Disoriented in the Night
It was a thoroughly unspectacular night, moderate in temperature even more so than the nights before or after it had been or would be. The hot hand of summer was loosening its grip, and citizens often found themselves enjoying the pleasant temperatures heralding the promise of colder weathers. Days were warm, but not unbearably so, and nights were cool, every night seemingly cooler than the last. The temperature was set to continue its downward trend.
And in the midst of this thoroughly unspectacular night, a girl was waking up in an alleyway; the stone pavement was cold beneath her, and slightly damp. She opened her eyes, blinking repeatedly, each dim reflection of light seemed like a needle piercing her retinas. The stars were violent whorls above her, and the glassy haze of streetlamps seemed like clouds of fire. Her body felt strange, surreal, and foreign, like it wasn't even her body at all.
Still lying on the ground, she contemplated her present state. She could taste blood in her mouth, the tang lingering after many hours, and when a gust of wind blew across her skin, she knew it was exactly 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 degrees Celsius, or 293 degrees Kelvin. Sniffing the air, she could make out each individual scent, from the pervasive stench of car exhaust to the sweet lingering aroma of a 24 hour bakery. Her stomach growled ferociously, turning over on itself with a nauseous feeling. She realized that she was hungry, starved, and this prompted her to action.
She sat up, like a zombie straight out of Hollywood, and looked around, cocking her head to the side exactly like a dog contemplating the direction of a scent. She was surrounded on two sides by high brick buildings; she picked out the direction of the sweet smell almost immediately. She stood, her legs wobbly and uncertain, and then she set off towards the bakery.
When the chimes rang above the bakery door, the nearly asleep employee was surprised, to say the least. The girl in front of her was odd, and that was saying the least. She was dressed in a white cotton nightgown without slippers or shoes. Her nightgown was one of the most simple in existence, starting just below her collarbone and ending at her calves, with loosely fitted sleeves that ended at her elbow, and no trace of frill or pattern. The girl herself was a sight to behold, dirtied from head to toe, her hair a rats nest above her shoulders (and also a most shocking white); her eyes were an endless, dark blue, looking hungrily at the employee.
The employee, a rather average girl of perhaps 18 years, took one look at the person in front of her and ran out the back door. She was yelling something incoherent about zombies.
The girl tilted her head to one side in curiosity, surrounded by rows of delectable displays, entirely unattended; she decided to taste some of the abandoned delights. And though she did not know what kind of foods she liked (she didn't even know her own name), she did find that each pastry she sampled was more delicious than the last. When one dessert from every display had been eaten, she was finished, and left.
With no memory, no place to return to, and no destination in mind, she wandered around aimlessly, humming to herself. Had anyone heard the tune they would have thought it sounded familiar, but would not have been able to place it.
Big, dark eyes peered out from a darker hallway, looking furtively from side to side, watchful of pursuit. After a moment, a face emerged cautiously from this shadowed passage, round and framed by once beautiful, well kempt hair, the same exact shade as her eyes. She was Clara, The Impossible Girl, which was good, because she was about to do the impossible.
She slunk along the hallway, keeping her back against the wall, trying to make the most out of the uncertain light. She stepped cautiously, placing her bare feet gently on the ground. After several minutes of this sneaking, she came to the door she was looking for, the room where she had seen the guards throw all of her and the Doctor's belongings.
She held up her wrist, presenting the guard's wristband for identification; holding her breath, hoping that the door would open. Then she heard a slight click and the door slid upward into the ceiling. During the initial escape from her cell she had had to knock out a guard… or two. She had been observant enough to notice the guard's strange ritual, and connect it to the opening mechanisms on the doors.
She entered the room, expecting to find a small storage closet; the space that greeted her was more of a small warehouse. Apparently the aliens this ship belonged to were something of hoarders. She scanned the room, looking right to left and front to back, trying to determine where her things were.
From the look of the items, she determined that her stuff was probably in the front most row and likely the rightmost column. She walked over to one of the wide, meter high baskets and looked inside; it would take far too long to search all of the items. She snapped her fingers twice and heard a clicking sound repeated twice in the bin directly next to hers. She walked over to the bin and clicked her fingers again, this time she saw the brief flash of light buried under a couple layers of junk. She sifted through the pile until she found what she was looking for: her clothes and both the Doctor and her sonic screwdrivers. She quickly changed into her clothing and clipped both sonics onto her belt next to her holster. She held the guard's gun loosely in one hand; her own weapon had not been put in the bin with the rest of her things.
When she had first met the Doctor, he was so against weapons of any kind, especially anything lethal; especially guns. Then the World Devourers had come, and now he was gone. Now her entire universe was gone. Only she remained, and that was thanks to the Doctor's last act of providence. She had escaped here to warn this universe's Doctor of the impending attack, and she had, and then she had watched as the unthinkable happened, again. These nobody aliens had taken them both by surprise, and killed the Doctor. She had seen him regenerate, his alien cells renewing themselves; his body and face changing and becoming someone else. But something had gone wrong, the process was interrupted, and when all was said and done he had lain there, unresponsive, on the ground. Now she wasn't sure if he was alive or dead, but she was going to find out; and she was certain that if she saw the Doctor, whatever he may look like now, she would recognize him.
After the Doctor's failed regeneration, the guards had taken his body away just like they did with all the others. Clara wasn't sure where they took the bodies, or what they did with them, but she was sure that if the Doctor was alive, then he had escaped, and would probably have needed a place to rest and recover from his regeneration. Once she was free of this prison she would go and search for nearby cities. And that left her with one immediate problem: escape.
Clara cautiously peered out of the room, and once she was certain that there was no one around, she left. She walked down the hallways a bit more confidently, now that she had her own clothes and her own sonic screwdriver. As she approached a turn in the hallway she heard voices, she stopped in her tracks and pressed her back against the wall. As she listened, she heard the footsteps and voices drawing nearer to her position. She held her breath and closed her eyes, bringing up her gun. It was unlikely these aliens wouldn't notice her.
The three aliens stepped in her line of sight, talking casually, like there was nothing out of the ordinary, like they were normal people, just chatting. For a moment Clara thought that they wouldn't notice her, but then one of the fish faces started turning towards her. Its eyes widened slightly as it noticed her. She pulled the trigger three times, three flashes of laser light burst out of the gun, and three aliens dropped to the ground. She walked over to them, checking to make sure they were down, and then pulling them into the small side hallway she had been standing in. It would probably at least buy her some time before they were discovered and the alarm was sounded. Just in case it didn't, she picked up her pace.
She hurried through the hallways at a jog, struggling to remember just which routes they had originally used when they led her to her cell. But beyond that, all she knew was that she was underground and that the ship was large, larger than most buildings. When her memories failed her, she just continued on in a general upward direction. When she encountered anyone, she shot first and decided to ask questions later.
At the end of one hallway stood a tall, metal door, even more sturdy looking than the others aboard the ship. It obviously had several extra locking mechanisms and safety precautions. Clara recognized it from her first trip through the door; this was her final obstacle to the outside world. She flashed her bracelet, fairly certain that it wouldn't work. She was right, it didn't, so instead she took out her sonic screwdriver and set about unlocking the door. The locks were tricky, and even after several agonizing seconds the door still wasn't open.
A siren blared throughout the ship, and the warning lights flashed a continuous, urgent maroon. Moments later she heard the sound of footsteps echoing throughout the hallway and knew that she had seconds left. She looked at the door, knowing that she didn't have time to undo its intricate locks. She pulled out her gun and shot the door's locks. Puffs of smoke rose from the circuitry and the door lay ominously still. The footsteps grew nearer. She holstered her weapon and put her sonic to work on the door. The footsteps continued growing closer. The door opened within moments and she hurried through, closing the door behind her.
She found herself in a shallow cave, more of a niche in the hillside than anything. The door behind her was all but invisible to the casual observer. She hurried out of the cave, trying to use the large scattered rocks as stepping stones so that she wouldn't leave a trail. The moment she left the shelter of the cave's shadow she was assaulted by the unrelenting sun of a desert. She shaded her eyes and continued running.
Later, when she was a fairly safe distance from the ship, she reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone. She flipped through the menus and screens, navigating her way through the internet until she found a global positioning system (GPS). Consulting the program, she found that she was in the United States, and that the nearest city was Roswell, New Mexico.