~Sometime in the future~
Orpheus sat at Loki’s, sipping at would most assuredly be his last absinthe ever. Across the street he could see some of the townspeople trying to fight off the creatures now flooding into our universe from beyond the Aether. “Well, old boy,” he said to his glass, “we’ve failed. The city has fallen, and we are all dead men.” While he sat there, he played with the ring that he had once again removed from behind the loose brick. “Moriarty certainly won’t be missing this, and it is such a nice ring.” He placed the ring into a folded square of cloth and put it in his pocket. He got up from the table, picked up the pack he carried with him and headed for his Tardis, zapping the occasional crab with his screwdriver. The chime from the bell tower told him that it was almost time for him to put his final plan into motion.
At last, he reached the Tardis and locked the doors behind him. He removed the contents of the pack and began to lay them neatly into a large wooden crate. While the rest of the town, at least those who hadn’t evacuated before it was too late, scurried around fighting the various Aether Creatures let loose by the Van Creed’s failed attempt to harness the power of the aether gas, Orpheus had been running around town on a different mission. He gathered up artifacts – pictures of buildings, portraits, jewelery – anything that he felt represented New Babbage in her glory days. He had raided the archives and taken anything dealing with Malkuth, the Knights, the incident with the homunculous, and especially any and all documents from the Van Creed regarding the Aether Pump. There were letters, films, and finally the cloth covered ring. Orpheus took out one last piece of paper and wrote a short letter. After placing the letter in the box, he sealed it up and addressed it. Looking at the clock he knew that Jimmy and his ship would be leaving soon. He prepared the transmat beam to piggyback off the frequency being used to send Jimmy back. If everything worked, the items inside would be transported back as well, and delivered to his past self. With enough foreknowledge beyond what that blasted Writer told, he could prevent all of this.
Orpheus threw the ships engines into full blast and quickly found where Jimmy’s ship was launching from. He would only have a few seconds to transport the crate, so he had to be careful. He made one final adjustment, shut down his ships shields, and waited. Alarms began to sound. He looked in his view screen. Jimmy’s ship was airborne, and a large energy vortex was beginning to surround it. It was time! Orpheus hit the transport button and watch as the crate dematerialized. He hoped it would not be too late.
As soon as the crate vanished, Orpheus checked his screen again. The ship had vanished into the vortex, but the aether creatures still advanced. Why weren’t things changing? Had their attempts to change the past been thwarted? Was the town still doomed? Orpheus was lost in thought when the ship shuddered. Sparks flew from the console.
Orpheus fell as the leg of one of the creatures smashed through the wall of the ship. He rushed over to the Eye of Harmony, where he saw that all containment was failing. The ship was being filled with…. the same energy coming from the cracks. He had an idea.
With one final bit of fight in him, he coaxed the ship away from the swarm of creatures pouring out of a new crack. Another monster slammed into the ship, knocking him to floor again. He hit his head on the way down. Struggling to keep conscious, he pulled himself up. It was too late… The Tardis fell into the rift and exploded.