Vanishing Act

Something was wrong. I had felt it the moment I had arrived
at the Moon Base.

There was a lingering acrid taint to the air which
unfortunately reminded me of blood. Doubting my highly attuned senses has been
my downfall in the past.

Someone died here……

 

“Seth, stay close…..something’s afoot.”

 

He shuffled closer to me, “What do you mean?”

 

I withdrew my sonic, “I mean, I smell blood – and I don’t
think someone’s just got a paper cut.”

 

He swallowed.

Someone screamed.

I dashed down the gray halls, orb shaped lights illuminating
the dusty corridors.

Cries of horror reached my ears. Seth drew up behind me.

 

“What’s wrong? Why are we running?”

 

I’d forgotten that he couldn’t hear things half a mile off
as I could.

“Heard a scream,” I panted, skidding sharply around a corner, “Not….good.”

 

He nodded, pulling me out of the way of someone walking
slowly in front of us.

It was a Russian woman in a large fur coat with a tiny Chihuahuawhich began to
bark madly.

 

Several doors whipped past us. I could just barely read the
numbers.

98.

99.

100.

 

Door 100 was wide open and a crowd of people was pressed
round it.

I slid to a stop, pushing wildly through the crowd.

They pushed against me, holding me back.

 

“Get outta here kid, this aint no peep show.” One barked at
me.

 

I scowled and pressed a button on my sonic. I grabbed Seth
and wrapped my arms around him as he curled into a ball.

To every human around me, they would hear a high pitched
sonic blast which would stun them for five seconds precisely.

 I uncurled myself
from around Seth.

His jaw was slack, eyes glazed – in other words, he was down
for the count.

I picked him up, easily. Gawd, did he ever eat? He was light
as a feather!

Oh wait….I forgot. I can pick up a semi with one hand.

 

I carried him into the room.

It was a simple room, one bed, a small kitchen, ice box and
telly.

The only thing wrong with it was what was lying on the rug.

A body, ripped to shreds, claw marks running down the poor
fellow’s back.

A puddle of crimson blood was pooled around his head, teeth
marks around his skull.

 

And did I mention?

It was the Prime Minister.

 

 

 

Seth and the others woke up momentarily.

I stood in the center of the crowd, Seth at my feet.

He lifted his head and looked up at me, surprise on his
face.

 

“Somebody,” I began, as the delegates and millionaires
picked themselves up and dusted off their expensive suits and dresses,
“Somebody better start talking. Now.”

 

I held up my sonic screwdriver threateningly.

Some winced and shuffled backwards, others stared at it
curiously. Well, curiosity never got anyone anywhere - poor kitty.

 

“I just found him, lying there,” A woman in a green dress
began. She was the Prime Minister’s wife, “He’s dead, isn’t he?”

Her eyes fixated on mine.

I bit my lip and nodded.

 

She burst into tears, sobbing into a white handkerchief.

 

“This aint no time for tears, folks.” The President piped
up.

 

The crowd grew silent.

 

“We gotta buckle down and determine which one of us killed
our friend here.”

 

The Prime Minister’s wife howled louder.

 

“Now I aint saying we’re gonna leave him lying on the floor
but – actually, we are. Can’t disturb the evidence. Know what I’m saying?”

They nodded.

 

The President stepped in front of me, addressing the
gathered crowd.

 

“Lily,” the President addressed the Prime Minister’s wife,
“You go and get yourself a nice cup of something hot in the kitchen, calm
yourself down, and Bjorn,” She turned to a Russian delegate, most likely the
Chihuahua woman’s husband, “You studied forensics in college, right?”

He nodded, “Before I became leader of Russia,” his
accent was thick, “I wanted to work for Russian police.”

 

“Good, see what you can learn from the body,”

The Prime Minister’s wife could be heard sobbing down the
hall,

“And I’ll personally examine everybody’s rooms to see if
they got any evidence on their person that points to the killer.”

 

The crowd abruptly dispersed, each going their own way.

The President turned to me.

 

“Is there any particular reason you two vagabonds are
wandering round this here Moon Base?”

 

I smiled sheepishly, “Call me the ultimate tourist.”

 

That wasn’t going to fly.

 

“I don’t think so.” She growled, folding her arms, her foot
tapping out a steady rhythm.

 

“Listen, Ms. President, you have to understand. We are here
to help. That’s all you need to know. I may not look like much but I have a lot
of power – in high places,” I added, hoping that she’d get my drift, as they
say.

“The entire planet below could be in danger. Please.”

 

She eyeballed me, looking me up, down and sideways.

 

“You wouldn’t happen to be somehow connected to that
Torchwood doohickey…..would you?” Her voice shook slightly.

I couldn’t blame her.

Any institute which could turn a single spaceship into dust
in three seconds flat was right to be feared.

 

“In a way.” I said slyly.

 

She shivered and backed off a couple of steps.

 

“I don’t want anything to do with them alien hunters. You
just kill whatever the heck is creeping round the corridors in here and I’ll be
happy. You be good, you hear?”

 

We both nodded.

She stalked off, her high heels clicking on the tiled floor.

 

Seth and I stood in stunned silence, letting recent events
sink in.

 

“Now what?” Seth asked, breaking the silence.

 

A gun cocked behind us.

 

“First off,” the voice was female, “You’re going to tell me
who you two are – and why someone got ripped apart by some animal.”

 

We both whirled round.

Before us stood a woman with blonde hair tied back in a ponytail.

Her eyes were a riveting blue, wisps of hair crossing in
front of them.

A single beauty mark was above her mouth on the right side
of her face – a delicate, soft, brown dot in the midst of her perfect pale
skin.

“I’m Seth.”

 

I slapped him on the shoulder; he turned his head to ogle
me.

Idiot.

 

“Pleasure. And you miss?” She grinned jovially.

 

Too late now.

 

“Vi-….. Scarlett. Scarlett Rhodon.”

 

She blinked. I got that a lot from my odd cover name. Better
than no name at all.

 

“Good. Now, what was that device back there?”

 

I eyed her gun. It was definitely not of this century or
planet – who was she to talk?

 

“Cause it looked a lot like a sonic screwdriver.”

 

I stared at her.

She caught my look and smiled.

 

“My father’s name is the Doctor.”

 

My mind went blank.

That couldn’t be right.

Was she me?

No….couldn’t be……

I can’t regenerate……

 

 

“My name is Jenny. You look a little bit confused – I would
be.” She laughed, “I was a…..clone…..created in a machine from the Doctor’s
DNA. I’m Time Lord through and through.”

 

I let out the breath I hadn’t known I was holding.

 

Seth’s face had turned a very funny color purple.

I raised my eyebrows at him.

 

“What’s your problem?” I asked, grinning slyly.

 

“I just realized what those claw
marks on the Prime Minister reminded me of.”

 

“What?”

 

“Your injury caused by the
xenodemon.”

 

The tables had turned.

 

 

 

 

“Xenodemons. Gawd, do I hate
their lot.” I muttered, kicking the wall in frustration.

We were in the same hallway,
discussing the xenodemons.

 

“Tell me about it! I’ve had a
couple of nasty run-ins with them myself….” Jenny said. She was leaning against
the opposite wall, her arms crossed.

 

“Now I know where that one on Earth
back in 2010 came from.” I growled, cursing under my breath.

 

Seth frowned, “But…..they
wouldn’t have been here back then….”

 

“No, no, no...Xenodemons hibernate Seth. They can plant
themselves as eggs centuries before they hatch, slowly growing in the soil.
Most likely the one we ran into on Earth in 2010 was one that missed the Moon
entirely. Sensing it was far from its siblings it came out of hibernation early
to wreck havoc on anything it could get its claws on.”

Seth blinked.

 

“Oh.”

 

Jenny launched off the wall and
sauntered up next to me, “So tell me,” She walked around me, “Is there are a
particular reason why I can sense that you are a Time Lord….and a human?”

 

I swallowed.

 

“You said you were the Doctor’s
daughter….right?” I asked her.

 

She paused in front of me, “Yes?”

 

I smiled half heartedly.

 

“So am I.”

 

 

 

“Rose Tylerhuh? He might have mentioned her….But I
don’t recall. I believe you – I hardly even knew the man…….I have no idea what
he’s really like.”

 

I had painstakingly explained my
existence.

 

“Neither do I. Well…I take that
back, my Mum talked about him all the time. I feel like I know him at least.”

Jenny nodded, fingering the
handle of her gun. She pulled it out, cocked it and grinned wildly.

 

“Right then….The hunt’s afoot!”

 

 

 

I crouched on the balls of my
feet, rocking back and forth. A length of rope dangled in my hand, snaking away
across the tiles and around the bend where it was connected to the door of a
large cage.

 

Across the hall, Jenny and Seth
crouched likewise, peering cautiously round the corner at the cage every now
and then.

 

Someone screamed.

 

I dropped the rope, abandoning
our wild xenodemon-catching idea, and ran past my friends towards the sound.

As before, a crowd had gathered
around an open door.

A woman was sobbing.

 

I pushed through to find a woman
sitting in a steel chair, clutching a bloody blanket.

One end of the blanket still
trailed into a stainless steel crib.

I meandered into the room and
peered into the crib. It was empty, no sign of life save the blood spatters on
the bars.

The child had vanished – the
xenodemons were taking their hunt to the next level.

The End

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