Digital Doctor

Chapter 4: Return to the Past Now!

Chapter 4: Return to the Past Now

Author's Note: Here's another chapter for you all, and you don't even have to wait 9 months this time! Woo! I have completed moving into a new apartment and transitioned well into my new home, so I should be able to write more frequently for you all and get chapters out on a... Somewhat kinda sorta more often basis. My goal is to have this story completed before the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, so that this adventure can complete before Matt Smith regenerates. I doubt that will happen, since I still have a lot of ground to cover in this story (a little less than half way there) but I'm sure that with enough support I can at least get mostly there. That being said, I've got an extra long chapter for you all this time for being so patient and putting up with my inactivity. Thanks for being such devoted fans for a guy that's not able to reward it! Now, to continue the story.

Yumi and Ulrich came to a stop at a junction in the underground tunnel. They each hopped off of their skateboards, quickly propped them up, and began to ascend an iron ladder. Yumi removed the manhole blocking their path, and the two emerged in front of an old abandoned factory on the waterfront. Though it looked quite old and dilapidated, the building was quite strong and sturdy. That was the difference in architecture for the times.

The duo broke into a run, rushing through the front entrance. What awaited them was a large, open room, nearly completely empty. They were on the second floor, on a catwalk high above ground level, but not for long. The kids continued running forward, as they had done so many times before, and leaped from the platform and onto a couple of iron chains. Ulrich and Yumi swung down, until they came to a landing mere feet from a large freight elevator.

Once inside, Ulrich firmly pressed his hand against a button, and the two began their descent into the secret bowels of the factory. Moments later, the doors opened up to a large chamber housing an impressive secret: the super computer.

Jeremie was already sitting in place, tapping furiously at the keyboard. Ulrich and Yumi rushed over to their friend in order to get an update on the situation.

"Any ideas on where and how X.A.N.A's striking?" Yumi asked, leaning over Jeremie's chair. Ulrich stood off to the side, where he was a bit more comfortable.

"Not yet, no," their younger friend responded, with a tinge of worry in his voice. "But we haven't been able to get a hold of Odd, so that's what my guess would be. Has he contacted either of you?"

"No," Yumi answered, crossing her arms. "But maybe he just turned his mobile off? You know, so that it wouldn't give him away while he's spying on Doctor Smith?"

"I doubt it," Ulrich interjected. "That lame brain probably completely forgot about it. Anyway, we should get to Lyoko. The best way to get Odd out of danger is to get that tower deactivated as fast as possible."

"Right," Yumi nodded. The pair got back into the freight elevator and pushed another button to go one more floor down.

"You'll be going to the Ice Sector," they heard Jeremie's voice say as the doors were about to close. "Aelita's already there, so let's take care of this mess."

Another moment passed, and the elevator stopped. The heavy doors opened with the weight of the world, and the two youths stepped into an all too familiar room. A large, central computer tower stood in the middle of the round room, reaching from floor to ceiling. Three sets of large cables and wires extended outward from this tower to three large tubes on different sides of the room, each one large enough to hold a fully grown man. The two kids give one another a confident nod before each stepping into a different tube.

"Transfer: Ulrich." Jeremie announced out loud, typing away at the computer. As he did, one of the many monitors populated with an ID card of Ulrich.

"Transfer: Yumi." Another ID card populated on the same monitor. Meanwhile, the doors to the tubes each slid shut.

"Scanner: Ulrich. Scanner: Yumi." A light in each tube began to rise and descend, electronically noting the details of the occupants.

"Virtualization!" A sudden gust of air swept up in each of the tubes, and a bright light flashed, engulfing Ulrich and Yumi. At that moment their bodies disappeared, no longer on earth as we know it. They had been transferred to Lyoko.

Tamiya stood in the hole of the wall she had created, rubble strewn about the floor. Each of her tiny hands were clenched into fists, and she let out an inhuman, electronic growl.

"Tamiya, what's wrong with you?!" Milly cried out, dropping her pen and notepad to the floor.

"I have a feeling that you might want to stay away from your little friend right now, Milly," the Doctor advised, pulling out his sonic screwdriver. He pointed it at the static looking girl, pressed down on the button, and began to scan her with the device.

Meanwhile, Odd was doing his best to open the air vent from the inside so he could go down and join the fight. He strained and struggled against his self-made prison, but it was no use. One hand was stuck in his pocket, clenched over his mobile, unable to maneuver. His other hand couldn't get the necessary leverage to power through the vent. He was in one heck of a mess, alright.

"Fascinating!" the Doctor exclaimed, looking over the readings he picked up on his screwdriver.

"Doctor!" Amy yelled, trying to warn him. It didn't register.

"There's a massive buildup of energy in that little girl's body, and it all seems to be surging to a single focal point in her han-" The Doctor didn't get the opportunity to finish his explanation. Rory had dived at him, pushing the Doctor away and onto the floor. Tamiya had fired off a bright crackling ball of energy from her hand, which blasted a hole in the wall right where the Doctor had previously been standing.

"You're welcome," Rory said, pulling his friend up to his feet. "Time to run?"

The Doctor shook his head no, staring down at the inhuman little girl. Milly had taken to cowering, while Amy had pulled the young girl behind her. Rory couldn't help but smile, seeing his wife take to protecting the young girl.

"No running yet. We leave no man behind." The Doctor took aim with his screwdriver, pointing it toward Tamiya at first, and held it there for what Rory was certain to be dramatic effect. Then, he tilted it ever so slightly upward and clicked the device on. The green light illuminated, and the sound began to hum.

Ting, ting, ting. Small screws dropped to the ground and bounced with a barely audible sound. Then a vent grate fell, coming down straight for the possessed girl's head. With an electronic roar, Tamiya smashed the metal from the air, her body flickering for just a fraction of a second. The steel was like toilet paper to her enhanced strength.

"BONZAI!" Odd fell from the newly open air vent in a dive toward Tamiya. With one hand, he pressed firmly on the girl's cranium and used it as a launch pad, flipping himself forward and sticking the landing. The force threw Tamiya off, knocking her down and hitting her head on a large chunk of rubble.

"Oh yeah! Who's the man?! Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh!" Odd celebrated with a little moonwalk as he sang to himself. A moment later he grabbed a nearby chair and lifted it up, improvising a weapon. He was about to charge Tamiya with it, who was now getting up completely unharmed, but he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Don't hurt her, please!" It was Milly. She had wormed her way passed Amy in order to protect her best friend.

"I hate to interrupt right now," the Doctor interjected. "But I've got one piece of crucial observation to share. RUN!"

The Doctor rushed toward the door, throwing it open and heading through. He stopped to hold it open for the others to follow. Rory quickly swept Milly up into his arms and darted through their escape, while Amy followed close behind. Odd shrugged, tossed the chair at Tamiya to slow her down, and ran out the door too. A second later, the Doctor shut the door and, with a quick application from his sonic screwdriver, locked it behind them.

The five took off down the hall, hearing an explosion behind them just as they rounded the corner. That door didn't hold her for long at all.

"In here!" the Doctor ordered, pushing them all into the science lab. Once inside, he closed and locked the door, urging them all to stay quiet.

"What… What happened to Tamiya?" Milly was half-sobbing and wiped back her tears. Rory embraced her in a comforting hug.

"I'm not entirely sure yet," the Doctor said, strolling to the group. Amy's eyes opened wide in disbelief. "I said 'yet,' Pond. And I'm sure our friend here, Mister Della Robia, can shed some light on the situation. Why don't you enlighten us?"

"A-heh heh heh," laughed Odd, nervously. "What makes you think I know what's going on, Doctor?"

"Don't try to play dumb, Odd. It suits you too well. Your entire demeanor shows signs that you've encountered this before. Besides, if you tell us I just might decide not to give you detention for stalking me." His face slowly contorted into a rather charming smile.

"Ok, you got me." Odd embarrassedly rubbed his back as he admitted defeat, but he stiffened up and pointed at each of his companions seriously. "But I've got to make a phone call first, and let my friends know what's going on."

Odd reached deep into his pocket, only to find it empty. His eyes opened wide in shock and he fished around the empty air more desperately. Then he began hurriedly checking other pockets, but to no avail. Odd dramatically slammed his head on a desk. Amy sighed in exasperation.

"Here you go," the Doctor said, pulling out a silver phone and tossing it to Odd. "It fell out of your pocket when you flipped out of the wall. Clever landing, by the way. Very athletic."

"Thanks!" Odd exclaimed, short but appreciative. He took his mobile phone from the Doctor went into speed dial. A second later, and it was in place against his head connected with Jeremie.

"Einstein, I don't know what you and the others are up to, but X.A.N.A.'s-Oh, you already know? … One of his spectres possessed Tamiya, and now she's after me. … Gotcha. I'll hold her off and keep her away from anybody else while you guys work your magic. Oh, and one more thing! I'm with Doctor Smith now, so he's seen her. I've got to fill him in. … Alright, see you a few hours ago, buddy!"

Odd hung up and placed the phone back into his pocket. He looked up to see that all eyes were on him.

"So are you going to fill us in now?" inquired Amy. Odd shook his head, running back behind the main lab desk.

"Sorry, no time," he shot, sorting through the various tools and equipment of the science lab. "I'll explain when this is over. For now, I've got to lure Tamiya away from anybody she could hurt, and hold her off until my friends take care of the problem."

He had settled on a fire extinguisher, and hefted up the heavy liquid container. Just as he grabbed the hose in one hand, the door blew open, revealing the young, monstrous girl. Tamiya let out a vicious roar as energy began to build up in her hands.

"Get out of here! She'll be coming after me!" Odd began spraying the possessed girl with the extinguisher, burying her in white foam. A second later, the chemical mix exploded outward, and Tamiya charged head first toward her target like a creature with tunnel vision. She charged straight toward the Doctor. Odd was confused.

"Isn't she?"

"Be careful, guys. A squad of hornets is approaching fast from the northeast. Ulrich will be at a disadvantage against those fliers, so be sure to cover him, girls." Jeremie kept a watchful eye on the various monitors and displays of the super computer. While it was Ulrich, Yumi, and Aelita's job to go into the virtual world of Lyoko to disable the programs X.A.N.A. used to attack the human world, they all knew there would be no way they would have been as successful as they are without him at the controls to provide information.

It was then that a phone call appeared on one of the screens, a simple computerized phone line he had all of his calls forwarded to whenever working at the super computer. Jeremie breathed a sigh of relief, noticing the call was coming from Odd. With a single keyboard tap, he answered, and then spoke into his headset.

"Good to hear from you, Odd! … Yeah, we already know, the whole gang is already at the factory and the others have been virtualized. How is X.A.N.A. attacking? … I see. Well, try to keep her from causing too much damage, and don't let anybody get hurt. … Right, then we'll need to initiate a return to the past once Aelita deactivates the tower. I'll keep in touch if there's any new developments."

Jeremie ended the call once Odd cracked a joke about time travel. Had the circumstances been different, he would have genuinely had to laugh. Now, however, was not the time.

Ulrich, Yumi, and Aelita were grouped together, backs against an icy wall, while eight creatures came buzzing toward them from the sky. Each one resembled a tan worm, with wings and stinger, and each one of these monsters had X.A.N.A.'s eye symbol emblazoned on their heads.

"You know, I wouldn't be at such a disadvantage if you had coded my overbike, Jeremie!" Ulrich said out loud, as he unsheathed his two blades. The hornets began firing lasers from their stingers, all of which he skillfully blocked.

"But at least I can still defend!" It seemed Ulrich had spoken too soon, as one of the shots got past his defense, striking him in the shoulder. The boy winced a bit as energy surged through that portion of his body.

"HIIIIYAH!" Yumi cried out, hurling her twin war fans into the air with a spinning grace. Each one struck one of the hornets, causing two of the monsters to violently explode, before returning to their master like boomerangs.

"Looks like it's our job to defend you today, Ulrich," Aelita chided with a smile. She brushed a hand over her bracelet, causing bright, luminous pink wings to emerge from her back before taking to the air. Ulrich could only roll his eyes.

Four of the remaining six hornets grouped up on Aelita, while two broke off from the squad. They kept moving, so as to avoid being struck themselves, firing off pop shots at the two grounded warriors.

"They're concentrating their fire on us! I'm too busy blocking to attack back! Any ideas, Jeremie?" Yumi was quite disgruntled, having to focus all of her energy into defending against the lasers. Ulrich was able to keep up with the attacks better, utilizing his impressive speed, but had no way of engaging airborn threats.

"Only that you had better get moving soon," Jeremie's voice echoed all around them. "Scanners are picking up three krabes heading in your direction."

Ulrich perked up. "Now that's what I'm talking about! Something I can actually fight! You girls keep it up here. I'll keep the krabes from taking advantage of your distraction. Super sprint!"

Off like a blur, leaving behind a yellow flash in his wake, Ulrich ran off across the icy tundra in order to intercept the ground based monsters. In a few moments, he came across the foes Jeremie had warned them about. Three large creatures, each standing on four long, spindly legs, with main bodies resembling a thick crab shell. Imprinted on the top of their carapace was the eye of X.A.N.A.

One krabe stopped directly in front of Ulrich, while the other two kept moving forward, surrounding him in a triangular formation. The young warrior stopped mid-sprint, looking over the three monsters carefully. He watched, waited, his swords in position, while the creatures charged up their lasers.

BLAM! They all fired in unison at their solitary target. Ulrich frowned as he leapt directly toward one of the monsters, blocking its laser with a sword and avoiding the other two. With a single roll, he landed upon the krabe's carapace and plunged both blades down, impaling the vile creature.

"Impact!" Ulrich shouted, yanking his swords free and jumping to safety. The krabe stumbled briefly before violently exploding, it's various parts and pieces phasing out of existence, back into the ghost data from which they had been born.

"Let's go, X.A.N.A.!" the boy smirked, taking a stance. The laser cannons on the two monsters began to glow, charging up power…

"Energy field!" Aelita shot a blast of pink energy from her right hand toward one of the hornets, obliterating it entirely. At the same time, she generated another orb of power with her left hand, using it as a shield against the lasers of another monster accosting her. The angelic maiden took a dive straight down, outmaneuvering her foes, destroying another hornet in the process by tricking one of its peers into shooting it. Only four hornets remained.

"HIIIYAH!" Yumi had finally broken out of her position by taking a wild dive to the side, throwing one of her fans up and bisecting one of her attackers. Only three hornets remained. "You know, Jeremie, this would be a lot easier if you would program my overwing!"

"Working on it, Yumi," Jeremie responded. "It's a lot harder than it looks, you know!"

BOOM! Another pink ball of power engulfed a hornet, the last one that had been concentrating on Yumi. Yumi took advantage of this situation instantly, throwing her fans and guiding them toward the two still attacking Aelita. The monsters were caught completely unaware, and were promptly destroyed.

Aelita landed next to Yumi, just as the later caught and sheathed her war fans. "Well, that wasn't too hard," she said, brushing her bracelet, prompting her wings to disappear.

Just then, two objects began to materialize near the girls. One was a brown futuristic looking motorcycle with solid, unmoving wheels, while the other was a purple dish with a steering mechanism, both hovering above the ice.

"Better late than never, I guess," Yumi shrugged, hopping on board her overwing. "At least we'll be able to get to the tower faster."

Aelita chuckled. "Sorry Jeremie, looks like we were too fast for you. I'll take Ulrich's overbike instead of flying, so I can deliver it to him." She hopped on the bike, took a second to get a feel for the vehicle, then revved up the engine. Yumi gave her a smile, then a nod, and the two were off at high speed.

"Oh no!" Jeremie cried out into his headset. He was clearly nervous and worried. "Hurry girls, Ulrich's in incredible danger! He needs your help!"

Yumi scoffed. "Come on, Jeremie. Ulrich'll be fine. Any one of us can take down three krabes, and he's the best fighter. If only marginally." She had muttered that last part.

"Except it's not just three krabes! X.A.N.A.'s somehow messing up my sensors, I can't tell how many monsters he's fighting! But hurry, Ulrich's only got ten life points left!"

Each of the girls narrowed their eyes. With a flick of each wrist, they kicked their vehicles into overdrive, rocketing forward at maximum speed. In a couple seconds, they cleared a glacier, only to come upon a large, open tundra. The tower they needed to deactivate was on the far end, while in the middle was what seemed a small army of monsters! At least two dozen krabes, but they were only a small part of the collection! More hornets came swooping in from the skies, while six bizarre creatures appearing like four-legged spiders, stood between the main battle and the tower.

"What in the world?" Yumi asked allowed.

"X.A.N.A.'s never been able to manifest so many monsters at a single time like this before. I wonder… Just how much power has he gotten since he escaped to the Net?" Aelita mused on the thoughts before spotting something that drew her attention. "There's Ulrich!"

Aelita pointed down toward the middle of the battlefield, where a lone figure clad in tan and yellow was weaving in and out of several creatures, slicing at the legs of the krabes when it had a chance. Unfortunately, due to the air support provided by all the hornets, those opportunities were few and far between.

"Grrrrr…" Ulrich grunted, slashing off the front legs of a krabe, causing the thing to topple forward. Keeping himself moving, Ulrich ran up the monster's carapace, like a ramp, stabbing into the eye of X.A.N.A. as he did so. Just before the creature exploded, he hurled himself wildly into the air, toward a pack of hornets, slicing two cleanly in half before tumbling back to earth. "IMPACT!"

Ulrich rolled uselessly along the ground, barely keeping a grip on his swords. He closed his eyes and waited for the last shot that would deplete his life points, mentally preparing himself for the harsh trip that was being forcibly devirtualized and thrust back into the material world.

"Energy field!" BOOM! Ulrich opened his eyes, but instead of the giant form of a krabe baring down on him, lasers charged, the image of four legs without a body falling to the ground greeted him. Aelita grabbed his arm as she drove by on his overbike, forcibly pulling him up back to his feet. A second later, and she was in the air, having summoned her wings and leaving his bike for him. He hesitated for the slightest fraction of a second before boarding, when another laser blast came down from the sky. This time he was saved by Yumi, as she flew in the way and blocked the attack with one of her fans.

"When Aelita said it was our job to protect you, I didn't think you'd take it to heart, Ulrich." Yumi never took her eyes away from the monsters around them. She was focused, determined, and kept her mind clear on the battle. Still, it felt good for Ulrich. It felt good to know that, even in the midst of their largest battle, when she was so focused on the danger, she could let a little bit of her feelings bleed through for him.

He repaid the favor by blocked a shot meant for her. "Why don't we protect each other?"

"Guys, I think we need to remember the priorities. It's Aelita you need to protect, remember? Being as she's the only one that can deactivate the towers?" Jeremie sounded somewhat annoyed with them.

With a single understanding nod, the two took off on their vehicles, weaving through the monsters on the battlefield. As they dodged laser fire, each one slew any creature unfortunate enough to be nearby.

Aelita already had a head start on them, and flew directly for the tower. The few hornets following her weren't a major concern. She could dodge their attacks easily, until she made it to her goal. No, what worried her were those six monsters between her and the tower, those creatures they called tarantulas.

Each tarantula readjusted how it was positioned, sitting on their two hind legs while pointing their forelegs into the air, toward Aelita. Each one began to unleash a flurry of lasers, significantly faster than any of the other monsters could manage. It was one of the many reasons they were some of X.A.N.A's most dangerous creations on Lyoko.

Aelita did her best to dip and dodge, but the lasers were simply too numerous to avoid entirely. One shot hit her in the shoulder, while another struck her in the gut. Letting out a small cry, the young woman began to descend.

"Oh no! Aelita's lost forty life points! She's only got sixty left!" Jeremie was on the verge of a breakdown. If Aelita was forcibly devirtualized, she wouldn't be able to enter Lyoko again until her body recovered from the shock. X.A.N.A. would have that much more time to guard the tower. That much more time to wreak havoc on earth.

"AGH!" Aelita hit the ground as another shot struck her in the chest. The two hits had reduced her down to only…

"Fifteen! Aelita's only got fifteen life points?!"

Aelita looked up from her landing position to see a tarantula bearing down on her. The other five were approaching, but this one was point blank. The monster had her at its mercy, and it recognized that fact. The tarantula lifted a single leg, and pressed it down mere inches away from Aelita's face.

"HIIIYAH!"

CRASH!

"IMPACT!"

The monster had less than a fraction of a second to look up before it realized there was a purple saucer flying directly at its head. Just before the impact, Yumi gracefully backflipped from her vehicle, landing next to her prone friend, while the overwing crashed into the tarantula, plowing it into the ice and causing both to explode into digital bits.

Meanwhile, Ulrich pulled in front of the approaching five monsters, stabbing one straight in the skull, where its X.A.N.A. eye was located. The beast did what all the monsters did upon being slain and promptly scattered across the digital tundra.

"We'll draw their attention, get to the tower!" Yumi urged her friend. Aelita nodded that she understood, and took flight once more.

The four remaining tarantulas stopped their movement in an effort to readjust their position so they could fire upon Aelita. Having their laser cannons on their legs was, perhaps, this design's greatest flaw, despite the many strengths. By the time they had repositioned themselves, Aelita had already flown overhead. As they flipped backward to focus their fire, they found themselves easy prey for Yumi and Ulrich.

The duo took out two apiece. Yumi had tossed her fans expertly and struck the monsters in their weak spot while they were distracted, before catching the weapons once again. For Ulrich, it was a simple matter of driving between the two and thrusting his blades into their skulls simultaneously. As the two of them regrouped, Aelita entered the tower.

"It's been a while since it was just the two of us out here, hasn't it?" Ulrich smiled, pulling his overbike up next to Yumi.

"Yeah," she responded with the slightest hint of a chuckle, pulling a bit of her hair back. "It's surprising how well we work as a team."

"Want to keep up that teamwork while we wait for Aelita to deactivate the tower?" Ulrich asked, gesturing away. The small army of krabes and hornets were approaching, and quickly gaining ground. Yumi only smiled, and unfurled her battle fans.

Meanwhile, Aelita strolled to the center of the tower, the rings on the floor lighting up as she moved passed them. Upon reaching the center, she began to float upward, higher and higher, until she reached the upper platform with a soft landing. A holographic monitor appeared, and she promptly placed her hand upon it. Once the monitor had scanned her palm, letters began to flash across the screen. AELITA. CODE: LYOKO.

Aelita smirked as the lights all went out. "Tower… Deactivated."

Jeremie breathed a tremendous sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from his brow. He had never been so on edge. "Good work, guys! This was the closest we've ever come to a real defeat."

The genius kid began tapping away at the keyboard as the anxiety fled his body, replaced by his usual composure. "By the sound of it, X.A.N.A.'s attack caused a lot of damage, and attracted the attention of Doctor Smith, so know what happens next. Return to the past now!"

Jeremie hit the enter key, initializing the program. Quickly, a powerful, bright light began to well up from deep within the super computer…

Odd jumped in the way of the charging girl, smacking her across the head with the heavy fire extinguisher. Tamiya's step faultered, but she quickly recovered.

"Why aren't you coming after me, huh? I'm your enemy, you stupid, dumb computer virus! Remember how I keep kicking your butt, huh? HUH?!" Odd again unleashed the extinguisher's chemical spray on the possessed student.

"Any ideas yet, Doctor?" Rory asked. The Doctor nodded.

"Yes. 227. Too many to pin down without more details, though." The Doctor hopped back behind a science table and began to sort and sift through the odds and ends, not unlike Odd had done moments ago.

"Let's see, rewire this into here, apply a little gel there…" The Doctor briefly glanced up at his companions. "Amy, toss me your lipstick, you don't need to feel pretty right now. Rory, medical tape from your fanny pack. Hurry!"

Amy and Rory quickly did as was requested of them. Such a demand would have puzzled them some years ago, but they had had far too many adventures with the Doctor to be fazed by something so trivial at this point.

Tamiya blasted through the chemicals Odd had been dousing her with once again, throwing the small boy back in the process. Letting loose another raging roar, one which shook the tables, her pixelization began to worsen. She was flickering in and out of existence in a flash, it seemed, appearing next to herself, until finally… Both images solidified. There were now two possessed Tamiyas, and both turned their attention to the Doctor.

"That's not good!" Odd shouted, tossing his now empty extinguisher at one of them. That Tamiya turned her attention to him, releasing a crackling yellow bolt of energy, while the other charged toward the Doctor. Odd barely managed to avoid getting blasted and responded by jump kicking toward her face. Though the blow struck head on, she was completely unfazed, and responded by throwing Odd into a pile of desks.

Milly let out a shriek as one of the possessed Tamiyas ran toward where she hid with the Doctor, Amy, and Rory.

"Al… most… Done…" the Doctor grunted, wrapping something up with Rory's medical tape.

Rory jumped into action, wielding a chair as a weapon. He thrust it toward the Tamiya clone threateningly. "Back! I don't want to hurt you!"

The clone snarled, baring her teeth at him, and blasting the chair into a smoldering pile of ash. Rory's expression did not falter. He responded by grabbing a nearby beaker and hurling it at the monster. The beaker shattered against her skin, but did no damage beyond the superficial.

"RRAGH!" Tamiya grabbed Rory and held him up in the air, before tossing him aside like a rag doll.

"OY! Nobody touches my Rory!" There was a sudden increase of temperature in the room. Amy held up a blow torch, pointing it directly at the possessed student. This improvised weapon seemed adequate for holding her back.

"Don't think I'm afraid to use this just because you're a little girl. I've seen a few monsters that looked like children in my time, I know better." The Tamiya clone merely stood there, glaring at Amy, flickering. In fact, other than the flicker, it didn't seem to even twitch a muscle.

"Well, I guess that means it works," the Doctor sighed, sidling up to Amy. He held some strange new contraption in his hand, composed of a microscope, portable radio speaker, the parts he requested from his friends, and a few other miscellaneous odds and ends.

"What did you do?" Rory asked, getting up and rubbing his head.

"A simple piece of brilliance, Rory. Our little friend Odd mentioned possession by specter earlier on his mobile, which got me thinking about ghosts. Except only ghosts don't really exist, as we all know, save for the data kind you find in computers, but he let slip something about a computer virus moments ago as I'm sure we all heard. So I put two and two together and determined that this young girl was possessed by an electronic specter composed of computer data. I admit that I was aided by my brief scannings from earlier. Anyway, I noticed that the bond between the electronic specter and flesh organism is highly unstable, which makes perfect sense seeing as how they are two completely incompatible types of beings. I devised this Little Dohickey, that's the actual name, patent pending, in order to disrupt the signal between the electronic interference of the specter, and the neuron synapses of the organic being. Thus, she is frozen in her tracks until the possession ends and she regains her full mental and physical faculties."

The Doctor handed the Little Dohickey off to Amy so that he could adjust his bow tie, and smiled smugly.

"Doctor?" Odd called out, his clothing torn and his body full of bruises as he rose from the pile of desks. "We can't celebrate yet. Look!"

All eyes focused where Odd was pointing. They had all been so focused on the Tamiya that had accosted them that they had completely forgotten about the clone! But it didn't forget. It took the opportunity to separate again and again. There were now five possessed Tamiyas, and all eyes were focused on the Doctor.

"… Stupid! I'm so stupid!" he berated himself. "Quickly Amy!"

Amy pointed the Doctor's latest invention, stopping one clone in its tracks, but the rest rushed forward. She had managed to stop another mere inches from her face, but the other three pushed past her, knocking the Little Dohickey from her hands, trampling it into pieces. Rory jumped in the way, but was brushed aside. Two of the three clones grabbed the Doctor by the shoulders, and squeezed into his flesh.

"AAAAAAGH!"

They held him in place while the third's hand crackled with bright yellow energy. Everyone watched wide eyed, terrified, knowing they couldn't do anything to save him. Boom! The orb of energy struck the Doctor in his chest, knocking him out of their grip and back into the wall. His body slid downward, barely holding on to consciousness.

The three Tamiyas approached, their eyes narrowed menacingly, flickering. The eye of X.A.N.A. was still prominently emblazoned upon their own eyes. With a chuckle, the middle clone charged another blast of energy, forcing the Doctor's body into the wall hard enough to crack it. His clothes were scorched, his chest was bleeding and scarred.

Suddenly, all three Tamiyas stopped moving, as if frozen like the other clones. The eye of X.A.N.A. vanished from them, and all but one flickered out of existence. The original, real Tamiya, the first to be frozen in place, collapsed on the floor. Milly rushed toward the limp body of her friend.

"She's alright," Odd assured her, limping by. "Just tired. She'll be up soon."

"Doctor!" Amy cried out, as she and Rory crowded around his body. Odd moved in, visibly worried.

"Please still be alive, please! We can fix anything except death!" He kneeled down to look the Doctor over.

"He's still alive. We needn't worry, but it might take some time for him to recover," Rory explained, holding his wife. Suddenly, she seemed reassured, like she understood, and began to calm down.

"How do you know if you haven't checked?" the young boy asked, placing his ear down on the left side of the Doctor's chest to check for a heartbeat.

"Because he's still himself," Rory answered. Odd found that, well, odd, but he didn't respond.

Something was strange about the Doctor's heartbeat. It felt like there was another, smaller beat, between each normal one. Wait, that wasn't right. Something grabbed his attention. Something instinctual made him check the right side of the chest. There… It was the exact same! A regular heartbeat, with a smaller one afterward. No, that wasn't right. Two different heartbeats! Bump-bump-bump-bump. Bump-bump-bump-bump. Bump-bump-bump-bump. Was that really what he was hearing? Maybe Odd had hit his head harder than he thought…

"So, are you going to explain what just happened like you promised?" Amy asked, staring down the kid. He looked up at her with a nervous, goofy grin.

"Well jeez. You see, I would, buuuuut… Thing is, any second now, and you're not going to remember any of this anyway."

"Why wouldn't we remember any of this?" Rory cut in. It was just then that a curtain of bright light swept through the science lab, engulfing everyone and everything. All at once, things were back as they once were…

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