Doctor Who: The Path Not Taken: Part 2

“Get in the blue box now.” The Doctor screamed as he tried to push the young couple behind him.

Unfortunately Sally, not surprisingly didn’t trust this strange man who had suddenly materialised in the middle of her room and punched him in the stomach when he tried to grab her arm. Brian then pushed into the Doctor away whilst he was in pain, and knocked him over a nearby chair. Farah jumped to the Doctors aid and tried to pull Brian off him, but whilst they were distracted the figure grabbed hold of Sally.

The Doctor pushed Brian off and ran to help Sally, but within a few seconds a blue light enveloped them both. After it cleared nothing remained.

Brian unable to take in everything that happened grabbed the Doctor by the neck and shoved him into the wall.

“What did you do, what are you.”

Farrah grabbed Brian from behind and pinned him in an arm lock to the ground as the Doctor adjusted his coat.

“Thank you Farrah. Believe me I am here to help you, as odd as that may seem. As for what I am, well I am a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, and this is my human companion. We travel through time and space together.”

“You’re insane, both of you.” Brian said as he tried to struggle free.

“Really, you’ve just seen what I assume is your wife vanish into a puff of blue smoke and you can’t believe that? No offence Farrah, but humans can be so close minded. I’m amazed you ever got to the stars.”

The Doctor opened both doors to the TARDIS and then with Farrah’s help picked Brian up, he then pushed Brian into the TARDIS.

“What, it’s, it’s bigger.”

“On the inside yes, hopefully this will convince you that I’m not human at least.” The Doctor said as he released Brian and headed for the console.

“What do you want from me, is this an invasion, do you want to conquer the earth.

The Doctor laughed.

“Honestly what is it with you humans. Why always assume the worst of visitors to your planet. You should be excited at the idea of first contact, and flattered that so many other species find your planet charming.”

“To be fair Doctor most of the aliens I’ve seen haven’t exactly been friendly.” Farrah interrupted.

“Yes well point taken, but the earth is a bit unlucky in that it’s situated in an area where there isn’t much life, so it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb for any potential invader. If only there were more advanced civilisations nearby you could have all bandied together for protection.”

“Yes well that’s all very good Doctor, but can you maybe tell us both just what is going on here?”

“Unfortunately my worst suspicions have been conformed. I’m afraid eh, what’s your name?”

“Brian”, he said after a few seconds hesitation.

“I’m afraid your wife is in a very bad place now. We’ll do our best but I’m afraid”

“What do you mean our best?”

“Well it’s just that this is new territory, even for me.”

“What is going on!” Farrah said in frustration.

“An almost universe. At least that’s what the Time Lords call it. You see for every action we take, no matter how small, there are billions of different outcomes. Ultimately the arrow of time only settles on one outcome, at least from our perspective, the one we experience. However the alternate outcomes sometimes can still exist for a while after in their own little bubbles outside our reality. Usually they fade away into nothing, but at other times they can split off and form an entirely new universe with a similar but different history. Sometimes however they don’t have the strength to split off into another universe and they exist as a kind of etheral universe. Normally this almost universe will fade away too, but sometimes there can be a mistake. Think of it as like a glitch in a computer, or rather a fault in a machine. That’s what the universe is in a way, a big machine, and sometimes parts of it break down and when that happens an etheral universe that hasn’t quite broken away can overlap with ours. People from the almost universe may even spill into ours. When they do the results can be catastrophic. If the person from the almost universe is able to touch the person or object that is drawing it into this one, then both will be sent to the almost universe. That’s not the worst of it however.”

He continued as he adjusted the controls of the TARDIS. “If someone from this reality is still in an almost universe when it crumbles, then they’ll be lost in a kind of nothingness that exists outside of creation itself that the Time Lords call oblivion. They won’t die, they won’t age. The laws of entropy will no longer affect them. They’ll just remain, trapped in the nothingness.”

“There must be some way you can get them out? The TARDIS can travel across universes, I’ve been to one of them.” Farrah said.

“Yes but the nothingness is outside of all universes. It’s so massive trying to find one person in it would be like trying to find a needle in a multiverse. Some people have been rescued from it, at least according to the legends, but well if we don’t act fast I’m afraid the odds won’t be in our favour.”

“Well maybe you shouldn’t waste time talking about it here then.” Brian interrupted.

“First of all you both asked, second I’m not wasting time. I’m trying to adjust the TARDIS for what will probably be one of the most difficult journey’s of her very long life. She’s no spring chicken you know. I’ve had her for thousands of years and she’s had previous owners before me, though none for as long.” He said proudly.

“What, what’s going on” Sally said as she awoke in a strange grey room that looked similar to her old apartment

In the corner she could see the figure that had been pursuing her for weeks. As he pulled himself up, Sally could see that he did resemble her old friend Eric. He could have been his twin, except now his skin, clothes and even his hair were as grey as the rest of the room.

“Sally, sally, oh thank god for a minute there I thought.” He suddenly stopped.

“What’s what’s going on.”

“You ask me that?. What the hell are you. What is this place, am I in hell?”

“That sounded like daddy.” Two small children came running in.

“Daddy, daddy, you’re back.” The two children, a little boy and a girl, neither been older than 5 or 6 and both’s skin and hair was as grey as everything else ran to embrace their father.

“Tom, Jill, I never thought I was going to see you again.” Eric said.

“Oh my god” another voice from down the hall said.

Sally felt sure it sounded like her own, and within few seconds what looked like an exact double of Sally emerged from the room, except that her skin and hair were grey too.

Eric was shocked

“It can’t be, what is going. There’s two of you.”

“What do you mean?” The grey Sally asked?

“Where have you been. We’ve been going out of our mind with worry.”

“There’s another you, standing right next to me.”

“There’s no one there.”

The real Sally was too scared to even begin to try and understand what was going on and in desperation and fear she ran out of the front door.

Eric followed her, not even sure why, but he one thing he did know was that this double, whoever she was, was still Sally and he couldn’t leave her alone in this state.

Outside Sally saw that the world was completely grey. The sky, the buildings, the grass, the people. As she ran through the crowd she soon noticed that no one was able to see here at all. That is except for Eric.

“Sally, Sally please I don’t know what’s going on anymore than you do, but.”

“Keep away from, you’re monsters, all of you.”

Suddenly Sally was distracted by the sound of someone screaming.

“Why can’t you hear me, any of you, he’s going to kill me. Please!”

It was Sarah, who stood out to Sally simply because she wasn’t grey either. Sarah in turn soon noticed Sally and ran towards her.

“Please you have to help me, he’s after me, he’s been after me for months I don’t know what he’s done but.”

“What the, that’ woman’s grey just like you.” Eric said, much to Sally’s shock.

“You mean you can see me” Sarah said in surprise.

“Of course I can.”

“No one else here can. I tried screaming at them, even pushing them to get their attention, but whenever I put my hand on them for longer than a few seconds, I’d get a shock, whilst they’d be unaffected.”

“I wish I could tell you what was going on. Both of you.” Eric said. “I was just walking home from work when suddenly I got caught in this large blue light. It was agony. I’d never felt anything like it. It seemed to go on for hours and hours until I found myself in Central Park. Everything was grey After that I’d keep phasing in and out every couple of hours until I’d wind up back in Central Park. I thought I’d died and gone to hell. Everything was grey, no one could hear me, except for you, but you didn’t know who I was.” Eric said.

“It has to be something to do with that blue box.” Sally said.

“A what?” Sarah asked.

“Just before we ended up here a blue appeared in my living room and this strange man came out of it. He wanted me to go with him, I tried to fight him off but well obviously it didn’t work. I know it sounds insane, but compared to what’s happening to us now. He’s behind it. Whoever, whatever that man was. He’s not human. How could he be.

“I just want my life back.” Sarah said whilst crying.

“I’m sorry I wish I could help.”

“Sarah, Sarah” a voice from the back of the crowd shouted so loudly it made everyone in the street turn their heads.

“Oh god it’s him. Please you have to help me.” Sarah said.

Eric went up to confront the figure, though Sarah shouted at him to stop. He didn’t listen however and the figure instantly blasted him away with an electrical bolt from his hands, sending Eric flying across the street before he could even get near.

“I could take you down as easily, but it would be too quick.” The figure smiled, whilst the crowd around him dispersed.

The ladies fled whilst the figure fired more electrical blasts at random to scare them.

Meanwhile the grey Sally arrived in the middle of the chaos, having followed her husband here. As she helped him off the pavement she suddenly noticed two strange grey women in the very distance running.

“What the hell is going on here.”

“Honestly Doctor, by the time you’ve finished our universe will be over.” Farrah said impatiently.

“I don’t think its sunk in how grave this situation is.” The Doctor said angrily.

“One mistake in her directional unit and we could slid off of this almost universe and into oblivion. After that it could take forever to get back into our universe. It’s going to take incredible skill just to land in a universe that practically doesn’t exist!”

“Sorry Farrah it’s just that well the ‘are we there yet’ is bad enough when you’re driving abroad for your holidays, when it’s to another plane of existence to save the universe. It’s even more taxing.”

The Doctor adjusted the controls one final time and prepared to take off. For just a few seconds he hesitated. Normally the Time Lord would be excited at the prospect of venturing into new undiscovered territory. (That was after all the reason he had left Gallifrey in the first place.) This time however he was actually scared at what he might find. Still as always he overcame his fear and piloted the TARDIS.

The journey went smoothly at first, but then a few minutes in everything went black. The Doctor almost felt as though he was drowning for a few moments, before everything came back and he could hear the familiar sound of the TARDIS landing.

The Doctor could see Farrah and Brian had both been affected in a similar way.

“What was that” Brian asked.

“Oblivion. The TARDIS side swerved into it for just a nanosecond, but fortunately the old girl was able to get a good grip on the almost universe and well it appears here we are.” The Doctor said as he adjusted the scanner, showing a completely grey New York outside. They had landed in a little alley.

“Why is everything grey.” Brian asked.

“It isn’t. It’s just our perception of it. To them, that is the few that can see us, the few that have a link to our reality, we’ll appear grey to them. Neither of these universes should overlap after all.

As the Doctor stepped outside he saw that the Tardis still remained blue. It stood out as a tiny little gem in the dull sea around them.

“Don’t worry most of them won’t be able to see us either.” The Doctor said to his two companions.

Up above the Doctor could see that there was no sun. “It’s just as I thought. This isn’t a full universe. From what I’ve told they rarely are. That’s why these almost universes aren’t able to properly form. From the looks of things it might just be a copy of New York. None of the people here will be aware of it however. They’ve all probably only been alive for a few weeks, but they’ll be blissfully unaware.” The Doctor said.

“There must be something we can do to help them.” Farrah said.

“I’m afraid not. I wish there was. It’s why I wasn’t exactly eager to prove this old legend true. Still lets focus on the people we can save.

As they left the alley however, all of the people in the street suddenly turned their attention to the Doctor and his two companions.

“I thought you said they couldn’t notice us.”

“By god those people are grey.” A young woman said.

“This isn’t good, this universe is becoming more unstable. Our very presence now could rip things apart.”

As soon as the Doctor had finished there was a rumble of thunder followed by several powerful lightening bolts, striking several buildings. The people started to panic.

“It’s begun we don’t have much time.” The Doctor said with dread.

To Be Continued.

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