First a little background: So, I've decided to feed the writing bug that has hit me. Right now, I'm full of fun and creativity based on this lovely RP, so when I'm possessed of something to write about, I'm going to write it. The stories aren't RP "canon"; I may take liberties with some of the relationship and relationship developments, and character development, but it's my own interpretation of where the characters are headed (or might be headed).
Please feel free to comment (even if it's just to let me know you're reading it?)
This story is a work in progress. I'll be posting a bit of it each day. As for the timeline, I'm basing it on the idea that our heroes have been traveling together for at least six months. Twilight Kingdom
This world was vastly different from all the others. They knew it the moment they stepped out the TARDIS door, feet treading lightly onto silent, empty streets. There were no cars, no noise of traffic filling the background air. There was none of that
sound, the sound of life, of movement and momentum; there was no buzz and hum and tug and pull as people and crowds ebbed round and past, steadily ignoring the large blue police call box in their midst. The TARDIS was there, but there were no people. There was only the stoic loneliness of vacant lots and rusting cars, the occasional rustle of weathered newspaper and faded leaflets blowing in the wind along the abandoned streets. Here, an overturned shopping cart, there a broken shop store window, and over there a trash can rattled as some small animal or another started by their presence and made a quick getaway.
This world was dead, or dying, what existed lingering on past whatever apocalypse stripped the city streets empty and bare.
The quiet unsettled Jon. Slowly, carefully, gradually over time he had grown accustomed to the dim buzz of a thousand minds brushing against his. He couldn't touch them, and it was only with focus and concentration that he could separate one thought or one mind from the drone of thousands, but that continous always on reminder of others was something he'd started to take for granted. It was something he expected these days, something that screamed that everything was right and normal with the world, whatever world it happened to be. The sudden absence of "white noise" gave new meaning to the phrase "loud silence."
"How long?" Jon asked the Doctor after they poked around the ghost town of streets, dark windows staring down like wide, watching horrified eyes. The houses and buildings could tell the stories of the horror that passed by recently, but not so recently enough to be new. They could tell the stories, if they had more than dry, dust filled windows for eyes and someone among them willing to listen. Ami wasn't willing to listen; not like that. Jon didn't really blame her.
"Couple of days," the Doctor smiled his usual manic grin, bobbed up and down, his usual manic energy in flow, "Four days top. Lucky us to land right on a rift. A bit weaker than what she's used to, but the girl will get her fill. We'll have to find other sleepin' arrangements, though, unless you're game to curl up on the console floor. Took a lot out of her this jaunt did."
"Four days," Jon repeated. A heavy, wet, warm wind blew. Barely a wind, really, more of the heavy, half-attempts at a summer breeze that Jon remembered from growing up in Chicago. His leather jacket was heavy, the summer heat was upon them and Jon shoved his hands in his jacket pockets and shivered. Ghosts lurked; psychic ghosts and just those that crawled up from the imagination and ran spectral fingers up his spine and tickled the hairs at the nape of his neck.
"Yeah, it's adventure time!" The Doctor clapped his hands and bounded off down the street. Rose followed along with an indulgent smile, her hand clasped in his. "Can't wait to find out what happened to this place."
"It died," Faith called out behind them. The TARDIS set down on the very edge of an overgrown cornfield, which the Slayer gave a disdainful look. She muttered something about "nothing to kill" and set off after the Doctor and Rose, though it was doubtful she would remain with them for very long. Faith usually made her own fun.
It was nothing like an archaeological dig or newly discovered ruin. The death, the desolation, the loss was so recent that Jon could feel the echoes of humanity left behind. He saw the shades of people come and gone in faded curtains, gardens overgrown but with vegetables salvageable still, and books with pages that did not crumble when you flipped through them. The newspapers were yellowed and weathered, but there were clipped coupons in drawers and ads stuck to bread boxes and school art work collages on curling paper held on refrigerator doors through the powers of magnetism. Faces frozen in time, couples in wedding finery and students in graduation cap and gowns smiled from dust covered frames, and a remote controlled car still raced around on battery power.
They appropriated the sprawling farm house adjacent to the untended rows of corn. It wasn't difficult; there was no one around for miles, if anywhere on the planet, to argue with them. A slow, careful search of the place offered more clues and more pieces to the puzzle. The place had a well and a pump for fresh water and two generators, one solar powered and the other oil powered. An overgrown garden took up a good portion of the side yard, vegetables choked by hungry weeds, but still trying to struggle through in spite of it. An old fashioned wood burning stove had a place of dominance in the kitchen. It wasn't original to the house, signs around it pointed to recent and somewhat amateur construction. The dining room and living room had fireplaces, and layers of soot in both of them. Boxes of candles, some store bought and some homemade were found in the cupboard beneath the kitchen sink and in crates in every room.
"Someone was prepared," Jack commented. He held up a jar of canned fruit, blew the dust off toward the open kitchen window. "October 2003."
"That would help if we knew when
we are now. Or even where we are." Cassandra rubbed away the dust on more cans, fruits and jams and meats. The dates were close in age. "Although, they could have done this after whatever happened."
Snooping through mail gave them a rough date of when the mail stopped coming; birth certificates - for Mary, Joshua and Mark - and a marriage license - joining Ernie Baker and Joyce Fergues - were found in a fire safe box. The auto insurance and home owners had been renewed in June 2002. A dusty, fading calendar, sun bleached from where the morning and afternoon rays hit it almost daily stayed forever frozen on July 2002. The address on the mail put them somewhere south of Chicago according to one of those innocous traveling maps in the glove compartment of the long unused family mini-van. Jon's personal recollections put them in August, the height of the heat, the humidity and the misery.
Casey was the man of the hour, presenting a silver lining to Jon's cloud of weather doom. He strolled into the kitchen from the far side of the property, sleeves rolled up and shining silver beacons in each hand. "There's a creek that runs along the back end of the property." He held up the glorious shining silver cylinders for all to see, "I found beer."To be continued ...