Hi dear readers!
A note about this story:
I invented Gambit Junction when I was fifteen, and tried to think up a story about it for the past five years. Then I thought: 'hey, why not let the Doctor and Rose go there?' So they do.
Hope you enjoy xx
Gambit JunctionChapter 1: Galactic Welcomes to Gambit Junction
"Gambit Junction?" Rose asked inquiringly as the TARDIS shook and shuddered around them. She held onto the console, pleased that the Doctor had asked her to help, holding down two glowing levers.
The Doctor was doing something that could only be described as a rain dance around the hexagonal console, hitting buttons with gusto, winding this up every now and again and cursing that when it didn't work. Rose was sure that a lot of TARDIS flying involved crossed fingers and a bit of good luck.
"Yeah, Gambit Junction!" he yelled over the noise. "Year 5674, at the height of its popularity. The busiest space station in the galaxy. Everyone comes through here: it joins all the trade routes, it's got a kind of airport for all the best holiday destinations, the best bars known to man or alien, and…" he paused, looking up at the time rotor with confusion and banging the console with his mallet, "…I think it's even got a little shop."
He grinned at her. "Brace yourself!" He twisted an ancient, bronze dial, and the TARDIS came to a sudden stop, knocking them both off their feet. Rose managed to grab hold of the captain's chair, but the Doctor was thrown across the room with a "Whoooooooooo!" of admiration for his wonderful ship. "Wow, some landing, girl!"
He ran over to his friend, his boundless energy expressed through that maniacal smile that was so contagious. Rose took his hand, beamed back at him, and the two of them headed for the door.
The atmosphere outside hit them immediately as they opened the door. The slightly heady scent of warm air, junk food, and spices, with just a hint of alcohol. The Doctor let Rose step out first, and she gasped at the view in front of her. She'd never seen anywhere as busy, eclectic and bizarre in her life.
The TARDIS had landed in a small cove on a balcony about two thirds of the way up the station (looking at the shape of it, Rose assumed it was similar in design to Satellite 5). She stepped to the edge of the balcony to look down. The flooring was metal grating, similar to the TARDIS, and metal handrails wove their way round every balcony on every level. The centre of the station was a wide-open space, which let Rose look down to the very bottom, her view interrupted every now and again by aerial walkways that crisscrossed across the open space. The air was heady, and Rose could see several small jets of steam erupting from the flooring on a few levels, adding a slight oily pungency to the atmosphere.
Rose looked straight across from where the TADRIS was. She had a feeling the Doctor had been joking about the 'little shop;' there was every kind of shop imaginable, not to mention so many market stalls she couldn't even count. The air was filled with an amalgamation of noises: calls from the market, loud discussions over maintenance, somewhere a baby crying, people haggling for appropriate prices, and a very fake female voice making announcements about interplanetary cruises. Not to mention several hovering television screens floating around the empty space, advertising every product imaginable.
Rose's smile never left her face as her senses took this all in, and the Doctor grinned at her. He loved this moment: when she saw something new for the first time. It was funny: seeing it through her eyes made the whole experience new and exciting, even for him.
Rose turned back to him. "This place is amazing!" she squeaked.
The Doctor laughed, and grabbed her hand to lead her around the balcony. "Thought you'd like it. Of course, it looses its charm if you're here for six nights every week like some of these traders."
"Yeah, but we're here for the tourism!"
As if on cue, one of the largest hovering television screens flickered into life, and a blue alien in an airhostess's outfit appeared in a grainy image:
"Galactic Welcomes to Gambit Junction, honoured guests. We hope your stay is enjoyable. Please feel free to stop by Tourist Information if you have any inquiries. Have a nice day."
Rose just stared at the screen. "Okay, that was weird."
The Doctor pulled on her hand to encourage her to keep moving. "Yeah, the screens kind of listen in. If they hear something that they have information about, they'll try to be helpful."
Rose shuddered. "That's creepy."
"No, they're just trying to help. You know, every little helps, Rose. Don't you watch the Tesco ads?"
Rose rolled her eyes, and then found herself being pulled along at top speed towards a circular floor tile that hovered next to a gap in the railings. Rose gulped as the Doctor stepped onto it. It was obviously metal, but it was thinner than paper.
"Um, Doctor, you sure you wanna do that?"
The Doctor nodded energetically like an enthusiastic child, and bounced up and down on the balls of his feet, making the disc wobble.
"C'mon, Rose, it's perfectly safe."
Rose smirked in disbelief. "Is that what you call it?"
The Doctor got fed up of trying to convince her, and grabbed her hand and pulled her onto the disc. It was only about three feet wide, and Rose's stomach turned at the lack of safety rails as she dared to glance over the side to the cavern below them. She felt her knees wobble, and the Doctor grabbed her around her waist.
"Says the man who dragged me on to the death plate in the first place."
He just grinned, and stamped one foot on the disc.
"Level 14, please."
The disc glowed momentarily, and slowly flew down, down, down through the empty space and came to stop at a balcony with the words: LEVEL FOURTEEN blaring out in big yellow letters. Rose quickly jumped off the disc onto the relative safety of the slightly rickety balcony, and the Doctor joined her.
"That was fun, eh?"
He grabbed Rose's hand again, and she shoved his side slightly with her shoulder. "Yeah, that's what you call it. 'Fun'!"
The Doctor led her to a large booth that was enclosed in a sort of shimmering netting. Inside, several people were floating around, holding buzzers and staring at the screen above with a look of concentration. Suddenly one of the floating people pressed her buzzer and yelled: "RE'LAH!"
The Doctor beamed. "Oh, I've always wanted to play this."
Rose shook her head. "Let me get this straight: you bring me to, as you described it, 'the busiest space station in the galaxy,' and you wanna play… bingo?"
"Anti-gravity bingo," he corrected, not once taking his eyes off the game.
Rose rolled her eyes. "Well, you enjoy yourself, granddad; I'm gonna have a look around."
"Okay, but don't go too far." He was already buying his ticket.
Rose cleared her throat, and gave him a pointed look, holding out her hand, palm up.
The Doctor patted his pockets, and pulled out a silver chip a bit like a USB stick, and handed it over to her.
"Should think so too. Can't go shopping without this. Thanks!"
"Don't go too far," he reminded her.
She waved her hand dismissively at him, but she was already on her way.
She wandered round the balcony, testing various perfumes and escaping the grasp of eager salespeople. Then something caught her eye. A plain purple booth, so out of place amongst the busy stalls. There was an eerie feel to the place that Rose's curiosity couldn't resist. She turned back to look at the Doctor, who by now was upside down in the mesh enclosure and whooping like a kid. She smiled, and headed into the booth.
Inside, the booth was lit with what she could only describe as fireflies. It was empty apart from a hunched figure sat behind a big bowl of blue liquid.
Rose gulped slightly, but headed over to the figure.
It raised it's head, and Rose was relieved to see the kindly face of an old woman, lined with age and wisdom.
"Greetings, child," she smiled warmly. "Do you want to discover the hidden path to love?"
A weird start, I know, but I really wanted to portray what Gambit Junction looked like. Rose's adventure starts here. Please Review and let me know what you think: make my day! xx