Shadow of a wing

by TardisGhost [Reviews - 3]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Mystery

"This takes way too long, you know that?" the Reaper blamed the silent air and stared at his time counter. "That's already... four Gallifreyan years... You should think I'd get at least a bit closer..."

As usual he got no answer. And as usual it made him... angry? Not quite, but he couldn't really name the emotion.

"Well, another day, another planet. Can't deny it's an interesting assortment of places you lead me to so far." He smiled to himself, grabbed his black coat and opened the door. "Take care of the TARDIS while I'm gone."

With a sigh he closed the door behind him and found himself in a modern city. It reminded him a bit of some of the Asian places he had been on earth. Many of the houses had similar pointy roofs, but were taller and overall thinner than the ones from earth.

It also seemed as if they were preparing for some kind of festival, since the streets were filled with banners, colourful lanterns and decoration made out of orange paper. There was a thin, calm river nearby overarched by a slightly bent bridge. On it stood a few delicately carved metal benches, most of them occupied by probably tourists.

There were a lot of different species around, so the planet must be advanced enough for space travel. Or they at least received visitors from beyond. Not few of them looked similar to Time Lords, although that wasn't unusual. Evolution went many ways on different planets, but there were some patterns that repeated themselves more often than others.

"Oh, what have we here," a female voice resounded from behind, and as the Reaper turned around he saw a humanoid woman, clad in some kind of loose kimono of different yellow and orange tones. Her fiery hair flew elegantly over her shoulders, and a brazen grin graced her face as she approached him. "My, you're a handsome one." She boldly trod close to him and trailed a finger down his chest. "Looking for... something?"

Growling annoyed he grabbed her wrist. "Go, look somewhere else."

"Oh, how rude," she said sarcastically and audaciously hooked her arm into his. "Let's take a walk."

For a moment the Reaper was a bit perplex about that, but then he pushed her rudely away. "Aren't there enough people around you can pester?"

"None that are so... interesting." The woman chuckled and winked. "And handsome too."

It wasn't as if he disliked being complimented, quite the opposite, but there were more urgent things on his list. And an annoying harlot, or whatever they called themselves here, wasn't even on it. Although...

"Say, you don't happen to offer some more... useful services?" He turned towards her. "I'm foreign here."

An eager glint sprang to her eyes. "Oh, sure. There are some interesting sights around, I can show them to you." Swiftly she was at his side once more. "But that will cost extra."

"Oi, why does that cost me something?" the Reaper protested.

"Because it's my time I'm offering," the woman chuckled. "Payment in advance, by the way."

He huffed and grinned. "Well, then goodbye. I don't have any local money."

With that he simply left her behind and moved across the bridge, making his way through masses of people that were enjoying the festival. The streets were filled with booths, that sold all kinds of wares and snacks. It reminded him of another, similar place he had visited a long time ago. And as he eyed some of the snacks, he wished his own thievery skills would be a lot better. Well, at least those species here reacted to his hypnotism, so he wasn't in need of any money to get himself covered with pockets full of exotic food.

"Oh, a thief," a sarcastic voice said from behind, while he was munching on some kind of fried whatever on a stick. It was the same woman from before.

"Stop following me," he grumbled. "Isn't your time way too precious for that?"

"Normally," she admitted with a smile. "But there is... something fascinating about you." With a last step she was in front of him and swiftly took the stick out of his hand, biting salaciously into the remaining piece.

"Oi! Not my snacks!" the Reaper whined.

"I saw you. You have enough of them." She leaned against his chest, her hands wandering down to his pockets. "I'd accept those as payment."

"Will you leave me alone, if I get you some?" He grinned mean and sarcastically at her. "Or do I have to kill you?" Faster than she could react, he had grabbed both of her wrists and pushed her against the back of a booth. "And I'm being nice here," he warned.

It surprised him to find no fear in her eyes. Instead there was only a sad smile and she didn't even struggle. A few moments later he let go of her and plainly moved away. He couldn't stand this type of people.

"I get it... you're not into women, right?"

He grunted annoyed. "My species is too advanced to make silly differences like these."

"Mhm... I see. Maybe you're from an asexual species then?"

"A what?"

He stopped on and threw an angry look at the woman, but then he had to grin all of a sudden. Somehow she actually amused him.

"Well, you seem to have no interest at all... so I assumed..."

"I honestly don't think any of those terms are... fitting for my kind." He shrugged. "What about showing me around? I can hypnotize most folks around, just tell me what you want," he offered with a grin.

The woman laughed with a hand in front of her mouth. "Alright, why not. Mhm... can you get me that scarf over there?" She pointed towards a booth that sold fine, silken clothes.

It didn't take him long and he returned with the item in question.

"A blue one?" she asked. "Mhm, I thought green would be more fitting."

"No." He carefully lay the scarf around her neck and tied it to an elegant knot. "This one fits quite right. Gives a pretty contrast to your hair."

Her slightly flushed face made him smile. He hadn't even hypnotized her, but somehow she seemed to be charmed by him. Somehow the way she reacted so innocently was familiar, although so different, and when she stretched towards him he let her. Light green eyes glinted at him and for a moment he saw a different face there, didn't react when she leaned closer to delicately kiss him. Only short and it made him snap out of his thoughts and grab the woman's shoulders to push her way.

"Don't... do that," he mumbled and stepped aside.

"Oh, I'm sorry," the woman said with a smile. "Didn't know you have a girlfriend."

He gave her an indefinable look and an arched brow. "I don't."

"I'm a bit telepathic, you know." She chuckled. "And I clearly saw a face. Pretty one, you can be lucky." She winked.

A cold sharp sting went through his chest at her words, followed by anger about her insolence.

"None of this is your business," the Reaper grumbled, but then offered her his arm. "And now, tell me about this place. What's this festival about?"

Almost a bit hesitantly she took the offer. "You came here without knowing? I thought the whole galaxy is informed." She let out a bright laugh.

"I came from... farther away. Much farther."

"Looking for your girlfriend?" she mocked.

"I don't have..." He sighed annoyed. "Anyway. Where there any weird happenings lately? Anything special? Something people would remember, preferably forever."

A chuckle made him look at her and the woman smiled at his confused face. "You really don't know, hm? Alright, listen. You're at the exact right place. This is the festival of the singing planets. It's a phenomenon that happens every fifty years. It's very predictable, so people come here from everywhere to witness it."

They were crossing another bridge and she leaned against the parapet, looking over the river and playing with the new scarf.

"Witness what?"

"The singing planets of course, silly." She chuckled. "We are almost at midnight, it will happen any moment."

"When did this start to happen?" the Reaper asked.

"Ah, that's the great mystery. No one knows exactly. It's at least one or two thousand years in the past, but there are sources that tell, it occurred way before that time." Her eyes wandered over some small boats that were crossing the river. "There are only stories and legends."

With a deep sigh the Reaper leaned with his back next to her against the parapet and for a while he glared at the barely visible stars above them. It was too bright here for them to be visible well.

"Too late again," he mumbled.

"Who are you?" the woman asked in a quiet voice. "I'm sorry. I wasn't quite honest."

"Huh?" He looked down and at her.

"I saw more than just a face," she admitted, and when there was no reaction, she continued, "I saw a symbol, over and over again. A bird, stretching its wings."

He swallowed and looked away. "On another planet they call this bird a crow... What else?"

"I heard a drumbeat. Always repeating, four times." It made her shiver. "And a few vague images of a war. That's all."

"I should kill you," he drawled lazily and stared at the stars again.

They stayed silent and after another minute passed ,the people around got strangely quiet all of a sudden.

And then it started. First it was so faint it could have been a trick of the senses. But then it got gradually louder. Music. Ethereal and foreign.

The Reaper realized fast what it actually was. It was the sound of an actual planet, but amplified a million times to be audible by everyone. And it wasn't only the sound of one. It was the whole solar system, vibrating, humming in tones that made one's hearts ache. Beautiful.

"It's fascinating, isn't it?" the woman asked with a smile.

"Yeah... I wonder how she did that," he mused.

"You know, who created it?" A disbelieving and slightly sarcastic look was on her face.

"I'm rather sure of it." He smiled vaguely and got out a small device with a monitor from his pockets. It recorded the sounds for a few seconds, then he let run some programs over the frequencies and when he finally found the right spectrum, he showed the screen to the woman.

"That's the same symbol. The bird. That's impossible! You would have to be at least over a thousand years old. Or a time traveller."

"Maybe it's both," the Reaper offered with a chuckle.

"I don't know why... but somehow I believe it." She smiled again and slid a bit closer to him. "You don't happen to have some spare room in that time machine?"

He glanced at her and found a look in those eyes he knew too well. The urge to travel, to see what lies beyond, to escape whatever pitiful live it was that waited here. One single time he had agreed to that begging, so so long ago.

"You don't even know who I am," he said with a dangerous glint in his eyes, turned towards the woman and grabbed her scarf with a nasty grin. "I'm a monster. I don't care about anyone but myself. Especially not about a random whore on the streets. You were fun for the moment, but don't overstay your welcome."

A smile whizzed over her face. "A sad monster. But I get it. I'm not wanted here."

"No. You never were." He let go of the scarf and sharply turned away.

But she didn't leave and instead nudged him. Her eyes countering his venomous stare with an amused glint. "When you can travel time, there is no need to hurry."

He rolled his eyes. "Still not interested."

"But I am. Shhh..." She put a finger in front of his mouth as he wanted to protest. "Let me give you a special offer. It's a way too nice evening to spend it all alone. And I'm not in the mood to ruin it with... customers." With a chuckle she ignored his raised eyebrows. "I offer you my company for the whole evening. Nothing else. And in return..." Her eyes wandered over the booths. "You can show me more of you magnificent hypnotism." She blinked cheekily at him. "What do you say, pretty boy?"

The Reaper burst out into a laugh, honestly amused. Then he nodded. "I very much enjoy showing off. I'll take the offer."

And he held out his arm to her once more, both sauntering back into the masses to enjoy a night of mischief, accompanied by the gently singing planets.