Dixie McCall met the Mayfair ambulance as it pulled back into the emergency entrance at|
had decided to intercept Station 51's Code I call because Drs. Morton, Early
and Brackett were all
tied up with other patients at the moment who were worse off than
She stood back and
waved two orderlies forward to steer and navigate DeSoto's gurney
for Johnny so she could get more
information for his E.R. chart. "Johnny, how's he doing?
Dr. Brackett's on his way." she said, following
the party down the hall.
"About the same. Syncopal and hypotensive a bit. It's a real mystery,
Dix. I have absolutely
no idea what his problem is."
Beside him, jumping down from the rider's
bench to the loading lane, Amy mumbled under her
breath. "I do. It involves me."
a nervous Gage. "Miss, did you say something?"
"I said, it must be." she covered neatly.
asked Johnny, torn between watching the orderlies wheel Roy away and paying
heed to Dixie's requirements
as his intercepting receiving nurse for his patient.
"The same issue that effected you when you
passed out right in front of us." Pond said, loud
enough for Dixie to overhear.
That did it.
Dixie snapped her fingers quickly at a passing intern for a wheel chair. "Him, too.
Get him seated.
They're both going into Five. Johnny, now. No arguments. I'm sure Captain
Stanley here agrees with
me one hundred percent. You're a patient, too."
"Pronto, Johnny. Sit!" said Cap, glaring at Gage
when he learned that whatever was ailing Roy
was also bothering him. "Before you fall down."
Amy Pond quickly grabbed the handles of Johnny's wheelchair to be the one to push the paramedic
"I got this. I'm a witness. From the very beginning." she snorted ironically.
Hank drilled her.
"Exactly what happened to my men, Miss....?" said Cap, retrieving all the
medical gear that had come
along for the ride deftly.
"Pond. I'll tell you on the way to the care room..." said Amy to Hank,
grinning with fierce
concentration. "I'm afraid, you both are not going to believe this." she promised,
stress she felt from her face.
believe it!" spouted the Time Lord as he walked into the kitchen and detected
the aroma of Earl Grey
tea already set to boil on the stove of Station 51. He took in a
great big appreciative breath. "Is
that bonafide Twinings I'm smelling? Oh, bravo.
Thank you, gentlemen. We really appreciate your graceful
A hot teapot had already been boiled to rolling steam and mugs were distributed
around the kitchen table. Cookies baked earlier in the day sat on a plate on top of a
flower ring of paper napkins. Nearby, a pitcher of ice water await with crackle
glass tumblers stacked
Lopez asked a question of Rory and the Timelord. "Is there anything else
need for your exam on him? We can pull a trauma kit off the engine that's got a
BP cuff in it." he
offered as he poured fragrant tea into their mugs first.
The youth faced Doctor emitted a puff
of air politely. "Sure."
"I'll go get it." offered the engineer.
"Thank you my fine sir.
After that, I believe I have everything I require for this issue."
"Except Amy." Rory spat out
of the corner of his mouth.
"Who's Amy?" asked Chet, gesturing to the cookies he was offering
on a plate in
"My wife." answered Williams. "We were travelling."
are my companions." began the Doctor. "Through thick and thin, gentlemen.
Although today might be
considered rather-- umm." he struggled.
"...messy." concluded Rory. "Alienated once again." he
said in irritation.
The Doctor looked at his alien human friend in earnest agreement. "You see,"
he explained to the firemen. "We got ourselves a bit lost just around the time
..your two paramedics...
found us." he skirted in generalizations.
Rory gushed. "And that was definitely not a good thing,
guys." he said, still
unhappy with the mysterious crisis situation the Tardis had hinted at about
"What your men stumbled into is very complicated."
Mike Stoker took charge of the conversation.
"Just what happened to Roy? Whatever
it was upset our captain enough to ride with him to the hospital
in the ambulance."
"Yes, Doctor." Rory led on, biting into a cookie sarcastically. "Do tell. Why
suddenly have to be his medical eye witness? That other American medic was right
He could have easily provided an adequate history on his own. He's probably
a lot like me with not
wanting to sit whenever the shite hits the fan. Doctor, get
us out of here now."
piped up. "Ah, yes. Forgive my client. Prone to emotional outbursts due
to his,,, uh, ongoing mental
state of maritalpsychosomaticphobia."
Chet Kelly frown sympathetically. "Sounds serious."
"Today it is." the Doctor admitted, accepting two cups of tea that Mike Stoker poured
for both him
and Rory Williams. "Nothing like worrying about the wife when she's run
protested. "That's our problem, not theirs!" he hissed.
"Not to worry, dear Rory. We'll soon set
you to rights." the Doctor fauned, opening up
his medical bag just for show. "Still got that stethoscope
I let you hold onto for comfort's
sake?" he crooned, still in the role of a psychologist in crisis
interviewing mode. "Time
for me to use it now."
Rory, the nurse, shot a few daggers in the
Doctor's direction and pulled out the one he
had placed looped around his neck from beneath his ski
vest earlier when he had mad dashed
out of the T.A.R.D.I.S. after Amy. He turned his look to kill
into sheepish submission when
he felt firefighter eyes watching them closely as the Time Lord began
rolling up Rory's
sleeve to take a blood pressure.
The stethoscope's rubber tubing was covered
with little family photos of Amy in every
possible intimate, family moment imaginable.
the Doctor whispered, being careful not to mar any of the photo memories taped
the 51 gang trio cringed in sympathy, Chet reacted by not getting overly curious,
and Marco began
some exaggerated, un-necessary hovering like Rory was suddenly made
I wholeheartedly understand." said Stoker to Rory, placing a gentle hand on
his shoulder. "I feel
the same way whenever she bolts at the worst possible times."
"You have no idea." Williams sighed
at the engineer's remark. "It's far worse than that for
me, mate. I once waited two thousand years
for her to show up again."
Kelly choked in humor. "You mean it felt like two millenia."
it was actually was t--"
"Hush, Centurian. They'll think you're crazy..." the Doctor hissed at
Rory, sotto voce'. He
accepted the blood pressure cuff Mike Stoker handed to him.
truth, Doctor! Why should I hide bald faced truth from anybody?" Rory spat at
suddenly whipped out his sonic screwdriver and buzzed it in front of
Chet, Marco and Mike's faces,
hypnotizing them each into freezing in place in a pico.
The Timelord let go, leaving the sonic suspended
in mid air to do its diapause task
uninterrupted. Then he whirled on Rory angrily.
to me. And listen to me very carefully. All of this, the fire station and
its men, are somehow very
key layers in Amy's primary time line, the one I cannot
ever, ever alter or tamper with. It is Gallifrey's
highest temporal law concerning
Tardis companions and it is always absolutely obeyed on pain of death.
death. No second chances. No mercy. No forgiveness."
Rory made a face. "You are
the last survivor of your race. I don't think anyone back
home is going to find out if you just tweak--
ackk!" he choked as the Doctor grabbed
him by the collar in deadly earnest.
"Any Timelord companion currently under a Tardis' grace field, experiencing paradox, |
must be guarded
against contaminating anyone else in that time stream's history or
future! And that, includes you.
So shut up and let me do all the talking. You're mute
until further notice." And with that, the Doctor
flashed out a pair of fingertips to strike
Rory's adam's apple lightly.
Rory gurgled wetly
and shot two hands up to a throat suddenly gone numb. His
eyes reflected shock back at the Doctor
when he realized that he couldn't utter
"Drink your tea and smile." the alien warned
him icily. "I'm waking these
three up again."
Once Rory had regained his composure, the Doctor
stuffed a cookie into both
his and Rory's mouths jauntily. "Hmm. So good. Right?"
angry and yanked it out, spitting out crumbs onto his plate.
The Doctor grabbed his wrist so
he wouldn't make a physical change
big enough for the firefighters to notice. "We don't want to break
anything while we're staying here." he warned dangerously about the time line.
"Amy might get irreparably
Williams finally began chewing, cleaning up his plate until it was a clean as
had been originally, a little healthy fear for his wife lending him the proper
caution the Doctor
"Think, before you act!" the Doctor said. Then he yanked his sonic screwdriver
into his lapel pocket deftly, releasing the firefighters from limbo.
Mike Stoker answered Rory's
earlier question about Amy's role in the Mayfair.
"Sir, that's because Paramedic Gage was still recovering
himself. He was looking very pale. That's why Cap hopped on board to
Gage usually lies about how hurt he is. We all know it."
"I have a tendency to do that myself."
the Doctor admitted. "And so do you."
he said softly to Rory. "And Amy." Finally, the doctor touched
neck in a show of affectation masked as a pulse check, restoring
Williams ability to speak.
Rory stuttered, and tried to keep whatever he said neutral. "That.... Okay,
that makes sense,
happening like that." he smiled wanly at the engineer.
The Doctor clasped his hands together briskly
in conclusion. "So.. Your squad's
not damaged. Safely parked out back. Now tell me. Exactly where
do Rory and
I have to go to get to--" he led on with a prompting gesture at the firefighters.
"Rampart?" Marco offered. "Oh, that's easy. It's just down the boulevard about
nine blocks. Hang a
left, then an immediate right into the E.R.'s parking lot
past the heliport landing pad."
fun!" the Doctor's eyes lit up. "I would love to see a whirly bird. Rory,
those flying machines are
"I know what they are. I'm from Earth, remember?" Williams groaned.
yes.." murmured the Doctor. "Try not to forget."
Mike Stoker finished drawing a map of directions
to the hospital on
a snack napkin and passed it over to the Timelord. "Need a ride? We
you there on the engine. We need to go pick up Cap and bring
him back to the station anyway."
Kel arrived with his chart from the base station right at that moment. "Johnny,
what seems to
be Roy's issue?" he asked quickly, holding up the medical record.
"Nothing's adding up."
don't know, doc. Not for sure." he replied reluctantly.
Dr. Brackett blinked as he moved to Roy's
head to feel for his carotid pulse as
a counter to what he was seeing on the EKG monitor. "I don't
ever heard those words come out of your mouth before, Johnny. Ever."
know." the dark haired paramedic sighed as he sat down on an exam
stool gingerly. "That's probably
because whatever is effecting him, got me, too,
"They weren't geared up when we were
introduced." Amy volunteered. "They weren't on
"They were put on inactive duty this
morning from what I remember." Dixie replied.
"Because they both spent all day yesterday fighting
a brush fire."
Gage still looked puzzled from where he was sitting. "That's right, we gave a talk
to a bunch
of kids on fire safety then...er.. or was that today? I'm so confused."
guys did today will scramble a few brain cells, Mr. Gage. Try not to think about
it. You'll adjust
soon." Amy promised him. "Remember what your Aunt always used to say."
"Wait a minute, how do
you know my Aunt? Are you sure we haven't met before on a past date?"
Amy blanched and her bravado evaporated. "Uh, no. We're... uh,..pub buddies from....college. Only|
don't go for redheads like me you go for blonds like..." and she pointed to Dixie McCall, who
concentrating right at the moment on her chart writing.
It was Johnny's turn to blanche and turn
pale. He fell back in the wheel chair when he realized that
Amy somehow shockingly knew about his
long ago crush he once had on Dixie that he had
never told anyone about. Ever.
Dixie saw the
change from the corner of her eye. "Johnny? What's the matter? Nurse!" she snapped,
pointing to the
oxygen port on the wall. A supporting staffer immediately got a mask slid on
and high flow going
over Gage's face.
"I'm fine. I just, uh.. got a little shock there for a moment." the dark haired
staring at Amy with a mix of stunned amazement and a little bit of fear. "I guess
really horrible today."
Brackett's eyebrows rose. "So it wasn't any fumes on a
"No." replied Cap for Gage.
"Heat?" Kel groped at straws. "Johnny, slow your breathing
down. And that's an order."
Stanley shrugged at Johnny to answer the question as he helped open
Roy's shirt for better
access to his chest area for auscultations.
Gage studied the black
tiled floor without seeing it. "I can't understand what happened enough
to even begin to verbalize
it." he gestured helplessly.
Amy spoke up, gripping the rails of Roy's wheeled bed. "It was time.
They both didn't have
enough of it." she said, watching DeSoto's sweaty face.
furrowed in confusion. "Was Roy respiratory arrested? That could explain
why he's still unconscious."
"Yes." said Amy and Johnny at the same time.
Brackett's face immediately went
hard as stone. "Well which is it?!" he snapped.
"He either quit breathing, or he didn't! Dixie, draw
arterial blood gases. Stat!"
The red haired girl with the Welsh accent was unwavering before the
frustrated ire. "This may be hard to believe, doctor, but your patient did neither.
see, his ability to change or stay the same was deliberately taken away from
him." Pond said evenly.
"By whom? You're not making any sense. Either of you!" he said, derisively.
back to Roy, ignoring the others totally. "Dixie, on the off chance that
our second patient is still
being medically effected by a mysterious condition, would
you please take a vitals set on him? My
hands are tied up."
"Not yet, they aren't." mumbled Amy under her breath, thinking of a whole
temporal tampering adversaries who would like to do just that to the Doctor and any
by companions. "So far so good." Pond whispered, taking a peek outside the
treatment room door through
Next to her, Dixie stuffed the vials of blood she had obtained from Roy into an ice bin
she could examine Johnny, beginning to pump up a blood pressure cuff around his arm.
with her stethoscope, she began to let out the pressurized air which hit zero,
rather suddenly, as
the inflation bladder fell empty. Frowning, McCall tossed that
sphygmomanometer aside. She snatched
the one from a basket on the wall and took
Very soon, the nurse swore. "What
the h*ll?" She ripped off her ear plugs and dug a few
fingers quickly into the groove of Johnny's
neck in a pulse check. "Johnny, are you feeling
dizzy at all here?" she asked him.
Dixie didn't believe his carotid artery. "Because I can't get a systolic BP
on you to
save my soul." she huffed, counting the beat on her watch impatiently.
Kel grunted as he carefully examined Roy's pupils under his pen light's beam.
"On two different cuffs?" Dixie exasperated.
Amy couldn't resist. "Maybe it's a nurse failure."
she said shortly.
"Oh, ha ha. Sit down, please. You're next." Dixie told her coolly. She got a
reading on the girl using Johnny's cuff and valve. "122/70. Huh.."
She grabbed Amy's
elbow when Pond tried to stand again, thinking she was finished.
"Not so fast. I'm grabbing another
BP on your other arm with this one." she said,
snatching back the first BP cuff set she had tried
to use on the paramedic. It worked
easily. She looked up, surprised.
Gage finally asked McCall
the question. "What did you get on that first set?" he
wondered, jerking his head towards Pond and
her arm as it was being unwrapped
from the cuff.
"Same thing. Clear as a bell."
silent, eyeing up the two of them suspiciously. "These aren't malfunctioning
at all. Tell me, were
you in shock a short time ago before you brought Roy in, Johnny?"
"Gage did collapse on the freeway after we met."
"On the freeway?!" Kel gruffed. "What were the
two of these guys doing there?"
"Stopping to help my friend and I, because we were suddenly blocking
driving lane." Pond shrugged.
"A crash?" Kel guessed.
"Nope. Just a small....er...
velocity drain or two. Across the board." Pond twitched.
"Pretty much." she shrugged, thinking of
how the Tardis had neatly protected
the two firefighters from a collision against her landing zone.
"Did somebody hit the brakes too hard?" Brackett theorized. "Can't rule out inertial
"No bruising took place." Amy disagreed neatly. "There was no collision. That's
with the TARDIS."
"What did you say?" Kel blinked.
"Uh, that's impossible, even at the
hardest... force I saw." she corrected to
hide the verbal slip.
Dixie added more. "What she's
saying must be true, Kel. I haven't found even so
much as a scratch on either of them."
fine, doc." Johnny insisted. "At least, for now."
"Maybe not later." Hank told him. "That's why
I came in with you."
Johnny rolled his eyes. "You're over reacting. A faint's a faint, Cap. It's
Amy huffed as Dixie finally stopped fussing with examining her. "No.
It was an accident,
for sure. Just not a vehicular one. More like an entropic one."
head shot up from a vial of epinephrine from which he was drawing another
dose to use on Roy. "Excuse
me, miss, but did you say ectopic? Gage, was his EKG
telemetry showing anything on the trip in?"
"Steady as a rock. Normal sinus rhythm the whole way." the paramedic shared.
Pond popped her lips nervously, realizing that she'd said too much. "I said entropic, you |
in entropy? It wasn't his heat that couldn't escape, it was his linear time. At
least, that's what
the Doctor told me." Amy shared.
Dr. Brackett scowled deeply. "Yeah? Well I'd like to meet this
doctor of yours who
apparently got to treat these men before I did. Pronto. Just what kind of physician
would abandon his patients in mid transport?"
Amy sighed, rubbing her face. "My kind." she muttered.
"I was afraid you were
eventually going to say that. Any way, can I change your mind?"
roared both Cap and Kel.
"Can we draw some blood?" Dixie barked at Gage, not expecting any refusal
"Yes." replied a soft groan from the next bed.
"Roy?" Dixie whirled,
peeling off DeSoto's O2 mask down to his neck so she could hear
him a little better. "Can you hear
me? It's Dixie."
"And Amy Pond." DeSoto murmured. "She was my best friend even before I met
Joanne." he smiled weakily.
"That's right?" Amy Pond said, with a look of growing horror at
the memory suddenly
awakening in her mind.
"How?" Dixie asked, looking from the Welsh woman
to DeSoto. "I thought the three of
you just met for the very first time today."
very good question." Amy remarked. "I think we need a Doctor."
Rory and the Doctor were within eyesight of Rampart Hospital as they walked
swiftly down the sidewalk.
"Tea and cookies." remarked the Doctor. "Now that, was the perfect lunch."
dodged passersby, made room for bicyclists, dog walkers
and joggers wearing earphones. "It's only
a short hop, you said." he groaned,
hurrying to catch up with the Timelord, who seemed to not encounter
obstacles at all, living or otherwise. "We should have taken Mike up on
his offer of a lift.
Or we should have taken ours."
"In the Tardis? Nope. That's one of my girl's few limitations."
"You mean your wife's." quipped Williams, remembering when the
"You should talk! Your wife's a runaway."
"Oi! She was only trying
to keep from being your own personal vivisection
project. Avoiding you is a high skill, Doctor. Not
The Doctor was decent enough to look crestfallen. "Yes, well. I'm over that
to try the easy fix of just snatching Amy back and trying to fly out
of this time zone? Can't mess
up what you're no longer in."
"Is that even possible any more?" Rory asked. "Amy's inserted herself
the thick of things by buddying up to her two mind ghosts."
"You mean our two new
"Yeah, Ray and Jonesy." Williams said, frustrated with the walk even more
the evening smog grew thicker.
"Ah, that's Roy and Johnny." gently corrected the Doctor.
"Whatever! Can't say they've formally introduced themselves before they
stole my wife away." he
spat, spinning neatly in a circle to avoid someone's
Doberman's leg lift and urination on a fire hydrant
as they passed by.
"They didn't steal Amy. She chose to go with them. Willingly."
stopped the Doctor's progress with a hand on his chest. "Why?"
he pegged, almost growling in anxiety.
The Doctor looked sheepish and he tried to draw Rory to the curb for a
sit down to continue the
"Oh, no." Rory protested, keeping on his feet. "The last time we did that, we
do gooder, pesky fire brigaders sticking their noses--"
"That's firefighters." offered the Doctor.
"Firemen!" roared Rory, "..barking up our very own, personal.."
"...tree!" Mr. Williams concluded. "I felt invaded, Doctor. It's our problem.
"Not a bad thing, their interest. We got some really wonderful free food."
the Doctor, continuing his breakneck pace down the busy sidewalk
The Doctor walked up to
the main reception desk of Rampart’s Emergency Room with Rory in
tow, looking uncomfortable being
in a hospital setting. “Why the long face?” the Timelord
asked Williams. “Amy’s most certainly here.
That’s her ambulance.” he said, jerking a hand
over his shoulder without looking at it.
can you tell?” the young man asked, seeing about three parked outside, all appearing
“The one on the end right, is trailing Amy’s DNA.”he said, discreetly using his sonic
screwdriver like a divining rod. “She’s in room 2. Cover me.”
Rory stuttered in surprise
but then pushed forward to a white haired male doctor sipping
coffee at the desk while he read a
Dr. Early looked up. “I can help you for a minute. The reception nurse will be
right back if
you’re a relative.”
“I’m looking for a runaway adult female. My wife.” he announced
“Rory!” The Doctor admonished, totally blowing his cover as he tried to steal a white
he spotted draped over a stool nearby.
He neatly recovered, throwing on the white lab
coat with a flourish. “That’s no way to
think of her.” he hinted. The Timelord whipped out his psychic
paper and held it out to
Joe to see what he made of it.
“You’re the new hospital administrator?”
Dr. Early grinned, pointing at him. “There’s no need
to wear white when you visit us small folk down
here. You’re management.” he grinned. “So…
what can I do about your friend’s wife? Got a name? I
think I can track her down without a
nurse’s help.” he said, picking up a notebook and pen.
Williams. I’ve heard she’s a witness to an unusual double firefighter medical incident.”
you must mean Roy and Johnny. Yeah. They just came in together. She’s in
Treatment 2.” Joe smiled.
“Fine.” said Rory and the Doctor, turning to leave the desk. “Thank you, doctor.”
can’t go in there just yet. Dr. Brackett’s not finished with them. He’s the primary
on call for their
“Why not?” asked the Timelord, surprised. “Aren’t I your boss?”
“You are.” Joe said,
nodding. “But that rule of no interruptions is one of your policies that
you’ve asked that no one
breaks. Two days suspension is a hefty write up for a first offense.
I learned that the hard way.
Now I won’t enter anyone’s patient territory without a face
to face invite, or an intercom page to
The Doctor sighed and studied his shoes. “Look, Dr....Joe.” he said, reading Early’s
tag. “Absolutely can not wait. This situation is a serious emergency.”
Dr. Early chuckled.
“They all are. But you still can’t go in there, or I’ll call YOUR boss.
Wait until Kel’s through
first, or there’ll be H*ll to pay. And not by my doing. You know how
Dr. Brackett gets. He would
eat even you alive, Mr. Administrator, if you two go barging in
there.” Joe shrugged. The Doctor
and Rory watched as the older physician turned back to
his reading and coffee sipping.
moved away into the direction of the waiting room.
“So how are we going to get in there?” Rory
ansed. “I’m really, really missing her with all
of this going on.” he warned, feeling protective
“Shh. Yes, the time paradox and false memories.” the Doctor chided. “Why don’t you just
shout out to the whole planet that we’re here to monkey with their metaphysical mojo
“Might work.” Williams shrugged, opening his mouth.
The Timelord stuffed a wooden
tongue depressor from his pocket into Rory’s mouth to
shut him up before he could crow. “Come on,
Town Crier, I’ve got an idea.”
Rory’s face broke out of an expression of sour annoyance into a
“Candy strippers?” Amy laughed uproariously when she saw her husband and the Doctor
the treatment room wearing striped clothing while pushing a metal cart full of current
“That was fast.” Dr. Brackett commented, looking up from Roy and Johnny’s lab results.
“How’d you know I’d be admitting these two?”
“It was more than a hunch. Time pressed a little
on making an accurate guess.” said the
Timelord, tongue and cheek.”My admin acquaintance,..” he gestured
at Amy.”…is rarely wrong.
Where she runs, is usually trouble.” he smiled.
Dr. Brackett offered up the chart he had just completed.”Both of their vital
signs are stable and
whatever first effected them, is going away.”
At that, Rory reached out and clutched Amy’s hand, just to feel her close. Amy felt a wash |
then, and her eyes watered. “I won’t run any more.” she whisper promised her husband
and the Doctor.
The Timelord nodded. “This is too big to escape. You’re not alone.” he said sotto voce. Then
louder. “I would never hurt you, Amy.”
Dr. Brackett looked up from where he and Dixie were
discussing care notes. “Did you need
“Nope. Just getting out my wares.” Rory play
acted, rearranging the daily news and the
most recent magazines into a pretty half circle.
Brackett looked away with a nod.
One headline caught all three of the Tardis travelers’ eyes.
“What th—“ Rory gasped. “That
can’t be right.” The Doctor snatched up the Time issue magazine. It
showed a big, roiling
tsunami smashing into the familiar white cliffs of Dover, England. “Cardiff
MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATES THE SOUTH UK declared the magazine’s
Suddenly, the whole treatment room began shaking.
cover!” shouted Dixie, bending over the still groggy Roy in case some ceiling
tiles fell down from
the earthquake tremor gripping them.
Dr. Brackett guided Johnny back on his stool away from the
x-ray machine that was dancing
across the floor. Kel hastily unplugged it so it wouldn’t tip after
its power cord ran out of
slack.“Easy does it.” he mumbled to the earth. “You’re not so bad.”
“No, this is all good!” celebrated the Doctor, on his stomach underneath the exam gurney
Amy and Rory.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Dixie exclaimed in disbelief. “Foreshocks?”
burbled the Doctor. “That means we’re not where I think we are.”
McCall’s eyebrows shot up. She
shook her head, not understanding the comment.
Noticing the nurse noticing them, Amy, Rory and
the Doctor entered into a jittering huddle
of linked arms like a football team so they could talk
without being overheard by the time
line’s people. The rumbles coming from the ground masked their
Dixie’s attention focused away as Dr. Brackett began ordering seismic hospital protocols
over the red wall phone receiver that had dropped down and hit him in the face as the
continued to shift everything around them.
The Timelord was ecstatic. “This never happened!” he
shared happily with Amy and Rory.
“Not in the real 1976.”
“What do you mean? It’s happening
right now! Oh, my shins!” Amy flinched as her knees
got bruised from where the floor bounced underneath
her hands and the rest of her.
“No earthquake's ever touched England. So this one’s got it wrong,
too. It appears we’re
actually in a history paradox of some kind. But not your personally own locked
Amy. One that was critically tied to your existence, would never manifest signs in the
physical environment like this.”
“But the cloister bell went off.” Rory insisted.
that’s because the Tardis sensed that Amy’s memories were changing without
matching her current perception
manifestations. She remembered the firefighters she’s
never met. What are their names again?” he
“Roy, Johnny, Chet, Mike, Marco, and Henry. No, make that Hank. He likes it b—“
broke off, not liking the fact that she knew them.
The Doctor sympathized. “Oh, it’s true
that you remember a lot of people here falsely.
And likewise, those two paramedics of ours might
remember you in their own set of
false imprints, past what their minds have created today from normal
“But is this really?” Amy asked.
“Really what?” asked the Doctor.
reality. I thought once before you said that Cardiff was a virtual cornucopia
of temporal disturbances.”
“Well, I—“ the Doctor broke off, suddenly thinking along new veins.
Just as suddenly as it
came, the earth trembler faded away.
Rory Williams dragged Amy Pond out of Roy DeSoto's treatment
room at Rampart. "I'm so
proud of you." he said, hugging his wife fiercely.
"Proud of me?
For what?" she said, half hugging him back in puzzlement, slightly embarrassed as
medical staff grinned at the sight of their embrace politely as they walked by.
"You finally avoided
him. Probably for the first time since both of us were uncraftily knicked into
that TARDIS of his."
he said, beaming.
"Huh? Oh." she pouted. "That was only because he wanted to chase after me with
scalpels." Amy began twirling her hair nervously.
"What did h--?! Oh, that. He
told as much. I know about why you ran already." Rory sputtered,
only half hearing her last comment
as he stuck his head into the drinking fountain alcove for a sip.
Amy bit her lip, kicking herself
for it, too. "Rory, love, we really have to talk about this whole thing that
might be happening to
me. Buy me some tea from the cafe?" she suggested, pointing down the
hall at Rampart's cafeteria
"Righto. Lead the way. I have a few words to spout on it myself." he said, wiping his
his plaid shirt sleeve. Once they were seated, Rory didn't want to let go of his protective
grip on Amy.
She finally muttered dryly. "Can't drink with you hanging on to both of my hands
for dear life. My tea's
"Oh!" Rory released her with alacrity. "Sorry, I just--"
"..feel like guarding me again. Got it. I guess doing it for two thousand years wasn't
for you." she smiled, her love for her husband full in her eyes.
Rory did a double take and then
grinned as he blew the steam off of his own tea cup.
"I'll never get tired of worrying about you,
Amy. It's because I'm more than just in love with
"You're obsessed beyond all hope."
she winked at him, flirting. She flipped her wind blown
red hair back over her shoulders.
on the head, my heart." Rory blinked back, as he kissed both of her hands.
Their emotional break
was suddenly over. "So.." Amy sighed. "What did the Doctor tell
you so far about what's going on
with me?" she said, rubbing her forehead wearily.
"He told me about the fake memories that seem
real to you and those firefighters from
whom we can't seem to escape." he said sarcastically.
"It's hard not to believe what's filling my head. They feel like they're a part of me." she
Rory got mad. "Well, if it wasn't the Doctor's doing, who put those memories there?"
the question of the hour now, isn't it?" Amy said, retreating behind the steam
cloud of her own tea
"Are you sure you're not an escapee from the psychiatric ward?" Kel Brackett asked the
evenly over his crossed arms. "I mean, come on. Do you really expect me to
believe that the three
of you travel through time--"
"And space." added the Doctor cheerfully.
there." Brackett quickly muttered. "You just happened to have
run into my two paramedics' rescue
squad with your time machine just outside
London, England this morning?"
the Doctor smiled.
Dixie McCall and Brackett frowned.
Roy sat up a little higher on his
gurney in the Timelord's defense. "It's all true, you
guys. I was there."
growled at his only recently awakened second patient of two. "You
could be hallucinating due to hypoxic
"What are the odds that the two of us are hallucinating the same thing, doc?"
"Good question." the Timelord gestured. "You just think on that." he said
and McCall. "I'll be right back." He made his way across the room to where Gage was
sitting next to DeSoto's bed on a stool. "Johnny, Roy, I offer you my deepest
apologies. I thought
I could solve our mutual Amy-knows-you-and you-know-her
memory anomaly problem by running away from
it all, but it's becoming clear that
we won't be able to leave this timeline any time soon."
"Well, why not?" Johnny wondered. "I thought you said your TARDIS fixed whatever
was wrong with us."
"She did...er.. it did." he shared. "But something else near by must still be 'broken'.
see how your doctor and nurse are having to struggle trying to digest the
issue and us? That's because
they're so immutably involved inside their normal time
stream. Can't think outside the box. They
probably won't ever be able to grasp our
situation." he explained. "You two, on the other hand, have
been temporally... um..
adjusted,.. You can perceive these new quantum effects and comprehend how
effecting you from moment to moment. The TARDIS has opened your eyes for the
I'm beginning to think that something or someone's slipped us a little
sideways into another time
stream, different from your world's original."
"What do you think he and I can do about it?" asked
Johnny, indicating the two of
them with his head while taking Roy's pulse as he lay blinking at the
"We're just two ordinary firefighters from Los Angeles County, California." he
"Go U.S.A..." agreed the Doctor with a nod. The Timelord's gaze was piercing
its intensity. "For starters. You two can come with us. We have to go find whatever it
that's snared us all into its nasty little net." the Doctor said. "And I think I know
to start looking." he frowned, his mouth firming into a hard line of
aren't going anywhere. They haven't received medical clearance yet." Hank
Stanley challenged. His
height was equal to the Doctor's.
"Easily fixed. Isn't that so Nurse McCall?" he said, whipping
up his sonic screwdriver
up and zapping a green light into her eyes. "Tell Kel their medical statistics
other findings if you please."
Dixie blinked, and began sharing her information with Kel
where he stood reading
Roy and Johnny's medical chart sheets.
"Did you just hypnotize her?"
Hank asked the Doctor.
"No. I merely made the suggestion sound like a really good idea to not
any longer. Big difference." the jovial Timelord shrugged. "I can't force anyone
got free will against themselves."
Seconds later, after Dixie's recited report, Kel reached his
threshold. "Okay." He looked up at DeSoto and Gage. "I know how this is going
to turn out. I can't force you two to stay overnight for observation with these vital
They're all too disgustingly normal for emergency cases. You can go home.
However, I'm leaving it
up to your boss to make the decision of your fitness for
returning back to work at the station."
The Doctor grinned hugely. So did Roy and Johnny. Only Cap kept a serious face.
you, Captain Stanley?" asked the Doctor.
"I say let's go." Hank muttered. "The sooner this day's
over with, the better I'll
"Wonderful. You two get discharged and dressed. Then we'll
go collect Amy and
Rory from the cafeteria. I'm absolutely sure they're there because it's nigh on
time." the Timelord chuckled.
It was a few minutes after Dr. Brackett and Dixie had left Roy's treatment room after getting their
discharge papers from the two paramedics.
"Do we have any choice in the matter about
going along with you two?" Johnny asked the Timelord as he
helped Roy off the gurney.
said both Amy and the Doctor simutaneously, with conviction. They both glanced at each other in
affirmative agreement of their mutual replies.
DeSoto laughed. "Sounds like we're back home at
the station, Johnny."
Gage grumbled. "Anywhere else, doing anything else, would be better than
this weird place."
"There's only twenty four hours in a day. This one will be over soon enough."
Roy sighed, testing his arm
and leg muscles experimentally.
The Timelord stepped over to Cap,
standing toe to toe, and peered at him. "I wish things were
otherwise, too, believe me. But they're
not. Being linked brain to brain through memories like we are,
however falsely, is nothing to shake
a stick at. There exists a very real danger to all of us and potentially
to every living thing who
isn't us. We have to go find the source of the bad a.s.a.p. Call me being a
captain of my own crew
if it helps you, I'm usually right. Just ask them." implored the Doctor
encompassing himself, Rory
and Amy into a sweep of his hands.
Hank narrowed his eyes and leaned into the Doctor. "How do
I know you guys aren't making all of
this up? Plenty of crackpots running around this part of town.
Can't this wait until morning? It's
been a long day and a very long doctor's check up for my men."
The Doctor cleared his throat in sympathy. He took in a deep breath and folded his hands together,
nibbling a knuckle impatiently. "Sir, listen to me, please. To make any kind of difference at all,
must leave immediately before it's too late to do anything to save ourselves."
very, very odd words coming from a perfect stranger, but Stanley was a level man.
He picked a course
of action to follow. "I think I can identify with ...most of that." Captain Stanley
eyed up the Doctor
uneasily, but he made his next decision quickly. He got on his handy talkie.
"L.A., HT 51, 10-8 at
Rampart. I have further on CC."
##HT 51, this is L.A. on requested captain's band.## came his
"L.A., I need Engine 51 and the rest of my crew sent here from home base for
an.... investigation of
unknown duration." Hank found himself saying.
He widened his eyes
when the Doctor overheard his transmission from an impossible distance away
and threw up a pair of
gesturing fingers measuring a little increment. "Only for a short time." the
Timelord reassured the
tall firefighter. "I can make it as short as we need afterwards when our normal
lives can resume."
he promised ruefully, and deadly serious.
Stanley finished broadcasting as his feeling of lack
of control grew in bounds inside of his head.
"Have them rendevous at Rampart."
51. I copy your non-Code-R roll out to Rampart General Hospital..##
Stanley only half heard the
tones begin to sound for his station. He turned to face his firefighters.
"Whoooeee. Now how am I
going to explain all of this to the gang when they get here?"
"You won't need to." Rory conmiserated.
"If your worrying's as plain as mine, they won't be asking
gushed Amy, giving her husband a loving peck on the cheek. "I'm so sorry
about all of this."
"It's not your fault." Williams melted. "Let's go find out whose it is. I'm more than ready."
The new portion of the gang still hadn't climbed out of the engine once it had been driven into the
Tardis along with Squad 51. It had been a full five minutes since they all had driven the Ward inside.
"Are they all right?" Amy Pond asked as she stood shoulder to shoulder with the Doctor while he set
in flight coordinates that sniffed out only the freshest temporal rifting in their part of the Eye
Harmony. "Those three look completely freaked out."
The young Timelord regarded them. "I
imagine so. Probably a little of both. But they're fire brigade,
Amy. Nothing rattles them for long.
Sort of like soldiers.." he grinned. But then his glance fell on Rory.
"Or so I thought." he reflected.
Amy smacked him on the arm. "My hubby was a special kind of soldier. No one in the history of the
universe ever had to wait as long as he did for his beloved while fully conscious the whole time.
earned that worry spot about me, Doctor."
"I'm sorry, Amy. Yes, he has. And I hope never,
ever to get into a pickle like that of waiting for a
resolution or escape to a problem for eons ever
again." the Doctor said, crossing both of his hearts
"Shhh! Don't talk about it,
or you'll make it happen." Pond admonished.
"Rubbish." the Doctor scoffed. "Talk can't tempt fate.
It's all just noise."
"Your shoe's untied." said Chet, saundering next to them, pointing down.|
"What?" the Doctor looked
down at his foot and immediately, he hit his head on the slide track
monitor screen that he had forgotten
he was looking at, for checking his shoelaces. "Ow!" he
exclaimed, feeling the point of injury.
"See? Words can, too, change what happens to you." Kelly chuckled. "Your lady friend's one
percent correct on that score. We firefighters all, call that karma."
The Doctor examined his
fingers to look for non-existent blood from the bump that was rising on his
forehead. "I know what
karma means from the Earth American perspective. What you just did to me
is called a deception, an
entirely different type of cause and effect."
"Speaking of effects. Do you need to see a paramedic
for that?" Johnny quipped, pointing at the
Doctor's goose egg.
"No thank you. I'm a fast healer.
All gone in five minutes, Mr. Gage."
Nearby Nurse Rory Williams agreed, crossing his arms confidently.
"That's only if you don't let yourself get tricked into giving yourself another one."
The Doctor looked at the fireman as they laughed. "Is he always this nasty?" he asked,
to the Station 51 gang, about Chet.
"Yep. Consider Chet Kelly your instant reality
check, Doc." Cap answered. "He'll sort of grow
on you. Give it time."
"Like a fungus." Johnny
"Hhmmm. That's if we have the time." the Doctor said, changing tack.
Kelly had managed
to coax Lopez and Stoker out of the engine cab. Slowly, the two new arrivals
stopped gaping around
them about the impossibility of the time ship's internal architechture and
joined the others where
they were gathered.
"Welcome aboard!" the Doctor greeted them. "This is a Tardis, a sort of plane..
er... with perks."
Then he whirled around. "So, Amy Pond,.." he prompted brightly, "How are those
the boys coming along? Feel any different now that we're back in the vortex?"
red haired girl peered up at the giant red Ward fire engine, parked next to the center console,
she was walking around with curiosity, and frowned in a pout. "They're still there." she said in
small voice. "I can see mentally, every sordid detail we've ever shared of our lives together."
I can recall her honeymoon escapades?" Roy shook his head distastefully.
"Oi! I'm not that bad.
I was.. Never.That. Bad!" Pond shouted.
"Not any more. We've been practicing." Rory murmured aside
to her. "Roy, would you mind getting out
of my wife's head?!" he asked DeSoto. "Spouting off about
our love life, even its history, is getting
rather personal over the home plate, don't you think?"
he snarled dangerously.
"I can't help it. She and I are best friends in my recollection. Nothing's
sacred." Roy shot back.
Amy coolly pegged her false bestie with a look. "I won't talk about yours
if you stop talking about
mine." she suggested strongly.
"You-'d... talk about Joanne and--
Uh, okay, okay, okay! I'll think about something else then."
DeSoto made a concerted effort to change
some brain waves. A second later, puzzlement filled his face.
"Why am I thinking about fish sticks
and custard all of the sudden?"
"That sounds disgusting." murmured Marco, watching the by-play
between paramedic and Welsh gal.
Amy Pond tuned out the hispanic and flung a few eye daggers at
DeSoto. "Because that's my strongest
memory past my wedding night, buster! Eating those happened
on the very first night I met the Doctor."
"You were dating the Doctor?" Rory asked.
Aidan Williams, curb that turning green aspect right now! I was just a little girl that day." Amy shot
back. "The skinny guy was regeneration sick and hungry, so I fed him. That's all!!"
"Everybody! Hey! Just... TRRUUCCEE!! Time out, take a breather for Pete's sake!"
The Doctor was
smiling at the banter. For being inside of a scary temporal paradox experience, he was still
fairly merry mood. "Right, first things first. Everybody, how about not voicing all your private thoughts
so we can get down to business?" he suggested.
"What can we do?" Marco asked, "We're all just
hanging around watching that washing machine
piston thing go up and down."
"The Tardis is
not a clothes washer, my good man! She's... well, yes, she can clean things, but not in the
think! My ship of sorts can clean time if she puts her mind to it." the Timelord told them. "That's
what she did for your Roy and Johnny here when she rescued them from the side effects of a long distance
"A long distance transit what?" Chet wondered. "Sorry, man. Your accent sounds
pretty bad to us."
The Doctor scoffed at the Irish firefighter in the blue uniform with a single
note of disbelieving incredulity.
"There's no way you're not getting what I'm saying. There's a universal
translator at work, too, through
the Tardis's telepathic circuits. Have you ever watched Star Trek
on TV? Viewed Scotty's transporter in
action as it made Captain Kirk and his luckless red shirts
disappear into little dots?! A trans-por-ter?"
he syllabically spelled out with exasperation, in
mock midwestern American dialect.
All of them shook their heads in denial. Then Stoker raised
his hand politely. "We have watched Adam-12.
Now that's a good show." The others burbled happily
in agreement with the engineer's answer.
The Doctor just glowered, dumbfounded, at the lot of
Cap shrugged when he saw the scowling look appear on the Timelord's face. "Sorry, Doc. Guess
been far too busy on the job to log in much time on the boob tube."
The Doctor gave
up and stomped back over to the viewing monitor still scanning the singularity powering
"Akk! You try. I don't think there's a glimmer of comprehension yet in any of our six guests
what we're facing." he said grandly to Amy.
"Right then." Pond replied and took the proverbial
bull by the horns. "Gentlemen, Mr. Gage, Mr, DeSoto..
Again. This is what happened to you just before
we met." And she took in a deep breath. "You were konked
out by person or persons unknown and then
the two of you, along with your pretty red truck were forcibly
dragged to England by the means of
your kidnappers' choice while all of your senses were still befuddled.
The Tardis detected that move,
which is totally against our version of the law of the land, and took action
to stop the criminals
by blocking their crime attempt. In short, you were rescued from being abducted.
Finally, came a desired reaction. "You mean Johnny and Roy were almost taken by aliens?!" Chet exclaimed,
being faster at understanding than any of them. "Far out!"
The Doctor's mouth flopped open
in a gape at the presence of a really old Earth stereotype prejudice.
Then he leaned over to whisper
a conspiratorial into her ear. "Should I ever tell them that I'm alien, too?"
Amy warned at warp speed."They're having enough trouble as it is with just the basics."
The gang moved a short distance away from their three guides who were engrossed in whatever it was|
they were viewing on their TV screen over the control console.
Mike Stoker was the first to speak
inside of their huddle. "Just how is any of this possible, Cap? I drove
a full sized Ward La France
P-60 Ambassador through that teeny tiny double door over there. And I broke
Gage just smirked. "Maybe that's because you're a totally awesome driver and can't crash into things."
"Oh, come on. Do the math, Johnny. How does 22 inches width on the door frame equate to Big Red's
132?" the engineer scoffed, a little piqued. "I know that's all it was because I got really close to
and eyeballed it."
Roy touched his arm, wearing his game face. "It doesn't matter how
we got here. What matters is that
we've been told that we're all in some kind of danger that's about
to get worse, if we don't help those
people, right over there." DeSoto said, pointing to Amy, Rory
and the Doctor. "All this, is simple. We're
on an unknown hazard call in a new part of the city.
We've never been here before, but we'll soon learn
how to get around and fix issues, like we always
Chet Kelly nodded. "I'm with Roy. We need our priorities kept straight."
rubbed his arms in a warming gesture. "Well, that's easy. I can get those figured out
he said. He turned and marched over to the center console, tuning out the oddball
and other noises it was making. He cleared his throat when he got to the Doctor's
side. "Excuse me,
sir. Are you free to talk to us yet?"
The young Timelord eyed up the Hispanic firefighter and
suddenly cringed. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I've been
such a bad host. I didn't notice what time it was."
he said eyeballing a device on his wrist that didn't
look anything like a wristwatch. "You must all
be totally famished. It's way past your dinner hour.
Rory, could you show our guests to the kitchen?
Get them squared away on bed space, too?"
Williams glanced up from the monitor he had been monitoring.
"Uh, sure. Right this way, guys." he
gestured, heading for the interior door leading into the main
Amy winked at them. "Food and rooms are definitely ready. They always are."
"But, Cap.." Kelly began.
Captain Stanley fluttered his hands at his men.
"Go on, ahead. I'll... get some real answers and join up
with you in a bit. I think I have an inkling
about what's going on. I ran into a few hints at Rampart. And
I'm sure Roy and Johnny can tell you
a few things from their point of view."
The gang left, following Rory's lead, but trusting Hank
more to lead them to eventual safety.
Hank took point in front of the travelers. "Okay, spill
it. I can handle anything you dish out."
"I know you can, Mr. Stanley. I'm just not so sure that
we can handle, what out there, might have in
mind for us next." the Doctor said, tapping his sonic
on the screen nearest them.
"How so?" Cap wondered, taking an interest in the TV monitor showing
a strange fluxing fractal
in multiple colors. The lines and shades were so sharp and bright, it appeared
almost like a live
"There are only two ways passengers on, or near, my ship can be
effected by the environment
immediately surrounding it. Either someone got aboard the Tardis as a
hijacker and is tampering
with the equipment, or someone with godhood is majorly messing with the
time stream of the universe
directly. I likely believe the first possibility because nobody but Timelords
had the capability to do
the second option, and they're all dead, except for me." the Doctor explained.
"I"m so sorry, Doc. That couldn't have been easy losing all of your friends and family."
young not-a-man stood quietly in front of his circumspect guest for several long moments.
It wasn't and still isn't, captain. I'm reminded of them every single second I live."
"War. My fault. All due to a bad choice in an act I made when I was younger,.. and far more stupid
than what I think I didn't do,...today." the last Timelord admitted finally realizing a clue from
on in their experience.
"You made a mistake? What did I miss?" Hank asked.
snapped a look at the Doctor. "The earthquake in Cardiff."
"Yes. Quite.We should have gone investigating
as soon as we realized where the first false history
earthquake epicenter originated." he said with
a lot of guilt.
"Cardiff's in England, isn't it?" Stanley surmised.
"Yes! You get two
gold stars for your geography, my fine, fire brigader. Now, Cardiff is significant
to us because it
is ...er... was a place where temporal fractures in the space/time continuum
intersected with Earth
"That's where you lost me right there. Are you talking about H.G. Wellsian stuff? But that's a work of
or ..or.. a movie that people created." Cap complained. "Time traveling isn't real."
wish I could say the concepts are fictionalized. Truly." the Doctor sympathized. "Take us at face value.
are not from your time period. Someone else who isn't, either, is seriously wrecking yours, and
is trying to take
down me and my companions with it."
Hank blinked a few times, and thought
back a minute or two. "How can you have an intruder aboard and not
The Doctor settled
his nervous hands gently on top of the console. "When that intruder is a friend. Such a one
rein in the Tardis forever more, as far as the security systems are concerned. It's a weakness Type 40s
have, that apparently took me a very long time to remember." he self admonished.
Amy Pond was
practical. "Internal cameras? Past Footage?"
"Off line." the Doctor grumbled. "Whenever I have
a female aboard, I allow extra privacy that way."
"Thanks. I think." said Amy. "I'm not modest.
Jolly well flick them back on, Doctor. Let's find this creep."
"With our indefinite, endless interior
architecture? Yeah, that won't be hard at all to accomplish."
Amy got testy. "I thought you deleted
over a quarter of the total mass of the Tardis a while back.
Can't you do more?"
her I wouldn't." he replied.
Cap was practical. "Why don't we figure out a lure and make that
person come to us? My men and I
do that all of the time flushing out arsonists."
and Amy paused in mid comment with their mouths gaping. Pond suddenly grinned.
"That might work."
"What might possibly be an irresistable lure for someone trying to keep themselves hidden?!" the
said with exasperation.
"Start a fire. No one is immune to those in any kind of a structure."
Cap replied, gesturing at the
Tardis's ceilings and walls.
Rory helped himself to an apple from the golden fruit bowl on the white table. Surrounding them were
brick walls and bunk beds with low set windows out of which Tardis light streamed.
"Hey! How did
you guys do that? This is like home!" Chet shouted, immediately jumping back
first to land already
comfortably sprawling on top of the bed he knew was his.
Marco, Roy and Johnny all grinned. Stoker
walked over to one wall and tapped it. "Movie screens."
"Uh, yeah, something like that." Rory
muttered, not wanting to tell the firefighters about holotechnology.
"She's going to hate me, captain. Thoroughly."|
"Who's she?" Cap asked the Timelord.
ship. I was referring to how fires and ships never mix well together. Don't you Americans address
fire engines similarly in the feminine?"
"Uh, yes. I guess we do. My engineer, Mike Stoker sure
does. How's your ventilation system? If we're
going to start a blaze, it won't do to suffocate ourselves
to death in the process." Hank replied.
"We've an excellent one, I can seal off this console room
and any residential spaces wherever they
may be. We're also equipped with subatomic level tight bulkheads
at every door." the Doctor
"Good. Because our air bottles only hold air for ten
minutes at a pop." Cap answered, jerking a thumb
back at both the engine and squad parked by an open
section of Tardis wall. "But can you really rig an
instrument failure and cause a fire realistic
enough to seem like a genuine accident?"
"If we ourselves fake taking an injury or two, yes. Whoever
it is hiding out in here with us won't be
able to deny their roots of curiosity, no matter how far
they may have fallen in a villain capacity. I find
that trait to be true in every species but one."
the Timelord answered.
"Who's the one?"
"Weeping Angels. They have no heart at all. Just
Hank winced in sympathy. "Sounds like quite a gang by the name."
"Oh, you have
no idea." Amy said softly.
"We have one in town that's supposedly good. They call themselves
the Guardian Angels.
Their favorite spot to hang out and fight crime is in the subways."
have subways in Los Angeles? In California?" the Doctor blinked. "That's not right."
"You've always been earthquake country, Captain."
Hank's face fell in confusion when he found
himself completely unable to deny recalling seeing
underground trains in his boyhood.
white light began flashing on the temporal relay board that warned of more singularity
"He's at it again. That's another false memory being created!" the Doctor shouted, getting
He hurried over to the central synapse circuit matrix panel and fiddled with an important
navy blue cabling web at the bottom. "These wires handle all our lighting. How about a blackout
and a fire? Starting immediately?"
"That definitely would be scary to anybody other than a
firefighter, Doc." Cap agreed.
"Get set. When I yank these free, an alarm might go off. A very
big one." said the Timelord.
"That kind of noise won't bother us. We hear multiple company alarms
all of the time." Hank replied.
"We'll be ready to roll with both trucks, Doc. On your cue." he promised,
holding up his HT that was
tuned into the ones his crew carried.
The Doctor patted the edge
of his console tenderly. "I am so sorry, sweetie, in advance." whispered
to his Tardis. "But it's
completely necessary. We've a baddie aboard and you don't even know it."
"What about your other
companion? Shouldn't he be warned ahead of time?" Hank asked.
"No. He'll already know what to
do when the time comes. We've... laid down certain ground rules
over the years. He'll have to act
natural in all things or this ruse of ours won't work."
"He'll be fine. He can definitely take
care of himself." Amy nodded in agreement.
"Hang on to your hat in fifteen seconds, 14, 13, 12..."
the Doctor said quietly, gripping the largest,
brightest conduit in the web.
up his helmet from the engine cab and put it on. Then he grabbed an elbow arm
hold onto the rear
hose rail on the back of Engine 51 firmly.
The Doctor yanked out the living wire with both hands
in a sea of orange and purple sparks.
The console room immediately went dark and gave a violent
shudder as light speed flight slammed
to a crawl. The force threw the Doctor off of his feet and
he barely hung onto the wire he had torn free
from its connectors to keep himself from sliding away
and falling off of the edge of the passenger deck.
"Whoa! That was a bit too strong! Quit bucking
like a bronco!" he said, grimacing half in fear, half in
crisis exhilaration. "It only stings." he
shouted to the Tardis.
The time machine would have none of it. A whole wall of the console room
flashed orange in every
roundel. Their circles' cracks caught on fire and flames began to lick upwards
at each top edge
through the glowing translucent covers. The Tardis cloister bell began to toll heavily.
"Not in here! I thought you understood what I m---!" the Doctor's retort broke off when the floor
again, slamming his chin into the heavy metal grating. He didn't have to feign being injured
chin had cracked soundly on the deck. His face came up bloody, from a bitten tongue and
split lower lip.
"Doctor!" Cap shouted from his place with Engine 51.
"I'm okay. This
is more minor than it looks." he said, spitting out blood and working back onto his feet.
men to start dealing with this!" he said, pointing to the wall of fire. "She's just throwing a
fit to spite me, that's all." he grinned lopsidedly, shaking his head. "Mind that temper, girl.
singed, not b---"
The Tardis jolted to a halt in her programmed flight, tossing the two against
whatever they had grabbed
to steady themselves. Cap wasted no time on the radio. "Engine 51! Squad
51! There's been an
explosion in the--" he pointed to the Doctor who continued where he had left
"...console room, power bay twelve alpha. We've suffered a time crash!" the Doctor shouted,
breath. "Everybody abandon ship! Abandon ship!" he said urgently, getting into it with gusto.
The Tardis cloister bell began to sound.
The gang in the holographic residential rooms threw themselves onto the floor spread eagle
the deck beneath suddenly rolled like a storming sea. Rory blanched at the sound
of the cloister bell
roaring into life at the edge of his perception. "Not again!" he moaned.
Roy DeSoto, sprawled
next to him, startled. "Does this happen that often?!"
"Yes!" Williams panicked, "I mean, no!
Oh, all right. Yes, to chaos. No, to crashing!"
Stoker, already thinking ahead. He had snatched
off his belt to use as a safety strap for dragging
everybody in a little bit closer together into
a shuddering huddle in the center of the room, away
from any falling obstacles.
Chet demanded from the shelter of his arms and elbows flung over his face
HT attached to Marco's hip crackled into an emergency broadcast. It was Cap and the
at the top of their lungs. ##"Engine 51! Squad 51! There's been an
explosion in the--"
room, power bay twelve alpha. We've suffered a time crash! Everybody abandon ship!
Rory shot to his feet in spite of the pitching floor moving up and down. "Uh oh. The Doctor never
kids. Let's go, guys!"
Johnny Gage said "Cap's in trouble?!" in the same breath and scrambled
"Lead us back there!" Marco shouted, gripping Rory's wrist as he slid by. "We can
"I will! I am! Follow me!" commanded Williams.
Roy Desoto gripped his radio tightly in a
hand as he staggered after them. "10-4! Engine 51.
We're coming back to the trucks now!" he said,
hitting the talk button.
##10-4, Squad 51.## Hank replied. ##The Doctor's got something called
an escape pod ready.
Got to hurry.##
Amy Pond scrambled to the Doctor's side at the console as the Tardis began an emergency
mode. "What else can we do?" she whispered.
"Nothing more." replied the Doctor, setting controls
to blow out a wall to expose the escape
pod bay room. "Here goes nothing.."
Amy hoped, her eyes on the door leading to the interior of the Tardis's
ever changing reaches. She
watched as the fire captain's men and Rory dashed into
the console room. "Cap, they're here." she
Hank unhooked his jacket buckles from the fire engine's climbing rail and began organizing
an attack on the wall full of burning roundels. "Doctor, is foam all right? Don't know if you
electricity or fossil fuels powering up things back there."
"FR-20's fine, Captain Stanley. Rip
away. My ship will regenerate what you take down as soon
as it's safe to do so." he instructed.
The gang got to work fighting the fire inside of the wall quickly.
Rory noticed the Doctor's face.
"Are you healing that okay, Doctor?" he asked the Timelord
about his injured face as he watched the
viewing monitor for signs of movement in the
corridors beyond their control room door.
quite. The Tardis let me have one for the dirty trick I played on her. I deserved it."
to be quite the shiner." Rory admired. "Has anyone flushed out?"
Amy Pond's concentration on another
panel was absolute. "Not yet. Whoever it is on
board is still hiding."
The Timelord hit the
deploy button on ejecting the escape pod room's outer walls. He
watched dispassionately as they drifted
away into outer space, leaving the transparent
alumosteel walls, floor and ceiling of the passenger
escape pod room exposed. He
toggled the internal intercom relay system into active."The pod's open!
inside. We only have two minutes to escape!" he lied.
His elbow toggled a life
support monitor that began to read out his own injured condition's
vital signs audibly Tardis wide.
An automated female Tardis voice began to speak. "Hearts
rate: 60 and 156. Facial blood loss decreasing
to 90 ccs. Regeneration threshold holding at
3% of critical limit. Consciousness level improving.
Lungs : Toxic gas levels increasing.
Concussion force was not detected."
"Come on. Be coaxed!"
the Timelord mumbled, watching the monitor screen. "Where are
you?" he wondered as he watched a sooty
gray smoke layer begin to fill from the floor
level on up in all of the Tardis corridors.
51 fought the fire the Doctor had set with the foam hose, axes, and pikes in their
air bottles. Cap
shouted encouragement when the wall fire surged up as the backside of
the charred Tardis wall fell
away into the corridor running parallel behind it in a jumble of
red hot debris and flames.
minutes passed by with no signs of movement showing up in the corridors on camera.
need more bait, Doctor." Amy suggested. "Rory and I can run around a little
back there and wave our
arms around in a blind panic."
"Yeah, we can scream a little, too." Rory agreed.
the Doctor drawled. "Okay... Let's try that. I'll keep this roiling smoke at waist level
duck your heads lower than that or you'll be in real trouble with our fake
pyrotechnics." he warned
as he fiddled with the life support ventilation controls.
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