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Without a Trace by ad astra
Chapter 6: Into Battle
They were the most efficient group of humans the Doctor had met for a very long time. By mid-afternoon, announcements had been made across London, courtesy of Mycroft, that the cemetery was unsafe due to dangerous chemicals in the soil, and nobody would be allowed in until further notice. Michael and Genevieve had disappeared to the library at their old school to try and trace Terry, and Sherlock, John and Lestrade were searching through the records to try and find where – when – the other victims had been sent.
“Doctor,” Rory began at length, “How exactly are we going to trap the Weeping Angels?”
“Hopefully, we’re going to bait them with the TARDIS. Hopefully, they’ll all crowd around the TARDIS and then we’ll just disappear off down the road and when the TARDIS dematerialises they’ll all be left staring at each other. I’ve done this before, except it was a lot more complicated at the time and I had to be a lot more clever. I don’t think I’m being clever enough, Rory, something’s missing. Do you think I’m being clever?”
“Um, yeah,” Rory nodded. “Very clever.”
“I always hesitate.”
“That’s right, you do. Okay, Rory. Stone angels that send you back in time if they touch you. Can’t move if they’re being watched but can move faster than lightning if they’re not. How do you get rid of them forever?”
“Um…strategically placed mirrors?”
“No, no no no no. Anything that holds the image of an Angel for long enough will itself become an Angel.”
“You left that part out in the explanation.”
“I did, didn’t I? Maybe if we – no, that won’t work. Come on, think, Doctor, think!”
“Why couldn’t we just land the TARDIS in the middle of the cemetery and wait for them to surround it like you said?”
“Because there are only three of them, they wouldn’t all be looking at each other at the same time. And the Angels feed off potential time energy, that’s why they send their victims into the past. If they start feeding off the energy from the TARDIS we could be stuck here forever. Which is all right for you, this is your normal timeline. But I’m a Time Lord. You can’t have a Time Lord without the Time. I’d just be a…Lord, and that’s rubbish.”
“So how do we get rid of them?” Rory asked, effectively circulating back to the original question.
“Don’t know. Thinking.”
“Maybe we could—”
“Doctor, what about—”
“Doctor thinking. Doctor trying to be clever. Doctor needs silence to be clever.”
“No you don’t—”
“What if you bring them back somehow?” Rory blurted. “Couldn’t that create a paradox or…something?”
The Doctor was silent for such a long time Rory began to think he’d just zoned out for the last two minutes and hadn’t heard a thing.
“You…are…” the Doctor began, his limbs windmilling about, “A genius, Rory Pond.”
“Williams,” Rory corrected automatically.
“An incredible genius. Yes. But we can’t bring them back in the TARDIS, or can we…We don’t know where they are, or when they are, the Angels are feeding off the life force all the time. We have to stop them somehow, before all the potential energy runs out—”
“Doctor,” Michael interrupted, appearing with a loud crack that made the Doctor jump.
“Did you find your friend?”
“Not yet. But—“”
“Right. That’s a good thing. I think. Yes. As long as he’s not dead yet, if his death hasn’t been fixed in time, the Angels haven’t taken all his life force. We need to find him—”
“Doctor,” Michael repeated.
“You said the Weeping Angels are a species of winged humanoids from the dawn of time.”
Michael held up a heavy leatherbound tome entitled ‘Magic: Old as Time Itself.’ He flicked through the pages, alighting on a single passage.
“‘For centuries, it has been believed that those known as ‘wizards’ are merely humans imbued with some sort of supernatural or divine, otherwordly power. It is this belief that has lead to such a widespread persecution of those who possess magic. However, it has now become clear that wizards, along with other beings which have never been seen, but whose exploits have been recorded in the annals of history, belong to a race of humanoids as old as time itself. The wizards’ ability to manipulate matter at will is unique, though it can be assumed that any special characteristics or abilites possessed by the other remnants of this ancient race have similar origins.’ Does that mean our power is somehow equal to theirs?”
Rory hadn’t understood a word of this particular explanation, but a silence even longer than the one he’d received from the Doctor reigned after Michael finished speaking.
“Wait a minute,” he began. “You said wizard.”
“Doctor, he said he’s a wizard.”
“Yes, I know. He did. He is. And that means he could, quite possibly, be the answer to our angel problem. If the source of your power is anything like what the Angels use to send their victims back in time, you can somehow immobilize them. Don’t kill them, we need them alive until we can bring Terry back. Can you do that?”
“Definitely,” Michael confirmed, leaving a dumbfounded Rory and entering the cemetery. A wave of apprehension washed over him; what if he was unable to stop the Angels? How many were there? Could he keep his eyes on all of them while he cast his spells?
He shook the doubts from his mind. He’d fought Dark wizards in the Battle of Hogwarts. And, though memories of the war sometimes haunted him, at the same time he missed that feeling of pure adrenaline, of being totally and completely alive. It was only when he stood in the cemetery, confronted with the threat of death, that he realised that safety was overrated.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a stone figure flash across the cemetery. Turning on his heel, he let loose a volley of Stunning spells and suddenly he was sixteen years old again, relishing the sheer power being released from his wand as he watched the Angels fall.
“Your spells work on the Angels,” The Doctor confirmed as he gathered Michael and Genevieve outside the cemetery. “That means you share the same core power source, whatever it is. That’s a really good thing, and a really bad thing. It’s good because your spells work on them. It’s bad because whatever they’re using to send people back, the TARDIS doesn’t have that energy. It can’t reclaim the potential life force taken by the Angels. If we try to take the victims out of their new established timelines using the TARDIS they’ll cease to exist. You have to use the same kind of energy to create a paradox that can re-establish them now.”
“What does that mean for Terry?”
“It means that one of you needs to invent time travel.”
A/N: So, yes. Many apologies to make here. It's an incredibly short chapter, as my chapters tend to be. It was several weeks coming, which my chapters don't tend to be, and I haven't responded to the majority of recent reviews, which I apologise for, though I have read them. I've just started uni, which means I don't have much time for fanfic these days, and am essentially on hiatus. But I appreciate all your reads and reviews, and I hope you enjoyed this long-overdue chapter :)