Title: "The Adventure of the Hopping Vampire," part 3 of 3
Author: David Hines
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005): Madame Vastra & Jenny
Wordcount: ~29,000 (full story)/ ~12,000 (this chapter)
Rating: Teen and up
Genre: Gen, mystery, horror, casefic
Warnings: action, violence (some of it gruesome), consent squickiness ("monster dubcon" is the closest I can come to describing it), and cliffhangers
Betas: Rheanna, Watersword
SOME OF OUR MORE IMAGINATIVE READERS INFORM US that the events of the past few days -- the grisly deaths, the tragic fire, the flying carriage that caused the egregious delays on the Metropolitan and District Railway -- are attributable to the fevered pursuit of a Chinese vampire, known in its native land as a jiang shi, by the adventuress detective Madame Vastra. These readers, whose persistent letters are beginning to become tiresome, claim that this is but one of many times Madame Vastra's unravelling of a mystery has saved all of an unknowing London.
We advise these peculiar devotees that we have yet again sought an audience with Madame Vastra, who, as ever, politely declines comment on any of the wilder rumors in circulation, but wishes it known that any unusual cases requiring investigation may be brought to her attention care of this newspaper.
In the course of her association with Madame Vastra, Jenny had learned that one should never be early to presume that one was in a bad situation. Very often, some small detail would have escaped notice, or some new development would come to light, or Madame would come up with a remarkable bit of clever talk. It was best, when things looked their darkest, to use a moment to take stock.
Jenny was locked in a small laboratory, where she was the prisoner of a titled noblewoman who was secretly a jiang shi, which was what the Chinese called their hopping vampires but which was really an alien slug riding in the noblewoman's skull. It had just murdered eight women in what Jenny supposed were attempts to fill their heads with more alien slugs. As far as Jenny could tell these efforts had been entire failures and at best had caused the would-be victims' heads to explode. Jenny was likely to meet a similar fate when the jiang shi and its loyal maid Kathleen made their way through the door. Even so, Jenny most sincerely hoped they did not stop trying to make their way to her. If they did they would probably notice that the late Mrs. Everard had wedged a chair against the hall closet door, at which point they would likely open the closet and discover Madame, unconscious and helpless.
Also, the house was surrounded by police who were likely at any moment to burst in shooting.
This is bad, Jenny thought, this is bad and could not be worse, and then she saw that Kathleen was coming with an axe.
Read the rest on AO3. First chapter is here. Second chapter is here. Comments welcome on AO3 or here.
Originally posted on my DW. | people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.