Viltra Vorta knew that he would be killed for this. He looked down at the bark sample and at the vile of a mysterious blue liquid he held in his hand with his third eye. He clutched on the small translucent canister and brought up his speed. He was running through a large forest the size of a small european country. It was both the largest forest on that planet and the smallest forest on that planet because it was the only forest on that planet. The trees were very similar to the Redwoods of earth, except they had luminescent blue tubes spiraling around their trunks so that they resembled candy canes. The moss was incredibly thick, almost as thick as the fog, making Viltra’s run incredibly difficult. He stumbled on a broken log but caught himself. He glanced backwards to see three masked policemen with electro staffs right behind him. He brought himself one further burst of speed and pushed ahead. He muttered under his breath. “Where the zark is that doctor?” A few days ago he had met an odd pinkish man with dark hair and a bow tie and only two eyes who claimed to work for a local newspaper and was doing an article on Viltra’s research to find a cure for Dexon 66. Dexon 66 was a recently discovered disease that was slowly killing every person on the planet. There was no way to stop it. Dexon was able to escape quarantined areas, immune to incredibly hot and cold temperatures, and there was no discernable cure for it. The only good thing about Dexon 66 was that it was moving relatively slow. Scientists predicted that the entire Melling race would be extinct within seven years. After months of research Doctor Viltra Vorta had a theory on one thing that might be able to unlock the cure. Dexon 66 could be transmitted between plants and animals, and you could always tell if the area was infected because the grass of front yards would be a sickly yellow with blister like blemishes on the surfaces. If a Melling even spent ten minutes near any of the rare plant life on the planet it would soon die. The only exception was one man. He had walked through the Atarni forest and while he killed a depressingly large amount of moss, the ancient Lumiphole trees were none the worse for ware. The good news was this meant the trees might hold the answers to Dexon 66. The bad news was that harming or taking the Lumiphole trees was unlawful and seen as treason. If you took even the bark of one tree you could be put to death. While Viltra Vorta loved his country and planet more than his own life, he had a responsibility and the lives of his entire species rested in his yellow hands. Viltra leaped over a fallen tree and laughed. The soldiers behind him were wearing large bulky armor, which would not be able to get over the log easily especially because they were running in a rain river. Viltra looked back and gasped. The following soldiers had jet boots?
They leaped over the fallen log and continued without so much as slowing down. In fact they seemed to have gained a burst of energy. Suddenly, Viltra heard that familiar noise. Imagine if fingernails on a chalkboard could be soothing. It was the pulsing, roaring, grinding engine of the universe. It sounded like time itself was coming to rescue him from his faceless pursuers. He watched as the blue box materialized right in front of him. He hurled open the doors yelling, “You were a bit late Docto…” He stopped. This was the TARDIS, but not the right TARDIS. The man standing at the console was wrong as well. The mysterious man turned to look at Viltra and jumped back in surprise. This man was definitely the Doctor. He wasn’t the Doctor who had helped him earlier and promised to get him out of the forest alive, but somehow Viltra knew it was the same man. This man was wearing a bow-tie, like the doctor, and had dark floppy hair, like the doctor, but the biggest similarity was the eyes. These eyes were far younger than they should have been, but they still held an impossible age and wonder. This doctor though, was wearing a black suit jacket with baggy pants and a white shirt. He was also accompanied by two other oddly pink two eyed companions. One was a young boy wearing a skirt and the other was a young girl wearing a skin tight purple jumpsuit. She was fiddling with the TARDIS controls. This room was far more white and plain than the TARDIS he was used to. After an awkward silence the boy with the skirt spoke first. “Doctor, is this the man we need to stop?” The person who seemed like the doctor turned back to the TARDIS controls and pressed a few buttons. A view screen showed Viltra’s doctor, with the younger face, older eyes, and tweed jacket. This other doctor turned back to Viltra and squinted his face. Viltra decided to now call him Doctor two, while his doctor would be doctor one.
Doctor two smiled and said, “No, I should not. Notice the extra eye and slightly yellow complexion…”
The boy in the skirt cut him off. “Fine yes doctor.” Doctor two pressed a few buttons while saying, “Well if I can’t have a little fun with you…” All of a sudden, Vilta’s face appeared on the view screen. Doctor Two turned to Viltra as if he had just tasted something unpleasant. “Well this is certainly unfortunate.”
The girl came over to Doctor two. “What is it?”
Doctor two answered, “Well, Zoe. While this isn’t the man we are trying to stop he is the reason we need to stop him. The girl, apparently named Zoe, nodded. The boy in the skirt still looked somewhat confused. The three of them still stared at Viltra, still not sure what they should do. Thankfully a bangnging noise came from outside the TARDIS door. It was Viltra’s Doctor.
All of a sudden the banging stopped. They could hear the doctor speaking with terror. “Blimey… This is not good.” The TARDIS doors opened excruciatingly slowly as Doctor one came face to face with Doctor two. Doctor one smiled weakly and said, “Well hullo me.”
ONE HOUR EARLIER
The doctor looked satisfied at both his previous and upcoming regenerations. He wasn’t too impressed by the clown who decided that knocking people out was an option, but there was a certain charm to this doctor. The third doctor smiled.
“Well here we are safe and sound.”
The doctor grinned and added. “Quite a party.” From the TARDIS scanner the first regeneration spoke.
“Yes, well, the party's over now. You young men and I go back to our time zones. Though considering the way things have been going, well, I shudder to think what you'll do without me.“ The younger doctor with the older face faded out of view and left the two newer doctors alone. The second doctor wondered if his earlier life might have had a point. He decided to say something quickly before they could start arguing again.
“Goodbye. Well, goodbye, everybody. Goodbye. It's been so nice to meet me.” The third doctor raised his eyebrow.
He, with no attempt to hide the arrogance, said, “Yes, I see what you mean. I hope I don't meet me again.”
The second doctor shrugged it off, and simply said, “Ah.” He walked back into his TARDIS and came to the controls. He flipped a switch to indicate where he wanted to go, pressed a few buttons to take off, then shouted over the com.
“Jamie! Zoe! I’m back meet me in the main console. We are about to receive our next mission from the timelords!” The doctor chuckled to himself. A few months ago he would have feared simply the mention of his race. Now he was running around as their errand boy. He still feared and despised, them. They simply went from villaines menaces to that horrible boss. He had already done many things for the timelords. They promised that as long as he continued to complete their missions he could keep this body. When he was ready to be trapped on earth in a new regenerated form he would let the Timelords drop off Zoe and Jamie and he could regenerate into his third persona. He was not ready for that yet for three reasons. The first was that he quite liked his current persona, and wasn’t very impressed by the next one.
The third doctor seemed a little too arrogant and brash. The second doctor always felt that humility was very important. The second reason, was that he would miss flying around in his magnificent blue box, and wasn't looking forward to being trapped on earth. The third reason was his companions. He had become rather attached to his two friends Jamie and Zoe. The three of them had become a sort of family and he wasn’t eager to have them forget all the adventures they had shared. Jamie and Zoe ran into the console room looking slightly disheveled, though the doctor looked at his own appearance. He decided that he shouldn’t be the one to judge. Jamie looked at the slightly burned bowtie and muddy pants.
“What was it this time?” The doctor smiled.
“Simply an old friend of mine. I’m sorry you two couldn’t accompany me. I was meeting a previous version of myself, and we couldn’t have me recognizing you now could we?”
Zoe looked unsatisfied but added, “I guess not.” She was cut off by an orange blinking light coming from the TARDIS console. The doctor sighed, smiled, and pressed a button. The scowling face of The Commander appeared on the view screen. He said, “Well done Doctor. You helped stop Omega.” The Doctor smiled and retorted.
“Oh you never doubted me for a second.” The Commander coughed and adjusted his impossibly pointy hat. He typed a few buttons and a second view screen on the TARDIS console showed new coordinates.
“Well here is your next mission.” The face of a young man with a floppy black mop of hair and a burgundy bow tie appeared next to The Commander. It was slightly comical because while The Commander wore his eternal scowl the young man to his right was positively beaming. The Doctor liked this young chap. The Commander explained.
“This man is trying to meddle with time.” A holographic image of a planet appeared above the time rotor which immediately stopped churning. “The planet you see here is the home of a race called the Mellings. In this point of time the Melling race will be in danger of extinction from a horrible disease that has the capacity to wipe out the entire race. If time is allowed to follow it’s proper course a remedy will be found in three Melling years, about one earth year. The time meddler is trying to save the life of this Melling scientist name Viltra Vorta.” The face of the young man disappeared from the view screen and was replaced with a bright yellow humanoid with three eyes. The Commander continued.
“If he is allowed to stay alive and find an earlier remedy to the disease, the death toll for the Melling race will be reduced by half.” Jamie cut in
“Well isn’t that a good thing Doctor?” The doctor put his hand in front of Jamie.
“Possibly, but you don’t quite understand the intricacies of time. Imagine for a second that one of the people who should die was going to live to be a great evil who would wipe out his entire race instead of half the species.”
The Commander, with considerable difficulty, nodded in agreement.
“Something to that effect.” Another three eyed and yellow face appeared on the view screen. “If the timeline is changed in this manner this scientist will create space travel for the Mellings a hundred years early. In their following centuries a scout ship will enter Cyberman Space. The Cybers will discover the intelligent life in the system and convert not only the entire Melling race, but all other races in that galaxy. If he dies and they Mellings have an extra century of weaponry building without spaceflight they will be able to fight off the Cybermen when the time comes.”
Zoe took a deep breath and began to press some buttons. She understood that the time wasn’t about the individual circumstances but the big picture. She wasn’t happy about it though and asked with reluctance, “What do we need to do?” The Commander looked at his sheet of paper. “You need to either apprehend the time meddler, kill Viltra Vorta, or prevent them from discovering and distributing the cure.” Jamie could stand this no longer.
“Doctor! We can’t do this.”
The Commander gave the Doctor a look. The Doctor complied. “But we must Jamie,” he said. “While agree it is a horrible thing to prevent those billion Mellings from being saved, it would be far worse to hundreds of entire races to fall to the might of the Cybermen.” Both his companions shuddered as they had encountered the silver nightmares before. Jamie opened his mouth to speak, but thought better of it and stepped back. He quickly interjected. “I still think it’s wrong.” The Commander scoffed.
“The moral compass of your definitively insignificant human mind does not matter to me in the slightest. I’m not sure what is more imbecilic, your lack of understanding of the simple workings of time and space or your thinking I would care.” Jamie gave a face that implied he was thinking, “I think I know some of those words…” When Zoe shouted.
“Now that’s no way to talk to him just because he comes from a less civilized time!” The doctor laid his hands on Zoe’s shoulders to calm her down.
“Now, now Zoe you really don’t want to..”
She resisted. “If he were her I’d…” The commander gave an amused smile.
“Doctor, please restrain your pets.”
The Doctor gave him a warning look. “Fine. Here are your coordinates. Report back if you have any news on the mission.” He disappeared and the TARDIS began churning again. Zoe sighed and looked at the Doctor.
“I’m sorry if I made a fool of you. It’s just… The way he was speaking about Jamie I could..” She made a punching motion into her hand and the Doctor smiled.
“I’m sure you could but I don’t want to make the timelords upset, or they might force my regeneration early.” He looked at Jamie. “I apologise for the way he spoke to you. I hope you don’t take it to heart, and I promise in a future life I will get him back. Jamie nodded but still looked troubled. They heard the TARDIS land and a three eyed alien burst into the doors. He looked surprised.
The young man with the bow tie followed and looked stunned. He walked forward and said, “Hullo me.” The newcomer looked around, frowned as if he remembered something important, looked at Viltra, and started for the TARDIS door grabbing the alien’s hand. Jamie shouted, “Who the blazes are you and how did you get in…”
The young man smiled weakly and shouted, “Doctor John Smith. So sorry but we really must leave.” Suddenly the two targets had left the TARDIS. There was a silent moment when the doctor looked at both his companions.
“Run!” The three of them burst out of the TARDIS. They wanted to rush after the two escapes, but they had to take a moment to take in the scenery. There were gigantic brick red trees with deep green leaves and luminescent tubes swirling around them as blue as the TARDIS. The blue light filled the thick fog bringing the whole area an almost magical feeling. At the same moment the three heroes snapped out of it and chased after their targets. They ran after the small humanoid shaped shadows they could make out through the fog. They would make some ground but then the dark shapes would swerve around a tree trunk or disappear from sight for a moment. The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe would come closer and needed to stop for a second until they found their targets and continued pursuing. After they went back and forth again and again for what felt like hours a green bright penetrating light appeared from where their targets were. Suddenly John Smith and Viltra Vorta disappeared from thin, well thick, air. The three heroes skidded down a hill and stopped where their targets had disappeared. There was a large amount of a type of smoke that couldn’t have come from anything in the forest quickly evaporating. The doctor sniffed and pulled out his sonic screwdriver pulsing it around the area. Zoe stepped forward, took in a deep breath and her eyes widened. She looked at the Doctor.
“Doctor, that smells like…” He finished her sentence.
“Somebody used a trans-matt beam.” He replaced his sonic and clasped his hands together thinking. Jamie stepped forward confused.
“Could you tell me that in English?”
Zoe answered. “It’s like a transport. It moves somebody from one place to another.”
The doctor was picking up a leaf and crumbling it in his hand. He absentmindedly said, “Yes, but the Mellings are not supposed to have that technology for another few centuries which means…”
Jamie understood. “Ohhh…”
Zoe said, “Yes of course. We have found our time meddler.” The doctor picked up another leaf, sniffed it, crumbled it, and repeated with other leaves. Eventually instead of crumbling a leaf he smiled with satisfaction and pulled a whistle out of his pocket. He blew on it and the TARDIS began to materialize in front of him. He opened the TARDIS door and smiled as he walked inside. Jamie and Zoe followed him. Zoe shaked her head.
“You and that whistle. I’m starting to think it’s spoiling you.” The doctor walked over to the wall and pressed his hand on a touch screen. He typed in something as he said, “Oh come on. When the time lords ground me to earth they’ll take away the TARDIS calling device as well. Let me have some fun while I still can.” The moment he finished speaking a compartment opened up in the wall. The doctor placed the leaf in the compartment and it closed up. A holographic representation of the planet appeared above the time rotor and half of the planet became red. Slowly the area became smaller and smaller as information triangulated a location. At one point it split into two different locations. One of them was the island and the other was on a continent nearby. Jamie came up to the console.
“What are you doing?”
The doctor didn’t look away from the controls. “I’m figuring out where that leaf came from.” Jamie looked confused.
“But we already know where the leaf came from…”
“Yes we do Jamie, but in a transmitted beam you swap the matter from one location to the other. Do you remember that odd smoke we found?” Jamie nodded. “That smoke came from wherever they were teleporting. We can use that to discover where they went to.” Zoe came up to the console and looked at all of the instruments. She peered over the doctor and looked at Jamie. The doctor looked up at them and smiled.
“Zoe. I’ve taught you how to fly the TARDIS, right?” She looked hesitant and opened her mouth to argue but slowly nodded her head. “Excellent.” Keep an eye on the scanner and help it triangulate our destination. Let me know when you’re done.” She smiled and started working. “Jamie come with me. I need your help with something.” They walked into one of the computer rooms where a more simple voice activated computer could be found. The same way the Chameleon Circuit scans the local planet to decide a proper camouflage in the first nanosecond after landing, the computers of the TARDIS would absorb any type of internet or network in it’s entirety. Jamie was well versed in how to use the voice computer so the Doctor knew this would be easy.
“Jamie. I need you to learn everything you can about this Viltra Vorta.”
Jamie nodded and sat in his spinning chair. “What kinds of things are we looking for Doctor?”The doctor stopped just as he was about to leave the doorway and stuck his head back in the computer room.
“Oh anything helpful… History, strengths, beliefs, where he lives, weaknesses, allergies, favorite movies. I need you to become an expert on anything Viltra Vorta you can find.” Jamie smiled.
“You can count on me Doc.” The Doctor chuckled.
“Yes quite.” He started to step out the door but stopped. “And Jamie? Don’t call me doc.”
Jamie nodded in agreement and the Doctor left for his lab. He walked down the white corridors deeper and deeper into the heart of his old friend. He pressed a button on the wall of the corridor and a tablet was dispensed out of a slit in the wall. He whistled the Journey of the Sorcerer as he looked up information on Dexon 66. When he walked into the pitch black lab room he snapped his fingers continuing to whistle. A low blue light appeared on a cluttered desk in the middle. It was surrounded by five rectangular benches making a circle around the center one. They were filled with assorted items mismatched in time. There would be string and tape holding together advanced technology from opposite sides of the universe and time line. There was no real word to describe a feeling of the clutter. There would be Steampunk items sitting awkwardly next to traditionally futuristic technology or retro gadgets with simple tools. There was a luminescent translucent cylinder buried under random blueprints on one of the outer desks. It looked similar to an earth blender, but was more slender and had no blades in the center of it. The doctor picked it up and blew the dust off of it. He carried it onto the clearest spot of the central desk and plugged it into a power outlet. He pulled a small piece of bark out of his pocket and placed it in the cylinder. He closed the lid and flipped a toggle switch. The piece of bark began to slowly hover in the center of the cylinder but then the device gave a whimper and the piece of bark dropped. The doctor frowned and reached for a rubber mallet. He tapped on the bottom of the device and it whirred back to life. Soon the bark was spinning in the center of the cylinder again. The doctor plugged a wire from his tablet into the odd blender-like device. He examined the readings for about fifteen minutes but was unsatisfied with his results. He looked at his shoes hopefully, hopping around a couple time because he lost his balance, but happily took it off. He touched a luminescent blue spot and giggled. He scanned the desk and found a small clear rectangular tray the size of his finger. He wiped the blue liquid on it and placed it under a device most similar to a microscope. Over the next hour a realization dawned on him and he continued working with chemicals and a mishmash of tools. Eventually Zoe came into the lab let the Doctor know they had landed. He smiled and accompanied her to the console room.