The purple light on the console blinked furiously. The doctor, on his way through the control room to the library, paused. He looked at the panel the light was on, flipped a couple of switches and the light stopped. He smiled, shrugged and turned away, taking the stairs down to the library two at a time.
As he disappeared, the purple light began to blink again. Thirty seconds later the TARDIS shuddered.
* * *
In the library, several books fell off their shelves and landed next to the doctor where he sat cross legged on the floor. He frowned and looked up from the scroll he was reading.
Nothing else happened.
The Doctor rolled his eyes at the distant library ceiling and went back to reading.
* * *
Music began to play in the Control Room. After a few moments of a strong, electronic beat, a singer echoed off the buttresses:
“Days like this I want to drive away. / Pack my bags and watch your shadow fade. / You chewed me up and spit me out like I was poison in your mouth. / You took my life, / you dragged me down, / but that was then and this is now. / Now look at me! “
The song was quieter in the library but the doctor still sang along absently while he read.
In the control room, the light flickered and a green light started pulsing alongside it. The music changed. “So when you’re near me darling / can’t you hear me / SOS…”
The doctor looked up. He mouthed the words and frowned. “Are you trying to tell me something, sexy?”
The music changed. “…it wasn’t me that she was fooling, / ‘cos she knew what she was doing, / when she told me how to walk this way, / she told me to walk this way…”
The green light and the purple light were joined by a blue one and the song changed again. “…Sweet child in time, / you’ll see the line, / the line that’s drawn between, / good and bad…”
The doctor dropped the scroll onto the floor. “Part of me by Katie Perry; S.O.S by ABBA; Walk this Way, the Aerosmith and Run DMC version and now Child in Time by deep Purple.” He mused, “What, by the four Moons of Velaxia Five are you trying to tell me?”
The TARDIS shuddered again. Books rained down around the doctor and the song changed again, louder this time as if the TARDIS knew he was listening. “… If you want more, / then jump…”
“Jump? The Girls Aloud Version.” the doctor looked confused. “Please do make sense, my dear.”
The music changed again and this time it was so loud that the doctor winced.
“We are in a mess, / a danger zone…”
The doctor’s eyes widened and he scrambled up from the floor, dashed out of the library and up the stairs three at a time, his long legs resembling a spider running from a cat across a shag-pile carpet.
As he entered the control room a fourth light joined the others, a large red rotating one that turned the room into a mess of shadows. The TARDIS shook and the doctor fell up the last two steps onto the console platform. He crawled to his chair and used it to pull himself up, clinging to it tightly as the whole room did a loop de loop.
“What happened to the stabilisers?” He gasped, lurching from the chair to the console and using the brass bars around it to stay on his feet as he checked the monitor. Flicking various switches and pulling a couple of levers stopped the TARDIS spinning on its Y axis, and the doctor began studying the problem.
“What will happen next? / you never know…” the TARDIS told him.
“Yes, yes, I know that. I’m more interested in your musical taste, Sexy. How on earth can you go from Aerosmith to Girls Aloud? I thought I’d taught you better than that.” The doctor ran round the console, pressed a button or two and went back to the monitor. “At least stick to one genre of music when you’re trying to tell me something.”
“Truth of the matter is, / I’m complicated…” The TARDIS changed music again. “You know I, / I’ll be waiting on the other side, / and you, / all you got to do is cross the line…”
The whole ship shuddered and then fell quiet. The doctor looked away from the monitor as the engines stopped. “Have we landed? Where are we? There were some very odd lights appearing around here.”
“…this ain’t’ wonderland, / it sure ain’t Narnia…” the TARDIS said.
“Well, yes, obviously. I’ve been there.” The doctor typed something on the typewriter in front of the monitor. “Nope, definitely not Narnia. And it’s not Mallorea or even Pern.”
The TARDIS blared out the intro to something heavy metal.
The doctor sighed. “Evil Walks by AC-DC. How do you get from Bruno Mars and Cee-Lo Green to AC-DC, Sexy? I’m going to have to take a look at your musical taste circuit if this carries on.” He ran around the console and used the keyboard on the other side to play the opening bar of Universally Speaking by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. A screen rose from the console beside him and he tapped a couple of the icons on it.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been here before, Sexy. I can’t even place it on the Multiverse map. Hmm…” He frowned and tapped his lips with his forefinger.
“This is the place where all the Junkies go, / Where time gets fast but everything gets slow…” The TARDIS played.
“Are you sure? I didn’t think that place existed anymore.” The doctor touched a place on the mess of lines and circles on the screen. “See, that one is greyed out.”
“I don’t want to say it if it isn’t so…” the TARDIS blared.
“Will you behave yourself, young lady!” The doctor snapped.
The music muted for a moment and when it came up again it played: “Movement outside, silence inside, / restless lover spread your wings…”
The doctor blinked. “I can’t get any environment readings on the outside. You know I never go out unless I know it’s safe.”
“You can count on me, / like one two three, / I’ll be there…” The TARDIS played.
“Are you sure it’s safe? I don’t want to run into a lava flow, like the time we ended up in Alpha Centuri B.”
“…it’s unfair, / she’s out there…” The volume of the song increased.
“Another Bruno Mars song? Am I on another rescue mission?” The doctor went back to his original monitor and typed something.
The screen fuzzed and he whacked the side of it. “Ah that’s better. I can barely see anything out there, we appear to be amidst a blizzard. Where exactly is she?”
“Take from everything from the inside…” Linkin Park blared from the speakers.
“Don’t actually go out, just open the door?” the doctor shrugged. “Well, okay, but if this all goes wrong, I shall be blaming you.” He shook his finger at the console and headed down the ramp to the door. He paused beside it.
“…take a chance cos you might grow, / what you waiting for…” Gwen Stefani asked.
“Don’t nag, Sexy, it’s unbecoming in one of your stature.” The doctor put his hand on the door handle and turned it, letting it swing inward.
A girl landed on the floor, covered in snow and ice, her fingers and face a pale blue.
The doctor grabbed her shoulders, hauled her inside enough to bring her feet in and shut the door quickly. “Well I never. Who do we have here?”
He crouched down beside her and felt for a pulse. “Double heartbeat. What?”
Her eyes flew open and bright blue stared into brown. “Doctor! You finally came for me.”
“I did?” he looked puzzled. “Can you get up?”
She shook her head. “No, too much cold damage to my cells. Give me a moment to change.”
He stared at her. “What?”
She smiled, closed her eyes and died, breath sighing out of her lungs and her head dropping to the side.
The doctor stood up. “What just happened, Sexy?”
“You can see she’s a beautiful girl, / she’s a beautiful girl, / And everything around her is a silver pool of light…”
He moved back from the body. “Just exactly what are you telling me?”
“tick, tock, / tick, tock, …” Gwen Stefani replaced KT Tunstall on the TARDIS’ speakers.
“Oh all right, I’ll wait.” He sat down at the top of the ramp to the door and looked down at the body of the girl, lying there still and silent.
Her mouth opened. A soft glow of gold and silver light seemed to float out of it as if she had breathed it out.
“What?” The doctor gasped and stood up. “Who is she? I’m the only…”
“tick, tock, / tick, tock, …” The TARDIS interrupted him.
“Stop that. I’m not going to move now.” He stared as the light surrounded her and enveloped her body, misting the girl with gold.
The brightness intensified and very briefly an image of a young woman with blonde hair wearing a dark green t-shirt floated in the light. The doctor frowned and scratched his head.
“Why on earth does the picture of that girl look familiar?” he muttered.
The TARDIS stayed quiet.
The brilliance of the light forced him to look away as it splayed out from her arms, legs and head. There was a sudden rush of energy that made the doctor struggle for breath and then the light was gone.
The girl sat up and spun round on her bum. “That’s better. Hullo Dad.”