The Bandits of Madness

The Doctor doesn't always have great timing, but he outdoes himself when he crashes Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase's date.

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3. We Go Inside the Big Blue Box

"You say you're a 'Time Lord.' What exactly does that mean?" I studied the man intensively as Percy leveled Riptide at the man's neck.

Instead of answering my question, he looked intensively at the sword, analyzing it. "Cool, pen from a sword. Never seen one of those, and, frankly, I've been around a lot." He pulled out a pair of reading glasses from his inside pocket and put them on. "Ah, Ancient Greek. Haven't seen that in a while, either. 'Riptide.' Nice name for a sword. I mean, I'm all for peace, but if I did have a sword, I'd call it that. Rolls off the tongue, doesn't it, Donna?"

The red-haired woman blinks. "Well, yeah, I suppose. But, Doctor, don't you think you should ask them who they are? It'd be polite."

"I think they're the ones who should be more polite, seeing as it's their sword they're pointing into my face, but, observations aside, who are you?"

I glanced at Percy. He still looked worried, and his eyes flashed a warning. I made sure he saw my hand go into my pocket, then told him, "Alright, then, Percy, you can put your sword down."

Once Riptide was safely stashed in his pocket, Percy introduced us. "I'm Percy, and that's Annabeth. Now, what was that about your being a Time Lord?"

Before he got an answer, the elevator shuddered to a stop, and the door opened onto the observation deck full of mortals. "Gah!" Percy shrieked, stumbling over me to smash his thumb against the 'close door' button. The doors shook, then started moving at a rate of about ten feet per hour.  I glanced outside, hoping that the mortals wouldn't look over and see the police box. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the man reach into his inside pocket again, pull out a strange metal cylinder, and point it at the controls as it emitted a high-pitched electronic buzzing. The elevator doors slammed closed, and Percy leaned back, afraid he'd done something wrong. He looked at the cylinder in awe and asked, grinning, "What is that, and where can I get one?"

The man looked at the piece of metal and plastic in his hand, then back at Percy. "It's a sonic screwdriver."

"A sonic screwdriver?" I repeated, pulling out Daedalus's laptop.

The man leaned over my shoulder. "What's that?"

"I'm looking up your 'sonic screwdriver.'" The screen lit up, and I pulled up a basic search of the database.

"You won't find anything," he predicted as the results appeared onscreen.

"Nope," I replied. "I've got photo, video, and audio footage, plus a 3D model." One double-click and a fairly accurate representation of the screwdriver popped up on a hologram.

"Where did you get this laptop?" he asked accusingly.

"I got it from Daedalus." I didn't see any point in lying, seeing as this man was just as in awe of us as we were as him.

"Daedalus? Is that some sort of computer company?"

"No, I got it from Daedalus."

He pointed the sonic screwdriver at my laptop, and the screen buzzed static for a second, then went back to normal. "What did you do?" I demanded.

"Just a common carbon-dating-type check. You wouldn't understand," he explained as he looked at his screwdriver, puzzled. "But, according to this, your laptop was made a minimum of four centuries ago! That technology is- it's almost impossible!"

"Said the guy who randomly appeared here in a blue phone box," Percy put in.

"I told you, Daedalus gave it to me! Like, from Ancient Greece?"

"Oh, that Daedalus. I think I might have met him once. Brilliant fellow. But wait- you're telling me that the Daedalus gave you your laptop? He lived two, maybe three thousand years ago!"

"Yeah, he did, and we met him a couple summers ago. See, his nephew, Perdix, had an idea that a person could extend their lifetime by using metal and magic to create an automaton that worked as well as -even better than, maybe- a man. Every time, though, he would have to change his face."

The Doctor stiffened suddenly. "So, he had to change his whole appearance in order to survive?"

"Yeah, it was kinda hard for us to believe at first, too." Percy nodded.

"Well," the Doctor cut in, "now that you've surprised me, I believe it's my turn to return the favor." He pushed open the door to the police box and strolled inside, leaving us to follow.

As we stepped inside, Percy's hand grasped mine. We looked at each other, grinning.

"No time for gawking," the Doctor called out. "Allons-y!"

We closed the door as the box started shuddering. "It's French for 'let's go,'" I explained to Percy as the whooshing started up again, the Doctor running around a central console, flipping switches. As we held on to the railing, I made note of what he did, and when we had stopped, he ran back down to the doors, threw them open, and asked, "Who wants lunch?"

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