When Detective Kate Beckett and partner Richard Castle followed the Doctor into the TARDIS, they looked around the interior in surprise. Not at the size – this was a familiar concept – but rather at the person inside. "Where's River?" Castle asked. The frizzy-haired woman who'd been with the Doctor mere minutes ago was now nowhere to be seen.
The Time Lord was focused on the console, but he looked up with a grin at Castle's question."She went back home," he explained. "Though I get the feeling we'll be seeing her again today."
"So!" He whirled around to face the partners, clasping his hands eagerly, a giant grin on his face. "All of time and space, anywhere and anywhen in the whole wide universe, and only one question; where do you want to go?"
The partners exchanged a short look before giving their answers.
They blinked at each other in surprise at the differing answers, missing the Doctor's bemused look. Castle asked his partner curiously, "Don't you want to see more aliens? I mean come on, there's gotta be some cool stuff out there." His mind was swimming with imagined scenes with strange creatures and breathtakingly beautiful worlds. He knew they were only getting one trip, and he wanted to make it count.
Beckett shrugged. "We already met aliens. I want to see what the human race does what itself. You know, what we end up accomplishing, what we make of ourselves." Though she acted indifferent, Castle could see the excitement boiling under the surface. She was just as eager to see the stars as he was.
After looking from one partner to the other in amused bewilderment, the Doctor have a sudden grin. "Well, let's compromise shall we?" He raced over to the console and began his manic dance around the controls. "I know just the place!"
Up went the switches. "A human colony..." Punching buttons. "...in the future..." Down went the lever. "...with aliens!"
A familiar tremor ran through the ship. Castle and Beckett hastily grabbed hold of the railing, only just keeping their footing as the ship shuddered into life. A loud vworpp, vworpp rang through the console room.
The TARDIS gave a last, violent shudder before stilling. The ship had barely halted before the Doctor bounded over to the front door. He whirled to face Castle and Beckett with a huge, excited grin. "Detective, Castle," he paused dramatically before pushing open the doors behind him, I give you the human colony of Sariti, 28th century."
Beckett had traveled through space in the TARDIS before. She had opened those doors to see one location having melted into another. An apartment replaced by a forest. A forest replaced by a yard. But she'd never been greeted by a sight like the one in front of her, or gotten the feeling of having traveled so very far away.
The sky was almost the right color, but there was a touch more purple in there than there should be. The pale outlines of two moons rested high in the sky. That alone was enough to tell her they were on another world.
Beckett stepped out, gaping in wonder around her. They had landed right in front of a huge building with pillars and arches. It looked like an old library or mausoleum, but it was made of a smooth metal. A holographic sign hung over the door which read, "The Earth and Related History Museum of Swametel." The message fizzed out a few moments later to be replaced with, "Now with a fresh new exhibit."
The Doctor blinked confusedly as he stepped out of the TARDIS. "Hmm, this definitely isn't the capital city." He glared briefly at the ship, as if it were at fault for the mislanding, before turning to look properly at the building. A wide grin broke over his face. "Ooo, a museum, I love a museum!"
Beckett shot the alien a side glare. "A museum? Really? All of time and space and you bring us to a museum?"
"Yep." At the detective's continued glare, he threw up his hands defensively. "What? Museums are cool!"
Beckett turned to share an exasperated look with her partner, only to see him gaping excitedly at the building before them. Of course, she though wryly, I forgot, he loves museums.
Seeing that she wasn't going to get any help from that quarter, the detective let out a resigned sigh. "Alright, fine. Museum it is then. But afterwards we get to see more of the town."
"Deal!" The Doctor said with an excited grin. He turned to stand before the detective and her partner. "First things first though. No wandering off." The Time Lord frowned, lost in thought. "Of course, I always tell them that, but they never listen."
Beckett rolled her eyes. "It's not me you have to worry about." She shot a quick side glare at her partner.
Castle tried and failed to hide a smirk. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
As they started walking, Beckett looped her arm through Castle's. "Oh, so then I guess I must have imagined every time I ever told you to stay in the car and you didn't."
Castle dipped his head grandly. "It's a tragedy, really, such a great mind lost to delusions." He let out an undignified yelp when Beckett smacked his arm, but he was laughing and so was she. They were really there. They were actually standing on an alien planet, in the future, so very far away from home. The giddiness was getting to both of their heads.
The Doctor just shook his head in amusement at the partners' banter. With a final laugh, Beckett turned back to their guide. "So where are we again?"
The Doctor bounded up the front stairs, turning back to face his entourage when they reached the top. "The town of Swametel on the planet Sariti in the year 2741. A few hundred years after your time. Sariti's one of many colonies of the great Earth Empire. Tiny little planet, but the cities are supposed to be gorgeous."
"Hmm, you mean the cities you skipped over?" Beckett asked teasingly.
"Yeah. In favor of a museum!" The Doctor emphasized passionately.
Beckett bit back another laugh at the Time Lord's indignant expression. "Well come on then, lead on." She and Castle fell into step behind the alien, arms linked comfortably, as they finally walked through the doors of the museum. She wasn't normally so openly happy around someone she'd just met, but the giddiness of being on an alien world, in the future, was getting to her.
This feeling was only strengthened as they pushed past the front doors and were swept up into the crowd inside. Beckett didn't even look at the exhibit for several moments, too caught up in the swarm of people that surrounded them. There were humans, but that familiar sight was evenly matched with aliens. Strange human-like creatures with bone-white skin, small red midgets with spiked skin, humanoid cats... so many strange and fantastic species thrown into the mix, walking around with humans as though it were all perfectly normal. It was almost surreal.
Beckett gave a small, breathless laugh. She felt Castle's hand grip hers more tightly, and on turning to look at him, saw the same wonder and bewilderment on his face. This time there was none of the fear or disbelief that they'd felt on first seeing the TARDIS. They knew the truth of the sight in front of them. Now they were appreciating the true triumph in it. Humans walking amongst aliens; no fighting, no segregation, no conquering.
There was something so hopeful in the way the crowd flawlessly mingled. She had nothing to go on beyond this initial sight, no knowledge of how the rest of the human race fared or how long this amiability would last, but just seeing it gave her a warm feeling in her chest. From this day forward, she would be able to push through each hard day at work and think it worth it, for it was all contributing to the future, to this future. That alone could make the hard times worth it.
The detective's gaze was finally drawn to the exhibits themselves. The walls were made entirely of glass, with words barely visible against the surface. The artifacts were lined up behind the glass, resting on what appeared to be a wide sheet of red velvet. The only section Beckett could see through the crowd looked to be pottery, but she felt herself getting excited about whatever alien artifacts they might encounter.
"Right," the Doctor said with a puppyish look of excitement, "Let's get going."
The next few minutes were spent futilely attempting to push through the crowd to get close to the exhibits. Any time they seemed to make any headway, a new rush of patrons would crowd eagerly around the glass and cut the time travelers off. The Doctor let out a frustrated noise from the back of his throat. "Oh, this won't do."
Suddenly, the crowd parted abruptly to let a small, well-dressed group through. A short man with an impressively long mustache led them through, small eyes glaring out at the crowd. "VIP tour coming through, coming through now," he sniffed in a pinched tone. His wealthy entourage were able to sit back and view the exhibits without any interruption. Beckett's eyebrows flew up. She wasn't sure whether to feel impressed or irritated.
That's when she noticed the Doctor squeezing his way through the crowd to stand before the mustached man. The short man glared contemptuously up at the Time Lord. "VIP guests only, good sir," he said snidely.
The Doctor just beamed at him amiably. "Yes, VIP, that's us. Sorry to be late, got a little held up in traffic." Before the man could protest further, the Doctor held up a familiar leather wallet. "Look, see, VIP."
The man's demeanor changed instantly. His sneer melted into an exceedingly fake smile. "My apologies, good sir." He gave a slight bow before continuing on, parting the crowd to let the VIP group through.
As the partners managed to squeeze past the crowd and rejoin their guide, he turned to them with a wide grin. "Well that's sorted then."
Beckett frowned as it clicked in her head where she'd seen the wallet before. "Wait, isn't that River's police badge?" She asked curiously.
The Doctor nodded, handing her the wallet. Beckett blinked in surprise when she saw that it now displayed VIP passes for a Sir Doctor of Tardis, Kate Beckett, and Richard Castle. "It's psychic paper," the Doctor explained. "It tells people whatever I want them to see."
Beckett's eyebrows went up in surprise. "Good thing they don't have those back home," she commented as she turned over the wallet in her hands, "otherwise my job would be a lot harder."
She didn't even have to look at her partner to know what he was going to say. "And no, Castle, we are not getting psychic paper." When he opened his mouth to speak again she added, "Or a sonic screwdriver."
As Castle pouted, Beckett turned to look at the real VIPs. There was an elderly human couple, both dressed in extravagant Victorian clothing, the woman's neck practically drowning under all the pearls and diamonds. After listening a bit, Beckett was able to catch their names; Violet and Edgar Dowess. Then there was a young adult man with messy silver hair and yellow eyes shaped like a cat's, with slitted black pupils, wearing a tuxedo. He had introduced himself in a voice like a purr as Felix Karp. There were also three men who were about knee-height with blue skin and green eyes who identified as Ki, Twi, and Fi.
The last member of the party was of considerable more interest. She wore a long black dress with a full skirt that rustled against the ground, along with a black veil that concealed her face. When she spoke, it was with a soft British accent, but so far she'd given no indication as to who she was. Beckett couldn't even make out what she looked like past the veil, only that she was human height. She couldn't help but feel an itch of curiousity about the quiet, veiled figure. Who was she?
The Doctor seemed to notice her interest, for he explained in a low tone, "These are the museum's patrons. The museum needs money to buy and upkeep all these exhibits, and these guys support it. All the richest and finest in society, looking to show off their names. Hence the VIP status. The museum depends on their donations to stay open."
Beckett just nodded, feeling slightly uncomfortable. This was all a little rich for her blood. Everyone here was probably worth more than she could earn in ten years, and they all seemed to know it. But she wasn't here to mingle with society anyway, so she ignored them and turned her attention back to the exhibits.
They were currently standing in front of a wide glass display. Inside rested several old, rugged pieces of cloth armor. Dusty red caps were lined up neatly in front of the uniforms. "And here," mustache man, who was apparently the manager, Mr. Lewart, said with a sniff, "we have authentic uniforms of the old Earth organization known as Torchwood. They were a primitive association who's aim was to suppress alien rights on Earth."
Safely behind the rest of the group, the Doctor shook his head with a sigh. "Humans," he scoffed, "you lot can never remember anything right. Those uniforms belong to UNIT, not Torchwood, and they worked to protect humans from possible alien threats." The Doctor frowned. "Though the line was a bit blurry sometimes between 'protecting' and 'attacking.'"
They continued this way through the entire tour, Mr. Lewart providing a brief background on each piece which the Doctor then either supported, amended, or rewrote entirely. It was a little alarming just how many of the artifacts were things the Doctor had lost or left behind. Beckett and Castle listened to it all with fascination. The history of humans and aliens seemed to be tangled with endless agreements and conflicts and treaties. It was truly fascinating. This wasn't some dusty lecture about people long dead and gone; this was the future being written in front of them.
As they neared the end of their tour, Beckett tried to hide a grin as she admitted, "Alright, you were right, the museum was a good idea."
As Castle beamed smugly at her, the Doctor said, "See? Museums are cool."
"It's like something out of Star Trek," Castle gushed.
Beckett felt that grin creeping over her face again. "Or Nebula 9." She ignored Castle's look of disgust and let the Doctor lead them onwards.
They finally came upon a closed-off wing of the museum. Mr. Lewart seemed to gain a bit more energy now, his sneer gaining pride. "Kind donors, I would like to give you the privilege of seeing our newest exhibit. It will be moved to the front by tomorrow morning, but for now we can see it completely undisturbed. Follow me."
He led the small group into a section completely empty of people. Curious, the Doctor and the partners followed him. They were being led to a thin platform in the middle of the room, where five strange metal things sat. They looked a bit worse for wear, scuff marks and dents scattered across the metal surface, and they sat there silent and unresponsive.
The donors crowded closer, looking very interested. "These contraptions are known as battle drones," Mr. Lewart provided proudly. "They were found by a team of archaeologists in Lake Swametel, only a few minutes from here. No one knows where they came from, but they appear to have been used in battle as weapons."
In other words, you have absolutely no idea what they are, Beckett translated drily. Quietly she asked their oddball guide, "So what the story behind these then?"
When no answer was forthcoming, Beckett took a closer look at the Doctor. The Time Lord had gone rigid, fists slowly unclenching, but more alarming was his expression. It was like nothing Beckett had seen on him before. Usually he wore a goofy grin akin to Castle's, but he'd been caring for the Karrows, quietly sad for the dying Fatorin, and had shown horrible guilt and sympathy for the wyvern. She'd seen him in agony as he was hit by wave after wave of memories and full of self-loathing in that day in the kitchen. But this was different. A fierce light blazed in his eyes, and his jaw was set in a determined way. This wasn't anger or pity or the understanding of a broken man; this was hatred, pure and raw, and enough to terrify the detective.
Castle too must have read the Time Lord's expression, for he gently pressed, "Doctor? What are they?"
Without taking his eyes off the metal things, the Doctor let out a slow breath. "They're called Daleks," he said in a hard voice, "And they should not be here."
So here's my sequel to A Murder Takes Manhattan. Yes, I said it was going to be a while before the sequek and that I'd work on other stuff first and that it's only been a few days, but what can I say, I got impatient. So I decided to do both future and alien, so I did an Earth colony. I did a bit of research on a Doctor Who wiki to get as much information right as I could, but as I said at the top, I've never seen Classic Who, so if anything here contradicts it, I'm sorry. My excuse is... time can be rewritten and history is constantly changing? Yeah, that works.