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

Harry looked out of the big curved window of the observation deck. The space station revolved slowly and as he watched his home planet came into view. It looked so beautiful. So peaceful.

And it WAS beautiful, and it WAS peaceful. But the beauty and the peace were at a price he could not pay. Nor could the people who waited here with him, at the rendezvous, to begin their exile.


It all began just after he got back from his trip to Earth. The time when he had experienced the best and the worst of that planet. The time when he met The Doctor and his family.

He had come home with his head buzzing with ideas, wanting to write it all down and tell people all about it.

He wrote it all up in a long essay and handed it into his social studies tutor. He had expected a good mark. He was excited about discussing his findings on his field trip with other students when he gave his oral presentation.

But the day after he handed it in he was called into his tutor’s office. He handed him the memory chip with his essay on it without a word. There was an official stamp over the cover.


“I don’t understand,” he said in a small, upset voice. “I thought… all the things I had seen…. It is all truth. I saw these things with my own eyes.”

“I don’t doubt that,” his tutor replied. “But such truth is not acceptable at this university and in our society.”

“But…” Harry looked at his tutor and noticed that the blue of his neck was deepening. A sign of emotional response in his species. Either he was angry or in love. Harry was sure it was the first.

“How dare you submit an essay that JUSTIFIES a violent society,” he demanded angrily. “It is SEDITION!”

“It… it is not,” Harry protested. “It is…. It is…” He couldn’t speak. He was so disappointed at such a reaction to his work, to all the things he wanted to tell everyone about.

“If you had written of a barbaric world that makes us glad of our own planet’s peace, it would be one thing. If you had written of the good these Humans do, comparing them to us, that would be well enough. But to show that this same species can commit good and evil deeds… no, that cannot be tolerated. It would suggest that WE are also capable of having both traits within us.”

“Isn’t that possible?” he asked. “My findings suggest that any species with sentience and free will is capable of bad and good behaviour.”

“If you repeat such things outside of this room you will find yourself in a great deal of trouble. I suggest you go to the library and rewrite this piece into something acceptable.”

“I…” Harry mumbled something vague in response and turned away. Tears pricked his eyes but he kept on walking, blindly, not even looking where he was walking. Somehow he found his way to his own room and lay down on his bed before the stinging tears of disappointment fell unchecked.

It wasn’t just about getting a bad mark in his class. It was bigger than that. He felt strongly that his society could be changed by what he had learnt. He wanted to share his experiences with everyone.

Because what The Doctor had said when he thought he couldn’t hear him was true. His world was SO peaceful it was actually quite DULL. All the poetry and music and art was so bland and unimaginative. His people had stagnated.

He didn’t intend for them to have terrible wars, of course. But he thought that they should at least understand about such things, stretch their imaginations, think beyond their own experiences. He was sure they could be enriched by it.

But they wanted him to write a cautionary tale about how other worlds were to be avoided, to make everyone more grateful for their own paradise. That wasn’t it at all. Earth wasn’t a monstrous place. It was beautiful. It had some terrible people, but some wonderful ones, too. All those wonderful people The Doctor showed him who worked to help others. His society were all comfortable, all well fed, all well educated and wanting for nothing. There was no kindness and selflessness because there was no need for them.

And he felt they were the poorer for it.

He cried himself to sleep.

When he woke, later, he sat at his computer terminal and wrote the essay they wanted him to write. He posted it to his tutor and went to the refectory to eat.

He sat with friends but he didn’t join in their conversations. He ate quietly and then stood up to go back to his room. At least there he was alone with his own thoughts.

As he was leaving the hall, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to see the senior social studies teacher, Professor Ke’rr’in.

“I read your essay. Professor Ma’rgr’en showed it to me.”

“Don’t worry,” he answered in a dull voice. I have submitted another one.”

“That is wise. But if you want your views to be appreciated…”

Harry was surprised when the professor slipped a card into his hand.

“There’s a meeting tonight.”

He didn’t even look at the card until he reached his room. When he did, it didn’t tell him much. There was a sort of symbol on it, like a skull. And an address.

He debated in his mind all afternoon and evening. He told himself it was a joke, that somebody wanted to make an even bigger fool of him than he already felt. Then he wondered if it was a trap, to catch him at a seditious act. But why would anyone want to do that.

He decided to go. If only because if he didn’t he would never know for sure.

It was a dark back street, in the old part of the city behind the university. The address was a room in the upper floor of an office block. To his surprise the outer door was unlocked. He climbed to the top floor. There was a door. Behind it there were sounds. He tried the door. It was locked. He knocked softly. It was opened a crack.

“I was given this card,” he said and showed it in the half light that came through the crack. At once the door was fully opened to him.

There were about thirty people inside the room. They were watching a film on a large viewscreen. It was a documentary about a war between two factions that reminded him all too vividly of the wars he had seen on Earth, including the one The Doctor had showed him personally.

But this was NOT a war on Earth. As he slid into a seat behind the other watchers, he realised something that startled him.

This was a war between factions of his own people. A war on Demnia, between Demnians. He looked at some of the combatants on screen. Though most of them were adults with their dark blue skin, many of them still had only pale mottling. They were juveniles like himself. A war in which young people his own age were fighting and dying.

“What is this?” he whispered to the man in front of him. He turned and he was surprised to see , Professor Ke’rr’in, the one who had given him the card.

“It is the Demnian Civil War,” he answered. “It took place seven hundred years ago. The first videomat was developed a few years before, so it was a war that was fully documented as you see.”

“But… But there was no Civil War on Demnia,” Harry replied. “We are a peaceful people.”

“We are now. But seven hundred years ago we fought bitterly against each other. Look… This is footage of the Soul Canyon ambush.”

Harry watched. He watched with the same horror he had watched film footage of those wars on Earth. He saw young Demnians and old dying as the column of marching soldiers were cut off by other soldiers hidden in the rocks above them. He hardly kept himself from screaming when he saw the footage of the aftermath. Bodies torn apart, dying men with no hope of relief.

“But…” Harry began, but the professor put his finger to his lips. The film was ending and the lights went on again. A man of maybe four years older than himself stood up and addressed the meeting. He spoke of the war, of the statistics, men killed on both sides before a peace treaty was finally made. He spoke of how Demnia WAS finally united after that and how a generation later the idea that there ever WAS a war began to be questioned. He showed how, finally, the records were expunged. The history of the war was no longer taught as a subject. It was forbidden to discuss it. Records such as this film were put into sealed archives. In a few generations it had been forgotten. Demnia became an Arcadian world where people lived in peace and spent their days in gentle pursuits.

Harry was astonished. He had never heard anything like it. He would not have believed it if he had not seen the film footage with his own eyes.

“Where did the film come from?” somebody in the group asked.

“It was in the basement of the national archive building. When it was found, copies were made and secretly distributed. The government have tried to keep a lid on it, but there are groups like ours all over Demnia, people who have seen the film, who know the truth.”

“I don’t believe it,” Harry whispered to the professor. “Our government hides the truth from us.”

“Our government hide far more than that,” the man who was talking about the film replied. “You are new here, are you not?” He came down the aisle to where Harry was sitting and regarded him carefully.

“Yes, I am,” he replied. “I was given a card. My name is Har’o’-or-rt-ertor-er’se. I am a student.”

“I invited him,” the professor said, standing. “Har’o is one of our own mindset. With some ideas all of his own.”

“Your word on it is fine, sir,” the young man said. “Har’o, welcome to the Fratenity of Doom. I am Si’ri’non’sa, founder of this cell. We are dedicated to spreading the truth about our less than perfect world. But I know you have many questions. Let me bring the meeting to a close and let some of our comrades depart and then we can talk.”

“Th… thank you,” Harry stammered. He sat silently as Si’ri’non’sa rounded off what he had to say and formally closed the meeting, then he came to sit with Harry and the professor.

“You’re still confused, aren’t you,” Si’ri said to him.

“Yes,” Harry admitted. I didn’t expect…. I never imagined….”

“Nobody does,” Si’ri answered. “It IS a shock to know that our society is built on a lie. But the more you know, the more you realise that the truth is not so very terrible. Yes, of course things like the Civil War are horrifying, but isn’t it better knowing that our peace was bought at such a high price? Shouldn’t we know the cost of our comforts?”

“Yes,” Harry said. “That is exactly what I thought. I am… I am so glad others feel the same way. But… why have I never heard of the Fraternity of Doom before?”

“Secret societies don’t tend to advertise themselves,” the professor answered him. “We must be circumspect. What you have seen here must only be spoken of between us, and in whispers, yet.”

“But why? Why not tell everyone?”

“Because it is sedition, and banishment is the punishment for those found guilty.”

“Banishment?” Harry was astonished. “By what authority? By what court? I have never…. Never heard of…”

The only courts he knew of were those that dealt with civil matters, transfers of property, arrangements of betrothals, and the assignment of apprenticeships. They were places of amicable agreement on legal matters, and no more than that. There was no place where punishments were meted out.

“The secret court,” Si’ri told him. “Nobody knows about it except those who are caught and brought before it. But when they do there is only one verdict. Guilty.”

“And they are banished?”


“Are you sure?” Harry asked, suddenly fearful. “They are not killed?”

“Our leaders are not so cruel as that. But it is enough to be torn from home and family and taken under guard to the docking station and put onto whatever freighter happens to be leaving soonest, to work your passage to a strange planet.”

“You’ve seen this? How?”

“I used to be a secret guard,” Si’ri answered. “My job was to escort the sentenced to the space dock.”

“Oh.” Harry looked nervous. “But…”

“It is all right,” the professor assured him. “Si’ri has renounced his former life.”

“What changed you?” Harry asked him.

“One of the prisoners gave me this before he stepped onto the ore freighter.” Si’ri took a book from his pocket and gave it to Harry. It was a book of poetry. But not the sort he was used to. This one was printed on very rough paper and poorly bound. It was repaired many times. He looked at the first poem and was stunned to find it was a lament for the fallen of that war he had seen on the film.

“Keep it,” Si’ri told him. “Be inspired by it as I was.”

“Thank you,” he answered. “I… Thank you.”

The professor walked with him to the university gates. They did not talk much. Harry wondered if it was permitted to talk about these things outside of the room.

“Not in public places, lest there be somebody listening,” the professor told him. “But you may seek me in my study if you feel there is something you need to say.”

“There is so much I want to say,” Harry answered. “I don’t know where to begin.”

“You have already made a beginning. You have had your eyes opened to the truth. Take it steadily. Do not let your enthusiasm make you careless. More than your own liberty is at stake.”

“Yes, sir,” he said and went on his way to his room. He locked his door behind him and lay on his bed, still fully clothed. He opened the battered book and began to read it. The poems within those pages were not of flowers or scenery or romantic love. They were poems about war and pain and loss. Poems about unhappy people who are dissatisfied with their life.

He had never seen anything like it. He was fascinated. He read every poem. It was in the early hours of the morning when he laid the book on his side table and settled to sleep.

The next day he was tired in class, but he was happy. Strange, he thought, reading such sad poems ought to make him depressed, but it had the opposite effect. Instead, knowing that he was not alone with his thoughts and ideas made him very happy and relieved.

At the next meeting of the fraternity he gave the oral presentation he wasn’t allowed to make at university. They applauded him enthusiastically and afterwards there were so many questions.

“You were actually attacked in the street on Earth?” he was asked. “Stabbed….”

“Yes,” he answered. “I still have the scar. But it was incredible. Two complete strangers hurt me. But moments later some other strangers came to my aid, they helped me, gave me medical attention, took me to their own home… it’s as if the bad was balanced out by the good. Earth… is not a place of pure good, and neither is it a place of pure evil.”

“And it had wars as dreadful as the Demnian civil war? But there people still remember it. They don’t pretend it never happened?

“They have memorials to the dead of such wars and remember them with pride.”

“Wonderful,” one of the group said. “I should like to visit Earth.”

“You would not be disappointed,” Harry assured him. “But what of Demnia? Is it forever to be a place of lies and deception?”

“We are too few, yet,” the professor explained. There are only a few groups like us, and we are all scattered around the population centres of the planet. We have no way to organise. All we can do is bring individuals into these cells and slowly expand our numbers. But we must be so discreet. There is danger for us all if we are exposed.”

And that was the frustrating thing about it. But for that, Harry was happier than he had been in a long time. Within the group, at its weekly meetings, he found so much to learn, so much to experience. So much that highlighted the falseness of the world he lived in. But he was happy because he was helping to expose the falseness. He had an unshakeable faith that the whole of Demnia would soon understand what only a few yet understood.

“It won’t happen in our lifetime, Har’o,” Si’ri told him. “All we can do is make sure the groundwork is done and ensure the future generations can build upon it.”

“That doesn’t seem enough,” Harry protested. “Surely it is possible….”

“You are impatient, my friend. But understand, there is no quick way to achieve our goal. If we expose ourselves too soon, it is arrest and exile.”

“Wouldn’t we be better off taking that option?” Harry asked. “Wouldn’t exile be better than this?”

“It’s not an option we are given, Har’o,” Si’ri answered. “It is a punishment. To leave Demnia – our home – it is a terrible thing. I have seen….” He stopped. His face looked pale as he recalled his past life as one of those who colluded in the cover up.

“What?” Harry asked. “What have you seen?”

“I don’t… No, there is no sense in me covering it up. I have seen people choose death rather than exile. They killed themselves. Often I would go to their homes where they were under house arrest before deportation, and find a gas-filled room and bodies lying in their beds. Of course, these were reported as accidents. Many people who have ‘accidents’ are those who did not want to leave Demnia.”

“Would you do that?” Harry asked. “If it came to it?”

“No, I would take exile. But not meekly. I would go to whatever alien world I am sent only so that I could regroup our exiles and form a people’s movement that would return here one day to sweep away that old lie, tear down the secret courts, and lay bare all that has been hidden from the people.”

“Brave words, Si’ri,” the professor said. “But who knows how any of us would react when the police come to our door.”

“Professor,” Harry said. “Don’t you mean ‘IF’ not ‘WHEN’?”

“No," Si’ri answered him with a glum expression. “He doesn’t.”

“As careful as we are, Har’o, we live on borrowed time every one of us. We must be prepared for exile.”

Harry worried less about the prospect of exile than the others. Perhaps because he had only recently been off world, and had enjoyed the experience, he WAS less afraid of it. Though when he looked at his beautiful world he did wonder if he would miss it if he had to leave.

For a very long while, though, nothing disturbed his double life. On the face of it, he was a model student, writing essays that regularly got top marks, contributing beautiful odes to the loveliness of Demnia to the official university poetry magazine. At the same time he led his secret life as a member of the Fraternity of Doom, writing poetry about very different subjects, exploring that hidden history of his world, and sharing his own experiences with others.

He graduated with honours and took a job as a tutor in the social studies department, working under Professor Ke’rr’in. He had to teach the prescribed syllabus, of course. But in their free periods he and the professor talked about their favourite banned topics. They wrote reviews of poems that would never be acceptable in the university review and published them through the underground press that distributed such material. Harry even wrote several original poems and pieces of prose.

His friendship with Si’ri blossomed. They eventually took an apartment together where they were able to talk in private without fear of reprisal. Si’ri never gave up his dream of one day regrouping the exiles and sweeping away the existing order of things. But he knew there was no sign of that happening yet, and they continued to live their double life.

They almost forgot to fear being caught, though they never stopped being discreet and were aware of the danger of carelessness.

Then one day as Harry lunched in the refectory a junior student passed him a message. It was from the professor, and it told him to come to room 453 at 1pm sharp.

He wondered why, since room 453 was a science lab, not social studies. But it had the professor’s signature. So he went.

“Don’t go back to your home,” the professor told him. “They will be waiting for you. They won’t try to take you in the university itself. There will be too many witnesses. But they will wait at the apartment. It has already been searched. They found nothing, of course. But they need very little evidence to brand you as a renegade. They have already done it.”

“But… professor… what happened?” Harry was reeling with the shock. “What about Si’ri?”

“We have a spy. He has betrayed three other groups already. Most of our group were taken this morning. You and I, and Si’ri are the only ones left. There is a safe house. Si’ri is on his way there already.” He made him memorise an address. “Go there now. As quickly as you can. Don’t stop for anything.”

“Who is the spy?” Harry asked. “It's not… It isn’t Si’ri?” The fact that his friend had once been a guard had not bothered him before. His disdain for his former life was complete. But a horrible suspicion rose in him. “Professor… please tell me it isn’t him.” The thought made him sick. He loved Si’ri like a brother. The thought cut deep into him. He needed to know it wasn’t true.

“It isn’t him,” The professor answered. “It was one of the new people who joined the group last month. We didn’t know he had already joined four other groups. He denounced us all to the authorities.”

“Oh, professor…”

“Go now,” he said. “Let’s waste no more time in idle words and recriminations.”

“What about you?” Harry asked. “Aren’t you…”

“I have a different escape route,” he answered. “I planned it a long time ago.” He paused. “Har’o… In case… the future… uncertainty.” He reached out and to Harry’s surprise, he hugged him affectionately. Harry was even more startled to see tears in the professor’s eyes. “Goodbye, Har’o. Take care of yourself.”

“I will, professor,” he promised. Then he turned and walked out of the room. He took the back stairs out of the university building and walked by a circuitous route to the address he had been given.

It was a small attic room over a baker’s shop. There were eight people there already. The only one he knew was Si’ri, who greeted him with tear-filled eyes.

“Did you see the professor?” he asked. Harry told him about his ‘different escape route’. Si’ri looked at him strangely and said nothing more about it.

“There’s food,” he said. “Bread anyway. “The baker is a sympathiser. His son was banished several years ago. He will hide us overnight and we have separate places to go tomorrow. You and I are to stick together.”

Harry could say nothing. He ate the bread when he was hungry. He didn’t taste it. He just ate because he knew he needed to eat.

Just after the sun went down there were sirens and one of the people looked out of the small window fearfully, though somebody else pointed out that the arrest squads did not use sirens. That would give away that something was happening. Doomists were taken quietly so as not to alarm others.

“There is a fire at the university,” it was reported. Harry grew concerned, then wondered why. The university was nothing to do with him any more. Now he was a fugitive. If they were caught, he would be a prisoner, then an exile. But for now he was a fugitive.

They slept together on the floor of the attic room and ate bread and drank water the next morning early before he and Si’ri became the first pair to leave. Their escape plan involved the scheduled airship to the southern continent and a safe house there. Others were going to travel by car or other transport to other places.

“We’ll never see any of them again, will we?” Harry asked as they walked through the quiet, early morning streets.

“Only if we’re caught and taken in a batch for banishment,” Si’ri told him. “But we didn’t know any of them before, anyway. They were from other groups.”

“I was thinking of the professor. He was crying when I left him. As if he KNEW we would never meet again.”

“Har’o…” Si’ri began. Harry looked at him. There were tears pricking HIS eyes now. “Har’o, you don’t know, do you? He didn’t explain it to you….”


They were passing through the spice market which was on their way to the airship station. It was empty, the stalls stacked up. It was a safe place to talk.

“Har’o, every group had one man who held all the safe houses and escape routes, and the names and addresses of members. That man… was a volunteer, who accepted a terrible responsibility. If danger threatened the group, he had to ensure those details could not get to the authorities. And the only way to be sure of that….” Si’ri swallowed hard. He WAS crying now. “The fire last night. The professor… set fire to his office… to his files… and… and… to…”

“No,” Harry screamed. “No. He… he killed himself… Oh NO!”

They clung to each other in mutual grief for a long time, their tearful cries lost in the emptiness of the market place. Then they dried their eyes and walked on again. At the airship station they noticed the newspaper headlines about the tragic loss of one life in the university fire.

They didn’t notice the plain clothed men who waited at the entrance to the terminal building. They stepped out in front of them flashing identification cards and took hold of their arms. Behind them a car door opened. They saw another plain clothed man and one of the people who had been in the baker’s shop last night.

Another spy, Harry thought. They were very thorough.


The professor died for nothing.

He wanted to cry but he held it in. He would keep his dignity before his enemies.

When they told him not to make a scene and come quietly he did so.

In the car, the traitor begged their forgiveness. He said they had promised him immunity. He said he had a sick wife who would surely die if he was deported.

“Ask the professor for HIS forgiveness,” Harry answered bitterly. Si’ri said nothing. He just pressed his lips together and looked ahead. His hand clutched Harry’s tightly. At least they were together.

They were taken to an old, disused school where, in the rather draughty gymnasium they were ‘reunited’ with the people they had spent the night with, as well as all of their own group who were already taken, and those from the other groups already arrested. More than two hundred people in all. Harry was stunned to realise there were THAT many Doomists to be rounded up.

Harry was shocked to find four others in the big room. The baker and his wife who had sheltered them, and the traitor and his sick wife, lying on a stretcher. Si’ri shook his head sadly.

“They don’t GIVE immunity to anyone,” he said. “He was a fool. The one who infiltrated us was a professional spy. That’s one thing. But HE was a fool. His wife will probably die on a long distance freighter.”

Harry sighed as he found a place for them to sit and wait for further developments.

His life as a fugitive had been a short one. His life as a prisoner was even shorter. They were kept there in the gymnasium overnight and after they were given a meagre meal the next morning the trial was held in the same room. A long table was set up and the judges sat while they, all but the sick woman and the children of some of the prisoners, were made to stand.

To call it a trial was a misnomer, in fact. It was simply a presentation of facts, mostly the deposition of the spy, who ignored the angry hisses and jeers and denounced them all as Doomists. They were declared guilty and sentenced to be banished. And then they were asked if anyone had anything to say. The man with the sick wife cried and begged for mercy. A few asked that wives, mothers, relatives, were allowed to be banished WITH them. Then Harry stepped forwards.

“May I ask,” he said, in a voice steadier and calmer than he felt, that we may be allowed to choose where we are banished to, and how. I have a friend who has the means to take us all away. If I am allowed to contact him, he will send a vessel. We will go quietly, all of us, into exile and never bother you again.”

This was a startling notion. The judges looked at him then said they would have to think about it. One of them indicated to the guards to bring Harry along as they went into another room, a geography classroom, Harry noticed.

They demanded information about his ‘friend’. Harry told them the vaguest details about The Doctor, and his ship capable of fast space flight, and repeated his assurance that they would go quietly and willingly. They listened and then sent him back to the rest.

An agonising hour later he was sent for again. They told him they agreed to his proposal and that he would be allowed to contact The Doctor. He thanked them for that kindness. The head judge replied that it was NOT kindness, simply a more than usually efficient way of making sure renegades were not allowed to poison the minds of the people. Harry held his tongue. There was so much he wanted to say in response. But this was the only way he could think of to ensure that they would all be safe and together at the end of it all. It was also a way of ensuring that the turncoat’s sick wife, and the elderly among them, and the children arrived safely. For there were many who would not be fit for a long haul journey by freighter.

For you, professor, he whispered as he stepped into the guarded videophone cubicle and put through a call to Earth in 2217.

The Doctor was surprised to hear from Harry, and dismayed when he heard the details of what had happened. For some reason, the word ‘Renegade’ seemed to upset him.

“Help will be coming,” he promised. “I know a place where you will be welcome as exiles, too. Not Earth, I’m afraid. Earth is not yet a place that is used to people who don’t look like they belong here. But I happen to know the President of a solar system with a couple of under-populated planets where you could start a small colony.”


So there they were. He looked around the observation deck. His people – they looked on him as their leader now since he was the one who negotiated this chance for them – sat quietly. The children huddled up to their parents, old people and young held onto each other and waited. They had been told an unusual ship was coming for them, but they didn’t yet know HOW unusual.

“Your friend won’t let us down, will he?” Si’ri asked as he stood next to him.

“The Doctor won’t let anyone down if he can help it. I am hoping he might even help us find some of those already exiled to different parts of the galaxy and bring them to join us.” He looked at the baker and his wife who had been forced into exile with them. “If The Doctor could find their son... I was talking to them. He was a very militant one. With big plans for a revolutionary movement. You would get on with him, Si’ri.”

“If your Doctor could do that….” Si’ri breathed in deeply. Harry knew that had been his friend’s hope long before they were betrayed. Organising the exiles. It was their best long term chance.

Si’ri, too, glanced at the home they were leaving.

“Goodbye, professor,” he whispered. Harry reached out to him and they held hand tightly as they thought of all of those who had taken poison pills, left the gas on, driven their cars off the road, or sat quietly in burning studies rather than leave that planet they all loved. They prayed there would be no more.

A sound of strangely organic machinery and a rush of displaced air made them turn in time to see a grey rectangular box materialise. As the exiles murmured in surprise the door opened and a young man dressed all in black with a leather jacket over his sweater looked out. It was a few moments before Harry recognised him as The Doctor’s grandson, the one who owned his own travelling machine.

“Harry,” the young man said with a warm smile. “The Doctor sends his regards to you, and Jackie sends hugs and kisses, which I am not going to pass on in person if it’s all the same to you.”

“You’re here to take us away?” Harry asked him.

“Yep, I’m your pilot for today,” Davie Campbell replied. “How many of you are there?”

“Two hundred and fifty,” Harry said. “Is that all right? I don’t know how many you were expecting.”

“Two hundred and fifty is fine,” Davie assured him. “Come on, all of you. I’ve got plenty of room for you all. Straight through the console room, through the door, first right into the VIP lounge where the lovely Brenda is your hostess with refreshments, and my brother, Chris will look after any medical needs. Meanwhile, next stop, your new home in the Adano-Ambrado Empire.”

“Not our new home,” Harry corrected him as he directed his people into the incredible ship. “Our temporary place of exile. We WILL be back one day, when things are better.”

Harry and Si’ri looked once more at the view of his planet. One last time. It looked beautiful from here. They fixed the memory of it in their minds. A memory to keep in their thoughts through their exile, along with the memory of the professor and the sacrifice he made for them. Then they stepped on board the Chinese TARDIS and into their new life as leaders of the exiled Demnians.