Disclaimer: Doctor Who and all the associated characters thereof are really not mine. *woe*
Notes: Little thing, written for Cat McDougall because she is awesomecakes.
There is a land made of frost and stone. It sits, cupped amidst mountains, in the rarified air of great altitude. The sky, when it is visible, is a burnt cobalt colour behind which the stars barely hide, even when the sun is hot and white and high.
There is always ice: rimming small pools and gently burbling springs every morning, thick and impregnable and all consuming in the winter. The snow, when it falls—clouds creeping down from the highest peaks to embrace the world—brings silence and stillness and a reverent quality that does not exist anywhere else in the world, not any more.
There is a cave, entrance low and slight and unassuming. It dives under the mountain, a Gordian knot, a dizzying interlacing of tunnels and passageways and caverns and grottoes. In some there sit battered generators, which chatter and cough and grind away to themselves, providing the power that makes the scattered and frenetic strings of light bulbs glow like underground astral constellations. In the largest cave, there are computers that hum and glow and guard from them all the hours of the day and the night. In all of the other secret places under the mountain there are beds and bunks and cooking areas and latrines.
There is a trail, partly encoded, partly in plain sight and partly in the minds of those that travel it. It led the first refugees to the cave under the mountains, and it’s still there now, to lead in any that survived the end of the world and who are seeking sanctuary.
There are people from all over. Skin colour and language and race forgotten in the face of the aliens, the invasions, the killings. They have banded together to make this sanctuary, started by the four strangers from the other side of the world: the medicine man, the caring woman, the machine lady and the kind man with the sad, sad eyes.
There are monsters with metal skins that fly through the air. The people of the caves hide from them, watch for them, pray for them to be gone. The monsters—the Toclafane—are clever and ruthless and always, always hunting.
There is the resistance. It exists, here and there: a rumour, a whisper, a not-so-random burst of static on long wave radio. Without even designing it, the sanctuary under the mountain has become the hub for the resistance. Hub, the medicine man—slash of a mouth twisting, like he’s tasted something sour—says. We always end up with a Hub.
There is a rumour. Something that is ephemeral, even to the resistance, and yet stronger than steel, more enduring than diamonds.
There is a girl, the whispers say. She walked out of the destruction of London. She travels the world and sees the things that have happened.
There is a girl, (lowered voices, tinged with hope). She has a weapon and it’s made of words. It’s a story and once you hear it, you will believe.
There is a sanctuary, hidden beneath the mountains in the highest places of the world, where hope still clings and crawls and grows.
There is a girl. She is walking a lonely path, and it is carrying her up the mountain, into the place where the refugees are hiding and watching and waiting.
There is a word—when the girl speaks it, tells it, voices it—that everyone will believe.