The Lonely Assassin (A Doctor Who Fanfiction)
Half Weeping Angel/Half Gallifreyan
Is unaware of her bloodlines, only that she has the power to manipulate time and space. Was abandoned as a child when her mother's home planet of Gallifrey was destroyed. Can turn to stone and travel through time at will. Retains her Angel wings when in mobile form, and must hide them under heavy jackets and clothing. Resides in 2013 Edinburgh, many millennia after she was born, but her true age is unknown.
Well, my current home, that was. I'd had many homes over the years, when I stayed in one place and time long enough to settle down. The current time was December 2013, and the city was Edinburgh, Scotland. I'd grown quite fond of these Celtic people, and of humans in general, and so this was not my first time settling down on Earth.
Anyone that looked at me would think I was a normal human being, until they saw my wings. Or were allowed to hear my double heartbeat. Or were around when I turned to stone, or bended space-time. I'd been to many places and many times and had never encountered a creature like myself, never even heard of anything remotely close.
Which meant I was the only one of my kind in the Universe. It was lonely, sure, but it had its upsides. For one, nobody could stop me from doing what I wanted. Also, I'm pretty sure time would have gotten enormously damaged if there were multiples of me running around, unhindered and without rules. While I technically had no rules, I wasn't an idiot, and knew how to use my powers safely. I would keep my identity a secret, just observe and interact minimally with those I met, and move on. No changing things, no altering timelines. Keeping things the way they should be.
Sometimes I wondered if I should go back to when I was born, find out who my parents were and why I was abandoned as an infant, but I had no idea where I would even start. Not to mention that finding them would definitely screw up my timeline, and send ripple effects across the Universe. So I kept to myself.
Here in Edinburgh, I had a good life. I worked as a linguistics professor at the University of Edinburgh, had a nice sized apartment downtown, and generally enjoyed myself. I had been here nearly a year already, and almost didn't want to leave. I knew I had to eventually, but I intended to enjoy it as long as I could.
My school bag was laying on my sofa, full of papers to be graded, but I didn't want to do that now. I had a hard time dealing with the language these humans called 'English' while I was at the school. While I did not know exactly where or when I came from, I knew I vastly outdated English and all other human languages. I yearned to be able to interact in my language. I didn't know what it was called, only that I had been able to read, write, and speak it since I was young.
No creature I'd ever interacted with knew of my language either, and I had long since settled with the notion that it was something my mind made up naturally.
There was one thing about the human languages I did enjoy, and that was music. It was by far my favorite that I had encountered, and I kept a device full with many hours of that I always brought with me wherever I went. I went to that device now, what these humans called an MP3 player, and inserted the earbuds that came with it into my ears.
I moved to the rhythm of the music as I stripped out of the rest of my clothing, glad to be out of those garments. Shirts and dresses were true hassles, because I had to personally modify them to allow for my wings to fit through. That is why I had worn a trench coat that day and nearly every day, so my bound wings would be hidden from sight. If anyone should see them, I knew I would have to leave this place, and I was not ready to do so just yet.
I went to my kitchen with the MP3 player in hand, hungry for something to eat. I wondered if it was a characteristic of my race to be extremely hungry most of the time. If I was in the mood, I could eat an entire 3-course meal by myself and still be ready for more. I sensed sometimes the urge to feed on other things, living things, but I flung away those cravings as soon as they appeared.
There was a substantial amount of chicken in the freezer, and my mouth watered at the thought of having oven-fried chicken for dinner. I removed it and set about defrosting it, but was forced to put it back when there was a knock on my door. I growled to myself and grabbed my trench coat from where I had left it on the floor.
Making sure my wings were folded flat under the heavy black coat, I cracked the door open to see a man several inches taller than I with short brown hair wearing a bowtie. I was aware enough of the current fashion trends of this time to know he was extremely out of place.
"Hello, I'm from the NHS of Scotland, and I'm here to warn you about a possible gas leak in your building. If..." The man had held up a blank card, and after a fraction of a second, black letters swirled to its surface to match what he was saying.
Psychic paper. I'd come across it before, and knew immediately his story was untrue. I knew immediately he wasn't human either, because humans didn't know of that kind of technology, and wouldn't for a very long time.
I decided to play along with the man's story, just to see what he was really about. He had been jabbering about detecting a gas leak in my apartment, so I said "Give me a moment, I must get properly dressed."
I shut the door and reached for my clothes on the floor, slipping them back on before quickly hiding my leather harness in my bedroom closet. I didn't have time to buckle myself back in, so tightly cinching my trench coat would have to do. I went back to the door and opened it fully. "Please, come in."
The man smiled briefly and entered. As he passed and we briefly bumped shoulders, I caught confirmation that he definitely was not human. He had the scent of an alien, as they were called here on Earth. I suspected briefly that he was here for me, but that would have been impossible. Nobody knew about me. Nobody living, at least.
I watched as the man removed a small device from his jacket pocket and scanned nearly every surface of my apartment. Near the windows, around the sink and stove, along the floorboards...When he came to my bedroom door, I nodded for him to go in. Even if he found my harness, he wouldn't know what it was for.
I waited patiently against the wall of my apartment, giving the alien man no opportunity to catch sight of my wings. When he emerged from my bedroom, I knew immediately by his face that he had found my harness. His face was stern, serious, and I knew by then that he suspected I wasn't human either.
"Are you the one that has been going on a rampage through this city?"
"I've no idea what you're talking about, alien." His face was frozen for a moment. "You are not the only one that can tell when someone is lying about who they are. I seem to be able to do it better, as I do not have to rely on psychic paper and sonic technology."
"And how would you know of my sonic screwdriver?"
"I've been to Villengard, of course. Before it was destroyed." This man's frozen face degenerated into one of pure shock.
"How have you been to Villengard? It doesn't exist yet, and I didn't destroy it for another...3,000 years?" My mouth spread into a smirk.
"So you're not just an alien, you're a time traveler...Wonderful. It's nice to meet someone that's seen as much of the Universe as I have. Might I ask what race you are? There aren't many that have the technology to traverse through time."
"What I am is none of your concern. Who are you? What are you?"
"The first name I had was Shelby. It is the only information I know about myself that I care to share with you. Going to return the favor?"
"I go by The Doctor. I'm here investigating the disappearances of some students from the local university, and you just became my prime suspect. Care to cooperate, or must we do this the hard way?"
My suspicion and growing anger were immediately quelled. My voice was filled with panic as I asked "What students?! When?!" The Doctor looked confused. "I might not be human, but that does not mean I am inhumane. I teach linguistics at the University. My students are like my friends. We share jokes and meals and fun times, inside and outside of my classroom. I would never, never, harm one of them." And that was the truth.
It was part of the reason I didn't want to leave Edinburgh. I had grown so accustomed to my job and the students I taught, I literally thought of them as my best friends. I had never had a companion in all my long life, because of having to keep my secret, but my students were as close as I had ever come to that.
"You're the only non-human I've encountered, and I've been here for three days. I followed a trail of these from the University, and just found some in your closet." From his pocket, he produced five white feathers. "They give off an enormous energy, and led me straight here."
I cursed myself. It wasn't odd for a feather to fall off here-and-there while I was wearing my harness, but nobody had ever noticed here. There were enough pigeons around to take the blame for me.
"I've never seen anything like these. Where did they come from?"
I sighed. There was no use denying they came from me. This Doctor had evidence enough of that. I unhitched my trench coat and let it fall to the floor, and my bright white wings came billowing back out of confinement. He stepped back and nearly tripped, but caught himself on the edge of my sofa. The look in his eyes told me it was obvious he'd never seen the likes of me before. I sighed. I was hoping this time-traveler would have some insight into what I was.
"Wings..? Wings? What in the hÃªll are you?!" I shrugged. "What's that mean?"
"I don't know. I was abandoned as a baby and left to my own devices. I have powers I can't explain, like the time traveling, and I have these great big feathery wings, and I can read and speak this bizarre language...But I don't know where it all came from. Nobody I've met through the ages seems to know anything about any of it!"
"Bizarre language?" I nodded.
"When I could first speak, nobody could understand what I was saying, so I head to learn other languages. I can still write and speak it, but still, no creature can tell me what it is."
"Show me." I bent down and grabbed a folder and pen from my schoolbag. Leaning against the wall, I scribbled down a few random words and handed the Doctor the paper. He immediately stepped back with his sonic screwdriver pointed at me and shouted "Who are you!?"
"I asked, who are you!? That is the ancient language of my people, a people that have been gone for centuries except for myself. Though, in this time, I suppose it's been millennia that they've been gone..."
"I'm sorry about your people...But I honestly do not know who I am. I don't know where I came from or who my parents were, or if there are even any others like me anywhere or any-when in the Universe. I've searched and searched and I've never been able to find anything...I'm probably all alone."
The Doctor looked at me with sad eyes, and I realized he too was all alone in the Universe. I didn't know anything about his people except that they were long dead, and he was the last one left. The terrible loneliness pulled at my heart, at both of my hearts, and made me want to embrace this strange man in a hug. I held back though, as I knew I was still suspect in whatever investigation he was conducting.
"Why don't I help you with your investigation? I'll prove to you that I'm not the one harming my students, and then we can worry over what I am all you'd like."
The Doctor seemed to shake off his depression and agreed. "Now, how will we be getting back to the University? It was hard enough finding my way here."
"This is my city, I know the way. Besides, we don't have to walk."
"Going to fly us over there?" I rolled my eyes.
"I have powers, remember? Give me your hands." The Doctor looked suspicious again, but re-pocketed his screwdriver and took both of my hands. "You can close your eyes if you want, it might help with the queasiness."
"Queasy..?" My wings encircled us and there was a loud crack, like a peal of thunder. My disappearances and reappearances always created mild electrical disturbances. I released the Doctor onto the lawn of Edinburgh University, and he very nearly vomited all over the freshly cut grass. "That queasiness...Thanks for the forewarning."
"I said to close your eyes. Teleporting is one of my weird powers I mentioned. I usually only use it when I know where I am, so I don't end up in a wall or a men's shower room or anything like that. We'll fly back if you're that uncomfortable with it though."
He took several minutes to recover before standing. "The room where the students disappeared is this way..."
He led me into the empty school, down several corridors, until we emerged in the mathematics wing. I knew the building like the back of my own hand, and he was taking me to Professor Duncan's classroom. He taught Calculus, Introduction to Topology, Analysis...All courses I wanted nothing to do with. I was extremely well-versed in mathematics, but linguistics was where I was most comfortable.
As soon as we entered the room, I felt a terrible uneasiness spread through me. I knew something very bad had been in this room.
"Was it only this classroom that was hit?"
"No, students from several others classes were taken as well...Some before or after class, some on the way back home. There doesn't seem to be any kind of pattern about who goes..."
"Almost as if they're looking for someone..." The Doctor nodded and set about scanning the room. I felt the uneasiness grow within me, as if whatever had been here hadn't left. As if it was waiting and watching...
I looked around and saw nothing. I sighed; if I was going to be of any help, I might as well use my powers some more. I piped up with "When did someone go missing from this room?"
"About 8 last night, why?" I nodded and my wings wrapped around me again. "Shelby, what are you doing?"
"I'm going to find out who did this." There was another loud crack of thunder as I envisioned this same place the night before, just before the time the Doctor had mentioned.
I reappeared just outside the classroom door. I looked in to see that it was not empty, that Professor Duncan's teaching assistant was still inside. He jumped at the sound of my arrival, but looked out the windows as if to blame it on the dark clouds overhead.
To be able to observe the boy without being noticed, I did something I rarely ever had the need for; I went to the wall opposite the door and turned to face it, and willed myself to be made of stone. Turning into a statue was a power I discovered very early on, that I would often use to spy on others during my youth.
I could still see straight into Professor Duncan's doorway, and watched his assistant work. Minutes passed and nothing happened. The assistant seemed to be cleaning up from that day's classes, and when he was done, grabbed a bag from the Professor's desk.
I watched him come towards the doorway and open it, but he was frozen in his tracks. His fear-filled eyes stared up at the ceiling as a fog of green mist descended into the hallway. In my statue form I was unaffected, but the boy before me was not so lucky. He screamed in terror as the fog seized him and dragged him away, without any kind of explanation.
I returned to my usual self and back to the Doctor. After the crash of thunder, the Doctor came to me and asked "Where did you go?!"
"I went to last night, to when the boy was taken." The Doctor again looked astonished. "He was just leaving this classroom when some kind of green fog came down from the ceiling and dragged him off."
The Astonishment turned to recognition. "Green fog...I didn't know it was active on Earth this far in the past."
"Fegovy...It is an artificial creature that seeks out valuable items and beings across the whole of space. I've encountered it before, centuries into the future...I see no reason why it would be kidnapping college students...Unless..." The Doctor's dark green eyes found mine and I knew what he was thinking.
This 'Fegovy' must have been looking for me. Or for a very powerful creature, which in this case, was also me.
I sighed. "I haven't been paying close enough attention...I've gotten too comfortable here..." I suppressed a sob as I continued. "I'll have to leave..."
"No, no, no...We will get rid of Fegovy as I have before, and you can go back to teaching." I shook my head.
"If one creature has sensed my presence, others will begin to as well. I have stayed far too long already."
The Doctor looked ready to speak when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted movement. Green, misty movement. I spun to see the green fog that was Fegovy spilling out of the ceiling again, headed straight for the Doctor and I.
"By chance, how did you escape from this thing last time?"
"I tricked it into going after my homeworld. Don't think it's going to work this time." The green mist continued to descend. "Haven't got any more special tricks up your sleeve, have you?"
"I might have a few."
My mind ran through all the possibilities. I could attack it, but it was mist, so that wouldn't work. I could hit it with an energy blast, but again, mist. This things obviously had a limited intelligence if it was tricked into going after a dead world, but I didn't see how that could be used to my advantage...
I would have to use my time powers. I prayed this building was sturdy, or it wouldn't be able to take the beating I was about to give it.
I summoned my powers of time and space, forcing them into a single dark entity before me. The Doctor gasped at my creation.
It was a tiny black hole, about the size of a grapefruit, but powerful nonetheless. As soon as I punched a hole in time, the room went into chaos. What papers had been on the desk now swirled about in the air, and the green mist gave off a terrifyingly mechanical scream.
It screamed and squealed and shouted until it was completely devoured, and I immediately neutralized my creation and absorbed it back into myself.
I swooned and very nearly fell, but the Doctor sprinted to my side to catch me. With panting breaths I said "I haven't used my powers on that scale before...Forgive me if I'm a little out of practice." I chuckled breathlessly.
"Creating and then destroying a black hole in the middle of a classroom...You'll have to explain to me how you do that. Where is he?"
"In the future...A few centuries in the future. I thought it best to send him where you said he'd already be." I chuckled again. "Just because I'm a rogue, doesn't mean I don't play by the rules..."
It was becoming harder and harder to breathe, and when I looked down, I discovered why. I was reverting back to stone. My exertion had weakened me more than I thought it did.
"I need...I need energy..." If I didn't get some form of sustenance, my body would completely revert to its statue form until it recovered itself. "Get me...out of here..."
The Doctor half-supported me as we made our way out of the school. I couldn't fly back to my apartment in my condition. We would've dropped out of the sky like, well, a rock.
The Doctor dragged me not far from the school, to a blue box with 'Police Public Call Box' stamped around the top. "What...is this..?"
"Don't worry about that, just get inside." He pulled out a key and unlocked the door and pulled me inside.
I nearly collapsed on the floor, but he dragged me over to some great big control panel and began fiddling with it. I bent over hands-on-knees, thinking this was past the point of no return...
And then my aching was gone. Confused, I wrenched up my shirt to see the stone area was melting away, replaced with my own natural skin. I felt...rejuvenated. Powerful.
Hungry. Oh so hungry...
My joy at avoiding my stone phase turned to horror. This place, whatever this thing was that the Doctor had brought me into, was giving off immense amounts of energy. Energy that was feeding me, but also making me yearn for more...The desire swept through my brain like a flood and I knew I had to get out of there.
I stood and ran for the door as the Doctor shouted "Shelby!"
I threw it open and jumped out onto the soft green grass of Edinburgh University. The great lust for energy began to subside immediately. Whatever that thing was that the Doctor was in...It pulled at my desires like nothing every before. I had very nearly lost control.
The Doctor followed me out, scanning the ground until he spotted me several yards away, laying face-up in the grass. He knelt by my side and worriedly asked "Are you alright, Shelby?"
I shook my head. "That thing that you took me into...What is it?"
"The TARDIS, I use it to travel through space and time."
I understood. That thing was imbued with time energy, and time energy was more powerful than any other. I had expended a great deal of it when I sent that green mist away, and had become very weak...And the TARDIS replenished my body. I was unprepared for just how much energy it was sending my way, and would have absorbed too much...
I had no idea what would happen then, but I didn't want to find out.
"That TARDIS...Will it be safe here overnight?" He nodded.
"It has a cloaking device, and will appear as a statue or a lamppost, or anything inconspicuous enough not to be noticed. Would you like to go back to your apartment?"
I nodded and the Doctor helped me to my feet. I fluttered my wings out behind me to shake free the dirt and grass on them before saying "I think we'll fly this time...I don't want to use any more of my other powers tonight." I feared I would be overcome by the lure of the TARDIS again if I did.
I stood before the Doctor and he asked "Are you sure you can make this trip?" I nodded. "Then let's go." He wrapped his arms around my neck and I put mine around his waist.
"Hold tight." I pushed hard off the ground and we were rocketed high into the air. Our momentum slowed and I unfurled my wings, and their flapping kept us hovering a hundred or so feet above the roof of the school. I looked my new companion in the face and asked "Sure you can handle this?"
"Are you joking? This is fantastic!"
I laughed freely, my worries of just a minute ago momentarily forgotten as I set off into the night.