Blowing Smoke-part 1
Carrying the Doctor and a new companion, Kara, the Tardis flew through the space-time vortex. The ginger-haired seventeen-year-old watched in awe, staring at the Doctor as he dashed around the controls, pressing buttons and flipping switches. Her mind was not on watching him, however; it was on his mind, listening to his thoughts. Flying past faster than she could read, Kara could only pick up scraps of information as the Doctor's great mind thought and worked at the controls.
"Where are we going?" Kara asked. She had been given the Tardis tour, been given a bedroom, and had spent a few hours exploring all on her own. When she returned to the console room a minute or so earlier, the Doctor was flying the Tardis.
"Oh don't spoil the surprise, Kara!" the Doctor said, pausing a moment to run a hand through his spiky brown hair.
He's so…animated. Like a child, Kara thought to herself. He's brilliant though, I can't understand hardly anything that goes through his head. I wonder if he knows his mental shields are down. Her musings were interrupted by a jerk as the Tardis shook and then stopped. Kara fell onto her back and heard a thump as the Doctor did the same.
"Where are we?" She asked, getting to her feet and running one of her own hands through her long, red hair.
The Doctor grinned widely, "Why don't you go find out?"
Kara's grin mirrored his own and she dashed down to the Tardis doors and flung them open, stepping out into the sun. Squinting, Kara peered around as the Doctor strolled out behind her, closing the doors and enjoying her wonder.
The Tardis was sitting in the middle of an empty park. An enormous sign was strung between two trees reading, 'Make love, not war' and was painted in swirls of rainbow color. The trees were green and several daisy chains hung on the merry-go-round, woven through the spokes. A newspaper blew past and the Doctor read the front page, then showed it to Kara. It read November 29, 1963.
"We're in the past!" Kara exclaimed excitedly turning to him, eyes sparkling with delight. "We're in…the sixties? Oh my god we're in the nineteen sixties! It does travel in time!" She turned and flung her arms around the Doctor's neck, briefly hugging him before stopping to peer around some more. The Doctor's surprised look was lost upon her as she beamed with excitement. He dropped the newspaper and allowed it to once more blow in the wind as Kara peered around some more.
"Will we stand out then? I mean, we're a bit conspicuous don't you think?"
The Doctor grinned knowingly, "Go change in the wardrobe then, down the stairs fourth door on the right. Or at least that's where it was a few hours ago. Go on."
"Hang on," Kara asked, "Aren't you going to change?"
"Nah, I'll be fine in this. No one ever seems to notice."
Kara could see the amusement in his face, so she grinned again and dashed off to the wardrobe. She came back ten minutes later, delighted with her hippie get-up. Dressed in hip-huggers and a long flowing blouse with her hair unbound and a band around her head, Kara looked like an authentic flower child. She slid on a pair of circle-lenses sunglasses and peered over their rims at the Doctor.
"Peace brother," she said with a teasing grin.
"Groovy," the Doctor replied.
"Psychedelic," Kara said, giggling. "Don't harsh my mellow soul brother,"
"Don't do that," the Doctor said.
"Your vibes are wigging me out man!" Kara continued, laughing.
"No really don't," the Doctor told her. Kara rolled her eyes,
The Doctor grinned and put his hands in his pockets.
"Where are we going, then?" Kara asked.
"Have you ever wanted to meet the Beatles?" the Doctor countered. Kara's eyes widened to the size of saucers.
"Are you serious? We could go meet the Beatles?"
"Well they did release a very popular song today. Just came out. I believe it was….yeah, it was I Want to Hold Your Hand."
"Do you really?" Kara asked innocently,
"Do I what?" he replied, puzzled.
"Never mind," she rolled her eyes and grabbed his arm, "Point me to the Beatles, Doctor."
He grinned and began walking, hands in pockets. Kara skipped after him, before matching his pace, arms swinging by her sides as she looked around. They walked for a while, just enjoying the scenery. It didn't take them long to figure out that the streets were empty and silent. Kara's grin slowly faded,
"Doctor, where is everyone?"
"I dunno, but this is 1963! There should be hippies and protesters and people everywhere! So the question is who or what is keeping them off the streets?"
"Lets ask someone then,"
"Ask who? There's no one around! Look, the streets are empty!"
Kara closed her eyes and spun around, arm outstretched. When she opened her eyes, she was pointing at a sweetshop.
"There!" she said, and she started forward, walking briskly to the sweetshop and opening the door so the little bell on it jingled. The Doctor hurried after, grinning widely,
"I knew I liked her."
Kara wiped her feet on the mat and looked around the sweetshop. It was a little place, containing a counter in front of a wall covered in sweet-filled jars. On the bottom shelves were chocolates and caramels, the third and fourth shelves were all hard candies, the fifth shelf was gum, and the top few contained jars of gummies and miscellaneous candies. On the counter was a jar holding a bunch of enormous lollipops, as well as a jar containing paper straws of colored sugar. The man behind the counter was a short, medium-built man with white hair and large glasses that magnified his eyes, making him look rather like a large owl.
"Hello," Kara said sweetly to the man, pulling out her wallet, "I'd like some chocolates please. How much are they?" Her smile was kind and the little man meekly returned the smile, muttering the price across the counter to her. Kara pointed out the kind she wanted, and began making conversation as the Doctor walked into the shop, then stood behind Kara.
"Nice day for November isn't it?" she asked in a friendly manner, "It's a surprise no one's out for a walk in this sort of weather, eh?"
The little man placed the white bag containing Kara's chocolates on the counter with a trembling hand.
"They're all too busy trying to get more feather dust," he said in a hushed tone, as though someone was listening.
"What dust?" the Doctor asked incredulously. The little man fell silent, eyeing the Doctor fearfully. Kara couldn't get clear thoughts from him but got the impression he thought the Doctor was a police officer.
"He's allright," Kara assured him, "He's my friend." The little man nodded and Kara fished a few pound notes from her wallet.
"It only just started coming, a few blokes had it and they offered everyone a sniff. Soon everyone wanted more. It made 'em feel good."
"Drugs," the Doctor muttered under his breath. Kara shot him a glare and pretended to fish for change while she asked the man,
"Why do they call it feather dust?" She placed a note on the counter, then sorted through the coins in her pocket, trying to find a coin from before 1963.
"'Cause it makes you feel like you're flying. Then there's this feeling, live you've jumped off a cliff and your stomach goes into your throat. There's this voice while you're falling, then you fall asleep after and wake up much later."
Kara handed him a few coins so she had exact change, then she took her bag and smiled,
"Thank you." She then turned and walked out, the Doctor following behind her.
"What'd you reckon's going on?"
"It's the sixties, Rose," Kara looked up,
"Right, sorry." His face tightened and Kara could see Rose's face in his memory before he saw her looking and raised barriers on his mind. The taste of his pain lingered on her tongue, and she put a chocolate on her tongue to erase the flavor. She offered him one, which he accepted.
"It's the sixties, Kara. Drugs are everywhere, it could be anything at all."
"Feather dust? That's not any drug slang I've ever heard, Doctor. And I went through enough of school to know the names."
"We should check it out then, drugs aren't illegal yet."
"So what, people can just go around and pick some up on a corner and no one'll care?"
"Pretty much, yeah. So, where do we buy drugs?"
"You're asking me? How should I know?"
"I ought to slap you."
"Please don't, I've had enough of that for this regeneration."
"Yeah, I regenerate, I get a new body when I get too hurt to fix it. Instead of dying, I just get a new body and personality."
"I was wondering how you got to be 903 years old."
"How did you know I was 903?"
"Hello? Telepathic. I saw it when I first got in."
"Stay out of my head, Kara."
"It's not my fault!"
"Never mind, lets just go find some feather dust."
Just then, a twig-thin teenager in a raggedy coat, his face covered in grime and with a few teeth missing tottered into the road.
"You're looking for feather dust then? Follow me, I know where you can get some."
"Funny," Kara remarked thoughtfully, under her breath so the teenager they were following obediently wouldn't hear, "I thought people on drugs were supposed to be really possessive of their dealer. So they could keep the stuff they're smoking to themselves."
"That is odd, yeah," the Doctor agreed, "But how else are we supposed to find out what's going on?"
"True," Kara acknowledged. So they followed the ragged boy through narrow alleys to a manhole cover, which he lifted easily and moved aside. The boy then beckoned to them and climbed down the hole. The Doctor went down next and Kara tried lifting the cover. It weighed a ton. No teenager she'd ever met that wasn't an athletic god would be able to lift the cover, especially not as easily as the skin-and-bones boy had. She climbed down the hole and the teenager climbed back up to pull the cover into place.
Kara whispered this thought to the Doctor, whom nodded. Something strange was definitely going on here, and both the Doctor and his companion were determined to find out what.