The Doctor wiped his brow and sighed. He sat under the TARDIS console and looked around. All was quiet... save for the sound of the machinery. It was just him and his time traveling box once more since all his friends had moved on. "Aye, but that's not so bad is it old girl?" He asked softly as he patted his machine. In a way the TARDIS belonged to him, and he to her. They were always there for each other as they went about their adventures. Companions had gone and went while the Doctor grew older and wiser along with the TARDIS. "Yes... not so bad..."
The sad truth was the Doctor was lonely even with his TARDIS. There was no one to talk with and no one to share anything with. There was no companion... and today he was in an even worse mood with his TARDIS acting strange. He pulled his Sonic Screwdriver out of his coat pocket and took a quick look at the panel he had opened up. "Well, doesn't seem to be anything wrong in here. So why won't you go anywhere eh?" He fiddled around in the panel a bit more before he groaned and slammed the panel door back on.
"Alright, enough of this!" He pulled himself up and out from under the console and climbed the steps, entering the top of the main room. It was here in the control room where the Doctor set off on all his adventures. "Look, I don't like sitting out here in space with nothing to do," he spoke angrily to his TARDIS, "and I doubt you can be enjoying this very much either." He paused for a moment and hung his head, leaning against the main console. "I... I don't know if you miss our companions as much as I do. But hanging around doing nothing isn't going to make them magically appear. It's... time to move on." At this point the Doctor wasn't sure if he was talking to himself or to his TARDIS any more.
A moment of silence passed before the Doctor clapped his hands and jumped. "Now come on, I crave adventure!" He began excitedly, "Let's go do something... completely different! Brand spanking new! An adventure like none we've ever been on!" The Doctor bit his lip and waited a second before he heard the familiar sound of the TARDIS' engines starting up. A smile spread across his face before he laughed with boyish glee. "That's it! That's my girl! That's my sexy, sexy girl!" He gave the console a loving tap before the entire TARDIS shook violently, sending him to the floor.
"Alright, that wasn't quite what I expected..." He spun his head around and looked up at a red blinking light on the console. "Oh dear... not what I expected at all." He got to his feet and steadied himself, before the TARDIS shook even more and smoke began seeping out of various crevices. "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear... This is NOT what I meant!" The TARDIS responded by lurching violently, sending the Doctor sprawling once more. Lights began blinking in random sequences everywhere as a warning signal began sounding. "Alright!" The Doctor scrambled on the floor and flailed for any handhold he could reach. "This is what you want!? FINE! Just don't come crying to me when you've used up all your power!" The Doctor reached for a handrail just as the TARDIS shuddered violently, causing the Doctor to miss. He winced as he realized his head was going for the rail... and then everything went dark.
A crackle of electricity woke the Doctor. He immediately sat up before falling over. "Ooooh, my good friend vertigo. Haven't seen you in awhile," he muttered through clenched teeth as he rebalanced himself out. A quick look at the TARDIS' console room showed she was out of commission for awhile. Cables hung from the ceiling as a steady stream of smoke came from the console itself. "Yes, well I hope you're happy," the Doctor mumbled. "You know you can't just go hopping through universes like that! Now how will I restore your power?" The Doctor ran his fingers through his hair and straightened his jacket. "All that and I can't even tell where we are. For all I know you've dumped on me some poisonous planet that would kill me before I could say sassafras." The Doctor paused before grinning, "Oh, that sounds quite fun actually, let's go take a look!" The Doctor stumbled towards the door and opened it just a crack.
Sunlight immediately streamed into the TARDIS, illuminating every dust particle floating in the air. The Doctor shielded his eyes and sniffed the air. "Hmm, well that's odd. It's... it's completely unfamiliar to me. Smells almost like Earth. The countryside of Earth at least." He took another sniff. "Hmm, pasture land. It's definitely some sort of pasture land. Horses everywhere I'm sure of it. Rather boring if you ask me." He opened the TARDIS door the rest of the way and shielding his eyes, stepped out into the sun.
The Doctor blinked rapidly as his eyes adjusted. He took a deep breath of the air and smiled. "Why there's not a bit of industrialization on this entire planet! I've no idea where I might be but it's certainly not Earth; I don't smell any humans... or any hominoids for that matter." He pulled his trusty Sonic Screwdriver from his pocket and scanned the surrounding atmosphere. "Nope, definitely a new place. Unless it's an Earth without humans... hmm. So the question is..." he rubbed his face as he spoke, "Just where has the TARDIS put me this time?"
Before the Doctor could think any more on the matter his muscles suddenly clenched up, causing him to be unable to move. He promptly toppled over as his body shuddered. "Alright, this can't be good," he thought to himself, "I can't even move my mouth muscles and that's always bad." Another spasm hit him, harder this time. "Okay okay... I scanned the environment, there aren't any toxic gases. None I could detect anyway. Unless on this new planet... there's something new no one's discovered? Blast these alternate universes!" Every one of his muscles twitched, causing him to gasp. Suddenly he was on his hands and knees, though he couldn't recall how he got in that position. He arched his back as energy began convulsing all around him. "A regeneration? But I'm not ready... no. No this isn't a regeneration. This is different..." His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a scream. It took a moment for the Doctor to realize he himself was screaming. It was a mixture of pain and fear that overtook him as the energy shone brightly, engulfing him entirely in an orange light. And just as suddenly as it came, it left, dropping the Doctor's body unceremoniously on the ground.
The Doctor lay unmoving for several moments before groaning, "Aaaargh, I hate that. Whatever THAT was." Opening his eyes, he was suddenly very aware of his clothing, which seemed far too large. He quickly tugged at his coat, shirt and trousers before taking a good look at his hands. "MY HANDS!" He shouted angrily, "Where the blazes have my hands gone?!" He shrugged his coat and shirt off and looked down. "What... why? Why am I covered in hair?" He asked, more confused than angry. He stepped out of his trousers and looked at himself. "I've got... I've got four legs. I'm covered in hair," He said to no one in particular. Turning his head around, he looked back around him. "I've got a tail." A spark set off in his eyes as he realized just what had happened. "I'm... I'm a horse."
He stood there silently, not entirely sure what to make of his situation. He thought rapidly as he processed his newfound body. Whatever had happened, it was likely due to whatever planet he had landed on. Perhaps something he couldn't detect in the air had changed his body to something suitable to the environment. Perhaps he was under some odd new attack that an enemy had sprung on him. Or maybe this was all a great prank by the TARDIS and he was still lying on the control room floor with a dumb look on his face. He turned around and looked back. No, his TARDIS stood over there. And there didn't seem to be anyone around to attack him... The Doctor slowly looked all around. He was in a sort of clearing, with large trees growing around him. Bushes grew along the edges, closing it in without seeming threatening.
Spotting what looked to be a path, the Doctor set off down it before tripping over his back legs and falling on his face. "Oy, I've got to get used to walking on four legs," he muttered as he pulled himself back up. He trotted off once more, carefully this time, leaving his TARDIS behind. It wasn't long before the path ended at an overlook with a rather odd house perched on it. The Doctor raised an eyebrow as he looked it over. It seemed to be built of stone and timber, with a thatched roof. A cobblestone path surrounded by flowers led to the door, which also had flowers growing around it. It reminded him of an old English house he might find a few centuries back in time.
He sniffed at the air and licked his lips. "Well whoever lives here seems to be baking, and people who bake are always friendly!" He went up the path before stopping for a moment. "Unless they're baking small children... nah," he shook his head and walked straight to the door, knocking on it with his hoof.
The Doctor waited for a few moments and took the time to give himself a better look over. In his previous excitement he had somehow overlooked a large tattoo shaped like an hourglass on his rump. It looked to be on both sides and scratching at it only revealed that it seemed to be the coloring of the hair itself. He adjusted his bowtie, the only article of clothing he had left, and reached for his Sonic Screwdriver. "Oh dear," he muttered as he realized he had left it back at the clearing. He simmered a little longer before knocking at the door once more. "Oy! Anyone in there?"
"Just a second!" Came the reply. It seemed to be feminine and very light, almost bubbly. The Doctor smiled. This wouldn't be so bad, she sounded nice and friendly. "I've got some muffins in the oven! Be right th... uh-oh." A loud crash came from inside, nearly shaking the ground.
"Um, everything alright in there?" The Doctor tentatively asked.
"Yeah! Everything's fine!" The voice called back shakily before another loud crash was heard. "Uh... one more second!" The Doctor sighed as he waited patiently. It didn't take too long until he heard footsteps coming towards the door. He cleared his throat in preparation as the girl threw the door open, nearly hitting him in the face. "Hi! I'm Derpy Ho-"
"AAH!" The Doctor fell over on his haunches and stared agape at her. "You... you just talked! A talking horse!"
"Um, I'm actually called a pony mister," she said timidly, "Am I not supposed to talk?"
"A talking pony... why the... talking pony!" He muttered incoherently.
"Yeeeep, talking pony. You're a talking pony too y'know," She replied in confusion. Whoever was at her door didn't seem very bright, but she didn't mind.
"Talking pony," The Doctor mumbled once more as he looked at himself and back up to the pony before him. "Yes, I suppose I am a pony. A talking one no less," the Doctor answered, "Now... what did you say your name was?" He cleared his throat and stood back up. He had certainly seen many strange things, but a brightly colored talking pony certainly wasn't one of them and he had been a bit unprepared.
"I'm Derpy Hooves!" The grey mare replied proudly.
"Derpy Hooves?" The Doctor repeated. "What did you do to get that name?"
Derpy shrugged before sitting on her haunches. "I dunno... my Dad actually wanted to name me Ditzy. Mom was adamant on Derpy Hooves though. I think it's a family name..."
The Doctor blinked as he took it all in. "Yes! Well... I can't say anything nice to that so I'm moving on! You can call me the Doctor! I'm here to solve problems and fix things and help people and do you have wings?" He asked excitedly. "WINGS? On a pony?!"
"Um, yeeeeah. All of us pegasi have wings. So we can fly and stuff?" She rolled her eyes at the Doctor before she felt a soft prodding at her flank. "Hey whoa! Watch it stranger!"
"Sorry," the Doctor shook his head apologetically as he walked around Derpy. "I just noticed you've got the same sort of colorization I have on my rump, except yours look like bubbles of some sort."
"You mean our cutie marks?"
The Doctor raised his head in surprise. "Cutie marks? Really? They're called cutie marks. You lot and your naming..." Derpy rolled her eyes once more as the Doctor rambled on a bit longer before raising his voice once more. "And just what IS a cutie mark?"
"It's the thing you get when you discover your talent," Derpy replied flatly. "Do you have amnesia or something mister?"
"Amnesia? Yes, amnesia! That sounds not suspicious at all, let's go with that!" The Doctor quickly replied. "Now if I had my Sonic I could easily see what these cutie marks are all about... they're not even that cute you know. Well... I suppose mine is rather cute," The Doctor grinned as he swished his tail.
"What kind of talent is an hourglass anyway?" Derpy asked with a small smirk.
"Well what kind of talent is bubbles?" The Doctor retorted. "At least mine looks cute. I suppose yours is cute enough too," he quickly added, hoping he hadn't offended her.
"Uh... look. I don't think I should hang around you..." Derpy said as she took a step back into her house.
"What? Why not?" The Doctor asked with a hurt expression.
"You seem... different than other ponies."
"Different can be good." The Doctor looked into Derpy's eyes and smiled. "Your eyes are different you know."
Derpy scrunched an eyebrow. "Whaddya mean different? You not like the yellow color?"
"No seriously, how do you see out of them?" The Doctor waved a hoof on one side of her face and then the other. He had never seen someone so wall-eyed, with one looking in one direction and the other looking in the opposite way. "They're completely..." He stopped as he noticed Derpy's angry glare. "I mean... they're completely gorgeous. Wish I had eyes like that."
"Yeah, sure," Derpy sighed.
The Doctor clucked at himself and shook his head. "Look I'm sorry, I'm just... new to all this. This place is odd. I'm odd. Odder I mean. Odd... Odd can be good I suppose."
"I like odd," Derpy added. She seemed content to be with the Doctor for now, though she stayed half inside her house in case he did something exceptionally weird.
The Doctor nodded his head. "Good! Odd tends to be my life. Well, I'm new here so I'm not entirely sure what to do. Is there any danger or disaster I can avert? Perhaps a nice crisis? I do love a good crisis."
"What kinda doctor are you anyway?" Derpy asked. The Doctor smiled warmly.
"The kind everyone needs."
Derpy thought for a moment while biting her lower lip. The Doctor was odd, but he seemed nice enough. Plus he wasn't making fun of her like everypony else did. Her distrust slowly melted as the Doctor stood there. It certainly helped that he wasn't bad looking. She scuffed the ground with her hoof nervously before quietly saying, "Well... there IS something I could use some help with..."
"Oh?" The Doctor's ears perked up. "What sort of thing?"
"Well I dunno if it's your kinda thing, but I think there's a monster in my house." Derpy waited as the Doctor stared at her then into the open door.
"A monster eh? Is it a scary one?" The Doctor's interest had been piqued, though he wasn't entirely sure what sort of monster a pony might fear. Still, he thought it best to at least humor his new friend.
"Well, um yeah just a little bit..." Derpy trailed off and glanced around nervously. Suddenly the Doctor realized that she was truly afraid of whatever she was speaking of.
"A big scary monster in a world full of talking ponies. Alright then, show me where it is!" The Doctor replied grandly as he moved towards the door. "Oh, no wait!" He cried out just as Derpy was stepping aside. "I need something! It's very important, give me one second and I will be right back." He turned around and ran down the walk. "One second! That's all!"
Derpy watched in shock as he ran away and disappeared into the trees. Her wings drooped along with her head. "Yeah... that's what everyone says," she mumbled.
The Doctor ran through the trees and ducked under a branch. "Where did I... ah-ha!" He spied the TARDIS and skidded to a stop. "And there's my clothes! Which should have," He dug around in his coat pocket as he spoke, "my Sonic Screwdriver! Perfect!" He reached as if he was going to pocket it before realizing he wasn't wearing any coat. "Oh. Well this is awkward." He hurriedly thought for a solution as he paced back and forth. "I could probably find a new coat; except I don't have any coats in my wardrobe for four legs... oh drat it all. Maybe Derpy will have something I can borrow." He picked up the Sonic Screwdriver in his mouth and raced back towards her house.
Meanwhile Derpy was nearly in tears. The thought of someone leaving her because of the monster or because of her upset her greatly. The Doctor might not have known her that well but he seemed to be nice and to actually care about what she had to say. Except... now he had left. She suddenly heard a clang from her kitchen. She sniffed and turned around to look inside her house. "D-doctor? Is that you?" She asked fearfully. Quietly passing down the hall and into her kitchen she looked around. When she saw no one was there, she tentatively took a step into the room.
Another loud clang rang out, making Derpy jump. She looked in fear towards one of her cabinet doors, which was moving on its own. Derpy abruptly realized how alone she was out here and let out a low whimper. "Um... whoever you are you better get out!"
"You know that never works," The Doctor said as he appeared beside her. Derpy jumped again in fright and screamed. "Oh, sorry! Didn't mean to scare you!" He looked up apologetically at Derpy, who was hanging onto the light fixture swinging from the ceiling.
"What... what are you doing here?" She asked in genuine surprise. Her hooves slipped off the hanging light and she plopped onto the floor. "You came back!" She happily cried.
"Of course I did," The Doctor replied, placing his Sonic Screwdriver on the ground. "Why wouldn't I come back?"
"Well, you know... I thought... I mean, maybe you didn't-" She stuttered, trying to search for words.
"Ah, I see. You thought I would just run off and leave my new friend," the Doctor smirked slightly, "That's hurtful Derpy, hurtful." Derpy smiled weakly and got to her feet.
"I'm sorry, I was just scared," she said quietly. Another loud bang came from the cabinet and she slid a little closer to the Doctor for protection.
"Aye, I can see why too. You've got something in your cabinets... mice perhaps?" He looked towards Derpy. She shook her head. "No mice, we like mice. We're not scared of cute fuzzy mice. No, this is something much worse... a big bug maybe?" Derpy frowned at him. "No! Definitely not a bug! We can squish bugs, so they're not scary!" He paused for a moment as he grinned. "Well then, let's go see what just it is."
The Doctor carefully picked his way through the mess on the floor from Derpy's earlier muffin spill and tiptoed towards the cabinet, which was now shaking with several loud thumps coming from within. Derpy followed behind, staying close to the Doctor and keeping a wary eye on her cabinet. Suddenly the door flew open and a small black and green creature tumbled out, sending the Doctor and Derpy scurrying back several feet.
"Gyah!" Derpy shrieked and hid behind the Doctor, peering over his back at the creature twitching on the floor. "What... what is it?"
The Doctor looked from her back towards the creature. "Well... it seems to be some sort of bird."
"It's not like any bird I've ever seen," Derpy whispered back. She watched as the Doctor fumbled with his Sonic Screwdriver, trying to hold it between his hooves. "What's that?"
"This," The Doctor replied while struggling, "is my Sonic Screwdriver. I'm going to try to scan that thing and figure out what it might be." He finally managed to hold it between both his hooves and pointed it towards the strange, bird-like thing. Flipping a switch, Derpy was surprised to see the screwdriver extend and a green light turn on, sending a light humming sound out.
The creature suddenly began convulsing grotesquely, making Derpy turn away. "What are you doing to it?!" She asked the Doctor, who turned off his screwdriver and backed away slowly.
"Okay, that wasn't me... I hope. Do you want the good news or the bad news then Derpy?" He asked quickly while moving backwards, aiming to put more distance between them and the bird.
"Um... the good news?" She tentatively answered as she kept in step with the Doctor.
"Okay! The good news is that thing is a bird! Just a little harmless bird that has overeaten, probably," he bent down and picked up one of the muffins strewn across the floor, "from your muffins." He sniffed one and grimaced. "What sort of muffins are these?"
"Oatmeal. It's my favorite-"
"Yes oatmeal! Very healthy!" He tossed the muffin over his shoulder and pushed Derpy towards the kitchen door to exit. "So extremely healthy, that our little bird creature has decided to grow..." He trailed off as the bird let out a horrible screech and stretched out it's now longer legs. "Oh, and it will probably grow into a great big bird that'll probably want to eat us."
"What?!" Derpy shouted. The bird, if anyone could call it that any more, screeched loudly and spread its wraith-like wings, throwing feathers everywhere. The body pulsed as the creature's beak elongated into a sharp, spear-like shape and its head grew bulbous. The monster scratched at Derpy's kitchen floor with its hideous claws, tearing great shreds into the wood. The Doctor hurriedly dragged Derpy down the hall and tossed her out the door before slamming it behind him.
"Alright well... what should we do next?" The Doctor asked Derpy as he paced back and forth rapidly. Derpy only gawked in horror as her house began shaking as the creature screamed. "Oh forget going back in there," the Doctor told her, "that thing is probably tearing your house to pieces." Derpy closed her mouth and turned her eyes to the Doctor as he continued. "The question is... why is there a monster in your house?"
Derpy shrugged in response. She didn't really know what else to do in this situation. Here there was a monster ripping her beautiful home to pieces and the stranger she had just met earlier that day was calmly looking over everything. It was oddly... reassuring for Derpy, though she was still fearful for what might happen.
"Let's see," The Doctor said, breaking into her thoughts. "Anything weird happen lately? Anything strange or unusual?" Derpy tapped her chin and blinked in thought before shaking her head. "Nothing at all? Even the smallest, tiniest detail could be important."
Derpy was silent for a moment before she silently answered, "Well... you showed up."
The Doctor stopped dead in his tracks. "I did didn't I. But I couldn't of... unless!" He tapped the ground with his hoof, impatient at how slow he perceived his thoughts. "Unless this monstrous bird has been in your house for some time and has been hiding... waiting, for a threat to attack!"
Derpy raised an eyebrow. "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that that creature was guarding something, waiting. It didn't perceive you as a threat so it never attacked yet you knew something was wrong all the same. Suddenly I show up in my TARDIS and shine a Sonic it's in his eyes and it realizes it's playing with the big boys now. Boom! Eats your muffins! Grows in size! By the way, you must be using a really good recipe," he added as he finished up his hastily conceived explanation. Derpy only blinked and rubbed her head. It took a moment for it all to sink in, but she finally nodded and smiled slightly.
"So you can stop it then?" She asked hopefully. The Doctor grimaced and looked down.
"Haven't... exactly worked that out yet," he replied slowly. Seeing Derpy's crestfallen face he quickly spoke, "This is a whole new world for me, I have no idea what that thing might be. I don't really know where it came from or why it's here other than it's apparently protecting something..."
"Well, what's it protecting then?" Derpy looked over at her house, which had gone silent. "I don't think it was me."
"No," the Doctor emphatically stated, "most certainly not you. Something in your house that I doubt even you realized you had. So now... we have to get inside and find that whatever-it-is so we can stop this creature..." he trailed off as he began formulating a plan. He walked around Derpy's house and stood on the edge of the overlook it was perched on. Derpy soon joined him as he gazed out over the world. "It's a lovely view up here."
Derpy nodded and smiled. "Yeah... one reason why I moved here." She pointed to a village nearby. "That's Ponyville right there. Bunch of nice folks live in the town. And over there," she pointed past the town and at a forest of dark trees shrouded in mist, "is the Everfree Forest. It's scary in there, so no one goes in it."
"Oh?" The Doctor asked, intrigued.
"Yeah," Derpy nodded before squinting. "But on a really clear day, if the winds blow some of the mist away you can see a castle way out in the distance in the Everfree Forest." The Doctor stood quietly as Derpy continued to describe the surroundings. "Of course that castle on the mountain waaay over there is Canterlot. That's the royal city where the princesses live!"
"Princesses? You use a monarchy?"
"Uh, no. We have princesses."
"... right, right. Go on then."
Derpy smiled, "There's Princess Celestia who rules the day and Princess Luna who rules the night. They're both really nice rulers."
The Doctor tilted his head in thought. "They both rule the day and night... sun and moon theme going then?" Derpy nodded. "Interesting... well! I just happened to have thought of an absolutely brilliant plan to get that monster out of your house so we can get back in there and look around. You ready to help?" The Doctor asked before grinning at Derpy. She grinned back and shook her head yes.
"Yeah! Let's go get my house back!" She paused for a moment. "So uh, what's the brilliant plan?"
"FREE MUFFIIIIINS!" The Doctor shouted before throwing the door open and diving into the bushes. Derpy was waiting for him there with a strange look on her face.
"So your 'brilliant' plan was to get some muffins and put them in a trail outside the door into the woods," She stated flatly as she looked at all her beautiful muffins, now sitting in the filthy dirt.
"Shh!" The Doctor covered her mouth with his hoof, earning him an angry glare from Derpy. He ignored it and waited quietly until he heard the sound he was waiting for. Soon even Derpy heard the sound of claws scratching and she scooted just a little lower into the bushes. They watched as the great monster stuck his ugly head out the door and eyed the ground. Derpy shivered at the sight of it as the creature strode out the door and blinked at the sunlight. Sending out a loud screech he quickly began gobbling up everything in sight, ripping up great patches of grass with its beak. It wasn't long before he disappeared into the trees and went silent.
The Doctor waited for a few more moments before letting out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding in. "Whew, alright Derpy. Let's go and be quick about it!" He whispered to her as he leapt out of the bushes. Derpy followed behind with a little less enthusiasm, looking longingly at where her muffins once were. "Come on!" He said impatiently.
Entering her house, Derpy stifled a whimper. "Everything... everything's destroyed!" She cried. The Doctor's expression was blank as he walked through her house. Everything really was destroyed. Walls had gashes throughout them; ripping through the wallpaper and anything she had hanging there. Furniture was shredded, with bits of broken wood and glass laying everywhere. Stepping into the kitchen, the Doctor quickly noticed that all the food had been picked clean. Derpy soon entered as well with tears in her eyes.
"Look, Derpy... I'm sorry about all of this," the Doctor quietly said. Derpy sniffed and shook her head.
"Everything's gone... everything I've made." She tried not to sob but a tear or two escaped all the same. The Doctor looked away, unable to face her without crying himself. It seemed no matter what he did he was still able to screw things up somehow. Now not only had he awoken a monster but it had destroyed his new friend's entire life.
"I can fix this you know," The Doctor offered helpfully.
"You can fix my house? You can get rid of the monster? Make things back the way it was?" Derpy retorted more bitterly than she intended. The Doctor hung his head in silence. "That's what I thought." Derpy was quiet for a moment before gasping. "Oh no, the nursery!" She immediately fled the kitchen and ran upstairs.
"Nursery?" The Doctor asked in shock. He quickly did a heel turn and ran after Derpy. He ran up the stairs and caught a fleeting glimpse of her at the end of the hall, running into a room. He went after her and stood in the doorway, looking in.
The room was nothing large and it was painted in a nice, mellow pink. Along one wall was a small cradle with a mobile of colorful animals hanging over it. The Doctor smiled slightly as he saw Derpy standing next to it with a sigh of relief. "Everything's fine... he didn't touch this room," she said happily. The Doctor snuck in behind her and continued looking around.
"Yes... he didn't touch this room. And just what is this room Derpy?" He asked, not quite understanding why she had a nursery. 'You didn't tell me you were a Mum."
"Oh," Derpy blushed, "well I'm not really. It's just... well; I hope to be one someday." She softly pawed at the mobile before leaving the cradle to go look out the window.
The Doctor gingerly stepped over some stuffed animals piled on the floor and stood next to Derpy. "I see... well that's very nice I suppose. Good to be... prepared." He looked at the bookshelf already stocked with children's books and the rocking chair sitting in the corner. The Doctor suddenly left the room and went down the hall. Derpy listened as he opened each of the room's doors before he stepped back into the nursery.
"Just as I thought, this is the only room that isn't touched," the Doctor said curiously. "So the question is... what's so special about this room?"
"Well I'm glad he didn't touch it," Derpy said with a spark of fire in her eyes. She looked away from the window and directly at the Doctor. "This room is the most important room in this house to me."
The Doctor nodded before letting out a chuckle. "I don't think this room is just important to you Derpy." She stared at him with her wall-eyed expression before a high-pitched wail startled them from their thoughts.
Derpy quickly looked back out the window as her eyes went wide with fear. "Doctor... I think we're in big trouble." He rushed to the window and followed Derpy's eyes to the tree line that was now shaking violently.
"Well, either the trees are having an epileptic fit or our little monster friend has grown bigger..." The Doctor said as he pulled out his Sonic and began shining it around the room.
"I know he got bigger, but how is he shaking the trees?" Derpy asked in confusion.
"Nonono, he's grown bigger than last time." The Doctor began picking up objects and shining his Sonic at them before tossing them over his shoulder. Derpy caught a teddy bear he threw and frowned.
"What do you mean bigger than last time?"
"I mean he's grown scary big and will probably do something horrid to us if I don't find what I'm looking for and get us out of here!" The Doctor raised his voice in impatience. He fumbled with his Sonic screwdriver between his hooves and accidently shined it on the cradle. It immediately let off a loud noise, making the Doctor grin. "There it is!" He quickly crossed the room to the cradle and ran his hoof up and down the wood.
"Wh-what's wrong with the cradle?" Derpy couldn't decide if she should be angry at the Doctor for his rudeness or trust him to get rid of the monster. For the moment her curiosity was piqued at the Doctor's antics. She raised an eyebrow in suspicion as he suddenly stuck his tongue out and licked the cradle before spitting the taste out of his mouth.
"Where did you get this cradle Derpy?" The Doctor asked in a serious tone. Derpy blinked before another screech shook the house itself. She bit her lip nervously as she tried to think faster. "Come on Derpy, where did you get this?"
"I don't know!" She blurted out. "Don't rush me!"
The Doctor chuckled and put a reassuring hoof around her shoulder. "Derpy, I'm not trying to rush you. However there is a large creature out there whose origin is unfamiliar to me. What I do know is that he wasn't tearing apart your house because he was guarding something. He was clearly looking for something and he hadn't gotten to the nursery yet, which has this," he knocked on the cradle's side to make a point, "Which I'm fairly certain is what he's after. So Derpy, it is extremely important that I know where you got this at. Do you understand?" He asked emphatically.
Derpy unfolded her wings nervously and folded them back in. "It was given to me. I don't remember who gave it to me, it was just someone who had a cradle and I wanted one so... she gave it to me."
"A she? You're sure it was a she, another pony like yourself?" The Doctor began pushing the cradle towards the door.
"Um... yeah, she sounded like a girl. I guess she was a pony... and where are you taking my cradle?" Derpy began following him before a horrible howl shook the floor of the house. They both turned around and raced toward the window before Derpy gasped.
"And THAT is what I meant by bigger..." the Doctor stated.
"It's... almost as big as the trees!" Derpy said in shock. The creature barely resembled a bird any longer and looked more like a large feathered blob on legs and seemed to be wrapped in some sort of misty shroud. Its ugly beak opened and let out a piercing shriek as soon as it saw the ponies in the upstairs window. "Doctor it looks like he can reach us up here! What are we going to do?!"
The Doctor rubbed a hoof through his hair. "Alright, Derpy can you lift that on your own?" Derpy trotted over to the small wooden cradle and with some effort picked it up.
"Yeah... I think I can, why?"
"Okay, good good. You're going to have to fly out the window and carry the cradle a ways into the-"
"What, fly? I don't think I can fly with-"
The Doctor cut her off quickly and pushed her towards the window. "Derpy... you're going to have trust me. Now I know you can do this. I'm going to distract that monster down there and you're going to fly this into the forest. There's a clearing a little ways from here with a big blue box in it. You can't miss it," The Doctor talked rapidly as he pushed the cradle beside Derpy and unlatched the window. "Take the cradle into the blue box and wait for me."
"But Doctor, what about-"
"Tell me you'll do that Derpy. Tell me you're going straight to the blue box. You're going to put the cradle in there and wait there for me. Will you do that?" The Doctor looked at Derpy very seriously, making her gulp in nervousness.
"Y-yes?" She quietly answered. The Doctor smiled and nodded.
"Good. Now as soon as I get that monster's attention you do that, alright?" The Doctor made sure Derpy understood before picking his Sonic screwdriver up in his teeth and scurrying down the stairs. Derpy wiped some sweat from her brow and picked up the cradle, testing the best way to hold it. She heard the door downstairs open and saw the Doctor step out in front of her house, staring straight at the monster.
"Oy! Down here you big stupid brute!" The Doctor shouted angrily as he spit his screwdriver onto the ground. The creature glared down at the Doctor and shrieked. "Oh shut it, you're not scaring anyone." Derpy smiled at the Doctor's bravery before gingerly stepping up to the window. It was a tight squeeze but she would probably be able to make it. The cradle was uncomfortable to hold though; she hoped the Doctor would have him distracted soon.
"Alright, now why are you here terrorizing this poor Pegasus' house eh?" The Doctor asked. The creature opened his mouth wide and hissed. "I said stop that! Now answer my question before I hurt you." The creature shut his beak and tilted his head, looking curiously at the Doctor with one big eye. "Now come on," the Doctor started, "you weren't even half your size a few hours ago. All of a sudden you turn into a giant and for what? To stomp around screaming? That's not very good use of your time you know."
The creature made several long guttural noises that Derpy couldn't understand at all, though the Doctor seemed to. He made a quick little wave in Derpy's direction and took a step forward to the creature. "Alright then, first things first. What are you and what is your name." The creature responded with some raspy coughs, making the Doctor raise an eyebrow. "What do you mean you don't have a name? Everyone has a name."
Derpy watched from the window, debating whether she should make her move now or wait just a few more seconds.
The creature rasped some more and the Doctor shook his head. "Fine, so you don't have a name. Would make sense if you were 'born' today I suppose." He glanced at the window and made another quick wave, hoping Derpy would see his signal. "So if you don't have a name then what are you?" The creature eyed the Doctor suspiciously. "I'm just wondering that's all," the Doctor put on his most winsome smile. The large beast clicked and cawed out something in its language to which the Doctor nodded. "Ah, you're conjured from the elements. Well, that would help if I knew just what that meant but we'll move on!"
He now waved fiercely in Derpy's direction, trying to will her out of the window. Derpy peered at the Doctor and wondered what he was trying to do before stretching her wings out and yawning. The Doctor seemed to be good at what he did, though she didn't really understand anything he was saying.
"I'll call you an Elemental!" The Doctor stated dramatically. "You've probably possessed some bird, thus explaining your form... now who do you work for?" The creature looked at him questioningly. "Don't give me that look; I know you couldn't do this on your own. Plus you just told me you were 'conjured' which means there was a conjurer which means! You're working for someone! Now, who is that?" The creature stretched his neck and produced some low rumblings from his throat.
"The... Primordial? What the heck is a Primordial?" He muttered. Glancing up, he still saw Derpy in the window. He waved his hoof angrily at her, motioning towards the forest while continuing. "So you work for the Primordial? What's that about then?"
It suddenly hit Derpy that the Doctor's mad waving might be the signal. Without thinking she called out, " Doctor! Should I go now?" The Doctor and the Elemental both turned towards her, glaring.
"YES YOU SHOULD GO!" The Doctor shouted angrily. The Elemental shrieked loudly as it spied the cradle in her hooves. "DERPY NOW! GO!" Derpy's face turned red at her own mistake as she jumped out the window and spread her wings. She thought she would fall to the ground with the weight of the cradle. At the last second she managed to pull up and swoop upwards. The Doctor smiled before realizing the Elemental was preparing to strike her. "OY! No you don't!" He grabbed his Sonic screwdriver and pointed it at the creature.
"You see this?" The Doctor shouted at the Elemental. It glanced down at the object between his hooves before turning its attention back to the fleeing Derpy. "Oh nonono, you want to pay attention to this Mr. Elemental. This is one of the most powerful energy sources available, don't you remember?" The Elemental suddenly gave the Doctor its full attention. "Yeah, you recognize it now don't you?" He grinned as he saw Derpy disappear into the trees and laughed.
Holding the Sonic up he continued, "This is what supercharged your conversion sequence before! Yeeees, I know how you work. You can talk about how you're from the elements or whatever all you like but the truth is I know exactly what you are. A being composed entirely out of bioelectromagnetic energy! You've used your energy form to take over a small woodland bird." The Doctor shook his head in disappointment. "And you're using that physical form to gather food which you then convert to more bioelectromagnetic energy! So, you can then have more power in the end, correct? And being a bird, you immediately went after muffins didn't you? Beautiful grain-filled oatmeal muffins full of energy to convert."
The Elemental sneered at him before bending down and screeching loudly in the Doctor's face, sending waves of a pungent odor over him. "Oh you're scaring me now!" The Doctor balked. "Now, the Sonic waves of my screwdriver disturbed your molecular structure, which had only just been possessed by your energy form. Which of course changed how you bonded with your physical form and accidently sped the entire process up. So that's good for you right?" The Doctor paused for a breath before continuing. "Except! Except now you're huge, almost as tall as a house. That sort of physical structure takes a lot of work from you doesn't it? Really drains all that bioelectricwhatsit energy there aye?" He smirked as the Elemental narrowed its eyes at him.
"So you know what I'm going to do," The Doctor said as he turned his Sonic on. The creature in front of him shrieked and charged towards him. The Doctor only grinned and threw his Sonic towards the Elemental, right down his open mouth. The Elemental stopped in shock as it began to feel the energy coursing throughout its body. "Ah-ha! You want energy eh? Well now you've got more energy than your physical form could possibly handle! Which will then cause your energy power to completely dissipate because you've bonded too much to your physical form! THUS... stopping you from ever hurting any pony ever again!" The Elemental roared as its body began to convulse and rays of green light began to pulse from it. "So I hope you and your Primordial remember this, to never mess with the Doctor and to never, ever threaten one of his friends." He stared coldly at the Elemental, now looking at the Doctor in a way he never had before; in fear.
Derpy had nearly crashed into the ground but had swooped up at the last minute, gaining some height and speed. She shook with a mixture of adrenaline and fear as she desperately tried to hold onto the cradle slipping out of her grasp. She let out a small scream when she saw the monster turn in her direction before she suddenly found herself in the trees. Ducking a branch, her grip slipped on the cradle and it fell to the ground with a thud. "Oops," Derpy hurriedly grabbed the cradle and began half flying, half dragging it down the path. "Now the Doctor said there was a box... what does that mean?" She looked around worriedly as she continued through the trees. They abruptly gave way to a small clearing and Derpy stopped. "Oh. That was easy." She stood still for a few moments to try to catch her breath and calm her racing heart before she heard a scream from the creature.
Awkwardly she pushed and pulled the cradle to the front of the big blue box. It was much taller than her, probably about seven feet tall. Along the top it said POLICE BOX. There was also a sign on the front door, though Derpy was in far too much of a hurry to read it. She tugged at the door handle with all her might. "Augh! Why won't it open?" She cried. Letting go of the handle, she turned around to find something she might use for leverage, accidently bumping into the door in the process. It gently swung open inwardly, much to Derpy's surprise and embarrassment. "Heh..." her face reddened as she grabbed the cradle and hefted it inside before trotting in herself.
Once inside, Derpy shut the door behind her and breathed a sigh of relief. She had managed to do exactly what the Doctor had asked her to do. She felt very proud of herself before she turned around and gasped. The inside of the box was way bigger than it looked on the outside! She grinned as she began prancing around the main room, looking into every nook and cranny. It was cleaner and a bit brighter than it was when the Doctor left it previously, though she had no way of knowing that. All she saw was a magic box full of curiosities to discover. Her exploration was cut short by a loud explosion that rocked the entire box. A twinge of fear shot through Derpy as she ran to the door and opened it just a crack, peering out.
Seeing nothing, she opened the door a bit more and stuck her head out. Her eyes widened at the sight of a large dark cloud over where her house used to be. She quickly pulled her head back in and slammed the door shut. Putting her ear to the door, she listened carefully for any sounds. "I hope the Doctor's okay..." she whispered before hearing footsteps outside. Derpy scooted away from the door and accidently fell from the walkway onto the ground below. She rubbed her head and moaned as the box's door was thrown open and the Doctor stumbled in, covered in dust and coughing.
"Derpy? Derpy are you in here?" The Doctor hacked and strained his eyes. He suddenly spied Derpy peering over the walkway and grinned. "There you are, toldja you'd make it!" He gestured grandly as Derpy clambered up and stood beside him. "What do you think of my TARDIS eh? Bigger on the inside eh eh? Pretty cool right?" He grinned like a maniac and waited for Derpy's response.
"Yeah, it's nice. I didn't know you were a policeman," Derpy replied as she looked the Doctor over. "Are you okay?"
"Er, well yes I'm fine," The Doctor was taken aback by Derpy's seeming nonchalance at his TARDIS but he focused on her question. "And I'm not a policeman per se. I just disguise my TARDIS, which is bigger on the inside as you can see, as a police box. Long story... would take some time to explain."
Derpy thought for a moment before smiling with realization. "So your magic box is disguised as a police box so you can get where you need to be!" The Doctor paused from brushing the dirt from his hair and looked at Derpy oddly.
"Well, it's not really magic. TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space which means that this box exists in multiple dimensions. The outer dimensions exist in the actual world while the inner dimensions are its own world complete with... with..." He watched as Derpy's eyes began spinning around until she blinked.
"Erm... so it's magic?"
The Doctor sighed. "Sure. It's... magic."He rolled his eyes as Derpy pulled the cradle over and displayed it proudly for the Doctor. "Excellent! Knew I could count on you Derpy, you came through splendidly." Derpy smiled and blushed.
"S-sorry for goofing it up there at the window though," She softly said. The Doctor chuckled and shook his head.
"Hey, it's alright! You came through in the end and that's what matters," He patted Derpy's blonde mane and sighed. "That and... you might be a tad upset at what happened to your house." Derpy looked at him in confusion.
Derpy's jaw dropped as she looked over the damage. "What ha-happened?" She stuttered. The Doctor hung his head and bit his lip.
"It's not as bad as it looks," He mumbled guiltily. Derpy's eyes flashed with anger as she looked at the Doctor.
"What do you mean not as bad as it looks? You blew half my house up!!" She stomped her foot before turning away. She ambled towards the wreckage of what was left of her house and moaned. The entire front half of her house was gone. Rubble and wreckage filled the half that was left, making almost everything there unusable.
"I uh, threw my Sonic screwdriver into the Elemental. Figured the Sonic waves would upset the molecular structure and cause it to all dissipate, but I didn't realize that it would... well, blow up. I barely managed to duck into the trees." The Doctor tried to offer an explanation for the damage he had done, hoping to ease Derpy's pain.
Derpy sighed in response and flipped some hair out her eyes. "I know you didn't mean to destroy my house Doctor," she looked at where her nursery used to be and fought back tears, "it's just something that happens around you isn't it? Things get destroyed." The Doctor stood beside her silently, knowing she was right but couldn't bring himself to say so. They stood there together in silence for several long minutes.
Finally the Doctor coughed and turned around to face Derpy. "Alright now, let's see if you've got anything worth salvaging in there and pack it away." Derpy looked at him in confusion. "Oy, hurry up now. If you're going to come with me pack what you have left."
Derpy blinked. "Come with you? Where?" The Doctor grinned.
"Remember my TARDIS? Well, in a way it really is a magic box! It can take you anywhere you want to go. Anywhere in time and anywhere in space. And I've decided you're going to be my new companion! Together we'll go on the most amazing adventures!" He looked at Derpy with a gleam in his eye.
"Time? S-space? Companion?" Derpy laughed aloud before continued, "You destroy my house then make up something about adventures? What kind of game are you trying to pull?" The Doctor bit his lip and began walking away before stepping back.
"Wait right here. I'll prove it to you. Just start packing... whatever you have left." He trotted off briskly before calling over his shoulder, "Oh! And don't worry if you can't find anything! The TARDIS has everything anyone could possibly need! Ahaha!" Derpy watched as he bounded away in excitement and shook her head.
"And ponies said I was nutty..."
The Doctor pulled open his TARDIS doors and called out. "Alright now! We've got to get you a power source!" He hurriedly began looking over his console panel before heading below to the core. "Now let's see... it'd take too long to get you fine tuned to run off this universe's background energy," He pulled at some wires as he spoke to himself, "but maybe we can find a temporary power source for your engines eh?" He quickly ran up to the top of the console and tapped a screen with his hoof. "Come on! I know you've got some backup power still left in ya! Just this one energy scan!" The screen blinked to life and bathed the Doctor in a soft glow.
"Let's see... oy, awful lot of energy on this planet. Some strange signatures here... haven't seen these before..." The Doctor looked at the screen in puzzlement and scratched his head. "Well, we could try just tapping into the biggest one there." He placed his hoof on the screen and smiled. "It should work for now. I think I can remotely link to whatever it is and get some power." He ran back down to the lower level before pausing. "Unless that's an important energy source... though that's doubtful." He mulled it over for a few more seconds before shaking his head. "No, I have to do this for Derpy." He steeled himself and set about linking up wires and working through the circuitry.
It only took the Doctor about ten minutes until he wiped his hooves clean and closed the core engine up. "Alright then! Let's see if this works and hope we don't... die or something." He went to the main console and took a deep breath before pulling a switch. Nothing happened.
"Nooooo! Come on! I know you can do this," the Doctor gently patted the TARDIS console before pulling the switch once more. When nothing happened again the Doctor sighed wearily and put his head on the console. "Look, there's a pegasus out there who has had nearly everything taken from her today and that's all. My. Fault. Now I need to make it up to her and I can't do that if you're going to be a stubborn old... thing!" He raised his voice at the end and glared at a nearby button. "So... please. Do it for me and do it for that poor pegasus out there who doesn't have a home any more." He waited a moment before pulling the switch one more time. The Doctor waited for a reaction, and received none. His face fell before the familiar sound of his TARDIS' engines revving filled his ears.
"That's it! I knew you could do it!" He clapped his hooves together and began running around his console, adjusting the flight and trajectory. "Alright you, next stop! Derpy's house!"
Derpy sat on a small suitcase and huffed. She had managed to find a few things worth keeping, such as some old pictures that hadn't broken and her muffin recipes. The Doctor had been gone for over twenty minutes though with no sign of returning. Derpy was beginning to wonder if the crazy stallion had run off until she heard the strangest sound. She looked around in wonder before spying a half-visible police box. "No... it can't be!" She took a step back as the TARDIS materialized no more than a few feet away from her. "The... it... how?" She stuttered in awe as the Doctor opened the doors and leaned against the frame, grinning wildly.
"Alright now Derpy, got your things?" The Doctor asked as nonchalantly as he could. He waited as Derpy continued stuttering before he laughed. "So, crazy old man with a time traveling box that can go anywhere. What do you think now eh?"
Derpy's face broke into a smile as she picked up her suitcase and placed it on her back. "Well, I still think you're crazy."
"And you'd best remember that, because I am absolutely crazy." He waited as Derpy entered the TARDIS and set her suitcase down. "I... I realize this doesn't excuse what happened to your house. But I thought... it might be nice for you to get away for a bit you know? I don't know if any more monsters will come or not but I think it would be best if you weren't there."
"You were lonely in here weren't you?" Derpy suddenly asked, catching the Doctor off guard. She waited for an answer, but receiving none she continued, "Traveling space, all alone? Without any friends? Is that why you showed up at my door Doctor?" The Doctor chuckled and looked at the ground in embarrassment.
"There's some guest rooms down there a ways. I've put up signs leading to them, had some trouble before with people getting lost," he pointed down the hall at the back at the console room. "Choose any one you like, there should be clothes and food and... oh no. The clothes are for humans those won't work... ignore the clothes!" He busied himself at the console as Derpy walked away. "I'll have to get the TARDIS to make clothes for four-legged creatures..."
"Humans?" Derpy wondered to herself silently. She shrugged before grabbing the cradle she had set aside earlier and dumping her suitcase into it, lugging them both down the hall towards her new life.
The Doctor watched as she left and sighed. "She really was in harm's way you know. That cradle... hmm." He spoke to no one in particular as he went about the console.
The TARDIS console suddenly chimed, startling the Doctor. "Ah-ha!" He spied the source of the sound and grabbed the object. "A brand new Sonic screwdriver!" He grinned as he held it with one hoof. "Look at that, gotta little strap so I can hold it in one hand! Or hoof rather." He balanced it gingerly as he got the feel for it. "Looks about the same. A little smaller I suppose. Lighter." He set the screwdriver down and called to his new companion. "Well Derpy! How about I take you to space eh?"
"Really?!" She called back. "That sounds... OOF." She tripped and fell, spilling the contents of her suitcase everywhere. She stood up and banged her head on a rail. "Ooooh, I'm uh... I'm okay! Oooww..."
The Doctor shook his head and pulled a lever on his TARDIS. "Then we're off!"
"Are you sure Princess? Just now?" The captain of the royal guard gruffly spoke to his ruler with just a hint of concern.
"Y-yes. I'm sure of it. Something just... took my power." She stood on wobbly legs and held her head regally, or at least attempted to. "So tired... please take me to my quarters."
"Yes your highness! Guards!" Several Canterlot guards immediately appeared and supported the princess as she gingerly walked down the castle hall.
"And captain?" She spoke with authority, though her voice wavered.
"Yes Princess Celestia?" The captain stood at attention.
"Find whoever did this. We cannot allow another attack like this to happen; it could have grave consequences for the entire kingdom." Princess Celestia coughed slightly before recomposing herself.
The guard saluted and bowed. "Of course Princess! The perpetrator who stole your power will be found at once." Straightening up he looked at her with concern and spoke softer, "Now go rest. Your guards and sister will handle the castle." Princess Celestia bowed modestly before hobbling off.
"Yes... whoever did this will be found," The Princess thought to herself as she stared straight ahead with a steely gaze...