Time Lady 2

The Child of Fear

Time Lady 2
Book One
Book Two
The Whitechapel Murders
Book Three
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Fate has brought us to these shores
What was meant to be is now happening
 - from 'Lord Of The Flies' by Iron Maiden

Chung Yin

Li Na liked to watch Yin as he slept.  She could spend hours studying his bottom lip.  She never felt more happy than when they were together.  He was still so much of a mystery to her, she who once horded secrets like precious jewels.  He looked so peaceful while he slept.  So free of the troubles she knew that plagued him just a few hours ago.  So innocent, so angelic as he lay in a tranquil repose of stilled life.  Their ordeal on Homer had been a terrifying one, but it was best to put it behind them now.  Time to move on.  They had a baby to think about now.  She put her hands on her stomach and wondered how soon it would be before she felt the new life growing inside of her.  Then she began to feel queasy.  “Not again.”  She said as she ran towards the bathroom before she threw up last night’s meal.  This was the fourth time in the last two days, every morning she felt queasy.

 

 

The planet Siam was reeling under the heavy and sustained assault from land and air.  Their simple agrarian society was no match for the heavily armed shock troops that shot at all resistance with no regard for the loss of civilian life.  They had tried to surrender, but they had just executed those who carried the brown triangle of piece.

 

 

She flushed the toilet and then washed the tips of her hair in the skin with unscented soap, before brushing her teeth three times.  Once she felt clean Li Na walked back to the bedroom and crawled back into bed like a weak kitten.  She lay next to her husband and closed her eyes.  Within seconds she began to dream, again…

 

 

Yticcan colonisation pod nine had been on Hermes for eight thousand orbits around its star. All the scientists had confirmed this was a dying system and only good for a few hundred thousand more orbits, at best. They had done well despite the inert and toxic atmosphere. Domes had been set up and crops were flourishing. Eventually they would have to move on to a new world but for now a new ship was being planned and a new generation was growing up.

Yticca itself was now a dead world, its star had exploded long ago. Twenty vast colonisation pods had been sent off to find new worlds to establish and eventually populate. The colonists were in bio-stasis, a much more advanced form of cryogenics that manipulated time dampers instead of simply freezing people.

 

 

“Now see here Doctor, I won’t have you and Miss Grant going off to god knows where and back in that infernal machine of yours.” The Brigadier, dressed in his day-to-day khaki green U.N.I.T. uniform, hit his desk with an angry thud. “Especially now with the heightened state of alert in place. If the peace talks are not successful we may very well be facing World War Three.” He sat down in his chair; sometimes the Doctor could be beyond belief.

“Yes, yes I know. They really should have sorted all that stuff out years ago. The Dalek incident couldn’t have knocked more than a month off the silliness you Humans call politics. Furthermore I shall travel to where I like and back and there again if I want to. I’ve had quite enough of this planet and its problems. There are people out there dying by the billions Brigadier and there’s only one of me.” The Doctor was dressed in a purple velvet smoking jacket with a white frilly shirt and black trousers with just a slight flare. He stretched his arms out to add emphasis to his statement.

“Only one, Doctor?” The Brigadier smiled as he recalled meeting the Doctor’s previous incarnations a few months earlier, during the Omega crisis.

“Yes well, I know where my other selves have been and there’s so much evil left in the Universe to be fought. Now will you kindly stop the bureaucracy and let me leave. I promise not to reveal any of your precious secrets to the first alien I meet.”

“Very well Doctor, but make absolutely sure that no harm comes to Miss Grant or next time, I’ll send Sergeant Benton with a security detail.”

“Anything else while I’m at it?”

“Oh not much Doctor, a souvenir perhaps? Something that will impress the top level security inspection that’s due here in two hours time to inspect our facilities for the conference.”

“Oh my dear chap how awful for you. Here you are in charge of the security of the world from alien invaders and you don’t have anything to impress the top brass with.”

“Enjoy your trip Doctor.” The Brigadier feigned resigned indifference.

“Thank you, I will.” The Doctor left in a grandiose manner.

 

 

Marissa Krain was busy tending to her small, but bountiful, crop of vegetables and fruits. Her work overalls were covered in dirt and fertiliser but she did not mind. In some ways it reflected all the hard work she had put into growing the food. She lived with her two daughters; their father disappeared without trace soon after they were born. Since there was no where for him to go and no body was ever found he was still listed as missing to this day. Saras was two hundred orbits old and she was already at the learning centre while her twin Pabus, who didn’t share her sister’s gift for learning stayed at home and helped out around the house. There was suddenly a great commotion from outside of the dome as Marissa heard a strange groaning and wheezing noise.

 

 

The TARDIS had managed to stop. Jo had caught the fast-return switch with one of her many chunky plastic bracelets. “I said I was sorry Doctor.” Jo was dressed for an adventure. After the last few trips with the Doctor she had found that sensible shoes were better than heels, just. She also wore a pair of green cords and a wool jumper with a nice green and yellow zigzag pattern on it. Her bracelets were mainly yellows and pinks with a few gold ones for good measure. They might need money of some kind and gold was usually accepted everywhere they had been to so far.

“Yes, well no harm done, eh Jo. May as well have a look and see where we have arrived.” The Doctor consulted many different instruments on the TARDIS console.

“Anywhere nice Doctor?”

“A bit peculiar Jo, yes. We seem to have landed on the planet Siam.”

“What’s so odd about that?” Then Jo remembered one of the many UNIT briefings she had been forced to attend. “Of course, the closest planet to the sun.”

“Very good Jo. It should be a white hot inferno out there. Of course, the fast-return switch. It’s thrown us back further than I thought.”

“How far back Doctor?”

“Let’s just say the sun hasn’t been switched on yet. Siam is the only planet that’s anywhere near formed. The other inner planets are still a cloud of pebbles and the gas giants are just loops of ice and methane stretched around the sun.”

“The instruments say it’s near Earth like out there. How can that be?”

“Every star has a habitable zone around it. In this region the conditions for life are perfect for that spark of life to begin. Here we are on the outer region of that zone. Once the sun starts to ignite that zone will expand out first to Vesta and then on to the Orial, where it will remain for a few thousands of millions of years. Eventually the sun will turn into a red giant and the zone will shift to Ares and then briefly to Ramma until it shrinks down into a small white dwarf star, then the zone will be back more or lest to here. But by then Siam will have long since been reduced to cinders and dust and consumed.” The Doctor finished his impromptu astronomy lesson.

“So shall we have a quick look around Doctor?”

“Yes I think so Jo. Maybe I can get Lethbridge-Stewart his precious souvenir. You’ll need to get the breathers from the storage cupboard though.” The Doctor was looking at the atmosphere reading. “The air’s mostly Helium with a little Neon which is surprising but not impossible.”

 

 

Li Na opened her eyes as the dream subsided.  “Alistair?”  She shook herself awake properly and sat up in the bed.  “Not again.  How is it possible?  Biopolis was a fluke, a chance meeting of dreams, plant to animal.  That’s not possible in this case.”  She got out of bed and had a quick shower, there was just enough time to do her legs and armpits before she threw up in the shower stall.  “This had better end soon.”  She wondered if she should try a few aromatic herbal infusions later to try and stabilise her bodily functions and clear her sinuses at the same time.

 

 

Yin emerged from the TARDIS first.  He looked around to see that streets were deserted; there was no sign of anyone.  Typical Solar Knight tactics, he should give them his assistance, for the glory of Solaria.  NO!  That was not who he was.  He was not a Solar Knight.  He was Chung Lin, husband of Li Na, father to be of their unborn child.  He was a free individual.  He could make up his own mind.

“Are you ok?”  Li Na asked as she emerged from the TARDIS.

“Just a headache.”  Yin replied.  “There must be something in the air.”

“I don’t doubt it.”  Li Na replied.  “The air is very saturated with some rather nasty chemical inhibitors.  Another five minutes and we’ll be walking zombies.”  She ushered her husband back inside the TARDIS.  She pressed a few buttons, turned a couple of dials and brought the external atmospheric scrubbers on line.  “This is to get those filthy chemicals out of the air.”

Yin went out of the TARDIS to see that four large metal prongs had emerged from the roof and had unfolded strange antennae like Christmas trees.  “How long will it take?”

“To do the whole planet?  Oh, about an hour, why do you ask?”

“I was just wondering.”  Yin shrugged.

“Of course as the air is drawn here for cleaning we’ll probably get the full hour.”  She handed Yin a pill.  “This will help you.”

“Aren’t you going to have one?”  Yin asked.

“Better not risk it.”  Li Na replied.  “There’s a small chance it could affect the baby.”

“Shouldn’t you stay in the TARDIS?”  Yin didn’t want to put either life in any danger.  The risk was far too great in his opinion.

“I can resist these chemicals for a while.”  Li Na replied.  “My superior metabolism can cleanse my system of their toxic properties almost instantly.  I’ll be fine Yin, I promise.  I wouldn’t do anything to hurt our baby.  Your mother will want to see her fat grandchild after all.”

“I don’t doubt it.”  Yin relaxed, but just a little.

 

 

They explored the various houses nearby.  All were devoid of life.  They sat on the sofa in one house to rest.  Well not so much rest as sample the culture of the natives.  It seemed to be of two distinct levels.  An older, more sophisticated technology which had been carefully maintained and a younger less-advanced technology that barely seemed enough to cope with the current level of the society.

Yin made what he hoped was coffee for himself and Li Na.  It smelled sort of similar and the taste wasn’t too bad if you didn’t dwell upon it.  He handed a cup over to Li Na.

“I really shouldn’t.”  She said.  “Well, I can switch to decaf once we’re back in the TARDIS.”

“I don’t think there’s any caffeine in this anyway.”  He said to his wife.  “It doesn’t smell like coffee.”

Li Na sat back on the sofa and closed her eyes.

 

 

They emerged from out of the TARDIS onto the rocky brown and red surface of Siam. In front of them extended a field of craters as far as the eye could see despite the preternaturally short horizon. They went to circle the TARDIS and both were shocked by what they discovered.

“Good grief there’s people living here.” The Doctor and Jo stared at the vast complex of domes and passageways.

“We have to warn them Doctor.”

“Yes Jo, there’s an airlock over there.” They walked over to the airlock and waited until the atmosphere was changed. A buzzer inside the breathers indicated that the air was now safe to breathe and so they took the cumbersome breathers off. Dozens of pale blue skinned people ran away from them screaming. This made a change thought Jo; it’s usually viscous primitives carrying spears. Her hopes were dashed when ten security officers appeared carrying electroprods.

“I think there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye Jo.” The Doctor half-whispered. “Check your wrist.”

Jo checked her wrists and found that she was now wearing a new dark orange metal bracelet, with one large ruby set into its seamless form. “Hey where did this come from?”

“It’s called a Time Ring Jo. This is all Their doing.”

“The Time Lords? But I thought your sentence had been served. They gave you back control of your TARDIS.”

“Somehow it was all too good to be true. I may have my freedom but I’m still on a leash it would seem. It could have something to do with the situation. If you touch the ruby and think about the TARDIS it will teleport you there Jo. I can sense the limitations programmed into it. After all the last thing they would want is to give anyone else free access to time travel.”

“Well it shows one thing Doctor, they are concerned enough about your life the give you such an artefact.”

“Yes Jo, I guess I still have a few friends left inside The Capitol.”

 

 

After a lot of lengthy explanations and posturing the Doctor and Jo were granted the freedom of the colony for the duration of their stay. Their chief elder Dravvak shook their hands and gave them special armbands to wear. These would identify them as friends and save anymore embarrassing scenes.

The chief scientist, Gurrod, explained the history of the colony. “We are originally from Yticca. Long ago we discovered that our sun was about to explode and so we created twenty vast colony ships to take our people out to the stars in the hopes of continuing our culture and species. We were each to found a colony in the hopes that one day our people would all be united again. Our pod found this world for eight thousand, one hundred and three orbits and in that time we have flourished. We realise that founding a colony around a dying star is merely a delaying tactic but we hope to repeat the task of our ancestors and one day launch a new pod off into space. Since the landing was automatic we had no choice over the actual landing, but eventually we will improve on the original design and find a good, healthy world and star to start a colony on.”

“Excuse me, I hate to interrupt your little PR exercise but this star isn’t dying.”

“All of our experts have studied the star and their conclusions all point to its great age. Soon it will finally burn itself out.”

“This star is just gearing up for ignition. Soon it will undergo its first fusion reaction and will be transformed from a ball of glowing gas into a fully fledged main sequence yellow dwarf.”

“That’s impossible; it would mean our people will all be obliterated. No I cannot accept that conclusion.”

“If you don’t get your people ready for departure in the next few hundred orbits then I’m afraid there will be nothing left of this place save molten steel and your people will be reduced to maybe a few grams of ash and dust by the heat.”

The Doctor paused for breath. “This is a new star about to be born.”

 

 

Yin shook Li Na awake.  “You have to wake up now, there’s someone outside.”

Li Na gasped as consciousness returned in a burst of energy.  “I’ve been here before.”  She said to Yin.  “Many years ago.  I tried to warn the colony of the dangers.  They wouldn’t listen of course.  I thought they were wiped out by a solar flare.  It seems they survived.  Siam’s sun somehow shrunk down into a hot white dwarf star, easily warm enough to allow life to thrive but never too hot to cause any serious harm.

“Now the Solar Knights will finish the job off.”  Yin replied.

“Unless we can stop them.”  Li Na nodded slowly.  “We’ve done it before.”

“We should try and find the resistance.”  Yin said.

“Until the pollutants in the air are removed I doubt we’ll find one.  Unless a few of them are naturally immune.”  Li Na stood up.  “We won’t solve anything sitting in this house.  We have to get out there, on the streets, make a protest, sing a few songs.  We have to do something to kick start the opposition.”

 

 

Rog Krain was in hiding from the others.  He was safe in his old tree house; no one looked for him up here.  He was safe in here, away from the others.  They were acting weird.  They were obeying the strangers, doing the most appalling things.  His sister had gone off with one of the strange men.  His parents had killed each other for their amusement.  He was all alone in the world.  He had nothing and no one left.  He heard voices, strange voices, they were chatting about normal things.  He risked a peep out of the small glass window; he saw a man and a woman casually walking down the street.  He saw that there were acting just like his parents, before the strange people came.  He opened the window and threw a tiny stone at the man.

“Hey!”  Yin said sharply as a stone hit his head.  He looked around to see a frightened face in the window of a tree house.  “There’s someone up there.”

Li Na looked up to see the face of a scruffy unwashed child.  “He looks scared.  He must be all alone, poor little mite.”

Yin walked over to the base of the tree.  “We won’t harm you.”  He called quietly.  “I’m Chung Yin; this is my wife, Chung Li Na.”

Rog giggled, these people put their family name first. It was the only funny thing he’d heard in a long time.  He climbed down the tree.  “I’m Rog.”

“Pleased to meet you Rog.”  Li Na replied.  “How are you?”

Rog suddenly felt like his whole world was spinning.  If these people were acting normal and were real then his parents were really dead and it wasn’t a terrible dream.  His sister had left him alone to go off with that man and he was alone, all alone.  He fell to the ground and started to cry.

Yin picked the boy up in his arms and carried him inside.  “He is obviously going to need time, before we can learn more from him.”

Li Na nodded slowly.  “A parent’s work is never done.”

Yin did a double take at Li Na’s last words but he saw the playful teasing smile on her face and that was worth the shock.

 

 

Kertisa Krain came to her senses all of a sudden, as if a waking dream had just ended.  She screamed when she saw what had become of her.  Her arms and legs had been severed and her belly was swollen like she was pregnant.  She had tubes in her body to feed her and keep her breathing.  She had other tubes to take away her bodily waste.  She looked around the room to see rows and rows of women of child bearing age all cut up and bloated with unborn babies.  They were all crying and screaming for lost loved ones.  Kertisa saw had she also had tubes stuck into her belly that were connected up to a baby monitor and she saw what was growing inside of her womb and she screamed in shock at what she saw.  The terror of that one glimpse of her baby was enough to send her teetering over the edge of madness and she howled in fury and lamented her fate.  “The eye!”  She sobbed.  “The eye!”  She wanted to drive a sword into her belly but she was impotent, a limbless body with no other function than to make monsters.  The most beautiful thing in the world had been turned into an abomination.  “The eye!”  She gibbered insanely as her rational mind fragmented into nothingness.

 

 

Rog started to tell the two strangers about what had happened.  The disappearance of his sister Kertisa, the shock of watching his parents killing each other and laughing as they bled to death tearing at each others throats with their teeth.  The strange acts of the neighbours and the appearance of the strangers in metal suits.  He sat on Li Na’s lap and hugged her tightly.

“Feeling maternal yet?”  Yin asked.

“Of course.”  Li Na replied.  “What woman wouldn’t?”  She held Rog in her arms and sung an old nursery rhyme to him.  “Who unto to Rassilon's Tower would go, Must choose above, between, below.”

Rog felt better already, it was almost like his parents were alive again.  He hugged Li Na again.  “We can’t stay here for long; they search all the houses once a day.”

“Where are all the others, Rog?”  Yin asked.

“They went to the other city, they built it themselves.  It’s a horrible place, everyone is mean and nasty.  I have to steal food from them when I’m hungry.”

“That’s awful.”  Li Na said to Yin.

 

 

The amputated pregnant women all screamed as their babies were born.  They were unable to do anything but yell out in pain as the slimy, tentacle-covered children begin to force their way out of their dilated vaginas.  They were prisoners in their own flesh as their babies began to feast upon their helpless prone bodies.  Mouths full of sharp fangs bit down on maternal muscle and bone and tentacles wrapped around bodies and machines for grip.  The baneful single eyed children of Solaria fed upon the human eggs they had just hatched from.

 

 

They walked the three kilometres to the Solar Knight complex.  Suddenly Li Na felt a stirring from with her womb, the first sign of life from the bun in her oven.  She smiled to Yin and held his hand as they walked, with Rog taking the lead.  “If he has no parents, maybe we can adopt him.”  She whispered to her husband.

“Maybe.”  Yin replied.  “Although he may have uncles and aunts who would want to look after him.”

“True.”  Li Na replied.  “Giving him a good home should be our primary concern.”

 

 

The tentacled horrors burst into the school for the younger children.  They leapt across the room effortlessly and each pounced on the body of a child.  They began to feast at once, consuming the small bodies within minutes.  Three of them also consumed the teacher.

The Solar Knights opened fire at the monsters but they were unaffected by bullets or fire.  Instead they attacked the lesser servants of Solaria, consuming them too.

 

 

Li Na heard gunfire.  “Get down.”  She said to the others.  They watched as a stream of old people and young men in Solar Knight armour ran out of the city.  “What’s going on?”  She asked one of the Solar Knights.

“Monsters!”  He screamed.  “Terrible monsters!”

Li Na let the scared man go and looked towards the city.  She saw a movement out of the corner of her eye.  A terrible thing that should not be, but was.  She shielded Yin’s eyes just in time as she saw the full horror of the creature unfold itself into all twenty five of its own dimensions.  “You don’t scare me.”  She said.  “I am the thing that gives you nightmares.  I am the Doctor!”

The creature flinched at the accursed name.  “G’jhgqw eg’erqi kjfw’wroi!”  It bellowed and let out a primal roar of sound.

Li Na just laughed.  “Is that the best you can do?  I don’t think you have it in you to defeat me.”  She looked deep into the nightmare’s single burning cobalt red eye.  “I however can destroy you; fight fire with fire is what I say.”  She activated the TARDIS summoning device, but it didn’t work.  “Ah, so you can jam my transmission eh?  Shunt it into a different dimension?  Well two can play at that game.  She waved her hand about and the metal device changed into a hedgehog sitting in the palm of her hand.  She tickled its nose and the TARDIS materialised around herself, Yin and Rog.  Rog!  She’d forgotten about Rog!  She looked down and saw that the young boy had simply died of fright.  “No!”  She shouted.  “No!”

Yin put his arms around his wife.  “You’re not to blame, that thing is.  Whatever it was.  I heard it speaking, in my mind.  It said I was an inferior servant among inferior servants.  It is the next stage of the plan.  Those unworthy to become like those things will simply be killed by them.”

Li Na sighed.  “We’ll deal with that another day.  First though I have a small matter of an apocalypse to arrange.  When I first came to this planet I was concerned about the survival of the colony.  I never dreamed for a second that I would be the one responsible for the destruction of that colony.”  She activated the forbidden controls of the TARDIS.  The secret arsenal of atomic weapons in the heart of the TARDIS came on line.  She allowed only three hundred of them to fall onto the planet below.  One by one they exploded, a terrible carpet bombing of nuclear annihilation covered every inch of the planet’s surface.  “It’s the only way to be sure.”  She said to Yin.  “Too much energy too quickly will overload their bodies; they cannot survive that much radiation.  That world will never know life upon its surface ever again.”

Safe from the deadly radiation Yin watched as the surface of the wrecked planet shattered and collapsed in upon itself.  It began to crumble and shrink.  A tiny ball of light burst in the centre of the dead world, creating a cloud of rock and metal that would, over thousands of years, encircle its parent sun before eventually being pulled down into it.

 

 

Li Na wore a simple black dress, while Yin wore a plain black suit.  They stood in silence around the small grave, marked with a black marble headstone and Rog’s name in gold lettering.  There was a simple message: Le calme de paix remplit les coeurs avec le chagrin pour un si jeune pris avant son temps.

 

 

Later that day Yin and Li Na made love, it was different than ever before, it was primal, basic, rough, passionate, intense.  It was a celebration of life and Li Na hoped that her own child who ever she or he was would grow up to make herself and Yin very proud of them.

Then she began to think of the dreams, they baffled her.  Why was she dreaming of her past all of a sudden?  She preferred to think of her future, with Yin and their baby.  It could not be any coincidence that her last two dreams were of the same planets that were being invaded by the Solar Knights.  Was someone sending her a message?  Was someone playing games with her?  Without further information she could only guess and she had some very nasty suspicions.

Once Yin was rested she took her turn to be on top and this time she was even more primal as they rutted like she was insatiable, like she was in heat, could never get enough of it.

 

Really stepping up the pace now as things start to unfold.  Solaria's true plan begins to be revealed and it could have serious implications for the Doctor's unborn child.
 
The phrase on Rog's headstone translates from: The stillness of peace fills the hearts with sorrow for one so young taken before his time.
 
The dreams of past lives will be resolved in the next chapter 'Solaria Rising'.
 

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