The Storyteller

Guess Who

A word marked the beginning of a series of events throughout Paris that had many messengers hop from one carriage to another. In one instance they threw a suitcase with documents from one moving carriage to another as they passed each other on the road.

Secret agents in long raincoats running from one black door to another. Orders in code were being relayed across wireless radio via morse code while extra information was being acquired.

Extra information about me, carried around the French capital chained to a man's wrist. It came with a warning.

He and I both arrived in the general's office at the same time. He was a sweaty man but granted he had travelled a long way in a heck of a short time. He'd only just stepped off the train judging by his travelling cloak.

"My name's Simon de Leeuw," he said and I watched him nervously brush his curly moustache. I couldn't help but mimick his motion and wonder how I would look with a moustache.

"I'm from LONGBOW."

The man behind the desk perked up and so did I. Something happened. I think I missed it.

My mind had to catch up: "Sorry, you said 'Longbow', didn't you?"

The general revealed a small metal box which he took out from his desk drawer and which he placed in front of him and in the same vein Simon placed his suitcase upon the desk in front of it. An exchange was being made.

"Yes, I did," he said and he went on to ignore me. Very rude and quite amusing.

"I've come with the file on the Doctor as requested but I must add this warning."

The general cleared his throat. He was a man of few words but with an imposing gaze but Simon luckily was oblivious to its message.

"Wherever he is right now, the Doctor brings darkness and destruction in his wake. Death is his only constant companion."

The general froze but Simon was so nervous he did not even see it. He took the key from the general's hand, desperate to get the suitcase from his wrist and out of his care.

"Where is he, general?" he asked. Oh, this was brilliant.

The general took great care not to emphasize any embarrasment or mockery in his non-gesture.

"He is standing right next to you."

The man's neck flinched towards me and I couldn't help but strike a pose.

"Hello." I smiled. The man was flabbergasted. Who wouldn't be? "Death and destruction, really? Who'd you get that from, the Daleks?"

Now it was my turn to ignore him. Or make fun of his moustache.

"The Doctor is our prisoner," the general said. His nonchalance offended me.

"He is under our control."

He knew I hated it when he said that. That's why his penetrating gaze had been aimed at me this time. To make sure I got the message.

So I sent one back. No morse code required or secret messages. This was a plain and simple message. Both wrists placed upon the desk. Eye to eye. One man to another.

"If anything happens to Amy Pond...anything at all..." I said.

The general understood. "...then what?"

He called my bluff, but if there's one thing you should know about me, is that I never bluff.

"Sir!" Simon said and the general's eyes were drawn toward the representative of the LONGBOW intelligence agency from Brussels.

In the corner of my eye I saw the general's hand linger upon the unread documents within the suitcase. I waited until his eyes looked back into mine. A second in the general's eyes looked like a lifetime of change.

"Lieutenant!" he cried out when I still didn't look away. Simon swallowed.

Then two soldiers grabbed my upper arms and carried me away.

"It was nice meeting you, Simon!" I cried out before the door shut. I think I saw him clutching his necklace again.

The soldiers roughened up my tweed jacket with their grip though. I had to put a stop to that before any wrinkles set in. The angels got my first jacket, as you may remember -actually I hope you do- and I've only got 500 spares. I have to be careful.

The soldiers were looking at me odd and I realized they were clearly affected by the words uttered in the general's office.

"It's not my fault, really," I told them while straightening my jacket and bow tie. "Things sort of happen..."

The words caught a certain hidden meaning because as I lifted my head up to bask in those rare 1889 Parissiene afternoon rays of sunlight I saw the figure of the Eiffeltower etched against the clear bright sky, protruding from the layer of grounded buildings surrounding it as if it was meant to be there...

"...and they always will," I added. A pecular silence had fallen and I eyed the soldiers who were hesitant to touch me again. "Come along then!"

We raced down the helical staircase.

"Just like old times, eh?"

Silly me. The old times hadn't even begun yet.

What about me, Doctor? What happened to me?

The Doctor was pleased that his story had had Amy hooked.

"I'm getting to it. Stop fidgeting with your leg. It's fine. Don't worry about it."

"Is it growing back yet?" Amy in the bed asked and the Doctor sighed.

"If you keep looking at it, Amy, it'll only take longer," he told her.

"Just look at it!" she insisted rubbing her leg. "Any... growth?"

With a cautious finger he lifted the blanket, peeked underneath at Amy's leg, then let it fall before quickly retreating on to his stool whilst rubbing his hands together awkwardly. Amy caught him changing the subject with his usual blank smile.

"Look," he explained to comfort her. "You don't want to rush limb regeneration. It'll do the trick, but on its own time. Trust me, I know. Now where was I?"

"Doctor!"

"WHAT?"

"That noise."

"What noise?" the Doctor asked and Amy slapped his arm. "Ow!"

"The noise in the beginning. Of your story. It just came and went!" she said, rocking her head along with her words to stress their importance. Or silliness. "What happened to it?"

"I don't know yet," the Doctor admitted. "I did say I was making this story up as I went. It might've slipped my mind."

"Hmmm," Amy said. "You're lying."

"I'm improvising!" the Doctor disagreed. "Maybe I'll work it into the story. Who knows?"

Get on with it then.

You have to remember it was a different time back then. Just think. The Geneva convention was only adopted 40 years ago and let's not talk about civil rights...now where was I?

Alexandre Gustav Eiffel was a good man but he wasn't perfect. He was an old man and of course, so was I.

His wife had died twelve years ago and he never remarried but he took you in, Amy, and made sure that despite being a hostage that you were treated well.

"Don't be hysterical, girl." he said to you as you stepped from the carriage dressed in full contemporary clothing. But of course you are used to strange outfits, aren't you Amy?

Shut up.

"I look like my grandmother," you said to him and he smiled. "Or my great-great grandmother..."

You were doing maths in your mind as you stepped from the carriage, whilst being escorted by armed personnel at all times. 1889 was a hundred years before you were born...

"The Doctor sure does travel with strange folk..." Gustave spoke and of course you couldn't let that slide past unnoticed.

"Are you prejudging me?"

"No," he spoke wise. "I am judging."

You felt embarassed for being dressed like that in public and the fact that every other woman around you was wearing similar clothes didn't end this. It actually made it worse.

"Doctor," I imagined you muttering to yourself. "You're só going to pay for this."

After tripping and stumbling over your new dress you found yourself in your new golden cage. A moderately luxurious apartment somewhere in the centre of the city. A place as far away from me as possible but still close enough to see the Eiffel Tower.

You didn't know it but we were looking at it from different points in Paris at the exact same time. I think we both felt what was coming.

You glanced up at the rows of chimney stacked houses all along the street one final time before being nudged into the house at the butt of a rifle.

"Yeah, all right. I'm walking!"

There were photographs of a family throughout the hallway of the house. The photos weren't as grey and faded as you remembered them to be, but that was of course the hand of time at work.

"I'm in the past," you suddenly realized.

You passed photo after photo and you remembered your first thought as you stepped from the carriage: "I look like my grandmother."

It didn't take much to have you imagine yourself in their position. Their life. One of the girls in the photographs even looked like you.

"Oh, my God," you thought. "I could be stuck here. I could be living my life a hundred years before I was born. Die a hundred years before I was..."

The next thought came as natural to you as instinct:

"I've got to find the Doctor."

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