My youngest turns 9 today, and has a Doctor Who themed birthday party this weekend. One of the entertainments is a sort of puzzle game that I wrote, which I hope won't prove too difficult for the kids to figure out. I reproduce it, without all of the fun graphics, below:
The Third Intergalactic Peace Conference was held on Station Zed Alpha near the borders of Draconian space. The delegates were there to draft a treaty for mutual defence against the Daleks. The delegates included:
- Earth Adjudicator Kim Worthington
- Alpha Centauri
- Ice Lord Sarl from Mars
- The Draconian Ambassador
- Commander Storr of the 7th Sontaran Fleet
- Bexes, a Tree from the Forest of Cheem
- Sister Manas from New Earth
- Administrator Horth, a Silurian from Earth
- Loboromo of the Judoon
- Navarino Ambassador Zor
In addition, there were, at various times during the proceedings, twelve surprising guests – each one an incarnation of the Doctor. At some point during the Conference, the signed Peace Treaty disappeared. It is feared that one of the delegates is an agent of the Daleks.
The Doctors have given testimony in message cubes. You can look at one message cube at a time. The delegates are also present for you to question, if you wish.
Your mission is to find the Peace Treaty, and figure out who, if anyone, is working for the Daleks.
TESTIMONY OF THE DELEGATES
Earth Adjudicator Kim Worthington
As Adjudicator for Earth, I supported the Peace Treaty. It was my idea to include the Judoon and the Sontarans. Both are warlike races, but both would benefit from a secure alliance. The Judoon would gain policing authority over the border areas where Daleks have been attacking out colonies. The Sontarans would gain allies against the Daleks, which would allow them to focus on their millennia-old war against the Rutans. They would also get to fight the Daleks, and the Sontarans have never turned down being included in any military force.
I don’t understand why Commander Storr acted the way he did. Before lunch, he wanted nothing to do with the Daleks. It was almost as though he were afraid of them, if that is possible. After lunch, he said he had only just arrived, and reversed his earlier position. Sontar almost declared war on the Alliance when we questioned his honesty.
Then the Peace Treaty disappeared. I hope that we can find it.
My people are peaceful, and do not like all this talk of war. I agree with the other delegates – we must defend ourselves against the Daleks – but I do not like it. It was very nice seeing the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith again, though. I met them on Peladon, a primitive world, but a staunch ally of the Galactic Federation.
Ice Lord Sarl from Mars
My people care a great deal about war and honour. Once, we were enemies of the Earth. Now, we are ready to stand with our allies.
The Ice Warriors spend most of their lives in armour. We learn to recognize small differences. Commander Storr changed after lunch. This was not the same Sontaran who argued so forcefully against alliance before lunch. I do not know how he changed. I do know that he changed.
The Draconian Ambassador
We have a great deal of respect for the Doctor. We were glad to see him attend this Conference in so many of his forms. The Daleks have attempted to trick the Earth and Draconia in the past. The Doctor saved us from a grievous conflict that would have decimated both planets. They will not do so again.
Commander Storr of the 7th Sontaran Fleet
I am Commander Storr, of clone batch 3 million 4 hundred and 27. My arrival was delayed by a Rutan aggressor, which was dispatched by the 7th Sontaran Fleet 100 million kilometres away from our current position. When I arrived, the Doctor and others claimed that I had already been here, and that I had argued against an alliance. This is not true! This alliance against the Daleks makes good strategic sense, giving Sontar the opportunity to consolidate its forces against the hated Rutans and offering glorious combat against a superior foe. Sontar-Ha!
The Judoon also claim that I was here. At first I suspected a Rutan trick – they can take the shape of other beings – but a DNA scan confirmed my identity when I came aboard…two hours before my actual arrival! The station log cannot be falsified, yet I know that I was not here!
My clone batch comprises 2 million individuals with the same DNA. I have contacted Sontaran High Command to ensure that all active members of the clone batch are accounted for.
Bexes, a Tree from the Forest of Cheem
My people came from the Earth, and our roots there go deep. We came when the Earth called for allies. It is true that we do not love things made of metal, and we do not love war, but we remember where we came from. Besides, the Daleks are the enemies of everyone.
Sister Manas from New Earth
I am here only as an observer. I represent the Sisters of Plenitude on New Earth, currently headquartered in New New New New New York. I must say that this Peace Conference has been unusual. Several strange people have come and gone, and there have been strange noises. Grinding, wheezing…I do not know how to describe them. Someone must be ill, for at least either different doctors have been present, some dressed quite bizarrely.
Administrator Horth, a Silurian from Earth
Of course the Silurian Confederation stands with Earth. We are the original occupants of the Earth. Our species went into hibernation long ago. When we awoke, we found our world inhabited by the descendants of the small mammals that raided our fields. There was conflict, all too often, but now we have learned to live together in harmony.
I am here as the Administrator of the Pond-Copper Institute. We take apart captured Dalek pieces to try to find weaknesses. They are cyborg creatures, part machine, and part living being. Much of their behaviour is programmed into them by their travel machine casings. Someday, we may even find a way to live in harmony with the Daleks. We just need to find a way to stop the machine part from programming them to hate everything that isn’t a Dalek.
Loboromo of the Judoon
Lo go flo ro slo mow toe row. Blow mow flo go so hoe row mow. Doh so tro grow no. Bo joe hoe mow slow flow row grow plo lo moe lo so go.
Navarino Ambassador Zor
Navarinos are peaceful. We’re not fighters, but we love the Earth, especially the Classic Era Earth of the 50’s, the 60’s, and the 70’s. We are technologically oriented enough to provide means of defence against the Daleks. We do not create weapons. The Transformation Arch was installed for my use, so that I could take this form. You humanoids sometimes find my natural form…distressing.
Someone has tampered with the Arch. It is now set to transform whoever passes through it into a much smaller form. Some kind of insect, I believe.
MESSAGE CUBE DISPATCHES FROM THE DOCTOR
“Hmmm? Yes? Oh, enough of this bother. Yes, I was at the Conference with Susan and her two teachers, Barbara and Chesterfield. Chesterton. Humph. Yes, you could say I saw the Peace Treaty? Is that what this is all about, hmmm? It was all rolled up and wrinkled. A dreadful sight. Did you know those papers even had a dead fly stuck to them? No, I didn’t keep them. I gave them to a young man in a rather tasteless jumper. The whole thing had nothing to do with me. I was still trying to get those two young people home to Earth, and didn’t mean to be there at all.
“If I may make some observations, though? Did you consider the Transformation Arch? Hmmm? Perhaps someone there wasn’t exactly who they claimed to be?”
“Oh dear, oh dear. Yes, I was at the Peace Conference. With Jamie and Zoe. Well, I’d helped to set it up when I was, well, the older me, and I just wanted to see how it turned out. Educational, too, for Zoe at any rate. I’m not sure how much Jamie was able to absorb. Well, I left when I head that Commander Storr arguing with…well, Storr called him Doctor. It’s a good idea to remember your past, but not always a good idea to see your future, if you follow me. I’m afraid, in my haste, I knocked over my drink. Oh my giddy aunt! I hope that didn’t cause a problem!”
“Ah, yes, the Third Intergalactic Peace Conference. I helped set that up, you know, as a favour for the Emperor of Draconia. I took Sarah Jane for a brief visit, just to see how our old friend, Alpha Centauri, was getting along. A bit grey around the tentacles, but still the same old Alpha Centauri. We just stopped for a quick drink and a sandwich. Well, you see, I promised Sarah Jane a trip to Florana, the famous planet of flowers, and we had to be getting on. No, we didn’t make it. The TARDIS got pulled a little off track. We ended up in Manchester. The planet Manchester. Not nearly as pleasant as you might imagine.”
“Of course I was there! Of course! They needed someone practical, and intelligent, and…well, intelligent, to help them sort things out. Besides, there was that Sontaran, Storr. Never trust a Sontaran, I say. Don’t I say that, Romana? Never trust a Sontaran. Caught him trying to steal the Peace Treaty from the vent by the Transformation Arch. Sontarans aren’t usually that sneaky. Usually they’re all shouting and zapping people, but they can be tricky. They once tried to invade Gallifrey, you know. Also, someone nicked my TARDIS. Oh, I know. Romana said the same thing. Just forgot where I parked the old girl. But I’m telling you, someone took my TARDIS and landed it behind those potted ferns…Hmmm…Would you care for a jelly baby? The orange ones are my favourites.”5th Doctor
“I see. I did go to Zed Alpha to set up a Transformation Arch, because the Time Lords asked me to. No, I didn’t attend the conference. I had already been there four times, and it didn’t seem like a good idea. The Transformation Arch? That’s a technology to change from one species to another on a cellular level. The delegates wanted it for the convenience of the Navarino delegate. In their native form, they look a bit like large purple starfish. They aren’t easy to communicate with in their native form, you know. They do seem to like playing at being other species; I know of at least one tour group that takes Navarino tourists to Disney World.”
“If you must know, I did dignify the Conference with my sartorial splendour. Was it bad? Bad? Bad? Bad? Why they bothered to invite the Sontarans is entirely beyond me. Their Commander Storr tried to ruin the entire conference. And then, after lunch, he had the gall to call me a liar and pretend that he had just arrived. If it wasn’t for my inherent abhorrence for violence I don’t know what I would have done. Challenge him to a duel, most likely. Sontarans actually like that kind of thing. Anyhow, before lunch, Commander Storr did everything he could to push against an alliance, and after lunch Commander Storr did everything he could do to push for an alliance. But, by then, the Peace Treaty had disappeared! No, I don’t know where. I’m as confused as the rest of you.”
“Strange, don’t you think? The way time’s ripples catch us up. I took Ace to the Peace Conference on Zed Alpha. I’d been there before. You have to be careful, or time’s ripples will catch you up, and then who knows what will happen? I think it was because of the Sontarans that we went. I had never heard of Sontarans engaged in making peace. The Sontarans are a clone species, with batches that number in the millions. That makes them a bit like Time Lords you see, each clone being almost like a different incarnation of the same being. I had hopes for Commander Storr. He had a clone, Battle Leader Svarr, who was court martialled for cowardice when fighting the Daleks on Exxilon 5. I had hoped it wasn’t cowardice. Maybe he just wanted peace. But Storr turned out to be a typical Sontaran after all. A pity.”
“I did go to the Third Galactic Peace Conference. I meant to go to the Fifth. Just to help out Ambassador Kelvin with the tricky problem of Durable Solids. Not important to the Third conference at all, and I’ll get there eventually, if the TARDIS lets me. So, let’s see. I got there just in time to see my second incarnation leaving with Jamie and Zoe in tow towards the wrong TARDIS. We eventually got that sorted out, too. I’d spilled my drink, that is, the early me had spilled the earlier me’s drink, right onto the Peace Treaty. So I scooped it up, and set it near a vent to dry, no one the wiser. No, I left it in plain sight. Then I nipped away – in the right TARDIS – and managed to sort out the other Doctor’s TARDISes, too, without anyone being any the wiser.”
“Yeah, I was there, not long after the bit with the Slitheen crashing into Big Ben. Rose was with me, so that was all right, yeah? Ran into myself, oh, half a dozen times, without the earlier versions of me knowing it. No, I didn’t tell Rose. She’s still getting used to the whole 900 year old alien thing. I even saw the original. Handed myself some papers. I hadn’t even remembered doing that, but I must have done. They were all rolled up and creased, so I put them in the library to straighten out. Zed Alpha has a huge library. I stuck them in the big Atlas of Peladon. I like Peladon. Lovely planet, lots of mountains. I wonder if old Aggedor would still recognize me? I’ve changed a lot since the last time I was there.”
“You know what I like about a good piece of ventilation? No flies. I mean, who lets flies get into a space station? There I am, at the Peace Conference, ready to tuck into a good little bit of lunch, and there’s a fly buzzing around. Luckily, there was some paper lying on the floor, so I rolled it up. Took three tries, but I got him. Even with that guy in the fez who kept getting in the way…What? I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t know.”
“No no no no no no no no! It wasn’t my fault. I mean, it was my fault, but it wasn’t my fault. I mean, I was younger when everything really bad happened. First off, I was all teeth and curls and a really cool scarf when I fiddled with the Transformation Arch. I don’t even know why I did that. It just seemed interesting at the time. And cool. I didn’t know I had actually done anything. And then I was arguing about that Sontaran who found the Peace Treaty drying on the vent by the Arch, because I hadn’t put it there yet. Then Rory tripped over my scarf…I mean the early me’s scarf, and knocked the Sontaran through the Transformation Arch. And he turned into a small insect. I think he turned into a fly. And then skinnier early me with the sand shoes…squished him. Just a little. But it must have turned out all right, because he was back at the table after lunch.”
“Of course I went to the Peace Conference. I’d been there eleven times already, and I think I remember seeing myself at least once. I mean, I didn’t know it was me at the time, but if I didn’t go, that would be a paradox, and the universe hates paradoxes. Besides, it was fun. I spent the entire time playing attack eyebrows with a Sontaran. You know what’s fun about arguing with a Sontaran? No eyebrows to speak of. Really, how can a Sontaran argue with these eyebrows, when he’s got none of his own? Sontar HA! Never trust a Sontaran.”
FINAL CHANCE: Dispatch from Sontar
All active members of clone batch 3,000,427 accounted for. Inactive members include 454,302 who have died in battle for the greater glory of the Sontaran Empire. Sontar-Ha! Remaining inactive member of clone batch 3,000,427 is Former Battle Leader Svarr, court martialled for cowardice: Refusal to fight against Daleks in the Battle of Exxilon 5. Strategic calculations indicate high probability of Traitor Svarr operative in area of Station Zed Alpha. Imperative that Traitor Svarr be located and apprehended.