Return Of The Movellans by Cotterill91
Summary: The Doctor and K9 land on an alien spaceship and unexpectedly find themselves face-to-face with some old foes, the Movellans. Eager for adventure, the Doctor is all too keen to foil their latest master plan. However, things get complicated when the Doctor encounters someone from his own future and he finds himself trying to resolve actions that he has yet to commit…
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Fourth Doctor, Multi-Era
Characters: Donna Noble, K-9, K-9, The Doctor (4th), The Doctor (4th)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover, General, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Standalone
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Donna Temple-Noble was depressed. She didn't understand why, but she kept feeling that there was something missing, as though she had lost something tremendously important to her. It had been bothering her for over two years now and she still couldn't work out what it was. Her husband Shaun had suggested that she talk to a therapist and see what they could find out. Fat lot of good that did! Each therapist she spoke to was just as baffled as she was and just made some excuse for her feelings, from guilt to child trauma. None of which explained a thing.
Donna was even worried that she was getting paranoid, because Mum and Gramps both at times seem to know what the problem was and sometimes she caught them giving a distant look, but they never said a word. Of course, these 'depression moods' weren't happening all the time, but they were frequent enough to make her feel there was something not natural about them, especially considering how well her life has been going since her wedding day and that mysterious lottery ticket. She never did find out who sent it…
After a rather explosive argument with the latest therapist she had gone to see, Donna had stormed out of the building and decided to take a walk and try to clear her head and calm her nerves. She was currently taking a stroll around the park and was trying to recall when her problem started. It seemed to her that her depression started after an army of over-sized pepper-pots had taken the Earth halfway across space before putting it back again. Donna had always been annoyed that she kept missing all these alien visitors, yet she couldn't work out the reason why she missed this one. Somehow, there was something important to her about the Dalek Invasion, almost as if…
Donna felt a chill run through her, which was odd considering the heavy coat that she was wearing. The park seemed awfully spooky at the moment and it unnerved her. The place was deserted, with the wind making small howling noises and blowing Donna's red hair into her face. Autumn leaves rustled across the grass, like a swarm of insects moving to their hive. In the playground, the children's swings moved back and forth in the wind, squeaking unwelcoming noises and giving the impression that there were ghosts riding on them. Maybe coming here for a breath of air wasn't a good idea after all. Donna was getting an eerie sense of foreboding, as though she was about to meet a living ghost herself.
Her thoughts were rudely interrupted as a cold, firm hand touched her shoulder. Donna spun around to see a bloke with silver braided hair, wearing a white catsuit of some kind and holding some kind of plastic cone at her. His face was cleanly shaven, with no stubble showing, or any spots come to that. His facial expression was completely blank with no emotion showing at all, which somehow reminded Donna of the Android character in 'Star Trek The Next Generation'. He stood completely straight, apparently not cold or shivery from the wind. But the oddest thing was that Donna could have sworn that he was not behind her a moment ago. He just seemed to appear out of nowhere. 'Oh great', she thought to herself, 'now I'm being pestered by some hippy! And just when I thought my day couldn't get worse!'
'What's your game, Mate?!' she snapped.
'You are Donna Temple-Noble?' inquired the man in an unnervingly flat tone.
'That's Mrs Temple to you, mate,' she replied hotly, 'So don't get any funny ideas.'
'Identity confirmed. You will accompany me,' he stated in the same flat tone.
'What are you, a drug-dealer or something? Go away!'
'Negative. I require you to come with me.'
Donna couldn't believe the nerve of this guy. Some people just can't get the message. And there was something about the man and his flat tone that was making her feel really uneasy. He almost seemed inhuman. All the more reason to get rid of him.
'Are you dim or something?' she snapped again, 'I am not going anywhere with you!'
'Correction. You will accompany me to the teleport co-ordinates.'
'You're completely barking aren't you? Read my lips!' said Donna, pointing to her mouth, 'I. Do. Not. Want. To. Go. With. You!'
'Correction. You have no choice in the matter' replied the man, before raising his cone at her. To Donna's utter amazement, a lightning bolt shot out of the cone and struck her in the face. Pain shot through Donna's senses and spots appeared in front of her eyes.
'I don't believe it! He just shot me!' Donna thought, as consciousness rapidly ran away from her. In the split second before she blacked out, a strange, golden beam of light seemed to come out of her own head, floating around her before zooming straight towards the sky and beyond the atmosphere of the planet. Then she passed out completely.
The Movellan Trooper observed the strange light heading out through the atmosphere. He could find no logical reason for this occurrence. It was, however, of no consequence. Picking up the Earth Woman, he transmitted his coordinates to the ship and within seconds he and the woman were engulfed in an energy beam, bathing them both in red light, before they slowly faded out of sight. In a couple of more seconds, the light beam itself faded from view as well.
There was nothing to suggest that either person was ever there in the park at all.
Leaving the Earth's atmosphere, the strange beam of light zoomed into space and entered the time vortex itself. The vortex constantly shifted in its size and nature, sometimes resembling a swirl of thunderclouds, sometimes a blue flowing tube, but the tunnel itself was the same. Despite, the constant change of colour in the vortex, the light beam stood out from the shifting chaos, its golden, dust-like form glowing brightly. Zooming through the swirling tunnel of time, it looked as though it had reached its destination, a blue Police Box spiralling through the vortex. But all of a sudden, the vortex seemed to curve in on itself, just for a moment, but long enough to deflect the beam away from the blue box, and send it further down the vortex, until it reached another, thinner shaped police box. With no where else to go, the beam hit the light on top of the box and entered inside…
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Chapter 2: Chapter 2The Doctor was facing a complete disaster. The King he had sworn to protect was about to fall to the opposing side in the war and he was trying to work out some desperate way out of this mess. Then he got it. Picking up the vital tool he needed, he placed it on the board and proudly declared 'Check!'
'Correction, Master,' K9 replied on the other side of the chess board, 'Your King will be mated in three moves.'
'What!' The Doctor exclaimed, examining the board. Seeing that K9 was absolutely right, he slumped in his chair and muttered, 'I used to be so much better at this you know.'
He looked around the white control room of the TARDIS and realised something. He was bored. Things had been fairly quiet since he dropped off Romana for a quick holiday. He had bypassed the Randomiser to drop her off at the Braxtiel art collection and he had promised to pick her up in a week, not wanting to stay and look at the art pieces there himself, since they were, in his opinion, rather boring. However, he was now regretting his decision, as the only thing he could think to do in the meantime was play chess. Apart from fending off a time parasite in the vortex, an excitement that had lasted precisely five minutes, nothing interesting was happening at all for the Doctor.
The problem was that since he had installed the randomiser, he had no real choice in what he did. Whenever he tried to have a holiday, some disaster cropped up to ruin it, and whenever he was in the mood for some dashing about, there seemed to be no great dilemmas for him to resolve. And right now, he was in the mood for some dashing about. Yet the Time Rotor in the centre of the hexagon-shaped console kept going up and down calmly, with no indication of stopping, thereby making it obvious that they had landed. The TARDIS was still travelling down the vortex, with the Doctor bored near out of his mind. What he really needed was something to distract and exhilarate him, something to keep him occupied, something like…
He suddenly realised that the telepathic circuits on the console were flashing. Jumping to his feet, he rushed excitedly to the console and placed his hands on the two roundels on the control panel. The message that came through was fairly jumbled, but it was fairly clear what it was.
'An S.O.S!' the Doctor exclaimed in delight, 'Just what I need.'
'What is the precise nature of the distress signal, Master?' K9 inquired, his mechanical tail waggling enthusiastically. He himself was getting bored of continuously beating the Doctor in game after game of chess.
'Oh well,' the Doctor said with a note of uncertainty, 'some sort of telepathic message saying something about alien abduction. Seemed almost like a Time Lord message. Anyway, it shouldn't be too difficult to trace back to the original source.'
'Should we retrieve the Mistress first, Master?' K9 suggested.
'Oh no, I wouldn't dream of dragging Romana away from her art visit, she might have found something that caught her interest there,' the Doctor said, 'I'm sure that you and I can sort this out ourselves. After all, as Jeremy used to say, how hard can it be?'
It was not until some time afterwards that the Doctor would remember that the phrase "How hard can it be?" often led to complete and utter chaos.
"Donna… Oh, Donna Noble, I'm so sorry. But we had the best of times. Goodbye."
Donna awoke with a start and instantly wished she hadn't. She found that in the time that she had been unconscious, she had been developing the headache from hell. And she seemed to have had a really bad dream, set in a room that looked like coral, with a strange man in a suit, looking so sad. And she was there as well, crying like she had never done so before in her entire life.
Donna shook the image out of her head and took a look around her surroundings. The room she was in was the size of a small infirmary, with the floors and walls all built out of what looked like white metal. The ceiling seemed to have no obvious lighting, yet it was humming with energy and giving off luminescence that made the room clear as daylight. Donna was lying on one of a number of metal benches in the room, which were all arranged in small rows. Most of these benches were occupied by various human figures, all of whom were as unconscious as she had been. 'How the hell did I get here?', she thought to herself, 'Last I remember was that creep in the park and…'
It all came back in an instant. 'That scumbag shot me!' she roared. He had kidnapped her and stuffed her in a room with a whole load of other kidnap victims. He was going to hold them to ransom, or sell them as slaves, or...
'Oh stop it,' Donna said to herself, 'You're becoming paranoid again!' Getting a grip on herself, she looked for a door. There was none, or a least not one that she could see. There was, however, a window in the room. Perhaps she could make herself heard through that. Dashing to the window, she opened her mouth to bellow out, but when she got there, the words died in her throat.
Out through the window, was open space, a vast black emptiness surrounding her. Although it wasn't really quite that empty. Donna could see hundreds of stars standing out from the darkness, gently glowing in the scene of nothingness, like hundreds of Christmas tree lights. And in the centre of it all, she could see a multi-coloured nebula constantly shifting its shape in the vastness of space. It wasn't an image on a television screen or a painted backdrop. It was real. After all these years of missing those alien encounters, Donna suddenly finds herself caught up in the middle of one! And something about the view reminded her of something, like…
A groan came from one of the tables, making Donna jump. Spinning around, she saw that one of the victims was coming around. Dashing over, Donna helped the man sit up on the bench. But when she saw his face, her jaw dropped. The man was rather short in height, about 175 cm, and he seemed about the same age as her Granddad, with white stuck-up hair and a long white moustache covering a rather friendly-looking and wrinkly face. It was a face that Donna had seen before, in various magazines and TV shows. But it couldn't be him, could it?
'Oh thank you my dear woman,' said the man in a definite German accent as she helped sit up, 'Could you tell me where I am, please?'
'I'm afraid I don't know, mate,' said Donna slowly, 'Excuse me, but who exactly are you? I mean, are you who I think you are?'
'Oh forgive me. Where are my manners?' said the man, 'I am Albert Einstein.'
In another part of the ship, a sound like a groaning organ reverberated through the corridors and the TARDIS faded into view, its blue colour standing out from the dark cream walls. Once the Time-Space ship had fully materialised, the door opened and the Doctor stepped out and smiled broadly, taking in his surroundings. The corridor was shaped like the inside of a tube, curving around in a bend, with pipes and wires of various sizes running along the walls. The colouring of the walls was creamy, although this was not immediately obvious due to the low level that the lighting system was set at.
'Ha ha, dark corridors, certain setting for trouble,' the Doctor declared happily. In his experience, dark and gloomy corridors always lead to something dangerous. Just the thing to keep himself occupied. K9 also exited from the TARDIS, his antenna raised.
'Master, the signal is coming from the right of us.'
'Right. K9, you go and locate the source of the signal and then assure whoever sent it that help has arrived. I'll see if I can find whoever is in charge here, and see what all the fuss is about. Now remember, keep out of trouble, alright.'
'Affirmative Master,' replied K9, already heading for the right side of the corridor, towards the source of the distress signal.
'Good. Don't forget, stay out of trouble,' the Doctor reminded his metal dog. He then turned to the left, took about ten paces forward, and walked straight into a Movellan trooper.
'Oh hello,' said an embarrassed Doctor, glad that K9 didn't see what just happened.
'You,' said the Movellan flatly.
'Me?' asked the Doctor, feeling that he had gone through this once already.
'Who are you?' asked the Movellan, before adding, 'You are an intruder.'
'Well if you already know who I am, why do you ask me who I am?' the Doctor asked in puzzlement. It seemed an entirely reasonable question. Unfortunately, the Doctor had a feeling that the Movellan was not going to be reasonable.
Although the whole notion of meeting long dead scientists in outer space seemed utterly absurd, Donna found that she had no trouble believing what was happening. Strangely, she seemed used to it, as though this kind of thing had happened to her before. 'I must really be losing it,' she thought bitterly to herself, 'That or I'm having some kind of nightmare!'
'I was in my laboratory,' explained Einstein, 'when a strangely dressed silver-haired woman in a white suit appeared out of thin air and sent some kind of lightning flying at my face. The next thing I knew, I woke up here with you.'
'That's exactly what happened to me,' replied Donna, 'except I was in a park and I was shot by some bloke in the same outfit. And just wait till I get my hands on him. He'll be wishing he had never been born.'
Einstein looked at the other beds in astonishment. 'But… that looks like Leonardo da Vinci,' he exclaimed, 'and that looks like Isaac Newton. But, they and all these others have been dead for years!' Donna looked closely at each of the figures and realised with some alarm that Einstein was right. The entire room was filled with geniuses from throughout Earth's history, all laid out on the various tables like unmoving mannequins.
Donna was about to point out that Einstein was dead as well, but she stopped herself for two important reasons. One, it would be terribly bad mannered of her to say so in Albert's face, and two…
'Does that mean,' Donna said slowly, with growing horror, 'that we're dead too?'
'Oh no, no, no, no,' said Einstein in a 'I know more than you do' tone of voice which really annoyed Donna, 'I suspect that we have all been snatched out of time and put together here for some reason. I have been working on a time machine of my own, you see, but I have been unable to get it working, but perhaps if I had reversed the magnitude of the…'
But Donna wasn't listening to his theories and speculations. She was thinking of what he had suggested. Time travel. There was something about that, something important. If only she could remember what… But then her head started to ache and, after shaking it, she asked 'So what, is this some great kidnapping of scientific geniuses from Earth's history?'
'So it would appear my dear,' agreed Einstein, before asking, 'May I ask what your field of research was?'
'Me?' Donna said in surprise, 'I think they just made a mistake. I'm no great genius, I'm a temp from Chiswick. I'm no one important, certainly not worth kidnapping, except for the lottery money.'
Before she could elaborate, one of the walls slid open and two of the strangely dressed hippies stepped in. They looked virtually identical to the guy who shot Donna, the same clothes, the same braided hair, and the same blank, emotionless expressions which made them look less than human. Of course now, Donna knew that they were not human at all, they were real live aliens! They were both armed and pointing their guns at Donna and Einstein. One of them addressed Donna, again in the same flat tone of the first alien.
'Our scans are complete. Yours appears to be the superior intellect. You will be connected to the battle computer.'
'You what!' exclaimed Donna, 'Are you guys completely dim? I'm not any kind of intellect, in fact I'm not good for anything! And what's that about connecting me to a computer! I'm not going to be plugged into anything, mate!'
Einstein would have been backing up Donna at this point, but his interest in what the Aliens (as they clearly were in his opinion) had just said distracted him.
'A battle computer you say?' he asked with fascination, 'You have created a machine that can somehow use human brain power? That sounds ingenious!' Einstein's scientific curiosity was always a weakness of his, and at the moment, it was distracting him from the seriousness of the situation.
The second alien made no reply. Instead, he raised his weapon and shot another stun bolt at him. Einstein had just enough time to say, 'Oh dear, not again' before he crumpled to the floor, unconscious. Without a word, the nearest of the two aliens knelt down to Einstein's prone body and lifted him up as though he was as light as a feather. With careful handling, he then put Einstein gently back on the table he had previously occupied, like a child that is carefully being lowed into a cot.
The first alien spoke again to Donna, 'You will come with us willingly or we will stun you and carry you with us. The choice is yours.'
With a final harrumph, Donna reluctantly marched out of the room, with her captors following closely behind.
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Chapter 3: Chapter 3'Oh now, I'm sure we can negotiate this little misunderstanding,' the Doctor tried to explain to the Movellan, 'you see I was just answering your distress call and…'
'No signal was sent,' stated the Movellan.
'Oh well, wasted journey then, so glad we got that all cleared up then, nice talking to you, goodbye,' the Doctor said quickly and started to leave, when the Movellan said 'Halt!' and so he halted.
'Oh come now, I said I can explain this misunderstanding. Here, I'll show you my I.D,' and with that, the Doctor removed a set of playing cards and added, 'Well, look.'
The Movellan started to look down at the cards and, as he did so, the Doctor sent them flying into his face. A cloud of cards hung in the air, obscuring the Movellan's vision. As the Movellan raised his arms to clear the cards out of the way, the Doctor seized his chance. He ducked down and snatched off the power pack attached to the Movellan's belt, before shoving the Movellan against the wall. The Movellan staggered around, rapidly losing energy in his robotic body. He tried raising his gun to shoot the Doctor, but the movement was slow and feeble and, before he knew what had happened, his mechanical brain switched off. His body stiffened and he fell flat on his back on the floor.
Breathing a sigh of relief, the Doctor then knelt down and opened the Movellan's tunic to reveal its databank system. Taking his Sonic Screwdriver out of his pocket, the Doctor pressed it against the circular screen in the centre of the electronic-built man's chest and activated the silver wand-like device. The computer suddenly flickered to life and streams of words and numbers randomly streamed in criss-crosses beneath the glass-covering. Adjusting the hardware with his Screwdriver, the Doctor opened the file on the current Movellan mission and quickly skim-read the report. Within seconds, he knew exactly what the Movellans were up to.
The Movellans, as the databank revealed, were still stuck in a deadlock in their war against the Daleks. The Movellans had resolved to find a number of scientific minds, specifically from the planet Earth, as the humans seemed to be masters in the field of warfare, and connect them to the Movellan battle computers. Using stolen Dalek time-technology, the Movellans had been scanning the minds of the humans on Earth from the 18th to 22nd Centuries and selecting the most intelligent ones, which would then be connected to the Movellan battle computers, enslaving them and using them as military strategists.
The Doctor frowned. Everything seemed to make sense, except for one thing. If the Movellans didn't send that signal and the humans they had captured were locked up somewhere, then who did send the message to the TARDIS? Could it be that one of the prisoners was more than he or she seemed to be? And if so, what was their agenda? And why did the Doctor's head suddenly throb?
The explanation for the last question was that another Movellan had just appeared and was holding her gun to his head.
'Stand,' she ordered. The Doctor complied and raised his hands in the process.
'Hello,' said the Doctor cheerily, 'I was just trying to explain to your colleague…'
'Silence. You will accompany me to the command deck.'
'Splendid,' said the Doctor, 'That's exactly what I wanted.' After all, he thought to himself, what better way to get answers than to speak to the Captain of the ship?
For the second time that day, Donna found herself lying on a table. This time it was on the aliens' control bridge, a large, circular room painted the same dark cream colour like the rest of the ship. Between incomprehensible control panels, computer screens blinked malevolently, surrounding her like watchful eyes, with one doorway breaking the circle of computers around the room. In the middle was the table which Donna occupied and a larger machine with a headset attached. There were no visible restraints, yet Donna found herself unable to move off the table. 'Must be some kind of force field holding me' she thought to herself, again surprised at how used she seemed to be to everything here. Fortunately, in her opinion, the force field did not stop her talking.
'Oi!' she bellowed, 'What's the game then?'
One of the aliens, taller than the rest, approached her. Instead of the usual white outfit that all the other aliens were wearing, his uniform was coloured black. There was also a hint of emotion in the man's face, a hint of malice and a sneer.
'I am Commander Tarn, leader of this expedition. Our scans have shown that your mind is vastly superior compared to the other subjects we have recruited.'
'Kidnapped more like! And why do you think I'm smarter than that lot? I can't even fix a light fuse!'
'You are mistaken. Your brain houses the greatest intellect we have ever encountered.'
'Oh yeah! So how come I don't know about it?'
'Our scans also show that there is some kind of block in your mind, preventing you from remembering and recognising your own intelligence.'
This statement stopped Donna short. 'What do you mean 'a block in my mind'?' she asked in a quieter tone, suddenly feeling unnerved. She had noticed that her head seemed to be warming up in an unnatural and frightening way. Was it possible that there was something that she had forgotten, something that these numpties were able to detect? Something that might account for her sleeping through the entire Dalek invasion?
'The cause of the block,' continued Tarn, 'is neither known nor relevant. All that matters is that we shall extract your mind and transfer it to our computer. We shall then use your intellect to break the stalemate in the war and destroy the Dalek forces.'
Donna's head was getting really hot now. Images seemed to be flashing before her eyes of creatures she had never seen before in her life and every image made her head feel worse than before. She thought she'd pass out from the pain, but she fought to concentrate on the here and now. She wasn't going to let those outer-space jerks get the last word, not if she had anything to say about it.
'I'll give you war, mate,' she bellowed, 'when I get my hands on you!'
'That's a bit drastic, isn't?' said a deep, cheery voice from the doorway. All heads turned towards the source of the voice. Donna couldn't believe her eyes. A tall man with brown, curly hair had entered, held at gunpoint by another alien hippie. The man was dressed in a white shirt, brown trousers, a loose waistcoat, and a brown frock coat. What was most distinguishable about the man was the floppy, wide-brimmed hat on his head and the impossibly long, multi-coloured scarf that was wound around his neck, with both ends draped at his feet. But what amazed Donna most about the bohemian-dressed man was that he was smiling a big toothy grin as though he was enjoying a great day at the beach. Donna sure wished she felt the same at this point, instead of experiencing fear and headaches.
'I have captured this intruder,' said the woman who was holding the man at gunpoint.
'I told you I'm just a tourist,' said the man indignantly, 'though I must say I won't be coming back a second time, the service here is dreadful. Ah, and I see I'm not the only one who's decided to lodge a complaint.'
Before anyone could stop him, the man strode across to Donna and began shaking her hand, which was not entirely affected by the force field. 'Hello, I'm the Doctor; I assume you're here to lodge a complaint about these appalling residential areas as well as I am.'
'I will if you get me off this table,' Donna agreed, glad to have an ally to back her up, 'I'm Donna Temple-Noble by the way.'
'A pleasure to meet you Donna,' said the Doctor, 'Don't worry; I'm sure I can persuade these gentlemen to shut this little operation down.'
'Incorrect,' snapped Tarn, who was not going to tolerate any organic life forms impeding the mission, 'the operation will proceed. The woman's brain will ensure our victory.'
The Doctor snorted and turned to face the Movellan leader. 'You Movellans are always the same. Always trying to get someone else to do your thinking for you. No original ideas, that's your problem.'
A look of surprise passed over the Movellan leaders' face. This human knew who they were, but that is impossible since humans and Movellans would not officially come in contact until hundreds of years in the Earth's future, and there were no witnesses to the various time jumps that the Movellans had used to capture the organic scientists from that same blue micro-spot in space. Clearly this Doctor was more than he appeared.
'You have encountered our race before?' Tarn asked, a note of uncertainty heard in his voice.
'Oh, only in passing,' claimed the Doctor, 'although they weren't in the mood for planet conquering the last I saw of them. I persuaded them to help some friends of mine get off a rather bleak planet.'
So intent were they on learning more from this strange intruder, none of the Movellans noticed that Donna really was in a lot of pain. Sweating feverishly, her head felt red hot. Somehow, the very presence and name of the Doctor had intensified the pain. And if the Movellans had paid even closer attention, they'd have noticed that a strange, glowing flow of energy was starting to emerge from her head, like glowing gold dust, hanging in the air.
'If you have encountered and defeated our kind before,' decided Tarn, 'then your mind will also be of use in reprogramming our battle-computers. You will give us the advantage we need to defeat the enemy.'
'Now look here,' the Doctor began to protest, raising a finger, 'I did not come all this way to end your pointless little war! I came here to…'
He suddenly noticed the streaming energy emerging from Donna.
'….GET DOWN!' he finished, before throwing himself to the floor. No sooner had he done so, then a blast of golden energy erupted from Donna and swept across the room, knocking the Movellans off their feet and causing the computers to spark and explode! Small fires began to break out, causing some kind of sprinkler system in the ceiling to activate and spray them with liquid foam, quickly extinguishing them. The Movellans, meanwhile, all twitched and turned on the floor, before becoming as still as statues.
It suddenly became very quiet. The Doctor poked his head up and surveyed the chaotic aftermath. Despite the sprinkler system, the whole room was still sparking and sizzling from the remains of the Movellan machines and the Movellans themselves seemed to have been deactivated.
'What a way to bring the house down', he said to himself. He certainly wasn't expecting anything like this to happen. Noticing the golden dust-like energy dissipating in the air, he sniffed it and his eyes widened in surprise.
'Metacrisis energy,' he said with amazement, 'She's a human Time Lord hybrid. But how…?'
He turned, hoping to find the woman awake and ready to explain. Instead, however, she was very unconscious. Scrambling to his feet, the Doctor dashed over to Donna and quickly checked her over.
'Self-induced coma,' the Doctor declared to himself, 'Now THAT is a bit drastic.'
Seeing that the force field had gone, the Doctor picked Donna up and began to carry her to the door. The Doctor examined the door controls. They were fused shut.
'I'd make a complaint to the mechanic if I were you,' the Doctor told the currently deactivated Commander Tarn. He knew that it would not be long before the Movellans would reboot their circuits and awaken, so he had to move fast. Pulling out his ever-useful whistle, the Doctor blew into it.
K9 was having no luck locating the source of the signal that had brought the TARDIS here. At first, it had seemed to come from a locked room in the ship, but a quick scan showed that the source of the signal had moved. K9 was about to try to pick up the trail of the moving source, when his sensors picked up the Doctor's whistle blowing.
'Master in danger. Alert,' said K9, and he turned around and began to head towards the Doctor's location. Coincidentally, his sensors showed that the source of the signal was coming from the Doctor's direction…
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Chapter 4: Chapter 4The Doctor was starting to get worried. The Movellans would be coming to at any minute, the mysterious Donna had still not come out of her coma and, to make matters worse, the Doctor remembered that he had left his Jelly Babies on the TARDIS console. His little escape from boredom wasn't going exactly as he had hoped.
At last, he heard something mechanical move outside and a few seconds later a red light began cutting through the door like a knife slicing though butter. The beam travelled across the entire doorframe and, within seconds, the heavy metal covering the exit collapsed to the ground with a loud clang, allowing K9 to trundle through into the room. 'Master,' he greeted the Doctor.
'Good boy K9,' said the Doctor delightedly, 'No time to explain, just make a quick scan of this woman's brain will you?'
K9 trundled over to where the Doctor had propped Donna and made a quick scan of her with his antenna. 'I am detecting two minds in this earth woman's brain, master,' K9 declared, 'One mind has been suppressed and displays Time Lord Characteristics.'
'Yes, but which Time Lord's Characteristics K9?'
This took the Doctor completely by surprise. How could a copy of his mind be in Donna? Was he in some way responsible for her being in this state? But how was that possible? He had never seen the woman before in any of his lives! But before he could dwell any further on the matter, the Doctor heard something thump the floor. He whirled around to see that the Movellan Commander was starting to move, very slowly at the moment. The effects of the energy blast were clearly starting to wear off and the Movellans' systems were beginning to recalibrate. Within minutes, they would be back on their feet and then the Doctor and K9 would really be in trouble!
'We'll have to deal with this back at the TARDIS. Come on K9!' said the Doctor, picking Donna up again in his arms, before dashing through the door, the ends of his scarf flying in the air behind him.
'Affirmative, Master,' acknowledged K9, who followed the Doctor out as quickly as his motor circuits would allow him to.
The twitching body of Commander Tarn suddenly jerked to life, his body sitting up and his eyes snapped open. His computerised brain whirred as he made a quick scan of his robotic circuits to establish if they had at all been damaged by the energy blast. The scans were completed within five seconds and a green light flashed in the corner of his right eye, confirming that there was no damage to his circuits.
Satisfied, Tarn raised himself to a standing position and surveyed the damage. The emergency fire systems had put out the fires, but most of the computers and monitoring circuits had been reduced to blackened, smoking metal. Tarn knew that these could be replaced, but this would mean a drain on their current resources and time, the latter being something that Tarn could not afford to waste. He turned to see another Movellan trooper getting to his feet.
'What is your functional status?' Tarn inquired. He wanted to have his crew at top efficiency, in case of sudden attacks, and he did not tolerate anything less than satisfactory.
'All systems fully operational, Commander,' the trooper reported, 'Initial scans also indicate that the other Troopers here will also recover from the energy blast.'
'What was the cause of the energy wave?' Tarn demanded.
'Before deactivation, my visual circuits indicate that the energy wave originated from the human female, Commander,' the trooper answered.
Tarn considered this information. The earth woman was clearly more dangerous than their scans had indicated, but she still possessed the intelligence that the Movellans needed to improve their Computer circuits. Tarn made a quick scan around the room, but could find no trace of the human.
'Once the other troopers are reactivated,' Tarn ordered, facing the trooper again, 'have a thorough search made of the whole ship. The human must be recovered at once!'
'What about the intruder Commander? The one designated 'Doctor'?' inquired the Trooper.
'He is deliberately attempting to sabotage our operation,' Tarn decided, 'so he is too dangerous to be of use. Order the troopers to fire on him if he is sighted. Weapons set to total destruction.'
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor was thinking furiously. It had been fairly easy for him and K9 to get back to the Space-Time ship, but now he had to concentrate on saving the strange woman he had to carry all the way with him. He had no idea how she got a copy of his mind in her head, which most likely meant that she was from his personal future, which meant that what was happening to her was his responsibility. If she regained consciousness now, her mind would probably burn from all his knowledge of the Universe as her memories returned. But he had no idea which era she came from, so he could not get her home before she woke up, and he could not be sure how many more times she would be sent back into a coma, or what effect it would have on her already endangered brain. There seemed to be only one answer. The copy of his mind would have to be removed from her brain, but he couldn't work out a way of doing so.
'How on earth do you remove 700 years or more Time-Lord knowledge from a Human's brain without getting them killed?' the Doctor muttered out loud to himself.
'Insufficient data Master,' K9 automatically replied, 'Suggest that you consult TARDIS databanks for possible solutions.'
'Thank you K9, but it was a rhetorical question!' the Doctor said irritably, 'And I doubt even the Matrix has anything on solving Metacrises! All it contains is old Time lord memory patterns aaannnddd…' His words trailed off and a broad grin spread across his face.
'Eureka!' he exclaimed, snapping his fingers, 'That's the answer! K9, you're brilliant!'
'Affirmative Master,' K9 agreed as though this was already obvious. The Doctor dashed to the telepathic circuits on the TARDIS console and placed his hands on the two circular controls, closing his eyes in concentration. Standing there for a tense minute, his eyes opened with a look of satisfaction in them.
'There, that's the link with the Matrix established,' he said, before moving over to his old storage chest and starting to rummage through it, throwing various items across the floor, ranging from old recorders to Sontaran helmets. At last, he found what he had been looking for and very carefully, he extracted from the chest a peculiar looking headset with various wires protruding from it.
'The Chameleon Arch. I never thought I'd find a use for this thing,' the Doctor said, as he began plugging the Arch's wires into the telepathic circuits on the console. Once the wires were securely plugged in, the Doctor carried the headset over to the still comatose Donna, whom he had settled into an over-sized armchair, and he gently attached the Arch to her head. He then looked at K9,his expression turning to one of doubt and worry.
'Think it'll work K9?' he asked. The process was extremely dangerous. One little mistake and the Arch could intensify the Metacrisis instead of removing it, and burn up Donna's brain within two seconds. If Romana were here, she would describe it as suicidal.
'Probability of successful transference, 67%, Master,' K9 replied, having worked out what the Doctor's plan was.
'That low?' groaned the Doctor, 'Ah well, here goes nothing.'
He crossed over to the telepathic circuits and took hold of the transference switch with his fingers. After hesitating for a few seconds, he pulled the switch.
Donna's mind was in turmoil. Images of wasps, trolls, shadows and other nightmares kept appearing in front of her and through it all she saw a figure, a man that seemed so very important to her. And as more images appeared, her head kept getting hotter, and hotter, and hotter… She felt as though she had been thrown straight into hell, surrounded by monsters of all kinds and trapped in mortal agony.
And then all of a sudden, the pain stopped. Each returning image no longer burned her mind, and swiftly, years of memories were restored in her mind.
The Racnoss. The Adipose. Pompeii. The Ood Sphere. ATMOS. The Hath. Agatha Christie. The Library. Midnight. The Beetle on her back. The Daleks.
And Donna suddenly remembered what it was she was missing. Her memories of her travels with her best friend…
Donna opened her eyes and saw a curly-haired head with a look of genuine concern on his face looking down at her. 'Ah, feeling better are we?' asked the man, making a cheerful smile of relief.
Two things then happened that took the Doctor by surprise. Firstly, Donna's hand shot out and slapped him across the face, causing him to clap his face in astonishment. And secondly, she suddenly broke into a big grin and said 'What took you so long, Spaceman?'
'Who are you calling 'Spaceman'?' exclaimed the astounded Doctor, rubbing his sore face and beginning to wish he had never restored her memories.
Tarn examined the security screens, trying to find any trace of the two human fugitives. But the screens were severely damaged by the energy field the earth woman had used to immobilise them. Only screens 5 and 7 were working and they showed nothing untoward. It seemed unlikely that these humans could have left the ship without their knowing. And even if they did have the means, it seemed unlikely that they would leave without first rescuing the captured scientists, who were extremely important to the humans on Earth. Therefore, they would return to the prison cells.
He turned to his subordinate. 'Lieutenant Sev,' he commanded.
'Yes Commander?' replied Tarn's second in command, who was female in appearance.
'Take a trooper and guard the entrance to the prison cells. If either of the humans appear, apprehend the woman, but destroy this Doctor.'
As the Lieutenant moved to carry out her duties, Tarn considered what the humans' next move would be. In order to rescue their comrades, they would have to immobilise the entire Movellan force, and there was only one foreseeable way they could attempt this. And if they should do so, Tarn would be ready for them.
'Blimey, you really do change your appearance don't you! Not so sure about that scarf, but at least you're not as skinny!' Donna exclaimed excitedly. It all made sense now! 'Her' Doctor had to wipe her memories to stop her mind burning out, and ever since then, only her subconscious knew what happened and kept nagging her to remember.
And now that she did remember, she was quick to realise that that this Doctor hadn't met her yet, since he did not recognise her on the ship's bridge and introduced himself not realising how that knowledge would affect her. Another thing was that the TARDIS console room was completely different from the one she was used to. Itwas smaller in size, a bright white room, with larger, lit-up roundels built into the wall, with the entry door being similar in design, instead of the Police Box doors that could be seen from inside. The console in the centre looked less like a mushroom and seemed more constructed than organic, which for Donna made it look more hi-tech than the TARDIS she was used to.
Although she was overjoyed to remember the Doctor again, Donna could not help feeling really annoyed with him. What was he thinking taking away her memories, everything she had learnt from him, all those wonderful things she did. She knew that it was the only way to save her life, but still! If it were not for the fact that the Doctor standing in front of her had not even met her yet and had just restored her memories, she would give him an earful for wiping them in the first place, or rather second place from his perspective!But then a sudden thought crossed her mind. There was something about all this that did not make sense. If the Doctor from her time couldn't subdue the Metacrisis without erasing her memories, then how could this one do it with such obvious ease? And why didn't he remember her in the future?
The Doctor, on the other hand, had far more important questions to ask. 'What do you mean 'Skinny'? I can't possibly have changed that much surely? And I'll have you know that Madame Nostradamus herself knitted this scarf, and very proud of it she was too! Now would you like a Jelly Baby?' he finished, suddenly holding a paper bag out to her.
'What?' she asked, slightly taken aback by this sudden change of topic. Even 'her' Doctor didn't take her by surprise quite like this.
'Well, they're a confectionary back on Earth, you see,' explained the Doctor, ' made from sugar, gelatine and…'
'I know what Jelly Babies are, Dumbo,' snapped Donna, feeling more like her old self by the minute.
'Then why did you ask what they are?' asked the Doctor disapprovingly, 'Why am I wasting my time explaining what Jelly Babies are, when you could just as easily eat one and listen to me explaining what I just did to save your life? Wouldn't that be easier?'
Donna looked for a moment as though she might explode. Then she just smiled, took a Jelly Baby from the bag and put it into her mouth. The Doctor looked delighted at this and he then took a Jelly Baby himself and ate it.
'So what exactly did you do?' asked Donna.
'Well it was quite simple actually. After you, ahem, exploded back on the control room, I had K9 do a quick scan of your brain and he told me that you had a copy of my mind in there together with your own. All I had to do was get it out!'
'Well you seem to have done it, that's for sure,' Donna agreed. She now couldn't remember how to fix a fuse, let alone a Chameleon Circuit. 'But hold on. You said there was no way to get me back to normal, and I certainly remember it being impossible at the time!'
'Nonsense!' the Doctor retorted, 'All I had to do was create a link to the Matrix and transfer all that meta-crisis energy, along with my mind, from your brain into it. It seems they still haven't upgraded it's defences yet, lazy lot.'
'Sorry, hold on a minute… No, you've completely lost me. What the hell is the Matrix? Is it like the one in the film?' Donna asked.
'Well if you mean it's a giant computer used for storing Time Lord memories, then the answer is yes,' the Doctor confirmed, 'The Time Lords use it back on Gallifrey like a giant hard drive for all their knowledge of time.'
Donna's jaw dropped. 'You mean… you dumped it back on your own planet?' she gaped. Just this little knowledge made her realise just how far back she was in the Doctor's timeline. The Time War, Gallifrey's destruction… It hadn't happened for him yet. Which meant he was able to restore her memories with Time Lord technology that hadn't been destroyed yet. Technology that the Tenth Doctor was unable to use…
Donna suddenly felt herself in the same predicament as she did when she was in Pompeii. How could she stand by and not warn this Doctor of what was going to happen to him in the future? But she also remembered what happened when her own history was changed and the disastrous consequences that occurred for the whole world as a result.
'Of course I had the TARDIS erase some details from the meta crisis mind, just in case it held some dangerous knowledge of the future,' the Doctor continued, 'although, I am surprised that my other self, the one that travelled with you, hadn't already done it.' He suddenly broke into a toothy grin. 'So you're from my future, eh? What am I like, apart from skinny that is?'
'Uh uh, mate,' said Donna hurriedly, wagging her finger at him, 'No more sneak previews! Besides, we've got more important things to worry about, or have you forgotten about all those other kidnap victims?'
'Certainly not!' said the Doctor, looking offended at the very notion of abandoning all those other geniuses. 'We can't have Movellans hijacking Earth's greatest geniuses, I mean what will the universe come to?'
'So who are these Movellans any way?' Donna asked.
'A rather unfriendly race of androids who are currently stuck in a deadlock in a war against a race called the Daleks. The Movellans are planning to use Earth's greatest geniuses to reprogram their computers to make them less logical and break the deadlock.'
'And they thought I was their best choice,' Donna added, 'cause I had your mind in my head. So how are we going to stop them?'
'Well,' the Doctor grinned, 'I have an idea.'
'What a relief!' said Donna sarcastically. But she smiled, despite the seriousness of the situation. It was just like old times really.
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Chapter 5: Chapter 5'You have got to be kidding me,' Donna breathed.
'Why would I be kidding you?' the Doctor asked, 'Personally I think it's a brilliant plan myself.'
'You think that crawling through a ventilation shaft is a brilliant idea?!' Donna exclaimed, 'It's the oldest cliché in the book!'
They had both left the TARDIS with K9 and made their way to the prison cells where Donna had previously been held. Finding two Movellans guarding the door, they moved back the way they came, until they came to the ventilation shaft leading to the prison cells. The Doctor saw the shaft as the idea of a genius. Donna saw it as the idea of an idiot. 'I mean', she continued, 'the idea's been used hundreds of times!'
'One million, two thousand, eight hundred and seven times to be exact, Mistress Donna,' K9 confirmed.
'Exactly my point,' Donna finished, before realising what K9 had said and asking him 'How many?!'
'Which is why it's the perfect plan,' said the Doctor, 'because it's so obvious the Movellans will disregard the idea and try to think of a better plan we would come up with!'
'Yeeaahh!' Donna said slowly, unconvinced and confused by the Doctor's logic.
'K9, can you cut through the grill over the vent?' the Doctor asked.
'Affirmative Master,' replied the robot dog, extracting his laser and starting to cut through the grill. Donna looked at K9 and remembered when every one of the Doctor's Children of Time had gathered around the TARDIS console and brought the Earth home, with the help of K9 who was on the planet at that point. She remembered the joy of the time, and then she remembered the terrible moment when the Doctor had to take her home. Everything that she was, gone in a moment.
Donna sighed. She couldn't go back to how things were before. She had a husband and a life back on Earth and she certainly couldn't travel with an earlier version of the Doctor, not without creating a time paradox. But all the same, she would miss her travels in the TARDIS. She looked at the Doctor, who was clearly enjoying himself immensely. He didn't seem to have any of the heartache he would endure in the future and he seemed more alive for it. Donna had to struggle to keep herself from crying, thinking about all that the Doctor had now, that he would lose so much of in the future. He wouldn't even know that in the end, she still remembered him.
Her thoughts were abruptly interrupted as K9 finished cutting through the grill, which fell with a clang on the floor, making her jump slightly. 'The way is clear master,' reported the metal dog.
'Good boy K9!' congratulated the Doctor, who then turned to Donna, 'Right Donna, I need you and K9 to get the scientists out through this shaft and take them to the teleport that the Movellans used to get you here. K9 will be able to operate the teleport and send them back to their respective time zones.'
'Hold on a minute, Martian boy,' Donna interrupted, 'why don't we just get them into the TARDIS, it'll be safer there for them.'
'Firstly,' said the Doctor in a 'trying to be authoritative' tone of voice, 'I am not from Mars, as you already know. And secondly, we were lucky that the Movellans haven't discovered the TARDIS before now, but I'd imagine they'd have found her by now. I think it would be wiser if we acted a bit more cautiously from now on, don't you?'
'Oi, no need to patronise me, spaceman,' replied Donna sharply, 'But what are you going to do in the meantime?'
'Head to the power room,' explained the Doctor, 'I've going to try and use the equipment there to immobilise the Movellans.'
'All right Doctor,' said Donna, 'Just be careful, all right?'
'I'm always careful,' said the Doctor, before adding, 'Well, most of the time anyway.' He then started dashing down the corridor towards the power room.
'Oh all right,' sighed Donna, before turning to K9 and asking, 'Do you want to go through first, or shall I?'
The Doctor moved cautiously down the corridor, careful not to be spotted by any guards. He hadn't told Donna this for fear of further incredulous looks from her, but he had no idea where the power room actually was and he also needed a layout of the generator's workings. So before he could go any further, he first needed to find a computer terminal to get the information he needed, which would make stopping the Movellans much easier.
He hoped that Donna and K9 were having better luck at their end. It seemed strange that he was so willing to trust Donna when he barely knew her at all, yet somehow she had managed to win his absolute confidence in her. Whether it was the fact that she had his mind in her brain or she had a trusting face, he could not tell. She certainly seemed quite capable of standing up for herself and she seemed absolutely delighted to see him. She and his future self must get on fairly well.
A thought suddenly crossed the Doctor's mind. If his future incarnation had indeed wiped Donna's memories and returned her home, then that meant he did not remember the events happening now. But why? And why didn't the distress signal sent by Donna's subconscious reach that incarnation's TARDIS instead of his?
Putting the questions aside for the moment, the Doctor eventually found a communications screen set in the wall further down the corridor. Quietly crossing over to it, the Doctor got out his Sonic Screwdriver and pressing it against the screen, he began to remove the metal seals keeping the screen in place. In less then a minute, the seals were removed and the screen swung open like a door, showing the electronics inside, connected to the rest of the ship.
The Doctor worked quickly to reconfigure the electronic connections, so that the screen could now connect to the main computer, enabling him to hack into it. Once this was done, the Doctor swung the screen shut and began to browse through the ship's data logs, which were now shown on the communications screen. He soon found the schematics of the power generators and he breathed a sigh of relief, satisfied that his plan had a chance of working. The screen also showed the location of the power room, two levels below, with an anti-gravity platform nearby to move between the levels.
The Doctor was just starting to bend down to look closer at the screen, when an energy bolt surged right across where his head was a moment ago. Spinning around, he saw two Movellans marching towards him, firing laser beams at him. "So much for stealth,' grumbled the Doctor, before he started to dash down the corridor, with the Movellans pursuing him.
Sev and a trooper were guarding the prison cell when she became aware of a strange banging noise in the ventilation system behind her. Suspicions raised, she moved to the nearby ventilation opening and saw that the grill had been cut open. Realising at once what had happened, Sev picked up the grill covering and forced it back into place, before moving to the controls for the flow of hot air through the shaft. She began to raise the heat level to maximum…
'Whoever said that ventilation shafts are the easiest way of getting around!' grumbled Donna as she crawled behind K9 towards the hatch leading into the prison cell. It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences she had the misfortune to endure. The shaft was cramped, generally noisy from the echoes of her moving down the shaft, and she was getting bruises all over her legs and hands. And to top it all off, it now seemed to getting hotter in the shaft, making her sweat buckets!
K9's ears suddenly started spinning frantically. 'Danger Mistress Donna! Temperature rapidly increasing!'
'You don't say!' gasped Donna, now really feeling the heat, 'Come on, let's keep going or we'll boil!'
They moved desperately down the shaft, which kept getting hotter by the second. The metal floor of the shaft was beginning to get red hot and Donna had to wrap the ends of her sleeves around her hands to stop them getting burnt. Finally they reached the opening leading into the prison cell and K9 extended his laser to cut through the grill. But he didn't start cutting!
'Come on Robo Dog, what are you waiting for?' Donna exclaimed, getting weaker from the heat.
'Laser circuits have overheated', explained K9, 'This unit has insufficient power!'
Donna's heart sank. If K9 couldn't cut through the grill, then they had no way of escape. They were going to die here, trapped in the shaft.
'I knew this was a useless idea!' Donna gasped, before everything went black.
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Chapter 6: Chapter 6The Doctor kept on running, dodging several laser blasts from the Movellans' guns, leaving burn marks in the walls. The situation was not going as he had hoped. He was starting to run out of breath and the Movellans were catching up fast, their speed greatly increased by their well-oiled robotic limbs. If he didn't shake them off soon, then he would have to cancel dinner with Winston Churchill on the basis that he would be dead!
All of a sudden, he realised where he was and a broad grin spread across his face. He came to a grinding halt and turned to face the pursuing Movellans who had themselves come to a stop. 'You can not outrun us,' stated the first Movellan, 'You shall die now.'
'Who said anything about running?' said the Doctor, 'I'm taking the lift.' And with a buzz from his Sonic Screwdriver, the Doctor and the gravity platform he was standing on dropped out of sight. The Movellans fired their weapons down the gravity shaft, but it was too late. The Doctor was too far down, although his cheerful laugh still seemed to hang in the air.
K9 worked quickly through his databanks for a solution. If he and Donna were going to get out of the ventilation shaft, he needed to restore his laser power to cut through the grill. The electronic answer flashed across his computer brain and he immediately extended his laser, which started working again, and quickly cut through the grill. Within seconds, the way was clear into the cell.
The next problem was moving Donna, before she expired from the heat. With no time to find a gentler solution, K9 backed straight into Donna, abruptly shocking her back to consciousness. "Oi,' she bellowed, 'Watch where you're going, tin dog!'
'Mistress,' K9 said in a rather croaky and quiet tone, 'Imperative that we leave shaft at once. He then trundled through the shaft with Donna desperately following him out. The coolness of the prison cell was a welcome relief to Donna, who collapsed on the floor, trying to get her breath and strength back.
'How did you do that then?' she finally gasped to K9.
'I redirected the power for my speech circuits to my laser, enough to cut through the shaft,' said K9, whose voice was slowly returning to normal.
'Oh, brilliant,' Donna gasped again. After a couple of minutes she got up, crossed over to the table where Einstein lay, and began shaking him vigorously. 'Come on genius, wake up,' she bellowed, desperately trying to bring the man out of his slumber.
Two things happened then. Firstly, Einstein did indeed start to come round, muttering 'the concept of molecular motion is quite simple, gentlemen'. Secondly, the door opened and Sev and the trooper marched into the room, guns pointed straight at her.
'Me and my big mouth,' groaned Donna, before ducking to avoid a laser blast from the trooper's gun that narrowly missed her head.
'Caution,' warned Sev, 'the human subjects must not be harmed. Set weaponry to stun.' As the trooper altered the settings of his weapon, Sev kept her gun trained on Donna. Neither Movellan had noticed K9, who was moving quietly behind them. As the trooper turned to train his weapon back on Donna, K9's laser blasted him down. Sev whirled to face the attacker and, as she did so, Donna jumped on her and caught the robot off balance. With one desperate twist, she wrenched the weapon from Sev's hand, sending it flying in an arc of sparks across the room. Sev grabbed Donna and threw her across the other side of the room. She hit the wall, the wind knocked right out of her.
'K9, do something!' she gasped.
'Weapon power supply hasn't fully recharged,' K9 replied, 'This unit is unable to assist!'
'You have become too dangerous and unpredictable to be of use,' stated Sev as she advanced menacingly towards Donna, 'You must be destroyed.'
She grabbed Donna by the throat, thrust her against the wall and began choking her. Donna thrashed desperately, hitting and kicking the Movellan to no avail. Sev just tightened her grip.
Then all of a sudden, Sev let go of Donna and staggered around, disorientated. She turned and saw Albert Einstein with her power pack in his hand and a triumphant look on his face. Sev weakly groped for the battery and then fell flat on her face, with a particularly loud thump.
'Ouch,' winced Donna, before collapsing to the floor again. It took her a couple of minutes for her to get her breath back, and a couple of minutes on top of that to wake up all the other scientists, who were all looking utterly dazed.
'Listen everyone,' Donna called to get their attention, 'I've no time to explain properly, so here are the main pointers. One, you've been kidnapped. And two, we here to get you back home. All right?'
'Back home?' echoed Isaac Newton indignantly, 'But exploring this place is the chance of a lifetime! There may be new discoveries here!'
'I might find out how to perfect my aerial screw machine,' agreed Leonardo da Vinci enthusiastically.
'Now look here!' Donna bellowed, 'If you don't do as I say, you'll never get back to where you came from at all and then you won't be able to show the world any of your ingenious work at all. Is that what you want?!'
Such was the authority and logic in Donna's words that the scientists all jumped in the air, stopped arguing and meekly nodded their heads in agreement with what she said.
'Okay then,' Donna said, relieved that she didn't have to try explaining things any further to them. She turned to K9 and asked 'K9, can you get them to the teleport and send them home?'
'Affirmative, Mistress Donna. I shall be able to locate the teleport module and my laser is now at 100% efficiency.'
'Okay then. You get them home then and be careful, all right?'
Without waiting for a reply, Donna began dashing through the door, when Isaac Newton called out 'Hold on, where are you going?'
'To help a barmy spaceman, mate!' Donna called back as she disappeared down the passageway.
The Ship's Power room was circular in its design, like the control room, but its size was like the inside of a small cathedral. The huge cylinder-shaped generator in the centre reached to the ceiling and was covered with some kind of covering, like glass but much stronger. Through it, could be seen dozens of individual pipelines, all channelling energy to the different parts of the ship. The energy was constantly pulsing like a living creature and the bright colours it generated kept changing in consistency, bathing parts the room in different shades of red, green, and blue. A control board attached to the generator had lights constantly flickering on and off, and above the controls was what looked like an electronic thermometer attached to the generator. This device showed the level of energy being used and the needle set in the centre showed a steady and safe level. Surrounding the generator were various computers, giving constant whirring and clicking sounds as the machines checked all the circuits and energy output of the generator itself, as well as the safety parameters.
At one side of the room, a shaft opened in the ceiling and the gravity platform carrying the Doctor glided down and set itself into the floor. The Doctor aimed and activated his Sonic Screwdriver at the controls, which went up in sparks. Satisfied that the Movellans would not be able to call the platform back up, the Doctor strode towards the control board and made a quick examination of the machine. His grin widened and his eyes sparkled like those of a schoolboy up to mischief.
'Yes, that should do very nicely, I think,' he said to himself. He took a quick glance around the room and saw to his surprise a built in ladder on the side of the room opposite to where the platform was. It led through another shaft in the ceiling, leading to the next level.
'Now why on Earth would the Movellans put a ladder there when they can just as easily take the gravity platform?' the Doctor mused, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
'For instances where the platform is immobilised,' answered a cold and flat voice behind him. The Doctor whirled around to see Tarn stepping out from behind one of the computer banks, gun raised.
'Ah, Commander Tarn, how pleasant to see you again,' said the Doctor with a cheerful wave.
'You were unwise to return here to rescue your comrades,' Tarn stated.
'Well yes I know, but I can't seem to help myself,' said the Doctor sheepishly, holding out his hands in a helpless manner, 'I wouldn't be able to have a good nights sleep, if I didn't try to save them, not I do sleep that often, but when I do, I prefer to have pleasant dreams instead of massive guilt. But enough of my problems, what are you doing down here?'
'Waiting for you,' Tarn replied, 'It was logical to assume that you would attempt to sabotage the ship via the Power Generator and that you would attempt access via the gravity platform. I therefore came via the service shaft and laid in wait for you to appear.'
'Very clever for a Movellan,' complimented the Doctor, 'now if you'll excuse me, I'm about to foil your master plan!'
'No Doctor, the time for your interference has come to an end,' Tarn stated again. He raised his weapon at the Doctor and without a moment's hesitation, he opened fire.
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Chapter 7: Chapter 7As Tarn fired his weapon, the Doctor ducked and darted behind one of the nearest computers, narrowly missing the laser from Tarn's gun, which instead blasted the wall, sending part of a built-in pipe clanging to the floor. Tarn moved quickly and got behind the computer, preparing to fire again. But the Doctor was not there. He had quickly taken cover behind another computer, while Tarn was not looking, and now he was desperately trying to work out what his next move was going to be. Tarn would not fire his weapon so randomly, not without risking damage to the generator. But it would not be long before he would discover where the Doctor was hiding.
'Surrender Doctor,' Tarn called out, 'You cannot impede the victory of the Movellan Empire!'
'Can't you take an interest in anything other than conquest, like tea for instance?' the Doctor called back.
'I thought not. Can't we talk this over like civilised men instead?'
'I thought not. I hate concise answers sometimes.'
'Unfortunate,' Tarn replied, moving cautiously around the computer banks, seeking out the Doctor's hiding place.
Donna dashed down the corridor, desperately trying to find the Doctor. She knew she should have helped K9 escort the scientists to the teleport, but she somehow had the feeling that the Doctor was in danger, and considering how the Doctor's luck has been in the past (or future in this instance), there was a strong chance that she was right! Unfortunately, she had no idea where the Power Room was or how to get to it. It was probably several levels below where she was and there was no elevator to take her down. And even if there was, it was highly likely that it would only operate for the Movellans. 'Why the hell can't some spaceships have simple stairwells?' Donna thought to herself, 'Or at the very least, a simple ladder would be nice!'
Donna turned the corner and saw, to her relief, that her wish had come true. There was a hatchway next to the wall, with a built-in ladder leading down. Donna looked down the shaft and saw that it ran straight through the other levels of the ship. Although there was a chance she could run into some Movellans below, Donna began climbing down, searching for the Power Room and, hopefully, the Doctor. She just hoped that she was ready for whatever was waiting for her at the bottom of the shaft.
K9, meanwhile, was having better luck than Donna. He was leading the scientists down the corridor towards the teleport and so far they had run into no more Movellans. Perhaps they were being kept active somewhere else? Whatever the reason, they managed to reach the teleport room with no trouble. The door was locked, but K9 just raised his antenna to the control panel and bypassed the code sealing the door. Within seconds, the door slid open.
'Please enter,' K9 asked the scientists. They all ushered into the room and K9 began to follow them in, when a toneless voice called 'Halt!' K9 whirled around to see three Movellans marching towards them. Quickly K9 glided into the room and sealed the door, scrambling the door code as he did so, thereby preventing the Movellans from getting in.
K9 examined the teleport. It was a simple disc in the floor with a series of projectors aimed at it from the ceiling and a small control panel set before it. K9 moved towards the controls and began operating the machine, which immediately began humming with power. Beams of light in various colours were produced by the projectors and aimed at the disc. The various scientists looked at device with awe and started to share theories on how it worked.
'Time Period selected: 1265 AD,' K9 reported, 'Roger Bacon, please enter the teleport.' The Franciscan Friar did as K9 requested and entered the light beam, upon which he immediately vanished into thin air, beamed back to his original time and place. Any other groups of people would have been greatly alarmed by such a scene, but the learned scientists and philosophers were instead fascinated by the machine and were eager to go themselves in an attempt to find out how the teleport worked, not to mention the fact that they were quite keen to return home and complete their research back on Earth.
'1620 selected. Francis Bacon, please enter the beam,' K9 continued. He knew that it would not be long before the Movellans would find some way to break into the room, so he had to get the scientists back to their original space-time locations as quickly as possible.
Sure enough, outside the room, the Movellans were aiming their weapons at the teleport entrance and started firing concentrated beams at the silver door. It would take them just a few minutes to cut through the door, and after they secured the human prisoners, they would deal with the mechanical enemy…
Donna knew she had found the Doctor the moment she heard laser fire on the deck below. Climbing down the ladder as fast as she could, she found herself in the power room, and with one glance she saw that things were not going as the Doctor had planned. He was hiding behind a computer bank, while Commander Tarn was firing his weapon whenever he caught a glimpse of the Doctor. Fortunately, Tarn's back was turned to Donna, so she quickly ducked behind a small control console and scanned the room for anything that might remotely act as a weapon. She noticed the metal pipe that Tarn had blasted off earlier, and taking care not to be noticed, she grabbed the pipe and began making her way carefully towards Tarn.
Tarn, oblivious to his approaching attacker, had just calculated the most likely place where the Doctor would be hiding. He fired his weapon at the computer bank, which began to glow red-hot and spark. Realising that his hiding place was about to explode, the Doctor tried dashing behind another computer, but Tarn was faster. Upon seeing the Doctor, he fired at the floor, the blast causing the Doctor to lose his balance and fall flat on his back, legs waving in the air.
'Oof!' he said. He started getting to his feet, only to find Tarn's gun in his face. 'Ah, would you mind moving the gun out of the way, it's blocking my vision,' the Doctor added, smiling weakly.
'Silence!' Tarn snapped, 'The time has come for your overdue death, Doctor. Farewell.' Tarn was about to pull the trigger, when a loud voice bellowed, taking them both by surprise.
'Get away from him, you mechanical space hippy!' Donna roared as she charged at Tarn and whacked the unfortunate Movellan very hard over the head with the pipe she had found. Donna's intention was only to knock out the Movellan leader, but such was the force of the swinging pipe, his head snapped off and dangled from his neck, wires extruding and sparking from the gaping holes.
'Oh my God! I've decapitated him!' Donna wailed with horror. To make matters worse, Tarn was now lumbering towards her in a daze, arms outstretched in a murderous manner. His dangling head was still moving, an unusual look of rage forming on the Movellan's face.
'You – bzz – will – bzz – be – bzz – destroyed!' he snarled.
The Doctor, realising what was happening, jumped to his feet and dashed to the generator controls. He worked frantically at the controls, the electronic thermometer showing the energy level rising to danger level. He glanced behind his shoulder and saw that Tarn was almost upon Donna, who had tripped to the floor and was now scrambling desperately away from the Movellan. In desperation, the Doctor hurriedly checked the energy level and then pulled the switch on the control panel.
The generator gave an enormous flash of energy, which surged through the power room and beyond. The Doctor was knocked off his feet, hitting the floor with a hard thud, while Donna was thrown against the nearest computer. Tarn did not fair so well. As the energy wave hit him, his whole body exploded, bits of his mechanics flung across the whole room. The lights went dim and suddenly everything became very quiet.
K9 had just managed to send the last human back to Earth, when the door fell with a clang. Whirling around, he saw the three Movellans facing him, weapons poised. Realising that his destruction was inevitable, K9 extended his laser and prepared for the end. Then all of a sudden, the energy wave surged through the room and the machinery and lights flashed and went out, while the Movellans suddenly collapsed, like puppets that have just had their strings cut. K9's own electronic eyes suddenly dimmed and his head drooped to the floor.
Nothing moved throughout the whole ship.
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Chapter 8: Chapter 8After a very tense moment, K9's eyes lit up again and he raised his head. A quick scan suggested that his systems were intact and fully operational. The Movellans, on the other hand, remained still, their systems completely shut down. K9 extended his antenna and scanned the nearest Movellan. His power pack had been drained and his computer circuits had overloaded and gone into emergency shut down, like all his comrades throughout the ship. Satisfied that the danger was over, K9 began trundling through the door and made his way to the power room.
Donna's eyes flickered open and she rubbed her head with a groan. There was a small bump where she had banged her head on the computer bank, but other than that, she seemed intact and unhurt. Struggling to her feet, she looked around the power room, which would have been pitched into darkness, were it not for the emergency lighting, which kept flickering on and off. Donna moved slowly across the room. She nearly jumped with fright when she saw bits of Commander Tarn scattered across the floor, but it was the sight of the still figure on the floor that really alarmed her.
'Doctor!' Donna cried out, dashing over and kneeling down at him. Dread and despair flowed through Donna as she looked at the Doctor's prone body, which laid unmoving, eyelids tightly closed. 'Oh God, please no!' Donna wailed, tears streaming from her eyes, 'You can't be dead! I've seen your future and you're not dead!'
'Well that's nice to know,' said the Doctor. Donna jumped back with a yelp of surprise as the Doctor stood up and got to his feet. 'Why are my companions always assuming I'm dead?' he continued.
Donna promptly strode back to him and whacked his arm hard, making him yelp slightly. Then she grabbed him in a big bear-hug and held tight to him. 'You are completely impossible, you know that?' she said, smiling with relief.
'Oh well, the impossible is what I'm best at. I've won awards for being impossible, you know,' the Doctor replied, smiling broadly. He spotted the remains of Tarn on the floor and his face dropped slightly. 'Dear me, he doesn't look too well, does he? I wasn't expecting that to happen!'
Donna let go of the Doctor and looked down at what was left of Tarn's head, shuddering at how he still came towards her after she hit him. 'What exactly did you do?' she asked quietly.
'Well, I manipulated the generator's power to create an electro-magnetic pulse, which spread through the whole ship. It acted the same way as your little mental-defence barrier did on the bridge, only on a much larger scale. It should have deactivated all the Movellans on the ship, hopefully. Tarn only exploded because you had knocked his head off.'
Donna looked a little guilty at this. 'I was just trying to knock him out of the way. Didn't expect his head to snap off like a twig.'
'Shoddy workmanship, I'd expect,' said the Doctor reassuringly. 'All the same, you saved my life Mrs Temple, thank you very much.'
'Oh, just call me Donna,' she replied. Her smile dropped as a worrying thought crossed her mind. 'Hey, what about K9? Won't that pulse thing have gotten to him?'
'Your concern is noted Mistress Donna,' replied an electronic voice, 'But this unit is now fully functional.'
Donna turned in surprise to see K9 coming down on the gravity platform. 'I have managed to repair the platform, Master,' he explained, gliding over to them.
'Good boy, K9,' the Doctor said approvingly.
'Hold on a second,' Donna interrupted, 'Your voice! It's changed!'
The Doctor beamed. 'She's right, K9. You've got your old voice back!'
'Affirmative Master. EMP has caused recalibration of speech circuits.'
'Wait a second, what do you mean by 'getting his old voice back,' Donna demanded, not liking to be left in the dark.
'Ah well, it's a long story. You see, K9 had laryngitis for a while and it changed his voice.'
Donna couldn't help but laugh at this. 'A robot dog, with laryngitis! You've got to be kidding me!'
The Doctor ignored her outburst of giggles and made a quick examination of the power generator. 'Not much power left here,' he declared, 'This ship will soon be just a piece of scrap metal floating in space.'
'Won't the Movellans build another time ship?' Donna asked, trying to control her giggling.
'Oh, I don't think so, no,' said the Doctor assuredly, 'This ship was just a prototype. It's likely that the rest of the Movellan fleet will assume that the ship was a failure and won't bother to build any more.' He turned to Donna. 'Now then, I think it's time we got you back home as well, don't you agree?'
Donna's smile faltered at this. 'Yeah, I… I guess so.'
The Park was still deserted as the TARDIS materialised on the grassy plain. Donna got out first, with the Doctor following her. 'Are you sure you got it right?' Donna asked doubtfully, 'I mean this is the same time and place that I've left?'
'Well actually, a few seconds earlier,' said the Doctor, pointing over to a nearby set of trees. Donna's jaw dropped as she saw another Donna and the Movellan trooper she had first met become engulfed in a red light and vanish into thin air.
'Okay, you've convinced me,' Donna breathed, 'You've got better steering skills than the skinny space boy.'
'Oh, thank you very much,' said the Doctor, deciding to take the statement as a compliment. He looked a little more seriously at her. 'Are you sure you want to go home? It may bend the laws of time a little, but there's plenty of room on board the TARDIS if you want to come along!'
Donna looked at him, eyes glistening with tears. 'I'd love to, but… I've got a husband here, a life. I didn't want to leave the TARDIS in the first place, but I've moved on since then. But, all the same…' She then began to sob uncontrollably.
'Oh, don't worry, I quite understand,' reassured the Doctor, 'and I'm sure my future self would understand too.'
Donna stopped sobbing and looked the Doctor in the eye. 'The thing is… that version of you in the future… He didn't recognise me when we first met. He didn't remember any of this happening, and he'll never remember that I've got my memories back. I'll still be 'dead' to him. Why? Why won't you remember any of this in the future?'
'Well, I don't know,' shrugged the Doctor, 'nor do I know why my TARDIS and not that of my future self picked up your distress call. Still, I suppose that's something to look forward to, isn't it?'
'I guess so,' smiled Donna weakly, 'but is this the last time I'm ever going to see you?'
'Oh, I hope not!' beamed the Doctor, 'I think there's a strong chance we'll meet again, in the future.'
'You better believe it, spaceman! I'll be keeping an eye out for you.'
'And I you, Donna Temple-Noble,' said the Doctor, holding out a hand, 'Goodbye. And thank you for saving my life.'
Donna didn't take the hand. Instead, she grasped the Time Lord in a great big hug. 'Goodbye Doctor,' she sobbed into his scarf, 'and thank you. For everything.'
The Doctor smiled to himself. He and Donna must get on very well in the future! After a few seconds, they reluctantly let go of one another and with a wave of his hat, the Doctor entered the TARDIS and closed the door. Donna stepped back and watched as the TARDIS light started flashing and, with the same groaning-organ noise, slowly vanished from sight.
Donna smiled to herself. She felt more alive than she had ever done in her life. She had no idea how to explain all this to Shaun, Gramps and Mum; but at that moment, it didn't seem to matter. She now knew who she was again and everything felt right again. Turning on her heels, she began the long walk back home.
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