A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum

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Sandi Nov 16 2008 11:50 PM

I don't usually post the same things on different boards but, since there are so many Dr. Who fans here I thought I should post this. It's just a little silliness I cobbled up that was inspired by a conversation on the NKT. Hope it can generate a few chuckles.

The sun glinted on the beach sand, blinking a cheerful welcome as bronze Tardith circled lazily downward. They'd arrived from between deliberately high over the sea, only partly due to enjoying the empty vista of the shoreline. The other part had more to do with unwinding the tension that had driven them here so hastily.

D'oktah had been so excited that morning. His first Fall as a full-fledged Bronzerider was a moment he'd been dreaming about since that day on the Hatching Sands when the most beautiful bronze dragonette ever hatched had surged clumsily but determinedly directly to him, imperiously demanding that he help untangle the wings that had somehow got twisted. The years of training and practice and running errands had all led up to that moment. They'd finally been assigned to a Wing and would be allowed to fight Thread! Tardith had chewed efficiently and produced an awesome blast of flame towards the first silvery line of Thread which had eluded the upper Wings. The dreaded menace vanished into black dust and just as D'oktah's shout of triumph burst from his throat the young bronze dragon ducked his head contritely. Path is angry. Tardith said meekly. She says Mirrim says we are to leave immediately.

"Leave?" D'oktah shouted, incredulously. "Why should we leave? What's wrong with you?"

Nothing is wrong with me. I am flying very well. I flamed the Thread just as we have been trained to do. Tardith's comment seemed defensive.

"What did Path say, exactly?"

Path said we were not to go after that Thread. It was hers. She said Mirrim is angry that we dropped out of our formation to chase the Thread. We are to leave the Fall now and she will speak to us after it is over.

"It's not right," D'oktah muttered. "Bronze dragons ought not to have to take orders from green dragons." But even as he spoke he could see his Wingleader signaling to him to withdraw. "Let's go to our beach, Tardith" he pictured the image of the glinting sand washed by gentle waves. "No Thread will be falling there and nobody will have any reason to be there."

Shouldn't we go back to our weyr?

"There's plenty of time. The Fall's just started. We can have a swim and you can get rid of your ash before we have to get back there."

Neither the cold of the short hop between nor the bronze dragon's leisurely glide to the beach did anything to cool D'oktah's burning face. How much more humiliation was a rider supposed to be able to take? Mirrim had always been caustic but for the past two weeks, ever since Tardith had come so close to catching Path in her latest mating flight, the woman had been on his case non-stop. Of course he'd known his Tardith was not supposed to participate in that flight but he'd been asleep and by the time he was awake enough to realize what was going on, Path and her suitors were airborne, Tardith among them. D'oktah secretly admitted, only to himself and Tardith of course, that he'd actually been inordinately proud. He hadn't realized Tardith was old enough to be interested and for him to have come so close in his very first attempt was, well, astonishing.

I cold have had her, Tardith said complacently as he glided the last few feet to the sand. But I decided to let Monarth slip by me.

"What? Why did you do that?"

I do not contend with Monarth. You didn't want Mirrim, did you?

D'oktah almost choked. "Want? Mirrim? Me?"

He felt a rumbling vibration in the dragon beneath him which he'd learned was his friend's version of laughter. After a moment he had to laugh too. "No. No, I don't think that would have been good for either of us, would it?"

Good. You have laughed. You will feel better now. We can enjoy our swim.

D'oktah slid down the dragon's shoulder and landed lightly in the warm sand. "I'm going to pick some of those redfruits first. Flying Thread is thirsty work. Even if it was a short flight."

He had only gone a few strides, shucking his jacket as he went, when his dragon spoke again, this time in a very different tone. D'oktah, someone is coming. Running. Something is chasing her.

D'oktah froze. "Who's coming? Nobody lives near this place. What's chasing her? Where are they?" But he saw the answers before the words were even out. Someone was running along the beach, angling towards the green jungle beyond the sand. She'd rounded the point where the oddly flattened rock buttress thrust abruptly into the sea and was pelting like a wild thing, arms pumping. Behind her was something that was beyond the young rider's ability to comprehend. The closest thing he could liken it to would be a numweed vat, turned upside-down. Only this upside-down vat had strange decorations and things poking out of the sides of it. And it was moving along the sand towards the running woman. Moving very fast.

As the stunned rider stared at the unlikely invaders of his prized secret hideaway, he heard a grating screech emanating from the upside-down vat that seemed almost as if the thing was forming words. "EX TER MIN ATE!" It seemed to say. One of the peculiar extensions gave off an eerie flash and the sand exploded near the feet of the running woman. She cried out and dropped to her knees. She was instantly on her feet again but he could see that she was hurt and her run had become a stagger.

"Tardith!" D'oktah shouted, confounded. "TAR-dith!!"

The woman must have heard him. She stumbled and turned towards him. "Doctor!" She shouted. The bronze dragon had been crouching on the beach and he suddenly rose to his feet. When the woman saw him she swerved wildly back towards the jungle. Just as she did, there was another flash from the upside-down vat. Tardith suddenly roared angrily and a blast of flame engulfed the vat. It exploded in a huge double blast of blue and white light that sent D'oktah to his knees, momentarily blinded by the brilliance.

Are you all right? The dragon asked, sounding worried.

D'oktah got back on his feet. "I'm all right. What did you do?"

I forgot to get rid of the rest of my firestone gas.

"What was that thing?"

I don't know.

"But you flamed it. Dragons never flame anything but Thread!"

It was hurting the woman. It might have hurt you. I forgot I had flame. I meant to scare it.

"Well, you sure scared her. I think she's fainted. I'd better go have a look at her."

I will come with you.

The woman was lying on her side in the sand, long hair tumbling over her face. She was dressed in some sort of skin and there was a strange looking knife a few inches from one hand. D'oktah gently grasped her shoulder and rolled her over to lie on her back. She moaned and blinked sand-crusted eyelashes. "Doctor? Where's the Doctor? Where's the T.A.R.D.I.S.?"

She speaks with a strange accent, Tardith observed. How does she know our names? We do not know her.

"I don't know. I've never seen anyone like her before." He answered the dragon silently then spoke to the woman. "I'm here," he said. "I am D'oktah.Tardith is behind me. Who are you?"

She rubbed her eyes with both hands then blinked up at him. "I am Leela," she said.

"You're hurt," D'oktah said. "Can you sit up?" He extended his hand but she did not reach for it. Instead she lifted one hand above her face, shielding her eyes from the sun.

"You are not the Doctor," she said after a moment. "You are trying to trick me."

"We are trying to help you," D'oktah said firmly. "What was that thing? Why was it chasing you?"

She thinks very loudly, Tardith inserted unexpectedly. But her thoughts are as strange as her words.

Startled, D'oktah glanced over his shoulder at his dragon. "You can hear her?"

Very well. She does not trust you, but– WATCH OUT!

Instinctively, D'oktah leapt toward the dragon. In one fluid motion the woman had gathered her legs beneath her and jumped to her feet, and the knife was in her hand. She bent forward slightly. "You are not the Doctor," she repeated. "And I can hear no one but you. There is a monstrous beast behind you. Step aside, boy. I will protect you!"

Tardith rumbled. Monstrous beast indeed!

D'oktah held up both hands. "No! Wait! Have you never seen a dragon before?"

The knife wavered but she did not relax her stance. "Dragon? What is a dragon?"

D'oktah waved his hand towards his friend. "He is."

I am, Tardith said at the same time.

The woman blinked and looked up at the whirling eye now fixed on her from far above her head. "You speak?" She asked.

"You spoke to her?" D'oktah exclaimed at the same time.

I am speaking to both of you now, Tardith said, clearly enjoying himself. I am bronze dragon, Tardith. D'oktah is my rider. We are friends. We might be your friends too, but you must put away your weapon. I do not want to harm you but I will not allow you to harm my rider.

The hand holding the knife dropped to her side but she did not sheath it. D'oktah was struggling with his own brand of dismay. "Tardith," he said, "you've never spoken to another human being before!"

I've never needed to.

"I can hear a voice speaking in my head," Leela said. "It is the beast which speaks?"

"Well, of course it is," D'oktah answered. "But he's never spoken to anyone else before."

"Why not?"

"Don't you know anything about dragons?"

"Why should I? I have never seen one before."

D'oktah was stunned. He had the oddest feeling that everything in the world had suddenly changed and he was a stranger here on this lonely beach. "How," he started but his mouth felt dry. He licked his lips and tried again. "How can you have never seen a dragon? Where have you been

"In the T.A.R.D.I.S.," Leela answered. "With the Doctor. Before that I was a warrior of the Sevateem."

Suddenly the air itself seemed full of sound; an eerie, wailing sound like nothing either dragon or rider had ever heard before. Startled, Tardith reared back on his hind legs, extending his wings in alarm. D'oktah spread his arms as though for balance but the woman half smiled and turned her back to him, facing the huge black rock jutting into the sea. As the three of them stared, a thing became visible, seeming to take form on the flattened stone. To D'oktah, it vaguely resembled a large storage bin standing on end, but only vaguely. It was blue and a strange knob on the top was flashing, as though lit by a thousand glows. In moments the side facing them opened and a man emerged. At least D'oktah assumed it was a man. He was dressed in multiple layers of clothing and wearing a broad hat. D'oktah thought he was smiling as he lifted one arm in a broad arcing wave. Then he leapt down onto the sand.

Tardith bellowed and sent a gout of flame high into the air.

The man seemed to take no notice of the huge flaming dragon. With long easy strides he made a straight line towards the trio on the beach, pausing only the slightest bit when he walked through the still steaming sand where the upside-down numweed vat had once been. He stopped directly in front of the stunned dragonrider. With his left hand he raised his hat like some strange sort of greeting ritual and he extended his right hand to D'oktah. "How do you do?" he said, smiling. "I'm the Doctor. Jelly baby?"

D'oktah looked at the man's open hand. It was filled with small, many-colored things shaped vaguely in the form of tiny humans and shining like a fistful of jewels. He was saved from trying to formulate an answer because Leela grabbed the strange man's sleeve and shook it.

"Doctor, where have you been? You said this planet was uninhabited!"

"Yes, well it was," the Doctor said, still smiling. "Last time I was here it was. I said I had noticed some oddities and had to take a quick look, remember?"

"I remember. You said I could swim and hunt and rest. You did not say there would be machines that would shoot at anything that moves. You did not say that there would be giant beasts that would spit fire and you did not say there would be–"

"But you did swim, didn't you? You're hair's still damp. And gritty, I might add." He raised his hand almost under D'oktah's chin. "Have a jelly baby," he said. "You look like you could use one." He peered upward and smiled at the surprised dragon. "What a beautiful creature!" he exclaimed. "Friend of yours?"

Grasping at the only thing that seemed to make sense, D'oktah answered quickly. "That's Tardith. My bronze."

"Tardith? Lovely name for a fine fellow. I assume it was he who produced that explosion over there?"

D'oktah lifted his chin. "It was. He will never let any harm come to me."

This time the Doctor laughed. "Excellent fellow," he said then, in an exaggerated aside he added, "You've no need to fear. We certainly don't intend to harm you or your wonderful bronze."

Leela would not be distracted. "Another one of your mistakes, Doctor? Do you even know where we are?"

"Mistake? Oh, I doubt that. This is the world I told you about. Beautiful beaches. Lush jungle. Just like I promised."

"Just like you promised? What about them? What about the machine creature that attacked me? This planet is not uninhabited and I have not been having a restful time!"

The Doctor took off his hat and turned around in a complete circle, taking in his surroundings. He smiled again at D'oktah. "Yes, well, they seem friendly enough. "You are friendly, aren't you, young man?"

"Uh. Well, I–"

"But what about that machine creature?" Leela persisted.

"Yessss." the Doctor turned to face her. "What about it? What was it? Where did it go?"

Leela jerked her head towards the dragon. "He destroyed it," she said. "But there are many others and some may come to look for it soon."

D'oktah finally found his voice. "What? More of those things coming here? What are they? What do they want?"

"They want to ex-ter-min-ate." Leela answered. "They exist to kill. We must kill them first!"

"Exterminate?" The Doctor's smile suddenly vanished. "Is that what they said?" With one foot he drew a crude shape in the sand. "Is this what they look like?"

"Like a numweed vat turned upside-down." D'oktah replied, nodding at the shape the man had drawn. "With knobs and, and sort of things poking out here and here." He added a few details to the drawing.

"Daleks," the Doctor muttered. "Daleks here? What would they come here for? But I suppose it would explain a few things." He looked up at the boy. "Tell me young man, have you seen any of them? I mean, before this one?"

"I've never seen anything like them," D'oktah answered. "I've also never seen anything like you or like her or like, like that!" He extended a pointing finger at the blue box still standing on the flat rock.

"Well," the Doctor said, his smile returning, "if it makes you feel any better, we've never seen anything quite like your bronze friend, there. Do you have a village or a castle or something of the sort nearby?"

"If you mean a Hold, I'm a dragonrider. I live at Eastern Weyr. Nothing is near here. That's why we come here."

"I see," the Doctor said and D'oktah had the oddest feeling that he really did.

"Doctor," Leela said. "The Daleks or whatever you call them. Shouldn't we–"

He held up one hand. "Yes, yes. Of course." He looked again at Tardith. "Amazing. Truly amazing. Young man, I think you have some explaining to do."

"Explaining? Me?"

"Well, there is a derelict space ship in orbit over this planet. A human space ship. It's old. Very old. Your people came here in it, didn't they? And was it them who blew holes in the other planet up there? That's probably what brought the Daleks here. They'd be interested in weapons with that kind of power."

"Weapons? Power. We don't have any weapons or power here! Well, the Smithcrafters have been putting up more of those E-lectric stations, but they aren't weapons. We don't have anything like what that machine thing had. Well, except maybe the dragons. But they aren't weapons. And they only flame Thread."

"And Daleks," Leela inserted blandly.

"He– that was an accident. But– But you said the thing was trying to kill you!" He looked down and saw that her right ankle was swollen and both of her legs looked scraped and bruised. "And it did hurt you," he added after a moment.

"Doctor," Leela said. "The Dalek that was chasing me was on its own. Probably a sentinel. But before it saw me I saw where it came from. There are many. And they will miss the destroyed one soon."

"Very likely. Where did you see them?"

"From that rock the beach curves inward, forming a sort of bowl. Their ship is there."

The Doctor turned on his heels. "Well then, let's go take a look, shall we?"

"Doctor," D'oktah said. "That cove is a good way off. Maybe we should fly."

Leela looked incredulous but the Doctor smiled broadly. "Fly! Your beautiful friend would let us ride on him?"

"Of course. Tardith–"

I would like to see where the machine came from. I will take you there. I will take them too. I am very strong. They will be easy for me to carry.

"Tardith says he wants to take us. All of us. We'll ride on his neck. Up there, see? He's already wearing his safety straps."

The bronze dragon extended a helpful foreleg and soon D'oktah and the two strangers were seated between his neck ridges. Leela was seated between the rider and the Doctor. When Tardith kicked himself off the sand she clutched his sleeves with a grip that threatened to pierce the hide but once they were airborne she seemed to relax. It took only minutes to fly the distance to the little cove D'oktah had privately named ‘Flatrock Inlet" but he marveled at the distance the woman had run from the machine that followed her. He could see their tracks clearly in the sand and also the darkened dents which must mark the places where the thing had "shot" at her. Strange people. Strange machines. Strange weapons.

I can see no ship in the waters, Tardith said. I do see more machines creatures, and a bigger machine, there, at the edge of the jungle.

"We should fly higher," Leela said. "They will see us."

The Doctor leaned perilously around his companion so he could speak more closely to D'oktah's ear. "Can we get a little lower?" he asked. "We need to get closer."

"They will shoot us down like Loquitl birds!" Leela protested.

"They can't hurt us," D'oktah said with the confidence that always filled him when he was in the air with his dragon. "If they look like they're going to shoot, Tardith will take us between back to the beach."

"Between what?" Leela asked sharply.

D'oktah grinned. "Don't worry. Tardith knows what to do."

We have made four passes directly over them, Tardith pointed out a few minutes later. They have not moved. Should we land now?

As if he could hear the dragon's remarks, the Doctor tugged at his sleeve, again leaning close to his ear. "Can we land? Say over there where those trees will shield us?"

Tardith banked sharply but landed lightly on the sand, his great wings almost touching the overhanging fellis trees that seemed intent on marching towards the sea. With one hand holding his hat in place, the Doctor slid off the huge dragon as though he had done it a thousand times and set off into the jungle. D'oktah dismounted quickly but when he held out his arms to help Leela down she dropped to the bronze foreleg and then jumped to the ground. She grunted and quickly lifted her right foot but when he moved to help her she sent him a warning glare and charged after the Doctor, limping only slightly. With a shrug and a pat for his friend's nose he went after them. "Make sure you listen out for us," he told the dragon.


D'oktah suspected that the two strangers must have had a lot of practice at slipping almost silently through dense growths. Where had they come from any way? One of the remote islands? No, he decided. Like the ancient ancestors the AIVAS had described, they must be from another planet. Earth? But how had they traveled to Pern? In that blue box? They might both fit into it but....

His musings were abruptly interrupted when Leela suddenly froze, grasping the back of the Doctor's baggy coat. She pressed one finger against her lips and nodded towards the right. Yes. He could hear it now. Something was moving towards them with slow, deliberate stealth. Before either the Doctor or D'oktah could respond to her warning the knife had somehow appeared in her hand and she flung it towards the rustling leaves. They heard a sharp gurgling growl and then she flung herself almost as swiftly as the knife. The Doctor plunged into the heavy brush after her. "Leela, don't kill!" He shouted, apparently no longer concerned about being quiet. Not wanting to be left behind, the bronzerider pushed through the broken brush after them.

But of course the Doctor's shout was too late. When they caught up with Leela she looked up triumphantly from the body of her victim. D'oktah stared at the huge yellow eyes feeling a new brand of respect for the strange woman. She'd killed one of the big felines known to prowl the region. D'oktah had never encountered one himself but he had seen the pelts some of the other dragonriders had managed to obtain. And of course everyone knew the story about how a group of them had attacked and in fact nearly killed Bronze Golanth and his rider many Turns ago. He didn't know much about skinning and conditioning pelts, and he had no idea whether they suffered significant shrinkage during the process but even if they did, this animal was huge and its sleek, mottled coat would be a prize indeed. The Doctor was glaring at her.

"It's all right," D'oktah told him. "These are dangerous animals. It would have had us for lunch if she hadn't got it first."

Leela smiled. "I did not use thorns. Only the knife." She shrugged. "You told me I could hunt here."

"Yes, but I meant those big ugly birds. Not a beautiful animal like this. In any case, we're supposed to be hunting Daleks right now."

"You heard the boy," Leela said smugly. "I saved your life. Again."

"Well, if all this ruckus hasn't wakened the Daleks, I don't think anything will." The Doctor replied and stalked off.

D'oktah looked back and forth from one to the other of them. Not for the first time he wondered how he'd ever got mixed up with this pair. After a moment he set off resolutely after the Doctor. In a few moments he heard Leela following behind. They hadn't gone far when the Doctor stopped so abruptly the dragonrider stumbled into his back, surprised at the strength of the form beneath the unlikely layers of strange fabrics. But that was only a passing thought. For there, in front of them, less than an arm's length away, was a Dalek. He felt rather than heard Leela cover the last distance between them to stand clasping his shoulders to stare at the thing.

It seemed an eternity that they simply stood facing the silent machine. The Doctor slowly raised his hand to his hat and tipped it in the same gesture he had used on the beach. "Hello, Hello, Hello," he said.

D'oktah winced as Leela's grip tightened on his shoulder, grateful that he was still in his flying suit, in spite of the heat. The Doctor removed his hat and hung it on the extension protruding from the Dalek's peculiar form. "Dead," he said cheerfully. "Quite dead."

As it turned out, there were nine Daleks in all. The trio wove their way cautiously around the seven that were arrayed in no discernable pattern about the ramp leading into the open door of what, D'oktah assumed, had to have been some sort of space ship. Feeling more and more as though he was in some strange sort of dream, the dragonrider wondered again what he had stumbled into. One Dalek was positioned on the ramp itself. As he approached it, the long protrusion that extended from what he had come to think of as the ‘front' of the thing rose feebly. "Ex terrrrrmmmm" the thing said, then it was still. The Doctor regarded it thoughtfully, hands on hips. Leela and D'oktah exchanged looks but neither spoke.

"Well," the Doctor said at last. "I think I'll take a look inside." He grinned, "Won't be a minute," he added with a wave in D'oktah's general direction. As he slipped around the motionless Dalek and started up the ramp they were struck by a rush of sand laden air. Tardith apologized as he lowered himself to the ground, toppling one of the inert Daleks.

You should not have walked up to that thing that way, the dragon said. It could have hurt you!

"I know. I'm sorry." D'oktah said, turning to join his friend. "I guess I really am sort of impulsive sometimes," he finished, reminding himself of Mirrim's frequent complaint against him. Mirrim!

Don't worry. They stay with the Fall. There won't be many more. They want to fight while they still can.

"No," D'oktah said, rubbing the eye ridge presented to him. "There won't be many more. And we may have done ourselves out of ever fighting in any more!"

No we haven't. I am a bronze dragon. You are my rider. We will fight Thread together as long as there is Thread to fight.

D'oktah had to smile at the confidence in his dragon's tone. The Doctor emerged from the ship and returned down the ramp. "Well," he said, smiling. "This is all turning out far better than I could have expected."

D'oktah hadn't even noticed that Leela had also gone inside the ship. She followed the Doctor down the ramp. "The creatures are all dead," she said with great satisfaction.

"Yes, indeed they are," the Doctor said, grinning at D'oktah. "There's another one in there, by the way. Also dead. And it appears that it was your planet that killed them."

"My planet?"

"Your beautiful planet!"

"How? How could it? How can you know?"

"They knew. They aren't entirely metal, you know. Inside there is–or was–a more or less living creature. Not something you want to meet up with in, or outside it's mechanical system, I promise you. I've looked over their computers and their communications equipment. This was a scout group, looking for planets that might be useful to them. They'd already determined that there were no resources worth getting through that ort cloud to try to exploit. But they decided to land to see if there were any useful elements in the atmosphere that their sensors couldn't detect. Within hours they began to have difficulties. One after another became irrational and then inoperative. The leader sent off a Hazardous Planet warning message which should reach their fleet in a couple of years or so. The last few were about to try to leave when they saw Leela approaching. Naturally the last act of the last one still operational was to try to kill a human! It all makes sense now. Yes, yes."

D'oktah wasn't sure he understood half of what the man had said. "It does?"

"Well," the Doctor grinned. "I know Leela is a talented person, but I couldn't figure out how the thing could have missed her after chasing her all that distance. It seems likely that it couldn't focus properly and it was too weak to catch her. You, my friend," he said, adding his own rubs to the dragon's eye ridge, "can't feel responsible for harming anything sentient. It was dying. It may have already been dead."

Thank you. The dragon said with such relief D'oktah stared at him in surprise.

"Soooo," the young rider said slowly, "you're saying that something here on Pern killed those–those things."

"It did."

"But what? How?"

"A simple virus. Daleks spend their time thinking about weapons they can use to conquer worlds. They never spend much time thinking about things like viruses. And this one is a strong one. Good thing I keep a good medicine cabinet on the T.A.R.D.I.S. I've got something that will knock that one out in no time."

"Do you mean Firehead?"

"Do I? Is it something your people are prone to?"

"It used to be a big problem. People died. But there's a vaccine for it now. AIVAS taught Master Oldive about that sort of things Turns ago."

"Excellent." The Doctor slapped the boy's back. "Then there's one last thing I must ask of you and your wonderful dragon."

I understand. Tardith said. He thinks loudly sometimes, too. I will be happy to do it. I can hold my flame better than any other dragon in my weyrling group but I have been holding it a long time now. It will be easier if everyone mounts my neck. Safer too!

Feeling somewhat awed, D'oktah realized that his dragon had spoken to both of the strangers as well as himself. They mounted the dragon quickly and he sprang into the air, wheeled on a wingtip and dived at the strange objects on the ground. With a roar that was probably unnecessary but very enjoyable for the dragon and his rider, Tardith flamed the Daleks that sullied Pern's soil one by one. He was already winging sharply upward when he slewed his long neck downward and sent a last blast of flame toward the alien ship. The explosion sent a cloud of heat and vapor up behind them. There was a moment, no more, of frozen airless darkness then they were wheeling high in the sky, looking down on the blue box still standing conspicuously on the flat black rock.

Leela's grip pinched his arm. "What was that?" she asked hoarsely.

It was D'oktah's turn to grin. "That," he said, "Was between."

Tardith made a wide banking turn and they could see that no trace of fire or remnant of the alien machinery remained visible on the beautiful little cove's beach then he slid into a leisurely glide down to a gentle landing just below the black rock that has always stood as their reference point for their secret retreat. I flamed well, he said. I made sure no trace of those things will ever be found. Now I need to get rid of the ash.

The passengers slid quickly off the dragon and he moved away to regurgitate the firestone remnants now weighing down his second stomach. D'oktah climbed the ramp-like angle on the side of the flat rock, following after the strangers. Strangers. Stranger than any strangers had ever been! But, somehow, he felt reluctant to part with them. "Are you both really going to fit inside that thing?" he asked, studying the strange lettering that was emblazoned above the door.

The Doctor pulled a strange looking key on a long chain from one of his deep pockets. "It's much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside," he said with a wink.

Leela turned to face him, placing her right hand firmly on his shoulder. "You are young," she said, "But you have a bold heart and you are a great warrior. And no one will ever have a better friend than your dragon."

The Doctor smiled. "I don't think I've ever heard you give anyone such a great compliment, Leela," he said. "Not going soft on me, are you?"

Her only answer was to push roughly past him and through the door. The Doctor raised his hat in salute to the dragon who had turned his head to watch. Then he gripped D'oktah's hand, giving it a firm shake before following Leela through the door. D'oktah caught a glimpse of a huge white room with a strange looking structure in the center. There was an impression of flashing colored lights then the door closed with a firm thump. The light on the top began to flash and the ear-splitting noise drove him backwards, back down the ramp. Slowly the blue box simply vanished, almost as if it had gone between. And there was nothing but the gentle lap of waves against the base of the black stone.

It is a strange way to travel. Tardith said.

D'oktah shook his head wonderingly. "A box that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside," he murmured. "And it goes between. But to where?"

I do not know. Tardith answered.

Only then did D'oktah realize there was something in his hand. Two somethings. Jelly babies, the Doctor had called them. He sniffed them gingerly then popped the pink one into his mouth. It was a sweet! A very tasty sweet. The yellow one had a different flavor but was just as good.

We should go now. Tardith told him. Fall is nearly over.

"There's one more thing we have to do first," D'oktah answered. "Let's go back to the cove. I want to get something."

Nothing is left.

"I'm going to get that feline Leela killed."

I've heard those are tasty.

"Well, you'll find out once I've skinned it. I'm going to give the pelt to Mirrim."

A short time later the bronze dragon rose, wings pumping for altitude away from Flatrock Inlet. He pronounced that the feline was indeed tasty but not very filling. "You don't need filling," D'oktah told him. "You ate four bucks yesterday. Besides, you shouldn't get too filled this far away from the weyr."

Fall has ended. The wings are returning to the weyr.

D'oktah laughed. "Well, those strangers may have their blue between box but I have a bronze dragon!" he declared, thumping his friends neck fondly. *And with you I can always get where I need to go. When I need to be there!"

Tardith snorted happily. Yes. I can see when we need to be there. Then he added,
Are we going to tell the weyr what happened here?

D'oktah laughed, slapping the bronze neck affectionately. "Who'd believe us?"

Tardith was still rumbling with his version of laughter as he took them between.

P'ter Nov 17 2008 05:01 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
What a lovely cocktail! :rofl::drool::rofl::dance::rofl::drool::rofl:

jube Nov 17 2008 07:36 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
I liked the puns on both versions of the Doctor/D'oktah and Tardis/Tardith. It definitely puts into perspective about how Anne doesn't like people invading her "world", however it would seem the good Doctor would and gets away with it and what a way to get rid of the daleks without really trying. I LOVE IT. :lol: Sandi, I've got to hand it to you, it's a great story and would make great tv viewing for the masses.

Sandi Nov 17 2008 10:56 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
:D I'm glad y'all liked it. I've never felt comfortable writing in someone else's world but this one pretty much demanded to be typed out. My first thought of blending these two had to do with how dragonriders would cope with and/or relate to someone else who traveled through time but then it seemed more fun somehow to set it up this way.

AnnMarie Nov 17 2008 11:49 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Sandi, it was GREAT! And I love the idea that firehead could decimate the daleks, too!

Lis Nov 17 2008 02:57 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Great story Sandi, loved it :lol:

Anneli Nov 17 2008 03:57 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Great fun, Sandi :D I loved the idea of dragons flaming Daleks, and the puns on Doctor and Tardis were really funny ;)

PS: Now I want to know what Mirrim said after the Fall :lol: *ducks and runs* :sneak:

Sandi Nov 17 2008 06:02 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
To P'ter, Jube, AnnMarie and Anneli, Thanks so much for the compliments! It was meant for laughs and I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

Anneli, to steal a motto from "show business" Always Leave Them Wanting More! Of course, if anybody else wanted to expound or add to it, it's ok with me...........

kevia Nov 17 2008 07:18 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Sandi, that was a blast to read!! Loved it!!

T'mynn Nov 17 2008 10:38 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Ahh that's brillant.:-) Wonderful story. I enjoy The Doctor Who series emensly.:-) b

Lady Maelin Nov 18 2008 11:21 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Sandi...when I saw what this was about....I just had to copy this down...as I don't have time tonight to read now...but I'll be taking it with me tomorrow to court...to have something short but good to read...as I am sitting hour upon hour, waiting to go into the courtroom. I'm on Jury Duty again this week...hey we all need to go and serve our time. Just wish it wasn't so boring...your story will be sure to brighten my day!!!
I'll be sure to let you know what I thought of it...when I get home.

Multi-Facets Nov 18 2008 11:30 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Kya ha ha ha ha ha ha! (falls over)

Oh, Lordy! I don't think anyone's tried THAT particular combination before. A very nice peek at a Doctor and Companion who were before my time, but undoubtedly much loved, especially by you, Sandy.

You never really do know how an alien physiology will react to things, huh? Although I like the firehead/Dalek combination more than the water/alien thing from "Signs".

This sentence, though -You should not have walked up to that thing that way," the dragon said. It could have hurt you!- is entirely in italics; you might want to fix that and the quotation marks. Other than that, I can't fault the spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

Thank you for sharing.

P'ter Nov 19 2008 08:09 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Come to think of it (having gone back @ Multi's comment)


You should not have walked up to that thing that way," the dragon said. It could have hurt you!
There's either one too many quote marks or three too few. :erm:

Sandi Nov 19 2008 02:20 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
:blush: Thanks, Kevia, Multi and T'mynn! Glad you enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to do and it just sort of ran away with me.


Originally Posted by Multi-Facets (Post 125953)
Kya ha ha ha ha ha ha! (falls over)

Oh, Lordy! I don't think anyone's tried THAT particular combination before. A very nice peek at a Doctor and Companion who were before my time, but undoubtedly much loved, especially by you, Sandy.

You never really do know how an alien physiology will react to things, huh? Although I like the firehead/Dalek combination more than the water/alien thing from "Signs".

This sentence, though -You should not have walked up to that thing that way," the dragon said. It could have hurt you!- is entirely in italics; you might want to fix that and the quotation marks. Other than that, I can't fault the spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

Thank you for sharing.


Originally Posted by P'ter (Post 125979)
Come to think of it (having gone back @ Multi's comment)

There's either one too many quote marks or three too few. :erm:

Thanks, both of you, for the heads up on that. All my paragraphing and itallicizing and everything went away in the copy and paste effort. I tried to fix it but I'm not surprised that I missed some things here and there. I think I've fixed that one at least.

And Master Maelin, jury duty is really boring, I know. Hope this little item lightens it up for you a little. Just don't laugh out loud when you're reading it!

Lady Maelin Nov 19 2008 10:36 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Sandi...your story was a fantastic adventure right in the middle of a very boring jury waiting room...early this morning. Suddenly I was thrust into a facinating Dr. Who *Pern adventure...Lord I coudn't have wished for a better combination for me. I was thrilled with it...and your very well written story, that tranported me to Pern in the Tardis.
My only complaint was it was just to short...I wanted it to go on for a while longer...and like Anneli...would have given much to see Mirrrim's:eek: face and reaction :faint2:when she was told the story of how D'oktah [I had a lovely chuckle with your take on the names]was able to surprise her with the unusual present:cat::evil:

THis was a very, very entertaining story and I am so glad that I copied it down for another read...:good::good::good:

Sandi Nov 19 2008 10:49 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It really was fun. I'm not sure what D'oktah will tell Mirrim about the pelt. She certainly wouldn't believe him if he told her the truth. Hopefully she'll just accept it as an apology and peace-making gift and leave it at that. Of course, we all know Mirrim..............

Lady Maelin Nov 20 2008 12:02 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Oh yes we do:lol::roll::lol:....and I believe most of us would truly have a certain amount of real sympathy for D'oktah, or any other dragon riders, who have to deal with her...:erm:...on a daily basis...:ugg:

Once again, thank you for my mornings entertainment...you saved me from the boredom of the jury waiting room:sneak::sly::good:and I am happily going to look forward to your next adventure ;).

GinnyStar Nov 20 2008 04:36 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
:good: :lol: not quite :rofl: I have not seen any of Dr. Who. on TV but I get the general idea what a twst l am :lol: here. I can see the puns, and how the dragonrider called it an upside down vat of numbweed was a hoot and :lol:!

Along with having Firehead kill it that was :cool: along with finding a vaccine for it. :cool:

Just what I need something to put me in a better mood. "snorting with lol" here! G'night

Sandi Nov 20 2008 06:16 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Master Maelin and Ginny, I'm glad you were entertained by this silly little tale.

Yesterday I started wondering if my attempt at subtle irony may have been a little too subtle so I made a couple of changes and posted them in blue. I may be overthinking the whole thing and it might have been better left alone. If so, I hope somebody will tell me!

Also, I still wish I had figured out a way to include at least some mention of the sonic screwdriver and the marvelous scarf. If anybody has any suggestions to further that end, I'd appreciate them too!

P'ter Nov 20 2008 06:59 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Couldn't the doctor drop his scarf, by accident, near the slain feline.

D'oktar could find it when they went back to skin it.

Imagine him trying to explain THAT to Mirrim? :rofl:

Sandi Nov 20 2008 09:08 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
:shriek::lol::lol::shriek: That's Brilliant!

My original intent (Since Anne said the Pernese were to have no interaction with outsiders) was to make sure there was no evidence of the visit. That's why Tardith destroyed all traces of the Daleks and D'oktah ate the jelly babies. Still, that really would be funny. Should he use it to tie up the pelt or hide it to be discovered? I wonder. You know, I really wouldn't mind if somebody else wrote an additional page or two. It would be fun to play build-a-story with it.

GinnyStar Nov 20 2008 11:19 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Sandi I would love the idea, right now real life and not know Dr. Who would not work on a you great idea! :lol: not quite :rofl: stage yet, its given me big :D

I do know about the sonic srewdriver from Star Trek stories! Maybe someone who know Dr. Who can help out.

I had an idea chasing around my mind as not qute a Star Trek twist tech wise crossover with Pern but not real ready for story writing yet.

jube Nov 21 2008 06:51 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord

Does that help Ginny? :nod:

T'mynn Nov 21 2008 10:02 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
If anyone wanted to buy a sonic screw driver go to Thinkgeekdotcom (dot =.) they have the one in the picture and the "Masters" laser driver.

Sandi Nov 21 2008 11:38 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Wow! Maybe I should put one of those on my Christmas list! Every time I want to use my Craftsman screwdriver I find I have to recharge it first.

And Ginny has a good point, too. Maybe instead of trying to twist more into this tale we should start something new as a group effort. Star Trek is widly known and Star Wars. What would a stranded Jedi Knight do on Pern?


jube Nov 21 2008 09:25 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
I've found that Dr Who (and similiarly any of the shows that came out of BBC like "The Goodies" - junior classifies that and Dr Who as 2 of his favourite BBC shows, got to start them young :nod:) remains a fixture on tv for all Commonwealth countries e.g. Australia, NZ, Canada and European countries as that's where they seemed to be screened more. Star Wars and Star Trek seemed to be more global then Dr Who but Dr Who still remains one of my favourite shows though. Yes, how would a jedi knight cope on Pern, Sandi :D?

Lady Maelin Nov 21 2008 10:56 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
We use to have a chain story when I first came on MoM...but it slowly faded away. I'm not sure what you should try in a new story...but I do remeber that they are a lot of fun.

Off the top of my head:think:...and in keeping with the season:pressies::reindeer::reindeer::reindeer:...w hat if you had Santa and his reindeer show up...perhaps he's missed his earthly worm hole or his time jump, and he and the reindeer all end up on Pern for a few days or so???. Something along those lines could end up being a lot of fun...at least through the holidays:bouncy:

T'mynn Nov 22 2008 12:38 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Pern's a very agragian society with little high tech. Unless the Jedi is a major tech head "geek", he or she might actually like Pern.

They'd have to adjust to a simpler lifestyle, slower going one, and cobble together a device that could power their lightsabre's charge station. Its separate from the clip on the belt.
If I were a Jedi, I'd get that lightsabre hidden, probably change the clothing if I can and do a LOT of listening in hopes I could learn the language and customs quicker. I hope my appearance wouldn't be during a Pass, Thread Fall would be most uncomfortable. :-)

GinnyStar Nov 22 2008 02:16 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord

Originally Posted by jube (Post 126203)
<Sinp>Does that help Ginny? :nod:

Yes, :lol: I am not qute :rofl: here.

I have seen it in the I Science Fiction Book Club: as a DVD set I think.

It may have been on BBC-America or a diffent SF theme channel here.

I have an idea roll around here, its not quite formed. Its something I well have to get back to you. I know Star Trek a bit better than Star Wars

I don't know much after the laters books New Jedi I think didn't get into it at all.

GinnyStar Nov 22 2008 02:29 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord

Originally Posted by T'mynn (Post 126306)
Pern's a very agragian society with little high tech. Unless the Jedi is a major tech head "geek", he or she might actually like Pern.

They'd have to adjust to a simpler lifestyle, slower going one, and cobble together a device that could power their lightsabre's charge station. Its separate from the clip on the belt.
If I were a Jedi, I'd get that lightsabre hidden, probably change the clothing if I can and do a LOT of listening in hopes I could learn the language and customs quicker. I hope my appearance wouldn't be during a Pass, Thread Fall would be most uncomfortable. :-)

Depend on which time of Pern, Post-SvP would maybe work. And where on Pern

I would think bulding a charger from what on Pern then could work.

I Jedi, is what I basing it on, my building of one. Horn did his on what he could find.

Sandi Nov 22 2008 11:45 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Well, since there are creative people on MoM who probably know more about Jedi Knights than I do, I'm content to leave the next crossover to someone else.

The glove has dropped. I'll be waiting to see what appears in the Exhibit Hall next!

T'mynn Nov 22 2008 03:18 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Horn made his sabre with found aprts, but I was thinking of the jedi already having his or her weapon but needing to construct recharging devices.

Dragon Man Nov 24 2008 01:57 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Great story Sandi loved it. I love doctor who.

They really should make an episode with pern in it :bouncy:

Sandi Nov 24 2008 02:32 PM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Dragon Man. It might be interesting to have the Doctor visit Pern "for real" but that would require some complicated legal stuff that I doubt Anne would be all that receptive to.

jube Nov 25 2008 04:42 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
Be positive, she might be receptive, plus it would make a great short story and get the ball moving for the movies/tv series, hopefully. Crossing fingers here! No doubt having lived in Ireland for a lengthy period of time, she would have cottoned onto Dr Who by now.

P'ter Nov 25 2008 08:11 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord
She's probably been ghost writing them under a nom-de-plume

jube Nov 26 2008 04:55 AM

Re: Visit from a Timelord

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