Doctor Who Internet Adventure #29 - "Destiny Rules"

Chapter 5
"Fortune's Fool"
by BexMod


I possess a power of magic ... [to] destroy the balance of a well-designed destiny -- with my diabolical mind.

— Anais Nin

Rose folded her arms as the boy who called himself Fate peered owlishly up at the Doctor and her. He had glasses for cripe's sake; could have been any one of a million slightly nerdy nine-year-olds the world over. Well, this world, anyway. "I'm fine, thanks," she replied dryly. "Though I'll admit, I was expecting someone taller."

       The Doctor sent her a sidelong glance. He at least had enough experience to be less facetious, Fate noted idly. Then again, his solemnity probably had more to do with Lachesis's recent and relentless pursuit. That'd make anyone cranky.

       Speaking of which--

       Yes; there she was, over across the street. Watching from cover. As the Doctor and her arch enemy Fate conversed, the Time Lord so obviously consulting with his master. Bolstering her determination to eliminate this particular pawn, once and for all.

       An easy assumption to make, really. Whereupon the Doctor would walk right into her latest, and at long last, successful assassination attempt.

       Poor Time Lord. Barely starting to get a clue, and bam! - already out of the game. And done in by the one person who could have gotten him up to speed. Whereupon he might've joined forces with her... and interfered.

       But that was Destiny for you. It was none of his doing. Really.

       Just as how what would happen to this city within seven hours' time wasn't, either. Fate just had the knack for being around when these sorts of things happened. Pure coincidence.

       Across the schoolyard, there was a sudden clatter, then a short, sharp cry of pain. Beyond the fence, three heads whipped around to stare. A boy lay on the asphalt, several others clustered uncertainly around him. A skateboard lay toppled nearby. The boy on the ground was crying.

       "Broken, it's broken..." he groaned. The others exchanged panicked glances and milled about uselessly, before one of them thought to run to the door to the school and start banging upon it. Getting no immediate response, he disappeared around the side of the building.

       "Oh, he didn't make it," Fate noted blandly. "Too bad."

       Rose stared at the boy, the hairs rising on the back of her neck, and she found herself taking a step back. A little smile had quirked his lips for a few moments before he'd wiped his face clear of expression as he turned back to them. She'd barely seen it. Perhaps she'd imagined it... No. Had the Doctor noticed?

       "Indeed," the Doctor agreed evenly. "Bit of...bad luck on his part. Wouldn't you say?"

       "I guess." 'Fate' peered at them, back to just a boy again.

       At that moment, the door to the schoolyard sprang open, and an adult hurried down the steps. Another came after, holding a small case, and last of all, the boy who'd gone for help. As they approached the injured boy and his friends, the group seethed, young voices rising in a babble of explanation and recrimination.

       "So... Fate... you wouldn't happen by any chance to know a woman called Lachesis...?"

       "Know? No. Heard of her? Yes." The boy squinted, tilting his head slightly. "She appears to have this... grudge against me; keeps dogging my steps. Don't know why."

       The Doctor rubbed a hand across the back of his neck. "I know the feeling," he muttered disconsolately. Rose resisted the urge to pat his hand. Poor Doctor. But, that boy... Half her instincts told her he was what he appeared to be - but the other half — those that'd developed, but quick, since she'd started travelling with the Doctor — told her that if he was mere human, she was, umm... Britney Spears?

       Must find out more about Creepy Boy. "So...are you and she related or something?" she asked conversationally. When both Creepy Boy and the Doctor looked at her, she elaborated. "You know... both into 'fate'..." She trailed off and slanted a Look back at the Doctor. "Yes; I remember some stuff from school; don't look so surprised. Took me a while to remember where I'd heard that name before... wasn't there more than one...?"

       "Three Fates, in fact," the Doctor replied with a smile. "Clothos, who spun the threads of lives, Lachesis, who measured them...and Atropos, who cut each thread once its time had come..." he trailed off, looking thoughtful, then worried. "Oh, I hope there aren't more where she came from."

       'Fate' laughed. "I don't know about that, but don't worry, Ms. Tyler; Lachesis and I are nothing alike."

       Rose forced a smile. "Great."

       "Well... it was nice meeting the both of you. Gotta go." And with that, 'Fate' turned and began to just... walk away down the sidewalk.

       The Doctor frowned at the abrupt dismissal. "Wait... where are you going?"

       The boy never paused, merely cast a glance over his shoulder. "Gotta get to class. Don't wanna be late."

       The Doctor blinked and pursed his lips in disapproval. "Class! Really, who does he think we are=-" then glanced back at Rose, expecting a certain amount of sympathy. Perhaps even commiseration.

       Rose was standing very very still. And silent.

       Perhaps it was that razor-sharp blade of the sword being held against her throat. By the leather-jacketed blonde woman standing behind her. The same blonde woman who'd been following them all night. Who now had an especially grim expression on her face.

       The Doctor glanced for a moment back at where the boy had been.

       Gone. As if he'd never been there.

       "Now, Lachesis... let's... not be... hasty..." he began.

       "Shut up."

       The Doctor shut up.

       Now that the Time Lord had seen them, Lachesis said nothing more. She simply vanished in her trademark flare of light, taking Rose with her. The Doctor took a reflexive, useless step forward even as they disappeared.

       "Rose..." he murmured forlornly.

To be continued...

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