More Human Nature
I still do not own Doctor Who. Doctor Who is the work of the BBC.
Doctor: We're at the scene of Shusaku's death. And I'm the Doctor. I can save him.
Doctor: 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.
Shusaku: The pills don't work on one of the cholera patients. What should I do?
Doctor: 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 have collected enough data to trace the time-space fracture from Shusaku to the source. Shusaku's death won't be in vain!
The Doctor passionately followed the trail of the time-space damage. Suddenly he saw something flying towards him through the time stream.
"INCOMING!" he shouted.
Yumi struggled to keep her balance as the Doctor maneuvered the TARDIS around the blue flying police box that nearly hit them.
"Doctor," said Yumi, "was that...?"
"Yes," said the Doctor. "The TARDIS."
"So is it this TARDIS from the past or future?" asked Yumi. "Or is it another TARDIS?"
"This is the last TARDIS," replied the Doctor. "All the others were destroyed along with the Time Lords. And even if I'm wrong, my TARDIS is the only one that looks like a police box."
"So was it the future TARDIS or the past TARDIS?" asked Yumi.
"It had to be from the future," answered the Doctor. "We were tracing the crack in time and space, which is still developing. If the TARDIS causes it, it hasn't started doing so yet."
The Doctor landed the TARDIS, which materialized on Earth.
"Welcome home," said the Doctor. "Unfortunately, this is our last journey."
"Why?" asked Yumi. "Are you going to try to stop the fracture without me?"
"No," said the Doctor. "I'm going to destroy the TARDIS. It's the only way to prevent the damage it has yet to cause. I'm so sorry that you weren't able to find competitive Go players in outer space."
"So now I have to keep suppressing my strength?" asked Yumi.
"Actually, I think you could put it to some good use," said the Doctor. "With your ability you could guide the rest of the human race to a higher level of Go."
"But what about you?" asked Yumi. "Will you be stuck on Earth?"
"I'm afraid so," said the Doctor. "I've been traveling through time and space for 900 years of my life, and I could keep on living for who knows how much longer. I don't think I could cope with a life confined on one planet."
"So what will you do?" asked Yumi.
"I'm going to transform myself into a human. I've done this before with a Chameleon Arc." The Doctor showed Yumi a fob watch. "All my biological data goes into this watch, along with my mind, leaving my body with all of its cells rewritten."
"Hang on," said Yumi. "If your mind is being transferred into that watch, does that mean..."
"My body loses my memories," finished the Doctor. "Once the transformation is complete, my human brain will be in a sort of trance for...let's make it 15 minutes. I'll have just enough motor control to stand up and follow you far enough away.
"Once the 15 minutes are up, my human consciousness will wake up with a set of memories of my false history as Yamada Taro. I'll be all set to blend into a new life. I'll be subtle enough so that nobody will wonder how a new citizen popped into existence.
"At about the same time, the TARDIS's timer will go off and it will detonate. Don't worry; we're in an abandoned warehouse. It won't do anyone any damage. It may attract some investigation, but we can't help that. Any questions?"
"What's the point of removing your memories?"
"A human brain cannot contain a Time Lord mind. Your brain comes as close as it can get to containing that kind of power. I can set my human brain to have the same kind of power, but I can't go any further. I could even play competitive Go with you."
Fifteen minutes later, Yumi and Taro were at a safe distance from the warehouse. The fob watch was in Taro's pocket. Yumi looked back, wishing it didn't have to end like this.
The two people were still reasonably close to the warehouse. Fortunately, it didn't explode so much as collapse.
"What was that?" asked Taro, who had just broken out of his trance.
"It looks like that abandoned warehouse just collapsed," answered Yumi.
"Yes, I can see that," responded Taro. "But what caused it?"
"Maybe the construction crew is making way for a new building," suggested Yumi.
In the distance, Yumi and Taro could faintly hear police sirens.
"Or, maybe not," said Yumi. "Let's get out of here."
Yumi found herself walking distance from her house. However, when she got there, she saw someone else's car in the parking lot.
Feeling a bit confused, she walked up to the front door and looked at the sign that was supposed to say "Yamada" on it. Instead it said "Matsumoto," indicating that the Matsumoto family lived here.
Yumi checked the street address. It was definitely her house. The Doctor must have landed in the wrong year, she thought.
A woman from inside the house opened the door. "Can I help you?" she asked Yumi.
"Um, yeah," said Yumi. "Can you direct me to the nearest hotel?"
"Down that street, take a left at the second intersection," said Matsumoto-san. "Walk one block and you'll find a train station. Take the bullet train two stops outbound. There's a hotel in plain sight."
"Thank you," said Yumi, bowing. She knew this information already, but she needed an excuse to explain why she was standing on a stranger's doorstep.
I might as well go to a hotel, thought Yumi. I have to live somewhere.
On her way to the bullet train, Yumi stopped by a newspaper stand. She bent over for a closer look at the front page. She read the date.
1991? she thought. That's two years before I was born! I mean, will be born.
Yumi had more than enough money for a ticket to the bullet train. The hotel, on the other hand, would be a lot more expensive.
I have an ATM card with me, she thought, but it's useless until my younger self in the future creates an account and registers the card.
Yumi then remembered the Sonic Screwdriver. The Doctor said it could open locks, including digital locks. But if I use it to take money from an ATM machine, I'll be a thief. At least I'm not stealing from a person in particular, since the money in everyone's account is recorded digitally. It still feels like stealing, though.
Once Yumi got off the bullet train, she found the nearest ATM machine, pointed the Sonic Screwdriver at it and concentrated. The machine jumped to the conclusion that Yumi was an administrator, and the screen prompted her for an amount of money.
I'm not stealing this, she thought. I'm borrowing it. Once the other me meets the Doctor and disappears, I could use the Sonic Screwdriver secretly to deduct from my account the amount of money that I took. Only problem is, I'll have to wait 19 years. Durring that time a stay at the hotel will cost way more than the amount of money I'll have in my account.
Yumi "withdrew" 30,000 yen. That should last me in the hotel for now. I'll keep this up long enough to take the exam to become a professional Go player. Or I could use the psychic paper. No, that will only work until they check the records of pros and realize that I'm not on it.
Yumi registered her citizenship with a new Social Security Number. She used her real name, since Yamada and Yumi are both common names in Japan. She had a few documents such that it didn't matter that they were printed in the future. For the rest, she used the psychic paper. And, of course, she claimed to have been born in 1974.
Over the next week, Yumi booked a hotel room (on the first day, of course), opened a bank account, "retook" the driving test and applied to take the pro exam.
"You look familiar," said Yamada Taro as he ran into Yumi at the pro exam preliminaries. "Did I run into you a week ago when I saw some warehouse collapse?"
"Yeah, that was me," said Yumi. "I don't think we've been properly introduced. I'm Yamada Yumi."
"I'm Yamada Taro," said Taro. "The funny thing is, I brought up the warehouse incident to another woman who looked a lot like you, but a little older. Her name is Yamakawa Masako. She didn't know what I was talking about."
"Did you say...Yamakawa Masako?" asked Yumi.
"That's right," said Taro. "Do you know her?"
"I think I've heard that name before," said Yumi. That's my mother's name, she thought. And in my time, people always tell me how much I look like her. This is getting to be too much of a coincidence.
The two applicants named Yamada didn't end up playing each other in the preliminary rounds. They both won their first three games straight, which was enough for them to automatically qualify for the examination. Yumi had won all her games by half a point. She noticed that Taro had done the same.
The Doctor may have made himself human, thought Yumi, but he hasn't changed that much.
The day before Yumi and Taro were scheduled to play each other in the examination, Yumi replayed the games she had played for Taro to see.
"Why are you showing me this?" asked Taro.
"Because I know you've been winning your games by only half a point on purpose," said Yumi. "So have I. I just wanted you to be prepared for our next match."
The next day, Yumi discovered that Taro didn't seem to have the same weakness that the Doctor had when he got attached to his stones. On the other hand, he wasn't quite as strong as the Doctor, though he was still by far stronger than any other human professional, except Yumi.
When it was time for lunch, Yumi and Taro's game in the middle of an intense battle. It was impossible to determine who would win at the end.
Yumi and Taro went to the same restaurant for lunch. Yumi saw Taro at the front of the line with a woman ordering with him.
"That'll be a total of 1535 yen for both of you," said the cashier.
"It's all on me," said Taro.
Soon afterward, Yumi reached the front of the line and purchased her food.
"Hey, Yamada-chan," said Taro. "Would you like to join us?"
"Sure," said Yumi. "Thanks, Yamada-san."
Yumi sat down with Yamada Taro and the woman he was apparently dating. She looked a lot like Yumi, only a bit older.
"Yamada-chan, this is Yamakawa Masako, the woman I mentioned to you earlier," said Taro. "Yamakawa-san, this is Yamada Yumi, the girl whom I ran into earlier. I mentioned her to you thinking you were her."
"Pleased to meet you," said Yumi and Masako together.
This is officially not a coincidence, thought Yumi. These are my parents. And my dad is the Doctor - or at least he was.
"I see what you mean," said Masako. "Yamada-chan does look a lot like me, but younger."
"Except for her eyes," commented Taro. "Those eyes look somewhat older than the rest of her."
"Do you really think so?" asked Yumi.
"Well, sort of," admitted Taro. "You're eyes don't exactly look old, so much as sharp."
"So do yours," said Yumi. It was true; Taro's eyes were different from the Doctor's 900-year-old eyes. They looked exactly like the eyes Yumi saw when she looked in a mirror.
"What do my eyes look like?" asked Masako.
"Beautiful," said Taro. "And strong," he added. "Strong enough to be unshaken by an earthquake of magnitude 10."
That's not like the Masako I know as my mother, thought Yumi. All my life she looked like she had been badly broken by something. Was it my father's death? Come to think of it, my mother never told me how he died. If only I knew, maybe I could stop it.
After lunch, the two Yamadas (who actually were realted) continued their game. They were evenly matched in strength. At the end of this game, Taro managed to beat Yumi by a point and a half.
Shortly before the end of the exam tournament, Yamada Taro had no losses and enough wins to pass the exam even if he lost all of his remaining games (as if that could happen). Yumi was one win away from the same situation, with only one loss against Taro (obviously).
"Congradulations on passing," said Yumi.
"I have no doubt that you'll do the same, Yamada-chan," said Taro. "Good luck."
"Do you mind calling me 'Yumi'?" asked Yumi. "It just feels really wierd when you call me 'Yamada-chan'."
"Why? Because my name is also Yamada?" asked Taro.
"Partly," said Yumi. "But also because you look so much like my father."
"In that case," said Taro, "for me to call you 'Yumi' would be like you calling me 'Chichi' (Dad). And you can't do that."
"You're right," said Yumi. "I can't."
"You know, I don't think you're being entirely honest with me," said Taro. "You're hiding something."
"You could tell, couldn't you?" said Yumi.
"I sure can," said Taro. "You said I looked sharp."
"All right," said Yumi, "you got me. But the truth is too unbelievable."
"Try me," said Taro.
"Okay," said Yumi. "Sooner or later you will marry Yamakawa Masako. In two years, you two will have a daughter. 17 years later, your daughter will jump 19 years backwards in time to a couple of months ago."
"And that's you?" said Taro.
"Yes," said Yumi. "I told you it was unbelievable."
"But I believe you," said Taro. "You looked and sounded very sincere. Besides, it does check out. You look so much like my girlfriend, but you have my eyes.
"But you still shouldn't call me 'Dad' in public. And I probably should avoid calling you 'Yumi' in front of Yamakawa."
"You could call her 'Masako,' just to be fair," said Yumi.
Once Yumi was a pro (again, sort of), she was able to make sufficient money to support her stay at the hotel without the Sonic Screwdriver.
After some time, Yumi was able to repay the money that she had secretly borrowed. She inserted her new ATM card into an ATM machine and made a withdrawal. She then used the Sonic Screwdriver to lock the money slot so that the money wouldn't come out, but the machine wouldn't complain that it was jammed. When she was done, she reset the slot so that it would work normally.
Yumi made sure to attend her parents' wedding on April 1992. She hadn't told her father that he didn't have much longer to live. She didn't have the heart to tell him. And her mother still didn't know who she was.
Four months later, everything went wrong. It all started one fateful August morning when Yumi entered the elevator of the Nihon-Kiin for her professional Go matches. Another professional who wasn't acquainted with Yumi entered the elevator with her.
"Why are we going to the basement?" asked the man.
"I think the elevator's been hijacked," said Yumi. She took the Sonic Screwdriver out of her pocket and tried to use it to override the elevator.
"What's that thing?" asked her companion.
"It's useless, that's what it is," said Yumi.
When the elevator arrived in the basement, the doors opened. Yumi saw a group of metal creatures waiting for her.
"WE - ON-LY - NEED - ONE - HOS-TAGE!" they screamed with an unforgettable air of hatred through every syllable. "Ex-TER-MI-NATE - THE - SPARE!"
One of the creatures shot the man next to Yumi with a laser gun attached to its body. His skin glowed and became transparent, revealing his bones. When the laser turned off, the man's appearance returned to normal, and he collapsed to the floor, dead.
"What do you want with me, Daleks?" asked Yumi.
"HOW - DO - YOU - KNOW - US?" demanded one of the Daleks.
"How could I forget you?" replied Yumi. "You invaded Earth and took prisoners from all over the world! Wait - that hasn't happened yet."
"THIS - TOPIC - IS - IR-RE-LE-VANT!" said a Dalek. "WE - WILL - CON-TIN-UE - WITH - THE - DA-LEK - STRA-TE-GEM! SET - LA-SER - TO - STUN - MODE! WE - NEED - YOU - ALIVE!"
The Dalek shot Yumi with a weak laser beam. She fell to the floor, unconscious.
Yamada Taro was scheduled for a match with Yumi today. When she didn't show up, he won by forfeit. Worried, he called her hotel.
"Could you please redirect me to the phone in room 555?" he asked.
"Sure thing, sir," said the hotel operator.
"Come on, Yumi, pick up!" whispered Taro.
"I-DEN-TI-FY - YOUR-SELF!" said a nasty voice that was definitely not Yumi's.
"This is Yamada Taro. Is Yumi there?"
"IN-COR-RECT! YOUR - OFF-SPRING - IS - OUR - HOS-TAGE! YOU - WILL - MEET - US - AT - THE - SITE - OF - THE - WARE-HOUSE - THAT - COL-LAPSED - ONE - YEAR - A-GO! IF - YOU - DO - NOT - O-BEY - THEN - SHE - WILL - BE - Ex-TER-MI-NA-TED!"
"Let me talk to her!" demanded Taro.
"DA-LEKS - DO - NOT - O-BEY - HU-MAN - OR-DERS!"
"I need to know that she's alive!"
"VE-RY - WELL. O-PEN - SE-CON-DA-RY - COM-MU-NI-CA-TION - LINK!"
"Yumi, are you alright?"
"Don't worry about me, Dad. This is about more than me. The Daleks must want you to try to save me so that they can destroy the universe. Our only hope is for you to forget about me."
"Yumi, you mean more to me than the universe, and you haven't even been born yet!" argued Taro.
"CEASE - TALK-ING! YOU - HAVE - YOUR - PROOF! YOU - HAVE - ONE - HOUR - TO - MEET - US - AT - THE - DE-SIG-NA-TED - LO-CA-TION!"
The Daleks hung up. Furious, Taro dialed the number for the house that he and Masako had recently bought from the Matsumoto family.
"Masako!" said Taro. "I need the car. It's important!"
"What's the problem?" asked Masako.
"I'll explain later. Can you drive over to the Kiin within half an hour?"
"Okay," she said.
Only ten minutes later, Taro met his wife in the parking lot.
"Masako, can I ask you to wait here? I should do this on my own."
"Absolutely not!" retorted Masako.
"Masako, this is dangerous," he said.
"I can handle it," said Masako. "I can stay unshaken by an earthquake of magnitude 10, remember?"
"This is so much worse than any earthquake," said Taro. "This is about the life or death of our daughter."
Masako looked down at her pregnant body. "How do you know our baby is a girl?"
"Because I've seen her future," he said. "I know it's hard to believe, but when she's 17 years old, she'll jump back in time to about one year ago. I've already met her."
"You mean Yumi?" asked Masako.
"How did you guess?" asked Taro.
"We've already noticed how much she looks like me, but with your eyes," said Masako. "It was pretty obvious. But yes, it's also incredibly difficult to believe."
"But do you believe me?" asked Taro.
"Yes," answered Masako. "I may not be as sharp as you are, so I can't tell when just anybody is lying. But you're my husband. All this time I knew there was something about Yumi that you weren't telling me. You sound more sincere now than you ever did."
"Good," said Taro. "Now our daughter from the future is in grave danger. I'm off to save her."
"I've already told you that you're not going anywhere without me!" replied Masako.
Yumi was contained in a foce-field in the front yard of the debris that was left of the warehouse. There was a giant flying saucer hovering overhead.
Yumi and the Daleks saw a car driving towards them.
"SEN-SORS - IN-DI-CATE - THAT - THE - HOS-TA-GE'S FA-THER - IS - IN - THE - VE-HI-CLE!" said a Dalek. "GRANT - CLEAR-ANCE!"
"WHAT - A-BOUT - HIS - FE-MALE - COM-PAN-ION?" asked another Dalek.
"That's my mother!" said Yumi. "And she's less than one month pregnant with my past self. You can't kill her!"
"COR-RECT! SHE - WILL - BE - SPARED!"
Yumi's parents got out of the car. "I've done exactly what you said in only twenty minutes," said Taro. "Now what?"
"NOW - YOU - ARE - NO - LON-GER - NEE-DED! WE - NEED - THE - DOC-TOR!"
"Doctor who?" asked Taro.
One of the Daleks turned to face Yumi. "Ex-PLAIN - TO - HIM!" he ordered.
"The Doctor is an alien from another world," explained Yumi. "And he has time-traveling technology. I was his passenger. He took me to see many worlds in many time periods. But when he took me to this point in time, he had to make himself human and stop traveling through time. He rewrote his biology and erased his memory - no, not erased - removed. His alien memories were stored somewhere else while his human brain was given memories of a false past."
"And the Daleks need that human to turn back into the Doctor. They said I'm no longer useful, but they haven't killed me. Does that mean...?"
"Yes," said Yumi sadly. "You're the Doctor."
"I'm a fake?" said Taro. "Yamada Taro is a fake?"
"No, you're not a fake!" said Yumi, starting to shed tears. "You're real enough to be my father!"
"CEASE - TALK-ING! YA-MA-DA - TA-RO - WILL - BE-COME - THE - DOC-TOR! AC-TI-VATE - TE-LE-PORT!"
Seemingly out of thin air, a fob watch materialized at Taro's feet.
"Where did you get that?" said Yumi.
"YA-MA-DA - TA-RO - SHOULD - BE - MORE - CARE-FUL - WITH - HIS - POS-SES-SIONS! HE - WILL - O-PEN - THE - WATCH - AND - RE-LEASE - THE - DOC-TOR!"
"But then what happens to my mind?" asked Taro.
"YOUR - HU-MAN - PER-SON-AL-I-TY - WILL - BE - DE-STROYED - FOR-E-VER!"
"Dad, don't do it!" demanded Yumi. "Don't die!"
"Yumi, it's either you or me," said Taro.
"No it isn't!" cried Yumi. "I told you, if you obey the Daleks, they'll destroy the entire universe!"
"And I told you," argued Taro, picking up the watch, "that my own daughter means more to me than the entire universe."
"Mom!" cried Yumi. "Help back me up here, please!"
"I don't know what to do," said Masako, starting to look like the broken mother Yumi was familiar with. "I don't want to see either of you die. How am I supposed to decide between you?"
"You're not," said Taro. "The decision is mine. And I've decided. Good bye, Masako. Goodbye, Yumi." His hands shook as they moved towards the latch to open the fob watch.
"Dad, no!" screamed Yumi.
"Doctor," said Taro to the watch in his shaking hands, "promise me you'll save Yumi. I can't do anything. The rest is up to you." He forced the watch open, showing great fear contrasted by great will power. A burst of energy shot from the fob watch towards Taro, pulsing through his body.
"DAAAAAAAD!" screamed Yumi.
The last of the energy left the watch, and the light in Taro's body died down.
"Taro?" said Masako.
"Doctor?" said Yumi.
"You don't look very happy to see me," said the Doctor.
"Well...I...uh..." stuttered Yumi.
"It's all right, I understand," said the Doctor. He then turned on the Daleks. "You'd better have a damn good reason for bringing me here! I don't want to find out that you've come all this way for nothing!"
"THE - DOCTOR - WILL - RE-LIN-QUISH - AD-MI-NIS-TRA-TIVE - CON-TROL - OF - THE - TAR-DIS - TO - THE - DA-LEKS!"
"Sorry, not damn good enough," said the Doctor angrilly. "I destroyed the TARDIS."
"IN-COR-RECT!" said a Dalek. "O-PEN - VI-SU-AL - LINK!"
A two-dimensional screen appeared in mid-air, showing the TARDIS inside an alien spacecraft.
"But I saw the warehouse collapse!" said Yumi.
"THAT - WAS - THE - WORK - OF - DA-LEKS! WE - RE-MOVED - THE - TAR-DIS. WE - THEN - DES-TROYED - THE - BUIL-DING - TO - MAIN-TAIN - THE - IL-LU-SION!"
"But you still couldn't have canceled the TARDIS's detonation program without getting inside," said the Doctor.
A Dalek appeared on the visual link, with a chain hanging from its plunger-shaped arm. On the end of the chain was a TARDIS key.
"Yeah, my human alter-ego really needed to take better care of his possessions."
"But by the time you stole the key, the TARDIS should have already exploded," said Yumi.
"Actually," explained the Doctor, "Daleks can travel through time as well."
"In that case, why do they want the TARDIS?" asked Yumi.
"Because Dalek time-travel technology is far more taxing than the TARDIS," answered the Doctor.
"THE - DOC-TOR - AND - THE - HOS-TAGE - WILL - BOARD!"
"So this is it?" cried Masako. "This is what the next 18 years has in store for my daughter?"
"No," said the Doctor. "No, this isn't it. I won't let Yumi die. I'll protect her, no matter what the cost. That's a promise."
"O-PEN - TE-LE-PORT!"
Yumi and the Doctor felt themselves being beamed into the flying saucer overhead. They heard one last scream from Masako.
To Be Continued...