Establishing Contact

by Gary Merchant [Reviews - 7]

  • All Ages
  • General
  • Character, Study, General


They had lived among the stars for an eternity. They were older than man, perhaps older than much of the universe. Their religious convictions had held them strong for eons, and had seen them grow into a peaceful race.

But even in the most peaceful of species, there would always be dissenters.

To challenge existing beliefs was not uncommon — that was how many races developed, for to ignore change would pave the way to stagnation, and ultimate extinction. But to go against all held beliefs, to openly flout the conventions that had been laid down was tantamount to blasphemy. It was just such a challenge from one faction that led to an uprising. The revolt was quelled, with the dissenters uncovered. The leader of this faction was given the most severe punishment — exile. With only a guard for company, the dissenter was banished from her world, never to return, her jailer knowingly accepting his fate with no protest.

After many sun-periods had passed, it became apparent that regular communications from the jailer had ceased. There was no immediate concern — the transporter had successfully completed its journey, delivering its party to a planet designated suitable for exile. It was only when it was discovered that the dissenter had successfully achieved the act of transmutation, with the ability to transfer itself into a corporeal host, that a measure of disquiet was raised, and then only amongst the elite.

The planet was duly scanned for comparable signs of the dissenter’s presence. It was established that the planet, known as Earth, possessed only low-level technology, effectively nullifying any potential threat the dissenter might present. However, it was recognised that Earth was continually developing its culture and would, in all probability, gain sufficient prominence within the known universe. It was agreed that Earth would be regularly monitored.

As time passed, Earth became known to many other worlds. In many instances, it had become a planet worthy of study, while others sought to invade and colonise. Such attempts were rarely successful, and this fact alone brought Earth into prominence once more. While its people had begun to reach out beyond their own world, their existing technology was still lacking against alien incursion. There was only one possible answer — intervention from an alien race.

They had known of the Time Lords for many ages, but it was still surprising to learn of one having been exiled to Earth. They observed this Doctor, and learning of his past actions, were intrigued. But that was all.


Signals indicating the reactivation of the transporter were unexpected. Much less expected were indications that its coordinates had been reprogrammed to deliver it into the sun of Earth’s solar system. However, it was clear that the life signs of the dissenter had ceased at that same moment. Her exile was ended, and the dark chapter of this race had finally been laid to rest.

But there was still an interest in Earth itself, and its people. The Doctor’s exile had long since been lifted, but his continued return to that planet was noted. Rumours that he preferred the Earth to his own planet seemed to hold some credence. Eventually it was agreed — contact would be established.

The degree of contact would be minimal, and the choice of subject was therefore crucial. Someone with experience of other life forms. A further study was undertaken, and the choice duly made. Coordinates were set, and a scout elected. The journey was relatively swift, and the scout soon returned with welcome news.

Contact had been successfully achieved, and the subject had welcomed the scout openly. It was clear that there was much to be appreciated from each side — there was even an appreciation of poetry, something held in high regard. From this initial success, it was agreed that contact would continue to be maintained with the subject, who had declared herself as a friend, a word recognised in the universal language of peace.

And so it was that the name of Sarah Jane Smith duly became recognised and acknowledged within the history of the Star Poets.