Sagt Mir Wo Die Blumen Sind
Well, Jenny thought as she closed her eyes in the darkness of her cell, it’s now or never. The Rani wasn’t watching; she’d busied herself with a holo of giant, carnivorous frog-birds. Absently Jenny wondered what system, what planet they’d been from, and if the Rani had tampered with their lives as she sought even now to tamper with the Doctor’s.
A knock resounded.
“Hello?” She said it softly, submissively.
That was one rule she’d picked up from her Dad. Never tip your hand to the enemy unless it isn’t your hand.
A voice like gravel spoke in her head then, the words’ simple rhythm striking her two hearts like a charm sung to children.
“Don’t speak out loud, girl. Do you want her hearing you? Hearing us? The self-obsessed idiot... ”
There was a scratching sound, a soft pattering at the metal of her prison, as if someone were outside. But she knew better. The walls of the cell were smooth... the complex itself was situated within the center of Mutter’s Stellian Spiral. She’d gleaned that much from the Rani’s careless bragging. The center of the Milky Way... a great many of Dad’s companions had come from the third planet in the system.
Hello in there! I haven’t all day! I’ve got to get back before she notices, so if you want to see Dad again you’ll bloody well step back. If not, well...good luck getting out of there on your own. This entire chamber’s made of validium. It’s what your Father’s TARDIS is made of, well, partially anyway.”
Jenny thought on this for a moment. Then she decided to try thinking at it instead.
“Is this more like it?”
Her mental grin beamed.
“Fair enough. Now, step away from there. I’m going to break you out.”
Progress! Jenny was glad of the newcomer’s seeming willingness to help, but she couldn’t see him or her. What did him/her/it/they look like? Were they trapped here like she was? Oh, but that didn’t make much sense, being as that they were offering to get her out. So what was it, then, and why were they doing it? Ah, well... one way to find out. She backed off from the slim silverish portal and sent another anxious thought toward her newfound patron.
“All right, then! Any time you’re ready, eh?”
She stopped sending instantly, fearing her new best mate had been discovered.
Jenny eased her gaze up to the view within the vid. The Rani was at some control console, having left the CAT to roam the top. Then she saw it. The CAT was staring at her, the ruby eyes burning like coals through her brain. Two sharp canines slipped down, bearing a smile full of other teeth in its slim mouth. The creature was definitely looking at her. She rose again, moving toward the door with one eye on the screen. As she watched in fascination, the CAT turned its head slowly, almost calculably, and the screen turned with it. With one blink of its eyes, two blinks, the screen staticed out. For a few seconds, the only thing picked up by the monitors was radio snow. And the com was attached to the monitors, a necessary oversight, the Rani had said once, in order for her experiments to run in tandem.
Well, Jenny thought, a manic smile creeping over her face as she pushed open the door to her cell. Oversight was one thing... hostile takeover was clearly another. She closed the door behind her just in time to see the vid screen jolt back to life in one quiet little blip. She was free, and all because of the CAT. He was definitely coming with her. As she softly chopped and kicked her way through a series of frogmen lounging in the outer corridor, she thought about her father, about his time on Messaline in the minutes before she’d stepped freshly born from the machine, and in those fleeting moments after. He’d shunned her out of grief, in the beginning. But that would change when she reached him, had begun to change already the day she’d died in his arms. The smile on his face was worth any trouble she had getting to him. And she was to have siblings! She promised herself then, as she rounded on another series of frogmen who were guarding the way to the upward lift. She was going to survive. She was going to reach him. As her agile mind sped through the options, the Rani’s scream arched through the restored com links. Her escape had been discovered.
“You! Traitorous, defective... garbage! I created you! I... ”
Oh well... now the fun would start!
Jenny ran in front of the frogmen, leaping into action as one started to raise a com and speak. The others were hop-walking towards her...what was it with the Rani and frogmen? It was getting old. As she dropped the next set of guards, she found she had to smile at that. She was beginning to sound like her father. The lift was open. It was time to go confront the Rani, and get back her ship.
Suddenly, a sick, wet crunch erupted over the com, and a yelp of pain crackled in her head, making her dizzy. Drawing her slim fingers into fists, she entered the lift. The decision was made. Never leave a man behind. That was one rule all her own.