Miasimia Goria

By Peter Adamson

Passing through the window, a blood warm breeze filled the room with viscous heat. The sky outside was a copper red, reminding the room's only occupant vaguely of her long abandoned home. The Rani shifted restlessly in her ebony throne, still awake past midnight on Miasimia Goria. For weeks she had been deprived of solace by the chaos outside her palace, where in the wilderness her workers were turning on each other in a frenzy of aggression, destroying her great work. Most unproductive. She cursed the gross error on her part, depriving her subjects of sleep had for the first few weeks been a boon. Donjon, her accountant, had observed peak returns for that period, three times the usual score, but after six weeks... the noise was unbearable.

[The Rani]
Peter Adamson

As she rose, footsteps approached the doorway, it was Boras, her chief guard. The native stood warily before his mistress, his skin luminescent in the subdued light. The Time Lady rose confrontationally, her sable-clad figure standing imposingly on the dais.

‘I knew you would come cowering back,’ she sneered. ‘What is your report?’

‘Widespread destruction to plant machinery and mass ore spillage, my Lady,’ he replied hesitantly.

‘I ordered units there an hour ago. Where are they?’

‘They are there, but they are weak, my Lady, fatigued, they...’

A resounding boom from the outer wall sounded in punctuation.

‘Very well, increase their dosage for the next hour. And send more of your men to the emplacements. Go!’

Crossing behind a gothic tapestry, she passed through the illusionary fabric and into her TARDIS. Pausing only to test the ship's navigational locks, she set co-ordinates for a familiar, but otherwise overlooked world, Earth, the place were she had assumed her present title, but that was very long ago, and for the present it would suffice as a source of raw materials. With a hollow groan her TARDIS surrendered itself to the vortex.

Later...

Some peace at last. Though still warm, the breeze which graced the Rani's chamber was now temperate, almost soothing. She lounged idly in her throne, toying with the transistor armlet in her lap. In some dark corner of the room, Urak the Tetrap shuffled obediently. The Rani allowed herself a sardonic grimace, collecting the vital brain fluids had required more effort than she had anticipated, due by no small part to that pair of imbeciles she had hoped to have left behind with the fools on Gallifrey. No matter, Miasimia Goria was tamed again.

Heavy footfalls interrupted her train of thought. She looked up to see two other Tetraps, late successors to Boras, frog-marching a bedraggled, twitching figure into her chamber. Baleful yellow eyes glared from beneath the captive's peaked brow. Long canine teeth marred his speech, but she could not mistake that face.

‘Rani, I demand your assistance, your knowledge of biochemistry can cure this savagery which possesses me. I had thought that that infernal Cheetah world would offer me immortality... but this...’

All the Rani could do was laugh.

This item appeared in Timestreams 5 (August 1995).

Index nodes: Fiction