I leaned against the railing and cocked my head at Rose. "Yeah?"
The blonde leaned against the control console right across from me. "What happened to your fear of hospitals? You seemed a lot better near the end there."
I scratched the back of my head. "Well, you see, I guess I just got so furious with Cassandra and the hospital for what they were doing that my fear kinda got buried in the end under all my rage." I sighed. "Anger is a powerful thing, Rose. You should never let it or any other emotion control you. I should know better than anyone about that being a Colorian and all."
Rose nodded. She then looked over at the Doctor and asked, "So, where are we headin' now?"
The Doctor locked his brown eyes with mine. I gulped and silently gripped the railing. "Chroma," he said softly. "Just like I promised, Krystal."
"Chroma?" Rose asked intrigued.
"My home planet," I explained to her. I wiped a stray tear from my face. "Where I was born and raised."
"We don't have to go yet if you're not ready," the Time Lord murmured when he saw my tears. "We can go anywhere else. Your pick."
I shook my head. "It's now or never, Doctor. If I don't get this over with now then I probably never will, I'll always chicken out. I'm ready for this."
He nodded and gave a small comforting smile. "Hold on tight, then, Krystal, Rose." The Doctor began to run around the console flipping levers, pushing buttons, and doing who knows what else. "Chroma here we come!"
The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS followed by me and then Rose. Rose sucked in her breath at the sight around us as she shut the door. The Doctor took a big whiff of the air before announcing, "Here we are, you two. Chroma, year 6 billion and 105." He then looked down at me. "It's been two months since the Impossible faded away and the last of your kind was killed." I nodded in understanding.
The Doctor had landed us in the Silver Forest, named for it's silver leaves, like I had told him to. We were only a short walking distance away from the city where I had been born in. It would probably take us about half an hour at the most to get there.
I glanced around at the forest and felt more tears start to dribble down my face. An arm instantly wrapped around my shoulders. I looked up and saw it connected to the Doctor. He gave me a small smile.
Rose walked up to one of the trees. She grabbed at one of the leaves and rubbed it between her thumb and forefinger with a small smile. "This place is so beautiful. How are the leaves silver?" she asked, looking over at the Doctor and me. She blinked in surprise at the two of us but shook her head, mentally shaking it off.
"I have no idea, Rose. No one does. They've always been silver. They're just one of the many mysteries of Chroma, I guess."
"Try pulling the leaf off," the Time Lord told her.
Rose turned back to the leaf and gave it a gentle tug. It easily came off of the tree and Rose held it delicately in her hands. A few seconds went by before the leaf slowly turned green, just like a leaf on Earth. Rose stared down at the leaf stunned before turning back to us in disbelief.
I shrugged at her unasked question. "Like I said. One of the many mysteries of Chroma."
"The grass is silver too, Rose," the Doctor chuckled.
Rose looked down at the grass with a wide smile. She knelt down onto one knee and placed a palm against the grass. "It's warm."
"If it's warm enough for you and the Doctor to be here then it must be winter," I explained.
Rose looked up at me. "Winter? You're kidding me."
"Chroma has two suns, Rose," I told her. "This place can get about twice as warm as Earth."
"She's right," the Doctor added. "The only way you would be able to survive is during winter since you would never be able to make it through any of the other seasons. You'd burn up. Colorians though have adapted to hot temperatures which is why they are able to live here and withstand the heat."
"Doesn't it ever get cold here though?" Rose asked me.
I wrapped my arms around my stomach when a breeze went by. "To me, this is cold, Rose. What feels cold to me is warm to you, but what feels cold for you is freezing for me," I explained. I then sighed and glanced up at the Doctor. "Come on. Let's get this over with." I pulled out of the Time Lord's grasp and walked over towards the nearest forest exit.
The Doctor hurried after me. He started to walk in step with me once he caught up. "Are you sure you're ready for this, Krystal? It's not too late to turn back now. My offer still stands. You can pick the next place we go."
I shook my head. "No, Doctor. No going back now. I need to know about my people. I've got to."
Together we walked until we finally made our way out of the Silver Forest. Overhead the two suns had already met in the middle of the pinkish red sky, telling me that it was about noonish. Here on Chroma, one of the things that we kept from the Humans was their time system. Another was their languages, but I'll get into that later. We have twenty-four hours in a day and seven days a week. There are still twelve months in a year, but the names are a bit different. The easiest way to know what day it was was to just look up at the sky. Each day of the week had a different sky color. With today's sky being pinkish red that meant today was Thursday.
The other things, like I already mentioned, we kept from our Human heritage was their languages. Our language, which we called Lore, is basically a combination of every single language that ever existed on Earth. When we Colorians speak, well spoke now, to each other, each sentence would have basically a word from different languages. French, Spanish, and German could all be in one sentence. Because we were able to speak every language too, we're also able to put on each country's accents. Right now I could easily switch to a French one if I wished to. I won't switch accents, though, because it sounds better if I sound like I'm British like Rose, and apparently the Doctor.
And no, I haven't been talking in Lore the past twenty years and the TARDIS is definitely not translating for me now for others. I've been speaking just plain old Earth English.
Confusion, isn't it?
The Doctor and I were about halfway towards the City when I realized how quiet it had been the past couple minutes. No questions whatsoever. I looked back over my shoulder and blinked when I discovered something. It seemed as if we were missing a certain blonde Human.
I tugged at the Doctor's jacket sleeve and pointed behind us when he gave me raised eyebrows. "Where's Rose?"
The Time Lord looked back in surprise at the empty space that we had believed Rose had been occupying for the past whatever minutes. He looked back at me after a moment. "No idea."
"You're kidding me," I stated, blinking up at him. "You've lost your own companion?"
His eyebrows scrunched together. "Yeah…so it seems. Why am I always losing them?" he murmured.
"You've lost companions before?!"
Why does that surprise me?
"Well…once or twice."
"Once or twice?" I exclaimed. The Doctor glanced away and ran a hand through his brown hair. "How the bloody hell do you even lose a companion in the first place?!"
"They always come back in the end!" he told me. The two of us had stopped in the middle of the road and were having a staring contest with the other. We looked quite ridiculous.
I finally broke the contact by sighing and rubbing my eyes. "We sound like a bloody married couple…and we're making all of your companions sound like lost pets."
He laughed. "Yeah. We are, aren't we?" The Doctor grabbed my hand and began to pull me forward. "Come on, Krysty!"
"Krystal…and don't you wish to go back and find Rose?" I asked him. I had to run just to keep up with his long strides.
"Oh, she'll be fine. She's just in the Silver Forest with the TARDIS, is all."
"But the forest animals won't recognize her, Doctor," I tried to warn him.
"Krystal." The Time Lord stopped pulling and looked back at me. "All the animals would've died from the Impossible. You, me, and Rose are the only living beings here right now."
I looked away from him. After a few seconds of an awkward silence, the Doctor started to pull me forward with him again. After another few minutes of silence between us, we finally made it to the City.
And it was utterly horrible.
The two of us slowly walked down the street, glancing around at everything surrounding us. Houses and shops we passed were dark, some even boarded up. Rotten food littered different parts of the street. I had to cover my nose with my free hand just to lessen the stench. There weren't any dead bodies nor skeletons lying in the street, which was slightly odd. They may've all been in Quarantine, but I wasn't exactly sure. I glanced up at the Doctor to see what he was thinking, but I saw him staring intensely out of the corner of his eye and at the huge white building that we were just about to pass.
"No!" I told him, already knowing what he was going to say. "Bloody hell no!"
"Come on," he said while dragging me over to the building. "Let's go inside."
"Let's not, but pretend we did, Doctor," I replied back. I tried pulling him back, but he wouldn't move. He was quite strong for such a skinny guy. "I hate you," I whispered to him the closer we got.
"No you don't," he said back.
"Yes, Doctor, I do."
"Nope," he said, popping the 'p'.
We entered the building, which just happened to be the hospital, and I gripped the Doctor's arm tightly with both hands. Without a word, he led us forward and down the white hall. There wasn't much on the first floor, just a bunch of empty hospital rooms, but on the second floor were the Quarantine containers. The only difference between these containers and the ones at the New Earth hospital was the fact that these ones were much bigger. Each container could hold up to at least ten people.
The Doctor pulled out of my grip. I gave a small whine, but he ignored me as he pulled out his glasses and placed them onto his face. He went to one of the containers and crossed his arms over his chest. "Krystal, come here," he said.
I moved over to his side. "Yeah?" I asked softly.
"Every victim who caught the Impossible was put in these Quarantine containers, correct?" he asked.
I nodded. "Yeah. As soon as you caught the Impossible, you were forced to come here for the safety of everyone else. Unfortunately though, once you caught the disease, you were stuck with it. Anyone who died inside of Quarantine could never be moved from Quarantine because if you touched one infected with the Impossible, even when dead, you became infected. No bodies could ever have a proper burial, but none of the bodies could ever rot either because the Quarantine containers kept your body preserved. Why do you ask?"
The Doctor brought his face close to the green glass and cupped his hands around his eyes. He squinted into the Quarantine container. "Curiosity," he replied.
"Be careful!" I exclaimed. I grabbed his arm and pulled him back. "I don't need you catching the Impossible, too."
"Krystal," he said, going back to peering inside of the container. "The Impossible died the moment the last Colorian did. Without any more bodies for it to pass on to, it couldn't survive any longer."
"Oh," I said softly. After a moment I then asked, "What are you doing again?"
"Are you positive this is where Colorians were placed when they caught the Impossible?"
"Then we've got trouble," he murmured. He pulled away and looked at me. "If no one dared take out the bodies from Quarantine, then where are all the bodies?"
I blinked. "What?" I moved over next to him and peered inside. It was hard to see because it was all a blur, but I couldn't see any forms that could be Colorian bodies anywhere. I pulled back with sonic yellow eyes. "Where is everyone, Doctor?"
As if on cue, my E.T.L. started buzzing like crazy. I hissed when it began to burn my skin as well. Both our eyes snapped down to the device on my wrist. I slowly brought it up to eye level and tapped it a few times.
"I don't like that look you've got," he told me whilst taking off his glasses. He placed them back in his inner jacket pocket.
"This is impossible," I breathed. I tapped it harder, but it just continued to buzz and burn me.
I locked eyes with him. "My E.T.L. isn't meant to go off on Chroma. It doesn't ever go off when I'm around others of my species."
"What about because of Rose or me?" he asked.
I shook my head. "I've programmed it not to go off from Humans because I lived with them for twenty years, and it'll only go off for you now whenever you let off any Regeneration energy, Doctor."
"You think there are other aliens on this planet?" he quietly asked.
"My E.T.L. doesn't lie, Doctor," I told him. I looked back at the Quarantine container. "And by the looks of it," I growled. "They apparently aren't friendly. Someone's stolen my people and they are gonna pay. I want them back."
And then, at the exact same moment, we both turned to the other. "Rose!" we shouted. The Doctor immediately dashed back down the hall. I ran after him. When we got to the steps, he took two down at a time while I just took the easier way and slid down using the railing. Once on the first floor again, we bolted together down the long corridors and out of the hospital double doors.
We ran as fast as we possibly could down the City streets until we finally were out of the City itself. We ran for several minutes, my E.T.L. growing louder the closer we got to the Silver Forest. The Doctor's strides seemed to grow even longer the closer we got. I could barely breathe just trying to keep up with him.
"Slow down, Doctor!" I yelled at him.
"Rose might be in trouble, Krystal!" he hollered back.
"This is why you shouldn't lose your companions in the first place!"
As soon as we entered the Silver Forest, I tripped over a random tree branch in the middle of the path. I gasped as I fell to my knees, but the Doctor didn't seem to notice my fall since he continued to run. I sighed and slowly rose to my feet. I brought my hands to my face and swore when I saw that the gloves had ripped and now looked horrible. With another sigh, I pulled the gloves off and tucked them into my jacket pockets. I slowly stumbled to my feet and jogged towards the direction of where the TARDIS was parked.
The Doctor was nowhere in sight when I got back to the TARDIS. I glanced around for him for a few seconds before an idea hit me. I jumped onto the nearest tree and slowly started to ascend up, carefully checking each branch before grabbing it or placing my foot on it. Once at the top, I held onto the branch above me tightly with one hand and looked out around me.
"Krystal?" the Doctor called.
"Up here, Doctor!" I yelled down to him. I looked down at him as he looked up at me. We both blinked at the other.
"What are you doing up there?"
"I'm enjoying the view – what do you think I'm doing, genius?!" I rolled my eyes and continued to look around the forest.
"Do you see anything?"
I shook my head. "Nope. Nothing. Just treetops." My E.T.L. continued to burn me, now worse than ever, and I instantly climbed back down the tree. On the very last branch, I hopped down and landed in a crouch next to the Time Lord. I looked up at him. "Sorry, Doctor."
The Doctor didn't say anything as he ran a hand repeatedly through his hair, causing it to grow messier and messier. Finally he spun on his heel and dashed to the TARDIS. He pulled open the doors and rushed inside. I slowly followed after him and found the Time Lord messing about the control console.
"Anything I can do to help you, Doctor?" I asked him softly.
"Just keep a lookout outside!" he ordered angrily. I flinched at the anger in his voice which was being misdirected towards me. He sighed and rubbed his temples. "Please, Krystal."
I nodded. "Yeah. Whatever you say."
I stepped back out of the TARDIS and began to pace in front of it. I grew distracted in my thoughts of where Rose was, but I made sure to keep an eye on the inside of the TARDIS and on the Doctor. As soon as I turned around for the umpteenth time, I found a gun aimed at my forehead. My eyes widened and turned yellow. The last thing I remember yelling, though, before the person pounded the butt of the gun against my head and knocked me out, was 'Doctor!'
Here was the first non-episode chapter. What did you think of it? Review please and let me know.