Wormholes and Loopholes
Chapter 15: Okay, new rule. No one is allowed to travel through time. Ever. For any reason. I know we have the technology, and it wouldn't cause the universe to cease to exist if we did so. I know we have several events in our history that could have turned out better, but no one is allowed to do it. Because it hurts my brain, that's why. Time paradoxes hurt my head. We already changed history how many times? And it turns out that it was never changed, because we were supposed to change it in the first place, so everything is the same, but it wasn't, so that's why went back in time…. And another thing, how many members of this base are their own grandparent? Twelve…I rest my case.
(Okay, I'm a terrible person. I never meant to leave the story this long, but at least here's another update. You'll forgive me… right? Right? Pleaz? Anyway, thank you everyone who reads, reviews, or adds me to a list. This is almost the conclusion of the FM, but don't worry. It is coming back… eventually. That certainly took long enough. Also, Claire Manson is based off of one of my friends. I hope you all love her as a small, but new addition to my growing cast of overly important minor characters. Enjoy.)
Jack was standing not three feet away from the FM or living metal as the crazy blue-box alien called it. He had the strangest urge to reach out and poke it. It's the same urge any ten-year-old kid gets when he or she comes across something new or strange. First thing to do is poke it with a stick, at least that way you know whether or not it is alive. But the blue-box alien man (what was his name again?) said it was alive, and its rampage through the halls of the SGC also proved it had some sort of life. So, there was really no reason to poke it, but the urge wasn't going away. Time to distract himself by asking the much needed questions.
"Okay, who are you again? And how do you know what this stuff is? And why would you take it to parties?"
The man ignored him in favour of walking around the living metal that continued to thrash against the sides of its invisible box. He made a complete trip around the metal before speaking. "Hello. I am the Doctor. I'm here to help. Now, I know humans can be annoying and poke their noses into things that they really shouldn't, but that is no reason to eat a hole in their building. It might let a draft in. So, what is this kafuffle all about?"
The metal stopped moving. A long silence continued for a while.
Daniel leaned in a bit closer and cleared his throat, "So, what's it saying?"
The Doctor turned to look at him with a puzzled expression, "He hasn't said anything yet."
The metal apparently took this as its cue to act. It stretched and molded itself into a figure vaguely resembling that of a human. It stood about six feet tall and had no desirable features, but one could almost make out the astonished look on its face. When it spoke, it sounded like the screech of rusted metal and the crackle of electricity somehow formed into human speech. "Time Lord."
"Yes. That's me."
Jack mouthed to his comrades, "Time Lord?" Daniel and Same gave slight shrugs, and Teal'c gave a barely desirable shake of his head. Apparently Jack wasn't the only one who hadn't heard about these new guys.
The metal got to the very edge of its box. It now stood only a few inches away from the Doctor, its face intently trained on the Doctor's. "It is impossible. All the Protectors died. None are left."
The Doctor tilted his head down so one could no longer see his eyes, "Yeah, I know. Same thing happened to my… I'm the last one left."
"Release me." The others in the room moved to protest, but the metal spoke again, "I will cause no more damage to your dwelling."
The Doctor pushed another button on his sonic screwdriver. A small spark traveled over where the invisible boxes walls were, and the metal was now free to move around. The SGC soldiers fingered their weapons, not at all happy with his new turn of events.
"You can all put down your weapons now. Living metal never lies. It won't attack you anymore." This only slightly comforted them, for they didn't know if they could trust this man. Sure, he seemed to have this situation under control, but he could just be trying to lead them into a false sense of security. None of them made any moves toward the metal or made threatening gestures of any kind. They would see how this played out. "Now, since we have all decided to stop attacking each other, why don't we figure out what's wrong?"
The metal moved around the hall, its movements showing a small amount of irritation, "They have stolen from you Time Lord. They have what belongs to you. I can feel it. They steal from the Protectors; they cannot be trusted. They must be destroyed for their crime."
Jack interrupted, not able to keep the annoyance out his voice, "Now, hold on. I am going to ignore how creepy talking metal is right now, but we are going to have a talk about this later. Death is kind of a harsh punishment for stealing, not that we stole anything. I'm pretty sure we don't have this guys stuff. We just met."
Daniel leaned in to talk to Jack in a loud whisper, "Well actually, we do kind of have his… spaceship in Sam's lab right now. And we did kind of take things out of his pockets."
"But we were planning on giving all that back. That's not stealing."
The Doctor followed their conversation with a mild bit of amusement. He shook his head and turned back to the metal. "See. They only had my stuff in storage, which I fully intend on getting back once I have had a decent night's sleep… and fix the dozen or so parts that are broken. Still, no harm, no foul. Problem solved?"
The metal was not yet appeased. "They steal from all. They take from all. They took me; they plan to take more. They travel to distant starts to steal from those who live there."
Daniel butted in this time. "That's not true. Well, we did take you, but we didn't know you were sentient. And the stuff we bring back, we didn't steal. We want to learn about different people, different cultures. We bring artifacts back so we can study them in greater detail."
Sam's turn, "We also want to learn as much as we can about their science. Many of the cultures we encounter are more advanced than us. We sometimes bring items back to figure out how they work, and the science behind them. Their technology can help us learn more about the universe."
Teal'c moved in closer to the metal, "We are also currently in battle with an enemy with greater strength than our own. This enemy seeks to destroy this planet and all its inhabitants. We require the advanced defenses some of these items can provide."
Jack, "And some of them are just too cool to leave sitting there." The room turned to him, and he just shrugged. "What? It's true."
The Doctor gave a small smile, "They aren't thieves. They are just humans, doing what humans do best: getting in over their heads. You can't really blame them; it's basically wired into their brains."
The metal shivered and made a small buzzing sound. The soldiers didn't know what to make of the noise and put their hands back on their guns. The buzzing sound continued for several more seconds before it abruptly stopped, and the metal went still.
"Send me back."
The Doctor nodded, "We'll send you back."
"But," Daniel spoke up, "we would like to learn more about you. We don't often get to meet species so different from our own. I would like to learn more about your culture, your people, your…"
"Send me back home."
Daniel fell silent and nodded.
The metal was escorted by the Doctor and all the SGC soldiers back to the gate room. As they passed the halls, they would occasionally run into more soldiers who they would tell to stand down. They radioed in a message to Hammond to get the gate keyed up to the metals homeworld, giving him a brief description of what was going on.
The gate was already on by the time they got there. The metal moved toward the gate before stopping and re-approaching the Doctor. "Thank you Protector." A piece of its metallic flesh reached out to the Doctor. Its appendage moved over his head and face in an almost caressing movement. Slowly and slightly it withdrew and moved away from him back up the runway to disappear into the wormhole. The wormhole was then disengaged, leaving no trace that the creature had ever been in the SGC (well, save for the massive damage it caused).
A small hush fell over the SGC as they stared at the man who saved them.
He turned to face the members of SG-1. He spoke in an overly cheerful voice, "Well, now that that's finished," and promptly collapsed.
As Rose tried to scoot farther away from Claire Manson, she decided when she got back to Torchwood, there would have to be some changes in the information displayed in employee profiles.
In her file, Claire Manson was shown as having brown hair, brown eyes, a sunny disposition, a slight lack of respect for authority, and an exceptional skill with computers. Upon meeting Claire, Rose was slightly taken aback by her jet black hair with blue streaks (not in her profile), her many piercings (not in her profile), and her shirt loudly boasting, "JE$U$ Wants Your Money," (once again, not in her profile) but after five minutes sitting beside her in a plane before takeoff, Rose discovered that she was an intelligent girl who was friendly and easy to talk to. Once the plane took off, the story changed a bit. First Claire's face got just a tad green. Rose asked what was wrong, but Claire waved off her concerns, saying she felt fine. Ten minutes into the flight, her words began to slur a bit, and her responses came slower and slower. Her face went from slightly green to deadly green. Then it went from green to purple to ghost white. She stopped talking altogether and started to every so often make gagging sounds in the back of her throat.
Claire made another gagging noise with such intensity that Rose almost felt obligated to respond in kind. By this time she was already pressed completely against the window, yet she pressed harder against it, hoping to gain another inch away from this deathly ill girl. Why the Hell would they not put in her file "completely and hopelessly motion sick?" Rose looked at her watch trying to mentally make the hands move faster so they could get this plane ride over with.
At least she wasn't the only one in this situation. Many of the others on her team weren't fairing much better than her. She ended up choosing four members for her research team, not including herself. Also along for the ride were three security guards and the pilot. All of them were crammed into a plane that reminded Rose about an Eddie Izzard sketch about a Volkswagen with wings. The plane had only a few small rows with two very small seats on each side of the even smaller center aisle. Most of the back was loaded with the equipment they would need for the trip, so they were packed in rather tight. Rose was the only one sitting right beside Claire, but the woman sitting on the other side of the aisle wasn't doing much better than her. The woman's face had also turned a sickening shade of green, and she was practically sitting in her companions lap. Many others in the plane wore pail faces or dug through their carry-ons in search of headphones, earplugs, thick socks, or anything to block out the sound.
It was a very good thing that what the plane lacked in comfort it made up in travel time, for thirty minutes of torture was all they would suffer before they landed in Finland. Rose continued to count down the minutes. Only five more to go. An eternity later, the pilot spoke, "We are about to land. Please buckle your seatbelts and secure all loose luggage." Many of the passengers wanted to cheer at such an announcement, but they were afraid they noise would startle what little control Claire had. They would save their celebration for when they landed on solid ground.
The landing was as smooth as it could have been. The pilot was very talented, but it didn't hurt that this time he had some extra motivation. Once the plane did stop, Rose let out a sigh of relief and joined in the clapping that went around the ship. The nightmare was over, they could all relax.
Rose unbuckled her seatbelt and was about to ask Claire if she needed any help, but Claire turned to her first and said, "Sorry about this," and puked.
So back in the infirmary, a flurry of activity could be seen. Hammond and all the soldiers had been banned for a while, because they were getting in the way of the doctors and nurses who had their hands full treating the various injuries from the latest attack. Luckily nothing was too serious this time, and most of the injured had been moved earlier while SG-1 was battling the metal and later during its entrapment by the Doctor.
Three nurses assisted Frasier in her attempt to patch up the Doctor. He was still conscious and was giving out suggestions for his treatment. Frasier normally disliked it when patients tried to take over their own care, but in this case, she appreciated the lack of guesswork that usually came in treating an alien species.
SG-1 and other SG personnel had been debriefed by Hammond, by the time they were allowed back into the infirmary. Now that they were all caught up to speed on what the Doctor had done for all of them, they were more inclined to treat him with a bit more courtesy as they approached him this time.
Hammond led with the first question, "So…"
"Fourteen hours, four minutes, thirty seconds."
"That's when you should come back for your interrogation. I won't be awake until then. Now that your staff has patched me up, I think it's time I get some shut eye. Don't you think?"
Hammond knew the man's request for rest was reasonable, he they needed answers, "This shouldn't take long. You can rest when we are done."
"It's not really a choice."
"But we don't even know who or what you are?"
"Course you do. I'm the Doctor." With that his eyes closed, and he fell asleep.
Hammond made a small gasp of irritation before gaining control of himself again. "Let me know the moment he wakes up." The staff nodded, and a few said, "Yes sir," before he walked back up to his office to fill out the extremely long paperwork that comes with alien incursions. Two in one day. He nearly groaned out loud thinking of the extra paperwork.