Scarf Warriors is back with a bang! So, the collaborative fic with Flinch begins - make sure you read her side of the story. Two fics, two sides of the rift, two Doctors, it's going be amazing! Few things to notify you of - in Flinch's timeline (the most prevalent, I'd guess) this follows Closing Time. In my timeline this follows Return Trip. Which follows this, in Flinch's timeline. Confused? Don't be.
A few things you need know if you haven't read Return Trip: 1) Reading this could spoil the end of RT - the reason why they're on Erythrae, the fact that the moon keeps exploding and who Clement is explained there - it's not really important now. 2) Nadrin is the Twelth Doctor's companion - she's short, angry, viscous and curious. And prettier than she'd like. Also, she's been genetically constructed, and they failed slightly, her eyes are lime green - to do with their race. She's also seriously deficient in iron. 12 is tall, with shoulder length, wavy brown hair. He wears the same dark green cagoule and brown felt homburg, generally with maroon hiking trousers. He can be sarcastic, but mainly he's just eccentric, with a penchant for anything sweet, shiny or 'excellent looking'. He's a father figure to Nadrin. 3) I have frequent problems with teh interwebs. I tried to upload this at nine - but Mr Interwebs said NO, STOP IT. DON'T DO IT! So 9:36 it is.
Read on, enjoy, and lots of shiny reviews plz. Even if they are flames. Con-crit is particularly nice.
One Good Reason
Nadrin gazed skywards as the moon reformed with a flash of green light. She'd seen the spectacle a few times before, but she still didn't understand why it flashed. Or why she couldn't hear the crash as the pieces flew together - or indeed why it exploded at all. How it reformed especially confused her. She'd asked the Doctor on numerous occasions to explain it to her, but he'd just go off on one about high gravity cores, the vacuum of space and optical illusions. In any case, she didn't really care.
The Doctor emerged from the TARDIS, having carried Clement to the medical bay to rest. He draped his cagoule over Nadrin's quivering shoulders, but she shrugged it off and turned away. She slipped past into the TARDIS, the thuds of her heavy boots a diminuendo in the corridors as she ran off to her room.
The Doctor sighed wistfully and tilted his head back towards the sky. They couldn't leave yet, the TARDIS hadn't finished refuelling. It was a stroke of luck that Nadrin had wanted to show Clement the Erythraean moons. The Lunar Plain lay on a rift through space and time, and the Doctor had utilised this before.
He watched a Drycha bound across the plain, green dust flying up around its large feet. They were rather odd creatures, like a sort of feathery kangaroo - but purple. Very tame and friendly though. The Doctor shuffled over to the animal, holding forth a sherbet lemon - they seemed to have a penchant for citric acid.
"Whoa there, matey," the Doctor whispered soothingly as the creature drew itself up nervously as they do when threatened. The Drycha took the sherbet lemon into its rubbery lips, but spat it out violently. The Doctor blinked in surprise, and fell back as the Drycha fell upon him violently.
"Calm down, matey! Wait, what's a Drycha doing on Erythrae?" That last thought reverberated through the Doctor's head as he fell into unconsciousness.
"Captain, rift spike in the Lunar Plain. Coordinates 014-456." The captain addressed raised his head. He cast a lilac glow over his subordinate, a female of the species sat before a bank of computers. The glow turned green as he registered his understanding.
"Anything came through, Sarine?"
Sarine's head glowed baby blue as she concentrated on the small screen before her. "I'm trying to get an image from the cameras on the outpost."
The captain waited patiently as she changed the angle and focus of the cameras, scanning the green dust for signs of foreign life or material.
"I'm almost there, sir, I can just about see something. I need to focus the-" Sarine stopped suddenly as the computer flared up, small red lights dancing, vying for attention.
"There's an alien object drawing energy from the rift," she told the Captain, who turned pale orange in confusion. Sarine tapped further commands into the computer. "The database recognises the temporal resonance pattern. It appears to be some sort of time-craft, advanced way beyond our technology. The computers picked it up here before, but we couldn't get a proper fix on it." Sarine's glow changed from blue to orange. "It's in exactly the same place, to the nearest millimetre."
The Captain's orange glow darkened. "We've got to find it - get us transport to the Lunar Plains."
"Doctor, can we go now? You promised you'd show me the Hronian Quark display-" Nadrin stopped as she entered the console room. The Drycha stood by the console, gently nuzzling the controls with its wet nose, chewing something which looked suspiciously like wiring.
Nadrin frowned and took a penknife from her pocket. She stood silently and watched the Drycha from a safe distance. It completely ignored her. Circling slowly around the console, on the opposite side the alien creature she made her way towards the open doors of the TARDIS. Clutching at the TARDIS key in her pocket, she stepped out onto the pale green sand and slammed the door shut swiftly.
"Doctor, where are you hiding?" She bent her head against a sudden squall of wind, spitting out the sand which blew into her mouth. There was a sudden flash like lightning as the moon above her exploded. It was then that she noticed the Doctor's hat lying on the floor beside her. Her frown deepened as she bent at picked it up, spinning the felt object in her hands as she scanned the area. Tip-toeing timidly around the TARDIS, she came across the Doctor, slumped against the blue box, sand staining the dark brown waves of his hair. She fell down beside him with a small cry, and began to brush the sand off of him.
"Doctor... Doctor? Wake up. NOW!" She tutted in disappointment at his lack of activity. Putting the penknife back in her pocket she struck him sharply across the face. The Doctor spluttered and spat a paste of sand and saliva out over her jacket.
"That's foul," she said disgustedly, wiping the offending muck off onto his hat. "What happened?"
The Doctor stood up slowly, using Nadrin for assistance. She grumbled as he latched onto her shoulder and pulled himself upright. "Drycha, must have come through the rift somehow. Attacked me, no idea why. They're normally placid things."
Nadrin scowled. "Is that what the feathery thing eating the TARDIS console is?"
The Doctor groaned and strode back to the front of the ship. He was fumbling in his pocket for the TARDIS key when Nadrin pulled his jacket sleeve urgently.
"Doctor, look." He followed her arm to see a plume of dust rising in the distance.
"Some sort of vehicle, headed this way - at quite a velocity too."
"Should we get back in the TARDIS?" Nadrin asked, an edge of worry creeping into her tone.
The Doctor snorted. "Course not. We've got to be there to meet our welcome committee, haven't we?" He gave his diminutive companion an inane grin, and turned back to the rapidly approaching dust cloud. Nadrin sighed and coughed out the powder that had built up in her throat.
The vehicle arrived a few minutes later, caked in green dirt. The doors rose open slowly, causing dust to cascade off the machine and back onto the surface of the plain. The Doctor and Nadrin watched warily as two unknown aliens appeared. Nadrin frowned. They were very tall - almost twice her height - very slender too. They were both wearing some sort of cloak which went from the neckline to the floor. It was hard to tell where their waists began - if indeed they had waists. Or legs for that matter. Their heads were long and thin, like they'd been stretched, with no features other than deep set eyes. Their skin seemed to be a dull grey, except that it was emitting a dark orange glow, almost like an aura around them.
The Doctor coughed loudly, breaking the silence and causing Nadrin to jump. He suppressed a laugh at her nervousness, and spoke to the taller of the two. "Hullo, I'm the Doctor, this is Nadrin, this is the TARDIS and you are the locals. Yep?" The orange glow darkened further around the two faces. Nadrin stared as the one of the left spoke - how she knew it the one on the left she didn't know - they had no mouths after all.
"Welcome back to Erythrae, the Doctor and the TARDIS. You may dock your craft 'Nadrin' here as long as you will."
The Doctor snorted with laughter and held Nadrin back in case she attacked the speaker. If she hadn't been quite so incensed, Nadrin would have noticed the pitch of the speaker's voice - surprisingly low. The Doctor compared it to the rumble of thunder low over mountains - hopefully that wasn't ominous.
"Ah yes, ahem, my friend here is Nadrin, actually. The craft's called the TARDIS." The travellers stared as the auras faded to bright shocking pink. Nadrin looked at the Doctor questioningly, but he just raised his eyebrow and shrugged.
The rightmost alien nodded slowly. "We apologise, Nadrin."
Nadrin nodded curtly, and cocked her head to one side. "What's with the colour change? Can't you make your minds up"
The Doctor sighed. "Nadrin, don't be rude."
The alien on the right nodded again, this time to the Doctor. "It is of no concern, the Doctor. As for your request, Nadrin, our chromatism is to reflect our feelings."
Nadrin blinked. "What?"
"They change colour to reflect their mood. Remember that mood ring you found in Bognor Regis, the one you were convinced was alien technology? They're like that. Except their system actually works. Going green to them is like frowning for us. Or similar." The Doctor yelped as Nadrin elbowed him in the stomach. "What was that for!"
Nadrin scowled and hit him again. "You said we'd not mention that again."
"Well, it WAS rather funny." They turned back to the two aliens, the Doctor coughing in embarrassment. "Sorry about that. So, who are you two then?"
"Our species is known as 'Erythraean'. We are employees of the Temporal Division of the Scientific Assessment League. My title is Captain Mhror, my companion is Sarine, our technology expert."
Nadrin smiled. "So you're a sort of extraterrestrial Torchwood then?"
Sarine turned orange again. "Term 'Torchwood' does not register."
"Don't worry about her, she's easy to confuse," the Doctor whispered conspiratorially.
Mhror nodded again, and pointed towards the TARDIS. "The hypothesis states that you arrived here through the space-time rift."
The Doctor frowned and shook his head vehemently. "No, we used the time vortex."
"Equipment claims that there was rift activity in the area."
"Ah, that'd be the Drycha." The two aliens looked at one-another, then back to the Doctor, who tutted. "An alien from the planet Fror in the constellation of Kasterborous. Must have been what triggered your readings. It's in the TARDIS if you want it."
Mhror's aura faded from orange to green as he registered understanding. "We'll contain the alien. After which we must all return to the Temporal Division headquarters."
The Doctor grinned. "Take me to your... base... thing."
Hope you enjoyed it - tell me if you did =D MEGAGLOMPS to those who review!