This story takes place after "The Virus".
The fleet had been prepared for countless millennia. They were a holy army, dedicated to one purpose alone, and that purpose was to spread the word of the Goddess Kallantracovan, whose holy word had powered the machine of war for all time, so that when the destroyers of all conquered history and destiny, the chosen would be powerful enough to halt them.
Spread the word – by the sword, and the blaster, and the iron fist of the chosen Anointed of Zagroatia. they were Gods' appointed. And now, they would destroy everything in their path. The Speakers Of The Word had scoured the known galaxy for a challenge that would truly test the might of Zagroatia's fleet, and finally, after much searching, they had. A world that had stood against countless invasions, a world defended by a mighty, mighty champion… and populated by warriors.
And so the fleet set out…
They picked them up before they saw them. Defense satellites built for pitiful terrestrial wars that had no consequence or use now detected the odd mass approaching Earth. Telescopes were aimed in that direction under strict orders not to reveal what it was that they were seeing, and tracked the mass until they knew for certain exactly what it was that they were tracking.
Ten thousand ships, massive, heavily armed, heading across the stars.
Colonel Strand stood stock still, waiting for what he knew just had to be coming. Behind him were two senior adjutants from his staff. Private Thomas Davison, a twenty seven year old driver, blonde, clever polite. Corporal Daniel McKenzie, was slightly older, harder and better built, a veteran of several battles. Colonel Strand trusted them both, his key staff. He didn't like having a Captain, because Captains always questioned orders. So he stuck to the lower ranks for his staff.
But right now, he needed a different man to give him advice. A man who he knew was more important to UNIT – the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce – than anyone else. More important than anyone alive, because he was the only person who could save the world. And even then it might be touch and go.
In the corner of his office, a small telegraph device was bleeping away to itself. Strand sighed.
"Davison, get me control," he said, "and McKenzie – get me Geneva. We need more men at defensive position twenty."
He needed to get his men ready. Even if the Time Lord didn't come… well. Earth wouldn't go down without a fight.
"Sir," McKenzie said, daring his luck, "will the Doctor come?"
"I hope so," Strand sighed. "I really hope so. If he doesn't, we're dead."
Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
There was a phone ringing in the TARDIS, somewhere. Carrie raised her eyebrow and smiled as the Doctor snapped his head up in confusion.
"What?" he murmured.
"Presumably not a sales pitch person," Carrie smiled.
"Presumably not," the Doctor concurred. "Although… you never know with the TARDIS. She might well have decided that it's a good idea."
"What would someone sell to you?" Carrie asked, as the Doctor walked around the console, looking for the phone.
"Life insurance, maybe," the Doctor replied with a shrug. "To be honest, I never really thought about it."
"Why would you?" Carrie asked. "Have you ever lived in a house?"
"A mansion once," he postulated. "Never a house."
"A mansion?" Carrie asked. "You? You have the money for a mansion…?"
"I never," he snapped, suddenly turning on her, finger raised in warning, "said a thing about money." He spoke of it as if it disgusted him. "I merely spoke of a mansion." He lowered the finger, and turned around and kept walking. "As it happens, I got given it in the seventies – or was it the eighties? Can never remember…"
Suddenly he stopped, and Carrie stopped behind him.
There was a door. A big door. A big, big door.
"Well," the Doctor said, a smile on his face. "We have a door, and the ringing is behind it. Dare I say…?"
"What's behind door number one?" Carrie asked.
"No," the Doctor said, frowning at her. "Allonsy."
"What does that mean?" Carrie asked.
"'Let's go' in French," the Doctor said. "A rather charming young woman once said that to me, but I had to decline…"
He opened the door, and stepped inside, but, to Carrie's surprise, he shut it in her face. She stopped, blinked, and then before she could complain, he opened it again.
"Sorry," he said sheepishly. "But it is rather gob-smacking in here."
"What's in here?" Carrie asked.
"Well," the Doctor smiled. "Rather a lot of things, as it happens. Come on…"
He opened the door wide, and Carrie could practically feel her eyes widening out.
"Oh my God," she postulated.
It was a great dome like room, with wall the exact texture of coral, covered in rows upon rows of – well, roundels was the only word she could think of. In each corner were pillars that looked like they had grown from the walls and floors, and in the centre of this great room was a console, green and mushroom-esque, that looked, similarly, as if it had grown from the floor. The Doctor was running his hands over it. The actual thing was covered in glass panels with strange symbols running across, like some futuristic sci fi console…
"I knew I'd hate Coral," the Doctor said. "This is horrid. Absolutely horrid."
"I like it," Carrie smiled.
"Oh, the walls and the pillars and the rest is all fine," the Doctor snapped, "but what this needs is…"
"Is what?" Carrie asked.
"Tactile controls," the Doctor postulated. "Switches, levers, knobs, etcetera, etcetera…"
The Doctor pressed a specific point on the touch screen console, and a holographic display – which the Doctor sniffed at, haughtily – popped up. It was, in fact, quite technologically advanced, but he hated it already, Carrie could just tell. He'd always preferred retro stuff.
"Space time telegraph," the Doctor said, looking at the picture with some interest, which confused Carrie, since all it showed was a bunch of squiggly lines. "UNIT needs me."
"UNIT?" Carrie asked.
"United Nations Intelligence Taskforce," the Doctor replied. "Sort of paramilitary group, set up to fight aliens when I'm not there."
Carrie nodded, dawning comprehension coming over her.
"I guess," the Doctor concluded, "that we have to go back to Earth."
"Must we?" Carrie asked.
"Yes," the Doctor said. "We must."