PROLOGUE, SORT OF

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Prologue, Sort Of
Van Turner, c2001


It was a bright cheerful spring day in the deep south of America. There were but a few clouds accompanied by squadrons of birds.
The vast rolling field green was miles from any road or highway and there was no sign of power lines or telephone poles, only innumerable pine trees and might white oaks.

These signs of “civilization” were not only miles away in distance but in time as well. There would not be electricity for centuries, never mind telephones, cable television, roads, highways, automobiles, anything we consider civilized. Not even central air conditioning.

This tranquil scene was about to be disturbed. The one thing that could connect this scene with the distant future or past was on its way.

The group of various animals that had gathered by the large pond looked up, startled. The deer were ready to run at a moment’s notice, the rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc., all ready to flee.

A wheezing, groaning noise whispered in the air but gave no evidence of it source. The noise rose to conversation level and a blue haze filled a small space of air, an indentation appeared on the ground. The noise increased to a scream, the animals fled, the blue haze darkening and solidifying as the noise died away.

It was a tall blue box, about ten feet tall, four feet square in area. On each side were eight panels, the top two (the eight panels being four by four) of which were windows.

On each side above the panels was a small wooden enclosure on the front of which was a piece of glass. On the glass was the words “POLICE PUBLC CALL BOX” in all caps. On one side of the box was one panel with a white sign that had black letters that said “Police Telephone Free For Use of Public. Advice and Assistance Obtainable Immediately. Officers and Cars Respond to Urgent Calls. Pull to Open.”

On the same section of panels were two handles, one higher than the other, a keyhole under the higher one.

One of these two sections of panels opened inward and an elderly man stepped gingerly out. He walked around a few paces away from the box to take in his surroundings. His blue eyes, blazing with intelligence, scanned the field, his beak-like, haughty nose sniffing, taking in the smells of clean air.

They grey haired old man spread his arms out as if trying to embrace the field. The old man was dressed rather strangely. He wore clothes from the Victorian period, which would not be for centuries. He wore a long black tailcoat over a white vest under which was a black shirt. He wore a black cravat and black and white check trousers and black leather ankle boots. He rested on a twisted cane.

“Come on out, Susan,” said the old man, who for odd reason, was only known as the Doctor.

An attractive young woman came out. She was about the same height as the old man but she was standing up straight. She had short black hair and dark eyes. She wore clothes common to the twentieth century; blue jeans, long sleeve plaid shirt and sneakers.

“Oh, it’s cold out here!” she exclaimed, going back inside. “I’m getting a jacket.”

The inside of the police box was not what would be expected by anyone who knew what a police box was. Actually they would think it was quite impossible.

The room Susan entered was much, much larger than the exterior. It looked like it would hold several police boxes. The room was eight sided with a column in each corner. On each section of the walls were three rows of round porthole-like roundels, set off center of each other so the top and bottom two were cut in half.

In the center of the room stood a large table on a single pedestal. The table was six-sided, as was the pedestal. The table was not flat, though. The center was raised so the six sides were more like facets. The under side of the table matched the top. The bottom of the pedestal was extended outward a bit so it too appeared faceted.

The table was covered with buttons, knobs, dials, switches, levers, gauges, digital readouts, small computer screens, etc. The table itself was white as was the entire room.

This was the main control room of the police box, which was not police box at all.

The contraption which had materialized out of thin air, which appeared larger inside than out, was a dimensionally transcendental space/time traveling machine or, if you will, a Time and Relative Dimension in Space machine – TARDIS, for short.

The TARDIS was the mobile home, the RV, of the Doctor and Susan (and to many others in the future).

Susan went through the control room and through another door on the other side. This door opened into a long white corridor with doors lining either side. She opened one of these doors, her bedroom door and went inside to get her jacket, a small red vinyl thing with only a few pockets.

She then hurried outside again to catch up with the Doctor, closing the door behind her.

Susan caught up with the old man soon enough. He was sitting on a large rock, under an old oak.

“Grandfather, why here instead of the Eye of Orion?” asked Susan, sitting down beside him on the ground.

“I like this place better,” said the Doctor, Susan’s grandfather. “I have some thinking to do before we go back to London.”

“I’m going to miss school,” said Susan, pouting.

“Do you really like that place?” asked the Doctor sarcastically. “Primitives.”

“Well, yes,” she said. “They can’t help it if they’re not as advanced as the Academy.”

“You liked the Academy, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I did. I’d like to go back.”

“Out of the question!” snapped the Doctor.

“Why, Grandfather, what happened there? What really happened to my parents? I know they’re dead but all you will tell me is that they died unnecessarily. What happened?” Susan was looking right at him, demanding answers.

“I knew this would come up again,” he sighed. He sat thinking, lips set tight.

“Very well,” he said. “I’ll tell you.” He took a deep breath. “It all started many years ago when a young radical, who simply liked to be called the Master started trouble in the Academy . . .”

 

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