Cardinal Dynami showed the finalised version
of the creation to Lord Rotcod, who was in reality an alternate incarnation of the Doctor called the Valeyard. The subject
was perfect in his opinion but he knew from experience that the Valeyard had a better eye for detail. "Is it perfect my lord?"
will do Dynami, it will do. The artificers of the Arcadian order suspect nothing of our plans?" The Valeyard looked into the
timid eyes of his follower for the slightest trace of doubt or uncertainty.
"No my lord, I told them nothing. It upset
them a little, dented their pride I expect, but as you can see the end result is to your liking." Dynami's brow started to
sweat under the piercing hawk like gaze of Lord Rotcod.
"I said that it would do Dynami. There are a few touches here and
there than need improving but nothing that we ourselves cannot attend to."
"Of course my lord, I shall see to them at once."
incompetent impostor who thinks she is me will be in for a shock when she discovers that David Mason is alive and well!" The
Valeyard laughed to himself. "At least that is until the bomb planted inside the homunculus detonates and the universe is
rid of her intolerable, sickly presence once and for all."
Claire stood on the edge of the diving board, dressed
in a black and pink one piece swimming suit, her hair stuffed under a white cap to keep it out of her eyes. The last few weeks
of preparation would finally pay off. All those lessons and the one to one tuition with Hannah must have done her some good,
even if her mind had constantly wandered. She jumped, tucked, straightened out and plunged head first, arms flailing into
ten feet of ice-cold water. When she finally surfaced she sucked in lungfuls of lovely air before managing to make it to the
metal ladders. The Doctor wrapped a large wonderfully warm towel around her body as she hugged herself to stop the shivering.
"Did I do well?"
"It was an unusual technique." The Doctor was forced to be diplomatic. "Maybe with a little more practice?"
I think Hannah still has a few things to teach me." Claire waved at her instructor and winked.
There was a strange bleeping
from the Doctors waistcoat pocket. She fished inside and pulled out: an uneaten apple, which she handed to Claire; a pocket
watch; a compact and an alarm. "Hmmm this is interesting, a warp in the space / time continuum. Most unusual signature too.
This could be someone testing a time machine. There's probably some poor pet being hurled forwards and backwards in time like
there's no yesterday. The sad thing is it won't survive rematerialisation, unless they've discovered the Imprimatur."
sick, Doctor. Who would harm a pet animal?" Claire took a large bite out of the apple. "Mmmm this is good, so what do we do;
pop over and have a chat?"
"You can stay here and practice your diving if you want to, there's no reason for you to be
bored as well. I just hope it's not them up to their old tricks again."
A figure dressed in black robes appeared in front
of the Doctor and Claire. Claire liked his fashion sense.
"Ah there you are. My you have changed since we last talked.
I was told about it of course but I had to see it with my own eyes."
"The Agency wants me to investigate that time disturbance?"
Not one to gossip too much to CIA agents the Doctor got down to business.
"Yes, we have detected ripples of zero point
three from that little display. Nothing serious yet, but it's a matter of time, if you pardon my pun."
from a distance. It watched the strange yellow haired woman. Soon, it could feel death coming soon. The final release, it
could not survive its birth but all it needed to do was watch.
Claire stood in the secluded shade of a small copse
of trees and watched as the Doctor vanished inside the TARDIS and she slowly walked back to where Hannah was waiting for her.
"That's her out of the way, now we can relax."
"I know this bar, its not far away you'll like it there. There's no need
to get changed yet though, we have all day." Hannah took hold of Claire's hand and they walked back towards the Doctor and
Claire's hotel room. They kissed once in front of the masses of people, just to silence the leering stares of a group of yobbish
The TARDIS materialised inside a small grey room. It was always small grey rooms or corridors with the TARDIS;
the old girl had a fondness for these types of locations. It must feel at home in these surrounding the Doctor mused. "Hello,
come out come out where ever you are. Don't you know that Time Travel is very dangerous?" The Doctor was answered with a gun
barrel in her lower spine. "Now is that anyway to greet your new best friend hmmm?"
"What do you want? The guard's gruff
voice demanded. "How did you get in here anyway? This is a top secret research base."
"The answers you seek are in the
stars, and coincidentally that's where I'm from too. I've come to see someone about dangerously primitive time experiments.
I want them stopped."
"You're not from here are you? I mean not from this world. They'll want to dissect you in one of
the medical labs I expect, that means I can't shoot you."
"Shoot me? Why would anyone want to shoot me? I'm a Time Lady,
not some half baked tin pot invader like your run-of-the-mill Ogron you know. We'll have no more talk about cutting me open
either, once was quite enough thank you very much. Now stop standing there and take me to your leader. Omega, I hate saying
It watched the younger woman now, the one with the black hair. She was with her associate, walking through the streets.
It was near the time of first contact. It was necessary to implement the ritual of procedure. This would eliminate all possible
threat the Doctor posed to the situation.
"This is the place." Hannah opened the door and ushered Claire inside.
bad," Claire said looking at a wall-sized picture of Marilyn Monroe, "shall I find a seat while you order?"
a nice alcove over there. It's a sort of tradition that first timers sit on that side of the room." Hannah headed towards
the bar to order their drinks.
There was a shadow across the table and Claire looked up, expecting to see Hannah with the
drinks. "That was quick..." her mouth hung open when she saw whom it was.
"Hi Sis, long time no see." David Mason sat down
next to his sister.
"David?" Claire broke into tears of joy. Oh my god! I thought you were dead."
"Didn't the Doctor
tell you I was alive? She told me that she didn't want me getting in the way anymore. She abandoned me, left me the prisoner
of those metal geezers."
"She told me that they turned you into one of them, she said she had to kill the monster they
turned you into."
David wiped away Claire's tears. "She was lying Claire, she set that whole situation to have you to herself,
"Hey, this seat's taken." Hannah, returned from the bar, placed the drinks on the table.
"It's okay Hannah,
this is David; he's my brother." Claire did the introductions. "He's been away for a while but he's back now."
give you two some room." Hannah turned to leave.
"No, stay. I want him to be the first to know about us." Claire took hold
of Hannah's hand and gently tugged her down onto the seat beside her.
A single white light shone into the Doctor's eyes,
darkening the rest of the room. She could sense one other in the room but it wasn't until he started speaking that she could
determine he was a he.
"Who are you?"
"I'm the Doctor."
"What do you want?"
The Doctor squirmed on the metal chair.
"A more comfortable chair, a cup of tea and my fluffy hedgehog slippers." She held up her feet to emphasise the point.
are you here?"
"To put a stop to your time experiments or make them safe, whichever will produce the more lasting stability
of the space/time continuum."
"Who do you serve?"
The Doctor yawned. "I'm a free agent."
"I see." The examiner had
finished his questions. "Take her out and shoot her, she's obviously a spy for the Galatron Temporal Corporation."
Galatron Temporal Corporation? Sil? I might have known. Never trust anyone who eats chopped marsh minnows." The Doctor relaxed
and folded her arms across her stomach. The room lights came on to reveal her inquisitor; a squat red and orange skinned twelve-armed
"I am Faz-huq and I represent the Beeblebrox - Bellatrix Consortium. We're a small but dedicated team of scientists
dedicated to solving the last great challenge of the Universe, time travel." Faz-huq passed the humanoid female a gold embossed
business card. "My instincts tell me to let you be shot but what you said before about helping to make our experiments safe
interests us. Can you make time travel safe for us?"
"Well you're not the first to ask me that but once I've had a look
at your equipment I'll be in a position to see just how close or far you really are."
"The Doctor's got some explaining
to do when she gets back." Claire slammed her empty glass down on the table. "I trusted her."
"What do we really know about
her anyway?" David asked. "She's a Time Lady, she meddles her way through history on a billion worlds and she, well that's
all we know really. She never tells anyone the whole truth and she's obviously running away from something big."
me once that she's got family but she never goes into specifics."
"She's a time traveller? I don't believe it." Hannah
was shocked and surprised by the conversation.
"Time travel is possible, but she's never explained how it works to either
of us. All she said was don't interfere and don't wear digital watches. I'd never even heard of a digital watch then, were
from nineteen sixty seven by the way."
"Wow, this is too much." Hannah stood up to leave. "I'll see you tomorrow for practice?
This is, like, so ... too intense." She walked away before Claire could kiss her goodbye.
"I'm sorry, I scared her." David
apologised to his sister.
"I should have told her when I met her, I wouldn't want something like this dropped on me from
nowhere." Claire rested her chin on the palm of her hands, supporting the weight on her elbows.
the strange Doctor female a second chocolate biscuit to go with her noxious herb beverage. Why no one else liked Zarbi juice
was beyond him, perhaps it was those unfortunate adverts from the Zarbi liberation front, or maybe the fact it was poisonous
to every species but his own and the Hoothi. "So you will agree to try the device out for us?" He asked politely.
I've given it the once over." The Doctor paused to suck air through her front teeth. "It needs a lot of work and there are
some vital components missing but it should be safe enough for me or others of my people." She polished off the biscuit and
her tea. "In fact there's no time like the present. With a dramatic gesture she removed the silver cloth from the covered
machine. It was a pitiful looking pile of junk, all bare wires and bolted on parts added as an after thought. "They tell me
the mark two should be ready soon which is good because you're not going to win any design awards I'm afraid."
we'll send you five minutes forward into the future, Doctor. We don't want you arriving before you arrive do we?"
I always avoid Paradoxes wherever possible. There's a story about that I'll tell you later." With a flick of the wrist and
the rapid depression of thirty control studs the device was powered up and ready to depart. "To infinity and beyond." The
Doctor shouted eagerly. "I saw that in the cinema once." She explained as the device dematerialised.
Faz-huq smiled, the
device had indeed dematerialised perfectly. He turned as his business partner entered the room. "Ah Lord Rotcod, I see your
device works perfectly."
"She actually used that pile of spare parts? Sloppy Doctor, very sloppy." The Valeyard sneered;
he would never have fallen for anything so obvious.
The device materialised safely inside the Doctors TARDIS. The
much more advanced craft wheezed and groaned as the inferior machines dimensional flux rubbed a few sore edges. "Talk about
not falling for something so obvious." The Doctor clapped her hands together in joy. "That's taken care of that problem very
nicely." A liberal application of the sonic screwdriver attended to the problem in a permanent manner. She then set the TARDIS
controls to return the where she had left her companion, hopefully she won't have brought civilisation to its knees, like
that time on Deltron Beta when a wrong word had started a planet wide riot.
Claire let herself and David into the
room; it was still as it was before so she tidied up the pizza boxes and chocolate wrappers. Right on cue her pillbox chimed
and she took one of the pills with half a glass of water. "Nothing changes huh?"
"Guess there's still a bit of you left
after all. I thought she would have tried to turn you into little miss prim and proper by now." David helped to finish the
"So where've you been? How did you get here?" Claire sat cross-legged on her nearly tidy bed, a large pillow
on her lap.
"I found myself locked inside some prison cell on my own. I dunno how long I was there but by the time they
rescued me I had a huge bushy beard." He laughed softly.
"I'd have loved to have seen that." Claire joined in the laughter
and hugged her brother. Emotions welled up in her heart suddenly and she started to sob with joy, relief and happiness.
time Faz-huq; well, where is she?" The Valeyard tapped his foot softly but in the spacious room it sounded like thunder.
do not know Lord, maybe the craft did not survive?"
"Unlikely. I built it myself. It may look like a pile of junk but it's
state of the art underneath the surface." The Valeyard paused for a second. "She obviously saw through the surprise, you've
failed." He pulled out a short stubby box and pointed it at the grovelling insectoid.
"Please spare me my lord." Faz-huq
begged for his life.
"Oh I'm not going to kill you. In fact I hate violence as a rule, it's not very subtle and always
crude." There was a shriek and rush of wind as the sound of a type seventy TT capsule materialised above Faz-huq. The Valeyard
smiled as it came crashing down on the pathetic creature, bright orange bodily fluid bubbled out from the edges of the craft.
"There's always an exception to every rule though. However that fool, the Doctor, is rushing headlong into an even more subtle
plan, one that will change her poor excuse of a life for the worse." Realising there was no one for him to gloat to he entered
his time machine and it vanished into the vortex, leaving only a flat corpse in its stead.
The console bleeped
softly, indicating a successful landing. The Doctor wandered in, sporting a change of clothes. Her green velvet suit had given
way to a pair of white cotton flares and jacket with equally flared sleeves. Around her waist was tied a number of colourful
ribbons of various patterns and designs. She finished the outfit off with a nice pair of silver four-inch heeled boots. She
remembered the first time she had tried female shoes on, it was nearly two years ago now. She smiled to herself as she exited
the TARDIS into the secluded patch of trees.
David's head jerked up suddenly. "She's here. I can feel her presence
"Oh don't be so melodramatic David, I'm sure she didn't know you survived. If she had known she
would have rescued you, I'd have made her."
"You really are a warm, generous person sis, I'm glad she hasn't infected you
with her cancerous lies and thoughts. I think it may be better if I left now, I really have nothing I want to say to her.
It was good seeing you again, I hope...I hope you don't give in to her evil designs."
"David Mason, you'll stay right there.
If there's any explanations to do then she can do them to the two of us." Claire stood in between David and the door.
Doctor tried the door handle; it was unlocked. "Claire, are you in here? It's a lovely day outside. I saw your friend Hannah
down by the pool." She saw the back of Claire's head and someone in front of her, their face obscured. Then Claire moved and
the Doctor saw the other person. "David?" Her knees gave way and the Doctor sank to the floor. "In Rassilon's name you're
alive." Tears streamed down her face. "I thought you were, I thought you were dead."
"I would have been. You left me to
rot in a cell for an eternity. You left me Doctor, you just assumed that fake was really me and you left me."
David, I didn't know what to do and I was in shock."
"See how she lies Claire? See how she wriggles her way out of it with
a few insincere words? See how she hides her true feelings? She's a monster, a cancer, a killer."
"Why did you leave him
behind Doctor?" Claire asked the distraught Time Lady. "Why didn't you make sure?"
"I'm so sorry Claire, you have to believe
me. I was so sure, so certain. I saw him change into a Cyberman in front of my eyes. It was so real, so very real." The Doctor
tried to stand up but her legs rebelled and she fell backwards onto the cold tiled floor.
"You have no idea, do you? No
idea how I was treated? No food for weeks at a time until one day they simply sealed my cell up and I was left to die. I had
to survive by eating insects, insects! I somehow managed to work a seam free with a broken chair leg only to discover the
complex they were using abandoned and alone. There was some food left, it was rotting but it was the sweetest nectar. Salvage
rats found me weeks later, I was cold, naked and half mad with isolation. They spent three months helping me to remember even
my name. It was bad Claire, very bad and it was all her fault." David pointed an accusing finger at the prone figure of the
Doctor. "If you excuse me I'd rather be else where right now." He opened the door to leave.
"How did you get here?" It
was a simple question, but one that the Doctor needed an answer to.
"One of your other selves found me, I was on Dulkis
recovering when I heard about a strange eccentric man called the Doctor. I made contact with one of your companions and they
got him to let me travel with him."
"Dulkis? I haven't heard that name in a very long time. I was there once with Jamie
and Zoe, we stopped an invasion by the Dominators. I don't remember picking up any hitch hikers though."
"Not one of your
past selves, one of your other selves. The one you call the Valeyard. He rescued me."
"The Valeyard? Why would he go out
of his way to help someone? Especially someone who shot him in the leg?"
David stood over the fallen figure of the Doctor.
"It seems he has more compassion in his soul than you ever could Doctor. He rescued me so that I might tell Claire the truth
about how manipulative and destructive you really are."
"That's not true. I don't know how's he's poisoned you against
me David but compared to my faults, yes I admit I have faults but compared to them the Valeyard is evil personified. You say
I'm destructive but who's the one doing all the damage? It's his lies that's doing all this."
"Lies or truth Doctor?" Claire
asked. "What is the truth Doctor?"
"Claire please believe me, I had no idea your brother survived and I'm sorry it's affected
him so badly. I truly am, please believe me."
"Oh she doesn't trust you Doctor." The Valeyard stood in the doorframe behind
the Doctor. "It's so glad to see you're where you belong Doctor, grovelling at the feet of others. The truth of the matter
is that you can't be trusted, you lie, you deceive and you've never once told anyone who you really are."
are you doing this?" The Doctor, feeling anger surge through her slender figure stood up. "Why?"
"She's a threat David,
On the Valeyard's commands David gripped the Doctor's shoulder in his grip. She screamed as bones were crushed
under his grip.
"What have they done to you David?" The Doctor could barely speak through the flood of pain in her shoulder.
there's really very little of David left. I found his remains after the Cybermen had evacuated that miserable excuse for a
space station. His memory circuits were very badly damaged but there was enough left of his original personality to allow
me to create and program a suitable homunculus. In many ways this really is your brother Claire but unlike you he is totally
under my command. No don't cry my dear, soon you too will join him as one of my own travelling companions." The Valeyard laughed
as realisation dawned on Claire. "I haven't lied to you and neither has he. He told you exactly what I programmed him to remember,
you can't blame him really and I've been honest with you too.
"You want to turn me into some kind of zombie robot?" Claire
didn't like what she was hearing one bit, she was so confused.
"You have no choice, stay with her and you'll end up a sterile,
loveless, unhappy woman. You're damned either way." The Valeyard held out his hand. "Join me, join us, I hate to see a broken
family. You can live forever."
Claire looked at the Doctor and then the Valeyard. "Go to hell, both of you. To hell with
all of you." She slammed the door behind her as she ran out of the room.
"Not quite the answer I expected, but that's what
we always liked about them isn't it? Their unpredictability, we used to leech their lives remember? We were nothing without
them, living our lives through them. Yes don't deny it, I am you remember." The Valeyard stared at the female incarnation
of his thirteenth persona. "You're even worse than the earlier versions, I got all the personality and self esteem while you
were left with a gaping hole in your psyche."
"It's not true, it's not true." The Doctor tried to free herself but she
couldn't. "I am the Doctor."
"You're nothing my dear, you're counterfeit merchandise. Poor little pale imitation, you disgust
me with your absurd claims. Even the high council has agreed that you're not the Doctor. They've passed a resolution for your
"I am the Doctor." The Doctor took a hold of the false David's wrist and using an old Venusian
Aikido thrown she swung the heavy robot over her shoulder and crashing to the floor. "I am the Doctor!" She repeated and swung
at the Valeyard with lefts and rights. "I am the Doctor!" She yelled at the top of her voice as she stood over his bleeding
body. "That felt so good." She left master and servent lying in a heap as she went in search of her disillusioned friend.
She had not gone more than ten steps when a squad of Chancellery guards apprehended her. They half carried, half dragged her
into her own TARDIS and it dematerialised with her held captive inside it.
Claire told Hannah what had happened,
she poured her heart out to the dazzled, frightened, curious girl who listened and then held her as she come to terms with
her emotions. Hannah told Claire she could stay with her for a while, maybe permanently if their relationship worked out.
her cell the Doctor paced about, the Valeyard's words echoed in her ears. The high council meant to kill her. Was this really
how it all ended?