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Aggressive Stairs - Doctor Who Fan Fic (PG)

Discussion in 'Non-Pokémon Stories' started by VampirateMace, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. VampirateMace

    VampirateMace Internet Overlord

    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’
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  2. Becoming

    Becoming ┓┏ 凵 =╱⊿┌┬┐

    Okay, review time :)

    Okay, so I feel there should either be a comma before or after "awkwardly", because I can't tell whether he A) strolled into the living room awkwardly or B) balanced the three mugs of cider awkwardly.


    In the second sentence it's a bit vague who "he" is (even though it does make sense). Maybe you should make it a bit clearer? The second part of the bolded sentence doesn't make sense to me because if you remove the suit part it's "In his longish slicked back hair". I don't think you can be "in" a hairstyle. Maybe you should try "with" instead.

    Okay so I think that all of these red commas should be full stops. In the first two instances it's just me being picky (I'm not sure if there's a proper rule or anything) but in the third it should definitely be a full stop because there's a capital letter after it. There are commas like this through this chapter, maybe you should revise them if you think this is a problem?

    Since two different characters are speaking, and it's not indirect speech, Amy and River's questions should be in different paragraphs (or so I think, note, I'm rusty on this).

    Also the first sentence reads funny to me. I feel that comma should be after "then".

    There are two spaces between "they" and "were" . . . not really that important but it annoys me :p

    I love you you've taken a paragraph just to describe the TARDIS noise :) But er I think you still need a comma at the end of the sentence, and maybe in between words (if you'd call them words).


    This sound exactly like something Rory would say! Your characterisation is spot on!

    Should be a comma between "Doctor" and "ignoring". Also, I feel the bolded sentence should just be a sentence on its own.


    I don't get that bolded part. At all. I guess it's kinda Rory's thoughts but . . . I still don't get it.


    Er, "hon" doesn't seem like something the Doctor would say IMO. It's more of a River word. Unless you meant for it to be "huh"?

    Even the fanfics have flickering lights :p


    So I'm curious about this fic, mainly because A) it's Doctor Who and B) I have no idea what's going to happen. I mean generally in the first couple of minutes of each DW episode nothing much happens (like has happened here), but usually you get a trailer or something. This? No trailer. There's the normal "going some place in the universe" but in this case I'm generally curious.

    I like the idea of having Amy, Rory, the Doctor and River at the same time. That's one of the reasons I liked the Silence opener of season six - these four are so good together! And in this case Amy and Rory actually know River is their daughter, and there are no crazy circumstances like in The Wedding orf River Song. So the family just gets to have one big adventure! I'm looking forward to this bit!

    Your characterisation is generally good, you really capture how I imagine Rory feels about the Doctor, and River to some extent. So no problems there. Your description is nice, and you really capture the TARDIS noise.

    Overall, I'm looking forward to "Next Stop, Everywhere" :)
  3. VampirateMace

    VampirateMace Internet Overlord

    Thank you for you review. I obviously needed another set of eyes on those spelling, grammar, and extra space errors, because I read through it a couple times, and still missed some things. I’ll definitely be doing some editing.

    I appreciate your input on how commas and periods should be used in relation to dialog. However I feel that using commas so that you always know whose speaking is the superior method, even when action is involved. Though in a couple of the instances you pointed out, I really did get carried away and should go back and break those up.

    I’ll try to clear up the hatch opening thing, I not particularly happy with those sentences myself. It probably really deserved to be three or four sentences instead of two.

    … it was supposed to be ‘huh?’, I can’t really imagine the Doctor just calling a stranger ‘Hon’ either.
  4. VampirateMace

    VampirateMace Internet Overlord

    Aggressive Stairs - Chapter 2

    Amy landed on something soft. Well, not entirely soft, there were some hard knobby areas, making it not all that comfortable at all. She’d hardly realized it was River (who’d incidentally landed on the Doctor), before Rory landed on her.

    Amy moaned. River, begged her parents in a pained voice, “Get off please!” Meanwhile the Doctor just made a pitiful gasping sound. Amy assumed that meant he’d had the wind knocked out of him. She was pretty sure Time Lord anatomy wasn’t too far off human anatomy save for the extra heart, and being a nurse’s wife, she did know a bit about human anatomy. Actually, that extra heart could make the issue worse, as the human left lung is smaller to accommodate their single heart. Anatomy aside, she too, wanted out of this the dog pile.

    Once the tangle of bodies was all sorted out, they begin to inspect their surroundings. Amy turned her attention to the stairs which they had so violently descended. The stairs had now come to a stop and were resting silently. She tested the stairs with her foot. Immediately they started moving, still downward and still quite fast.

    She heard the warble of the sonic screwdriver next to her and looked up, the Doctor had located another communication panel and was patching it through to the Des once more. The screen had the same light static as the one upstairs. He spoke first, “Ello again!”

    “Oh no. You shouldn’t have come down here. They’ll let you come down, but you can never go back up,” moaned the blue alien at the other end. Amy wasn’t sure if it was the same one he’d spoken to earlier or not, they all sort of looked the same to her, and the static didn’t help with identification.

    “The stairs?,” inferred the Doctor, “We noticed. So, tell me, when did this all start?”

    Static overtook the screen briefly.

    “…t was week before last,” explained the alien, “That’s when the stairs became… aggressive.”

    “Aggressive stairs?” grinned the Doctor, as the screen filled with static then flickered out. The lights dimmed and brightened again in reaction.

    The Doctor glanced at Amy, then turned his attention to the stairs as well. He tested them with his foot as she had, only commenting, “Hmm,” as they zipped downward.

    Why would stairs want to keep us down here, wondered Amy. What motivation could stairs, of all things, have for anything?

    The Doctor leaned in and scanned the stairs with his sonic screwdriver. The familiar warble of his all purpose tool filled the air.

    In response the stairs emitted a long shrill tone of their own. Amy wasn’t even sure where the stairs were able to emit sound from, but both she Doctor reeled back covering their ears. Amy’s vision blurred with tears of pain. Then as suddenly as it started, the noise ended. Wiping her eyes, she managed a sentence, “Not nice… Doctor, how can these stairs be this… not nice?”

    The Doctor seemed at a loss for words himself, staring at his screwdriver as if considering whether or not he dare attempt another scan. Amy opened her mouth to tell him he was dead if he did, but he pocketed it before she got any of those words out. He took a few steps back, then ran forward leaping onto the stairs. The stairs resumed their rapid decent as he attempted to run up them. After a few moments in which his progress was quite underwhelming, the stairs (possibly bored with him, Amy wasn‘t going to assume they were emotionless at this point) slide flat forming a steep ramp, and deposited him once again at the bottom.

    As he stood up and brushed himself off, the stairs clanked back into their motionless stair state. He stepped back for another go, but a hand from behind them grabbed his wrist. Amy saw it was the graceful hand of her daughter River, “Sweetie, I think you ought to have a look at this.”

    Spinning on their heels, Amy and the Doctor surveyed the scene behind them. The room was small, carved from stone, and had a distinctively incomplete look. This was partially because of the large drilling apparatus, tools, and safety gear that took up a fourth the room, and partially because of how rough the walls were. There were also no halls or doorways, only the stairwell they’d come down.

    “Ah, okay… I see… wrong stairs,” babbled the Doctor glancing back at the stairwell with one of his funny gestures. He seemed to be concocting a plan as he surveyed the contents of the room. He stared over to the driller, remarking, “Well, not a big deal. River dear, might I borrow your Time Vortex Manipulator?”

    River slipped her sleeve upward, then replied, “Er… no.”

    “No?” asked the Doctor incredulously as he turned back to her, “Why the devil not?”

    River showed him her wrist. It was bare.

    “I’m afraid I left it on the kitchen table. I was going to clean it and replace the wrist strap… I’d just had a bit of an adventure…” explained River, “but I thought I’d spend some quality time with my parents too.”

    “What sort of adventure?” asked the Doctor squinting at her suspiciously. River smiled innocently, “That’s none of your business.”

    “Spoilers?” guessed the Doctor as he turned, heading for the Drill.

    “Not exactly,” admitted River softly, but Amy wasn’t sure the Doctor caught that. She didn’t know what River had been up to, but she suspected it had something to do with the Doctor, even if it hadn’t been with the Doctor. That or she didn’t want him to worry.

    “Okay then, we’ll use the driller here to tunnel over to the other side, where the Des are,” announced the Doctor as he scanned the equipment with his screwdriver. He smiled looking at the results on the side of the screwdriver, “Everything appears to be in working order… Still, no need to take chances.”

    He picked a hardhat out of the other supplies scattered around and slipped it on his head. It was yellow-orange in color and had spikes on either side intended to cover the Des’ ears.

    Amy moved forward scanning the litter of tools and safety equipment for another helmet. Picking one up, she turned to inspect the driller herself. It was a large, old looking, green and grey speckled with rust and dust, and supported by three wide black wheels. There were bars off the back of either side of the machine which appeared to be for guiding it.

    “Does this plan seem too easy to anyone else?” asked Rory as he came closer to the machine. Amy could tell he’d overlooked the obvious, she wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or sympathetic. She loved that man, but sometimes… She picked up another helmet and forced it on him, “We still have to get back up those stairs.”

    “One thing at a time,” begged the Doctor as though he was being nagged. He fiddled with the driller’s controls, then stepped back saying, “Okay, let’s get this thing pointed at… that wall!”

    It took a bit of effort, but between the four of them, they got the wide drill bit against the wall pretty quickly.

    Rory let out a loud sigh, then asked, “What if this is the wall they’re digging in?”

    The Doctor reached over to the controls and cranked the ignition. The machine roared to life, shaking the whole room with it’s deafening rumble. The driller’s wheels were motorized like a high-tech vacuum cleaner’s, and it started to pull forward. Little chunks of gravel begun to sprayed back at them, though the majority of the crushed rock was being funneled into the machine and deposited out just behind them. River reached over and patted Rory’s back, shouting, “I think they’ll know to get out of the way.”

    “Oi, keep it straight!” ordered the Doctor with a point to her, “It’ll try to go with the path of least resistance, the softest rock it can find. We need to guide it to go straight. Straight to the Des.”

    This is new, thought Amy, we’re drilling through an alien planet with the Doctor… or an alien rock, she wasn’t really clear on what this world was. Lost in her thoughts she stumbled over a large rock dislodged by the driller. Luckily she was holding onto a guide bar and didn’t fall, though her big toe was a bit worse for the experience. Instead she was able to next brace herself against the rock as she tried to hold the guide steady… She couldn’t help feeling this was stupid. What sort of a cave dwelling alien race can’t even be bothered to come up self guided driller?

    Occasionally small rock fell from the ceiling and plinked against the driller. The machine paid them no mind, but Amy couldn’t help yelping when one struck her shoulder.

    “Don’t be a baby,” complained the doctor, just before another pebble smacked his helmet, “Yeowch!”

    “See!” shouted Amy, “It does hurt!”

    End of Chapter 2.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  5. VampirateMace

    VampirateMace Internet Overlord

    Well. . . it's been a while. I didn't give up on this, I just, was writing very slowly, and busy with other stuff, and a multitude of other excuses.

    Aggressive Stairs - Chapter 3

    River’s hands were starting to numb from the driller’s vibrations. She didn’t know how much longer they’d be able to keep this stupid thing steady. From what she knew of geology, due to it's relation to archeology, she felt the stone was more than sturdy enough to support a tunnel, but it seemed to be giving the driller a rough time.

    “Hear that?” shouted the Doctor.

    “No!” shouted River, just barely able to hear her parents replying in the same manner. Rory was closer, so she was better able to make out what he was shouting, “What are we supposed to be hearing?”

    “The frequency changed! I think we’re getting close,” enthused the Doctor. River sighed in relief, “Well, it’s about time.”

    “What?” shouted her husband. River cleared her throat and shouted, “I said, it’s about time!”

    From the context he really should have figured it out the second time, but still he asked, “It’s what?”

    “About time!” screamed River in unison with her parents. At that moment the whole wall in front of them came crumbling down. Rocks and gravel flew everywhere. River groaned as a merciless shard smacked her just above the eye.

    The machine roared in the absence of it’s mineral food, and it took the Doctor a moment to get it turned off. As the dust settled, River could make out forms in the room before them. There were three of them, a little ways off, shielding themselves behind a metal table. Slowly, one by one they stood up.

    River, her parents, and the Doctor made their way out of the dusty tunnel. One of the creatures leapt the table and she got her first good look at it as it came forward. They were a slightly bluer color than they’d glimpsed on the monitor, but still a somewhat dull blue. Each one appeared to be about five feet tall, each wearing a light orange jumpsuit cut wide from the wrist the ankle to accommodate an unusual anatomical feature. They appeared to have gliding flaps, like a flying squirrel. Useful for gliding down, but not going back up. A worthless tool against the aggressive stairs.

    The lead creature looked them over, wringing it's hands, “You really should have stayed up there. There's not much left of our provisions, and every time we try to repair or disable the stairs, they become...”

    “...aggresive?” finished the Doctor, whilst Amy suggested, “noisy?” The Doctor surveyed the room, then said in a reassuring voice that River didn't entirely trust, “Not to worry, we'll get this all sorted out. I'm the Doctor. And these are my friends Amy and Rory Pond, and my lovely wife Dr. River Song.”

    “It's Williams,” droned Rory.

    The Des seemed to shrink shyly away from them, responding somewhat softer than before, “Pleasure to meet you Doctors Song, Ponds. I'm called Arc, these are my coworkers Oggie and Lans.”

    “It's just Doctor,” commented the Doctor.

    Oggie and Lans came forward. Oggie was a bit taller than the other two, with dark blue eyes, while Lans had lavender eyes and a fur-less scar on her right cheek. Oggie looked around and then asked, “So, do you have a plan?”

    “Yes,” remarked the Doctor confidently, “No, wait, the other one. No, I don't, not really.” The Des looked concerned, and reasonably so, River was pretty concerned herself.

    “Doctor, I have an idea,” suggested Amy. River turned to listen, her mother had a good head on her shoulders, so this idea might just be what gets them out of here. Amy fumbled with her words a moment before continuing, “Well, why. . . Why don’t we drill a space big enough to land the T.A.R.D.I.S.? Our future selves can land and pick us up, then drop us off back at the current T.A.R.D.I.S., so that we can come back and save our selves.”

    “No, no, paradox,” dismissed the Doctor, “Bad idea, it could tear a hole in the universe…”

    “I’m not sure it is a paradox,” interrupted River, “Not if we all know it’s going to happen, and all agree on the details.” There were nods all around as she explained, and her father even smiled for the first time this trip.

    “It’s a paradox, and we’re not doing it!” shouted the Doctor. He moved his hands animatedly as he spoke. He was so cute when he was frustrated, he wasn’t cute when he was angry, but defiantly cute when he was frustrated.

    “Then what are we doing?” asked Rory. The Doctor glared at him, and said in a strained voice, “I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”

    Oggie had the distant disappointed look of a child promised pizza, who hadn't known it was going to be a gluten-free cheese-less vegan pizza, right before they flew into a tantrum. He didn't throw a tantrum though, he just sat down cross-legged on the floor, “So, nothing's really changed?”

    “We're going to starve faster,” offered Lans. Arc scowled at her, “You're not helping. . . Look, there's 7 of us, we should be able to come up with a plan. What's your specie's special ability?”

    “Well, I'm a Timelord,” offered the Doctor, “I travel through time and space, saving planets mostly, but my time-space ship is kind of parked outside. And they're humans, so their special ability is that they don't have a special ability.”

    Oggie muttered something that River didn't understand, but she strongly suspected was a cuss word. The Doctor shook his head, then asked, “Can the stairs see us? I know they can hear us. Can they understand us?”

    “The stairs were programmed with simple AI, to anticipate the base inhabitants' needs” explained Arc, “they have motion detectors, pressure pads, and audio recorders. But they're not programmed to actually understand speech. Something must have gone wrong with the AI though.”

    “I'll say,” muttered Rory. Amy gave him the 'not helping' look. The Doctor pondered Arc's answer, wandering over to the stairs. Looking them up and down, and then returning the the group. He looked back at the stairs, “Maybe. . . nah. Or we could. . . no.”

    “Could we make hand and foot holds in the stairwell walls? Like rock climbers do?” asked Rory. The Doctor smiled and gave a slight laugh, and seemed about to compliment Rory, “Rory, that's. . .” But Lans interrupted,” we already tried that. The stairs heard us and started shrieking.”

    “Ah, yes,” breathed the Doctor. Amy glared at him, “Yeah, we've heard that noise.”

    The lights flickered violently. The Doctor turned to Arc, “You're on auxiliary power. How long until that gives out?”

    River jumped in, “Are the stairs on the same circuit? If the power goes, can we just climb them?”

    “Everything's on auxiliary power now, but the emergency generators are photovoltaic,” moaned Oggie, still sitting on the floor, “I set the whole thing up myself, there's panels all over the surface.”

    “Photo-val-tic?” asked Rory. River rolled her eyes, “It means they're solar powered. And Oggie made sure there would always be a soar panel facing the sun.”

    “So. . . the flickers are when other. . .” the Doctor trailed off. There was a slight tremoring. Most of them froze or looked around. Lans reached for the table, and Amy covered her head with her arms shouting, “Earthquake!”

    “Impossible,” replied the Doctor, to which Arc added, “We're on an asteroid.”

    “Then what was that?” panicked Amy. Everyone looked at one another silently, nobody had any clue, it wasn't bad enough to be them hitting another asteroid, was it? Rory finally broke the silence, “River, you're bleeding.”

    River reached up and touched her forehead, she'd forgotten about the rock that hit her. There was a sticky trail of blood dripping into her eyebrow. Rory whipped out his first-aid kit, “Let me clean that up.”

    The asteroid trembled again, a little harsher then the previous time. Rory fell into River knocking her over. “Oww, Dad,” moaned River, to which Rory replied, “Sorry, sorry.”

    The lights cut out. There were a couple gasps, and the Doctor cried out, “Gracious!”

    “Did you just say, gracious?” asked Rory.

    “Shut-up Rory! I'm under a lot of stress, always solving other people's problems,” snapped the Doctor as he pulled out his sonic screwdriver, a dim green glow illuminated the nearby area. Arc scowled, “We asked you not to try to solve our problem.”

    “See, maybe you don't have to solve everyone's problems,” sassed Rory, waving a band-aid around. The Doctor waggled his head, “The people that need help the most are the ones that don't want it.”

    “I'm just saying if you'd listened to her. . . you're a her, right? We would not. . .” started Rory, but Amy cut him off, “Boys! Stop-it!”

    River took the awkward silence, in which the Doctor and Rory both looked apologetically at Amy, as a opportunity to interject logic into the situation, “Hey, at least now, we can all get upstairs.”

    “Strange,” commented the Doctor in a distance voice, staring at the stairs, “A self-solving problem. A problem that actually solved itself. . . That doesn't happen to me very often. . .”

    End of Chapter 3.

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