This story puts the Seven in the Doctor Who universe. Those concepts belong firmly to the BBC. They are not mine. All I did was put three extra Time Lords into the universe.
"What in the seven circles of Hell did you do that for?" the blond man bellowed, glaring over the six-sided control console at the smaller man who was busily working the controls.
"Look," a deep Southern voice replied as emerald eyes raised to glare at the irate ebony-clad blond. "You wanted to travel the time and space waves. So did I. The council would never have allowed us to have TARDISes of our own..."
"So you stole one," his companion sighed. "I should have known. Once a thief..."
"Hey!" the other snapped. "My less-than-stellar past is why I was denied!"
"For good reason!" the blond shot back. "Ezra -- or whatever your real name is -- your reputation precedes you into the far halls of Gallifrey!"
"So does yours, Chris," he said evenly. "Named for a human, rumored to have human blood in your veins--"
"Ezra, I'm warning you --"
"Married to a human woman. That's why she and your son were euthanized, Larabee." This was said in a very gentle voice.
Chris's grip on the console was suddenly a white-knuckled one. "Sarah and Adam were murdered," he said in a very tight voice that dripped fury. "Not euthanized."
"You're right," Ezra said, producing a datachip from the pocket of his waistcoat and tossing it to Chris. When Chris caught it, he went on, still in that gentle voice, "They were murdered. By the High Council of Time Lords. For the crime of being human." He nodded toward the chip. "It's all in there."
Chris nodded and waved the chip. "I'm going to go view this," he said coldly. "Down to its verification signature. And once I find your forgery, Standish, you will return this vehicle to its port, and you will be in my custody!"
"Yes, Leftenant," Ezra sighed, watching the Peace Officer storm into the bowels of the TARDIS. He lowered his head. "I just fear what you'll do when you find that chip is real."
Leftenant Chris Larabee sat stunned, staring sightlessly at the screen which blinked patiently at him, asking softly every now and again for instructions on how to proceed.
Standish had told the truth. That genetic throwback to a lawless age had told him the absolute truth.
The chip was authentic. The data was damning. As a Peace Officer, Chris Larabee had dedicated all of his thirteen lifetimes to come to caring for the society of time-and-space travelers called Time Lords. He had given them his soul and his dedication; reserving only a bit for the beautiful woman that had captured his two hearts in her one.
And they had rewarded him by brutally murdering the other half of his soul, under the guise of 'preserving racial purity'. Then they had compounded their crime by lying to Chris about it, putting it at the feet of genetic throwbacks like Standish.
And like himself.
The chip had shown him what he'd often suspected about himself was true. He was as good a Peace Officer as he was because he, too, had the genetic aberration in him that made him less than totally noble in his actions. The Council had feared the spread of this very human trait, and was another excuse used for what they did.
Chris ordered the chip to replay its data. He stopped it at one point and ran his fingertips over the two-dimensional image of his wife and infant son.
Then Chris dropped his head into his hands and shook with the pain of both of his hearts shattering anew.
Ezra raised his head from the console as Chris walked back into the Control Room. "Leftenant?"
"No." Chris unbuttoned the black uniform shirt with its Peace Officer insignia and pulled it almost savagely out of his uniform pants. "Just Chris. Leftenant Larabee died when those bastards pyroed my family."
Ezra's eyes were sad but relieved as he saw Chris throw the shirt into the trash disintegrator. Relieved that Chris believed him, but sad that he had to be the one to show the grieving man the truth. Willing both his hearts under control, he asked softly, "So -- Chris -- do you take me and the TARDIS back to Gallifrey?"
"Not hardly." He strode over to the console and began to input co-ordinates. "The High Council's reach extends all through the space-time continuum. They're too powerful to take down just by wiping out the central core."
Huge emerald eyes blinked as Ezra tried to process what Chris had just told him. At last, he managed a highly articulate, "Huh?"
Chris turned to him with a predatory smile. "I was a Peace Officer. Trained to combat evil with all I am, with all my skills and my wits and with everything at my disposal."
"The High Council is evil incarnate."
Ezra began to smile as well. "And they've garnered an enemy from one of their own trainees."
Chris tilted his head in a single nod. "Are you with me?"
The smile grew to show the gilded tooth. "I stole this TARDIS and conned you into coming along, didn't I?"
"That you did," Chris chuckled tightly.
Ezra then frowned. "But two men can not take down such an insidious proliferation as the High Council."
"Exactly why we're going where we are." Chris slid a lever down, and smiled as the TARDIS began a wheezing noise, indicating they were emerging from the time-and-space stream into a specific point in time and space.
Ezra's frown deepened at the noise. "She's missing."
"Missing what?" Chris asked.
"Missing," Ezra said, gesturing toward it. "Missing a cycle in landing. That's what's causing that noise."
"Oh, you're a mechanic as well?"
"How do you imagine I was able to pilfer her so easily?"
Chris laughed out loud at that. "I was wondering...."
Chris emerged alone into the streets of an old western town. He shook his head, smiling. "Some things never change."
He took two steps forward, and there was a grinding noise from behind him. He turned to see the Grecian column they'd arrive in ripple and become an Undertaker's office, complete with the shingle "Boot Hill Burials".
Chris laughed out loud again and touched the sapphire on the choker around his neck. "Boot Hill Burials?" he chuckled.
Ezra's laughter echoed in his ears. "Well, it was better than 'Cathy's Cathouse'!"
Shaking his head in amusement, Chris touched the sapphire again. "Considering who we're here to pick up, that might have been more appropriate!"
Obligingly, the building shimmered and the shingle changed to a gaudy 'Cathy's Cathouse Welcomes You Into The Laps Of Luxury!'
Chris literally had to sit down on the boardwalk, from laughing so hard. Touching the jewel again, he choked out, "Well, traveling with you is definitely not going to be boring!"
"I aim to please, Chris," came the equally amused chuckle.
Wiping his eyes and muttering that it had been decades since he laughed that hard, Chris set out to find his old friend.
His attention was caught, though, by a commotion at the edge of the town. Three men were dragging a dark-skinned woman in breeches out of a room on the second floor. To her credit, the woman was fighting them like a hellion, screaming at the top of her lungs, "I didn't do anything wrong!"
"You done plenty wrong," one said as he shoved her down the stairs into the arms of two other men.
"Yeah," one of them spat right in her face. "Just by bein' here."
The one who spoke first came down the stairs, growling, "First of all, we don't need no darkie doctors in this town, especially not women ones."
"And second of all," a third man growled, "We don't need no freaks in this town!"
Her complexion turned ashen at his words and then she resumed her struggles and yells. Then she let out a howl and her form grew and thickened -- until it was a burly dark-skinned man wrestling with the five. To his credit, it took all five to subdue him.
Chris let out a low whistle as he touched the jewel again. "Ez, we've got some disturbance here," he whispered. "Run a check on gendermorphs, will ya?"
"Gendermorphs?" came the voice inside his skull. "Those are exquisitely rare..."
"Well, I've just seen one."
A shocked exclamation in another language. "I'm on it, Chris. Will let you know."
"See that you do." Chris's eyes narrowed as he saw the mob drag the man toward a tree. "Shit, it's an old-fashioned necktie party."
Ezra's exclamations were equally horrified.
Chris began to move toward the mob. He didn't like this one bit. Human or no, nobody should die just for being different. His movements were pulled up short by a tug in his mind.
Startled, Chris turned and saw a thin man walking toward him from the other side of the street. Blue eyes locked onto Chris's hazel ones, and suddenly warmth spread through Chris like he'd only felt twice before.
But that was only after knowing them for months -- years. He'd never laid eyes on this man before in his life!
The man jerked his head toward the mob, and Chris replied with a nod. The man nodded as well, and fell in step with Chris. Chris flicked his eyes to the rifle the man held. /You know how to use that?/ he thought, testing if the jolt he'd had was genuine.
The thin man's head snapped around and the eyes widened for a moment -- but only for a moment. Then a small smile touched the lips and a slow drawl replied in kind. /Yup./
Chris couldn't help but smile briefly. /Man of few words. I think I like you./
/Wait'll you get t'know me. Might regret that./
/We'll see./ He stopped a few yards from the group, and his thin shadow did the same. "Seems t'me," Chris said lazily, "fella ought'a at least have a trial before you fit him for a new head."
"Seems t'me," the man tying the rope around the dark-skinned man's thick neck snarled back, "you ought'a mind your own business."
"Why don't you ladies just pack up and ride on outta here?" the thin man said casually. "We'll take care of the gentleman here."
Dark eyes widened as the would-be hanging victim recognised what he'd just done. With his words, the thin man had put the victim on a higher shelf than the mob -- as well as give the victim an idea.
Meeting the victim's eyes, the thin man jerked his head ever so slightly and received a nod in response.
Chris's eyes widened. They widened even further as Ezra's voice rang in his head again. "There are records of two human gendermorphs born on earth in the 19th century. A Japanese named Ishiku Mazitori and an American slave named Nathan/Natalie Jackson. Chris, I'm also picking up psychic vibrations -- you've got a Communicator with you somewhere down there."
Chris looked over at the thin man, suddenly understanding.
His attention was drawn rather forcibly back to the present as the mob's leader shot his rifle into the air, spooking the horse into running out from under the victim. For a moment, the dark-skinned man swung in the air by his neck, choking.
The next moment, the dark-skinned woman's thinner neck slid through the noose and she dropped to the ground, throwing a pair of knives and incapacitating two of her attackers in the same motion.
As the mob turned very ugly very fast, Chris found the thin man definitely did know how to use that rifle! He even forgot himself and drew his gun, firing one single shot.
And stopping all action cold.
The man he'd shot clutched the wrist of his immolated hand and burst out, "What the hell .... what was that? Some kind'a firegun?"
Chris looked down and swore. He'd drawn his laser pistol instead of the projectile gun!
The thin man's eyes went wide, but he recovered quickly. "Yeah, that's right!" he snarled. "And if'n you don't leave her alone, you'll all end up sent to the same circle of Hell that spawned him!"
That was all it took. The mob went screaming in twenty different directions, leaving only the three of them.
Chris looked wide-eyed at the grinning thin man. "The same circle of Hell that spawned me?"
A buckskin-clad shoulder raised in a shrug. "Best I could come up with on the spur o'the moment."
A throat-clearing drew their attention. The dark-skinned woman raised bound wrists. "One o'you fellas wanna get my knives back and cut me loose?"
After that was accomplished, she dusted her breeches off. "I'm Nate Jackson."
"Chris Larabee." He grinned at the thin man. "Hellspawn."
That made the thin man chuckle. "Vin Tanner."
Ezra's voice rang in Chris's head again. "Now that you're all acquainted, suppose you take your leave and find your friend?"
Chris nodded. "I'm lookin' for someone -- about yay high --" he demonstrated with his hand, "curly black hair, thick moustache, blue eyes--"
"Wilmington," Nate said, nodding.
Chris's eyes widened. "So he is here."
"Oh, yeah, he's here." She grinned. "One of the few people who ain't put off by what I am. Only difference he treated me after he found out was he quit hittin' on me." The grin spread. "Which was a good thing, let me tell ya!"
"Oh, yeah," Chris laughed. "He's here, all right!"
Chris watched as a half-awake, longjohns-clad Buck Wilmington clambered out of a window and down onto the boardwalk. He watched him struggle with his pants for a full minute and only spoke once Buck had his lower half all arranged. "Long time no see, stud."
Buck's spine straightened as the familiar voice hit his ears, then he whirled, a grin threatening to split his face in two. "Chris!" He hugged him tight and pounded his back. "You old wardog! What're you doin' here?"
"Careful, Buck," Chris deadpanned, but his grin ruined it. "Folks'll talk."
With a whoop and another pound to his back, Buck let him go and pulled on his shirt. "I repeat -- what're you doin' here? It's been what--- fifteen, twenty years?"
"Thirty," Chris said, his face falling a bit. "And I'm here t'see if you're interested in joining me."
"Aw, Chris," Buck sighed, shaking his head. "Y'know I can't go back to Gallifrey. I'm renegade, remember? You're jeopardizing your position just by talking to me..."
"Ain't goin' back to Gallifrey," Chris said, his face darkening. "I'm askin' you to come with me -- one renegade to another."
Buck's eyes went huge. "You went rogue?!?"
"Found who killed Sarah and Adam, Buck. Goin' after them."
The larger man's eyes narrowed into cold cobalt slits. "Count me in. Who're we gonna fry?"
"The High Council itself."
"Holy shit burning, Chris!" Buck then looked around and grabbed his arm, pulling him into the shadows. "Do you realise what you're saying?"
"I know exactly what I'm saying, and I know exactly what I'm doing. I've got proof, Buck. Iron-clad, vacuum-sealed proof."
Buck wiped his face with a suddenly-sweaty hand. "You realise, of course, that this means we're gonna go up against the big chief muckety-muck of the entire time-space continuum."
Chris suddenly grinned. "Big chief muckety-muck? You have spent entirely too much time on Earth, Bucklin..."
"Aw, shut up." But he was grinning back. It faded as the enormity hit him again. "But seriously, Chris, have you lost your mind? The two of us against --"
"Three of us. I've got a partner in the TARDIS."
"Whoa, hold on, back up the wagon there. You got a TARDIS?"
Chris shrugged. "Sort of."
Buck shot him a sideways glance. "Sort of? Chris, that's like a lady being sort of pregnant! Do you or do you not have a time-and-space machine?"
"I've got one -- but let's just say the Council didn't exactly give it to me."
"Oh, this gets better and better," Buck groaned, throwing his hands into the air. "Rogue and a thief as well!"
"Are you or are you not with me?"
"It's suicide, Chris! They've got their fingers in every single planet known to Beinghood!"
"So you're with me?"
"Hellfire, Chris, of course I'm with you!"
The pair headed toward the TARDIS, to find Vin and Nate -- still in woman form -- seated on the steps of 'Cathy's Cathouse', talking to Ezra, who seemed very agitated. "Look," he was saying, "I thank you for helping me roust those rowdies, but I can not allow you to set foot on the premises!"
"Aw, hell, all we want is a drink," Vin said. "Not like we're gonna bother the ladies or nothin'."
"Problems, Ezra?" Chris asked nonchalantly, walking up with an infuriating smile on his face.
Ezra sighed. "One might say so, yes. There was a rather sizeable band of miscreants hanging around here and these two were instrumental in helping me roust them, but now they wanna come in for a drink and that I simply cannot permit!"
Buck grinned at Chris. "Ezra Standish, huh? I hear he's still got that translator going."
Chris chuckled. "Only works half the time, though -- a bunch of those five-dollar words still leak through."
"I hear this." Buck's grin widened.
"It's okay, Ez," Chris said. "They're with us."
"We are?" Nate asked, her eyes going huge.
"Yeah, we are." Vin nodded. "You're in some kinda trouble, aren't you?"
"You might say that," Ezra sighed.
Another slow nod. "I know a thing or two about trouble."
Chris looked steadily at him for a few moments. "You just might at that. I don't have time right now to explain everything --"
"You don't have to, cowboy." Vin smiled. "We're friends. Whatever it is, we're in it together." He tipped his hat to Ezra and walked in the doors.
Chris grinned at Buck. "He did not just call me a cowboy."
"He just called you a cowboy," Buck grinned back at him.
Ezra, for his part, was whispering a countdown. "Three...two....one...."
"Hellfire!" came from the inside of the 'cathouse', sending Nate running into it in shock to get Vin out of there.
The three Gallifreyans shared a grin and walked into the building, closing the door behind them.
A moment later, a loud wheezing noise split the air and the building faded into nothingness.
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