"This is 'sposed to be news?" was Ace's reply.
"And someone has transposed us with each other throughout space and time," Doctor Four continued. "We need to find out who, and why."
The shadowed figure watching the monitor whispered, "To destroy you, of course, Doctor!" and cackled evilly.
"Kinda hard to do anything though," said Ace, "when we're chained up in this dungeon, innit?"
"The thought occurred to me," said Doctor Four.
"We must break out of here and get the TARDIS back into the Time Vortex!" explained Doctor Two to Mel through the security force fields separating them. "Then I'll be able to contact me and me and me and me and me and ... um ..." He stopped to count on his fingers.
"Wasn't it a sonic key that controlled the security fields?" Mel asked from her cell. "Couldn't you trip them with your sonic screwdriver?"
Doctor Two smiled at her, pleased. "I'm going to build a sonic screwdriver?"
"Why do I bother?" Mel moaned.
"No, wait," said Doctor Two. "Let's see what we've got." He began to turn out his pockets. He found two latex gloves, an unopened Xanax prescription in the name of Hortense Forrester, the music for "Eleanor Rigby" arranged SATB, some bootblack, a pack of everlasting razors, 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", an apple with a bite freshly out, a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Redwall University, the jawbone of an ass, three ball-point pens that didn't write, 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 (which he promptly ate), a pair of reading glasses with one lense cracked, and of course his recorder.
"Not much help, is it?" Mel said.
"Nonsense," said Doctor two, scooping everything but the stasis tube and the tire guage back into his pockets. "I can cobble together quite a good sonic screwdriver with the parts from these."
"But didn't you say those were plague fleas in the stasis tube?"
"Not to worry, I'm immune."
"But they'll get loose out of your cell when you do, won't they?"
"I'll make sure they don't," said Doctor Two. "And we'll leave a note asking the security chaps here to be very careful."
"How are we going to escape from here with all that?" Nyssa asked Doctor Six.
"Watch and learn," said Doctor Six smugly.
He took the foil gum wrapper and wrapped it around the empty sewing thread spool. With the honey he adhered it and the lid of the honey jar - precariously - to either end of the ass's jawbone, and then balanced the jawbone atop the honey jar. Then he sat back and watched it.
After several minutes Nyssa started to ask something. Doctor Six hushed her angrily. "Absolute silence must be maintained! Now I'll have to start over."
He stared at his construction for neary fifteen more minutes before taking the rectal thermometer and using it to spin the jawbone as if it was attached to the honey jar on a pivot. He counted the turns out loud backward from forty-nine, and at seventeen the lock on the cell door sprung and the door swung open.
"Viola!" said Doctor Six (yes, not "voila", "viola").
"But how ...?" asked Nyssa.
"Intermediate dimensional transcendentalism," said Doctor Six. "I'll explain one day. Now follow me."
Doctor Five and Jo left the detention block of the Soviet work camp and walked right up to the sentry on duty.
"Pardon me," said Doctor Five, "but we were on the V.I.P. tour and got lost. Which way to the office?"
"That way, sir," said the sentry, pointing.
"Thank you so much." Doctor Five smiled at the sentry and led Jo off in the other direction.
Doctor Three and Leela had just cleared the castle's drawbridge when alarums sounded inside. "Hadn't expected it to work that long," remarked Doctor Three. "Run!"
Leela sped off into the woods, Doctor Three following because she knew where the TARDIS was.
"How are we going to get away, Doctor?" Leela asked, already breathless from running, when they heard the horns and hounds behind them.
"I'm reminded of C.S. Forrester's notes on the writing of 'Flying Colors'," the Doctor mused, not a bit out of breath as they ran through the trees. "In the middle of the novel Hornblower, Bush and Brown escape from their imprisonment by the French. Forrester had written that far before he realized he hadn't planned out how they would escape. Then, when they were out taking the air under guard, they happened on -"
"Doctor," Leela gasped, "is that an abandoned rowboat pulled up onto the bank of the river?"
"Prisoner left a note, sir," reported the guard. "Said the cell has to stay sealed because there's plague inside."
"A trick!" growled the guard captain. "Open it."
"Oh, brushing me off again, are ye?" groused Jamie, following Doctor One into the TARDIS.
"Young man, we haven't got time for your frivolous trivialities!" barked Doctor One. When it became obvious that Jamie wasn't going to close the TARDIS door, he did.
"Now last time didnae ye say - that is, the other Doctor - that is, the other Doctor then - that -"
"I never said anything of the kind," said Doctor One. "Yet," he added under his breath. He tried to concentrate on the console settings.
"Didnae ye say then," Jamie persisted, "that ye were just an ass picked of yerself?"
Doctor One looked at Jamie quite sharply. "What low self esteem I must be going to have. Now be a good lad and kindly shut your mouth."
This remark appeared to convince Jamie that the old man was yet another Doctor, though from the look on his face he wasn't convinced that this was necessarily good. "So where's my Doctor?"
"Not 'where' but 'when' is the salient point, young MacCrimmon," said Doctor One, not looking up from the instruments.
When Doctor One didn't elucidate any further Jamie bet himself that that meant Doctor One didn't know the answer. "'When' is my Doctor?"
"All of me," said Doctor One, having only just deciphered the readings, "are asail in the Time Vortex. They're riding the currents of the timestream of this holistic spacetime event backwards to the causal source." Doctor One flipped several switches and the console column began to rise and fall. "And so are we."
"So they'll all arrive before us?" Jamie asked.
"Yes, but not because we were last to take off. The most recent of me will arrive first, because he has the shortest relative objective time/space distance to traverse."
The shadowed figure took a small simalcrum of Doctor One and one of Jamie and placed them both inside a blue square marked on the table. All the figurines were now paired off inside blue squares marked on the table. The shadowed figure regarded them with ominous giggles and mutterings. Suddenly the giggles and mutterings stopped. A hand poked out of the shadows, a pointing finger extending to count the figurines. Then it reached down and removed the Captain Cook and Mags action figures that had somehow got mixed up with the others.
With the sonic signature of temporal displacement a TARDIS materialized in the room. Doctor Seven and Susan burst out of it. When they saw the shadowed figure it stopped them dead in their tracks. The Doctor could only look in horror at what they had discovered, but Susan at least was able to speak.
"Grandmother!" she cried. "What are you doing?"
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