Title: An Experiment of Sorts
Author: Stunt Muppet
Rating: All Audiences
Word count: 1,873
Author's summary: "Everyone needs a new challenge, from time to time. Post-ep for Inferno, written for the Cliche-Swap Ficathon."
Characters: Doctor 3, Liz Shaw
Recced because: The characterization is perfect. Here is Liz Shaw, a prickly, tough woman as self-contained as an oyster and about as inviting, making the Doctor an offer to jolt him out of his blues. Not that kind of offer but certainly one she was surprised at herself for making.
The story flows beautifully, Liz and the Doctor are spot-on, it's funny, it's sad, it's relate-able (would we have the guts to do what Liz did? I don't think I would.) and it's simple. I loved it. The only complaint I have is Stunt Muppet doesn't go into What Happened Next. Not that she needs to. Always leave your audience wanting more.
So she does and, hopefully, so I do, too. Goodbye, folks! I can't come back I don't know how it works! Goodbye!
“I’ve been to that moon once,” he continued, ignoring her, “not so long ago. One of the great metropolises of the galaxy. The central plazas were covered in mosaics — miles of them, chips of stone no bigger than a thumbnail forming these exquisite patterns.” He laughed. “Called their planet ‘Rathesei’. ‘Golden’. But here? No. Gamma Cephei alpha beta. That’s not even a name, it’s a — it’s a designation, is what it is. It’s a serial number. A whole civilization, nothing but a serial number.”
She peered up in the direction he’d pointed. Cephei, he’d said; a star in Cepheus, perhaps? It would be high in the sky at this time of night. No planets had been found out there yet; from here even the most advanced telescopes could see only empty space and those faraway points of light. It occurred to her, as if for the first time, that there could very well be dozens of planets, orbiting every star in every constellation (statistically improbable but nicely poetic in service of a point), just out of sight, just out of reach of their instruments.
She was tempted, as she sometimes was, to ask him for more, to sit down and listen while he named faraway planets, telling probably half-true stories of his own adventures, just to hear their names and where they were. To know that the sky was rich with them, like some grand inverted sea.
She suspected this wasn’t a good time, though.