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Ripping Time (1/?)

Title: Ripping Time
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: All original as explained in the notes
Word Count: 2974
Notes: This was dreamt up years ago when there was still talk of a theatrical release and before the new series. A friend and I got to talk of casting and came up with Ioan Gruffudd as the Doctor and Natalie Portman as his American companion Nora. Since we were writing this between the two of us, we had to wait for a reponse from the other before we continued. Anyway, once done it sat in my computer waiting for a bit of polish. Ray (my co-author) had also done a pic of Nora and the Doctor that I wanted to find before posting but it's lost somewhere. If I do eventually find it, I'll edit the post to include it. I will be posting in parts as it is rather long. If you find anything wrong, please let me know!




Ripping Time




"Exiting warp disruption...now."

The ship quivers then settles.

"When are we?"

"Mutter's Spiral, Humanian Age. I am attempting to ascertain the precise date, Commander."

"Centurions, this is the Commander--"

"Enemy alert! Aft bow! Enemy alert!"

"Aft Guns target and fire!"

Sparks hissed against his skin, and his first officer reported to him what he already had known.

"We've been hit!"

**************************************************************

Trudging along the worn cobbled street, on this cold autumn night, he clutched his threadbare coat close so he could draw every bit of its warmth. He thought of Carolyn, his wife, and wondered if she was waiting up for him. Thank goodness, this was his last time with the late shift. He would then be able to eat dinner with Carolyn and little Ellie. The thought of his daughter made him smile. It wouldn't do for a little girl to grow up not knowing her daddy.

He heard a strange crackling sound and stopped. When he didn't hear it again, he attributed it to boats on the river. He turned onto his block and could see his building at the far end. A sudden fog drifted by and chilled him. He wrapped himself even tighter and hurried down the street. He heard the crackling again. This time louder and longer.

He fought the urge to look and walked even quicker. The noise followed and he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He looked over his shoulder. He saw not a thing. He sighed in relief. He faced forward once more and found himself staring at a green slime that seemed to almost float like a ghost off the ground.

He wanted to run. He wanted to scream. His brain just took too long to deliver the message to the rest of his body leaving yet another widow in Brooklyn.

************************************************************

Days later, another strange sound erupted from the ether. The fog, just as thick, became blue with a rasp and a roar. A blaze of cobalt flashed through the mist and made the white letters on the black slate of the deep blue cube positively glow. Police Public Call Box.

The door opened, and out stepped a man of average height but not of bearing. His short, comfortably wavy hair was a deep brown. His nose was a proud affair, his lips quite full. His eyes of brown seemed to swirl with a deep intellect never before seen and would command the attention of any he so desired. The man wore clothing of eccentric tastes. The time called for austere colors to be worn with dignity, and while he chose to wear a black shirt, a white vest and a pair of white trousers, his calf-length topcoat and cravat-an adornment long ago abandoned-was a deep, rich royal purple. Affixed to his lapel, a pin that was also a clock ran black hands backwards, and rather than shoes, the man wore black boots having a relative shine.

A girl slipped out of the box and closed the door behind her. She was a dainty thing, a breathing Dresden doll. Beneath a demure straw hat of black and amber, straight brunette hair framed her powdery complexion; almond-shaped tawny-brown eyes and tiny lips that held a beguiling smile. An amber bow tie wrapped the collar of her blouse. A jacket the color of goldenrod stretched wide amber lapels over her slim trunk and snuggly enveloped a rust and black striped waistcoat. A black skirt with an amber fringe draped to her shinier black boots.

"So, where to first, Doctor?"

"Rooms, I think, Nora. If we're to vacation for any length of time, it will look suspicious if we keep disappearing into a blue box." His voice was smooth. "Poor old thing. You know, in the days when she was young, she could have transformed herself into a grand hotel...in theory anyway."

"How many times did the TARDIS' Chameleon Circuit work, Doctor?"

"Oh, she turned into a splendid rock once. Very craggy." The Doctor ducked back into the TARDIS and pulled out two suitcases. "Mustn't forget. Two strangers looking for rooms? Without baggage? Unthinkable."

"What about a man and a woman sleeping in the same room?"

"No, that's quite common." He smiled and waggled his thin, arched eyebrows.

"You are a caution, Doctor."

"You'll be my niece."

"Yeah, that won't raise an eyebrow."

"Oh, I dunno. You and I sort of look related. In a purely chemical sense we are."

After checking into the hotel, the Doctor and Nora hailed a hansom cab. The ride was short but quite enjoyable for Nora who had never ridden in anything simpler than a Pontiac Trans Am. She looked out the window and watched New York's turn of the century skyline drift by. It amazed her that the Empire State Building had yet to be erected.

She listened to the clip-clop of the horses' hooves on the cobblestones, and she drew in all the fantastic aromas of home cooked ethnic food. Every so often, she would look at the Doctor who simply sat back; his sexy eyes closed, and enjoyed the ride. The Doctor she knew had a weakness for every form of transport. He said he had gained it during his exile on earth. He loved to ride in things and drive things. He claimed that there was no ship he could not
pilot or a car he could not steer. She believed him. The Doctor though appearing incredibly young and hotter than a June day was about one thousand years old. That kind of information put a whole lot of rethink in her initial plans to thank his kindness by letting him ravish her. She smiled. That and the fact that upon facing certain death, his cute leonine, mad composer look transformed into the current cuter model she preferred. The Doctor was a Time Lord.

He wasn't totally human. None of that really mattered to Nora. What mattered was the Doctor was the epitome of cool.

The cab stopped in front of a white trimmed mansion that spanned most of the block. Nora followed the Doctor out of the cab. He reached into his pockets and waited for some slithery thing to be offered as coin. She was disappointed when the Doctor actually produced the right amount and proper currency of the time.

The cabbie bit on the coin and doffed his hat.

"Very generous of you, Sir. A good evening to you."

"And to you, Sir."

The horse clip-clopped the cab away. The Doctor strode toward marble steps and then tapped the knocker to the door. An older, pale man in a tuxedo opened the door. A smile grew across his face.

"Doctor, what a pleasant surprise."

"Hello, Benjamin. How are you this evening?"

"Quite well, Sir."

"Am I in time for the lecture?"

"Oh, with moments to spare, Doctor."

"This is my companion, Nora. Nora, this is Benjamin. Without him, the society would go to pieces."

"How kind of you, Doctor. Good evening, Madame."

"Benjamin. It's nice to meet you."

"And how shall I refer to Miss Nora, Doctor?"

"We're going with niece this time around, Benjamin."

"Yes, yes. That would work. I must say, Doctor, your latest regeneration suits you even more than your last, and that I thought your best."

"Nora says I improve with age."

"I do not!"

"Yes, you do."

"So you know then?"

"Oh, indeed, Madame. The eyes you see, there's something of them that never changes, and those same eyes simply cannot be in three different people without those three different people being the same man."

"So which did you meet?"

"I believe it was numbers three, six, eight."

"Four actually."

"Four?"

"Yes, three was four."

"Are you certain, Sir?"

"Yes, looked like a preening egret?"

"Yes, that's him. You were with Dr. Shaw. He was the first of you I met. I could have sworn he was number three from the way number six described the others."

"You know you could be right." The Doctor smiled. "Even I lose track sometimes."

"With thirteen of you running about, I'm hardly surprised, Sir. Shall we join the others?"

"Yes."

Nora followed the Doctor who stuck his hands in his pockets and looked around the alcove where portraits of stern looking men stared out. She was shocked to see a familiar face among the founders of the club. He was the only one who had a twinkle about his fluid blue eyes, and a long white mane flowed behind a proud chiseled face.

"Is that--"

"Indeed it is, Madame. I was not here originally you see. Goodness no, that would mean I would have to be as old as your uncle."

"So you helped found this club, Doctor?"

"Yes, a long time ago."

"We refer to him as the senior Doctor, Madame. Each Doctor who visits is rather than being the same man part of a lineage of Doctors."

"It works out rather well. The Brigadier will love the simplicity of the cover story."

Benjamin ushered them into a large ballroom. The stench of cigars and cigarettes nearly caused her to choke. The Doctor pulled a silvery case out of his pocket and took out a pair of capsules. He popped one in his mouth and handed the other to her.

"Mmmn, cherry flavored."

"My own little twist."

"Why did I swallow this?"

"To prevent cancer from second-hand smoke."

"Handy."

"Very."

"Can you do anything at all about the stench of dead skunk?"

"Afraid not." The Doctor smiled.

Benjamin handed a card to the oddly dressed fellow at the door.

"The Doctor and Nora!"

"Doctor did he say?" asked a short bristly gentleman in a tuxedo. "You're not the Doctor I know."

"Which Doctor do you know? There are quite a lot of us you know."

"Fat, pompous fellow with hair the color of straw. Horrendous dress sense, though I can see yours is none better."

"Oh, you met my Uncle then. I'm the new and improved model, you might say."

"I see. Well, if Benjamin let you in, you must be who you say you are." He offerd his hand. "I'm Professor Grayson."

"Grayson...Yes, I've heard of you. Your field is what again?"

"Biology, Sir."

"Yes, of course. You're the one that believes man has descended from what did you call them?"

"Aryans, Sir."

"Indeed."

"Aryans!"

Nora found herself beneath the Grayson's steely gaze.

"I don't recall giving you permission to speak, young lady."

"Nor does she need any. This is my niece, Nora."

"You should learn how to control her better."

"Now, Professor. This club was established by my ancestor to allow the free exchange of ideas."

"Not from a girl who's barely a woman!"

The Doctor grabbed her wrist before she could even wind back to strike.

"Sex is immaterial to knowledge, Professor. It's in the club charter."

"Yes! Yes! I know, young man, but I don't have to like it. Good evening, Sir."

"You should have let me hit him."

"Oh, that would never do, Nora." The Doctor removed a pair of glasses of wine from a tray speeding by him. "Thank you."

"Oh! You're welcome, Sir."

"Here, this will perk you up a bit."

"I don't need perking up. Aryans, indeed. That ol' professor has a possum curled up in his bean."

"Well, they're all like that you see."

"What?"

"That woman over there. Dr. Olga Derevko. She believes it's perfectly reasonable to transplant a human brain into an ape body. The man she's arguing with believes that plants are capable of intelligent conversation, and your kind are the stupid ones without anything to say. Over there is Dr. Carlo Robinson. He thinks he can train microbes like Sigfried and Roy train felines."

"It's an asylum."

"That's why I established the place you see. Collect all the madmen in one place so you can see who's potentially dangerous and who's just a harmless loony."

"And in which category do you fit, Doctor." Nora grinned.

"I knew you couldn't resist asking that."

"So how many have you--"

"Thirty-three through the centuries, and poor Olga's apes keep escaping. Almost as if somebody keeps letting them out of their cage and transporting them back to Africa."

"Interesting theory."

"Isn't it?"

"Then why are we here? Somebody among them that's--"

"Hmmn? Oh, no, no. This is a holiday. A distinguished Darwinian who has a promising future will be challenging Professor Grayson's ridiculous notions. Here's the rub though, the Darwinian who we know to be correct will be considered the maddest of all."

"Poor ol' hound dog."

"Oh, you needn't feel bad. As I said, he has a promising future, and like it or not, laughed at or not, he does poach Grayson's egg-headed ideas. That's something I had to witness."

She laughed.

"I can just picture the meeting your sixth persona had with him."

"Pompous indeed. The man could teach a college course in it."

A gong sounded.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please extinguish all cigars and cigarettes! The games are about to begin!"

"Thank heaven for that at least."

**********************************************************

Detective Monahan looked down at the remains and fought to hold down the bile rising in his throat. Whether it was due to the body itself or the fact that this was the fifth one he had seen in less than a week, he couldn't tell. The case would be the one to make or break him; he knew that. His superiors were just waiting for him to fail. They couldn't handle the fact that a kid from Five Points could be a successful cop.

A cold wind blew in from the river. "Any identification?" he asked one of the officers.

"Yes, sir, found his wallet. His name was Timmins and he worked over at Shoot the Chutes."

Monahan pulled out his watch-a gift from his grandfather-and saw that it was just going on 7:00. Too early for inquiries. "I'll need a cup of coffee before heading over. Any word on the Mariah?"

"On its way, sir."

A few moments later he heard the clop-clop of hooves on the cobbles and the Black Mariah pulled up. Two men stepped out from the front and immediately approached the body. "Another one, eh, Monahan? You've the luck," said the older of the two in a gruff Highland burr. "Not hard to scrye how this one died."

"I need to know why and when, MacLaren. A normal, straightforward murder I can handle. This is too queer."

"There was a time when you could tell your killer by the way it was done. Since Jack's work in London, things have changed." He looked at his assistant who was looking a little pale. "Do you have that camera set up properly?" The younger man nodded. "All right, let me see." MacLaren looked through the camera and made sure that the light was just right before taking the shot. They took a few more shots before removing the body to the Mariah. "Need a lift, Monahan?"

"Maybe as far as Gowanus."

As the cab was small, Monahan stood on the running boards on the passenger side. He got off with a wave and entered a small café where he grabbed some coffee and toast. His stomach wouldn't take much more as his mind replayed the viewing.

"Here now, Bram, you look like you've seen a ghost."

"No. Ghosts would be a pleasant change."

Monahan peered up from his cup and took in the vision of crimson-haired loveliness that was Jenny. She was his goddess, but she didn't know she had a worshipper.

When he was but a boy delivering papers, he followed the sensational stories of crime. He never thrilled over the murderers or the thieves. He never remained rapt over the burglars or the Johnnies. He read the stories for the police. He set his goal to pursue a life dedicated to serving justice. He rose through the ranks honestly. Recently, he began studying the work of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Not everyone appreciated the way in which Holmes mocked his so-called betters or believed reality could be shaped by fiction, but Monahan saw genuine worth in Holmes' methods. He adopted them to make even greater strides in the force. He only had one goal in his life to be the best cop, the best detective he could be. Then he had met Jenny on a particularly miserable night when the rain poured down like a waterfall. He had ducked into the café and upon seeing her; he found he had two goals.

"Your job, Bram?"

"My job, Jenny."

"But what you do is important for the city even if the folk living here do not ken."

He smiled. Jenny wasn't like other women, except perhaps his sisters. She accepted what he did and whenever he felt low built him up. She didn't actually need to speak to invigorate him. All she needed do was smile, but she always reminded him how vital his job was to the city of New York.

"Jenny. Jenny. What would I do--What I mean is, what-"

The ringing bell darted her attention away from him.

"Hold your thoughts, Bram. I'll be back."

He stared at the coffee cup. Time never seemed to be on his side. He had almost done it. He had almost worked up the courage to ask her out. Yes, he would have asked her out. He would do so the next time he saw her. While her back was turned like always he left the money including a fat tip--maybe that was why she was so nice to him--and took the back exit which led into the alley.

"Coward."

After almost asking Jenny out for a date for the umpteenth time, his stomach felt empty. His knees sank like jelly.

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