Hi folks, I'm new here, and putting myself out here like this is . . . difficult. It's been a rough couple of years. But I think I and a few lovely friends have something to give to everybody else. It looks a lot like a story, and it is, but it also isn't. It's an explanation of how to take all of our lives back in a way that only The Doctor can.
I probably have to tell you guys about my beloved Rebecca. She's not with us anymore, but she left us with a lot of lessons and we're learning, and once we realized what she was teaching us . . . well . . . our minds are blown.
Life with her was like that one episode. . . Vincent and The Doctor. I don't know that I can describe it much better than that. Sure, there was no invisible monster, but I figure she took care of that before meeting me. But every day she cried, raging against the world that she was too gentle for. Every bit of suffering she saw that she couldn't help filled her with so much guilt. Yet she found so much beauty too, that bit at the end, where Vincent opens up their eyes and the Starry Night comes alive in the sky? That was my life. Every day. That changes a person.
When we lost her, I did the only thing I could think of. I took the inheritance and dedicated myself to finding the most Rebecca-worthy thing there was, re-reading things she'd written and revisiting memories over and over. And I learned. And I managed to teach a couple of others, who helped me learn more.
We tried doing this the right way. . . combining Valve and Mondragon and a whole bunch of TED Talks and so very much more, but it got huge and unwieldy . . people didn't see it anymore, and somehow all the fun vanished too.
So in desperation, a different tactic. I think maybe this is what The Doctor was for all the time. And Neil, or somebody like him, could maybe use him to crowdsource us the revolution we very much have been waiting for. It's not scary, except perhaps for the fact that we didn't see this until so recently. We've got a temporary link here while a friend who's less traumatized gets it up on the Web, but I was hoping we could get some help. This idea should have more fingers in it, and if an episode like this happens . . . well, use your imaginations.
And please, please help somehow. This is just . . so big, and it's like nothing that's out there. I'm also a little broken, and have no business leading anything. . . and you guys don't need to wait on my recovery.
The Doctor's Way (on cheesey temporary site)
(I'll post the story directly in reply, I just didn't want a two-foot long post)
[EDIT: Belay that, the site's much better. I've never had a story write me before]
As a bonus, it's pretty entertaining and full of fun-service. Just please remember, it's not about the script, but the ideas within. I honestly don't understand ownership or credit for ideas anymore. . .just please help save the world Rebecca's way. And The Doctor's, I suspect.
-WillThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Will Holz,
[Setting: inside the TARDIS]
[The Doctor has just finished his most recent regeneration]
THE DOCTOR: Right! Nose. . . check. Two eyes, good! Chin's a bit less chinny, have to get used to that.
THE DOCTOR: No! No! Don't need one! I'm fine, this happens to me quite often, I just . . .
[attempts to take a step, falls entertainingly] I'm okay!
[The Doctor pops back up]
THE DOCTOR: See! I'm fine. The floor just arrived too soon. Different legs. Takes getting used to, doesn't it?
CLARA: Wouldn't know. Just had the one set the whole time.
THE DOCTOR: That's right! You lovely people do that! Or don't rather. Right! So . . . where was I? Hungry! Do you have any Jelly Babies? I think I'm craving some.
CLARA: [slightly horrified] Jelly. . . babies? Jelly doesn't have babies, it's smooshed up fruits. Fruit is babies, I suppose?
THE DOCTOR: No! Not like that, little sugary soft things shaped like little baby people, I think they used to be a comfort food.
CLARA: Like Gummi bears? I quite like those.
THE DOCTOR: Bears? Bears! Aren't we ambitious? No, it'd have to be babies, wouldn't taste right otherwise. No. . . no. . . forget the cravings. [begins fiddling with controls on the TARDIS, stops abruptly, looks around]
THE DOCTOR: It's happened! I KNEW you guys were going to have done it! We have somewhere to be! Somewhen to be! The best where and when you humans ever had! The moment you showed us all how amazing you truly are!
THE DOCTOR: Yes! Very yes! Wait, what have you done with your height? Your eyes are . . . at the wrong place.
CLARA: That's you, Doctor. I'm still the same.
THE DOCTOR: Right! [chuckles to self, grinning broadly] Bears! You people are positively adorable sometimes, you know that?
CLARA: [Indignantly] We don't really think we're eating bears, you know.
THE DOCTOR: Do you ever bite their heads off first?
CLARA: I always bite the heads off first, that way they don't suffer.
THE DOCTOR: [pleased] That's my Clara!
[Credits and Dr. Who song (Classic version or Blue Oyster Cult version)]
[The TARDIS materializes in a lush forest, the door opens and The Doctor stumbles out, looks around, holds his arms to the sky and spins around. Clara follows.]
CLARA: Where ARE we?
THE DOCTOR: Earth! The year 2207. I went a BIT too far ahead, but that's okay! We'll improvise, I do that well, don't I? Do I? Yes, yes, I do. This way makes more sense anyway. [Pats TARDIS] Thanks, gorgeous. This way is so much better, you're quite right.
[The Doctor pauses]
THE DOCTOR: So! Here we are, Earth! Not at the magic moment when you got it right, but a little bit later. Well hello, who have we here?
[Clara follows The Doctor's gaze and notices a strange dog-like creature with stripes and an odd hunched posture]
CLARA: That's... NOT a dog, Doctor.
[The creature rears up on its hind legs threateningly and opens its mouth impossibly wide, making a strange chuffing sound and a growl]
THE DOCTOR: [to the creature] Easy, beautiful. . .we don't mean any harm. You're just watching out for your little ones, aren't you? Terribly sorry for disturbing you, we'll be on our way and you can get back to sleep. [to Clara] They're generally nocturnal, probably woke her when the TARDIS arrived.
[While The Doctor is talking to Clara the creature backs off into the forest and vanishes]
CLARA: What on Earth WAS that? That wasn't normal.
THE DOCTOR: Not normal? That beautiful thing was a thylacine! A Tasmanian Tiger. You probably never saw one because they were extinct. There'll be more around, come! This way!
[The Doctor strides boldly forward in a seemingly random direction. Clara hurries after him.]
CLARA: So we're in Tasmania, then? And we're bringing back extinct species? We were talking about that with mammoths or something like that, weren't we? I suppose that's. . . .
[They break the treeline and Clara stops in mid sentence. The terrain is grassier and the immediate vicinity has scattered tree-houses connected by zip-lines, but very little like anything she's seen before. In the distance is a beach with a stretch of water past it. . . and beyond that is a ring of strange buildings and structures that seems to circle to the left and right as far as she can see.]
CLARA: . . . not what I expected.
[The Doctor is in 'unable to contain excitement' mode.]
THE DOCTOR: Aren't they brilliant? What better place to experiment with repopulating species than a floating city? That way they don't accidentally break something else. They finally learned how to learn lessons!
CLARA: That doesn't sound like us? This must have cost . . . more money than I can imagine!
THE DOCTOR: You still think in money! That's right! No, they don't have money anymore. I mean, some of them do. But not for survival, that was silly and stressful and drove you all mad.
[While The Doctor and Clara are talking they notice a strange vehicle heading in their general direction. It seems to be suspended above the ground and stops some distance to their left. A younger woman exits followed by middle aged man and somewhat older woman. Despite her age, the three walk briskly towards the Doctor and Clara, followed by thirteen animated teddy bears.]
CLARA: Well, that's new.
[As they approach the group, the younger woman seems to be controlling the teddy bears and has the bears fan out in front of the three humans.]
OLDER MAN: [Observing Clara's reaction, he leans to the younger woman.] I know you're eager to help, Jen, but look at the woman, you're making her nervous with your herd. Trust first.
JEN: [With sudden realization leading to a burst of confusion.] Why is she. . . she doesn't know what they are? Oh my! [she quickly directs her bears behind her and they fall into place.]
CLARA: [slightly indignantly] I can hear you, you know. I'm not just a 'she'. I'm Clara!
OLDER MAN: Hello Clara, my name is Griff. It's a pleasure. May I introduce [he gestures to the older woman] Kaylee, [he gestures to the younger one] and as you've likely surmised, this is Jen.
JEN: And this is my herd! This is . . [she begins pointing at the various odd animated teddy bears] Bobo, Rum-tum-tugger, Mister Bojangles, Queen Nefertiti, Randall, Yngvie, GIR, Cuddles, Alfred, Morton J. Throckwoddle III, Squeaks, Snickers, and Animala.
CLARA: They're alive?
GRIFF: Ha! No, they're just robots. You're really from somewhere interesting, aren't you?
THE DOCTOR: That we are! And lovely to meet you all. I'm The Doctor and this is still Clara. [whispers conspiratorially] She's wonderfully impossible!
KAYLEE: So, now that we've got introductions in hand. . . how DID you people get here?
JEN: [Excitedly] Is this a game? What's your signcode? Which net?
THE DOCTOR: [holds out ‘psychic paper’ (invisible)] See? Everything's in order, mind if I show Clara around some?
KAYLEE: [looking at psychic paper] You're. . . The Doctor from. . . Gallifrey? [nodding faster as she remembers] Oh, like from the old television show? With the blue box that went through time!
[The Doctor and Clara both do double-takes, even The Doctor looking somewhat flummoxed]
CLARA: It is! How did you know that?
JEN: You are AMAZING! Are you a method actor? How do you stay in character like that?
THE DOCTOR: Quite right, and since Clara is so wonderfully “in-character,” I trust you won't have trouble answering her accordingly? Just be part of the story!
[All three smile and nod knowingly]
KAYLEE: [coming off as quite spry for her age, acting in on the game.] Of course! So. . . Doctor. If that IS your real name [eye wink and little lopsided grin], why are you here?
THE DOCTOR: I'm here to show Clara all the amazing things you've done! It's kind of a vacation from all the world-savings we do, right?
CLARA: What? Oh! Yes, right. So . . . what do you guys do?
KAYLEE: Well, I'm a genetic engineer and DNA coder most of the time. My specialty is extinct or endangered species.
THE DOCTOR: Ahh, so is it you we have to thank for that lovely creature we met on the way? A thylacine?
KAYLEE: [laughing] Oh, no! Charismatic megafauna bores me. I like little things, they're more fun, I suppose you can credit the Lake Peddler Planarian to my name, but I'm guessing you didn't observe any flatworms on the way?
GRIFF: Don't let her sell herself short, she's amazing. Tell them about the termites!
KAYLEE: Oh, don't act all horrified. OH! I mean [winking conspiratorially] . . .yes, termites! I know they had a bad rep, but they play a crucial role in the ecosystem, and one attempt to restore a particular species kept on failing. I managed to figure out that we'd screwed up the sequencing of one of their gut bacteria. Clone a termite without gut bacteria and you just get a dead bug with no idea of the kinds of amazing engineering they're capable of.
CLARA: Okay. . . right. [to GRIFF] and you? What do you do?
GRIFF: Right now? I'm in the middle of a stint as a travelling scribe. I go from community to community, gathering ideas and stories, inventions and gifts, jokes and dreams. Then I mingle for a while and share adventures of other spheres and so on. We also stir things up and make sure nobody's feeling useless or hopeless.
CLARA: That sounds really fun!
GRIFF: It is! I used to be a Park Ranger, and just tried the scribe thing as a vacation of sorts. Turned out I had a knack for it and loved it, so my vacation became my career. It's been a great experience for me, I'm loving it.
THE DOCTOR: Wait! That's a new one. Your vacation became your job?
GRIFF: Oh! You're making a story too! Sorry, I thought you were a mentor or something.
THE DOCTOR: [winks to Griff] Shh. . . in character!
GRIFF: Right! Sorry, just a totally new sort of game, takes a bit to adjust, you know?
THE DOCTOR: Of course.
GRIFF: Anyway, yes. We have to take at least one vacation a year, and we’re also encouraged to take at least one second 'intern-vacation' as well if we're interested in exploring something that we haven't already, makes us better people, I think, too. And you've got to admit, the idea of having a vacation that you can turn into your life has a certain appeal to it, doesn't it?
CLARA: Umm. . yes! I like that quite much actually! [To JEN] How about you? What do you do?
JEN: I'm a Teddy Bear Herder of course, we're the closest thing we have to Emergency Management here. The herd [nods to the bears] also helps with disaster recovery and we usually spend a couple of days a week with the kids acclimating and goofing around. I love that part best, that's where they got their names. I suck at naming things.
CLARA: [Taking note of JEN's apparent youth and distinct lack of bigness] Law Enforcement? How's that work? You're tiny! What would you do if somebody just pushed you around?
JEN: [Laughs uproariously] Why would they do that? I mean, unless it's part of a game or something I guess. But seriously, nobody does anything like that. What if you get fired?
GRIFF: Jen! Don't scare Clara. Nobody's gotten fired for over a century now.
JEN: Yeah, sorry. Anyway, we don't use guns anymore, except for fun. No, that's what these guys are for.
CLARA: What, they have guns?
JEN: Oh, no! Why would anybody want to hurt anybody else when we can choose who we want to be around? They just entangle you in hugs.
[The Doctor, Clara, and the Earthlings arrive at a station some distance from the treehouses]
GRIFF: All Ashore!
CLARA: Why does the track stop here? Why not go all the way to the trees?
JEN: We're not lazy! [She snaps and all of her bears hop into a big-wheeled wagon that she pulls behind her effortlessly]
KAYLEE and GRIFF: JEN!
[Jen sticks her tongue out at Kaylee and Griff]
GRIFF: This is what we call a 'slow zone'. We don't use any vehicles at all here for getting about, except for emergencies of course.
CLARA: Why not?
KAYLEE: It's just our way of keeping our world the size we like. It's a popular experiment, and one lots of us are really well suited for. When our world is largely limited to where you can walk, you get a whole new sense of community, and we have the autonomy to do pretty much what we want with our environment.
GRIFF: I love the ziplines! This is my fourteenth slow zone and first time I've seen those. I'll definitely be passing that on and have some great vids.
JEN: [Smirking] That's if we let you leave!
GRIFF: [Sticking his tongue out at Jen] “I get to go wherever I'm invited . . . “
JEN, GRIFF, and KAYLEE in unison: “. . . and nobody would ever consider stopping me.”
JEN: A little guilt's allowed!
GRIFF: Only if it's sincere.
CLARA: That was. . . odd. Is this a new thing, sharing sentences?
KAYLEE: [Winks to Clara] You're GOOD! I mean. . . Oh, that's just one of our principles -- “I get to go wherever I’m invited, and nobody would ever consider stopping me.” We only have a few, we all agree on them in a zone, it keeps us all on the same page when we're interacting and really cuts down on the stress. Plus we get things done faster when we're not always trying to think around each other. It's an easy trap, we love our games.
JEN: They didn't have them before! It was a mess. I heard that way back when, people would always fight over the stupidest things. They didn't even have ‘Awesome Cubed’! They stopped at ‘win-win’! And they almost got eaten by bears walking the streets!
GRIFF: That was just one old vid, Jen, and the point was that we discovered a need to create interfaces we could feel and use while walking that weren't so poorly designed. They didn't actually have a bear problem.
JEN: But Grand-High-Muckety-Muck Colbert said. . .
KAYLEE: Oh Jen, he started as a comedian! A satirist! He was being silly. My dad was a HUGE fan and I watched a whole bunch of those old vids with him. Said it was important to really understand the world we left behind without getting sad.
KAYLEE: Yup! He was a riot, too! I remember holding my belly and laughing so hard it hurt, when I was your age.
JEN: Pfffft. You were never my age.
[They finally arrive at the treehouse they were heading towards. It's definitely larger than it seemed from a distance, with stairs circling around it. It's also unusual in that the tree itself makes up an significant amount of the construction material, as if the tree was partly grown as part of the house.]
[Clara is more than a little winded as even the elderly Kaylee kept up a brisk pace. The Doctor is eagerly studying the tree.]
THE DOCTOR: Oh! This is wonderful! Look at this gal! She's so alive and the picture of health, she doesn't mind at all that you guys have a house up there.
[The begin making their way up a spiral staircase. Jen has all but two of her bears go into a bole at the base of the tree]
GRIFF: They do love their trees here. I've seen some amazing gardens and such too, but nothing like this. I think these guys are my favorite stop so far, either them or the 'Guild of WoW!', they were fun, too.
CLARA: That sounds cheery!
GRIFF: They were a fun bunch! They took an old computer game and built their whole town around it. They spend every moment in the town in-character and some of them are pretty wacky. Amazing craftsmen too. I think they're in the top percentile in overproduction, it's like they're addicts to getting things done.
JEN: I bet they have fun stories!
GRIFF: They do! Remind me to share some later. They have this ritual, they call it 'The Ding!', it's great fun.
[They reach a door, which opens automatically. The group enters.]
VOICE: Welcome back Griff, Jen, and Kaylee.
[The three pause, then all eyes turn to The Doctor and Clara]
GRIFF: Well, that's new.
KAYLEE: Who ARE you?
THE DOCTOR: [Pulls out psychic paper again, holds it out somewhat hopefully]
JEN: [holding one eye closed and with her fingers of her left hand tapping odd patterns on her leg] I've got. . . a whole bunch of Gallifrey communities, and a whole bunch of 'The Doctor', but... hey, he's an old Exemplar! You're not supposed to play Exemplars!
GRIFF: It's not just that, Jen. . . they also don't have chips of any sort.
GRIFF: [to The Doctor, slightly accusingly] Were you dishonest with us?
THE DOCTOR: Dishonest? No. . well, not as such, no. I don't think I was, [looks at Clara] was I?
CLARA: Yes. You led them on. [to the others] To be fair to him, nobody believes him when he tells the truth.
KAYLEE: [frowning] That's. . . not the right way, you know? You're supposed to always try to be honest and up front, especially when meeting new people. [having a revelation] You poor people, how were you RAISED?
THE DOCTOR: Right, about that. What if I were to tell you that I WAS actually from Gallifrey, the actual planet. The blue box is my TARDIS, she's definitely bigger on the inside than the outside, and I can travel through time.
JEN: [Immediately] I'd have asked to see the box, because that is the most easily verifiable part of your scenario.
CLARA: Well, that's . . . quite logical of you, actually.
JEN: Thanks! I have good logics.
GRIFF: [Stepping away from really awesome computer interface] Okay, HUB thinks I'm crazy, but they've already got another Sat over the forest and they've sent some bots ahead to that blue thing that . . . and this is the strangest part. . . somehow just appeared there... [partly to himself] and it might be massive?
KAYLEE: Well, at least one thing makes more sense now.
THE DOCTOR: Ooh! Good, and what would that be?
KAYLEE: I'm on a bit of a vacation, and I could've sworn I had unchecked all the 'spontaneous games' and the rest from my profile. I had figured this was some sort of game for Jen and Griff and I was the one who was glitched. Now I know it's not me, it's you!
CLARA: I'm not glitched! Well, sort of. It's complicated.
JEN: Can we go check out the box?
GRIFF: Not just CAN, we've been asked to. I bet you've got instructions already, this is your arena, Jen.
JEN: [Closing one eye again] Yup! With the herd, and a science package. They've got two at the Station, let's go!
CLARA: What, now? Like, right now?
GRIFF: Sure, why not?
CLARA: I... don't know.
THE DOCTOR: Right! And we're off!
[The Doctor, Clara, and the Earthlings have gotten back into the vehicle and are cruising back towards the forest]
CLARA: So, how many people are part of the same. . . thing?
GRIFF: What, the village? A little over a hundred, that way we can grow a bit without running into any monkeysphere issues.
CLARA: No! Monkeywhat? The whole thing that you're part of, I guess? A corporation, I guess, if people can get fired, right?
GRIFF: Monkeysphere, you know, Dunbar's number. [seeing that she doesn’t know] The point at which people start dehumanizing other people. It's a science thing, not my field. Seems to work great though. We don't HAVE to keep small, but the Cooperation makes it easy for us to form the group sizes we want and this is where we end up more often than not.
CLARA: Umm, right. But how many of you are part of the. . . thing?
GRIFF: Yeah, that's, well, most of us really. Twelve billion or so, usually about a third of us are at holdfasts and universities and the rest of us are living more outwardly productive lives on one path or another. There's another hundred million badlanders or so and a maybe twice that many aboriginals?
KAYLEE: [Nods] Sounds about right, that's probably about where we'll stay until we finish the Tall Tower, then we get the whole solar system! But that's another decade or so away.
JEN: That'll be so cool! I hear you can just hop off from the top and be in space! Talk about awesome!
CLARA: And you're all part of the same corporation?
KAYLEE: Did you say corporation?
JEN: What's that?
KAYLEE: We haven't had one of those in any of our lifetimes, unless the badlanders have something like that. They had those back in Mr. Colbert's day, though. Lots of them! And the Cooperation did start out as one-- [looks at Jen] did you know that? Are they teaching that anymore?
JEN: [shakes her head ‘no’] I'm sure it's an option on the history and arts side or something, but nope, never heard of 'em.
THE DOCTOR: What, so you're all part of one. . . cooperation? How does that work? Who's in charge? That sounds terribly monolithic.
GRIFF: [smirking] Monolithic is the LAST term I'd use to describe us. The Cooperation doesn't own us, we own it. Each person is equal, though people who are in holdfasts and universities get less influence points while they're finding their way, and of course the badlanders do their own thing. That's just a nickname for 'people who decide not to join', we still give them resources and medical supplies and such, and they can always join later, and anybody can leave whenever they want.
CLARA: But what about food and everything? Surely everything can't be free?
[The Earthlings look a bit perplexed]
GRIFF: Err, how so?
KAYLEE: [with childlike excitement] OH! OH! I know this one! [To Griff and Jen] WAY back, they used to have this system where everybody had to go to one of thousands of corporations to get ‘money,’ and they'd use that money to buy food and rent places to live and get doctors and stuff. But the system kind of depended on an artificial value system, so a side effect was there was always a subset of the population that was left hungry or homeless or something. And that's part of why they had wars and things.
[Griff and Jen look horrified]
CLARA: So how did you solve it?
KAYLEE: We used the Cooperation to help us organize and overproduce nonperishables. It only took a few more people per thousand working at those tasks to give us a really nice buffer.
CLARA: That's it?
KAYLEE: [considers] Yeah, pretty much. Turns out that a bit of extra work in certain directions, and not being super-wasteful in others, was a small sacrifice in exchange for never having to worry about poverty, war, or hunger again, right? My dad always said he was embarrassed it took us so long to figure it out.
THE DOCTOR: AH! And once it was there. . .
KAYLEE: Well, it was a bit more complicated than that. Back then, everybody was desperate to have a job but hardly anyone was doing anything really useful. So when the Cooperation formed and offered people a job and turned it into a sort of citizenship, and made it our job to not hurt each other, be generally principled and kind, have a whole lot of fun, and take our lives back. . . they hired about a third of the planet in a matter of months.
THE DOCTOR: BRILLIANT! That's brilliant! Don't you see Clara? They turned their disease into their cure! They grabbed the tiger by the tail and ate it!
JEN and GRIFF: EEEWWWWW
THE DOCTOR: Right, bad metaphor, very sorry!
[The skiff stops and the crew walks out, with The Doctor leading they begin making their way through the forest to the TARDIS]
CLARA: But what about all the rulers? Kings and presidents and CEOs? Didn't they fight?
KAYLEE: Fight what? There wasn't anything to fight, and since it was all about protecting innocent people a lot of those who had a lot to lose also had a lot to gain. There were some arguments, mostly because we made it a rule to teach our children to be smarter, wiser, and less brainwashed than us.
THE DOCTOR: So it was about the children?
KAYLEE: It was about lots of things, I heard but that was a big one. But who else do we trust the future of the world with? They're the ones who have to clean up our messes and get to play with our toys. There were a few ideologies and some people who adamantly resisted joining, but we were nice to them too. . . and eventually they all died.
GRIFF: Not in a bad way! We all die eventually, it's been almost two hundred years, nobody's left from back then.
JEN: Maybe they knew they were broken toys and this was their way give us a fresh start? That's kind of awesome.
CLARA: That doesn't sound quite right.
KAYLEE: It's not. Sure, they had a big purpose and all that, but they had a WHOLE lot of fun along the way.
JEN: Awesome Cubed!
GRIFF and KAYLEE nod, smiling
CLARA: What IS that?
GRIFF: It's just a mind hack. We used to look at things from a 'win-lose' or 'win-win' standpoint, and that's really limiting. People aren't just about one idea or one issue, we're complex. Awesome Cubed is just our term for breaking past 'win-win' and looking at solutions more creatively, even adding more people and resources to the mix if needed.
JEN: Yeah, there are lots of us who'd happily offer help or ideas or anything if it helps people avoid conflict.
[They arrive at the TARDIS]
THE DOCTOR: And here she is! The TARDIS! Are you ready for a surprise?
GRIFF: I'm already surprised -- you put a little blue box in our forest.
THE DOCTOR: Oh! But that's not the surprise! Shall we? [Opens door to TARDIS]
[The three Earthlings huddle and do a rock-paper-scissors thing]
KAYLEE: Ha! [unhesitatingly walks into TARDIS]
[the group hears an excited, girly scream]
KAYLEE: [Popping back out] Wiz! [Excitedly circles the TARDIS, then hops back in, then back out] This is . . . real??? How?
THE DOCTOR: See? This time I told you the truth and you didn't believe me. Sometimes I wonder why I talk at all. No, no, I don't. Never mind.
[JEN and GRIFF follow suit, stepping in the TARDIS briefly and exploring around it, they occasionally point in other directions and GRIFF sets up a few tripods from the Science Package around the TARDIS and places a couple inside as well]
KAYLEE: This is. . . wow, what do we do?
JEN: I just got an update from a couple of the science teams, once we're done with some measurements it's up to us. . . oh, wait. [she closes one eye again and seems to be listening to something] . . . they want one more thing.
[she has her bears line up single file holding hands and they walk in a line into the TARDIS until only they all disappear inside, then a few seconds later, they re-emerge and circle the TARDIS, still holding hands. JEN finds a two meter long branch on the ground and sticks it in the TARDIS so it's obvious that there's something improbable going on]
JEN: Heh, yeah, we've blown a whole bunch of minds. This is kind of fun, the MC Hawking team is having a field day here. They want to know if they can borrow it for a while. They've got some great ideas for lyrics, and they want to test a whole bunch of things. They're kind of having a happygasm over there.
CLARA: Borrow the TARDIS?
THE DOCTOR: Nope, sorry. She's mine, and I'm hers. We're kind of a team, you know.
JEN: [after a pause] They're a little sad and envious. You're invited to visit!
THE DOCTOR: Well, I just might! Tell them thanks!
KAYLEE: So... now what. What does it do?
THE DOCTOR: As you already said, it travels through time! Would you like to go on a trip with me? I have somewhen to show Clara! The moment you started all these magical things!
KAYLEE: You're a very peculiar man. If we. . . go for a ‘ride’ with you in your. . . TARDIS. . . back a couple hundred years, will you bring us back when we wish?
THE DOCTOR: Of course!
JEN: [Grinning widely] Let's go! I don't care if it's the most improbable thing in the world, I'm willing to give it a shot!
THE DOCTOR: No sooner said than done! Well, a little sooner said, because it's usually easier to say things than do things, isn't it?
GRIFF: Hold it. Okay, Jen. We need to prepare for multiple eventualities, you want to call it?
KAYLEE: If you want to bring the herd we'll have to do something about your wagon, they didn't have ones that looked like that back then and it might stand out. They did have teddy bears though, just so they keep still. [To The Doctor] Do you have anything in there we can use? [Still slightly disbelieving]
THE DOCTOR: Oh, I'm sure we can figure something out. She's full of interesting things.
JEN: And they won't have the net, so we'll have to download, right? How about each of us does a full wiki, and . . . Kaylee loads up on history and culture since you used to watch shows from then when you were a kid, right? And I'll load up some different packages for the herd, at least two heavy med, two explorer, yeah, I've got a plan. I'll use a slothpack as a self-augment. . . [closes one eye] . . summoned. [Something very like a quadrotor lifts off and moves into the tres, Clara watches it fly up to a creature hanging in a tree, which grabs onto a hoop hanging below and begins flying it down to Jen.] Griff? Missing anything?
GRIFF: [pondering] I'll stay natural, that gives us a different view, and that way I won't have to shift gears.
CLARA: [as the creature lands on Jen's back and the quadrotor lands and reattaches to the Science Package.] Is that. . . a real sloth? Is it intelligent?
JEN: Oh no! He's a robot too, we seed them and the bears everywhere, they're terribly useful!
CLARA: [leaning over] It's . . . adorable! Can I pet it?
JEN: Sure! Why don't you name it for me, too!
CLARA: Right! [scratches sloth on head] I dub thee... Cuddles!
THE DOCTOR: Well, what are we waiting for? Adventure awaits! Next stop, 2013!
GRIFF: [To Clara] Isn't time travel. . . impossible?
CLARA: So am I! Yet here we are.
[The group enters the TARDIS and the door closes. The TARDIS fades away.]
[London, 2013: The TARDIS materializes outside an alley. The door opens and The Doctor exits, followed by Clara and the Earthlings. Jen is pulling her herd in an old Red Ryder wagon that looks like it's had big baby carriage wheels attached to it.]
THE DOCTOR: [smelling the air] Ahhhh, yes! Here we go, 2013, and I've got a couple of friends to introduce.
GRIFF: So, where are we really?
CLARA: London, I got that part.
GRIFF: Yeah, but. . . it can't really be 2013. That's just, unbelievable. What if we change something? What if somebody prevents their grandparents from being born? Wait, what am I talking about? Those are all fictional scenarios because . . . time travel?
THE DOCTOR: No worries! You're supposed to be here! Otherwise you wouldn't be.
KAYLEE: [Sardonically] Well, that explains everything.
JEN: [Looking up] Oh. . . my. . .
JEN: The STARS! Run a nav program!
GRIFF: And the MOON!
[All three stare at the moon in wonder]
KAYLEE: The smiley face's gone!
CLARA raises an eyebrow at THE DOCTOR, who grins broadly.
THE DOCTOR: I have ONE more unbelievable thing to show you. Well, not just one, many more than one, but this particular one also may be hard to believe. You haven't made contact with any aliens, yet, have you?
GRIFF: [most directly in The Doctor's line of sight] Me? Aliens?
THE DOCTOR: Any of you, humans! No, no, I can tell you haven't. Good. In that case, let me introduce a good friend. [knocks on door.]
[The Door opens, and a short, sturdy almost definitely non-human person appears]
STRAX: Doctor! It's always good to see you! Have you brought foes for me to crush the life out of? Are these them?
[KAYLEE, JEN, and GRIFF are staring wide-eyed]
THE DOCTOR: No, no! Strax, these are my new friends. May I introduce Kaylee, Griff, and Jen. They're Earthlings from 2207. And you've met Clara. [to the rest] and may I introduce Strax, Sontaran hero, and nurse, and loyal friend.
GRIFF: He's. . . he's. . .
JEN: [closing an eye again and tapping her fingers on her thigh] Not modded. . . not in costume. . . that's what he looks like. . .?
STRAX: Of course it is! My form was selected over countless generations as the ultimate warrior form, I have however been enhanced so that I may perform. . . other duties.
THE DOCTOR: So, would you like to come with us on a little trip?
STRAX: Will it be dangerous?
CLARA: He's inviting you.
STRAX: Delightful! Then let us be off! Come friends, to glorious battle!
THE DOCTOR: He's a bit enthusiastic sometimes... no, no battles. But don't you want to see how they solved war?
STRAX: [Surprised and a bit disappointed] Not particularly.
THE DOCTOR: Of course you do! Come along! To the TARDIS! Next stop. . . America!
GRIFF: Which? North? Central? South?
CLARA: I think he means the United States of... the country.
[As they enter the TARDIS]
JEN: The what?
[The TARDIS disappears]
[The TARDIS materializes inside what appears to be an office building of some sort, it's quite fancy]
THE DOCTOR: [Popping out of the TARDIS] Here we are, the United Nations! The epitome of international cooperation, peace, and goodwill at this point in time! Shall we look around?
[The group exits, and as they round the corner two security guards appear. The Doctor reaches out with his psychic paper.]
GUARD NUMBER ONE: [Brandishing weapon] Hold it right . . .
[Faster than anybody can react, two of Jen's bears suddenly fly at each of the guards, one targeting the guards’ weapons and the other around their heads, knocking them to the ground.]
JEN: [nearly hyperventilating] Those were real guns! They had real guns! In a building!
CLARA: Well, it is their building.
JEN: [clearly horrified] THEY POINTED WEAPONS AT PEOPLE!!!!
KAYLEE [with some realization, to JEN]: There, there dear. He DID tell us we were heading to 2013, and that’s what they did back then. It doesn't mean the same thing.
JEN: I don't know who they are! I didn't consent to this!
GRIFF: Jen. . . we're not home anymore. . . the rules can be different.
STRAX: My, that is an interesting. . . weapon? Are they. . . ?
GRIFF: Asleep, they've been able to do that since the fourth generation or so. [to Jen] Stand down, dear, relax. Think of it as a game, a sim. A very, very weird sim.
JEN: [Slowly recovering] Goodness. . . and yes, they're okay. The bears can monitor the... weapon-pointers’... vitals and give them a customized cocktail to help them relax. Teddy bears don't hurt anyone, they just protect people and defuse situations.
CLARA: If you don't mind me asking. . . did they. . . jump? I didn't see what happened?
JEN: [Laughing] Oh no! I mean, they can, but they're not terribly strong by design so they can't jump that fast. The other guys threw them.
STRAX: If you don't mind me asking, why invent such a weapon? Why not finish the job?
JEN: What. . . kill people???
STRAX: Well, not THESE people, but what if you encounter somebody hostile?
[Jen is without words, so The Doctor steps in.]
THE DOCTOR: They [cocks head towards the Earthlings] don't kill each other anymore.
JEN, GRIFF, and KAYLEE: NO!
STRAX: I. . . see.
THE DOCTOR: No, you don't. How old are you again, Strax?
STRAX: You know I am twelve years old.
THE DOCTOR: And among your people that is considered. . .
THE DOCTOR: So who are your heroes? They're the ones with experience, the ones who've faced death over and over and each victory gives them one more trick in their toolbox, right?
STRAX: Of course! Without scars one is just a freshly hatched pup! A true warrior has faced death many times and defeated many enemies!
THE DOCTOR: And you train too, right? You do that for a reason, I suspect! With realistic simulations?
STRAX: Indeed! We train incessantly, weapons drills, simulations almost as good as real battle, for the glory of the Sontaran Empire!
THE DOCTOR: So how good would a Sontaran warrior be if he fought every day of his life, always against the best . . . and defeated thousands, yet still lived? Would you like to see what he could do?
STRAX: That warrior would be exceptional, he would have turned battle into an art form, a thing of beauty! I'd be honored to be slain by such a foe, if only to witness and experience such glory first hand!
THE DOCTOR: Exactly! So what happens if you take two great warriors, and have them do battle?
STRAX: Most likely it would be a glorious battle, the victor would be honored to crush the life out of his foe!
THE DOCTOR: And what if he didn't?
STRAX: I don't understand.
KAYLEE: Why does all of this seem familiar?
THE DOCTOR: What if they fought right up to the end, and then stopped. And then the next day they fought again, but again the victor spared the loser. And they fought every day, over and over again.
STRAX: They would not do that.
THE DOCTOR: But how good could they BE? Don't you see? You're killing yourselves off before you're any good at anything!
STRAX: [Flustered] That is NOT so! We have many excellent warriors, despite not getting to keep fighting after... losing.
THE DOCTOR: And it never occurred to you that I, who you yourself say is the greatest foe your people have ever faced, may be succeeding because I'm 900 years old and have learned all your little tricks and more. . . without even TRYING?
STRAX: [Flustered] It's not our way!
THE DOCTOR: [Bluntly] And that's why you keep losing. Now, those other two Sontarans, the ones who keep practicing and learning... for dozens of years, they might pose a bit of a challenge.
STRAX: What are you saying?
GRIFF: Don't you see? When you find a challenging foe, one that brings out the best in you and makes you better, you should want to SAVE them! Why kill an amazing artist?
JEN: Yeah, exactly! We've got people who fight like they're going to die every time, but they keep getting better and better. They're amazing, almost supernatural! I can watch 3Ds of them for hours sometimes, they keep coming up with these amazing tricks!
STRAX: That. . . I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this.
JEN: Okay, how about this, mister! Let's say you collect a hundred of your people, and you do it our way. You have them fight each other every day in creative ways for YEARS. Tens of years? How long can you guys live if somebody doesn't blow you up anyway?
STRAX: I. . . I actually don't know.
JEN: So if you and your hundred warriors train for decades and I set a hundred average but . . . naughty? . . enemy Sontarans on you, what's going to happen?
STRAX: They obviously would not stand a chance! I myself am more than a match for your average Sontaran, I've lived through. . .
JEN: [interrupting] They wouldn't just not stand a chance, chummer. They'd hardly be worth fighting. Pretty soon the only people who will be a challenge to you is each other. You can laugh everybody else off and . . . oh, I don't know.
GRIFF: Wu Wei.
CLARA and STRAX: What?
GRIFF: Wu Wei, it's an old traditional thing, I'd heard it in. . . at least two of my visits. One of the groups were sculptors, and they described it like when they're so good at what they're doing and so in the moment that everything becomes effortless and just flows. It's not so much that they're forcing the material to bend to their whims as they're . . . cooperating with it. You'd have to see them in action to appreciate it. It was like magic.
[Directly to STRAX]
GRIFF: The others, you'd like them I bet! They were martial artists, they fought each other, but never really hurt each other except for a few bruises. They were so. . . fast isn't the right word? Efficient maybe? I tried practicing sparring with them a few times. It was. . . well. . . they humored me a little, I think. They say it takes years to get that good, and I believe them.
JEN: Seriously? This NEVER occurred to you before? You just stupidly killed people for no reason? Before they had a chance to get good at anything? Nobody said anything?
KAYLEE: Jen. [points to the sleeping guards] Before you finish that thought, remember where.. I mean, when we are. We used to do the same thing, not that long ago, really.
GRIFF: Guys, I hate to interrupt, but is this really the best place to be hanging around? I'd really rather be somewhere where we're wanted if it's all right with everyone else. I know things are different . . now. . but I'm just not comfortable with this.
JEN: Yeah, can we go somewhere. . . actually peaceful?
THE DOCTOR: Right, I suppose there wasn’t anything to really see here... we could head on over... we have one more person to visit, and I suppose maybe his parents too. . . come on then, no lollygagging, plenty to do elsewhere!
[The group speedily enters the TARDIS and again the TARDIS fades away]
[The TARDIS materializes on a familiar residential street]
THE DOCTOR: [popping out of the TARDIS with group in tow] Come on! Isn't this exciting [Looking at KAYLEE] You're going to be delighted! I promise you!
[JEN has a little difficulty getting the wagon up the stairs but they quickly reach the door, with The Doctor knocking rapidly. The door opens.]
CRAIG OWENS: Oh no, what now.
THE DOCTOR: Is Alfie home?
CRAIG: Alfie? Well, yes. . . but. . .
THE DOCTOR: Lovely! Mind if we all come in for a few? We need somewhere peaceful to chat about important things!
[The Doctor takes Craig's hesitation as a yes and strides in, followed by the rest, Craig looks nervously at Strax, but the others seem normal enough and seem to settle him somewhat]
CRAIG: [To himself] Sophie's not going to like this when she gets home.
[Inside the house]
THE DOCTOR: There he is! Our guest of the hour! Kaylee, may I introduce you to Alfie Owens!
KAYLEE: [looks at baby] Err, hi!
CRAIG: At least he's finally calling himself Alfie now.
THE DOCTOR: [leans over, confidentially] But he prefers to be known as Stormageddon! Dark Lord of All!
[Kaylee's eyes get big]
KAYLEE: As in . . . Papa???
THE DOCTOR: No! No! He's a couple more great's removed, but he is who your grandfather was named after! Stormageddon stayed in the family, it never really became a popular name, did it?
KAYLEE: [Laughs] No! But he was my favorite. I'll be considering it if I ever decide to have a child. [Sounds a bit odd coming from a woman who looks to be in her late fifities, but nobody comments.]
[Clara, Craig, Jen, and Griff hear a shocked exclamation from Griff and dash into the other room]
GRIFF: Is that REAL?
CRAIG: What, my television? You haven't seen one before?
GRIFF: Not the television, the VID on it!
[The group turns to the television, where the News is on]
CRAIG: The news? That's about the only thing on television that’s real. Well, mostly real.
GRIFF: [horrified] I didn't. . . know. I thought it was some kind of . . . awful, fake entertainment or something. This is . . . news?
CRAIG: Err, yes. Why? What's wrong with it?
GRIFF: What's WRONG with it? What isn't? Where did you people get the idea it was okay to impose your will on a stranger? To broadcast embarrassing, hurtful pictures of people over and over again? To dehumanize somebody just because they're different? To give people power over others? To tell everybody who they're supposed to love, or marry?
CRAIG: Well, not everybody. . .
GRIFF: It's been what. . . a couple of MINUTES? And they just served up all those bite-sized bits of horror from all over the world without a single good bit? That's POISON!!! No wonder you guys screwed so many things up!
JEN: Griff. . . my turn! We're in their world now, remember? Their context.
GRIFF: [To Jen, a brief smile crossing his pained expression] You've been waiting for this since the guards, haven't you?
JEN: [Cheerfully] Yup!
GRIFF: [Relaxing slightly] Right. . . can we turn that off please? I feel. . . a little ill.
[They move into the living room]
THE DOCTOR: Well then, are we ready?
CLARA, CRAIG, and KAYLEE: For what?
THE DOCTOR: To save the world from itself, of course! Why do you think we're here? Craig has a job to do!
CRAIG: [Horrified] ME?
THE DOCTOR: Yes! To learn, and teach! All will become apparent. I love this part.
CLARA: Can't you just. . . you know. . . just tell us?
THE DOCTOR: Have I EVER done that?
CLARA: I don't know, maybe?
THE DOCTOR: [Ponders briefly] No, no, I'm pretty sure I'd remember if I had, and that doesn't sound like me at all.
STRAX: No, it doesn't. I concur.
THE DOCTOR: Okay then! Enough distracting me, don't you want to know how you're going to have done it?
CRAIG: Done what, exactly?
THE DOCTOR: Lots of things!
THE DOCTOR: Good! Because you're going to be very important! Ready, go!
[The group looks around at each other]
THE DOCTOR: Right! I'll get things started! Griff! You said some things. Craig, ask Griff what he meant about giving people power.
CRAIG: Ummm. . . Griff. . . could you tell me what you meant about people with. . . wait, so. . . [hesitantly] I'm assuming you're from the future -- how do you do elections and the like without giving people . . . power?
Continues. . .
. . .
GRIFF: What, governance? And getting big things done and such? We just have a proxy system.
CRAIG: Proxy system?
GRIFF: Yeah, like. . . err. Okay, so, who is there that you respect, who's in some sort of field you care about?
CRAIG: [Thinks a moment] Well, Alfie really likes nature shows, and Sir David Attenborough is I guess somebody I'd like to be ... president of nature? Is that what you do?
GRIFF: Ha! No, but if he was somebody who was comfortable with the responsibility, then he could accept your proxy. That doesn't mean anything on its own without influence though.
CLARA: Like you said the people in . . . school... having less?
GRIFF: Universities and Holdfasts, yup, anybody who's finding their way... they still get some though. We also have a lottery of sorts, so occasionally people get a whole bunch. So anyway, let's say it's the end of the quarter, and it's time to pick your stories.
GRIFF: Of course! What else do you vote on? So, one of the stories is a general one about saving an ecosystem, and another is about people working together to discover fantastic critters and get cool vids and stories about them for everyone. And you like those stories because Alfie here will have more fun things to play with when he grows up, right?
THE DOCTOR: Ah! He really does prefer Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. He also agrees, more critters!
GRIFF: [grinning] Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All [Bows extravagantly to Alfie]. So you put some of your points in one, some in the other, and you proxy David Attenborough as someone you believe can help make those stories come true. So you put the two together and that's how we decide what to do.
KAYLEE: But the really important part is that it's only temporary. If you find somebody better, or your initial proxy has some kind of change or illness and starts making bad decisions, then you can pull your proxy and hand it off to someone else, or hand it to a group you like or something. It's all about the perception -- if you don't think you have power over people, you don't get stupid.
GRIFF: And since you trust him, if he decides to defer to Alex Wild on the subject of ants and Michael Quinion on entomology in general, you'd be cool with that despite having no clue who they were, because Mr. Attenborough knows his stuff.
CRAIG: But what about really big issues, like . . . well, like that gay marriage vote that was just on.
GRIFF: [Angrily] We don't DO that! Whatever gave you people the idea that it was okay to impose your will on strangers like that? Nobody writes stories like that, and if somebody did nobody'd vote on them. That's just . . . MEAN.
CLARA: [Chiming in, as Craig is a bit on the defensive] Oh! Okay, I can almost see that. . . and I could see how that would work . . . but what about criminals? People who hurt people? And child molesters? You don't just let people run around willy-nilly, I expect. How do you protect them?
JEN: [Waving] Me! But that sort of thing doesn't happen much. We don’t call them criminals -- they're just . . . better in some situations than others?
GRIFF: Yeah, so if somebody's got some broken part that makes struggle to be around people without hurting them, we try to find ways to make that useful . . . they become martial artists or fight robot battles on the moon, or just to keep them so busy and entertained that it never occurs to them.
THE DOCTOR: Exactly! How often have you seen somebody go 'I'm having a LOVELY time, and life is peaceful and I have few worries . . . time to torment and maybe murder some fellow on the street!'? That's not how you humans work! You're really easily distracted, you just needed to start taking advantage of your flaws, too!
KAYLEE and GRIFF: Hunt down your flaws and exploit them!
CLARA: Exploit. . . flaws?
CRAIG: [Suddenly excited] OH! OH! I think I understand! So. . . Americans love guns, right? And I saw this Mythbusters episode where Keri cut down a dead tree with a machine gun! I said it looked fun, and Sophie thought it was stupid. I said I'd plant a dozen trees for the chance to do that once!
STRAX: Excellent! I like to blow things up, too! I knew you had it in you. [Pats Craig on back, a bit too roughly.]
CRAIG: [Recovering] . . .and if we gave the Americans a chance to do that. . . they'd plant entire forests! We could invite them to the Sahara!
THE DOCTOR: That's BRILLIANT! [To the others] I TOLD you he was important! Looks can be deceiving!
CRAIG: Thanks. . . HEY!
CLARA: But what happens to all the dead trees? Isn't that. . . wasteful?
KAYLEE: [pulling a notepad out of her pocket and holding it out] I. . . we've done this.
THE DOCTOR: [leaning over] "Made of 100% free range tree, slain with honor."
KAYLEE: What can I say, I'm a nature geek.
CRAIG: [slightly disappointed] And I thought I had a good original idea there.
THE DOCTOR: Craig! Craiggy-poo, you silly, silly man, don't you see? They're from your future, not only did you have an amazing, clever idea, but it got big! They loved it!
CRAIG: [Brightening] I. . . wow.
[Strax pats Craig on the back again, enthusiastically]
KAYLEE: It's not just planting trees now though, we accidentally nearly overdid it, trees don't belong everywhere, even if they are the right ones for the local environment. So, sometimes it's... allowing people to indulge their desire to run away from large, hooved animals in order to reverse desertification... all kinds of things like that. Just so you create more than you destroy.
CRAIG: Oh. . . okay!
CLARA: So. . . who's in charge?
[GRIFF, JEN, and KAYLEE look perplexed]
THE DOCTOR: Nobody is! That's why it works!
CRAIG: That . . . can't work, right? Don't we need CEOs and managers and leaders and presidents and such?
STRAX: [Pondering] Is that working?
THE DOCTOR: [To Strax] Exactly! [To Craig] See? People don't work well with that sort of power, that's just a whole bunch of stupid waiting to happen, or rather waiting to stop happening, that's what you're for! You've already proven you don't need them, there are lots of examples. Like. . . Stopcock! Wait, that’s not right. Err... Valve! Craig’s Earth has a company called Valve, but they don't make faucets, they make video games!
CLARA: Well then that's a silly name, isn't it?
JEN: Not as silly as Stopcock! [Joins Kaylee and Griff giggling]
THE DOCTOR: Yes, yes it is! But anyway, there's a whole bunch like them, but they don't have leaders or management really. People just pick their own teams, squads of people to work with, and they pick their own projects too. They're kind of an accidental prototype for what you're going to do!
CRAIG: Oh! The Steam guys! I just saw something about them the other day too, they have a. . . virtual economist . . . yeah, that was it. For all the video game economies. I thought it sounded like a boring job in a fun world, really.
THE DOCTOR: But they're effective, aren't they? And they do it in one of the most standards-dependent environments in the world, programming! If only they were a little more ambitious they'd have started all this already instead of waiting on you.
CRAIG: Why do you keep saying that?
THE DOCTOR: And you also have all these worker cooperatives, like that big one just past the French! Moon Dragon, Moon Drag-On... Mondragon! Whole villages worth of people working collectively, and both of them are also fighting money!
CLARA: Fighting money? Wait, that's a fun mental image! Rawr! [makes little claws with her hands]
THE DOCTOR: They limit their salaries, so nobody gets too much more than anybody else, because that was silly. After all, despite having all the money and power, a CEO isn't worth more to society than a nurse, right?
CRAIG: [Looking at the now-off TV briefly] No, in fact I'd argue that most of them are worth much less, sometimes they don't seem like. . . people.
THE DOCTOR: [To Stormageddon] Now now, it's not his fault. [To Craig] WRONG! So delightfully, wonderfully wrong, you know why it's wonderful that you're wrong?
THE DOCTOR: Because you get to learn! And when you learn, you get better!
[JEN, GRIFF, and KAYLEE in unison] “Embrace your mistakes and hunt down your flaws!”
JEN: And smush 'em!
CLARA: [To Strax and Craig] They do that occasionally.
THE DOCTOR: Exactly! That's how you get better at things. You humans have been raised to be embarrassed by mistakes, to avoid admitting them. That's one of the many really big causes to all your problems. A little change in attitude can do wonders, can't it?
CRAIG: But. . . you haven't explained what I did wrong yet.
KAYLEE: Don't you see? You described roles as people, and this place is a broken, mad world right now. Maybe one of your... ‘C.D.O.’s?... Could be a great artist, or inventor, or maybe the best nurse of ALL if only they weren't stuck being an. . . acronym person.
CRAIG: So. . . someone like a CEO isn’t bad, just. . .
THE DOCTOR: Exactly! Hitler was an adorable baby and in different circumstances may have been a great painter or entertainer! Osama bin Laden died hiding away with his family, people he probably loved and who probably loved him and just saw him as a PERSON. Most of the people you malign as 'evil' twisted themselves that way thinking they're doing it to support or take care of other people. Almost NONE of you are completely broken!
GRIFF: Nobody is! There's a place for everyone, maybe not around other people all the time. When I find somebody who isn't fitting in, I consider it a bit of a collective failure, like we haven't invented what they're amazing at yet.
THE DOCTOR: See, attitude! It's all in your perspective.
CRAIG: Okay. . . I think I'm seeing this. So we make a corporation that's about people? And we let it be their home too? So they can get away from bad nations and such?
THE DOCTOR: You're getting it! You've got to do much more than that of course! You need to be humble, to realize that some ideas may not work, some experiments may fail, so you need to put together some kind of method, a scientific one, that you can put on top, so that you are offsetting your worst tendencies with it, stand back and be reasonable and the like.
CRAIG: We've got one of those, this isn't going to be all cold or boring, is it? Because I'm not sure that'll be popular.
JEN: [Snorts.] The whole POINT is to not be boring! To give people lots of options, packages, ways to live their lives! You can choose from so MANY! And we can go wherever we're welcome. If it just so happens someone doesn't like their options and wants to create another, we help them so that others can share. There really aren't many restrictions.
THE DOCTOR: So you've got a corporation run by people, it's the opposite of boring, and it lets them escape from all the madness in the world, with me so far?
KAYLEE: And it's SUSTAINABLE! That's important!
THE DOCTOR: Getting to that! So what happens when somebody offers you a job like that, and you have to be nice and not hurt anybody, but you'll be well fed, taken care of, and expected to have a lot of fun, do enjoyable work, and not be wasteful? A place filled with people like these lovely folks? [gestures to the future Earthlings]
CRAIG: I could go for that, but not everybody would. What about the Americans, they love guns and I don't like the idea of people leaving them lying around where a kid can accidentally get hold of it? And what about religious zealots and that sort of thing? Won't they fight it?
CLARA: They bring guns to work???
CRAIG: Well, no, or... I don’t think so... but this is more than just work, isn't it? I can kind of see . . . but.
KAYLEE So THAT'S what the Competitive Buds were about! I think I get it now! Those were for people who liked the idea, but didn't really want to change themselves or were just too set in their ways. They set up experiments too but didn't influence the 'ring of not being mean,' well, sometimes they did, but only when the had really good ideas. The only big rule was that the kids had the option of choosing from wherever they were invited when they grew up. And they were invited to all the Open Universities.
THE DOCTOR: There are so MANY of you, and you all learn differently and have so much to add to the world if it's not beaten down before you become adults. You have billions of wonderful minds on this planet with so many great ideas, just wait until you start getting to hear all of them!
GRIFF: Yeah, a lot of our best inventors are under twenty. When we're younger, we're better at breaking context, and most of the best ideas are lateral hops.
CRAIG: So. . . what about people who don't like the whole idea? Powerful people?
THE DOCTOR: Two things! [counting off] One, you're living inside what starts off as a multinational corporation, a construct that has so many powers piled on top of it that you get to win most of those battles without even trying. Two, powerful people are just people, the only power they have is when other people listen to them. Three, how dangerous are they when you've hired away all their servants, guards, and the rest?
CLARA: That was three things.
THE DOCTOR: Four. . you're not attached to a chunk of dirt unless you want to be, you can go where you want, it's as peaceful a revolution as you're ever going to have . . .
KAYLEE: And FIVE! The moment you can invite people to live sustainably and stop ruining all of the ecosystems, you have a MORAL OBLIGATION to offer that up to EVERY HUMAN on the planet! Everyone, even the people you fear or worry about.
THE DOCTOR: Quite right!
CLARA: Wait, aren't there. . . laws about hiring too many people?
[Stormageddon gurgles enthusiastically]
THE DOCTOR: [sharing a private laugh with Stormageddon] Ha! Good one! [To Craig] Craig! What country could screw this whole thing up?
THE DOCTOR: And they have a democracy, right? Except most of them don't vote, partly because it's kind of difficult and partly because they usually don’tt have anything good to vote for, and because most jobs don't want them to because working people vote for all the wrong things. And they just had a big legal ruling about corporations and voting if I got my timelines right, true? [looks at Craig expectantly]
STRAX: You mean Citizens United, don't you? They're still complaining about that, I like watching them argue and get all excited.
KAYLEE: Oh! Now that bit makes sense! America was our mothership, that's how they did it!
THE DOCTOR: Right! Once people could SEE it happening, even the first glimmers of people being able to take back their lives. . . well, that sort of thing creates an energy all its own.
CRAIG: OH! And they have to vote who to vote for, and almost nobody votes in . . . primaries? Is that what they are there?
THE DOCTOR: And imagine a corporation with a delightfully wonderful plan!
CRAIG: But they can only get so big, right?
THE DOCTOR: Let's look at that scenario, shall we? You've got an extremely popular corporation that appeals to a whole bunch of people, but it's not allowed to hire them because of some law that was put in place for a totally different reason. And this corporation is cheerfully announcing the candidates they're supporting, and pointing out their big goal is to create a law to let them hire you, too. What's going to happen?
CRAIG: You're going to. . . break America?
KAYLEE: Oh no! That's not how we did it. We won the election, gave ourselves a big ‘Except for us, we can do what we want, and America will protect us instead of getting in the way’ law, let the people who didn't want to join vote on a few quick changes. . . I think they made it illegal for politicians to lie or something like that, too. . . and we just took Colbert and the rest and did our own thing and paid for them to have a new election. We also helped them cut their health care costs way down and a few other things, favors for favors and all that.
THE DOCTOR: And Craig, you know that every child on the planet is born with pretty much the same potential, right? It doesn't matter if they're born in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, China, or Sierra Leone, right?
THE DOCTOR: And that's how you save the world! Once this is good enough for the West. . . well, this idea is made to be powered by third world orphans! They've got the least to unlearn, after all. If you guys hadn't thought of it first they'd have completely left you in the dust. It's fairly inevitable.
STRAX: I bet all of those humans named Ted would help!
STRAX: Ted! There are a lot of them, Madame Vastra had me watch some. It's apparently a common name, though a strange way to organize all those talks and presentations. Do they get their names later?
CRAIG: Do you mean TED talks?
STRAX: Right! Ted, that's who talks.
CRAIG: They're not. . . well, never mind. That's actually really smart, the TED website is FULL of great ideas. I was watching a couple videos with Sophie the other day. She said that even though they're brilliant and make sense, they'd never happen in the 'real world' . . . but this . .
STRAX: [To the Doctor] See? Not the potato one!
KAYLEE: Is that where the Venus Project came from? I heard something similar about them, well, until the Cooperation happened, then they got huge.
THE DOCTOR: Nope! DIfferent groups, but that's okay, don't you see? A whole BUNCH of people have parts of this idea, and their ideas overlap. All you need to do is connect the dots and then get it out there for people to see. You're going to crowdsource a revolution!
THE DOCTOR: You're going to have, yes!
STRAX: What about me?
THE DOCTOR: You've got a different job, remember what we were talking about earlier?
STRAX: Why of course! Fighting!
THE DOCTOR: I want you to collect a whole bunch of humans who really want to fight and want to protect people.
STRAX: Oh! I get to lead your Army! About time!
THE DOCTOR: Ahh, but there's a catch! Your job is to defend the Earth, but [pointing to JEN] HER way.
STRAX: With little furry, stuffed . . . baby humans? That's what you call things like that [motioning to Stormageddon], right? Babies?
THE DOCTOR: No!
CLARA: Well, yes, this is a baby. But those aren't babies. [points to the teddy bears.]
THE DOCTOR: I want you to create training simulations. Make them so real they might as well be, and make you and your humans so good that any invading force would be almost laughable by comparison. And I want you never to kill them, only defuse and capture them.
STRAX: Humans have fuses?! Why didn’t anyone tell me?
THE DOCTOR: No, no, no, not defuse. [tick-tick-ticks his tongue while thinking.] Pacify! Err, restrain!
STRAX: [Slightly uncomfortably] Why would we do that?
THE DOCTOR: Because some of them might want to join you! And they'll have new ideas and perspectives, so you can keep doing the same thing and getting better and better. I want you to be martial artists the like of which the universe has never seen!
STRAX: Can we. . . do that?
JEN: I never fight to kill, want to try me? [Her bears suddenly hop up and pair off. Craig looks shocked, Stormageddon giggles and claps]
STRAX: [A little nervously] Noted. [Pausing] And yes, I think I have much to learn, and much to teach! [To The Doctor] Okay, I'm your man, sir. This sounds right up my alley!
THE DOCTOR: Until you decide you want to try something else! That's my other new rule, I stole it from them. [points to the future Earthlings]
CRAIG: I still have some questions, but. . . okay, I get this. This is really important and. . . wow.
THE DOCTOR: At this point, you'll find there are more solutions than problems, they're just waiting out there to be assembled. But I have ONE more thing for you, something new! This isn't how you did it, but it's a chance to do things even faster!
THE DOCTOR: Of course, don't you see? Every child should have the entire scope of human experience open to them, right? And every law, rule, regulation, or anything else is just some construct that people made up, often a long time ago.
CRAIG: And. . .
THE DOCTOR: It's hard to break inertia, but now that you know there's a better way, you might be able to skip a few steps!
THE DOCTOR: With people! What happens if you guys devise some symbols to wear?
KAYLEE: Like your blue box!
THE DOCTOR: Whatever you want, it doesn't have to be the same thing in all the different places. So you wear these symbols to identify each other. And you could have a little cheer! Every day at ten o'clock, AM and PM. Everybody who wants this to happen, cheers. Loudly, if they want. [clears throat] HURRAH! And you walk around with your symbols until you all realize that almost EVERYBODY in some areas wanst to do this!
CLARA: I get it, so people aren't scared to be alone anymore... instead, they get to proudly be part of something bigger.
THE DOCTOR: And when most of them decide THIS is the way the world works. . .
KAYLEE: Then they can look the last few people in the eye and say 'What?! No, you don't get to tell people what to do anymore, silly! Our way's better, and you don’t have authority, because we're not giving it to you any longer.' I think we did that, too!
CRAIG: OH! And so even people we think are bad, like politicians, they can do it too! And even people who've made mistakes, they can [finger quotes] ‘take the black’! I mean, not with capes and swords necessarily, but I see how this can work!
CLARA: Take the Black?
STRAX: It's from a television show! It's very violent, I like it. [To Griff, Kaylee, and Jen] You still have those, right? Your performers aren’t all. . . teddy humans?
GRIFF: Ha! Oh yes, we've still got our entertainment, we just know the difference between reality and fantasy. We're still human beings and we do have our odd flaws. But being aware of them lets us turn them from problems into fun!
STRAX: [Relieved] Good. Okay, I'm set then, let's go!
THE DOCTOR: I think I've given you enough! But if not . . .
[Steps towards the camera and appears to cross past the boundary of the room]
THE DOCTOR: Well, we've got some notes below, and this is just the beginning, a seed, so to speak. Once this gets rolling it can only get better, and I can't wait to see what you lovely, wonderful people can pull off!
THE DOCTOR: [To You, specifically. Grinning and rubbing his hands together.] So, how about we stop all this madness, shall we? How about we write some stories?!
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