Revelation: Part 3
The sound of heavy footsteps joined in on the chaotic symphony of the workshop.
“Doctor!” North’s deep, Russian voice boomed as he rounded the corner, his large arms spread open in welcome, the red sleeves of his shirt rolled up behind his elbows to reveal the “Naughty” and “Nice” tattoos inscribed on his forearms. His cheeks were rosy, his thin, bearded lips curled into one of those genuine smiles that you so rarely come across in life, his shockingly blue eyes focused on his visitors. He approached Jack and the Doctor, his large, jolly figure towering over them. “It has been a long time, old friend! And Jack! It is always good to see you, moye sihn. I see you have met the Doctor.” He redirected himself to the aforementioned. “Your visits are rare. Something important must be going on. What brings you here to me today?”
“This.” The Doctor held out the silver box for North to take, which the latter did.
North examined it carefully, turning it over tenderly in his hands. In the middle of studying one of the sides, he suddenly stopped, looking up at the Doctor with what Jack could only call shock.
And fear. Yes, there was a hint of fear in those old blue eyes.
“You know what it is, then. What it means,” the Doctor said.
“But it is impossible!” North whispered under his breath, astounded. “This technology…It is, as they say, the ‘real deal.’” He handed the box back to the Doctor. “But I have not seen anything like it except in the books and one sample that you showed me long ago. What is it doing here? And how?”
“A Cyberman attack about twenty years into the Earth’s future, from today’s standpoint. Nicked it off of a weapon they had built. ‘From where’ did they get such blueprints is a better question. As far as that, and the ‘how,’” the Doctor paused, pocketing the box and raising his eyebrow, “I was hoping you could answer both for me.”
“I do not understand,” came North’s confused reply, crossing his arms. “As I have said, I’ve only seen that technology in its passed and dead form. The same with the people from whom it originated.”
At this point, the two had gathered quite the crowd. Short elves dressed in pointed red hats, their pudgy noses peeking out from behind pillars and chair legs. Yetis of all coat colors—silver, brown, white—stopping in their tracks as they passed through, sensing the gravity of the situation.
But all of them seemed to understand more about what was going on than Jack, who was standing off to the side, brow furrowed as the attempted to sort out what the two were going on about.
“North please,” the Doctor spoke up, not taking notice of the audience. “There’s something you’re not telling me, and it’s crucial that I know. I have my suspicions, but I need that information.”
North shook his head. “I have told you all that I know. These people were once great, with technology unlike any other, even the Cybermen. But they took a turn for the worse. There was a great war. It gave birth to the most dangerous technology from these people as they fought. But it was all destroyed in their final battle, which resulted in the complete destruction of their people as well. No survivors. Not even a shard of a planet left. And that is all that I know.”
The Doctor looked even harder at North, his voice growing graver. “What if I told you that there were survivors, if not only one? Possibly two?”
North’s bushy eyebrows shot up. “But…how?! That would be like finding another one of your people, and even then they were the reason behind the destruction—”
But the Doctor held up a hand. “Yes, I remember the day clearly. My people destroyed theirs. The Time War is not something I look back on with fondness, North. North, I—” He glanced over at Jack, who returned his look with one of befuddlement. Something seemed to click in the Doctor’s brain.
“Jack, you lost your memories once, right?”
The Winter spirit nodded carefully. “Yeah. From before I became Jack Frost, when I was human. How did you know?”
“Call it a hunch. When you ‘became Jack Frost,’ as you put it, did you come from a Wintry scene? With snow and ice and whatnot.”
“Yeah,” Jack replied, growing even more wary. Where was the Doctor going with these questions?
North and the Doctor exchanged glances. It was apparent that something was starting to make sense to North.
“Doctor, you’re not thinking—”
“And how did you get your memories back?” The Doctor continued, taking a step towards Jack. With both North and the Doctor concentrating on him, he began to feel cornered.
“My baby teeth. I touched the box and they just sort of…came back. I don’t know. Then it all made sense on why I was chosen to be a Guardian.”
“Yes, yes. It makes sense. And Jack. Do you ever feel like there’s something still missing? Like something doesn’t fit quite right, that despite having everything, there’s something that just isn’t there? And then feeling of deep loss that you can’t quite put your finger on?”
It was Jack’s turn to be completely taken aback. He gripped his staff even harder. “I—how do you know that?”
“Because I know what it’s like. And I’m a bit of a genius but, hey, we’ll save that for later.”
“Imagine, North,” the Doctor went on, turning to his counterpart. “An escapee. A crash landing. Highly traumatic. Noticed only by the Moon.”
“Doctor…there are things that are making more sense now,” North said, scratching his chin. “If you’re right…this could change everything.”
“Indeed it could. For your Earth, and on a much grander scale.” The Doctor’s lips grew tight, his face grim, slowly putting his hands in his trouser pockets, raising his eyebrow once more as he turned back to Jack. “As you said, it’d be like finding another Time Lord.”
“Whoa wait,” interrupted Jack, catching onto something new. How could he have not asked this before about this odd stranger, he who travels around in a space ship, at that? He stared up at the Doctor with a different question in mind now. “You’re not human?”
“No, Jack,” the Doctor replied, his face unchanging.
“And neither are—nor ever were—you.”