fic_of_fork: (Default)
[personal profile] fic_of_fork
Word count:  3625
Summary:  Echoes of the past spill into the present, when the Doctor crash lands on a planet he's never visited. A crossover with the Warcraft universe in World of Warcraft.  Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] zurcherart , [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1 ,  the Hoopy Frood, and [Bad username or site: mtemplar_fic @ livejournal.com]for the betas!
Warnings: Minor spoilers for the audio, "Zagreus" and the quests and lore surrounding Ulduar.
Rating: PG
Characters: Tenth Doctor
Genre: Action/Adventure, Crossover, General
Disclaimer:  I don't own Doctor Who, Torchwood, Bernice Summerfield, or any of its characters, and I'm receiving no profit from this beyond the joy of writing.  While I raid with a level 80 warlock, I don't own World of Warcraft, either.

Chapter 2, Chapter 1, Prologue

The Doctor woke with a groan and felt something constricting his chest. As he became more conscious, he noticed that whatever bound his chest had a tight hold on his body. Then he realized he was being carried—tightly, but not so tight as to crush him—in the grip of a gigantic bronze-scaled claw. Between cracks, he could see an ocean rushing by beneath them. The Doctor surmised that they must have been traveling in this manner for most of a day, if not longer while in a coma. Whatever the one elf did to him, it tripped his body's natural healing abilities, but, thankfully, it wasn't enough to induce a regeneration.

He poked at the claw that held him and yelled over the wind, “Pardon me, is there any chance of a beverage service on this flight? I'm a bit thirsty. No? Well, I don't suppose I could have a blanket? Or do I have to pay extra for those?” Peeking through the claw, he saw that the ocean had changed to white. He couldn't make out if it were sand or snow, though.

“Oi!” the Doctor yelled. “You big, overgrown lizard! I'm talking to you. Put me down!”

As if on cue, the dragon holding him slowed, hovered slightly, and dropped him. The Doctor yelped, expecting to fall a great distance, but sighed with mild disappointment that it was only a few inches. Blinking in the sudden bright sunlight, he saw that he was in front of a cave surrounded on all sides by blindingly white sand. His two captors alighted and changed back into the form of elves, and each grabbed one of the Doctor's arms, forcing him into the darkness of the cave.

“Hrmph!” the Doctor grunted at his captors. “I'll never fly that airline again. Rubbish service, if you ask me.”

As the Doctor stepped inside, he felt his stomach lurch. He could feel fractured time lines all around him, and he broke out in a cold sweat. “Where is this place, and just what are you doing with time in there?”

One of his escorts sneered at him. “Welcome to the Caverns of Time.”

***


Tain fidgeted and scratched behind an ear with his hind paw. Being in the form of a cheetah—a form suitable for fast ground travel that was thankfully identical to the same cheetah form used by his Night Elf druid colleagues—always made him itch. The fur was uncomfortably warm in the unshaded sunlight of the port in Stormwind as they waited for a ship that would take them to the shores of Kalimdor, a continent on the other side of the ocean. If bronze dragons were involved, they would have taken the Doctor to their lair in the Caverns of Time in Tanaris.

“Are you sure this is going to work?” he whispered to Crixie and Amylith. “Spells do eventually wear off, and if your friend--the Doctor--died, well, then the spell would be no good, either. I don't care how good a mage he is.”

“We can still understand you,” Crixie said. “So there's no reason why the other people here wouldn't.”

“What if it's only localized to us?” he asked.

“Let's find out,” Crixie said. She gave Tain a hard shove. Even in cheetah form he was as tall as she was, so he didn't shift much, but just enough to bump into the knees of a waiting passenger.

“I'm so sorry,” Tain said out of habit.

“Not at all, Druid” the person responded. Noticing Amylith, he added, “Going back home to visit the family?”

“Back home?” Tain wondered. “In Thunder--”

“Oh yes,” Amylith offered, saving him. “We're going to visit our family in Auberdine. Been awhile, eh, cousin?”

“Oh yeah!” Tain said. “Long time.”

“This your first time in Stormwind?” the passenger asked.

“Yes. It's nice,” Tain said diplomatically.

“Yeah, that it is,” he responded. “Say, I know what you should do. While you're waiting, you should take the gryphon tour of the harbor. Gorgeous view, and it's a nice day for a flight.”

“We're on a bit of a tight schedule,” Amylith interrupted. Grabbing the cheetah by the scruff of his neck, she added, “Please excuse my cousin, but I think it's time for his meditation.” With her other hand, she picked Crixie up by the collar of her robes and hauled the two of them off to a sparser area of the pier.

Under her breath, Amylith muttered, “For Elune's sake, were you two trying to get us all killed back there? I don't see why you can't just teleport to Moonglade, Tain.”

“We'd need some place to hide eight feet of cow in broad daylight while he cast the spell,” Crixie answered. “A boat to Auberdine's the only way. If he tried to sneak past the guards himself, they'd spot him. With us, he's safer, because no guard would suspect us. It just looks like we're off as a group.”

Tain turned his head and saw a smaller, run-down ship manned by goblins. “Hold on, I've got a better idea. How much gold do you have, Crixie?”

“Some. Why?” she asked. Her gaze followed Tain's. “Goblins? They'd sell their own mother, if the gold were good enough.” Crixie's nose wrinkled in disgust.

“Exactly!” Tain said. “They're a neutral faction and aren't going to care about me. Or her, for that matter,” he said as he motioned to Amylith.

“I wasn't relishing a trip to the Night Elf lands,” Amylith agreed, “but go see if Gnomish gold is good enough for them.”

***


The two bronze dragons, now transformed into High Elves, marched the Doctor deeper into the cavern, along a spiral path. The deeper they went, the less it resembled a cave, and the more it looked like some broken plane of reality. In one corner of the path was a small inn and trees, as if it had been plucked from a forest. In another corner was the start of a swamp. Down one side of the cave's tunnel was a conduit filled with glowing Vortex energy.

Finally, they arrived in the middle of a large cavern, which impossibly broke apart into another realm with planets and stars overhead. At the center was a gigantic bronze dragon who laid underneath an ever-changing, complicated construction of an hourglass that the conduit emptied into. Bronze dragons flew overhead, their scales reflecting and casting tiny points of light around the cavern. When the Doctor tried to focus on their scales, he found that the light reflecting off them made their scales appear to constantly shift.

The Doctor gaped in wonder at the dragon and shook free of the two holding him. “Aren't you magnificent?” the Doctor said to the dragon in the center of the room.

The armed half-dragon, half-humanoid dragonkin guarding the dragon moved to intercept the Doctor, but a voice boomed in their heads.

“Stop! Let him approach!”

The Doctor put on his glasses and examined the dragon underneath the hourglass as closely as he could. Grinning broadly he said, “You are beautiful, you know that?”

The dragon was taken aback and stammered, “Uh, thank you?”

The Doctor stared off into the distance a moment and said, “But you've got a right mess on your hands in here, though. Well, by that I mean more than one. Or several. Or the universe will be in a sorry state, if any of these fractured time lines manage to come to pass. We're talking paradoxes on a massive scale. And it's just your lucky day that you've got an expert here to help you sort it. Your energy footprint has to be absolutely gigantic. What are you doing to offset it, anyway? Not like you've balanced your planet's mass against a black hole or anything. You haven't, have you?”

“You've discerned the nature of the Caverns of Time wisely,” the dragon said. “I am Zaladormu, keeper of the Caverns of Time. It is our task to protect time, and we have shunted to here various periods in history that are in flux and shouldn't be.”

Another elf, a woman, observed the interaction. Interrupting she said, “Only one race in the universe would be so arrogant and destructive to destroy a star for their own purposes. Or claim mastery of an elemental force.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Arrogant, I'll give you that, if you're talking about the average Time Lord. And my people are the undisputed masters of time, thank you very much.”

An amused grin played over the woman's face. “I am Soridormi, Prime Consort to the Bronze Dragon Aspect.”

“Hello,” the Doctor said, waving. “I'm the Doctor. Now will someone please tell me why I've been dragged here? I assume it has something to do with the fact that you've got more paradoxes in this place than I've had hot dinners. And given my lifespan, that should say something. Make it quick, because the temporal shifting in here is giving me hives.”

“You exist in eternity,” Soridormi said. “Your time line is an enigma to us and completely blocked.”

“Yeah, save me the pompous blather about time. Time Lord, remember?”

“What you call yourself on your world is of no consequence. You are on Azeroth, and on this world we are the guardians of time. Any being who wields time on this world is subject to us.”

“So, do I get off with a slap on the hand and a fine, or what?” the Doctor said. “Give me a few days and some sort of crystalline substance with a high energy yield matrix to repair my TARDIS—that's my time capsule—and I'll be gone from this place.”

Soridormi ignored the Doctor's outburst. “Since we can't see into your time line, we have no way of knowing whether or not you are an agent of the Infinite Dragonflight.”

“The who?”

“Our sworn enemies. They exist to meddle and change history.”

“That sounds like what I do on any given day,” the Doctor replied.

“We've glimpsed images from your time line that show as much. Plus there are rumors of what people from your own world said: 'Never trust a Time Lord.'”

“That's hardly fair to judge every Time Lord by hearsay,” the Doctor retorted. “Plus you lot should know what it's like to have to maintain the Web of Time. You frequently make decisions that might not make sense—logical or moral—to those not able to perceive the higher dimensions.”

“Indeed, so we propose a test,” she said.

Interrupting them, another fully-grown dragon alighted in the center of the cavern, and wide-eyed crept closer to the Doctor. When she got as close as she dared, she stretched her neck and snuffled the Doctor, her sniffs kicking up tiny clouds of dust in the sand of the floor.

“Is this really him?” the new dragon asked while changing into the shape of a female Gnome in priest's robes. “Wow! It's really him! The Doctor! I've always wanted to meet you! I'm Chronormu, but everyone calls me Chromie.” She dug around in a bag and produced a small book. “I don't suppose I could ask you for your autograph?”

Flattered, the Doctor took the book and frantically searched for a pen, but Chromie pulled one from her pocket. “Why, certainly,” the Doctor muttered. He flipped to a blank page, and drew a complex series of interlocking circles. “Chromie, right? Don't have my Prydonian Seal on me, though.”

With glee, Chromie took back her pen and book, and beamed at the Doctor. “Thanks!” she squeaked.

“Hold up a mo',” the Doctor said to Soridormi after extracting himself from Chromie. “Why should I bother with your petty test? I don't remember the Bronze Dragons of Azeroth attending the last temporal summit.”

“And you speak as if Time Lords aren't mythological creatures to the rest of the universe,” Soridormi retorted. “Although the Bronze Dragonflight knows better.”

“Oh, the irony,” the Doctor muttered under his breath.

“Wait, test?” Chromie interrupted. “Test? Do you know who he is?”

“Dangerous, for one,” Soridormi answered.

***


True to prediction, the goblins were only too happy to make room for Crixie, Amylith, and Tain, now back in his normal Tauren form. Unfortunately, their ship was only going to the Horde town of Grom'gol, south along the coast from Stormwind, but still on the other continent from where the Doctor was being taken.

“Think fast,” Amylith told the other two. “We're coming within sight of an Orc town, where Crixie and I won't be very welcome.”

“I've got that covered,” Tain said. As he spoke, a team of goblins dragged a large shipping crate up onto the deck. “Did take most of my gold, though.”

“You're kidding.” Amylith said. “Haven't I paid enough for what I was forced to do at Hearthglen? You're going to seal me in a crate with a warlock!”

“In there? With her?” Crixie sputtered. “And they say warlocks are crazy?”

“If you two have any better ideas, let me know. The goblins will make sure you two are checked as freight,” Tain explained.

“Can you at least banish your demon? No offense, but he makes my ghoul smell fresh,” Amylith asked.

“Wait, freight?” Crixie asked.

“All taken care of,” Tain explained. “These goblins are cousins to the ones that run the zeppelin from Grom'gol. For the right price, they'll continue south from Orgrimmar to Steemwheedle Port. We're running out of options, if you want to save your friend. Oh! Did I mention I was a bit short on gold for the fare?”

Crixie looked from Tain to Amylith, then back at the view of the port that was rapidly coming into view. She felt her coin purse that was already lighter than it had been in months. “How much?” she sighed.

***


“Let me get this straight,” the Doctor said, rubbing his forehead. Between whatever blast had rendered him unconscious and the myriad of paradoxes in the Caverns of Time, he had what promised to be the start of an awful headache. “You want me to pop back in time a few years, fix an issue with one particular time line—namely keep the Infinite Dragonflight from rewriting history?”

“In short, yes,” Soridormi explained. After a few hours of arguing with the Doctor, she wondered if eating him would be preferable, although she was certain his last act would be to give her a case of indigestion.

“Come on,” Chromie argued. “He's the Doctor. He's usually on our side. You can't do this to him. It's ridiculous.”

“You killed my friends. Why should I trust anything you say?”

Soridormi sighed, rolled her eyes and spoke something in Draconic to the two who had abducted the Doctor. They bowed to her, changed back into dragons, and flew off. “If I prove to you that your companions are safe, will you do as we ask?”

“Amylith and Crixie? They're alive?” the Doctor asked.

“They're being brought here as we speak,” Soridormi said.

Chromie pulled the Doctor aside. “Look, I know this is ridiculous. But the situation in Stratholme is precarious, to put it mildly. We could really use your help.”

“Well, I'll give you that,” the Doctor said. “I am good.”

“Please?” Chromie pleaded. “If you help us out, I'll make sure you have the crystal you need. I'll assist you in Stratholme, as well as I'm able, given the fact that I'm active in several time lines at once.”

“Multi-dimensional projection? How are you doing that?” the Doctor asked.

Chromie winked. “Maybe we lesser beings have a few tricks up our sleeves?”

***


It was now night over the great ocean that stretched between the Eastern Kingdoms and the other continent of Kalimdor, and Tain carried a bundle of food purchased from the zeppelin's galley down to the cargo hold, hoping that nobody would question him. He wasn't worried about the goblins running the ship—they were paid well to mind their own business—but the ship's other passengers might ask questions he didn't want to answer about the large crate he had brought on board.

Making his way past other crates, sacks, and goods on their way to Orgrimmar, he found his crate and knocked. A panel slid aside, and he shoved the bag into it. “Hope you don't mind Orc food,” he said. “Gives me gas, personally.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Amylith quipped as she took the bag into the crate.

“Are we there yet?” Crixie asked. “Say, this is really tasty.”

“Not for a few more hours, at least,” Tain said. “There's a bad cross wind.”

“Hold on, are we slowing?” Amylith asked.

“You know, now that you mention it...” Tain ran to a small window in the side of the zeppelin. “Dragons? They're flying alongside us. I can't quite make out their color. They're small for full-grown dragons, though. Bet they're bronze.”

“Let me out of here,” Amylith said, as the top of the crate banged open. In her haste to exit, the crate toppled over, spilling both of them onto the floor.

“Ow!” Crixie snapped. “You'll bring every goblin and guard down here!”

“And now we're stopping,” Amylith groaned.

Footsteps clumped down the stairs to the cargo hold. “Quick! “ Tain hissed. “Back in the crate!”

As Amylith and Crixie were awkwardly climbing back into the crate, two Orc guards and a goblin came into view. Behind them were two Elves.

“That's them,” one Elf said.

“You're certain?” the Orc asked. “Want us to toss them over the side?”

“They're wanted alive and in one piece,” the Elf answered.

“It's really no trouble,” the Orc responded.

“We'll take it from here,” the other Elf responded.

The Orc shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

***


The Doctor hopped up onto the ledge where the hourglass rested next to the dragon who usually slept underneath it. He snorted awake at the Doctor's intrusion, the dragonkin guards ready to remove him.

“You don't mind, do you?” the Doctor asked.

Zaladormu grunted, hoping the Doctor would leave him alone.

“So why bronze?” the Doctor asked.

Zaladormu wearily opened an eye. “Bronze?” he asked.

“You know. Why do the bronze dragons get to deal with time? Why not green, red, purple, blue, or orange? There are orange dragons, aren't there? Ooooh! What about ginger dragons? Please let there be ginger dragons...”

“No, there aren't,” Zaladormu snapped.

“Pity. Bet they'd look lovely.”

“There are five primary dragonflights arranged by color: red, blue, bronze, black, and green,” Zaladormu explained with some annoyance. “Each is governed by a Dragon Aspect, a dragon created by the Titans from the legendary dragon Galakrond. They were tasked with watching over Azeroth during its evolution.”

“That's all very interesting,” the Doctor said. “But what I don't get is why the Bronze Dragonflight has time as their domain.”

“Because that's the realm we were given to protect by the Titans.”

“Titans?” the Doctor asked.

“Life-Binder, protect me...” Zaladormu whispered under his breath. “A race of giants that spread across the cosmos, bringing order to the various worlds.”

“Azeroth was terraformed?”

“That's one way to explain it. Of course I could ask you what your people's responsibility is for the Curse of Flesh that turned earthen golems into Dwarves and mechanical constructs into Gnomes. Oh, and then that would explain the mutation of Valkyr into humans. There is some rumor that the Old Gods were responsible, but you know the truth, don't you, Doctor?”

“I had nothing to do with that!” the Doctor snapped. “I wasn't even born yet!”

Zaladormu's eyes narrowed into slits. “Didn't the leader of your people release the Curse of Flesh on thousands of different worlds to make sure the humanoid form spread across the cosmos and keep your species from being out-evolved?”

“The Time Lords did their share of wrongs, I'll give you that,” the Doctor admitted. “But you can't deny that when the universe needed them, they were there. The Dark Times, the First Great Time War. Oh, and I don't remember seeing you lot at the last Time War. Where were you when my people fought and died for the sake of all creation?”

“Why should we interfere?” Zaladormu asked, not taking the Doctor's bait. “Your leader—Rassilon--hunted us for sport!”

“Am I to blame for everything my people did? You can travel in time. Look me up. You'll find I've been their scapegoat far more often than I would've liked. Why do you think I left my planet?” the Doctor retorted.

“If I thought every Time Lord was to blame, would you still be sitting here?” Zaladormu calmly asked.

“I reckon I'd be in your gullet by now. Or stomach. Crop? Proventriculus?”

“Stomach,” Zaladormu sighed.

“Say, what do you lot eat, anyway? I could murder a good curry,” the Doctor rambled.

Zaladormu lifted his head off the dais and glared at the Doctor down his snout. “We eat creatures who interrupt our sleep.”

“Noted,” the Doctor said, as he gazed into the workings of the hourglass that towered above them.

Before the Doctor could say anything else, three drakes glided into the cavern and dropped off the passengers they carried. The Doctor jumped down—to Zaladormu's delight—and waved to Crixie and Amylith.

Hugging them both, he said, “Good to see you again.” Then turning to Tain he said, “Who's your friend? I don't believe we've met.”

“I'm Tain Proudhoof,” he responded, shaking the Doctor's hand.

“Pleased,” the Doctor smiled. “Say, you wouldn't happen to have family on the planet Skonnos, would you?”

“No, we're all local to Mulgore,” Tain said, after thinking a moment.

Another dragon landed near them and growled. “It's me, Chromie,” the dragon said. “Hurry up! Arthas is already nearing the city gates! What are you standing around here for?”

Date: 2010-01-31 09:51 am (UTC)
ext_3965: (10 Coat Swirl Fires of Pompeii)
From: [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
Heh. It's a small wonder no one's ever murdered the Doctor for the way he babbles on incessantly!

Date: 2010-01-31 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garpu.livejournal.com
Or eaten him. :) You just know he'd have to show off...

Date: 2010-01-31 08:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-02-01 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindenharp.livejournal.com
It's always interesting when the Doctor meets someone who knows about Time Lords... and isn't impressed. :-)

I'm sure that many of the WoW details are going over my head, but that's ok. I don't need to understand the politics of Region A to understand that Character B is persona non grata there. The rest just blends into the background.

Date: 2010-02-01 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garpu.livejournal.com
A race of timey-wimey dragons who protect the time lines? Someone at Blizzard is a Who fan. I can't imagine the Bronze dragons would be too thrilled with Time Lords. Two immortal (barring accidents) races that have the same niche is just asking for trouble...good thing both are isolationists.

There are a lot of Who references in WoW. One quest line is basically Tomb of the Cybermen with gnomes, and during that one you get an "ultrasonic screwdriver" to reprogram mechagnomes. I didn't turn that one in, and it's still on my action bars. :)

Date: 2010-02-02 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempusdominus10.livejournal.com
heheh. NO. NNO murdering of my future boyfriend allowed. hee hee

IF ONLY.

Date: 2010-02-02 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garpu.livejournal.com
Heh, that would be a pretty crappy end to the story.

"And the Doctor gets nommed by a gigantic dragon! THE END!"

Maybe not...

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