A.N: I can't describe how terribly sorry I am that it has been three quarters of a year since I've updated this, but let me do my best to explain.
First off it was simply a matter
of knowing where the story had to go and not being sure how to get it
there. Then, around the time I was beginning to put the first ideas
for the next bit out and get them written down and out to you, an
incident happened online, in which a person whom I had assumed was a
friend stabbed me in the back in the most appalling way possible. For
a while I couldn't even look at a computer, let alone consider
returning to this.
As the months went by, things slowly became better, I could get back on the computer, and although there are now parts of the Internet I still cannot go near, I was slowly getting better.
Eventually I came back with a smaller piece Gyroscope, which was in a way a release of my own. Then the demons came back to haunt me.
It wasn't until October that I was able to consider touching this again, but this time I decided a different angle and began a companion piece to The Greatest Summer etc. which I recall someone asking for over a year ago, that is the story of how the characters in the Pathways series came to be. It's still not quite up to scratch, but it's become my pet, and I will be publishing it extremely soon as the majority of its plot is crucial to understanding what happens next in this epic. Details will be up with the next chapter.
Regardless, I unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately hit a brick wall with that story too, one which I am hoping to sort out with a trip down south we are heading out for today, and thus decided that it was time to let Josie and the gang have free reign in my head once more. So I went through the entire collective amount of material and readjusted the continuality, changed a large number of conversations, dates, and the like. I strongly suggest that it may be wise to go back and re-read The Greatest Summer before continuing onto this one. But after nearly eight discarded drafts, and half a year of trouble with it, I've finally been able to write this scene out. If you notice the difference in tone, style, I apologise, but the person who pinned the rest of this series has changed, and this is what has come from it.
So now, I wish you a Happy and Safe New Year's and hope to see you again soon,
13 In a Million, Chapter 8.
Over the Moon
"Come on, you lot!" The Doctor called out to the quarrelling quartet lagging behind.
"All right! Don't get your knickers in a knot!" Josie retorted.
Her father simply rolled his eyes, turning to his wife, "Tunnel of love, dearest?"
Rose simply shuddered, "Not on your life!" Turning around, a glint came into her eye, "Now that is more like it! Move it!" And grasping his hand, she pulled him down the road towards the rollercoaster.
"Where did they go?" Anita asked,
turning away from her companions.
Senka sighed, "Fantastic. Now we've lost the elders."
Adrian simply rolled his eyes, "Phones?"
"And check." Adrian concluded, "Considering we've all got phones, is there any reason why we shouldn't go off and have a look around?"
"Apart from the fact that your parents will crucify us when they find us?" Anita snapped.
Josie grinned, "In other words, absolutely none. Come on!"
The four raced down the street towards the hyperdodgems, ducking and weaving past humans and aliens alike. Around them the lights of the park flashed every colour of the rainbow, mingling with the scents from the Vendor's carts and the raucous laughter from the throngs of people spiraling off into the night.
"Jack?" Lucy asked softly, placing a hand gently upon his arm.
Dragging his eyes away from the plexiglass window beside their table, he smiled slightly; "I'm sorry."
She chuckled to herself, "You've been as jumpy as a Mexican jumping bean all night! And that's saying something, Mr. I'm-so-smooth-nobody-can stop me…"
He laughed out loud, "As if you can speak, Ms. Trust-me-on-the-human-stuff-I'm-a-Doctor! "
Burying his head in his hands, he moaned, "We're just as bad as each other, aren't we?"
Her eyes glinting in merriment, she raised her glass in reply.
"Excuse me, sir?" A waiter questioned, coming up beside them, "Would you care for some of this evening's vintage?"
Quirking his eyebrow seductively at her, Jack replied, "What do you have going?"
Slightly miffed at the couple's antics, he replied stiffly, "A Rose Champagne, Vintage 2026. An excellent year, if I do say so myself."
Lucy grinned at him, "Rather fitting, don't you think?"
Returning the expression, he addressed the waiter, "The 2026 will be fine, thank you."
The time had come.
Now was the chance.
This would end NOW.IOIOIOIOI
The TARDIS was rather enjoying the peace and quiet of the evening. As much as she loved her family, there were times when a girl needed a night alone with the television. Or in her case the Time Streams. Metaphorically sighing, her attention turned momentarily to her unwelcome 'guest'.
She sensed it a second before it happened.
And she screamed.
"That was brilliant!" Senka exclaimed happily, "I am glad that I did not miss out on this!"
Josie suddenly stopped in the middle of the road, every single ounce of colour draining from her face
"What's wrong, Josie?" Anita asked, turning to their friend anxiously.
"The TARDIS." She breathed, before bolting back towards the ship.
"We should follow her!" Senka commented anxiously. The ground buckled beneath their feet.
They glanced at each other, dread filling their stomachs, and they sprinted off after their friend.
Jack sighed, placing his glass of
wine on the table, "It's just-I mean-It would-"
"Breathe!" She instructed, "You're worse than Senka."
He grinned wickedly, "He takes after me."
Her eyes glinted merrily, "I agree with that. You must have taught him most of his bad habits…"
He raised his hands in surrender, his heart beating slightly faster, "I guess that I owe you an apology then. Forgive me?"
Sighing, she leaned in closer to him, "Sadly, I cannot."
He paled slightly.
"Because the bad habits you've taught him will most likely end up saving his life one of these days." She concluded, placing a hand tenderly upon his cheek, "And for that I owe you a gratitude of thanks."
Feeling the knot of worry in his stomach abate slightly, he commented, "How about we just call it even?"
"Sounds like a plan to me."
The silence this time was a comfortable one. His eyes followed her as she gazed out the window, the Sea of Tranquility spread out below and Earth dominating the horizon, a blue-green tapestry across the orb's surface.
The waiter arrived at the table, silently refilling their wineglasses.
The ground lurched, sending everyone sprawling
"-You" he finished, stumbling to his feet and offering his hand to Lucy.
"I think that's our cue to leave, don't you think Dear?" She asked, her eyes glimmering with excitement.
He returned the grin, dropping a credit bar on the table to cover their meal as another tremor shook the room. "I believe you are right. Shall we?"
Together they raced for the elevator, startling the patrons exiting as they barged past them.
"Oh, and Jack?" Lucy said even as she pressed the button, "Yes."
"What on earth?" The Doctor demanded as the gangway shuddered violently.
Rose glared at him, "Don't you mean what on the moon?"
"It's a-" He stopped, "The TARDIS."
"What do you mean?"
He didn't reply, instead grabbing her hand and bolting down the last steps off the ride, pulling her desperately towards the TARDIS.
"Good God!" Senka shouted as he caught up with Josie, her slight frame silhouetted in the electrical blue light sizzling across the surface of the TARDIS.
"It's her. It's Stynn." She muttered, not truly to herself, "Stay back."
The glow intensified, and with a swallow, Josie stepped up to the ship, her own gold-tinged shield protecting her from the onslaught of raw power. Instinctively the others moved back.
"What the hell is she doing?" The Doctor demanded as he came sprinting up beside them, Rose less than a foot behind.
Adrian glared at his father, "Don't ask me! Looks like she's trying to help out the TARDIS! She said something about that Pakero Stynn…"
"Good God." The Doctor breathed, "She's trying to escape. The most advanced ship in Time and Space and she's trying to escape it. And Josie's trying to stop her. The Storm versus the nightmare…And no way of knowing which one is the greater terror…"
"What do you mean?" Jack demanded, his suit jacket flinging around him as he and Lucy arrived in a state of utter disarray, "That thing-?"
"-Is trying to break out of the TARDIS." The Doctor confirmed, his body tense as every crackle threw his face into stark relief.
"Can we help her?" Rose demanded, "Give her our strength like when-"
"No!" He snapped, "We touch her now and she looses concentration, we loose her. Full stop. End game. She and the TARDIS are fighting against a monster I should have-"
"THETA!" Rose shouted, bringing him out of his rant the only way she knew how. He turned to face her fully, anger pulsing through his body, "She. Is. My. Daughter. MY DAUGHTER! If you think that I'm willing to just lay back and drink maraltoff cocktails whilst she's battling some God-forsaken demon, you've got another thing bloody well coming to you!"
"THERE IS NOTHING ELSE WE CAN DO!" She shouted back, "Don't you think I want to help her? Don't you think I want to make sure our companion, ship, whatever you want to call the TARDIS today survives this battle for her life?"
"If you hadn't noticed, Josephine is fighting with her!"
"You said it yourself! There's nothing we can do! But I'm gonna tell you this, and I'm only going to tell you this once. SHE IS OUR DAUGHTER!" She shot back.
A desperate look replaced the anger on his face and they were clinging to each other, trying to fend off the tide of emotions that threatened to engulf them.
"What do we do now?" Anita asked, shielding her eyes as the light intensified.
Jack took a deep breath, "Now, we wait. And pray."
So near the completion of the Firssstt Kantu.
A blinding light tore through the TARDIS nearly blinding the group.