In a wood outside of time and space, a siren was blaring a very unnatural sound. The sky above the TARDIS console was flashing red and blue, and a woman in pyjamas was shouting at a woman in visible dismay.
“I KNOW it’s a major thing!” Lorna was saying again. “You’ve said it sixteen times by now, and I’ve still got no idea what’s going on–“
“But it is a major thing!” said the Doctor, running round her console in as many circles as the argument. Lights were blinking and dials were switching and strange runes were throbbing on the floor, and leaves were falling into the room from the trees of the forest above. Desperately, the Doctor grabbed one that had fallen onto her head and jammed it through nearby slot, then shook her head when it resulted in nothing happening at all.
“My child’s in here!” said Lorna over the din. “I thought your machine was safe; you let us go on holiday in it! You couldn’t run much of an airline!”
“This isn’t helping!” cried the Doctor as the trees behind her started to glow. Somewhere a bell was tolling with desperate bong, and flickering images of men in horrible clothes appeared to shout baffling things.
“What can help?” shouted Lorna. “What’s even happening?”
The Doctor had stopped being frantic; stopped doing anything at all. She was looking up at the false sun high above the TARDIS wood, which was dim and slight against the flashing sky. It was darkened and still getting darker, as something that wasn’t a moon began to eclipse it in shade.
“I’m sorry,” breathed the Doctor. “But I think it’s–“
Suddenly everything stopped, the flashing and the glowing and the holograms of the men. A gentle breeze blew through the console room, and Chris walked in from the door at the far end.
“It’s my birthday,” she said.
Lorna and the Doctor stared at her.
“I set an alarm on your phone,” she said to the Doctor, “so you wouldn’t forget.”
“But,” said the Doctor, “I have a password”–
“I guessed the password,” said Chris. “It was incredibly easy.”
“Then we’re not going to die?” asked Lorna apprehensively.
The Doctor breathed out an enormous sigh of joy and relief.
“Didn’t you listen to your daughter?” said the Doctor with delight. “It’s her birthday. So we’re going to do the exact opposite of dying! Living, going on an adventure. Travelling with me… on a mystery tour!
“Can we have a lie down first?” said Lorna. “There’s just been so much sound and noise.”
“Right. A lie down. And then, an exciting mystery trip”–
“I don’t want to lie down,” said Chris. “I want to have my birthday present now!”
“This is why I forgot when my own birthday was,” said the Doctor with a sigh.