by Kathryn A

Written for: Bad Cliches Made Good ficathon
Request: "Amnesia!" requested by AstroGirl2
Universe: Doctor Who (9th Doctor, pre-"Rose")
Spoilers: 9th Doctor through to "Dalek"
Words: 5000

Someone was singing.

"Wake up pretty darlin', I know you got the Blues,
But you're still breathin', and as sure as fusion fuse,
If you lost it all, you got nothin' left to lose
Don't let the Empty get you down
Don't let the Empty get you down."

The voice was dark and sweet, like... like something dark and sweet that he couldn't remember the name of.

"Keep on, pretty darlin', don't let them make you crawl. Take one step and another, though you can't see at all," the voice continued.

It occurred to him that it was dark, and he was lying on something flat. He opened his eyes to dimness and shadows. The light in the place, what little there was of it, was green; not the green of trees, but something harsher. A woman was bending over him.

"You just keep --" the voice broke off. "You're awake!" He could see the flash of her smile against her dark face. He felt her hand on his brow. "Don't you worry, Elly's gonna look after you."

He smiled at her. "I feel fine, thanks," he said.

Her eyes widened. "You understood me!"

"Shouldn't I?"

"Maybe there's some hope, then, for the others," she said.

"What others?"

"The ghost took their souls," she said. "Big Jem and Ferkle and Melda and the others. Sittin' in a corner and the water got in their brains. Gone," she said sadly. "No more knowing than a bunch of vat-yeast."

He sat up, and banged his head against an overhang. "Ow!"

She laughed.

He glared at her, rubbing his head.

"Sorry, but you looked so surprised!"

The obstruction turned out to be a large pipe; he'd been lying on a sort of shelf underneath it, about two feet higher than the floor. Other pipes travelled up and across the walls. Rectangular shapes, boxes, huddled in clusters, their outlines broken by objects on top of them or spilling out of them. The light came from a green glowing rod sticking out of a cup on top of a box in the middle of the area. It wasn't really a room. More like a nook; a dark curtain partitioned it off from the outside.

He twisted around and sat up more carefully. He touched the wall next to him, and put his feet on the floor. He could feel it all moving: a curve over an ellipse over a spiral. He recognised the particular twist of it. "We're in orbit above a planet, aren't we?"

"How can you not know that? Who are you?"

"I'm supposed to know?"

"You don't know who you are? Your name? Your Eydee?"

"No," he shook his head.

"Your parentage? Your living space?"

"No." He frowned. "I take it that's a problem."

"Seems you're not so far better off than the others."

"I'm a little more knowing than a bunch of vat-yeast."

She smiled. "Truth," she said. "But you've still fallen. I thought you might be a Reg, but if you can't prove Eydee then you're a None just like me."

"Eydee? You mean like Identification?" He patted the pockets of his leather jacket. "I didn't have anything on me?"

Elly gestured at a pile of objects on a box near his improvised bed. "That was all you had on you."

He poked through the pile. Lumpy things like half-melted plastic and clockwork. Bits of plastic and metal. A ball of string. A leather wallet with a clear partition holding a completely blank piece of paper. A pouch that contained disks of metal, some flat plastic squares, and something that looked like a large beetle. A metal cylinder with recessed buttons and a sphere attached to the end. He recognised none of it.

He tapped at the wallet, and its blank piece of paper. "That looks as if there should be something there," he said. "But there isn't. Bit like my mind, really." He frowned as he put the objects in various pockets. He didn't want to think about the blankness of his mind, though every item he put away reminded him of his lack of knowledge. He'd rather get his mind off... how much was off his mind. It would be even better if he could find a solution to the problem. "You mentioned others," he said to Elly. "Others who were vegetables."

"The ghost got them."

"Ghost? Maybe. Or something that seems like a ghost. There has to be something that's causing it. People don't just lose their memories, or their minds, for no reason. What did they have in common?"

"Big Jem and Ferkle, they were bad, rough. But even the likes of them didn't deserve that. Melda, nobody would miss her neither; tongue as sharp and bitter as blight. But Withy, everyone will miss Withy. Sad little thing, scared of everything, but wouldn't harm nobody."

"Any mysterious deaths?"


He raised an eyebrow inquiringly.

"Old Githa, she was found dead without a mark on her. But she was as tough as cable, it wasn't old age she died of. The Regs, they didn't bother checking why. If it's just Nones dying, they don't care. Off to the furnace, put the ashes in recyc, that's it."

"So what are Regs and Nones?"

"A Reg, it means you're registered, on the ShipComp. You have work, you get food, living space. A None, it means you're nobody. Don't get nothing but what you can scrounge, or steal." She lifted her head defiantly. "I'm the best scrounger there is."

He jumped to his feet. "Let's go scrounge some information, then. Elly, isn't it?"

"Yes, I'm Elly." She assessed him with her eyes. "I think I'll call you Will."

He looked at her and shrugged. "It'll do."

Over the next few hours, it seemed like Will was leading and Elly following, instead of the other way around. Nobody they asked had seen him before, nobody knew who he was. But he didn't stop there; he asked questions of everybody about everything.

"Where does the food come from?"

"From the dispensers."

"Where do the dispensers get it?"

"From the gardens."

"Who looks after the gardens?"

"Reg BioTechs."

And half the time the answer would be "Ask Elly, she's got a song for that."

He asked Elly about the world they were orbiting. And she sang of the fathers' fathers, who sought a new land in the skies. And how they built a Ship to sail between the stars, which could go no faster than the starlight, and so the fathers' fathers would die before they came to the land they sought. But for their children's children they would go. And so they went, in this ark, with all that was needful for life, and things that would be needful for when they arrived, and the ShipComp to run it all. And at long last, they came to journey's end, and found it an end indeed, for the planet they claimed for their new home was a doom and a curse, for though it was full of life as their seekings had said, the very ground was poison to humankind. But the Ship had no more fuel, there was nowhere they could go. So they hung above the world, trapped between death and death.

His eyes were wet when when she was done. He shook his head sharply. "Why?" he asked. "Why is it a trap? Your fathers lived on the Ship, why can't you?"

"Ship won't last forever."

"Planets don't, either."

"They last longer. And don't need Techs to keep them running."

He touched his nose and held one finger up. "Point."

"Hello, Joon," Elly said to a woman with iron-grey hair. "Glad to see you're holding up so well."

Joon shrugged. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Sorry about your husband," Elly continued.

Joon frowned. "I haven't got a husband."

"Yes, I know," Elly said, a bit puzzled. She said to Will, "Her husband's dead."

"Is this some kind of joke?" Joon said. "You're the second person to say that. I haven't got a husband, I never had a husband. You're mizzled. Completely looned. How can you mourn for someone who never existed?"

"Quite easily," said Will. "But you have to remember them first." He turned to Elly. "Exhibit B," he said quietly. "But our ghost seems to be getting more sophisticated."

They questioned Joon closely about her movements, after they managed to convince her that they weren't insane. But there were no clues.

Will sighed. "I guess we shouldn't have expected anything. After all, if this 'ghost' can take away people's memories, it could certainly take away any memory of an encounter someone had with it."

"Excuse me, I seem to be a bit turned around," said a man in what had once been fine clothing, but was now grubby and torn.

"You're lost?" Will asked.

"Oh, I know where I am," the man said. "It's just that I shouldn't be here, in the maintenance area. I need to get back to Residential."

Elly rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah, for the hundredth time, Lu."

The man blinked. "How did you know my name?"

"Everybody knows Lazy Lu," Elly said.

"What did you call me?" Lu said.

"He's Lazy Lu because...?" Will asked.

"Got made None a few months back. Couldn't accept it. Said he was above menial work. That it was all a mistake."

"I don't know what you're talking about, girl," Lu said. "My doorcode doesn't seem to be working, that's all. Somebody's idea of a joke."

"And the clothes are a joke too?" Elly said.

Lu frowned. "Do you think I'd really dress in rags on purpose?"

"Exhibit C, perhaps?" Will said. "Where's this door?"


"The one you lost the code to."

"That would be the door to the main ship areas," Elly said. "Can't get through without the right code. It's how they separate the Nones from the Regs."

"Let's go look at it."

Will peered at the door, his nose almost touching the security keypad.

"What are you looking at?"

"The keys," Will said. "Seeing which ones are more worn." He straightened up and asked Lu, "How many digits in the code?"

"Five. Why?"

"Five? That shouldn't be too hard, then." Will started rapidly tapping five-digit codes into the pad, clearing and starting again when each code didn't work. "There's only a finite number of combinations after all," he said, still tapping at a rate they almost couldn't follow. "And if you take into account which keys are most worn, the probability that a correct code contains one of those keys is higher."

"But.." Elly said.

"I'm surprised people haven't tried this before. Five digits is really too small," Will said, still tapping.

"Most people can't type that fast," Elly said dryly.

"Really?" said Will. "I guess that's another thing we know about me. Speedy fingers."

The door clicked open. Brighter light streamed around the edges.

Elly blinked in surprise. "You did it!"

"At last!" Lu pushed the door open all the way and went through.

Will stepped through behind him, then paused when he noticed that Elly wasn't following. "Aren't you coming?"

"Nones aren't allowed," she said.

He tapped his head and grinned. "Ah, but I don't know that I'm not allowed."


He held out a hand. "Come on Elly, live a little! What's the worst they can do to you?"

She laughed. "When you put it that way..." She took his hand and stepped through the door.

The corridor beyond was grey, but it seemed bright compared with the dimmer lighting they'd come from. There was no sign of Lu.

They walked down the corridor, taking turns at random. They saw no sign of anyone, just closed doors at regular and irregular intervals. Their footsteps seemed louder and louder in the quiet.

Elly began to sing.

"Come on pretty darlin', come dancin' on the ring
Stomp to the rhythm, step to the swing,
They can't defeat you, so long as you can sing
Don't let the silence get you down
Don't let the silence get you down."

"Too right," he said. He started humming along. Then he said, "Wandering around like this isn't getting us anywhere."

He knocked on the next door they came to. And kept on knocking.

The door jerked open, and a man with tousled hair glared at them.

"What do you want?"

"Hello, do you know me?" Will said.

"Who are you people?"

"That's just what I was asking you," Will said. "You see, I have amnesia."

"If you're ill, then go to Medical," the man snapped.

"Where's that?" Will said. "Some directions would be nice." He beamed cheerily at the man.

The man grumpily gave them directions which involved corridors and levels in a dizzying jumble, but Will seemed satisfied, and thanked him. Then followed more corridors, some level changes, and more turns and corridors, but finally they were outside a door labelled "Medical". The area seemed more populated, but most of the people either ignored them or stared at them rudely.

Will pushed the door open and a loud buzzer sounded. The room they entered had seats around the walls, and a window at which a bored-looking woman was sitting.

"ID please," she said.

Will smiled ruefully. "That's just the problem. I've got amnesia. I don't know who I am, let alone what my ID code should be."

"Amnesia?" The woman looked sceptical.

"Yes, there's been sort of an outbreak of it," Will said, speaking in a carrying tone. "Also a bunch of people with brains like vegetables. Had any similar cases recently?"

"I'm not --" the woman began, but was interrupted by a voice behind her.

"Send them through." It was an older man in a rumpled green uniform with three bands on his arm.

The woman buzzed them through.

"I'm MedTech Klane," the man said, as they followed him into a medical examination room. "You say you've seen other cases of brain-trauma?"

"Not me, Elly here," Will said.

"I haven't had any other cases reported," Klane said.

"They were Nones," Elly said. "Of course they weren't reported."

"Other cases?" Will said. "I take it you have at least one case here?"

"I am not at liberty to discuss --" Klane began.

Will interrupted him. "Come on, man, people are dying! We need to find what's causing this, find a pattern!"

"People are dying?" Klane said.

"One death so far, an old woman," Will said. "Her body's ashes now, so it's a bit late for a forensic examination."

"You have no evidence that it's connected," Klane said.

Will tapped his nose. "The nose knows," he said. "It does fit. The other people who were affected, they were young, healthy, right? But having your brains scrambled would be a heck of a shock to the system. Old woman, not so robust, big shock, probably scrambled the body's electrical system -- boom -- heart attack."

"You certainly don't sound like a None..." Klane said musingly.

"Yeah, Elly didn't think so either," Will said. "Me, I don't know. I just woke up a few hours ago with no memory of who I was."

"But you're functioning," Klane said.

"Yeah, interesting, isn't it?" Will said. "If I'd lost every single memory, then I wouldn't even remember how to speak. So even if it's a case of damaged neural connections, it's something very selective, very precise."

"But you said there was an outbreak of amnesia...?"

"Yeah, we've come across at least two other cases: one a man who'd forgotten that he'd been deregistered, and another of a woman who not only forgot that her husband was dead, but forgot that she'd ever had a husband. As I said, very selective and precise. Which is why I don't think it's a disease. People are being attacked, by something with intelligence." Will caught Klane's eyes and held them in an unblinking stare. "So tell me about this other case of yours."

Without really understanding why, Klane found himself bringing up the details of the case. BioTech Level 3 Marton, found by his assistant at the start of daycycle about a workcycle ago.

"So what was he working on?" Will asked. "What biological thing was he studying?"

"Not a disease," Klane said. "That was checked first thing. He wasn't in the low-class biologicals area. He was studying a lifeform from the planet below."

"He was studying an alien lifeform? And you didn't think that was suspicious?"

"It was perfectly harmless! Wouldn't have been let on board otherwise."

"But maybe Marton did something to it," Will said. "Something that made it not harmless. Did you look at his notes?"

"They were password-locked," Klane said.

"Surely you could use an emergency override," Will said. "'Cause I'm telling you, this looks like an emergency to me."

"Yes, I do see your point," Klane said testily. He typed in a few commands, and Marton's notes appeared on the screen.

Will read them impatiently over Klane's shoulder.

"Oh my," said Klane.

"Fool!" Will said. "Idealistic fool. Well, he paid for it in the end, though it looks like others have paid too. Including me."

"What did he do?" Elly asked.

"He took a relatively harmless animal, took its genes and bred the creature that became your ghost. All with the best of intentions." Will sighed. "There is an animal that lives on the planet below, which has a fascinating self-defence mechanism. When a hungry or angry predator threatens it, it makes them forget that they want to attack. Shuts down their hunger or anger. Marton got the idea that if he could enhance that ability, tune it towards emotional pain, that he would have the perfect solution to this crowded death-trap. An opiate for the people. To make them forget how unhappy they are."

Klane tapped the screen. "And then when he realised he'd made a mistake, made it too powerful, realised it had to be destroyed..."

"He probably tried to destroy it," Will finished, "and it attacked him. "Only this creature is so powerful it didn't just make Marton forget, it scrambled his brains."

"And now this thing is loose on the Ship?" Elly said. "Attacking people who attack it?"

"Or attacking people who are afraid of it," Will said thoughtfully. "You said that Withy wouldn't harm anyone, was afraid of everything."

"Would it be so bad to let it stay where it is?" Klane said. "After all, it is doing its job -- making people forget their pain. It's amazing -- instant happiness!"

"It's not amazing, it's appalling," said Will. "It isn't instant happiness, it's instant numbness. Pain has got its place. Pain tells you that something is wrong. If you have a splinter in your finger, it hurts, and you take it out. But what if it didn't hurt? The finger would get infected, but you wouldn't mind, because you wouldn't be in any pain. And then the finger gets so badly infected it just rots to the bone. Maybe you'd notice it then, but it's too late -- you've lost your finger."

"And if you have a pain for which there is no cure?" Klane said. "If the patient is dying, numbness is a mercy."

"I'm not going to assume that this patient is dying," Will said.

"But sometimes a patient is in so much pain that they take their own life," Klane said gently.

"It's got to be better to have a choice," Will said. "It's got to be."

"You forgot your whole life," Elly said. "What kind of pain would that have been?"

"Yeah, that sort of worries me," Will said softly.

"Don't let the Empty get you down," Elly whispered.

He smiled at her. "Right," he said. He turned to Klane. "We need to find this creature."

"But you can't attack it, it will destroy you," Klane said.

"I'm not going to attack it," Will said. "I'm going to reason with it."

"But it's just a dumb animal," Klane said.

"Maybe," Will said. "Maybe not. We still have to find it. How?"

"If Marton followed the protocols, it should have a radioactive tag. A security scan should reveal its location." Klane tapped a few commands. A schematic of the ship showed on the screen, with a cluster of glowing dots in one area. "That's Zoological, that's where the experimental animals are... and they're all accounted for. Except for Marton's creature. It isn't anywhere on the ship."

"Oh, it's here all right," Will said. "It's hiding."

"Or Marton didn't follow the protocol," Klane said.

"Oh, I think he did," Will said. "He wouldn't have any reason not to, not when he started. Run the scan back to yesterday, see what it shows."

Klane did so. The dots had moved around, but there was another dot, far away from the others.

"That's the maintenance area," Elly said.

"There's your ghost," Will said.

"But how could it hide from the scan?" Klane said. "The tags are indelible."

"I know where it is," Will said. "In the reactor area. If it's well-shielded, that will block the scan. If it isn't, then the radiation will interfere with the signal. Either way, it's hidden." He raised his eyebrows. "So much for the 'dumb animal' theory."

Klane managed to rustle up a tranqulizer gun from Zoological, as well as a portable detector. Nobody questioned that Will was the one who was going to search for the creature.

"I'm going with you," Elly said.

"No you're not. It's too dangerous."

"I'm not afraid," she said.

"I know. But I am," Will said. "I'm afraid that if you meet this creature, it will take away what makes you you. You have a way of taking your pain and transmuting it into something beautiful." He put his hand to her cheek. "That's something precious, and I couldn't bear to see it anaesthetised away."

"But what if it does that to you?"

"It already has. How does your song go? If you lost it all, you got nothing left to lose." He smiled at her. "But I've got one thing left to lose: you. Don't follow me."

It was stark and bright in the reactor area; stark and full of shadows. Will looked down at the detector but it was useless. He shoved it in a pocket. He could feel a prickle on his skin; the tingle of beta particles in the air. Coolant tubes gathered overhead; rows of cylinders surrounded him.

He heard a quiet scuffle behind him. Will whirled and pointed the tranq gun in the direction of the noise. Then he put it down with a sigh. "Elly! I told you not to follow me!"

Elly smiled ruefully. "I do never stay put," she said.

"Stay behind me, at least," said Will.

They walked on in silence. They saw nothing.

"This is stupid," Will muttered, and put the tranq gun in another pocket. He called out, "I just want to talk with you!"

There was a skittering noise, and Elly gasped. Will whirled. Something had dropped from above, and was clinging to the top of her head. Something not large, about the size of a squirrel, with delicate jointed legs and feather-like dove-grey fur; the creature itself. Elly stood quite still, frozen.

"Don't!" Will cried. "Don't harm her!"

I do not harm those who intend me no harm.

"You're telepathic."

This mouth was not made for speech. But I have learned so much since I was born. I am a thousand times smarter since then. But there are still things I do not understand. You have fear and pain. Why? I took your pain away. Why do you fear again?

"I fear for Elly. For what you could do to her."

I take away the painful memories. I make things better.

"No, you don't make things better! You take away the memories of the problem, but the problem is still there."

Some problems cannot be overcome.

"That doesn't matter. Look at her," Will said. "Look at her mind."

This mind is different. She has pain, but she does not fear it.

"Yes!" Will said. "She's overcome her pain, and is the stronger for it."

But others cannot. It is better to forget, than to despair of life.

"Like that woman Joon? She lost her husband, and despaired? But don't you understand? You took away more than her pain. You took away her joy. All her memories of her husband, all the things that made her love him, all the good things, you took them away too. You took it away, because the pain was tied with the love."

I was not speaking of Joon. I was speaking of you.

Will gaped at it. Before he could say anything, the creature jumped off Elly's head and onto Will's shoulder. He stood very still, aware of its feathery softness brushing against his ear. Elly blinked and stirred in front of him.

"Why?" he asked it. "Who did I lose? Wife? Child? Who?"


"Okay, so I lost everyone. I don't exactly have them now either, do I?"

And it was your fault.

Will was silent.

Elly addressed the creature. "Why did you kill old woman Githa?"

It was an accident.

"But MedTech Marton wasn't an accident, was it?"

He tried to kill me. I defended myself. Instinct.

"And I suppose you were defending yourself from Big Jem and Ferkle," Elly said. "But there is no way in the world you were defending yourself against Withy!"

I was afraid. She was so afraid. The fear! It was too much. I'm sorry.

"But sorry isn't good enough," Will said implacably. "Sorry isn't ever good enough. Wouldn't it be better if you just forgot? Forgot the pain of the guilt?"


"Wouldn't it?" Will said in a voice of iron.


"I want my life back!" Will said. "Despite the pain. I need to know!"

Even if the pain is too much to bear?

"He's not gonna take his life," Elly said. She gazed unflinchingly at Will. "Because he's gonna promise me not to, aren't you, Will?"

Will pursed his lips, then nodded. "I promise."

Very well. Will felt a prickle against the side of his face, as the creature touched him.

He had thought he was prepared for the worst. He wasn't.

Nine hundred years of joy and pain crashed in on him. He remembered starry Gallifreyan nights, building his first sonic screwdriver, learning Venusian karate; travelling, ever wandering, Orion, Draconis, Mars, Earth; dear sweet Jo Grant, the eternal Brigadier, feisty Sarah-Jane, huntress Leela, explosive Ace, incomparable Romana; saving the world, again and again, the Zygons, the Autons, the Silurians, the Daleks.

He remembered. He remembered it all. The death, the destruction, the War. And the Burning. Ten million sudden stars as the Dalek fleet burned, the Pyrrhic victory to end all Pyrrhic victories: his people, his planet burning in the same conflagration. By his hand. Dead by his hand. He should never have survived.

Pain and grief drove him to his knees. He wept.

Someone was hugging him, speaking soothingly in his ear.

"It's okay, it's okay," Elly said. "Just you cry then, it's okay."

"It's not okay," he said.

"You lost your family, I know that's bad..." Elly said.

"You don't understand," he said. "I didn't lose my family. I destroyed my people. My entire race."

"It was an accident, right?" Elly asked.

"Is friendly fire an accident?" he said. "To destroy our enemies, I destroyed my people as well. Thought I was saving the universe."

"Well, the universe is still here," Elly said. "Guess you saved it."

"Guess I did," he said.

"Come with me, Elly. Come travel the universe with me."

They stood outside a tall blue box with double doors at the front. It looked incongruous against the steely grey walls. The creature was sitting on Elly's shoulder. She'd decided to call it Vilka.

Elly shook her head.

"Why ever not?"

"If I went with you, I'd be running away. I do never run away from nothing my whole life, not gonna start now. I have my songs to sing. You have to make your own songs, Will."

"Doctor. I'm the Doctor," he said.

"You're a MedTech, then?"

"Not that kind of doctor," he said. "Though I do try to make things better. Save the world, that sort of thing." He looked at her. "Are you sure you won't come with me?"

"I have a job to do." She touched Vilka on her shoulder. "We have a job to do."


Vilka answered, To make the planet fit for humans -- or humans fit for the planet. Heavy metal poisons are not insurmountable.

"I know that but --"

I know what you know, Vilka sent. And what the Tech who created me knew. We can bridge the gap.

"Because I'm not afraid of him," Elly said. "We don't have to die on the Ship. We can have a new home. But only if I stay and help. I can't go."

"And I can't stay," the Doctor said. "I don't belong here."

"Why not?" Elly said. "You could help."

He shook his head. "I'm not human, Elly. I couldn't stay." He snorted. "Besides, terraforming is a long, boring business. Not my style." He gazed at Elly. "Are you sure you won't come?"

She shook her head.

"Right. I'll be off then," said the Doctor.

The console room felt cold and empty, despite the warm yellow light.

"Sing my own songs? She must be joking!" He spread his fingers over the newly-familiar controls, and initiated the dematerialization sequence, no particular destination in mind. He would never fit in there. Would never fit in anywhere. And she wanted him to sing?

"Oh, what the hell. Can't hurt."

He thought for a few minutes, and began to sing, stealing the tune and half the words from a popular Earth singer; it seemed appropriate.

"It's 'bout as bad as it could be
Seems everybody's hunting me
I should be dead and in decay
Yeah, it just ain't been my day
On the edge of lunacy

Up - up - up -
Can only go up from here
Up - up - up -
Up where the clouds gonna clear
Up - up - up -
There's no way but up from here!"

He broke off and shook his head. "Nuts!" But despite himself he smiled. He patted the edge of the console. "Just you and me, old girl. Just you and me. The universe is waiting."

Author's Notes

Written for the "Bad Cliches Made Good" ficathon, with this request of AstroGirl: "Amnesia!", in Doctor Who.

I was originally intending to do this with the 4th Doctor, as a challenge, but then I saw "Dalek" and knew that the 9th Doctor was the perfect candidate.

Thanks muchly to Jonathan Burns for brainstorming, and to Nicola Mody and John Hall for beta-reading.

For the curious, the song which the Doctor filked was "Up" by Shania Twain. Elly's song was her own.

The full text of Elly's song is as follows (including the verse that got interrupted):

Elly's Song

Wake up pretty darlin', I know you got the Blues,
But you're still breathin', and as sure as fusion fuse,
If you lost it all, you got nothin' left to lose
Don't let the Empty get you down
Don't let the Empty get you down.

Keep on, pretty darlin', don't let them make you crawl
Take one step and another, though you can't see at all
You just keep going, 'cause it's fear that makes you fall
Don't let the darkness get you down
Don't let the darkness get you down

Come on pretty darlin', come dancin' on the ring
Stomp to the rhythm, step to the swing,
They can't defeat you, so long as you can sing
Don't let the silence get you down
Don't let the silence get you down

For the even more curious, I actually wrote a longer filk for the Doctor, though only stuck to the first verse in the story. The third verse, strangely enough, needs to be sung with an American accent or it won't rhyme. Too much listening to Shania Twain on my part, I think.

Doctor Looking Up

(a filk of "Up" by Shania Twain, from the point of view of the 9th Doctor)

It's 'bout as bad as it could be
Seems everybody's hunting me
I should be dead and in decay
Yeah, it just ain't been my day
On the edge of lunacy

Now my companion's acting wierd
It's even badder than I feared
I'd rather go to different spots --
not play connect the dots
I just wanna dissappear

Up - up - up -
Can only go up from here
Up - up - up -
Up where the clouds gonna clear
Up - up - up -
There's no way but up from here

So now we're dodging laser blasts
Evading clouds of poison gas
There are so many reasons why
Things like that can make you die
Just gotta learn to run real fast


When everything is goin' wrong
Don't worry it won't last for long
Yeah, it's all gonna come around
Don't go let it get you down
You gotta keep on holding on

It's 'bout as bad as it could be
Seems everybody's hunting me
I should be dead and in decay
It just ain't been my day
On the edge of lunacy