I still do not own Doctor Who, Spider-Man or any other references in this fanfic. Doctor Who is the work of the BBC. Spider-Man is the work of Stan Lee.
Yumi opened the door of the TARDIS and looked around. She was quite confident that she was back on Earth, as the Doctor had planned, but they definitely weren't in the twenty-first century.
"Doctor, where and when are we?"
"We're in Tokyo," answered the Doctor. "The year is 1842."
"The year 1842 is the 240th year of the Edo period," replied Yumi. "Which means we're not in Tokyo; we're in Edo."
"We're still in Tokyo, but the city doesn't go by that name." argued the Doctor.
"At any rate, I think I need a passport," said Yumi.
"Don't you have one?" replied the Doctor.
"I have a twenty-first century, Heisei-period passport. I need it to fly on airplanes in my present time, but in the Edo period, I'm pretty sure people needed passports just to walk the streets."
"Right you are," said the Doctor. "Here, take this." he tossed her a small black booklet with a single white piece of paper inside.
Yumi opened it up and looked at the paper suspiciously. "This paper's blank!"
"My god, you're clever," said the Doctor.
"I'm clever because I recognize a blank paper when I see one?" said Yumi skeptically.
"It's psychic paper," explained the Doctor. "Most people who look at it think that it says what I want it to say. You seem to be immune."
"So do you control it?" asked Yumi.
"Not necessarily," answered the Doctor. "You can control it too."
"But doesn't that mean that I have to hold it to control it?"
"Nope. If you hand it to someone else, he'll think it says the last thing you made it say. But if he realizes how to use it, he can rewrite it with his mind. Don't worry, as long as people think that they see what you want them to, they won't suspect anything."
"How do I know it works if I can't read what it's supposed to say?" asked Yumi.
"There's nothing you can't do," answered the Doctor. "Your mind is stronger than the psychic paper. Unlike most people, you can detect when the paper is trying to trick you. However, like most people, you don't like being tricked, so your mind rejects the illusion."
"So I just need to accept the illusion?" asked Yumi.
"Well, I wouldn't say accept it completely," said the doctor. "Just half-accept it. It's like allowing one eye to drift into the illusions while the other eye stays in reality. Perhaps you could use some practice. The psychic paper, please."
Yumi tossed the psychic paper back to the Doctor. He held it up in his right hand for her to see. "What does this say?" he asked.
Yumi squinted at the blank paper. She could feel a wave of energy coming out of it, trying to tell her something. "It's supposed to say Igo," she answered.
The Doctor hid the psychic paper behind his back, moved it into his left hand, and showed it to Yumi.
"Weiqi," said Yumi.
The doctor switched the paper to his right hand behind his back, then showed it to Yumi again.
"Baduk," said Yumi.
The Doctor hid the paper behind his back again, then showed Yumi another message.
"Davivenku...jedekemogopy," said Yumi slowly.
"Good," said the Doctor.
"And that wasn't the psychic paper," added Yumi. "It really did have Raxacoricofallapatorian writing on it. It's thanks to the TARDIS that I can read it at all."
"Very good," said the Doctor. He then picked up the real psychic paper on the panel behind his back and handed it back to Yumi.
"So, I should probably note my date of birth in the old Kyureki calendar," said Yumi. "I was born on May 5th, 1993 on the Gregorian calendar. Since 1993 hasn't happened yet, I should pretend I was born 17 years before this year. So, May 5th, 1825 converted to the Kyureki calendar is - don't tell me...Yayoi 29, 223rd year of Edo."
"You did that in your head?" said the Doctor. "You're good. Now, you should probably change your clothes in order to blend in. There's a wardrobe in the basement of the TARDIS. Just follow the signs."
"You look nice in a kimono," said the Doctor as he and Yumi walked down the streets of Edo.
"So do you," said Yumi. The Doctor had been wearing a kimono ever since Yumi had met him, though she had never brought it up.
"So if this is 1842, Hon'inbo Shusaku should be 13 years old, and a pro already," said Yumi. "Do we get to meet him?"
"That's what we're here for," said the Doctor. "If Go is being eliminated from time and space, we should check to make sure he's still the strongest player in human history - until you came along, that is."
Yumi blushed. "I won't know that until I play him."
The Doctor approached a guard. "Excuse me, but we're a little lost. Could you direct me to the Hon'inbo House?"
"May I see your passports?" replied the guard.
Yumi showed him the psychic paper. The guard took it and looked it over.
"Looking good for 37 years of age," said the guard.
"What?" said Yumi in surprise. "Um, I was born in the 223rd year of Edo."
"Yes, and that was 37 years ago," replied the guard. "This is the 260th year."
Yumi looked at the Doctor. She could see that he had miscalculated the year they had landed in, but they both knew that this wasn't the time to talk about it.
"Oh, of course," said Yumi. "Sorry. Brainfreeze."
"Yeah, I took her out for a drink last night, so she has a slight hangover," explained the Doctor. "Right now you can't really tell the difference unless you ask her a math question. She should be completely sober pretty soon."
While the Doctor was talking, Yumi subtly passed the psychic paper to him behind her back.
"May I see your identification please, sir?" the guard asked the Doctor.
The Doctor showed him the psychic paper. "Yamada Taro of the Hon'inbo House. Born on the 235th year of Edo."
"If you're from the Hon'inbo House, why are you asking me for directions?" asked the guard.
"Because I just got admitted into the house," said the Doctor. "This is my first time."
"And I still have a hangover," added Yumi.
"She's my teacher," said the Doctor. "She taught me everything I know about Go."
"You're not really 25, are you?" said Yumi.
"How can you tell?" asked the Doctor.
"It's all in the eyes," answered Yumi.
"I'm 906 years old," said the Doctor.
"And I am your teacher," said Yumi with a slight laugh.
"You beat me in the Judan tournament, Yumi-Sensei," replied the Doctor.
"Please don't call me that," said Yumi. "I think you're stronger than I am in most respects. You just had one weakness that was your downfall."
"What was that?" asked the Doctor.
"You seem to be too attached to your stones. Every time you create a group, you can't seem to bear watching it die, as though it were a close friend of yours."
"That pretty much reflects my personal life," said the Doctor. "Whenever I see someone die, I can't help but think that I should have done something to save them. Maybe it's to atone for what I did earlier."
"What did you do?"
"It started with a war between my people, known as the Time Lords, and a race of genetically engineered monsters known as the Daleks."
"I know the Daleks," said Yumi. "Every human in my generation remembers what they almost did to Earth."
"Then you know that they won't stop killing until Daleks are the only race left in the universe. They tried to kill the Time Lords. The Time Lords fought back. I was able to end the Time War, but it cost the lives of Time Lords and Daleks alike, leaving me the only survivor.
"Or so I thought. Since then, I ran into more Daleks, who had barely survived the Time War. By the time I met them, they had regained a lot of strength. But I passionately wiped them out again. I blamed them for the death of my people.
"Each battle between me and the Daleks had the same result: they got defeated, but somehow survived. I suffered some great loss or other. So it was pretty much the same for both sides.
"But finally, I ran into a Dalek who had the capacity to question his own destructive instincts. He could choose a different path. Some might say that this proved the existence of his soul.
"Meeting this Dalek was enough to shock me into finally opening my eyes and see myself for what I was: the very evil I was fighting against in the Daleks, and now I had to face it inside myself.
"That wasn't my last Dalek. But fighting them became a whole lot harder after that. I never really knew what was the right way to end the fight."
As the Doctor's story came to a close, he and Yumi happened to arrive on foot at the Hon'inbo House.
"Doctor," said Yumi, "if this is the 260th year of Edo, then Shusaku..."
"...is about to die of the cholera epidemic," finished the Doctor. "We haven't got much time."
"So couldn't we take the TARDIS back 20 years?" asked Yumi. "Or even better, 16 years. I want to see Shusaku play the Ear-Reddening Move."
"Yumi, we're right at the scene of Shusaku's death," argued the Doctor. "And I'm the Doctor. I can save him."
"But can you really?" asked Yumi. "History says that he dies now."
"You sound like my old self," said the Doctor. "My people, the Time Lords, had laws against changing history. But the Time Lords are all dead, except me. I recently realized that I therefore represent the entire Time Lord race. If I let things happen because future history says they happen, then I deserve the consequences that I get. I can't say the same for other victims. Still, I have a duty to help them. With great power, there must also come...wait. Sorry, that's Spider-Man. But the idea still holds."
"In that case, why don't you save the Time Lords?" asked Yumi.
"Because their existence is sealed away in a time lock. Even if I go back in time to pre-Time-War Gallifrey, there will be nothing there."
"Are you two new here?" asked a voice from behind.
Yumi and the Doctor turned around. "Yes, we are," said the Doctor. "I'm Yamada Taro."
"And I'm Yamada Yumi."
"I'm Hon'inbo Shusaku," said the man. "Pleasure to meet you."
"Pleasure to meet you too," said Yumi politely. "May I have your autograph, please?"
"Sure, if you have something to write on," said Shusaku.
Yumi reached into an inner pocket of her kimono and pulled out a pen and a book listing all of Shusaku's game records. She opened the book up and searched for the right page. "Could you sign here, please?"
"Ah, that game," said Shusaku, signing his name. "People really did seem impressed by it. They called it the Ear-Reddening Game."
"Did Gennan Inseki's ear really turn red?" asked Yumi.
"I don't know," answered Shusaku. "I was concentrating on the game. There was a doctor in the audience who said that he saw Gennan's ear turn red when I played the 127th move one point above the center."
"Speaking of doctors," said the Doctor, "I'm a doctor. Surely you've heard of this cholera epidemic that's been going around?"
"Of course I have," said Shusaku. "It's already taken the lives of some of my dearest friends."
"Well, I think I can help," said the Doctor, handing Shusaku a bottle of pills. "One of these pills is all you'll ever need. The rest are for other people. The pill contains nanobots that are tuned to the cholera plague and will instantly wipe the germs out. Understand?"
"Not a word," said Shusaku. "Does your husband always talk like this?" he asked Yumi.
"What?" replied Yumi. "He's not my husband."
"Sorry," said Shusaku. "Brother?"
"We're not related," said the Doctor. "Yamada is a common name in Japan."
"For that matter, so is Taro," said Yumi. "My father's name was Yamada Taro."
"'Was?'" repeated Shusaku. "Did he change it?"
"No," said Yumi. "He died before I was born."
"I'm so sorry," said Shusaku.
"Shusaku-san, the pill," reminded the Doctor, handing shusaku a bottle of water.
Shusaku put a pill into his mouth, drank a gulp of water, and swallowed. "So this will protect anyone from the plague?"
"Yes, and it will also cure anyone who already has it, except those who are already dead," said the Doctor.
"I don't know how to thank you," said Shusaku.
"You could play a game of Go with me," suggested Yumi.
"That would be lovely," said Shusaku. "I haven't played Go since I played Narabayashi Kurakichi."
Shusaku nigiri'd with 8 white stones. Yumi placed one black stone. Yumi therefore played white. She remembered that the komi rule hadn't been invented yet.
"Onegaishimasu," said Yumi and Shusaku together.
Yumi was relieved to find that Shusaku's strength had not been affected by the wound in time. Shusaku was just as strong as his records suggested, and much stronger than any pro Yumi had played in her modern time.
Yumi, however, still had her mysterious strength that surpassed Shusaku. She tried to monitor it throughout the game, keeping the difference between their advantages to a minimum. This worked until Shusaku had a sudden stroke of insight, similar to his famous Ear-Reddening Move.
Yumi knew she was behind, so she started playing with more strength and less moderation. Unfortunately for her, she and Shusaku were already approaching the endgame. Yumi played with all her strength to make a comeback.
At the very end of the game, Yumi and Shusaku had equal territory. Since there was no komi, the game was a draw. "Thank you for the game," said Yumi, bowing.
"Thank you for the game," repeated Shusaku, also bowing. "I just wish more people were watching it. Would you consider a rematch on another day?"
"How about tomorrow?" asked Yumi.
"Sure," answered Shusaku. "I just have to make sure as many people as possible get these pills."
Yumi and the Doctor "slept" in the TARDIS. Actually, they jumped forward in time about 12 hours.
At the Hon'inbo House, Shusaku had some urgent news for the Doctor.
"The pills don't work on one of the cholera patients. What should I do?"
"How could it not work?" asked the Doctor. "That pill is a state-of-the-art nanobot cure. Earth diseases are child's play for those nanobots."
"What do you mean, 'Earth diseases?'" asked Shusaku.
"It's a long story," said the Doctor. "What did you do when you found out it didn't work?"
"I tried everything I could to care for him," answered Shusaku. "I'm no doctor, but I did my best."
The Doctor took out his Sonic Screwdriver, pointed it at Shusaku, and activated it.
"What's that?" asked Shusaku.
"It's a highly sophisticated medical device," said the Doctor. "And it says that you're infected by the cholera plague. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But you're about to die. The best I can do is collect an error report from the nanobots to diagnose the failure."
"If I'm about to die, is there any point in asking you to translate that into simple Japanese?" asked Shusaku.
"Not really," said the Doctor. "Yumi, to the TARDIS. Ikuze!"
"So what is that thing?" asked Yumi as the Doctor plugged his "highly sophisticated medical device" into a port on the TARDIS's control panel.
"It's a Sonic Screwdriver," answered the Doctor. "It can lock and unlock almost any type of lock, including digital locks. It can also store data from the nanobots in Shusaku's body.
"So what's it saying?" asked Yumi.
"It says that Shusaku's been infected by more than the cholera epidemic. There was a crack in space and time running through him, probably because of his significance in the Go world. That crack turned him into a sort of time-space magnet, attracting the plague to him. The nanobots failed to cure someone else because he had to catch the plague in order to pass it on to Shusaku."
"So what do we do now?" asked Yumi.
"The nanobots have collected enough data to trace the time-space fracture from Shusaku to the source," answered the Doctor, starting up the TARDIS's engine. "Shusaku's death won't be in vain!"