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IC Doctor Who: Doom of the TARDIS

Hollow Spectacular

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Prologue

It appears on the edges of things. In the emptiness of a suburban children’s playground at 4am. On a mountaintop on the farthest moon of an arid planet. Between two decks of a sleeping spacecraft crawling through the void. On a corner of ragged grass on an empty street at a city’s outer limit. In the centre of a vast crater on a smoking battlefield. Throughout all time and space, a blue box groans into existence.

Your time with the Doctor has passed. It may have been half a lifetime of travels, or it may have been a single frantic day. It doesn’t matter - it’s over now, and you have settled into a regular life. You go about your days, whatever they may entail, until…

You hear that familiar groaning, wheezing sound, somewhere not too far away. You can tell almost immediately that something is wrong. Usually, the noise stops.

Even as you reach it, and find it solidly materialised, the TARDIS still makes the sound of its arrival, getting louder and louder and louder. It sounds as though it is struggling to stay in this time and space.

The TARDIS is in trouble. The Doctor might be too. You push through the doors.

What are you doing when you hear the sound of the TARDIS?
Where do you find it?
How do you feel, as you enter?
 

PsyOp

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Rupert had come a long way since his time in the service and his adventure with the doctor. His family's wealth and parent's indulgence had allowed him to purchase and live in a small workshop since the end of the war, working and tinkering in private. Lately however his father's patience was wearing thin, Rupert was now in his late 30s and still not married. It was causing his parent's no end of embarrassment, it was time to grow up and stop "Playing with toys" as his father put it. Rupert was also becoming disheartened his life since his grand adventure had been quite dull in comparison, sure sometimes he still felt the rush of discovery but not like his times in the Tardis.

It was on an evening when he was contemplating what his father had been saying, was it time to get a real job, find a wife and settle down with some children, the Tardis just a distant memory holding him back? While he was in the middle of sipping his tea standing out on the balcony of his workshop, Rupert heard the unmistakable sounds of the Tardis materialising. It didn't sound quite right though but it was absolute music to his ears, he dropped his tea cup and ran after the slowly fading in blue telephone box. Once it was fully materialised Rupert swung open the doors expecting to see the doctor but instead saw someone completely different standing in front of him frantically hitting buttons, moving levers and reading computer screens. That sense of wonder flooded back but he couldn't help but also feel a sense of unease at the situation presented to him.
 

squidheadjax

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Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Nothing like a hot bath on a freezing planet.

Sure she'd thrown away half her latest haul on a few spins of the dice that didn't quite work out, but that meant the casino was more than happy to set her up in one of their nice rooms.

And that's when the TARDIS pops right into her suite's bathroom, cheeky as could be, still not even bothering to quiet down. "The Doctor needs something nicked again, hmm?" she assumes into the air as she gets out, revealing her highly mechanized but waterproof arms, her breath making a quickly-dissipating puff in the otherwise icy hotel. "Eh, I'll just borrow something from the closet." She throws on one of the hotel-provided fuzzy bathrobes and pushes in the double doors, looking around curiously at the massively changed control room. "...huh. Must've redecorated," she mutters, and steps over to the blonde at the controls after looking over the tinker with an appraising look.

"...Romana?" she asks, taking a guess because she knew that Time Lords sometimes had pretty extreme makeovers. "Where's the Doctor, and why haven't the whooshy noises stopped? And is the closet still stocked?"
 

Damian May

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Bartek cocked his head and brought his hand up to the metal object at his neck as it pulsed in tune to the rushing wheezing sound....

He swung the autoloader out of line and left the warehouse following the sound, two of the mammals began yelling at him about returning to his task but he had more important business now than loading containers filled with hatchling distractions.

He stalked across the gravmat outside the warehouse as the familiar blue box from all those years.....no...centuries...millenia...ago.

The object at his neck pulse again and he took it off, using it to unlock the door and enter....he hung the leather thong on a stony protrusion just inside the door.

" Bartek of the Eastern Shore, 15th male born to Sunthra in the wet season of 797GoldenSky.......I am here to repay my debt, Saviour.", his looming form dropped to both knees with a thud and his neck fins spread wide in obeisance.
 

Hollow Spectacular

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Rupert

The blonde woman flits around the room, talking complete nonsense. The console room is, frankly, a mess. Weird crystal growths jut out at strange angles, bits of machinery litter the floor. The room is much too hot, and the roar of materialisation is still going on. The central console looks partially dismantled and turned in on itself.

“Ooh, brilliant, is Romana here? I love Romana, not seen her in ages.” The woman turns to look directly at you. “No, that’s Rupert. Hello, Rupert!” She gives you a cheerful wave. “That’s Lysa. Lovely to see you both, everything’s gone a bit wrong.” She looks from you to a patch of empty air, and back again.

“Hang on,” she says. “You two are making me dizzy. It’s like you’re on different frequencies - oh! Synchronisation! Won’t be a tick!”

She clambers onto the console until she is sitting in it like a cross between a throne and a canoe. She pokes at some of the switches, and as she does so, the heat in the room becomes less stifling, the sound of the TARDIS a little less deafening, and there is suddenly a woman wearing a fuzzy bathrobe standing in the empty space that the blonde woman had been addressing.

Lysa

The console room is very different from how you remember it. Very dark, with lots of metal and weird crystal (probably worthless. It’s not even shiny). It’s also very cold, and your dressing gown is not doing enough to keep it out.

The blonde woman whirls to meet you as you speak.

“Ooh, is Romana here?” she says. “I love Romana, not seen her in ages.”
She waves at a complete absence of person. “No, that’s Rupert. Hello, Rupert! That’s Lysa.”
She looks confused for a moment, glancing between you and the empty space.
“Hang on, you two are making me dizzy. It’s like you’re on different frequencies - oh! Synchronisation! Won’t be a tick!”

With a look of manic glee she clambers onto the TARDIS console, jabbing at switches and buttons.
The room gets a lot warmer and better lit (which admittedly doesn’t do much for how it looks), and in the space that the woman had been waving at, there now stands a slightly unkempt man.

“That’s better,” says the blonde woman from her seat in the console. “Lysa, Rupert, Rupert, Lysa. Lysa,” she adds again, clearly having lost track of her own introductions. “Rupert?
“Anyway. I’ve brought you here because I really, really need your help.”

Just then, a large amphibian bursts through the door and prostrates himself on the floor, shouting about his saviour.

Bartek

For a moment, everything is very quiet. There are three mammals in the room, one of them sitting in the top of a large, partially dismantled machine. She gives you a wave.

“Don’t worry, you don’t need to kneel! Unless you’re really tired. I might have some cushions, somewhere? Sorry, have we met before? I’m not really anyone’s saviour, but I help out where I can. I’m the Doctor.”

She extends a hand for you to shake, in the same way that some of the mammals at the warehouse did when you first met them. She does not seem to notice that there is no way to get to her hand without climbing the console yourself.
 

thenorm42

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Ace has only been stranded in the war-torn 26th century a few months when she hears the familiar sound again. She's in a battered, rented room in a faceless city on a planet she doesn't even know the name of. Initially she turns away, still wary of the Doctor's manipulation. But the TARDIS sounds different, like it's struggling to breathe, and the exterior looks slightly different, unfamiliar somehow. Realising she has to investigate, Ace grabs her kit and throws the doors open. The interior looks even weirder.

"Professor? What's with all the hippy crystal stuff?"
 

Hollow Spectacular

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Ace

It's not just the architecture that's weird. You're faced with a completely bizarre tableaux. An alien kneels before the TARDIS console, which has been partially dismantled. On top of it sits a blonde woman who gives you a delighted wave with one hand. The other is stretched out as if she's expecting someone to shake it.

"It's Ace! Hello, Ace! It's all go round here, isn't it?" she adds to the two bystanders, a woman in a fuzzy bathrobe and a slightly unkempt bloke. "What's wrong with the crystals? I quite like them. Better before they went all sideways. How have you been, Ace? Actually, that goes for all of you, it's been ages."
 

thenorm42

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Ace pauses for just a second as she takes in the scene in front of her, before realisation dawns.

"Professor! You look … wicked!"

She had been told that the Doctor's face could change through the ages, but actually experiencing it leaves her feeling conflicted. All the manipulation and mistrust … was that something specific to her Doctor? How long had passed for the Doctor? Years, centuries, millennia? And the voice is very different too. Did the change from male to female mean something, a particularly big personality shift, or was it just a cosmetic issue to Time Lords?

Looking at the Doctor's friendly and open face, she realises that maybe things have changed, and that she was willing to give the Doctor another chance. Just one more.

As long as she didn't mind Ace blowing things up once in a while, anyway...
 

squidheadjax

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Lysa blinks at the blonde woman a few times, then tries to smoothly pass off her confusion. "Oh. Finally got that nose fixed, I see?"

The woman with red-on-black hair, obvious but stylishly chrome mechanical arms and a damp dressing gown waves to the new (to her) people. "Right then, I'm going to go nick a proper wardrobe. Is the closet still-" She waves in the direction of a control room exit she remembers, and finds nothing but rocky wall. "Right then, that's going to take some exploring... Are we on the clock for a job right now, Doctor, or do we have some time to settle in?"
 

PsyOp

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This was unmistakably the Tardis but the Doctor didn't look the same, last time he was a man and now she's a woman. Apparently there was more to the doctor than what he told me last time. Rupert sees the other people that the doctor has addressed including the lady in the bathrobe that seemed to materialise in her own way averting his eyes so as to not seem untoward. The other lady who even though it was being translate seemed to be speaking some strange form of English. Neither of these really compared to the large alien bowing down at the doctor's feet. It had been so long since his last adventure and seeing wonderous things that it was going to take Rupert a minute to readjust. This wasn't 1958 London anymore.
 
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