xii. england, 1913 (part 02)
VIOLET HAS HAD TO deal with Martha running in and out of the TARDIS several times in the past few hours, and she couldn’t help but let her stomach drop at the words that leave the darker woman’s lips the last time. However, Violet doesn’t get much of a chance to get over that fact by the time the Father from the Family of Blood is standing outside the TARDIS as Martha and the matron talk.
“I know it sounds mad, but when the Doctor became Human, he took the alien part of himself and he stored it inside the watch,” Martha explains. “It’s not really a watch, it just looks like a watch.”
The matron nods slowly. “And alien means not from abroad, I take it.”
“The man you call John Smith, he was born on another world.”
“A different species.”
“Then tell me. In this fairy tale, who are you?”
“Just a friend. I’m not. I mean, you haven’t got a rival, as much as I might. Just his friend. ”
“And Human, I take it?”
“Human. Don’t worry. And more than that, I just don’t follow him around. I’m training to be a doctor. Not an alien doctor, a proper doctor. A doctor of medicine.”
“Well that certainly is nonsense. Women might train to be doctors, but hardly a skivvy and hardly one of your colour.”
“Oh, do you think? Bones of the hand. Carpal bones, proximal row. Scaphoid, lunate, triquetral, pisiform. Distal row. Trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate. Then the metacarpal bones extending in three distinct phalanges. Proximal, middle, distal.”
“You read that in a book.”
“Yes, to pass my exams. Can’t you see this is true?”
Violet grits her teeth as the Father turns green and talks with the Mother, and Son of the Family of Blood, her hands gripping at the console of the TARDIS as her blue eyes burn with fire, staring at the monitor above the console. She changes it back to the school and is startled to find one of the school children with the fob watch Martha was searching for. She racks her mind for a name: Tim Latimer, the boy who will fight in the first world war alongside his comrades from this school.
Soon enough, scarecrows are carrying the TARDIS towards the school - and the Doctor and Martha. Inside, Violet cannot keep her footing as she goes tumbling to the ground, down the stairs and hitting her head hard against the wall as she comes to an abrupt stop, her neck snapping at the harsh contact. Her body is limp and lifeless at the base of the metal stairs as the TARDIS comes to its stop outside the school.
By the time her body gets around to healing itself, Martha and the Doctor are back in the TARDIS, the latter crouching next to Violet as her eyelids peel back to reveal a dull blue-grey in place of their usual lively sapphire blue. The half Gallifreyan lets out an “unladylike” groan and pushes herself up onto her elbows, blinking to rid herself of the blurry sheen covering her gaze, but coming to the realisation that her sight is no longer what it used to be.
“I think I’m going to need glasses,” Violet laughs, looking over at the 900-year-old man beside her with amusement. “I’ve got different eyes this time around.”
“So you did Regenerate,” the brunet man muses. “I wasn’t entirely certain if you were just passed out or dead, and the TARDIS couldn’t either. Martha wasn’t even sure, and she’s training to be a doctor.”
“I must have Regenerated for my eyes to be so bloody bad. Where are we anyway?”
“We’re in Martha’s time at a war memorial service.”
“Latimer. Of course.”
Violet forces herself up from where she’s laying and clambers back up the stairs leading to the console, startling Martha at her sudden appearance. The darker-skinned woman is back in 21st Century appropriate clothes, a black blazer-type jacket over a red shirt in place her signature burgundy leather jacket, and a paper poppy pinned to her lapel. Violet smiles at the woman before rushing off to get some better clothes on, and out of the ones she has been forced to wear for days due to the TARDIS being in low-power mode.
She returns to the Doctor and Martha moments later, earning a wide-eyed look from the latter at her choice of clothing and a smile from the older being. Violet looks down at her grey and black ‘ANZAC’ hoodie with a paper poppy adorning the upper left area above on of her hearts, black skinny jeans and combat boots before returning her blue-grey gaze to the woman from a time before hers. With a small shrug, the half Time Lord makes her way from the blue box, the Doctor and Martha in tow as she heads over to the war memorial site.
A lady vicar is reading from For The Fallen, by Laurence Binyon. “They have no lot in our labour of the day time. They sleep beyond England’s foam. They went with songs to the battle...”
Violet sees that Latimer is sitting in a wheelchair; an old soldier with his medals and the watch.
“They were young, straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted...”
He looks across the grass to where Martha is pinning a poppy to the Doctor’s lapel.
“They fell with their faces to the foe. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”