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Chapter 6

“YOU!” I snarled at Sauron.

“Us,” corrected Sauron as he pointed to his compatriots.

“I never thought I’d see you again after you were crushed like a tin can in Metropolis!” I growled. I turned to the Riddler. “Riddle me this, you WERE defeated in Gondor, right?”

“Quite the story after those incidents,” remarked Sauron. “Shall we tell you of our scars?”

“Were your fathers drinkers and fiends?” taunted Livia. Sauron then fired lightning from the One Ring, shocking us all. He ended the treatment after a few seconds.

“Just before you fought our old employer, Vortech,” began the Riddler, “we had to part company with him. We boarded new Dalek Saucers to escape. However, we were blown off course. Strange dimensional energies buffeted our vessels. I believe you’re familiar with the source of them. Riddle me this: what circles around, causing riders to scream?” The answer was a roller-coaster’s loop-de-loop. I could see where the ultimate answer was coming from.

“Ah, the Rift Loop we trapped Vortech in,” I answered.

“Exactly,” confirmed Sauron. “As the Riddler said, we were sent off course, landing in a much harsher universe. Ancient Evils were tearing it asunder…until WE stepped in. We destroyed the monsters attacking that world and took control. Plenty of people to command, plenty of space to make Orcs, Daleks, and other minions, and plenty of resources to build up and replenish whatever vessels and minions we’ve lost.”

“Sooo, the story is less ‘Ha ha’ funny,” I remarked. This time, the Riddler zapped us.

“Question: what IS ‘Ha ha’ funny?” he snarled. “Answer: YOUR PAIN!” He stopped zapping and resumed explaining. “Shocker Rift spent the next two years building up its forces, ready to conquer and enslave the Tarlaxians, making ABSOLUTELY sure we could control them this time!”

“So you used the Tarlaxian scout ship as test subjects!” growled Turretorg.

“Well, yes,” replied the Riddler, “but our efforts are being stymied. Right now, they’re unconscious, so they can’t reveal why our methods aren’t working…but we have a guess.”

“We discovered YOUR handiwork, Turretorg,” continued Sauron. “YOU were a master of the mental disciplines back when you served us. So, tell me, what did you do to make the Tarlaxians resistant to our control?”

“Like I’d tell you!” growled Turretorg.

“Do we REALLY need to do this?” quizzed Jason.

“Are you questioning us?!” snarled Octavio.

“Look,” interjected Callie, “I don’t think…”

“DON’T think, obey!” roared Octavio. “Or, do I need to use the hypno-shades on you again?!”

“…N-no, Sir,” gulped Callie. “I’m sorry, Sir.”

“To answer your question, YES,” hissed Kaito. “We HAVE to do this. We’re strong, they’re weak. We need to show how powerful we are.”

“That’s my boy!” cheered Sauron.

“Sheesh, no wonder Shocker Rift parted company with Vortech,” I muttered, “you’re sounding LIKE him.” Sauron gave us another zapping.

“There’s never enough pain before you shut up, is there?!” he growled.

“Oh, trust me,” I gasped, “I’m in enough pain looking at you! Why are you still working for Hiro?!”

“To dull my pain of looking at you,” snarled Sauron, “needing other people to prop you up! You were so close, at one point, to realizing power, but let that box dissuade you!” A screen then turned on and displayed what happened after our first encounter with Vortech, the argument, X-PO revealing why he opened rifts to various universes, and my breaking down in tears in regret for keeping the real reason of our dimensional travels secret from Batman, Wyldstyle, Hongo, and Gandalf. I turned my head in shame as Colleen looked at me in disbelief.

“You lot never told us new guys that!” she protested.

“I WANTED to tell you guys,” I mumbled, “but I was outvoted. The other members didn’t want your image of us ‘sullied’, as Richard put it.”

“You see?” remarked Sauron. “Holding power over your underlings makes you stronger! They knew that!”

“They’re NOT my underlings!” I argued. “They’re my friends!”

“A ruler has no time for friends!” countered Sauron. “A ruler does not reveal their secrets to those beneath them! A ruler needs no equals!”

“We’ll see!” I hissed.

“No, WE’LL see!” replied the Riddler as he pointed to himself and his allies. “You and your friends will be corpses we have taxidermied and hung up in our base’s throne room! They’ll be interesting conversation pieces at parties!”

“As long as we’re in high society,” joked Haitao. “I take it you’re here for Death’s Source?”

“Rob me of a potential riddle, will you?” hissed the Riddler. “Oh well, I’ll just go for the next one. What takes the color associated with water, encompasses itself, and is a key to unlock an apocalypse?”

“…No!” breathed Death. “No, you couldn’t have!” Sauron pulled out a blue crystal sphere the size of his fist.

“We did,” confirmed Sauron. “Behold, Death, your Source!” He then laughed. “Vengeance is sweet! However, I AM magnanimous in victory. Megumi, we all know how much you ‘heroes’ like to give speeches about how light will conquer darkness in the end, so I will allow you to make such a speech. Choose your words well.” Colleen then got a twinkle in her eyes.

“Er, Mr. Nygma,” she called. “You don’t mind a riddle, do you?”

“I’m called the Riddler for a reason,” replied the Riddler.

“Riddle me this: after the source is taken by you,” quizzed Colleen, “what will you do with us?”

“Easy!” cheered the Riddler. “We’ll keep you here as our prisoners and then, after taking this universe for our own, we’ll finally kill you! You’ll understand, in your last few seconds alive, how stupid you were to defeat us! Oh, we won’t stop there! With Octavio’s mind-control tech, we can conquer the surrounding universes! All of this, and we’ll be satisfied in the knowledge that you’ll no longer defeat us! THAT is our vengeance! That…that is…WHY THE HELL ARE YOU IDIOTS LAUGHING AS MUCH AS THE JOKER?!” Hook, line, and sinker! He gave away the entire plan! The reason we were laughing was because the motive behind all of this was laughable.

“Two years,” I remarked. “It’s been two years since my respective encounters with you and Sauron.”

“So?” quizzed Sauron.

“THIS is what you decided to do for two years,” I continued, “when you guys could have done anything else! You could have used your fleet to conquer your respective universes! Maybe conquer the neighboring universes there! But, no! The only thing you idiots want is revenge!” I sighed in pity. “Revenge, the most WORTHLESS of causes! You two are obsessed with me more than Hiro because I had the gall to defend myself and take something you had in your possession! Sauron, I took the Locate Keystone from you, if I recall. And, Riddler, you lost the Palantír to me! It’s amazing that you thought about me all this time when I almost forgot you were under Hiro’s thumb!” That struck a nerve. “Boys, you need to stop fighting over me,” I taunted. “I already have a boyfriend!” Sauron zapped me again. “And it ticks you off,” I managed to get out before Sauron stopped, “that you have to work for someone you considered beneath you! That’s the difference, though. I spend two years of my life LIVING it! Yes, I monitored for you, but I had other things to help stave off the anticipation of Shocker Rift’s next move! I got a job! I go to school! I get new people into the F.N.S! You wanna know why I broke down like that?! Because I felt like I betrayed the trust of my friends. They’re people that helped me become who I am, even the new guys! I don’t pretend that everything in the last two years and in the Vortech Wars didn’t happen! I learn from both mistakes and triumphs to become better, both to myself and to my friends! You?” I chuckled a bit. “You two just become bitter and abusive! You let the past consume you! You drive everyone away because they remind you of some failure! You isolate yourself and never gain friends!”

“A ruler needs no friends!” shouted Sauron. “All a ruler needs is people to obey them!”

“No, what you mean is you think you only need such people,” I argued, “to fill the void of loneliness in your heart because everyone else is good and decent and kind! You, gentlemen, are a**holes! It just enrages you to see someone in a command position enjoy the company of friends because you can’t accept that you idiots are just complete jerkwads! Two years after fighting and bad guys and heartbreak and loss, I HAVE been looking back on it all. While you would dwell on the failures you suffered within two years, I just can’t wait to see what the next two years will bring!”

“TWO YEARS?!” shrieked the Riddler. “You’re not gonna have two minutes! I give you guys a fully-charged electroshock therapy treatment and Death will have to claim you! How do you think you can stop us?!”

“For one thing,” replied Turretorg, “you forgot about X-PO.”

“The robot?” quizzed Kaito.

“The robot,” confirmed Death.

“No, we didn’t!” burbled Octavio. “After Kaito, the Riddler, and Sauron arrived and broke me out of my second prison two years ago, they took Jason, making him Agent 7, and got him to study the robot’s schematics so he could disable him quickly.”

“Yeah, the thing is,” I countered, “the Doctor made sure that, if the transmitter were damaged first, the self-repair circuits would fix that first before anything else. Wanna know how long it takes to fix that?”

“About a half hour,” called X-PO’s voice.

“What the?!” spluttered Octavio. “What’s going on?! WHERE MAH BEATS?!”

“And DJ Octavio has failed!” taunted X-PO’s voice. Just then, one of the machine’s fists opened up and grabbed Octavio, tossing him out! It then made the “Devil” sign. “DJ X-PO IN DA HOUSE!” cheered the machine in X-PO’s voice. We managed to undo our ropes as X-PO attacked the Octarians trying to stop us. The New Squidbeak Splatoon turned to Octavio.

“Never mind him!” shouted Kaito as he equipped a Sengoku Driver and took out a Lockseed with a bunch of bananas on it. He pressed the button on the side and the arm popped up.

“BANANA!” called the Lockseed. A zipper in the air then opened and let a metal banana float above Kaito.

“Henshin,” announced Kaito. He then inserted the Lockseed into the Sengoku Driver and closed it.

“Lock on!” called the belt. It then played European trumpet music before he sliced the Lockseed open with the Driver’s knife. “Come on!” challenged the belt. The banana then landed around his head as a red undersuit with silver trim appeared around him.

“BANANA-BANA-BANANA?!” squawked an Orc.

“Baron da!” (That’s Baron to you!) called Kaito.

“Banana Arms!” announced the belt as the banana unfolded so the ends became shoulder pads and part of the side became chest armor. His helmet looked like a knight’s helm with a pair of horns. “Knight of spear!” sang the belt as his weapon appeared. It was a lance that evoked a peeled banana. Given that he corrected an Orc, I’d say he was Kamen Rider Baron.

“Henshin!” we called. Colleen’s belt announced, “Open! Turn! Imagine! The Hammer of Slam!” as we became our Kamen Rider personas. Catchphrase time!

“Kamen Rider Death! You cannot delay your appointment with me!”

“Kamen Rider Royal! Evil will ultimately bow to me!”

“Kamen Rider Zhànshì! Try and stop my quest!”

“Kamen Rider Clash! A duel with me shall end in your defeat!”

“Kamen Rider Herald B! I bring news of your defeat!”

“Kamen Rider Slam! I’ll be bringing the pain!”

“I am Turretorg, the invincible siege weapon!”

“I’m X-PO! I’ve calculated 979 ways to defeat you! Let’s go for 28!” With that, X-PO crossed his new hands in front of him. “Priority 7-Alpha, Sea-bass drop!”

“Uh oh!” gulped Octavio.

“Uh oh what?” demanded Sauron. Octavio then did something never witnessed in the games, he shifted to his humanoid form! He looked like a Japanese Lord.

“MEAN LASER!” he shouted. X-PO uncrossed his new hands and fired his laser. Everyone got out of the way…even us! We were right in its path!

“Sorry!” called X-PO.

“STICK TO THE FISTS!” I shouted. Sauron and the Riddler double-teamed me, keeping me from helping the others out. Turretorg fired a barrage of missiles at the Orcs and Octolings, the Octolings giving him a little more difficulty as they turned into octopi and swam in their ink. The New Squidbeak Splatoon, regretfully, kept the others at bay. “Guys, come on!” I protested to the Splatoon. “You don’t wanna do this!”

“We don’t have a choice,” replied Marie. She leveled her Charger (sniper rifle) at me and fired. I got out of the way, smacking into Sauron’s mace. His swing knocked me back a couple of meters. Baron managed to score a few hits on X-PO’s new body with that lance of his. The machine then fell as the lights went off.

“X-PO!” called Herald B.

“I’m alright!” called X-PO’s voice as his original body’s eye switched on. He then activated a new function the 4th Doctor installed, similar to K-9’s, a stun blaster! He gathered energy into his eye and fired a purple bolt of light at Octavio. The Octarian King managed to shrug it off. “Damn, STILL not at full power!” swore X-PO. Agent 8 then leapt onto him.

“I still am!” she hissed as she drew a wrench. Just then, Slam swung her hammer into 8’s head. “Nice try, bone bag!” laughed 8 as she landed on her feet. She then started stumbling. “Actually, remove the sarcasm,” she mumbled. “It WAS a nice try. Why is the room spinning?” She then collapsed.

“BELLA! NO!” shouted Jason. He and Marie then rushed to 8’s side. Callie swung her Roller (rolling paintbrush weapon) at Clash but Clash managed to roll out of the way only to encounter Baron’s attack as he used the Sengoku Driver’s knife to slice the Lockseed three times.

“BANANA SPARKING!” announced the belt as Baron thrust the tip of his lance into the ground, causing bananas to pop out of the ground and strike Clash. Sauron and the Riddler had managed to knock me to the floor and leveled their weapons at me as I leveled my sword.

“Do you think you’re fast enough,” taunted Sauron, “to put us down before we kill you?”

“…I have a means of staving off my appointment with Death,” I smirked. I then spun the wheel in the opposite direction of changing armor, making it go two full rotations. “DAI SUPER CHARGE!” I shouted. My armor bulked up and went white with gold trim, then it exploded, revealing gold armor with white tiger patterns. Sauron and the Riddler picked themselves up after being knocked down by my exploding armor.

“What in…?!” spluttered Sauron.

“Kamen Rider Vortex,” I explained, “the form I used to defeat Vortech.” I then went on the offensive, managing to beat back Sauron and the Riddler as Slam swung her hammer into Baron’s leg, causing him to cancel his transformation and grasp his leg in pain. Zhànshì and Claw managed to cut one of Octavio’s head tentacles off and shoved him into his allies. He turned to the New Squidbeak Splatoon.

“Inksquirts!” he bellowed. The agents weren’t listening as they were tending to Bella, Agent 8.

“We have to give her an ink infusion to clear her head!” gulped Jason.

“You idiots! Help us!” shouted Octavio.

“We have to save Bella!” insisted Jason.

“Stop cradling that useless soldier!” ordered Sauron.

“…What did you say?” hissed Jason.

“I said stop cradling that lump of muscle and help your betters!” roared Sauron. Jason looked back at his fellow agents, then glared at Sauron and his allies. He stood up and pulled something out of his back pocket. We couldn’t believe it!

“A Chronicle Driver?!” yelped Claw.

“How did you…?!” I quizzed.

“Sludgiona said she had made more Chronicle Drivers,” explained Slam. “She must have put them onto the scout ships.”

“How would you…?” I inquired.

“She explained she had made more to us new guys,” replied Slam.

“I see,” I remarked.

“What’s the word you guys used to transform?” asked Jason as he fastened the Chronicle Driver to his waist.

“Chronicle Driver!” announced the belt.

“We say ‘Henshin’,” I replied to Jason.

“Thank you,” bid Jason. He then took out an Armor Auto-bio and inserted it into the shelf that popped up from the top. “Henshin!” he announced. He pressed the shelf down as the giant book flipped its pages and spat out armor pieces.

“Open!” called the belt. “Turn! Imagine! The Roller of Turf!” His armor looked a lot like the power armor set of the first game.

“Agents, keep watch over Bella,” directed Jason. “I intend to voice our long-overdue complaints to our ‘masters’.”

“What do you call yourself, Kamen Rider Squidkid?” snarked the Riddler.

“Kamen Rider Turf, actually,” replied Jason. “I shall claim this turf in victory!” He then swung his roller into them. “Don’t you ever…EVER…call Bella useless!”

“You little…!” snarled the Riddler.

“You utter demons!” hissed Turf. “I should have done this two years ago!” He converted his roller into a charger and fired on the villains, causing the Orcs to lose their minds.

“Right, that’s it!” roared Gorshagh from the balcony. He caught the Kiri Zecter. “HEN…!” he didn’t get very far as an Octoling kicked the Zecter out of his hands. “What do you think you’re…?!” shouted Gorshagh.

“TAKE DOWN THE ORCS!” shouted the Octoling. The Octarians then attacked the Orcs. Turf pressed the button on his Chronicle Driver.

“Final Pen Stroke!” called the belt.

“RIDER TURF KICK!” shouted Turf as he leapt into the air and performed a flying kick towards the Villains. They soon picked themselves up.

“Vortex, we need to take them all out in one swoop!” whispered Death.

“I may have a solution!” I declared. “Locate Keystone, activate! Initiate rift detection!” I soon found the rift. Man, it felt good to use the Keystone. “Identify source of rift!” The information beamed into my head. “Haven’t seen him in a while. Locate help from B-3-N-1-0!” Just then, a giant lizard person landed face-first onto the floor. The person picked himself to reveal the black circle with the green hourglass design on his chest. “BEN!” I called. Ben Tennyson, currently as Humungousaur, noticed me as I shouted and grinned.

“Vortex!” he cheered. “Haven’t seen you in a while! What’s new?”

“Orcs invaded the universe we’re in,” I explained. I pointed out their bosses. “Got a place for them?”

“I think Incarcecon can handle a few more inmates,” joked Humungousaur as he slapped on the Omnitrix symbol. He then changed. “FOUR-ARMS!” he announced. He then leapt around the levels, grabbing Orcs and throwing them into the rift he went through. He then grabbed Sauron, the Riddler, Baron, and was about to grab Octavio when Turf stopped him.

“He stays,” he insisted. Four-Arms nodded and tossed the remaining three into the rift.

“Thanks, Ben!” I called.

“Don’t mention it!” replied Four-Arms. “See you later!” He then went through the rift as it shut. An Octoling then gave Marie a bit of ink and Marie injected it into Bella, sighing in relief as she checked her over.

“Okay,” she sighed, “she’s stable and should be good for getting her to a hospital.”

“We’ll take her,” replied Pearl. She and Marina picked Bella up and carried her out of the area to a hospital.

“Listen, everyone,” sighed Turf, “about all of this…I’m sorry.”

“You’re not the only one needing to apologize to Megumi,” muttered Slam, feeling guilty about not telling me about the other Chronicle Drivers.

“Mine first,” I answered. “Colleen, I’m sorry. It was wrong of me to not tell you about an event in our past. It was wrong of me to not give you the full details about the Vortech Wars. I was wrong. I don’t know if I can make it up to you and…I understand if this makes you want to part company with the Feudal Nerd Society.”

“I understand your logic,” replied Slam, “but I don’t see myself leaving just yet. Why don’t we all leave our regrets here?”

“I have to say, today was FULL of regrets,” mused X-PO.

“Comes with any anniversary, especially a war’s anniversary,” replied Turretorg.

“Maybe…” suggested Claw, “maybe we should focus more on forgiveness.”

“Forgiveness isn’t handed out,” I answered, “it’s earned. Colleen, if you’ll let me, I’d like to work to earn yours.”

“Let me work to earn yours, then we’ll talk,” replied Slam.

“Agreed,” I affirmed. Just then, someone fired over our heads! Octavio was clutching his sides and holding a blaster!

“FORGIVENESS?!” he roared. “YOU DOLTS ARE PATHETIC! FORGIVENESS IS A WEAKNESS! YOU ALL NEED TO REALIZE THAT THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE!”

“And yet,” I observed, “you’re the one without an empire to back you up.” I was talking about the Octarians leveling their weapons at him. Octavio looked around, then fired a few shots to scare his people off and scurried up a ladder, dropping the Source. “Come on!” I called.

“Let him go,” replied Marina.

“But he’s gonna escape!” I urged.

“I think there’s little chance of that,” assured Marina.

“…Why?” I quizzed. Octavio then screamed in frustration.

“Captain Cuttlefish placed a giant snow globe over the exit,” explained Marina.

“…The globe again?” I muttered.


Bella had made a full recovery and helped us reveal the names of Agents 3 and 4. Agent 3 was Colin and Agent 4 was Samantha. Unfortunately, the crew of the Tarlaxian scout ship was already taken by Shocker Rift. We were back in our Splatoon disguises. Pearl and Marina were back doing Off the Hook for Inkopolis Square. “So, with all the craziness going on,” Pearl was saying, “the final Splatfest had to be cancelled.”

“Now, with the Orcs gone and the Octarians’ good name being cleared,” continued Marina, “the final Splatfest can go on. It’s going to take a week, though, before any match can begin. Yes, you heard right, the matches will be back on in a week.”

“Until then, Grizzco is still hiring!” supplied Pearl. “I can’t believe our last gig went so smoothly, Marina!”

“Yeah, especially because we worked a Salmon Run shift instead of rehearsing!” replied Marina.

“And that’s all the time we got!” finished Pearl. “Until next time…” Marina then joined Pearl in posing and saying their catchphrase.

“Don’t get cooked, stay off the hook!” they cheered. The screen went back to its usual ads.

“I guess things will be back to normal soon,” chuckled Callie.

“As normal as our lives are,” remarked Marie.

“Thanks for the last minute assist,” I bid to Jason.

“You’re welcome,” replied Jason. “I just wish I saw sense earlier.”

“You’re not evil,” I assured. “You wouldn’t have a Chronicle Driver if you were.”

“You just need a little guidance in handling it,” continued Colleen.

“What are you saying?” asked Jason.

“Wanna come with us?” I offered. “Wander the multiverse with us for a while and see if you wanna be a member of the Feudal Nerd Society?”

“…No secrets this time?” quizzed Jason.

“No secrets this time,” I assured.

“Then let’s do it!” cheered Jason as he twirled Death’s Source on his finger like a basketball.

“Vorton, this is Megumi,” I called into my communicator. “Mission accomplished! We have Death’s Source, have a new ally with us, and are ready for pickup!”

“Good to hear, Megumi,” replied a voice. It didn’t belong to anyone on the Vorton team. I finally got it after a few seconds.

“Doctor?!” I yelped.

“Hello!” answered the 13th Doctor’s voice.

“What the heck are you doing on Vorton?” I quizzed.

“The Gateway Operators called me and filled me in on your current adventure,” explained the Doctor. “My reason for being here on Vorton is something that seems unrelated to your crisis. I’ll fill you in when you get here.” A portal opened for us.

“It’s gonna be a little…buzzy,” I warned Jason.

“…Buzzy?” asked Jason as he followed us. He soon got what I meant when I said “buzzy”. We arrived back on Vorton before the others. “…Yeah, ‘buzzy’ is an apt description!” mumbled the Inkling as he rubbed his arms. “Feels like my cells are vibrating!”

“Hello!” called a voice. The Doctor then came up, still wearing that grey coat.

“Good to see you again, Doctor,” I greeted. “You said Elphaba’s team called you in?”

“They did,” confirmed the Doctor. “Let me show you.” She motioned for us to follow her to the medical ward. Lying on a bed was a young blonde woman. She seemed to be busy examining her hands.

“Who is she?” I asked.

“She looks a lot like one of my previous companions, Rose Tyler,” replied the Doctor, “but that doesn’t make sense. During an adventure involving both Daleks AND Cybermen, she became trapped in a parallel universe. Now, she lives her life with a human version of my 10th incarnation.”

“So, is THIS Rose Tyler a clone?” I quizzed.

“That’s what I initially thought,” answered the Doctor. “However, if she is, she’s the most perfect clone ever. Usually, when a clone is artificially aged, there are telltale genetic markers to indicate such a thing had happened. However, she doesn’t have those.”

“Then, is the Rose you traveled with a clone?” I asked.

“I checked the TARDIS medical records,” replied the Doctor, “and the Rose I traveled with IS the real deal.”

“A traveler from a parallel universe, then?” I suggested.

“I don’t really have a frame of reference for that,” mused the Doctor as she tapped her chin.

“I might help in that regard,” called X-PO. “Let me connect with the equipment. There should be telltale signs of her being from a parallel universe.” X-PO hooked up to the medical scanners and ran through the data. It took a few minutes. When he finished, he crossed his arms. “Huh,” he muttered. “Nothing.”

“Is there ANYTHING to go on?” I quizzed, getting desperate for answers.

“There ARE stray energy particles I haven’t been able to identify,” replied the Doctor, “but those may be from the energy weapon that was fired on her.”

“Is she injured?” I gasped.

“No,” assured the Doctor, “but look at the rags she’s wearing. Some of the damage WASN’T from going through the rift unprotected and I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt in that she’s NOT insane enough to burn parts of her clothes herself.”

“I suppose the next thing to do,” I declared, “is to ask her.” I approached her and she took notice of me. “Hello,” I greeted with a bit of uncertainty in my voice. “My name is Megumi Hishikawa. What’s your name?”

“…I can’t…remember a lot,” replied the Rose clone.

“What DO you remember?” I asked.

“I remember…names,” answered the Rose clone. “I remember being in a lot of pain. I remember…my temperature increasing for a bit. I don’t recall how I got here.”

“Do you have any means of identification?” I inquired.

“I think I’m…Rose Tyler, right?” asked the clone.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” replied the Doctor. “You see, I travelled with Rose Tyler for a long time.”

“…You?” quizzed the clone.

“Yes, me,” confirmed the Doctor. “I’m the Doctor.”

“…Doctor…” muttered the clone. I noticed a hint of distaste for the word before she went back to examining her hands. “Who…WHAT am I?” she asked.

“For now,” I answered, “you’re our guest and…this is your home.” The clone looked around the place to get a good look at her surroundings.

“…Home,” she repeated. I excused myself at that point and contacted the other teams, informing them of what happened.

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