All Geek to Me

In Emergency

In Emergency

The man ran down the fog wreathed street, rounded a corner, and breathed a sigh of relief. He had been looking for a policeman, but here was the next best thing. In front of him was the distinctive shape of a police telephone box. He was too panicked to think that the narrow side street was a strange location. He reached for the panel on the left door, behind which there should be a telephone connected directly to the police. To his surprise, the panel did not open. As he touched it, he felt a faint vibration. Something was wrong, he glanced over his shoulder; no sign of pursuit from his would be assailants, but he still felt an urgent need to contact the police. In desperation, he tried to pull the main door. It swung open. He stepped inside. He should have been standing in a cramped, dark box. What he saw was impossible. He was in a room far larger than the box he had entered, with hidden illumination emanating from roundels mounted on the walls. In the centre of the room, a glass column topped a hexagonal object. The console was covered in switches and dials; it looked unlike anything he had ever seen. Standing behind it were two people, an elderly man dressed in a frock coat and the other a teenage girl dressed in modern clothes. Both seemed anachronistic in such a strange environment.

“What are you doing in my ship young man?” the old man snapped.

“I thought it was a police box, what do you mean ship? How can it be larger on the inside?” The words rushed out in an almost incoherent stream.

“Young man, my ship is dimensionally transcendental. That gives it the impression within your limited three dimensional perceptions, of an interior volume that exceeds that of the exterior measurements.” This was delivered in a tone normally reserved for adults explaining something complicated to a child.


“It is a TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimension in Space,” interjected the young woman, “It can move through the five dimensions, to any point in time or space”

The man stood, mouth open in disbelief. He felt he must be crazy. He was standing in a room that could not exist; listening to two people talking about time travel in a police box as though they were talking about driving to Southend in a Morris Minor. “I am sorry that I blundered in, it was a mistake, I’ll just be going then.” He turned to see the doors, with the roundel motif swinging close.

“I can’t let you walk out, not with what you’ve seen my boy”

The man wheeled round, a mixture of fear and anger boiling inside him. “You’ve got no right, this is crazy, you can’t just kidnap me, people will miss me.”

“Grandfather, he hasn’t done anything wrong, he didn’t mean to enter the TARDIS”

“Susan, he has seen the inside of an object that transcends what humanity perceives as the three dimensions. Just the knowledge that such is possible could interfere with the timelines. Remember that this primitive race is in the process of destroying the very atmosphere they breathe, if their nuclear arsenal doesn’t lead to a holocaust first. With this technology at their level of development, they would not only be a threat to themselves, but to the whole universe.”

“I won’t tell anyone, honest.”

“I can’t take that risk, you will stay on this ship for ever.”

“Who are you to decide my fate?”

“We are wanderers in the fourth dimension, cut off from our own world. I am to your perceptions an alien, you cannot understand my motivations, but believe me that is for the best of your species and the universe as a whole that I insist you stay.”

“Look, this has gone far enough, please let me go. I’ll pay you money”, so saying the man pulled his wallet from his pocket, and hurriedly grabbed the notes therein. He did not notice a card fall to the floor as he did so. He offered the cash to the strange man.

“What use do you think that we have for your paper?” the old man snorted, flicking his head back in a gesture of disdain.

“Grandfather, please let him go. He has promised not to tell anyone. Even if he did, do you really think that anyone would believe a word he said.”

“She’s right. A police box that is larger inside than out, which is inhabited by an old man and his granddaughter and is capable of travelling through Time and Space; no one would believe me. It is an idea beyond even science fiction. I could tell every person in the country and no one would believe it, even for a moment.”

There was silence, other than a background hum from the console. The young woman and the intruder looked at the old man.

“Alright, you can go. I don’t suppose anyone will believe a word of what you could relate, certainly Leonardo didn’t convince anyone to build a helicopter.” He reached for a lever on the console, and there was a whirring from the doors. The man, feeling extremely relieved, turned, and ran into the cold London night. Behind him, he heard a wheezing, groaning sound. He glanced over his shoulder to see an empty street where the box had once been.

Inside the time and space machine, the old man sighed; “I hope we were right in letting him go”

“Of course we were. He won’t tell people, and if he does they’ll think him mad, or a great fantasy writer for thinking of such an idea.”

The young woman noticed the card and picked it up. It was a business card; it bore the name of “Sydney Newman”.


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