Before, Rebirth

I never believe in endings and perhaps this is the world that taught me that. Countless times I have watched the girl with the purple hair, alone in the audience, ask to hear how it ends. She doesn’t see us, nor does the performer on stage as demonstrates as much creative merit as a child. Maybe that, his naivety and incredible sweetness, is why it hurts so much. I want to tell her it doesn’t end, not yet. With people like me around, I hope it never will.

How many more times will I drag Womble into these bitter moments of fanboyhood?

“Alright, I’m done.”

We both exit the theatre with no hassle of him getting under a crowd of legs; they’ve all left, for some reason disappointed. Womble included. I’d like to think he was enjoying the moments of monumental ad-lib, but his time seemed to be ruined by the fumes from some cigar-smoking audience member sat nearby. I thought it was the bending robot until I heard him reading a dictionary from somewhere in front of us. That and making him stick around until the end to satisfy the inner-geek, I’ll add it to the list of things I need to make up to him. One of these days I’ll have accrued such a debt I’ll owe him my life.

Ned knows what he’d want to do with it.

Still, my moment over, I’d say it’s time for the next adventure. Reunited as we are, normal service can resume. By which I mean, of course, service which will include moments ranging as far from normality as possible.

“Back to the TARDIS?”

“Quark.” (No.)


“Quark-quark-quark.” (I have my own ship.)

Wow, gut-punch to the designated driver. I don’t know why that should sting so much, but then I imagine Han Solo might have faltered if Luke suddenly showed up with his own Century Eagle, or Spock deciding to bugger off for a while and come back with his own Enterprise MK-II. You just…get used to things.

That said, the opportunity to watch a penguin pilot a spaceship is far too appealing here. Rocket the Racoon made it awesome. Let’s see how Womble the Penguin can play it.

“Mind if I take a look?”

We take the tube again. Womble and Nibbles take off first, a two-“person”-team like something far too closely resembling a Disney film. Post Marvel-take-over, of course. I quickly follow suit, getting my last look at the city for now. No doubt I’ll return; there’s some last adventures to see and I’ll always come back to revisit favourites. The MHOP might as well set aside a seat for me.

“QUARK.” (Nice hair.)

“Looking who’s talking, Fluffy.” As much as my hair does look like I’ve been electrocuted, he looks like he’s been through a tumble dryer. Nibbles, on the other hand, seems fine. “So where’s the ship?”

Womble leads us to something by far and away not a parking zone for spaceships, more a sports stadium for things like blurnsball. Whatever that is. From the outside the stadium looks in-tact, so it wasn’t a “start-of-an-alien-invasion-film” kind of landing.

Give it time though. Seeing it now, any crash – forgive me – arrival could be its last. It seems old, like proper impossibly older-than-me kind of old*. The kind of ship that might say its seen more universes than I’ve had hot dinners, but darlin’, I’ve had a lot of hot dinners. It is, I will however admit, cool. Undeniably and irritatingly cooler than a little blue box, for example.

Its design appears to act upon something resembling a hammerhead shark, an F1 car and stuff from the truly expensive back end of a spaceship catalogue, with as few exterior features as possible. A lot of grey, faded, going on as well; either an attempt at stealth or just to really hammer the shark point home. (Pun somewhat intended.)

Did I once envision a shark-based TARDIS exterior? Somewhere around my Plastic Beach invasion?

Anyway, like most things, it deserves a quick sonic scan while Womble busies himself with opening an entrance hatchway.


Daedalus. So presumably we’re looking for the ship’s crashed, over-ambitious son? As for a reading on the thing’s age, I can’t get anything definitive. One mystery after another with this guy……penguin.

Inside, I’m rather disappointed not to find a docking station for ‘Awesome Mix vol. 1’**. There are a lot of take-out-food leaflets lying around, though. Some biscuits wrappers. What looks like a chessboard but with far too many squares, complete with some rather strange playing pieces. And more than a few skateboards.  One thing I always do in these situations: inspect the DVD and book collections. There’s a bookcase towards the back, squashed in between several boxes labelled “Candles.”

He’s seen my ship, I’m not here to judge.

…blimey that’s an impressive lot of anime and manga…


*It’s a tricky subject, my age, given my most recent regeneration making me look no older than a Earth university student. Just know that I hold more than a hundred separate senior discounts across the universe…I just can’t use them anymore as I only just look old enough to buy alcohol.

**The Guardians of the Galaxy references will stop soon, I promise. For all our sakes.


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