by Robert Morganbesser


The man in the green waters of Aquaria was a tall, white haired one with a prominent nose. The one-piece bathing suit he wore would have been home in Victorian England with its horizontal black and white stripes. Shaking his curly white hair of water, he grinned. It felt good to relax!

He was actually trying very hard to relax, but it wasn't easy. He had recently parted with a long time companion, Jo Grant. While he wouldn't admit it to her, at least not directly, her decision to leave UNIT and get married had saddened him. They had shared many adventures: Daleks, Peladon, The Master. The Doctor sighed and walked up the beach. There were many handsome beings enjoying the beach and he could have had his pick of companions. The planet was like the Riviera on Earth, he thought. Women and men running around clad in virtually nothing. One woman, a lovely red-skinned inhabitant of Zaxia, and her equally handsome male companion wore suits composed of a mist that hid their privates. The Doctor was impressed with the technology to create such a thing. He wondered if they knew how close their hedonistic society had once come to being conquered by the Draconians? One of his earlier incarnations had helped stop that little problem!

With a sigh, the Doctor trod off the beach and into his recently repaired TARDIS. An amazing device, this one had a faulty chameleon circuit. He had thought, when he was freed of his exile, of asking his fellow Time Lords to repair it, but rejected the idea. The thought of going to his fellows for assistance of any kind (though they came to him often enough) did not come easy to him. The Time Lords of Gallifrey were a near omnipotent race, able to traverse time and space, yet they were content to stand by and merely watch! This was not enough for the Doctor, who ached to help the younger races. So in a fit of pique at being restricted, he had taken the first TARDIS he had seen and run for it.

Unfortunately for him, this particular device was in for repairs. Both it's directional and Chameleon circuits were damaged and he took it without knowing. He didn't regret the actions, even though it got him exiled to Earth (whose inhabitant's he thought quite interesting) for a time, as well as getting him into much trouble. But he didn't regret a moment of it. Now he was on vacation and, Jo gone or not, he intended to enjoy himself!

Entering the TARDIS, he knew right away that this was not to be. There, standing before the main console, was an impeccably dressed man in a suit and bowler. Smiling at the Doctor, the man said, "Hello, Doctor. Enjoying ourselves?"

With an acerbic tone, the Doctor replied. "I was until I came here. What do you want now?"

The man put a hurt look on his face. "Come now, Doctor. Is that anyway to talk to one who has usually spoken in defense of you before the council? You could have been left exiled on earth."

Defeated by his own sense of honor, the Doctor nodded. "Very well. I'll listen. What does the CIA want now?"

The other Time Lord smiled. "That's more like it! The Celestial Intervention Agency has recently discovered that the Daleks are up to their tricks again."

The Doctor felt a shiver of ice spread up his spine. The Daleks were, next to the Master, his most implacable enemy. He was on their death list several times over. The psychotic little cyborgs would love to get their suckers on him. A fate he was less than inclined to allow.

"What are they up to now?"

A look of worry crossed the CIA agent's face. "They plan to cross dimensions and begin a new spate of conquest."

"Cross dimensions?" The Doctor was amazed. He knew his enemy were brilliant, but this, this was beyond even their brilliance. If they went to a new dimension, a new reality where the inhabitants were unaware of them... it would be utter chaos for those beings.

"So what do you want me to do?" The Doctor had a strange light in his eyes. While he did respect the Daleks, he did not fear them, nor did he fear the challenge they represented.

The agent handed him a small box. "Attach this to the guidance unit of the controller. It will allow your TARDIS to follow the Daleks. Once installed, it will read when the inter-dimensional portal has been opened. Do what you can to stop them, Doctor. The fate of an entire alternate universe may depend on it."

Taking the device the Doctor weighed it in his hand. It was a small cube four inches by four inches with projections to attach it. Any other being might have thought of using it to explore other realities, but not the Doctor. His blood was up and he had a chance to confront and foil his enemies again. That would be reward enough!

Looking up he saw that the Agent was gone. With a shrug the Doctor closed the doors, set the device on his console, and went to change. There was no time, even if one were a Time Lord to dally.

The Daleks were waiting!

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