33: Pieces of the Puzzle

The breeze from the Caspian Sea gently stirred the leaves above, as Shakira, her twin Saghira and Strawberry had their heads literally together, reading a map. Farrah removed her camcorder from her bag.

“Farrah should you even be doing that?” Saghira gasped. The beauty school student wanted to come along, but wasn’t exactly the type for anything that could be called espionage or participating in conspiracies. Both twins travelled through time and space but Saghira’s life almost completely revolved around her home and family until last week, her first day of her diploma.

“If we save the world, I wanna show everyone how we did it”, Farrah answered, sticking her tongue out.

Strawberry pointed to the vague directions’ starting point, stolen by Ursula several days ago. “What is the blue moon?”

“Something blue and involving moons”, Shakira replied flatly.

Saghira jumped. “The mosque!”

“Which one?” She stopped pointing and looked more closely at the map, searching for this mosque.

“The Imangali Mosque on Satpaev Street”, Saghira explained. “It is blue with crescent moons.”

“Are me and Farrah allowed inside?”

“Yes but the directions say behind it, so we don’t need to go inside.”

The four women then took the nearest bus, stopping not so far away from the mosque and complete with passengers noting their peculiarities: abayas (must be tourists?), no arms (how does she do anything?) and very short hair (butch or ex-chemo patient? Why no wig? Women need long hair!). Both Farrah and Shakira paused to take a few pictures of it, then they made their way around the corner, past the benches and minarets, to the back wall that was facing a river bank.

“And…now what?” Shakira asked no one in particular. There was mud, and trees, not much that could really conceal anything, or any obvious signs of manmade structures.

“There’s trees….” Farrah trailed off. “And they have giant roots…”

“With something to hide?” Strawberry added.

The water lapping against the river bank provided background sound to their minimalist conversation. Along with several birds. “Such as a safe maybe…trapped by the tree roots? So it won’t wash away?” These last two questions were shared by Shakira and Saghira. They headed over to the largest tree, specifically to the most prominent roots that were facing the mosque. Taking out her sonic screwdriver, Shakira scanned for any signs of metal or plastic.

“Something is there!” she suddenly exclaimed. “It is being held by the roots, we were right.”

Saghira reached into her bag. “I thought there would be digging involved”, she said, pulling out a tiny gardening shovel.

“Can you see what it is with that thing?” Farrah lent in. Strawberry shrugged her shoulders, as her short arm-stumps weren’t capable of digging and she hadn’t learnt how to garden with her feet either.

“No I can’t…keep going Saghira! You are almost there.” Shortly afterwards, Saghira struck metal on metal, and with Farrah’s help she revealed: a sweet tin.

“That’s all?” Strawberry asked.

“Or maybe there is something inside…” Shakira opened the tin, which contained…..a piece of paper that was obviously torn from something else, detailing part of the schematics for some type of machine, and an RF oscillator.

“So we only found part of whatever it is we’re looking for…..” Farrah sighed.

“I would have liked a full schematic and where to find the other parts”, Shakira said, pocketing the torn off paper and oscillator. “We must see if there is anything else in the newspaper clippings.”

Previously, Shakira had left her sonic screwdriver on the ground. This was now held by Strawberry, who was crawling along the sand on her knees with it in her mouth. She circled the other tree, paying close attention to its root system.

“Mmmghmghhhmmm!” She pointed with her arm stump to whatever it was that the sonic screwdriver had picked up, now getting the attention of the others. They rushed over and began digging around the oversized roots…to unearth a case panel for some variety of machine. It was large, black and had a semi-irregular arrangement of holes meant for various meters and controls.

“And we have…” Saghira began.

“Something we could need, but is no help at all right now!” Shakira finished.

“Maybe we should go home…and read the newspaper clippings…” Farrah sighed. Shakira straightened, her protective instincts awakening. “I think I have another healing reaction coming on.”

“Aww honey!” Strawberry hugged Farrah with her face and shoulders, after dropping the sonic back into Shakira’s hand. “You want me to carry you?”

She smiled, answering with “Sure”, and climbed onto Strawberry.

“I’m all legs, I know”, she said as they both giggled. Shakira and Saghira carried their findings for the day, carefully watching for any danger – vans, people, helicopters – in every possible hiding place. One they made it back to the TARDIS, excusing the panel as something needing recycling when asked by the bus driver, the doors were quickly locked to ensure a safe return  trip back to Kos III, and later Thera. Locking the doors was warranted, however, as they were being watched.

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