Revelation: Part 4
Jack felt like he just ran into the side of a building. Or rather, the side of a building had just run into him.
He looked beseechingly to North, who stared back at him with his thick brow furrowed, lost in his own thoughts. Jack could practically hear the gears turning, the puzzle pieces fitting together, the workshop working at full capacity in the old spirit’s brain.
He switched to the Doctor. His eyes were near emotionless. That eyebrow still raised. Analyzing Jack’s every movement, his every breath, every shift in movement. Just awaiting his reaction.
By a will not his own, Jack stepped back, shaking his head. “Not human?” he chuckled, tears threatening to come forth. His memories played back in his mind’s eye. Memories of a mother, a sister. Of being born in and part of the human race, one that he fights so hard to protect. So solid, so undeniable. “How can you say that? What makes you think that? Huh? Why?”
The temperature in the room had decreased by a good ten degrees. Heck, Jack’s gaze was icy enough to freeze over the hottest planet the Doctor had ever had the pleasure of landing on.
“Jack,” the Doctor said, his voice soft but cautious, like one who approaches an upset wild animal. He took a step towards him. “I am sorry. So very, very sorry. But it’s the truth.”
“But I—My memories!” Jack’s voice cracked.
The Doctor replied with an action. He reached into his coat and took out the sonic screwdriver. “Memories. Do you remember when we first met, when I scanned you with this?”
Jack nodded slowly. “You said you were sorry then, too.”
“Yeah, well,” the Doctor carried on, “it also told me something about you that I wasn’t possibly expecting. I thought that it was a glitch, even. In my sonic! But our adventure with the Cybermen proved it to be correct. The technology we came across. The Cybermen’s insinuations. That ship, even. It all pointed towards that fact that—”
“That what?” fired back the Winter spirit. “That I’m not—or ever was—human?”
“Precisely.” The Doctor pocketed the sonic.
Jack laughed. “Well, by that logic, if I’m not human, Mister Time Lord, then what am I?”
“You, Jack Frost, are part of an extinct race. Or at least, a race that I had thought to be extinct…until tonight. A people that I knew to be called the Isfolkais.”
“But you said your people destroyed them. North said there wasn’t even a planet left.” Jack could feel his anger rising along with his confusion. He wouldn’t accept this, he wouldn’t deny what he knew to be true. He wouldn’t deny his humanity. How dare this stranger come into his life and try to tear away what little that he possessed. What little certainty—and comfort—that he had.
He was so far from letting that all be taken.
And yet…that hole inside of him yearned to hear more of what the Doctor was saying. When the Doctor mentioned the name, that name…the Isfolkais…something triggered inside him. Telling him that somehow, there was a grain of truth to what the Doctor was going on about. He had heard that name somewhere before. Isfolkais. It was sweet and yet so very sad to hear. It reminded him of a home…
And that hole inside of him kept him listening to the Doctor. Prevented him from just flying away. Kept him frozen in his spot as the Doctor continued his explanation.
That, and his natural-born curiosity.
“I was stupid not to believe in the chance of survivors. Jack, my guess is that you are a survivor. Left the planet in a hurry, though I can’t say what made you leave, whether it was to save yourself or to get help or some other reason. Crash-landed here on Earth, which made you lose your memories, though definitely not killed you, no. Then the Man in the Moon, taking notice of you, took mercy on you but also saw an opportunity to further protect the children of the world, and helped reawaken you, making you know yourself as Jack Frost.”
Jack just stood there, speechless. The moments ticked by, each one an hour long. The Doctor had just told him that his entire existence was a lie. From the moment that he came into being. The whole thing, a string of well-kept lies.
Then, from somewhere in his world of swirling confusion, a warm hand placed itself on his shoulder. He followed the worn hand up to a forearm, a cuffed sleeve. To North’s solemn blue eyes. And in them, he relayed a message of complete and sincere apology, of consolation and yes, a tinge of pity.
The Doctor was telling the truth.
Another wall hit Jack right in the chest.
He wasn’t human.
He was an alien, a member of the lost Isfolkais, and possibly the last.
Imagine, having a family and a home to have it all just taken away and all of a sudden find out that you are alone in the world. In the entire universe.
“I believe that a trip to the Man in the Moon is due,” North said softly. “He will be able to explain more than either one of us will. More about why he did what he did. More about your people, even.” The Doctor raised his eyebrow a little higher at the last statement, as if his knowledge of the cosmos and its inhabitants had just been questioned.
Jack could only manage a stiff nod.
He faintly remembered climbing back into the TARDIS, North’s hand guiding him back to the blue box while distantly saying something about how he had too many new toys to invent and thus couldn’t go along with them.
The Doctor and North shook hands.
The TARDIS door closed.
Jack held onto the railing for support.
And the noise ensued.