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Crossover with Doctor Who: After all the excitement dies down, another complication arises. NB: Very heavy spoilers for Pyramids.
Crossover with Doctor Who: After all the excitement dies down, another complication arises. NB: Heavy spoilers for /Pyramids/.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; just borrowing. Will return when finished.
In the end, the oddest piece of the puzzle for Teppic has nothing to do with Ptraci being related to him. It's also got nothing to do with nearly misplacing his homeland, or meeting all of his ancestors in one fell swoop, or even having to inhume an entire pantheon.
It's the blue box that shows up with quite a clatter near the worn-down hulk of Dios' - of the first pyramid, not long after the architects have started dismantling the newer ones at Ptraci's very adamant suggestion.
The box would look slightly less out of place in Ankh-Morpork, Teppic can't help thinking, though the change of scenery probably wouldn't help very much. It hardly looks big enough for one person to stand in, and a 'police call box' wouldn't do much good in a city where the Watch tries to stay out of trouble.
And then a man steps out, interrupting Teppic's musings on how one would talk to the Watch from a box in the first place. He's clearly overdressed, between the coat and hat, and it's likely a small miracle he's not tripping over his own scarf. When he notices Teppic, he smiles and holds out a hand with some sort of packet in it.
"...Yes, that's the name of the country..."
"Oh, I know that, I've been trying to get here for... quite some time, locally speaking. I was referring to the sweets. Would you like one?"
"Thank you, but no." The automatic response of Assassins' Guild life doesn't quite circumvent Teppic's curiosity, though. "How long is quite some time?"
"Six thousand years, give or take a few centuries. I need to talk to someone who ought to be in the area, likely in some position of authority, but I simply haven't been able to land until now."
It's not the length of time that gives Teppic pause so much as the next bit - or maybe it's the two of them in combination. "...I think we ought to trade stories. I just cleaned up after a temporal anomaly - the two might be related."
"Capital idea, young man. Come inside." With that, the strange man steps back into the blue box; Teppic eyes it for a moment, then decides he might as well.
The box, it turns out, is much larger inside than it looks.
"So Dios was a... was someone like you," Teppic says, after they've traded names and stories.
"Oh, he still is a Time Lord," the Doctor replies. "I'm afraid the power he acquired here went to his head, though. Why he's been filling this valley of yours with time sinks rather than regenerating and carrying on after a death like any other Gallifreyan, I don't know. I had been hoping I could talk him out of meddling so much, but I couldn't get through, and then he didn't seem to be in his pyramid. Do you know where I might find him?"
"He wouldn't have been in there at this time of day anyway. As far as I know, he's... gone. Someone said they saw him by the large pyramid when I inhumed it, and no one's been able to find him since, alive or otherwise."
"Well, that rather complicates matters. From your description, he may have got stuck in a loop. Even if I could get through, I doubt I could change his mind."
"A loop?" Teppic considers the statement for a moment, and then comprehension sinks in. "...You mean he's back at the beginning of the kingdom."
"If he hadn't been so impossible, I might feel sorry for him. That does explain quite a bit, though."
"I might be able to catch him at the beginning of the loop, though if the situation is as you say, that may not help matters. In any case, I should be going. Would you like to come along?"
...It's a tempting prospect. After all, he's handed over the ruling business to Ptraci, and even Ankh-Morpork doesn't have many challenges for someone who's inhumed a pyramid and rather a lot of gods.
"Are you sure?"
"Certainly. Time travel is infinitely more interesting with company."
"I should get some more useful things and let people know I'll be unavailable, just in case. But it's not as though I have much to do here, at the moment, so why not?"