Paul Gadzikowski


The Eight Doctors

Chapter 2

The Doctor looked in the mirror-surface of the interface they'd just passed through. Grace was right. "The time-fields have retrogenerated me," he said. "They're undoing my life!"

"Are you going to die again?" Grace asked, her panic abating only reluctantly.

"On the contrary - the way this is going," the Doctor said, "my mother may be waiting in the center time-field under the sign of the crossed computers." He shook off the visual image that that thought generated, and looked at Grace more sharply. "You're getting younger, too."

"Really?" Grace took out a pocket mirror.

"Actually I noticed it in the last circle. Now you look like you did when we met three years ago."

"Three years?" said Grace. "Isn't it more like three weeks?"

"What's the last thing you remember?"

Grace got that he's-playing-with-my-reality-again look the Doctor knew so well. "Getting pushed off course when we tried to land at the Eye of Orion by the thirty-five concentric time-fields we're exploring now?"

"And last before that?"

"Running the Daleks off Wangistaw Minor?"

The Doctor nodded. "That was three years ago along your timeline. You're being retrogenerated too, but you're not a time-sensitive, so your memory's riddled with holes like Swiss cheese."

Grace was skeptical of this conclusion. "Don't you think that's kind of a leap?"

The Doctor looked around at their environment. This circle appeared to be the normal Eye of Orion landscape. Well, such of the strip that could be seen of it looked normal; they were standing just inside the huge mirrored dome through which they had just stepped and just outside another that was slightly smaller.

The Doctor put his hand against the inner dome. It passed through as if the time-field weren't there. "Well, learning that much seems to be all we needed to pass this circle. Ready?"

Grace stepped up to the dome, and they moved through the time-field interface together.


The Doctor noticed three things on his arrival in the next circle: The red-waistcoated outfit he'd worn for only a short time at the end of his seventh incarnation had been replaced by the outfit incorporating the question-mark jumper. The environment of this circle was the normal local landscape again, implying another puzzle demanding nothing of the travelers but observation of the effects of the time-fields on themselves. The third thing he noticed, in order of chronology and in descending order of expectedness, was that it was no longer Grace beside him.

"Ace!" he cried. He threw his arms around her. "What are you doing here? What happened to Grace?"

"I landed here with you, didn't I?" Ace said. "Who's Grace?"

Quick cross-examination revealed that Ace's memory dated from just before the end of her time with the Doctor, and segued from there into Grace's memories since the TARDIS's arrival at the scene of the time-fields.

"You're not really Ace," realized the Doctor. "You're Grace, being retrogenerated through not your own history, but the history of my traveling companions, just as I'm being driven backward through time. You're even still carrying the picnic sandwiches. When we're through this you'll revert to yourself."

"Do you expect me to believe that?" Ace demanded.

"And you wonder why I never tell you anything!"

"Wait," said Ace, pointing at the next dome, "so when I go through these I'll get younger?"

"Yes," said the Doctor, making her smile, until he added, "until you turn into Mel." He indicated the next interface. "Shall we?"


The interior interface of the next circle wasn't visible when the Doctor and Ace entered. The jungle foliage was too thick.

"Where are we 'sposed to be, Professor?" Ace asked.

"I don't know yet," said the Doctor. "The flora look like Eocene-era Earth but the air smells wrong."

"Where's the next dome?" Ace had pushed about five yards into the jungle, the Doctor right behind. "Shouldn't it be right here?"

"Never assume," said the Doctor. "Even if all the others have been like that. Look, there's a path. A road, there are tire tracks."

"In the Eocene?" Then, "What's that noise? What're those tremors?"

Even as Ace spoke they were overtaken. Several people in what was meant to look like safari gear, riding in two garishly logoed jeeps, yelling and shouting at the top of their voices, swung around a curve in the path, hurtling right toward them. "Oh, no," said the Doctor.

The logo read JURASSIC PARK.

"What's up their buns?" Ace said to the Doctor as they approached.

"A tyrannosaur!" shouted the Doctor. "Jump aboard as they pass!"

The jeeps appeared to be traveling at twenty or thirty miles an hour as they approached the Doctor and Ace, having just taken a curve. "Ask me a hard one, would you?" she grinned.

With running starts they were able to grab ahold and swing themselves aboard, each on a different jeep. Among the passengers in the Doctor's jeep, the one farther ahead, were two children and an elderly man in an expensive white suit who accosted him as he found a seat. "Who are you?"

"How do you do. I'm the Doctor. I fix things."

In the other jeep Ace was ignoring the questions of her fellow travelers to rummage around in her rucksack. Even she was distracted, though, when a huge animal roar preceded its owner around the curve in the road by only a moment.

Moving into sight, at a good clip rivaling that of the jeeps, was a torpedo-headed Tyrannosaurus Rex. It was six or seven meters tall.

"A small one," noted the Doctor.

"She's young yet," said the old man helpfully.

Ace pulled a nitro-nine can from her sack and lofted it into the air at the pursuing dinosaur. The rex caught it in its mouth. After ten seconds of continued chasing, nothing happened to the rex. Ace swore with inspiration, questioning the legitimacy of the ancestry of a certain dealer in impact detonators.

"Ace! Look!" The Doctor pointed a short way farther down the road. Blocking it, revealed by their progress down the curves of the road, was the interior interface.

The Doctor stood in the speeding jeep, wanting to enter the next circle in a standing position. The jeep driver had slowed to take the turns; the jeep's speed shouldn't be dangerous.

The jeep sped into to the barrier, transparent to it and its passengers. The Doctor hit the barrier at ten or fifteen miles an hour, rebounded clear of the jeep, and was left in the dirt of the road.

Ace jumped off her jeep before it went through the interface. She must have seen what happened to the Doctor. She had a gun in her hand, which she must have taken from one of the occupants of her jeep. (Mustn't she?)

The tyrannosaur was here, it was rushing them, it was opening its jaws wide for them, it had the nitro-nine can stuck in its teeth.

Ace fired.

The tyrannosaur's head exploded. Its momentum carried it the rest of the way to the barrier, where its body came to rest halfway through. Scrambling not to be crushed underneath the tyrannosaur, the Doctor and Ace accidentally stumbled against the barrier, through it themselves.


"So where aren't we really now?" said Ace.

"Pacific North America," said the Doctor. He pointed to some trees. "Those are Douglas firs."

They seemed to be on the main street of a small town. It was eerily still.

"Why's it so quiet?" said Ace, then, "Doctor!!" just as he saw it too.

There were flames roiling out of a nearby building, a bank. They formed a large, puffy cloud - and they were stock-still, as a holographic snapshot.

"Are we supposed to go in there, Professor?" Ace asked dubiously.

"There's only one way to find out." The Doctor crossed the street toward the bank.

"How did I know?" grumbled Ace, following. "Why can't once it be, 'Absolutely not, Ace, it's too dangerous and wouldn't make any sense'?"

Before entering, the Doctor cautiously prodded at the fiery red cloud, first with the tip of his umbrella and then with his hand. "See? Harmless." He led the way into the bank.

"That's why it's so still outside," said the Doctor, surveying the scene. "The whole town is time-stopped." Throughout the tiny, old-fashioned financial institution, people and objects were suspended in mid-fall. "Well, let's get started."

The Doctor and Ace began dragging the people out of the bank and laying them outside, the Doctor sometimes rearranging Ace's rescuees with appropriate remarks about conservation of momentum that she apparently found obscure. There weren't more than half a dozen. Ground zero seemed to be a safety deposit box in the process of being opened by two elderly men, one in a suit and the other dressed like a lumberjack. The Doctor's diagnosis was that when their time resumed they'd have some second-degree burns, but that that was something of a bargain in the circumstances.

When everyone from the bank was rescued, Ace asked, "Is that it for this circle then?"

The Doctor looked around. "No. Or at least it mustn't be all we're to do, because the interior interface is nowhere in sight. We'll have to hunt for it."

In all it took them several hours. They traipsed all over town, discovering all sorts of people whom they got out of all sorts of trouble, including in part:

On the edge of town they found a man bound up in a homemade deathtrap incorporating poisonous snakes. Ace unbound him while the Doctor moved the snakes into the woods.

They found two men shouting at each other over a pregnant woman. The Doctor took readings with a biometry sensor and left the trio a note telling them which man was the baby's father.

In a private home they came upon a shooting. The IDs of the four people present, and documents in an attic strongbox Ace picked, proved that the young lady on the scene was the daughter of the victim, conceived during a later-annulled marriage to the older woman, before she'd married the apparent gunman. Ace slipped the documents into the young woman's pocket.

The time-stop effect apparently let them see through illusions that the townspeople didn't penetrate. In the trees throughout the town were several natives of Alpha Centauri B VII, over each of whom was superimposed the image of an owl. A woman with a band of firewood in her arms was carrying half a dozen tiny elflike people in it. Another woman's katra had been installed in the drawer knob of a nightstand. A clearing in the woods was also a sitting room done all in red where a dwarf was dancing backwards (they could tell he was dancing backwards despite the time-stop because of the tracks in the ground).

These and other phenomena that the time travelers couldn't remedy were described by the Doctor in a note while they sat in the local diner, where oddly enough nothing interesting was happening. While the Doctor wrote, Ace had a piece of pie, which was very good. But the Doctor wasn't sure with whom to leave the note, nor had they discovered the interior interface yet.

Both of these situations changed at their next encounter. In the bathroom of of a motel suite they found a young, clean-cut man grinning evilly into a cracked mirror which he had, obviously from the blood, just broken with his forehead. Superimposed over him was another man, with long hair and a few days' beard, on whom the horrible grin looked natural. And the interface was the wall where the mirror was mounted.

"What do we do here, Professor?" Ace asked, clearly spooked.

"Let's see," said the Doctor. "Stand back, Ace." When Ace had actually stepped to the other side of the bathroom door, the Doctor reached out for the longhaired man's shoulder, made contact, and pulled him clear.

The evil man unfroze, cackled loudly, and jumped into the Doctor.

"Doctor!" cried Ace before the Doctor shut down all sensory input to battle for his soul. The evil spirit was old, powerful and clever, but the Doctor hadn't been unexpectant of this, and at the moment was, in this context, almost pure spirit himself. The evil spirit battered against the Doctor's defenses until he judged it sufficiently exhausted, and then he inexorably drove it back into the Jungian netherworld whence such things come. Though the battle took about half an hour to his subjective senses, he was back into his body before it even fell into Ace's arms.

He added a description of this final episode to his note and left it on the counter for the formerly possessed man, along with some gauze and tape from Ace's first aid kit, before he and Ace proceeded to the next circle.

"Professor," said Ace as they prepared to leave, "this is just an illusion, innit? There isn't some real place like it?"

"I'm afraid, Ace," said the Doctor, "that we already have all the answers we'll ever have about this town."


"What are we supposed to do here?" Ace growled.

Try as he might the Doctor could find nothing significant to the landscape of this circle except a dilapidated old outhouse. "We ought to have been allowed our picnic first."


The next circle was a pleasant little chapel. The Doctor was standing near the front, near the outer interface of this ring. The chapel was filled with people in fine clothes. The left side of the seating as the Doctor faced the back was filled with friends from his past, mostly girl companions. The right side was filled with people too, partly people from his travels with Ace.

The Doctor, as he craned his neck looking for Ace and for the next interface, had just noticed that some of those on the right were friends from Ace's past that he'd met during her travels with him, when the rear doors opened. Through them the Doctor saw two things. The first was that the interface he was looking for was the other side of the rear door. The second was Ace, dressed in a wedding gown.

He looked down at his own clothes. He was in a black tuxedo.

The Doctor counted himself lucky that the interior interface was inside the church, rather than inside a bridal suite somewhere.


Now the Doctor and Ace were in the Lethbridge-Stewart home. The time was just after the ladies' shopping trip that had capped off their adventure in Carbury - Doris, Winifred and Shou Yuing all were carrying packages into the house; Ace even had a few in hand along with the picnic sandwiches.

"What do we have to do now," Ace groaned, "eat that dinner you made again?"

"Now now, be fair," said the Doctor, "the Brigadier and Ancelyn helped. No, there's something else, something I meant to clear up before we left last time and forgot; something from even earlier than that ... Of course!" The Doctor snapped his fingers and charged off for the kitchen, Ace setting down her parcels and following.

"We could use some help, Doctor, methinks," said Ancelyn, trying with a dishtowel to beat out a fire in a baking pan.

The Doctor ignored him. "Refresh my memory, Brigadier: You retired from U.N.I.T. in 1977?"

"Right," said the Brigadier. He was chopping some potatoes into chunks too large for mashing.

"Whence you hired on at Brendan School, where I met you and Turlough in 1983?" The Doctor picked up a knife and began cutting the Brigadier's potato fragments into halves and thirds. Ace had helped put the fire out by now.

"Right," said the Brigadier.

"So counting backwards from 1977," the Doctor continued, "Sarah Jane must have boarded the TARDIS with me after the Thinktank incident in, say, 1974?"

"Right," confirmed the Brigadier.

Absently the Doctor began chopping a potato portion until he'd diced it. "There's something wrong here! I'm sure U.N.I.T. wasn't formed until 1975, and I remember Sarah Jane saying she'd come from 1980. There must be an explanation!"

"Right," said the Brigadier dubiously.

"Wait," said Ace, "didn't you tell me there was some sort of time difference when you saw the Brigadier in 1983?"

"Time differential," the Doctor corrected. "It shorted out between the Brigadier in 1983, and the Brigadier Nyssa and Tegan brought from 1977."

"Well, that's a six-year difference, same as between 1980 and 1974, innit?" said Ace. "Could that be connected?"

"Of course!" said the Doctor, abandoning the potatoes to give Ace a hug. "A side effect of the shortout must have been to displace my timestream six years in relation to Earth's! Mine, and anyone's whose interactions with Earth's history are too tangled with mine to separate."

"Right," said the Brigadier, content as always when the Doctor solved his own problem before the Brigadier even understood it.

"Ace, you're brilliant," said the Doctor. "That question has been a bother to me for eras, and now it's settled. Let's move on."


"London, November 23, 2013," the Doctor read off of a newsvideo dispenser on the street.

"Who is this creep?" Ace asked as someone stumbled into them and collapsed. Once he was on the sidewalk they could see the front of his shirt was soaked with blood.

"Who are you?" the Doctor asked.

"U.N.I.T.," gasped the dying man. "Infiltrated the New Anti-Zionist Institute - trying to find out who their secret benefactor is ..."

"Did you?" asked Ace.

"Aliens! Martians! Trying to buy some property on Totter's Lane ..." He coughed and died.

"Totter's Lane!?" said Ace.

"Now why would Ice Warriors want ... Oh no!" said the Doctor. "The Chronolizer of Rassilon! How could I have forgotten about that?"

"Not this bit again?" Ace groaned.


The ground in the next circle was covered with fluffy bunnies. They hopped to and fro, but they were so thick on the ground - two or three deep - that it would be immpossible to walk to the next time-field without walking on them, harming if not killing them.

"Oh, how cute! Where did they come from?" As the Doctor had predicted would happen eventually, Grace who had turned into Ace had now turned into Mel. At the mere sound of her voice, the fluffy bunnies radiated away from her and the Doctor in a mad scamble - clearing a path for them.

"I thought we were done with this business finally," the Doctor grumbled at the bunnies.


As the Doctor had expected when Mel had turned up in the last circle, this interface produced another retrogeneration. Admiring his reflection in the interface - What a strong jaw and charming smile this body had had! - he found himself wearing an attractive brightly-colored coat. He didn't remember ever seeing it in his wardrobe since. He idly wondered whether his taste had possibly changed so much since this incarnation that he shouldn't recognize the coat's obvious charm when coming across it.

"This is more like it, isn't it?" said Mel cheerily.

The only significant features of the landscape of this circle were a motorized exercise bicycle, a bathroom scale, and a table bearing a pitcher of red-orange beverage and a glass.

"More like it?" said the Doctor. "More like it!" said the Doctor. "What can this possibly mean?"

"You can try to squirm out of it all you like," Mel said, waggling her finger at him, "but isn't it obvious that your task this circle is to lose those same ten pounds I've been talking about all along?"

"That's ridiculous!" But it wasn't. In fact she was probably right.

Mel poured him a glass of what he suddenly realized was carrot juice. "Drink up," she said, handing him the glass. "You can lose ten pounds in, what, a day, if you work at it?"

"It shan't take that long," growled the Doctor, "if this is all the sustenance there is here." He eyed the pack of picnic sandwiches, but Mel hid it behind her back.


When the Doctor arrived, with Peri, in the next circle the vista they were presented with was featureless, like the previous circle, but for the dome walls and a coat rack with several empty wire hangers.

"What does it mean, Doctor?"

"I don't know," the Doctor said. He ignored her intermittent barrage of further questions while he inspected the rack and the hangers. Discovering nothing there he explored father afield, but there wasn't anything else there but themselves.

Finally he discovered in trying to touch the next dome that it was transparent to his hand - but not to his sleeve. "That's it," he said, "we have to leave our clothing here to pass through to the next circle." He pulled his coat off and hung it up.

"What?" said Peri. "Are you serious?"

"Oh yes," said the Doctor, pulling his tie loose and starting to unbutton his waistcoat.

"We have to strip bareass naked in front of each other?"

The Doctor shrugged. "Precisely." He hung up his waistcoat neatly and started unbuttoning his shirt.

"That's all?" Peri said, standing on alternate feet to pull her shoes off. She moved up to the other side of the clothes rack from him.

"You surprise me," he said. "I anticipated a more ... explosive response to the idea."

Even with his head start, she was finished before he was. "After all we've been through, this is supposed to shock me?" Peri said, watching him frankly a he was removing his shoes.

"Indeed?" he said, dropping his trousers and hanging them up on the last of the hangers, of which there were precisely enough. Peri's eyes were on him the whole time. "Pleased to discover I conform to the humanoid male anatomical norm?"

"Aren't you always telling me, 'never assume'?" Peri said smugly. "What do you think?" she added, striking a quick series of provocative poses.

"You seem," he said as he walked to the interface, "more than adequately constructed for childbearing and for nursing." He faced her as she stepped up to the interface with him. "And what do you think?"

"Would you believe," Peri said, grinning, "'It's a pity Time Lords don't use those'?"

"Perish the thought," he said. But, as he stepped through, contemplating the odd nature of the puzzles in this adventure, he thought, Be careful what you wish for.


Several things startled the Doctor after he passed into the next circle. The first was another retrogeneration. The second was how startled he was by the retrogeneration; but then he remembered, looking down at the cricket outfit and beige frock coat he was wearing on a suddenly much more trim frame, that this fifth personality was the one whose initial formation was so badly cocked up by the Master's Event One/Castrovalva scenario. It had never really stabilised until just before he'd regenerated; which, come to think of it, explained much about the subsequent personality too.

The next thing to startle him was when he looked over at his companion. He had expected to see Tegan or Turlough. He hadn't expected to see both. "I wonder which of you is real?"

"That'd be me, wouldn't it?" Turlough suggested.

"You?" snapped Tegan. "Do you remember landing outside the time-field?"

"'It's like the circles of Dante's Inferno,' didn't I say?" said Turlough cooly.

"'Except there are thirty-five of them'," said Tegan, stunned. At that, Turlough looked stunned too. Questioning determined that both of them had ersatz-Grace's memories of this adventure to date, tacked onto the end of those of the people they seemed to be; neither of them were phantoms of the time-field puzzle. And each was carrying half the picnic sandwiches in an identical pack. "Doctor, what's going on now?"

"Well," said the Doctor after a moment, "you both, somehow, through some function of the time-field, are really Grace."

Turlough digested this with attempted (pardon the expression) grace, but Tegan glowered at him and said to the Doctor, "Is this how you felt in the Death Zone on Gallifrey?"

"Well," said Turlough, "what's the trick this time?"

This circle was a simalcrum of Heathrow Airport, the Doctor now noticed. "I don't have to get my job back, do I?" Tegan asked.

"I don't think so." The Doctor went to the security metal detector, where was posted the only person in sight besides the Doctor and his companion(s), and just beyond which was the interior interface of this circle.

The security man addressed them as they walked up: "Empty your pockets."

"Is that all?" Turlough said.

"Never been through this, have you?" grumbled Tegan. She and Turlough were done in five seconds. The Doctor's pockets surrendered:

A sonic screwdriver
An apple with a bite freshly out
Several pieces of string
A paperback copy of The Two Towers by Tolkien
Four ball point pens that didn't write and two that did
An American Express card in the name John Smith
A testimonial from Charlemagne
The Holy Grail
The tail of a toy donkey
A package of four razor blades
A book of everlasting matches
A street map of Kryptonopolis
A dead type I phaser
A bag of cat's-eye marbles
A handwritten note reading: "Meet me back of the science lab. -C" (hastily reclaimed)
Fermat's proof of his theorem
A watch that had run down
Five gold rings
The equivalent of two pounds thirteen in currency from several other planets
Two latex gloves
An unopened Xanax prescription in the name of Hortense Forrester
The music for Eleanor Rigby arranged SATB
Some bootblack
A small half-full jar of raspberry marmalade
Two black plague fleas sealed in a stasis tube
A ten-ride bus ticket for the Omaha Nebraska transit system with one ride punched
A keychain fob with a US flag and the legend "ANSA"
A doctorate in veterinary medicine from Redwall University
The jawbone of an ass
An unused specimen cup
One small knitting needle stuck into a winebottle cork
A slip of paper with the words "Amelia Earhart" and a Brooklyn address
A diaper pin
Half a chocolate bar
A pair of reading glasses with one lense cracked
A vending machine packet of stick pretzels with a "sell by" date of 2 March 2134
A miniature set of dentures (not the wind-up kind)
A keychain fob made out of a rifle cartridge with the inscription "TO COL HB FROM CORP OR KOREA 1952"
A dirty butter knife
Thirty pieces of silver
A 45 RPM Led Zeppplin phonograph single (A: Thank You, B: Ramble On)
An electronic book of Max Quordpleen one-liners
A Slim-Fast can half full of American pennies
A rolled-up pair of leg warmers
A medieval scroll in Latin, with pornographic illustrations in the margins, stamped "PROPERTY OF VATICAN LIBRARY"
A thumbnail study of Da Vinci's The Last Supper
A set of guitar strings
Several unopened envelopes containing replacement UNIT i.d.s
A collection of Dalek limericks
A caricature of a jowly heavy-eyebrowed man in Gallifreyan robes
An invoice from Drax for "services rendered"
A used home pregnancy test (negative)
A rolled-up banner of the sort displayed at sports events that read "LUKE 17:21"
An Oan power battery
A Drashig virtual pet
A US Army purple heart medal
A droid restraining bolt
An extension cord
A skullcap soiled with owl droppings
A dice-sized cube of neutronium in a portable antigrav field
The Holy Rings of Betazed
Some dog biscuits
A deactivated robot bee
A postcard from the Smithsonian picturing the original Kermit the Frog puppet
Four copies of a Draconian religious pamphlet
A set of Wards Major cubes
And two scrambled eggs. Make that three scrambled eggs.


The next circle was a gymnasium.

All the Doctor's friends who'd been caught up in Borusa's Death Zone "game" were sitting in bleachers to the side - even Romana. All four of his past incarnations were arranged in a half-circle in front of him, centered on the center of the court, where the Doctor was facing the Master. Rassilon stood between them, holding a sportsball the Doctor was having trouble identifying - something American he thought. Turning he saw, in a half circle behind him, the Master's four most recent past incarnations: the Meddling Monk, the War Chief, the incarnation from the Doctor's years with U.N.I.T., and the last one of his normal regenerative cycle who'd de-generated when he'd tried to regenerate into a fourteenth body.

Rassilon blew on a whistle and threw the basketball straight up in the air.


They were standing in the console room, and the illusory TARDIS seemed to be in flight. Though he had known it was going to happen, the Doctor was still shocked to find Adric standing next to him, with Tegan and Nyssa. To make matters worse, Adric seemed to be part of the puzzle - only Tegan and Nyssa were carrying sandwiches. And topping it all off, the interior time-field wasn't in sight, probably meaning the Doctor needed to pilot the TARDIS to a particular location to find it.

"I don't have any friends," Adric griped. "There's no one in the TARDIS I can relate to and we never stay in one place very long."

Where could the TARDIS be intended to go? "We've had this discussion before."

"And nothing comes of it, ever," said Adric.

The Doctor circled the console, looking for a clue. "I have a lot on my mind at the moment ..."

Adric followed him around the console. "There's always something, isn't there?"

The Doctor leaned on the console and gave an exasperated sigh. How he was supposed to solve this puzzle despite Adric's constant complaining - "Got it!"

"Got what, Doctor?" Tegan asked.

That must be it. Adric's complaining was the puzzle he was supposed to solve, the way he never really had in real life. He knew just how to do it, too. He began setting coordinates in a frenzy, shushing Adric with an upraised hand to keep his concentration.

"There," he said finally, standing back from the console just as the central column came to rest. He flipped the door switch and beckoned to Adric as he walked out.

Dominating the scene in the place where the TARDIS had landed was, gratifyingly, the interior time-field. In front of it, sitting at a table with a notepad, an abacus and a slide rule, looking up in astonishment at the TARDIS, were two boys about Adric's age. One was in a Starfleet academy uniform and the other was in a UEO Navy uniform.

"How did you do that?" asked the Starfleet cadet.

Adric looked from him to the items on the table, and said, "It's simple, really. Once you realize that Forrester's Constant is the frequency variation between relative dimensions, you can calculate ..." In thirty seconds all three boys were speaking purely in higher mathematics, and the slide rule had caught fire.

The Doctor looked over at Nyssa and Tegan and raised his eyebrows for any comment. Nyssa and Tegan only grinned at him, and followed him through the time-field.


The Doctor was just thinking that this retrogeneration business was becoming old hat when he tripped over the horribly long burgundy scarf he was suddenly wearing, ending up flat on his back.

"Will you stop playing around, Doctor?" said Romana sternly. She was in her riding outfit, standing over him hands-on-hips. K-9 rolled up next to her.

"I must say, I've quite lost my fascination with this spot we're in," said the Doctor, sitting up. "I'll have words with whoever's at the bottom of it, you can be sure."

"Is there someone causing the time-fields?" Romana trailed off as she reached the end of the question.

The Doctor looked up at her from his seat on the ground. "Now that you're Romana you should realize that time-fields of this nature can't be a natural phenomenon. Confirmation, K-9?"

"Probability analysis shows that the odds are incalculably in support of your statement, Master," K-9 responded.

The Doctor jumped to his feet, burgundy clothing flapping about him. "Someone created these time-fields," he said. "Someone who knows me intimately!"


The Twin Peaks crossover sequence is dedicated to Gretchen, who said it couldn't be done. Or shouldn't, I don't know which.

Chapter 3

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