Challenge #01683-D222: A Little LessonsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 years ago 

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[Title: There's a cat in the box!] River and the TARDIS have decided the Doctor can stand to learn some humility. -- Fliss

The TARDIS, when she briefly had a humanoid body, said that she didn't have speech capabilities. That wasn't quite true. If you knew how to listen, she would communicate with you. Let herself be known.

"He's getting an ego on him," said River. "I agree. Did you hear that last speech? Congratulating himself over how many civilisations have died because he was there. That's... that's not my Doctor."

Blips and humming. Noise to any mere mortal, but not to her. We need to change him back, somehow. Bring him back to us.

River grew a wicked smirk that could have been a blue-ribbon prize-winner if there were a competition for such things. "I thought of just the thing..."

The TARDIS had temporarily stopped travelling. In the middle of deep space. The Doctor called for River. Ran a scan. She must have hitched a lift with someone else. But she'd left a parting gift.

It was a box. In his favourite shade of TARDIS blue. With air holes. The gift tag said, Might be intelligent.

He opened it.

Everyone knows the famous thought experiment with a cat in a box. Everyone should know about the third, Pratchettean potential state. The state this kitten was in was fast asleep and seemingly innocent.

Things are never what they seem.

When next River saw the Doctor, he was covered in scratches from head to toe. His usual neat style of dress was both covered in hair and torn in several hundred places. And he was bloody furious.

"You," he snarled, "are a right bastard."

"How's the cat?" River chirped.

"Not. Cogniscent. And she has all the destructive capabilities of your average Australian parrot."

The most dangerous species in the known universe. "You must not be being nice to her."

"Why would anyone want to be nice to a homicidal ball of hate?"

"Ask yourself that, lately?"

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