Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

The Doctor woke from his sleep suddenly. On the edge of his perception someone was calling him. Somebody with grief in their hearts, calling him father.

Not one of his children, he thought as he slipped out of bed and went to the window. Not his blood children. It was one of the Gallifreyans. The young ones, especially, called him that. They looked on him as their patriarch.

“Who is it?” he asked mentally. “Who is calling to me?”

“Me,” a voice answered. “My old name was Galitus Averon. Here on Earth I am Gavin Bird. I am sorry, father. I have… I have done something foolish. And… I am dying.”

“What have you done?” he asked.

“I was involved in a robbery,” the former Galitus Averon answered. “I let myself be used. I was a fool. The bank I work in… I helped some people get into the vault. We stole money, jewels… But there was a silent alarm. When we left the building, the police were there. There was a gunfight. I’ve been hit about a dozen times. Both my hearts are penetrated. And my lungs. I don’t think I can mend myself.”

The Doctor was already dressing himself. He looked back at his wife, sleeping in their bed and felt a pang of guilt. He salved it by telling himself he would be back before she knew he was gone.


Rose heard him dressing, heard him softly slip out of the room. She knew that it must be something important that took him from her in the middle of the night. She lay still and quiet and prepared to stay awake until he returned to her side.


The TARDIS materialised in the dark alleyway. Somewhere not far away there was a burglar alarm going off, and there were police sirens. In this dark alleyway, though, it was relatively quiet. The Doctor listened. He caught the sound of somebody breathing shallowly and with difficulty and located him.

He WAS dying. He knew that right away. He was dying and there was nothing anyone could do for him. Only one thing. Get his body out of there. The Doctor lifted him as gently as he could and brought him back to the TARDIS. He laid him down on the floor of the console room and reached to take them into temporal orbit before he returned to the side of the dying man.

“I can’t do anything to save you,” The Doctor told him. “You do understand, don’t you? The damage is too great. A Human would be dead now. Your hearts are pulped. Your lungs… stomach…” The internal damage was horrific. He hadn’t seen anything this bad since he worked as a field surgeon on the Western front in 1916. And then his patients almost always died in agony.

He held the almost late Galitus Averon in his arms. He had called him father. And yes, he looked on him almost as one of his children. He had assumed the responsibility for his life when he brought him here to Earth, along with all the other Gallireyan refugees. He cared for his life. He bitterly mourned that it had been thrown away on something so foolish as a bank robbery.

“I’m sorry, father,” Galitus said, though not in words. That would have been too much of a struggle. His telepathic circuits still worked even as the rest of his body shut down. The brain would be the last to die. “I have let you down. I have let our people down.”

“Yes, you have,” The Doctor told him. “You’ve let us all down. It was a stupid, sordid thing to do.”

“Please, father, Galitus begged. “Forgive me.”

“I forgive you,” he said. “That’s easily done. I forgive you.” He held him close, cuddling him like a child as he breathed his last ragged breaths. Orange-red Gallifreyan blood bubbled from his lips as he managed two last words.

“Thank you,” he said and The Doctor felt his soul slip away. He held him for a few minutes more and then he carried the body, the shell of Galitus Averon, to the TARDIS door. He laid him down, his arms by his side, his eyes closed and went back to the console. He opened the TARDIS doors. The automatic force field kicked in, preventing decompression. He held onto the console and overrode the forcefield for just long enough for the body to be pulled out of the TARDIS. He re-initiated the forcefield and stepped towards the open doors. He watched the body tumbling away from the TARDIS. It would soon be caught up in the Earth’s gravity. Galitus would be a very brief meteorite hitting the atmosphere and burning up.

That was the important, practical thing. He shuddered to think what would have happened if a Gallifreyan body had wound up being dissected on an autopsy table. The two hearts, the blood that wasn’t blood by Human definition of the word, the respiratory bypass system, the very DNA, would cause trouble The Doctor could only begin to imagine, even with HIS imagination.

But there were other things to consider, too, and they worried him.


They were still worrying him in the morning when he sat and watched his family at breakfast. Vicki was eating her toast in her usual sticky fingered style. Rose was feeding Peter and talking to Jackie who was telling her how much the baby was kicking. That gave him and Christopher both something to smile about. They could both feel the unborn soul as if it was, already, a part of their family.

His politician son, of course, was up to his eyes in constituency mail, both old fashioned letters and a long list of emails on his laptop that meant he took up a whole section of the dining table to himself.

“Something’s bothering you, isn’t it,” Christopher said telepathically as he looked across the table at his father.

“Not now,” he answered as Vicki looked suddenly attentive. “After breakfast, I DO need to talk to you about it.”

After breakfast, after he had seen Vicki off on her bicycle to go and spend the Saturday morning with Sukie, he and Christopher strolled down to the riverbank at the far edge of the property. It wasn’t long before Chris and Davie joined them. They sat together, all choosing different ways to sit. The Doctor lay sideways, propping his head on his arm. Chris knelt in a formal, meditative position, Davie sat with his legs pulled up and his arms about his knees, Christopher sat up with his legs straight.

Between the four of them they represented the legacy of the Time Lords. Until the first of the Gallifreyan refugees were ready to transcend they were the ONLY Time Lords. They were the elder statesmen of their people.

The Doctor related to the others what had happened in the night. Christopher nodded as he heard of his actions in disposing of the body.

“You did the right thing,” he told him. “We can’t have a body like that on a mortuary slab.”

“It’s the WASTE,” The Doctor said. “The waste of life. The waste of opportunity. We are so few as it is.”

“He wasn’t exactly an asset to Gallifrey,” Davie noted. “Bank robbery!”

“He was bloody stupid. I am so angry and disappointed,” The Doctor continued. “But he was still one of us.”

“It highlights a problem,” Christopher said. “We must have a code of conduct for our people to live by.”

“I always hoped our people would live as one with Humans, indistinguishable from them. Safe.”

“That isn’t what Rassilon wanted for us,” Christopher answered him. “He told you we would rise to the top, we would rule this planet, for the good of every race on it.”

“Yes, but not yet. For now we are vulnerable. We risk exposure in the worst way. But we must have structure.”

“Is it time to have the new matrix?” Chris asked. “The Ark at Tara… it’s what it was for… waiting for you.”

“Not yet,” The Doctor said. “But I think it is time we had our own laws. We need… a government in exile. We need consensus among our people about it. We need…”

“We need an election,” Davie said. “A presidential election.”

“You’re the President, aren’t you granddad?” Chris said. “As the only surviving former member of the High Council that makes you the de facto President.”

“They all look to you as their leader anyway,” Christopher pointed out.

“Yes, but I think it is time we made it official. I think we should call a meeting, a Conference, a gathering of the clan, as David would call it.”

“Good idea,” Christopher said. “We can hire a big marquee like we did for our weddings. Organise committee meetings with some of the senior people. And then we can have a ballot. Elect a new High Council. You as president, of course.”

“If I’m elected,” The Doctor said. “There may be others who would challenge me.”

“Who?” Chris asked. “You are the senior Time Lord. You should be President.”

“Christopher is a more experienced politician than I am. Maybe he’d like to challenge me.”

Davie laughed. Chris looked at him and he laughed too.

“What?” The Doctor asked.

“In the TARDIS archives…. There is a very old official reprimand to you from the then High Council, for your evasion of duty during your term as President. Seems like you’re still trying to evade it.”

“You could be right,” The Doctor answered him. “Have you read ALL the old files on me then?”

“Most of them. It gets boring on long trips home from dropping Brenda off,” he said. “Gives me plenty of reading time.”

“They deposed me in my absence,” The Doctor remembered. “But they’re all dead now and I have the Sash of Rassilon. By default I’m in charge unless anyone else wants the job or unless the last Gallifreyans vote against me.” He laughed. “Wait till Rose works out that makes her First Lady of Gallifrey!”

Christopher smiled at that and wondered how his own wife would enjoy that honour.

“And in those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken…”

The reference from the Christian Bible stuck in The Doctor’s mind in the next days as they sent out word to all of the “Children of Israel” as he had once called them, thinking it an appropriate title for his group of exiles. The date was agreed on. Arrangements were made.

Christopher, more than anyone else, was well aware that it would need more than the hiring of a marquee to hold such a conference. Two hundred or more people would need accommodation, food. They needed security to ensure their safety. He arranged the practical details.

His father worried about the agenda.

The death of Galitus Averon had awoken The Doctor to a reality he had overlooked until then. His people were not infallible. They were prone to the same weaknesses of spirit as any Human. They were capable of crime, of jealousy and rivalry, of any and every vice. The high ideals and moralities he lived by would not sit with them all.

And yet, they WERE his people. And he had a duty to them and he hoped fervently they would live up to that duty.


If anyone had a lifesigns detector permanently trained on that archipelago of islands off the north-west coast of Europe that was geographically known as the British Isles, and if that detector could differentiate between species, they would have noticed some interesting movement among one particular species. They would have seen every member of that species identified as Gallifreyan leave their homes, be they in the far south-west corner of Ireland or the remote islands of northern Scotland, Wales, whether in city or town or country, and converge on south London.

And the observer would have realised that something important was going on. Something not seen on this planet since that decree by Caesar Augustus more than 2,000 years before, or perhaps the time some centuries before that even, when a man called Moses gathered that other exiled people together in one place.

Yes, The Doctor thought, there was something rather epic about what he proposed to do.

He also realised there was something dangerous about the idea of their entire people gathering in one place. Gallifrey had plenty of old enemies that would rejoice in such an opportunity to finish them off. Not the one enemy he always feared, of course, the one that had destroyed all but this remnant of his people and driven them here in exile. He could be fairly sure that THEY were gone for good now. But imagine, he thought, if the Sontarans got wind of this. Or those insane adherents of the Master who had caused him trouble before.

The conference had to be secret and it had to be secure. Martin and Geoff, Christopher’s former 22nd Space Corps CPO’s came into their own, organising a security lock-down that Jack Harkness himself would be proud of. When the children of Gallifrey arrived on the appointed day they were checked carefully at the gate before they assembled in the great marquee that had been raised for the conference.

The Doctor had thought long and hard about how best to organise it. He thought of the Panopticon where the High Council sat in session on a raised dais with the Time Lords arrayed around them. He thought of ordinary political conferences on Earth, with the delegates speaking from a podium.

He rejected both of those ways of doing it because they assumed a hierarchy and a leadership and, as yet, the Gallifreyans in exile didn’t HAVE a hierarchy, and if he could help it they wouldn’t have one in the strict and pompous sense of the old High Council. This was a chance to cast off the most pointless aspects of the old regime and start again.

He recalled what was, at least as far as historians believed, a legend of these islands he lived in now. And when the Gallifreyans took their places they found themselves as equals arranged around a great ROUND table – or more exactly, an unbroken ring of tables set with carafes of water and notepaper and pens. In the middle of the ring, on the polished wooden floor professionally laid down over the meadow, was a great Seal of Rassilon to remind everyone what was at stake.

Despite those arrangements, they looked to him to begin the proceedings. Earth political thinking had a phrase - “primus inter pares” – First among Equals. For the time being, that was him.

“Friends,” he said as the murmurs of conversations died away and all eyes turned on him. “Gallifreyans. Thank you for coming here. I hope the next few days will be fruitful to us all. I would like to open the proceedings by a renewal of an old oath which I think still has some validity for us all. May I ask you all to stand and place your hand over your left heart.”

They did so with a scraping of chairs but otherwise no sound. They all looked solemn as they spoke in unison the words that appeared at the top of the agenda sheet before each of them.

“I swear to protect the ancient law of Gallifrey, with all my might and main, and will to the end of my days, with justice and honour, tender my actions and my thoughts.”

“Thank you,” The Doctor said as they took their seats again. “The ancient law of Gallifrey. That law is dust, as is Gallifrey. Much of it was dust even before. There were too many laws that were unworkable and unfair. Too many that were irrelevant to modern life. Yet we should seek to protect the ethos of Gallifrey. We were and are a peace-loving people. We seek to harm no-one. We seek no domination of any other people. And justice and honour must be our watchwords.” He paused and looked around and saw nods of agreement.

“Two weeks ago, one of us failed to live up to those watchwords.” And he quickly related the circumstances of the death of Galitus Averon. The story shocked all who had not yet heard it as a rumour.

“In the light of this incident, we need to consider how Gallifreyans are to live among the people of Earth. We are powerful people. Even those not yet transcended have at least rudimentary telepathic powers. Some of us have strong telekinetic powers. We can do three things with these powers. We can avoid using them, living among Humans AS Humans, without recourse to that which sets us apart. We can use our powers for good, seeking to help the people of this planet among whom we live. Or we can use them for bad. We can cheat at cards, find out the winning horse in the 2.15 at Kempton, or next week’s lottery numbers. We can influence people in countless ways to better ourselves financially or personally. But I don’t need to tell you that goes against not only the ancient laws of Gallifrey – specifically the one that makes it a capital crime to fiddle the lottery – but it is the very antithesis of Justice and Honour.”

He paused and looked around.

“Gallifreyans WILL obey the Human laws of the countries they make their homes in. That must be our first and abiding law. Gallifreyans will NOT rob banks, embezzle money, murder, maim, commit acts of sexual deviance against other beings. If you DO, you risk exposing us all. A prison doctor making a medical examination of a prisoner is as dangerous as a mortician cutting into the double hearts of Galitus Averon. But let me be clear on this. If you DO commit a crime, if you ARE in trouble, I am NOT going to bail you out. I am not going to subvert the law to save you. And nor is any other Gallifreyan. You will be ON YOUR OWN. So DON’T do it.”

He looked around at them and again he thought there was consensus. Christopher stood up from his seat several places away from The Doctor.

“Until a Council is convened, then, let us have a show of hands on that first Resolution. Obedience to the existing Human laws. All in favour….”

The Doctor looked around the room. It looked like unanimity. Just to be certain, Christopher asked for a show of hands of those not in favour.

One man raised his hand. He was sitting five places away from Christopher. He looked around at him. Almost all eyes were on that one dissenter. The Doctor looked at Christopher and a telepathic message passed between them.

“Who is that?”

“I have no idea.”

At which the dissenter stood. Christopher and The Doctor both sat, giving him the floor.

“I would like to propose that for the duration of this conference and any committee meetings arising out of it, telepathic communication between delegates be refrained from and verbal communication only be employed.”

The Doctor smiled guiltily and seconded the proposal. By his side Susan, acting as secretary, took a minute to that effect before he continued.

“The First Resolution of this Conference, namely, that all Gallifreyans should obey the existing Human laws of the country or jurisdiction in which they live is carried by 231 votes to 1.”

Susan entered the result into the minutes, the pen in her hand moving at superfast speed as she wrote.

“Now,” The Doctor continued. “We come to the important matter of electing a Council, a Government in exile to represent the best interests of the Gallifreyan people. I propose that an election be held as soon as possible of a President and Chancellor, as well as members of the Council, on the basis of primus inter pares. I propose that the election is by universal suffrage of all Gallifreyans over the age of 18.”

“I second that proposal,” Davie said, standing up on the other side of the room and speaking up clearly.

“I object,” said the dissenter and he stood. “How do we define ‘Gallifreyan’?” he asked. “Is the vote to be restricted to pure-blood Gallifreyans? In which case you, sir, and your descendents are excluded. Should it be restricted to those born on Gallifrey? In which case the seconder of the proposer is excluded. What about individuals such as those….” He pointed to David, sitting next to Chris, and to Rose and Jackie who were also at the table. “None of these are Gallifreyans by birth or by blood. They are merely the spouses of Gallifreyans. Should they even be HERE in the conference?”

“I make no distinction between pure blood, half blood or hybrid,” The Doctor replied. “When Rassilon outlined to me the future of our race in exile on Earth he told me that our future lies in the fusing of Gallifreyan blood with that of Human, that there would be no longer any distinction between pure blood and half blood and hybrid. We would ALL be New Gallifreyans, New Lords of Time.”

“You have spoken to Rassilon?” A woman sitting opposite The Doctor exclaimed excitedly, jumping up from her chair which fell with a crash. “But that is… then you are… you must be Rassilon’s Chosen One.”

“Rassilon’s Chosen One bears the Mark of Rassilon,” somebody said.

“Spoken to Rassilon!” The Dissenter cut into the hubbub that broke out. “That is very unlikely. But let us put this matter to the vote. Shall a Gallifreyan be deemed to be wholly of the old and sacred blood or not?”

It took longer for the Gallifreyans to respond to that question. It occurred to them all at the same time that the only pure-blooded Gallifreyans in this Conference were the ones who were deemed to be the lowest caste of the old regime, the Caretakers. The elite, the only members of a high-caste Oldblood house, and the only Time Lords among them, were ALL half-bloods. From The Doctor through his son, his grandaughter and great-grandchildren, each generation was mixed blood.

All of them knew that they owed their lives and their freedom to that mixed blood dynasty. Yet a few of them had been influenced enough by the dissenting speaker, or had become ambitious enough in the time they had lived on Earth in freedom, to consider themselves worthy of challenging the order of their homeworld.

“Let it be duly noted,” The Doctor said at last. On Resolution Two, “That the term “Gallifreyan” shall henceforth be deemed to mean any individual whose DNA is wholly or in part that of the species of humanoid originating from the planet Gallifrey, in the Kasterborus constellation. Or the spouse of such individual.” - The vote is carried by 165 votes to seventy-one votes. This is not only a simple majority but more than a two-thirds majority and therefore by any consideration the vote is carried.”

“That being the case,” Christopher said, rising again. “We should now take nominations for the President of the Council of Gallifreyans. I propose my father, Lord Chrístõ Cuimhne de Lœngbærrow, also known as The Doctor. Would anyone be prepared to second that proposal?”

Several people raised their hands, and Christopher smiled and nodded to a young man sitting three places away from him who formally seconded the motion. Then, to his surprise, Jackie stood. She looked nervous. She looked hesitant. But she spoke up. Proposing motions was, in fact, something she had done before. She had been a member of the Powell Estate Residents Association. This was the same sort of thing on a bigger scale, she reasoned.

“I propose Chrístõ Miraglo de Lœngbærrow for President of Gallifrey,” she said and waited for a response. She looked anxiously at The Doctor, wondering if he would be offended that she had opposed his nomination. To HER surprise HE stood up and seconded the motion.

Then to everyone’s surprise the man who had dissented on their first two Resolutions stood.

“I propose myself, MortimusCalsicHallow-LanSteelae Draxic, of the Patrexean Chapter, Time Lord of Gallifrey, for President of the Government in Exile.”

“What?” The Doctor looked at the man closely now. Draxic was not one of the Oldblood Houses like The House of Lœngbærrow. It was a Newblood, like the House of Lundar, the family his old friend Romana came from. They were generally less wealthy than Oldbloods, but often had as much political power, because they were able to take advantage of the educational opportunities where the Caretakers couldn’t.

He was NOT, The Doctor was sure, one of the refugees he brought to Earth after liberating them from Sontaran slavery.

He looked at the man carefully. He looked about thirty-five to forty in Earth years, good looking if he wasn’t scowling darkly, with blue eyes and soft blonde-brown air. But if he was Gallifreyan he could be much older than that.

But the question of where Mortimus Draxic came from would have to wait. He had proposed himself for the Presidency and somebody would have to second him.

“I second the nomination,” Christopher said as the silence lengthened. There were murmurs around the room, but nobody doubted that he had acted with justice and honour. Their First Axiom had been upheld.

“Are there any more nominations?” The Doctor asked. Nobody else spoke. “Very well then, I suggest we close this first meeting and reconvene this afternoon at four o’clock when the candidates will present themselves and their policies formally to you. And the ballot will take place tomorrow morning.”

His suggestion was met with unanimous agreement. When he told them that an informal luncheon was available in the hospitality marquee they were even more agreeable.

“What’s going on?” Rose asked her husband as she caught up with him by the buffet, helping himself to a bottle of mineral water and a cúl nut puree canapé. “Who is that guy? Draxic…”

“I have no idea,” he answered. “I intend to find out.” He looked around but for the moment he couldn’t see him. Christopher came to his side with Jackie on his arm.

“You don’t mind, do you?” Jackie asked him. “Me nominating Christopher. It’s not that I don’t think you wouldn’t be any good, but he’s the politician of our family.”

“Lord High President is more than a political post,” Christopher told her. “The President leads all of the most important ceremonies and rituals.”

“What rituals?” Rose asked. “Apart from the boys when they transcended we’ve never had any.”

“The Lord High President would preside at important weddings and naming ceremonies,” The Doctor said. “And of course the transcension ceremonies. There are some others, too, that we haven’t bothered to do since we came to Earth. There are the solstice and equinox ceremonies, the….” He stopped. He had seen Draxic come into the marquee. He wondered where he had been until now, and scolded himself for being suspicious.

He didn’t like the man. He had opposed every measure he wanted to pass. Draxic’s idea of New Gallifrey was a self-contained elite of pure bloods, not the open society moving and mingling with Humans on an equal basis. It was the very antithesis of what he set out to do.

But he had no reason whatsoever to think he was doing anything wrong.

“Draxic,” he called and waved the man over. Draxic made a pretence of not seeing his signal at first, and then casually deciding to join him. “I don’t think we’ve met,” The Doctor added.

“That is where you are wrong,” Draxic answered. “But never mind that.”

“No,” The Doctor insisted. “I think…” He looked at him at close quarters. He WAS a pureblood Gallifreyan, he thought. He had the vestigial tear ducts that were the obvious outward sign. “But…”

“But you CAN’T be a Time Lord,” The Doctor insisted. “All these years I have hoped to find another of our kind. And there was nothing. In any case, all the pyramids were black. There were no Time Lords left alive except me.”

“Perhaps you miscounted,” Draxic answered him.

“No,” The Doctor replied quickly. “No, I didn’t. There WERE no Time Lords left. So who are you and where did you come from?”

“Northumbria,” Draxic said. “Where, aside from one brief period of liberty, I have lived for 1,151 years. Some of them very BORING years.” He looked expectantly at The Doctor. But if there was something he was waiting for him to say it wasn’t happening.

“He’s NOT a Time Lord,” Rose said. “He can’t be. The pyramids….”

“He’s not.” Chris stood beside her. He looked at the man intently for a long time. Draxic met his gaze at first, but it was he who flinched first and turned away.

“The half-blood whelp is right,” he answered. “I’m not a Time Lord. I failed the examination. They refused to let me transcend.”

“Then…..” The Doctor began, but Rose cut him off. She had just done the maths.

“1,151 years…..that would be… 1066.”

“Wow, Jackie said. “Battle of Hastings.”

“Not in Northumbria,” The Doctor answered her. “That would be the Battle of Stamford Bridge. And please don’t say anything about Chelsea.” He laughed with Jackie at the rather clichéd joke but then his laughter froze. He turned back to Draxic. “1066… Northumbria… Oh… %$£@#!”

Rose looked at Draxic. There was something triumphal in his face. As if he had just put one over on everyone.

“You…” The Doctor said. “I had almost forgotten. All these years. I assumed you were dead.”

“No, Doctor. I am alive. Very much alive. I probably SHOULD be dead. The lifespan of a non-regenerative Gallifreyan is so much less than that of a Time Lord. The methods I used to preserve my life were ones you would doubtless frown upon. But I survived. I live. And I am here to challenge your right to be the leader of these people.”

“The Doctor is the best Time Lord that ever lived,” Jackie protested. “He has saved this planet thousands of times.”

“He didn’t save ME!” Draxic replied angrily. “He abandoned me to die in a primitive society where I had to guard against every sign of knowledge or power lest it be thought witchcraft.”

“Abandoned?” Jackie looked at him with disbelief. “The Doctor wouldn’t abandon anyone. He’s a good man.”

“He abandoned ME!” Draxic answered.

“I left you to your fate,” The Doctor admitted. “I found this man trying to alter the course of Human history. He was going to ensure that the Battle of Stamford Bridge didn’t occur, so that Harold the Saxon was better prepared for the subsequent Battle of Hastings and the Normans would be defeated. He was, in other words, going to alter a pivotal point in your history that would have been devastating to Earth. Not out of malevolence, it must be said. He actually believed it would have been BETTER that way. But that was an elemental mistake by a failed Patrexean who clearly never studied Historical Causality. ”

“You can’t just muck about with history,” Jackie said.

“A succinct digest of the Laws of Time, Jackie,” Christopher answered her with a wry smile. “No, you can’t. And if my father had handed you over to our people you would have been executed by them. Interference in historical causality is a capital crime. I think he DID save you after all.”

“Only because he, himself, was on the run from the Time Lords and COULDN’T have handed me over to them without giving himself up, too.”

The Doctor sighed. It was, in part, true. He had been as much a Renegade from Gallifrey himself when he first met the man he had known then as simply The Monk. But he COULD have sent a signal to Gallifrey and had them come to Northumbria to take him. His abhorrence of their death penalty and their rigid adherence to the Laws of Time had been one reason why he had taken it upon himself to punish him by disabling his TARDIS and stranding him there in Earth’s past. He WAS better off there than on Gallifrey.

“You were here on Earth all these years?” Rose asked as she, too, came to the same conclusion.

“Not all,” The Doctor continued. “He escaped once. He slaved his TARDIS to mine and followed me through space. He eventually tried to trap me on an icy wasteland planet. He failed and was trapped there himself. At least until he repaired his TARDIS. But when he did he found a little surprise, didn’t you, Mortimus.”

“He sabotaged my TARDIS,” Draxic said. “So that even when I got it working again it would only go to one location. Back to Earth in 1066. Every time I tried to leave it dragged me back. I had no choice but to stay here on this miserable planet.”

“Then… The Doctor DID save you,” Rose told him. “You were here when the Time Lords were recalled to Gallifrey to fight in the Time War… and the rest all died.”

“I hope you don’t expect me to be grateful for that,” Draxic snapped at her.

“No,” The Doctor said before she could speak. “I don’t. It IS true that you lived while so many good people died. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. But whatever resentments you have of me, I suggest you keep them to yourself at least while you are a guest in my home.”

“What about his nomination for the Presidency?” Rose asked The Doctor.

“He has the right to do that. He IS Gallifreyan. He IS one of us, when all is said and done. We shall see what comes of that. The election will be fair and above board.”

But what if Draxic won, Rose thought as The Doctor drew her away from that uncomfortable situation. He brought her out of the marquee and down to the riverbank where he had conceived the idea of this conference in the first place. They sat together, watching the water of the Thames lazily drift by. For a long time he said nothing. He just sat there by her side. But she could see how tense he was. How upset.

“If Draxic wins,” he said at last. “Gallifreyans will become a self-serving minority of pure-bloods who think only for themselves. Everything I worked for will be for nothing. But… if the people choose him, I have to accept that.”

“They WON’T,” Rose assured him. “They LOVE you. Even Christopher doesn’t stand a chance against you.”

“Yes, he does. They respect him, too. And he IS the better politician. He IS a better choice. I expect a lot of them WILL vote for him. And I hope they do.”

“You don’t want to BE president?” Rose said, understanding at least something that had puzzled her all day.

“No,” he answered. “Yes… I don’t know. I WANT to help my people achieve their full potential, and to be happy here on Earth. I don’t want to have to jettison any more of their bodies into space. As a properly elected President, with a Council to put together some kind of constitution for us all to live by, I could help them so much more. But… I never liked the job before. That’s why I went to any lengths to avoid the responsibility. Davie is right about that. I almost became the first RENEGADE President. I refused to go home and be nothing but the leader of that dry old Senate mumbling over old, worn out issues. But now… they have me where they always wanted me.”

“I don’t think being President is meant to be a PUNISHMENT,” Rose said with a smile. “Besides, it could be good for you. A REAL job for you to do in your RETIREMENT from saving the universe.”

“I think I PREFER saving the universe.”

“I prefer you safe from harm so we can do what we wanted to do – grow old together and watch our children fulfil their ambitions.”

“We have lots of time to grow old,” he told her. “I like being young. I like having you young and beautiful beside me. I like our children and… and the hope of more of them to come.”

“Having babies for you will make me feel old,” Rose said with a smile. But he knew she didn’t mean it.

“Come on,” he said. “I’ve had enough politics for one day. Let’s go find our children and spend a bit of quality time with them.”

The afternoon passed pleasantly for them, with Vicki and Sukie and Peter, watching the antics of Yogi and Booboo, the dwarf bears. The Doctor wondered if he ought to have given his time to considering what his pitch would be when he faced the crowd again and had to convince them that he was the right man to lead them.

No, he argued with himself. I’ll wing it when the time comes.

When the time came, and the Gallifreyans gathered once more in the marquee, he actually did feel rather nervous. He wasn’t sure why. After all, he had told himself, and he had told everyone else, that he didn’t WANT the job.

He had lied to himself. He DID want the job. He wanted to be in control. He wanted to lead his people. He thought of them AS his people. And he DID want to help guide them in their lives.

He wanted to lead them because if the alternative was Draxic he HAD to lead them. It was important that he did.

David took it upon himself to conduct the proceedings this evening. He had arranged the tables into a half circle now, and fixed a raised stage with a podium upon it. He stood before the assembly and called upon the first of the candidates to address them. Christopher stepped up to the podium.

“Hello,” he said. “I think most of you know me. I am Christopher de Lœngbærrow, or by my Gallifreyan name, Chrístõ Miraglo de Lœngbærrow. I would be honoured to represent you all as President of the Council. My qualifications… I was a senior member of the High Council of Gallifrey for thirty years and in exile I have been a member of the Parliament of Great Britain since 2013. I am experienced at representing the problems of my constituents at the highest level. I will do my best to uphold the values we all share. Honour and Justice above all.”

Christopher talked a little more in a confident, professional way. The Doctor was proud of him. If it wasn’t him, he’d be glad to see Christopher elected. He WOULD make a good President.

But NOT Draxic. As the man stood up to the podium The Doctor felt himself tensing up, felt his dislike of him rising in his gut like bile. He remembered his first encounters with him. And he knew Mortimus Draxic was the worst person possible to lead the Gallifreyan exiles.

“You don’t know me,” Draxic said. “I am a stranger among you. But I am the only true blooded Gallifreyan of a high-ranking family. As your president I will lead you to glory. You will not have to hide who you are, what you are. I will help make Gallifreyans, make Time Lords, the dominant species on this planet, second to none. And ALL of you will have the right to BE Time Lords. All of you will have the secret of Time Travel, the secret of Creation itself.”

“No,” The Doctor murmured under his breath. “No. That is against all precepts.”

And he was making promises he couldn’t keep. He didn’t have the secret of time travel. He was STRANDED on Earth. He wasn’t a Time Lord. He had never transcended himself. He couldn’t transcend others. And he CERTAINLY didn’t have the secret of CREATION.

No Time Lord had that. It wasn’t a Time Lord secret. It was a secret of the universe itself, sometimes known as the Skasis Paradigm. The secret of how to remould and recreate the universe itself. It WAS rumoured that the secret was buried in the Matrix. But if it was, it was buried deep. And if it was, it was lost with the Matrix.

Draxic certainly didn’t have it.

He was a liar as well as a criminal.

He looked around the room and wondered how many of the people were taken in by him. Once, Caretakers would hardly have dared lift their heads and look a member of a higher caste in the eye. But HE had taught them to be proud, to rise above their humble beginnings and believe in themselves.

And now it looked as if that effort was going to backfire on him. They would take the promise of power and invincibility from Draxic.

He stood up to the podium as Draxic stepped down. He looked at the people before him. They looked back at him expectantly.

“You DO all know me,” he said. “I brought you all here. I know most of you by sight, if not by name. I wish I knew more of you better. Perhaps in time I will. I would welcome the opportunity to do so in any way I can. As President of our Council in exile, I can’t promise any of you glory, or power. What I do promise is Justice and Honour. And I promise that to those who show the aptitude and the mental strength and fortitude the gift of transcension WILL be given. But even those among you who are learning now still have some years to go. I promise these gifts will come to you when the time is right. And meanwhile I will do my best to protect all of you from harm. And all I ask of you is loyalty to the ideals of peace and goodwill which Time Lords have always lived by.”

He stopped. He could think of nothing else to say. If that wasn’t enough, he didn’t know what would be.


Again, after the meeting was formally wound up there was entertainment. He had hired a band to play in the hospitality hall and put on a buffet of food, and something like a party atmosphere ensued as the evening drew in. He did his best to be sociable with as many of the people as possible, but he was glad when it was over and he said goodnight to them all.

“Are you boys coming home tonight?” Susan asked the twins as she and David put a very sleepy Sukie in the car and fastened her safety belt.

“My TARDIS is parked by the river,” Davie said. “We’ll sleep over tonight and be ready in the morning.” They kissed their mum goodnight and waved them off and then turned and walked under a starry sky to where the Chinese TARDIS was disguised as a fishing hut by the river bank.

“Who are you going to vote for?” Davie asked Chris as they walked.

“Draxic,” he said with a laugh. “That way I don’t have to choose between Granddad and Christopher.”

“You wouldn’t?” Davie was shocked.

“Not in a million years,” Chris laughed. “The man is POISON. It isn’t fair that he’s alive and so many other good Time Lords died in the War. You know, Granddad had a brother - half-brother. He’d be our Great uncle. And he had children… grandchildren. They’d be our cousins. If only THEY had been saved. Instead of….”

“Don’t think of it,” Davie told him. “Besides, Granddad always says that ALL life is to be cherished. He was even upset when The Master died. And he was his enemy FOREVER.”

“Yeah, but he still regrets the people he cared about. He only says that because he really does believe in Justice and Honour.”

“Well, so do we. It’s a good way to live.”

“Yes.” Chris’s voice trailed off as it always did when he retreated into his own thoughts. Then he became alert again.

“Somebody’s around here,” he said.

“One of the security people?” Davie answered. “Nobody else should be here.”

“No, it’s….” Chris grabbed his brother and pulled him back behind a tree as a figure was highlighted against the street lamps across the river.

“Draxic?” Davie hissed. “Why is he still here? We should get security… have him put off the property. He may be a presidential candidate, but this is granddad’s land.”

“In a minute,” Chris said. “I want to see what he’s up to first.”

They both moved stealthily, almost silent, and near invisible in their dark clothes. Chris tucked his silver crucifix under his jumper, the only thing about them that caught a glint of the moonlight. They kept their telepathy to a minimum, too. Draxic proved already that he could catch other people’s thoughts.

He wasn’t using telepathy now. He was talking aloud, apparently to himself. The twins watched and listened as he paced up and down the riverbank, apparently arguing with himself.

“I don’t want to do this any more,” he was saying with a voice that seemed somehow less sure of itself than before. “Please let me free, or let me die. I cannot…”

“Silence, you snivelling whelp,” Draxic replied in a voice that seemed more like his own. “I am on the eve of a great victory. I will not be prevented. Least of all by YOU.”

The twins exchanged puzzled glances. They were familiar with the term ‘Schizophrenia.’ The Doctor always jokingly said it was a fact of life for Time Lords and their multiple memories. But this seemed a very sinister example of it.

“He’s found the TARDIS,” Chris whispered. And, indeed, it seemed he had. He put his hands on the door of the hut, with its Ying-Yang symbol representing the twin ownership of it. He would almost certainly detect the faint vibration of its engines.

“He’ll never get in. I’ve put extra security features on that door, on top of the symbiotic lock itself.”

Draxic didn’t seem to want to get in, though. After a few minutes he walked away. Again, the boys tailed him. He slipped quietly back to the temporary car park behind the house, where one rather battered old Mini Cooper was sitting. They watched as he opened the boot and seemed to be examining something for a long while before he got into the driver’s seat.

The boys wondered if it was a disguised TARDIS, but it didn’t seem to be. It didn’t even seem to be a modern hovercar. It was more like an old 20th century car. It drove along the tarmac with a crunching noise. They tailed it to the gate where Draxic was made to show his ID to the guard. There was an exchange of words then he drove away at speed.

“There is something very odd about that man,” Chris said.

Davie thought that was an understatement.

“Well, he’s gone for now. Let’s go to bed.” They walked together back to their TARDIS. At the door, Davie looked around and sighed.

“Whichever we vote for, I hope either granddad or Christopher DOES win. If people vote for him…”

“If they vote for Draxic, then they’re NOT the people granddad thought they were. But I think…” Chris looked up at the sky. “I’ve talked to even more of them than Granddad has. I don’t think they ARE that way. Maybe a few ambitious ones might be swayed by his promises. But most are good people, and they’re loyal to Granddad. They love him. I think that will be all right. But Draxic might be a sore loser. We should keep an eye on him.”


The next morning at 9 o’clock the election began. It was done by secret ballot in the time-honoured tradition of Earth democracy. Christopher had obtained two ballot boxes from his constituency office. Two of the Gallifreyans themselves checked the names against a list and Geoff and Martin stood guard over the proceedings to ensure security of the ballot boxes. Most of the Gallifreyans were present when the three candidates cast their votes. The Doctor and Christopher went together. After they put their papers in the boxes they turned and looked at the crowd.

“Our entire species can be polled in a morning,” Christopher said. “We ARE so few.”

“But in a few generations it won’t be the case,” The Doctor assured him. “We will grow exponentially. In a century we will be too many to hold an event like this.”

“I hope so,” Christopher sighed. “But of course it is so. Rassilon himself promised you.”

“I wonder which of us HE would vote for?” The Doctor mused.

“You, obviously. You’re his favourite.” He smiled wistfully as the twins came together to cast their own vote. “And THEIRS. They’re voting for you, I am sure.”

“HE won’t be.” A hush came among the crowd as Mortimus Draxic came into the marquee. The crowd parted to let him reach the ballot table. He took his paper and went to the cubicle where he could mark it in secret and then put it in the box.

By midday, only three votes were left uncast. Again there was interest as the three women of the de Lœngbærrow family came together to mark their papers. Nobody doubted that Rose would vote for The Doctor. Jackie, surely, would stand by her husband. That left Susan with a dilemma. How to choose between her grandfather who she loved all her life and her father who had won her love in recent years. Neither had attempted to influence her. They had both told her to vote with her conscience.

And she did. She came away with the other two smiling nervously. They stood with their two candidates and watched as David announced that the poll was now closed and counting would begin. Luncheon was again available in the hospitality marquee, but those who were interested were free to watch the count and ensure it was fair and above board.

Draxic was one of those who stayed. Chris and Davie looked at him, then at each other. At the door they spoke to Geoff and asked him to come with them.

“What’s this about, sir,” Geoff asked as he followed them.

“Don’t call me sir, Geoff,” Davie said. “You work for my grandfather, not for me. We’re checking out Draxic’s car. There’s something there that we figure answers some questions about him.”

“Breaking into cars is a bit illegal,” Chris added. “But we thought with you there we could say it’s a security issue, probable cause, that sort of thing.”

“Or I could be lookout in case Draxic returns?” Geoff suggested with a grin. “Does your grandfather or The Doctor know about this?”

“If granddad knew, he’d be with us,” Davie pointed out. “Him and mysteries.”

They came to the car. They wondered where and when Draxic had bought it. Was it REALLY a twenty-first century car still running in the 23rd?

“You CAN get them,” Davie said. “Classic cars. I’m planning to get hold of a couple of cheap ones for my prototype time machines. But not something as beat up as this. The man has no respect for anything. Mini Coopers are beautiful little cars. They shouldn’t be treated that way.”

“Davie,” Chris said. “When you bleed, you bleed engine oil.” He smiled at his brother and stepped close to the boot of the car. He could feel something there. Something that made him shiver. He put his hand over the lock, a few inches from the actual metal.

“When we were growing up,” Davie said as he stood next to Geoff and watched his brother at work. “Granddad talked about this sort of thing with us. How we had to use our power responsibly. We could have been the most successful teenage car thieves in the world, or house burglars, bank robbers. But we listened to him. We grew up ok. It’s what he wants to make sure for the Gallifreyans, for their children and children’s children. That they DON’T learn to do things like THIS.”

The lock flipped open and Chris opened the boot. All three stared at the thing that lay inside. Chris’s mind flew back to the day before and what Draxic had said to The Doctor.

“The methods I used to preserve my life were ones you would doubtless frown upon.”

“Frown upon?” Davie said. “Granddad will go ballistic when he finds out.”


The enumerators had enumerated twice, just to be sure. And at last they were satisfied that they had a result. The ballot papers were secured and the result was written on a paper. Everyone was gathered in the marquee. The three candidates were next to each other on a low stage in front of the half-circle where everyone else sat expectantly. David took the paper from the enumerators and slowly walked to the podium.

As he was about to speak, Chris and Davie, with Geoff following behind them came noisily into the marquee. They stepped right up to the stage. Davie was carrying some kind of square box, about the size of one of the ballot boxes, covered over with a piece of velvet fabric. At the front of the stage, where everyone could clearly see, he stopped. Chris pulled the fabric away. On stage all three of the Candidates stood up. Around the room there were gasps of astonishment and horror as they looked at the wooden framework holding together a glass tank, inside which a clearly living brain was suspended in some kind of fluid that bubbled and sparked as if a current was passing through it.

Silently, and unobtrusively, Geoff moved up onto the stage, taking his place to the side and slightly behind the man he was employed to protect. Martin was already there, flanking his other side. They both watched Draxic. If he moved a muscle that looked threatening they would be ready.

“What IS that?” Christopher asked, the first to find a voice to express himself.

“It’s the BRAIN of MortimusCalsicHallowLanSteelae Draxic,” Davie answered. “Preserved, kept alive, and telepathically controlling HIM.”

“And who is HE?” The Doctor asked as Draxic stepped forward then seemed to change his mind.

“He is…” Chris glanced at his father, then back to his great-grandfather and half-smiled grimly. “Granddad, if my dad ever again accuses you of controlling me and Davie and Sukie, just remind him of this. THAT is the son of Draxic. He must have married an Earth woman at some point. He had a son by her. And when his body was worn out, he had his brain put into this thing, telepathically connected to his son, taking over his mind and body and living again through him.”

“Oh… my…!” The Doctor was speechless in horror. He wasn’t the only one. The eyes of the entire Gallifreyan people turned on the man who called himself Draxic. If it was true, then he had done something utterly repugnant to all their senses.

Taking over somebody else’s body and using it to prolong your own life. The only other Time Lord who had ever tried such a thing was The Master.

“You can’t do THAT,” The Doctor told him. “HOW did you do that? If you are smart enough to manage a trick like that, why did you fail your exams? Which ones did you fail? It certainly wasn’t biology.”

“Ethics!” Draxic snapped. “The moral codes holding back our true potential as leaders of all beings in the universe. Cowardly rules preventing us from truly being masters of creation.”

“Ah, THAT’s it,” The Doctor answered. “No wonder. The Patrexean Academy is very strict on Ethics. That’s why it was such a BORE when we had them on the High Council. But their moral code, as dull as it was to study, as chafing as it seemed at times, was there for a reason. To prevent abominations like THIS.”

“And who are YOU to decide that? Who are YOU to call me an abomination?” Draxic demanded.

“I’ll tell you who HE IS.” Everyone turned as David spoke. He held up the paper which he was still waiting to read. The eyes of the entire Gallifreyan people turned from the altercation with Draxic and looked instead at him.

“In the election for President of the Council of Gallifreyans, Government of Gallifrey in Exile…” he continued formally. “232 votes were cast. There were no spoiled votes. The results are as follows… Candidate Mortimus Draxic – Nine votes. Candidate Chrístõ Miraglo de Lœngbærrow – one hundred and eleven votes.” David paused. He saw most of the Gallifreyans doing the maths. They knew what he was going to say. “Candidate Chrístõ Cuimhne de Lœngbærrow, also known as The Doctor, one hundred and twelve votes. Unless any candidate wishes to hold a recount, Chrístõ Cuimhne de Lœngbærrow is duly elected President.”

David turned to Draxic. “THAT’s who he is. Elected by the Gallifreyan people to lead them. YOU owe him your allegience and obediance from this moment on.”

“Never!” Draxic screamed. But then he gave a howl as if in pain. And when he spoke again it was the other voice that Chris and Davie had heard last night.

“Please!” The voice was pleading. His eyes were wide and his expression was one of anguish. “Please make him stop. He won’t let me be myself.”

“Who are you?” The Doctor asked. He had guessed already, but he needed to hear it from him.

“My mother called me Spenser. Spenser Draxic. My father uses my body… takes over my brain. Here… among so many people with telepathic powers, he weakened. For the first time in centuries I could…”

Draxic gave a snarl of disgust and it was obvious that he was in charge of the body again. He moved quickly, taking even the two trained CPO’s by surprise. He grabbed David by the throat and squeezed with the strength of a Gallifreyan with the superior musculature that always gave them a physical advantage over Humans.

“Back off, or I will snap this puny Human’s neck,” he said. “Out of my way.”

“No!” Again his face changed as Spenser forced his mind to the surface. “No, you will not. I will not let you do this any more.” Spenser let go of David who stepped back out of his way. Susan ran to help him but they were a sideshow now to the drama still unfolding on the stage. Everyone watched in horror as a struggle went on inside the body of the man called Draxic, between father and son. The Doctor felt his own son’s hand on his arm and he reached out to hold him reassuringly. The same thought had occurred to them both. How COULD any man do that to his own flesh and blood. What kind of father was he to do a thing like that?

“A desperate one,” The Doctor said telepathically. “Desperate to live. I think he must have fathered Spenser purely for the sake of having a body with his own DNA - in order to live through him.”

Spenser gained the upper hand for a few seconds and launched himself towards Davie, who still held the box with the living brain of Mortimus Draxic in it. Davie backed away, but Spenser grabbed the box and flung it across the stage. The box and the glass smashed and the fluid surrounding the brain spilled out. The brain itself pulsed for a few seconds before it was clearly and utterly dead.

Spenser screamed in agony. Davie reached him first and held him as he collapsed. The Doctor reached his side as he was laid on the floor, twitching and spasming as if he was going into a stroke.

“His brain has taken a lot of punishment,” The Doctor said. “I think he’s dying.”

“Let me,” Chris said. He knelt by Spenser’s side. It WAS Spenser now, of course. His father WAS finally dead. Chris put his hands either side of his head and reached inside. He winced as he felt Spenser’s pain. His brain was in near melt-down as his mind tried to reassert itself. Chris gently, slowly, soothed him, calmed him, and reached out to hold onto one memory in the man’s life. The last clear memory he had of being Spenser.

It was the autumn of 1822 and he was sitting in a coffee house with his father, listening to somebody reading a newssheet that told of a Frenchman having deciphered the Rosetta Stone. The man had been grumbling because the Stone was a British possession and a Frenchman, the enemy in the Napoleonic Wars that were still fresh in the living memory, had done what British academics could not do. His father, then a very old man with white hair and rheumic eyes had been scathing about the ‘petty wars and rivalries of puny men’ and caused a row that saw them both ejected from the coffee house.

Chris focussed Spenser’s mind on that memory, on being Spenser, before his father had forced him into being his vessel. Then slowly he brought him forward. He felt his shock and horror as, with the assistance of two loyal servants, he had carried out his father’s instructions as to how to remove his living brain from his body and fix it into the container that would preserve it.

It looked like the sort of experiment that had been the fictional nightmare of Mary Shelley a few years before. The servants had been mortified by what they were taking part in, as was Spenser himself, especially when he pulled the brain out of the skull cavity and he saw his father’s body die on the table. He continued the procedure because he didn’t know what else to do. He put the brain into the special fluid and sent the current running through it, and saw the brain living within the tank. Then he had felt his father’s mind entering his, pushing it down.

Spenser’s mind had been active all along. He had known what was happening, but his father’s was too powerful for him to re-assert himself. He had screamed silently and helplessly as his father murdered the men who had helped in the operation and then burnt the laboratory. His own former body and the dead servants were consumed in the inferno as Draxic escaped with his own brain in the precious container.

Spenser had ceased to have a life from there on, though he continued to live as the vessel for his father’s mind. He saw the years passing, the centuries. He saw the industrial revolution, the twentieth century with its two world wars, the 21st with its amazing technological advances, the 22nd, when Earth was nearly lost to the Daleks. All were silently witnessed by a mind that had no control over the body it belonged to as he continued to live on as his father’s slave.

“I am sorry,” Chris told him mentally. “But it’s over now. When you wake up, you’ll be Spenser again. I know a lot of the world around you will be strange, frightening. But you have friends here. We will help you. So come on back to us.”

Spenser opened his eyes. He looked up at Chris as he bent over him. He was of half Human, half Gallifreyan descent. He had the vestigial tear ducts of a pureblood. He couldn’t shed tears. But he blinked his nictating membrane rapidly and something that looked near enough like tears welled up and spilled over.

Tears of relief.

“He’s gone, at last,” Spenser said. “He’s gone from me, from my head, from my life…”

“I’m sorry he took so much of your life,” Chris told him. “You were a young man even by Human standards in 1822. He has taken nearly four hundred years from you.”

“I watched them pass,” Spenser continued as he let Chris lift him to his feet. “The world has changed so much. I…” He looked on the verge of fainting again. Chris held him upright. He looked to The Doctor.

“I’ll take him to the house. Let him lie down in the guest room for a while. He’s been through so much…”

“Yes, do that,” The Doctor agreed. Davie took his other arm and the crowds parted to let them pass. The Doctor looked around at the sad remains of Mortimus Draxic. He felt a little guilty. His actions in abandoning The Monk, as he had known him, had been the cause of his bitterness and his determination to cheat death by such terrible means.

“Rose,” he whispered. “Go to my TARDIS. In the lumber room, there is a small wooden casket with a lock on it in the shape of Rassilon’s Seal. Bring it would you.”

He would at least treat Draxic’s remains with dignity, he thought. Another solemn burial in space later. If Spenser felt up to it he could accompany him, say goodbye to his father. That would give him some real closure on that part of his life.


Later he did just that. Then there were other matters to attend to. The election of members of the Council to sit with the President and determine how the Gallifreyans in exile should be governed was done by the more simple method of proposal, seconding and a show of hands. Christopher was proposed as Chancellor and there was a unanimous vote for that. Susan was proposed to represent London Gallifreyans. Brendan from An Daingean represented Gallifreyans who had settled in Ireland. Others accepted the duty of representing the region they lived in. By supper time they had a Council.

The next day the Council went into Committee and worked out a Constitution. The Doctor smiled happily as he read through the first part of it, where all the issues he felt most strongly about were set down.

Constitution of The Council of Gallifrey, Government in Exile, for and on behalf of the whole people of Gallifrey.

1. Gallifreyans will obey the primary axiom to protect the ancient laws of Gallifrey and at all times tender their actions and their thoughts with justice and honour.

2. Gallifreyans will obey the law of the Human country or jurisdiction under which they live. Unless:-

a. That jurisdiction imposes laws which contradict the primary axiom of all Gallifreyans, justice and honour.

b. Dictatorships and totalitarian laws may be resisted with the agreement of the Council of Gallifreyans.

3. The Age of Consent for Gallifreyans living on Earth shall be 18.

a. The minimum age for voting in elections to the Council of Gallifrey shall be 18.

b. The minimum age for standing for said elections shall be 18.

c. The minimum age for contract of marriage between Gallifreyans or between Gallifreyans and other species shall be 18.

d. The minimum age for Transcension to Time Lord status shall be 18. Providing that…

i.. The candidate has satisfactorily received the necessary training and is of the frame of mind deemed suitable to complete Transcension and receive the gift of Regeneration.

4. All members of the High Council will serve for a period of no more than five years before standing for re-election on the basis of universal suffrage of all Gallifreyans over the age of 18.

5. A Gallifreyan is deemed to be an individual whose DNA is wholly or in part that of the species of humanoid originating from the planet Gallifrey, in the Kasterborus constellation. Or the spouse of such individual.

a. Number of hearts, colour of blood, telepathic abilities and other distinctions of Gallifreyan ancestry should not be considered as absolute proof of Gallifreyan or non-Gallifreyan status.

b. No distinction is made, therefore, between ‘pureblood’, ‘half-blood’ or ‘hybrid’.

c. Wholly Human (or other species) spouses of Gallifreyans are deemed to be Gallifreyan by marriage. They shall have the full rights of those who are Gallifreyan by blood.

d. Spouses will have the right to vote in High Council elections and to stand as candidates in such elections if they choose to do so.

6. Pure blood Gallifreyans are not only PERMITTED to interbreed with other species, particularly Human and Tiboran, but are ENCOURAGED to do so in order to widen the gene pool.

7. No Gallifreyan will use their powers to commit robbery, speculate on the futures market, fiddle the lottery, place bets on horse races or in any other way obtain advance knowledge of uncertain future events for personal gain.

8. These specific Laws of Time WILL be obeyed by all Gallifreyans and transcended Time Lords and their families. At ALL times.

a. The Gift of Time travel shall not be used for base means or for any personal gain.

b. Time Travel shall not be used to distort the History of any planet.

c. Time Travel shall not be used to alter the future.

d. No Time Lord or other being shall use Power of Creation.

e. No Time Lord or other being shall create a Grandfather Paradox.

f. No Time Lord or other being shall murder his past self, thereby writing himself out of history and preventing his interaction with others.

9. The Gift of Time Travel will be withdrawn from any being who abuses it. Further punishments may also be handed down by the Council in case of severe abuse of the Gift.

10. No Death Penalty will be imposed by the Council of Gallifrey.

a. Punishment for infringements of the laws will be at the discretion of the Council.

b. Punishments will not involve any infliction of physical or mental pain upon the transgressor, but may include…

i. Prohibition of transgressor from transcension to Time Lord status.

ii. Banishment from the community in which the transgressor lives.

iii. Banishment from Earth to a suitably uninhabited but environmentally sound planet for a period of years or for life in extreme cases.

The Doctor smiled as he thought of some of the old Laws of Time that had been thrown out, most of them because he himself had proved them completely unworkable and irrelevant. He had crossed his own time stream thousands of times, met with past lives and future lives, sent himself notes from the future to remind himself to get something right in the present, and he had broken the one about using the TARDIS for personal use TIME AND TIME again.

He still thought the only ones that REALLY mattered were the ones about the Grandfather Paradox and the Lottery.

They WERE the only ones he hadn’t broken.

“Hey,” Rose stood at the bedroom door in a formal dress that looked as if it was made of spun silver. “Come on, Mr. President. You’re going to be late.”

“It’s MY inauguration. I can’t be late. When I arrive is when it starts.” The Doctor smiled at her as he stood up tall and straight. “How do I look?”

“Absolutely fantastic,” she answered as she took in the gold robe and headdress and the scarlet robe with golden embroidered Rassilon Seals on each shoulder. “Completely and utterly fantastic.”

“So are you, my First Lady,” he answered and reached to take her arm. They walked together down the stairs and out into the garden. The marquee was brightly lit up, but The Doctor took a detour towards the river. Even with a lot of light pollution, he could just about make out the bow of the constellation Sagittarius low in the sky. Because of the time it takes for light to travel such a great distance, the middle star on the bowstring, the sun around which Gallifrey and her sister planets orbited, was still visible from Earth. A strong enough telescope, if one existed, would see the second planet from that sun still alive, still populated by one of the most annoying, insufferable, self-centred races in the universe, but at the same time the most amazing - the princes of the universe, the guardians of time and space itself.

“I swear,” he whispered, looking up at that star. “To protect the ancient law of Gallifrey, with all my might and main, and will to the end of my days, with justice and honour, tender my actions and my thoughts.”

Then he took the arm of his wife, his First Lady, and they went to the marquee. As he entered the rich sounds of a pipe organ swelled with the strains of the Gallifreyan National Anthem. His hearts thumped in his chest to the tune he had not heard for so long as he walked proudly down the centre aisle. The people of Gallifrey, HIS people, turned towards him and bowed their heads to honour their President elect. Later, when he wore the Sash of Rassilon by right, and was duly inaugurated, they would kneel before him. At the next session of the Council, he intended to put an amendment into their Constitution banning kneeling and all forms of obeisance, but just this once he wanted it to be just as it was in the old times, in the Panopticon, when Gallifrey was more than just a government in exile.