Holding On

By SerenBex

Scifi / Adventure

Run Where?

Amy had shrieked all the way to Stonehenge. Evie had laughed at her obvious discomfort, enjoying the feeling of the wind rushing through her hair, which she had untied and left loose especially. Beside her, River kept shooting her amused glances, noting the huge grin on her daughter's face.

They arrived, dismounting quickly, and leaving the horses to graze outside the circle. Running between the stones, River and the Doctor immediately began scanning for any hint of what might be wrong. Amy looked around, asking questions, which River answered almost without knowing she was doing it. Using her Vortex Manipulator, Evie tried to gage the basics of what was happening around them. The technology was almost useless in this situation, but it was better than nothing.

"Last time we saw you, you warned us about it after we climbed out of the Byzantium." Amy said. Evie furrowed her eyebrows, looking the other way and pretending not to be listening.

"Spoilers." River told her distractedly.

"No, but you told the Doctor you'd see him again when the Pandorica opens." The red-head persisted.

"Maybe I did." River agreed casually, moving around Evie and shooting her a meaningful glance. "But I haven't yet. But I will have." She smiled weakly at her daughter, before turning around. "Doctor? I'm picking up fry particles everywhere… energy weapons discharged on this sight."

"If the Pandorica is here, then it contains the mightiest warrior in history." The Doctor announced, standing on the rock in the centre of the circle, almost as though he were a great speaker addressing a crowd. All three women's eyes were glued to him attentively. "Now half the galaxy would want a piece of that… maybe even fight over it." He leapt off the rock and placed his ear to it.

As he and River carried on checking the surroundings, Amy turned to Evie, hands on her hips. "Why does she always do that? Always! You do it as well. Both of you do it."

"Do what?" Evie asked, confused as to what her grandmother was getting at.

"Change the subject. Every time I ask a question you change the subject."

The teenager grinned slightly, her hair sweeping across her features so that Amy wouldn't see it. "Really?" She asked vaguely, before turning and almost jumping towards the two figures scrutenising the rocks. "Doctor, what's the plan?"

"We need to get down there." He replied as Amy exhaled sharply in annoyance that her questions had been brushed aside yet again.

"How?" Amy asked, looking confused at the large rock. The Doctor thought.

"River? Any ideas?" He asked.

The woman bit her lip, thinking hard. "Several; I'm just not sure they're feasible."

"What about those Technokinesis Clamps?" Evie murmured in a low voice beside her mother. "If we connect them up to your thingy," she pointed at the device in River's hand which didn't actually have a name seeing as the woman had stolen it from a lab as a prototype when it was only half complete and finished the job herself, "then surely we'd be able to move that rock?"

"You are a genius, honey!" The older woman breathed, staring at her in astonishment. Evie winked and turned away, crouching to rummage in her backpack for the clamps. River raised her voice, speaking to the Doctor. "This could take a while, I'm warning you."

"Do it!" He ordered. "Whatever it is."

The two time travelling women leapt into action. Evie threw a couple of the Technokinesis Clamps to her mother, pulling out another two and rushing to her side. She sat down, cross-legged on the grass and began taking one apart, removing a small chip and handing it to River.

"M- River… if you connect the software up on the thingy, I'll sort the hardware." She said seriously, trying to cover up her almost slip. The older woman nodded, after shooting her a look, slotting the chip into her device and tapping hurriedly on the screen.

As they worked, darkness fell. Evie's mind was whirring.

"Mum…" She whispered, after checking that the Doctor and Amy were too far away to hear their conversation. "What's the Byzantium?" River shrugged, not looking up from the formulas on the device in her hands.

"No idea. Haven't done it yet. I guess I'll find out soon."

"We. We'll find out soon."

"Mum never mentioned you, Sweetie. She said I told her."

"She never said I wasn't there, though, did she? I probably was."

River arched an eyebrow, finally looking up at her. "That doesn't mean you will be. Time can be rewritten, remember. Now hurry up."

Evie glared at her mother and threw the last of the Clamps to the woman, who secured it to the surface of the rock, pressing a button so that blue lights were emitted round the side and a red light blinked on top. Nodding slightly to her daughter, River pressed a button on her device and the rock slid slowly to the side. All four of them watched as a stone stairway was revealed, leading into the ground itself.

"The Under-Henge." The Doctor announced, leading the way down.

x-x

River and the Doctor were moving about, scanning the area to work out just who was coming after the Pandorica. Evie glanced at Amy, smiling weakly as she saw the anxious expression on her face. Then she turned, her eyes fixed on her mother's face. For the first time in a long time River looked genuinely terrified.

"What's happening?" Amy muttered to her, the flickering light from the torch clutched in her hand casting shadows over her features.

"They're trying to work out what else is coming. You've met other races, right? Imagine if they all knew that this… thing… whatever it is, was coming out. They'd all be after it. There's a signal beaming straight up there shouting the news to the entire universe."

"Who would be coming?"

"Who knows… everyone; Daleks, Cybermen, Slitheen, you name them; they're probably all on their way right now." Evie said, wrapping her arms around herself as though it would give her comfort.

"River, quickly, anything!" The Doctor demanded, turning to look at her furiously. River's face had gone even paler and she was staring at her device in horror as though she couldn't believe what she was seeing. Unable to tear her eyes away from the screen she gave a little gasp.

"Around this planet there are at least ten thousand starships." She said slowly.

"At least?" Amy choked, unable to believe her ears. She obviously wanted something a little more concrete.

"Ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million… I don't know! There's too many readings."

"What kind of starships?" The Doctor asked. There was no need for an answer because at that moment a voice filled the room. It was a horrible, grinding, mechanical voice that made the hairs on the back of Evie's neck stand on end. She gasped, the action causing her entire body to judder slightly. River glanced at her quickly, before returning her gaze to the readings on the small screen.

"Daleks…" Amy muttered unnecessarily. "Those are Daleks."

River breathed heavily, her expression fixed on horrified. "Daleks, Doctor."

The Time Lord stood rooted to the spot for a moment, the three women staring at him for guidance. "Yes." He said at last. "OK, OK. OK, Dalek fleet, minimum twelve thousand battleships armed to the teeth!" He made a strange shouting noise as something occurred to him.

"What is it?" Evie asked her mother as she rushed across the chamber, resting the device against another of the stone pillars. Wide-eyed, she shook her head at the teenager. Moving quickly to her side, Evie rested her hand on River's arm, staring at her questioningly.

"I don't know… there's another signal coming through." River whispered.

"We've got surprise on our side!" The Doctor announced, not seeming to notice that Amy was the only one still listening to him. "They'll never expect four people to attack twelve thousand Dalek battle ships… 'cos we'd be killed instantly. So it would be a very short surprise. Forget surprise."

Evie rolled her eyes and returned her attention to the readings on the screen. There were definitely other species being recorded now. Uneasily the girl glanced at Amy who seemed to realise that another voice had joined the Daleks'.

"Doctor…"

"Cyberships." River announced, deciphering the readings.

"No, Dalek ships. Listen to them, those are Dalek ships." He argued.

"Yes, Dalek ships and Cyberships." The woman told him firmly.

Evie's mind seemed to have gone into meltdown. She listened to the Doctor trying to formulate plans but something in the back of her mind told her that it would never work. The two races were much more likely to want to take out the Doctor than each other; he was probably the only one who could stop whatever was in the box. As her mother listed the different species showing up on the device, Evie walked over to the Pandorica, examining it closely and trying to work out what it was. As far as she could see it was just a huge, metal box.

The Doctor seemed just as intrigued as she was, leaping towards it straight after she had. "What are you? What could you possibly be?" He asked, looking at it closely. He put the fingertips of one hand on the box, stroking it gently.

From above them there was the unmistakable sound of incoming spacecraft and he turned tail, running for the exit. The women followed instantly, Amy dropping her torch in her desire to escape. River reached the stairs just after the Doctor, but she hung back, waiting for Evie to leave the underground chamber before her.

Outside was ablaze with lights filling the sky as ships of all different shapes and sizes whizzed around above them. Evie had never seen anything like it. The noise was ear-splitting, engines screaming as their pilots whirled the ships around. She stared up, turning slowly on the spot as she stared at the sky.

"Oh my god…" she murmured, taking in the sheer number of enemies facing them.

"What do we do?" Amy whispered, evidently having the same thoughts.

"Doctor… now listen to me." River said quickly. She seemed calm, but her daughter instantly heard the terror shaking her voice. "Everything that ever hated you is coming here tonight. You can't win this; you can't even fight it! Doctor, this once… just this one time, please. You have to run!"

"Run where?" He asked with the tone of a sulky child who's just been told he's not allowed to stay up on New Year's Eve with everyone else. Evie thought it was more bravado than anything else powering him at that moment.

"Fight how?" Her mother countered.

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