To anyone actually reading this story, sorry about the long delay between chapters. Life stuff, etc. got in the way of my writing again. Thanks for reading, NBG.

Chapter 11

A short time later, the Doctor was in his shirt sleeves, frantically piloting the TARDIS, which bucked and jumped so much that Clara had to hang on for dear life. Sweat rolled off the Doctor's forehead, and his eyes blazed with fierce determination, as he did his best to help his beloved ship weather the rough going. The central column on the console rapidly rose and fell, wheezing like an old woman struggling uphill with a load of shopping.

"What's going on? Why's the TARDIS acting this way?" She shouted at him.

"There's some kind of odd gamma magnetic residue interfering with the chronons inside the vortex." The Doctor answered without bothering to take his eyes off the console. "It's creating a force three warp swell on the Novikov scale. The TARDIS is trying to compensate for the rough going by freeboarding. Like a sailing ship, balancing herself against the storm."

Just then, everything went still. The Doctor watched as the central column abruptly juddered to a halt. flipped the monitor towards him, frowning deeply at the concentric circles and lines that formed the Galifreyan language.

"We've stopped." Clara said cheekily, leaning to peer over his shoulder.

In response, the Doctor only gave a non-committal grunt. Then Clara had to duck aside and the Doctor suddenly ran across the room. Shrugging back into his jacket, he paused before the door.

"Aren't you coming with me?" He asked her.

"Erm—coming where? If you don't mind my asking. Or is this meant to be a surprise?" She raised an eyebrow at him.

"Well, it'll certainly be a surprise to me. I've no clue where we are. Or when. The readings are off. No telling if we've traveled ten minutes forward or ten million years backwards." His eyes twinkled as he added, "I love it when that happens. It's like those little plastic toys they used to put in cereal boxes. You never knew which one you'd got, until you grabbed your hand in there and rummaged it out from the bottom. Now let's go and see if we can dig out the Goji. Come on."

The door creaked open and Clara's nose was immediately assaulted by a very unpleasant smell. Probably because the TARDIS had landed behind a very large—and apparently fresh, pile of manure. They seemed to be in a small village of some sort. Primitive wattle and daub huts were scattered about a muddy clearing. A light rain was falling.

Looking about, she saw a duck sitting in a puddle looking quite pleased with itself. Around the side of one hut, a bedraggled looking mule was standing hip-shot, tied to a tree. But they were the only sign of life here. No one seemed to be about.

Clara noticed that there didn't seem to be any smoke coming from any of the buildings, and the place was eerily silent, but for the rattle of the wind in the leafless trees, and the rain dripping from the roofs.

"Huh. No one here. At least we don't have to worry about being chased by angry natives with pitchforks and torches." Clara said to the Doctor.

"Why would they do that?" The Doctor said, giving her a curious look.

"Call it a hunch, Doctor. But I don't think it's every day these people have a time machine land right under their noses."

"They don't tend to do that, Clara. Usually I just act like I own the place and go about my business. No fuss or bother from the native population."

"Waughhhh! Die you demons, die!" Came a shout behind them.

The Doctor and Clara both whirled about in time to see a roughly dressed peasant charging at them with a very sharp looking wooden pitchfork.

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