|Hymn of the City|
|Main setting:||Sydney, Australia, 1942|
|Part of:||Short Trips: The Muses|
|Short Trips short stories|
|An Overture Too Early||Confabula|
The Doctor and Ace arrive in Sydney in 1942. The Doctor contacts a ferry for a ride, then warns the captain to remove his vessel from the area. He confides to Ace that a Japanese submarine will soon torpedo an American warship. Soon they hear an explosion.
Li Chen Mei is closing up her fortune teller shop when the Doctor and Ace arrive. She welcomes the Doctor as an old friend. She knows why he has come. She makes them tea, and gives the Doctor the small box he has come for.
Allum makes his way to his base, but is told to stand steady for now. He and the other men hear the USS Chicago return fire.
Ginny, who left her home earlier, hears the explosion but ignores the chaos, concentrating on where her dreams are leading her. She heads for the cliff edge and jumps.
The Doctor and Ace head for Mrs Harris' house. After they greet Mrs Harris, the Doctor tells Ace to keep the box safe, then he leaves the house.
Allum and his men are told to stand down. Allum, angry at this order, hears a voice in his head. He and the men clear bodies and debris from the water, but the voice in his head is getting stronger. He follows it towards the cliff.
Ace goes upstairs to bed, angry that the Doctor left her behind. She hears Mrs Harris go outside, and watches as Mrs Harris butchers a chicken.
The Doctor is walking through the streets, letting his feet take him where he needs to go. Meanwhile, Mei is having dreams in which the Doctor is trying to tell her something.
Ace prepares to sneak out, waiting for Mrs Harris to go to bed. She sees Mrs Harris cut up the chicken, and sneaks outside without Mrs Harris seeing her.
The voice wants Allum to hurry, so he takes a car. Ginny is having dreams about three people trying to stop someone from tearing a hole in the song.
Ace, who has brought the box with her, hears a voice telling her to hurry. She takes a car. Allum leaves his car, looking for "the enemy". He sees Ginny and follows her as she climbs back up the cliff. The song tells Ace to leave her car, and she arrives to see Allum tackle Ginny. Ace hits him on the head with a rock before he can harm Ginny further.
The Doctor arrives and takes the box from Ace. Ginny is singing a wordless song. She sends the Doctor to Mei. Mei's dream calls her to Mrs Harris' house. They all arrive at the house in time to stop Mrs Harris from interfering with what the Doctor calls the "hymnal skein". The Doctor explains it as the force holding life together. Mei and Ginny are guardians of this force; Mrs Harris can sense it but doesn't have the understanding to manipulate it. The Doctor reassures Ace that Allum will be all right. Mrs Harris offers to make tea for everyone.
- Ace is carrying nitro-9.
- The Doctor and Ace can't use the TARDIS because it's a little erratic.
- The Doctor uses his John Smith alias.
- Ace compares the hymnal skein the "the Force" from Star Wars.
- The stories in Short Trips: The Muses are inspired by the Muses of Greek mythology. This story is based on Polyhymnia, the Muse of Sacred Poetry.
to be added