Looking Into the Distance (Hornblower/Dr.
Notes: I wrote this in a couple of hours last nite before reading
all your wonderful iseas...I
will have to save them all and try writing one of them. Oh, and feel free to 'continue' this
story. [You'll understand what I mean when u read it.]
All four of them stood in the hold, staring at it. Captain
Horatio Hornblower's thin mouth
moved but no sound came out.
"Indeed, sir," said William Bush, the First Lieutenant of the Hotspur, replying to his
captain's silent question.
"You don't by any chance have a clue what it is," asked Horatio.
"It looks like a puddle, sir," suggested Style.
"More like mirror," added Mathews.
Lieutenant Bush knelt down beside the liquid panel which took up a section of the floor of
the hold. As he peered into it he could see a room on the other side.
"It's not a hole, that's for sure, or otherwise we would be sunk by now, sir."
"What can you see, Mr Bush?"
"It looks like a room of some sort. It's a metal structure with several pieces of plain
"Can you see anyone on the other side?"
"No, sir. The place seems deserted. Do you think it's just a picture or and actual doorway?"
asked the Lieutenant.
"Well there's only one way to find out."
"I volunteer, sir," said Styles. "It might be dangerous."
"No, thank you. I think I can handle this-,"
"Are you sure, sir? You don't want me to try first?"
"I can cope thank you, Mr Bush."
He knelt down and reached out nervously with his long thin hand. His fingers brushed the
surface of the puddle. He quickly withdrew his hand.
"What's the matter, sir?"
"Nothing," replied Horatio, reaching out again. This time he reached further into the
puddle. "It seems safe."
He stood up.
"Do you think we should explore, sir?"
"Maybe it would be wise. We can't have random gaps appearing all over the ship."
"Should I go get some rope, sir?" Offered Mathews.
The elder sailor disappeared up the ladder in search of some rope. Suddenly Horatio let
out a cry as a hand reached out from the other side of the puddle and grabbed his ankle.
The hand dragged him through the puddle.
"Sir!" they yelled.
Lieutenant Bush leapt forward and tried to grab hold of the captain before he disappeared
completely but he only managed to get himself dragged into the puddle as well.
"Arghh!" exclaimed Horatio, when the lieutenant landed
on his ankle.
"Sorry, sir," apologised William, getting to his feet and offering Horatio a hand.
"Look where you're falling next time."
"I did say-," he paused, looking around him. "Sir."
But Captain Hornblower had vanished.
"Sir, where are you?"
Horatio backed away slowly from the strange masked figure which
lurched towards him. At
the end of its right arm was a spinning blade. It passed dangerously close to his face as he
ducked out of the way.
"Please, I mean you no harm," exclaimed Horatio, holding his hands up placatingly. "Can't
we talk about this?"
But it took no heed, instead it stepped forward and lifted its arm ready to strike out.
Horatio tried to back away again but found he could go no further because he had
reversed into a corner. He closed his eyes and prepared to die but the moment didn't
come. After about a minute he looked up the masked figure was stuck, standing still as a
"Quickly, get out from there before it decides to start again," shouted an unfamiliar voice.
Horatio ducked underneath the figure's raised arm and found himself face to face with a
tall man in a blue pinstripe suit. The man grinned and held a small metal stick with a blue
light at one end up in the air triumphantly.
"Who are you?"
"I'm the Doctor, and you are lucky to be alive. I thought I'd deactivated all these androids
last timegood job I came back to double check."
"There are others?"
"Nope," replied the Doctor making the `p' of nope pop. "That feller was the last. Now we
had better get you back to your own time."
"But what about Lieutenant Bush? He's still round here somewhere."
"Lieutenant William Bush of His Majesties Navy?"
A look of recognition followed by a frown crossed the Doctor's face.
"Has he still got the leg?"
"Doesn't matter," he said digging his hand into his pockets and rocking back on his heels.
"Anywaylet's go and find your friend and then get you back where you belong."
An expression of relief crossed the lieutenant's face when
Horatio walked through the
door safe and sound.
"There you are, sir. I was worried-,"
"You were worried William? You never worry," said Horatio with a smile.
"I should know not to fret about you, sir. You have the damn-dest luck. You were born to
be hanged, sir and no mistake."
"That may be the case, but it was the Doctor here that saved me this time."
"Just the Doctor," replied the Time Lord with the grin. "We have already met Lieutenant-,"
"Well, I don't remember you."
"Or will do from your point of view."
"I don't understand."
"Good," said the Doctor, herding them over to one of the walls. He pointed the humming
silver stick at the wall which began to almost melt before their eyes. "That is a portal. It
should take you back to your time. I've already closed the one you came through originally
and I'll close this one after you leave."
"Do we just step through?" asked Horatio.
"Yes, simple as that. Cheerio."
The Doctor waved a jolly goodbye as the two officers stepped through the liquid wall and
found themselves in Horatio's Quarters.
"It's gone, sir! The portal it's gone," exclaimed William.
"He said it would and the Doctor seems like a man who does what he says he is going to