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Ginny Potter - A Harry Potter Fanfiction Archive and Community -- Fictioneer
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Non-HP related Fanfics >> The Perennials I: Eve of the Eternal by Ancalagar

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Chapter 1:

Prologue: This Wednesday

London, Torchwood Tower, August 8th, 2007


The week has a Wednesday, the year fifty-two, wars an indefinite quantity. But this war had only one day, and that was Wednesday.

On this Wednesday...

Adeola Oshodi met her cousins Martha and Leticia Jones for lunch. The hour following was enjoyable but perfectly ordinary. Adeola had ordered a ham sandwich and a bit of salad. Martha opted for some soup. Tish gagged on a bitter piece of cheese in her wrap. She had overslept that day, and already was a bit grumpy. A man sat nearby reading a newspaper, and the front page was also ordinary. A British soldier had died in Baghdad. The new Harry Potter book had sold more copies in two weeks than Gone with the Wind had in decades. A man named Harold Saxon had started a campaign for the Prime Minister.

Martha had finally gotten an internship at the Royal Hope hospital, and would be training there for the next two semesters. Tish was applying for a job at a research lab. Adeola had just found a new boyfriend, but couldn't talk about her job. She simply told them that she was a secretary at Canary Wharf.

At ten past, they went their ways and returned to work. The ghost shift would come on in ten minutes.

Adeola went back to work.

She and her boyfriend sneaked into the renovations for a snog.

She never came home that day.

On this Wednesday...

Yvonne Hartman watched excitedly as a blue box materialized in front of the soldiers in the storage unit. After more than one hundred and twenty years of study, tracking, and waiting, he had come. Queen Victoria's institute had finally tracked down the enemy of the state, and it was under Yvonne's leadership. Some questioned her motives, but one day she and many others would be viewed as a hero of the Second British Empire. She waited with baited breath as the Tardis finally shifted into full view. It was August 8th, 2007. It was Torchwood's finest hour.

On this Wednesday...

Dr. Rajesh Singh worked on his Sudoku book. He was bored, but it was more pleasant to stare at the empty squares than to look up at that thing. The room was full of all sorts of technical apparatuses, with all sorts of uses, but they had all availed nothing. That thing was nothing. That thing couldn't exist, and he despised it and recoiled from it and was fascinated by it because it didn't exist.

On this Wednesday...

Jack Harkness lay back in his station at the Hub in Cardiff, his eyes fixed on the monitor, watching the energy of the Cardiff Rift, but his mind was elsewhere. Something about today's date brought his mind back to the history textbooks in his home century. There was something significant about August 8th, 2007, but he couldn't remember what.

He shook his head absentmindedly. It was Hiroshima day a few days ago; perhaps August 6th, 1945 was what he was thinking of. He remembered that day too.

He would remember this Wednesday.

A ghost appeared in the room.

It shifted into clearer focus.

A metal hand grabbed his shoulder, and Jack blacked out. When he came to, all of his colleagues, except a quaking Suzie Costello, were dead.

On this Wednesday,

On this sunny, bright summer day…

On this bright, summer day, it was silent, and smoke silently rose into the air, carrying with it the tears of the living and the blood of the dead.

On this Wednesday, August 8th, 2007,

Five million Cybermen invaded Earth.

Twenty million Daleks escaped the Time War.

Three hundred thousand humans died all across the world, and

Rose Tyler fell into the Void.

********


White. Blank. Empty. It had texture, but it was cold plaster. It contained no warmth, no feeling, no soul, just an impassive, mocking wall. He placed his cheek on the cool plaster, then pressed his ear to the wall, listening hard for he knew not what. But there was no sound. It was empty. It was void. There was nothing. That was the sound of nothing.

He stepped back, still running his hand on the white paint, a part of him clinging desperately to one last hope, that though he could not hear her, somehow he'd be able to feel her. But there was nothing, no indication, no sign, not the smallest trace of her warmth that he still could reminiscently feel. She was gone. Rose Tyler was gone.

The Doctor finally took his hand from the wall, staring blankly at the offending barrier. How long he stood there, he knew not. It was only the distant sound of sirens outside that brought him back to the present, and he turned around, turning away from the loss, turning away from her, abandoning her, losing her. He stepped away, moving on, leaving, going, always running, because he had to. Walking numbly across the chamber to the exit, he didn't look back. He couldn't. He wasn't strong enough.

He didn't stop walking. The Doctor slowly descended the stairs, barely noticing the forty-five floors he slowly passed. Numbers… numbers were meaningless. They were cold, soulless, amoral. Six six six, but it was meaningless. She was gone, and it seemed to him that nothing was worth anything.

But his face remained as blank as the taunting wall upstairs. The shock of what had just happened was so great that he couldn't feel at all. It was all too much. He passed several motionless bodies on the floor, but he couldn't look at them. The numbness intensified. He passed two chambers, and the smell of burnt flesh and blood reached his nostrils, but he barely noticed. A journey of what his own senses told him was eight minutes and fifty-two seconds seemed to be an eternity, but finally he found himself staring at the blue police box blankly. Then, willing himself forward, he reached into his pocket and produced a key from within. His hand shaking violently, the Doctor managed to fit it into the lock and turned. The door swung open with a creak, and he stepped inside the Tardis and slowly closed the door, finally resting his head upon it, unmoving.

Her eyes had been closed, but her face was not peaceful. She had not screamed, but the terror was pronounced. But she was brave, even to the very end, valiantly facing her end with dignity.

Valiantly… The Valiant Child will die in battle so very soon.

And the Doctor had denied it, telling her that it was a lie. She accepted that, but he knew she didn't really believe him. He had felt the storm coming, and he knew that in the last days she had felt it too.

Finally, he admitted the horrible truth of those condemning words: at twenty, Rose Marion Tyler was dead.

It was then that a strange sound broke the silence, a pulsating ambience, a quiet but pronounced and rushed tempo, and he turned to look at the console, listening closely as he saw her face appear on the monitor. Then he realized that the Tardis was softly crying.

Something in him broke, and he cried too.

********


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