Watching in horror from the safety of the TARDIS, they saw the freighter plunging towards the planet, their friend trapped aboard. The explosion ripped through the ship and all he could feel was shock, shock that it had happened. His young friend was… gone.
It couldn’t be true! It couldn’t be…
“Stop, stop, STOP!”
She stopped the memory clip and yanked out her ear cable, her eyes were wide and watery. As she tried to bite it back the Doctor came in.
“I told you there was a reason why I never let you access that memory,” he said. “It still haunts me, and I didn’t want you to see it.”
“Why?” Aisha asked, her voice slightly bitter. “Because you didn’t want to admit you made a mistake in not insisting he came?”
“I couldn’t do anything!” the Doctor said, annoyed. “Adric was adamant that he stayed…”
“You could have tried to go back for him, to materialise in the freighter before it exploded!” Aisha said, standing.
“I COULDN’T INTERFERE!” the Doctor said.
“No, because that would have been against the laws of our people wouldn’t it?” Aisha replied, sarcastically. “You never put any store by the other Time Lords’ rules before! Why didn’t you…? Oh, forget it!”
She stormed off, slamming through the doors to go to her room…
A few hours later and everyone else, including the Doctor, was asleep. But Aisha lay awake, thinking about what she’d seen.
She got up and paced her room, muttering under her breath. She knew it wasn’t the Doctor’s fault really, but the burst of emotion that memory had given her had made her act unreasonably… She kicked a random piece of metal across the room, and it impacted loudly against the wall. It made her feel slightly better, but not much. She needed to talk… she decided to go look for a happier memory within the TARDIS banks of memory.
As she stepped into the console room she didn’t notice anything strange for a moment. Then she saw him, a young boy standing in the console room, writing down calculations on a notepad in his hand. He kept glancing at the computer every now and then to check something, and make an alteration to his calculations. As she paused, unsure, suddenly he glanced up. He jumped.
“I… I didn’t think anyone was going to be up at this time…” he said, his voice worried and echoing. “I was… just…”
“W-who?” Aisha stuttered
“I would have thought you’d know,” he said, his voice suddenly knowing, “You do have some of the Doctor’s memories after all.”
“B-but… you…” Aisha couldn’t believe it, “Adric?”
“Yes,” he said, smiling
“But you… you…” Aisha said
“I know, I died,” he said. “But like I told the Doctor, my home planet doesn’t have anything for me. Travelling with him gave me some importance. So I stayed, in spirit.”
He tapped the star on his chest and put down his notepad on the console.
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell the Doctor about this,” he said. “Although it would undoubtly do some good for him to know we could still talk, my death made him more careful about his friends. And he doesn’t believe in ghosts anyway.”
“Neither do I,” Aisha said, “but I’m seeing one.”
Suddenly there was a movement from the corridor behind Aisha. She turned in alarm, and looked back at the young spirit.
“The Doctor,” she said
“I shall have to go,” he said, “but if you need to talk, I wouldn’t mind listening. It’s been pretty lonely the past 200 or so years.”
As he smiled again he disappeared, then the Doctor came up behind Aisha.
“What’s going on?” he asked, confused
“I was just going to access some more memories. Happier ones,” Aisha said. “Listen, I’m sorry about earlier. It wasn’t your fault.”
“No, I should have realised that you’d get a blast of raw emotion from that memory. I should have insisted you didn’t watch it,” the Doctor said, “not given in like with Adric…”
“Let’s not think of it,” Aisha said, pulling out her cable from her cyberear. “Let’s watch something fun.”
“There’s some good stuff with my third regeneration,” the Doctor said, as Aisha plugged herself in. “I miss that scarf sometimes.”
As she typed at the console, Aisha noticed something that hadn’t been there before. A golden star glittered in the darkness of the TARDIS ceiling. The Doctor saw it too, and frowned.
“I’ve never seen that before,” he said
“Really?” Aisha said, looking back at the console. “It’s been there for ages…”