Danger over the Horizon
“Piper, darling! Dinner’s ready!”
Piper put down her tools and left them on her desk. She went over to the bathroom to wash her hands, before running down the stairs. She didn’t usually have such an appetite, but the smell of her mother’s roasted lamb with spring herbs wafting from downstairs was making her mouth water. She eagerly raced down the stairs and into the kitchen. Her father was waiting. His sleeve collars were buttoned down, and so were the first two buttons on his collar. When he saw Piper, he smiled. “Hiya sweetheart” he greeted, cheerfully. “Hello dad” Piper replied, smiling a bit forcefully. She walked over to the fresh lamb sitting on the counter, and helped herself to it (as she normally would). She took a slice and put it on a plate, grabbed a roll, and some cooked vegetables, then went over to the flatware drawer and grabbed a fork and knife. “I’ll come back to get some tea-” Piper announced. “Um…actually, sweetheart…” Mr. Dominique interrupted. Piper paused, halfway out of the living room, with the plate of food still in her hands. “I thought we would sit together at the table for dinner tonight.” Piper couldn’t help but widen her eyes. Piper never joined her parents for dinner in years. She would normally just take her dinner upstairs, eat it, and return her dinnerware before bedtime. “I don’t know dad….” Piper said uncertainly. It’s not she wasn’t wholeheartedly against it, but she knew exactly where it was going to go; and it was going to be terribly awkward. “Come on, kiddo, your mom and I haven’t spent time with you in forever! Please?” Mr. Dominique put on the most sympathetic, puppy dog face he could think of to convince her. “Fine. Just for tonight” she said, annoyed, but also couldn’t help but chuckle. She sat down in one the middle chairs, while her father and mother sat on the ends. “Alright. Let’s say grace” ordered Mr. Dominique. Piper glanced at her mother, who was looking at her father, and nodded in agreement. They all bowed their heads.
“Father, thank you for this food you provided us. Thank you for my lovely wife who prepared it-,” Mrs. Dominique smiled at that. “-and an intelligent, wonderful daughter-”
“-Amen” Mr. and Mrs. Dominique said in unison. “Amen” Piper mumbled, trailing off after them. “So, how was work today, hun?” Mrs. Dominique asked Piper’s dad.
“It was good. Busy, but steadily busy.”
For a long time, they ate in silence, as Piper suspected. She just quietly nibbled on her buttered bread. She then rubbed the back of her neck, and stared at the empty chair across from her. She could swear she heard a voice in her head…
“****** ******, *****, *****! Someone help me! Please!” she shouted. A man came bursting from the flames. “Piper! Come on!” he shouted as he grabbed her hand. “Who are you!?” she exclaimed. The man turned and looked at her. “It’s alright, Piper. It’s me. It’s your ***** ******. Now come on!” He pulled her along through the flames as they could hear screams of terror, and a ear-piercing, horrific voice shout through the commotion.
“Piper?” Piper looked over at her dad.
“Hmm?” she asked, a bit unfocused.
Mr. Dominique raised an eyebrow. “You alright?”
Piper pulled her hair behind her ear. “I’m fine. Just zoned out for a few minutes. What did you say?” she asked.
“How was school today?”
Piper rubbed her head a little. “It was okay…” she replied.
“Just okay?” asked Mr. Dominique.
Mrs. Dominique started to make a worried face.
Piper sighed. “Just okay” she said, in a sarcastic tone.
“That seems to be your answer a lot…” Mr. Dominique said again, “You doing okay? Is someone bothering you at school?”
Piper glanced over at her mother. Her mother continued to wear a nervous look on his face. “No one’s bothering me. There’s nothing to talk about…” Piper replied, a little more aggressively. “Daniel, she’s tired. Maybe now’s not the right time-” Mrs. Dominique started. “Carla, I’m worried about her” Mr. Dominique interrupted. Carla said nothing. He turned back to Piper. “I’m worried about you Piper. You’re just so cut off from everyone, and I feel like you don’t trust me and your mother to take care of you. Do you feel that way?” Piper glanced over at her mother. Her mother started to get anxious, shifting nervously in her seat.
“There’s nothing to talk about, dad. Nothing! There’s nothing anyone can do for me!” Piper exclaimed.
“So there is something wrong” Mr. Dominique implied, “Is someone threatening you?”
“No one is threatening me! Now please, Dad, please just drop it! I beg of you!”
“Piper, I love you! I want to do what’s best for you! And so does your mother!”
Piper jumped from her seat, anger fuming inside her, her heartbeat elevating to sixty miles an hour. “I’m mad! Alright!? I’m mad! Bonkers! Off with my head!” she snapped, “And everyone hates me for it! Happy now!?” Mr. Dominique was stunned. “Piper!” Mrs. Dominique scolded. “STOP IT MOTHER! STOP TRYING TO SILENCE ME!” Piper shouted, “YOU ACT LIKE YOU’RE TRYING TO PROTECT ME! BUT YOU’RE NOT! BY PROTECTING ME, I’M LOSING MY MIND!” Mrs. Dominique stared at her, horrified, but not angry, just scared, and heartbroken. Piper breathed hard, hissing through her teeth. She looked at both of her parents. “If you really want to do what’s best for me,” Piper said, calming herself down, “You can just…leave me alone.” As Piper realized how disrespectful and cruel she had just been to her parents, she got up from her seat and ran into her room. She slammed the door, turned off the light, jumped on the bed, and sobbed.
“Timelord…Lords of Time…Who’re they? Are they like…Guardians of time? Time Travelers?”
“Beep, Beep! Beeeeeeeep!”
Raiden looked behind him to see a jeep, tailgating. “Oi! I’m on a bicycle, you dumbos! I can’t go as fast as you!” He snapped. He was on his way from school, riding his bike down the busy roads of London. He couldn’t stop thinking about the name, “Timelord.” All the visions he have had, was Piper, and one man, one Raiden identified as The Mystery Man. The more information he discovered, the more he began to realize, that Piper was more than what she knows. What was worse, is that Piper was very non-sociable that day. More than usual. Raiden tried to ask her what was wrong, but Piper just looked at him, hopelessly. Dark circles were forming under her eyes, as if she had lost sleep. This had to be connected. Does she know? If she does, then what does this all mean? Who is Piper, really?
Raiden could hear an engine roaring behind him. Raiden glanced back to see. The jeep was continuing to tailgate him. Although this time, the jeep was planning to run him over! Raiden started bumping his legs harder to make the bike go faster. He was going so fast, he ran through a yellow light just before it turned red. Raiden glanced behind him again. The jeep was still following him. It was then that Raiden decided not to take the usual route home. He decided to take the longer way, which was down into the more harsh parts of London. Raiden sped down the rough, tattered roads, where abandoned, half torn down buildings lined it. Raiden looked back behind him again. When he saw who was driving, his heart skipped a beat. It was the same burly men he saw in the school. Raiden suddenly turned into an alleyway. He was glancing so many times back at the jeep, that he wasn’t paying attention to where he was going. His bike ran over a large trash bag that was lying right in the middle of the alley, and he flew off, tumbling down the concrete ground, and on his back. Raiden’s body exploded with pain. He laid there for a few seconds, squeezing his eyes shut and hissing to tolerate the pain. But he pulled himself when he heard the spewing of sand. The fob watch had tumbled out of his pocket, and opened. It exploded with golden energy, and a thousand voices from the memories inside were unleashed. Raiden was shocked. How could a seemingly simple modern fob watch have such powerful energy inside it!? He ran over to it, grabbed it, and sealed it back up tight. Just then, he heard a screech coming from a car. Raiden had to think fast. He grabbed his bike and helmet, and pulled it with him as fast as he could. He came across a large, opened dumpster, full of garbage. It stunk really bad, but it was the only good place to hide. Raiden placed his bike on the side of the old brick wall, grabbed his helmet, and knelt down, his back up against the dumpster. He held his breath, his heart racing, praying not to be caught…
He could only hear sounds and voices. He wouldn’t dare peek above the dumpster to look, for fear of being spotted. There was the sound of a car stopping, and three doors opening. He could hear the faint sound of a radar, beeping, then stopping. Then, a voice began talking. Raiden couldn’t understand a word it said, but it sounded angry. Another voice spoke, still in a foreign language, arguing with the first voice. Something sounded off about the voices. They sounded so raspy and low, almost to the point of whispering, and they all dragged out their “S’s.” Either they had a peculiar lisp, or something worse. The voices stopped. Raiden heard doors slam shut, the backing up of a car, and driving away.
Raiden lifted his head to peek over the dumpster. He let out a sigh of relief to see no one was there. He looked at his bicycle. The tire on the front was busted. Raiden shrugged. “Guess I’m gonna have to ask Piper to see if she can fix this. Guess I’m also gonna have to walk home…” He lifted the bicycle off the wall, put the helmet on his head, unbuckled, and started his way out of the alley.
The doorbell rang. Mrs. Dominique quickly washed her hands and walked over to the door. When she opened it, she scowled.
“Hello, Carla! It’s been a while. How’s life? I see you’ve remarried.”
“I should’ve known it was you,” Carla growled, irritably, “What did you do to Piper? You’ve screwed her up in the head, haven’t you?”
“No-o, I’ve been merely observing. Never talked to her.”
Carla opened the door wide enough to let them in. The two sat down on the couch in the living room as the morning sun shined through the windows.
“You’ve made it very difficult for me! Daniel is now asking questions. He’s considering other options. I can’t keep her safe much longer!”
“It’s alright. Won’t have much need in protecting her any longer.”
They leaned forward, and sighed deeply.
“Carla, it’s time.”
“I’ve seen her. She’s so unhappy.”
“******, please! Don’t! Don’t send her away! She’ll be in so much danger with you! I’ve seen your world!”
“Carla, I put her in your care because ********* was at war. Believe me, I wanted nothing more than to give her a normal life. But I realize now it was a mistake. Not to put her in your care, mind you, but a mistake to think she could live a normal life. You know she’s clever…too clever. The fob watch couldn’t restrain that, I tried my best. She was born for the stars.”
“No, she can’t go with you!”
“Carla, she needs to be happy. Don’t you want that?”
“I do. But…I…I can’t lose her too!”
“I know you can’t promise that. You can’t guarantee her safety ******, don’t try to lie to me.”
“…Then why don’t we let her decide that?”
Raiden continued to walk down the road as the sun started going down over the horizon. He was still about fifteen minutes from home. Since his bike’s wheels were broken, it was taking a lot longer to get home. As Raiden walked down the desolate neighborhood road, his mind turned back to the fob watch in his pocket. He balanced his bike with one hand, and pulled out the watch with the other. He pressed the button, and it came open. “Now Mr. Fob Watch,” said Raiden, “Let’s see if you can tell me what a ‘timelord’ is.”
“Timelords…Planet Gallifrey and the Constellation of Kasterbarus…The most powerful beings in the universe…Only stood and watched…Never to interfere with other worlds.”
“So…She’s not human…” He was standing in a darkened environment, only brightened by torchlight. The ground beneath him was coarse sand, and it was dark. Was he standing on a beach? Just then, he saw two men in large, red robes, with large headdresses, both laced and hemmed with gold, standing in front of what looked like to be a portal, or a wormhole. He turned around. He could see a little girl, eight years old, with bright blonde hair, tied back into a high ponytail, blue eyes, wearing a velvet, navy blue robe, walking towards it, with two other men behind her. She stared down at the ground. She looked scared. “This was the same girl that I saw before…It can’t be Piper! She looks completely different…” Raiden thought. Piper looked over her shoulder at one man in particular. It was the same one he saw in the vision before. He nodded, giving an encouraging smile. Piper nodded back, and slowly turned around. Cautiously, she looked up into the portal. “The Untempered Schism…The gap in the fabric of reality…The whole in the vortex…Shear, raw, power…” She whimpered. She continued to stare. The men in robes looked at each other. The one she knew observed her closely, half afraid, half hoping, speaking inaudible words under his breath. Piper started to shake. She looked like she was seeing something horrific, as her eyes were shot with terror. Finally, she managed to tear her gaze away. “I can’t! I’m sorry!” she cried. She ran over to the man and hugged him tightly. The men in robes looked at each other, exchanging glances of understanding. The man bent down to her eye level and wrapped his arms around her, whispering words in her ear.
Just then, he kept seeing flashes of something else.
He could hear two different voices, both a little girl’s voice, and what sounded like Piper’s voice, cry out a name he couldn’t make out. Then, he heard another voice cry out.
Raiden suddenly felt like his head was going to split. He shut it tight with a gasp. He rubbed his temples before putting the watch back in his pocket, and continuing to walk down the road. “Timelords…They’re not human. They’re from a whole different planet! Does that mean, there’s other life out there!? Why did Piper have a fob watch that relayed another person’s memories? and where did it come from?” he pondered. As he walked, the wind had started to pick up. He heard a noise. First, it was very faint. Then, it grew louder. It sounded like an old car, grinding its gears and backfiring every five seconds...
“Bvroom…! Bvroom…! Bvroom…! Bvroom…! Bvroom…!”
Then, the noise stopped. Raiden looked behind him. He didn’t see any sort of car behind him. “Strange…” he mumbled out loud. He continued to walk, and was about to turn to his street, when he suddenly heard a thick-accented voice call, “Oi! Skinny boy with the overgrown hair!”