Tangled Webs

The Avon Valley Rift

An essay based on the investigations of Agent Morgan, Department of Mary-Sues, Freelance Division

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Morgan, and as of the year 2005 HST* my homeworld has been destroyed. I come from Gallifrey, you see, and 2005 was the year the revived television series Doctor Who revealed that my world - and my people - were dead. Fortunately I was in the PPC at the time, otherwise I would've been killed myself by the narrative backwash. Anyway.

Since that time, the self-confessed "Last of the Time Lords", the renegade known as the Doctor, has been going around trying to mend the universe, mostly on the planet known as Earth. In a number of places he has encountered rifts in time and space. The most famous of these can be found in Cardiff, Wales, and it's used as a refuelling point for his TARDIS. There is also one in New Caledonia, which is used to refuel PPC TARDISes (which I refuse to talk about any further). The interesting thing about these rifts is that they are not fixed in one dimension. The New Caledonia rift extends from my universe to World One, as does at least one other.

Avon Valley

The River Avon runs through the south-west of England, marking its course across the counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset before flowing into the larger River Severn. It is regarded by many as an area of astounding natural beauty, and many parts of it have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. But enough of the tourist pitch. At some point in the past, a rift opened up in the Avon Valley, somewhere in the vicinity of the city of Bath. That rift exists in World One, and almost certainly in my universe as well.

The Cardiff Rift had a facility set up around it by Torchwood, who attempt to control it. Despite (or sometimes because of) their efforts, alien artefacts and creatures fall through their rift, infesting Cardiff. The Avon Rift does not cause the same problems. Instead, it mostly manifests itself by causing strange spatial-temporal anomalies in the area surrounding it.

Limpley Stoke

My first encounter with the Avon Rift was in 2008 HST, in the month before what you know as the Macrovirus Epidemic. My TARDIS (this was before everyone had one) picked up a space-time distortion via an open portal to World One, and I flew out there to take a look. It turned out the distortion was centred on the village of Limpley Stoke, so in my naivety I tried to materialise there. Big mistake.

I was thrown through the rift, through time and space, and ended up I don't even know where, in a badly-damaged TARDIS. It took me about a week to get it fixed (and solve a few problems the aliens outside were having - what is it about Time Lords and finding problems to solve when we land?), after which I returned to Limpley Stoke, carefully. Very carefully. It took me the best part of a day to guide my TARDIS through the distortion and into the village itself. What I found there... well, that's not particularly relevant. They weren't there because of the Rift, they were there because they, too, had detected the anomaly, and made use of it.

Once I'd sorted that out, I dissipated that anomaly as best I could, and let the villagers go back to their lives. Then I went back to HQ, and... but that is another story. What's important is that, later, I remembered the Avon Rift and went back to find out more.

Chew Valley Lake

Due to the tangled nature of space-time near the Rift, I managed to land - all right, crash - a little off course. Leaving my TARDIS to repair herself - fortunately the damage wasn't as bad this time - I hitch-hiked from Cheddar Gorge (famous for its caves) up to the city of Bath. It was quite by accident, then, that I discovered another indication of just how messed up the area is.

This picture shows a sign to Chew Valley Lake. So what? Well, for one, there are ghost stories associated with the area, which is usually a sign of something. But there's more. Remember Limpley Stoke? Remember how it was impossible to get in? Chew Valley is the opposite. You can never get away from Chew Valley Lake. Seriously. Wherever you go, for miles and miles around, there are signposts announcing the nearby lake. When you think you're finally free, when you're ten miles or more away from where it should be, there are still signposts. It is impossible to escape. Even now... I'm not certain, but I would almost swear I saw the name of the lake stencilled on the cafeteria wall. I'm scared to go back and check. And this is me talking. This regeneration doesn't do scared.

Bath

The city of Bath is built in a Georgian style, apparently, which translates as lots of carved limestone architecture. That should've been a hint right away - they have laws there which say, in effect, that every new building has to look like it's about two hundred years old. Space-time rift or what? And for all I know, that was a hint, because I wasn't the first person to find out about it. Oh no indeed.

The picture to the right is a statue located in the city. Look familiar, PPCers? It does bear a startling resemblance to one of the Flowers, doesn't it? Does this mean one of our leaders visited the city at some point and was memorialised in a statue? I don't know, but if not, there's something even worse going on - the rift is transferring ideas and images straight from HQ to Bath. Can you imagine the possible impact of that? Imagine if a Bath resident got the idea that anyone wearing pink was evil (a common thought in HQ, even though I have personally known thoroughly non-Sueish Agents to like that colour), and decided to kill them all. Murder on a massive scale!

Ah but, you say, perhaps this link only happened once. If only that were so.

Continuing Presence

I was not able to spend a large amount of time in Bath. While Upstairs are somewhat sympathetic to my position as a Time Lord, they get snippy when I spend too long out of HQ. So the pictures I'll show you are just those I managed to snap on my brief stroll around the city.

On the left is another instance of the flower-headed folk, but this time in true, living form. I cite this as secondary evidence, because it's claimed they they are performers in "street theatre". But who has ever seen them remove the flowerpots? If it is an act, it was certainly inspired by either the statue we've already seen, or an actual visit from the Flowers. But who can say? Perhaps our Officials spend their off-time wandering the streets. I, of course, have never met a Flower who wore a pot as well as a suit, but that by itself means very little.

The second piece of evidence is even more disturbing. While there is a chance the flowerpot men are the result of a single contact, which gave them their statue, the graffiti shown to the right cannot be. I noticed it on a garage door along a main road through the city, and there's a similar example on the wall of the Bath City College. It reads, very clearly, "DMS" - Department of Mary-Sues. Either there is an actual PPC presence in the city - in which case we would expect both Flowers and Agents (the Department of Mary-Sues, Avon District?) - or the proposed ideas leakage is ongoing, and to a significant degree.

Conclusion

The Cardiff Rift was partially sealed off by a large explosion sometime during the Victorian Era, due to the actions of the Doctor. For my part, I claim no responsibility for the explosion at Bath's new Southgate shopping centre - it was proven to be entirely accidental, even if it did occur right when I was in the city. Ahem. But it is possible that this incident has closed the Avon Rift, at least for now. I might suggest, however, that the construction work provides an ideal opportunity for some organisation with a presence in the city to construct a rift monitoring station... if, indeed, the rift does lie within the Southgate Centre, which I was of course unable to confirm.

What I have presented here is a small collection of evidence taken primarily from the City of Bath itself. The Limpley Stoke anomaly proves that the Avon Rift's effects are felt far beyond the city itself; should anyone happen to visit the region, they might wish to keep an eye out...

*Headquarters Standard Timeline. Roughly parallel with Anno Domini dates on World One (Earth).

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