Death and Regeneration
By Time Lady
"Here, let me help you," said the young man as he assisted the old woman out of the taxi. Anyone looking at them would think that the young man was helping his grandmother or great-grandmother. Those who truly knew them knew that he was 650 years old, while she was 900. Their apparently physical ages could be attributed to their different origins. He was an Immortal, thrust into his immortality at the age of 19. She came from a race of beings known as Time Lords, and it had been over 600 years since she regenerated.
"I can do it myself," she returned, slowly pulling herself out of the taxi. A cane helped keep her steady. Then, with her resting on his arm, they walked together into the park. After a few minutes, they stopped to sit at a bench by a fountain. He adjusted his smoked glasses. She watched a young couple playing tag, tackling each other, and rolling in the grass.
"Penny for your thoughts," he murmured.
"I... think it's time... for me to regenerate..." she sighed. "There's so much I used to do, but can't anymore. It's been so long... I don't even think I even remember any of the moves of Venutian Aikido. And..." she looks away, "sometimes I feel.... that you're turned off... by me looking so old...."
"Corrie, how can you say that?" returned Keido. "We agreed... since you regenerated so early in your life the first time around, that you would hold off as long as you could. It's your mind and your spirit that I love. The body it is in is incidental." He touched the wedding band on his finger, then the one on hers. "Besides, how many couples can claim to have been married over 600 years?"
She smiled a melancholy smile. "But the sooner I regenerate, the sooner we can go to the clinic on Ceres Beta. The doctors said they thought they could come up with a way for us to have a child. It would involve some genetic engineering, but it would still be ours."
"I know... I can't wait for that either..." replied Keido. "But every extra year we have together means something to me."
"The average life expectancy of a Time Lord is 10,000 years," Corrie said dryly.
"And we've run into Immortals who've lived even longer."
"*Sigh*... you win... for now.... but you still might find yourself surprised by suddenly waking up next to a younger woman."
He grinned. "Just so long as she's not so young that we run into problems." Suddenly, Keido pauses as a familiar feeling washes over him. He looks around.
"Another Immortal?" she asked. He nodded.
Another man approached warily, drawn by his own strange feeling. He froze, then relaxed when he saw Keido. Keido and Corrie also relaxed as they recognized the other immortal. "It's been a while, MacCleod," said Keido.
"1890 London, wasn't it?" asked Duncan MacCleod, shaking Keido's hand.
"March, 1892 to be precise," added Corrie. Duncan blinked in surprise. "Surely you didn't forget *me*," she said with a smile.
"How could I?" he said, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. "Corrie, I hardly recognized you."
"It may have been around a hundred years for you, but it's been about 300 years for us, traveling in time and space," she returned.
"Time travel..." Duncan shook his head. "I can't quite believe it."
"Maybe one day we'll take you along," she said with a smile. "Keido's managed to pick up some intergalactic sword lessons, as well as some quite interesting swords."
"You'd be surprised to see some of the blades they've come up with out there," added Keido.
"Tell you what," said Duncan. "A friend of mine has a bar nearby. Why don't we talk over drinks?"
"Sounds like a good idea," replied Corrie. "We didn't have any plans."
A short while later, they were seated around a table at "Joe's Place." Joe Dawson, the proprietor, came over to join them. Joe, a member of the Watchers, instantly knew Keido was an Immortal. After Duncan introduced them, Joe recognized Keido as the Immortal that his niece Tegan had been assigned to watch. Tegan had reported that Keido "left the planet with an alien." Something Joe knew had to be impossible. Here was Keido, with a woman much older than the one his niece had described. He listened as the three of them chatted, making mental notes to include in his log on Duncan.
About an hour later, Keido and Corrie left. "See you tonight," said Keido with a wave just before the door closed. Joe and Duncan remained at the table. "So, how long have you three known each other?" asked Joe.
"Oh, a few hundred years. We first met some time in the eighteenth century."
Joe blinked in surprise. "How? He first became immortal about a year or so ago."
"The woman he was with, his wife Corrie, is from a race of time traveling aliens."
"Come on Mac...."
"I'm serious. I saw the inside of her vehicle once. Back when we first met, she looked like she was only around 30... she looks like she's in her nineties, but she's around 900."
"So Tegan was telling the truth...." murmured Joe.
"An excellent meal, I must say," said Corrie as they walked out of the restaurant.
"Best steak in town," replied Duncan. "Have you two decided how long you're staying in town?"
"Maybe a couple of days or so," stated Keido.
"Why don't you two come back to the dojo with me for after dinner drinks?" asked Duncan. "We can talk some more."
"Sure," they replied.
As they slowly walked down the street, Keido and Duncan sensed the presence of another immortal. "Corrie, stay back," warned Keido as he peered into the darkness. He and Duncan both tried to locate the Immortal.
"Damn, I hate feeling so helpless," she muttered as she stepped back. Suddenly she felt a strange arm around her waist. "LET GO MMMPPPHHHH...." Her cries were cut off by a hand covering her mouth.
Keido and Duncan whipped around at her cry. Swords in hand, they found themselves facing another Immortal... one Duncan knew well. "Altair, let her go," gritted out Duncan. "It's me you want."
Altair's eyes darted from Duncan to Keido. "Hmm... two for the price of one.... Let's see how much you want this mortal." Before either could act, Altair grabbed Corrie and ran.
Blind rage filled Keido. "Damn you!" He took off after Altair, who ran surprisingly quickly for a man carrying a woman. Despite her age, Corrie didn't make it easy for him either. Keido pursued Altair to a walkway over a deserted stretch of highway. Altair suddenly found himself caught between Duncan ahead of him, with Keido behind him. Looking around, Altair realizes that the walkway is about 15 feet over the road.
"Well, looks like it's time to lighten the load," he said with a malevolant grin. Corrie struggled in vain as Altair hefted her up.
"LET ME GO!" she shrieked. Before Keido or Duncan could reach them, Altair dropped Corrie over the edge of the walkway. "AAAAAIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!"
"CCCCCOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" shouted Keido as he ran to the edge. He could see her broken body lying crumpled on the ground. "YOU BASTARD!" Enraged, Keido attacked Altair.
Duncan watched for a second as Keido and Altair battled, then ran down the embankement to where Corrie lay. He knelt next to her. Almost miraculously he detected a very weak pulse. "Come on... I'll get you to a hospital..."
"Don't worry.... 'bout me.... must regenerate... please... help Keido...." she muttered weakly. Strange feelings flooded her body.... sensations she hadn't felt in about 750 years. Energy shimmered through her body. Cells died, to be instantly replaced with new ones. Both of her hearts slowed to almost a standstill as the cells regenerated themselves. Feeling very weak, she closed her eyes. Images flashed in Corries mind - images of friends and loved ones encouraging her to live. The last image was that of Keido. Duncan watched as a glow surrounded Corrie's body. The light intensified to almost blinding. He looked away for a second, trying to see what was happening with the battle. When he looked back at Corrie, instead of a withered old woman with gray hair and tanzanite colored eyes, he found a young woman who appeared to be in her late 20's. Coal black hair swept back from her face reached down to mid back. Two silver streaks, beginning at her temples and reaching the full length, glinted in the moonlight. The shape of her face was different, as were her features. If she were standing, she would be about 5'5" - three inches taller than her previous height. She opened her eyes.... revealing their new silver color.
"C-c-Corrie...." stammered Duncan. She nodded in response.
"Regeneration," she said by way of explanation. "A feature of my people." Looking around, she asked "Where's Keido?"
Corrie and Duncan could hear the sounds of battle from the top of the overpass. Suddenly they heard a large clang and saw a sword fly over the railing. Then they heard thunder and lighting.... the telltale sounds of a quickeng. Corrie sat up and looked at the sword. The hilt was as familiar as the link she wore to her TARDIS. "NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" she screamed. "KEEEEIIIIDDDDOOOOO!!!!!!"
The sounds died down. Altair stood on the railing and looked down at Duncan. "One down, one to go," sneered Keido's murderer.
Duncan slowly gets to his feet, sword in hand. "Corrie, get out of here," he said as he went to confront Altair. Duncan's words did not register through the haze in Corrie's mind. Neurons trying to reconnect and recharge after the regeneration sparked as her whole being flooded with anger and anguish. Her eyes lit on his sword, which lay discarded on the ground.
Meanwhile, Duncan engaged Altair in combat. He knew Altair, having barely survive previous encounters. Some Immortals enjoyed life, taking it as it came. Others sought out Immortals to slay. Altair was one of the latter. Altair had already taken the heads of other friends of Duncan's, with Keido as the latest. This would be the final conflict for one of them.
Vengeance... the word echoed in the newly-regenerated Corrie's mind as she lifted Keido's sword. Slowly she ascended the embankment, gaining strength with each step. She wished she had a dagger, her preferred weapon. This would have to do.
Duncan began to tire. Altair had been re-energized by the quickening and showed no signs of tiring. His attention was entirely focused on Duncan. With the same move he used on Keido, Altair knocked the blade out of Duncan's hands and forced him up against the guard rail of the overpass. Sword raised for a strike, Altair never noticed Corrie stealthily creeping up behind him... until he felt the bite of the sword slice across his back.
"AAGGGHHH!!!" shouted Altair, dropping his sword as he reeled in pain. Duncan pushed Altair away.
Anger blazed in Corrie's silver eyes as she attacked Altair. While she was not a skilled swordswoman, her first cut had caught him off guard and had cut through tendons and muscle. Using all of her strength, she repeatedly attacked Altair. Bloody and in pain, Altair could not fight back against this unknown woman. It dimly registered in his mind that the woman assaulting him was wearing the same clothing as the old woman he threw over the railing.
"YOU F***ING BASTARD!" she screamed. Tears burned into her eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, she saw Duncan searching for his sword. "YOU KILLED MY HUSBAND!" A slice across Altair's face. "YOU DESTROYED THE MAN I LOVED!" A deep cut across Altair's chest. "YOU DESTROYED MY LIFE!" With that, Corrie ran the sword through Altair's heart. Blood trickled from Altair's mouth as he gurgled in pain. He was alive... barely. Cutting of Altair's head would completely end his life.
Suddenly, Corrie lost her momentum. She collapsed in a heap on the ground, sobbing. "D... Duncan..." she muttered.
"I'm here," she heard next to him, feeling Duncan's hand on her shoulder.
"Take his head...." she sobbed. "End it...."
Duncan nodded. He walked over to Altair, who was shuddering uncontrollably, trying to reach the sword in his heart. Before Altair managed to grasp the blade, Duncan lifted his own sword. A clean stroke severed Altair's head from his body. Duncan felt the beginnings of the quickening.
Corrie didn't care, save for the thought that the murderer was dead. She knelt over Keido's headless body sobbing. A part of her was forever destroyed. The empty feeling within her heart ached.
Unknown to the Corrie and Duncan, another watched. Joe Dawson scribbled notes for his latest log entry on Duncan. Joe wasn't quite sure how to explain Corrie's regeneration. He was sorry to see Keido go. It was always sad to see a good Immortal's life ended. But according to the legend, there could be only one.
A couple of days later, Duncan and Joe stood by Corrie at the crematorium. "Are you sure this is what you want?" asked Duncan.
"Keido's ashes will always be with me," she murmured tearfully. She wore a black dress and clutched a soaked handkerchief. "I... don't think I could deal... with burying him.... in a small way.... we can still be together...."
They were silent as the funeral director approached them. He handed Corrie a sealed box. "You have our deepest sympathy, Mrs. Morisato."
"Th...thank you," said Corrie as tears rolled down her cheek. They walked outside, Corrie clutching the box tightly against her chest.
"Will you be all right?" asked Duncan. "You can stay with me a couple of days, if you don't want to be alone."
Corrie shakes her head. "I... don't think... I want to be... on this planet any longer..." Joe looked at her. "I... need to... find someplace... peaceful...." She touched the bracelet on her wrist. Suddenly, a tree materialized out of nowhere. Laying her hand on the bark, a door opens up into the tree. Joe gaped. "Good-bye Duncan, Joe. I... don't know if or when I'll see you again...."
"Take care," said Duncan. Corrie nodded, then entered the tree. The door closed behind her, then disappeared a few minutes later. Joe blinked in confusion.
"She really is an alien..." he muttered.
"Come on..., I'll buy you a drink," said Duncan, putting his hand on Joe's shoulder.
Inside the TARDIS, Corrie practically stumbled forward. Instinctively she hit the door control, then the dematerialization button. Tears streamed down her face as she stumbled to what had been their bedroom. She lay the box containing Keido's ashes on the dresser reverently then threw herself onto her bed sobbing. Alone. She hadn't been alone for 600 years. They had always counted on him outliving her. Not once did they expect this would happen. She lay there silently for about 10 minutes, then stumbled into the control room. She had to get away... and find something to occupy her mind. After entering in a few basic qualifications, such as breatheable atmosphere, she let the computer randomly select a destination, hoping to find something to ease the pain in her heart.
That night, Joe finished entering the last details in his log book. He glanced at a clock. It would be mid-morning in Japan. "I've put this off... I should tell Tegan what happened."
In the Nerima district of Tokyo, Tegan Dawson is at the Tendo/Saotome Dojo. She just finished a morning workout with Akane Tendo-Saotome.
"You do have to admit," began Akane, "that since your cursed form became permanent, you've been able to do more physically."
"Yeah...." admitted Tegan. "It is nice not to get so tired after over-exerting myself." Tegan pulled a towel from her gym bag. "But still... it's not really me. In the back of my mind, I'm not a cat-woman."
Before Akane could reply, Tegan's cell phone rang. She answered it. "Hello?... Oh hi Uncle Joe. What's up?" As Joe told her what happened, Tegan's expression saddened. "Ohhhh... I'm sorry to hear that.... from what I could tell, he was a really nice guy.... I know... that part was kind of hard to believe until you saw it for yourself..... Okay, I have to go.... Yeah, give Mom and Dad a hug for me.... Bye...." Tegan hung up the phone and put it into her gym bag.
"What's wrong?" asked Akane, concerned by the look on Tegan's face.
"Did you know a guy named Keido Morisato?"
"The name sounds familiar..."
"He was here the night you had that dinner party. The one where Kappa flamed the lutefisk and Scott downed the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. He was the guy with the smokey colored glasses."
"Oh yeah.... he was dating a friend of mine."
"My uncle met him. Keido was killed..." Tegan hesitated a moment. "In... an.... accident."
"Ohhh.... that's a shame... Corrie really liked him. Did your uncle say anything about her?"
"She... was there. Apparently, she took his death pretty hard, then went out of town."
Akane shook her head. Tegan felt badly. Though she was no longer with the Watchers, she didn't like hearing that Keido had been killed. Sighing, she picks up her gym bag. "I better go. Feathers has a class, and I need to take over the office. I'll let you know if I hear anything else."
Corrie stepped out of her TARDIS in the control center on Gallifrey. For her, it was ninety-nine years since Keido's death. She just completed training with the Shadowwalkers of Noche Terra when the call came from the Celestial Intervention Agency. Dressed in a black tunic and black leggings, she followed the guard to the offices of the President of Gallifrey.
"Corrinamarselena, it is good to see you," said the woman in white and gold.
"It has been a while," returned Corrie levelly. "Why have I been summoned here?"
"Direct and to the point now?" asked the President with an uplifted eyebrow. "This regeneration is quite a change for you."
"It is. About the summons?"
"Yes." The president gestured to a computer screen, showing Tokyo, Japan. "Previously you had been assigned to monitor the unusual activities in the Nerima district of Tokyo, Japan, planet Earth. This particular town seems to be a nexus for this sort of thing... about as strong as the nexus is in Earth's British Isles."
Corrie closed her eyes. "You want me to return to Nerima," she said through gritted teeth.
The president nodded. "Someone must be there to monitor the activity."
"Couldn't you assign someone else?" Returning to Nerima would be too painful. She had met Keido in Nerima. There were just too many memories there.
"No. You are already familiar with the territory and the residents."
"I've regenerated since then. No one will know me."
"The better for you to start over," returned the president. Corrie sighed. It was a losing battle. "Your TARDIS will be set with the coordinates of the time we want you to arrive in Nerima. You will file regular reports with your contact. And, as before, no Time Lords outside of the Celestial Intervention Agency are to know of this."
"Yes Madame President." Corrie bowed and slowly walked to her TARDIS. Mentally she began making plans. This time, a few things would be handled differently.
A short while later, Corrie stepped out of her TARDIS. She fought back a tear as she looked at her surroundings. This was the very place where she first met Keido. "After a hundred years, why does it still hurt so much," she said to herself as she quickly walked away. With no particular place in mind, Corrie wandered. She didn't want to stay in her TARDIS as she did the last time. The first thing would be to find an apartment.
As she walked down the street, she stopped at a news stand and purchased a newspaper. "Of all the days to arrive, why did it have to be this one," she thought as she noticed the date. It was the same exact day when Keido had been cremated. "By Rassilon... sometimes I really hate time travel." She tucked the paper under her arm and walked down the street.
She looked up at a sign. "The Ken-Ni-Kaze" was written boldly in neon letters. "If I remember correctly, this should be a nice, quiet place to get a drink and read the housing ads," she thought as she pushed the door open.
"May I help you?" said Ling-chan.
"Table for one," returned Corrie, remembering Ling-chan from when Corrie taught advanced science at the high school. Ling-chan, however, didn't recognize Corrie. "How would she? She doesn't know I regenerated," thought Corrie as she followed Ling-chan to a table. Corrie ordered Coke and a vegetable-rice bowl. While she waited, she flipped through the apartments available section of the paper. One ad attracted her attention. "This looks like a likely place," she thought.
After finishing her lunch, Corrie walked down the street until she came to a building. A sign on the building read "Mystic Manor." Thunder and lightning crashed when she looked at the exterior. Shrugging, she went inside.
Tegan looked up from her paperwork at the newcomer. Something about her was vaguely familiar, but she couldn't quite place her finger on it. "Hi, can I help you?" Tegan asked.
"I'd like an apartment."
"Sure... Miss..... err...."
"Mrs. Corinna Morisato."
Tegan blinked in surprise at the last name. Only that morning she had heard that Keido Morisato had died. "I used to know someone by the name Morisato."
"My husband said it was a common name where his family came from," said Corrie, thinking quickly. Apparently this cat woman knew Keido somehow. The face was familiar, but Corrie wasn't quite sure of the connection.
"Oookkkaaayyy," said Tegan. "And how many will be living in the apartment?"
"Just myself. I'm widowed."
"Oh. Sorry to hear that. Why don't I show you around?"
By that evening, Corrie was situated in apartment 5B. She temporarily moved a futon into one of the bedrooms until she could get a regular bed, and moved the TARDIS into another room. Moving the TARDIS was a complicated feat. The apartment building was protected by some form of force field. Probably magic. Thinking back, Corrie remembered a Time Lord she had met named Dax. Dax had turned his TARDIS into an automobile, with the TARDIS entry through the trunk. After some manipulation, Corrie managed to change her TARDIS into a black Toyota sedan. Driving it into the underground parking wasn't a problem. Then she programmed the chamelion circuit to change it into a wheeled trunk which she brought upstairs via the elevator. It might be more prudent to leave the TARDIS outside the building. Or to leave it disguised as a car. Otherwise she would have to ask the landlady about getting some form of access through the barrier. That wasn't a priority. Tomorrow, she would see about the job. Now was time to rest... and plan.
<fin... for now....>
RL Notes [mostly info for newbies]:
1. Corrie [or Corrinamarselena] is a character I created when I first came into GRIT. She was a major multi-fandom character. Corrie is a Time Lord [from the British Sci-fi television program Doctor Who]. At first, she was also a sailor senshi ["Sailor Gallifrey"] and a Power Ranger [the "Tanzanite Ranger"]. Sailor Gallifrey and the Tanzanite Ranger were dropped immediately. When Corrie was first in GRIT, she was in her first regeneration [second incarnation]. Time Lords have the ability to regenerate... or completely change their physical appearance. Occasionally this will result in changes in personality as well. Due to the circumstances surrounding her regeneration, Corrie [or Corrina, as she prefers to be known now] has a personality quite different from her original. This is Corrie's 2nd regeneration [her third incarnation]. Initially, when I first removed Corrie from GRIT, I didn't plan to bring her back. However, various situations occured in GRIT, and I found that she would have fit perfectly. This time around, Corrie will be just an NPC, rather than a PC.
2. Keido Morisato is a character created by Rob Morrison. He arrived in GRIT just before Corrie. They developed a very close relationship. Rob Morrison decided to leave GRIT and turned control of Keido over to me. I felt no need to bring Keido back as a permanent character. I also felt that his death would serve to create the proper conditions for the changes in Corrie's personality. Keido was an Immortal, as from the "Highlander" television series and movies. While Rob originally connected Keido to Conner MacCleod, I am more familiar with Duncan MacCleod, which is why I chose to use him in the fic.
3. Tegan Dawson, my PC, was originally a Watcher, assigned to watch Keido Morisato by her uncle, Joe Dawson. Keido and Corrie were unaware that Tegan was watching them. In my earlier fic, "Letting Go," Tegan quit the Watchers.
4: The day Corrie arrives in Nerima is the day before "The Challenge is Issued" thread occurs. Using her TARDIS [Time And Relative Dimensions In Space], Corrie can travel in time and space. She can spend a few hundred years on one planet, then return to a point right after she left her point of origination.