elisi: (Stepping Sideways)
[personal profile] elisi
Summary: How do you save people that don't want to be saved?

For notes etc, please see The Prologue, or just follow the tags.

Note: Gallifreyan will be indicated by the use of « and » any other language uses "". It seemed the simplest solution.

TW: This chapter contains violence.


SherwoodBanner1


Chapter 3

The Captain – and it was an interesting ethnographical detail that they had kept that title for their leader – looked to be in his fifties, and trim for his age, although his face showed signs of the hard life they were living.

He wore a uniform which, although clearly old and worn, had been looked after with great care. The Seeker wondered whether it was passed down from generation to generation.

As the Seeker had expected, the room they had been taken to was the old control room. The wide windows showed a view of unending pale blue, misty mountains in the distance - a deadly paradise that the Seeker hoped the humans would be happy to leave.

Some of the control panels were still working, and he was curious as to what they did for power. Natural resources were abundant, so in theory power shouldn’t be difficult to come by, but translating that to something usable…

On the console next to the Captain he noticed Roda’s bag, and wistfully thought of his laser – so near and yet so very far away.

However, it was important to take charge straight away, and he glared at the Captain with all the indignation of an official personnel unlawfully detained.

“Captain. I hope you will be able to explain the meaning of this. As representatives of The Shadow Proclamation my colleague and myself have never been treated in such a way-”

“The Shadow Proclamation?” the Captain asked, eyes narrowing. “I’m surprised. I thought they just sent Judoon to kill everyone they didn’t approve of. Please, tell me whom I have the pleasure of addressing.”

“I’m Rhona Dale,” Roda said, “Senior Agent and Operative.”

“And I am Alexander Saxon, Architect,” the Seeker added. “I am sure I don’t have to explain why we are deeply concerned about what has been going on here.”

A swift, dismissive smirk, gone in an instant, flashed across the Captain’s face – but the Seeker knew that for some reason the plan was already going awry.

“Concerned, you say… Yes, I believe you are. Very concerned. I’m guessing that Ms Dale is the person our drones have been trying to track for the past few weeks, turning up at all our major sites…”

“And I have more than enough evidence to incriminate you many times over,” Roda replied coldly. “Apart from the fact that this was a Level Two planet, your actions-“

“Oh shut up,” the Captain snapped. “It’s a clever little story you’ve strung together, but I know what is going on.”

Silently cursing that somehow the ruse hadn’t worked, the Seeker wasn’t ready to let go just yet.

“Do you now? I hope you don’t mind sharing your insights with us…”

Leaning back in his chair the Captain studied them, no longer bothering to hide his sneer.

“I don’t know which company you are from, but you were obviously trying to make contact with the-“ he caught himself, “-the natives. One of you tied up, to help win their trust. Believing you could foment a revolution, get a better deal working directly with those primitives, than what I would offer you.”

The Seeker kept his face impassive, even though his mind was abruptly trying to connect missing dots in order to work out what the Captain was talking about… ‘Company’ ‘better deal’ – what could these humans have to bargain with?

He cast a sharp glance at Roda. Unless… Unless the planet had some kind of precious natural resource she hadn’t mentioned to him; something the humans traded with unscrupulous mercenaries, a reason for them to stay-

Oh. His conversation with Roda in the cell, a single sentence:

«Right so - nevermind the logistics, what if they won’t go?»

Dammit.

How was he supposed to do anything if he was given incomplete or incorrect information? Stars above she was infuriating. He understood that she didn’t trust him, but now she had compromised them both…

(Then, at the edge of his awareness, a gentle mental tug. Finally. He’d felt strangely naked without backup, and it was sobering to realise how dependent he had become.)

The Captain drew breath, and the Seeker focused on him again. The mental calculations had lasted but a fraction of a second in real time, and although the initial plan was falling through, he could probably figure something else out… But it most definitely added yet more complications, and the Captain was no longer bothering to hide his disdain:

“As if you could make any kind of deal with that lot. No understanding of the value of what they have. Or money for that matter. Wouldn’t do the most basic of work if we weren’t keeping them in check. You have been on a fool’s errand, but you will not make a fool out of me.”

Grabbing the bag, he held it aloft.

“Besides which, this bag has far too many weapons and… inventive technology to belong to anyone associated with The Shadow Proclamation. Regulation all the way, that’s how the Architects like it. Just take this knife…”

He stood up, Roda’s knife in his hands.

“Well, it’s not regulation in any way shape or form, is it?”

“Hands off that,” Roda snapped, her hands curling into fists and the handcuffs tightening, as he turned to her, eyes turning frosty.

“My dear Ms Dale - if you think I escaped the Daleks and steered this ship through the void of space with such damage that it’s a miracle we even made it past the moon clusters of the ring planets, to land here, in this hellhole, witnessing men, women and children dying – killed by the land that should have been their salvation, and attacked by savages so brutal those days still haunt my nightmares… Just to see someone like you trying to destroy my people, you are very much mistaken.”

That swift smile again, a smile that struck the Seeker like a flashing danger sign, even as he adjusted his understanding yet again – ‘Captain’ was not an honorary title, the man had to have had his body clock slowed down (not uncommon for star ship pilots; he was not someone carrying on others’ work, he was the instigator…) Then he spoke again, and the reason for the smile was revealed:

“You see here, there are toxic swamps where your bodies will disintegrate so thoroughly no one will ever know you even existed…”

And before either could react, he raised the knife and stabbed Roda in the chest.



Chapter 4

(no subject)

Date: 4 August 2017 10:04 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (hourglass)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
the old control room. The wide windows showed a view of unending pale blue, misty mountains in the distance
– FOUR: Funny about the windows.
ROMANA II: What windows?
FOUR: Yes, and then there's the general architectural style. Would you call it rococo?
ROMANA II: No, I wouldn't.

but translating that to something usable…
– Not called the Seeker for nothing, this one. :)

I thought they just sent Judoon to kill everyone they didn’t approve of.
– To be fair, insofar as we’ve seen their MO, this seems about right…

make contact with the-“ he caught himself, “-the natives.
– And a whole thesis could be written about this self-correction.

Believing you could foment a revolution, get a better deal working directly with those primitives, than what I would offer you
– Goodness, has he met Mr Goodacre, sorry, the Doctor?

even though his mind was abruptly trying to connect missing dots in order to work out what the Captain was talking about…
– enjoys watching the wheels turn.

Oh. His conversation with Roda in the cell, a single sentence:
– And… bingo.

How was he supposed to do anything if he was given incomplete or incorrect information? Stars above she was infuriating.
– Well, to be fair, she doesn’t know you or trust you yet, sunshine. I mean, yes, from his point of view, fair enough, but equally fair from hers.

and it was sobering to realise how dependent he had become.
– Continuing to work it all out, on multiple levels. That‘s our Seeker.

but you will not make a fool out of me
– Job already done, mate. Though there aren’t many things as dangerous as someone who is sure they know what they’re doing, and don’t need to consider other points of view…

inventive technology to belong to anyone associated with The Shadow Proclamation. Regulation all the way, that’s how the Architects like it.
– Again, the phrase “bang to rights” seems not unapt. Which leaves open the question of whether the Shadow Proclamation is partly just a double-bluffing front for some really incredibly adept and clever operatives. Probably not, unfortunately…

He… what? Oh dear. I mean, yes, he probably just signed his own death warrant if that mental tug that the Seeker felt earlier was the Toclafane returning — which of course will make Roda even less willing to believe him that he isn’t the Master, particular given the chapter one throwaway (ha!) remark that “it was past The Year That Never Was for her” so she’ll know precisely what they are.

Very curious as to whether the Captain is still alive at the end of the next chapter…

(no subject)

Date: 5 August 2017 07:15 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (hourglass)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
And now I want to read Peter Wimsey...
– There is at least one superfluous word in this sentence, or there would be if I’d written it. :)

Readers: I wonder if the *killer* will still be alive
– Well, without subscribing to Twelve’s “We're on Gallifrey. Death is Time Lord for man flu.” from Hell Bent, we know, or at least strongly suspect, that Roda will eventually be all right again. And it’s not as though I even care where the killer will still be alive – I’m almost sure he’ll be dead, as he seems likely to have overlapping crosshairs from Roda and the Seeker at this point, with Roda’s being more straightforward and the Seeker’s possibly being more “if I can stage the Captain’s death and make them believe the planet did it, by entering Mistfall or some new more hostile phase, maybe that makes it easier to convince the rest of the humans to get off this world?” I was considering at one point whether killing the Captain would trouble the Seeker, but after what he just did I suspect he would subscribe more to River’s “The murder of a creature like that wouldn't weigh heavily on my conscience, even if I had one” attitude.

(no subject)

Date: 5 August 2017 08:35 pm (UTC)
enevarim: (oak-leaves)
From: [personal profile] enevarim
he doesn't have a clue as to what he's done...
– To offend one mythically-powerful Time Lord (“Why would a Time Lord be a weapon?” “Well, they’ve seen you.”) may be regarded as a misfortune, but to offend two, looks like – no, it goes way past carelessness to a hidden death wish. Quite likely to be soon granted.








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