Chapter One

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Chapter 1

Rivers' hand closed gently around the worn binding of her TARDIS blue diary, the soft, well-thumbed pages bristling slightly as they rubbed against each other on their ascent out of the bag. “Okay, shall we do diaries then? Where are we this time?1” Her smile encouraged his reply. The man that stood before her, his tall frame, pale skin, dark hair, soft hazel eyes and silly glasses were nothing like the man she had married, yet every time her ears caught a trickle of his strong voice, his tone entwined with the light earthly Scottish pitch, her heart skipped a beat. This man was not her Doctor but he was still The Doctor, and that fact still held means for adoration. As River silently swooned in her second of freedom whilst he considered her questions she had no eye for the darkness that swept in a light mist over the tiles.

The swarm was thinly spread; it tinted the floor with a light shadow but not enough to be spotted...unless you were looking for it.

The spattering of darkness crept over the floor and began to climb the leg of the oak desk that served as the imposters leaning post. For now they did not care for the fresh meat that lingered before them, they wished only to explore the uninhabited pages of this new tree. Their eggs required a vessel, and this one was laid out open before them.

"Going by your face I'd say it was early days for you? Yes....2” She flicked through the pages confidently whilst he watched on, a confused spectator in her well-rehearsed sport. All the while the shadows skipped over her fingers, ignoring her fresh scent, spreading their spawn throughout the pages of her book as they were turned for them. This was almost too easy. The Picnic at Asgard, the byzantine date; every hand written memory they settled their tiny bodies into, bedding down in the nest of ink and paper ready to hatch once they were grown.

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The large white house was homely enough, the thought of settling in the place amused River, yet she had no choice, she was after all now nothing more than a piece if data. She sighed, taking a seat at the plain wooden desk that stood beneath the window sill. She slid her hand beneath the lid of the table and lifted, revealing the hidden compartment underneath. Within the organised boxes lay her diary, the familiar TARDIS blue cover comforting, she may be dead but she was still living on in virtual future, and it would be a shame to have this one pass with no story to tell afterwards. She opened the pages of her diary, ignorant of the miniscule tidal wave she caused. Millions of tiny Vashta Nerada flooded into the mind of the young girl, they were not supposed to be here, and their presence there ruined everything.

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River had lived at the large house now for little over 3 months. It was….comfortable, yet it was lacking the adventure our brave heroine so often desired. Retirement, as that is all River could refer to it in order to preserve any amount of realism she still had, had its advantages. It meant she could study her books, learn things she had never had the chance to learn, however she wasn’t a keen study, and what could compare to the knowledge she already had? What use was it in knowing things of earth when she had an entire story of vast universes tucked away in her mind?

A sudden howl stirred her from where she sat leant against the whitewashed wall in her well-furnished chambers. The hairs on the back of her bare arms bristled, that was no joyful howl. She caught her breath, leaping to her feet in an instant. She paused a moment, reining in all instinct to charge through the door and attend the conveyor of the howl. It was the current silence that now worried her. She listened a moment longer. Nothing, not even the muffled shuffle of fluffy slippers as another of the people saved in the large white house padded back to their quarters. Noise wasn’t abnormal, it was the type of noise that this had been. Not many people feel pain in a sanctuary. With a confident hand she reached for the handle on the door, she did not fear much; even the unknown did not really scare her. At least not many things did.

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