Author: CosmicSyzygy PM
The Doctor has travelled near and far through all of time and space. Now he takes his companions on a journey beyond reality itself, where virtually anything can happen!Rated: Fiction K - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Words: 1,462 - Published: 10-31-12 - id: 8660046
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Vwoooooooooorp, vwoooooooooooooorp, vwoooooooooooooooooorp….
A strange blue box began to materialise in the middle of a crowded shopping centre. The air swirled about, causing the sound of rustling papers to the ears of all around. Blue lights glowed around the top of what could now be made out to be a Police Public Call Box. An unusual sight, yes, but the people all around it continued to go about their shopping, unalarmed and without a second thought.
Barely a minute later, the doors of this curious Police Box swung open and four people stepped out and observed their surroundings, from the high glass ceiling to the shoppers rushing past them with their bags full of bright packaging. The small girl out of the four spoke first.
"What is this place? The future?"
"Yes! Well, technically, the future is a time, not a place, but yes, this is the future! Well, your future, anyway. Not so much mine. That's a bit more complicated!"
The other three in the group rolled their eyes as they began to walk toward the nearby kiosks.
"Yeah, tell you more about it later, I guess…" The Doctor finished.
The human trio found themselves gathered around a kiosk where they witnessed the strange spectacle of a tiny mouse band performing a tiny polka tune. They had little instruments that seemed to perfectly fit their scale. Even their cymbals more closely resembled zills. A small group of children also gathered around the kiosk, pointing their pudgy fingers and begging their parents to buy them one.
"Are these… real?" enquired the tallest of the three companions, the intonation of his voice matching his confusion.
"Yep, we sell some of the best pedigreed performance pets in this part of the country!" the man in charge of the kiosk said in a loud, booming voice. "Barnum's! Just upstairs there and to the right! We keep the rest of the collection up there in the shop. Now you look like the sort of person who would be interested in an iguana that can do the samba!" The man behind the counter winked at him and then cunningly smiled at the three of them.
"Thanks, but no thanks…" said the small girl as they joined together in making equally puzzled faces and turned back to join the Doctor who had settled himself on a bench and was munching away at what appeared to be bright blue, orange, and purple popcorn from a small bag in his hand.
"Any questions?" he smiled smugly.
"Pedigreed performance pets?" the other girl asked him, the disgust in her voice evident.
"Ah, yes, that's 2063 for you! By the 70s, you'll see that they fall completely out of fashion! But yeah, now they're all the rage! The talking turtles are especially collectible!" He smiled to himself some more, rather satisfied with his knowledge of mid-21st century pop culture. He crunched his corn. His three companions continued to look at him with befuddlement.
"So those mice over there are real?" implored the small girl, still unbelieving.
"But of course they're real, Imogen! I can hear the tinkling of them playing their little folk tunes from all the way over here, and they're all flat! Oh, don't worry, it's just a little thing called genetic engineering. It'll be catching on soon enough for you."
"It's disgusting!" exclaimed the other girl. "How could people do that to animals?! It's so cruel!"
"Is it?" implored the Doctor, still looking somewhat amused.
"I don't suppose you've ever read The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Bianca? No, I don't suppose you have. Lovely place, we should really go sometime. Ah, but genetic engineering, whether or not you like it, will be what allows humanity to do incredible things in the future, and eventually colonise even the most distant stars in the universe! First, they'll be growing everyone new hearts and spleens! Wonderful thing for mankind! And then the next thing you know, they're making designer pets and curing the common cold! All this stuff is second nature to everyone else in here. Heck, I'll bet you that a quarter of all the people in here have 3 separate parents! See, it's normal!" He chuckled and threw a piece of purple popcorn into the air, catching it deftly with his mouth.
"Three parents…?" Imogen questioned, to the Doctor, and even more importantly, to herself.
"Yeah, I'd explain it all right now, mitochondria and all that jazz, but my mouth is getting a bit dry." The Doctor smacked his lips together in disapproval, jumped up from the bench, and threw the bag onto the ground in front of him. "Well then, let's see if there are any good drink places about!"
"Doctor!" Bianca exclaimed, clearly disgusted again.
"What?" he asked her in response, innocently.
"Oh yes, that. No worries! See, they're coming along now! Excellent timing!"
What appeared to be a mechanical rubbish bin swerved from around the bench and found itself positioned over the popcorn bag. It stopped and suctioned the bag up with one quick plunger-like motion, and then swerved back across the floor to the line of other rubbish bins from whence it came.
"Drinks," the Doctor said, "are on me!"
Within a few minutes of wandering around the futuristic shopping centre, they came across a beverage kiosk called Cosmic Slush. The Doctor happily told them about the irony of the name, how he once toured Romania in the 102nd century with a travelling circus of mutant anteaters that was also called Cosmic Slush, all while he ordered the four of them a curious fizzy sort of concoction known on the menu as Black Midnight. It smelt of elderberries, but the flavour was more like a strange, delicious mixture of lemonade, black currant, and candy floss. They carried on.
"Don't drink so fast, Thom, or you'll get brain freeze all over again!" Bianca reminded the tall companion.
Imogen giggled slightly at the thought. "I'm sorry, but if that happens again like before, I don't think I could hold back the laughter this time!"
"It's strange," he said a minute later as he finished his slush, "but I was actually chugging that pretty quickly at first there, and I didn't get any brain freeze at all."
"That is unusual for you…" said Bianca.
The Doctor smiled to himself again as the three turned their heads slowly towards him.
"You're just oh-so-pleased with yourself today, aren't you? All nice and smug? " Bianca asked, slightly annoyed as is her usual manner. "Let me guess. Genetic engineering has found a way to cure brain freezes?"
"Of course not! That's preposterous!" he said very seriously, looking the three of them square in the eyes. And then he smiled and turned his back, leading them down alongside another row of shops filled with unrecognisable advanced electronics, clothing made entirely of paper, and whimsical spinning Christmas trees that played cheerful Christmas songs. The Doctor briefly shuddered at the sight. Barnum's had singing lobsters in its front window, and next door to it was a shop filled with nothing but hoops. It was correctly named Hoop-lah, but any reason for the hoops was not visibly evident.
They stopped together near a fountain filled with goldfish. The Doctor dipped his bare feet in. Imogen used this rare opportunity of a break in the Doctor's rambling to ask a question that's been bothering her since they arrived.
"So Doctor, it's pretty cool and all, walking around a shopping centre in the future, but is there any particular reason you brought us here?"
"Hm, no, not really. In fact, I didn't actually plan this. This was more of the TARDIS' idea, but I'm not complaining! 2063 is a fun year. Not exactly sure where we are, though, other than in England…"
"We're in Watford," Thom said.
"How do you know that? Even I don't know that!" the Doctor said, looking rather surprised and slightly suspicious. He looked him over examiningly.
"Doesn't take Sherlock Holmes. It says so all about the place. By the doors, on the maps, posters. Even on that fountain you're sitting on." The Doctor looked down on the surface he was sitting on, and sure enough, it had Watford written in large blue letters.
"Well then," the Doctor said in an almost embarrassed, yet too-proud-to-admit-it fashion, "Let's continue on and seek our adventure!" He pulled his socks back up over his wet feet.
"I get scared when he says that word," Imogen whispered to Bianca.
"Did I ever actually tell you about my good friend Sherlock? I once helped him solve this case he was having some trouble with. You see, it started off with quite a curious want-ad for only red-haired men…" The Doctor rambled on.