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Acknowledgements: I'd like to say a big thank you to the following people from whose works I have borrowed: Kate Orman, Jonathan Blum, Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln, Marc Platt, Craig Hinton, Matthew Jacobs, Philip Segal and Gary Russell.
by Duncan Johnson
From the journal of Mrs Mina Harker
10th January 1880
I hope that whoever finds this journal is able to decipher my shorthand. There was a time when I would patiently type all of my entries out to create a more legible manuscript. Since I started travelling with the Doctor, however, there has been precious little time for such niceties.
We stood on the summit of Telegraph Hill in the city of San Francisco on the West Coast of the United States of America. It was warm, but a light rain was falling and I had unfurled an umbrella for shelter. The Doctor disdained such weakness and laughed as the rain fell on to his mane of long brown hair which brushed the shoulders of his velvet jacket. He was leaning against the side of the TARDIS, his Caligari's cabinet, a brass telescope pressed to his eye. The telescope was a souvenir from Trafalgar, or so the Doctor claimed.
I lacked any aid, but could clearly see what held the Doctor's attention. A train of people, I estimated it to be two or three miles long, wound its way through the city's streets. Scanning the skyline, I was unable to see a single flag that was not flying at half-mast. I glanced down at the faded newspaper that the Doctor had given me, the San Francisco Chronicle. The headline read 'Le roi est mort'.
'Who was he, Doctor?' I asked.
My companion lowered the telescope and turned his piercing gaze on me. My hand involuntarily flew to the scarf at my neck. He had never asked about it since that first time in the shadow of the abbey, but I felt that he still wanted to know. Our shared experiences drew us together, but our secrets kept us apart.
'"Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico",' he quoted.
'I know what it says, Doctor,' I replied, brandishing the newspaper in the manner in which I had used to scold my pupils, 'but America did not have an emperor. Did it?'
'No,' he confessed with a smile, 'but it did have a man who lived like one.' He threw back his head and laughed, defying the bleakness of the weather. His laughter was infectious and I found myself smiling along with him.
'I've always liked his story,' the Doctor continued. 'Left a small fortune by his father, Joshua Norton arrived in San Francisco on 23rd November 1849. He tried to corner the market in rice, anticipating a shortage, but when the shortage never arrived he found himself bankrupt. So what do you think he did, hmm?'
'I really don't know, Doctor,' I responded.
The Doctor leaned close and his eyes sparkled. 'He declared himself emperor,' he whispered.
'He did what?' I asked.
'He had a statement printed in the newspaper declaring himself Emperor of the United States. You have to admire his brass if nothing else.'
'But surely he couldn't hope to get away with it?' I protested.
'You think not?' The Doctor cocked his head to one side. 'The people of San Francisco seemed to take to him. He ate for free, faced no charge on public transport and when he entered the theatre - to take advantage of his complimentary seats, naturally - the audience would rise to its feet. Proper treatment for an emperor, wouldn't you agree?'
'You sound as if you admire him,' I commented.
'I do, I do,' the Doctor agreed vigorously. 'It's such masterful sleight of hand. A lie so big and preposterous people believe it because no one would make something like that up. It's a classic bluff taken to extremes. I love it.'
'He sounds a most disreputable individual,' I exclaimed. 'A liar who took advantage of other people's good will.'
'A villain, then?' the Doctor said, amused. 'A despot who took advantage of people, by immersing himself in their lives and attempt to improve such things as timetables and the drainage system, not to mention taking an active interest in the city's crime rate.'
'He had good intentions,' I replied, 'but he still lied.'
'And that makes him evil?' the Doctor pressed.
I looked down at my feet. The Doctor was making me uncomfortable again.
'You know it doesn't,' I said. 'We have both seen real evil. What he did was wrong, but evil is something else entirely.'
The Doctor was nodding, urging me on as if I was about to make a dramatic revelation. Encouraged, I added, 'Maybe he didn't know what he was doing was wrong. Perhaps he was touched.'
The Doctor grinned. 'Mad you mean?' he asked. 'Perhaps. But how mad can a man be who predicted the American Civil War, aeroplanes, the League of Nations and the Golden Gate Bridge.'
'Doctor,' I began, 'you do realise that I haven't the faintest idea of what you are talking about.'
'You've never heard of the Golden Gate Bridge?' The Doctor's eyes widened. 'No, no, no, of course you haven't. Well, come along then.'
He fished a strange-shaped key from his pocket and opened the TARDIS' door.
'Where are we going?' I asked, as I furled by umbrella.
'I think a little sightseeing is in order,' he replied. 'Don't you?'
* * *
The woman sits cross-legged on the carpet, her back against the wall, resting on an embroidered cushion. The electric light is off, the illumination provided only by candles, one white for dreams, the other orange for wisdom. She closes her eyes and runs her hands through her short, spiky hair. She adjusts the sleeves of her blouse, the fingers of her right hand brushing over the pentacle sown inside the right cuff. Then she returns her hands to her lap and lets her mind drift, counting herself down into a meditative state.
She allows herself to relax, taking her time to reach alpha. Forcing it will only break the spell, making the trance worthless and possibly harming herself in the process. When she is happy she performs a simple spell, drawing positive energy into herself and restoring her after the traumas of the day. Then, eyes still closed, she reaches for the pack of cards. She shuffles them. Her shuffling is untidy, but she is thorough in her work. She replaces the pack on the carpet and turns the top card.
She opens her eyes. A red-haired woman kneels on a rock pouring water from a jug. Seven stars form a circle about her head. The seventeenth card in the major arcana, the Star is a fortunate card and the woman cannot help loosing a sigh of relief. The card represents the aftermath of tragedy, a renewal, a chance to recover and grow. The woman lifts the card and studies it. The pictured figure is someone who, having suffered to get there, is now on the path to enlightenment.
* * *
Doctor Grace Holloway drummed her fingers nervously on the steering wheel of her station wagon. She realised that she was chewing her lower lip and forced herself to stop. Oh, what the hell, she might as well admit it, she was nervous. Not even her favourite Turandot, blaring from the car's speakers, could relax her.
She had struggled to find work after resigning from Walker General almost exactly one year ago. There were too many questions about why she had resigned, questions she could not satisfactorily answer. Either she had lost a patient, which reflected badly on her abilities as a cardiologist, or she had operated on a guy with two hearts who had later come back to life as a different person and let himself out of the morgue, something which did not reflect well on her sanity.
The light changed from red to green and she gunned the engine, cresting the hill and charging down the other side.
It had taken six months to put her life back together. Fortunately she had her savings - Walker General paid well - but even those had been stretched and she had been forced to sell her apartment and move to cheaper premises outside of the city. Finally, she'd managed to get a post at St Jude's - a smaller hospital in the Russian Quarter - ironically enough because one of their cardiologists had accepted a more lucrative position at Walker General. Grace liked the name; St Jude was the patron saint of lost causes.
She liked working at St Jude's, but there was an atmosphere of distrust. She had only been hired out of necessity and she was the subject of many a rumour, rumours she refused to either confirm or deny. Let them think what they liked, Grace was happy to let her work speak for her.
And now she had received her first call our. Doctor Langtrey was spending Christmas with his sister in St Louis, which left Grace as the most experienced heart surgeon on staff. It was Boxing Day, but Grace did not mind. This was her big chance to prove herself again.
* * *
As Grace reversed her car into an empty space in the staff car park, she paid no attention to the man in the phone booth opposite the hospital. He was muffled against the chill, wearing a heavy grey overcoat and an orange and black checked scarf. His cap helped to conceal the camera he had trained on the hospital's entrance. He adjusted the telephoto lens and snapped a quick picture of Grace as she turned in his direction, pointing the key at her car to activate the central locking.
Once she had disappeared through the glass doors, he turned to the phone and, taking a small pair of screwdrivers from a pocket of his coat, prised open the handset. He inserted a gold chip in amongst the wiring and clipped the phone back together.
He glanced furtively about him, but the street is empty. Everyone was inside, enjoying the holiday, snuggled in front of their televisions. Even if it were not Boxing Day, the man doubted anyone would want to brave the fog-shrouded streets at night.
He turned back to the phone and dialled the operator.
'The Angel has entered the building,' he said. 'Suspect imminent contact with Carrier. Repeat, suspect imminent contact with Carrier.'
He replaced the receiver and, camera in hand, continued his observation of the hospital.
* * *
The woman replaces the card on the floor and slows her breathing once again. Closing her eyes, she imagines a healing pink glow surrounding her. Invigorated, she turns over the next card.
She sees a dark-haired woman seated on a throne. Two long, slender blades frames the back of the chair and a third sword rests on her lap. A silver coronet holds her hair in place. This is the Queen of Swords, a practical woman of action and progress. Intelligent, though, rather than physical. The Queen usually represents a widow, a woman of sadness, but with hidden strength and depths. What secrets does this queen hide, the woman wonders.
* * *
Mina Harker emerged from the wardrobe room. The room was chaotic. Clothes hung from rails, in wardrobes, hidden away in dressers and chests or just piled on atop another in baskets. Full-length mirrors were arranged haphazardly across the room, each one tilted at an eccentric angle. Finding anything in there could take hours, but Mina had to admit, if only to herself, that it was an enjoyable experience. She had picked out a full-length dress in a soft-blue grey. Lace decorated the garment at her wrists and throat and a fabulous green brooch held the high collar in place. She draped a filmy lavender scarf across her shoulders. The dress was lighter and less cumbersome than what she was used to wearing, but it was also far more modest than many of the clothes she had inspected. Standards in the future bordered on the barbaric.
She followed the wood panelled corridor back towards the console room. The air smelt musty and there was a faint sensation of motion, barely noticeable, that gave the illusion of being in the bowels of some great sailing vessel on the high seas.
The console room was bathed in blue light emanating from the central column that rose into the infinite blackness of the ceiling. Iron spiders legs arced down from the darkness to frame the mushroom-shaped wood and brass console. Of the Doctor, there was no sign.
Mina turned her attention to one of the six alcoves that led off from the edge of the console room. This one led to the library, books lining the walls of the room beyond. The Doctor's favourite armchair was nestled in the doorway, his china teacup resting on a table next to it. The peppermint tea was growing cold with no one to drink it. A half-eaten gingersnap rested in the saucer.
'Doctor,' Mina called, 'where are you?'
'I'm in the music room,' he called back. 'Why don't you join me?'
The music room was hidden behind another of the alcoves, this one with ivy climbing up one side. The first thing that confronted anyone entering the room was the massive church organ at the far end. Mina had yet to hear the Doctor play it. The only instrument he seemed to show any interest in was the recorder resting on the music stand and even that only rarely. Mina herself had been known to perform on the grand piano and she noticed that the Doctor's frock coat had been discarded on its lid.
The Doctor was sitting in the middle of the room. He looked up at her and grinned.
'Well, what do you think?' he asked.
Mina did not know what to say. The floor had been cleared and a miniature railway system had been constructed in the space. Tiny locomotives sped round the track, seemingly of their own volition.
'What is it?' Mina asked.
'It's my model train set, of course,' the Doctor replied. 'Why don't you come over here and take a closer look?'
The Doctor stood up and helped Mina to climb over the track so that she could sit down next to him. Mina marvelled at the movement of each tiny mechanical part and missed most of what the Doctor was saying. The construction was fantastic, far beyond anything Mina had seen in her own time. It intrigued her in a way the TARDIS never did. The ship was so far beyond her that it might as well be sorcery, but this she could almost grasp the mechanics of it, both familiar and alien in equal measure. It was spellbinding and frightening at the same time.
' and that's a replica of Stephenson's Rocket,' the Doctor was saying. 'Tell you what, would you like to have a go?'
'A go?' Mina asked, tearing her attention away from the engine to face the Doctor.
'Mmm, yes,' he said. 'You can look after that set of points and I'll be in charge of the one's over here. And don't worry if you crash it. Half the fun is in putting it back together.'
* * *
The woman turns over a third card. She hesitates before she opens her eyes. She can already sense its meaning as a dark shadow at the back of her skull. Lightning strikes a castle turret causing it to split asunder. She can see figures tumbling from the ramparts, falling towards oblivion. She shivers as she recognises the face of one of the figures. Perhaps she is reading too much into it, but she knows from experience that visions should be taken seriously, particularly if received, as now, when in a trance.
The Tower brings ruin and destruction. An opportunity to rebuild for some, an ending for others.
* * *
Grace Holloway scrubbed her gloved hands thoroughly while a nurse helped her into her coveralls in preparation for surgery. Gabriel was bringing her up to speed on the patient's condition.
'She's a Jane Doe,' he explained. 'Caucasian, early fifties, no identification. One of the staff, a cleaner I think, found her in the street outside. Someone had pumped three bullets into her chest, but despite the blood loss she was still conscious when they brought her in. We've taken the bullets out, but one looks to have torn the wall of the left ventricle. That's when we called you in.'
Grace nodded. She had learnt soon after med. school that surgical masks were not conducive to lots of unnecessary chatter.
'Is she prepped for surgery?' she asked.
'Ready and waiting for you. Doctor Kelly,' Gabriel responded.
Grace smiled behind her mask. The staff at St Jude's had nicknamed her Grace Kelly after the actress and it was kind of flattering. Not as flattering as Amazing Grace, of course, which had been her moniker at Walker General, but that sort of title had to be earned.
The nurses were already waiting for her in surgery.
'Is she under?' Grace asked.
A small man - Grace thought it was Townsend, but the mask made it difficult to be sure - nodded to her.
'Okay, lets take a look around.'
* * *
The brown fog clogged the streets. Tyler wondered if this was what his arteries looked like. Irene was always on at his to do something about his diet, but he never had. She wanted him to be like Gardner, the slim, six-foot athlete in the passenger seat. He grunted to himself. Well, we can't always get what we want.
He took another bite of his bacon sandwich, then remembered his partner.
'You want some?' he asked with his mouth full.
Gardner politely declined.
'Suit yourself,' Tyler said, washing down his food with a swig of coffee. It was extremely bitter, but that was the way he liked it. The pair would resume their patrol in a minute, but Tyler had to have a refuelling stop once in a while and Gardner did not seem to mind. It gave him time to work on the crossword.
'Hey, Ty, look over there!' Gardner shouted.
Tyler jumped, nearly spilling his coffee into his lap. He followed the line of Gardner's finger and saw the body lying on the corner.
'Aw, it's just some homeless guy. He's just catching up on his sleep. Can't we just leave him in peace? It's Christmas, for chrisakes!'
'Um, I dunno, Ty,' Gardner continued. 'I've never seen anyone sleep lying like that before. There's something just not right about it.'
Tyler sighed. 'All right, then. Go take a look if it'll make you happy.'
Gardner clambered out of the squad car and hurried across the street to the slumped figure. Then he turned and vomited onto the sidewalk.
Tyler slid out of his seat and went to see what was up with his friend. As he looked down at the body he could feel his sandwich repeating on him. The man had been ripped open, exposing his shiny internal organs to the chill night air.
Tyler's gun was in his hand in an instant.
'You don't think..?' Gardner asked, spotting the weapon.
'You wanna take any chances?' Tyler retorted.
There was a roar from within the alley and Gardner started fumbling with his own gun.
'Now, we're just gonna walk back to the car and get the hell out of here,' Tyler said slowly, already back-pedalling.
Gardner was rooted to the spot. A pair of glowing red eyes were visible through the shadows.
'G-get back,' Gardner stammered, raising his gun.
The creature roared again and it seemed to Tyler as if the ground shook in sympathy.
Gardner fired three rounds into the darkness, but the creature kept coming. There was a flash of claws and Gardner was suddenly on the ground, his blood congealing around him.
Tyler did not hesitate. He turned and sprinted for the car, praying every moment that he had taken Irene's advice about that diet.
The door was almost in reach, but suddenly his feet became locked together and he tumbled face down on to the ground. The tarmac was the last thing he ever saw.
* * *
The man pulled the cop's ID card from his pocket. Officer John Tyler, SFPD. He reached for his camera and took a photo of the web around Tyler's ankles. Then he pulled a mobile phone from his pocket and dialled a number from memory.
'Drone Three to Queen Bee,' he said. 'There's been another incident. Lake Street this time. Three dead. All the usual signs. And yeah, it's another fish that got away.'
* * *
Grace had taken the decision to open the woman up. She hated invasive surgery, but if they did not seal the tear in the heart wall soon this Jane Doe would be dead.
She had tremendous respect for the nurses working with her. They obeyed her instructions quickly and efficiently and, though they were ready with suggestions, never contradicted her decisions.
The clamps were not holding back the flow of blood and it was obscuring her view of the tear.
'Give me more suction, people,' she instructed and Caroline was quick to start clearing the excess from the wound. The ventricle was still pumping rhythmically, but it was forcing blood out of the hole, rather than through the heart. Grace adjusted the clamp at her right to staunch the flow.
'We're going to have to try and seal the tear,' Grace announced, 'and we don't have time for anything fancy. We can worry about tidying up after ourselves once we've got this woman stabilised.'
'Yes ma'am,' Johanssen drawled.
'Enough with the wisecracks,' Grace snapped. 'Now pass me those forceps.'
They worked for several minutes in tense silence, broken only by Grace's occasional request for another instrument. Her hands were slick with her patient's blood, but Grace focussed on the task at hand. There was just her and the tear, nothing else mattered. It was because of this tunnel vision that she didn't spot the problem straight away. She had slipped while sealing the tear and her gaze shifted. She watched the heart beat and in a flash realised that it had lost its rhythm.
Johanssen, who had been watching the monitors suddenly piped up, 'I'm detecting signs of a seizure.'
Grace pulled back, eyes racing to detect the source of the problem. There, that right hand clamp had come loose again. She wrestled with it, trying to force it back into place, but the blood was now flowing so freely that she couldn't see what she was doing. The heart was fluctuating even more wildly now.
'No,' she hissed through gritted teeth, 'you're not going to die on me. I won't let you.'
'She's flat lining,' someone shouted.
Oh my god, it's happening all over again, Grace thought.
* * *
The woman wants a glass of water. Her mouth is dry, but she dare not break from the meditation, not with the fortune only half read. She has to maintain her concentration and see it through.
She turns the fourth card. A man in colourful clothes stares back. The Fool. The innocent, the trickster. A man of contradictions, young and old, wise and foolish. Good and evil. A catalyst for change, a blank slate for a new beginning.
* * *
Mina wrapped her arms around her in an effort to keep warm. She was glad that the Doctor had offered her an overcoat before they had emerged. He, as usual, had made no concession to the elements.
'Doctor, aren't you cold?' Mina asked.
'Mmm?' the Doctor murmured as he locked the TARDIS door. 'No, not really. Should I be, do you think?'
'Doctor, it's freezing,' Mina protested.
'Well, now I wouldn't go that far.' The Doctor turned and surveyed their surroundings for the first time. 'Mind you, I had expected San Francisco to be a little warmer at this time of year. Do you think it's because of all this fog? Most unseasonal. Now that is odd.'
'What is, Doctor?'
'We've moved,' the Doctor replied.
'Yes, I know that, Doctor,' Mina commented patiently.
'No, no, no, no, no,' the Doctor said,' you don't understand. We were only supposed to move in time. We should have materialised in exactly the same spot, but we're on the other side of the city.' He chewed his lower lip thoughtfully. 'I suppose the drift compensators could be on the blink again. Probably nothing to worry about, but I'd better have a look when we get back. Still, look on the bright side, Doctor, there's less of a walk to the bridge.'
* * *
The Doctor's arrival was observed by a man sitting on a bench under a cluster of leafless trees. He appeared to be sleeping, but while the Doctor was talking to his companion, he roused himself ever so slightly to snap a photograph of them. Then he returned to his apparent morning snooze.
Once his targets had disappeared from view, the man fished a mobile phone from his pocket and dialled a number.
'Drone Nine to Queen Bee,' he whispered. 'Have just sighted the Wizard. He is in the Pet Cemetery and proceeding towards Fort Point. Wizard has one female Apprentice. Will continue surveillance while awaiting further instructions.'
* * *
The Doctor knelt in front of a cat-shaped headstone inscribed: To Smokey, With Love. Someone had recently lain some fresh flowers on the grave.
'I always find it reassuring to see that humans are capable of this amount of devotion, don't you?' the Doctor said.
Mina was not sure how to answer, but the Doctor saved her the trouble by ploughing straight on.
'Sometimes it seems as if I only encountered all the bad things in my travels, the deaths, the conflicts, the wars and so on. I become so intimately acquainted with suffering that one crisis seems to blur into the other. It's nice to be reminded what I'm fighting for.'
'Doctor,' Mina asked, 'when are we?'
The Doctor licked his finger and stuck it above his head as if testing the direction of the wind.
'Hmm, early twenty-first century I should think. About a hundred years after your time.' He looked at her and grinned. 'At least, that's what I set the co-ordinates for.' He reached into one of his pockets and pulled out a gold fob watch. 'Ah, yes, ten past eight in the morning of December 27th in the year 2000. We've just missed Christmas. Sorry about that.'
He took a deep breath and then pointed out towards the horizon.
'Now that's what we came to see,' he said. 'The Golden Gate Bridge. As predicted by Joshua Norton.'
Mina looked up and her breath caught in her throat. The red-orange structure, partially obscured by the fog, towered high above her, snaking across the bay in graceful waves.
'Over one and a half miles long and almost seven hundred and fifty feet high,' the Doctor informed her. 'Impressive, isn't it. Opened in 1937, fifty-seven years after Norton's death, but exactly as he predicted. There should be a plaque commemorating him somewhere down there. Shall we go and take a look?'
Without waiting for an answer, the Doctor strode off along the tree-lined park and Mina hurried to keep up.
'It's very quiet,' Mina commented.
'Well, it is Christmas,' the Doctor responded, 'and we are in a cemetery. Just wait until you reach the main road. Last time I visited San Francisco I got stuck in a traffic jam not far from here ' He trailed off. 'I wonder It has only been twelve months. Well, only twelve months for her. Mina, you can find the way to the bridge by yourself, can't you? I mean, it's difficult to miss, isn't it?'
'I don't know, Doctor ' Mina began.
'Oh please,' the Doctor begged. 'It's just that I've got a friend living nearby - I think - and it's well past time I paid her a visit. You'll be all right on your own for a couple of hours, won't you?'
'Excellent,' the Doctor said. 'See if you can't find that plaque and I'll meet you there in a couple of hours. Shan't be long.'
And with that, he turned left abruptly and began jogging away into the wood.
* * *
'Drone Nine to Queen Bee. The Wizard has left the Apprentice. Am unable to track both. Request instructions.'
* * *
Grace sat in her office at St Jude's wishing she had something stronger than coffee.
She had her feet on her desk and her phone was off the hook. She knew she looked dreadful due to lack of sleep, but right now that was the least of her concerns.
It was all happening again. The events of twelve months ago - events she had put down to a crazy dream - were coming back to haunt her. An unidentified gunshot victim. A call to the hospital. Heart surgery that went horribly wrong resulting in a patient's death. That would be trauma enough, but it had to go one step further, didn't it.
The body had vanished from the morgue.
To lose one body was foolish. To lose two smacked of carelessness.
Her career was over. No matter how well the hospital managed to sweep this under the carpet the stain would always be on her record. Even if she was not to blame - and at the moment Grace was having trouble believing that herself - this was just too weird for people to ignore. She would always be the Doctor who lost two patients, figuratively and literally. The only reason she was still here was that Dr Carter, the hospital administrator, did not return from holiday until the New Year.
There was a knock at the door and it swung open. Caroline poked her head around the frame.
'I'm sorry, Doctor Holloway,' she said. 'I know you asked not to be disturbed, but this man insisted '
Grace stopped listening to Caroline as another figure bounded into the room. He was in his mid-thirties and wearing Victorian fancy dress. He had sad eyes and a broad smile showing his teeth and his long swept back hair looked as if he had licked his fingers and jammed them into a light socket.
'Hello, Grace,' he said in that wonderful soft voice of his. 'It's been quite a while, hasn't it.'
'Get him out of here!' Grace shouted. She could feel her nails digging into her palms.
'Just get him the hell out of here!'
* * *
Mina froze. She had followed the Doctor's directions and was now standing at the edge of the road leading up to the bridge. But she could go no further.
She was transfixed by the noise and the smell, the thunderous mechanical roar of the creatures travelling to and from the bridge and speeds she was not accustomed to. She watched the brightly coloured metal boxes carrying people inside and felt the same sense of wonder and horror she had experienced when she had seen the Doctor's model train set.
Only this was worse. In the safety of the TARDIS it had all seemed so unreal, but out here this was her future. This noise and fury and smoke and smell were what humanity had to look forward to. Part of her did not want to see, but she could not take her eyes away from the traffic. She could hear thumping music echoing from within some of the vehicles that passed, but how were such things possible? She remembered Doctor Seward's phonograph and wondered if it was based on the same principle, but she had difficulty reconciling the two concepts, the one so familiar and the other frighteningly different.
She turned and ran back into the wooden park, her feet skidding on the frosted path. She did not bother to look to see where she was going. She only wanted to get as far away from the road as possible. If this was the future then the Doctor was welcome to it.
Then she heard something else to chill her blood. An animal roar echoed from deep within the fog-shrouded wood and she could hear heavy footsteps as the creature lunged towards her. She turned to flee from the glowing red eyes, but tripped on the raised edge of the path.
The creature was practically on top of her. Six feet tall and almost as broad, the thing was covered in coarse red-brown fur. Its face was indistinct, but Mina could make out its malevolent glowing eyes and huge yellow fangs. It raised one massive arm, claws extended. The blades flashed in the sunlight.
The arm swung down in a killing blow.
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