Swerving though streets like a madman in the bulky Hummer vehicle, the driver grazes by the few cars blocking its path. The Doctor places his hand on the wheel carefully and tries to ease the man down from his erratic diving.
"Ok, I think you've lost them. The Grand Prix of London is over now."
The gentleman lets out a sigh of relief and nods in agreement with the Timelord. Taking his foot of the gas slowly, he begins to relax in his seat and releases the wheel from his tight grip.
"Yes." He breathes. "Thank you. I'm sorry for rushing…I wanted to make sure we got you out safely, that's all."
Andrea and Megan keep their hands close to their belts strapped around them, the ride was pretty rough, but they weren't taking their chances by letting go now.
"Why are you in such a hurry?" Megan now shouts at him. "What's UNIT? What is so blasted important that you need the Doctor? Who the hell are you anyway?"
"And you say I ask to many questions." Andrea snickers at the Doctor.
The quirky Timelord turns around in his seat and tweaks her nose.
"And so you do. But give others a chance to ask them."
The young man looks at Megan in the rearview mirror and tries to give an answer to all her inquiries.
"My name is Sergeant Rodney Bellum. I was ordered by the Major to locate you as soon as your TARDIS signal came to Earth. We had a feeling you'd be here soon enough."
"We?" The Doctor says raising an eyebrow.
"The military Doctor. We've been trying to stop UNIT for years now."
"That brings me to my next question…" The Doctor says to Rodney. "Why is UNIT operational again? Your department was supposed to be part of the United Nations Division by now…one single organization for alien problems. I believe they were suppose to be called, UNITE."
"Isn't that just the same name?" Andrea questions him suddenly.
The Doctor looks back at her in a quick glimpse and tires to focus back on the Sergeant.
"In a way it is…but the added 'E' stands for Earth. I hope my dear Mr. Bellum that this is in fact the division you work for."
"No it's not." The Sergeant replies. "Look, the Major is going to explain everything to you. He seems to know a lot more about you, the TARDIS and everything else. I'm just doing what he instructed."
Megan looks out the window and stares at the city. Hard to believe to her this is London of the past. In her time, all the major cities across the globe are gone. These look strange and alien to her, like ruins of old, but even in her time there's nothing left standing to think that there ever was civilization in this part of the world. The Daleks and Cybermen have changed the very face of the planet; invasion forces, random attacks and planetary bombings have reshaped the very continents. Now she's back in time where humanity has yet to face such terrible dangers, it all feels surreal to her.
"Homesick? It must be pretty nice to come home after being in space all that time." Andrea asks as she takes notice of Megan's gaze out the window.
"No." Megan sighs. "This isn't home at all. This is someplace that was only a dream, not even a memory…more like a place that never really existed."
"But this is Earth." Andrea tries to affirm to her. "This is home. No matter what timeframe, no matter how much has changed, this is our home planet."
Megan remains silent as she continues to look at all people, cars and buildings pass by. Andrea continues to watch her even though she won't respond back. The former Canadian officer realizes that no matter how hard she might try, Megan will not admit to this being her home. At least not in this time. The Doctor wasn't paying attention to their conversation in the backseat. His mind was focused on the facts that UNIT is still operating and yet the other UNITE division was not. Things were not happening, as they should, to a Timelord that is very distressing to learn. He remained in his seat stroking his chin in thought; the high intellect of his mind trying to make sense of what had gone wrong or even what was supposed to occur. To break this confusion in his mind, he began to ask the driver other things that have happened of late.
"How long has UNIT been restarted sergeant?"
"Dunno really…" The military man says trying to remember. "Bout maybe five or six years ago? I remember the Major trying to explain what had happened as he gathered us all back into the military again."
"Ah…now that's interesting." The Timelord states. "Tell me more about that."
"Well, not sure how it happened really." The man says looking lost in his thoughts. "One minute we were set on handing over all operations to the Unitied Nations…then the next minute, we all got the sack from the Government. They told us that the world military armies weren't necessary anymore."
"None at all? How very odd." The Doctor says as he glares in the distance. "Yet a dream many worlds wrapped in violence have always yearned for. But this sounds much too fast to be happening for such a thing to take place…and in this time."
"What do you mean Doctor?" Megan inquires.
"UNITE my dear girl…that is what I mean. Its supposed to pick up where UNIT left off…this is not to be happening at all. No more military? No one to safe guard the planet…sounds rather suspicious to me."
"Nice play on words." Andrea snickers. "UNIT...UNITE...What's next after that? UNITED?"
The Doctor just gives her a disapproving glare as she shugs her shoulders at him.
"There's more Doctor." The driver says as he darts the car down a lane that leads towards a rundown harbor area. "UNIT has just managed to dissolve the UN completely."
"Impossible." The Timelord scoffs. "They don't have the power to do that…it's not even related to what they're about."
"As I said Doctor…I just know the facts…not the details. The Major can fill you in on that."
The car pulls up to a beat up looking old fishery building on the edge of the harbor. As he switches off his headlights, a pair of darkly dressed men come running out of the opening loading door and flash a blue light to signal him in. As their car pulls into the building, the two guards take a quick look around and follow in as the massive door shuts. Inside, the place is full of similarly dressed officers, vehicles and a small arsenal of weapons displayed all about. Megan and Andrea gawk at the site of it all and give a similar gulp of worry. They're not sure as to whether they've come to friends or encounter a new group of foes. The Doctor watches everything with great interest as he stares at the faces of the men and women gathered together in this fishery warehouse.
The car stops as more soldiers approach and greet the Doctor as he steps out of the vehicle first.
"Doctor." The middle officer salutes to him.
"Hello." The Timelord replies in a chipper grin. "I say…have they started the fox hunt yet?"
The three officers turn to look at each other in confusion. Obviously they are not in on the joke the Doctor is trying to make about their many weapons.
"This way please Doctor. The Major is waiting to meet you."
As the armed trio leads the Doctor and the others over to the far end of the building, they come to a stop where a section has been enclosed with green canvas tarp and one of the guards opens it slightly.
"The Doctor is here sir."
"Send him in Sergeant.' A muffled old voice replies.
The Doctor nods to the officer as he opens the tarp wider for him and lets the three enter the tent like room. The inside of it is full of pictures tacked to the canvas, images of the Unit soldiers, the headquarters and of satellite photos of the area. A small light hangs over the table sitting in the middle as the few commanding soldiers hover around it and looking at the Doctor as he enters. The quirky Timelord just nods to them all and smiles.
"Hello there! I'm the Doctor." He says to them cheerfully stretching out his hand for them to shake.
None seem familiar with him and he soon recoils his hand back to his side when he notices nobody willing to shake it.
"Uhmm…so…who's this Major I'm suppose to see?"
"It really is you isn't it?" The old voice questions.
The Doctor turns his head to right and notices an old man in uniform gazing at him with a big smile. A tall gentleman with thinning white hair and a mustache, his uniform appears tattered and has a green dark green beret buttoned down on his left shoulder. The Doctor peers at him as if he is trying to remember his face.
"Changed again have ya?" The old man continues to laugh. "I never could get the hang of that. I bet you don't even know who I am do you?"
"You voice has some familiar ring…" The Doctor says as he still studies his face.
"Don't you remember me from the old UNIT days? With Leftbridge Stuart always barkin' orders at me? Come on…It's me Doc! It's Sergeant Benton!"
"What?" The Doctor gasps.
"Come on Doctor…" Benton smiles at him. "I know it's been a long while, but even you manage to recognize me every time we've bumped into each other before."
The Doctor now dissolves his stunned face and begins to grin as he suddenly remembers.
"Of course Sergeant Benton! How good to see you old chap!"
The two shake hands and laugh as they give each other a quick hug. The Doctor steps back to have a look at the aged soldier and shakes his head with disbelief.
"My god the years haven't been kind to you." The Timelord quips. "It must have been that white hair and mustache of yours that threw me off."
Both Megan and Andrea stand there looking rather puzzled by the whole event the two men where having; Megan clears her throat loudly to get the Doctor's attention again.
"Hm? Oh I'm sorry…" He quickly apologizes as he brings the women around. "This is Megan and this is Andrea."
"Oy Doc!" Benton winks at him. "Still managing to get the best lookin' companions ain't ya?"
"I beg your pardon!" Andrea sneers at Benton with outrage.
The old man quickly tries to correct his typical male chauvinistic manner and addresses her in a proper fashion.
"Forgive me miss…I mean to say…uh, delighted to meet you."
The Doctor shakes his head again at the old soldier and pats Andrea on the shoulders.
"Don't mind him Andrea. Benton didn't mean to sound so rude…"
"Can we please get on with why we've been brought here?" Megan now moans as she rolls her eyes at this lofty reunion.
Major Benton nods in agreement and brings them over to his table with an old road map lying out.
"Right you are, Meagan. Time to bring you lot up to speed on our little revolt."
Pointing at the center of London where a large red circle has been penciled around a section, Benton looks up at the Doctor as he explains.
"You see Doc, this whole area has been completely surveyed by my small team, it seems UNIT has officially bought out this entire block surrounding the main headquarter building."
"Why?" The Timelord asks out of curiosity.
"We don't know." Benton shrugs. "We've been monitoring them for months now. They're bringing in all sorts of machinery and large shipments with heavily armed guards. Whatever it is…they've been using this entire area to keep them in storage or possibly for something else we just can't figure out yet."
"Doctor!" Andrea interrupts. "Does this have to do with the…the…thing that the Timelords sent you here for?"
"Yes…" The Doctor muttles in his mind as he keeps his eyes focused on the map. "Very much so I would think."
"The Timelords sent you here Doc?" Benton now looks at him inquisitively. "Why?"
"Because there is a large temporal displacement coming from that building." He says tapping on the middle of the circled area. "UNIT headquarters is generating some sort of energy far too big to go un-noticed by the Time Council."
Benton walks around the table and folds his arms together as he takes in that bit of news. Megan studies the map carefully while Andrea watches the Major approach the Doctor in mid-thought.
"Time Displacement?" Benton muttles. "What would UNIT be doing mucking about with time for? We've got no technology like that? Not even our resident scientists ever came into that bit of hard core business…"
The Doctor folds his arms back as he too thinks about it all.
"Not all is well with UNIT I fear dear Benton. Something irks me about all this too. This time we're in should not be as it should."
"What do you mean?" The Major quickly looks at him.
"Well for one thing…UNIT isn't supposed to be still around. And am sorry to say my dear friend…" The Doctor pauses and look up at him with a sorrowful gaze. "Neither are you."
Andrea and Megan look at the Doctor with surprise.
"Where's he supposed to be then?" Andrea says fearing the obvious.
"Dead I'm afraid." The Doctor states.
Benton was shaken with the Timelord's fact and unfolds his arms as he looks directly at the leather coat-wearing individual.
"Do you mind explaining that a bit more in detail Doc? I'm….I'm suppose to be….dead?"
"Yes." The Doctor admits again as he strolls way from him casually. "You died during one of the last missions UNIT ever served on, a nasty encounter with the Autons if memory serves."
"Autons?" Benton questions. "But Doctor….the last mission I went on…there wasn't any Autons…just…just a small meteor shower that resulted in everyday space rock."
The Doctor taps his finger to his lips and peers out into the unfocused distance.
"But that's not what happened. I was there…I saw you die. Or did I? Time is being corrupted…yet my memories remain intact. The Timelords were right…this is very bad indeed."
Inside UNIT headquarters' black tower, the balding dark suited leader of UNIT works away on a data pad as Deacon enters his office again to report to him. The black officer salutes his superior and stands at attention.
"Welcome back Major Deacon. Well then…lets have it?" The suited man says as he continues to work on his electronic device.
"Sir." Deacon says as his cheeks flinch. "The Doctor got away from us."
"Yes Major…I know that…" The man grunts as he lowers the pad and walks over to his large black table topped desk. "I want to know why you failed in your mission."
"Yes sir." Deacon says clearing his throat. "The one helping him was one of those rogue UNIT soldiers that have been giving trying to hinder our operations."
The bald man sits behind his desk and brings his chair in as he lets out a disappointed sigh.
"It appears so sir." The Major replies.
"Have we been able to pin point his current where a bouts?"
"We're trying to sir…but…they…they know how to avoid…"
The irritated bald leader quickly glances up at him and shouts.
"I don't want to hear excuses!"
"No…no sir!" The Major says as stands rigid.
"Get out there…locate them! Find them! Bring the Doctor to me!"
The soldier salutes and sprints out of the room as the doors open and close for him. The balding man, leans back in his chair in an exhausted gasp and straightens his tie. Suddenly a loud chime sounds in the room that causes him to stare at the ceiling.
"Problems Mr. Fipps?" A muffled electronic voice asks.
Rising out of his seat, the man nervously clears his throat and gives a slight laugh.
"No, sir. Just carrying out your orders. The Doctor is here…but it seems that Benton's men are…well…"
"Interfering again?" The voice answers back to finish his thought.
"Well…" Fipps blinks. "Yes. But don't worry sir, we'll have him in no time."
"Do not bother."
"Pardon sir?" Fipps questions.
"The Doctor will come to us." The voice states. "He will see the problem and he will come to us here. You will allow him passage to your office and we will deal with him as he arrives."
Fipps moves around his desk and gives a curious gaze about the room. Staring back up at the ceiling, he once again clears his throat and questions the voice.
"Are you sure that's such a good idea, sir? I mean, we need to detain him and study him."
"Just do as I command Fipps." The voice now says in a bored fashion. "I do the thinking for this new UNIT…it is my new order not yours. I give you the luxury of commanding the men, but remember that this is my project. Don't forget who got you where you are today…Mr. Fipps."
"No…no of course not."
As Fipps returns to his chair behind the desk he sits down.
"How is it going by the way? Are we almost ready for it?" He questions again.
"In due time." The voice utters softly. "Trust me Fipps…UNIT is going to be long remembered once I'm complete."
The balding man smiles in a queer manner and strokes his closely shaven goatee with a fond touch.
"And the Doctor…will bring us closer to that dream."
"Indeed." The voice agrees in laughter.
The Doctor taps away at a map pinned up against the wall of the green canvass tent. The circles around the main street where UNIT headquarters is on makes him glare at it with a determination.
"This is the building that shouldn't be."
"I beg your pardon doc?" Benton curiously asks as he stands on the opposite side of the tent with the others.
"This black building." The Doctor sniffs. "It's not part of the timeline...not in mine, not in yours, not in anyone's."
Andrea comes close to the map and folds her arms as she stares at it.
"Are you sure about that?"
"Absolutely." The Timelord says turning to face her. "This building is never mentioned ever…not in any time frame. And I should know…I'm a man in many places at once. And so too are the Timelords."
"That's why they sent you here." Megan states from her seated position beside Benton.
Holding a Styrofoam cup of tea and sipping it slowly, she begins to understand why they brought them to this point and time.
"It's a riddle they can't answer…UNIT wasn't meant to exist beyond it's merge to the UN. Yet it has."
"Exactly." He smiles at her. "But it's one I'm going to solve. And solve it I shall…right now."
As the Doctor begins to walk to the exit flap, Benton blocks the way and holds out his hands to stop him.
"Hang on a minute, doc! Where do you think you're going?"
"To the mystery…to the Tower…Rapunzel!" He quirkingly humors. "Mind you I don't think she'll exactly let down her hair for me to climb up…so I'll have to go the hard way I suppose."
Benton shakes his head negatively and continues to block the way.
"No, no, no…I can't let you do it Doctor. I need you here, I need the old scientist to help me and my blokes to take them down."
"And what would you have me do Benton?" He scoffs at him. "Make you weapons? Create a grand plan to break into the place? Take you all in the TARDIS?"
"Great idea!" Andrea squeals. "Lets get in with the TARDIS!"
The Doctor folds his arms in frustration and glares back at her with disapproval. As she notices his gaze, she quickly silences and sits over with Megan still sipping on her tea.
"The TARDIS will not be able to penetrate the energy surrounding it. I don't make weapons to kill and all the best laid plains in the world won't get you past the security in that building."
Benton gives a sigh and rubs his head from the man's stubborn answer.
"But surely there's something else we can do…tunnel under it, do an air drop above it…"
"Look ol' chap." The Timelord smirks. "You've known me for a long time. Have I ever let you down before…"
"On the few occasions I can remember Doctor." He jokes back.
"Well, yes…" The Doctor states looking away. "But this time…I know what I'm doing. Trust me, my friend. I have to go and find out."
Benton looks at him with a curious look. He then looks over at both Andrea and Megan waiting to hear his answer as they rise out of their seats. A few smacks of his lips and a slight nod, he stands aside and opens the flap for him.
"Ok Doctor. Go to it then. But if you don't come out of there within the hour…"
The Timelord pats him on the shoulder and winks.
"I know, I know. You'll come in to get me."
"Actually doc…" Benton snickers. "I was going to say we'll target the building with a bomb strike and take it down."
"Oh…well…" The Doctor says as he plops his hands into his leather jacket pockets. "Hopefully it won't come to that."
With a nod to the two women sitting there, he gestures to follow him.
"Come on ladies…onward we go."
The three of them walk out of the tent and down though the factory full of old UNIT vehicles and officers. As Benton walks behind them all, Megan slows down and keeps beside him. She suddenly grabs his arm and forces the old soldier to stop with her.
"Doctor!" She shows to the Timelord still walking ahead with Andrea.
"Yes?" He says back as he too stops. "What is it?"
"I'm not going with you. I want to stay with Mr. Benton here and maybe see if I can help them."
Benton looks at her and then the Doctor who's looking very concerned about that decision.
"I could use the extra hand Doc. But rightly miss, I don't know how you could?"
"I know more about fighting and how to improve your weapons." She states to him. "I'm also a qualified medical doctor incase you have wounded."
"Megan…" The Doctor begins to say as if to object.
"You don't need two of us getting into that tower…besides…" Megan eyes at Andrea. "I don't like being a third wheel. Alright?"
Andrea nods, as she understands. She had been rather jealous of Megan; she was attractive after all and intelligent. Something she felt the Doctor seemed to fancy in her. But Andrea clung to the Timelord's arm like a smitten lover and smiled at the chance to be alone with him again.
"Ok then." The Doctor sighs. "We'll meet you back at the TARDIS when all this is over."
"Right." Megan nods to him and looks at Benton.
The old Major just gave her a wink and pointed at the Doctor.
"I'll take good care of her Doc. Just make sure you get in and find out what their up too. But don't start anything without us."
"My dear Mr. Benton." The Doctor smiles in a great toothy display. "I wouldn't dream of doing anything rash without you there."
Benton let out a great laugh and walked away with Megan as he led her back to the tent. The Doctor held out his arm for Andrea and she joyfully looped hers around his. They walked out of the building together in a unified step and headed towards the UNIT location on foot.