Wednesday, April 10, 1912
Southampton dockyard was teeming with human activity. Seemingly thousands of
people were bustling about making preparations for the most publicized ocean
voyage in the history of the Earth, up until that time. In the shadows of a
dark, out-of-the-way alley, a small, dark-haired man, apparently in his fifties,
wearing a well-worn, white linen suit, straw hat, and paisley scarf approached a
young woman leaning against a battered blue police box. Despite her
anachronistic attire of faded levi's, white Nike athletic shoes and black Nike
t-shirt, she was remarkably beautiful. Small at five feet three inches, she
weighed nearly 130 pounds, most of it was muscle, making her considerably
stronger than she looked. Her hair was a deep, rich mohogany-brown, large, soft
curls falling just below her shoulders. Her skin was smooth and creamy, like the
pale petals of an orchid. Her eyes were captivating: dazzling violet gems
glittering with intelligence and compassion. She stifled a yawn as the man grew
we are!" The man, a Time Lord known only as 'the Doctor' , waved two white
pieces of paper in the air. "Two tickets for first class passage aboard the
finest ocean liner ever built."
Doctor," the woman's clipped British-sounding accent was dripping with
annoyed sarcasm. "Don't forget your water wings." Her arms folded,
fellow Time Lord and sometimes traveling companion Mikanostinocolai - Mika for
short - made it quite clear that she was none too happy about the Doctor's
be so cynical, Mika. It isn't every day that you get to be a passenger on the
famous maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. You should consider yourself quite
fortunate I was able to get these. We will be in millionaire J.P.Morgan's own
private staterooms since he has had to cancel his trip for business
did you manage that? No, don't tell me. It's probably better if I don't know. I
suppose we're related in some way?"
course. One must be proper about these things."
think Morgan's the one who should be considered fortunate." Mika snatched
the tickets out of the Doctor's hand before he had a chance to put them in his
pockets. Things that went into his infamous pockets had a nasty habit of never
being seen again. "Give me those before you lose them. Well, I suppose if
you absolutely insist on going on this foolish adventure, we might as well
travel in style." She examined the tickets. "So what names did you
use?" She read the names aloud. "Dr. John Smith - oh, now that's
original - and Mika Smith." Her brow furrowed. "You're not planning on
trying to pass me off as your wife, are you?"
Doctor jammed his hands deep into his pockets and shook his head vigourously.
"Oh, deary me, no. I thought perhaps you would be much more convincing as
was clearly relieved. "Well, thank goodness for that."
harbour whistle sounded eleven thirty. Only half an hour to go before the mighty
ship was scheduled to set sail for the first - and last - time.
Doctor produced a key and opened the door of the police box. "We'd best be
going." He looked at Mika's attire. "And do change your clothes,
please? This is 1912, remember? You are supposed to be a young lady of high
social status traveling abroad, so do try to behave accordingly, hmmm?"
followed him reluctantly into the Time ship known as the TARDIS - (the letters
standing for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) - but not before making a
face at his back.
saw that!" he called without turning around.
Time Lords transported their time capsules into their respective quarters. Then
they slipped out through a busy third class gangway, where they would not be
noticed, and reboarded the ship as normal first class passengers. Mika was
resplendent in a dark blue day suit befitting the period, while the Doctor made
do with his same old linen suit that always seemed to fit right in with whatever
time period he happened to be visiting. When they had given their names to the
boarding officer, a steward was assigned to show them to their private suite on
B Deck. This consisted of a bathroom, two bedrooms, a sitting room, and a
private, enclosed promenade deck. As well as sharing the sitting room, each
bedroom had a door which led to the interior corridor. When the steward had
gone, the Doctor walked unceremoniously into his 'niece's' room.
do wish you would learn how to knock, Doctor," Mika gasped, "you
shouldn't be so jumpy. Why can't you just relax and enjoy the trip?"
followed the Doctor as he plopped himself down into one of the beautifully
carved Louis VI replica chairs in the elegant sitting room.
there's nothing quite like first class." He plucked a red carnation out of
the fresh flower arrangement on the nearby lamp table, and, sniffing it
dramatically, placed it in his lapel.
Doctor, I would have thought you the last person to revel in such a blatant
display of pompous, materialistic excess."
you would be correct. But even seasoned travelers like ourselves deserve to be
pampered every now and then. This is so much more than a floating luxury hotel,
my dear. I see it as more of a work of art on water."
stoic expression remained unchanged.
on, Mika! Where's your sense of adventure? You have got to be at least a little
excited." He rose to his feet and gestured grandly about the room.
"Here we are in person witnessing a major milestone in the annals of Earth
history. As a testament to humankind's arrogance and overconfidence in his
superiority over nature, the sinking of the Titanic marks the end of an era.
Never again will man be so innocent or trusting of technology or his fellow man.
Unfortunately, though many things were changed as a result of this tragedy, the
main point of the lesson was soon forgotten. This is a great opportunity to see
a little bit of what a Utopia on Earth could have been like."
know all that. The value of this trip as a great history lesson is not lost on
me by any means. I just have this odd feeling. It is difficult to for me to
interact with these people when I know what lies ahead for them. It's like
walking among ghosts. I've never felt like this before. It's so weird." She
sighed heavily and hung her head in sadness.
Doctor stopped in front of his companion and gripped her gently by the
shoulders. "You must try to put it out of your mind and enjoy yourself. I
know the time is short, but that is just the nature of life. The next four days
should be happy, carefree ones. Believe me, that is a rarity in our line of
work. Go out and meet people. Study the culture and customs of the time period.
Treat it as a living archaeological dig if you have to. But try to relax,
returned his concerned gaze. "I'll try. But I'm not promising
Doctor smiled and patted her affectionately on the cheek. "There's a good
girl." He turned to leave just as there was a timid knock at the door.
who it could be, Mika answered the door. Outside stood a young maid.
me, Mademoiselle Smith, but my name is Lisette, and I am to be your personal
maid. Is there anything that you or the gentleman require?" Her English was
excellent despite her thick French accent.
looked confused. The Doctor leaned towards Mika and spoke softly so the maid
could not hear. "I believe she comes with the room, you know, to straighten
up after you, help you dress, and so on."
Mika mouthed. Then she spoke to the young French girl. "Um, I believe we
are fine for the moment, Lisette, thank you."
smiled. "Very well, I shall just come in and straighten the bedrooms,
would be very kind of you, Miss Lisette," said the Doctor trying to be his
you, Docteur Smith." With that she shut the door quietly and went to the
rest of their suite via the main outside corridor.
now you'll have someone to talk to and help you lace up your corset."
hate wearing this blasted thing and you know it."
tsk, what would everyone say about that horrible Miss Smith who doesn't wear a
corset and lets everything hang out like a common streetwalker?"
glared at him viciously. "Smeg off, Doctor."
laughed. "And talks like one too."
looked around for something to throw at him, settling for a small pillow.
ha! You missed. I like that outfit, by the way." He doffed his hat and
opened the door. "I'll call on you for tea once you've settled, Miss
shook her head as she shut the door behind him and turned the key.
evening, Titanic stopped at Cherbourg, France, where she took on a few more
passengers and exchanged cargo and mail. Among the passengers who boarded here
were American millionaire John Jacob Astor and his expectant seventeen-year-old
wife, Madeleine, and Mrs. Margaret Tobin Brown. Mrs. Brown had befriended the
Astors during a holiday in Egypt. She would later be known to history as
"the unsinkable Molly Brown" and would be instrumental in the movement
for women's rights.
the ship was again underway, the first dinner aboard the Titanic was served.
More of a gathering of the social register of the day than a meal, the Doctor
and Mika met many prominent people that night, many of whom would soon find
their way into the history books as a part of the Titanic legend. These included
the Guggenheims, the Astors, the Duff-Gordons and, of course, Molly Brown.
and Molly hit it off right away. The older woman dragged her new friend off to
meet some of her old ones. The Doctor kept a watchful eye on his companion to
see how she reacted to this situation and to make sure she behaved herself. He
need not have worried, however, for she minded her manners perfectly; no one
would have suspected that she was not an early twentieth century aristocrat. He
did notice something odd about her expression every time she was introduced to a
new person, however, usually it was just a slight wince as if she had a small
pain in her stomach or something. But at times she would close her eyes and
shake her head as if trying to clear it. Worried, he made his way through the
crowd and slid in beside her. He spoke quietly in her ear so no one else would
what is it?"
don't know, Doctor," she whispered back. "Every time I meet someone
for the first time, I have a vision, a sort of flashback, only it's of the
immediate future. I can see what happens to them when the ship is sinking."
Doctor thought for a moment. "Traumatic events like this one can sometimes
have a strange effect on time sensitive beings like ourselves. This particular
effect is what is known as temporal hemorrhaging, or a leakage of the
subconscious future into the conscious present. Tell me, is this happening with
everyone or just the ones that do not make it?"
I saw Molly Brown leading the rowing of a lifeboat, so I guess it includes
everyone. Is it important?"
may be. I still don't know exactly why we were sent here."
looked surprised and confused. "But I thought you said . . ."
what I said. We can discuss that later. Just keep track of what you 'see'. It
may give us a clue as to exactly what we're supposed to be doing here." He
hurriedly dropped the subject as someone approached. "Good evening,
Countess," he bowed slightly as he greeted the Countess of Rothes whom he
had met earlier. "May I introduce my niece, Miss Mika Smith." The two
women shook hands genteelly. Mika glanced at the Doctor and shook her head
almost imperceptibly, indicating that she saw nothing unusual about the Countess
- she apparently would survive as expected.
the time came for everyone to be seated. The Doctor managed somehow to place
himself at the Captain's table, while Mika joined Molly and the Astors at
theirs. She took a seat beside Molly; already she had grown quite fond of the
brash American. Molly Brown could be loud, nosy, and sometimes downright vulgar,
but she was honest and, in her own way, charming. She was definitely a lot more
fun to be around than all the other snooty women in first class. There was none
of that upper class snobbery about Molly. Molly was just, well, Molly. This made
Mika feel a little more at ease about being in this situation and she began to
act more like herself. Together, these two women had the potential to cause a
great deal of trouble for the snobbier of the first class passengers.
everyone had been seated, Mika noticed that there was still one chair beside her
vacant. She leaned over and discreetly asked Molly about this. Molly said that
it was probably for one of the ship's officers. She explained that on the first
night of a voyage, it was the custom for the senior officers to join the Captain
in having dinner with the first class passengers. A junior officer would be left
in charge of the bridge for just this once until dinner was over. The Captain
would usually take his meals in first class, but this was the only time the
other officers were allowed to do so. Just then, the officers arrived, having
just finished making their rounds of the ship. They were shown to their seats
where they were introduced to everyone seated at their respective tables. Sure
enough, one of them was brought to Mika's table.
was introduced to them as First Officer William Murdoch. He shook everyone's
hand in turn as he greeted everyone he met. Mika was the last. Her reaction as
he took her hand was the strongest so far. Mr. Murdoch was quite alarmed as the
young woman looked as if she were about to faint.
you all right, Miss?" he asked in his lilting Scottish brogue.
feeling passed and Mika was back to normal. She smiled sweetly at the concerned
officer and assured him that she was fine. "It's nothing, really," she
lied. "I just get these sudden headaches from time to time."
you'd prefer to go have a lie down," Colonel Gracie suggested.
Colonel, I assure you, I am quite all right. These things usually pass very
this brief bit of excitement, everyone settled down to a pleasant and sumptuous
dinner. The conversation was light and cheerful as everyone was, for the most
part, still getting acquainted with one another. The main subject of their
conversation eventually turned to, of course, the Titanic. Mr. Murdoch was kept
busy answering their numerous questions, which he did most graciously. He was a
soft-spoken man, but cheerful with a bright, witty sense of humour. He and Molly
had them all rolling with laughter on more than one occasion.
dinner was over, a few of the tables were cleared away to make room for dancing
if any of the passengers were so inclined. Even dressed in a simple dress of
dark burgundy, Mika's beauty had not gone unnoticed by the unattached gentlemen
of the group, and she was soon beset with numerous requests for a turn on the
dance floor. Politely, she refused them all, until Mr. Murdoch. She felt bad
about having worried him with her initial reaction, and, besides, her vision of
his future, although strong, had been unclear. Perhaps if she spent some more
time with him, she might be able to make some sense out of what she had seen.
Anyway, she rather liked the fellow.
Murdoch was around forty and fairly short, only about 5'8", with short,
dark hair and narrow, piercing dark blue eyes which sparkled brilliantly when he
laughed. He was also a pretty good dancer, for a sailor. Sadly enough, though,
Mika knew that he was one of the officers who did not live to tell of his
experience. Captain Smith also went down with his ship, as did Chief Officer
Henry Tingle Wilde, whom Mika had met and found to be a most charming Irish
fate remained in the back of Mika's mind as the five man ensemble, led by
Wallace Hartley, played a waltz called, quite appropriately, Destiny. It was a
struggle for her to keep the despair out of her voice as they chatted lightly
while dancing. When the tune was over, Mr. Murdoch bowed to her regally and
apologized; regretfully, it was time for him to return to duty. He thanked her
for a most wonderful evening and asked if he would be seeing her again, perhaps.
Mika promised that she would not leave the ship, at which they both laughed.
Then he left. As she watched him make his way through the crowd to join Mr.
Wilde who was apparently waiting for him, she found herself missing his company
already. 'How strange,' she thought.
and the other ladies were seated at a table, gossiping like there was no
tomorrow. As she approached, Mika noticed how the other snobs were polite to
Molly, but only tolerated her because it would be unacceptably rude not to do
so. Molly was secretly quite relieved when the one person, besides the Astors,
that she could call a friend sat next to her. She grinned broadly when, just to
make a statement, Mika turned her chair so that her back was pretty much facing
the 'snooty toots', as she liked to call them.
think that nice Mr. Murdoch has taken a fancy to you, young lady," Molly
teased her as she accepted a cup of coffee from a waiter who could not possibly
be a day over sixteen.
Molly," she laughed, "you're imagining things. He was just being
you say, child. You are certainly very popular with the menfolk, though."
sipped her coffee thoughtfully, her mind on other things, such as when would she
see that nice Mr. Murdoch again. "I cannot imagine why," she said.
a few more minutes of idle bantering, Mika, tired and, to be honest, quite
bored, excused herself and bid everyone goodnight. She looked around for the
Doctor as Molly walked with her to the Grand Staircase.
to locate the Doctor, the two women made plans to join each other for lunch the
next day, then said their own goodnights. Mika watched her new friend making her
way back across the room to join Madeleine Astor, weaving in and out among the
tables and tossing a friendly word or two to people as she passed in her
unvarnished, but good-natured way.
was still keeping an eye out for the Doctor while wondering where he could have
gone. Finally, shrugging her shoulders and letting out a great sigh, she gave up
looking and turned to ascend the stairs on her way to her room, running head on
into a man on his way down. The man had been busy writing in a small notebook he
carried, and thus was not watching where he was going.
gracious," he said, as soon as he realized what had happened. "I am so
terribly sorry . . ." The man reached out to steady the young lady he had
just run into for she looked like she was about to faint. "Are you all
right, Miss?" he asked worriedly. (She seemed to be getting this question a
shivered as she felt as if her whole body were being enveloped by icy sea water.
She nodded her head, partly to reassure him and partly to clear her head. This
vision had been, by far, the worst. She wondered just who this poor devil was.
cannot believe I could be so clumsy," the fellow was saying. "I do
hope you will forgive me."
quite all right, I assure you," she heard herself saying. She noticed his
notebook and pencil on the floor where he must have dropped them in the
collision. She bent down to pick them up. "I believe you dropped these,
sir." Mika handed them to the man as she really noticed him for the first
time. He was a fine, handsome Irishman about six feet tall, dressed in a
tailored suit of navy blue. Judging by the touch of gray at the temples and in
the very front of his wavy reddish-brown hair, he was in his mid-forties, but
clearly kept himself in good physical shape. His narrow eyes, either a very dark
brown or even black, were bright and cheery, and his slightly lopsided smile
could light up even the darkest of moods. Mika quickly found herself returning
she thought perhaps he had said something and she had not been listening with
her ears. Instead, although she did not yet realize it, she had been listening
with her heart.
said are you sure you're all right? You still seem a bit woozy." His Irish
accent was light, and his voice low and soft like summer rain.
course. I'm sorry. My mind wandered off for a moment. Are you an engineer or
something? I couldn't help but notice the figures and notations in your book
there," she indicated the notebook he held in his hand.
chuckled and smiled that devastating smile of his. "Please forgive me my
horrible manners. My name is Thomas Andrews. I designed this ship."
she raised a single eyebrow in a manner that she had once been told was
irresistibly attractive. "So you're the genius behind all this?"
blushed ever-so-slightly. "Guilty as charged, I'm afraid."
I must say that she is the most beautiful ship I have ever had the pleasure to
sail upon." She held out her hand to shake in greeting. "I am
Mika," she almost forgot to add the false surname, "Mika Smith."
took her hand and, instead of shaking, brought it to his lips and kissed it
gallantly. "It is indeed a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss
bumps ran all over her body at his touch and she felt dizzy all over again. At
first she thought she was having another vision, then she realized that this was
something else altogether; something she had not experienced for a long, long
pleasure is all mine, Mr. Andrews," she finally managed to say. She felt
like such an idiot all of a sudden.
then, Captain E. J. Smith walked by engaged in a highly animated conversation
with one of the passengers. Who else would it be but the elusive Doctor.
me, Miss Smith. Captain!" Mr. Andrews called out. "Please, forgive me,
but I really must speak with the Captain."
of course. I'm sure we will run into each other again sometime," she
little joke was not lost on the master shipbuilder and he chuckled softly.
"I look forward to it. Good night then, Miss Smith."
night," she smiled sweetly as he made to leave. "Oh, Mr.
Andrews," she called as he headed for the Captain and the Doctor.
turned back to her. "Yes?"
little man there, the one annoying Captain Smith," she indicated her
traveling companion, "well, he's called the Doctor. Please tell him that I
wish to see him right away. Otherwise he will hang around all night and you will
never get rid of him."
laughed heartily at this, which to her was like the finest music. "I will.
And, thanks for the advice."
waved good-bye and watched as he approached the two men. Once the Doctor had
left, she could just make out the Captain mouthing a relieved word of thanks to
Andrews for rescuing him from 'that man'. Mika folded her arms reproachfully as
the Doctor drew near.
is so important that you had to interrupt a very serious discussion Captain
Smith and I were having on the importance of the Marconi wireless in ocean
travel?" the Doctor demanded with only a semiseriously disapproving scowl.
Captain's sanity for starters," she quipped as she took him by the arm and
began leading him up the stairs.
ha, very funny, young lady." He changed the subject. "Have you figured
out anything yet as to our purpose here?"
she shook her head. "But then, I don't really know enough about what
happened that night to make any sort of judgment."
then. Let's go back to my TARDIS and do a little research, shall we? Maybe that
Mika nodded in agreement, and together they returned to their suite and the Doctor's time capsule.