We arrived back on Vorton safely. Eiji, Kōsei, and Ankh were amazed at their new surroundings. “Oh, good!” cheered X-PO. “You guys got the cake!”
“Yeah, and we were almost toast, too!” hissed Batman.
“You cut that pretty close, X-PO,” snapped Wyldstyle.
“Couldn’t you have opened the rift sooner?” asked Touché as we cancelled our transformations.
“Is that the cake from Portal?” asked Richard. “You guys were in Portal? Man, I wish I had been there!”
“You really don’t, my dear brother,” argued Emily. “With Hiro gaining his own Super Charge sequence and with the main enemies of Eiji-san here, we had our work cut out for us.”
“Speaking of cutting,” muttered Gandalf as he eyed the cake. “Perhaps a slice of…” Tanisha took the cake out of Batman’s hands and held it above her head out of Gandalf’s reach.
“It’s not for eating!” growled Batman. I then looked around.
“Hey, where’s Hiroki?” I asked as X-PO took the cake. “I have another Rider for him to geek over.” Mikhail and Lukas came up.
“He, Tonje, Emmanuel, Michael, Sheela, Xiomara, and Irina went on an adventure with a new Doctor,” replied Mikhail. “They’ll be back soon. Something about a Dalek fleet over their native universe’s Earth.”
“Can we get something to eat?” asked Eiji. “That adventure wore me out.”
“The adventure, or Putotyra?” asked Ankh.
“Follow me,” I directed as I led the way to the cafeteria. When we showed off the cafeteria and demonstrated the replicators, Eiji, Ankh, and Kōsei got their food. Ankh seemed to be eating a lot of popsicles.
“Isn’t that a bit…unhealthy?” asked Emily.
“I don’t eat food in the sense that you humans do,” explained Ankh. “Heck, my senses are dulled. I can’t taste food, Colors are washed out, and sounds are distorted and muffled. The only time I experienced the full range of the five senses was when I possessed a detective.”
“The Greeed are voids that can’t be filled,” elaborated Eiji. “Thus, they want to turn the world into Cell Medals.”
“And…you’re working with him?” I asked.
“Let’s just say, he’s learned a thing or two,” chuckled Eiji.
“That reminds me,” mused Ankh as he drew a bag out of his body. “Kōsei, do you know anything about these?” The bag was full of studs!
“Not a clue,” admitted Kōsei.
“Those are studs, the local currency,” I explained
“There are 150,000 studs in that bag,” counted Vortoranii.
“You can have them,” muttered Ankh as he tossed the bag to me.
“That’s 980,000 studs!” Vortoranii said, then laughed like Count Von Count.
“Guys,” called X-PO, “I hate to sound needy, but, unless you want to miss this, Irina and the others came back and she needs medical attention!”
“What?!” yelped Emily. We made a mad dash for the med bay. Irina was hooked up to an IV and had an NG tube in her nose. Her pulse was low, but steady. Tonje, Hiroki, Emmanuel, Michael, Sheela, and Xiomara were there along with a woman with blonde hair reaching her neck and a coat with the hood down at the bed, running the medical equipment. The TARDIS was there as well.
“Emily! Good!” called the woman. “She was hit by a handheld, low yield, Dalek blaster. Davros seemed to have it on his person.”
“Where’s the Doctor?” asked Emily, going into full Medic mode. “I want the full story of what happened while I work.”
“Well, Doctor?” asked Michael to the woman. I goggled.
“The Doctor passed the torch to her?” I guessed.
“In a manner of speaking,” replied the woman.
“That IS the Doctor,” explained Michael. “I’ll explain later. Doctor, if you please.”
“Oh, come on,” argued the woman, the new Doctor, “surely you want to tell the story.”
“Oh, very well,” muttered Michael.
“CHARGE!” ordered my princess. As her team entered the rift, the rest of us started wondering what we should do.
“I don’t know about you, meine Freunde,” called Lukas, “but I’m going to go tune up the replicators.”
“I’m going to rest my back,” sighed Livia.
“Same here,” agreed Richard. That was when a familiar sound started playing.
“Anyone hear that?” asked Joshua.
“That’s the TARDIS!” called Mikhail.
“What’s he doing coming back here?!” I asked as the TARDIS materialized in the gateway room. The door opened and a woman poked her head out. She caught sight of me.
“AHA!” she cheered. “I need your help, Michael! Something’s going down around my universe’s Earth. Mind coming with?”
“Hold on, how do you know my name, Ma’am?” I asked.
“Never mind that,” dismissed the woman, “I’ll explain later. Just pick six others to come with us!” I was surprised but did so.
“Er, Tonje, Hiroki, Emmanuel, Irina, Sheela, and Xiomara, you want to see the TARDIS again?” I asked.
“Eh, why not?” mused Emmanuel. As the people I picked entered the TARDIS, I glanced around.
“Doctor?!” I called. No response. The woman then headed to the console. “Doctor?!” I called again. Still no reply. I tried a different approach. “Professor?!”
“Oh, come on,” replied the woman. “You’re making me nostalgic.”
“Ma’am, I don’t believe I know what you’re talking about!” I snapped.
“Oh, just put your hands on the telepathic circuits,” instructed the woman.
“Michael, who is this woman?!” asked Tonje.
“I don’t bloody know!” I yelled. It’s rare that I ever use bloody in that context. We all put a hand on the TARDIS’ telepathic circuits and reviewed the most memorable moments of the pilot.
“One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back,” faded to “They will persuade other Daleks to question. You will have a rebellion on your planet!” fading to “You exist only because your will insists that you exist. Your will is all that is left of you,” fading yet again to “You’ve no home planet, no influence, nothing! You’re just a pathetic bunch of tin soldiers skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship!” fading again to “Well, a place where one embarks and disembarks from compartments on wheels drawn along these tracks by a steam engine; rarely on time,” fading to “But did you bother to tell anyone that they might be eating their own relatives?” with another man saying “Certainly not! That would have created what I believe is termed… ‘consumer resistance’,” fading to “I have pity for you!” and a Dalek counting fifteen and the man saying “Goodbye Davros. It hasn’t been pleasant,” fading to “You want dominion over the living, yet all you do is kill!” fading again to “Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame. Whatever the cost,” fading once again to a woman saying, “If you are an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the north?” and a man replying, “Lots of planets have a north!” fading to “Don’t challenge me, Harriet Jones! ‘Cos I’m a completely new man! I could bring down your government with a single word!” fading again to “Wrong with me? It’s not my fault. Why can’t you give me any decent food? You’re Scottish. Fry something!” fading one last time to “You know you’ve got a lot in common with the Tivolians? You’ll both do anything to survive. They’ll surrender to anyone. You will hijack other peoples’ souls and turn them into electro-magnetic projections. That will to endure… That refusal to ever cease. It’s extraordinary. And it makes a fella think! Because, you know what? If all I have to do to survive is to tweak the future a bit, what’s stopping me? Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah: the ripple effect. Maybe it will mean that the universe will be ruled by cats or something in the future. But the way I see it, even a ghastly future is better than no future at all! You robbed those people of their deaths; made them nothing more than a message in a bottle. You violated something more important than time: You bent the rules of life and death. So I am putting things straight! Here, now, this is where your story ends!” All of those quotes and an image forming in our minds slowly became clearer and clearer to show the woman, the Time Lord, that was piloting a type 40 TARDIS with a chameleon circuit stuck as a 1960’s London Police Box. We were dazed at the story that unfolded.
“So…the Doctor we’re familiar with…” muttered Emmanuel.
“Had many different faces…” finished Irina. I turned to the woman.
“Seriously?” I asked.
“Yep!” confirmed the woman.
“You’re him?!” I continued.
“That’s right!” grinned the woman.
“Even the blonde hair?” I asked.
“Yes!” said the woman, a little annoyed.
“You’re the…Thirteenth Doctor?” I asked.
“Yes!” repeated the woman, the Doctor. “You humans have a rather enormous capacity for repeating the facts!” The TARDIS then shook.
“Doctor, what’s going on?!” asked Sheela.
“Bit of temporal ripples!” explained the Doctor. “Someone, or something, is creating a rather large distortion in time about the size of Paris! It seems to be centered around Earth, my universe’s Earth.”
“So, who caused the distortion?” I asked. I did NOT like the response.
“Typical Daleks!” hissed the Doctor as her fingers danced around the console. “What IS their fascination with Earth? That’s MY fascination!”
“GOD…FLIPPING…WHHHYYYY?!” I shouted. “Couldn’t it be early model Mondasian Cybermen?! THEY knew how to be creepy!” The TARDIS rocked again. “Are they firing on us?!” I asked.
“I may need some help maneuvering the TARDIS,” called the Doctor. “Hiroki! Michael! Emmanuel! Sheela! Xiomara! Give me a hand!”
“We’re not Time Lords!” protested Hiroki.
“Put your hands on the telepathic circuits again,” directed the Doctor. “The TARDIS will fill you in on its operation.” Information about all the panels on the console filled our minds. It soon integrated with human limits and it became easy as pie!
“Oh, many a fan of your adventures would sell their souls just to have this kind of knowledge!” I cheered.
“Seems simple enough,” mused Sheela.
“So, what are we supposed to do?” asked Irina as we took our places, “stand here and look glamorous?”
“Well,” chuckled the Doctor, “you could always get us some tea. Maybe a bit of paperwork.” Tonje punched the Doctor in the shoulder. She and Irina then stormed up the stairs and headed into a hallway. “TONJE! IRINA! JOKE!” said the Doctor as she massaged her shoulder.
“They’ll be back when we’ve landed,” I assured. We then set to work on weaving the TARDIS through Dalek laser blasts and the saucers that said lasers came from.