The Doctor lent against the central console and chewed his thumbnail absentmindedly. On the grated floor in front of him lay a heaped up assortment of wires and screwed up pieces of metal. But it wasn’t this mess that was worrying him, not now anyway. Not since the little mauve light had repeatedly begun to flash… Mauve…the universal colour for danger…
‘What’s this about, then?’ he said to the general space around him.
The TARDIS whirred back at him in a general TARDIS-like way.
‘Flashing lights…,’ murmured The Doctor, ‘I didn’t even know this part of you had flashing lights.’ He bent down to peer through the metal grating. ‘What do you want to flash for?’
There was no response from the ship, well… why would there be? It was a ship after all. A living, telepathic ship true… but it wasn’t like it was human. It couldn’t talk back.
The Doctor straightened up and prodded at the console. It bleeped once... and that was it. That was it. The TARDIS just ignored him... just continued to nonchalantly whirr through the vortex, almost as though everything was normal... like it wasn’t flashing mauve coloured lights in an irritating manner.
But it was. And it was irritating.
Temporarily giving up with the console, the Doctor sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.
The light blinked cheerfully at him.
‘Please, please, please… don’t make me look through the manual,’ he said to the mauve flicker.
It ignored him.
The Doctor gave the console an irritated kick, paused until he could feel his toes again, and stalked off into the depths of the ship.
Five hours later, he returned with a triumphant grin.
‘You’re a type C sensor crystal, connected to the Telepathic Circuits!’ he told the blinking light gleefully.
Then his face fell.
‘Wait…,’ he said slowly.
‘You’re flashing,’ he told it.
‘Flashing,’ he said again. ‘In a distinctly mauve colour…’
‘Mauve is bad,’ he reasoned.
He squinted at the light
'Mind you… it could be magenta…maybe even indigo…’
He put on his glasses. His face fell.
‘Mauve,’ he confirmed, ‘damn…’
Alright, so something was going on with the TARDIS’ telepathic circuits… It wasn’t that unusual. In fact, the Doctor couldn’t really remember a time when he wasn’t fixing his ship in some form or another, except this time there was nothing to fix.
‘I even looked in the damn manual,’ he complained sullenly to his feet, ‘that thing’s over two hundred million pages long… A2 pages and all…’
A sudden thought occurred to him. He blinked, and then rushed around the central column until he was facing the small TV screen.
‘Where are we?’ he murmured to himself.
The TARDIS whirred at him, and the mauve light continued to flash smugly.
After several minutes of flicking switches and buttons, the screen flashed a name. The Doctor considered this name. It wasn’t an unknown name, he had definitely heard of it. However, whenever it had appeared, it had always been followed by the words:
‘DANGER’, and ‘UNKNOWN INFORMATION’, and even in extreme cases: ‘FOR GOD’S SAKE, KEEP AWAY. SERIOUSLY… YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF IN TO. DO NOT APPROACH. IN FACT, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT IT AREN’T YOU? WELL STOP IT. I MEAN IT. STAY AWAY…’ and so on.
If the Doctor had had time, he would have bullied the TARDIS into making a sharp u-turn and gone as far away as possible. Every single Time Lord that had ever gone to that planet never came back. No, not just that. It wasn’t that they had died… it was that they had completely ceased to exist… gone, erased, non existent… only remaining in others memories.
The Doctor blinked. Like being sucked into the void… except you never existed in the first place… like a parallel world where you'd never been born, and you now suddenly had to live there… because you couldn’t go home… it was to late, the walls were sealed.
You knew it would happen, said a little voice somewhere inside the Doctor’s head. You knew it couldn’t last forever…it had to end. All things end. And you’re always left…all on your own…alone.
The TARDIS gave a giant shudder and emitted a deep bellowing sound, like a wounded hippo. Without warning, a large part of the domed ceiling flung itself violently downwards, accompanied by a horrible gut-wrenching crack. It swung madly, still attached by several wires, and thudded into the Doctor.
He felt the weight of it as it cannoned into him, and fell heavily onto the grated floor. For a brief moment, he wondered why he hadn’t decided to refurbish the room with some sort of mattress base… so he could land softly, bounce up unharmed if he ever fell, and even sleep where ever he wanted… it seemed like such a good idea…
Part of the console crackled, and sparks showered everywhere.
Ah, yes, thought the Doctor madly, Mattress flooring would never work… I set fire to things far too easily… Another lump of ceiling fell and the ship shuddered again. Temporarily winded, the Doctor screwed up his eyes in response to his aching ribs, and tried to pull himself to his feet, but the floor lurched and he was sent sprawling onto the floor again.
From the depths of the vessel, there quivered up a strange, unforeseen noise which the Doctor had never heard before. The kind of noise as would be expected if a large dinosaur attempted to eat an oversized crunchy bar… not that it would ever happen. But if it did, then the noise it would make would be very similar to the sound that now rumbled out of the TARDIS.
The mauve light turned off. Although this was of little joy as, unfortunately, so did every other light within the ship. Dragging himself unsteadily from under the rubble, the Doctor raised a hand to his head, swore, and attempted to thump the console.
In retaliation, it creaked harshly at him, and then proceeded to explode.