The view on the monitors was dark. Occasionally, a line of numbers scrolled past, faster than any human eye could have followed them. But mostly, it was dark. It was dark, in a sense, all the time. But then, 'all the time' is a relative concept. A lot can happen in a slice of time too infinitesimally small to be measured on any human scale. So, occasionally there was a burst of frenetic activity. But mainly, it was dark.
The monitors were mounted on the walls of the large, high room, facing in towards a central well, which was empty. Well, mostly it was empty. Occasionally, for an infinitely tiny period of time, it was more full than would have been possible if some very advanced trans-dimensional physics weren't being used.
If you'd stood in the middle of that empty central well for an hour, you would have been fine, on the whole. Bored, even. You would have stood there staring at the dark monitors, letting your eyes adjust to the gloom. You would have looked up at the huge glass domes still radiating a tiny amount of light, just enough to see by, and the enormous tall arched windows with their thousands of individual panes, and the curved marble walls and ceiling vaulting high above you and you'd have been impressed by the grandeur of the building but nothing more. You'd have tried to see out of the windows which are too tall for anyone of human stature to see anything from but the stars and the moons. You might have looked at those three blood-red moons for a while, appreciatively or apprehensively, depending on your temperament.
But in that hour, there would have been a single sliver of time. Let's round it up and say that it would have been one-hundredth of a second. In that sliver of time it would have seemed to you that all your senses were being hammered on at once. That, suddenly, the lights were too bright and too strangely coloured and the place was full of steaming, smelly bodies and there were angry shouting voices in a thousand languages you couldn't understand, and the monitors were alive with flickering numbers and letters and an image of a man in a tweed jacket bound hand and foot, and the thing would have been so overwhelmingly terrifying that you would have screamed out.
And found you were screaming in an empty, dark hall. You would have whirled around, sure that something terrible had just been done to you. Your heart would have been pounding, your pupils dilated, your skin prickling with terror. But the hall would still have been quiet, and empty, with only the thin grey light from the globes high above you and the blood-red moons outside the windows. There would have been nothing else to see, or touch, and no way to understand what had just happened to you. Unless, of course, you'd been able to slow down time. And then you would have seen something else entirely.
This is a preview of Doctor Who: Borrowed Time. Want to read on? Grab a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0051UT6A4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
YOU ARE READING
Doctor Who: Borrowed Time by Naomi A. Alderman (Preview)Science Fiction
WHATEVER YOU BORROW MUST BE REPAID... Andrew Brown never has enough time. No time to call his sister, or to prepare for that important presentation at the bank where he works. The train's late, the lift jams. If only he had just a little more time...