Friday, August 27, 2010

The Travelling Night, Part One

The TARDIS swung through the time vortex like it was on the end of a whip, pitching and yawing at incalculable speeds as it was cruelly yanked through the fabric of the universe like a knitting needle wielded by a furious grandmother.  Any resident of Earth, nay, any creature from the galaxies A-M in the Classification of Terrestrial, Aquatic, Mineral or Avian-based Life Forms/Hypocroxes  would have been torn apart in miliseconds, shredded by the tremendous G-forces being exerted upon this remarkable blue box that, up until now at least, showed zero effect from undergoing the equivalent of an atomic enema.  Gas-based life forms, of course, would be instantly dissipated or diffused as their axial particles re-aligned with the vortex tunnel.  Astral projections, to follow, would be quite unharmed and could easily have been enjoying a cup of tea as they kept pace alongside.  Sadly the TARDIS had not been properly stocked in some time and was fresh out of tea, though there were some bags of Fluvvian renth-dust, which if mixed with pepper, the tears of a mermaid and the light from one of the Golden Orbs of Verro’Xinth Gallia made a quite passable attempt at Earl Gray.  There were no astral projections on board this trip however, and if there were they much prefer human blood to Early Gray because of the vitamins.

For a Time Lord the physical ramifications of being ripped through time and space by a power outside of him or herself was rather unique.  It was like being poked quite sternly with an index finger right over the left temple, right over the left eye socket and a little further to the left.  It wasn’t life threatening in the least, but once Time Lords had discovered that they had the ability to regenerate themselves after suffering a mortal wound many killed themselves rather that experience it for an extended period of time.  Extremely high tolerances for pain, do Time Lords have, but very little patience and zero capacity for being poked, especially sternly.

The Time Lord that was the current resident of the TARDIS, or Time And Relative Dimension In Space, gahh, and praise be to the Head of Bowe for that time-saving acronym, was the paragon of that rare quality of patience amongst his kind.  An extremely dapper man, thin as one of those aforementioned tea biscuits and with a sense of humor twice as crunchy, I mean dry, he had put up with the sensation if being poked in his left temple for nearly ten minutes, and aside from his left hand, which increasingly kept making independent advances towards the sonic screwdriver and it’s “Kill” setting on the bench was doing admirably.

“That’s quite enough, you,” he tittered as he cast a frown at the offending limb:  “Arm and I simply won’t back your plans, and this side of my body in an oligarchy so you can’t do anything about it unless you want to register a complaint.”  The hand stopped in its attempts and turned around to beseech his left leg in attempt at a coup.  The Time Lord, called “Hey you!” by some, and “You there!” by others nodded triumphantly as his leg remained impassive and immobile.  “That’s right.  You’ll have to stay alive with the rest of us while we figure out exactly what’s happening here.”  His hand made a rude gesture and he laughed.  Just then his head was tapped again and he stopped in annoyance.  Never one to let circumstances get the best of him he deliberately and defiantly laughed laughed again for several seconds and ignored the tapping.  “Ha!  No space-time finger-poke warning can stop a good laugh,” he exclaimed as he grinned and looked around for applause.  There was only silence.  Well, silence and the several dozen alarm sirens that were currently going off as the structural integrity of the TARDIS was being peeled like a banana.  “I really need to get some new travel companions” he muttered to himself as he took several long strides to the bank of controls at the center of the ship.

The Time Lord, whose real name was [deleted by the Editor, so sod on you] lost his grin as he studied the readings from over one hundred varied and diverse instruments, all of which were at this point advocating that he should listen to his left hand and use his screwdriver to turn his brain into a bowl of cereal, or a pudding pop and escape this madness.  His brow furrowed and his lips pursed as he read, then suddenly he tapped his chin with one thin finger.  “I think,” he said, “that I need a pipe.”

A full minute later, sporting a fresh bow-tie and smoking Adalurrian bubble-gum out of a bamboo pipe the Time Lord returned and studied the readings again.  By this time his left hand had abdicated it’s seat on the oligarchy of his side of the body and fled to the right side, where it sat uncomfortably in his right pants pocket and made bending over and standing up straight extremely difficult.  He couldn’t quite blame his hand, the readings were exceptionally bad.  Whatever force had ripped his ship from the placid orbit it had been in was extremely powerful, and worse, it was raw and unrefined.  He’d run into technologies, and even individuals with the ability to affect his beloved ship, but they were generally defined by a level of precision and delicacy that was missing here.  Instead of snatching the TARDIS, and the Time Lord within, this raging pulse was just as likely to destroy it’s target.  The Time Lord puffed on his pipe, not noticing that it had gone out, and decided to take a nap.  From what he could see there was nothing that he could do from within the ship that would allow him to escape the energy beam, and additionally no way that he could see how to determine where, or whom it originated from.  He would simply have to wait and see if the TARDIS would survive the journey, and deal with whatever the situation might be when the time came.  Furthermore, he hadn’t slept in what was now just over seventy-four years and was beginning to become nostalgic about it.

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