The day after the incident with the Red Jade General, the Tenth Doctor, Gabby Gonzalez, Cindy Wu, and Noobis are checking the ruins of the General's palace, to make sure he is truly destroyed and couldn't have escaped. Despite the fact that something is bothering the Doctor, there are no signs the General survived.
Cindy's clones, after being given names by the original Cindy, say farewell to Gabby, before departing. Gabby walks away from the group, crying, with Cindy following her. The Doctor is worried, but gets distracted by the TARDIS making strange noises.
Cindy tries to comfort Gabby by coming up with a name for the one clone she didn't name, but her calm demeanor upsets Gabby. Gabby can't get the image of a clone who died out of her head, because it could've been the original Cindy who died. Neither Gabby nor Cindy can regenerate like the Doctor can. To Gabby, every life is precious, including Cindy's clones.
The two hear the TARDIS making noise. Gabby can tell that the TARDIS is unhappy. The two head back to the TARDIS, where Noobis tells them that the Doctor has detected an anomaly that's affecting the TARDIS. Cindy takes a moment to look back outside and say goodbye to her clones, before stepping back in. The TARDIS dematerialises as the clones continue on their journey.
The Doctor reveals that the fortress was clear, but that the TARDIS has somehow gotten a case of the hiccups. The TARDIS gathers up energy for maintenance purposes, but right now, is absorbing some minor Vortex Oscillations. As far as the Doctor is concerned, it's nothing to worry about right now, but is something to keep an eye on.
Time passes, with the Doctor and his companions having adventures, including a visit to the planet Aramuko, where Noobis decides to stay for a while. Gabby is affected by that particular trip, because she's started having a strange, recurring dream.
Sometime after this, the Doctor lands the TARDIS in a house he owns at Willesden, in the year 2009. He's decided to leave Gabby and Cindy here to get some time to relax. Gabby isn't fooled. She knows something is wrong, especially since the TARDIS is still acting strange, and the Doctor is purposely leaving them behind so he can investigate. She's worried that the Doctor will end up needing them. The Doctor reassures her, asking her to trust him. He heads back into the TARDIS and departs.
He lands on a desolate planet and exits the TARDIS, calling out for whoever sent him a message to come here. Walking a short distance, he sees another version of his TARDIS and is greeted by the Twelfth Doctor. The Tenth Doctor knows his future self wouldn't have set up this meeting unless it was serious and knows it has to do with the strange anomalies. He realises the Twelfth Doctor is going to tell him that the anomalies are emanating from his own TARDIS. Since the Twelfth Doctor is here, the Tenth Doctor knows he'll find the solution. However, according to the Twelfth Doctor, he won't like that solution.
The Tenth Doctor points out that giving him a warning is pointless, as he won't remember this encounter, but the Twelfth Doctor reveals that there are enough reinforced temporal echoes around this event to help the Tenth Doctor retain certain helpful impressions.
Going over to a rock wall, the Twelfth Doctor draws Gallifreyan symbols on it with a piece of chalk. He talks to the Tenth Doctor about Rogue Vortex Artifacts and how dangerous they are. He also comments on Gabby and Cindy, Gabby in particular, causing the Tenth Doctor to realise something. Before the Tenth Doctor departs, the Twelfth Doctor gives him the piece of chalk, saying it might help him remember more of this encounter than he would've normally been able to.
Back on Earth, Gabby and Cindy look at the supplies the Doctor had left for them to use. Gabby is worried that a rift is forming between her and the Doctor, because she got too close to him, and thus he's pushing her away. Cindy tries to reassure Gabby, but Gabby ends the conversation, because she can sense someone is at the door. Cindy goes to investigate, but the power suddenly goes out. Going back to Gabby, Cindy is horrified to see that Gabby is surrounded by a strange aura and glowing butterflies.
The Doctor lands the TARDIS on the Mechma Onzlo III Station, where he is greeted by Onzlo and Marteek, old friends of his. He's come here to get a device he can use to record temporal wakes and register any kind of vortex spill. Normally, the Doctor could build such a device himself, but he's in a hurry and it would be quicker for him to adapt an existing device. Checking his inventory, Onzlo finds a Xerobian Quantisized Radiant Core Monitor. However, it's currently stored on the other side of the station, so the Doctor joins the duo for drinks, while he waits for the monitor to be brought to him.
Back on Earth, Gabby is aware of a person outside and predicts what that person is going to do, before the aura and butterflies vanish. She tells Cindy to get down seconds before a sonic attack fills the room. A woman enters through the back door and apologises to the two. She had detected a localized time anomaly. She introduces herself as Sarah Jane Smith. The Doctor had asked her to look in on the duo. As Sarah helps Cindy to her feet, Gabby falls unconscious. Scanning her, Sarah determines that Gabby has a mild fever and is completely exhausted, but is going to be fine. The two let Gabby rest while they talk. Sarah reveals that she was a former companion of the Doctor, even showing some pictures she has. After ordering some food, she asks Cindy to tell her everything. Cindy breaks down over what happened to her and her clones.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is dreaming about his time at the Academy, being lectured by Borusa. He is awakened by Marteek, who has brought over the monitor. The Doctor then discovers that, in his sleep, he had used the piece of chalk to draw Gallifreyan symbols all over the TARDIS. He activates the monitor and gives it the name "Marcie". He tells Marcie to record the symbols on the TARDIS, and then to scan for any temporal phenomena beyond the TARDIS. Marcie doesn't find anything, bu there is interference being caused by some of the equipment on the station. The Doctor say goodbye to Marteek, before departing with Marcie in the TARDIS.
He moves the TARDIS to an empty region of space, so that Marcie can try the scan again. Marcie warns him that the scan will take time, but the Doctor tells it to take all the time it needs.
Back on Earth, Gabby awakens from a lucid dream to discover she has written some Gallifreyan symbols in her journal. Going downstairs, she is greeted by Cindy and Sarah. The moment Gabby touches Sarah's hand, she gets a vision of Sarah and the Fourth Doctor encountering Sutekh. Cindy decides to send a text to the Doctor. Sarah offers some breakfast to Gabby.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor has determined that there are no emanations or any evidence of anomalies from the TARDIS at all. He asks Marcie if it has found anything yet. However, Marcie hasn't found anything. It asks the Doctor if the symbols, temporal equations, were of any use to him. Unfortunately, the equations are useless to the Doctor without the proper context.
Marcie then detects something. However, it is having trouble defining the data, let alone interpreting it. Adjusting the scan to eliminate all wake activity from the TARDIS, Marcie is unable to produce a visual image. Extrapolating the data, Marcie determines that it is detecting a song and that it is getting closer. Since Marcie can't produce an image, the Doctor heads over to the door to take a look. Looking outside, the Doctor is shocked to see a large Vortex creature, in the form of a butterfly.
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- Tenth Doctor
- Gabby Gonzalez
- Cindy Wu
- Twelfth Doctor
- Sarah Jane Smith
- Young Time Lord
- Wu Diaspora
- Fake Cyberdudes
- The Doctor owns a house on Willesden.
- The Twelfth Doctors calls the Tenth Doctor "Bambi".
- The Twelfth Doctor also references Rose, referring to her as "Blondie", and makes a veiled reference to Clara Oswald.
- Anubis is on Aramuko, circa the year 6771.
- Cindy tells Sarah that Gabby and she are from 2016, then says it must be 2017 by now, then says that doesn't make any sense.
- Sarah reveals to Cindy a series of photos taken of her throughout her life. One is of her and the Third Doctor, one features her with K9, one with her on her wedding night with the Tenth Doctor, one with the Fourth Doctor and Harry Sullivan standing next to her, and one of Clyde, Rani, and Luke.
- Onzlo drinks Ogron fruit cocktails.
- When bringing up previous companions, Gabby mentions Turlough, Izzy, Fitz, Liv, Rose, and Donna. This is one of the few times that a licensed work has referenced characters from the TV series, Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, BBC Books and Big Finish Productions in one sequence.
- While most of the items the Twelfth Doctor writes on the rock wall in chalk are Circular Gallifreyan characters (these markings later appear on the Doctor's TARDIS while he is asleep and in Gabby's sketchbook after her dream), he also draws something that looks very much like imagery from the 1970-73 version of the Doctor Who opening credits. Gabby's powers are often illustrated via duplications of this sequence, and the Doctor later sees an image of the 1963-66 titles outside the TARDIS in empty space.
- The opening of this story occurs directly after the end of COMIC: Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth.
- While discussing dragons, Gabby recalls the one that allied with Sutekh. (COMIC: The Infinite Corridor, Old Girl)
- Gabby mentions the previous time the Doctor took her to London. (COMIC: Revolving Doors)
- The Twelfth Doctor references Rose Tyler and tells the Tenth Doctor he'll get over her. (TV: Doomsday, et al)
- The fact the Tenth Doctor will forget meeting his future self is discussed. (TV: The Day of the Doctor, COMIC: Four Doctors)
- The Twelfth Doctor again expresses a fondness for Gabby, saying he should've "kept her". (COMIC: Four Doctors)
- The "Blinovitch Intervention" is mentioned in similar context to the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. (TV: Mawdryn Undead; COMIC: Four Doctors)
- The Tenth Doctor assumes the Twelfth Doctor is his final incarnation as he will have no more regenerations; he believes himself to be the penultimate incarnation. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- The Twelfth Doctor makes several references to characters' large eyes. (TV: Dark Water, et al)
- The Twelfth Doctor restates how, when it comes to time travel, ripples can turn into waves. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, The Girl Who Died)
- When Gabby touches Sarah's hand, she senses that Sarah has also met Sutekh. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
- The TARDIS toolbox used by the Doctor is similar to the one used by the Seventh Doctor at the end of his life. It is silver instead of made of leather, and has some of the same tools strapped to the lid. (TV: Doctor Who)
- Cindy says that the Doctor once told her and Gabby that he was worried he would fashion them into weapons, to which Sarah replies that "Davros really got to him". (TV: Journey's End)
- Sarah says that the Doctor "walks in eternity". He previously said these words to her himself. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)
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