On the surface, this world seemed nothing special. One more rock, pocked and pitted, spinning slowly through the void of space. Empty. The earliest voyagers to this part of space took one look at this world and passed by. Nothing to see here, they thought. Move along. Plenty more planets out there. A few hardier adventurers, or completists, took the time to land. They took a quick look around, satisfied their wanderlust or their need for a tick in a box, and then went on their way. When it came down to it, there really wasn't much to see. No curiously formed cities, no striking land formations or scarlet oceans, no indigenous sentient life, it seemed. The moors were nice enough (if you liked that sort of thing), and even the hardest of heart would have to admit that the flowers were pretty (who doesn't like that sort of thing?), and the seas held quite a few fish and made some pleasant beaches, some sandy, some with charming pebbles (if you collected that kind of thing) – but the truth was you could see everything like this somewhere else, and you didn't have to travel anywhere near as far to see it. People came and said, "Oh, that's nice," and then left and more or less forgot they'd ever been there. Every now and then an empire would come past and claim the planet for its own: someone would nip down to the surface and plant a flag, or maybe even put a satellite in orbit. Sometimes someone else nipped down and planted a different kind of flag a few miles away, just to make a point. The flags didn't last, not in the great scheme of things. The orbits of the satellites would decay, and the little machines would come crashing to the ground, making one more hole in the surface of this unobtrusive world. The empires would decay too, in time, and for a few thousand years or so the planet would be left to its own devices once again, patiently weathering the meteors and asteroids that occasionally dropped by, getting on quietly with its business. No, on the surface there really wasn't much to see. Rocks. Grass. More rocks. Some water. Sand (or pebbles). Back to rocks and grass again. The average traveller would take one look and move along. Nothing to see. So much for the average traveller. But the best travellers – the very best – aren't fooled by surfaces. The best travellers know that if they want to find treasures, they mustdig, dig deep, below the surface, down to the heart. And below the surface thisworld – Adamantine – indeed has many treasures to show. Many treasures, andsome terrors, and always, always adventure. The best travellers always findadventure. And the very best travellers in the whole of time and space areheading this way.
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Doctor Who: Molten Heart by Una McCormack (Preview)Science Fiction
"To find treasures, you must dig deep, below the surface ... down to the heart." Deep below the surface of the planet Adamantine lies a crystalline wonder world of lava seas and volcanic islands, home to living rock-people. But when the Doctor and h...