On the edge of darkness, with the roar of the vortex at his back, a man stood. He'd stood there for a decade, plotting and planning his vengeance. His clothing and hair had been slowly corrupted by the darkness, becoming the color of shadow, but his eyes remained untouched. His burning, piercing, furious golden eyes would remain there forever. Watching. Waiting. His wait was almost over, he sensed. The day was coming soon, and he was ready. For the first time in the last hundred years, he let out a small chuckle of relief. Stretching out his mind, he grasped at a thread of existence, and pulled.
The darkness surrounding the Doctor parted, and suddenly he was standing in the center of a large room, filled with brilliant light. As his eyes adjusted, he took in the glimmering bronze, gold, and marble, the white point stars embedded in the wall. It had been so long, it took him a moment to recognize the Council Chambers of Gallifrey. In the center of the room, a lone figure stood.
"Azmael." The Doctor's voice echoed strangely through the room, as if the whole building, city, or even the planet, were empty. Silent, as though in a dream.
"This isn't real." The Doctor declared.
"No, not in the sense you're asking." Azmael stepped closer. "You will wake from this into your world. However, that doesn't mean that this isn't real."
"Where are we?" The Doctor asked.
"Your mind, I would imagine." Azmael said. "I came to give you a warning, to put you on your guard." His eyes burned. "There is a Darkness, a force of terrible destruction. I... cannot see through the veil. I do not know who or what it is, but I know it is beginning." He frowned. "Even now, it stretches its influence across the cosmos. Doctor, our time grows short." The world began to grow bright.
"The keepers of power hold an ancient evil. When it is freed, the Mask shall be reborn, and the world will burn."
The Doctor opened his eyes, blinking into the suddenly bright sunlight. He sat up and groaned. His muscles ached, and he felt as if he'd slept on the ground. He looked around him, noticing he appeared to be in central park. He tried to remember how he had gotten here, but his mind was foggy. All he remembered was that he had come to the 2000's on a hunch that he might find Clara there, and he'd left the TARDIS right...
The Doctor stood up. He looked over at the spot he remembered leaving the TARDIS, and his heart sank as he saw the empty patch of ground.
"Someone's stolen my TARDIS." He said to himself, almost unable to believe what he was seeing.
Artie opened the crate carefully. It had been shipped expressly from New York, and he was anxious to see if it was the real thing. Lifting away the wooden lid, it took only a glance to recognize that it was the real thing. The most mysterious, most often sighted, and possibly most powerful of time travelling artifacts. It had shown up everywhere, but no one knew how or why it worked.
Artie looked up as he heard the sound of the door opening. "Artie? We got the locket!" Myka and Pete walked in, Pete holding out the bag with the locket. "What's going on?"
Artie glanced down at the blue box. "Get Leena. This artifact may be the most powerful thing we've ever found."
Pete and Myka stood there, confused.
"Why are you still here? Go! Now! And put that down!" Artie said, gesturing at the bag.
Pete dropped the bag on Arties desk and went quickly to the door. Myka stayed for a moment, but Artie motioned for her to leave. Still reluctant, she followed Pete.
"What's all this, then?" H.G.'s voice came from behind Artie. Her eyes focused on the box, and her mouth dropped open. "Wait... that can't be..."
Artie looked back at her. "The Blue box."
H.G. gave a shocked gasp. "You're sure?"
"Fairly." Artie responded. "I just need Leena to make sure-"
Suddenly, they noticed in the room noticed Mrs. Frederick standing behind Artie.
"How do you do that?" Artie said quietly.
"The real question is, Arthur, what are we going to do?" Mrs. Frederick walked over and stood above the box.
H.G. drew closer. "They say that wherever this box goes, disaster follows." She leaned over the box, reaching out her hand to touch its cracked blue paint.
"Helena!" H.G. blinked, her hand pausing a centimeter away from the surface of the box. "We still do not know what this artifact is capable of. If what you say is true, this artifact must be secured safely in the dark vault."
H.G. reluctantly withdrew her hand, but her eyes were still fixated on the box, its blue light reflecting off her eyes like the light of a dying sun.
"Remind me again why we're on box duty?" Steve asked annoyedly.
"Oh, come on, Jinxie." Claudia said affectionately. "You know Artie said this was important." She paused for a moment. "Well, really what he said was 'if you get a scratch on this you're grounded for the rest of the year' but you know. It's probably some weapon of mass destruction or something. It is supposed to be in the dark vault, anyway."
Claudia and Steeve continued to push the cart with the large wooden box on it along the warehouse hallway. It was surprisingly light, and Claudia wondered if there was actually even an artifact inside.
Suddenly, an intensely bright light shone out of the cracks in the box, and a strange noise, like a bell, but louder by a thousand times, sounded. Claudia and Steve fell to the ground clutching their ears. After a moment, it passed. They sat up cautiously.
"Ok." Claudia said, swallowing. "That was... weird."
Steve stood up. "We need to get this thing to the dark vault." He said, as he began to push again. Claudia quickly followed him.
H.G. stood silently in her room at Leena's. She had tried to think about something, anything, other than the mysterious Blue Box, but she couldn't get it out of her head, no matter how hard she tried. It was the one artifact that was most likely to be able to bring back her daughter, but she had no idea how it worked, and whenever it had showed up, a horrible crisis had begun. Her mother had told her tales of the giant monster that attacked London when the box had appeared, and how only a strange man in a brown coat had saved them. She had also spoken of a time when ghosts seemed to haunt the streets of London, and the box had once more appeared. Throughout the history of London, the box had come, bringing destruction and salvation. Now it was within her grasp, but should she use it? She had already endangered the world before, almost destroying it in her anguish. She could not do that again.
There was a knock at her door. "Come in." H.G. called.
Leena walked through the doorway. "H.G. How are you doing?" Leena frowned. "Your aura looks troubled."
"It's nothing." H.G. said.
"Nothing to do with the box?" Leena asked.
H.G. looked away.
"H.G... I know you were obsessed with time travel. Do you want to talk about this?"
"No." H.G.'s eyes glimmered as she stared at ghosts of the past. "I left that behind after the trident."
"Did you?" Leena asked.
H.G. looked up, but before she could say anything, the doorbell rang.
As Leena opened the door, she was met by a strange figure.
"Hello there." The man grinned. "I'm here looking for a Blue Box you may have found? I'm the Doctor."