The Dragons of Japan

A spate of mysterious deaths. Sightings of a mythological creature. Something is terrorising Feudal Japan, and how is it linked to a desperate struggle for survival in a distant galaxy?

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6. Dilemma

Clara could almost taste the hysteria that rippled through the assembled Samurai. And was it her imagination, or did the swords pointed at her, tinted with gold as the metal caught the last of the suns rays, shake a little more forcefully than before? Then, the...the...thing, whatever it was, spoke.

As it did, the men jumped back, further from the offending windows. Someone stifled a sob of fear, probably one of the younger recruits, not yet accustomed to this uncertainty. Then again, was anyone? Nothing like this had ever happened before, so how could they be expected to be passive in the face of an unknown threat? At another, more appropriate, time, Clara might have laughed at the sight of hardened warriors scared witless by a voice.

But the vocalisation of words, especially in a language she could understand, (although she suspected this had more to do with the TARDIS translator than the language) from this nameless entity scared her more than she cared to admit. The booming voice of the monster reverberated around the building, as flashes of viridian green and deep-sea blue glittered through the window.

As Clara listened, her attentive ears caught the distinctive tone of the Doctor's voice. She felt almost giddy with relief. He was alright! Well, alive at least. Her mind struggled to keep up with the conversation, but she understood enough to know that that monster was dangerous.

She turned to face the trembling Samurai.

"Now do you believe me?"

A new voice piped up, younger, inexperienced.

"What...is that thing? Wh...what did it say?"

Now that was interesting. They couldn't understand it. Definitely the TARDIS then. She went to explain, but then stopped. If she told them she had understood the creature, that would only suffice to reinforce their judgement against her and the Doctor. She bit her lip in indecision.

Luckily, before she had to make up her mind, she heard another shout from outside.

"Clara, can you hear me?"

It was the Doctor. She could hear the excitement in his voice, but there was also an underlying current of worry to his words. Hurriedly, she replied.

"Yes, yes I can hear you. What's going on?" She had to shout as a fearsome rumble echoed from the beast.

"Can you come outside? There is someone I'd like you to meet."

Now that sounded very foreboding, but also left a flare of elation run through her body. Was it  normal to be this eager for danger, or more specifically, the adrenalin rush the possibility of danger gave her?

Eyeing the Samurai warily, she edged towards the door, as eager to get out of the building as the Samurai were to stay inside. Not one made a move to stop her as she slipped out into the fresh air of the night. For night had drawn in, without being noticed by man or beast. Thank goodness the Doctor had given her this coat. Even with it on, she was still shivering.

Clara's thoughts wandered until she rounded the corner of the building. The first thing she saw was the Doctor, standing not far from her. Then, she noticed it.

The dragon.

For that's the only thing it could have been, she thought. It could always have only been a dragon.

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