Prologue

Another macro-ovum teases, shoving apart the lips of my abused nethers. But I pass the egg, feeling like a mother octopus half-frozen in a glacier twenty kilometers above sea level, wishing she could see the food and babies swimming about below.

As I dig my hands nails and all against the glass of the console floor, I know the light is leaping away from me, in little ellipse-shaped bounds again. As well it should. I've been laying someone else's eggs all day.

After collapsing in the hallway, I am on my side, having long since resigned myself to the inevitability of misery. Adrift in a haze of birth and rest and birth and rest and birth, I await my eventual lapse into the temporary bliss of sleep. Whatever possessed me to agree to carry an entire race's hopes and dreams in my apparently not quite so vestigial womb in the form of a multitude of eggs? I mean really, what was I thinking? I can only lay one at a time, and as soon as I have, another begins to grow. There are millions of them, still. I won't be done for days…

There are countless piles of the things in the console room alone, already.

My vital fluids will run out before then. I'll be sucked dry by the constant need to lay these eggs, the poor things. But it's not their fault. They need electrolytes to grow, coming from a sodium-rich ocean planet as they do. As they did, rather. Their planet is gone. I'll find them a new one. Damn it.

Oh well. As I write this, I imagine the TARDIS is calling Jack. I can hear the chime of buttons that sing out his cell phone number.

I can't remember? Did I set him up with universal roaming when he was here last?

I do hope he hurries… my skin is dry and I'm becoming salt deficient. The proper growing of these eggs inside me requires salty fluids, and my own electrolytes are nearly depleted to levels which would render me comatose. Soon, there won't be anyone home when they…

Oh, there's that banging again? And the lights are dimming… wait those are my eyelids.