Characters and situations are the property of the Roger Price, Thames
Television, Freemantle Media, and the BBC. No copyright infringement is
This takes place after "The Living Stones" for the Tomorrow
People. And sometime after "Frontios" but before "Resurrection of the
Daleks" for Dr. Who.
Poisoning the Well
by Estirose and Tptigger
He looked at London as the sun rose. It had changed; oh, how it had
changed. But, he knew, some things never changed.
Like that even in this strange new world, those damn members of Homo
novis were starting to come into their powers. That in order for him to
rule this pitiful little backwater, they would have to be dealt with.
And that he would, as always, be able to glean help. For the right
price. With the right expertise.
He smiled. Maybe this was going to be easier than he thought. But best
to be prepared. It wasn't going to do him any good if he wasn't.
He turned away from the sunrise and made his way to his hiding place.
* * *
On a quiet alley near the Thames embankment, a blue, sixties style
police box screamed as it faded in from nothingness.
Three people made their way out of it - a young man in a schoolboy's
uniform, a slightly older woman in a dress and hairstyle that seemed to
be out of the 1980's, and a man in a cream-colored cricketing outfit,
wearing a hat. The youngest of the three looked dubiously at the alley,
the woman stared apprehensively, and the third, the man in the
cricketing outfit, just smiled.
The woman patted her auburn hair, as if concerned it had fallen out of
place. "All right, Doctor, where are we this time?"
"London, late twentieth century," he replied, gazing placidly at the
scenery around him. "A few years after your time, but I thought you'd
like to have a look around."
The young woman huffed at his response, and stared despairingly at the
Doctor as he began his trip out of the alley. She jogged to catch up
"Really, Doctor, what's going on?" she asked, her eyes only on the
figure before her, as if not sure she wanted to know.
"For once, Tegan, I don't know," the Doctor said absently. "But that
rather dystopian future we just visited seems to have gone wrong. And
my guess would be that it starts around this time."
"You know something, Doctor," Turlough said, folding his arms. "How
about letting us in on it for once."
"Really, Turlough, you can't expect me to know *everything*," the
Doctor said, looking around as if he'd find exactly what was wrong.
Turlough glanced at Tegan and rolled his eyes. "Typical," he said.
"Come on, this way," the Doctor said, hurrying off.
Turlough and Tegan irritably fell into step behind him, trying to keep
pace as they walked along the Thames.
"Are we going to Cleopatra's Needle?" Tegan asked, as they passed the
entrance to the Embankment station on the underground.
The Doctor said nothing, as if too busy concentrating on where the
problem might lie. Tegan sighed. This sort of behavior from the Doctor
was getting increasingly annoying. Were they closer to her own time,
she might have been tempted to wander off and live a normal life.
They crossed the street, walking past the statues of sphinxes and down
the steps to the base of the needle.
"What is this thing anyway?" Turlough asked, shielding his eyes to look
at the top of the obelisk. "It looks like some sort of Khulthan
"Oh, it is," the Doctor said, sparing a glance backwards. "Long since
dormant however. Well, mostly."
"Mostly?" Turlough echoed, nearly wincing as he realized what he'd done.
The doctor started going into long winded explanations of energy
radiation and psionics. Turlough rolled his eyes, turning round and
leaning over the rail to look at the Thames. He wrinkled his nose;
something seemed off. He took a deep breath though his nose. Did he
smell something? He sniffed the air experimentally.
"That's funny," Turlough said, sniffing again to be absolutely sure.
"It doesn't smell quite right."
"What doesn't smell quite right?" Tegan asked, breathing deeply as
well. She wrinkled her nose at Turlough, as though she were convinced
he was winding her up.
"The river. It always smelled a little funny, but there's a sort of...
tang to it. Can't you smell that?"
Tegan leaned out farther, breathing deeply. "Not really. It just smells
like the Thames to me.'
The Doctor took a deep breath. "Nothing to worry about, Turlough," he
Turlough frowned. "Are you sure about that? It just... doesn't seem
"Maybe it's from those ionic whazits?" Tegan asked, gesturing towards
"No," Turlough said, breathing deeply. "I don't think that's it."
The Doctor studied his companion thoughtfully and then glanced at the
water. "Perhaps we should go upstream. Check out the Tyburn?"
Tegan shrugged mentally. It wasn't like she had much choice in the
matter. She never did.
"Back to the TARDIS?" Turlough asked hopefully, taking the first step
back up. Perhaps it would take them away from this strange adventure.
"No, let's take the Underground," the Doctor replied, walking past him
and aiming towards the nearby tube entrance.
* * *
Apart from a change in price, the London Underground was what Tegan
remembered, and she wished that the Doctor had just used the TARDIS.
She blinked in the sunlight as they came out, wishing they were in a
more familiar part of London.
They approached the entrance to the underground river to find it under
heavy guard by the military.
Tegan and Turlough exchanged glances, somehow surprised by all this.
"Well, you weren't expecting to just walk in, were you?" The Doctor
"With you, we never know," Tegan muttered, quietly. Nearly in
He broke a smile, trying not to convulse with silent laughter.
"Right, follow me," the Doctor said. He marched right up to the guards,
holding up a card. "I'm the Doctor and my companions and I need to get
inside, so if you'll just let us by, there's a good chap."
The guard's eyebrows raised. "UNIT?" he mouthed. "Captain!" called the
A blond man wearing captain's insignia approached the group.
The Doctor glanced at the name stitched on the uniform. "Hello, there,
Captain Richards, would you be so good as to let my companions and I
inside?" the Doctor asked, passing him the ID card.
Captain Richards frowned at the ID and motioned someone else over.
"Corporal, would you be so good as to run this ID..."
"Captain, I am the Doctor and I expect my companions and I to be
allowed in immediately!" the Doctor said in his most authoritative
"Very well, Doctor, I'll escort you," the Captain said. He handed the
corporal the ID, waving him in the direction of their vehicle.
"Corporal Bly, get him cleared forthwith."
* * *
Corporal Alexander Bly blinked at what the computer told him. Twice. He
sighed, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and picked up his cellular
The voice on the other end of the line was way too chipper for his
taste. "Good afternoon, World Ex securities."
"This is Corporal Alexander Bly of the Royal Marines. I need to speak
to General Bill Damon. Please tell him this is a matter that Brigadier
General Lethbridge-Stewart left in his care." Bly frowned, reading the
name off of the computer's display. What the hell could this possibly
"Hold please," said the voice.
"Damon," said a voice a few minutes later.
The Corporal straightened. "General Damon, this is Corporal..."
"I got all that from my secretary, Corporal Bly. What's this about
Lethbridge-Stewart?" Damon interrupted him stridently.
"Well, the Doctor's here, sir. We're guarding the entrance to the
waterworks at the Tyburn and..." He felt like he was babbling, but
there was nothing to be done for it.
"What? Your infantry is supposedly on stress leave," Damon said, a
confused tone entering in the middle of his sentence and exiting at the
"Your computer must be out of...." Bly said, trying to get a word in.
"It's not out of date, corporal. I assure you my clearance gives me
access to the most up to date information, and you're supposed to be on
"But sir...." Bly looked confused, glad that General Damon couldn't see
him. What did he mean, stress leave?
"Stress leave, corporal." The man had a firm tone to his voice.
"So why did Captain Richards tell us we were ordered to guard the
Tyburn sir? That's where we are. And the Doctor came up and asked to be
escorted in. I ran his ID, and it said to call you, sir." He might have
been babbling, but he *was* going to get the whole story out.
"I don't know why he said to do it," Damon said. He seemed to sigh,
even if Bly couldn't hear it. "I'm on my way, Corporal. Don't let him
go anywhere until I get there."
"The Doctor sir? I'll try, he seems like a force of nature, sir." Bly
felt compelled to warn the general that obeying those orders just might
not be possible.
"Just keep him there. Damon out." Something on Damon's end clicked, and
a dial tone effectively ended the call.
Bly looked at his handset. He was supposed to keep the man here? He
would be lucky that the man hadn't disappeared on him!
He leapt up, heading double time for the entrance. He paused only long
enough to admonish the guards to let General William Damon, who would
be brandishing a World Ex Securities ID at them, through without
A few minutes later, General Bill Damon appeared, fighting off the
massive headache that inevitably occurred when something strange was
happening, especially when that strange something involved him.
He consulted briefly with the guards before heading in himself, hoping
that there was some simple explanation and not something that would
involve alien species and the imminent end of the world. Or barring
that, at least those two things, but not his son and the rest of the
* * *
Meanwhile, the Doctor and his companions were led into a room with no
windows and two computer work stations.
"Captain Richards, what is the meaning of this?"
"This is the waterworks control room. This is what you wanted to see is
it not?" the Captain asked.
The Doctor puffed up indignantly. "No, it is not the main control room,
my good man, now if you would be so kind..." The Doctor paused as he
realized Richards was backing away from him. "Where are you going?"
With that, Captain Richards slipped out, slamming the door behind him.
Tegan ran up, bashing into the door and throwing her weight against it
in a feeble attempt to break it open.
"Locked," she said, miserably, sinking to the floor.
"Isn't it always?" Turlough observed sardonically. "Doctor?"
But the Doctor was studying something. Tegan let out a noisy sigh.
"Have you figured out how to get us out of here yet, Doctor?"
"Brave heart, Tegan," the Doctor replied. "I need a few more minutes."
Tegan shot an annoyed look at the Doctor's back, while wondering for
the hundredth - or thousandth - time why she'd come back to adventuring
with the Doctor.
But at least he would get them out of there.
"Isn't that a hatch?" Turlough said, pointing out a slight rectangular
outline under one of the control desks.
"Really, Turlough, you don't think it'd be that easy, do you?" Tegan
But Turlough was poking around the area he'd pointed out. "That's
probably some kind of equipment access," she said, leaning in for a
There was a sudden sound of the door unlocking again, Tegan scrambling
just fast enough to avoid being hit.
A man in a business suit was unceremoniously thrown into the room,
stumbling against the consoles, and then the door locked behind him. He
looked up, surveying the three of them.
"General Bill Damon, World Ex Securities. Is one of you the Doctor?"
"That would be him," Tegan said, motioning in the Doctor's location,
where he was studying something. "I take it you were...."
"Called because the Doctor's ID apparently trips an automatic alert.
The Brigadier briefed me, Doctor. Just what sort of imminent peril are
we facing, anyway?" He looked at the Doctor as if he held all the
answers. Maybe he did.
Tegan had just gotten over the shock of an American general being
called to handle a British security matter, when the Doctor replied
absently, "Your future has been manipulated, and the time disturbance
comes from this time. I'm trying to find the source of it."
All the time the Doctor was talking to General Damon, he'd had his back
to the man. He punched some controls before turning to face their guest.
And his eyes shot up, as if he hadn't expected to see who he was seeing.
"Have we met before Doctor?" Damon asked, confused.
"Yes... yes." The Doctor seemed to get control of his reaction. "Very
briefly, in the time we were in."
"Huh?" Damon asked. Tegan was relieved that someone else was confused
around the Doctor.
The Doctor seemed to think very briefly before replying, "You might be
the clue we need!"
"Don't worry." Tegan patted General Damon's shoulder. "He's like this
all the time."
Damon massaged the bridge of his nose. "And I thought my son was hard
to deal with."
There was a clanging noise as Turlough finally got the cover off of the
"What is it, son?" Damon asked, hurrying over.
Turlough pointed down the hatch, to reveal rapidly rotating fans. "It's
a ventilation shaft, and it's blocked."
Damon looked about, searching for something. "Maybe we can jam it with
this," he said, trying to unscrew a pipe above their heads.
The pipe shook, starting to spray water.
"Or not," Damon said, screwing it back in. He turned on his cell phone.
"No signal. Damn."
Tegan looked confused. Felt confused. "Doctor."
"Just a minute, just a minute," the Doctor half-muttered, typing at one
of the consoles.
Tegan rolled her eyes, taking a seat at the other one.
"Might as well get comfortable, General, it's going to be awhile."
Damon checked his watch. "Great, I'm late for lunch with my son."
* * *
"Dad's late," Megabyte said to nobody in particular as he looked around
the empty office for anything to do. The only thing that he'd pried out
of the secretary was that it was something top-secret that had required
his father's presence immediately.
He debated leaving the office and teleporting nearby. However, that
probably wasn't safe, depending on the circumstances. No point outing
himself when he didn't need to.
Megabyte sighed, taking a seat. "Half an hour, Dad." He'd give his dad
half and hour, and that was it.
If he wasn't back by then, then damn the consequences. Megabyte leaned
back in his chair.
* * *
Bill Damon just hoped his son wouldn't do anything foolish, being left
alone for so long. He'd heard of the Doctor, was pretty sure that
Marmaduke - Megabyte - was fairly safe even if he did reveal himself to
the Doctor. It was just that he didn't want his son involved in the
Whatever this affair was. He wasn't sure at this point that he even
wanted to know.
Hopefully Megabyte would call Adam. The older boy--young man by
now--was a bit of a steadying influence on Damon's son.
If he didn't calm Megabyte down, or stop him, Bill would live, but the
Tomorrow People did better when they were listening to reason.
The Doctor was back at work, still trying some esoteric way to get them
out of there. Bill personally hoped that it didn't involve the hatch.
The girl, Tegan, was still sitting by him. He got the impression she
found it irritating, though predictable, though how one used "The
Doctor" and "predictable" in the same sentence, Bill would certainly
like to know.
* * *
Megabyte sat in the waiting room near Damon's office, tipping back in
his chair and wishing he'd brought a book. Maybe he ought to pester
[Megabyte,] Adam 'pathed.
Megabyte chuckled. Adam must've been reading his mind. In a good way.
[Jade and I are thinking of hitting that Chinese restaurant in
Kensington you're so fond of for dinner tonight. You want to come?]
[It depends on when I finally get lunch,] Megabyte replied. [Dad's
[That's not exactly news, yeah?] Adam asked, a note of sympathy in his
[No,] Megabyte said, trying to contain his own exasperation. [But why
do I feel like my spider sense is tingling?]
[What happened?] Jade asked, coming into the conversation.
[Dad left on some call, and his secretary can't tell me what it is. I
tried calling his mobile, but it goes straight to voice mail,] Megabyte
answered. [There's something wrong. I can feel it.]
[Like what?] Jade asked. Megabyte could feel the youngest Tomorrow
Person perking up at the first sign of a mission.
[Trouble,] Megabyte said succinctly. [I'm going in there.]
[Not without me!] Jade replied.
[Not without a plan!] Adam added.
[Maybe we should meet on the ship?] Ami suggested, joining the
conversation as well.
[Right,] Megabyte said grumpily. He didn't want to, his Dad had
probably gotten himself in trouble again, but....
[See you there,] Adam said.
It was times like these he wasn't sure if having telepathic friends was
a good thing or a bad thing.
Megabyte stopped by the secretary's desk long enough to say, "Tell my
Dad I went for a snack, since it's going to be awhile. Have him call me
on my cell when he gets in, okay?"
The assistant nodded, waving him on, as if not caring.
Megabyte sighed, left the building, and walked two blocks away to the
safest alley for teleporting.
* * *
"I can't believe we're not going in after him," Megabyte groused.
"I can't believe you're willing to go in there without a plan," Ami
responded, leaning forwards towards him.
"Your Dad does get into a lot of situations with the military," Adam
reminded his fellow Tomorrow Person. "Means it's not always safe to
just show up."
"Yeah, but... Dad's getting better about calling," Megabyte said.
"Especially for things like that."
"Maybe he can't," Jade said, sounding excited. "Maybe he's in trouble!"
"That's what worries me," Megabyte said, trying not to slump. "That he
is in trouble and can't reach me."
"Maybe he isn't calling for security reasons?" Ami suggested.
"If he was expecting something like that to take that long, he would've
called first," Megabyte said, getting up. "Tell me you don't have that
'danger' feeling running through you."
"We're Tomorrow People," Jade said, getting up as well. "It's almost
normal. Trouble finds us."
"Yeah, well this time it found Dad," Megabyte said, starting to roam.
"So, what do you want to do? Teleport in there blindly?" Ami said
Megabyte shrugged, as if it didn't matter to him. "Why not? We do it
all the time."
"What if your dad's at a secret weapons establishment or something?"
Adam asked, trying to bring his fellow Tomorrow person back to earth.
"What about teleporting nearby and walking?" Jade suggested. "We could
check it out."
"That would work," Adam insisted.
"Okay, let's go all ready," Megabyte said.
* * *
As the four approached the entrance to the Tyburn, Adam pulled them
behind the nearest convenient trash can. "Terribly heavily guarded for
a water works, isn't it?"
"Something's weird here, Adam, I've been telling you!" Megabyte
"It's starting to look like it," Jade said, looking worried.
"So, why don't we go in there?" Megabyte said. "Because I don't think
we're going to be able to just walk past those guards...."
"Shouldn't we try something sneakier?" Jade asked quietly.
"Like what, Jade, the vulcan neck pinch?" Megabyte asked.
"I'm just thinking the teleporting flashes are going to go right
through that door," she said, looking pointedly at the soldiers.
"Depends on how close Dad is to that door," Megabyte said, drawing up a
little and preparing to teleport.
"Megabyte," the other three scolded in unison.
Megabyte closed his eyes, a flash of light marking his teleport.
"Should we follow him?" Jade asked Adam.
Adam held up a finger. [Megabyte?] Adam asked.
[Um, I seem to have caused a bit of a stir here. Dad's here, safe, but
they're prisoners, and there's this guy in a weird coat with a stalk of
celery in the lapel who's practically freaking out.]
[Does that mean it's safe, or not?] Jade asked, trying to be practical.
[Well, apart from the freaking-out guy, I think it's safe,] Megabyte
said. [No one's armed, and they're not exactly going anywhere.]
[Without our help, you mean,] Ami added.
Adam could almost *hear* Megabyte rolling his eyes.
[Well, yeah. Wanna come down here and give me a hand?] Megabyte
Jade mentally clapped.
[Ha ha, very funny,] Megabyte said. [You and Millie should start a
* * *
A flash of light imploded into the captives' cell. Then formed in to a
ginger haired young man.
"Marmaduke Alfred Damon, what are you doing here?" Bill snapped.
"You weren't answering your cell phone," Megabyte said flippantly.
"Besides, I had a bad feeling."
General Damon sighed. "Yes, but..."
Tegan, who had stood up to move a bit, swayed dangerously as she took
in the scene in front of her.
"It's all right, Tegan, sit," Turlough said, throwing an uneasy glance
"He... he just..." Tegan attempted a coherent sentence.
"He can't hurt you either," Turlough said, still watching Megabyte.
"Dad, we were outside, and it looked seriously guarded for a
waterworks," Megabyte said to his father. "So I thought it a good idea
to check in."
His father looked like he was trying to stave off a coughing fit.
"What?" Megabyte said innocently.
"You're Marmaduke Damon?" the Doctor asked. "*The* Marmaduke Damon?"
"Um." Bill Damon recovered, answering instead. "Anyway. Yes, something
strange is going on. But that's why I have an alert at the office, so
that something like... this... doesn't happen."
Megabyte ignored his father and turned to the Doctor. "You know me?"
"Anyway," Bill Damon interrupted, trying to get the attention off of
Megabyte, "We'll be rescued any minute, you might want to go back and
The Doctor beamed. "Know you my boy... well, you'll find out in good
time, I suppose. I'm just very relieved to see you. I'm afraid I need a
word with Adam."
Three flashes of light resolved into three more teenagers. Tegan, who
Turlough was standing behind supportively, pillowed her head in her
hands in shock.
"Did we miss anything?" Jade said brightly.
"Ah, Adam," the Doctor said, crossing the now-crowded room. "Just the
person I wanted to see."
Adam blinked, then looked at Megabyte. "What did you tell him?"
"Nothing! He knew who I was!" Megabyte said indignantly.
"The General here nearly shouting your name at you didn't hurt,"
"He knew who you were too," Megabyte said to Adam, ignoring Turlough's
"And this must be Jade and Ami? I presume, my understanding was Lisa
wasn't really a part of the group at this time," the Doctor said.
"Um, no," Adam managed, turning a little red.
Jade was all smiles--Adam's reactions to mentions of Lisa were
interesting to say the least.
"Something's happening, Adam, something that's not supposed to," the
Doctor said, earnestly. He approached Adam, placing a paternal hand on
his shoulder. "Your race, the Tomorrow People, are supposed to
flourish, but instead they die out. Something's happening, someone's
changing something. Have you lot noticed anything unusual lately?"
Adam uncomfortably shrugged off the Doctor's hand.
"Doctor are you going to question these kids or are we going to get out
of here and check out the water supply?" Turlough asked, impatiently.
"I vote for getting out of here," Megabyte said. "Then discuss. It's
lunchtime." His stomach rumbled as if in agreement.
"You were anxious to talk to someone who thinks with his stomach?"
Turlough asked, looking at the Doctor in confusion.
"You've never met Adric," Tegan muttered.
The Doctor turned to Megabyte. "I think we'd better have a look at the
city's drinking water first, don't you Megabyte? We should know what
we're eating, don't you think?"
Bill cast his eyes up to the pipe that he'd been fiddling with. "Maybe
if we can get a sample of the water in this pipe....."
The Doctor clapped Bill's shoulder. "Excellent idea, general."
"We can nip it over to the lab and then go for lunch!" Megabyte said
"Someone want to get back to WorldEx and get me a sample container?"
"I'll go," Megabyte said, clapping his dad's shoulder, "I know where
With that, he flashed out.
He flashed back a few minutes later. "Will this hold enough, Dad?"
"I think so," General said, taking the conical tube from Megabyte. He
opened the orange lid and held it up to the pipe, filling it to the
top. "Fifty milliliters should be enough for the lab to play with for
awhile." He sniffed the air. "What's that smell?"
"I think we should get out of here, now," Adam said, sniffing the air
"Good idea," the Doctor said in an urgent tone.
Megabyte grabbed his Dad's arm. Adam extended his arm to Tegan, who
took it hesitantly. Jade and Ami exchanged glances, and then Ami took
Turlough by his upper arm. The Doctor extended an arm to Jade, who
giggled, but grasped it firmly.
The eight "prisoners" disappeared.
* * *
"So what's in it?" Megabyte asked as the eight of them crowded around a
harassed-looking lab tech.
He frowned, throwing Megabyte a dirty look. Megabyte ignored it, as he
always did. He knew he was getting a bit of a reputation around
WorldEx, but at the moment, he didn't care.
His father was shooting him a look, too, but turned his attention to
the tech. "Did you find anything?" he asked.
The lab tech pinched the bridge of his nose. "All I know is that
there's a chemical compound I've never seen before in that water."
"May I see?" the Doctor asked, nudging the lab tech away from the
table, earning him an annoyed look from the technician, who in return
received an admonishing one from Damon.
The tech sighed, handing him the computer print out.
The Doctor read through the paper, frown deepening. "Have you run mass
spec, or just the NMR?"
The tech shuffled some more papers, looking for the spectrographic
analysis. "The results are pretty similar. I'd almost say it was some
sort of protein if it weren't for the distinct lack of nitrogen atoms."
The Doctor sighed, flipping though it. "I've seen several different
psychotropic compounds this could be; it all depends on the structure.
What I wouldn't give for a good x-ray crystal radiograph."
The tech made a face; he could *do* that, but x-ray crystallography
wasn't exactly *easy*. "That could take months, even years. It's
practically a PhD thesis."
"I know," the Doctor replied, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"Don't we have more advanced technology than that on the TARDIS?"
"TARDIS?" Megabyte echoed, examining the red head in confusion.
"That's a splendid idea, Turlough," the Doctor said, beaming and
slapping Turlough on the shoulder. "Come on, all of you. This way."
The others exchanged glances and followed, leaving the dismayed tech to
roll his eyes and start pasting pages into his laboratory notebook.
With the technician thus occupied, Turlough subtly pocketed the conical
tube of sample on the way out.
* * *
"In there?" Megabyte said as they approached the blue Police Box. He
stared at it. "We could fit maybe three in there if we squeezed."
"Can we really fit all eight of us in there?" Ami added.
The Doctor just smiled mysteriously and unlocked the TARDIS door,
ushering them all in.
Jade's jaw dropped as she stepped through the doors. "Wow, this is the
coolest thing I've ever seen!"
"The air's electric," Ami added, looking around, "like it's alive."
"She's alive," Adam corrected, absently, hands in pockets.
"Where are we?" Megabyte asked, grabbing his dad's arm a little
apprehensively. "We're not exactly where we were a moment ago."
"The TARDIS is bigger inside than out," Tegan explained, something
she'd obviously explained before.
"So, we're in some sort of pocket dimension?" Megabyte asked, letting
go of his dad.
Adam was looking around. "A dimension with a portal to a non-fixed
point in spacetime," he said absently while examining the walls.
"Something like that," the Doctor replied. "The lab is rather small,
I'll be back in a tick." He went through the double doors.
"Is he always like that?" Jade asked the air.
Turlough smiled, nearly chuckling. "Pretty much. Oddly, you do get used
"He got the sample, right?" Megabyte asked, turning around in awe and
examining the roundels of the panels surrounding the walls.
"I handed it to him," Turlough replied. "We really should get some
seating in here."
"Let's just hope the structure is something he recognizes," Tegan said,
crossing her arms and cautiously leaning against the console.
"You might want to paint too." Jade looked up from where she was
standing at the console to glance at the walls again.
"Figured out how to fly this thing yet, Jade?" Adam teased, placing a
hand on her shoulder.
"Working on it," she replied. "Are we going somewhere?"
General Damon spared Jade a glance and returned to keeping his eyes
trained on his son.
"Hopefully whatever's in the water is something harmless," he said,
though his tone implied that he was less than hopeful on that account.
The Doctor strode into the room. "You're half right, General. The good
news is it's harmless to humans."
Megabyte turned around from his examination of the walls to face the
Doctor. "What's the bad news?"
"It's rather deadly to telepaths," the Doctor frowned.
* * *
"This is so not good," Megabyte whispered as the four TP's huddled in a
The Doctor had pulled General Damon aside, and the four were watching
the conversation warily. Especially Adam, whose eyes were starting to
fill with distrust.
"Who would want to poison us?" Jade asked, bewildered.
"Probably the same guy who set up those soldiers to guard the water,"
Megabyte suggested, glancing at his father again.
"You think?" Ami asked.
"But why?" Jade added.
Adam sighed, eyes not leaving the conversation between the adults.
"Pick a reason. Someone we've tangled with before--that scientist
working with Colonial Cobb, what was his name? Or... well, could Dr.
Culex have had a partner or something?"
"Lady Mulvaney?" Megabyte rubbing his arms nervously.
"It's no one human," the Doctor said, coming up unannounced.
"Huh?" Jade asked succinctly. "An alien?"
"So, why would an alien want to poison us?" Megabyte asked.
"Maybe they want a planet free of telepaths and aren't targeting us in
particular?" Jade answered.
"Maybe they're related to those whispy smoke things from when you broke
out," Adam said thoughtfully.
"The Nghara?" The Doctor asked. "Green whispy parasites with a serious
case of photophobia?"
"Yeah," Megabyte replied. He looked at the Doctor. "You know them?"
"Yes, and they don't have the technology to do this," the Doctor
"So what you're saying is that some unknown alien power has it in for
us?" Megabyte looked at the nearest roundel in disgust. "Just for being
"Or they've just met Megabyte," Ami said, somewhat teasingly.
"Ami, this is serious," Adam said, shooting her a look.
Amy shot a look back. "I am serious."
"Who'd want to kill me?" Megabyte asked, feigning innocent.
"Well," Adam pointed out, "the Doctor knew who you were. Perhaps you're
famous?" He waggled his eyebrows at Megabyte.
Megabyte sighed. "I really don't think that's it, Adam."
The Doctor chuckled. "Just remember that the next time you meet me, I
won't have met you."
The Tomorrow People exchanged glances. What did he mean by that?
"The TARDIS is a time machine," Turlough said, helpfully, drumming his
fingers on the console.
"So do you know who this?" Jade asked, eyes lighting up. "Did we tell
"I wouldn't have let you even if you'd tried," the Doctor replied. "Too
much risk of damage to the time stream. Now is there anyone else you've
encountered? Anyone at all?"
The five shook their heads.
"I think it's time we paid a return visit to the water works," Adam
said definitively. "The answer's got to be there somewhere."
"Hopefully not running into the soldiers this time," Megabyte said. He
turned to his father hopefully. "Dad?"
General Damon's brow furrowed as he thought. "The soldiers that I ran
into weren't supposed to be on duty," he mused.
"Shouldn't you do something about that?" Megabyte asked, a grin tugging
at his lips.
Damon nodded slightly and opened his cell phone. "Hello? General
* * *
"Why don't we just teleport into the control room?" Megabyte asked as
they crouched outside the water works, watching the soldiers vacate the
"That's where they locked these guys in, wasn't it?" Jade said with
"Nah, that was some substation," Megabyte told Jade reassuringly.
"Besides, we can teleport."
"Yes, but you forget," the Doctor said, still watching the evacuation,
"whoever this is was after you. They'll be prepared for that."
"Do you have a better plan, guy?" Megabyte said, glaring at the
Doctor's back. "Or are you leading us into a trap?"
"Megabyte!" Adam exclaimed, thumping Megabyte.
"It's a good question!" Megabyte said, defending himself.
"But not something someone would answer honestly." Adam returned to
watching the waterworks below.
"You can trust me," the Doctor said gently. "I'm a friend, I'm here to
"Right," Megabyte said with some disbelief.
"Do you sense any deception, Megabyte?" Adam asked, as if he knew the
answer in advance.
Megabyte glanced at the Doctor, trying to get a better read. "Well, no,
Adam rolled his eyes. "Megabyte, shut up."
Megabyte glared, but shut up.
"So," Jade said, shifting nervously, "How do we find out what's going
on without being caught?"
"We wait until they've evacuated and sneak in," Adam said with a grin.
"And then?" Megabyte asked.
"Do what we do best," Adam said. "Snoop."
* * *
Megabyte mentally grumbled as their flashlights shone through the empty
halls and his father tried to make sense of a map. Next to him, Jade
was walking wide-eyed, as if every drop might spell potential doom.
[Whoever this is, they got nothing on the Ng...Ng... the cigarette
smoke,] Megabyte thought to her.
Jade looked at him.
Megabyte threw her a cocky grin, and she rolled her eyes and turned
away. Good. Pissed off was better than scared.
"Stop right there," said a voice from behind them.
They turned as a unit, and found them staring at some kind of snake
sculpture about the size of a gun. Being pointed at them in a very
"Oh dear," the Doctor said mildly.
"Think we've found the bad guy?" Megabyte quipped.
"Silence!" the figure holding the snake stepped out of the shadows.
"Yeah, definitely the bad guy," Megabyte quipped again.
"I said silence!" He looked like he should be someone's hippy
grandfather--salt and pepper beard, very long hair, and wearing old,
tie dyed clothes that had seen better days.
"Yeah, right," Megabyte said, folding his arms.
Jade stared. "Who are you?" she asked, as if to start a conversation
with the elderly madman.
"Jedikiah, and I demand silence." There was a flash of yellow light,
and Megabyte's world went dark.
* * *
Adam woke up with a headache, alone in his own mind. Something was
strapped to it. Thinking it was the source of the pain, he reached up
to remove it and yelped as his hand touched the band, startled fully
"Wha-" Jade asked as she, too, seemed to wake up. "What's on me?" she
said, obviously having a hard time forming a coherent sentence.
"Don't touch it," Adam hissed, hoping to spare Jade some misery.
Jedikiah loomed over them. "Awake, I see. Is this all of you?"
"Wouldn't you like to know," Adam snapped back, back straightening
Jade groaned and tried to follow Adam's example by sitting up.
"Keep still," the Doctor advised, touching her hand reassuringly,
"those silencer bands will take a lot out of you."
"Do I know you?" Jedikiah asked, studying the Doctor curiously.
"No," the Doctor said. "And you shouldn't, you're not from this
Megabyte didn't have a chance to ask the Doctor precisely what he
meant, as Jedikiah swept out the door.
"Now what?" Megabyte asked irritably.
"Let's hope that Ami, Tegan, and Tulough have better luck," the Doctor
* * *
"Back here," Ami whispered, pulling Turlough and Tegan into a
passageway as a man in very odd clothing swept by them.
"Who's that?" Tegan asked, when Jedikiah was safely out of range.
"Probably whoever's behind this mess," Ami said. "I'd guess the others
are in there." She pointed at the door that the man had come out of.
"I don't know why you don't just telepath to them," Turlough snapped.
"Because we lost contact!" Ami nearly hit him, her arms moved so wildly.
Turlough wasn't entirely sure that it was accidental.
"So, what's happening?" Tegan asked.
"I don't know. One minute they were there, the next... absolutely
blank." Ami shook her head. "I can't reach them."
"There's only one way to find out," Turlough said, heading for the
door. He tried futilely to open it. "It's locked."
"Can you open it?" Tegan asked, turning towards Ami.
"Who do I look like, Tia Castaway?" Ami asked irritably.
"Where's the Doctor and his sonic screwdriver when you need him?" Tegan
"On the other side of the door," Ami replied, stating the obvious.
Turlough shook his head. "Stand back." He crashed into the door a few
times, and it burst open.
"What's that?" General Damon asked groggily and struggled to raise his
"The cavalry," Megabyte said with a grin and looking at Ami.
"What's that on your head?" Ami asked, reaching for the silencer band.
"Ow!" She stumbled back.
"Ami, untie me, let Tegan and Turlough take those bands off your
friends," the Doctor ordered.
"Right," Ami said, casting a curious look at the headbands, but moving
to obey the Doctor. Tegan and Turlough worked on removing the headbands.
"That's so much better," Jade said, once she was free of hers.
"No kidding," Ami said as she worked at the Doctor's bonds. "I can feel
"I have you all now," Jedikiah said, moving in from the doorway,
keeping his stun ray trained carefully on the Tomorrow People. "You
will all stand against the wall now." He kept moving forward, not
realizing he'd let General Damon out of his line of sight.
The General, however, had noticed, and swiftly tackled Jedikiah,
wresting the stun gun from his fingers. "Okay, guys, what should we do
"Who is he, anyway?" Jade wondered.
"Tie up now, interrogate later," Megabyte replied, handing his father a
length of rope.
"I've got my hands full, son," General Damon pointed out.
Turlough grabbed the ropes that had been used to tie up the prisoners,
rushing forward to bind Jedikiah's hands.
"I'll get someone down here," Damon said, opening his cell phone.
"I'd like to sit in if you don't mind, General," Adam said, eyeing
"Me too," the Doctor said.
Adam nodded in agreement.
"All right," Damon said to them, as if trusting Adam's intuition.
* * *
"Who are you?" Damon repeated once they had Jedikiah situated under the
bright lights of a World Ex interrogation room.
"Jedikiah," was the short reply.
[We got that part,] Megabyte complained to Adam as he watched on a
[Give him a minute, Megabyte,] Adam replied. [He's barely started.]
"Where are you from?" Damon continued.
"Where are you from?" Damon repeated, folding his arms.
"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning," Jedikiah
"Now really," the Doctor chided.
"Next universe over, does it really matter what planet?" Jedikiah
asked, rolling his eyes.
[He's got a point,] Megabyte said to the others. [If he's from another
[Then what?] Adam asked logically.
[Then it's not like we can send him home,] Jade replied. [What will we
do with him?]
[Maybe the Doctor will have an idea,] Adam said absently.
"How did you get here?" General Damon asked.
"A little bit of Khulthan technology I picked up. Unfortunately, it
burned up during reentry into normal space," Jedikiah replied.
[Khulthan?] Megabyte wondered.
[We'll have to ask the Doctor,] Adam said. [And there's no guarantee
they're in this universe anyway.]
"Why are you after telepaths?" General Damon asked.
"The reason should be obvious," Jedikiah said patiently.
"It's not," Damon told him, crossing his arms and glaring.
Jedikiah sighed. "I cannot rule this miserable planet until they are
out of the way. They always seemed to stop me. That miserable John and
"Who?" Damon asked.
[Are there more of us?] Ami asked. [In this world that we haven't met,
[For all we know those are Adam and Megabyte in that world,] Jade
"It does not matter. The precedent still stands," Jedikiah said.
"Telepaths interfered once before, and they will, once again."
[All ready did, buddy, and we stopped you,] Megabyte pathed, sounding
very pleased with himself.
"Therefore, I needed to neutralize the problem before I was thwarted,"
Jedikiah said reasonably. "It's unfortunate that you discovered my
"Which leaves us with the question 'what are we going to do with him'?"
Damon asked, turning to the Doctor. "Given what he tried to do, and my
agency's ability to hold onto, er, extraordinary beings, I'd prefer he
be as far away from my son as possible."
The Doctor looked briefly at their captive. "I believe there's
something that we can do," he said, though his face was troubled.
"You don't seem to like the idea," Damon said. "But...."
"Well, he has tampered with the laws of space time," the Doctor said.
"We could always take him to Gallifrey and have the Time Lords deal
"And they are...." Damon asked slowly.
"My people," the Doctor said simply.
"And they'd do something with him, but you don't like the idea," Damon
"I'm not exactly.... well liked on my home world," the Doctor replied.
"It would be... uncomfortable."
"Ah," Damon observed, his face not reflecting anything. "Is there
anything else that can be done?"
"You could use your TARDIS to take me back to my own dimension,"
Jedikiah suggested hopefully.
"And let you loose once more?" The Doctor asked rhetorically. "I don't
"I don't think that's going to happen, Jedikiah, no matter if you've
been defeated before," Damon said evenly, an edge of anger in his voice.
"Isn't there a prison planet or something you could take him to?" Jade
piped up, keying the microphone in the observation room.
[Have you been borrowing Megabyte's Star Trek videos again?] Ami teased.
Jade shoved Ami's shoulder, rolling her eyes.
"Is that a possibility, Doctor?" Damon asked, hearing Jade's comment
through the earpiece. "Putting him on some kind of prison planet?
The Doctor shrugged. "There are several alien species that could deal
with him. Convincing them to do so when his crimes were committed out
of their jurisdiction, however, is an entirely different manner."
Turlough leaned into the microphone, keying it open. "Isn't there some
place you've saved where the leaders would owe you a favor?"
"Seriously?" Adam asked.
"We do this sort of thing a lot," Tegan replied.
"There is that," the Doctor said thoughtfully.
"Getting him away from here would be a really good idea, Doctor," Damon
"Right then, if we could have a pair of handcuffs, I think we could
take him off your hands," the Doctor replied.
Damon nodded. "That shouldn't be a problem," he said.
* * *
"All right, Doctor where are we taking him?" Turlough asked as the
Doctor fiddled with the TARDIS controls, keeping an eye on their
"Do you two fancy a trip to Gallifrey?" the Doctor asked as he
"Gallifrey?" Tegan asked. "But you told General Damon...."
"They're the best ones to deal with him, Tegan," he said gently.
"I don't suppose we could just shove him out the TARDIS door and be on
our way?" Turlough asked.
The column stopped running, putting an end to that query.
"I'll just hand him over to President Flavia quick as a wink and we'll
be off." The Doctor approached their captive and gave his companions a
quick, insincere smile.
"I thought you were President," Turlough pointed out.
"Shhh," the Doctor said. "I'm sure she's quite enjoying the post by
now. I'll be right back." And with that, he frog marched Jedikiah out
"Any bets?" Turlough asked, tapping his fingers nervously on the
console. "He can't very well keep control of that man with only those
"This from the man who tried to hold off the combined soldiers of
Frontios with a hat stand," Tegan replied, smiling slightly.
A few minutes later, the Doctor returned.
"Right then, where do you two want to go next?" he asked as he closed
"Not here?" Tegan suggested helpfully.
"I hear the auroras on Ziktor Major are lovely this time of year,"
"Time of year matters in a time machine?" Tegan asked.
Turlough flushed. "I'm just saying..."
"Sounds good," Tegan said.
"Right then," the Doctor said, flicking some switches. "And off we go!"
Doctor Who fanfics
Tomorrow People (New Series) fanfics