When: While wandering the cornfields of Illinois hoping to tell her stories of the Doctor to people, Martha Jones finds herself in a desert.
Where: Hotel Lobby
What: Entrance Post
“So sick of cornfields” Martha groaned to herself as she reached the edge of what looked like a university. America was proving more difficult to travel across than Europe and Asia were. The Underground was not as organized here, and it didn’t have as many vehicles as its counterpart overseas.
The perception filter kept Martha hidden, that was true, but there were so many open spaces in the USA. West of the Rockies was desert. East housed the Great Plains… days of walking over flat expanses and talking to people in dirt houses. She was supposed to be hitting Chicago next, and was traveling through cornfield after cornfield. “No crop circles though,” she smiled to herself. She wouldn’t have put it past The Master to make crop circles just for the hell of it.
She decided to get some rest in the ghost university town. There was no one here, but she was sure she could find somewhere comfortable to sleep. She ended up in the music building under a piano. Not the most comfortable, but it would do for the next few hours…
Several hours later, she woke up. Before she opened her eyes, Martha knew something was wrong. The floor beneath her was suddenly soft, and hot. And grainy. She opened her eyes to an impossible sight.
“This is not Illinois” she said to the desert that stretched out before her. She thumbed the rosary she had received from a Mexican/American woman in California as she cautiously walked on. She didn’t believe in the beads or the power they stood for, but she did believe in the woman who gave it to her. She had to figure out what had happened for the sake of that woman, and all the people before her.
Martha turned a slow circle and saw a building in the distance. “Not very promising,” she muttered as she walked toward it. The structure was dilapidated and looked deserted. “Like everything else under Saxon’s rule,” she mused as she sneaked around it. She tried to look in the windows, but couldn’t see anything. Finally, she opened the door. It would be good to get out of the sun.
An incongruous sight greeted her eyes as she stepped through the door. She stood in a lobby… a very ornate lobby. “Ah Miss Jones! Welcome to Hotel California; we’ve been expecting you!” said a man behind the counter.
Martha eyed him suspiciously. Last she knew, Illinois was not a desert, and Chicago was next to a lake. And he shouldn’t be able to see her. But she supposed she could try the code word. “Cub won?” she asked more than stated.
“What do you mean cubs? Bear cubs? Well, it doesn’t matter anyhow. Please, come sign in and enjoy your stay,” the man exclaimed thrusting a book and a key toward her.
“Are you UCF?” she asked, wondering if she were about to be arrested.
“UCF? No, now please, here is your key. Enjoy your stay at Hotel California,” the man smiled. He then picked up the book, which had her signature… she didn’t remember signing it… and walked through a door behind the desk.
Martha was left staring at the door and then the key on the table as confusion and a sense of dread welled up inside her.