"Smooth, plastic, blocky at some places..."
"And parts of us are detachable!"
The War Doctor sighed as the others were marveling at the plastic blockiness of themselves during this LEGO loop.
"OH, maybe I could wear a fez by..." Eleven picked up a narrowing peg, and placed it on top of his head.
"Hmm, it's missing something."
"More like there one more thing on you that doesn't need to be there," War replied, rolling his eyes.
"...I don't understand."
Ten.2 (Alex Prior)
The Doctor was a smart man. At least every incarnation (if not more) prided himself on his intelligence. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he had managed to miss something of this magnitude. Curiously enough, it did.
It had been an odd loop, thus far. It had been completely baseline, if you didn't count the fact that oh yes, his Companions had been placed on a randomizer.
The shop-girl calling him 'Professor' should have, admittedly, been the first clue. Her telling Van Statten's Dalek that the Imperials looked a little better only set off a small niggling in the back of his mind. But when she asked the Dalek Emperor about the whereabouts of Davros...
"Ace? Do you happen to be Looping?"
"If you're talking about me suddenly waking up as a shopgirl years in the past, sure. Why?"
The Doctor sighed. "I'm sorry, Ace, I'm not usually that slow. You see, there's this tree called Yggdrasil..."
The Doctor Awoke, and quickly did a check. Tall. Angry. Scottish. Everything was good.
No, wait. He only had one heart. Everything was no longer good.
"Jesus Christ, Doc! You just nuked Einstein!"
He realised he was holding something. It looked remote-ish. And there was someone with him. Young man, somewhere between sixteen and early forties was his guess, and staring at him blankly.
His Loop memories quickly filled him in.
Eugh. He'd just tested a time machine powered by plutonium on a dog! That was horrible. Who tested a time machine on a dog? That always worked out poorly. And he'd borrowed the resources from...
Suddenly, the young man opposite grabbed him and dragged him to the side. There was a lot of light and sound, and a car punched its way through time and slowed to a halt. Inside was a confused yet otherwise completely fine dog.
For a few seconds, the Doctor found himself at a loss for words. It felt wrong. Like only having one heart.
"Uh... hey?" The young man from before said. He glowered at him (not his best glower, he admitted, but he was in a state of shock).
"I'm Marty. Marty McFly," the strangely dressed young (or possibly old) man said, holding out a hand. "You're the Doctor, right?"
"I am," he said. The man grinned.
"Nice to meet another time traveller."
Something about the name, and the car sounded very familiar... but he couldn't recall why. Then he looked at the car.
"Is that your time machine?" he asked. Marty slowly withdrew the hand and nodded.
"Yeah. A friend of mine is usually the one that builds it. Guess you must be replacing him, then."
"No," the Doctor said. Clearly this Loop didn't require much brainpower in its Anchor. "I'm just filling in while he gets a sandwich. Ignore me, I'm only smarter than everyone on this planet."
Marty glanced about for a moment, as the Doctor strode towards the car and examined it. Then he examined it again. Then he gave it an experimental kick.
He swivelled back to look at Marty. "Right, this friend of yours. Where'd he built this time machine?"
"In his lab. It's not far from here." Marty gestured, before blinking. "Uh... why, exactly?"
"Because," the Doctor declared, "I take it this is the only means of time-travel available?"
"Yeah..." Marty decided to lie.
"Right then. I'm not going around the universe in a dodgy American car. I'm buildin' a proper time machine, and I don't care what any Admin says!"
Marty just stared at the irate Time Lord. "Well, the Doc did make one out of a train..."
The Doctor's head swivelled around, the glare returning. "A train?!"
He shook his head. "Not going around in a train. Can ye imagine me saying that? 'I'm the Doctor, I travel in time an' space and trains'. No-one's gonna say that!"
And with much grumbling, and a few angry words with a bewildered Einstein, the Doctor set off for "his" laboratory, muttering angrily under his breath all the way.
Marty waited until he was out of sight before removing the backup DeLorean from his Pocket. A few quick trips to solve the usual problems, he told himself. He had a feeling the Doctor was going to need supervision, and given there didn't seem to be anyone else around, it looked like that was his job.
After reintroducing Biff to his old friend the manure truck first, though.
This Loop was hell.
The Time War was waging across all of time and space, reality was tearing, repairing, never existed and always existed simultaneously in the war between Time Lord and Dalek. Worse than then it was originally, if you could believe that!
In the middle of this great and terrible war was a man, both young and old, who wanted to simply travel the universe and help those he could. That man was the Doctor, the Thief of the Type-40 TARDIS, and protector of humanity. The Doctor was dead, but at the same time he wasn't. Temporarily revived from death by a potion, he was given a choice to turn away from his name and end the Time War or die.
Silly Doctor, Sexy won't let you hurt yourself that easily. The grinding of the Time Rotor echoed throughout the room where the Doctor was confronted by the Sisterhood of Karn, as the doors to the TARDIS swung open. Inside was his Companions, all of them, pulled from time and space into that blue box to help save the most beloved thief in the universe.
"You didn't think we were going to let you do this alone, did you?" the Brigadier asked from near the control panel. The Doctor, with tears streaming down his face and a smile tugging at his lips walked into his home with Cass's body, ignoring the twitterings of the Sisterhood.
"Why don't we show those Daleks a thing or two, Professor?" Ace asked as she did a few practice swings.
"Yes, let's," the Doctor replied, the whirs and groans of the TARDIS sounding.
Maybe this Loop wasn't going to be as bad he had thought, he mused, placing Cass's body respectfully off to the side.
"ALL HAIL THE ALL-MIGHTY TALL-EST DA-LEK!"
The Doctor, after poking his head into the Dalek rally, turned and walked away at the sight of this loop's lead Dalek (who was literally a Dalek on top of a headless Dalek).
"ILL-U-MI-NATE!" said a Dalek as it flicked on a nearby light switch. It had been standing there for awhile, just playing with it like a little kid.
"DE-LU-MI-NATE!" And just like it had been doing for the past couple hours, it had been flicking the switch on and off.
"ILL-U-MI-NATE!" Light on once again...but then before it could flick the switch off again, the light bulb burned out. It sounded very saddened by the loss.
The Doctor frowned as he sat on the edge of the TARDIS, staring down at Equuis in low orbit as he tried again for the billionth time to get down there!
"It's not been a billion of times Doctor," Twilight rolled her eyes, already predicting his rant after hearing it for so long. She was busy with Applebloom to try and figure out what magical aspect was preventing the TARDIS from landing. "And I think we're getting close to cracking the case of the magical interference Doctor."
"Right right, just doing boring non-moving stuff," he grumbled, this body was too energetic to stay still for more than five seconds and the ponies destroyed a large number of his fezzes too.
"Ah've got it!" Applebloom shouted, bring the two over to the filly at the monitors. "It seems to be that an overabundance of Earth pony magic producing a magical resonance interfering with the TARDIS's landing programs." Squinting, the filly tapped the screen showing an image of Applejack bucking a tree, with apples falling into buckets. "There! That's the resonance that's stop-Oh come on!" the filly shouted as the two other loopers facehoofed as they realized the horrid joke in place.
Ten.8 (Lurks in the Dark)
Alex Mercer sat in a wrought iron chair of the small cafe that he had allowed Dana to drag him to, proclaiming that they had an espresso to die for, and poking fun that he wouldn't met if he happened to get a bit of sun. She was ordering the beverages right now, leaving Alex alone; he had Awoken early, and taken steps to make sure that things never went to Hell, so he was simply enjoying the peace with his sister. He glared at the gathered patrons from the shadows of his hood, frankly not giving a damn to the askew side glances most of them were given him due to his rather intimidating a appearance.
Anyone looking at him might think he was people watching. He was not. Alex Mercer already knew far too much about people, and what they were really like, to ever want to voluntarily learn anything else about them.
"Well now!" a chipper voice exclaimed, and Mercer suddenly found the seat in front of him occupied by an eccentrically dressed man, wearing, of all things, a bow tie. Mercer gave the stranger the best death glare that he could deliver, the one that usually tweaked a human's lizard brain into recognizing the fact that they were in the presence of an alpha predator, and made them get the fuck out of his vicinity; the stranger didn't seem to even bat an eye.
"No need to be like that!" the man exclaimed. "The sun is shining, it's a beautiful day to be alive! Why waste it with such an unpleasant attitude!" White teeth flashed in a fearless smile at the virus collective.
Alex stared at the man who seemed to either knowingly or unknowingly have a death wish. He sent out a Ping, and cursed blackly in vast multitude of human languages when the man before him returned his signal, smiling even wider.
"Go. Away," Alex threatened, making his foot extend a tendril of viral matter to snake around the visiting Looper's leg, tightening threateningly. The other man blinked at the sensation, looked under the table, and his brows rose at the sight.
"Well, that's a neat trick!" he said and his hand suddenly dived into his interior breast pocket and came back out with... something... It looked like one of those generic alien devices from the old black-and-white science fiction films. The man aimed it down at his leg, and suddenly it like Alex had been shocked, as the tendril temporarily went numb.
Alex responded by turning his face into a gaping hole, much like a lamprey, with far too many teeth. The stranger wasn't impressed. Alex debated shifting his arm into a blade and bisecting the fool right here and now, but he really didn't want to have to deal with traumatizing Dana.
"Who are you? What do you want?" he growled out in a guttural tone of voice.
"I'm the Doctor!" the man introduced himself, extending a hand to shake him, with no seeming fear. Either this Looper was insane or he knew he could handle whatever he might think Alex was (or thought he could, at the very least.)
Alex made a point of ignoring the offered hand. "Doctor Who?" he asked, and immediately got the impression that he had been baited into something, as the man simply smiled in a very smug and satisfied manner at his question.
"Just the Doctor," the visiting Looper said, fishing into his coat pocket and taking out a wrinkled white bag, offering it towards him. "Jelly baby?" he offered, and Alex saw that it was filled with a fruit candy. When he didn't respond, the Doctor shrugged, dug his own hand into the sack, and happily popped a handful of the confections into his own mouth, chewing with relish. "I love these things. Humans make the most wonderful things, don't they?" he asked, gazing about the gathered patrons with awe, waving jauntily to a small child who had been observing him from next to his mother.
Alex snorted, drawing a look from the Doctor.
"Oh, you don't think so?" the Doctor asked.
"I know humans," Alex answered, not commenting on the fact that this Doctor had revealed that he apparently wasn't human, or at the very least, not a normal one. "Underneath, almost each and every one is a petty, self-absorbed sack of flesh that only cares about one thing, and one thing only: his or herself."
"Ah..." the Doctor nodded, seeming to understand him. "Mind reader, I take it? Some form of telepathy?" he wondered.
Alex responded by flashing a smile that literally had far too many teeth and was physically wider than it should have been. "Something like that," he commented softly, waiting to see how the Doctor would react. "Let's just say there's something to that old saying, 'You are what you eat.'"
The Doctor, to his credit, didn't react, save for popping another handful of candies into his mouth, chewing them thoughtfully as he seemed to mull over the fact that he sitting across from something that ate humans, and as far as he knew, human-shaped beings.
"You're not wrong," the Doctor said, looking at the other humans around them. "A lot of them do stumble and fall, often times." Alex snorted – that was an understatement. "I'm a time traveler myself," the Doctor confided. "I've seen humanity at its worst: the Holocaust, Dictatorships, ... I won't even mention some of the things that they do in the future," he said, waving a hand to dismiss the subject. "But... well, it's about finding the light in the darkness, you see. For every murder and rapist that exists, there's a unique, wonderful human who goes out of his or her way to help a stranger, invent some new form of art or medicine to help his or fellow man!
Some of them are, sadly, beyond help," the Doctor said, appearing genuinely sad about this fact. "But the trick is to find a person who's worth protecting, and believe that other people can be like them! Living lonely isn't anyway to live at all," the Doctor advised.
Alex wanted to scoff and demand that the Looper leave his sight and not bother him for the rest of the Loop, but he found his eyes drawn to a person in the cafe. Dana was helping an elderly lady carry her order to her table, which was apparently what was taking her so long, and Alex found himself taking in the carefree smile and easy way she so effortlessly thought to help the older lady. His sister noticed him, and flashed him a smile that seemed to be slightly apologetic at making him wait; Alex waved off her concerns and motioned for her to take her time.
When he turned, the Doctor was gone. Alex was sure he might have been able to find him, if he had cared to expend the effort, but he turned his attention to his sister.
"Sorry for the wait," she apologized, setting a cup of coffee before him. "I got you a one of these, too," she said with enthusiasm, placing a pastry of some kind on a napkin in front of him. "They're amazing!" Alex looked down at the pastry and up to her expectant and beaming face. He took a bite and chewed it.
"It's good," he commented, and though he said it in a disinterested tone, Dana smiled wide at the praise.
"I know, right!" she said, happily taking her own pastry and biting into with obvious relish after dunking it in her drink.
Alex stared at Dana.
"Do I have crumbs on my face?" she asked, wiping around her mouth area with a napkin. Alex shook his head without a word.
Looking at his sister, Alex was forced to admit to himself that if humanity could produce someone like her, then maybe the Doctor wasn't an insane crackpot after all.
"Can I ask you something?"
The moderately drunk time-traveller looked at the Doctor's ear. "Sure."
The Doctor tapped against the bar, frowning. "I understand you decided to take part in a musical production this Loop."
"Probably." Jack shrugged.
"Highly successful. Sold out consistently it's entire run. Swept the Tony awards. Does that ring a bell?"
Some recognition seeped in through the booze haze, and Jack nodded non-committally. "Sounds familiar."
Then he realised the Doctor was looking utterly perplexed. "So, can you explain why someone decided to make a musical about the Daleks?"
Again, Jack shrugged. "Dunno. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time."
Ten.10 (Detective Ethan Redfield)
Zurvan should have seen this coming. Since the loop where the Doctor regenerated from his equine to human form, he knew it was only a matter of time until someone took notice. Sure enough, Sleipnir viewed the video logs on his terminal and, after giving Zurvan a good ribbing, sent a report to Hephaestus. Within a cycle, the Greek had arrived and was tapping away at the console while Zurvan just sat in the corner, fuming silently to himself. The Greek God noticed this and shrugged, "You should have told me sooner."
Zurvan sighed, "I wanted to fix this myself."
Hephaestus took no note of Zurvan's reply and continued tapping away at the screen. Finally, a ching noise echoed from the console, causing Hephaestus to clap his hands together, "Yes! Now if my coding is right, the point of the Doctor's eleventh regeneration should be variable now, allowing for the Doctor to dodge the Dalek beam and keep on living as usual."
The Doctor seemed bored as his hand fell once again down the cliffside. He rose from his back and said, "You cut my hand off."
He had a plan to deal with Davros' return this time around, but it required him to go baseline for quite awhile. The Sycorax leader shouted in victory as the Doctor rose, "And now I know what sort of man I am. I'm lucky, because quite by chance I'm within the first 15 hours of my regeneration cycle, which means I have just enough cellular energy to do...this."
Suddenly, his body started glowing golden yellow. He blinked in confusion as he looked at himself. His regeneration cycle has started. He recoiled in shock. "What?! But wait! I'm not dying or dead! My hand being cut off shouldn't be enough! And it always happens just as That Dalek kills me. That's not fair!"
With that, his body exploded as he regenerated his hand and wasted his eleventh regeneration again.
Hephaestus flinched as Zurvan quirked his eye at the admin. The Greek God held his hand to his chin and sputtered, "Uh, yes, this can...happen...from time to time..."
Zurvan just laughed as he walked down the hall, heading to grab a coffee from the break room. Hephaestus groaned and bent over the console again, "Back to square one."
With that, he saved his coding for future review and set the console to restore the original coding after this loop ended.
"... Yes, Donna?"
"Where the flipping heck did the TARDIS go?"
The two looked at the spot where not ten minutes previously there had been one TARDIS. Now, instead, there was only empty air.
Donna Noble summoned up the full range of unamused annoyance. "Is this gonna be Rome all over again?"
The Doctor did not respond, instead finding himself staring at the empty space. The two stood there, Donna occasionally glowering at passers-by, who seemed confused as to why two strangers were staring at a blank wall. Or possibly because the two of them seemed to be the only people in San Francisco dressed like human beings, and not escapees from a science-fiction convention.
Above them, Starfleet shuttlecraft buzzed through the air.
After a few seconds of silence, Donna's phone went off. She fished around in her pocket, and turned it on. "Oh." She finally declared. Slowly, the Doctor turned to stare at her. She just blinked.
"Says 'ere that the TARDIS has been impounded," she declared. "Some people called the... Department of Temporal Investigations."
A haunted look overcame the Doctor's face. Donna recognised that one immediately.
"Know them?" She barely tried not to grin.
The Doctor just nodded. "I've met them before," he sighed. "They're some of the most small-minded, petty, unambitious beings ever to exist."
"How bad?" Donna asked.
"They don't think time-travel is fun," the Doctor said, with all the gravity of a funeral. "Y'know the Starfleet Loopers?"
"Yeah." Donna lied.
"Well, these people are the reason we don't know who most of them are." The Doctor groaned. "C'mon. We'd better go find them. Sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can get the TARDIS back."
Many Loopers knew of Starfleet. Many of them were aware of the feared Department of Temporal Investigations, one of the greatest reasons the Loopers from that particular Branch never made themselves known. Any who had ever visited knew of the reason why this group of utterly unremarkable entities was so feared, the mountains worth of dry, soul-sucking paperwork.
As far as anyone knew, no Looper in all of Yggdrasil could've possibly been so small-minded, officious and flat-out boring enough to be a member.
As far as they knew.
In the central London (England, Earth, the Terran System) office, one of the leading forces behind the Department gazed out of their window at the sight of a typical London afternoon in spring.
Gray and slightly damp. Very British.
A noise cut throat the individual's private reverie. Swivelling their chair, they pressed on the device.
"Admiral." It was a non-descript DTI agent, "We have two visitors to our Pluto impound. They are... insisting we illegally confiscated their time-travel mechanism."
The Admiral frowned. "Did you inform them as to standard DTI protocol regarding all unidentified time-travel mechanisms?"
There was a momentary pause. Even through the comm, the admiral could hear someone yelling, and loudly at that. They sounded English.
"Yes, Admiral. They refuse to fill in the requisite paperwork."
The Admiral stared idly at her fingernails. "Well then, inform them that unless they are willing to sign a handful of release forms, we cannot possibly give them their vehicle back."
"Of course, Admiral."
"Delgado, out." And before the person at the other end of the line could say anything, Admiral Antoinette Delgado (or as she preferred, the Mistress) turned the comm off. Following that, she allowed herself to lean back in her chair, and smiled a satisfied grin at the thought of the Doctor battling the baffling levels of bureaucracy this Loop came built with (with a few key touches of her own, of course).
She wondered if he'd even bother going through it all, or just storm off in a huff.
Either one sounded good to her.
"There's a bar in the TARDIS?" asked Sarah Jane.
The Doctor stood behind the counter, mixing up a drink with all the flare of his Eleventh self. "It's not always here, but I've had occasion to use it from time to time. Oh look, a pun."
"Does the Professor ever drive the TARDIS drunk?" Ace whispered.
"He can barely drive it sober," replied Clara. "Would you want him to try?"
"Can we please stop insulting our host?" chimed in the Brigadier. "I must say Doctor, this is a fine establishment. Quite the collection you have, as well."
"Have to be careful, though," commented Jack. "Some of this stuff is so old it'll kill you. Best leave those for me."
Ten.1: In celebration of the Doctor's appearance in LEGO Dimensions
Ten.2: And Dorothy "Ace" Gale McShane joins the Loops!
Ten.3: 'Cause when you time travel, you should do it in style!
Ten.4: The Children of Time leave no man behind!
Ten.5: Daleks can be really Irken at times.
Ten.6: It was then that Clara realized she needed to work on her Dalek servant programme.
Ten.7: Hint: It's an old saying that involves daily repetition.
Ten.8: Doctor's unwavering faith in humanity can inspire some of the worst misanthropes.
Ten.9: That being said, Space/Time For Davros was a surprise hit.
Ten.10: And the Second-Tenth Doctor Glitch continues.
Ten.11: The Mistress of Time Trolling.
Ten.12: Alcoholic of want and Space, any all drink you Time.