(Another story that I wrote a while back.)
"Crises on Earth 2"
Prologue: Earth 2 Colony, AD 2375, somewhere north of New Springfield
Vessel status: Hyperdrive inactive. Sublight thrusters at 45% capacity. Helm controls at 90%.
Recommendation: Secure base for repairs essential. Commence scan of local space.
Commencing scan. Suitable planet located. Inhabited by Earth-derived humans with Level 3 technology. Northern portion of smaller continental mass most sparsely inhabited.
Recommendation: Achieve planetfall in the above-described area. Avoid contact with inhabitants initially. Maintain secrecy during repair process. Upon completion of repair process, evaluate possibility of recruitment of local population.
Entering stealth mode. Commencing planetfall. Estimated time of arrival is - ALERT. ALERT. ALERT. Catastrophic failure of helm controls. Planetfall will be uncontrolled. Estimate impact in ten minutes. Estimate vehicle will sustain heavy damage. Estimate 10% of crew will survive. All units to impact stations. All units to i93m 098e798n59745!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
Vessel status: All engines inactive. 90% of computer systems inactive. Outer hull compromised. Inner survival chamber intact. Controller is 100% functional. Coordinator is 100% functional. Five additional units 100% active. All remaining units permanently inactive. No partially active units detected. Available resources are insufficient to repair vessel to point of regaining spaceflight capability Vessel is currently submerged in a body of water at a depth of 1000 meters. Stealth mechanisms are still functional. Burrowing units are still functional. Conversion units are still functional. Scans detect a network of caves in nearby geological formation.
Recommendation: Use remaining energy to burrow through bottom of body of water to a point within the caves. Avoid detection by local population while assessing local situation. Commence recruitment procedures as circumstances dictate and resources allow.
Recommendation accepted. We will survive.
Earth 2 Colony, AD 2455, somewhere near Shooting Star Lake
Even he had thought (insofar as he was capable of thought) that it was the end. He had chased his prey through the starship, picking them off one-by-one, but a handful had escaped, by deceiving him with false images and through the self-sacrifice of the man Brodsky. When they fell from orbit, it began to get hotter and hotter, almost as hot as Hell itself. Brodsky had completely disintegrated before they even hit the ground, and he had assumed that even he would be likewise destroyed by the impact. And then the impact had come, and then oblivion. But some small core of him had survived, and almost immediately the nanotechnology that was now a part of him began its work, reconstituting his body. Eventually what passed for his awareness returned and he knew that soon his great work would begin again.
AD 2456, Earth 2 Colony, New Springfield settlement
Shayla Jensen was unhappy for a number of reasons. The chief reason, from which she felt most of her other unhappinesses sprung, was the fact that she lived in New Springfield, a nothing little farm town in the most rural part of a planet which was itself a backwater world in a thinly-inhabited part of human space, a region where nothing of even the remotest interest had happened since the Battle of Hyrkania, some eighty years previous and some twenty light years away. How she ached when she saw the broadcasts of events on distant worlds like Earth, Vulcan or New Gamilus! Even Saint Patricksburg, the planetary capital and the closest thing Earth 2 had to a metropolis, would've been better than here!
Still, at least she had friends. Lying in her bed, she turned and looked at a picture on her nightstand. It showed three sixteen year-old girls, smiling broadly. Standing at the back was the statuesque, raven-haired Zhaan Aw, her features bespeaking ancestors in distant East Asia on Earth. At 6' 2" tall, she was the largest of the three. Directly in front of her stood brash, athletic, red-haired Mahri Sullivan, she of the twinkling eyes and sarcastic humor. She was 5'8" tall and her features showed her to be a distantly-descended daughter of Old Erin. Shayla herself, at 5'2" tall a head shorter than Mahri, her short, blonde hair tightly-curled, was descended of mixed Scandinavian and African stock. Because of the differences in their height as well as their inseparability, the three were known as the Matroushka sisters, a nickname they accepted with equanimity.
However, thinking of her friends made her think of the most proximate cause of her unhappiness. Today had been the day the three were going to hike up the trail north of town and picnic up by Shooting Star Lake, up in the hills that spread up outside that end of the settlement. However, this morning she had woken up with a terrible sore throat and had known she wouldn't be up for a hike like that. Her friends had stopped by on their way out of town.
"You know, Shayla", Zhaan had said, "We could always postpone."
"Oh, no,no", Shayla had replied, with a nobility she hadn't felt, "You two go on ahead. It's such a nice day, and I don't want you to cancel out on my account."
"Alright, then", said Mahri, "But we'll definitely plan to go up again when you're feeling better."
At that moment, Shayla's mother had come into the room.
"So, you girls are going up by the lake?"
"Yes, ma'am", Zhaan had confirmed.
"Well, you be careful up there. You still see the occasional bear up there, you know. And whatever you do, don't go swimming in the lake."
Over the last eighty years or so, six people had disappeared on swimming expeditions up by the lake, which was popularly said to be bottomless, and swimming there was now forbidden.
"Don't worry, ma'am", said Mahri, "We'll be careful, and we won't go swimming."
Looking away from the photograph, Shayla wondered where her friends were now. Sighing, she went back to bed.
Some distance north of the Jensen homestead, Zhaan and Mahri were even then walking up the winding trail that led up the slopes of Big Blue Hill on the way to the lake. Suddenly, Zhaan stopped.
"Mahri, I have to do something", she said.
Mahri sighed. "I told you not to drink all that tea."
"Yes, alright", said Zhaan. "Look, walk ahead a bit, would you? I'll catch right up."
Mahri suppressed a grin. Zhaan didn't like having anyone around while she did what she had to do.
"See you in a bit", she said, and started on up the trail.
Zhaan waited until her friend was out of sight, and then moved over to the woods on the right hand side of the trail. Here the hill sloped downwards. Zhaan picked her way carefully downslope, seeking a spot that was out of sight of the trail and of anyone else who might be out in the woods today. As she moved, her right foot slipped on a moss-covered rock and before she could react she found herself rolling down the hill, stopping only when she smacked into a tree trunk. The world spun for a minute, but she didn't black out. She assessed the damage. She was covered in cuts and bruises, and her head was sore where it had smacked into the tree. Her right ankle was sore, and probably sprained.
"Mahri!" she yelled. "Mahri!" There was no response. Had her friend gone so far ahead as to be out of earshot? Surely she would come looking after a while. Zhaan decided to see if she could work her way up the slope. She tried to stand up, but the pain in her ankle caused the world to spin again, and she slid back into a sitting position. While she was dazed, she seemed to hear an odd, whispering sound.
When her head cleared again, she noticed a masked figure standing in the woods not twenty feet from where she was. His face was covered except for two glaring red eyes, and parts of his body seemed to gleam a bright silver.
"Who are you?" she said. Wordlessly, the figure moved over to where she sat.
"Wait", she said. "Get away- no!" her voice stopped suddenly as the figure took her head in his hands and twisted sharply. He released her head and it slumped, lifelessly.
Jason looked down at Zhaan, this new world's first victim of an old evil. He noticed a short knife clipped to her belt, a knife she had brought to slice the food they had brought for lunch. He removed it from its sheath. It wasn't his weapon of choice, but it would do for now. Grasping it firmly, he strode off into the woods.
When Zhaan had gone into the woods to do her "business", Mahri had jogged on ahead up the trail until she thought she was sure she'd be out of earshot. As she stood by the trail, she heard a rustling noise coming from further up the trail. Looking to where the sound seemed to come from she noticed a tall, gleaming silver figure standing in the woods near the trail. It had its back to her, and seemed to be unaware of her presence. So intent was she on her observation that she did not notice a similar figure silently emerging from the woods behind her until it clamped a hand on her mouth and spun her around. She struggled briefly, until a short bolt of energy passed from the figure's forehead into hers. She then relaxed, and stood unmoving. The figure stood and waited until its companion joined it.
"Leader", Mahri's captor said. "This female is secure. Scans reveal that she is suitable for recruitment."
"Excellent", his companion said. "Now we will secure the other female."
They walked back down the trail to where Zhaan had been, Mahri following complacently.
"Leader, the other female is deceased. It would appear that she fell and was terminated accidentally."
"Bring her remains", the Cyberleader said. "They will be useful for recycling purposes."
The Cyberscout walked down to where Zhaan was lying, and hefted her corpse onto its shoulder. It rejoined the Cyberleader, and together with their captive, they walked back up into the hills.
Somewhere Outside of Spacetime, Aboard the TARDIS*
The Doctor was bringing the TARDIS in for a "landing". Now in his sixth life, he was a substantial fellow with curly blond hair and a supercilious look about him, with a hint of a cat-like grin. He wore a gaudy patchwork coat, an ugly vest, a blue tie with white polka dots, yellow pinstriped trousers and garish shoes. He looked across the TARDIS console at his two companions.
The older of the two was a 16 year old American girl from the year 1984 by the name of Dana Scully. She wore a Baltimore Orioles cap over red hair that was tied back in a ponytail, a black windbreaker over a white t-shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. She was physically quite fit and her eyes betrayed a formidable intelligence. Standing next to her was Moondancer, her Clefable, and sole souvenir of her time as a Pokémon trainer.
His other companion was also an American, a 15 year old from the year 2003, one Eric Cartman by name. His neatly-combed brown hair capped a frame nearly as substantial as the Doctor's. He wore a red jacket over a white button-down shirt, brown trousers and black hiking boots. While his physical fitness had improved a great deal during his travels with the Doctor, he still carried traces of the excess weight that he had borne most of his life. His eyes betrayed a bit of a vicious streak that the Doctor had been doing his best to curb.
The TARDIS engines ground to a halt, and the Doctor addressed his companions.
"We have arrived."
"Oh, have we?" said Cartman. "Well, Professor Wonderful, I don't suppose you happen to know where we've landed this time, do you?"
The Doctor arched an eyebrow at his young companion's sarcasm, but elected to answer civilly.
"As a matter of I do, Eric. The year, by your calendar, is 2456, and the planet we've landed on is called, unimaginatively enough, 'Earth 2', an Earth colony somewhere in the Hyrkania Magna sector."
"What else do you know about it, Doctor?" asked Dana.
"Not much, I must confess!"
"Really?" interrupted Cartman, "I thought you knew everything!"
"Knock it off, Eric", said Dana.
"As I was saying", said the Doctor, "I don't know much about Earth 2, as it's a backwater world in a backwater sector. I'm afraid I don't know much about the history of this sector of space in this time period. I remember a mention of Earth 2 in a paper I once read entitled "25th Century Terran Colonial Farming Methods", but they didn't say much about it. The scanners indicate that it's a remarkably Earth-like world, sparsely inhabited by human colonists and stocked with carefully-chosen and -introduced Terrestrial flora and fauna, coexisting alongside various native species. I expect it's like any number of Earth colonies of this time period, existing in bucolic isolation from the Federal government on Earth."
"What's the political situation like in this time period?" asked Dana.
"Currently, the United Federation of Planets is in the middle stage of what will eventually be known as the Century of Decline, and which will ultimately lead to the formation of the Imperium, which will in its turn give way to the Democratic Order Of Planets. At this point in time, these outlying planets are still technically under the auspices of the Federation, but are largely autonomous, with little regular contact with the central government. As for this planet in particular, I imagine it's a peaceable enough place, perhaps a trifle boring. Still, after that business with the Comet Empire, I expect we could all do with a little relaxation. So, shall we have a look?"
"Might as well", said Cartman, "sitting around here isn't going to become interesting anytime soon."
"Doctor", said Dana, "are we dressed alright for the weather?"
"I should think so", came the reply. "It's a sunny day, and about 60° Fahrenheit in temperature. Good walking weather. One thing, though, Dana".
"I think that if Moondancer is to come with us, she'd better do so in her Pokéball. Some of these outlying colonies can have rather strict rules about the importation of exotic animals."
"Sorry, Moondancer," said Dana, pulling a small red-and-white sphere from her pocket, and pointing it at the Clefable. "Return."
The creature vanished in a beam of reddish energy, and Dana put the sphere back in her pocket.
With that, the three travelers left the TARDIS. Once outside, they found themselves standing on an unpaved road next to a vast expanse of cornfields.
"Wow", said Cartman, "there sure is a hella lot of corn here."
"Yes", said the Doctor, "a colony like this will not only feed itself, but many other worlds, besides. It looks as though there's a town a few miles north of here, just south of those hills. Let's head in that direction, shall we?"
They set out along the road, chatting more or less amiably. When they had progressed about a mile, they noticed a vehicle moving toward them from the town. As it moved closer, they realized it was a hovercar, about the size of a sedan. As it got closer still, they realized that it was unmistakably a police cruiser. As it pulled to a stop next to them, they noticed that it bore the seal of the New Springfield Police Department. A middle-aged man with blond hair, wearing an obvious police uniform stepped out. His posture was nonthreatening, but the Doctor couldn't help noticing that he was armed with a blast pistol.
"Afternoon, folks," he said, "I'm Karl Jensen, Chief of Police around these parts."
"Good afternoon, Chief", said the Doctor. "I'm called the Doctor, and these are my friends, Dana Scully and Eric Cartman."
"I see", said the Chief. "Mind if I ask what you folks are doing out here?'
"Ah, yes" said the Doctor. "We're visitors to your world, just taking in the sights."
"I see. In that case, could I see your passports and visas, then?"
"Ah", said the Doctor. "I'm afraid we don't have any. I'm afraid that we didn't arrive on your world by the usual channels."
"I see", said the Chief, his handing resting on the butt of his weapon. "Then I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to come with me down to the station."
"Are we under arrest?" asked Dana.
"Not necessarily", said the Chief. "We'll have to see about that."
The three companions rode back to the police station in New Springfield in silence. Once back at the station, the Chief ran them through a scanner, confiscating Dana's Pokéball and the Doctor's sonic lance.
He sat them down one-by-one in front of his desk, and began to quiz them.
"So, you've got no ID on you?"
"No, Chief", said the Doctor.
"And you're called 'The Doctor'? You have no other name?"
"It's the only name I've gone by for many years."
"I see, and the other two are your companions, you say?"
"And you're simply travelers?"
"That's correct. We arrived in my TARDIS. If you go about a mile further on from where you found us, you'll see it by the side of the road."
He spoke with Dana and Eric for a while, noting that their stories all corroborated one another’s. He called all three of them into his office.
"Well, I'll be honest with you. I don't believe you three are dangerous criminals of any sort, but I do believe you entered the colony illegally. I've sent an officer to check out where you claim to have left your vehicle, he should be back momentarily. If your story checks out, I'm of a mind to send you on your way, rather than bother charging you, with the proviso that you would be best not to show your faces around here again without proper documentation. However, to be on the safe side, I'll be sending your files down to the colonial government in Saint Patricksburg just to see if you match up to anyone they're looking for. You understand?"
"Perfectly," said the Doctor.
"Good. In the meanwhile, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to remain here until then."
"Perfectly acceptable," said the Doctor.
The Chief had them escorted to a waiting area, and pressed a button on his desk computer, sending the travelers' files off to the capital.
Just then, Sergeant Hill, a lanky, dark-haired man, stuck his head in the Chief's office.
"Hey, chief, I checked like you asked. There sure was something down on the South Road."
"It sure didn't look like a spaceship, but the scanner couldn't tell me what it was. Who do you think these people are, Chief? Smugglers? Spies?"
"Smugglers wouldn't be so obvious. And spies? What is there to spy on here? I don't know-"
Just then, the Chief's computer beeped. "Holy cats, Hill, it's coming in on the black line! That's Colony Intelligence! Hill, you better leave, and don't you breathe a word of this to anyone!"
A few minutes later, Chief Jensen came to the area where the Doctor, Dana and Eric were waiting, holding the Doctor's sonic lance and Dana's Pokéball in his hands.
"Doctor, Miss Scully, Mister Cartman", he said, handing their property back to them. "I wonder if you would do me the honor of dining with my family at our home tonight?"
"We'd be delighted", said the Doctor.
Eric and Dana looked startled at this, but the Doctor silenced them with a gesture. The Chief spoke to his deputy, and then escorted the three travelers to his patrol car. As he drove them to his home, Chief Jensen thought about what had happened when he had sent their files to the Saint Patricksburg police headquarters. Within minutes he had received a Priority One message from Planetary Intelligence. To say that he was astonished by this would be an understatement. Not only had he never before received a Priority One message, to his knowledge no one in the colony's history had received a Priority One message. The message itself was short and to the point. "Treat the Doctor as an honored guest, but do not let him out of your sight. An agent will arrive presently."
The Chief's house was a small, pleasant, two-story farmhouse on the northern edge of town. The Chief introduced the trio to his wife, a small, blonde woman.
"Hanna, these are the three visitors I called you about - the Doctor, Dana Scully, and Eric Cartman."
"Pleased to meet you. I hope you three brought your appetites. Dinner's just about ready."
"I brought mine", said Eric.
They gathered in the dining room, where they were joined by the Chief's daughter, Shayla.
As they sat down, Dana turned to the Doctor.
"Doctor, do you think it would be OK if I let Moondancer out of her Pokéball?"
The Doctor turned to the Chief.
"Chief, you may have noticed that my friend Dana has a Pokéball?"
"Is that what that was? I wasn't sure."
"Yes", said the Doctor, "and she was wondering if she could let her Clefable out for a little bit?"
"Is it housetrained?
"Then I don't see why not."
Dana pulled the Pokéball out of her pocket and released the Pokémon.
"Oh, how cute!" said Shayla.
"Is it hungry?" asked Hanna. "What does it eat?"
"She's a vegetarian", said Dana. "If she could maybe have a plate of salad?"
Soon, people and Pokémon were enjoying a hearty meal. As they were finishing up dessert, the Chief's communicator beeped.
"You go ahead and take that, dear", said Hanna. "I'll clean up."
"Say, Dana", said Shayla, "Why don't you come up to my room? We can listen to music and talk awhile."
"OK", said Dana, and she, Shayla, and Moondancer left the room.
"Doctor", said the Chief, "I'll just be a minute. Why don't you and Eric go into the parlor and look at the screen for a while?"
"Alright", said the Doctor, and he and Cartman went into the parlor, where a large part of one wall was taken up by a 3-D telescreen. They sat down on a sofa and the Doctor turned the screen on. The screen was instantly filled with footage of Starfleet vessels maneuvering near Jupiter.
"Hey'", said Eric, "are those Earth starships?"
"That's right", said the Doctor.
"Funny, they don't look much like Archer's ship, do they?"
"No", said the Doctor, "Well-spotted. The ships of Archer's Starfleet were all destroyed during the Gamilon War. The first ship of the new Starfleet was patterned after an old Earth battleship called the Yamato. Subsequent vessels were built on the same pattern."
"What kind of weapons do they have?"
"In this era - phaser cannon, quantum torpedoes, deflector shields and, of course, the Wave-Motion Gun. The big ships will carry fighters, as well."
While the Doctor was educating his young friend, Chief Jensen had walked out on to the back porch of his home. A top-of-the-line aircar had landed in the field out back. A woman dressed in black stepped out of the car and walked over to him.
She flashed an ID.
"Lieutenant Campbell, Federation Intelligence."
"Federation Intelligence? I expected someone from Planetary, not the Federation."
"Yes, well, there's a reason for that. I've been on an inspection tour of this sector, and I happened to be on-planet when your call came in. If you wouldn't mind getting into my aircar, we can speak securely there."
The two got into the aircar and Lieutenant flicked a switch that caused the doors to swing shut.
"Lieutenant", the Chief said, "What's going on here? Who is the Doctor?"
"Well", she said, "We're not certain. All we know for sure is that a being or group of beings called 'the Doctor' has appeared at moments of crisis throughout human history, usually when something horrendous has happened or is about to happen."
"Wait a minute - ' a being or group of beings'?"
"The Doctor has worn many faces - he may be a shapeshifter or there may be a group of beings claiming the same name. We have official records of him going back to the late Nineteenth Century on Earth - at one point he even worked for the United Nations - and there are myths, legends, even archaeological finds that suggest his presence on Earth going as far back as ancient Egypt - and we know of similar stories from many other worlds as well."
"Yes. You must understand that what I'm telling you is beyond 'top secret'. The old national governments, the U.N., the original Earth government, the Federation - they've all sat on this. I've only been authorized to tell you because I'm going to need your full cooperation."
"My cooperation - for what?"
"In determining why he's here."
"What about his friends? What do we know about them?"
"Not much. There's certainly no record of them in current Federation files. I don't think they're a threat - the Doctor always seems to have one or more human companions. At any rate, I'd better go in and talk to him."
The two left the car and went into the house. The Chief took Lieutenant Campbell into his home office.
"Wait here, I'll go get the Doctor."
Hanna had joined the Doctor and Cartman in the parlor.
"Doctor, I wonder if you would come into my office for a moment?"
The Doctor complied, and followed Jensen.
"Doctor, this is Lieutenant Campbell of Federation Intelligence."
The Doctor looked at the Lieutenant. She was an attractive blonde woman of about thirty years of age. She looked familiar, somehow. He thought about it a moment, and then he realized - she was a dead ringer for a waitress he had known in Twentieth Century New York. What was her name? Rachel Green! That was it - Lieutenant Campbell was almost a twin of Rachel Green!
She spoke. "Chief, I hate to ask you this, but I wonder if I could speak with the Doctor alone for a moment?"
"Alright", said the Chief, leaving the room.
Lieutenant Campbell turned to the Doctor.
"Tell me, Doctor, do I look familiar to you?"
"As a matter of fact, you do. I was just thinking that you resemble a waitress I once knew."
"Heh - No, I was never a waitress. The truth is, I've been 'disguising" myself from you, mentally. It's nice to know I can do it, but I'll stop now. Now, look at me again, and see if you recognize me."
The Doctor looked at her, and gasped.
"Yes, that's right. It's nice to see you again, Grandfather."
"So", said the Doctor, "It's nice to see you again, Susan, but what are you doing here, and working for Federation Intelligence?"
"Well, when you left me on Earth after the Dalek Invasion..."
"Susan, I -!"
"Let it be, Grandfather. I'll just say that it would've been nice if we could've talked it over before you left."
"I know. At any rate, after you left, I settled down with David. I didn't tell him the whole truth, of course. We were still pretty paranoid about mentioning Gallifrey in those days, weren't we? I take it you finally worked out a modus vivendi with the Time Lords?"
"Sort of. During my second presidency I granted myself a special exemption. Keeps them off my back, at any rate."
"Ah, good. David and I got married. We couldn't have children of our own, but we adopted some who'd been orphaned by the Daleks. We lived peacefully enough, until the Gamilons attacked. Even then, we all made it through the war, even our youngest, who was serving on board the Yamato."
The Doctor listened to Susan's voice as she spoke. While she was a twin for his old acquaintance Rachel Green, her voice had a British accent to it, that of a cultured, upper middle class Londoner.
"All of us made it, that is, except for David. Poor, sweet David. Killed by the last Planet Bomb to fall on Earth."
She paused for a moment.
"Ah, even after all these years it still hurts. Hardly any time to mourn - the Comet Empire, the Bolars, the Black Star Cluster, the Dinguils - it all came fast and furious in those days. Eventually, after a few decades passed, I reached the point where I didn't want to have to explain why I was aging so slowly, so I faked my own death and took off for deep space, killing a century or two adventuring and exploring out in the Fringes. One day about twenty years ago I fell afoul of a trigger-happy Iotian, and I had to regenerate. I slowly worked my way back to Earth, and, after discreetly checking up on the children's descendants, I began a career in Federation Intelligence, and now here I am."
"But you were on this planet before you knew I was here", observed the Doctor.
"That's right. As to why I was here, let me ask you: Does the name 'Jason Voorhees' mean anything to you?"
"Well, I've heard of him, of course. But I've never met him."
"Lucky even for you. As you may know, in 2010, the American government, with some help from the second Punisher, finally captured Jason Voorhees. Since they could find no way, scientific or sorcerous, to destroy him, they decided to hold him in cryogenic suspension at a secret base in North America. However, records of the base's location were lost in the Great Disaster, and it was never found."
"Never found?" said the Doctor. "With the technology available today? It seems unlikely!"
"I tend to agree, but you know what Earth was like in those days. They may've had access to unknown technology from races that are now extinct, like the Thanagarians or Skrulls. Who knows? Whatever the case, for some time, we've been watching a Professor Charles Lowe of the Solaris Space Station University, whom we've long suspected of having connections with Section 31. About a year ago, he suddenly began to take an interest in the stories of Jason Voorhees, absorbing everything he could find out about him. Six months ago, he used the University's starship, the Grendel, to take some students on a field trip to Earth's Moon. While on the Moon, he conducted an archaeological dig at a remote site. He reported finding nothing, but at least one witness said they saw crewmembers carrying something aboard the ship. He was gone before we could get agents there, but what we found at the site was enough."
"What did you find?"
"The remnants of a cryogenic chamber going back to the mid Twenty-First Century."
"And you think Jason Voorhees was in that chamber?"
"It seems very likely."
"What happened to the Grendel?"
"We're not sure. Shortly after the Grendel left Earth, the Solaris Space Station was destroyed. Shortly after that, another ship, the Tiamat, reported receiving a distress signal from the Grendel, and that it was proceeding to assist. Neither ship was heard from again. However, the Earth 2 sensor grid reported a small shower of space debris that could have been from the Grendel. At the time, the local authorities were asked to report if they found anything unusual. Then, about a month ago, two girls disappeared."
"Yes. Zhaan Aw and Mahri Sullivan. Friends, it so happens, of the Chief's daughter Shayla. They disappeared up by Shooting Star Lake, north of here. It's got something of a history like that. At any rate, the space battleship Gloriana was being sent out to patrol this sector, so I hitched a ride, so I could come out and see if there was any connection."
"'Connection'?" asked the Doctor. "You're not suggesting that if this Professor Lowe did indeed find the remains of Jason Voorhees and that if, as it seems, the Grendel was destroyed, Jason Voorhees survived a fall from orbit intact and somehow came to life and started killing people?"
"It does seem rather farfetched, doesn't it, Grandfather? But then, it was always said that Jason Voorhees couldn't be killed!"
While the Doctor was reacquainting himself with his granddaughter, Dana and Shayla were in Shayla's room, getting to know one another.
"So, you really travel in time with Eric and the Doctor?"
"Yes, that's right."
"What's it like?"
"Fun, terrifying, bizarre - that about covers it."
"And you and Eric, you aren't -?"
"WHAT?" Dana collapsed into laughter.
"I'm guessing that's a 'no'?" said Shayla.
"I'm sorry", said Dana, "You didn't know what you were asking. Eric may not be the most evil little b****** ever to walk the face of God's green Earth, but it's not for lack of effort."
"Is he really that bad? Why does the Doctor travel with him?"
"I think the Doctor thinks he can 'reform' Eric. And to be completely fair, every once in a blue moon, Eric shows a tiny shred of decency or compassion that makes me wonder if he's not completely hopeless."
Shayla seemed to consider this last statement for a moment. While she did, Dana looked around. Teenaged girls' rooms didn't seem to have changed all that much over the centuries. She noticed a photo of Shayla with two other girls and picked it up.
"These are friends of yours?" Dana winced as a look of sadness crossed Shayla's face. "I'm sorry, was that a bad question?"
"No, you couldn't know. Yes, those are my friends Mahri and Zhaan. They disappeared about a month ago, up near Shooting Star Lake. Gone, without a trace. I- I was supposed to go with them that day, but I was sick, and I told them to go, and they-they…!" She began to cry. Dana put her arm around Shayla.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up something painful."
With a visible effort, Shayla regained control.
"It's alright, I just can't help wondering what would've happened if - !" She trailed off.
"Say, Dana, it'll still be light out for hours yet. Let's go out for a walk."
"Shall we bring Eric along?"
"I suppose. He could use the exercise. Come on, Moondancer, return!"
The Clefable, which had been attempting to converse with Shayla's teddy bear, vanished into its Pokéball. The two girls walked downstairs and into the living room, where Cartman was still watching the screen.
"Come on, Cartman," said Dana. "We're going for a walk."
"Screw that, Vulcan's Funniest Home Videos is coming on."
"Never mind that," said Dana, grabbing the remote and switching the screen off. "You could use some fresh air."
"Goddammit," Cartman grumbled, but followed the two out of the room.
As they left the house, Shayla called back: "Mom, we're going for a walk.
"Alright, dear, be back before dark!"
The three companions walked along a trail through the woods north of the Jensen house, unaware that they were being watched. As they climbed over a small hill and out of sight of the house, Jason Voorhees stepped out of the woods and began moving along the trail behind them.
After they had walked about a mile or so, Eric began to complain.
"Why don't we go back to the house? I've had enough fresh air!"
"I suppose we might as well", said Dana, "Besides, the Doctor will be wondering where we are."
When the three turned around, they saw a tall, masked man standing on the trail behind them. Cartman spoke first.
"Hey, who the hell's that?"
The figure remained silent. Something gleamed in his right hand and Shayla's blood went ice cold.
"He's - he's got Zhaan's knife!"
"What the hell are you talking about?" asked Cartman.
"My friend Zhaan - that's her knife! There isn't another one like it in town - probably not on the planet! Her father got it for her on New Gamilus!"
"So, he must've killed Zhaan, and probably Mahri, too!"
Dana's reply was cut off as Jason began to move toward them.
"Cartman, Shayla, get behind me! Moondancer, I choose you!"
The Clefable materialized in front of its mistress.
Dana addressed Jason. "Look, whoever, you are, stop right there and drop the knife!"
Jason kept coming.
"I'm warning you: STOP-RIGHT-THERE!"
Jason kept coming.
"Moondancer, Psychic attack!"
The Pokémon gestured, and a wave of telekinetic energy struck the undying mutant. Jason was thrown back 50 feet, the knife flying from his hand. Cartman looked around Dana.
"Is he -?"
"I don't know", she said. "He-"
Jason sat up, and got to his feet.
Another wave of psychic energy. The time he recovered even more quickly.
"Moondancer, Flamethrower attack!"
"Dana, no!" said Shayla. "The woods are too dry this time of year! If you start a fire, half the county could burn down!"
"Moondancer, Thunderbolt instead!"
A bolt of electricity struck Jason, throwing him back. Again, he sat up.
One last chance", said Dana. "Moondancer, Ice Beam!"
A blue ray flashed out, and Jason was instantly frozen in a block of ice.
"Thank God that worked", Dana said. "Moondancer didn't have any tricks left. Moondancer, return!"
Shayla went over and picked up her friend's knife. "Poor Zhaan, she really is dead! And Mahri, too."
"Maybe he just found the knife", said Dana weakly.
"No, they're dead, I know it, I-"
Shayla stopped, as she heard a cracking noise.
"Holy crap!" said Cartman. "He's breaking out of the ice!"
"Quick!" said Shayla. "Run this way!"
"Where are we going?" asked Dana.
"Yeah, shouldn't we be going back to the house?"
"Don't worry", said Shayla. "I've been all over these woods since I was a little girl. We'll go farther in, then double back a different way!"
After a while, they stopped to catch their breath.
"What do you suppose that thing is?" said Dana. "An alien? An android?"
"I don't know", said Cartman. "It kinda looked like pictures I've seen of Jason Voorhees."
"Who's Jason Voorhees?" Dana asked.
"Oh, that's right, he was a little after your time, wasn't he? He was a famous serial killer, killed over a hundred people. No matter how many times they said he was caught or killed, he always seemed to come back for more."
"Oh, come on, Eric, what would a 20th Century serial killer be doing here?"
"Hey, I didn't say it was Jason Voorhees, I just said it looked like Jason Voorhees. Now, these guys, on the other hand, look like Cybermen."
"Correct," a mechanical voice said.
Shayla and Dana whirled around, to see three silver giants emerging from the woods behind them. Energy flashed from the cyborg's heads, and the three friends lapsed into stunned quiescence. The Cyberleader reported back to the Controller.
"Controller, we have captured three humans, two female, one male. The females scan as suitable for conversion, the male does not. Additionally, the male and one of the females exhibit abnormally high chroniton levels. If our interpretation of our earlier scans is correct, and the Doctor has arrived here, then these two are surely his companions."
The Controller's reply came swiftly. "Forward the information from your scans to the Coordinator, and return with the humans. We will prepare the contingency plan."
Back at the Cyberbase, the Controller monitored the Cyberleader's progress. While he was doing so, a signal summoned him to the Cybercoordinator's presence.
"A complication has arisen," it said.
"What complication?" asked the Controller. The Coordinator fed the information directly into the Controller's mind.
"I see. What do you recommend?"
"Activate the contingency plan, with the following modifications."
A short time later, the Cyberleader brought Dana, Eric and Shayla before the Cybercontroller. A quick beam of energy released them from their trance-like state.
"Wha-where are we?" asked Dana.
"Yeah, what the hell's going on?"
"We are Cybermen, as the male recognized. You have been brought to our base to determine your suitability for recruitment to the Cyberrace."
"Wait a minute," said Eric, "I've met Cybermen on Earth. You guys promised not to convert anybody without their permission."
"You speak of the traitors of Mondas. We Telosian Cybermen made no such agreement."
"Hang on", said Dana. "What are you two talking about? 'Recruitment'? 'Convert'? What does that mean?"
"It means they wanna make us into Cybermen like them!"
"Correct." said the Cybercontroller. "If you are found suitable for conversion, you will be made as we are."
"That's crazy", said Shayla. "You can't make a human being into something like you!"
"Incorrect. All Cybermen were once as human as you are, Including one human known to you. Step forward."
At this command, a Cyberman stepped over to where Shayla was.
"What was your pre-conversion identity?"
"Prior to conversion, I was Mahri Sullivan."
"What? No, you're lying! You can't be Mahri, you can't!"
Shayla looked at the silver creature that stood in front of her. There was nothing of her friend in it.
"When we were in seventh grade, you once confided to me that you were suffering from an emotional infatuation with your classmate Fil Harrington. You swore me to secrecy. When you recovered from the infatuation, you again swore me to secrecy."
"Oh, my God", said Shayla. "It is you. But then, is Zhaan here somewhere, too?"
"No, Zhaan Aw was terminated by unknown means before she could be captured for recruitment."
"Then if she's not here, maybe that thing in the woods did kill her!"
"What 'thing in the woods'?" asked the Controller.
"It was this weird, masked guy," said Cartman. "He was unstoppable."
"It is of no matter. As members of the Cyberrace, you will be safe from any such threats."
Gesturing at Dana, the Controller spoke again. "Take her to the examination chamber. Take the others to a holding cell."
Two Cybermen took Dana by the arms, and led her away.
The Cybermen led Dana to a small room filled with equipment. They strapped her to a table, and subjected her to a thorough examination. Just when she thought she couldn't take being poked or prodded any further, they unstrapped her and ordered her to stand. They took her to the holding cell where Cartman and Shayla were.
"Dana, are you alright?"
"Yeah, just sore all over!"
One of the Cybermen gestured to Eric. "You are next. You will come with us"
Eric stiffened up.
"Eric, don't fight them. It's just a physical."
Cartman allowed himself to be led away. Sometime later, Eric was returned and Shayla was led away. When Shayla was returned, the Cyberleader was with her.
"You will remain here until the results of your examinations have been processed. The wait will be 30 minutes."
The Cyberleader left them alone in the cell.
Nonchalantly, Dana reached into her pocket. To her astonishment, her Pokéball was still there. The Cybermen must not have realized what it was! She had to plan quickly. Fortunately, she and Eric had been locked up together any number of times. She caught his eye, and gave him a look that meant "Keep quiet and be ready". His eyes flashed back understanding. They could only hope Shayla would catch on fast. Without further delay, Dana stood up and pulled out her Pokéball.
"Moondancer, I choose you!"
When the Clefable appeared, Dana shouted instructions. "Moondancer, Thunderbolt the door now!"
The creature did as commanded, and the door exploded outward in a shower of fragments. In the distance, an alarm sounded.
"Eric, Shayla, get out of the cell! Moondancer, Thunderbolt that light fixture!"
The fixture blew apart, and, as Dana had hoped, the feedback overloaded the base's lighting system, leaving only red emergency lights.
"What do we do now?" said Eric.
"I saw the exit on the way back from my exam", said Dana, scooping Moondancer up in her arms. "We make for it, and then run like hell!"
The three friends raced down the corridor. A Cyberman appeared in pursuit, but a quick Thunderbolt sent it scurrying for cover.
"Here's the outer door", said Dana. "My God, it's unlocked! Moondancer must've shorted out the lock system, too!"
"Never mind that," said Cartman. "Let's just get the hell out of here!"
Doing so, they found themselves in a cave.
"Let's hope 'up' means 'out'", said Cartman, choosing a passageway. Fortunately, it did, and they soon found themselves emerging on the side of a hill in the gathering dusk.
"I know where we are," said Shayla, "Follow me, I'll get us back to the house!" With that, they set out posthaste. A Cyberpatrol watched them go.
"Controller, the humans have escaped on schedule."
"Excellent. Follow them discreetly. Do not be seen, but ensure that they return to the Doctor safely."
As Dana, Eric and Shayla fled through the woods, the Cyberpatrol shadowed them carefully. As they watched, another figure emerged from the woods behind the fleeing friends.
"What is that?" asked the Cyberlieutenant.
"Scans inconclusive, Lieutenant," replied his second. "It appears to be an unknown form of mutant humanoid."
"The humans reported being attacked by an unknown lifeform. Could this be it?"
"Uncertain, but probable. Your orders, Lieutenant?"
"We must capture or destroy this creature before it can harm the humans."
Quickly and quietly, the cyborgs moved to cut Jason off. Outpacing him, they formed a line blocking the trail in front of him.
"Halt." the Lieutenant said. "Identify yourself."
Jason regarded them silently. The lieutenant aimed his weapon at Jason.
Jason moved toward the Cyberpatrol, raising his arm as if to attack. The patrol fired as one. Jason fell back under their weapons' assault, and lay still.
Further down the trail, Eric spoke to Dana.
"What the hell was that?"
"It must be the Cybermen after us! Keep moving!"
The Cybermen surrounded the fallen creature. The Lieutenant scanned Jason closely.
"The creature appears to have been augmented with some type of nanotechnology."
As he scanned, he automatically forwarded the information back to the Cybercoordinator. The Lieutenant leaned closer to scan Jason's head. When he did so, Jason swiftly reached up and ripped the Lieutenant's head right off his shoulders. The other Cybermen reacted quickly, but Jason proved to be fantastically strong and fast. Soon there were only two Cybermen left. While Jason was methodically dismembering one, the other, although heavily damaged, managed to retrieve his own weapon and the weapon of one of his fallen comrades. Moving quickly, he discharged both of them repeatedly into the back of Jason's head. Jason slumped to the ground, unmoving.
The Cyberman performed a self-diagnostic. Operating at 60% optimum. Communications off-line. Priority: Return to base and report. They would know that something had gone wrong when communications ceased. But they must be given details. The Cyberman began limping back to base. After a moment, Jason Voorhees, his human prey temporarily forgotten, followed after him.
Back at the Jensen house, the Doctor and Susan were explaining the situation to Chief Jensen.
"So you think Jason Voorhees is here on this planet, now?"
"We're not certain", said Susan, "but we think it's possible."
"Tell me, Chief", asked the Doctor, abruptly, "Why is the lake up in the hills called Shooting Star Lake?"
"Oh, back about eighty years ago, a shooting star fell into the lake. They never found it, but since the lake hadn't had a name before that, they called it that."
"Eighty years ago, hmmm! That would've been right about the time of the Battle of Hyrkania, wouldn't it?"
"Yeah, that's right. The last known Cyberfleet was wiped out."
"Wiped out!", said the Doctor. "Chief, you said there'd been a few disappearances up by the lake over the years?"
"A few. The lake's practically bottomless. Swimming's banned, but you know how it is!"
At that moment, the Chief's wife stuck her head in the door.
"What's up, Hanna?"
"Karl, I'm starting to worry about those kids. They went for a walk shortly after dinner, they haven't come back yet, and it's gotten dark outside."
"Good heavens", said the Doctor. "Is it that late? We've been talking for ages!"
Suddenly, they heard footsteps out on the back porch.
"Ah", said the Doctor, "Here they are now."
Sure enough, Eric, Dana and Shayla came running into the room.
"Heavens", said Hanna. "Where have you children been?"
In a jumbled hurry, the three told their story. Afterwards, the Doctor looked pensive.
"Cybermen! And I'm afraid you were quite right, Eric. The being that attacked you very probably was Jason Voorhees."
Eric looked smug as the Doctor continued.
"This is very bad. And there's something not quite right!"
"What do you mean, Doctor?" asked Dana.
"Well, I'm sorry, my dear, but you all escaped from the Cybermen far too easily. Even if the Cybermen hadn't recognized your Pokéball for what it was, they wouldn't've let you keep anything technological, in case it was a weapon or a signal device. And they wouldn't've needed to perform full examinations to determine if you were suitable for conversion - a five second scan would've done it. No, you were allowed to escape. But why? I wonder! Susan, have you a tricorder?"
Susan did indeed have a tricorder. She handed it to the Doctor, who looked at the three teenagers.
"Would you three come over here for a moment, please?" he asked.
When they had done so, he used the tricorder to scan them.
"Hmm, nothing. I wonder! Susan, would you mind if I made a few adjustments to this?"
"Not at all, go ahead!"
Pulling some tools out of his coat pocket, the Doctor began removing the tricorder's access panel.
"Cybermen are very good at shielding their technology from scanners. Do you know, they had what you would call 'cloaking' technology centuries before the Romulans did?"
After a few minutes, the Doctor was done. This time, when he scanned Eric, Dana and Shayla, the tricorder began beeping frantically.
"Ah, as I suspected."
"What is it, Doctor?" asked Dana.
"Tracking devices, implanted in your necks during those examinations you were subjected to. You were so sore afterwards, you wouldn't've noticed one more small pain. And that's why your escape was so easy. You were allowed to go. I imagine that the Cybermen correctly supposed that you would come to where I was."
"Can you get them out?"
"Yes, they're not implanted very deeply. Hold still."
Using one of his tools, the Doctor quickly removed all three transmitters. From another pocket, he produced some band-aids, covering the small wounds on the youngsters' necks. He pointed his sonic lance at the transmitters, causing them to spark briefly.
"There, that's deactivated them," said the Doctor.
"If there are Cybermen here, I've got to alert my men," said the Chief.
"And I've got to alert the planetary government and the Federation," said Susan.
"The problem is", said the Doctor, "we don't know how numerous a force the Cybermen have here. We don't know if our young friends saw all the Cybermen on the planet, or just a small fraction of their force. If they detect a mass mobilization, they may decide to adopt a 'scorched-earth' policy."
"Then what do you think we should do?"
"By all means, Chief, alert your men. Tell them to keep their eyes open and their mouths shut, and to report anything the least bit unusual to you, immediately. And Susan, please ask the planetary government to hold off on any kind of mobilization until we have more information. In the meanwhile, we'll do a little reconnaissance near the Cyberbase, whilst keeping an eye out for our undead friend, as well."
"Who's 'we'?" asked Dana.
"Well, myself and Susan, of course, and we'll need Shayla to show us the way."
"Doctor,' said the Chief, "if my daughter's going up there, then I'm going up there."
"And don't think you're going without us," said Eric.
"Very well," said the Doctor. "It's a larger party than I would've liked, but we'll all go."
"Alright, I'll go call my men."
"And I'll go call my superiors."
A few minutes later, Susan and the Chief came back into the room.
"My men are on the alert, Doctor," said the Chief.
"And the planetary government has agreed to let us have a little time before they mobilize," said Susan. "However, Starfleet has diverted the Gloriana back here. I spoke to Captain Blackadder myself. They should be here in three days. Here, everyone take one of these."
She held out what looked like some visors to the others.
"What the hell are these?" asked Eric.
"Night-vision goggles. It's getting dark out, and these'll let you see as though it were broad daylight."
"Ah, good thinking, Susan!"
"Thank you, Grandfather."
"Grandfather?" said Eric and Dana, speaking as one.
"Yes, well," said the Doctor. "we'll discuss it some other time. Come on, now, let's go."
While the Doctor and his friends were making their preparations, the last survivor of the doomed Cyberpatrol had returned to base and made his report to the Cybercontroller.
The Controller then consulted with the Cybercoordinator, waiting while the living computer considered all the factors of their situation. At last, it spoke.
"This creature was capable of posing a formidable threat to our plans. We must ascertain that it has been destroyed. Failure is unacceptable. We will-"
Suddenly, an alarm sounded, and the Cyberleader entered the Coordinator's chamber.
"Report," said the Controller.
"Controller, proximity sensors detect the approach of the unknown creature. It is in the cavern system above. We believe it has somehow tracked the survivor of the patrol back to our base."
"Organize our remaining forces. This creature must be destroyed."
"Controller." With that, the Cyberleader left the chamber.
"We must consider the possibility of defeat," said the Coordinator. "The final phase of the contingency plan is ready to be activated at a moment's notice. In the event of disaster, you must be prepared to ensure that the Doctor carries out his part of the contingency plan. "
"Agreed," said the Controller. "In the interim, I will help the Cyberleader plan our defense."
Elsewhere, some time later, the Doctor and his friends had found the remnants of the destroyed Cyberpatrol.
"Rassilon's Blood!" said the Doctor.
"You're saying Jason Voorhees did this?" said Eric. "I mean, I always heard he was vicious and strong, but to do this?"
"A lot of things can happen in four-and-a-half centuries, Eric," said the Doctor. "Obviously, Jason is more powerful than he used to be."
"Doctor", said the Chief, "We've got to bring in the military on this, there's no way we can handle this."
"Chief, looking at what this creature did to a patrol of Cybermen, I'm not so sure the military could, either."
Suddenly there was a loud rumble. A portion of the hillside further up the slope seemed to collapse in on itself.
"Doctor, what's happening?"
"A subterranean explosion, I think. It must be something to do with the Cybermen, but I-"
"Doctor, look!" Dana pointed up the hill.
A lone figure came stumbling down the hillside. When it came closer, the Doctor recognized it.
It was, indeed, the Cybercontroller, though heavily damaged, with one arm limp at its side. Susan and the Chief raised their side-arms as it approached, but it collapsed to the ground while still 50 yards away. The humans made to approach it, but the Doctor waved them back.
"Keep back!" he said. "Let me handle this." He approached the fallen cyborg.
"Doctor", it said.
"What happened to you?"
"The unknown creature - the one that attacked your companions. It attacked our base. We had only a handful of Cyberunits left. The creature seemed to become increasingly impervious to our firepower. When it became obvious that we would be defeated. I withdrew from the combat, and detonated the base, with the creature in it. I alone survive. But we had to buy you time."
"Buy me time? Why would you care about me?"
"We would not. As you well know, we do not care at all. However, the survival of the Cyberrace is our top priority, and if your female companion is killed the cosmos will be destroyed, and the Cyberrace along with it."
"Whaaat? Dana? What on Earth are you talking about?"
"Doctor, do you know who your companion is?"
"Well, of course I know who she is, what kind of question is that?"
"Do you know who she will be?"
" 'Will be'? What do you mean?"
" In the Earth year 1-9-9-5, the Cyberrace attempted the conquest of the planet Zhivaar. The Green Lantern for Sector 2-8-1-4, in which Zhivaar is located, was at that time an Earth female. She attempted to interfere with our operations there, but we were able to capture and disarm her. At that time, we scanned her for potential recruitment to the Cyberrace. However, she escaped and was able to defeat us. Subsequently, in the Earth year 2-0-0-1, during Darkseid's attempt to utilize the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy all existence, it was only through her unique insights that he was defeated."
"What are you saying?"
"When we captured your companion this afternoon we scanned her for recruitment. Her DNA matches the DNA of that Green Lantern exactly. They are the same individual. Your companion is destined to become that Green Lantern when she matures. We calculate a 97% probability that if she is killed before living out that destiny, the Green Lantern that takes her place in the timeline will not be able to achieve what she did, and the cosmos will be destroyed. In the face of such danger, our operation here becomes unimportant. It is only logical that it be sacrificed to preserve her safety. Now, you must take her to your TARDIS, and return her to her proper place in spacetime, or else you run the risk of destroying all there is. Hurry, you must-"
The Cybercontroller fell back, dead.
The Doctor returned to the others.
"What the hell were you two talking about?" asked Eric.
"'The owl was a baker's daughter'!"
"Nothing, Eric. He's dead now. Jason found their base. While they were fighting him off, the self-destruct was activated, and now the Cybermen are all dead, and Jason's buried under that hillside."
Susan was scanning the hillside with her tricorder.
"Not for long, Grandfather. He's digging his way out. It'll take him a few hours, but he'll get out."
The Doctor thought a minute.
"Susan, does the Federation still use neutronium drums to store hazardous materials in this time period?"
"How quickly could you get one about seven feet high, about three feet across delivered here, if you said it was a Federation emergency?"
"One of the industrial plants in Saint Patricksburg could have one here in a few hours."
"And enough quick-drying cement to fill it?"
"That aircar of yours, is it spaceworthy?"
"To an extent. It's only got a limited life support, though."
"Could it be operated by remote control?"
"Then here's what we're going to do!"
A short while later, the preparations were complete. "Alright, let's get busy," said the Doctor. Susan was already using her communicator to order the materiel they needed.
"Susan, I'd like you to stay here and monitor Jason's progress. Be careful, and let us know if anything unusual happens."
"Grandfather, a word please."
Susan pulled the Doctor to one side.
"Grandfather, what did the Cybercontroller say to you?"
Instead of replying verbally, the Doctor placed his hand on Susan's temple, opening a telepathic link. He fed the information into her mind.
I don't understand, she thought.
I do. In point of fact, I've met the Green Lantern he described, a few years ago. Despite her mask, I saw enough of her features to be able to believe that she was my Dana, several years older. And, her behavior at the time struck me as odd. She was quite brusque and stand-offish, particularly considering how friendly her fellow Justice Leaguers were. Now, I understand. She was trying to avoid a temporal paradox.
Speaking aloud, the Doctor said, "Next thing, we've got to get back to my TARDIS. I need to do something there."
"I can drive you there," said the Chief.
"Good," said the Doctor, surreptitiously pulling the chief aside, and whispering briefly in the Chief's ear. The Chief nodded.
"Come along, Eric, Dana, Shayla," said the Doctor, "We'll need you for this."
The Time Lord and the four humans walked back to the Jensen house, and then rode in the Chief's car to where the TARDIS had materialized.
The Doctor opened the TARDIS door. "Eric, Dana, come inside. Why don't you come in, too, Shayla? I think you'll find it interesting."
"How will we all fit?", she asked.
"It's roomier than it looks."
When the three teenagers had entered the time capsule, the Doctor calmly stepped back out, closed the door, and locked it. Standing outside the TARDIS, he began to speak.
"I know you can hear me on the monitor in there, so please listen. I'm genuinely sorry for tricking you, but what we're about to do is extremely dangerous, and I want you three someplace where I know even Jason Voorhees can't get at you. As soon as it's all over, I'll come back and let you out."
Turning to the Chief, he said. "I know they'll be safe in there. Now I need you to call three of your biggest, strongest men and have them meet us on the hillside. Make sure they're armed with the most powerful weapons you have."
The Chief nodded again, and he and the Doctor left. Inside the TARDIS, Dana was fuming. "I can't believe he did this to us! We've faced worse things than this!"
"Aw, he's just getting paranoid in his old age", said Eric. "Anyway, if you need me, I'll be in the library."
"Library?" asked Dana, shaking her head. "Anyway, come on, Shayla, I may as well show you around."
When the Doctor and the Chief returned to the hillside, three big, burly men were there along with Susan. The neutronium drum and the cement had arrived, and Susan had summoned her aircar by remote control, as well.
"Well," said the Doctor, "That was quick service."
"Ed, Barni, Fil - this is the Doctor, he's going to fill us in on the plan."
As it started to get light out, the Doctor was standing on the hillside, in front of the place where Susan's tricorder indicated Jason would emerge. Susan, the Chief and the Chief's men had formed a circle around the spot. The Doctor became aware of a grinding, rattling sound from underground. There was a clattering of small stones, and suddenly Jason Voorhees burst out of the ground. His eyes met the Doctor's, and for a moment the Doctor stood frozen. It occurred to the Doctor that of all the beings he'd met, only Sutekh had had eyes like those. Then Jason moved, and the Doctor shouted.
Susan, the Chief and his men jumped up and began firing at Jason. He writhed for a long moment before going down.
"Don't stop!" said the Doctor.
They continued firing until their power packs were exhausted. Then the Chief and his men put on protective gloves and picked up Jason's steaming form and ran to the drum and dropped him in. Susan and the Doctor poured in the cement and sealed it shut. After a minute, there were a few thuds from inside the drum, and then silence.
"Alright", said the Doctor. "Now for part two."
"Can't we just leave him for the Feds to take care of?" asked the Chief.
"By no means", said the Doctor. "If we do that then it would only be a matter of time before some bright boy decided they should study Jason before destroying him. Jason would, inevitably, get loose, and the whole business would start all over again."
"Alright, then, let's do it."
Straining mightily, the six of them carried the drum over to Susan's aircar, and lashed it securely to the vehicle.
With a regretful look, Susan said, "This car's probably coming out of my salary." She then used her communicator to activate the car, which promptly took off into the atmosphere.
"Quickly, back to the TARDIS," said the Doctor, "We can follow its progress from there!"
They drove back to the timeship, and entered it, to be greeted by a resentful-looking Dana and Shayla.
"Whare's Eric?" asked the Doctor as he activated the scanner.
"In the library, so he said."
"Interesting. Ah, there we are."
For the next hour, they followed the aircar's progress as it approached Earth 2's sun. When it became too bright to look at, the Doctor switched off the scanner. After a few minutes, Susan spoke.
"That's it, the signal's cut off - the aircar's destroyed, and Jason along with it."
"Let's hope so", said the Doctor. "Although I certainly can't imagine even he could survive on the surface of the sun."
They gathered again, outside the TARDIS.
"Well, Doctor, it'll be good to get back to peace and quiet again," said the Chief. "I don't suppose you could assure me that our planet can look forward to peace and quiet?"
"To be honest, Chief, I'm unfamiliar with your world's history. Of course, that may be a good thing. The worlds whose history I'm familiar with tend to be the ones where the most dreadful things go on, unfortunately."
The Doctor turned to Susan.
"It's been good seeing you again, child. I shall try not to make our meetings so infrequent, in the future."
Susan smiled at him.
"I love you too, Grandfather."
The Doctor almost blushed.
"Come along, Dana, Eric, it's time we were leaving. Give my regards to Captain Blackadder, Susan."
Susan and the Chief watched as the TARDIS dematerialized.
"So," said the Chief. "Do you need somewhere to stay until the Feds can pick you up?"
Somewhere Outside of Spacetime,
Aboard the TARDIS
The Doctor stood in the TARDIS Console Room. He sighed, and pressed a button. The TARDIS engines ground to a halt. He brightened up as Dana and Eric came into the room.
"Have we materialized?" asked Dana. "Where are we?"
"Let me check," said the Doctor. "I've set the controls for Twentieth Century Earth, I thought you could use some familiar sights." He paused. "Well, I'll be, it's your home - Annapolis, Maryland. December 17th, 1984. 8:50 p.m."
"But that's ten minutes after I first left in the TARDIS with you. My parents won't even be home from the movies yet!."
"Yes", said the Doctor, "In fact, we're in the very same spot I materialized in before."
"My back yard!"
Dana stood still, a mix of emotions playing across her face.
"Doctor, I have to leave, don't I?"
"I don't want you to feel pushed to do anything you don't want to do, my dear!"
"Doctor, I've been traveling with you for nearly a year now, subjectively speaking. I'm an inch taller, and several pounds lighter. I've changed a lot inside, as well. I have to leave now, before I change so much, that I can't come back."
And so it was, that a few minutes later, having gathered her things, Dana stood in the doorway of the TARDIS, making her goodbyes.
"Goodbye, Eric. I know you and I haven't always gotten along -"
"Hey! Don't go getting all sentimental on me, Scully!"
"Alright, then. Just try to be good."
She turned to the Doctor.
"Thank you for everything, Doctor. I learned so much."
"Likewise, my dear."
Dana watched as the TARDIS dematerialized, and then turned and walked into the house.
EPILOGUE THE FIRST:
Eric Cartman and Dana Scully sat together in a small café, reminiscing. Owing to the vagaries of time travel, Eric was now 30 years old, and Dana was 51.
"There's one other thing I've always wanted to ask about", said Cartman. "That time we were on Earth 2, and Jason Voorhees and the Cybermen showed up, the Doctor said something - something I heard, but I don't think you did."
"What was that?"
"It was right after the Cybercontroller died. The Doctor said, 'The owl was a baker's daughter'. Now, I knew that was from Shakespeare - I did pay some attention during the time we spent with him - so when the Doctor locked us in the TARDIS, I went to the library, and looked it up. It's from Hamlet, Act IV, Scene V. 'They say the owl was a baker's daughter. Lord! we know what we are, but know not what we may be.' Now what do you suppose he meant by that?"
"I'm not sure I could've told you at the time, but I think I know now. I can't tell you more, Eric, I'm sorry. But I know now that it was no coincidence that the next place we landed was my home!"
EPILOGUE THE SECOND:
Earth 2 Colony, A.D. 2456
New Springfield Settlement
Three Months after the Cyberincident
It was the middle of the night, and Shayla was having trouble sleeping. She was still haunted by the incident with the Cybermen, and the thought of what her friend Mahri had become. It was as though Mahri had died twice. As she often did when she couldn't sleep, she went out and sat on the back porch of her house, careful not to wake her parents. As she sat, looking at the stars, she felt the slightest tingling at the back of her neck. Wordlessly, she walked into the woods north of the house. She was still alert and aware, but she could not control her actions. She walked for quite some time, beyond Jason's tunnel, beyond even Shooting Star Lake, up into an area of the hills she'd never before been to. She approached a sheer hillside, and a hidden door opened up in it. She walked in, and an elevator carried her deep into the heart of the earth. As she left the elevator, the shaft was collapsed behind her. She walked through the caves, until she came to a portal, a portal identical to the gateway to the Cyberbase. The Cybermen! But how?
This Cyberbase was smaller than the other - doubtless meant to be a back-up in case the other was destroyed. But what did they want with her? How had they forced her to come here? She came to a small room that contained something that looked a roughly human-shaped mold. Helpless to resist, she stepped into the mold. The door of the mold slid shut, and she was in darkness. The machine began to hum, and a soft light filled the cramped inner space of the mold. She felt a sharp jab at the back of her neck, and an icy numbness spread throughout her body. Machinery began to whir, and she had a sudden horrifying awareness that parts of her body were being cut away and discarded the way someone might cut away the unwanted rind of a fruit. They were doing to her what they had done to Mahri! They were making her one of them! Then, when she thought it couldn't get any worse, it did. They began to alter her mind.
Alien information came pouring in, and she struggled to understand it. The Cyberrace was devoted to logic. The Doctor had defeated the Cyberrace on several occasions. Therefore it was logical to have a contingency plan in place in case of defeat. Hence this back-up base was created. A back-up Cybercoordinator was prepared, and left dormant until needed. When the Doctor had arrived, it was made ready. The presence of Dana Scully and Jason Voorhees had complicated the situation. The contingency plan was altered accordingly. While the three humans had been prisoners of the Cyberrace, the Cybermen had implanted them with transmitters. These were for show. They were something for the Doctor to find, because they knew he would look. But Shayla had received a second implant, an organic implant, one designed to mimic human tissue, one designed to not be found. When the main Cyberbase was destroyed, the back-up base was activated, the dormant Cybercoordinator awakened. The Doctor had eliminated Jason Voorhees and then left the planet, convinced that there was no further threat to it. The Cybercoordinator had bided its time, until it was probable that the Doctor was not going to return. At that point, Shayla's second implant was activated, usurping control of her body, and bringing her to the back-up base.
The machinery began to purge what was left of Shayla's brain of unneeded information. Shayla felt her identity, her very self, slipping away. With a silent scream, the last flicker of the being that had been "Shayla Jensen" was extinguished.
Several minutes later, the conversion chamber deactivated and the door slid open, allowing the new Cybercontroller to emerge.
It began to commune with the Cybercoordinator. They would bide their time. They would wait, for decades, if necessary, for the recent events to be forgotten. Humans always forgot. Then, when the time was right, they would begin recruitment again. A new contingency plan would be prepared.
In time, this planet would belong to the Cyberrace.
*Stands for "Time And Relative Dimension In Space"