A/N: The three sisters Alan speaks of are Grace Holloway, Martha Jones and Madison Reece. They and Jack were made into Time Ladies and Time Lord in Life With The Family.

Chapter Five

The elevator doors opened and all of them stepped out on level 13. There was a long corridor but they couldn't see any doors along it. Edison walked up to the end, turned right and there was one door at the end of it. Next to it was another CCTV camera focused down on the floor in front of the door and beside the door was a security keypad.

"This way," Edison said to them.

"Isn't there any other rooms on this floor?" Alan asked.

"Nope, this is Bryce's private floor. Actually floor 13 is a secret and so is Bryce which is why he's the only one here. If you noticed 13 isn't even listed inside the elevator. Theora has to guide me here whenever I want to talk to the little brainiac otherwise; I have to take the stairs."


Inside Bryce's quarters, Bryce was lounging lazily in his computer chair playing with a toy robot hand making it grip his soda can over and over. Above him was a cage with a red and blue macaw in it and in front of him and all around him were numerous computer monitors. The screen directly beside him was playing an action show about some mercenary sent to liberate New Paris from a terrorist organization. Suddenly the audio cut out and he jerked his head around to see Max grinning at him.

"You're gonna have v-v-viiiiiiiiiistoooooooors!" he said in a high-pitched singsongy voice.

"Huh?" Bryce said.

Just then the image of Max was replaced with the CCTV camera's image of Edison looking up at it.

"It's me, Bryce. I have guests, let us in," he said.

Bryce reached to hit the button to unlock the door and Max appeared back on the monitor.

"Told ya," he said smugly.

Bryce hit the button and Edison came inside while he swiveled his chair around. He frowned when Edison let the others in behind him.

"Okay, who are they?" Bryce said.

"Friends in need of help, that's who they are," Edison said.

The Doctor and his family looked at Bryce. He looked like he was 17 with short brown hair that was feathery and layered on top. He had huge glasses on his face and he lounged in his chair with a smug little smirk on his face. Edison quickly made introductions and Bryce nodded.

"Ah and so you've come to me for help," he said, pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose. "And what is it you need help with?"

"We're looking for a missing person," the Doctor said. "My son has a friend that may be a blank or may have been abducted. Either way he's not in the database."

"And you're hoping I'll be able to find him for ya," Bryce said.

"Yes, if you could help us," the Doctor said.

Bryce shrugged.

"I could try. I have a few programs that might be able to restore wiped files but I can't guarantee anything. Let me take a look though. What's his name?"

"Mark Patterson," the Doctor said.

Bryce turned to the monitor and they noticed Max jump from that screen to the one next to it so he could watch. While he did his search, Rain glanced at Max while she stood beside the other monitor and noticed him giving her a charming smile.

"Hi there," he said to her. "Ever d-d-dated a computer g-g-generated man?"

The Doctor, who was beside her, held his wedding ring up to the monitor.

"I assume you can see this," he said to him. "And the identical one on her left hand."

"Ooops, s-s-sorry for the faux p-p-as," he said. "I didn't realize she was with y-you."

When the Doctor turned his attention back to Bryce, Max gave her a devilish grin and a speech balloon appeared above his head with the words CALL ME in them. Rain turned her attention back to Bryce and Max shrugged while the balloon disappeared with a tiny pop.

Bryce frowned.

"I've been able to pull up some corrupted files, not much left in them but enough to know who the files belonged to and none of them belong to Mark Patterson," he said, turning to face Edison.

The Doctor and his family groaned.

"Sorry, I mean there is a chance the file didn't come up but I've managed to pull up all the ones I could salvage which wasn't much," he said. "Was your friend a blank?"

The Doctor sighed.

"He was a blank in that he didn't have this ident code or file but I think the reason you didn't find him was he was never entered in the system to begin with."

Bryce and Edison stared at him.

"Never entered in the system?" Bryce said. "That's ridiculous. Everyone gets an ident code at birth, even stillborns. How could your friend have not been entered in the system?"

"Look, we're not from around here and when I say that, I mean we're not from Earth. None of us have this ident code because we weren't born here."

Bryce looked at Edison.

"You hang around with crazy people now?" he said.

"We're not insane; I'm telling you the truth."

"So…you're from…outer space?" Edison said.


"Even though you look like us," Bryce said.

Rain glanced at Max and noticed he was staring at all of them intently.

"We look humanoid, yes, but we're not," the Doctor said. "We're looking for one who used to be like us but he turned himself human and at the moment he is human."

They stared at him.

"Mark Patterson is an alien disguised as a human?"

"Yes. He's my son's friend and we want to find him and turn him back to normal. But unfortunately without this so-called ident code, it's like looking for a needle in a sodding haystack. But that's why we don't have a computer that's hooked up to the global network. I have a computer in my ship but at this time the internet isn't universal and there's no way I can look it up which is why I needed your help."

"Wait, you have a ship? You mean a spaceship?" Bryce said.


"Um…where? You mean you landed it in the middle of the city?" Edison said.

"On the outskirts."

Their eyes went wide.

"You landed a high tech spaceship out in the fringes where people could cannibalize it?" Edison said.

He paused a moment and shook his head.

"Wait, I'm talking like I actually buy all this. God, I'm beginning to believe your delusion."

The Doctor reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out his stethoscope.

"Listen to my heartbeat," he said, handing it to Edison.

Edison glanced at Bryce, took the stethoscope and put the earbuds in his ears while the Doctor loosened his black tie, unbuttoned his brown jacket and white shirt and exposed his bare skin. Edison put the stethoscope against his chest while everyone watched. He frowned.

"Your heartbeat is really erratic," Edison said. "I'm getting this weird double beat."

The Doctor guided the diaphragm over to the other side of his chest. Edison's eyes widened and he looked at the Doctor.

"I have a double beat because I have two hearts," he said to him. "And everyone in my family is the same way except for Jack. He's human. Now do you believe me?"

"Yeah, I'm convinced you're not a normal human at least," Edison said, handing the stethoscope back to him.

Alan stepped forward while the Doctor put it back in his pocket and buttoned his clothes back up.

"I know we sound like complete nutters but we're travelers in time and space," he said. "We come from the past in the year 2009. My brother's ship is a time machine. His son here really is his son, he's not adopted but there's a complicated reason why he looks older than he does. But there are six of his friends scattered throughout time and space that we're trying to find. His friend's real name is Nelak but he's used this thing called a chameleon arch and turned himself into a human named Mark Patterson. It's been several years since he's done it which is why we're not sure where he is now or if he's even alive. But we want to find him because our race only consists of us, three more of our sisters, one other woman who's in prison now and these six other missing men and women."

"Wow, I can see why you wanna find every last one of your kind then," Edison said. "So what is your kind called? Martians?"

The Doctor rolled his eyes.

"No, Gallifreyans. We come from a planet called Gallifrey which is destroyed now. It burned and every one on it died. These six escaped it with my son before it was destroyed and we're trying to find them. But we're also known as Time Lords and Time Ladies in addition to being Gallifreyan," he said.

"Wow, cool name," Bryce said. "So, um…is your ship nearby?"

"It is. But I'm not sure about showing it to you lot since you happen to be a reporter and the last thing I want is for you to break this big story about us being aliens and have me and my family end up being dissected in a lab."

"I give you my word that I won't tell anyone what you are," Edison said. "And Bryce won't either, will ya?"

He gave him a pointed look.

"No, I promise I won't tell," he said.

Edison glared at Max.

"And you?" he said.

"My lips are s-s-sealed."

"What about Theora? Is it alright for her to know?" Edison asked.

"Theora's fine, but not your boss," the Doctor said.

Edison nodded.

"Done," he said. "The four of us will be the only ones who know then."

"Thank you. And in return, I would like to help you stop this cyber cult and find out who this Cyber Messiah is before anyone else gets hurt. I was telling you the truth when I said we fight injustice whenever we can find it and I want to see this mystery man stopped just as much as you do."

"Thank you," Edison said. "Any help we can get would be appreciated. However, if you're gonna do that then I want to make sure you don't get arrested by Metro Cops again. Bryce, can you give our friends some false ident numbers and some fake background information just in case we do get stopped?"

Bryce gave him a smug grin.

"Was Carl Sagan right about life on other planets?" he said, gesturing to the Doctor.

Edison glanced at the Doctor and rolled his eyes while Bryce worked at his computer.


An hour later, he was done. The Doctor and everyone else had given him some rudimentary information, some true and some false. He then took a picture of each of them with a small web cam for their false files.

"There you go, you illegal aliens are all legal now," he said to them.

"Thank you," the Doctor said.

Bryce compiled a list of their ident numbers and printed it out. He handed the sheet to the Doctor.

"You need to memorize each of your numbers," he said to them. "It'll look really suspicious if they ask and you have to pull that out to tell them."

He nodded and looked at the series of numbers and letters under his name. He memorized it in two seconds and passed the sheet to his wife who did the same in the same amount of time. Each Time Lord and Lady was able to memorize it at a glance and they snickered when Jack had to stare at it, close his eyes and silently recite it, open his eyes and do it again before he got it down. Being the last, he handed it back to the Doctor who put it back in his pocket.

"Now, I guess before we leave, you two want to see our ship?" the Doctor said.

They smiled and nodded.

"What about m-m-me?" Max said, "I wanna see it too too."

The Doctor stared at the screen.

"How? You can't exactly pop out of the screen and walk with us, can you?"

"I can take care of that. I have a tiny monitor I can plug into the database and Max can get into it."

He rummaged in a drawer and brought out a small computer monitor similar to another blackberry.

"This is gonna be cramped, buddy," Bryce said to Max. "But you won't be in it for long."

He plugged it into the computer and they watched while Max jumped to the monitor in front of him and then into the tiny monitor. Bryce unplugged it.

"Okay, he's ready."

Edison smiled at them.

"Ready when you are," he said, gesturing to the door.


"I hope your ship doesn't look high-tech," Edison said while he and Bryce followed behind them through the fringes. "There are a lot of blanks out here who would give their eyeteeth to get their hands on it."

"Actually no, it's very well disguised," the Doctor said. "Trust me, no one would want it. These blanks though, now if they do delete their entire files then that would make them a good target for this cyber cult, yeah? I mean, no files and they live out here in the slums, no one to miss them."

Edison nodded.

"That's my feeling as well. I've talked to Reg though and he only knows the one who claimed he escaped from the compound and if he's telling the truth, he's the first and only so far. It's possible the rest are blanks but Reg doesn't know them. But no one so far has come forward to claim any of the victims which makes me think they are."

"How long has this been goin' on?" Rose asked.

"Mmmm, about six months if you mean the mind wiping incidents but the cult is older than that, about three years old, give or take. It started with someone hacking into network feeds and broadcasting some weird video where this guy behind a heavy white screen spoke about the end of the world and that he was the only one who could lead everyone to salvation. The voice was distorted and he did such a good job that not even computers could restore it back to its original state. There followed a few more broadcasts like that and then word started circulating on the street that there were some who were out doing this recruiting in secret but no one supposedly saw or heard anything about these secret recruiters. But I guess they've managed to find followers since we now have some of them turning up mindless."

The Doctor led them into an alley and they stopped in front of the TARDIS. Both Edison and Bryce stared at it.

"That's your spaceship?" Bryce said.

"Yup, it is. It's a TARDIS, stands for time and relative dimension in space."

"How the hell do all of you fit into it without passing out from lack of air?" Edison said.

The Doctor and his family smiled while he reached into his pocket and pulled out his key. He unlocked it and swung the door back. Both Edison and Bryce's mouths dropped open.

"No way!" Bryce said.

They hurried inside and looked around. Bryce pulled Max out of a small bag and held the monitor up so he could see. The Doctor came inside with the rest of them and closed the door.

"Wait, how is this even possible?" Edison said, turning around.

The Doctor explained it while Donna and Rose grabbed Rory and Blizzard as soon as they came inside the console room and went to feed and walk them. While he talked, he tried to keep it simple for Edison since he sensed he was not as technically minded as his young friend who was staring at the console intently. While he talked, the others went to check on the ship, use the bathroom and grab a quick snack.

"So, all of you live here?" Edison asked when he finished.

"Yup, this is our home. Back there it has everything we could need to survive and we could theoretically stay in it forever but where's the fun in that? We go out all over time and space, explore and save people and places if they need it."

"Well, you've trusted me enough to reveal yourself and show me this and I promise I won't betray that trust," Edison said while Bryce nodded.

"Thank you. I just got tired of pretending to be a blank and trying to come up with complicated explanations for things. Not to mention having to explain why my son's friend was not in the database from the start."

"So…eventually, do humans go to other planets?" Edison said.

"Oh yeah, you lot spread all out, but not for another hundred years or so which is why no one in this time period believes we come from outer space. But finally the Earth becomes so crowded that humanity has no choice but to branch out to other planets."

Edison snorted.

"I can believe that. It's murder at rush hour around here, rush being a laughable word. I have a car and a nice penthouse apartment but not many have that and they're forced to live in cramped quarters and make do with packed subways. Actually, your being a time traveler also explains why you've never heard of me. The reason why I have a nice apartment and car is because I'm the top rated reporter globally. Network 23 is the top rated network and I'm their star which is why they tried to have me offed when they created Max. My face is known all over the world so you'll excuse my surprise when you said you didn't know me."

The Doctor nodded.

"Which is also why I had leverage in getting you out of prison and why they let you in to the Network 23 building with me. Trust me; I have a lot of connections. Unfortunately though, they apparently aren't helping you to find your friend. I suppose he wouldn't be using this other name, would he? Nelak, was it?"

"Yes, and no, he wouldn't. He wouldn't remember it except perhaps in dreams."

He pointed to the chameleon arch above the console and explained it to them.

"So, we're basically looking for a guy with an old fob watch on him," Edison said when he finished.

"Well, not necessarily. My son, Dex, was hidden the same way and he had his fob watch secreted away in the attic so he wouldn't find it. His human children found it and took it to him. It got opened and his Time Lord memories were restored to him."

"So you have to find this watch, open it near him and he remembers," Bryce said.

The Doctor nodded.


"How do you know if it's the right fob watch and not just some antique?" Edison said.

"Because if I hold it in my hand, I can hear his consciousness speaking to me," the Doctor said. "Gallifreyans have the ability to feel each other's minds and speak telepathically."

"So you can feel everyone's mind in here?" Bryce said.

"Everyone except you and Edison…and Max, of course. But at the moment, I can feel my family in here and I can feel their moods. The only time I can't feel them is if they're knocked out, blocked by something or in another universe…and dead, obviously I can't feel them when they're dead."

"Wait, there are other universes too?" Bryce said, excited.

"Oh yeah, hundreds of them, maybe thousands. All separated from each other by this dead space called the void. In fact, my wife Rain, Awinita and Mingxia all originally came from another universe and Alan and Rose lived there for awhile. And Rose and Rain have family that still lives there. We have a void crosser that can go over the void and we see them occasionally. And actually, Edison, speaking of you and Max, my brother Alan is actually a clone as well. He was grown from a severed hand of mine but he's more like Max is so I know exactly how it feels to have a crazy copy of yourself running around."

"Severed hand, is one of those a false hand then?" Edison said, pointing to them.

"No…brrrrr, this is getting more and more complicated," the Doctor said, sighing. "Wait a tic, I'll see if the others are ready and I'll explain while we walk to Reg's place."

He telepathically asked his family if they were done and when they answered back that they were ready, he told them to come up front.

"I just spoke to them telepathically," he explained to Edison and Bryce. "They're ready to go now so if you're ready, let's go and talk to Reg."


On the way over, the Doctor briefly explained regeneration and the severed hand and also explained about Dex and Jenny and why they were grown when he was still young. The two of them listened in silent fascination while they walked through the fringes. There was still the same kind of squalor they had seen in the outskirts of the city with people huddled under frayed and worn clothing trying to keep warm while they watched TV.

"That's all they really have out here," Edison said, pointing to them. "It's not just blanks, it's ordinary homeless people too. The overcrowding you mentioned took its toll, not just in resources but jobs as well. Blanks chose to slip through the cracks voluntarily but others are out here because they just couldn't survive in the dog eat dog world. Unfortunately, there isn't much people can do for them. Credits and money is tight and no one cares very much about them in the city. I try to fight for them but I'm only one man and I can only do so much. But I do try to bring to light any injustices that occur out there because as I said, not many give a damn about whether they live or die. And more than once I've been targeted for that and for general all around nosiness."

"Yup, same here," the Doctor said. "Both me and my family and a lot of my friends have been targeted because we also interfere and try to right injustices. I know exactly what you mean."

"Good, I'm glad someone does," Edison said. "I just hope we can help each other now. You help me end this cyber cult and I'll help you find your friend and turn him back to normal."

The Doctor and his family smiled and nodded. At length, they came to a big gaudy pink bus sitting by itself. It had a huge satellite affixed to the top and BIG TIME TELEVISION painted across it in big bold letters.

"This is it, my friends Reg and Dominique."

"Oh, he's the one with the yellow Mohawk then?" Alan asked.

"Yup, that's the one. I take it you saw him on TVs while coming to the city."

They nodded.

"He's big out in the fringes. Blanks love him because he's one of their own. He only plays heavy metal videos though, ancient ones that he has collected over the years. God knows where he found them."

He led them around the bus to a door near the back. He knocked on it and Reg opened the door a crack.

"Edison?" he said, opening it further.

"Hey, Reg. I need to talk to you. You know Bryce but these people behind me are the blanks that got arrested in the hostage situation."

"Ah! Glad to see they're free," Reg said, coming out and stepping down the small metal steps to the ground.

He shook the Doctor's hand.

"Blank Reg," he said.

"My name's the Doctor."

He introduced everyone else and Reg shook hands with all of them.

"Hold on a minute. I'll introduce my boss to ya," he said.

He climbed up and opened the door.

"Dom! Get your arse out here! We have company!" he yelled inside.

He closed the door and hopped back down. A moment later, the door swung open and a middle age woman with light brown curly hair and heavy eye makeup glanced at them.

"Everyone, this is Dom, my partner in crime. Edison and Bryce you know. This here's the Doctor, Rain, Jack, Jenny, Awinita, Donna, Mingxia, Dex, Alan and Rose. They're the blanks that were involved in the hostage situation."

"Nice to meet ya," Dominique said with an American accent.

She looked down at Reg.

"You need to come back inside. You need to announce another block of videos."

"Oh! Thanks love. 'Scuse me, Mates. Be back in a moment."

She moved away while he scrambled up the stairs and slammed the door shut beside him. Edison glanced at his friends.

"It's kinda a rinky-dink operation," he said.

"Yeah, kinda guessed that from the big pink bus," Donna said.

Reg emerged a moment later, came down the stairs and leaned against the door with his arms folded across his chest.

"What brings all ya here to Big Time Television?"

He looked at Bryce.

"Especially you. I don't think I've ever seen ya outside your cave before," he said to him.

"Yeah, well…I…was kinda in the mood for a walk and I took Max for a walk too," he said, pulling the monitor out of the bag. "And actually if you don't mind, I wanna plug him back into the system. I think he's getting a bit cramped.

"Sure, computers inside," he said, stepping away from the door.

Bryce went up and went inside. He emerged two minutes later and came back down.

"There, he's free to roam again," Bryce said, putting the monitor back in the bag.

"I'm f-f-freeeeeeeeeeee!"

They looked off to their left and saw Max on several TV screens rejoicing. Reg chuckled at him.

"So, what d'ya need from this old geezer?" he asked Edison.

"Well, first off your source got it wrong. At least, someone managed to tip off the cult beforehand because when I went there, it was empty except for another mindless cult member."

"Ah, I'm sorry to hear that, mate."

"Do you happen to know the name of this man who supposedly got out alive?" Edison asked him.

"No, but I can give you the name of our mutual friend and he can tell ya," Reg replied.

"Thanks. The second question I have is…do you happen to know a Mark Patterson? These blanks are looking for their friend and he's been missing for some time, I guess. We have reason to think he's a blank now. Have you ever heard of him?"

"Nope, sorry mate, don't know em. Course that don't mean much since I don't know every blank that's around here. He could be out here with the rest of em but I wouldn't know em if I saw em."

"Damn. Well, it was worth asking but if you could give us the name of your buddy so I can go talk to his friend…"

"No worries. I'll write his name and directions to his house on a piece of paper. Wait here."

Edison waited till he was gone before turning to the others.

"Sorry about that but at least we can find out more about the teenager and possibly where the cult is located if he knows about it."

He turned back to Bryce.

"Why don't you go back to your room in case we need you?" he said.


"I'll ask Reg to escort you back so you aren't bothered," he added.

A moment later, Reg stepped back out and handed him a small slip of paper.

"Now this is directions from this bus. Just start walking that way," he said, pointing over their shoulders, "and just follow everything I've put on the paper."

"Thank you and could you escort Bryce back to his "cave"?" Edison said with a wink. "We might need him and his technical skills at some point."

"No worries, I'll escort the little nag back to his lair. Just let me put on an extra long vid block and then I'll see him back to his dark little hole."

Bryce rolled his eyes. He wished everyone luck while Reg went back inside and stood by the door watching while Edison led the rest of them away.

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