The TARDIS, The Time Vortex
"He... does know where he's going," said Rory, clinging to the railing around the central console. "Right?"
"Of course I know where I'm going!" the Doctor insisted, pulling at the controls of his ship and dancing around the central console. "The Hargradentoid Gardens, 9932! Best slushies in the galaxy, and enough flowers and excitement to last you a lifetime."
"So, now that we know we're not going there," said Amy, walking around the central console, "where else do you think we'll wind up?"
"Not going there?" the Doctor cried. "Amelia Pond, are you accusing me of being unable to pilot my own TARDIS?"
Amy gave him a pointed look. "Twelve years," she reminded him. "And four psychiatrists."
The Doctor brushed this away. "Considering the overall vastness of the infinity of..." He stopped in his excited dance around the central console, peering at the view-screen monitor. "Now that's odd."
Amy and Rory looked at one another.
"What's odd?" they asked, in unison.
The Doctor, instead of answering, grabbed up a large net on a pole, and darted over to the doors, stumbling a few times as the TARDIS rocked violently through the vortex. He flung the doors open and scooped something into the TARDIS.
"Well, hello," said the Doctor, fishing the object out of the net and examining it. "What are you?"
Amy and Rory both waited for him to answer his own question, but the Doctor didn't seem to be in any hurry to do so.
"What... what is it?" Rory asked.
The Doctor looked up at them, then tucked the item into his pocket and closed the TARDIS doors. He leapt over to the central console, and began poking and prodding at buttons. "I believe that our excursion to the Hargradentoid Gardens might have to wait."
"So where to, now?" Amy asked the Doctor, a gleam of excitement in her eyes.
"39th century!" said the Doctor, throwing a lever.
"39th century," Rory mused. "The last time we went there, you dropped the two of us off in the middle of a massive civil war."
"That was Avrolancrum Minor," said the Doctor, "in the early
39th century, and half a universe away! We're going to Earth, mid-39th century!" He pounded a few extra buttons. "Right smack in the middle of the Assembled Association of the Greater United States!" He then began to say something else, but whatever he said next was covered up by the loud wheezing and groaning of the TARDIS slamming into its materialization sequence.
"What?" Amy shouted.
The TARDIS suddenly fell silent, and all the shaking stopped.
"I said that actually, in all fairness, I
was going to 39th century America," the Doctor explained, as the TARDIS pinged its arrival. "You two are going to go back to the 20th century to do some poking about."
"So this is the 20th century, then?" Amy asked, springing forwards.
"No!" the Doctor said, interposing himself between Amy and the door. "That's the 39th century. You two are going to stay behind while I step outside, so that I can trigger the flight path I just programmed in, which will bring you and the TARDIS back to the late 20th century."
Rory and Amy looked at one another, then at the Doctor.
"Which... would leave us in the late 20th century," said Rory.
"Which is basically when we came from," said Amy.
"...what she said," Rory agreed, "with no way to fly the TARDIS so we could get back here to tell you what we've found when we were poking about."
"Which sounds a lot like you're sending us away somewhere safe," Amy continued, "while you go off and do something dangerous."
The Doctor dismissed the suggestion entirely. "Of course not!" he insisted. "Absolutely and completely... well, a bit. No, not a bit. A lot of a bit. But, to be fair, I'm only sending you away because I need to send the TARDIS away."
Amy crossed her arms, and nodded at the outer doors. "You know what's out there, don't you?"
"Not at all!" insisted the Doctor. "Now. When you arrive in the 20th century, do not
involve Elizabeth in any way — all this is in her future, and she shouldn't know about it. Go to UC Sunnydale, locate a Professor Maggie Walsh, and she should have files on something called the '314 Project'. I need everything you can possibly gather on that subject. And... word of warning. If she catches you, she'll almost certainly try to kill you."
"So... you're not
sending us somewhere safe," Rory concluded.
"But you're still stranding yourself here, in the 39th century, with no way back to your TARDIS," Amy pointed out.
The Doctor thrust his hands in his pockets. "Oh, there's a way back," he muttered. "That's the problem."
"What do you mean?" Amy demanded. "Doctor, what did you find in the vortex?"
The Doctor shuffled a little, then pulled the item in question out of his pocket. It was a chunky black cell phone, which looked like it had been designed about 11 years ago (or at least 11 years before Amy and Rory's time), with a sticker across the back saying, "Property of Julie Parsoner." Three numbers blazed upon the phone's tiny display.
Lasky's Nebula, 3847
The sounds of the TARDIS echoed across not only the Earth's surface, but, 3,000 light years away, a Dalek space ship.
"TEMPORAL SIGNATURE LOCATED!" shouted a Dalek. "TARDIS MATERIALIZATION SEQUENCE DETECTED!"
The view-screen featuring the white domed image of the Dalek Supreme flicked into existence.
"THE DOCTOR HAS ARRIVED?" the Dalek Supreme demanded.
"CORRECT!" the Dalek surveying the equipment replied. The Dalek spun around, and connected his manipulator arm with various different bits of machinery, the screens nearby changing in rapid succession. "THE DOCTOR HAS ARRIVED ON PLANET EARTH! THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE WILL BE GAINED, AND THE DALEKS WILL REIGN SUPREME!"
The sound of the TARDIS dematerializing rang through the Dalek space ship.
"DEMATERIALIZATION SEQUENCE ACTIVATED!" shouted a Dalek.
"THIS IS EXPECTED," the Dalek Supreme replied. "THE DOCTOR WILL BE CUT OFF FROM HIS TARDIS. HE WILL BE UNABLE TO ESCAPE."
"BIO-SIGNATURE READINGS INDICATE THREE LIFE SIGNS ON BOARD THE TARDIS!" the Dalek reported. "ONE TIME LORD REMAINS ON THE PLANET EARTH. THE TWO HUMANS HAVE TRAVELED BACK IN TIME."
The Dalek Supreme seemed to think about this a moment. "DISCOVER THE LOCATION OF THE DOCTOR'S TARDIS," the Dalek Supreme commanded.
The Daleks on the space ship swarmed across the machinery, twisting and adjusting and analyzing as rapidly as their pepper-pot shaped suits would allow. The screens surrounding them blazed with a series of images and data, pouring through the ship too rapidly for a human eye to process.
"ALERT! ALERT!" shouted one of the Daleks. "TARDIS LOCATED! LOCATION: SUNNYDALE, EARTH, AUGUST 14, 1999."
"THE DOCTOR HAS SENT HIS COMPANIONS TO SUBVERT THE PLAN!" shouted the Dalek Supreme. "THE DOCTOR'S COMPANIONS MUST BE LOCATED AND EXTERMINATED!"
"EXTERMINATE!" chorused the Daleks, in excitement. "EXTERMINATE!"
"THE DALEKS WILL GAIN THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE!" shouted the Dalek Supreme. "THE DALEKS WILL REIGN SUPREME!"
A loud bang blasted through the air of the space ship, as the ship itself lurched, violently, causing the Daleks to slide and have to activate their magnetic sealing devices to hold themselves in place.
"BOMBARDMENT RECOMMENCING!" shouted the Daleks. "ALL DALEKS TO BATTLE POSITIONS!"
The sound of another loud explosion, and an even more violent shaking of the ship, as the alarms blazed across the bridge, and the Daleks began scurrying.
"HULL BREACH DETECTED!"
"ALL WEAPONS SYSTEMS OFF-LINE!"
"PROJECTED DESTRUCTION OF THIS VESSEL IN 560 RELS!"
"TIME CORRIDOR TO 1999 INITIALIZING!"
From the view-screen, the Dalek Supreme was twitching his eyestalk in anger. "THE DOCTOR'S COMPANIONS MUST BE EXTERMINATED! THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE MUST BE GAINED! THE DALEKS WILL REIGN SUPREME!"
Yet the shouts of chaos from the Daleks did not cease, nor did the myriad of sparks and explosions that cascaded across the control room of the Dalek ship.
"FORCE SHEILD FAILING!"
"DRIVE SYSTEMS SHUTTING DOWN!"
"CATASTROPHIC HULL COLLAPSE IMMINENT!"
"ALL SYSTEMS GOING OFFLINE!"
With a whirr and a hiss, all the electronics in the ship shut off. There was another blast and a violent rupture of electronic devices being separated from the ship itself, but at that moment, a blue swirling tunnel of light appeared in the middle of the bridge.
"TIME CORRIDOR ACTIVE!"
"THE DALEKS WILL EXTERMINATE THE DOCTOR'S—"
That was when the Daleks' ship exploded.
Sunnydale, August 14, 1999
"This is so typical!" Amy complains, as they walked down the streets of Sunnydale. "The Doctor finds something dangerous, and he sends us off somewhere safe."
"Right," said Rory, examining his surroundings. "And by somewhere safe, you mean the mouth of Hell."
"Exactly!" said Amy.
Rory nodded, slowly. "Just checking."
"Besides," said Amy. "If we get in trouble here, we know people who can help us out. But if the Doctor gets in trouble in the 39th century, he won't have anyone. And he always gets in trouble."
"I thought the Doctor said not to contact Buffy," said Rory.
"Yes, but he also tells us not to wander off," Amy pointed out.
Rory faltered. "I... guess."
"Come on!" said Amy. "The faster we get to the University, the sooner we can figure out..."
Amy stopped, suddenly, just staring ahead of her. Then her eyes widened.
"Amy?" Rory asked.
Amy swore, then turned and ran, grabbing Rory's hand and yanking him along with her as they ducked into a back alley. She leaned against the brick wall, muttering a string of curses under her breath.
"I... take it that means we're in more trouble than we thought," said Rory.
Amy said nothing for a moment. Then she gave a dry laugh. "Typical!"
"What's typical?" asked Rory. "What... did you see, back there?"
Amy glanced over her shoulder at Rory. "The Doctor."