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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fiction Break: A Still Point In Time 3

Back on board the TARDIS (now thankfully free of whatever potentially toxic fumes had exploded from the console), Clara changed into a less dusty and soot-covered outfit. She'd spent a surprisingly small amount of time crawling through burned-out buildings, but a hot shower to get the dust out of her hair felt good. Nigeria's weather was very different to the cool, damp shores of England.

Having teased the last of the water from her hair, she joined the Doctor on the TARDIS's upper level where he was standing with his hands on his hips and a look of consternation on his face. Surrounding him were a pair of chalkboards with what looked like crude drawings of professional wrestlers; what looked like a film projector with the silver scalpel where the film should be; and an old-fashioned boxy console screen on a long mechanical arm dropping from an indeterminate point in the ceiling.

She studied the crude chalk drawings. "I knew a girl growing up whose whole family was in wrestling. She was quite a bit younger than me, but I bet she went into it."

"What does any of this have to do with wrestling?" The Doctor frowned. "Oh, you mean these?" He pointed at the chalk sketches. "I've been pulling information from the tracking knife and correlating it with what the TARDIS has been soaking up from local media and historical records. It's really quite fascinating."

Clara braced herself for a storm of nonsensical words and long-winded explanations when the Doctor rounded on her with what appeared to be a little plastic man. "Meet Captain America!" Clara stared at the little plastic man, dressed in blues and whites with touches of reds and carrying a tiny disc of red and white.

"Captain what now?"

"America! He was a sickly, underfed boy whose parents were Irish immigrants. He signed up for the Army during World War 2 and fought a secret division of the Nazis called Hydra!" The Doctor's eyes were sparkling with the child-like gleam that Clara adored.

"I think I remember hearing about him, but Doctor, he was a comic book. He wasn't real." Clara immediately regretted saying that, as if she were telling a child that Father Christmas wasn't real.

"Then explain this," he said, pulling the console screen down by the knob. It held what looked like news footage of a man in a more modern and sleek version of the toy's uniform leaping over a car and flinging his metal disc. It ricocheted off three aliens that looked halfway related to Silurians before returning to the man's hand. As he fought through a larger group of the aliens, Clara caught a glimpse of what looked like a gold and red Cyberman, a woman in all black with startlingly red hair, and an absolute giant of a man with green skin.

The projector hissed and sparked and the picture suddenly changed, throwing the image of a large purple man with ceremonial robes being surrounded by people throwing lightning, shooting lasers from their eyes, and other fantastical things. Another hiss, another spark, and the projector now showed the building in Lagos, but complete and surrounded by a small army who were failing to hold off a man with what looked like knives protruding from his knuckles.

"They're all real, Clara!" She looked back to the Doctor, who had the most excited look on his face. A spark flew from the projector and a bell on the console clanged loudly, silencing any further questions she might have. The Doctor nearly flew over the railing, dashing down to the console in a blur and shouting "We have a destination! The still point we're looking for. The point where the straw goes all bendy!"

He looked at her, grinning like a madman. "The Stark Expo. June 13, 1942."

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