• Published 18th Sep 2015
  • 1,007 Views, 11 Comments

Doctor Whooves and the Auton Invasion of Equestria - The Minister of Scones

The Doctor, newly regenerated and rather helpless, is shocked to discover that his place of exile isn't quite as safe as he thought. An old enemy has returned to Equestria, and only the Doctor and his new 'friends' stand in its way... Oh, crumbs.

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Part 3: Everything Goes Pear-Shaped

After what seemed liked an eternity, Sam stumbled into sight of Ponyville. He glanced behind himself for the millionth time, but there was no sign of the... monster? He quite honestly had no idea what he had just seen, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know. He wiped the sweat off his brow, and allowed himself to relax a little. He assumed his more usual trudge, as he neared the houses and streets of the town.

Hold on... what were those tents doing there? Somepony had erected a number of large white tents, interconnected by corridors, with – oh, thank Celestia! – royal guards posted outside. He knew that if he could tell anyone about his... experience... it was a member of the famously discrete royal guards.

“Erm... excuse me,” he began, approaching two guards who were standing either side of what looked like the main entrance, but was quickly cut short by a rough bark from the guard on the left.

“Halt! Friend or foe?” Sam toyed with the idea of calling out “Foe!” as he had always wondered how anyone would react to this. He got a grip on himself, however, reminding himself that he needed to warn ponies about this new threat.

“Friend! I seek to warn you of...”

“This is the private head-quarters of her Royal Highness Princess Luna, and you are trespassing under Section Three of the royal head-quarters act of 104! State your name and business!”

“I was about to...” grumbled Sam under his breath, but continued “I am Sam Steel Spoons, originally of Fillydelphia, and I have come to warn you of a… well, a monster, of sorts.” The urgency behind his voice was enough to at least intrigue the guards, Sam could tell. They were now staring at him with interest. Encouraged by this new audience (it was some years since he had last been on stage), Sam pressed on. “I was walking through a field about half a mile from here when I came across a glowing sphere half-buried in the soil. I was just...”

At that moment, there came a tremendous flash, a bang and a gust of wind, as Princess Luna materialised before them, her mane billowing majestically. Which was, all things considered, quite an appropriate way for a Princess's mane to billow. She looked down at Sam, her face a mixture of kindness and consternation. “I do apologise for interrupting you mid-oration,” she said, “but I have a listening spell covering this whole area. I think that you, my little pony, may have stumbled upon the very reason for my visit here.”

“I… I… I...” stuttered Sam, his mind a-whir with confusion. He had seen a Princess before, everypony had been to the Summer Sun Celebration at one time or another, but he had never dreamed that he would ever be given the chance to speak to one. Of course, now that he had been, he had no idea what to say.

“Do not be shy, Sam. Come inside. I cannot deal with you right at the moment, but I shall have one of the guards see you to a room to wait. I have to arrange for my chief scientific advisor to be sent over.”

“Thank you, your Highness… um, Majesty… er...”

“You are quite welcome. And 'Luna' will do fine. I like you, Sam. You seem an honest sort.” By this time, Sam was too dazed to speak. Luna nodded at one of the two guards. “Captain Scythe, take Sam, here, to one of the waiting tents.”

“Ma'am,” he nodded in affirmation, escorting the bewildered Sam inside.

“You know,” said Luna to the second guard, “I think we might finally be getting somewhere with this investigation.”

“And so then,” Pinkie was saying, “they were all like 'This is not an appropriate place for a party', and I was like 'yuh-huh!' and they were like 'nuh-uh!', and now I'm not allowed into the graveyard any more.”

The Doctor was already beginning to wonder if he wouldn’t have been better off trying to carry the energy units by himself. He could already feel his strength draining away, and was regretting his attempts to stop the flow of questions by asking his own like a wasp regrets taking a swimming lesson. They were walking through the wood where the Doctor had found the first energy unit. He hoped that more would have landed within the vicinity.

“Now it's my turn to ask you another question!” cried Pinkie Pie joyfully, interrupting his thoughts, and dragging him back to cruel reality. “Ooh, ooh, er… when was your last proper birthday party?”

“Seven-hundred-and-twelve years ago, just as it was the last time you asked. And the time before that. Though it feels like seven-hundred-and-fourteen, now.”

“Then that one doesn't count! I get to ask another!”

The Doctor sighed, resigning himself to his fate.

“What's your favourite colour?”

“Strawberry-aquamarine,” replied the Doctor, dryly. Pinkie didn't appreciate the irony.

“That's one of my favourites too!” she screeched, “Though it's not as good as pink, of course. Your turn.”

“My dear, do you ever shut up?”

“Very rarely! Okay, just let me think of another.”

“Oh, please, no more questions...”

“Just one more?”


“Pretty please?”

“Oh – very well. Fire away.”

Pinkie stopped, and rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “Well...” she began, “why is it that the Nestenes use so many energy units? Why not just have the whole Intelligence in one container?”

The Doctor was so surprised that he almost fell over. That was the last question he had expected from anypony, and Pinkie Pie was the last pony he had expected to hear it from. Although, he considered, he hadn't been expecting to hear it at all, so… hold on… he decided to answer the question instead of thinking about it any more. “I'm glad you asked!” he exclaimed “it's essentially a form of insurance. They always dispatch more spheres than they really need, so if any get lost or damaged, they can still proceed with the invasion. If it were all together, they'd be putting all their eggs in one basket, so to speak.” He smiled down at the curious earth pony, deciding he liked her rather more than he had just been thinking, and mentally scrapped the ideas for various torture devices for her he had been mulling over. “Does that make sense?”


“Splendid. Well, I think we're near enough, now.” The Doctor pulled out a slender silver instrument, covered with minute controls. At its end was a thick disc of metal, perpendicular to the end of the device. From this emerged a flattish black cone, with a silver point at the tip. “Sonic screwdriver,” he said in answer to her quizzical look, “clever little gadget of mine. All done by sound.” He pressed a button, and Pinkie heard a high pitched ululation from the tip. The Doctor held it at leg's length, and carefully rotated his whole body.

“I guess you're trying to get a reading on one of the energy units?” Again, the Doctor had to stop himself from falling over. Pinkie was obviously far more intelligent than he had assumed.

“Well, yes,” he admitted, “but I do wish you'd let me tell you that. I feel a little redundant, now.”

“What? But Doctor, I...” Pinkie stopped, seeing the smile on the stallion's lips, and realising that the Doctor was making a rare attempt at humour. “There!” she said, gleefully, “I knew you'd be more fun once you loosened up!”

“I do not intend to 'loosen up' in the slightest, Miss Pie.” The screwdriver's hum dropped noticeably in pitch. “Ah! Success!” He stowed the sonic screwdriver away and began to head off in the indicated direction. “Neat, isn't it?”

“I suppose you were using reflected sonic waves to detect abnormally regular curves and planes, which would indicate the presence of an energy unit?”

The Doctor fell over.

“Just a hunch!” explained his new companion. The Doctor sighed what he instinctively knew would be the first of many sighs to come.

The almost-pony was no longer controlling Autons. One of them had returned, bringing with it a new energy unit, which the yellow mass of plastic had opened. It was now emptying the molten contents into a chute, which led to a central tank, in which a bubbling, boiling mass of liquid plastic could be seen. As the fresh plastic was added, the watching Nestene – for Nestene it was – almost smiled to itself, despite its definite lack of mouth. The shape of its master was becoming apparent in the tank, the plastic taking on form and substance. “Excellent,” it crowed, delightedly, “only one of the three remaining energy units is required to reach full power. Soon the threat of the Elements of Harmony will be completely removed, and this miserable planet will be ours!” It turned to a screen set in the wall, which gave it a direct link to its subordinate Nestene. “You have your orders. The Doctor's presence means the plans have been altered. Are you clear about what is now required of you?” A single signal of affirmation was returned. “Good. Then be ready.”

Twilight, Rainbow, Fluttershy, Applejack and Rarity were tucking into a freshly prepared – courtesy of a grumbling Spike – tray of food, and, naturally enough, as they ate, they talked. Unfortunately for Fluttershy, and despite all her efforts to change the subject, the conversation veered constantly towards the Doctor.

“Seriously, Fluttershy,” Rainbow Dash was saying, “what I don't get is why you took him seriously. Not trying to be mean and all, but that's pretty gullible, even for you.”

Fluttershy felt awful. With a tremendous effort of will-power, she managed to squeak out “Well, there were just, um, one or two things he did, which, um...”

“Now listen, sugarcube,” interjected Applejack, “Ah get that you were just bein' kind, but Ah don't think that humourin' a madpony will do him any good.”

“Well, um, there was the time that...”

“And darling, couldn’t you have at least warned us? I was expecting a huge disaster, and it turned out to be nothing but – well – piffle!” added Rarity.

“Hecuthimselfanditmagicallyhealed!” shouted Fluttershy in one breath. There was complete silence.

“Um… what?” asked an incredulous Dash.

“That's impossible,” pointed out Twilight, “only a unicorn can use magic, and the Doctor was quite clearly an earth pony. Besides, that would be incredibly powerful magic. Even I would struggle.”

“Well, it happened.” Fluttershy was so uncommonly assertive that even Twilight's scepticism was dulled. “I was coming into the kitchen to get carrots to feed Angel, and…”

It had happened about a week after the Doctor had come to stay with her: one or two days after the Doctor had got out of bed and begun walking around. Fluttershy was planning on chopping up a few carrots, and maybe some lettuce and cucumber, and a couple of cherries – not that she spoiled Angel, of course. She was not expecting to see her guest brandishing a large kitchen knife, poised over his foreleg, which he was resting across her table.

“Doctor! No!” she screamed, rushing across the room towards him – but too late. The Doctor had already sliced deep into his leg, the knife cutting through his fur, skin, muscle and even bone. Bile rose in the back of Fluttershy's throat; she felt like fainting on the spot.

But there was no blood. Before any could escape, swirling yellow energy had leaked out of the wound, and… sealed it up. Fluttershy blinked. She was not mistaken. The leg glowed briefly, and was good as new. A little excess energy drifted off and dispersed in the atmosphere.

“Doctor… what… what?”

“Ah, good morning, old girl!” The Doctor had obviously been completely unaware of her presence. “Sorry about that, just getting rid of some excess regeneration energy.”


“Oh, well, you see, the excess ought to be released naturally through exhalation, but I'm… well… getting on a bit, these days. Body not working in quite the way it ought to, if you know what I mean. I have to resort to slightly more 'drastic' measures.”

“Do you really have to…?”

“It's that or explode.”

Fluttershy thought for a moment. “You mean…?”


“Oh my.”

There was silence amongst the assembled ponies. Applejack was the first to speak.

“Well! That Doctor's more full of surprises than a cornered rattlesnake!” No one could think of anything to top a simile like that. There was silence once more, and then Twilight, who had been deep in thought, tentatively made a suggestion.

“You know… I'm pretty sure I remember reading something like this. Way back in the third century, there was an old earth pony stallion who...” Twilight's horn assumed its familiar purple aura, and a similarly illuminated book drifted down from a high shelf. Peering, her friends could make out the title: 'A Studie of the Unexplaynede Hapennyngs of the Moderne Ayge'. Twilight blew the dust off the cover, and magically flicked through the book, searching for a specific reference. “Here! There was an old stallion, named 'Koschey', or 'Koshchei', or something, it's not clear, who had just come to the village of Hoofington. He was seen sword-fighting with a strange, squat knight, with armour that seemed to be made of cloth. He killed the knight, which he called a 'Suntarun', apparently, and disposed of the body, but died of his wounds. But then, a strange energy appeared around his body, and sealed up his wounds, and made his body grow younger and younger, his eyes, mane and coat change colour, and him considerably taller. He spoke with a different voice, but said he was the same pony. He left town shortly afterwards.”

“Well,” chipped in Rarity, “I wouldn’t call it proof of anything. The Doctor didn't actually change.”

“Maybe not,” admitted Twilight, “but it does seem strange. Fluttershy, did you notice anything like,” she read aloud from the book, “'A greate whistlinge Noyse, like unto no Magick ever seene before in Equestria, and a greate Streame of Licht from his Bodie, which shewed us that he could be no ordinarie Ponie'?”

“Well, it wasn't as violent as that. It was just, um, a swirl of yellow light.”

“But look here!” Twilight had flipped back a few pages, and was gesturing excitedly, “fifty years before there was a stallion known as the Doctor! He healed the wounds of an old lady who had helped him trace a… a…” She paused, puzzled. “'Mettal chariote from the skyes'?” she read. “Hmm. But still, there was a cloud of yellow which descended upon her body and rejuvenated her. He said he'd been saving it for just such an occasion. She lived to be one-hundred-and-nine years old! But wait...” Twi's ears flopped, “he doesn't fit the description. This says he's a green stallion with curly blonde hair and 'a coate of manie diuerse colours'.”

“In case you're forgetting, darling,” pointed out Rarity, “that was hundreds of years ago anyway. How could that have been him?”

“Well, he did say he could travel in time.”

“What? We're not all going to believe him because Twilight found some reference in one of her dusty old books, are we?” This last remark earned Rarity a glare from Twilight.

“Y'know,” mused AJ, “maybe we were a mite hasty judgin' him. Ah have to admit, he sure seemed honest enough.”

“Not to mention that a time-travelling pony who could magically heal himself would be super awesome!” added Rainbow.

“And besides,” added Twilight, “there's no magic that can undo death. Whatever it is, it must be incredibly powerful.” She thought for a moment. “Spike!” The little dragon popped his head round the kitchen door.


“Take a letter.” Spike obediently pulled out a quill and some parchment.


“Dear Princess Celestia...”

Twilight outlined the happenings of the last hour, describing the Doctor and his strange magic. When she'd done, Spike sent the letter immediately.

They waited.


“Of course!” yelped Twilight, “She's in the middle of entertaining all those guests! She won't get a chance to read it for ages.”

“Well, she'd probably just tell us it was all nonsense, if you ask me,” said a smug Rarity.

“We're not asking you,” said Applejack, rather bluntly.

As Sam sat in his waiting-tent, he couldn't shake an ominous feeling of dread. He tapped his hooves together, nervously. It wasn't that he was scared of meeting the princess; he was more worried that he would never get to. He just wished he could tell why. Every noise sent shivers down his spine, from the chatting of the guards outside to the whispering of the wind in the trees.

No. He had to pull himself together. He needed to focus on what he was going to tell Princess Luna, who had so graciously granted him an audience. He ignored the guards, who seemed to have stopped talking now, anyway. He ignored the birdsong and the rustling trees, and the hoofsteps as something approached the tent, and the creaking of joints, and the tearing open of the canvas. Wait, what? “T-chok!” Sam was dead before he could look up, smoke pouring from a wound in his side. A dummy stood over him, its hoof-gun extended.

“Destroy!” said the Nestene, from miles away, “Total destruction!”

Obediently, the mannequin fired again. This time, Sam's lifeless body was engulfed in a cloud of smoke, which immediately shrunk down to a single point. Sam's corpse was gone. The Auton turned around and strode through the hole it had just cut in the canvas. It paused to dispose of the guards' bodies, then marched quickly off into the trees. It could already hear noises from the camp as ponies investigated the noises – too late, of course, but self-preservation is high on every Auton's list of priorities in the early stages of invasion. Not all soldiers are keen on heroic acts of self-sacrifice, you know.

“Are we nearly there yet?”


“What about now?”



“Try a wild stab in the dark.”

“Err… yes?”




“Are we nearly there yet?”

“My dear Miss Pie, if you ask that question once more, I shall feel compelled to push you into the next river we come across.”

“Oh, there's no river for miles!”

“I was afraid of that...”

“And you can just call me Pinkie!”

The Doctor thought a moment. “Well, if that's what you want, Pinkie.” He thought another moment. “Oh no. No, I don't like that at all.”

“Are we there yet?”

“We are not…” The Doctor trailed off.

“What is-”



“I can hear it!” Sure enough, there was the familiar bleeping of a Nestene energy unit.

“We are there!”

“Yes, my dear – well, nearly, at any rate. Unless mine ears deceive me… ah! There it is! Success!” Success indeed. Nestled in the grass, near the edge of the woods, was another sphere. It was surrounded by leaves, having obviously landed in a tree, which explained why there was no crater this time.

“Oooh! Pretty!” Pinkie leant down to tap it with a hoof, but the Doctor quickly smacked it away.

“Hold on! It might be armed.”

“Silly! It hasn't got any arms! Actually, nor do we.”

“It's 'have'. I mean that it could be protected. They do that, sometimes.” He snapped a branch off a tree, and prodded at the sphere. As the wood made contact, the plastic seemed to come alive. It began to seep up the sides of the stick, trying to constrict it. After a few attempts, it grew feeble, and eventually stopped altogether.

“Silly energy unit! Sticks are intended for foals!” Pinkie giggled.

“If you say so, old girl. Now, I think it's worn out. Do you think you could help?”

“Sure!” Pinkie scooped up the sphere in one hoof, and stuck it into her mane. It was instantly swallowed up, her hair springing straight back to its usual position.

“I… hmm. I don't particularly want to know how you hid that,” the Doctor decided. “Come on then!” As he turned round, however, he heard an awful “T-chok!”, and smoke began to pour from a tree trunk inches to his left. Just beyond the trees, standing just up a small hill from them, was an Auton, gun extended, aiming again. Aiming straight at Pinkie Pie. Pinkie looked puzzled.

“Is that a… tailor’s dummy?”

“Oh, crumbs.”


Author's Note:

Next episode: Some Ponies Come to Unfortunate Conclusions

Gee, whizz. More nonsense. If you read this far, you are an angel on Earth. Thank you. I am truly grateful.