Ghost of Who He Was by mystica88
Summary: The Doctor comes face to face with his belief in ghosts and his decision may be a matter of life and death.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Fifth Doctor, Multi-Era
Characters: Adric, Barbara Wright, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Ian Chesterton, Jamie McCrimmon, Jo Grant, K-9, Leela, Nyssa, Sarah Jane Smith, Susan Foreman, Tegan Jovanka, The Doctor (5th), The TARDIS
Genres: Action/Adventure, Character Study, Hurt/Comfort
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Chapter 1
“Turlough! Get back to the TARDIS!” The Doctor yelled at the boy at the end of the hallway. They had been running for their lives, again, when Turlough heard them nab the Doctor behind him. He had stopped and almost, against his better judgment, ran back to help. But there were too many of them and there was nothing he could do.
But still, for some reason unknown to him, he hesitated a moment longer. “Turlough, run!” The Doctor yelled again as they began to pull him away. There were too many, the Doctor wasn’t going to be able to get out of this one on his own, but there was nothing that Turlough could do either.
Finally, taking one last look at the fast approaching enemies and the struggling Doctor, he turned and ran as fast as his legs would carry him. The TARDIS was in view. Just a few more feet and he would be safe…
“What are you?” the darkly dressed man who called himself a medical doctor but more closely resembled a mad scientist asked as he loomed over the Doctor.
“A Time Lord. Whatever experiments you are trying to do will have no bearing on your research if you perform them on me. I’m not like you.”
This was a typical situation, the Doctor thought to himself. Steel table, megalomaniac mad scientist, threat of painful and potentially life threatening experiments; it was all business as usual. At least Turlough had gotten away. Now all he had to do was figure out how to get himself out of this mess.
“I have never heard of Time Lords, but your physiology is certainly interesting. I would say that you probably have a higher tolerance for many adverse conditions, am I right?”
“So what if I have. Nothing you do to me will prove any of your research, I’m not human and it is humans that you are trying to alter, am I right?”
“Well yes, there is that. But if I could find out what it would take to survive the process, then I could genetically create a human who could withstand it.”
“This won’t work!” the Doctor said firmly as he began to realize that there was little chance of talking his way out of this one.
“It may not, but this is the best chance I have to have a successful test.”
“But even my brain is different from yours. I already have some psychic ability, there is no telling what attempting to make it stronger would do.”
“Any results will help to advance research,” the scientist replied as he moved away and began to check readings on his equipment and tweaking various knobs and buttons.
“Humans are not ready for this level of ability yet,” the Doctor continued to argue. “Their minds are certainly not ready and they have not yet learned enough self control. You are essentially attempting to open Pandora ’s Box again, only this time you’re going to release the last punishment.”
“Superstitious ancient myths mean nothing to me Doctor. Only results. They say it can’t be done, to me it is the challenge, not the consequences that I am concerned with.”
The Doctor laid his head back and closed his eyes as he commiserated on the short comings of humans. “Oh, why is it always the same with you humans. Someone says you can’t do something and like petulant children it only makes you want to do it anyway… never mind the repercussions that it may have on the rest the universe, let alone the rest of humanity!”
The scientist was calmly connecting wires running to the Doctor, ignoring whatever was being said to him. There was just no getting through to this guy. The Doctor only hoped that he would be able to survive the process and use the enhancements that were hoped for to free himself.
A moment later, the man stepped back and took one final look over the whole operation. “I believe everything is ready. Are you ready to make history Doctor?”
“That’s something I do far too often,” he muttered in reply.
The man smiled, though he wasn’t sure what the Doctor had meant, and turned and walked through an open door behind him. A moment later his face was just in visible range through a widow above the Doctor’s head. He felt rather like he was the focus in an operating theater, which was more or less was accurate. One final time he tested the straps that bound him to the table, hoping that maybe in his preparations the scientist had managed to loosen one of them enough to break free. Both they were still as firm as ever.
“Doctor, I wish you luck,” the man sneered as he began to punch buttons on a counsel in from of him. At first, there was only the sound of equipment coming to life before the blinding flash of pain…
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Chapter 2: Chapter 2Chapter 2
He wasn’t sure if he had screamed this time, he felt he must have, but it happened so quickly and with such violence, there was hardly time to react.
He could still feel his face contorted in agony, but the pain was gone. He thought that he could hear the dying echo of what may have been his voice, but it was now replaced by an even eerier sound of a high pitch whine that he knew was not a good sound.
It took another few moments for him to realize that his angle of vision had shifted from horizontal to vertical. He was no longer looking up to the window above, but at the distant wall. There was no more restraints holding him to the table, in fact, the table was no longer against his back.
Turning slowly, he looked back and saw what he had thought not possible. He could see himself, still strapped to the steel table. The man had come out from the observation room and was trying to do something to him. Walking closer, he realized that the eerie whine was the sound of a heart monitor that was no longer reading any heartbeats. The man was trying to salvage his failed experiment by trying to save the Time Lord’s life, but he was failing in this as well.
“This can’t be happening,” the Doctor muttered as he looked down at his own, lifeless face. There is no such thing as ghosts, and yet here he was, looking down at his inert body.
He continued to stare for a moment as his thoughts tumbled over each other. Why hadn’t he regenerated? Was this really happening? What could explain this?
Finally, he watched as the man stepped back, admitting defeat. There was nothing more that he could do to save him.
The man sighed and flipped off the dreadful whine from the monitor and began to shut the machines down. The Doctor watched as the lights were turned off and the man left the dead body lying on the table for someone else to take care of.
“This can’t be it,” the Doctor finally said. “It can’t be over like this.” A look of profound confusion spread across his face.
He still felt alive. He felt as if he was still breathing and his hearts were still beating. But his eyes showed him that he really was dead.
Finally, he decided that there was nothing more to be done. If he really was dead, then he shouldn’t have any trouble leaving this place. But where could he go?
Suddenly, a thought of his granddaughter entered his head. Susan, she would never believe that he would have died. Susan was one of those trusting youngsters who had thought that the people she loved were invincible and though there may be dangerous and difficult times, everything would come out right in the end.
But this time it didn’t. This time something went wrong and his hope to see her again was now dashed. It had been wonderful to see her all grown up not to long ago with his younger self. He had made a private promise to not let so much time pass between seeing her again. But now how was he to up hold that promise?
No sooner had he thought this then the scene of his own death faded before him. Everything went completely blank for a moment as he finally felt the weightlessness that he had thought would accompany death.
Ah, he thought, this is now the end. But soon he regained sensation and sight as he found himself standing in front of a small, yet quaint home. The area looked as if it was making a recovery from a war. Many buildings were new looking with fresh paint and the beginnings of little gardens. But there were still a few crumbling old one scattered about that looked as if they were slowly being taken down and moved out to make room for the new.
Just then, a young woman stepped outside of the door to the house. She looked as if she was heading out to run an errand and was in a hurry. She turned her back to the Doctor and quickly locked her door. She was busy putting her key back in her purse as she turned and headed down the front porch stairs. The Doctor realized that this young woman was none other than Susan. He stepped up and was going to stop her when she suddenly walked right through him. As she did so, she slowed her pace and stopped, looking around as if someone had just called her.
“Susan?” the Doctor said, wondering if she would be able to hear him since obviously he was not really in this world.
Susan spun around and immediately focused her eyes on him. A moment passed before a flash of recognition passed over her face as she called, “Grandfather!” and took a step towards him.
But he stepped back and held up his hand to stop her. “No Susan,” he said to her.
A look of concern replaced the one of excitement quickly as she asked, “Grandfather, what’s wrong?”
“I… I don’t know Susan. I’m not sure what happened. But I think this may be the last time that I will get to see you,” he told her.
“What do you mean?”
“Something happen… something not possible and yet it happened and I… I’m not exactly the same anymore. I don’t know how you can see and hear me, but I am grateful that you can.”
“Grandfather, you’re not making any sense. What happened?”
“I don’t think you would understand Susan. I know I don’t completely know myself. But I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful woman you have grown up to be. Though it broke both yours and my hearts for me to leave you, I’m sure that you would agree that it was for the best. You have accomplished so much here,” he said with a wave of his hand. “London is making a come back after the Daleks and I’m sure that you played an essential part in that.”
“Grandfather…” she began. But he cut her off by placing a finger over his lips.
“Susan. I am so proud of you. And I’m sure that Ian and Barbra would feel them same.”
Susan opened he mouth to say something more, but before words were able to form, he felt himself fading once again. Now, he thought, he was truly dead. He had said his last goodbye and as all the old stories said, he could now ‘cross over.’
But now he felt his world shift once again as a school came into focus. It was Susan’s old school he realized and he heard the tail end of the sound of a bell letting the classes out. He watched as the doors spilled forth students, all happily on their ways home and fleeing from the schoolhouse.
After the flow of students ended, two older people walk through the doors, hand in hand. A smile crossed the Doctor’s face as he realized that it was none other than Barbara and Ian. His last thoughts of them must have brought him here.
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Chapter 3: Chapter 3Chapter 3
He walked over to the two teachers, wondering what it was that he had to say to his first set of unwilling companions. It had all been an accident that brought them along with him and Susan, but one that he felt that they eventually didn’t regret as much as they let on.
“Excuse me,” he said as he neared them. The two paused and looked at him, neither one recognizing who he was.
“Can we help you?” Ian asked him.
The Doctor smiled, “No, I don’t think you can. It’s a little too late for that.”
Ian and Barbara both looked slightly confused as Barbara asked, “Then what is it that you want?”
“I think that I’m here to apologize to you two. I know that I certainly wasn’t the easiest person to get along with and often made things very difficult for you while we traveled. But I wanted you to know that I am proud of how well you took to your situation and became such wonderful companions. I sorely missed you when you decided to leave as I’m sure that Vicki missed you as well.”
He would have said more and by the look and Barbara’s face, she had figured out, at least in part, who he was, but he began to fade once again. This time, he had a good idea where it was that he was going. He had said her name and invoked memories of her presence. He was about to see Vicki once again.
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Chapter 4: Chapter 4Chapter 4
And so it happen again, just as it had before, he disappeared from one place and time and
suddenly appeared in another. He had done this all his long life, and yet it was so much different now that he was… dead? He still couldn’t believe that fact. Something else seemed to be going on but he was unable to define it… to completely figure it out.
His companions flashed before him as he said his final goodbyes to each one, and as he delivered his final messages, each one led to the next.
Before he knew it, he was standing before first Zoe, and the Jamie. Zoe of course didn’t have a clue what he was talking about when he told her how he appreciated her quick mind and helpful heart as she had no memory to the time that she had travel with him. Jamie also did not remember him, but there were still things to say. But he wasn’t sure he could bear having another companion look at him and not have even an inkling of what he was talking about.
He watched the highlander from a distance but could not bring himself to approach him. “Ah Jamie,” he said for no one to hear but himself. “On the loyalty scale, you were the absolute top. No matter what befell us, you were always faithful to me. I hate how the Time Lords ripped you and Zoe from me but I can say that, though they are still pompous and self-righteous, they have gotten better and that was partly due to you. You helped me to show them that always sitting on the sidelines is not the way to be. Sometimes you have to get out there and fight for what is right and just.”
The Doctor shook his head as he felt himself fading again, though he didn’t know where he would be going this time since he had only invoked Zoe and he had already been to see her. “Thank you,” he whispered into the darkness as the last of the highlander disappeared from sight.
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Chapter 5: Chapter 5Chapter 5
The next sight he saw was of Jo, another companion he felt had been taken from him, even if it had really been her own choice. Another man came and offered her more than he could give and he let her go, just as he had for Susan and so many others. He knew that he was unable to hold onto any of them forever, but it still hurt to see each one go.
This time, Jo wasn’t alone, she was happily walking hand in hand with her new husband. He wasn’t a bad guy, in fact he had essentially saved his life, he had just stolen his companion’s heart from him. And he couldn’t even blame her as he saw the look of happiness and bliss on her face.
“Good for you Jo,” he said as he once again faded away.
Next it was Sarah. He winced slightly at her sight once again. She was standing there, in her yard, playing fetch with K-9, his trusted dog, and yet one that always seem to choose his companions over him.
He had never said to Sarah those few months ago when he saw her again how sorry he was that he had never comeback for her. He should have, but he knew that she needed to move on with her life. She was becoming dangerously attached to him and it was for the better that he left her. But now was his chance to give her an apology for what she must have felt was an abandonment.
“Sarah,” he called to her. She paused and looked up to where the Doctor was standing, just on the other side of her fenced in yard.
“Doctor?” she called slightly confused, but nonetheless excited.
“Hello Sarah,” he smiled back at here.
“Doctor, what are you doing here?” she asked as she quickly approached the fence.
“Still trying to figure that out myself, but I’m sure it has something to do with needing to say a few things to you.”
“Like what? Where did you come from? There isn’t something the matter again, is there?” she asked as she began to look around.
“No, Sarah, there’s no danger, at least for you and there is little that can still be done for me. But I needed to apologize to you Sarah. I hurt you, I know. I should have come back, at the very least to say goodbye rather than letting you believe for so long that I had died.”
“Yes, you should have,” she said sternly, “But why are you saying this? What prompted the sudden need for you to come all the way back here just to say sorry when you couldn’t do it just a few months ago?”
He thought for a moment… of all of the people he had talked to in the last few hours… or whatever amount of time it had been, Susan was the closest that he had come to telling that he was dead. Maybe Sarah should know what happened? She was a reporter after all and was one who would never be content without all of the facts.
“I died Sarah,” he said bluntly. “I think I’ve been given a chance to tie up a few loose ends before I completely leave this universe. That’s why I came today.”
Sarah starred at him opened mouthed for a moment before she grew serious and slightly angry. “That’s not even remotely funny Doctor,” she practically snarled.
“It’s true Sarah, I watched myself die and now I have been jumping from companion to companion, saying my last goodbyes. See?” he said as he waved a hand that passed right through the fence and dipped into her cheek and pulled it back.
She gasped as she placed a hand where his had passed and took a step back. “I don’t believe you Doctor. You always said there is no such thing as ghosts. This has to be explainable. There must be something that can be done.”
Sadly the Doctor shook his head, “I don’t believe there is Sarah, this is finally the end.”
“But you can regenerate… You can change again!”
“Not this time I’m afraid.”
“Where were you? What were you doing when it happened? There may still be time!”
“It’s done Sarah. Let me go. You always were very protective of me, but I think that it’s time for you to look more to yourself than to me.”
And as he spoke, he once again began to fade. “No! Doctor! Don’t leave again!” she called, but it was too late. He had gone. But she was not going to give up on him so easily.
“K-9!” she called as she turned back to the mechanical pup. “What can you tell me about what just happen?...”
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Chapter 6: Chapter 6Chapter 6
Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart was standing in the middle of his small home on the outskirts of the boy’s school when Sarah burst in. “Brigadier!” she called, snapping him from the dazed position that he was left standing in.
He spun around and looked at Sarah, wondering what on Earth was going on around here. “Miss Smith?” He said.
“Brigadier, there’s no time to explain. I have to know, have you seen the Doctor lately?”
“Of course I have,” he said, “He was just here. The strangest thing. Once minute he appeared in front of me, babbled something about being one of his best friends and then poof, he was gone again.”
“Oh no!” she cried as she sunk defeated onto the couch.
“Miss Smith, do you know what is going on around here?”
“I’m not entirely sure but I have to tell the Doctor what K-9 scanned when he was to see me before its too late.”
“Too late for what?”
“Before he really does die! He’s traveling from companion to companion saying his last goodbyes because he thinks that he died! But if K-9 is right, he’s not yet but if someone doesn’t help him soon, he will be!”
“Miss Smith, I don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about, but I think what you’re saying is that we have to find more of the Doctor’s companions, am I right?”
“Yes, but I don’t know who else we can look for.”
“Well there was Miss Jovanka.”
“Of course!” Sarah called, “How could I forget? And the boy, Turlough!” she said.
“But last I saw either of them they were still with the Doctor, how are we to find them?”
“Brigadier, I have no idea, but I’m sure that you can cast a pretty wide net with your UNIT contacts.”
“I’m sure I can,” he said as he immediately jumped into action as he pulled his coat from the closet by the door. “Come one Miss Smith, we have a lot of research to do. I only hope that we can accomplish it before it’s too late.”
“Yes sir,” Benton… now a Brigadier himself, replied on the other end. We found a Miss Tegan Jorvanka in an abandoned building during a possible alien bomb problem not more than a month ago.”
“Do you know her current location Benton?” the Brigadier asked.
“Yes, she had mentioned having known the Doctor so we took down her contact information and have been keeping tabs on her like we have all of his known associates.”
“Good job Benton. We need to find her ASAP.”
“Yes sir, I will go check the files and call you back as soon as I have an address.”
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Chapter 7: Chapter 7Chapter 7
“Nyssa, I am so sorry about your father. It really is my fault that you lost him,” The Doctor was saying to his young Traken friend.
“Doctor, it’s not your fault. The only one to blame is the Master. He took first my Father and then all of my people from me. None of it was your fault. In fact you did all you could to help them.”
“But it wasn’t enough and I am sorry. It was me that the Master was after; it has always been me. Through the layers of megalomania he has always hated me the most.”
“Doctor, why are you here? Where’s Tegan and Turlough?” Nyssa asked, trying to figure out why her friend had suddenly turned up and was acting so strangely.
“Safe, at least I hope so. As for why I’m here, I guess it’s to let you know how much I relied on you, to tell you how invaluable you had become to me and how much I missed you when you chose to stay at Terminus. But I am also so very proud of how you found a place to belong after the loss of Traken and have made a difference in so many people’s lives.”
“Doctor, you’re not making much sense.”
“Thank you, Nyssa,” he said as he once again began to fade away.
“Doctor!” was the last thing he heard from her.
“So she’s moved back to Australia?” Sarah asked as the Brigadier got off of the phone with Benton again.
“Seems so. We are going to have to hurry if we are going to reach her in time if it’s not already too late.”
“Wouldn’t it be better if we just called her, in case we don’t reach her in time to explain things in person?”
“It would, if she had a number to reach her at. It seems she has gone into the bush and is working with the aborigines now. There is no other way to reach her.
“Damn!” Sarah swore as they got into the Brig’s jeep and tore off to the airport. They were going to be cutting this rather close.
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Chapter 8: Chapter 8Chapter 8
He knew that he needed to make this trip before he went on to Tegan and ended with Turlough. But it was the most difficult one, both in timing and in knowing what to say.
This was not a happy one. He was only going to have a few moments to say goodbye to the youth and to say how very, very sorry he was… not only for failing him, but for all of the times that he had treated him like a kid when all he wanted was to be a grown up.
Of all of his companions, Adric’s loss was the keenest because it was the most final. And so there was no way to find him and have a glimmer into his life after the Doctor because it had ended before his eyes.
…”I guess I’ll never know if I was right,” Adric sighed as he looked forlornly at the fried control counsel. He had been so sure that he could stop the ship and save Earth. But he had failed. And now he was going to die right along with all those billions of people below. But that wasn’t the worst part, he had let the Doctor down.
“Adric…” a familiar voice whispered behind him. He turned from the terrifying view of the fast approaching planet to see the Doctor standing there, still as death, with a face full of a sorrow that was far more deep than anything Adric had seen him wear before.
“Doctor! I’m so sorry! I failed and now all of those people are going to die! I’ve let you down and I know that there is no way that you want me with you anymore.”
For the first time in all of his visitations, the Doctor longed to be able to make physical contact with one of his companions. This was not what he had expected. He thought Adric would accuse him of causing his death, instead Adric feared that the Doctor was disappointed with him.
Without thinking, the Doctor crossed over to the distraught boy and pulled him into an embrace. He held him as Adric sobbed into his chest and it wasn’t until the Doctor pulled Adric back to look at him that he realized that he was able to touch him. But by then, it didn’t matter how or why, just that he could.
“Adric, I’m not angry with you, nor am I disappointed in you. In fact, I could not be more proud of what you have done. You knew that staying could likely end your life, but you wanted to save Earth, and for that I think you are one of the bravest people that I know.”
Adric sniffed before he said, “Can you stop it?”
The Doctor realized that Adric thought that he was there to both save him and Earth. But the ship had to hit Earth to preserve the time line and there was no way for him to save the boy.
“Adric, I… I’m not really here. I’ve come to say goodbye to you and to apologize for what is about to happen. If it hadn’t been for me, you never would have wound up in this position.”
Adric looked up at the Doctor for a moment before asking, “am I going to die?”
Slowly, painfully, the Doctor nodded his head. Surprisingly, Adric seemed to have already accepted this. “And the people of Earth, do any survive?”
“Yes Adric. They all do. The ship has shifted back through time before humans have begun evolving. The people of Earth are safe.”
Adric nodded his head once firmly as he said, “good. Then I have not completely failed. Thank you Doctor for letting me know. But if you’re not really here, then where are you.”
The Doctor smiled sadly. “I’m not really sure Adric, but I think that we will be seeing each other again very soon.”
Adric shook his head, “Doctor, I don’t understand, but if you really aren’t here, then will you stay with me?”
The Doctor sighed as he said, “of course Adric. I’m not going to leave you.” And he put his arm around Adric’s shoulder as they both turned and stared at the planet that was now almost upon them.
All of the apologies of wrong he had done in the past faded from the Doctor’s mind as he held Adric in these final moments. He thought back to how he had watched helplessly from the TARDIS as Adric died, completely alone. At least now he knew that in this one area, he did not completely fail him.
The final second before impact, Adric closed his eyes and clung to the Doctor, finally giving into the terror that he had been trying to hide as he breathed one final word out, “Doctor.”
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Chapter 9: Chapter 9Chapter 9
It had all been over so quick. Adric was dead. He knew that it had happened and would still happen, but the fact struck him to the core. He wanted to go to Tegan, to patch things up with her, but currently he found himself drifting in nothingness for a while. The grief of Adric was still too keen. He would see Tegan in a moment, right now he just needed a small rest before completing his journey.
And he felt as if his journey was nearing its end. With each new companion he visited, he felt a little more tired, a little more drained, and a little more ready to be done. Just two more people and he could rest forever.
“Brigadier?” Sarah said as she was jostled around in the jeep they were taking out into the Australian bush to find Tegan. “What if we’re too late? Do you think we could find Turlough in time?”
“I don’t think so. Benton had not heard of Turlough resurfacing. As far as we know, he may have still been with the Doctor when what ever is happening to him occured.”
Sarah sighed, “Then Tegan is our last hope in reaching him.”
“I’m afraid so. But if I know the Doctor, even if we miss her, he won’t just lie down and let death take him. He’ll continue fighting.”
“But Brigadier, when I talked to him, it sounded as if he had already given up. He was convinced that he was already dead!”
“I know miss Smith, but we mustn’t give up hope on him.”
Slowly, light began to drift into the Doctor’s view as he found himself once again materializing on solid ground. Things were slower to come into focus this time and everything seem to be in a fog. He had waited too long to come here it seemed, but he would complete what he had started and see Tegan and Turlough, he owed them that much.
The fog seemed to be lifting slightly as he forced himself to concentrate on finding Tegan. Then he spied her, dressed as usual in short shorts and a low cut top, coming our of a mud hut that looked like one of the Australians Aborigines tribes.
The Doctor smiled. Apparently her loath of hardship had been overcome with her need to help and make a difference.
“Tegan,” he said softly and even though she was still some distance away, she turned to him immediately and stared for a brief moment not believing her eyes.
“Doctor?” she said as she began to hurry to him.
He was smiling at her but with every step she took in his direction, he could feel his resolve and strength flowing away. As he tried to take a step to meet her, his leg buckled and he staggered to the ground.
“Doctor!” she called as she ran the last few steps and knelt down beside him. “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” she breathed as she grabbed his shoulders and pulled him up slightly, using her body to prop him up.
“Tegan,” he said as he had to concentrate harder than ever to speak and see her clearly. He was surprised that he was still solid enough for her to lift him, but that didn’t matter. “Tegan, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you so badly. I disappointed you far too often and got you into far too much trouble. You were right to leave me when you did.”
“Doctor, what are you talking about? What’s happened to you?”
He was already beginning to fade though. “Doctor! Doctor!” Tegan called to him. But as her voice began to fade along with the sight of her, another voice grabbed his attention calling the same word, “Doctor!”
In spite of the weariness that was bearing upon him, he forced his way back out of pure curiosity. “Sarah?” he whispered as the shape of her head appeared above him.
“Doctor! You’re not dead! You hear me? You’re not dead!”
“Wh…?” he said as a thickness was filling his mind and preventing him from thinking clearly.
“You’re not dead! K-9 said that you are a psychic projection and the only way for that to occur is for you to still be alive! You can’t be dead because you’re here.”
“What’s going on?” Tegan demanded.
“Miss Jorvanka, the Doctor believes that he has already died and he is essentially a ghost. That’s why he has been visiting each of us to say goodbye.”
“But I am dead,” he protested sluggishly. “I saw it happen.”
“I don’t know what you saw, but K-9 was sure that you are not dead yet. He said that even in the short time that you were with me, you were already losing energy and that it probably meant that you are dying, but not yet… you have to hang in there!”
“I’m not dead?..”
“Doctor, listen to me,” the Brigadier said. “Where are you? Or rather, where were you when you think you died?”
“Doctor! Stay with us!” Tegan called.
He never could ignore her when she wanted to be heard. Suddenly, everything snapped into focus for a moment as he finally understood what his friends were trying to tell him.
“K-9 was sure?” he asked as he forced himself to sit up slightly.
“Yes,” Sarah answered.
The Doctor nodded, “That does make a lot more sense.”
“Doctor, how can we help you?” the Brig asked.
Thinking for a second more as the fog seemed to seep back into his brain the Doctor said. “You can’t Brigadier, I’m not on Earth and not even in your near time period. But there is one who is.”
“Who?” Tegan demanded.
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Chapter 10: Chapter 10Chapter 10
“Do you think he’ll make it?” Sarah asked Tegan as the Doctor faded from them.
Tegan shook her head as she said, “I don’t know. If everything comes down to Turlough, I hate to think of what his chances are.”
“He’ll pull through,” the Brigadier said confidently. “He always pulls through.”
The girls looked at him as Sarah said, “I certainly hope you’re right.”
Turlough had stood in the control room of the TARDIS for a long time, wondering what in the world he was going to do. The practical side of him was screaming to flee, to get out of there as fast as possible and head for home and safety. And if this had happened a few months ago, he was sure that he wouldn’t have hesitated against that practical side of himself for a moment. But now there was some other part of him, some new part that had grown up in the last few months and had infested his thoughts and actions… some strange thing that he could only define as loyalty.
Turlough had never understood this concept. From an early age his own government had betrayed his family and exiled them on separate remote worlds. He never felt any loyalty to his country and even a possible loyalty that could have grown in his family in their exile was forbidden as he was removed completely from them.
But then he met the Doctor. At first, there was nothing that bound him to this strange alien other than a promise to another alien to end the Doctor’s life. But as he saw that the Doctor was blameless, he felt too much like his own hated government who exiled not only his father, but his blameless children as well.
After finally getting rid of the Black Guardian, Turlough wasn’t sure why he stayed on with the Doctor. It may have been since there was little else to do. But he felt that that was when something like friendship finally touched him for the first time.
And then, when they encountered the Silurians, he had bouts of this strange thing of loyalty, but it wasn’t constant.
But now, standing here, considering whether to abandon the Doctor to these mad scientists or to find a way to help him, he found that the loyalist inside him had finally become far stronger than he had ever dreamed possible.
He found that he could not just leave the Doctor because he knew, without a doubt, that the Doctor would never leave him. Nodding to himself, he ventured further into the TARDIS to find some type of weapon. He knew that though the Doctor himself never carried one, the TARDIS was certainly full of things that he could use.
He understood now, but had understanding come too late? The Doctor found it even more difficult to force himself out of the darkness that he had faded back into. If his body truly was still alive, it was obviously near it’s breaking point. There was so little energy left, but now that there was life, there was hope.
A moment later, the control room of his TARDIS slipped into view. He was lying on the floor on his back, staring up at the ceiling, trying to find enough strength to call for Turlough.
“Doctor?!” Turlough’s voice rang somewhere beyond him.
“Turlough…” he practically whispered.
“What happened? How’d you escape?” the boy said as he came into view and knelt down beside him.
He reached out for the Doctor’s wrist but was astonished to find his hand pass right through as if there was nothing there.
“I haven’t,” the Doctor breathed. “They preformed the experiment and I guess it worked, to an extent.”
“What? Why can’t I touch you?”
“I’m not here Turlough, my body is still in the operating room, or so I think. They think I died there, but some part of me is still projecting a physic image. But I’m weakening and won’t be alive much longer.”
“Where are you? What do I need to do?” Turlough asked anxiously.
It was getting more and more difficult to concentrate, but he was sure that he managed a slight smile at how much Turlough had changed since he had picked the alien exile turned school boy up from Earth nearly a year ago.
“I’m in the operating room, connected to the lab that they showed us earlier. You have to get me back to the TARDIS. Beyond that, I have no idea.”
“I’ll find you,” Turlough said as he began to stand.
Forcing himself back into reality for a second more the Doctor said with as much force as he could manage, “Turlough, I’m not worth getting killed or caught over. If you can’t reach me, get back to the TARDIS and leave. Understand?”
Turlough nodded, but for once, he had no intention of doing this. He was going to get the Doctor back if it was the last thing he did.
With his nod, the Doctor smiled one last time and faded away.
The halls seemed to have become deserted as Turlough crept along, trying to hurry but also trying not to accidentally run into anyone. His heart raced as the practical side of him berated him for even considering what he was doing. But he was finally able to ignore that side of him and there were even a few moments where he was able to shut it up completely.
Suddenly he heard voice coming up from behind him. Quickly he ducked into the next room, hoping that it would be unoccupied.
Luckily it was. It seemed that he had entered into some type of locker room. There were white clean suits hanging on pegs on the wall. Turlough remembered seeing many of the technicians wearing these before. Perhaps this was a good way to blend in.
Quickly he pulled the nearest one off a peg and began climbing into it. It was a little baggy on him, but at least it wasn’t too short.
As he was zipping it up and pulling the white hood over his head, he again heard the voice outside the door. He moved so that a locker obscured him from whoever entered. Two young men came it, each taking a suit from the pegs and putting it on themselves. As they did, Turlough overheard what they were saying.
“So they killed off another one then?”
“Seems so. And guess who gets to clean up after them.”
“Yeah, well that’s what we get for being the bottom rung around here,” the other man laughed bitterly.
“Let’s get going. The sooner we dispose of the body, the sooner we can get home.”
With that, the men, now in their clean suits, left the locker room.
Turlough stepped out and thought about what he just heard. The Doctor had said that they thought he was dead. What if they were going to dispose of his body? Better yet, what if somehow he got to be the one to ‘dispose’ of the body?
He left after the two men and watched as they turned down the next corridor. He hurried after them and when he turned the corner, he took all the courage that he had and called after them, “Hey! Wait up!”
The men paused and turned back to see Turlough approaching quickly. “They sent me to help you,” he told them.
“You new?” one of them asked.
“Yeah, just got here yesterday,” he told them.
The first man turned to the other and said, “I guess we’re not so low anymore,” before he turned back to Turlough. “We don’t really need your help but they probably want us to show you where we take the bodies.”
“I already know, at least, they told me. Though I’m not entirely sure where to get it from.”
“Come with us. We’ll show you, then you can take it yourself, we have other jobs we could be doing. That’s the point to having newbies after all, right?” he said with a grin to his partner.
Turlough followed behind them, thanking his stars that they were as dumb as they looked. A moment later they had brought him to a pair of swinging double doors. “Alright,” one of them said, “in there he is. Take care of it and then report back to your lead, got it?”
“Yes sir,” Turlough answered.
The men turned and left him, talking to themselves about how gullible the new guy was. Turlough had to smile slightly at that before he went into the room.
The lights had been dimmed and there was no one in there, save for a body lying on an operating table with a gurney beside it. Hoping that he wasn’t too late, Turlough hurried over to the body and saw that it was in fact the Doctor.
He certainly looked dead, his skin was pale and lifeless and there was no sign that he was breathing. Reaching out, Turlough touched his face and found that it was cool and when he moved his hand to the Doctor’s neck, he was unable to find any pulse.
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Chapter 11: Chapter 11Chapter 11
“Oh Doctor,” Turlough sighed as he looked down at the Time Lord. He didn’t know what to think. He didn’t want to believe that his friend was dead, but there was absolutely no sign of life.
Suddenly, there was the slightest flicker under his finger that he had neglected to remove from the Doctor’s neck. “Doctor?” he said to him. There was no response, but Turlough was sure that he was still alive. It must be some type of Time Lord trick to slow down heart and breathing to almost imperceptible levels, Turlough thought as he quickly moved the gurney flush with the table. It took another few minutes to remove the restraints that still held the Doctor to the table and then he shifted him onto the gurney. It was a bit of a task for Turlough, but he managed and was soon on his way back to the TARDIS.
Everything seemed to be going well. He hadn’t come across anyone in the halls and he was almost back to the TARDIS. Suddenly, a voice seemed to whisper inside his head, “Turlough, behind you.”
Glancing back, he saw that the mad scientist had just turned the corner and was heading in his direction. Trying to act as if he belonged there, Turlough turned back and kept walking.
“Hey! You there!” a voice rang out behind him. “What are you doing with that body? The crematorium is the other way.”
Trying to keep calm, Turlough tried to ignore the shout and kept walking.
“Do you hear me?”
A second later the man began to run at them and Turlough dropped all pretense and also took off running as best he could still pushing the gurney with the Doctor on board. “Guards!” the man was yelling as he ran.
Somewhere an alarm began to sound as noises of other people converging on his location echoed the corridors. Turlough put on a new burst of speed but he wasn’t moving nearly fast enough and it was difficult keeping the squirrelly gurney going in the proper direction at that speed.
He pelted down the hallway as more and more foot steps sounded behind him. “Stop or we’ll shoot!” the scientist called.
Still Turlough ignored them and ran on. The corner that would lead to the TARDIS was just in front of him. Maybe if he made it around there, he would have just enough time to get into the TARDIS before they could reach him.
But just as he reached the corner, the lasers began to fire. One struck Turlough in the back of his right calf just as he began turning the corner. With a cry of pain, he staggered to the floor while the gurney was flung around the corner. Forcing the burning pain from his leg out of his mind, he tried to stand and keep going, but his fall caused too much of a delay.
He had only made it another foot when rough arms grabbed him and hauled him off of the floor. Before he had time to fight back, he found both of his arms securely being held behind his back by a big burly guard.
The scientist ran up, breathing heavily, staring at Turlough. “You’re the boy that was with the Doctor. What are you doing here?”
“I came for his body. I wasn’t going to let you cremate him, it’s not his people’s way.”
“I have to say I am rather disappointed that he didn’t survive. He was the best chance for us to have a successful trial. But,” the man now smiled, “If at first you don’t succeed…”
Turlough grew cold as he realized that they were about to do to him whatever they had done to the Doctor.
“No, it won’t work. If it killed him, then there is no way that it’ll work on me.”
“We’ll see. There was the issue of the machines not being meant for his physiology. Perhaps with a slightly more human subject there will be better results.” The man glanced up at the ring of guards. “You’re dismissed, good work all of you. And you,” he said to the guard holding Turlough, “Bring him.”
The other guards all filtered away as the last one dragged a struggling Turlough back the direction that he had come. They hadn’t gotten very far though was suddenly the guard let go of Turlough and staggered back with a grunt of pain. Looking back, Turlough saw a light colored arm wrapped around the man’s throat, pulling him back and away.
“Run!” Turlough heard the Doctor say as the scientist realized something was wrong.
Turlough saw that it was another phantom shape of the Doctor and he was weakening very fast. He had to be spending the last of his energy to do this.
Grabbing the gun off of the guard, Turlough flipped it around and brought it down hard on the man’s head, causing him to crumple to the ground. A fading Doctor also began to slump to the floor.
“Turlough, run,“ he panted. “I’ll hold them off,” he said as he began to climb to his feet again.
“It’ll kill you!’ Turlough argued.
“Just go! I won’t have you die trying to save me.”
Turlough knew that there was no arguing. But the faster he got the physical Doctor into the TARDIS, the faster the psychic Doctor could stop expending his energy.
Moving as fast as his injured leg would allow, Turlough made it back to the corner and grabbed a hold of the gurney. Using it to take some of his own weight, he pushed it to the TARDIS doors. The sound of gunfire echoed which made Turlough smile slightly. They were no doubt firing at a man who wasn’t really there.
Pulling out his key, Turlough opened the doors and practically fell inside, dragging the gurney along with him.
Laying back his head, Turlough breathed out as he listen to the ineffectual poundings on the outer door. He was safe here; they could never break through those doors.
His leg throbbed and he could feel some blood being soaked up by his pant leg. He couldn’t believe what he had just done, but it wasn’t over yet. The Doctor was still dying, if he wasn’t already too late.
“Doctor,” he practically moaned as he sat up. “What do I do now?” he said as he knelt beside the bed, looking at the lifeless figure.
The Time Lord looked even worse, if that was at all possible, from when he first saw him. Even the sprig of celery seemed faded and wilted.
“Doctor, I don’t know what to do.”
“Gallifrey,” the slightest whisper of a voice echoed in his mind.
“Where? How do I get there?”
Turlough looked back at the counsel and tried to remember what the Doctor had told him about the psychic course setter. He knew that the Doctor believed that the TARDIS was at least moderately sentient, but he never really believed it.
Limping over to the controls, he placed his hands on the side, trying to decide how to set the coordinates for Gallifrey. Of course he had been there before, but that had been when they had been brought against their will into the death zone.
As he pondered, the TARDIS suddenly sprang to life as the column began to move up and down.
“I didn’t do any thing,” he said to no one in particular.
But the TARDIS was definitely taking off.
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Chapter 12: Chapter 12Chapter 12
Turlough could only assume that it was Gallifrey that the TARDIS was going to. The Doctor had said that the TARDIS knew where it needed to go. He only hoped that the TARDIS could get there. It certainly didn’t always behave as it was supposed to.
A few moments later, the grinding came to a halt and Turlough flipped on the viewer. They had landed inside of another hallway, but this one look more like a type of structure that something like the TARDIS may have originated from.
But now what was he to do? He knew that the Doctor had friends here that would surly help, but he also knew that there were just as many enemies.
Gritting his teeth against the pain in his leg, he limped outside and looked around. No sooner had he stepped out than a woman turned down the hall. She wasn’t dressed like the few people he had seen last time he was on Gallifrey with the strange robes and headdresses. She wore a short skirt and a form-fitting top that was very scantily cut.
“Are you with the Doctor?” she asked Turlough as she hurried over to him, seeing that he was wounded.
“Yes, were you expecting us?”
“No, but he was here just a little bit ago acting very strangely. I knew when I heard the sound that it must be his TARDIS.”
“Who are you?” Turlough asked.
“Leela,” she responded as she prodded at Turlough’s wound without hesitation.
“Ouch! What are you doing?”
“You are hurt. But it doesn’t seem too serious. Where is the Doctor?” Leela asked.
“Inside. He’s hurt, I think that he’s dying,” he told her.
Without anymore hesitation, Leela quickly went inside and found the Doctor still on the gurney. Turlough followed her in and he saw her putting her hand up to his face.
The was a moment of silence before she said in a shaky voice, “he is already dead.”
“No,” Turlough said. “He’s just barely alive. I don’t know what happened, but I know he’s not quite dead yet. He said the only place that he could get help was Gallifrey.”
Leela snapped into action once again. She strode out of the TARDIS and immediately touched a device that was on her wrist. “Andred!” she calls. “He’s here, and he needs help.”
“What’s wrong dear,” a voice echoed back.
“The Doctor is gravely ill and needs help.”
There was a moment of silence before the voice returned saying, “I’ve sent the medics to your location. I’ll meet you in the medical bay.”
Everything had all happened so quickly from there that Turlough barely knew what was happening. Time Lords arrived and took the Doctor away. He had limped his way after them, barley even being noticed.
He watched as they took him into the medical room, but they held him back when he tried to follow further.
“I’m not leaving him alone,” Turlough said stubbornly.
“It’s alright, they are going to take care of him,” Leela said behind him. Then she turned to the man who had stopped Turlough and said threateningly, “And this boy needs treatment as well, didn’t you notice he can barely walk?”
“Sorry ma’me. Come with me,” he said to Turlough. Leela helped to lead Turlough away when another man joined them.
“Andred, let me know what happens. I am going to take the Doctor’s friend to have his leg fixed.”
“Turlough,” Turlough said. “My name is Turlough.”
“Welcome Turlough. We’re going to do everything we can for both you and the Doctor,” Andred told him.
The next few days, Turlough was kept in the dark. No one would let him out of his room or tell him how the Doctor was, not even to say if he was still alive.
He had seen neither Leela nor Andred in that time either and he was beginning to get very worried.
By the third day, Turlough had had about enough of this. His leg was almost completely healed now and it no longer hurt to walk. He was not about to spend another day waiting for someone to give him any news when he was perfectly capable of finding things out himself.
Luckily for him, they had not posted a guard at this door, just had strongly suggested that he remain in his room.
Taking a moment to get his bearings, Turlough strided off in the direction that he was sure had been the medical wing. He had no sooner come to the entrance to the wing when he practically walked right into someone who was in a fast hurry to be leaving.
“Ouch! Watch where…” Turlough began.
The other was already bending down to help him up with a huge smile on his face, “Turlough! Just who I was looking for,” The Doctor said. “Come on now, we are in a bit of a hurry,” and he strode rapidly off, expecting Turlough to follow.
The young man stood rather shocked for a second before chasing after the Doctor.
“Doctor, what happened? How long have you been better? What’s going on?”
“One question at a time please Turlough,” the Doctor said not slowing his pace even a little. “To answer your second question first, I’ve been awake since yesterday. As for what’s going on, they seem to think that I still need to hang around here and be their president and I’m still not interested in the job. That is why we are trying to make a quick get away.”
“But Doctor, the TARDIS isn’t in this direction.”
“No, it wasn’t in this direction, but they moved it, or so Leela tells me.”
“You’ve seen Leela then?”
“Only a few minutes ago. She told me that they had been trying to keep you, her and Andred quiet about my return until they were able to have the coronation. Of course Leela doesn’t take too well with being confined and was quick to get away and scout about for me.”
“Where is she now?”
The Doctor smiled slightly, “Doing what she does best. I did have to get away from a lot of doctors back there.”
For some reason Turlough had little difficulty imaging that slight woman to be rather formable.
“She used to travel with you, didn’t she?”
“Yes,” was all the reply that he got.
Suddenly an alarm began to sound. “Here we go again,” Turlough muttered as they began to run down the hall.
Several halls and floors later as well as a serious lack of breath, the two clambered into the TARDIS and took off.
There was silence between the two of them for a moment before Turlough said, “Well Doctor, are you going to tell me what just happened?”
“We got away, as usual,” was the glib reply.
“You know what I mean,” Turlough said unfazed.
The Doctor put his hand up to the back of his head and rubbed as he said, “well,” and then he stuffed both hands in his pockets while rocking on his feet. “Truth is if it hadn’t been for you Turlough, I would be dead right now. That equipment was designed to blast open telepathic lines in a person’s mind. But it did so with such violent force, it disrupted every thing else that the brain controls. Luckily for me, I’m a Time Lord and we have an almost back up system that can keep us alive for a short while, usual while the body heals itself. But there was nothing for it to heal. All that I needed was someone to get my hearts going again… well that and repair the psychic damage that was created.”
“And the image of you? Your voice in my head? Those came as a result from the machine?”
“Yes. I didn’t realize right away what had happened, but it seemed that I was able to psychically project myself where ever I wanted, but at a coast. Every time I projected myself somewhere, I lost a little more energy that my body was using to keep me alive.”
“Leela said you had been to see her just before we arrived. I wasn’t exactly paying attention then, but I have been wondering about that since. Is that what she meant? Did you project yourself to her?”
“Yes, her and a few others,” the Doctor said as he turned back to his controls and began to fiddle absentmindedly with the dials and levers.
Turlough watched him for a few moments until he was sure that that was all he was going to get out of the Time Lord. “I’m going to make some tea Doctor, would you care for some.”
“Yes Turlough, thank you,” the Doctor said as he continued to mess with the controls.
Turlough left the Doctor alone in the counsel room and went to make the tea. Once he was sure the young man had left, the Doctor stood up from the counsel and looked after where he had disappeared.
Sighing, the Doctor shook his head as he muttered, “And now I start it all over again.”
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