He looked at London as the sun rose. It had changed; oh, how it had changed. But, he knew, some things never changed.
Like that even in this strange new world, those damn members of Homo novis were starting to come into their powers. That in order for him to rule this pitiful little backwater, they would have to be dealt with.
And that he would, as always, be able to glean help. For the right price. With the right expertise.
He smiled. Maybe this was going to be easier than he thought. But best to be prepared. It wasn't going to do him any good if he wasn't.
He turned away from the sunrise and made his way to his hiding place.
* * *
On a quiet alley near the Thames embankment, a blue, sixties style police box screamed as it faded in from nothingness.
Three people made their way out of it - a young man in a schoolboy's uniform, a slightly older woman in a dress and hairstyle that seemed to be out of the 1980's, and a man in a cream-colored cricketing outfit, wearing a hat. The youngest of the three looked dubiously at the alley, the woman stared apprehensively, and the third, the man in the cricketing outfit, just smiled.
The woman patted her auburn hair, as if concerned it had fallen out of place. "All right, Doctor, where are we this time?"
"London, late twentieth century," he replied, gazing placidly at the scenery around him. "A few years after your time, but I thought you'd like to have a look around."
The young woman huffed at his response, and stared despairingly at the Doctor as he began his trip out of the alley. She jogged to catch up with him.
"Really, Doctor, what's going on?" she asked, her eyes only on the figure before her, as if not sure she wanted to know.
"For once, Tegan, I don't know," the Doctor said absently. "But that rather dystopian future we just visited seems to have gone wrong. And my guess would be that it starts around this time."
"You know something, Doctor," Turlough said, folding his arms. "How about letting us in on it for once."
"Really, Turlough, you can't expect me to know *everything*," the Doctor said, looking around as if he'd find exactly what was wrong.
Turlough glanced at Tegan and rolled his eyes. "Typical," he said.
"Come on, this way," the Doctor said, hurrying off.
Turlough and Tegan irritably fell into step behind him, trying to keep pace as they walked along the Thames.
"Are we going to Cleopatra's Needle?" Tegan asked, as they passed the entrance to the Embankment station on the underground.
The Doctor said nothing, as if too busy concentrating on where the problem might lie. Tegan sighed. This sort of behavior from the Doctor was getting increasingly annoying. Were they closer to her own time, she might have been tempted to wander off and live a normal life.
They crossed the street, walking past the statues of sphinxes and down the steps to the base of the needle.
"What is this thing anyway?" Turlough asked, shielding his eyes to look at the top of the obelisk. "It looks like some sort of Khulthan artifact."
"Oh, it is," the Doctor said, sparing a glance backwards. "Long since dormant however. Well, mostly."
"Mostly?" Turlough echoed, nearly wincing as he realized what he'd done.
The doctor started going into long winded explanations of energy radiation and psionics. Turlough rolled his eyes, turning round and leaning over the rail to look at the Thames. He wrinkled his nose; something seemed off. He took a deep breath though his nose. Did he smell something? He sniffed the air experimentally.
"That's funny," Turlough said, sniffing again to be absolutely sure. "It doesn't smell quite right."
"What doesn't smell quite right?" Tegan asked, breathing deeply as well. She wrinkled her nose at Turlough, as though she were convinced he was winding her up.
"The river. It always smelled a little funny, but there's a sort of... tang to it. Can't you smell that?"
Tegan leaned out farther, breathing deeply. "Not really. It just smells like the Thames to me.'
The Doctor took a deep breath. "Nothing to worry about, Turlough," he said airily.
Turlough frowned. "Are you sure about that? It just... doesn't seem right."
"Maybe it's from those ionic whazits?" Tegan asked, gesturing towards the needle.
"No," Turlough said, breathing deeply. "I don't think that's it."
The Doctor studied his companion thoughtfully and then glanced at the water. "Perhaps we should go upstream. Check out the Tyburn?"
Tegan shrugged mentally. It wasn't like she had much choice in the matter. She never did.
"Back to the TARDIS?" Turlough asked hopefully, taking the first step back up. Perhaps it would take them away from this strange adventure.
"No, let's take the Underground," the Doctor replied, walking past him and aiming towards the nearby tube entrance.
* * *
Apart from a change in price, the London Underground was what Tegan remembered, and she wished that the Doctor had just used the TARDIS. She blinked in the sunlight as they came out, wishing they were in a more familiar part of London.
They approached the entrance to the underground river to find it under heavy guard by the military.
Tegan and Turlough exchanged glances, somehow surprised by all this.
"Well, you weren't expecting to just walk in, were you?" The Doctor inquired gently.
"With you, we never know," Tegan muttered, quietly. Nearly in Turlough's ear.
He broke a smile, trying not to convulse with silent laughter.
"Right, follow me," the Doctor said. He marched right up to the guards, holding up a card. "I'm the Doctor and my companions and I need to get inside, so if you'll just let us by, there's a good chap."
The guard's eyebrows raised. "UNIT?" he mouthed. "Captain!" called the guard.
A blond man wearing captain's insignia approached the group.
The Doctor glanced at the name stitched on the uniform. "Hello, there, Captain Richards, would you be so good as to let my companions and I inside?" the Doctor asked, passing him the ID card.
Captain Richards frowned at the ID and motioned someone else over. "Corporal, would you be so good as to run this ID..."
"Captain, I am the Doctor and I expect my companions and I to be allowed in immediately!" the Doctor said in his most authoritative voice.
"Very well, Doctor, I'll escort you," the Captain said. He handed the corporal the ID, waving him in the direction of their vehicle. "Corporal Bly, get him cleared forthwith."
* * *
Corporal Alexander Bly blinked at what the computer told him. Twice. He sighed, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and picked up his cellular telephone.
The voice on the other end of the line was way too chipper for his taste. "Good afternoon, World Ex securities."
"This is Corporal Alexander Bly of the Royal Marines. I need to speak to General Bill Damon. Please tell him this is a matter that Brigadier General Lethbridge-Stewart left in his care." Bly frowned, reading the name off of the computer's display. What the hell could this possibly be about?
"Hold please," said the voice.
"Damon," said a voice a few minutes later.
The Corporal straightened. "General Damon, this is Corporal..."
"I got all that from my secretary, Corporal Bly. What's this about Lethbridge-Stewart?" Damon interrupted him stridently.
"Well, the Doctor's here, sir. We're guarding the entrance to the waterworks at the Tyburn and..." He felt like he was babbling, but there was nothing to be done for it.
"What? Your infantry is supposedly on stress leave," Damon said, a confused tone entering in the middle of his sentence and exiting at the end.
"Your computer must be out of...." Bly said, trying to get a word in.
"It's not out of date, corporal. I assure you my clearance gives me access to the most up to date information, and you're supposed to be on stress leave."
"But sir...." Bly looked confused, glad that General Damon couldn't see him. What did he mean, stress leave?
"Stress leave, corporal." The man had a firm tone to his voice.
"So why did Captain Richards tell us we were ordered to guard the Tyburn sir? That's where we are. And the Doctor came up and asked to be escorted in. I ran his ID, and it said to call you, sir." He might have been babbling, but he *was* going to get the whole story out.
"I don't know why he said to do it," Damon said. He seemed to sigh, even if Bly couldn't hear it. "I'm on my way, Corporal. Don't let him go anywhere until I get there."
"The Doctor sir? I'll try, he seems like a force of nature, sir." Bly felt compelled to warn the general that obeying those orders just might not be possible.
"Just keep him there. Damon out." Something on Damon's end clicked, and a dial tone effectively ended the call.
Bly looked at his handset. He was supposed to keep the man here? He would be lucky that the man hadn't disappeared on him!
He leapt up, heading double time for the entrance. He paused only long enough to admonish the guards to let General William Damon, who would be brandishing a World Ex Securities ID at them, through without complication.
A few minutes later, General Bill Damon appeared, fighting off the massive headache that inevitably occurred when something strange was happening, especially when that strange something involved him.
He consulted briefly with the guards before heading in himself, hoping that there was some simple explanation and not something that would involve alien species and the imminent end of the world. Or barring that, at least those two things, but not his son and the rest of the Tomorrow People.
* * *
Meanwhile, the Doctor and his companions were led into a room with no windows and two computer work stations.
"Captain Richards, what is the meaning of this?"
"This is the waterworks control room. This is what you wanted to see is it not?" the Captain asked.
The Doctor puffed up indignantly. "No, it is not the main control room, my good man, now if you would be so kind..." The Doctor paused as he realized Richards was backing away from him. "Where are you going?"
With that, Captain Richards slipped out, slamming the door behind him. Tegan ran up, bashing into the door and throwing her weight against it in a feeble attempt to break it open.
"Locked," she said, miserably, sinking to the floor.
"Isn't it always?" Turlough observed sardonically. "Doctor?"
But the Doctor was studying something. Tegan let out a noisy sigh. "Have you figured out how to get us out of here yet, Doctor?"
"Brave heart, Tegan," the Doctor replied. "I need a few more minutes."
Tegan shot an annoyed look at the Doctor's back, while wondering for the hundredth - or thousandth - time why she'd come back to adventuring with the Doctor.
But at least he would get them out of there.
"Isn't that a hatch?" Turlough said, pointing out a slight rectangular outline under one of the control desks.
"Really, Turlough, you don't think it'd be that easy, do you?" Tegan asked dismissively.
But Turlough was poking around the area he'd pointed out. "That's probably some kind of equipment access," she said, leaning in for a closer look.
There was a sudden sound of the door unlocking again, Tegan scrambling just fast enough to avoid being hit.
A man in a business suit was unceremoniously thrown into the room, stumbling against the consoles, and then the door locked behind him. He looked up, surveying the three of them.
"General Bill Damon, World Ex Securities. Is one of you the Doctor?"
"That would be him," Tegan said, motioning in the Doctor's location, where he was studying something. "I take it you were...."
"Called because the Doctor's ID apparently trips an automatic alert. The Brigadier briefed me, Doctor. Just what sort of imminent peril are we facing, anyway?" He looked at the Doctor as if he held all the answers. Maybe he did.
Tegan had just gotten over the shock of an American general being called to handle a British security matter, when the Doctor replied absently, "Your future has been manipulated, and the time disturbance comes from this time. I'm trying to find the source of it."
All the time the Doctor was talking to General Damon, he'd had his back to the man. He punched some controls before turning to face their guest.
And his eyes shot up, as if he hadn't expected to see who he was seeing.
"Have we met before Doctor?" Damon asked, confused.
"Yes... yes." The Doctor seemed to get control of his reaction. "Very briefly, in the time we were in."
"Huh?" Damon asked. Tegan was relieved that someone else was confused around the Doctor.
The Doctor seemed to think very briefly before replying, "You might be the clue we need!"
"Don't worry." Tegan patted General Damon's shoulder. "He's like this all the time."
Damon massaged the bridge of his nose. "And I thought my son was hard to deal with."
There was a clanging noise as Turlough finally got the cover off of the hatch. "Damnit."
"What is it, son?" Damon asked, hurrying over.
Turlough pointed down the hatch, to reveal rapidly rotating fans. "It's a ventilation shaft, and it's blocked."
Damon looked about, searching for something. "Maybe we can jam it with this," he said, trying to unscrew a pipe above their heads.
The pipe shook, starting to spray water.
"Or not," Damon said, screwing it back in. He turned on his cell phone. "No signal. Damn."
Tegan looked confused. Felt confused. "Doctor."
"Just a minute, just a minute," the Doctor half-muttered, typing at one of the consoles.
Tegan rolled her eyes, taking a seat at the other one.
"Might as well get comfortable, General, it's going to be awhile."
Damon checked his watch. "Great, I'm late for lunch with my son."
* * *
"Dad's late," Megabyte said to nobody in particular as he looked around the empty office for anything to do. The only thing that he'd pried out of the secretary was that it was something top-secret that had required his father's presence immediately.
He debated leaving the office and teleporting nearby. However, that probably wasn't safe, depending on the circumstances. No point outing himself when he didn't need to.
Megabyte sighed, taking a seat. "Half an hour, Dad." He'd give his dad half and hour, and that was it.
If he wasn't back by then, then damn the consequences. Megabyte leaned back in his chair.
* * *
Bill Damon just hoped his son wouldn't do anything foolish, being left alone for so long. He'd heard of the Doctor, was pretty sure that Marmaduke - Megabyte - was fairly safe even if he did reveal himself to the Doctor. It was just that he didn't want his son involved in the whole affair.
Whatever this affair was. He wasn't sure at this point that he even wanted to know.
Hopefully Megabyte would call Adam. The older boy--young man by now--was a bit of a steadying influence on Damon's son.
If he didn't calm Megabyte down, or stop him, Bill would live, but the Tomorrow People did better when they were listening to reason.
The Doctor was back at work, still trying some esoteric way to get them out of there. Bill personally hoped that it didn't involve the hatch.
The girl, Tegan, was still sitting by him. He got the impression she found it irritating, though predictable, though how one used "The Doctor" and "predictable" in the same sentence, Bill would certainly like to know.
* * *
Megabyte sat in the waiting room near Damon's office, tipping back in his chair and wishing he'd brought a book. Maybe he ought to pester Adam.
[Megabyte,] Adam 'pathed.
Megabyte chuckled. Adam must've been reading his mind. In a good way.
[Jade and I are thinking of hitting that Chinese restaurant in Kensington you're so fond of for dinner tonight. You want to come?]
[It depends on when I finally get lunch,] Megabyte replied. [Dad's running late.]
[That's not exactly news, yeah?] Adam asked, a note of sympathy in his thoughts.
[No,] Megabyte said, trying to contain his own exasperation. [But why do I feel like my spider sense is tingling?]
[What happened?] Jade asked, coming into the conversation.
[Dad left on some call, and his secretary can't tell me what it is. I tried calling his mobile, but it goes straight to voice mail,] Megabyte answered. [There's something wrong. I can feel it.]
[Like what?] Jade asked. Megabyte could feel the youngest Tomorrow Person perking up at the first sign of a mission.
[Trouble,] Megabyte said succinctly. [I'm going in there.]
[Not without me!] Jade replied.
[Not without a plan!] Adam added.
[Maybe we should meet on the ship?] Ami suggested, joining the conversation as well.
[Right,] Megabyte said grumpily. He didn't want to, his Dad had probably gotten himself in trouble again, but....
[See you there,] Adam said.
It was times like these he wasn't sure if having telepathic friends was a good thing or a bad thing.
Megabyte stopped by the secretary's desk long enough to say, "Tell my Dad I went for a snack, since it's going to be awhile. Have him call me on my cell when he gets in, okay?"
The assistant nodded, waving him on, as if not caring.
Megabyte sighed, left the building, and walked two blocks away to the safest alley for teleporting.
* * *
"I can't believe we're not going in after him," Megabyte groused.
"I can't believe you're willing to go in there without a plan," Ami responded, leaning forwards towards him.
"Your Dad does get into a lot of situations with the military," Adam reminded his fellow Tomorrow Person. "Means it's not always safe to just show up."
"Yeah, but... Dad's getting better about calling," Megabyte said. "Especially for things like that."
"Maybe he can't," Jade said, sounding excited. "Maybe he's in trouble!"
"That's what worries me," Megabyte said, trying not to slump. "That he is in trouble and can't reach me."
"Maybe he isn't calling for security reasons?" Ami suggested.
"If he was expecting something like that to take that long, he would've called first," Megabyte said, getting up. "Tell me you don't have that 'danger' feeling running through you."
"We're Tomorrow People," Jade said, getting up as well. "It's almost normal. Trouble finds us."
"Yeah, well this time it found Dad," Megabyte said, starting to roam.
"So, what do you want to do? Teleport in there blindly?" Ami said logically.
Megabyte shrugged, as if it didn't matter to him. "Why not? We do it all the time."
"What if your dad's at a secret weapons establishment or something?" Adam asked, trying to bring his fellow Tomorrow person back to earth.
"What about teleporting nearby and walking?" Jade suggested. "We could check it out."
"That would work," Adam insisted.
"Okay, let's go all ready," Megabyte said.
* * *
As the four approached the entrance to the Tyburn, Adam pulled them behind the nearest convenient trash can. "Terribly heavily guarded for a water works, isn't it?"
"Something's weird here, Adam, I've been telling you!" Megabyte insisted.
"It's starting to look like it," Jade said, looking worried.
"So, why don't we go in there?" Megabyte said. "Because I don't think we're going to be able to just walk past those guards...."
"Shouldn't we try something sneakier?" Jade asked quietly.
"Like what, Jade, the vulcan neck pinch?" Megabyte asked.
"I'm just thinking the teleporting flashes are going to go right through that door," she said, looking pointedly at the soldiers.
"Depends on how close Dad is to that door," Megabyte said, drawing up a little and preparing to teleport.
"Megabyte," the other three scolded in unison.
Megabyte closed his eyes, a flash of light marking his teleport.
"Should we follow him?" Jade asked Adam.
Adam held up a finger. [Megabyte?] Adam asked.
[Um, I seem to have caused a bit of a stir here. Dad's here, safe, but they're prisoners, and there's this guy in a weird coat with a stalk of celery in the lapel who's practically freaking out.]
[Does that mean it's safe, or not?] Jade asked, trying to be practical.
[Well, apart from the freaking-out guy, I think it's safe,] Megabyte said. [No one's armed, and they're not exactly going anywhere.]
[Without our help, you mean,] Ami added.
Adam could almost *hear* Megabyte rolling his eyes.
[Well, yeah. Wanna come down here and give me a hand?] Megabyte suggested.
Jade mentally clapped.
[Ha ha, very funny,] Megabyte said. [You and Millie should start a club.]
* * *
A flash of light imploded into the captives' cell. Then formed in to a ginger haired young man.
"Marmaduke Alfred Damon, what are you doing here?" Bill snapped.
"You weren't answering your cell phone," Megabyte said flippantly. "Besides, I had a bad feeling."
General Damon sighed. "Yes, but..."
Tegan, who had stood up to move a bit, swayed dangerously as she took in the scene in front of her.
"It's all right, Tegan, sit," Turlough said, throwing an uneasy glance Megabyte's way.
"He... he just..." Tegan attempted a coherent sentence.
"He can't hurt you either," Turlough said, still watching Megabyte. "Trust me."
"Dad, we were outside, and it looked seriously guarded for a waterworks," Megabyte said to his father. "So I thought it a good idea to check in."
His father looked like he was trying to stave off a coughing fit.
"What?" Megabyte said innocently.
"You're Marmaduke Damon?" the Doctor asked. "*The* Marmaduke Damon?"
"Um." Bill Damon recovered, answering instead. "Anyway. Yes, something strange is going on. But that's why I have an alert at the office, so that something like... this... doesn't happen."
Megabyte ignored his father and turned to the Doctor. "You know me?"
"Anyway," Bill Damon interrupted, trying to get the attention off of Megabyte, "We'll be rescued any minute, you might want to go back and have lunch."
The Doctor beamed. "Know you my boy... well, you'll find out in good time, I suppose. I'm just very relieved to see you. I'm afraid I need a word with Adam."
Three flashes of light resolved into three more teenagers. Tegan, who Turlough was standing behind supportively, pillowed her head in her hands in shock.
"Did we miss anything?" Jade said brightly.
"Ah, Adam," the Doctor said, crossing the now-crowded room. "Just the person I wanted to see."
Adam blinked, then looked at Megabyte. "What did you tell him?"
"Nothing! He knew who I was!" Megabyte said indignantly.
"The General here nearly shouting your name at you didn't hurt," Turlough smirked.
"He knew who you were too," Megabyte said to Adam, ignoring Turlough's comment.
"And this must be Jade and Ami? I presume, my understanding was Lisa wasn't really a part of the group at this time," the Doctor said.
"Um, no," Adam managed, turning a little red.
Jade was all smiles--Adam's reactions to mentions of Lisa were interesting to say the least.
"Something's happening, Adam, something that's not supposed to," the Doctor said, earnestly. He approached Adam, placing a paternal hand on his shoulder. "Your race, the Tomorrow People, are supposed to flourish, but instead they die out. Something's happening, someone's changing something. Have you lot noticed anything unusual lately?"
Adam uncomfortably shrugged off the Doctor's hand.
"Doctor are you going to question these kids or are we going to get out of here and check out the water supply?" Turlough asked, impatiently.
"I vote for getting out of here," Megabyte said. "Then discuss. It's lunchtime." His stomach rumbled as if in agreement.
"You were anxious to talk to someone who thinks with his stomach?" Turlough asked, looking at the Doctor in confusion.
"You've never met Adric," Tegan muttered.
The Doctor turned to Megabyte. "I think we'd better have a look at the city's drinking water first, don't you Megabyte? We should know what we're eating, don't you think?"
Bill cast his eyes up to the pipe that he'd been fiddling with. "Maybe if we can get a sample of the water in this pipe....."
The Doctor clapped Bill's shoulder. "Excellent idea, general."
"We can nip it over to the lab and then go for lunch!" Megabyte said happily.
"Someone want to get back to WorldEx and get me a sample container?" Bill asked.
"I'll go," Megabyte said, clapping his dad's shoulder, "I know where they are."
With that, he flashed out.
He flashed back a few minutes later. "Will this hold enough, Dad?"
"I think so," General said, taking the conical tube from Megabyte. He opened the orange lid and held it up to the pipe, filling it to the top. "Fifty milliliters should be enough for the lab to play with for awhile." He sniffed the air. "What's that smell?"
"I think we should get out of here, now," Adam said, sniffing the air as well.
"Good idea," the Doctor said in an urgent tone.
Megabyte grabbed his Dad's arm. Adam extended his arm to Tegan, who took it hesitantly. Jade and Ami exchanged glances, and then Ami took Turlough by his upper arm. The Doctor extended an arm to Jade, who giggled, but grasped it firmly.
The eight "prisoners" disappeared.
* * *
"So what's in it?" Megabyte asked as the eight of them crowded around a harassed-looking lab tech.
He frowned, throwing Megabyte a dirty look. Megabyte ignored it, as he always did. He knew he was getting a bit of a reputation around WorldEx, but at the moment, he didn't care.
His father was shooting him a look, too, but turned his attention to the tech. "Did you find anything?" he asked.
The lab tech pinched the bridge of his nose. "All I know is that there's a chemical compound I've never seen before in that water."
"May I see?" the Doctor asked, nudging the lab tech away from the table, earning him an annoyed look from the technician, who in return received an admonishing one from Damon.
The tech sighed, handing him the computer print out.
The Doctor read through the paper, frown deepening. "Have you run mass spec, or just the NMR?"
The tech shuffled some more papers, looking for the spectrographic analysis. "The results are pretty similar. I'd almost say it was some sort of protein if it weren't for the distinct lack of nitrogen atoms."
The Doctor sighed, flipping though it. "I've seen several different psychotropic compounds this could be; it all depends on the structure. What I wouldn't give for a good x-ray crystal radiograph."
The tech made a face; he could *do* that, but x-ray crystallography wasn't exactly *easy*. "That could take months, even years. It's practically a PhD thesis."
"I know," the Doctor replied, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"Don't we have more advanced technology than that on the TARDIS?" Turlough asked.
"TARDIS?" Megabyte echoed, examining the red head in confusion.
"That's a splendid idea, Turlough," the Doctor said, beaming and slapping Turlough on the shoulder. "Come on, all of you. This way."
The others exchanged glances and followed, leaving the dismayed tech to roll his eyes and start pasting pages into his laboratory notebook. With the technician thus occupied, Turlough subtly pocketed the conical tube of sample on the way out.
* * *
"In there?" Megabyte said as they approached the blue Police Box. He stared at it. "We could fit maybe three in there if we squeezed."
"Can we really fit all eight of us in there?" Ami added.
The Doctor just smiled mysteriously and unlocked the TARDIS door, ushering them all in.
Jade's jaw dropped as she stepped through the doors. "Wow, this is the coolest thing I've ever seen!"
"The air's electric," Ami added, looking around, "like it's alive."
"She's alive," Adam corrected, absently, hands in pockets.
"Where are we?" Megabyte asked, grabbing his dad's arm a little apprehensively. "We're not exactly where we were a moment ago."
"The TARDIS is bigger inside than out," Tegan explained, something she'd obviously explained before.
"So, we're in some sort of pocket dimension?" Megabyte asked, letting go of his dad.
Adam was looking around. "A dimension with a portal to a non-fixed point in spacetime," he said absently while examining the walls.
"Something like that," the Doctor replied. "The lab is rather small, I'll be back in a tick." He went through the double doors.
"Is he always like that?" Jade asked the air.
Turlough smiled, nearly chuckling. "Pretty much. Oddly, you do get used to it."
"He got the sample, right?" Megabyte asked, turning around in awe and examining the roundels of the panels surrounding the walls.
"I handed it to him," Turlough replied. "We really should get some seating in here."
"Let's just hope the structure is something he recognizes," Tegan said, crossing her arms and cautiously leaning against the console.
"You might want to paint too." Jade looked up from where she was standing at the console to glance at the walls again.
"Figured out how to fly this thing yet, Jade?" Adam teased, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"Working on it," she replied. "Are we going somewhere?"
General Damon spared Jade a glance and returned to keeping his eyes trained on his son.
"Hopefully whatever's in the water is something harmless," he said, though his tone implied that he was less than hopeful on that account.
The Doctor strode into the room. "You're half right, General. The good news is it's harmless to humans."
Megabyte turned around from his examination of the walls to face the Doctor. "What's the bad news?"
"It's rather deadly to telepaths," the Doctor frowned.
* * *
"This is so not good," Megabyte whispered as the four TP's huddled in a corner.
The Doctor had pulled General Damon aside, and the four were watching the conversation warily. Especially Adam, whose eyes were starting to fill with distrust.
"Who would want to poison us?" Jade asked, bewildered.
"Probably the same guy who set up those soldiers to guard the water," Megabyte suggested, glancing at his father again.
"You think?" Ami asked.
"But why?" Jade added.
Adam sighed, eyes not leaving the conversation between the adults. "Pick a reason. Someone we've tangled with before--that scientist working with Colonial Cobb, what was his name? Or... well, could Dr. Culex have had a partner or something?"
"Lady Mulvaney?" Megabyte rubbing his arms nervously.
"It's no one human," the Doctor said, coming up unannounced.
"Huh?" Jade asked succinctly. "An alien?"
"So, why would an alien want to poison us?" Megabyte asked.
"Maybe they want a planet free of telepaths and aren't targeting us in particular?" Jade answered.
"Maybe they're related to those whispy smoke things from when you broke out," Adam said thoughtfully.
"The Nghara?" The Doctor asked. "Green whispy parasites with a serious case of photophobia?"
"Yeah," Megabyte replied. He looked at the Doctor. "You know them?"
"Yes, and they don't have the technology to do this," the Doctor answered.
"So what you're saying is that some unknown alien power has it in for us?" Megabyte looked at the nearest roundel in disgust. "Just for being Tomorrow People."
"Or they've just met Megabyte," Ami said, somewhat teasingly.
"Ami, this is serious," Adam said, shooting her a look.
Amy shot a look back. "I am serious."
"Who'd want to kill me?" Megabyte asked, feigning innocent.
"Well," Adam pointed out, "the Doctor knew who you were. Perhaps you're famous?" He waggled his eyebrows at Megabyte.
Megabyte sighed. "I really don't think that's it, Adam."
The Doctor chuckled. "Just remember that the next time you meet me, I won't have met you."
The Tomorrow People exchanged glances. What did he mean by that?
"The TARDIS is a time machine," Turlough said, helpfully, drumming his fingers on the console.
"So do you know who this?" Jade asked, eyes lighting up. "Did we tell you?"
"I wouldn't have let you even if you'd tried," the Doctor replied. "Too much risk of damage to the time stream. Now is there anyone else you've encountered? Anyone at all?"
The five shook their heads.
"I think it's time we paid a return visit to the water works," Adam said definitively. "The answer's got to be there somewhere."
"Hopefully not running into the soldiers this time," Megabyte said. He turned to his father hopefully. "Dad?"
General Damon's brow furrowed as he thought. "The soldiers that I ran into weren't supposed to be on duty," he mused.
"Shouldn't you do something about that?" Megabyte asked, a grin tugging at his lips.
Damon nodded slightly and opened his cell phone. "Hello? General Bradley?"
* * *
"Why don't we just teleport into the control room?" Megabyte asked as they crouched outside the water works, watching the soldiers vacate the area.
"That's where they locked these guys in, wasn't it?" Jade said with some trepidation.
"Nah, that was some substation," Megabyte told Jade reassuringly. "Besides, we can teleport."
"Yes, but you forget," the Doctor said, still watching the evacuation, "whoever this is was after you. They'll be prepared for that."
"Do you have a better plan, guy?" Megabyte said, glaring at the Doctor's back. "Or are you leading us into a trap?"
"Megabyte!" Adam exclaimed, thumping Megabyte.
"It's a good question!" Megabyte said, defending himself.
"But not something someone would answer honestly." Adam returned to watching the waterworks below.
"You can trust me," the Doctor said gently. "I'm a friend, I'm here to help."
"Right," Megabyte said with some disbelief.
"Do you sense any deception, Megabyte?" Adam asked, as if he knew the answer in advance.
Megabyte glanced at the Doctor, trying to get a better read. "Well, no, but..."
Adam rolled his eyes. "Megabyte, shut up."
Megabyte glared, but shut up.
"So," Jade said, shifting nervously, "How do we find out what's going on without being caught?"
"We wait until they've evacuated and sneak in," Adam said with a grin.
"And then?" Megabyte asked.
"Do what we do best," Adam said. "Snoop."
* * *
Megabyte mentally grumbled as their flashlights shone through the empty halls and his father tried to make sense of a map. Next to him, Jade was walking wide-eyed, as if every drop might spell potential doom.
[Whoever this is, they got nothing on the Ng...Ng... the cigarette smoke,] Megabyte thought to her.
Jade looked at him.
Megabyte threw her a cocky grin, and she rolled her eyes and turned away. Good. Pissed off was better than scared.
"Stop right there," said a voice from behind them.
They turned as a unit, and found them staring at some kind of snake sculpture about the size of a gun. Being pointed at them in a very gun-like manner.
"Oh dear," the Doctor said mildly.
"Think we've found the bad guy?" Megabyte quipped.
"Silence!" the figure holding the snake stepped out of the shadows.
"Yeah, definitely the bad guy," Megabyte quipped again.
"I said silence!" He looked like he should be someone's hippy grandfather--salt and pepper beard, very long hair, and wearing old, tie dyed clothes that had seen better days.
"Yeah, right," Megabyte said, folding his arms.
Jade stared. "Who are you?" she asked, as if to start a conversation with the elderly madman.
"Jedikiah, and I demand silence." There was a flash of yellow light, and Megabyte's world went dark.
* * *
Adam woke up with a headache, alone in his own mind. Something was strapped to it. Thinking it was the source of the pain, he reached up to remove it and yelped as his hand touched the band, startled fully awake.
"Wha-" Jade asked as she, too, seemed to wake up. "What's on me?" she said, obviously having a hard time forming a coherent sentence.
"Don't touch it," Adam hissed, hoping to spare Jade some misery.
Jedikiah loomed over them. "Awake, I see. Is this all of you?"
"Wouldn't you like to know," Adam snapped back, back straightening defiantly.
Jade groaned and tried to follow Adam's example by sitting up.
"Keep still," the Doctor advised, touching her hand reassuringly, "those silencer bands will take a lot out of you."
"Do I know you?" Jedikiah asked, studying the Doctor curiously.
"No," the Doctor said. "And you shouldn't, you're not from this universe."
Megabyte didn't have a chance to ask the Doctor precisely what he meant, as Jedikiah swept out the door.
"Now what?" Megabyte asked irritably.
"Let's hope that Ami, Tegan, and Tulough have better luck," the Doctor said.
* * *
"Back here," Ami whispered, pulling Turlough and Tegan into a passageway as a man in very odd clothing swept by them.
"Who's that?" Tegan asked, when Jedikiah was safely out of range.
"Probably whoever's behind this mess," Ami said. "I'd guess the others are in there." She pointed at the door that the man had come out of.
"I don't know why you don't just telepath to them," Turlough snapped.
"Because we lost contact!" Ami nearly hit him, her arms moved so wildly.
Turlough wasn't entirely sure that it was accidental.
"So, what's happening?" Tegan asked.
"I don't know. One minute they were there, the next... absolutely blank." Ami shook her head. "I can't reach them."
"There's only one way to find out," Turlough said, heading for the door. He tried futilely to open it. "It's locked."
"Can you open it?" Tegan asked, turning towards Ami.
"Who do I look like, Tia Castaway?" Ami asked irritably.
"Where's the Doctor and his sonic screwdriver when you need him?" Tegan lamented.
"On the other side of the door," Ami replied, stating the obvious.
Turlough shook his head. "Stand back." He crashed into the door a few times, and it burst open.
"What's that?" General Damon asked groggily and struggled to raise his head.
"The cavalry," Megabyte said with a grin and looking at Ami.
"What's that on your head?" Ami asked, reaching for the silencer band. "Ow!" She stumbled back.
"Ami, untie me, let Tegan and Turlough take those bands off your friends," the Doctor ordered.
"Right," Ami said, casting a curious look at the headbands, but moving to obey the Doctor. Tegan and Turlough worked on removing the headbands.
"That's so much better," Jade said, once she was free of hers.
"No kidding," Ami said as she worked at the Doctor's bonds. "I can feel you now."
"I have you all now," Jedikiah said, moving in from the doorway, keeping his stun ray trained carefully on the Tomorrow People. "You will all stand against the wall now." He kept moving forward, not realizing he'd let General Damon out of his line of sight.
The General, however, had noticed, and swiftly tackled Jedikiah, wresting the stun gun from his fingers. "Okay, guys, what should we do with him?"
"Who is he, anyway?" Jade wondered.
"Tie up now, interrogate later," Megabyte replied, handing his father a length of rope.
"I've got my hands full, son," General Damon pointed out.
Turlough grabbed the ropes that had been used to tie up the prisoners, rushing forward to bind Jedikiah's hands.
"I'll get someone down here," Damon said, opening his cell phone. "Frank's reliable."
"I'd like to sit in if you don't mind, General," Adam said, eyeing Jedikiah suspiciously.
"Me too," the Doctor said.
Adam nodded in agreement.
"All right," Damon said to them, as if trusting Adam's intuition.
* * *
"Who are you?" Damon repeated once they had Jedikiah situated under the bright lights of a World Ex interrogation room.
"Jedikiah," was the short reply.
[We got that part,] Megabyte complained to Adam as he watched on a monitor.
[Give him a minute, Megabyte,] Adam replied. [He's barely started.]
"Where are you from?" Damon continued.
"Where are you from?" Damon repeated, folding his arms.
"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning," Jedikiah replied.
"Now really," the Doctor chided.
"Next universe over, does it really matter what planet?" Jedikiah asked, rolling his eyes.
[He's got a point,] Megabyte said to the others. [If he's from another universe....]
[Then what?] Adam asked logically.
[Then it's not like we can send him home,] Jade replied. [What will we do with him?]
[Maybe the Doctor will have an idea,] Adam said absently.
"How did you get here?" General Damon asked.
"A little bit of Khulthan technology I picked up. Unfortunately, it burned up during reentry into normal space," Jedikiah replied.
[Khulthan?] Megabyte wondered.
[We'll have to ask the Doctor,] Adam said. [And there's no guarantee they're in this universe anyway.]
"Why are you after telepaths?" General Damon asked.
"The reason should be obvious," Jedikiah said patiently.
"It's not," Damon told him, crossing his arms and glaring.
Jedikiah sighed. "I cannot rule this miserable planet until they are out of the way. They always seemed to stop me. That miserable John and Stephen."
"Who?" Damon asked.
[Are there more of us?] Ami asked. [In this world that we haven't met, I mean?]
[For all we know those are Adam and Megabyte in that world,] Jade replied.
"It does not matter. The precedent still stands," Jedikiah said. "Telepaths interfered once before, and they will, once again."
[All ready did, buddy, and we stopped you,] Megabyte pathed, sounding very pleased with himself.
"Therefore, I needed to neutralize the problem before I was thwarted," Jedikiah said reasonably. "It's unfortunate that you discovered my scheme."
"Which leaves us with the question 'what are we going to do with him'?" Damon asked, turning to the Doctor. "Given what he tried to do, and my agency's ability to hold onto, er, extraordinary beings, I'd prefer he be as far away from my son as possible."
The Doctor looked briefly at their captive. "I believe there's something that we can do," he said, though his face was troubled.
"You don't seem to like the idea," Damon said. "But...."
"Well, he has tampered with the laws of space time," the Doctor said. "We could always take him to Gallifrey and have the Time Lords deal with him."
"And they are...." Damon asked slowly.
"My people," the Doctor said simply.
"And they'd do something with him, but you don't like the idea," Damon observed. "Why?"
"I'm not exactly.... well liked on my home world," the Doctor replied. "It would be... uncomfortable."
"Ah," Damon observed, his face not reflecting anything. "Is there anything else that can be done?"
"You could use your TARDIS to take me back to my own dimension," Jedikiah suggested hopefully.
"And let you loose once more?" The Doctor asked rhetorically. "I don't think so."
"I don't think that's going to happen, Jedikiah, no matter if you've been defeated before," Damon said evenly, an edge of anger in his voice.
"Isn't there a prison planet or something you could take him to?" Jade piped up, keying the microphone in the observation room.
[Have you been borrowing Megabyte's Star Trek videos again?] Ami teased.
Jade shoved Ami's shoulder, rolling her eyes.
"Is that a possibility, Doctor?" Damon asked, hearing Jade's comment through the earpiece. "Putting him on some kind of prison planet?
The Doctor shrugged. "There are several alien species that could deal with him. Convincing them to do so when his crimes were committed out of their jurisdiction, however, is an entirely different manner."
Turlough leaned into the microphone, keying it open. "Isn't there some place you've saved where the leaders would owe you a favor?"
"Seriously?" Adam asked.
"We do this sort of thing a lot," Tegan replied.
"There is that," the Doctor said thoughtfully.
"Getting him away from here would be a really good idea, Doctor," Damon said.
"Right then, if we could have a pair of handcuffs, I think we could take him off your hands," the Doctor replied.
Damon nodded. "That shouldn't be a problem," he said.
* * *
"All right, Doctor where are we taking him?" Turlough asked as the Doctor fiddled with the TARDIS controls, keeping an eye on their captive.
"Do you two fancy a trip to Gallifrey?" the Doctor asked as he straightened up.
"Gallifrey?" Tegan asked. "But you told General Damon...."
"They're the best ones to deal with him, Tegan," he said gently.
"I don't suppose we could just shove him out the TARDIS door and be on our way?" Turlough asked.
The column stopped running, putting an end to that query.
"I'll just hand him over to President Flavia quick as a wink and we'll be off." The Doctor approached their captive and gave his companions a quick, insincere smile.
"I thought you were President," Turlough pointed out.
"Shhh," the Doctor said. "I'm sure she's quite enjoying the post by now. I'll be right back." And with that, he frog marched Jedikiah out the door.
"Any bets?" Turlough asked, tapping his fingers nervously on the console. "He can't very well keep control of that man with only those primitive handcuffs."
"This from the man who tried to hold off the combined soldiers of Frontios with a hat stand," Tegan replied, smiling slightly.
A few minutes later, the Doctor returned.
"Right then, where do you two want to go next?" he asked as he closed the door.
"Not here?" Tegan suggested helpfully.
"I hear the auroras on Ziktor Major are lovely this time of year," Turlough suggested.
"Time of year matters in a time machine?" Tegan asked.
Turlough flushed. "I'm just saying..."
"Sounds good," Tegan said.
"Right then," the Doctor said, flicking some switches. "And off we go!"