I am so very sorry for the delay of this chapter! I just got back to school after a week of being away and I forgot how tiring it can be! Hopefully I will try to update this storyline at least twice a week, but I promise I will keep it updated. Feel free to slap me around a bit for keeping you waiting.
A Noble Cause
Chapter VI - The Key Word Being "Should"
Their footsteps, despite the heavy material of their boots, were surprisingly light as Helen, Henry, and an excited yet nervous Donna Noble trekked through the abandoned warehouse located on the outskirts of Old City. The abnormal they were given a tip on, called a Morshik, as told by Henry's laptop scan (transferred now to a portable handheld tracker), wasn't too far from their location.
"How big is this thing, anyway?" Donna asked finally, her voice scarcely above a whisper. She wasn't sure if they were supposed to whisper, for all she knew the abnormal they were after could be deaf! Helen didn't bother turning her head to address her query with an answer,
"If we are dealing with an adult male, it should be around shoulder height if standing erect. That is why we went with the smaller guns."
"Oh, good. I was gonna say, aren't you supposed to bring out the big guns first, impress a gal, make her beg for more?" Her words were innocent, but Helen turned her head just in time to see the ghost of a smirk dance against the ginger woman's lips and suddenly they took on a whole new meaning. She pursed her lips to fight back a mirroring curve that threatened to reveal itself.
Henry cleared his throat, noting the slightly slowed pace Helen took as she pondered Donna's words, eyes never leaving the shorter woman. That snapped her back to reality; as much as she would like to sit there and banter back and forth with Miss Noble, there was a job to be done.
"The scan says it should be around here somewhere, inside one of the storage units."
"But there are like, a million of 'em in this section alone!"
It was an exaggeration of course, but she had a point. Helen took a moment to take in her surroundings. According to Henry's scan (something he had been trying desperately to make more accurate but couldn't seem to improve the accuracy of the damn device) the abnormal could be in any one of the storage sheds, an entire wall dedicated to them, and a mirroring wall as well. Not to mention down that hall, and the branching corridors, would lay more of them to check.
"Then we best get started," Helen retorted smoothly, cocking her head to her right. "Donna, you go that way. Henry, check these here. I'll take the ones on the other side."
"Got it," Henry replied, giving the scanner one last check before shoving it in his bag, getting to work on opening the first storage unit.
Donna, however, didn't make a move.
"Is something the matter?"
Donna opened the mouth to speak, but decided against it. She turned on her heels, heading off in the direction of the forked path up ahead that would, without a doubt, present to her another endless line of heavy metal doors to push up, only to slam back down and move onto the next one when she didn't find anything.
Donna Noble never thought of herself as particularly brave, then again, she never really had a reason to be. Some could say the fact that she stood up for herself and refused to let people put her down without getting an earful first was brave, but most would agree that was just her being hardheaded and loud. I mean, she'd kill the spiders that occasionally popped up in her house when her mother was too busy screaming for someone to help her (pft, she acted like she'd seen some huge spider lady or something when, in all actuality, they were usually as small as a beetle!), but that is not exactly brave.
Not brave like, you know, hunting down an impossible creature that could tear the flesh off of her if provoked.
No, that was a whole new level of brave for Donna Noble. But was is really courage? Or was she just mad? Properly bonkers, playing hide-and-go-scare-the-actual-hell-out-of-me-if-you-pop-out-of-nowhere with some hairy beast that she had no knowledge of! For a moment she pondered her choices that led up to that very moment, but stopped in order to throw open a new storage door.
Empty, save a few boxes.
She couldn't check herself into the nuthouse just yet though, despite the situation she found herself in. She had seen too much, had light shed on subjects too real to be counted fake, to be crazy. That… werewolf… broke into her home and nearly killed her. That alone opened her up to a world she never knew existed, a world that only crackpots and deranged drunk men rambled on about.
So why did it seem so familiar?
Not the creatures, per say, not even the hunt. Just… she was so willing to accept everything she saw, everything that was thrown at her, because something gnawed at her back of her head telling her to, telling her than she knew of a life similar to this once.
She had dreams sometimes, dreams of adventures with insane creatures, impossible sights, and this weird man. When she awoke she knew she had a dream, but could not recall any information or any images. But the essences of it stayed in the back of her mind for the rest of the day, filling her with a sense of overwhelming sadness. Why did she awake so elated, only to feel empty for the rest of the day?
She had spoken to her mother about the dreams, about the fact that sometimes it was so bad she didn't want to get out of bed in the morning, but Sylvia just said that she was under stressed and shoved sweets and cakes in her face. She suggested going to a therapist, to see if maybe she was having trouble with repressed memories, but her mother refused to let her go, claiming that, "no daughter of mine is going to see a shrink!" Her gramps, usually willing to listen and to help, was surprisingly distant and would pat her on the back and tell her that she was just dwelling on things.
Dwelling on what? There was nothing to dwell on! Nothing had changed in her life to make her subject to these bouts of depression and emptiness. It was like she just woke up one morning and her life suddenly seemed useless. She felt so out of place, so numb, and the only spark of light in the cold embers of her soul seemed to be Helen Magnus and her Sanctuary.
Donna slammed open another door, then another, then another, barely even checking to see if the unit was occupied. She was so lost in thought, so desperately trying to figure out what changed in her life to make her feel so meaningless, that she wouldn't have known that she had found the Morshik if it hadn't knocked her to the ground, and was hovering over her.
All at once the wind left her lungs and she found herself gasping for air underneath the heavy, hairy, creature. Its face seemed like a mix between a fly and a crocodile, if such a thing was possible, and its breath was retched. Its breath…. its breath! It was on her, hair covered snout opening to reveal a line of razor sharp teeth that would puncture through her neck without a problem if she didn't get it off her.
She called for Helen, it was the first thing that came to her mind, and curled her legs up to kick the abnormal off her. It flew away with a yelp, and she took that window of opportunity to scramble to her feet. She looked to her hand, expecting to find a gun, only to see that it was empty. It must have flew out somewhere between her opening the door and the Morshik attacking.
The abnormal growled at her, and she barely had time to register that it was much larger than Magnus had initially believed it to be before a clawed hand came down across her face. The sound of her flesh slicing filled her ears, followed by an unbearable sting and the unmistakable feel of her blood pouring from the wound. She flew back, due entirely to the force of the blow, and slammed her head against the door of the storage unit. It left her feeling nauseous and seeing stars as she slowly sunk to the floor, losing all feeling except for the burn of her wound.
So this was how it really was going to end. The abnormal was coming closer, obviously excited by the sight of her blood, and she had no means to protect herself. It took all her might just to kick the damn thing off her! It was at least a torso length taller than her, with fur covered muscles that could send Mr. Universe crying home to his mummy.
"Magnus," she whispered, like a prayer, hoping she would come to her aid before it was too late. She mumbled the woman's name over and over again, growing increasingly louder and more frantic as the abnormal gained on her.
The sound of a gunshot broke the chain of her chants. She turned her head just in time to see Helen, her savior, pointing a gun at the abnormal. Another round came when it didn't falter, and finally the beast gave a howl of pain and, before she could fire again, it was gone. Donna didn't get to see the look of puzzlement of her face, already her vision was beginning to darken. All she could register was the sticky blood pooling at the base of her neck, and Helen's voice protruding her senses, telling her to stay with her.
But she couldn't.
It was too late.