“Jack! We can’t just—get the hell outta Dodge! We have to try to save this place!”
The Doctor, Amy, and Rory glanced at each other as they walked toward the voices they could hear echoing from another room. “That sounds promising,” Amy suggested. They had landed approximately five minutes ago, and walked out to the sound of blaring alarms all around them in what appeared to be a vast library.
“Libraries,” the Doctor had muttered, looking huntedly into dark corners. “Mark my words, Amy and Rory, they can be terrifying places.”
“I’m not saying we don’t try to save it, Daniel,” said another male voice, more aggravated than outraged, which the previous voice had been. “I’m saying that if Carter can’t figure out how to stop the self-destruct in the next ten minutes, we need to save ourselves.”
“It’s just like Heliopolis all over again,” Daniel stormed.
“Oh, don’t even,” Jack sniped back.
“Don’t you think we should get in there before somebody starts drawing blood?” Rory said, looking a little worried.
“You might have a point,” the Doctor replied and dramatically swept through the spacious doorway into yet another large, even cavernous, room full of books and scrolls and other textual materials.
“Hello, hello, hello,” said the Doctor with a wide grin, and Amy and Rory rolled their eyes at each other even as they hurried after him to find out what on earth was going on, “what’s all this then?”
Two very large guns and a staff weapon were immediately trained on him.
“Well, that’s a bit unnecessary, don’t you think?” the Doctor said more quietly and with a touch of indignation. “I’m fairly sure I don’t have an overdue book from this library.”
Three men, one woman, and the guy wearing glasses was the only one not pointing a weapon at them. “Guys?” he said, raising a finger. “I’m pretty sure the bad guys don’t normally wear bowties.”
“No,” said the Doctor, fingering his bowtie, “bad guys are not cool enough to wear bowties.”
“Why, Daniel,” muttered the older white man in the baseball cap, “I think you just found yourself a twin.”
“Sir?” the woman said, still with her gun trained on the trio from the TARDIS, but looking toward the man who’d just spoken.
“Get back to work, Carter,” he said, and she lowered her weapon and turned back to a desk that held a massive monitor of some kind, a smaller, much more familiar and mundane laptop somehow connected to the monitor. Amy and Rory wandered her way to see what they could see. The black man with a gold symbol etched—etched, Rory thought with a shudder—into his forehead followed their movements with his weapon.
“Hang about,” the Doctor said suddenly, “I know you lot! You’re Teal’c of the Jaffa, right? And you said—Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson? Then you must be Samantha Carter! Oh, this is brilliant! I’m surprised I haven’t run into you lot before; you always seem to land the same places I do.”
“Who the hell are you?” Jack O’Neill said.
“The Doctor, at your service.” He strode across the room to shake Jack’s hand, but Jack didn’t lower his weapon, so the Doctor turned to Daniel instead, taking Daniel’s right hand in both of his and shaking it vigorously. Daniel let him, looking bemused. “This is a pleasure, a real pleasure, I have to tell you,” the Doctor kept talking, grinning like a loon at all four team members. “Now, what’s the trouble, then? Maybe I can help.”
“Do you know this place?” Daniel asked. “Do you live here?”
“Nope,” said the Doctor. “I think I can safely say I have never been here before in fact, which is really and truly saying something, as I’ve been pretty much everywhere. It’s a very nice library, I’ll give you that.”
“It’s a massive library,” Daniel corrected him with the fevered gaze of the truly devout bibliophile. “And from what little I’ve seen so far, it has ancient texts that haven’t been seen since before the Library of Alexandria burned down in the first century CE. But when we landed we seem to have set off some kind of alarm, triggering the library’s self-destruct system.”
“Oh dear,” said the Doctor, “can’t have that, can we?” He bounded over to Carter’s monitor, standing directly in her personal space and leaning forward to peer closely at the monitor. Both O’Neill and Teal’c took a threatening step forward, but Carter waved them back.
“It’s okay, sir,” she said, watching the Doctor, even as her hand strayed toward her own very large sub-machine gun.
“Can you actually understand that?” Amy sidled up to Carter’s other side to ask her in a low voice.
“Some of it, yes,” Carter said. “It’s a computer subroutine designed to—”
“To blow everything up if the Stargate is activated without the proper alarms being deactivated immediately after entrance,” the Doctor said. “Well, that’s a bit of a pickle, isn’t it.”
“Does he always just step in and try to take charge?” Jack asked the Doctor’s companions, flinging a hand in the Doctor’s general direction.
“Yes,” they replied in unison.
“What we need to do,” said the Doctor, ignoring them all, “is make the computer think that we really do have the right codes and we’re just a bit slow about deploying them.” He pulled Carter’s laptop toward him and began typing dizzily away; Carter watched in fascination as his fingers flew over the keyboard. “My goodness, what a silly security system. I mean, really, expecting everyone who comes popping through the Gate to know the right password, who thinks of that?”
“We require codes of anyone who passes through the Stargate onto Earth,” Teal’c announced.
“Oh, right,” said the Doctor, pausing for a nanosecond in his typing. “So you do. Ah well, never mind then, it’s not like your lot are a public library, not when you’re in a secret base 28 layers under a mountain in—”
“Hey!” Jack cut him off warningly.
“Sorry, sorry,” the Doctor said, “I’ll keep my mouth shut, shall I?”
“Doctor,” Daniel said, taking a step closer to the group around the security monitor. “Can you actually fix this?”
“Well, your Major Carter—”
“Captain,” Sam said, throwing the Doctor an odd glance.
“Oh, right, sorry, haven’t been promoted yet, have you? As I was saying, your Captain Carter here already had the right solution, she just didn’t have enough time to implement it.” The Doctor’s typing speed, if possible, increased. “I, on the other hand, excel at typing.”
Carter glanced at Amy. “He’s not human, is he?” she asked in a low voice.
“Not even close,” Amy grinned.
“There!” The Doctor hit the enter key emphatically, and the alarms abruptly cut off. He beamed at the assembled group. They blinked at him inquiringly. “Right.” The Doctor stepped back from the keyboard. “That’s sorted, I think?”
“Thank you,” Daniel said, pushing his glasses up his nose. “Really.” He started immediately for the nearest bookshelf.
“Great,” Jack rolled his eyes, “you realize we’re never going to get him out of here now, don’t you?”
“Oh, I dunno,” the Doctor grinned. “He said Library of Alexandria? What if I took him to the original?”
“Doctor,” Rory sighed, and Amy tugged at the Doctor’s coat warningly.
“You can’t do that,” Carter said, “you heard Daniel; the Library burnt down centuries ago. Unless you have a time machine—”
The Doctor smirked. Carter’s eyes widened. Daniel turned back from the bookshelf, his attention caught and his own eyes widening.
Jack covered his face with his hand. “We’re never going to drag them away now, Teal’c,” he said, his voice slightly muffled.
“Indeed,” agreed the long-suffering Jaffa.