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Nov. 6th, 2012

Someone You'd Admire

Part IV, Chapter I: Mr Spaceship

Welcome to outer space, dear.

See, that's the thing about being psychic. We don't have it, and yet we think we understand it. I don't know about you, but I've read stories. Stories where the characters treat the mind more like a location than, well, a mind.

It's really not like that at all.

I never really signed up for this. It was all her. Amy, I mean. Oddly enough. Looking at the two of us, back when we were kids, suppose you'd assume I was the one who'd go for this sort of thing. But I'm not. Amy always was the one who dreamed. I just went along with it. I never dreamed of space. Well, a bit, but not like her. My dreams were about her.

And then her imaginary friend popped out of a cake. At my stag do. Yeah.

I went along with it mainly to make her happy. She'd always wanted to travel with him in his mad box. Who was I to say no?

Her imaginary friend was completely mad. He was alien, in nearly every sense of the word. He was so different than anyone I'd ever met that I couldn't help but dislike him at first. I think the thing that put me off him the most was how uncannily human he was. Looking at him, I could almost fool myself into believing he was human. A young man, about my age, with a distinctively shaped face and terrible fashion sense. And then he opened his mouth.

He's told us he was psychic before; actually, the word he used was telepathic, and while I've read enough sci-fi to know the difference, I'm not entirely sure he does. Psychic is psychic. Either way, it never really was much of an issue, and considering how human he seemed otherwise, it was actually pretty easy to forget. It's not like he plows into Amy's and my head. Often. That I know of. Evidently we're pretty dense as a species, and we generally can't tell if someone's reading our minds unless they're really not very good at it. We can, however, pick up messages when they're particularly strong.

And that's where Jenny comes in. His daughter. Mad little thing. Adores her dad. Amy doesn't quite know what to do with her. Amy's a bit too brash and Jenny's a bit too serious for them to really get on. I mean, they do. Definitely. But I wouldn't say Amy's taken Jenny under her wing. But yeah.

When Jenny first came on board, she had no control over her telepathic(psychic) abilities. Every time she felt some sort of emotion, so did we. It got very bad very quickly. Like the time she got mad at the Doctor.

We were on the planet Exilon. There were blue pastries and a memorial square that had a statue of a man who the Doctor denied knowing. Which is a change.

"Sure you don't know him? He looks like a Time Lord," Jenny said as the Doctor dragged her through the square by the arm. Amy and I were lagging behind a bit, Amy because she was trying to listen to the conversation and because I was blowing on the steaming blue pastry the Doctor had told me was divine. This from a man who eats fish fingers and custard. Oh yes. I've heard the stories.

"I don't know every Time Lord," he said shortly. Like her father, Jenny's not very good at heeding warning signs, so obviously she twisted her arm free and ran to the statue. The Doctor stood still for a moment, obviously upset, and then briskly stalked over to the statue. Amy followed right behind him, and I, of course, followed her.

Jenny stood at the base of the statue, peering expectantly at the inscription as she waited for it to translate. Looking down, I noticed it hadn't translated for me either. The Doctor grabbed her arm again, all sharp blazing anger, and made to pull her away when she asked him why the inscription hadn't translated.

He grimaced and looked down at the inscription, and his voice was soft and heavy with emotion as he replied, "It's Gallifreyan."

I felt a sudden strong wave of excitement, tinged with the intense sort of curiosity I'd come to associate with Jenny. The Doctor felt it too, because he was dragging her away again, more forcefully than before. We then felt her curiosity quickly shift into indignation.

See my problem? I'm trying to explain this to you, and the only words I can think of to describe it don't really explain it at all. I'm saying it felt like a wave because that's the closest thing I can think of. But really, it wasn't a wave at all. And I didn't even feel it. Feeling someone else's emotions is entirely different than feeling your own. You can tell the difference. Which sounds mad, but it's true.

Anyway, we felt Jenny become indignant, as did most of the other people in the square, I'm sure, as her father dragged her away from the statue. He, of course, was one of those people. In response to the mounting tension, he muttered, "You shouldn't have done that."

This of course did nothing but to increase the size of the metaphorical wave of indignation. The curiosity had mostly gone away, as it was slowly being eroded by something much colder.

When we got out of the square, the Doctor found an reasonably deserted doorway and pulled Jenny into it with him. The two stared daggers at each other. The Doctor repeated himself, louder this time. "You shouldn't have done that."

"Why?" I could feel the anger pouring off of her, permeating the air, but it was an odd anger. Anger implies passion. Passion is a hot sinewy strong sort of emotion, filled with wild pulsing life.

This anger was not alive. It was dispassionate and cold and ruthless.

"Because I said so!" Before this, I'd never heard the Doctor raise his voice, and despite the fact that I really didn't understand the background of the situation, I found myself empathizing with his anger over hers.

She was silent for a long few seconds. I half expected thunder to clap behind her. It was bizarre, in retrospect. Scared of a small girl in a bright orange coat. At that moment though, her physical appearance was almost entirely inconsequential; the main thing I was sensing from her was the cold, dark, inhuman anger.

She's really a sweet little thing.

"You've really got to learn how to get that under control," The Doctor said darkly. "You're clouding yourself with an aura."

I'm assuming he was trying to goad her into talking, because I can't imagine why else he'd say that. It worked, too.

Quietly, she murmured, "Why couldn't I read it?"

"The TARDIS doesn't translate Gallifreyan."

Again, Jenny fell silent. It was shorter this time, and less tense (at least from my standpoint).

"Why, then, haven't you taught me any?"

"I don't kno-"

"It's my language!" she roared, and finally the ice around her anger broke, and hot, passionate, and righteous anger flew out and coated the street. I found I was able to look at her again, and she was beautiful.

I wonder if she looked beautiful when her anger ran cold, and I just wasn't able to sense it. I'm glad I can't.

When I say beautiful, I don't mean I think she's beautiful. I mean, I'm married. Not to say she's unattractive. She was beautiful, but not the 'oh-blimey-I-want-to-do-things-to-her' beautiful. More the type of beautiful you keep locked up in a box far away. Very far away. Dangerous. Intense. Super-human. Not sexual. I'm really not attracted to her. At all. Seriously.

Right. Then.

The main reason I mention this is because I wanted to tell you a bit about how psychic (telepathic) powers work and feel to us mortals. Can't just go rushing into this story without explaining how it works. I'm pretty sure if Amy were telling the story we'd be halfway done by now, but I'm the one doing this. So you get an explanation beforehand.

And now I tell you about the time we met the madman and his ghosts.