Max Headroom/Doctor Who Discovery at Seventeen

by Axel Ingleson

Disclaimer: Max Headroom and Doctor Who belong to their respective owners and creators. I am merely borrowing them and their friends for the duration of this fanfic. Thank you.

A/N: This takes place during a time when the Doctor was still traveling with the Ponds. Some of the Doctor's companions (Like the Ponds, Sarah Jane Smith, and Peri Brown) are like a good book. Extremely hard to put down.

-Chapter Two: An Unexpected Ability-

"Doctor," Rory wanted to know, "why did you give a perfect stranger one of your screwdrivers? You never offered one to me or Amy. So why..."

"You don't know how to use one," The Doctor said, simply..

"Well, you could just give us an instruction manual," Rory pointed out. "And how do you expect this boy you left it for to understand it? I mean you didn't even give it to him directly. You had some other guy pass it on."

"So what's next?" Amy asked, as she joined her husband and the Doctor.

"Yeah," Rory inquired. "We're done here, right. Gave some kid a birthday present and now we're on our way, right?"

"Wrong!" the Doctor declared. "There's something else we must do first."

"I can't..." River Song said, trudging into view. She was wearing an outfit that blended in with those of the people they had viewed in the area called the Fringes. At her hip, under her duster, was a gun holster. It was empty. The Doctor was eyeing it with disapproval.

"Doctor?" Amy asked.

"River, you know it's going to be okay. It has to be done."

"You don't need to convince me..." River exclaimed. "I know in my heart..."

"This isn't to convince you, " the Doctor said. "It's to convince him. You've watched him just as I have. You know he won't believe anything like we're about to tell him without empirical data."

"I know, Sweetie," River said. "I just wish there was an easier way. What if you're wrong? He was close to death before and nothing happened."

"Close isn't close enough, you know that, River," the Doctor told her, urgency in his voice. "He has to know. He has to be ready. There are things coming here that I won't be here to protect these people from. He's their only chance. But he'll only be prepared to deal with it if he knows the full truth about himself. I'm sorry. I know this is hard. But it must be done."

"Why me?" River asked. "No... I already know why. I'm already in prison for a non-existent murder. So doing it again won't change anything. Just the same, I think this whole idea stinks."

"Whoa..." Amy said. "You're going to kill somebody? Doctor, I'm shocked! You can't do this..."

"It has to be done," the Doctor said. In anticipation of Amy and Rory's attempts to stop him, he activated a switch on the TARDIS console. The couple suddenly froze in mid-stride. Turning from the console, he took River Song by the hands and looked into her eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispered, pressing a gun into her hand. "There's no other way."

"I know," River whispered, accepting the weapon with a look of regret on her face. Tears ran down her cheeks as she holstered the gun and left the TARDIS.

Once she had arrived at Network 23, River pulled her cell phone from her pocket. She opened it and selected the number for Bryce's lab, which she and the Doctor had found earlier that day. "I'm sorry," she whispered as she waited for Bryce to pick up.

"Hello?" Bryce asked. "Who is this?"

"I need to speak to you immediately," River told him. "It's vital that we talk right away."

"About what?"

"I'd rather not say over the phone," River told him. "Please... It'll just be a moment."

"I can't let you in," Bryce said. Then added. "I'll come down there. Hang on."

Bryce didn't know why, but he felt that he could trust this woman. There was something about her he found almost comfortingly familiar. He stepped onto the lift and descended to the parking level. Stepping off the lift, he walked through the car park and walked out onto the sidewalk.

"Bryce," River said.

"Yes," Bryce replied. "How can I..."

That's when River Song pulled the trigger.

Edison Carter had just returned from a report with Martinez when they saw the shooting.

"NO!" Edison screamed. "Martinez get down there!"

"Damn," Martinez said. "And just after his seventeenth birthday. That's horrib... Edison, look!"

A soft glow was emanating from Bryce's apparently lifeless body. It radiated out like an explosion in slow motion. Then it receded.

To Edison's amazement and relief, Bryce stood up. At least Edison thought it was Bryce. There was still a great deal of similarity to the body that had lain there a moment before. But the hair was longer, down to slightly longer than his neckline, and he seemed to have aged to about nineteen.
"I'm sorry," River told Bryce as the helicopter landed.

"You shot me!" Bryce exclaimed. "Why?"

River holstered her gun. "It was the only way we could think of to prove what I'm about to tell you," she explained.

"Which is?"

"You're my son," the Doctor said, joining them from around a corner.

"Our son," River added.


"What do you remember before ACS?" the Doctor asked.

"Well... I..." Bryce frowned. His facility for recall had always been excellent. But now that he'd been asked, he realized he had no memory of before his years at the academy.

"We had to suppress your memories of the TARDIS and your early years," the Doctor explained. "But we needed to reawaken you to the truth."

"That I'm some lunatic's son?" Bryce asked, sarcastically.

"That you're a Time Lord," River Song explained.

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