The Doctor and Mike
were still asleep when she started cleaning the TARDIS. There was dust everythere, sometimes there were as much as four of
five tiny motes near each other and so to help out Alice descided to clean the ship, all of it. The first twenty levels went quite
quickly, however it was harder to get the Vervoid in one spot so she could check him for greenfly and also prune away his
dead leaves. Then she found the spare console room and she had a quick nap there, before getting back to work and the hard
work that was debugging the ship's program code. The TARDIS put up many levels of defences but finally she got access and
she was amazed at how badly it was written, rewritten, amended and in some places written backwards in a language that seemed
to change its alphabet six or seven times an hour. However in the end she got most of the bugs out.
awoke from one of his rare sleeps and climbed out of bed. He pulled on his fluffy bunny slippers and number four dressing
gown, the black silk one with the red question marks. Then he went to the console room to find out what was going on.
first thing Mike knew that something was going on was when the ship lurched about, this was quickly followed seconds later
by his bedroom door opening and a small car-shaped child jumping up onto his face and holding on while it trembled with fear.
returned to the console room to find the Doctor awake. "Good morning Doctor, how are you?"
The Doctor barely noticed his
companion as he fought the controls to stop them crashing into the large blue giant star in front of them.
"What a lovely
colour." Alice changed her work clothes and apron into a lovely flowing summer
dress of the same colour. "I tidied the ship up for you."
The Doctor's concentration was suddenly torn away from the impending
doom. "You what?"
"I scrubbed and polished and mopped the whole ship." Alice
was proud of her achievement."
"Did you touch anything?" The Doctor asked. "Did you change the controls?"
"No, but I
did spill some bleach all over the controls in the secondary console room. Don't worry, I soaked it all up with my sponge,
just before it dissolved."
"I don't believe it." The Doctor shouted. "You've locked me out of my own ship controls. We're
all going to die!"
Mike thrashed about his room looking for the lightswitch, while Molly clung to his head and
refused to let go.
"10101011101!" Molly panicked and clung on even tighter to Uncle Mike for safety.
found the light switch and Molly relaxed her grip. "It's ok now, you can let go."
Molly let go and jumped onto the bed,
where she hid under the blanket. "1010101!"
"I'm sure nothing's the matter. Unless your mother's trying to fly the TARDIS
The Doctor pressed the automatic override button and somehow the TARDIS controls were freed. Quickly he
began changing the settings, taking them away from the huge blue star and to somewhere safer.
"Oooh, that planet looks
nice." Alice pointed to a big gassy planet with nice rings.
"It's an ice giant,
all methane and ammonia, it's not very nice and your circuits would be damaged by the cold." The Doctor selected a more suitable
rocky planet with a safe atmosphere.
"I didn't mean to cause any trouble." Alice
said suddenly. "I just wanted to make the place look clean and tidy as a surprise." She lifted the lid off a nearby plate.
The Doctor looked at the large cake. "How did you know?"
"I just looked at the ship's database. She
helped me make the cake."
"You made a cake for me? Is there any oil in it?"
"No, You've said before that you don't like
it. I even left out the lumps of plastic and ball bearings."
"Yes, most organic people can't digest those." The Doctor
carefully cut a small slice.
"I deep fried it just right, don't you think?"
The Doctor put the piece of cake back down,
like it would explode at any second, just as Mike and Molly entered the console room, one of them clinging onto the other's
"10010101011!" Molly complained to her Mummy, before hugging the Doctor and falling asleep in his arms.
TARDIS doors opened and the three grown up occupants exited. The Doctor locked the doors, while Mike had a look around and
Alice checked to see if the baby monitor worked.
"This way." The Doctor set
off in a random direction.
"I wonder what we'll find?" Alice imagined gravel
pits and limestone quarries and nice aliens who liked robots.
"As long as it's not another quarry." Mike complained. "For
once can't we find somewhere that doesn't look like Southern England?
They crested a hill and the
Doctor whistled when he saw the alien vista below. "That's amazing."
quite liked the city of giant multi-coloured shells, it was pretty enough but it lacked the appeal of a really good quarry.
She felt right at home in a quarry, or a building with lots and lots and lots of identical looking corridors. "Lets explore."
She rushed towards the city, not mindful that it was occupied by giant lobster people.
The Doctor sighed. "That girl needs
to learn caution." He set off after his companion.
Mike followed. "Is it me or do you want to boil a really big pan of
The Doctor looked at the giant lobster natives. "Perhaps they look at us in the same way?"
tried teaching the nearest lobster girl to skip, but she just ignored her. "Don't you like playing games?" Alice
tried telling Mary, as she named the lobster girl, all about the Wombles.
The Doctor bowed to the head lobster. "Greetings,
I am the Doctor and this is my friend Mike."
"Hi." Mike said to the entree, leader, he had to think of the succulent meal,
indvidual as a person not a meal.
Alice finally got Mary, the lobster girl,
talking when she mentioned jam. "I love jam, it's so sweet and yummy."
Mary clacked her claws at the demon. "Jam is a curse
upon us, it is evil, evil from the dawn of time."
"Really?" Alice was engrossed.
"Tell me more."
"One day, the world was invaded by demons, just like yourself, and they tried to cook us in our sheels
and eat us up. Then one of them poured boiling hot jelly on our leader and he exploded and they ate his remains with pieces
"That's awful." Alice sympathised. "Who'd eat jam with bits of dead
people in it?"
Mary was confused. "They killed our leader. We swore deadly vengeance on them, we cut them to pieces with
"We're not like that." Alice reassured Mary. "I'm a robot, I don't
eat anything except jar and aluminium. Even them I prefer aluminium as it keeps me slim and attractive to boy robots."
are very strange." Mary said. "Are you saying you do not eat people?"
"Of course not, and neither does the Doctor, he's
a tea and toast person."
"What about your other companion, the tall one who is tucking a bib into his shirt?"
looked at Mike. "I'll just have a quick word with him."
Mike was busy trying to not say lobster a la greck, but
it was very hard, the leader was called Grekko! This was some sort of hell he reasoned and his tummy was rumbling...
you feeling alright?" The Doctor asked his companion. "You seem out of sorts."
"I'm dinner, I mean doing fine." Mike mumbled.
"Maybe I should go back to the TARDIS, in case the baby wakes up or something."
"Nonsense, let Alice
deal with that, she's got that monitor."
"That thing? She took the batteries out of it last week to power her handheld
game console. I tried putting new ones in and she thought for a week it was a miracle and she was building a shrine to the
miracle of the batteries before I explained what really happened."
detect Molly's distress signals." The Doctor reassured his worrysome friend.
"Now why don't you tell me what's really the
Mike sighed. "What do you see when you look at Grekko?"
"He's the leader of his people, a skilled diplomat
and decent guy."
"I see lunch, I can't help it Doctor. All I see is a huge free meal."
"Oh, I see." The Doctor scrached
his lucky left ear. "I think it might be best if you back to the TARDIS, given the circumstances. I'll tell Alice
that you have a human only condition, otherwise she'll try and put you in isolation again."
"Yes, I didn't mind the nursing,
or the enforced soft toys but I drew the line at bed baths."
"You had better get going then." The Doctor said to Mike.
slipped away, taking great pains to avoid stewing, meating, seeing anyone.
"Where did Mike
go?" Alice asked the Doctor. "I wanted him to meet Mary, I think the two of them
would make a lovely couple."
"Mike had to go back to the TARDIS. He's not dealing with meeting an alien species quite as
well as we are."
"Oh." Alice frowned. "At least he can keep Molly entertained."
She switched the baby monitor off. "I'd better get back, I don't want to miss any gossip. Apparently Mary's brother is seeing
this Yerika girl and he's also seeing her sister too."
The Doctor waited until Alice
was out of range before trying to explain her to Grekko. "She's a nice girl and she means well but sometimes I think that
her shoes are more intelligent than she is."
"She should meet my youngest son, Hekko, I sometimes think he was hatched
too early, before his brain developed properly." Grekko pointed across the muddy riverbank to Hekko, who was trying to fish
with a rod and an old boot on the end of it.
"He could catch a lot of fish in that boot."
"Can he heck, it's got a hole
in the bottom of it."
"Well never mind, fishing can be relaxing. I remember a few of my previous selves like the sport.
I don't these days, it's a bit boring if you ask me, I prefer ping pong or backgammon. I once had a game of draughts with
Alice that lasted three days."
"Is she an expert?"
"No, she bonded with
her pieces and had a sobbing fit everytime she lost one of them. I had to let her win in the end, just to cheer her up. Never
give her anything she can become attatched to, she'll never return it without a tantrum."
Mary told Alice
all about the big scary monster who lived in the faraway river...
Mike felt guilty as he sat in his room eating
lobster and letting Molly cautiously nibble some of the shell.
"111001101." Molly didn't like the shell, so she ate a corner
of the metal tray to get the tatse out of her mouth.
"Nevermind, you can have my half of the sump oil instead." Mike struggled
to eat the rest of his meal with a grateful robot hugging his arm.
felt scared now, in case the big scary monster who lived in the faraway river came and tried to eat her up, circuits and all.
"Oh heck." She trembled and looked for somewhere safe to hide.
"It's only a scary story." Mary tried to reassure her shaking
"It's going to eat me up, I know it. I have suck bad luck, and we always end up in some sort of danger. I'm too
young and pretty to die."
The Doctor tried to get Alice out of the
hiding place by prodding the hole with the handle of a broom. "Will you come out of there at once Alice?
You're showing yourself up in front of all these nice people."
"I'm not in here." Alice
shouted back. "I'm somewhere else."
The Doctor dabbed at his brow with his handkerchief. "She's in total denial, I'll have
to dig her out of there."
"I'm very sorry." Mary apologised again. "I didn't mean to frighten her."
"That's quite alright.
Maybe if we leave her all alone then the big scary monster who lives in the faraway river will come and eat her all up." The
Doctor stood back as Alice shot out of the higing place.
"Don't leave me."
She clung on to the Doctor. "Never leave me on my own."
"I won't." The Doctor promised. "I won't."
"Now why don't I
make everyone a picnic?" Alice said. "Mary can help me."
"Can I help?" Mary
"I don't see why not. You can help your brother catch the fish."
took out the big blanket from her tummy storage space and put it on the ground. Then she buttered a lot of slices of bread
and carefully hand-made Womble place settings for everyone.
Mike casually flicked through the TARDIS databanks,
while Molly was hiding somewhere. "One, two, three." He looked at the entry for the planet they had landed upon. "Four, five,
s...oh crap." He opened the doors and ran outside. He ran all the way back to the village but he was too late. The Doctor
and Alice were tied up and the natives were boiling a huge pot of water.
"1100101110011?" Molly asked, as she tugged on
Uncle Mike's trousets with one of her wheels.
"They're going to boil the Doctor and your Mummy alive and then eat them!"
Mike reprimanded the baby robot.
Alice looked down at the big cauldron
of boiling water. "Hey, there's the carrots Mary and I diced."
"I should have realised." The Doctor said to Alice.
"They were expertly testing our psychological defences and also reassuringing us of their peaceful intent, until blam I'm
reciting Androgum recepies and you're chopping up vegetables."
"I could do with a nice swim." Alice
changed her dress into a one-piece bathing costume, with a picture of Aldernay Womble on the front. "I reckon I could dive
in from here."
Effortlessly the ropes slid through her body and she stood up and did a triple summersault, before falling
screaming into the boiling water below.
"Are you hurt?" The Doctor shouted down.
surfaced. "I forgot how to do the twists. Hang on, I'll stretch my arms and try again."
"Why don't you untie me?" The Doctor
suggested. "I can make a score card for you."
"Ok." Alice snapped the ropes
easily. "Don't get that suit wet though, it's a murder to iron that jacket."
"I'll try not to."
up a large wooden branch and ran at the lobster people, swinging with intent to smash some shell. "Aaargh!" He screamed a
war cry as he thwacked one of them on the shell and it cracked satisfyingly.
Molly drove down the hill on three wheel,
in her other wheel she held a small stick and imitating her Uncle Mike she started hitting some of the smaller creatures.
Alice saw Molly and she rushed over and confiscated the stick. "Don't
be so naughty, you're too young to rescue people."
"1011100110000!" Molly explained.
"Well we'll leave all that to the
Doctor and Mike. I'll have words with him about setting you a bad example."
Mary approached Alice
with claws extended, determined to cut the blonde girl into pieces. "I am the big scary monster who lives in the nearby river,
come to eat you all up."
"Don't you threaten me, you bimbo." Alice turned herself
into a duplicate, but with a shiny pink plastic shell and go fasta stripes on her sides.
Mary tried to us her strength
but Alice was so much stronger. She felt pain in her back and suddenly her shell
gave way and she was mortally wounded.
"Don't mess with me and my baby!" Alice
The Doctor and Mike surveyed the landscape. "What a waste." The Doctor proclaimed.
"There should have been
"I don't know about you Doctor, but I'm hungry." Mike started throwing bits of lobster flesh into the cooking
The Doctor looked at his two companions. "I don't know which one of you is worse some times, I really don't."
were going to eat you." Mike pointed out. "Seems only fair the winner gets the spoils."
stood next to Mike. "I'll have some with diesel oil sauce."
"1101010?" Molly asked.
"Of course you can have just sauce."
Alice hugged her child. "You're too young for solids anyway."
"I'll be in the
TARDIS if you need me." The Doctor informed the two amateur chefs of his whereabouts. However a large ship hovered overhead
and a powerful energy beam lifted him up into the air.
"Wow, it's better than Independance Day." Alice
said to Mike. "That's a cool spaceship."
"They took the Doctor." Mike exclaimed. "We can't fly the TARDIS, how are we going
to get off this planet?"
Alice gave the lobster a trial taste. "Mmmm, nice.
You have lots of things to eat and I can recharge in the TARDIS. We're fine."
"Ahem." A slender figure coughed. "If I could
"It's Haana!" Alice rushed over to her friend and one-time rescuer.
She hugged her nearly-best friend. "How have you been?"
"Fine I guess." Haana replied and sat down in the chair next to
Alice. Then she saw Mike.
"Who's that? Your boyfriend?"
blushed a billion shades of red. "No, he's human."
"That's good. I'm here to help you track down the Doctor. I would have
gotten here later but I got stuck in a temporal traffic jam and I over did the local time settings. We have a few hours to
spare before I'm supposed to rescue you both, so why don't we chat?"
"100111001." Molly jumped up into Aunty Haana's lap
and fell asleep.
Mike got an extra portion for the newcomer. "So who are you?"
Haana smiled. "No, and yes."