“So you’re saying you didn’t break into the bank vault, you just accidentally arrived inside of it?” the detective asked as he looked hard at the old man, trying to read his expression.
The Doctor grabbed his lapels firmly and angled his face away from his interrogator. “Yes, quite so, quite so…that is exactly what happened.”
“You can see why I’m having trouble believing this?”
“I don’t care if you’re having trouble young man, it is what happened.”
The detective sighed and placed his hands on the table, drumming his fingers impatiently as he thought of his next question. “At approximately 9 o’clock this morning, we were alerted to the fact that a giant blue box had managed to penetrate the thick steel walls of a top security vault. How is that possible?”
“My machine is a marvel of engineering.”
“Your machine, see here, what is that thing?”
“Well what do you think it is? Honestly I’m not going to do your job for you. You’re the detective…detect.”
The detective’s cheeks flushed and turned a shade of purple as he rubbed his aching head. “What is that blue box?” he shouted, slamming his fists hard onto the table.
“What is that blue box?” another detective asked Ian in the adjacent interview room to the Doctor.
When Ian was slow to respond to the question, she slammed her notebook down onto the table.
“Is the question too perplexing for you?” she asked.
Ian looked at the two vastly different detectives questioning him and smiled. He wasn’t quite sure how they thought the ‘good cop bad cop’ routine would succeed, it made him chuckle more than anything to see people were still using it in the 30th century.
“I was wondering why I don’t have a solicitor present, in fact, I haven’t been told what my legal rights are at all,” Ian said.
The male detective frowned. “Shut up and answer the questions.” Clearly the former good cop was now playing the bad one and that amused Ian even further.
“Let’s start at the beginning. Name?”
“They call me the Doctor.”
“So Miss. Wright,” an older detective asked, blowing smoke from what Barbara guessed was some sort of futuristic metal cigar. She coughed when the smoke wafted over her. “You say it was an accident that you found yourself here?”
“Yes I already told you.” Barbara coughed again. “I’m sorry, should you be smoking that in here? I always thought smoking would be illegal by this time.”
The man moved away from her, blowing the smoke to the other side of the room instead. “I can do what I like in here. I’m not the one caught ready to steal valuable treasures!”
“I’m not here to steal anything…it’s a misunderstanding that’s all. I’m sure you have little to suggest we had any motive or history of crime.”
“Just tell the truth Miss. Wright. What was the reason of your showing up inside our bank vault this morning?”
“We were…trying to get home as a matter of fact.”
“Trying to get home?” the male detective asked, flummoxed. He began to pace the room, his hands resting on his hips as he did so, and he began to mumble to himself rather strangely.
“Yes, home,” Ian replied plainly. “I know it seems far fetched but it’s the truth.” He folded his arms and leaned back in his chair with casual indifference; trying not to give them the satisfaction of thinking they frightened him. It was funny how different he acted when travelling in time and space. He’d been taken in for questioning once in his own time and had sweated profusely during the whole interview. Of course he had been fourteen years old at the time.
“So that blue box is what exactly, a vehicle of some kind?” the female detective asked, looking into his eyes.
“Well it’s a craft, yes.”
“It’s a craft I suppose,” Barbara said as she looked away from her interrogator who was still blowing smoke all over her like a steam train.
“It’s none of your business that’s what it is,” the Doctor harrumphed as he was told to sit down by his captor.
The Doctor relented and sat down, letting out an almighty huff to show them he wasn’t happy blindly following their orders.
“Your companions seem to suggest it’s a craft that can get them safely home?”
The Doctor’s lips pursed together as he considered what he was being told by the detective. “Yes, yes, it’s a craft, what of it?”
“Why were you piloting your craft into a bank vault?”
“He has literally no control over it!” Ian said, trying not to laugh at the very thought of the situation the Doctor had got himself into.
Barbara frowned. “He tries to pilot it as best as he can, but sometimes his navigation is a little…off.”
The Doctor clutched his lapels proudly. “My piloting is excellent of course, but something in this region must have interfered with my superior controls, thus drawing me here without my consent.”
“Are you telling me that it’s our fault that you ended up inside a vault that contained an extreme amount of money?”
“I am, sir, and what’s more I’m telling you that I have no cares whatsoever for monetary worth or gold.”
The detective rolled his eyes upwards and sighed with exasperation. He folded his arms impatiently. “I see. No care for money huh? So you’re a ‘Good Samaritan’ are ya? A man who takes young couples in some weird old box back to their homes?”
“No, I am a traveller, my dear detective, not a taxi service. I like to see things, investigate, observe. All things you too should be doing at this moment.”
“Right. So the young couple in the adjoining rooms, the ones who you were taking home, what is your relationship with each other?”
Barbara flattened her hair with the palm of her hand. “Well, Ian is my colleague and… the Doctor is an elderly relative.”
She resisted the urge to tell the truth and confess to the detective that she had been kidnapped in time and space by a mad alien traveller.
“The Doctor is a scientist. I suppose I’m gaining some knowledge by travelling with him for a bit,” Ian said, keeping his answer short.
“And the young lady?”
“My friend, a colleague.”
The Doctor sighed wearily. “Well they’re my protégées I suppose. We met recently when they were tutoring my granddaughter and I offered to show them the many wonders of the world.”
“ And what is their relationship with one another?”
“Well they’re friends of course. If you’re inquiring whether they’re involved romantically I’m afraid I cannot speculate. I have little experience in such matters but I don’t doubt they would make a good match if it was to happen.”
“And what is your martial status?”
“I don’t see how that is relevant to this inquiry.”
“No wife at home wondering where you are?”
“The Doctor doesn’t have a wife,” Ian told the male detective. He chuckled to himself. “He did accidentally get engaged once to a lovely Mexican woman.”
“Oh no, he’s not married, at least he’s never told us. I’m not sure he’s interested in all that, though there is his granddaughter so I suppose he very well might have been married in the past,” said Barbara.
“Alright, alright, it seems you’re not going to talk about your private life,” the detective said to the Doctor as the old man sat back in his chair with arms folded in a manner of non-compliance. “But I need to ask you about this morning. Why don’t you tell me how it all happened? Describe the moments leading up to the box arriving in the vault.”
“It was quite simple my dear man, we were casually minding our own business when there was a terrible piercing noise, and we found ourselves being dragged down.”
“It was a force young man, entirely your fault not ours!”
“We were playing chess in the ship,” Barbara said as the detective poured her a glass of water. “Ian was winning and the Doctor wasn’t happy about it. Eventually the rotor came to a stand still and we landed quite quietly. Well we didn’t know where we were, we never do. It was a surprise to us.”
Ian ran his fingers through his hair, feeling anxious for the first time since the interview had commenced. “I don’t know how many times I have to say it- the Doctor hasn’t a clue what he’s doing with his ship. He tried to get to Shoreditch this one time and we ended up in Paris. When we stepped out of the ship this morning we were shocked to discover where we were. There was a little turbulence but not too much to worry about.”
“And this ship can travel long distances?” the male detective asked, looking at his female colleague, and sighing with irritation.
“Yes, I’d say so. The TARDIS is a marvellous thing.”
“TARDIS, what on Earth is that? What does it stand for?”
Ian rubbed his head, wondering why he’d been so foolish to let slip what the machine was called. He attempted to bluff and make up what the initials meant. “Travel…and…roaming…doctor…in…sunshine.”
“And what do those initials stand for Miss. Wright?”
Barbara hesitated and then stammered, trying desperately not to reveal the true meaning of the ship, not that she could remember it exactly anyway. “Well it’s something like ‘Transport and reading delivery in Shoreditch’
“That makes no sense at all!”
“Well sometimes life doesn’t make sense detective.”
“Time and relative dimensions in space, not that you’d have any idea what that meant of course.” The Doctor looked at the detective and smiled with satisfaction.
“It’s a time machine? You do know it’s illegal to travel in time; we outlawed that in the 28th century after nearly two hundred years of history were altered by a rogue time meddler.”
“I’m not from this place so I don’t need to follow your little rules.”
“When you land in this vicinity, Doctor, then I’m afraid you do. What do you plead for attempting to steal the treasure?”
“I plead not guilty; we do not need nor care for it.”
“Not guilty,” Barbara said defiantly. “We have no need to rob you and we surely would have thought of a better plan than to arrive and be caught immediately on your security cameras.”
“We’re innocent,” Ian said plainly. “If we intended to steal your treasure then we would have at least disguised ourselves better.”
“Right, so all three of you are sticking to this story, three travellers lost in the woods, stumbled into a place they shouldn’t have and are unfairly being penalised for it,” the female detective said.
“Look I understand you have to check this all out, but what more can I say? You did not see us touch any of the gold and jewels did you?”
“Well no but…”
“Then believe us, we arrived here by complete accident.”
The woman walked across the room and sighed. “Fine, before we terminate this interview for the time being is there anything you’d like to say further in your defence?”
“If you haven’t got anything concrete to go on, could we get bail now, impending investigation or something?”
“I don’t have anything else to say,” Barbara said. “We’re innocent.”
The Doctor slammed his walking stick onto the floor. “You have absolutely nothing on us and I demand we are released this instant!”
The three companions were led into the hall at the same time from their respective rooms along the dusty and dark corridor of the police unit. As they saw each other for the first time in hours, their expressions changed from irritation to slight relief.
Ian gave a knowing look to the Doctor, indicating that he should create some sort of diversion. The Doctor nodded and turned to look at one of the detectives. He stepped forward, sticking his chest out.
“Alright, alright, this has gone far enough. We are not who you think we are. We are with homeland security, sent here to determine the likelihood of breaking into the vault. Well, as you can see you have most definitely failed this test, we were able to break in most easily and I shall like a full report on how you intend to deal with this breach in security so that it never happens again.”
The detectives looked at each other and laughed before they saw the Doctor edging away slightly.
“Run!” Ian shouted, and the travellers raced down the corridor to where the TARDIS was held. Ian shoved the detectives away as they approached him, and Barbara pulled the key out from her bra. Ian’s eyes widened in surprise as she did so, but he was pleased, he was worried the key had been found and confiscated. Barbara unlocked the ship and the three of them tumbled inside, slamming the door behind them and rushing toward the main console. The Doctor flicked the dematerialisation switch and breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
“What idiots,” the Doctor said, chuckling to himself.
Ian laughed. “Well it has a funny side that’s for sure. The TARDIS is a good getaway vehicle. Wonder if we’ll end up on a most wanted list.”
Barbara smiled. “Oh I hope not. No, I’d rather not be questioned like that again.”
The Doctor tapped her on the shoulder lightly. “My dear, I suppose that is a minor side effect of your travelling with me hmmm? How about I set the controls to London, 1963 and we’ll try and get you home in time for tea?”
“That’ll be nice,” Ian replied as he took Barbara’s hand. “Though with your driving I dread to think what we’ll end up inside of next.”
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