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The Empty Cuffs

Chapter Text

“Why in the bloody ‘ell are we ‘posed to keep a woman in this pit? This is a man’s prison,” a guard muttered to another as the pair walked down a corridor lined on both sides with cell doors. It was midday and the inmates were in the mess hall eating, leaving all the cells devoid of life. Despite the guard’s low tone, his voice echoed throughout the complex eerily.

“I dunno Thomas,” the other answered, casually twirling his baton, “I jus’ do as I’m told. I ‘ear it is one of Her Majesty’s Royal orders…direct from the top. Besides, best ‘urry with tha’ food, I don’ like meetin’ ‘ungry lasses.” As he said this, he gestured to the tray of food that Thomas was currently carrying. The pair continued down the corridor for several more feet until they came to a bolted, metal door. Removing a set of keys from his pocket, the other guard, George, preceded to unlock the door and throw it open with an ominous creak.

Turning on a switch, the lights flickered on, displaying another hallway, albeit a much narrower, shorter, and darker one. To their right were three doors – all metal with a small window above them – the solitary confinement rooms. They were empty. To their left was an office and guard station, that was bare save for expired notices and a sheet depicting the last guard on duty. Sitting behind the desk with his legs propped on the desk was a man with a short-cropped beard and a bored expression on his face.

“Hullo boys,” the man said to Thomas and George.

“Hullo Fredrick,” George said.

“She at the end?” Thomas asked, trepidation in his voice.

“Yep,” Fredrick said cheerfully, “In the cage, chained and gagged, though I don’t see why. Been unconscious since I got here six hours ago; haven’t heard a peep from ‘er! This is the easiest job I’ve had in ages. I’m babysitting sleepin’ beauty.”

“She a looker?” George intoned eagerly. Fredrick merely winked in response.

“I’ll go and drop this off,” Thomas interrupted gruffly, gesturing to the tray.

“You won’ without the right key,” Fredrick sang merrily, “Here you are, lad!”

Fredrick tossed Thomas a single, polished key that hung on a large loop of shiny chain.

“Right,” Thomas said. He left the other two men chatting amiably amongst themselves as he ventured further down the hallway. As he went passed the third door, he came face-to-face with a much larger and thicker metal door that had a porthole for a window. The guard tried to peer through it, but the window was too filthy to see anything on the other side. Using the normal set of keys, Thomas unlocked the large door and tugged it open. It creaked loudly in the process. Trembling slightly, Thomas crossed the threshold.

The room was wide and spacious, the ceiling rising twenty feet above him. It was so large that the light from the occasional light bulbs along the wall hardly reached the ceiling structure. Thomas could see the ends and loops of various chains hanging precariously from the beams, their meaning or use lost on him. Directly in front of Thomas was what commanded his attention however.

A cage of iron bars stretched from the floor to the ceiling five feet in front of him, encompassing half of the room. A single narrow door was off to the side, but within the cage lay a crumpled and shrunken form that was suspended partially by chained cuffs that originated from both walls. The woman’s head lolled onto her chest, and a heavy cloth stretched across her face, covering her mouth. She did not move at his presence, and she was so still that he would have mistaken her for a statue if it were not for the periodic rise and fall of her chest. Her knees jutted out oddly in front of her and she sat on the back of her ankles.

Feeling awkward, Thomas preceded to do was he was strictly instructed: He unlocked the cage door with the special key, placed the tray on a stool so that the food was directly in front of her face, and then removed her gag.

Thomas held his breath as he did this. When the cloth fell away he discovered that the woman was indeed exceptionally beautiful. Staring with wonder, Thomas marveled at her pale skin and noble cheekbones. Her appearance alienated him slightly though. All too slowly, the rest of his orders rang forth in his mind.

“After you place the tray in front of her and remove the gag, lock the cage and the door and leave immediately! You must not speak to her, no matter what. If she is awake when you arrive, do not enter the cage and send for me instead!”

That was what his commander ordered him to do. Stepping away cautiously, Thomas locked the cage door before taking a moment to stare at her. The woman did not move. He wondered what made her so dangerous; why she was there in the first place. She seemed perfectly harmless, dressed in the remnants of a prisoner uniform and slumping against the chains that bound her. A sense of profound ridiculousness filled him. She was a woman, what did they expect her to do?!

Thomas shrugged to himself and exited the room, pushing the metal until it shut with a clang. He went to lock it, when a metal lever jutting out of the wall next to him caught his attention. Curious, he went over and examined it. The label was old and rusty, and he could just make it out:

Prisoner 0
Protocol Code: Black
For Emergency Only

Frowning, Thomas turned back and reentered the officer room. George and Fredrick were now both seated, discussing football spreads.

“Oy,” Thomas interrupted, “Wha’ is this ‘Code Black’ I’m seein’ on tha’ lever?” A chuckle rose from Fredrick.

“When Princess wakes up I’m ‘posed to call in a Code Black,” Fredrick explained, “I pull tha’ lever and the lass is pulled up by ‘er arms until she passes out ‘cause ‘parently it’s hard to breathe when you’re dangling in the air. When she passes out I press a button and she gets dropped down to the floor, ‘armless as a sheep.”

Thomas wanted to press him further, but the older two men easily slipped back into their own conversation. The young man left the security ward, his mind uneasy, though he did not know why.

Chapter Text

“The beast awakens! Pray to the Lord, for only He can redeem us!”

“My dear, I truly despise London on a Sunday,” Vastra said coolly to the woman next to her as the pair stepped around the radical preaching on the sidewalk.

“I know, ma’am,” the maid-appearing woman responded, “It’s only on Downin’ Street you get these sermons.” The two paused to allow a cart to roll ahead of them before crossing the street. Further along the road some vendors had set up shop, their wares hung on clothesline and swinging precariously in the December wind. The veiled woman stepped lightly around the vendors, swiftly evading the sellers while tugging Jenny behind her. Suddenly, they turned the corner into a shop.

“Hello, Miss Flint, Madame Vastra,” a polite man said from behind a counter. Displayed behind the glass of the counter were rows of almost all cuts of meat possible.

Hanging above the butcher were rolls of sausage links and in the back room, the two women could make out the outline of a hunch of beef and pork.

“Hullo Mr. Reed,” Jenny responded cheerfully. Beside her, Vastra merely inclined her veiled head.

“Well, I just got some chicken in the other day, or some duck, if you want that… how’s about venison? Gamey, I know, but has a nice taste…”

“Just the usual, please, Mr. Reed,” Vastra intoned gently, yet firmly.

“Of course, of course,” the butcher responded easily. Mr. Reed grabbed several hunks of beef and began to meticulously wrap them in paper.

“One moment ladies,” he then said with a slight bow. The butcher disappeared into the back room and then returned with a small brown jug with a cork stopper. Due to the tint, one could not accurately see the color of the liquid. The butcher gave Vastra a pleasant smile as he passed the jug over the counter to her, and then pushed the meat in Jenny’s direction.

“As always, your discretion is appreciated Mr. Reed,” Vastra said coolly, sliding some coins over the countertop. The butcher bowed and bid the pair a farewell as they exited the shop.

“Ah, I suppose a cab would do us nicely,” Vastra sighed as one drew up automatically, “Parker, if you wouldn’t mind taking us home.”

“Of course Madame,” Parker responded in a neutral tone. The two clambered into the carriage and shut the door was it started moving.

“Ma’am,” Jenny asked idly, sliding her hand over Vastra’s, “It will be cold again tonight.”

“As you keep reminding me, my love,” Vastra responded.

“I don’t want you going out in this weather,” Jenny pressed, “You know what you get like!” Vastra clasped Jenny’s hand firmly, her thumb messaging the inside of Jenny’s palm thoughtfully. She then brought Jenny’s hand up and brushed her lips against it, drawing in the scent. Jenny blushed in response.

“My dear, you worry too much about me,” the lizard sighed, “but I will concede…only under one condition.”

“What is that miss?” Jenny asked innocently, though there was a glint in her eye.

“You must keep me warm, Miss Flint,” Vastra whispered scandalously. Right as she said this, the cab drew to a stop.

They disembarked and paid their fare before entering the house, Jenny placing the meat on a side table while she tugged off her gloves and hat. Behind her, Vastra swept her veil off and prepared to take the jug into the kitchen when Strax entered the hallway from the parlor. The Sontaron looked quite odd, as if he was confused.

“Yes, Strax?” Vastra inquired, making Jenny pause to observe him as well.

“There is a man in the parlor who requests your attention,” Strax said somberly, “He is unarmed and says his matter is most urgent, and insisted on waiting for your arrival.”
“It does sound most curious,” Vastra conceded, “From where is this man from?”

“He claims to be from the nation of ‘Scotland Yard’,” Strax said with a frown, as if he thought the whole thing was a hoax.

“Dear me, then it must be an emergency,” Vastra murmured with a frown, “They would never ring on a Sunday.”

“I can make some tea, miss,” Jenny proposed.

“I think, my dear, that you might first come with me and introduce yourself,” Vastra suggested with a hinting tone, “We do not know how truly urgent this matter is.” The Vastra asked Strax to take the food into the kitchen while she also ushered Jenny into the parlor.

When they crossed the threshold, they beheld a police officer who stood in the center of the room, still wearing a heavy overcoat and wringing his gloves in his hands. His helmet was positioned in the crook of his elbow, and the two women could easily see a line of perspiration on his upper lip. Jenny glanced hurriedly at Vastra, but was relieved when she saw the lizard had replaced her veil.

“Madame Vastra?” the officer asked nervously.

“It is I,” Vastra said, drawing herself upright, “I do not believe we have met…my butler gave me the impression you were from Scotland Yard, but you are in fact wearing a police uniform.”

“I – well yes, I’m a police officer, Sergeant Williams,” he conceded, “but I bring an urgent message from the Yard.”

“I see,” Vastra blinked, “then what is this message?”

“I…erm…” The officer shifted on his feet, casting a nervous glance in Jenny’s direction. Jenny raised her eyebrows at his expression and then crossed her arms, making herself appear immovable.

“Jenny is my associate, Officer Williams,” Vastra said testily, “She can be trusted with confidential information, if that is your issue.”

“Of course Madame Vastra, forgive me,” he said with a bow of the head, “I wish we could exchange pleasantries, but there is so little time, you see.”

“Go on,” Vastra said impatiently.

“You are aware of Grantchester Prison, are you not?”

“The prison south of the Thames?” Vastra queried.

“Yes, that one,” he breathed, looking more and more anxious, “It is a maximum security prison. About three days ago the prison received a female inmate under Royal Orders.”

“But it’s a men’s prison,” Jenny interrupted with a frown.

“Yes, but for some reason the Crown wanted her held there,” Williams replied, “No explanation was given.”

“What happened then?” Vastra pressed.

“The woman was given Prisoner Zero status,” he huffed, “Which means that she would have been placed in the most secure holding of the structure, under constant guard. In theory, she was the most dangerous person there…but reports say she was unconscious the whole time.”

“I am going to assume something has happened to her then,” Vastra said, folding her arms.

“…yes and no,” Sergeant Williams stammered, “a little over an hour ago, a Code Black was called. That means that Prisoner Zero is active, and the whole prison goes under lockdown until the situation is controlled.” Vastra exchanged a puzzled glance with Jenny.

“How does ‘active’ indicate danger? As you have said, Prisoner Zero is a woman, I cannot see how a whole platoon of guards could not ‘control’ her, as you say,” Vastra deduced.

“Madame Vastra,” the officer said in a shaky voice, his impatience causing him to tremble, “I am sorry for not being very clear before. A Code Black was declared an hour ago at Grantchester Prison, and Prisoner Zero has not been controlled. I myself do not completely understand the situation, but I am told that the longer she is free, the more dangerous she becomes. If the situation is not resolved within the next three hours, the police are prepared to shut down the city.”

“That does sound most extreme,” Vastra said, allowing her distaste for the situation to seep through her voice, “but we will assist the Yard if it requires us…one moment, we must gather our things.”

The two women left the room and trotted up the stairs, Vastra helping Jenny out of her dress. Having wrestled Jenny into her trousers, cotton undershirt, and silk vest with a tie, Vastra spared her wife a kiss on the cheek and began to pluck her weapons down from their designated shelves. Beside her, Jenny did likewise.

“Associate, now, really,” Jenny muttered hotly, “It has never bothered you to introduce me as I am!”

Rolling her eyes, Vastra said, “I am sorry, my darling, but that was not the right situation. A strange police officer here on urgent business? No, we don’t have the time for an awkward situation, and I definitely don’t think possibly offending him would help anything.” Despite her explanation, Jenny still appeared adamantly frustrated with the situation.

“I’ll make it up to you,” Vastra swore in a compromising tone, tracing her thumb and forefinger along Jenny’s cheek unashamedly. The human flushed scarlet and seemed pleased with Vastra’s promise as she tugged her belt on and slipped through the door, quickly followed by the emerald woman. The couple met Strax on the stairs.

“Do I hear of an impending frontal attack on an untested force?” Strax asked excitedly.

“How sharp your ears are,” Vastra said fondly, “Yes, you heard correctly Strax.” The Sontaron’s expression was similar to that of a little boy on Christmas morning.
“Then I suggest a round of fire-blast ammunition for the boy-”


“-Concussion grenades for the frontal assault and acid rifles to incinerate any unyielding forces!” Strax finished eagerly, ignoring Jenny’s idle interruption.

“I’m afraid it is a search and rescue mission, not a search and destroy,” Vastra chided gently.

“I…oh,” Strax frowned, “Well in that case…” His brow furrowed as he struggled to come up with another brilliant battle strategy.

“We can discuss it on the ride there, but as of right now we are pressed for time,” Vastra urged, climbing down the rest of the stairs, Jenny close behind. The three reentered the parlor. Officer Williams gaped at Jenny’s male attire.

“A dress is not suitable to run around in,” Jenny retorted, irritation in her tone.

“…Of course not, Miss Flint,” he stammered, “But if that is true, what about you Madame Vastra?” Vastra, who still bore her veil and Victorian dress, smirked.

“If the need arises, I can take care of myself,” she said in a slightly condescending voice, “Shall we go?”

Chapter Text

The carriage ride was enveloped in an awkward silence, especially since Strax was crammed next to Williams and Jenny and Vastra were quite comfortably entangling their legs and lounging on one another. Several nervous ideas ran through the Sergeants head, each one getting progressively worse than the one before it.

“Maybe they are just foreign,” He thought to himself. So that was how he rationalized what he observed from their behavior, and he prayed his assumption was correct, though something told him it was wrong, at least partially.

After a half an hour of twisting through the London streets, the police cab drew to a halt just before the prison gates. The quartet disembarked and were met by a familiar face.

“Hello, Officer Gregson,” Vastra sighed with relief. The Scotland Yard officer tipped his hat respectfully.

“Madame Vastra, Madame Flint, I am terribly sorry for this,” he apologized, “I hope Officer Williams conducted himself professionally?” The grey-haired man cast a withering glare at the blubbering Sergeant, who seemed to be finally putting one and one together.

“He was suitable,” Vastra said, taking his words as permission to grasp Jenny’s hand openly.

“Good, good,” the officer said hurriedly, guiding them through the gates, Strax close behind. They left Sergeant Williams gaping by the carriage.

“So what seems to be the problem?” Vastra asked keenly, “your pet bobby was very vague in his description of the situation.”

“You know as much as I do,” he answered, an edge of anger in his voice. They had to side-step a large group of policemen who were being assembled in the courtyard.

When they passed the platoon, the officer continued, “…this isn’t a Yard operation, in fact it is Torchwood’s bloody pet project. It would be great if-” But he broke off and cast a nervous glance at Jenny’s confused expression and Vastra’s concerned look.

“Erm…Sorry, you aren’t supposed to know about that,” the officer apologized hurriedly.

“I am familiar with the institution,” Vastra responded, “Torchwood investigates extraterrestrial happens, do they not?”

“I…well, they do, yes!” he exclaimed, “but how on earth do you know about the damned place?!”

“I had an interesting run-in with one of their operatives, Captain Jack Harkness,” Vastra shot back, “and are you implying that this ‘Prisoner Zero’ is not from this earth?”

“That is what we are about to find out,” Officer Gregson responded sourly, gesturing to the bolted door they had arrived at. He banged on it, in which there was a long pause, before it creaked open. The trio followed the Officer into the dim cell of a room. The first thing they noticed was the single lamp light that engulfed the room in an eerie glow, alighting on a metal table. Sitting opposite of the table was a stiff-backed old man with a gray beard and several medals presented on his chest upon his dark uniform. The man straightened in his chair and two other officers snapped to attention as the door creaked open. At the sight of the women, the old man glowered.

“I ask for help,” he rumbled, “and you bring me a damn damsel? Is this some sort of joke on the Yard’s end?!”

“Sir,” Gregson began, attempting to control his anger, “these are the best-”

“This is unacceptable! This city is going to be under lockdown in six hours and you bring me this!”

“Officer Gregson, I am sure I can speak for myself,” Madame Vastra breathed smoothly. The red faced man nodded and stepped back, allowing Jenny to file in after the Silurian.
Strax decided to post himself right outside the door, examining the wall for acid slime. Vastra approached the desk and then smoothly reached up and removed her veil, drawing a gasp from the other two men. They reached for their weapons, but the older man impatiently waved them down, his eyes locked on the emerald woman’s. Silence filled the room as she leaned over the desk aggressively while the other steepled his fingers and gazed at her intensely.

“You are extraterrestrial?”

Vastra’s lips tugged up at the corners as she gently shook her head, no.

The old man pursued his lips.

“From the future, are you then?”

Vastra’s smile widened, to were her teeth shown through. Again, she shook her head no.

“Then where are you from?”

“From the past,” she murmured, tilting her head much like a feral animal.

“And you will help us?”

“That is why we are here.”

There was another extended silence.

The old man shifted.

“We need Prisoner Zero controlled,” he stated.

“As we have gathered,” Vastra continued, “what will we be dealing with?”

“I don’t know,” the man said, “No one has ever seen her conscious. But she is… different.”

“Different?” Vastra queried, standing upright and rolling her shoulders, “how so?”

The man leaned forward, looking very nervous, and possibly even scared.

“Because she has been in our vaults for nearly two hundred years, and yet she is unchanged!”

Chapter Text

The door slammed behind the trio ominously after they had scattered across the threshold of the cell. Vastra had naturally taken the lead, wielding two short swords preparedly, Jenny right behind her gazing around in the darkness warily, and Strax taking up the rear, waving his blaster around excitedly.

The clang echoed in the eerie chamber as their eyes adjusted to the dimness and Vastra scented the room cautiously. She picked up the usual smells: rats, slime, mold, rust, blood, sweat, and iron.

But then she scented something strange.

It was metallic; but something not from the time period.


Vastra slowed her pace to a stop, making Jenny ask in a trembling voice, “Madame?”

Instead of answering, Vastra began to scent more vigorously, her tongue flicking out faster and rubbing the top of her mouth.

No. Something was most definitely not right.

She began to smell sweat that was human but then again was NOT; blood that was tainted by strange chemicals and of course, the odd placement of titanium.
Vastra’s biochemical uptake of this information made her nervous. She gazed about the room, lit by only a red light that blinked warningly by the entrance of Cell “0”.

The cell door was open.

“Jenny…” Vastra said slowly, beginning to back up, teeth bared anxiously, “I believe we should revisit this approach.” Vastra had the sinking feeling that they had underestimated the nature of this situation.

“What’s wrong?” Jenny whispered back softly.

“Boy, what are you doing?!” Strax demanded as Jenny pressed him back, closer to the door.

“Strax, we are retreating,” Vastra said sharply, eyes scanning the still room wildly.

“Absolutely not, Madame! To do so is an abomination! Sontarons never retreat or surrender! We would rather – OOF!”


“Strax!” Vastra and Jenny shouted in unison as the cloned nurse collapsed on the floor, unresponsive. Jenny tried to run towards Strax’s form, only to be held back as Vastra wrapped one arm around her waist and dragged her back, her other arm wielding a sword.

“Ma’am, Strax!” Jenny shouted, attempting to wriggle out of her iron grasp.

“He’s not dead, Jenny, he’s just unconscious,” Vastra hissed, looking around the room wildly, “We must leave him for now though, it is not safe.”

Vastra swore she saw a movement of air, a blur in the shadows. Releasing her grasp on Jenny, the human unsheathed her sword slowly, beginning to digest the tremble in Vastra’s voice when she had spoken.

They stood back to back, hardly daring to breathe as they stared around the room for their assailant.


Suddenly the reassuring presence of Vastra’s weight at her back disappeared, and Jenny spun around with a shriek, waving her sword.

And then she froze.

In the dimness, two figures stood before Jenny, grappling in a silent fight. Vastra was pinned to the front and therefore was more visible, the red flashing light glistening off of her scales as a dark, bare arm held the tip of her own sword against her throat. A panicked scowl was plastered on Vastra’s face as the tip pricked her skin, drawing blood. Vastra, in one last attempt to turn the tables, flicked her tongue out to jab her attacker in the neck, but to both her and Jenny’s amazement, the figures free hand caught the movement and grasped the appendage and restrained it easily.

From the shadows, Jenny observed a tattered and torn young woman with wild hair and glinting eyes stare back at her.

And then the creature began to chuckle.

Chapter Text

The chuckle wasn’t creepy or evil as Jenny would have suspected it to be. It was a strange ‘rut rut’ sound made at the back of her throat as she tilted her head back and gazed at Jenny with half-lidded eyes. She chuckled as if Jenny made some sort of casual joke and she was good-naturedly responding to it.

Jenny stared helplessly at Vastra, not knowing what to do at first.

At first.

Seeing the fear in Vastra’s eyes emboldened Jenny to grow angry; angry enough to step forward threateningly, drawing her blade up. In response, the creature stopped smiling abruptly and stepped back, while also pressing harder on Vastra’s throat, drawing a whimper from the noble Silurian and causing more blood to cascade down her front.

The creature then spoke.

“I don’t want to hurt any of you,” she said in a surprisingly human voice, albeit in a wild, yet sophisticated drawl.

“Let. Her. Go,” Jenny snarled angrily.

“Dear, dear,” the alien clucked airily, “you see, I would, but she would then try and kill me, just like your friend over there.”

“And you think I wouldn’t?” Jenny growled, hate engulfing her.

“Of course not,” the creature said genuinely, “It was just a matter of who has the capability of sensing me. And oh my, did I pick correctly.”

The last bit came out as a purr, making Jenny both confused and defensive.

“You realize, Silurian,” the alien said conversationally to Vastra, “that this human’s scent is ALL over you? Now, of course, your friend would never be able to know that, nor understand its importance, but you and I, both with superior olfactory senses…well we both know what THAT means, don’t we?

Vastra began to struggle at this point, appearing to not care as even more blood came from her wound.

“Allow her to leave,” the lizard woman rasped, “I don’t care what you do to me, just let her and our friend go.”

To Jenny’s shock, the alien’s face fell.

“I’m not going to do anything to you,” she said bitterly, “Just as long as you promise to not try and kill me.”

“Let her go then,” Jenny hissed.

“I will,” the alien promised.

For a moment silence fell as they stared at each other expectantly.

“We won’t harm you,” Jenny finally said in a low voice.

A broad smile spread across the woman’s face.

“Alright, can you stand, lizard-legs?” she asked, peering down at Vastra whose tunic was now spotted with blood.

Without responding, Vastra slowly fixed her feet underneath her body before cautiously stepping out of the creature’s deadly embrace.

Staggering over to Jenny, the alien and human automatically raised their swords at each other preparedly.

“I suppose you want an explanation of some sort,” the alien said, no longer smiling as Vastra leaned heavily on Jenny.

“That would be nice,” the emerald woman wheezed, cupping her wound.

The alien glanced at them for a second longer before suddenly twisting and slamming Vastra’s commandeered sword on an iron pipe right above her, effectively making Vastra and Jenny go deaf for a second and twisting the blade beyond repair.

Too shocked to say anything, the pair watched as the alien thoughtfully gazed at the crumpled metal before dropping it on the floor with a ‘clang’.

“I’m still waking up from the Sleep, so forgive me if I’m a little distracted,” the woman said, turning her back towards them and heading towards her open cell, inviting them to follow her.

Sharing a wary glance, the two hobbled after her.


The first thing they noticed was the body.


A dead, uniformed body lay crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood. The skull was crushed to beyond recognition, and both Jenny and Vastra had a strange suspicion about where most of the blood was coming from. The alien casually walked into the cell, rolling her shoulders experimentally as she tested her limbs.

“What year is it?” she inquired curiously.

“1887,” Jenny said after a pause.

“1887…” the alien murmured thoughtfully, “1887… I’ve been asleep for 347 years…”

She suddenly leapt up and in a blur of motion swung her leg out, kicking several bars of her cell, snapping them in half. Jenny and Vastra froze apprehensively, but the creature returned to its docile state soon afterwards, gazing around thoughtfully.

“I’m curious, please humor me; if the year is 1887, how come you are awake, dear friend? Silurians aren’t supposed to rise for another whole millennia.”

“I was awoken by an extension of a transport tunnel used by humans,” Vastra rasped, “Now, what are YOU?”

“Oh, but of course,” the alien said, eyes brightening, “I am a biogenetically conformed assassin, made by a later form of humans in the 75th triad millennia.”