The Fire Still Burns
I was thinking of dragging this one on. Going all the way to Babylon 5 or even the Minbari Homeworld but for the life of me I couldn't think how to get it done... So I decided to end it here and set up the sequel. It's a much more natural ending.
David was meditating in his cabin. Or at least he was trying to. With all that was going on it was difficult to find his centre. He was still de-facto commander of the planet based Rangers. Galen had vanished just after Na'Feel had killed the creature and the young woman spent most of her time sitting in the same room as it. whatever she was thinking was beyond him. Same with just who she was.
'I'm a bit rusty my self but surely this is not the correct meditation technique.' Dulann said from the doorway behind David
'Is there something you wanted or are you just defying doctors orders on priceable now?' the captain replied
'My wounds are not physical. I only need time, Firell knows that there is nothing she can do for me at the moment. I am more concerned...'
'... about me?'
'No, about her. Jenny still refuses to leave the corpse.' Dulann came in and knelt beside David. 'Her mind is quite unlike any I have encountered.'
Yeah, she's crazy alright. According to the technomage that's the only way she could have seen it. According to Na'feel she called it beautiful, If it looks like that dead with half it's face burnt off I can't imagine it alive.'
Dulann nodded for a moment. 'What if it was beautiful, only not how we would see it? Would that still make her crazy.'
'Yes. It would.' David frowned at his friend
'Then ask yourself, is that a bad thing? Think about it, what is beauty?'
'In the eye of the beholder.' David quoted and then thought about it. 'I don't even want to think what that say's about her.'
Dulann just looked back to the shine in the wall. 'Beauty is form and function. As such anything that fulfils it's job can be beautiful. The creature was a beautiful killing machine, I saw into it's mind. What terrified me was not the evil, for it had non or the darkness. It was simply a killer without morals to guide it or emotion. It existed only to kill and kill well.'
'Your saying that made it beautiful.'
'No I'm saying that made it amoral. We see it as evil because it killed and we look for evil to fight. She saw it's form, the beauty of its task and is now grieving for it.'
'She still sees the beauty in things. That makes a... sort of sense. Like a kid.'
'I think she is a lot younger that we first thought.' Dulann said. David had to admit he was beginning to think the same.
Jenny looked at the burnt body. They had dragged it out of the cramped ship and got it undercover outside The smoke had long since stopped and there was noting left and only one thing came to mind. How much it was like her.
Jenny had been created as a warrior. A child of the machine, programmed with battle knowledge and instinct. It was her duty to fight and die in the war with the Hath, to follow orders until she died. Now what was she? Jenny never knew how comforting having her whole future prepared was.
Bringing her knees up to her chest Jenny hugged her legs close. The future, who she was and what she could do. All questions and no answers, he had them. Her father had all the answers she needed and all the questions she had yet to ask.
'Hello.' It was Na'Feel, the Narn woman didn't have a gun in her hand but Jenny couldn't help judge.
'Hello.' Jenny put a brave face on it but kept her knees close.
'I'm... believe it or not I do understand. The book of G'Kar tells us that all life is important.'
'The what?' Jenny asked
'The book of G'kar. It's the work of a great man, a visionary. It teaches us that our in our search for truth its the journey that is important. That is it's most important message. It tells us that those we meet while travelling enrich us, that we teach each other.'
'That makes sense, so how do you understand killing things... because I'm not sure I do?' Jenny admitted
Na'Feel looked at her. 'What can we learn from what we kill? Other than not to do it again.'
'The thing... the thing is I know that thing. I know what it is I mean. It's a killer, a warrior. That's all it ever was or could ever be. I was like it once, not that long ago So how am I so different?'
Na'Feel put an arm around her. 'Jenny, look at yourself. Like you said it couldn't change what it was, it was either it or all of us. I'm not happy I did it I just know I had to. You see '
'It's okay, I forgive you.'
'Thank you.' Na'Feel acknowledged and stood up. 'Now I still need help with that landing strut.'
It wasn't much longer, when they had finally finished, that Jenny found herself walking back to see the body. She couldn't get it out of her head, how similar it was to her own creation.
Sat there and staring at the corpse Jenny was seriously confused. She was like it a warrior and a killer. That was what she had been created for just like it but something was wrong with her. Desperately wrong.
The sound of a heavy staff thudded against the landing deck behind her. 'Why does the Universe give us riddles?'
Jenny looked up but not around. 'What?'
'Riddles. The universe is full of them. Every answer leads to a bigger question so why give us them in the first place?' The technomage asked again.
Jenny shrugged. 'I don't know, answers aren't as important as the journey I guess.'
Galen nodded for a moment. 'You're a Time Lady.'
'My father is a Time Lord. But I don't know what that means and I don't know what I am.'
'You're a riddle. Time Lords and Ladies, no one knows truly how old they are or where they came from. Just that they were.'
Jenny stood up and faced him. 'Were. Father said there was a war, a terrible war.'
'There was, only one who witnessed it survived. The last Time Lord known as the Oncoming Storm.'
'The Doctor?' She asked feeling the hairs on the back of her neck raising.
'That is what he calls himself. Your father?'
Jenny nodded, then something clicked. 'How do you know about it if there was only one survivor?'
Galen closed his eyes 'You can't help but notice. All of creation was in turmoil, time quakes causing reality itself to crack at the edges. People think we Technomages fled to hide from the Shadow war, we hid from the time war. We ran and pulled whole worlds over our heads to escape. Even now aftershocks, like bad echoes of half forgotten nightmares, ripple unseen across consequences of fate.' He pointed at the body. 'The Hand, those that created this, are one such ripple. If they knew you existed...'
'You would have to kill me?' Jenny asked curiously.
Galen slowly shook his head. 'No. If the Doctor is still around there is nowhere they can hide. He will stop them as you would. It's part of you, it is you.'
'What do you mean.' She asked
'Your attitude to that things murder. It was my first clue. Time Lords are so beyond violence that it is genetic. Every cell in your body screamed out in outrage at it's death. It was beyond empathy, I saw you.'
Jenny shook her head. 'No. I was an accident. Created as a warrior and a solider, they didn't know Father wasn't human.'
'You don't understand the Doctor, or Time Lords. Everything he does is part of a vast tapestry. A pattern of events like a spiders web catching people and events and weaving them together into what you would call fate.'
Jenny shook her head. 'He left me, he didn't know I would come back to life...'
'I wouldn't be so sure about that.'
It felt like her world, as it was collapsed. 'But he loves me, He... I'm his daughter. He wouldn't abandon me like this.' She felt tears, real tears, in her eyes. plunging everything she saw under water.
'Of course he wouldn't. No Father could.' Galen soothed. 'He just gave you a riddle.'
'What?' Jenny ran the discussion back through her mind. 'A riddle, a question.' she repeated almost shocked
'And a journey. You are incredibly lucky Jenny, the Doctor has given you a life and then a purpose all at once.'
'The things I'll see while looking. What I'll learn finding him...' she trailed off in wonder.
Galen smiled and the held one hand up. 'But I warn you. He has enemies, they would not hesitate to use you against him.'
'Then I won't tell them. Anyone unless it's vitally important. 'Thank you Galen.' Instinctively Jenny kissed his cheek and gave him a hug.
The bald man uncomfortably took her by the shoulders and eased her away. 'No, Thank you for showing an old man that there is still wonder and hope out there.'
Jenny nodded and as soon as she had the idea jumped for her shuttle.
Dulann watched the blonde woman jump and dash for the shuttle. The black cloaked Technomage watched her with a slight smile. Dulann walked up to him. 'What was that all about.'
'Nothing, just giving her something I never got. I proper send off.' Galen said and waved to her as the shuttle began to shudder
'She... she can't just...' with another shudder and a whine the tiny ship jerked back and took off, aiming for space.
'She can and just has. Good luck Jenny. I'll see you yesterday.' Galen said oddly.
Dulann looked at the strange man. 'What?'
'It's sort of an in joke. You weren't meant to get it.' Then with a sigh he handed his black staff over to Dulann. 'Here I don't need it anymore. Make sure it gets back to its owner, he's looking for it somewhere around here.'
He could have sworn he only took his eyes off the Technomage for a instant but looking back he was nowhere to be seen. Without his staff he was supposed to be almost powerless, not disappear at will. The only other person Dulann could see was a tallish thin human
He wore a long light brow coat, had a head full of spiky brown hair and was walking to a blue box off to one side.
End The Fire Still Burns
The sequel. Coming soon, Jenny meets Buffy. Buffy meets Jenny.