"Come on. Now that we're here, no point not taking a look around." Buffy matched action to words, heading for the door of the TARDIS.
"Hold on, now, pilots first!" exclaimed the Doctor.
"And Companions," added Rose.
"Actually, Doctor, before we head out there, where, or should I say when
precisely have you taken us?" asked the Man of Steel. "Perhaps we should have an idea who we're going to meet and what we're going to say before we exit the time machine."
"Oh, come on, having a plan never helped me or my friends," said Buffy. "Well, almost never. And I guess it's not like we bothered to come up with a plan that much of the time. And the plans we did come up with mostly worked, so I guess... but, anyway, winging it is much more fun!"
"No, no, he's got a point," mused the Doctor. "Alright, it's about five years before the explosion of Krypton, give or take a couple of months. We should be in the El family residence. The boys' father, being a man of science, should be inclined to greet us peacefully and listen to what we have to say." He went to a compartment on the control room's wall. "Seeing as how we want to avoid paradox wherever possible, you two shouldn't mention that you're his son if you can avoid it. You can all be just my Companions as far as he's concerned, and the last time I was here they were quite polite to Gallifreyans; common enemy in the Daleks, you see. Here, take a bit of this smart cloth and cover up the shield on your chest; dead giveaway, that is." He handed Superman a small swatch of neutral tan fabric; when pressed to his chest, it adopted the color of the blue body stocking surrounding it and obscured the familiar S, actually the crest of the House of El, completely.
"All right... now
Jor-El had found it a challenge to narrow down the location of the spatiotemporal flux his instruments had detected a few moments before. Since his best equipment, including the gravity telescope for observing distant worlds, was all located in the same chamber of his family's crystalline tower, he could not easily triangulate for an exact position. A directional marker was the best he could do, but that in turn allowed him to determine the possible locations within his domicile on a three-dimensional image projected before him.
"House," he called, inserting a crystal in a new control spike to initiate command. "Has there been any change in environmental readings in any of the following locations?" His finger traced through the holographic map, marking a line from his present location to the outside wall of his family's Fortress.
The interactive construct's melliflous voice had been patterned after that of Jor-El's mother. "Affirmative. Changes in atmospheric displacement and load bearing readings in the chamber indicated." The spot in question was usually devoted to food synthesis and waste management; essentially the Kryptonian equivalent of a farm, janitor's closet, and septic closet in one.
"Show visual." The 3D map faded to be replaced by a view of the chamber, now inhabited by a strange blue box with unknown symbols upon it.
"Interesting. House, start a search through historical records for anything matching this anomalous object. In the meantime..." He switched a few more crystals. "Please bring the object to me, in this chamber."
"Jor-El, I am required to remind you that Council edicts strictly require that any alien or anomalous objects be brought to the Council's attention immediately. Shall I initiate communications now?"
"Negative, House. Override Rao Theta. I would prefer to study my find alone for the time being."
Deep within the walls of Jor-El's home, crystalline structures assembled and disassembled themselves. Within moments, walls and ceilings opened up to provide passage as the strange blue box rose on a slantwise pillar towards the central chamber.
It was standing directly before Jor-El by the time the door in its side opened.
"Well, we seem to have come to the right place... whoa, look out, short walk to a long drop." The Doctor had very nearly walked over the edge of the column on which the TARDIS rested. It was surrounded for many yards around by empty space, before finding another plateau on which stood an imposing figure in green, with dark hair and a red sun symbol on his chest. "And you must be Jor-El, unless I miss my guess."
The rest of the travelers came out of the door and looked around, Buffy muttering something about clowns and circus cars as they filed out.
"I don't suppose we could get some more floor, could we?" asked the Doctor.
Five humanoids came out of the blue box, which certainly did not appear to have enough space within it for them all. A gateway device of some description, or perhaps even a tesseract fold? Whichever, it certainly argued for a highly advanced level of technology. Jor-El's heart beat a little faster; perhaps they could provide some insight into his research on a more efficient warp drive, for the day when Krypton once more sought to explore the universe?
They were strangely dressed by Kryptonian standards, with little in the way of primary colors or hues, except for the two dark-haired men who favored red and blue. Strange cut to the clothese as well, either looser and more layered or more form-fitting than the belted tunic and slacks or robes favored by most Kryptonians. Still, he had observed similar styles on more than one inhabited planet; it was no surprise for aliens to dress in an alien fashion.
What was a surprise was when the shorter male in the lead addressed him in perfect Kryptonese. No... it wasn't actually Kryptonese, the sounds coming out of his mouth were quite different, but Jor-El understood him perfectly.