TotallyLosingIt-Thanks, but I'm used to net getting much feedback.

HopelessRomanticist-Ayup, kinda obvious with that pair. And should be to 'plot' after this post.

Apologies. Last few months have been rough for me. Brother committed suicide, old PC died, horrendously sick in December. This is a 'not dead yet' post.

Here we go!

Interlude: Family Reunion

Romana paced back and forth along the edge of the control room, pausing every few minutes to lean on the control pedestal and groaned. "What's taking them so long?"

River, leaning against the railing with her arms crossed, rolled her eyes. "It's been ten minutes, love. I think Rory, Ace and Jenny can handle themselves in twenty-second century Earth." She stood up straight and walked to the pedestal and flipped some levers, pulling down a monitor. She looked at the screen as it lit up. "Rory is the Last Centurion and Ace is insane. Plus they've got the Doctor's daughter. Nothing's gonna happen!"

Romana narrowed her eyes at River. "And you chewed me out for tempting fate?"

The Dalek's eyestalk swiveled between the two of them. "A shame we cannot harness the enmity between you," he said. "It would provide a nigh-limitless source of energy. Coupled with Donna Noble's temper, we would be invincible!"

Both Romana and River turned to the Dalek and glared at it, but it simply remained in place. It suddenly extended its manipulator arm. "Humanoids approaching TARDIS at rapid pace!"

Rory's voice suddenly sounded out over the intercom. "River, Romana? Opening the door might be a good thing at the moment." There was the sound of laser fire and a rather large boom. "Sooner rather than-Ace, watch it with that nitro-nine!"

Romana and River exchanged another glance before the former pulled back on a pinball lever and the latter cranked a lever. The doors opened and a young woman with short, black hair and rumpled clothes was shoved into the control room, followed by Rory. Jenny and Ace backed in, Jenny firing her rifle and Ace holding an empty backpack and a silver canister of nitro-nine.

"Yeah, back off!" Ace shouted, waving the canister around. "And don't forget it next time!" She turned as the doors closed. She slipped the canister back into her backpack and held her arms up. "That was great!"

Rory leaned heavily against the railing and groaned. "Oi, that was insane!" He looked over his shoulder at Ace and glowered. "And can ye' watch it next time with those explosives? I'd prefer to have children with Amy someday!"

Ace rolled her eyes. "Ah, come on! It wasn't that bad!" She jerked a thumb at the woman, standing near the control pedestal and panting. "And we got Susan, anyway."

Everyone focused on the young woman, Susan Foreman. Susan looked around, eyes wide. She placed a hand on the control pedestal and rubbed it. "I don't believe I've seen this desktop theme before," she said. Her eyes landed on the Dalek and she gasped, taking a step back. "A-a Dalek." her head whipped back and forth. "Even what y-you told me, Rory. I'm n-not sure I can stand it!"

The Dalek whipped his head around, the blue glow from its optic sensor focusing on Susan. "I am not a pure Dalek anymore, Susan Foreman! I have been infected with humanity from Rose Tyler."

Susan looked the Dalek over. "You have a human factor?" she asked. "How did you get it?"

Rory's eyebrows quirked. "Hey, wait. How's she know about that?" he asked, pointing to her.

Susan shrugged. "Oh, it's a rather simple breakdown of bio-genetic replicative behavioral patterns ingrained into-"

Ace held up her hand. "Whoa, whoa whoa! Cut it with the fancy Time Lord talk, Susan!" She massaged her forehead. "And I thought it was bad with the Professor..."

Susan's forehead wrinkled. "Who?"

Ace opened her mouth, but waved Susan off. "Never mind." She stretched her arms out and leaned back. "So, off to wherever the bad guys took all of him, and then we bash 'em good?"

Romana nodded. "Exactly, Ace." She looked over to River. "If there are no objections?"

Rory wandered over to the Dalek and leaned in close to his dome. "They like this when we were gone?"

The Dalek's eyestalk swiveled around and drooped. "You have NO idea." His manipulator arm extended and plugged into the TARDIS console. "Temporal engines powering up!"

Romana leaned over her own console. She let out a sigh. "And now off to... wherever and whenever the Doctor was taken." She looked up as the central column began moving up and down. "Do we have enough time to fix the chameleon circuit?"

River bit her lip, but a short bark of a laugh still escaped her lips. "Okay, that was funny," she admitted. She dialed the phone's rotary dial. "Do you think we can get the cloaking device working?"

Susan wandered down from the upper level to the lower. She shook her head. "This is so incredible," she muttered. "How did Grandfather let it get so disorganized in here?"

Rory followed her down. He slipped on his apron, thick gloves and goggles. "Well, nine hundred years or so flitting about in a police box, small things tend to get overlooked." He grabbed a power tap and pulled it out, but shoved it back in as the lights flickered and died. "Sorry, sorry! My fault there!" He sighed. "Labels, this needs labels!"

Susan looked the taps over. "Plug the seventh into the ninth slot and switch around the tenth and twenty-third. That should increase the power to the shields and cloaking device."

Rory leaned back as he regarded her. "Ah, I don't know how you might think that might be-"

"Rory, she's right," River called down from the upper level. The TARDIS bucked and wobbled slightly. "Remember, she's spent more time in the TARDIS than probably anyone else, barring the Doctor himself."

Rory glanced between her and Susan before throwing his hands up into the air. "All right." He pulled out the power taps and switched them around. "But if this kills me, when I come back I'm going to be very cross."


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