The Doctor stood at the open door of the TARDIS, watching the wind whip the grass into half-formed peaks, and brush across the tops of the dying flowers. His eyes charted the progress of his companions as they drifted in silence across the open space, eyes down.
The silence in places like this always had a special quality, as if within these walls, the outside world no longer existed, and all things were at peace. The wind’s whip did not bite, the sun’s rays failed to burn and the endless silence stretched, unbroken, through the hours. You feared to speak here.
Thousands and thousands of small rectangles, each denoting a life, each denoting an end, brutal and terrible. In the silence of that place echoed a million screams, a millions cries, half-heard whispers in the shadows of the winds. Close your eyes, and you saw it, stretching across infinity, all the candles from their lives, extinguished.
The Doctor closed his eyes.
And within the breasts of the three travellers, within the hearts of all who journeyed there, echoed a profound memory, a relationship with those who slept in sadness. The known, the unknown, those in graves and those still lying where they fell, the living and the dead. They died for a world that they believed in, a world and a generation that died with them. But in so doing they secured the future for all those who remember, a sacrifice that could not be foreseen, for those not yet born.
No one deserved to die that way, forgotten and alone. But their sacrifice secured hope in the darkness, a future amongst all that death, for all those who came after.
For the two who walked back to the blue box, who disappeared into the dusk and silence.
Leaving it behind, the wind and the voices. But carrying the memory always. They will never forget.
And neither will we.