Doctor Who: The Silurian Centurion…


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‘So where are you taking me?’

‘Well here’s the thing, and stop me if I repeat myself, because I’m prone to do that, you know? No, of course you don’t know, coz you’re new, aren’t you? New, new, new, new, new… See how that rolls off my tongue? Newwww…’ replied the Doctor, his lips pursed like he was kissing air, his eyes crossed like he was trying to see his mouth.

‘Doctor?’

‘Terribly sorry, I got distracted for a moment there, ooh shiny’ he said taking a coin from his pocket and inspecting it. ‘Now what was I saying? Oh yes, stop me if I repeat myself… You see, I don’t always listen to what I’m saying, I think sometimes I like to be as surprised as everyone else’

‘So where are you taking me?’

‘Ah, now that’s the thing, isn’t it? I was hoping for it to be a surprise, but given the dangers involved, I feel I should warn you of the expected protocols and rules…’

‘Rules?’

‘Yes, don’t talk, don’t touch anything, don’t step on any butterflies’

‘What?’

‘I’m kidding’ he grinned, gripping her shoulders ‘Do what you want, say what you want and touch what you want’ he continued before suddenly frowning ‘Actually that’s not right either… Scrap that, watch what you say, watch what you touch and… don’t kill anyone, killing’s a big no no… Oh and don’t step on any butterflies either, best to be on the safe side’ he concluded before turning to the TARDIS console, his hands a blur over the controls.

‘But you still haven’t answered my question’

‘What question is that then?’

‘Where are you taking me?’

‘Oh yes, where am I taking you? Now that’s the big question, isn’t it? You don’t suffer from hay fever do you?’

‘Hay fever?’

‘Yes hay fever; it’s an allergic reaction to pollen’

‘I know what hay fever is’

‘Then why did you ask me about it?’

‘I didn’t, I asked you where are you taking me?’

‘Ah yes you did, didn’t you? Well it’s probably easier to show you than tell you’

‘Show me?’

‘Yes, we’ve arrived’ he said, stepping away from the console, grabbing his coat from a nearby hat stand and putting it on before heading for the door. ‘Come along, time is ticking, so many places, so little time or is that so few places, so much time? Neither sounds right… So scrap that, tons of places, tons of time’ he continued as she grabbed her own coat and followed him outside into what essentially looked like a blazing hot day in a jungle.

‘Where are we?’ she gasped. ‘Is it another planet?’

‘No, it is Earth’

‘Really? Then why is it so hard to breathe? I feel out of breath and I haven’t done anything yet and I don’t recognise any of these plants’

‘Difficulty breathing? Terribly sorry, probably a richer oxygen content than you are used to, so hard to judge in this time period, it started off low and then increased exponentially throughout this entire era as the local plant life began to thrive and generate more oxygen. Here you go, try using this’ he said, taking a pair of nose plugs from his pocket and passing them to her.

‘Thanks, what is it?’ she replied, looking at them in her palm.

‘You put them up your nose and they’ll help process the air in a manner that better befits your physiology’

‘So, they’re like a fancy oxygen mask then?’ she said, pushing them into her nostrils.

‘Exactly, admittedly not very flattering, but there’s not likely to be another human around here for a good few million years yet’

‘So we’re in the past then?’

‘Yes, a long way back in the past, the Silurian era to be exact’

‘The Silurian era?’

‘Yes, I’ve never actually been back here, but it has been on my to do list for a very long time’

‘Will we see any dinosaurs?’

‘Doubtful, it’s a bit before their time too’

‘So what are we here to see?’

‘Well by my calculations, this should be the dawn of Homo-Reptilius’

‘Sounds like a gay lizard’

‘Oh very droll, I do so love anachronistic wordplay… But no, it’s the dawn of the Silurians, intelligent reptiles, the original inhabitants of Earth’

‘Original inhabitants?’

‘Yes, and in this time period, they haven’t progressed much beyond your cave dwelling ancestors. I’m just curious to see if their evolutionary progression is in any way similar to that of Man’

‘Why wouldn’t it be?’

‘Well like you observed, different atmosphere, different plant life, different wild life, vastly different species, it’s almost like another world. So we’re on a strictly observational visit, we can’t get involved or influence their development in any way’

‘So this is Earth in the Silurian era, long before man, long before dinosaurs or any form of highly evolved civilisation has begun, is it?’

‘Yes’

‘And you are sure of that?’

‘Of course’

‘Then why is there an armoured reptile sat on the back of a dinosaur, pointing a weapon at us?’ she said looking passed him, and he turned to follow her eye line to see the advanced, armoured Silurian, sat in a saddle atop a large Raptor, covering them with an equally advanced weapon as a spaceship like aircraft passed overhead in the sky above them.

‘Ah, slight miscalculation on my part’

‘Slight miscalculation?’

‘Well when you have all of space and time at your fingertips, a few million years is neither here nor there now is it?’

‘What are we going to do?’

‘Well she’s a Silurian Centurion and… Ooh that rhymes…’

‘Doctor, please focus’

‘Of course, terribly sorry, well she hasn’t shot us, so that has to be a definite bonus’

‘Shot us?’

‘Well yes, even when they were this advanced, mammals were still fairly new and not really ranked much beyond vermin to them’

‘Then why are we still alive?’

‘I think we’ve peaked her interest, we are displaying signs of intelligence, our clothes are clearly manufactured and of course, we are speaking and she can understand us, and although we don’t appear to be a threat, we are an anomaly’

‘Well if she can understand us, wouldn’t it be more polite to stop referring to her in the third person and introduce ourselves?’

‘Good point’ he agreed and stepped forward ‘Hello, I’m the Doctor and this is…’ he continued, right before the Silurian’s tongue lashed out like a whip, catching them both across their necks as they dropped forward to the ground, unconscious. 

 

***

 

Clara awoke sometime later to find they were prisoners in a highly advanced cell at the Silurian city complex. She groaned, putting her hand to her head and winced as the Doctor, apparently unaffected and clearly having been conscious for a while, turned to face her with his finger to his lips and shushed her. She could then see that he was avidly trying to eavesdrop on a conversation between two Silurians beyond the cell’s energy barrier. From their voices, it soon became apparent that the taller one was a male scientist, while the smaller one was the female Centurion who had captured them and brought them to the base. ‘Why on Earth would you bring these mammals here? Surely the smell alone should be enough to deter you’

‘These two are different’

‘They are vermin; you should have just killed them and had done with it’

‘But they are intelligent, they were talking’

‘Nonsense, probably some form of mammalian mimicry’

‘Look at their garments, they are manufactured, I’ve never seen anything like them’

‘Clearly it is someone’s idea of a joke, anyone can shave and dress a primate and make it perform tricks’

‘Just look at them, engage them and you will see that I am not mistaken’

‘Very well, but I fail to see what indulging such nonsense will achieve’ he replied and approached the cell. ‘Hello’ he continued unenthusiastically, expecting to be the butt of the joke.

‘Hello’ replied the Doctor with a smile, causing the male’s eyes to widen in surprise, before a mocking smile glanced his lips as he turned to the female.

‘Ah yes, I can see how you could have been fooled, clearly it is some clever form of mimicry or autonomic response…’ he replied knowingly, looking to the female and nodding as if this concluded business.

‘Yes, I can see why you’d think that’ replied the Doctor and both the Silurians took a step back in shock ‘Oh there’s no need to be alarmed, I realise mammals are still little more than animals here, but trust me, they will surprise you in time.’

‘Incredible, it acts like it actually knows what its words mean’

‘Hello, standing right here, of course I know what my words mean, I’m speaking them’

‘Outstanding, this is the most impressive, intensive training of a primate that I have ever seen; it’s almost as if he is addressing me directly’

‘Of course I am addressing you directly, you there, Mr Scientist blokie. Good call on the mimicry or autonomic response too, impressive deduction. You must be a scientist or a scholar I assume, I’m the Doctor by the way, and this is Clara’

‘Do you really think he could actually be addressing me?’ he said, looking to the female, who nodded in response as the Doctor looked to Clara.

‘Blimey, he’s slow on the uptake isn’t he?’

‘Yeah, I thought you said they were intelligent’ she replied, shaking her head.

‘Generally they are, but you have to admit it’s an impressive turn of fate. I mean, we have all of time and space to play with, so what are the odds that we would find the exception to the rule?’

‘Absolutely staggering I would imagine’ she said as the Silurians watched them interact with fascination, before the male spoke.

‘Hello’ he ventured and the Doctor looked back to Clara.

‘Do you think he is addressing me directly, Clara?’

‘I think he might be Doctor’

‘Finally the penny has dropped, fair play to you, you got there in the end, didn’t you?’ he replied, addressing the male Silurian with a big grin and approached the energy barrier. ‘So glad we’re passed that, it was getting a little tiresome to say the least, as is this cage you have us locked up in’ he continued, taking out his sonic screwdriver and scanning the energy barrier, before quickly deactivating it and returning the sonic screwdriver to his pocket. The Silurians gasped in unison as they stepped back and the female took out her weapon and trained it on them. The Doctor and Clara put up their hands to gesture that they meant no harm.

‘Okay, clearly trust is going to be an issue, but I can assure you that we don’t intend you any harm and we are not going to freak out or attack you as you might expect from other mammals’

‘What are you?’

‘A valid question, but we are just travellers passing through, absolutely no threat to you at all’

‘How can we believe that?’

‘Let us go and I promise you will never see us again’

‘But you arrive on today of all days’

‘Why? What is so special about today?’

‘Like you don’t know’

‘Humour me, and please, put your gun away, it’s making me nervous’ replied the Doctor as the female put away her gun and he and Clara put down their arms.

‘You know very well that today we host the peace negotiations with the Sea Devils’ continued the male.

‘Sea Devils?’ queried Clara in puzzlement and the Doctor looked to her.

‘Sea Devils is a rather unflattering nickname for an aquatic species of Silurian, they don’t say much, whisper a lot if I remember correctly’

‘You are familiar with them?’

‘Yes, met them a couple of times a long time ago or many millennia from now, it’s all a matter of perspective really’

‘You are time travellers?’ queried the male, intrigued.

‘Well yes, and like I said, let us go and you’ll never see us again’

‘But you must tell us of the future’

‘As a good friend of mine says ‘Spoilers’, I’m afraid I can’t divulge anything of the future to you, we shouldn’t even be here, nor can we influence anything that could adversely affect the timeline’

‘But you must at least know how these peace negotiations turn out?’

‘Hmmmm, I’m afraid it shames me to tell you that I’m not as familiar with Silurian political history as maybe I should be, but regardless of the outcome of this conference, I do know that both the land and aquatic Silurians are strongly allied in future events’

‘But I must know more’

‘I’m afraid that’s all there is, you must understand that history must unfold naturally. Here and now is a fixed point in time, it can’t be changed’

‘A fixed point in time?’

‘Yes, a predetermined event that must play out’

‘But if you are unfamiliar with our history, how can you be sure that it’s a fixed point in time?’

‘Trust me I know these things, I sense them, it’s in the nature of my species’

‘So you are an alien too?’

‘Yes, but I had assumed that was already implied by the fact that two mammals are so far in advance of any primate on the planet’

‘You may look alike, but I know you are not even of the same species’

‘And what drew you to that conclusion?’

‘She may be washed and groomed, but her scent although somewhat diluted is clearly that of an Earth primate. She maybe from the future but she is very much a native of this world. You however Doctor, are something else entirely’

‘Oh very astute, and kudos on your nasal integrity by the way, but I’m afraid we really must be going’ he said, quickly stepping forward and shaking each of their hands in turn, leaving them perplexed. ‘Thank you for everything and don’t worry, we’ll see ourselves out’ he continued as he and Clara headed for the door.

‘But you can’t’ said the female and the Doctor looked back to her and frowned.

‘Can’t? Why can’t we?’

‘You’ll be shot on sight’

‘She’s right you know, primates running wild around the city complex is likely to cause a panic, they will shoot without question’ added the male.

‘Then would the beautiful Silurian Centurion who discovered us, please be so kind as to escort us back to where she found us’ he smiled as he approached her and gripped her shoulders as he looked into her eyes. She quickly looked to the male for confirmation and he nodded back to her.

‘Yes, I will do as you ask, but for your own safety, you must be my prisoners’

‘Okay, I can see the logic in that; we’ll be in chains I assume’

‘Yes’

‘Fine, just try to make sure they are not too tight, I do so hate chafing’ he said holding out his hands like he was awaiting handcuffs and Clara quickly followed his lead.

‘It’s a fair cop’ she said and smiled at the Doctor and he smiled back.

‘Oh you do love your anachronistic puns, don’t you? I can see I’m going to like you’ he replied, as the female Silurian put manacles on their wrists, before pulling out the shackles for their necks and feet. ‘Oh no, are those really necessary?’ he continued to her and she nodded.

‘I’m afraid so, we might be able to forgo the leg chains, but unless I’m leading you around by the neck, then it’s going to cause panic’

‘I see your point, couldn’t we just pretend to be unconscious and you take us out the same way you brought us in?’

‘No, because unconscious or dead mammals don’t leave the city, they’re fed to the raptors or T-Rex’

‘Okay fine, lets do it, I don’t like it but it seems we have very little choice, doesn’t it?’

‘Well good luck to you both, I realise that my duty would normally dictate that I keep you here for questioning and perform numerous tests to see how your physiology works, but in light of the peace negotiations and indeed your fixed point in time, quite frankly, we could do without the extra complication’ smiled the male, as the Doctor reached forward despite his manacles and shook his hand again.

‘Goodbye, sorry for the inconvenience’

‘Why do you keep doing that to my hand?’

‘It’s actually a gesture of friendship where we come from’

‘Thank you’

‘You’re very welcome, good bye’

‘Bye’ added Clara with a smile as the female Silurian led them away through the doors’

‘Good bye’ he called as they disappeared down the corridor…

 

***

 

They traversed most of the Silurian city complex without any problems as very few Silurians even glanced at them. And those that did were merely more than mildly curious at the shaved and clothed primates in chains. The Doctor was thoroughly enjoying the journey, walking around the Silurian streets at the height of their civilisation, albeit in chains. Finally they reached the main gate to the outside world and prepared to leave as the Silurian Centurion exchanged pleasantries with the gate’s guards. And that was pretty much where their luck had ran out as a Silurian in robes came running through from the other side of the gate in a bit of a fluster. ‘Excellent, I will take those two primates’ he said and they all turned to look at him as the guards saluted and bowed to him in unison.

‘I’m afraid that’s not possible’ said the female Silurian apologetically.

‘Nonsense, I was assured by the Triad that all my needs would be met without question. You will be reimbursed for your inconvenience, in the mean time, I have two ravenous raptors and you have two primates, so I can’t see what the problem is’

‘I’ll tell you what the problem is’ piped up the Doctor ‘I don’t fancy being some dinosaur’s dinner, that right there is what the problem is’ he continued, before looking to Clara ‘and I’m sure you don’t either, do you?’

‘No, not at all, that could really put a crimp on my day’ she answered.

‘Exactly, and nobody likes a crimp on their day, do they? Ooh I feel like I’m having a Charlton Heston moment’ he said as all the Silurians looked at them in shock and horror that they could talk. He then marched up to the robed Silurian who stood on the spot in near terror, afraid to move. ‘BOO’ he said into his face. The Silurian emitted a loud noise that sounded like a muffled angry bull and keeled over on the floor, lifeless. ‘Okay, I did not see that coming. I’ve got a bad feeling about this, who is he?’

‘He is the adjudicator for the peace negotiations’

‘Ah, not good’

‘Is he dead?’ asked Clara in shock.

‘I hope not, but if I remember my Silurian physiology correctly, they react very much the same way to CPR as humans’ he replied and quickly used his sonic screwdriver to free himself from his restraints as he sat astride the robed Silurian and administered chest compressions and mouth to mouth. And so it was that he was oblivious as the Silurian guards raised their weapons to mutters of ‘The primate is loose’, ‘It’s attacking him’ and ‘It’s trying to eat his face’

‘Doctor’ said Clara worriedly as she saw the panicked reactions of the Silurian guards around her and was almost relieved as the Silurian Centurion’s tongue lashed out from behind her to strike the Doctor across the back of his neck, before any of the guards had chance to fire.

‘Lummy, twice in one day, what are the odds?’ said the Doctor, before falling forward, unconscious onto the Adjudicator as the Centurion called for calm.

‘It’s okay, it’s over now, the primate has been subdued’ she said.

‘But it spoke’ said one of the guards, clearly shocked.

‘Yes, hence why we could not oblige the adjudicator’s request to feed them to his raptors’

‘But how can it speak?’ queried one.

‘Why doesn’t it smell like a primate?’ asked another.

‘What is it?’ asked a third.

‘Please, everybody calm down, there’s no need for panic, they’re harmless’

‘They must be brought before the Triad and made answerable for their crime’ declared one of the guards to calls of agreement and general rabble rousing from the others as a crowd began to grow and mob outrage blew through them like an ill wind.

 

They reached forward, grabbing the unconscious Timelord and dragging him off to the chambers of the Triad to demand justice as others waited for the necessary authorities with the body of the Adjudicator. Clara and the Centurion quickly followed, a brief frown of frustration passing between them as they arrived at the Triad Chambers. The Triad’s Chamber Guards stepped forward with weapons raised as the crowd dropped the Doctor to the ground and they all began speaking at once. The three leading Silurians that formed the Triad stepped from their chambers and came to find out what all the noise was about. ‘Silence my friends, nominate your speaker and he shall be heard’ said one of them. The Gate guards looked to their leader and a silent nod of agreement passed amongst them before he swiftly stepped forward and bowed his head to them in respect.

‘Your Graces, please forgive our intrusion, but a heinous act has occurred that potentially threatens the peace negotiations with the aquatics’

‘Then speak and tell us of this threat’

‘This mammal has killed the Adjudicator’

‘WHAT???’

‘It’s true, I saw it with my own eyes’

‘This is terrible, just have the brute killed and we’ll re-evaluate the law of permitting primates into the city complex’

‘You don’t understand your Grace, it was premeditated, the people want justice’

‘Premeditated? But it’s a beast, it knows not what it does’

‘With respect your grace, this one does, I believe it is sentient’

‘Explain yourself’

‘It shouted at the Adjudicator, then killed him, then attacked him, beating his chest and trying to eat his face, it was awful’

‘This is unbelievable’

‘He doesn’t smell right either’

‘And you can all corroborate this tale?’

‘YES!’ said the crowd in unison.

‘Can anyone explain this?’ asked the Triad representative to the crowd. Clara and the Centurion looked to one another and Clara nodded for her to step forward, so she did.

‘Your Graces, if I might be permitted to speak, I shall explain to the best of my ability’

‘Please Centurion, speak’

‘It is true, he can speak and that he is intelligent, but he is not what you think he is. He is an extra-terrestrial, an alien…’

‘An alien? Then why was he not brought before us sooner?’

‘With respect, I realised that his very presence would cause panic and exponentially increase the stress and pressure everyone is under with the peace negotiations. I therefore opted to reduce any further complication and return him to his ship that he might leave before the negotiations began. I apologise if my actions were in error, but it was my intention and duty to act for the good of the Silurian people’

‘Your intentions are not in question Centurion, however your judgement is. What of this other primate? Are we to believe that she too is extra-terrestrial?’

‘No, but I believe without question that she is from a very distant time in the future when the primates have civilisation’

‘You expect us to believe two impossible wonders this day?’

‘Don’t take my word for it, I will let her speak for herself’ she said and gestured Clara forward and so Clara stepped forward to address the Triad. All the Silurians gasped, unclear what scared them the most, a time travelling alien or a talking primate.

‘Your Graces, please forgive me, but I am not familiar with your customs, so I apologise for any unintended disrespect I might display in my address’

‘You may address the Triad, Primate’

‘Everything the Centurion has stated is true, we are just travellers, we came here by mistake and we mean you no harm. We just wish to leave before your negotiations with the aquatics begin’

‘Eloquently stated, but we have the matter of your alien companion’s attack and murder of our Adjudicator to reconcile’

‘Ah yes, about that your Graces, if I may address the Triad, I hope we can get this cleared up’ said the Doctor, startling the guards around him, while the crowd gasped as they suddenly realised he was awake.

‘You may address the Triad at your trial Alien. Guards, take him’

 

And so the guards grabbed the Doctor by his arms, lifted him to his feet and marched him away to the Hall of Justice. They’d also removed Clara’s chains as they deemed her harmless and civilised and indeed found no need to restrain her further. Apparently, the Doctor’s trial was to begin immediately as justice was swift on Silurian Earth and they all very much wanted this business wrapped up so they could proceed with preparations for the Peace Negotiations. Given the severity of the crime and the unprecedented fact that there was an alien involved, the Triad themselves had taken the roles as Arbiters of Justice, with their majority vote to finalise proceedings on the matter of judgement as they surveyed from a raised bench. The Doctor stood on the stand of the accused as the crowd quickly and quietly took their seats and the Triad representative speaker addressed him.

‘We know you only as the accused, will you please state your name for the record’

‘Certainly, I’m the Doctor’

‘Doctor is not a name, it is a title, could you please state your actual name’

‘How do you know it is not a name? You are not familiar with my species, nor do you have any point of reference to state otherwise. I have been answering to the name Doctor for over a thousand years, so take it or leave it. Either way, can’t we just get on?’

‘Very well Doctor, in your own words, could you please tell us of the events leading up to the Adjudicator’s death’

‘Yes, he wanted to feed me and my friend to his Raptors, naturally as you can imagine, we weren’t entirely thrilled at the prospect and I told him so. He freaked out, let out a strange muffled bull noise and keeled over’

‘So you attacked him to make sure he was dead?’

‘No, I was trying to save him’

‘Security footage shows that you are either beating or compressing his chest, while intermittently trying to eat his face’ he said pointing to a large screen on the wall that showed the Doctor’s actions.

‘I was performing CPR’

‘What is this CPR? Is it some alien practice?’

‘It stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation I think it was invented here by some clever humans’

‘Humans? What are they? You appear to be talking in riddles Doctor, is this how you intend to continue to conduct your defence?’

‘Have you had the coroner’s report yet? Have they established a cause of death?’

‘We will hear the coroner’s verdict in time, for now, please answer the questions’

‘I am, you just can’t seem to grasp the facts’

‘We are trying to establish an accurate timeline of events as they happened’

‘You are misinterpreting my actions as hostile when I was just trying to help’

‘You have already been found guilty of killing the Adjudicator, Doctor. Your life is forfeit, we merely wish to know if your actions were with or without intent’

‘Oh that’s bad, I only spoke to him and he keeled over and I tried to resuscitate him, like I keep telling you I was trying to help him’

 

Suddenly the door at the back of the hall flew open ‘STOP THIS TRIAL AT ONCE!’ came a call from the robed figure as he and his entourage came quickly in and approached the stand.

‘Adjudicator???’ said the Triad representative, amidst anxious mutters from the crowd.

‘Your Graces, if I may approach the bench, I will clear this matter up once and for all’

‘Please Adjudicator, approach and speak’

‘Thank you your Grace, I fear we, myself included, have done this man a great injustice. His only crime was his protestation to being fed to my raptors, I reacted to my shame with fear and ignorance. It defied my view of the world that a mammal could be cultured or even speak, my fear reaction was to involuntarily induce a hibernative state to protect my mind from the implications. As you will know, this is a common condition that many Silurians have to live with. But for the people to form a mob and seek justice without awaiting truth or fact is testament to our own prejudice, is this how we would have history remember us? Is this truly who we are? He brings us living proof that one day the primates will have civilisation and this is how we react? Instead of embracing irrefutable truth, we chose to deny it and sought to kill them, this is not who we are, we are better than this. Let us free them to leave us in peace and friendship, because I for one have begun to re-evaluate my treatment of the primates, they have potential, should we not encourage that?’

‘Very wise words Adjudicator, it shall be done… Free the Doctor’ called the Triad representative. But the Doctor had already freed himself and was approaching the Adjudicator with his arm outstretched and vigorously shook his hand when he reached him.

‘Thank you very much Mr Adjudicator, you are a good man and I can see that the peace negotiations are in good hands. You speak with truth, honour and heart, I have no doubt that the coming days will define you in history’

‘Thank you Doctor, and thank you also for making me face my own shortcomings, I will be a better man for it’

‘All in a day’s work really… I hate long goodbyes’ he replied and looked to Clara ‘Come along Clara, places to go, people to see, goodbye Adjudicator’ he continued, before turning on his heel and marching out of the Justice Hall with Clara and the Silurian Centurion in toe as the crowd continued to talk amongst themselves.

 

***

 

Before long, they had walked back to the main gate without any trouble with the guards and quickly found themselves sat in a three-seater saddle on the back of a large triceratops. The Doctor grinned in remembrance that this was not his first time on the back of a triceratops, but his grin became a sad smile as this stirred up memories of Amy and Rory. ‘Don’t go there Doctor’ he barely whispered to himself.

‘Look Doctor, it’s the TARDIS’ said Clara pointing as the familiar blue shape took form in the distance, until finally they pulled up in front of it as they dismounted from the triceratops, Clara grinning widely.

‘There you go Clara Oswald, one to cross off your to do list, ride a dinosaur’ he said and she laughed as he turned to the Silurian Centurion ‘Thank you so much for everything, sorry for the bother’ he continued as he reached forward, shook her hand and side kissed each of her cheeks, before Clara hugged her.

‘But I don’t understand, you travel in that?’

‘Yes, what’s wrong with it?’                                                      

‘It’s a box’

‘Yes?’

‘It looks like wood’

‘Haven’t you learned yet that appearances can be deceptive?’

‘How right you are’

‘Well goodbye then’ he concluded with a grin and taking out his key as he turned and opened the TARDIS before disappearing inside.

‘Goodbye’ smiled Clara and quickly followed.

‘Goodbye, you mad impossible things’ she finally replied with a soft smile and took a step back as the box started making loud, grinding, groaning noises as it dematerialised before her eyes ‘Unbelievable’ she said, shaking her head, before spotting a crowd of primates who’d gathered, hiding behind foliage attracted by the TARDIS noise. Normally, she would have shot one for dino food or shot into the air to make them scatter, today however, she had a new respect for them and nodded to them before climbing back onto her triceratops and heading back to the City Complex.

 

***

 

Dark Confessions: A Christmas Special…


I’ve always been so very careful… Covering my tracks, leaving no loose ends for others to stumble across my work… Clearing the scene of anything that could lead the authorities to my door… I’ve made an art form of juggling my night time activities with my daytime life… How the fuck was there a witness? Maybe the police are using the media to try and rattle me, get me to make a mistake, that’s got to be it… I don’t make mistakes, I survey, I stalk and I plan before I even think of making my move. I even account for variables and deviations, there’s no way there could have been a witness, they’re fucking with me… They have to be…

Like most serial killers, I have my rituals and routines and no doubt my fair share of delusional beliefs that help me justify my actions in the bigger picture, yadder, yadder, yadder, bing, bang boff… I can’t even keep a straight face spouting that bullshit… It is what is, I’m a fucking hero… I’m an artist… I don’t give a toss about M.O.’s, Modus Operandi, Methods of Operation or any of the other crap they try to spoon feed you in crime dramas and CSI bollocks…

Hi, my name is Donnie and yeah, I’ve had my share of Donnie Darko jokes but I’m cool with that, I loved the movie. Just not Donald, never Donald, coz that makes me sound like a twat, thank you mum and dad. As you can imagine, I had my fair share of Donald Duck to Donald Fuck to Fuckwit to fucking weirdo throughout my school life. Not the most inspired progression, I grant you but when dealing with under achieving primates, it’s hard to picture anything with any great wit.

My father was a wife beater, speed/meth addict and a notorious drunk, a real piece of work. We had social services calling twice a week and when things really got out of hand, the police would be banging on the door with complaints of domestic disturbance.

Yep, sweet childhood huh? Topped only by that one defining Christmas when I trotted eagerly down the stairs to see if Santa had left me that Playstation I’d so dearly hoped and wished for. I’d dropped enough hints to sink a fucking ship. But the surprise I’d received was a lot more devastating than I could have ever dreamed of.

He’d finally gone too far, he’d cracked her over the head with his whisky bottle, fracturing her scull before she’d smacked it on the corner of the mantle in her fall and he just fell asleep in the chair as she’d slowly died of the head injuries and progressive loss of blood. Happy fucking Christmas!!! I’d watched them cart her away on a gurney with a blanket pulled up over her face, so surreal in the flashing blue lights, the house a hive of slow motion activity as my father was handcuffed and taken away fighting, the crackle and blarb of police and ambulance radios… And I remember someone putting a blanket around my shoulders as they led me from the house to a waiting car… I was absolutely devastated… And if I’m completely honest, it was probably the last time I ever really truly felt anything… And little did I know that this would be the catalyst for who I would become.

After that I’d stayed with my aunty but she quickly decided she couldn’t cope with me, I think I cramped her style, the selfish cow.  And so I was moved around from foster home to foster home, a number in the system, the traumatised little boy that nobody wanted. I began killing animals in an effort to feel something but nothing came and I got good at it. And after once being caught, I quickly learned how to cover my tracks and again I got good at it…

It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I killed my first human and God I felt so alive… Basically, a chav had pulled a knife on me, wrong place, wrong time, wrong man… I’d waited for him to thrust, gripped his wrist and held it in both my hands as he desperately tried to pull it back toward him. I then used his own momentum and pushed, using his upward pull to direct the blade to his throat.

The shock on his face had been priceless, dropping to his knees as his windpipe gurgled around the blade before he slumped forward, driving the blade home to his death as it tore through the vertebrae in his neck. But it had all happened so fast, that there was nothing to savour and I knew I wanted more… God, I wanted more… The thrill of the kill… The power it had made me feel was so intoxicating that it was almost sexual in its nature and I began craving it like nothing before in my life… It was like a moment of clarity, I’d found my purpose…

As time went on, so the craving became so much stronger, and I knew I’d have to be careful… I felt like an addict slaved to my vice…

There’s not much that gets to me, but after my childhood experiences, I have a real rage that rises in the wake of men beating on women. And so this became my focus as first I began taking out pimps in the less savoury, less policed parts of the city. And again, nothing too grandiose, just tailed them, waited for my opportunity and stepped up behind them, swiftly slitting their throats and watching them bleed like the pigs that they are as their eyes bulged and tongues protruded as warm life-blood pumped over their hands as they desperately grasped at their throats. You see, I’m not a monster, I choose my victims well… Sadly it wasn’t long before the police had worked out my pattern as new prostitutes had begun appearing on the street corners. I stalked a few of them to see if my instincts had been right and wasn’t at all surprised to find them making reports to plain clothed operatives in law enforcement. I knew then that it was time to slow down and reign in these urges before they consumed me and I fucked up.

Eighteen months had passed by in the interim and I’d successfully kept a lid on these dark cravings. Until eventually news had reached me via my aunty that my dad would soon be released from prison, having served his sentence for the events of that fateful night. Like I said before, I don’t feel much in the way of emotion, I have to fake it for the most part to blend in. But that night, I had a wave of devastating emotion wash over me as I relived the night my mum died in an idol, reflective fantasy, born of remembrance. And I cried, weeping like the child I left behind on that fateful night…

And I knew I had to make him pay for what he had done to me… For what he’d done to my mum… What he had made me become… And so I planned and schemed of how this was going to go down, forgiveness was never an option, I really couldn’t let it go… I needed closure…

And so I began to buy in supplies; bleach, plastic sheeting, industrial packing tape, a rubber diving suit, latex gloves, cooking knives, tons of cheap clothes from charity shops and a number of free syringes from the local methadone clinic… God bless the heroin addicts… I then started scoping abandoned warehouses and properties that wouldn’t draw attention until I found one perfect for my needs… Secluded and clearly untouched for a number of years, just on the outskirts of the city and ironically, an abandoned abattoir…

Upon his release, I stalked him for a few months and got to know his routines and hang outs… No surprises that he’d find his way to pubs and bars before finding a taste for prostitutes and bar skanks. Then to discover he was one of those men who needed to choke women to sustain his errection, the man just sickened me…  My childhood memories of his lifestyle had always put me off touching the booze, I never wanted to end up like him, ever…

Finally when I was near enough ready to go, I shaved my head and waxed my body… After all, loose, stray hairs have a nasty habit of dropping you in the shit in terms of evidence at crime scenes. And so I was set and found my way to the point where our paths would converge and waited for him to pass by. It was almost too easy and I was angry with him for not being more of a challenge, for not putting up more of a struggle… I hit him once and he was unconscious, damn him… He frightened the life out of me when I was a child, yet now this frail old piss-head just disgusted me… Repulsed me in his weakness… Where was the fire? Where was the rage that had so terrified me and scarred me as a child? He would pay for that too…

Having reached the abattoir, I stripped to my under-ware and donned the skin tight diving suit and put on my latex gloves.

I then laid out a large square of plastic sheeting, stripped him and laid him out on it, using the industrial packing tape to secure his arms and taping his wrists together behind his back. I then taped his ankles and then his knees together to restrict his movement, before slapping him about to wake him up.

His eyes suddenly snapped open, quickly widening as he began to take in his surroundings and finally realisation dawned as he contemplated his situation. A delightfully, delicious ‘Oh Crap’ moment that will stay with me forever and made me grin widely.

‘Where am I? Who are you?’ he asked with a tremble in his voice.

‘Do you not recognise your own son, Father?’ I replied calmly.

‘Donnie? Is that you?’

‘Come now Father, surely you can’t have forgotten me already’

‘I never forgot you Donnie… I am so sorry about everything’

Suddenly rage coursed through me and impulsively I sprang forward and punched him hard in the mouth, his front teeth breaking with the impact of the blow as his mouth filled with blood and he began coughing and spluttering crimson tooth fragments. ‘YOU DON’T GET TO BE SORRY…’ I bellowed at him in fury, before stepping back and turning away from him to compose myself. I took a few deep breaths in an effort to calm myself down. It was then that I noticed the sting in my knuckles and found that his broken teeth had torn through the glove and cut me. I winced and breathed deeply to suppress the rage. I was getting emotional and that was not a good sign. I needed to get myself in check before continuing or I would make a mistake and implicate myself.

You see, the plan had been to calmly break him down over a few hours until he’d reached regret and then kill him, but he was not giving me the satisfaction and closure that I needed. I couldn’t trust myself not to react emotionally. Like I said before, I haven’t felt anything since that night, I’ve been so numb for so very long and now emotions were sweeping over me like a tsunami and I really didn’t know how to deal with them. I knew I was going to have to cut this short before I did something stupid.

I wanted him to suffer, that was a given… I wanted to really hurt him but I couldn’t trust my own judgement enough to know when to stop. I was going to have to improvise…

I had initially brought the syringe to blow an air bubble into a vein that he may go peacefully after finding remorse for killing my mum. I’m not an animal…

And I’d brought the bleach to clean up any potential evidence in the aftermath of the deed. But now I’d fucked up big time and broken his teeth and despite the thrill of his sobs, I knew that death would be deemed as suspicious, so I couldn’t risk throwing caution to the wind. I would simply make him suffer and watch him die. So I quickly ripped off some tape and covered his mouth, then finding the syringe among my belonging, I used it to suck up a full vial of bleach and injected it directly into a juicy vein in his arm and sat back to watch the show.

I was actually pretty good at biology and chemistry at school, so I was intrigued to see the effects as I ran the theory through my head. It was fascinating and thankfully sated my baser urges to cut him and beat him to a pulp. The extreme pain was almost immediate and his face reddened as his arm began to blister as his agonised screams were muffled through the tape. He looked at me pleadingly through the devastation of the blood vessel as clots formed and travelled to begin blocking and systematically shutting down his vital organs over a number of hours. He writhed like a fish out of water until the shaking began, at which point, I crossed to him and held up his head to look into his eyes. ‘Goodbye Father…’ I said softly and kissed his forehead, before holding him in my arms tightly until finally, the shaking stopped. I wept quietly at first, then sobs turned to roars and I actually felt better after a good cry as I began putting the past behind me and moving on.

That was five years ago, I’m a lot more in control now and have my cravings bridled to necessity. I just kill once a year, it’s like my Christmas treat in remembrance of my mother and father. The media have named me ‘Santa Claws’ which amuses me greatly…

Today’s front page headline reads ‘Santa Claws Strikes Again’ in reference to the guy I took out this year. It has this wonderful cartoon image of a rabid Santa beside the story… LMAO!!!

Basically he was a deadbeat husband who frequently knocked the shit out of his wife after a few too many drinks. Sound familiar? Okay I’ve got an M.O., so sue me… I started tailing him in September, even stopped to chat with him on occasion. The guy was scum, no regrets, no remorse and couldn’t see a thing wrong with his life. Volatile, violent and embraced as a way of life that old joke:

 

Q. What do you call a woman with two black eyes?

A. Not listening the first time.

I figured ‘Yep, he’s our man alright’ and set about this year’s treat. Like I say, I’d been trailing him since September and I was peeved to realise they were already playing Christmas carols in the shops. His poor wife was taking a regular beating and living in fear of her life, with police and social services regularly visiting the troubled house. But sadly powerless under the law to actually do anything until she pressed charges that in turn formed a vicious circle in that she was too afraid to because of the threats of what he might do.

I took him a day before Christmas Eve, spiked his drink with a mild sedative to slow his reflexes and waited along his route home. It wasn’t long before I saw him lumbering up the road like some tired beast of burden, stooping occasionally to rest before moving on. I simply waited until the street was completely empty, drove up beside him and offered a lift home. He climbed in willingly and slumped in the seat with his eyes closed. Perfect!

I then swiftly drove on to the abattoir. And I still can’t believe the police haven’t thought to check there in previous years, maybe it’s too obvious or so long unused that no one even thinks of it. Either way it suits me fine, I’m not complaining… It’s all good…

I helped him out of the car and brought him inside to the main area, allowing him to drop onto the waiting plastic sheeting as I quickly changed into my diving suit and donned a Santa coat and hat. What can I say? I’m a sucker for media portrayal and front page coverage. They create a myth, so I’ve got to live up to it… I then began stripping him and taping his wrists together. And though he let out a few disgruntled snorts, he didn’t actually begin to stir until I’d strapped his ankles into the overhead shackles they used for pig slaughter and hoisted him into the air as the blood rushed to his head.

Killed like a pig, I love life’s ironies…

‘What the fuck?’ he cried out.

‘Good evening Mr Johnson’ I replied with crisp, bank manager sincerity.

‘Get me the fuck down!!! I’ll fucking kill you!!!’ he roared.

‘Not really much of a motivation, is it now, Mr Johnson?’

‘What do you want?’

‘Ah, straight to the nub of the matter, good for you Sir… I’m afraid you’ve been a very naughty boy, haven’t you?’

‘WHAT???’

‘I’m afraid you made Santa’s naughty list, Mr Johnson’ I said calmly with a mock jutting lip.

‘You’d better get me the fuck down, right now’

‘As much as I respect your bold, can do attitude, I’m afraid I must decline. You see we have a few urgent matters to discuss in regard to your continual spousal abuse’

‘Fuck you, I’ve got rights’

‘I’m afraid you’ve forfeited them Mr Johnson, the only rights you hold right now is your right to make peace with the world’

‘WHAT? I don’t understand’

‘Evidently so, but just to clarify, you are not long to remain in this world… You will die tonight… And I don’t mean that maliciously, it is simply a fact… The world is better off without you…’

‘But you can’t, that’s… That means you’re…’

‘Ah realisation dawns… That’s right Mr Johnson, I’m that Santa… You see, I have no qualms about hurting you and your screams will be like some divine symphony to my ears’

‘Someone will hear me’

‘I’m afraid not, there’s nobody for miles’

‘People will notice I’m gone’

‘And so they will rejoice’

‘They will find me’

‘I’m afraid they’ll not even miss you, nobody likes you, in fact, most say you’re an asshole’ I said in a mock conspiracy tone with a stage whisper, theatrical gesture.

‘Someone will come’

‘Who? Please tell me, Mr Johnson. Who will come?’

‘I don’t know…’

‘Exactly, I think we’re done with denial now, don’t you Mr Johnson. Let’s just get on with the business at hand’

‘You can’t do this…’ he said with an edge of panic in his voice.

‘Oh I think you’ll find I can’ I smiled as I took out a small knife, knelt beside him and stabbed it sharply between two ribs in the right side of his chest and gyrated the blade a number of times. ‘Do you believe me now, Mr Johnson?’ I asked in the same calm, levelled voice as he froze and gasped as the blade slid in, grimacing as it twisted, then minor relief as I pulled it out. ‘Well?’ I pressed ‘Do you believe me now?’

He nodded vigorously, fear creasing his face as his tears ran down his forehead.

‘Jolly good, we’re getting somewhere then… So tell me a bit about your better half, Mr Johnson, why do you beat her?’

‘I’m sorry…’ he sobbed.

‘Uh uuuh’ I mock buzzered ‘Wrong answer’ I replied and pushed my finger into his knife wound, between his ribs and began to wiggle it about as he howled the place down.

‘You know, I could do this all night but I’m afraid I’ve got a schedule to keep, can we skip to your protestations and get straight to the remorse’

‘Schedule?’

‘What? You think just because I’m a serial killer, I don’t have Christmas plans? Really Mr Johnson, that’s blatant stereotyping and if not for the timing, we’d most assuredly be discussing that too’

‘Why are you doing this?’ he sobbed.

‘It’s quite simple… I’m making my list and checking it twice… Well you know the rest…’

‘I’m begging you… oh please don’t kill me’

‘Tra la la la, la la la la… You know the modern connotations of that song amuse me greatly’

‘You’re insane’

‘No honestly, hear me out… There’s that line ‘Gladly don your gay apparel?’ Do you realise that in this day and age, it asks you to wear your skimpiest vest, designer shades and tightest jeans in December. Now that is madness’

‘Please, stop this’

‘You’re quite right Mr Johnson, it shames me to admit that I’m stereotyping now. But don’t worry, you can rest assured that I’ll work on it’ I smiled as I brought up the blade and held it to his throat as his face contorted in terror. ‘I’m afraid we’re wasting time Mr Johnson’

‘NO’

‘You’ll notice that below you is the drain where slaughter blood is washed away, convenient huh?’ I said, gesturing the taped hole in the plastic sheeting.

‘Please, don’t do this’

‘Goodbye Mr Johnson and Merry Christmas’ I smiled as I brought the blade swiftly across his throat and quickly stepped back as he bucked like a fish on a line as his blood pumped from his neck, over his face, filling his mouth and nose, before being swallowed by the waiting drain’s hungry mouth.

Some time later when he’d finished dripping and twitching, I lowered him down onto the plastic sheeting and slitting him from groin to chest, quickly set about removing his organs as I hollowed out his shell like a pumpkin. I then washed him and the organs thoroughly to lose the last remnants of blood before drying and dressing him in a cheap Santa suit. I then patted dry his organs and intestines and hung them up to dry a little more and so the day wore on.

At around 6pm, I briefly borrowed his house keys, headed over to his house in the car. I waited for his wife to retreat to the kitchen at the back of the house, quietly let myself in and crept along the hallway, quickly ducking into the dining room as she came out of the kitchen and went into the toilet.

Seeing my chance, I swiftly headed to the kitchen to see a freshly made cup of tea and spiked it with some sedative to help her sleep as I prepared her Christmas morning surprise. I could feel my excitement building; it made me feel like a kid again.

After quietly letting myself out, I headed back to the abattoir, parked up and nipped in to pick him up, bring him out to the car, put him in the passenger seat and put on his seatbelt to hold him steady… After all, safety first… I then nipped back in, collected all the organs and bagged them up in towels before putting them into refuse sacks and loading them into the boot of the car. I then went back in for the third and final time to clean up and remove any and all traces of my presence and my activities therein. Then bagging up the plastic sheeting and various other paraphernalia, I placed it on the back seat with intention to burn later. Finally, I was able to jump into the driving seat and we were away.

Twenty minutes later, I pulled up outside his house and peeped through the living room window to see her crashed out for the count on the sofa… Aww sweet… So I quickly let myself in and carried her to bed, gently laying her down and putting the duvet over her as she slept on obliviously. Next I nipped out and got him in from the car, bringing him into the house and sitting him in the armchair in the living room, holding a big card that said “Merry Christmas”

Then nipping back out the car again, I got the organs from the boot and brought them into the house, decorating the tree festively with them. His intestines looping around and spiralling it with various organs draped on the branches for balance. Ironic that this was the origin of tree decoration in a Druid sacrifice on Winter Solstice for health and prosperity, so keenly adapted by Christianity for Christmas with tinsel and baubles… But enough of my rambling, I stood back and surveyed my work proudly. Yes, she’ll appreciate this after the initial shock… Maybe not today, but tomorrow she can play the devastated, grieving widow and in time, she can learn to live again… And one day, she may even feel gratitude… My work here is done…

Until next year of course…