The Inspector's eyes were widened in a mixture of horror at Ako's violent reaction and slight arousal at Ako's violent reaction (it was the latter that was being added the growing list of feelings he was uncomfortable with). However, upon seeing her murderous look falter a little, the Inspector let out a sigh of relief. For a second, I thought she was going to kill the both of us... Hearing K-9 state that it was going to meet a mistress, however, replaced the feeling of relief (as well as any lingering concern over his apparent sexual deviation) with one of curiosity. "What did it mean, 'Mistress'?" he asked Ako, who's temper was dying down a bit. "I thought the Doctor was K-9's master... That must mean that someone else is on the TARDIS that has control! Come on, let's see if we can follow the little beast!"
Just as he was about to fly after the tin dog, however, he gave Ako a grin. "Oh, and by the way, you look absolutely gorgeous when your about to kill someone," he crooned before flying off. Ooh, I bet she's going to slaughter me for that one, he thought gleefully as he zoomed through the hallways in pursuit of the robot.
Ako sheathed her sword as Sharpwit was talking, not making after K-9. She thought for a moment, hand still on the sword's hilt and drumming on it slightly.
"What did it mean, 'Mistress'? I thought the Doctor was K-9's master... That must mean that someone else is on the TARDIS that has control! Come on, let's see if we can follow the little beast!" The Inspector was saying, and after blinking the gryphon nodded slowly.
"Yeah... we don't know much about that damned thing do we?" She muttered half to herself
She started off, eyes intent on watching the retreating mutt so when Sharpwit's next bombshell dropped Ako was already a few steps into a run.
"Oh, and by the way, you look absolutely gorgeous when you're about to kill someone..." He crooned before taking flying off ahead of her.
The gryphon blushed furiously, not sure whether to be upset or not about the comment. That was sarcastic... but he said I looked gorgeous! Yet, he said I right when I'm about to kill someone-...
Her mind was so distracted at this point, when Ako tried to turn a corner after Sharpwit and K-9 her feet slipped out from underneath her. The gryphon only made it halfway around the corner, having her upper body get into the other hallway but her hindquarters continuing in the direction they had been going moments before. This cracked her head quite hard on the wall before spinning her down one of the connecting hallways, leaving her stunned and disoriented on her side.
"Ow..." she groaned, curling up a little to hold her head in her hands. Feebly she tried to get up, but as the hall seemed to spin around her the gryphon froze in place trying to center herself.
Cain was busy dressing and the Doctor was hard at work on modifying Cain's suit. Unfortunately it seemed he was having a hard time estimating the Inspectors general size.
Finally done with her stretching, Riptide looked around for the pegasus only finding him to be completely absent. "I guess I should go find him" The sea pony groaned. Before she took more than two steps a new thought came to mind: Leaders don't do everything on their own, they get help(minions) to help ease the load.
"Isop, please locate the Inspector and bring him back her so we can get on with the exploration. He and the gryphon can spawn later after we know where we are." She commanded. Thankfully the xenoling spring to attention from his spot atop some crates. Snapping a sharp salute, the alien hybrid jumped onto another stack of crates and then another until he was but a shadow in the darkness.
Happy with his response, the kelpie wandered over to watch the Doctor work, leaning over his shoulder to do so.
"So...what's this thingie?" She asked, prodding the item in the Doctor's mouth with a hoof. It was but the first of many questions to follow.
Bounding down the hallways, the xenoling followed the faint scent of the inspector. Sensing he was getting closer, he sped up. Before long he heard the sounds of ponies speaking. Hearing earth pony Scribble's voice he figured that the Inspector had simply followed the gryphon to check on the wounded ponies.. Instinctively, the changeling side of Isop urged him to take a new form as to infiltrate better. Even if he no longer worked as a gatherer of emotions, he didn't wish to get rusty.
Green flames leaped around him temporarily as he assumed the form of the last being who's brains he had eaten. As the fire faded, a deep red coat of fur covered the xenoling. This form also sported a dark gray mane, tail, and beard. Skidding around one corner he found himself behind two ponies he'd never seen before. A blue unicorn mare with a mane and tail consisting of dark and light blue and a brown earth pony wearing a hat and a ridiculously long scarf.
Spying Scribble and Primeval in front of the two, Isop waved a hoof in recognition, letting the tip of his horn flare green before putting out the magical fire.
The exact order of events wasn't clear, later, but everypony generally agreed that it started when the tine dog arrived at the infirmary. "Unit has arrived, //Mistress." the robot announced in a squeaky synthesized voice, continuing to hover.
The unicorn nodded, "Good dog. Now get down, we have guests."
"Affirmative, guest status noted. Good day, miss and mister, I am K-9, what desingations do you-
"Hah... you're a fast little tin box, aren't... oh, hello..." The Inspector's voice trailed off as he took in the two unfamilliar ponies in the room. However, 'unfamiliar' in this case simply meant that he had never personally met the curly maned dark brown pony. Grainy photographs and even a few fiber samples of that outrageous knitwork adorning the pony's neck were part of Sharp's ... collection.
For his part, the 'Doctor' seemed not to know what to make of the new arrival. He was about to speak when interruption and confusion fell.
The charcoal pegasus frowned, something was missing some- "Ako?" he called, more curious than worried, although the absence of any response was leaning him toward the latter...
At roughly the same time, the gray over red space stallion (longer/thinner legs, nearly day-glo fur, and slight iridescence or plastic sheen to the coat) waved at Scribble and Primeval from over the Inspector's shoulder, a lick of green flame describing the tip of a sharp horn that wasn't visible on his forehead. "Hello ... uh, everypony? That's right, isn't it?"
In the growing confusion as four ponies tried to all talk at once, over each other, Primeval gently placed a foot on the blue pony's shoulder to catch his attention. Rather than trying to speak over the others, she mouthed her words slowly, "I forgive you."
However, when he tried to respond, the proto-pony shook her head and started trotting toward the verbal melee.
"...telling you I want to go that way because..."
"...got my orders, you need to ..."
"...how many random companions are ..."
"...-veryone just stop talking for..."
"PFWEEEEET!" The airhorn retracted back into K-9's main compartment.
The Doctor shook his head, wincing slightly, "Right, thank you K-9. OK, you," he pointed at the Inspector, "look the most nervous, what is it?"
"I lost Ako somewhere in the hall- why am I even talking right now?" So saying the pegasus turned and headed back down the hallway, trailed by the odd red pony.
Primeval looked back and nodded at Scribble, who also looked concerned. The duo followed the previous duo.
The perpelexed time stallion frowned, "And all without so much as a how do you do?"
Romana rolled her eyes, "You really can't think of any reason he'd be so concerned, can you?"
The Doctor's eyes lit up, "Oh, that was... ? Right, well, shall we follow them?"
"You're going to insist on it, so we might as well."
"...can't just say 'it's sonic' and expect that to make sense." Riptide huffed.
"It's... all very, er, technical. Vibrations and suchlike, I imagine."
"So it's like sonar?"
"It is almost but not entirely unlike sonar."
The kelpie's eyebrows fell flat, "you can't stand to admit when you don't know something, can you?"
"Is that what I'm doing? Sorry, I've been feeling a bit beside myself since we crashed here..."
The Inspector flew through the halls at breakneck speeds, searching for Ako with growing panic. Come on, Warbird, where are you...
Suddenly, he heard a low moan in the hall. He nearly crashed trying to turn around in the narrow hallway, but he managed to make it back to the griffon. "Ako, are you alright?!" he asked breathlessly upon seeing her holding her head as if in deep pain. "How'd you get hurt, is there someone else here?" He propped her up on his back, trying to help her get steady. "She's in here!" he called out to the rest of the group, who were probably not far away.
Isop trotted to a halt, peering at the gryphon and pegasus. "Yeah, that's her. I don't even smell any blood, so hooray." The shifter remembered his task, "Um, no offense, I just mean you're kinda' freaking out a lot about someone smacking into a wall." This did not seem to mollify the pony.
The xenomorph sighed, "Right, sorry. Look, can we chalk that up to different cultures? I'm supposed to get you to come back to the cargo area. I'll carry the bird if you want, but we've kinda got a schedule to keep."
The sound of hoofbeats was quite apparent as the others caught up. Isop groaned inwardly, expecting further delays as everyone insisted on offering an opinion.
The Doctor gingerly slid the control with just the tip of his hoof, so that his action was visible, "...and that will cause the vibrations to oscilate... er, to change in a specific way, and make the target rotate, like so." With a gently whirring hum, the screwdriver hummed as a can a few strides away began to rotate around it's axis.
The kelpie nodded, "OK, but what about the other four parts there?"
The brown pony shrugged, "hwell, see, there's a lot of things what can be described as vibration, including temperature–
"Hmm? That makes no sense, something can be hot even if it's sitting still."
The time pony winced, "err, I don't suppose the word 'atom' means much to you?"
"Guys!" Scribble and Primeval had finally caught up with the others and came to a stop behind Isop, both freezing when they saw Ako. "Uh oh. Is she alright?"
"My scanners indicate a minor concussion." Primeval stated as data streamed through her armor, concerned for her friends state as much as anypony. "No internal bleeding though."
"She's fine." The pony that sounded much like Isop groaned. He was clearly getting annoyed by all these ponies showing up. "Now can we get going please? We're supposed to be in the cargo bay."
"Cargo bay... C-can we stop for a second please?" Scribble asked, earning another, outraged groan from the red pony. "Uh, Me and Primeval were both unconscious. We're kind of out of the loop right now. What's going on exactly? And why is there another pony here that calls himself the Doctor?"
Ako crawled over to the wall, sliding herself upright while heavily leaning on it. With a few shaky breaths she shook her head, trying to calm herself to get rid of the blush.
"N.. no... I'm alright. I just, just didn't catch that corner and hit my head on the wall...."
The gryphon gulped, gently letting herself step away from the wall. She wobbled, grimacing as her wings flapped a few times for balance. Dammit... she cursed, stumbling a little as she tried to start walking in the direction she thought they were going to go, but instead ending up heading in the wrong direction.
The Inspector gingerly extended his wing, gently guiding her to the proper location. "Not so fast, Warbird, you heard Primeval," he said reprovingly. "You've got a concussion. It's best you not push it until we're convinced you won't need help."
Turning to the rest of the group, he scrutinized them very carefully, especially the red pony. That's probably Riptide's little pet, he thought carefully. Where he got that form is beyond me... He looked at the brown, curly maned stallion and his unicorn companion. "So, you must be the Doctor," he said, a hint of a smile coming on his face upon seeing Scribble's growing face of confusion. "Fourth regeneration, if my sources are correct. That means you," he added, glancing at the light-tan unicorn mare, "must be Romana! How very interesting..."
Noticing the look of confusion on everyone's face, the Inspector couldn't help but give a grin. "Sorry, how rude of me not to introduce myself! I am Inspector Sharp Wit," he said, bowing theatrically. "I see you've already met Scribble and Primeval..."
Isop very much regretted he didn't have the mutative abilities of his adopted queen otherwise he would have grabbed the infuriatingly slow ponies with tentacles or claws and forced them back. As much as he wasn't looking forward to his little swim, the longer they stayed here the more likely something bad would happen.
"Ok, no!" He lowered his head, his horn sparking with green fire. "Discuss on the way or when we get there, but move!"
Looking at Primeval and Scribble, he added "In case the good inspector or the warrior forgot to tell you we're 4000 fathoms (whatever those are) under an ocean. If it helps to motivate you, we may be near my queen's home. And you're delaying her return."
Unless your character is some kind of mutant whose legs and mouth are animated by a single muscle and thus can only talk or walk, this discussion can happen on the move.
The Inspector scowled at the impatient whelp but saw the point of his complaint. Looking back to check if Ako was alright to walk, he began to trot at a slow pace towards the cargo bay. "So, I assume this is your TARDIS?" he asked the Doctor (or rather, the former Doctor).
Ako scoffed, but leaned on him for a few more feet as her vision cleared. After that the swordsbird walked on her own, shooting a glare at the unfamiliar stallion. Recognizing the green fire around his horn, gritted her beak in disgust. Featherbrained git... prancing around like he's the one in control...
"Oh, I wouldn't want to keep Her Majesty waiting..." she scowled quietly, following after the group and sulking near the back.
The Doctor's head bobbed as he took in all the elements of the conversation. One could almost hear the gears spinning as he tabulated and sorted details. The only thing more disturbing than his arrogance was the possibility that he was right. Scribble actually found himself disappointed there wasn't a small 'ding' when the time pony began to act.
"Ah, Inspector, was it? Always nice to meet someone who is well informed. That accent can only be from Canterlot, and since I do not find my first instinct is to dump a bucket of water on your head I'm assuming your previous work was as a peace officer and neither military nor intelligence branches." Grin.
Isop watched the proceedings with a mixture of irritation and interest. On the good side, everyone was moving, however glacially, in the direction of the cargo area. This Doctor was fascinating – not for his overbearing personality and witticisms – but for the way that he seemed to have the same characteristics as Riptide's Doctor, but used them in completely different ways. 'Regenerations' seemed to be much like the iterations that hive guards had gone through, characteristics that had been effective in the previous generation being preserved in the ever-changing next generation's design... except it the claims were to be taken seriously, this multi-generational collective claimed to be a single being with continuous memory – genetic memory of events being something his people had never mastered.
"This is very much my TARDIS, although personally I prefer to occupy the control room with air, rather than highly pressurized seawater. You, sir, however, are an enigma truly fascinating. Space ponies didn't even come into existence for another few millennia, and there are no more free changeling hives by that point, and certainly none that made it off-world as you would have to have done to pick up that form. Which makes me quite interested to meet this 'Queen' of yours."
Romana trotted over to the gryphon, "He's going to be at this for a while, sorry. As your friend said, my name is Romana." the behorned pony glanced at the bird's head, frowning. "K-9, two asprin and a glass of water would be in order, please."
"Yes, //Mistress." A tray rose from the opening in the mechanical dog's back, holding a small plastic cup and a small tray with two white lozenges on it. Using a bit of magic that seemed to consist of crackling black and white squares in an ever-changing pattern of randomness, Romana levitated the pills and water near Ako.
Scribble rolled his eyes, eventually following the rest of the group. 'Ignored again. I am sick and tired of – FACE!'
"Sorry, sorry." the pony who was obviously Isop winced, offering a hoof to help the earth pony back up. "You mentioned not knowing what was going on... and I can't exactly get the rest of them to move, so..."
"So, what?" the writer asked, still not entirely sure what he thought about the xenoling, but more familiar with him than the others.
The red pony drew in a deep breath. "This... uh, TARDIS? Whatever the blue box-thing is called, this is the same vessel, but from an earlier time... sort-of. Anyway, it's [contemporaneous] with that guy." Isop pointed at the new (old?) Doctor, nattering away with the others. "Who is, um, like an earlier stage of development of ... mmmm, 'our' Doctor."
"What, like a reincarnation?"
"Oh, that's good, I like that! Yeah, that totally works for you mammals... he's like an earlier incarnation of the Doctor."
"So what is he doing here?"
"Actually, it's more like, what are we doing here. When we fled from that Disco-guy, I guess for some reason several ... incarnations of the Doctor had all ended up in the same place, for some reason. And the Doctor sent us off before he followed. I forget who, but someone just opened the doors of the first TABRIS we saw–
"That's TARDIS." Scribble corrected.
"Right, the box-thing. We got into the first one we saw... and ... well, turns out that wasn't the right blue box-thingy TARDIS. It was his." The shape-shifter once again pointed at the Doctor with the scarf.
"Hold on, you're saying we're in the same time-machine, but earlier in the TARDIS's history? That is really hard to wrap my head around." 'On the other hoof, you're at least capable of getting it. Don't discredit your mind, after all, you made Me up.' ... 'Ugh, don't remind me.'
Isop continued his story, seemingly unaware of the strange messages that had momentarily scratched themselves upon the walls, only to fade from view before anypony else could see them. "...managed to re-seal the bulkheads with us on the right side this time. You missed out on all of that because we set you and Primeval in the infirmary before anyone even thought about messing with the controls, so you guys never got wet to begin with."
"What about the four thousand leagues thing? I'm pretty sure that's dangerously deep underwater."
Isop shrugged, "For you, probably, without protection. The Doctor... um, 'our' Doctor, was able to turn on some sort of an external camera. But he couldn't see anything because it's too dark out there. Except... off in the distance there's a single point of light that's glowing steadily."
"OK, that's neat, I guess, but I don't see what it has to do with us. If the previous Doctor has found us, that means he's got the current version of the TARDIS with him." Scribble tried to heavily imply that under the circumstances he couldn't see any good reason to go swimming around in water so many miles below the surface that sunlight never made it this far.
"Ah yes, about that..." Scribble felt some small compensation from seeing the xenoling was just as startled by the curly brown interloper. "I may have managed to lose that TARDIS trying to find mine." His smile seemed less confident and more brittle as he admitted this.
Isop ignored the bad news, for they had – finally! – made it to the doors of the cargo area.