Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who
Having been invited to travel with the Doctor, you've seen a lot of crazy things over the last few days. However, right now the Doctor is sleeping off the effects of some alien drink that sends even Time Lords a little loopy. So you're at a bit of a loose end, wandering the halls of the Tardis. Entering through an elaborately decorated wooden door you find yourself in a library. Just as you've settled into a comfortable high-backed chair something falls from the bookshelf next to you and lands in your lap. It appears to be a battered, handwritten book bound in leather. There is a photo laminated to the front, of the Tardis with the Doctor and a brown-haired girl standing in front of it. They are both smiling happily at the camera. Flicking the book open you discover pasted in photos and pages that have been stapled on. Printed on the front page in capitals and underlined emphatically in red, are the words: 15 THINGS I NEVER WANT TO HEAR AGAIN!!
You decide to indulge your curiosity and begin to read the first page.
So. . . My name's Sam (Well, Samantha really, but nobody calls me that anymore.) I've been travelling with the Doctor for a while now and I've come to the conclusion that there are certain things I hope never to hear him say again. I leave this journal as a warning for future 'companions' (as the Doctor describes us), so that they may recognise a . . . situation. . . shall we say, and so they may be able to head off trouble before it starts. (This is unlikely, but you should at least try. It'll minimise the collateral damage. . .sometimes. . .)
The Doctor is never, ever to read this journal!! Important! OK? So don't leave it lying around! Remember to put it back on the bookshelf. The TARDIS has kindly agreed to make sure the Doctor never finds it if you just Put It Back On The Shelf. I think she has a . . .thing. . . about stuff being left on the floor. The Doctor is allowed to be messy (And how!!) but no one else is. It's just her . . .thing. . . OK? Go with it, because if HE reads this journal we'll never hear the end of it. Really. Never. (The Doctor has the worst case of verbal diarrhoea I've ever come across.)
The following entries in this journal are the results of a number of remarks our two-hearted time-travelling friend made to me during the period I spent travelling with him. Needless to say, there is a story attached to all of these remarks. Sometimes, but not always, there is a moral at the end of the story. Well. . . not so much a moral as a piece of cautionary advice that you'd better follow if you don't want to end up tied to a stake, slowly roasting while a hungry alien waits for dinner. Or don't follow it. It's up to you.
1."Umm...we're out of mercury." (The result of this particular remark involved mud. Copious amounts. I'll never get clean.)
2."Ah, I've lost the fluid links." (This occurred almost instantly after the incident caused by the first remark. Like Capt. Jack likes to say: "You've gotta be ready.")
3."That guy. . . yeah. . . he's the Master actually. . . What a pretentious name don't you think? What? What do you mean he's stolen the TARDIS?! Why didn't you say so?!" (This was a nightmare. A metaphorical nightmare unfortunately. As in, it happened while I was awake.)
4."Oh well, there goes another sonic screwdriver. Shame we're still stuck." (Sometime's he's so unconcerned about things that you just want to slap him. And it's good to not resist the urge occasionally.)
5."Actually they want to make you their Queen. Sacrificial Queen that is." (Proving that there's a downside to being the ruler of paradise.)
6."Whoops. I think the TARDIS landed upside down. Never mind, I'm sure the slime will wash off." (This incident was another example of the Doctor's complete inability to pilot the TARDIS with any form of accuracy.)
7."Ooo. . . look at the shiny button! I want to press it!. . .Why are you staring at me like that?" (Never let him eat sugar. Trust me on this.)
8."I'm tired! Can't YOU save the world this time? Why do I always have to save it?" (I should've known something was wrong with him after hearing that. Still, it worked out in the end.)
9."ALL RIGHT! WHO STOLE MY BANANAS?" (That incident was just. . .weird. . . even for the Doctor.)
10."I've misplaced the TARDIS. Err. . . could you hold off the rampaging horde while I go look for it?" (Warning: the Doctor may seriously overestimate your abilities. This can lead to getting shot in the backside by lasers. It hurts like hell, so learn where the medical kit in the TARDIS is. It's the white box with the green crescent on the side. You're going to need it eventually. )
11."Sugar!!" (P.S. NEVER let him eat sugar. According to Capt. Jack this remark's especially dangerous when travelling with the Doctor in his current regeneration: Tall. Thin as a rake. Never wears anything other than pinstripe suits and converse trainers. Rude and not ginger. Critical case of verbal diarrhoea.)
12."Why are you looking at me like that? It's just a cup of coffee."(Another remark that precedes extreme danger when dealing with the current regeneration. I'll explain regeneration later. The Doctor tends to forget to mention that important detail of his biology. Those two remarks proved it's best to keep the Doctor away from anything containing caffeine or sugar. Except tea for some reason. Tea is safe.)
13."Did I ever tell you about Rose? She was perfect in every way and I constantly compare everyone to her. I miss her sooo much!!" (He was drunk. Don't get him started about Rose.)
14."Rose always said that too!" /Sobs/ "How can you be so insensitive and unfeeling!" /Sobs further/ (Very drunk. And possibly high on unspecified alien drugs.) Whatever you do: Don't Talk About Rose. Really. Do. Not. Mention. Rose. Ever. Unless you want to upset him, (which makes you an inconsiderate sod who shouldn't be on the TARDIS! I hope she drops you in the Vortex!) His lip starts to wobble and he makes an incredible effort not to bawl his eyes out. It's terrible to behold.
15."Captain Jack says hi. . . and a lot more besides. . . just what were you two doing before I rescued you last week? Hmm?" (Never do anything to encourage Captain Jack . . . on the other hand, doing nothing probably would encourage the Cap'n. So never mind that. Just try not to look too shocked when he does the 'Lazarus Routine'.)
Well, that's all the worst incidents I can think of. Read this journal and your trip in the TARDIS should be a lot less dangerous or life threatening as mine was. Of course you may prefer it otherwise. In which case you are a total nutter. Should you have your own cautionary tales to add please feel free to do so. The more stories and advice in here the less likely it is that successive companions will nearly be burnt at the stake. (I'm not at all bitter that my favourite jacket was ruined, I swear!!)
"Umm. . .we're out of mercury".
This is one of the most important phrases, in what I have taken to calling 'Doctor-Speak' that means you should get ready for trouble with a capital T. (It occurs to me that the Doctor, in fact, doesn't do any other kind of trouble. It's always a full-blown disaster or nothing.) The reason for this is that without mercury the TARDIS won't move. At all. Not even an inch. So if he's just landed the TARDIS in some kind of post apocalyptic wasteland full of flesh-eating mutant-zombies, as he so often does, you'd better get comfortable. Because that's where it is going to stay until fresh mercury is acquired.
According to He-Who-Is-A-Trouble-Magnet-On-Legs A.K.A The Doctor, the TARDIS needs mercury in order to lubricate the fluid links, which power the hadron crystals. I have no understanding of technical things, so the first time he said explained this to me all I could think of was that it sounded kind of dirty. (Why yes, my mind has bypassed the gutter and now lives in the sewer. How did you guess?) The Doctor still doesn't know why I started to snigger. Anyway I'm digressing; back to the precautionary tale we go!
Right. So there we are in the TARDIS and the poor thing has just come to a rather sudden stop. This was a worse than usual stop by the way. TARDIS travel always tends to make me a little nauseous but this time I was seriously considering throwing up. (Again.) Except, if I did that, then the TARDIS would be mad at me. She does not like vomit on the floor. Trust me when I say that having the TARDIS upset with you is a zillion times worse than having the Doctor mad at you. I don't care if he is Ka-Faraq-Gatri and the Oncoming Storm, at least he won't redirect the plumbing while you're right in the middle of a hot shower. Not if he knows what's good for him that is. . . The TARDIS on the other hand, can be creatively vindictive when it comes to expressing her disapproval at you. And believe me she will express herself. Never mistake the TARDIS for a lifeless machine. Just don't.
Anyway, according to He-Who-Is-More-Intelligent-Than-Einstein, the emergency stop cuts in when the TARDIS is nearly out of mercury. Apparently she automatically lands as quickly as possible near the closest source of said element. If she doesn't land quickly enough and runs out of mercury while still in the Vortex the fluid links explode from pressure, something called the helmic regulator snaps, the TARDIS both implodes and explodes (don't ask me, I didn't understand that either) and random bits of the Doctor and yours truly get scattered throughout time and space. So running out of mercury is A Very Bad Thing. In the words of the man himself: "It'd all be rather unpleasant Sam".
Actually, now is probably a good time to mention Mr. Trouble-Magnet's talent for understatement. Believe me when I tell you that understanding the difference between what he means and what he says is a vital skill. The above-mentioned explanation of what happens if the TARDIS doesn't land in time is a good example. As is the time we were on a planet named Volog 8 . . . I think. . . and he said, "there's nothing to worry about Sam, really! Her Highness just got a little upset with me the last time I was here. We should probably leave quietly". What he meant was "She wants me dead and you fried on a plate for dessert. Run!" Whoops I'm digressing again. Sorry. Bad habit. Still, you need to know about these things.
OK. So there we are. We've just landed, I'm feeling nauseous and the Doctor, having noticed the colour of my face, is looking around frantically for the anti-nausea pills in a spirited bid to prevent a repeat of 'The Vomit Incident' (I swear, you throw up on one pair of his Converse trainers and you're marked for life!) Anyway He-Who-Never-Wears-Anything-But-Converse finds the pills, hands them to me and suggests we go outside for a breath of fresh air and possibly a breath of fresh mercury too. It was at this point that I made the mistake of pointing out that mercury is poisonous, and was immediately on the receiving end of a Look for my trouble. It's what I call the 'why do I keep picking up such dumb humans? Look. It's a sort of pitying look that says he already knows what you just told him and why haven't you got a better sense of humour? Be warned, he uses it a lot.
We step outside and surprise, surprise we're on Earth, in London. As usual. I'm not sure about this but I've noticed that, ninety percent of the time, when something is seriously out of whack we tend to end up on Earth and in London (or occasionally Cardiff). All of time and space we've got, yet almost every emergency tends to take place on Earth. It's as if those two cities are connected to some kind of giant weirdness magnet.
"Cosmic irony Sam, cosmic irony" opined the Doctor when I mention this to him. He's even less understandable when I ask him what the hell he means by that. Just gives me another one of his 'a human intellect wouldn't be able to grasp it' excuses.
I'm getting fed up at this point so I threaten to slap him if he doesn't start making sense. Oddly enough this tactic seems to work and he gets a nervous look on his face for a second before suddenly stating that we really should go find some mercury because he doesn't want to keep the TARDIS waiting. Why someone known variously as 'The Oncoming Storm' and 'The Lonely God' should be afraid of getting slapped still puzzles me, but I did think that I heard him mutter something about 'it's like travelling with a junior version of Jackie'. However I still wasn't feeling a hundred percent so I decided to let the issue slide. Instead I suggested we go buy a mercury thermometer, since just buying mercury on it's own makes people suspicious seeing as it's poisonous. The Doctor gave me one of his trademark 'you're a brilliant companion' grins and told me that it was a great idea.
I'd spotted a hardware shop down the street so we headed towards it. Passing a rather dingy alley on the way I remarked how I wouldn't want to walk home that way on a dark night. It was at this point that we heard a scream coming from the alley. Right on cue, the Doctor grinned.
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