Chapter 6: Failsafe

Back to the Doctor

Return to the Future Part 6

As the robot reached towards the Doctor in an effort to grab – or strangle – him, he realized the prototype didn’t have the same weapon that could suck the time energy out of him. This did not mean he didn’t have a different weapon that could do this, so the Doctor quickly dodged and rolled out of the way as Mickey reached for a gun and opened fire.

“Wait! Stop!” Alan ran towards a button on the wall next to the door, frantically pushing it.

The robot stared at Alan curiously, then batted him away with a hand, sending Alan flying across the room where he crumpled up and passed out.

This robot wasn’t immune to bullets. It stumbled backwards as Mickey continuing firing, moving towards the robot with every shot, backing it into the closet once more. Martha ran over to Alan, checking on him.

“The failsafe,” Alan muttered, blood pouring down his forehead from where his head impacted with the wall. “The failsafe should have shut him down.”

The robot, perhaps feeling cornered or perhaps needing to escape before Mickey’s gun did it in for good, suddenly crouched down and punched a hole into the floor, then jumped down it and disappeared.

Mickey ran to the hole, emptying his magazine down it, but the robot was already gone.

“Well,” the Doctor climbed back to his feet. “We’re definitely in the right place.”

“Did that robot call you time travellers?” Alan’s eyes kept wandering and Martha thought he might have a concussion.

“He needs a Doctor.”

“You are a Doctor,” the Doctor crouched down next to them, looking Alan in the eye.

“Is there another way to shut that robot down? Another failsafe?”

“I-I don’t know. I’m not working on this project! Why would we even need more than two failsafes?”

“You didn’t fink some killer robot might need more than one failsafe?” Mickey asked, holstering his gun after he had reloaded it.

“Killer?” Alan was starting to look slightly more coherent, he managed to get himself into a sitting position. “No one built that thing to kill.”

“Oh? So that bloody robot didn’t just try to take your fat head off?”

“I…” he rubbed his eyes. “I don’t know what just happened. That shouldn’t have happened… Is this why there was some concern over this project?”

“Among other things.” The Doctor sighed.

Alan’s eyes suddenly widened. “Where did it go?”

“It ran off through the floor,” Mickey explained.

“There’s a malfunctioning robot on the loose. We need to call the cops, the firemen – to evacuate the building.”

“He’s not wrong about that last part,” Martha saw a bright red fire alarm hanging on the wall. “We need to get everyone out of this building. Shouldn’t be too hard on a Sunday.”

“Right,” the Doctor walked over to the glass covered alarm, bringing up his elbow to smash it and then pulling it so a high pitched whine suddenly filled the building. He turned back to Alan, hoping Marty had enough sense to get out if he hadn’t already. “Get out of here, and make sure anyone you meet gets out as well.”

“What about you?” Alan asked as Martha helped him to his feet.

“We’re going to take care of your technical problems today Doctor Yeong. A little two-fore-one deal we have this weekend.”


            They ran down the stairs, the Doctor leading, slipping on his red and blue 3-D glasses.

            “What are those for?” Martha asked as they threw open the door on the lower level and took a quick look around. No sign of the robot.

            “The robots we met before gave off a rather distinct radiation signature. I’m hoping these robots do too – or at least give off a similar enough radiation signature so I can track it.”

            “Where do you think it went?” Mickey held his gun out apprehensively.

            “It’s not as durable as its descendants. Perhaps it’s trying to repair the damage you did to it, or maybe it needed to recharge,” he whipped off his glasses. “These are useless. No radiation anywhere.”

            “Should we split u-?”Martha turned the corner, stopping suddenly, as a metal body jumped out and slammed her into the ground.

            “Martha!” The Doctor ran forward, but Mickey stepped in front of him, pulling out his gun and firing at the robot.

            His bullet hit the robot right in the eye and its head snapped back, sparks and fire exploding from its socket. The robot tried to get up and run, but it stumbled and the Doctor managed to grab Martha and pull her away as Mickey kept firing into the robot as it tried to drag itself away.

            “Is it dead?” Martha asked as the Doctor helped her to her feet. She looked shaken, but was otherwise unharmed.

            Mickey reloaded his gun and kept it trained on the robot as it began to dig it hands into its own body, pulling out wires and reattaching them in an attempt to make some sort of repair. It looked up at Mickey, but made no attempt to move, its legs clearly no longer working.

            “The robots I met would be ashamed if they knew this was their ancestor. Taken out by a silly little gun,” the Doctor remarked.

            “Little?” Mickey glared at the Doctor, who crouched down by the robot, looking over its wounds.

            The robot tried saying something, but only static and ticks came out.

            “Looks like you hit its voice box…” the Doctor dipped his fingers into some black liquid dripping from the robot, then lifted it to his face and smelled it, “and its battery cell. This thing can make all the repairs it wants, it’ll be out of power in a few minutes anyway.”

            “Yeah, my little gun took out your big bad robot, didn’t it?”

            “It’s just a prototype. It’s bark’s bigger than its bite.”

            Mickey rolled his eyes.

            “What do we do with it?” Martha interrupted.

            The Doctor scratched his head, thinking. “We need to destroy this,” he motioned around the hall, “all of this.”

            “You mean, destroy the building?”

            “This robot’s not much of a threat, but believe me when I say the ones you humans build in the future certainly are.”

            “Hey, don’t lump all us humans together.”

            “Well maybe if you didn’t all seem to want to build robots that inevitably do more bad than good – I wouldn’t be so quick to judge.”

            “Boys,” Martha cleared her throat. “Settle down. Doctor? How do you propose we destroy this place?”

            “Well,” he stood up, “we need to make sure none of their data survives.”

            “Except for this, right?” She pulled out the flash drive.

            “Yes,” the Doctor grabbed it with a wink. “I’ll take that.”

            “So… like a virus or something?” Mickey suggested.

            “Or a fire…”

            “A fire?” Martha’s eyes widened.

            “No, fire brigade’s already on their way. We need something more dramatic.”

            “An explosion?” Mickey said with a slight hint of sarcasm.

            “Oh yes Mickey. Now we’re on to something.”


            They ran back to the robot lying on the table.

            “We need a large mass of energy. Thanks to Mickey, our friend the finished prototype has been drained of anything useful,” the Doctor explained as they ran.

            “Oh, sorry. Next time I’ll let the evil robot kill you.”

            “You think the other robot has a power cell?” Martha ignored her husband.

            “Only one way to find out!” They entered the room and the Doctor immediately started pulling out wires and bits of the robot until he uncovered a large, thin blue rectangle.

            “Is that it?” Mickey asked.

            “Mickey,” the Doctor handed a long wire to him. “Take this, jump down that hole, and connect it to the other robot.”

            “You what?”

            “Now, Mickey.”

            “Fine,” Mickey grabbed the wire. “But you need to start treating me with respect.”

            Mickey ran to the hole, and with a bit more care than the robot had shown, jumped down.

            “What will that do?” Martha watched Mickey go.

            “Get rid of him. He was giving me a headache.”

            Martha grinned at the Doctor. “You be nice.”

            The Doctor smiled at her. “I’m always nice. Ah…”


            “Well, I can’t rig a timer.”

            “That’s not good.”

            “It’ll be fine. We just have to run fast,” the Doctor smiled.

            “What about Mickey?”

            “We’ll meet him in the stairwell. Alons-y!” The Doctor flipped a switch in the robot, then grabbed Martha’s hand and started running.

            They reached the stairs just as Mickey opened the door.

            “Hey, I didn’t know where to attach the wire, so I-”

            “Doesn’t matter. Run!”

            Mickey immediately took off after them, climbing up the stairs, praying the explosion wouldn’t go off too soon.

            They reached the ground floor, made their way into the lobby, where they saw Alan at the door, screaming at firefighters to stay away because of a “killer robot.” Medics were surrounding him, trying to get him to calm down.

            “Run!” Martha called as they threw open the doors.

            “There’s a bomb!” The Doctor yelled.

            The firefighters started backing away as the three of them made their way outside. Dozens of people started yelling and running away from the building, the fear of a bomb enough to make anyone try to get away.

            And then, the explosion went off.

To Be Continued…

(We have, unbelievably so, reached the halfway point – I know I said that before, but hear me out. That was the halfway point if you’re going by episodes, this is the literal halfway point if you count actual chapters, and if you’re halfway decent with math you can figure out the sheer cleverness of my chapter count. I don’t really know if I thought I’d get this far when I decided to start writing this fic, I certainly didn’t think I’d get here so fast – especially when my estimation of how many chapters I would be writing back in Episode One was so… understated. Well, with six more episodes – plus one chapter – to go, I’m feeling pretty confident that I will finish this “great” saga before the year’s end. Mickey saying “fink” at one point is not a typo, but my attempt to capture the London accent – which I assumed would come out when he’s stressed. Plus, I just love saying fink. I fink therefore I am.)



About Doctor McFly

I am the author of Back to the Doctor, an ongoing fanfiction where Doctor Who meets Back to the Future.
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