Time and Time Again: Part One Disclaimer: All Star Trek characters are copyrighted by Paramount, Dr. Who is copyrighted by the BBC. These are used without permission and are meant as a loving tribute to the shows and characters involved. No infringement is intended!

Time and Time Again

A Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover

by Cris Lawrence

Chapter One

* * * * *

In the beginning, there was Darkness. The unyielding darkness of space. Then, suddenly, the darkness recedes, as if pushed back by some magical force. And it has been pushed back, by the sunrise, by the Light. Day after day, year after year, eon after eon, the Darkness has come and spread its coarse blackness throughout the cosmos. But, just when the Darkness thinks it has won, that it has snuffed out the last of the Light, it always returns, brighter than before, to vanquish the Darkness for another day.

But, like the Light, the Darkness is never completely gone.

It just waits, and bides its time, growing stronger, until it is time for it to come out again, to spread. And so the cycle continues. At this point in time, the year 2580 A.D., the Darkness is known as the Imperial Dalek Empire. The Light is the entire human race, represented by the Earth Spacefleet. And now, just like it has so many times before, the Light has driven back the Darkness, caused it to recede. But the Light has not won an easy battle; there has been much suffering and despair caused by the Darkness. But the Light has nevertheless won the battle in this Time, and now it is time to pick up the pieces, and begin life anew.

The light of the bright-red star that the maps called Hinire Upsilon, or HU for short, fell on the circling mass of metal light-years away. Inside, the crew of the Jumpship Dresden started thier work. They were agents of the Light, the victorious Spacefleet. Their mission: to pick up the pieces.

* * * * *

The blast of trumpet music shocked her awake, as it did every morning.

As she struggled to rise, she thought grumpily, *That's it. I should have asked him to go see the guy who invented revilie. And he would have asked, Why? And of course, I would have said, So I can blow him up.*

This was the only time she thought of him, half-asleep in the dawn. To think of him at any other time would have brought waves of disgust, anger, and hatred.

*I know he had to do it, but I wish he didn't have to do it right then. I didn't have time to say good-bye.*

Another blast of revilie shocked her out of thoughts, and she set about getting ready. Five minutes later, she has assembled, with all the others, in the staging area.

*One quick run before breakfast, huh?*, she thought acidly. *Well, I'd like to tell him where to stick his damned...*

She stopped abruptly as he came in; she had heard people swear that he could hear people's thoughts. Not that she really cared; she knew of only one person who could read her thoughts, and she highly doubted if he was here, pretending to be a Spacefleet sergeant.

She looked him up and down quickly, sizing him up like a prizefighter checking out his opponent. The sergeant was tall and muscular, with a little cap of brown hair sticking out of his hat. His fatigues were starchly pressed, with the creases still in them. The name on his pocket read, "Johnson, Sgt."

She completed her inspection, thinking, *No, it can't be. He wouldn't pick someone real tall, not after the last two... Not to mention the clothes are way too neat and clean for him. Everything had to be rumpled. And "Johnson"? Possibly... No way. It can't be. It isn't. But if it was, I would've had a few things...*

The sergeant spoke. His voice was clear, without a trace of accent. "Roll call! Acknowledge!" He began to read off a list in his hand.

"34th Squadron... Allen, Michael, callsign 'Yankee'?"

Allen, a tall, lanky kid of no more than 20, shook his head. "Here, sir!"

"Bedighaus, Ellen, callsign 'Spike'?"

"Here, sir!"

"Cavanaugh, Brian, callsign 'Duke'?"

"Here, sir!"

And on down the list he went, name after name, each with thier own codename. She smiled a little; hers was easy. After all, she'd practically been born with it. She thought glumly, *See? There's no way he could hide his accent that well. I mean, he sounds like a damned American...*

Then she heard it, just barely, wrapped up in her own thoughts.

"McShane, Dorothy, callsign 'Ace'?"

"Here, sir!", she called out, hoping not to draw too much attention to herself. That's how she had her reputation. Mysterious little Ace, best sneak in Spacefleet. But where did she come from, anyway? And how did she know so much about the Daleks? She was sure, even now, that they were wondering about her origin; they always did, everywhere she was stationed.

Usually a deadly look or a sullen snort would back them off, but not always. She smiled again inwardly, remembering the hotshot grunt who thought her reticence to explain her past meant that she was a Dalek spy. She showed him wrong, really quick; the guy was in the infirmary for three days, while she languished in solitary for her "attitude".

She snorted again, derisively. *Well, if you've had the life I've had, you'd probably have a little bit of an attitude, too.*

The sergeant finished roll, paused a moment, then spoke again. "Now, here's your mission plan. We recieved word at 1600 hours yesterday that a fighter group was hit by some sort of Dalek EM pulse. We checked the area; the Dalek forces that were here bugged out over a week ago. It's possible that the pulse weapon was automated, but we're not sure, so keep your eyes open. Here is your target area."

The sergeant pulled up a holomap of the planet below. He pointed to a moderate-sized red square in the center of the map.

"This is sector alpha, your target area. HU 3249 had been a Dalek stronghold for many years, so there may be traps. Your job is to find the missing fighter pilots and bring them back. Your secondary objective is to find the source of the EM emissions, and if it is a Dalek pulse weapon, manned or unmanned, take it out."

"Due to the high levels of EM interference in the area, and the definite possibility that the pulse weapon and indeed the entire planetoid may be housing Daleks, you are going in unaided, with minimal power to the jumpboxes. That's all. Are there any questions?"

The chorus of soldiers answered as one. "No, sir!"

The sergeant could have smiled then; he just chose not to. "Good. Suit up; we drop in 15 minutes!"

Everyone retired to his or her quarters. Ace went to the closet and took out her jumpsuit, stopping for a moment to look at what hung next to it. The leather, outdated for this time of synthetic materials, still held its shape and luster. Ace fingered the plastic covering the jacket, stopping at the "Ace" emblazoned on the back. As she put her jumpsuit on, she thought briefly of that long ago past, the time she had spent with the Doctor.

*Everything was going great*, she thought. *Then you had to spoil everything with that whole Fenric business. Sure, I understood what you were trying to do, but it didn't make me feel any better. You could have fixed things after that, just by going back to your old self, but you couldn't do that. You had to continue your little plan of manipulation in order to get things done. And as you did that, 'Professor', we grew farther apart.*

She was so preoccupied with her thoughts that she almost forgot about the jump. She swore silently, and scrambled to make it to the ship in time.

* * * * *

The dropboxes weren't very spacious; they were boxes, after all. There was barely enough room for Ace to sit down and strap herself in. She cursed the Daleks' EM interference; because of it, they would have to be dropped from a spot just outside the EM range, which was about 10 miles up, just inside the atmosphere.

Not only that, but there was no power for thrusters or scanners; no way to tell if they were on target or not. If they exhibited too much of a energy signature, then the Daleks' EM pulse weapon would home in on them, as it had the fighters. And that wasn't good at all. Ace remembered the class she had taken that explained EM pulse technology. The strong electromagnetic pulse would completely knock out a target's energy pattern, leaving them powerless. If even a moderately powerful pulse wave hit the jumpboxes, as small as they were, she reasoned later, they would immediately lose all power; no shielding, no life support. They would crash-land like so much debris. If they were lucky.

After what seemed like an eternity, the Dresden moved into position. A few seconds later, the status light in Ace's box lit up.

*Green*, she thought. *Well, here goes everything. Geronimo...*

She faintly heard the popping sound; the sound of explosive docking charges being activated. A second later, she found herself in that endless sensation of falling. She had hit the altimeter display on her wrist chrono when she started her descent, and she looked at it now.

*Hmmm... 9.32 and falling fast.*, she thought idily to herself. *We should hit in five... no, more like six minutes.*

As she continued her descent, she allowed herself to continue her thoughts of the Doctor.

*Yes, we continued to drift apart, until, at one point, just before we arrived at Heaven, I realized that I didn't know who you were anymore. Then, while we were there, and I found Jan, I thought you were... I don't know, different, somehow. But I didn't know why. I think it was because you knew what was going to happen. Every bit of it. You always did, you miserable... Time Lord.*

*And then, when Jan died... I couldn't take it anymore. I was just so sick and tired of being your puppet, just blindingly following your instructions, believing what you were doing was right. Then, I realized that your definition of right and mine weren't the same. Perhaps they never were. 'Time's Champion', my foot; you were just a cold, calculating manipulative... person who kept me along just to throw the others off the track. That's all I ever was to you. Your decoy.*

*So I left. I actually sucked it all in and made a decision. And you couldn't believe it, could you? I was the first to stand up to you and tell you to go to hell, you omnipotent bastard, because I didn't want to go through it anymore.*

She snapped herself out of her mental tirade and looked at her altimeter again. *Now at 5.32... Still in good shape.* She looked at the status light in her box, which still blazed bright green, giving a type of surrealist tinge to the metal box. *Still green... no structural failure. We might just make it after all...*

Suddenly, the box started shaking. Ace looked on frantically as the green light started to flash yellow. *Damn! The Daleks must have fired on us!* Then she registered the significance of the yellow status light.

*It's not red. No catastrophic structural failure; only moderate damage. Must have been off, or I just caught the edge of it.* She couldn't be sure just how bad that "moderate" damage was, or even if any of her squad were still functional. Without scanners, she was still blind. *Better take precautions...*

She donned her special helmet and backpack, which functioned as an encounter suit in hostile atmospheric conditions. The backpack held an intravenous fluid line to provide nourishment during battle periods and a special laser-type emergency beacon that was guaranteed to punch through any atmosphere, in case she got separated from her squad and they or the Dresden had to mount a search.

But most importantly, the pack held its own 10-hour supply of compressed air. If the box's staus light turned red, signifying a definite hull breach, Ace would turn on the air supply, hoping it would hold her until the Dresden or the remaining- if there were any- members of her squad found her. But she was going to turn it on way before that. *Damned if I'm going to get caught napping and end up eating vacuum.*

She stole a look at both her altimeter and the status light. *4.11, and still yellow...* In the back of her mind, she wondered if perhaps the status light had been damaged. She fought back the accompanying wave of hysteria this thought caused. *Keep it together, girl. Everything's going to be all right.*

She kept herself busy by counting seconds in her head. After an eternity, the altimeter read 2.50, and the light still stubbornly flashed yellow. She thought, *All right...only three more minutes until touchdown.* She turned on the air, listening to the welcome hiss of oxygen as it entered her helmet. *That's better.*

She searched around franctically in the gloom for the landing lever. When this lever was pulled, explosive charges would deploy a parachute that would slow the jumpbox's virtual freefall. After a few hectic moments. she found it, and pulled it down. All of a sudden, Ace was jerked to the left side of the box as the parachute caught the rushing air and tried to slow its descent... and remained there. The box had tilted crazily on its side. *Oh, no! The other side's chutes didn't open! Just what I needed.* She did some frantic calculations.

An object, no matter what its weight or mass, travels in freefall at a speed of 32 feet per second. The chutes, by creating drag upon the box, were supposed to slow the box down to a comfortable 10 feet per second. But with only one-half (she hoped) of the chutes opened, the drag created to slow the box was diminished by half.

*So, that means that since the gravity is Earth-standard, the speed of the box was still... 21 feet per second? Oh, my God...* At that speed, she realized, the box would crash in about two and a half minutes, and crash very hard. Hard enough to kill her. As she began to grow increasingly panicked, a voice, suddenly and abruptly, sounded in her head.

"Stop panicking, girl! Stop right now!* The voice that echoed in her head wasn't her own, she realized. It was the unique Scottish lilt of only one person: her Professor, the Seventh Doctor.

The idea of the voice of a man she still despised after two years didn't calm her down any; actually, it made her angry. *I can't believe you're here, inside my head! Get out, now!*

*But you're making me up, as a voice of reason... to calm you down.*

*Bullocks*, she thought angrily, *he is here, somehow, inside my head. And he's not calming me down at all!*

*No matter*, said the voice of the Seventh Doctor. *You remember how panicked you were when the Daleks took over the Coal Hill School?*

Ace now became indignant. *I was NOT panicked!*

She could imagine the Doctor smiling that idiot grin of his as he replied, *Then why did you take the bat?*

She considered that for a moment. Why did she take the bat, charged by the Hand of Omega, if she didn't believe, as she did, that it was the only way to damage the Daleks and give them a fighting chance? The voice of the Doctor continued.

*I know you hate me, Ace. Believe me, you have every right to be. But all I'm asking is just this once, remember the bat, and trust me. Remember the bat...*

Then, as suddenly as it had appeared, the voice disappeared, leaving Ace alone with her thoughts, hers alone. She smiled slightly.

"Remember the bat... Okay, Professor. Just this once, I'll trust you. But, mind you, just this once." And with that, she sat back in her seat, strapped in, and did the only thing she could think of to calm her down.

She prayed. A few minutes later, she hit the ground.

* * * * *

She awoke to the smell of smoke; she thought fearfully that the box had caught fire But, as she took a look around, she realized that the smoke was much more faint than that prouced by fire.

*It must have been the circuitry shorting out when we landed.*, she thought as she unbuckled herself gingerly from the box and took stock of her condition. No physical damage; mentally, however... Ace suppressed a shudder as the shock of what she had experienced hit her. *I did it! I survived... to do what now?*

She got out of the box, wreckage now, no good to her, and looked around. The landscape of HU 3249 was a barren desert wasteland, but that wasn't surprising; the Daleks had no sense of the aesthetic. What surprised her was that she had landed so close to the EMP station that she could see it on the horizon, about 5 miles away.

*I guess I must not have been damaged that much.* Then she thought again about what she had been through and shuddered again. *It was enough.*

She switched on her scanner, and as she did, she noticed that her altimeter/chronometer were damaged in the impact. *So, how long was I out? Can't have been that long; my air hasn't gone out yet, and someone hasn't found me yet... By the way, where is everyone else? They should have survived...*

Then, she took a look behind her, the one direction she hadn't looked yet. She gasped. There was a trail behind her 10 to 15 miles long riddled with debris; her former squad, disintegrated by the powerful EM pulse that, miraculously, she had only caught the edge of.

She paused for a moment, tears prickling her face. *It couldn't be... How in God's name could I have that lucky?* Then she realized the truth. *The Professor... By keeping my calm, with his help, I remained alive.*

She smiled to herself. *That is what you've been trying to teach me all these years, haven't you, Doctor? That with calm, a little luck, and a fairly good plan, you can accomplish just about anything? Well, consider the lesson learned, Professor. In spades.*

The scanner beeped softly; it had found something. Ace looked at it briefly, and noticed a red dot on the display, with some coordinates underneath it. *A laser beacon!*, she practically shouted.

*It must be the fighters' pilots! According to these coordinates, they're about... 6 miles away, heading north, opposite the EMP station. Oh, well, I'd better get going. I don't know how much air I have left, and I'm not too thrilled with the prospect of breathing sand.* With that, she began her arduous journey.

After what seemed like forever, she arrived at the coordinates. There was a beacon, a little pole on a tripod, outside a cave. *This makes sense. The beacon wouldn't work underground.* She looked inside for a moment. *Oh, god, it's pitch in there.*, she thought. She swept her scanner over the opening.

*Hmmm... the scanner only penetrates about 10 feet in. I can see that far. I guess I go in blind. Add that to your list of daring adventures, Ace. Gods, I better get something from the Fleet for risking my butt for this. A commendation would be nice, maybe even a promotion...*, she thought as she entered the cave.

As she traversed the threshold of cavern, the light suddenly, without warning, vanished. Ace shivered slightly, and not entirely because of the accompanying temperature drop. *This is really creepy. All dark and damp and cold. But, there's more to it than that. Like, I don't know...* Then it hit her. *This is the way I felt when I first met Fenric. All cold and damp. There's a sense of evil here.*

She walked much more slowly now, as if treading lightly would keep the now-light sense of evil from becoming overwhelming. For what seemed like hours, she moved from space to space inside the darkness, her only protection the light she carried.

Finally, she saw it; more accurately, she felt it. Her foot suddenly brushed against something as she walked past it, but she was a full five or ten feet past before she realized what it was.

*That was a helmet!*, she thought hurriedly as she ran back to the spot where she felt it, for it indeed was a flight helmet. She looked around, hoping to see some evidence of life nearby. She didn't find it. What she did find, however, made her flesh crawl. Sprawled against a wall was a human body, stiff with the beginnings of rigor mortis. Next to the corpse was a Spacefleet flight insignia.

Ace fought back a wave of revulsion as she looked at the corpse. It appeared to have been shot with some kind of energy weapon. *Oh, God. What a waste.*, she thought with some level of emotional detachment, but that quickly gave way to a sense of fear.

*The Daleks could have done this... But what if they didn't?* She looked down at the ground next to the body. *No tire tracks! But all Daleks have tracks... Someone- or something else did this! But who, or why? Ace began to feel the creeping sensation of evil intensify. She spun around wildly, shining her light everywhere, hoping to get a glimpse of.. whatever it was that had killed the pilot. But there was nothing there.

Her light rested on the wall behind the body of the pilot, and she saw something she hadn't seen before. There was a shining red gem on the wall. Around it, there was a circle of writing, some unusual language that Ace couldn't identify. She touched the gem... And all of a sudden, a gust of wind materialized behind her. She turned toward it, toward the inside of the cave, and gasped.

An alien being had appeared in her way. It wasn't very tall, but to Ace, it looked plenty aggressive. It had a strange tube-like orifice at the top where she thought the head would be.

It was colored a kind of translucent blue, and Ace thought if she squinted, she could see through it to the cave wall behind it. She raised her blaster experimentally, to see what it would do. The alien didn't do anything, which surprised and infuriated Ace to some extent; she was so used to aliens doing something; the Daleks said "EXTERMINATE!", after all.

The alien stood there for a few more seconds, maybe a minute, not doing anything, just standing there, watching her watch it. Ace really didn't know what it was doing; for all she knew, it may have been deciding the best manner to kill her.

Then she saw it kind of tilt its "head", and she realized its intentions with a start. *It's sizing me up, measuring me for some reason... Why? Does it really think I'm a threat?*

Then, the alien did something that Ace wasn't expecting. It held up its three-fingered hand, palm out. Ace thought it was some kind of greeting, "take me to your leader", or some such; she couldn't be more wrong. The hand began to glow, with an eerie blue light; Ace, trained warrior that she was, saw this as an aggressive action, and began to move to fire her blaster in self-defense.

She was startled when she suddenly realized that she couldn't move. *What the hell...*, she began to think desperately, as the alien clenched the glowing hand into a fist, and pointed it at her. Ace once again struggled ineffectually to raise her blaster, to mount some kind of defense, anything. But she could not, and she was helpless, defenseless, and, she noticed rather suddenly, very, very afraid.

The alien moved its fist slightly, and the eerie blue light turned into a bright blue beam of light, blindingly bright, and heading straight for Ace. She thought that this would be the end, of her life, of everything, and in her desperation, she called out in her mind for the one person that, despite all that had happened between them, she still believed could do anything.

*Please, Professor, help me...*, she thought frantically, hoping against hope as the bright blue beam sped toward her. But the Time Lord did not arrive, and when the light hit her, it flared up, brighter than any sun. and when it had subsided, both Ace and the alien had vanished.

* * * * *

He struggled fitfully in his bed; in his mind's eye, all hell broke loose. He saw the bluish creature regarding her like lab animal. He saw her horror as she realized that there was no escape. He saw her desperation as she met the end, and felt, rather that heard or saw, her impassioned plea.

*Please, Professor, help me...*

He sat up frantically, a strangled cry emanating from his throat, finally coalesing itself into one single, intelligible word. "Ace..."

A figure appeared in the doorway. She spoke in a hushed whisper into the darkness, her light soprano voice betraying a hint of worry. "Doctor?" Getting no answer, she offered the question again, with a little more worry creeping into her voice, which upon further reflection, carried a slight accent. "Doctor..." It was that time that he decided to speak.

"What? Oh, yes, Melissa, it's you." The Doctor's voice betrayed a little grogginess due to the hour, but Melissa Chambers also noticed something else. The Doctor was slightly lost in thought. Melissa already knew that she shouldn't bother her companion when she was in one of his retrospective moods, but out of concern for him, she forged ahead anyway.

"Doctor...". she began, as she turned on the small light to offer her some light, and sat on the bed, "are you all right?" If the Doctor took offense at this invasion of personal space, he said nothing. Instead, he continued his internal reverie. Melissa wondered if he was in a trance or something; she really didn't have a firm grasp of exactly what these Time Lords could do, and the Doctor was definitely one of the older ones, having already lived seven lives in over a thousand years. At least, that's what he told her when they had met.

Her friend said nothing, but continued with his silence. After a few minutes' time, which seemed like hours to her (she still didn't have a good idea of exactly how fast time moved in the TARDIS), the Doctor snapped out of it, and brushed his long curly brown hair away from his face with his hand. He yawned, as if he was coming out of a dream, and looked over at Melissa, and smiled at his companion.

"Yes, I'm just fine, dear." He began to move to touch her nose, but stopped suddenly. She focused her green eyes on his intent blue ones, and she noticed something unusual. *Sadness... Why is the Doctor sad?* She vocalized her next thought to the Time Lord. "What's the matter, Doctor?" He had retreated into his mental fog again, but snapped out of it again when she spoke. "Oh, nothing, dear. I'm just fine.", he said gently, as he tousled her strawberry-blond hair.

He paused for a moment, then looked down at his silk pajamas. Still smiling, he pointed out the door, and motioned for her to leave.

She looked surprised. "Why?" He spoke, his accent becoming a little more pronounced, a little bit of a gleam appearing in his eye. "Well, because I have to get dressed, for one..."

She left, and as the door closed, she could hear him muttering, "Silly girl..."

Melissa. understandingly, got a little miffed. "Me, 'strange'? Well, look who's talking, Mister-Time-Lord-who-goes around-in-a-police-box-doing-God-knows -what-and-what's-further-talks-in-his-sleep-and-zones-out-in-his-pajamas..."

The door opened, and the Doctor reemerged, now clothed in a very Edwardian-looking suit with ruffled undershirt, matching dark breeches and dark shoes. She knew that this was the preferred style of dress for this, the eighth to go by the name of the Doctor, and who, she firmly believed, was the looniest of the lot. She had told him this, in their first meeting, and he had remarked somewhat acidly, "Well, you haven't seen what's in store..."

She wasn't sure what that meant, but she was definitely sure that she didn't want to know. So, she kept her thoughts concerning his sanity to herself, and stayed with him, telling herself that he needed looking after. He looked at Melissa, the smile completely gone from his face, but the smile in his eyes still remained.

"Now, if you're done flattering me, you really should get dressed." He walked away from her, toward the Console Room, and she called to his retreating back.

"Now why do I have to be getting dressed in the middle of the night?" He turned back to her, the smile in his face and eyes gone, replaced by a look of such intensity that she just stared at him, unbelieving; he had never looked like this to her before. It made her a little anxious, and a little bit afraid. And then he spoke.

"Because, Melissa, something very evil is going on, and we may be the only ones who can stop it." And with that, The Eighth Doctor continued on his way to the Console Room, leaving Melissa Chambers to just stare after him and begin to feel her earlier sense of dread manifest itself into full-fledged fear.

* * * * *

End of Chapter One.

Copyright by Cris Lawrence, 1996

If you like this Chapter of Cris's story and you'd like to tell him so, you can e-mail him by clicking here!

Cris Lawrence, alias Doc8 on Dalnet, is a 20-year-old sophomore Political Science student at Miami University of Ohio. In addition to this story, he is currently working on two other Eighth Doctor stories: "Picture of Guilt", featuring the first adventure of Melissa Chambers and the Doctor; and "The Play's the Thing", which, with some revision, will hopefully become my first published New Adventure sometime in 1998. Cris is also a fan of the DC Comics character The Flash, and you can see the culmination of his obsession on his Scarlet Speedster Web Page

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