Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Circle of Steel

Absently as she walks down the lowest-level entry of the silly Citadel, the Lady Flamina fingers the silver mask in her fingers, the half-face of a bear. There ought to be leaves and twigs coming out of its mouth, oughtn’t there? Or is she confused again?

Not quite so absently, she lets her thoughts drift toward the man who had given her the mask.

He had long hair. It was blonde. It shone like waves of sunlight. His eyes were candles, just for her. She hoped he’d got out. She prayed he had. The ruse was over; no need for heroics.

She would not consider the one who had given her birth. That creature had left her to die, with only sweet dreams full of white dresses and parties for her food.

‘No,’ she breathed, smoothing her dress as she started to jog, then began running through the halls, her free hand clutching the torque.

She was rendered invisible by its power; its cool heat against her breastbone a comfort, much like the touch of Grandfather’s feathers against her skin. So soft they were, those feathers. But if she was to escape the Citadel, she must keep her hand on the torque for the loop to stay complete- otherwise the guards she was passing would see her instead of the nothing she wanted them to believe was there.

They would kill her.

They would, because the Master would not stand for her taking the lives of his beloved traitor.

The traitor… yes. She had done well to do for him. Now she could live in the wastes, in her TARDIS, with him. Now she could be free.

But as she mouthed that admission, her foot caught on an upturned hexagonal tile; as she fell, her lavender eyes flamed on the exit out of the Citadel, a small arch with a blue eye atop it. That eye, that arch, like an ancient guardian sitting above her, waiting to smite her for her dreadful sin. No, that wasn’t right. She had done nothing wrong. There was no sin.

She lost her balance.

Footsteps as she landed, and then her hand was jarred far away from the touch of the torque, touching instead the boot-top of a man. Elegant, squarish fingers reaching down…

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