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Perchance to Dream (2/2)

Title: Perchance to Dream
Characters: Seven, Ace, Originals
Word Count: 3117
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.

Part One



II


"Man, I think we'd better get out of here. Seems like these robot guys are going nuts." Alan dodged a robot spasmodically staggering past.

"I thought they already were?" Ace commented.

"A short trip for most of us, miss," Said Colin46.

"Well even more so than before.. What's going on, is what I'd like to know. Any ideas, Doc?" Alan asked him.

"So this is how you quietly evacuate?" Jenna questioned the Doctor.

The Doctor shrugged. "Go with what works. As near as I can tell, the robots are merely a little disorganized. They should still be gone soon enough." All the androids collapsed at once, one landing right in front of the Doctor's feet. "Or not."

"You were saying?" Alan looked at him.

"I sure hope we don't go the same way," said Jenna with a look at the androids.

The lights go dim. "Oi! What happened to the lights?" demanded Ace.

The Doctor got to his feet. "Something's wrong. "Ace, Jenna, Alan, back to the TARDIS. Now."

Jenna didn't need to be told a second time. She grabbed her purchases and ran. Alan followed.

The Doctor handed Ace the TARDIS key. "Ace, go after Jenna and Alan, get everyone into the TARDIS and do not come out until I come for you.

"Right Professor." She took the key and hurried off.

The Doctor blinked then called after her. "Ace? Ace!"

Ace turned around. "Yeah, Professor, no need to shout."

"You just did something I told you without arguing."

"Did I? Sorry. I'll try harder next time."

"Alright, just so we're clear." He grinned at her, tapped his nose, and waved her on again.

Ace grinned and ran back after Jenna and Alan.

Alan strode after Jenna. "Wait for me, Jen! I'm supposed to be protecting you and Ace and stuff!"

"Here! Take some of these!" Jenna handed him some of her bags. I wish I had a backpack like Ace....less to carry.

Alan caught them on the run. "What are they?"

"Shopping. You were there for most of it."

"Oh." He rummaged through bags as he ran.

Ace spotted Jenna and Alan. "Wait up, you two. I'm not that fast y'know."

Alan lagged behind a bit, waiting for Ace to catch up. Jenna looked over her shoulder and slowed. "Sorry, the Doctor was rather insistent

Ace caught them up. "Yeah, but I have the key. Bit useless without it, eh?"

"Good point."

"Wonder why the Doc was so insistent that we get back to the TARDIS?" asked Alan as he searched in the dark for the TARDIS.

"I dunno. But I know the Doctor needs my help and I can't help without my Nitro."

Jenna began to find it harder to catch her breath. "I think I know."

"It's getting kind of muggy in here, or .. uh oh.. I think I know too." Alan looked at Jenna.

"The oxygen's been cut."

Ace couldn't believe her ears. "What?"

Alan's eyes widened. "Oh man. Trav and the Doc...how long can they take it?" He started breathing heavier. "I don't' know if I can much more."

"For some reason, the oxygen generators have shut down," said Jenna. "We gotta keep moving and get to the TARDIS."

"We'd better hurry then." Ace pointed down a side corridor. "This way, I think."

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

"Now, Colin, why did you remain online when the others shut down? Independent power source? I'm speaking from a purely technical standpoint, Colin, no offense intended. How did you manage to remain active with main power down?"

"A tradesman gave me this mechanism in exchange for a rather large bar tab. He guaranteed it highly, as 'Sure as my name is Mudd', he said." He took on a more serious tone. "Sir, are all of me, but myself that is, really.. dead?"

"Of course not. You'll all be fine." Well, then, you shall come with me." He turned a corner and led Colin towards the main CPU.

"Oh thank you sir!" He winked. "I've always wanted to ask 77 to go for a walk some day."

The Doctor patted Colin46 on the shoulder. "You will. I know just the place, where they have the most remarkable oil baths."

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

Moriarty came out from his hiding place. "What the bloody hell have you done?"

Trav banged on the CPU. "Come on! Talk to me, damn it!"

"Ahh, here we are...this is the main CPU, is it not?" came the Doctor's voice from the hallway.

"Yes, sir. Just show your ID card and it will open," Colin46 replied.

The Doctor entered the room and saw the other two Time Lords standing there. "Trav! What's happened?" he asked, ignoring Moriarty.

"That shouldn't have worked without a security card, sir. Something's very wrong here," said Colin46.

"No oxygen and emergency power only are usually good indicators of wrongness, yes."

Moriarty turned to the Doctor. "She talked with it and then it shut everything down."

Trav turned to the Doctor and Colin, ignoring Moriarty as well. "We've got an existential CPU here and it doesn't see the point in living anymore. Damn, I shouldn't have told it." She banged the CPU again. "Come on!"

"Trav...what happened?" questioned the Doctor again.

Colin46 looked as agitated as possible without being able to change expression. "Sirs! Please!"

Colin, do you have any sort of antigrav lifters here?" the Doctor asked.

"Of course sir, but as I was trying to say..."

"Stay calm.. we must all stay calm," said Trav over and over like a mantra more to herself than anyone.

"I am extremely calm considering what is happening," said Colin. "What I was attempting to point out is things are not working as they should."

"Well, that's a newsflash," commented Trav.

"Colin, what is it?"

"Well, for one sir, that door should not have opened without a security card."

The Doctor nodded. "Yes, Colin, I'm aware of that. It's not going to be a problem ."

"No bio units should be allowed in the CPU at all," stressed Colin46.

Moriarty walked around CPU, frustrated that they were ignoring him. "Should've gotten here first," he muttered. He stopped pacing when he realized the TARDIS was only occupied by the humans. Good chance I could bluff my way in.....wait, no, not with Watson there....or Ace. Neither trust me.

"Here's what we need to do," said the Doctor.

"I see.," said Trav.

"Wait, first, Colin, is there any sort of emergency generator that could get your compatriots running again? Independent from the CPU, like yourself?" asked the Doctor.

"There are just too many things that are against all regulations," declared Colin46.

"Never mind that. I'm revising regulations as your employer."

"Well, technically sir, I'm not supposed to function either."

"Colin, sometimes regulations are made to be broken," the Doctor told the android.

"Never mind that.," said Trav. "Can we bring them back online or not?"

Moriarty was drawn back into the conversation. Trav noticed and kept her eye on him.

"Yes, Trav, thank you. I have this under control."

"But our regulations are all imprinted into the CPU's basic memory, they can't be changed."

"You are no longer running under the direction of the CPU, remember?" said the Doctor.

"If the CPU gives the command links anything can be done, sir."

"The CPU is shut down," said the Doctor. "We have no command links. Do we have any other options?"

Moriarty decided to add to the conversation. "Perhaps....Is there any chance that the CPU that is the segment is not the only one? A secondary, like a second control room? Knowing that there is a chance this will be found, a second CPU might exist to take its place"

"A backup computer.. good call," Trav commented.

"Exactly, Moriarty-Sir. I shouldn't be working. The maintenance Colin said this green unit was a simple lighting board."

"I mean, It seems logical for a huge system like this to have a backup. Only cause of action. Lots of lives depend on it. I wonder if all we need to do is find it and boot it up. Usually, though they boot up by themselves.. or they're supposed to."

"Yes, miss, but to many unexplained things are happening. I'm afraid this is way beyond RAM memory that was only meant to take food and drink orders."

"Oy vey." Trav smacked her forehead.

"Colin, is there such a backup?" questioned the Doctor.

"Sir, only the CPU would know that. And we can hardly just ask it, can we?"

"We need to find the schematics," stated Moriarty.

"I've tried. No dice," Trav told him. "We'll have to do something pretty soon. It's going to be hard to breathe before too long."

"Never mind that," said the Doctor. "We have to assume there is no backup. Colin, say again...how many of you service bots are aboard?"

"A hundred sir, I think."

"Too many to move with antigrav lifters... All right then... Each of us will take an antigrav lifter, and pick up 25 robots. We'll meet at the TARDIS, pack them in, and be on our way. Simple."

"Well, it's worth a shot," said Trav. "It shouldn't be too thin in here for a while,. then with the rep bypass we'll have a few more minutes.. so.. It may be do-able."

"And what about the segment?" Moriarty asked him. "You're gonna come back here and get it?"

"We can collect the segment any time, we only need to get the robots clear of the station. Right, but we must hurry!" The Doctor turned to the android. "Colin, show us where the antigrav lifters are stored. Quickly, man!"

"I think the safest thing to do is to transform it from inside the TARDIS and find some way of transporting it in. Your TARDIS does have a localized transmat device, doesn't it, Theta?"

"Oh my, I think I might be able to do that, sir, provided we can get some power."

"Just show us...hurry!"

"Colin5, the station manager, had a programmed solid state put into his office so that all the Colins could be evacuated at once when they finally straightened out the supply problem."

"Even better."

"Do you have any oxygen tanks in the TARDIS?" asked Moriarty. "If we get them helping us we can do it quicker."

"I don't' recall any O2 tanks in the Doc's TARDIS.. Let's just hurry with what oxygen we have left. If we find some on board the station, all the better." Trav followed along behind the
Doctor and Colin at a brisk pace.

Moriarty looked to the ceiling in frustration then followed.

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

The Doctor hurried for the office, since he knew where it was.

"Mr. 5, bless his bureaucratic 'heart', was always so embarrassed about us being the same model."

The Doctor grinned wickedly. "He'll be in for a shock when he wakes up, eh?"

Trav just sighed at his poor attempt at humor.

Colin46 stopped at station manager's door and knocked. "Ah, Mr. 5? Mr. 5?" There was no answer. "Oh silly me, that's his secretary's office."

The Doctor entered Colin5's office and looked about. "Colin, where did he keep the device?"

"It was in the top left hand drawer of his desk. It sends all colins to cargo bay 3. Mr. 5 wanted everything preprogrammed so he could solve the "problem" by just pressing a button."

Moriarty nonchalantly leaned in the doorway and watched the Doctor's every move.

The Doctor opened the desk drawer and pulled out a small control box. "Doesn't look too complicated. Right.. Trav, can you go back to the TARDIS? Make sure Alan and the girls are all right, and move the ship to Cargo Bay 3. Moriarty, Colin, you will remain with me, making sure this works as it's supposed to."

"Don't jinx it, Theta. Never say something's going to be easy. That's just tempting fate."

"Trav, please just see to the TARDIS?"

"I'm on my way, Theta." Trav left the room.

"If the Colins are inoperative, how can they get to Cargo Bay 3? Teleportation?" Moriarty scoffed.

"This should override. They've got power to their motor functions, their brains just aren't telling them to do anything." The Doctor hit the big red button. "There. Our zombie-bots should be on the move. Come along you two, Cargo Bay 3." He started out the door.

Colin46 turned abruptly and started to walk out. "Oh, sir, I think its working."

Moriarty followed. Why do I even bother opening my mouth?

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

Trav strode down the dark corridors, hoping she remembered the correct way. She passed a stirring robot. "Good going, Theta." She finally reached the TARDIS. "Please don't let them have gallivanted off somewhere." She tried the door only to find it locked. She banged on it. "It's me, let me in."

Jenna looked up at the monitor. "It's Trav!"

"Alan? Ace? Jenna? Open up!"

Jenna went for the switch but Ace beat her to it. She grinned as the doors opened

Trav entered the TARDIS.. "Thanks." She briskly started manipulating the TARDIS's controls. "Have fun while we weren't watching over you?" she asked with a grin.

"Just put away our shopping," Jenna told her. "Ace still didn't tell me what's in the box."

"You should know you can trust us by now," said Ace. "Isn't that right guys?"

"Oh yeah," said Alan, feigning guilt. "We didn't do a thing.. nuh uh!"

Trav raised an eyebrow in his direction. "Yeah. Let's see.. I've got to move us to Cargo Bay 3.. Ok, now, this should work." She pressed a switch. Nothing happened. "What is wrong with Theta's ship? Man, it's a piece of-" She kicked the console and the rotor started moving.

"What's at Cargo Bay 3?" questioned Jenna.

"Don't' ask me. Theta wanted his TARDIS moved there. Probably to make the moving of the droids out easier." The TARDIS materialized. "Good, now we'll see if his jalopy is good at short hops.."

"Uh, Trav, your TARDIS is only a few years younger than this one."

"Shut up, Alan." Trav opened the door and exited the TARDIS where the Doctor was waiting. "Well, I parked her were you wanted, Theta.

"Splendid work, old girl!" The Doctor patted the TARDIS.

"I think we're in an air pocket so it should be safe for Ace, Jenna and Alan to come out."

"I'm just gonna go grab something from my room," Ace told Jenna and Alan before heading out the other door.

From his position beside the Doctor, Colin46 tried to turn his head to see who else was in line but couldn't.

Jenna stepped into the cargo bay and was amazed to see all the Colins together. Alan emerged behind her.

"Everyone back up a bit, the toy soldiers are marching!" advised the Doctor as he stood back to let the Colins enter the TARDIS, and waved them through the doors. "Right this way, gentlemen!"

Trav stood, hands in pockets, satisfied at how smoothly they had worked around the emergency. A little apart from the others, Moriarty stood in a similar pose to her, but he only thought the whole process was a waste of time.

"So this is to save them when we take the segment?" Jenna asked the Doctor.

The Doctor nodded. "That's right. The segment itself shouldn't be any trouble."

Ace made her way through the Colins with a larger backpack slung over her shoulder.

The Doctor glared at her. "Ace? Put it away. Now"

She tried to hide her guilty grin. "Put what away, Professor?"

"You know exactly what, Ace."

"Seriously, Professor. I did what I was told. No Nitro, honest."

"Then you won't mind putting your rucksack away, will you?"

"Sure I would. I need my bag, It's got my stuff in it."

"Yeah, it's the 'stuff' we're concerned about," teased Jenna.

"Yes, twice as much stuff as when we arrived. Why would that be?"

"We went shopping, remember?" Ace defended.

"What did you get?" asked Trav.

Ace adjusted the bag on her shoulders. "I'll tell you later, Trav."

Trav sighed. "I'm always the last one to know anything here," she said as she smiled slightly.

"Ace, we're all going to be inside in a moment. The Colins are almost finished boarding. In fact..." The last three passed them by, and the Doctor clapped loudly. "Right, all's aboard who're going aboard!"

Trav entered the TARDIS once more followed by Alan. Moriarty sauntered casually aboard. Jenna made sure there was someone between herself and Moriarty before entering. Once inside, Colin46 found his visual circuits malfunctioning, as there was way to much interior space to match outside dimensions of TARDIS.

"So, Theta, what's the plan on transforming the segment? It'd be hard to stand on a little segment hovering in the vacuum of space. I wonder...in order to fix the little bits of damage outside the ship that occur naturally, they may have small automated welder drones with remote controlled hands.. Could one of them hold the tracer and then bring the transformed segment back into the TARDIS?"

The Doctor stood at the doors. "Trav, may I have the tracer? And would someone please give the inevitable explanation to Colin here?"

Trav handed the Tracer to the Doctor who stuck his arm back outside, activated the tracer, then quickly pulled it back in and slammed the door. "Right." He rushed to the console and started tapping the controls. An image came up on the scanner, of the station warping and bending in space.

Colin46 drifted into sleep mode, thinking of holding hands with Colin77 as they count electronic sheep jumping over a fence.

"Trippy," commented Alan.

Ace put her hands in her pockets. "Wicked!"

"Indeed. Everything's going according to plan, for once!"

The station vanished and the Doctor tapped more controls. "Yes...there...now then...we just..."

Trav crossed her fingers.

"Open the mail slot..." A segment materialized on the console. "And voila!"

"Yes!" declared Trav.

"Wonderful!" agreed Jenna.

"Not bad," said the Doctor, a triumphant grin on his face.

Moriarty showed an outward bored expression though was somewhat impressed.

Trav took the segment in her hand. "Awesome.. I've never seen one of these before.. So beautiful." The segment glimmered with mysterious power.

The Doctor turned to Colin46. "Colin, why don't you come with me to my workshop? I suspect we'll be able to find some parts there, and replicate your independent power source for the others. Starting with a Miss 77, perhaps?"

Colin46's eyes brightened. "Yes, sir!"

The Doctor patted him on the back, and grinned wider as they started down the corridor. "Then we'll just drop all of you off someplace nice before our next stop"

"I have to say, sir, in all sincerity, you're the best boss I ever had."

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