In the forests of Sherwood a blue police box with an additional antenna on its roof materialized on the leaf covered ground. The door opened and the 10th Doctor stepped outside.
“This isn’t Nottingham,” he said over his shoulder.
In front of the 10th Doctor stood a man know as Robin Hood. He held an arrow on his bow at tension pointed at the 10th Doctor. His band surrounded the Tardis, all with weapons drawn and ready.
“It should be close, I though we… could… ” the 12th Doctor emerged from the Tardis and saw the band of men facing them. “Find Robin.”
“You found me,” Robin said.
“Well that was easy.”
“Bind them up, John,” Robin said.
The big man started for the 10th Doctor.
“Wait, Robin, what’s going on?” the 10th Doctor said.
“Marian,” the 12th Doctor answered before anyone else. “Look at his face. They have Marian.”
The 12th Doctor walked past the 10th Doctor, past John and despite the ready arrow, right up to Robin.
“Aye, and they want this ‘Doctor’ to get her back.”
The 12th Doctor read Robin’s face for a moment.
“They said they’d kill her, didn’t they?”
Robin clenched his teeth.
“Of course,” the 12th Doctor said. He turned to the 10th Doctor. “Seems we have to add ‘rescue of Maid Marian’ to our list of things to do today.”
“I will not risk Marian’s life for yours,” Robin said.
“Robin, you know they won’t just give her back for me. It is you, Robin of the Hood that they want.”
“Well, and you,” the 10th Doctor said to the 12th Doctor.
“And you,” the 12th Doctor replied back. “Probably.”
“Maybe,” the 10th Doctor said.
The two smiled.
“Ok, don’t need to add much to the plan to make this work…”
Robin still held his bow up.
“Robin, put that down,” 10th Doctor said.
The 12th Doctor turned back around to face Robin and took a step closer. The arrow was nearly touching him at this point.
“Robin, we will save her. I swear to you: this is not the end of Marian’s story.”
Robin slowly lowered the bow and made a noble attempt to keep the worry off of his face.
“Good,” the 12th Doctor said. “Now they will be expecting a Robin Hood type of plan.”
“And what kind of plan is that?”
“Sneaking in, costumes, getting into position, then dramatic escape.”
“That is mostly what we do,” Alan interjected.
“And your plan?” Robin asked.
Both Doctors smiled.
“A bit more grand,” the 12th Doctor said. He turned to the door of the Tardis. “Jeremy! Come here!”
The noga poked just its head out and looked.
“That’s right, come here!”
The noga ran over to the 12th Doctor’s side. All of Robin’s men backed up at least two steps, some raising their weapons again.
“It’s ok, it’s ok,” the 10th Doctor said.
Jeremy scanned the new people. He stopped at Little John and growled a some.
“Hey,” the 12th Doctor said, pointing down at the noga. “Behave. These are our friends.”
“What is that?” Robin asked.
“Oh, just something I picked up in my travels,” the 12th Doctor said with a smile.
The Sheriff of Nottingham wandered through the castle, seemingly agitated at something Guy of Gisbourne had done. He was mumbling to himself, occasionally stopping to yell mostly incoherent things at objects, people, one time even just out a window.
His wrath lead him throughout most of the entire castle, from the top of the tower to the dungeons themselves. Most of the people in the castle were familiar with these events, and avoiding him as he walked.
Which was exactly what the Sheriff wanted.
Once back in his office he called the captain of the guards.
“Were you successful?”
“Yes, m’lord,” the captain answered. “We have King’s soldiers joining us.”
“Good,” he said, smiling. “Good. I counted fifty men under the Keeper. Even with their fancy weapons, they will be no match for the numbers we will have.”
He smiled again.
“Go,” he ordered. “Get ready.”
The 12th Doctor watched as the cart pulled by two horses set out from the forest of Sherwood to the town of Nottingham. He stood with an android named D-96, a miniature noga named Jeremy and, of course, a blue police box he called home.
“Well then,” he said, turning first to the android. “I know we have gone over this a few times, but are you sure you understand the instructions on how to fly her?”
“While you were talking to the others, I read the instruction manual,” D-96 commented. “I am well prepared to fly the Tardis.”
“Instruction manual? Don’t believe a word of it,” the 12th Doctor said. “Ok, good. Now you’ll get the signal on the console that the other Tardis has materialized. At that moment, you will materialize on top of it.”
“And thus disrupting all space and time,” D-96 added.
“I certainly hope so,” the 12th Doctor replied. The android nodded and walked into the Tardis. He took sentry over the controls, watching them with a patience of a machine. A patience the Doctor was relying on.
Then he walked over to his small noga.
“And you, my friend. We will return you to big size.”
“Yes, and then you can help us by scaring away the bad people.”
“Just like that. Only bigger.”
Then we walked to the Tardis. The 12th Doctor ran his hand along the side of the blue box and allowed his mind to wander memories for the briefest of moments.
“And you,” he said to the space ship. “You give it everything you got. I’ll see you on the other side.”
Then he turned and walked off, the noga at his heals.
“I’ll be waiting,” the Tardis softly replied.
“Why do I always get to do this part?” Alan mumbled.
Tuck answered with the same look John had previously. Alan decided to ask what it meant afterwards. The cart came up to the front gate of Nottingham but was allowed inside with little issue. It was midday, and the flow of people in and out of town was high.
“To the left,” the 10th Doctor said from beneath the hay and food in the cart. “Behind that next shop.”
The merry men guided the cart as close as they could to the location before stopping. The others jumped out of the back and quickly brushed off the hay and pulled cloaks about them as they headed towards the other Tardis.
“It should be…” the 10th Doctor started.
“Right here, Doctor?” Guy of Gisbourne said. He stood in front of the Tardis. His face was one of boredom and anger. His sword was already drawn and pointed towards the Doctor.
“Yes, actually,” the 10th Doctor said.
“Well,” Robin said, throwing off his cloak. “Good thing he didn’t come alone.”
Gisbourne’s men moved out from behind the box and confronted them.
“And neither did I,” Guy said.
“Ah, hell,” the Doctor said as Robin drew his sword.
The Sheriff of Nottingham watched as Guy and his men engaged with Robin Hood. He had a purposeful smile on his face.
“Good,” he whispered. “Good.”
He turned and made his way to his quarters. There were just two things to do now.
“It is time,” he simply said to the guard outside of his door. The guard nodded and headed out.
“Why is it,” Munch said, his back pressed against Robin’s “That whenever I think we have the upper hand I am wrong.”
The entire group, including the 10th Doctor, stood in a tight circle. Guy of Gisborne’s men were joined by armed King’s guards and now out numbered the band by four to one.
“This part will be easy, Alan,” Alan said in a mocking tone. “No need to worry Alan, he says.”
“If you don’t stop that, you can add me to your worries,” Djaq said.
“Now, now, Robin,” Guy said. The two of them where still locked in a stare. “This time you aren’t winning. And Marian…”
“Will be dead,” the 10th Doctor interjected. “The Man in Black isn’t one to reason with.”
“I’m not sure he will be a problem much longer, Doctor.”
Guy drew a confident smile across his face.
Then a very large shadow passed over head. It was fast, causing only a momentary break of daylight, but it was enough to be noticed. The men looked about, but there was nothing to be seen.
Now it was the 10th Doctor’s turn to smile.
“Yes, but I will still be,” he said.
The shadow returned. This time it filled the ground around the group. All of the men facing Guy of Gisbourne looked up with horror on their faces. Some screamed; some prayed; most ran.
This caused the others to turn and look. Their reaction was similar.
Guy broke his stare with Robin and looked over his shoulder. There, behind him and standing over the Tardis was a dragon and a man with a sweater vest and crimson tie sitting on its back.
“Actually it is an alien from another planet, but ‘Dragon’ works,” the 10th Doctor corrected.
“Guy! Stop trying to kill your brother, this is important,” the 12th Doctor called out.
“Brother?” Guy said.
“Brother?” Robin said.
“Oh… sorry about that, spoilers,” the 12th Doctor answered. “When your father explains it to you, please act surprised.”
The two looked confused at each other.
“Doctor, second star to the right,” the 12th Doctor said.
The 10th Doctor saluted the 12th Doctor before entering the Tardis. There was only a slight moment before the blue box disappeared.
“And Guy, if you love Marian you should fight with those guys against your Sheriff to free her. Or her death will be most unpleasant.”
“Us?! With him?!” John yelled in disbelief.
“And why should I trust you?” Guy replied.
“Because,” the 12th Doctor said. “I am the one with the Dragon.”
And with that, pulled on Jeremy’s back and took off into the sky.
The Sheriff entered the throne room with little resistance. The two guards at the door had been his, and naturally they were more than happy to open it for him.
Twenty five of the King’s finest soldiers followed the Sheriff into the room. He brought his sword and a smug, smug look on his face.
The Keeper sat on the throne, leaning to one side. His featureless helmet did not move as the Sheriff entered.
“Ah, good. You are here,” the Sheriff started. He stepped forward of everyone. “I wanted to, on behalf of the King, thank you for your help in capturing his enemies. However, your services are no longer needed.”
The Keeper sat facing them, unmoving.
“Did you think we’d sit back and let you take over everything? A clue: no.”
There was another pause before the Keeper stood up.
“Oh, Sheriff,” he said. “You could have had so much. More than your petty mind could ever want. All you had to do was be loyal.”
He took a step towards the Sheriff. All of the kings guards tensed as he moved, keeping their swords at the ready.
“Instead, you come up with a half-baked plan to get your old position back with a worthless regent who isn’t even a king, only a Prince. And, you didn’t even do a good job of covering your tracks.”
“Now you wait…” the Sheriff started, his face losing some of the smug composure it had when he entered.
He was cut off by a body being thrown down from the second floor balcony. The body landed nearly at the Sheriff’s feet. He jumped back before looking down. The body was of the Captain of the guards.
“No, I will not listen. I believe it is your turn. For your crime, Sheriff of Nottingham, you and all of your men will die today.”
The Sheriff looked up to the balcony. There were four of the Keeper’s men looking down on them.
“We still have you outnumbered,” the Sheriff said. “And I think…”
The Keeper pulled out an item that had once been a sonic screwdriver. He held it up and hit the button on the side. Instead of screwdriving, as was its purpose, it let out a very loud high pitch sound. The Sheriff and his men fell to their knees holding their ears. The act helped very little.
“I believe I said I was done listening,” the Keeper said. “Kill them all.”
Jeremy landed on the top of Nottingham castle.
“Ok boy,” the 12th Doctor said, patting the noga on the side of his face. “You know what to do. Go be a distraction. But be safe, ok?”
Jeremy barked then licked the Doctor’s face before jumping back into the air.
“If that doesn’t distract them,” he mumbled.
He glanced down off the walls. People, soldiers, King’s men, everyone was running in a state of panic as Jeremy flew over Nottingham.
“Good boy,” the 12th Doctor whispered.
The Keeper picked up the Sheriff of Nottingham about his neck, lifting him off the ground with one arm. The other 25 men in the room lay dead on the floor, the four of the keeper’s men had returned to attention, their rifles held at their sides.
The Sheriff had been shot, but not killed. He struggled against the Keeper’s grip with the little energy he had.
“Soon, Sheriff, everything I have worked for will come to pass. And nothing, not even my own shadow, will be able to stop me.”
The Keeper walked from the throne room with the Sheriff.
“I always liked the view from the roof. Don’t you?”
The Man in Black emerged on the roof as the noga flew off. Calmly he walked to the edge and tossed the Sheriff off to one side.
The Keeper called his guards over the com about the crowd at the front door. It seems that the Sheriff wasn’t the only one with plans.
He turned to face the other person on the roof. If he had not been wearing the mask, his face may have betrayed some surprise.
A man in a sweater vest, trench coat and crimson tie was approaching. His eyes were cold and knowing.
“I’d say it was a pleasure to finally meet you,” the 12th Doctor said as he got closer. “But seeing as how I already know you, and it is not a pleasure, I’ll just have refrain.”
“Well, well, if it isn’t the Mistake,” the Keeper said. “You are the reason for all of this.”
“Not all of it,” the 12th Doctor said. “You stole those people; you killed those planets. Not me.”
“I kept them. I saved them from their fates. Now they will all be safe. After completion they will be here, with me.”
“They had their fates. Yes we loved them all, but their fates were their own.”
“They were never their own. We took them, stole them from their homes and took them all over. Now they are safe again.”
“No, now they are in more danger than ever,” the 12th Doctor said. “And I am here to save them one more time.”
The 12th Doctor smiled. He drew his sword in his right hand, his sonic screwdriver in his left.
“Shall we then?” he asked.
“Oh, let’s,” the Keeper replied.
Robin Hood and Guy of Gisbourne fought side by side as both groups of men clashed with the Keeper’s men at the portcullis.
“Open the gates!” Guy yelled.
Despite the large dragon-like creature, a few of the Sheriff’s men were still guarding the door of the Keep.
Perhaps “guard” is a strong word. A few of the Sheriff’s men had not run off from the portcullis, but rather were huddled underneath the wall where they were well hidden from something flying.
“Sir?” one man finally said. “Uh… Robin Hood, and uh…” He pointed up. “The man in black said…”
At that moment the Sheriff of Nottingham’s body hit the ground in the open area.
“Look!” Alan said, pointing.
The Man in Black stood at the edge, his featureless black face looking down on them.
“And there is the Professor,” Robin said.
The second man stood off to one side, the two began talking.
Guy grabbed the nearest guard through the bars and pulled his face towards his own.
“We are going to take Nottingham back from the Man in Black.”
He glanced over at Robin who stood at his side.
“All of us.”
The guard nodded and began to lift up the gate.
The swords of the Keeper and the 12th Doctor clashed over and over again on the roof of the castle.
“I see you still remember your training,” the Keeper commented.
“I see you remembered you are not left handed,” the 12th Doctor retorted.
The Keeper struck high, and the Doctor parried, stepping in. With a fluid motion, slammed his elbow into the Keeper’s mask, sending him stumbling back a few steps.
The blow was well placed. The mask internals had been cracked. The Keeper pulled off his helmet, tossing it to one side.
“We can still save her,” the Keeper said as they squared off again. “Grab her from the timeline before completion.”
“And have her be a part of your collection? Never.”
Swords struck again as the two danced around the rooftop.
“You can’t stop me, Doctor,” the Keeper said. He pulled his sword back and thrust.
Instead of parrying the move, as the Keeper expected, the Doctor stepped into it, letting the blade slide deep into his chest. There was a look of surprise on the Keeper’s face, and for a moment he looked like a Time Lord again.
“I’m not trying to,” the 12th Doctor said. “Only delaying you.”
He grabbed the Keeper’s left forearm, pushing the button to call forth the Tardis below.
In the throne room the insides of a Tardis began to materialize in the center of the room. At that moment the 12th Doctor’s Tardis, piloted by an android named D-96, attempted to materialize in the same location.
The Heart of Gold had guessed the correct frequency that the Keeper had been using to transmit his time altering waves on. Something, he informed the Tardis with a bit of smug satisfaction, that was improbably to nearly a ninth power.
As the two craft attempted to fill the same space in both time and location, the modified timeline began to collapse.
The 10th Doctor stood under an orange sky and watched as the sun rose. The forest off in the distance was filled with silver leafed trees and as the morning light hit them the trees looked as if they were on fire.
He ran his hand through the golden colored grains around his feet and breathed deep.
Behind him the Tardis made a beeping noise.
The 10th Doctor sighed and slowly made his way back to the Tardis. He turned at the door and took one last look at his home planet.
A moment later the Blue Box dematerialized.
The Keeper’s men met Robin Hood and his men as they entered the dungeon. Alan was the first to fall as they opened fire.
Robin’s bow was still lethal, but not fast enough. John and Djaq were next. Guy went down fighting, taking two of them with him before he too fell. Tuck died jumping in front of Wil, who died only a few moments later.
It was only a few seconds before only Robin was left. All of the weapons were pointed at him. He turned and looked at the beautiful woman inside of the jail behind him.
Lady Marian watched as Robin of Locksley was shot by rifles that should never have been in his time.
The open path in space time created by the negative waves of the 12th Doctor’s Tardis was not as smooth as the 10th Doctor would like. Still, his craft sailed through the waves with great precision.
The Tardis shook violently as it entered real space, setting down within a few seconds of the 10th Doctor’s coordinates.
“Oh, you are sexy,” he said, running his hand on the console.
The 10th Doctor stepped out of his Tardis in the sewers of planet called N5. From what his later incarnation had told him, the 11th version should be appearing around the corner from where he was. All the 10th Doctor had to do was slip into the room with the Dax, reseal the box and take it away.
The 10th Doctor started down the tunnel. As he approached the intersection he heard voices.
“And that is why they simply called it N5,” the 11th Doctor said.
The 10th Doctor pushed himself against the wall and peeked around the corner. A distinctive blue box sat nearly 50 meters away. Two people were making their way down the hallway towards him: the 11th Doctor and one Amy Pond. She wore a short skirt and tennis shoes, and her long red hair draped over her shoulders.
“I see…” she said, following the 11th Doctor out of the Tardis. “So why are we in the sewers again?”
“Good question,” the 11th Doctor said, looking about. He scanned the area with his screwdriver and gave it a once over.
“Oh no,” the 10th Doctor mumbled. He began to think.
“That landing was a bit bumpy,” a voice said from behind the 10th Doctor. The Time Lord nearly screamed as turned to face… well, someone.
“You look different too,” the man added. He had a bag of peanuts and was eating one of them. Mostly normally dressed, he did have a large length of scarf wrapped around his neck.
“Ah, because there is something over that way,” the 11th Doctor said from down the hallway. “Right. I mean that way.”
“Where did you come from? Who are you?” the 10th Doctor asked.
“The library,” the man answered motioning backwards.
“You know, next to the pool, third floor?”
“You were in the Tardis? Is that my scarf?”
“You gave it to me! Mostly. And yes, I was in the Tardis. I’ve done some fantastic traveling since I saw you last. I’m writing a book, a travel guide to the whole galaxy.”
“Look, that is fascinating, but I’m kind of in a bit of a rush,” the 10th Doctor said. “And who are you?”
“You don’t remember me? It’s Arthur, Arthur Dent? We hung out when you sounded American.”
“Ah, that hasn’t happened yet.”
“Is that why you look different?” Arthur asked.
“No, that… that is compl…”
“Complicated,” Arthur finished. “Why is everything complicated with you. Let me guess, some sort of regeneration process when you get old or something?”
The two looked at each other.
“Does the Tardis do this often?” Amy Pond asked the 11th Doctor from down the tunnel. The 10th Doctor glanced at them. The two were closer now to the 10th Doctor and his new companion.
“Who is that?” the Arthur asked the 10th Doctor.
“That’s me too,” the 10th Doctor answered.
“There are certainly a lot of you about. What’s the catch?”
“Have to get into that room and imprison a Dax before he gets in there and becomes the Keeper.”
“Oh that guy,” Arthur said. “Not a fan of his work.”
“Do what?” the 11th Doctor asked Amy.
“Just take you random places?” Amy asked.
“This isn’t random!” the 11th Doctor said, stopping and turning around to protest. “Random would be a carny on New Orleans, or the wrong side of Plaxes’s J-2 mountain. No, this is not random, but rather very specific.”
“And what does that mean?” Amy pressed.
“I don’t know,” the 11th Doctor answered. “Yet.”
“Doctor!” Amy said, looking down.
The 11th Doctor had stepped to one side and his shoes were in the green liquid of the sewers, which aside from smelling bad, was apparently acidic. The bottoms of his shoes began to smoke and the 11th Doctor could feel heat from the soles.
“Oh! Oh! Hot!” he said, jumping back to the side. He sat down and quickly pulled off his shoes and socks, throwing them into the stream. They were not seen for much longer as the liquid reduced the material to its molecular form.
“It is obvious what you need,” Arthur said to the 10th Doctor. “A distraction.”
Arthur rolled down the top of his back of peanuts and stuffed it into one of his pockets, then adjusted his scarf.
“And I just happen to be an expert at distractions.”
Arthur winked and walked out into the tunnel.
“Well, that is good to know. Don’t touch the green stuff,” the 11th Doctor said, wiggling his toes. As he did he looked down the tunnel and saw a man walking towards them wearing a familiar scarf.
“Hello…” he said, standing. “Is that my scarf?”
“Ah Doctor, there you are,” Arthur said, arms stretched. He hugged the Doctor and in doing so turned him to the side.
The 10th Doctor shook his head. If he ran into Arthur Dent again he had some questions to answer. He slipped down the tunnel to the Dax room.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” the 11th Doctor asked.
“Yes, of course you do,” Arthur said. “You gave me this.” He displayed one end of the scarf to the Doctor with a smile on his face.
“You also, I may add, offered to help me get to a date,” Arthur added.
“Well, technically not yet,” Arthur said. “I think. I’ve gotten confused in the timeline.”
“Another one?” Amy said, looking at the 11th Doctor. “Do you meet anyone in order?”
“One of the hazards of time travel,” the 11th Doctor commented. “So when did I promise to help you on a date?”
“We had an adventure,” Arthur said. “Bad chap, named the Keeper. All worked out in the end though.”
“The Keeper? Never heard of him.”
Arthur made a side glance and caught the 10th Doctor walking back to his Tardis with a white box. The 10th Doctor nodded as he slipped from view.
“Funny thing, time,” Arthur said. “I’m not so sure you will at this point. Anyway, the point is this, I have to get to my date by Friday and you are the only one who can do it.”
“Why yes, I do suppose that is true. But we came here to look for something first,” the 11th Doctor said. “Something blipped on my scans.”
“Ah, probably my ring,” Arthur said, showing the two his thumb. “And no, can’t still have it.”
The three looked at each other for a moment.
“Well,” Arthur said. “Shall we?”
“Dinner does sound better than the sewers,” Amy added.
“Alright, Arthur Dent,” the 11th Doctor said. “If I liked you enough to give you that scarf, you must be ok. Where are we going?”
“Ah, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” Arthur said. “Oh, with a stop at New Baltimore.”
“Well, I have to ask her first. That whole time thing again. It will be a quick stop, I promise…”
The fabric of space and time ripped and shook violently as the timeline restored itself. The paradox that the Keeper had turned into gargoyles were freed and feasted on the collapsing timeline.
The 12th Doctor grabbed the Keeper’s collar with one hand. The Keeper’s blade still deep in his chest, he fought the regeneration.
“You did it,” the Keeper said, that same hint of familiarity in his eyes from before now there again. “I knew you would save us.”
The last of the timeline collapsed around them. There was a moment of silence before time began up as it should have been.
Robin of Locksley climbed the side of the house of Maid Marian to a small perch out of sight near her window. Quietly he knocked on the window.
Marian opened the shutter and was only slightly surprised to see him sitting there, a boyish grin on his face.
“Robin,” she whispered. “What are you doing here?”
He leaned in an kissed her gently.
“I missed you,” he said.
“No politics today? Don’t need anything?”
“No,” he simply said, looking into her eyes. “I just had a strange feeling, a dream or something. I wanted to see you.”
She smiled at him.
“Afraid I had run off?” she asked, leaning in to kiss him.
“Maybe,” he answered with a smile.
The voice came from the door. A stagehand dressed in mostly black with a microphone attached to one ear had opened it just slight enough for Carmen to see it in the corner of her dressing room door.
“You have two minutes,” the stage hand said.
“Thank you,” Carmen said. She took a deep breath as the door closed. It would be her first performance in many years, but the theatre was still packed. Word had gotten out that Carmen Zaed was returning to singing and they could not print tickets fast enough.
There was one ticket tucked on her mirror. She had asked for it from the theatrical company when they were setting up the dates. Strange, she thought while looking at it. She couldn’t remember who it was supposed to be for.
“Showtime,” she said, standing and exiting her dressing room. The spotlights and applause greeted her only a few moments later.
On a planet that is still not called New London a girl named Sami was walking to dinner with her friend Marla.
“The new place Mistress Katherine has found is fantastic!” Marla said. “It has this whole other section that used to be servant quarters. There are secret doors all over the place.”
“That is bound to be useful,” Sami said, but there was no energy in her voice.
“What’s wrong with you?” Marla said, stopping. She spun around making a playful face.
“Sorry…” Sami started. She glanced up at the night sky and looked at the stars for a moment. “Sorry, I feel like I’ve forgotten something, but can’t remember what.”
“Well, then stop thinking about it. We have crepes to eat and wine to drink.”
“You are right,” Sami said, smiling. “Tomorrow the adventure starts.”