(SCI-FI) – A planet in darkness, flower people starving from lack of sunlight, and a dark myth nearly as old as he was. John must face down against these monumental forces while reclaiming his true identity, a title and reputation he’d walked away from 118 years ago. This is a Doctor Who fan-fiction story without saying “The Doctor.” All the details are altered, but also still the same. Fans of the show, or not, you’ll enjoy this adventure!
He worked the soil with his bare hands, digging out a long trench. When he finished, he planted an assortment of seeds originating from the planet, Gjonyu, a place he’d visited long ago, in a future time. Then, again with his bare hands, he pushed the dirt back into the trench, leaving a short pile of dirt in a straight line. After a quick watering, he stepped back to admire his work.
Beyond his newly planted row, there was another long row next to it with small plants. Some bloomed with colorful flowers, others with fruits, and others vegetables. They were all from the planet Boomfas. Beyond that row, sat another row of equally various vegetation, but the plants were definitely fuller and taller. Another row lay beyond that, and on the rows persisted, the vegetation all remarkably different from the rows around them, and they became more full and taller as his gaze met the horizon. There were 117 rows, and he glanced back to his newly created row, number 118.
“Happy Anniversary,” he muttered, wiping the sweat-filled, curly mop of red hair from his forehead. His bright blue eyes sparkled in the glow of the three suns as his gaze turned to the sound of a distant ship entering the upper atmosphere. His lips pursed, and he walked towards his small and very simple house at the far end of his rows of plants.
Predictably, the ship landed near his house, and he waited on his porch for the visitors to approach. It was the same as every day. They had a problem, they sought him as their savior, and he turned them right back around. Will they ever get the message? He wondered. Even after so long, there were still visitors every day. It’s a big universe, he answered his own musings.
The next morning, he sat on his porch waiting for the next visitor. The familiar sound of sonic booms in the distance came after he finished his lunch. From the porch, he watched the ship land with the clear signs of a novice pilot. The girl that stepped out had light green skin and wore tight black pants and shirt, but no shoes. Her hair was a deep purple with streaks of white. The hair was unique as it didn’t exist of strands, but rather long teardrop-shaped folds. They looked smooth as velvet. She walked confidently, and with the usual urgency he’d seen a dozen times.
“Hello,” she said. He answered her with a nod. “You can understand me?” Again, he said nothing but pointed to a complicated watch on his wrist. She nodded and continued. “You are the one they call, The Teacher—”
“Don’t call me that!” he said, a bite to his words. “I don’t answer to that name anymore.”
“Then, what shall I call you?”
“Whatever you want… Jimbo, Johnny, I don’t care.”
“John,” she said. “I’ve come a long way to seek your help in a dire circumstance—”
“Let me stop you there, lass,” John said. “I’m sure it’s dire, and I’m sure it’s even life or death. But, I’m not the answer to your problem. I can’t be your savior.”
“But, you’ve saved so many worlds. The histories speak of you clearly.”
“I’m no hero,” he said, “and I’ve given up trying to save everyone and every thing.” John pointed to the 118 rows of plants as if that explained everything.
“You don’t care?” her words were full of hurt.
“Of course I care,” he said. “That’s not the point.”
“Then, what is?”
“Have you heard of the superhero complex?”
“No,” she said.
“Perhaps I made it up, I can’t remember. On a planet called Earth, they have these stories, made up stories of superheroes. They have great powers and they save people. The stories were made to inspire others to find those qualities in themselves, to learn that the hero resides in the common man and woman.” He paused and she nodded that she was following along. “What happens instead is that everyone starts waiting around for their superhero, their savior, to come to the rescue. Like you, you’re here waiting for someone else to solve the problems your people can solve.”
“But what about the people you used to travel with?” She said and the question startled him, and he found himself standing.
“What about them?”
“Didn’t you inspire them to become heroic? They are in the histories as much as you.”
He sat back down and sighed, looking mournfully at the 118 rows, 118 memories, with still many more to plant. “They should be the only ones. They’re the heroes you’re looking for… I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I know you’ve come a long way. If you’d like to stay for a meal, you’re welcome to it before you leave… if you don’t ask for my help any further.”
“I don’t need a meal,” she said with a glance up to the sky.
“Then, this is goodbye… I sincerely wish you luck with your problem.” With that, John turned away and entered the house. He waited for the familiar sound of engines blazing, of dirt spraying, as her ship takes off, but it never came.
In the early morning, the Suns not fully risen yet, John peered out his window to see that the ship from yesterday was still there. He became annoyed, and yet, a hint of playful enjoyment burned in a corner of his heart and mind. He stepped out and onto the porch expecting to see the girl curled up somewhere on the floor. Instead, his eyes quickly found a giant flower that was definitely not the product of his toiling. It sat halfway between the house and the ship. The green stalk was over five feet tall, and it had purple petals that were folded closed and bowed downwards.
As the third Sun rose over the horizon, John watched with amazement as the flower transformed. The stalk twisted as the petals began to reach upwards and unfold. The girl’s body appeared out of the stalk, and the petals opened wide and then continued to open to fall into the teardrop forms of her hair.
She opened her eyes, facing the sun, and then turned to John. She smiled, and John realized his mouth was hanging open. After over two millennia of life and experiences, nothing surprised or gave John cause for thinking something was impossible; but, it didn’t mean things still didn’t take his breath away.
“That,” John said. “Was truly spectacular to witness.”
She shrugged. “It’s just who I am.”
“What’s your name, lass?”
“Lavender,” she said her name with a certain grace.
“How long are you planning to camp out here?”
“Until you hear what I have to say,” Lavender answered plainly.
“I feared as much,” he said, trying to suppress the grin forming. He clearly failed in that attempt as Lavender grinned back at him with that look of hope he knew so well. “Come inside for a cuppa and you can tell me your story. But”—he raised a finger to the sky—“that doesn’t mean I’m going to help ya. It just means I think you’re interesting.”
Lavender smirked, “I understand.” She stepped confidently up the steps of the porch, and John held the door open for her to enter.
The Blue Box
The inside of John’s house was really one large room with different sets of furniture in the corners. There was only one other door which led to a bathroom. John moved slowly, eyes darting to and away from Lavender as he removed the kettle from the stove and poured the boiling water into a pot on the round wooden table that marked the dining space. She sat quietly. He sat down and stared across to the waiting Lavender.
“Ok,” he said. “What’s the trouble?”
Lavender sat up straighter. “My species requires sunlight to live. It is our food.”
“Like any flower,” John offered.
“Yes. Our skin uses a similar process. The trouble is that our planet is now in darkness and regular food, like you eat, can not sustain us for long. Yesterday was the only proper sunlight I’ve had in over a week.”
“What happened exactly?”
“An eclipse. Within a day, the Sun was gone and our planet has been in total darkness for eight daylight-cycles.”
John poured a cup of tea for Lavender and himself and then leaned back in his chair in thought. The question in his mind was, natural or alien?
“What data have you collected?” John said.
“Our telescopes see nothing, and we’ve picked up no other readings. We’ve sent probes, but none return. We sent a ship with three souls on board as well… they did not return…”
“We don’t really interact with other worlds too much. We have visitors, and we visit other places occasionally, but we mostly keep to ourselves.”
John stood up without taking a sip of his tea and paced the room. Sounds alien, he thought. Could still be natural, but some form of radiation would be emitted… or maybe their sensors aren’t up to snuff. If it’s natural, there’s only one path for them. If it’s alien, it could be some unknown enemy, or—John stopped his pacing, the theory he ran into stunned him. A myth he’d heard. A rumor. If it were true, he thought, and the thought filled him with revulsion. And then there was his choice to walk away from his meddling in problems just like this one.
“John,” Lavender said, bringing him out of his thoughts. “We are not asking you to save us. I am asking you to stand beside us and help us see what we have failed to see, or what may be beyond our knowledge to detect.”
“Like a consultant,” John mused with a grin. “A problem-solving consultant. Could be my new title, what do you think?”
“It suits you.” She smiled. “Does this mean you’ll come see? Come and… consult?”
“Aye, I think it does,” he answered.
“Then, we must not delay,” she said, standing up. “I will get my ship ready.”
“Don’t bother,” John said holding up his watch. “We’ll go in mine.”
Lavender looked confused. “I didn’t see your ship… I thought maybe it was gone…”
“Nope, just redesigned. Now all we can say is that it used to be bigger on the outside…” He winked, but he knew the joke wouldn’t make sense to anyone but himself. After a small chuckle, ignoring her confused stare, he walked to stand beside her. “Grab my shoulder… good, now”—he fumbled with some of the fancy dials and buttons on the watch—“just think about where you want to go—your home—and hold the thought firmly in your mind… got it?”
“Yes,” she said, her eyes closed.
“Here we go.” He pushed his thumb directly into the center of the watch.
Immediately a transparent blue box enclosed them. It quickly turned dark blue and opaque, making everything go dark for a moment. Then, the box turned back to the transparent blue, but the darkness remained. John looked out onto a body of water, barely visible. The blue box faded away completely and they were standing in water up to their knees.
“When I said think of your home,” he said. “I was hoping you’d think of someplace on more solid ground.”
“The fault was in the instructions. You just said think of home, not where we’d stand.” He could see her white teeth forming the outline of a smirk.
“Duly noted. Now… where to?”
Lavender grabbed his hand and they made their way to the shore. His eyes were starting to adjust to the darkness, holding onto the faint lights of stars and the brighter lights of buildings in the distance to guide the way. The scene and the lights seemed to be holding a deeper meaning, but he did not know what it was. John pushed the thought out of his mind and focused on the task at hand. A planet in darkness, flower people starving from lack of sunlight, and a dark myth nearly as old as he was.
The Problem-Solving Consultant
Lavender lead John to a short, but expansive glass building that glowed in the otherwise dark night. It was only one story and the roof was glass too. During normal times, he could tell that the entire space would feel as if it were outdoors. Light would pour in, unimpeded by walls or ceilings. When they entered, dozens of her fellow flower people ran over to them. They all bowed to Lavender. She nodded back, but kept walking forward without pause.
“My Queen, where have you—” one of the men began, his head bowed, shuffling beside her. His hair was made of white petals, longer and thinner than Lavender’s teardrop-shaped petals.
“Allistor,” Lavender cut across his question, “any changes?”
“No,” he said, and it was clear he would not question his Queen further.
“The Teach—I mean, John here”—she nodded to him—“has agreed to…consult on our dilemma.”
“Oh, that is excellent. Thank you, Teach—”
“John,” he interrupted, reaching his hand out. “Please… just John.”
The expansive interior was divided up by glass walls, and Lavender led the three of them, along with what seemed to be the Queen’s guards, into a giant room with computers and lab equipment. A scientist’s dream, and John looked around with hungry eyes and a grin.
“John,” Lavender said. “Time is of the essence. Your consultation begins.”
“Your Highness…” John bowed politely, Lavender shrugged her shoulders, and then he turned to the machines and the others working there. “Data people, I need data!”
Flower people called out to him, others waved their hands, and some ran over to him. Everyone enthusiastic for the extra help, desperation in their voices. John took a moment and began pushing buttons, and typing into his watch with an expert’s precision. His face made all sorts of odd expressions as he thought.
“Ok,” John said, after less than five minutes. “Let’s summarize and extrapolate.” He smiled at the desperate expressions looking back to him. “You’ve detected no radiation, and I’ve confirmed that. So, it’s not a natural object like an asteroid or another planet, as that would give off some radiation. It also can’t be a black hole for the same reason. But…” he paused, and then continued. “It is a hole none-the-less.” His eyes widened like he were telling an animated story.
“What do you mean, it’s a hole?” said one of the scientists with fluffy red petals that almost resembled John’s mop of red curls.
“It operates like a black hole. Your data… There’s none! Not equals zero, but none. Meaning your signals are not returning with no data. They’re just not returning at all.” Understanding seemed to wash over the scientist.
“It is definitely alien then,” said the same scientist.
“Aye—yes, absolutely,” John agreed, but the thrill of discovering the answer soon faded from the faces of the scientists, and it faded from John’s for a different reason.
“This is good news,” Lavender stepped in, and her people looked up. “Now we can do something about it. All knowledge is good knowledge. All truth is good truth.” Their heads all picked up encouraged, but John’s stayed in deep thought. “What’s the problem, John?”
“Nothing…” he said. “Just a myth that’s been rattlin’ around my mind.”
“What’s the myth?” Lavender said.
John thought for a moment, considering his words, then looked her in the eyes. “There’s a conspiracy of sorts,” he began, “that has reached my ears over the centuries more than a few times.”
“About missing and dead planets. Disasters that some say were created by outside forces for some reason. The evidence is circumstantial at best. I mean, planets do die naturally over time, and its inhabitants destroy their own homes more often than I can count. I’ve never had reason to believe it to be true, but…”
“What makes you think of it now?”
“I’ll ask the same question I asked you earlier. Do you have any enemies?” John said.
“Outside of our system? No,” she said softly. “Like I said. We mostly keep to ourselves.”
“So, why would an alien race block out your sunlight, other than to kill you?”
“You think they’re here to take our planet?”
“Yes,” John said, “but for what purpose I can’t tell. Whether it’s a part of some centuries-old conspiracy, I don’t know. They could be here for your resources, to have a new home, or some darker purpose than that. It could be their first time, or their thousandth”—a mischievous grin formed on his face—“There’s only one way to find out, though.”
“To go investigate their ships or whatever is up there,” She said.
“Aye, yes” he said. “More data, more knowledge, more truth,” he echoed her statement from earlier. “It’s clear they’re not your friends at the very least, and conspiracy or no conspiracy, there are steps to take regardless.”
“Go to their ships, and stop this eclipse,” Lavender said.
John nodded. “And then prepare for an assault of some kind.” Lavender looked at him with the clear message to keep explaining. “Their intentions are to take your world, and if their plan A fails, I bet plan B is ready and waiting.”
“And plan B would most definitely be a more direct assault. I see…” Lavender looked around at everyone else in the room. They were all watching the two of them talking, with awed expressions. She turned back to John. “That, we can handle. We are more than capable of defending ourselves and our home—”
“Now, hold on,” He interrupted. “Don’t get hasty. I said prepare for it, but our goal is not to use it. I don’t kill if I can avoid it, and if I can’t avoid it, I consider that a failure.”
“I understand,” she said. “And if plan A fails, we’ll be ready for a plan B of our own.” John shrugged in agreement. “Now, can you get us on their ships or whatever is up there?”
“Us?” John said.
“My Queen,” Allistor stepped forward. “Surely, you should remain here. You look awfully pale.”
“We are all pale at the moment, Allistor,” she said sternly. “Yes, John, I must see what we are facing for myself.”
“I can’t promise you’ll be safe,” John said.
“No one can make that promise for another,” Lavender said, standing tall. “It is my decision to go, and I understand the risks. They are no greater than waiting here to die in the darkness. Allistor”—she turned to face his bowed head—“put a call out to our people. Everyone who wishes to defend our home shall come forward to join their Queen on the great field. Tell them that I will return soon… with the Sun.” Allistor bowed, and stepped away to leave the room. Lavender turned back to John. “Can you truly get us on there? And do you think we can break this eclipse when we’re there?”
He winked. “What kind of a problem-solving consultant would I be if I couldn’t?”
Let There Be Light
Lavender stumbled slightly, almost imperceptibly. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply and slowly, then exhaled the same. At the end of the breath she opened her eyes as if the moment never happened.
“How will you get us there?” Lavender said.
John stared at her pale green skin, wishing he thought to speak with her outside when she’d come to visit him, given her that little more time in the sunlight. She probably didn’t ask because she wanted to make him happy, to convince him to come help. After the brief self-admonishment, John turned his mind to the present, to answer the Queen.
“Their technology seems to absorb everything you throw at it. Signals, probes, everything. We’ll use that as an invitation. Send our destination signal from my ship”—he held up the watch—“towards the eclipse, and it should absorb it and bring us right inside. Where on the inside? We’ll have to see, but my ship should park us somewhere… parkable.”
“Ok,” Lavender said. “Come with me. We’ll leave from the great field.”
She led him through the glass-walled complex on a motorized cart. At the far side from where they originally entered, which took several minutes to reach, the lights from the complex illuminated a grass-covered field beyond the walls. They walked silently out onto the field, and walked still further until the grass beneath them was barely visible from lack of light.
“Here,” she said. “If they follow us back for their Plan B assault, they’ll hopefully follow our signal and return to this spot where our people will be waiting.”
John nodded in approval. “Very well, I’ll make sure to leave a homing beacon for them to follow. Now… grab my shoulder again.” He fumbled with his watch, typing, turning, pushing and then finally stopped to look up at Lavender. Their eyes met, and they both knew what was coming next; where they were going, and the risks it held. She let go of his shoulder and instead grasped his hand without removing her eyes from his. He smiled, and pushed his thumb into the watch-face.
The transparent blue box enclosed them, and then it turned dark. A second in the blackness and the transparent blue box returned and then faded to reveal a brighter scene than where they just left.
They stood in a computer room, the destination of all the signals being absorbed, which John’s amazing ship followed. The room had smooth black walls, and black surfaces. Accents of red and white lined the walls and the ceiling was glowing like one large lightbulb. It was empty.
“Quick, we have to move fast,” John said, sitting before one of the computers.
“You need to move fast,” she said. “I’m out of my league now.”
John hesitated before doing any typing, and then turned to face her. “I’ll fix the eclipse, and you think about how to avoid a Plan B war.”
She didn’t say anything, but nodded. After a minute of typing, the room rumbled slightly as the ship they were on began to move. John spun in the chair with his arms spread wide in victory.
“Not bad for a problem-solving consultant, am I right?”
“Did you stop the eclipse?”
“Yes, weren’t you listening? I explained the whole thing.”
“No you didn’t.” She laughed.
His grin fell. “Wasn’t I just explaining things? Thousands of interlocking ships.”
“You’re explaining now, but I think you’ve been alone on that planet for too long.”
“Perhaps… well I sent those ships off in all directions. They’ll be sort of repelled by each other now. Let their be light!”
Just then, the door to the room opened and two men walked inside. They had long white beards, with streaks of orange, and matching hair on top of their heads.
“Hey,” one of them said in a deep voice. “You’re not supposed to be in here.”
“Oh, but we are,” John said confidently. “Didn’t your boss tell you we’d be coming for an inspection?”
“We’re not stupid,” said the man, and then turned to his colleague. “Come on!” The two of them ran from the room to presumably get help.
“Right in plain sight!” John exclaimed to himself pacing. “It’s so obvious.”
“Who they are,” John said. “That myth I told you about. It’s got to be true. It’s them. They’re Daventhraws, or is it Daventhrawnians? Daventhrites? Ah, I can never get that right. They’re from the Planet Daventhraw. Expert miners and jewelers. Half the materials in the galaxy are sold by them. It appears they’ve been mining and harvesting planets illegally on the side.”
“That’s it then,” Lavender said.
“The answer to the Plan B dilemma.” John gestured for her to continue. “They want to keep their secret, so we expose it, or threaten them with it.”
“Ah! Knowledge and truth,” John smiled and immediately sat back at the computer, but then paused his hands hovering over the keyboard. “Ideas, ideas,” he said, his eyes darting around like he were looking at words flashing across the empty air. “Ooo, two good ideas.” John fumbled with his watch, with more dials and knobs and typing. After a moment he pressed his thumb to the watch and nothing visible occurred. “There… one last thing.” He began working at the computer again, his fingers moving vigorously over the keyboard, eyes darting across various images and charts on the screen.
“I hear footsteps, John,” Lavender said, and she moved to the door.
“Almost there,” he said. “I’m collecting all their data… they kept everything… centuries of stuff. There’s definitely information here the Galactic Courts with be interested in seeing.”
Someone tried pushing the door open and Lavender pushed back.
“Hurry!” she said.
“Done!” John said, and he stood up to face Lavender. “Come on.” Lavender ran to him and as she reached him, the door slammed open. Daventhraw guards with guns stepped into the room as John typed and twisted his watch. He pressed his thumb into the watch as the sound of a gun firing filled the computer room. John looked up to Lavender, who was facing him with her hands on his shoulders. The transparent blue box encircled them and the sounds of the screaming guards drowned out as all faded to black.
Lavender’s face was lit with the brilliant sunlight of afternoon, her hands resting softly on his shoulders. John smiled at her, and only then did he realize something was wrong. Her face was stoic and shocked. John looked down to see a charred and blood-covered wound in her abdomen.
“No,” John whispered.
Lavender suddenly smiled and then her legs buckled. He caught her and dropped to his knees upon the bright green grass, holding her next to him. She still smiled, in spite of the wound.
“No,” he said again, all other words failing him.
“We did it,” Lavender said softly. “We brought the sunshine back.”
“Yes, but… why did you do that?”
“It wasn’t exactly my plan,” Lavender coughed, but her smile remained steady. “It’s better this way. They need you.”
“They need their Queen,” John said.
She grinned further. “I wasn’t talking about them.” John cocked his head and she continued. “I’m talking about all the Universe… Teacher.”
“No…” was all he could say.
“You’re wrong about everyone looking for a savior.” Her voice was getting fainter. “Some just need a spark, a light of inspiration… to push them into action. I had stories of The Teacher and his companions… stories that helped me be a brave Queen.”
John smiled down at her and now he knew why he really sat on the sidelines for 118 years. It always ended like this in some way. Death was a part of his unending existence. Witnessing death. Even with all the saving, eventually, someone, or many someones, died in his arms, out of his reach, beyond his protection, or like her, to save their hero… to save him. He was afraid. It was as simple as that. He repented the loss of all those who’ve passed in his arms by trying to grow something, to remember the planet they died, to help him remember what they died for. And in the end, it wasn’t for him. It was for something bigger than him, something older than him. They died protecting what they loved, who they loved. This entire insight hit him like lighting, a mental flash of a few seconds. He looked down to Lavender and smiled, a tear escaping his eye.
“Don’t you know,” he said. “That it’s you all… who inspire me? It’s not the other way ‘round.”
“Well then,” she coughed. “Don’t you… forget it…” The last words escaped her lips in a barely audible whisper. The smile remained on her face, but there was no life behind the eyes.
John sat there with Lavender in his arms for at least a minute. When he raised his head, he noticed to his great surprise that he was sitting in the middle of two large armies. Behind him, a sea of green-skinned people, with varying colors and shapes of petaled-hair all stared to their Queen, all of them on one knee. In front of him, the Daventhraw people, with their long white hair and beards, armor of a glinting deep purple, were assembling, some still appearing via teleportation beside their comrades.
“Allistor!” John yelled back over his shoulder.
Shortly, the man who stood by Lavender since her arrival with John was at his side along with the Queen’s guard. No words needed to be spoken. The guards and Allistor picked up their Queen and carried her body back to their people. They all rose to their feet to let them pass through the crowd and then turned to the Daventhraw people with menacing stares. Lavender said her people knew how to defend themselves, and he had no doubt at the complete lack of fear in their eyes, but no one else would die here today thanks to her idea. Knowledge and truth. He’d make sure it worked.
He stood up and walked directly towards the Daventhraw people, his lip curling in anger and disgust.
“Oi!” John called out, still walking swiftly towards the army. “You… you deplorable, disgusting, demonic, de… no more D’s then… you make me sick!” The entire Daventhraw army pointed their weapons at him, but he kept walking. “However!” He continued. “I am here to offer you a chance to run. A chance to flee like the cowardly crowd of contemptible… clowns you are! For heaven’s sake, you’ve got me so angry I’m speaking in alliterations! So, you better drop your weapons, or you’ll miss your chance to live a meager existence on the run, for that… is the only option left to you.”
A larger Daventhraw soldier, with fancier plating stepped through an opening gap in the army. Clearly some kind of General, and exactly who he wanted to speak to.
“I think,” the man said, “that we can just get on with our job here, and I should start by killing you.” The man held up a gun and pointed it at John who was now only ten feet away from this General and maybe twenty feet from the army itself.
John grinned. “Ah, before you do that, though… perhaps some more details?” The General grimaced through his thick white beard, but John continued as if he were unaware. “First is that while I was on one of your ships earlier, I downloaded all the data in your network and boy!”—he nearly jumped with the exclamation—“boy is there some interesting stuff in there. A simple glance through and it was easy to see at least two planets that were thriving before you arrived.”
“More reason to kill you right now,” The General said, but he didn’t pull the trigger. John’s smile remained, relishing in the hesitation and reservation he was causing.
“Then I should jump right to the second point, shall I?” He paused and glared into the General’s eyes, then continued. “Second, that data was immediately sent and distributed to every single Galactic Court, Galactic Media outlet, The Commission of Minerals, and for good measure, out on the open network for anyone to view. I’m sure they’ll all see what I saw, and more!”
Now, the General’s gun hand began to twitch unsteadily, with uncertainty. “They won’t believe it!” He yelled. “We’ll crush it as rumors, as falsified data. We’re respected in the Galaxy. We can pay off anyone we need. No one will believe the word of a”—he inspected John up and down—“a farmer?”
“Well, you’re pretty close with the farmer thing, although recently I’ve been employed as a problem-solving consultant. But! I’m glad you said it ‘cause that brings me to my last two points. Pay attention, all of you”—he waved to the entire army and then stared back to the General—“for this bit is the most important… I have been recording everything I see and witness since I sat at one of your ship’s computers. And everything I see and witness is also being broadcast everywhere. So, the death of Queen Lavender by your weapons will be seen by the galaxy… but, that’s still not the thing that should make you run with your tail between your legs. No. You wondered who I am? You wondered who would believe my word? I… am… The Teacher.”
The General took a step back at the name. His gun fell to his side, and John smiled.
“That’s right,” he said. “And that’s why you won’t kill me and why you’ll run. I’ve saved more worlds than you’ve destroyed, and if you hope for your people to ever see the light of day again, to ever exist in the future outside of a jail-cell… then you’ll run… now. Better yet, you should run straight to the Galactic Court and save your people and the Galaxy any unnecessary casualties as they hunt you down. And, last thing I want you to know. I have all the time of existence to ensure that every last one of you is rounded up, and I am extremely dedicated when I set my mind to a task. Why are you still standing there? I said run… now.”
Daventhraws began disappearing from the field one at a time, and then tens at a time, and soon the field was empty except for the General. He stared at John, dropped his gun, and then teleported away.
Three days later and John, The Teacher, was back on his planet, his hands in the dirt again. He dug and pulled at the ground, creating the typical trench he’d made so many times. One foot at a time, the trench grew. When he finished, he stood to inspect his work. Sweat dripped from his beard and he had to wipe his forehead continuously to keep the sweat out of his eyes.
“Right,” he said, and then pulled a small package from his pocket. Seeds from Lavender’s planet, which Allistor kindly gathered for him.
John walked slowly up his trench and sprinkled seeds of one kind into the ground, and then after another step or two, sprinkled seeds of a different plant or flower. As he walked, he thought about his existence. He thought about his name, Teacher, and what he strived for when he chose it. To teach by example.
When he reached the end of the row, he worked his way back, filling the trench with the dug out dirt. A hefty round of watering the ground, and he was done, staring down at row number 119.
“What did I teach?” He wondered aloud, and finished his wondering in silence. His garden wasn’t a graveyard, a secret message his subconscious laid out before him. He didn’t create a mausoleum here, but life. That’s what he taught, and these 119 people who gave their lives, gave it in pursuit of protecting that life. Like he had done. Lavender was gone, but her people remained, and he would ensure they remained for as long as he could. These flowers would grow, as her people would.
John cleaned himself up, pulling on a fresh set of simple trousers, suspenders, and a plain white shirt. He held up his watch and began twisting and pushing the buttons and dials until it was ready. There was no destination in mind this time. He’d leave that to the Universe to decide. Whatever place, and whatever time that was in need of a Teacher. It knew the way. It always did. He pressed his thumb firmly into the center of the watch and disappeared behind the blue box, leaving the farm behind.
He opened his eyes to see his new destination and he grinned with wonder. John stood atop a cliff overlooking a vast jungle setting. No buildings or man-made structures of any kind were visible. He bent down and ran his finger over the moss and dirt-covered ground. Then, he licked his finger and his eyes opened wide.
“Earth!” he exclaimed in surprise. “When?”
As soon as he asked the question, he saw it and immediately crouched down. A dinosaur, a tyrannosaurus to be exact. He was confused. Why would his ship bring him to Earth at this time? There are no people on Earth at this time, he reasoned to himself. And again, just as he questioned things, the sound he grew so familiar with on his remote farm planet filled his ears. The sound of a ship entering the upper-atmosphere. John watched it streak through the cloudless sky and land upon a ridge about a mile away.
He held up his watch, pointing it at the direction of the ship, pressing buttons until a semi-transparent, holographic screen popped up. It showed him the ship as if he were looking through binoculars. The back of the ship opened to create a ramp and down it walked something more surprising than dinosaurs. People. Human people. Earth people by the looks of them. A few more twists and turns of the dials and it was confirmed. They had the same anatomy as humans.
“Humans don’t exist yet,” he said. Could they be time-travelers like himself? “Well, not like me,” he chuckled to himself, as there was no one like him.
John stood up and he had a wide grin on his face as he tried waving towards the people. They didn’t see him, though, but his grin never wavered on his face. “Let’s see… on Earth, at a time when no humans exist, looking at humans that shouldn’t exist yet, and there’s a planet full of dangerous, carnivorous dinosaurs… this, is going to be fun.” He jumped off the rock and began his trek to meet his new friends and his next adventure.
What Did You Think?
Thank you all for reading/listening! It looks like The Teacher will return again with a new adventure that I think I’ll call, “The Forgotten First,” or “The Unknown Visitors.” Let me know on social media (or below in the comments) what you think, and if you’d like to see the story of The Teacher continue.
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