"Giant Vegetables of Doom"

"Doctor, why's there a giant fern coming down the hallway destroying everything in its path?" Rory whispered into his mobile, ducking behind a statue of a turnip.

"Oh, don't worry," answered the Doctor. "It's supposed to be doing that."


"Well, they let it out once a year to satisfy its desire for a murderous rampage." At Rory's disbelieving silence, the Doctor reassured him, "It hardly ever does any lasting damage."

"And you just happened to pick the day that they let it out of its cage?" Rory hissed angrily.

"I didn't do it on purpose," the Doctor said defensively. Rory sighed. Of course he didn't. It wasn't as if the man actually had any meaningful control over his ship.

"Where are you?" he asked.

"I'm on the other side of the city."

"So there's no chance you'll be able to get here in the nick of time and save me then?"


"Typical," Rory muttered. He took a deep breath. "Okay. Tell me what to do."

"There's nowhere for you to hide?"

"I'm in a hallway. All the doors are locked. I'm hiding behind a large turnip right now, but I don't think it's going to be very much protection in a couple of seconds."

"Right," said the Doctor. "First, you'll need something to distract it. You wouldn't happen to have a very powerful blue light with you?"


"Or a sonic pulse generator?"


"Just a thought," the Doctor replied distractedly. "Erm, you said you were hiding behind a turnip?"

"Yes," answered Rory.

"Oh, but that's brilliant!"

"Why?" asked Rory frantically, trying to curl into as tight a ball as he possibly could.

"The Hieraavi worship plants. They have incredibly complex mythological lore about their world's creation, which involves various vegetables committing genocide against one another. According to their story, the fern's archrival is the turnip."

"That's fascinating, Doctor, but what do I do?"

"Hit the fern with the turnip."


"Trust me."

"All right," Rory said reluctantly. He groaned as he strained to lift the heavy stone carving off the ground, and let out a roar of victory as he used his whole body to swing the statue at the fern.

It stopped. It looked as angry as it was possible for a fern to look.

Rory tried to scramble backwards, terrified. "Doctor, I don't think that helped."

"Oh, didn't I mention? You've just declared war on it."

"And how exactly is that a good thing?"

"Now it has to deal with you in a ritual manner."

"Which is?"

"…It's going to try to eat you," the Doctor admitted. "Let it."

"What?" shouted Rory, feet slipping. He let out a cry of pain as he tried to break his fall with one hand, but continued to try to get out of the fern's way.

"Rory?" questioned the Doctor worriedly.

"I'm fine. But how is this even remotely a good idea?"

"If you're indigestible, it'll spit you back out, and then you'll get a chance to eat it."

"And if I'm not?"

"Erm," said the Doctor.

"I can't believe this," muttered Rory, but he stopped trying to slither backwards and stood.

He turned his head away and closed his eyes as the giant fern approached him. He half expected to feel hot, stinking breath wash over him, but it actually smelled rather nice and fresh.

Shaking, he held his ground as the roots slithered over him, but couldn't help letting out a whimper as one hand was sucked into the stem of the plant.

He waited for the rest of him to be dragged inside. But it didn't happen. Instead, his hand was abruptly released, with such force that he nearly fell over again.

Rory nearly cried with relief. "Doctor, it let me go!" he exclaimed.

"Good!" said the Doctor. "Now it's your turn."

Rory squared his shoulders, grabbed a frond, and tugged. It came off reluctantly. Slowly, Rory brought it to his mouth. He chewed. It tasted awful, but he didn't dare spit it out. He swallowed. He stared at the fern with all the aggression he could muster.

And he would swear that it looked scared. Rory laughed aloud in triumph as it slowly began to return the way it had come. "Doctor," he cried into the mobile. "It worked!"

"Really?" asked the Doctor, then quickly corrected himself. "I mean, of course it did."

"I can't believe I just won a war against a carnivorous fern in another galaxy!" exclaimed Rory, wisely choosing to ignore the man.

"I'll check you out once I get there to make sure there wasn't anything toxic in the fern's leaves."