Monday 18 April 2011

Peri in the Nick, by Matthew Clarke (my fan fiction)

Peri hated the way the Doctor never told her anything. Except perhaps how great he was and how ignorant she was. He had told her they were going to twenty-first century England and that he had important work to do. Then he dragged her to some elaborate laboratory complex. The place had been completely deserted. Apparently this was because it was Good Friday. Like a little boy in a toy shop he had immediately started tinkering away at the hi-tech gadgetry that filled the place. She had asked him what it was he was so interested in, but he was apparently too busy to explain and she had been left to stand around like a spare part as usual. Eventually after she made some very loud sighs, he grew tired of her presence and had suggested she went back to the TARDIS.

As she was walking back to where the TARDIS had been left, a police car suddenly pulled up and she had been bundled inside. Oh brother, she had thought. Whatever it was the Doctor was doing was illegal (should that have been a surprise, she wondered?) and the police had got wind of it.

So here she was. Standing in front of a desk, being booked into police custody on suspicion of breaking and entering, burglary and criminal damage.

The difficult part was giving her personal details. This was apparently twenty four years into her future and so the police were naturally suspicious of her date of birth.

"Let's just say I'm looking good for my age. Anyway, isn't rude to ask a lady how old she is?"

"It's our job to ask you questions, luv," the custody officer replied.

She was surprised how long she took to recall her address back in the States. It had begun to feel like a distant memory or a lost dream. Unfortunately, the cops had to be difficult and they asked her where it was in the UK she was residing.

"I'm staying on the ship I travelled in," hoping this would do.

"And where is your ship docked?" the officer asked.

"I can't remember," she said,realising how futile this all was. The officer put her down as 'No fixed abode,' which was pretty much the truth.

Then the custody officer started asking her a lot of other questions.

"Have you contemplated suicide in the last year?"

"No, but nobody would blame me if I had," she replied. If she were not so exasperated she might have found this funny.

"Have you ever taken drugs?"

"If there were any on the TARDIS, I probably would," she answered.

"TARDIS?" the custody officer queried. "Oh, never mind," she said quickly.

"Have you ever suffered domestic abuse?"

"Well, my friend did try to strangle me," she replied. It was nice to know these English cops cared so much. 'Thanks for nothing,' she thought to herself.

She then had to empty her pockets and place her jewellery on the desk to be stored away. A ring and a necklace from before she met the Doctor and a bracelet that Erimem had given her.

"Take your shoes off, luv," instructed the custody officer.

"What for?" Peri wailed.

"Just so you can't use them as a weapon or cause any damage while you are here," replied the custody officer in a slightly bored tone of voice.

"Do I look like the kind of girl who throws shoes at people?" she asked.

"You don't seem to be in a very good mood, miss. But we ask this of everyone. Take them off, please."

Peri pulled off her high-heeled shoes and slammed them down angrily on the desk. A female officer started to gently pat her down.

She felt like they were treating her like a child.This was definitely the most humiliating experience that the wretched Doctor had got her into. He was going to regret this so much when she had finished with him.

The the Doctor himself appeared. He was handcuffed and being dragged in by two police officers. He was ranting and struggling with his captors.

"Unhand me you ruffian constables," he barked. "This treatment I am receiving is the very antithesis of English hospitality!"

Peri rushed to get his attention. "Doctor! Are you going to get us out of here?" she shouted at him.

"Ah, Peri, yes..." he began to reply, but was instructed to be quiet.

"I want to talk to that man!" she demanded, but the female officer had taken her by the arm and was leading her away. She was frogmarched to the cell, her bare feet slapping against the smooth floor of the custody area.

After being locked in the cell, she banged on the door. She tried kicking it as well, but this just left her with a stubbed toe. She supposed that was why they took her shoes. She gave up and sat down miserably on the bench.

She couldn't help being impressed with how clean the cell was and the presence of a toilet put it considerably above some of the places she had been locked up in.

She was indeed no stranger to getting locked up. It seemed to be part of the routine of travelling with the Doctor. But this was a quite difference. Being captured by space invaders was just something you dealt with, but somehow there was something much more humiliating about being arrested by plain old police officers on earth. It was not what was supposed to happen to nice middle class American girls like her.

These English cops seemed to go to far more trouble than her usual captors. Sontarans and Cybermen just dragged you to the cell and locked you up. They didn't bother asking you lots of questions and making you take your shoes off. It occurred to her it might actually be harder to escape from this police station than from a Sontaran or Cyberman lock-up. Alien monsters never seemed to bother searching her or the Doctor and usually left them something useful they could use to effect an escape. Shut up here in just her clothes and her bare feet, she had a lot less to rely on. Nevertheless, she had every confidence that even divested of the contents of his cavernous pockets, the Doctor would pull off an escape trick somehow.

An officer came to her to ask her if she wanted to talk to a lawyer before she was questioned. She considered the option and then declined. What was the use? If she told some lawyer the truth, it was hardly going to help. It was just as likely to get her sent to some mental institution. She repeated the request to speak to the Doctor, but this was refused. No doubt the cops were hoping they would incriminate each other.

When she was questioned, it was a pretty useless interview for both parties. She knew absolutely nothing that could shed light on the Doctor's activity in the lab. She had expected a Good Cop, Bad Cop routine like she had seen in the movies, but it seemed these English cops just stuck with Good Cop.

"Look, just tell us who your friend is. We know he put you up to it," the detective said.

"If I knew, I'd tell you. He hasn't exactly told me his life story though," she replied. The interview finished rather quickly and she was put back in her cell. When was the Doctor going to get her out of here?

She heard a knocking on the cell door and the shutter was opened. A woman with a nose ring appeared in the hatch. "Hello, I'm from the Drug Intervention Program," the woman said. "I'm just here to ask if you have any drug issues and would like any support."

Peri felt not a little amused at this. These people seemed to be obsessed with drugs! "Well, I was taking Spectrox and had a nasty overdose. I nearly died. But I'm off the stuff now," she replied with a wry smile.

The drug worker tried to pretend she knew about Spectrox. "Well it's great you are off it now. You haven't had any relapses since then?"

"Thankfully not. Now get lost," said Peri. "No problem," the drug worker replied.

'Back to sitting and waiting again,' Peri thought. A bit later, she was brought some sandwiches and a cup of coffee. The sandwich was a little bland, but she was getting rather hungry. 'You don't get coffee when the Sontarans lock you up,' she reminded herself.

Still more time went by. Where was the Doctor? He had to come and get her out of here soon. Was he really finding it that difficult to escape from an English police station in the twenty first century?

She wondered if they had any evidence to charge her. She hoped not. Given she had no address to go to, they would probably put her in jail to await a court hearing. Maybe she should have spoken to a lawyer after all.

More time went by. Then suddenly, she heard a roaring noise and the wall behind her started to glow and then melt. The concrete and brick seemed to turn into sand. Once it had disintegrated completely she saw the Doctor standing with a device shaped a little like a bazooka in his hands. "Sonic blaster," he said "Always does the trick. Now start running!"

Peri sprinted after the Doctor and jumped into the getaway car he had brought along. "Is this car stolen?" she asked. "I suppose I did borrow it without asking," the Doctor replied.

"Well you just make sure you don't get us arrested again!" she said and gave him an angry glare. "How come it you took so long to escape?"

"Escape? I got out of there hours ago. I have been busy at the laboratory. I had to put a stop to those rudimentary experiments in time travel. The people of this time period don't know what they are playing at. As a Time Lord, it's my duty to protect the fabric of the cosmos," he replied.

"Do you mean to tell me, that you escaped out of that police station and just left me there, Doctor? Do you know how that makes me feel?" she growled.

"I needed to get on with my work of putting that laboratory out of action. I thought that was the safest place to leave you. I got you out of there eventually," he protested.

Peri could barely control her rage. "Thanks to you I just lost some very nice jewellery and a good pair of shoes. You know where you are taking me next, Doctor? We are going to go to a really flashy shopping plaza. And you are going to buy some new shoes. And guess what, they are going to be a really expensive pair. You owe me, Doctor!"

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