THE ELEVEN DOCTORS

Chapter 21

"Are you lot gonna' just stand there gawping at that screen? You look like tourists in Times Square. Or are you gonna' do something? Preferably, before we get blown to bits." Donna scolded the Doctors.

"Nonsense! Those bombs won't even put a dent in the TARDIS." The forth Doctor told her, moving his eyes rather innocently away from the monitor screen on the wall.

"No, but they can certainly give us one doozy of a headache." Sarah said to him, wincing as another explosion shook the TARDIS.

"Well, we can't have that, can we, Sarah Jane?" The third Doctor smiled down at her reassuringly.

"It's getting him or it to stop, that's the tricky part." The tenth Doctor sighed. "The minute one of us sticks our head out that door..." his arms flew up in the air, "WHOOM!" He gave a mischievous wink to Donna. "That's a technical term, by the way."

Before she could reply, Donna was thrown against the tenth Doctor, as the TARDIS shuddered from another blast. He nearly fell down himself, as he tried to keep her upright.

"You OK, Donna?" he asked her.

"Yeah." She sighed. "But you lot really should think about installing some padded floors. Instead of sitting here getting the rock n' roll treatment, why don't you simply take off? I mean, it's a ship. You can dematerialize or whatever, and land somewhere else. Can't you, Doctor?"

"But then young woman, we'd never find out who wants to kill us." The first Doctor said with a patronizing smile, wagging his index finger in the air. "Or, why."

"Maybe you would know, if you'd installed a security intercom on this thing." Donna retorted.

"Well, whomever it is, I'd say they aren't here to sue for any peace negotiations." The fifth Doctor nodded grimly at the monitor screen, as a bomb landed just four meters from the TARDIS, pelting its sides with a shower of mud and stones.

"It certainly isn't the Avon lady." Jack said.

"An encyclopedia salesman?" Sarah Jane joked, "Won't take no for an answer?"

"No. I don't think they want to come in for tea and a cozy chat beside the fire. They just want to kill us." The seventh Doctor shook his head.

"Hrumph!" The first Doctor snorted., as he curiously watched the blinding flashes that came with yet more explosions. "Thank you all for saying what I already know. What would I do without you?"

The fifth Doctor shot the first Doctor a sour look. He was about to say something in reply, when he was interrupted.

"What a minute. There's something else out there. Coming towards us, I think. But I can't quite make out what it is." The eighth Doctor said, squinting up at the screen.

"Good!" The second Doctor smiled, clapping his hands together in his eagerness. "Maybe now we can begin to get some answers."

Out of the darkness an enormous shape loomed. As it drew nearer to the TARDIS, the flash of nearby explosion gave the occupants inside the ship a better look at what the object was.

Jack let out a low whistle of disbelief. "It can't be! I don't believe it! I thought they'd all vanished out of existence, centuries ago." He said.

"What vanished?" Sarah Jane asked him.

"They're called kill-bots." The sixth Doctor told her.

"Oh. Is that all?" Sarah responded bravely, with light-hearted sarcasm. This was hardly a new experience for her. She'd recently had a close encounter with a giant killer robot, herself.

"A what?" Donna frowned.

"Kill-bot. Does precisely what it says on the tin, Donna." The tenth Doctor told her. "Literally, a killer robot. Nearly impossible to stop. Once it's programmed with a specific target, it doesn't quit until it accomplishes its task. Primarily built and used for political assassinations. Though a kill-bot can also totally eliminate the population of an entire planet, if instructed to do so. Banned in the year 6350 as part of the Treaty of Alpha Centuri."

"And I should know. I was there." The third Doctor agreed.

"That's impossible! I could have sworn they were all destroyed." The sixth Doctor said with a puzzled frown. "As I recall, IóI mean you," he nodded to the third Doctor, "stood there and watched them melt down every last kill-bot until they were molten slag. And then the slag was re-fired and turned into dust. And then IóI mean you, used the TARDIS to disburse that dust directly into a black hole."

"Yes. Right. Good. Thanks for the history lesson and the lovely walk down memory lane, you three." The ninth Doctor told them impatiently. He jabbed a finger at the image of the kill-bot on the screen. "Yet, there walks the proof that you missed one! And we've got it standing between us, and who or whatever is outside. I think what we should be discussing, if you'll pardon me for pointing out the glaringly obvious, is what the hell we're gonna' do about it."

"There's not much we can do, I'd say." The seventh Doctor told them with a worried frown, pointing at the monitor screen. "Look what it's doing there."

As they all watched, the kill-bot was pulling a thick, heavy black chain behind it. It ponderously began to wrap the chain around the entire outside of the TARDIS.

"What? What's going on?" Came Amy's groggy voice from the deck chair. "Rory?"

"It's alright, Amy." Donna told her gently, crouching down by Amy's side. "You're in the TARDIS. With the Doctor's. All of them. They're doing everything they can to help you."

Without warning, the bombs stopped. Then, a voice boomed into the TARDIS.

"My word! Somebody's patched into our audio circuits!" An astounded second Doctor cried, staring at the control console.

"Doctor. I know you're in there. My name is Rogerious. By now, I'm sure you've noticed that the kill-bot is placing chains around your time ship. In case you're thinking to escape, I should tell you that those chains are forged from the heart of an ice star. And they're deadlocked."

"I hope that doesn't mean what I think that means, Doctor" Sarah Jane asked the forth Doctor, shaking her head doubtfully.

"I'm afraid so, Sarah. Any metal made from the heart of an ice star is unbreakable." The forth Doctor told her. "And if they're deadlocked, then nothing we can do will unlock those chains."

"If we could get outside somehow, there'd be no way for us to cut them away from the TARDIS." The fifth Doctor contributed.

"Even if we were to dematerialize, we wouldn't be able to open the doors." The ninth Doctor said with serious finality. "There's no way out."

"At least, not unless we could build a temporary transmat of some kind." The second Doctor suggested hopefully.

As one, all the Doctors turned to the seventh Doctor with expectant eyes.

"Providing we have all the materials we need. And, ermówell, I'm afraid that's highly doubtful." The seventh Doctor shook his head, heaving a discouraged sigh. "I had to jettison one of the rooms while chasing down the Timewyrm, a while back. I'm afraid it was the one containing the emergency transmat components."

"If only we knew what they wanted!" The eighth Doctor said in an exasperated voice.

"Talking seems like a good idea. Maybe we can draw it out somehow. Get it to meet with us." The third Doctor said, tugging on his ear thoughtfully.

"Yes! I still have my Reichinspecktor's badge." The seventh Doctor said, perking up. "Maybe that would impress it."

"I have my psychic paper." The ninth and tenth Doctor's both said...before glaring at each other with an almost childish mixture of jealousy and possessiveness.

"Whomever it is, doesn't seem to be in the mood for polite conversation." Jack shouted, as they all were shaken by a close explosion.

"Or any conversation at all." The tenth Doctor said, steadying himself against the console. "Unless someone here speaks 'bomb.' Mind you, you could go deaf trying to carry on that conversation. Provided you live long enough to translate it."

"Until whoever it is approaches us, it seems that we're stuck right here." The first Doctor told them. "So you'd all better get used to the idea."

"Oh, you've got to be kidding!" Donna said, casting an irritated glance at the various Doctors scattered about the room. "You mean to tell me, I'm stuck here listening to you lot holding bitch and moan sessions for the rest of my life?"

"I'm afraid so, Donna. Until they're removed," the tenth Doctor sighed, eying the door with a disturbed look, "We're trapped in here. We can't get out until those chains are unlocked by the person who put them there."

"Look at it this way. At least we'll be entertained." Jack quipped, trying to lighten the mood, "It'll be like watching a Time Lord version of Coronation Street."

"More like Jerry Springer, if you ask me." Donna said, frowning crossly at her version of the Doctor.

That's when Sarah Jane cottoned on to the fact that all ten of the Doctors were suddenly smiling at each other. "Alright. Give. What's made you all so giddy all of the sudden?" She said out loud.

"Because I love a challenge, my dear." The sixth Doctor answered.

"All of us, do!" The third Doctor nodded, his eyes sparkling with eagerness.

"Right! Let's get started!" Grinned the fifth Doctor.

"Brilliant!" Shouted the tenth Doctor gleefully. "Allons'y!"

"Fantastic!" Said the ninth Doctor, patting Jack on the back.

"Oh brother." Said Jack, with a resigned sigh.

"That's enough of that! Now settle down, all of you. We have to come up with some sort of plan. Here's what I think you should do..." began the first Doctor.

"Spoil sport!" The second Doctor retorted.

"Who put you in charge? I don't remember anyone calling for an election?" Asked the eighth Doctor indignantly.

"Here we go again." Shrugged Sarah Jane, rolling her eyes at Jack. He thought she looked quite sexy when she smiled.

"Jack, stop it! I told you, no flirting." The ninth Doctor admonished him.

"This is going to be worse than I thought." Jack muttered to himself. "It's like being trapped inside a pensioner's home."

"I think there's even a bath chair in the cupboard." Sarah whispered to him, with an amused twinkle in her eyes.

"Would somebody please tell me what's going on?" Demanded Amy from her deck chair.

They all turned as one, as if suddenly remembering why they were there in the first place.

"Erm-shorthand version: you're sick, we're tying to help you, but now we're all trapped inside the TARDIS by somebody named Rogerious and his killer robot." The tenth Doctor rattled off to her.

"Oh. Is that all." Amy sighed, leaning back in her chair and closing her eyes. She still felt quite nauseous. "Situation normal, then."

"Hmm-yeah. I guess it is." The tenth Doctor agreed.

She opened her eyes again. Her eyes were having trouble focusing and her mind seemed fuzzy, as if everything around her wasn't quite real. "Where's Rory?"

"Rory, who?" The first Doctor asked. "I'm sorry young lady, there's nobody by that name here."

Just then, another, even stronger explosion shook the TARDIS. It sent the occupants reeling again. Part of the central console went up in a shower of smoke and sparks.

"RORY!" Amy shouted.

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