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° Rhythm of the Piper
by Lucille Arboine
"We turn what scares us into stories. All those terrible supernatural creatures can't harm us when they're fictional."
Or so the Doctor thinks. When the TARDIS takes him to Lower Saxony in 1284, he is surprised when he comes face to face with a strange plague afflicting the young of Hamelin. Though what he initially thinks is a terrible illness turns out to be something much worse. As he faces the superstitious beliefs of the people of the town, the Doctor must turn to two men he is reluctant to trust if he is to have any chance of saving the day. But when one is a mysterious stowaway who offers more questions than answers and the other is the Pied Piper himself - a figure of folklore that the Doctor had always assumed was fictional - he knows he's in for a tough day.
And that's before the Untimely Red step out of the shadows. That's before the truth about the Somgalese is revealed. That's before he finds out what the plague really is.
Desperate to save the children, the Doctor will go to any length to secure a happy ending for these people. But this isn't a fairytale. Real life has a tendency to be a lot harder.
° The Labours of Travellers
by Jay Bishop-Thompson
Life in Stalin's Russia is hard as the Doctor discovers when the TARDIS takes him and Antoine to an industrial town intent on doing all they can to meet their targets. But they soon get swept up in history, falling in with politicians and workers all trying to survive the harsh realities of their lives.
While Antoine goes underground and experiences the claustrophobic horrors of a cramped mineshaft, the Doctor witnesses firsthand the paranoia and fear rife throughtout the country. It's the time of the Purges and nobody is safe.
But who is hiding in the warehouse on the outskirts of the city? Why are they mining for minerals nobody has ever heard of? What are the creatures that scurry around just out of sight? And who is responsible for the hole in the time vortex?
Sometimes, being forced to work until you drop dead isn't the worst thing that could happen to you.
° The Empire of Dirt
by Jay Bishop-Thompson
Georgie doesn't belong in Victorian high society. She doesn't know how to talk to her new friends and her social graces are slowly turning into barbed comments. But she still takes tea and discusses the neighbours because she has to fit in. The Doctor said so - she's on an important mission: to infiltrate a select group of friends that are secret occultists who have stumbled onto a deadly entity on the periphery of this dimension.
Antoine doesn't belong with all of the urchins. He can't stand their dirtiness and accents. Since he doesn't fit up the chimneys, he spends his days trying to pick out valuables from the swill left behind. But he has to fit in as well. The Doctor said so - he's also on an important mission: to track down the horribly mutated creature scavenging the sewers for its next meal.
The Doctor loves it. Ever since the Tardis abandoned them on the outskirts of London in 1867, he has been so very happy tending to a small allotment, growing vegetables in peace. He's made friends, even has a lady taking interest in him. He's fitting in. He's on a mission too: to have fun. Except he soon gets drawn into a murder mystery, people going missing and supposed sabotage on the allotment.
All while the Loringa grows stronger, deep underground. It has created an intricate web underneath the city, one large enough to pull it all down. But with the travellers distracted with smaller issues, will they discover the truth and save London from a premature burial?
by James Durkin
“Once upon a time, there was a world divided. By day, it was just like your world. The residents woke up, they went to work, their children went to school. They walked the streets and played in the parks, and everyone was safe. But come sundown, they retreated into their homes, and locked their doors, and went to sleep, and tried not to think about the outside world. Because once the sun went down, it belonged to them. They walked the streets and haunted our parks. And their children went to their schools. And when the sun rose again, they retreated below ground, and locked their doors, and went to sleep. And tried not to think about whom they shared their world with.”
“Sounds like a strange place. What was the planet called again, Doctor?”
“It was called Earth, my dear.”
You are cordially invited to the wedding of the Night-King Orlock to Queen Catherine of the Hadaratti. It should be a joyous occasion. But as the hour draws near, darker motives reveal themselves. Why does the King's brother seem surprised that the wedding is going ahead? Who are the blue-skinned guests with the strange taste in scarfs? And where is Antoine?
As the Doctor and Georgie quickly find themselves in over their heads, secrets will be revealed. And for the crew of the TARDIS nothing will ever be the same again.
by Lucille Arboine
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