Red Button

There are many, many laws in the universe, and most of them are just dying to be broken. If you’ve ever gone somewhere very high up, and- despite every cell in your body telling you that it wants to carry on living- felt the excruciating urge to jump, you know the feeling.

Time Lords, it seems, are not exempt from this. The blue box is going nuts. Every time I touch a lever, or peer over a reflective surface, it tells me he’s in danger. It doesn’t speak, exactly- the words simply appear over my field of vision. Some day I’ll have to ask why it uses Broadway.

However, short of telling me that it’s owner is in danger, it doesn’t seem in any hurry to do something about it. I’ve ruled out piloting the thing (just in case I end up back at Rabbit Land) and there doesn’t seem to be a gun cabinet around*.

Negotiation could work, as they’d probably stop with HH in order to get at me, but I’m not too sure HH would be up to walking his way back here; I can’t reach my terminal speed with him in tow.

Unfortunately, I can’t just let him die either.

There’s no avoiding it.

I find them not far from where I left them. HH is doing his best with his magic metal wand shtick, but it isn’t blinding the chumps for long. They look surprised to see me. Some of them have blood on them. I’m kinda surprised by how human it looks. I half expected it to be green.

One of them shouts something I guess would be a taunt, if it wasn’t emitted from a body with more wrinkles than an elephant’s heel. A few others join in. I can barely understand it, so I wave. That does the trick. Now they’re really angry.

As I said, sometimes laws are crying out to be broken. The laws of instinct, of not doing what is clearly the wrong thing to do, spring to mind right about now.

A pickaxe connects. Someone got impatient.

Perhaps I should have explained the laws to them.

Another one follows. They’re really excited now. Once someone breaks the taboo of violence, it’s like watching a terrier sprint towards the horizon. If you’re going to do something naughty, make it last.

I almost feel guilty about this, but they should have caught on by now.

I stop the next one, with my hand. It slices through the palm. Thankfully there was enough bone underneath to catch it. They all flinch in the absence of a scream, and now they have stopped.

There’s a law, as it turns out, about the unknown. If you don’t understand it, don’t expect to be understood. It’s the big red button in any horror movie, the one that says “Do not touch”. It’s potential incarnate. Morality does not factor into it.

It’s amazing how often people forget that part. Anything could happen, yet they press the big red button anyway.

I look past them, at HH’s recumbent form. Seems like he’s out of it, for now.

Good.

 

W

*Womble is thinking more about scaring the archaeologists off than actually shooting anyone. Like most of us, his prior experience with firearms required a screen.

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