Jayne was the first to arrive on the scene. She grabbed April Nivere and escorted her out of the crypt and into the dark night air. The late night revellers had almost gone home and things were silent.
Nivere was almost crying.
‘Please, Jayne,’ she said, ‘try and see reason.’
‘Have I not been fair? Have I not allowed us all to live proper lives?’
‘But nothing, April. It’s our own stupid fault that we’re in this situation. The least you can do is act with some responsibility.’
‘I’m sorry. Give me another chance.’
‘How many chances do you want?’ scolded Jayne. ‘Thomas and Rebecca knew the consequences when they had their little…encounter, and so do you. You do not use your powers for your own gain.’
‘No. From here on our your powers are relinquished from you.’
Nivere collapsed to the floor, crying and begging at Jayne’s feet. ‘But where shall I go? I can’t live here in this primitive time.’
‘I’ll send you to the future,’ said Jayne. ‘Maybe you’ll learn your lesson and stop misusing power given to you.’
Nivere’s hands were pulsating with orange light. Her eyes kept flickering white and then to dark again. She was trembling.
‘You’re going to explode.’
‘It’s only money!’ said Nivere.
‘Exactly!’ said Jayne. ‘It’s only money. How could you do it?’
‘What did she do?’ asked Margot, emerging from the church door.
‘She put up posters, advertising herself. She wanted to make money from using her powers.’
‘No, no,’ said Nivere. ‘I wanted us to raise some cash to help fund the project. To help get us back on track.’
‘It’s too late,’ said Jayne.
Margot looked at Jayne and frowned. ‘What are you gonna do?’
Jayne narrowed her eyes. Nivere had tried to operate her own powers. She tried to control what she was doing, but it had backfired and now her powers were becoming uncontrollable
‘I’m going to take away her powers and send her to the future.’
‘You can’t do that!’ said Margot. ‘It’ll damage yourself.’
‘I can’t let her carry on like this,’ said Jayne. ‘They’ll still be hidden deep inside her, but they’ll be blocked. She’ll not be able to access them again.’
Nivere fell to the floor, her eyes streaming with tears. All she had ever wanted was to be an explorer, and now all she had was this nightmare world.
The following day had come. Nivere was standing between four, glowing red pylons. Since the departure of Rebecca and Thomas some time ago, the crew was notably becoming less and less. Nivere was standing, resolute and making sure she didn’t let her emotions show through this time.
‘Jayne, are you sure this is going to work?’ asked Margot, as Don checked connections from the bank of computers to the team nearby.
‘The pylons channel the time vortex from the TARDIS. Anything in the middle of them is caught in a time corridor. The opening of which opens…well, anywhere.’
‘So essentially you could be sending April to her death?’ said Margot.
Jayne looked at Margot and then back to Nivere. ‘You can’t mess with what has happened to us.’
‘And how will the energy in her be stopped?’
‘It won’t. Not totally. It’ll always be in there, but she won’t be able to access it. Don put a chip in her head. It stops her from accessing it.’
‘What?!’ said Margot. ‘You mean you operated on her?’
Jayne nodded. ‘She has no recollection of it. We used a good dose of Retcon on her to make her forget.’ Jayne turned to look at Margot who was giving her a horrified look. ‘What?’
‘What’s happening to you, Jayne? And if we have this way of blocking the powers then why don’t we use it on ourselves?’
‘Because we will grow old, age and die. And then who will take care of this situation?’ She turned to Margot and looked down at her. ‘And don’t bother asking about the time corridor. If we used that for ourselves we’d have no idea where we’d end up. We can’t risk it.’
‘But you can risk April?’
‘Deal with it, Margot. We all need to be pulling in the same direction.’
Margot shook her head. ‘You’ve changed. You’ve become cold.’
‘You have to be cold, Margot. You know that. I lost everything. My entire childhood came back to haunt me and in the process I lost my brother.’
‘So that should make you not care?’
‘No. But I can’t relax until this is sorted.’
Margot sighed and crossed over to Nivere. She touched the woman on her arm and smiled sadly at her. ‘I’m sorry, April. I hope you find some kind of peace.’
Nivere looked down at her nose at Margot. ‘And I hope you burn in hell for this.’
The mist cleared. April was lying on the ground. It was wet and muddy and she coughed and spluttered. The air was foul and got up her nostrils. The time corridor had knocked her for six. She had never felt so sick. She heard someone squelching through the mud towards her.
She looked up. She was on a barren, mud-strewn land. A tall, gleaming skyscraper reached up through the grey clouds. She could see the moon. At least she was on Earth.
She looked towards the sound of the footsteps. A man with dark hair and a kindly face was coming towards her. He extended his hand.
‘What-?’ said Nivere, confused.
‘What are you doing in the battlefields?’ asked the man. He had a kind sound to his voice.
‘I…I don’t know. I’m lost. Who are you?’ She could feel the power had left her. She felt so alone and so lost.
‘My name’s Mark. Mark Dennington.’
Nivere took his hand and shook it, still confused. ‘Nice to meet you, Mark.’
“Police are calling this the worse winter for some years, as the search continues for the missing coach of people from Manchester. And it’s not set to improve. The snow has frozen over and is here to stay for some time to come.”
Tony Parker switched off the TV news report and then returned to his armchair, unfolding the paper and burying his face behind it.
Sat on the floor, playing with a small, wooden train was the little, dark-haired Caroline, now 5 years old and completely oblivious to what power she held within her.
‘What happened to the TV?’ asked Cath, walking in with two mugs of tea.
‘Daddy turned it off,’ said Caroline, looking at her adopted mum.
‘I wanted to watch Neighbours.’
‘All they’re going on about is special reports on the bloody snow out there.’
‘Tony!’ scolded Cath, carefully checking that Caroline didn’t hear him swear.
‘I know, I know,’ he said.
‘Mummy,’ said Caroline, getting up and sitting by her mother on the sofa.
‘Yes, sweetheart,’ said Cath, sitting back and putting an arm around the girl.
‘I had a strange dream last night.’
Cath glanced up at Tony. He looked over his glasses and rolled his eyes, returning them back to his paper. ‘What was it about, sweetheart?’
‘There were strange men in long cloaks. They were hiding their faces. They were scary.’
Cath pulled her in a little closer to her. ‘It was just a bad dream, baby.’
‘I know,’ said Caroline, ‘but I was scared. I stayed awake for ages.’
‘If you ever get scared again,’ said Cath, ‘just come in to mummy and daddy and we’ll keep you safe.’
‘Last time I did that,’ said Caroline, ‘Daddy was mad with me for waking him up.’
‘I wasn’t mad with you, Caroline,’ said Tony, exasperated, ‘but we’d had a tough day.’
Cathy thought back. They had had a tough day. It was back in the summer. They’d been on holiday in Filey when another one of the government health care people had turned up, pressuring them into getting all the necessary checks done on Caroline. She had threatened to take legal action, but so far they had managed to fend them off. All they had to do was keep fighting them off into Caroline was old enough to make her own decisions and then it’d be over.
‘Me and Daddy are never mad at you,’ said Cathy. ‘We’ll always be there for you.’
‘And Danny,’ said Caroline.
‘Who? Not that nasty little boy who kicked sand in your face a few weeks ago.’
‘Yeah that’s him,’ said Caroline, jumping off the sofa and returning to her toy train. ‘He’s my best friend now.’
‘Listen, Caroline, sweetheart,’ said Cath. ‘Please be careful with the type of friends you make.’
‘Danny’s okay,’ said Caroline. ‘He wants to marry me.’
‘What?’ said Tony, peering over the paper.
Cath shook her head quickly in Tony’s direction.
‘It’s just a game though,’ said Caroline. ‘When I get married it’ll be to a prince.’
Cath laughed nervously. ‘That’s a long time in the future, though, isn’t it sweetheart?’
Caroline turned and smiled at her mum. ‘Oh yes, a long, long time in the future.’
Next: Caroline and Danny - drunken adventures on a beach. Coming Friday October 18th.