Chapter 2

For once, Clara was as angry as the proverbial wet hen. Probably because she was wet. Sopping wet, in fact. But not with water. She was covered head to toe with green slime. From across the console she gave the Doctor a maleficent glare.

For his part, the Doctor tactfully choose to ignore his companion. Busily tapping keys, pulling levers and twisting dials, he pretended to be absorbed in steering his trusty old space-time ship."

"I'm not going to ask why you even have a slime button on board this thing. I'm just going to stand here waiting for you to say you're sorry."

Clara waiting several minutes while the Doctor turned his attention to the monitor screen.

You're not going to apologize, are you?" Clara said at last.

"Look, I'm not the one who touched that big green button, am I?" The Doctor retorted shortly. "I told you when you first came on board to never touch the big green button, didn't I? I said, and I remember this quite well, I said, 'That big green button there, leave it alone'."

"In your imagination, maybe." Clara snorted. "Besides, you're the one who said for me, not five minutes ago, to press the green button. I'm sure you must remember that."

Suddenly tearing at his hair in exasperation, the Doctor spluttered "No, Clara. What I said was, the green button. The little one. Not the big one."

"Except, since you don't seem to have noticed. There is no little green button. There's only one green button. And it's really not all that big."

"What? Of course there's a little green button! I couldn't possibly pilot the TARDIS through an exploding star field without the quantum particle calculator."

Clara gazed intently at the console in front of her. "Nope. Nada. La. Non. Nein. Not a little green button in sight. Come see for yourself, Doctor."

Reluctantly, the Doctor moved over to Clara's side of the console. He quickly scanned the surface. Frowned at it for several seconds. Ducked his head underneath and scanned the underside. Straightened up again and pulled a magnifying glass out of the pocket of his purple coat, bent down and examined the console carefully.

"Er—you're right. It's not there. I forgot. It fell off when Donna accidentally bumped into the nineteen eighties. Human learners!. I really should put a sign on the TARDIS to warn the vortex."

"Well, why didn't you fix the...the...thingamawotsit?" Clara asked.

"Never put off today what you can do tomorrow, as Rassilon used to say. Or was that Mr. Blobby?"

"Sometimes your excuses don't make any sense at all, Doctor. You know that, right? You sound like more like a politician than a Time Lord."

"Oy! If you're going to insult me Clara, I can take you home right now, green slime and all. I've been a politician. Lord President of Galifrey. King of England. Mayor of Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. Grand Poombah of the Loyal Order of Venusian Masons. Bureaucrats!" He shuddered. "Bleurgh! I'd rather be tortured by a Sea Devil."

"Oh. No wonder you're so pompous sometimes. Don't worry. I won't hold it against you. If you don't mind," Clara shrugged, "I'm going to go change my clothes. Please tell me you have something on board that removes slime."

'Anti-slime wash?" The Doctor paused. "Let me think. Where did I put it? Oh yes! Cedar wardrobe in the changing room next to the tenth bath on the second level. Forth shelf. Yellow squeeze bottle. Take the stairs. Second door. Turn right, turn left. Take another left, then another left and go straight on. Can't miss it."

Oh, and while I'm gone, why don't you get busy and fix that button?"

"Nag, nag, nag. You'll make some poor bloke very miserable one day I suspect, Clara."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Er—I'm being rude again, arent' I?"

"Never mind, Doctor. I'm used to that by now."

A while later, Clara emerged from the TARDIS interior looking refreshed and ready for another adventure. She'd no sooner entered the room when she was nearly thrown off her feet when the TARDIS began to shake violently. Sparks and smoke issued from the console.

"What now?"Clara protested.

"TARDIS just went off auto pilot. It's not supposed to do that." The Doctor said worriedly.

"What's that mean?"

"It means, Clara, that the TARDIS has decided to suddenly deviate from her pre-programmed course settings. Got the bit in her teeth and is running off on her own." He shot her a delighted grin. "That's so cool!"

Bending down, he laid his cheek on the console and patted it. "That's my girl!"

Both the Doctor and Clara were thrown bodily to the floor as the ship abruptly slammed to a stop.

"Whew! You really need to install some padded flooring, Doctor." Clara said as she got up, checking for bruises.

"Only one way to find out." He said, running for the door.

"I knew you'd say that."

"Darreen Brown would be proud of you." The Doctor told Clara as he threw open the door.

Before them was an underground chamber. On the middle of the floor was a body. The Doctor went over and examined it. It was Professor Haliday.

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