The tall man stopped at the kerbside out of breath. He waved out his slim gangly arms calling out loud.
“Taxi”. He shouted.
After a few moments a black and white cab, pulled up beside him.
He opened up the back passenger door and sprang in. Sitting down was uncomfortable. It wasn’t that he was too fat. He was slim but his knees were squashed up against the front passenger seat.
Bert was the taxi driver. Been one almost all his life. Forty five years young with a totally bald shiny head. He groaned as his fat tummy rested over the bottom of the steering wheel. He too was uncomfortable. And squashed.
Bert creaked his bull neck around as much as he could to look at his next meal ticket. He saw a thin young man with a strange angular long head and wavy brown hair. The strangers dark, deep set eyes sparkled at him and the stranger smiled wildly.
“This is the part where you ask where I’m going right?” asked the stranger, looking at his watch.
He was clearly flustered and needed to be somewhere in a hurry.
“Oh yeah.. I sorry guvnor. Where to?”
“Just drive down this road for now. I’ll let you know soon where to go. Thanks Bert”.
Bert was shocked. “How you know my name?”
“It says on your licence,” replied the stranger pointing a bony finger to Bert’s license above the dashboard. It was his taxi licence. Bert sometimes forgot it was there as no passengers had used his name before. He didn’t like customers being too familiar with him.
It was a Sunday in town so the roads and pavements were fairly quiet. Plus at five o’ clock most shops had long been shut.
Even so Bert drove slowly down the road. He wasn’t sure if the stranger would change their direction at any moment. It also gave him the chance to give the stranger another look over through his mirror. He was very odd looking. For a young man his dress sense was atrocious. No one wore tweed jackets and bow ties anymore. Unless they were geography teachers or fancy dress.
The stranger suddenly took what looked like a torch out of an inside pocket of his tweed jacket. It buzzed and whirred and a green light shone at the top. The stranger studied it closely.
“Nearly caught up.” He muttered. He then looked up at Bert staring at him in the mirror and smiled.
He leaned forward between the driver and passenger seats. He stared at the contents on the passenger side.
“Mmmm jelly babies. My favourites. May I?”
“Of course,” replied Bert.
The stranger reached over to a paper bag on the passenger seat and took a few, popping one into his mouth.
“Now Bert,” he munched. “ Things may get a bit weird but there’s nothing to worry about. I’m here to sort things out. I made a bit of a boo boo to be honest.”
“Here what you on about. Have you any money for this ride?”
Bert had had trouble before, customers jumping in and messing him about and running off and not paying.
“Stop the car,” screamed the stranger. “I’ll just be a minute. By the way I’m the Doctor.”
“Doctor Who?” asked Bert . But the stranger had already stepped out of the taxi and made his way to a cash point. Bert watched as the Doctor pulled out the whirring green torch thing and pointed it at the ATM machine.
“He’s having a giraffe,” said Bert out loud.
Suddenly the ATM machine spat out lots of twenty pound notes as the Doctor pocketed a few and raced back to the taxi.
“Go.” He shouted.
Bert set off but in the rear view mirror he saw the cash machine spewing out even more money. Out of control it was.
“Is it Valentines day?” asked the Doctor, again peaking between the front seats and looking at a card on the passenger seat next to the bag of jelly babies.
“Er yes it is. It’s for my wife.” Replied Bert.
“Very nice. How long you been married Bert?”
“Bout 20 years Guv,”
“It’s Doctor. Is that all you’ve got her after 20 years?”
“All I could afford.”
“Well the old Doctor here can help you out Bert,”
Bert slowed down the taxi as he watched the Doctor on the back seat rifle through his tweed jacket’s inside pocket. The Doctor suddenly pulled out a large alarm clock.
“That’s not it, hold on got it,”
Next he pulled out a red telescope and threw it onto the seat next to him.
“Nearly had it then,” he exclaimed.
Bert had now stopped at a set of traffic lights as the Doctor then pulled out a slightly dry but beautiful bouquet of mixed colourful flowers.
“There you go Bert give the Mrs these,”
“Ohh Guv . .. . I mean Doctor you didn’t have to. Ere how did you have all that in your small jacket pocket?”
“The pocket’s bigger on the inside,” smiled the Doctor.
The green lit torch suddenly whirred and flashed like crazy. It opened up slightly. The Doctor studied it intently and smiled.
“Found her.” He shouted excitedly. “Next left Bert,”
Bert took the corner and the Doctor pressed his face up against the window looking up to the rooftops.
“There she is,”
Bert looked out his window and saw a strange shadow on the ground moving fast and leaping over the buildings. He daren’t look up to the rooftops.
“Next left,” shouted the Doctor.
As they rounded the corner the sound of screaming hit their ears as people ran in all directions. Most were running from a large Off Licence store.
A middle aged woman ran up to the taxi screaming.
“Monster in the shop, let me in. Let me in,” she yelled grabbing at the door handle.
“Let me out, stay here Bert might get messy,” the Doctor opened the door and left the cab leaving the woman sat in the back puffing out of breath.
Bert watched the tall man walk confidently to the store entrance, his green lit torch held out in front of him.
Curiosity got the better of Bert and with a sigh and against the woman’s protests Bert nervously left his taxi and slowly followed the Doctor into the store.
Behind the counter a small Asian woman cowered in a corner muttering, eyes wide open. The Doctor was out of sight. Bert walked round a couple of aisles until he suddenly spotted the gangly Doctor stood on a freezer unit waving a string of sausages around.
Bert thought the Doctor looked very funny and chuckled until his eye caught a small movement to the left of the Doctor. At first it looked like a large lizard but as it’s big green eyes gazed from the sausages to Bert it made him freeze in terror.
There stood in the aisles was a velociraptor. Stretching its muscular hind legs to get a better look at Bert over a chest freezer. It s front arms outstretched clicking big sharp claws on the glass. It looked beautiful. It had small feathers over light green skin which shone under the shops lights.
It started moving towards Bert. He was rooted to the spot with fear. His insignificant forty five years of life flashed before his eyes. He was going to die.
“Hoy over here. Look got you some lovely sausages,” shouted the Doctor banging a string of sausages in the freezer top.
The dinosaur turned and trotted towards the Doctor. He threw the sausages a couple of feet in front of him and it ate the lot. It was extremely hungry.
“Must have been lost in the Tard... oops, too many spoilers. We need to get her to follow us. Grab some meat from that fridge behind you Bert,”
“Is it a baby dinosaur?” asked Bert.
“No fully grown,” replied the Doctor edging his way past the munching dinosaur.
Bert was puzzled, the velociraptor was no bigger than two foot high. The Doctor had noticed his puzzled look as Bert stared at the beast.
“The films always make them look bigger otherwise no one would be scared when they watch Jurassic Park. Don’t be fooled, those claws and teeth could still do a lot of damage. Now quickly Bert follow me.”
The Doctor had now passed the prehistoric beast and started fast towards the door. It looked up and around first staring at the Doctor with green lizard slanted eyes then turned towards Bert. It stalked slowly towards him.
Bert sprinted out behind the thin gangly Doctor although sprint wasn’t the word for it as after a few feet he was sweating and panting. He was desperately out of shape but out the corner of his eye he saw the velociraptor coming fast behind him. Bert dropped one of the burgers he had scooped up from the fridges moments earlier and made his way out of the shop exit behind the Doctor. Luckily the dinosaur had stopped to sniff and snack the burgers but only ate one. Spitting the rest out in disgust.
The Doctor was fast. He had already got over the road outside and was now dashing down an alleyway. His green lit instrument held high in his hands. Bert struggled to follow but the site of the velociraptor sprinting out of the shop behind him made him push himself. He could hear his heart pounding fast in his chest and he ached all over. Up ahead in the alley the Doctor had stopped dead, his hand and green torch held high above him. Bert sprinted up to him as the velociraptor closed in on him.
As Bert reached the Doctor some strange things began to happen. Firstly a weird screeching sound came from no where, getting louder and louder. Bert thought it would be the sound a robotic elephant would make if constipated on the toilet.
Then a huge room started to fade into view around them and the velociraptor in time with the noise slowly getting denser and denser until it was totally whole and real around them. Even the velociraptor stopped dead in its tracks to look around.
“Welcome to the Tardis,” smiled the Doctor and waved his hand around.
Bert stared at his new, sudden location. Just beside himself and the Doctor was a big round console with screens and buttons. The console was above a glass floor. Out of the console were two big blue lights which went up and down in time with the screeching noise. The room was yellow with a big blue door one end which Bert realised must be the exit and an open corridor to the other side.
The open corridor was where Bert dashed to when he saw the velociraptor jump onto the console and lunge at the Doctor with its huge claws out just missing his throat. The Doctor rolled over his console and down the other side flipping switches as he did so. The blue lights above the console moved faster.
The velociraptor stalked up the console slowly to the Doctor its head to the side watching his next move. It had him trapped, with one pounce it would be upon him.
“Sorry old girl!” the Doctor said aloud and pointed his green torch at the console. After a couple of seconds the console blew up just in front of the velociraptor which knocked it out onto the floor, dazed. The console went dead and the room dark.
This freaked Bert out too much and he ran for the blue door.
“Wait Bert!” called the Doctor, “It may be dangerous out there.”
But it was too late and Bert had left the Tardis. The Doctor swiftly followed Bert out.
“Why does no one listen to me till it’s too late?” the Doctor mumbled to himself as he followed Bert out of the Tardis. What he saw startled him. Instead of being in a hot dense prehistoric jungle, he stepped out into a long metal corridor. Here he found Bert stood looking out the right side of the corridor which was sheer glass.
“Wow.” whispered Bert as he stared over a an icy mountain range. Two bright moons hung low in the night sky.
“Impressive eh?” asked the Doctor.
“Who are you? How did we get here?”
“I told you. I’m the Doctor and we arrived here in my ship. She’s a beauty ain’t she?” replied the Doctor pointing out to the Tardis.
“Although I’m not sure how much damage I’ve caused,” the Doctor continued as he walked back into the blue old fashioned police box Bert was staring at, totally in awe and shock. A puzzled look crossed his face. In front of him stood a small police box, yet he had just ran out of a huge room. Bert walked back to the opened door of the Tardis and peered in at the huge yellow interior with the rounded console sat in the middle.
“Just like my jacket pocket eh,” the Doctor shouted enthusiastically at him from the control panel. He was madly flicking switches and kicking the console.
“Nearly there.” He added. The Doctor then looked up at Bert’s confused face and strode over to him.
“I, I can’t believe it!” started Bert as he started walking around the Tardis knocking on the side.
It had all been too much for Bert. First the dinosaur then the weird space ship.
“Nothing to worry about Bert old chum, I’ll fix the Tardis and have you back home to the wife in no time. Especially on Valentines day. You’ve missed most of it already with working it.”
“How is this possible?” asked Bert in wonderment still tapping the wooden exterior of the Tardis.
“It’s my Tardis – Time and Relative Dimensions in Space – a ship of the Time Lords. Well Time Lord.”
“And that torch thing you’ve been waving about?”
“This?” the Doctor pulled out the green torch gizmo, “is my Sonic screwdriver. Very useful, very useful indeed.”
Bert felt the Tardis as he walked around the side and back of the blue wooden box. The Doctor followed him around, a big grin on his face. He clearly liked showing it off. As they rounded the Tardis back to the doors Bert stopped suddenly. The Doctor looked up at what Bert was staring at.
“Friends of yours Doctor?” asked Bert, his voice trembling.
“Not friends of mine, more like old enemies. Very old enemies!”
There a few feet in front of the Doctor and Bert was a half robot, half human figure stood looking at them through black holes on a silver face. It looked emotionless with a small black hole for the mouth and had tubes coming out of the side of its head connecting to what looked like a round light. Although the figure was silver in appearance not all of it was metallic. There was a thin silver fabric covering the face, arms, neck and chest. Below the chest there was a crude silver control box with buttons attached and flashing lights.
“Quick inside the Tardis!” whispered the Doctor. As he said this the sound of a marching metallic army rang in their ears and over a dozen metallic monstrosities rounded a corner at the far end of the corridor. All blank faces like the one in front of them.
Bert was shaking with fear. He had only ever seen anything like this on the television but now confronted with these cold, emotionless beings it was like a living nightmare. Suddenly he saw out of the corner of his eye, the Doctors slim gangly body dash backwards into the Tardis. Bert turned to follow and rush into the Tardis also, but was grabbed by his jumper.
“Halt!” cried out a sharp, piercing metallic voice.
But Bert had managed to get into the Tardis with the creature with him.
“Great, you’ve brought the Cyberman with you through the Tardis defences!” cried out the Doctor now at the other side of the console flicking switches and using his sonic screwdriver also.
Bert scrambled out of the Cybermans grip as it stood confused looking around the Tardis in wonderment. Computing the situation. Outside the army of the Cybermen quickened their pace and moved towards the door.
Bert was now round the opposite side of the console next to the Doctor when he noticed the velociraptor shaking its head to and fro coming round. It curled its head around towards the Cyberman who had now noticed the prehistoric beast. It was too late. Before the Cyberman could do anything the velociraptor had leapt of the console, its claws out and ripped through the thin metal fabric on the neck.
Thick dark blood poured out over the silver and over the control panel below the chest as the Cyberman let out a gargled metallic screech which hurt Berts ears. The velociraptor continued to rip and tear at the Cyberman until it stopped kicking and was dead.
Outside the Tardis the army of Cybermen were mere feet away and had speeded up to help their fallen comrade. The Doctor spotted this and pointed his sonic screwdriver at the door. With a quick whir and buzz it slammed the doors shut.
“Got to be quick and get the little fellow back to his time before he finishes his cyber snack. It’s a good job it’s a very early version of the Cybermen. More organic you see,” beamed the Doctor.
“More to snack on I guess,” mumbled the Doctor as he flipped switches and pushed buttons and pointed his sonic screwdriver at the console. Within a few minutes the two console lights were moving up and down in time with the screeching, grinding sound. A few minutes more they came to a stop and the Doctor ran over to the doors and opened them as the velociraptor finished its snack.
“Here boy!” he shouted over and the velociraptor trotted over and out into the jungle beyond.
“Right best get you home Bert. Your wife will be waiting especially today on Valentine Day.”
Bert nodded his head. The events of the last couple of hours had frazzled his mind. Part of him wondered if he was in fact dreaming.
The Doctor fired up the Tardis once more and within moments was opening its doors again to let Bert out.
“Well Bert hope you enjoyed the ride?” smiled the Doctor his eyes twinkling away.
“Erm yeah but what about the . .. .” Bert pointed at the bloodied body of the Cyberman.
“He’s not going anywhere,” laughed the Doctor. “Oh here’s your fare.” The Doctor reached into his pocket and pulled out forty pounds.
“No you keep it Doctor. You’ve given me the ride of my life!”
With that Bert walked out into the alleyway and towards his taxi as the Tardis faded away behind him. The woman who had got in the back of his taxi had gone leaving his the rear door open. When he got in the taxi Bert looked at his clock. Only five minutes had gone by although it had seemed he had been longer.
Bert stared at the bouquet of flowers on the passenger seat and smiled. He looked up as two women walked past chatting.
One of the women, a tall old woman talked loudly as she got to Bert’s door.
“I bet it was an internet stunt in that shop. Someone looked to have let a chicken loose. Although its laid some funny looking eggs!”
At this Bert’s face went white. He rolled down his window and looked up at the sky.
“DOCTOR.......” he shouted.