|Doctor Who Internet Adventure #22 - "Clockwork Orange"
"Causality and Its Accompanying Headaches"
by Jennifer Pinyan
Book One: Wind Up
The sun rose over LA, and Roni couldn't help but find it beautiful. Red.
Blood red. "Gorgeous, isn't it?" she murmured. "Don't see sunrises like
this anywhere else."
Her companion sat next to her on the balcony. His collar unbuttoned.
The neglected cravat undone around his neck. His legs dangling over the
edge. He had yet to look up at nature's display. "It's the smog. It'll only
get worse as time goes by." Then he glanced up. At the sky. At Roni. She
did not look pleased. He grimaced. He'd squashed the butterfly. Him, of
all people. Stupid thing to say. But he hadn't been thinking.
"You seem so gloomy. And I thought we were getting along so well."
He sighed, and to Roni it seemed to ill suit him. "This evening didn't
go exactly as I had planned." He carefully stood up on the shaky platform.
"It still could, sugar," Roni offered playfully.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow at her. "That is not what I meant." What
had he meant? Well, he had failed to keep an eye on Freddie, that was for
certain. But how could he have left Roni alone for the evening? In three
years - yesterday - she would be - was - dead. Shot. No eyes. It all seemed
a lot more real now; he couldn't just brush it off with the old "let's go
solve the puzzle" attitude. She was a real, concrete person, and she was
going to be horribly mutilated sometime. Sometime soon?
He gave her a hand up, and they returned to the room in which they'd
looked at the photo album. Grey eyes. Quite nice, for a human. As was she.
"You're a valuable natural resource. It wouldn't have done to waste a
chance to get to know you."
Roni was flattered by the strange praise. "Thanks. An odd thing to
say, but thanks. I'd return the compliment, but I don't think you ever
really got around to telling me anything about you. I guess you're leaving
now, huh? That had a ring of finality to it."
The Doctor sighed, glancing around the room for his frock coat. Again
with the sighing! What, had he never met someone he knew was going to die?
It was stupid to come back. The causality was giving him a headache. But if
they hadn't, how would Freddie have known them? Or what if they had come
back, but just not yet? What if he was here now, only it was later? But
then he would've remembered then being here now, and so he wouldn't've
come back here now then. OK. All clear now. Time to go. "I need to find my
friends. They didn't expect me to be out this late."
"But I thought you were looking for new friends." She tied his cravat.
"I'm always looking for new friends. It never hurts to have a port in
"And a girl in each port?"
"It's seems that way most of the time, yes."
"Will I see you again?"
"No... I don't know. I honestly don't. I hope so. I had an enjoyable
time with you. Might I... No."
"What? We're friends, like you'd wanted. I'm your port in stormy LA."
"The picture of you getting off the train with the stuffed cat under
your arm - does it have much sentimental value?"
Roni looked puzzled, but turned to flip through the photo album.
"It was on the thirty-seventh leaf."
She found the picture. Even now that it was in front of her, she
couldn't remember the events surrounding it. "Yes, it does have sentimental
value. But for you, apparently. Not for me. Take it."
The Doctor solemnly accepted the photograph. Looked at it. Looked at
her. "I hate goodbyes, so I'll just leave now." He squeezed her hand and,
she never saw him again.
* * *
Of course they weren't back at the TARDIS. That would've be too easy,
wouldn't it? It was noon. And, to be honest, the Doctor had gotten
sufficient exercise strolling around town in search of Luke and Kirena.
"At least this isn't San Francisco," he muttered. But he and San
Francisco weren't on the best terms, anyway.
"Watch it, loopy!"
The Doctor glanced up just in time to avoid colliding with a blue.
"Sorry officer." He stepped around and continued on his way. Stopped.
Spun. "Excuse me, officer, where's the nearest police station?"
"Behind you, loopy." The blue shook his head and resumed his beat.
The Doctor approached the station. Standard architecture. Drab colour.
He walked up the dull concrete steps. Through the creaky glass-panelled
doors. It would not be unlike Kirena or Luke to get locked up by the local
authorities if left alone for a mere half a day.
Then again, the same could be said of the Doctor.
* * *
The two o'clock delivery. Not a daily affair. At least, not always to the
same fuzz. Today it was Hallaghan. Stupid fat oaf. It'd been this creep's
partner who'd pulled Freddie over yesterday. Nothing to be gained here. No
special bonus on the side. Not even a tip. All done for the sake of keeping
the boss happy. Call it freakin' altruism.
Freddie was in a particularly foul mood as he pushed through the
squeaky doors of the thirty-second precinct. That wacko was probably
fondling his woman right now. He'd get home at the end of today's runs and
she'd tell him the guy'd been some rich surgeon or something. Maybe the
rich surgeon. Screw you! he'd shout. And he would. But it wasn't like it
used to e. She had to get out of that life.
"Officer Hallaghan, please, Sergeant." Yeah. All nice and polite.
Across the waiting area and into the office.
The fuzz was on the phone. "You can wait a freakin' minute," he
growled, hand over the mouthpiece.
The envelope was supposed to be delivered hand-to-hand. No tossing it
on the desk and leaving. So Freddie turned around, eyes seeking something
interesting to stare at. And they found it.
The exclamation jumped out. "Freakin'--"
The receiver slammed down. "What the hell are you shouting about?"
Freddie spun back to face Hallaghan, a bit pissed to have been caught
with his cool lost. "Nothing. Just thought I recognised one of your clients
"Big freakin' deal. You've done time at Q."
"That nut's not from Q. I don't think he'd last a day there. Not
prison material, that one."
"Just give me what you came to and get the hell out of here."
"Sure." The envelope passed hands. "Give my greetings to the
fruitcake. Or fruit. I never did decide which." Freddie strolled out,
Hallaghan's face reddened. A freakin' fairy thought to just stroll
into the station?! What, to mock him? Well, he'd had enough of that
yesterday. He rounded the desk, leaning heavily on his cane. His freakin'
cane. Bitch's bullet had just grazed the foot, really. An inconvenience. A
freakin' inconvenience. He reached the door and looked out the pane of
glass in it. Yup. Definitely a fruit. But with nice eyes. He'd have to be
careful about this one.
Hallaghan leaned over to the desk, grabbed the phone. "Harris, bring
the fag in velvet to the special interrogation room on level two. I'll meet
* * *
"Sir, if you'll come with me, we're ready to help you now."
The Doctor looked up with a start. After two hours of memorising the
cracks in the tile, the water patches on the ceiling, and everything in
between, they were finally going to talk to him. Missing Persons, and he'd
been shunted to a waiting area. Well, what did one expect, really?
The Doctor stood. "Thank you, Officer..." He read the badge. "Harris."
"Please follow me."
Through swinging doors. Down a staircase. Down a hallway. Not always a
good thing, corridors. Sure, they had their uses. Unfortunately, one of
those was for running away. A bit of the old claustrophobia resurfaced: "I
really just wanted to report some of my friends missing." He stopped,
caught Harris by the arm. "Listen, perhaps you've seen them? Kirena, she's
— well, she looks a bit like Jadi, but I don't suppose that helps. In her
thirties, auburn hair. Fairly neat dresser. Luke is more flamboyant. About
the same age. I last saw him in a leather coat, and black Cuban heels..."
The Doctor rambled on for a bit, describing his companions in detail, not
noticing the struggle taking place across Harris's features.
The character in the crazy coat might just have well have said, "My
friends are the ones that assaulted your partner last night." The
'interrogation room' was not far. The room where Hallaghan was waiting.
What did it matter whether this guy was a fairy or not? If Hallaghan
thought he was, it wasn't going to be pretty. Harris felt sick. It was the
same room John had 'stayed' in.
But Hallaghan was a cop. And he'd been attacked by this guy's friends.
So this guy might be dangerous as well, even though he looked fairly
safe. It was a matter of simple justice, wasn't it? Protecting the peace.
Can't have scum attacking police officers. Who'd defend the good citizens
if the police were taken out? But justice? What did that mean? And what was
right? And who was right? And why was whatever was right, right? Beating up
fruits was not right, that was a definite. But that's not what this
interrogation would be about. It went beyond that. This was about upholding
the law. This was what he'd signed up for.
Harris watched as hands that he didn't really want to acknowledge, as
his own quickly cuffed the man in velvet. Seemingly far off, the stranger
looked down in surprise as his hand gestures were suddenly constrained.
The flow of descriptive words stopped. Through stuffed ears, Harris heard
the question, "Was that really necessary?" A hand snaked out, catching
the man by the collar and dragging him down the hall to the room.
Harris wrenched the door open and, before he could change his mind,
flung the man into the interrogation room. The suspect — a far safer way to
think of him — spun around, mouth opening to perhaps ask about his rights.
But who has rights here?
On the lower level?
Down the hallway?
As a cane smashes into your temple?
And you stumble, but can't catch your balance with your hands cuffed.
So you fall to your knees, baffled as the cane comes down again and again
and again, all the while careful to avoid your blue-green eyes.
To be continued...
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