Let the fun begin!
Another dimension, another Manhattan.
That was the problem the Doctor and her friends (Ryan Sinclair, Graham O’Brien, and Yasmin “Yaz” Khan) faced while stuck in the infinite dimensional corridor. Four different realms they’ve traveled to so far, and each of them was some version of New York City they either recognized or found totally alien.
The best they could do in this
Manhattan was to go on a luncheon (as the Doctor put it), choosing the nearest diner called “Pete’s Luncheonette” – a place that the Doctor couldn’t help but recognize.
In fact, much of this
version of Manhattan looked very familiar.
“We need to find a way back home,” Graham suggested while munching on his pickle, butter, and sardine sandwich. “All this bouncin’ about in-between parallel universes of New York City has got me thrashed.”
“Kinda like that one show, Sliders
, with all those people who kept discoverin’ other versions of their world,” Ryan reflected. “What if that’s what we’re like now, eh?”
“If we are, I’d at least hope we come across a New York with Kurt Russell in it,” Yaz teased.
“What do you
think, Doc?” Graham asked.
His question fell on deaf ears. The Doctor was more distracted than usual with something (or someone
) who just walked through the diner entrance. Graham, Ryan, and Yaz followed her gaze and were stunned to see none other than Kermit the Frog, Gonzo the Great, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, and Kermit’s nephew (Robin) all enter. They approached the counter, ordering their lunch from the young human waitress, Jenny.
“Are my eyes deceivin’ me or am I lookin’ at the
Kermit the Frog?!” the perplexed Graham asked.
“Nah, Granddad,” Ryan confirmed. “‘Cause I’m seein’ it, too.”
“I knew I recognized the world we’re in – I’ve been here before,” the Doctor finally spoke up. “This is a peculiar dimension. It’s one with both Muppets and superheroes.”
Graham scoffed. “You’re jokin’.”
“The things we’ve seen and only now
you think she’s jokin’?” Ryan called him out. “How can you think that when the proof is right there in front of ya?”
“Doctor, you said that you’ve been here before?” Yaz indicated.
“Many times, in fact,” the Doctor said. “I can’t quite go into all that right now, but Kermit and his friends might be able to help us out.”
“How’s a frog, a bear, and a whatever supposed to help us
out?” Graham asked.
Unfortunately, the Doctor didn’t stop to give him a direct answer. Instead, she eagerly approached the booth where the Muppets were sitting and said, “‘ello!”
Kermit and his friends looked up from their plates, seeing the smiling Northern English blonde in the rainbow-striped tee and fancy trench coat. “Uh, hi?” Kermit remarked. “I’m sorry, but could you wait until after
we’ve finished our lunch for an autograph?”
“I can always sign mine in ketchup,” Gonzo insisted.
“Oh, no, no,” the Doctor negated. “I’m not lookin’ for an autograph. I just wanted to say how brilliant
it is to see all of you again.”
The five Muppets looked on each other in confusion.
“Erm…thanks, I guess,” Kermit uttered. “What’s your name?”
The Doctor smirked. “Thought you’d never ask! I’m the Do—!”
Sudden commotion outside brought everyone’s attention away from each other and their meals to outside the diner. The Doctor was nearly knocked down by one of several people fleeing from something in the streets. She proceeded to scan the area with her sonic screwdriver, picking up on something huge that led her and her friends into the opposite direction everyone else was heading.
“Oh, boy!” Robin cheered. “This could be a big scoop for your newspaper, Uncle Kermit! Let’s see what it is!”
“Robin, wait!” Kermit called, but his nephew was already tailing the four British strangers. Reluctantly, Kermit chased after him with Fozzie, Gonzo, and Scooter – Gonzo already had his vintage flash camera ready to take photographs that would in no way make it on The Daily Chronicle’s
Rounding the corner, they discovered a massive doughnut-shaped spaceship hovering above a street corner where four brave men confronted two extraterrestrial beings – both tall in stature but different body types (one was lanky and the other was a huge brute). But, it was the four men that the Doctor, her companions, and the Muppets recognized as Tony Stark (a.k.a. “Iron Man”), Bruce Banner (a.k.a. “The Hulk”), Doctor Stephen Strange, and Strange’s fellow Master of the Mystic Arts, Wong.
Stark began a scuffle with the two extraterrestrials by activating his armor from nanotechnology, taking on the bigger of the two aliens. Meanwhile, Strange and Wong engaged in a battle of magic versus telekinesis with the lanky invader. Bruce Banner, on the other hand, was put on the sidelines, due to an inability to transform into the Hulk.
“Alright, I’ll admit it: you weren’t
jokin’, Doc,” Graham said as he witnessed the epic fight on the street corner.
In the midst of it, Gonzo decided that it would be a smart idea to take photos. Unfortunately, the flash of his camera attracted the attention of the brute invader, charging towards the group.
“You just had
to take a photo!” Fozzie yelled to Gonzo.
The group ran from the big alien, as it swung its massive axe-hammer to clear the abandoned vehicles in its path. It chased the Doctor, her friends, and the Muppets all the way to Washington Square Park. It nearly had them dead in its sights, until it was hit by some type of energy wave that sent it falling back.
Out of nowhere emerged three more heroes – ones that the Doctor vividly recognized: a human man, a woman who appeared
human but was actually Sebacean (an alien race distantly related to humans), and a Luxan warrior.
“Knocked ‘im right on his butt!” The human man victoriously yelled.
“It isn’t time for celebrations yet, Crichton,” the Luxan told the man. “Cull Obsidian still breathes!”
“Not for much longer,” the Sebacean woman declared.
The three individuals proceeded to attack the alien brute (whose name was apparently “Cull Obsidian” by what the Luxan called him) with their intergalactic weapons. They seemed to have only minimal effect, as Obsidian came back stronger than before, swinging his axe-hammer at their heads, prompting them to dodge for their lives.
This battle royal got more complicated with the emergence of Spider-Man and the reemergence of Iron Man, using the combined efforts of their high-tech suits to overpower Obsidian.
Spider-Man?!” Yaz said in surprise. “We already met two
in the last dimension we visited!”
Thankfully, Wong arrived in time to conjure a portal to Antarctica that he sent Obsidian through, closing it before Obsidian could try to jump back to Manhattan. His attempted effort costed him his arm. The victory happened at just the right time, as Doctor Strange was abducted by Obsidian’s partner in crime, with Iron Man and Spider-Man in pursuit of his spacecraft.
The others were left to watch as the two heroes vanished into orbit.
“We gotta follow ‘em,” Crichton suggested. “Obsidian and Maw are our only lead to Thanos, and that wizard dude they just took has got an Infinity Stone on him!”
“What do you
know of the Infinity Stones?” Wong asked Crichton.
“Only that they’re the
most powerful relics in the universe,” Crichton said. “And, if Thanos gets his greasy mitts on all six of ‘em, we’re in some deep dren.”
“Oi! Language!” The Doctor chided him. “There’s a child present.”
She gestured specifically to Robin, who otherwise curiously inquired, “What does ‘dren’ mean?”
Crichton eyed the Doctor ruthlessly. “And who pray tell are you?”
The Doctor let out an irritable groan. “Seriously?!
All day, I’ve run into you lot, and I still recognize each and every one of you.” She commenced in pointing to each face she saw (with the exception of her own fam) and uttering the name it went with: “John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Ka D’Argo, Wong, Scooter, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Robin the Frog, and – last but certainly
not least – Kermit the Frog!”
They all looked on her bafflingly.
are you?” Kermit asked the question everyone else had on their minds.
“I’m the Doctor,” she said with a bright smile.
Her answer didn’t help clear up their confusion, as it only led to more questions and doubt. “No way,” Crichton remarked. “The Doc we knew was an old Scottish guy with white hair.”
“That was me,” the Doctor said.
“The Doctor I knew was a young man who wore a bowtie,” Wong recalled.
“That was me, too,” the Doctor said.
“But the Doctor we
knew was a man in a suit and tie,” Scooter indicated.
“And he wore sandshoes,” Fozzie included.
“Most importantly, he was a man
,” Kermit added.
“Also me,” the Doctor told them. “I’m a Time Lord. My appearance changes whenever I’m seriously hurt or on the brink of death.” She was quick to bring their focus back on the matter at hand. “But that’s beside the point. You all mentioned Thanos and the Infinity Stones. How many has he already found?”
“Three, including the Time Stone that wizard had,” Aeryn Sun (the Sebacean woman) disclosed.
The Doctor twiddled her fingers nervously. “Not good, not good. The Power Stone was dangerous enough by itself in the wrong hands. I can only fathom how deadly all six stones would be in Thanos’s grips.” She gestured over Crichton, Aeryn, and D’Argo. “Is Moya somewhere close to Earth’s orbit?”
Crichton was momentarily taken aback by how well she knew of their ship, proving that she really was the Doctor. “Y-Yeah,” he stammered on his reply. “It’s still floatin’ ‘round up there.”
“Good,” the Doctor approved with a nod. “I’ll give you a lift back up in me TARDIS, if you give us a lift to Knowhere.”
“Why would you wanna go nowhere?” Gonzo asked. “You gotta go somewhere
The Doctor chuckled. “No, Gonzo. Knowhere’s a place very far from here. It’s where the Reality Stone is. I left it there with a man I believed that I could trust: Taneleer Tivan.”
“You got to frellin’ kidding me,” Aeryn griped. “You left it with the Collector?!”
“Do you have any
idea how untrustworthy that man is?” D’Argo said.
The Doctor, hands on her hips, sheepishly looked down. “Yeah… it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“Uncle Kermit,” Robin said. “Can we go with the Doctor to outer space? We hadn’t seen him – I mean, her
– in ten years!”
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt,” Kermit presumed. “You wouldn’t mind, would ya, Doctor?”
“As long as you let Miss Piggy know about it first,” the Doctor said.
TO BE CONTINUED...