Adams, Tennessee, year 1820
It was a typical evening in the farmlands of Tennessee. The sun was shining down upon the fields of grain and gardens of vegetables, bathing them in an orange glow as it set. However, on that same evening, something very strange was to happen. It all started with a noise, one which sounded like rubbing a key against a piano string. It came from the forest on the edge of one of these farms, the one belonging to the Bell Family. It started out quiet, barely audible, but gradually got louder. As the sound crescendoed, an object previously unheard of in that time period appeared. It was a large blue box, with a door and fogged windows around the top. Above the windows, clearly written in a white font, were the words "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX."
Out from this blue box stepped a man dressed in previously-unheard of attire which would pass for "normal" in these times. He wore a dark green V-neck shirt with a black leather jacket over it, and a pair of jeans and sneakers. As for how he physically looked, he seemed to be a normal human. His black hair was cut close to the skull, and he had a very…pronounced pair of ears. As he stepped out, the man looked around as if he wondered where—or when—he was.
Well now, he thought, Where could I have been taken this time? Stepping out of the box, he spied a nearby house. Smiling, he said "Aha! Perfect! Just near a place with someone whom I can ask!" in an accent that sounded very distinctly like he came from northern England. Thus, he started off…not knowing that an odd black shadow was watching him from the darkness of the forest. He also didn't know that night would be one of the worst nights he had ever had.
It is at this point that I should mention just who this man was. Despite his appearance, he was not a human; rather, a race of alien called a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey. Also, despite his young appearance, he was actually over nine hundred years old, kept looking young through a Time Lord's ability to regenerate. During this process, which occurs when a Time Lord is seriously injured or is dying of something like radiation poisoning, they can then regenerate and get and entirely new body with a new appearance and personality; in essence, becoming an entirely different person altogether. This specific Time Lord was currently on his ninth incarnation, a brooding fellow who seemed to be troubled by something. And indeed he was, as he was also the last Time Lord, after the events of a great Time War that had happened between his race and another species called the Daleks; however, that is a different story entirely. No one knows his true name, but the name he has gone by throughout his travels through time and space in his TARDIS—the blue box, which was a time machine in disguise—has come to be known by millions of people: the Doctor.
The Doctor approached the front door of the farmhouse, rapping on it four times. He was answered by a short, heavily-built man who appeared to have been working on the farm for a very long time. He also appeared to be middle-aged, as his blonde hair and beard were flecked with silver hairs in some places. He also appeared to look quite annoyed, likely because he had been resting from hours of hard farm labor.
"All right," asked the man, "Who are you? And what do you want?"
The Doctor responded politely. "I'm the Doctor, and I…" However, he was cut short by the man in the door.
"No one's sick," he said. "Now, go away! I'm busy working on something."
"Oh, no, not that kind of doctor. Look, I just need to ask you something. Where am I? And what year is this?" The man looked at the Doctor as if he were crazy. "Did you hit your head or something? You're in Tennessee, in the year 1820. So, I'll ask you something, now: Who are you?"
"I already told you: I'm the Doctor."
"Just the Doctor."
The man sighed and shook his head, as though he were speaking with a complete idiot. "Fine, 'Doctor.'" I'm John. John Bell. Now, leave!" Just as he was about to shut the door, he noticed a weird look on the Doctor's face. It was a distant, far-off look, as if he knew something very bad was going to happen. "Hey. HEY! What's your problem?" The Doctor snapped back to attention. Bell continued, "What was with that look, huh?"
"Sorry about that. Now, tell me: Have you been experiencing some strange phenomena over the past three years?"
"What is this, twenty questions? Anyways, yes, I have. Some poltergeist we call Kate. It all started off when I saw a-"
"Yes, yes, I've heard of those stories, like the one where 'Kate' threw dishes at Andrew Jackson and scared him away. Just wanted to know if this is the right house. May I come in?"
"Why should I let you in?" Bell asked, crossing his arms and standing firm in the doorway. "Huh? Why should I let a total stranger with some crazy clothes into my house?"
The Doctor paused for a moment, and then reached into the pocket of his jacket. "Because," he said, pulling out a small wallet, "I might be the one who can help you solve your problem." With that, he opened the wallet, revealing a sheet of paper which, in actuality, was blank. However, it didn't appear that way to Bell, as it was psychic paper, a special paper which showed whatever the user wanted it to show. "The Doctor, paranormal investigator." Squinting, Bell read the fake business card. "Okay, okay, fine." he said, grumbling a bit while stepping out of the doorway. "You can come in."
The Doctor grinned. "Fantastic! Thank you." He stepped into the house, only to be greeted by a strange sound. It was a low, steady sound. In fact, it sounded just like a motor running. With a confused face, the Doctor looked back towards Bell. "What's that noise?"
"Oh, that? Well, I'd tell you…but I won't. Why should I let someone I don't even know see what I'm working on?" The Doctor suddenly looked a bit annoyed, as he stepped in close to bell. "Because," he said in a dark tone, "That may be the key as to why these strange things are happening. Now, if you want to find out what's going on, it's best that you do these three things for me. One, do not question me; two, do exactly as I say when I say it; and three, do not backtalk at anything I say or do. Now, show me what that noise is!"
Obviously a bit intimidated, Bell nodded. "Okay, okay, I'll do it. Now, come with me." He then headed towards a closet door, and motioned the Doctor to come closer. "Thankfully, my wife's out shopping, and Junior and Betsy—my kids—are out with their friends. That way, I can show you without anyone else knowing." With that, he opened the door, showing an empty closet. "I know what you're thinking. 'It's just an empty closet.' Well, watch this." With a small smile on his face, Bell pressed a part of the wall, which opened a small compartment with a lever in it. Pulling the lever, Bell pointed to the wall opposite the door, which opened to reveal a set of stairs.
The Doctor jumped back, obviously surprised. "Did you construct that?"
"Nope," Bell said, "it was here when we bought the house. Must've been something that some previous owners had put in. Now, come on!" Motioning for the Doctor to follow, Bell headed down the stairs. "Oh, and be sure to close the door behind you."
"No problem," the Doctor said, stepping through the door and closing it, becoming immersed in pure darkness. "So, what are you working on?"
"You'll see, Doctor. You'll see." As they reached the bottom of the staircase, Bell lit a kerosene lamp, which illuminated the room they were in. There was barely anything in there; just some old apple cores littered about the floor, and a workbench on the far side. Now, there was nothing special about the workbench; what was on it, however, was something which shouldn't have existed. It was a large machine that appeared to come from the 21st century…or later. Seeing this, the Doctor rushed towards it and began looking it over. "What is this? And where did you get it?"
"It was here when I first discovered this room." Bell replied. "And as for what it is…to tell the truth, I don't know. I think it might be some sort of labor-saving device I've heard people talking about."
"It can't be that. It seems too sophisticated to be…" the Doctor began to say, until he heard something which sounded like a small voice whispering in his ear, though what was being said couldn't be made out. He turned towards Bell. "…Did you hear that? It sounded like someone else was in here." As Bell shook his head, the Doctor heard the same voice, but it was louder and more distinct. The words the voice spoke sent shivers down the Doctor's spine.
Turn off the machine, else you will all perish.
Confusedly, the Doctor turned about and spoke into the air. "Who are you? And what do you mean by 'we will all perish?'"
Just that…Doctor. Meet me outside the blue box you came to Adams in.
"But who are you?"
You will see…in due time. With that, the voice faded. The Doctor stood, dazed, as though he didn't know what to do. "What was that?"
"You heard a voice?" Bell asked. "Must've been Kate speaking to you. She does that all the time to us. She speaks very harshly to me, but apparently likes my wife and children."
"Do they know about this machine?"
"No, no. Why should I tell them?"
"Never mind. Anyways, I have to go. I will be back."
"Okay. If you'll excuse me, I have to go upstairs to my room and take some medicine. I've been having really bad facial seizures lately" With that, Bell left the room, the Doctor following him. Once they reached the top, the Doctor headed for the door while Bell went up to the second floor. Heading back to the TARDIS, the Doctor heard the voice again.
It is good to know that you are a man of your word, Doctor.
"All right, enough games!" said the Doctor. "Who are you, and why did you want to speak with me?" Then suddenly, before him, rose a black figure. It was hard to make out just what the thing was in the darkening twilight, but the Doctor could make out that it was quadrupedal, and had a bit of a dog-like physique.
I am, like you, the last of your kind. I am Raxodimm, the only surviving member of the Cartillon race.
"Of course!" the Doctor exclaimed, snapping his fingers. "Yes, the polymorphic Cartillons of the planet Hadraxx! But…what do you mean 'the only surviving member?'"
During your time war, Raxodimm replied, Hadraxx was boarded by a Dalek fleet. They enslaved every single one of my people, exterminating those who resisted. Somehow, I managed to escape and make it to Earth, settling in the forests outside the farm.
"Why here, though?"
The nature of this planet is beautiful. Yes, absolutely beautiful. However, I especially love this forest the most. Seeing this planet's yellow sun shine through the trees, watching the leaves change colors in autumn…I love it so much. I vowed to protect this planet's nature at all costs!
"But what does that have to do with that machine?" the Doctor asked. "And why must it be destroyed?"
Because, Raxodimm answered, this house, in a time long past, was used as a base for the Daleks. They used the house to build a new bomb, one which could destroy an entire planet, using the human residents as a cover. Unfortunately, when the Time War came, the Daleks were summoned away…of course, the humans were exterminated so as to not tell anyone.
"So that is why you want that machine destroyed: if it detonates, the entire planet blows up, and nature will be ruined."
Yes. Now, please, destroy the bomb! Make sure that no one knows of it! I have already taken care of the one person who could possibly tell anyone of it.
"And who would…" the Doctor began, before he stopped and stared at Raxodimm with a look of horror on his face as he remembered that this very night was the night John Bell was mysteriously poisoned. "You replaced his medicine with poison? You can't just do that!"
You can't save him now. He has already drunk the poison.
The Doctor sighed. "Very well. I'll disarm the bomb…not for you, though. I'm doing it for Earth. You're coming with me, though!" With that, the Doctor rushed back to the house and down into the secret workshop, Raxodimm following behind him in the form of a shapeless shadow. Going up to the bomb, he opened the console and looked inside at the advanced circuit board, created with Dalek technology. Pulling out a small tool—a multi-purpose device called a sonic screwdriver—he zapped the console with a sonic wave from it, overriding the circuitry and causing the bomb to malfunction and deactivate. "Raxodimm, you can demolish the machine now that it can not longer work."
Thank you, Doctor. Now, hurry! The man's family is coming. Get out now!
"All right. Goodbye, Raxodimm. I think you'd make a great guardian of nature…just, please, don't poison any more people." Then, charging up the stairs and racing out the back door, the Doctor headed back to the TARDIS. Looking back at the house as the family entered, the Doctor said to himself, "And only I will ever know what happened." He then opened the door and entered, shutting it behind him. Heading towards the time machine's console and looking around the place, he thought of all that had happened throughout the Time War, and wondered how many other innocent races had lost their lives in the crossfire. Finally, he input something into the console, finally saying, "All right, time for something that will hopefully get my mind off things. Next stop: London, England, start of the year 2005!"