Victorian Prime

With an odd whooshing sound and the sense of being in an elevator that moves sideways, the TARDIS was off. Russell Garamond looked at this strange little portly man with admiration and questions, but mostly questions.
“Doctor…” he started, wondering if he was heard above the countless clanking levers and switches the Doctor was currently operating. “Doctor?”
“Yes yes, m’boy, go ahead I can hear you,” The Doctor responded from the other side of the console, nearly entirely obscured by the oscillating structure, “I haven’t got this far in this box without being able to multitask.” He then popped his head around the column and shot a questioning look at Russell. “Multitasking, Is that your time? Did you folks make that one up?”
Russell nodded.
“Ah! Right, right, I do so hate to be anachronistic, don’t you? I mean it’s downright embarassing, what with time being my business it’d be like me being a butcher and not being able to carve up a–”
“Doctor?!” Russell interjected, something he feared he was going to do very much in the near future.
“Hm?” The Doctor looked surprised that someone felt the need to halt his rambling, “oh, right! Yes! Carry on with…well…whatever it is you were going to say. We haven’t gotten to it yet, have we?” He smiled and began to chew on a licorice scottie from his vest pocket.
“Doctor, I had a question about the TARDIS.” Russell began, “Well…about all of it, really.”
“You want to know why it’s bigger on the inside?” The Doctor asked around a mouthful of licorice.
“Well, yes, that…and what you said about the stream and the bank. Are we…on the bank now?”
“Well I should hope not, m’boy!” The Doctor hopped to another part of the circular console and flipped another switch, “the bank would be the void, and we certainly don’t want to be out there! Dreadful place, really, so much…nothing! Well, there are a few things…” The Doctor suddenly looked far off and upset, but quickly regained his composure. “Anyway, Mr. Garamond, to continue with my previous metaphorical jaunt, let us simply say that we are a droplet splashed out of one point of a stream and into another.”
“So why did you mention the bank earlier?” Russell asked, scratching his head.
The Doctor switched a switch, flicked a knob, and spun a dial. The TARDIS suddenly began to slow down, as if easing to an idle. The Doctor sidled up to Russell, chewing on his licorice thoughfully.
“I mentioned it because it was a pretty metaphor. When you asked again, I decided to change the metaphor. Let this be a lesson to you, Mr. Garamond, that you should always listen to the last thing I say. When the last thing I say suddenly becomes the first, discount it and believe the new last, until the new last is usurped by the new new last and the first thing is but a fleeting memory.”
He threw a comradely arm around Russell. “When you’re working with time, things can tend to get jumbled up. Yesterday becomes tomorrow, next year becomes the distant past, and the end of the world can follow Johannes Gutenberg. What is important, my new acquaintance, is that you pay attention to the here and now. Know what is happening now, at this very moment, and know that it all can change in the next. THAT’S the beauty of time travel, and that’s the way it is inside the TARDIS.” he produced a small paper bag from his vest and wagged it in Russell’s face. “Scottie?”
Russell took a red candy and chewed it thoughtfully, as the Doctor moved to make the final calculations on the TARDIS console. Russell had little time to digest his scottie or the new knowledge imparted to him as the Doctor’s voice rang out again, diembodied and obscured by the TARDIS column.
“Oh, and Russell m’boy,” A hand appeared from the right side of the console, as the left was still busy working switches. “Before we arrive you should find yourself some new clothes.” The hand turned accusatory towards him, wagging finger and all, “we can’t have you dressed like that in Victorian London, now can we?” The hand then went into a rapid explanation of the directions that followed, all accompanied by the Doctor’s voice. “Head to the wardrobes. First left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, fifth door on your left.”
Russell may have very well stood dumbfounded for hours, trying to remember the directions, had not the young Colleen entered the console room. Her quaint Irish brouge stood in stark contrast to the high-tech console room, and was a welcome reprieve.
“C’mon, you. I’ll guide ye where ye need t’ go. Took me hours t’ find et th’ first time.” She took his hand and lead him down corridor after corridor, through a structure that was unbelievably massive…and yet all contained in the shape of a police call box. Had it not been for the surprising grip of this woman and her flowing mane of red hair in front of him Russell would have been lost long ago.
“You know, it’s funny,” Russell tried to make conversation, “the people I used to work with used to say I could maneuver through a chest cavity with no problem, but going down the street for a coffee was beyond me.”
Colleen looked back and smiled at him. “We’re here, Mr. Garamond, sir.”
Russell examined the door, which for all intents and purposes looked to be made of thick cherry wood with a burnished brass plate stating “WARDROBE.”
“Incredible,” Russell mused at the door, then turned to Colleen. “And I am not sir, Colleen. Russell will do.”
Colleen’s look of embarassment was truncated by a crass, but good natured voice from beyond the wardrobe door. “Don’t trouble yourself, mack, she does it to everyone!”
Colleen, now thoroughly embarassed, made her exit back down the corridor. Russell, confused and a little upset, entered the wardrobe.
“Now I don’t think that was very nice of you to say, Miss–!”
Russell’s sentence was cut short because the woman facing away from him was just in the process of removing her blouse. Russell, now the embarassed one, shielded his eyes in a vain attempt to save face.
“Javis,” the lady said, pulling on her blouse and fitting the rest of her outfit, a minimal Victorian riding gown, together. She continued chatting as she adjusted her corset.
“My name’s Javis Nine,” she said, turning around. Seeing Russell cowering in the corner, she let out a brash howl of laughter. “Oh, I see my reputation precedes me! Don’t worry, stringbean, I won’t be hitting you for sneaking a peek or two.” She walked over and removed Russell’s hand from his face.
“Coincidentally, was it any good?” she asked with a mischevious grin.
Russell, now thoroughly embarassed, made his way to the door. Javis put a strong arm against the door and ceased all further ingress and egress.
“Sheesh, you must be an Old Human,” Javis said, rolling her eyes. “Don’t worry about it, skinny. Besides, you’re here for an outfit, so let’s get you into one!” She shooed him down a rack of clothing labeled in a language Russell didn’t understand, as he turned around, Javis gave him a coy wink.
“Don’t worry, I won’t peek. I promise. Try this on.”
Seeing his only exit blocked, Russell felt no choice but to obey the strong, dark-haired woman. He changed into the outfit of a true Victorian dandy and, with Javis’ approval, exited the wardrobe and made his way back to the console room, also with Javis’ guidance.
Colleen was already near the console, still looking a bit embarassed, but the Doctor was too busy landing the TARDIS in the desired destination. Dials spun, wheels whirred, and the now familiar materialization sound echoed through the console room. The Doctor’s appearance had not changed at all, but the other three TARDIS occupants looked like they would fit right in for London 1888.
As far as they knew.
With great pomp, the Doctor marched over to the door of the TARDIS, which still resembled the interior of a call box. With a great flourish, he beckoned his companions forward, and prepared to make an announcement.
“Ladies and gentle…man,” he began, “we are about to enter Victorian England. A land of fantastic etiquette, societal norm, function, and pattern. Also, a land of depravity, corruption, and greed. Keep in mind that nothing may be as it seems, and that the whorehouses may contain more honorable minds that Parliament,” he grinned maniacally, “I can’t wait, let’s go!”
With one strong movement, he pulled the door open and strode boldly out into the street, almost to be ran down by a zooming automobile.
Russell exited second, followed by Colleen and then Javis. As Javis locked the door, Colleen looked on in fright, yelping.
“Doctor! What was that?”
“My dear Colleen,” the Doctor continued, “that was a Ferrari 550 Maranello, one of the most opulant and luxurious sports cars of the late 20th century. And, my friends, I think it is safe to say…” he pulled his Windsor cap down about his ears, “that something… is not right.”

One thought on “Victorian Prime”

  1. A silent fan.

    I read your blog on myspace, and while it was very touching, I thought you should know that I DO read your blog, at least occasionally. I’ve been doing so since I first found you on myspace and followed the link in your blog there. I’m quite the fan of blogs, and I especially like yours. Sort of a day in the life angle, but rife with commentary and dry wit. It’s good to know some intellect escaped Neillsville intact. Mitch is intelligent, but he usually only uses it in his music. And Brian, well, Brian is still Brian.

    As I said, I do read your blog, but not all of them. You write more than I do, and I consider myself a writer. But I’m getting an actual internet connection soon, so I’ll probably be starting a livejournal too. In the meantime, you should read my blog. Its on my myspace, and I’m pretty sure it represents the dark side of intellect, namely convincing people of things I know to be very false. Its sort of an advice column that borders on gibbering madness. But I’ve been getting rave reviews. Check it out. And I’ll try to get in touch with you via IM soon.


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