flared up. That’s all. It was literally blinding there for a few seconds. It’s under control now.”

“Headaches, he’s claiming headaches now?” Frank asked skeptically.

“I told you he’s been ill,” Jack responded keeping his back to Frank. “He’s had these headaches ever since he lost his TARDIS.” Jack gave the Doctor a reassuring wink as he made the last statement.

“I’m still not buying that. How could he lose his TARDIS? He’s the only one who can pilot it.”

With an exaggerated sigh Jack stood up and turned to face Frank. “That’s not true, others have piloted it, but this time it appears to have wandered off on its own.”

His view no longer blocked, the Doctor could see the ambassador was gone, the medic was gathering up supplies and glancing worriedly in his direction. How much time had he lost here? And what was Jack talking about? The TARDIS had wandered off?

“It just left on its own? You really expect me to believe that? And what would that have to do with these headaches you’re claiming he gets,” Frank asked.

“He’s mentally connected with it somehow. If the TARDIS is acting erratically, it’s bound to affect him.”

“Really, it affects him? Mentally?” Frank asked suggestively, his voice hopeful.

“No, not like that. Quit fishing, that’s not going to work. You’ll have better luck getting your father’s friend off working the ‘it’s not really a murder because the victim wasn’t human’ angle.” Jack glanced at his Vortex Manipulator. “Something’s come up back at the Hub. I think we are finished here. Come on Doctor, let’s go, that problem we talked about earlier looks like it could use your expertise.”

“Not so fast, I’m not finished with him yet,” Frank protested as he put his hand on the Doctor’s shoulder pushing him back in to the chair.

“Yes you are,” said Jack as he removed Frank’s hand. “You’ve got nothing to charge him with, unless sleeping in a hotel room is now a crime.”

The Doctor could feel Frank’s eyes on him as he rose shakily to his feet. “I’m sorry I couldn’t have been more help to you,” he apologized, hesitating briefly, considering his next words, wanting to sound more casual than he felt. “Perhaps if I could talk to the ambassador, I might get a better idea of what is going on here,”

Frank looked slyly at the Doctor. “You could stop by our office here. I’m sure we could arrange…”

“You’re not going to arrange anything,” Jack interrupted. “If you want him to talk to someone it can be at Torchwood. We do have to go now.”

Jack started to leave the room, but the Doctor failed to follow him as something caught his attention outside the window. He tried to catch a glimpse of it but failed. He stared out the window, certain he had seen something. But whatever it was had gone. He felt a bit dazed, as if he had missed something, something important, but he couldn’t figure out what. His headache flared again, the pain sharp and stabbing from the inside out. His vision acquired a yellow scrambled quality as if he was looking through broken tinted glass. He could just barely make out that the medic was starting to leave.

“Any chance you could spare me some aspirin before you go?” the Doctor asked him.

“What, you want aspirin? I thought you couldn’t have any.” The medic looked puzzled, almost frightened by the request.

“That’s an error in his file. It turns out it’s perfectly safe for him,” Jack explained.

“Oh, alright then,” responded the medic as he hurriedly rummaged through his rucksack. “Here, this should do.” He held out a blister pack with two pills. Jack grabbed it from him before the Doctor could and examined it closely.

“It’s good, just aspirin,” he said as he turned it over to the Doctor.

The Doctor bit back a sarcastic comment to the effect that he could read for himself and took the pack. He deftly pushed the pills through the foil and into his hand as the medic protested Jack’s actions. “I wouldn’t give him anything that would hurt him. That’s why I asked about the aspirin in the first place.”

“Sorry, don’t take it personally. I’m just not taking any chances with his welfare right now.”

A glass of water entered the Doctor’s field of vision. The hand holding the glass was attached to Ianto. “Sir, you’ll be wanting this. Sorry its tap water. The bottled still water was used up.”
“Tap is fine, thank you,” the Doctor said as he took the offered glass. He tossed back the pills and quickly swallowed the water, but not quickly enough. The aspirin had already started to dissolve on his tongue. It had been centuries since he’d had it last but it tasted just as bad as he remembered, worse than pears. “Maybe I should get Jack to change the files back,” he thought as the tepid water washed the bitter paste the aspirin had become down his throat.

The medic was watching him carefully. “Are you alright?” he asked.

“I will be soon,” replied the Doctor.

“I’ve never seen anyone take those without dissolving them first.”
“What?”
“Normally when it is in tablet form, you put them in the water and then drink it,” Ianto explained as he took the glass from the Doctor’s hand.

“Ahh, it’s been a while since I’ve taken it. No wonder… Well, no harm done,” said the Doctor.

The medic was peering at him, obviously unhappy with what he saw. “Are you sure you’re alright?” he asked. “You look a bit…”

“He’s fine,” said Jack. “Or he will be fine once we get out of here. Doctor, if you are ready now?” Jack impatiently waved his arm towards the door indicating that the Doctor should precede him.

“Yes, certainly, you said you have a problem that I can help on? What is it?” asked the Doctor as he and Jack left the room.

“It’s the haulage firm again,” Jack explained. “Rhys came to work this morning and again every single solenoid had been burned out.”

“Really? And the police still have no idea what it’s about?” asked the Doctor as he entered the lift. The aspirin was making his headache a thing of the past and now his curiosity piqued. This was the kind of puzzle he enjoyed. Something that had everyone else stymied and more importantly, one he wasn’t a suspect in.

“No, they don’t, but this time whoever’s doing it left a calling card.” Jack stopped talking as they exited the lift. The Doctor was about to ask about the calling card, but the fear he saw in the reception clerk’s eyes stopped him. The man’s expression confused him. He’d done nothing to cause this man to fear him. He turned to talk to him, only to be stopped by Jack’s hand on his elbow.

“No, don’t, Frank will have a field day if he catches you talking to a witness without one of his people present,” he explained as he escorted the Doctor out the door.

The SUV was parked just outside the entrance. The Doctor looked away from it towards the Plass. “I think I’ll walk,” he said as he pulled his coat around him as a shield against the cold damp Welsh air.

Jack shook his head. “No, we’re not going back to the Hub. That was just a ruse to keep Frank occupied and out of our way.” he explained. “Speaking of keeping Frank out of the way. Ianto”

“I’m on it sir.” The Welshman pulled a device out of his pocket, after pressing a few buttons he stared at the screen. “Eight sir, five on the Doctor, two on you and one on myself.”

“Eight?” Jack chuckled. “That’s what I counted, but I couldn’t believe it. Obviously government cutbacks haven’t reached Frank yet.”

“Shall we give him some asset loses to report?” Ianto suggested.

“About half, use the rest to keep him occupied.”
Ianto smiled. “Yes sir, Doctor if you don’t mind?”
“No, not at all,” the Doctor answered. He was confused and worried he had detected two tracking devices being put on him, but five? How could he have missed that? Maybe he really did need a keeper if he was slipping that much.

Ianto proceeded to pick tiny pieces of metal, barely larger than a grain of sand, off the Doctor, two on his coat, one on his tie, one in his hair and the last one on the hem of his trousers. The Doctor had no idea how the last two had been placed. Jack handed two more to Ianto, who smiled as he took the eighth device off his own sleeve and left towards the entrance of the hotel.

“You should get in the car,” Jack told the Doctor. “We are going to the Harwood’s. Gwen’s there waiting for us.”

“What about Ianto?”

“He won’t be long, see there he is now.”

Ianto returned grinning like a Cheshire Cat. “Found a good place did you?” Jack asked.

“Yes sir, a Scottish couple was checking out talking about returning home today. They have four hitchhikers now. The rest met an unfortunate end.” Ianto held out his hand revealing the blackened devices.

“Good work, Now if there are no other problems let’s get going.” said Jack.

“Yes sir,” said Ianto as he held open the passenger door for the Doctor.

The Doctor frowned as he settled into the passenger seat. He was disappointed that he wouldn’t be getting a chance to check on the TARDIS. Jack seemed to understand his concern. “Don’t worry, she’s still there and as cranky as ever. People were practically crab walking to get into the Millennium Centre last night she was pushing at them so hard. Frank wanted to know where the TARDIS was, he had to have driven right by the Plass to get here, so I figured if he couldn’t see her might as well let him think she had flown the coop.”

“Good, once she finishes taking on fuel she should be fine,” said the Doctor. Jack frowned as he put the car in gear but said nothing.

Studying the Plass as they passed it, the Doctor could see what Jack had been talking about. It was deserted. People passing through were walking round the very edges of it. Even he could barely make out the TARDIS. She was safe at least, he would have to be satisfied with that for now. He turned his attention to Jack and trying to sound more casual than he felt asked, “Any chance you could arrange an interview with the ambassador? I wouldn’t mind going to MI5 if that’s what it takes.”

“No, that’s not a good idea. Frank is far too interested in getting you in there and I doubt it’s for your benefit.” He looked over at the Doctor and shook his head. “Is it really that important you talk to him?”

“It might be. There is something odd going on and I think he could be the key.”

“Don’t tell me you believe that whole he was ‘possessed’ when he did it story. You’re not falling for that are you?”

“Actually I think he was. I saw him with her last night, he was very protective of her and she trusted him. She was telepathic enough to know if he would harm her. Something else had to have happened and I need to talk to him to find out what it is.”

While Jack took his time answering, the Doctor considered the situation. A possession would explain the flashes of memory he’d experienced. A being able to do that could have broadcast into his own mind, he had been just a thin wall away. It was the crime scene that had triggered the memories, that’s all.

“You know he thinks you were the one who possessed him don’t you?”

“All the more reason for me to talk to him. If I can convince him it wasn’t me then we can work on finding the real killer. The Atterian may not have even been the real target. The murder could just be a means to discredit the ambassador. He is a high ranking official after all. Maybe someone or something wants him out of the way.”

Jack sighed. “You honestly think that’s a possibility?”

The Doctor shrugged. “It’s just a theory, one of many. I need more information. But I don’t believe he is a murderer.”

“Alright, I’ll try to see if we can get the ambassador to Torchwood, but don’t count on it. It’s going to take pulling a few strings and calling in a few favors to accomplish.”

“Sir,” said Ianto from the back seat, “there is that MP, the one we helped get out of a compromising situation last month. He might be willing to provide some pressure in the right places.”

Jack bit his lower lip and drew in air with a hiss. “That might work. In fact if we sell it right, he might not even consider it doing a favor, but rather helping himself. He did claim it was a case of ‘aliens made him do it’. The ambassador is claiming the same thing. Think you can convince him it’s a follow up to his own case?”

“That shouldn’t be a problem. He had expressed concern that it might happen to him again. Finding the perpetrator should ease his mind,” Ianto replied with an odd mocking tone to his voice.

“You’ve had something like this happen before?” the Doctor asked his intrigued.

Jacked snorted a short laugh. “No, not really. He was experimenting with different life forms. Nothing I would fault him for, but this is such a prudish time, it could impact his position. When a tabloid photographer took pictures he was frantic. Fortunately we were tracking the pair of aliens he was with. They had been playing with the locals too much and we were about to tell them it was time to move on. We would have confiscated the camera and given the photographer retcon as part of our normal procedure anyway, but the MP didn’t know that. So we let him think we were doing him a big favor. Never hurts to have a grateful MP on your side.”

“I see. You often use retcon?”

“Yeah, why not? It saves on having to invent explanations and we have the dosage down to a fine art. We can erase a person’s memory down to the minute. They wake up fine with no side effects.”

“That you know of.”

“Why, you know of a reason why we shouldn’t?” Jack challenged.

“No, none that come to mind, but I do think you should be more careful with people’s memories. You might just erase something important someday.”

“We are careful, Torchwood has been using it for decades. We haven’t had any problems yet.”

The Doctor shook his head. No matter who was in charge, some things about Torchwood didn’t change. A reckless disregard for safety seemed to be one of them. He was about to point that out when Jack pulled up to the gate at Harwood’s. Jack flashed his ID and the guard waved them through.

Jack parked the car just inside the gate. As the Doctor exited the vehicle he saw Gwen standing next to a tall man, with brown hair and a friendly, though concerned face. He approached the man with long strides and smiled as he held out his hand. “Hello, you must be Rhys, I understand you have a bit of a problem here. I’m the Doctor by the way.”

Rhys took the offered hand. “Gwen here thought you could help. I’m not sure it’s aliens or anything like that, but she said you were clever.”

The Doctor grinned even wider at the compliment. “Well, I am, if I do say so myself. I think you are right though. I doubt it’s aliens who are sabotaging your trucks. It’s not as if you are hauling anything of alien origin.”

Rhys turned pale at the comment and glanced at Gwen, who chewed her lower lip. The Doctor looked from one to the other his thoughts going from confused to horrified. “You didn’t?!” he exclaimed.

“It wasn’t like… We didn’t… It’s not as if…” Rhys stammered to a halt in the face of the Doctor’s rising anger.

Jack stepped forward and tried to save the situation. “The haulage firm had nothing to do with it,” he explained as he clapped his hand on Rhys’ shoulder and continued. “In fact, once Rhys here figured out what the problem was, he risked his life trying to free the alien they were harvesting.”

“It was alive when they…?” the Doctor asked, starting to feel sick. “They didn’t even kill it first? Why would they do such a thing?

“Greed, just plain, simple, greed,” Jack told him. “They found they could carve chunks out of it and it would continue to live and grow. They didn’t even realize it was sentient. To them it was just a big hunk of live meat they could harvest and sell.”

The Doctor shook his head and closed his eyes, trying to stay calm reminding himself that the humans with him weren’t the ones who committed that horrendous crime. “When you said you tried to free it I gather that means it’s dead now?”

Jack nodded. “Yes, it was too far gone, driven mad by pain. We had to euthanize it. I couldn’t even tell you what it was. A poor way to welcome a life form to this planet, I know,” he said sadly.

“You did what you could I guess,” said the Doctor with a sigh. He put the thoughts of the unknown alien behind him and focused on Rhys and his problem. “So, two days in a row you have lost all your solenoids? The guards last night saw nothing?”

“No, no they didn’t,” replied Rhys his relief that subject had been changed was obvious. “One person thought he heard a humming sound but nothing was there when he tried to find the source. They did leave a mark on one of the fences though. It’s not a typical gang mark though. It looks all scientific.”

“Now that’s interesting. Can you show it to me?”

“Gladly, it’s right through here. Maybe you can figure it out. It just has everyone here scratching their head.”

The Doctor followed Rhys between the polished white trucks with yellow and red signs on them indicating they belonged to Harwood's Haulage. They on the outside they all appeared to be in top condition, a contrast to the condition of the car park itself. The tarmac was old, stained with bits of gravel that had freed themselves from the surface. He could feel them through the soles of his trainers as he walked. He was looking down, avoiding a pothole when Rhys spoke up.

The Doctor looked up to see a large circular sign with several crescents cut out of it and lines asymmetrically running through it: Gallifreyan. What it said caused his jaw to drop and the blood to leave his face. He felt a presence behind him, then a humming, followed immediately by the crack of Jack’s Webley handgun firing, the bullets making a ringing sound as they ricocheted off a metal surface.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:25 am

The Doctor whipped around, his coat almost entangling his legs as he did so, and saw a small black sphere floating about two meters above the ground. There was a spark as a sixth bullet glanced off the hard outer shell of the Toclafane. Jack quickly reloaded.

“No, no, Jack, put your gun down,” demanded the Doctor as he put out his hand towards the captain, palm up and fingers spread, reinforcing his order to stop.

“What! Are you kidding?” asked Jack, who shifted his stance as he divided his attention between the Doctor and the Toclafane, training his weapon on the latter. “Have you forgotten what they can do? What they did do?”

“No, I haven’t. How could I? But, this one may be different. Just like all humans don’t carve up alien visitors while they are alive, maybe all Toclafane aren’t violent. You wouldn’t want me to judge you by that, just because you are the same species, would you? It hasn’t attacked yet. Let’s give it a chance, see what it does before you try to destroy it.”

“Give a Toclafane a chance? Are you insane?”

“No, I’m not. Trust me. I don’t think this one means any harm.”

Jack shook his head as he stepped away from the Doctor, giving himself a clearer shot and freeing himself from any further Time Lord interference. The Doctor glanced at him and hoped the captain would hold his fire and not scare the Toclafane off. He took a quick look at Rhys and Gwen. Gwen had her firearm out, taking her cue from Jack, Rhys towering behind her, looking protective, but also upset and unsure as to how to proceed. Ianto, stood on the other side of Rhys, his gun also out.

For its part the Toclafane hung in the air bobbing quietly for a few moments as if trying to decide something, then suddenly it deployed its spikes. There was a sharp intake of air from Jack and the click of the gun’s hammer being pulled back. “No, Jack!” shouted the Doctor, as the sound of the shot was followed by the ring of a bullet hitting the sphere’s hull. He heard the scrape of a shoe on the tarmac and looked to see Gwen side-stepping in a flanking maneuver, her aim steady.

“All of you, stand down! There’s no need for this!” the Time Lord ordered, to no avail.

“I’ll stand down when it does,” declared Jack never taking his focus off the Toclafane.

The situation was escalating and the only thing the Doctor could think of to defuse it was to put himself between the Toclafane and Jack. He stepped towards the sphere only to be stopped in his tracks by what the Toclafane did next.

One by one the spikes dropped from the sphere, chiming musically as they hit the tarmac. The Doctor suppressed a laugh at Jack’s puzzled expression, pleased his guess had apparently been correct. He then winced as the sphere emitted an earsplitting screech. Suddenly small pieces of glass, the lenses of the energy weapons the Toclafane carried, erupted from the sphere and joined the spikes on the tarmac.

“What? What’s it doing?” Jack asked, obviously confused as he kept his aim on the sphere.

“You said you would stand down when it did. I think it just laid down its arms and surrendered. That symbol on the fence was a very primitive form of Gallifreyan. It said ‘surrender Toclafane’. It’s not very precise, I wasn’t sure if it was an order for us to surrender or if the Toclafane would be surrendering. Now we know,” explained the Doctor with a cheeky grin.

“The Doctor is wise,” said the harsh metallic voice of the Toclafane. “I wait for the Doctor.”

“You didn’t wait very patiently, did you? You’ve been following me since I landed, haven’t you,” accused the Doctor, relieved he had found the answer to what had been dogging him, appearing only at the edge of his vision. That relief died with the Toclafane’s answer.

“No, I stay here. I felt your ship. I make you come here. It’s safe, no one remembers.”

“I remember,” growled Jack, steadying his aim, keeping the Toclafane in his sights.

The Doctor sighed. “Jack, this one isn’t one of those. It can’t be. Think about it.”

“What do you mean it can’t be? How can you tell, one looks just like another,” Jack protested.

“If it had killed anyone, it would have been part of the paradox and have disappeared when the paradox was destroyed,” the Doctor explained patiently. “This one had to have been here before the paradox occurred and not killed anyone.”

“You have a point,” said Jack as he reluctantly lowered his gun, but didn’t holster it.

“Is it this that’s been breaking my lorries?” Rhys asked. “What is it? It’s like one of them things Harold Saxon used to kill that president, but they said they were just fake. Some bit of hocus pocus Saxon cooked up and pretended were aliens.”

“Oh, they are real alright,” the Doctor assured him. “Or rather they were. This is probably the last one in existence.”

“And it had to pick on my firm? Why couldn’t it go after Davis’ lorries down the road?”

“The woman,” answered the Toclafane.

“Gwen? What’s Gwen got to do with it?”

“She likes you. She would help you. She would get the captain and he would bring the Doctor,” the Toclafane explained.

“So you use my lorries to ring him up?” yelled Rhys gesturing at the Doctor. “You couldn’t think of another way to get his attention?”

“Rhys, settle down now,” Gwen said, trying to reassure him. “It’s an alien, it’s not going to think like we do. I don’t think it knows what it did.”

“Well someone should tell it!”

“We will. It won’t happen again. Jack’ll take care of it.”

“Alright, he’d better. I have enough problems keeping people on in this economy without this thing ruining the business.” said Rhys.

“If you can keep quiet now Rhys, I have some questions I would like to ask it,” said Jack. He then addressed the Toclafane, who was now hovering close to the ground in what the Doctor suspected was the closest it could approximate to a submissive stance. “How did you know the Doctor and I would be together? That I would bring him here?” the captain asked.

“I was there. On the ship. I saw you try to help the Doctor. The Master said you made him sick and the Doctor was sick for being friends with you. ”

“You were there and you did nothing to help? You just went along with it?” accused Jack, his growing anger apparent.

“I was scared. Like the humans who went along with him. But I did not hurt anyone or kill anyone.”

“How did you manage that? Didn’t any of your friends notice?” asked Jack.

“I always missed. They did not care, more for them. They enjoyed it. The spikes, I never used them. I would just hesitate and the rest would do it. They would laugh because there was never anything left for me, but it’s what I wanted.”

“That still makes you a party to it,” said Jack, again raising his gun.

The Doctor stepped over to Jack and put his hand on his arm making him lower his weapon. “Jack,” he said quietly. “It did no more than all the humans who gunned people down at the Master’s orders, less in fact. You going to round up all of them and execute them?”

“That was different. They had no choice. He would have killed them if they didn’t obey. They were forced to. If he hadn’t had the Toclafane on his side they would have fought him and won.”

“It is the same. The risks were the same for it as they were for the humans,” the Doctor insisted.

“What, he would kill one of them? Wouldn’t the rest of them have rebelled then?” argued Jack.

“No,” answered the Toclafane. “They thought I was one of them. If they knew I was different. They would tell him. He would fix me. Make me like them.”

“Fix you? How would he fix you?” asked the Doctor.

“I was different. I wasn’t part of the network. Not the real network. If he knew, he would make me part of it.”

“The archangel network?”

“No, the bigger network. The network that the archangel network was a part of. He created it when he made us. He tied us to his mind with it.”

“What, he made you? I thought…” The Doctor was interrupted by the sound of sirens getting closer.

“Okay, boys and girls,” Jack said as he took control of the situation. “We need to move this out of the open. Rhys, can we use your office?”

“Yes, but Jen’s in there. And what‘s all this about Toclafane killing people and the Master? How come I never heard of it? You Retcon the whole planet or something?”

“It was a rather unpleasant period of Earth’s history, which fortunately was erased and not by Retcon,” Jack explained. “Now, go tell Jen to have an early lunch. Ianto can handle your phones. Gwen, explain things to your former co-workers.” He looked over at the Doctor. “Think you can convince your new friend to come with us?”

“I will meet you there,” the Toclafane answered and disappeared. Gwen was already at the gate talking to the local police while Rhys entered the small building that served as the haulage firm's office.

Jack looked at the Doctor as he holstered his gun. “So, you really think you can trust it?”

The Doctor bent down and picked up the spikes and lenses off the pavement. He held up one lens, rolling it between the tips of his thumb and index finger, squinting as he examined it carefully in the sunlight, while he absentmindedly put the rest of the Toclafane’s offering in his coat pocket. “Yes, I think so,” he commented as he continued to peer at the lens. “I can’t figure out how it could still be here otherwise. Though it saying the Master created it does give me some cause for concern.”

“Concern?” asked Jack raising an eyebrow suggestively. “We just sent that thing into the office with Rhys, and you have concerns?”

The Doctor sighed as he put his hand down and brought his attention to Jack. “Yes, concerns. I had thought the humans had transformed themselves to become Toclafane. But if the Master did it, they might not all be descended from humans. Some of them may have started out as life forms on other planets.”

“The paradox collapsing wouldn’t affect them then, would it?” said Jack.

“No, it wouldn’t. Any that were here before the paradox could have stayed even if they killed thousands of humans.” The Doctor tossed the lens in to the air and caught it. “But this is a high energy lens. It can focus more power than any material earth technology can produce at this time. I can’t imagine the Toclafane giving it up if it wasn’t sincere. It’s basically toothless now. Harmless unless it butts someone in the head.” He put the lens in his pocket and glanced at the haulage firm’s office. A heavy set woman was heading down the stairs.

“It looks like the coast is clear,” the Doctor observed. “Shall we go see what it wants?”

“What? You don’t know?”

“No, haven’t a clue,” replied the Doctor with a shake of his head as he started towards the office stairs. “It’s a puzzle. Why here? Why now? And most importantly, why me?”

“Just don’t let your curiosity get the better of you,” warned Jack. “You’re not exactly on your game right now.”

The Doctor stopped at the top of the stairs and turned to glare at Jack. “My game is just fine I’ll have you know. A few headaches are hardly enough to put me ‘off’ it. Now try not to kill our guest before he tells us his purpose in being here.”

Before Jack could respond the Doctor turned his back on him and entered the office, cutting off any further discussion.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:21 am

Great installments!!


*sits patiently waiting for more*

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Lucy McGough on Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:20 am

Cool, an update Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:49 pm

Applauds Smile

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:30 pm

konstantin wrote:Great installments!!
*sits patiently waiting for more*
Thank you, More is coming

Lucy McGough wrote:Cool, an update Smile

And another one below Smile


Jennyjenkins wrote:Applauds Smile

Thank you

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:32 pm

As he entered the trailer the Doctor realized yet another conflict was in full swing. The Toclafane was bobbing around nervously, while Ianto tried to appease a red-faced Rhys.

“Really sir, if you just calm down I’m sure Captain Harkness can take care of everything for you.”

“How? Give me some Retcon? That’s not going to take care of two days of lost revenue and three canceled contracts because of this thing here.” Rhys emphasized his point by using the financial folder he was holding to take a swipe at the black sphere. The Toclafane dodged the attack and fled, seeking refuge behind the bemused Doctor.

“What’s going on here?” bellowed Jack, instantly getting their attention while the Doctor decided to remove himself from the conflict and help himself to some tea.

“Jen told me three customers, THREE, including our biggest client, have called and canceled their contracts because we couldn’t make deliveries again. How am I supposed to make up for that?” Rhys complained.

“Look, just send Ianto the bills and he’ll make sure you get reimbursed for the two days and the repairs,” offered Jack.

Rhys, however, was only slightly mollified. “That will help, but what about the future losses? That contract with Johnson is twenty percent of our business. We’re going to have to make some people redundant because of this. What do I tell them? Oh, sorry, two bloody aliens wanted to have a chat and neither one had a mobile?”

At the last, the Doctor looked up from his tea making. Rhys knew he was an alien? How did that happen? thought the Doctor. He was going to have to talk to Jack about that. It wasn’t any big secret, but he didn’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing.

“You won’t have to tell them anything,” assured Jack. “Is it Rubin Johnson you have that contract with?”

“Yes? What does that have to do with anything?” asked Rhys.

“I know him, or rather knew him. I’ll square it with him. Give Ianto the names of the other two and we’ll see if we can persuade them to reconsider.”

“What are going to do?” Rhys asked suspiciously as he jotted the names down on a piece of paper and handed it to Ianto.

Jack laughed. “Trust me and don’t even mention the cancellations to them. Just act like it never happened and keep to your schedule.”

“How am I supposed to do that when my entire fleet is disabled? We bought up practically every solenoid in town yesterday. I won’t be able to get any more here till tomorrow.”

Ianto looked up from his mobile. “I’ve located a source. Your solenoids should be here within an hour, sir.”

“There, problem solved,” said Jack. He put his hand on Rhys’ shoulder and guided him towards the door. “Now, why don’t you treat Gwen to a nice lunch? When you get back your parts will be here.”

Rhys looked back over his shoulder at the office. “But I shouldn’t leave. What if the boss calls?”

“Ianto will handle it, don’t worry,” said Jack as he gave Rhys a gentle shove out the door and closed it.

“Well, that was nicely done,” observed the Doctor, tea in hand as he half sat on a table, the Toclafane still hiding behind him.

“I thought some privacy was in order. Plus I don’t like putting civilians in harm’s way.”

“Since when?”

“Since one of my team members married one. Shall we get on with it?”

“Oh, right,” the Doctor twisted around and addressed the Toclafane. “You can quit hiding now. He’s gone.”

The black sphere bobbed out from behind the Doctor. Jack took his gun out, keeping it at his side, ready if needed.

“Jack, put that away,” admonished the Doctor with an exasperated sigh. “Between you shooting at it and Rhys trying to hit it, it’s had more than enough provocation if its intent was to harm anyone. I’m amazed it’s still here.”

The Doctor furrowed his brow at the Toclafane as the captain reluctantly holstered his weapon. “Why are you still here?” he asked the Toclafane. “You could have just popped out till everything calmed down.”

“Didn’t want to lose you. Need you.”

“Yes, I gathered that, but for what?”

“To undo what he did. To change me back.”

“What he did? You said he made you. Are you human?”

“I was. We all were. What he made us isn’t. He said we would be better. We could survive like another species had survived. Merge with machines. ”

“Daleks,” said the Doctor, his voice, flat, toneless. “He made you in the Daleks’ image.”

“Yes, that’s what he said. Like Daleks, only smaller, faster, better. Said we had to be changed so he could save us. Said that was why he called us all to Utopia, so he could get us all in one place and help us. He promised that if we let him change us, he would save us. Take us to where there the universe still lived. We agreed. We would have agreed to anything. We were all so scared, only he offered a plan, some hope. He didn’t tell us of the pain.”

“The pain from being changed?” asked the Doctor. He bit his lip as he remembered how painful being rapidly aged had been. The Master must have done something similar to the remaining humans. He remembered being shown one inside of the sphere that served as its home, its life support. Shrunken and shriveled as he had been, only worse.

“No, yes, it’s hard to know how to say. So long I had to talk like them to hide.”

“It’s alright, just take your time,” encouraged the Doctor. “Being transformed did hurt, right?”

“Yes, but that was just the start. He cut away at each of us. Removing what he said we didn’t need. We were blind, helpless, but we could feel it all, every cut that he made.”

“He made?” interrupted Jack. “You don’t expect us to believe the Master performed surgery on every Toclafane.”

“No, he didn’t, not directly. Once he would put someone in a sphere he had them help create others. His mind was always in ours. Being in here hurts, it always hurts. He told us to deal with the pain by hurting others like he did. They did it. They found it worked. Making others feel pain made them forget their own pain and soon they looked forward to hurting and killing. It made him happy when they did. With him in their minds they became happy when they did it.”

“And you didn’t enjoy hurting and killing like the rest of them? What made you special?” Jack asked accusingly. The Doctor frowned at him, letting his disapproval show, but it was the Toclafane that answered.

“I don’t know. His mind felt like a pressure to me, the insane rhythm he hears battering my mind. Making me want to be like the others, just give in. I didn’t want to, it felt like I was losing myself. Then the connection broke. I think a part of my sphere failed. I could hear the others, his spoken orders, but my mind was free. No beating rhythm, no thoughts, just words.”

“And the pain?” inquired the Doctor. “Did that go then?”

“No, it’s still here. I want you to take it away.”

“Why me?”

“You know things. The same things he did. You can help. Can’t you?”

“I don’t know. I’ll need to examine you. Is that alright?”

“Yes.” The Toclafane settled on the table and the sphere opened up revealing its shriveled occupant. The Doctor was shocked. This one was in much worse shape than the one the Master had shown him. Its eyes were totally clouded with cataracts, its skull was sunken in spots. It smelled of rot and death. He was amazed it was still alive. He put on his glasses and reached in his pocket for his sonic screwdriver only to remember it wasn’t there.

“Captain?” he asked with a displeased raise of his eyebrow.

“Sure, here it is,” said Jack, placing the device in the Doctor’s outstretched hand.

The Doctor started to examine the Toclafane. The humming of the sonic, the only sound in the room as he started to carefully trace all the sphere’s connections to the being within the sphere and then the being itself. It was telling the truth, The Toclafane were obviously the creation of the Master. The sphere was almost entirely Time Lord technology, no sign of the gluten protein strands Professor Yana had used. The Master had apparently made extensive use of the TARDIS’ stores and manufacturing capabilities.

He shook his head at the perversion those resources had been used for. The pain the Toclafane felt must be incredible. It was totally dependent on the sphere for life support. It still had a heart and lungs, small, almost vestigial, still functioning, but totally inadequate to do the job of supplying oxygen to the brain or anywhere else. Calcium had been leeched from its bones leaving its skull soft and fragile. The other major organs were gone, their duties taken over by the sphere and every connection caused pain. Not just from carelessness, but with design of deliberate malice, as if the primary purpose had been torture and the life support functions had been an afterthought.

The circuitry of the sphere was damaged in several places. Some of those failures accounted for the diminished physical condition. The circuits for the semi telepathic link both he and the Master had used had been destroyed, along with a component that would activate the pleasure areas of the brain, a means for the Master to reward them for obedience, no doubt. Cause pain and be rewarded with pleasure. That would fit the Master's way of thinking. The Doctor took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he stared up at the ceiling. He had all the information he needed.

“What is it?” Jack asked.

“He can’t fix me,” stated the Toclafane.

“No, I’m sorry, I can’t, he removed too much,” replied the Doctor. “You are too dependent on the machinery and even with it…” He hesitated, not wanting to be the bearer of even more bad news.

“I don’t have long to live,” stated the Toclafane.

“You already knew that?”

“Yes, and I didn’t think you could fix me.”

“Then why go through all this to get my attention if you knew there was nothing I could do?”

“Hoped I was wrong. Now I know. There is something you can do. Take me out. Please.”

“I can’t, you’ll die,” said the Doctor, hoping he was wrong about what the Toclafane wanted. He wasn’t.

“I know. I want to die free of this. You can take me out.”

The Doctor shook his head. “No, I won’t kill you.”

“I’ll kill it,” said Jack. Though his words were dire, there was compassion in his voice.

“Jack, no!” protested the Doctor. “Don’t you realize what this is? The last human. The ones that were here when the paradox pulled them back had only one, maybe two months before the universe ended. This is literally the last of the line. Its life shouldn’t be ended early.”

“This isn’t life. I’m being forced to continue past when I should be dead. Humans don’t live as a part of a machine, a prisoner of it. I want to die as I was born. A human. I’m not asking you to kill me. I’m asking you to let me die.”

The Doctor stared at the creature. It was right, it wasn’t human, not as it was. Far more metal than flesh. In constant pain from the very connections that kept it alive. No comfort, only cold metal against its skin. Would he be killing it if he removed it from the sphere or would he be letting it be human again before it died?

He looked over at Jack who was watching him carefully. “Doctor, humans have a right to say no more. To end their own treatment, even if it will result in their death. Isn’t this the same thing? I’ll do it if you won’t, but I don’t have your skill and I doubt it would still be alive by the time I freed it.”

The Doctor bit his lower lip as he considered what to do. He realized he had already made up his mind when he found himself again scanning the sphere and its connections to the human inside. He could do it. If he was very careful but quick, once free, the human would live for a few minutes.

“Do you still have your natural hearing?” the Doctor asked.

“Yes.”

The Doctor looked around at the office. This is not where he would want to spend his last minutes. The last human deserved something better. “Jack, is there a private sea cliff or beach we can use?”

“Ianto, see what you can find. Somewhere where the sun might actually be out,” Jack called out to his aide. He then spoke quietly to the Doctor. “So, you are going to help it after all?”

“Yes, I’ll help it,” the Doctor said reluctantly. He then asked the Toclafane, “What is your name by the way? It’s not really proper we keep calling you it.”

“None, it’s gone, forgotten. Even if I remembered it, it would mean nothing. ‘It’ is fine.”

The Doctor was about to argue the point, insist that it had to have a name, then stopped himself. No, ‘it’ was somehow fitting. The last representative of the human race shouldn’t have a name. Nothing to imply that any one branch, race or even sex had survived longer than another. This way, all of humanity was represented at the end.

“Alright, let’s get this done before I start thinking clearly and change my mind,” the Doctor sighed as he rubbed his head, wishing he could give this chore to someone else.

“You should do it,” Jack told him. “You’ve been shepherding humans for so long, it’s only fitting that you help ease the death of the last one.”

“Do we have a location yet?” asked the Doctor, bushing off Jack’s reassurances.

“Yes sir, about thirty kilometers up the coast. It ought to be deserted and there is minimal cloud cover at this time,” responded Ianto.

“Thank you, can you show our friend?”

“It’s up on the screen if it wants to come over here.”

The Toclafane closed up its sphere and hovered over to Ianto at the computer. “I know where that is. I meet you there,” it said, then disappeared.

Jack held out his hand when the Doctor started to put the sonic screwdriver back in his pocket. “You’re kidding?” the Doctor protested.

“Unfortunately not,” came the captain’s reply. “If we run into someone from MI5 I have to be able to produce it. That hasn’t changed.”

“Sir, our agreement with MI5 also requires that he either have a two person escort or he be in handcuffs,” Ianto reminded him. “If you leave now…”

“We are not putting him in handcuffs,” insisted Jack. “Page Gwen, tell her to get someone back here to cover the phones. Have you squared things away with customers yet?”

“Yes, I did sir. They really didn’t want to change firms. They just wanted to express their displeasure. Apparently it got a bit out of hand when they talked to Jen. It didn’t take much to convince them to stay. A few promised bottles of scotch is all. Rubin says hello by the way.”

“I knew he would see reason. He still drinking that single malt?”

“Yes sir, the others prefer blended,” Ianto replied with a wrinkle of his nose.

“No accounting for taste. Throw a couple of expensive cigars in for good measure, will you?”

“Already done sir.”

The Doctor sat on the table lost in his thoughts as Jack and Ianto worked out the administrative details of setting everything right for the haulage firm. Even for him it had been a full day and it wasn’t even half over yet. Accused of murder and being asked to… There was something at the edge of his vision again. It took all of his control to not turn his head towards it. Instead, he decided to ignore it, see if he could draw it out. He looked at Jack and Ianto. They were deep in conversation and didn’t appear to notice anything. The presence started encroaching on his vision but still just at the edge, annoyingly not enough for him to figure out what it was.

He waited patiently to see if it would reveal itself, hoping maybe he could get it to drop its guard. A knock at the door and it was gone. He wanted to scream in frustration but kept silent, not wanting to alert anyone that anything had happened.

Jack opened the door to reveal a breathless Jen standing on the stairs. “I got over here as soon as Rhys called. Is everything okay?”

“Yes, it’s fine. We’ve just had something come up and need to leave,” explained Jack. “The lorry parts should be here any second and the customers that dropped you have changed their minds. So everything is great, right?”

Jen stood there blinking owlishly. “Yes, I guess so. But, what if it happens again?”

“It won’t, it won’t. Our outside consultant here made sure of that. Isn’t that right Doctor?”

“Yes, it’s all taken care of. Nothing to worry about,” responded the Doctor from his perch on the table.

“See, like he said, nothing to worry about,” assured Jack as he propelled Jen to her seat. “We have to go now. Say hi to Rhys for us.” He then nodded to Ianto and the Doctor. “Come on, let’s get going, we don’t want to be late.”

The Doctor resented the order but finding no real cause to protest, he pushed himself off the table and preceded Jack out the door. He set a good pace, determined to show Jack that no matter what show they had to put on for MI5, he, the Doctor, was the one who was in charge.

As they passed by the Gallifreyan symbol etched in the fence he stopped and put his hand on it, lightly tracing the lines with his fingers. A reminder of home. It was amazing the Toclafane had known how to write it. Perhaps the brief time it had been connected with the Master’s mind had given it the ability, primitive though it was.

“Do you want us to have that removed?” asked Jack.

“What?” thought the Doctor. “I don’t want destroyed, what will most likely be the last time someone tried to communicate with me in my native language.”

He gave the writing a final brush of his finger. “No, no. Just leave it,” replied the Doctor. “Give people something to ponder over.” The interruption over, he continued to walk towards the SUV at a much slower pace than before, his goal of showing Jack who was boss by running him off his feet, forgotten.

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