Time and Relative Dimension in Space
The gate-room was deserted, with only a pair of techs in the control room standing watch in case anyone dialled in unexpectedly. Almost everyone else had gone home for the night, leaving just the duty staff and those who were so engrossed in research projects that they'd lost track of time.
The sound started low at first, so quiet that it was inaudible behind the reinforced Plexiglas screen separating the control room for the gate room itself. It sounded like a hand in a metal glove had grabbed the strings from a harp and was running down them repeatable. It grew in volume, finally gaining the attention of the bored techs.
"Oh my God!" Sergeant Davis looked down at the large blue shape that was starting to appear. His hand reached out and instinctively hit the panic button, setting off alarms throughout the base, as well as the Pentagon in Washington.
The sown from the gate room faded away, lost entirely in the blaring of a dozen klaxons. The shape that had finally appeared was roughly eight feet high, and five feet across on any side. What looked like pair of doors was set in the front with the words 'POLICE BOX' written across the top in English.
The huge blast doors on either side of the gate room opened and heavily armed Special Forces guards came running through, pointing a selection of guns at the box. Two men grabbed the 50-caliber mounted machinegun and turned it round to face the intruder.
"What's going on?" Major Carter ran into the control room, having been caught halfway through an experiment in her lab.
"Unknown, sir." Davis pointed down into the gate room, "That just appeared a minuet ago."
"Seal the base, and call General Hammond." Carter called up the reading from the scanners embedded in the gate room walls on one of the workstations, "I'm readying a massive power output…"
There was a loud creak and one of the doors on the front of the box opened, a huge cloud of smoke billowed out, followed by a tall man who fell onto the flour, coughing heavily. He was dressed in a black coat that looked like it had seen better days, and his long dark hair was wild and untidy. The guards pointed their guns at him, ready for his eyes to glow menacingly or for him to display any other signs of hostility.
"Well, that was unexpected." He coughed, slowly rising to his feet, "Where the hell am I this time?" He looked round, ignoring the guards but stopping when he saw the Stargate, "Goodness gracious me, don't tell me someone still using one of those old things?" He slowly walked up the ramp to the gate and rapped his knuckles against it; "I haven't seen one of these outside a museum in years!"
"Excuse me…" Carter's voice came out over the PA, making the man turn round.
"Yes?" He asked, taking notice of the other people for the first time, "How can I help you, my dear?"
"Who are you?"
"Dr Who, but people generally call me simply 'The Doctor'."
"Yes, that it. And who are you?"
"Major Samantha Carter."
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Major."
"O.k." Carter shook her head, giving up on that line of enquiry, "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, sorry if I startled everyone: minor trouble with the T.A.R.D.I.S." The Doctor shrugged, "Nothing I can't fix."
"Time and Relative Dimension in Space." The Doctor pointed at the box, "That big, blue thing there."
"It looks like a phone booth…"
"Yes; the chameleon system was damaged while I was visiting this charming little planet called Earth, and I've never been able to fix the blasted thing."
"Earth?" Carter raised an eyebrow, "Wait a minuet: this is Earth!"
"I thought I recognised the quantum signature." The Doctor smiled, "Do you mind telling me what year it is?"
"Year? It's 2002."
"Hum, only two local years since I was last here. Or at least, since I was last hear in my personal time-stream: no way of knowing if I may come back again and arrive a year ago."
"You can travel through time?" Carter asked.
"It's sort of my job."
"Where are you from?"
"I very much doubt you would have heard of it, but my home planets called Gallifrey: It's an awful long way from here, even by," The Doctor couldn't help but laugh, "Stargate." He stopped laughing and looked round, "Let me guess: "I'm in America, right?"
"Well, yes." Carter nodded, not sure what else to say.
"Well, got on the phone to GCHQ in England and see if they can get hold of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Although he may have been promoted or retired by now." The Doctor walked back down to the TARDIS, "I'll be in here doing some repairs if you need me."
The Special Forces guards watched him, jaws gaping.
"Major, report." General Hammond walked into the control room and looked down at the TARDIS and the contingent of guards still sanding round it.
"Well sir, he looks human, but claims to be from a world called Gallifrey." Carter showed him a photo of the Doctor taken from a CCTV camera, "He's shown no signs of hostility, but he doesn't seem that perturbed by the guns the guards had pointed at him. He also seemed to know what the Stargate was, but referred to it as 'one of those old things'."
"Have you tried contacting him since he returned inside that, thing?"
"He called it a TARDIS, sir: Time and Relative Dimension in Space." Carter shook her head, "I've been waiting for you to arrive before I tried anything else."
"Probably for the best." Hammond nodded, "I want you and Teal'c kitted out and ready to go as soon as Colonel O'Neill and Dr. Jackson get here."
"Sir." Carter nodded, turning on her heals as the phone rang.
"Hammond." The General lifted the receiver, "Ok, put him through. Sir Alistair, I'm sorry to call you at this hour, but we have a stranger on our base that claims to know you. Yes, he calls himself 'The Doctor'. So you do know someone who goes by that name? Well, the man here is… Oh, so there is no way you could physically identify him from a photograph? Ok. Yes, I'll get onto the Pentagon and have the UNIT files forwarded immediately. Thank you for you help, Sir Alistair. Goodnight." He put the phone down and turned to Davis, "Have the switchboard call the Pentagon put it through to my office."
"So what are we dealing with this time Carter?" O'Neill asked as SG-1 made their way through the corridors leading to the gate room, "And in English, please."
"Well, the American government was never directly involved with the United Nations International Taskforce beyond providing technical assistance, so the Pentagon doesn't know exactly what they were into." Carter held up a thin manila folder, "But we do a little about are 'guest': he's not hum, but according to our file he was suffering from amnesia when he was with UNIT, and couldn't remember where he was from. He has above human strength, reflexes and senses, and to say he's probably the smartest man on the planet would be an understatement."
"Smart guy, huh?" O'Neill smiled.
"Smarter than you were when you had the knowledge of the Ancients downloaded into your head, sir." Carter looked deadly serious, "We've sent an SG-team through the gate to contact the Asgard, see if they can throw any light on who or what he is, but we've not heard back yet."
"Yeah, well, what ever." O'Neill yawned as he entered the gate room, "Can we even all fit in there?"
"We just need to talk to him." Daniel knocked on the door, "Excuse me, Doctor?" The door swung open, and the young Egyptologist blinked, "Um, Sam: haw can this thing be bigger on the inside than it is on the outside?"
"What?" Carter poked her head through the door and her jaw dropped: instead of a confined metal closet, she was looking into a huge, airy room with doors leading off of it. She stepped back and slowly walked around the outside of the TARDIS several times, rapping her knuckles against it to make sure it was really there.
"Carter?" O'Neill asked, confused.
"Some kind of distortion in the space-time continuum: a pocket dimension if you will." Carter's eyes had started to glaze over, "The energy needed to create and maintain such a field is staggering…"
"Sorry." The Major shook her head; "Some kind of advanced space-bending technology means that the box is bigger on the inside than the outside." She stepped inside, "Doctor?"
"Over here." A voice called from across the room, a hand appearing above what looked like a cabinet, "Just recalibrating the Tesseract generator and regulation assembly: it overheated, coursing my little unscheduled stop here."
"Oh, good." Carter picked her way over the room, "We've spoken to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart about your time with UNIT, and he seems to think you are who you say you are. He seemed to find the idea of you repapering here amusing in some way." She shook her head, "I'm sorry, I should introduce everyone: this is Colonel Jack O'Neill, my immediate superior, Dr Daniel Jackson, our archeologist/linguist, and Teal'c."
"A Jaffa on Earth?" The Doctor raised an eyebrow, "Most unusual. Been a long time since I've seen this, a long time indeed."
"I serve no Goa'uld." Teal'c looked unparsed, "They are false gods and I will see my people free of them."
"Good for you!" The Doctor slapped him on the shoulder, "Glad to see someone finally standing up to the System Lords. Almost makes me wish I could get involved myself."
"And why can't you?" O'Neill raised a hand in question.
"Sorry, but there are rules: I'd be in even more trouble with the others if I did something like that." The Doctor shook his head, "I've always had a soft spot for Earth and humans, but I'm not going to risk getting involved again."
"So you have gotten involved in the past?" Daniel asked.
"My dear Dr. Jackson, I have saved this world from invasion or destruction more times than I care to remember. I have traveled from one end of the space/time continuum to the other and I have sent things you could only dream about." The Doctor looked very serious all of a sudden, "You should think twice before you question my motives: there are worse things out there than the Goa'uld and sooner or later they are going to find you. Pray that you are ready to face them when they do."
"What kind of 'things'?" O'Neill asked.
"You said you had spoken to the Brigadier?" The Doctor seamed a little confused, "But then again, you Americans never did get actively involved in UNIT…" He shrugged, "I'm sure you will find out in the fullness of time." He slammed his fits down onto the desk and it started to hum, "Time I was off, I think."
"Yeah, ok." O'Neill nodded, backing out of the room, pulling Daniel and Carter with him, "Well you have a safe trip now."
"I will." The Doctor nodded as the door closed after them.
"SIR!" Carter protested as O'Neill pulled her away from the TARDIS, "Shouldn't we at least try and talk him into helping us?"
"No." O'Neill shook his head, "We got enough bad-guys to deal with as it is: I'm not going to risk gaining some new ones just yet."
With the same grinding sound that had preceded its arrival, the TARDIS faded out.
There was a flash a few seconds later, and Thor appeared.
"Hello my friends." The Asgard military commander nodded, "I hear you have a strange visitor?"
"Well." O'Neill shrugged, "We did just have this one guy drop round…"
Sorry folks: one-hit-fick. Don't have the time or inclination to take it any further.