Enemy Unseen

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:53 am

*sits on the edge of her seat, waiting for the next chapter Smile *
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:28 pm

Jennyjenkins wrote:*sits on the edge of her seat, waiting for the next chapter Smile *

Thank you. The next chapter is below.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:29 pm

The Doctor sat uncomfortably in the passenger seat of the SUV, his elbow propped against the lower edge of the door window, cheek resting against his fist. His usual talent of being able to inject light hearted banter into any situation failed him as every word he thought of turned to dust in his mouth. Even though he wasn’t wearing handcuffs, he still felt like a prisoner. A prisoner on the way to his own execution, such was his dread of the task ahead of him.

He studied the scenery as it went, by, trying not to think about what he was going to do. A chain link fence surrounded a factory, its car park in disrepair, weeds growing up through cracks in the pavement, obviously abandoned. A pasture over grown and empty, the gate near the road, off its hinges and lying broken on the ground. Boards where the windows should have been, another shop closed up because of the failing economy. But there was also new construction, foundations being laid, workers busy operating heavy equipment . They passed a well maintained farm, green pastures and fat sheep, tended by a shepherd and his black and white border collie. Signs of hope, recovery. That’s the way it was with humans, ever changing, as one thing fails and disappears, another inevitably takes its place. They always bounce back somehow. That’s why they survived to the end of the universe when so many other races had failed.

The SUV lurched and bounced, breaking him out of his reverie, as Jack turned off onto a dirt track. Road was too grand a word for what they were driving down now. There was a steady thwack, thwack, thwack as grass that had grown up in between the twin ruts of the trail hit the front of the vehicle. The sound would have been irritating if it hadn’t signaled a guarantee of privacy when they reached their destination. Soon Jack stopped the SUV about five meters from the cliff edge. “Will this do?” he asked the Doctor.

The Doctor stepped out of the vehicle and surveyed the area. There was the fresh sweet smell of grass mixed with the fishy, tangy smell of the sea below. He walked over to the cliff edge, the wet grass soaking his trainers and trouser cuffs. A quick glance over the edge let him know the tide was about to start going out. He smiled softly, excellent timing. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes. The sun was warm on his face. A gentle breeze blew through his hair and made a rustling sound in the long grass. A feast for the senses. The last human would get a good sample of its species’ planet of origin before it died.

The sound of car doors closing jarred against the natural back drop of the site as Jack and Ianto both exited the vehicle. The Doctor looked over at them as they approached. “Well?” Jack asked. “Is this what you had in mind.”

“Yes, it should do just fine,” replied the Doctor. He turned his back on them, walked over to a large boulder and sat down, pulling his coat around him, not against the mild wind, but against what he was about to do. He scanned the sky, no sign of the Toclafane. “Maybe it’s changed its mind,” he thought hopefully.

Jack and Ianto were standing a good distance away from him, talking quietly amongst themselves. He appreciated them giving him some space, a bit of privacy. He stared out over the horizon as he mentally ran through the steps needed to remove the Toclafane. He was going to have to be quick and sure in his movements if it was to have any time alive, free from the sphere. But if he did it correctly it should be almost free of pain as it died, a vast improvement on what it had felt in life. At least he hoped it would be.

“If you euthanized the last of a species, at a time when the planet you were on was teaming with that species, were you still committing genocide?” he wondered. Not a paradox but a dilemma only made possible only by time travel.

He was startled by a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, you’re still alright with this aren’t you?” Jack asked. “I could try to do it if you want.”

“No, a Time Lord caused this, a Time Lord should end it. It’s my responsibility,” responded the Doctor. “I was just wondering if it is having second thoughts. I was expecting it to be waiting for us.”

“I doubt it would have changed its mind. I know a lot about death,” said Jack with a wry smile. “I would want to die free of that thing if it was me. More likely it got lost. Who knows if it can read a map or not.”

As if on cue the Toclafane rose over the edge of the cliff. The Doctor had a sinking feeling in his chest. He had thought maybe he was going to get a reprieve or at least a delay to another day. He ran his hand through his hair as he thought about how to start. The rock he was sitting on could serve as a platform for the procedure. He hoped the wind and tide would remain favorable for what he wanted to do.

“Well Doctor, it looks like your patient has arrived,” observed Jack in a voice far more cheery than the Doctor felt was appropriate. He favored him with a look of scathing disapproval which the captain shrugged away. The Doctor decided to ignore him and addressed the Toclafane.

“Are you sure you want to go through with this?” he asked.

“Yes, if I wait much longer I would die before you would be finished, right?”

“There’s no way to know that for sure, but I suspect you are correct,” the Doctor confirmed reluctantly.

“I’m ready then,” said the Toclafane. “What should I do?”

“Can you set down here on this rock?”

Instead of answering, the Toclafane settled on the boulder. There was a click and whoosh as it opened the sphere. It closed its eyes as the sunlight caressed its face. “Thank you,” it said to the Doctor. “This is better than the other place.”

The Doctor swallowed hard and said nothing. He looked over at Jack and held out his hand for the sonic screwdriver. Thankfully Jack gave it to him without comment. Taking a deep breath the Doctor started to work, carefully removing the connections that led to the damaged parts of the sphere first. He slid them out smoothly, one by one. There was a slight catch and the Toclafane flinched. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” apologized the Doctor. “It was an adhesion, I should have checked. I’m sorry. Are you alright?”

“I’m fine, please continue,” pleaded the Toclafane.

The Doctor shook his head at his stupidity in not making sure the lead was free. Adhesions were an unwanted complication to an already difficult procedure. He was aware of Jack hovering over him ready to finish the task should he be unable to. His presence was comforting, an assurance that he was making the correct decision. It was also irritating, both that he needed that assurance and that Jack felt he might not be up to the job. He shoved those irrelevant thoughts from his mind, forcing himself into a clinical detachment from emotions. Soon he had removed the last of the non functioning connections.

“Now this is where things going to get difficult,” he thought with a sigh. The remaining connections were live. A few were sensory, or for communications, but the rest were life support, essential for its survival. As he disconnected them, it would start to die and the race would begin. In his mind he felt that if it lived beyond its removal from the sphere, he was freeing it, but if it died before he was successful he was killing it, guilty of murder. An artificial demarcation he knew, but still crucial to him in determining his own guilt.

The sensory leads came out easily as did the communications, but on severing those connections something went wrong. The sphere started attacking its occupant giving it shocks and releasing a poison into the fluids that served as its blood. He started to reconnect what he had just removed, hoping the punishment to the writhing Toclafane would cease, but as his hand bushed it he heard it scream telepathically, “No, don’t stop, free me.”

The Doctor drove all emotions from his mind and worked quickly, abandoning his original plan that included the numbing of nerve endings and sealing of wounds, and just concentrated on removing all the connections before the Master’s vengeful design killed it with unspeakable agony. The last connection to be removed was the metallic plate that had been inserted in its face. If left a bloody gaping wound where its nose and mouth had once been, but it was free now and still.

Holding his breath he carefully lifted it out of its prison. With relief he felt the feeble beating of its heart, the whispered gratitude of its mind. He stood up, cradling it in his hands as he shouldered past Jack on his way to the cliff edge. Its skin was soft, warm and velvety in his hands as he held it out to feel the sun. In its mind he felt gratitude, enjoyment and peace. A sharp contrast to the frantic beating of its, no not its, the human’s, heart.

The Doctor felt that now, it was at last again a human, a person, not just a part in an insane machine. He felt the human’s pain as the heart beat faster and faster, woefully inadequate to the hopeless task of supplying oxygen to the brain. The lungs small, weak, barely able to expand. But it was enough to let the human breathe the fresh clean air, untainted by metal and filters. The Doctor felt the human’s wonder at the scents of the sea and the grass, at the sound of softly lapping waves below, the cries of the seabirds. He felt its sorrow at the choice that had allowed the creation of the living death that was a Toclafane.

The heart was beating frantically now, like a hummingbird’s wings against the palm of his hand, then it stopped. There was a faint flutter, more felt than heard, as the lungs collapsed, releasing the pitiful amount of air that they held. The human's mind was still active, calm and accepting of its fate. Thanking the Doctor for this last bit of freedom as it sank into oblivion. Whether there would be the light the humans talked about, the Doctor didn’t know. He let the connection fade before the final moments. There were some things he was willing to wait till it was his own time to find out.

There was a hand on his shoulder and he opened his eyes, unaware that he had closed them. “Is it over?” Jack asked with uncharacteristic respect.

The Doctor took a deep breath and let it out slowly before answering. “Yes, it’s done.” He then drew back his hand, brought it up over his head and flung the last human out over the cliff and into the ocean to be carried out by the receding tide.

“What? What did you do that for!?” exclaimed Jack.

“Your species evolved from the oceans here on this planet. It’s only fitting that the last human be returned to those oceans, don’t you think?” replied the Doctor his voice the epitome of reason.

“But…”

“But what? You want to keep it in a jar in Torchwood? On display for gawking dignitaries for centuries to come?”

“Well, it’s what we do. Not the gawking part, but we never know when something might come in handy. So we store it all,” explained Jack.

“You have the sphere, you don’t need its former occupant,” stated the Doctor, ending the discussion. He knew part of his ire was caused by his fears for what may have happened to his brother’s remains in the alternate universe. He looked at his palms, damp, spotted with blood and other fluids that had seeped from the wounds of the last human. Crouching down he wiped them off on the long coarse grass. He felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Here you go sir,” said Ianto as he handed an alcohol wipe down to the Doctor.

“Oh, thank you,” said the Doctor, straightening up. He quickly finished cleaning his hands with it. He was about to stuff it in his pocket when Ianto retrieved it from him and put it back in its original packet. The Doctor walked over to the sphere, picked up his sonic screwdriver and closed the shell.

“I’ll take that,” offered Ianto. For a second the Doctor thought the Welshman was talking about the sonic, but instead it was the sphere that was picked up. Relieved the Doctor started to put the screwdriver in his pocket only to be confronted by Jack’s outstretched hand. With a sigh he turned it over.

“I’m sorry,” Jack started to explain.

“I know, just in case,” complained the Doctor. “You really think they are going to have a road block set up to check if I have possession of a sonic screwdriver?”

“No, but Frank has a habit of randomly bumping into people. It’s just safer this way,” explained Jack as they started towards the SUV. “Come on, let’s go get something to eat.”

The Doctor shook his head as he entered the SUV. Again Jack was trying to nursemaid him. He pushed his irritation aside and turned his mind turned to the sphere secured in the back seat. His fingers practically itched to start taking it apart. He was thinking about what use he could put the components to, when suddenly it felt like a bolt of lightning had pierced the top of his skull. Another headache took hold as he suppressed a gasp. Through a fog of pain he stole a glance at Jack, who appeared not to have noticed.

“Good,” he thought and found even the unspoken word caused him to wince. He turned towards the window, hoping neither man with him in the vehicle would observe that his eyes were closed against the brightness of the sun. Since no one enquired as to his health he felt the ruse had worked. Now if only he could get control of the pain before the vehicle stopped and he had to move again.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:29 pm

thanks --

still really enjoying the writing! -- sorry I'm rather pathetic with the constructive feedback - but even if I don't say much, I still really really enjoy it -

thanks
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:05 am

konstantin wrote:thanks --

still really enjoying the writing! -- sorry I'm rather pathetic with the constructive feedback - but even if I don't say much, I still really really enjoy it -

thanks

Wot Konstantin said Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:53 am

Same here.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:42 am

konstantin wrote:thanks --

still really enjoying the writing! -- sorry I'm rather pathetic with the constructive feedback - but even if I don't say much, I still really really enjoy it -

thanks

Thank you sorry I was so long is updating. Having some cardiac issues that I have to get sorted. Next chapter is below.


Jennyjenkins wrote:
konstantin wrote:thanks --

still really enjoying the writing! -- sorry I'm rather pathetic with the constructive feedback - but even if I don't say much, I still really really enjoy it -

thanks


Wot Konstantin said Smile

Thank you

Lucy McGough wrote:Same here.

Thank you next chapter up in 5 minutes.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:47 am

Chapter 18

Dismay added to the Doctor’s pain as Jack pulled into a local pub a few kilometers outside of Cardiff. His headache was subsiding but he doubted a noisy pub atmosphere would allow that trend to continue. Pointing out that problem to Jack would mean he would have to admit to the problem in the first place and he didn’t want to do that. There was only so much mother hening a Time Lord should have to endure and he had pretty much reached his limit.

Strangely, despite his increased aggravation, his headache continued to recede. “Maybe it’s run its course,” he thought. “That would be a rare blessing in an otherwise bleak day.”

The car stopped and the Doctor quickly got out, making sure there was no solicitous and embarrassing scene of Jack or Ianto getting the door for him as if he was an invalid. Once outside of the vehicle, he scanned the sky. The sunlight was disappearing as the clouds again closed in. He doubted it would rain soon however. The car park was almost empty, just a few vehicles, one of which the Doctor thought he recognized from this morning.


“You’ll like this place,” Jack was assuring him. “It’s got all that bubble and squeak, bangers and mash kind of food you like.”


“It doesn’t appear very popular,” the Doctor observed.

“Well it’s almost one o’clock, a little late for lunch. Trust me, the food is good.”

“And I’m to trust you as to what constitutes good British food?” the Doctor asked as Ianto moved to get the door for the two of them.

“No, probably not,” replied Jack with a grimace. “But you can trust Ianto. He comes here all the time.”

“Really? I would have thought with the way you work him he wouldn’t have time to eat out.”

“He lets me off occasionally to visit family. This place is on the way,” Ianto joked dryly as he let the door close behind him.

Inside the odor of fried fish and chips assailed the Doctor’s nose. Once he got past that he could detect the rich smell of steak and kidney pie, bangers, and the sweet bitter scent of ale. His stomach flipped at the thought of eating any of those rich foods, adding to his discomfort.

The pub itself was furnished in a traditional style. Heavy dark wood fixtures and molding, the chairs and tables were made out of similar material, thick and heavy, meant to last for decades, if not centuries. From the number of marks and gouges on them, perhaps they already had. The windows were stained glass, each one depicting a different coat of arms of a notable Welsh family. The sconces on the walls would have provided light for the dining area, had they been turned on. “Another effect of the economy,” thought the Doctor. It was at least warm, a welcome relief from the cold outside. Warm and dark, just what he needed, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

The bar area was the one part of the pub that was well lit. The trio started to make their way to it, only to find their path blocked by a rather unpleasant individual.

“He’s supposed to be in your custody, not taking a tour of the town,” protested Frank as he stood between them and their goal.

“Hey, the pizza delivery was swamped. We’ve got to eat, don’t we?” retorted Jack with a shrug and a smile. “Besides, with you here to keep an eye on us, what can go wrong?”

Frank squinted his eyes and smiled slyly. “So, you admit he needs watching?”

Jack laughed, “No more than any of us do. Lighten up. He solved a problem for us this morning and deserves a break.”

“After what he did, that’s the last thing he deserves.”

The Doctor opened his mouth to protest only to have his foot stepped on by Ianto. Angrily he glanced at the Welshman and received a stern shake of the head. Apparently he was to continue to play the part of submissive prisoner. He quietly seethed from the silent reprimand, wanting to speak up. He calmed himself down by reminding himself that this was Jack’s territory after all, not his. “Not his territory,” he mulled over the phrase. He wanted so much to be back in the TARDIS. Being locked out of her made him feel a loss of freedom which was almost a physical pain. As that thought entered his brain he no longer had to try to act like a prisoner. Letting his current emotions show was more than adequate for the task.

“Look, we’re here to eat,” Jack was saying. “So get out of our way and let us get our order in. Unlike you, we have work we need to get back to and before you ask,” Jack took the sonic screwdriver from out of his coat pocket and gave it a flip in the air, “I do still have it, so there, satisfied?” Frank scowled but said nothing in reply. Jack having made his point continued, “Now why don’t you go finish your lunch? I suspect you have a few messages waiting for you back at the office.”

“Why? What have you done now?” Frank asked sharply.

“Nothing Frank, just a little interagency cooperation is all,” replied Jack with a smile. He clapped the Doctor on the shoulder. “Come on, let’s order some lunch shall we?”

Frank stood to one side and let them through. The Doctor could feel Frank’s scrutiny as he walked by. Then the feeling was gone, followed by the sound of the door to the pub slamming shut.

“Hmm, guess he had to go after all,” observed Jack dryly as he looked over his shoulder at the door. “I hope it wasn’t anything I said.”

“No sir, you were the height of decorum. I sure he had a meeting he forgot about,” replied Ianto. “Did you know he was here?”

“Of course, saw his car in the car park. I figured it was a good opportunity to show him we were playing by the rules. Makes it more difficult for him to cause trouble for us.”

The Doctor pretended to ignore the exchange and studied the menu. He tried to place his order only to have the bartender address Jack instead. “What’s he done?” he asked worriedly, indicating the Doctor with his chin.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing,” Jack assured him. “He just got caught up in government snafu and I’m supposed to keep an eye on him until we get the paperwork straightened out. Frank’s just making a big deal out of nothing. You know how it goes.”

“Do I ever. Taxes are eating me alive and don’t get anything for it that I can tell. Tried to get a permit to expand the dining area, after six months they’re still getting me for this fee or that survey. Of course now with this economy they’ve created it’s probably just as well I haven’t gotten the permit. I’d have more tables with no one in them. No sense in that.” He faced the Doctor. “You have my sympathy. If you’re having to wait on the government, I guess you’re going to be spending the next decade with Jack here. So what would you like to order? We’ve got some nice roast beef and Yorkshire pudding if you want.”

“I’m not that hungry. I’ll just have some tea and a salad,” said the Doctor.

Jack however had other ideas. “You need more than that,” he insisted. “At least try the shepherd’s pie. This place is known for it.”

The Doctor ignored Jack’s suggestion. “A salad is just fine,” he confirmed with the bartender.

“I’ll have a ploughman’s lunch, shepherd’s pie and some ginger beer,” ordered Jack with a smile.

“I hope you’re hungry. Because I am not eating the shepherd’s pie,” stated the Doctor. “No offence,” he added belatedly to the bartender. “I’m sure it’s fantastic.” The bartender nodded in understanding but Jack was not to be deterred in his objective.

“That’s fine, you can have the ploughman’s lunch then. Though as cold as you have been feeling I would have thought you would want something warm.”

The Doctor just rolled his eyes and said nothing as Ianto put in his order, making the bartender happy by asking for the roast beef.

“What is this fascination you have with feeding me?” the Doctor asked once they were seated at a table “I’m beginning to feel like one of those children in that fairy tale, getting fattened up before I get shoved into an oven.”

Jack leaned forward, his elbows on the table, his gaze intent on the Doctor. “Look you’re in my custody. That means not only do I have to know where you are, it also puts me in charge of your welfare, including your health. You need food just as much as we do, don’t try and pretend you don’t.” Jack took a breath and leaned back, folding his hands behind his head before continuing, “Besides, you don’t want your stomach grumbling when you question the ambassador, do you?”

“What, you’ve already arranged that?” responded the Doctor eagerly, his irritation with Jack forgotten at the news. He felt a stab of pain above his left temple but ignored it. “When? How?”

“Ianto,” replied Jack proudly. “He’s been working his smart phone like mad. That MP pulled the necessary strings. Once we finish here and get you back to Torchwood, I’m going to go pick him up from MI5.”

“Oh, that’s brilliant,” exclaimed the Doctor, thrilled that maybe now he could get to the bottom of the Atterian’s death. Their food arrived and he took the ploughman’s lunch along with his salad without complaint, tearing off a piece of bread and dipping it in the chutney before continuing. “So, MI5 is going to let him come to Torchwood then?” he asked as he bit into the bread.

Ianto smirked as Jack drawled his reply. “Well, 'let' is hardly the correct term. They really don’t have a choice. The higher ups considered the participants and have decided the murder is a Torchwood matter. So long as we don’t appear biased in our investigation, they’ll let us have control.”

Jack’s self satisfied look faded as he continued. “Unfortunately that means you are going to have to continue to play the prisoner. Officially you are still a suspect. The prime suspect, as far as MI5 is concerned.”

“And you?” the Doctor asked, wondering if there was more than the stated reason for Jack being so diligent in taking the sonic screwdriver from him.

“I know you didn’t do it,” assured Jack with a shake of his head. “Though I would like to know why she was so scared of you.”

The Doctor shook his head. “So would I. You heard everything we said to each other. I did wave to her from across the lobby but that’s hardly threatening, unless I accidentally hit upon some Atterian death gesture.”

Jack frowned. “Unfortunately, it really doesn’t look good. The desk clerk and a few others saw her reaction to that wave. It gives some credence to the ambassador’s story. Well, if you are willing to believe his whole ‘I was taken over’ act.”

“I believe him,” asserted the Doctor. “I don’t think he killed her. I mean yes, it was his body but I doubt he had control of it. The look he had in his eyes this morning. I don’t believe that was guile.”

“You’re too trusting,” countered Jack. “He’s an ambassador. It’s his job to show one thing on his face while another is in his mind.”

“I’m hardly gullible. I saw through you easily enough, didn’t I?” replied the Doctor.

“Yeah but… Never mind. What is it you plan on asking him anyway?”

“Well…” the Doctor grimaced before continuing on. “I was hoping he would trust me enough to let me look into his mind. See if what took him over left any traces I can identify.”

Jack shook his head and smiled. “Boy, you really are an optimist aren’t you? If you are right and it wasn’t an act I doubt he is going to want to be in the same room with you, much less let you do that. And if I’m right and it is an act, he’s hardly going to want you to know that. It’s going to have to be by force.”

“No, it won’t be. I won’t do that. I’ll just have to convince him he wants me to do it. That it’s the only way to find Celeste’s real murderer.”

“I should point out that you first have to convince him that it isn’t you,” said Jack. “And again, if he is lying…” Jack gave a wry smile and shrugged.

“I know, but …” The Doctor stopped talking as a bevy of well dressed ladies entered the pub. They laid claim to a nearby table before going to the bar to place their orders.

“We should continue this conversation elsewhere,” Jack suggested.

“You’re probably right,” said the Doctor distractedly. He was observing the group. Their brightly colored attire reminded him of a flower garden, a moving flower garden. It was a pleasant contrast to the darkness of the pub. Suddenly it was there again, just barely able to be seen. There wasn’t enough definition for him to determine what it was as it slowly encroached on his peripheral vision almost like a pressure. He pretended to ignore it and turned his attention to Jack and Ianto. Ianto was cutting his roast and Jack’s attention was on the newcomers to the bar. Neither one looking at him, unfortunately.

“Well, they seem harmless enough,” said Jack as he turned back to the Doctor. “I was worried Frank might have sent them.” He smiled. “But I don’t think he could have come up that many agents so quickly.”

“That’s good to know,” responded the Doctor distractedly. He was puzzled. Jack must have been looking straight at it. It was gone now, but it had been there for a few seconds while Jack was looking at him. The bar wasn’t that dark, surely he had to have seen it. He frowned as Jack went back to eating. “Why couldn’t Jack see it?” he thought. “Was it not fully in this universe? Some mote of energy bleeding through that only he could see? But then I can’t see it either. Not really.” He bit his lip as he considered mentioning it to Jack.

“Are you alright?” The Doctor saw a woman standing in front of him, friendly concern on her face. “Please excuse me, but I work at the local hospital and you seem to be in pain.”

“I’m fine, just a slight headache from thinking too hard. It’s nothing really,” the Doctor assured her.

The woman glanced over her shoulder her friends who were talking and laughing as they waited for their food. “We’re not bothering you, are we?”

“No, not at all,” he replied with a smile. “In fact I’m glad to see others are enjoying the food here.” To emphasize his point he dipped a piece of cheese into the mustard and bit into it.

“Oh yes, it is quite good. A shame it’s so far out of the way. Have you tried the shepherd’s pie?”

“No, not yet. It’s my first time here. It seems to be highly recommended though.”

She frowned and shook her head. “You really should try it. Someone with your build should eat more than just a cold lunch.”

“I’ll remember that, thank you,” responded the Doctor as he wondered if humans had somehow developed a genetic disposition to be concerned with his diet.

“Well, enjoy the rest of your lunch. I should get back to my friends.” Before the Doctor could respond she had returned to her table.

“See, I’m not the only one who thinks you need to eat more,” said Jack.

The Doctor just rolled his eyes in response before he picked up a slice of raw onion, slathered chutney on it and then dipped it into the mustard before taking a bite.

“I can’t believe you ate that,” said Jack with a grimace.

“What?” replied the Doctor in all innocence as be proceeded to give a piece of lettuce from his salad the same treatment. “First you complain I’m not eating enough, now you complain when I do eat. Would you make up your mind?”

“Alright you have a point. If making up nauseating combinations helps you to eat, I’m not going to object.”

“Good,” replied the Doctor, who actually wasn’t pleased Jack had given in so easily.

He then proceeded to take a lump of sugar from a dish on the table, crumble it over a piece of celery and apply pepper liberally before putting it in his mouth. The result was more than even he could take calmly. He quickly reached for his tea to put out the fire in his mouth before he started coughing. It was bad enough his eyes were watering as he saw Jack suppress a bark of laughter.

Game over, he decided to eat the rest of his meal more normally, though normally for him did entail heavy use of both the chutney and the mustard to the point that Ianto went to procure refills of both.

Soon the meal was finished and they were back on their way to the Hub. The Doctor stared out the window as he thought about how to productively occupy himself this afternoon. Jack had explained it would take a while to pick up the ambassador from MI5 as there was sure to be an excessive amount of paperwork involved. He definitely wanted to give the energy extractor another look. He hoped his growing headache would start to recede soon. He had some delicate work ahead, both with the equipment and the ambassador. He needed a clear and pain free mind for both to be handled safely.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:43 pm

Chapter 19

The trio entered the Hub, the Doctor carrying the Toclafane shell, examining it as he walked, while Jack and Ianto worked out some administrative details involving his custody.

“Jack, the agreement was that we have at least two people watching him at all times,” Ianto explained. “I can just call Gwen in, it won’t take too long.”

“I don’t want to wait,” Jack protested. “It gives Frank too much time to figure out a way to stop the transfer. Besides, it wasn’t clear that we had to follow the same rules in our own HQ. It’s not like this is a public place, we can always claim he was in handcuffs here if they press the issue. Besides, we might need Gwen tonight to take a turn in the Doctor’s suite.”

The Doctor stopped in his tracks at the last sentence. “A turn in my what?” he asked incredulously.

Jack sighed. “I was hoping I could avoid it. But it looks like one of us is going to have to spend the night in your suite. It’s part of the agreement.”

“What, I’m supposed to have someone standing over me while I sleep?”

“No, not that. They’ll be in the living area. Just until we get this straightened out,” explained Jack. “But we have to have someone from Torchwood there in the suite or else MI5 is going to insist on having at least one of their people there, instead of two of them outside of your door.”

The Doctor frowned, sensing Jack was holding something back. “Anything else you care to tell me?” he asked.

Jack looked down at the floor briefly. “They put their monitors back in. You’re going to be on the MI5 hit parade tonight.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes, pretending exasperation to cover up his frustration, and, if he was truly honest with himself, his fear. He had no idea what was going on when he slept, but he didn’t want someone with the animosity that Frank had towards him finding out before he did. “Can’t we just…”

“No, we can’t. If they ‘fail’ MI5 is hardly going to believe it was an accident and they’ll use it as evidence I can’t control you.”

“Is that what you’re doing? Controlling me?” asked the Doctor, his irritation increasing.

Jack laughed. “You, hardly, but I do have to keep up appearances so MI5 doesn’t realize that. I really need to go now and pick up the ambassador. If you need anything Ianto will get it for you.”

“Uh, Jack?”asked the Doctor as he held out his hand. “My sonic screwdriver? I need it for my work.”

Jack turned back to the Doctor and shook his head. “No, I’m sorry, I need to keep it with me.” He subconsciously put his hand on the breast pocket that contained it as if assuring himself it was still there. “MI5 is sure to ask me to produce it. You’ll have to make do with the tools we have here.”

“It will slow me down, but I’ll do what I can.” Disappointed, the Doctor started across the footbridge over the reservoir for the water tower as Jack gave Ianto some final instructions. Too late the Doctor felt the rush of air as Myfanwy dove and knocked him to the deck, cracking his elbow on the grating. The sphere rolled free towards the open water. He scrambled after it as Ianto’s and Jack’s foot falls rang out on the walkway.

“Shoo, shoo, get away,” Jack yelled, waving his arms at the pteranodon, who was hovering over the Doctor as if daring him to stand up. The Doctor, oblivious to Jack’s rescue, reached for the sphere only to have it roll from under his finger tips as he touched it. Ianto stopped it with his foot, just as it was about to roll off the bridge into the water and picked it up.

“Thank you,” said the Doctor as he sat himself cross legged on the bridge, catching his breath, wincing as he held his elbow. “I was afraid we were going to lose it there for a second. It’s probably waterproof, but I’d prefer not to test it.”

“Are you alright?” Jack asked.

“I’m fine. I’m fine. Bruised my elbow is all. It will be alright in a bit.”

“I’m sorry, I really don’t know what her problem is with you,” replied Jack as he helped the Doctor to his feet. “She’s due for a feeding soon. Maybe if you helped with that, let her associate you with food.”

“I think she already associates me with food. I’d rather not reinforce that,” replied the Doctor. He let his gaze go up the water tower where he saw Myfanwy circling lazily. His eye was drawn up even further to the lift platform. The TARDIS was just on the other side of that. Could she be affecting the pteranodon? Causing it to attack him?

“No, no,” he thought. “She can’t be that angry with me. There must be another explanation for the attacks.” He continued to stare at the top of the water tower base, hoping he was right that the TARDIS wasn’t angry enough to want to harm him. He felt a hand on his shoulder. “Are you sure you’re okay?” Jack was asking.

“Yes, definitely, I was just making certain your pet wasn’t coming for another run,” replied the Doctor dismissively.

Jack looked up at Myfanwy who was placidly riding the air with only an occasional lazy flap of her wings. “I think she’s done for now. You should be safe from any further assaults.”

“Just the same, I’ll remove myself from tempting her any further and get started on this,” the Doctor stated as he took the Toclafane sphere from Ianto. “If you’ll excuse me.”

“It is going to be in one piece when you’re done with it?”

“At least one,” the Doctor replied cheekily, giving the sphere a little toss in the air before starting off towards the store room. He heard Jack giving instructions to Ianto to take care of him as he left.

The storeroom was as he had left it the night before. The energy extractor still on the table, untouched. He set the Toclafane shell down next to it and took off his coat, letting it fall in a heap on the floor. His hand was halfway in his pocket before he remembered he didn’t have the sonic screwdriver. He shook his head and sighed as he made his way to a likely looking gun metal gray cabinet. A turn of the chrome handle on the cabinet door produced an unpleasant metal on metal screech but revealed a wealth of mundane tools.

He pulled out a tool box and filled it with some implements and supplies off the shelves. “Oh you are a beauty,” he cooed when he saw a coil of high- energy conducting material. He’d been afraid he was going to be stuck with twenty first century wire and fiber optics. There were a few other surprises in the cabinet, a multi-probe that though primitive when compared with the sonic, was much better than the multi-meter he had originally thought he was going to be stuck with, a burnished metal box contained instruments that would allow him to have almost robotic precision when doing fine work.

Feeling much better about the implements he had to work with, he carried the toolbox back to the table. A tray of tea and biscuits was now on the table. Ianto had apparently slipped in while he was rummaging through the cabinet. It bothered him that he was so unaware of his surroundings as to not have noticed. He pushed the thoughts of self doubt aside and decided to enjoy what had been brought instead. A spot of tea before commencing to work was a good idea. Might clear his head a bit.

Surprise hit him as he took a sip of the hot liquid and found it to have a hint of bitterness. He smiled wryly. Willow bark. Ianto had put willow bark in the tea. The Doctor’s attempts at camouflaging his pain had apparently been transparent. “Well, no matter,” he thought, “the willow bark does help.” This way he could avoid the humiliation of admitting he needed the analgesic. He continued to sip the tea, letting it ease the pain in his head as he started to work.

The Toclafane shell was now cold and lifeless. He turned it over in his hands looking for a release mechanism. His search proved unsuccessful, forcing him to pry it open manually. He winced at the squeal of the locking mechanism as he broke it and regretted the lack of his sonic screwdriver, which forced him to work in such an inelegant manner. Fortunately none of the internal components had been damaged by the forced entry.

The multi-probe proved adequate for his purposes. It allowed him to quickly locate several frangilizers, more than adequate for his needs. He also discovered several other components that were superior to the ones currently in the energy extractor. That wasn’t surprising, the Master always did like to have the best technology possible. He wanted everything he had to be as superior as he felt himself to be.

The Doctor decided to start by removing the frangilizers. What should have been a simple task became complicated, not by the primitive tools he was forced to work with, but by his own body. His hands wouldn’t remain steady while he worked. They seemed to jerk of their own accord at precisely the wrong moment. His frustration was building as he broke four of the needed parts in succession, before he finally successfully extracted one intact. And that extraction was more by sheer luck than any skill on his part. A twitch of his hand had caused the component to be flipped into the air as it came free. He had quickly caught it with his other hand.

He sat up and leaned against the back of the chair, breathing heavily and covered in sweat. The effort needed to remove the part had been far greater than it should have been. His neck and shoulders were cramped and painful, as if thin lines had been etched with acid in the very fibers of his muscles. He closed his eyes and forced himself to relax, breathing slowly and deeply as he stretched and kneaded the sore muscles.

Feeling better, he opened his eyes and surveyed the table. There was an odd tightness in the muscles over his collarbone. He rubbed it absentmindedly to no effect as he looked down in disgust at the four broken components. One was all he needed, but two would have been better. He had hoped to put in a redundant circuit as a protection from future failures. He briefly considered trying to extract the two that remained in the shell and decided against it for now. The other more advanced components he had at first thought to use to upgrade the energy extractor would also have to wait. He just wasn’t up to the job at the moment. Best he just leave it and try working on something else.

From somewhere deep inside him came a feeling of terrible wrongness at that last thought. He tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go. For a reason he couldn’t understand he felt it was essential to fix the energy extractor, to not put it off. But how? That was the problem. There was so much he wanted to do to make it robust, a device he could rely on, but in the condition he was in now, that just wasn’t possible. He bit his lip as he considered what to do. He could, he reasoned, just install the frangilizer and tidy things up a bit. It would be functional but not as resilient as it needed to be. Operating it would be risky, the possibility of failure at a crucial time would be high, but… but… He shook his head there was no but, it was a recipe for disaster.

With a resigned sigh, he picked up the frangilizer, almost dropping it as he felt a stab of pain, as if something sharp and hot had pierced his left eye, accompanied by a flash of brilliant white light. He closed his eyes against the light and the pain and with great trepidation reached up to touch the cheek bone below his left eye. Feeling no moisture, he gingerly walked his finger tips under his glasses, up to the eyelid, and felt the intact eyeball beneath it. Sighing with relief, he slowly opened the painful eye. He could see out of it but it was agonizing to do so. He shut that one and opened the other.

Carefully he placed the frangilizer back on the table and reached out for the teapot. It was no longer warm but that didn’t matter. He poured the remains of the tea into his cup, shaking it to make he got every last drop. He downed it quickly, grimacing at the bitter taste which came to the fore now that the tea was cold. He massaged his temples as the willow bark started to ease the pain. Thankfully it was soon down to a tolerable level. With a shaking hand he picked up the frangilizer. A war of emotions raged within him. He felt it was vital he repair the energy extractor and he felt that to do so was fraught with danger.

“I could fix it, put it aside somewhere,” he reasoned. “Make it look as if I had given up on it. I could fetch it back when the TARDIS is willing to let me in again. It will be safe there.” He chewed his lip as he thought about his compromise, wondering who he was compromising with. He shook his head, time to get on with the job.

Having a plan seemed to help. The feeling of dread was still there but diminished. His hand was steady as he started to install the part. There was one twitch, but he sensed it coming and quickly snatched his hand away from the device, narrowly avoiding destroying another component in the extractor. Except for that one close call, it proved to be a simple process, he’d done his prep well. Even without the sonic screwdriver he was quickly finished.

“Now, where to put it?” he thought. Looking around the room, he saw a shelf unit standing by itself in the back corner, its shelves almost over flowing with flotsam. Not alien devices from the rift, but typical Earth junk, broken power tools, junction boxes, coils of cable. Things people considered too good to throw out but in truth weren’t of much use. It was the perfect hiding place. He picked the energy extractor up and started towards the corner.

Suddenly his whole body was shaking. He wanted to raise the device over his head and smash it on the floor, destroy it utterly. He found himself filled with irrational rage. “No, no, this is idiotic,” he told himself. “This isn’t evil, it’s just a tool. The good or bad was in how it was used.” He squeezed his eyes against the increasing pain in his head, took a deep breath, forcing himself to relax. His eyes again open, he made his way to the back of the storeroom.

His hands were trembling as he stood in front of his goal. Quickly he jammed the energy extractor in amongst coils of wire, pushing it until he felt it hit against the wall behind the shelf. The tremors left his body. The device was well and truly buried now. Safe until he could transfer it to the TARDIS. His eye caught on a label on the front of the shelf. J-12. Above it was J -11. Strange there were only six shelves. The labeling made no sense at all. But that didn’t matter, he knew where it was and no one else in Torchwood did.

He breathed a sigh of relief. That problem was tabled for now or shelved, more literally. Looking around the room, nothing really stood out as to what his next project should be. Taking off his glasses and putting them in his pocket he decided to check and see how much longer Jack would be.


Carefully he entered the office part of the hub, glancing upward to see where Myfanwy was. He smiled when he saw her slumbering on the platform of the lift. Most likely sleeping off the feeding Jack had mentioned. Not wanting to disturb the ancient reptile, the Doctor silently approached Ianto. The Welshman was concentrating on his screen, oblivious to the Doctor’s presence. When the Doctor was close enough to read it, he could see why.

The TARDIS wasn’t helping him with understanding what was on the screen, but it was obviously a translation program. Specialized symbols for linguistics and phonetics scrolled across the monitor. Intrigued, he stood quietly and studied them. He raised his eyebrows when he realized what the problem was and spoke up.

“It’s time based,” he explained. “Quite unusual, not many languages are time dependent. I can only think of two or three myself. Let me have a listen, maybe I can help.”

Ianto whipped around in his chair, startled to see the Doctor, a brief look of horror on his blanched face before he regained his usual composure. “No, this really isn’t important. Just a pet project of mine, I wouldn’t want to waste your time with it.”

“Nonsense,” said the Doctor, his curiosity piqued as to what the Welshman might be hiding, “it would make for a nice change of pace for me.” Before Ianto could protest, he reached for the keyboard and quickly punched in a few commands. He stopped in shock as his own voice filled the room.

The words were disjointed, fragments. He glanced sharply at Ianto whose face was now red with shame. This must be a recording of his utterances during the nightmares he’d been having. Apparently he’d missed a few of the monitoring devices. Jack was right, he was off his game.

When Ianto reached to turn off the sound, the Doctor put out his hand to stop him. “No, no, I want to hear this,” he said. Ianto looked up at him out of the corner of his eye, almost cringing away from him.

“Yes, you should be concerned,” thought the Doctor as he saw the Welshman’s discomfort. “I’m going to be having some very strong words with Jack when he gets back.” But he didn’t want to deal with that problem right now. Now he was concerned with the words coming over the speaker. Whatever he’d been dreaming, it wasn’t a normal nightmare.

The words were fragments of sentences, a fall from a radio telescope antenna, a bite of a spider, a call for help he didn’t want to make. Death of a companion, of a wise old man, his own death, over and over, a lack of courage to touch the wires resulting in the destruction of the planet he loved. It was as if he was reliving in his dreams the worst parts of his life, one horrific moment right after the other, piling on top of each other, unable to make way for the next.

Then the rhythm changed. Humans were frightened, frightened of the sky. “The Sontarans?” he wondered silently. “Why would he fixate on that in his nightmare?” Then it changed again. They were now also frightened of him. No, this couldn’t be his past. This was something his mind had created. Then he froze as he heard the words, spoken with his voice as they had been before. “Throw him out! Get rid of him! Cast him out! Into the sun!” The words that had been forced out his mouth, against his will, condemning him to death. It wasn’t the sky the humans had been afraid of but Skye, the woman possessed by the creature on the planet Midnight. The creature that had also taken control of him, paralyzing him as the humans had dragged him to the door, to be thrown out into the toxic radiation that blanketed the planet.

A sharp, white hot pain in his stomach caused him to double over as the realization hit him. The creature may have been killed, but it had left a part of itself behind in him, like a seed. A seed which had been growing, getting stronger as it fed off his emotions. Now that he realized what it was, it was attacking him, trying to wrest control of his body, and indeed his mind, from him.


The creature inside him was a juvenile and wasn’t as strong as the fully mature one on Midnight. But it had an advantage that creature didn’t. On Midnight the Doctor had been new, unusual. It had to learn how to control both human and Time Lord and that control had been rudimentary at best. But this one had grown inside him. He was its native environment. An environment it had learned how to manipulate to meet his needs.


Not content to feed on the natural emotions of the Doctor, it had taken to producing them. It had snacked on his confusion when it played with his vision. The pain it sent the Doctor to distract him evoked emotions of worry and frustration it could dine on. And then the nightmares. The Doctor’s mind was full of memories, guilt and fears. The creature had a wealth of raw material with which to create devastating nightmares that became a fabulous buffet of raw emotion that it could feast on. Growing ever stronger, preparing itself to take control of the body it occupied, while the Doctor became sicker and weaker. With the strength from the Doctor’s nightmares, it had found it could control the ambassador and kill the Atterian who had somehow seen it behind the Time Lord’s eyes.

That feat, however, had weakened the creature. Unfortunately not as weak as the Doctor needed it to be, as pain continued to wrack his body. He reached out and grabbed on to Ianto’s shoulder for support. The Welshman was looking at him wide eyed, fear and concern battling for dominance on his face.

“Holding cells,” gasped the Doctor. “You’ve got to put me in a holding cell.” The Doctor cried out in pain as the creature changed its attack, making him feel as if his head was in a vice. A vice equipped with sharp jagged nails tearing at the flesh of his scalp, piecing his skull.

“No, we have an infirmary,” Ianto insisted. “I’ll take you there.”

Frustrated beyond belief, the Doctor fought with the creature which was desperately trying to stop him from communicating. “No… no…” he managed to get out though the pain, “holding cell… Something’s…” He struggled for the breath he needed to get out the next words. “inside… it’s inside me… danger…” He screamed, feeling as if his spine had caught fire and dropped to the floor, on his hands and knees, wheezing as his throat closed up against the entry of air.

“I can’t,” Ianto protested. “Jack would be furious with me.”

The Doctor squeezed his eyes against tears of both frustration and pain. It wasn’t fair. He was having to both fight this creature and the denseness of this human’s head. With considerable effort he forced his throat open. “A… cell… I’m not… sick… I’m invaded,” he managed to get out in a series of gasps before rolling onto his side, whimpering in pain.

He felt Ianto start to pick him up and was horrified as he felt the creature prepare to leave him and enter easier prey. With a move he knew he would regret, he used his will to hold onto the creature and anchor it within him. The creature was struggling against his hold on it as he was struggling against its hold on him. As it fought to get free, it lessened its control of his body and with Ianto’s help he could stand.

Panting from the battle, he let Ianto half carry him down the stairs to the cells, trying not to think about where they were going and tip the creature off. It didn’t work. On the last step he howled in pain as his leg shattered, bone piercing the flesh of his calf, blood streaming down his leg soaking his sock. “No, no,” he thought between desperate breaths, “that’s not right. It’s just an illusion. I can ignore it.” Ianto’s voice entered his awareness.

“Sir, are you alright?”

“Of all the stupid questions,” he lamented silently, “of course he wasn’t alright.” But he couldn’t afford to waste the energy a sarcastic response would have taken. It was more important he be secured.

“Just… get me… into a cell,” he answered, taking a step forward, feeling bone grind against bone, accompanied by the wet feel of more blood gushing down his leg as the creature used illusion to try to keep him from his goal.

Ianto gently guided him to a cell. A transparent wall revealed a well made bed, sink and other facilities. No doubt prepared for the ambassador. But the Doctor saw another cell, its heavy metal door ajar. “No, here,” he insisted as he lunged out from Ianto’s supporting arm only to crash into the wall next to the door.

“No, Jack wouldn’t want you in that one,” Ianto insisted, again putting a supporting arm around the Doctor, trying to guide him to the first cell. “You’ll be more comfortable here.”

“No,” the Doctor persisted as he again made a lunge for the heavy metal door, this time making it to the opening, leaning heavily against the jamb. He saw the water cooled nozzles on the walls and floor of the cell before his vision went black. “You can… flash… this cell…”

“Yes, but why?”

The Doctor continued to lean against the jamb for support, rolling his body around it so he was now in the cell. His breaths ragged and desperate from the effort. “If… if… you see me… change… glow… look different… flash it.”

“but…”

“Just… do it!”

“Will Jack know what to do?” Ianto asked, worry and concern evident in his voice.

“Don’t… don’t let… Jack near… me. Not… till… it’s gone… It might… might jump… I can’t… can’t… hold it… much longer… ambassador might be… might be infected…” the Doctor felt himself getting weaker, this conversation was taking too much out of him.

“But how do we get rid of it?”

“Device… J-12…” The creature realized what the Doctor was trying to say and redoubled its attack. He dropped to his knees as one of his hearts was stopped. Desperately he crawled on his elbows and knees, towards the center of the cell. He heard the door close behind him mere seconds before he collapsed on the cold floor.
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Paksena
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:50 pm

Paksena wrote:

Thank you sorry I was so long is updating. Having some cardiac issues that I have to get sorted. Next chapter is below.




Thank you next chapter up in 5 minutes.

Thankyou it's getting very exciting now. I hope your cardio stuff is not too serious Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:36 am

Jennyjenkins wrote:

Thankyou it's getting very exciting now. I hope your cardio stuff is not too serious Smile

Thank you. I was hoping to have the next chapter up by now but my cardio problems got shunted aside for acute anemia. After receiving four units of blood and two units of IV iron they let me out of the hospital with a new diagnosis. Cancer. Which is why I am so epically tired. I'm working on the next chapter. It will be posted hopefully by the end of the month. I really do apologize for not getting it up sooner.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:23 pm

Paksena wrote:
Jennyjenkins wrote:

Thankyou it's getting very exciting now. I hope your cardio stuff is not too serious Smile

Thank you. I was hoping to have the next chapter up by now but my cardio problems got shunted aside for acute anemia. After receiving four units of blood and two units of IV iron they let me out of the hospital with a new diagnosis. Cancer. Which is why I am so epically tired. I'm working on the next chapter. It will be posted hopefully by the end of the month. I really do apologize for not getting it up sooner.

Oh Paksena that's rotten, I should think fanfic on an internet forum is the least of your problems!

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Paksena))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))


if you're up to writing and want a little distraction then all crumbs will be gratefully received - however make sure you keep your energy for the important things.

I'm so glad you've posted as I was worried at the long silence considering your last post.

PS belated happy birthday Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:59 am

Ianto stood in the center of the corridor, staring at the cell door, wondering what to do next. If he did what the Doctor wanted he would be arming the cell, making it so with a single command from his mobile or computer the cell would be transformed in to a blast furnace, instantly raising the temperature inside to over 3000 degrees centigrade, more than enough to turn anything inside it to ash. It’s what he should be doing, but he wasn’t. “Why?” he asked himself. Jack, was the ready answer. Jack would never forgive him if anything happened to his friend, the alien whom Ianto suspected was more important to Jack than he was.

Though the cell door window glass was thick and warped he could still assess the alien’s condition. It was quiet now. Its eyes closed. Its face pale, with a light coating of sweat. The breathing was the important part, slow and shallow. It didn’t look like it was in any condition to fight him, it might even be unconscious. He ought to be able to move it to the infirmary. Medical restraints should be adequate and more comfortable. Ianto chewed on his lower lip as he considered his options. Then shook his head, there were no options. He had to move the Doctor to the infirmary. Jack would understand if the Doctor was there, he would never understand the Doctor being in this cell.

Decision made, he acted quickly and opened the cell door. With a practiced stride that produced no noise he approached the alien. He crouched down next to it, preparing to pick it up when suddenly it moved, seizing his wrist with a bone crunching grip. Its smile too taut, too wide, eyes narrowed and beady, giving the face an unnatural feral appearance. Ianto realized it wasn’t the Doctor he was facing, but the creature that was inside him.

Frantically he tried to pull free, but found himself frozen, unable to move. The alien pulled itself up to a sitting position, facing him, its toothy smile being becoming even broader. Ianto felt a darkness blanketing him as his vision faded. Then, just as he felt he was lost, he could see again and his body was his own. He was face to face with the alien now. That face, no longer smiling and feral, but desperate, with eyes wide. It was the Doctor, back in control.

“Get… out… you fool!!” the Doctor gasped before clutching his head and screaming.

Ianto need no further encouragement. He jumped up and ran out of the cell, slamming the door shut and locking it. He quickly lifted the safety cover and slammed the button that armed the cell with the heel of his hand, bruising it in the process. The cell was now fully operational. A look back inside showed the Doctor was in desperate straits. His breaths were deep and deliberate as he lay curled up on the floor, eyes shut tight as his hands still clutched his head, finger tips pressing into the top of it as if they were trying to gain purchase to rip open his skull.

As Ianto looked on, the Doctor took in a huge breath, his hands falling from his head as he rolled over onto his back. Slowly the Doctor let out the breath, his face and body relaxed and was still, too still. Ianto was loath to enter the cell again, so he waited hoping for a sign of life from the Time Lord. He was about to give up, prepare to tell Jack his friend had perished when he saw the barest rise of the Doctor’s chest. The breathing was slow and shallow but definite.

Relieved, Ianto stepped away from the door and checked his mobile for Jack’s status. The SUV was already parked in its usual spot and a code informed him Jack was bringing two guests, further bad news. He hurried to the Torchwood main entrance, trying to figure out how he was going to explain to the Torchwood leader what had happened.


Jack at that moment was furious with himself, his stupid tweaking of Frank’s nose at the pub was now costing him. With that advanced warning, the MI5 agent had been more than prepared for Jack’s arrival. The ambassador had been heavily sedated, making any chance of the Doctor interviewing him that evening unlikely. That was just a minor annoyance. Jack doubted they would be able to get to the bottom of the murder that night anyway. It was MI5’s insistence on a two man prisoner escort that was causing him heartburn.

He should have anticipated that requirement and picked up Gwen on the way. Even then the requirement wouldn’t have been so bad, if he’d been able to have a say in who the other escort would be. He’d seen a couple of good-looking agents he wouldn’t have minded chatting up during the trip and try to recruit away from MI5. But no such luck, it was Frank he was stuck with, and he was sure his motive for being the second escort wasn’t the safe transportation of ambassador as yet again the old man tripped, with Frank doing nothing to help but watch.

“Look, can’t you at least hold him up on your side?” complained Jack as the prisoner lurched hard against him, causing him to stagger and put a foot down in a deep puddle he had been trying to avoid.

“Oh, you’re doing fine,” observed Frank cheerily. “I need to keep an eye out, make sure no one recognizes him.”

“No, fear of that, this getup you’ve got him in not even his own mother would recognize him,” declared Jack, referring to the water proof tweed fedora and oversized oil skin raincoat the old man was wearing. The rain made a drumming sound on the coat that reminded Jack of being out on bivouac during the First World War. The greasy industrial smell that emanated from it reinforced that effect. Jack had his arm around the ambassador’s waist, trying to make sure he had a grip on the man and not just the coat. A frigid stream of rain water was now running off the brim of the fedora onto back of Jack’s hand, making it ache from the cold.

“Come on, can you stand up for a bit so I can get a better hold on you?” the captain asked of his charge. There was no answer and he didn’t expect one. That face that had seemed so confident and self-assured, now was blank, eyes unfocused, staring at nothing. The wrinkles that had made the ambassador appear distinguished and wise now just made him look old and worn out. To Jack it seemed as if he was escorting an empty husk. Despite the lack of response, he shifted his grip, giving his hand some relief.

“There, that’s better now, not too much further,” Jack said encouragingly to his mute audience. He was beginning to feel sorry for him, looking so frail. “Stop that,” he silently admonished himself. “The Doctor will be giving him plenty of sympathy.” His job was to remember this frail old man might very well be a murderer and to remain on the alert, protect the Doctor, who seemed at this time to be especially vulnerable. If it had been up to Jack he would have let MI5 keep the ambassador not let him near his friend. But though the Doctor had tried to hide it, Jack had heard the desperation in his voice when he had asked if he could interview the accused official. No, the head of Torchwood was sure there was more to the Doctor’s request than just getting to the bottom of the murder. Maybe this man here was the key to what was wrong with the Doctor.

The ambassador stumbled again, jarring Jack out his thoughts. “Why did you have to dope him up so much?” Jack griped to Frank.

“It was necessary,” stated Frank. “He went into an absolute panic when we told him he was being transferred to Torchwood for the Doctor to interrogate. He was about to do injury to himself. We almost had to put him into a straight jacket.”

“You could have tried telling him the Doctor is on his side and wants to help him.”

Frank snorted. “Right, I wasn’t born yesterday and neither was he. That alien friend of yours is definitely up to something, and I doubt it is to help his accuser.”

Jack just shook his head, glad that they were finally at the Torchwood entrance and he could rid himself of the MI5 pest.

“Aren’t you going to open the door?”

“No, can’t at this entrance. Ianto should be here in a moment,” lied Jack, not wanting Frank to even see how the lock worked.

“What you can’t even get into your own base?” laughed Frank. “No wonder you have agents dropping like flies.”

Jack’s response to that jib was aborted when Ianto opened the door. “You can leave now,” Jack told Frank coldly. “Ianto will take over for you.”

“No, I think I’ll stay awhile,” replied Frank as he stepped around Ianto, “at least until the sedative wears off. I don’t want you claiming he died in your custody because we overdosed him.”

Jack shot Ianto a lethal look, surprised and upset the Welshman had failed to stop Frank’s entrance into the Hub. To his credit Ianto took the initiative and immediately relieved Jack of the ambassador, wrinkling his nose at the smell of the wet coat as he removed it from the swaying official. Disgusted, he hung it on a rack behind the reception counter, along with the dripping fedora. He quickly lunged to catch the old man whose knees had started to buckle. “Is he sick?” he asked.

Jack shook his head. “No, he’s just heavily sedated. I could understand them giving him something to calm him down a bit, but this is overkill. I think they are just trying to interfere with our investigation.”

“Now, now. Would we do that?” asked Frank innocently. “We’ve been the very picture of cooperation.”

“Yeah, cooperation,” said Jack. “You won’t even tell me what you gave him. It would be helpful if we could give him the antidote.”

“You have your trade secrets, we have ours.”

“Come on, let’s get him settled in,” Jack told Ianto. “Then we can tell the Doctor he’s going to have to wait till the morning to talk to him.”

Ianto swallowed nervously at that last statement but said nothing as he helped the ambassador into the main part of the hub. Jack wondered what was going on to cause that reaction. He glanced over at Frank who appeared to have noticed anything amiss, but after being outfoxed by him this afternoon Jack wasn’t assuming anything.

As he entered the hub he saw a red light was flashing on the wall above the entrance to the holding area. The sterilization cell was armed. He forced himself to stay calm. Not give Frank any other hints that something was amiss. This latest piece of information combined with Ianto being nervous at the mention of the Doctor was not good. He needed to get Frank out of the way so he could investigate what was going on.

“Why don’t you go with Ianto and see if the ambassador’s accommodations meet with your approval?” Jack suggested amiably.

Frank’s eyes narrowed suspiciously as he scratched his chin while he looked around at the center of Torchwood operations. “No, no need for that. I’ll check on him later. I’d like you to give me a tour of this place. Show me what measures you have for the surveillance of your prisoners. As short staffed as you are, I need to make sure you are up to the job.”

Jack ignored the needling and decided to comply with the Frank’s request. “Sure,” he replied lightheartedly. “We can watch the cells from any one of the workstations. Come into my office. It’s easiest to show you there.”

He showed Frank to his office. “You can have a seat here and watch on that screen on the wall,”Jack explained, pulling out a chair for Frank before taking his seat behind the desk. He punched in a few commands and a view of the ambassador’s cell came up on the screen on the wall in addition to the one on his desk.

Ianto was preparing the man for bed. “A good call on his part,” Jack thought. “Let him sleep it off.” Given the state of the man he decided to have Gwen spend the night watch here. She could reassure the old man everything was fine if he came out of it in the middle of the night. Probably better than he could and she would stop Frank from feeding his fear. It meant he would be spending the night on the Doctor’s couch. He didn’t mind. He’d rather be the one watching over the Doctor anyway.

“See nice hi res surveillance and…” explained Jack as he made a few mouse clicks causing several numbers appeared in red at the bottom of the screen, “we can even do basic medical monitoring from here.”

“Only one view of the cell?” observed Frank. “That gives you some huge blind spots. I may have to…”

“You don’t have to do anything,” replied Jack trying to keep a hold of his temper. “See?” He made a few quick mouse clicks and the views from eight different cameras sprung up onto the screen. “All the views you could want, even under the bed and the corridor outside the cell.”

Frank twisted his mouth as he scowled the screen. “Okay, so you have the video covered. What about the audio?”

“On and recording,” said Jack as he performed another mouse click and the sounds of the cell became audible. “We can also set it so there is an alarm if the sound goes over a set level. And there are motion detectors to let us know if there is too much activity in the room or not enough.”

“Is the door alarmed?”

Jack bit back the sarcastic reply that sprung to his mind, well aware Frank was trying to get a rise out of him. “Yes, both the door and the entrance to the cell block itself. In fact every Torchwood member has a mobile device that allows them to look up the status of each of the cells.”

Frank raised an eyebrow at that last statement and Jack feared he had said too much. He was right. “I’ll be needing one of those while the ambassador is here,” the MI5 agent stated.

“No, you won’t. The ambassador is in our custody, not yours. It’s only out of professional courtesy that I’m allowing you to stay here until what you gave him wears off.” Jack hesitated for an instant before continuing. “That and your group may very well have messed up the dosage, since you won’t tell us what it is, it will be your job to sort him out if they did.”

Frank smiled. “Well, since I am going to be here a while, care to direct me to the mess hall?”

Jack waved his hand in the general direction of the coffee mess visible through the window of his office. “You can get some tea or coffee over there. There might be a few left over biscuits if you’re hungry. Ianto can order you some take away when he gets back here.”

Frank looked like he was about to protest but instead scowled and turned to leave the office.

“Oh, and clean up after yourself,” Jack called out to him. The captain smiled when he got no response.

Free of the pest for the moment, Jack decided to check out what was in the sterilization cell. He quickly brought up the surveillance feeds for the cell. His mouth went dry when he saw what was on the screen. The Doctor lying in the middle of the cell, curled up on his side. If he was reading the medical feeds correctly his friend was in distress. His hearts beating too rapidly, his breathing too quick and shallow. He jumped up to go to him, only to run straight into Frank who was staring at the monitor on the wall. The monitor that Jack, in his haste to find out what was going on, had forgotten to turn off.

“So, looks like someone in your organization understands how dangerous he is.” Frank pushed over to Jack’s keyboard. Showing his earlier ignorance of the monitoring system had been a ruse as he punched up the details on the cell. “Ah, very nice,” he almost purred as he used the mouse to circle a blinking icon. “Just a single click, the menace is fried and the ambassador can go home.”

Before he even realized he was going to do it Jack delivered an uppercut to Frank’s jaw, closing it with an audible clack, dropping him where he stood. The captain tried to disarm the cell and found he couldn’t from his computer. An upgrade they had never made. He ran towards the door of the office, wanting to get his friend out of there as quickly as possible, but Ianto blocked the office doorway.

“Clean up that mess,” growled Jack indicating the fallen member of MI5 as he started to shoulder past Ianto. “I’ll deal with you later.”

Ianto grabbed the captain’s arm, preventing him from going any further. “No Jack, you can’t. He said not to let you near him.”

“What do you mean he said not to let me near him? What did you do to him?” Jack’s emotions warred with his training. He wanted to get to the Doctor, but he needed intel to make sure he was executing the right course of action. Right now he wasn’t sure Ianto was the best source of that intel, but he had no other choice.

“I didn’t do anything. There’s something wrong with him. He was scared, Jack, really scared.”

“What happened? Why is he in that cell?” barked Jack, losing his patience with the Welshman.

“I don’t know what happened,” Ianto replied keeping his voice calm but unable to hide the desperation he felt. “He was fine and then he was doubled over in pain. He…”

“If he was in pain, he should be in the infirmary,” interrupted Jack. “He’s sick, not dangerous.”

“I tried to take him there, he wouldn’t go. He insisted he be put in a holding cell. He said he wasn’t sick, he was invaded and I believe him. There’s something inside him. I knew you wouldn’t like the cell he was in. I thought he was unconscious and tried to move him. He grabbed my wrist, only it wasn’t him. I could feel it inside me. I couldn’t move. Then it was gone. I was free and he told me to leave. He saved me Jack.”

“And you repay him by arming the cell? What were you thinking?” A groan interrupted any response Ianto might have had. Jack turned to see Frank getting up from the floor rubbing his jaw.

“What’d you do that for?” Frank asked. “I was only having a bit of a joke.”

“It’s not a joke where the safety of our consultant is concerned. You’re under arrest. Ianto, put him in a cell. I’ll deal with him later.”

“I’m what? What’s the charge?” protested Frank.

“Interfering with the course of an investigation. Endangering the life of a Torchwood employee. Give me time and I’ll add a few more to the list.” Jack pulled out his gun and pointed it at the MI5 agent. “Now are you going to go quietly or do I need to use this?”

On Jack’s order Ianto had moved next to Frank. “Sir, he’s carrying a few items that I would advise we remove before he’s put in a cell.”

“Do it,” said Jack motioning with his gun for Frank to raise his hands.

“You’re not going to get away with this,” Frank threatened as he folded his hands on top of his head. “You’re going to be in more trouble than you can imagine.”

Jack smiled. “I appreciate your concern. Get him out of here Ianto. If he gives you any trouble, put him in with the weevils.”

“Yes sir,” replied Ianto as he hustled the MI5 agent out of the office. Jack admired his technique. His boy had been practicing. Frank didn’t stand a chance against him. His thoughts sobered when he saw the Doctor on the screen. He wanted to go to him but he couldn’t risk it, not until he knew more. He pulled up the video record for the holding area corridor, quickly finding the segment that showed Ianto and the Doctor entering it.

The record confirmed what Ianto had told him. It also showed the Doctor in pain and truly frightened, telling Ianto to flash the cell if there was any sign of his regenerating. Jack bit his lip at that. Whatever it was that had infected the Doctor, regeneration wouldn’t cure it. He wondered if even flashing the cell would destroy whatever was possessing the Doctor.

He looked up to see Ianto standing in front of him a worried look on his face, like a dog expecting to get a beating. “I checked the video. Don’t worry. You did the right thing. This J-12, do you have any idea what he meant by it?”

“No sir, I don’t.”

“It’s important. Most likely it’s a designation for a star or a planet. Possibly where this thing inside him originated from. Check all the records, everything from both Torchwood and UNIT. Whatever you can find J-12, 12-J anything close to it all, check it all out.”

“Yes sir, what if we don’t find anything? Will we..?”

“No, we won’t. He has faith that we can figure this out. I’m not going to let him down. Now get to work. We don’t have any time to waste.”

Jack watched Ianto leave for his work station. He then turned his attention to the screen. The Doctor was lying on his back now, his eyes staring upward at nothing. His mouth was open as his chest heaved, each breath looking like a battle he was about to lose. “Come on Doctor, hang in there,” Jack pleaded quietly to the image on the screen. “I promise you, we are going to figure this out.”

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:51 am

Another gripping episode Paksena Smile

Thanks

Hope your health is better
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:06 pm

Jennyjenkins wrote:Another gripping episode Paksena Smile

Thanks

Hope your health is better

Thank you, I sorry it took me so long to post it. I've already have the opening paragraph to the next chapter written.

I'm getting better I still need more sleep than I am used to.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:40 am

Be sure to take care of yourself (*old person talking*) -- we want you to continue getting better.


Great story installment by the way. Wonderfull!

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Aspadistra on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:55 am

I am furious at myself - I have only just discovered this thread: I started reading yesterday.

Excellent work, Paksena - I am thoroughly enjoying this. This is the first story I've seen that makes me accept the idea of the Looms.

konstantin wrote:Be sure to take care of yourself (*old person talking*) -- we want you to continue getting bette

*nods in agreement*
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:17 pm

konstantin wrote:Be sure to take care of yourself (*old person talking*) -- we want you to continue getting better.


Great story installment by the way. Wonderfull!


Thank you I am learning to not push myself too hard. It's a difficult lesson for me though. I'm really glad you liked the installment. I worried about how it would be received after so long. I really do appreciate your encouragement.

Aspadistra wrote:I am furious at myself - I have only just discovered this thread: I started reading yesterday.

Excellent work, Paksena - I am thoroughly enjoying this. This is the first story I've seen that makes me accept the idea of the Looms.

konstantin wrote:Be sure to take care of yourself (*old person talking*) -- we want you to continue getting bette

*nods in agreement*

Well I am glad you discovered it. I decided to have fun taking care of a few what I felt were glitches in cannon. Thank you very much for your comments. Yes I will take care of myself. Thank you.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:41 am

The Doctor stood on the stained but polished concrete floor. The room he was in was brightly lit. Proper illumination for a lab. The walls, concrete block painted a pale brown tinged yellow, a depressing color. He made his way past the black- topped tables filled with instruments for dissection and tissue examination. His eye caught on a dull metal tray, or rather the contents of the tray. A pump for some being’s circulatory system. Four chambered like a human’s but not quite. The proportions were wrong. The arteries that would have provided nourishment to it, too small to do the job properly. A congenital deformity, hard to imagine its former owner had lived past childhood, although its size was that of an adult human’s.

He continued on to the back of the lab where the exhibits were. Clear polymer tubes over six feet in height, with wide black bands at the top and bottom. The first contained a Slitheen, with its huge dark eyes and bulbous head. Next to it in a framed case was the skin of one of its human victims. The next tube contained a Sontaran, its helmet removed. Narrow lifeless eyes set in a head that grew directly up from the shoulders, no neck to speak of. Its armor had been cracked open like a lobster shell revealing the pale body beneath it.

Filled with trepidation, the Doctor moved on past the Jathaa, and the Weevil, down to the end where the newest, most prominent display was. Inside was an all too familiar figure. Suspended in a pale blue liquid, impossibly thin, wearing nothing, not even for modesty, was his brother. His knees were slightly bent, his head down, eyes closed, hands floating free in front of him as if he was gesturing, trying to gather his thoughts for what he was going to say next.

The Doctor’s eyes were drawn to two wide V-shaped wounds on his brother’s chest connected by a third vertical wound. All had been crudely stapled shut. There was puckering between the medical fasteners that allowed a view of the tissue under the skin. He’d been eviscerated. His organs were probably in some of the smaller jars scattered around the lab. His hand went unbidden to his face, his thumb and fingers pressing hard on his eye lids in a pinching motion that ended at the bridge of his nose, when he realized whose heart it was in the dissection tray. Taking his hand away from his face he extended it, first lightly touching the cold, smooth, surface of the container with his fingertips, then continuing to extend his arm until his palm rested on it. He leaned forward, pressing his forehead against the clear material, wishing there was some way he could reach his brother. Tell him of his regret, his sorrow, his guilt that he had come to such an end. His brother should have had a full life, not the pitifully short one he had endured. It pained him to see his brother’s remains treated in such a manner. Even the humans’ custom of burying them in the dirt to rot was better than this. Pete should have given him that at least.

He shook his head as he pushed away from the container with a soft sigh. A waste, such an incredible, stupid waste. Something caught his eye in the corner of the room when he turned from his brother’s container. There was a body on the floor. All he could see from where he stood were trainer clad feet, and jean clad lower legs sticking out from behind one of the tables. His throat tightened as he approached, and found his worst fears had been realized. Brown lifeless eyes stared up at him from beneath blonde hair. Crushing remorse and sorrow descended on him, it was his fault, he was to blame for this also. Then he saw the ragged gash on her throat. A pool of blood forming beside her. Wounds he had seen before. “No, no, no, this isn’t right, it can’t be,” he thought. “This isn’t how Rose died. She felt no pain. There was no wound. No body remained.”

None of this was real, he now understood that and mentally pushed against the vision before him, shattering it like glass, broken shards flying out and away, reality taking its place. He lay on his back on the concrete floor in the cell in Torchwood. It was cold and sucking heat from his body through his thin suit. Pain stabbed at him from shoulder blades pressed too long against its hard surface. Slowly he rolled over on his side to get some relief and saw a small tray with sandwiches next to the door of cell. A stupid risk on Ianto’s part or maybe Jack’s, he didn’t know.

Quickly he checked to make sure that the creature was still fully within him. When it had attacked Ianto he’d entwined his life energy with the creature's to hold it inside him, prevent it from attacking and infecting anyone else. To his relief the creature was still trapped. The distraction of the illusion hadn’t weakened his hold on it. He’d tried to set it up so that his life energy would continue to imprison the creature even if he lost consciousness. There was no way of knowing if it would work until it was tested.

Getting free, however, was not the creature’s reason for the illusion. No, the reason for that was simple. It had been feasting on the delicious anguish it could create within the Doctor from his own memories and fears. Its greed had caused it to press its luck and try to play off his feelings for Rose by having the Atterian’s wounds appear on her to create a stronger emotion. A better feed. It had backfired. That impossibility had caused the Doctor to understand what was happening and wrest himself free of the vision the creature had created, but the damage was done. It was stronger after the feed and the Doctor was weaker.

The creature didn’t care anymore if the Doctor held it prisoner. No, it embraced the life force it was in intimate contact with, trying to draw the energy into itself, make it its own. The Doctor fought to prevent that merging, desperately trying to keep his energy separate but still maintain the hold. He felt the creature surge with power as it fed off that desperation. “No,” he thought “this won’t do.” He had to relax his mind, detach his emotions from the battle he was in.

Coolly, logically, he worked on the problem of keeping his grip on the creature but not merging with it. He found some areas where it had started to absorb his life force. His only choice was to sever the parts that had been absorbed and shield the rest. He visualized that shield as a glowing silvery white sheath coating the core of who he was, allowing him to weave his life force further around the creature’s, holding it, but not touching it. Calm relief washed over him as the technique worked better than he thought it would. For a moment.

Pain, searing pain, as if white hot razor blades had been poured down his spinal cord ravaged his mind. And he saw why escape was no longer on the creature’s mind. No, what it wanted was a regeneration. It had tasted that energy before, knew it, understood it, and was sure it could control it.

It was the partial regeneration that had woken up the creature, quickened it from an embryonic state into a juvenile capable of exploring its new environment, the Doctor, learning how to manipulate him with a stab of pain, a tweak of a sensory system, an insertion of a thought or emotion. Observing his reactions to each stimulus, testing to see if different combinations produced the desired results. Striving towards controlling him, like a skilled rider controls a well-trained horse, invisibly, with minimum effort.

It had been pleased with its success, until it started working on suppressing the Doctor’s own thoughts, and replacing them with its own. A difficult task as pesky subconscious thoughts kept leaking through. But even that problem had proved to be of benefit for the creature. The confusion it created in the Doctor, as his instincts fought with the creature’s imperatives, provided some tasty snacks.

The Doctor saw all this now as he writhed on the floor in agony. The creature wanted the Doctor to see the hopelessness of his situation. That it was getting stronger, more skilled with every passing moment while the Doctor was getting weaker, closer to death or worse, surrender. The timing of this battle had been premature from the creature’s point of view. It had wanted to wait longer. Get stronger before openly taking on the Doctor, but now it knew delay had been unnecessary. It was more than up to the task, and the Doctor was doomed to lose.

Casually the creature experimented with its prey. The Doctor felt his liver shut down, then his kidneys. His digestive system spasmed along its entire length, creating waves of agony. Then it played with an organ unique to Time Lords which functioned as a multidimensional inner ear giving him the ability to know exactly where and when he was. He felt as if he were falling, spinning out of control. He could feel the rough cell floor beneath his hands but he felt as if he was light years away in a time that hadn’t happened yet. He tried to focus on the door in front of him only to have his vision taken away. Then he felt as if his chest was going to explode as both his hearts started to fail.

He should just give in, quit fighting. There was no hope for it. He crushed that thought, now able to recognize it as not his own. Through a fog of pain and confusion, the Doctor realized what he must do and concentrated on keeping his vital core, lungs, hearts and brain functioning. All else he abandoned to the creature. He felt metabolic toxins building up, creating a burning sensation throughout his body and he knew he wouldn’t be able to hold out for long.

Understanding what the creature truly wanted from him, he shut down his ability to regenerate. The creature, however, had made a concerted effort to study and understand that mechanism. The Doctor felt its triumphant joy as it demonstrated its knowledge and proficiency, turning the ability to regenerate back on, putting it under its control. There would be no escape from this in death for the Doctor. The only chance he had to block regeneration was to stay alive. He doubted that even flashing the cell would stop the creature. No, it would siphon off the regeneration energy for itself and jump before it was damaged, leaving the Doctor to die in flames.

He saw the creature’s plan unfold before him, changed from its original goal of merely taking him over. All it wanted from him now was the regeneration energy. Energy it knew how to control in ways no Time Lord ever could. It would consume every bit of it. Use it to augment and strengthen its own abilities as it saw fit, then move on to an even more succulent target, Jack.

Being human, Jack would be more easily controlled than a Time Lord. Being immortal, he provided a never ending life force, full of emotions and passions the creature could feed on through eternity. A never ending buffet. With Jack as a host, it could infect the other feeble humans with ease, taking over the primary sentient race of the planet. Use earth as its base of operations from which its species would spread throughout the galaxy. Too long had they been confined to a single planet. It was time to take their rightful place as rulers of the galaxy.

Many humans would die, unable to tolerate its species’ presence for more than a few days. The creature saw that culling as good and necessary. It needed to breed strong humans, manipulate their DNA until they became the perfect hosts, filled with delicious raw emotions, and the physical strength to maintain them, but easily manipulated and controlled. Only the failing Doctor stood in its path. Knowing this he bore the pain the creature created within him. Telling himself that his skin wasn’t really blistering and pealing back from his body. His hands weren’t hopelessly mangled, a mass of broken bones and blood. None of that was real he told himself. Even if it was real, it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that he stay alive. Though every breath felt as if his chest was lifting an enormous weight, every beat of his hearts stabbed him with searing agony, he had to hold on. Trust that Jack would find the solution in time. Concentrating on that task, he failed to notice the small dark finger of doubt working its way through a crack in his shields, looking for fertile ground from which it could grow and destroy his resolve.

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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Sid Seadevil on Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:07 am

Thank you so much, Paksena. If you hadn't posted today's excellent instalment I fear I would have missed this thread entirely.

As it is I haven't - and I'm awaiting the next part with anticipation. Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:45 pm

Sid Seadevil wrote:Thank you so much, Paksena. If you hadn't posted today's excellent instalment I fear I would have missed this thread entirely.

As it is I haven't - and I'm awaiting the next part with anticipation. Smile

thank you very much for your comments. That's what helps keep me going. I'll try to update more frequently.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:22 pm

Thanks for a wonderful new installment! And, ... Happy New Year! to you! hope you get feeling better soon -- (love the writing!)

.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:31 pm

konstantin wrote:Thanks for a wonderful new installment! And, ... Happy New Year! to you! hope you get feeling better soon -- (love the writing!)

.
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you like it. It was interesting to write. Happy New Year to you too. I'm getting there. Hopefully soon I will be back to my old self.
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Sid Seadevil on Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:34 am

Paksena wrote:Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you like it. It was interesting to write. Happy New Year to you too. I'm getting there. Hopefully soon I will be back to my old self.
Well I sincerely hope your full recovery is speedy indeed. Smile
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Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:08 am

Paksena wrote:
konstantin wrote:Thanks for a wonderful new installment! And, ... Happy New Year! to you! hope you get feeling better soon -- (love the writing!)

.
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you like it. It was interesting to write. Happy New Year to you too. I'm getting there. Hopefully soon I will be back to my old self.

What Konstantin said - glad you are feeling better Smile

*sits on Sofa sipping tea and waiting for the next installment Smile *
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Jennyjenkins
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Re: Enemy Unseen

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