Chapter 1 – Trio of TARDIS
Summary: Part 1 of Project Gallifrey. A chance reunion on Nebati-16 throws the TARDIS trio into a whirlwind of adventure, danger, and mystery. Just what is the Katseye diamond, and why is the Larias family mob so keen to kill for it? And with a price on their heads, will Glitz and Mel survive to learn the answer?
Notes: Standard obligation copyright denial, I do not own these characters no matter how much liberty I take at making them my own. They belong to the Beeb and the world of Doctor Who. The system of Nebati and its inhabitants, HOWEVER, are of my own design. Use if you wish, but do let me know.
This story was written ages ago but taken down when I discovered, to my great disappointment, that it had veered in a horribly ugly tangent away from my initial goal. With GREAT help from Emery Board (she's on A Teaspoon and an Open Mind - READ HER STORIES, for Rassilon's sake, especially Mistress of Dread and her For The Grace of God series, and REVIEW HEAVILY if you're a member there. You won't be disappointed.) I've gotten back on track, AND I've improved on this story. The ending will blow your minds.
So without further adeu, I give you Glitz and Glamour. Chapter posting will be bi-weekly, I hope. Ten in all.
Review or I let the Weevils, Wraith, Daleks, and Ori eat your souls. -smiles sweetly-
It was only just dawn in the desert-situated spaceport Denabi on the planet Nebati-16. It was dedicated Nebati-16 for the rather obvious reason that it was the sixteenth planet in that solar system to be colonized. Earth workmanship being what it was, all the Terrans who built the place considered it a testament to the human will to survive that they didn't all pack up and move to Orion.
Everyone else considered it a typical example of human bloody-minded stubbornness.
Despite the early hour, though, Denabi did a brisk trade. Controlled by what could be considered the local mob, it was the last refuge of the desperate, the wanted, and the dregs of society's galaxy wide. Only someone with nowhere else to go –or shady business deals to conduct –would go anywhere near the place. Which was, of course, why it was one of the most popular choices for businessmen the universe over.
Shuttles whirred past overhead as they angled in for a landing, or started up their variously powered engines in preparation for takeoff. The hiss of docking clamps and the clank of mechanical parts grinding was almost deafening, but the buzz of the trading post and market not far from the landing pads still managed to drown it out. It was no small wonder that, at that hour in the wee birth of dawn, the wheezing, methodical groan that scraped through the air went unnoticed. Nor was it noticed by the passers-by that, accompanying this sound, a battered old blue box had materialized out of thin air, nestling itself comfortably between the shelter of two stone metal scrap shops, the light on top finally dimming as the noise ceased.
The door to the so-labeled "Police Public Call Box" clicked and pulled open inward, and a man stepped from its interior, casting a momentarily wary look about the area before beaming brightly and glancing back into the blue box.
"S'alright, come on out you two! Nothing harm-intending to gnaw your ankles off; Well, nothing nearby anyways."
The man shoved his hands into the pockets of his trousers. Anyone looking at him would have said he was a fairly ordinary Terran, even if his taste in clothes were slightly unusual.
Appearances were deceptive, however; the Doctor was anything but human – in fact, he held the undesired title of being the last Time Lord from the planet of Gallifrey, destroyed in the last great Time War. That was several lifetimes behind him now, and his newest regeneration had been given vigor not seen or felt since his days in the Academy. Bright brown eyes matched his lightly-tanned and freckled skin, and the mop of dark chocolate hair on his head seemed invulnerable to the taming effects of a good comb. He was wearing a navy suit, faintly pinstriped with gray, over a collared white shirt, and a maroon tie was looped loosely around his neck. Over this, a khaki duster was shrugged, and he was practically bouncing with excitement in the old beige and red trainers that completed the ensemble as he waited impatiently.
Next from the door stepped a young woman, her mocha skin and dark brown eyes clearly pointing her out as not a local girl. Martha Jones was as human as the Doctor looked, but again, there was more to her than that. She was, in fact, a medical student from the Mars settlement Maris-Omega around the year 3096. She had joined (see 'stowed away') the Doctor's company after an incident (see 'all-out war involving the fate of civilization') at the University concerning a native reptilian race known as the Ic'r Wa'rios – better known, to the everyday galactic explorer, as the Ice Warriors. Her dark hair was pulled back in a rough ponytail and she sported a pair of dark gray trousers, semi-heeled black boots, and a low-cut blue top. She squinted almost in disbelief at the musty surroundings as she stepped out onto the sandy cobblestone street, giving her maroon faux-leather jacket a tug to settle it on her shoulders.
"Doctor, I hate to repeat myself incessantly..." She drawled, her voice somewhat lilted with an east-end London accent, though not strongly so. "But it is rather hard to follow you two when you start babbling nonsense, so why, again, are we stopping off in…what'd you call this place?"
"This is the spaceport settlement Denabi, on the planet Nebati-16 in the Phoenix Galaxy, approximately five-thousand years in your future." the Doctor repeated with a small flourish of pride. "And we, Miss Martha Jones, are on a scavenger hunt!" He flashed a megawatt smile at her hopefully, but it faded as she didn't catch on his enthusiasm. Martha merely raised an eyebrow.
"A scavenger hunt," She repeated disbelievingly. "Really Doctor…"
The Doctor sighed exasperatedly. "Really Martha," He mimicked. "We're scavenging up a few new replacement bits for the TARDIS. Wouldn't want to wake up one morning with the gravity gone and find yourself floating two meters above your bed now, would you? Now, where'd I put..." He pulled his hands out of his pockets and rifled through his coat for something as another, slightly older man stepped out of the TARDIS doors, and shut them tight.
"If you're looking for the list, I have it, Doctor." The third member of their party assured him in a distinctly American accent and an amused smile, holding up a crumpled bit of paper folded between his fingers. "I didn't want it to get lost in those dimensionally-transcendental pockets of yours."
This roguish fellow was Captain Jack Harkness, a renegade Time Agent from the Fifty-First Century, later project leader of Torchwood in the Twenty-First. His hair was somewhat shorter and well-managed then the Doctor's scruff, dark in color, but his eyes were a brilliant sapphire blue. He, unlike his companions, blended into the local color, wearing a brown pilot's vest over a white tunic and cream-colored pants, under what looked like a trench-coat pulled right out of World-War-Two.
"Ah, Jack, thank you." The Doctor stopped rummaging, looking slightly embarrassed for a moment. "Right, off we go! Let's see if this 'backwater lump of rock', as you so eloquently put it earlier Doctor Jones, indeed does have the parts we're looking for." He turned on his toes and strode out confidently into the crowds. Martha shot Jack a bemused look that plainly said here we go again, and trotted after the errant Time Lord.
Jack gave a chuckle and started after them, but the trained eye could see he wasn't as relaxed as his two traveling companions. His body was tense, movements sharp, checking out every available escape route. Denabi had always given him an uncomfortable edge. The last time he'd been there hadn't exactly gone off without a hitch. Hopefully, this time, nothing would go wrong.