A/N; This story, which will be in a good number of chapters, but I'm not sure exactly how many yet, is a continuation of the last big I fanfiction I did. You will notice early on though that much has changed, as of course things will as a good bit of time passes. As for the title 'The Children of Time' well you'll just have to read for a while and keep up with this one in order to understand that title. It will soon become very obvious though what that means. If you haven't read 'More Than Meets the Eye' yet, this one will have a few major things that just won't make much sense at all. I'd recomend you read that one first.
With her hearts both pounding hard in her chest, and their beats echoing in her ears, Hailey Andrews raced onto her ship. She slammed the door behind her and as quickly as she could, she locked it. She rushed to the control console and struggling to catch her breath, she plotted the ship into the time vortex. Gasping, and laughing, and shaking her head in disbelief at her narrow escape, she finally fell into her chair in the control room as her knees gave way, shaking with shocked relief.
It was not typical of Tessilons to attack out of nowhere, like the ones she had just managed to escape from had done. Small and lightweight and only semi-intelligent as far as the intelligence of species went, the creatures could use simple tools well enough, but were generally timid and used those tools mainly for hunting and survival.
She wondered why she had so suddenly found herself surrounded by two dozen small furry pink creatures, their heads barely reaching past her waist, but nearly all of them waving sharp pointed wooden spears toward her. Her tried and trusted trick of escaping up a tree and from there jumping down across to the far side of the clearing from one of it's long overhanging branches had gaining her enough of a head start, that though she was chased immediately, she made it back ahead of the little primitive aliens. Something must have frightened the small tribe, she knew, but what? Had a female perhaps felt that her newly born young one was threatened, and in her panic instigated the sudden frenzy? No, that made no sense, Hailey realized as sitting down and slowly feeling herself grow calmer, she mentally reviewed all she knew about the Tessilons, of Matraxian Jarvo. It was winter on that planet at the time she'd landed, and all Tessilon young were born in the spring. There would be no newborns among them, only older babies and that would not have caused quite that reaction over a visitor who showed no harmful intent. In any case, she was not sure that even had their been tiny babies among them, anyone would normally have attacked. It was just not their way.
Hailey's TARDIS tumbled through the vortex aimlessly, and she let it drift peacefully for a long while, as she sipped a cup of tea and though back over the last few hours again. As the last of her panic over the incident with the Tessilons wore off, she smiled to herself and let her ship drift as it would. Slowly she got up from her chair and made her way to the main bathroom down the lower floor hallway.
She started the water in the large bathtub running on a low setting, and turned the taps so that the temperature was the warmest she liked it. Looking forward to a good warm soak in her tub, she hurried across the hall to her bedroom to fetch her things. She found herself sitting for a brief moment on her bed, on top of pink and red checkered quilt looking at the photograph she picked up from on the top of the little wooden nightstand. Her mother and herself both smiled from inside the frame decorated with white flowers.
In the photograph, both of them stood in front of a stack of yellowish hay bales on a farm belonging to the friend and neighbor. They looked so typical, just like any mother and daughter might be expected to look in some random photograph taken that the spur of a moment. George had taken that photo during a small outdoor get together at their neighbor's place, and of course looking at it no one would guess at the the trouble and confusion the family had faced over the years. Hailey reached over to slowly set the framed picture back down on her night stand. She smiled for a moment, before she shook her head, her own emotions confusing her.
"Mum, if only you could see me now," she said out loud to no one. "You wouldn't have known what to make of those Tessilons today. Of course Kathie and Jake would probably have just laughed at first."
With another shake of her head, she crossed the hall again to her bathroom. Throwing her clothes into a messy pile of bright colors and striped fabric, she climbed into the tub and let herself fall gratefully back into the nearly hot water and sweetly scented bubble bath.
Almost clear across the Milky Way galaxy, on the planet Earth, the Doctor started his own ship onto motion once more. Pressing several buttons and then throwing a few switches before finally typing in a set of multi letter and number co-ordinates, he took a step back from his controls. For the first time in what felt like so long he was traveling on his own again. He'd had friends leave for days or weeks before of course, but now he was truly along again. He shook his head sadly and vowed to visit his friends someday. He reminded himself though just as soon as the thought had come to mind, that though he so often planned to visit former companions when possible, it was very rate that he ever actually did so.
He supposed, as he walked away slowly, that he would just have to find a new companion or two. After all, he'd been shown so many times that he just could not spend forever on his own. But it wasn't always that easy to just find someone new to take along with him. It was always a certain and special kind of human being who was actually capable of doing it well enough, of not falling dead from terror on alien planets, of constantly seeking the next adventure and rarely stopping. He understood that he shouldn't bother to even really look, or least not look too hard. Even after all of his long years of traveling, eventfully ideal travel companions had a way of falling into his life in some way or other. He knew that in the mean time he would just travel alone and be fine with that.
He sat down in the console room, with his feet up on the controls, and opened a book he had left laying around. Happily he opened the book, found his place, marked by a simple Barns and Noble bookmark, and began to read. Soon he was so absorbed in his reading about the newest theories in the world of particle physics that several hours passed unnoticed.
The high pitched chiming or a small bell on the console, and green and blue blinking of a few little lights near the back of control panel finally got his attention. He dropped the book to the floor, startled by the sudden chiming noise and within even realizing he'd dropped it at all, he jumped to his feet. Taking a quick step forward he stepped right on the open paperback and nearly ended up tripping and falling because of it. He kicked the book across the room by accident as he tried to take another step. Finally he made his way to the console and looked over everything, working out the reason behind the chiming and the blinking.
"It can't be," he muttered out loud to no one, as the reason for the noise and lights started to make sense. he started to pace a little. "A distress call, sure. But from a..."
He stopped speaking right in the middle of his train of thought and stood still where he had stopped. Tuning his focus inward a bit he began to hear the telepathic voice of his ship. She was saying nothing really of much importance, except urging him to action. "Go, quickly Doctor. We must go now. We must fly."
For another moment the Doctor only stood where he was, nearly frozen to the spot with disbelief, concern, excitement, fear, and so many other emotions he could not even put a name to so fast. Around him and echoing through his head, he could sense his ship's feeling of urgency. She wanted to fly off after the source of the signal, but for once she was waiting for his permission to move. That was new, he mused and had the situation been slightly different he might have laughed to find that now after all the years she'd been his ship, now she finally listened. He made a quick decision, though he knew it was hardly a choice as there was no way he'd have even made a different choice.
"Okay girl," she told his ship out loud, not even bothering that time to feel silly for talking to it out loud. He released the handbrake and right way moved to hold onto the front of the console. "You're right. let's go find her. You know where to go. Let's go find Hailey again."
The second he get go of the brake and long before he even finished speaking, the TARDIS took off through the vortex moving at its fastest possible speed. The Doctor trusted his ship entirely. Years of experiencing nearly everything possible and some that he would never have believed possible had he not seen it himself had taught him to trust her only sense of reason and logic, to let her figure some things out herself. She was far more than just a machine.
Hailey climbed out of the tub. She wrapped a big red towel around herself and another smaller white one around her dripping hair. Reaching into the tub, she let the water out, and then sat for a moment on the edge of the bath drying herself off. She pulled out a change of clothes, these ones a pair of jeans, a pink and green polka-dotted long sleeve top and a black vest, and as she stood in front of the bathroom mirror drying her hair a bit, she wondered how she might like to spend that evening. She made her way to her bedroom, and sat on her bed using her blow dryer and thinking about leaving her ship floating in space while she spent a quiet night watching romantic comedies. She reflected a little sadly that sometimes, more than ever in recent times, she no long felt like doing as much as she once had.
Her hair nearly dried, she made her way to the sitting room upstairs, happily selected a few movie disks from the cupboard under the television stand, and flopped down onto the comfortable sofa to watch a new one she had not yet gotten around to seeing. Her attention was caught up in the film, and the ringing of an alarm bell in the control room startled her right out of her content movie viewing.
Jumping up from the sofa in an instant, Hailey raced from the sitting room, and into the hall. She hurried up the stairs and made her way into the console room just as the ship unexpectedly rocked sideways with such force that she was knocked off her feet. Her arm banged painfully against the handrail just before she managed to catch herself and stop herself tumbling right down the steps. Carefully, holing tightly to the railing along the edge of the room as the ship continued to move dangerously, she made her way to the control console. Quickly transferring her hold to that from the railing, she stood for a brief second stunned and shaking and confused.
"What's the matter now?" she mumbled out loud, looking over the controls and at the many lights that had suddenly began to blink erratically. The alarm that had starting to ring before was still ringing and ringing and the sound was growing louder and more urgent. Hailey looked over everything and then checked it all again. the checks and double checks took only a minute at most, but in that time, the shaking of the ship had grown worse and become a steady feeling of turbulence, which grew ever rougher.
The TARDIS provided what information it could quickly on the monitor, and Hailey read fast, comprehending and trying to make her best decisions in a hurry. The ship had left the part of space in which she'd left it, above the world of Matraxian Jarvo, and of it's own accord it had made it's way to a completely new part of the galaxy. She realized in a moment of terrible panic that she did not ever know where it was it all. It had taken her somewhere that was nowhere within the maps she'd so far committed to memory. She could have simply pulled up new maps on the computer and figured it out quickly enough of course, but with all the shaking and lights and the ringing of the alarm, that moment was hardly the time for that.
She was very close to a planet that the computer told her was roughly Earth-like and life sustaining. As for any life on it, there was no known information. The ship was falling trough the atmosphere fast and gaining speed as it did so. She had no idea what had caused her ship to fall out of the air and then right way begin the decent, but she did know she couldn't stop it. She checked the monitor again as she tried once more in vain to force the ship to balance itself and begin to slow down. She held out hope that she might still avert a severe wreck, but that hope faded fast as something big crashed into the side of the ship. She couldn't see the object on the monitor - it had come from behind out of sight range, and caught her completely by surprise - but she suddenly realized what it had been that had caused that first initial tilt. Some type of something big was hitting the outside of the ship, and she finally realized that.
With a scream of fright and shock, she lost her footing as she ran into another impact. She struggled to catch herself but in the confusion of a second before she'd taken a couple of unintentional steps backward. With nothing in front of her close enough within her reach, she had nothing to grab hold of to get her footing. Her next instantaneous move was to try turning around but everything was happening to fast. She flipped backward over the railing and landed hard, half sideways on the floor nearly seven feet below.
The Doctor took off running the second his TARDIS had landed and he'd pushed open
it's door. After a few minutes or running forward he stopped in what appeared to be the middle of a rocky semi-desert landscape, with dark and course sand for miles in any direction. He looked around a bit and saw only the sand and the huge jagged and strangely colored rocks everywhere. For a second he felt panic starting to arise, and he stubbornly refused to allow that to happen. It was not like him to just start to panic over what could still so likely be nothing.
He had always been able to sense the presence of any other Time Lords over a relatively long distance, when he consciously tried to do so, and for the first time ever it occurred to him to wonder if he could sense Hailey too. For a moment he felt silly to think that he had never actually tried before, but of course he just simply had not. Of course there had been no need for it while had traveled with him, as she was most often nearby. And after she had left he had broken almost all connection to her fast. He regretted that now more than ever. He shook off feelings of great and sudden sadness as for the first time, he tried to sense her over an unknown distance.
It was all silence and emptiness at first. He'd not actually tried purposefully to sense another of his own people in so long a time. And of course the one was trying to sense now was partly human, and he knew that if it could work at all, that fact would make it harder to do. Slowly though he began to find the presence of someone other than himself within his awareness. He sensed it very nearby, to the west. It was a weak mental signal though of course just as he thought it would be. Trying to sense her was nothing like the strong and infinitely powerful minds he's once sensed all around him endlessly in years gone by. In the next instant though he was off and running to the west as fast as he could. It had occurred to him that the weak telepathic signal had to do with much more than just Hailey being partly human. He knew she must also have been somehow knocked unconscious.
Running over the ground and making his way over and around a few big rocks, he finally managed to spot something quite perfect out of place amid the otherwise undisturbed landscape. Down belong the place he stood, at the bottom of a low grade cliff and resting at a horrible angle and nearly upside down was something that looked strangely like typical cable truck from 21st century Earth. he knew at once that he had found Hailey's TARDIS. He could only hope he had also found Hailey along with it.
The Doctor found the door to former companion and student's time ship unlocked and with great relief he hurriedly stepped inside. His relief turned to dread as he took in the look of the mess the inside of the ship was in. He had thought several times over many years of travels and near disasters, that his own ship had found itself in bad shape more than once. The state of this one though concerned him. The console room was in ruin, with piece of the ceiling either having falling completely into piles of wreckage, or still hanging and ready to fall any second. The room was full of thick nearly black smoke, and the lights flickered dimly. There had once been a waist high railing circling the room and dividing it off from a couple of stairwells, but that railing was mostly in pieces now, and sections of it were scattered over the floor of the level below.
He turned at once and carefully as he dared, he made his way down the now almost entirely unstable stairwell leading downward. He took his sonic screwdriver from his jacker pocket and holding it in front of him, he tried to use it;s light to see through the smoke. It didn't work as well as he had hoped it would. he also started to find that aside from dangerously obstructing is vision in a place filled with hazards, it also made it more and more different to breathe. Half way down the steps, on a small landing on which he almost miss-stepped and fell he found the controls that contained among other things, the ventilation fans. Those he found still worked and the smoke thankfully began to disappear through the vents near the top of the ship.
On the floor very close to the bottom of the staircase, he found Hailey laying underneath some of the fallen wreckage from above. Her both of her legs and feet were trapped under what could only have once been the ceiling. On top of that were several large bricks that had once been part of an inner wall and small parts of the railing, as well as other pieces of scrap metal wood and plastic. She was knocked out and her face was bloody.
The Doctor struggled to uncover her as quickly as he could, but some of the bits and pieces that had fallen down where almost too heavy to move without help. He succeeded though, and as soon as he dropped to his knees beside her to look her over, she opened her eyes unexpectedly.
"What happened?" she mumbled, trying to turn her head to look around. Returning almost fully to consciousness she tried to sit herself up and move. She screamed out loud with pain and for a second she lay perfectly still, too stunned to move at all.
When she tried then to rolled a little to one side trying to find a comfortable position, the Doctor stopped her with a motion of his hands. "No, no don't do that. We have no idea yet how badly you've been hurt."
"How did you get in here?" Hailey mumbled next. She stopped moving and only looked up in more confusion than before. "You knew to turn on the ventilation fans, and where to find the panel. How did you do that?"
"Well our ships are not that different really. Yours may be a little newer but it's still all basic knowledge."
"What are you talking about?"
"The main life support control panels. They are always in basically the same place. They have to be. Safety feature."
"Who are you?" Hailey questioned in a strange tone somewhere between mistrust, panic, and even more confusion.
For one brief moment, the Doctor was greatly concerned about a very possible head injury. Certainly the fact that she clearly had no idea who he was, was something to be concerned about. He was about to question her on basic knowledge in order to get an idea of her level of coherence, when he realized the obvious and shook his head at his own momentary lack of logic and common sense. Of course she didn't have a head injury, and if she did happen to have one, it was certainly not something that had caused her to lose her memory. She simply didn't recognize him because he looked completely and entirely different now than he had the last time she'd seen him.
"You know who I am, Hailey," he said slowly, but before he could finish what he had started to say, she looked around again nervously.
"How do you know my name?"
He looked right at her calmly, and said, "because you told years ago when you first introduced yourself. I know your Gallifrayan name too, because you told me that as well once."
"Wh...what...?" Hailey looked afraid for a moment as confusion nearly got the better of her. For a second she looked as if she would cry from the fear of finding herself in a situation she could not either understand or get herself out of. She did begin to cry then, but not for that reason at all. She looked up at him with relief and disbelief through tearstained eyes.
"Doctor," she cried, "how can you...? You came back to help me!"
"Of course I did," was the Doctor's only reply. Very gently and lightly his hands moved over her, touching parts of her back and neck first and then her legs and arms. She just lay still and half asleep, forcing her eyes to stay open.
"It's as safe as it ever can be" he said after a moment. "I'm just going to move you, alright?"
Hailey nodded slowly. "Where are we going?"
The Doctor very carefully but quickly lifted her into his arms and stood up. "I'm taking you back to my TARDIS. I left it somewhere around here. A quick run across a desert planet. Just like old times, hey?"
He was rambling on trying to keep her conscious, as he ran up the stairs as fast as he could while carrying her. Her eyes were barely open, but it was clear she was ready to fall into sleep. He just went on talking as he ran out rocky ground towards his own ship. "You haven't been around in a while. My whole ship looks so different now. It's amazing. I'm sure you'll love the new interior. She had to rebuild some time ago but..."
"You look so different too," Hailey said quietly.
"Yeah," the Doctor said, laughing slightly. He was just glad to find she was obviously still quite awake, and clearly paying attention. "Bit of a long story there. Remind me to tell it sometime."
He ran through the doors of his ship, and though he was not quite sure that's where they needed to be, he took her straight to the medical bay. She began to cough a little as he gently put her down on the narrow bed, and she moved her hands so that both were covering her stomach. the Doctor, who had turned around for only a moment to look for a medical scanner, turned back to her and right away he hurried closer.
"Hailey," he said urgently, "what's the matter?"
"It just hurts," Hailey answered weakly. Her eyes were much more open now and she was looking at him helplessly. He waved the scanner over her and shook his head a little.
"Not good at all," he muttered to himself, and Hailey's eyes grew wider in fright.
"What?" she asked quickly. "Is this very bad?"
"Hold on, I need to run further scans. It's alright, just hold still."
"Doctor," Hailey said, suddenly as a new realization occurred to her. "What will happen to my ship? It's a living consciousness. This can't be good!"
"She will rebuild. She coudln't try to do that while you were still on board but now it will as quickly as it can."
Hailey shut her eyes then and stayed where she was without trying to move. For the moment she also said nothing more. The Doctor scanned her again, this time using a more advanced and detailed scanner, and he frowned in concern. Once again he shook his head, and was thankful that this time she didn't see him. She very soon began to groan in pain, but she didn't bother to open her eyes. He feared she was in serious trouble, but of course he said not a thing about any of that. He only took a moment to speak to her, saying not much of anything, but muttering assurances. Promptly, he turned his urgent attention to the consciousness of his ship.
"She is in terrible condition," he said telepathically.
The ship's own telepathic voice replied at once with calmness. "Yes. That much is known. I am saddened by the situation, but the bigger picture is the one we must look at, not the immediate one."
"She will be alright. She will live, but of course you must know that."
"Can she really survive this? The matter of a human parent makes it a different kind of case."
If the TARDIS could have nodded, the Doctor knew from the emotions she was sending forward, that she would have done exactly that.
"Her own ship is currently disabled," he said to her, still entirely without speaking out loud. "My hope now is simply that you can assist her, as her own TARDIS is unable to at the present time."
"Of course I will," the consciousness of the the ship answered. She said nothing more and offered no more in the way of direction either.
"Doctor," Hailey mumbled quietly. She tried unsuccessfully to fight back tears of pain. "Please... help me. I feel terrible."
"Heavy panels falling on top of you is certainly never a good situation," the Doctor said. he tried to hold onto a calm tone of voice, but he wasn't quite sure if he was succeeding or not. "I think that would likely have killed a human almost instantly. You are quite a bit stronger than humans though so you stood more of a chance."
"This is bad. Everything hurts and I can barely feel my lower legs and feet."
"There's been some severe nerve damage. Just stay calm. It'll be alright. Hailey," the Doctor said quickly, trying not to show the panic that his conversation with the ship had caused him. "I want to give you a bit of pain medication, but I really don't want to medicate you without your permission, while you're coherent enough to give it."
She looked at him for a second as though trying to make sense of his simple words. Finally she just nodded her head slightly, and tried to speak. She said nothing though and began to fall closer to unconsciousness.
"Doctor, am I dying?" she asked after a couple of silent moments in which she lay still with her eyes closed, and he turned his back on her to quickly fetch warm covers and various other things from a cabinet across the room. Her eyes snapped open again and she just stared at him with a look of pain and questioning.
"No. No, of course you aren't," he said, turning around quickly. He ran back to her and dropped the things he carried onto the end of the bed. The Doctor looked at his companion intently for a moment, silently asking her with only the look in his eyes to trust him more than she ever had before. She looked like she had had so many far better days, and he knew that she indeed had. For a moment he thought back to his most vivid memories of her in the times years before that she'd traveled with him. He recalled her running along a narrow foot bridge on a distant world somewhere, laughing and shouting something about a green dog chasing a cat bigger than itself. Her hair, which back then had been streaked with vivid shades of pink and blue, flowed loosely behind her in the wind, and it was her colorful clothing that made her so obvious from the ground.
He almost smiled at little to himself remembering her walking slowly into his console room, in the black and while Academy clothing he'd left at her door, ready for the events of the night that she first became a true Time Lord. She looked so nervous and shaky, but so determined not to run, though he knew he'd have easily let her had she tried. He recalled a time he'd seen her laughing at some nonsense she picked up on her short-wave radio. It was so pointless and silly of a thing to so clearly recall, but somehow he did nonetheless.
"You aren't dying," he said to her forcing himself back to the present moment. Hailey looked at him with an expression he could not quite read. She opened her mouth, intending to question him, but she could make barely a sound at all.
"It's alright," the Doctor said. He turned around to face the sink very close by and filled a cup with cold water. He held it to her mouth and she gratefully accepted it and drank a little. After a couple of small sips she shook her head slightly, After putting the cup down again, he just stood with one of her hands gently between both of his. He stood for another moment looked down at her and simply remembering her the way he's known her, years before. For a second he fought back regret over the realization that he would so be getting to know here all over again, and this time it woudl be practically getting to know someone brand new.
He forced himself to fake a look of confidence. "You're about to regenerate, likely very soon."
"I... wait... what?" Hailey mumbled. She opened her eyes wider and stared at him in shocked disbelief. For several moments she didn't even try to say anything, but her eyes said so much. Her expression was one of fear and curiosity, of panic and trust. She looked ad though she clearly wanted to laugh and say he couldn't be serious, yet at the same time, she looked ready to cry from the enormity of this huge unknown.
"I... I can do that?" She asked, almost disbelieving but sure he meant it entirely.
"It would appear so," the Doctor said. "I wasn't sure myself, though it's not a thought that crossed my mind more than a time or two. According to the scans though your body has gone right into the first and then second stages with little trouble."
Hailey looked as though she had so much to say but knew she had so little time to say it all. after another brief moment in which she better processed an understanding of her situation, she only said in a quiet voice, "so this is all real then."
"Yeah," the Doctor answered honestly. His tone was one of complete seriousness.
A/N; lol, yeah I still love my occasional cliff hangers. I'll get back to you with an update in the next few days if all works out as I hope. Please, R&R.