Summary: Sarah Jane Smith, you're needed.
Notes: For carawj
Mr Smith's screen didn't show his usual screensaver. Instead it had red text in a big font that read 'Sarah Jane, you're needed'. A question to Mr Smith about who wrote it led her downstairs to a woman standing beside a blue convertible.
"Emma Peel," she introduced herself, holding out her hand. "I heard you're the person to go to when the world needs saving."
"Sarah Jane Smith." She shook Emma's hand. "I suppose I am. Where did you hear about me?"
"Steed has connections," she said cryptically and smiled. "Get in."
The car was old, but Sarah Jane had to admit, it was fun to drive in. "What needs saving exactly?" she asked, going back to the important question.
"Time." Emma looked over at her, smiling. "A diabolical mastermind is wiping out whole decades of history. It was the 1960s only this morning."
"I have a computer that could help." Admittedly, Sarah Jane could phone him, if she dared get her mobile out in this wind, but he was a lot easier to talk to from the attic, which they were now travelling away from at a ludicrous speed for an old car.
"We don't need computers." Emma turned the car off down a lane and towards a large house.
Half of the house looked Tudor from the front, the other half looked like it had been built in the past twenty years. The two halves didn't quite mesh. As Emma parked the car in front of it, what Sarah Jane assumed was the butler opened the door.
"Mrs Peel," the butler said. "We've been expecting you."
"I do hope I'm not late. It's so hard to tell with the year changing so rapidly." Despite her light tone there was an underside of sarcasm that told Sarah Jane that perhaps Emma hadn't been expecting them to expect her.
"I'll sneak round the back," Sarah Jane said.
Emma gave a small nod and headed inside the house.
Sarah Jane left her to the mercies of the butler and meandered up the drive, pretending to look at the flowers. Once the front door was shut she ran as quietly as she could around the house until she found the back door. She soniced the lock and then set about finding the diabolical mastermind in charge of this house.
After two hallways, a kitchen, a library and a laundry room, she finally heard voices. One sounded a little like the butler, but the other was definitely Emma. They were behind a heavy, wooden door that was open a crack. Sarah Jane pushed it, hoping it wouldn't creak. Once she had it open far enough, she peered inside.
Emma was tied to a table, but pulling at the ropes that secured her. The butler was smiling and standing in front of a machine that took up a whole wall. It reminded her of the console in the TARDIS. This had the same buttons and levers, but was a different shape. As she watched, the butler pulled a lever and Emma began to grow wrinkles and her hair turned grey.
Sarah Jane opened the door with a crash. She couldn't let him age Emma. She aimed the sonic lipstick at the machine and it sparked.
"No!" the butler cried. "I won't let you get away with this!" He began pulling out wires, and as he was preoccupied, Sarah Jane went over to Emma to undo the ropes.
Her hands had some age spots, Sarah Jane noticed. "I'm sorry," she said.
"We haven't finished yet." As soon as she was free, Emma jumped up and kicked the butler, sending him flying into the machine.
It sparked some more, and Sarah Jane and Emma jumped back out of the way. The machine screeched before its humming quieted and finally stopped. The butler aged from forty to eighty in the space of a few minutes and finally dropped to the floor.
"Is that it?" Sarah Jane asked. But she could see that it was, just by looking at Emma. She was already going back to the age she'd been when they first met. "We did it!" She hugged Emma, who looked a bit surprised at the gesture.
"We're going back to the times we came from." That would explain why Emma was starting to look transparent. "I'm afraid you'll have to make your own way home."
As she disappeared the room around her changed and became a sitting room.
"How did you get in here?"
Sarah Jane turned to see a cross, well-dressed woman looking furious. She didn't stay and explain - it was always far better to run.