At the Strike of Twelve (Part IV)

The Doctor, Clara and Washington had been walking behind Kalgar for what felt like hours, until finally, they arrived at a clearing, where it seemed an enormous ditch had been dug. Upon closer observation, however, it was discovered to be a crater caused by a large, black ship. It seemed to have scales similar to that of Kalgar’s armor, and there was a low hum coming from it that made Clara and Washington’s stomachs turn. The Doctor’s eyes grew wide in excitement upon seeing the ship, and hopped down into the ditch with the energy of a man much younger than he looked and was. That was something Clara seemed to forget since the Doctor regenerated. Though he was thousands of years old, the Doctor always had boundless amounts of energy. Of course, this Doctor had not shown that until that small hop. Clara was pulled from her daydream when the Doctor cried, “Amazing! I have never seen an Ice Warrior ship up close, absolutely amazing!” The Doctor was like a kid in a candy store, running up and down the length of the ship, trying to observe every inch of the ship, seeming to forget there was an inside, as he had jogged past an open hatch about three times. Clara smiled, the Doctor’s actions reminding her of chin boy and his bow ties, remembering that that Doctor was still in there, somewhere within this gruff older man. “Doctor, would you like the go inside, the problem is actually with my control panel.” The Doctor clapped his hands together, and smiled again. “Yes, I would love to. Come, Ms. Oswald and Mr. Washington, there is work to be done!” The quartet walked into the ship, Clara starting to worry how this was affecting Washington. She had been traveling with the Doctor for some time now, and this was par for the course, really. But for Washington, who probably lived off of candles and horses, and probably would scoff at electricity, well, this could be a bit shocking.

The Doctor immediately rushed to the controls, which seemed endless. There were buttons of every color Clara could think of, and some she had never seen before. There was a large cylinder in one corner filled with some sort of thick, green, mucus like goo. Clara had a hunch it was some sort of food supply, but she was afraid how she would react if her hunch was confirmed. “It’s a waste tank. Ice Warrior ships usually travel long journeys, and there needs to be a pilot at all times.” Clara turned to Kalgar after hearing this explanation, and gagged a bit, then said “so, no bathroom breaks, then?” Kalgar shook his head, made a gravelly, hoarse noise that must have been an Ice Warrior’s version of laughter, and walked back over to the Doctor, who was enraptured by the control panel. “I am getting close to pinpointing the issue, I believe, Kalgar. But it may take a little while, why don’t you give my companions a tour of your ship, I think Clara was mighty fascinated by the tank you explained to her.” Nobody could see the small smile on the Doctor’s lips, but Washington and Clara could almost smell the sarcasm in his voice. Ice Warriors probably do not practice sarcasm, so Kalgar grabbed the two by the shoulder and guided them out of the cockpit as the Doctor continued to work.”

Clara and Washington were very uncomfortable. Kalgar had not loosened his grip on their shoulders, and he was not speaking much. If this were a tour, Clara thought, then Ice Warriors must have a different definition for it. Every so often, Kalgar would grunt something, such as “galley” or “sleeping quarters.” Finally, Clara was able to wriggle out of Kalgar’s grip, and she turned to face him. It was so sudden, Kalgar almost bowled her over completely, but stopped in time and looked down at her, confused. “I want to go back to the Doctor, see how he’s doing.” Kalgar looked down at her, grabbed her around the waist and threw her over his shoulder. As if this were not obvious enough, Kalgar also said “no,” and dragged the now struggling Washington deeper into the ship, Clara kicking his armor futilely. Clara tried to scream, but Kalgar squeezed her, knocking the wind out of her, and causing her to cough uncontrollably. Kalgar walked into a dungeon like room, and chained up the two against a wall, making that horrid chuckling noise again. Clara and Washington continued to struggle, until both of the screamed in agony, as the chains began to send strong electric charges through their bodies. “Stop fighting, otherwise the chains will kill you,” Kalgar growled. “What a haul! A beautiful girl, you’ll make a great slave or entertainer, and the future President. Plus, I have the greatest prize in the universe. I have a Time Lord! The Time Lord, in fact. I have the Doctor on board!” With that, Kalgar slammed the door, bathing Clara and Washington in darkness.

The Doctor knew something was wrong. There was nothing wrong with the control panel, in fact, there was literally no reason this ship should have crashed unless the pilot wanted it to crash. Plus, Kalgar’s tour should not have taken more than five minutes. Ice Warrior tours are notoriously quiet, short, and fast. He heard the loud, heavy footfalls of Kalgar coming his way, his blood beginning to boil. “I have quite a temper now, don’t I?” thought the Doctor as Kalgar’s footsteps stopped, announcing his presence back in the cockpit. “What have you done with them,” the Doctor demanded, through gritted teeth and without turning around. Kalgar, somewhat surprised, simply said, “your associates grew weary from the walking, the female especially. I showed them to the sleeping quarters, where they immediately fell asleep.” The Doctor slowly turned around, his face expressionless, “then take me to them.” Kalgar shook his head, “you have much work to do, and I don’t think you would want to disturb them.” “There are beds in my TARDIS, Clara can sleep there, and Washington lives here. It would also be too much of a shock for them when they wake up, or at least in Washington’s case.” Kalgar again shook his head, and simply said, “please repair my ship Doctor.” The Doctor laughed and bared his teeth, walking towards Kalgar, “I would, but you see, through my observations of you and your ship, it appears to me that there is actually no reason for this ship to have crashed…unless you wanted it to. Thus, it it safe for me to say that you are not who you claim to be, Kalgar. In fact, I am willing to bet money-and I’m quite a smart at it-that this is not your ship. Also, I’ll guarantee you stole this ship, and have been scavenging the universe, capturing and stealing things of value and selling them to the highest bidder. But why? Probably because you were discharged from Mars for something. What, exactly, I don’t know.” Kalgar stared at the Doctor, then emitted that gut wrenching chuckle again. “They said you were good, Doctor, they never said how good. I wonder if you will fetch a better price dead than alive.” With that Kalgar lunged at the Doctor, his huge hand raping around the Doctor’s long neck, pinning him to the controls. Immediately, the Doctor, with one hand, pressed four buttons in succession, and a red light bathed over them. “SELF DESTRUCT ACTIVATED. TIME LIMIT SET AT FIVE MINUTES.” The Doctor smiled and managed to croak, “Kalgar, you have NO idea who you’re dealing with.

Stay Tuned for the Conclusion!

At The Strike of Twelve (Part III)

The quartet had been walking for quite a while now, and Clara was starting to shiver, as well as doubt whether Washington actually knew where he was going. The Doctor was looking around the woods, trying to get a clear view of everything, though Clara could not possibly imagine why the Doctor needed to see every tree, as they all looked the same to her, until the Doctor stopped them, walked up to a tree, touched it, came back to them and announced, “I thought so,” then continued walking. Washington stared at the Doctor, who had suddenly taken the lead; Clara just rolled her eyes. “Thought what, Doctor?” The Doctor turned he head slightly and said, “I love a good elm tree, and I had a feeling we were near an elm tree. I do enjoy being right, it happens a lot.” Washington snorted at this, “you’re quite the humble one, Doctor.” The Doctor turned around and smiled at Washington, but said nothing more, as the armor, which had been keeping a diligent pace, suddenly stopped walking and went rigid. Washington and Clara, who were closest to it, backed away quickly. The Doctor did just the opposite, and walked straight towards the armor and again tried to pull out his sonic, realized he didn’t have one, and just watched the armor’s actions. The armor again opened up, and there was the audible snap of a twig, which caused the trio to turn to the source of the sound. Clara was the first to turn back to the armor, and screamed when she saw what it was doing.

“Bloody Hell, will you put me down, please! I want to help you!” The Doctor yelled this, visibly angry at the turn of events, The owner of the armor, an Ice Warrior, was back inside of the armor and had grabbed the Doctor by the shoulder, which must not have tickled by the Doctor’s reaction. The Ice Warrior sniffed the Doctor, dropped him, and wheezed, “Doctor…you have changed your face, again. Quite a nice parlor trick.” The Doctor got to his feet, brushing himself off, still annoyed, and rubbing his shoulder. “It’s not a bloody ‘parlor trick’ and you know it. I died, and now I am reborn in these ridiculous clothes. We were trying to return that armor, by the way, so I believe a thank you is in order.” Clara stared wide eyed at what was transpiring before her. How could the Doctor possibly think an Ice Warrior-easily three times his size-would apologize to him, even if he is the Doctor, and they do have prior history? “Thank you, Doctor, the return is much appreciated, you know how important the armor is to our survival.” Clara’s jaw dropped. The last time she had seen an Ice Warrior, it was completely content with blowing the Doctor, now it was thanking him. Clara motioned to Washington to go over to the Doctor, as it seemed safe, but when looked over, she realized it was not going to be that easy. “Come on, George, we can go to the Doctor now, it’s safe!” But George Washington was gone.

“George! George! Where did you go?!” Clara looked around frantically, afraid that the Ice Warrior had attacked him on it’s way back to the armor, but then she heard a familiar *click* and she knew where George had gone, and she knew the Doctor was not going to like it when he found. George Washington was making a beeline for the Doctor and Ice Warrior, rifle in hand, and upon reaching the two, stood in front of the Doctor and exclaimed, “run, Doctor! I’ll take care of this disgusting beast!” The Doctor just rolled his eyes, “I apologize, Kalgar, I neglected to mention I brought along a clown for your entertainment, he didn’t want to wear the clothes that came with the gun.” The Ice Warrior named Kalgar was not the least bit amused, and reached for the gun, which caused Washington to pull the trigger, which caused sparks to fly off of Kalgar’s armor, which did not seem to do anything aside from annoy Kalgar as well as infuriate the Doctor. Kalgar was nonetheless able to get a grip on Washington’s gun, and ripped the barrel from what was in Washington’s hands. This caused Washington, in a fit of utter stupidity, to throw his half of the gun at Kalgar’s head. The toss missed, but it was enough for the Ice Warrior to grab Washington by the neck and lift him up to his eye level. “DO. YOU. KNOW. WHO. YOU. ARE. FIGHTING?!” came the fierce bellow from Kalgar, who was none too please by how his armor was being returned to him.

“That’s exactly it, Kalgar, he doesn’t know who he is fighting! Please, put him down, he is incredibly important and really not worth the effort!” With the Doctor’s plea, Kalgar dropped Washington, who landed in a heap, clutching his neck and coughing. Clara ran over and helped Washington to his feet, rubbing his back apologizing frantically for anything she could think of. Kalgar chuckled at Washington, “you are in the Doctor’s debt, if he had not been here, I would have snapped your head off of your shoulders with a simple squeeze. You should remember that.” The Doctor changed the subject, “yes well, he can buy me a soda or something. Regardless, Kalgar, what are you doing on Earth, at this time? Shouldn’t you be on Mars?” Kalgar grunted, “yes, I was traveling home when I was hit by a stray asteroid, I think. when my ship crashed, I was separated from my armor. I had been observing this planet’s culture when I sensed my armor was nearby, and that this puny human had stolen it.” “He..hey! I didn’t steal anything! I was going to return it after the rebellion tonight! It was just sitting there, if you sensed it, why weren’t you inside it already!” Kalgar ignored Washington, still annoyed by the failed attempt to hurt him. “Hm, I see Kalgar, where is your ship? Perhaps I could help you, or at least take a look.” Kalgar motioned for them to follow, and they were all off walking again, jogging more to keep up with Kalgar, who was much swifter than the armor alone.

Stayed Tuned for Part IV!

At The Strike of Twelve (Part II)…

The figure looked down on the Doctor, the size of the armor being most of the reason why. It was the armor of the Ice Warriors of Mars. The Doctor had last seen one on a soviet submarine, and it had gotten there only because it was frozen in a giant ice block. So, needless to say, a human head, as well as, the Doctor hoped, a human body inside the armor of an ice warrior was very curious indeed. “Oi! What are you doing in there!” demanded the Doctor, the shock of seeing the armor subsiding and changing swiftly into annoyance. The Doctor loved humans, he found them quite amusing, but every so often there would be one, or a group, of humans that made him very cross. The human face looked down, confused, but nonetheless spat back, “I’m preparing for the rebellion tonight, you dirty red coat! What are you, a spy dressed as a clown?” The Doctor took great offense to this, already disliking what he was wearing, and a rebel was insulting it? That’s it, next time, change directly after regenerating, why do I always forget that! “I am not a ‘dirty red coat,’ sir, but you are in grave danger if you stay in that armor, now get out of it and tell me where you found it!” “Yeah, and who are you to tell me?” The Doctor rolled his eyes and shook his head, irritated, and said “I’m the Doctor, this is Ms. Clara Oswald, and if you know what’s good for you-and that is debatable right now-you will listen to me and get out of that armor. I know exactly what is happening tonight, and your attire is highly inappropriate, trust me. Now, I will ask you again, where did you get that armor, and if you would be so kind, please lead us to it.” The man stared blankly, turning from Clara to the Doctor for what seemed like ages until Clara, very annoyed, said “oh yes, Doctor, I’m fine, he did not hurt me, thank you so much for asking, the concern means so much to me.” Clara shakily got to her feet and stalked over to stand next to the Doctor, who mumbled something resembling an apology. The gentleman in the armor continued to stare at these two very oddly dressed red coats. Finally, he pressed a button on the inside, with a loud hiss, the armor opened, revealing a very slight, almost malnourished looking frame, and the owner of the bony body hopped out, stretching his limbs. “I’m George, by the way. George Washington. I’m part of the rebellion against you blasted red coats and you’re oppression!” For such an unintimidating figure, this Washington character had quite an aura of leadership about him. 

“Where did that armor come from?” Clara’s head was swimming. The last time she saw that armor, she was almost blown to bits by the inhabitant of it. And now she was talking to a future United States President, who apparently found it lying in an alley. Clara had to bite her tongue when she heard the name. That was something the Doctor, regardless of face or personality, always managed to do: run into famous people. Famous ghost hunters, painters, you name it, the Doctor had met them. He even claimed responsibility for creating the Yorkshire Pudding. Running along with the Doctor was always a who’s who of history. But ice warrior armor? In the Pre-Revolutionary Colonies? That was too strange, even for the Doctor.

“So, are you going to tell us where you got the bloody armor, or am I going to have to find out for myself? This is the third time I am asking, might I also add.” The Doctor was nothing short of at his wits end with Washington. Why did people always do this with him? His adventures would be so much easier if people would just tell him what he wanted and he could move on. But no, it never ended up that way. It was always something like what Washington had just said, “Yeah, and if I do not tell you, what will you do, clown man?” And, of course, the Doctor would have to say what he just said, “Nothing, actually. But if you do not tell me where you got that armor, which I know more about than your great great great great grandson will ever hope to know, there may not be a rebellion for you to go to have tonight. In fact, there may not be any bloody red coats for you to overthrow!” The Doctor let his words sink in, watching Washington’s face, which remained expressionless, only eliciting personality when the man spoke. Clara wished she had an american dollar bill on her, because Washington’s young face looked like a prefect precursor to his face that would be on American currency hundreds of years later. Finally, Washington spoke, his words measured and inquisitive, “this armor, you know all about, eh? Why don’t you prove it, Doctor.” The Doctor chuckled, which shocked Clara, who thought this Doctor incapable of any type of humor, or happiness altogether. 

“This, is the armor of the Ice Warriors from the planet Mars.” The Doctor said this as simply as if he were talking about the weather. Washington just stared, his eyes eliciting more incredulity than any Clara had ever seen before. The Doctor chuckled again, scaring Clara, who did not know what the chuckle meant. “Do you know why i’m laughing, Clara Oswald?” The Doctor looked to Clara, a mad gleam in his eye. Clara looked back, a little frightened, but mostly confused, “I…I don’t, Doctor, why are you laughing?” “Because, my dear Clara, people never believe me, about anything, because everything I explain always manages to be ahead of their time!” The Doctor laughed and looked back to Washington, who’s eyes had not left the Doctor. “Now, Mr. Washington, run along, back to your rebellion, and let me sort this out. It’s obvious you will be of no help to me or Ms. Oswald, so good night.” Washington looked at the Doctor, taken aback by the rudeness of his statement, and piped up “I never said I wouldn’t tell you where I got it! I just wanted to know your…credentials.” The Doctor looked at Washington as he passed him, eyebrow raised “credentials? here are my credentials” The Doctor held up his psychic paper, which caused Washington’s eyes to widen an drop to his knees in a deep bow. “I..I had no idea, I have never seen you are rebellion meetings! I am so sorry!” “Yes, well, no harm done, I am more of what you could call…a silent supporter. Besides, it’s fun the bet when you know the outcome.” After saying this, the Doctor smiled, which softened his features and made him look almost…charming. Clara felt herself gag for thinking this, after how rude and impatient the Doctor was with her earlier, but that was the Doctor. He always had a mad sort of charm about him, always managing to be endearing to those he felt it necessary. She hated that about him, well, about this Doctor. Chin boy was darn near unhateable. 

“I was hunting in the woods and heard a noise, so I went to figure out what it was, and I found this. It was open, and when I got too close, it sort of pulled me in. I don’t really know, or remember, how it happened.” Washington explained this to the Doctor as he looked inside the armor, exploring all he could without a sonic, which he tried to pull out a one point, then acted as though he was adjusting his psychic paper in his pocket. Finally, the Doctor announced, “the armor is dying. Or it’s been abandoned. One or the other. I needs a specific body type to operate it, and it mistook Mr. Washington for it’s true owner. You’re lucky it did not poison you or try to kill you while you were in it. Ice Warriors are very territorial, and they have a fierce belief in taking care of their own. You could have been seen as a violent enemy. Your weapon, luckily, was probably too primitive for the sensors in the armor to identify you as an enemy.” Washington scoffed, “this is the finest hunting rifle around, maybe it is the armor that is too primitive, Doctor…who, by the way?” “Who is fine if you like it, but it’s really just Doctor, or the Doctor” to this he added in a mumble “nobody ever listens to that either.” and continued, “nope, sorry, Mr. Washington. This armor is light years ahead of Earth technology, but I commend you for your confidence…and delusion. Ah, humans, so much confidence, even in such primitive times, I really do love you all, Clara Oswald!” “Doctor, are you ever going to call me just Clara? I feel like i’m back at school or something.” “Well, if you prefer Clara you should have said so, Clara! We’ve only just met, I was trying to keep with the customs of people. You all like your little Mr.’s and Ms. and Mrs. and Dr!” Clara just rolled her eyes and changed the subject, “So! Any chance there is an ice warrior around here in need of his shell?” The Doctor considered this for a minute, then looked to Clara, then Washington. “Well, he or she would not have much time, Ice Warriors are indigenous to colder, more moist climates, so this weather is not optimal for them. If they are out there, they probably are starting to get sick. We need to go now, Washington, do you remember where you found this?” “Yes, Doctor, I do, but what should we do with this while we search?” “Take it with us, of course!” The Doctor ambled over to the armor, licking his chops with excitement, as he was finally able to show off his Doctor…skills. The doctor reached inside the armor and did was seemed like press a bunch of buttons, and with another hiss, the armor closed and began to follow the Doctor, who motioned to Washington to lead the way, looking very proud of himself. As he reached Clara, she gaped at him, then said “He or she? You mean Ice Warriors have genders?” The Doctor seemed very annoyed by this question, “well of course they do, how do you think they reproduce? Osmosis? Have you ever seen an Ice Warrior mating ritual? It’s really quite fascinating!” Clara rolled her eyes and said “Oh yeah, please, let’s see that next Doctor!” 

“Really?”

“No.”

Stay Tuned for Part III!