The decks of the Enterprise were completely deserted. Only the few officers on night patrol were left roaming the corridors and piloting the bridge. The Enterprise ran on Old Earth Time; Pacific Time to be specific. All Star Fleet ships operated on Pacific Time, the same time zone as Star Fleet headquarters in San Francisco. By the standard clock, it was just past three AM.
It was at this ungodly hour that Doctor McCoy was waked by an emergency siren from Sick Bay. Leaping from his bed, he checked the monitor by his bedside. The life support systems had been disengaged. Throwing on his uniform, McCoy buzzed the Captain's quarters on his way to Sick Bay.
"Jim! Jim, are you awake?" He hissed into his portable communicator.
The voice of Captain Kirk replied gruff with sleep. "Ahh…I'm awake now. What is it Bones?"
"Sickbay! The life support computer has been disengaged. Come quick! I think our man's awake!"
The Captain met Dr. McCoy in the elevator leading to Sick Bay. "Do you have your Phaser?" Kirk warned. They harbored strangers aboard the Enterprise many a time, and not all of them ended up being trustworthy.
"Set on Stun." Bones held up the sleek, compact weapon with a smirk. Their visitors may sometimes be homicidal but at least their captors were humane.
The doors slid open, and with Phasers set on stun, they entered the dark medical room.
Lit by the glowing blue light of the machines was a tall figure sitting up in one of the beds. McCoy activated the lights and turned off Life Support, killing the siren. Before them sat a perfectly healthy male; a brown-eyed Caucasian with thick brown hair and a glowing smile. The smile threw them off guard with its ease. This man seemed so comfortable, receiving the three strangers with drawn weapons as if he had been expecting them.
"Oh good you're humans! Humans are my specialty…well I mean they're easier to deal with than a lot of other people out there. Earth is my favorite planet you know." The man's voice was happy, jovial, and colored with a thick British accent. Like the smile, his unusual greeting was given with the upmost comfort.
The yellow-shirted Captain cleared his throat and spoke first. "Ehem…yes. We're human. I am Captain James Kirk and you are aboard my ship, the Enterprise. You were found in the middle of a Star Fleet Investigation and we have your ship. We just need to ask you a few questions and if you are of no importance to us, you can be on your way."
"I'm on a ship, huh? Medical equipment is too advanced for the twenty-second century (that's the one I just left). But we can't be further than the year 3106.84. I'd say early in the 2900's…maybe even 3000. Ah, but that still doesn't seem right!" By this time, the man was up and moving around the room without a care in the world that he was stark naked. McCoy cringed as the man fiddled with his sensitive machinery and examined it with a critical eye.
"You're in the year 3087.6, if you wanted to know." McCoy snapped. "Now for God's sake stop messing with my instruments who-ever you are!"
The man's hands froze mid-reach. He immediately stepped away from the main computer, putting an exaggerated three foot distance from everything. "I'm sorry." He said, solemn and sincere. "Sometimes I just get carried away, I love new stuff! But I'm sure you're all very confused. I'm the Doctor." The naked man approached McCoy and Kirk and held out his hand in greeting. Both men shook it hesitantly.
"Doctor what?" Asked Kirk.
"Oh, just the Doctor. It's what everyone calls me."
"Okay Doctor my name is Dr. McCoy. I am the head surgeon. And I have to say even with today's technology, third degree burns are hard to fix. I've never seen anyone heal so fast!"
"Yes. We all have a lot of questions to ask you, Doctor." Kirk stepped in. "Bones, get this man a uniform and have him meet me in interrogation room 1B in two hours."
"Interrogation room?" The man called the Doctor asked after the retreating figure of Captain Kirk. McCoy tugged his elbow.
"He's not going to do anything. You showed up at a bad time and we need to ask you some questions. It's just Star Fleet regulations. That's all." McCoy held up a yellow shirt and a pair of black pants. "This is a standard Star Fleet uniform. I suggest you put this on."
"Where are my clothes?" The Doctor asked, eyeing the mustard yellow uniform with distaste.
"They're safe. Here just put this on."
The Doctor pulled back, wrinkling his lip. He defiantly shook his head. "I'd much rather have my own." He said. "I think better in a bow tie. Bow ties are cool."
"Bow ties? What? Oh nevermind. Why can't you just cooperate and wear the uniform? Every suspect involved in a Star Fleet investigation is required to wear an inspected uniform. It's so we don't get maniacs pulling weapons out of nowhere. Just put it on!"
"Well, you see my clothes are very special to me. We've been traveling together for years. They stay with me wherever I go." He then paused and looked down at his bare chest. "Well…most of the time. They're sentimental and I promise they're not dangerous. My only weapon is a screwdriver!"
It was really pointless to argue with the man. He wasn't the sort to take no for an answer. McCoy knew the Captain would be furious to know that his best friend put the Enterprise in jeopardy because this moron refused to wear the required clothes, but he seemed honest (and my God they were just clothes!). With a sigh the medical man set the uniform aside and retrieved his clothes.
McCoy watched this peculiar man as he dressed. Two hearts…two hearts! He just couldn't shake the thought! What purpose could it serve? What was he?
"Umm, Doctor?" It felt so odd to address him by that title!
"What's up!" He was hopping around the room, struggling to maintain his balance as he pulled his legs through his pants.
"In my examinations I found your physiology amazing. Now I've examined many humanoids of all different star systems in my day but I've never found a life form with two separate cardiovascular systems and a respiratory bypass system! What are you?"
The Doctor was staring at McCoy, grinning from ear to ear. "I thought you'd never ask!" He said laughing as he moved for his shirt. "I'm a Timelord; last of my kind."
"Aw, don't be! Life goes on. It's been going on for me for seven hundred years without them. After a few hundred years, you get used to being alone. Ah! These shirts! I hate it when you button them wrong!"
McCoy's jaw almost hit the floor. "Did you just say seven hundred years? You're seven hundred years old?"
"Noooooo! I wish I were that young! No, I'm 909. I was around two hundred when I took, er, borrowed the TARDIS and left home."
"Where are you from?"
"Gallifrey. 'The shining world of the Seven Systems'. It was the most beautiful place in the universe; there will never be a planet like her! But I guess you could say that for any planet. They're all unique in one way or another…like thumb prints." The Doctor's voice dropped to a lower note as he spoke and Bones could have sworn he saw tears threaten his eyes. "She's all gone now; lost in the last great Time War. There's nothing left of those crimson red fields, the shining copper moons, and the trees with silver leaves. I've never seen silver leaves anywhere else before…have you seen sliver leaves?"
The Doctor fell silent and turned from McCoy, diverting his whole attention to getting dressed. McCoy figured it was his turn to speak, however uncomfortable it felt. "Um…no. No I haven't…"
The Doctor simply nodded, but said nothing more. Time crawled slowly by in the silence as he stood there, placidly staring at nothing in particular. McCoy supposed he was remembering some ancient memory of this lost Gallifrey or this Time War business he was going on about. He wanted to know more about the fascinating history of the Doctor and his fantastical lost world but didn't know what question to ask first. Luckily they would meet Kirk in a few minutes and all his questions could be answered.
"Come on." He said. "I better take you the Captain. Follow me."
Kirk called his First Officer from the Bridge and instructed Security Officer Sulu to take over command. He needed a second opinion on their peculiar suspect aboard the Enterprise. There was no conclusive proof that he had anything to do with the reopening of the rift, but the appearance of that blue box was too uncanny to ignore.
The doors of Interrogation Room 6 hissed as they opened and the Captain's most valued crewman entered on silent feet.
"You summoned me, Captain?"
"Yes, Mr. Spock. I need to talk to someone and, well, frankly you're the best man for it." Kirk said with a smile. He motioned for the rigid man to sit in the vacant seat beside him. "Sit down, Spock."
"Thank you, Captain." The half-Vulcan sat, directing his full attention to his Captain.
"It's about that man we beamed aboard yesterday. I can't get it out of my head."
"Well, I assume you are to see him in few minutes, Captain." Spock deduced. "That is why we are meeting in an interrogation room."
"Yes, Spock. That's right. I actually wanted you to be here for the questioning, since you're the most…composed of all of us. Did Dr. McCoy show you the results of his examinations?"
"He did, Captain. And I found them most intriguing." Spock replied with a slow nod, "especially the discovery of a binary cardiovascular system and the absence of antibodies in the blood. I've taken the liberty to do some of my own experiments with the good Doctor's samples and I also discovered that the DNA is structured in a triple helix. And despite his extraordinary metabolism, his average body temperature remains at approximately 16 degrees Celsius. Additionally I partook in Mr. Scott's study of the craft the man evidently used for conveyance. Its outer appearance is shockingly primitive, obviously meant to disguise it in older times. The sheer size and complexity of the ship within the box, however, is nothing like any technology we have encountered before. Neither Mr. Scott nor I have been able to determine how it is operated but I have formed a definite hypothesis as to its purpose."
"And what is that, Spock?"
"The vessel is designed primarily for time travel, though as we have seen it can be used for linear travel through one time or dimension. I do not know if the vessel is capable of interdimensional travel as its outer structure seems quite unstable, but after seeing the inside I suppose anything could be possible as to its use."
Kirk laughed. "Wow, Spock! Quite the hypothesis indeed! Why couldn't you just admit that you're as stumped as the rest of us?"
"I do not pretend to be so Captain." Spock retorted dryly. "But no matter. Has the good Doctor been able to determine the subject's species?"
"He called himself a 'Timelord', but I don't know if that's his species or his little nickname." To Kirk's surprise, Spock's face expressed bewilderment. His angled eyebrows rose and he appeared on the verge of gaping.
"Captain," he said hoarsely, "did you just say this man is a Timelord?"
Spock rarely showed signs of alarm, and Kirk was particularly unnerved by this display. "Yeah, that's what he calls himself. What of it, Spock?"
The half-Vulcan stared at his hands. "The Timelords were a very ancient race from Vulcan mythology." He said slowly. "Songs and epics of their great powers and their world, the red planet Galifrey, have been retold for generations. But to my knowledge, Captain, they are purely fictional-"
The doors hissed open and Dr. McCoy walked in with the mysterious man in tow; dressed in the brown tweed jacket, bow tie, and pants they discovered him in. Kirk glared at McCoy.
"Bones, don't you know the procedure?" He growled. "Why is he wearing his clothes? We can't trust him yet."
"He refused to wear anything else. I examined the rules to him myself, Jim, but he just wouldn't comply. His clothes are safe though. All I found was this." McCoy handed Kirk a small bronze device. It was a strange tool, constructed in a haphazard fashion with several different metals. It had a split end that held a glowing green light. "He says it's his screw driver."
The Captain and his First Officer exchanged glances and Kirk passed the "screwdriver" over to Spock. "Alright. Well, hopefully you can clear all this up for us, Doctor. Sit down."
Thankyou so much to everyone who reviewed! I really appreciate the feedback,comments, and whathaveyou.
Next time we get to see what's been going down in the Void!