_Haste Makes Waste_
_a doctor who story set in 1687 wales_
_by danica nuccitelli, october 1994_
[my apologies for all historical and geographical inaccuracies... I plead youthful idiocy.]

    Out in the field, among the pumpkins, a nest of field mice perked their ears up quickly, and skittered around underneath the bright piles of leaves. They heard the sounds of several trucks zooming down the street in quick succession.

    Except that there were no smoothly paved streets in this part of Wales- and it was about two hundred and fifty years before trucks were even invented.

    And where a patch of empty, leaf-covered ground had been, a large blue cabinet now stood.

    Inside the cabinet were two people: A little man, with dark curly hair and an accent that sounded as if he were gargling ferrets; and a woman, Ace, wh o looked as if she found the Universe to be a dangerous and troubling place, where you had to be constantly on your guard.

    The man's- the Doctor's- hands were flying agilely over the controls of his beloved TARDIS, as if he were orchestrating a galaxy-encompassing symphony. "We've landed," he announced- unnecessarily, since it had been a rather noticeably jarring landing.

    "You're not kidding," Ace muttered. "When are we?"

    The Doctor spun a dial. "October thirty-first, apparently."

    "Hallowe'en? Should we dress up and go trick-or-treating?"

    "I think you're dressed up enough already," the Doctor remarked. "I doubt if they've ever seen jeans or combat boots in seventeenth-century Wales."

    Ace caught the suggestion that she should change into something more appropriate. "Oh, come on, Professor, we never bothered dressing up for the natives before!" She was already halfway out the door.

    The Doctor followed her. "You're right," he remarked reminiscently. "Except for Holmes' time, and 16th century Tenochtitlan. And Perivale in 1887, and Uruk in Gilgamesh's time, and...."

    "All right, all right, you've made your point!"

    The two friends walked on, talking of old times and only occasionally flaring into argument, as the shadows grew longer over the hills.

    The reverend adjusted his glasses to look over their rims at his audience. "These acts," he thundered, "are the work of Satan! He hath taken over their hearts and hands, and nowt remains but eevil!" The townsfolk hung onto his every word, absorbing the vitriol being flung at them.

    The lanterns hung around the crowd flickered jubilantly, casting demonic shadows over his face. "Our Lord and Savior will not, cannot support such things! 'All who have sinned without the Law, will also perish without the Law... For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse... And although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same but give hearty approval to those who practice them!'"

    There were murmurs of agreement from the crowd.

    Rev. Hain's voice rose. "They seek to lead our children from God with their sinful lifestyles and Satanic ways! By ourselves we cannot resist the devil's schemes, but in Christ we are more than conquerors! God will lead us in his triumph!" The crowd roared.

    "Finally, some sign of civilization," Ace remarked as they drew near a group of brightly twinkling lights. "I was beginning to think you'd misjudged it by your usual millennium!"

    The Doctor looked wounded, but before he could reply, they were distracted by the sound of shouting and the sight of the torches in the distance waving.

    "What's going on over there?" Ace frowned.

    "Let's find out." The Doctor strode ahead, Ace running to catch up and match her stride to his.

    The preacher's voice boomed out, operatic baritone washing over the headsof the crowd. They leaned forward into the sound, letting themselves be guided by the sweetly venomous current.

    "'The wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud. There is no peace for the wicked!!'"

    The crowd shouted in agreement, taking no notice of the strangers quietly joining the fringes of the crazed crowd.

    The Doctor looked over to Ace worriedly. She stood a little apart from him, arms folded, muscles tensed. Her face was bent into a picture of revulsion. He stepped closer to her and laid a cautious hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him, half-smiling. His face was unreadable. "Nice place you brought us to, Doctor. Couldn't you have found someplace *really* nasty?" She looked back at the maddened crowd, fingering something in her pocket. "This lot makes Nazi Germany look like a trip to Pleasura."

    As the crowd fairly leapt forward with the preacher's last words, she pulled a medium-sized sphere withlights all over it out of her pocket and tapped a few key buttons. "Ace," the Doctor said warningly. "What have I told you about not playing with anachronisms?"

    Ace looked innocent. "Don't worry Doctor, I'm not about to blow the town up or anything." But she continued to finger the sphere, and kept a distrustful eye on Reverend Hain.

    The preacher was reaching orgasm level. "'For just as they do not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God has given them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness,wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice! They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of'"

    "'evil, disobedient to parents- without understanding, untrustworthy,'"

    "'evil, disobedient to parents- without understanding, untrustworthy,'"

    "'UNLOVING, *UNMERCIFUL*!!'"

    "'UNLOVING, *UNMERCIFUL*!!'"

    There was a distinct change in the mood of the crowd, from angry to killing- but something else had changed, as well. Their anger had been redirected.... and as he preached, his voice was echoed a millisecond before he spoke by a shrill metallic voice coming from the sphere. Failing to notice this in his frenzy, Reverend Hain continued preaching, unaware of the damage he was doing. His eyes burned with zeal, the fury born from years of repressed hatred. His voice dropped to a whisper.

    "The Bible itself, God's word, gives us our direction,"

    "The Bible itself, God's word, gives us our direction,"

    "explicit instructions for what we must do in this situation,"

    "explicit instructions for what we must do in this situation," he told them confidentially. Then his voice rose, climbing higher with each new word.

    "'Thou. Shalt. Not. Suffer. A. Witch. To. LIVE!'"

    "'Thou. Shalt. Not. Suffer. A. Witch. To. LIVE!'"

    The crowd shook with killing power. Ace leapt forward, pointing at the preacher with the malicious-looking black sphere hovering by his head, giving them a target. "There's his demon familiar! He's been misleading you. He's the witch!" The crowd rang with yells of agreement, as each of them remembered some grudge they had held against the Reverend. This explained it all- the way his eyes seemed excessively beady, the pockmarks on his chin, his swarthy complexion, his over-tithing of the community, the irritating way his voice rose and fell super-rhythmically in his weekly sermons, the strangely shaped birthmark on his neck.... "Kill the witch!" one man yelled, and soon the crowd took up the cry, swarming forward to beat and humiliate their leader. The Doctor sprang to stop them, shouting something melodramatic about humanity and peace. Ace caught the sphere blithely as it bobbed back to her, and tapped the Pause button. Behind her, the Doctor's hypnotic gaze stilled the fierce crowd of villagers as he spoke, and the darker hints of anger in his eyes sent most of them slinking back home, ashamed without quite knowing why. He put the reverend's arm over his shoulders and led the crushed man over to a seat, rejoining Ace with a scowl. "That was uncalled for."

    "He had it coming to him, Doctor! Didn't you hear him?!"

    "If you tell them to turn on *him* for witchcraft, you're exactly as bad as they are! You can't change people's minds with violence."

    Ace snorted. "Maybe not, Doctor, but I'll bet *he* won't be trying to incite crowds to kill innocent women anytime soon." She pocketed the sphere, not without a hint of smugness. The Doctor glowered. "I thought you got rid of those smartbombs."

    Ace smiled back. "I did. It's not a smartbomb, it's a little loudspeaker that reads subvocals and translates them into speech for you. Or records them. Saves typing, and great for speech-impaired people."

    "No need to give me the sales pitch," the Doctor said wearily. "Someday, Ace, we'll have to teach you subtlety."

    *************************************

    interestingly when this was posted to rec.arts.drwho it was followed by a note that read:

    {^)-|???==|
    I didn't write this. One of my alternate personalities took over my
    brain for awhile and wrote it, then disappeared, leaving no email
    address. So I supoose now I'll have to take the blame for it! ;)
    -danica
    posting merrily to incestuous sheets :)
         _________________________________________________________________
    
    our current .sigfile has the quote about "O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets!"-Hamlet, Act I, scene ii. It attributes the choice of quote to Absinthe. So maybe that was her, with the accusingly multiple notes at the end of things. Cause I KNOW I wrote this, damnit.
    - danica