|Doctor Who Internet Adventure #24 - "Remiel"
"The Plot Thins"
by Robert M. Camisa
"Is there a word for things not staying the same forever and ever?"
"Oh. I was afraid of that."
- — Sandman, A Season of Mists
* * *
Mavis looked at her (his?) watch. "The way I see it, there's about thirty minutes before the cops arrive. I wont let you leave this room without killing me. If I'm still alive when the cops come, I will kill you. Either way, there will possibly be enough damage to destabilize a timeline, wiping out thousands of innocent people in the process."
"And all for what? Your immortality?"
"Oh no, Doctor. As I said, that is already assured. No, I'm doing this for a much better, much more satisfying reason. To see the look on the face of", the next words were practically a sneer, "Life's Champion, when he has to kill me. Again."
He/She stood up, walking closer to the Doctor. "And that's not even the best part."
"Dare I ask?"
Mavis/Ryan leaned in close, breath hissing in the Doctor's ear. "The best part is how easy it is. Or rather, how easy it gets. The first time I killed, I was sick for a week. I had racked my brain for months trying to come up with a way around it. But I knew what I was doing was right, so I killed." And here, the voice slunk to a conspiratorial whisper "By the sixth one, I barely even noticed."
The Doctor swallowed hard. "I'm not like you."
"Of course you are. You've killed me once to save others. You'll do it again. And this time it'll be easier still. And still easier the time after that. And soon, you'll be more like me than you already are."
Mavis/Ryan pulled up a chair and straddled it, facing the Doctor. "Tick Tock, Doctor. Tick Tock."
* * *
"A time ring? Do you even know how to work one of those things?"
Luke didn't, but he wasn't about to admit that. "It's all thought controlled. Just think of when and where you want to go, and the ring takes everyone in contact with it to where you thought."
"And where and when were you planning on? Can you honestly think of something that wont make things worse?"
Luke thought that one over for a minute. "No. I can't. But I can think of someone who can."
Zeke was genuinely surprised. "I thought you were planning on never speaking to him again."
"I wasn't. Not for something that didn't involve the fate of the universe anyway. So I get an exception on those grounds. And besides, he always has a plan."
Zeke nodded. "Like Batman."
* * *
"Tick Tock Doctor. I can see plan after plan of racing through that brain of yours, all to no avail. This time, I've thought of everything."
"Well, if you've thought of everything, you wont mind if I show you something?" The Doctor reached his hand into his voluminous pocket and brought out a closed fist...
Mavis/Ryan kept the air rifle trained on him. "By all means. Nothing can detract from my moment of triumph."
The Doctor opened his fist. "Not even this?". Lying there was a single butterfly. Somehow, it had survived in the Doctor's pockets without even a scratch or crease in its wings.
Mavis/Ryan looked at it. "So what? It's dead. As you will soon be."
"No, it's not." The Doctor brought his hand up to his lips and blew softly. The butterfly flapped its wings; weakly at first. Then as it gained a little strength, it left the Doctor's hand and began to flutter around the room.
Until Mavis/Ryan reached out a hand and crushed it. "See Doctor. Dead. Just like you. Will be." He/She looked at her watch "Tick Tock Doctor. Time's almost up." Then something washed across his face, and in an altered tone of voice she said "You shouldn't have killed the butterfly."
"What? Not now, you stupid girl. Get back into the dark with the others, where you belong."
The Doctor leaned in. "You can do it Mavis. Fight him. So many many people will be hurt if he wins. You can fight him."
His answer came in the female voice again. "No. I can't. He's too strong. I won't be able to hold him back much longer." She hesitated, and the bought the air rifle in her hand up before her face.
"Mavis, NO. There has to be another way."
She managed a weak smile. "Sure there is. You can do it. I was never as ditzy as I let on. He has to die. This is the only way." She hesitated a second more, the barrel millimetres from her lips. "Tell me Doctor, is there a word for the feeling you get when you do something that is really really hard, but you manage to do it well?"
Mavis nodded. "I think I can die with that." And she put the barrel in her mouth and pulled the trigger...
To be continued...
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