A/N - Okay, okay, I know most of you are probably thinking I fell through a crack in time or whatever. I didn't. Life just got hectic and unpleasant and I had a lot of stuff to deal with that required my full attention. Anyway, I'm having a brief burst of normality here which will hopefully help.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to review and suchlike, I know that I was an awful human and I didn't reply to some of you but it was honestly because of things that are out of my hands. I would however like to give love to each and every one of you and I would hug you and give you toast if I could because you save my life every day, you really do. Thank you. You are all incredibly wonderful and I do not deserve you.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own. In other news, grass is green. Obvious facts are obvious.
"So, where to now?" Amy asked, as the Doctor threw a switch and sent them hurtling into the Time Vortex. "I don't know about you but I could really do with some warm weather and an empty beach."
"Maybe later," the Doctor said. "There's still something I need to figure out. Someone planted that virus deliberately, and if my theory is correct - and my theories usually are - I know exactly where it came from."
"Where?" Amy said, just as the TARDIS landed smoothly in the middle of a purple rainforest. The Doctor grinned and dashed over to the doors, throwing them open and sticking his head out to inspect the weather.
"We'd better make this a quick visit," he called over to Amy. "It's going to rain in the morning."
Amy frowned as she moved over to join him. "It looks like afternoon to me out there."
"Yes, sorry, should have explained. This is Cadudu III, in the Padawan galaxy. Several hundred years ago, they used to have days and nights like Earth does, but an asteroid knocked the planet right out of orbit until I managed to put it back. Only thing is, I'd put them back the wrong way around, and ever since they've lived their days back-to-front. Morning is still morning in the literal sense, but they call it evening, and vice-versa."
They stepped out of the TARDIS into a small clearing between the purple trees. The forest floor was clear save for a few creeper plants, but the canopy up above was so thick with violet leaves that everything had gained a purplish hue.
A bush rustled nearby rustled and a man tumbled out into their path, raising something that closely resembled a peashooter up to his lips and aiming for Amy.
"Oi!" the Doctor said, lowering the man's peashooter and holding up his hands. "We're not here to engage in battle. Far from it, in fact. No, what I'd really like is for you to take me to your leader." he grinned and rubbed his hands together with glee. "Oh, I never get tired of saying that."
The man said nothing, but turned on his heel and stalked away through the bushes. The Doctor followed instantly, Amy close on his heels. As they walked, she took the opportunity to examine the man in front of them more closely. From the outside, he looked fairly human, with lilac eyes and dark violet skin, with intricate patterns painted onto his arms, chest, face and bald head with a lighter paint. He wore loose, tattered trousers and looked as though he spent his whole life in the forest. His whole body rippled with muscles as he walked and he stood at about five and a half feet tall, with flat, wide feet to match his flat, wide nose.
Just as Amy was beginning to wonder how much further they had to walk, they reached another much larger clearing, with small wooden huts and faintly green smoke rising from the chimneys into the burnt orange sky. They were led into one of the larger huts, where an old man with a beard that grazed the floor was sitting in front of a green fire. He had his eyes shut and was inhaling the smoke from the fire, but his eyes snapped open as the Doctor and Amy approached.
"You are not of this world," he said in a hoarse voice, fixing them with a piercing stare. "Why have you come?"
"I've come to talk to you," the Doctor said, sitting cross-legged in front of the fire and motioning for Amy to do the same. "I came here a long time ago, before the Asteroid."
"The prophecies were true, then," the old man said, with a grin that showed broken teeth. "I was told that a man would return, with a box that contained the universe. The man who saved our race. It is an honour."
"Oh, the pleasure's all mine," the Doctor said with an absent wave of his hand. "Anyway, when I came here before, your race was half-telepathic. You don't seem to be any more though, am I right?"
"Yes," said the old man. "The telepathy was abandoned a long time ago after a war broke out between two tribes. Our ancestors shielded themselves so well against their enemies that they forgot how to talk to their friends. It has been said that there is a last remaining tribe up in the Blue Mountains who still use the telepathy - pacifists who ran from the war and who have remained there since. No one has seen them for hundreds of years and we believe they may have died out."
"Right," the Doctor nodded. "Well, last time I came here, something must have invaded my ship because I've just had to get rid of the most stubborn telepathic virus you've ever known. Is there anything in your history about that?"
The old man leant forwards to examine the Doctor's face more closely. "What kind of virus? And why now, after all this time? Many hundreds of years have passed between your last arrival on our planet and now."
"Well, my ship is sort of… Alive. We have a telepathic connection, you see, and it was only recently that the virus found its way to her telepathic circuits and started attacking. It's not the first time something's been floating around for a while undetected, and I'm sure it won't be the last," the Doctor explained. "When the virus was attacking her, it was attacking me."
"And you have cured yourselves now, I presume?"
"Yes, with some difficulty," the Doctor said, with a sideways glance at Amy. "I was hoping that you might be able to tell me an easier way, in case of a relapse."
"You mean the Thagomiser virus? It is said that that attacks the telepathic cortex, and is very difficult to rid oneself of," the man said.
"Sounds like it, yeah," the Doctor said. "Is there a cure?"
"No," the old man said curiously. "How did you get rid of it?"
"Long story. There was a black hole involved," the Doctor said. He really wasn't in the mood to explain it all. He just wanted the meeting to be over and to get back into the TARDIS, to set off on another adventure way across the universe. Shooting a look at Amy, he made to stand up. "Thank you for your time," he said, holding out his left hand for the man to shake.
He had clearly done the wrong thing. The man suddenly swelled with anger, his eyes so wide that Amy was sure they would fall out of his head. The Doctor was already on his feet and pulling Amy over to the door as the man leapt to his feet with surprising agility for a man so old and wrinkled, advancing towards them with a spear that had appeared out of nowhere.
"Oh dear," the Doctor said.
"What now?" Amy said desperately.
"I think, perhaps -" he ducked and the spear flew over his head, narrowly missing his right ear. He shoved Amy out in front of him and grabbed her hand. "Run!" he shouted, dashing into the forest with her as several burly men moved towards them, cracking their knuckles threateningly.
They ran helter-skelter back through the forest, tearing through the shrubbery and ducking between the trees as poison darts thudded into the trees just behind them. They reached a fork in the path and the Doctor led them down the left without hesitation, only to skid to a halt seconds later and sprint in the opposite direction, shouting, "No, no, this way!"
It started to rain heavily as they ducked out of sight behind a fallen tree and spotted a familiar blue box a hundred metres away. Cold water dripped down the back of Amy's neck and she shivered.
"Come on!" the Doctor yelled, running for the TARDIS through the torrential rain and putting on a burst of speed as shouts caught up with them and the thud of a spear told him he had narrowly avoided being hit in the shoulder. He snapped his fingers as he swerved around a tree, almost there, and he and Amy ran headlong through the doors as they swung open. They disappeared from sight, and the TARDIS followed soon afterwards with the ages-old wheezing, leaving nothing but the soft sound of rain pattering on the leaves.
A/N - And finite. Now would be as good a time as ever to let me know what you thought (I will get back to you this time) as a whole and whatever. Thank you so much for sticking with me guys, I don't deserve you at all but you are all wonderful people and I love you.
I'm off on expedition for three weeks but I have a couple of ideas that I may or may not get down before summer is over. Until then, take care.