Chapter Twelve, Part Four: Janus at the Tree of WretchesMature

Kenny says nothing, but opens his long bony hand and blows on his white white fingers, opening a loosely-wrapped packet with just the force of his breath. 

A fine pale dust settles through the room, flying around Hainish. A cloud of dust. 

A cloud. 

Dust everywhere. 

The room needs a cleaning, Hainish decides… 

Then he is gone, bones and all. 

The Namaste Nerada have done what the Doctor asked of them. 

“Go back to your books now, all right?” Kenny says softly, dropping the helmet on the ground with a hollow clack, “I’m going to fetch the Doctor. He’s promised to fix it one more time for us, and then we’re on our own. Go- the debt must be recorded. Do not let her find you. And she must not find him before he finds Hainish.” 

The silver sleek lines of a powering blaster percolating in his hand, he thinks of the hidden storage room where the TARDIS was parked. There should still be travel clothes there, waiting for him, as per the Doctor’s insructions. 

As he considers his route through the Citadel, the white dust swirls once around him, then flies away, up through the tiny seams in the ceiling. 

Soon Knindracastorblyledgespillioth is running through the white halls, down through the levels, beating the corner-skirting guards over the head with candy-colored chairs and vaulting over scurrying Time Lords. 

The egress the woman Flamina used before is only a few more levels down... 

He must reach the Shrine of the Pythia before –she- does. 

He must reach the Doctor.


The End

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