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Perchance to Dream (1/2)

Title: Perchance to Dream
Characters: Seven, Ace, Originals
Word Count: 5650
Rating: PG
Summary: The Doctor, Ace and Jenna continue to search for the Key to Time
Follows Curiouser and Curiouser and Sleight of Hand
Notes: OK, this is yet another story version of a sim done by Dr Who & Co done on 5/26/01.



The Doctor puttered at the console. "Hmmm... Ace!"

Alan who had been looking curiously over the Doctor's shoulder, jumped when he bellowed out.

Trav sat in the corner reading a book. "No need for TARDIS intercom system in here, eh?"

Ace, a teenager from the London suburb of Perivale, ran into the Control room. "What is it Professor?"

"Ah, there you are. We're landing."

"Oh, right." She looked at the console. "Where?"

"Ummm...looks like... Station NM-B13."

Alan smiled at Ace as he passed her as he crossed the room. "Hey, Trav, know anything about Station NM-B13?"

Trav turned a page in her book. "Nope, never heard of it." Her eyes darted up. "Why?"

"The Doctor just said that's where we've landed."

Trav closed her book, and winced when she realized she didn't mark it. She hopped up from the chair suddenly and strode toward the Console.

Jenna Watson, one of the newest members of the TARDIS crew peered into the control room before entering. "Landing? Maybe we'll run into Morgaine and Vivien hunh?"

The Doctor shrugged at the thought of meeting up with those two women who now held a friend of his captive. "Anything's possible..."

"Anything to get Moriarty his TARDIS back."

"Thank you for your concern, Ms Watson," said Moriarty as he strolled into the room. He was a far cry from the Moriarty of Conan Doyle. He looked to be in his mid- to late-twenties with black hair and hazel eyes. "I never knew you cared."

"I only care about getting you out of my sight."

Ace smiled at the Doctor then went back to what she was doing. "Back in a sec. I'll just go grab my backpack," she said from the hallway.

"And leave the explosives in the lab!" the Doctor called after her.

Jenna walked around to the console opposite Moriarty. "A space station, hm? I don't think I've been to one of those."

"Nothing too fantastic about them. Just hunks of metal in space," said Moriarty.

The Doctor shrugged. "Recycled air, rarely a good cup of tea when you need one. They're all more or less the same."

"That's a bit of a reaction from someone who's not heard of the station in question, ya know," commented Alan.

Moriarty peered over the console with the other Time Lords. "Is it military or commercial?"

"Oh you know, Alan, enquiring minds want to know." Trav shoved the Doctor's hand over. "Commercial space station built in the year 2467.. ahh.. those groovy 60s.."

In her room, Ace filled her backpack with "necessary items" then returned to the console room to see the others gathered over the controls. "We landed yet?" she asked as she pulled the Gameboy from her pocket and began to play Pokemon Gold.

The Doctor rolled his eyes and retrieved his hat as the rotor ground to a halt. "Jenna, do you have the tracer?"

"Let me run back to my room and get it!"

After Jenna had gone, Trav put on her jacket and took a Tracer from an inside pocket. "You mean one like this?"

"Yes, that's the one. Right!" declared the Doctor.

She arrived in her room and grabbed the translucent wand off her dresser and her jacket from the bed before returning. "Got it!"

The Doctor blinked. "Wait a minute, how did we end up with two tracers?" He raised his hat to scratch his head.

"Here we go again," muttered Alan.

"Remember, I told you a guy dressed all in white sipping a pina colada in a deck chair told me in a dream to hunt up the segments. When I woke up, this was sticking out of my TARDIS's console."

"I still think you should lay off the liquor before bed," Alan told her.

The Doctor looked at the two of them. "All right, well, as long as they both work. I suppose we're about to find out."

"So we can divide into two groups and search," said Moriarty.

"I know whose group I won't be in," said Jenna.

The Doctor sighed, grabbed his brolly, and punched the door control. "Last stop, all aspace who're going aspace," he said as he walked out.

Jenna quickly followed the Doctor, putting as much distance between herself and Moriarty as possible.

"I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something," said Trav. "Oh well. Coming, Alan?" she asked as she left.

Ace pressed buttons frantically. "Gotcha!" She put her Gameboy back in her pocket and exited the TARDIS.

"Yeah, I guess." Alan followed Ace out.

Moriarty followed last, and, with a tempted look back, closed the TARDIS doors behind him.

Trav held the Tracer in the air and it crackled wildly, no matter where she pointed it. "Weird."

The Doctor stepped back to double check that the TARDIS was locked. He then turned in a circle, staring curiously all around. "Jenna, Trav, what do the tracers say?"

Moriarty shook his head at the Doctor's mistrust.

"I can't seem to get a distinct reading," said Jenna. "It's all over the place."

Trav fiddled with the Tracer, tried it again, and still the same thing. "Now this has never happened before."

"Something wrong with the tracer, Trav?" asked Alan.

The Doctor looked at the two Tracers. "Ah, yes, well, could be worse."

"Sure is bland in here, Professor," commented Ace as she did up her jacket and slung her pack over her shoulder.

Trav walked towards a window looking out into space, and the tracer's noise dimmed. "Well, it seems to be," she paused before adding quietly, "here, yet not over here."

An android with an orange afro wig, wearing a madras evening jacket and silver bowtie approached handing out flyers. He handed them each a sheet of paper. Trav took the paper absently while looking hard at the tracer. "Thanks." She looked up and did a double take at the android.

"Welcome to NM-B13, have a pleasant stay. Please take advantage of these discount coupons. There's a second one free with a purchase of any clone at Your Image and a all-you-can-eat at Dish of the Day for half price."

Alan looked at the coupon sheets. "Dish of the Day? Cool, man! I'm starved!"

Jenna couldn't believe what she was reading. "A clone?"

"A duplicate of yourself, miss," answered the android. "You organics are in such short supply these days."

"I know what a clone is, I'm just surprised that they are so easily available is all."

"Please pardon me, Miss. No offense intended. It's just that these days they seem to grant colonization papers to anyone that applies."

"No offense taken." I'm really having a conversation with an android!

Moriarty, however, was intrigued by the idea of a clone. Has many possibilities.

Ace put the coupons in her pocket with the Gameboy and then walked over to peer in one of the shop windows. Not too bland after all.

The Doctor beckoned the rest of the group over to him. He took out his spoons and fiddled with them while he waited for the others to be done.

Trav made her way over to the Doctor in circling arcs, murmuring all the way with the tracer. "Yep? What is it, Theta?" she asked as she put away the tracer for the time being.

Jenna went over to the Doctor. "What is it?"

Moriarty edged over to the Doctor, not wanting to be left out, yet not wanting to seem to care.

Alan sighed and approached the Doctor, placing himself between Moriarty and Jenna and smiled at her charmingly. "Er, Doctor, man, we're here."

Jenna looked over and spotted Ace window-shopping. Having a feeling the Doctor wanted everyone to hear whatever he had to say, she called to her. "Ace, c'mere!"

Ace looked up. "Huh? Oh. Just a min." She went back to looking in the window.

The Doctor smiled at the android. "Excuse me, would you mind?" He waved the android away and returned to his spoons.

The android tipped an imaginary hat. "Just call if you need anything. The name is Colin6." He headed away, passing out more coupons.

Trav looked at the spoon-playing Doctor. "We could have this conversation in a shower stall and call it a meeting of the Agoraphobic's Society. If you really want to be that secretive, that is."

"So, what do you make of this place here?" Alan asked Trav.

She nodded toward the window. "Chintzy cheap mementoes for sale..android welcoming committee.. usual fare of a 24th Century space Station, really."

"I meant about the readings you got."

She whispered, "Very weird.. I have a theory, but I'm not going to bring it out until it's fully baked."

"And since you, Trav, are only half-baked yourself..." The Doctor grinned wickedly.

Moriarty was not about to wait around while his TARDIS got further and further away. "So was there any point to this gathering?" he asked the Doctor.

"Actually, I hope it's not what I have in mind.. It'd make it much harder for us to get the next segment without a lot of bother." She heard the Doctor's comment. "That was a low blow, Theta."

Jenna looked longingly over to where Ace was. If the Doctor doesn't say anything soon, I'm gonna join her.

"What? That the ship is the segment?" questioned Moriarty. "It's a distinct possibility with the readings you're getting."

"Well, that's the theory. I hope it collapses and it turns out that the tracers are just wonky. Of course, the way my luck's been..."

Alan couldn't believe what he was hearing. "The whole station is the segment? Oh crap! Now how the hell are we gonna get the stupid thing?"

"Like I said, it could be worse."

"We'd have to evacuate the station, but that could take ages. Once we get the authorities to agree, that is," said Jenna.

"I guess. One of us could be the segment." Alan laughed nervously.

"A planet, or a person...both have happened in the past," the Doctor informed him.

Moriarty took on a patronizing tone. "Then the tracers would have reacted long before this." Idiot.

"Forgive me. I'm only a pitiful, stupid, Monkey-related, human," Alan retorted sarcastically.

"My, my, we all get along so well, don't we?" said Trav.

"A pitiful excuse," continued Moriarty. "I've known other humans to be quite resourceful." He looked over at Jenna.

Alan did all he could to keep himself from socking Moriarty in the face. He could only glare at the man and clench his fists.

Jenna was taken aback by the compliment, even though it was rather backhanded.

Trav turned her gaze back to the Doctor. "Well, since I'm the Half-baked one here, what plan do you have, Mr. Fully-Baked Theta?"

The Doctor grinned. "I never make plans."

------------------------------------------------

Ace spotted something in one of the windows. "Hey cool." She walked into the shop to get a closer look. She picked up the boxed item and carried it over to the counter where another android stood. This one looked just like the first but wore a sliver lame sports coat. "How much for this thing, mate?"

"14 credits, miss," he replied as he straightened his crimson tie.

Ace searched her pockets and pulled out a bag. "Only got 12. That Ok?"

The android, whose tag read Colin6 winked at her. "Ok, but don't tell anyone, all right?"

Ace grinned broadly and handed over the money. "Thanks." She winked back. "Your secret's safe with me." She put the box in her bag and left the shop.

"Have a nice time period of your choice!" the android called after her.

Jenna spotted Ace coming back with her purchase. "What did you get?"

"It's a secret."

The Doctor started off down the main corridor. "Ace, we're going!"

Ace followed the Doctor and Jenna caught up with her. "You'll tell me when you can?"

She smiled. "I'll think about it."

Trav stared at the Doctor's retreating back. "Lovely. Come on, Alan. Let's see what kind of trouble he gets us all into."

Alan shook his head and followed Trav.

Moriarty shuffled along at the back once again. It would be so easy to leave them here. But how would I get my TARDIS back?

They walked along the halls and Trav stopped to look back at an interesting view out the porthole and accidentally bumped into Ace. "Oh, sorry about that. Man, whatever you've got in that bag of yours is hard."

"She won't tell what it is...yet," Jenna said to her.

Ace only smiled at them.

"I would love to go shopping. I haven't been in ages. Not since the day I met Holmes, I think." Jenna sighed. "Something always gets in the way."

The group soon spotted yet another android, this one with a steel wool wig wearing red overalls and pushing a broom along the walkway. The Doctor walked up to it. "Excuse me...?"

Colin2 untwisted his left hand and used his now open arm to vacuum up the debris. "Yes, sir?"

"Could you direct me to the office of the station manager?"

"Yes, I could." He began to sweep again.

"Would you, please?"

"Probably up a couple of levels right in the middle of the large expanse with a sign over it reading 'Station Manager'," said Alan.

Colin2 stooped sweeping. "Yes, sir. Follow the blue line to a blue lift. Get off on the 23 floor and turn right."

"Guess not." Alan was a little disappointed.

"Well, there is a large sign," Colin2 told them as he nodded towards the blinking neon sign that read To Station Manager's Office with an arrow.

Alan smiled. "Well, that's cool then."

"No, it is the same temperature as everything else." He resumed sweeping.

The Doctor blinked at the huge sign. "Oh, that sign. Right. Silly me. "Good day!" He doffed his hat and followed the sign.

Trav smiled and shook her head at the head at the Doctor's gaff as the others followed him.

"Jenna." She went to the Doctor's side. "If you really feel the need to shop, go right ahead. All we need is five minutes with the station manager and we should be all set."

"You sure?" He nodded. "Great! Let's go Ace!"

Ace joined them. "Um, Professor?"

"Yes, Ace?"

"I don't suppose you could lend me some money? Everything's a bit steep here."

"Whatever do you need money for, Ace?"

"Well, lunch, and other stuff. I would like to have a look around."

"Wanna join us, Alan?" Jenna asked. "Promise not to make you watch us buy girlie things," she said with a grin.

Alan thought about it. "Yeah, you know, Trav, I am a bit hungry, and I'd like to go to that diner and try that Dish of the Day thing. Think you can spot me a bit of cash?"

"Ok, here's my Intergalactic Express. I wonder how much money I've accumulated..." She shook her head. "Anyway, don't go mad, and I'll see you after we've sorted this out, ok?"

She handed Alan her credit card. Alan grinned, took the card, and ran off down the hall with Ace and Jenna. "Go on and keep the girls company Alan, and don't do anything I wouldn't do, now," she called after them, looking a little stern.

The Doctor sighed. "Just stay out of trouble, children!"

"Thanks Professor!" called Ace from the far end of the hall.

"So it's just us finally," commented Moriarty.

"Why do I feel like I've just made the biggest mistake in my entire existence?" questioned Trav.

The Doctor shook his head at her. "No, no, no, you've made so many mistakes, how could this possibly compare?"

Trav was stunned "Theta? How do you know? You don't' even know me! I don't know where all this hostility is coming from all of a sudden. You were quite civil on Amanos."

The Doctor merely smirked and said nothing as he stepped into the lift.

The lift doors opened to reveal another android. This one was wearing a plaid shirt, a bellhop hat, and a tag that proclaimed him to be Colin23. "Floor, please?"

"Office of the station manager," requested the Doctor.

"Yes, sir. Please use the hand rails." The Doctor and Moriarty gripped the polished brass rails as Trav leant against the back wall, sulking. The lift zoomed upwards at high speed and stopped just as abruptly. Colin23 opened the doors. "Just to your right, sir."

The Doctor stepped out of the lift on wobbly legs yet doffed his hat to Colin23. "Thanks."

Moriarty walked out of the lift, fighting the lightness of his head. "Guess that's the office," he said, looking to the right.

Trav exited wordlessly. I'll come out of this a billion mazumas in the red.. I just know it.

Colin23 lifted his hat and extended a hand. "My pleasure, sir." But as soon as the lift doors closed, the pleasant façade fell and he muttered, "Stiffed again."

Back in the hall the Doctor stepped up to the office door and hit the buzzer. Trav shuffled from one foot to the other impatiently. The door opened electronically showing an android wearing a lime green suit and a plaid shirt who went by the name Colin5. "Come in." He put down his unlit cigar and ushered the three Time Lords inside. "You the new prospective buyers?"

The Doctor blinked then grinned blindingly. "Yes, that would be us!" He raised his hat before taking it off and resting it on his brolly handle as he offered his hand. "I'm Abe Froman, and these are my associates."

Colin5 shook hands all around. "Have a seat, should I buzz for any refreshments?"

"Hi." Trav flopped casually into an inflatable chair and gave the Doctor a look that questioned his alias.

Moriarty sat in a comfy chair. "I could do with some liquid refreshment."

"Coffee, tea, or," he opened the wet bar behind desk, "something a bit stronger?"

"Beer? I'll have some Guinness, if you've got any of that around this century."

"Guinness? Is that a type of tea?"

"Er, no, it's a type of dark beer.. alcohol."

"What have you got in the way of Earth liquor?" asked Moriarty.

"Tea for me, thank you." The Doctor looked at the others. "And coffee for my friends."

Trav twiddled her fingers. "Look, I'll have a," she heard the Doctor and frowned, "coffee, I guess."

Colin5 buzzed the intercom. "Secretary, one tea." He looked at the Doctor. Hot or cold?"

"Hot."

Colin5 spoke into intercom. "That's one hot tea and a coffee." He then poured a green liquid into a crystal glass and offered it to Moriarty. "A Scotch, almost no radiation at all?"

Moriarty took the proffered glass. "Ah, bless you." He faced the Doctor and defiantly took a long drink. "Wonderful."

Trav looked longingly at the glass. "Hmm, I'll have one of those--if you haven't got any Guinness." Colin5 poured her a glass while the Doctor shook his head and sighed. "Thanks!" She took a sip. "Whoa! Now that has no kick at all." Her eyes boggled. "But it sure has a buzz."

"It's the taste that matters," Moriarty informed her.

Colin77 entered wearing a tight black skirt and a lopsided blonde beehive and bearing a tray. "Tea and coffee," it said in a falsetto voice.

The Doctor winked conspiratorially at Colin77. "You know what they say about good help. I'm afraid I can't take them anywhere."

"Yes you can, you brought us here," countered Moriarty.

"Oh shush, Theta.. I heard that," said Trav.

The Doctor took his tea from Colin77 and sipped the brew. "Mmmm...almost like civilization!"

"Yeah, what," She gulped her green scotch, "what he said." She and Moriarty saluted each other with their glasses.

"Well, shall we schmuz or get to business?" questioned Colin5.

"It'll have to be business, I'm afraid," replied the Doctor. "Time and tide and all that jazz."

Colin5 opened the top desk drawer and handed the Doctor a large folder. "Here's the prospectus. Except for a few minor things you will see that the station is in top form."

Trav raised an eyebrow at the mysterious folder and the evil money secrets and Dark stuff it must contain... Or not.

The Doctor looked it over. "Um-hmm, yes, mm-hmmm, very good. And how soon could you have the place emptied?"

Moriarty attempted to look serious as he fought the buzz from the alcohol. "How many employees?"

Trav was having similar troubles and seemed to be losing her battle. "How about all of 'em? Oh wait, that was Moriarty." She shook her head in a futile attempt to clear it.

The Doctor gave them the Let-Those-Of-Us-With-Higher-Brain-Functions-Speak glare.

Colin5 concentrated on the Doctor. "Well, as you probably noticed, there was a slight mistake with the android servitors. PAL, Perfect Androids Limited, changes models every one hundred units so that organics won't be too upset my seeing identical units everywhere. Unfortunately, all the units delivered to NM-B13 were the same model. That is a problem we have tried to correct," he said as he picked up his unlit cigar once again.

Moriarty, not wanting to appear a simple drunk, asked, "How many beings are employed by the station? How many ships are docked now?"

"There are 100 android servitors, unfortunately all the organics ran off to the Malirium rush on Beta 7," answered Colin5. "I'm sure a corporation your size will have no trouble recruiting new organics, until then we androids can fill in."

Trav gave up attempting to speak and sat in her chair contemplating her drink.

Moriarty, however, turned as green as his drink. "Pardon me, everyone." He quickly rose from his chair and hurried out of the room, bent and clutching his stomach.

"Oh, second door on the left!" Colin5 called after him.

The Doctor smirked. "I tried to tell him to stick to the coffee."

Trav's brows furrowed and she set her drink aside. "A good buzz usually comes with a price." She felt a bit queasy but it quickly passed.

The Doctor brought the conversation back on topic. "Yes, I'm sure, but that's not what I asked. What's the earliest you can have every man, woman, child and android clear of the station?"

"Clear? Everyone? But organics are arriving and leaving all the time. Launch times can't be changed without disrupting flight paths."

Trav, curious about the effects of the drink on Time Lord physiognomy, picked up the glass once more and studied it while the Doctor and Colin5 talked turkey. "Interesting," she murmured.

She took out a phial, dipped it into the glass for a sample, corked it, and placed it in a pocket inside her jacket.

The Doctor was beginning to sound a little aggravated. "I didn't ask how difficult it would be. I asked when you could have it done. This station just might suit our purposes, but not without extensive remodeling, interior and exterior."

Colin5 rubbed his brow. "Well...I guess we could divert incoming ships then the present guests could be evacuated in say 24 hours."

"That would be acceptable. Do it."

Trav nodded. "Yes indeed. Very acceptable." She stared at the cup of green stuff.

Colin5 was puzzled. "But the androids... Certainly you realize that all androids are part of the sale of the station?"

"Exactly how many of you are there?"

"As I said sir, 100."

"That shouldn't be a problem. You will be relocated."

"Relocated?" Colin5 gave a tinny laugh. "Very good that one."

"I never joke," stated the Doctor.

"Now to get serious, shall I really divert incoming and evac the humans? Or is that another of your jests?" The Doctor met the android's gaze calmly. Colin5 pressed the intercom.

"Ah..77, divert all incoming flights and initiate an evac of all organics... at once." He switched off the intercom and looked to the Doctor for approval.

The Doctor nodded. "Good. That's a start."

"But what of us sir?" asked Colin5 nervously.

"Where would you like to go? If you were, say, emancipated?" questioned the Doctor.

Colin5 was afraid to believe this was a true offer. "Is that another of your little jests?" he asked carefully.

"What did I say about jesting? Abe Froman never jests. You would do well to remember that."

Colin5 gulped. "But, sir, the central CPU is at the station core. If you remove us all of us will be wiped."

Sitting in her chair, Trav let the voices of the Doctor and the android fade. As they did, she heard another, faintly audible. "What?" She stood and looked around the room for the source of the Voice. The Doctor and Colin5 were still discussing what to do. She stopped when the Voice did. "Weird." She returned to her seat. What the two were saying made it through to her. "It won't work," she said quietly. "Colin's right. The Central Computer Core is their life's blood.. er.. so to speak."

"And CPUs can be reprogrammed, or removed if need be," the Doctor countered

"We have no such capacity, sir. Please reconsider. We would all, well, die," pleaded Colin5.

"It won't be. It needs them to survive. You see, this Space Station is alive." She sat quietly and calmly returned the Doctor's unquavering gaze.

"I have the capacity," the Doctor informed Colin5. "And, Trav, this is no bio-mechanoid."

"It's an artificial lifeform," Trav stated. "I know because it just got through telling me."

Colin5 unconsciously mopped away non-existent sweat from his brow at news of this reprieve.

"The androids and the station are interdependent of one another. How it got that way, I've no idea. It won't tell me." Trav sounded disappointed in the fact it didn't trust her with the whole story.

"Artificial life forms are modular," said the Doctor. "We'll remove the 'brain' and 'nervous system'. Simple."

Trav stood abruptly and swept her arms out. "It's not that simple.. You can try, but it won't let you."

"It would rather die?"

"If you took out its CPU it would die. It doesn't want to kill. The green stuff! That explains it! It wanted at least one of us to hear it.. So it told one of the androids to offer it. How interesting. And my being such a sot...well..."

Colin5 was desperate to save the CPU-and himself. "We could...could...download programs to perform your renovations. Think of the credits you'd save in labor costs."

"I'm afraid these renovations are a little out of your league," the Doctor said.

Trav looked at them both. "There's another problem. It's just told me since I'm connected to it now, if you try to break its daisy chain you could kill me, too. Lovely, huh? I just had to have some alcohol, didn't I?" She flopped into Moriarty's vacated chair. "Geez, and I only just regenerated."

The Doctor sighed and took a scanner from his pocket. "Ummm-hmmm, yes, yes, just as I thought." He stood and offered his hand. "Colin5, it's been a pleasure doing business with
you. I would appreciate it if you and your crew reported to Docking Bay 94 as soon as the evacuation is complete. Good day." He doffed his hat and made his way to the café.
Trav followed slowly, her mind on other things.

------------------------------------------

The café was filled with customers and a collection of brightly dressed identical androids went about efficiently waiting on them all. Alan, Jenna, and Ace grabbed a table out on the
promenade so they could spot their associates when they returned.

Jenna set down her packages, a satisfied smile on her face. "I forgot what an appetite shopping gives you." She picked up the plastic menu. "Interesting mix of foods."

An android wearing a sequined bolo jacket and a bright yellow kilt crossed to table. "Would the ladies and gentleman like a drink before they order?"

Ace looked up from her Gameboy. "Vodka and Coke, thanks, mate."

The lights in the café flickered and then red emergency lights came on. "Oh, dear. Everyone please remain calm and walk, don't run, to the nearest escape pods," Colin46 said.

"What? We only just sat down and now there's an emergency?" Alan couldn't believe it. "Just our luck, eh?"

Colin46 spun wildly about the room, arms waving. "No need to panic!"

Alan gave his two friends a lopsided grin. "You know, an android carrying on like that really calms my nerves. Doesn't it you?"

Colin46, recalling his customers, reverted to his protocols. "Even if there is an emergency I would have to see a valid ID, miss."

Ace flashed her video club card. "This good enough?"

"What?" Colin46 twittered. "Sorry, miss, a picture ID proving age is necessary for alcoholic beverages."

"C'mon, I was absent when the pictures were taken."

Alan pointed to a figure skidding to a stop at the corner. "Hey, there's that Doctor dude."

Jenna looked up from her menu and called. "Doctor!" She waved to him so he could see them through the crowds leaving.

He hurried over to them, Trav right behind him. "Alan," she said, "things are, well, going haywire." She winced and grabbed her temples.

"Trav? You all right?" Alan was worried.

"Yeah, the pain's passed. The CPU. Something's happening at the CPU."

Jenna noticed that one of their company was missing. "Trouble and Moriarty nowhere in sight. Why am I not surprised?"

"He drank something that didn't agree with him," the Doctor told her.

"Rules are rules, miss," said the waitress/android to Ace. "Now please return to your craft or take one of our excellent escape pods."

The Doctor could see that Ace was trying to con the android. "Ace," he warned.

Ace turned to face him. "Professor, could you tell this dingbat to grab me a drink?"

Colin46 was puzzled at this phrase. "Dingbat? I an see how a bat can cause a ding, but what is a dingbat?"

"Never mind. What's more important is that you are now my employee and as such I can tell you to shut off the blasted alarm. Leave the lights, but kill the siren."

"I'm sorry sir, but the evac was ordered by the new buyers."

"That would be me."

Jenna wasn't sure what she was hearing. "What? How come he's your new employee?"

"You bought Dish of the Day from the new station owners?" asked Colin46.

"I bought the whole station, including you. So kindly shut that noise off."

Colin46 bowed. "I'm sure it will be a pleasure to serve you, sir." He opened his chest unit and punched at a keyboard and the alarms stopped.

Ace fell back into her chair in a huff. "Can I at least get a Coke?"

The Doctor looked to Colin46. "And get my assistant a Coke."

Colin46 took a glass from a dispenser in his chest and help up the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. "Regular or diet, miss?"

"Regular, thanks."

He held his thumb upside down over the glass and filled it. "There you go, miss."

Ace took a sip and made a face. "Are you sure this is Coke? It's flat."

The android inserted his pinky into the beverage and injected carbonated water. "How's that?"

She took another sip. "It's better."

He opened a groin panel. "Ice cubes?"

"Yeah, thanks."

Colin46 reached in and dropped ice cubes into the glass. He smiled. "You are so kind, miss. For some reason, most organics don't want ice."

"I wonder why?" Ace said dryly.

He leaned over and whispered, "They never say." He straightened, closed his groin panel, and dropped the kilt back into place. "Anything for anyone else?"

"Can I have something a bit stronger?" asked Jenna. "I wonder what made Moriarty turn green."

"I wouldn't recommend it," said Trav as she edged away from the group.

Alan went over to her. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going to the CPU. Stay with the others."

"What's the plan, eh? The Doc wants everyone out of here, is that right?"

Trav sighed. "Just ask him. I have to go talk with someone."

Alan turned to look at the others and when he looked back, Trav was gone.

She headed for the depths of the space station's center hub and entered the main CPU room, which was flanked with row upon row of monitors and lights flashing all manner of colors.

"We need to talk. Yes, I see." She nodded to the voice in her head. "There's something I need you to know.. why we've come here."

---------------------------------

After leaving the others at the station manager's office, Moriarty straightened and smiled wickedly. I can't believe they bought that! Holmes never would have. He sobered at the thought of his nemesis and took the lift down to the center floor. He needed this time to scout around to find out what he could about this station and how things were run. Control would have to be from a central location so he headed for the center of the central floor. All of a sudden the bright lights flickered off and the emergency lights came on along with all kinds of sirens and alarms. Due to the confusion, there was no one to stop him from entering through the door that read "Authorized Personnel Only". He heard a voice and stopped when he saw Trav. Damn!

"And that's why we're here," said Trav, concluding her story. "You're the segment we're looking for to save the universe and all that."

She's talking to the CPU! Moriarty slipped a little closer and hid behind a bank of machinery.

"If we can..." Trav let the sentence fade as the weird feeling in her head was gone. "He's cut me off!" She watched as all the monitors began to shut down and soon the room was bathed
in darkness. "Uh oh.. I think he's gone all existential on us." She heard the Oxygen Generation units shut down. "Oh no."

Still hiding, Moriarty summed the situation up in one word. "Crap!"


CAST:
Elflore: Seventh Doctor
SpaceProg: Trav, Alan Simon
Aggedor: Ace
FlynnKlly: Moriarty, Jenna Watson
Cody: Various Androids

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