Doctor Who: Panic Moon Ch. 06byKurokami©
Author's Note: This is a sequel series to Amy, Captured. To get the full experience, please read through that one first.
Hi again! Once more, I don't have a huge amount of stuff to say, so I'll just get right to it!
Many thanks to Isabel for her initial editing and creative input, and to Allyourbase for the same, as well as giving me some interesting ideas for future chapters...
Votes, comments and feedback are entirely appreciated. Enjoy!
There weren't a whole lot of things to do, on Trismestigius.
Yes, it was an entire moon with its own ecosystem. But there weren't really that many people living there; just the seven person crew, the A.I and latterly Amy. No people, no civilization, not a lot of things to do.
And for Sander, for Mara, for Kanaria and Tsugi that was fine. They had their work to do; keeping the Engine, the A.I, the whole base operating properly. Lysithea seemed quite happy doing nothing, just sitting still and listening to her Chorus. She was an odd one. And Dulcimer meditated. A lot.
But where did that leave Ren? She was the mechanic; if nothing was broken, she was left hanging. She only really had a job here when things went wrong, or when Sander wanted her to build something. That was fine, back when the Engine was being built and she could work for most of the day. These days...
These days, she mostly just exercised.
Right now, she was lifting weights. Heavy ones. This would take up much of her morning.
It had been a long, long time since she'd actually needed to exercise, but she had kept it up after coming here. When you do something for so long that it becomes routine, it's hard to give it up for no reason, and besides, she liked it. She'd feel bad if she stopped, in more ways than one.
Ren kept her body in peak condition, and that was saying something; her less than human origin made her a powerhouse under normal circumstances. Like this, she could comfortably bend steel. At a dead sprint, she had a top speed of seventy miles per hour, and that had been measured scientifically. Three times, since nobody could believe the readings. It was almost ridiculous, they'd said. Like she was operating under Roadrunner physics.
Still, none of that really mattered; she could do it, that was what mattered. No use complaining that it "beggared belief," or whatever. She grunted to herself, lifting the solid metal bar up into the bracket above her with minimal effort. Sitting up, she stretched her arms over her head, working out the tension in her muscles and returning to a loose, swinging posture.
It wasn't that she had a problem with living here; living like this. It was downright peaceful, really. If there was nothing for her to do, then there was nothing wrong. It would be strange to wish for something bad to happen, just to occupy her time.
As if in answer to her train of thought, there was a knock at her door. Her head tilted to one side.
'Huh. That's... ominous,' She muttered to herself. 'It's open! Get in here!'
The door slid to one side, revealing Tsugi on the other side, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. When he caught sight of Ren, he didn't smile, but his jaw did set in a peculiar way. He slipped into the room, 'Hi.'
'Tsugi-chan!' Ren grinned. 'What's up?'
He stood, close to the door, making sure to close it before speaking. His eyes bored into Ren's, looking for something, 'Do you know where I come from, Ren? My homeworld?'
'No, Tsu, I don't.'
'I come from Uo.'
To her credit, Ren didn't move. Her expression didn't change, aside from the slow fade of her smile. One hand drifted up to take hold of her chin, fingers rubbing absently up and down her jaw, 'Shit.'
'I know what you are, Ren,' Tsugi's voice was flat. 'I know what you are.'
'You could have told me you were there,' She snapped, a little too savagely. 'I would have... Fuck, Tsu-kun!'
'Come on, Ren!' Tsugi closed his eyes with a pained expression. 'Did you really think you were anonymous now? When I was a kid, you were always on TV, in the official broadcasts. Everyone from Uo has seen your face, and everyone there has an opinion of the Half in the government. Remember what they used to call you?'
Ren groaned, tipped her head back and closed her eyes, 'Sagara's pet. The Royal's guard dog. The Butcher. Yeah, I remember.'
'Well, as far as I'm concerned... Goddamn it, I'm not here for that!' Tsugi's palm slammed against the unyielding metal of the wall with a resounding slap. 'You're Ren, not the Butcher. I've known you for three years, you're my friend. My parents were loyalists, so you're alright by me. That's in the past. But I've got to know: is there anyone chasing you? Can they find you here?'
'No,' Her voice quavered, just slightly. It was clear this was a painful topic for her, 'Not the way I left. Have you told anyone else?'
'No, Ren, I haven't. You should have. I debated for a long time whether I should, which led me here. There are a lot of people out there who hate you enough to want to kill you,' Tsugi sighed, stepping across the room as he talked. 'If they found you, it'd be like the Vesperian government finding Sander. It'd be bad.'
He reached out and laid a hand on Ren's shoulder, shaking his head as he did so. She twitched at the sudden contact, almost shied away from it. His fingers squeezed gently, and then they were gone. Her eyes widened; she found herself almost missing his touch.
'Just so you know, I'm not going to apologize,' She said softly. 'That's my crap, there. Mine. I'll deal with it myself, if it ever becomes an issue,' The next part came slowly, as if she had to draw it out from some deep, hidden part of herself. 'But, for what it's worth, I'm glad I never... Never hurt you.'
'So am I,' Tsugi seemed more irritated then angry. But there was conviction in those words, tinged with a kind of bitterness that stung Ren to hear it. 'I'm not going to tell anyone. God knows, you've had enough trouble with your past without me bringing it all up again in front of our friends. I just wanted you to know that I knew. You are not alone, in that knowledge.'
Without another word, he went to the door, and something made him pause. He turned back with an unreadable expression, 'One last thing. The... the creature, with the metal skin. What was it?'
'Tsugi-chan...' Ren admonished. 'We both know that thing doesn't exist. The government said so.'
'They say a lot of things I don't believe. I saw it once, Ren. From the look in your eyes when I brought it up, so have you. At first I thought it was a robot, but I've seen robots. They don't move like that. And they don't survive direct hits from Lancer-class charged particle beams like it did. It was years ago, but I'd appreciate it if you'd put my curiosity to rest. What was it, you think?'
'I don't know,' Ren said quietly, shrugging her shoulders. 'I honestly don't. I wish I did.'
'Okay then. Remember what I said, Ren,' Tsugi smiled. 'You aren't alone here.'
The door closed. Ren remained motionless. For several minutes, everything was still.
'Fuck!' She screamed suddenly, the sound drawing out into a wordless shriek of anger and following her as she leaped from her seat, lashing out at the closest wall with one bare foot. There was an immense, sonorous bang as her foot impacted the wall; it faded slowly, like the sound of a gong, as she lowered her foot gingerly to the floor.
There was a deep, uneven dent in the metal where the kick had landed.
'So, I introduced Amy to Dulsie.'
Mara gave a little giggle and pressed her back more firmly into Sander's chest. She shook her head, amusement twinkling in her eyes, 'Oh, that's funny, my love.'
Sunlight played across the two of them, filtered through the dark red leaves of the large tree they say under. Sander's back was tilted against the hard bark of the trunk, while Mara lay against him, seated between his splayed legs. Both of them were reading from actual, printed books; a rarity in a world of screens and wires. But Sander had always liked the feel of real paper in his hands, with words printed in concrete form, and moments like these deserved to have everything happen in a certain way. To have everything happen right.
Moments like these, he could almost forget himself. He could almost be normal.
When he had designed the layout of their bedroom, Sander had made sure to include a spot like this out on the balcony, away from everything else. Just for the two of them. Out here, under the tree, with a breeze coming in off the sea and tousling Mara's hair in that perfect, oh so attractive way, they were totally alone. There were no cameras installed out here, no listening bugs or holograms. It was even the only spot on the moon that Jericho could not see. It was their haven.
This tree was a little worse for wear because of that. Numerous branches and leaves had been torn off during the pair's rougher, passionate, carefree moods. If this tree could talk, it would have stories to tell.
Once, on a lazy afternoon, Mara had gotten bored and carved into the bark, just above where Sander's head was now, a large cartoon heart with an arrow through it; inset in the carving were their initials: S & M.
Both of them had found that hilariously appropriate.
'Do you remember our first time with Dulsie, Mara?' Sander asked absently, turning the page on George Orwell's classic, 1984. It was his favorite book; he'd always quite liked that O'Brien chap.
'I do,' Mara shrugged, deeply engrossed in World War Z. 'How could I forget?' She gave a playful shiver, 'We should do that again, sometime.'
'Next time, we'll have Amy to play with too,' Sander grinned. 'In more ways than one.'
Sander exhaled a satisfied breath, leaning back a little farther, his free hand toying absently with the ends of Mara's hair. He thought of the future; of what the Eternity Engine was bringing to him, of what Dulcimer would find, and of the games that lay ahead of him. He thought of the Doctor, as one by one his friends disappeared from the timeline. As his world grew a little smaller with each passing day.
All of that was exciting. He grinned wider, showing altogether too many teeth. His eyes drifted away from the words on the page.
'Gonna be fun.'
She was sitting, cross-legged, on the floor. The floor of her old house, in Leadworth. She should have felt relieved, but didn't. There were too many things wrong with this picture.
For one, Dulcimer was sitting opposite her, mirroring her position. That was cause enough for alarm.
'Did you have fun?' That same chilled, silent voice in her head.
'I... Ugh,' Amy rubbed at her temples and shifted restlessly. 'I don't understand. I died...'
'Yes, I was rather impressed with that myself,' Dulcimer applauded, but without a face it was hard to tell whether she was doing so sarcastically. 'Nice attention to detail. You're a natural.'
'I don't understand,' Amy repeated. Her head seemed filled with cotton, and besides that she clearly remembered dying. That sort of thing has an impact on a person.
'Mental contextualization,' Dulsie sighed. 'Your subconscious mind felt me pulling you out of your fantasy, and it reacted. Built my presence into the image. Not many people can do that. You've had experience with this kind of thing before. Now, what was it... The Dream Lord, right?'
'I don't understand!' Amy hissed, teeth grinding together. 'You need to explain this to me! What happened to me?'
'Wasn't that familiar to you at all?' Dulcimer sent, rocking on her haunches. 'It was YOUR fantasy, after all.'
Amy stiffened. She had the increasingly familiar feeling of being observed by an immeasurably intelligent, perceptive being that could see through her like she was made of glass. Dulcimer did not move, she didn't have to; there was no question. No doubt in either of them that that had been something Amy had thought up. Something she had wanted.
'You are providing everything that we experience here. I cannot create anything new, just introduce you to scenarios that you have already created. I must admit though, you are very good at this. Did you notice how, at the end, you were providing complex motivation for the Doctor-simulacrum too? You must have felt that, subconsciously. Providing a second internal monologue... That is impressive.'
'Inside your head. Yes. It's a trick I can do. I can pull you into your own thoughts, focus in on specific ones and build whole worlds out of them,' The Dullahan's hands rested in her lap, fingers tracing the skin above her wrist. 'Specifically, I'm interested in your fantasies. Your sexy ones,' Amy could almost feel the grin on the alien's non-existent face. 'And frankly there's a lot of them in your pretty little head, dear. All very interesting, and I look forward to experiencing them with you.'
'What in God's name are you talking about?' Amy growled, failing to keep the disbelief out of her voice. 'I'm... This is real, isn't it?'
'Focus. You can see the seams, if you look close enough,' Dulcimer pointed to the nearest window. Sunlight streamed in, but that seemed to be the extent of it. There was nothing else; no matter how Amy moved, the glare of the sun completely obscured the world outside. It filled her with an oddly hollow feeling, seeing such a familiar environment completely torn apart; everything of value, every memory she had of it surgically removed. Her home, reduced to its barest skeleton.
And outside of this falsity, captivity awaited. Beyond the walls of her imaginings lay only her cell, and Sander, and Mara, and whoever else they happened to drag into this game of theirs. She blinked back tears; it was cruel, having to sit here now. The terrible illusion of freedom.
'Yes. I can,' She whispered, eyes downcast.
'If you don't like the scenery, you can change it,' Dulcimer cut to the heart of the matter. 'But that's for later. This is just a holding loop, so I don't have to completely take you out of your receptive state. We're going to move on, now. I saw some interesting things deeper in your mind. Hidden, like you were trying to bury them. Actually, I saw one dream about Ren, which I'd like to try. Sounds fun, even if you did only meet her yesterday. Naughty girl, you.'
Amy felt her heart drop into the pit of her stomach.
'Yes, I can see that,' Dulcimer sent. 'You can try to deny it, you can say whatever you like, but I cannot create. Everything we see, hear or feel in this place comes from your mind.'
There was a moment of silence, a pregnant pause as Amy tried not to twitch or betray her thoughts to the implacable alien before her. Dulcimer sat calmly, utterly still, allowing the girl time with her thoughts, with the pain of realization and the question that had plagued her, more and more, since she had come here:
What is wrong with me?
'Sometimes the mind creates ideas against its own better judgment,' The Dullahan spoke, voiceless voice spreading through Amy's mind almost kindly, gentleness tempered by a clinical tone that was vaguely uncomfortable to listen to. 'You can feel bad about it, you can feel ashamed, but you can't change it, you see?'
'Ah, but that's for another time. I'm a lot of things, but I am not a psychologist. My knowledge is a little more... instinctual. I won't bother asking if you're ready to go,since you won't remember all this once you're in, so... Shall we?'
The world fizzed and fell away. Slowly, Dulcimer stood in the inky blackness that now surrounded them, and turned to walk away. One hand rose, waved Amy off.
'See you around.'
'So then,' Ren's voice hissed in her ear, the temperature of her breath seeming to sear the skin of her neck. 'What do I do with you, little girl?'
Amy shuddered, tried to shy away, but the cuffs locking her wrists together made that difficult. Ren's hand pushed between Amy's shoulder blades, keeping her pinned face down to the bed; her free and gripped the chain connecting the cuffs and tugged, pulling Amy's pinioned shoulders painfully high. The Half possessed shocking strength, and Amy cried out in discomfort, ceasing her struggles.
There was the sound of Ren's satisfied, breathy sigh from above as she reveled in the sheer control she was wielding. Amy's skin crawled at every maddening, sickly soft touch of the elder Syfte's fingers on the bare skin of her back. That soft skin was misleading; Amy knew from experience the terrible strength her current captor had. It had only taken her a few moments to roughly strip her completely and tie her down, muscles like iron brooking no opposition.
'Silent type, Amy-hime?' Ren mocked. 'No suggestions? Requests?' A single, taunting finger, running down Amy's spine. 'What do you want me to do to you, hmm? I can think of some things, but I'm always open to creative input...'
She tried for stoic, she really did, but Amy's shoulders twitched visibly in irritation. She stayed silent, glaring straight ahead at the solid white wall Ren's bed sat against, but still she twitched at the invasive, exploratory touches. The last time Ren had done this to her, it had been rushed, heated and heedless. There hadn't been time, in the moment, to explore her captive, to prolong the experience. It had basically been one long rush to orgasm.
But now? Now, there was all the time in the world to enjoy the lovely, redheaded slave. Plenty of time to partake of Amy's highly appealing carnal delights, and...
Well, Ren was gonna fuck her. Yeah.
'Okay, fine, if you're not gonna play with me, then I'll just have to play with you,' Ren shrugged. 'But for the rest of the night, you're going to do exactly as I say, Amy-hime.'
Again, the struggle to remain silent. Anger flowed through Amy, powerfully distracting and willing her to say something, anything to give the woman above her some minimal grief. But it wouldn't do her any good and besides, Ren completely terrified her. It had something to do with the way she carried herself, the way she moved and spoke, the way her muscles shifted when she looked at her; as if she had to physically stop herself from tearing Amy apart, moment by moment. This woman was a goddamn wolf on a fraying leash, and right now, when they were all alone, the fact that she was still Sander's favorite plaything didn't guarantee her safety.
Fingers wound through her hair, forcing her head roughly down into the sheets, 'I got you something...' Ren growled, and Amy could practically feel the sharpness of her grin. Her skin crawled.
Something trailed down the smooth, pale skin of her back, moving in winding, leisurely curves, going progressively lower. Instinctively, Amy struggled to raise her head, see what was going on; Ren's fingers curled tighter, tugging painfully at her hair and forcing her back down. She couldn't help but cry out. Ren chuckled.
'Damn this is fun!' She teased, the unseen object in her hand prodding Amy sharply in the back, just above the taut curvature of her ass. Slowly, it made its way lower, down her trembling haunches and between her legs. Above her, Ren let out a long, hissing breath, tempered with laughter that, frankly, qualified as evil.