‘THE DIMENSION SERPENTS’
by Tim Bradley
Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Private James Darby.
Set between ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and ‘The Face of Evil’.
Hello! I’m the Doctor! Yes! Me again! And if you don’t know who I am, where have you been?
I’m a wanderer in time and space. I walk through eternity. I’m a Time Lord. And you probably know the rest. I’ve travelled in my TARDIS for many years. I’ve had many friends by my side and fought against impossible odds.
In this latest adventure I share with you, I’m currently travelling with my best friend James Darby. No, not that English cricketer from the 1890s! Ah, bet you didn’t know that, eh? No, this James Darby is a private from the Earth space fleet or something like that. I’m not one for army types, but Private James Darby is a good egg. Not as pretty as Sarah Jane though. I know he’d like her if she was still around.
Anyway, Private James wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Don’t know why to be honest. We met one time and he eventually joined me in my TARDIS travels. If you want to know how we met, the writer of that tale had better hurry up writing it. I’m sharing this adventure in the middle of our travels to avoid boredom. Beginnings can be tiresome.
This current adventure we’re having took place when we were travelling in space. I opened the TARDIS scanner screen to see where we were. Private James liked seeing the stars. He never got to appreciate the stars when serving as an Earth space fleet soldier. At least that’s what he told me. I suppose being a soldier took the fun out of life as I often told him.
While we were travelling in space, a portal opened up. Quite a massive one in fact! It seemed to be growing and growing as we got close to it. I did my best to get us out of there as dear Private James held on for dear life at the TARDIS console.
“Hey Doctor,” Private James cried over the din. “Any chance hurrying us in getting away from that portal? I feel my innards have been jumbled up inside.”
“Have patience, dear James,” I said. “I’m working as fast as I can.”
“Yeah well, not fast enough in my opinion,” he retorted. “I can see the swirling whirlpool in space filling up the TARDIS screen. It doesn’t look friendly.”
“Have you seen a swirling maelstrom before?” I asked, incredulously.
“Only in comics,” he replied. “And I didn’t like the look of them as a kid.” He sighed despairingly. “Oh if only I was back at my Nan’s as a kid when we had chip butties…”
“Travelling with me is not all that bad,” I interrupted, trying very hard to get us free from this trap we were in.
“Give me holiday planets with beautiful girls any day,” he retorted.
“Hold on,” I said, ignoring him. “I’m going to attempt a materialisation flip-flop in order to…”
But I didn’t finish my sentence as Private James and I were propelled forward into the space portal. Quite roughly I might add. The TARDIS was being sucked into the portal! Oh dear. I didn’t like that.
I ended up falling onto the floor with my scarf all over my face. I pulled it off to see clearer.
I slowly got up and sat on the console room floor. I watched as the TARDIS journeyed further into a vortex. Where were we heading? I couldn’t tell.
I looked to Private James. He was sprawled on the floor too. Knocked out, I might add. He must’ve hit his head on the console when we were propelled forward. Oh dear. I hoped he hadn’t got concussion. I went to fetch the first aid kit.
Hey there! I’m Darby! James Darby! Private of the Seventh Division of Space Fleet 920! I’m the best! I won’t share you the gory details on how I ended up in the Seventh Division. You’d find it boring. Anyhow, I’m sure the Doctor mentioned I wanted to be Luke Skywalker! Well, he’s right! I love ‘Star Wars’! Do you love ‘Star Wars’? The original trilogy! Not the other films. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker; Han Solo; Princess Leia and Chewbacca all rolled into one! Was I crazy back then? Maybe. I was a kid, wasn’t I?
Anyway, I ended up having a sorry life as a space fleet private for several years. That was before I met the Doctor. Meeting the Doctor was great! I can’t wait to hear that story being told in books when the writer writes it.
We’d been travelling for quite some time, and as the Doctor mentioned, the TARDIS got sucked into some kind of deadly portal. It was terrifying to look at! So terrifying I must’ve passed out! Or knocked out as I believe the Doctor told me. Not sure to be honest.
When I woke up, I found myself sitting on a rock outside the TARDIS. This was in some kind of cave. I woke up with a start, having no idea where I was. I remembered my name thankfully. Several seconds later, I saw the Doctor nearby. He was examining a wall. A cave wall to be precise! He turned to see that I had awakened. He put on that toothy grin of his. I always liked it when he put on that toothy grin.
“Ah, there you are,” he said. “You’re awake! Good, good.”
He came over to me and took out a paper bag from his coat pocket. I knew what was inside that paper bag. Lovely jubbly!
“Would you like a jelly baby?” he asked.
How could I say no? I nodded and thanked him before picking a red and yellow jelly baby from the bag. Yep, I picked two jelly babies! I wasn’t sure if the Doctor noticed. If he did, he didn’t comment.
“Where are we?” I asked, munching my jelly babies.
He looked around for a bit as if taking in the cave. It was a while before he answered.
“Well, the TARDIS got dragged into some massive portal, remember? We ended up here – an intersection between universes.”
I frowned at that. “Come again?”
The Doctor used his hands to explain. “This asteroid we’re in. It’s in some kind of white void. I managed to see it as we traversed into the void. I piloted the TARDIS just in the nick of time to avoid a collision. The TARDIS then detected an energy signature within the asteroid. I materialised the old girl inside the asteroid and here we are.”
“I see,” I answered, not really seeing at all. “Are there enemy agents inside this rock?”
“Hardly,” he replied. “We’re outside your Earth Empire’s parameters, Private.”
Sometimes I didn’t like it when the Doctor reminded me of where I came from in Earth’s Empire. It reminded me of how bad things were with the Empire’s state of things.
The Doctor continued, “I haven’t had a chance to look around properly. I’ve been waiting for you to wake up so that we can explore.”
“Did you drag me out here, Doc?” I asked.
“I did yes,” he answered. “You were knocked out unconscious and I had to drag you out to make sure you weren’t concussed. The TARDIS’ lights and power systems are temporarily out. Hopefully they’ll be back up soon.”
“Where’s this light coming from?” I asked. I noticed how artificial the light was. It felt like some construction work was going on in this area.
“Not sure,” the Doctor said. “I assume the light’s seeping in through the cave walls from the white void outside. I was checking the walls to see if there were any holes for the light to seep through before I heard you wake up behind me.”
“And are there any holes in the walls, Doctor?” I asked.
“Not sure,” he answered. “It was merely a brief inspection.”
Sometimes I wondered if the Doctor was being Basil Fawlty then. You know when he checked the walls once?
I struggled to stand up, having enjoyed my jelly babies. “Well, do you think we should explore this place more? To see if anyone else is here.”
“Good idea,” the Doctor said ebulliently. “Let’s explore some more and see if we can say hello to anyone.” He was about to move off before he turned back to me, “Are you sure you’re feeling up to it, Private? You don’t feel the need to rest any further?”
“I’ve had plenty of rest thank you,” I answered. “Let’s get on with exploring this place and find someone. The sooner we’ve done that, the sooner we’re out of here.”
“Quite right,” the Doctor nodded affably. “Let’s find out who’s responsible for this.”
With that, the Doctor walked off eagerly ahead. I struggled to catch up, still feeling wobbly on my legs. But soon, I caught up and we were off in a flash. I hope the Doctor had locked the TARDIS before we left.
We weren’t that deep into the cave after leaving the TARDIS. Private James caught up with me as we turned around the corner to the left. I checked with my yo-yo at times to measure the gravity of the structure we were in. It seemed stable. That didn’t feel good to me. Something was wrong about this place. I could easily sense it.
It was minutes later that we found ourselves in some excavation site. At least I believe it was an excavation site. There was mining equipment and tools lying about the place, yet no miners to be seen. Perhaps they were on a tea break.
“What is this place?” Private James asked. “Are we interrupting somebody’s work day?”
“Not sure if there’s anybody about to interrupt their work?”
As one, Private James and I examined the equipment and tools situated in many parts of the clearing we were in. I examined one of the tools and realised something with shock in my mind. I checked another piece of equipment similar to the one I had just found.
“These are quantum phase differential stabilisers.” I declared.
Private James looked at me puzzled. “What?”
“They’re meant for shooting holes in the fabric of reality,” I explained.
The astonishment was clear on the private’s face. “What, do you mean…they’re like guns for shooting quantum reality?”
“Exactly,” I said. “Spot on the nose, Private. These tools are meant to generate quantum particles to alter the reality of any dimensional environment we’re in. If we were outside our own reality and inside the white void, we could use these stabilisers to alter any environment we were seeing. Or destroy it completely.”
“That sounds nasty,” Private James remarked. I’m not sure he fully understood what I said.
“It is,” I told him. “I like the people who work in this place less and less.”
As soon as I had said that, footsteps echoed in the cave-like corridor nearby.
“Doctor,” James warned me. “Someone’s coming!”
“Quick!” I said urgently. “Hide behind that pack of crates there!”
I could see Private James getting his standard space fleet pistol out ready for an attack and on the defence. He did as I said once we went behind those crates.
But it wasn’t fast enough. Someone must’ve seen the end of my scarf as we went down. Shots fired upon me and Private James as we ducked. The firepower was intense. I pulled my scarf up from the floor to see if it had been singed.
Private James and I looked up to see a number of troopers – shock troopers in black armour – firing laser rifles at us. I didn’t know whether they were human or not.
I could see Private James raise his pistol, about to fire back. I forcibly put his hand down once he did that. “No!” I gritted teeth at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
I don’t think he liked it when I stopped him firing his pistol. He had that purple face.
“Saving our lives! What do you think I’m doing?” he answered.
“There’s no need to kill,” I reprimanded him. “Just wait for these troopers to run out of ammunition before we talk to them.”
The troopers kept firing at us as we hid behind the crates.
Private James then got up.
“Done waiting!” he said.
The private opened fire with his laser pistol. They were pathetic shots compared to the shock troopers’ shots.
I pulled him to the ground again. “Get down!” I shouted.
Private James did as he was bid. He made sure his head was down behind the crates we were hiding behind.
I heard an almost apologetic grunt from the private. “Seems you were right, Doctor. I shouldn’t have fired when I did.”
“Yes well, they’re bound to run out of power in those laser rifles like I said,” I told him. I then called to the troopers. “It’s not very nice to shoot at people who’ve only just arrived.”
I don’t think they heard me as they kept on firing at poor me and Private James.
“Can’t you use your jelly baby wonders on these guys and girls, Doctor?”
I considered that for a moment. Then shouted, “Jelly baby anyone?”
That didn’t seem to work. They kept firing at us. I still had my head down.
“Relentless aren’t they?” I remarked.
“We can’t stay down here forever,” Private James protested.
Then we heard screams. From the shock troopers! The laser fire became less and less as the screams from the shock troopers echoed one by one. There were thuds on the ground! It occurred to me that the shock troopers were being shot down one by one. I wondered how and why.
Eventually, the firing stopped. There was silence in the air. Private James and I didn’t speak for a while.
“What happened?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered. “I think it’s safe to get up.”
I slowly got up from behind the crates. Private James got up too. We looked around to see many shock troopers in a heap on the ground. I assumed they were gunned down and dead. I wondered what had happened to them. Who shot down these poor shock troopers whilst the private and I were hiding behind the crates?
It was then I noticed there was something at the other end of the clearing we were in. It was a small figure. A little alien creature to be precise! He had big huge eyes; sharp teeth and a swishy sort of tail. Those were the first three things that stood out for me. I later noticed that he had light yellow skin. He seemed docile with that grin of his on his face. Yet he was fierce enough to hold a gun in his paws. At least I believed they were paws. Sometimes he was almost monkey-like.
The alien creature gave a whiny grunting sound as Private James and I saw him. I was about to thank the little fella before another voice spoke. I realised it was Private James.
“Bazooie?” Private James said, disbelieving. “Bazoon the Miggie?”
The little alien whined and backed away once Private James saw him.
“Is…is that you?” Private James asked, still not quite believing it, “My little mascot?”
Just then, the little fella ran away. Just like that, wailing as it did so. Like it was scared. Why would it run away like that?
Private James seemed desperate to chase his little mascot as he called it. “Wait, come back!” he shouted. “Bazooie, come back!”
I tried to stop him but it was no use. He was half-way out of the clearing.
“James, wait!” I shouted.
“You don’t understand, Doctor,” he replied. “I’ve got to get after the little blighter! I thought he was dead, you see! I thought my Bazoon was dead! But now I see that he’s alive!” He continued heading out of the clearing, “Bazooie, please come back!”
I could see there was no stopping the dear private. I went after him to make sure he was alright. He was already gone by the time I reached the exit.
I found myself in a dark corridor. I wasn’t sure whether Private James had gone left or right? I tried right.
It was a mistake. I ran into some more shock troopers. They raised laser rifles at me. I was surrounded. This time though, they didn’t try to shoot me. I was relieved at that.
The patrol leader stepped forward, examining me curiously before he took out his communicator. He switched it on and spoke into it, “We’ve found one, masters! We’ve found one of the intruders.”
A hissy, slimy voice at the end of the patrol leader’s communicator spoke back, “Very good, lieutenant. Bring him to us. We shall examine him in our detention centre.”
Detention centre? I didn’t like the sound of that. I then realised that the shock troopers were taking me away. They were escorting me to these ‘masters’ of theirs in this detention centre they mentioned.
I ran for quite a bit, taking the left in the dark corridor. I had to get my little Bazooie back. He’d been alive after all this time! I thought I had lost him! He was my mascot when I was in the space fleet! I hadn’t wanted a cute furry creature as my mascot when I went on my missions. It distracted me! But I grew fond of the little beggar over time. I didn’t realise that until it was too late.
On one mission, Bazoon got sucked into a little space portal. In fact, it was like the one the Doctor and I fell into. Coincidence? How come I didn’t realise that until now?
I know I shouldn’t have left the Doctor behind when I went to look for my Bazooie. Hopefully the Doctor could look after himself, I thought. I’d get back to him later.
I walked slowly, retracing my steps to see where Bazoon could be. He was always one for hiding. I found that frustrating sometimes, especially during our early missions.
I then saw something out of the corner of my eye. Bazoon was there, hiding in one of the little alcoves. He backed away as soon as he saw me. He was scared! Why was he scared? I felt like crying out loud, “Don’t you know who I am?”
“Bazooie,” I called. “Get over here!”
Bazoon shook his head, refusing to come out.
“Bazooie, it’s me,” I told him. “Me! Private James! Your master, remember?”
Bazoon didn’t seem to register me at all. He had his eyes down to the ground.
I knelt down, trying to get Bazoon out of the state he was in.
“Come on Bazooie, you know it’s me!” I tried to reassure him. “You know I wouldn’t hurt you. Don’t you?”
I came in closer for him to see me in the light. Yeah, there was a patch of light in the corridor we were in. It must’ve been coming in through a hole in the walls from the void as the Doctor had said.
It was then Bazoon looked up. I saw that monkey look on his face. He was cute yet it reminded me how annoyingly vulnerable he could be.
He recognised me and gave out a cry of joy. Bazoon leapt up towards me and gave me a hug…around the neck. Oh I forgot he used to do that. It was very annoying. He got so emotional with me Bazoon did. He was like my Chewie from ‘Star Wars’. Except smaller!
I managed to get him off my neck to avoid him strangling me. I tried to give him a stern look. He still looked goofy with his happy face.
“Bazooie, listen to me,” I began. “I’m glad I’ve found you. But there’s a friend I need to get back to. He’s probably captured. Will you come with me to find him?”
Bazoon started a braying like a donkey would. I took that to mean he was willing to come. Well, that was easy.
“Come on then,” I said. “Let’s go and find the Doctor. That’s his name by the way. He’s got curly hair and a long scarf.”
I led the way back up the corridor. Bazoon clung to me around my left leg as if I was a cuddly toy. I tried to shake him off.
“No Bazooie! No! Now isn’t the time or the place.”
But Bazoon was insistent. He wanted to cling to me and be at my side, holding my leg.
“No Bazooie!” I raised my voice. “Get off!”
Bazoon then gave a whine like he was deeply offended. Seriously, he was doing that whine. Why did he have to do that whine? I didn’t want him to be cuddly for me. Not right now. He was embarrassing me. This isn’t how a trained soldier should look with his mascot.
After he whined for far too long, I sighed and said, “Alright, alright. Cling to my leg if you want to. Just don’t get in my way.”
Bazoon giggled happily as we went back to rescue the Doctor. I wondered if the Doctor had got taken to some detention centre.
I always hate being in detention centres. Lost count on how many I’ve been in now.
I found myself in custody, clamped inside a cubicle. I was standing upright. Well, I’m glad I wasn’t lying down. I didn’t want people looking up my nose.
I wondered how and where dear Private James was. Whether he’d found that little fella we saw. Oh if only he had waited until I had caught up with him. I’ve noticed how rash Private James can be without thinking. It’s one of the reasons why I invited him to join me in my TARDIS travels. To learn how to think first before making a rash decision! Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. At least he learnt lessons along the way.
I waited for what felt like eons. I called out, “Hello? Is anyone here?”
I called again. “Hello?”
“I’ll offer anyone a jelly baby if he or she comes out.”
That seemed to work! Or maybe it didn’t. A door slid open and two figures entered. I’m sure it was two. That blinding light through the door made it difficult to see. The door slid shut and I was right! It was two figures. They were lizards…no – snakes. Serpents! Serpent-men! They were bipedal, walking on two legs. Their long tails stuck out from under their cloaks and they had two arms. They also wore armour on their fronts.
I recognised them! I now knew what I was dealing with!
“Rednarogs!” I announced bitterly.
The two Rednarogs didn’t seem bothered that I recognised them. They shrugged and regarded me dismissively. How rude, I thought.
“We knew a Time Lord would come to interfere with our plans,” hissed the first Rednarog. He must think he’s superior.
“But no longer,” hissed the second one, equally dismissive. “We’ve captured you and you won’t get in our way.”
I struggled to break free in my cubicle. No use of course.
“The Dimension Serpents,” I declared, bitterly again. “No regard for life and in the continuation search for knowledge outside the parameters of the known universe. I thought you lot were a myth.”
“We haven’t got time to deal with you, Time Lord,” the first Rednarog hissed. I can’t recall if they had any names. They probably had. I’d forgotten anyway.
“Indeed not,” the second Rednarog added, hissing. “We have plans to crush the bridges between dimensions. We intend to use our quantum phase differential stabilisers to shoot holes in the fabric of reality within the void outside.”
“Ah,” I began to remark. “I wondered what you were going to use those for.”
The first Rednarog continued, “We wish to cause chaos to fulfil our current scientific research. That is what we’re good at. We will continue to be good at it.”
“Should you be telling me this whilst you’ve got me trapped in here?” I asked, quite reasonably I thought. “I could easily break free from this cubicle. You haven’t even asked my name. Nor asked for the jelly baby I offered you.”
“We know you won’t escape,” the first Rednarog hissed. “Those clamps are unbreakable. We shall keep watch on you at all times whilst we break the bridges of the universe.”
“And your name doesn’t interest us, Time Lord,” the second Rednarog hissed. “Nor do we want your jelly baby! Our own young are enough as it is with their mothers.”
“You can’t just break down the barriers of the universe,” I told them shrewdly. “It’s a physical and temporal impossibility. Risk destroying the barriers and you risk destroying yourselves and the whole of creation. Have you ever considered that in your research?”
“Enough of this talk!” the first Rednarog hissed.
“Indeed,” the second Rednarog concurred. “We have our work to attend to! No stopping us! We keep watch on you whilst we work.”
The first Rednarog stretched out its long snake-like tail from under its cloak. It reached for a control panel. It flicked a switch on and a generator hummed nearby. I saw the second Rednarog watching me whilst the first Rednarog attended to the control panel.
“There’s no point in trying to continue with this insane suicide mission of yours,” I admonished them. “I will stop you. You may be confident that I won’t, but I’m very confident I will. You’ll see when I prove you wrong, don’t worry.”
“Silence, Time Lord,” the second Rednarog hissed.
“Your wittering interrupts our concentration,” the first Rednarog stressed. “We won’t let it win over us.”
It occurred to me that interrupting these serpent creatures in their work would help to foil their plans. But somehow, I didn’t think it would be that simple.
It was then I saw a door open in the far corner to my right at the other end of the room. A figure entered and it was Private James! He crept stealthily in. He saw me as I saw him. I shook my head vigorously to prevent him running in and saving me. He had that little fella with him – the monkey thing, I think it was. Was it a monkey?
“What are you doing?” hissed the second Rednarog, interrupting my concentration.
He gave me a start. I’d forgotten these two serpent-men were watching me.
“Why are you shaking your head?” the first Rednarog asked.
They were becoming suspicious of me.
I shook my head again and said, “Well, if you will keep a chap locked up inside a cubicle like this, it’s bound to make one’s head stiff. I need to shake it to get some feeling back, right?”
The two Rednarogs considered this. They kept watching me whilst they continued their work. I looked back to see where Private James and his little friend were. They were hiding behind a cupboard in the room. Thank goodness they hadn’t run in rashly as I anticipated.
Bazoon and I entered the detention centre as soon as we found it. As soon as I saw the Doctor inside, I cautiously crept over to get to the other side of the corridor we were in. Bazoon followed me. Fortunately no-one saw us as we ran across. I told Bazoon to keep quiet and he did as we entered the detention centre. We made sure the door slid quietly open and slid quietly closed as we went in.
I saw the Doctor trapped in that cubicle he was in. Once we made eye contact, he shook his head vigorously. I knew what that meant. He didn’t want me to charge in and save the day like Han Solo did when shooting Stormtroopers on the Death Star. I saw the serpent dudes. They didn’t see me once Bazoon and I entered. They noticed the Doctor shaking his head. Thankfully the Doctor distracted them in order for Bazoon and me to hide behind a cupboard. The serpent dudes didn’t see us once we hid.
We lay low for a bit, not knowing what to do. I was stumped. I had no idea how to get the Doctor out of the mess he was in. He had to get captured by hissing snakes, didn’t he?
Bazoon nudged me, trying to get me to come up with an idea to solve this crisis. I shook him off, telling him to shut up. He took the hint. I still wondered how we were going to get the Doctor out of this mess.
Wait! What was I thinking? Bazoon! Yes of course! Bazooie was here all this time!
I turned to him and spoke as quietly as I could. Hopefully Bazooie could hear me without those snakes hearing us.
“Bazooie, I need you to get the Doctor out of that cubicle thing he’s in whilst I distract those serpent guys. Do you think you could do that for me?”
Bazoon shook his head, giving me those cute eyes.
I looked to see where the Doctor could be set free from his cubicle. I saw a control box next to him.
I pointed out the control box to Bazoon. “See there, Bazooie? That’s the control box to set the Doctor free. You know what to do with that to see him free, don’t you?”
Bazoon grunted in a whiny manner. I told him to hush up at that point. Fortunately the serpent guys hadn’t heard us.
“Good, good,” I told Bazoon. “Right, whilst I distract the serpents, you go over there and press the right button to set the Doctor free.”
Bazoon nodded. He got the message. I sure hope this works, I thought. I waited a couple of seconds before making my move. Bazoon knew when to make his. I hoped it’d be enough to save the Doctor.
I waited as patiently as I could whilst the Rednarogs kept watching me and working simultaneously. I wished they would take those glaring eyes off me. I didn’t like being stared at. It was most improper and rude.
I was thankful and dismayed when Private James came out of hiding. He had his pistol ready. He raised it at the Rednarogs’ heads from behind. I shook my head, trying to hiss at him not to do anything stupid.
“Alright, you hissy dumbbells!”
The Rednarogs turned around to see Private James. They weren’t impressed by his Clint Eastwood antics. Clearly Private James was distracting them. It seemed to work. They didn’t even consider having one Rednarog still keep watch on me. That was careless of them. Private James’ arrival must’ve been sudden for them. What was he up to I wondered.
The second Rednarog hissed viciously before Private James fired his pistol. Stupid, I thought. Why did he have to open fire? Why did he have to be so trigger-happy?
The shots he fired were still pathetic. They didn’t impress the Rednarogs an inch. They were well-protected by their armour. Before Private James could fire at their weak points, the second Rednarog snatched his pistol away with its snake-like tail. It was sudden when it happened. Private James was taken aback. He didn’t expect his pistol to be snatched.
“Hey!” he protested angrily. “What are you doing? You…you snatched my pistol!”
The Rednarogs stared at him. The second one held Private James’ pistol tightly in its coils.
“Yes,” the first Rednarog hissed. “Why wouldn’t we?”
I expected Private James to answer back with a jibe. With an angry remark that included a derogatory curse.
Instead he hesitated and said, “I err…I don’t have an answer to that.”
Well that was really pathetic. He wasn’t firing good shots anymore and is reduced to making lame remarks to my oppressors. I would’ve come up with a better remark than that.
I saw the Rednarogs closing in on Private James, who was backing away. They were ready to attack.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the little furry monkey fella who accompanied Private James approach. He came to the control box that would set me free from my cubicle. I didn’t know the little fella well, but I wondered if he would press the wrong button.
The creature gave a little happy whine before he pressed a button.
I cried out in pain. The clamps were tightening my wrists and heels. It was becoming excruciating! It caused the Rednarogs to turn back. Away from Private James!
I shouted out loud to the little fella, “The green button! Press the green button!”
“The green button, Bazooie,” Private James shouted. “Press the green button!”
The little Bazoon screeched with what sounded like panic before he pressed the green button. It worked a treat. The clamps unlocked both my hands and feet and I was able to get out of my cubicle. Relieved, I slowly got out. The pain in my wrists and heels died away.
Before I could move any further with Bazoon beside me, I saw the Rednarogs look at me. Straight at me! I was the centre of their attention now!
“Did you think you could escape so easily,” the first Rednarog hissed.
“You may be out of your cubicle,” the second one added, “but you won’t stop us!”
“We’ll stop you getting away,” the first one hissed. “You’ll see we’ll stop you!”
Remember what I said about me being the centre of their attention? They were distracted…by me! You know what that means, don’t you? Yes, of course you do! Oh yes!
The two Rednarogs soon got knocked on the head…by a plank of metal. They collapsed to the floor once they’d been knocked out. Private James had been the one who had knocked them out. I was shocked by his actions then.
“You didn’t have to do that,” I shouted angrily at him. “You could’ve easily killed them with that plank!”
“It was you or them, Doc,” Private James told me. “Besides, they were going to kill you, weren’t they?”
“No they weren’t,” I retorted.
“I didn’t break their skulls if that’s what you’re worried about,” he continued. “They’ll just have headaches when they wake up.”
“You can’t be sure of that,” I told him.
“Yeah, thanks for getting you out of a scrape, right?” he stressed to me. Private James then introduced the little fella who had rescued me. “Bazoon, meet the Doctor. Doctor, meet Bazoon, my little mascot. I used to have him when we went out on our early missions in the Earth space fleet.”
I knelt down to greet Bazoon. He looked such a timid thing. “Hello Bazoon,” I shook him by the paw, “Very pleased to meet you.”
Bazoon gave a little whine which sounded like he was happy to see me. He then gave me a hug. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“He seems very friendly,” I told Private James.
“Be careful he doesn’t strangle you,” he warned me. “He can get overly emotional.”
Thankfully I wasn’t strangled. I was able to stand on my two feet again.
“Well, now that we’ve sorted out the introductions, we need to get back to the TARDIS.”
“Why, what have you got in mind, Doctor?” Private James asked, frowning.
“We must stop the Rednarogs’ plans,” I replied. “By going forwards in time to when they actually use those quantum phase differential stabilisers. They intend to plant them in the void outside this asteroid we’re in. Come on! Hop to it! Back to the TARDIS we go!”
I ran off, heading out of the detention centre. Private James didn’t argue as I ran off. He followed right behind me as did his little friend Bazoon.
I had no idea what the Doctor was up to. We just ran off back the way we had come into the dark corridors trying to find where we had left the TARDIS. There were shock troopers galore as we ran past. They opened fire on us. Fortunately they missed as we ran. Talk about me being a bad shot hey, Doctor? Those guys gunning us were hopeless!
Bazoon screeched every time we got shot at left, right and centre. I carried him to keep him safe. I also had to calm him down as he was getting frantic.
We were quite a fair distance away from the shock troopers as we ran down a corridor. We must be near the TARDIS by now, I thought.
“Are we on the right path?” I asked, panting as we went.
The Doctor grunted before saying, “Keep running, Private!”
“But Doctor…” I began to protest.
“Keep running,” he snapped sharply.
I could see the Doctor’s scarf flapping behind him as we ran. I hoped he wouldn’t trip over it. I know how often he would trip over that scarf and get into a temper tantrum. It’s a wonder he managed to keep that cheerful grin of his. I hoped the Doctor knew where we were going. He’s usually very clever my Doctor.
Then we saw it! The blue box right before us! We stopped running, sighing with relief.
I wanted to rest. I began to drop Bazooie to the ground before the Doctor pulled me back up.
“No time for that,” he said wearily. “Inside we go! Quick before those troopers catch up!”
I heard shouts and footsteps echoing nearby from behind. It didn’t sound good.
“I can hear them coming, Doctor,” I warned my friend.
“Hurry then,” the Doctor insisted, “Into the TARDIS! Carry Bazoon with you!”
I carried Bazoon again as I saw the Doctor take out his TARDIS key. He began to turn it into the lock. I could hear those footsteps and shouts getting closer and closer.
“Come on Doctor, come on,” I urged. “They’re nearly here!”
“I’m hurrying, I’m hurrying,” the Doctor said through gritted teeth.
The TARDIS doors then opened at the Doctor’s key-turning. What a relief! Just in time before the shock troopers came around the corner! The shock troopers! Oh no, they’re here!
“Quick,” shouted the Doctor urgently. “Inside!”
He pushed me and Bazoon into the TARDIS as we went in. I found myself ending up on the console room floor, still holding onto Bazoon as we fell. The Doctor didn’t have to be so rough! Thankfully the TARDIS lights were working again. The power must’ve been restored to normal.
I looked back to see the shock troopers about to open fire with their weapons just as the TARDIS doors were closing. Fortunately they didn’t get me and the Doctor as they opened fire. The TARDIS doors closed shut. We were safe. The TARDIS protected us. Good!
I looked up to see the Doctor setting the controls at the TARDIS console for us to take off. Very soon, I heard that elephant noise the TARDIS did so well. With a whoop and a woof, the TARDIS was on its way. We were escaping! We were leaving the shock troopers and the snake guys behind. I was so relieved. So was Bazooie, whimpering nearby.
I then dropped my head to the console room floor. I needed to rest. I was exhausted.
I sat in my armchair, waiting for Private James to wake up. He was making a mess on my TARDIS floor sprawled about like that. I made myself a cup of tea whilst waiting to get where we wanted to be in the future and dismantle the quantum phase differential stabilisers placed by the Rednarogs in the void to blow up the fabric of reality in the universe. I brought out the biscuits too. I hoped the smell of tea and biscuits would at least wake Private James up. It didn’t. His Bazoon fella became impatient as he sat watching his former master asleep on the console floor.
“Private James,” I barked, trying to mimic a military tone.
With that, Private James shot up from the floor, startling his Bazoon as he did so.
“Yes sir, here sir,” he replied, standing to attention. “How can I be of service, sir?”
I laughed, finding it very funny how I had managed to fool Private James like that. Private James looked at me, realising where he was and what had happened.
“So nice to see you up and about, Private James,” I remarked.
Private James glared at me. “Don’t ever do anything like that to me again, Doctor,” he said sternly. “Those days are long behind me. You should know that.”
“Oh come on,” I retorted jovially. “Can’t you take a joke?”
Private James remained sulky for a bit. But then he started to smile. It was a weak smile, but still a smile.
As he took in his surroundings, he asked, “What’s happening now?”
I munched my biscuit whilst sipping my tea, before I answered. “On our way to the future! We’ll soon be there.”
I then got up to my feet and went over to the console. I pressed the scanner button. The scanner screen rose up to show what was outside. I passed a cup of tea to Private James as well as a biscuit. He thanked me for both, taking cup and biscuit from me, before we looked to see what was outside. Private James became horrified. He nearly dropped his cup of tea and biscuit.
“Doctor,” he said. “Those snake things…”
“The Rednarogs, yes,” I corrected him.
“Whatever they are, they’re out there now in the void. Placing those quantum stabiliser whatchamacallits…” Private James trailed off mid-sentence, realising something was wrong. “Hang on. Something’s odd though. They look like they’re working in fast motion.”
I thought he’d notice that. Bazoon whined, concurring with the private.
I grinned before saying, “It’s the TARDIS speeding things up a bit. I put the old girl in a temporal orbit within the void. We’re watching things happen as the Rednarogs and their shock troopers – you see them now? – plant the quantum phase differential stabilisers within the void.”
“But we’re not in fast motion,” Private James remarked.
“Indeed we’re not,” I concurred. “It only works outside the boundaries of the TARDIS. Don’t let that bother you. We’re quite safe in here. Oh wait, hang on! That’s a bit too fast there, let’s go back a bit.”
I realised that we’d past the point where the Rednarogs and the shock troopers had left the void after planting the stabilisers. I pressed some controls at the console and everything went into reverse for a bit on the scanner screen. I stopped at the point where we needed to be before pressing another button.
“There you are,” I remarked, finishing my work at the console. “You see? The Rednarogs and the shock troopers are working at a normal pace now. We’re still in temporal orbit but we shouldn’t be seen by the Rednarogs and the shock troopers. Once they leave the void again, we’ll be able to go out there and disable the stabilisers to stop them in their plans to destroy dimensions.”
“Whatever you say,” Private James said, raising his hands. “It sounds overly complex to me.”
Bazoon gave another whine.
“You said it, Bazooie,” Private James remarked, “You said it.”
A pity the TARDIS translation circuits can’t translate Bazoon’s whines in comprehensible words easily.
“In the meantime,” I continued, “we have to finish our cups of tea and biscuits first.” I showed my cup and saucer to Private James before saying, “Drink up!”
Private James eventually drank his cup of tea and ate his biscuit as I had suggested. I didn’t offer Bazoon a cup of tea and a biscuit. I wasn’t sure if he wanted one with all his whining.
After having cups of tea and biscuits as well as waiting for the snake guys and their shock troopers to go, we exited out of the TARDIS. I was anxious about being in this strange place. In a strange white void where I didn’t know where the floor was. The Doctor told me we were at the nexus point in the void. Whatever he said, I took him at his word.
We approached the stabiliser things planted by those snake guys and shock troopers in the void. Bazoon struggled to catch up. I had to hold him by the paw to make sure he was right behind us.
I saw the Doctor kneel down to attend to one of the stabilisers. He took off one of the stabiliser’s panels and began fiddling about with the circuitry inside, using his sonic screwdriver. The screwdriver buzzed away noisily as the Doctor switched it on.
I had a bad feeling about this. I had to let the Doctor know that. “Is it safe doing this?”
“Oh perfectly safe, dear James,” he answered. “There isn’t any radiation here. It’s just basic nothing. There’s no time and space here.”
I groaned, annoyed. That wasn’t what I meant. “I mean, is it safe dismantling those stabiliser things whilst we’re inside the void?”
“I don’t know,” the Doctor replied. “I’ve not done this very often.”
“Oh that’s just great”, I puffed, irritated. Bazoon whined by my side. I told him to keep quiet.
“And you’re sure we’re not being watched whilst you work? I mean, there aren’t any security cameras. How can we be sure that those snake guys and their shock troopers aren’t watching us?”
The Doctor stopped buzzing his sonic screwdriver. He looked up, putting on his toothy grin.
“We can’t,” the Doctor answered. “We’d just have to play it by ear and hope for the best. You keep watch. Make sure no-one’s coming. Let me know if you hear any footsteps.”
I turned round, exasperated, before seeing what I dreaded wouldn’t happen.
“Doctor!” I alerted, warningly.
I could sense the Doctor seeing it too. He sounded annoyed. And with me of all people!
“You should’ve kept watch sooner, Private James” he told me, irritably. “Then none of this would’ve happened.”
“I didn’t have much of a chance,” I protested. “I was scared stiff about what we were doing.”
Bazoon whimpered frantically by my side.
“Yeah I know you’re scared too, Bazooie,” I answered him.
“Bazoon,” the Doctor called. “Come to me. You’ll be safe where I am.”
“Go on, Bazooie,” I urged my little former mascot. “Go to the Doctor like he said.”
Bazoon obeyed, whimpering as he did so. He joined the Doctor at the stabilisers planted in the void whilst I trained my pistol at our visitors.
The robed snake guys and their shock troopers had returned. They must’ve heard us coming when we approached the stabilisers after they’d gone. The Doctor, Bazoon and I obviously weren’t quiet enough.
“You tried to trick us into thinking you could disable the stabilisers once we’d gone,” one of the snake dudes hissed.
“But you were wrong,” the other one hissed. “We’ve come back! And now we’re going to destroy you!”
“Advance,” the first snake dude called out loud in hissy tones.
At that, the shock troopers advanced forward, raising their rifles.
“Private James,” the Doctor called to me. “Hold those shock troopers off for as long as you can. I’ll try and shield us from the Rednarogs and their troopers as quickly as I can.”
“Very well, Doctor,” I answered. “I’ll try my best.”
I began to fire at the shock troopers one by one before they opened fire. Each one collapsed once I’d fired shots at them. The Doctor must’ve set my pistol to stun. The gun didn’t feel powerful enough to fire full energy blasts to kill. I dodged a number of shots fired upon me by other troopers I hadn’t shot already. I was quick on my feet, avoiding shots fired upon me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Bazoon helping the Doctor with something. He was placing strange boxes the Doctor had given him. I noticed he was placing them in the form of a square around the stabiliser things and the TARDIS in the void.
I kept firing but had to ask the Doctor, “What’s going on back there? What are you getting my Bazoon to do, Doctor?”
“Never mind that,” the Doctor told me. “Keep at it with holding those shock troopers off! Bazoon’s nearly finished with what he’s doing. I’ll call you once we’re ready.”
“But ready for what, Doctor?” I asked, intrigued.
It was a fatal mistake to be distracted like that. As soon as my attention wandered, I got shot in the arm by one of the shock troopers. I cried out in pain, collapsing to the floor – if there was a floor in the void.
Before I knew it and before I heard the Doctor call out to me and Bazoon whine away, I found myself being piled upon by a lot of shock troopers. It was like being crushed by a ton of bricks. They were pinning me down! Preventing me getting away! I tried to get them off! I couldn’t! It was getting difficult to breathe! I struggled! Struggled for air!
I declared my oath! “My arms; my legs; my everything!”
Did Private James just say that? What a ridiculous thing to say! And he had to say it with a lot of shock troopers jumping on him. You’d never catch me saying that.
I saw the Rednarogs watching nearby with amused looks on their faces. I assumed they were amused since they had hissy tongues sticking out and smiles on their faces.
Fortunately, Bazoon finished placing the boxes surrounding the area containing the stabilisers and the TARDIS as I’d told him to do so. Once he’d done that, he went and attacked the shock troopers attacking Private James. He snarled ferociously before biting at them. And I mean biting at them! The shock troopers cried out in agony. Ooh! My goodness! Dear Bazoon! I would never have thought it of him doing that! He seemed so docile.
Bazoon’s attack back at the shock troopers worked though as they got off Private James. I could see Private James gasping for air once he’d been freed. Bazoon checked on Private James as he licked his face. Private James was disorientated, stroking his Bazoon to reassure him he was alright.
“There’s no time to lose,” I muttered before calling out, “Private James; Bazoon. Get inside the square with me! I’ve got to set up the forcefield with the stabilisers and the TARDIS already inside!”
“Forcefield?” Private James enquired, still disorientated.
“Get inside!” I called again, insistently.
Slowly but surely, Private James got up. He and Bazoon ran over to join me where I was at the stabilisers. I’d done my work just as much as the private and Bazoon had done theirs.
The two Rednarogs eventually advanced towards us. They hissed bitterly and savagely in their approach.
“We won’t allow you to escape, Doctor,” hissed the first one.
“Our plan must succeed,” the second one added. “Destruction and chaos must happen for our survival. We Rednarogs thrive on chaos to exist in infinity and eternity!”
The Rednarogs did as I’d anticipated. They stepped into the square. I grinned mischievously.
“Tricked you,” I taunted.
I then took out a remote control from my coat pocket and pressed the button. A forcefield was in place! It activated around the area where I, Private James, Bazoon, the Rednarogs, the TARDIS and the stabilisers were in the square. All of us were trapped inside. The Rednarogs tried breaking out of the prison I had made them fall into. They couldn’t get out. I was happy about that.
Private James looked to me, perplexed. “How long have you had that remote control of yours in your coat pocket, Doctor?”
“Come on, Private James!” I said to him shrewdly. “Keep up! I have transcendental coat pockets, remember?! I keep anything in them, including four little boxes to set up a forcefield as well as a remote control to switch the forcefield on. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility with me, is it?”
“No it isn’t,” Private James shrugged, “Fair enough.”
Bazoon giggled amused.
We returned our attention to the Rednarogs. They were frustrated by the fact that I’d trapped them in the forcefield. They hissed with fierce, venomous intent at us.
“Since you’ve trapped us in the forcefield,” the first Rednarog hissed, “you cannot get out either, Doctor. You and your companions can’t get out!”
“And because you can’t get out,” the second one interjected, “we shall eat you where you stand. It’ll be our everlasting meal!”
“Eat us?” Private James shuddered.
Bazoon the Miggle whimpered, terrified.
“You don’t seem to realise what’s happening,” I told the two Rednarogs. “Because I’ve trapped you two in the forcefield containing the stabilisers, you can’t have the big explosion to break down the barriers between dimensions. The forcefield around us is in a cube. It contains the area we’re standing in within the void. Once those stabilisers go off and cause a disruption to the fabric of reality, it’ll simply blow up whatever’s in this forcefield including yourselves and the stabilisers.”
Private James looked at me with an approving look. “Very clever, Doctor,” he complimented.
I shrugged, saying, “Well…why, thank you, Private James.” I shook him by the hand warmly.
“You’ve forgotten something yourself,” the second Rednarog hissed.
“You’ve trapped yourselves here too,” the first one continued. “You’ll be blown up the same as us. You and your friends.”
“No, not really,” I bit back. “You see, I made sure the square that Bazoon, that’s Private James’ mascot, made to create the forcefield included the TARDIS as well as the stabilisers with us. Therefore, we’ll be on our way!”
I had my TARDIS key ready and turned to Private James and Bazoon, saying urgently, “Come on, you two! Inside, quick!”
The three of us ran forward to get inside the TARDIS. I had my TARDIS key placed straight into the door lock.
The two Rednarogs tried to stop us. “Stop him! Stop him!” the first Rednarog hissed.
They were about to raise their tails from under their cloaks and prevent us getting in.
Thankfully I was fast enough and bundled Private James who was carrying his Bazoon inside the TARDIS. Private James didn’t ask questions, he just went straight in with Bazoon.
I turned back to the Rednarogs coming towards me at the door of my TARDIS. I grinned, cheerily saying, “Bye, bye, Rednarogs! Enjoy the fireworks!”
With that, I went inside. I’m sure the Rednarogs hissed something dreadful as I went in after Private James and Bazoon, locking the TARDIS door behind. I even heard one of the Rednarogs say something like…gasp…Language, Rednarog!
Once we got inside, Bazooie and I were at the TARDIS console. The Doctor soon got to the console himself and began pressing switches and buttons.
“Come on Doctor, hurry up,” I said urgently. “We’ve got to get away from here!”
“I know, I know,” he said. “Don’t spoil my concentration! Aha! We’re off and away!”
The Doctor seemed happy. I was relieved. The TARDIS made that elephant noise again and we saw the time column going up and down, indicating take-off. I saw Bazoon mesmerised by the time column going up and down as we took off.
Suddenly the TARDIS jerked violently. The Doctor and I fell onto the console. Bazooie fell over too. It was like we were being pulled down or something.
The Doctor tried to regain control but it wasn’t any good.
“What’s happening?” I asked anxiously.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “Hold on, I’ll check the scanner.
The Doctor switched the TARDIS scanner on and we soon saw what was going on. The snake guys – the Rednarogs the Doctor called them – were pulling us back down into the void with their snakey tails. They weren’t going to let us get away that easily.
My anxiety increased. “Doctor,” I urged him. “There must be something you can do. Something to shake off those snake guys from taking us with them in the explosion. It’ll happen any minute with those stabilisers going off!”
“I’m trying,” the Doctor said irritably. “Please be patient, Private James!”
The Doctor worked frantically at the TARDIS console, pressing buttons and switches, whilst we were being dragged down by the snake-like Rednarogs.
It was then Bazoon tugged at my am, whining as usual. I shook him off but he tugged at me again, trying to warn me about something.
“Oh what it is, Bazooie? What are you whining about now?”
As he whined, Bazoon pointed at something on the TARDIS scanner screen. I looked and saw what he was on about. My increased anxiety was well justified by this point.
“Doctor,” I said anxiously.
“Not now, Private,” the Doctor snapped back.
“But Doctor, the stabilisers,” I warned him. “They’re overloading! They’re about to go off, see?” I tugged at his arm like Bazooie did to mine.
The Doctor took his eyes off the console to see what was happening. He saw what was happening and understood.
“Ah, yes,” he began to reply. “Yes, that is rather problematic. I hoped we’d have more time.”
The Doctor continued working frantically at the TARDIS console, pressing buttons and switches whilst Bazoon and I looked on.
“I hope you have something up your sleeve for getting us out of here, Doctor,” I said.
“Nearly there,” the Doctor replied. “I’m going to attempt a materialisation flip-flop as I did before we fell into this void via the massive space portal.
As the Doctor continued to work frantically, I could almost feel the Rednarogs crushing us in the TARDIS like an egg with their coils. The lights were beginning to dim. Bazooie started panicking. I didn’t blame him.
Thankfully the Doctor finished his wonders at the console and declared, “There we are! Right, let’s get a move on, shall we?”
“About time,” I said.
“Here we go!” The Doctor was about to push up a lever onto the console. “Hold on tight, Private James! Hold on tight, Bazoon!”
Bazooie and I held tight like the Doctor said. I had my hands on the console; Bazooie had his paws on the console.
The Doctor pushed up the console lever and gave a laugh as he did so.
But then we were violently propelled forward. A thunderous noise echoed from outside. We were bumping up and down, shuddering as we were on our way. Everything was distorted. I couldn’t see the Doctor or Bazooie clearly as we were travelling.
“What’s happening?” I struggled to say. My voice sounded strange – distorted. “Doctor, what have you done?”
“Hold on,” the Doctor told me. He sounded distorted too. “I’ll try to stabilise the old girl.”
I watched as the Doctor readjusted controls at the console in slow motion. It was weird seeing him like this. I heard Bazoon’s panicked shrieks echoing all around us. For once, I didn’t feel like telling him to shut up.
Eventually the TARDIS stabilised and we were all safe. The ship calmed down. I heaved a sigh of relief. Bazoon became calmer too.
“Thank goodness for that,” I declared. “At least that’s over.”
“It most certainly is not over,” the Doctor said bitterly.
I became confused. “What do you mean, Doctor? Surely it’s all alright now.”
“It most certainly is not alright,” the Doctor continued to be bitter.
“Why, what’s wrong?” I asked.
“The stabilisers exploded a second before the TARDIS’ dematerialisation flip-flop took place,” he answered. “We were lucky to escape with our lives intact. That was the explosion we felt. It sent a shockwave to propel us in the TARDIS forward out of the forcefield. This was while it trapped the two Rednarogs inside, unless they got a chance to escape. I don’t know. That’s what annoys me. This whole endeavour to stop the Rednarogs from destroying dimensions could only have made things worse!”
“Hey, don’t fret about it, Doctor,” I tried to reassure him. “We’re still alive, aren’t we? Still in one piece. You, me and Bazoon. Just think about the positive in that.”
“You don’t understand,” he retorted.
“That’s a matter of fact,” I concurred.
“The TARDIS could be anywhere as a result of being caught up in that explosion. We could be in another dimension altogether. Not the one where we hoped we’d be. Not back in our own universe where our homes are. We could end up back on Earth in an alternative timeline where all we love and know doesn’t exist.”
“Ah,” I realised, taking in what the Doctor said. “I see what you’re getting at there.”
“Exactly,” the Doctor continued. “I don’t know if there’s a chance we can escape. There might be subsidence within the fabric of reality but there’s no guarantee we can get back to our own universe with that should we find ourselves in a parallel one.”
At that, the TARDIS’ time column slowed down. The elephant noise it was making was beginning to die down too. There was a slow rumble; a thump and then a ding occurred. Everything stopped. We seemed to have arrived.
“Where are we now, Doctor?” I asked.
“No idea,” he answered.
A moment of silence ensued. Even Bazoon didn’t grunt and whine in that moment.
“Shall we go outside?” the Doctor said cheerily.
He pulled a lever and the TARDIS interior doors opened. I followed him. I was amazed at how serious he could be one minute and grinning the next.
As we stepped outside, we found ourselves on a movie set. At least, it looked like a movie set. It seemed to be a set in the 1950s or something like that. Except, there were distortions on the set walls. Like a computer was struggling to get the movie set stabilised. That’s it! A holographic projection! We must be in the future or something like that.
A film secretary, at least I believe she was a secretary – blonde hair with glasses…I think Private James fancied her…walked past us before I stopped her. I asked her what the date was. She told me it was January the 8th. I then asked what year. She looked perplexed by that, but I insisted.
“2016,” she said and then walked off.
I did a face-palm and groaned at that point. Private James didn’t seem to be bothered. Neither was Bazooie.
“2016, hey,” Private James remarked. “I didn’t think they had holographic technology on movie sets back in them days.”
“They didn’t,” I answered, feeling glum all over. “This isn’t the 2016 in your past, Private. We’re not on your Earth. We’re in a parallel version of your planet’s past.”
“Oh,” he realised, “So not good then.”
“It’s just as I feared,” I answered. “We’ve ended up in a parallel dimension where movie sets with holographic technology are all the rage. We ended up here due to that explosion with the Rednarogs inside the forcefield within the void.
I became silent for a moment. So did Private James. Bazooie whined a bit. Everyone else was working around us on the movie set.
“Well, there must be something you can do,” Private James tried to reassure me. “What about that subsidence you were talking about? To get us back to our own universe. Can you find out if there’s any of that to use to get back home? There might be a chance in that.”
I was sulky by this point. I didn’t feel like there was much hope left for us in an alternative reality. But I began to brighten a little. I shouldn’t be like this, should I? There must be some way we could get back home for the private’s sake as well as his Bazooie.
“There might be,” I answered. “Wait here, I’ll check.” I was about to go back into the TARDIS before turning back to Private James, “Don’t go wandering off! You and your Bazooie stay here. Understand?”
Private James shook his head, saying that he would. Bazoon concurred in agreement with a grunt and a whine. With that, I entered my TARDIS to see if there was a chance of getting out of here.
It was a while later I came out of the TARDIS to find Private James and Bazooie gone. I was puzzled at first and then annoyed. I told them to wait and not wander off. Why is it that friends of mine never do as I say?
But then I saw Private James and Bazoon weren’t too far away. They were talking to a film producer. At least I believe he was a film producer. He had the look of it with balding hair; round spectacles and such. I went over to meet them.
Private James seemed giddy with excitement. I didn’t know why. I had to hold my curiosity back though in order to tell him what was happening.
“Private James,” I began. “There is a chance. A slim one, but still a chance! There’s a spatial-temporal pocket in this reality we can escape through to get back to our own universe. It’ll take two days for the TARDIS to be fully repaired, but by then we should be on our way. Hopefully the spatial-temporal will stabilise long enough before we get through.”
“Oh good,” Private James said happily. “That should be enough time for me and Bazooie to do our work here.”
That wasn’t the response I was expecting. I was expecting Private James to be put out by having to wait a long while before we headed back into our universe. But then I heard him say ‘our work’. His and Bazooie’s work? What did he mean by that?
I asked him and he said, “This film producer I’ve been talking to. He says he needs a script and a director for a film he’s making. I’ve agreed to be that director and writer whilst we’re here in this dimension.”
I was perplexed, objecting, “You can’t direct and write a film, Private James.”
Private James looked smug and retorted, “You just watch me!”
I was even more confused by this stage. I was expecting Private James to ask questions like whether we could still time-travel in this alternative dimension. Which we could really, but that’s beside the point.
“What film is this you have in mind to write and direct?” I asked.
Private James rubbed his hands together; chortled and said, “Oh, you wait and see, Doctor! You just wait and see what Bazooie and I have in mind to make.”
Bazooie laughed nearby. I could sense what Private James and his little mascot had in mind was not going to be good.
And that was how the story ended for us…more or less. We eventually returned to our home dimension after Bazooie and I made our movie. We brought it with us back home. We shared it for release in the parallel dimension too, but I wanted people to see our movie in our dimension.
I asked the Doctor to take us specifically to the year 2017…in the month of December. He questioned why of course, but I told him it was for a good reason. He asked who was going to see this movie I’d made. I said a relative of mine. I lied of course. Not that a relative of mine wouldn’t see it, but I wanted the whole world to see this movie too. I knew the Doctor wouldn’t like what I was doing, but I didn’t want him to stop me.
We arrived on the day of a certain delivery of another film that I totally despised and considered to be an abomination. There were film reels ready for shipment across the world. They had the words…‘Last Jedi’ on them.
The Doctor wasn’t here to stop me this time! It was just Bazooie and me.
Bazooie held his ears and whined as I blew up every film reel in the place ready for shipment with my pistol. It took a while to blow them up, but I loved every minute of it! Bang, bang, bang, there they go! The pain can go away at last! Once I’d finished, I sighed and laughed.
After discarding those reels of film, I replaced them with new ones featuring the film Bazooie and I made. Yeah! We had copies of our film in reels made in the parallel dimension we were in. I miniaturised them beforehand for the Doctor not to see. It was a pain to deceive him, but it had to be done.
The reels of the real ‘Star Wars’ film made by me and Bazooie were all in place. They were ready for shipment now. Not that other monster of a movie. It was my film time! My film and Bazooie’s film!
People would be happy to see this movie once it was out in cinema. It could cause immense damage to the timeline. It would make the Doctor very angry with me for doing this. I was naughty this time. But I didn’t care. I was happy. The fans would be happy once they saw this film made by me and Bazooie. Not that abomination I had destroyed.
“I am Luke Skywalker!” I said proudly.
‘James Darby’ and ‘Bazoon the Miggie’ created by Tim Bradley
© Tim Bradley, 2019
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Oh brilliant, bloody fantastic Short Trip this, this was everything i could’ve wanted & so much more, i like that Private James is impulsive & like Han Solo shoots first asks questions later, hopefully the Doctor’s influence will mature him with wisdom over time.
Bazooie a great companion similar to Han & Chewie just on a smaller scale, you can tell there’s a bond there as Private James tries to mask his emotions but does care he just doesn’t always show it, you got the flirting right that’s so me & i laughed that i couldn’t think of a quip while being attacked by the Rednarogs.
The “My Arms, My Legs, My Everything” line was hilarious & i like how The Doctor thinks the line silly & yet says exactly the same thing in Nightmare Of Eden, i loved that.
The ending was pure genius, as you know I’ve rewrote Last Jedi & great that in this story i honour that version replacing it with the atrocious original movie, does this mean Rise Of Skywalker will now actually be good?
Loved the Rednarogs I’m weary of lizards/snakes so they were the perfect villains, poor ole James getting knocked out is he trying outdo Nyssa perhaps for most knocked out companion lol.
One query i have i assume the Doctor in City Of Monsters knows who Private James is but I’m assuming for James it’s before meeting the Doctor or has James had his time with the Doctor erased? Hmmmmmm mysterious.
Loved this Tim, i needed this after recent family traumas it’s cheered me up know end, thank you so much my friend this has truly made my day, i could visualize the story while reading it & the chip buttie at nans brought tear to my eye as that takes me back to happier times watching season 19 at my nans on Monday & Tuesday’s.
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Very pleased you enjoyed ‘The Dimension Serpents’. I’m glad this met with your approval. 😀 I’m currently planning a second Fourth Doctor/James Darby Short Trip for 2020. This time with Lady Christina de Souza. 🙂
Glad you like Bazooie as a character. Also pleased you like how I’ve written Private James in the story as well as his relationship with Bazooie. I’m glad you laughed when Private James struggled to think of a quip to say to the Rednarogs. I found that funny too as I was writing it.
I’m pleased you found it funny when Private James said “My arms, my legs, my everything!” and the Doctor finding it silly before he says it himself in ‘Nightmare of Eden’. I thought you’d find that funny.
Yes I thought you’d like that ending to the story with ‘The Last Jedi’ reference. Whether it means ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ will be better, well that’s yet to be determined, isn’t it? 😀
Glad you like the Rednarogs as villains. I did think they weren’t that developed enough as I wrote them. I didn’t realise I had Private James knocked out a couple of times. It wasn’t my intention to allow that to happen quite so much. 😀
You’ll have to read ‘The Prime Factor’ to find out more about James Darby’s future in ‘City of Monsters’. There’s more light shed on that in the cameo the Fourth Doctor and Private James make. 😀
I’m very pleased I cheered you up with this story and that it made your day. Thanks for your kind comments, Simon.
Private James meets Lady Christina, that’s awesome my goodness you remembered how much I fancy Michelle Ryan & let’s hope James gets a bit romance lol.
yes I start The Prime Factor I’m looking forward to it, hopefully get some time to myself so can read it.
Thank you Tim, I re read this & it’s me to a tee.
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There might be romance. Wait and see! 😀
Hope you’ll enjoy ‘The Prime Factor’ soon. Very pleased you enjoyed ‘The Dimension Serpents’ today.