DISCLAIMER: Anything you recognise- the Doctor, the Brigadier, the TARDIS- belongs to the BBC. Anything you don't recognise- Time Scales, the Stranger- belongs to me. Nina, Chris, Matteo and Natalie belong to themselves, and I use their names here with their permission. Enjoy.

FEEDBACK: Feel free to give it.

The Coming of the Stranger

February 24th 1974

Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge- Stewart stood outside the door of the Doctor's lab, and reflected on how quiet it seemed to be.

Normally, at this time of the day, there would be a heated talk of some kind or another going on between the Doctor, UNIT's Scientific Advisor, and his assistant, Jo Grant. Either there would be some kind of experiment going on that they were discussing, or the Doctor would be working on some part of the TARDIS or some alien machine he'd picked up on his travels and be explaining the function of to Jo Grant, his assistant. However, today there was nothing in the lab but quiet. Oh, there were a few small noises here and there, but they were simply the noise any tool would make while working at some piece of equipment. Nobody in the lab was talking, laughing, joking, reminiscing...

Sighing a little, the Brigadier opened the door a crack and looked inside it. The Doctor was just sitting at his desk, his back to the door, working away at what seemed to be his sonic screwdriver with a more normal screwdriver. However, given that the Brigadier didn't know what the TARDIS's workings looked like, he couldn't be absolutely certain. He didn't bother going over to take a look, either. Even if technology had been his forte, he knew that he simply would never be able to acquire the experience that the Doctor had.

The Doctor may have a dress sense that only an Edwardian dandy would consider going out in otherwise, and appear to be a man in his mid- fifties with an early head of white hair, but he had been going around the Universe for at least a couple of hundred years, from what the Brigadier had heard, and could remember practically everything about it.

Looking over to the corner, he saw the TARDIS lodged in its customary corner, its usual blue Police Box form standing out against the white walls of the Doctor's current lab.

Just then, the Doctor put his screwdriver down on the table, lay back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling. His eyes were shut, and he seemed to be thinking hard about something. Deciding he'd never have a better chance to get involved, the Brigadier coughed politely.

Opening his eyes, the Doctor turned around and looked back at the Brigadier.

"Ah, Brigadier," he said, his voice sounding more cheerful than he appeared to be himself, "good to see you back."

The Brigadier simply nodded in reply. "How's things over here, Doctor?" Following the Doctor's defeat of BOSS, a mad supercomputer intent on linking itself to every major computer on Earth and thus acquiring ultimate power, the Doctor's assistant, Jo Grant, had gotten engaged to naturalist Professor Cliff Jones. The Doctor, for reasons known only to him, had left the rest of the UNIT command crew at the celebration party shortly after it had begun, and had driven off back to HQ. Now recovered from the hangover the drinks had caused them, the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton had returned to UNIT, although Captain Mike Yates had called in to report that he wouldn't be coming in today, to discover that the Doctor had remained in his lab all night.

"Oh, just the usual," the Doctor said, as he turned around and began to fiddle with the sonic screwdriver again. "A few reports in; nothing we haven't seen before. It's all over there," he added, waving his left hand towards another table in the room. The Brigadier glanced towards the table, and that there was fairly large pile of papers lying on top of it; they vaguely reminded his of a few of the shorter books he'd read in his lifetime.

"'A few reports', Doctor?" the Brigadier asked, walking over to the table and picking them up as he spoke.

"Hmm?" the Doctor said, glancing over at the Brigadier. Automatically, his eyes drifted over to the pile of papers on the table. "Oh. Well, it may have been an understatement, but I wasn't really paying attention to all that," he commented, as he pulled a small jewellers eyepiece out of his pocket, slipped onto his right eye, and continued to work.

"You know, Doctor," the Brigadier said, as he waved the files above his head, "if you aren't going to look at this paperwork at some point-"

Suddenly, they heard a knocking at the door.

"Come in," the Doctor said, still studying the sonic screwdriver. The Brigadier sighed, somehow knowing that he'd need to talk to the Doctor about paperwork some other time now.

The door opened, and Sergeant Benton entered the room, carrying a large brown folder.

"Doctor, I'm sorry to have to bother you at a time like this..." Benton began.

"Oh, no worries, Sergeant. I need something to take my mind off this anyway. Well, what's up now?" the Doctor asked, turning around to face Benton as the Brigadier listened in as well.

"Recent events in Hampton, Doctor," Benton said, passing the folder to the Doctor. "The details are in there. I thought it might interest you."

"Ah, thank you Sergeant," The Doctor said, studying the file with some brief interest. The Brigadier caught only a few words here and there, "Bank...minute...baffled...no sign...500 000," at this the Doctor looked up. "Is this accurate, Sergeant?"

"Down to the last detail, Doctor," Benton replied.

"Thank you for that, Benton. Come on then Brigadier," The Doctor said, getting up from his seat and heading for the door.

"Doctor, what in blazes is up with you now?" the Brigadier asked.

"That report was of a bank robbery that occurred in Hampton only a few days ago, Brigadier," the Doctor explained as he headed for the car park.

"A bank robbery? Why is that so important as to concern us?" the Brigadier asked.

"Read it yourself," the Doctor said, shrugging on his large coat and heading for the door.

The Brigadier began to read the report. The Doctor has a point- it was certainly interesting. Apparently, one minute the bank staff were working away at changing the vault combination, and the next they were suddenly missing almost five hundred thousand pounds from the vault, which they only discovered when they checked it after spending ten minutes talking with a customer.

"I see what you mean, Doctor," the Brigadier said, looking up at his friend. "Any theories?"

"Just two," the Doctor said. "Someone has either developed a way to stop time, or they've got something that slows Time down so much enough so there isn't really a difference between that and stopping it."

"You mean like that affair with TOMTIT?" the Brigadier asked, as the Doctor headed for Bessie.

"Exactly, but probably on a smaller scale," the Doctor said, getting into Bessie's driver's seat. "Harnessing a Chronovore isn't easy at the best of times, and I doubt that the Master was foolish enough to leave his equipment lying around."

"Shall I get the troops out?" the Brigadier asked, as the Doctor put his seat belt on.

"No, not until we know what we're dealing with, Brigadier. I'll call you when I know what the situation is," the Doctor said, as he tore off out towards the village. "Have them send over the TARDIS!" he called back to the Brigadier as he left the car park.

"Assuming you're still alive when it gets there..." the Brigadier commented, as Bessie vanished over the horizon.


The Doctor parked Bessie in front of the bank, and entered the door with a determined air.

"Ah, hello sir. How may I help you?" the young man behind the counter asked.

"I'm here about the bank robbery that occurred recently, mister..." the Doctor said, checking the nametag on the man's shirt, "Steve. Can you give me any new information, Steve?"

"Well, nothing really, sir," Steve said, trying to deal with the outfit the Doctor was wearing. "Besides, I don't even know who you are..."

"Oh, sorry. Well, this should...oh, hang on, I left that back in the lab," the Doctor muttered, checking a pocket. "Well then, contact UNIT. You'll see I am who I say I am,"

"And that is?" Steve asked.

"Oh, right, sorry about that. I'm Unpaid Scientific Advisor to the British branch of UNIT," the Doctor said, straightening his coat. "Took the job about four years ago, and still doing it,"

"I'll just need to confirm that, sir. I'll be back in a minute," Steve said, heading for the office behind the checkout. After the Doctor had waited for a few minutes, Steve came back, looking to the Doctor like a man who'd just had a vision of an angel that had given him every greatest secret in the Universe.

"I'm... sorry, sir. If I'd known who you were, I'd have..." he began.

"Oh, never mind that now, old fellow," the Doctor smiled. "You were only doing your job. Now, about that robbery..."

"Of course sir. This way please," Steve said, guiding the Doctor towards the vault.


As the Doctor had initially suspected, the vault had all the signs of having been opened using time-bending tools. But, he reflected, there was no harm in making sure before the TARDIS arrived. He didn't want to make himself look like an idiot in front of the Brigadier for getting all jumpy about potential time manipulation over a simple bank robbery.

"Was this door definitely locked when someone last saw it?" he asked, looking over at Steve as he pulled out his sonic screwdriver.

"Yes sir- we checked and double-checked. There is no way someone could have entered without being a ghost," Steve said, trying to make a light joke, despite his obvious worry about the situation.

"That could be an option, I suppose," the Doctor commented to himself, as he activated the sonic screwdriver. "Still that would still leave certain residual traces around the door where it went through it. Maybe..." he muttered, scanning the door with the sonic screwdriver. To both his relief and his horror, it emitted its simple static crackle, with none of the higher screeches that it would if intangibility had been used on the door.

"What does that mean, sir?" Steve asked.

"That my worst fears are confirmed," the Doctor said under his breath, putting his sonic screwdriver back in his pocket before looking back at Steve. "Thanks again, young fellow. I'll be sure to let your superiors know of the assistance you gave me," he said, heading for the door.

"Oh, thanks," Steve said really unsure as to what else he could say.


Outside, the Doctor headed straight for the nearest payphone. He was about to put in the money, when he suddenly stopped.

"Now, where did I leave that paper?" he said, checking his pockets for the UNIT phone number, which he'd written on a piece of paper after Jo had commented that he never remembered simple phone numbers. . Finding nothing there, he shrugged and headed back to Bessie.

"Might as well wait about until the TARDIS arrives..." the Doctor decided, lying back in the driver's seat, closing his eyes, and beginning to meditate. He knew that, if his theory were correct, he would need a lot of energy stored and ready to use to deal with this problem.


Some time later- about an hour later, by his reckoning- the Doctor awoke, and saw that the TARDIS had just appeared. Sergeant Benton was driving the car, as the Doctor acknowledged when he heard it.

"Ah, hello there Sergeant," the Doctor said, getting out of Bessie and heading towards the van.

"Hello there, Doctor. I hope this is helpful?" Benton asked, indicating the TARDIS.

"Quite, Sergeant. Thank you for bringing it," the Doctor smiled, taking the key out of his pocket and heading for the TARDIS.

"Should I stay? Extra help could come in handy," Benton said as the Doctor slid the key into the door.

"Well, I'll think about it, Sergeant. Let me just check this out..." the Doctor said, as he entered the TARDIS. Secretly, however, he made up his mind that he'd let Benton come along even if his help wasn't needed. He could use a little company.

Checking around the control room, the Doctor reflected on all the times he'd dealt with time problems in this old thing, with it's central Time Rotor, hexagonal control console, and the reliable scanner. When was the last time problem again... oh yes, that incident with the time fracture and Caresh... then he had to stop himself, because that only brought back memories of Jo, which was what he was trying to get over in the first place by coming down here.

Shaking off the memory, the Doctor began to activate the main scanner. Looking over at the scanner, he noted that it had activated, but was currently showing nothing but what was outside, since he hadn't activated the scanner yet.

"Well, soon settle that, eh, old thing?" the Doctor said to the TARDIS, as he activated the Time Scanner. This was mainly used by any CIA Time Lords checking a planet to see if there were any time machines on the planet in question, shifting to different colours depending on what kind of time machine it was. "Please, don't go green..." he muttered under his breath. Green was used if the time machine in question was another TARDIS.

The scanner showed a green light, about a few blocks away, but still relatively near Hampton centre, where the bank was and where the TARDIS was currently located.

"Drat," the Doctor muttered.

"What's the situation, Doctor?" Benton said, poking his head into the TARDIS console room.

"What I thought it might be," the Doctor said, looking out from under the console. "It appears I'll be needing your help after all, Sergeant. I certainly need some force."

"Really, Doctor? What's the situation?" Benton asked, getting into the TARDIS.

"Rouge Time Lord, I think," the Doctor explained, as he began to pilot the TARDIS towards the source of the energy. "I don't think it's the Master, but anything's possible. Besides, I've encountered at least three others- the Monk, the War Chief, and Omega. Oh, you'd better take this," he added, passing Benton a small multi-coloured cube. One side was red, another yellow, a third green, a fourth blue, a fifth purple, and a sixth black. "Push just the blue side. Sergeant. It emits a shockwave that disables electrical appliances for approximately ten or twenty seconds, and can daze the central nervous systems of humans or Time Lords for the same time span if they haven't shut their eyes before the blast."

"Right. Oh, Doctor..." Benton said, indicating the Time Rotor, which had stopped.

"Oh, right. Thank you, Sergeant. Well then, on we go," the Doctor said, picking up the sonic screwdriver and heading out the door, followed by Benton.

However, the second the two of them had left the TARDIS, the Doctor wondered if he'd made a mistake. The TARDIS was inside a large empty warehouse, with not even a box present that could be a disguised TARDIS, never mind a slight curve in the wall.

"What went wrong, Doctor?" Benton asked, picking up his gun.

"Oh, do put that down, Sergeant. That won't do much good. Just remember to use what I gave you when the need arises..." the Doctor said, suddenly looking ahead and spotting a small black box with a green light blinking on the wall.

"Wait a minute..." the Doctor muttered, walking towards the black box and looking at it. Suddenly, he looked back at Benton, a horrified expression on his face.

"Back to the TARDIS, Sergeant! Now!" the Doctor yelled, beginning to run towards the Police Box.

Deciding that obeying the Doctor would probably be the best thing he could do right now, Benton turned around and began to run after the Doctor. However, suddenly his vision began to mist over and he felt himself falling down. Looking ahead, he saw that the Doctor was in a similar state as well, but was still holding himself up, even though he was rapidly collapsing...

Then Benton fell down flat onto the ground as his body surrendered to the gas.


Some time later, the Doctor awoke, in a TARDIS and in manacles.

Looking around himself, the Doctor noticed that he was chained up in what appeared to be that old prison room in the TARDIS that he'd ejected after he took the old thing away from Gallifrey, which at least indicated that his enemy wasn't superior to him TARDIS-wise. He glanced to his right, and saw Benton nearby in a similar condition to him, but the difference being that Benton was unconscious. The Doctor also noticed that the TARDIS was nearby, so at least it was all right. Suddenly, it occurred to him that he might still have his sonic screwdriver, and tried to reach his pocket.

"Looking for this?" a voice said. Looking up, the Doctor saw a tall figure holding the sonic screwdriver, dressed in military outfits that resembled what Adolf Hitler had worn while in power, but although he had the Nazi swastika on his arm, he had a different sign underneath the swastika instead of the plain white circle the Doctor had seen in Nazi Germany.

"The Seal of Rassilon..." the Doctor said to himself. It was no comfort to know that he'd been right about that- in fact, that was the one thing he'd hoped he'd been wrong about.

"Correct," the man smiled, walking out of the shadows. It wasn't much of an improvement- the Doctor still couldn't make out his face, since he appeared to be wearing a black balaclava over his head. "Judging by what I know of this planet, you'd be that renegade Time Lord called the...Doctor, is it?"

"It is. So, what should I call you, old chap?" the Doctor asked.

"Just...the Stranger," the man said. The Doctor couldn't make out his appearance behind the balaclava, but he could have sworn that the man was smirking a little. "I believe you're here to investigate those robberies I've been committing recently. Honestly, you have the powers to wander around the Universe and do what you want, where you want, and when you want at will and you investigate a time-stopping bank robber? Why do it?" he said, directly addressing the Doctor.

"As I said back in my previous life," the Doctor replied, looking his enemy straight in the eye, "there are some corners of the Universe that have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought. That's why I do this, Stranger. Because I feel I must."

"Hah!" laughed the Stranger, clapping his left hand to his head in amazement. "You do all that, even though you've seen where it got you in the end? Almost no real change in the universal scale of good and evil, and exile on a backward world that's constantly under attack!"

"Only for a brief period," the Doctor stated, glaring at the Stranger. "I was forgiven for that after I saved the Time Lords from Omega. I'm free now. And by the way, I may not have done too much on the cosmic scale, but I have managed to prevent bad situations getting even worse and resulting in even larger loss of life."

"Yes, I've heard it all before. Oh, by the way, you claim you're free, but has it ever occurred to you that the Time Lords still use you to do their dirty work since they won't do it themselves! Can't you see you're just a scrapgoat for them as far as they're concerned?" the Stranger said, laughing.

"Maybe they force me into some things," the Doctor said, looking directly at the Stranger, "but I chose to do those things in the end. I always have."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before, and it's really not impressive," The Stranger said, smirking. "Look at us- you're just the Time Lord's dogsbody, doing work that they don't want to do themselves because they don't want to get their hands dirty, and I'm having the time of my lives! Just by rewiring my temporal circuits, I can get away with anything- bank robbery, murder, sabotage, you name it!" laughed the Stranger.

"Am I meant to be scared? Was that in your schedule for torturing me? Because if so, it isn't working. In my time I've been threatened by experts, you know, and you're really not very threatening," the Doctor replied, facing the Stranger.

"No, by now, on my original schedule, you weren't mean to be scared," The Stranger explained, straightening out his shirt.

"Really? What was I mean to be by now?" the Doctor asked casually.

"Dead," the Stranger said, and pulled out a gun.

As it was pointed at him, the Doctor identified as one of those Gallifreyian Patrol Stasers developed by the Celestial Intervention Agency before he'd left for his exile, and which he'd once been offered, but had declined. If it were fired at him, regeneration wouldn't even be an option for recovery.

Sneaking a peak at his right, he saw that Benton was almost awake now. He also saw that cube he'd given Benton poking out of Benton's right pocket- evidently, the Stranger hadn't thought to check Benton for anything that he could use against him.

And therein lies my last hope... the Doctor thought. Gritting his teeth, he kicked out with his legs, thankfully free, and knocked the Stranger off his feet.

"Sergeant!" the Doctor yelled, as the Stranger began to clamber to his feet. "Use the cube I gave you!"

Benton looked up and nodded at the Doctor.

"Cube? What cube? You tell what cube you're referring to! A bomb, right?" said the Stranger, pointing his gun at the Doctor. "You entrusted your hope of defeating me with a human? You're more pathetic than I thought!"

"Not the means of your destruction, Stranger," the Doctor said, as the Stranger began to pull the trigger. "Simply a method of delaying you. Now, Sergeant!" he cried. Benton's thumb slammed down onto the blue side of the cube.


The results from that one act were just incredible. The whole prison room lit up with a dazzling blue flash, as the cube exploded and released a terrible electromagnetic pulse, which could even damage humanoids. The Doctor had known what was coming, and he'd given Benton the basic idea that he had to shut his eyes, and the two of them were therefore unharmed, but the Stranger took the full brunt of the blast into his face.

"AAARRRGGGHHH!!!" he screamed, clutching his head beneath the balaclava.

"Back to the TARDIS!!!!" the Doctor yelled at Benton, as the two of them charged towards the Police Box. Quickly, the Doctor pulled the key out and, although his hands were shaking with the stress and recent gas exposure, damaging even to Time Lords, he managed to open the door. As he and Benton dived in, Benton barely managed to close the door as the Stranger dived towards them.

"Are you alright, Sergeant?" the Doctor asked, as he quickly studied the TARDIS instruments and turned on the scanner.

"I'm fine. Doctor, shouldn't we be more concerned about...him?" Benton asked, indicating the scanner, which was currently showing the Stranger who was trying to find his gun, the cube having blinded him briefly.

"Oh, him. Yes, I know, I'm currently trying to tap into his TARDIS's directional circuits and steer him away from our own TARDIS myself, since he seems unwilling to do so," the Doctor said, checking the instruments as he pulled some levers. "Honestly, and they say this old thing's in bad shape. His old TARDIS barely even has the spatial circuits working, and never mind the temporal circuits..." he muttered. Suddenly, Benton jumped back as a second TARDIS console appeared beside him.

"Doctor, what's going on here?!" Benton said, when suddenly, the TARDIS shook, knocking Benton to the ground and forcing the Doctor to grab onto the second TARDIS console to steady himself.

"Hey!" the Stranger shouted from the scanner. "What are you pathetic wimps doing to my TARDIS??!! I demand an explanation!!"

"Oh, shut up," the Doctor said, as he turned the scanner off before turning his attention to the TARDIS consoles. "Now then, if I reverse the polarity of both his and my neutron flow, route it through what's left of his temporal circuits, eject about twenty-five, maybe twenty-eight percent of his TARDIS, and then key in the coordinates for the edge of the Time Spiral, that should have him out of our lives forever..." the Doctor said, as he suddenly focused all his attention on the one control panel.

"What are you trying to do, Doctor?" Benton asked, as he picked up his gun and pointed it at the door, in case the Stranger got in.

"Oh, no need for the gun, Sergeant. The TARDIS exists in a state of multidimensional temporal grace, so weapons are ineffective, since nobody really exists while they're in here. Besides, I doubt the Stranger will be able to get in here. To answer your original question, I'm trying to send the Stranger to the edge of the Time Spiral, which basically means he'll be trapped outside of Time itself- nothing there but the Eternals, the Gods of my people. They should give him what punishment he deserves," The Doctor said, as he pushed one final button on the second console, and it vanished.

"Watch the results over there," the Doctor said, indicating the now- reactivated scanner. On it was what looked like another version of the TARDIS inside a massive blue tornado of energy, and the other TARDIS was spiralling away from the TARDIS and heading for the edge. Suddenly, just as it reached the edge, it vanished from view.

"Well, that was easy enough," Benton commented, as he put his gun back into its holster.

"Yes, it was," the Doctor commented. "Odd, really. You'd have thought his TARDIS would have attempted something to defend him. And that Police Box shape- why was that there..." he said, almost to himself, but then seemed to change his mind and turned to the remaining console.

"Home, Sergeant?" he said, looking back at Benton.

"Just back to the truck will do for now, Doctor," Benton said, smiling at his friend.

"The truck it is, Sergeant. Here we go," the Doctor smiled, keying in the coordinates. Just before he started the TARDIS, he suddenly felt something stir in the back of his mind- like a calling of danger from a past incarnation, but not that at all- too distant, and there was no direct link to his former selves, since there was no sense of anyone with them. Almost as if it were a calling from a possible past self...

Could it be...?, the Doctor thought to himself, before dismissing that thought. True, he could have come through from there, but the Doctor had seen no sign of anyone who could have been him there. Besides, the Doctor thought to himself as he set the TARDIS back towards Hampton, it was unlikely he could have gotten through, anyway. His TARDIS wouldn't even have been able to jump through the barriers, and even with his TARDIS being able to pull that off, he had only barely escaped that inferno.

That horrible, all-consuming, planet-sized inferno...


"AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!" cried the Stranger, diving into the control room, clutching his TARDIS console as it hurtled towards the edge of the Time Spiral.

True, he was slightly hampered by the fact that his ship's agony was translated into pain in his own mind by the telepathic circuits, vie a link he'd never found the time to get rid off. Why hadn't he stolen one of those new-fangled Type Seventies they'd developed on Gallifrey, instead of this useless Type Forty? At least then he might have been able to escape that jerk of a Time Lord!

Well, all right, he'd been a complete jerk in his first persona and thought that this thing would do at the time, being so arrogant as to believe he couldn't be caught, but that still was no excuse for that old guy's idiotic behaviour!

"WORK!!!! Work, you stone-aged piece of JUNK!!!!" he cried, waving his hand wildly about as the TARDIS hurtled faster and faster towards the edge of the Time Spiral. If this doesn't work, the Stranger thought to himself, as his hand began to move closer and closer to its destination, there's no telling what'll happen to me if I break the edge of the Time Spiral at this speed...

"Got it!!!!!" he yelled in triumph, as his hand finally hit what it had been searching for- the Fast Return/Emergency Dematerialisation Switch, a switch that would send him to either his last real-universe position or near to it. Rapidly, he pressed it, not caring where he ended up, so as he ended up somewhere.

Suddenly, the TARDIS jolted rapidly, knocking him against the wall. Swearing loudly, the Stranger staggered back to his feet, as the familiar sound of materialisation filled the control room. He'd made it...

Blinking a little, the Stranger checked the console- it looked all right, baring the crack in the Time Rotor and the damage done all over two of the panels, but they'd already been there, so the Stranger ignored them. Apart from that, baring the friction damage, it was remarkably intact.

Smiling, the Stranger checked his instruments, and groaned. His face took on a more, sullen, depressed expression at once.

"Blast," he muttered to himself. The temporal circuits had finally given out on him, and no surprise too, with the recent strain that white-haired dandy had put them under by sending this old thing as far as he had.

Even the spatial circuits were barely functioning, only capable of short hops through Space- two miles would be the best he could do, and even that would be risky. There were indications of a lot more damage, but that appeared to be the worst of it.

The scanner had also finally broken, and was currently showing nothing but static. Still, the Stranger had to admit that he could have arrived at a worse date and place than where he had arrived, according to the yearometer, one of the few working things in this dump now- Earth, February 1st, 1992, in some nameless mansion that was relatively near London.

Deciding that he might as well take a look at the outside, the Stranger operated the door control and walked out. The mansion looked like it had been through an explosion at some point, with several of the walls damaged and ivy growing all over. Checking his TARDIS, which was charred around some areas and had the light on top broken, the Stranger couldn't help but wonder if it had just happened, or if the damage to the Police Box shell was the result of the recent friction it had gone through in the Vortex.

However, more likely it was the friction- the fact that the light on top was broken suggested that it had gone through a great deal more than even this nigh-on indestructible shell could handle. The Stranger made a mental note to try and see if he could get that damn chameleon circuit working again here- this old thing was getting to be worse then useless.

Either way, it could have been worse- his TARDIS could have been sent right through the Spiral and fallen into the hands of those bloody Eternals he'd heard so much about on Gallifrey. They wouldn't have been all that merciful; they had a reputation for taunting non- immortal beings, even Time Lords such as himself. But, even though he was trapped on Earth with little chance of escape, thanks to that stupid TARDIS, at least this way he was alive.

And while I'm alive, the Stranger thought to himself, I can conquer anything.

For the first time since he'd arrived on this backwater planet, all the way back in 1867, the Stranger began to relax.

Finally, he was in a time that had everything he needed and didn't know they had the potential to make what he needed. A time that had little or no knowledge of aliens, and would be facing a relatively rough decade- at least, in original history. That was something he would have to alter the second he could.

In this time, he could repair his TARDIS, conquer this Earth, annihilate this Universe's Time Lords, and then conquer it all. This was truly a perfect Universe.

And the best bit of it all, thought the Stranger, as he walked back into his TARDIS, is that that old fool of a Doctor never even came close to working out who I really was...