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Welcome to the Time Tales section of Doctor Who Online. Time Tales are Doctor Who dioramas (picture stories), based on characters and worlds inspired by Doctor Who, and written and shot by Malcolm Orr.


The Grandmaster stood in the museum and looked around. Paintings, documents and statues dedicated to ‘The Doctor’ adorned the room, and the Grandmaster approached a portrait of the Doctor on a wall.

He was out there somewhere, travelling in his battered blue Police Box, defending worlds against the rotting evil that would dare to destroy them. But it was time, thought the Grandmaster that the Doctor should be brought here to fulfil his destiny. Time for the Doctor to come home...

Robyn was screaming. The Doctor was holding her by her shoulders, doing his best to try and comfort her, but his efforts were in vein. K9 was scanning Robyn. 'Deep REM sleep mode,' rasped K9, 'with delta-magnon waves at 569%.' The Doctor frowned - he knew that was weird to say the least. Delta-magnon waves were practically unheard of in humans, and Robyn had shown no signs of telepathic ability before. The Doctor ran out of the room, returning seconds later with a strange device that he announced to K9 would harmonise the delta-magnon waves. Within moments Robyn had calmed down and had woken up. 'They were terrible,' Robyn cried.

Inside the console room the Doctor tinkered with a small electrical panel, almost swearing when a spark hit his thumb, but of course the Doctor never did that sort of thing, instead he resorted to a jelly baby. Robyn entered. She looked calmer now, having had the chance to get showered and changed. There was still a haunted look in her pretty features. Robyn explained to the Doctor that she had had a nightmare. There were these creatures whose faces had been squashed down to make way for the brains that had started to emerge from their foreheads, and inside the emerging brain was a huge single eye. They called themselves the Three, and they said they had enslaved Time. The jelly baby that was headed towards the Doctor's mouth suddenly tumbled to the floor. 'Doctor,' said Robyn with a shaky voice, 'that wasn't a dream, was it?' The haunted look had now spread to the Doctor's face too. It was a ghastly thought, but not one that would be allowed to linger as the TARDIS itself was ripped from it's location in Time and Space, throwing it's occupants against the walls.

The TARDIS had arrived inside a dark cargo bay. The Doctor exited and examined the immediate area. The events of the last couple of hours had deeply disturbed him and he was well and truly in his deep brooding mode. K9 and Robyn exited. The area was fairly unremarkable - in fact it could almost have been any space-liner cargo bay anywhere, but there was a sense of foreboding in the air. The Doctor noticed a young woman standing not too far away. She motioned for the Doctor, Robyn and K9 to follow her through a hatch into the inner workings of the ship, and the Doctor did so. The young woman looked slightly familiar to the Doctor. She said she was called Lee and she had travelled a long way to meet the Doctor. In fact she had lots of siblings throughout time and space looking for the Doctor. The Doctor was about to ask a question when Lee motioned for them all to be quiet as a security guard patrol passed. The Doctor and Robyn could see that the guards had Target logos on their shoulders. 'Who are you?' the Doctor asked Lee once the guards had passed. 'One of your descendants,' replied Lee.

The Grandmaster listened as the security guards reported back to him. The Doctor's TARDIS had been found inside one of the cargo bays. The Grandmaster chuckled to himself - the plans were now falling into place, time to invite some house guests...

Several Battle spheres streaked through space carrying a Sontaran Shock Squad. Field Commander Staruk stared at the large space freighter in front of them. Lt. Tuk (known as 'Tuk the Ferocious' to his squad) reported that the ship was identified at the Progenitor - the mothership of the Target Conglomerate. Staruk knew that the ship held a secret that would prove to be invaluable to the Sontaran Empire, and he would be the man who would bring them their greatest victory. 'Sontar-HA!' he shouted at the top of his voice. 'Sontar-HA!' his crew replied. 'I hope they resist us,' roared Tuk. 'Victory without slaughter is no victory at all.'

Lee had led the Doctor and Robyn through the twisty service shafts of the Progenitor as they made there way towards something that Lee had said was 'very unusual'. The party had left K9 behind, near the TARDIS, when they realised he could not make it through the service shafts. The Doctor had wondered why he hadn't upgraded the metal mutt to include hover pads, but then he stopped that particular line of thought. After all, if he started to think about all the upgrade jobs he needed to do to K9, he would have to start thinking about all the upgrade jobs to the TARDIS too. And that was never a good thing. Lee opened a small hatch and led the Doctor inside a room. It was some kind of hi-tech laboratory, with booths lined up around the walls. And inside each booth was the Doctor, each one dressed exactly the same as the real Doctor. Robyn gasped and in response the clones' eyes snapped open all at the same time, all grinning broadly. 'Would you like a Jelly Baby?' they all asked in unison.

Sontaran Battle spheres were amongst the most deadly space ships in the entire cosmos. Built with metal forged from the Karnikkit Storm Mines on Trajikar IV they were virtually indestructible, and they carried some of the most devastating firepower ever designed. None of this mattered to the security guards stationed in the main hangar bay of the Progenitor as the Battle spheres that had attached themselves to the side of the ship started to spin around. The diamond shaped patterns on the hulls of the Battle spheres were designed the cut through the hulls of the target ship as the spheres spun round and round. The security guards looked in horror as the spheres emerged from the walls. Doors opened and small but bulky Sontaran warriors stormed out. The guards were cut down in less than a second. Staruk declared that victory was imminent. 'Sontar-HA!' they all shouted.

The Doctor was confused, and being surrounded by cloned versions of himself wasn't really helping. A man entered the room - it was the Grandmaster. Robyn could see that he looked like an older version of the Doctor - possibly another clone. Lee gasped and started to panic, but the Grandmaster looked at him reassuringly. He explained to Lee that he knew the stowaway had been onboard all this time. Security guards grabbed Robyn and Lee and took them away as the Doctor was forced at gunpoint to follow the Grandmaster.

The Doctor was led into the museum. The Grandmaster sent the guards away leaving just himself and the Doctor. The room was a virtual shrine to the Doctor, something that disturbed him a lot. The Grandmaster explained:

'In the 21st Century you had discovered that key historical figures from Time and Space were being abducted to be studied in a social experiment inside 'The Happy Zodin'. However when you returned those people back to their own timelines you had to use some drops of your blood to infuse the time scoop with enough chronon energy. The people were returned to their time zones, but each one carried a bit of your DNA inside their bodies. Over the centuries people noticed that some people had strange properties - some would be sensitive to the passage of time and could read the future, some could survive in extreme cold for days when others would die, some would heal rapidly when close to the point of death, regenerating their whole bodies. My ancestors created the Target Group to track these changes and follow any other unusual activity. The Target Group became aware of a man who appeared in time and space, travelling in a blue box. Samples that had been collected over the years were logged into the 'Book of Descendants'. As the centuries passed we learned to reconstruct your DNA from samples taken from you and those descendants of people who had been tainted with your DNA. Lee is an example of someone descended from the lineages that have your DNA. In truth he has only 4% of your DNA, but his group of people, 'the Descendants' they call themselves, have been trying to find you in time and space - looking for their father.

'I am the purest Descendant - I have 98% of your DNA - but in our laboratories we have 100% copies. We are close to discovering the secret to regeneration, but we need your help to discover the last pieces of the puzzle.'

The Doctor refused to help, warning the Grandmaster that he thought the cloning itself was an utter abomination, let alone introducing them to the secrets of regeneration. The Grandmaster's laugh boomed around the room, letting the Doctor know that he had already planned for this possibility. The Grandmaster explained that he had allowed the Sontarans to invade the ship, and they had already occupied the main cargo bay. If the Doctor did not help the Grandmaster discover the secrets of regeneration, the Sontarans soon would. To demonstrate the facts behind his words, the Grandmaster showed the Doctor an image of the Sontaran fleet outside the ship. But the image was not one that the Grandmaster expected. Some Sontaran Battle spheres were burning in space, cracked open as saucer ships were attacking them mercilessly. The Battle spheres were fighting back, but it was war out there. 'Did you invite the Daleks too?' asked the Doctor. The Grandmaster's pale face and his speechlessness told the Doctor that he hadn't.

Tuk helped his squadron to regroup. His warriors were bloodthirsty - they had been waiting for this attack for weeks as the Battle spheres had made their way across space towards the Progenitor. Unsurprisingly they were eager to kill as they had finally managed to enter the combat zone. Staruk walked over the Tuk and grinned broadly. Staruk said that he had good news - the battle had been joined by a third party and that would make their victory that much more of a challenge and that much more of an achievement. Dalek Death Squads had arrived.

The Supreme Dalek watched as his brothers made their way through the cramped corridors of the Progenitor. The Daleks were graceful as they glided down the corridors, but inside the clean and sterile metal casings the Dalek mutants squirmed. Sick, twisted shapes, malformed by both radiation and genetic manipulation they fidgeted as they analysed their surroundings. 'Clone chamber found on level 3-7,' rasped one Dalek. 'Confirmed,' replied two other Daleks. Suddenly, from cover, four Sontaran troopers leapt, firing at the Daleks. The lead Dalek fired back, cracking the helmet of one Sontaran and searing the flesh from it's face. Tuk laughed at the sight. 'Weakling!' he chastised. 'That was a clone from the Stor lineage. We of the Styne lineage are better built for battle.' Tuk fired back towards the lead Dalek with his comrades following suit. The Dalek exploded leaving the Dalek mutant exposed and writing. Tuk grabbed it in one hand and tore it from it's chamber. 'Sontar-HA!' he screamed as his squadron caught up with him and started to charge the Daleks. Most of them would die, thought Tuk, but then no one cared about clones.

Robyn had been examining the holding cell for about half an hour. Lee had been trying to tap into the Progenitor's security systems via an info net screen module. Working together it wasn't long until they succeeded. The door opened and Robyn and Lee did a 'high five' to congratulate themselves. However the Doctor was standing on the other side of the door, sonic screwdriver in hand. 'Are you the real deal?' asked Robyn. The Doctor said they had no time for frivolities - there were Sontaran Shock Troops and Dalek Death Squads onboard, fighting each other to the death in an attempt to get to the clones of the Doctor. 'Two lads fought over me once,' replied Robyn, 'at school. But you had to go one better, Doctor.'

The Grandmaster sat in his office. The Doctor had left to try and stop the carnage, as predicted. The Grandmaster stared at his chess board and smiled. The Daleks were unexpected and greatly increased the risk, but then he was a gambler and risks were his forte. The Doctor was still predictable and he was still able to be played.

The Doctor led Robyn and Lee towards the cloning lab. Still inside stood all the Doctor clones, still grinning and still eating Jelly babies. The Doctor said they needed to get K9 down to the lab to download the cloning information on the Doctor and then to destroy the lab. He asked Robyn and Lee to do this. In the meantime the Doctor would have to lead the cloned Doctors to safety. Even without the information held in the lab, the actual clones would still provide the Sontarans or the Daleks with essential biodata on Time Lord Physiology. The Doctor led his clones out of the laboratory and into the bowels of the ship where the escape ships were located.

The Supreme Dalek was furious with the advances of the Sontarans. This was not what it had expected from them. They were better armed and had new enhanced armour compared to their previous skirmishes. He ordered that more Dalek drones should be deployed - this was a battle they needed to win.

Tuk led his squad through the Progenitor towards the main control area. He would need to annexe the control area of the ship to help turn the tide against the Dalek fleet outside. Whilst the Sontaran and Dalek fleets were throwing everything that they had at each other, both sides were keen to minimise the damage to the Progenitor itself. The ship was invaluable as a resource and the first rule of war was to ensure that valuable resources were captured as intact as possible. Smiling cruelly, Tuk reminded himself that the rule did not apply to the Progenitor's crew.

Robyn and Lee made their way back through the infrastructure of the Progenitor, heading back towards where K9 was left by them. Robyn grabbed Lee by the arm and dragged her behind some cover. Three Daleks glided past them, but then abruptly stopped. The Daleks turned around to face where Robyn and Lee were hiding. 'Organic body heat detected,' rasped one of the Daleks.

'EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!' Energy beams shot out from the twitching guns of the three Daleks, smashing into the panel behind which Robyn and Lee were hiding. Robyn leapt out of the way as the panel melted into a white hot pool. Lee had managed to jump too, but she was pinned down by a Dalek. The Dalek erupted into flames as another energy beam blasted it. 'K9!' beamed Robyn, pleased to see the metal dog had found them. The remaining two Daleks turned towards K9, who managed to blast the nearest one. The remaining Dalek targeted K9, but before it could fire it was destroyed. Not by K9, but by Field Commander Staruk and a squad of Sontarans. 'You are ours now,' he shouted. 'Prisoners of the Sontaran Empire!'

‘Am I really that annoying?’ the Doctor asked the crowd of clones around him. They didn’t reply, but they did grin a lot. ‘We are still having some trouble with them,’ a deep resonant voice explained. It was the Grandmaster. ‘You can help them, Doctor. You can provide the spark that will free them.’ He explained to the Doctor that the clones lacked the ability to regenerate, but also they seemed to lack personality – they didn’t talk to each other, and rarely to anyone else. ‘Time Lords are telepathic,’ the Doctor realised.

The clones all smiled at the thought. They weren’t exact cones if him – they were pieced together from his scattered DNA but it wasn’t 100% correct, but they were exact clones of each other, and rather than just being aware of each others minds, they shared a group mind. The Doctor located the 2 escape ships and directed his clones into them. 'If you send them out there, into space, the Daleks or Sontarans will just take them,' said the Grandmaster. The Doctor said that he was going to keep them here - the escape ships had their own force fields, and whilst they wouldn't last for very long against the Dalek and Sontaran ships outside, they would stand up to the weapons the Daleks and Sontarans were carrying inside the ship. The Doctor locked the escape ships' force fields with his sonic screwdriver. 'No one other then me can deactivate that now!' he warned the Grandmaster. The Doctor decided to head towards the TARDIS whilst the Grandmaster waited by the escape ships.

K9 blasted Staruk, who reeled backwards. Robyn grabbed Staruk’s gun, but before she could fire it she was grabbed by two Sontarans. K9 was blasted by three Sontarans and he exploded in a shower of sparks. ‘Take them to the entry point,’ hissed Staruk.

The Doctor made his way through the ship towards the TARDIS. His plan was quite clear – to get the TARDIS to the escape ships so his clones could enter safely. He was going to have to take then to Gallifrey, for the Time Lords to try and help. They were simply too dangerous to be left elsewhere. Complicating matters were the Sontarans and Daleks fighting not only inside the ship but outside as well, and that Gallifrey had been invaded and sealed off from the rest of the universe. One thing at once, he thought to himself.

Lt Tuk screamed as the ship’s bulkhead cut into his back. Daleks had swarmed the deck and had trapped Tuk’s team in crossfire. Only Tuk and another Sontaran, Tark, remained alive. Tuk fired back towards a group of Daleks, but they were unable to make much of an impact. Tuk knew that the sensible military strategy was to withdraw, to escape, but he was a Sontaran of the Styne lineage – one of a billion clones from the greatest warrior that Sontar had ever known, and he would not, could not withdraw. Tark screamed as half of his face was seared off by a Dalek energy ray. He was dead and Tuk was the last survivor. Daleks closed in, slowly but surely, determined to destroy him. Tuk grabbed his rifle and stood out from behind cover. ‘Sontar-HA!’ he shouted, but the Daleks were gone. A tall man with wild, curly hair and an impossibly long scarf stood there. ‘How long have you Sontarans been shouting that?’ he asked.

The Grandmaster examined the locks on the escape ships. He had to try and get the clones out of the ships or his plan to blackmail the Doctor into helping him would have no threat. He barely heard the sound of Daleks gliding up behind him. The Grandmaster turned around and smiled at them. Perhaps he could force them to help him – but he would start by trying to negotiate with them, find out what their weaknesses were. The Grandmaster held up his hands as a sign of surrender and a way of trying to gain the confidence of the Daleks. As they exterminated him, the Grandmaster thought that it was a mistake the Doctor would not have made...

Robyn and Lee waited in the cargo bay where the Sontaran ships had bored through the ship’s hull. K9 was lifeless next to them, and they were surrounded by Sontarans. Lee asked Robyn whether life travelling with the Doctor was always as dangerous as this. Robyn said that it was, but that it was wonderful too – all the strange, strange creatures and the fantastic worlds and cultures. Robyn’s thoughts were interrupted by the screaming of Sontarans. Daleks were forcing their way into the cargo bay and the Sontarans were unable to hold them back. Robyn grabbed Lee and dragged her behind cover.

‘How did you stop them?’ Tuk asked the Doctor. The Doctor explained that the Dalek squad were moving back up the ship; maybe they were making an assault elsewhere. Tuk held his weapon up towards the Doctor, but the Doctor suggested he made his way back up to the cargo bay to help his fellow Sontarans. The Doctor looked at a computer terminal and saw that his TARDIS had been relocated to the Grandmaster’s museum onboard the ship. Making a mental note of the route to the office the Doctor strode down a corridor, leaving Tuk behind.

Sontarans were being decimated by the Daleks. Robyn looked around the cargo bay, hoping for something that could help them, but her search was fruitless. Even the TARDIS had gone. Daleks surrounded Robyn and Lee and aimed their weapons towards them. ‘EXTERMINATE!’ they shouted. Space warped and twisted and dark shadow shapes appeared in front of Robyn. ‘It is time,’ they whispered to her as she was ripped out of space and time. Robyn could see the Daleks exterminating Lee as the scene faded from her vision, to be replaced by darkness. She was amongst the shadows now...

The Doctor looked at the TARDIS. He needed to make a small jump down to the escape ships to rescue the Doctor clones and then find Robyn and K9. He entered the TARDIS and was about to set the first coordinates when Tuk burst in, levelling his rifle at the Doctor. ‘The rifle won’t work inside the TARDIS,’ the Doctor explained. ‘It exists in Temporal Grace.’ Tuk smiled and formed a fist with his hands. ‘I’ll have to think of another way to get you to take the TARDIS to my Commander.’ Suddenly a shape formed in the TARDIS, a hologram image of a Time Lord. ‘Borusa,’ the Doctor murmured. The hologram Borusa pointed towards the TARDIS console, forcing it to accept new coordinates. ‘No!’ the Doctor shouted as the TARDIS dematerialised. Robyn and the clones were still on the Progenitor and he needed to get them to safety. Tuk picked himself up from the floor as the TARDIS shuddered to see the whole TARDIS interior ripple as three horrific figures formed in front of him and the Doctor. They were terrible creatures who’s faces had split to reveal bulbous brains that were emerging from their foreheads. They were the Three and they had come for the Doctor...

© Copyright Malcolm Orr & Doctor Who Online, 2009.
 Page Last Updated: 31/10/2009

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1.8: Target: The Doctor

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1.7: The Victory of Sek'Ral

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1.6: Scratchman

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1.5: The Spirit of Christmas

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1.4: Talent X

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1.3: Night of Mandragora

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1.2: A Curious Case of Madness

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