The TARDIS hurtled through the space between wormholes, the inhabitants hanging on inside. The surges of energy continued to buffet the TARDIS about as it travelled to an area not on either side of the wormhole tunnel. A particularly violent burst of energy spun the TARDIS round, hurling the Doctor against the handlebars. "OOOOFFF!" he cried and tried to hold on, but another surge hurled him at the console. He tried using the atom accelerator again, but was barely able to have any effect. "Getting anywhere?!" yelled Norine over the shaking and crashing. The TARDIS was shaking so much it felt like after centuries it might fall apart. "I think I'm getting someWHEREEEE!" cried the Doctor as the TARDIS shot one way like a bullet from a gun. "Come on Old Girl!" said the Doctor, rubbing the console. "You can do this." There was another spate of violent shuddering and…
…The TARDIS stopped, with such force that everybody was thrown from their feet. "Where are we?" asked Kafyip as he pulled himself up on the console. The Doctor examined the scanner. "No" he said in amazement. "What?" said Norine. "No!" continued the Doctor. "What is it?" said Norine angrily. "Should explain" replied the Doctor. "I only get these readings when I'm outside the Universe." "You've been outside the Universe?" said Norine. "Yes" said the Doctor. "E-Space, the Divergent Universe, Pete's World… But after the Time War it became harder to travel between them." "What exactly was the Time War?" asked Norine. "I'll tell you later" said the Doctor. Kafyip could tell he was hiding something but decided not to say anything.
The Doctor continued to examine the readings. "Not a Parallel Universe but a very different type of Universe." "How can we fall into a different Universe?" asked Norine. "It's like... we got knocked through a tunnel by a spray of water and into a cavern right below us!" replied the Doctor. "Wouldn't we get swept along the tunnel?" said Kafyip. "It's not like that, but a bit like that" replied the Doctor. "It was a very weak tunnel. Just needed a knock to send us through." He looked at the scanner. "Well that is incredible" he said. "What?" asked Norine. "Well… is it alright if we open the doors?" asked the Doctor, touching the TARDIS console. "Yes? Good Girl." Norine realised he was talking to the TARDIS as he pulled some levers. "I'm extending the shields" he said. "Now just you wait a moment." He opened a niche in the floor and pulled out 3 pairs of goggles. "Got these from joining the Star-Watchers Society" he said. He put one on. "Well come on then, don't want to have to go to an eye surgery clinic!" he said. Kafyip and Norine put them on. "Time to open the doors." "How is that done?" asked Norine. "The wibbly lever!" said the Doctor, pointing. "You can press it this time." Norine pressed the lever and the door opened.
They were hanging in space. Before them was a star, but unlike any star Kafyip or Norine had seen. It was Purple, like a huge hot plum. On its surface they saw bursts of energy, thousands of kilometres long, and strange colours rippling across, colours not seen on Earth or Grukup or Epsilon Indi. Beyond it was wide empty space with other colours spread about, which the three would have been unable to gaze on without their eyes protected. It was like an immense and colourful tapestry. "Look at all that!" said the Doctor excitedly. "I haven't seen a lot of those stars. A Universe unlike ours." "Un-Universe?" said Kafyip. "So… the Unverse?" said Norine. "I like that name" smiled the Doctor. "Congratulations Clarke. This is the Unverse." They continued to gaze at the Purple Star, when they saw something dart along. "What was that?" said Kafyip worried. Something else darted past. Kafyip stumbled back, afraid to reach out telepathically. The Doctor looked out and laughed. "It looks like the locals are welcoming us!"
The Unverse creatures darted past them with incredible fluidity. It was like being in an aquarium. The creatures were about the size of a hand and resembled peacock feathers, with rows of fins each side and an eye at an end. But as the creatures focused their gaze on them the travellers saw they had four eyes, one on each side of the top. "Look at them! Swimming about like Fish" laughed the Doctor. "If only I had an inter-dimensional fishing rod." "Do those even exist?" asked Norine. "No" said the Doctor. "But I can imagine. And I can invent. I've invented quite a few things. Fish Custard was an invention of mine." Kafyip looked at them darting past. "So these fish…" "Unfish!" said the Doctor suddenly. "Unfish swimming through the Unverse!" He ran out of the console room and was back a moment later with a camera. He held it out and took a photo of them all with an Unfish swimming behind them. "This is going in my souvenir room!" he said, running up the stairs again.
There was an urgent beeping from the console. The Doctor spun round and ran back to the console. "Oh No!" he cried, flicking the wibbly lever. The doors closed. "I was enjoying that view!" said Norine. "You don't understand" said the Doctor. "I've found out something bad." There was another bang from the console and more sparks flashed. The Doctor spun round the console, flicking the switches in desperation. "What are you doing?" asked Kafyip, knowing the Doctor was worried. "Pulling back the shields, concentrating them!" said the Doctor. "This should keep that Unverse energy out!" "What is happening?" said Norine. "Just a mo" said the Doctor. He pulled another lever, ran to another section and pressed something. The TARDIS shuddered for a second, and then was still.
"The energy of the Unverse is not reacting well with the TARDIS" said the Doctor. "Eating away at it. So we need to leave the Unverse in…" He checked the readings and made some rapid calculations "…two hours" he said. "So what are you waiting for?" said Kafyip. "Can't" said the Doctor. "The dematerialisation circuits were wrecked from the little jolt we had when we entered. Need to fix it quickly." He began to work under the console, bangs and flashes emanating from either side. "Can we do anything?" said Kafyip. "Yes. Keep quiet" said the Doctor. He slid out. "But if you can get me a jammy dodger. And some fish fingers in custard! But on second thoughts I don't think I should have custard around the console so don't get that."
As Kafyip walked away, muttering to himself, Norine sat next to the Doctor. "So what was the Time War?" she said. "Might as well hear if we have some time." "Alright" said the Doctor. "I might need a distraction from disintegration." "I have your dodger" said Kafyip, running over to the console. The Doctor's hand darted from beneath the console and snatched the dodger. "Thanks" he said with his mouth full. "So the Time War… It was due to a race called the Daleks." "We met them quite early on in my travels with you" said Kafyip. "I first met them when I was a young man." said the Doctor. "Not even 450 years old." "Was that in Earth years of Swukain years?" said Kafyip. "Earth years" said the Doctor. He gave the Swukain equivalent. "That's pretty old" said Kafyip.
"So the Time War and the Daleks…" said Norine. "I was just getting there!" said the Doctor. "I've met them so many times. They are the most evil creatures in the cosmos, created on the planet Skaro by the mad scientist Davros as his race died in war. I was there at the beginning, sent by the Time Lords to avert their creation. But I couldn't bear to wipe out an entire race. There are other dangerous races, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, and the Ice Warriors. Well, some of the ones I met, the Ice Warriors aren't such a bad lot overall. But worst of all were the Daleks, a pitiless race of conquerors exterminating all who came up against them. I've met the Daleks in all my lives as they travelled through the Universe. They invaded Earth in 2157, attempted to start a war between Earth and Draconia, attempted to take Time Lord Technology. They are devoted to their Master race, they even wrecked Red Rocket Rising just to destroy slightly different Daleks who had no quarrel with them. On all those occasions I stopped them. But finally they attacked Gallifrey. I fought in this war. Finally the Time Lords became a threat to the Universe. I destroyed them both. But the Daleks survived. And now they continue to build their empire." "You wiped out your own people?" said Kafyip, horrified. "It wasn't easy" said the Doctor. "I don't like to dwell on it." There was a gentle jolt from the TARDIS. "Alright old girl!" said the Doctor. "I'm continuing to work!" He slid back under and began to frantically work again.
For over half an hour the Doctor remained in a constant state of work, rerouting wires, disconnecting the energy transmitter. "I'm trying to send a huge surge of power into the dematerialisation circuits" said the Doctor. "I'll delete a few rooms in the process. Squash Rooms down to the third one, that lab I wrecked while experimenting with Nitro-9, the trampoline room..." He sighed. "I'll have to get another trampoline. Actually no, I can delete that tennis court I wrecked!" "What sort of ball were you using?" said Norine. "It was next to the lab!" the Doctor replied.
Kafyip was meanwhile feeling uneasy. "Doctor" he said. "I think there is something else here…" The Doctor looked up from where he was rerouting communication board power into the space/time forward/back control. He looked around. "Nothing here Kafyip" he said. "Now…" There was a bang, the TARDIS shook again, and a light began to flash. "The telepathic circuits are overloading!" said the Doctor. There was a bang and Kafyip fell to the floor, unconscious.
The Doctor ran over to him. "Is he…" said Norine. "Unconscious? Yes" said the Doctor. He touched Kafyip's head and closed his eyes. For a few seconds he seemed to be concentrating hard. He opened his eyes again. "Telepathic contact. Not clear enough." Kafyip opened his eyes and sat up, making the Doctor jerk away. "Kafyip?" said the Doctor. "In my mind… hideous images" said the Swukain. "Can't stand…" "No need to get up!" said the Doctor, leaping towards the telepathic circuits. "Now Kafyip, just think of what happened and hold these circuits." The Swukain held the circuits and closed his eyes. Again mental contact between the Swukain and Time Lord happened. "Mahrokitzu!" said the Doctor. "I've heard that name." He spun round, thinking, while Kafyip sat in a chair he had got to watch the Doctor work. "I've got it!" he said happily. "I was taking a course in classical mythology in the 7th Galaxy." Norine looked amazed at this. "You don't seem like the sort of…" "I was young!" said the Doctor. "The TARDIS had some problems, went there to cool off, and I had a lot of spare time. Anyway, Mahrokitzu was an invisible creature that was imprisoned in another realm and was called the Demon of Madness."
Kafyip was standing up and tried to speak. "Like the Demon… Green…" He was having more trouble speaking. "Moon. Exactly!" said the Doctor. He spun to face Norine. "Mahrokitzu was supposed to force people to go mad and kill their closest friends. " "Doctor!" cried Norine. The Doctor tuned around and saw that with near-super-Swukain speed Kafyip was moving at him brandishing a chair.
The Doctor moved aside and Kafyip sailed past, crashing into the wall opposite. He picked up the damaged chair but was attacked by Norine, who succeeded in throwing him to the ground. "Red belt in judo" she said. "I know quite a bit of Venusian Aikido" said the Doctor. Kafyip meanwhile tried to get up, but a right hook from Norine sent him back at the floor. "Don't be so violent!" said the Doctor. "You're like Leela!" "Who?" said Norine. "Girl I used to travel with. Good at stabbing… Never mind!" said the Doctor. "The main thing is, we need to think what to do about poor old Kafyip." "Well how was this Mah… the Madness thing beaten?" asked Norine. The Doctor thought. "Let's see. Sudden pain and chanting Huko-Ki, the name of the Hero, or God, or whatever who banished it. And of course mentally willing Mahrokitzu out." "Would that spell really work?" said Norine. "Psychic residue" said the Doctor. Kafyip was meanwhile shaking his head. "Quick! Need to give him a sudden shock!" cried the Doctor. As Kafyip began to stand Norine stamped hard on his foot, causing a yell of pain. The Doctor was about to complain but realised this was his chance. "Huko-Ki, Huko-Ki…" he chanted, feeling like an idiot. Kafyip screamed and shook his head. "Come on Kafyip… Huko-Ki, Huko-Ki… You can do it! Huko-Ki!" said the Doctor. Kafyip slumped down. "Kafyip?" said the Doctor moving closer. Kafyip looked up. "It is out Doctor" he said. The Doctor closed his eyes and concentrated. "It may be out of there but it's still in here" he said. "It's must be a bit out of practise."
The Doctor spun around, thinking. "Just a minute." He did some work on the communications console and readjusted some areas of the TARDIS. Then, within a minute, he stood up. "Mahrokitzu!" he yelled. "You think you're so powerful and big! You think you can do what you want! Well in that case, I challenge you to a mental duel! Come on! Attack! I've faced worse than you and I will probably do so again. So have a go!" He convulsed, clutching his head. He grabbed a spanner he had been working with and began wielding it, but dropped it. "Yell… into that bit…" he said, pointing to a microphone on the console. He sat down on a part of the console, and jumped up with a yell of pain, having increased the heat there. Kafyip and Norine began yelling "Huko-Ki!" into the phone, and echoes erupted round the TARDIS, but the Doctor continued to twist and jerk. Suddenly Norine stopped shouting and gave the Doctor two punches in the chest, making him double over. She and Kafyip began chanting again. The Doctor gave an even greater scream than that of Kafyip and bent over like he was about to be sick. He stood up a moment later and gave a forced smile as echoes of "Huko-Ki!" continued to fill the TARDIS. He expanded the shields and opened the door. A few seconds later he closed the door again and pulled back the shields. "It's out, but did you really have to hit me so hard?" "Just making sure it got out" said Norine. The Doctor smiled. "You really are good friends."
There was another peel of the cloister bell. The Doctor darted back to the console. "Right Clarke. Back to work" said the Doctor, sliding under again. "Even now more particles of the Unverse are breaking down the outer shell." A thought struck Norine. "Doctor?" she said. "Yes?" said the Doctor, who was turning of the communications console now. "Could you concentrate the shields to prevent any Unverse energy to get in?" The Doctor considered for a moment. "Yes, but there would be a problem with that." "What?" asked Norine. "It would take a lot of power, meaning within 10 minutes the shields would be off, the TARDIS would break, and we'd all get dissolved like..." "Salt in water?" said Norine. "I suppose so" said the Doctor. "So no..." Again the cloister bell was heard. The Doctor slid out and checked the readings again. "NO!" he said in horror. "Opening the doors just now has had a much worse effect then I thought! If we don't leave within half an hour the forces of the Unverse will flow inside the TARDIS!" He frantically began working, yelling out "Absolutely no distractions!"
The Doctor worked at great speed. He replaced components of the dematerialisation circuit, the space-time element was re-tuned, the Bunsen burner was broken when heating the Zeiton crystals, and his hair was set on fire twice. The Doctor was just about to disconnect the power when there was a beeping sound from it. "Someone seems to be trying to contact us" said Kafyip. The Doctor looked wary. "I'll turn on the scanner." He did so and a large form appeared on the screen. Kafyip looked at it, gave a scream and recoiled. "What?" was that said the Doctor. "That… that creature…" said Kafyip. The Doctor looked at what was on the screen. The screen was flickering from the lack of power but a form was clear. It looked like a mouth, no limbs, no face, just a huge mouth, big enough to eat all of them, with a large row of fangs, and colours rippling across it. "Looks like a Qetesh stomach" said the Doctor. "It looks like the Monster from a story I heard when I was young" said Kafyip, who was shaking. "The Guhirox. It was a creature that was just a mouth, large enough to consume a whole Swukain. It always terrified me." A booming voice was heard in their minds. "I can hear your thoughts." "What am I thinking right now?" asked Norine. A feeling of humour swept through their minds. "I know you are wondering if I can read this. I know the experiences you think of. I think that shortly before you entered the deep sleep you got lost in Chester." "You know a lot" said the Doctor. "But what are you?"
"I know now of the Guhirox" said the Mouth. "You may give that name to me." There was another bang and the Doctor ran over to the console, and began to disconnect the communications panel. "What do you want?" he asked. "Merely to join you" said the Guhirox. "Might be a problem with that" said the Doctor as he continued to work. "I don't think you can fit through the door." The creature seemed to laugh again. "Doctor, I can get past this" it said. "I will follow the energy trail of your ship. Just propel the excess energy out." "Ride on our tail" said the Doctor. "Yes" said the creature. "I merely want to leave the Universe." "I don't know what will happen if material from the Unverse… sorry, your place meets material from our Universe. Our ship is breaking apart." He finished disconnecting the communications panel. A roar was heard through their minds. "You will not deny me the joy of your Universe! I demand to be let through!" "Don't be so mean about it!" said the Doctor. "Now helping you out looks less likely." The TARDIS shuddered suddenly, moving to one side, and an alarm was heard. The Doctor looked at the console. "He's drawing the TARDIS towards him." There was a bang at the doors, which began to buckle. "He's breaking down the outer layers!" said the Doctor. "No, No, No!" He slapped his head, trying to think what to do. "I must feed on life!" said the Guhirox. "I have not enjoyed feeding in here. I will feed on life of the Universe!" The Doctor desperately wondered what to do as the TARDIS continued to shake, the Guhirox continuing to break through.
"This can't be happening!" said the Doctor. "If only we had just a bit more power! Soon the outer shell will be broken down and the Unverse will flow in here!" "Pretty bad" said Norine. "It's worse than you think!" said the Doctor. "If the forces get inside the Heart of the TARDIS will be released. The energy release, at this weak point between Universes, could tear through, get out of the wormhole tunnel, and destroy a Galaxy each side!" "That's much worse" said Norine. "What to do?" said the Doctor, desperately clutching his face. "Those shields don't seem to be helping much" said Norine. "Couldn't we send power to them?" The Doctor looked delighted. "You are brilliant!" he said. "If I rewire the collapsing shield generators to the dematerialisation circuits…" he ran round and moved some wires about "… then we would have enough boost to dematerialise back to the Universe!" He pressed the dematerialisation switch and the familiar sound began as the control column rose and fell, and the TARDIS dematerialised. "Hold on!" cried the Doctor. He deleted the rooms, the TARDIS began its journey back to the Universe and the buffeting they were used to started. "Geronimo!"
It continued travelling through the breach; the buffeting was becoming less terrible when Kafyip clutched his head. "I can still feel the Guhirox!" he said. The Doctor quickly connected the scanner back, holding a cable at the panel. "No!" he said. "It isn't happening!" said Norine hopefully. "No! Look!" said the Doctor. On the scanner they could see a huge hideous mouth following them. "It was breaking down the layers of the TARDIS" said the Doctor. "Some energy must have leaved out and that big mouth is following behind, soaking up the energy like bread in gravy!" "That's an odd simile…" said Norine. They heard a laugh in their minds. "Your energy is so nourishing! It is a joy to again feed on it." "Feed on it again?" said Kafyip. "I wasn't always an inhabitant of that Universe" snarled the Guhirox. "But I was forced there." "Like Mahrokitzu" said Norine. "And the Demon of the Green Moon" said Kafyip. "So is this Green Moon Demon is another imprisoned Monster?" asked Norine. "Yes" said the Doctor. "Gave me and Kafyip quite a bit of trouble. Happened just before we met you. Though we only saw its hand..."
There was another crash and the Doctor was thrown into the console. He connected the cable to the scanner again and elongated its view. "Oh No!" he said. "There are things following us!" "But we already knew the big mouth was behind us" said Norine. "Things, not thing" said the Doctor annoyed. "I used plural." "So what else is coming?" said Norine. "Horrible things" said the Doctor. "They are following the Guhirox." He closed his eyes, touching the telepathic circuits. After a few seconds his hands moved away as if they were burned. "Mahrokitzu is following!" He pulled the brake on the TARDIS, throwing his companions of their feet.
"Where are we now?" asked Kafyip. "Aren't we going to leave the Unverse? Isn't there the danger of breaking apart?" "We won't be blown to atoms yet!" said the Doctor. "We are outside the Unverse but not entirely in the Universe. We're in the Wormhole tunnel." "Can't we get out?" asked Kafyip. "Yes but we can't let the creatures of the Unverse follow us out." Again the telepathic voice moved through their minds. "Leave for the Universe! I will not attack you! There are many who want out. But I need nourishment soon! If you don't lead us out soon you will be ours!" "Are you sure we couldn't let them out?" said Norine, looking at the scanner. "Could they really cause that much damage? Perhaps we could make sure not too many get out." She heard a stamping sound behind her and turned to see the Doctor ran upstairs.
A few minutes later the Doctor came back with a box, which he scanned. "Isn't that the Green Moon box?" said Kafyip. "Yes it is!" said the Doctor. He scanned it. "Interesting" he said. "Traces of Unverse energy is clinging to the box." Kafyip thought it over for a moment. "So, could the Unverse be some sort of Prison Universe?" "Exactly" said the Doctor. "That Madness Demon was from the Andromeda Galaxy, like the Green Moon Demon. That was trapped by a High Mind." "Maybe it is the Prison-verse these High Minds use" said Norine. "Yes and that is why we can't let any of these creatures out!" said the Doctor. "If the High-Minds decided to trap these creatures in another Universe they must have had a good reason to do so!" "So what must we now do?" said Norine. The Doctor paced round. "We can't let them out. But if we leave they could follow us out." "If we must die to save worlds, then that would not be an unpleasing death" said Kafyip. Norine looked at the Doctor. "Perhaps he is right. I may have travelled with you for a short time but it was better than sleeping frozen for years." "We must decide soon what to do" said the Doctor. "But we can't let them out. We don't know what havoc they could cause!"
They heard a laugh through their minds from the Guhirox. "I can consume worlds" said the Guhirox. "But you could escape being my meal if you leave now. I have waited a long time for better food. I can wait longer. But I want to feed soon." "I suppose waiting for them to leave isn't an option" said Norine. The Doctor again looked like he could kiss her. "That's a great idea!" he said. "Just need to…" he again ran round the console, spinning, putting wires back, examining the space-time element, speeding up the directional circuit, and finally pressing the dematerialisation lever. "You're letting them out?" said Norine. "Not exactly" said the Doctor, as the column began to rise and fall. "But we will be out if my plan works!"
The TARDIS spun round for a moment, then materialised again. Norine looked at the scanner. "We haven't got out!" said Norine. "We're getting out now!" cried the Doctor, again dematerialising. There was a bang, a heavy shaking, screaming in the minds of the TARDIS crew and…
…They were in normal space again. "I went two days into the future!" said the Doctor. "Took them by surprise. I then travelled out of the wormhole. Some Monsters tried to follow me through time and others were too slow to get after me as the TARDIS had moved. Now we're out..." "Epsilon Indi City" said Kafyip. "Yes! We must see what happened with the fleet" said the Doctor, dashing over to the console and steering the TARDIS to the city.
News was good. The Kepler-22 fleet front line, containing about 12% of troops, had been destroyed, meaning a hasty retreat from Janus. Kepler was making a peace treaty with the other systems and it looked like they would lose most of their fleet. Stem was awaiting trial, and it seemed likely he would face the death penalty. Corporis heard the Doctor's story of the two days. "So even if anything leaves this… Unverse they will be trapped in the wormhole?" "Yes" said the Doctor. "So you should probably keep it closed. Anyway the entrance is so distorted only a TARDIS could get through. But don't try any more wormhole experiments in this system anyway." Corporis agreed to this. Soon he had destroyed his remaining equipment and deleted all his research. "I will just work on cheaper ways of hyperspace travel" he said. "And once again, thank you Doctor. You have saved a lot of worlds. You are welcome to stay." "No thanks. Places to go, times to visit, famous people to see" said the Doctor. "Goodbye Corporis." "Farewell" said Kafyip. "Bye" said Norine. "Goodbye Doctor, Kafyip and Norine. Hope I see you soon from my perspective" said Corporis with a smile. The Doctor smiled and returned to the TARDIS with his two friends. The creaking, groaning sound began again and the TARDIS vanished from Epsilon Indi.