Chapter Three

Michelle stood with the Doctor inside the TARDIS while he headed for Cardiff. He looked at Michelle who was staring at the console in fascination and smiled tenderly, imagining her all grown up and being a fulltime companion.

When they landed at Torchwood, he took her hand and they walked to the front door. When he opened it, Jack was standing nearby with Gwen.

"See, this is what happens when you take away my manipulator," Jack said to him as he and Michelle stepped outside. "If you'd let me have it, I wouldn't have to ask you to give me a lift. Not to mention if something happens to any of them, I couldn't get to them fast enough. So can I have my manipulator back?"

The Doctor sighed and nodded. Michelle watched while he used his sonic to fix the manipulator.

"Thank you and I promise I won't muck with time and space," Jack said. "And can Gwen come with us?"

"Nah, there's not enough room," the Doctor said.

Michelle giggled at Jack's withering look.

"Yeah, right, Doctor," he said.

"Seriously. Michelle is huge and tubby and she takes up nearly the entire ship. I have to hold my breath and suck in my gut just to fly my ship," the Doctor said, patting Michelle on the head. "She needs to drop a ton of weight, bless."

"You actually like this guy?" Jack said, bending down to her.

"Yup, he makes me laugh," Michelle said.

"He makes me laugh too," Jack said. "So is this your daily companion training then?"

"Yup," Michelle said while the Doctor patted her head.

Jack took her hand and they, Gwen and the Doctor got back in the TARDIS. The Doctor set a course for the Stevens house but while they were flying back, something suddenly jerked the TARDIS off course. Michelle screamed as the TARDIS lurched and Jack dove her for as she slid towards the front stairs. Gwen yelled in alarm when Jack was too late and the two of them rolled down the front stairs. The Doctor gritted his teeth and hung on for dear life, watching while a dazed Jack crawled slowly over to Michelle who was stunned and lying on the floor by the door. Then suddenly, the TARDIS stopped and powered down. The Doctor staggered over towards the steps and flew down them while Gwen let go and stood up. The Doctor and Jack knelt by Michelle.

"Shelly, are you okay?" the Doctor said, his hearts racing.

"I guess," Michelle said softly as she slowly moved her body. "Why did you do that?"

"I didn't, Bookworm, something pulled the TARDIS and I couldn't control it."

He and Jack helped her stand up while Gwen came down the stairs. Jack asked Gwen if she was okay and Gwen nodded before moving to Michelle and embracing her from behind. Then they heard a knock at the front door and the Doctor turned towards it. He held up his hand, telling everyone else to stay back before he moved towards the door cautiously and slowly opened it. He peeked out and groaned.

"What? What is it?" Jack asked.

"Judoon," the Doctor said to him. "I think we're inside the Shadow Proclamation."

"Why?" Jack said.

The Doctor held up his finger and stepped outside.

"What's the Shadow Proclamation then?" Gwen asked.

"Sort of space police force," Jack said. "You okay, Shelly?"

Michelle nodded. She took Jack's hand while the three of them stood by the door. The Doctor looked inside and beckoned to them to come out. When they stepped outside, both Michelle and Gwen gasped when they saw several Judoon standing in front of the TARDIS.

"It's okay, they won't hurt you," the Doctor said to them. "What do you want?" he said to the Judoon.

"I want you, Doctor."

They looked to the left when the Shadow Architect came down the stairway. Michelle's eyes boggled when she saw the albino woman.

"Wow, she's got very pale skin," she said softly to Jack.

"She's albino, Shelly," Jack whispered back.

"So what now?" the Doctor said to the Shadow Architect as she crossed the room. "I was going to a party and you interrupted me."

"I apologize for the interruption, Doctor, but you are needed urgently," the Architect said as she stepped in front of the Judoon.

"I'm always urgently needed but sometimes I like to relax and take it easy," the Doctor said to her. "But curiosity compels me to ask…what do you need me so urgently for?"

"We have detected a large gap in the fabric of reality," the Architect said.

"And?" the Doctor said. "Gaps aren't uncommon."

"But it appears something has come through one," the Architect said.

"Wait, how long ago was this? Because I have friends that recently escaped from another universe and it might be them," the Doctor said.

"It has occurred within the past few days," the Architect said.

"Oh. So it's not Rose and John then," the Doctor said. "What came across then?"

"A large orb."

The Doctor frowned and glanced at Jack.

"You're sure it just happened? Because our friends came across in a large orb," he said to her.

"We are very sure, Doctor," the Architect said. "We would like you to investigate it."

"Me? You're the one that detected it. Why don't you investigate?"

"Because your TARDIS is better equipped to handle something such as this," the Architect said, gesturing to the time ship.

"And then what? You want me to bring it back so you can poke at it with a stick?" the Doctor said with a shrug.

Michelle giggled at the peeved look on the Architect's face but shut up when the Architect glared at her. The Doctor let out a sigh.

"Fine, I'll see what it is when I'm through attending my party…"

"Now, Doctor!" the Architect said.

"What? I doubt it'll do anything while I'm off for the night," the Doctor said.

"We want to know what it is and what it's doing here. If you don't go, I will send the Judoon to go with you and make sure you go now."

"Oh blimey, no. I don't want those muscle headed gits anywhere near my ship," the Doctor said, holding up his hands.

He ignored the Judoon's angry growls and let out another sigh.

"Fine, fine, we'll swing by and check it out. Where is it?"

The Architect signaled to one of the Judoon and he handed her a small handheld device that resembled a Kindle. She handed it to the Doctor.

"This is the location of the orb and what we know about it," the Architect said.

"Fine. I'll check it out and let you know what it is," the Doctor said.

"See that you do. The universe might be threatened."

"The universe is always threatened and I'm only one man," the Doctor muttered as he beckoned for his friends to get back inside the TARDIS.

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