Saturday, 11 December 2010

A World Without Angels - Part 1

So, a split finale! This here is part 1, and part 2 should follow on Wednesday, so I hope you enjoy this first part. After that, next weekend (or maybe a little later) will be the Xmas Special, which should be good fun and also will set things in motion for series 3...but more on that later.

For now enjoy the 11th Doctor and Amy, and come back for part 2....

A World Without Angels

    "Night's coming. The sun's gone, no clouds. Look at the stars, out in force tonight. But you're not here anymore. No one but me." He looked out at the sky with his one good eye, a look of sorrow crossing his face, mirroring the thoughts running through his mind at that moment. "I should have got in the way, should have saved you. At least I would have lived. Probably."
    He turned where he stood, away from the view out across the sea back in to a small pile of rocks marking what seemed to be a grave. The best he could do. A tear trickled down his cheek as he knelt to the ground, touching it with reverence. He barely held back further tears as he spoke. "Goodbye, Amy Pond."


12 Hours Earlier
    Everything was calm. All around the sea was still, the wind a gentle breeze. The storm had passed, the danger disappearing into a crack in time, forgotten. The journey out of the ship had been simplicity itself comparing to surviving amongst killers who almost defied logic.
    River stood, watching the Doctor comfort Amy, reassuring her that everything was fine now. River knew that no matter how calm things seemed there was always something that could potentially go wrong; especially if the Doctor was involved. She looked down at her wrists, trapped once more within the bonds of confinement. It could be freedom this time, she knew that. Yet, since the Angels had disappeared without a trace, would anyone know what had happened? Would they assume she had crashed the ship in an attempt to escape? Probably not, but she could never be sure.
    It was then that the plan began to formulate in her mind. He'd forgive her – he always had. And she'd wouldn't strand him here indefinitely – she couldn't; her own past depended on him. She watched in her periphery as he approached her, all the while thinking of the exact moment it had to be done.
    She glanced at him, then continued to look straight ahead. "" she raised her arms and looked to him, "handcuffs...must it always end this way?" She smiled playfully at him, noticing the smile on his own face.
    He leaned in. "What now?" He moved in front of River, his back to her momentarily.
    "Prison ship's in orbit. They'll beam me up any second. Which is why I've got to do this now." She reached forward, hands still bound, and plucked the sonic screwdriver from his pocket. Before he could object, she deftly released the catches on the handcuffs, placed them on the Doctor, and watched as he and the guard assigned to escort her were teleported away. 
    As he disappeared, she couldn't tell if it was a look of annoyance or amusement on his face. "Sorry sweetie, but I'll be back before you know it. And so will you."
    Whether he heard or not she wasn't sure, but the Doctor's departing cry of "Amy!" immediately alerted his companion to the situation.
    River was already running, Amy trying her best to keep up but falling behind. The situation on the Byzantium had drained her both mentally and physically, and she had little energy left. She watched helplessly as the older woman reached the TARDIS, clicking her fingers to open the doors.
    "River, wait! What are you doing?"
    River turned in the doorway. "Don't worry. Everything will be fine. At the moment there's something very wrong with the Doctor's timeline, and since I know he won't do anything about it, I have to."
    Amy was about to respond, but didn't get a chance before River continued. "And before you say you'll come, I can't let you. I can't tell you either, but you'll have to trust me." Amy watched as River closed the door and the TARDIS dematerialised soundlessly.
    "What choice have I got?" she said to herself, the solitary figure on the now deserted beach.


    The Doctor whirled around, dizzied by the effects of the teleportation device. "No, no, no, no, no, NO! Where am I, who are you and where is Amy? And River? And...and...." He tapped the side of his head, thinking. "It'll come to me, give it a minute. The old synapses tend to get a bit scrambled TARDIS! See, told you it'd come to me. The old synapses tend to..." He paused. "Did I just say that?"
    The cleric next to the Doctor looked slightly puzzled. "Say what sir?"
    The Doctor waved a hand around to dismiss the issue. "That's not the point. The point is why am I here? I'm presuming you meant to pick up Doctor Song, and if I'm not mistaken last time I looked I wasn't female. Unless I've regenerated again. Oh no, surely not. No, wait," his hand reached up to his face. "Ah, there it is, nice prominent chin. Still me!" He whirled around. "No, sorry. Distracted again, but more importantly I need to get back down to that planet. I need to get Amy away from there and that needs to happen now. So, zap me back down there and we'll forget all about it."
    The Doctor gave a short smile at the cleric, proffering his bound wrists. Yet, the cleric seemed unwilling to move, expressionless, simply staring at the Doctor. The Doctor waved his hands as best he could in front of the cleric's face, but no movement was forthcoming. He walked towards him, all around and prodded the man hard in the chest.
    Still no reaction.
    "Now, that is very interesting. And a little bit scary. Not a stasis field, I'd feel it. Some kind of time bubble? Perhaps, but why here? Why now? Is it some kind of residue from the crack or something far worse in fact and..." He stopped, suddenly realising that no one was there to listen. "This, Amy Pond, is why I need you around. If I start talking to myself I'm going to start going a little bit cuckoo and me plus bonkers isn't a good combination, so first things first. How do I get off this ship?"
    From nowhere, yet all around, came the sound of laughter. Not mocking or harsh, but a familiar gentle chuckle that the Doctor recognised all too well. The Doctor turned, and the source became readily apparent.
    In a wall was set a small screen on which was the face of an old man. Receding white hair and an aristocratic brow almost looked down at him, or would have had the screen been placed higher.      
    "So my boy, you've ended up here! Not where you should be, not where you should be at all!"
    The Doctor looked at himself, remembering how young he'd once been. "Now anytime I see me there's always some terrible danger so you showing up here is really very not good. Where are you broadcasting from?" He paused. "That's assuming you're not a recording, but then the time fluctuation here would seem to indicate that that's not possible, so..."
    The other Doctor coughed. "When you've quite finished! Where I am is of little importance at the present, but it'll all become clear in time. Your friend here has a message for It's all very confusing!"
    The Doctor raised his hands. "Yes, and I'm still in handcuffs! Tied up, stuck on a ship circling a planet that up until a couple of hours ago was full of rampaging statues, and now trapped in the middle of some time distortion! How is this getting any better any time soon?"
    He'd been unaware of the change on the screen, his younger self moving aside to reveal another figure. The one who'd seemingly trapped him in this situation.
    "Sorry sweetie! But trust me, there's a very good reason that I did what I did. Hold still." She pointed the sonic screwdriver – his sonic screwdriver – at the screen. Not wanting to question exactly how it had happened but grateful all the same, the Doctor nodded his thanks as the cuffs fell away from his wrists.
    "River! Where exactly are you? I thought this was your way off Alfava Metraxis, and now you're, what, on the other side of the galaxy?"
    She smiled at him, that same smile that seemed to somehow pierce through any hostility he could possibly have towards her. "Oh, much further than that. Can't say any more now though..."
    He waved his hands in irritation. "Yes, spoilers, I know. But why are you contacting me? You've trapped me up here for a reason."
    "So that I could send you this message of course." Her face turned from playful to serious in the blink of an eye. "When the time bubble bursts you'll have seconds to use the teleport to get back to the planet. I can tell you two things and two things only."
    The Doctor gesticulated. "Well hurry it up then. I know what these things are like! Get. To. The. Point."
    River raised an eyebrow. "Alright, keep you bow tie on! So, first of all remember that it will get better, but before it does it's going to get worse. A lot worse."
    "Right, worse then better. Ok, I can do that. What else?"
    River turned, looking behind her. "They're coming. But it's imperative that you stop them, make sure you count..." 
    With no warning at all, she seemed to disappear. Her and the other Doctor. No one was on the other end of the communication link, just a background of some kind of corridor. Yet in the background the Doctor was sure he could see...He cut the link quickly, dashed over to the still static cleric.
    Just managing to wrestle the teleport controls from the man's grasp, the Doctor closed his eyes and pressed a button.
    And vanished.


    Amy looked around at the deserted beach. No Doctor. No TARDIS. No River. She picked up a stone, skimming it across the water like she had as a child. Then another, and another, though the novelty had worn off by the time number four was picked ready for throwing. She dropped it back to the ground, cursing under her breath. 
    Looking up at the sky she noticed darkness beginning to creep into daylight. "C'mon Doctor! If you're not back here on the count of 5 then..." She stopped, realising that there was nothing she could say that would have any resonance, any real worth.
    She kicked the stones under her feet, holding back the urge to cry. All that she'd been through and now she was here, deserted on some alien world while the Doctor and his 'wife' were off on some jaunt. 
    It was then that she saw it, above her head. Fire streaking, setting the heavens ablaze. Amy wondered if it could be a meteorite or a comet, but the rate and shape of its descent didn't ring true with that theory. She'd not seen enough of them to be certain, but she was fairly sure it was some kind of spacecraft.
    "Whoever it is, they're going to need help, and since I'm all ALONE," she looked to where the Doctor had been minutes ago, "I'll have to do it by myself." She just stopped short of imitating the Doctor's "Come along Pond!" realising that that way lay a step closer to madness. 
    The encroaching darkness made it hard to find a safe path to where the ship was headed, as did the sulphurous air. Suddenly, and with an almighty noise, it made its presence on the planet felt, green-tinged smoke billowing up from where it had crashed.
    Amy pressed on, eager to arrive at the site and assist in any way she could. If she'd learnt anything in her short time travelling with the Doctor it was that wherever she went there was always someone in need of help. It didn't concern her that she could be walking into danger; she had no qualms whatsoever. Was she too trusting? She certainly wasn't naive. All those years waiting for him saw to that.
    As she drew nearer to the crashed ship the smoke became thicker, clogging her lungs, forcing her to use the sleeve of her top to try to breathe through. She shielded her eyes as best she could, the fumes stinging her eyes causing tears to fall in an attempt to clear the dust from them.
    The wreckage was becoming clearer, though Amy wasn't sure exactly what it was the remains of. It looked like...but it couldn't have been...could it? She shook her head, and the image before her eyes seemed to change, as if she'd not really seen the true form of the craft. Now it looked nothing like she'd ever seen before; battered metal, the exact shape of which she couldn't discern through the flames. She could see that a door appeared to, not a door. It seemed that the craft had been ripped open upon impact, the metal pulled apart like a tin of sardines.
    "Hello!" Amy shouted in the hole. "Is anyone alive in there?" Gingerly, she inched further forward, peering into the blackness of the ship. For a second, she swore she saw the image of a woman, slightly older than herself with dark hair, reaching out to her. In a moment she was gone.
    "Ghosts now Pond? C'mon, pull yourself together girl!" She attempted to reassure herself, but while outwardly she may have appeared her usual fiery self, inside she was scared. Her mind raced back to the Doctor, to him vanishing, to the TARDIS. None of these memories were of much comfort; she was still alone, with no apparent way off this planet. Then she thought of him, of Rory, and she smiled. Her breathing calmed, her resolve strengthened. Under her breath she muttered, "I'll coming back for you Rory Williams. We've got ourselves a wedding to have!" With that, she stepped into the darkness.


    The Doctor pivoted on one foot, spinning three hundred and sixty degrees. "...and this isn't Alfava Metraxis. So where is it? Can't trust this nasty 51st Century technology, full and bugs and glitches and...hello..." He stared at the clock on the wall. "Now that is not a piece of 51st Century technology, rather," he walked over to it, drawing in a deep breath, "early 21st century. So either someone is rather fond of antiques or somehow that time bubble has sent me back in time. Marvellous!" 
    A roaring fire was ablaze in a rather ornate looking hearth, two plush armchairs adjacent to it. From one of the chairs rose a man who stared at the Doctor for a full minute, the Doctor returning the gaze, a somewhat puzzled look on his face. The man then stepped forward, offering a hand in greeting.
    "Apologies, Doctor, but I had to be sure it was you."
    The Doctor took his hand and shook it a little uncertainly. "Riiiiight. So, you know me, but I have no idea who you are, what you are, where I am, when I am – well, a little bit on that one, early 21st century?" The man shook his head. "In that case I'm completely at a loss. So, let's start at the beginning and work from there."
    The man smiled. "Doctor, there are far more pressing matters than the trivialities of who, where and when."
    The Doctor seemed affronted. "Well I rather like those 'trivialities'. I need to get my bearings, find out what's going on. It may not be important to you, but it is to me. So," the Doctor took a seat in the other armchair, "explain."
    The man stood up to his full height. "I can do better than that Doctor, I can show you. Observe." The man pointed to the clock the Doctor had been inspecting, the fascia now replaced with what appeared to be a small screen. The Doctor peering intently at it, recognising the figure of Amy immediately. She seemed to be in a hurry, following a trail of dense black smoke that concealed her exact movements.
    "Doctor, Miss Pond needs to be stopped. If she enters that ship..."
    The Doctor turned away from the screen to stare expectantly at his companion in the room. "Yes? What if she enters that ship? What if she goes inside in an attempt to help any fallen or wounded?" And then he understood. "But how can you know what'll happen? You'd need some kind of prognostication device, some way to navigate the timelines to see all possible outcomes and...that's exactly what you've got, isn't it?"
    The man nodded slowly, no sense of victory or pleasure in his action. Before he or the Doctor could speak came the noise. Soft at first, but building gradually. It came from the screen, like a heartbeat only harsher, more metallic.
    The Doctor whirled round in horror. "No, no, not there, not now." He grabbed the man by the shoulders. "With all this power you have, you must be able to get me back there and you need to do it now. Amy Pond is about to walk into an ambush."
    The man put a hand out to silence any further words from the Time Lord's lips. "Of course I can, but you see you may not get there in time. It's a calculated risk Doctor, and there are those who will attempt to prevent it."
    "Haha! They've got no chance! I'm the Oncoming Storm; who's going to get in the way of that?"
    The man shook his head, reached over the Doctor and pressed a button set into the arm of his chair. "For your sake and for hers, I hope no one will. But be warned, this might not have a happy ending."
    The Doctor smiled. "Oh it will, and I'll make sure of that. Any trolls to be vanquished, I'm your m...." And with that he disappeared.
    The man looked wistfully at the space the other had occupied. "Good luck Doctor, the universe is counting on you."





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