"The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-14 03:11pm

Short 35 - Saving The Planet Can Be Fun

It's bizarre how some cosmoses that would not really make sense in existing actually do exist out here. They're the ones that, if you observed them as a work of fiction, would make you scratch your head as to how they work. I mean, how do villains the equivalent of a Saturday Morning Cartoon villain operate effectively? Why do they do the convoluted plans that often show no real indication of profitable outcome?

I've met them from time to time. I believe the term is Outside Context Problem. Mostly them toward me. Although I admit to my share of raised eyebrows on my part. And the occasional facepalm.

I normally don't relay these meetings because they are inevitably awkward, possibly irritating, and quite boring. I make an exception for this one due to some reasons that shall become apparent.

It starts, of course, with the TARDIS deciding to take us somewhere I hadn't planned to go. Instead of the scenic valley I had planned it was some form of futuristic factory out in the middle of nowhere. We emerged on a roof top of the factory and looked out at vehicles ripping their way through what looked to be rainforest. "Well, so much for pleasant scenery," I sighed to the others. "I'm not sure we have room for Naga here, Korra."

Naga whined at that and hung her head low. "Sorry girl," Korra said apologetically. "We'll get you out for a good run when we find out what's going on." She gave Naga a reassuring pet on the muzzle before closing the TARDIS door.

I brought out my sonic and noticed some intriguing energy readings. "Well, that's interesting. Rather bizarre energy readings in this compound. Shall we?"

We entered the building's roof access and went down the stairs. The facility looked surprisingly unoccupied, or at least this structure. "I'm reading an enclosed air circulation system," I murmured to the others. "Looks to be in the central chamber." I pondered why such equipment would exist in what was clearly meant to be a logging operation.

Unsurprisingly I got my answer a minute later.

It was an execution chamber.

Which, of course, told me something of the nature of the builder.

The chamber was visible from the second floor, presumably for the enjoyment of spectators, but they weren't present. Although there was a very visible security camera looking into the chamber. One press of the sonic screwdriver caused it to shut down in a small shower of sparks.

"There are kids in there," Asami gasped in horror.

I looked in and saw shapes struggling in billows of evil gray smoke. "Korra!" I looked to her and then around. No windows. "Blast a hole in the wall!" I knew that would send a pretty big signal to whomever was running this place that someone was meddling, but given the sight below me I didn't have time to worry about that.

Korra turned and assumed a Firebending stance. Since the building was not made of earthen materials or metal, well, that's where powerful blasts of fire came in. With a couple of quick movements to build ferocious power, she thrust her hands forward and sent out a powerful blast of flame that slammed into the far wall and blasted it open. Daylight poured in.

"Now open the chamber and pull the toxic gas out, I'm going to find the shutoff valves!" I rushed away with Asami while Korra followed up blasting a hole in the gas chamber. Around a corner I found controls locked by a computer system. I brought out the trusty sonic screwdriver and began to override them. In the chamber the gas began to dissipate. Korra was using Airbending to draw the gas out and push it out of the hole in the wall she'd made. But this wouldn't be enough; I had to shut down the flow too.

"And just what are you doing?", an offended, refined voice said in a decent English accent.

I narrowed my eyes. I thought I recognized that voice.

I did recognize that voice.

I turned toward a screen and saw it flash into existence with a black background. Green color were used to form the image of a head. I narrowed my eyes in recognition.

Oh. Oh.

This world.

I almost facepalmed just for our luck. And that made it quite clear just who was in the gas chamber, too.

"I'll get around to you later," I declared, sonic screwdriver raised. With a press of a button I shorted out the screen. I returned to my work, overriding the remote control and taking local control back to shut the gas valves. With this vital task done, I checked on Korra. With the valves closed she was getting the last of the nasty gas sucked out of the chamber. This allowed me a clear look at the occupants of the chamber. Which only confirmed what I suspected.

They were indeed kids. Although not very young ones, rather adolescents and young teens. Although colors differed, they did have a uniform theme, with shorts and sleeveless vests (or pants and a jacket in one case) over shirts with a globe insignia.

They were missing the rings, though. Not entirely surprising.

I suppose my face showed recognition. Asami asked, "Do you know them?"

"The Planeteers," I sighed. "Because Earth spirits on this world tend toward irresponsibility in picking their champions."

Since we'd all been on the receiving end of a gas chamber thanks to the Red Lotus, Korra didn't need to be told the next step. She expanded the breach in the gas chamber and lifted the coughing, choking occupants into the hall with us with funnel clouds. She used Airbending to circulate fresh air around them. I ran scans to see if the gas had done any terrible damage. "Right on time, as usual," I said. "We got you out before the gas did its worst. Some fresh air and you'll be bright as rain."

"Who...are you?", the blonde - Linka, wasn't it? - managed between coughs.

"A wandering Time Lord with a propensity to get drawn into events like this," I answered. "Now, let's get you to the roof and some real fresh air and you can fill me in on what's going on here."

Whatever their answer would have been was drowned out by the crash of someone blasting through the wall opposite the one Korra made. A perfect waste if you ask me. But that does define the nitwits that these kids usually faced, doesn't it?

I did feel my eyebrows raise at seeing just who flew in. And that should clue you in on the problem since most of the ne'er-do-well rogues gallery of the Planeteers lack that "personal flight" capability.

"Well, it looks like someone's let the geeks out."

"Oi, that horrible voice," I growled. "That horrible 'evil surfer dude' voice. Seriously?!"

Captain bloody Pollution.

I hate these kinds of cosmoses, I swear.

His dirty red hair had that "Wolverine" look to it which only Logan could hope to pull off convincingly. While the nature spirit incarnate being he was based on was shiny steel blue and green hair in color, he was entirely sickly yellow with red. The globe symbol on his chest was fractured in two and he looked like he'd been scrounging around in a dumpster, which is fitting given what he was.

"Just what is he?", Korra asked.

"Captain Pollution," Gi - I definitely remembered that name - answered for me.

"Think of him as an evil spirit who wants to trash the world," I clarified for Korra.

"Isn't any 'want' about it, that's what I'm doing!" With that he raised a hand and sent a beam of light at us. I absorbed it with the sonic disruptor. Pure radiation, the nasty kind. Of course.

"How do we fight him?", Asami asked.

I glanced at Korra. "He's weak against, well... Water, Earth, Fire, and Air."

I actually chuckled at the devilish look that crossed Korra's face. "Then he's mine," she declared. She raised her right hand and a tight beam of flame lashed out and slammed Pollution back out the hole he'd come through.

"You got that idea from Harry, didn't you?", I asked quietly.

"Uh huh," she answered, her smile just as devilish as she charged to the hole. She made an Airbending motion as she came out of it.

I heard a distant "thump". Somehow I thought that the evil surfer dude was going to be in for a rough time.

Looking back and seeing the Planeteers were puzzled, I said, "Oh, sorry, that's Avatar Korra. She's from another world where the nations can bend the raw elements with their life force. As the Avatar she gets to bend all four. Without power rings. Now, where were we? Oh, yes. I'm a Time Lord, I travel the six dimensions with Companions to see the sights and occasionally deal with troublesome pests like your psychotic nature-hating foes. I have familiarity with a number of worlds, or cosmoses rather, including your own. Now." I wagged the sonic screwdriver in my hand. "I see you're lacking your rings. I suppose your enemies are responsible for that, hrm?"

"They took them when they captured us," was the answer I got from Kwame.

"Well, let's go about solving that, eh?" I held out the sonic screwdriver. "I think I'm going to get a laugh out of this."

"Wait, hold it." The American kid - Wheeler - stepped up beside me. "Just what are you, again?"

"Time Lord. Human-looking, but two hearts," I answered. "And a brain more advanced than anything on Earth. I try not to dwell on that though, in truth I rather like Humans and believe in giving you lot a helping hand whenever I can." I reached out and patted Asami on the shoulder. "And this is my other traveling Companion, Asami Sato. She's a friend of Korra's. Now that we have our introductions out of the way, you can introduce yourselves at your leisure while we go and deal with Pollution's friends."

Granted, I knew them all already, but I figured it was good for Asami. And for kids who had seen so much and done so much, I think I still overwhelmed them a bit. It happens.

There were mercenaries of some sort waiting for us outside the building's main door. They raised weapons and would have fired if I hadn't gotten to it first with the sonic disruptor. They all flew back from the impact. Asami went ahead of me, stunning them one after the other with her electric gauntlet. "She's good," Wheeler said, with a look in his eye that seemed, well, he was a young teen boy. "So, what kind of job does she normally do?"

"Oh." I allowed myself a thin smile at the imminent irony. "She's a wealthy industrialist and futurist." I looked back to see their faces. "They're not all lunatics who hate the environment, after all."

The last merc went down and Asami crossed her arms. "You know, I think I fight more now than I ever did working with Korra and the others," she pointed out with amusement evident in her voice.

"Much to my regret," I answered.

"Their control room is this way!", Linka shouted, jumping to the lead. She sprinted ahead and now I was the one following.

We rounded the building, then another, and finally came to a pair of metal doors with an electronic lock. I brought out the sonic and ran it over the keypad. After a couple of seconds the pad lit up with green and gave us admittance.

Inside was a large robotic drill. Given my scan it was powered by its own nuclear reactor. A haphazardly-assembled one that would leak unsafe amounts of radiation over time. Because that's how these idiots operated, of course.

The idiots in question turned to the door as we busted in. There was the blonde in the violet suit with half her face obscured by her hair, the green-suited corporate executive, the pudgy guy in the tan suit, the rat man in rags, the really fat guy in the brown suit, and the most dangerous one, the yellow rock-skinned mutant who shared a name with a rather irritating macho fellow I once ran into back when I was traveling with Jan and Cami. Yes, I know their bloody names, but I'm not saying them. I'd never be able to look myself in the mirror if I verbally pronounced names like "Verminous Skum" or "Lootin Plunder".

Seriously, this world is just messed up.

"He looks like a hog-monkey," I heard Asami mutter, looking at the fat one. The ironically named "Hoggish Greedly".... oh for the love of, where did they get these names?! No, "it's a TV show to spread environmental propaganda to children" doesn't work anymore, they bloody exist after all!

"So you're chopping down rainforest to drill with an unsafe machine that will leak radiation all over the place?", I said aloud. "Seriously, what is it with you people? Did an environmental activist run over your pets or something?"

"I don't know who you are, but I know radiation will still burn you!" The yellow fellow, Duke Nukem - okay, I'll use his name - in other words, threw a bolt of radiation at us. I absorbed it with the sonic disruptor.

"I'm activating the drill now!", Dr. Blight shouted, reaching for a remote control.

Asami got to her before she could trigger the device, grabbing her arm with her ungloved hand and catching her with her electric glove. Blight let out a cry and collapsed to the ground. Asami ducked and jumped away to avoid another radiation blast.

With the fight joined at this point I went to where I could do the most damage. I rushed to the computer. The same computer face I'd seen before popped up. "And just what are you doing?"

"Oh, giving you a little personality alteration," I answered as I turned on my sonic.

"Do you really think you can defeat my creator's vast gen.... Wait, what are you.... ah nooo!" The screen flickered and the face fizzed in and out as I did just that. I wormed through Blight's coding and made some quick on the fly alterations. The green turned to purple - obviously - and that Tim Curry-like voice said, "Ah, hello sir, how might I aid you?"

"Yes, Benny... may I call you Benny?"

"Of course."

"Yes, well, you can..." I had to duck and avoid the rat man, who had lunged at me. Asami got him with a kick to the face before he could strike at me again. "First off, where are the children's rings?"

"In the polarity inverter, of course," Benny - formerly Mal, and no I'm not going to explain the joke behind his renaming, look up some Latin if you want a clue - informed me. "They had to be used to make the rings that created Captain Pollution."

"Of course they did." I considered it a good thing that they'd let the Captain out to play, since it meant all the power in their rings was being taken up by his presence in the real world. As it was they still had physical advantages over young teens and pre-teens like the Planeteers. Too bad for them Asami was in the mix.

I heard a crash and saw the fat guy rolling over, the victim of a cart of tools flung by two of the Planeteers. Some rather decent bodyguards were chasing them about. One had already grabbed Ma-Ti by the arm and was pulling him away from the others. Or at least he was until Asami got him from behind with her electric gauntlet.

Still, forcing Asami to do most of the fighting... not wise strategy, that. I had to change the equation.

At my request, Benny opened the aforementioned polarity inverter. Five rings lay within. I grabbed them in one swipe of my hand. "Alright, I've got some power rings here that could use some wielders!"

The Planeteers responded and turned as I chucked the rings at them, taking quick glances to make sure everyone got the ones they needed. The moment she had her's, Linka pivoted on one foot, let out a cry of "Wind!", and a hurricane-strength gust of air threw a squad of responding mercenaries into the wall and door behind them.

"Earth!" Kwame's attack was focused on the flank. Much like Korra would have done with a sweep of her leg or a motion of her arm, the green light from the ring heralded a sudden growth from the earth; rock that threw off more of the enemy forces.

"Alright Benny," I said, returning my attention to the computer. "Be a friend and download all of your data into my device."

"Of course, sir!", he answered helpfully, engaging in doing just that.

"And while you're at it... just how did they get the technology to do all of this? I know these worlds can have wonky technological paradigms, but this is a bit much."

"Ah, we have had sponsorship from a most mysterious source."

"I imagined you did," I said. From what I knew of this world, I had a good idea as to whom. "Well, do me a favor and purge all of Blight's research data on this project. Every bit of it. And if you have any access to their bank accounts, give some generous anonymous donations to some environmentalist groups."

"Right away, sir!"

I raised my head and saw one of the villains, the toxic waste one, heading toward the drill robot. I imagined he intended a manual activation. "Hey!", I shouted. "Whatever your name is, toxic disposal person!"

Naturally, he didn't quite answer to that, but I didn't think he would anyway. And it really didn't matter because with a burst of the sonic disruptor he went flying. I ran up to the drill and opened up the power core. There was low level radiation leaking through. I frowned and saw the reason with the shoddy work around the containment vessel. "Bloody fools," I muttered. All I could do for the moment was keep the system shut down, but the radioactive material was still an issue. I'd have to put Korra's Metalbending to work with it.

There was an animalistic growl from the rat man, now sprawled out beside the radiation-spewing Duke Nukem. "You haven't won yet, Planeteers! When Captain Pollution gets back..."

I have to say, I'm really sure this world ran on Narrativium too. It would have had to given what happened. Part of the ceiling exploded inward and Captain Pollution came flying inside, snapping off the tip of the drill on the robot before crumbling to the ground. "Awww man, I need toxics...", he moaned.

Korra came rushing in with flame jets on her feet courtesy of Firebending. Streams of water surrounded her. Her arms moved and earth erupted from the ground to encase the nasty being. "Someone doesn't want a bath," she joked before bringing the water down on him and circulating it within his new stone prison. Pollution's cries grew weaker as the strength sapped from him. He finally dissipated. "So... anyone else?", Korra asked, sounding almost too eager.

I couldn't help but smile, though. Her posture, the twinkle in her eye... that was Korra as she had been before she was hurt. She looked more confident than she had since the Red Lotus.

"Their rings are going to work again," Linka warned, readying her own.

"The yellow one first!", Asami shouted to Korra, and Korra reacted. With just two arm movements she had Duke Nukem buried in the earth up to his neck, catching him before he could use his power ring. The sheer speed in which she had incapacitated their best bruiser took the fight out of the Planeteers' rogues, who didn't put up much struggle while Korra helped the Planeteers confine each with their elemental powers.

With water on hand thanks to Korra, Gi was already going after the last enemy standing - the corporate executive one - who shouted in angry defiance as the water washed over him, soaking him to the bone and knocking him over. Korra's Earthbending generated grips to bind his hands and arms to the floor.

I looked around. I was the first to see it was over. The opposing forces were either incapacitated or surrendering, with a few fleeing successfully in the chaos.

"Woh, we got them!", Wheeler shouted.

"Actually, we didn't," Kwame corrected. He looked to me. "None of this would have been possible without you. Thank you, sir."

"Thank you all." Gi nodded to Asami, who smiled and nodded back.

"So, you use those power rings to bend?" Korra walked up to us. "That's pretty cool."

Linka disagreed immediately. "No, what is... 'cool'... is that you don't need any."

"Before we let this become a congratulations ceremony, we have one piece of business," I said. I looked to Benny aka the former Mal. "Benny, did you find that communications protocol?"

"I did, sir! What would you like me to do?"

"Open it." I looked to the main desk. I had recognized a holo-emitter when I saw one, and it was the same that now activated. A dark-haired man's visage appeared, a glower on his face to show his irritation. "Ah, hello. You would be... Zarm, isn't it? Hello. I'm a Time Lord of Gallifrey. You may call me Doc, if you must."

"What is it to you?", Zarm asked.

"Nothing much. I'm just here to give a friendly warning, since that's my usual thing," I replied. "I've got one term for you, Zarm, and one only. Ignore it to your own peril. That term is... leave the Earth alone."

Anger flashed through the malevolent being's expression. "And why should I?"

"Because..." I glanced back at the Planeteers and then to the visage. "...this world is protected. It's protected by them and it's also protected by me. I rather like Earth and Humans, you see, and I don't take kindly to off-world spirits of anger and malevolence looking to foul it up to appease their raging egos. So consider this your fair warning. Stay away from this planet. Or you may find that Captain Planet is the least of your worries." I held up my sonic and terminated the call. "There. We're all done. And we didn't even need you to summon your friend."

"Actually, I think we'll need his help for cleaning this place up," Gi pointed out.

"Ah, well, be my guest."

So I watched them do their thing, contemplating that it did make the experience complete.




After some calls to local authorities were made it was time to leave. "You could come back to Hope Island and rest, if you want," Kwame offered.

"Ah, next time certainly. But we have an impatient polar bear dog who needs walkies in a nice, open valley."

The Planeteers looked at each other. "Polar bear... dog?", Wheeler asked.

I snapped my fingers and the TARDIS door opened. Naga squeezed out, bounded up to Korra, and pressed her muzzle up against her. Korra laughed. "Woh girl, we didn't forget you. We just had some business to do."

"What an amazing creature." Ma-Ti stepped up first and extended a hand. Naga chuffed happily and let him run his fingers through her white fur.

"Korra's homeworld has some interesting chimerical species," I said. "Some are not as enjoyable as others, though. I shan't burden you with spider-rats."

That prompted a few disgusted noises. "Ewwwh, no, please do not," Linka pleaded.

"It was good to have you all." We all looked up and watched Captain Planet land among the others.

"Pleasure is ours," I answered. "Do take care of yourselves, eh?"

"We all do our parts. The power is yours!"

I refrained from rolling my eyes at the catchphrase. It would have been the height of rudeness. And it would have ignored that there was truth in the statement anyway.

Naturally, at that catchphrase, the good Captain returned to his usual otherworldly abode and dispersed his powers back into the rings. With that done it looked like our meeting was about over.

"Can I ask something, Doc?"

I nodded at Wheeler. "Sure."

"You say you travel through time and different worlds and stuff, right?"

I nodded.

"Well... does it get any better?"

I nodded slightly. "I won't lie and say it always does. There are so many possibilities, and Humans are unfortunately quite capable of bringing about the worst." I extended a hand and put it on his shoulder while looking to the others. Wheeler was arguably the most cynical of the five, but I imagined all harbored some fears that it might be for nothing in the end. "Your species can be short-sighted, vain, and foolish about a lot of things. I understand it can be frustrating to deal with that. But I'll tell you now, I'm quite convinced that in your case, things will get better. Your world will find the balance between science and nature that gives you the resources you need to thrive and grow without damaging your world."

"Yeah," Asami chimed in. "I've seen it too. A lot of worlds get past our eras and into better ones. I'm committed to seeing that come about on my world and I'm sure you can do the same here."

The thought crossed my mind that the kids may have never heard an industrialist say those things. But I didn't interrupt. "Exactly. Humans can be all those terrible things, but you're so good at overcoming them. You adapt, you learn, and you thrive. So yes,your world will get better. And I think you'll play a pretty important role in it."

In their eyes I saw that they took heart from my words. Wheeler nodded and offered me his hand, which I took for a handshake. "Thanks... Doc, isn't it?"

"It's short for 'Doctor'," Korra said. "It's his old name."

"An old name," I corrected, "but not mine. I'll make due with another in good time."

"Well, I like it," Gi said. "You should go back to it."

I said nothing, keeping the faint smile on my face. There would be time to consider my name issues later.

After a final exchange of goodbyes, and the provision of a temporal beacon should I ever have to follow up on my threat to Zarm, our entertaining little meeting ended. Compared to the usual instances of such things, it was fairly memorable. Especially so for Korra. The fight with Captain Pollution was not a very fair one, I think, given the weaknesses of the latter, but it had given Korra a jolt of confidence, the jolt she'd been seeking for quite a while. The meeting had thus served its purpose, providing a landmark on her road to recovery.

Which, of course, also meant her departure from the TARDIS was soon at hand.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-15 09:52am

Special 2 - The Power of the Name

It was quiet in the TARDIS. Korra and Asami were napping away in one of the side rooms and I was alone in the control chamber. I found myself idly going through things, looking at what I'd collected in my travels.

So far our journeys had gone well for my friends. Asami had not been disappointed with the sights. And Korra... I could see the improvement now. She wasn't done healing, of course, but she was improving. All of the kind words and assistance she had received from various sources had worked to help her overcome the trauma Zaheer's group had inflicted upon her. The thought of seeing her regain that boundless confidence made me feel contented.

In the silence of the TARDIS control room my thoughts became louder. After all this time... I felt no closer to finding out who I was. What I had been was still closed off to me, either by the mind block or by my own choice to avoid the identity I had assumed. All I had left were the friends I'd made and the actions I'd taken. But I couldn't go on like this forever. I kept flashing back to how I'd looked to Molly Carpenter when she had viewed me with her Sight. A worn out, emaciated skeleton of a man who looked to be fading away.

Was that what I was doing? Fading away?

The old hurt came back. I sat on the steps leading to the door and focused, hard, on my mind. I demanded that infernal box in my head open. I shouted and screamed and plead with it. I directed my full mental capacity toward trying to scramble at memories that I couldn't even be sure were there. Even if I could just get to my name.

My head started hurting. I ignored it. "I want... my name," I rasped aloud.

The pain escalated brutally. I felt like my brain was being split open. And I still hung on.

Until everything went black anyway.




I woke up to feel my head still pulsing a little from pain. My hair also felt very wet.

Which, as it turned out, was because Korra was maintaining water over my cranium.

"Are you okay?", she asked, seeing I was opening my eyes. "I thought you'd fallen and struck your head."

"Not quite," I gasped. "I was just struggling with my mental block."

Korra helped me sit up. "I thought I felt something when I was trying to heal your head. It was like a.... a lump or a knot or something."

"I've heard it called a box in my mind, sealing away memories. Even the memory of having those memories over time," I answered.

Asami came through the door behind us, carrying a wet towel and some medicine. "Is he okay?", she asked.

"Bright as rain," I muttered. "Really, there's no need to fuss, I..."

The TARDIS engine suddenly VWORPed to life. We all turned toward it for a surprised moment. I jumped to my feet and went to the console. "Did any of you touch it?"

"No," Asami said. "What's going on?"

"She's activated herself. She's taking us somewhere," I said. I looked over the coordinates even as the TARDIS shuddered slightly. It was a familiar one. It was one I always got when entering certain quantum variability fields.

Which confirmed our arrival world even before I saw the coordinates.

I rushed to the door and opened it, looking to see where the TARDIS had deposited us. Would it be some crisis? Some war or natural disaster or what-have-you that demanded my aid to save lives?

As it turned out, not quite.

We emerged into a forested area that surrounded a quaint little cottage. I took in the view of it. it looked rather old and archaic, with thatch present on the roofing and a garden of gently swaying herbs, a goat pen, and even a constructed series of hives for bees...

Hives of bees.

I felt my mouth dry as I realized just where we were. I swallowed and waited for the other shoe to fall.

"Well, don't just stands there, I don't have all day," a wizened female voice snapped.

Around the side of the cottage a figure stepped up. She was clad in midnight black with a crescent moon clasp over the cloak around her shoulders. Her eyes fixed on us with impatience and, surprisingly, not the least bit of curiosity.

Well, okay, not very surprising, actually.

And I haven't yet mentioned that, yes, she had a hat on. A black one. A pointy black hat.

Granny Weatherwax.

The truth is, Esmerelda Weatherwax - "Esme" to, well, just one friend that I knew of - was not a grandmother. She had never married. Indeed, the only male suitor who'd ever pursued her was my good friend Mustrum Ridcully, and only a man of his bullheaded tenacity and courage could have maintained such a pursuit given the formidable nature of the woman in question. "Granny" was an honorific, you see, an informal title, and one rarely used to her face.

"Mistress Weatherwax," I said politely. "I am sorry for intruding, my TARDIS has a mind of its own..."

She stepped up to me. I was still a bit taller than her and I lowered my head to look down, such as it was, to keep eye contact. Of course, trolls on this world were also taller than her, and their name for Granny Weatherwax was Aaoograha hoa, roughly translated as "She Who Must Be Avoided". When an elderly woman makes a race of sentient rock say things like that, caution is only the beginning of wisdom.

"Well, you're here, ain't you?", she continued. "Might as well come in and tell me whats troublin' you."

I opened my mouth to spout a platitude about imposing. A combination of realization and desperate self-defense combined to choke the words in my throat and keep them from merging. "I would be honored," I managed.

Granny Weatherwax made a sort of "hmpf" sound and started toward the door of her cottage. I went to follow, looking back at my Companions. They had rather serious expressions. Clearly my behavior toward Granny Weatherwax had not gone unnoticed and it had a clear effect upon their own thoughts.

"Tell your young friends they can join us," Granny Weatherwax added. "I won't have 'em standing about and causing fuss with my bees."




The smell of freshly brewed tea was the primary sense when we were settled into chairs as guests. A white cat bounded up from a place along the floor to sit in her lap, looking at us with the kind of imperious look one expected from a proud feline. Granny Weatherwax adjusted where its weight was, grumbling "You" under her breath as she did so, before she sipped at her tea and looked at Korra. She had heard of me before and now she knew who my Companions were. "Well now, you're an interestin' one. Strong on the outside, but I can see you're not feelin' too well on the inside."

Korra shook her head. "I've been getting better though."

"Perhaps." Granny took another ship. "But I think the question is do you act'ally want to be better?"

Korra blinked. "What do you mean by that?", Asami asked, her curiosity overriding any reluctance to speak up.

"I've seen it before," Granny Weatherwax continued. "You gets used to being strong, then somethin' comes along and makes you feel weak. And it makes you a bit scared. Makes you think you might be safer if you stop being what you are."

"That's not what this is," Korra insisted, some heat in her voice.

"Isn't it? So you plan to go home soon, girl? Go home and get to work?"

"Well, maybe... soon?" I heard a bit of doubt in Korra's voice. "We're time traveling so it doesn't really matter that I do it now."

"Doesn't it?" Granny Weatherwax let the question sink in for a moment. "It can get mighty easy just travelin' around. You can always go back tomorrow, after all."

"Well, yeah..."

"And then tomorrow it's the same thing," she continued. "You says the same thing. Over and over. Easy to say, easier every time, and then you never go back."

Korra opened her mouth to protest and stopped. She remained silent for the moment. "Maybe I don't need to," she finally said. "I mean, Kuvira and the Airbenders are doing fine. Nobody needs me right now. They might not need me any more. And if they don't need me, maybe I shouldn't bother trying to be the Avatar anymore."

"Well, that's probably true," Granny Weatherwax agreed.

"That's not true at all!", Asami protested. "We always need the Avatar."

"Oh really? It doesn't sound like it to me." Another sip of tea was imbibed. "Of course, that's how things work, girl. People don't always need witches. They don't wants us much either, sometimes. Until they do, that is."

"What? That doesn't make any..." Korra stopped. I suspected she was flashing back to her conversations with Karrin Murphy and Murphy's comparing their jobs as well.

"We're not like cobblers or tailors or the like, girl," Granny Weatherwax said. "People don't always needs us. Until their Mam gets sick, or the little one's a bit peakish, or a first time mother's havin' a difficult time with her babe. Then they needs us. And they come callin' and we come answerin'. It's how these things work. We does different things, but that part is the same. People likes to think they manage on their own. You can't be hoverin' over 'em every hour of the day anyway. So you let 'em. You come when they need."

Korra sipped at the tea as she spoke. "I'm just tired of it," she said. "I just want it to be over. I want to move on."

"Then move on, girl. You has to do it yourself. Ain't nobody else can do it for you." Granny Weatherwax put the tea down. "Just make up your mind about it. You're not travelin', you're runnin'. Runnin' away from decidin' what you're goin' to be. Can't do that forever. Either decide to walk away or decide to get back to it, even if it means gettin' hurt again. But decide, child."

Korra lowered her head in thought. I took a sip of tea, enjoying the flavor a bit and trying to gauge Korra's thoughts.

Granny Weatherwax's head twisted to face me. "And you. I knows about you, Doctor. You faced down the Cunning Man down in the big city, saved the world from that hole and those spirits."

"Well, yes."

"Ain't been back in a while, either," she continued.

"I've had a bad time of it," I admitted. "And I'm not the Doctor anymore. I never was. It was just a name I borrowed from another, greater man, when I sought to live up to his standard. Or try anyway..."

Granny Weatherwax nodded as she recovered her tea. "So you says. Then who are you?"

"I...." I shook my head. "I don't know. My memories have been taken." My head throbbed as I thought of my recent failed attempt to reclaim them. "My name. Everything before I started traveling was taken from me. I don't even remember what species I am."

"So you decided to be like this other fellow, did you?" A sip of tea paused our conversation. "Did you?"

"Did I..." I realized what she meant and nodded. "Well, I suppose, yes. I'm not sure what I was like before, but from my knowledge of him, I have taken up quite a few of his habits."

"And so that's what you've become, man. That's who you are."

"But..." i closed my eyes and laid my tea cup to the side table so I could put my hands together. "I... I went wrong, Ma'am. Terribly wrong. I... I let the name go to my head. I became something terrible."

"Oh, did you?" Granny Weatherwax looked at me intently. "Let things go to your head, you say? Started thinkin' you could make what changes you pleased, force things to go your way?"

"Yes," I said. "I... I almost did something truly horrible. I almost destroyed entire worlds before a friend nearly sacrificed everything to stop me."

She nodded. "Tell me, did this fellow who's name you borrowed do the same?"

I thought for a moment. "Yes, at times, I suppose," I finally admitted, thinking of the Time Lord Victorious.

"Part of how things are." Granny Weatherwax picked up her tea kettle and refilled her cup before setting it back on the table beside her. "And what are you like now? Changing your ways any?"

"Well..." I swallowed. "I'm avoiding going too far. I suppose things are like they were before. Before I lost Katherine." I sighed. "I... I just want to know who I am now. Who I'm supposed to be."

Granny Weatherwax quietly laid her tea back down after I finished speaking. She appraised me quietly. Calmly. Intently. I fought the urge to squirm, as if I was anticipating a scolding like I was an errant schoolchild.

She sat forward slightly. I could see the intensity in her eyes as thoughts roiled about within her. "Is that so?", she finally asked.

"Yes."

She shook her head. "You're being a fool, that's what you are."

I laughed harshly. "I can't dispute that. I've been a fool for quite a long while, Mistress Weatherwax."

"Maybe so, but that's no excuse to stop thinkin'!", she retorted.

I blinked.

"Yes, you went wrong, sir," she continued. "You started cacklin'. I knows what that's like. I knows those thoughts well, sir, because I fights 'em all the time. But I haven't stopped bein' me over it." She crossed her arms. "And I ain't ever thought of givin' up my name over it."

"I beg your pardon, what...."

"I ain't finished," Granny Weatherwax snapped. "You are what you are now, sir. Whatever you were before, this is what you've become, and taking that name is why! You know Names have power. They defines things, they defines us. And fool that you were, you took that Name! You let it into you and you made it your own without thinkin' about what that meant!"

Her voice was more excited this time. She wasn't shouting, really, but she was speaking with power and energy that belied her venerable figure.

Granny Weatherwax continued. "Without thinkin' of what that would lead to. Because Names like that, you don't just throws 'em out because you're 'fraid of 'em. You can't! They sinks into you, become a part of you, becomes what you are. You might as well try to cut pieces of yourself off to throw away, it's about the same."

I remained silent. I knew better than to interrupt.

Granny Weatherwax wet her throat with the tea before setting it back down. "You took the Name, sir, and made it yours," she said, her voice slightly lowered again. At least, until the next sentence. "And the Name took you and made you its."

The cottage went silent. I stared, barely daring to think, not daring to move. I let the words sink into my mind and felt the raw truth within them.

I had been someone else once. Even before I forgot entirely who that was, I had taken the Name of the Doctor, first as a melodramatic boast and then as a pledge to live up to that standard. I had used it everywhere. I had let it become a part of me until I knew nothing else. And, indeed, until I had nothing else. And I had never thought of taking another name, of becoming anything else but the Doctor.

It hurt to look back to those painful times. To losing Katherine, to giving into my darkest impulses when I punished her killers, to my long labors and inevitably failure to restore her, and to the fateful day when I snapped and decided I would be the arbiter of every timeline, that I would "fix" everything. I had walked away from that believing the Name of the Doctor had driven me too far. That the power of thinking I was the Doctor had corrupted me.

But that wasn't true either. It wasn't the name I'd chosen that drove me to those extremes. It was my own decisions. It was my hubris and my rage and my grief. If I hadn't taken the Name of the Doctor, if I'd come up with something else, what would have changed?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I still would have fallen. I still would have become the Time Lord Triumphant.

I felt tears in my eyes at the thought.

"I understand," I finally said. "But..." I swallowed and shook my head. "What if I don't want to be that anymore? What if I want an identity of my own? Not something I copied from another being?"

Granny Weatherwax finished sipping at her tea. "That is your choice," she said. "You can try. That's part of life. Makin' changes to yourself if you must. But you ain't goin' to work it out if you're not honest with yourself." She looked from me to Korra and back to me. "That's what you've both got to work out for yourselves. Decide what you are. Decide if you're the Avatar and the Doctor or if you wants to be somethin' else. You're the only ones who can make the choice."

I looked to Korra. She looked back at me. Neither of us had anything to say.

"Now, I has to be goin' down to the village to check on Widow Miller's leg," Granny Weatherwax declared, rising to her feet. "I've given you all the time I can."

"I understand," I said. I bowed my head with the utmost respect. "Thank you, Mistress Weatherwax."

"Thank you," Korra said as well, giving the formal palm-to-fist gesture and head bow of respect from her world. "It was great meeting you."

She received a nod in reply. And we were ushered out of the cottage. I made sure to find some bandage cloths and fruits from our pantry to hand over to Granny Weatherwax, who accepted them at the TARDIS door. I nodded to her and received a nod in return.

I then closed the door and went up to the controls. I looked to Korra. "Are you alright?"

"I've got a lot to think about," she said.

"Yes," I agreed. "We both do."

Nothing more needed to be said. I shifted us out.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-16 04:25am

Episode 24 - Choices

There was a change in the TARDIS after our meeting with Granny Weatherwax. The great witch of the Discworld had given myself and Korra words to think on. Words to lead us to the choices we had been putting off.

Before either of us could make a decision, however, there was one last adventure awaiting us.

I was sitting alone in the control chamber tinkering with the sonic screwdriver. Nothing groundbreaking, just a little tinkering. More like playing with it, to be honest. A shadow loomed over me. "Hello, Asami," I said.

I looked up and behind me. Asami was looking at me curiously. "How could you tell it was me? The shadow isn't very detailed."

"You're taller," I answered. "Changes the shadow's size compared to Korra's. And your footsteps sound a little different on the walkway from the different mass. I can tell."

"Oh. Of course." Asami sat down next to me. "It seems that since you and Korra talked to that old lady, you're both being really quiet."

I smiled thinly and nodded. "Yes. Quite a lot to think about it."

"So you really don't want to be the Doctor anymore?", Asami asked me.

I didn't answer at first. I pressed the sonic screwdriver's test function a few times to see it light up with purple. My favorite color. "I don't know," I finally admitted. "I feel like it was a role that I was pushed into. I mean, the TARDIS, the sonic screwdriver being given a color I liked. All of those suits that the original Doctor wore being in my wardrobe."

"Really?"

"They're long gone." I smirked. "Mouse took care of them. Made quite a mess in the process." I held the sonic level with my hands, resting my elbows on my legs just above the knee. "Granted, I can't say I was entirely forced into the name. I took it almost from the beginning as bravado. I changed my TARDIS' chameleon circuit to resemble the Doctor's TARDIS. But I don't know if this is something I want to keep being. How much did taking that name accelerate my loss of identity? Could I get it back by trying to take another?" At this point I was just thinking out loud. "Or I'd just get yet another new identity and start going mad. Well, more mad than usual." I looked over to her. "How about you? Anything on your mind?"

"I'm just worried about Korra. I thought it would cheer her up to hear me say we needed the Avatar, but it doesn't seem to be working."

I nodded. "Tricky bit with her is.... where does the Avatar end and Korra begin? I mean, is she just a container for a greater spirit or is she her own being as well? After a lifetime of having her status as Avatar drilled into her as a great and important thing, maybe she needs to be reminded that Korra is important too."

"She is," Asami insisted.

I looked at her. The fervent declaration had emotion to it. More than I'd expected. "Yes," I said. "Give her time, Asami." I put a hand on her shoulder.

We remained silent for a minute or so. I heard footsteps behind me. "So, where are we?" Korra's voice prompted us to turn our heads.

"We're parked off a temporally-charged wormhole," I answered. "The TARDIS needed a little tipping off of the tank."

"Where are we going next?", Korra asked.

"Oh, plenty of possible places to visit," I replied. "It depends on what you want to see." I stood up and went to standing by the controls, near where Korra was looking at them. "What are you in the mood for?"

Korra seemed to be in thought for a moment. She looked to Asami and lowered her eyes. "I think.... I don't know. We've been just about everywhere."

"Well, lots of places, certainly." I scratched at my chin. "Could always see if Emperor Vir is throwing another party. He's good with those."

"I don't think I'm in the partying mood," Korra answered.

I nodded. "Okay. A quiet valley? Maybe a little visit to the History Monks' monastery? It's nice and contemplative there, and the Monks owe me a favor or two over the millennia."

Korra shook her head. "I don't think I want to be around monks either."

"Ah. Ah, I see." I put my hands together in contemplation. "You're not so much interested in going somewhere as you are in just going, eh?"

"Yeah, maybe."

"Well. Hrm." I snapped my fingers. "Let's try something." I started twisting knobs on the TARDIS without looking. "Safeties on... I'm going to pick a random spot. No idea where we'll wind up, when we'll end up, all that. But we'll be somewhere, eh?" I reached for the lever and pulled.

As the TARDIS engine finished its VWORPing, a sudden shudder rumbled through her. It got my immediate attention. "Well now, what was that?", I asked rhetorically. I checked the readings. Most factors appeared normal, but there were some indications of something... off.

Asami opened the TARDIS door. The outside was dark. "It's a small city," she said. "But it's all dark."

I walked to the exit and agreed. It was a North American city. Older downtown area I would think. Not a single light was on, however. "Widescale power outage of some sort," I pondered aloud. I took a step out.

And I knew it was more than that.

My Time Lord senses could feel it. There was something wrong. Something... twisted. An oily feeling in the energy of the air. I had felt like this only a few times before; in the presence of Walpurgisnacht and later Homura's witch labyrinth. But it wasn't quite the same, so I knew it couldn't be that. Just the same precept of something distorting the fabric of space-time in some unknown way.

I held up the sonic and turned it on, using it for a light. The streets were quiet for the moment. People had presumably rushed indoors or to find shelter. Clouds overhead showed that a shower had been raining down, driving people indoors on the cool night. The road was slick.

And at the extent of my hearing, I heard a cry for help.

"This way," I said, and they followed me toward the source.

A large SUV had slammed into a car nearby, pinning it against a wall. It had partly crushed the driver's side in. I could see a limp head against the side of the crushed window. A second body, caked in blood, was halfway out of the shattered windshield. The SUV's driver had been careless and wasn't wearing a seatbelt when they impacted. A fatal mistake. Humans can be silly creatures. "Should I make us a light?", Korra asked.

"No, no fire, there might be petrol leaks or the like," I warned. "Asami?"

Asami pulled out her electric torch - or flashlight if you prefer. I heard it click.

But no light appeared.

I looked back to her in the gloom. I held up the sonic screwdriver and scanned. "Your batteries have no power in them," I said.

"That's not possible, I recharged them this morning," she insisted.

My brow furrowed as I looked back out at the dark city around us. I wondered....

"Please help," a weak voice croaked inside of the car.

Right. First things first. I looked to the pinned car. its engine was intact. "Can you turn the car on?", I asked the occupant. "The engine will work, if the engine's on the car can slide out!"

One of the forms inside shifted. "It's not turning on," the person said, the voice clearly feminine. "I tried."

"Try again, it should work."

I watched the shadow move over. After several seconds I could... well, nothing. I looked at my sonic's scan results. No electricity was reaching the starter. Even though I saw no signs of damage.

Puzzling.

"I've got this," Korra said. She assumed an Earthbending stance and pulled at the SUV. I saw strain in her face as she did so; the plastics in the vehicle meant it wasn't entirely metal and that the weight of the plastic was essentially dead weight to pull. But within seconds she had pulled the vehicle back enough to expose the driver's side doors. Asami and I opened them.

Inside were a pair of teenagers, one looking almost college age and the other maybe sixteen or seventeen. The driver was in his late thirties or early forties. All three had African complexions and appearance. "He's dead," I murmured at a single scan. "Brain injury. Come on..."

I brought the dead man out quietly and reached in again for the young woman beside him. The impact had jostled her badly but I didn't see wounds as severe. She used what strength she had to pull herself out. In the back seat Asami was getting a young lady with a broken arm out she had been on the driver's side and was directly injured by the impact.

As soon as we had both out Korra had water ready for their worst injuries. I knelt beside them. "Can you say what happened?"

The younger girl rubbed at her head. "We were just coming home from dinner," she said weakly. "And then... I mean, it was like nothing but pain for a second. And then the car lights died and the engine cut out and that car slammed into us."

"How long ago?", I asked.

"A few minutes, I think." She blinked. "I can't remember."

"And nobody helped you?", I continued.

"Everyone is inside. Probably watching the news. Something weird was going on up north."

"Oh?", I asked.

"Yeah," she continued. "There was some kind of storm up in Massachusetts. One of those islands had some weird bunch of lights over it or something."

I paused. Something tickled my memory. "Really? Which island?"

"I don't remember..."

The other girl stirred as Korra treated her injured head. "I.... I think it was... it was 'tucket' something."

I felt my expression tense as facts fell into place. I leaned over her. "Was it Nantucket?"

"Yeah," the young woman said weakly. "It was that one. Nantucket."

I swallowed and reached for the TARDIS control. "Well, that explains things," I sighed.

"How does that have anything to do with the entire city losing power?", Asami asked.

"It's not just the city," I answered, unable to keep my voice from showing my growing horror. "It's the entire world." Now I knew why the energy of this place felt wrong, why it felt so oily. "Something has literally altered several physical laws on this world to make technology stop working."

"Wow, that's... that's incredible," Korra said with genuine amazement. "That's really powerful. How could something do that?"

"I don't know. But we have to stop it." I was almost half afraid of my control's functionality until I heard the TARDIS start VWORPing into place beside us. "Otherwise, billions of people across this planet are going to die."





As we loaded the injured young ladies into the TARDIS, Korra finally took the time to ask me about my statement. "What do you mean by billions of people dying without technology?"

"Well, Korra," I began, "you've seen other Earths like this, yes? And you've seen how many cities they have that are the size of Republic City, or even larger?"

"Well... yeah," she said.

"Now consider. How can that many people live so closely and so tightly without creating a sanitation nightmare? Without running out of food and drinkable water? What makes Republic City work?"

"Infrastructure," Asami answered, looking up from where she was settling one of the survivors down with a mild painkiller. Both girls, with the medication in their bodies, were starting to nod off. "We have railroads and roads to bring in food and raw materials to keep everyone fed. We have water reservoirs and pipelines to move water into republic City. And we have electricity to maintain water pressure with pumping systems, and to refrigerate food. Without electricity or the ability to power cars or trains..." Her face was paling as she considered the full effect of what I was saying.

"But Ba Sing Se has a lot of people too, and has had that many for centuries," Korra pointed out.

"They had infrastructure using Earthbender powered rail cars," I reminded her. "This world doesn't have Earthbenders."

"If you did something like this to Republic City, even with Earthbenders it would cause a lot of suffering," Asami added. "Here...."

"Exactly why we must act," I said. I went to the TARDIS controls. "Our next stop is Nantucket Island."




For those unfamiliar with it, Nantucket is off the southern coast of Massachusetts, southeast of Martha's Vineyard. It spent much of the 19th Century as a center for American whaling fleets, which in conjunction of others of that kind helped to drive several of those gentle species into near-extinction.

Fitting that it would be the focal point for an event that would drive Humanity in the same direction.

Hrm, pondering such things.... I think having a run-in with the like of the Planeteers left a mark. How intriguing.

But that island was not this one. This one was thick with trees. It was a primordial land, the night sky and its stars blacked out at parts from the trees. In the distance I could see a fire. Natives, the distant ancestors of those poor souls who in this world had died from the shot and pestilence of Europe.

And as I stepped out, I could feel what the TARDIS confirmed. It wasn't just the oily wrongness of the perverted space-time of the rest of the Earth. It was like being around a live wire. The air brimmed with energy. Temporal energy, psychokinetic, spiritual, the Force... name the energy and it would fit.

I turned. Korra had a flame crackling in her palm. Her blue eyes were wide with wonder and surprise. "I can't believe it. It's almost like being in the Spirit World here. I feel so much in the air."

"This is Ground Zero for a major temporal shift," I said. "This is not some uncontrolled natural occurrence. Not in origin. This is artifice."

Indeed.

The voice came to my mind, soft and gentle, that of a woman. I blinked at it and frowned. "Did you hear that?"

"I didn't hear anything," Asami said.

"I did." Korra looked in one direction. "This way."

With the TARDIS locked and secured we entered the forest, moving a ways until we found another clearing near the water. A campfire seemed to be burning and three figures sat around it. I heard Korra gasp as she stepped close enough to make out figures. I looked past her to them and realized why.

In the middle I recognized Senna. To Senna's right was Jinora, to her left was Katara. I blinked.

"That's not possible," I heard Korra say. "You're spirits using their faces to get into my head."

"We thought to assume forms you would be familiar with," the Senna figure said.

"Why?", Korra asked, a little heat in her voice.

I smirked. "Pagan, or rather neopagan symbolism. The Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone or Wise Woman," I said, since thinking of Katara as a "crone" seemed insulting. "The Triple Goddess. Is that what you see yourself as?"

"It would not be inaccurate," the fake Katara said. "And what are you?"

"Time Lord," I answered.

"Yes, but you are not her." They all looked to Korra. "You are something more. Something we had never imagined possible."

"I'm the Avatar," Korra answered quietly. With none of the exuberance to which she used to ascribe her title.

"From other Wheels," "Jinora" said, smiling. "We have felt such as possible. But not like you."

"Are you doing this?", Korra asked. "Are you the ones trying to destroy this world?"

"Destroy? No." The three figures looked at each other. "We understand what it is you speak of. The Change we have caused."

"It is s terrible thing," the Jinora lamented. "But not the most terrible."

I raised my eyebrows. "You are about to cause untold suffering upon millions of people. You are laying waste to an entire civilization. And you say there is something worse?"

"It saddens us," the Katara said. "But it gains time to make things right."

But you’re talking about millions of deaths!”, Asami protested. “Can’t you find another way?”

“We have tried.”

“Not bloody hard enough,” I snarled. “No. There has to be a better way.”

“You do not understand,” Senna sighed. She looked at Korra. “Do you? We appeared to you as this because you are the one with the spirit to understand what is going on?”

“It’s wrong to kill that many people,” Korra insisted. “We have to find another way!”

The three looked at each other yet again. “If we do not act, the Others will. They will bring entropy. They will destroy the world entirely. Life would die out. The sufferings they would cause would be legion and far greater in scope to the sad necessity before us.”

“Then tell us what to do to stop these others,” I said. “I am a Time Lord and she is the Avatar. Between my technology and her power we could end this threat.”

“But are you capable? You question your places. Weakness will be seized by the Others.” The Mother Senna looked at Korra. “Child, do not interfere with this.”

“Could you stop us?”, Asami challenged.

That was when pain struck, fierce and terrible. Asami cried out and collapsed. I groaned and began to fall over to my knees. I reached for my sonics. Or rather I tried. But my arms would not answer my commands. “Unnnrg....” I couldn’t speak to Korra, as I saw her struggle against... whatever it was they were doing.

Korra was ready to collapse as well. But I saw her eyes start to flash. The wind picked up. Fire came to life around her. She was entering the Avatar State.

The three beings - or one being acting in three parts, possibly - looked at this with consternation. The looks of effort on their faces intensified.

“Kor...nnggh...” My attempt to speak again failed. Pain began to overwhelm every sense as my eyes stopped seeing.

And everything began to grow dark.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-17 02:36pm

Whatever the entities in question were doing, it had smashed through my mental defenses and left me helpless. I couldn’t see if Asami was conscious. I couldn’t see anything. All I knew was Korra was still up.

And then the pain lifted. Like it had never been there. The pain still throbbed for a minute but couldn’t keep me from lifting my head. Asami groaned and began to stir.

I looked at the others. Korra was in the full Avatar State. The three figures were locked in place, looking at her with surprise and... was that a hint of pleasure? I wasn’t sure. “Go....” I heard Korra rasp. “I... can keep you... free... stop them.”

“Right. Come along, Asami.” I got to my feet and took Asami by the hand. “We’ve got work to do.”

“But Korra...!”

“She’ll be fine,” I insisted as we ran from the camp and back into the wood. Well, okay, I couldn’t be entirely sure she would be, but there wasn’t anything we could do there. From the TARDIS, on the other hand?

I knew precisely what to do.

We picked up speed going through the underbrush and put speed over caution.

And as a result, I almost took an arrow in the head.

It whistled by me and smacked into a tree nearby. I heard the light sound of another bow firing and pulled Asami low. Another arrow went right where her heart had been. “What’s going on?”, she asked.

“The natives of the island. Poor men are terrified by what’s happened and are trying to protect their homes. Come on!” I scrambled back to my feet and pulled out the sonic disruptor. The next arrow struck its defensive shield. There were hushed sounds of fear from nearby growth. “That will scare them for a while. Let’s keep going!”

We continued on our way and got back to the TARDIS. As we got to the door I heard a twig snap and whirled about. My sonic disruptor knocked the bone dart out of the air at the last minute. “Brave of them” I muttered, wishing the opposite. I couldn’t blame them for their reaction, I was just too busy to be nice about it. I fired a long-distance kinetic blast from the disruptor and heard a distant cry of surprise and a thump. “For your own good, stay away!”, I shouted before opening the TARDIS door.

When we entered, Asami got out of my way and let me get to the controls. “So how are we going to help Korra?”

“By distracting them,” I answered. “And hopefully by fixing this mess.”

“You mean by finding a way to restore the proper rules of physics?”

“Exactly!” I snapped my fingers for effect. “The TARDIS pocket dimension has a non-warped real space-time environment. The proper laws of physics still exist in here. Mostly,” I hastily corrected. “But the important part is that they exist in here. And I can use that as a template. I can re-impose the proper rules of physics over the new state this being formed.”

“But what’s to stop it from just doing it again?”, Asami asked.

I stopped for a moment and sighed. “Good question. But we’ll deal with that when we can. Every minute we delay, people will die.” I pointed to the controls. “Please get on those controls. Upper right switches. Make sure the status light remains blue.”

“Right.” Asami nodded firmly and did as I asked.

I returned to work myself, preparing the TARDIS for what would be a massive outlay of power. I felt my hearts pick up in pace as the calculations ran through my mind. I had never done something like this before. Not of this scale. This wasn’t sealing a Crack. This was effectively rewriting the underpinnings of creation on a planetary scale. If I was off by just a bit... I could destroy the TARDIS. Or worse.

A very quiet part of my mind pointed out the risks may be far more than one world. That I was risking quadrillions to save billions. The math of that was all wrong.

But... I couldn’t stand by and do nothing. This was wrong. It had to be stopped.

As I was about to throw the switch on the TARDIS I felt something shift in the internal energy field. It was faint and quiet. I turned toward the door. “Who are you?”

Again there were three figures. But now... now they were taking from my past. I swallowed at seeing them effect the appearance of Katherine, Charity Carpenter, and... yes, Granny Weatherwax. “Do you intend to undo the Change?”, the Katherine asked.

I didn’t answer. I turned my head away. “I don’t appreciate people getting into my head and plucking forth people from my past to use against me,” I growled. I couldn’t let them distract me. I had to keep my eye on the calculations.

“There is no other way,” the Charity figure said. “The dissonance must be settled. Time is needed. This will give time for a solution.”

“Ain’t a happy thing, but it’s what must be done.” The Crone appearing as Granny Weatherwax even spoke with her usual inflection.

I gave them the benefit of a look in the eye. “Is it? Are you saying that it will be okay to kill billions rather than find another solution? That the ends justify those means?’

Had they shown true reluctance, had they done even that, I might have relented. But there was none. “It must be done,” I was informed again.

I actually looked their way. “Must it? Hrm?” I shook my head. Hearing their words, thinking of the situation, it brought things back. It made me remember things I’d rather not.

“You still don’t understand.”

“Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong,” I countered. “Because I do understand. I understand perfectly! I’ve been there before,” I said, my voice getting louder with frustration and pain. “I was ready to make this same decision! To say that killing billions to save trillions was acceptable, that it was necessary. And I am eternally thankful that I had a friend that was willing to stop me.”

“There is too much at stake.”

With that the three beings held up their hands. I groaned as pain slammed into my senses again. I could hear the moan from Asami, who slumped against the controls. It wasn’t as bad this time, though. Whether it was the effort of projecting themselves or itself into the TARDIS or because it was being stalemated by Korra, they couldn’t hit us like before.

I pushed the pain from my thoughts, got to the TARDIS controls, and hit the final lever.

The VWORP began, picking up speed as the TARDIS went to its limits. The door opened and I could sense the energy coming out, the TARDIS’ power forcing itself into the world around it, trying to overwhelm the local space-time.

The beings in question slackened their attack. The TARDIS’ field was weakening them as well. “Why are you fightin’ us, fool?”, the fake Granny Weatherwax demanded. “You know sometimes this is the only way.”

“Because....” I swallowed. “Because that is what I do. I defend life.”

“You say that, but we see within you,” fake Charity said. “You don’t know who you are or who you want to be. You have thrown away the identity you took and grasp about to replace it.”

“Maybe so. Yes, maybe so. But that doesn’t change what I believe. I believe you are wrong, and I will fight to stop you,” I rasped through the pain. I returned my attention to the TARDIS controls.

The beings in question focused a little. The pain increased on me. More than that, as my vision blurred and blood trickled from my nose, I could see the readings from the TARDIS. They were resisting it. They were trying to collapse its expanding dimensional field to prevent it from reimposing physics on the world. “You are powerful and clever,” fake Katherine said. “But you cannot defeat us. We are the All of Mankind, of all life. And we have seen this is necessary.”

“No... it... isn’t....”

There was a warning buzz from the controls. The field had to be adjusted to deal with the resistance. But they were focusing on me and I was finding myself unable to move. I growled and tried to focus on the controls. But my hand would not move.

“Sleep,” one of the three - I couldn’t make them out - ordered me.

I slumped over and hit the floor. It was taking everything I had to stay conscious. Deep in my mind I calculated what was going wrong; if the field wasn’t adjusted, feedback would, well, not destroy the TARDIS, but severely damage it. It might even reverse what I planned; instead of the TARDIS reinforcing normal physical laws, the altered ones would be forced into the TARDIS, rendering its technology inoperable.

I couldn’t let that happen.

But I couldn’t move.

I strained with my eyes and heard a gasp of effort. Asami rose from the other side of the controls. Blood seeped from her nostrils and lip. Tears of pain flowed down her cheeks. But her face showed raw effort and will. She held herself up against the controls and reached over, taking the field control and turning it as I would have. The lights went to their proper color. She cried out a moment later as the attention was focused on her. The attack on me slackened.

And then it relented. The three entities began to fade, unable to keep their presence with the TARDIS field adjusting to us. I tried to get up as quickly as I could and looked over to Asami, who lay still. Disturbingly so. I went over and checked her. Her face was pale and she didn’t move, didn’t twitch.

Fear gripped me. I cold barely put my hand to her wrist to check for a pulse that looked like it might not be there.

I was answered by the gentle thrum of a functioning pulse under my thumb. That prompted a sigh of relief, I admit.

I went to the controls next. The TARDIS was again starting to overwrite what this unknown Mind Entity or Entities had one to the world. I looked over the numbers, I made the calculations.

I cursed. There wasn’t enough power. This thing was too strong.

The TARDIS door opened. Korra stumbled in, looking fatigued as I did. Dried blood was crusted to her nostrils. She righted herself until she saw Asami and how she was laid out. “Asami..!” She stumbled over to her and looked up at me. “What happened?!”

“They tried to attack the TARDIS,” I said weakly, rubbing at the blood on my own face. “Asami managed to do the field alteration we needed to avoid catastrophe. They didn’t like that. Don’t worry, she’s...”

“...alive.” The relief was palpable in her voice. “I wish I’d been strong enough to come back and protect you,” Korra said “I’ve never seen a spirit that powerful. Not even Vaatu.”

“I don’t think it’s one,” I answered. “Their power signatures have unique elements in each. I think it’s some sort of hive mind gestault.... ah ha!” I snapped my fingers. My brain was lurching back to full speed. “Quantum information preservation. That’s what this is. Something about this world, it... it preserves the basic information of every being, they sort of merge together in some odd way, and over time their numbers have grown with the larger population on Earth.” I rubbed at my head. “And with this past century being especially bad... I wonder if that’s what they meant by Others.”

“I felt a lot of tension when I was locked with them,” Korra said.

“And a lot of energy too, all from the shifting of the island with its counterpart in another fifth dimensional space time coordinate.” I scratched at my chin. “I wonder if I could disrupt that link. If the feedback might force this thing to stop. Maybe even shock it enough to not have it try again.”

“Do what you have to,” Korra said. “I’ll help in any way I can.”

“There’s some medigel in the lower compartment and a bottle of fresh spring water for you,” I said.

And so we went to work.




I was about ready to act when there was a knock on the door of the TARDIS.

Korra had gotten Asami up by that point and they were providing help as I went through the calculations and the work of readying the TARDIS to change tactics. The knock interrupted my thoughts and made me turn. I eyed them and we all crept toward the door.

We want to speak. A truce.

I narrowed my eyes. “If they act, Korra...”

“I’ll get them,” she answered.

I opened the door of the TARDIS. They had dropped the neopagan symbolism now. There was just the faux Katara. And another figure, one I had to take a moment to recognize. I hid my surprise at seeing my own self image portrayed. I appraised them both intentionally and said, “State your purpose.”

“I am here to support you,” the fake me said. “We are against this meaningless endeavor.”

“And I am here to plead with you,” the other said in Katara’s gentle voice. “He represents the Others. He, they, wish this world for themselves.”

“I wish this world to be unfettered,” the Other me said. He walked up to meet me eye to eye. “To let it flourish.”

“To bring about entropy, to control with chaos and make light of lives.”

Fake Me barely seemed to notice fake Katara. “You of all people should understand me. You should recognize what I want and why it is better.”

“That remains to be seen,” I replied. “I’m all for freedom of intelligent beings, but there’s a difference between freedom and bloody mayhem.”

“Are you listening to them? The voices that are responsible for the thing you seek to reverse?”

“I happen to see they’re very frightened, and may be for good reason.” I looked from one to the other. “I believe I understand what’s going on. You represent the... Mind, if you will, of all beings who have lived on this world before. But your numbers have grown beyond your ability to remain stable. You’re experiencing some sort of... of split personality, each cut wanting different things, and what’s left of the stable center of your mind trying to keep the peace and hoping that this... this technology destruction will alter Human society such that it will provide more stabilizing influences as its numbers pass into yours.”

“That is their plot, yes.”

“So if you are the middle, and you are for a world with no restrictions, where is the Order one, eh?”

“I speak for that part of the mind,” fake Katara answered. “They recognize that our state must be calmed and that this plan is the best method.”

“That is because they wish life regimented. Ordered. Sterile,” fake Me countered.

“I’m getting rather tired of the constant attacks,” I retorted. I crossed my arms. “I’ll do you one better. A compromise that will help you with this squabble.”

‘Yes?”

“Leave Earth alone,” I said succinctly. “Stop meddling with it. Let Humanity find its own way. They can do that, short-sighted as they are.”

“That is not possible,” fake Katara said. “We are a part of the Earth. Its fate is ours. If the wrong outcome occurs, we are lost too.”

“This conversation is going nowhere,” fake Me said, yawning for effect. “What will it be, friend? Help them ruin this world as it is? Or stop them and let us take a turn?”

I narrowed my eyes, making calculations. I had some thoughts on how to handle this. One thing that might work.

One horrible, terrifying thing.

“I’ll be right back,” I said, turning back into the TARDIS with the girls following me. I went to the controls and activated a stealth field to keep the visiting entities out.

“How can we handle this?”, Korra asked. “Whatever choice we make, there will be a fight.”

“Likely,” I said. “That’s why I have a plan.” I reached for the TARDIS controls. “I’m going to hook the TARDIS into the distortion that swapped the islands through space-time and destabilize it. They’re connected to it. Even the side opposed to the solution. With enough energy, violently delivered...” I clicked a switch. “...well, the feedback will be nasty. I may end up lobotomizing the thing.”

“Are you... sure?”< Korra asked me cautiously. I could see the worry on her face. “That doesn’t sound right.”

“No, it’s not a good thing, but right now it’s the only hope for this world.” I pulled back another lever and the TARDIS powered up.

The door didn’t open. But the two figures appeared inside anyway. “What are you doing?”, the fake me asked.

“Stopping you two from playing games with the fate of this world,” I stated. “I’m giving these people their world back.”

The Other laughed. “Oh, quite clever. You’re going to turn their precious Change against them. You will use the same energy they use to keep the islands shifted into opposite worlds in order to destroy our Mind.” The being let out a truly satanic-sounding laugh. But do you recognize what will be done?”

“Whatever do you mean?”

Fake Katara’s eyes lowered. “We would fight back. All of us, as a unified mind. We may yet fail, but the energy from that combat would destroy this island. On both sides of the transference.”

I stopped and eyed them. No. It was a bluff. I’d calculated for that...

I ran the calculations again. The link would work both ways. Energy would pour into the other world as well. Energy coming out right at Nantucket. The people of that island would find their future far shorter than either would later manage.

I swallowed. In order to save this world, to save billions here, I had to kill the thousands of people from Nantucket who now lived on the other side of the rift.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-18 10:51am

As my thoughts circulated I found myself wandering over to the controls. Everything was about ready. A few button presses and I would begin destabilizing the dimensional link connecting this Nantucket to the other and causing both to be maintained in other times and spaces. The common Mind entity who’s split personalities argued before me would be overwhelmed by the power.

And in the process, every living thing on either version of Nantucket would die in a blaze of energy.

Thousands of innocent people, altogether.

“Are they... telling the truth, Doc?”, Korra asked.

I looked up from the controls. “Yes,” I croaked. “They are.”

“So, if you do this...”

I cut Asami off. “I’ll be personally killing thousands of innocent people.” I swallowed. “And if I don’t, billions will die here on this world.”

“Help me overthrow them,” the phantom Me originated by the pro-Entropy “Others” insisted. “Then you will have your victory.”

“And you will ruin the world in your own way,” I countered. I looked at them. “Can’t you reconcile? Find another way!”

“We cannot,” the fake Katara said.

I balled my hands into fists and looked away. My hearts swelled with pain. Why? Why did it have to be this way?

“Please, isn’t there another way?”, Korra asked me.

I shook my head. “No. No, we don’t have the power to undo the Change, we would need part of the Mind’s help at least.” I glared at my doppelganger. “And they would just do as they pleased afterward.”

Perhaps I was being unfairly mistrustful. Some chaos, some flexibility in things, is always necessary to keep things from becoming sterile. But this... this thing... I could see the malevolence, I was certain of it. It cared even less for the human lives than the other ones did. They were firm to their course, unyielding, but at least they thought it was better for Humanity. He made no such pretenses. This was for the benefit of his part of the Mind. That was all.

My hand twisted a couple of dials, readying the TARDIS engines for the link. They were shaking as the final adjustments were made. All I had to do was pull one lever to begin the process.

One lever to save billions.

One lever to condemn thousands.

The arithmetic was clear. The Vulcans would say the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. Others might point out that the people on Nantucket would have a quick, clean death, wiped off the face of that other world in a blast of energy, while on this world the dead in the coming years would suffer gruesomely in their demises.

I couldn’t stand by and allow those billions to suffer and die like that.

Just one pull. It would be quick. Like, say, ripping off a bandage. And then it would be over.

And there was nothing the Mind could do to stop me, not with our field reinforced. All they could do was project themselves in here.

Just one pull.

Just one. To save billions. It had to be done.

It had to.

I let out a pained breath and set my hand on the lever. I had to do it.

I.... I had to... I...

I....

Tears obscured my vision. I found myself sobbing uncontrollably.

Because... I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t make this choice. I couldn’t intentionally kill thousands of people like that. Not like he would.

Not like Triumphant would have.

Because I wasn’t him. I had turned my back on him.

“I can’t do this,” I wept. “I can’t.”

My rational voice raged at my indecision. You have to! You don’t have a choice! Billions will die if you don’t!

“Why?”, I gasped between sobs. “Why can’t there be another way? Why can’t you... why can’t you listen to conscious?! Why does it have to be death!?” I was screaming as I looked at the two sections of the Mind.

“That has been our agony since the decision was made,” the fake Katara said quietly.

I slumped against the controls until I was sitting on the floor. I was being a coward and I knew it. And no matter how I walked out of this day, no matter what choice I made, that choice would cost me a part of my soul. Perhaps all of it.

Why? Why did it have to be me?!

Granny Weatherwax’s words played in my head again.

You took the name, sir, and made it yours! And the Name took you and made you its!

I cursed the younger me that had stood before Darth Malgus so long ago, boastfully replying to his “Who are you?” demand with “I’m the Doctor”. I cursed the younger me who had stood on Mogo and decided to keep using the name. I cursed my younger self on every time when I was told to take a different name and I refused.

Because... now this is what I was reduced to. I had no way out of this decision. Not without abandoning this world to its fate with the Change, and all of the suffering it would bring.

Kill thousands to save billions. Or refuse and leave those billions to suffer and die in the collapse of their civilization.

I would never, could never, forgive myself.

“Doctor?”

My eyes opened. Korra was looking at me. Her crystal blue eyes were shining with compassion. “Korra, I’m sorry,” I said to her. “I’m sorry I...”

“It’s okay.” Asami knelt down beside her and faced me as well, pretty green eyes and all. “You always find another way.”

“I’ve thought of everything,” I countered. “I don’t have the power to overturn the Change. I can’t convince the Mind to do it. If I access the raw power of the island’s transference with the TARDIS it will destabilize and destroy both islands. It’s the only way.”

“Maybe not,” Korra said. She looked at the two figures by the door. “I have a feeling.”

“What?”

“This being is a spirit, or something like it,” she said. “A composite spirit made up of a whole lot of spirits. So many it’s out of balance.”

I blinked away remnant tears. “That’s a good way of putting it, I suppose.”

“What if we could fix that?”, Korra asked. “I’m the Avatar. And I know the Spiritbending technique to restore an unbalanced spirit. If I used that on them, maybe it would fix the problem?”

I pursed my lips in calculation. “It would be difficult. All of those constituent aspects jostling around. You might get overwhelmed.”

“But I can try,” Korra said. “And if I can convince them to calm down, I can get them to undo the Change, right?”

“Never,” my doppelganger declared. “We will not be shackled!”

“It would heal us all,” the fake Katara pointed out. “The young woman’s proposal is wise.”

“No!,” he insisted, spittle forming on his lips. “No no no no! We will not be rejoined!” he looked to Korra and tried to lash out with his power. He looked more pained than Korra as a result of the exchange; inside the field he was too weak to wrestle with her spirit. “We will not allow this!”, he vowed before disappearing.

“What about you?”, Korra asked the remaining figure. “Would you let me try to rebalance you? And then you can undo the Change?”

“I... I believe we would welcome such. But it will not be easy. Our divisions are strong. And you may lack the power to do it.”

“I’ll try anyway,” Korra answered immediately.




Preparations were quick. We sat outside of the TARDIS to improve the connection to the Mind being. Korra sat before the representation that looked like Katara and assumed a meditative position. I sat beside her and extended my right hand to her face while my left held Asami’s. “I’m ready,” Asami assured us.

I nodded to Korra. She nodded back and placed her hands before her in a meditative posture. Her eyes closed and her breathing slowed. Through the telepathic connection I sensed the Avatar Spirit’s energies shift and flow as she quieted her mind for meditation to access the full range of her power.

She extended her hands suddenly and the representation of the Mind as Katara extended limbs ahead, taking Korra’s hands. A small, short grunt came from Korra, but she did not slacken.

We were a linked chain. The aspect connected Korra to the Mind. She connected me. And I connected Asami. We found ourselves in an open and dark field of some sort, surrounded by what looked like fireflies. But I knew they weren’t. “Individual mind-states,” I pondered as the flitted about us.

It was clear from the pattern that the grouping was not whole. They had splintered in several directions, showing the cause of the Mind’s decay and the rise of the factions using the Mind’s latent powers.

“So what do we do?”, Asami asked.

“We watch Korra while she focuses her power in here and tries to mend their shattered minds,” I answered. Even in spirit form like I was, I still made sure to carry the trusty sonic screwdriver and sonic disruptor. Asami had her glove as usual.

Korra was seating inside of this place, still meditating. The Avatar State’s glow shined in her eyes. With raised hands she created funnels of water that started enveloping some of the fireflies and shifting them together. “Unh,” Korra gasped. “They’re... fighting me.”

We got confirmation a moment later when a massive tusked monster, like an elephant out of the most oppressive fantasy regime you could imagine, stomped almost to where we were. I brought up the sonic and hit it with enough of a blast to stagger it. Asami jumped onto its stunned head and hit the false animal right between the eyes with a kick.

WE WILL NOT BE DENIED! WE WILL HAVE ENTROPY! More lights flared and rushed us. ALL WILL BE CHAOS!

More beasties came at us. Asami looked at the numbers of them while I made my disruptor act like it was far more violent than usually implemented. “How are you doing that?”, she asked.

“We’re not in the real world, Asami,” I reminded her. “The power of the mind is at work here. All of it is pure thought.”

Asami smiled and reached her arms out. I could see she was thinking of something. I heard some clanging as something metal landed in front of her. I had to turn away to push attackers away from Korra so I only heard clanging as she presumably finished what she was doing.

Bright silver bolts started smashing into the creatures and other figures of the resisting portions of the Mind. I turned and was most amused to see Asami in a power suit. Not just anyone - eliminate her clear visor that let her face be shown through it and the coloring, and it was essentially Tony Stark’s power armor.

Heh. First a Green Lantern, now she was Iron Asami. At least in the mind.

Korra’s hands raised and blue light started to emanate from them. The familiar pattern design of Raava formed over her torso as the blue light expanded. The rebuilding process was growing.

So was the resistance. I had to throw myself to the side as a massive form stomped, not bothering to give itself a shape beyond vague humanoid form and massive, meaty appendages that looked ready to pound Korra to paste. I threw a full blast at it with my mind. In this realm, the power of a Time Lord brain gave me some impressive advantages. Even if it looked like I was just using souped up versions of my sonic devices, that was my way of using my mind in familiar ways; my tools.

Asami took to the idea of flying power armor like a duck to water. She didn’t have a Time Lord brain or the power of a light spirit, but she did have her will and her intelligence. And a strong, strong drive to protect Korra.

And she needed it. I heard her cry out through the connection. “It’s fighting too hard,” she protested. “I’m losing my hold on it!”

I backed up toward her. Perhaps if I tried to use my Time Lord brain to support her power. I put a hand to her shoulder in the mindscape and tried to join the link.

It felt like I had slammed my head with a sledgehammer. I fell over in the mindscape and nearly so in the real world. For a brief moment I fell out of the trance state and nearly lost my hold on Korra that allowed Asami and I to participate. I had to concentrate to keep it in place and to delve back in.

Asami was fighting like she was possessed, throwing punches and blasts and everything to keep the approaching figures off of Korra. “How much longer?!”, she asked.

“I don’t know,” Korra answered. “It’s fighting me. I don’t know if I can keep enough strength to finish restoring the Mind’s balance.”

I frowned. To come this far and reach our limit with the task undone? That would again leave only the horrible as an alternative. And I couldn’t allow that.

No. No, it would not come to pass.

And then I realized what would do it. “Korra.” I got beside her. “Listen, you’re connected directly to this being. That means you’re connected to the dimensional transference rift that powers so much of what they’re doing. You can call upon that power yourself if you need to. Just be careful with it.”

“Right.” Korra’s mind-self took in a breath and started up again. Details of her form started to fade out; she looked like she was turning pure, bright blue. The innate energies of her spirit, in other words. All of which focused not in any particular direction as she reached for the connection to the Mind’s dimensional tear.



Suddenly the blue light expanded from her, golden light weaved within it. I felt my jaw open in astonishment. Korra had learned her lessons from Janias well; in this place, with her Avatar Spirit, she had connected to that same well of serene power to help stitch together the fragmented, chaotic mess of the Life Mind. The figures attacking us recoiled as if the energy burned them. But that’s not what it was doing. Instead it seemed to be doing the exact opposite. The power of Raava’s light and the Light Side of the Force merged and complemented each other, providing the gentle serenity of the latter with the inherent power of the first to calm them of their rancor, all of it powered further by the energy she was drawing from the dimensional rift that had swapped the two Nantucket islands.

I could feel it through the connection. Deep down, so many of those minds were those who were lost to the darkness of Humanity, who were oh so numerous in the 20th Century. They had been beings who had died in terror and pain and who had carried that with them into the gestault mind. Their helpless rage had fueled the disruption that had driven the world Mind mad and threatened to direct its power at the world itself, driving the sane part of the Mind to its desperate and horrifying plan to force the world into the Change. A short term loss since so many more would be lost in similar circumstances, but with the hope that the shock would drive Mankind to a more spiritual lifestyle that would lessen the shock of death and the disruption upon the mind becoming part of the whole.

It would not have worked, I think. Humans aren’t like that. But the Mind didn’t think like Humans.

But now Korra was soothing those restless minds. Indeed, her own terrible experiences, the things that nearly broke her, the suffering she had endured, was a common link that made them even more accepting of her spirit’s guidance.

I also thought I felt something else through the connection. Korra, the Avatar of another world, now bonded with what passed for the personification of Life for this world. And maybe even the other, given the energy she was putting out and her link to the connection between worlds.

Everything turned blue and gold. The power was becoming too much. Like I was trying to hold a live wire. To protect myself and Asami I had to end the connection.




We were back on that Bronze Age Nantucket transplanted to 1998 A.D. The campfire crackled more lowly than before.

The false Katara was gone.

I felt bone weary and slumped over. The strain of connecting Asami and keeping the connection with Korra had gotten to me. Maybe some of that power she had taken in had hurt me as well.

“Korra?”

Asami was getting to her feet. I looked over to where Korra was sitting.

Well, not sitting anymore. She was sprawled out, as if she had fallen backward from her meditative position after trying to get up. Her face had lost its color and her lips looked a little blue.

My hearts skipped the beat. All of that power she had taken in and used. Had it... had it burnt out her body? The horrible thought nearly laid me low. Had we come so far just for our success here to have made us pay a terrible cost.

Korra!” Asami was at her side while I tried to sit up. She rested a hand on Korra’s face. Tears were already forming in her face as she clearly considered the worst.

I reached for her wrist. My fingers desperately searched for the distinct sensation of a pulse.

At first, I felt nothing.

Just as I was scrambling for my sonic, though, the weak telltale pressure pushed against the tip of my finger. “She’s alive,” I said while running the sonic over her. “She took in so much energy that she’s very weak right now. Let’s get her back into the TARDIS.”

I was ready to pick Korra up, but Asami beat me to it. Whether she was physically stronger than I usually expected or just consumed with such worry that she didn’t pay attention to her limits, Asami proved quite capable of carrying Korra bodily into the TARDIS and to my hammock. I provided a medication. Not medigel, since she might be too weak for it, but simply something to help her body recover from the taxing ordeal of channeling the energy she’d taken in.

I returned from the library with a seat for Asami. “Did it work?”, Asami asked. “Did we actually make this work?”

“We’re about to find out.” I held out a torch with a new set of batteries and stepped outside of the TARDIS. I took in a breath and flipped the switch.

A beam of light came from the end.

“We have restored that which was,” a voice said. A very familiar one.

I turned.

They had taken Korra’s form.

“Really?”, I asked.

The Mind’s visage as my friend smiled. “Your friend the Avatar has given us a blessing we never thought could occur. For the first time in a great while we are whole. And we have seen the futures that may come without the terror to distort our vision to further horrors.”

I nodded. “All of the worlds I showed her...”

“...and she has shown us now. All of the possibilities for our world. We embrace them. And we will do what we can to guide the people of this world to greatness.” The Mind’s visage of Korra bowed her head. “And we will remember what you did this night. We will remember that given the choice, the Doctor and the Avatar will always side with Life.”

“Thank you.” It was all I could say. But as I thought of it, a question came to me. “But what about the island? The Change was powered by the transference. Now that you have undone the Change...”

“The transference has been made permanent,” the Mind told me. “Korra drew upon the power of it to heal us. By doing so she has exhausted the rift and caused it to close. To re-open it would create the same dangers you considered to use against us.”

I nodded. “I see. So all of those people are trapped in the Bronze Age. And the people on this island....”

“....we will do what we can for them,” the Mind pledged. “We give you our promise. Go now, Doctor. Go and spread to other worlds the greatness you have given us.”

I... had no words to reply to that. There was nothing to say.

So I left.




I was so tired that I took a nap in the library, where the two young ladies we had rescued were still sleeping to recuperate. After a few hours I went out to check on my Companions. Asami had somehow fallen asleep in the chair. Exhaustion, clearly. She was laying forward in it and her head was settled beside Korra’s shoulder.

Their hands were still clasped.

There was something rather heartwarming about that. An affection between the two that was beyond mere friendship.

Indeed, they did seem rather closer these days than when I first met them. I’d observed that over our months together traveling. It was quite sweet.

I went to work fixing up a few bugs with the TARDIS. When I looked up the two young ladies we had rescued were stepping out of the door. “Where are we going to go?”, one asked.

“What do you mean by that?”

“Our dad’s dead,” the other, the older one, answered. I could hear both had a faint accent, the kind you get from African-Americans in the Southeast of the United States. “Grandpa too. We’ve got nobody left.”

“What about mom?”, the younger one asked.

“What about her?” The older girl made a face. “Like she’d care about us. She left us behind. Didn’t want us.”

“People used to say Dad made her. That he made her leave us. He would ruin her life.”

“Would either of you happen to know where your mother lives?”, I asked. “I can find her then.”

“Dunno.”

“She’d be on a ship or something.”

“A ship?”

“Yeah, she was in the military,” the older girl said.

“Navy then? That might be tricky to find, lots of Navy...”

“Naw, not Navy,” the girl said. “I know that. Mom was the other one.”

Something went click in my head. Like usual when circumstance or fate or whatever dropped a coincidence in my lap. “Your mother... was what, Coast Guard then?”

“Yeah.” The younger daughter frowned. “Dad said she loved it more than us.”

“Your father, rest his soul, had his reasons to be bitter, I imagine, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s right.” I clapped my hands together. “Alright young ladies, I tend to know when I’m walking into a colossal coincidence, or rather when my TARDIS has sent me into one. Do either of you remember your mother’s name? Would it happen to be ‘Marian’?”

“Yeah!”, the older girl said. “That was it!”

I chuckled. “Oh dear, how amusing.” I went to the TARDIS controls. “Alright girls, you have a choice. I drop you off back home and you try to make your way together in the world you know. Or you accept the loss of television and hip hop or what have you and go to live with your mother.”

“What you mean by that?”

“Your mother’s ship was at Nantucket, young ladies. She was trapped with the island, thrown across the oceans of eternity to another Earth three thousand years in the past,” I explained.

“How do you know this stuff?”

“I’m a Time Lord, trade secret. Now....” I put my lips over my mouth and then indicated my sleeping Companions. “Would you like to make your choice?”

The girls conversed. At length. I think curiosity and the daunting prospect of living alone in 1998 America as orphan teenagers, liable to be split up by the State foster system, overwhelmed trepidation about luxuries they would lose.

And so, after a stop by their home to pick up things, we were off.




In a world where Long Island was not an expanse of suburbs leading to upper class estates, farms dotted the island. And at one particular farm the TARDIS VWORPed into existence. A newly completed farmhouse. The air was warm with summer.

I had not taken the girls straight to Nantucket on the other side. Having them present might have changed too much in the life of a very important Nantucket leader. Instead I brought them to what would be called 12AE in this world. Twelve years had passed for them since “the Event”, the dimensional transference.

“Go on up,” I said to the girls, who nodded. I remained behind. I nearly left but... I thought better of it. I wanted to make sure this would go well.

The door was answered by a child. Then a woman with blonde hair came up. I suddenly realized the two young ladies didn’t know the exact reason their parents divorced and the terrible secret their father had wielded over their mother to secure her surrender to his demands in the separation. They would find out soon enough.

Unsurprisingly, a voice used to shouting commands across a sailing vessel at sea was great enough for me to hear the “JESUS, HOW?!” and the indications of distant exclaimations of joy.

The door opened again. The young ladies came out, leading their mother up to me. She was built wiry, muscled but not as thickly as Korra, with short-cut dark hair that might just be turning gray at the temples. She came up hand in-hand with the blonde woman, who looked to be at least fifteen years her younger. I could see behind them a pair of children, young girls barely ten years of age, playing on the porch. “Good morning, my ladies,” I said courteously. “Marian Alston-Kurlelo and Swindapa Alston-Kurlelo, I presume?”

“I’ve only got one question for you.” Marian’s voice, still showing the accent of the backwoods of South Carolina, sounded both fierce and utterly confused. “How? How did you bring my girls through? How did....”

“In short? I’m a Time Lord. I travel six dimensions of space-time in my TARDIS.” I knocked on the TARDIS door lightly. “And I was fortunate enough to save your daughters from the car crash that killed your unlamented late ex-husband John. And while that does sound fantastical, I would think living in the Bronze Age for a dozen years might broaden your mind’s horizons a bit on the infinite possibilities of Creation, my good Commodore.” I nodded my head at them. “Your daughters needed a home. I offered them a chance to see if you would have room for them.”

“Of course I have room for them,” Marian snapped. “But this is all so... it’s just so crazy!”

“That it is,” I agreed heartily. “Any more questions? I’m rather tired due to dealing with the entire crisis Nantucket’s dimensional transference caused, so I’m afraid my energy levels are a bit low for a prolonged interrogation.”

For a moment I thought she would ask if I knew what caused the Event. But she stopped and looked to Swindapa. The younger Fiernan woman - a native of what would later be called England after a couple of ethnic dislocations in the following millennia - smiled sweetly at me. “Thank you for bringing Marian’s daughters to her,” Swindapa said kindly. “But what is your name? They said they didn’t know.”

I sighed. And for a moment I considered my answer carefully. “My name. Well, that’s been something of an issue for me lately,” I admitted. “I suppose...” I sighed and smiled lightly. “...that it’s just fair to tell you this. That on many worlds and by many cultures, I am called the Doctor.” I nodded. “And if that is all?”

Had I stayed, there would have been more questions. But I stepped back into the TARDIS and the surreal nature of what had happened - and for Marian the joy of actually having the daughters she was forced to abandon returned to her - kept them from pressing further inquiries.

That was the end of the conversation. However, I did take note of something... peculiar. As I went to close the TARDIS door, I looked beyond the Alston-Kurlelos to their adopted daughters. The two young girls - one light-skinned and red-haired and the other with the brown complexion of a biracial child - were playing on the porch. Near them, severak sets of wind chimes were hanging from the porch sealing. There was almost no wind at the moment to move them.

And then, the second girl with the brown complexion - I couldn’t remember her name - pushed her hand out into the air. Like she was pushing the chimes in front of her if she had been near them. She wasn’t though. It looked like she was just making a hand motion while playing with her sister.

Those chimes moved as if a gust of wind had struck them. I could faintly hear their ringing from my place at the TARDIS door. A nearby set of chimes.... didn’t move at all.

I blinked. And I wondered if I was seeing things even as I closed the door. I was tired. I needed to rest.

Such an interesting sight...




It took a few days for Korra to recover her strength. Asami and I made sure she was comfortable. As the time went I could see the gears moving in her head, so to speak. Korra was in deep thought about something.

We hadn’t gone anywhere in particular when they approached me in the TARDIS control room. “So, feeling all refreshed now?”, I asked. “Naga could use some walksies, she’s moody when you’re not well and I’m the one giving them.”

Korra nodded, smiling thinly. “Actually... I can handle that. But there’s something else I want to talk about.”

“Oh?”, I asked. “Is everything alright?”

“Yes. It’s the best it’s been in a while,” Korra said. “Could that spirit go mad again?”

I scratched at my chin. “I’m not sure. Over time, maybe. Human population is increasing, more people dying, more raw information joining the whole. On the other hand, you did a great job repairing it, and it might have the power and knowledge to sustain its unity this time.”

“I’d like to know,” Korra said. “If there’s a way to find out, can we check on it?”

I thought about it for a moment. “Certainly,” I answered when my thoughts were finished. I went to the TARDIS controls. “Let’s go ahead, oh, a hundred years? See if there’s anything interesting?”

They nodded.




We stepped back out of the TARDIS on Nantucket. It was still forested around our landing spot, but I could hear people in the distance. The island ahd been re-settled. We followed a path to a clearing where there was a gathering of people. Nearby was a monument of granite and stone. I read the words. “Commemoration of the Change....” I blinked. Why would they call it that when there was no Change?

We made our way through the crowd to an open field. A string of rope tied it off from the spectators; within parents were grooming children and preparing for what looked like a contest or recital of sorts. There were buckets and wood logs and other things about. One contestant was named, a young girl with mixed race ancestry that left her with a light brown complexion. She stepped up to the buckets, bowed, and began to move her arms in a somewhat familiar fashion.

Water came up from the buckets in streams and began to levitate around the girl. Not just levitate, but move, move in motion with her arms, changing only to make all sorts of beautiful shapes in the air.

I admit, my mouth dropped open from astonishment.

“She’s Waterbending,” I heard Korra say in a hushed tone, her voice full of stunned awe.

We stood and watched the festivities continue. A young boy, no older than 12 I imagine, play a guitar by Earthbending a guitar pick with earthen elements in it. Two children, a brother and sister of about 10 and 13 respectively, put on a show of Firebending dancing with what sounded like club dance music that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Fire Nation. Another young girl, this one barely eight I would imagine, squealed as she guided a kite in an air show over our heads.

And as the show went on, I began laughing. I stepped out of the crowd to avoid disturbing their enjoyment and managed to stifle my laughter until we got to a distance. “What is it?”, Asami asked me.

I looked to Korra with what I imagine was an energetic and slightly manic smile. I put my hands on her shoulders. “You magnificent.... information exchange! Alteration of the very fabric of this world on a quantum level, all from your energy!”

Korra always had trouble when I started babbling technobabble. But this time she understood. “When I used my power to restore the Mind, I caused this?”

“Yes!”, I shouted with glee. “You did! The Mind, it wasn’t just some depository for deceased minds, it has a symbiotic relationship with this world, with... with the very core of life here. And when your energy became part of it to heal the Mind, it gained that energy and passed it on. In essence, Korra, you didn’t just save the Mind from its own instability, you passed on the bending arts to this entire world. To both worlds, probably!” Indeed my mind flashed back to the Alston-Kurlelo estate and my view of the wind chimes; their adopted daughter had been Airbending, I was sure of it.

Korra and Asami exchanged amazed looks.

“Excuse me, sir, ladies?” A folksly old man stepped up. Some of his facial structure and the light tint of his skin hinted at some old Native American ancestry, although most of his features were European. “Not from around here? Are you here to celebrate the Anniversary of the Change?”

“Oh, um, certainly,” I said. “I saw the monument, quite lovely. I was just trying to explain it to my friends, but if you know anything better, sir?”

“Of course I do!”, he said happily. “Happened nigh on two hundred years ago. Back when the world was a darker place. One night a dome of light covered this island, and then all of the machines and technology... boom! They went out. No cars, no old T-visions, nothing! Everyone panicked, everyone thought the world was ending. And then everyone saw the light!” The old man clapped his hands. “Blue light, gold light, that sort of thing. And then things came back on. Things looked back to normal until the first elementists started popping up....”

“I’m sure the world was quite interesting back then,” I mused.

“It was sir, it was indeed. Martin, by the way.” He offered his hand and I took it. “My mom’s ancestors were from this island, you know,” Martin said wistfully. “The old Indians who got pulled through on it. Poor people had a rough time, but they did their best to survive. Carried on stories about things going on that night. About a boy and girl of the tribe hearin’ an argument between gods or spirits or something, one side saying we deserved to lose our technology, the other wanting it undone. Lots of folk listen to the story. Lots of folk think there’s truth in it, that maybe whatever did the Change to destroy our society was talked out of it by something, something that gave us this gift to make us a better people. And that’s what things are like now.”

I nodded. “Quite an idea. I trust, however, that you will live up to that sentiment.” I shook his hand. “Good day, Martin.”

He toddled along, heading to the crowd as semi-finals for the event were held. I looked back and found Korra in tears. “I made this world better,” she said quietly. “I didn’t just save it. I actually made it better.”

“Well...” I smiled softly and winked. “You’re the Avatar. I hear it’s all part of the job.”

We returned to the TARDIS. As we got to the door, I heard concern come to Korra’s voice. “I hope the Mind spirit stays stable though.”

“Yes. I imagine over time, if the population gets big enough, it might face the same problem. Of course...”

“What?”

“Well, the mind did this with your essence. Yours and Raava’s,” I said. “Maybe it can do other things with them.” We had arrived at the TARDIS by this point and I opened the door.

Korra stood there and stared at me. “You don’t mean...”

“Just a thought,” I said. I didn’t have to say what thought.

After all, if the Mind feared its balance, or the world’s balance, was coming undone, or even if it felt it needed constant attention.... well, perhaps it could make an Avatar of its own to deal with that issue....




I was working on something later that day when Korra and Asami approached me. “I need to talk to you about something,” Korra said. She looked at Asami, who nodded agreement. “We both do.”

I could see they’d been talking about something. And I had an inkling to what it was.

“When I came with you, I was trying to figure out what I was and what I wanted to be. And after everything that’s happened, i know the answer to that,” Korra said. “I’m the Avatar. I accept that’s what I’ll always be and I know that’s what I actually want. And it’s been great traveling with you and seeing all of these worlds, and helping you save them, I’ll never forget it. But I think it’s time that I got back to work on my own world. I’m ready to go home, Doc.”

I nodded. I... honestly found myself feeling better than I imagined I would when this day came. “I see.” I nodded and widened my arms, prompting her to accept the proffered hug. “That’s wonderful news, Korra.”

“I’ll be going with her,” Asami said. “I’ve been having fun seeing all of these places but I have to get back to running my company and rebuilding Republic City.”

“Of course,” I answered. “And that way you’re home in case Korra needs your help.”

“I know you might get lonely, if you want to stay with us for a while...” Asami began.

“No, no, don’t worry,” I said. “I’m... I’m actually quite happy for you two,” I said. “That you’ve gotten to see the wonders of Creation with me and that you feel like going home now. I understand. And I’ll be just fine, I promise.”

“You’re welcome to visit whenever you want,” Korra assured me. “I mean, I’m not going to be staying home long, I need to start traveling the world and doing what I can to restore balance. But you can find me with the beacon whenever you want, right?”

“Yes. Yes I can.” I went to the TARDIS controls. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was... strange. As much as I loved traveling again, and traveling with them, seeing their astounded and amazed faces whenever they saw a new wonder of creation... I was just as happy to see they were ready to go home. It meant Korra was, if not fully healed, at least well on the track to recovery. She was ready to face her issues and deal with them herself.

After everything that had happened, after my failure to give her the help she’d needed against the Red Lotus, I had succeeded in helping her recover from the result of my failure. It was atonement. And it was one thing I had needed as well. “Alright,” I said. “Go ahead and get your things. I’ll be setting us for a few hours after we left. Wouldn’t want your folks to worry too much, eh? Just let me know when you’re ready...”




We returned to the place where we’d left all those months before. Korra guided Naga out and the polar bear dog, happy to be free from the confines of her (spacy) kennel in the TARDIS, chuffed happily and jumped about.

We were getting their final bags out, with mementos and such, when Tonraq and Senna appeared. They happily embraced Korra. “We’ve been to so many places, I can’t wait to tell you about them,” Korra said to them.

“Thank you, Doctor.” Senna stepped up to me. “Thank you for helping Korra when she needed it and for keeping her safe.”

“It was a mutual effort,” I said. “Korra did the same for me.”

Tonraq summoned the palace’s staff to get their things. “Do you plan on leaving soon?”, he asked me.

I nodded. “Yes, I believe it’s time I got back to work. There are things I need to look into. Things I need to do. Things to consider. That sort of thing.”

“Then I hope you’ll stay for dinner, at least,” he said. “It’s the least I could do for you given the circumstances.”

As things were, I was ready to give one last good try to Water Tribe cuisine, and I was hungry. So I graciously accepted.




That night, the dinner turned into a fond retelling of the worlds we had visited, the aliens and other life forms Korra and Asami had encountered. “....seriously, he looked like a hog monkey,” Asami was saying, recalling one Hoggish Greedley. “A giant hog monkey with a weird voice.”

Korra laughed. “And that corruption spirit they had working for them. One blast of water and he was thrashing around like he was on fire or something!”

There was some laughter around the table at that. I didn’t join in the stories much, letting Korra and Asami take the lead on it. After dinner wrapped up I was ready to leave when Tenzin intercepted me. “I’d like to speak to you,” he said.

“Certainly.” I followed him to the hall leading to the dining room. “What is it?”

“I want to thank you for what you’ve done for Korra,” he said. “I admit I wasn’t happy that you let her go with you. But it’s clear to me now that your journey is exactly what she needed.”

I nodded. “Yes, I rather think it was.”

“Do you know what Korra’s plans are now?”

“I think she intends to start a journey through the Earth Kingdom,” I answered. “You’d have to talk to her for specifics. But she feels that her recovery will best be completed by fulfilling her Avatar duties.”

“It’s a fine idea. The bandit problem is persisting in areas Kuvira’s army hasn’t arrived in yet.”

“I’m sure it’ll make the job easier if they’re working together.”

I didn’t add that it would hopefully make sure that the young Metalbender they’d left in charge of the cleanup didn’t take things too far.




I was returning to the TARDIS to leave when Korra and Asami caught up to me, Naga trailing behind with tail wagging. “Where are you heading?”, Asami asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. Ankh-Morpork maybe, been a while since I gave a lecture at the University, would like to put the pointy hat back on,” I answered. “Or maybe just a quiet world to relax a little.”

“Wherever you go, I’m sure it’ll be just as exciting as anything I end up doing.” Korra’s arms opened and we exchanged a heartfelt hug. “Thank you so much for letting us go.”

“Thank you for coming,” I answered. “It would have been lonely otherwise.”

“It was such a great trip.” Asami hugged me next. “And I learned a lot that I can use to make our world better.”

“Always a good thing,” I agreed. A moment later Naga nuzzled me with her massive muzzle. I patted her on the head. “Ah, you too eh? I gave Korra a full box of those jumbo size doggy biscuits you like, so you’ll find them with her.” I ruffled at the fur on her ear. “No more cramped TARDIS bay for you, at least.”

That got me a low whine, as if Naga could remember how cramped it was to try and get out the TARDIS door.

I looked to the others as I released her. “You have those temporal beacons, right?”

Korra nodded and showed me the one on her belt. “Of course.”

“Good. Call if you need me.” I nodded. “And I will be there.”

“I know.” Korra nodded, smiling widely. She decided to give me another tight hug, as if the first wasn’t enough. “You’ve helped me so much.”

I gave her a soft pat on the shoulder. “I’ve done what I can, and you did the same for me. Now, go out there and show the world that their Avatar is back and that she’s better than ever, eh?”

“I’ll make sure they know it, I promise.”

I didn’t enter the TARDIS until they had entered the palace proper. I watched them walk away and pondered the months of our journey. The exciting and dangerous moments, the happy ones, and those where we pondered the wounds we had carried with us when we first left this place. We had gone through an experience together on this trip, the three of us, and it had done its work. We were healed. Korra and Asami had enjoyed a splendid time together and seemed closer than other, like true sisters of the soul I thought.

Of course, given Asami’s mannerisms when Korra looked to be on death’s door after healing the Mind, maybe I was wrong about that too.

Oh, bah, I have more important things to ponder than relationship scopes. I’ll leave that to you types. You lot love that kind of thing, don’t deny it.

Of course, when it came to the debt I felt toward Korra, my work was not yet done. I had one more duty to perform for Korra. A final thing to undo the damage done to her by my absence when she needed me most.

I had to find out how to restore her link to the prior Avatars.

And I was convinced I would manage it, perhaps in a day or in a year or in a century. I would manage it.

I stepped back into the control room, closed the door quietly, and went to the TARDIS controls to shift out.

It was strange to be alone again after so long. But... well, it wasn’t as bad as the prior times. I didn’t feel lonely and agonized. I felt uplifted, happy. We had enjoyed a good run and it was over. I was ready to face the six dimensions again. Alone, true, but not on a mad rampage or a desperate campaign of fixing my errors. And out there somewhere I knew I would find someone who was interested in seeing the entirety of Creation with me. Someone I could count upon. I wouldn’t be lonely for too long.

I shifted the TARDIS into the Time Vortex and found myself looking at Katherine’s amethyst necklace, still where I always kept it hanging. I sometimes cried when I looked at it. Even after that time on Mogo. But now I couldn’t help but smile. I felt more whole now than I had in a long while. The issues with my name, well... I would settle that once and for all, but on my own time. For now there was the open road, a wide scope of dimensions to explore, and relatively speaking, all of the time in the...

The TARDIS rocked under my feet. I was forced to grab the railing across from the control surface so that I didn’t fail. I stumbled over the rumbling to the monitor on the controls and surveyed... what was that? A massive dislocation, multi-dimensional. Something big and powerful had punched a hole and it was...

Across from me, on the other side of the controls, space-time ripped open. I was shocked by that. It had managed to do so even inside the TARDIS, despite all precautions of the Gallifreyan technology at my disposal. There was a loud sound, a rushing of air, and the swirling blues of the vortex moved about each other. A figure came tumbling out.

I moved around the controls as the prone newcomer started to get up. A hand darted out and took the railing, using it so that the figure could get to her knees. For it was a woman. A young-looking lady. Her wear was a tattered and ripped robe of purple, a lighter shade than my own tie or sonic screwdriver. Long hair of blue color, with some kept in a long pony-tail by an orange band, all of it now misshapen. When she looked up at me I could see the confusion and bewilderment in her blue eyes. “What... What is.... Where?” Her accent came off as refined through the TARDIS translator. It was reflecting to my ear a highly-born tone. Someone who knew to speak softly in the fashion of the upper class, if without the condescension that usually came with the like.

I blinked.

I recognized her.

The only word that could come from my throat was a surprised squeak of “What?”

The young lady up-righted herself further, keeping her eyes on me. “Sir? Where am I? Who are you?” She seemed to find her footing.

What?”, I repeated, still lost in utter confusion.

She blinked at me, still looking rather confused, about as confused as me. Her voice maintained a gentleness to it despite her clear bewilderment. “I apologize, I seem to... I am Princess Schala of the Kingdom of Zeal. I don’t mean any harm, I just want to know where I am.”

I tried to give her a reply.

But all that came out was another single word query.

What?!

”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-19 11:25am

2014 Christmas Special
"The Spirit of the Name"


Ah, Christmas. Such a wonderful little holiday, whether it's Festivus or Saturnalia or Hogswatch or the Wintermeet... the general idea of commemorating the shortest day of the year with gift sharing and family gathering can be found in several cultures. With appropriate variations of course.

This was to be a special Christmas, though.

Ah, but I get ahead of myself. It wasn't Christmas yet. I had just left a very Christmasy place, though; the main city of the Southern Water Tribe, where I had left my friends and now former Companions Avatar Korra and Asami Sato to resume their lives after many an adventure amidst the wonders of Creation. I had departed their company, intending for a small rest and then checking up on my good friend Mustrum Ridcully and his fine establishment, when space-time ripped open inside of my TARDIS and deposited a young woman in my midst.

Her name was Schala. She was a magic-wielding Princess of the splendid yet decadent magical kingdom of Zeal, a land that had floated in the sky until they sought to use the wrong power and, well, suffered the usual fate for decadent civilizations that meddle with Eldritch Abominations.

Talk about a turn for the unexpected.

Anyway, I stared at a young woman whom I knew should not be in my TARDIS and couldn't stop my confusion from leading to showing a limited vocabulary.

"What?!"

I suppose I sounded like a broken record. And for a young woman who had just been thrown across six dimensions of space-time after watching everything she loved burn at the hands of an eons-old planet-killing parasite, well, it was probably not very encouraging for her either.

I had so many questions. How had the Gate - I was sure it was a Time Gate - gotten into the TARDIS despite its protection systems? Why? What had happened that drew it to me?

Before I could regain my vocabulary or hope to speak further, the TARDIS shook under us. No, shook doesn't do that justice. It felt like an angry toddler with a nervous disorder had grabbed the TARDIS and was shaking it about. I lost my footing and hit the ground, as did the new arrival. The floor slid out from under us and I started falling toward the door, which opened. I cried out an unintelligible word of surprise and shock and barely grabbed the rail. Below me the Time Vortex yawned hungrily. If we fell in, then we would die in it.

A sharp cry prompted me to look over. Schala had grabbed at some wiring under my control station and was holding onto it. But the wires were slipping. She would fall any moment and most likely go right out the door. I shifted myself over on the railing and prepared myself. Sparks flew as the wires snapped from their connections under the console. Schala screamed as she fell across the floor and toward the Vortex below.

I caught her with my hand, wrapping it around her wrist. The strain pulled at my shoulder and nearly ripped me free from my grip on the railing. "Climb onto my back!", I shouted. "Put your arms around my shoulders!"

I was looking down, trying to focus on those blue eyes and the disheveled blue hair and not the golden maelstrom outside of the door. "You can do it!", I urged her.

I seemed to jolt Schala into action with that. She grunted with effort trying to pull herself up, aided by my arm. She got up to my back. I felt her hands trying to find purchase. One grabbed at my sonic disruptor.

Before I could warn her, she tried to put her weight on it. This ripped the loop on my belt that held it in place. She shrieked at the lost handhold and swung away, all pressure now going on my arm and the hand holding her up. I saw the sonic disruptor fall from her hand and out the door.

That was irritating. But no time to grieve for it. "Keep going, don't look down!", I shouted at her.

She acknowledged me by grabbing at my belt and using that handhold to continue pulling herself up. She managed to get high enough to put her hand on my shoulder and that was enough to finish lifting her up. Her arms went around my shoulders and her hands clasped at the wrists. I had to shift to keep her from choking me. "Hold on!", I shouted. With one hand on the railing - and my grip failing - I used the other hand to fish my sonic screwdriver out of my pocket. I held it up toward the TARDIS controls and pressed a switch.

My emergency shift system kicked in. The TARDIS looked for a nearby coordinate that I had listed as safe and moved us there. The engine protested with a strange vibration pattern, but she didn't fail.

Unfortunately, the damage the TARDIS had suffered meant it came back into "realspace" at a three dimensional velocity. In the air. I saw white snowfields and trees below us. And no sonic disruptor to try and absorb our landing. Drat. Still, I had no choice. If we were still here when we hit the ground, without being secured to something? Even my strength couldn't keep a grip. We'd be bounced around inside the TARDIS like rag dolls and there was no telling what horrific injuries we might endure. We had no choice; we had to jump out before she hit the ground.

Which was also going to bloody hurt.

"Keep holding on!", I shouted as I let go. We fell through the door and into about thirty feet of air. The TARDIS started slamming into trees along the ridge.

We would have landed hard and I would have been injured. But these things didn't happen. I felt a course of energy around me and our speed slowed. There was the faintest of glows in the air around us that slowed my fall until I literally hopped to a stop. I knelt low to let my passenger sit down. "Ah, thank you," I said to her. "Some sort of levitation magic?"

"Something like that," she said softly. She looked around us. We were in the middle of a dark forest. "Sir, who are you? What's going on?"

"Oh, I'm a Time Lord." I heard the TARDIS crash a distance away and looked toward the proper direction. "Come along."

"Time Lord?" I could hear her footfalls in the snow as she rushed to catch up with me. "I've never heard of such a thing."

"We're not native to your cosmos, that's why," I answered. "I travel in six dimensions of space-time. As for what's going on, I'd like to find that out as well. That Gate that dropped you in the TARDIS should not have been able to form as it did. Anyway, young lady, may I ask what your last memory was?"

I kept moving as I said this. There was something about this place that put me on edge. I heard the young woman struggle to keep up. "I was facing Lavos," she answered. "A Gate opened up beneath me..."

"Yes, I imagine so," I replied.

I would have asked more but I had something else to take care of. The TARDIS was leaning against a partially-fallen tree. I had to crawl up on a partial stump to get my foot in it. "W'oh, w'oh there," I murmured as I felt my balance slip. The entrance was at an incline. And the interior alignment was offline as well. The TARDIS was literally tipped backward by about forty degrees, making foot holds precarious. The interior lights were dim or completely out. Sparks were still fizzling from exposed wiring. "Oh, my poor girl," I said wistfully. I carefully descended the walkway to the controls and surveyed the damage. "She's on emergency power. Most of the rooms have been removed. Yes, good...." I tried to bring up sensor data, but that was among the systems knocked out. "Alright, we can't stay here," I finally said. I reached for my emergency supplies - medigel, first aid stuff, a few trinkets I carry along - and slung them over a shoulder.

"It's bigger on the inside," I heard Schala say. Her head was poking out over the entrance. She was standing on the lowest stump to see inside.

"Yes. Gallifreyan technology, very useful." Looking back I saw her shiver. It was rather cold outside and her robes were too tattered to provide effective protection. I reached for my parka and a blue parka that had once been Katherine's. I took the latter and threw it to Schala. "Here, put that on."

She nodded and did so.

I let down my bag and put my own parka on before lifting it again. I gave a last look to my poor damaged TARDIS. "I'll be back girl, just focus on getting better." I clambered up the walkway carefully and got to the end without slipping, using handholds at some points where I had to. I jumped down to the stump beside Schala. "Now, you represent quite the mystery my dear, but for now we need to find some civilization." I held up the sonic and triggered the TARDIS door to close and lock. "That should keep unwanted visitors away."

"Do you know where we are?"

"A cold, dark forest in winter, probably full of hungry animals that may want to eat us," I replied. "Now, you fell through a Gate, and...?"

"And... I really don't know, I just remember feeling sad for my people. And I remember a boy crying and I thought to reach out to him..."

I nodded. "Ah. Yes. I see. And after that?"

"And after that..."

We were interrupted by a growling snarl from the darkness. I directed my sonic in the appropriate direction. More snarls came from around us. "Stay close to me and be ready to run," I whispered. I reached for my sonic disruptor.

...and it was not there. Of course. It fell out into the Time Vortex. That would make things harder.

Schala extended a hand. Globes of white light came from her palm and expanded, lighting up the trees around us to provide shape to the snarling forms.

I had expected wolves. And it was a wolf form that was emerging ahead of us.

It's just that wolves didn't sparkle. Wolves didn't look like they were made from exquisitely carved crystal. Wolves were not made of ice and of snow.

"Ready?", I asked her quietly.

"I believe so," she answered, her tone quiet.

"On my mark. Get set. Aaaaaand..." I raised the sonic and triggered a harmonic disruption.

The wolf shattered like glass and collapsed to powder.

"Now!" I pulled her along with me into the gap I'd just made in their circle. The other beasts - or whatever they were - did not react before we were clear. Of course, they still had the advantage of four limbs over two so our momentary advantage in distance would disappear quickly if we made it a chase.

Which is why I didn't.

We got a short distance away and I turned back, this time with the harmonic disruption set to a wide ranged field. I heard squeals of animal rage and shattering ice. Several creatures hobbled out of the wood.

And two that were whole came at us from the flanks.

I pulled Schala out of the way just in time. They slammed into each other, caused cracks in one another, and slowly went to stand.

Bright purple light came from Schala's hands. I felt the energy of our environs shift perceptibly. Kinetic force came down on the two creatures, binding them to the ground for the moment. I looked at her and grinned. "Nice job. Now give me a second and..."

I pointed the sonic at them to shatter them. As I did so, more shrieks were coming from the distance. There were more of the blasted things.

"Quick, while we still can!", I shouted, grabbing Schala's right hand and pulling her along. We ran along the snow until the forest cleared and we were on a roadway. I huffed a little and scanned with the sonic screwdriver. The things were still in the distance, hunting us in the forest. If we moved quickly down the road, we could get away.

I took in our current position. It was an old stone roadway leading up to the mountains. In the other direction, I could see faint lights in the distance.

I let my vision settle on the sight. Ah, of course, I knew that shape.

"Do you know where we are?", Schala asked me.

"Oh, oh yes I do," I answered. "It's Arendelle. Nice, cozy little fjord kingdom, lovely place I..."

I stopped mid-sentence. As my main overlaid the details of Arendelle's shape against the fjord and mountains, I realized the lights were off. The city was darker than it should be.

And there were lights in the water beyond the fjord.

A lot of lights.

So many that they could only be one thing.

An invasion fleet.

Ice wolves. Now this? I had a bad feeling that my troubles had only just begun.




It was going to be a long walk. But it had to be done.

We walked along the road quietly, not speaking, straining to hear for any further ice wolf attacks. we got to the city without incident.

Arendelle was quiet. Only dim lights showed through the windows. "This place is full of fear," Schala said.

"Well, there's a fleet off their coast," I said, but I could feel it was something more. The palpable dread in the streets. "Although I am wondering why they have no one on patrols."

We walked toward the city square. Down one path was the long road to the bridge that led to the Arendelle Royal Palace. The city's lifelessness made it eerie and, honestly, very ominous.

I pondered checking out the city's inn and walked toward it, hoping to see if there was any activity inside. Any at all.

And I felt it then. A sort of... energy. It wasn't familiar to me.

"Something's wrong."

I turned toward Schala just in time to yell, "Duck!"

She hit the ground and avoided a clawed swipe. The claw was made of ice and wood. Behind her, a figure loomed. An impossible figure with jagged ice teeth and a build that was deceptive in the danger it portrayed.

"You've got to be kidding!", I shouted angrily as the killer snowman charged swiped at Schala again. She rolled away from it and let me help her back to her feet. I held out the sonic screwdriver and tried to disrupt its neurological systems, but it didn't work. I was really starting to miss my sonic disruptor.

I heard similar noises from around the square. More of the literally-abominable snowmen were coming from the darkness. And their teeth and clawed branches looked oh so very sharp.

No wonder people were staying inside. No, for me the mystery was.... ice wolves and now this, and where was Elsa? Why would she let this happen?

I tried the harmonic disruption trick and took one down, but the rest were coming in quickly and there was far too many for me to take down with the sonic screwdriver. It was, after all, a tool, not a weapon. I knew we had only one chance for safety. We had to get to the Palace. "Hold on!" I grabbed Schala's hand and led her in that direction, ravenous and murderous snowmen hot on our heels.

We ran across the snow-covered bridge out to the palace and got to the gates. The snowmen were right behind us. "Hello! Hello, is anyone on gate duty?!", I shouted, pounding at the gate It was locked and barred. I pulled out the sonic screwdriver to try and access the locking mechanism. "Schala, your magic, does it include a magic shield or something?!"

She raised her hands and a shimmer of blue light appeared in a half-dome around us. The first snowman slammed into it and dissolved into a pile of snow and ice. The others stopped and started raking their fingers on it. "I'm not sure how long I can hold this," she warned me.

"Come on, come on...", I muttered, trying to catch the locks with the screwdriver. I got one. But it was, well, a bloody heavy gate made to be secured against outside attackers, and the locks inside were bloody huge and difficult to move with the screwdriver.

Schala moaned and faltered to a knee as the attackers continued to slam on the shield. Sweat was pouring down her face from exertion, every erg of her essence going into a shield she had probably never had reason to use before. The battering continude without end. And if it went down, we would be ripped to bloody pieces.

Another part of the lock gave. I was almost there. But... I didn't think I'd make it in time.

I would be too late.

There was a howling wind behind the attacking snowmen. A cone of ice and snow grew to about fifteen feet and coalesced into the form of what I would describe as an ice or snow golem of sorts. You know what I'm talking about, yes? Anyway, the creature roared and started batting his meaty snow hands at the snowmen, crushing and dispersing them into snow and shattered ice.

This bought us time. Particularly it bought me time to finish opening the lock. I swung the gate open and we entered the area before the second gate, where one might have once found a porticullis. I slammed the outer gate behind me and used the screwdriver to reset the lock, far faster than unlocking it had been.

The inner gate opened. Two Arendelle guards with halberds forward appeared, flanking a modestly-dressed young man with blond hair and a round nose. Kristoff gestured towards us. "Get in! Hurry!"

I led Schala into the inner gate and more guards slammed it behind us. I let out a huff and looked to them. "Alright, what's going on here?"

"Everything... it's all going wrong, that's what," Kristoff managed. "It's a miracle you got here when you did."

I sighed. It actually wasn't, not by a long shot. No, it was a bloody annoyance; I already had enough problems with the TARDIS being so horribly damaged and the mystery of Schala's arrival in my TARDIS, now something was wrong in Arendelle?

The curse of popularity.

"Where is Elsa?", I asked.

He pointed up to one of the bedrooms in the main building of the palace. A window was open facing the courtyard. Elsa stood in it.

Or rather, she was slumped against it, held back from falling out by servants.

"What's wrong?", I asked Kristoff. "She doesn't look well."

"We don't know. I mean, she started getting sick a few weeks ago and then it just got worse and..." He swallowed. "...she's dying."

I frowned and looked back up. "Take me to her. Take me to her now."




Elsa was kept in her bedchamber. An attending royal physician was applying a wet cloth to drab sweat from her forehead when we entered. Her hair, normally kept in an elegant ponytail, was disheveled into dry golden strands. Her blue eyes tried to focus on us. But I could see the haze in them. I pulled out the sonic screwdriver and went up to the side of the bed. "Thank you," I said to her.

"She should not have gotten out of bed," the physician said harshly. His gray eyes were locked on Elsa. He had a graying beard and long, period-style hair for higher class persons.

"It had to be... done..." Elsa looked at me. I could sense her will pushing through the misery and affliction, forcing away groggy thoughts to complete the task she had set ahead of her. "Doctor. Please, help my people."

"I plan on it," I said. "And I'm going to start by helping you." I looked at the sonic's readings.

Schala stepped up beside me and held a hand out over Elsa. "She's grown very weak."

I could confirm that. It looked like Elsa was on the verge of multiple organ failure. But I couldn't see any proximate cause. There was no physical damage. There was no sign of toxins in her body, no radiation, no injuries. Her body was simply shutting down. Like something was drawing all of the strength from her. "Damn peculiar," I murmured. "How long?"

"Twenty days," the physician answered. "Sir? I am Doctor Symons, I don't believe we've had the honor...?"

"We haven't," I answered. I switched the sonic scanning pattern to look for something, anything. Something like this indicated an exotic problem with a similarly exotic solution. I tried to think of where I might have seen similar. As I looked around I finally realized why my brain was calling attention to a detail. Or rather, a lack of one. "Where's Anna?", I asked. "She wouldn't leave her sister in this state. Where has she gone?"

Symons looked to Kristoff. He seemed rather upset and lowered his eyes. "She went to see Pabbie again."

"Why wasn't it... wait, again?"

"I went last week. When we knew Elsa was really sick," Kristoff answered. "Grand Pabbie doesn't have any idea what's wrong either. He just said that there was something dark in the world. But Anna said she received a letter that he'd discovered something and went back to see him."

"Why didn't she bring you?", I asked, not believing he would do that. "You didn't..."

"She was gone this morning," Kristoff revealed. "She didn't give me a chance and just took Olaf with her. And believe me, I tried to find her! I spent a day riding with Sven, but I couldn't find her, and the trolls haven't seen her. And... and I came back here when it was getting dark. I can't go back out until the morning."

"Those snowmen? And the ice wolves? When have they been a thing?" Already possibilities were gathering in my head.

"For the past week," Kai - the stout palace chamberlain - answered. "We issued an edict advising everyone to stay indoors at night. The guards have tried and failed to fight those monsters. The Queen was asleep for three days after her last attempt to fight them."

"And now there is an invasion fleet off your fjord." I frowned. "A mysterious letter to bring Anna away. Something drawing away the very essence of Elsa's life and monsters of ice and snow terrorizing the countryside."

"They're all connected, aren't they?", Kristoff asked.

"I would suggest so, yes," I answered. "The force behind this has intentions for this land. In fact, I wonder..." I looked to Schala who was quiet at Elsa's bedside. She looked tired while focusing on the ailing queen. "Schala, your own abilities, can you sense anything else amiss with Elsa?"

Schala raised a hand over Elsa's chest. It quivered as gentle white light shined briefly at her palm. "The magic here flows so differently," she said. "It's so pure and clean, I... sorry, I am trying to concentrate on this. There is something strange in her aura. A pull..."

"A pull." I frowned. "Of course. Of course!" As the answer came to me I snapped my fingers. "Whatever this... this force is, it's literally draining power from Elsa's body. It's formed a parasitic connection and is drawing energy from her at the most basic level. That's why her body is shutting down. It's... it's literally having trouble keeping itself functioning."

"She doesn't have long," Schala said. "But I think I can help her."

"You can?" Kai stepped forward. "Are you sure?"

"Are you?", I asked, repeating the question. "You're exhausted and tired, Schala, can you heal this?"

"I cannot heal, but I can shield her from whatever is drawing power from her. For a while. I am... not sure how strong it is, or if I can hold it." Schala's eyes met mine. "But I will try."

There was determination in her eyes. And something else. I realized it after a moment.

Guilt.

"Can I speak to my friend alone, please?", I asked everyone. I gestured to her to follow me into the hall. I went to the door and waited until she joined me.

When we stepped into it I turned. "There is more to this than mere helping," I said. "Is there any risk involved?"

I met her eyes. The same guilt as before was my answer, now mixed with sadness. "The force drawing away her power may draw mine as well," Schala admitted. "It may even be able to keep that connection to me when I cut my power away from Elsa's."

"So you would be putting yourself at risk as well?"

"Yes. But it doesn't matter. She wants to help her people and they need her. It's worth the sacrifice."

I detected more to it from that statement. "Not the risk. The sacrifice. Is this guaranteed then?"

"I don't know for sure," she admitted. "but it wouldn't matter if it was. I must do this." Her eyes lowered and closed. "I must atone."

I realized she was trembling. Her face slowly twisted into a look of pain. I put a hand on her shoulder. "Come now, no need to feel like that."

"My people didn't deserve to die," she said in a low, troubled tone. The first hints of tears appeared at the corner of her eyes. "We made mistakes. My mother lost her mind. But... I should have stopped her. I should have found a way. And then... Lavos would not have destroyed us. We would have survived and..."

I swallowed and looked at her. It wasn't surprising that the young woman was suffering so much. She had lost her entire civilization, a people she was supposed to help lead. So many of her people had died and so much of their ways were lost. I saw that she needed the support and set a hand on her shoulder. "I know the feeling," I said quietly. "My people were nearly wiped out. Our home of Gallifrey was reduced to ruin and the survivors are locked away in a pocket universe that I can't reach, that I can't even find." I wiped the tear from her face. "Schala, I appreciate you wanting to help Queen Elsa, but don't throw your life away."

"Why not? What is there for me?" For the first time I heard a harsh tone in her voice. "Why should it matter?"

"Life matters," I answered. "I've learned that in my travels. With life there is hope. Don't give up on your's."

For a moment, nothing was said. Her head inclined slightly, a gesture of a nod. "I understand," she said. "I will keep my safety in mind."

"Good." I gave a thin smile in reply and led her back into the room.




A few hours passed. We were in the deep of night. Kristoff had maintained his vigil while I had walked off to check on some materials I needed. Schala was provided a chair, a robe for the warmth of the room, and sat beside Elsa's bed. She had one hand to Elsa's shoulder and the other to her forehead. Beads of sweat had long formed on her face as well. I could sense energy shifting around them.

It was working. Elsa's vitals were picking up. And for the moment, Schala's remained stable. She had blocked whatever this... malevolent force was without jeopardizing herself. But that was only the start of our trouble. "We need to find Anna," I said to Kristoff. I saw worry showing through his bleary and exhausted face. "Whatever is going on, removing her is the key to this foe's plan. It stands to reason we restore it."

"So we leave in the morning?"

"No." I shook my head. "We leave now."

He made a face. "How do we get past the killer snowmen?"

I smirked and reached into my jacket, revealing a glass flask of lamp oil. "I modified the oil, it burns hotter now," I answered. "And I can set it on fire with my sonic. You drive, I ignite and throw, and we rely on Sven to get us clear."

"Shouldn't you wait until morning?", Doctor Symons asked. "How will you find them in the dark?"

"I have my ways," I answered. "Now, we should...."

I was interrupted by a loud noise. It was one I had recently heard and I knew what it was just as it formed nearby.

A Gate.

It formed inside the room, on the far wall from the foot of the bed. I was about to ponder who was coming through this time when the air around me shifted, spiraling toward the gate with tremendous power. Everyone cried out and reached for something to hold. Kristoff managed to get a hand on the door handle and hold on to Symons. Schala grabbed the pole at the foot of the bed and used a free hand to grab Elsa's weak form as it went past, taking her wrist. Exertion showed on the young mage princess' face. She was not unfit, but she wasn't very strong physically either, and the pressure of holding on with one arm and holding Elsa's weight with the other was getting to be too much.

I had myself grabbed at the other bed pole. I found the suction wasn't very great on me and I was able to pull myself to hold my body against the pole with the arms and free my hands. I scrambled for my sonic screwdriver and held it toward the Gate. If I could find the right energy pulse, it might serve to close the Gate.

I cycled through them as quickly as I could. "Take her!", I heard Schala shout. Her face twisted in pain as she struggled against the flow to extend Elsa toward me.

"It'll just be a minute!", I shouted. "Hold on!"

"I can't!" She looked directly at me. "I think it..."

And then her grip slipped.

I acted as quickly as I could. I felt my fingers wrap around Elsa's wrist and my shoulder felt like it would be ripped off as the weight of the two young ladies being sucked in by the Gate pulled against my limb. I ruminated at the repeat of my prior experience hovering over the Time Vortex. This was getting bloody old.

I knew I couldn't hold them like this for long. And nor could I use my screwdriver without shifting my weight and ruining what leverage I did have to hold us away.

But I had to act. Because if I didn't... we would all be sucked in.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-20 12:10pm

We might have been sucked in if not for Kristoff.

He released himself from his grip and began walking toward us, step by step defying the pull of the out of control Gate. That sight didn't seem reasonable to me. For something to be pulling this hard at me, it should tear him off of his feet.

But it didn't.

With the practice of a man used to walking on ice for a living, Kristoff kept his balance and made it to us. "Take the screwdriver!", I shouted at him. "Point and press!" I couldn't shift myself to make it easier for him to retrieve it from the hand of my arm wrapped around the bedpost.

Kristoff maneuvered under us and got his arm up to take the screwdriver. He turned and pressed it. The purple tip lit up.

The sonic had finished its scan of the Gate and the energy it put out acted as a destabilizing influence on it. The Gate flickered and crackled for a moment before it collapsed. A moment before it did I lost my grip on Elsa, who hit the floor beside Schala. I slumped against the bedpole and nearly landed on Kristoff. He rolled out of the way and looked to me. He was breathing hard. So was I, admittedly. Time Lords have their own equivalent to adrenaline rushes and the like. I extended my hand and took the screwdriver from him. "Good show there."

"What was that?", he asked.

"Unstable inter-dimensional Gate," I answered. "A similar Gate disabled my TARDIS before I crashed here." I went over to where the young ladies had fallen and lifted the stricken Elsa up. I put her back in bed. When I looked back, Schala was still staring at the floor. I noticed a look on her face. "Is something wrong?", I asked.

"I..." She seemed to struggle for her voice. "I think that Gate wanted me. I think it was drawn to me. I felt the energy in it like it was... was linked to me."

Well, that would be bloody annoying. "Then there's no way we can leave you here to help Elsa," I sighed. "We can't risk that Gate opening again with just the two of you." I ran a quick scan of Elsa. "She's still doing better. I think we've bought her some time. A few hours at least."

"Woh, three people is going to slow down Sven," Kristoff protested. "He might not be able to pull us out of danger quickly enough."

"A good thing I made plenty of oil bombs," I said. I looked to Schala. "And a good thing we have a mage princess along, eh?"

"I'm not a fighter," Schala reminded us. "I don't know combat magic very well."

I wasn't surprised at that. I found myself missing Korra; her skills would have easily dealt with this threat. But there was more than one way to deal with this. "What about anything that could help Kristoff's reindeer go faster?"

"Well, there is one spell I can try, but it will require him to pick up speed," Schala said. "And I will need to be given complete concentration for it to work."

"What kind of magic are you talking about?", Kristoff asked.

She told him. He didn't look to pleased by it either.

I had to hide the smile at how damned fitting it felt.




The guards opened the gates at Kristoff's signal and with a flip of the reins he had Sven running out of the doors, picking up speed even before we crossed the last gates. Ahead of us there were no immediate enemies. But snow was already congealing to form them. In the back seat of the sleigh I had a flask of oil and my sonic ready should it be needed.

Beside Kristoff in the front seat Schala was holding her hands to the sleigh's front. I felt power thrum around her and into the sleigh.

Ahead of us, the snow congealed into the snowmen. They turned towards us, presented their sharp icy teeth, and began to coalesce on our position. Several ahead of us raised arms, ready to claw Sven down. Kristoff kept him going despite the danger.

And then.... we were airborne.

Schala's magic was kinetic conversion, turning some of our forward velocity into lift. Sven's hoofs struck the snowmen ahead of us as we lifted clear of them. "Don't stop, Sven, you're keeping us airborne!" I saw the reindeer's legs continue to wheel in mid-air, not finding purchase exactly but seeming to continue pushing against something.

We gained some altitude and moved beyond Arendelle proper. In the distance the lights of the invasion fleet continued to burn. I frowned at the sight. In this age, it took time to assemble a force like that. Elsa's sickness would have taken weeks to be reported anywhere. To get news and then form such a fleet was not feasible.

Not unless you were warned it was coming.

We were over a hundred feet in the air before Schala began lowering us. We hit the road with a jolt. Sven stumbled a moment and found his footing before he could trip. "Good show," I said. "Remind me to get some carrots."

"So, we're out of Arendelle," Kristoff said. "How do you think we can find Anna?"

"By finding Olaf," I answered. I held up the sonic. "He has a unique energy signature that the sonic screwdriver can track." I turned it on and watched the purple tip light up. "This way!"

And off we went.




The sun was starting to appear on the horizon as we came down into one of the valleys on the outskirts of Arendelle's borders. In summer one would have seen peasant fields and the villages and small towns that supported Elsa's capital. But here, in the middle of winter, it was all one white field of snow.

Schala had seemed to fall asleep and Kristoff was quiet with contemplation, leaving me to my thoughts. The problems going on in Arendelle were the work of manipulator, I was certain, and a master of multi-element plans. Besides the facts I had thoughts that seemed to go with them. For one thing, if whatever this force was could steal Elsa's power, it could also use it. The damage such an entity could do was terrifying. Especially if, as I pondered, the foe in question was using that power on other countries as well. ti would turn them against Arendelle and most certainly be fatal to Elsa.

Schala's head moved. She looked back at me and let me see her tired blue eyes. "So, when you say you're a Time Lord, what does that mean?"

"That I'm a Time Lord," I answered. "We're from Gallifrey. Very old, advanced civilization. Our technology lets us travel across multiple dimensions of space-time."

"What is it you do, then?", she asked.

"Oh, I travel, explore, see the sights, help out. I've saved a couple of galaxies along the way as well. Quite a few worlds. It's... what I do."

She nodded in acknowledgement. "Why do you do this?"

A good question, I had to admit, which I did. "A very good question, Schala. The answer is..." I made a face and shrugged. "...because it's what I want to do, I suppose. It's what makes me, well, me."

She looked at me intently for a moment. "That is what you feel, yes," she finally said. "You just travel then?"

"And make friends, quite a few in fact." I smiled at her. "Including a rather nice young fellow with spiky red-colored hair that, I believe, is a former acquaintance of yours."

Her face paled. Oh, for the love of... I was such an idiot. She didn't know. "I'm sorry," she said. "But Crono is..."

"...alive, actually," I finished for her. "Sorry, Schala. I should have remembered you didn't know that."

"I saw him destroyed," Schala said.

"You saw a lifelike replica destroyed," I replied. "One of your Gurus finished the Chrono Trigger."

For a moment she didn't react. Then she started to smile, radiantly so. It looked good on her. "He's alive." The sunlight creeping over the mountains created flickers of light with the tears on her cheeks. "He's actually alive."

"And doing well," I added. "Well, I had to displace him and his wife in time by about 15 years to keep a Fixed Point intact, but still, quite well." I kept my smile gentle. "Your brother joined them to defeat Lavos, in fact."

"Lavos is.... he is really...?"

"Dead." Mostly, I thought to myself. I had a sudden realization now at just what power was trying to draw Schala into the Gate that appeared. The power she was fated to be forcibly merged with in the oblivion of the inter-dimensional spaces.

That indeed seemed the most likely reason. Whatever caused her to get out of that... something was pulling her back in. And it might even be something she couldn't escape. Not without disruption of her world's timeline.

That possibility chilled me. Not simply from existing, but because I didn't know if I could ever bring myself to causing Schala to go back there. No matter the stake. It would be cruel.

The discussion might have continued but my sonic's whirring picked up. "We're close," I said. I surveiled our surroundings. We were along a pathway moving along the side of the eastern mountain. "This is the border, isn't it?"

"Close. Sjaeland is on the other end," Kristoff answered.

"I sometimes forget how small Arendelle actually can be," I said, sweeping my sonic. I motioned him to stop and jumped down into the snow. I led us along the mountain path and away from it slightly. A slight incline of rock challenged my ability to get to the ledge I was being directed toward. I managed it in about a minute.

On the ledge, I saw a round ball of snow. Several, in fact. I walked up to it and noticed there were others beside it.

A single carrot stuck out the side of the smallest ball. And I saw the edge of a wooden stick barely breaking out of another.

"Poor fellow," I murmured. I held out the sonic. Olaf was still "alive", so to speak. But something had been done to him, something that had blown him apart and made him too weak to pull back together. "Schala!", I shouted. "I need your help!"

Behind me Kristoff finished getting up on the ledge. He reached down and helped Schala up. She walked up to me at a brisk pace. "What can I do?"

"Can you give him enough energy to reconstitute?", i asked.

She studied the remains for a moment. Her hand came up. I suspected she was examining the magics of Elsa that had sustained Olaf even in summer. "I believe so." She brought her hands down and brilliant light came from them and permeated the snow.

Eyes popped into existence on one of the snowballs, which formed into Olaf's head. His body reconstituted from the heap of snow. "Hey, where am I? Elsa?"

"Her name is Schala," I said. "Hello Olaf."

"Doctor, am I glad to see you! And Kristoff!"

Kristoff knelt down by Olaf. "Where's Anna?", she asked urgently.

"I don't know. I'm trying to remember but..." He gasped suddenly. "That's right, we were attacked by some guys in furs before we got to the trolls!"

"Did you recognize them? Any identifying markings?", I asked.

"I'm trying to think. They were really kind of ugly. They wore reindeer skins."

"Sounds like Northerners," Kristoff said. "Sometimes they move south and raid on roads. I've never seen them this far south before. Not in Arendelle."

"Then we should presume they're hirelings. Any idea where they might have gone?"

"Probably going back home," Kristoff said. "I know the roads leading north along the mountains." He shook his head. "But they have nearly a day's head start on us and they'll have sleighs of their own. I'll never catch them in the sleigh, even if it was just by myself."

"Not ordinarily." I looked to Schala. "Think you could manage keeping us aloft for a long while?"

"Easily," she answered.

Kristoff nodded and headed to the edge of the ledge. "Then let's go."




The sun was well into the sky when we spotted the line of sleighs over the next mountain ridge. I took out my retractable spyglass and used its magnification to confirm their numbers. "Hrm, a small band, about twelve I think," I said. "Three sleighs and two outriders on horseback."

"Can you see Anna?" Kristoff didn't quite manage to get the fear out of his voice.

I looked between them. The front and rear sleighs had no sign of anything but provisions and weapons, but the middle one... I narrowed my eye and made out the familiar head of dark red hair and a white stripe coming out from under a winter shawl. "Middle sleigh."

"So how are we going to get through all of those guys?", Olaf asked me.

A good question. If I'd had my sonic disruptor, this would be easy. But I didn't. Kristoff wasn't armed. Schala had defensive magic, but she was already tired and I didn't want to push her too much. Olaf, while a plucky and brave little fellow, wouldn't be of much value in a fight.

A good thing that I'm always in favor of not fighting when a better solution comes along.

I spied ahead of them, seeing where the road entered the woods. "Will they keep following this road?", I asked.

"If they're heading straight north, yes. There's no other way out of the valley that doesn't involve going toward inland, and all of the border passes are watched."

"Very well. Set us ahead of them in that forest, I'll need time to set up to receive them properly."

We set down in the forest road. Kristoff led Sven off of the road into the woods to hide. Schala remained near me. She looked paler than before. Having been up all night, exerting her power multiple times after her ordeal in the Ocean Palace and coming through the Gate into my TARDIS, it was no surprise her constitution was only lasting so long. Nevertheless she was still active, calling up her power to hide our tracks in the snow and to keep anyone from sensing our presence through smell or hearing or sight. While she did so I set my traps in the snow banks, spacing them out so I would catch the sleighs on the outside of the convoy.

And then came the wait. The quiet, patient weight. We hid behind trees in sight of each other. Kristoff had a tree branch ready as his weapon of choice. I had my sonic screwdriver ready.

The crunching of snow from reindeer and horse hooves and the wooden bars of a sleigh won my attention. I looked out the side. As it drew closer I heard laughing and then a familiar female voice screaming,"Let me go! You're not going to get away with...!"

Anna was cut off by the familiar sound of a hand smacking a face. Kristoff's fists clenched around the thick tree branch he had. I motioned to him to calm down.

Going by the sounds of the sleighs, they were coming along my traps. I held out a mirror and risked a look with it. The front sleigh's mount was walking by the trap now. The rear one would be close. But would it be close enough?

Better to do it now. Better to have the back of the trap open than the front. I held out the sonic and turned it on. The purple light lit up. She whirred happily.

Small explosions ripped up from the road, underneath the front sleigh. The front of it shattered and it threw the riders from it as it flipped over. The reindeer pulling it cried out in terror and started galloping off. The second set was sadly less humane. The reindeer pulling the rear sleigh was still walking over it and the explosion tore into its hooves and lower legs with glass shrapnel and burning oil,. The creature screamed in agony and toppled over, wanting to run but unable to.

I moved around the tree and ran toward the startled raiders. With the sonic I stunned the driver of the middle sleigh. Kristoff ran beyond me and took the tree branch to the arm of another raider reaching for his sword. He let out a whistle as he did so, signalling Sven to run up behind the rear of the raider group. This allowed me to deliver an uncustomary punch to the raider i had been trying to stun. I turned and caught the lead outrider as he came back at us, sword raised. He and his horse screamed and fell into the snow.

By that point Anna noticed us. "Kristoff!" She brought up her hands, bound together at the wrist, and slammed them into the throat of the raider who was sitting beside her and had presumably struck her earlier. Indeed, I could see the dried blood along the right side of her mouth and a growing bruise on her cheek. Her winter coat was cut in a couple of places and she looked like she'd given her attackers a fight.

The raiders from the front sleigh were out of it. Those in the rear were not. They drew blades and clubs and moved to attack us.

They didn't account for Olaf and Schala.

Olaf struck first. I give the little sentient snowman credit, he made up for lack of stature with heart. He threw himself into the legs of one of the bandits and toppled him over into the snow.

While Schala showed that barely knowing any combat magics was not knowing any by Zealish standards.

Oh, she didn't unleash the kind of power I would have expected from Harry or Korra. But it was still quite impressive. Raw energy lashed out from her, forming invisible sledgehammers that threw the three men off their feet. Her blue hair flew wildly as she whipped around with great speed and conjured energy in front of the rear outrider, knocking him off his mount. He flew ahead and slammed into the snow. As he tried to stand, Olaf slammed into him as well and knocked him back down. The impact knocked Olaf off his legs and he had to pull them back toward himself.

That was good, because Schala, utterly exhausted as she was, actually dropped to a knee. She still had fight in her, but not enough to have taken on all the other foes if not for our ambush.

Sven was already in position as Kristoff finished cutting Anna free. She grabbed his face and kissed him deeply. "I'm sorry," she said. "I shouldn't have snuck out."

As much as he showed relief, Kristoff didn't let her off the hook. "No, you shouldn't have. You're lucky the Doctor came along."

"Ah, luck is fickle," I said. "Anna. You need to go home."

"I need to find a cure for Elsa," she insisted. "If we go back to the trolls, Grand Pabby said..."

"That letter wasn't from Grand Pabby," Kristoff said to her. "I asked."

Anna made a face. "Wait, what? But if it wasn't from Grand Pabby, then who...?"

"Whomever is responsible for the fleet now off of Arendelle," I answered. "And I presume them to be linked to your sister's condition."

"I knew it," Anna said. "I knew she just wasn't sick!"

"No. She's being attacked quietly," I said. "Something is drawing the energy out of her and that will kill her before long. We need to return to Arendelle immediately."

Kristoff helped Anna into his sleigh. I moved aside for Schala to step in.

And then another Gate opened.

This one opened above us, just above the trees. The moment I saw it I grabbed Schala by the arm. This was the reason she wasn't lifted clear from the sleigh and drawn in. "Doctor!", Anna cried as I reached out and grabbed the end of the sleigh before Schala and I were pulled away.

"Move it! Go now!", I shouted.

"Run for it, Sven!" Even as Kristoff gave the order his trusty reindeer compadre was already pulling ahead. The sleigh moved forward, quickly for a few moments, but suddenly it slowed. It was like Sven was trying to pull every sleigh behind us as well as his own.

"It's here for me," I heard Schala say. "It wants me! Let me go! It'll stop!"

I bit into my lip. I wasn't about to do that. No. I was going to find another bloody way. "Schala, take the screwdriver from my pocket!", I shouted to her. "It'll close it again!"

I heard her grunt as she pulled herself up along my arm and tried to use her hand to reach for my jacket. Her grip nearly failed and she had to grip with both hands again. "I can't get to it!", she shouted back.

The sleigh started to skid backward even as Sven's hooves dug up snow in a desperate attempt to pull us forward.

This wasn't going to work. We would all get pulled in. I wouldn't let that happen. "Get to Arendelle!", I shouted at the others. "Get to Arendelle as quickly as you can!"

Anna looked at me. "Wait, what are you..."

"Here we go!"

I let go of the sleigh. Which promptly took off like it was a rocket. A reindeer rocket, frankly.

"Doctor!," Anna cried out as she watched us in horror from the back of the sleigh.

My hand flailed out and I grabbed a thick tree branch and curled my arm around it to stabilize us. I heard it crackle in protest. It would give way soon. I marshaled my strength and pulled Schala to the branch as well. "On my shoulders!", I shouted.

"Let me go, please!", Schala begged.

"I'm not doing that, young lady! I won't! I won't send you to that!", I shouted back. "Now put your arms on my shoulders or we both go in!"

Her blue eyes stared at me for a moment before she acquiesced. She maneuvered herself and clasped onto my shoulders.

I heard a crack. I looked back to the branch. It was splitting off now. About a quarter and growing faster.

I scrambled for the sonic screwdriver with my freed hand while trying to breathe with Schala's arms wraped around my shoulders and neck. I managed to get a grip and pull it back out of my jacket pocket. I used the other hand, its arm wrapped around the branch - now halfway broken - to start tapping something on the screwdriver and to look at the display of readings from the Gate. I hoped I could find a way to break the link between it and Schala.

A crack made me check the branch. Three-quarters broken off. I had seconds left.

No, temporary solution it was.

I raised the sonic with my free arm and pulled it back to face the Gate. I pressed down the control and activated the sonic.

The movement changed the load on the branch. It snapped.

We flew toward the Gate.

Was I too late? Even worse, would I get pulled in as well? Pulled to what I suspected was a horrific fate, trapped with Schala and Lavos in the darkness of the inter-dimensional spaces outside of time? What kind of horror would the Time Devourer be if it had my Time Lord power added to it as well?

Had I just jeopardized an entire cosmos of space-time or more just out of rugged defiance against a fate I knew couldn't be avoided?

These thoughts went through my head as the Gate loomed in my sight, growing bigger and bigger....

....and then closing just as Schala let go of my shoulders.

So, yes, the good news was that we didn't get sucked into the Gate.

The bad news is that we fell about twenty feet.

I tried to roll with it, but as I hit the ground and rolled along, my head struck the abandoned raider sleigh.

And everything went dark.




I woke up because someone slammed my head with a meaty fist.

Looking up I saw that the raiders from the ambush had come to while I was out. Having my wrists bound behind my back was a very strong indicator, yes. And the ankles bound together too. Not fun.

"You cost us a lot of gold," one of them said, his accent thick and his breath thicker and far more foul. Dirty facial hair came close enough to prick at my skin. "And I'm going to take it out on you the entire trip back, ransom or no ransom."

"Ah." I looked around. Schala was already conscious. She was untouched but bound up as well, leaned against one of the sleighs. "So, I presume you were hired to abduct Princess Anna? By whom, may I ask?"

"Shut up!" A knife appeared and glinted in my eyes. "Or I'll take out that tongue."

"Quite the charmer," I answered. "It must make up for your inability to take a bath."

Confident as hell, the raider decided to use the knife on me.

So he wasn't expecting it when I twisted to the side, brought my legs up, and pushed my feet against the blade. The ropes snapped off from the force of my kick against the blade that cut them, giving me mobility. I twisted my legs away, rolled, and stood. A second raider came at me with his longer blade. I ducked it and, still bowing down, and made sure to put the blade between my back and my bound wrists. From there it was just a quick move of the arms and boom, wrists freed too. A kick to the knee brought the man down with a broken kneecap. Youch.

I looked to the knapsack on the sleigh that had held Anna and snatched it up, noticing the paper hanging out of one compartment. I had the sonic out as a raider stepped up to intercept me

Light erupted nearby. Schala's bonds were pushed away from her skin by energy constructs drawn from her personal magic aura. I ran over to her, grabbed her wrist, and shouted, "Now we run!"

The other raiders were reacting to our sudden flight and pulling weapons. I saw a crossbow come up and pushed us around a tree. I heard the distinct sound of the bolt burying itself deep into the wood. Yikes.

We ran into the forest heading back south. I was under no illusions we could catch up with Kristoff and Anna. I just wanted to be going in the right direction. We raced across roots and fallen branches and all the like while the raiders pursued us. Clouds came from our labored breathing in the winter snow. I felt my muscles burn as much as my face was. It was quite the workout.

The end of the forest came. Ahead of us was the road and the bridge that would lead us across a cold stream cutting through the valley. I ran toward it with Schala still behind me, puffing madly and feeling weaker as we went.

Just as we got to the bridge I heard the hoof-beats. The raiders were coming back our way, riding their reindeer and horses. Swords and blades glinted in the sunlight. A crossbow went up. At this range, without my sonic disruptor, we weren't getting away.

I looked to the stream. It was partly frozen over. In this climate, at that temperature, hypothermia would set in after maybe a minute or two. Even I couldn't stay in long.

But I we didn't go in, we'd get crossbow bolts to the hearts.

Tough call there. I went with freezing to death. "Jump in!", I shouted, getting up on the side of the bridge. Schala jumped up with me and looked apprehensive at the ice-filled water. "We have no choice!" I pulled her in with me.

We hit the water.... no, we actually didn't.

What we did hit was a pile of rocks that emerged from it. As soon as we were on top of them I felt cold rock press up on my legs and such and hold me up. I glanced over at Schala in time for the rocks to suddenly begin skidding out of the water and heading south.

I let out a laugh even as Schala looked around in stunned surprise. "What? What is this?!", she asked, worry in her voice.

"Trolls!", I cheered triumphantly. "Very nice trolls! Marvelous creatures of stone, very nice!"

I looked behind us. This confirmed there were more trolls and that the raiders were getting a right kicking from them. "That'll teach you lot to come mess around in this kingdom!", I shouted back.

"Why are they doing this?" Schala asked.

"Good question." I reached down to a stone that was ready to support me if I moved but which was otherwise moving along with the others. "Say, have a minute?"

We went on a short way and came to near a field. A broken down sleigh was in it. It had no reins and only one seat, but it looked serviceable at least. The trolls stopped us there and let us on, at which time they rolled out of their rock appearances to their normal squat half-humanoid look. "We don't have a lot of time!", one of them said.

"Oh my..." Schala reached down and touched one. "Living magical stone. With their own wills! This is... astounding!"

"Very much so," I said. I looked back to him. "We left those raiders behind, so we've got some time."

"That's not the problem," the troll said. "There's something evil in the world! Grand Pabby has felt it! He needs to see you right away!"

"Fine then. It's quite a walk, though, unless you've got a way to move this," I said, putting a hand on the sleigh.

"We'll handle that part," the troll assured me. He walked over to the others. The ones that had driven off the raiders were coming up on us and they joined in as well. I felt the sleigh lift beneath us.

And then we were off, rolling along under the trolls. "Right good show," I said. "Very clever!"

And so we rolled along.




We were closer to Arendelle when we left the path taken before, heading instead for the open area where the trolls lived. Schala was nursing the bruise on her wrists from the ropes. "Why do you risk yourself to keep me from that Gate?", Schala asked. "Do you know what's on the other end?"

"I have ideas," I answered. "Given the fiasco at the Ocean Palace, I can't imagine they're good." I looked to her. "Have any more thoughts on what you did when the Gate opened and dropped you in on me?"

"I remember a boy crying," she said. "I remember feeling very sorry for him and wanting to reach out to him, to help him. With everything that had happened it felt like the only good thing I could do. So I focused my power to send a piece of myself to him. I thought to appear briefly. But something happened and... then I was with you."

"Interesting." I mulled it over. "It's possible you were in a sort of temporal pocket, accessible to multiple points of time at once, and you happened to focus on one temporal point. Probably in proximity to a latent temporal rift of sorts." I didn't want to startle her by revealing I already knew what had happened. That she had projected not herself, but a child created from her essence, her quantum information if you would, that materialized around the time of the event she spoke of. A child that held her pendant and which just so happened to wind up adopted by Crono's friend Lucca.

"Does that have something to do with what is trying to pull me back through the Gate?", Schala asked.

"I'm not sure," I lied.

She looked at me for a moment. "I get the feeling that you're hiding things from me." When I didn't answer she nodded. "You talk about liking to travel. But there is more to you than that, isn't there?"

"Well, I do pitch in here and there, make friends, that sort of thing."

"That's it?" She looked at me. Her natural blonde was starting to show through where wear and water had worn away at the blue dye. Her blue eyes... okay, yes, the hair color and the eyes reminded me too much of Katherine. "There's nothing else to it? You just... help out here and there?"

"When it seems needed," I continued, feeling a little more uncomfortable. "I can't do too much, though. I went that route once. I became something terrible."

"Even the best motives can make us do horrible things." Her words were heavy with thought. "What of your family?"

"Don't remember," I said. I tapped my forehead. "All of my memories are sealed up in my head, beyond even the greatest psionists' help to extract without breaking my mind. For all intents and purposes, I was born a fully-grown man aboard a Sith Empire space station, where I was shortly thereafter shot and forced to regenerate." I looked to the fields of white around us. "I don't even know my name anymore."

"They call you the Doctor."

"A name I took from a Time Lord I... admire. It was a mistake." I looked at her. "Names have power. Especially that one. And it was too much for me. It changed me and led me into dark places."

"Did it?", she asked. "And what is the significance of the name of the Doctor?"

"It's a promise," I said.

"Oh?"

I closed my eyes and sighed. "Never cruel or cowardly. Never give in, never give up." I laid my head backward and looked up into the gray clouds above. "And I gave in. I was ready to become cruel. I can never let myself go that far again. I lost the right to that name."

"Then clearly you need someone to remind you of that," Schala said. "If you're already called that name by others, continuing to resist it seems foolish."

I bit my lip a little to refrain from speaking further on the matter.

"From what I have seen of you, Time Lord, you are a brave and kind man," Schala continued. "You help others without regard for the cost to yourself. I find it inspiring."

Okay, I think I blushed a little at that. Hearing the gentle mage princess describe me in those words was a little bump to the old self-esteem. "Thank you," I said. "You're no slouch in that department, I'd say."

She smiled sadly. "I wasn't brave when I needed to be. I've learned that no matter how compassionate you are, you can't protect those you care for without a little strength behind it."

"Or something close to that," I said. "The best general is one that doesn't fight unless absolutely necessary."

"An interesting saying."

I nodded. At that point, our conversation tailed off. I turned toward the knapsack I'd taken from the raiders. Within I found the letter that had lured Anna out for them. And I found a second letter as well. A second letter with instructions, not to the raiders but to the man who hired them.

I saw the name and scowled.

Of course, it had to be him.

Prince Hans.

And as I read those letters, the pieces started to come together.




The trolls were pensive when we arrived at their home. It was unsettling to see them like that. Schala and I stepped out of the sleigh and walked toward where they were gathered. A single rock rolled up amongst them and folded out to reveal their leader. Grand Pabby, as he was known, walked up to us. "Doctor. It is good to see you here," he said. "Our land, maybe our entire world, is in grave danger."

"You're talking about the force that is drawing away Elsa's power," I said. "Slowly killing her even as it uses her power to launch attacks with ice and snow creatures on every kingdom and duchy in the region."

"Yes." The old troll nodded. "I sensed its arrival. It is malicious and cruel. And it is growing stronger."

"Such forces usually do," I opined. "What more can you tell me?"

"I have fashioned a protective charm for Elsa. It will keep her safe until you deal with this monster." He offered up to me a pendant with a bright blue jewel set into it, flanked by smaller gems and forming a old Nordic rune that symbolized shielding. "I'm not sure I can do anything else to aid you. We are not a fighting people now. I'm not sure of anything we can do to repulse the army moving on Arendelle."

"It won't be necessary to," I answered. "Not once I expose the leader of this coalition for what he is." I frowned. I felt something trickle into me. A feeling of wrongness in space-time.

I realized what it was a moment before it formed.

The Gate returned, forming lower to the ground this time. The trolls cried out and moved away.

In that split second, I decided to test a theory. I lunged at Schala and put the pendant on her just as her feet started to come out from under her. She cried out in surprise and began to fall over.

The moment the pendant was on her, her movement stopped. The Gate seemed to flicker momentarily, its energies going wild and distorted, and it finally collapsed in on itself.

"Well, it worked," I gasped.

Grand Pabby walked up to where Schala was laying and took her hand. "Young woman." His voice was gentle and friendly. "I sense great turmoil in your heart. But know that the purity of the light within will see you through, even in the darkness that comes to claim you."

Schala looked at him in surprise and then at me. Her eyes were questioning. I looked away.

"You know of her fate, don't you Doctor?" Grand Pabby went up to me. "You've always known."

"It's not happening," I said. "I won't allow it."

"You cannot stop that fate. To try would be to turn back itno the darkness you left behind."

"What is he talking about?", Schala asked. "What does he mean?"

"I..." I took in a breath. "...I don't have time for this, we need to get to Arendelle and I need to get to my TARDIS. Even with her broken down there are things I..."

There was rolling sounds from further in the troll habitat. I looked up to see the trolls rolling along on the ground... pulling the TARDIS along with them.

"We found it in the woods during the night," Pabby explained. "I knew you would have need of it when I spoke to you."

"Yes." Ignoring Schala's intent look, I went past her and to the TARDIS door. Inside the lights were working. Parts of the controls were already re-assembled. "You took a beating, my poor girl. Glad to see you're getting better." I went down the stairs to the lower part of the room to get parts. I had only a limited amount of time to at least partially rebuild the tool I needed for what was to come.

I heard Schala walk down the stairs. I looked up to see her looking at my shelf of finished temporal beacons. "What are these?", she asked.

"Beacons," I answered. "Devices tied to the TARDIS, they let my friends call me if they need help and let me find them if they need me to."

"I see." She walked up to me. "Please, don't be afraid of the truth. I knew something was wrong with the Gates coming for me."

"I'm not letting it take you," I insisted. "With that pendant the bloody thing can't find you, it'll stay away."

"What will?"

I refused to look, focusing on fishing out parts from a stack. I felt a hand press on my shoulder. Schala turned me to face her. "What is on the other side of the Gates?", she asked. "What is seeking to take me?"

I swallowed. I wasn't sure about telling her. I didn't want her to know. I didn't want that to happen to her.

But I knew, deep down, it had to eventually.

"Lavos," I answered.

She stared at me.

"His essence. He was mucking about with dimensional field effects when Crono and his friends killed the thing," I explained. "Something about that must have sent what was left of him into the formless oblivion between dimensions."

"The Darkness Beyond Time," Schala gasped.

"Yes." I swallowed. "Which is where you were being taken when that Gate dropped you with me." Seeing the look of horror on her face, I trudged on. "You will be, I mean, would have been absorbed by Lavos. Trapped. His negative emotions and feelings would have twisted your own, bringing out feelings of despair that would have turned you both into a single entity set to devour all space and time."

"I..." The color had left her face. She stumbled backward and plopped onto the stairs, using them as a seat. "How do you know?"

"I've already dealt with some of the side effects of that," I said. "Balthasar begins some silly plan of nudging events at various space-time points to ensure the creation of a powerful artifact that can separate you. A young man eventually makes it and uses it upon you. At least, that's what I imagine happened, I haven't observed those events yet."

"So... I'm freed from this?"

"Eventually, I believe. I'm not sure how." I sighed. "And I'm not sure what it means for you. It may drive you nearly insane. It'll still cause you untold suffering. And that's if there is no slight shifting in events that causes the Chrono Cross to not get made after all. Then you'll be trapped for eternity within that thing."

She went silent and I regretted telling her anything at all. I forced myself back to work.




We walked back up to the main controls of the TARDIS. I checked her over. Her damage was still too severe to travel. We would need to return to Arendelle on foot or by sled.

Schala was quiet from where she stood. She'd been quiet since I told her about her fate on the other end of the Gates.

I was about to ask her what was wrong when I heard commotion from outside amongst the trolls. I stepped out of the TARDIS and saw Kristoff had ridden up on his sleigh. There were crossbow bolts in the back. "Doctor, we need your help!"

"The army landed," I said.

"They've taken Elsa and Anna," he said. "They're going to execute them tonight!"

"Because they think Elsa has attacked them with her powers. Well, official reason anyway." I figured the truth was that every leader who was wary of her was using this as an opening and an excuse. A deathly sick Elsa was one that couldn't freeze the executioner into an icicle, so they had their chance to kill her now and be done with it. "And on Christmas Eve? That's bad form. Anyway, who's leading the forces?"

"The Duke of Weselton." Kristoff scowled. "And Prince Hans."

I snickered. "Of course he is. Probably looking to take the crown." I tapped the knapsack I had with me. "Well, I think I know just how to deflate his game. At least that part of it. There's more going on here than you realize," I explained before hopping into the sleigh. "Come along, Schala. We'd better get moving!"
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-21 04:37pm

Evening had set in when Kristoff's sleigh returned to Arendelle. Armed men with halberds and swords and crossbows were scattered about the town in platoons, controlling the port and all the major roads. This would have ordinarily given us a bit of a challenge, since they could be expected to stop a sleigh carrying three people.

On the other hand, with Schala casting illusion magic to make it look like Kristoff was alone and pulling loads of cut ice blocks, the soldiers had little cause to turn away Arendelle's Icemaster. Who no longer looked like Kristoff, I'll add, given he was shot at earlier. I wasn't taking risks given the time limit we were under.

The mood in the city was dark. The handful of people out and about looked at the soldiers warily and rushed their way through streets. The flags of several kingdoms and duchies and principalities abounded. I recognized Weselton's coat of arms, those of several other neighboring states, Hans' native Southern Isles, and even the sun emblem of the Kingdom of Corona. "Quite the coalition," I murmured.

Kristoff approached the palace, where a couple of Weselton soldiers were standing watch on the gate. He held up his badge and they looked it over before nodding. Not even asking why ice was being delivered in the middle of winter. Very bad guarding, really, but good for us.

We went into the courtyard and found it containing several more units of soldiers. There were tense looks everywhere. There was a lot of fear here. Kristoff was on the receiving end of some suspicious glances. He had Sven trot up to the tradesman's entrance of the inner palace, where another guard - this one from Corona, nodded at him and returned to looking the other way.

"Stay close," Schala said to me. I did so. The illusion field around us shifted to show nothing when we got off the sleigh. Schala was running both illusions at once, conjuring the ice and our invisibility. The rest she had gotten from our trip back to Arendelle had recovered her constitution rather well, I noted. Which was important for my plan.

It was only once we were inside and had gone a ways in that Schala removed the glamor that had made ice appear visible. Anyone looking that way would be puzzled but would undoubtedly presume the ice had just been quickly unloaded.

Now that I knew what to look for, I had the sonic out and scanning. And guiding us away from any patrols on the inside. We came up upon a couple of guards who were watching the pantry. "The guards are imprisoned, right?"

"Yes," Kristoff answered.

"You'll need a uniform," I said. "Let's acquire them from these gentlemen."

With a pulse from the sonic I knocked both men out. Inside the pantry the kitchen staff froze in terror until they saw us, at which point they happily helped Kristoff hide the now-bound soldiers in the storage room. He got into the best-fitting chain-mail armor amongst the two and soon looked like a regular man-at-arms. Although I was pretty sure he was holding the halberd the wrong way. "Just don't walk into any inspections," I advised him. "Go to the dungeons and free the guards."

"What about you?", he asked.

I smiled and looked to Schala. "We have a show to put on."




The Ballroom had been converted to a courtroom of sorts. We entered from the side door and remained hidden from view under Schala's magic. This let me take in the sight of the room. Elsa lay slumped against Anna, both bound and placed in a cage with several men pointing crossbows at them. Various dignitaries were seated around them, including the palace staff and other Arendelle people. Doctor Symons was between the sisters and the main table. There the Duke of Weselton sat at the center, Hans to his right side and other foreign lords seated on both sides. Hans was in the cream white uniform I expected. His hands bore fine gloves of the finest make, and given the look on him, well, I expected he had plans for how this situation would end. And it would involve the throne he had sought before.

"We have all suffered from these scurrilous attacks," the Duke of Weselton proclaimed, his toupee flopping on his bald head. "Now we will have justice for them. Justice by deliving this sorcerer and her accomplice to the executioner! That's the only way to make our lands safe again!"

At one end of the table, a man with a Mediterranean complexion stood. He was wearing more humble refinery than the others, but I recognized him as a power at the table to be reckoned with; Prince Flynn of Corona. "My kingdom joined this effort because you said you had incontrovertible proof that Queen Elsa was responsible for the attacks. Yet look at her! She is weak and tired. You can't tell me she created the snowstorm that cost us half of the fleet when she is like that!"

"Her sorcery knows no bounds!", the Duke insisted. "We must act while she is not well, undoubtedly overextended from her attacks on us!" Other voices mumbled aloud at that, showing agreement. Some others showed displeasure.

"If you kill the Princess Anna too, you exterminate the Royal Family of this kingdom!"

"Arendelle needs a strong leader after spending so much time in the yoke of Queen Elsa's sorcery." Hans stood. "I have built a rapport with the people of this kingdom. I know of their needs. I consider myself the candidate to assume the throne."

"I know what you did the last time you were here, Prince Hans," Flynn snapped. "You tried to murder your way to the throne!"

Hans looked at him. "I was trying to save this land from her!" He pointed a finger at Elsa. "This entire family is cursed."

"And how fortunate you just happen to show up as these attacks started," Flynn continued. He looked back to the cage with the sisters in it. "This is becoming a farce."

There were some mumbles of agreement. Hans glowered at him. A hand went to his sword. "I'll remind the Prince Consort of Corona that unlike himself, I am of proper blood and I will not be insulted like that."

At that, Flynn's men-at-arms drew swords and hefted halberds. The troops of the Southern Isles and Weselton followed suit. Yes, it was rather clear those two were working together. At least provisionally. "The enemy of my enemy" and all.

"Your Highnesses!" One of the other delegates, possessing a German accent, stood. "Let us compromise. It is clear Queen Elsa is a threat and must be executed for her sorcery, but her sister is not taken by these powers. Let Anna reign as Queen. Honor and dignity will be satisfied."

"No!", Anna screamed. "You can't!"

"She'll just seek revenge, Your Lordship," Hans said. "Who knows what evil she'll turn to. I've already told you about the trolls that dwell in this land and their sorcery."

"A compromise, then?" Weselton gestured. "Marry her off to a suitable husband, who will rule as King and keep her from acting inappropriately."

Hans smirked. "An interesting idea. She was to be my wife anyway."

Flynn slammed his hand on the table. Before he could protest, Anna did so. "I'd rather marry a pig! At least they're honest!"

Given the smirk on his face, I was quite certain Anna's reaction was what Hans sought. He spread his arms and looked to the delegate. "As you can see, she will not listen to reason. And your Duke has already agreed to my becoming King."

"Corona has not," Flynn growled. At that, the tension in the room spiked again.

"I think we can all agree that whatever else, Queen Elsa must die, and she must die this night!," Weselton insisted.

At this point I had heard enough. I nodded to Schala, who released the veil over me and went off to her part of the plan.

It was time for the show to begin.

"Good evening, Your Graces and Highnesses!", I called out in a cheery voice, stepping out from behind a column. All eyes turned toward me as I ventured to the center of the room. "Prince Flynn, so good to see you again. And Your Grace..." I looked at Weselton and didn't keep the smile off my face. "I see that you replaced that fleet."

Weselton frowned and stabbed an accusing finger at me. "Sorcerer! That sorcerer is here too! Guards, seize him!"

His guards advanced forward, momentarily forgetting the presence of Flynn's men. I smirked and drew out my sonic screwdriver. "Ah ah. Conjurer, remember? Or sorcerer. Whichever you prefer. I don't want to turn you all into toads if I don't have to." With confidence kept on my features I strode closer, ignoring the men-at-arms who seemed uncertain of what to do. "Seriously, gentlemen? Talking about executing two people on Christmas Eve? That's simply horrible! Not at all in the spirit of the season!"

"Say your peace, sir," one of the delegates barked. His accent was vaguely Eastern European. Polish, perhaps?

"You've all been used for patsies," I announced. "This is a scheme. And I have proof." I held up the knapsack. It's crudeness undoubtedly made it clear that it was of northern origin.

That probably explained the sullen look that came over Hans.

"This man is a sorcerer in league with Queen Elsa!", Weselton snapped. "We can't trust a word he says!"

"So, Your Grace..." I smiled at him, remaining perfectly polite. I was even going to refrain from calling his demense "Weaseltown". "....what were you promised, hrm? A trade monopoly? Some lucrative agreement that would turn Arendelle into your economic vassal? That was the price you were to get for supporting this blatant grab for the throne, wasn't it?"

Weselton's face turned red. "My people have been attacked! Attacked by her!" He stabbed a finger at Elsa. "I will make any deal to stop this... this witch from continuing her evil ways!"

"Ah, attacked you say." I nodded and looked to the others. "So I take it that is why you are all here? Even Arendelle's closest allies and friends? Attacks from ice and snow monsters? You've all been deceived gentlemen. Elsa is not behind these attacks. She is their victim as well."

"You have no proof," Hans growled.

"I beg to differ. Prince Flynn?"

Flynn nodded to his men. One of them took the knapsack and carried it to him. He opened the letters within. "You'll find a letter sent to Anna the day before yesterday, luring her away with the promise of help," I said. "And in the same handwriting a conspirator arranging her abduction. Among other... items."

Flynn quickly looked over the letters. He turned and looked to Hans. "You have been busy amongst the Northerners, sir."

"I was sent there as Ambassador by my eldest brother," Hans answered coldly. "I have to protect my family's interests in any way I can."

"By working with bandits?", Flynn asked, handing the letters down to the Eastern European delegate, who looked over the text next.

"The Prince of Corona is one to talk," Weselton snapped. "You're nothing but a glorified thief yourself!"

Flynn smirked at that. "An honest one, though."

I looked around the room. The crossbowmen were still ready to kill Elsa and Anna at the first hint of real trouble, and I suspected that included a fight between the allies in the room. I had to be careful. I needed more time.

So it was time to drop the bomb and see how right I was.

"Well, let's be honest," I said loudly, making sure to get their attention. "It's not like Hans is the real mastermind here."

Eyes turned toward me. Even Hans'.

"You're not alone in this," I said. "After all, you are many things, Prince Hans, but a wielder of metaphysical power isn't one of them. You couldn't have drained Elsa of her power and made her so sick, nor could you have simply gained those powers yourself. That required another conspirator. One who, whether you realize it or not, is pulling the strings. As is his custom." I followed Hans' eyes and confirmed my suspicions. But I wasn't done yet. "Oh, and just to verify something... think fast!"

Being a Time Lord, i had barely finished the word "think" when the object I had pulled out of my pocket was already racing toward Hans' forehead. It was, in fact, a ballpoint pen, but from his point of view it could have easily been a dart or a dagger. His hands went up to intercept it.

A blast of freezing cold erupted and blew the now-frozen pen away.

All eyes turned on Hans with horror and surprise.

All except one pair of eyes, that is. But I'm getting to that.

I was smiling. "Your friend outdid himself. I was wondering what he was doing with Elsa's power. He wasn't just conjuring snow monsters to terrorize the neighbors. He was giving that power to you."

There was horror on Hans' face now. Horror at being revealed. And... perhaps horror that this was being done to him in the first place. "It wasn't part of the deal, was it?", I asked. "You were simply to take the throne. You didn't want this power. After all, you can't control it very well, can you? That's why you're the only one who always seems to wear gloves even indoors. And even with them, when you put your mind to it..."

The other nobles all looked at each other and then to Hans, confirming this fact for themselves.

"You made a deal with a very nasty being. A very powerful one." I shook my head. "That never goes well for people like you. Isn't that right, Doctor Symons?"

All heads turned toward Symons, who remained still. He was focusing on me. "You believe you know," he rasped.

"Oh, I knew very early," I said. "Energy transference like that is made more efficient with proximity. But if you'd wanted Elsa dead, she wouldn't have lasted this long. I knew you had other plans. That's the only reason I didn't take Elsa with me when we left to look for Anna."

"You know nothing," Symons said.

Even as he did... yes, I saw it now. Adopting a contemporary look had changed his appearance enough that at first glance it wasn't as noticeable. But I was right. I knew who he was.

"You arrived here as what? A specter of a specter? A fragment, barely cognizant? But then Elsa's power drew you. It reminded you of what you were, it reminded you of the forms you could take, and over time you grew powerful enough to move again. That's when the trolls started to sense you." I kept a steady look on him. Every set of eyes in the room, even those of the crossbowmen, were starting to become fixed on the two of us.

"So you think you know who I am, little man? Puny little Time Lord? You think you can comprehend the greatness of what I am?"

"Yes," I said. I pointed a finger at him. "I know who you are. I know what you really are, Doctor Symons." I stared into those malevolent eyes, all doubts erased. Indeed, every doubt erased. I felt my smile turn into a bit of a smirk. "Or should I say Walter Simeon? Padmasambhava? No, those were just your puppets, let's use your real name. You are Yog-Sothoth, the Great Old One, the Great Intelligence."

And at that, Symons smiled wickedly. "You know much, false Time Lord. But you still know nothing."

"This world will not be yours!", I shouted.

"You cannot stop me. It is too late." He looked toward Elsa and smiled. "I already have..."

And the smile disappeared.

Mine didn't.

"You." He glared hatred at me. "Trickery! Just like him, trickery!"

In the span of an instant, the cage was empty.

Schala was standing beside it, the ropes that had bound Anna and Elsa at her feet, and the two sisters still missing. From the concentration on her face, I was certain she was shielding Elsa again. The pendant was still on her neck, so it was from her own power.

"Sorcery!", the Duke of Weselton screeched.

"Quite a lot of that going around," I said. "On both sides. The only difference, Your Grace, is that this one isn't going to settle for being left alone. So, what was the plan? Drain Elsa dry and use that power to manifest a form? Take her's? No." I shook my head. "Not her's."

I looked toward Hans. Who had manifested ice power through his gloves. Elsa had never done that.

Symons did so as well. And then...

He suddenly wasn't there. Not physically. But I could feel his essence.

"Schala, shield Hans! Now!", I shouted.

Her hands moved and with them her power. Hans recoiled in fear, not realizing we weren't the things he needed to be afraid of.

Then his face twisted with terror. He screamed wordlessly. "I couldn't stop it!", I heard Schala shout.

And then Hans straightened. His face twisted into an evil smile and his voice was deeper, raspier, than before. "There." He looked at his gloved hands as if they were the strangest thing in the world. "Whole again. And with power, so much power..."

"What are you?", Weselton gasped, slinking away.

The Great intelligence answered by raising his hand at Weselton. Ice focused around the old man until he was a human popsicle.

"Now." The Great Intelligence looked toward me with Hans' eyes. "It is time for you all to die."




Okay, things weren't going according to plan. I admit that I allowed my concern for Elsa to override my judgement. I had presumed the Great Intelligence would prefer the actual source of that power, not a being infused with a part of it, and that he wouldn't bother with Hans.

Clearly I was wrong. Either about his motives or about his ability to transfer after everything was done. I'm not perfect, after all.

The men-at-arms of Weselton charged forth to fight for their Duke. With a sweep of his hand the Intelligence summoned forth more of those killer snowmen and ice wolves, who set on them. The other delegates retreated to their bodyguards, who were joined by the men from the Southern Isles who no longer had a leader.

"Well, what now, Time Lord?", he asked me. "What will you do now? What meager ploy will you attempt to defeat me?"

"You might be surprised at what I can do," I said.

"Ha! You are nothing. You are a fraud, a shadow, a little creature running from world to world, searching for something he cannot find," the Great Intelligence declared. "Run along, little Time Lord. Run and keep running."

"No," I said. I pulled out the device I had built in the TARDIS. My new sonic disruptor, more streamlined than the last, pointed at him. "I don't run from you. Never from the likes of you."

"Really? All you have done is run. Run from the past you can't find. Run from the identity you lost control of. Run from yourself." The Intelligence laughed. "Yes, I have seen these things in you. I know what you truly are."

"Do you?" I felt an edge come to my voice. "You've seen what's inside me, yes?"

"I have. A coward, unable to fight for his own principles, never sticking to things, always running to escape the emptiness inside." The Great Intelligence smiled wickedly at my frown. "Running around and providing little comforts here and there. You couldn't handle trying to become what you claimed to be."

"Maybe not," I agreed. I kept the disruptor pointed at him. "Maybe I have run from what I am and what I became. Maybe I've been a fool. But that doesn't change the truth. The truth of what I am."

"And what are you, little Time Lord?", the Great Intelligence asked.

I looked the monster in the eyes. For he was a monster, in another monster's stolen body, and for me there was only one thing to do with monsters. "I'm a man who fights monsters," I said.

He answered me with a blast of ice energy. I absorbed it with the sonic disruptor. Nevertheless I felt the ice cold flow around it and strike me. The disruptor wouldn't protect me from the full fury of his power.

A bolt of energy struck at him and forced the Intelligence back several steps. Schala's hands glowed with energy and another bolt came from them, meeting a powerful ice blast in mid-air. The two blasts went through each other and the combatants were struck by one another. The Intelligence fell backward and hit the floor. Schala's defenses protected her from the worst of the cold. Instead of being frozen like the Duke of Weselton, she fell back from the impact and was shivering by the time she hit the ground. For the moment, she was out of the fight.

Some of the men-at-arms surged forward to attack, just to be met by more snowmen. I triggered a disruption blast to break them apart, then another. But the Intelligence was crafting them faster than I could destroy them. They plowed through the men-at-arms and went for the assembled delegates, who were for the most part unarmed. Not that swords would have done them much good anyway.

Before the first snowman could start ripping into the foreign nobles, there was a burst of cold that congealed before them. It grew quickly into the form of Elsa's favored snow golem. It let out a roar and broke several of the snowmen in a single swipe.

I turned to see Elsa was leaning against her sister for support, standing beside a column at the side of the room and formerly out of sight. Just where Schala had directed them. Elsa was still haggard and pale. But I felt the energy thrum from her regardless. She was finding more energy to fight with, even if just for a little bit.

I almost died. One of the ice wolves was lunging at me from behind. Anna shouted "Doctor look out!" and even as I heard the second word beginning I was ducking and twisting. The wolf sailed over my head and plowed into one of the snowmen coming at me. The snow golem got them both.

"There you are." The Intelligence smirked and looked toward Elsa and Anna. He began to walk over, ignoring the fighting. For good reason, since the numbers he was generating just by moving were going to overwhelm us.

The main door suddenly flew open. Sven barged in at full speed with Kristoff behind him and the guards of Arendelle at their back. They quickly took in the situation and fearlessly charged into the mass of snowmen threatening their erstwhile enemies. Kristoff, having swapped the halberd for a mace, used it to smash up a snowman menacing Prince Flynn. "Thank you," Flynn said. He held up a sword he'd snatched from a ceremonial armor by one of the columns and used it to break up the grasping arms of the fallen snowman.

I kept my eyes on Anna and Elsa. "Stay away!" Anna shouted at the Intelligence as he loomed closer.

He looked to her with contempt and threw an ice bolt that would have frozen and shattered her if Elsa hadn't dispersed it. I rushed toward them to help.

The Intelligence's hand came up. I ducked under the blast he was sending my way. Just proximity was enough to cause ice to form over my left shoulder and neck, holding my arm and head in place as the cold burnt its way into my flesh and made me numb. I let out a cry and hit the ground. I brought up my sonic to begin shattering the ice.

As I did so, the Intelligence focused on Elsa again. His cold didn't do anything to harm her, but her's couldn't harm him either. As he came close he reached out and grabbed Anna, yanking her away. Ice formed where he gripped her wrist, freeing her right arm. Anna kicked desperately at his knee. Whatever pain it caused was something he seemed to ignore. He contemptuously threw her to the side.

Elsa was too sick and weak to avoid more than the second attempt to grab her. Once he had on his hands around her shoulders the Intelligence pressed her against the column. I felt the energy thrumming between them. The link he had forged before was still active and he was beginning to draw more of Elsa's power away. No, not just that. He was starting to overwhelm her mind.

That was it. The Intelligence wasn't going to just take Hans' body, he wanted both.

I looked around. Everyone else was fighting for their lives. Schala was still recovering, being shielded by Kristoff and Flynn. Anna was barely conscious where she lay.



I forced myself to my feet and charged. Hitting the Intelligence was like hitting a stone wall. Hans was, if not as tall as I was, still a strong and well-built man. But no matter how the Intelligence was strengthening him, he still had the same mass, and standard physics applied (as rare as that can be in this line of work, I admit). The impact I made against him released Elsa from his grip. She crumbled as we hit the wall. I scrambled away and lifted my sonic disruptor, pointing it toward him in time to deflect an ice bolt. "You wanted to know who I am?!", I shouted. "I am the one who stands against you! I am the one who stops the monsters! No matter where I find you, no matter what world or cosmos or reality, I will always stop the monsters!"

He blasted at me again. The cold seeped over my hand and arms, creating frost on my sleeve. I ignored the stinging, numbing pain and counter-attacked with a kinetic blast that threw the Great Intelligence to the floor in the middle of the Hall. I stepped up toward him. As I did, I realized just how much those words meant to me. For the first time in a long time I was facing what I had become, I was understanding it in a way I never had before. Understanding and accepting.

I had long accepted I would never go back to whomever was locked away in my mind. Now I accepted that, no matter how things had gone, I was someone new. I had an identity, one that I had run from out of fear and pain, but which I could never truly cast away.

I had taken the Name and made it mine.

And the Name had taken me and made me its.

Its spirit was mine now. There was no getting around that. I had made the choice and these were the consequences. And I had to accept that.

I had to accept who I was.

The Intelligence was starting to get up. I activated the defensive setting on the disruptor and modified it using the readings it had been taking on his power. A solid blast of sheer frozen power lashed out at me and struck the shield. It took the energy and re-directed it back at him, every bit of it. The Intelligence froze in place for the moment. "That is who I am," I said. "That is what I am. And I am not going to run from it any longer."

And my voice went calm when I spoke again. What I was saying didn't need a bold pronouncement. It wasn't to be said as melodramatic proclamation or posturing. It was a simple statement of truth, with a clarity as pure as crystal, sublime as the facets of a single snowflake.

"I am the Doctor."

The Intelligence reacted to that name with a roar and another blast of energy. My deflector did its job once more. Even despite it I thought my hands would freeze from the bleedthrough of his power. What I got didn't compare to what he took, as the re-directed blast froze Hans' body completely in place.

"Schala, now."

The mage princess had gotten back up at this point. She nodded at me and moved her hands in a single motion, summoning great potentials of energy. She directed this technique at the Great Intelligence. It was powerful, explicitly made to strip beings like the Intelligence from their hosts and bind them.

Ordinarily even someone as powerful as Schala would have found the task of imprisoning an entity like this impossible. But this was not ordinary. Frozen in a body that was resisting him, the Intelligence was damaged and overstretched in trying to resist everything. Hans' frozen body twisted slightly as Schala drew the Intelligence out. I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out something I'd cobbled together after some interesting exchanges of idea with one Doctor Spengler over a plate of delicious Twinkies. A nice little prison pocket dimension for a bodiless entity like the Great Intelligence, reinforced by Schala's power. She pulled it out of my hand and held it up. Schala murmured something in Zealish and directed the energy into the bottle-like container. The top's red light came on, showing it had sealed itself.

It was then that I noticed that Schala had pulled off the troll pendant. She tossed it to Anna. "Put that on your sister," she instructed her.

"What are you doing?", I asked. "Schala, without that..."

I felt it then. The same feeling as before.

"I lied," Schala said. "I'm sorry. This spell cannot entirely bind him. He will escape in a few minutes at most."

"Then..." I swallowed. I realized what she was doing. "Please, there has to be another way!"

Above me space-time tore open. A howling gate, blue and black in color, tore open yet again, its otherworldly shriek of energy echoing in my ears. Air began to pick up around us. Schala's hair whipped about, now turning almost completely blond in color. "There is no other way," she said calmly. Her voice shook a little from the fear of what she was about to do. "It must be done."

"No," I said. "I can find another way, another receptacle, there's no need to sacrifice yourself!"

"It's the only way. And you know it." Her smile was so gentle as the energy of the Gate picked her up, pulling it towards its dark maw. "Thank you, Doctor."

"Schala! Schala, no!" I dashed forward, readying myself to jump and grab her. But as I prepared to jump off my feet Kristoff grabbed me by the right arm. "Let me go!", I roared. Anna grabbed the other arm. Flynn made a diving tackle that cut my legs out from under me.

All I could do was watch as Schala was dragged into the Gate, the Great Intelligence still a prisoner in her hand.

"It'll be all right!", she yelled.

And then she disappeared into the Gate, which snapped shut.

I continued to lay upon the floor for the moment. Tears came to my eyes as I looked up at where the Gate had closed. I could have saved her. I knew I could have saved her.

Especially on a night like tonight. On Christmas Eve. On days with such power.

I found Anna was hugging me. She sobbed softly. "I'm sorry," she said to me. "She said it had to be this way. I couldn't talk her out of it."

"I know," I said in reply, trying to blink tears out of my eyes. "I know."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-22 07:53pm

The pendant had apparently been made to not simply shield Elsa but to give her a bit of quick energy. With it she unfroze both Hans, who was delivered directly to the dungeons, and the Duke of Weselton, whom Prince Flynn - or Eugene as Elsa called him, a knowing smile on her face - escorted forcefully back to the invasion ships. The assembled nobility had found themselves rescued from certain death by the same "sorceress" they had come to execute.

Fitting.

Elsa retired to her bed that Christmas Eve, exhausted by her illness and in need of several days of bed rest to fully recover. In her name Anna sent the soldiers to recover the TARDIS from the trolls. I was given a room to sleep in, although sleep proved elusive. I kept imagining what had happened, all of the things I might have done to save Schala from the horrible ordeal that faced her on the other end of that Gate.

But circumstance had forbidden that. I had failed.

That was part of being the Doctor too.

It felt soothing to accept that name again. To no longer feel the need to wince or blanch whenever someone used it to talk to me. After all of the darkness I had walked through, and then the pain, I felt like I had emerged into the light of day. Uncertainty and fear over my identity melted away under that simple, single truth.

I was the Doctor. By my own choice. A foolish choice, perhaps, but still by my choice.

Somehow I finally settled into sleep.




The form appeared in front of me. I recognized the old man. "This again?", I asked.

The First Doctor looked me over. "Well, it looks like you're starting to understand."

"Hrm, yes," the Second said. "But fast enough to realize what's at stake?"

You can guess that they spoke in order from that point on.

"He still needs work."

"But he's getting better. Oh. Want one?"

I accepted the proferred jellybaby.

The Fifth Doctor put a hand on my shoulder. "It was her decision, don't let it torment you."

"Or if you must, do something about it!", the Sixth insisted.

"She was naive, but not foolish. A girl like that can think ahead if given the chance."

"It won't get easier either way."

"It never does."

I was up to the Ninth Doctor. "So, you understand now? Ready to accept what's happened?"

"Yes," I said. "I... well, for the lack of a better terminology, I have become you."

"Yes, very much." Ten appeared on my shoulder. "And filling these shoes isn't easy work, you'd best stay on your toes!"

"You're just a dream, so I know it's just my own mind deciding what I should say." As I said those words I held back a laugh.

"Oooh, getting used to the idea, eh?" Ten winked. "Think you're already me, don't you?"

"I didn't..."

"No, no, all in good fun." Ten smiled and walked off into the distance.

"That's just the start." I was prompted to turn and face Eleven. "You know there's more to this. You have to remember."

"I've tried," I said. "I fainted the last time."

"Keep trying," Eleven insisted. "This is important. Really, really important. You were sent out here for a reason, Doctor! And you need to know what that reason was in order to avoid what's coming!"

"What do you mean?", I asked. "What do you mean by that? What's coming?"

"You're supposed to be me now, I'm sure you'll figure it out." Eleven smiled boyishly at me. "Now, how about those memories? Ready to give it another try?"

I admit I wasn't. Not entirely. But something about the way he said it made me nod and focus. Focusing in a dream, that's always fun. I figured I'd end up in a dream meeting Santa Claus or....

I was in a chair. I felt heavier. And I was in pain.

"What do you want?!" a panicked voice screamed. I... I thought it sounded familiar. American. What was...?

"This one will serve our purpose. It must be done. For..."

I could see figures again.

"Stop, please stop..." The American voice echoed in my head again.

A female voice spoke. I could barely make out the words. "...not going... last."

"It has.... one. Without... all fall apart.... destroyed!"

"But!"

One of the faces turned toward them and said something I couldn't make out through the pain. I saw the side of the face. I.. I knew that face. I thought I knew. But the memory slipped through my fingers, like the surface of a bubble sliding between them.

And then I woke up.





A wail brought my attention to the dining hall. Many of the delegates were present and signing new treaties with Arendelle, re-affirming alliances and defense pacts. The Duke of Weselton was busy looking over the document Kai had placed before him. Elsa watched calmly, but with a good deal of mirth in her expression. She was clad in royal dress but nothing ostentatious. Ladies-in-waiting remained to take her back to her bedchambers as soon as the talks were over.

"This... this is...", the Duke spat.

"Your Grace." Elsa's voice was quiet and collected, if still a little weak. "You've been seeking resumed trade with my kingdom since my coronation. Isn't this what you want."

"But the prices, the duties and customs fees and...!" Weselton buried his face in his hands. "You're beggaring us!"

"No, I'm not," Elsa said. "I am simply requiring you to pay what everyone else must."

"But my people..."

"...will still make enough that our trade is worth it," Elsa finished for him, clearly enjoying herself. "You just won't profit exclusively this time." Elsa put her hands together. "His Highness the Prince of Corona has already indicated that Corona may increase purchases from Arendelle if Weselton doesn't resume trade."

Weselton glared at the smirking Prince Flynn. He looked back to Elsa. "Please, Your Majesty, can't I get any consideration?"

"You already did, Your Grace. Last night."

Elsa's words didn't have to be sharp. They didn't have to be imposing. By simple statement of fact she made the position clear; she had saved his life after he had done everything to take her's. This would be his cost; regaining the trade ties they both needed, but in no way profiting handsomely from it as he had long hoped. And surrounded here by the delegates of his peers and superiors in courts across the land, Weselton refusing her would further reduce his land's prestige in their eyes. "Fine," he sighed, after which he scribbled his name on the trade treaty and put his ducal stamp upon it.

"It will be nice to see our markets filled with your produce again," Elsa said diplomatically. "Now, Your Grace, Your Highnesses and Your Lordships, I am still weary and I wish to spend the rest of this Christmas with my sister and her fiancee. Good day to you."

They filed out, Flynn flashing a grin Elsa's way as he walked out, leaving me in the room with Elsa and her ladies-in-waiting. The two young ladies helped her stand up and move into a wheelchair. She looked at me and smiled. "I think restoring peace to my kingdom and our neighbors made for a great Christmas morning, considering the circumstances."

"I agree."

Elsa extended a hand as I knelt down. I gave it a gentlemanly kiss, obeying social norms and all, and she laughed lightly. "I would make you a peer of my kingdom if I thought you would accept it. You'll at least accept a royal order?"

"I would be happy to," I said in reply. "Although I hope to find another just as deserving."

Elsa's smile turned sad. "She was a kind and gentle soul. Arendelle won't forget her sacrifice, Doctor, I promise you that. I won't forget it."

"I know." I stood up and allowed her attendants to wheel her out. I followed to continue the conversation. "So, what shall be done about Hans?"

"I returned him to his brothers last time. They decided to punish him by sending him to the North. It wasn't enough." Elsa frowned. "He's staying in my dungeon while I negotiate the matter with the Southern Isles."

"I imagine you won't expect much trouble."

"None at all. Everyone has seen him for what he is."

I nodded. "I imagine he won't be in shape for a trial for a while, though. The Great Intelligence can have an effect upon the mind. I'll have to go check on him later. What I'm more interested in was calling Kristoff Anna's fiancee."

"Her Christmas gift," Elsa said. "I signed the authorization for her to marry anyone of her choice." I saw a flicker appear in Elsa's eyes, amusement and happiness. "I want my little sister happy, Doctor."

"Indeed."

"And what about you? What do you want for Christmas?"

I contemplated the question for a moment. "I think," I answered, finally deciding on what to say, "that I have mostly gotten everything I might want. But there is one thing I have yet to do."

Elsa nodded, understanding completely. "Then good luck," she said.

"Thank you, Elsa. You'll be feeling better in no time, I'm sure."

"All thanks to you," she said. "Will you be here for the Christmas feast?"

I initially considered refusing. But that would have been unkind. And the TARDIS would need another day or two of repairs before I could leave. So I nodded. "I accept."




The Christmas feast was a true wonder. The doors of the palace were opened and food was provided for all of the people of Arendelle. There were some unkind looks at the former occupying soldiers, but Queen Elsa was punishing them with kindness, insisting on their partaking as well. Hams and geese and duck, all sorts of meat, were provided to the revelers, as were all sorts of other dishes of Scandinavian make or otherwise. Carolers sang in the courtyard, their music becoming especially joyous when Anna's marriage to Kristoff was announced.

As was my custom, I tried to remain out of the festivities. But being a guest, I responded when told Elsa wanted to see me, and the next thing I knew I was standing before her and kneeling respectfully. "The Doctor has proven to be a friend to Arendelle time and time again," Elsa said to the assembled. "And so, from this day forth, I name him the Defender of the Kingdom of Arendelle, with all of the rights and privileges of a Knight of the Kingdom."

I blushed.

When my Christmas night was over I stepped into the TARDIS. She was still repairing. It would take time to fully do so. But she had regained enough function for what came next.

I materialized the TARDIS elsewhere and stepped out. The trolls were rolling up and standing around me. I looked at Grand Pabby and nodded. "I need your help. I think I've found how the Great Intelligence came here."

He nodded. "It is near. I will show you."

I moved the TARDIS again. It was a cave this time, unoccupied for the moment. Despite the darkness outside there was light at one wall. "Here," Grand Pabby said. He and some of his trolls rolled up beside me.

I looked at what was before me and swallowed. I had expected this. It was confirmation of a pattern I had seen developing.

The Great Intelligence had gotten here by coming through a Crack.

The sinister break in the dimensions oozed white light. I scanned and still saw no sign of the "erase you from existence" kind of temporal energy. But it was still dangerous. It was oozing energy out into this world.

Yet another Crack putting out energy instead of pulling it in. There was a pattern here that I was still deciphering.

"We must close this," I said. "I will need help."

Nothing of note happened during that part of the night. After I returned the trolls home, Grand Pabby stood at the entrance and looked up at me. "The young mage princess made a terrible sacrifice, but it was necessary."

"It should never be necessary," I answered. "I need to rescue her."

"I wish you the best for that goal." The troll nodded sagely. "Although you may find that there is nothing you need do to solve it."

I exchanged handshakes with the short troll and returned to the TARDIS.




I was in the time vortex and going through repairs. In my mind I formulated strategies, ways to break into the Darkness Beyond Time and pull Schala from the Devourer. Or at least make sure she was rescued. I was not going to let my Christmas end like this.

For a while I messed with the TARDIS controls, trying to find a way to shift it into the Darkness Beyond Time, to find Schala, to do anything. But no luck.

I let out a growl of frustration and stepped back. I needed to think. Think of how to work this, things I could do to...

There was a beep from my communication console.

I went over to it. One of my beacons had activated its homing system. I furrowed my brow. There was no call. Why wouldn't any of my friends and associates have called if they needed me? Unless there was trouble. Who was it, then? I checked the identifier.

It wasn't listed.

That really made me curious. All of my beacons had identification codes. I knew each one I'd handed out. This was one that I hadn't handed out. I walked downstairs to check my beacons.

And I remembered. That made me smile. "Oh, clever girl," I said, after which I rushed back up to the main floor and reached for the controls. "Oh you clever girl!" I locked the TARDIS onto the beacon and hit the lever. I got to the door just as the VWORPing ceased.

I stepped out into the sun and warmth of a tropical beach. The colorful flora was familiar. I had been here twice before.

A woman in white was standing further down the beach, looking out at the gentle surf. I started to walk up and that prompted her to turn.

"Well," I said, "it looks like i wasn't needed."

"You weren't," Schala replied, smiling at me. She extended a hand. One of my temporal beacons was in it. "You can have this back if you want."

"Keep it," I said. "In case."

"Okay." She returned it to the belt of her white robe. "Was everything okay after I left?"

"Oh, yes. Queen Elsa is fine, Anna is getting married to Kristoff, and the invaders turned sides and re-aligned themselves with Arendelle. Prince Hans is in a dungeon, where he rightfully belongs." I shook my head. "Of course, he's almost brain dead at this point. The Great Intelligence took its toll on his mind. He's going to be catatonic or mad for the rest of his life."

"He was an evil man, but some things are too horrible even for such men," Schala answered.

"What about the Great Intelligence?", I asked. "Did he get merged with you and the Devourer?"

"No," she answered. "I expelled him into the void before Lavos took me."

"Good. I shuddered to think of the damage he might have caused you." I swallowed and lowered my eyes. "I'm sorry, Schala, for not finding a way to save you from that."

In reply she smiled. "It's okay."

"Is it?", I asked. "Are you..."

"I am whole," she answered. "I know you're too smart to believe a lie about what happened. I suffered, Doctor. I was drowned in hatred and despair. Lavos nearly destroyed me." The smile on her face briefly wavered, but in a moment it was back to full strength. "But throughout that ordeal, I kept my heart clear. I remembered you and the people of Arendelle and knew that there were people worth life. I wouldn't let the despair claim me. I knew that somewhere out there, you would be doing everything to come to my aid. "

"I certainly planned on coming for you," I said. "It looks like it was unnecessary."

"Yes." Schala looked to the northeast. "He's quite a nice boy."

"Serge?"

She nodded. "He's a very quiet one. Just like Crono. They get along very well. And my... daughter, I suppose, is happy with Lucca alive and well."

"I imagine so," I said. "I'm glad I could make their lives happier."

"Yes." She smiled slightly and nodded. "And meeting the others again, seeing Crono survived all of that... I see it as a gift I could never have hoped to have. All that's left for me is to find Janus."

"Ah, yes." I nodded. "A moment." I rushed into the TARDIS, down to my storage area under the controls, and fished through a box. "Ah ha! There you are!" After finding what I was looking for, I rushed back up and met Schala at the TARDIS door. "Here." I handed her the device. "Genetic scanner. It'll tell you if someone is your blood relative within a few generations. I doubt you'll trigger anything from the people native to this time, but Janus should be picked up by it."

"I have thousands of years of time to search," Schala pointed out, although her smile was hopeful.

"There is a magician who sometimes comes to Termina who may provide a good first step," I said. "He goes by Guile or Magil or something of that sort. Silver hair, yellow mask, can't miss the fellow."

"How could you know..." Schala stopped herself and laughed. "It's just so odd to be around a being like you. So far beyond even my own."

"Not that far beyond," I corrected. "When it comes down to it, Gallifrey has far too often nearly walked the road Zeal did for my comfort."

"I am sure that with people like you, they will never go astray as we did."

"Hopefully not." I sighed. "Oh, Queen Elsa wants to make you a Knight of Arendelle. Would you like to come and visit?"

"Tell her I'm honored, but that I have a life here to build," Schala answered. "Once I find my brother we will build something new. And it will be great."

"Ah." I nodded. I tried to keep a bit of disappointment off my face. "Well, I was going to offer you a spot on the TARDIS, actually. A chance to see the six dimensions, get out a bit..."

"I know." Schala took my hand. "And I appreciate the offer. But that life isn't for me. I have something here."

"I understand." I nodded. "If you ever need me..."

"I will call," Schala assured me. "And the same for you." Her look turned wistful. "If anything, Doctor, I enjoyed getting to wield my magic in that cause. To protect Queen Elsa and her people. If you ever need my help I will be there."

I gave a nod of acceptance of the term.

Schala looked back toward the distant village. "Well, I must be going. I need to see about a trip to Termina."

"Good luck finding your brother, Schala."

"And good luck, Doctor, in your own journey," Schala answered.

And without expectation, I found her lips pressed to my cheek, a small kiss of gratitude and thanks. I fought to control a blush and felt my smile grow warmer. She nodded one last time at me and began to walk toward the path leading off of Opassa Beach.

I remained there for a moment before returning to the TARDIS. I suppose I was a little disappointed. I had looked forward to showing Schala around the wonders of Creation. Introducing her to friends and allies. That sort of thing. But it was not to be.

It seemed fitting, really. The Doctor never keeps a Companion he picks up for Christmas. At least, not immediately. I actually chuckled at that. Who knew. Maybe she would end up traveling with me after all, one of these days. Just not for now.

Nevertheless, I felt a bit of a spirit come over me. Not just the spirit of the Doctor but the spirit of the season. After all, Christmas can last as long as it needs to. And while I enjoyed the feast at Arendelle, I still had yet to partake of one of the most fun activities of Christmas.

First order of business was that I had to get a red suit.




Squeals of girlish delight echoed in my ears as I stepped into the beautiful house, presents stacked up to my chin. "Ho ho ho!", I shouted gleefully, trying to sound the part as well as look it... well, look it save for the lack of anything to hint at a large belly. "Have you two been good girls this year?!"

"Yes!," Christana and Karianas cried out in unison.

"Well, a good thing that Santa had all of these extra presents, eh?!"

Behind me Jan and Cami stepped in, smiling widely and carrying more gifts. I had done some work in getting something for everyone. I sniffed and could smell the Christmas meal cooking in their kitchen. "You never told me you liked Christmas that much," I said to them. "I thought it would just be presents."

"After finding out what it was, why not adopt it? For ourselves, anyway." Jan held out a hand and used the Force to relieve some of my burden. "Alright, patience my girls! You're going to knock the Doctor over if you keep trying to climb on him like that!"

"I already had the smallest Carpenters knock me over," I said. "Charity was quite cross with her littlest ones."

"I imagine." Camilla laughed and accepted more boxes.

While dinner cooked we reposed to the living room, where under the lights of a Christmas tree - yes, my old Companions had truly adopted the holiday, rather interesting - Chrissy and Kari ripped open their presents with glee, discovering toys of all makes and colorful clothes - yes, including one declaring Chrissy a "Jedi Princess" - and other trinkets.

The advantage of having an electronic means to print money meant I didn't need to worry much about a budget. Unfair, I know, but useful.

As for my old Companions, I gave them other clothes and various trinkets. Jan looked in surprise at a Jedi statuette. "This is Old Tythonian," she murmured. "From the age of the Je'daii. How did you...?"

"...find it? How do you think?"

Janias laughed. "Of course. You got it straight from the era it was made."

"Yes. Just a quick stop, really. The Despot War is too much a Fixed Point in time for me to play with."

After a few more gifts were given, they offered me gifts as well. Colored art from the children, mostly, which I would put beside the picture drawn by Lian Harper for me so long ago. Jan and Cami had crafted a holographic photo gallery of their family from the time they founded it on Salnorra. "You didn't get to see the little ones grow up," Cami explained. "Now you can."

"It means more to me than you know," I said gently. I couldn't quite keep the tears off my eyes.

"We imagined it would," Janias said, playing with Kari's hair absentmindedly.

"Thank you very much," I said. "So... dinner? And then I have a couple of more stops to make, I think."

"I see Korra and Asami went home."

"Yes, they did. Korra's... well, she's not healed fully but she's feeling better, wanted to get back to work."

"That's good." Jan smiled. "What are you planning to get them for Christmas?"

"Well, I have some flying toys for the youngest of Tenzin's kids, a gift for Asami that would probably make Lucsly want to kill me, and..." I listed out my plans for them.

Jan and Cami nodded at each other and at me. "Yes, that will work." Jan smiled at me. "Of course, they're probably going to want one of those kits from Layom Station."

"...and I was thinking... what?" I blinked at Jan. "What kit?"

Jan gave me a knowing look and openly rubbed Kari's forehead, tilting her head toward her daughter slightly.

For a moment I simply stayed quiet. "No, I don't... why would they... you don't think..." I started to shake my head. "No, they're not, they're like sisters to each other."

Their reply was gut-busting laughter.




When all was said and done I stood alone in the TARDIS. The girls' drawings were pinned up. The holographic record of the family was put away for my viewing pleasure later. They were all in bed and it was time for me to go.

I let out a sigh of contentment. I... had my name again. I felt whole. No more running from what I had become. I wouldn't fear it anymore. I just had to be careful, that's all.

And with friends and family like Jan and Cami, I knew I would.

"I'm me again," I said aloud, looking at Katherine's amethyst necklace. "For the first time since you died, I feel like I'm me again. Like everything will be well." I smiled to myself. I felt eager to see what else was out there. And to see whom might be willing to join me next to explore the wonders of Creation.

At the same time, I knew I had other things to do. The dreams were making that clear. Something in my origin was important to my future. All of these Cracks in all of these worlds... something was going on. I wasn't sure what yet. But I would have to find out. And my best option to do that was to keep traveling.



"So many worlds out there. So many places to go," I murmured. My hands started moving over the controls to set destinations into the TARDIS. "Well, let's not wait."

I put my hand on the control lever.

"This is who I am," I said to myself. "This is... me. I am the Doctor." I looked up and laughed. "I am the Doctor! C'mon, girl, Christmas might be over, but the fun's only begun! We've got a Multiverse to explore!"

I thought I heard a pleased giggle come from somewhere. It only made my smile grow.

I yanked back the lever and, despite being alone, I let myself cry out anyway.

"Tally ho!"

”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-23 04:38pm

Interlude 1 - First Time's The Charm

Not all of my adventures are relevant to my story as a whole, which is why I usually skip them (well, unless they're amusing or unique in some way). A short time after I faced down the Great Intelligence in Arendelle, I had one such adventure that is of some relevance given what I've gone through.

It involved a lot of running.

But not at first. No, at first I simply materialized in the TARDIS on one of my favorite locales; the Discworld. Unfortunately, instead of materializing during the time of the Morporkian Empire so I could introduce pai sho to Tacticus after our chess match (long story), I found myself in a particular citadel in the Klatchian desert. I looked out a wide-open courtyard where three stakes had been prepared, a caged figure dangling from each, and small fires already burning at the base of each stake.

I sighed. Pre-Bruthan Omnians. A witch burning.

After lamenting my TARDIS' love of dropping me into tricky situations - and locking it to be safe - I looked out at the stunned crowd. "Alright, let's just pretend that I said I've been sent by Om and that he wants you lot to stop this, and that you accused me of..."

"Heresy!," shrieked a robed priest of Om.

"....yes, that," I continued. "And now we can..." I whipped out the sonic disruptor and stopped several arrows from hitting me as I advanced on the burning stakes and cages. "Oi! You lot are so impolite! Now, as I was saying..." I held up the disruptor and put it to Setting 4HD. Powerful kinetic forces erupted outward and battered the flames until they died down. With my sonic screwdriver I unlocked the cages. Two of the women were middle-aged, spinsters most likely, accused because of superstition and foolishness instead of being witches (I've seen Discworld witches, these ladies didn't fit that). They jumped out under their own power and the rest of the crowd was too stunned to stop them from fleeing.

The last was a young woman with dark hair. I felt power thrumming around her as I extended a hand and helped her up. She had a nasty looking bump on her forehead. Age-wise, she looked little older than twenty-five. Maybe a very young-looking thirty. "Alright there, steady," I said.

The priests seemed to regain their composure, which meant that at their command the guards regained enough composure to want to put arrows into us. I pulled the wobbly-legged woman along while my other arm held up the sonic disruptor, fleeing through the nearest door into the halls of the citadel. Tromping boots in the distance told me we had pursuers, so I kept running.

"Wait... wait!" The young woman pulled at me. I turned back as she protested, "We need to find my..."

Our eyes met and we took in each others faces. She didn't recognize me of course. But I... oh yes, I did. Mentally I added age wrinkles and turned the hair completely white. "Esk?", I blurted out.

Eskarina Smith blinked. "You know my name?", she asked.

"Well, of course I..." I stopped. "Oh. Oh, this is rather awkward."

"Who are you?!", she demanded. "Why aren't you dressed properly as a wizard?!"

"I only do that for university occasions<" I replied flippantly. "As for who I am.... I am the Doctor and we need to start running again." I added emphasis to those words as guards rounded the far corner with swords drawn. I grabbed young Esk's hand and pulled her along. "What in the bloody hell are you doing back here?!"

"I was testing a theory of Simon's," she answered. "About..."

"....directed application of dimensional shift to cause time travel?", I finished for her.

"Yes." She huffed as we rounded another corridor. "But instead of Imperial Morporkia I wound up here!"

"Space-time calculations can be off," I said from experience. "Now... oi, watch it!" I barely got the disruptor up in time to absorb a sword blow from a guard who came around the corner. I sidestepped him and Esk swung a foot out that tripped him. "We need a quiet spot, I'll get us out of here."

"I need my staff!", she shouted. "They took it after I was knocked out!"

"Where?"

"I'm not...." She pulled and forced me to stop. For a moment Esk concentrated. She grabbed my wrist. "Follow me!"

"Hey!"

Now it was Esk pulling me along as we ran through the Citadel. We came out through a courtyard garden that was occupied by a number of young ladies who were in states of undress or entirely in the garden pools. They screamed in surprise as we raced along the pathways. It was a rather eye-opening experience. Cloisters usually are like that.

Oh, don't look at me like that. And get your minds out of the gutter. Ever hear "Cleanliness is next to Godliness"? Apparently the Omnians had, and in a desert citadel bathing is done where you can do it.

We finished cutting through what was obviously a cloister and burst through the kitchens, guards converging on all sides. I deflected several arrows with the sonic disruptor. Esk dealt with the front with what I imagined was a magic defense shield of some sort. Even without her staff, she apparently had some magic.

Finally we came to a storeroom of sorts. All sorts of trinkets abounded. Statues of gods venerated in Ephebe and Tsort and Klatch proper, mostly. I looked at a sign by the door. "Items of Profanity". "How quaint," I murmured.

Esk let go of my hand and went to a side pile of wooden totems and the like. "It's in here somewhere," she growled, throwing totems out of the way. I had to move to avoid them and I still ended up catching a particularly... uh... lewd-looking totem. "Muntab mating totem," I murmured. "Hrm. I wonder if Glyph would be...."

Guards burst through the door. I turned and brought the sonic disruptor up again while a bunch of nasty pointy things came within feet of my person. I'm not really comfortable with such. Esk seemed oblivious to this as she continued hunting through the pile of wooden things.

A richly-robed figure entered, heavyset and covered in what a 21st Century Earther would euphemistically call "bling". I didn't recognize him, but I imagined his office. "If you cooperate," he said, "we will commend your soul to Om quickly."

In other words, we wouldn't be tortured.

"The head of the Quisition, I see," I said. "Sorry, I'll have to pass. Om and I have something of an understanding on the subject of my soul."

"Blasphemer, you are trapped in the heart of Om's sacred temple, with thousands of his loyal followers about you," the man replied. "Speaking ill of the Great God Om is madness, and to resist is folly."

"Eh, I've been in worse," I retorted. "Now, I'll give you a counter offer. My friend here is a wizard. Leave us alone and she won't turn you into newts."

At that the men started laughing. "What do you take us for?", the head of the Quisition cackled. "We know that among the infidels, only men can be wizards."

"Normally, yes, but my friend's a special case," I countered. "So why don't you lot move along before she makes asses of you. Literally."

There was more laughter. "Take them!", the head of the Quisition shouted. "Take them..."

There was a surge of energy, a flash of light... and I faced a small horse covered in the robes of the Quisition's leader.

The armed men backed away.

I turned my head back slightly to face Esk, who had pulled her staff out. There was, of course, no knob on the end. "A pony?", I asked.

"I was going for an ass," she answered. "Still getting control down. At least the knob isn't interfering anymore."

"Right." I looked back to the stunned guards. "Well, if anyone here wants to avoid being a pony, i suggest you run."

They ran, screaming to Om for protection. The horse looked at them indignantly and then us.

"As for you, I'm half-tempted to drop you on a more fitting planet for your new form just to learn some lessons, but I wouldn't inflict your kind on them," I continued. "So..." I held out my TARDIS remote and summoned the TARDIS to the room. Esk stared as it VWORPed in. "We'll turn you back when we leave." I looked back at Esk again. "We will, right?"

She nodded.

The horse neighed a protest. I think it was a protest. And then it looked around like it was utterly lost.

Esk, meanwhile, was staring at the TARDIS with wonderment. "What is this?", she asked.

"Oh, my TARDIS," i answered. "Let's try this again, shall we? Come inside." We stepped inside. "I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord from Gallifrey."

Before I could spell out what TARDIS stood for and explain it, Esk spoke. "A pocket dimension? Astounding. Simon will love seeing it."

"And I'll love showing it to him," I answered. I snapped my fingers and the door closed. "So, why don't we go see him?"

She looked at me. "This can move through time?"

"Oh yes," I said. "Although sometimes she likes to take me somewhere unexpected. Usually it's for the best." I went up to the controls. I let myself smile at realizing what this meant. This was, for Esk, our first meeting. "So, back to Unseen University in your time?"

"I would appreciate the ride, yes," Esk said. "And some time to talk. This TARDIS of yours is astounding."

"You'll get used to seeing it a lot."

"I will?", she asked. "What do you mean?"

I looked back at her as I settled my hand on the lever. A grin crossed my face. "The answer to that, my dear Esk..." I leaned in toward her. "...can be summed up in one word."

"Oh?"

"Yes." I winked. "Spoilers."

With that said, I pulled the lever to return her to her own time.

That was how Eskarina Smith first met me. It was, for her, the beginning of a long and complicated relationship, the kind you get between two time travelers.

And I wouldn't have missed it for all the cosmoses of the Multiverse.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "The Power of a Name" - Dr. Who Multi-Crossover SI Series

Postby Steve » 2017-04-23 04:38pm

Interlude 2 - Everything is Possible

Why do I end up in situations like this?

Seriously, I want to know. Okay, yes, I know it's usually my TARDIS taking me where "I need to go" or maybe I forgot to carry the two again...

So I was standing in a rather large room surrounded by lots of nice and interesting technology that didn't quite fit a normal early 21st Century Earth. I directed my attention to a raised platform and the figures upon it. "So... let me see here. Over here we have a..." I shifted my eyes over to face what looked to be a fancy rocket and left my left hand, finger extended, in a limp gesture toward it. "...delivery system for a rather impressive piece of technology that will cause massive worldwide destruction if it initiates in atmosphere." I raised an eyebrow. "And I can't help but notice you have a couple of teenagers strapped to it." I sighed. "So, take over the world plot? That's usually how it is with you types." I narrowed my eyes. "What is your name anyway? I think I have it on the tip of my tongue. Doctor... Doctor Drago? Dracko?"

"Drakken!" The blue-tinted maniac in a darker blue lab coat bared his teeth in frustration. "It's Doctor Drakken! Get it right, whoever you are!" A confused look crossed his face. "Wait, who are you anyway?"

I snapped my fingers. "Ah yes, Drakken. I don't think we've met." I smirked. "I'm the Doctor. Time Lord. From Gallifrey. And if my guess is right given the readings on those vortex stabilizers, that's a pan-dimensional vortex inducer being jury-rigged to create a wide-scale gravitational event that will cause worldwide power disruptions, tidal activity, and the occasional earthquake." I shook my head. "Or it'll swallow the entire solar system into a dimensional breach if the stabilizers fail. Or create a black hole the size of, oh... England."

"Nevada," corrected one of the teenagers, a blond-haired one with a moderately high-pitched voice. His redheaded friend was busy tinkering with something on her wrist. I kept myself from grinning and giving it away.

"Really? Nevada? That's a bit smaller than I thought..." I shook my head. The TARDIS could only create a black hole the size of Belgium with a catastrophic failure, but that was superior Time Lord safety features for you compared to primitive vortex generators. "Of course, that's academic, either way... that'd be bad. I'd ask why someone would bother building such a thing at this point in Earth's development but frankly...."

Drakken raised a clenched fist. "Would you stop that babbling?!", he shouted in frustration. "I'm about to conquer the world!"

"Or destroy it," I added in feigned sotto voce. I put my hand into my pocket. "Anyway, I suppose there's not much I can do to stop you from way down here. Why, I'd need an exotic energy manipulator and data interface device with remote capability to even hope of interfering with your plans."

Of course, as I said that I was twirling the sonic screwdriver in my hand. And as I finished the line, I held it toward the rocket and did my thing. The purple tip did its thing too, lightning up and whirring. Ah, I love that sound.

There was a tone from the raised platform. Drakken looked back. "Shego, what was that?" He turned back to me. "What did you do?!"

I waggled the sonic screwdriver at him. "Oh, I used my sonic screwdriver. You'd call it an exotic energy manipulator and data interface device with remote capability."

"No, no!," he screamed, rushing over to a display. "You've burnt out the rocket drives! It'll take me hours to get this thing launched now!"

"Presuming you have hours."

That earned me an angry growl. Drakken pointed at me and shouted, "Shego!"

Which is when the angry-looking green-tinted lady somersaulted off the raised platform with green plasma seething around her fists. I drew up my new sonic disruptor and activated Setting 42K to try and absorb the blow. But she was pretty strong and... okay, I was still working the kinks out of my new force-specific deflector settings, alright? Her kick literally knocked the sonic disruptor out of my hand from the reactive force. "Oh bu..." I couldn't get the whole word out before I had to duck to avoid a plasma-infused fist to the face.

Unfortunately, she was pretty quick, even compared to Time Lord reflexes. I was in the middle of shifting my weight again to evade when her foot swept under my legs in a sweeping kick that took me off my feet. I hit the ground and rolled away, barely avoiding a blast of plasma energy from her hands. I spotted the sonic disruptor and went for it in a lunge. As my hand reached for it a green blast struck it and sent it flying further away. I hit the ground on my stomach.

"Awww." Shego smirked. "Did I break your toy?" There was a feral grin on her face as she brought a hand up, nails sharpened like claws, and prepared to slash at me.

She didn't get a chance to swipe downward. She flew over my head with a couple of feet planted into her back by a diving kick. The redhead who had previously been chained to Drakken's rocket did a mid-air somersault and landed on her feet beside me. "Who are you again?", she asked me.

"The Doctor," I answered. Looking at her - long red hair, green eyes, long-sleeved crop top and cargo pants with utility belt, oh, right, I knew who this was, didn't I? - I got back to my feet. "You are... Kim Possible, correct?"

She gave a nod and a self-assured smile. "That's me."

"Why don't you ever stay out of my way?!" Shego lunged at us, green plasma lashing out. Kim rolled under the blast and caught her with a tackle. Shego rolled with the blow, kicked her off, and back-flipped to face her. What commenced was, well, just about every kung fu fight you might have seen before, kicks and punches being evaded or blocked with forearms.

Confident that the young adventuress had matters well in hand, I turned my attention to my fallen sonic disruptor. I ran over and knelt down to pick it up. By the time I was doing so I heard a wild cry of "Aaaaahhhhh!" above me. Someone landed on my back and I got slammed to the floor. Right on top of the disruptor too. Ouch.

"Bloody hell," I grumbled under my breath before I forced myself to stand, clearing the young man off my back. I secured the sonic disruptor to my belt before turning my attention to the boy. He looked up at me with brown eyes. Before I could ask him his name, a loud tone start wailing from overhead. I looked up and saw warning lights going off and looked to the rocket... where the vortex inducer was being activated. "Alright...." I blinked. "What was your name again? Don Droppable?"

"Ron Stoppable!," the young man protested in a voice shrill with aggravation. "Why doesn't anyone ever get that right?! It's Ron..."

"....Stoppable, yes," I said, grabbing his wrist and dragging him with me toward the stairs leading to the upper platform. "No time for pleasantries, we've got to get that inducer offline before it..."

"...creates a black hole the size of Nevada?"

"Actually, we're getting beyond that now," I said, noting the results from the sonic screwdriver. "Drakken's tinkering with it is inducing a quantum flux state that's going to split through at least five dimensions of space-time."

"And that's bad?"

We got to the two-third mark platform and I looked back at him with a bit of irritation, but only a bit, I promise. "Yes. That's very bad. We're talking a multi-dimensional cataclysm that will destroy just about every Earth in this fifth-dimensional coordinate."

Ron stared at me. "Okay, yeah, that sounds bad."

I raised an eyebrow. "You don't have a clue what that means, do you?" We resumed our climb.

"Yes I do!", he protested. "It means that there'll be a multi-dimensional thingie that will destroy the world."

"Every world," I corrected. "Every single Earth in this fifth-dimension cosmos, possibly."

We got to the top platform, where Drakken was busy at his controls. "Drat, why won't this thing work? I..."

"You idiot," I stated, charging to the console and pushing him out of the way. "What did you do?!"

"Uh, nothing!", he protested. "I just..."

"You had an auto-start sequence on the inducer," I sighed, facepalming. "With a hardware backup that I didn't catch that has locked the start sequence into an overload that can't be shut off. Of course. You idiot, even if you'd launched it this setup would have spawned a black hole. I swear, you and your kind with this technology is like a toddler with a nuclear firecracker..."

Drakken crossed his arms. "You don't have to be so mean about it, you know."

"I... whatever." I looked to Ron. "Ron, I need you keeping an eye on the power signature."

"Um, okay." He looked over the screens with a lost look in his eyes. "Uh... what is..."

I stabbed my finger at one display. "Look at the pretty colors. They are yellow. If they turn orange, scream. If they turn red, scream louder. If they turn magenta scream like you're... um... scream like you're in your worst nightmare."

"Being chased by a stampede of monkeys," Ron suggested.

I raised an eyebrow. Granted, I had my own bad memories, but that was with apes. "Yes... that. And if it turns purple, well, keep screaming but it probably means we all end up being disassembled at a molecular level by an out of control dimensional tear." I took out the sonic screwdriver and looked over to the rocket. The pathway that once led to it was retracted and hitting the key to re-extend it didn't work. I gave myself room for a running leap and after the usual ritual of a sigh at my predicament and a breath to steel the nerves, I ran forward and leapt. My feet just managed to hit the other end. I almost toppled backward but held myself on the walkway rail to stop. I continued on to the rocket and used the sonic screwdriver on the panel facing me.

"Orange!", Ron screamed. "We have orange!"

"Of course we do," I muttered as I finished the last bolt on the panel. Once the screwdriver wiggled it loose I pulled the panel out and began reaching in with the sonic. There was a mess of wires and electronics around an innocent-looking cylinder of orange color that was, in fact, proof that Humans can be utterly daft about the things they do with science. "Pan-dimensional vortex inducers. Why is it you lot keep building things that can blow you up in new and interesting ways?" I started working on the power connections to try and prevent the overload. When I reached for the inducer to remove it, a field of energy sizzled my fingertips. "Agh! Youch! Where is that... oh. Energetic flux field. Drakken you brilliant idiot, why an energetic flux field?"

"Red! We have Red!"

"Thank you very kindly, Ronald," I muttered while glancing around at the innards of the rocket. I looked around and found the field generator. All I had to do was get my sonic screwdriver to make direct contact for it to overwhelm the generator's capacitor and short-circuit the entire thing.

I stretched and reached and reached... but.... blast it? Out of reach! It was too far in! I needed to wedge in more! I tried to do so but the space wasn't large enough. And even as I did I felt the energy in the inducer build.

"It's turning purple! That's bad, right?"

"What kind of purple?!", I shouted. "Is it magenta?!"

"It's red purple! Red purple!"

"Then it's magenta. And it's very bad and I can't reach this bloody thing!"

No. No, I refused to believe I was going to die here, the victim of some idiot mad scientist's overblown plot of world domination with science far over his head. I had survived too much to suffer that fate, dammit. I....

There was a clang of sorts outside on the rocket surface. I felt something scurry up my leg and start to come up my back.

"Rufus! Get to it buddy!"

"Who is Ru..." A shape wiggled in around my arm. Pinkish colored, four-legged, buck-teeth.... I raised an eyebrow. "Heterocephalus glaber? Really? A naked mole rat? That's your solution?"

The thing muttered "Hey!" in protest.

I blinked. An intelligent naked mole rat?

Oh well, I've worked with intelligent animals before. Just a difference in size from Mouse. "Alright, take the sonic screwdriver and push it against that piece over there. Got it?"

The mole rat - Rufus I presumed - nodded enthusiastically and followed my arm up to the screwdriver. He took it in his arms, holding it like one might hold a tree trunk, and with a grunt the creature pushed it up toward the flux generator.

"It's really purple now! Really really purple!"

I could already feel the energy. We had less than a minute. Seconds, perhaps.

My sonic whirred and there was an explosion of sparks that caused Rufus to drop the screwdriver. The purple light at the end of the screwdriver went out.

So did the flux generator.

With the flux field gone I could grab the inducer. Which I did. It was hot to the touch, almost scalding, and I let out a grunt of effort as I pulled for all I was worth. I could feel the energy surging and...

The inducer popped out. I was pulling back so hard I fell backward out of the rocket panel and nearly fell off the rocket. I had only one hand to hold myself up with since the other was holding the inducer. Ron's little friend scampered up and grabbed my cuff, trying to pull me up, or to help at least. I made the effort as well...

And then the groove my hand was fitted into gave way. I let out a yell and started to fall. The ground raced up toward me and I was about to hit the hard steel floor head-first.

A grapple shot below me. I used my hand to grab the rope. It was hard on my hand, but it did catch me and allow me to slide down to a safer, if still rattling, landing on the ground. I rolled to a stop on my back and let out a groan. One hand was scalded by the inducer, the other was cut up by the rope.

Kim stood over me, her grapple gun in her hand. "Hey," she said. "Nice work, Doctor."

"My thanks," I answered.

A confident smile was her reply. "No big."

The ground rocked beneath us. I looked over to see explosions ripping out of the disabled rocket. The power systems that had been charging the pan-dimensional vortex inducer had begun overloading. A loud scream came from above with Ron rushing down the stairs, Rufus in his left pocket with my sonic screwdriver visible beside him. An explosion from underneath the stairs tore them out from the wall. Ron went flying, screaming all the way.

Kim went for her grapple gun, but it needed to be reloaded. I got the sonic disruptor out in time to generate a deflector shield that acted as a mid-air platform to break his fall. "Woh! Wohhhh!" He started teetering off of it. Thankfully I got him low enough that his belly flop onto the floor only knocked the wind out of him. "I hate it when that happens," he groaned.

"Yeeeaaaahhhh..." came a similar protest from his pocket.

"Farewell, Kim Possible!" We looked up. An interesting, saucer-like flying craft was heading up through the launch port for the rocket. Drakken was standing in his seat and Shego was at the controls. "You're not getting out of here before my lair gets blown sky high! Hahahahahahaha!" His presumably-trademarked evil laugh echoed above.

She started looking around for an option. "KP, what're we going to do?", Ron cried out.

"Alright everyone, stand together," I called out, fishing my TARDIS remote from my pocket.

"Hey, what is..."

Before she could finish the sentence, the TARDIS control room materialized around us. I went to the controls and triggered the three-dimensional flight control to lift us out of the lair before it, well,, exploded. The TARDIS shook a little from kinetic force, but her protective screens absorbed the worst of it.

"Hey, wait a minute... How did we end up in here?" Ron started sitting up. "What is this...?"

"My time ship," I answered. "Now.... Ms. Possible, do attach one end of your grapple gun to the rail over here, would you?"

"Why?"

"Because..." I smirked. "...we're going to net your arch-foes for you."

"So this is, like, a ship?"

"You could say that.... Just attach to the rail and open the door, I'll have a shot for you."

I was not surprised when the young lady got it on the first try. "Wait... what kind of ship is this?", Kim asked, looking around at the opening.

"Seriously, a flying box?!", I heard Shego shout with incredulity.

"TARDIS to you, young lady!", I shouted back. "Now I suggest you surrender or I will be forced to take measures to secure your compliance."

"Uh..." Ron pointed out the door. "She's firing the afterburners."

"Ah. She wants it that way. Very well. Stay inside, otherwise you're going to get as sick as they are..." I reached for the controls and began a series of sharp maneuvers, dragging the flying car along with the TARDIS.

It didn't take them long to throw in the towel.




After dropping the nauseated villains off at a federal prison, I gave Kim and Ron a ride home. Ron had his hand on the sensor for the telepathic circuit so his mind provided our coordinates. "Really, Ron? This is home?" Kim's voice had a skeptical tone to it. "Bueno Nacho?"

"Hey, saving the world makes me hungry." Ron stepped out of the TARDIS and looked back. He raised his hand and pointed his finger. "Hey. how does that work?"

"How does what..." Kim stepped back and followed his pointing finger. "Oh, that." Her brow furrowed. "'Police Call Box.'"

"How can it be so big on the inside and so small out here?", Ron asked.

"Pocket dimension," I answered. "Courtesy of a dimensionally transcendental field." I walked up to them and turned back to the TARDIS. "I enjoy the look. Authentic English police call box."

"Well, i guess it's not bad." Kim offered me a hand. "Thanks for the help, Doctor."

"You're welcome, Miss Possible. Not hard to give a ride back home."

"Say, didn't you say time ship?" Ron's finger kept waggling, as if he was giving a visual cue to his thoughts. "Does that mean you can, like, go anywhere in time and do stuff?"

"Go anywhere in time, yes." I shook my head. "Do stuff, no. Fixed Points in Time, can't interfere with everything. In a lot of cases I just observe historical events."

"Wow, that sounds like it would be really interesting," Kim said.

"Could you take us to one?", Ron asked.

I raised an eyebrow. "Well, sure. I prefer to stay away from battles, though."

"Oh, that's fine," Ron answered. "So this means you can take me to see the grand opening of the first Bueno Nacho?" Ron put his hands together and his voice picked up in excitement. "I mean, it's one of the most important historical events ever."

Kim crossed her arms and leveled a look at her partner. "Ron, really? All of history and that's what you'd want to see?"

"It's Bueno Nacho's first grand opening!," Ron exclaimed. "That's like the coolest thing ever!"

"They wouldn't have Nacos," Kim remarked.

"Oh yeah."

"What's a Naco?", I asked. "Wait, don't tell me, it's some hor...."

"It's just the greatest thing ever in Mexican cuisine, Doctor... Doctor... who again?"

"Just the Doctor," I replied simply.

"Oh riiight. Well, Doc, it's just the greatest thing ever! It's a nacho and a..."

"...taco, I imagine. A taco filled with nachos." I shook my head. I couldn't believe it. I had finally found a case of fast food franchise devotion greater than Harry Dresden's love for Burger King.

"That it is! Booyah!"

"Well, I won't keep you from your nacos." I stepped back into the TARDIS.

"You live in this ship alone?", I heard Kim ask.

I looked back. "Not always," I answered. "I'm... between Companions at the moment. It happens."

"You look lonely, though."

Truthfully I wasn't as lonely as I'd been after losing Jan and Cami. And certainly not in the state I was after Katherine's death. But... well, yes, I was feeling lonely. I had yet to find a Companion after Korra and Asami returned home and Schala turned me down. Exploring the Multiverse doesn't have the same zing when you're alone, honestly. "It's part of being the only member of my species out here, Miss Possible," I answered. "I can't do much about it."

"Please, you can call me Kim," she said. "Are you sure you don't want to..." She was interrupted by a beeping sound from her cargo pants. She pulled out a blue device. "Hey Wade, what's the sitch?"

"I don't know how you got back to Middleton so fast, but we've got extra trouble," I heard a young man say over the communicator. "Professor Dementor just broke into a lab in Switzerland that was building a portable particle accelerator. And Monkey Fist stole an idol from the London Museum..."

"Oh, come on! Two villains at once?!" Ron shook his fist. "That's not fair!"

"Nuh uh!", his mole rat agreed.

"And I'm hungry!"

Kim put a hand to her forehead. "Can you arrange rides? If we hurry, maybe we can stop Dementor and then get over to Monkey Fist..."

As they spoke I remained quiet. I shook my head. 'Professor Dementor' was bad enough, but I'd dealt with some of the black capes of a couple other universes like this so it wasn't too insane for me. But a villain called 'Monkey Fist'? Seriously? Seriously? This world was completely... totally....

....well, okay, it was very fun. And I was sort of bored. And lonely. And something about seeing Kim and Ron working together made my lack of a Companion all the more acute. For all of the wide gap in their competences, they made an incredible team.

"Oh, what's the harm," I muttered under my breath. "Miss Poss.... Kim, don't worry about those rides," I said aloud.

They looked at me. "What?", Kim asked.

I smiled and went to my TARDIS controls before looking back. "Remember, Time Lord, TARDIS, quick travel across six dimensions. And I do so love the look on those villainous faces when their schemes get thwarted. It's rather fun."

"Oh." Kim smiled and looked back at her communicator. "Don't worry about the rides, Wade, we've already got one."

"Wait, what? With who?"

"Tall guy, English accent, calls himself the Doctor, has a box that's bigger on the inside and can go anywhere in time and space," Ron answered.

"....Kim, is Ron all right..?"

"Actually, he is." The duo stepped back into the TARDIS. "Give me details, Wade, we're on our way."

I overheard the coordinates and put them into the TARDIS controls. "Tally ho," I called out before pulling the lever.

"Booyah!", Ron and Rufus added.

And off we went. It was a rather fun adventure, I have to admit. And... okay, okay, the Naco isn't that bad. Still higher on the gastrointestinal menace scale than Harry's favored Whopper, though.

Of course, seeing Ron's reaction to the army of phantom monkey warriors that Monkey Fist's idol summoned was worth the indigestion.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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