At The Strike of Twelve…

Featuring the new 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, and Clara, played by Jenna Coleman from the BBC Show “Doctor Who.” The Doctor has just regenerated and the TARDIS is now crashing….

“Fly this thing?!” Clara Oswald repeated in shock to her now markedly different looking counterpart, the Doctor. In a flash, the youthful, vivacious Time Lord she affectionately called “Chin Boy” was now a much older, still wiry bodied man with salt and pepper hair and an apparent knowledge of the color of his kidneys. The Doctor frantically ran around the TARDIS console, pressing an assortment of buttons and pulling levers frantically.

How could this man, who looks so out of place and as though he has never been in the TARDIS before still be the Doctor? Clara watched in shock and confusion as he stumbled around as explosions riddled the TARDIS, pieces of it breaking down around them. “Please,” came a sudden yell, and Clara snapped back to reality, “do you know anything about flying this thing?” “I…well…” Clara trailed off. You know, come to think of it, the Doctor, or rather, her Doctor, as this man was not her Doctor, not one bit, had ever taught her anything about flying the TARDIS. In fact, Clara always got the feeling that this ship, which the Doctor had always said was a living thing, did not exactly fancy her. What was she to do? The TARDIS was crashing, and she, who had spent so much more time in the ship than the man standing before her, who simultaneously felt so new, yet still so familiar, as he was still in her Doctor’s long tweed coat, shirt, vest, trousers that were always oddly a tad too short, and boots, but he could not have felt more un-Doctor-like, if that even made sense in her now jumbled head, which started to throb. Suddenly, Clara heard herself blurt out loudly, almost screaming “try that lever there,” and the Doctor lunged at lever Clara was apparently pointing at, and pulled it. Suddenly, the explosions were drowned out by loud Polka music, which caused the Doctor to stare at Clara in a mix of shock, incredulity, and traces of aggravation. “You do understand that we are crashing, right? And if I don’t figure out how to land we are go-”

BOOM.

Clara and the Doctor were thrown off their feet as the TARDIS fell with a thud. They had been flying for so long, Clara still felt as though they were floating. The Doctor rushed over to Clara, hand outstretched. “Are you alright, Ms. Oswald? That is your name, isn’t it? Clara Oswald?” Clara stared at the Doctor, she seemed to be doing that a lot since they left Trenzalore. Of course, the regeneration happened so quickly, putting new meaning to “it happened in a flash,” in fact. “Yes..yes, I’m Clara Oswald.” “Oh good, quite right, Clara Oswald. And who am I?” Clara blinked, completely caught off guard by the question. He was the Doctor, but he wasn’t all at the same time. The Doctor was stolen from her, taken when the Time Lords gave her Doctor, he of the bow tie and the prominent chin, a whole new life cycle, or at least, that’s what the Doctor said before bringing a bowl of custard to his lips. “You…who are you? You’re the Doctor, aren’t you?” The Doctor took this in, eyeing Clara as if he were analyzing her as she spoke, deciding whether or not this girl he evidently did not seem to remember, aside from her name of course, was trustworthy or not. “Yes…I am the Doctor aren’t I? The last of the Time Lords of Gallifrey, the Predator, the Oncoming Storm…what the bloody hell am I wearing?” The Doctor looked down as himself, apparently realizing for the first time his outfit, which of course, in his eyes, did not belong to him. “Well, I obviously have some ways to go in dressing. Never forget, Clara, you only have one chance to make a good first impression, and I am the Doctor! I should be taken seriously!” With that, the Doctor ripped off the long tweed purple coat, and threw it over the railings. Looking around, the Doctor grabbed Clara’s hand, “you know, we should probably get out of here for the time being, it’s, ah, not very safe.” Clara lurched forward as this man, now in a shirt, vest, trousers and boots, pulled her out of the TARDIS, not really worrying if he was hurting her hand or not, as he had a pretty tight grip.

When the Doctor and Clara were out of the TARDIS, Clara pulled her hand away and glared at the Doctor and slapped his arm. “You could be more gentle, you know!” “I apologize, Ms. Oswald, we just needed to hurry, and you seem to be upset about something, so a little nudge, or a tight grip, seemed necessary.” The Doctor looked around, exploring the area with his sonic screwdriver, the familiar green light glowing brightly as it buzzed, and flicking it so as to read about the scan he had just completed. “Why do you keep calling me ‘Ms. Oswald?'” Clara asked, still rubbing her smarting hand. “Boston, Massachusetts, 1773. December 16th, to be exact. It seems we have arrived the day of the Boston Tea Party. Interesting.” The Doctor had seemingly lost all interest in Clara while he scanned the area with his sonic, figuring out where he had guided the TARDIS, or where the TARDIS had sputtered and flown through time and space.

The Doctor was upset, but he knew he couldn’t show it, or Clara would become even more confused and worried than she already was. Why couldn’t he remember how to fly the TARDIS? Was this a side effect of the new regeneration cycle? This hasn’t happened since the time in San Francisco, but that was because of the incompetence of those silly Medical doctors who would not listen when he explained to them that he was not human, and that he needed a beryllium atomic clock to repair his TARDIS, which was probably regenerating in its own way now. Soon his sonic would-“AUGH!”-the Doctor exclaimed as his vest pocket became scorching hot. The Doctor ripped out his sonic and dropped it on the ground, watching helplessly as it smoldered and melted. This happened the last time he regenerated, too. Great. No sonic. Probably no TARDIS, so they were stuck in 1773, the very early dawn of the American Revolution. Well, no matter, they may as well explore. “Doctor!” The Doctor whirled around at Clara’s loud call. “Yes, Ms. Oswald, may I help you?” Clara stared then repeated, “why do you keep calling me ‘Ms. Oswald’? We’ve been traveling together for quite a while.” The Doctor thought for a moment, “Well, Clara, if you must know, it’s because, well, we’ve never met, you and I. You’ve met me, but it wasn’t me, obviously. It was another me. Do you understand?” “No, Doctor, I don’t. I’ve met you, before you changed,  but you’re not that different, are you?” “Well, Ms. Oswald, I should think i’m quite different, as a matter of fact. What was I wearing before? A bow tie? Tweed? I couldn’t think of a more wretchedly ugly outfit to wear. And these pants are too bloody short! How does the Doctor expect to be taken seriously if his pants are too short and everyone can see my socks?” With that, the Doctor turned and stalked off, Clara jogging to keep up with him.

“Fine, fine, you’re different, happy? You barely have a chin, the other you had a chin for days!” “Yes, I know, I believe it was you who dubbed me ‘Chin Boy’? It’s a wonder I even took you along after such a rude name! What have I ever said about your appearance!” Clara stopped and gaped at the Doctor, who realized his companion had stopped, and turned to face her. “You could give Captain Grumpy a run for his money you know!” The Doctor just stared, “who in the universe is this ‘Captain Grumpy?'” “Captain Grumpy, that’s what you called him! He was you, in the time war.” The Doctor’s face fell, then, through gritted teeth, “we will NOT speak of that.” The Doctor stalked off again, visibly angry and shaken by the very mention of that part of him. “Why do I travel with people? When I get my TARDIS back, I’m taking her home and going off alone.” “No you’re not!” Clara ran up to meet the Doctor, visibly annoyed and hair all over her face, making the Doctor bite his tongue to keep from laughing at her ridiculous look. As she brushed hair out of her face, Clara went on, “you know I can hear you right? If you’re going to talk to yourself, do it in your head.” Now it was Clara’s turn to stalk off, and stalk off she did, the Doctor now walking briskly to keep up with her. “I was talking to myself, it was very rude of you to eavesdrop!” Clara stopped suddenly and whirled around to the Doctor, coming nose to nose with him. “Is this always going to be you? Because I don’t think I want to travel with a grumpy old man, and I know you get lonely.” The Doctor just stared at her, lost for words, until finally, “I’m always an old man! I’m 1600 years old, don’t you know that!” The Doctor glared at her, then turned and walked towards the Boston Harbor, putting his hands in his pockets as he did so.

Upon arriving at the water, the Doctor took a long look at his reflection. “Not too bad for a new life cycle,” he thought to himself. Atop his head was a closely cropped shock of salt and pepper hear that surrounded his head. His face was a bit long and angular. Did he have an egg shaped head? His eyebrows were grey and bushy, his face weathered with the advanced age he evidently was conveying. His body was quite lithe, and he was certainly tall, as if standing next to Clara was not evidence enough of that. All in all, it was a pretty decent regeneration, nothing too odd, aside from his predecessor’s ridiculous choice in clothing. The Doctor was pulled out of his reverie by what sounded like Clara yelling, or was it squealing, in fear. He whirled around and ran towards to site of the sound, stopping suddenly and staring in shock. “No,” he growled, “how can they be here?” The hulking figure standing over Clara stopped at the sound of the Doctor’s voice, and it slowly turned around.

The armor was all too familiar to Clara. She had seen it only once before, on a Soviet submarine. But something was off about it. The face under the helmet was different. It was…human.

Stay Tuned for Part Two!

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