Author's Note: Sorry, it took me far longer than the polite allotted amount of time to update. Oh, well, at least I got around to it eventually. Thank you so much for all the reviews and alerts; if it means you're enjoying the story, great!
(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.·(¯`·._.·/ Panic Moon: Pieces of the Puzzle \·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)·._.·´¯)
His heart jumped into his throat as he heard a lot of banging and a scream. It wasn't the sort of scream he would expect from Amy either; this one was long, high-pitched, and shriek-y. His sensitive Time Lord hearing was definitely taking a blow from that one.
"Oi, what are you doing, putting some big dead monster in the middle of nowhere! You never know when people might run into it!"
The Doctor rushed around the corner, confused. It had definitely been a girl screaming, but then that was Amy's annoyed voice. After a quick gush of relief that Amelia Pond did not scream like that (it opened up far more places to travel to without fear of deafness) he set his mind to better tasks, like finding out exactly what was going on.
"How…how did you get here?" Definitely a female, young, if he wasn't mistaken, and quite a bit shaken up.
"So tell me about this monster! Where did you get it? What's it called? How did you kill it? Are you dissecting it? I always loved dissecting, especially in the A-levels for science, we'd dissect fish and frogs and stuff, but nothing too big. But this is amazing! I'm Amy, by the way, and this is—" Her rant stopped as she seemed to notice that the Doctor hadn't been keeping up with her. "Oi! Doctor! Hurry up!"
He turned the last corner, pouting a bit about the way Amy ruined his big entrance, when his eyes fell on the 'monster.' "No, oh no," he muttered to himself, whipping out his sonic screwdriver.
"And this is the Doctor," Amy finished proudly, elbowing him in the ribs and forcing him to stand up. "Be polite."
He smiled, quickly hiding the sonic screwdriver behind his back and taking a reading of that nasty thing—he didn't think he had ever seen a worse bang-up of a job on genetic splicing. Really, he couldn't believe that it was alive at all. "Hello, I'm the Doctor," he said, grinning.
The woman, a rather young one with short brown hair, a freckled face, and pretty eyes, was ignoring him, choosing instead to examine what he was doing with his sonic screwdriver behind his back. He cleared his throat impatiently, and she seemed to notice the two of them staring at her expectantly. "Oh, um, Carson, Professor Rachael Carson. I'm a marine biologist, I specialize in alien forms of ocean life. Or whatever goes as an ocean. You'd be surprised what you find swimming around in methane, liquid nitrogen, even highly acidic compounds. But that doesn't really matter…Might I ask why you're zapping my only specimen with your sonic laser?"
The Doctor yanked his hand from behind his back and pointed the screwdriver emphatically at her. "Screwdriver. It's a sonic screwdriver. I don't do weapons. And I'm trying to figure out what it is because—"
"—it's not like any living thing we know of, at least not that humans have reached first. Will you let me do my job, please? And could you get your sonic whatever out of my face?"
He quickly yanked it back, and began to check the reading. "Oh," he whispered. "Oh, oh, oh. Of course. No, but—oooh. Okay, now I—but this is just wrong? Who would—"
He broke off, realizing the two females were staring at him expectantly. It was one thing to listen to him rambling at the speed of light, but hearing him mutter tidbits could so much more easily drive someone insane.
"Full explanation, please," Rachael Carson demanded.
She was a professor, too, so he couldn't get out of this by using big terminology. Amy glanced at him expectantly, then went back to poking the monster. Sometimes he wondered if she took this seriously at all, or if it was just one big trip to the zoo for her. Although the universe was quite like a zoo, especially if—
"Now. Not in an day, not in an hour, I want answers now. Or I'll call security."
He briefly pondered which was worse, then decided to start explaining, using small words so Amy at least could keep up. No way he was explaining himself twice.
Major Ashkar stared in confusion. He had seen many things in his years, but this was just strange.
"Artarsal!" he roared, despite the fact that the tender-eared blue man was standing next to him. "Why the hell is there a big blue box in my corridor where you said they got in?"
A young lieutenant beat him to the answer. "Hiding a trans-mat, sir? Matter transmitter does seem like the only way in; security says that the perimeter remains completely intact."
Artarsal shook his head. "You can scan it, but you're not going to find anything. Just that it's a wooden box. It's something more, but it's disguising itself, and it's far more powerful than our scanning equipment."
"Do you mean it's futuristic technology? Get Carson to examine it, we could get some credits off the patent, maybe?"
Artarsal nodded absentmindedly. However, this didn't have the futuristic, cutting-edge taste of new technology. Whatever it was, it was old, very, very old.
"This is not a new species. This thing was never even alive. It's an exoskeleton of sorts of various badly spliced alien DNA with a self-aware compound of metal inside of it, linking it to a mainframe."
"I'd say it's mostly iron, with a bit of boulatonium mixed it to give it the special properties but it's very cheap. A very splotchy job."
"There is no such thing as boulatonium—"
"Here in this galaxy for another couple centuries, then you discover it, Company forms a mining branch, and you all become crazy rich. But this is way too early. This will throw off history, big time. Without the Union at its full force, the Company will take over, basically enslave the human race so that the few at the top can live in opulence. But who's doing this?"
"That's you're great theory? Living metal and a conspiracy theory about the Company? The way I see it, you're the intruders, you have something to do with this. Giac, go call security!"
A small turquoise alien boy with wide eyes ran to the computer, and quickly began typing.
All eyes whipped over to Amelia Pond.
"Don't believe the Doctor? Easy way to solve this. Metal scanner. Now, you're the marine biologist, you tell me, don't all the fishy things generally have skeletons of cartilage?"
"You can't assume that—"
"Yes," the Doctor cut her off, glaring. "And Metoklins don't count because technically they're not fish, in about 35 years they'll officially declare that the liquid-like solution they live in is too thick to be considered an ocean, it's something else entirely. They become a whole new class to themselves."
"Metal scan, right?" She slapped her hand down on the big black machine next to her.
"Careful!" Carson gasped. "Delicate equipment!"
Amy snorted and pressed 'on', then watched as it hummed. The Doctor and Professor Carson quickly ran over. "And see? Mostly carbon steel—wrong, Doctor—"
"Carbon steel is made from iron."
"Whatever, but 2% an unknown, inorganic, metallic compound."
"How do I know it's not a trick?"
"Typical ape. Listen, Amelia Pond, and note well. This is what you humans do. A big problem that you don't understand is plopped in front of you, and someone offers a perfectly reasonable explanation, and suddenly all the brain power you could have used to figure it out yourself goes to picking apart the other idea."
Amy nodded, smiling to herself. A taste of his own medicine, for not listening to her great idea back in the Tardis. Karma is rather sweet when it's on your side.
"Who are you?" Carson demanded.
"I'm the Doctor."
"Let me make myself clear." She stalked forward. "You talk about things and technology that hasn't been invented yet, you refer to the future as history, and you called me an ape as if you yourself weren't human. So who are you? One of the upset second-class races, playing a big elaborate trick on us?"
"Yeah, sure. You got me there, I'm, um…" he scanned his mind for any other race that had a binary vascular system, but none looked even remotely human. "I'm a shapeshifter from the Genovite moons. I tried to imitate a human, but, um, botched up. Got a couple extra organs."
"You're lying." The young alien boy, Giac, spoke.
"What nonsense are you spewing now?" Carson hissed, glaring at him.
"Please, miss, but I was just reading about the species he claimed to be, studying your texts, and Genovitians never make mistakes. They also copy DNA directly. If he were a Genovitian traveling with her, he would look identical to her. They need the host alive and nearby to keep up the illusion. But that would be impossible, because all the Genovitians are dead. Company labeled them as danger-code red, so first offence the moon made and it was wiped clean of life."
The Doctor frowned. "That's impossible. What about the legend of the Great Genovitian Revolt? Bestselling book in the galaxy, topped the chart for years, based off a real-life story that the author claimed to be present at. Should be written about now."
"Giac, you're useless! I never should have bought you! We have a potential alien who lies and spews nonsense, and where is security? Did you forget? And what is all this about Genovians? You've been reading my texts again, and that's illegal! You're not even supposed to read!"
"Sorry, ma'am," Giac replied, his head hanging. "I was re-organizing the files on your computer, and the text caught my eye. Security says they're currently investigating a strange piece of alien technology, though. Appears to be a big blue box."
"The Tardis!" Amy cried, rushing for the door. "What if they hurt it or something!"
"I'd like to see them try," the Doctor said darkly.
Carson looked at the three of them, Amelia, the Doctor, and Giac, as if contemplating how dangerous taking them would be. Finally, she turned to the Doctor, placing one finger on his lapel. "You. Are coming with me. Amelia, I take it you are human?"
"Yes," the Doctor quickly answered for her. "You can check your scanners."
"Then you stay with Giac and make sure he doesn't touch anything. Doctor, you're coming with me."
Major Ashkar grinned vindictively. Best part of his job, getting to blow stuff up.
"Won't work," Artarsal said.
"You're blowing up alien technology that could potentially lead to advances for the Company!"
"The alien will know how it works, and besides, it will draw him out and cut off his escape. Two!"
"Still won't work."
"NOOOOOOOOOOO! STOP THAT EXPLOSION!" The Doctor's scream could be heard ringing down the corridor as he sprinted even fasted towards the blockade around the Tardis.
There was silence, then white light, then the shock wave hit, throwing everyone back through the air as the whole corridor was torn apart. Nothing could have survived that.
"What have you done?" the Doctor whispered.
Review! And for reviewers who love to play trivia games, I have some questions for you!
(a) One of the characters mentioned existed/is based on someone fairly famous in our own history. Who is it, who is (s)he based on, and what did (s)he do in real life?
(b) The Trans-mat! Where has the Doctor mentioned it before, and what race was using it?