Disclaimer: We do not own Doctor Who

Written for 11/11/11


The TARDIS door flew open, allowing one excited Doctor to skip out. "Where are we this–"

Inside the ship, Amy looked toward the door. That abrupt stop didn't sound good, but she couldn't think of any time things had gone wrong that fast, and so remained optimistic, "Doctor? Something wrong?"

Not to the point of stupidity, obviously. She peeked around the doorway to make sure there wasn't anything trying to kill them yet.

Nope. Just the Doctor, standing stock still, analyzing the surrounding… ship, it looked like.

But, wait, it couldn't be…

Yes, things had gone wrong already. There it was, sitting on the Doctor's head.

That fez.

Amy reached, as discreetly as she could, for the bright red abomination. Almost as if he had eyes in the back of his head (which, even if he did, would be covered right now), the Doctor ducked and strolled off to the side, out of reach from the TARDIS entrance. Amy tiptoed behind him, looking for an opportunity to preempt the fez before it could settle into whatever adventure was inevitably about to occur.

A condescending voice came out of nowhere, "Hello! Presence of non-telepathic species has activated the voice interface. You're welcome."

Startled, the Doctor spun around, "Amy! I thought I told you to stay in the–"

"No, you didn't. Where are we?" Yep, adventure imminent. She was running out of time.

The Doctor scowled and spun another 180, bringing out his sonic screwdriver in the process, "A spaceship."

The voice interface continued in the background, "TARDIS detected. Confirmed."

"A spaceship?" He started moving again before Amy could relocate the fez, "Just 'a spaceship'?"

"Well, no. It's not actually a ship, or more specifically not built to be a ship. It's just one big lump of machinery that's in space and functioning, more or less, outside of its capacity."

"So it's not supposed to be here?"

"Two assistants detected. Confirmed."

"Yes. It should absolutely not be anywhere near here, or anywhere, really." Wow, she'd rarely heard the Doctor so… vehement. So things were getting Extremely Very Not Good already, and that fez was still here!

"So why's it here?"

The Doctor waved the screwdriver, "If I knew, I wouldn't be doing this."

"Human interface match found. Implemented. You're welcome."

Over on the other end of this short hallway-thing, in the middle of which the TARDIS had materialized, Rory had also taken a few steps out, and now stood looking at something glowing on the wall, "Doctor?"

"Not now, Rory!"

"Hostility scan initiated. No hostiles detected. Confirmed. You're welcome."

"I think you'll want to see this."

He sounded serious. Serious enough to get the Doctor's attention and keep the fez moving. Amy would have a talk with him after this.

"Time Lord reconfirmed. Designation Theta Sigma. Please verify. Thank you." And could that thing shut up already?

Only the Doctor had frozen at that last one. Completely frozen. Mid-step. Amy slowly circled around him, and Rory was looking warily in their direction. The Doctor's face was stuck in a determined frown, as if he was steeling himself to do something. Absolutely no motion.

Nothing for it then. Amy took the fez and turned to see what Rory had found.

There, in glowing neon, were words Amy could almost hear coming from the voice interface, "Dalek sabotage detected. Sabotage overwritten. Take that, salt shakers."

She turned back to the Doctor. He wasn't there. Maybe she should've let him keep the fez. Looked back to Rory, and saw only a wall.

This looked like the end of the hallway she and the Doctor had first come to. As much as it looked like anything, at least. Except there was a keyboard and monitor at the end now. In frustration, Amy yelled at the ceiling, "Hey! Put me back!"

At least, she hoped it was the voice interface that had put her here. And that she was the one who'd moved. Both ends of the hallway had looked identical.

"Manual operation required. Please press 'enter'."

"Okay. We'll see where this goes." Amy pressed the button. The monitor lit up with the image of a massive, ornate clock in the background. Ominous.

"Please press '0'."

She did.

"Please press 'R10'."

What? Amy looked at the keyboard, really looked at it. It all seemed normal enough… except that all the 'F's on the top row were 'R's. The heck?

She didn't trust this thing, not one inch, "Where's Rory?"

"Do you refer to Theta Sigma or Human #2?"

Ugh, "Human #2."

"Taking care of the other half of required manual operations. You're welcome. Please press 'R10'."

"Okay, then where's the Doctor?"

"Do you refer to Theta Sigma or Human #2?"

"I mean the Time Lord!"

"You have located a possible error in etiquette data. Does Theta Sigma prefer the designation 'Doctor'?"

Amy wanted to say yes, but she had no idea if they were even talking about the same person. If they were, she had no answer.

She pressed the button.

And then she was standing next to Rory, who looked a bit less disoriented than she felt, and there was a pile of… stuff coming out of the wall like so much spilled gore, the Doctor sitting in the middle of it tying wires together. He looked up, "Ah, Ponds, just in time! Amy, thank you!" He snatched the fez, "Into the TARDIS with you now, I'm about to get rid of this sabotaged rubbish." He held up a handful of cable and fez to forestall their questions, "I'll explain when we're well away. Shoo!"


A few minutes later, Amy watched out the viewscreen as what appeared to be a small gray box exploded, and then the bits it exploded into exploded, and then those bits exploded.

"Are they going to keep doing that?" Rory asked.

"Nope, just the three times, then they dissolve into pure energy." The Doctor answered, sounding rather… grim.

Amy grabbed the railing in anticipation of dematerialization, "So what was that? The ship that's not a ship I mean."

It was some time before the Doctor said anything. When he finally spoke up, his words were evidently carefully considered, "A bit of technology that floated too far to be pulled back. Hopefully the last loose end of something that should be a settled matter."


A/N: Yep. Would like to make a full-blown, comic-style story of this (the first page of which is equally non-commital and can be see at betaraven . deviantart art/In-the-Nightmares-of-Monsters-263963455), but Eleven's face does not agree with me.

So for now… a little one-shot.