-1Chapter 7

The Fourth Doctor's TARDIS landed in Manhattan. It was very late into the night, but the people were still roaming. He frowned a little at the prospect, he didn't like dealing with people. The coordinates landed him here, which was again in 2004 time. He realized that in these terms they must've thought he had completed his task to find the Doctors and move forward to find the eighth. "Bloody cheek, you only made me go after two of them!" He grumbled as he started to walk out towards the street. He wished he'd had a scanner with him, and made a mental note that he'd need one in future. Most people that saw him started to laugh a little. The clothes and the hair were so great, most thought. He was really accomplishing that retro look everyone else was only trying to. "It's times like these, I truly miss all the rocks. Less people around. Well, when there were people they always had guns so you knew to avoid them."

He started to look for any signs of what he was doing here. There in the distance he saw a design on the wall. He squinted a bit to get a closer look at what it was, it looked so familiar. As he walked closer towards it, he saw that it was the Seal of Rassilon. "Looks like this is where they need me. Very strange, I didn't think that they'd open a branch of the Time Lords on Earth. UNIT must be having a field day with this one." He walked into the building and found that the foyer was much larger than it should be. He understood immediately that he'd entered a TARDIS, and quite a nice one too. The chameleon circuit in this one really gave it that little something. The Doctor was impressed by the fact it looked like the Council Chamber of the Time Lords. His impression shrugged off fairly quickly, "Mine may not have the look, but it's got character."

"Yes, Doctor. It does indeed." A voice came out of another door. The silhouette of the man was visible, but not much else. However, the Doctor didn't have much trouble recognizing the voice of the 'Keeper'. Four's face gathered it's unamused expression. He didn't have much use for such theatrics.

"You've come to check on my progress, have you?"

"No Doctor, to give you aid on your quest. I have a small surprise for you." From the corridors, out stepped the First, Second, Third and Fifth Doctors.

Four looked at them all and back at the Keeper with some confusion. He's specifically been sent to look for the Doctors, why have him go after Six and Seven if he could have brought them all here. He didn't trust him before, it had only cemented it since. He hoped Six and Seven were locking onto the coordinates he'd handed them of his first trip. Maybe they could spy on him just before Four had left to find them in the first place. Four's face became rather sour in expression, his eyes squinting and unpleasant at the Keeper. "Why use me to gather the others, if you already intended to get them yourself?"

"It was far easier to use the Transmat beam to catch these four than it was to get the other two."

"Transmat beam, eh? You're TARDIS is a great deal more upgraded than I would have guessed. Most of them aren't equipped with such interesting luxuries. Of course why bother to travel in a TARDIS if you have one of those, eh?"

"Good question, young man." The First Doctor stepped forward. "I was just freed from that time eddy when you pulled me out. My TARDIS was in transit. Very dangerous to do such a thing!"

"Believe me, Doctors. It was all perfectly safe."

"Safe, was it?" The Third Doctor said belligerently. "The slightest miscalculation could have obliterated him. Then you would have killed us all. I prefer to think a Time Lord such as the Keeper of the Matrix might have a mind to understand all that the Matrix contains, such as the dangers of Transmatting a person across the cosmos! I'm assuming the link we had with him while dealing with Omega was enough to get a good lock onto where he was?"

"Of course Doctor, you three were together and had just ended a mission of great importance. It was most simple to pluck you from that time and deposit you here."

"He's quite right, you know?" The Second Doctor said with stern look upon his face towards the Keeper. "Gathering us here for some reason and then doing your best to make sure you may eliminate us in such a careless manor. It wreaks of stupidity."

The Keeper's face turned to a smile, which was obviously hiding his temper. "Trust me, Doctors. I would not have risked your lives on such a gamble. I knew well what I was doing and made sure everything would be in proper order before proceeding. Now if we may get on to the task at hand."

"Yes, I was wondering when we might get to that." The Fifth Doctor looked at him with a certain flare of pride.

Four grinned at the comment and stared back at the Keeper, "I agree. Tell the man with the celery what's on your mind?" The Keeper swallowed his inner rage and began to explain everything to the collective. They stood intrigued and horrified by what they were hearing. They were all confused, none of them particularly knew what to say. Five had a deeper concerned look that the rest of them. The point in which he was taken from was just after he and the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS were removed from one another. A small time crash that could've resulted into a bigger explosion, but luckily the two worked it out fairly quickly. Ten was a nice enough man; very pleasant fellow. He doted on how he was fond of being Five when he was him. Bits and pieces of his personality showed through, such as the glasses the Doctor really didn't need to wear. Now, the Keeper was telling him that the Eighth Doctor is planning to commit and atrocity. He had three feelings about that: The first was that the Doctor he met was as good a person as he seemed and the Keeper wasn't telling the entire story. The second was that their memories were erased by whatever it was they did to end this war. The third was that the Tenth Doctor was completely insane and it was his like that made him seem so personable. Five discounted the third option fairly quickly, but that still left two. And the first was looking more like a possibility the more the Keeper kept talking.

The Keeper continued, "I gathered you here to put a stop to this before all we know is wiped out in a blaze that will burn across the universe until its end. I was hoping you would have two more Doctor's to help, but your fourth incarnation didn't seem up to the task of acquiring their help."

"Nonsense! I did completely my task! It just didn't do much good, as they were both stubborn. I don't know where they both got such disagreeable attitudes!"

"Did you try to persuade them? Did you tell them what was at stake?"

"I didn't know I had to give them a sales pitch, as well..." the Keeper's eyes burned. The Fourth Doctor too was losing his patience. "Of course I told them," he yelled at the top of his lungs! "They wouldn't have any of it. They said that they didn't see the point of causing all this energy build up if it were only to stop one man! Both of them questioned my capability to handle it. And the more I thought about the other Doctors coming along, the more I realized that they were right! If we five can't handle one of us, then none of us have the right to call ourselves the Doctor!" The other four gathered behind him and stared the Keeper down.

"Well said," the Third Doctor chimed in. "If five of us can't get him to listen to reason, then the addition of two more won't help matters."

"As it is, he'll feel cornered." Two added his thoughts.

Five walked up to the Keeper and studied him very closely, "It seems there's quite the consensus on the matter, Keeper. "

"If any of you have proven one thing, it's the ability to slip through the fingers of any number of enemies. I merely point out that the more of you to out think him, the better."

The First Doctor grabbed Five's shoulder and lead him away. He started to whisper, "He's correct about that. From what I'm to gather from working with those two, there isn't much that has stopped us except the occasional regeneration. However, young man I don't trust his motivations at all. He's leading us into a trap, I know it."

"Whispers amongst yourselves, Doctors?" The Keeper interrupted.

"Merely telling myself to have patience and understanding. That's all."

"You wouldn't have any doubts about this mission, would you?"

"Doubts? Young man, there are a great deal of doubts that I have. I am going along with this madness because I was brought here. I do not like it, nor particularly you. You are a fool; a reckless fool at that. Your only reason to bring us here is because you can't handle the situation yourself. You and the other so called 'Time Lords', can create wondrous machines that can take you to any point in history, but can't manage to stop one man from causing such a despicable act that will change 'all we know.' Keeper, you're lying about something. Eh? You're keeping some sort of secret. Transmat beams, Doctors looking for other Doctors, eh? Why not bring him here now? Why not just get it over and done with?"

"Stupid old man! I'm fighting wars on multiple fields right now! Yes, your eighth self is a great deal of importance to be dealt with, but..."

"Oh, believe me when I say I have little doubt of that. But, you're multiple fields of battle still allow you to bring your base of power to Earth? Hmm? You just said the Time War was in Gallifrey's part of the cosmos. You could've merely sent a message from there could you not?"

"I risk a lot talking to you in the first place! The Time Lords would have me killed if they knew I was doing this! That's why I cannot do it myself!"

"Fine Keeper, the game is yours! Just know that with all these unpredictable pieces on your table, things are likely not going to play out as you wish them to."

"I'll keep that duly noted, Doctor."

Four kept tabs on everything going on in the room. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something move and he in his peripheral vision, he kept looking. His expression never changed once. No alert, no surprise. Two saw him standing here very still not moving his eyes to any direction. "You're not looking well, is everything alright?"

He whispered to the Second Doctor, never once looking at him, "Someone's watching us. They're doing their best to keep to the shadows, as not to be detected."

Two giggled, "Doesn't seem to be working, does it?"

"I suppose not. Can you see who it is yet?"

"I can't make out a face, but it appears to be a rather shapely woman."

"Very interesting, would you agree? A woman here in the midst of all of us? A companion that got lost in the Transmat beam? Is it one of the Keeper's assistants? If it is, he didn't mention any. In fact he's gone out of his way to say he was in on this alone. Perhaps someone walked in here looking for something else entirely. Instead several strangely dressed men, myself and one in robes are standing around discussing the end of the universe. Galactic destruction is a very hard thing to discuss amongst layman, don't you agree?"

"Quite so! It seems that those conversations never do go well. I do find it a rather tedious task to explain it to people who have closed minds. You know the type."

"Of course. I run into them all the time. But here we have someone that is so interested in the conversation she risks being seen. Very suspicious indeed."

"A lot of that going around today. We do seem to get into these jams. I was telling that to Jamie once."

"Yes, Jamie. Always one to try and grasp the situation in terms he would understand. I admired that of him." The figure disappeared out of the main door to the outside world. Four stopped looking and wandered up to the Keeper who was still in the midst of an argument with the First and Third Doctors.

"You're willing to set us free in dealing with this situation, but don't tell us a thing about why it came to all of this! How are we supposed to know how best to handle the situation if we don't know all the facts? I can't just reverse the neutron flow and hope everything will work out for the best, now can I?" The Third Doctor demanded of the Keeper.

"Come now, Doctors. I think we've underestimated the Keeper's role in all of this! He's at risk, he said as much. It's too dangerous for him to fully interfere and has done his best to help us in ensuring the future. Would we ask anything more from him?" The three Doctors not aware that there was another player that was in the room, looked at him with puzzled anger. They did expect more out of him. No one in their position would want different. All of them tried to intercede a comment, but the Fourth Doctor started to get louder and mock their tone. As they stopped talking, he waiting only a moment to make sure they wouldn't start right back up. "Good, now listen. We've got a great task ahead of us outside those doors. The Keeper is being kept from his appointed rounds and we can't let that happen for too long, now can we? His risk is far too great!"

The Third Doctor couldn't stand it, "Have you lost your, so called, mind?"

"Perhaps I have, but then that's the last thing that our eight incarnation would expect, hmm? Now let us stop all of this nonsense and try to stop whatever it is that we're meant to, shall we?" The five Doctors stood there, and with reluctance they agreed. None of them particularly liked this idea, but what else was to be done? Once they'd completed this task, then they could corner the Keeper. They left out the door.

Outside, Two and Four started to scan the area. They were looking for any sign of the woman that left the Keeper's TARDIS. One and Three were burning with impatience about the whole matter. They were going to demand answers. Right as they were about to speak up, Four chimed in his thoughts, "I can't find her. How about you?"

Two shook his head slightly, "No sign of her anywhere. I suspect that she's either hidden and watching us, or going after our objective herself."

"Very good guesses. I might just agree with that assessment."

Five sighed, "I don't suppose you'd mind filling us in?"

"Not aloud, I believe telepathic contact would let us all know better what is going on. Contact." The others chimed in and soon they were living the shared memories. As the broke contact, they all looked a little more uneasy. It was no surprise that he would have someone with him. As much as a Time Lord could do things on his own, there were more than a few that employed assistants for tasks they themselves rather not get their hands dirty doing.

"There are so many pieces tying into one another. I'm not sure we do have enough Doctors to cover all of this." Five said with concern in his voice.

"We need to split up. I think you, myself and the Second Doctor should go after our eighth incarnation. One and Three can see if they can find the escaped companion and keep an eye on the Keeper."

"I suppose that's as good a plan as any…" Three said with little agreement behind his voice. With the rest in semi-agreement to the plan, they started towards their task. It was only twenty minutes afterwards that the Keepers TARDIS started take off from its position. The First and Third Doctor watched it take off, as they expected it would. But that would mean that the companion was stranded here on Earth. Where, though? That was a question that nagged them.

Inside the Keeper's TARDIS, the Keeper smiled at his view screen as he took off from the site. He laughed heartily at the foolish Doctors waiting for the appearance of his companion. In a moment, there was a bright flash and there stood River Song before the Keeper. "Did you do your appointed task?"

"Yes, my master. The eleventh incarnation is collecting the last two and will return here."

"Good work, Kamelion. You may drop that disguise now."

"Yes, master."

"I am not the Master, Kamelion! He was a degenerate Time Lord that should have been killed at birth! Refer to me as the Keeper until I tell you otherwise. Acknowledge?"

"Yes, Keeper."

"Very good. Let us go forth and finish this. We need to find the last two Doctors, and then we will set the final trap for them all. The universe will long remember the Time War and the one who ended it." The Keeper laughed viciously.