Chapter 1: A Tight Squeeze
The Seventh Doctor during “Terror of the Sontarans ”
The Doctor looked frantically for somewhere to hide in facility’s computer hub, but there were few options. Finally he settled on the uniform lockers. “It’ll be a tight squeeze,” he muttered, trying to fold himself into one of them. “But, could be worse, at least this isn’t one of my taller incarnations.” Bending his knees to his chest, he slipped his umbrella in diagonally, and pulled the door shut.
“Oh! My hat,” he cried, suddenly realizing he wasn’t wearing it. Opening the locker briefly, he pulled it inside, only just closing the door as the Sontarans walked in.
The differences between the Doctor who traveled with Melanie and the Doctor who traveled with Ace is so interesting. Sylvester McCoy does a great job in this audio recapturing the tone of the earlier version.
Chapter 2: Danger in the Air
The Seventh Doctor and Anvil Jackson during “Terror of the Sontarans”
“You don’t have to do this, Jackson.” The Doctor stumbled as he was dragged up the staircase. “Mel is still somewhere in the building, as are your friends.”
“Wouldn’t go so far as to call them friends, Butler.” Jackson tightened his grip on the Doctors arm. With his other hand, he brandished the lasercutter he’d killed Gyte with. “More like fellow lab rats. If they have any sense, they’ll find their own way out. But that’s not my problem-“
“It’s a problem for all of us. There’s something here, something that drives everyone mad! Why won’t you listen to me?”
Chapter 3: Last Man Standing
The Seventh Doctor, Ketch, and Melanie Bush after “Terror of the Sontarans”
“Where can we drop you, Mr. Ketch?”
“Anywhere a slow death means a bad night on stage,” the contortionist looked wide-eyed around the TARDIS console room, “rather than the Sontarans’ less than tender attentions.”
“Your wish is my command!”
“I’m sorry,” Mel said, touching Ketch’s shoulder. “I wish we could’ve helped the others.”
“Thank you, Ms. Melanie. I suspect Tethneka and Stettimer were past knowing what was happening, but poor Mr. Jackson...” He sighed, “The man’s ego was legendary. Still, I’ll miss him.”
“Perhaps part of him will live on?” The Doctor glanced at the planet below. “You never know.”
Chapter 4: Shopping in Pompeii
Melanie Bush and Aglae during “The Fires of Vulcan”
“Listen to me, rattling on.” Mel smiled apologetically. “Sorry to monopolize the conversation, Aglae.”
“Your words are strange and I do not understand most of them,” the slave smiled back, “but I enjoy your company.”
“I’m glad.” Melanie looked around the city market. “Now, where to first?”
“Your master said you needed new clothes-“
“The Doctor isn’t my master, but yes, anything to help me blend in.”
“A stole, palla, and a pair of sandals.” Aglea linked her arm with Mel’s. “I know just the place.”
Unnoticed by either woman, a young, well-dressed man followed them from a discrete distance.
For earlier drabbles based on this audio, visit the Fifth Doctor Drabbles.
Chapter 5: An Invitation to Dinner
Mel, Popidius Celsinus, and the Seventh Doctor during “The Fires of Vulcan”
The Doctor was still sitting in Valeria’s inn, staring gloomily at Vesuvius when they found him.
“Doctor?” Mel eyed him disapprovingly. “You can’t sit around here all day.”
“Why not?” he grumbled. “With the TARDIS lost-“
“About that,” she interrupted, “this is Popidius Celsinus. He’s an important official in Pompeii and he’s asked us to dinner.”
“It would be my pleasure.” The young man bowed. “Lady Melanie believes that I may be of service to you.”
“Does she indeed?” The Doctor studied his companion suspiciously. “Far be it from me to turn down an offer of hospitality. Lead on, Celsinus!”
Chapter 6: Endless Troubles
Mel and Aglae during “The Fires of Vulcan”
Melanie glanced outside the tomb. “I don’t see anyone out there, but we’d better stay here for a while just to make sure.”
“What have I done?” Aglae held her head in her hands. “Helping you escape imprisonment, attacking a centurion, running away from my mistress? Only death awaits me!”
“It’s not your fault.” Mel sat down and put an arm around her friend. “If I hadn’t agreed to have dinner with Celsinus, if the Doctor and I had never gone to Eumachia’s house, or better yet, if I hadn’t asked to explore Pompeii, none of this would have happened.”
Chapter 7: The Lost Will Be Found
Mel and the Seventh Doctor during “The Fires of Vulcan”
Melanie coughed loudly. “The ash, it’s so thick I’m not sure I can keep going. Can’t we rest a moment?”
“Keep walking.” The Doctor gripped her wrist with one hand and held the lantern up with the other as he peered through the gloom. “We’re nearly there.” Moments later, he dropped the lamp and pushed a tomb door open. “In, quickly!”
Stumbling inside, Mel breathed shakily. “Not a moment too soon. Is it here?”
The lamp had gone out, so the Doctor relit it. Shining the light around the room, he smile. “There she is - the TARDIS, safe and sound!”
Chapter 8: Full Circle
Mel and the Seventh Doctor after “The Fires of Vulcan”
“Will this work?” Melanie asked.
“Absolutely. Just follow my lead.” Striding forward, the Doctor lifted his hat in a brief salute. “Good evening! I’m the Doctor, here to see the artifact recently unearthed in Pompeii.”
The UNIT soldier studied him. “I’ll need to see some credentials, sir.”
“Your brigadier has them already. Besides,” he smiled, “weren’t you expecting me?”
“We heard you were in England.” The soldier pulled out a walkie-talkie. “Just a moment, sir.”
As soon as his back was turned, the Doctor unlocked the door with his sonic screwdriver. “And we’re in! Did you miss us, Old Girl?”
Chapter 9: Before the Dance
Mel and Delta during “Delta and the Bannermen.”
Mel watched her roommate warily. “Aren’t you coming to the dance?” she asked, not really expecting a response.
“I’d like to.” Delta glanced nervously over her shoulder. “I’ve met someone here. Someone…kind.”
“That young mechanic?” Mel smiled. “I saw you two eating lunch together.”
“His name is Billy.”
“Well, he’s sure to be a the dance too, so why not join me?”
“I’ve nothing to wear that is appropriate to this time period.”
“Not to worry!” Mel reached into her suitcase and pulled out a polka dot covered dress. “This should do. Go ahead, try it on - I insist.”
Chapter 10: The Treasure
Ace and Mel during “Dragonfire”
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Ace couldn’t help laughing quietly to herself.
Mel frowned at her. “What are you giggling about?” she whispered.
“Come on Doughnut, didn’t you notice what the Dragonfire crystals look like?” She elbowed her friend. “I’d bet anything that whoever designed that dragon was a bloke. Freudian, that is.”
Mel stared at the crystals in the middle of the Starlight drive. Finally she saw what Ace meant. “Really? We’re being kidnapped by a murderous criminal and that’s where your mind goes?”
Ace shrugged. “It’s not my fault that they look like a spiky, glowing dildo.”
I mean really BBC...
Chapter 11: In Search of Music
The Seventh Doctor and Ace before “Silver Nemesis”
“Where now?” the Doctor asked. “There’s Cerberin - lovely place if you observe it from orbit, the planet itself can be deadly. Or there’s the Garazone System. There’s a wonderful market on-“
“Earth,” Ace replied, searching through her backpack.
“Earth?” He wrinkled his nose. “Why? Are you leaving? I mean, you can…but so soon?”
“Don’t get your knickers in a bunch, Professor!” Ace pulled out a cassette tape. “Earth. England, 23rd of November, 1988. The Courtney Pine concert!” She smiled wistfully. “I’ve always been a fan, but I’ve never heard him play live.”
“Ah! I’ll see what I can do.”
Chapter 12: One Woman Army
The Seventh Doctor and Ace during “Silver Nemesis”
“You understand what I need you to do?”
“Buy you some time?” Ace tucked the bag of gold coins and the slingshot into the pocket of her jacket. “Sure, I can do that.”
The Doctor nodded as he set the controls back to England, 1988. “And be careful, Ace. The Cybermen-“
“Won’t stand a chance once I’m done with them!” She grinned at his look of consternation. “I’ll be careful, Professor. Or as careful as I can be, given that I’ll have to be a one woman army.”
“I’ll be as quick as I can. Nemesis must complete her mission.”
Chapter 13: Looking the Part
Ace during “Washington Burns”
Ace stepped through the time portal, out of the ruins of 22nd century Washington, DC, and into the same city in 1814.
It was a hot July day and the streets were empty.
“Guess I should try blending in.” She peeked through the window of a nearby home before tentatively opening the door. “Hello? I’m not here to rob you, just borrowing some gear.” Hearing no reply, Ace ran to the wardrobe, stowed her leather jacket and other clothes in a satchel, and pulled on a white shirt, brown trousers, and brown waistcoat. “It’s not Vivienne Westwood, but it’ll do.”
Chapter 14: CEREBRA
Ace during “Washington Burns”
Washington was on edge now the British were on their way, so joining the militia wasn’t difficult. Tracking down the book CEREBRA had fled into was another story. Ace finally identified it as a copy of Robinson Crusoe owned by Albert Gallatin, a close associate of President Madison. Gallatin was an avid reader, meaning every book he’d read could be infected.
“This feels so wrong,” Ace muttered, adding a beautifully bound copy of Don Quixote to the flames. As the pages crinkled and blackened, the sentient virus inside screamed. Ace cringed but continued piling book after book on the pyre.
Chapter 15: Establishing Credentials
Brigadier Winifred Bambera and Ancelyn during “Battlefield”
Putting her knee into Ancelyn’s back, she twisted his arm behind him. “Had enough?”
“Lady, lady, I yield!”
“Call me that again and I’ll thump you harder. I’m Brigadier Winifred Bambera.”
“A military title, yes? You are clearly a mighty warrior.”
“Better.” She flipped him over and got out her handcuffs. “Give me your hand.”
“Lady,” he caught her eye and corrected himself, “Brigadier, this is most sudden and forward. Do all warrior women in your land marry the men they best?”
“In your dreams.” She secured the handcuffs around his wrists and pulled him to his feet. “Now move!”
It's my first time watching "Battlefield" - Ancelyn and Brigadier Winifred Bambera were definitely two of the highlights.
Chapter 16: When the Lights Go Out in Carbury
Brigadier Winifred Bambera, Peter Warmsly, Ace, the Seventh Doctor, Ancelyn, and Patrick Rowlinson during “Battlefield”
The lights went out and everyone screamed.
Bambera recovered first. “Anyone have a torch or something?”
After a bit of fumbling, Warmsly switched on a small penlight.
“Doctor?” Ace knelt beside him. “You okay?”
“No,” he groaned. “Morgaine has entered our dimension.”
Ancelyn struggled to his side. “Dire news indeed, Merlin.”
“One problem at a time.” Bambera turned to Rowlinson. “Is there a fusebox? Good, try that. Then I suggest you all go to bed.”
“You think we’ll be able to sleep after this?”
“She’s right.” The Doctor stood shakily. “I have a feeling tomorrow will be a busy day.”
Chapter 17: Keeping Watch
Brigadier Winifred Bambera, the Seventh Doctor, and Ancelyn during “Battlefield”
The lights came back on just as Bambera reentered the hotel. “All clear out there. No sign of those armored freaks we saw before.”
“They’ll be back.” The Doctor leaned on the handle of his umbrella and frowned. “Although hopefully not tonight.”
Bambera settled herself on a chair. “I’ll stay up to watch, just in case.”
“I will stay as well,” Ancelyn sat behind her on the sofa, “to help guard the safety of this house and all who sleep within it.”
“You’ll stay because you’re my prisoner and I want to keep an eye on you.”
“…As you say.”
Really, I could go on endlessly with these two.
Chapter 18: Being Prepared
Li Shou Yuing and Ace during “Battlefield”
The knock drew Ace out of her reverie. “Come in, Professor.”
“It’s me, actually.” Shou Yuing peeked around the door. “Can I come in?”
“Sure, I was just working on-“
“Are these explosives?” Shou Yuing took the small silver canister from her with a look of excitement.
“Just something I cooked up. Never hurts to be prepared.”
“But prepared for what? What’s going on?”
“Near as I can tell, the Dungeons and Dragons rejects are invaders from another reality, led by that Mordred bloke and his mum.”
“What do they want?”
“I’m not sure even the Doctor knows that yet.”
Chapter 19: Enter the Brigadier
Shou Yuing and Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart during “Battlefield”
“You’re not leaving me behind!” Shou Yuing hopped in and closed the door just as the car sped off. “Who are you?”
“Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT,” he replied, keeping his eyes on the road. “I apologize for commandeering your car, but I need to find a chap called the Doctor. The fate of the world could depend on it…it usually does.”
“The Doctor? Ace’s Doctor?”
“Ace? Who’s he?”
Shou Yuing frowned at him. “She and the Doctor arrived together.”
“And where are they now?”
“Ace said they were visiting the archeological dig. Take a right turn here-“
Chapter 20: A Familiar Situation
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Brigadier Bambera, Ace, and Shou Yuing during “Battlefield”
The Brigadier strode into the archeological dig, followed closely by Shou Yuing. “Brigadier Bambera, I presume,” he said, addressing the woman in military fatigues. “Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. I understand the Doctor is here?”
“He’s down there,” a waterlogged girl in a leather jacket pointed urgently at the lake, “in a spaceship.”
“Of course he is,” the Brigadier sighed, “and in danger too, most likely.”
“Yeah.” She blinked in surprise at him. “There was this green worm thing-“
“Thank you, I can imagine. Right, give me a moment and I’ll have him topside again.” Without another word, he disappeared into the tunnel.
Chapter 21: Greyhound and Seabird
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Brigadier Winifred Bambera, and Ancelyn during “Battlefield”
“Greyhound One to Seabird - over!”
Bambera picked up the communicator one-handed as she drove. “Receiving you Greyhound. Over.”
Lethbridge-Stewart’s voice was barely audible over the static. “We just had a spot of bother. Two knights shot at us with laser pistols. Over.”
“Mordred’s men,” Ancelyn said, “attacking those they think carry Excalibur.”
“Anyone hurt, Greyhound? Over.”
“No, but this vehicle’s windows have seen better days.” He paused. “They may try ambushing you as well. Over.”
“We should prepare.” Ancelyn searched the car’s interior. “Does this conveyance carry weaponry?”
“Relax.” Bambera patted the gun beside her. “This is all we need.”
Chapter 22: A Knight and His Lady
Ancelyn, Ace, Mordred, and Brigadier Winifred Bambera during “Battlefield”
“PS,” Ace continued reading, “Morgaine has just seized control of the nuclear missile.”
Ancelyn didn’t wait to hear more. Feeling a sense of impending doom, he sprinted out of Arthur’s tomb and through the tunnel to the surface. He retraced their earlier journey and soon found what remained of the two armies.
“Where are you, my lady?” he muttered, scanning the scene. “If any harm has come to you-“ Ancelyn spotted Mordred exit the largest of the stranded vehicles. Over his shoulder he carried a limp Brigadier Bambera.
“Dead?” Ancelyn gripped his sword. “Then I swear she will be avenged!”
Chapter 23: The Choice to Stay
The Seventh Doctor and Ancelyn after “Battlefield”
“What ho, Merlin?” Ancelyn wiped his face as he entered the kitchen. “The Brigadier is a harsh task-master-“
“He always was-“
“But he has shown me many useful implements such as a device called a WeedWacker.”
“You’ll have much to learn if you stay in this dimension.”
“Doubtless I have little choice.”
The Doctor stopped cutting vegetables. “But you do. I can take you home,” his eyes twinkled, “if that’s your wish.”
“Stop jesting with me, Merlin, you know I will not leave.”
“Ah, the spectacular Winifred Bambera.”
“Spectacular indeed. In what other dimension could I find such a woman?”
Chapter 24: Pondering the Unexpected
October 12, 2017 Inktober Prompt: Instrument
“Okay Professor?” The Doctor stared straight ahead and didn’t acknowledge Ace, but she persisted. “Hello? Earth to Gallifrey? You gonna to fill me in on what you’re planning or you gonna keep me in the dark, as always?”
“Hush Ace,” he said at last. “I’m thinking.”
“You usually are. What about?”
“Spoons! They’re so very useful.” He took two out of his pocket. “You can eat ice cream and soup with them or,” he slapped the spoons together on his knee and elbows, “you can make music!”
“So...sometimes simple things can be used in unexpected ways.”
Chapter 25: The Cube
The Seventh Doctor before “Shockwave” (Destiny of the Doctor)
The Doctor was humming happily to himself until the voice screamed into his mind. It sounded young, male, and emphatic.
“Doctor! Find the Voice of Stone. The fate of the universe depends on it!”
Once he could think clearly again, the Doctor hurried to the TARDIS databank. A quick search pointed him to Tarsus Six and a small box with a question mark on its side. He recognized the Time Lord hypercube instantly.
Getting access was problematic, as its location was unknown for centuries. The only place he was sure it would be was at the end of the world.
Chapter 26: Helping Out
Ace during “Shockwave” (Destiny of the Doctor)
Ace smiled at the child with confidence she didn’t feel. “Do you remember what your mum was wearing? No? It’s okay, we’ll find her.” She took the girl’s hand and led her through the spaceship, stopping periodically to ask other passengers if they knew her.
“KayEight!” A woman ran toward them and swept the girl into her arms. “Thank you,” the mother whispered, “one moment she was there and then-“
“Easy to get lost in this lot,” Ace said, gesturing at the crowd of refugees. Peering through the observation window, she wondered how long they had before the sun exploded.
Chapter 27: Critical Mass
Ace and the Seventh Doctor during “Critical Mass”
Ace look around nervously. All the scientists and military officials were hard at work implementing the Doctor’s plan. Well, her plan really - her plan to prevent the destruction of everyone on this planet and the entire solar system.
“No pressure,” Ace muttered.
She’d been in a lot of dangerous situations since meeting the Doctor. Usually she faced them with a grin and a sarcastic comment, but this was different. “It’s never a good sign when even the Doctor’s worried,” she said quietly, watching him run from person to person, directing their work. “Why couldn’t I keep my big mouth shut?”
Chapter 28: Family Secrets
Dorothy “Ace” McShane during “The Rapture”
She could’ve had a different life.
McShane tried to imagine growing up knowing she had a brother. Someone to look after and talk to who might’ve understood what she was going through. And her father! Sure, maybe he’d have disappointed her; but the man who wrote that letter and never gave up on finding her, at least he cared.
The sun was just peeking over the horizon. She’d been sitting on the beach, watching the waves and thinking all night. McShane felt bad about yelling at Liam now, but it was too late for regrets.
She’d messed everything up again.
McShane family angst!
Chapter 29: The McShanes
Liam McShane and the Seventh Doctor during “The Rapture”
He stared at the bottles behind the bar, wishing he drank.
“It’s Liam, isn’t it?”
“Whassit to you?” Liam looked up angrily. “Oh. The guy from the club.”
“Yes, my friend Ac…McShane is staying with you and your friend.” The Doctor frowned. “Is everything all right?”
“How’s that your business?”
“It isn’t,” the Doctor sat beside him, “but I’m a good listener.”
Liam sighed. “It’s…I’m Ace’s brother, you see.”
“Oh.” The Doctor’s eyebrows arched. “And?”
“So I told her and…she wants nothing to do with me. End of story.”
“Maybe,” the Doctor leaned forward, “but maybe not.”
Chapter 30: Reunited
The Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart before “Police and Shreeves”
“Doctor!” The Brigadier stood up. “Ace. So good to see you both again.”
“And you, Brigadier.” The Doctor shook his old friend’s hand enthusiastically. “What’s this about you needing our help? I thought you were retired.”
“I am, this is just a temporary assignment.”
“Got bored,” Ace asked cheekily. “I bet Doris isn’t keen about it-”
“She’s just glad to get me out of the house for a while,” he replied, eyes twinkling.
The Doctor interrupted. “Doing what, exactly?”
“Investigating a series of thefts at high security facilities, including UNIT bases. How would you two fancy doing some undercover work?”
Chapter 31: Running Late
Hex before “The Harvest”
Hex slapped the snooze on his alarm for the third time that morning.
He’d been having a weird dream, full of fighting monsters, last minute escapes, daring rescues, and lots of other action-adventure elements he enjoyed in movies. Two other characters repeatedly appeared in it - a girl with a ponytail and a leather jacket whose face he couldn’t quite remember and man who, despite a constantly changing appearance, was somehow always the same person.
The alarm went off again. Blearily, Hex looked at the time.
“Oh hell,” he yelped, leaping from his bed. “I’m late! And on my birthday even!”
Chapter 32: The White Rabbit
Ace and the Seventh Doctor during “The Harvest”
The Doctor looked up as Ace walked through the console room. “Some. The hospital’s computer system has been very helpful. Going out?”
“Yeah. There’s a birthday party tonight at the White Rabbit for Hex, one of the nurses from A&E. Nothing like a few drinks to loosen lips, right Professor?”
“I wouldn’t know. Be careful. The people behind this could become very dangerous if they realize we’re onto them.”
“This isn’t my first rodeo. Besides, Hex and his lot are good people. They may have overheard rumors or noticed something, but they’re not involved.”
“Are you sure?”
Chapter 33: The Recruiting of Thomas Hector Schofield
Hex, the Seventh Doctor, and Ace during “The Harvest”
“I’m coming too.”
“Absolutely not.” The Doctor studied Hex. “If you can’t handle the TARDIS, you’re not prepared for what we’re about to do.”
“So what? Way I see it, you two may’ve investigated St. Gart’s for weeks, but I’ve worked there a lot longer.”
“That hardly matters-“
“I know the people and departments.” Hex looked to Ace for support. “I can’t sit around and do nothing.”
“An actual medical professional could come in handy.” Ace nudged the Doctor. “Come on, you know we’re right.”
“Fine, but on your head be it.” The Doctor sighed. “I’m going to regret this.”
Chapter 34: Rumbled
Ace, Hex, and Dr. Mark Mathias during “The Harvest”
“Run!” Ace yelled and Hex did as he was told, running full pelt out of the morgue.
Dr. Mathias didn’t react as quickly. He stood frozen to the spot, staring wide-eyed at the five advancing figures. “What…what are those things?”
“Come on!” Ace grabbed his sleeve and tried pulling him along. “No time for a Q&A. Shift it!” But, due to either his hangover or the shock of seeing Cybermen for the first time, Mark Mathias wasn’t budging.
“Sorry mate, but if you won’t leave-“ Ace turned to run, only to find three more Cybermen blocking her way.
Chapter 35: Trapped
Ace, Dr. Farrer, Hex, and Dr. Mark Mathias during "The Harvest"
Ace fiddled with the lock on a supply closet until it popped open. “Come on everyone, in here!”
“Why have we stopped?” Dr. Farrer looked around nervously. “We must leave the hospital before they come for us!”
“Can’t you hear that?”
They all listened. “Are those…guns?” Hex asked tentatively.
“Definitely.” She pushed him inside. “Now, get in and keep quiet.”
It was a tight squeeze, but they all fit. Ace left the door open a fraction so she could keep watch.
Mark peered over her shoulder. “What are they doing?”
“They’re killing people, Mathias. It’s what the Cybermen do.”
Chapter 36: A New Team
Hex, the Seventh Doctor, and Ace after “The Harvest”
“Now,” the Doctor entered coordinates, “we leave.”
“Won’t I need clothes or a toothbrush or anything?”
“The TARDIS isn’t a summer camp, Mr. Hex. Ace? Please show him around.”
“Come on, newbie.” She clapped Hex on the back. “Let’s find you a room, then I’ll take you by the wardrobe to get kitted out.”
“Is there a uniform like on Star Trek?”
The Doctor watched them go. “What are the odds,” he muttered, “I’d bump into Cassie's son? Could just be a coincidence…except I don’t believe in those.” He shrugged. “Time will tell, I suppose.”
Chapter 37: A First Trip
Hex and Ace during “Dreamtime”
It was all a bit much.
An hour into Hex’s first trip in the TARDIS, he’d seen Ayers Rock (Uluru, the Doctor had called it) standing at the end of a dead-end street on an asteroid traveling through space; spotted his first spaceship (from a distance); and seen the Doctor turned to stone by something called a Bunyip.
“Focus,” he whispered, glancing down at the unconscious Ace. His priority had to be to get her to safety. “Look, if you can hear me, McShane, just so’s you know…I hate this, but it doesn’t look like I’ve got much choice-“
Chapter 38: Going Separate Ways
Hex and Ace during “Dreamtime”
“Sure you wanna go down to the mines, McShane?”
“I definitely want to keep an eye on the Galyari,” she whispered back to Hex.
“You think maybe they’re up to something?”
“They’re eight feet tall lizard-people carrying heavy-duty weaponry, would you want to risk it?” Ace grinned. “Are you nervous about being on your own, newbie?”
“I’m fine, don’t worry about me,” Hex lied. “It’s just…you’re more experienced at all this than I am. What if I don’t know what to do when we find the Doctor?”
“Improvise.” Ace patted his back. “It’s what I always do. Good luck!”
Ace and the Seventh Doctor clearly take the "sink or swim" approach to new companions.
Chapter 39: The Beginning of the Journey
The Seventh Doctor and others during “Dreamtime”
As the Doctor approached the encampment around Uluru, he prepared a list of reasons the inhabitants should let him through. “Hello, I’m the Doctor. You have no reason to trust me but I’m here to help, if you’ll let me.”
“Yes Doctor,” an older man said, “you are expected.”
“I am?” The Doctor blinked in surprise. “May I ask by whom?”
“Baiame.” The man pointed to the top of the monolith. “You’ll find him there. But you should hurry if you wish to speak to him and leave here before everything starts.”
“I doubt that’s an option,” the Doctor muttered.
Chapter 40: Speaking to the Stone
Hex and Dream Commando Wahn during “Dreamtime”
Hex was way out of his depth, but he couldn’t give up just because he didn’t understand or believe what what happening.
Placing his hand on the standing stone that had once been the Doctor, he concentrated on the vibrations of the bullroarer Wahn swung in a circle overhead. He closed his eyes and pictured the Doctor wearing a brown jacket and question mark jumper, his Panama hat pushed back on his head. “Doctor? It’s Hex. Can you hear me in there, or wherever you are? Come back to us, okay?” He glanced back nervously at Wahn. “Is this working?”
Chapter 41: Colony 34
Hex, the Seventh Doctor, and Ace before “LIVE 34”
“Is this such a good idea?”
“If we’re to find out what’s going on in Colony 34, we need information.” The Doctor slid the immigration forms over to Hex. “And a well-placed medical professional could prove invaluable.”
“What about the rumors of immigrants disappearing?”
“I’ll investigate that,” Ace said, arms folded. “Supposedly they’re keeping them outside the outer districts.”
“That’s not what I meant-“
“Medics are in short supply on planets like this.” The Doctor leaned over his shoulder. “And after I provide you with credentials, the authorities will fall over themselves to supply you with a job, Mr. Hex.”
Chapter 42: The Rebel Queen
Hex and the Seventh Doctor during “LIVE 34”
Five minutes into the “Wareing’s World” program on LIVE 34, someone tapped “Shave and a Haircut” on the door to Hex’s apartment.
“Did I miss anything?” the Doctor asked as Hex let him in.
“They haven’t gotten to her yet. Everything okay? That crowd sounded nasty-”
“My injuries are minor. Don’t fuss.”
“I just-“ Hex paused as the voice they were waiting for emerged from the speakers. “At last,” he smiled with relief, “Ace!”
The Doctor smiled too. “Our very own ‘Rebel Queen.’”
“She sounds tired.”
“As we all are. Now quiet! This interview could be very important for everyone-”
Chapter 43: Live With Charlotte Singh
The Seventh Doctor and Hex during “LIVE 34”
Hex adjusted the ambulance headset so he could hear better. “Anything I should know beforehand?”
“I’ve given old woman medical care already. Just make sure you and the reporter explore the building. The government can’t censor the truth if it happens live on air.”
“Do we have to involve Charlotte, Doctor? You heard what happened to Ryan Wareing.“
“‘Suicide,’” his tone was angry, “so the official reports say.”
“More like executed for broadcasting the interview with Ace.” Hex shifted. “I just…don’t want to be responsible for getting another reporter killed.”
“Don’t worry, Hex. I have a plan-“
Chapter 44: In the Outer District of Second City
Ace and others during “LIVE 34”
“Have Marla’s people left?” Ace asked.
Jones checked the time. “Ten minutes ago. If the authorities arrest the reporter and your friend, our people will get them out of there and into a safe house as soon as possible.”
“Good.” She smiled. “It’s been weeks since I’ve seen him-“
“Boss!” Another resistance fighter ran into the room. “Something's happening outside!”
“What?” Ace hurried to a window and peered out cautiously. “Security forces. Someone must have talked. Check the back!“
“We’re surrounded.” Jones called from the rear of the house. “What do we do?”
Ace looked grim. “We go down fighting.”
Chapter 45: Job Done But Not Without Losses
The Seventh Doctor and Hex after “LIVE 34”
The Doctor looked up as Hex entered the control room. “How is she?”
“In bad shape. Dehydration, malnutrition, and who knows what kind of drugs they’ve used on her.”
“Oh Ace,” the Doctor sighed sadly. “If only we’d gotten to her sooner.”
“I’ve hooked her up to the equipment in the infirmary and she’s asleep right now. It’s odd…all that tech makes more sense after the training I got in Colony 34.” Hex leaned against the console. “Will they be alright, Charlotte and the others?”
“I hope so. At least we’ve given them a chance for a new start.”
Chapter 46: Slice
October 31, 2018 Inktober Prompt: Slice
“I can do it, if you want,” Hex began.
“If by ‘doing it’ you mean lopping off a limb,” Ace scoffed, illustrating her point by slicing downward with the laser sword. “Sit down, Newbie. Watch an expert at work.”
“Be careful, Ace-”
“Relax Professor, I’ve seen Star Wars at least seven times so I know the basics. Besides, can’t be too different from a baseball bat.”
Lord Zei gave Ace a sarcastic salute. “I hope your friends appreciate your willingness to die for them, woman.”
“It’s Ace, and you’re pretty mouthy for a David Bowie knockoff. Let’s do this already-”
Chapter 47: A Star Trek Thing
Ace and Hex before “Muse of Fire”
Hex pulled on a jumper and attempted to flatten his unruly hair. “This keeps up, I’ll be needing a haircut soon.”
“You gonna spend all day staring at yourself?” Ace leaned in through his open bedroom door. “We’ve aliens to see, planets to save-”
Shrugging self-consciously, he hurried to join her. “I’m just trying to make myself presentable-”
“Trying to pick up girls, more like.”
“It isn’t like that-”
“Just be careful. Sex pollen isn’t just a Star Trek thing.”
His mouth fell open. “You’re kidding?!”
“Maybe I am,” she smirked, backing into the console room, “or maybe I’m not.”
Chapter 48: Searching for Inspiration
Hex, the Seventh Doctor, and Ace before “Muse of Fire”
“Doctor,” Hex said as they entered the control room, “is sex pollen a real thing?”
“Hmmmm,” the Doctor mused absentmindedly while pulling several levers.
“What Hex means,” Ace laughed, “is where are we headed?”
“That’s helpful.” Ace folded her arms. “Is this ‘inspiration’ a person, place, or thing?”
“Yeah,” Hex leaned against the console, “a clue would be nice-”
“A clue?” The Doctor smiled mysteriously. “How about the Eiffel Tower?”
“Paris?” Ace frowned. “I’ve seen it before-”
“Not like this you haven’t. The 1920s are the perfect time to visit. So many artists! So many exciting new ideas!”
Chapter 49: Les Deux Magots
Hex during “Muse of Fire”
“‘Pop in and get us a table...’” Hex looked around the cafe in bewilderment. “Where? This place is like the White Rabbit after a long shift in A&E.”
He wound his way through the tables. Everywhere people sat huddled in twos and threes, talking about music, art, poetry, and politics. Finally, he spotted a table with a few empty chairs. At it sat an attractive woman of indeterminate age wearing a large, floppy hat.
“Excusez-moi,” he began, blushing as she looked up at him, “this place…is so busy. Would you mind if me and my friends joined you?”
Chapter 50: A Busy Morning
Hex, Ace, and the Seventh Doctor during “Muse of Fire”
Hex made room for the Doctor and Ace. “About time you showed up-”
“The Professor had to do his good deed for the day,” Ace turned her chair around, “rescuing an American who fell down the stairs.”
“Was everything alright?”
The Doctor opened his newspaper. “Nothing an evening’s rest and a hot chocolate couldn’t fix.”
“Well you just missed the most amazing lady. A real class act-”
Ace smirked and fluttered her eyes dramatically. “Is it young love?”
“It wasn’t like that.” He smiled. “Although she did invite me to hers to be an artist’s model. Can you believe it?”
Chapter 51: The Persistence of Memory
During “Muse of Fire”
“Mate,” Hex grabbed the last painting before the artist could throw it into the river, “you’re Salvador Dali.”
“I know who I am! Let go-.”
“But you’re famous! Or…you will be. I don’t know art history, but I’m sure trashing your career and becoming a bank clerk isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing.”
“What do you know, you strange man?” Dali elbowed Hex in the stomach and, with an agonized yell, hurled the final painting away.
Gasping for breath, Hex watched the image of melting clocks disappear beneath the water. “This isn’t right. I better find the Doctor.”
Chapter 52: Iris and the Artist’s Model
Hex, Iris Wildthyme, the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Panda during “Muse of Fire”
Clutching the blanket around himself, Hex patted Iris’s arm. “I’m sorry you’re worried. What kind of mission are you on?”
“It’s complicated, Chuck.” She leaned against his shoulder. “Sit down and we’ll…talk about it.”
He blushed. “I’m glad to help, but…maybe I should put my clothes on first? I wasn’t cold while I was modeling for your artist friends, but now-”
There was a commotion on the stairs. Moments later Ace and the Doctor trudged into the room, followed by a toy panda who held them at gunpoint.
“Oh no,” Hex sighed, “I’ll never live this one down.”
Chapter 53: A Problem Like Iris Wildthyme
The Seventh Doctor, Panda, Hex and Ace during “Muse of Fire”
“Panda,” the Doctor’s face was very serious as he studied the cyborg, “you must tell us: did Iris kidnap Dora Muse?”
“Not that I know of,” Panda shrugged, “but I was distracted while we were on Brock.”
“I can’t imagine Iris doing that.”
“Hex,” Ace rolled her eyes, “you don’t know her!”
“But I do, and believe me she’s perfectly capable of that and more.” The Doctor stood swiftly. “Come along, Panda! We’re going to convince all the artists to return to Paris.”
“What about us?”
“I need you two to find Kevin Archer. I’m afraid he’s in terrible danger.”
Chapter 54: Escape the Seine
Ace and Hex after “Muse of Fire”
“I know what you’re gonna say, Ace,” Hex kept walking down the hospital corridor, “but I can’t give up. Kevin, Panda, and Iris could still be alive. They could’ve lost their memories, or be unconscious somewhere-”
“Or they could’ve given us the slip.”
He turned. “Huh?”
“The Professor and I went looking for Iris’s double-decker bus.” She waved away his questions before he could ask them. “Her TARDIS! And it wasn’t there. She must have called it to her and used it to escape the river without being seen.”
“The Professor’s sure and that’s enough for me.”
Chapter 55: Just a Nightmare...Or Is It?
Thomas Hector “Hex” Schofield before “Night Thoughts”
Hex woke suddenly, his dream still wound so tightly around him that for a moment he was confused. Recognizing the hum of the TARDIS, he relaxed. “Just a nightmare.” He scrubbed a hand through his hair, making it stick out at odd angles. “I swear, they’ve gotten weirder since I met the Doctor. Operating on a doll? What’s that about? That one guy…what was his name…Hattie?…Hearty? Being forced to operate by…some other weird guys in surgical masks?”
He sat up, shivering as his clammy skin cooled. “A psychoanalyst would have a field day with all that.”
Chapter 56: The Morning Routine, TARDIS-style
Ace McShane and Hex Schofield before “Night Thoughts”
Ace heard shuffling behind her and peeked around the side of the refrigerator door. “Hex, mate, you look awful.”
“Just…bad dreams.” He barely glanced at her and instead made a beeline towards the coffee maker.
“Not surprising given what our lives are like.” She ducked back inside and finally located what she’d searched for. “Hungry? There’s some cold cuts, cheese, bit a bread-“
“No thanks.” He poured a cup of coffee and added sugar. “This’ll do me.”
“You sure? The Professor’s in a foul mood. Personally, I wouldn’t want to face that on an empty stomach.”
Chapter 57: The Island of Lost Souls
Ace, the Seventh Doctor, and Hex during “Night Thoughts”
“This place is weird.”
The Doctor busied himself making cocoa. “You should be used to that by now, Ace.”
“Usually there’s a point to the weirdness. I don’t see one here.”
Hex sat beside her. “Major Dickens is a bit of a creep-“
“Oh,” the Doctor’s tone was low and menacing, “he’s more than that.”
“Fine, but the others seem harmless. Unless one of them did for Hartley?”
“Not one of them-”
“Doctor,” Ace groaned, “stop being so mysterious.”
“I can’t tell you what I don’t know…yet.” He handed them each a cup. “Off to bed, both of you.”
Chapter 58: Night Terrors
Hex and Ace during “Night Thoughts”
“Ace!” Hex burst into her room. “Wake up!”
“Bloody hell.” Ace pulled the blanket over her head. “For the last time, go to sleep!”
“Shut up, will ya? Somebody locked me in the kitchen.”
Ace pushed the blanket down. “How’d you get out?”
“They unlocked it after they’d scared me witless with lots of heavy breathing and whistling.” His voice trembled. “And they gouged out Hartley’s eyes.”
“What?” She sat up and grabbed his arm, squinting in the dark to study his face. “Are you alright?”
“I am now.” Hex took a deep breath. “We need to tell the Doctor.”
Chapter 59: The Old Hats and the Newbie
Ace and the Seventh Doctor during “Night Thoughts”
“He asked me to go with him-“
Her voice was low and urgent. “I thought he was overreacting when said he heard someone whistling, so I laughed and went back to bed.” Ace glanced at Hex as he sat talking with the others. “He could have been killed.”
“But he wasn’t.”
“Hex is still new at this, he shouldn’t have been alone-“
“Ace.” The Doctor put an arm around her shoulders. “Clearly whoever was in the kitchen didn’t wish him any harm. They just frightened him.”
“Yeah, and I’d like to have a few words with them about that.”
Chapter 60: Lost in the Rain
Hex during “Night Thoughts”
“Ace! Sue!” Hex ran as if his life depended on it. “What kind of idiot leaves bear traps laying around? Worse yet, who electrifies them and sets them on other people?” He stopped to orient himself. In the darkness, he could make out the vague shape of a distant building. Female voices drifted to him on the wind, but he couldn’t tell where they were coming from.
“Ace?” Unbidden, all the possible consequences of getting caught in an animal trap popped into his mind. Hex shivered and began running again. “No way am I letting that happen. Not to Ace-“
Chapter 61: A Trap Sprung
Sue, the Seventh Doctor, and Ace during “Night Thoughts”
“One, two, three-“ Sue and the Doctor dropped the heavy stones onto either side of the bear trap. It didn’t move. “Good.” The Doctor smiled. “Ace, slowly lift your leg out of the trap.”
Ace did as she was told, sighing heavily once she was clear. “That was too close.”
“Come on,” the Doctor helped her up, “let’s get you back to the chapel.”
“What happened to Hex? I heard his voice,” Ace laughed bitterly, “and ran out to stop him from getting lost.”
“He went back to the manor for torches.” Sue chuckled darkly. “Should’ve been back by now.”
Chapter 62: Companions to the Rescue
Hex, Ace, the Seventh Doctor, and Major Dickens during “Night Thoughts”
Hex and Ace ran up the basement steps. “Any idea where the Doctor is?”
“Dickens forced him upstairs to complete some sort of time experiment.” Ace rubbed her arms where the ropes had bitten into them. “I bet they’re in the attic where all that equipment was kept.”
As they neared the attic, they heard the Doctor and Major Dickens yelling. Hex held a finger to his lips. Ace nodded and they climbed the ladder in silence. The Doctor noticed them instantly, but kept talking to distract the Major while they crept behind him and waited for the Doctor’s signal.
Chapter 63: Star
October 8, 2018 Inktober Prompt: Star
Hex was so engrossed he didn’t hear Ace join him on the observation deck.
“Whatcha staring at,” she asked cheerfully, chuckling he jumped slightly.
“What do you mean? Look at it!” He pointed outside. In the distance, two stars circled each other in a binary formation. “We’ve seen some awful things, but something like this-“
“Makes it all worth while?” Ace nudged his shoulder. “Yeah, I suppose so.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve traveled with the Doctor so long that a view like this isn’t breathtaking?”
“You get used to anything, with time.” She smiled. “Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.”
Chapter 64: Meeting Your Shadow
Hex during “Shadow Planet”
“Owwww.” Hex rubbed his head and sat up. “Who knew getting in touch with yourself would be so physically painful?”
“I could have told you,” another Hex stepped from the shadows, “if you’d asked.”
“My God! You’re him! Me! My shadow self.” He approached the other Hex. “Weird.”
“You have no idea.”
The Shadow Hex pointed behind him. “You should take care of that first.”
“What?” He turned to look and his other self sucker-punched him. Hex landed awkwardly against the bed.
“Let’s tie you up,” his shadow self grinned, “so I can get out of here.”
Chapter 65: The Shadow Revolution
The Shadow Hex and Shadow Ace during “Shadow Planet”
As Shadow Hex ran through the Unity facility, someone barreled into him. “Hey! Watch where you’re-“ He paused. “Ace? Wait…which one are you?”
“The Shadow Ace, of course.” She dusted herself off. “I see you ditched your other self too.”
“Yeah. I’m tired of the selfless martyr routine. Time to put myself and what I want first!”
“I hear that. Me? I just want away from her, the Doctor, and all the noise and danger.” She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Maybe we should find the other shadows, yeah? Give them a chance to get what they want too?”
Chapter 66: Reintegration
Hex, Shadow Hex, and Shadow Ace during “Shadow Planet”
“We have to get down there,” Shadow Ace cried. “They…I could be dying!”
“There’s no point.” Shadow Hex sagged against the communication equipment. “We’ll all be killed soon anyway.”
“Not Ace,” Hex glared at his other self, “and not the Doctor.” He searched the schematics for other options. “Okay, we’ll find the shaft down to the core. Maybe there’s a ladder or-“ He felt a tingle up and down his spine. “Hey, did you feel that?” Hex looked toward the shadows but they were gone. In their places were plastic mannequins with blank faces. “Ooookay? Did we just win?”
Chapter 67: What Ifs
Hex during “World Apart”
“Why is this so hard? You like Ace, so just tell her! What’s the worst that could happen?” Hex kicked a stone in frustration and watched as Ace and the Doctor raced each other to the caves. “She could laugh in my face and never let me hear the end of it. It could ruin the friendship we’ve got now. Plus, if she doesn’t feel the same way it’d probably make things really awkward…”
“But if she does,” Hex couldn’t suppress a lovesick grin, “how great would that be? I mean…Ace is the most amazing person I’ve ever met.”
Chapter 68: Lost on Nirvana
Ace and Hex during “World Apart”
Ace woke up first. It had been a long, mostly sleepless night for both of them, between the storm, the cold, and the shock of being abandoned on a hostile planet. Not abandoned, she reminded herself, just lost…temporarily. Pushing down her gnawing doubts about the Doctor, Ace focused on the positive. She had to, for Hex’s sake.
She rolled over. Hex lay beside her, still asleep. A warm fondness spread through her and Ace could feel the potential it had to become something more. She pushed those feelings away too. Only survival mattered right now, everything else could wait.
Chapter 69: Making Do
Hex and Ace during “World Apart”
Hex glared at the crabs with disgust. “How is it that everything on this planet tastes horrible?”
“Hey, at least they’re edible. Like you said, we’re running low on protein packs. This gives us…options.”
“How long do you think we’ve been here?”
Ace shook her head. “Impossible to say. Time feels…weird here. Like it’s not consistent?”
“Is that likely?”
“As likely as a planet that moves itself around the universe. The Doctor said something about the rocks on the beach being younger than the stone in the caves-”
“The Doctor,” Hex said bitterly. “Wonder where he is now?”
Chapter 70: The Cave
Hex and Ace during “World Apart”
It was the first time Hex remembered being warm in ages. He rolled sleepily toward Ace, but she was gone.
“Ace?” he called out, trying to keep calm. “Where are you?”
“Hex!” Her voice sounded distant. “Help…me…”
“Oh God!” He ran toward her but the ground shifted under him. Looking around, he noticed the cave floor was pink and the things he’d taken for stone outcroppings were actually teeth. They’d fallen asleep in a giant mouth.
“Ace!” Hex screamed. He jolted upright, eyes wide open now.
“It’s okay.” Ace shifted closer, touching him gently. “It was just another nightmare.”
Chapter 71: Saving Everyone
Hex and Ace after “World Apart”
“I can’t believe him!” Hex turned angrily to Ace. “And don’t you defend him, not after what we went through!”
“I’m not.” She closed the door to Hex’s room and slumped into a nearby chair. “The Doctor’s not like us-“
“That’s for bloody sure!”
“We look at Nirvana and see a monster-“
“Because that’s what it is!”
“But he sees a sentient creature. Like a shark, yeah? Potentially deadly, but unique.”
“If it’s a choice between a shark and us, I’d hope he’d pick us.”
“That’s just it. The Doctor tries to save everyone,” Ace explained wearily, “even carnivorous planets.”
Chapter 72: Play the Game
Hex and Ace before “The Magic Mousetrap”
“You sure this will work?”
“Of course it will! Just don’t mess up the accent this time, Bobo.”
“You could try being a bit more supportive, Bunty my dear.” He dropped his attempt at a posh 1920s accent and spoke in his regular voice. “I’m a nurse not an actor.”
“Hex,” Ace admonished, “this is important!”
“I know, I know. But I'm worried about what it’s doing to the Doctor.”
“Him?” She laughed. “He’ll outlive us all. But if we ever want to get out of here, we all have to keep to the plan and defeat the Celestial Toymaker.”
Chapter 73: Caves of the Dreamers
Hex and Professor August Corbin during “Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge.”
Hex sprinted through the dimly lit caves. Finding himself alone, he stopped until Professor Corbin could catch up.
“You all right, Prof?”
“Keep moving,” the older man gasped. He grabbed Hex’s arm and dragged him deeper into the island. “I can hear Whytecrag and his thugs catching up! They’ll kill us, if they can.”
“Don’t I know it.” Like he’d killed Ace and the Doctor as they’d clung to an icy cliff face. Hex pushed the memory aside. “I hope you know where we’re going-”
“To our deaths!” the Professor ranted. “But better that than whatever Whytecrag has in mind.”
Chapter 75: The Survivors
Liv Chenka after “Robophobia”
Once the escape pod reached Ventalis, the authorities took Farel away. Then there were questions from planetary security and debriefing by company investigators. Liv expected to be fired after all the rules she’d broken to find the murderer on The Lorelei. She was surprised when they offered her a chance to resign with a fairly generous severance package. Whether their leniency was due to something the captain and Cravnet had said or a desire to hush up the whole incident, she’d probably never know.
Liv was grateful but still unemployed. She wondered if nearby Nixyce VII was recruiting med techs…
Chapter 76: Project: Nirvana
The Seventh Doctor, Sally Morgan, and Lysandra Aristedes before “Project: Nirvana”
This had all already happened, he reminded himself, you’re just making sure it turns out for the best. The Doctor hated being shoehorned into a course of action, even by Time, so the mantra wasn’t very comforting.
“Ah, good morning ladies,” he said as Lysandra and Sally walked into the console room. “We have a new target.”
“What is it this time?” Sally asked eagerly.
“I need you to infiltrate a moving train and remove the cargo.”
“I’m afraid I can’t say.”
“Because you don’t know,” Lysandra studied his face, “or because you don’t want to tell us?”
Chapter 77: The Truthsayer
Lysandra Aristedes during “Project: Nirvana”
She’d blown the charges earlier than planned, hoping the derailment would distract the Forge soldiers long enough for her to locate Sally and complete their mission. Nothing here made sense - the train, the tech, all of it was familiar, but Lysandra didn’t remembered ever being here before.
In a carriage designed to carry living cargo, she found a young private lying dead in a pool of purple blood. A small device lay discarded nearby and Lysandra recognized it as a Truthsayer, used during interrogations. Something stirred in her memories. Without understanding why, she pocketed the device before continuing her search.
Chapter 78: Inevitable Consequences
Sally Morgan and Lysandra Aristedes after “Project: Nirvana”
“Are you alright?” Sally asked tentatively.
Usually the Captain didn’t welcomed personal questions, this time was no exception. “I’m fantastic.” Lysandra snorted. “My former employer brainwashed me to the point of madness and I’ve got an Elder God trapped in my mind. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
“I’m sure the Doctor didn’t mean-“
“The Doctor knew exactly what he was doing.” The older woman sighed. “But he was right, this was the only way to stop Derleth.” She squared her shoulders. “Besides, it’s what we do isn’t it? Save the universe from ancient evils by whatever means necessary?”
Chapter 79: Unfinished Business
The Seventh Doctor and Ace before “The Silurian Candidate”
The Doctor hummed a tune as he bustled around the console room. Suddenly he froze, tilting his head like a dog hearing something. “Always seemed peculiar for them to give up so easily after trying to start a war,” he said quietly to himself. “Unless they haven’t. Hmmm, I should check.” He grinned. “No time like the present! Besides, it’ll only take a hour.”
Moments later, Ace found him pushing buttons busily.
“We almost there?”
“No. Change of plans.”
She narrowed her eyes. “Why?”
“Actually Ace, it’s just occurred to me that I’ve got some unfinished business to attend to.”
Chapter 80: SNAFU
Ace and Mel during “The Silurian Candidate”
Ace looked smug. “Did you ask him?”
“Yes.” Mel frowned. “He…wasn’t very forthcoming-“
“But that doesn’t mean he’s up to something.”
“Yes it does.”
“Have it your way. Since we’re not going to a party, I’m going to go change.”
“Good idea. If the Professor’s about to drag us into a grudge match with some ancient evil, you wouldn’t want to fight it in that dress.”
Mel glanced over her shoulder as she left the room. “We can just stay in the TARDIS, you know.”
“And let him cause havoc on his own?” Ace muttered. “No way.”
Chapter 81: Divided Resources
Mel, Ace, and the Seventh Doctor before “Red Planets”
“Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“Don’t worry about me, Peanut,” Ace laughed, “I can take care of myself.”
The Doctor handed Ace two devices. “That’s true, but be very careful. We need to discover the source of this time ripple as quickly and quietly as possible.”
“Careful’s my middle name.” She grinned. “So what’s this then?”
“A communicator that will allow you to reach us wherever or whenever we are.”
“Even in the future?”
“Indeed. The other is a…virtual map, let’s say…of East Berlin.”
“Maybe you should install one in the TARDIS?”
“Oh, very droll.”
Chapter 82: A Change of Plans
Ace and Tom Elliot during “Red Planets”
Ace half-dragged, half-carried the man as she took cover around the corner of a building. She could still hear the guards shouting, but the sound seemed muffled by distance and the fog. Fog that seemed to come from nowhere.
She looked down at the stranger bleeding in her arms. “So much for keeping a low profile, but I couldn’t let you die. What we really need is somewhere to hide.” She pressed a button on the tracker the Doctor had given her. “Is there a hotel near here?”
“Turn left,” it droned in a falsely cheery voice, “on Rüdersdorfer Street-“
Chapter 83: Alone on the Streets of the British Commune of Mokoshia
Mel during “Red Planets”
Mel glanced both ways down the street before hurrying from Anna’s flat. “Should have kept my mouth shut,” she grumbled, dodging behind a trash bin as a car approached. “It’s just so confusing to have two versions of reality competing inside your head. What’s actually real: the Cold War or the peace and brotherhood brought about by the Republic of Mokoshia?”
“The worst part is I don’t know where to find the Doctor and, even if I did, what then? I doubt whoever took him will let me stroll in and free him.” Mel sighed. “I wish Ace was here.”
Chapter 84: Learning to Fly
Ace and Mel before “The Dispossessed”
Mel glanced up. “Reading the TARDIS manual.”
“The Doctor’s teaching me to pilot it-“
Ace flopped into a chair opposite of her. “He tried teaching me once, but she didn’t like me.”
“Perhaps the teacher was the problem? I’m not sure he understands it himself.” She lifted the binder before dropping it into her lap. “Which is why I’m reading this.”
“Is it making sense?”
“I think so. I mean, I may never understand the physics, but the physical controls-“
Ace closed her eyes. Within minutes she was lulled to sleep by the sound of Mel’s voice.
Chapter 85: The Problem of Arkallax
Ace, Mel, and Arkallax during “The Dispossessed”
Arkallax’s expression was cagey as he asked about the Doctor. Ace had been wary of him before, but now all her warning bells were ringing.
Mel wasn’t similarly alarmed. “Oh he’s brilliant,” she gushed. “He’s got mental energy to spare. If anyone can get us out of this, he can.” Ace reached for her friend, hoping to distract her without drawing the attention of the nearby alien. But how do you avoid being noticed, Ace thought, when the potential threat is a psychic?
Suddenly Arkallax closed his eyes and fell back against the couch.
“That works, I guess,” Ace muttered.
I love this audio, but there's not a lot of gaps for drabbles in it. Such is often the way with really good stories.
Chapter 86: The Ghosts of Warlock’s Cross
Daniel Hopkins and Linda Maxwell before “Warlock's Cross”
“Yes, everyone’s sorry,” Daniel repeated emotionlessly.
Linda swallowed and looked away. “Follow me, sir. I’ll take you to see the bodies.”
Daniel followed meekly, but inside he seethed. Three months since his family’s deaths and the pain was still unbearable. He wanted to scream at Linda, Lieutenant Colonel Price, or anyone else in earshot. How could they act as if nothing had changed when, as far as he was concerned, the world had already ended?
As he went through the motions of checking the bodies, something else became aware of Daniel. It looked into his mind and began making plans.
Chapter 87: World of Pain
Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Price and Daniel Hopkins before “Warlock's Cross”
The private saluted. “I’m sorry, sir, we can’t find Corporal Maxwell anywhere.”
“She can’t have disappeared, there’s only one way out of this place.” Price looked at Daniel. “Did she say anything or act strangely?”
“She heard something and went to check it out, but that’s all.” Daniel shouldered his pack. “I’ll help them look.”
“No. You take the bodies back to headquarters, I’ll oversee the search.”
“One way to end the suffering,” a voice whispered in Daniel’s mind as he left Warlock’s Cross.
Daniel didn’t tell anyone he’d heard it. He wanted to keep his options open.
Chapter 88: Welcome to the 1990s
The Seventh Doctor during “Warlock's Cross”
“Colonel McKenna wants to see the…intruder in his office.”
“Intruder,” the Doctor trilled as the soldiers led him inside at gunpoint. “I ended up here by accident. Although…this place does looks familiar. I believe it was run by a woman named Annabel Morden when I was here last time. It’s interesting that UNIT turned it into a base-”
“Quiet,” the Sergeant ordered.
“Why? Communication is important in order to build trust in any relationship. Besides, I’d expect a much warmer welcome from UNIT. I mean, I hate to be that person, but don’t you know who I am?”
Chapter 89: Trapped and Desperate
The Seventh Doctor during “Warlock's Cross”
The Doctor tried hooking the sonic emitter with the handle of his umbrella, but only managed to push it further away. As it slid across the floor, the device hit the leg of a desk. The impact changed its settings, intensifying the sonic blast. The Doctor screamed.
Cringing in pain, he spotted the unconscious intruder’s headset. On a hunch, the Doctor again reached out with his umbrella, successfully snagging it. He slipped the headset over his ears and sighed in relief. “This won’t help for long, but at least it’ll keep my brain from liquefying for the next five minutes.”
Chapter 90: Other Options
Daniel Hopkins and Ship during “Warlock's Cross”
“I could do it. Put my hand on this panel and damn the world.” Daniel stepped away from the machinery of Ship’s bridge. “And I might've seven years ago, but that’s no longer what I want.”
“So long restrained.” Ship’s voice in his head sounded desperate now. “One chance to live free. Forever free-”
“Calm down. As it happens, I’m not your only option. UNIT soldiers are here looking for me and Linda.” Daniel smiled bitterly. “The Doctor’s probably with them. I know all of them very well, better than they know me. So let me suggest an alternative strategy.”
Chapter 91: Ship’s Purpose
The Seventh Doctor, Daniel Hopkins, and Gregory Lord during “Warlock's Cross”
The Doctor glared at Daniel. “And what is Ship’s purpose?”
“Now that,” smiling, he stepped into light, “is the part you really won’t like.”
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Ship wants to be safe and free.”
Greg shrugged. “What’s wrong with that?”
“Ship doesn’t care how it achieves those goals. If freeing itself means destroying everyone on this planet, so be it. If UNIT soldiers threaten it, Ship feels no compunction about reaching into their minds and convincing them to kill each other.”
The Doctor’s expression darkened. “Where are Colonel McKenna’s men, Daniel?”
“Follow me. I’ll take you to them.”
Chapter 92: Mission Accomplished
The Seventh Doctor and Ship during “Warlock's Cross”
The Doctor looked at all of their faces - Klein, McKenna, and Daniel Hopkins - and found he could no longer stand to be in their presence. Turning on his heel, he walked away in disgust.
“Greg is dead,” Ship whispered into his mind. “Another innocent killed by reckless, self-centered humans.”
“You can be quiet as well,” the Doctor muttered.
“That said, you’re the one who brought him here,” Ship continued, sounding more and more like the Doctor himself, "knowing that he couldn’t handle it. Why?”
“I wanted him to see what dealing with aliens was really like.”
“Mission accomplished,” Ship replied.
Chapter 93: Why Not Change Everything?
Elizabeth Klein and the Seventh Doctor during “Warlock's Cross”
The TARDIS landed on a green hill. The Doctor hurried outside, but Klein took a bit longer to get her bearings. “So that’s it,” she nodded toward a facility nearly hidden in a nearby hill, “Warlock’s Cross?”
“The Warlock's Cross of seven years ago.” The Doctor gestured with his umbrella. “Do you doubt my abilities, Elizabeth?”
“In rewriting history?” She laughed humorlessly. “No, I have personal experience with that. But I wonder if you’re sure about it here?”
“When we have the chance to save fourteen lives?” He pulled his hat lower. “I would risk quite a lot for that.”
Chapter 94: So Long Restrained
Elizabeth Klein and the Seventh Doctor after “Warlock's Cross”
Klein walked him to his TARDIS. “Goodbye Doctor. Will we meet again, do you think?”
“Who can say?” The Doctor smiled at her. “Take care of yourself Elizabeth.”
“I’ll try. And if I decide to stay with UNIT, I’ll keep an eye on Daniel.”
“Good. He’s sure to try again.”
“To escape or destroy the world?”
“Both. Colonel McKenna may think he can contain him, but Daniel is much more cunning than the Colonel could ever be, even on his best day.” He patted her arm. “You however are different story.”
“Compliments?” She chuckled. “From you? Now I am suspicious.”
Chapter 95: The Barset Expedition
Ben Hodgeson, Genevieve Marceau, Lord Barset, and Professor McIntyre during “Frozen Time”
Ben squinted at the screen. “It can’t be what I think it is-”
“A humanoid form, frozen in the ice for millions of years.” Genevieve turned off her equipment. “Let’s move it to my lab so that we can control the thaw more precisely.”
“You heard her.” Lord Barset gestured at the nearby soldiers. “Someone get a gurney!”
McIntyre paced as the younger men got to work. “A police box and a body uncovered on the same day? What next?”
Barset glared at Ben. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“...Just a joke?”
“You’re not being paid to be funny.”
Chapter 96: The Man Without a Name
Genevieve Marceau and the Seventh Doctor during “Frozen Time”
As she made the hot chocolate, Genevieve glanced at the newly awakened man. “You’ll need some clothes. Yours rotted away while you were frozen in the ice.”
“I noticed.” He clutched the thermal blanket tighter around him. “I suppose I can’t wander around naked-”
“Not in Antarctica.” She paused in the act of stirring. “Not anywhere, really. We didn’t bring a lot of extra clothes with us, but maybe there are some coveralls somewhere?”
“That’s kind of you.” His intelligent eyes twinkled. “What is your role on this expedition?”
“Scientist extraordinaire.” She laughed. “Basically, I do whatever I’m told…mostly.”
Chapter 97: The Thaw of Memory
The Seventh Doctor and Ben Hodgeson during “Frozen Time”
The Doctor ran his fingers over the equipment in the expedition’s control room. “Something about this feels familiar.”
“Better drink your cocoa before it goes cold.”
He reached out absently. “Thank you, Hex.”
“Who?” Ben laughed.
The Doctor blinked. “Sorry, Ben. My memories are thawing much slower than I did.”
“You called the Mademoiselle something too. Ace? Ace and Hex…odd names. Who are they?”
“Friends.” The Doctor leaned his head to the side and thought. “Or maybe family? All I remember is they’re not with me now. I’m completely on my own.”
Ben grinned. “Not from where I’m sitting.”
Chapter 98: Escaping into the Storm
Professor McIntyre, Ben Hodgeson, Genevieve Marceau, and the Seven Doctor during “Frozen Time”
Professor McIntyre peered through the back window of the snowcat. “Are those creatures following us? I can’t tell through the snow.”
Genevieve joined him. “No, they’re…returning to the cave. Would they really give up so quickly?”
“Not normally.” The Doctor’s voice was grim. “They’re relentless, but I suspect this lot have other priorities at the moment.”
Ben struggled with the vehicle’s gearshift. “What did you call them, Doc?“
“What about the other members of our team?”
“They’ve kept Lord Barset and Captain Harman alive.” The Doctor took her hand. “But I’m sorry Ginny, everyone else is dead.”
Chapter 99: An Army of Two
Ben Hodgeson, Genevieve Marceau, and the Seven Doctor during “Frozen Time”
“Come on, Mademoiselle, talk to me.”
Genevieve exchanged a look with the Doctor before turning on the helicopter’s radio. “Yes, Ben?”
“What are you two doing? We barely survived traveling through that storm the first time! If you’re trying to rescue the Professor-”
She sighed. “We both know it’s too late for that. The Doctor wants to stop the Ice Warriors before they kill more people.”
“What can they do? They’re trapped in a cave in Antarctica.”
“Like we were?”
“Fine but…why’d you have to go with him?”
Genevieve smiled. “He can’t stop them on his own, can he?”
Chapter 100: Time for Tea
The Seventh Doctor before “Kingdom of Silver”
The Doctor looked up from his book. Only the hum of the TARDIS engines disturbed the silence of the control room. It was a far cry from the days when he had regular traveling companions. He smiled wistfully, remembering Melanie, Ace, Bernice, Hex, Chris, and Roz. So many good memories…and some horrible ones too.
“Enough of that.” Closing the book, he walked to the console. “Time to lighten the mood. I know…tea! And where can you find the best tea in the universe?”
He waited a moment, but there was no one left to reply. “Tasak, of course.”
I waited a long time to be able to listen to this audio and it did not disappoint. I LOVED it.
And it's made even more lovely because it all starts off with the search for the perfect cup of tea.
Chapter 101: For Sale
The Seventh Doctor before “Valhalla”
The Doctor meandered through the curiosity shop, perusing items on sale. “A monopticon! I haven’t seen one in ages.” He examined the device before dismissively tossing it away. “Broken. What’s this…a bust of Pliny the Elder?” He studied the inscription. “Joanna the Mad? What a terrible likeness.”
A small device lying nearby caught his attention. Turning it on with a touch, he scrolled through what appeared to be a list of names and jobs.
“For sale: one Doctor,” he read aloud, “excellent condition, six previous owners, only 900 years on the clock-“ His eyes widened in realization. “Oh no.”
If you want the sales entry, here it is (taken from the audio):
"For sale: one Doctor, excellent condition, six previous owners, only 900 years on the clock. Extensive experience in cross-cultural affairs and science. Practical, witty, highly clubable. Much sought after in all major star systems. Available at all times. Has own transport. Would make an excellent companion."
Chapter 102: Welcome to Valhalla
The Seventh Doctor during “Valhalla”
The Doctor hurried away from the employment window. It was the third he’d visited in the hopes of drawing the attention of whoever was in-charge of the city of Valhalla. Something was wrong here, he would have sensed it even if he hadn’t found the slave catalog with his name in it.
The sub-city grid seemed to be where the action was happening. Using his sonic screwdriver, he unlocked the security clamps on the nearest manhole and scrambling down the ladder. “Which way? I’ll try…right.”
He turned a corner and almost tripped over a dead body. “Or perhaps left?”
Chapter 103: Nearing the End
The Seventh Doctor before “Project: Lazarus”
He sat in front of the piano and began playing, but his mind kept wandering to back to his former companions. Mel, Ace, Bernice, Hex…
Times like these, alone in the TARDIS, were difficult for the Doctor now. He was always too busy to feel lonely while he explored new worlds or situations. There were always people around - wonderful people trying to help each other survive and thrive - but after each adventure, none of them joined him in the TARDIS. Not anymore. The Doctor wasn’t sure if that was because no one wanted to or if he’d just stopped asking.
For the first half of “Project: Lazarus," see the Sixth Doctor Drabbles.
Chapter 104: The Doctor Problem
The Seventh Doctor during “Project: Lazarus”
The Doctor leaned on his umbrella and tried to make sense of the situation.
His Sixth self was impulsive, but surely he wouldn’t willingly help the Forge, not after Nimrod tortured him and murdered Cassie. Not after Evelyn. The Doctor had lived in his current incarnation for a very long time and there were many things he’d forgotten, but those moments were painfully seared into his memory.
But it was more than just that. If they already had a TARDIS here, even a disabled one, why did they need his? And why hadn’t that question occurred to his former self?
Chapter 105: Unraveling the Strand
The Doctor during “Project: Lazarus”
The Doctor watched as Dr. Crumpton tried to reattach the other Doctor’s arm. The aliens’ attack was regrettable and the damage extensive. It should have caused him to regenerate, but the fact that it didn’t confirmed all of the Doctor’s suspicions. There was only one answer that fit: Nimrod was trying to grow his own Time Lords. He’d cloned the Doctor's Sixth self based on DNA stolen during his last visit, but the results were flawed, unable to regenerate, and dying due to rapid cellular degeneration.
The Doctor frowned angrily. It was time to put an end to this charade.
The Doctor seems much more chill seeing what appears to be his previous self getting his arm ripped off than I think I'd be in that situation.
Chapter 106: The Hades Protocol
Sgt. Frith during “Project: Lazarus”
Sgt. Frith never liked Dr. Crumpton. From the moment he’d been forced join the Forge they’d been like oil and water, arguing over even the most meaningless details. But she was part of his life - a predictable, reassuringly human connection that helped mitigate the horror of the work they did here.
Seeing her lying dead in the lab, he’d felt surprisingly sad.
“Damn Nimrod! He’ll kill us all in the end,” Frith muttered as he paced the portal room. “So might the Doctor if he doesn’t hurry-“
Oracle’s voice interrupted him. “Hades Protocol active. Serialization in one minute thirty seconds-“
Chapter 107: A Mission from the President
Cardinal Padrac, the Seventh Doctor, and the Eleven before “The Eleven”
“Congratulations Doctor!” Cardinal Padrac smiled. “I see your mission was a success.”
“One psychotic Time Lord down.” The Doctor paused, watching the Chancellery Guard drag his prisoner away. “If only the Master and the Rani were as easily dealt with.”
“You think this is over,” the Eleven chuckled, “but, trust me, it’s just beginning!”
“He’s right. There’s still the trial-”
“After which he’ll be found guilty.” Padrac shrugged. “Then he’ll be frozen indefinitely.”
“No molecular disintegration?” The Doctor nodded. “Good.”
“Things have changed on Gallifrey, for the better I think. Speaking of which, President Romana is waiting to see you.”
I'm not quite sure where this should fall, but I'll put it here for the moment. I keep hoping that Big Finish will give us an audio about the Seventh Doctor vs. the Eleven.
More drabbles based on this audio can be found in the Eighth Doctor Drabbles.
Chapter 108: The Invitation
The Seventh Doctor before “Twilight's End”
The prickling at the back of his mind had bothered him for a while and for some reason it reminded him of the Forge. After some research he learned that they had given up the pretense of serving the British government, instead setting themselves up as an independent force in a gleaming, technologically-advanced tower. A tower that was impossible to infiltrate, even for him.
A sensor on the TARDIS console dinged. Checking the readings, the Doctor discovered a low-grade telepathic signal being beamed at his ship from the Forge’s tower.
Impossible to infiltrate perhaps, but what if you were invited?