Doctor Who: Panic Moon Ch. 03byKurokami©
Author's Note: This is the sequel series to Amy, Captured. To get the full experience, please read through that one first.
Hello! I am back, with a new ring, a honeymoon high that I'm still riding, and a new last name (yes, I took my wife's last name.) And most importantly, my incredible wife, who is beautiful, creative and absolutely perfect for me (hi, honey!)
This chapter is dedicated to her. My Isabel, who helped me in writing it, who edited it, and who served as the inspiration for Ren (and Mara, to be honest). It was a pleasure to write this, more than usual, because of her.
Also to be thanked, Allyourbase, for some amazing suggestions that made me grin and laugh like a maniac. It's good to have two amazingly creative people to look over my fumbling prose and tell me exactly where I've gone wrong. Thanks, you two!
You know, I got asked in the comments for the last chapter whether River Song or Captain Jack would be making an appearance. The answer to one of those questions is yes, and the other is no, though I won't say which is which. Spoilers, and all. I pass this question over to you, readers: would you like to see either of those characters here? In what capacity? In fact, let me throw that out there: what other characters would y'all like to see? I'm only really familiar with New Who, so if there's any classic characters you'd like, drop me a line and tell me about 'em!
Votes, comments and feedback remain deeply yearned for. I love hearing what you guys think, so please shout out! We should be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week, and thanks to everyone who wished me well for my wedding. You guys are awesome. Enjoy!
Immediately after Amy had finished pulling on her new- revealing, vaguely uncomfortable- clothes, the door to her cell slid open and Sander swept inside. Amy glared at him, wondering just how long he had been waiting outside.
'Seriously, what is it with you and the shorts?' She deadpanned, gesturing up and down his casual attire.
He shrugged, 'They're comfortable. Besides, I'm basically on vacation,' He gestured to himself. 'Did you not see the sunglasses? I wear sunglasses now. Sunglasses are cool.'
'Oh, good lord...' Amy sighed.
'Listen, as fun as all this is,' Mara, now clothed, yawned. 'Isn't there a bunch of other things...?'
'Just one more, today. Mara, I need you to attend to some stuff. You think you can deal with the charging system for a bit? I'd like to be ready to go right away.'
'Sure thing, Hackett. Have fun. Amy, remember to act suitably impressed,' Mara waved as she left the room. 'He likes it when people do that.'
Sander waited silently until she was gone, then clapped his hands together, 'Ah, I love that woman! Anyway, time to go, Pond. I've something to show you.'
Amy frowned, 'Haven't I seen enough of you? Believe me, I've seen plenty!'
'No, not like that, Miss One-track-mind!' Sander grinned and grabbed her hand. 'Time to go see my baby, I'm thinking!'
Without waiting for her to respond, Sander tugged Amy out the door and back into the central plaza. He dragged her around to an immense door that seemed to project a field of pure heaviness. It seemed impossible that anything could possibly open something that utterly dense. Most doors are built to let people through them. This one was built to keep everything out.
It opened very easily when Sander pushed a hand against the nearby fingerprint scanner.
'There's nothing in here,' Amy said flatly as she was pushed inside the large, metal-shod room beyond, lit with brilliant white light from every corner.
'That's very true,' Sander nodded. 'Jericho!'
'I am here. Voice print accepted,' The A.I's voice suffused the room. 'Initiating descent.'
The floor shuddered, and with a rumble the floor began to drop into the ground. Sander nodded in satisfaction, and turned to Amy, 'Well, what do you think?'
'I think it's an elevator,' Amy shrugged flatly.
'Yes,' Sander said. 'It is an elevator that only goes to one place. To the core of the moon.'
Sander grinned as the elevator increased speed, 'You know, when we came here, Trismestigius was completely hollow. There's only seven feet of surface crust, then a giant void, which I figure is just storage space. It's one of those oddities of physics you get in a universe as large as this one.'
'I take it that there's something down there now,' Amy said flatly. 'Given that there's a lift.'
Sander's smile turned a little bit evil. Amy took a step back.
'You know, there are some pretty solid inertial stabilizers in this room,' He said to no one in particular. 'Actually, we're dropping at a startling speed. And we can't even feel it.'
As if to demonstrate his point, the elevator stopped abruptly, the door sliding open with a small beep. Jericho's voice drifted into being again, 'Welcome to the core center, Miss Pond. While you are here, your actions will be monitored closely. Any attempts to cause damage to this facility or to Master Hackett will be rebuffed using nonlethal, yet permanent, means. I hope that you will not cause me to do this, and that you enjoy your stay in the core. Have a nice day!'
Sander laughed at the odd look Amy gave him, 'He's a smart A.I, but some things are hardwired.'
'He's rather polite, for a program. Especially one that you created,' Amy said.
'I didn't create him. He's not even entirely based on my mind,' Sander tapped the side of his head. 'Some of the base personality traits are mine, but there's much more to Jericho than just me.'
'What does that mean?'
'You'll see. Now, I'd ask that you don't touch anything in this place,' Sander said, leading her out of the lift. 'These things are designed to manipulate time, if you touch the wrong thing your hand could suddenly end up forty years into the future.'
'Could that... Are you joking, or is that a distinct possibility?' Amy quavered.
'Don't touch anything, Amy Pond,' Sander lilted back, feet light as he leaped out into the corridor.
It was nothing more than a glass tube running straight ahead. Beyond the glass, a chaotic array of machines whirred with an impossible life of their own. Merely looking at it strained Amy's eyes, but there was nowhere to look for respite. All around her, the titanic device accomplished whatever evil purpose Sander had set it to. Something like this... There was no way it was a good machine.
Eventually, suddenly, the hallway simply dropped away, leaving the two of them on a steel walkway hanging over a long drop. Sander continued walking undaunted, but Amy hesitated, stunned at the sheer scale of the chamber she found herself in. It was roughly circular, curving walls made from a complex network of pipes, cables and metal plates. Lights blinked on and off at random along the surface of the walls, and if Amy concentrated she could just about see the floor of the mechanical cavern a long, long way down. She kept walking, if only because she didn't want Sander to command her to.
A pillar rose out from the floor at the centre of this chamber, marking the termination point of the hanging walkway. Amy was relieved to have solid ground under her feet again, but this feeling was only momentary; Sander skipped forward with an absent expression that turned gleeful as he reached a raised dais that glowed as he stepped onto it.
'We call it the Eternity Engine,' Sander said darkly. 'My baby. My masterpiece. With it, I can finally finish this. I can hurt the Doctor as much as he's hurt me.'
'What does it do?' Amy asked, in a voice that was barely there. She noted, at the periphery of her awareness, that for a chamber surrounded by running machinery, it was awfully, unsettlingly quiet. So, this was Sander's "baby"?
'It's a dimensional scalpel, if you don't want to get technical,' Sander turned to Amy as the platform below him glowed with a soft, blue-green light. 'I can use it to sort of... shape a charge out of a parallel universe and use it as a blade to cut into this one. Of course, that's just an analogy, the reality is far more complicated, but you said it yourself: Time can be rewritten.'
'I don't understand!' Amy's hands clenched into fists, the anger rose higher. 'You brought me all the way down here... Kidnapped me again! Tell me what it does, if you're showing off, you sick fuck!'
'I'm taking away the Doctor's toys,' Sander growled coldly. 'If he's just going to rescue his friends when I take them, then I have to make it so that he never had any to begin with. That's what the Engine does, Amy. It cuts people out of time, tears their timelines out of the universe and sends them here, to this place, while leaving the results of their actions intact. I get some new playthings, and the Doctor gets to be lonely forever. As befits his station as judge, jury and executioner,' The last words came out as a wrathful snarl as the old, terrifying Sander that surfaced the last time Amy had seen him bubbled back up to the surface.
'What? That doesn't make sense,' Amy protested, her curiosity outweighing even her mounting horror at the scope of Sander's new plan. 'How can you just pick people out of time and kidnap them? That's a paradox, if they aren't there to do things that they need to.'
Sander shrugged, 'I know. Time isn't easy, Amy. It's all a bit... Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey... I don't know exactly what's wrong with this universe, but we can get away with just about anything we want, assuming we use enough big science words.'
' "Any technology that is suitably advanced is indistinguishable from magic," ' Sander said, his eyes closed. 'I think that was Arthur C. Clarke. And it's certainly an apt description of the universe we live in. But that's just a distraction. Come now, watch me show off.'
Amy had to admit a certain horrified fascination as Sander rubbed his hands together before spreading his arms parallel to his body, 'Jericho, hit it.'
A small spotlight hit Sander's right arm, lingering for a moment before sweeping to his left leg, then back up to his right eye. Jericho's voice resounded through the chamber, 'Scan complete; All identification keys present and accounted for. Identity confirmed: Welcome, Sander Hackett. System activation in three, two, one... Initialize.'
Light poured out from the dais below Sander, sweeping up around him like a physical force. Like luminous water. In moments, he was surrounded by a globe of soft blue light that pulsed in time with his movements. The tips of his fingers trailed through the glow, and a smile spread slowly across his features; these were the moments he lived for.
'Open previous temporal pathway; filename, Doctor,' Multicolored strands of light infused the larger globe, each one terminating in an image of a person; Amy recognized multiple companions from the Doctor's past, as well as Rory and herself. Sander nodded, 'Okay. Let's compile a new capture list. We'll start with the obvious...'
Sander swept his hands along the bright trails of illumination, gripping certain strands and compacting them, placing them into a cube of light set at his side. He talked to himself as he worked, 'Rose Tyler... Martha Jones... Can't do Donna Noble, since she's a little... complicated. River Song is freaking hard, can't even touch her. Oh, but there are others I can catch: Lady Christina de Souza... But let's not limit ourselves here, eh, Amy? Those two Torchwood women, Gwen Cooper and Toshiko Sato. And there are others that the Doctor's had a soft spot for, say... Madame de Pompadour, and... Ah! Yes! That little clone-form daughter of his! Yes.'
Sander's speech became increasingly inaudible until he was basically murmuring to himself, hands moving through the holographic array. A panoply of color and light slid across the globe, a chaotic storm of life with Sander at its heart; it would have been beautiful, if Amy could have forgotten what purpose it was being put to.
After several minutes of hushed chatter and chaotic lightshow, all movement ceased, and the light hung there in the utter, silent stillness. Sander's hands fell to his side, and a heavy sigh of satisfaction left his throat.
'Okay, Jericho. Use the shuffle function, then begin the excision procedure,' The hologram died, and Sander leapt down from the platform, gesturing past Amy to a point at the far wall. 'See, I'm letting Jericho surprise me, since right now I don't really give a crap who we get first. It takes a while to lock down a target and 'port them over, but someday soon we'll have a new playmate. Isn't that fun!'
Silently, Amy followed Sander's gesturing to a little platform inset at a point midway up the sloping curvature of the chamber. It hosted a single, glass-canopied medical gurney set on some sort of rail system, being fed by a number of thick blue cables issuing from a hole in the wall. As she stared, Amy could see the small chamber slowly being filled by a sparkling orange light that slowly resolved itself into the shape of a person.
'I wonder who we'll get,' Sander laid a hand on Amy's shoulder and tilted his head to one side. 'Don't worry, though. We'll give the two of you plenty of opportunity to get intimately acquainted. Now then, one more thing we need to do, and then you can cool your heels back in your cell. Come along, Pond.'
Again, she was led out to the elevator, and back up to the ground floor. This time, Sander took her around behind the cells, through another solid-looking door and into a wide, featureless room with a hook seemingly molded out of the ceiling itself. Amy looked upon that hook with trepidation; it was easy to imagine what use that thing could be put to.
Predictably, Sander retrieved a set of sturdy looking cuffs from his pocket and, without waiting for Amy to present her wrists, guided her hands roughly into them.
'So, what's it going to be this time, eh?' Amy challenged. 'Tie me up and fuck me, hmm? Force me to blow you? Oh, I know! Just spank the hell out of me until I beg you to stop! Good god, you're pathetic, Sander. Three years and you haven't-'
Sander clicked his fingers. On cue, the cuffs encircling Amy's wrists flung themselves backwards, some unseen force driving them- and Amy with them- up into the air until the harsh metal clanged against the ceiling hook and stuck there. Now dangling about a foot off the ground, Amy's legs kicked helplessly as she cried out in incoherent discomfort; the weight on her shoulders was unbearable.
Sander watched her squirm for a while, grinning at her as that fiery spirit he loved so much was punished. He hoped that, rather than breaking her, this show of force would make her angrier; make her resist even more fervently, increase the challenge. Finally, he spoke, 'Don't give me ideas, Amy. Because now I'll be doing all three of those things to you very soon, quite possibly in rapid sequence. That's your punishment for speaking out of turn, slave. But as for right now... You'll have a new friend coming to see you. She's a good friend of mine, so you make sure you treat her with the proper respect, okay?'
He nodded to a camera linked to a corner of the room. Slowly, Amy found herself lowered back to the floor, her cuffs encircled in a faint corona of pink light. She found that this acted much like an invisible chain; keeping her rooted to the spot and giving her practically no yield or room to move. Sander eyed her coldly.
'Your restraints work via magnetism. I've been kind enough to allow your feet to touch the ground. If you anger your new mistress, there's a very good chance she won't be as forgiving. She wanted you clothed, like this, so I suppose she wants the pleasure of stripping you herself... Watching the helpless fear in your eyes as...' He shook his head, 'No, I won't get distracted. Anyway, have fun, Amy! I'm sure my associate can force you to, anyway! The things she can do to your body, you wouldn't believe it.'
And he left. Leaving Amy alone with the slowly growing ball of dread in the pit of her stomach. Someone else? Someone new? As if Sander and Mara weren't bad enough, she was going to be raped by another stranger; and worse, another woman. It had been hard enough to suppress her disgust whenever Mara touched her.
Besides all that, what tastes did this newcomer need to sate with Amy's flesh? "The things she can do to your body"? What the hell did that mean? What was going to happen?
And these damn cuffs! They produced a vaguely electrical tingling up and down her forearms, which, coupled with the sheer strangeness of her mostly invisible bonds, gave Amy the worst feeling of vulnerability. Everything in this scenario had been specifically calculated to cause her the greatest amount of psychological distress, she knew it.
But there were footsteps in the hallway outside; the light scuff of sneakers on the hard metal surface. Whoever she was, she was almost here. Her shadow stretched across the open doorway.
'Amy-hime...' The lengthy, lilting sound stretched itself into her cell and wrapped around her heart like a vise. It wouldn't be worth struggling, but Amy did so anyway, pulling desperately at her bonds. It was a futile effort; even if she somehow got loose, the only exit was out into the hallway, where she would run right into her would-be tormentor.
'Okay! I'm sufficiently freaked out!' Amy called, hoping to keep the pleading tone out of her voice, and failing. 'Who are you?'
The woman filled the doorway, a vicious, killer's grin on her face. She stepped into the room, and Amy's panicked gaze tried cataloguing her every detail, in the hopes of somehow making this new foe a known quantity, and hence less inherently frightening.
She was a tall woman, and her baggy black hoodie and jeans failed to hide her lithe, measured movements. Every step seemed somehow calculated, as though at any moment this stranger could leap down Amy's throat and tear her to shreds. She carried herself with a predatory, superior air; she could probably kill anything alive in this room, and she knew it.
She had blonde hair, cut short around her face and down to the nape of her neck, where she kept it tied up in a loose knot. She had an elegant, powerful face, with a mouth that twisted in a series of wry, dangerous contortions close to a grin. Each time her full lips parted, Amy could see the neat row of white, pearlescent teeth glinting in the cold artificial light.
Amy could see the swagger in her walk as she drew closer, that self-assured confidence projecting itself through her every movement. Her hands were nestled deep in the recesses of her pockets, elbows stuck out away from her body, as if she was puffing herself out. With every step, her heavy black boots tapped a loud rhythm; heel and toe, heel and toe. To Amy, it was akin to standing before a noose, with the hangman's footsteps the last thing she'd ever hear.
She stopped, before Amy's prostrate form, feet set widely apart, and regarded her with a flat stare, a sharp grin and a raised eyebrow. One hand emerged from her pockets to rub the back of her neck, her eyes trailing up the bound form before her; her gaze turned appraising, almost hungry. Amy had the sense that she was being weighed up and tested. It wasn't a feeling she was entirely at home with.
But all that fell to the wayside when Amy first took eye contact with this stranger, and never stopped.
These were eyes to trap you. Wickedly intelligent, huntress' eyes. Beautiful, stunning, incredibly clear, dangerous eyes.