The Last Choir, Pt. 1

The Doctor wasn’t the only thing that could regenerate. In the few days time-and-space-flight from San Francisco, 2001 to the far-flung planet Kenos, the TARDIS had managed to purge itself of a scourge, like a pandemic returning to normality. For many long years the renegade Time Lord known as the Master had been thought dead, absorbed into the Eye of Harmony, the nucleus of a black hole and the engine by which Time Travel is perpetuated. He was thought to have been absorbed into the very heart of the TARDIS, into the Time Vortex, but the Master had managed to survive. Every single molecule of his being was reassembled within the TARDIS consciousness, fueled by a desire of hatred and revenge for the Doctor, his arch-nemesis. Taking so much from the TARDIS core had taken its toll on the time ship, as it had begun to take on a sickly, green pallor. However, with the virus now purged, the TARDIS was making a return back to health.
The entire interior of the console room had lightened to nearly white, and the wall roundels shone like newly scrubbed windows. The console, with its many switches, dials, and panels, had begun to put itself back to rights. The console room suddenly began to resemble the console room of old, with a cleaner, more austere appearance, while still keeping an organic foundation. The machine hummed and twittered contentedly as it felt itself returning to health, animatedly conversing with its aging pilot, known only as the Doctor.
The Doctor stood over the console, smiling happily and humming along to the pitches of the regenerating TARDIS. Soon, it became a game, with the Doctor and the TARDIS humming to match each other’s pitch, creating a symphony of sound that filled the console room. The Doctor took up a slight caper around the console as the interstellar duet increased, twirling his new walking stick and allowing himself a loud, spirited laugh. For the first time in a long time, the Doctor felt a little lighter, a little brighter, a little more like singing. After all, he was headed to Kenos, known as one of the premier concert venues in the cosmos, so he might as well get into the spirit. The lights of the TARDIS began to twinkle and shine as the music swelled to a glorious climax between the Doctor and the TARDIS, creating a beautiful harmony on the last, long sustained note, singing through time and space.
It was upon this quizzical scene that Russell Garamond stumbled in. Immediately, all music ceased and, both the Doctor and the TARDIS returned to business as usual, with curt, smart beeps and twitters while the Doctor flipped the odd switch and pushed the odd button in a very serious manner. Not sure whether to chuckle or apologize, Russell turned to head back into the interior of the TARDIS.
“Mr. Garamond.”
The Doctor’s clear voice stopped him in his tracks. He moved sheepishly forward as the Doctor gestured him towards the hexagonal console. Around a third of the way round, the Doctor held out his walking stick at chest level like some sort of security arm, halting Russell in his tracks. The Doctor looked up from the console with a seriously etched expression, and looked Russell up and down. Then, with a smile, he dropped the stick to the floor.
“Very nice, Mr. Garamond. I see you are making good use of my old vest.”
The Doctor’s old vest, with its seemingly endless pockets, was now in Russell’s possession. As such, Russell had changed his wardrobe to match the tan affair, adding a white oxford shirt, thin black trousers, and a burgundy corduroy blazer. Topping off the affair was a loosely hung simple black tie which tucked in nicely behind the Doctor’s old vest.
“Although I suppose you had to take in the waist a bit…” The Doctor chuckled, patting his abdomen which, in relation to Russell’s, seemed obese. Russell chuckled nervously, but adopted a better humour when he heard the TARDIS start to beep and click merrily again. The Doctor turned to the console, smiled, and turned back to Russell.
“Go get the others. We’re nearly at Kenos.”
Russell was not the only one who had changed his wardrobe. Javis was just re-entering the companion’s lounge in a new variation of her typical simple suit, this one being a dark, iridescent green as opposed to her normal black. Colleen, however, was still in her old standard homespun garb, but was admiring one of Russell’s shirts that had been hanging in the corner. Javis could not control her gales of laughter as she stumbled upon the young Irish girl delicately touching a silk shirt with a growing sense of wonderment. Caught in the act, Colleen immediately backed away from the garment, making several rapid unintelligible excuses.
“What? Haven’t you ever seen a silk shirt before?” Javis asked after recovering from laughter.
“Sure I’ve never seen clothing like that, Javis. It’s lovely!” Colleen smiled sheepishly.
“Is it the clothing, or the fella wearin’ it that you’re finding lovely, Red?” Javis said with a wink. Colleen subsequently turned a bright shade of vermillion, a poor match for her more scarlet-hued curls. In what would become a habit of his, Russell entered the room a few seconds too late into a wholly uncomfortable situation. Judging from Javis’ good natured smirk and Colleen’s mix of abject terror and embarassment, Russell concocted a nervous cough and a brief announcement.
“We–ahem…we’re almost there.”
Javis clapped Russell on the shoulder and shouted a quick reply as she hurried out the door to the console room.
“Sounds great, Stringbean. Can’t wait!”
With Javis’ effervescence absent from the room, things suddenly became ridiculously awkward between the Irish peasant and the expatriated doctor. Before he could work up the nerve to open his mouth, Colleen too bustled past him and out the door. Gazing up at the ceiling, Russell groaned aloud, berating himself.
“All of time and space and you can’t find anything to say?!”
As Javis entered the console room, she remarked on the aesthetic change, as it was never in her nature not to.
“Cripes, Doctor, have you been scrubbing the place?”
The Doctor looked up from the console and smiled genially. “Actually, Javis, the TARDIS has been cleaning itself. Apparently, without the Master sapping its power for subatomic reconstruction, the TARDIS was able to reverse the atrophy that had been enacted upon it. To put it simply, Javis…it’s getting better. Scottie?”
Javis helped herself to a candy. “Fantastic, Doctor. Absolutely fantastic. Figures that creepy Master would steal from your TARDIS.”
“Indeed, Javis. I suppose it was foolish of me to think I was rid of him, and to pass off the TARDIS atrophy as normal wear and tear. Perhaps I wanted to, made myself believe so, but now… I don’t know. It’s almost nice to not be the only Time Lord all of a sudden.”
“Except the only other one is existence has it out for ya.”
“He has hated me for nearly three quarters of a millenium, Javis, so much so that it has sustained his very life force when all other forces should have had him dead. But now, when his plan was simply to live again, and I granted him that opportunity…I can’t help but think he may change.”
Javis gave the Doctor a love tap on the shoulder. “Hey Doc, it’s us women who are supposed to think we can change men, eh? Speaking of women, here comes out blushing beauty now.”
Colleen entered the console room ignominiously, bumbling through the door. Her face was still flushed, but she attempted to to pass it off as nothing as she strolled in what she believed was a casual manner towards the other two.
“Hallo,” she waved a hand dismissingly, suddenly very interested in the console, “almost there, aren’t we?”
“Indeed,” the Doctor smirked slightly, and exchanged a look with Javis. “Where is Russell then, Colleen?”
“Oh, out and about,” Colleen waved her hand in such violently dismissive manner that it looked fit to fly off her wrist, “y’know him…”
“A little, my dear girl, but perhaps some may know him better by now…” the Doctor smiled. Colleen looked at him pleadingly, as one does to a prying parent, and the Doctor returned to the console, making a few last minute adjustments before arrival. Javis, stifling sniggers, went to grab her faux-vintage 20th Century leather jacket off the coat rack near the door. As Russell entered, the awkwardness began to mount once more, but was interrupted seconds in by the familiar materialisation sound of the TARDIS landing. The Doctor snatched his walking stick off the console and adopted the voice of a train conductor.
“Kenos, Trelansl System, last stop!”
He threw open the TARDIS doors with his usual bombast, revealing a nearly blinding sight. Iridescent blue crystal was everywhere in intricate patterns, forming buildings, plazas, mountains, everything as far as they eye could see. The entire panorama glimmered like fine art, gorgeous statues of naturally occuring crystalline delight. Here and there, wraithlike figures would glide from place to place. Like ghosts made of smoke, each contact they made with the surrounding crystal emitted a pure, clear note of music, perfectly in harmony with each other note being struck within earshot. Harmonies, overtones, everything sang as the floating creatures lived out their daily lives.
“People made of smoke, cities made of song…” The Doctor exhaled with rapture, “that’s two off the list.”
Javis, Colleen, and Russell found themselves thunderstruck by the sheer dazzling beauty and harmonious atmosphere they had stepped into. The Doctor stepped in front of them carefully, his two-tone shoes crunching the crystal slightly as he spun round in front of the companions like an interstellar tour guide.
“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Kenos. It is their year 2536, their time…” he glanced at his gold pocketwatch, “about two in the afternoon, Christmas Eve. The concert is at seven sharp. Until then…let’s see what we can see!”

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