Thursday, 8 July 2010

A little something extra..

Ok, so it's been a while. Life getting in the way and what have you. However...I'm back! Don't all cheer at once please, the sound is deafening. So, while I'm here, I thought that I'd post up a prelude (of sorts) on this here blog. It's already available on the rather splendid Gallifrey Base forums, but I thought I'd plant it down here too.

It was originally written a couple of years back as little bit of whimsy, but it seems quite a fitting little tale to ease into the 'Consequences' series proper (which shall begin in about three weeks from now - or earlier if humanly possible).

So here, for your delectation, is:

Butterfly Ripples

The night air was cold, but not unpleasantly so. It was still fit for walking, soaking in the night air, watching the world by moonlight. Occasionally stars flitted in the heavens, making their presence more obvious to the discerning eye. More often they would just sit, as if hung, looking down as others looked up.

The garden was locked. Dusk, the sign said, or nearest offer. And so it was calm, peaceful in the steady glow of the moon, the breeze gently blowing the grass and the leaves.

Yet, it was not completely silent, aside from the birds’ infrequent night-time song, as two voices played above their noise, carried on the air.

The two of them had arrived after dark had set in, waiting until all was quiet and no one was around to witness them. It was a brief sojourn, something that they hadn’t had time for of late, yet which now was necessary.

“You see, we don’t need daylight to appreciate this place. We can soak up the atmosphere just as well now.” The voice’s owner peered around the garden, trying hard not to appear to squint at the flowers.

“Well, at least no one has to see your coat!” The other voice was female, and seemed grateful just to be afforded the opportunity to recuperate, no hint of weariness or inquisition now.

The male figure didn’t answer straight away, too busy sniffing what he supposed was a rhododendron. Then, realisation hit him. “My dear Peri, this coat is one of the finest of its kind. Quite a fashion leader on Altron 4!”

Peri looked over at her companion. “Why don’t I believe you Doctor?”

The Doctor smiled. “Well, I’m sure it is…somewhere. Besides, I thought you wanted to explore this place, not spend the entire time berating my dress sense!”

“Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”

The Doctor looked mock-sternly at her. “And why doesn’t that surprise me?”

Peri had already begun to examine the flora and fauna with close scrutiny, glad that she could still identify them all. At least something’s still intact, she thought to herself.

As she thought, her mind wandered, playing around with various ideas she’d been told, ideas about time travel. Was it possible? If so how? And didn’t it…She knew that she had better ask the Doctor.

She looked around for him, noticing his multicoloured nightmare coat disappearing behind an oak tree, towards a patch of aspidistra. She felt an odd sensation in the pit of her stomach: Like someone walking over your grave, she thought grimly.

The Doctor called her. “Peri? Are you still there?”

She could have sworn that was the old…no, he died, she saw it. And any worries she had were dissipated when she passed the tree herself. The curly hair, the less trim figure.

“Doctor, I was wondering...”

The Doctor looked up from his examination of a fallen leaf. “It’s what you seem to do best...”

Peri wasn’t sure if there was a sarcastic edge to his voice, but she continued unabated. “Well, the whole business of travelling in time. Don’t we upset things by becoming involved?”

The Doctor stood to his full height, more to reassure Peri than anything else. “Peri, the universe is so delicate. What we do in the past has already taken place somewhere else.” He realised that what he had said hadn’t made complete sense, something which manifested itself in the look of vexation on his companion’s face. “Well, to put it more simply…say for example that you wanted to stop World War 2.”

“Okay, say I did. But that’s a big task.”

“Well, maybe it’s a bad example, but the idea is that by trying to stop the war, you actually become a part of the cause.”

Peri nodded. “That much I gathered. But what about going back in time? Say if I picked a flower here – would it have any effect on another event?”

“In the future? No. It can’t. I mean the future is already set. What you do merely becomes a part of it. Like trying to stop the war.”

Peri shook her head. “I don’t understand. That means we do affect it! Doesn’t it?”

The Doctor made to speak, paused, tried again, then sighed. “I don’t know. I still don’t fully understand the laws of time. Should have paid more attention when I was younger I suppose…”

Peri laughed. “You have no idea! As usual!”

The Doctor turned on his heels to face her. “I find that very hurtful!”

“Well,” said Peri, “maybe this’ll make it up.” She leant towards a carnation and pulled one out of the ground. “Here,” she gestured towards the Doctor, “something for your buttonhole.”

He took it, and wore it proudly, before holding out his arm. “Perpugilliam, I think we need a holiday. How about a leisure planet? Plenty to choose from.”

She took his arm. “Okay, but on one condition?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows.

“Never call me Perpugilliam again.”

As they began to walk back the way they had come, the night air caught a few of their words, the Doctor muttering something about revenge for the hurtful remark, as Peri stared up into the sky and up at the stars.

Far away and in time past, a small planet with caves of glass paid host to two guests.

The female slipped, falling into something soft and cobweb like, a giant ball of sticky fur. Her shriek alerted the other, as her mind begin to wonder. I don’t want to meet what made that, she thought.

As the male pulled her clear, she looked down at the portion of it covering her legs. “What is it?” she asked as she attempted to brush it off. Only her hand wouldn’t move. It froze involuntarily, not making it anyway near her legs.

The male brushed it away, pausing to raise a finger to his nose. “It’s not edible, by the smell of it. It’s probably quite harmless.”

And then her hand was free again. A simple moment of fear perhaps; nothing more. She shrugged it off, forgetting the incident – a small insignificant event – and hurried after him.

Though one question did run through her mind, as it had since she’d met him.

What’s with the celery?

Surely, he’d prefer a carnation…

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