Disclaimer: Don't own Doctor Who, just a growing portfolio of fanfiction and a wall of Post-It notes with plenty more ways to make the Master come back.
Twenty years into the future, the Whoniverse of now is encroaching upon our own world - and there's only one fangirl obsessed enough to know the answers and save the day!
Well, I've seen rather a lot of these sorts of things around here lately, so I thought I'd make my own contribution. And yeah, the obsessed fangirl character is called Aietra - so sue me (pun intended). Most of the self-inserts in these things aren't exactly subtle, so what was the point in pretending?
It's a parody, of course. :) This is my sardonic reaction to seeing three of those fangirl-in-a-TV-show / Doctor-lands-in-our-world fics in a row.
"Hey – look, Aietra! He looks like the Master!"
Without raising my eyes from the screen in my hand, I grabbed the earphone back and replaced it in my ear. Over the pulsing rock music, I could still make out my sister's voice.
"No, really," she insisted, tapping my arm and pointing at the TV. "I'm serious this time – he really does!"
Not for the first time, I regretted insisting that my sister watch my old recorded DVD of "The Sound of Drums" with me some months ago.
"Claire," I answered, my voice elevated over the blaring music in my ears, "you've said that about the lead singer of Muse, three of my lecturers, the mayor of Palmerston North, the train conductor on the Paraparaumu line, my ex-boyfriend and the guy in my hall who cooks eggplant at the other cooker."
"This one actually does!"
She never gave up, my sister. I suppose my fascination with that complex, unpredictable character that was the Master gave her easy material to wind me up. That, and the fact that I was too faceblind to even distinguish the Doctor's various companions through the years.
"Oh, he's gone now. Wait for the highlights – you'll probably see him again. He really looks like the Master!"
With my free hand, I rummaged down the side of the settee and pulled out the TV box.
Not this time, I thought. I'd be blowed if I was going to hear one more satisfied, triumphant "made you look". Eyes still obstinately averted from the TV, I pointed the box and changed the channel.
"You're going to have to get a new one soon." My Dad handed back my iPhone and I gently replaced its worn, black rubber skin.
"It's fine," I retorted. Sure, I knew it was old – a practically obsolete 3G that I'd picked up off the internet years ago – but it did its job. Ignoring all my Dad's protests, I had just gotten the battery replaced, so it would last another few years yet.
"But it's still running on the old phone network," my Dad pointed out.
"So, everyone's on the new one now."
"No-one phones me anyway," I shrugged, shoving the iPhone into my pocket and pulling out my car keys.
"It won't be that big a change," my Dad continued, taking out his own iPhone 24. "Look – you could still get a black one, and-"
"It's that much thinner," I argued, gesturing with my fingers. "And the earphone plug is further to the right." I ran my fingers over the contours and surfaces of the iPhone in my pocket, comforted by the familiarity of it, the scratches in the screen protector and tiny tear in the corner of the skin that had been there for as long as I could remember. Even another of the same version would be too different for me, let alone a brand-new model running on an entirely different phone network that would come with all its strange new software and goodness knew what else.
As I was climbing into the drivers' seat of my rusty little Toyota Corolla that was probably on its last legs itself, my Dad opened the passenger door for one last futile attempt.
"At least take it into the store and see if they can switch it to the Arc-"
"Don't want to know," I interrupted, starting the engine. "Bye! See you in the mid-semester break."
They certainly target students, don't they? I mused. Plastering practically every flyer column on campus, election campaign posters formed a shiny wallpaper of propaganda. Everywhere I looked, I was subjected to the shallow promises and proclamations of beaming politicians. It was the same every election, down to the same targets and policies that reappeared every time but never seemed to make it any further than the campaign pamphlets.
This time, though, something caught my eye as I hurried across the campus towards the lecture theatre. In a monochromatic band around the centre of the flyer columns, a row of posters brought a knowing smile to my face. "VOTE SAXON", they read in plain black text on a white background, with a simple X in a box at the bottom.
It was nice to see that there was someone else out there; someone who had sought out those classic episodes from the days of resurrecting all the villains from the original series; someone who was quite possibly as obsessed as myself. I wondered who it could be – one of the lecturers who remembered the "Mister Saxon" story arc from when it was shown on TV, perhaps, or just an anarchist student making their silent protest against the conformity of government through fictional election campaigns.
I hoped the posters wouldn't be removed or covered up. I'd had half a mind to do something similar myself, but it looked like someone had beaten me to it. I just wished I could let them know someone else appreciated their prank.
Looking around the crowded town hall, it occurred to me just how many people there were. I'd been along to the voting booths with my parents when I was younger, but I was certain I'd never seen a turnout like this. Far from making me feel like "one of the people", it only gave me a choking sensation of claustrophobia as I was jostled towards the front of the line.
I hadn't really wanted to vote in the first place, and I'd told my Mum so that very morning. I had no idea who any of the politicians were, and I didn't have a clue about their policies or what they stood for. What could I possibly be achieving by ticking a box just for the sake of it? The right to abstain, I declared, was just as much my right as the right to vote. My Mum, of course, wouldn't hear of it. A heated discussion in the kitchen, with my Dad hiding behind the newspaper, had ended in a passionate speech about the struggle for women's equality and how I would be betraying all the suffragettes had stood for if I turned down the right they had won for me.
So, here I was.
Aware of the milling crowds behind me, I presented my passport at the electoral roll desk. My name was checked off, and I was handed a form and pointed towards an empty polling booth.
Inside, I picked up the pen and ran my gaze down the form. My eyes widened in surprise at the sight of one of the names. "Harold Saxon", the form read, clear as day. I turned the form over, checked the headers and fine print, glanced over my shoulder. The form was genuine.
How awesome, I thought to myself with a grin. It was a strange coincidence – but it did explain all those posters. Who wouldn't want to take advantage of the fact that a real politician shared his name with a villain from an old science-fiction programme?
I read through the rest of the names on the form, but none of them even rang a bell.
Well, why not?
My Mum wouldn't ask – she was a firm believer in privacy of votes – and it wasn't like I had any reason to choose anyone else.
I put pen to paper and ticked the box.
As the gaping chasm ripped across the sky and billions of glittering metal spheres descended upon the Earth, I met my sister's eyes across the living room. On the TV, Harold Saxon smiled into the cameras, knowing that this time, his victory was absolute.
My sister opened her mouth to speak, but at that moment, two Toclafane burst through the window, showering us in shards of broken glass.
She never even got to say "I told you so".