Set after the tv-movie with Paul McGann as the Eight Doctor, towards the end of his run in books/comics/audios.. before the last great Time War (really)broke out.
A Maltese fanfic/crossover/literary fiction/story…
Note: If you have never watched Space:1999, try viewing this first episode here:
The TARDIS time rotor made its familiar sound as it began materialising. It slid up and down in the time console flashing a familiar light pattern. “Interesting… The TARDIS is in some form of advanced structure, probably quite a large spacecraft piggybacked to a large meteoric structure,”
The Doctor glared out towards the scanner screen which showed the outside. A wall laced with monitors and in-wall keypads was in sight.
“Clearly early 21st-century earth technology but something is quite wrong. The temporal chronometer indicates the year is 2003 and the month is July.. again… It must be damaged. How could it get here, this place is many light years away from earth, a different galaxy altogether. Clearly, this craft must have passed through an anomaly.”
The Doctor ran an analysis of the surrounding materials to see what sort of craft the TARDIS had materialised in, ‘what’s this moon rock?’ Can it be the Moonbase again, he wondered. But that was not around in 2003. It would take at least a decade for the earth to be setting something up on the moon. Perhaps some alien race had a base on the moon in 2003, that would explain the existence of this technology. Still, it was clearly of earth origin. Earth definitely did not have a moonbase in 2003, the Doctor thought.
The structure was embedded in a large moon that was travelling in deep space. Highly usual. Only an advanced intelligence could have devised this sort of travelling system, certainly not the 21st-century human technology.
‘This can’t be’, he said, ‘ the earth’s moon never left orbit. At least in N-Space or Universe-777.’
So was it either Earth’s moon in some parallel universe or was it perhaps a duplicate moon?
N-Space was normal space, the Doctor’s usual universe (Universe-777). But temporal anachronisms and bizarre anomalies are to be investigated, the Doctor decided and rushed outside of the TARDIS.
Nearly one thousand years old, the Doctor was a Gallifreyan Time Lord. Their people could regenerate twelve times, so you can say they had thirteen lives to live. Most Time Lords would take a few thousand years before wearing their bodies out and needing to regenerate themselves. He was an honest man, with the best of intentions and a soft spot for humanity as he liked to call it. He had travelled through time and space, across universes, wherever he was needed basically. At times he travelled alone, at other times he travelled with companions mostly from Earth. This was his eighth regeneration, he had a forced regeneration after being operated on by human surgeons who didn’t have the slight idea of what they were doing.
He thought it’s quite quiet around, so it’s safe enough to take a walk around. Nothing better than an early walk in a moonbase corridor. Perhaps I’ll find some old friends, he thought to himself or to his second regeneration’s memory at any rate. Was he here before? Was it a different place? He was not certain.
Eventually, he stumbled into a number of dead Alphans, in a pool of red blood. Fresh. Straight after the Doctor attempted to check whether the Alphans are beyond help, a security squad armed with lasers entered and ordered the Doctor to stop.
As the Doctor was arrested by the squad, he complained that he just arrived and was just looking around. He gave them an innocent look, “Listen I just don’t have anything to do with this”.
One of the men told him “Yes you just happened to be there”.
“I’ll just be on my way in my own ship.”
“What ship? What are you blathering on about? Are you a lunatic also? We didn’t see no ship materialise on the lunar surface.”
In Command Center, Security reported to Paul Morrow and informed him of the blue obsolete police box which was parked in one of the corridors.
Paul probably thought this was someone’s idea of a bad joke.
Paul thought that the commander would not have liked this latest development. It was bad enough that they had been marooned on the drifting moon ever since on that fateful day of September 1999, when BREAKAWAY had happened, i.e. the moon had left the orbit of the earth after the nuclear waste dumps had exploded. In this universe, all nuclear weapons were broken down in 1987. On the far side of the moon, Nuclear Waste Disposal Area One was established as a part of the final answer to the problem of radioactive waste disposal. The massive nuclear detonations at Area Two had reduced tens of thousands of square kilometres of the lunar surface to simply fusion plasma and was enough to blast the moon out of orbit at a trajectory 52 degrees southward relative to the plane of the ecliptic. As a result, there were many earthquakes, natural disasters, the ozone layer was damaged severely even more than it was before, and many animals died as their natural habitat changed drastically.
“This is Earth’s moon?” asked the Doctor while thinking that Koenig looked somewhat familiar, he couldn’t think where he knew him.
“Of course it is” replied John Koenig.
“Then if this is moonbase, where are the t-mat systems, I haven’t seen them.”
“T-mat systems, what are you going on about?”
“Moonbase was built with t-mat systems, everyone knows that.”
“Stranger, I don’t know what you’re going on about. This is lunar base Alpha, not something called ‘Moonbase’. What’s a t-mat?”
The situation sank slowly in. The Doctor was not in his dimension or universe anymore, but in a parallel one, where the Moonbase was called Alpha.
Things had happened differently here, while in the Doctor’s universe the moon had not detached itself from the earth, in this one it had, with dire consequences. Victor had explained that a covert EGP pulse, that is, a scalar EM (or EMP) wave was emitted in a new weapon experiment and this had discharged on the moon in a sharp electro gravitational pulse (EGP). The strong EGP pulse was absorbed and re-radiated from the radioactive nuclei, in the nuclear wastes on the moon dump areas, causing essentially a terrible nuclear “accident”. The effect was the same as an atomic bomb, with the added effect of disrupting the moon’s orbit. Some of this energy was absorbed by the moon’s core, which gave the moon super-light speeds at times, or so it seemed to those onboard Alpha.
So he was being accused of cold-blooded murder. Not a new situation for the Doctor, but it was new for his eighth regeneration at any rate. Perhaps there was some way in which he could just slip away from the mess and let them settle it by themselves, he thought. No sense getting himself imprisoned or killed.
“A Matter Transmission system used for transport of supplies initially.” the Doctor remarked, unsure whether he should have said this but he was afraid they might start to get paranoid if he did not explain.
“I knew of some experiments in that matter, but in our time they have not been very successful” Koenig noted.
“What’s that police box we found? It’s yours, isn’t it? What do you need a police box for?” asked Koenig.
“Well yes, it’s my TARDIS, a spacecraft which travels through time and space. Don’t you make too many questions?”
“Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. It means that INSIDE is bigger than OUTSIDE.”
“That’s impossible,.” said Professor Victor Bergman.
“Not really, just have a look inside.”
“This is a waste of time. We should be talking about the people you killed.” Koenig said.
“We can see if he’s telling the truth about his TARDIS still. If he’s not responsible he might be able to help us” Victor surmised.
Alpha, well the moon with lunar base Alpha on it, had recently left the Arkadian star system. The moon had been stopped in space near the planet Arkadia by an unknown force, well the Alphans had recognised the hand of the creator in these turn of events. How otherwise could it be explaine? Their presence helped restart the planet’s ecosystem from the sterile death it was in and the technicians Anna Ferro and Luke Davis remained behind. Just after this, a mysterious radio signal was received from the surrounding space it was thought. This matter still required explanation, Koenig thought.
An Eagle craft was sent out, carrying professor Victor Bergman, David Kano, two sensor technicians and pilot Paul Morrow, to investigate the source of the signal. They went into the system’s asteroid belt but found nothing. Suddenly the ship took a meteor hit and was slightly crippled but somehow they managed to get the ship close enough in range to Alpha.
A rescue Eagle was launched which managed to dock with the damaged craft and bring the men back.
“God was with us” Victor had told John after the rescue. “He still is”, John answered.
“We still have things to do apparently” Paul noted.
Going back to the present, Victor, Paul, John, some security officials and the Doctor approached his ‘police box’. He took out his key and proceeded to unlock and open the TARDIS.
John sighed as he watched the Doctor open, and said “Who goes in first?”
“I’ll go in”, Victor said as he stepped through. “This is amazing, no it’s impossible to be real.”
“Perhaps it exists in a slightly different dimension” Paul surmounted.
“Well, I like to think that inside is bigger than outside basically” the Doctor explained.
“Doctor, tell us what you are doing here. Did you kill my men?” asked a suspicious Koenig.
“The reply to your second question is: Of course I did not. The reply to your first is: I travel through time and space and I don’t completely control the process through which this occurs. In other words while I am in control sometimes I end up elsewhere. Only sometimes.” the Doctor said finally.
“You travel in this ‘Police Box’?” asked Paul, ” What a strange way to travel.”
“I call it the TARDIS” the Doctor reminded them.
“Well if you aren’t responsible for the deaths there must be something you can do to help us find who is responsible, and perhaps help us find our way back to Earth.” Koenig commented.
“I may help you chart your location, but I suspect this is not the universe I normally travel in, so I can’t really help you find your Earth.
I’m terribly sorry I can’t help. The Earth I know of, I have been to, is in my universe and still has its moon.” the Doctor ventured.
“No breakaway occurred then?” Koenig asked.
“Not in my universe. I mean the one I came from. There is a moonbase like yours but it is still there and it is quite different to this one.”
Victor turned to John. “Impressive. A different universe, parallel to ours, where Moonbase Alpha does not exist. Another moonbase is in place and it uses t-mats.”
The Doctor hesitated for a moment.
“While your controls look like some Victorian junk, can you give us hyperdrive capability at least? Victor, I didn’t mean your junk…” asked Koenig, looking at Victor as he said the last sentence.
“My TARDIS doesn’t use a hyperdrive. The technology, I’m sorry is beyond your capabilities to understand.” the Doctor explained. “I could, however, take some of you in my TARDIS but I cannot travel within this universe. The reason is I need to get to my universe or I will be stranded here just as you are stranded. I’m sure you’ll understand me. I should be able to take those who come with me, back to earth in MY universe. Going to your earth is something I can’t do without risking stranding myself in your universe.”
“I volunteer myself,.” said Victor Bergman. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime that I don’t want to miss.”
Suddenly Smithers, a security officer, entered the TARDIS whose doors were left open. He pointed a laser at the Doctor.
“Is this the way you treat your visitors here?” asked the Doctor.
“Well our visitors don’t tend to be very friendly. More like deceitful usuall,” said Smithers. “I’m fed up of this, I want to get home and now this is the best opportunity.”
“Calm down, Smithers, stop pointing that weapon.” Koenig attempted to calm Smithers down. Koenig starts suspecting that Smithers was responsible for the earlier deaths.
“I will not. I will take this box and go to Earth whether or not this alien wants to allow me to.” Smithers shouted.
“Smithers – then you killed those men didn’t you?” queried a worried Koenig.
“Yes, I did, didn’t I make you worry… I was fed up with life here on this barren rock. Now I want to say goodbye to all and leave.” Smithers continued.
“You won’t get anywhere. Only a Time Lord may operate the TARDIS.” The Doctor said, lying, of course, hoping Smithers wouldn’t see through his bluff.
“I’ll kill all of you!” said Smithers. “I’ll find a way to operate it just the same.” He started firing shots at random but Koenig manages to get hold of him and wrestles with him. But not without a shot managing to get through and hitting Paul. Smithers got placed under custody in the Alpha Detention Centre while Paul was taken to the Medical Centre.
In the Medical Centre, Paul was being operated by Dr Helena Russell.
“It’s a difficult operation” said Koenig “but I thank God we’ve got you, Doctor to help.” The Doctor indeed assisted as best as he could with medical supplies he got from the TARDIS and with his experience, Paul could be saved.
After he recovered, Paul decided to go with the Doctor. Sandra Benes was not happy at all about his decision, but he felt that he owed the Doctor his life and he had to help him at least for a while.
As a parting gift, the Doctor took out one (was it a copy? I don’t know) of his travel logs, an old book, some hundreds of years old, with details of many of his travels. He thought it might help them in case they came across similar situations. The same perils might exist in both universes. Imagine the cybermen attacking this moonbase. It would be difficult for them to defend themselves. Or the Daleks from Skaro.
Still the Doctor thought about what he could give them to help them get back to earth. He tweaked a bit with their intranet and updated some of their systems. He also installed an open source operating system which they hadn’t heard of. He spent quite a bit of time on Alpha, and they encountered some aliens together, before the time came for him, Paul and Victor to leave Alpha forever (these are stories for another day). He even suggested some changes in the Alphan uniforms.
The Doctor came to see Koenig for the last time in Main Mission before leaving. He also wanted to give Paul and Victor their last chances to give their goodbyes to everyone. This was when Main Mission was being closed down, the new Command Center was safer to use, better shielded from alien attacks from the outside and it also was using the newer systems the Doctor had installed.
Toni Verdeschi brought the Doctor a glass of his freshly brewed beer. The Doctor didn’t like it much actually but he did drink it as he thought Toni could get offended otherwise. “How do you think it rates on a scale from 1 to 10” asked Toni.
“Don’t be afraid to tell him it’s no good” Koenig quipped.
“Well, if I may say the truth, it’s around a … 2 !! ” said the Doctor.
Everyone started to laugh at Toni and his beer…
“I prefer tea actually. Koenig, once I’m back in my universe, I’ll be able to eventually come back to you, but it might take me a while. For me, at least. For you it will seem like a week or a month or so. To help me though, I’ll leave a tracker transmitter here with you if you don’t mind.” the Doctor expressed his concerns that he would be leaving without helping the Alphans get back to Earth. “Otherwise what could be done is everyone might evacuate Alpha and enter my TARDIS, and I could take you to my universe.”
“I think that I speak for most of us when I think we would not want to go to another universe. This is good or bad enough for us and we won’t risk getting marooned in another one. Sorry” was Koenig’s reply.
“I was about to suggest that I materialise my TARDIS around your moon, but forget it, it’s too dangerous. In any case, I promise to come back one day.” the Doctor promised.
Joining the Doctor in his TARDIS, Paul and Victor became his new companions, they travelled with him in the Doctor’s universe. Young Toni Verdeschi got promoted and took Paul’s place.
The familiar wheezing sound could be heard in the corridors of Alpha, as the Doctor’s TARDIS dematerialised.
Through the Vortex, it crossed the barriers between the different universes and eventually got to the Doctor’s N-Space. The Doctor had previously christened the Alphan universe A-Space for ease of reference. He would go back there eventually, one day…
Story (C) Mr Scirev 1999-2016
Doctor Who is owned by the BBC.
Space:1999, Toni Verdeschi, Paul Morrow, Sandra Benes, John Koenig are owned by ITC Entertainment Group Ltd, Sylvia and Gerry Anderson.