Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks

Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch, Nicholas Briggs, Terry Molloy Read Free Book Online

Book: Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch, Nicholas Briggs, Terry Molloy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ben Aaronovitch, Nicholas Briggs, Terry Molloy
John.
    The tea-stall stood in a pool of light next to a warehouse.
    Hammering sounds came intermittently from the nearby docks, and occasionally the sound of a barge’s horn would float up from the river.
    The small white man with the umbrella and hat paused to look at the tariff.
    ‘A mug of tea, please,’ he said.
    John poured a mug of black tea from the urn. ‘Cold night tonight,’ he said, adding milk.
    ‘Yes, it is,’ said the man, cupping the mug in his hands.
     
    ‘Bitter, very bitter.’
    ‘Sugar?’
    ‘Ah,’ said the man, ‘a decision.’ He sighed and sipped his tea. ‘Would it make any difference?’
    John looked at the man to see if he was joking or something. ‘It would make your tea sweet,’ he said after a pause.
    The man gave a wan smile. ‘But beyond the confines of my taste-buds, would it make any difference.’
    ‘Not really.’
    ‘But...’ the man leaned forward conspiratorially, eyes glittering. They were compelling eyes.
    ‘But what?’ asked John, suddenly anxious to know.
    ‘But what if I could control everybody’s taste-buds?’ He made a broad, sweeping gesture. ‘What if I decided that no one would take sugar? That would make a difference, wouldn’t it, to the people who sell sugar and those that cut cane..
    John remembered his father, hands bleeding as he hacked at the bright green stalks under a cobalt sky. ‘My father,’ said John, ‘he was a cane-cutter.’
    ‘Exactly. If no one used sugar then your father wouldn’t have been a cane-cutter.’
    ‘If this sugar thing had never started,’ said John, ‘my great grandfather wouldn’t have been kidnapped, chained up and sold in the first place. I’d be an African.’ The idea was strangely comforting to John.
    ‘See,’ said the man, ‘every large decision creates ripples, like a truck dropped in a river. The ripples can merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways.’ He looked suddenly tired. ‘The heavier the decision, the greater the waves and the more uncertain the consequence.’
    John shrugged. ‘Life’s like that,’ he said. ‘Best thing is just to get on with it.’
    Professor Rachel Jensen lay asleep in her bed at the boarding house run by Mike’s mother on Ashton Road.
     
    After the Doctor and Gilmore had left them, they had returned here for supper before retiring. Now Rachel dreamed of her childhood in Golders Green.
    She was sitting beside her mother in the synagogue.
    Bright sunlight streamed in through high windows, but the spaces behind the benches were in deep shadow.
    Rachel was sure something was moving in those dark spaces. She forced herself to look back at Rabbi Goldsmith who was reading from the Talmud.
    Only he wasn’t there. Instead an intense little man in a pale jacket was speaking, punctuating his phrases by stabbing at the air with a red-handled umbrella. Rachel knew he was saying something of great importance, only strain as hard as she might she could not make out his words.
    All the time, squat evil shapes materialized in the shadows – shapes with smooth domes and gritty voices.
    Across the landing from Rachel, Ace twisted in the strange bed, tangling herself in the crisp cotton sheets. In her sleep, fragmentary images flashed across her eyes like a badly edited rock video. She dreamed of the time when her name was Dorothy.
    Dorothy was fourteen, facing the burnt-out shell of Manisha’s house. The blaring sound of fire sirens wound about her head counterpointed by a dry BBC voice: ‘Petrol was poured through the letter box and set on fire: the house was gutted in minutes. Two members of the family managed to escape, but the rest, including the mother, father and three young children, were killed. The police say they are considering the possibility of a racial motive.
    This is the fourth such incident in Perivale in the last six months. Community leaders...’
    Then Dorothy stood at the end of a hospital bed: she could smell vomit overlaid by disinfectant. Nearby,

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