A CHOIR OF BONES: Prologue
Peri was standing at the TARDIS console, staring at the dials in front of her, trying to be distracted by the coat draped over a rail to the left of her. It was a multicoloured monstrosity that she'd probably never stand to look at, let alone get used to. A voice called out from under the console.
"Okay, Peri. Read out the numbers."
"Okay, Doctor. 17, 21, 14, wait, the 14 changed to fifteen."
"Fifteen? Are you sure?" The Doctor crawled out from under the console and looked at the readings himself. He was silent for a few seconds.
"Is...Is something wrong, Doctor?" Peri asked.
"Wrong?...WRONG?! We're falling out of flux with the time vortex! Of course it's wrong!"
"In English, Doctor?"
"In English, Peri, hold on to something." The Doctor replied as the TARDIS shook with the magnitude of a moderately powerful Earthquake.
Perpugilliam Brown, or 'Peri' for short, had been travelling with the Doctor for what had been at least six months her time. She was a botany student who was saved from drowning by him. At first, the Doctor was a nice, caring man with an undeniable charm that made you want to follow him anywhere, but then he changed. He became...not that. Despite that, he was still undeniably the Doctor. He strived to do the right thing, and if there was a problem, he would not rest until he had fixed it, and people were happy. Peri could at least admire that, if not his ego, attitude or dress sense, all equally terrible.
The shaking stops. The Doctor instantly springs back up, opens the doors and grabs his coat, starting to put it on.
"Come on, Peri," He near shouted, the excitement of adventure taking over him, "Let's see where we've ended up this time. Peri sighed, rolled her eyes, and followed him out.
They were in a forest. It looked just like Earth.
"Doctor, this looks like...Earth."
"Looks like, sounds like, smells like. Even has the same air, but something tells me it isn't." The Doctor furrowed his brow. "Peri, stop...can you hear that?"
Peri listened carefully, and she could hear it. The sound of hoof beats and men's shouts in the distance. Before she could say anything, the Doctor was already striding towards the sounds. "Doctor, wait!"
She saw a party of men in medieval-looking armour. They were chasing a boar. The boar turned back and was starting to charge towards the fat, bearded one, but it saw the Doctor and, getting frightened by the number of humans around it, fled. The fat, bearded man got off his horse and grabbed the Doctor by the scruff of his neck, drink in his breath.
"What do you think you're doing, you darned fool? I almost hat that pig!"
"From the way I saw it, he almost had you," The Doctor replied, perfectly calm and even a little condescending. He shook free of the man's grip and straightened his polka-dot cravat.
"You will address King Robert Baratheon as 'your Grace'," said a mousy blond man by the King's side, holding the wine, and looking annoyed, though not at the Doctor, but something else. The Doctor smiled begrudgingly.
"Where are you supposed to be from anyway, talking an' dressing like that?" demanded the King. The Doctor's smile grew a little.
"I am a traveller, and I'm not from here. I'm a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous," the Doctor replied. The whole party was silent. Finally, the King replied.
"You're coming back with me to King's Landing. We'll find out who you are."
The King and his men set off in the direction they came from when the Doctor saw them. The Doctor followed behind, and Peri followed behind him.
"I wish you'd be more respectful to people, Doctor. I don't think he likes us now."
"My dear Peri," The Doctor replied. "If he didn't like us, I've a feeling we'd be dead."
"That's reassuring..." She responded sarcastically.
When they got to the gates, the King and his men went inside, while the Doctor and Peri remained outside. After a long time waiting, a bald man in a gold robe approached them, his face blank, though there was an air of being pleased about him that was somewhat comforting and eerie at the same time.
"I had heard there were two strange people at the gates. I heard right. You don't look like you're from anywhere I can place in all of Westeros or Essos. Tell me, where are you from?"
"Oh, my friend, we come from a place much, much further away than anywhere you'd have heard of."
"I should doubt that," the man pondered, with a cock of his head and the tiniest hint of an unsure expression,"...but I don't."
"I'm the Doctor, and this is my assistant, Peri."
"Welcome to King's Landing, Doctor. My name is Varys. I would like to know more about you and where you're from. You are something of a puzzle to me, and I enjoy puzzles."
"Well then," said the Doctor, walking with him, hands in pockets, "I would like to know more about where exactly I am and what is going on here. I'm out of the loop, as you'd say."
"I don't believe I'm quite familiar with that expression."
Peri watched the two men go. Both of them were total enigmas to her, but at least she could trust the Doctor, and the Doctor seemed to trust Varys, or at least trusted himself more than he distrusted him. Peri shrugged her shoulders in frustration and followed the two reluctantly. She could already tell this wasn't going to be a fun trip.