“He came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone.” -Robert Jordan, A Memory of Light
I can still remember so clearly the day things changed----- The day Capella-V found a new sense of hope. The day the Doctor came.
The day began normally; up at sunrise, consume my meager breakfast, bid farewell to my family, then report for work. It wasn’t a choice. On Capella-V there was a single rule; you served the Great Elders until you were too old to do so anymore. If you were ill or infirm, adult or child, didn’t matter. There were two kinds of people: the Great Elders and those of us who served them. We served without question or complaint, as most of us were starving and this was the only way to earn food.
That morning, however, something was different. I was in the marketplace looking for fresh fruit for tonight’s dinner when a noise filled the air. It was odd, not like the usual buzz of conversation and haggling in the market. It was the harsh groaning and wheezing of a distressed creature. Several onlookers were converging in the middle of the street around what appeared to be a large blue tent. We all stood in awe as two figures emerged .
The first was a small man in a straw hat dressed in an outfit embossed with unfamiliar symbols. At his side was a girl, no older than eighteen , clad in a coat with so many symbols and badges it was hard to discern all of them.
As I watched, I caught pieces of their conversation; her calling the man “Professor” and him trying to explain the geography of our planet and why Tardis had sent them there. I wanted to run up and ask who or what Tardis was, but I guessed it must have been their capsule.
Word travels fast on a small world like ours. Within three days of the arrival, stories were circulating. The Professor, unhappy with what he’d seen of our planet, demanded to see the Chief Elder immediately and the girl threatening to blow up the Elders’ palace if they refused.
That last bit must have made an impression.
A day later, a crowd of citizens (myself included) were gathered around the palace courtyard listening to the Professor in a heated debate, His lilting voice and words of justice echoed through the windows. The Elders, he said, were using good, blameless people as slave labor. It stirred something in us. Somehow this small man gave us something we were missing-----hope.
A week later is when the changes began. The Elders agreed to give us time off and increase our rations. I couldn’t believe it when I got the news. As I ran home to tell my children, something in me said to go to that odd blue tent and thank the Professor (who we’d learned was actually called Doctor) and the girl; without their help, this wouldn’t have happened. However, when I got to the center of town, where the tent had remained all this time, they were already gone.
On Capella-V we are no stranger to wind; the winds here blow something fierce and howling every night. And when the Doctor came to Capella-V, it was like a wind, changing us for the better and gone just as quickly.