Previously on Doctor Whooves and Assistant…
“How did she get in?”
“How did you get in here?!”
“How long has she been screaming?” a bubbly, grey pegasus asked as she stared at the golden yellow earth pony near the door.
“Two hours, ten minutes, and twenty-three seconds,” replied a red-headed, tan unicorn, his voice lacking any emotion.
“Amazing,” the brown earth pony standing next to them said in awe. “Never thought anyone--”
“Anypony,” the pegasus mare corrected, making the stallion snicker a bit.
“R-right,” he said through giggles. “I didn’t think there was anypony who could scream this long. What a natural.”
A moment later, the screaming mare finally stopped, gasping for breath.
“I’m impressed, yet slightly disturbed,” the pegasus commented. The earth pony mare took a deep breath, making all three spectators blanche as she started screaming again. She stopped, though, as a wrench was flung at her head by a green, magical aura. The pegasus and earth pony stallion looked to the unicorn as his horn powered down. He noticed their stares and explained himself,
“It would not benefit anypony to allow this to continue. A show of force was the only logical way to silence her.”
“Did it have to be a wrench?” the pegasus asked, looking sympathetic.
“It was the only thing I had at the moment.”
“Well, at least we might be able to get some answers from our mysterious mystery mare!” the stallion said with a smile of enthusiasm. He trotted over to the mare, who was busy soothing the growing lump on her head from where the wrench hit, and put out a hoof. “Hello!”
“Ugh,” the mare groaned. “What happened? I just had the weirdest dream that I was a pony.”
The stallion quirked his eyebrow. “Odd dream, considering you are a pony.” He failed to notice that the mare’s eyes widened and began checking all over herself as he continued. “Were you dreaming of being a different kind of pony? Perhaps a pegasus? Ooh, or maybe a unicorn?! I’ve dreamed of being a unicorn; very pleasant dreams. Just imagining being able to use magic, oh and if I was ginger!” He sighed as he recalled a recent memory, not noticing that the mare was beginning to hyperventilate. “Just picture it! Me, as a ginger unicorn!” He gasped. “A gingercorn! Now that would be--”
“WHY THE HELL AM I PONY?!” the mare shouted, interrupting the stallion’s ramblings.
He blinked. “Excuse me?”
“I’m not supposed to be a pony!” she shouted, throwing her hooves out wide. “What did you do to me?!” The mare stood shakily on her hooves and put her face in his, anger glowing in her eyes as she snarled. “What the hell did you do to me, you crack pot little freaks?! Why did you turn me into a pony?!”
“Hey!” the pegasus said as she separated the two ponies. “No fighting!”
“We didn’t do anything to you, miss,” the unicorn said, walking over to the others. “You just crashed through the doors and started screaming.”
This did not seem to ease the mare’s anger, however. “So you just expect me to believe I turned into a pony for no reason? Fat chance, Mr. Spock.”
“Mr. Spock?” the unicorn asked, confused by the reference.
The mare sighed, rolling her eyes as she hung her head. “Nevermind, it’s a thing from back home.”
“You know, now that you mention it, Tick Tock does seem much like Spock. A lot like him, actually.”
She lifted her head and stared incredulously at the earth pony stallion. “B-but… how?! How do you know that?”
“Well,” he drawed out, “Based on what you’ve said, I’m going to guess that you’re a human, or were human at least. Am I wrong?”
“You know about humans?”
He nodded with a smile. “Quite a lot, in fact. Their past, their present, even their future, whether you believe it or not. Nice to meet you,” he extended his hoof again, “I’m the Doctor.”
“Doctor? Doctor who?” the mare asked.
“Just the Doctor will be fine.”
She blinked at the strange name. “Um...okay. I’m Kat. Kat Shifter.” She hesitantly met his hoof with her own, shaking up and down slowly. She pulled back, staring at her hoof. “This is so weird.”
“You’ll get used to it,” the Doctor said with a smile and a nod. “I know I did.”
That made Kat blink and look back at the stallion. “...Come again?”
“Well, I didn’t exactly used to be a pony either. I wasn’t human either, but I looked mighty close… mind the two hearts and the exceptional good looks.”
The mare raised her eyebrow with a deadpan look. “‘Exceptional’?” She looked over the pony in front of her for a quick moment. “I’d give you a ‘B’ on a good day.”
“A ‘B’?! ‘On a good day’?! Oh come on! I’m still quite handsome!”
“I don’t see it,” Kat said with a shake of her head and an ever present smirk. “Sorry.”
The Doctor huffed, pouting a little.
The pegasus mare giggled a little at her Doctor acting so foalish. “Don’t mind him, he’s a little quirky.” She presented her hoof to Kat. “I’m Ditzy Doo, but the Doctor calls me Derpy… for some reason.”
“I told you, it’s a cute name! Ditzy Doo be Derpy Hooves, Derpy Hooves be Ditzy Doo, Derpity--” The Doctor was subsequently silenced as Derpy shoved a muffin in his flapping jaw.
“That’s enough of that,” she sighed, turning back to Kat. “Hehe, sorry about that. It’s nice to meet you, Kat.”
“Same to you,” Kat said, hesitantly shaking Derpy’s hoof.
Derpy then pointed at the other pony in the room. “And our other friend over there is Tick Tock. He’s an inventor and mechanical genius!”
“Genius may be pushing it,” Tick Tock monotoned, trotting over and shaking Kat’s hoof as well. “A pleasure to make your acquaintance, miss.”
“Same to you, I suppose,” Kat said as they shook hooves. “So…” she slowly started, just then beginning to look around her, “Where am I?” The entire room was ridiculously large with a very odd architectural style. The lighting portrayed it with a somewhat ancient coral-like style, with six strange pillars surrounding the main controls.
“You’re in the TARDIS!” The Doctor proclaimed, strutting over to the oddly shaped and very much busted-looking control panel. “Time And Relative Dimension In Space. She’s my prefered mode of transportation.”
“TARDIS?” Kat asked, confused. “Wait, this is a vehicle?!”
“See for yourself.” The Doctor waved behind her and Kat noticed the double doors. She slowly made her way over and pushed them open.
“Woah.” That really was all she could say as Kat looked out. All around her was the blackness of space, but for miles upon miles upon miles and beyond she could see glorious things. Stars of every color, nebulae that shone brilliant in the never-ending lights, and planets that looked ever-so peaceful from so far away. Kat slowly pulled the door closed, turning back to the ponies, staying silent.
“Well?” The Doctor asked with a slight smirk. “What did you think?”
“It… it… it was awe inspiring,” Kat finalled spoke. “Such beauty, such wonder, it was all so wonderfully amazing.” The ponies gave her varying smiles. “One question, though. Why did it look like we’re standing in an old police box?”
“Oh, that! Well, the TARDIS has what is known as a chameleon circuit. Keeps her hidden wherever I go.”
“Sounds handy,” Kat commented.
“Indeed...however, after my first trip to London in the 1950’s, it broke and has been stuck like that ever since.”
“Why did you never fix it?”
“I’ve been meaning to ask that as well,” Tick Tock added.
“I like it,” Derpy said with a happy smile. “It would be weird to change it now.”
“That’s the spirit!” The Doctor cheered. “...nothing else to say?”
“Not really,” Kat shrugged.
“You sure? Nothing else is… surprising about the TARDIS? Perhaps the size?” The Doctor egged on.
“It’s a lot to fit into a police box, I’ll admit, but I wouldn’t say it’s impossible.”
The Doctor hung his head at that. “Aww… I like it when they say ‘it’s bigger on the inside’.”
Kat blinked, turning to Derpy and Tick Tock. “Is he always like this?”
“Mostly,” Derpy sighed.
“From what I’ve seen, very much so,” Tick Tock replied.
“That’s really rude!”
“It could always be worse, Doc,” Kat smirked.
“Oh good god, you’re American, aren’t you?”
“With liberty and justice for all,” she said with an affirmative nod.
“Well that’s just great!” The stallion moved to the console, holding a hoof to his head. “Just what we need, an American pony.”
“Hey! I didn’t choose to become a pony, ya know! It just happened somehow!”
“Speaking of which.” The Doctor looked at Kat, his eyes narrowed as he got closer to her. “What are you doing out here, anyway? What year are you from?”
“2014, originally.” Kat muttered that last part too low to be heard.
“Impossible,” he said with finality. “Humans had no such travel in the early twenty-first century. Now tell me,” the stallion got right in Kat’s face. “Who are you and how did you get here?”
Kat didn’t even blink from the sudden intrusion of her personal space. “I am Kat Shifter and I come from another universe. I was on my way to a different universe when I hit something and woke up here.”
“Traveling through universes?!” The Doctor exclaimed in confusion. “How could you possibly--”
Warning alarms cut off the Doctor’s questioning as the ship began to shake as if in a massive earthquake. Crashes and clatters could be heard all throughout, sending the inhabitants to the floor.
“Doctor!” Derpy cried out. “What’s going on?!”
The Doctor crawled his way to the command console and began looking over the screens. “Oh that’s not good. That’s not good at all!” He began pressing buttons, turning wheels, and flipping switch after switch.
“What the hell is going on?!” Kat shouted, unable to even keep standing.
“That little crash of yours sent us off course, my dear!” he explained, focused entirely on the console. “We’re caught in a planet’s gravitational pull and… well, we’re going down.”
“That sounds extremely painful,” Tick Tock droned, hanging on to a pole. “You will be able to stop it?”
“Well… you may want to hold on to something.”
The shaking, creaking, and groaning got louder as the four ponies braced themselves for a harsh impact.
And a harsh impact it was. For each and everypony, the room felt like it was still spinning. Kat was the first who was finally able to stand, being used to getting thrown about wildly. “That… was not fun,” she declared for all.
“Seconded,” Tick Tock groaned, using one of the beams to support himself.
“Oooh,” Derpy moaned, holding her head as she leaned on the console opposite the Doctor. “Doctor, what just happened?”
“In simple terms? We crashed.” Shaking his head, the Doctor ran over some of the screens on the console. “Looks like… we’re in the northern quadrant of the Andromareda galaxy on a planet called...Steamlite. Interesting name. And...ooh! It’s inhabited!” He pushed aside the screens, smiling widely. “Well, let’s go!”
“Go? Go where?” Kat asked as the stallion walked towards the doors.
“Why outside, of course!” he beamed. “A new planet with new life! Won’t it be fun?!”
Kat’s left eye started to twitch. “You’re just gonna walk out on to an unknown planet...for the freakin’ lolz?!”
The Doctor nodded, still smiling. “That just about sums it up!”
Her eye twitched a little more before looking at Derpy and Tick Tock. “Please tell me we’re not actually gonna listen to this nutcase!”
Derpy chuckled a little. “Oh calm down, Kat. This is what we do. We travel to different worlds and see what there is to see. It’s a lot of fun!”
“I have only been on a couple of adventures myself, but it is most fascinating to see what the universe has to hold,” Tick Tock added.
Kat put her hooves to her head, holding them there as she groaned. “Why do I have a bad feeling about this?”
“You’ll get used to it,” Derpy said with an apologetic smile. “Now come on! Adventure awaits!”
The mare just stood there as Derpy and Tick Tock walked out after the Doctor, inwardly debating. Kat was stuck like this for now; stuck as a pony and stuck on this… ‘ship’. Letting out a big huff, she finally started to move… very awkwardly. Kat had never known that it was so difficult to walk on four legs.
‘Fluttershy made this look so easy’, she thought to herself. Slowly, but surely, Kat made it to the door and trotted out. What met her eyes was… different to say the least. It appeared as if they had landed in some alley way out in the slums. Cleanliness was definitely not something that had happened here in forever. Moving her head upward, she noticed that the clouds were a dark yellowish-grey and that the cloud cover had no end. Not a single break anywhere to seen.
A sharp whistle pulled Kat out of her observations, seeing the trio at the end of the alley, waiting for her. The Doctor motioned towards them. “Come on, Katherine! Don’t want to get left behind or separated!”
“Oh, alright!” she called back. She raced towards them… stopping short right in front of them with a look of annoyance and confusion. “What did you just call me?”
“Katherine!” he answered cheerily. “‘Kat’ is too simple. So I just used your full name. Now come on! Avante!”
“Avante!” Derpy cheered.
“Avante,” Tick Tock continued with a bemused look.
As they started to walk off, Kat’s eye began to twitch again. Quickly remembering they may not be alone, she muttered under her breath, “That is not my name.” The trio were quickly gaining ground, forcing her to run after them, nearly stumbling a few times. “Hey, wait up!”
The four ponies carefully walked the streets of what appeared an abandoned city. Their hooves made clopping noises against the stone streets, echoing across the seemingly barren buildings. The only signs of life appeared to be the occasional mouse that ran across their path.
“Anypony,” Derpy corrected for the umpteenth time, getting the expected chuckle in return.
“Is anypony getting a sense of deja vu?” the Doctor asked.
Derpy and Tick Tock shook their heads, but Kat hmmed. “Now that you mention it… kinda has that old timey, steampunk vibe.”
“Ah! That’s why it seems so familiar!” The Doctor paused. “I don’t like it.”
“I think it’s neat,” Kat commented. “Dark, gritty,” she stepped in something squishy, making a shudder run through her as she wiped it off without looking, “...grimy.”
Suddenly, a loud bullhorn sounded from somewhere, echoing out through the empty streets. Before any of them could say anything or question the sound, hundreds of ponies came pouring out of every building, rushing through streets at breakneck paces. Derpy took to the skies immediately, leaving the three non-flyers to the crowds.
“Ack! Oof! Ow-HEY! Watch the hooves!”
This went on for a few minutes before the bullhorn sounded again, the crowd disappearing back into the buildings within a matter of seconds. The only thing left in the street were three groaning ponies.
“Are you all alright?” Derpy asked as she landed, looking guilty at leaving her friends to the mercy of the mob. “That didn’t look very pleasant.”
“Oh don’t be silly, Derpy,” the Doctor moaned, a smile plastered on his face as he laid in the street. “You can join us next time! It’ll be fun!” he nearly spat.
“Let’s try to avoid a next time, instead,” Tick Tock said, getting up slowly.
“I agree with Spock,” Kat added.
“Please don’t call me that.”
“Hmm… nah. You’re Spock pony. I’m gonna keep with that.” Kat smiled as Tick Tock sighed, the two of them joining Derpy and the Doctor. “That was weird, though. What could have caused all that?”
The Doctor hmmed. “Perhaps it’s just as simple as a shift change.”
“A shift change?” Derpy asked.
“You mean like a work shift?” Kat replied similarly.
“Exactly! Perhaps we’re in the factory area of the town. It could just be that--” The Doctor was interrupted as they heard somepony shouting not too far from them. Curiosity overtaking him, the Doctor ran forward, the others following behind him, Kat more reluctantly than the others. Turning around a corner, they found the source of the loud voice. A dark red, unicorn mare was shouting into a steel megaphone, preaching something. Her deep brown hair was tied up in a bun, a black, flat-top, boater hat on her head. A few ponies were standing around her, causing the outsiders to notice something: they were all clothed. Each one was dressed in steampunk style clothing, giving Kat the feeling that the world’s aesthetics were not just there to look nice. Shaking her head for a moment, Kat tuned into what the mare was proclaiming.
“...good and goodly ponies, do not whistle happily in the morn as you make your way to the factories. Each and every turn of a wrench is a symbol of Baron Van Hoof’s tyranny!” she shouted, pointing at what appeared to be a large mansion at the furthest end of the road.
Derpy gasped loudly, causing Kat to turn with the Doctor and Tick Tock.
“Oh my goodness,” the earth pony said in awe as they other three look on in shock. Coming down the street were three large behemoths. Largely equine in appearance, they stomped their way towards the mare, clanging and pounding along the cobblestone. “Giant robots!” the Doctor said as his face started to curl into an excited smile. “I can’t believe it! Actual giant robot ponies!!”
“I can’t believe it either,” Tick Tock said, aweing himself now. “I would absolutely love to take one of those apart.”
“Uh, guys?” Kat asked, waving her hoof in front of their faces, getting no response.
“Boys, am I right?” Derpy shrugged.
“Uh huh,” Kat couldn’t help but agree. She took another look at the robots, seeing that they were still largely outdated compared to what she had seen. Each limb seemed to have covered shock coils where they bent, allowing each step to go smoothly. Where they should have had faces, though, instead were what appeared to be video monitors. They sprung to life with the black-and-white, bearded face of a unicorn stallion appearing on all the three.
“Attention,” his voice sounded out, full of the British accent Kat was slowly getting used to hearing from the Doctor. Now that she remembered it, that mare had the same accent… several curses flew through Kat’s mind at that thought. “You are in noncompliance with several safety ordinances. Please disperse or face imprisonment and a fine.”
Kat noticed that the robots were heading right for the preaching mare. “Guys!” Kat shouted, shaking the Doctor and Tick Tock free of their mechanical stupors. Noticing the situation immediately, the Doctor gasped.
“We have to help her,” he stated, running off, the other going after him. The four slid into a protective formation in front of the preaching mare. The Doctor pulled a strange-looking cylindrical device seemingly out of nowhere and pointed it at the machines. “Don’t take one more step or I will be forced to use force!”
“Cease this futility at once or be placed in a work camp,” the monitor stallion retorted.
“We will not!” the mare shouted from behind them, not showing any fear in the face of the towering robots. “There is no happiness without freedom!”
“You have plenty of freedom!”
That’s where Kat had had enough, stepping forward. “Any government that would threaten its people with work camps does not possess proper freedom!”
“How dare you!” Out of the robot’s shoulder, a clamp like appendage extended towards Kat. She smirked, searching deep inside of her and activating her special powers over gravity… or so should have been happening. Kat’s eyes opened wide in surprise as she couldn’t feel anything. There was no power she could detect, no inward explosion of energy as per usual, no red and black aura covering her from head to toe...err...hoof. There was nothing at all.
“My powers… they’re gone,” Kat whispered fearfully to herself. Unfortunately, her hesitation was enough time for the clamp to slam into her side, knocking Kat into the wall of a nearby building.
“Kat!” Derpy yelled in shock and fear for her new friend.
The Doctor glared at the robot. “Oh, you’ll pay for that one.” Before he could activate his strange device, Kat slammed into its head, causing the machine to collapse to the ground. Kat landed on all four hooves in a defensive stance in front of the others, all of whom had varying levels of shock. “Oh… you’re okay.”
“Kat!” Derpy exclaimed, smiling, but slightly worried. “Are you okay?”
Kat smirked. “Never better. That did sting a little, but I’m a-okay.”
“Not even a scratch,” the Doctor awed. “Simply amazing.”
“That’s the power of an earth pony,” Tick Tock said. “They are amazingly durable and strong.”
“Why can’t I be durable and strong?!” he moaned in response.
“Because you eat too much butter,” Derpy giggled.
“I AM NOT FAT!”
Kat ignored them, keeping away from the robots. “Less talky, more helpy!” she shouted.
“Do not listen to these ruffians!” the stallion shouted from his video. “I saved us all! We will be fine so long as you do as I say!”
The next moment, a green blast of energy struck at the speaking robot, toppling it to the ground. Kat looked over and saw an armored stallion heading their way. He was covered head to hoof in clothing and machinery, ending in what appeared to be an energy cannon attached to his right hoof.
“Excuse me, miss,” he said as he ran passed Kat, firing another large blast into the final bot. One of the bots had gotten up, but the newcomer quickly blasted it back down as he raced over to the mare. After checking to make sure she was okay, he turned his goggle covered eyes to the ‘foreigners’ and called to them. “Come on! Let’s get someplace safe!” He and the mare raced off down one of the alleys.
“Should we follow them?” Derpy asked as Kat raced over to the others.
“They may be our only chance out here,” Tick Tock reasoned.
“And we may find out just what is going on here,” the Doctor added.
“Then let’s go!” Kat said as the four took off after them. Dashing into the alley, they saw the mare motioning them into a cellar.
“Quickly! Quickly! Get into the cellar before more of Baron’s machines show up.” The foursome took the hint and ran inside the cellar. The mare stood for a few moments, looking around to make sure nopony was watching. Confident nopony was looking, she climbed in and locked the door behind her. Reaching the basement, she activated the electricity, lighting up the massive basement. The foursome looked in awe as several machines were activated with the lights. Kat could determine what appeared to be scanning equipment, radios, and possibly what appeared to be a computer-in-progress.
“What is all this?” Tick Tock asked.
“More importantly,” the Doctor interrupted. “Who are you two?”
The mare walked back over to them, having hung up her dress and hat on a nearby hook and had taken off her boots. Kat could clearly see her cutie mark now, displaying an open newspaper. “So sorry about all that riot. I am Insightful Headline, and this hunk of a stallion,” she pointed her hoof at the gentlecolt, his helmet removed, revealing a light tan coat color and ruffled black mane, “is Loyal Hero. Thank you very much for your assistance in the square.”
“Our pleasure, ma’am,” the Doctor bowed slightly.
“What was all that anyways?” Kat asked.
“Those were Baron Van Hoof’s order bots,” Insightful replied. “They’re programmed to keep all citizens in line with his way of ‘peace and safety’.” She took a deep, calming breath. “Baron rules this world with an iron hoof, throwing any who disagree with him into a work camp or worse.”
“It wasn’t always this way,” Loyal spoke up. “Baron used to be a kind king, just and true. But the past year, he’s shown otherwise. Factories sprung up left and right, until the entire planet was covered in them. Ponies work tirelessly day and night, creating more and more parts for other factories. It’s an endless cycle, it is.”
“The two of us started a rebellion to fight back against his tyranny. It’s slow going, but the morale has been beginning to rise.”
“That is a good start,” Kat nodded, going over several of their drafts and drawings sprung out around the walls. “If you can get the people behind you, then anything can be done.” She looked over at Hero, noticing his strange attire. “What is this anyway? It almost looks like a boiler.”
“Ah, my good lady built this, as well as everything here. She’s the brains of the outfit. All I did was discover the uniqueium.”
“The what?” the Doctor asked.
“Uniqueium,” Insightful repeated. “It’s the rare element that powers the suit Loyal is wearing as well as the flange combustion manipulator that allows for the cannon.”
“It’s called uniqueium because it’s--”
“Really unique?” Tick Tock interrupted.
“That’s right,” Loyal nodded, seemingly missing the unicorn’s sarcastic tone.
“So you cobbled together a nuclear reactor with chicken wire and some string,” Kat mused. “Quite the military advancement.”
The Doctor’s ears perked up, causing him to slowly turn to meet her gaze. “What was that about military? You wouldn’t happen to be… a soldier, would you?”
Kat smirked. “A soldier once, a soldier forever. I was a former general at one point, leading my troops to victory over nation after nation.”
The Doctor, however, was not as happy as she was for her accomplishments. “I should have known,” he said, his tone darker than it was.
“Known what?” Kat asked, quirking her eyebrow.
“That’s all you are: a soldier,” he nearly spat. “A mindless dog, doing whatever her higher ups tell her to do and making those below her follow blindly.”
“Excuse me?!” she nearly shouted back, getting in his face. “Don’t think you know me, Doctor. You don’t know who I am or what I’ve gone through.”
“I think I know enough,” the Doctor replied emotionlessly.
“Woah woah, hey now,” Derpy begged, pushing the two apart. “Why all the hostility again, Doctor? I thought you didn’t mind soldiers?”
“I do not appreciate her kind of soldier.”
“Stow it down your flag hole, ya Brit,” Kat retorted.
Before their hostilities could increase anymore, a strange beeping noise went off. They all turned to the scanner that was flashing and making the sound. Insightful rushed over and started pressing buttons and turning knobs.
“What’s going on, hon?” Loyal asked.
“It appears the order bots are on the move.” She quickly ran over to the computer, activating it as it whirred to life. On the monitor came a blurry, black and white picture of six robots that were pulling a familiar, blue box.
“They have the TARDIS!” Derpy gasped.
“Looks like they’re pulling it into Baron Van Hoof’s mansion,” Loyal pointed out. “Poor luck chaps. That place is a fortress and anything that he claims is never seen again.”
“Well, that’s not going to happen to my TARDIS!” the Doctor proclaimed.
“What part of fortress do you not understand?” Insightful asked. “Breaking into Van Hoof Manor is suicide.”
“Heard that one before,” Kat said as she watched. “And proven it wrong several times.” She looked at the Doctor. “Okay, Doc, here’s the deal: I help you get your box back and you get me off this planet and back to the Void. Deal?”
“And why should I agree to that?” he asked, more than a little skeptical.
“Look, you don’t like me and I’m only tolerating you, but we both need that box. You’ll need my strength to get in and out of there.”
The Doctor and Kat glared each other down for a few moments before they pressed their hooves together. “Truce,” they both said at the same time.
“Well that’s helpful,” Tick Tock said. “But now we need a plan that will allow us to penetrate this so called fortress.”
“Oh, right,” the Doctor added with a tiny blush of embarrassment. “How are we going to get in?”
“We can help with that!” Insightful declared. She started pulling several rolls of parchment from one of the cabinets and putting them on the central table. “These here are the blueprints to the mansion.”
As she rolled them out, Kat had the idea to ask, “You have the blueprints, yet you still think it’s impossible to pull this off?”
“It’s because we’ve seen these plans we find it impossible,” Loyal added as Insightful unfurled said plans.
The Doctor skimmed over the plans for a moment. “Oh my… we may need to think this through for a while.” He looked out the tiny window at the top of the far wall, the only source of natural light in the room, noticing said light was fading. “It’s going to be a long night everypony. We’d best get started.”
As the planning wore into the night, Kat took a moment to sit out of the planning circle to rest her eyes. She chose to lean against the computer, huddling for the extra warmth. Once the night had fallen, she took note that the temperature dropped amazingly fast and she was now freezing being away from everypony else’s body heat.
Kat took a deep sigh as she tried to take her mind off the temperature. She tentatively looked at her hooves, continually hoping that it was all just a dream she was having while spinning through the Void. She longed to see her hands instead of the flat lumps of flesh and fur. Thinking of such also reminded her of the lack of power she now possessed. No matter how hard she tried, Kat couldn’t seem to activate them at all. Her strength and durability were still in top form, that she knew from the previous day’s events, but why couldn’t she manipulate gravity anymore? It just didn’t make any sense to her.
A feeling of warmth overtook Kat suddenly causing her to come out of her thoughts. She notices a blanket had been draped over her body. Looking up in confusion, she saw Hero standing over her.
“You were starting to shiver,” he said quietly. “A gentlecolt doesn’t let a lady go cold, after all.”
“Oh, thank you,” Kat said genuinely, hoping she wasn’t blushing from his compliment. “Is it always this cold?”
“Not usually, but ever since Baron’s factories covered the planet with smog, the temperature has been getting lower and lower each day. That’s why most of us where clothes these days, much easier to go about our days in the cold.”
“Huh,” Kat could only say in return. “I’m, uh, I’m gonna get some rest. Wake me when we’re ready to move out, would you?”
Kat watched as he moved back to the others, her exhaustion slowly taking over. Her eyelids felt heavier and heavier with each droop. Within moments, the gravity queen fell into slumber.
That’s all there was around her.
Nothing, but empty, empty, black darkness.
Then the screams came. Voices of the past that would forever haunt her.
“Your home is gone!”
Kat tossed and turned wildly in her sleep, until she gasped awake from something prodding her. Panting as a cold sweat poured over her body, she looked up to see Derpy standing next to her.
“Kat, we’re ready to get going. Are you alright?”
“Yeah… yeah, I’m good,” Kat said as she tried to get her breathing under control.
“Are you sure? You don’t look so good.”
“Just a nightmare,” she shrugged off, throwing the blanket off as well. “Let’s go.”
“Okay, if you’re sure.” Derpy hesitantly followed Kat over to the others who were all prepped and ready.
“Ah, there’s our Heavy,” the Doctor said with a bit of mirth.
“Oh hush ya worthless Medic,” Kat snarked back. “Do we have a plan now?”
“The plan is all set and ready to be implemented,” Tick Tock said as he telekinetically pulled on his saddlebags.
“Great, then let’s get to it!”
“Avante!” the Doctor declared.
“Avante!” Derpy and Tick Tock repeated with enthusiasm. Well, as much enthusiasm as Tick Tock could do.
“Tally ho!” Insightful and Loyal said at the same time.
Kat quirked a brow at them all. She sighed, shaking her head. “Brits.”
“Oi!” three of them shouted, getting Kat to giggle a little.
“Come on, let’s get started!”
“This was a terrible plan!!” Kat shouted as they all ran through the hallways of the mansion. Getting in had been relatively easy, sneaking in through the lower sewers. Once inside, however, they were ambushed. Now, being chased by several order bots, was certainly NOT according to plan.
“Oh bad day, bad day, bad day, bad day!” Derpy cried as she flew as fast as she could along side them.
“How much farther?” Tick Tock called to Insightful. She had chosen to keep a smaller set of the plans on hoof so they didn’t get lost. She pulled the rolled up scroll from her hat with her magic and looked it over.
“We’re not too far from the observatory laboratory,” she replied. “But we’ll need to lose these behemoths if we’re supposed to get back your TARDIS!”
Loyal stopped for a second to quickly fire a bolt of green energy at a bot, causing it to fall back from the force. But it did nothing to stop the six more that continued the chase. The stallion turned tail after the others. “I don’t have enough power in the suit to take these others down,” he informed them. “I used most of the power on the initial ambush.”
“Then how are we going to get rid of them?!” Derpy cried out again, fearing for her life.
Looking over her shoulder, Kat saw the bots were gaining on them and would soon have all of them captured. Exhaling a deep breath, she skidded to a stop and turned to face the mechanical beasts.
“Miss Kat!” Hero called out. “What are you doing?! Run!”
“I’ll buy you some time,” she called back. “Just keep going!”
“But Kat…” the Doctor said, stopping to watch her.
Kat looked over her shoulder and smirked. “Don’t worry, I’ll meet you there.” Hesitantly, the Doctor turned and ran after the others. Kat looked back to the order bots that were almost on her. “HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!” the earth pony shouted in her best Royal Canterlot Voice.
The sudden loud voice caused all of them to skid to a halt in front of the glaring mare. A couple cocked their heads in confusion before their clamping arms extended out to grab her. Kat jumped back from their grasp, doing her best to keep up with the grabby arms.
“Oh boy, this isn’t as easy as the ponies make it look,” she muttered as she tried to perform her acrobatic feats on four legs. A small trip up in her step was enough for a claw to slam into Kat’s side again. Luckily, she was able to stop herself from skidding too far, but that distracted her from another attack that hit her under the chin. Flying backwards into the air, Kat landed hard on a decorative trophy case.
Groaning, Kat noticed something inside the case. Underneath the shattered glass, and her own rump, was an antique sword. A rapier, to be exact. Kat jumped off the case, blocking the bots’ path again. “En guarde!” she called holding the sword pointed at them with her hoof. Kat blinked for a moment, looking at her hoof. “How the fuck am I holding this with a hoof?!”
Before she could formulate any kind of scientific response, Kat was forced to roll out of the way of a mech arm. She quickly stood, defending against another with the sword. Yet another came and grabbed her free hoof, yanking her into the air with a yelp from the mare. She struggled against the literal iron grip as the middle bot held her up in front of itself. The monitor came on, revealing Baron Van Hoof glaring at her.
“There is no further reason to resist,” he told her like it was a simple fact. “You have been captured and soon your compatriots will follow.”
Kat glared harshly at the pony on the screen before a devilish idea came to her. “Sorry Baron, but I’m too stubborn to give up.” With a twist of her body, Kat stabbed the rapier into the monitor, instantly cutting the video feed.
What Kat didn’t expect was for the stab wound to start glowing. “Oh shi--”
As the odd ensemble of ponies ran into the laboratory, they heard an explosion from far behind them. Further down the hall where they had come, a great fireball was consuming everything.
Derpy, Loyal, and Insightful called down the hall. The fire encroached further towards them, threatening to engulf them as well.
“Get inside,” the Doctor grunted as he shoved the three inside the lab, slamming the doors shut. He and Tick Tock braced against the door as the shock wave hit, nearly blasting the doors down right there and then.
Once all was calm again, the two stallions finally let go of the door. “That was too close,” Tick Tock breathed.
“B-but what about Kat?” Derpy asked, nearly in tears of losing her new friend.
The Doctor put his hoof on her shoulder. “We will worry about her when we have a chance. Right now, we need to find the TARDIS. If this Baron is as scientifically interested as our fellows here said, then we can’t let him try to get inside.”
Derpy nodded, but didn’t like the idea of leaving Kat behind. The five ponies got to work as they moved throughout the lab. There was scientific equipment everywhere, from computers and control boards, to radios and scanners, to even a giant telescope that extended out into the heavens, even past the low hanging smog. Curious, the Doctor looked into the telescope, noting that oddly he couldn’t see anything besides stars.
“Odd,” he mused to himself.
“Doctor!” Loyal called from the second floor. The stallion looked up and saw the suited pony pull off a sheet, revealing the blue, wooden box he had known for centuries. “Is this what you’ve been looking for?”
“Ha ha!” the Doctor said happily as he ran up to his TARDIS. “There she is! The greatest little ship in the universe!” He then muttered under his breath, “The sexiest too.”
“Now we have no worries getting back on track with our travels,” Tick Tock commented as he and Derpy joined the Doctor.
“Except one!” a new voice called out. Before they could question it, clamps snared all five ponies, pulling them away to the TARDIS and back to the first level where Baron Van Hoof was waiting with several order bots.
“Baron!” Insightful glared. “Let us go!”
“Excuse my harshness, madam, but we Van Hoofs do not take kindly to thieves. Whether it be for a fresh jar of jam berry preserves or for a magnificent piece of technology.”
“It’s my magnificent piece of technology!” the Doctor shouted at Baron.
“Yours?” Baron asked incredulously. “And how would you have come by a multiuniversal chronomachine?”
“Oooh, I like that,” he replied. “Mind if I use that some time?” Derpy coughed, reminding the Doctor of the situation. “Oh. Right. Heheh, sorry. Ahem, anyway, the TARDIS is rightfully mine, Baron Van Hoof. I am here to retrieve it.”
“That’s the way it is,” the Doctor smirked.
At that moment, a blur slammed into the head of the nearest order bot, sending it crashing to ground and freeing the captive Doctor and Loyal. “What is the meaning of this?!” Van Hoof called out.
Standing on top of the robot was Kat, looking only slightly singed. “America, bitch!” she said with a bright smile. “That’s the meaning.”
“Such crudeness,” Baron said, aghast at her.
“Get over it, ya prude!”
The pony growled and pointed at Kat. “Don’t just stand there! Get her!” The robots did as ordered and rushed the mare. She jumped and dodged each and every claw. One finally got her into a corner where she couldn’t move, sending the claw right at her. Kat outstretched her hooves and caught the clamp, barely able to push against it as it pushed her further into the corner.
“This is pointless!” Baron shouted. “Why do you still fight?!”
“Because I am a soldier!” Kat called out as she struggled against the mechanical monstrosity. “As a soldier, I have duty to the citizens! No matter what, they come first! I will always defend them! I am a soldier! A protector! I. Am. A guardian!”
The Doctor pulled out his cylindrical device again and pointed it at the robot. He pressed the button causing the tip to glow blue as it elicited a strange whirring noise. The order bot seized up, the gears inside screeching to a halt before the entire body collapsed into pieces. “Always trust the sonic,” the Doctor smirked at Kat. “And the soldier.”
Kat smiled back before turning to Baron with a harsh glare. The Doctor and Loyal quickly disarmed the other robots, allowing the six of them to surround the pony king. “You seem to be at a loss, Baron,” Insightful declared. “Prepared to surrender and submit for all your crimes?”
“Crimes? What crimes have I committed?! Everything I have done has been to keep this world safe!”
“Don’t play us for a fool, Baron Van Hoof,” Loyal countered. “You forced the entire world into a tyrannical state for far too long. It’s time for the ponies to be set free.”
“No! If work stops now, everything I’ve done will have been for nothing! All will be lost!” Baron seemed on the verge of a breakdown. “Please! I never wanted to make the ponies slaves! I just wanted to keep them all safe!”
“Safe? From what?!” Insightful demanded. “The only thing we need to be safe from, is you!”
The Doctor stepped forward, a somber look on his face. “It all makes sense now. Baron, where is your star?”
“Huh?!” all of the ponies gasped.
“How… how did you…” Baron tried to say.
“I looked through your telescope. It’s only one in the afternoon, yet I could clearly see stars in the sky. What happened to your planet’s star?”
Baron sighed, looking defeated. “I… I don’t know. I received advice to keep an eye on the sun. I wasn’t sure why until I looked through my telescope and saw that the star was starting to disappear. I couldn’t describe it any other way. It was just slowly vanishing. I knew there was no way to stop it, but I knew I could still keep us alive.”
“The smog layer,” Kat said, finally understanding. “Smog is thick enough that it will actually keep the ponies below from seeing into the night. But it’s also reflective enough to keep in light.”
“It also would cause a greenhouse effect,” Tick Tock added. “Keeping in the heat and creating more.”
“But only for a while. Eventually, the field will fail as the planet slowly cools without the warmth of its star.”
“Uh, Doc?” Kat said, prodding his shoulder. He turned, seeing that she was looking. Upon the higher glass, the Doctor noticed a frost slowly spreading atop it.
“Oh, oh dear. The temperature must be dropping even more.”
“According to my calculations,” Tick Tock said as he mentally ran the numbers. “With the drop in temperature steadily increasing, the entire planet will freeze within the next few days.”
Baron fell to his knees, his eyes empty and lifeless. “Then all I did was postpone the inevitable. It was all for naught.”
“So… we’re all going to freeze,” Insightful oh-so-helpfully summed up.
“Plenty of time for tea, though,” Loyal added.
Kat blinked in shock, taken aback by their statement. “What’s wrong with you?! We never give up! You go down fighting.”
The Doctor put his hoof to his chin in thought before his vision slowly turned to the TARDIS. “I think I have a solution!” He ran up to the TARDIS before anypony said a thing and ran inside. A few moments later, his head popped out of the craft. “Well? Come on!”
Shrugging to each other, the six ponies raced up the stairs and into the TARDIS.
The three local ponies awed once inside. “What do you think?” the Doctor asked with a smirk as he stood by the console in the center.
“It’s so much bigger on the inside,” Insightful gaped.
The Doctor grinned and looked smugly at Kat. “See? They know how to praise it right.”
Kat rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah, what’s this big plan of yours, Doctor?”
“Well, Katherine,” Kat’s eye twitched again, “We’re going to save the planet.”
“How are you going to do that?” Baron asked as he trotted over with the others.
“Simple! We’re going to move it!”
“Move it?!” they all gasped.
“Yep! Just do as I say and we can keep your lovely planet full of its wondrous life. Derpy, just stand here if you would and keep your hooves right on his wheel,” he said while motioning Derpy into where he was standing. “Tick Tock right next to her, and grabbed that knob firmly. Katherine, here and jiggly the doohickey….”
He continued to place the others around the console as it powered up with a strange wheezing noise. The TARDIS shook and shuddered as the strange device in the console’s main tube began to bob up and down.
“Doctor, what is happening?” Derpy said as she continued to follow his orders.
“Fun fact about the TARDIS, Derpy: it was originally meant to be piloted by six individuals.”
“Is that why you have such a problem flying it?” Tick Tock snarked.
“Quiet you,” the Doctor deadpanned.
“Doctor,” Insightful started, “What exactly are we doing?”
The Doctor smiled as he trotted over to the door and pushed it open. Outside was space and stars, getting the locals to gasp as they saw the planet not far behind them.
“My word,” Baron gasped. “We’re in the planet’s orbit.”
“Correction: we are towing the planet! Avante, everypony! Avante!” Without further word, the TARDIS spun forward through the universe, dragging a planet right behind her.
“I just can’t believe it all,” Insightful gasped as she, Loyal, and Baron stared at their new star from their planet’s orbit. It had taken several long hours of pulling, but the TARDIS eventually pulled planet Steamlite into a new star’s ‘goldilocks’ orbit.
“I… I have no words,” Baron said as he wiped away a tear. He turned around to the Doctor and bowed deeply, getting on his knees. “Doctor, you have saved our home. We are forever in your debt.”
“Oh, it was nothing,” the Doctor waved off with a smile. “Just here to help.”
“Does this mean you’ll be restoring freedom?” Kat asked.
Baron nodded. “Oh most certainly. I will do my best to restore things to the way they were… with help from my new advisors.” He looked at Loyal Hero and Insightful Hero as he said that.
“Us? Oh, Baron we would be honored!”
“Jolly good to have the old Baron back,” Hero nodded. “We gratefully accept.”
“Excellent! You’ll begin immediately so we can get those ponies out of work camps and back to their families.”
“Hooray!” Derpy cheered. “Everything turned out great!”
The Doctor smiled as he flipped a switch, the TARDIS landing on the planet below. Loyal, Insightful, and Baron walked out and waved back into the machine.
“Thank you for everything, Doctor! And to all of you, thank you oh so much,” they called.
The Doctor saluted with a smile as the others waved back. The doors closed and the TARDIS took off again with its signature motor wheezing around them. “Well, Kitty Kat-Kat,” the Doctor said smugly. “What did you think of that little adventure?”
Kat shook her head with a smile. “It was nuts, I’ll give you that. But… I’m still stuck as a pony.”
“Well, why not let us help with that?”
“Huh?” Kat asked, looking at the smiling trio.
“Oh come now, Katherine. Join us on this little adventure and we’ll find some way to get you back to your old humany self.”
“Yeah! It’ll be amazing and fun! Plus it’ll be nice to have another girl on board.”
“Meeting a being from yet another universe would be nice to study. And I could try to build something that could restore your original form.”
“Hmm,” Kat mused. “Work alongside an earth pony who suffers way too much from ADHD--”
“I’m just hyper!”
“A cheery and peppy pegasus--”
“That’s me alright!”
“And a monotone unicorn inventor.”
“That’s just about the gist of it.”
Kat thought on it for a moment before sighing with a smile. “Well, what the hell, right?”
The Doctor’s smile widened slowly. “Avante?”
“Avante!” Derpy cheered.
“Avante.” Tick Tock said with as much enthusiasm as he could.
Kat smiled. “Avante.”
The Doctor pulled a switch. “Yeah! Adventure awaits! Let’s go!” The TARDIS powered up and flew off into the universe towards adventure.