Ten Seconds

by Masterpwn [Reviews - 1]

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  • Teen
  • Swearing
  • Action/Adventure, Introspection, Mystery

Author's Notes:
There is a scene in which a graphic scene is described in detail. It begins with "They both take in the scene." If you wish to skip this, skip two paragraphs. Begin again at "The room itself..."

Chapter Summary:

Taking a bit of time off, the Doctor takes both Donna and Amanda to a planet where Donna relaxes and he teaches Amanda Venusian Karate. However, this place has more going on than it seems, and something dark is claiming its vengeance...

nowhere to be found.

"Is everything better between you two?" Donna clarifies.

She nods. "Yeah, he's still rude, but all is forgiven."

With that just said, the Doctor strides into the console room.

"Heya, Doctor."

"Good morning, Donna, Amanda. Where should we go today?" he inquires jovially.

Amanda shrugs. "Not sure."

He begins circling the console, manipulating the controls with practiced ease. "We could try for Claxis IV again, since the TARDIS won't be rudely flinging us elsewhere. Or maybe Earth 3745, take a ride on the biggest roller coaster ever built in the universe. Oh! We could go to Space Florida!" He jabbers on, naming places and times and planets until Amanda interrupts.

"When're ya gonna teach me Venusian Karate?" she asks quietly.

He pauses. "Weell, I'm certain we'll get around to it."

She looks at her feet with a pout. "Yes, maybe by the time I'm fifty," she mumbles.

"Alright," he says with slight annoyance in her voice, "We'll go to Cleris Dirimis, 4927. Pleasure planet basically. The Cleris Magnus Resort. Has a spa, gym, all that. Very top notch. The resort funds a research hospital too, which is all in the same building actually. Some of the best medical technology in the quadrant. The original inhabitants were Clerises. They were intelligent, but they went extinct shortly before humans arrived. Nobody knows why. Humans and the current natives get along well, especially since the humans brought a prosperous economy with them. Anyways, the air there is literally good for you. Plenty of oxygen and practically no toxins whatsoever."

Donna smiles. "Sounds fine by me, I'll relax while you two do karate stuff."

Amanda smiles too. "Settled then."

He nods. "Settled," he agrees and, upon setting coordinates, he flips the lever and they go spiraling through the vortex.



The TARDIS lands gently on a green by a long road, paved with large, smooth flagstones. Stepping out, they see a road stretching far in one direction, but in the other, it stops in front of a very large and modern looking building, all sharp angles and glass panes. The roof is domed, and drops off in a rectangular shape on the left side but curves up into a sort of tilted and curvy triangular pyramid on the right. A green crescent moon is pasted onto the front of the very rectangular side.

"Heya Doctor, wassat green moon for?" Amanda asks excitedly.

He gives it a quick glance. "Universal symbol for hospitals," he tells her. "This way!"

Both the Doctor and Donna follow him towards the building.


"Wow." Amanda looks around at the magnificent building. The lobby is massive, and has a few different people and species strolling around in it, going about their business. There aren't many beings this time of the year, the planet's axis is steep compared to Earth and the planet is much bigger, making the seasonal temperatures much more extreme. There's about nine hours of not very helpful sunlight each 33 hour day. Luckily, the building is very warm. Besides, they aren't here for the outdoor entertainment.

The Doctor leads them right up to the reception desk where a petite blue-ish humanoid is stationed and gives the counter a quick rap with his knuckles. The receptionist looks up from the monitor of a strange device. "Welcome to the Magnus Resort, how may I assist you today?" she asks them politely in a sharp, somewhat echoey voice.

"Three to check in, full passes," the Doctor replies swiftly, gesturing to the group.

"Names?" she says, poising her long fingers over a small blank tablet-like board under the screen. She only has three fingers and a thumb.

"The Doctor," he replies charmingly, "This is Donna and Amanda."

The receptionist begins dragging her fingers over the tablet in sharp short swipes and long curves.

"How long shall your visit be?"

He turns and gives them a sidelong glance. Amanda shrugs. He turns back to her. "One full day will do."

She continues scribbling on the blank space. Small orange tails follow after her fingers until she lifts them and the completed symbol fades. "Payment?" she requests, looking up.

The Doctor reaches into his pocket and produces a thin metal stick and hands it to her. She examines it briefly, then plugs it into a small device and swiftly withdrawals it. She takes three thin strips of colourful plastic and hands them and the stick back to the Doctor. "Enjoy your stay. If you require anything, do please notify any attendant."

"Molto Bene," he exclaims, sticking the metal back into his pocket and handing a strip to each of them.

He leads them away from the desk and farther into the building. Amanda gazes about in wonder, examining every detail. She passes a red skinned humanoid and stares before realising she is being rude and shakes her head, snapping back to attention. Then she spots a group of humanoids with multicoloured skin.

"They're all... pink and yellow," she says hesitantly, almost to herself. "And that one is pink and orange. It's kinda odd."

"Well, think of what you look like to them!" he states indignantly.

She looks down at her clothes. "All black and brown I suppose."

"Right," he confirms, but it reminds him of a similar situation.

"They're cats." Rose looks at one passing by with a nod.

He gives her an indignant look. "Well, think of what you look like to them- all pink and yellow."

Stop it, he chides himself. Finally they come to a large glass arch. Inside is a magnificent display. "Here we are Donna."

There are rows of comfy looking lounges, some occupied, many not. A pool consumes a large portion of the room. Steam is wafting out from underneath double doors off to one side of the room, but not from other side doors. Some attendants- all of which are blue with different sorts of patterns on their skin- were massaging some of the lounges' occupants with multiple products of sorts. The walls were a mellow shade of cream, the tiled floor was entirely a massive mosaic of many different colours.

"Like I said about the research hospital, everything is top-notch, the lotions and things they use here are very good for your skin. Good for all of you. The incenses are wonderful for the synapses, though I do prefer tea," he says, glancing at small smoking sticks in a decorative vase.

Amanda walks over and gives them a good long sniff. "Smell nice too," she announces. She takes one more long whiff before returning to them.

The Doctor turns to Donna. "Go on then, the card is all access. Get a full restorative treatment, relaxing and such. Enjoy yourself."

She smiles. "I will Spaceman, thanks."

He beams at her and gently touches her arm as he passes, gesturing for Amanda to follow him with his other hand. The two of them exit the room and return to the wide hall.


Amanda is positively vibrating with energy. It's always nice to disable an opponent without mortally wounding them. Then you can taunt them without feeling guilty. One would suppose they would find it rather reassuring as well.

The Doctor pushes open a very large set of double doors and Amanda's mouth forms a little 'o' in wonder. There are rows of training equipment of various shapes and sizes. Equally various species of aliens were using them.

"Doctor," Amanda says in wonder, "That alien looks like it's all tied up in a knot!" The alien in question had about a million tentacles and was wrapped around and through a series of metal bars.

The Doctor spares a quick glance. "Oh, a Neskaluzian! He's simply stretching, he's an acrobat!"

As she watches the creature deftly removes itself from the tangle and gracefully moves about the bars, limbs going this way and that with flowing motions. She can certainly believe that, it is like art. She notices the Doctor moving away and jogs to catch up. Eventually they come upon an area covered in a blank white mat. There were people practicing some form of martial art of in one corner.

"That's Descan Karate, very different than Venusian. More bone breaking, that," the Doctor says upon seeing where her gaze was directed.

She cringes and turns away, but a yelp makes her snap around again. One of them is pinned by the other. Eventually, he (or she, Amanda can't tell) is released and they resume the starting positions. She turns away once more as they begin combat to see that the Doctor has shed his magnificent coat and jacket. He looks odd like that, as she watches him remove his shoes and socks as well. Definitely not losing any aura of command or his energetic or domineering air, standing there without multiple layers of foreboding armour, but just looking more... approachable maybe.

She follows his example and sheds her sneakers, socks, and outmost layer of black leather. Patting her jacket, she shoves everything in a large brown box and closes it. She then places the box by the one containing the Doctor's things.

"Right!" he begins, clasping his hands together with a small clapping sound. "Ready?"

She nods seriously. "Yep."



"No, no, no! Like this!" the Doctor scolds for the third time, reaching out adjust her grip on the dummy's arm.

She huffs in annoyance again and allows him to shift her fingers around. "How does it matter where my fore finger is?" she demands with obvious impatience in her voice.

"It's a delicate balance!" he exclaims, "It needs to be just right. See? That puts pressure on this nerve and it causes your opponent's arm to stiffen."

She tries the move again and fails. "This is wretched. Normally I'm good with martial arts of kinds. Did mixed arts a while back."

The Doctor softens his voice. "You just need practice is all."

She furrows her brows in concentration. "Yeah. Let's go."

"Right," he begins, resetting the target. "Position your feet like this-"

"Murder!" a voice cries out and they both snap around to see a male attendant rushing into the room from a side door. "There's been a murder!" he yelps again and promptly faints.

The Doctor and Amanda share a quick glance before he grabs his belongings from the box and takes off towards the source of trouble. She slips her jacket on, but leaves her shoes and socks. She can get them later.

By the time they reach the doors to a small private room, attendants have blocked it from the public and the man who fainted is being taken away on a stretcher.

"Sir, please step back, authorities will be called to deal with this," one says to the Doctor.

"It's fine," he replies, taking out his psychic paper and showing it to him, "Inspector John Smith, intergalactic detective. I've worked with the Shadow Proclamation." He slips on his trainers while they shoo all the guests away, offering them counseling if they are disturbed by recent events and free drinks to relax.

He looks at the proffered paper then nods. "Certainly sir, and is this your assistant?"


"Very well. Please go in and examine the scene."

"Molto bene, make sure no one disturbs us or the evidence. I will wish to question the person who found the victim when he wakes up."

"Very good, sir."

With that, the Doctor ushers Amanda into the room and follows her in, as well as two attendants, softly closing the doors behind him.

They both take in the scene. The most disturbing thing is that it's perfect, not a thing out of place, with the exception of one badly mutilated body. The floor around it is stained crimson. Long gashes cover the body, cut straight down to the bone, exposing many unpleasant things. With the amount of blood lost, he didn't die fast. The two attendants that have entered the room are flanking the door. Neither of them are looking at the body.

The attack looks so vicious, but it seems meticulous. Every shallow cut scarcely avoids slicing through major arteries and veins, while the deepened ones seem to have been made later. He was not intended to bleed to death swiftly.

The room itself is untouched but the body is badly damaged. It's almost like an animal had at it, but it is far to deliberate for a random attack. The Doctor takes out his screwdriver and scans the body. It seems the lethal blow was the severing of the carotid artery.

"Did anyone hear any noise from this room?" the Doctor asks them.

"No, sir. I was working directly outside this room and I heard no disturbance," one of them replies without looking.


"The species is human," the other pipes up. She's very petite and looks a bit uncomfortable.

Amanda can't blame her, the scene is highly disturbing. The attack looks like it was just to inflict pain. She closes her eyes. Then she opens them and moves closer to the Doctor. "Heya, Doctor."

"Hmm?" he responds, stopping his scan and glancing up. "Do you need to leave?" he asks quietly.

"No, I'm fine, but I think I could help."

"Not right now," he says dismissively.

"Obviously not now, you're the Doctor," she huffs. "But you know," she taps her head. "I can hear them think?" she clarifies questioningly.

His eyes widen. "Yes! Of course! Excellent!" he nods. "There's not much to do here right now, let's gather everyone up. "You," he says, pointing the the man standing at attention. "Gather everyone up and bring them here, we need to eliminate suspects."

Amanda straightens up. "The game is afoot!" she announces with zeal. The Doctor gives her an incredulous look and her mood deflates. "Just trying to keep things light," she mumbles. Murder tends to be depressing.


"30 resort staff, including myself, and 24 guests," the chief manager reports. "This time of the season is incredibly slow."

"Could anyone be in the medical wing?" the Doctor asks.

"No, it's sealed."

"Good." He turns to Amanda. "How do you plan on doing this?"

She thinks back to their swift conversation. "Eliminate innocents from the suspect pool."

"Yes, but how?"

"Not sure."

He looks at her carefully. "What exactly do you plan on doing?" he clarifies some, "You said catch their thoughts, but that's only the forefront of their mind, yeah?"

She makes small shooing motions. "Go question them, I'll listen to what they're not saying."

"Right!" he announces to them. "If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to question each of you individually. Donna, keep an eye on everyone."

"Yeah," she agrees.


"And where were you at half past 26?" the Doctor asks, the light coming in through the window quickly dying.

"I was in the spa, a masseuse was massaging my back."

"So you were not alone?"

The alien shakes its head. "There were multiple beings in the room with me receiving similar treatments."

He nods. "Thank you, that's all I need from you for now."

He turns to Amanda as it leaves and raises his eyebrows.

She nods approval. "I did not sense any form of guilt, and a solid alibi, yes?"

"Yes," he turns his head and calls to Donna. "You can send the next one i-"

"Gah!" Amanda yelps with pain suddenly. He snaps his head back around to see her clutching the sides of her head. She staggers and her arms fall limply to her sides. Her eyes roll back and she begins falling forward. The Doctor rushes to catch her before she hits the ground. He lays her down gently and checks her pulse. It's thready and weak.

"What the hell?" he looks up. "I need help in here!" he yells. Some staff move in and see her on the floor. "She needs medical attention!" he says, panic creeping into his voice. Her breathing is laboured and her vital signs are quickly failing.

"We'd need to unseal the hospital for this," claims the only medical officer on staff, "We need access to more advanced equipment, she appears to be dying."

The manager nods. "Come quickly then." He leaves the room and the Doctor and medic follow, propping her up between them. He issues orders to some staff to keep everyone contained to this room and sets a quick pace towards the medical wing. Just before they make it to the hall, the Doctor feels a dark presence settle on the back of his neck, like he's being watched by... something truly evil. He turns his head, but all he can see is a confused and worried crowd and Donna, equally worried. He shakes it off and keeps going. Something horrible is hiding here.