Excerpts: How to Crack a Planet (Working Title)

Excerpt from ‘How to Crack a Planet’ (working title). The thirteenth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Aaran Coates, a gold-blond silver-blue eyed private detective dressed in a grey suit, blue formal shirt and black sneakers. She has encountered the Tardis for the first time, and this scene explores her reactions.

Casually flicking switches and twisting knobs on the raised, octagonal platform, the Doctor patiently awaited the response. She had crossed the threshold, in body, but not in mind, and had her head poked out, holding the one closed royal blue door and leaning back.

His silver angular brows prepared a march that he began with but one word: “Well?”

She leaned forward, light blue eyes on the incomprehensible expanse of books, and the brushed aluminum looking, symbol laden upper column. This connected to another clear column full of white, tube lights. She said, “What do you call this?”

The Doctor suppressed a gasp and answered defiantly, “Some people call it bigger on the inside.”

“They would,” she commented, glibly. “And I suppose you would too?”

“No. I call her wonderful, magnificent. Anyway that’s not the point. You’ve not answered a single question I’ve asked. It makes me wonder just what you are in spite of how human you look.”

“I’m not human.”

A half grin yanked up one side of his mouth and bared pearly teeth. “That’s right. I knew that. Never make assumptions. That’s how you die.”

Aaran’s right eyebrow made a leap for it, and hung there, mid-brow. She stated, “That’s not how you…”

“Right again! But what were you going to say? I don’t like the direct this conversation has taken. Let’s talk about something else.”

Aaran’s arm hairs pinpricked, and the tingling in her scalp and arms would not cease. She instinctively patted the holster of the blade at her hip, and buttoned three of her jacket buttons. The stranger’s babbling had demolished her train of thought, and she had to think back to recover it.

Gowan. The Thrall. Where was he? This Doctor fellow insisted he was not dead. She shook her head, imagery of how he was ripped apart at the atomic level in a rainbow of colors.

===—

Second Excerpt: Carso Haradin, has pleasant features; beautiful in the masculine way. His hair is the color of melted caramel, eyes swimming pools of radiant light, mouth full and pouty. He faces the Doctor who has discovered he is the master of the plan to destroy every living creature on the planet.

The ancient land had many admirable features: endless forests, honored wisdom and valiant warriors. Clean water. Unfettered beauty. The Doctor had come to understand that whatever it was they claimed to be magic did not provide excellent dental for the masses.

“Egalitarian, aren’t you?”

“You’re going to criticise–”

The Doctor whirled away from the narrow window overlooking Goldspire Forest. He interjected, no, abolished the self-made lord’s objection. “Opinion. I’m going to state my opinion. Then I’m going to prevent you from ripping this planet apart.”

“Are you? Are you also stupid?”

“Sometimes, but let’s not get into that. Really quite personal. No, I’ve not misunderstood; removing every living being from this planet is the same as blowing it to atoms.”

Carso’s face twisted, an ugly caricature he quickly remedied with a nod and shrug. “Atoms are useful to me, the living amalgam is not.”

“And you’re not living?”

Stymied, Carso tilted his head back, aggressive but silent. He waited for the Doctor to continue, curious.

“Your teeth are perfect,” stated the Doctor, pinching one side of the sonic sunglasses atop his angular nose. “Nobody has perfect teeth here. You’re either a magnificent magician, hiding your tricks and wasting energy on vanity, or you’re not flesh.”

The man sat up, long earth-toned top bunching around his waist. He grinned, then smiled, exposing his perfect, unstained teeth. The Doctor grinned also, but for a different reason. “You don’t pretend to eat, but why would you?”

“No one can tolerate me for long,” he answered. “But that is by design. I am overbearing, arrogant, domineering. All by choice. A perfect disguise.”

“No need to change your face when you hardly get looked at.”

Carso rounded his desk and snatched up a control rod. “The Silver Eye is a receiver, but the transmissions needed to manipulate it took time to find. I had to become an apprentice, then a master. Twenty long years. Even my master did not question my youthful appearance. These people accept miracles all too casually.”

“And your apprentice?”

“Juswar? Or Corsair? Both were tools. I broke them when I needed their resources. To be smelted and reconstituted with all of their knowledge and experience. Into this.”

Carso Haradin pulled the collar of his shirt down, and in the flesh of his chest was embedded a red-hued crystal, scintillating light akin to the fresh blood of an open wound. His smile returned with malice and contempt, and the Doctor shot forward but stopped mid-step.

“What have you done?”

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