Title: The Future in Sepia
Summary: Martha has seen the future. "Human Nature" ficlet.
Spoilers: "Human Nature". Obviously.
The Future in Sepia
Martha has seen the future, a sepia picture of mud, death and wire. It
horrified her when she was little, an old-fashioned vision of Hell. It
horrifies her now, bacteria in trench mud eating away at feet, lungs
consumed by mustard gas, a generation of men crushed by a machine they
But she's starting to get used to the idea.
vicar leads his congregation in prayers for the future honour of
England, and the men in the pub sing rousing songs about courage and
And she's getting quite accustomed to looking at the
people around her and guessing where they'll end up. The Headmaster,
for example, who looks through her like she's glass, might lead a unit
of boys into barbed wire and mines. The sports master, who has
wandering hands and an eye for isolated corners, could be gassed and
crippled. Hutchinson might lose limbs, and Baines an eye, or the other
A doctor shouldn't think this way.
to church every Sunday, and sits in the pews with the rest of the
servants, and prays that they'll survive. She hopes she means it.
Logically, they're not going to die simply because she hates them, but
she's seen the future.
She looks up at the altar, mouthing the
thundering hymn with everyone else. She can see him near the front, a
slim figure in black. He's singing with the rest of them.
can picture it all too clearly, John Smith dying in the trenches. It
tore her apart at first, but she's learning not to care.
And that's the most terrifying thing of all.