As young Nydor Pian lay awake in his bed he waited, waited till he knew it was time to go. Time to make another attempt at escape. By no means was his education complete, but he’d been inspired, like so many before him, by the legend of the one that had escaped. By the one who had taken a TARDIS, escaped into time with his Granddaughter and even when the Council caught up to him managed to remain free to travel in time and space. The Doctor had inspired Nydor, and he too wanted his freedom. So every now and then he made these plans to escape, alone, from the Prydonian chapter education halls and to find and take a TARDIS. He was fairly sure he could fly one, he was top in the classes that lectured them on the mechanics of a TARDIS and the implications of changing the past. He wasn’t stupid, he’d be responsible…
Suddenly he heard raised voices coming from downstairs. The dormitory he slept in with nine other young Prydonian recruits was directly over the lecturers’ staff room, which was also used as a meeting place. They often had little chats about the students in the early hours of a Gallifreyian morning (seriously, did they EVER sleep?) but tonight the voices sounded more urgent, and worried. Nydor quietly got up and snuck over to the bed of his best friend, shaking him awake.
“W…Wha…?” he mumbled.
“Wake up!” Nydor whispered.
“Nydor… it’s too early to be awake,” his friend said. “I’ve told you before that I’m not coming with you on these ‘escape’ attempts…”
“No, it’s not that!” Nydor hissed. “Listen to the lecturers!”
His friend was quiet, and he too registered the worried tones. He got up and together the two of them went over to the corner of the room, where a hole was that let them hear down into the room below.
“…This is the situation we’re in,” said a voice they recognised as their lecturer for the studies on other alien life forms and their ‘societies’. “What do you recommend we do?”
“This is a grave situation indeed,” said a female voice that neither of them recognised. “You are sure that it is specifically the Prydonian Time Lords that are being targeted?”
“Yes, the chapter’s reputation for turning out Time Lords that won’t sit back and observe is becoming more well known,” Said another female voice (a medical worker stationed in the halls). “So therefore they are being eliminated one by one. It can’t be long before they start to destroy the halls, and all the new Prydonians with them.”
“But is it REALLY the best option?” came another male voice they didn’t recognise. “Knowing what he’s capable of, and how much he dislikes us?”
“He will help. He too is Prydonian, and won’t want to see his chapter destroyed,” said the medical worker.
“So, it’s agreed?” asked the first female voice. “Yes? Right, we’re re-calling his TARDIS. The Doctor is the only one who can help us now…”
Meanwhile, taking a break on a peak on Earth, Aisha and Adric were unaware of this development on Gallifrey. They were at the moment taking in the view, Aisha having pulled on a long thick coat to keep herself warm. As they reached the edge and looked down on the view of sheep, and distant twisty roads and towns Aisha took a deep breath.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” she asked of her companion.
“I’m not too sure…” Adric said, frowning. “I’ve always been more of a city boy… where did you say we were again?”
“North Wales,” Aisha said, adopting a fake welsh accent. “Snowdonia National Park.”
“Thought so…” Adric sighed.
Suddenly a short distance where it had been parked the TARDIS started to power up, as if it was about to de-materialise. Both of them turned sharply, and then seeing the TARDIS lighting up ran full pelt across the rocky mountain floor towards the machine. They had both just got in as the doors snapped shut automatically and the entire machine de-materialised. As they both caught their breath Aisha was angry.
“Who… Who’s messing with my TARDIS?” she snapped.
Both of them searched the control panel, looking for anything that could tell them what was going on. But since it had re-formed neither of them were yet familiar with what every light and display meant or read. So before they could find anything the TARDIS materialised wherever it had been taken. They both stopped looking, staring at the door.
“What do you suppose is out there?” Adric asked.
“Whoever just tried to kidnap the TARDIS with us not in it,” Aisha growled, then softer. “We should really go you know.”
“Yeah, we should…” Adric said.
“…But we won’t!” they both agreed at the same time.
Aisha opened the doors and both of them strode out… straight into the sights of several stasers. She instantly raised her hands in alarm.
“Who are you?” barked the leader. “Where’s the Doctor?”
“J-just calm yourselves!” Aisha said, stepping back.
“Stay still!” he barked at her. “Where’s the Doctor?”
“You see… he’s… not around anymore…” Aisha muttered.
“You have killed him?” the leader asked.
“No!” Aisha said. “I mean… yes, but he…”
“Shoot to kill men!” he ordered.
As they clicked their stasers into place to fire, Adric, who had been behind Aisha, flew forwards, and had quickly launched himself upon the nearest guard. This split second distraction gave Aisha enough time to dodge to one side, and using her thick coat to temporarily blind a guard that shot at her she was off like a shot down the corridor. As she ran Adric shot through a wall to her left, looked around and joined her as the guards came racing after them.
“Who are they?” he asked.
“Guards!” Aisha cried. “We’re on flamin’ Gallifrey, and they were expecting my father!”
They burst through a set of double doors, straight into a large room filled with many important looking Time Lords and a Time Lady. The guards in that room advanced on the intruders, and as Aisha backed off the other guards came through the doors, surrounding them.
“Damn!” she hissed, raising her hands again.
“What is the meaning of this?” demanded the Time Lady, who Aisha recognised as Chancellor Flavia.
“We found these two in the Doctor’s TARDIS,” said the leader of the guards who’d ordered Aisha to be shot. “We were about to deal with the girl when her friend jumped us and they both ran.”
“There’s a simple explanation…” Aisha started.
“The Doctor can’t help you!” Adric shouted, a little less restrained in his speech.
“Adric, calm down. This isn’t the time!” Aisha hissed at him.
“What do you mean?” one of the Time Lords asked Adric.
“The Doctor is dead,” Adric said, as little more calmly.
There were gasps, mostly of surprise, not horror. Flavia stood.
“The Lady President must be informed,” she said.
“You are going to believe his lies?” the head guard asked of her. “He is not even Gallifreyian!”
“Maybe not, but you say only these two came out,” Flavia said. “Therefore it is possible, even if these two are his murderers.”
“She said she killed the Doctor,” said another guard.
“I had no choice,” Aisha said, looking down. “He had re-generated… and gone evil. He told me to… asked me to…”
“The Valeyard?” asked another of the Time Lords.
“Yes sir,” Aisha said. “The Doctor knew he would be the Valeyard, due to their past meeting. So he asked me to kill him so the universe would be safe.”
The Council were now nodding, aware of the fact that the Valeyard had shown up and stood in as prosecution at his own sixth self’s trial. Yet they had no idea where he’d gone after that, or even why his life signs had disappeared. Now this young Time Lady, dressed as eccentrically as the Doctor himself had been, was supplying them with a reason and story, backed up by her Alzarian friend. Flavia had gone to fetch the Lord President, and Aisha lowered her arms, knowing that the guards would not shoot her or Adric at present. Neither of them tried to escape though.
“What are we doing?” Adric asked. “I thought you and the Doctor weren’t that keen on Gallifrey… and I thought they’d been…”
“Shh!” Aisha said. “We can’t let them know their future with the Time War. And plus this problem they needed the Doctor for… I’m going to help them with it.”
“Are you sure that’s wise?” Adric asked.
“If I don’t they’ll try and keep me here, and our ‘freedom’ and adventures will end before they even get started!” Aisha said. “This is the way the Doctor did it. They’ll let us have our freedom to roam, as long as we help them out every now and then.”
“Rotten deal if you ask me. Neither of us was born here,” Adric said.
“Yes, but unfortunately that means nothing to them. I don’t even think they know I was born off-planet,” Aisha grinned.
Suddenly Flavia came in, and as she took her seat another Time Lady came in. Aisha quickly hid her surprise, and Adric didn’t recognise her.
“Announcing the Lady President Romana,” said a guard.
“Romana?” Adric cried.
At the glares he received from the Gallifreyians in the room, he lowered his eyes respectfully with everyone else. Aisha was trying to act serious, but too was trying to hide the grin that Adric’s yelp of surprise had put on her face.
“So, the Doctor is dead?” Romana asked.
“Yes Lady President ma’am,” Aisha said. “But I will try to help you in any way I can.”
“You?” Romana asked, as she took in Aisha and Adric. “Who are you girl?”
“My name is Aisha,” Aisha said. “I am the Doctor’s… successor.”
“And are you are Prydonian too?” Romana asked.
“Yes, I suppose I am,” Aisha said.
“I can see that you have the same manner of the Doctor’s in offering help, as well as some of the same help he had,” Romana said. “But I assume you wish the same as he did? To be allowed to roam free for giving us this help?”
“Yes,” Aisha said.
“I’m sorry. But I cannot allow that,” Romana said. “Too many of our young Time Lords and Ladies are rebelling. They want their freedom they say, but we need them all here to maintain our society.”
“But… you can’t….”
“I’m sorry. But even though you slipped through our nets before, I cannot let you go again,” Romana said. “But you will help us.”
“But nothing Aisha. This audience is over,” Romana said. “You and Adric can stay over in one of the Prydonian halls while you help us get to the bottom of this situation.”
She stood and walked out, leaving the guards to escort Aisha and Adric out of the Council chamber. They were escorted to transport and as they sat in the carriage it was locked and they were sent on their way. Aisha was still smarting a little from being treated as an ordinary Gallifreyian.
“I think she thinks I was actually born here!” she said.
“Why did you tell her you were Prydonian?” Adric asked.
“Because I am… by blood default,” Aisha said. “The Doctor was Prydonian, so I guess I am too.”
“It’s scary how much she’s changed since regeneration…” Adric said. “Romana I mean…”
“Yes, it is,” Aisha said, remembering the memories from her dad’s forth self. “But unfortunately she is Lady President of Gallifrey.”
“So we’re going to help her investigate?”
“Yes. I promised as much,” Aisha said.
“And you’re really going to remain on Gallifrey forever?” Adric asked, appalled.
“Now, who said I was going to do that?” Aisha grinned at him. “No my friend, we’ll co-operate with her, but as soon as the problem’s solved we’re out of here at our first opportunity! There’s still too much to explore! Too many lives need saving, too many people to meet, too many villains to defeat!”
“You sound so much like the Doctor…” Adric sighed, shaking his head in a mock-resigned way. “Now I believe we can do it.”
“And never doubt it, we’re too good a team to be contained for long.” Aisha said, before finally sitting.