Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,919
Summary: The War affected everyone, whether the Time Lords knew it or not.
Author's Notes: Written for psych_30 with the prompt "Group Think". Special thanks to fluffnfreckles for beta.
Other Parts: Part One
"So," the Doctor turned to his black-masked companion as they sat in their cell, "What's your name, then?"
The cell, like the rest of the world, was a bland off-white paint that reminded the Doctor very much of sitting around a motor vehicle registration room. Bland. His companion's pants and top (as the law enforcement that had captured them provided him with a top upon their capture) seemed to almost blend in with the background. There were no bars in these cells, but plates of thick plastic keeping them from the guards and the prisoners.
The Doctor sat on the cold tile floor with his back against the side of the plastic, looking at the mask in his hand. It was black, but in all other ways identical to the beige masks all the ordinary people around the city wore. It completely covered the head, stretching around the skull with a hard face and black-tinted glass eyes. When he wore it, the only way he could tell himself apart from his fellow prisoners was that he wore a blue suit instead of the pale clothes of everyone else.
"You should put that back on," the boy said, "They'll mark you twice for it. It's the law."
The Doctor sighed, and pulled the mask back over his head. With the dark lenses, he could only just see the boy's form over on the other end of the cell, rubbing his shaking gloved hands. He was terrified. Terrified of disappearing, he'd said.
"What's your name?" the Doctor repeated himself.
The boy turned his head, "I am D'anya Ora 35213."
"D'anya Ora, what is that? Is that a designation?"
D'anya nodded, then pointed at the markings on the back of his jumper. "They are our registrations, how we keep track of who is whom."
"Yeah, well, with all your masks and outfits, you lot do look the same. Every single one of you." He tilted his head a bit in thought. "Has it always been like that, D'anya? Complete conformity amongst yourselves?"
"It is not spoken of," D'anya said, "It is illegal to question it." The young man rubbed his forearm as though it burned. "I have been arrested for questioning before, I will not do so again."
The words, the Doctor realized, sounded as though they were scripted. Probably pounded into their mask-covered heads from infanthood. He couldn't help but wonder if D'anya genuinely thought it was wrong, if the need for conformity was so deep.
"Well, you've been arrested before, what happens next? We were caught without masks, is that enough to make you disappear?"
D'anya shook his head, "No. It is a small crime. All crimes are catalogued. We are then released. I have been convicted six times. Upon my eighth conviction, I…disappear. If I were convicted of an attempt at jumping…"
The Doctor scratched his chin underneath the "Attempted suicide is a crime?"
"Attempted what?" From D'anya's expression, the word must not have translated properly.
"Suicide. Attempting to kill yourself."
"Kill." D'anya said the word as though it tasted strange in his mouth, "You truly are from another place, Doctor. You bring such strange words."
The Doctor was, fortunately, familiar with having to explain strange words to new people. Whenever he would unintentionally begin to speak in Gallifreyan, sometimes the words would come out that held so much meaning he'd have to backtrack and cut them down into pieces for his companions to understand. This was no different. Well, not really that different. Well, it was a bit odd.
"Kill. It means to bring death upon someone or something. If you kill yourself, then that's suicide."
D'anya tilted his head to the side. "What is death?"
Oh, the Doctor picked a rather winning planet, hadn't he? They did not understand death. People "vanished". They were completely conforming, hiding themselves. What kind of a place was this? The Doctor worried over Martha. Where was she? Had she found a disguise? Was she in a cell like this? No, no, his companion was capable. She would figure herself out. He had to have some faith in her.
"What did you think would happen when you jumped off that building, D'anya?"
The young man didn't reply for a long moment, he simply took several deep breaths, perhaps trying to figure out exactly what he was doing. When he did reply, it was calm, almost joyful.
"I think I would fly Away."
The plastic doors slid open to reveal three black-clad guards. They motioned to the Doctor and D'anya.
"You will come."
D'anya was compliant, getting to his feet and offering his wrists for binding. The Doctor, however, had to let his mouth run. It was a condition, this mouth-running problem. He'd had it for years, and it always managed to show up when he least wanted it to.
"Where are you taking us?"
"You will be silent."
"I'm sorry, I was just wondering who is in charge of this place. Are you in charge? Can you tell me where we're going? If you can't, then who can---"
One of the guards stalked over to where he sat. He was reminded of the Slabs back in the hospital in London. Tall, dark, and entirely unemotional. The blank mask faces just stared at him, rather than registering frustration or even that they heard what he had to say. Which was to say, it took all the fun out of baiting the guards.
"You will come."
The Doctor nodded. "Tell me where."
"Doctor," D'anya warned, "Questioning is illegal!"
"You will come."
"This harsh treatment is unnecessary and completely unprovoked! I am a representative of the planet of Gallifrey, you should take me to---" The Doctor began on his favorite speech, the one where he was a representative and they should help him help them. It worked on Regalatorus 9 and on Beylix. Here, however, the guards weren't having any of it.
The guard grabbed the Doctor roughly, and he felt a sharp sting as something was injected into his arm.
He was suddenly in a processing room, with long desks manned by beige-clad workers with long pens that scribbled furiously on the papers before them.
A slim individual, the Doctor could only assume it was D'anya, sat next to him. His head throbbed. What happened? How did he get here? It wasn't until D'anya spoke that he realized he had asked those questions aloud.
"The calming drug made you go completely silent," D'anya said, his voice sounding strange and hollow as the drugs' effects wore off. "You went limp. They carried you here. Perhaps your body is not as accustomed to those agents as ours are."
"What did they give me?" the Doctor asked, moving his hand to scratch his head but finding the cloth of the mask in the way. "It feels like…some sort of tranquilizer, mixed with something else…"
"Very good." A very tall beige-clad figure sat at the desk before the Doctor and D'anya, "All of our guards are equipped with siralanomode, to help calm any distressed or confused guests."
"Guests?" the Doctor let out an unimpressed-sounding snort. The gears in his head began clearing and he pieced exactly what the new person said together. "Siralanomode? That affects the memory---"
"Which you should not worry about, Doctor D'anya Ora 56200. I have placed you in the same subclass as D'anya Ora 35213, to keep the paperwork of your arrival neater." The tall man's head tilted a bit to the side, as if expecting praise for his clerical duties.
The Doctor shook his head, "You don't understand; I'm only a traveler here."
"No, we have invented your information and you have been catalogued as a legal visitor, D'anya Ora 56200."
"Invented." The Doctor narrowed his eyes, though the tall man would not be able to see his disapproval. "You can't simply 'invent' who I am."
"Your lack of mask charge has been dropped due to your visitor-state, but you are still charged with questioning a member of the law. One charge should be sufficient; I do not think you should acquire another charge."
D'anya turned towards the Doctor, "Doctor, please. Just accept. Understanding is unnecessary. We accept and are safe."
The words were scripted again, but they seemed to delight the tall man. The tall man pulled out two thin poles and began attaching lettering to the end, like a long rubber stamp.
"You, D'anya Ora 35213, have been charged with questioning before. And this would be your second offense of non-masking if not for your legal visitor. You have been charged with singing. You will be catalogued, and sent back to your bungalow. You have one more arrest before you are sent Away."
"Singing?" the Doctor's jaw hung off its hinges in shock, "He's being arrested and charged for singing?"
"Stop questioning, Doctor!"
"D'anya Ora 56200, be silent." As the tall man spoke his words, a black guard appeared behind the Doctor, and he silenced. He could handle many things, but being drugged into submission was not one of them.
The tall man continued work on the stamps in silence. The Doctor bit down on the inside of his mouth to keep from asking any of the very long list of questions he had. They were charging, but not sentencing. Ruling by fear, perhaps? What was their government? What was he doing with those stamps? What would they do next? And why the hell would they call those places they were living "bungalows"?
"What do we do next?" he finally gave in and asked. Asking something that would give the tall man the ability to order the Doctor around might be the right sort of question.
"I must update D'anya Ora 35213's criminal record, and you must have one created," the tall man said. D'anya took a few breaths, his hands shaking. The Doctor had many, many criminal records and he couldn't quite understand the fear. Of course, there was very little he understood about this place.
"So, that's it? No sentence? Not that I want one…"
"You should cease questioning," the tall man said, "But you are foreign. You will understand with time. The shame and fear that comes with being a criminal is enough of a sentence, we believe. Do you not believe this, D'anya Ora 35213?"
"I believe," D'anya replied instantly.
Shame? Fear? The Doctor gave a very quick nod, "Oh, of course. Of course. Shame and fear, makes perfect sense. What is that you are making there?"
The tall man finished the last stamp and motioned to a cylinder on the table, "Your criminal record." He pressed a button, and a blue flame appeared at the top of the cylinder. The stamps were put on the top, and they began to glow, red and hot.
D'anya rolled up his right sleeve, to reveal a long line of dark blue scars---brands---in the shape of letters.
"We do not have the time or patience to keep criminal records on paper," the tall man said, "Should you be sent Away, all of your information is already prepared."
The Doctor jerked in his seat, but one of the guards had moved to put his hands on the Doctor's shoulders. Branding. Brilliant. Where was Martha? What kind of a place was this?!
"There's nothing to fear," D'anya said, "There are drugs they give you that dull the pain."
The Doctor felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck, and then all was black.