Title: Chapter One: The Doctor Makes an Offer
Theme: Point of View Challenge
Elements: Gold, one, cylinder
I have always written Gondor fics, set in the late Third Age, early Fourth Age. My different point of view in "Sarah Jane Drops By," is a Mary Sue cross over'ed from the Doctor Who television series. If you are unfamiliar with the "Who-verse," I also have notes at the end of this chapter to help. Our heroine is the title character of "The Sarah Jane Adventures," a children's series spinoff of Dr. Who. Like the TV show, this story is strictly G-rated
Summary: A modern woman drops into Middle Earth and meets the Fellowship of the Ring. But she's not just any woman. She dropped by courtesy of a time machine.
Word Count: 1835
"The least I could do to repay you is to give you the vacation of your dreams. You do want a vacation, don't you, Sarah Jane Smith. You need, you definitely need a vacation. Don't you want to visit a nice planet at the other end of the universe during the 51st century? New New York is a lovely place. Wouldn't you like to meet the cat nurses who speak and grow as tall as humans? Or I could drop you off in Raxacoricofallapatorius. I've heard the planet has blue beaches and pink seas."
"And wind breaking green Slitheen," Sarah groaned. "I could do without THEM." This Doctor took a deep breath, tilted his head down, and gave her the silliest look the most brilliant male in several universes could have.
Sarah sighed. She had barely survived her unexpected voyage to the Crucible of the Daleks, where the fiends hid the stolen the Earth and seventeen other planets. She and six of the Doctor's other companions worked in tandem to save the Doctor and tow the purloined Earth back into its orbit. The adventure happily resolved, Sarah was quite content to stay at home and be mum to her son Luke. As it was, their sentient computer Mr. Smith was not completely reprogrammed after the Slitheen's attempt to corrupt his processor stacks. There was much to do, when you were a successful alien hunter and the mother of a growing teenaged genius.
Nevertheless, Sarah could not deny the thrill she felt when she heard that characteristic noise--the sound of an old, beat up car revving its engine. Or how the sight of the antique blue police box sitting in her garden revived her long lost desire to visit worlds beyond her imagination, though said police box had landed on her carefully nurtured flowering bushes.
Her memories flashed... the Doctor's curly brown hair, his impossibly long nose. That trailing scarf would nearly trip him as he opened the TARDIS' door and stretch out his long, gangly body along the sides of his unlikely space craft, waiting for her. She was barely into her 20s in those days, a flegling reporter. The Doctor was easily twice her age. Brilliant. Undeniably.
Undeniably not the person who swung open the TARDIS door that morning in July 2008 and beckoned to her. "Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane Smith, time to go on a vacation." This doctor appeared to be scarcely into his 30s. Sarah had already seen the back side of 50
some years ago. The Doctor's kind were immortal. He was really 900 years old. This tall, handsome, zany, and indefatigably loquacious male the Doctor's tenth incarnation. The Doctor Sarah had once loved was six generations gone. This current Doctor had left his half-human double with a brave young woman named Rose.
"Wouldn't you want to join Queen Victoria for high tea?" the Doctor tried to lure her. "Or join me in the TARDIS for some coffee."
Stepping inside the TARDIS' expanding interior, Sarah noticed that she and the Doctor were alone. The companions who had come through for him in the Crucible had left to resume their lives--as Sarah so badly wanted to do. Now this young looking Doctor had resumed his endless life, traveling alone through time.
"I don't want to go far. I don't want to be away for long. Luke can stay with Maria's family for a few days at the longest," Sarah insisted.
"That's fine," the Doctor grinned. "The trip is a gift for you. I won't even go along if you prefer to travel alone. Pick a planet. Pick an era."
"Earth. 21st century," Sarah was quick to respond.
"You mean that your heart desires a simple, unimaginative British Holiday," the Doctor grumbled.
On a white beach beside a blue ocean with a book in my hands, Sarah thought. She didn't need to visit the far off worlds of her youth. She still investigated aliens, right here in her English country garden, now crushed by the TARDIS.
In the end the Doctor agreed to return for her three days later--long enough for Sarah to make arrangements for Luke to stay with their neighbors, the Jacksons, and fill up her back pack with travel essentials. She also made the Doctor promise to return her within a week's time. Not five years later, or ten years earlier, which sometimes happened due to the TARDIS' highly inaccurate gaging of the time passage on Earth.
On the day of their departure, Sarah sat at the TARDIS' patched-together console once more, as the Doctor guided his rickety time travel craft to Sarah's destination of choice.
"Hawaii. I'd love to go to Hawaii and see their volcanoes," Sarah suggested when the doctor asked her for her preferred destination.
"Nawww," he blithely disagreed. "It's too, too ordinary. Too close."
"Close? It's on the other side of the world, Doctor. Any further away and I might as well go to Raxacoricofallapatorius," Sarah's hands balled into fists at her hips. She thought for a moment. "I know. Let's go to New Zealand. Do you know much about New Zealand?"
The Doctor gave Sarah an arch look. Then he said, "It's sufficiently far enough away and has volcanoes. You don't want to be there on Volcano Day. Donna and I visited Pompeii recently..."
"I think I would really like to go to New Zealand," Sarah interrupted. "I'll go to their South Island--which, to my knowledge, doesn't have volcanoes. I've heard New Zealand has splendid walks and spectacular Maori men."
The Doctor chortled at the last comment. "I hope you have better reasons to go there besides the spectacular Maori men?"
Slightly embarassed, Sarah confessed, "Some years go they filmed three of my favorite movies in New Zealand. You can visit some of the film sites."
"Oh, the Lord of the Rings films. Based on the books by J.R.R..."
"Tolkien!" the Doctor completed her sentence. "A brilliant chap, good company. I had a lovely breakfast one morning with him and C.S. Lewis at a pub in Oxford, shortly after your World War II. Read all his books, even the ones his son Christopher really wrote, and Lewis' books, too."
"Is there an author you haven't met?" Sarah grinned. The Doctor loved books and had met authors like Shakespeare, Marco Polo, Dickens, and Agatha Christie during his many travels. She continued,"I've heard that Tolkien was truly eccentric, that he believed that everyone had a good angel and bad angel at all times whispering into their ears. Many Catholic-raised children believe in the angels but then grow out of it."
"Ah, yes, Tolkien told me that, too," the Doctor agreed comfortably. "He was totally convinced they were angelic beings. He thought I was eccentric when I told him they probably were partially mimized feris from Solar System 23 behind the Andromeda nebula."
"Naturally you would think that," Sarah chided. "At any rate, they made three movies of Lord of the Rings. One for each book."
"Rose loved those films,too," the Doctor grinned sentimentally, ignoring the TARDIS as it started to buck from apparent turbulence. "She brought the DVDs here but I haven't had the chance to watch them yet. Mickey Smith needs to send me the right software. Hee! They filmed old Ron Tolkien's books and you humans couldn't get enough of the movies. There is hope for your race yet."
Sarah nodded. She loved the Lord of the Rings books as well as the movies. Though perhaps not nearly as much as she loved "Pride and Prejudice" and the TV films with Colin Firth and Jennifer Eihle. Perhaps she should request to visit Jane Austin's Bath instead? Bath was so much closer than...
"New Zealand coming up," the Doctor boomed as the TARDIS twisted and leaped. "It's winter there, Sarah. You'll find warm clothes in the closet, from the time we tracked down the Yeti."
No sooner had Sarah attired herself in thick ski pants, boots, and down parka when the TARDIS' errattic movement suddenly stopped in a thud, throwing her onto the floor.
"New Zealand it is!!" the Doctor cried and gave Sarah a hand up. "Their South Island, according to the scope. I trust you have enough food for yourself for a week. I'm sure you'll make friends along your way so that you won't be lonely."
Sarah straightened up. "But aren't you coming?"
"Me? No," the Doctor shrugged. "I'm off to the North Island, Wellington, to help a special effects company with their new post-CGI technology that they can't quite debug. Giving simple assistance like that makes me feel wonderful. I won't be far away. Call on your cell phone if you need me."
Now that was a directive her Doctor would never have made, back in 1974. Sarah opened the TARDIS door. The air outside was cold and still. A forest of bare trees awaited her.
"Enjoy yourself in Middle Earth," Sarah heard the Doctor bellow as she stepped out the door. So eager was she to investigate New Zealand, Sarah did not realize that she had indeed been followed as she left the TARDIS.
To be continued ...
AUTHOR'S NOTES on the World of the Dr. Who Television Series
This summary is just an introduction to help those who are unfamiliar with the BBC TV series (SciFi in the US) "Dr. Who" and the "Sarah Jane Adventures." Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladon, is a former traveling companion of the Doctor, the 900 year old immortal Time Lord, who journeys through time and space on the TARDIS. Due to the Doctor's immortality--and the schedules of the various actors who played him--the doctor periodically regenerates. In 2008, and in my story, he is in his tenth incarnation--that is, played by his tenth actor, David Tennant. The TARDIS is a cavernous, ancient time machine. However, on the outside it appears to be nothing more than a blue British Police Box (phone booth) from the late 1950s.
 Slitheen were Sarah's nemesis in the last episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures Season One. Their home was the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius,
 Refers to the events in "Journey's End," the last episode of new Dr. Who, Season Four.
 Describes the Doctor's fourth incarnation, as played by Tom Baker in the 1970s. Dr. Who fandom speculated that Sarah Jane was in love with the fourth Doctor.
 Another reference to "Journey's End," where a half-human double of the tenth Doctor joined a much more recent former companion, and hopefully soon-to-be lover, Rose Tyler, in another universe.