Title: The Empath Cell
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 53007
Author's Summary:Something is wrong in Leadworth: Amy remembers a trip that never happened, and a local man has won the lottery and aged forty years instantly. The Doctor's search for answers leads him across the universe to an ancient civilization of empaths, who may be harboring a secret about a Time Lord who came before.
Characters/Pairings: Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory, OCs
Recc'ed Because: I always love a good sprawling adventure, and this one is intriguing. It takes a while to build, and doesn't end up where you would expect. It explores the link between the Doctor and the TARDIS and the consequences of meddling with their shared psyche. It doesn't rely on particularly flowery language or style to tell the story, rather its understated prose lets the characters, plot, and world-building take its time and speak for itself. It introduces a range of cool new characters that are all three dimensional and not necessarily what they seem to be at first, that I want to know more about what happens to them after the ending credits. The range of new characters that are given enough room to flesh out beyond what you would expect, along with the mystery, danger and intrigue make this story read like a classic Eighth Doctor Adventure novel, and though the author's Eleven is mad and clever as ever, I can definitely see echoes of Eight in him as well.
As soon as Amy left the library the Doctor sank deeper into his chair and deeper into his thoughts. There was something he needed to find before he could go any further. What was the problem he'd been working on? Oh yes - the TARDIS. Everywhere they touched down, people were jolted out of their time lines. His thoughts were going in circles. There was a feeling at the edge of his awareness, as if something was swimming in his subconscious just below his reach, receding every time he got close to it. It reminded him of when he was a child and he'd had a fever. He'd been adrift in his own consciousness, warm and comfortable, unable to sense the passage of time. He'd felt like he was both floating above the atmosphere and sinking in the depths of an ocean. It was almost like meditating except that he had no control over it. He'd been suspended in a blurred, dreamlike haze until the fever had broken. That was the memory he'd been chasing, but what was the connection, and why was it occurring to him now?
He heard the soft click of the library door shutting, as if from far off in the distance, and then a quiet footstep next to him. A voice said, "Doctor. Doctor? It's Asha. Something's been bothering me. If it's true that...." He heard her voice trail off, and then she grabbed his shoulder and shook him. "Doctor, it's here," she said. "I feel it in here. Doctor?"
His eyes popped open. "Patel, hello. What's that you're saying?"
They heard a furtive rustle and saw a shadow move in the corner of the library.