Receding Waters by Queenrikki
Summary: The Doctor and Rose travel to the planet Artesia for a galaxy renowned festival but find a massive and maybe not so natural disaster.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Other Character(s), Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Mystery, General
Receding Waters by Queenrikki
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes: Originally posted for the Rose Tyler Ficathon on LJ late last year. However, I lost the following chapters in a *ahem* while reinstalling my OS. Luckily, I recently found a disc with an earlier draft of the rest of the story and decided to finish it and post it here. This was written for handful_of_sky. Each chapter features a corresponding prompt which will be listed in the AN of each chapter.
A natural disaster
“Are you sure this is right? Maybe the TARDIS landed in the wrong place.” She gestured to the debris-strewn beach. The Doctor had said that Artesia held an annual celebration to commemorate it's people's survival of a catastrophic flood, though by the time period they had planned to visit it had become little more than an elaborate beach party.
“This definitely doesn't look like a 'Festival of the Seven Waters' to me. I thought you said we were going to have a bit fun this time?” She scrunched her nose. “Not that running from aliens and monsters who are trying to kill us can't be fun...”
Rose glanced over at the Doctor to see if he was listening.
He wasn't. Rose jogged along to keep up all the while wishing that she was several inches taller and several degrees brighter. Maybe then she could guess what was going on in that head of his. Or at least keep up with him.
“Now this isn't right,” the Doctor muttered. He started to walk faster and kept looking around as if he expected someone to appear out of thin air. "Something is wrong with time here.”
“What do you mean, something's wrong with time?” Rose called out. The Doctor kept walking, muttering as he went. She ran out in front of him. “Do you mean that we've landed in the wrong time? That's nothing then, we've done that loads of times. Why are you so worried about it --Oi! What you go and do that for?” She glanced down at the long fingers wrapped around her arm.
He jerked against him and pointed down at the sand. A sharp, jagged piece of debris stuck out of the sand. The Doctor shook his head, not so much at anything she'd said as he was trying to clear his head. “You should be a little more careful, especially when you're barefoot.”
Rose huffed. “Well, if you'd been paying attention then I wouldn't 've had to run and then I could have looked where I was going. Now what's so bad about landing in the wrong time?”
The Doctor bent down to examine the object. He held it up and looked at her through it. "Glass. Looks like it washed up here." He gestured to a lone shack in the distance. "Doesn't look like it came from there, does it?"
Shaking his head, he turned to her. “We're not in the wrong time, Rose. That's the problem. This is the right place, the right time, but there's something very wrong here.” Her confusion must have been evident because the Doctor sighed and looked around.
“It's like when you go to a shop. Every time you're there it's the same. Until one day it's not and you can't quite tell what's different. Maybe they changed the paint colour or added more lights. You just know it's changed. Now take that feeling and add an overwhelming sense of dread and you've got something close to what I'm feeling.”
Rose shook her head. “You know, that really wasn't much help.”
The Doctor shrugged and held out his hand. “Didn't really think it would be. Come on; let's find someone to talk to.” Rose slipped her fingers into his and they hurried off towards the city center.
“Are you sure that there's anyone in there,” Roses asked pointing at the large building. It was on top of a hill, set apart from the rest of the buildings. Rose would have guessed that it was some sort of government building or community meeting place. It had the look of a public space, impersonal and not very inviting.
“Well, I'd figure that it's more likely that people would be in there than any of the surrounding buildings.” Rose glanced around and agreed. These buildings looked much like the structure that they had found near the beach, rotted and stinking. The Doctor had examined them and found evidence that there must have been some sort of flooding in the area.
“Which is wrong. There hasn't been a flood in this area for 200 hundred years. Or at least there shouldn't have been but since there was obviously a flood of sometime recently.” The last part was low and muttered to himself.
They walked up so many flights of steps that Rose's knees began to ache. She was about tell the Doctor that when a figure shot out of the building and down the steps. It moved a great deal faster than Rose could track clearly. Something literally flew out of the building though not quite as fast as the first person ran. The Doctor moved into the path of the smaller individual and wrapped his arms around its middle.
“Let go! Let go!” It struggled and shouted. The voice was high pitched and small. Rose couldn't be quite sure but her first thought was that it was the voice of a child. The Doctor however, did not let go.
“Calm down,” he said soothingly, “No one is trying to hurt you.” Just then, the larger figure landed beside them.
“What exactly do you think you're doing to my child?” The woman's voice and Rose was sure that it was, indeed, a woman. She was tall and had thick brown fur. Rose thought that overall, she looked something like a giant otter with wings.
The Doctor let go of the child and bowed a greeting towards its mother. “My apologies. It seemed like the thing to do since you were obviously trying to catch him.” Rose glanced back at the child quickly, wondering how he was able to tell if the child was a boy. There didn't seem to be any distinguishing features from her point of view.
The mother's ruffled fur smoothed down as she relaxed. “Well, one can't be too careful these days. So many strange things...” she cut off abruptly and looked at the sky. She flapped her wings about and grabbed the child flew back towards the entrance. “We have to go. You should do the same. Leave now before it comes.”
The Doctor hurried after leaving Rose to do the same. At that particular moment, she would have been quite happy to never see another set of stairs again, but they managed reach the top of the step just as the furred woman reached the building's entrance. The Doctor grinned and ran a hand through his hair “Ah, hello again. You mentioned that something about strange things and then of course there was the obligatory cryptic warning (not the best one I've heard, but full marks for effort). So we were wondering, what exactly is going on?”
The woman ignored them and pounded at the door. “Please let us in!” No answer came.
Rose walked over and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Please tell us what's wrong.”
But the woman wasn't listening to Rose; she wasn't even looking at her. Her gaze was fixed on something behind them. Rose whipped around. A huge wall of water had appeared out of nowhere and was raging towards them. The Doctor whipped out his sonic screw driver and pointed it at the door which flew opened. “Inside. NOW!” he yelled. Rose complied immediately, but the furry woman continued to stare. The Doctor ran behind her and pushed her and the child through the giant doors.
The woman collapsed to the floor, her arms wrapped around her child. The Doctor grabbed one of the latches and began to pull the door shut. Rose saw him and moved to do the same. They managed to get them shut just in time as the waves crashed against the door. Rose leaned against the door and took a deep breath. The Doctor came over to her and they embraced. “Highly advanced people, the Artesians though it might not look it. They have the technology to do it, though I never would have thought...”
She looked up and was surprised to see a wide grin on his face. “Now I know what's going, ha! And it's brilliant absolutely brilliant.”
Rose began to think she should be annoyed by his behaviour. “What's going on, Doctor?” she asked patiently. It would be nice if he could give a straight answer this once.
Best not to start down that slippery slope.
He let go of her walked over to the “I'll explain later. It'll make more sense to you after we've talked to a few people. Nothing we can do until tomorrow. Anyway, we've got to help these people to help.” He gestured towards the room's interior. Huddled together were dozens, maybe even hundreds of people-all winged and furred just like the woman. He winked at her and smiled "Besides, it will be a lot more dramatic this way."
Rose rolled her eyes and followed him into the crowd.
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