Martha answered her ringing phone. “Hello?”
“Martha, it’s Jack.”
“Jack! You are not going to believe where I am!”
“What? Where are you?”
“I am on a living spaceship called Moya. I have no clue how I got here.”
“This is unbelievable. I’m on a Dalek ship, and I’m with someone who’s supposed to be on Moya.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yes, I’m serious! It’s not gonna be long before they find us. Have you talked to the Doctor?”
“Call him. I need him to get us out of here. Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I’m safe. I’ll call him and see if he can find you. Then you can find Moya.”
“Got it. Please hurry.”
“I will.” Martha clicked her phone off. “This is so weird.”
“What was that transmission?” Pilot asked.
“It was from a friend of mine. He’s experiencing the same thing: transported to another part of the universe. He says he’s with one of your crew, and they’re in a very dangerous place.” Martha started dialing. “We need a Doctor.”
The Doctor was still trying to figure out what was going on when his phone rang. He rolled his eyes and picked it up.
“Kind of busy at the moment, Martha.”
“Doctor, I’m on a living spaceship called Moya.”
“And Jack just called me. He’s on a Dalek ship with someone who’s supposed to be on Moya. It’s like we’ve all switched places or something. Anyway, you need to get them out of there before they’re found.”
The Doctor looked at Aeryn. “What’s the name of your ship?”
“Shepherd? Your ship?”
“Did he just say Serenity?” Martha asked.
“The other girl here, that’s the ship she’s from. Doctor, what is going on? What did you do?”
The Doctor almost laughed as he had the TARDIS scan for the fixed point in time that was Jack Harkness. “Why are you so quick to blame me? I didn’t do anything. Something caused the timelines to cross. We’ve got to straighten this out.”
“Can you get to Jack?”
“Yep. Just found him. Heading there now. Then we’ll go to Moya. Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. Go get Jack.”
“Got it. See you soon.” The Doctor hung up the phone and nearly ran Aeryn and Book over as he plotted their new course and threw the TARDIS into gear.
“Where are we going?!” Aeryn demanded as she gripped the wall to keep from falling.
“To find your friends and one of mine. They’re on a ship with a race called the Daleks. That is not a good place to be. They’re very dangerous.”
“Do we know who’s there?” Book asked, gripping the pilot’s chair.
“Didn’t have time to ask. We’ll just have to find out. Hold on!”
Jack could hear Daleks outside the door start to screech.
“That does not sound good,” D’Argo commented.
“Actually, it does,” Jack corrected. “It means the Doctor’s coming for us.”
“By the sound of that ruckus, he better be bringing more than bandages,” Mal commented.
A wind whipped up in the small room, and Jack nearly sagged with relief as the TARDIS materialized.
“What the –“ Mal started.
“No time! Get in!” Jack said, shoving D’Argo and Mal into the TARDIS doors just as the Doctor opened them.
“DOCTOR! TARDIS! EXTERMINATE!” a Dalek screamed, bursting through the door.
Jack leapt through the TARDIS doors just as the Dalek’s blast got him in the back.
The Doctor slammed the doors shut and adjusted their course before throwing the lever to dematerialize.
Mal and D’Argo untangled themselves from the dead weight that was Jack’s body.
“He’s not breathing! Doctor, now would be the time to do something!” Mal shouted.
“He’ll be fine,” the Doctor replied.
“D’Argo!” Aeryn cried, relieved to see a familiar face. “Have you seen Crichton? Or any of the others?”
The Luxan shook his head, looking down at Jack. “He covered us so we could escape.”
“What did they look like?” Aeryn asked.
“Walking, talking hunks of metal,” Mal answered.
“And you thought I was strange,” D’Argo commented.
Everyone except the Doctor jumped as Jack noisily drew air back into his lungs.
“Speaking of strange!” Book exclaimed.
“Shepherd, last I checked, isn’t there a chapter in the Bible about the rising of the dead heralding the apocalypse?” Mal asked, backing away from Jack.
“Nah, he does that all the time. The apocalypse is billions of years from here,” the Doctor said nonchalantly.
Jack caught his breath and sat up, looking at Mal. “Come on, Captain? No mouth to mouth? I’m disappointed.”
“Stop it,” the Doctor scolded.
“Don’t worry, he’s just jealous,” Jack said as Aeryn helped him back to his feet. “Captain Jack Harkness. And who might you be?” He held onto her hand and moved to kiss it.
She slipped her hand from his and landed a crushing punch to his arm.
“Someone you don’t want to mess with,” D’Argo supplied.
“Right!” The Doctor bounded in between the group. “I’m the Doctor.” He looked at D’Argo. “Luxan! Aw, this is like looking through an old photo album! I haven’t been to that side of the universe in years! Anyway, Jack, this is Aeryn Sun and Shepherd Book.”
“This is Captain Malcolm Reynolds and Ka D’Argo,” Jack said, rubbing his arm and nodding at the other new arrivals. “Doctor, I think Serenity is in a parallel universe. Earth doesn’t exist where they’re from.”
The Doctor frowned. “Well, that complicates things a bit.”
“This ship … the interior is larger than the exterior,” D’Argo noted.
“It is?” Book asked.
“How exactly do you perform that trick, Doctor?” Mal asked.
“Long story,” the Doctor answered, bounding back to the controls. “Now. Next stop, Moya!” He paused. “D’Argo, Aeryn, I need you to give me some kind of recent events, something that will make the history books. I’m not sure what year – er, cycle Martha’s in.”
“Pilot, listen, there’s going to be a ship heading our direction, maybe even landing inside Moya,” Martha explained calmly. “It won’t harm her. It’s my friend, the Doctor. He’s coming to help.”
Pilot’s head tilted to one side. “How can a ship materialize in here?”
“It’s a long story, just trust me and tell Moya not to panic or fire on him.”
“No teeth,” River said, wandering the control panel. “Moya doesn’t bite.”
“She is correct,” Pilot said slowly. “Moya had no offensive weapons, but we do appreciate your warning, Dr. Jones.”
“Just call me Martha.” She looked curiously at River. “Are you psychic?”
“Half-metal man is stuck with the pilot and the flower. Big trouble,” River replied.
“Masked man? Do you mean Stark?” Pilot asked. His head jerked back down to his readings. “Attention! Foreign ship materializing in the cargo bay!”
“That’s the TARDIS!” Martha exclaimed. “Which way’s the cargo bay?”
River grabbed Martha’s hand. “Follow me.”
“But you’ve never been here before either!” Martha cried even as she let the girl lead her.
“Moya will tell me.”
“Well, this should be interesting. The TARDIS is psychic, too.”
“Martha!” the Doctor called, bounding out of the TARDIS and nearly smacking into Crichton’s module. He raised an eyebrow. “What is that doing here?”
“Doctor!” Martha cried, running across the cargo bay to him.
The Doctor hugged her and swung her about. “What are you doing on this side of the universe, Dr. Jones?!”
“I have no idea, but I am so glad to see you.” Her eyes widened slightly as D’Argo exited the TARDIS, followed by Aeryn. “Any idea what’s going on?”
“Not a clue yet,” the Doctor replied as Jack, Mal, and Book also stepped out of the TARDIS and into the cargo bay. “Have you heard from Donna?”
Martha shook her head. “She’s missing?”
“That’s how this all started. One minute, she was standing with me in the TARDIS, the next, it was Aeryn and the Shepherd instead.”
“You all right?” Jack asked Martha, hugging her quickly.
“I’m fine,” she answered.
“How are Pilot and Moya?” Aeryn asked.
“We are both doing well, Officer Sun,” Pilot replied, popping up on a viewscreen. “We are concerned for our missing shipmates, but we are well.”
“I’m about getting to the point where nothing is gonna surprise me,” Mal said, as he stared at the image of Pilot.
“River!” Book cried, noticing the silent girl as she stared at the TARDIS. “Are you all right?”
“Bigger on the inside,” River said quietly.
Book moved closer to her. “Everything’s going to be all right. We’ll find your brother.”
“How did you know that?” the Doctor asked River, raising an eyebrow.
“Doctor, I think she’s psychic,” Martha answered. She looked over at Book. “Is that right?”
“Something like,” Mal answered. He turned to the Doctor. “All right, we’ve found some of the lost sheep. What about the rest of my crew?”
“And ours,” Aeryn jumped in before D’Argo could. “We still have six people missing.”
“Attention,” Pilot announced. “Moya can sense that Talyn is nearby. And he is not alone.”
“Crais?” D’Argo growled.
“It is too early to tell, Ka D’Argo. But they seem to be heading our way.”
“Who’s Talyn?” Martha asked.
“Another Leviathan ship,” Aeryn explained. “He’s Moya’s son.”
Martha blinked. “Ships … can have kids?”
“Of course they can!” the Doctor boomed. “Well, if they’re Leviathans, like this beauty!”
“Perhaps the rest of your crew is on the other ship,” Book suggested hopefully.
“No, not there,” River stated. “Scattered and twisted. So twisted. There is one, and he … “ Her eyes widened as she collapsed to the floor, shrieking. “DRUMS! DRUMS!”
“Oh, that is so not good,” Martha breathed.
“That’s impossible,” Jack stated.
“You’re really going to use that word? After everything that’s happened? Now the word ‘impossible’ gets bandied about?” Mal asked incredulously.
The Doctor knelt down next to River, touching his fingertips to her temples. She instantly stilled and closed her eyes.
“What did you do?” Book asked.
“Severed the connection. She is psychic, and her mind found something it wasn’t supposed to. Jack’s right. It shouldn’t be possible. That person is dead.”
“All right, everyone, listen!” Aeryn commanded. “We don’t know who is onboard Talyn right now. Could be anyone. Pilot, can Moya contact Talyn?”
“Not at this range, Officer Sun.”
“Then we wait. You are all welcome to join me in the command, or the DRDs can take you to the kitchen for some refreshment.”
“If it’s all the same, I’ll just pop back in the TARDIS and keep scanning,” the Doctor said, standing up.
“It isn’t,” Aeryn answered curtly. “I still don’t know who or what caused this mess, Doctor. So until we know more, you are all staying here. Is that clear?”
Mal raised an eyebrow. “And if we’re not inclined to do as you say?”
Jack nudged him. “Captain, let’s just all play nice. I’m sure it won’t be long until the other ship arrives.”
“With what River said, are you sure we should just wait for the ship?” Mal pursued. “Sounds like someone unfriendly might have control of it.”
Aeryn wavered. “Moya has no offensive capabilities. But my prowler does.”
“No one needs to shoot anyone,” the Doctor cut in. “There’s no guarantee that what River said means anything.”
“But it could,” Book pointed out. “What are you not telling us, Doctor? What has you, Jack, and Martha so nervous?”
Jack looked over at the Doctor. “We could be further back in the timeline. Before the Year that Never Was.”
The Doctor frantically ran his hands through his hair. “Could be. We’re in your time period – maybe a few years earlier – just on the other side of the universe,” the Doctor answered.
“I’m inclined to agree with Captain Reynolds, Doctor,” D’Argo said. “If there’s a chance a threat is headed our way, we would all benefit from knowing.”
Martha put her hand on the Doctor’s arm. “It can’t do any harm to tell them. If it’s not him –”
“He’s dead, Martha!”
“I know. But Captain Reynolds is right. Looking at what’s happened, is this really the time to be saying it’s impossible?”
“There’s an easy way to solve this,” Jack cut in. “If we all go into the TARDIS, the Doctor can scan for Talyn and contact whoever’s on board. Then we’ll all have our answers.”
D’Argo looked slightly skeptical. “What manner of ship is that?”
“It’s a TARDIS,” the Doctor answered. “Time and Relative Dimension in Space. It’s a time machine.”
“And how did you come to possess it?” D’Argo asked.
“It’s mine. I’m a Time Lord. Jack’s right. If some of you will come inside, we can scan for Talyn. Then we’ll know who’s where, and who we’re still looking for.”
“I’m going,” Aeryn said, shoving her way through the crowd.
“I’ll … wait here,” D’Argo said, obviously still in shock from the Doctor’s revelations.
“Stay here with River,” Mal told Book, disappearing into the TARDIS. Jack followed him.
Martha looked slightly nervously at D’Argo. “I’ll stay here, so you know the Doctor won’t try anything. But he won’t. You can trust him.”
“Time Lords … they’re just a myth!”
“They’re not,” Martha replied. “He’s the real thing.”
D’Argo turned to look at her. “And you are …?”
“I’m human. Martha Jones.”
“So are we, since that still seems to be in question,” Book supplied.
“This must all have something to do with Crichton,” D’Argo mused allowed.
“Who’s Crichton?” Book asked.
“He’s a human member of our crew. He arrived here through a wormhole. I’m not sure any of us thought we’d ever meet other humans …”
“But what about …” Martha struggled to keep the names straight. “Officer Sun?”
“She is Sebacean,” D’Argo answered. “They do look remarkably similar to humans.”
“And so do Time Lords, apparently,” Book remarked dryly.
Hours after their first phone call, Ianto arrived at the Hub with Kaylee and Crichton.
“It’s about time!” Owen snapped. “I can’t reach any of the others.”
“We’ll figure it out,” Ianto told him.
Crichton and Kaylee looked around the Hub in wonder.
Owen pulled Ianto aside. “I dunno about the other three, but John Crichton is the real deal. The Farscape project was considered a failure and swept under the rug. But I guess it wasn’t after all.”
Ianto nodded. “Glad to hear it. We should probably figure out how he got here and what’s going on before letting him contact anyone.”
“Agreed,” Owen said. “That bloke … Scorpius … I think he’s the dangerous one.”
“You’d be right,” Crichton answered. “If you’ve got ‘im locked up, leave him there. No one is safe if he gets out.”
“What species is he?” Owen asked.
“He’s half and half. Half Sebacean, half Scarran.”
Kaylee’s eyes widened. “Ya’ll have an alien? Does he talk?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Crichton answered. “Don’t worry. So long as he’s contained, he won’t do any damage.”
“What’s about Simon?” Kaylee asked. “Where is he?”
“Er, I’ll go get him.” Owen said, looking embarrassed. “Put us on lockdown, just in case,” he murmured to Ianto.
Ianto nodded and punched some commands into the computer, while spouting random facts about the Torchwood 3 facility.
“Simon!” Kaylee cried a few minutes later, running across the office to hug him. “You are a sight for sore eyes.”
“Are you okay?” Simon asked, pulling back slightly.
Kaylee nodded, blushing slightly.
Noticing that they were being watched, Simon stumbled for propriety. “Have you seen any of the others?”
Kaylee shook her head. “One minute, I was fixing the engine, the next minute, I was in sea of people.” She looked at Owen and Ianto. “They say we’re on Earth.”
Simon just blinked. “How can that be?”
“If I might offer a theory,” Crichton said slowly. “It sounds like you might be from a parallel universe. One in which, apparently, Earth was destroyed.”
Owen sighed in exasperation. “Oh, that doesn’t complicate things at all now, does it?”
Ianto shot him a look which Owen ignored entirely.
“So, from the sound of things, Torchwood is a couple people short as well, right? I mean, what are the odds that Kaylee, Ianto, and I all landed in the same place just as your team got replaced with Simon and Scorpy?” John pointed out.
“It doesn’t sound natural,” Ianto agreed. “But we haven’t been able to pick up anything on our equipment that would indicate something unnatural either.”
“Do you mind if I take a look?” Crichton offered.
Owen opened his mouth to object and then shut it, since he was out of ideas.
“Of course,” Ianto consented. “I’ll set up a secure workstation for you. It sounds like you’re going to have quite a story to tell, Mr. Crichton. Owen, why don’t you see about ordering some lunch for our guests.”
Owen grumbled a bit. “All right.”
“Pizza? Is there any chance we can have pizza?” Crichton asked quickly.
Owen raised an eyebrow, somewhat amused. “How long have you been gone?”
“About three years … please tell me we still have pizza!”
Owen and Ianto laughed.
“Yeah, mate, we still have pizza. Anything else you want?”
John chuckled. “The list would be pretty long. And I’m thinking now would not be the best time to ask for beer.” He looked at Kaylee. “What do you guys eat?”
Kaylee shrugged. “Mostly protein supplements. Ooh, I once went to this real fancy party, and they had all kinds of fresh fruit! Even strawberries!”
“You’re all set,” Ianto said, stepping aside to let Crichton use the computer. “Tell you what, how about I do a quick grocery run while I get the pizza?”
Crichton turned around again. “Then I do want one other thing … ice cream. I need ice cream.”
Ianto grinned. “Certainly. Um, what about our friend downstairs?”
Crichton shrugged, turning back to the computer. “Pizza should be fine for him, too. Only thing you need to worry about is that it’s not too hot down there for him. Even though I have half a mind to fry him, I’m probably going to need his help figuring out how to get us – him – home.”
Serenity was a mess of chaos. The seven women and two men argued heatedly and pointed fingers until, finally, Zoe had had enough.
She stood on top of the kitchen table. “ENOUGH! QUIET!”
Unhappily, everyone finally stopped talking.
“I understand that we’re all a mite unnerved here, but we are not going to get anywhere by shooting off our mouths. Here on this ship, I’m in charge. If you take unkindly to that, you can wait in the cargo hold, and we’ll be happy to drop you off on the nearest rock. If we want to get everyone home and find them that’s missing, I suggest we settle and work together. Dong ma?”
When no one disagreed or moved, Zoe nodded.
“Better. Now, does anyone not from Serenity have any way of contacting their missing people?”
“Our communicators are unresponsive,” Zhaan answered.
“None of our cell phones are working,” Gwen spoke for herself, Tosh, and Donna.
“Inara, has there been any word from the Core?”
Inara shook her head. “You were right. Whatever’s going on, it’s only happening to us.”
“Then there’s only one place to go,” Zoe asserted. “We need Mr. Universe.”