Okay. Before you ask: no. This will not be a crossover with Torchwood. I don't watch Torchwood. Sorry to disappoint anyone who felt a bit of a sting there. I may bring in some of the characters from the other show, but they won't be particularly true to form or anything if I do. They'll only hang around to flesh out the story a little.
And secondly: please put your weapons away! I am terribly sorry for the wait, it feels like decades since I updated this story, and I haven't got any good excuses. Just got bored with the thing. If it makes you feel any better, I haven't added anything to my other WIPs either. As always, I'd still love a few reviews...although a bit of shunning may be in order first.
On the timeline of the story, since I know you guys will notice: it's not really ironed out. I'm waiting to see an episode that will be my cutoff time. It's after 'The Doctor's Wife', obviously, but other than that I may add in more and more as new episodes come along. I'll try and settle this better somewhat in the future, but, well...it was just to good to pass up on this occasion. Unless it becomes so again, just assume that the draining of the seven seas has occurred just after 'TDW' in Amy, Rory and the Doctor's timeline.
And if you don't hate me terribly for making you wait, please throw me a comment! Oh, and if I forgot to turn my little slashy thingies into italicized text, just tell me so.
It was a simple thing to reconnect the phone panel to the TARDIS, as Amy and Rory soon found out. The time machine itself would repair any damaged cables, the Doctor explained, so all they had to do was snap the panel back into its place on the console. The hard part was explaining it all to Rory. Either he really couldn't understand the Doctor's accent, or he was purposely acting dull to annoy the other two, but it took the Doctor three tries before a light came into Rory's eyes and he crowed, "Right! I've got it now." Then they lifted the panel (which was a lot heavier than it looked) and managed to drop it into place where it belonged. Amy held the phone so it wouldn't ring and electrocute the other two; she had absolutely refusedto do any lifting in heels.
"So take them off, then!" the Doctor had scolded at her.
"I've also got a miniskirt on. Can't do any lifting in that, now can I? Or would you like me to take it off, too?"
The Doctor's eyes went wide, and he turned away from her as quickly as was humanly (or Gallifrean-ly) possible. "On three, Rory," he commanded as he took hold of the edge of the panel, eyes still as round as saucers.
Then Rory sat down in the pilot's chair and the Doctor got around to flying the TARDIS.
With a loud, shuddering thump the time machine landed and slowly went silent. Amy and Rory let go of their various handholds and stood up, just as the Doctor ran to the front doors and poked his head out to get his bearings. A sniff, a lick of a finger, and a touch of common sense told the alien everything he needed to know.
"92 degrees, sunny, verydry, and you'll never guess where we are," the Doctor said as he came back inside and shut the doors behind him. He had an utterly mad and incomprehensibly enthusiastic grin on his face that honestly scared Rory a little, but Amy just raised a brow when the Time Lord didn't immediately continue. "Where are we, then?"
"Hmm." A short pause. "Rio?"
The Doctor's grin widened. "Rio!"
Amy squealed like a stuck pig and ran to open the doors...but when she did, she couldn't help but to be disappointed. "What? I thought this was Rio!"
Rory came up behind her to look out as well. "But there isn't any water! Where's the sea got to?"
"Well, isn't it obvious? You heard Jack, the oceans have disappeared. It's Rio, but it's all dried up! See?"
Amy turned around just to pout at the Doctor. "But what's the point of Rio if it hasn't even got any water?"
"Well...no idea, I haven't been to Rio. But I'm sure we'll find out. Come along, Ponds!" And with that, the Doctor opened the TARDIS doors all the way and strode out into the bay.
It reeked of fish outside. Rory looked around and noticed other people in the harbour too, piling fish onto nets and carrying them back onto land. Crabs were also being carried off, as well as rocks covered in anemones and sea stars.
"So why're they doing that, then?" Amy asked the Doctor, skipping up to his side and keeping stride with him. "They'll just have to put it all back when the sea returns, won't they?"
"They're trying to preserve the different species," the Doctor replied. "All of these animals are going to die if they don't get put into some kind of saltwater mix quite soon. It will happen very quickly and it is probable that most of them will die anyway, even when they have been rescued. It's difficult to properly replicate seawater, you know-the consistency of the salt isn't, well, consistent all the way through, and then there's minerals and vitamins and plankton and all the fish prefer something different. It's an intensely complicated process and I'm guessing that the scientists in charge of it all will get it right with less than half of the sea life, but it istheir planet, I suppose. I'm sure they know more about it than I do." He hadn't stopped walking, but he hadn't sped up either, and Rory was now walking in stride with them as well. He frowned to himself as something-well, several somethings-occurred to him.
"But there can't be enough water left for all of the fish andall of the people," he reasoned. "And besides, making it salty will turn it undrinkable. Either the fish will have to go, or the people will."
"Oh, Rory," the Doctor said, shaking his head. "That's nothing compared to the problems that will come about once people really get to thinking about this whole mess. Japan will be starving in a day, ocean transport will be halted, billions of people will lose their jobs, the very weight and atmosphere of the earth will be altered by the loss of that much water. There will be warsover whatever still remains in the lakes and rivers. I had twenty minutes back in Leadworth, but this time the clock's already run out." He turned to nod at Rory over his shoulder. "That's why I'll have to save the world by going back in time instead. There isn't a spaceship here, at least not one the TARDIS could find, and most people don't even bother masking their ships from TARDISes any longer, they're too out-of-date, and anyways they're rare. So I'm assuming that if there was one, it's already left. We'll have to go back in time to catch up with it."
"Then why are we still here?" Rory interrupted. "Why not just go back to the TARDIS and get on with, you know, saving the world?"
The Doctor turned to look over his shoulder again, and this time he had a frighteningly gleeful expression plastered onto his face, the kind one gets when they're about to pull a terribly sadistic and extremely embarassing prank. "Because first, we have to go and find Jack."
Jack Harkness was sitting in a command booth in an underground government base somewhere in London when the call came. He hadn't really been doing anything important at that particular moment, which was surprising, because he'd been busy with this or that ever since the sea had disappeared and not once had he really expected to be getting a rest any time soon. But he was willing to take what he could get, because unless the Doctor appeared, the problem most likely wasn't going to right itself.
In fact, the Doctor still might not be able to fix things back up, but he was definitely the Earth's best chance at the moment.
HELLO! CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS! I KNOW YOU'RE AROUND THIS PLANET SOMEWHERE. IT'S THE DOCTOR ON THE LINE. I AM IN RIO BECAUSE AMY WANTED TO COME AND I COULD'NT GET HER HERE BEFORE-LONG STORY, ANYWAY, GET HERE AS SOON AS YOU CAN. OH, AND KEEP YOUR HELLOS TO YOURSELF! THE PONDS ARE ALREADY ENGAGED. AND TO EACH OTHER! SO THERE!
The announcement cut off abruptly after 'so there', and it managed to draw the eyes of nearly every government expert in the room. Half of the professionals knew who the Doctor was, and half of them didn't, but only a select few had ever been personally involved with the Time Lord. The announcement over the intercom most certainly did not give them any excess trust in the legendary time traveler, or, for that matter, their captain...nevertheless, after the signing of several forms and the retrieval of more than just a few permissions, Jack was permitted to use a teleportation device he'd gotten as a souvenir from the fine futurustic city of New New York.
And then there was the problem of coordinates, which the Doctor hadn't bothered to provide.
But the purpose for all the government experts was to get the ball rolling, in a manner of speaking, so they got to work and narrowed down the list of possible destinations. Based on the information Jack gave them, they made a list of all the places in Rio that matched their specified criteria.
Coastal area-check. Parking room for a TARDIS-check. Bananas for sale-check.
Of course, Jack didn't know that the Doctor had regenerated, so bananas were a distinct not-so-possible-ity. But the whole lot of them got close enough to the marker that when Jack pressed the button, he arrived near enough to hear the Doctor shouting, "Why hasn't that two bit, nano-loosing, coffee-drinking American immortal phenomenon arrived yet!"
Jack grinned. "Hello, Doctor."
The Doctor spun around and switched hands with his screwdriver. "Hello! Don't hello them, though! Rory's rather posessive, he spent a very long time waiting for Amy here to come out of the Pandorica. She's rather possessive, too. So don't try any tricks."
"Hello, I'm Jack. Jack Harkness, a captain at the Torchwood Institute. But I didn't tell you that." He gave Rory a wink.
"Oi, keep off, you." Amy was feeling rather upset with Rory's sudden ability to attract Very Important People. Between Jack and the TARDIS, 'the pretty one' was giving her a complex.
Jack then turned to the Doctor. "You regenerated again, didn't you?"
The Doctor grinned in response. "Well. I'm surprised at you, Jack. I'd have expected a quicker observation out of you. Yes, I have, new face and all, bit younger, getting used to it." he frowned. "I seem to get even less respect than that last time, though; don't understand it."
"You could've done better with the chin," Jack mused.
"Wait...what?" Rory was thoroughly confused.
"He could do with a smaller chin, couldn't he?" Amy was just as confused, but she felt a certain duty towards criticizing the Doctor's appearance.
"Oi! You lot...in the TARDIS, now."
They all piled in, and with a flourish that only his youngest incarnation could provide, the Doctor took them all back to that unknown place in London.
That secret place called Torchwood.