Doctor Who – Regenerative Crisis
The Tenth Regeneration Adventures
By Jeff Walker
"What…what's happening to me?"
The Timelord started to get the sharp stabbing pains throughout his body and screamed in agony as he twitched from the multiple attacks. He quickly threw himself over to the controls and frantically set the controls on a new course. With one last sharp cry of pain, the Timelord passed out on the floor and lay there motionless. His entire body began fluctuating as if in a mid-regeneration, but all the contorting and the rippling light waves weren't changing his appearance at all. His skin was reflecting the space/time vortex the TARDIS is traveling in, as if he had merged with the cosmos and was drifting along with his machine. The quiet room seemed to make the time pass slowly as the unconscious Timelord lay on the ground for what seemed like passing hours. The console's center column rose and fell repeatedly as it chugged along to its destination.
In the distance, somewhere beyond the control room, the voices of the two female companions could be heard getting closer and closer as they make their way back. Chattering away and not noticing the Doctor lying on the floor, the two step into the perforated white walled room as they continue their conversation.
"Those where delicious sandwiches Andrea…I've never eaten so good since our last stop over at Saturn base 5. Seems like I haven't had a decent meal in nearly forever…Thanks. It's incredible how this place is so much bigger on the inside then it is on the outside."
"Yeah, I was a bit in awe of this place myself when I first came in…but you get use to it after awhile."
The two women had changed clothes and cleaned up in the time that past. Megan had now gotten out of her burned and ripped Earth force uniform and now wears civilian clothing. A tanned brown long sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up and tucked into a pair of blue jeans cuffed at the bottom of her heals. Her old military issue boots had been replaced with canvas red runners that looked brand new. Andrea had found a white front brimmed hat with small stars littered all over it. Her light blue t-shirt was hanging over the pair of white kakis and sported some pink velvet like shoes. As the two continued to giggle and converse, Andrea finally noticed the Doctor stretched out on the ground in a most un-natural state.
Both women quickly dropped down to see if he was alright, Andrea held on to his hand tightly while Megan checked his vital signs. She soon saw the strange reflections appearing on his skin, the starry background warping through his face as if it was like an image of what was happening outside the TARDIS.
"My god…what is going on?" She gasped. "Is this normal?"
"Of course it's not normal!" Andrea snapped as tears began to trickle down her cheek. "Oh Doctor…please wake up!"
The Doctor remained silent and only breathed in and out in a calm fashion as he continued to lie there on the floor. Megan stood up and gazed at the center controls that seemed to operate on their own.
"This ship is on automatic? Andrea…Andrea what's going on?"
Andrea broke out of her desperation and gazed up to view the console as well, she looked at the array of knobs, switches and various other electronics flashing away on the TARDIS controls and rubbed her head in doubt.
"The Doctor…he must have pre-set the TARDIS co-ordinates for somewhere. But I haven't a clue as to where we're going."
Andrea and Megan scurried over to see if they could make sense of the Timelord's craft, together they pushed and flicked the odd switch that wasn't lit up and discovered that everything they tried was doing nothing to stop the TARDIS.
"We're wasting our time…" Megan says in frustration. "He's the only one who knows how this thing works. Some of the controls I can make out…but the rest is all gibberish and ancient!"
Suddenly the center column begins to power down and slowly shuts off. The two women pause from it's deactivation and look at one another in alarm. Andrea attempts to switch on the outside monitor and gazes up as the viewer opens up along the wall and feeds in the image outside.
"Where are we Andera?" Megan asks.
"I…I don't know. It almost looks like…a…a court yard or something."
Megan gets into view of the screen and also sees the strange surrounding awaiting them outside the TARDIS. The area is open and made of marbled stone, ancient looking writings and designs grace the pillars and solid wall like pieces that are spread about in a circle. Suddenly they notice a group of robed individuals heading towards the Timelord's craft and gasp in fear.
"Who are they? What's going on?" Megan shouts with confusion.
"I…I don't know that either Megan." Andrea quivers as she backs away from the controls.
The figures now approach the TARDIS doors and look up as if they can see the women inside are watching them. The robed individuals look regal in appearance, wearing strange shoulder collars that form behind their heads like a royal emblem. The two frightened women notice that the people are human looking, male and female, and that one of the royal looking men is pointing to the door and mouthing the words to "open". Megan seemed unsure about what this person's intentions were, having just joined the Doctor and Andrea, she found all of this rather confusing and wondering just what these two have brought her into.
"I think he wants in." Andrea states as she bites her nail nervously.
"No kidding. Ya think?" Megan bluntly responds. "Why does he want in here? That's what I want to know. Seem odd to me that they know English language…"
Andrea rubs her temple and breathes out.
"I just don't know what to do. Oh, man…why is this always happening to me?"
Megan finally takes charge and walks over to the console where the confused companion is standing.
"Well…somebody has to make a move, we just can't be sitting here staring at one another for all time."
Megan finally slaps the door control that Andrea was touching as she tried to make a decision, the sudden sound of the TARDIS doors opening made both of them turn around and face them as they braced for whatever came through. As the doors finally stopped opening, the group of strangely dressed individuals came in slowly. The man who had been pointing outside lead the group in and paused in front of the terrified women.
"Where is he?"
"Who?" Andrea nervously answered.
"The Doctor?" The man calmly spoke again. "Where is the Doctor?"
"Over there." Megan pointed. "Behind the console."
The group split up around the controls and found the Timelord on the ground, his face and skin were still showing the vortex like space reflection and caused a few of the group to gasp in amazement.
"Lord President!" The regal looking female shouted. "Come and see!"
The man that had been talking to Andrea and Megan quickly walked around and now gazed upon the spectacle for himself. Leaning down and touching the Doctor's head, he studied his features and touched his face with curiosity.
"He is still in flux. This is not possible, we've already known of his transformation…why is he doing it again so soon?"
"His regeneration must be unstable." The regal woman speaks again. "Lord President…what do make of this?"
The Lord President rose and tapped his upper lip in thought.
"This is more serious than I thought. The Doctor should not be in flux so soon, yet here he is and in great danger. Bring the stretcher in so that we may take him straight to the Time Reconstruction Chamber."
The group bows to him and all leave the TARDIS as he continues to look down at the shifting Timelord.
"Welcome home Doctor…I wish it was on better circumstances."
Andrea is fed up with all the dramatics and finally flops her arms in anger.
"Who are you people? Where the hell are we?"
The man turns around and raises an eyebrow at her impolite attitude.
"Calm yourself child. This is Galifrey…and we are the council of Time."
"Timelords? You're Timelords…like him?" Andrea realizes.
"Yes my dear, this is the home world of the Timelords and I am its Lord President Devendari. The Doctor is in grave need of our help, I ask that you do not interfere and remain with us for the time being."
Megan notices a new group of people entering the Timelord's craft, four of them that were dressed in red and white armor with gold crested helmets laden with symbols and designs. She would know a soldiers uniform anywhere, these were warriors that defend Galifrey and keep the security within its boundaries. They were carrying the stretcher that their President asked for and quickly placed it beside the Doctor as they moved him onto it. As they raised him up, they each balanced it under their shoulders and marched out of the TARDIS with the rest looking on with concern.
"Come ladies." The President commanded. "Let us discuss how this event happened and we can safely return you to your proper place and time afterwards."
"No!" Andrea said angrily. "I'm not leaving until I know the Doctor is alright."
Megan stepped over to the President with caution and sheepishly asked a question.
"You'd return us to our own time? Tell me…would I be placed back after the Cybermen War? On Earth?"
The Timelord looked at her and sighed.
"You shall go to the very moment where the Doctor first met you. He should not have interfered with your war against the Cybermen, I'm sorry child, but you were not supposed to have survived that final conflict."
That cold reply made the future girl step back in horror, to hear that she was not to survive the deadly war was enough to send a cold chill down her spine. A sudden wave of nausea and grief came over her and she almost collapsed from the dreadful news.
"Not to survive…my god." She quivered in her voice.
Andrea came to the woman's aid and comforted her as she tried to compose herself.
"That was cruel of you, sir. All she asked of you was to be placed out of harms way if she was returned."
President Devendari walked past them and paused to gaze at Andrea as she still held Megan in support.
"Humans. You are so sensitive to hear the truth, so timid when it comes to your own mortality and yet…so eager to throw your lives away in the spur of the moment. Its not I who is cruel at all, I'm simply telling you how it must be…how it has always been."
Andrea and Megan give him a look of disapproval and he in turn changes his tone to that of gracious host.
"Come, I will allow you to view the Doctor as we try to remedy the situation. Please…I promise you shall not be put back until he is well again."
The Timelord walks out of the room and leaves the two women thinking it over.
"I guess we've got no choice." Andrea sighs.
"One day longer to live…I think I'd like to spend it with someone who saved me for that time."
Both nodded and gave each other a hug. The two walked out of the TARDIS hand in hand and were met by a group of Galifreian soldiers who proceeded to guide them to where the Doctor was being taken.
"Its too bad really." Megan's voice echoes out as they walk through the courtyard. "I was just getting to enjoy my life again."
In a valley of hot sweeping sands, with brush and water starved plant life, laid the Doctor as the wind passed over him like an air of doom. The Timelord suddenly sat up and spun his head around like an animal listening for predators.
"I must get to Galifrey!" He shouted as he awoke. "What…where am I? This isn't the TARDIS?"
Rising to his feet, he looks around at the barren wasteland and tries to make sense of what has happened to him.
"How on Earth did I get here? This isn't Galifrey? Is it?" He mutters to himself as he begins to walk. "No mountains, no sign of life…other then the poor dried up bits here and there. Strange…its almost…its almost as if I'm nowhere. But that's impossible, obviously I'm somewhere…sand, air, a bright blue sky…this must be Earth. But how did I manage to get here alone?"
The Timelord stops in his tracks and calls out into the open valley.
The eerie sound of the wind is all he can hear in response; not knowing when or where he is confounds his intellect and searches for any clue as he walks through the dried, dusty plains. His long walk seems to go on forever as he crosses over the empty land, breathing heavily and looking confused he continues to wander through for any sign of life. After what seem like hours to him, he finally collapses to the ground in exhaustion. The sand and dry conditions have conquered the oddly dressed Timelord as he soon realizes he lost with no chance of escaping this desert valley.
"Must…not give in." He whispers to himself. "Must find…the TARDIS…Megan…Andrea…yes, they'll be looking for me for sure."
"Not this time Doctor." A deep male voice says over him.
The Doctor manages to move his head and gazes up at the person now standing over him.
"What? Who are you? Where did you come from?"
The man was dressed in garments similar to the Timelords Megan and Andrea met, his were colored in deep red and gold, a Caucasian looking fellow with mustache and a beard that looked well trimmed. His hand reached down to the Doctor and waited for his in return. Obliging his help, the Doctor grasped it and rose up with the other man's strength. Wiping himself off and clearing his throat, the Doctor bowed to the stranger and smiled.
"Seems an odd place for the likes of you to be strolling about. Tell me are we on Galifrey?"
"Not quite Doctor." The man replies.
"Ah…" The Doctor says as he continues to fix his appearance. "Well if you don't mind, I'd very much like to know where we are…exactly."
The man steps closer to the Doctor and gazes at him in a serious manner.
"You're nowhere Doctor. In no time, in no place and in no existence of any form."
The Doctor pauses as he hears that and slowly looks up at the strange man with a fearful expression.
"Yes Doctor…" The man continues as he sees the realization creep into the Timelord's face. "Welcome to the beginning of the end…you're death."
The Doctor freezes in horror as the stranger simply smirks at his reaction.