Christmas has come early. They’ll let you go down, but you can never come back up. That’s right, they’re…
Aggressive Stairs - A Doctor Who Fan Fic
Written by VampirateMace - Inspired by elyvorg & the rest of the Doctor Who Fan Club
~ Note: This story is about the 11th Doctor and takes place sometime between ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ and ‘The Power of Three’. So there may be spoilers of episodes prior to ‘The Power of Three.’
Aggressive Stairs - Chapter 1
Rory strolled into the living room, awkwardly balancing three mugs of hot cider. He passed out two and kept the third for himself sitting down on a hassock. He lifted the cup to his lips and blew gently across the surface of the cider, watching the ripples, then took a sip. He sighed blissfully and looked up. This was nice. This was so nice, just the three of them. Just him, his wife, and his daughter, without his son-in-law there to drag them all over time and space.
It wasn’t that he didn’t like the man, it was just that everything was so dangerous and hectic when he was around. As where right now, things were nice and relaxing.
Presently, and predictably, that changed. There was a knock on the door. Rory sighed, he knew who it was, even before he opened the door and let himself into their house. That man, that doctor, who only called himself the Doctor. In his mismatched brown suit, with that longish slicked back hair. He greeted them enthusiastically, “Ello Ponds! Amy! Rooorrry! Oh, and River!”
He leaned in and gave River a passionate kiss that left her looking stunned. Rory wonder if it meant that for once, they’d met in something close to the right order. Amy got to her feet, accidentally splashing cider on the side table where she set her drink. Rory had a feeling he’d be the one who got to clean that up later. She pulled the Doctor close in a big hug, “So, what brings you here?”
“Well I was in the neighborhood, well not really, and I picked up a Des distress signal. So, I thought I might be needing my Ponds… River apparently, is a bonus,” replied the Doctor pulling away and spinning about to take in the Pond’s current décor. He didn’t look impressed, but then Rory thought, he never was. The bonus comment seemed to bring River back to her senses, “Doctor, Socrates?”
“Yes, yes, interesting fellow,” dismissed the Doctor, “Anyways, the Des, ran into them a couple of times before. Nice lot in general, sort of have the tendency to be shut-ins though.”
“So, then if one sent out a distress signal, it’s serious?” reasoned Amy, while River asked, “Talabloto? Have you done Talabloto yet?”
“Yes,” shouted the Doctor. Rory looked from one woman to the other and could tell that they were wondering the same thing he was. Who was the Doctor saying yes to? Both women seemed to decide that they were the one he’d answered and the questions continued.
“So what’s the plan?” asked Amy while River simultaneously asked, “And Sid the Headhunter?”
“Not sure yet. We’ll land the T.A.R.D.I.S. nearby and check out the situation,” admitted the Doctor heading for the door. River scowled in realization that she was the one being ignored, then called out after him, “Doctor! Talabloto? When are we?”
The Doctor simply continued to rush out into the garden, where he’d parked. Rory followed him and the girls outside. The blue wooden box the Doctor called the T.A.R.D.I.S. was sitting on top of the flower bed he’d planted Saturday before last. No point bringing it up, Amy had told him not to plant them there, she’d probably already figured out it was the most likely place for him to park.
It looked like a police phone box, but Rory knew that it was much, much, bigger on the inside, and much, much, more alien. The Doctor threw open the door, reveling the golden glow of the control room. Amy stepped inside looking like she could hardly control her excitement. Wee, thought Rory sarcastically. River’s entrance was calmer, but she immediately gravitated towards the central controls, Rory knew she believed herself a better driver than the Doctor. The absurdity of that thought hit Rory like a brick, his daughter thought she was a better driver of a Time Machine! Not to mention she looked older than her parents.
Rory patted his pocket to check for his portable first aid kit, then stepped warily inside, allowing the door to shut behind him. The Doctor and River were already fighting over the controls and within seconds a familiar noise filled the air.
Veeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr Wwirrrrrrrrrr Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrr Weeeiiiiiiiirrrr
Rory grabbed a hold of the railing, and braced for whatever was about to come. He glanced over at Amy, who was watching River and the Doctor intently, occasionally looking up at the status on the monitor.
Presently the T.A.R.D.I.S. stilled and Rory figured they must have landed. He looked towards the door, “So, where are we?”
He whipped away from the controls, “Colony, Des colony on Ninori. Well, just outside the main hatch anyways. Tried to get us closer to the signal…”
“…but the structures down there are pretty compact,” finished River studying a screen, “Looks like oxygen’s within acceptable levels.”
“Such a worrier,” mused the Doctor, already halfway to the door.
“Hey, I’d like to be able to breathe too,” defended Rory.
“Anyways, yes, compact structures,” continued the Doctor ignoring him. He seemed to do a lot of that when it was convenient. And right now was convenient, “the Des dwell in caves on their home world, and can make quite a lot of use out of very little space.”
A cold wind rushed inside as he opened the doors. The world before them was one of bleak grey stone tinted blue by the night. Stars hung overhead twinkling gently, but there was no moon or other celestial bodies, at least none that Rory could make out. It was dark, very dark, but Rory could still see enough to make out a circular hatch about two meters in front of them. It had one of those cliché steering wheel-like handles.
The Doctor reached inside his coat as they approached it, presumably going for his sonic screwdriver, but River stepped in front of him, “I’ve got this sweetie.” She reached down and gave the circular handle a crank. The handle gave a rusty creak, and the door started to open slowly, as though it were operated by hydraulics. It gave Rory the impression that took quite a bit of effort for it to open. That’s ridiculous, dismissed Rory, how can a door have to make effort?
A dim greenish light inside reveled a metal ladder descending vertically into a small room below. The Doctor pointed his screw driver into this dim abyss and then putting it away turned to his companion, “Well, we’re on an alien planet with nowhere to go but down!”
“That kind of stuff always makes him happy,” muttered Amy leaning over to Rory. Rory nodded, not really sure how to reply.
The Doctor led the way, followed first by Amy, then River, then reluctantly, Rory. The stone walled room they now found themselves in was pretty cramped for four people, but luckily there were two different halls leading them out of it.
“This way,” announced the Doctor turning to one of the halls. He quickly turned to the other, “No, this way.”
“You did look at the schematic right?” nagged River. The Doctor grinned sheepishly, “Briefly,” then turned heel back to the first hall, “On second, or rather third thought, this way!”
The hall was short and lead them to a slightly bigger room, a touch wider than the T.A.R.D.I.S., but too cluttered and with too low a ceiling for her to materialize. The walls were lined with machinery, a large set of consoles stood in the center, and there were two sets of stairs leading downward from far wall. The Doctor made his way over to one of these sets of stairs and fiddled with a panel on the wall next to it.
Presently there was tone, and a face appeared on screen, amidst light static. Her face, Rory decided to call the creature her until he was told otherwise, was covered in a short fur the of blue-grey color that is occasionally found on rabbits and cats, had rather large bald pointed ears, and eyes the color of champagne. A couple similar creatures were in the background, chipping away at a wall with makeshift tools. The Doctor was pleased with himself, if his voice be judged, “Ello there! We’ve gotten your distress signal, and we’ve come to rescue you! Just one thing… which set of stairs do we take?”
The creature looked down shyly, “You really shouldn’t come down here, it’s not safe. The way down, that is.”
“That’s sweet. Don’t want to be a burden on the other species, huh?” dismissed the Doctor, “You don’t need to worry about it, we’ve come to rescue you. Honestly, that’s why we’re here…”
The transmission cut out before he could finish, and the already dim lights flickered ominously. Looking around the Doctor realized, “Ah, apparently they’re already on auxiliary power.”
“Doctor, she said it wasn’t safe,” reiterated Rory.
“Pahhh,” scoffed the Doctor moving over to the closer set of stairs. He tested them with his foot. Automatically they started roll down, then stopped again as he lifted his foot.
“Automatic stairs?” asked Amy.
“Doesn’t that just make them escalators?” inquired Rory.
Again the Doctor sounded pleased, “Ooh, yes, automatic stairs, or touch sensitive escalators if you like, though escalators technically are stairs, so either way, they are in fact, stairs! Still this doesn’t seem too bad, the trouble must be further along.”
He hopped back on, slowly descending without effort, “Come along Ponds! River!”
“Right behind you sweetie,” announced River stepping on after him. He took her hands and they shared, what Rory saw as, an ill-timed peck. He took this moment to satisfy her earlier enquires, “So what have you been up to dear?”
Amy shook her head and pulled Rory on to the stairs along side herself. As soon as his foot touched the top step, they accelerated, hard.
“Okay, I think I understand the problem now!” shouted the Doctor frantically clawing at the walls as the stairs zipped downward. Rory and the others didn’t respond, they simply screamed. Soon they were moving so fast that the group was flung painfully onto their backs, still screaming.
End of Chapter 1:
Cue music, ‘Next Stop, Everywhere’