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

Chris emerged from his deep meditative trance with a start. Something had pulled him out of it before he was ready and immediately filled him with a sense of foreboding.

Something felt wrong.

What could be wrong on THIS planet?

Something WAS. It weighed on him as he stood and looked around, noting that it was almost morning, with a lightening to the sky on the horizon. He remembered that the rising sun used to turn the inside of the temple into a light box of golden splendour every morning. But that was a very long time ago.

“Chris, what’s wrong?” Davie asked in a loud whisper.

“What makes you think anything IS wrong?” Chris replied.

“The feeling… a weight on me, like a thunderstorm is approaching.” Davie stood up and went to stand beside his brother. The sky was clear and starlit. The double moons hung like jewels in the gradually paling azure. “There’s no sign of an ordinary storm.”

“No,” Chris said. “But I think there’s one brewing now, all the same.”

“We should get back to the village,” Davie added. “The girls…”

“They’re ok, surely?” Chris pointed out, though he followed Davie just as urgently down the rough path from the temple. “Tristie and Spenser are there. They’ll take care of them.”

“Who’ll take care of THEM?” Davie retorted with an edge to his voice. “Spenser is inexperienced and Tristie is… is… irresponsible.”

“That’s harsh. He’s no worse than us, surely?”

“He’s ambitious and impatient to achieve that ambition.”

“Still sounds like us, especially YOU, brother.” Chris meant it as a joke, the sort they had shared all their lives. But something of that oppressiveness made it difficult to be light-hearted, and both found themselves remembering that THEIR ambition had led to them being the unwitting catalyst in the destruction of Gallifrey.

“Tristie would have to be VERY reckless to beat us for stupidity,” Davie commented. “All the same, let’s not hang about. I still feel..”

He didn’t need to finish that sentence, either in spoken words or telepathically. Chris knew. In the same heartsbeat they time folded and covered as much of the ground as they dared before letting time swing back. Even then they didn’t stop running. They regulated their hearts and lungs and kept on going until they reached the village square.

“Where are they?” Chris asked. He could see even before they reached the steps that the veranda was empty. Davie didn’t stop to ask questions. He ran up and inside. Chris followed quickly and saw him bending over Spenser’s ominously still body lying on the floor.

“He’s alive,” Davie told him. “He’s been drugged with a neural inhibitor.”

“Who would do that? And where are Tristie and the girls?”

“I’m trying to revive Spenser,” Davie answered. “He might be able to tell us something.”

The only way to do that was by putting his mind into Spenser’s body and forcing the drug out of his system molecule by molecule. A painful and exhausting effort for Spenser and for Davie. Chris gave his brother the telepathic equivalent of a reassuring pat on the back and then gave his attention to the room. There was something else. He concentrated for a moment. Yes. Somebody else WAS here. He turned to the ante-room where the girls were dressed. There was a big cupboard full of robes in there. He opened it and caught Trudi as she fell out of it. She was unconscious. No, she was asleep, he noted as he gathered her up in his arms and brought her out to the hall. She looked as if she’d cried herself to sleep, and before that somebody had hit her so hard that she had a bruise right across her cheek.

She stirred as Chris laid her down on the bed. She looked up at him and gave a sort of whimper.

“It’s ok,” he assured her. “It’s me, Chris. I’m not going to hurt you. I want to look at that bruise. It looks deep.” He adjusted his sonic screwdriver to medical analysis and confirmed that it was deep. There was a cut in the middle of it, too. A distinctly shaped cut. Chris glanced at the Ring of Eternity he wore, symbol of his Transcension to Time Lord status, made with the last gold of Gallifrey. The pattern matched the cut. She had been punched in the face by a Time Lord.

There was no damage to her jaw or cheekbones, he noted with relief and adjusted the setting to tissue repair. She sighed at the cool, balm-like effect, but his gentle words as he performed the simple operation, intended to calm her, had the opposite effect. She burst into fresh tears.

“Hey,” he said. “It’s all right. You’re safe now. But what happened? Who hurt you? Where are Tristie and Brenda?”

“He did it,” Trudi managed. “HE did it.”

“It WAS Tristie,” Davie said. “I can’t revive Spenser. This is MORE than just a neural inhibitor. It’s something deeper. But I managed to reach his mind. He told me what happened.”

It was almost unthinkable. But Spenser’s memories were like a video playback. He had woken to find himself alone on the veranda, and then he had seen Tristie walking back across the square. He had a purposeful walk and an odd expression on his face, and as he drew closer Spenser had been aware of something terrifying about him. He wasn’t himself. At least, he wasn’t JUST himself.

“Somebody had taken over Tristie.” Davie repeated aloud what Spenser had told him with his memories. “It was like his father did to him. He recognised the feel of one consciousness suppressing another.”

“Yes,” Trudi cried out. “That’s it. It WASN’T Tristie doing it. It was somebody else, using him. I mean… is that POSSIBLE?”

“In OUR universe, anything’s possible,” Chris admitted. “He took Brenda? Why?”

That brought on a whole new bout of tears from Trudi before she managed to explain why Brenda had been taken and she left behind.

“HE said,” she hiccupped. “HE said that I was a worthless, weakling Human, not good enough for him… not good enough to be a Time Lord’s vessel.”

“Sweet mother of Chaos!” Davie swore. “And he took Brenda because she IS?”

Trudi cried again. Chris saw her thoughts. When Tristie, or whoever was possessing him said that, Trudi had thought vessel meant boat. She had worked it out while she was locked in the cupboard, though, and even if it wasn’t REALLY Tristie saying it, feelings of rejection compounded her misery.

“You were right before,” Chris assured her. “It WASN’T Tristie saying that. It’s the last thing he would do. He was mad at us all day yesterday because he thought we were looking down on you for being Human. Which we weren’t, by the way. But he loves you like mad, and doesn’t care WHAT you are. This isn’t Tristie. It wasn’t him that hit you. Try to remember that, Trudi. And when we get him back… don’t let this come between you.”

“Trudi,” Davie added. “We need you to be brave now. Spenser is more hurt than I thought. He’s not going to be able to wake for hours yet. I need you to look after him here.” He lifted Spenser and placed him in the bed. “I don’t want you to be scared, here on your own. But I think it’s best we don’t get the villagers involved.”

“You’re going… to find him?”

“Yes,” Davie said. “I don’t know what we’re dealing with here. And I don’t know who. But I’m going to stop him. I’m going to get Brenda back, AND Tristie. OUR Tristie.”

“Ok,” Trudi said. “Then… I’ll try to do my bit.”

“Good girl,” Davie told her. She looked at him and smiled weakly.

“That’s why I like humans,” Davie said as they walked out of the hall into the dim light of pre-dawn. “They’re indomitable. Even when they’re scared stiff, even girls from record shops. Indomitable.”

“Davie,” Chris answered telepathically. “You have NEVER used the word ‘indomitable’ in your life. That’s not you talking. It’s granddad.”

“Yeah,” Davie grinned. “It IS. Sorry.”

“Ok... But…” Chris began to speak, but his words were drowned by another voice that boomed out of the sky itself. He looked up and saw the last thing he expected to see.

It was Tristie. Tristie’s face magnified a thousand times, hanging in the sky, slightly transparent, the stars in the gradually lightening sky showing through like glowing freckles. The voice that spoke like the voice of a wrathful God WASN’T his voice, though.

The voice was demanding that the people come to the square. From their homes around the village they obeyed – men, women and children. They were dressed. SangC’lune people rose with the dawn and worked hard in the hours of daylight. They would have been at their breakfasts now. But they answered the summons of their Living Gods, fearfully. They looked up at the sky and their faces blanched. Tristie, in himself, wasn’t a very terrifying sight. But when he was spread across the sky and speaking with such command, he got it immediately. They didn’t know what he might do if they didn’t.

“Bow before me,” the voice demanded, and the people of SangC’lune did so, as one.

“You, also, the sons of Lœngbærrow, bow before me,” the voice commanded. Chris and Davie looked at each other, then at the face of their own nephew.

“NO,” they replied as one. “We bow to none but Rassilon himself. And you, whoever you ARE, you’re not HIM.”

“Bow before me, or I will destroy one each of these people for your act of disobedience.” And to prove it was no bluff, something like a thunderbolt streaked from the sky and narrowly missed a woman with a small child in her arms.

“All right,” Chris conceded. “Don’t hurt anyone. We’ll bow. But be aware that it is an empty gesture. We owe you no fealty. WHOEVER you ARE. You’re certainly not Tristie.”

“We owe you NOTHING, Borusa,” Davie added. “But we bow to protect the innocent.” Chris looked at his brother in surprise as they bowed. Davie said nothing and his mind was carefully blocked. Not from him, Chris realised, but from the strong mind that had created the image in the sky and could communicate so loudly to all the people of the village.

Chris wondered why he hadn’t thought of that himself, and immediately put up his strongest mental barriers.

“Do not bother. There is nothing in your puny half blood minds that I desire to see,” said the voice, confirming that Davie was right. Then it seemed to lose interest in them and turned its attention back to the people.

“The Time Lords are dead. Even Rassilon the immortal. He is no more. I am the NEW Rassilon. I will resurrect the Time Lords through my own blood. The Twelve Houses will rise again, sired by me. I have one concubine already. I shall require eleven more. Eleven young women will be sent to me within the hour. Attractive ones. I shall not wish to look upon anything but the most comely faces. And strong, fertile vessels.”

“NO!” Davie whispered. For a moment his mental walls wavered as his rawest nerves were touched. Tristie under some sort of possession was one thing. He had been worried for Brenda but certain she would resist him with all her might. But the will of Borusa, that was another matter.

“Lord…” The elders stood timorously and addressed the vision. “Lord, this is unusual. Handmaidens have not been requested by the Gods for many millennia.”

“No,” Chris murmured. “I put a stop to that.”

“They are not REQUESTED,” the voice of Borusa replied. “They are DEMANDED. Refuse and your village will be laid waste.”

“Lord… It WILL be done,” the elders answered with resignation in their voices.

“Within the HOUR,” Borusa reminded them. “They will come to the plain of the pyramids. They will be admitted to MY pyramid where I will make them my vessels.”

The booming voice echoed around the square then faded away. So did the image in the sky. The people rose to their feet slowly, murmuring fearfully. Chris and Davie stood, too, and came down the steps. They saw the fathers of young women holding them close, looking at THEM in horror. The two brothers realised that the villagers saw them as the enemy, too. Of course they would. The two of them were WITH Tristie, after all.

“No.” Davie ran back up the steps and stood on the veranda, his hands gripping the rail. “Please, listen to me. This is wrong. This is VERY wrong. Don’t do it. Go to your homes. Take your daughters with you. Keep them safe. They will be nobody’s concubines. I’m going… my brother and I are going… to find out what is happening and to put a stop to it. Do nothing, my friends. But do not fear. No retribution will come to you. I promise.”

“HE said we would be punished if we did not obey him,” said a man who tightly held two girls of about Trudi’s age. “But I cannot… I will not let my girls…”

“It was a lie,” Davie assured him. “The Lords of Time do not have any demands to make of you. We do not want your daughters. We mean no harm to you.”

“Sire…” The Elders came towards them. They stood at the bottom of the steps and bowed respectfully. “Lord, we believe you. Yet, the other… He HAS power to harm us. You saw a measure of it. How can we be sure…”

“We will protect you,” Chris assured them. “We will not allow any of you to be harmed. Go to your homes now.”

“Gentle Lord,” said the Elder. “We put our trust in you and your brother. We put our lives in your hands.”

“Your trust will not be misplaced,” Davie promised him. He came down the steps to join Chris. The crowd parted to let them through. Frightened people, but with hope now that they were not defenceless against a tyrant that had come to their peaceful world.

“Put up a mental shield,” Chris said to Davie. “Not just around our minds… Protect the village. He projected that image and the thunderbolt from his Pyramid. He has phenomenal telekinetic powers.”

“If we do that, we won’t have strength to time fold, too,” Davie answered. “We’ll be slower getting there.”

“We can still run faster than most humans, and for longer,” Chris pointed out. “But if he sees us coming he may attack the village. They need to be protected.”

Davie nodded and joined his mind to his brothers, putting up a shield. It wasn’t something they often had to do, and it was exhausting to attempt. But it was needed now as the people of the village went to their homes to wait, to pray that their living gods would be successful in defeating the evil that was among them.

“The Twelve Houses?” Davie said telepathically as they ran towards the plain.

“We did it in Gallifreyan history,” Chris reminded him. “When Rassilon founded the Time Lord race, he himself sired the Twelve Ancient Oldblood Houses. They were the leaders, the wisest, bravest, even among the Time Lords, carrying in their veins the blood of Rassilon himself. We thought it was funny. All the siring bit. We kept thinking about racehorses. Granddad pretended to be offended since we ARE one of those Oldblood Houses. But he thought it was kind of funny, too. YOU asked him if the Twelve sons all had the same mother. Granddad admitted he always wondered that, too.”

“I think we know, now.” Davie remarked dryly. “Not so funny if the twelve women are all forced into it. Especially when one of them is Brenda.”

“And using Tristie. It’s so NOT him. He would never…”

“This doesn’t even seem like Borusa,” Davie added. “Even when he let ambition drive him, this kind of cruelty to ordinary people seems so out of character. As for before… when I knew him as my teacher he was a kind man. Strict, but fair, somebody you could look up to. And as a High Councillor, as President… He was a good friend and a loyal Gallifreyan… He…”

“DAVIE!” Even though they were in a hurry, Chris stopped and grabbed his brother by the shoulders. “This is scaring me now. YOU never knew Borusa. He died before we were born. Granddad knew him centuries ago. Long before the Time War. You’re accessing HIS memories, not your own. Stop it, please. Davie… I need YOU.”

“But THIS situation needs The Doctor,” Davie answered. “I need what he knows. Not just his instinct, his guidance. I need what he knows. I need him.”

“No,” Chris insisted. We’ve already got Tristie possessed by Borusa. I don’t need you going schizoid on me.”

“Granddad doesn’t want to possess me,” Davie assured him.

“Maybe he doesn’t. But you can still lose yourself if you’re not careful.”

“Chris.” It was Davie’s voice, but Chris felt in his soul it wasn’t Davie who spoke. “Trust me.”

“Of course I trust you, granddad,” he answered. “But… when this is over, I need my brother back.”

Davie smiled. And it was The Doctor’s smile.

“Come on, we don’t have time for chin-wagging.”

Whether it was Davie who said that, or the spirit of The Doctor within him, that last bit actually DID feel rather comforting. Just as long as Davie could come back afterwards, maybe the best person to combat Borusa possessing Tristie was The Doctor possessing Davie.

Brenda looked at Tristie in the dim light of the curious place where she was being held. Or at least she looked at Tristie’s body possessed by someone or someTHING else. She knew what that was like. She had been possessed by a murderous creature once. It was awful, knowing that her body had been made to do things that hurt other people, knowing that she was innocent, but to all purposes she was at the same time guilty of terrible things. The Doctor had saved her. She had got her life back. Then her own Time Lord had given her his love, promised her a future she never thought she could have while her mind and body were not her own.

And that future would be destroyed if the being who now possessed Tristie’s body had his way. She shuddered at the thought of being his ‘Vessel’ against her will. She could never be Davie’s wife if that happened. The Bond of Betrothal he made held that both of them would remain chaste until their Alliance. If another man used her first she could never be a Time Lord’s Lady.

“You will NEVER be his wife,” snarled the evil one inside Tristie. “You are MINE. My first vessel. The first of the Twelve mothers of the new leaders of the Time Lords.”

“Davie will stop you,” Brenda answered, more bravely than she felt. “He won’t stand by and let you hurt me.”

Tristie’s body rose a foot above the stone-flagged floor of the gothic looking cavern with candles lighting up a circle around them and filling the dark corners with eerie shadows. He GLIDED towards her as if on ice and hit her across the face. She reeled from the very same injury she saw him inflict on Trudi, his Time Lord ring catching her cheek painfully. She didn’t cry, even though she was hurting physically. Davie WOULD be there. She knew it. He would not let her down.

“Your precious Davie is JUST a Time Lord,” the evil one said. “A young, inexperienced Time Lord. One with the arrogance of his ancestors, of course. But in truth, just an ordinary Time Lord. I am BORUSA, the greatest Time Lord since Rassilon himself.”

“No, you’re not,” Brenda replied. “Hit me again. Hit me ALL you like. But you’re not. The greatest Time Lord since Rassilon is The Doctor. And Davie is his kin.”

“So is the weak flesh I am using. This over-reaching fool who sought power he had not earned. I do not fear the watered down blood of The Doctor. I don’t even fear the man himself, though he tricked me into my doom the last time we met. No, I do not fear any man. I am invincible, and I am immortal.”

“If that’s true, then when Davie is done with you, you’ll spend a very long time feeling sorry for yourself,” Brenda said. The evil within Tristie growled with rage. She expected to be hit. But he was distracted by something beyond the pyramid.

“They come. They defy my will and come! I will destroy the village.”

“He’s trying to attack the village,” Chris said. “We’ll have to strengthen the shield. Concentrate…”

“I don’t think I can concentrate any more than I already am,” Davie pointed out. “I think… I don’t want to let the people down. I promised them they’d be safe. But I can’t… I overestimated what I could do…”

“You don’t have to. I can do it.” Davie was surprised by the third voice in his head. “I can do it. Let me…”

“Spenser? Are you awake? Are you ok?”

“No,” he answered. “I still can’t move. I don’t know what he did to me. I can’t move. I can’t open my eyes. I can feel somebody near me, but I can’t speak. But my mind is free. I can maintain a shield. I can protect the village. You get to him. Stop him.”

“Spenser, you’re not strong enough. I’ve only just started training you in power projection.”

“My father used my mind for centuries, projecting his thoughts through me. I know what to do. You can let go and concentrate on getting him.”

“He’s doing it,” Chris said. “Leave him to it.”

It was a relief to let go and not have to maintain the telepathic shield. They could concentrate on what was ahead of them, and as they reached the Pyramid plain they knew that they had a lot to contend with. They could feel the power of Borusa’s telepathic energy in the air.

“Is he REALLY that good?” Davie asked.

“No,” Chris answered. “He IS a very good telepath. He would have be to survive the Time War in any form. But he’s using the pyramids. I think… Usually they don’t have living people in them. They’re occupied by the essences of Time Lord lives. They are like Zero Rooms, cut off from the outside world, except for a kind of connection to the existing life of the Time Lord. But he’s alive now. He has a corporeal body. And he’s using the pyramid in reverse, using it as a sort of telepathic transmitter station. That’s what we’ve got to contend with. Have you any idea how we’re supposed to do that, by the way?”

“No,” Davie answered. “We’re winging it.”

Chris looked at him, and something about his expression made him wonder.

“When you say WE, do you mean you and me, or you and Granddad?”

“Doesn’t matter, as long as we stop this nutter and get Brenda and Tristie back.”

“I want you back, too,” Chris reminded him. “Just try to remember that.”

It was quite obvious where Borusa’s pyramid was even if they hadn’t known the way. There was a spectacular display of pyrotechnics over it, lightning shooting upwards, balls of flame and shimmering multicoloured smoke.

“Showy and over the top and all to the good,” Davie remarked. “It’s all taking the toll on his psychic energy. He’ll be tired. He’s not invincible, whatever he THINKS!”

“Don’t make his mistake,” Chris warned him. “Don’t be OVER-confident. He’s still very powerful.”

“We know,” Davie answered.

“Damn,” Chris swore relatively mildly as they finally reached Borusa’s pyramid. A stronger oath would have been appropriate enough. “Is that a force field?”

“No, it’s a mental shield like Spenser is maintaining over the village. Only Spenser isn’t putting on a firework show and trying to attack the village, too. So it ought to be weak enough.”

Davie stepped towards it, noting that Borusa was arrogant enough to have left the pyramid door open. To admit his eleven concubines, of course, or to order the very best food in the village to be brought to him.

Chris’s words about over confidence came back to him as he touched the shield and felt its power as a neural shock that made every nerve in his body scream in agony and his muscles contract painfully. He felt himself propelled backwards. He was saved from hitting the ground by his brother’s arms catching him and holding him.

“I can’t move,” he said telepathically. “My body is paralysed.

“I’m trying not to say ‘I told you so’. What do we do now?”

“Get me to my pyramid.”

“You don’t HAVE a pyramid, Davie,” Chris answered him. “We haven’t been born yet in this time.”

“No,” he said. “MY pyramid.”

“Oh, yeah, Right! But how do I get in?”

“We’ll get in.”

Chris lifted him in his arms. He was a dead weight, his muscles so paralysed he couldn’t even cling to him. But Chris managed.

“Remember that old song,” he said as he carried him through the ‘streets’ of pyramids to the other white one.

“Which song?” Davie asked.

“He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother.”


“They lied. You ARE heavy. Then again… how many of you am I carrying?”

“Just me,” Davie told them. “Granddad knows how to levitate so as not to be a burden on anyone.”

“Hah!” Chris responded.

“I think I’m starting to feel my legs and arms again,” Davie added. “I might be able to walk if you help me.”

“We’re nearly there,” Chris answered. “Just hold onto me.” Davie reached slowly and managed to put his arms around Chris’s neck. He clung on, his head against his brother’s shoulder. He hurt still, but he was certain that he knew what to do now. He just had to get to the pyramid. He just needed his mind open and the goodwill of his ancestors.

“Put me down now,” Davie said as they reached the white Pyramid of Chrístõ de Lœngbærrow. “Just help me reach the door.”

He stood shakily on his own two feet and stumbled to the door with Chris’s support. He raised his hand. He still felt weak but Chris helped him, putting his hand over his and linking their fingers as he pressed his Ring of Eternity against the symbol of the House of Lœngbærrow. There was a click and the door opened. They both stepped over the threshold.

Inside was a hall of mirrors, reflecting off each other, creating tunnels of infinity all around. Some of the mirrors reflected faces, though none of them were Chris or Davie’s face.

It IS like a Zero Room,” Davie said out loud, his voice echoing in the huge space. “I feel ok now. The pain is gone.” He stood on his own and worked into the centre of the mirror, seeing himself receding into infinity. He raised his hands and spoke loudly.

“I am Chrístõdavõreendiam?ndh?rtmallõupdracœfiredelunmiancuimhne de Lœngbærrow,” he cried, and Chris thought he sounded more like The Doctor than ever. “Acknowledge me.”

“You are NOT,” said an angry voice as eight figures stepped out of the mirrors and became real, corporeal beings. The two brothers knew all eight by sight, and some of them by more than that. But they couldn’t help feeling a little scared. “And who is this OTHER? Don’t you know what a transgression it is to enter another Time Lord’s pyramid? We could smite you both dead.”

“No, you couldn’t,” Chris answered. “Because you’re The Doctor and you wouldn’t smite ANYONE, least of all us.” He watched as The Doctor’s first incarnation stepped closer, the old man with white hair and cane and eyes that were far stronger, more intelligent, than his frail body suggested.

“I’m Chris de Lœngbærrow-Campbell,” Chris said. “I’m… The Doctor’s… I’m your great-grandson. Susan is our mother.”

“Then, I am glad to meet you, boy,” said the old man with a softer tone. “But you still should not be here.”

“I AM The Doctor,” Davie repeated. “Right now, I AM.”

The one who looked like a middle aged professor with a very eclectic taste in jumpers stepped towards him. He put his hand on Davie’s forehead gently but insistently and he felt the touch of his mind.

“He has received our essence by Rite of Mori!” the Professor exclaimed.

“No!” protested the young one with long hair and a velvet frock coat. “No, he can’t. There are only eight of us. We’re not...”

“Dead?” Davie supplied. “No, you’re not. It’s complicated. And this is not the time. Just take my word. I AM you right now. And I have to fight an enemy we all know.” He looked around and found the incarnation with the soft blonde hair and gentle blue eyes, who for reasons nobody seemed to know, chose to dress for a cricket party.

“YOU fought him. Borusa… when he went mad and sought immortality. You were the one.”

“Borusa?” The Fifth incarnation of The Doctor looked worried. “He’s here, on SangC’lune?”

“He’s here and he’s taken over the body of another young Time Lord… one of our kin. And he has my fiancée as his prisoner within his pyramid. He has threatened to destroy the village. Is that enough or do I have to go into the concubines and his plan to rebuild the Twelve Houses? He’s dangerous. And he’s powerful. And I don’t think I can fight him on my own. I can’t. I might have The Doctor’s memories, but I’m still just me. I’ve only been a Time Lord for a year, and I can’t.”

“There’s no such word as CAN’T,” said the Fourth doctor sternly. “Don’t whine, boy. How can you EVER hope to live up to OUR legacy with that attitude?”

“You CAN do it,” the Sixth assured him. “You have all of OUR power. All of our skills and experience.”

“But HOW?” Chris asked. “How can he do it? We can’t get near the pyramid. And time is running out.”

“The way we fought him the last time,” the Third Doctor replied, turning to look at Davie. “You said you have our memories. You KNOW what we did.”

“We joined forces, stood united against him,” Davie answered.

“All you have to do is ASK,” said the Second Doctor with a twinkling smile.

“Will you… will you help me to defeat Borusa,” Davie asked.

“Yes,” said the First Doctor for all of them. “And when we’ve done that, we should see about settling that head of yours down. Oh, I’m a dolt in my old age, thinking a boy like you could possibly cope with all MY life’s experiences.”

“Don’t take it from me,” Davie begged. “You… He… knew I would need him. Like now. And… And anyway, I LIKE carrying your soul within me. It was an honour. I am proud he… you… chose me. Don’t take it from me.”

“We’ll not do that,” they promised him. “But you’re out of balance. There’s more of us than of you and you’ll lose yourself soon if it’s not put right.”

“Borusa first,” the Fourth Doctor reminded them. “How did he ever come to such a pass? He was a good friend… a loyal man.”

“Ambition,” Davie answered. “That’s what you told us. His ambition over-ruled his head.”

“Well, there’s a lesson for you, my lad.”

“Yes. But…”

“YOU get to the pyramid, boy,” The First Doctor said to Chris. “When he’s weakest, you get in there. Get the girl and the young man out. Bring them back here.”

“Yes, sir,” Chris answered. “Davie…” He hugged his brother. “Granddad… Good luck.”

He ran from the pyramid of Chrístõ de Lœngbærrow. His brother watched him go. Or, to be correct, The Doctor, watched him go.

“Let’s do it,” he said. He turned and saw his reflection in the mirrors that reflected infinity. Davie Campbell wasn’t there. The Ninth Doctor stood there, and behind him, his other eight lives. The corporeal versions of them stood in a ring around him. They all concentrated. They, like Borusa, used the pyramid as a transmitter. But unlike Borusa, who was one mind occupying a scared young man against his will, they were a gestalt. The Eight corporeal essences of The Doctor’s past lives joined with the soul of the Ninth and Davie’s own mind and the combined strength was pitted against Borusa.

Chris saw the result of the effort as soon as he reached Borusa’s pyramid. The shield was wavering and shimmering. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before stepping through it. He felt as if he had walked through a patch of giant stinging nettles, but he was otherwise unharmed.

He heard screaming and shouting from within the pyramid. The shouting was Brenda, calling for help. The screaming was Tristie, who was in far more trouble than she was. Borusa was cruelly using his body as he fought to remain in it against the combined mental onslaught of Davie and The Doctors, throwing him against the altar in the middle of the floor, tipping him right over it, throwing him into the air, burning him on the torches. Chris grabbed him and pulled him to the floor, rolling him into the recovery position of somebody having a fit. He called to Brenda to help him and she did so at once, helping to hold his legs still while Chris used his own weight to hold down Tristie’s body and held his head to prevent Borusa from smashing it against the cold floor. Tristie was fighting for himself now and a lot of the time it was his own voice that called out before the deep, sonorous, angry voice of Borusa raged briefly. Finally there was a long, long, hoarse scream that began in Tristie’s throat before being cast out. It hung in the air for a while, before starting to fade. As it did, the torches started to fail and the pyramid began to feel very cold.

“Up!” Chris commanded Tristie. “Up, move. Brenda, run. The door is starting to close.”

Brenda ran. She tried to hold the door, but it WAS closing. Chris hauled Tristie to his feet and pushed him along, thrusting him through the door, pushing Brenda in front of him as he sprang forward into the suddenly bright sunshine. He grabbed hold of them both and they turned to see the door shut tight. There was a sudden, dramatic, and very showy thunderclap and the pyramid turned completely black.

“He’s gone,” Tristie said. “He’s dead.” He looked at Chris and shivered. “I’m sorry. I’ve been an idiot. I wanted…”

“Ambition,” Chris said to him. “It’s what doomed Borusa in the first place. Learn the lesson.” Then he turned and ran back towards the last remaining White Pyramid. Tristie and Brenda looked at each other then raced after him.

The White Pyramid was shut tight. Chris looked for a way in, but it would not open for him. He wasn’t The Doctor.

“It’s all right.” He heard Davie’s voice in his head, slightly fuzzy and distorted because it was coming from within the pyramid, but definitely Davie. “Yes, it’s me. I’m ok. But I’ll be a while yet. They’re ‘balancing’ me. It’s really quite a restful experience. Like having a massage of the soul. I think I’ve needed it for a while. You all sit down and wait. I’ll be with you in a couple of hours.”

Chris did has he said. Brenda and Tristie sat with him on the trim lawn around the pyramid that was kept so beautifully by the SangC’lune people. Not long after Trudi and Spenser arrived along with the Elders of the village and bearers of a picnic meal – since they had all missed breakfast and it was approaching lunchtime. They sat and ate and waited. Tristie found that Trudi was happy to be reconciled with him. Spenser and Brenda forgave him, too. Chris mended Brenda’s bruises before Davie saw her. They could have been on an ordinary picnic but for the very slight anxiety that made them all glance at the white pyramid from time to time, and Tristie trying to apologise again and again for his stupidity.

“You won’t tell granddad, will you?” he asked. Chris laughed softly.

“Granddad will find out anyway. But he’ll probably just put it down to you being…”

“A chip off the old block?”

“Yes. But… you know that isn’t a good enough excuse, Tristie. Granddad may have made mistakes in his life. Davie and I have. But YOU should have learnt from us, not followed us into disaster.”

“I know but…”

Chris was about to speak again when a noise distracted him. He turned to see the pyramid door opening. Davie stepped out looking relaxed and happy. The word MELLOW popped into Chris’s head. He and Brenda both stood to run to him, but to their surprise Spenser beat them to it, hugging Davie tightly and kissing his cheek.

“He was born in the 17th century,” Chris told Brenda as she tried to decide whether to be amused or affronted.

“And that’s a good enough excuse is it?” Brenda asked. But they both decided they didn’t care WHY Spenser had reacted that way. They both just wanted to emulate him.

“Tell me it’s you,” Chris said to his brother as he kissed him fondly.

“It’s me, brother,” Davie answered. “I’m balanced now. I can still feel him within me, the experience, the skills, the knowledge. But the memories have faded. At least until I need them again.”

“Try not to need them,” Brenda told him. “I don’t need anyone else in your head, except you.”

Davie laughed softly and Chris decided his brother didn’t need anyone else at all but Brenda right now. He stepped back with the others and left them alone. He left Trudi and Tristie alone in their private world of two people.

“Come on, Spenser,” he said. “You haven’t seen the ruined temple yet. Let’s take a walk up that way while they’re all busy.”

Spenser looked back at Davie, then turned to Chris and smiled gratefully to him.

For understanding.