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Fourth Doctor Drabbles

Chapter Text

“Who’s this chap?”

The Doctor dodged around Harry to program in new coordinates. “The Monk. He’s always interfering with history, constantly in trouble-”

“And that’s different from you how?” Sarah Jane asked cheekily.

“We’re nothing alike,” the Doctor spluttered. “I help people. He’s only interested in personal gain, which makes his meteoric rise through the Darkon Corporation troubling.” He handed her a flyer as the TARDIS landed.

Sarah read it out loud. “How to Invade the Earth?!”

“He’s their guest speaker today.” The Doctor grinned. “Should be very educational.”

Harry and Sarah shared a horrified look, but followed after him.

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“Mr. Monk?”

The Monk was admiring the view from the penthouse of his new Hyde Park skyscraper. He turned to frown at his PA. “Yes, Delores?”

“Sorry to disturb you, but your ten o’clock has arrived.”

“The journalist?”

She nodded. “Shall I make some tea?”

“Yes, and arrange a call with the New York and Tokyo land developers for later this afternoon.”

“Yes sir.” Delores left to usher in a young woman wearing a fashionably flared pant suit.

“Mr. Monk?” She smiled and offered her hand. “Sarah Jane Smith from the Metropolitan Magazine. I’ve so looked forward to interviewing you.”

Chapter Text

Harry leaned back, enjoying the afternoon sun after a busy day tending the wounded. It was good to feel useful again.

Sarah sat down beside him. Glancing at his clothes, she grinned. “What would the Brigadier say?”

Shifting uncomfortably in his Russian army uniform, Harry changed the subject. “Tomorrow they all go back to war,” he said, gesturing at the people enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. “Can’t we-”

“We can’t stop the Russian Revolution, but at least the Doctor gave them one happy day.”

“By stealing the Monk’s…thingamajig?”

“Heat ray,” she corrected. “And it’s more confiscating than stealing really.”

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They were sitting side by side again, this time on the swings of a shabby hotel playground.

Sarah Jane kicked her feet out, enjoying the movement and wind in her hair. She paused briefly when the Monk appeared outside of the hotel and walked glum-faced to join the Doctor on the seesaw. “I almost feel sorry for him.”

“The Doctor says he’s a rotter,” Harry replied, “and we can’t let him stay in control of England.”

“I know, but he looks so miserable-”

“We do keep ruining his plans for world domination. You’d think the chap would give over already.”

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“Congratulations Doctor,” Sarah said, “you’re now the majority stockholder of the Darkon Corporation.”

“We,” the Doctor wrapped his arms around his companions and smirked, “are the majority stockholders.”

“Perhaps I’m being dim,” began Harry, “but why do we want to own an evil empire?”

“Because then we get to order them around.” The Doctor brought up the TARDIS’s communications. “What should we set them to first? How about delivering medical supplies to war zones?”

“What about the Monk?”

“Weeeeeeell, looking after a charitable organization will do him good.” The Doctor grinned. “I told you attending that lecture would be educational."

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The Doctor held his hand up to his eyes and surveyed the area. It was a sunny day with barely a cloud in the sky. “Perhaps the TARDIS brought us here for that field? It’s a good spot for a picnic.” He hurried back inside.

“A picnic?” Sarah Jane exchanged a look with Harry who shrugged. “Don’t tell me you have one on hand and ready to go?”

“Of course!” The Doctor joined them again carrying a hamper and an oversized tartan blanket. “Come along!”

They followed him single file into a lovely meadow full of long grass and wildflowers.

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They ate in silence, Sarah Jane munching on a pork pie while Harry finished off another egg and cress sandwich before risking a nibble on a scone. Eventually Sarah leaned back on the blanket and sighed. “A perfect afternoon. The warmth of the sun, the sound of the sea, a veritable feast waiting to be shared with good friends. Why can’t more days be like this?”

“Because we’re traveling with the Doctor?” But Harry’s tone was light. Laying down beside her carefully to avoid putting his feet in the trifle, he smiled. “Better enjoy it while we can, Old Girl.”

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Her legs were tired from running, but Sarah kept going. The bright lights of the TARDIS weakened, turning a sickly, blood-tinged hue. Behind her the darkness spread, engulfing rooms and corridors, infecting everything it touched.

Sarah Jane clutched the Artron pack to her chest with one hand and rubbed the other against the smooth material of her dress. She still couldn’t rid herself of the stickiness of the darkness on her fingers. The cloister bell tolled in the distance. The TARDIS was dying and Sarah wondered if she’d long outlast it, but she hurried onward regardless. The Doctor needed her.

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The scarecrows dragged the Doctor from the church. Once they were a safe distance away, another scarecrow limped to the open door and tossed a jar into the sanctuary. It shattered when it hit the floor, spewing a cloud of dust into the air. Harry recognized it instantly. “Get back,” he yelled, grabbing Sarah’s arm and pulling her toward the choir loft.

The villagers stumbled blindly in the cloud of fertilizer. “We have to help them,” Sarah cried, but it was too late. One after the other, the fisherman staggered out of the cloud, bent double, and turned into scarecrows.

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“Oh dear,” Harry stared at his stomach, “I was afraid of that.” A tree trunk burst from his chest and enveloped him. His head lolled back, changing into the skull of an ancient and very dead ram.

Sarah screamed, but the sound seemed to come from far way. He reached for her, called her name, but he felt himself falling backwards into darkness. He landed on something hard and his twig body creaked under the strain. Getting slowly to his feet, he stumbled to a nearby river of fire and gazed at his reflection.

Harry had turned into a scarecrow.

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Sarah Jane screamed as the dark force pulled her away from the Doctor and into another dimension. Arms flailing, she landed on hot stones with a thud.

“Sarah?” The scarecrow who had been Harry Sullivan stumbled forward. “You alright, Old Girl?”

She scrambled to her feet and backed away. “Stop right there!”

Instantly, he froze. Then his shoulders slumped. “I understand,” he replied sadly. “I’m…not myself anymore.”

“Maybe not,” stepping closer, she touched him warily, “but that…thing on the beach said you could be saved.”

“It did?” He sounded hopeful again.

“Yes, so let’s go figure out how.”

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“Do you hear that?”

The scarecrow who had been Harry Sullivan tilted his head quizzically. “Is that-?”

“The TARDIS!” Sarah grinned. “Oh I knew the Doctor would come for us.” Forgetting her fear, she grabbed Harry’s stick hand and pulled him with her toward the well-loved sound. Running up a hill and around several large, sulfurous boulders, they spotted her. They were almost at the door when it opened and a young, handsome blonde stepped out. Sarah skidded to a stop. “Who are you?”

“Why, I’m the Doctor.” He adjusted his decorative celery. “Sarah Jane. Harry. Sorry I’m so late.”

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Harry looked between them. “You don’t look anything like him.”

“I’d hope not,” the Doctor circled Harry, scanning him with his sonic screwdriver, “not after regeneration.”

“But you just regenerated,” Sarah exclaimed.

“Yes, that’s some sort of record.” He studied the screwdriver. “Difficult but I think I can fix this.” Looking up, he gave Sarah an embarrassed smile. “I was infected too, but I don’t die like humans do so-”

She relaxed slightly, realizing what he meant. “It triggered your regeneration.”

“Quite. Now, let’s see if we can’t rescue Harry and save the day.” He grinned. “Just like old times.”

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“I’ve seen lots of things,” Sarah surveyed the room, “but attending a costume ball in a floating castle in Purgatory is…something.”

“I’m just glad to be human again.” Harry flexed his hand, still getting used to it being flesh and blood rather than sticks and wire. “I’ll never look at scarecrows the same way-”

“Sarah! Harry!” The Doctor rushed by them and out of the room. “Brilliant! We’re needed.”

“Yes, Doctor!” The two friends put down their glasses, tore off their masks, and raced after him.

Across the room, the Fourth Doctor stared after them, feeling forgotten and irrelevant.

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“Is someone chasing us,” Harry gasped as they ran, barely noticing the corridor change from the rough stone of the castle to something covered in elaborate carvings.

Sarah’s eyes widened. “Have you discovered who’s behind this?”

“Yes and yes.” The walls of the corridor dropped away into darkness, but the Doctor kept running. Only when his sonic screwdriver slipped from his pocket did he pause. “Keep going!”

They hurried onward until two pools of light surrounded them, freezing them in place.

The Doctor approached slowly, his eyes glowing with the same light as the rivers of fire outside. “Got you.”

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“…He’s been trying to get inside my head ever since I arrived,” the Doctor continued.

Sarah asked a question, but Harry barely heard it. He was still absorbed with the news that the Doctor might have to fight the devil for the fates of their universe, Harry, and Sarah Jane. “What we need,” he thought, “is something simple and non-threatening. A game! Something that never hurt anyone. Something like-”

Unseen by the three time travelers, a large board rose up in the darkness around them. And, far away in the distance, a huge silver pinball began rolling steadily towards them.

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Sarah pulled the Doctor away from the sparking pinball flipper. Kneeling beside him, she scanned the board which was now a chaos of different games all playing to completely incompatible rules. Silver balls ricocheted off oversized chess pieces, knocking them into holes, while a ball on a string pinwheeled around the space unpredictably. To her right, the black queen chess piece had cornered Harry and was slowing crushing his chest.

She glanced down at the Doctor. “I’m sorry, but I have to do something!” Getting up, she ran at the white knight and swung onto his back. “Take that queen!”

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The giant arcade claw caught Harry by his trousers and lifted. “Oh, I say,” he muttered as he was hauled up into the air. Sarah screamed his name, but he gave her a jaunty wave. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine-”

The claw gave another jerk and he was lifted even higher. Sarah and the Doctor were now just tiny pieces on the game board.

“You really won’t, you know.”

Harry tried to turn to see who was speaking, but was dropped into a cage. Smiling, Scratchman nodded his fireball head toward Harry’s prison and the cage snapped shut.

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“No! Don’t,” the Doctor cried.

But it was too late. The soldiers fired and the Master jolted backwards, screaming in pain before collapsing to the floor. Seconds later, a TARDIS engine wheezed as the recording booth he’d emerged from slowly dematerialized.

“Is he…dead,” Sarah Jane whispered.

The Doctor knelt beside the body. “Yes.”

“If he was as bad as you say,” Harry began, ”good riddance.”

He is,” the Doctor rolled the body over, “but this isn’t the Master. It’s some poor soul sent out to distract us so he could escape.”

“That’s horrible!”

“Yes,” the Doctor sighed, “it is.”

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“…Sarah’s having a good time.” Harry indicated the far side of the bar where Sarah Jane stood talking to a woman with curly, turquoise hair. “Personally, this kind of thing leaves me cold.”

“Hmmm,” the Doctor muttered, not really paying attention. He was busy looking for the way to the flight deck.

“The spaceship part is completely amazing…but I’m terrible at small talk. I end up wittering on uselessly and boring everyone-”

“Quite.” The Doctor patted Harry on the shoulder. “I’m going to find someone in charge. Do me a favor and keep an eye on Sarah, will you?”

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Sarah Jane ran up to Davanne. “How badly do you want to get out of here?”

The journalist narrowed her eyes. “Why?”

“I’ve a plan for getting this ship to Deraxis, but I need to borrow your pad and have you give me a tutorial on how to use it. I promise,” she assured Davanne, seeing the suspicion in her expression, “you’ll get the first crack at this story. And trust me, it’ll be big.”

After a moment, Davanne sighed and handed over the tablet. “Sure. It’s not like there’s anything else to do. What do you need to know?”

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“I feel ridiculous,” Harry complained. “Why can’t you do this? Or the Doctor?”

Sarah tinkered with the tablet. “I’m the reporter, so I’m writing the story. As for the Doctor, no one would believe he was dating a celebrity like Carla Colini.”

“Oh.” After a moment, Harry realized the compliment implicit in that statement. “Right.” He grinned, suddenly chuffed. “Okay.”

“Don’t let it go to your head.”

Harry cleared his throat and did his best Clark Gable impression. “Do you need me to strike a pose?”

“No! Just…pretend you’re walking somewhere and you’re annoyed at having your photo taken.”

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“I’m out of my depth,” Harry thought, marveling at the arched ceiling and gleaming luxury of the resort on Deraxis. “I’m just a naval surgeon.” He shook his head and closed his mouth. “No. Today I’m Harry Sullivan, celebrity. The lives of Sarah, the Doctor, and everyone onboard the Zephyr depend on it.”

He scanned the area for something that looked like a Zeno field generator. Since he barely understood what a Zeno field was, eventually he opted for a more direct approach.

Harry strode confidently toward the hotel desk. “I can do this,” he thought. “I can do this.”

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Sarah Jane made a face. “Where are we, Doctor?”

“Scotland, of course!” The Doctor spread his arms wide and grinned. “Such bracing weather.”

“If by bracing you mean cold…”

“Buck up, old thing!” Harry was the last out of the TARDIS. “A brisk walk will sort you out.”

“I’ll sort you out if you keep calling me ‘old thing,’” she grumbled under her breath.

The Doctor pulled a small device out his pocket. “Come on, the Brigadier is waiting. This way!” He strode forward but then stopped so suddenly that they almost ran into him. “Or perhaps it’s this way?”

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“It’s not half cold, is it?”

“So much for your brisk walk,” Sarah Jane hissed to Harry. Nearby the Doctor stood fiddling with his device.

“Are we lost?” Harry whispered. “Why couldn’t we land closer to the UNIT base?”

“You know the Doctor - we’re lucky to be on the right planet in the right year.”

“Pish posh,” the Doctor began, but then he spotted them huddled together looking young and miserable. He removed his scarf and wrapped it around Harry’s neck. Then he placed his hat on Sarah’s head.

“Better?” he asked with a fond grin. “Good! It’s this way.”

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“I just want to pick up a few things.” Sarah Jane glanced behind her. “You don’t mind, do you?”

“No!” Smiling, the Doctor gesture around them. “I’ll wait out here while you do your shopping.”

She paused near the market door. “You could come inside. It’s awfully hot out here and you’re still wearing your coat and scarf.”

“No,” he repeated, sitting down against the building. “This is where the action is.”

“The action?” She laughed at him. “It’s just a typical English street on a Thursday. What could possible happen here?”

The Doctor tapped his nose. “You’d be surprised.”

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Grinning, the Doctor approached the sweets dealer. “Hello there! I’m looking for Jelly Babies. Do you know them?”

“No.” The woman squinted at him through thick spectacles. “But you’re an off-worlder, perhaps they go by a different name here. Describe them-”

He did so, barely aware of Leela as she approached a lizard-like being, admiring the knife he wielded skillfully.

“Ah yes, I know those.” The lady held out a small bag. “Twenty credits.”

The Doctor was about to protest, but Leela called his name. Spinning around, he saw her crumple to the ground, a knife wound in her side.

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“…after twelve years of service, retiring to the country to teach really appeals to me.”

“You’re still young,” Reginald lifted his glass in a small toast, “plenty of time to be or do whatever you like. That’s why Barbara and I took this vacation, to see the world before we’re too old.” His smile faded. “After what happened last night I’m not sure we picked the best place to start.”

“Oh?” The Brigadier became very interested. “What happened?”

“This may sound crazy, but I walked into our room to find her talking to her grandfather. Only problem is…he’s dead.”

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Leela stepped out of the TARDIS and frowned. They’d landed in another hallway and Leela was very tired of hallways. “Where are we, Doctor?”

“Geneva!” He held out a box-like device in the middle of which sat his sonic screwdriver, humming quietly. “This hotel is where the energy traces are coming from.”

“Oo-tel,” she said slowly before wrinkling her nose. “I do not like it. Should we be ambushed, I shall need the tesh laser gun…”

“No Leela,” he replied impatiently. They hadn’t been traveling together long and already this was an old argument. “You won’t need it. Come along-”

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“…if I didn’t know better,” the Doctor continued, waving his tracker from side to side as he walked, “I’d think this energy trace was being generated by a hive mind. That’s just a supposition, of course. Remember Leela, it’s important to back your theories with evidence. As I once told Sir Isaac Newton-” He turned to illustrate his point, but Leela was nowhere to be seen. “Wandered off,” he huffed impatiently. “When will my traveling companions learn to stay put?”

“That sounds familiar.”

The Doctor recognized the voice. Turning slowly, he found himself face to face with his third incarnation.

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“What are you doing here,” the Fourth Doctor groaned.

“How should I know?” The Third Doctor tossed his cape over his shoulders. “There I was being safely dead, now here I stand.” He eyed the younger-looking man. “So you’re the latest model? I’m not sure I like it - too much hair, too many teeth.”

“You’re one to talk about the hair,” the Fourth Doctor retorted, “and at least I found better things to do than spending years trapped with UNIT. Now hush, I must find-” He turned and blinked, all memories of his third self gone. “What was I saying?"

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When they reached the ladder to the roof, Leela stepped forward. “I shall go first. If these thieves of memory are waiting there, I will protect you both from them.”

“While I appreciate the offer,” the Brigadier placed his hand on the ladder, “I’ll go first. I’ve no doubt you’re dangerous with that knife, but I have a gun.”

Leela refused to give ground. “So would I, if the Doctor had let me bring it.”

“Now now,” the Doctor grinned, “while you’re both very brave, I’ll go first. Science leads, right Brigadier?”

“No,” Leela scoffed.

“Absolutely not,” the Brigadier agreed.

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The Doctor smiled broadly as he joined his friends in the hotel bar. “Problem solved! I gave the Mallea a copy of my memories from which they’ll construct a new history for their race. They’ll no longer need to steal memories from innocent bystanders.”

“That’s good news, Doctor,” the Brigadier offered him a seat at their table, “but what about this war they spoke of? What kind of people would have the power to erase the entire history of a planet?”

“Several I should think,” he shrugged, “the Time Lords, for example. I’ll have to look into that…one day.”

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Leela ran through an ever-changing landscape. One minute the mud of a swamp pulled at her feet, slowing her down. The next she ran easily through the corridors of a futuristic ship. Her surroundings shifted again, revealing a rocky island shrouded in fog. But wherever she ran, the black dog pursued her.

Growing tired, Leela turned to fight the creature. It was huge, tall as a thousand men, and its eyes glowed with malice. She stabbed at it with her knife, but the dog caught her in its jaws and bit down.

Leela woke from the dream with a gasp.

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The first thing Thea noticed was a distant hum. Turning in her chair, she stared at the skull Adam had nicknamed ‘Eustace.’

The thing was glowing.

Something in the skull called to her, so she stood and cautiously approached. It throbbed with power, morphing into something that looked startlingly like Thea’s own face. Then it flickered back into a glowing skull and cycled through the two states of being in a rapid progression.

Thea couldn’t tear her eyes away. She reached up to grasp the sides of her head and, still staring at the skull, she collapsed to the floor.

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The Doctor settled under a tree and leaned back, putting his hands behind his head. “This is the life: a beautiful day and all afternoon to nap in.”

“I thought we were in a hurry,” Leela demanded.

“Were we?”

“Yes! You said there was a sonic time…scanner.” She frowned, trying to remember. “And a hole in time?”

“Oh well, we’ll search later. I’ll just rest my eyes for a few moments - won’t do any harm.”

Leela sheathed her knife. “Fine. I will protect you while you sleep.”

The Doctor pushed his hat over his eyes and began to snore.

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The Doctor aimed his sonic screwdriver at the lock. Nothing happened.

He tapped it a few times against his palm. “Still has power. Come on, Old Thing, don’t fail me now.”

He tried again. Nothing.

“It’s just a door,” he yelled at the screwdriver. “You’re a sonic multi-tool, it’s ridiculous that something as simple as a wooden door with a metal lock should be beyond your capabilities. Pull yourself together!”

Giving the screwdriver a stern glare, he tried again. The door remained locked.

Annoyed, the Doctor kicked a box and paced the length of the closet he was imprisoned within.

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“I’ll check the data logs,” the Doctor ruffled his curly hair absentmindedly, “see what’s known about the Fifth Planet. Stay here.” He rushed past Leela, only to pause at the door that led deeper into the TARDIS. “Don’t touch anything.”

Leela sighed and took a seat by the inactive K9. Over the course of an hour, the hum of the TARDIS lulled her to sleep.

In Leela’s dream, she was standing in a dense forest, aware that something large and dangerous was approaching. Leela tried to attack it, but her feet would not move. For once, she was completely defenseless.

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“Here we are! The Canthares System,” the Doctor turned on the scanner, “and one star about to go supernova.”

Leela frowned. “You’re sure the skull and the Fendahl will be destroyed?”

“As I said, it’s far too hot for it.” Grinning, the Doctor grabbed the wooden box. “Come along. Time to meet your final fate, Fendahl.”

With Leela in position, the Doctor opened the TARDIS doors. He leapt forward and, holding onto the door frame, he threw the box into space. “Close the door, Leela!” She complied as he ran toward the console. “We’ve got to get out of here!”

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A yell echoed through the hallway. Leela gripped her knife and stalked forward, but Turlough didn’t follow.

“Why do you stop?” she asked. “Someone may need our help.”

“Or maybe it’s a trap?”

“So we will defend ourselves!”

“We could just go a different way-”

“You would run from a sound? Do your people have no honor?”

Turlough smiled bitterly. “They may have it, but I've never found it particularly useful.”

Leela grabbed Turlough’s arm and pulled him with her. “Come, Cowardly One! I will protect you and defeat whatever creatures dwell here.”

He sighed but didn’t resist. “Lucky me.”

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A tree branch hit the Doctor in the face and he stumbled backward.

Leela caught his arm, steadying him. “If you walked with your eyes on your surroundings rather than on your noisy box, you would have less to fear.”

“I very much doubt that.” He held the screen up so she could see it. “The temporal disturbance is increasing.”

“And that is bad?”

“Bad? BAD!” He pushed through the jungle. “If we don’t stop whatever's causing it, it could be the end of everything.”

“You have said so before,” Leela took the lead, “yet everything has not ended.”

“Yet.”

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The TARDIS formed around them. At first transparent, the console room and the people in it became increasingly solid as the sounds of equipment and voices erupted in the formerly empty hanger.

The Doctor screamed and collapsed to his knees, clutching his head. “Wrong! All wrong! This…isn’t how it was-”

Unsheathing her knife, Leela stepped between him and the figures. “Get back, ghosts! The Doctor is under my protection and you will not harm him again.”

“That won’t help.” The Doctor stood shakily. “What we’re seeing are echos of the past events - the first test flight of a TARDIS.”

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The TARDIS was an empty box, a casualty of the failed test flight and the changes to the timeline. Stepping back from the remains of his beloved ship, the Doctor stared as his hand faded out of existence. “Leela, I’m vanishing-”

“Forgive us,” whispered the ghosts as they closed in. “Forgive us.”

Leela again put herself between them and the Doctor, but it was too late - he had completely disappeared. “No,” she sobbed, “bring him back! How…dare you?!”

She breathed heavily, trying to regain control of her emotions. Finally, her face grim, Leela stepped forward to face her death.

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The Doctor whistled happily as he bustled around the control room carrying a paint can, a beret, and a painter’s smock.

“What are you doing?” Leela asked, watching him skeptically.

“I thought I’d work on a landscape. The mountains of Solace and Solitude perhaps? Or maybe Brighton early in the season?”

“Are they broken? How do you fix a landscape?”

The Doctor grinned at her. “In my experience, with an excessive amount of brushwork.”

“I don’t understand.”

“No matter. I’ll just be down the corridor. Should anything interesting happen, call for me.”

“How shall I know?”

“Trust me, you’ll know.”

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They walked quickly along the slippery stones of the causeway, the waves lapping over their feet one moment and pulling at their ankles the next.

“Will K9 be safe? The rising water will not harm the TARDIS?”

“They’ll be fine - warm and dry, unlike us.” The Doctor gauged the remaining distance. “At this rate we’ll be wetter still by the time we reach terra firma.”

Following closely behind him, Leela frowned. “Terror of what?”

“Dry land,” he explained. “The tide's coming in and, unless we hurry, we’ll drown before we reach the island. Hold onto my scarf, Leela, and run!”

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Leela had hunted many creatures, both before and after meeting the Doctor, which meant tracking an invisible beast did not bother her. Whatever had killed the man, Ralph, possessed sharp claws, so she listened for the scrape of them against the hard stone floors of the castle. What she heard instead was ragged breathing and a low, steady growl.

She followed it through the hallways of the fortress. Every room it passed through had a stained glass window with a single, perfectly square piece missing. Leela hoped the Doctor, wherever he’d disappeared to, was getting closer to explaining that mystery.

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Marshall ran into the astroid’s control room. “I heard the alerts. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Oskin’s metallic voice-box hissed. “A bounty hunter has found our target.”

“How? The Time Lord’s impossible to track,” Marshall laughed, “I know because I’ve tried.”

“You’ll soon be able to ask them. They’ll be docking in 3…2…1…” One of the security monitors switched to a view of the docking bay. The doors of a small pod slid open and a woman emerged, dragging a bound form behind her.

“I am Leela of the Sevateem. I have come to claim the bounty on the Doctor.”

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“He’ll be secure here.” King Shandar turned on the repulsion field, sealing the Doctor inside his cell. “You’ve done great work for us, Leela.”

“I did not act out of loyalty to your Rocket Men. I brought my quarry here alive and I will be paid.”

“But first we must inspect the merchandise. Until that’s completed we’ll supply you with a room and all you require.”

“Speaking of which,” Marshall studied Leela as he spoke, “how’d you catch him?”

She returned his look steadily. “With ease.”

“Don’t mind my tracker,” Shandar said. “He’s just upset you succeeded where he failed.”

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“Hail, hail,” the Doctor said cheerfully as he took off Oskin’s mask and voice-box, “the gang’s all here. Everything is going swimmingly!”

“Perhaps not.” Leela paced her room. “The one they call Marshall suspects something. The others are lazy and arrogant, but he is…wary. I do not think he is a fool.”

“No he isn’t, but I also don’t think he’s a bad man, despite his poor choice of company. What about the next step in the plan, K9?”

“The Master will arrive tomorrow, Master.”

The Doctor laughed. “Very funny.”

“This unit was not attempting to be humorous…Master.”

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Leela watched the Rocket Men hunting for her. They were clumsy, unobservant, and fell easily to the traps she’d set. All except one.

“The longer you keep this up,” Marshall called, “the greater the chance someone will get hurt.”

“That’s the idea,” she replied from her hiding spot. “You should give up now while you still live.”

“Thompson, go left. She might-“ An explosion interrupted him. The cargo bay began decompressing. “Hull breach! Visors down!” Marshall adjusted his suit’s controls and took to the air.

Leela gripped the shelving below her, but her fingers slipped. She tumbled toward the breach.

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Leela removed her knife from Myrren’s body and replaced it in its sheath. ”I’m impressed that you took this from me. There are few who could do so without my knowledge.”

“I’m not just a pretty face.” Marshall handed her a Rocket Man suit. “You sure about going out there?”

“The Doctor needs me so there is no choice.” She pulled on the bulky suit. “How do I use the controls?”

“They’re on your arm.” Marshall pointed to them as he spoke. “Propulsion on and off, communicators, and lasers. Here.” He put the helmet over her head. “Ready?”

“Lead on!”

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Marshall joined Leela on the observation deck. “So…I’ve been pardoned for helping you and the Doctor free the slaves-”

“Good.”

“The Galactic Heritage folks have locked up the Master and the captured Rocket Men. They’ve asked me to help track down the few who escaped.”

“Will you?”

He paused. “Yes, I will.”

“Then I will help you.”

Marshall stared at her. “What about the Doctor?”

“He has been a fine teacher, but I have learned all I can.” She smiled. “It is time to share what I know.”

“With me?”

“Do you mind?”

“N-no” he stammered. “Not at all…”

Chapter Text

The Doctor glowered at the corner of the console room where K9 was recharging. “Ridiculous dog! You think I don’t know how to play chess? Who taught Emanuel Lasker to play, hmmmm? Me, that’s who! And it’s hardly my fault the board was accidentally knocked over just when you thought you were about to win. If Leela were here-“

He sighed. “But that’s the problem, Leela isn’t here. She’s off having adventures with Marshall, leaving me…all alone.” He turned to the controls. “You know what we need, Old Girl? A pick-me-up! How about a visit to a fun fair?”

Chapter Text

The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS and grinned ecstatically. “See? What did I say?” He gestured to the amusement park in front of him. “Visit at night to avoid the lines! How could anyone be unhappy at a place like Funworld?”

“Mind you,” he added, wandering through the silent rides, “it is very quiet. No ticket takers. No children. No teenagers daring each other to one more spin on the roller coaster. No exhausted parents. No security even.” He sat in one of the dodgem cars and frowned. “It all seems a bit dead, even for the off season.”

Chapter Text

Phelan closed her eyes and tried to shut out the minds of the people standing around her. Donnelly and Grosta were easy, their thoughts were simple, straightforward. The Doctor’s mind, on the other hand, was complex, and Steele’s thoughts carried the power of her oversized personality; but eventually Phelan managed to push past them to the creatures beyond.

There were thousands of them. Thousands of minds communing with each other and moving as one. This was their world and they had seen it destroyed, its forests pulped and lands built on by humans. Now all the swarm wanted was revenge.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure this will work?”

The Galactic Heritage officer shrugged. “Hard to say with a Time Lord, but it’ll give you a decent shot of contacting him. If you want to stay while you wait for a reply, we’d still welcome your help tracking down the Rocket Men.”

Marshall shook his head. “I need to find Leela first. If the Master has kidnapped her she’ll be in danger.” He smiled wistfully. “Besides we have plans, Leela and me.”

She nodded. “Understood. I’ll try to find you some transportation-”

Marshall waited for her to leave before beginning his message. “Doctor?"

Chapter Text

Marshall stared at his destination. It wasn’t much to look at, just a derelict station orbiting a desolate planet. But, if you spoke to the right people, you soon learned it held a secret. “Never thought my old criminal contacts would come in handy for a rescue mission,” he muttered. Donning his Rocket Man gear, he opened the airlock and began the last leg of his journey.

He was soon inside. Stashing his suit behind some packing crates, Marshall stealthily searched for signs that Leela was here. He managed to access a computer terminal before the security guards caught him.

Chapter Text

“You understand the plan, K9?”

“Affirmative. This unit has three objectives: locate Mistress Leela and Master Marshall; remain unobserved; switch off anything dangerous.”

“Good. If this is the location of the Death-Match, and I’m fairly certain that it is, our friends may already be in trouble.”

“Understood.”

“And while you slip past the force field grid, I’ll try the planet. With any luck the Master will be there.”

“Warning, Master. There is a 92% probability such a course of action will result in death or bodily harm.”

The Doctor laughed. “So just another Tuesday then? Right, let’s get to work.”

Chapter Text

They ate in silence in the tiny hideout Leela had made for herself.

“You are staring,” Leela remarked.

“It’s good to see you again. I wasn’t sure I would.”

She grinned at him. “You doubted your own skills?”

“No,” Marshall narrowed his eyes playfully at her, “that’s not it at all. I just wasn’t sure what had happened to you.“

“But still you came for me,” Leela studied him, “not knowing if I were alive or what dangers you would face?”

“Of course.” Marshall continued eating his ration pack. “Now you’re staring.”

“Because it is good to see you too.”

Chapter Text

“Where are we going?” The pain in Marshall’s ankle was intense as he struggled to keep up with K9. “Do you know where Leela went?”

“Affirmative. It is unknown whether the Mistress will still be there once we arrive. Hurry, Master Marshall!”

“I’m going as fast as I can. The Red Knight did a number on me.” He leaned heavily on Leela’s spear. “And you never answered my question.”

“We are going to the Pit of Fear.”

“That’s where Leela and me were heading before that tin can jumped us. Is it the way out?”

“This unit is…uncertain.”

“Great.”

Chapter Text

Leela held her knife to the Master’s throat. Nearby Marshall lay crumpled on his side, breathing heavily; the wound the Master had given him would likely be mortal. Fury burned in Leela’s blood. Despite all of the Doctor’s lessons, she hungered for revenge.

But across from her Kastrella held the Red Knight’s weapon to the Doctor’s throat. If she tried to claim her rightful vengeance, he too would die.

“Leela,” Marshall gasped. “Wait…think!”

“Dog,” the Master muttered, repeating something the Doctor had said. “Where is that ridiculous automaton?”

Suddenly the corridor blurred around them as K9 activated the teleport.

Chapter Text

The Doctor sniffed dismissively at the image on the scanner. “We seem to have landed in suburbia-”

“Why do the houses look the same?” Leela asked, joining him. “Is it not difficult for their owners to tell them apart?”

“That’s what street numbers are for.” He adjusted the console controls but nothing happened. “The Old Girl seems determined we’re staying.” He brightened suddenly and grinned at her. “Come along, Leela! Let’s see what adventures await.”

They’d only walked a few steps down the street before they heard a familiar sound behind them. To their horror, the TARDIS dematerialized and disappeared.

Chapter Text

“Are we under attack?”

“Quiet,” the Doctor snapped, “I’m thinking.” Walking over to where the TARDIS had been, he licked a finger and tested the air. “Temporal ruckage perhaps,” he mused, seemingly forgetting Leela was there, “with us at one end and the TARDIS sent back to the other? I’m surprised the HADS didn’t kick in. Must give the system an overhaul later, but there’s only one thing to do now-“

“What?”

He grinned at her and headed for the nearest house. “Knock on a few doors and see if the residents will let us scrounge through their junk drawers.”

Chapter Text

Leela frowned as Belinda hurried to answer the doorbell. The woman and her husband had clearly confused she and the Doctor with someone else, but Leela’s explanations had been drowned out by Belinda’s natterings about her husband’s inadequacies, the house’s previous owners, and something called “dry vermouth.”

Locating the bag of mixed nuts her hostess had indicated, Leela dutifully dumped them into a bowl. In some ways, this place was more alien to her than the Death Match. At least there she’d had purpose…and Marshall. Shaking herself free of her grief, she joined the other women in the lounge.

Chapter Text

“Pete!” Ralph tried to follow him through the fog, but his injury made him slow and awkward. “What kind of prat whacks a guy in the shin with his own golf club just to escape some kind of horrible monster?”

The inhuman screams were closer this time. Galvanized into action, Ralph crawled quietly under Peter’s car. Moments later he spotted them - blue-skinned, as Penny and Leela had described, with deadly, talon-like claws. As they paused beside the car, Ralph closed his eyes and held his breath.

After several agonizing seconds, the creatures stalked away in the direction Peter had taken.

Chapter Text

Belinda sprinted up the stairs. “Right ladies, get ready to blockade the door-”

Leela peered past her down the hallway. “Where is Thelma?”

“Not coming.” Belinda slammed the bedroom door shut. “Squashed like a bug when those blue monsters broke in.” Running to the wardrobe, she glared at them. “Are you going to stand around gawping or are you going to help? I can’t shift this by myself - it’s solid oak!”

“Poor Thelma,” Penny sobbed as the three of them moved the furniture into place. “She seemed…nice.”

“Poor us, more like,” Belinda scoffed. “Why waste tears on the dead?”

Chapter Text

Once the monsters were gone, Ralph crawled out from under the car.

“Need to warn the others,” he whispered, making his way toward the house, “and tell Penny what an absolute wanker her husband is.” Suddenly he tripped over something lying on the path. “My nine iron? Not sure how you got here, but at least now I have a weapon.” Picking it up, he continued warily.

Ralph paused in the foyer at the sound of the Doctor’s voice followed by the now familiar screams. “Seems like someone needs a rescue,” he muttered, creeping closer. “Now, where’s that light switch?”

Chapter Text

The Doctor ran around, checking readings and flipping switches. Leela tried to make sense of his movements, but at last she gave up and asked, “Doctor, what are you doing?”

“The TARDIS has detected an alien energy trace in England in 1977. There’s a signal coming from the same location.” He pressed a button and a female voice drifted from the console.

“Yes, Police? This is Dame Shaw, Dean of St. Matilda’s. I’m afraid one of our girls has gone missing. Please send someone, quick as you can.”

“I know that voice.” He snapped his fingers. “Liz’s mother! Of course!”

Chapter Text

The Doctor and Dame Emily were talking, but their voices sounded far away to Leela. The words of the women sitting in front of them nearly drowned out everything else. The older two were wreathed with a golden light; the younger she recognized as the missing girl, Lynn Pickering. They all smiled from their thrones and waved to her.

“It is time, Leela. If you do not become one of the sisters of St. Matilda, this place and everyone in it will be destroyed. Please! You must join us.”

They spoke with a single voice that was impossible to refuse.

Chapter Text

The TARDIS rocked violently and they all grabbed onto the console. As soon as it was over, the Doctor turned on the scanner and surveyed the damage. “It looks like Sister Beckett did as we agreed.”

“St. Matilda’s,” Dame Emily sighed, “it’s destroyed.”

“But the planet’s safe,” he reminded her. “Focus on the positives, that’s my advice.”

“I suppose I’ll have to since I’m out of a job. But more importantly, did everyone get out alright?”

The Doctor opened the doors. “Let’s see.”

“Yes, and afterwards perhaps you can explain how all of this,” she gestured around the TARDIS, “works?”

Chapter Text

Leela ran, retracing the path Kendra had led her on through Drummond. She reached the place she’d left the Doctor, but he was nowhere to be seen. “He will be wherever there is trouble,” she mused dodging passing citizens, all of whom were too absorbed in their handheld computers to notice her. “But these streets are too crowded for me to see any distance.“ Looking up, Leela spotted the airbikes and grinned.

She tracked one to its landing place. Its owner wandered off, apparently unaware he’d left his vehicle running. Stealthily, Leela slipped onto the airbike and began pressing buttons.

Chapter Text

We? What do you mean we?” Kendra whispered. “I didn’t agree to rob Drummond Wholesale.”

“You stole from the street market, what is the difference?”

“I could outrun the guy at the market. DW will have security systems and real guards. It’s not worth the risk.”

Leela scoffed. “I am with you, there is no risk. I have seen no blue guards on this world who I have any reason to fear.”

Kendra eyed her warily. “And can you hack computer locks?”

“No-“

“I can.” A wiry youth with glasses joined them. “Name’s Ash. I can get you into DW.”

Chapter Text

White light invaded every inch of the planet. In its wake, Drummond’s hodgepodge of modern skyscrapers and dilapidated buildings was overwritten, replaced by gleaming stone structures decorated with gold. The only thing left unchanged was the police vehicle the Doctor and PC Joyce were sheltering inside.

Cautiously opening the car doors, they stepped out and looked around.

“The architecture is straight out of Ancient Egypt, or perhaps Phaester Osiris?” The Doctor harrumphed. “Oddly sentimental for Sutekh.”

“This is impossible,” Joyce stammered. “Am I going mad?”

“No.” The Doctor frowned. “And I’m afraid things will become even more bizarre very soon.”

Chapter Text

“Follow me!” Charlton Joyce motioned to the frighten prisoners. “We’ve got to get you lot out of sight.”

“Who’s this Sutekh guy?” a young woman asked.

“The god of death, apparently.”

“Was he really going to kill us?”

“Yeah, it’s…kinda in the name.” Joyce let himself into a nearby temple. Although the outside was white stone, inside was a office building. “Hide here and stay quiet.”

“You’re leaving? What if those mummy-things come back?”

“Don’t worry, I know someone who plans to fix everything.” Closing the door behind him, Joyce ran on. “Assuming he doesn’t get us killed first.”

Chapter Text

“You want us to what?!”

“If we remove the wrappings on the Osiran service robots we can disguise ourselves and march into Sutekh’s headquarters without being noticed.” The Doctor waved dismissively. “It’s worked before.”

“But look at us!” Kendra gestured to the four of them. “Those things are tall and…buff. You might have the height to pull it off but me, Leela, and your friend there-”

“PC Joyce.”

“Whatever. I can’t see us fooling anyone.”

“Look around! The streets are mostly empty.” The Doctor began unwinding a fallen robot. “In this case, speed is more important than perfect mimicry.”

Chapter Text

With shaking hands, Joyce removed the headset. “Did we do it? Is everything back to normal?”

Beside him Kendra looked as if she’d woken from a deep sleep. “This office is back.” Walking to the window, she looked down on Drummond. “There it is, the same dirty mess of a city.” She was silent for a moment. “We should’ve fixed things, made them better rather than exactly the same.”

“Where would you start?” Joyce joined her. “Besides, if this technology is powered by belief it might not have worked.”

“You don’t think this world is fixable?”

“Not simply by wishing.”

Chapter Text

“You look surprisingly unhappy for someone who just saved a planet.”

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that we defeated Sutekh and that the universe isn’t about to end,” Kendra sighed, “but nothing’s changed. The poor and the homeless will still starve in the streets like always-”

“About that-” The Doctor disappeared into a building and reemerged pushing a bulky piece of equipment. “Ta-da!”

“What’s that supposed to be?”

“It’s the food machine from my TARDIS.” He leaned in to whisper conspiratorially. “I can’t fix all your world’s problems but this might help with a few. Just…don’t tell Leela.”

Chapter Text

“This is the life.” The Doctor lounged in a chair and gazed at the Mediterranean. “The perfect light, lovely vistas to paint, and nothing unpleasant to bother us.”

“Not to mention that we’re staying in the most fashionable hotel in the south of France in the 1920s.” Romana closed her book. “Are we even pretending to search for the Key to Time here?”

“I’m afraid you won’t have time.”

“Why not?”

Grinning, he stood to leave. “Because your fan club has found you…again.”

Romana glanced around and spotted Tommy running towards her with an adoring expression on his face.

Chapter Text

“I say, Romana!”

Romana paused on the grand staircase of Hotel du Cap. “Yes, Tommy?”

He ran to catch her up. “Care to join me for tennis?”

“No thank you.” She started down the steps again and was vaguely perturbed when he kept pace with her. “I have work to do on my dissertation.”

“That’s right, you’re a student! Not surprising since you’re ever so clever, but I’ve never understood what you’re studying.”

“Currently, the fauna of this planet.”

“….Which means?”

“Animals, Tommy.”

“Oh!” He grinned. “Then you should come dancing with me and Sally-”

Romana sighed. “No, thank you-”

Chapter Text

“Poor Romana,” the Doctor chuckled, watching the young people making their way to the party on Roderick Craine’s yacht. Romana walked arm and arm with Professor Chevalier, but the ever-present Tommy hovered nearby. “No rest for the wicked! Time to find out what you’re hiding at your villa, Mr. Craine.”

“Doctor?” Madame Arcana swayed into view, a gin fizz in one hand and a pile of books and charts clutched to her chest with the other. “Don’t forget our date, studying mysteries of the stars-” Ignoring his sputtered excuses, she herded the reluctant Doctor toward a table in the lounge.

Chapter Text

Romana felt the effects of the radiation and knew she didn’t have long. Suddenly she remembered the burial they’d witnessed when they first arrived on Skaro. If only she could convince the others prisoners to go along.

Her plan depended on controlling her respiratory bypass system and hearts beats. She’d studied both at the Academy, but success still wasn’t a given. Timing would be key - too long and she risked damaging herself. Hopefully the Daleks would order her buried quickly.

Romana grinned ruefully to herself. She’d like this plan better if it didn’t depend on the mercy of the Daleks.

Chapter Text

Romana glanced at the Doctor. “Shouldn’t we be having problems with the radiation levels by now?”

He frowned. “The Movellans’ ship must be protecting us.”

“Why would androids care about radiation levels?”

“Perhaps it damages their systems somehow?”

“They didn’t have any problems with it on the planet.” Romana tilted her head to the side. “Neither did I after I escaped. The other prisoners didn’t seem bothered by it at all-”

“Oh Romana! How am I supposed to know the biological strengths and weakness of a bunch of people by sight alone? Why don’t you ask Mr. Adams?”

“Mr. Who?”

Chapter Text

“Thanks for your ‘help’ but I work better alone.”

“Perhaps Mr. Spiggot, but Pyerpoint and his staff would undoubtedly think it odd if we left after going through all the trouble of getting ourselves arrested.”

“Besides, you may need us later,” Romana added as they stopped outside the crew quarters. “Both of us are experienced in ferreting out the truth.”

“I am, at least” The Doctor ignored her glare. “Why don’t we say goodnight and begin the hunt anew tomorrow…for whatever you were sent to find.”

“If you must.” The detective sighed. “Just don’t say I didn’t warn you-“

Chapter Text

“Out of my way!” Romana shouldered the weapon and glared malevolently. “Don’t you recognize Xais, your masters’ partner, when you see her?”

“No.” The Ogron looked confused. “You…wore mask before.”

“Because it pleased me to do so. Remind me, where are the prisoners?”

“Guest suite!” The Ogron laughed. “Means crew quarters. Funny joke.”

“Very.” She swept past the hulking creature and strode down the corridor. “Come along, Stokes.”

“Quite masterful, my dear,” the artist whispered, hurrying after her. “You captured her venomous essence completely.”

“It wasn’t difficult. In my experience, murderous despots are all more or less the same.”

Chapter Text

K9 wiggled his sensors. “Explain.”

“Constitutional privilege is a legal holdover from our ancestors.” Admiral Dolne sighed. “It means anyone who risks their own life trying to save that of a candidate for election may put themselves forward as a candidate.”

“That is…very unusual.”

“But you see what it means?” Cadinot replied, gesturing at him impatiently.

“Because I tried to save Mr. Rabley, I can run for premier of your world?” A whirring sound came from inside K9’s casing. “I believe I would like to exercise that right.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that,” Cadinot groaned.

Chapter Text

The chandelier-like robot prodded the Doctor down a hallway. They passed through once richly decorated rooms that were now falling into disrepair. The Doctor gestured toward the mess. “Shouldn’t your lot be doing something about all this?”

“We follow the orders of the Prolocutor,” the robot replied. “Only the Babblesphere matters.”

The Doctor glanced at two emaciated colonists who sat slumped in stupors. “Your residents would likely disagree…if they were fully conscious.”

A door slid open in front of them, revealing a room with a single chair. “Now Doctor,” the robot chirped, “you will answer all of our questions.”

Chapter Text

“Yoohoo!” Romana saw Phillis hobbling toward her. The old woman beamed and waved her gun triumphantly. “I don’t know what you did, but bless you for it.”

“While he Doctor and I helped, your fellow colonists did most of the work.”

“Just in time too!" Phillis gestured to her band of septuagenarian revolutionaries. "The girls and I were retreating when those blasted robots deactivated.”

Romana nodded. “The Babble network became overwhelmed and shut down, erasing the Prolocutor program in the process.” She smiled. “You’ll have lots of clean-up to do, but everyone will be free to have private thoughts again.”

Chapter Text

“What are you reading?”

The Doctor looked up from a copy of Modern Screen. “The latest news about the Hollywood celebrity scene.”

Romana made a face. “It doesn’t look especially recent. It’s a paper magazine-”

“Recent for the 1930s. Listen to this: ‘Curse of the backlots: dozens of silent screen stars go missing after auditioning for the cursed picture Fires of Fate. The latest leading lady on the chopping block? Lorretta Waldorf.’”

“What’s that supposed to mean? Who’s Lorretta Waldorf?”

He leapt to his feet. “Only one of the finest actresses ever! Come on, Romana! It’s time we visited Tinseltown.”

Chapter Text

Romana helped Lorretta to a chair. “How could they have stolen her voice? Those cellulose creatures, whatever they were, were only here a few seconds. Besides, they seemed to have very low levels of intelligence.”

“It could be instinctual, or perhaps it happened earlier and what we witnessed was an effect rather than a cause?” The Doctor ran a hand through his hair. “Too many questions.” Snatching his hat off the drinks trolley, he headed for the door. “You and K9 stay here. See if you can do anything to help Miss Waldorf.”

“And where are you going?”

“Hammerstein Studios.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor came back to himself in a misty void. “The last thing I remember Lulu was filming me. Then the celluloid creatures surrounded us and I began losing my voice…ah. Perhaps that’s what happened to the missing actors?”

“Help me!” The voice was female, terrified, and seemingly came from everywhere. “Please help me!” Other voices joined in, all saying the same thing over and over.

“Disembodied voices with only a fragment of thought. How horrible!” The Doctor drifted formlessly. “We’re seemingly trapped in cloud storage, which is far beyond the capabilities of this era. But trapped by whom?”

Chapter Text

Romana frowned angrily. “No wonder Dr. Julius showed up at Lorretta’s house as soon as she’d lost her voice, he'd caused it!” She stormed out of the vault, trusting the others to follow. “We must hurry! Who knows what he’s doing to her at his clinic-“

“Not just her,” the Doctor croaked, barely audible. “Me too.”

Lulu grabbed his sleeve. “How could he do anything to you? You’re still here.”

“He has…my voice…and more.”

“Because you aren’t human, he took part of your personality.” Romana smiled. “That might be useful. Doctor, can you communicate with your…other self?”

Chapter Text

“This is…odd,” Romana glanced between the temporal distortion tracker and the streets around them, “how could a city like this even function? It’s just the same handful of buildings replicated over and over-”

“It couldn’t.” The Doctor frowned. “Even colony worlds where prefabricated buildings are used have more variety than this. I’ve never visited a world this sterile and lifeless. This is not a place to live in.”

“Then why is it here? Someone must have constructed it.”

“Must they?” He touched a wall and found it solid. “Perhaps it’s a symptom of the instability threatening to end everything?”

Chapter Text

The Doctor pressed a series of buttons and several compartments opened in the temporal array. Inside lay six bodies, one in each compartment. Their eyes were closed and they appeared lifeless.

“Ah,” Romana joined him, “not batteries then?”

“Not in the traditional sense.” The Doctor reached out to touch one but withdrew his hand. “That sense of wrongness…it’s coming from them. It’s all I can do to keep from running away.”

“I feel it too.” Frowning, Romana leaned down. “Temporal stasis, perhaps?”

“Perhaps.”

“Doctor,” the voice echoed around them, coming from everywhere at once, “you are close to death.”

Chapter Text

The Doctor groaned and stumbled into Romana. “Something is happening in the past. My own, personal past-”

“It’s worse than that.” Putting an arm around him to take some of his weight, Romana kept moving toward the TARDIS. “Do you hear that hum? Tompino has begun shutting down the array. All of the timelines will collapse.”

“Then it’s too late. Everything is finished.” He looked down at her. “You know, my dear, I’m ever so glad I met you.”

““Me too, Doctor.” Her eyes were bright with unshed tears, but her voice was calm. “It’s a shame it’s already over.”

Chapter Text

He lowered the chimpanzee to the decking of the submarine control room. Robert and Phillip lay nearby, still unconscious. “That’s three down and only twenty-some to go.” Dethras sighed. “At least after this it will all be over.”

The ship rocked violently. Stumbling, Dethras grabbed onto the periscope. “What was that?” He rushed out of the control room and up to the hatchway. Peering into the hold of his cargo ship, he watched the remaining crew change form - their bodies elongating, developing claws and wings. As one, they turned to face him.

Detras slammed the hatch shut and locked it.

Chapter Text

“Romana…Franklin.” The Doctor’s voice drifted into their minds. “Can you hear me? Just…think your replies.”

Romana glanced at the chimpanzee. Franklin stopped struggling with Flague’s soldiers and met her eyes with a puzzled expression. “Franklin…hears.”

“As do I,” Romana thought, hoping the telepathic field Dethras’ creatures were creating carried the message. “Are you sure about this?”

“No, but it’s our best shot. Get Flague to destroy our ship-“

“You’ll die!”

“I have a plan.”

“Of course you do.”

“Then you and Franklin have to do something really difficult: I need you to force Flague to kill you.”

Chapter Text

“Sorry we’re late,” Bernice hurried inside, “I got attacked by a kid wearing yellow pajamas-”

“Adric can be a bit…enthusiastic.” The Fourth Doctor smiled broadly at the two men standing at the console. “You must be future versions of me.”

The Sixth Doctor smiled back. “Older and with better fashion sense.”

“Eventually,” added the Seventh Doctor, eyeing his previous self’s clothes. “We need three more Doctors.”

“What about the one with the velvet frock-coat. Always liked him, reminded me of me.”

“He is you…will be you.” Benny shook her head. “Budge over, I know where to find him.”

Chapter Text

Adric eyed the stranger. He was so very different from Romana and the Doctor. Adric wouldn’t have believed he was a Time Lord if he hadn’t been told so. “If the Doctor’s a renegade, what are you?”

“I am a member of the CIA,” Narvin said proudly as they both hurried after the Doctor. “The Celestial Intervention Agency.”

“I see,” Adric replied, although he really didn’t. “Have you visited many planets?”

“Not…exactly.” Narvin looked uncomfortable. “In fact, this is my first one.”

“Oh really?” Adric smiled reassuringly. “I’ve visited plenty. So if you need any advice, let me know.”

Chapter Text

As Navin disappeared down Adric’s timeline, the Doctor pocketed the Time Ring. “You better hope the Sub-Coordinator can fix what you’ve done.” He glared at the Bellascons. “If you’ve killed Adric, I will do everything in my power to make sure you are held accountable.”

“Perhaps you shouldn’t threaten us, Time Lord,” ReAne Toff snarled. “We’ve erased one of your companions. We can do the same to all the others.”

Time fluxed around them. Stumbling back to steady himself, the Doctor bumped into Adric. “You’re back!” he said, grinning with relief.

“I didn’t go anywhere!” Adric frowned, confused. “Did I?”

Chapter Text

Adric thumbed through the time log. “Why don’t we just land and investigate? Standing around reading isn’t getting us anywhere.”

“Usually I adore diving head first into danger,” the Doctor said, reviewing a different volume, “but when the Keeper of Traken appears in my console room with a warning, some research is warranted.”

Adric toss the book away. “If you’d loaded them into the TARDIS databank instead of writing on paper at least we could search efficiently.”

The Doctor’s eyes shifted to stare first at the book on the floor and then at Adric. Sulking, Adric picked it back up.

Chapter Text

Nyssa woke early to prepare for her new duties. As she readied herself, she remembered the expression on her step-mother’s face when the Keeper had transferred the role of tending the Melkur to her.

“Kassia almost looked…angry.” Nyssa shook her head. “Perhaps she was just sad? After all, she has performed this duty since she was my age.” Picking up a bouquet of flowers, she made her way to the Grove. Nyssa lay the flowers at the feet of the evil statue and dusted it free of moss and debris unaware that, concealed among the trees, Kassia watched her.

Chapter Text

Adric frowned at the crowd gathered at the gates to the Grove. “Why are they here?”

“I don’t know.” Nyssa pulled him into their hiding place and peeked out herself. “They aren’t Fosters or members of the Consul staff.”

“We need to get rid of them,” Adric hissed.

“But it’s not illegal-”

“I have to show the Doctor what we found - it’s important!”

“We could try walking past-”

“They’d see us. I’m supposed to be under house arrest, remember?” His eyes lit up. “I know! Tell them the Consuls said they should go away.”

“You mean…lie,” Nyssa gasped, appalled.

Chapter Text

Kassia pushed her step-daughter toward the gate. “Now go home! This will all come to good in time.”

Nyssa did as she was told, but she didn’t stay there. “Where is it,” she muttered, searching for something Tremas had laid on top the computer banks. Locating the ion bonder, she added a new crystal to the device to step up the ion rate and hid it inside an ornate box. “Bribing Neman has worked before, so I’ll try that first. But,” she bit her lip, “I’ll use force if I must. Anything to free the Doctor, Adric, and my father.”

Chapter Text

“Destroy the Source?!”

“We may not have much choice.” Adric used the multi-tool to secure part of the device he was building. “The Melkur could plan to use the Source to destroy or enslave your planet, maybe even the whole Traken Union.”

“But…the people-” Nyssa tried to imagine all the lives at risk. “If that’s the case, we need a plan.”

“That’s what I'm working on.” He nodded toward the doors that led deeper into the TARDIS. “The Doctor’s workshop is the third door on the right. Do you think you could build a servo-shutoff?”

She grinned. “Of course!”

Chapter Text

The Citadel was in chaos. Time Lords ran from room to room, yelling to each other. No one challenged Leela she walked with calm confidence into the President’s chambers.

“This isn’t a good time.” Romana kept her attention on a display of lines and dots which meant nothing to Leela.

“Something is wrong,” Leela joined her, “I want to help.”

“Problem is, I’m not sure when this catastrophe is happening: the past or the future."

“How can something from the future be causing all this?”

Romana sighed and finally faced her. “Because…to a Time Lord, Time simply isn’t linear-”

Chapter Text

Leela grabbed the console. “This is worse than the Doctor’s flying.”

“I know, but what we’re attempting is nearly impossible.” Romana’s hands danced across the TARDIS controls. “Locating the right Hendlen at the right time, not to mention steering through all the never-weres and shouldn’t-have-beens-”

“We have both died once today, what else is there to fear?”

“Everything? What happens if we can’t stop the Sirens and prevent the sabotaging of the first TARDIS test flight-”

“From what you say, everything will end and therefore we will not feel or know anything. Besides,” her eyes gleamed, “we will not fail.”

Chapter Text

“What?” Benny dropped the book she’d been reading. “Where’d you come from?”

“Sorry to intrude, Professor Summerfield.” Romana smiled stiffly. “I’m a friend of the Doctor and I need your help. The fate of the universe is a stake.”

“Of course.” Bernice rubbed her forehead. “Tell me-”

“Take this.” Romana handed her something shaped like a bracelet. “A Time Ring, programmed with the location of the Doctor in his seventh incarnation. When you find him, tell him to bring five of his other selves to these time-space coordinates.”

“Aren’t there rules against that?”

“Usually, but-”

“Fate of the universe? Right.”