The Passenger

By Adrian Tullberg

The Doctor was darting around the control console, making adjustments and calibrations that were not completely random at all, thank you very much, the central column moving at a good rate of speed.

The man who'd helped him out in America had collapsed into the seats, still taking in the interior of the TARDIS. In his fifties at a rough guess. Not very tall, but filled out his clothing with the bulk of someone who worked out a fair bit.

The Doctor turned around to see Martha blinking away the addled state that just waking up brings about. Never agreed with him, one of the reasons he gave sleep a miss. "Ah, Martha! Rise and shine!"

Martha was starting to stare at the newcomer, who had recovered enough from his shock to raise a large hand and wave at her.

"Stopped off to get some milk, and what do you know, some alien creatures are there to invade Earth because that's the only place in the galaxy where you can get cheap Tofu. Powerful narcotic on their planet, makes heroin look like a warm glass of milk before bedtime..."

Martha was marching up to the Doctor, eyes still flicking at the newcomer.

The Doctor jabbed his head at the seated man "... and he was kind enough to give me a hand - well, actually a fist. Wham! Down he went! Never saw anything like that! Anyway, I offered him a lift home..."

Martha had drawn level with the Doctor, who placed his lips near her ear before she could talk. "It looks like the spatial limiter's on the blink - have to rematerialise somewhere else to recalibrate..."

"Doctor ... do you have any idea who that is?"

The Doctor looked around at the man with that big grin he reserved exclusively for those whose name he'd completely forgotten. "Robbie, was it?"

Martha leaned towards the Doctor's ear. "Rocky."

"Close enough."


The Doctor turned, Martha rolling her eyes when his expression betrayed he hadn't a clue what she was talking about.

"Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion?" Martha's dad was a huge, and she meant huge fan of boxing. In fact, it was the fact that Dad had coughed up for the pay-per-view of the Dixon/Balboa exhibition match on Mum's birthday that had drove the final nail into their marriage.

This new fact hadn't made a blip on the Doctor's radar.

Martha placed her hands on her hips - mentally bemoaning that the Doctor had made her act like her Mum - and stared the Doctor in the eye. "How long will it take to fix it?"

"Not too long, not too long..."

She'd heard more reassuring promises from the bloke who renovated Mum's kitchen six months over schedule. Martha flashed a hopefully reassuring smile at the historical figure they'd just kidnapped. "Well, get on with it ..."

While the Doctor was resuming his frenetic dance, Martha slid next to the still confused man, extending her hand. "Hi. Welcome aboard."

Still in a daze, he returned her shake. "Ah ... yeah, tell me, is this ... normal?"

"'fraid so."

The floor shuddered, sending her and Rocky crashing to the ground.

So far, she didn't expect to get her dad an autograph at this rate...