• Published 17th Jan 2013
  • 8,977 Views, 274 Comments

The Adventures of Doctor Whooves: Series 1 - Time Pony Victorious

The Doctor, fresh off his regeneration, sets off in this strange world with ponies and mythical creatures with his TARDIS onwards and upwards to see the universe.

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He was late. Oh, he was so late!

The sound of clopping hooves against a marble ground was the only thing that filled the desolate hallways. It was a beautifully designed corridor with gilded columns that resembled ancient structures of old combined with advanced technology as lights and glowing pieces of data radiated from them. Large oil paintings covered the wall to his left and it showed off images of a large domed city against a red backdrop or ancient pony civilizations just bursting out of their caves and into the light.

From another angle, it looked like the paintings were three-dimensional…

But Shortstop didn’t have time to admire the paintings. He ran as fast as he could around the curving corridors, heading immediately to his class. Oh, he can’t be late on his first day! Shortstop nearly tripped over himself running as his long rust-red robes nearly tangled on his hooves but he managed to keep his balance.

He’d reach a foyer. It was a large round room with intricate circular patterns carved into the ground and ceiling. All around the room were large windows that overlooked the red hills and silver trees and brilliant two suns that blazed in the sky. From here he could see Mount Perdition glistening in the sunlight, the heat warped the landscape so that it looked like the mountain bent in the distance. The River Lethe stretched from the base of the mountain and toward the Capitol, a brilliant stretch of water that glowed green.

Shortstop might’ve been late but he approached the window almost in a trance. The silver trees, the orange skies and glowing rivers and lake were too beautiful to ignore. With a smile, Shortstop readjusted his headwear, an elaborate golden design that resembled the innards of a watch. The design may have seemed like art to some, but it was the picture-language that Shortstop knew and loved. The translation wasn’t as amazing as the design, it simply read his name but he wore it with pride knowing the labor his mom went through to make it.

He turned around from the window and sprinted back down the corridors.

9:00am, 1100 T.R. (Time of Our Lord Rassilon)

Shortstop burst into the classroom, Time Travel 101 and felt all eyes on him as he stood in the front awkwardly. A dozen or so students stared at him with a mixture of pity, indifference and expectance, waiting for him to be chewed out by the teacher.

“You’re late,” the teacher remarked curtly.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Shortstop said, looking down at his hooves.

The teacher turned and faced Shortstop. He was a big, lankly pony with a wavy brown mane and a curly-q tail. He wore a simple blue four-button pinstripe jacket with a loosely fitted red tie over a white dress shirt. His golden colored eyes didn’t match his coffee-brown coat but went along perfectly with his Golden Hourglass cutie mark.

Shortstop expected to be berated by the teacher but instead he grinned broadly. “Well, what’re you waiting for then? Off to your seat.”

Shortstop raised an eyebrow. Apparently the rest of the class was confused as well, as if they were expecting a grand show from his tardiness but this substitute teacher was stranger than they thought. He awkwardly bowed and headed off to his seat. The teacher faced the class from his desk with his broad smile.

“Well you lot, hope you’re ready for this class. It’ll be fantastic!” Behind him in a neat hoofwriting of white chalk was the teacher’s name: THE DOCTOR.

The Citadel, Junior Time Lord Academy, Gallopfrey

10:05am, 1100 T.R. (Time of Our Lord Rassilon)

The Doctor grinned as he exited the classroom, having taught the intricacies of time travel and 11th dimension space exploration (he was corrected multiple times by his student when it came to the paradoxical implications from the interference of the casual nexus) as he was assigned and he enjoyed it more than he thought he would.

The Time Pony was the first to leave the class after assigning homework on the calculations of temporal displacement that the TARDIS normally completes when they travel. He met Applejack by the door, she was examining a large book on the history of the Time Lords. Normally she wouldn’t have been able to read the High Gallopfreyan the book was written in, but she and Pinkie were given a few liberties when they arrived at the city.

“This Rassilon feller seems like a pretty big deal,” Applejack remarked, looking up from the book and smiling at the Doctor.

He glanced at the section she was reading and frowned. Waving a dismissive hoof, he took her book and stuffed it in the bag of a passing-by student. “Don’t worry about him, we never really got along well. For some reason, he didn’t like me.”

Applejack gave him a coy smile. “Can’t imagine why he wouldn’t, given yer an upstandin’ Time Lord, right?”

The Doctor looked away, slightly embarrassed as a blush tinged his cheeks. He draped a foreleg over Applejack’s neck, pulling her close for a half-hug. “Never mind that. Enjoying the place so far?”

The farm pony nuzzled close to the Doctor before they broke their hug and walked down the hallways. Applejack watched as dozens of little colts and fillies ran down the hallways with their formal Gallopfreyan robes and backpacks that were stuffed to the brim with books.

She nodded as she gave a passing student a warm smile and the subtle tip of her hat. “It sure is pretty, Doctor. What took ya so long to bring us here?”

“Oh you know, been busy!” he answered with a smile. “Seeing the universe, having a bit of fun, it was all in good time, Applejack.”

“Why did ya ‘ave t’ teach? You don’t seem like th’ type t’ ‘ave a job,” she asked.

The Doctor shot her a hard look and straightened his tie. “Of course I have a job. I’m brilliant at jobs.”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Yeah, right. If ya ‘ave a job, then Ah’m a pegasus.”

“No, really,” he insisted. “I have a job. You just saw me do it!”

But Applejack just chuckled under her breath, incredulous to the Doctor’s claims. He huffed and toyed with his mane a bit. “There is a reason I was teaching, however. It was a favor to the Lady President.”

“A mare president. Ah like th’ sound of that,” Applejack remarked with a puff of her chest and a smile.

“She helped me out a bit with the Matrix and in return I was supposed to teach the classifications of the Type-97 TARDIS,” he continued.

Applejack frowned. “But, Ah heard you. Ya taught them about time travel, not about th’ TARDIS.”

The Doctor gave her a knowing smile and held a hoof up to his mouth. “Don’t tell Romana that, she gets a bit lecture-y when she’s upset.”

Applejack promised she wouldn’t and the two shared a laugh, walking down the hallways of the academy until they reached the exit. A large courtyard opened up before them. Dozens upon dozens of Gallopfreyan ponies milled about on this beautiful sunny day. Earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi Gallopfreyans enjoyed this wonderful day without a care in the world.

The courtyard was equally beautiful. It was large circular area with a park surrounding it on all sides, silver trees and mercury-colored grass stretched out before them. The city opened up in front of them; tall, imposing spires that reached the skies with large vehicles they weaved around the buildings at speeds that would make Rainbow Dash jealous.

The two suns glinted in the sky, the larger of the two burned a golden red color that when it caught the spires it made it look like it was on fire. The sweet scent of flowers assailed Applejack even though she couldn’t see any in the park. It looked like a wonderful place to live in, Applejack wondered why the Doctor didn’t like coming home.

She looked at the Doctor who looked perfectly content in his suit even though it was a hot, summer day. “Ain’t ya hot in that suit, Doctor?”

He blinked and reflexively fixed his tie. “Not at all, Time Lords are built differently. The heat and cold aren’t much of an issue to me. Besides it was Romana’s suggestion. Apparently, she didn’t like the bowtie and suggested this.”

The Doctor gestured to his suit with a frown, like he didn’t enjoy it. Applejack looked at it, it was a bit strange on him, it seemed a bit tight in some areas. She realized she was staring and looked away. “Not sure what my past self was thinking. Don’t worry, once we get back to the TARDIS, I’ll change.”

Applejack wanted to protest and say she preferred that outfit than his mad-cap, grandpa look but kept her comments to herself. “Where’s Pinkie anyways?” she asked, scanning the courtyard for her. “She should’ve met up with us a while back.”

The Doctor walked down the courtyard, shrugging. “Who knows, hopefully she didn’t get into the TARDIS repair center. Woo, that would be a nightmare.”

But Applejack kept looking for her friend. When they had learned that the Doctor had to teach a class, the mares had opted out of it, explaining that they were on the Doctor’s homeworld and they wanted to see as much as they could of it and not sit around in a classroom. Reluctantly the Doctor agreed and Applejack explored the school while Pinkie Pie instantly disappeared the moment he said yes.

She was sure that Pinkie wouldn’t cause trouble but it was hard to tell with her. One moment, Pinkie could be sitting quietly doing nothing in particular and the next causing perfect chaos that would make Discord blush.

Applejack felt a bit happy that she and Pinkie had the privilege to see the Doctor’s home. Whenever they brought it up to him, the Doctor would always look away and claim he didn’t want to go home because it would be boring. But looking at him now… he was very happy. Smiling and laughing with the Gallopfreyan fillies and colts. It was nice. But she felt like an outsider here.

The Doctor explained that regular ponies weren’t normally allowed in the city, that it would cause a bit of trouble but that this time there was an exception. Given he was supposed to teach, he was allowed to bring a few friends, which was nice of him to include her but she still couldn’t shake this discomfort that loomed over her head like a particularly heavy apple basket.

There was this niggling sense of anxiety that prodded at the back of her mind. Like saying she wasn’t supposed to be there. Applejack chalked it up to being nervous at the prospect of meeting the Doctor’s kind, but it still remained.

“Ah! There she is!” the Doctor exclaimed, making Applejack jump.

Pinkie was over to the west playing with a bunch of children. She was at a large silver tree while a dozen Gallopfreyans ran around her, wrapping her up in red and orange ribbons, giggling as with each rotation Pinkie got more and more constricted. It didn’t seem like a game Applejack would enjoy but Pinkie laughed as they ran around her.

The duo half-jogged to reach Pinkie and by the time they reached her she was completely wrapped up to the tree. The Gallopfreyans giggled as they marveled at their work.

“Pinkie?” Applejack asked as she approached the tree. “Can ya hear me?”

A muffled response came from the mummified Pinkie, eliciting more laughter from the children.

The Doctor approached, patting one of the colts on the head and brandishing his sonic screwdriver, pointing it at Pinkie and activating it. It buzzed and whirred and the ribbons that encased Pinkie unwrapped and spilled to the ground, freeing her.
Pinkie smiled broadly at the Doctor. “Gee, thanks, Doctor!”

“Pinkie what were ya doing?” Applejack asked.

“Well, I was pretending to be the Corsair when she was captured by the Cyberponies and had to wrapped himself up in their armor to fool them into thinking she was one of them,” Pinkie answered. “Why, what did you think I was doing?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows, impressed. “Blimey, you took to our history fairly well, Pinkie.”

Pinkie laughed and patted the Doctor’s shoulder. “It’s really not that hard, Doctor. The Corsair was here and explained the whole story to me!”

The Doctor’s eyes shot open and he ran up to Pinkie, patting her body and parting her mane to look through it. Applejack blushed at the proximity the Doctor was at to Pinkie but the party pony only giggled as he poked and prodded her.

“She was here?” the Doctor asked, checking her face. “Did she do anything? Did she take anything? Pinkie, don’t tell me you played Blind Pony’s Bluff with her.”

Pinkie shook her head, still smiling. “No, silly! She just talked to me, she recognized me, apparently, and asked about you! I told her you were in class, teaching, and she walked off to her TARDIS and promised she would return later! There was something she wanted to investigate at the end of the universe, she said.”

The Doctor sighed and pocketed his sonic. “Whew, okay, that’s fine.”

“Why, what’s wrong with her?” Applejack asked.

“The Corsair is nice enough,” he promised. “But she has a tendency to pick-pocket if you aren’t looking.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “Uh, Doctor. Neither of us are wearin’ clothes. We don’t ‘ave pockets.”

The Doctor’s expression changed from worried to embarrassed. “Ah, right! Forgot about that...”

Applejack suppressed her laughter and tried not to mind the little colts’ meek stares as they shyly looked away from her flank. The Doctor had explained that while it was perfectly acceptable not to wear actual clothes here the act wasn’t widely done and if anypony did actually walk around nude they would get stray stares.

There weren’t many ponies who stared, Applejack figured it was because she wasn’t a Time Lord or a Gallopfreyan and literally flew under their radar, but it still made her self-conscious. Still for a supposedly conservative society, the Gallopfreyans were awfully nice and cordial, treating Applejack nicely and being perfectly accepting of her.

It was only when she mentioned the Doctor that they gave her strange looks. Apparently, the Doctor had earned a reputation on Gallopfrey for being a rather eccentric pony amongst them and given their culture that was saying something.

“Where are we going now?” Pinkie asked with a broad grin. Only Pinkie Pie could feel perfectly content on another planet so far from home.

“Not sure,” the Doctor mused. “Perhaps Arcadia? It’s always lovely this time of year!”

“Sounds good!” beamed Pinkie.

They looked to Applejack for any interjections but the farm pony merely smiled and nodded, pushing away her waning feeling of discomfort. “Come on then, I parked in the TARDIS bay. The Old Girl has been itching to see her sisters again.” The Doctor led them inside the school and Pinkie followed without a word.

Applejack was going to follow but then a cold feeling washed over her. She shivered as the cold feeling ran up her back and she looked around in a panicked manner. It felt like something was watching her, not somepony, something. But the courtyard was as it had been, ponies walking around and enjoying the sunny day, nothing out of the ordinary… then she saw it.

It didn’t look like anything. It was just a dark mass in the distance standing by a large tree as schoolponies ran around it playing with miniature toys of various TARDISes. Nopony seemed to notice it, they just walked around it like nothing. It didn’t have a distinct shape, it didn’t even look like a pony. It was just there, this imposing figure… but Applejack couldn’t help but think it was staring right at her.

The Doctor stepped in front of Applejack’s line of sight, obscuring her view of the figure and Applejack blinked in surprise. “You alright, Applejack?” he asked, his golden eyes fixed with worry.

Applejack managed a smile and nodded, the cold feeling that crawled up her back subsided. “Y-yeah, Ah’m fine. Sorry, Doctor.”

He frowned but seemed content with that answer and nodded. “Right then, come along, AJ.”

The Time Pony grinned and walked off and Applejack looked to the distance at a large tree that had a bunch of schoolponies playing around it. She smiled as she watched them play, pretending to pilot their TARDISes through the infinite expanses of time and space. Applejack turned to follow the Doctor but couldn’t help but wonder if there was something she was forgetting.

Despite it being the middle of the day, the school was near deadly silent. The students sat in their classrooms quietly and calmly and Applejack smiled at the prospect of the Doctor being in one of those classrooms when he was young. He certainly didn’t seem like the type to be able to sit still during a lecture, he probably slacked off and threw paper-airplanes. Rainbow Dash and him would’ve gotten along well in school.

Applejack looked into some of the classrooms to see what they were studying but it didn’t make much sense to her. In one class the students sat in a circle and in the center of the room was a large holographic display of a solar system with a supernova erupting to the side. In another the teacher was showing off projections of various ponies wearing regal Gallopfreyan robes, they wore similar clothes so Applejack surmised it was a history on former Presidents of Gallopfrey. One of those Presidents had a wild chocolate-colored curly mane, mad eyes and an almost crazed smile. He wore those robes too but had a large colorful scarf around his neck which didn’t fit his outfit but seemed to accommodate his personality.

Applejack pressed on and moved through the long hallways in search of the Doctor and Pinkie. She looked around for them but couldn’t help but be distracted by everything she saw. Brilliant displays of galaxies and planets decorated the walls along with the strange Gallopfreyan language that translated slowly for Applejack.

Turning a corner, she finally saw them at the end of the hallway. The duo practically skipped together and before Applejack could call out to them, they rounded to the right and was out of ear-shot. Applejack sighed and moved to follow them when she bumped into a mare.

She was a tiny mare compared to Applejack, but it wasn’t like the farm pony was big to begin with, so that was impressive. She had a brown mane that cascaded down her neck and stopped just before her shoulders. Like everypony else, she wore Gallopfreyan clothes but it was slightly modified. A red top covered her body with punctuated Gallopfreyan bronze designs on her shoulders. Rust-colored collars on her hooves and a strange cutie mark of a mixing bowl with a whisk in it on her tanned flank.

“Oh, Ah’m sorry!” Applejack said, helping the earth pony with her stuff, picking up her various books and handing it to her. But the mare didn’t seemed bothered, she just smiled warmly at Applejack.

“Oh, it’s no problem at all,” the mare said, her accent instantly reminded Applejack of the Doctor’s. Then again, all Gallopfreyans had an accent like that. “I wasn’t watching where I was going. I tend to do that, daydream that is. My mum used to say one day I could walk right into a building without realizing what happened.”

Applejack nodded as she handed the books back and looked at her. She had really pretty brown eyes and a warm smile that felt familiar. “Used t’? Applejack asked before catching herself, it was probably rude and impulsive to ask that but her eyes distracted Applejack so much she forget herself.

The mare’s smile weakened and she nodded slowly. “She’s gone now. Lovely mare, you would’ve liked her. Probably. Not sure, really. But she liked everypony and would talk their ears off for hours on end, just prattle on and on, mostly ‘bout cooking. She loved to cook but enjoyed baking more.”

Applejack listened but the mare spoke so quickly that it felt like a machine-gun firing off words at her. She wondered if she could talk faster than the Doctor.

“Mah ma was like that too,” Applejack said with a small smile. “She could talk fer days about apple-pickin’ and farmin’ techniques. Granny Smith said she would talk in her sleep about apples sometimes.”

The mare nodded and smiled warmly. She didn’t intrude on Applejack’s explanation like some used to. It was nice, the sentiment, but it always felt false and hollow. Even from her friends who all had their respective parents.

“I think I would’ve liked her,” the mare said kindly. “You aren’t from around here, are you?”

Applejack chuckled. “What gave it away? Mah accent?”

She giggled which was nice to listen to. “It’s a Time Lady thing, we can sense it.”

Applejack remembered the Doctor explaining that one time. That Time Lords can sense the presence of another Time Lord, they had some sort of psychic connection, and they just instinctively recognize them. It sounded pretty cool but she didn’t get it when the Doctor prattled on about psychic links and all that jazz.

“Ah’m from Equis,” Applejack explained. “Ah’m not really sure where that is, t’ be honest.”

“I’ve been there once,” the mare confided. “It’s really beautiful.”

She looked like she wanted to say something else but the mare just played with her mane and looked off to the hallway as if she was looking for someone. “Anyways, sorry again, but I’ve got to go. I’ve got a class in temporal mechanics to teach.”

“It’s no prob’,” Applejack promised. “Ah’m Applejack, by the way.”

The mare smiled and shook Applejack’s hoof. “Lovely name, you should keep it. My name is Clara Oswald.”

“Strange name for a Gallopfreyan,” Applejack remarked.

“My mum was a strange pony,” Clara answered with a grin. “When I was a filly I used to get teased for talking a lot and asking loads of questions that they nicknamed me Echo. Because you could always hear my voice in school.”

“Echo,” Applejack repeated. “It fits ya.”

Clara did a curtsey and laughed. “Why thank you. Anyways, it was lovely meeting you, Applejack. Hope to talk to you again.”

She walked off to the direction Applejack came from with a spring in her step. Applejack grinned from her meeting with that strange mare and walked off to where the Doctor and Pinkie went. She wondered if the Doctor would know Clara and wanted to ask him when she got a chance.

Applejack reached the TARDIS bay and found the Doctor and Pinkie admiring the other time capsules. Unlike the TARDIS’s blue police box appearance the other TARDISes had a simplistic silver metallic shell that seemed sterile and Spartan to Applejack. She always thought it was weird that the Doctor’s TARDIS looked like that but next to these metal pods she was beginning to appreciate the blue box.

“Ah, look at her!” the Doctor exclaimed, brushing off his TARDIS with a rag and a proud gleam in his eyes. “She’s quite excited to be with her sisters.”

The TARDIS just stood there, immobile as ever, Applejack didn’t notice anything different about her but the Doctor laughed and patted the doors as if trying to calm the box down.

“Really?” Applejack asked, raising her eyebrows. “Ah can’t tell.”

“Yes, completely excited,” the Doctor answered with a grin. “She can hardly contain herself.”

“Can’t you hear her?” Pinkie Pie asked, sitting on top of another TARDIS. “She sounds so happy!”

Applejack strained her ears to listen but didn’t hear anything. “Uh, no, Ah can’t.”

The Doctor gestured broadly, patting Applejack on her shoulders and led her to the TARDIS. “Ah well, point is, she’s never been this excited. I almost feel bad taking her away.”

Applejack looked at the TARDIS and the same cold feeling from earlier creeped up to her back. She felt uneasy and anxious, almost terrified really. There was something in the back of her mind screaming at her to leave.

“Then why don’t we leave her ‘ere?” Applejack suggested, the words tumbling out of her mouth and she blinked in confusion. Why did she say that? “Ah mean, Arcadia ain’t that far off, right? We can just hoof it.”

The Doctor frowned for a second, like the prospect of walking somewhere bothered him. But he broke out in a grin and nodded. “Of course! Brilliant idea, we can take the scenic route. Just give us a mo’.”

The Time Pony opened the TARDIS doors and stepped inside, closing it behind him. After a few minutes, the Doctor came out in a different outfit. He was dressed as his usual self. A dark purple coat over a black waistcoat with a dark red bowtie around his neck. He ran a hoof over his mane, spun around, and grinned at the mares.

“Well? How do I look?” he asked.

“Funny!” Pinkie answered, breaking out in laughter and falling off the TARDIS she sat on.

“Like cousin Marzipan,” Applejack remarked.

The Doctor frowned and straightened his bowtie, which just made Pinkie Pie laugh more. “Everypony’s a critic…”

He led them from the TARDIS bay and within a few minutes they were out into the courtyard and into the city. He walked briskly but slowed whenever Pinkie stared at the buildings and asked what it was. The Doctor calmly answered each one of her questions with the patience of a Saint. They stopped at a food vendor at the corner and grabbed some snacks.

It looked good enough, the Doctor had bought them a golden colored pastry filled with what looked like jam. “The jam is made from the grove at the base of Mount Solace,” the Doctor explained. “Only grows once a year every 5 years. Quite rare.”

She ate and a plethora of flavors exploded in her mouth. So much was jammed pack in that pastry that it felt impossible to stuff so much in there. “Bigger on the inside,” the Doctor said with a wink. He didn’t eat and was content with a white bag filled with gummy-candy. Pinkie enjoyed her own pastry, commenting on adding this recipe to her own chimmy cherry changas.

Applejack finished her pastry and considered the techniques for her own baking ventures. She looked at the Doctor and frowned slightly. There was something she wanted to ask him but it just slipped her mind. It seemed a bit important. The image of a long brown mane came to mind but it faded.

“You alright, Applejack?” the Doctor asked.

Applejack blinked and looked at the Doctor. “Yeah, sorry. It’s really good,” she told him, unaware that the question evaporated in her mind. “Now then, which way t’ Arcadia?”

They had arrived in Arcadia twenty minutes later. The Doctor hailed a taxi that flew them over the city. From above the domed city looked amazing. It completely blew cities like Canterlot and Manehattan out of the water in terms of awe. Applejack wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of the hustle and bustle of the big city life. Having gone to Manehattan when she was a filly, pretending to be some aristocrat with the fake accent and everything, she hated it.

Everything about it bothered her. The loud noises, the crowdedness, the musk of the city. The buildings felt like it crowded here until she was in a claustrophobic closet and couldn’t breathe. The open air of the farm, the rolling fields of her orchard, the sweet scent of nature, that was something she’d felt comfortable with. Arcadia, however, was different.

The way the city was set-up felt organic and open-ended to allow for plenty of space on the ground and enough room to breathe. The buildings gleamed silver in the sunlight, pulsating with blue lights underneath as the advanced technology of the Time Lords enhanced the architecture. It all looked sleek and neat but there were rustic parts of the city as well, meshed in together with the lustrous feel of the city like a steampunk design smashed with advanced tech.

It was amazing to look at.

“Safest place in Gallopfrey,” promised the Doctor with a grin. “It’s protected by four-hundred sky trenches that prevent invasion from the atmosphere.”

“What’s a sky trench?” Pinkie asked.

“Imagine the scales of a dragon wrapping around his vulnerable flesh or a pony wearing chainmail armor,” he offered.


“Right, and forget that, it’s nothing like that at all,” the Doctor said, waving a dismissive hoof.

Pinkie jokingly poked the Doctor in his stomach, laughing. Applejack looked down at the city and enjoyed the sights but still couldn’t shake her discomfort.

“No more…” she muttered.

“What was that?” the Doctor asked.

Applejack blinked, confused, and shook her head. “Nothin’,” she promised. “Nothin’ at all.”