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- LORD TIME Divided into thirteen chapters, each with it's own link. CHAPTER BY CHAPTER - LT1 LT2  LT3 LT4 LT5    LT6   LT7  LT8    LT9      LT10    LT11   LT12 LT12b LT13

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN - BRAVE NEW GALIFREY

Ichabod’s dignified funeral was conducted almost entirely in silence. Beragon, as a former holy man of Thryxx, laid the little coffin gently down in the sand. The Doctor stood back, struggling with his grief. He had his hat in his hand. Ace had returned to her natural appearance, and wore a plain long black dress, and veil. Maxil wore the formal dress uniform of a Galifreyan Security Officer. Several Tine Lords came down, in accompaniment to their President, Lord Heirom, who was also dressed in formal black robes.

On Galifrey, an equally sombre memorial service was conducted. The silences were occasionally interspersed there with eulogies from people who had known Ichabod. Some Time Lords who had been saved by use of his Metamorphic Symbiosis Regenerator machines also paid tribute.

Doctor Meux was one of the most eloquent and moving speakers. He lamented Ichabod having had no choice but to be born on another world and. die elsewhere. He was a Gallifreyan. He was a Time Lord. He was one of us. He was my friend," Meux said.

A few Gallifreyans made angry but peaceful protests about the veneration of a murderer. They ignored the criticism that Marcher had been more responsible for that than Ichabod, who's only concern had been to cheat death.

What prayers were said on Thryxx were kept in the hearts of the people present. With Ichabod's service finished, The Doctor stepped slowly forward, and gently tipped from the glass container, a single grain of sand. "You're among friends here," he whispered. He looked round to where Ace had placed a single white rose over Ichabod's nearby final resting place. 'You were a man more sinned against than sinning,' he thought, and then he collapsed in a fit of convulsive weeping. Maxil started to walk over to help him, but Ace was already there. She put her arms firmly round his shoulders, and led him away. "Come on," she whispered, gently.

When it was finally over, the mourners walked back up the path leading close to the cliff tops under the brooding shadow of the grey moon that now forever dominated the skyline.

The Doctor had planned to leave Thryxx right away. Ace had insisted that they stay for a while. For once, as Maxil had demanded it of him, he accepted her advice. She told him bluntly that he wasn't yet ready to travel. He stayed, and acknowledged gratefully the thanks of many Thryxians, most of them former cultists. Beragon himself came over. "We owe you a great deal, Doctor," He said, simply, and shook him by the hand. He said nothing of whether he had considered a new religious belief or not.

Beragon asked about the kind of headstone Ichabod might require. Heirom suggested a simple modest monument, on the beach or close to it. He offered to send some of his people to help with the design.

For the Doctor, seeing the mourners begin to live their own lives again, happily swapping jokes, and considering their futures had the effect of cheering him up too. Ace was cheered up from her own melancholic introspection when the Doctor put his arm firmly on her shoulder and told her softly that he was quite proud of her. Though he said nothing more, it was enough.

The discovery that the Educational Adviser sent to Thryxx from Galifrey was The Teacher greatly surprised the Doctor. The old man stumbled up to the Doctor a few days after the funeral, to tell him that he had so much work to do here. "I'm finally away from all you pesky kids," he said, smiling. The Doctor smiled back. "Just tweak their ears every now and then. They'll soon realise who is in charge."

The Teacher laughed. "Oh, they are keen. They are clearly troubled by what happened here. The more they get to know of our true history the better."

"I guess it's the end of an era, isn't it," the Doctor sighed. It seemed to be a statement rather than a question. Asked what he meant by the Teacher, the Doctor explained what he thought. "Galifrey has always kept its past a guarded secret from other worlds, but here we are, sharing our knowledge with another people. We'll never be able to hide ourselves away any more."

"What makes you think that, Doctor?"

The stern commanding voice of Lord Heirom interrupted the conversation. With a nervous bow, The Teacher stood up, excused himself, and slipped away as quickly, but discreetly as he could. The Doctor repeated his conversation to Heirom. To his surprise, the President laughed. "No one will know about any of this, Doctor. I've taken Thryxx right out of time and space."

The Doctor was stunned.

"Don't look so shocked. It's for the best really. A lot of people on other worlds have seen the stars move around in The Doradi System. They are sending their spaceships out here to explore. They'll find nothing that can explain what happened. Oh, yes, they'll see the debris of a lot of smashed up planets..."

'All our doing," the Doctor sighed.

Heirom ignored him and continued, in the tone he adopted for formal propaganda broadcasts. "They'll see the destruction, but they won't know what caused it. Thryxx itself is protected by our shielding. We can see the new moon, but anyone else in space looking this way, will see absolutely nothing. Thryxx, and the TARDIS world are invisible. "

The Doctor scowled. He recalled the Ravalox Stratagem when Earth had been moved across the Galaxy in a similar conspirational manoeuvre. "Do they know what you've done?" he Doctor asked him, pointing to a Thryxian walking nearby.

"Yes. We discussed it in some detail with them. When we pointed out that they could easily attract other potential invaders, looking for our secrets, they agreed that it was probably for the best."

"So, you've turned Thryxx into a colonial conquest.. Like Lajox and Shada."

"No, I suggested it, in private meetings with Beragon and his people. He's a very good politician, Beragon. Full of questions, and doubts. A little like ourselves. I've... We've advised him to form a provisional government, from among his people. Your old pal, The Teacher will advise him on it."

"What's in it for Galifrey?"

"There are advantages, naturally. We could allow the women from Lajox to cone here... It will give them more freedom, and increase the number of women who can actually carry their babies inside them..., but it will also remind our people of what Marcher did... of what happened during my time in office. I'd rather that wasn't so. We are here to stay, I'm afraid. There really is no other alternative. "

The Doctor felt sure that he ought to protest in some way, but he knew that things had reached the best possible conclusion under the circumstances, for everyone.

Ace, now dressed in her familiar, comfortable leather jacket, looked round for the Doctor, and eventually found him sitting on the beach, staring at the distant tide. She sat down beside him, and asked him if the grain of sand in the little jar had been Ichabod's TARDIS.

The Doctor nodded his head.

"They can really shrink down that small?"

"Yes, smaller sometimes. It's our solution to the problem of how to get a ship inside a bottle."

"But the inside, that stays the same?"

"Oh, yes, the inside stays much bigger than the outside, but there is one obvious problem..."

"What's that?"

"Getting in and out through the Door." He laughed a little and threw a handful of sand at Ace. She laughed too, and threw sand back at him. They stayed on the beach for a while, playing like children.

They tidied themselves up and walked back to the main town, where a team of engineers from Galifrey had come to advise on how best to rebuild the fallen houses. The Thryxians ware now living in temporary facilities in what had been the TARDIS factory. Some of the TARDISES there that had survived the battle with Ichabod were also being used as overnight accommodation. Other TARDISES brought food and other vital supplies directly from Galifrey.

The Doctor and Ace got to their TARDIS where Maxil was standing, leaning against the door of the police box. Ace ran over and hugged him. He asked her if she felt all right. She assured him that she had very little memory of any events after she was trapped in the Zero room. She asked him where he had been since the funeral.

"Alone," he sighed. "I just had to get away on my own and think about a few things."

The Doctor stood a polite distance away, and waved his hat to pass his greetings to Maxil.

Ace was tempted to ask what he had thought about, and she was struggling to resist the temptation when a TARDIS materialised a few feet away. The TARDIS quickly turned into a stone temple pillar that was slightly broken at the top. Its door opened, and Lord Heirom stepped out, still in his full Presidential regalia.

"Ah, Doctor," he said, smiling. "I'm glad to catch you again before you go off joy-riding once more. I think its only fair that you should be justly rewarded for your work in saving Galifrey .... yet again."

The Doctor smiled, and raised his eyebrows. Ace giggled. She knew that he had hoped to escape before any such presentation could be made. She enjoyed the thrill of watching him squirm with acute embarrassment.

Heirom waved his arms grandly, as though he had a major audience rather than just a few people. The Doctor wondered seriously if he was somehow being filmed for a Public Access Video presentation.

"How would you like a brand new TARDIS, Doctor?" Heirom shouted triumphantly. "This one behind me, for instance.."

The Doctor turned to Ace. She was stunned by the ashen expression on his face. "Get in the TARDIS, quickly," he said. Ace walked to the police box door, opened it with her key, and stood there, peeping out.

The Doctor was slowly edging his way round Heirom towards his TARDIS. "It's a very generous offer, Sir, but no thank you."

Heirom looked very taken aback. "You don't honestly want to stick with that scrap-heap of yours do you? Oh, really Doctor. It's so obsolete."

"Thank you, but no thank you, Sir," The Doctor said, starting to run to his own TARDIS.

Heirom stared to follow him, spluttering, and imploring his, but he was distracted by the sound behind him of the gleaming new presentation TARDIS dematerialising. He looked round just in time to see it vanish.

Ace had seen Maxil rush into it, as had the Doctor. Heirom stood looking at them in shock and disbelief. The Doctor walked back over towards him with a casual shrug.

"Well, I couldn't use it, and he needed one. Why not present it to him? He did as much as Ace and myself. More, possibly."

"I had a reward for him. "Heirom growled. I was going to give him Marcher' s job. "

"Do you really want to reward me?" The Doctor asked him. Heirom nodded his head. "Then don't pursue him. Turn a blind eye to his disappearance."

"You mean, I should just let him go.." "Yes, as a favour to me."

"I'll have to think about it..."

"Good,' the Doctor said, as though he had a hard and conclusive favourable reply. "That's settled then. Cheerio."

With that, he leapt back through his TARDIS doors, and within seconds the blue police box had also vanished.

Heirom, President Elect of Galifrey, realised with some alarm that he had been left without a lift back to his own TARDIS, which was stationed at the main education centre set up for the Teacher's benefit. He started to walk, and as he walked he thought of what Marcher had tried to accomplish. He wondered if Rassilon and Omega's original experiment with the Bye of Harmony couldn't be replicated some day. He decided to set up a team who could look into the theoretical possibilities, in complete and total secrecy, naturally.

The Universe is in real trouble now," the Doctor said, unable to stop himself from laughing.

Ace was sore sober in her reflection on the situation. "He'll be all alone. I hope he's going to be all right, I mean, you've always had someone to help keep you out of trouble."" What makes you think he's on his own?" The Doctor asked.

"Where. Are. We. Going. Sir? Do you have any plans?"

Maxil grinned and waved his staser rifle, as he looked reverentially at the controls on the console in front of him. "I thought we night start by finding out what these So called Dominators are up to. They've been to enough other planets, so lets go to theirs."

"As. You. Wish. Sir. Kindly. Summon. Me. When. You. Are. Ready." Savatar began to run round the infinite corridors of the TARDIS. He knew now that he would never be forced to stand still again.

FIN!

I hope that I have taken the established Galifreyan myth to new heights here. This is purposefully an epic tale, with many worlds and time periods explored. Two major villains for the price of one certainly gives you your money’s worth, and I hope you find all this as readable as any professionally produced novel. The best Who novels are those which could only have been done as ‘Who’ stories, the worst are those which are just any old SF story with the Doctor (any Doctor at that) thrown in as a familiar character for the reader). This story should be seen as having been impossible to tell without the seventh Doctor and Ace.

Arthur Chappell

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- LORD TIME Divided into thirteen chapters, each with it's own link. CHAPTER BY CHAPTER - LT1 LT2  LT3 LT4 LT5    LT6   LT7  LT8    LT9      LT10    LT11   LT12 LT12b LT13