Soul's Shadow by TardisGhost
Have you ever awoken in the middle of a murky night, your mind still caught within the last remnants of a fading dream, only to hear a sound so alien you were sure it mustn't belong to the waking world? Like the wheezing and whooshing of engines, yet unknown to mankind.
Did it haunt you?
Did it follow you around like the aftertaste of a bitter nightmare? Did it rip into your day and gnawed at the strands of sanity that hold yourself together?
Maybe you also once stood in front of an old blue police box, barely even noticing its existence, even though it's mere presence tore through your already tired mind.
Maybe you even heard the name Doctor already, outside of the profession, whispered, shouted; you read it in a story, found it, hidden in the graffiti on a subway wall.
I can assure you, here and now, that you are not crazy. And that he is very real indeed. He is and was and will be there, among us, with us, unseen, but always keeping us safe.
However, he is not the only one out there, let me tell you. Not the only lonely traveller on a journey without a course. There are other stories. Such of a man, so cruel in nature he had to be locked away, hidden from the universe so he could never do it harm again. It is told, his hearts are of ice and nothing could ever stop him from finding ways to hold the entirety of time and space within his blood soaked hands.
Those are all too real as well.
And there is one other story, about a traveller without a name, a shadow cast in the blackness of the void. A forgotten soul, the unwanted child of humankind, the...
Okay, okay, that's a little melodramatic. But come on... I am a writer after all! Let me have some fun, yeah? If I'm supposed to write this all down, I can do it properly. The Doctor said, keeping a journal might help my memories to stay where the belong – but a mere journal sounded really boring, so here we are.
Oh, wait, you might want a few details about me, first. You know, all this stuff that helps a reader to picture the protagonist. Hm, where to start?
Maybe with the fact that people often think I'm still a teenager, because I seem to look quite young (it's so annoying to always have to show my ID whenever I want to buy some alcohol. Seriously). And there I was already 30 when this all started.
If you wonder how I might look... well... Probably as less my gender as I look my age. Guess some people think I'm a boy... or a lesbian. I don't know. My hair are trimmed to a short pixie cut and brown in colour, as are my eyes. My extremely bad eyes, I might add. They are always hidden behind a pair of nerdy glasses. (Hey, I like them, okay!) I also feel like a dwarf with my 1,57m height... but dwarves are cool, so that's okay. (No, I don't have a beard!)
That should suffice for now. You're probably more interested in the adventure-y stuff. Before everything properly started, I met the Doctor once, only briefly. And I literally bumped into him.
Tousled brown hair, chocolate brown eyes and a long brown coat. That was all I could make out, as he stared down at me, blinking perplex.
"What is it, Doctor?" a woman asked from behind. She had dark skin and long hair.
Behind her followed a tall guy in a military style coat. (Wish I had bumped into him instead.)
"Nothing, nothing," the man, who had been called Doctor answered, carefully grabbing my shoulders to guide me a step to the side. "Sorry for bumping into you. We're on a hurry."
"Uh... err... it's okay," I stammered. "Nothing happened. I mean... I bumped into you... but... uh. Sorry?"
"Hello there," the tall one greeted with a toothy smile that made me blush a little.
"Jack!" the Doctor called. "Not now!"
"I only said hello!"
"Hello," I sheepishly replied back, lowering my head a little, unsure what else to say. The roguish wink Jack gave me made me smile, though.
"Anyway, we have to get away as fast as possible, if you'll excuse us." The Doctor tapped his forehead and strode away, followed by his strange companions.
They all seemed in quite the rush, and I wondered if they might be late for an appointment, a party or whatever people occupied themselves in groups. I... I'm not much of a social person myself. Too awkward and weird... People usually don't like that, so they avoid me, mostly.
Later I saw them all on TV, found out they were being chased by the police and deemed extremely dangerous. (Well... wouldn't have minded to be abducted by that military coat guy.)
This was the first time we met. The second time was surrounded by a lot more ruckus, and years after the infamous election. I vaguely remember the telly showing the president getting shot by an alien creature, while newly elected Prime Minister Saxon made a face as if it was his birthday gift.
The time after that is... strange. They explained to me, later, what had happened and that everyone forgot about a whole year that actually never happened. What was even stranger, though, was that I was convinced they had put Saxon in jail for murder.
So, suddenly seeing him in person was probably the last thing I would have ever expected.
He didn't look exactly the same, though. Before, he had been clean shaven, now he had grown a thin goatee. And instead of a black suit, he now wore a blood red dress-shirt with a black waist coat and black dress pants and shoes.
But no doubt, it was him, marching down a road of my hometown, his look so dark it made me shiver.
"Keeping me as his pet, my ass," he grumbled to himself. "I'll show him. He'll regret it... And what are you staring at?"
I winced in surprise, my eyes widening as I realized he had addressed me, because I was staring at him like some idiot. My mouth opened and closed and all I could do was to mutter a barely audible 'sorry'.
"You want a real reason to feel sorry, kid?" he asked and a grin spread on his lips that could only be described as evil. "I could make you go home and murder your parents, how about that?"
I blinked perplex at him. Once, twice. "I... don't live with them anymore."
"Pah, I don't care." He rushed over to me, hands in his pockets, towering above me, although slightly bent down towards my face. His eyes had a fascinating warm hazel colour, but were so cold and angry at the same time. And old. "You'll make a good toy. I'll use you to get revenge on the Doctor."
"D... Doctor?" I remembered the short strange encounter from years ago. Somehow it seemed connected. "That guy in the long brown coat?" I asked, wondering if he meant the same man. "I ran into someone like that, long ago... right before you killed... uh... oops." I probably shouldn't have let slip that I knew who he was.
In the same moment my phone, that I had in my hands the whole time, vibrated shortly and I peeked down at it. Second mistake. Never take your eyes off a villain. Even if your favourite Pokémon is just spawning on your screen.
Saxon ripped the phone out of my hands and glared at it for a few seconds, then back at me, and I swallowed, but smiled shyly.
"Don't break it. Can't afford a new one."
"Breaking that thing will be your last problem." He chuckled darkly and let my device vanish into his pockets.
"Hey! I need it!"
"And what," he bent down to my eyelevel, his gaze boring into mine, "are you willing to do to get it back?"
Once more I swallowed, feeling my pulse race. That phone was the only thing connecting me to people in the real word, instead of only having internet friends from who knows where on the planet. Such a silly thing as a game, enabling my socially awkward self to be tolerated by other human beings.
"I... don't know. I'm not really good at anything, I'm not strong or fast or... whatever." I turned my head away, feeling unfittingly embarrassed in the face of this lunatic, muttering, "I'm probably as useless to you as to everyone else, sorry."
There was a long pause in which Saxon straightened a little, but not enough to lose his threatening aura. My eyes darted back to his face, and although I usually avoid eye contact like the pest, I couldn't help but seek his gaze once again. Something about those eyes fascinated me, as if there was something hidden within them, something that exceeded a human's capacity of understanding.
"Sorry..." he repeated my last word with disbelieve in his voice, but then grinned. "Want to do something mean so badly?"
"Wha'? N... no! No, I don't!" I protested, my voice dying down quickly, my eyes seeking the ground again.
"Look up." His voice was now low and commanding, so I automatically obeyed. "In exactly two hours you'll pick a person and you will kill them," Saxon demanded while pushing a small gun into my hands.
An indescribable tingling moved through my head, rested at my crown and almost gave me a headache. I pinched my eyes shut, trying to get rid of it, while his words still rang in my mind. This was insane! Why would I do that? Why was he so sure I would? Why did he behave as if nothing could happen to him, no matter what he did - or made people do.
The again... he had murdered the president and was, obviously, still a free man.
"Could you?" I asked quietly. "Just kill someone and get away with it?"
He laughed out loud, taking a step back, before he observed me further. "Doesn't work on you, eh? What a pity. But sure, I could."
My hands clutched the small gun to my chest, tears welled up in my eyes as I glanced back at him.
"Don't even try and shoot me," he snickered. "I'd be too fast. Before you can even-"
"No... I won't. But... but..." My hands started shaking at the mere fact that I even considered this. However, getting away with it, having no consequences to fear and two people I loved to safe, if only from their own weakness. "Any person?" I asked.
"Whomever you choose. But since my hypnotism doesn't work on you..."
"And you can assure no one will know I did it?" I interrupted, although I wondered what he was talking about.
Saxon stilled and glared at me for a small eternity. Slowly the corners of his mouth twitched upwards, until there was a wide, toothless smile plastered on his face. He was clearly enjoying this moment.
"Oh, there will be one person, whom I'll have to tell." He held a finger over my lips to silence my unspoken protest. "But he won't be interested in following you. It's just the game we play, I and the Doctor. This sanctimonious bastard."
"I... I don't want to spent the rest of my life in jail. There is just..."
"And I don't care for your boring reasons." He waved my words away, grabbed my collar and drew me in front of his face. "I will drench your hands in blood and watch the horror in his face with delight. Then I'll steal his TARDIS, and then he can stay with you apes on this dumpster of a planet and rot."
There it was again. Something flashing behind his eyes, ancient and raw and... sad. And there I was, never able to resist a mystery, not caring at all what it might do to me. And there I also had gotten this one opportunity I had thought about so many times already.
So I simply nodded and he finally let go of my clothes and strode away.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
This story archived at http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=63422