A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
Tenth Doctor
Spoilers by samfeasor [Reviews - 2] Printer
Author's Notes:
Many thanks to WishingWillow, who's feeding me lots of fried food (also gumbo), made me promise to write a Jenny story before Gallifrey One, and gave me the idea upon which to build this story.


Jenny is two years and forty-six days old, and her ship slows into a high orbit around a planet that doesn't have a name.

Well, it has a name, but the name is also a thing, and Jenny's never really understood why planets do that. Even Earth. Earth is the name of a planet, but also there is the earth beneath her feet, and she doesn't see why anyone would name a planet after that, other than for lack of anything better to name it or a total lack of creativity. Or both.

If Jenny had a planet, she would name it Donna.

Then again, she was named after a thing, the thing she was, a generated anomaly.

Besides, knowing the universe, Donna was a thing somewhere somewhen. After all, it was a someone.

"Well, seems like a low orbit's in order, yeah?"

Her computer doesn't say anything, but it never does. The ship moves down into a low orbit, over the center of the planet, and Jenny runs a few more scans before packing the appropriate gear into her rucksack.

"Here we go," she announces with a smile.

Her computer doesn't answer.

--

The planet is quiet. Jenny has been to quiet planets before, so it doesn't bother her. The planet is large and quiet, and there are halls that stretch across to the horizon.

None of this bothers Jenny.

What bothers Jenny are the shadows. The shadows don't move when she shines her torch in their direction. They lay there like a corpse. A shadow corpse.

Jenny moves closer and squats. When she peers closely she sees that it's not a single shadow corpse, but a billion shadows spread across the ground.

The billions of motionless shadows bother Jenny. They bother Jenny a lot. Shadows don't die.

Do they?

She stands and walks across a long bridge from one building to another. There are only more shadows.

And books. More books than shadows.

Jenny walks around the edge of a room, fingers brushing the edges of books - and the occasional holobook - until she reaches a stone carving with a stone egg on the end. Or at least what looks like an egg. She reaches up and touches the egg, and it spins around.

And Jenny sees River.

--

Well. River's face. And River's face speaks to her. "Four-thousand and twenty-three freed. Five saved."

"River?" Jenny walks around the carving and the egg on top spins to follow her. "Is that you?"

"Indefinite query parameters."

"What?"

River looks down at her. "More information is available at the terminal behind you." When Jenny frowns and leans up, River's face winks. "The terminal behind you."

Jenny turns and finds the terminal, all lit up and waiting for her. She puts her hands to the sides of the keyboard and her forehead wrinkles. "Okay. Now what?"

"The gift shop is located three rooms to the northeast direction and one level down, just before the Great Dias."

"I don't want to go to the gift shop."

"The gift shop is located three rooms to the northeast direction and one level down, just before the Great Dias."

"I don't very much like shopping. I've tried it."

"The gift shop is located three rooms to the northeast direction and one level down, just before the Great Dias."

"You said that already! River said you would - "

"Page fifty-seven and no other page."

"That doesn't make sense! You're more frustrating than my ship's computer."

"You sound like your father."

"River?"

The terminal goes dark. Jenny stares for another moment before turning and walking three rooms to the northeast and one level down. After all, someone wants her to go down there for some reason or another, so she might as well. Jenny has learned better than to ignore hints from computer terminals and strange sculptures that look like her best friend.

Not that she's seen much of the latter in her two years and forty-six days, but she imagines the same rules would apply.

--

The gift shop is as empty as every where else, which is to say that there are shadow corpses in the corners and nothing else. Jenny sees a platform that she recognizes as some form of transportation device, and she sees a doorway that leads down a set of stairs to a balcony.

She spends a moment looking around the shop - brilliant idea, the gift shop - and then walks out the door.

At the end of the set of steps, on the railing of the balcony, there's a book. A tingle runs up Jenny's spine and she takes the stairs two at a time until she gets to the book.

It's a blue book, and it looks like her father's ship.

Jenny touches the edge of the book.

Page fifty seven and nothing else.

She opens the book and flips to the fifty-seventh page. In the corner is a sketch of her own face, and in the center is some writing. Jenny reads through it once, then again, then a third time. She closes the book slowly and slips it into her rucksack before running back into the gift shop, then one level up and three rooms to the southwest.

"Is it true? What he did?"

The sculpture spins and she sees River's face again. "Five saved. Tell them it's safe again."

"Safe again for what?"

River's face smiles. "To read."

Oh. The books. Jenny looks around. She knows what the shadow corpses are now, and she knows they ran out of flesh and died, left by her father five decades ago. She knows that it's not River, not really, but it is also. She knows where River is and why and how.

And she's angry. "That's not fair, that's not right! It's not a life, it's a dream."

"River Song has been saved." The River face smiles once more and then disappears into the egg.

--

Back on her ship, Jenny sends out a message in all directions, meant to bounce of beacons and relays wherever it goes. She tells her computer to set a course for somewhere very far away and she goes into her quarters. She pulls the book from her rucksack and places it onto the small table across from her bed, next to a letter from the eighteenth century and a small (but growing!) piece of Gallifreyan coral.
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