For once, Luke felt no irritation when Mister Smith sounded his trumpeting fanfare. Mum had berrated the ancient mind of the machine so many times for this, but today Luke was comforted by the sound. Happy memories flooded back as Mister Smith revealed himself. The flashing console and the comforting, pulsating light from the screen gave Luke the confidence that Sarah Jane had always seen in him.
“Good evening Luke,” said Mister Smith. “It has been a long time since we have spoken; how may I assist you?“
Luke stared at the two pieces of paper that he had picked up and read. He couldn’t understand any of what Mum had found and printed out, but he was able to read her handwriting, and the panic in it:
“Mister Smith, Mum was upset about something and was researching it before… you know. I found something while I was tidying up and I don’t know what it means.”
A slot opened in the console.
“Please feed it through to me, Luke.”
Luke did so. He knew that this might take a few minutes and so he wouldn’t be able to ask questions of Mister Smith. He was thinking to himself though. What Mum had written seemed urgent; important. Mum seemed afraid. How was the number “456″ important? What was back, and why did Mum think that children were in danger? He would have to wait for the big computer to give him some answers.
Finally, the piece of manuscript was run back out for Luke to retrieve. Mister Smith began his run-down and diagnostic.
“The 456. An alien race whose name and origin is unknown. They claimed many lives when they descended to Earth four years ago – adults as well as children. A child had to be sacrificed in order to destroy them, and now a new wave has returned.”
Images of the “456″ – or the tentacles that were visible within the tank they’d ordered to be made for them all that time ago – flashed across Mister Smith’s monitor. A Hydra-type creature was seen to slam itself up against the front of the tank.
Luke recoiled in horror at the sight of the hideous creature. He knew he had to act.
“What can we do, Mister Smith?”
The computer sighed, sadly.
“We, Luke, can do nothing. I am currently contacting people who can; you shall hear from them shortly.”
Luke’s question was cut short as a rushing noise filled the air. His hair flew around his face as a large object appeared in the corner of the room. A blue object that looked rather like a police box.
The object solidified into reality, and the doors opened. An eccentric looking, gangly figure wearing a bow tie and braces (and was that a fez?) came dashing out, spinning and jumping as though he were an overexcited grasshopper.
“Whoah!” shouted the strange figure. “Oh, I know where I am! Haha, it’s been a long time! Geronimo! Is that Mister Smith? Hello! I’m here! Now, the question is, why?”
The crazy figure whirled around once more, and inspected Mister Smith’s screen; a worried frown appeared. “The 456. Oh no… we are in trouble…”
Luke didn’t recognise this person, and yet somehow he was… familiar. Had they met before? Could he possibly be..?
The strange man turned around again, and kind, ancient blue eyes fixed on to Luke. Ancient eyes in a young face.
“Hello, Luke,” said the man. “I didn’t look like this the last time we met. I wish the circumstances had been happier; I’m so very sorry about your Mum.”
“Doctor? Oh Doctor, I’m so pleased to see you! We have a problem and I don’t know how to fix it. Did Mister Smith contact you?”
The console blinked in to life. “Yes Luke, I did. Please do not talk about me as if I am not here.” Luke apologised, and Mister Smith took himself back inside the wall.
Luke turned back to The Doctor, wondering what the plan was. As though The Doctor had heard his unanswered question, The Doctor continued speaking.
“We’re not doing this alone, Luke. Oh no, your Mum would never have allowed that! We have help and that help has come with me!”
The lights began to flicker. Luke heard a fuse blow somewhere and a light bulb somewhere in another room shattered audibly. Luke knew that sound.
A girl stepped out from the TARDIS. A beautiful girl of about seventeen, with brown hair and a sweet smile.
“Hello, Luke,” said the girl. “It’s lovely to see you again. It’s me; Sky.”