Chrístõ’s car was a little more crowded than usual on the way to school. Julia gave up her front passenger seat and sat in the back with her cousins so that Garrick could sit next to his brother. He wanted to be beside Chrístõ all the time and she didn‘t mind conceding that place to him.

Christo was happy with the arrangement. It had been unexpected. He had hoped Garrick could come and stay with him for a while when he was older. But when Valena asked if he could take him for a few weeks and help with his educational programme he was flattered and proud to have been asked and more than glad to rise to the challenge.

It wasn't that Garrick was backward in any way. But the war had made things difficult for him at a crucial time in his development,. His parents had been too busy trying to stay alive to start equipping him with the basic educational skills of a Gallifreyan child. And it had affected him in other ways, too. He slept badly, with nightmares quite often. And he was nervous of strangers. He had not responded to any of the tutors who were engaged to teach him.

“Julia,” Chrístõ said. “Don’t use your psychic brooch to talk to him. He needs to improve his verbal skills. And you boys can help him out in that way, too.”

“But he doesn’t know about any of the stuff we know,” Cordell pointed out. “He’s never seen a football or watched Battlefleet X.”

“He doesn’t need to see Battlefleet X,” Chrístõ replied. “He’s seen enough invading aliens to last him a lifetime. But you can show him how to kick a football after lunch if you like. It will be good exercise as well as improving his social skills.”

Garrick looked a little dubious about that.

“You have to play with Michal and Cordell at lunchtime,” Chrístõ told him. “I have a meeting with the foster parent of a new student who’s joining my class today.”

It probably wasn’t the best day to introduce Garrick to the Chrysalids, really. But it couldn’t be helped. And his students made it easy for him. The girls, especially, were thrilled to have Garrick in the classroom. They thought it was adorable when he sat in one of the front desks, his small legs dangling and took out his own electronic slate to join in with the maths lesson that occupied their first hour after registration.

“He’s four years old and doing advanced calculus?” Malcolm Keogh observed as he leaned over and looked at Garrick’s slate. “He’s twenty question ahead of me.”

“Perhaps that’s because you’re paying more attention to what he’s doing than your own work.” Chrístõ replied.

“Yes… but…” Nearly all of the students stopped working and looked at Garrick, who carried on with his sums, apparently oblivious of the attention he was attracting. “Well… how come… I thought you said he was behind for his age.”

“He is,” Chrístõ answered. “Calculus is pretty basic. Besides, maths, as you all know, is just logical progression. He has a long way to go with more subjective aspects of his education.”

“Even for us, it took most of our school years to get up to Calculus,” Vern Koeting pointed out. “How could he cram it all in at his age?”

“You know what a burst transmission is?” Chrístõ asked his students.

“A method of transmitting information as a short, condensed electronic pulse,” Damon Lee answered him. “It’s used for sending subsonic messages between the colonies and Earth to prevent degradation of signal.

“On Gallifrey we have a similar system for teaching things like maths and science. Garrick was taught to do maths in ten minute brain buffing sessions. The same with theoretical sciences, physics, basic astronomy, that sort of thing.”

“So why does he need to go to school at all? Why not just let him get a job?”

“He’s not tall enough for an office desk,” Chrístõ answered with a laugh. “Gretta, you know the answer, don’t you? In fact, you all should know. It’s why you’re in this class in the first place.”

“Because merely putting information into the head of a child is not education,” Gretta said. “True education draws out what he knows so that he can use it to enrich his experience of life and enrich the lives of others around him.”

“Quite so,” Chrístõ said. “Garrick isn’t just an organic computer taking in facts and figures. And neither are any of you lot. Which is why we only need an hour of maths first thing in the morning before we really exercise our brains. At least it will be an hour if you get on with it. Garrick is now a lot further on than you all are. Are you going to let a four year old show you up?”

They laughed and got on with their work. Chrístõ sat at his desk and watched them for a while. He listened in telepathically, but found nothing going on except calculus. He turned his attention to his new student.

Cal Lupus was his name according to the register. He was seventeen, almost old enough to leave school. His test results meant that he was spending those last months in the advanced class. But curiously, he was not entered in any examinations, he had not applied to any university or to any industrial apprenticeship. He seemed to be just marking time.

He didn’t seem to be doing any work. Chrístõ stood and approached his desk. The boy looked up at him with an expression best described as sullen. He was long-faced with black hair that was badly in need of a trim and styling, being a little too long and unruly to be either fashionable or practical. His eyes were deep set and seemed even deeper with his brow creased in a frown. His lips were pressed together in a thin lipped and tense expression.

“Are you ok?” Chrístõ asked him.

“Am I… what?” The boy looked puzzled.

“Ok,” Chrístõ repeated. “It’s a slang word. My father is always complaining about me using it, actually. It means… are you all right? Are you managing to do the work? I know its not easy coming into a new school class midway through the term, but we don’t have a strictly set curriculum in this class. And if you need any help, you only have to ask.”

“I do not need any help,” Cal answered. “I have completed the problems set. They were not difficult.”

Chrístõ was aware that several of the students closest to him looked up when he said that. The problems were not especially difficult for any of them, but there was a physical limit to how fast they could write down the stages of the calculation to prove they knew how to do them. Beside, it wasn’t a race. The point was to learn calculus.

“Vern,” Chrístõ said. “How far off are you from finishing?” Vern was probably the slowest mathematician in the room. Nora Massey was the fastest, but even she would not be much further on.

“About a quarter of an hour,” he answered. “Your brother has finished. Nobody else has.”

“Ok, carry on,” he said. “I don’t want to start any further work until everyone is up to the same stage.” He stood and went to the bookcase. He passed Cal a copy of the book they were going to discuss in fifteen minutes time when the maths lesson was done. “The others read it over the weekend, but if you want to look at the synopsis and notes to the text you will be able to keep up with the lesson, at least.”

He took the paper copy of the novel and looked at it disdainfully.

“I know, it’s old fashioned. And yes, there are thousands of approved texts available on the electronic tablet. But we kind of have a thing for the smell of paper in this classroom.”

Cal opened the book. Chrístõ went back to his seat and closed his eyes.

“Nobody try to connect with me telepathically for a few minutes,” he said. “I’m going to be teaching Garrick some Gallifreyan history. You’ll get a headache if you try to access our minds. And it’s as dull as dishwater, anyway.”

He felt the Chrysalids tune out of his consciousness and reached out to Garrick. The boy was ready. He was used to the ‘brain buffing’ method by now and easily accepted the burst of information about the history of the Gallifreyan Constitution and the drafting of the Laws of time. It was dull, dry stuff and he didn’t expect Garrick to make much of it yet. He didn’t have to. A lot of this information would lay dormant in his mind until he began to have formal lessons in Gallifreyan constitutional history. But this dull stuff that mostly consisted of dates and names of long dead Time Lords who drafted the laws that were the framework of their society contained nothing that would disturb the mind of a four year old boy.

He finished the lesson and looked up. He was immediately aware that everyone was looking at Cal. He was reading the book he had been given at a rate of about one page every second, his eyes were dilating rapidly and the sound the pages made as his hands flipped them was an eerie susurration in the otherwise quiet classroom.

“I do that with technical manuals and law books,” Chrístõ said in a friendly tone. “But I like to enjoy a novel.”

Cal looked at him but he said nothing.

“Still, at least you’re up to date now,” Chrístõ continued in the same friendly tone. “You’ll be able to join in the discussions with the others.”

Cal still said nothing. He closed the book and left it on the desk in front of him. Chrístõ got ready to teach English literature. As he did so, there was a tap on the door. He nodded to Noreen, who opened it. He was surprised to see Julia step into the classroom.

“The gas is off in the science lab,” she said. “So we were told to go to the library for a study period. But I thought… maybe I could sit in with you?”

“If you want,” Chrístõ answered. “We’re just about to start a literary discussion about Watership Down.”

“Oh, brilliant,” She said. “I read that one to Garrick last night. He knows all about it.”

“Then everyone is up to speed. Tell you what, grab a copy from the shelf and you can read a piece just to get us into the mood to discuss the literary qualities of the text.”

Chrístõ sat informally on the edge of his desk as Julia took a copy of the book and stood in front of the class. She read the last chapter, where the battle was over and the warren was at peace. As she read, Garrick took out his sonic screwdriver. Along with his own virtual pet Lapin, he conjured a whole group of animated rabbits. They illustrated the story perfectly. The class enjoyed them for their entertainment value.

At least most of them did. Cal seemed unimpressed. He sat unmoved by either the story or by the virtual rabbits.

Julia finished reading and sat down beside Garrick. Chrístõ got ready to open up a discussion. His students joined in enthusiastically. Even Garrick proved that he was listening by illustrating many of the points made with his virtual reality warren. It was a lively, interesting lesson which he thought everyone got something useful from. His students gained an insight into a classic piece of 20th century Earth literature. Julia got to take part in a lesson he was teaching. Garrick forgot his shyness in his excitement. He, himself, felt the pleasure of any teacher when his class are engaged and interested and are getting something more than just a means of passing examinations out of his lessons.

At least most of them were. Cal never took any part in the discussion. Of course, he was new. He might be nervous of speaking up. Perhaps they didn’t have lessons like this in his old school. But Chrístõ wasn’t sure it was any of those reasons. He just didn’t seem interested in the book or the discussion. He spent the whole hour staring at the back of Garrick’s head as he joined in enthusiastically with everything,

“That new boy gives me the creeps,” Julia said to Chrístõ as he walked with her and Garrick to the dining room for lunch. “He looks at us… weird. And… is he telepathic?”

“No, I don’t think so,” Chrístõ answered. “I tried to reach him that way but he was unresponsive.”

“I'm not sure,” Julia told him. “I think… maybe he is and he’s hiding it. I had my psychic brooch on for a bit when we were discussing Watership Down. Garrick was talking to me about the difference between rabbits and lapins and how the story wouldn’t work with lapins because they’re not territorial like that. And I kept feeling that somebody else was there, on the edge, trying to listen to us both. I think it was Cal. He was looking at Garrick all the time. And he’s just… just a bit…”

“He could be scared of revealing his telepathy. Most humans react badly to that sort of thing. He maybe doesn’t want to be thought of as a freak.”

“Well, if that’s all it is, then it’s good, isn’t it? Because then you can help him. You and the Chrysalids. You can all help him. If he knows he’s not on his own, he’ll be all right…”

“Yes, absolutely,” Chrístõ agreed. “You may have put your finger on the problem. I’ll talk to him later, and see if that’s what it is. Thanks, sweetheart.”

After lunch, Chrístõ left Garrick in the company of Julia and her cousins and some of his students who all wanted to teach the boy how to play football while he went to the staff room to meet Cal’s foster mother.

“It’s good to see you again, Mrs Richards,” he said, shaking hands with the lady.

“And you, Mr de Leon. I never properly thanked you for all you did for the Corr children. And now there’s another problem child in my care for you to teach.”

“You think Cal IS a problem child?” Chrístõ asked.

“He’s certainly had problems,” she answered. “That’s why I wanted to meet with you. You need to know the facts.”

Chrístõ listened to Mrs Richards as she explained to him that Cal had arrived on Beta Delta IV six months ago as a stowaway on a passenger ship from the Ganymede system, another Earth colony similar to Beta Delta. When the authorities investigated, they found that his mother had passed away two years ago and the boy had disappeared after her funeral. There were no other relatives and in any case it would take another two years to return him to the Ganymede system. He had been declared a ward of the Beta Delta social services and placed into an orphanage before going into Mrs Richards’ care. She had found him sullen and uncommunicative, spending most of his time in his room, refusing to mix with the other children she was currently looking after.

“He has certainly had a hard time,” Chrístõ agreed. “He needs a bit of TLC from you. For my part, I’ll try to get him to open up a bit. I’m sure the other students will help. They’re a good bunch. If he can at least make friends with one of them it will be a start.”

“I hope so,” Mrs Richards said. “He’s not a child. He’s nearly a man. And what will come of him if he chooses to leave my care once he is legally old enough, without friends, cold and withdrawn, sullen and confrontational. How long will it be before he gets into a fight, gets hurt, or hurts somebody else and ends up in jail…or… worse…”

“That is an unpleasant scenario,” Chrístõ said. “I will do what I can. As I know you will, too.”

With that promise his meeting with Mrs Richards was over. He went to find Garrick and Julia. He watched them for a while. Garrick was doing as well as a four year old could when playing football with much older students. He was also laughing and enjoying the game. Chrístõ was pleased to see that. His brother didn’t get a lot of chances to laugh.

He noticed Cal standing by the edge of the field. He obviously had no intention of joining in with the game, but he seemed unable to take his eyes off Garrick as he played.

Chrístõ moved slowly, casually, as if he was following the game from the touchline, but slowly approaching Cal. Perhaps too slowly. When he spoke to him, the boy jumped as if he hadn’t noticed him there.

“I can help you,” he said. “If you will trust me. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

“What makes you think I’m afraid? I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Only of being seen for what you are?” Chrístõ asked the question telepathically. He was almost certain that Cal had understood him. But he didn’t give any indication, not a flicker of the eyes, not a twitch of his sullen expression.

“I know it’s difficult for you, being in a new place,” he said out loud. “But we’re here to help you. Mrs Richards, your foster mother, she’s a wonderful woman. She’s looked after so many troubled young people. All you have to do is talk to her. She’ll understand. Or… if you will trust me, I’m always ready to listen. Or if you don’t want to talk to an adult, one of the other students… Geoff, Rudie, Vern… they’re all good lads. Or if you’d prefer to talk to one of the girls… They just want to be your friend if you’ll let them.”

“I don’t want friends,” he answered. “I don’t want to talk to you… or that fussing woman. Just leave me alone.”

He lashed out. He actually struck Chrístõ hard on the shoulder before he had a chance to react. He stepped back quickly and was surprised when the boy tried once again to hit him. Of course he could have defended himself perfectly easily with any number of martial arts moves. He could have brought him to the ground, either painlessly, or with maximum pain if he chose. But not when his little brother and his girlfriend, and half his class were watching as well as two of his fellow teachers running to find out what had happened. In a dojo, a boxing ring, even in a dark alley where he was set upon, he would have hit back. But here, on school grounds, he was a teacher, Cal was a seventeen year old student, a minor, under his protection.

He turned to walk away. Cal hit him on the back of his head. It was a powerful blow that stunned him momentarily, but he stepped away. Again, the boy tried to follow. Then he gave a furious cry as he tripped and fell. Chrístõ turned and noticed that his shoelaces were untied and he had trod on one of them.

“Thanks, Geoff,” he said telepathically. Then Mr Thomason, the boys’ gym master hauled Cal to his feet. He struggled at first, then seemed to give in. His expression was broken and humiliated. He stood with his head down as the other teacher demanded to know what he thought he was doing attacking a member of staff.

Cal said nothing.

“It’s his first day,” Chrístõ said. “He’s not having an easy time adjusting. I’d prefer not to punish him. As long as I have his word he will contain his temper in future.”

“He’s your student, Mr De Leon,” Mr Thomason acknowledged. “His discipline is your responsibility. But that was a very bad example to the other students. A senior boy attacking a teacher... a very bad precedent.”

“I agree,” Chrístõ said. “I sincerely hope there will be no repeat of this incident.” He turned to his recalcitrant student. “Cal… it is almost time to resume lessons. Fasten your shoelaces and go to class. We will say no more about it.”

Cal looked at him and at the other teachers silently. Chrístõ wondered what he was going to do. Would he obey, would he strike out again or speak disrespectfully? If he chose not to obey what punishment could be inflicted? A detention was hardly likely to bother him very much.

Cal turned away.

“Follow him in,” Chrístõ said telepathically to his students. “Make sure he’s ok and going where he’s supposed to go. Julia and Garrick, wait for me.”

He spoke again with the two other teachers and persuaded them not to report the incident to the headmaster. As he headed back towards the school, though, he wondered how long it might be before the headmaster found out, anyway. Even among the non-telepathic students the fact that a student had attacked a teacher was the subject of gossip.

“Try not to let it spoil your afternoon,” he told Julia as he left her by the gym. “I’ll see you at three o’clock.”

She didn’t kiss him. That wasn’t allowed on school grounds. But she did hug him briefly before going off to her favourite lesson. He took Garrick’s hand and headed for his own classroom.

It was a muted classroom, not at all the happy place he was used to. The Chrysalids all knew what had happened, of course. Cal was sitting apart from them, with empty seats either side of him.

“This isn’t good,” Chrístõ said telepathically. “Please try not to isolate him. He needs your friendship.”

“He attacked you,” Lara said. “We don’t want to be his friends.”

The others noisily said the same in variously angry tones. Cal gave no indication that he knew he was being talked about telepathically. Even somebody with no telepathic skills at all ought to have sensed the antipathy towards him, but Cal was oblivious to it all.

“Please, try,” he said again and then told them out loud to set their electronic slates to page 97 of History and Politics of Earth, 1900 to 2050. A history lesson was just the thing to settle them all down for the afternoon.

It wasn’t the most successful lesson he had ever taught. Everyone was glad when it was over. As the class broke up to go home, Chrístõ turned to ask Cal if he would like a lift, but he had already gone.

“Forget him,” Vern said. “He’s a waste of time.”

“Nobody is a waste of time,” Chrístõ answered him. “There has to be a way to get through to him.” But he couldn’t think of one right now. He sighed and turned to help Garrick put his coat on and brought his brother out to the car where Julia was waiting. Her cousins had already gone off with their own friends to their after school club. Julia, with special permission from her guardians, was staying overnight.

Chrístõ made tea for them all and they sat afterwards in the drawing room listening to music and playing games that amused Garrick until he was tired enough to fall asleep in an armchair. Chrístõ covered him with a blanket and came to sit on the sofa with Julia. She took full advantage of the opportunity to cuddle up with him.

“This is nice,” she said. “Me and you and Garrick… together, in our own house, like a family. Nice to think, one day, it could be like this for real.”

“Not quite like this,” Chrístõ answered. “We’ll be living in a much bigger house and we’ll have a nursemaid to look after our children.”

“Well, close enough,” she said. “Still nice.”

“It’s very nice,” Chrístõ agreed. He thought about the future that they had planned for a long time. He would be patriarch of his family, master of Mount Lœng House. His father and Valena, with Garrick, would live in the Dower House by the river. Julia would be a lady of Gallifrey, giving luncheons and attending them at the homes of other ladies. In time, they would have a child of their own, a son, perhaps, who would have his name and follow in his footsteps as a Time Lord.

But even as he thought of that future, he couldn’t help wondering if he wouldn’t be just as happy to live here in this house, with Julia and their children, continuing to teach at the school, enjoying peaceful evenings like this.

He had been born to be an aristocrat of his world. He was born to live in a mansion and command servants and workers on his estate. He never imagined a life like the one he was living now. He never thought he could be happy with it. He recoiled from the idea of such ‘ordinariness’.

But just now, it did seem tempting.

“What will you do about Cal?” Julia asked him, jolting him from such quiet thoughts. “What if he continues to make trouble?”

“I’ll have to find a way to punish him,” Chrístõ admitted. “I don’t want to, but if I don’t, then he will continue to disrupt everyone else. I feel sorry for him. Nobody wants to talk to him at all, now.”

“I don’t blame them,” Julia said. “He was very rude. And your students are loyal to you.”

“Yes, they are. They’re a good bunch. I need to persuade them to give him a chance. If he could just make a friend, one friend, it would be a start.”

He sighed and tried not to worry about his student for a while. He pulled Julia closer to him and enjoyed the opportunity to kiss her thoroughly just like any other young man in love with a young woman.

When it got late, Chrístõ carried Garrick, still sleeping, and put him to bed. He kissed his forehead gently and tucked him in. Julia watched and sighed at the sweet domesticity of it.

“I’m glad you love him, now,” Julia said. “It was horrible when you kept saying you didn’t care about him. It was so unlike you.”

“Yeah, I was an idiot,” he admitted. “Garrick is a great kid. I love having him around. I hope Valena lets me keep him for a while.” Julia tried to stifle a yawn but he saw it and smiled. “You need to go to bed, too. It’s a school night.”

“Come and tuck me in?” she asked with an impish smile.

“All right,” he answered. “Get into bed and I’ll be with you.”

That was nice, too. He slipped into her room to find her lying in bed, in her nightdress. He pulled the blankets close around her and leaned over to kiss her once.

“Sleep well, my love,” he told her as he turned down the light and went from the room. He was surprised when he turned to the master bedroom and found that Garrick had slipped from his own room and was curled up in his bed.

“All right,” he whispered and quickly changed into a pair of pyjamas and climbed into bed beside his little half brother. If he slept like that without nightmares or disturbance, then why not. He had got used to sleeping with his mother and father during the invasion, when they had been in hiding at the Tower. A bed of his own was too cold and lonely for him.

Chrístõ slept easily for a few hours. Some time in the middle of the night, he was woken by the phone ringing by his bedside. Garrick stirred as he leaned over to reach the handset. He cuddled his brother as he took the call, wondering who would be ringing at this time of night.

It was Mrs Richards, calling to tell him that Cal was missing.

“I’m sorry to disturb you, Mr de Leon, but I didn’t know who else to call. The police haven’t any ideas except checking the late night clubs. They think he might have snuck out to go drinking. But I’m worried. I think it’s more serious than that.”

“So do I,” Chrístõ agreed. “Mrs Richards, try not to worry. I’ll look for him. I have better ways of looking than the police have. I’ll find him. It’ll be all right.”

He did his best to be reassuring. But he was worried himself. He reached over again to put on the bedside light. As he did so he felt Garrick speaking to him telepathically. The boy was telling him that there was somebody else in the room.

Chrístõ froze, hugging Garrick close, protecting him with his own body as he felt for the presence that his brother’s young, unsophisticated mind had detected before his own. Yes, there was somebody there. Somebody who was able to project a perception filter that fooled his senses.

But a perception filter only worked as long as nobody knew it was there. Now he did, Chrístõ looked straight through it. The only light in the room was the glow from the figures on his bedside clock, but that was enough for him. His Time Lord eyes processed the light and allowed him to see the two figures behind the door. He recognised Julia in her cotton nightgown, and somebody in dark clothes who held a hand across her mouth to stop her screaming.

He flipped on the bedside light and in the same moment he leapt from the bed. He didn’t need to fold time. He was fast enough without it. Julia yelped as her captor was knocked to the ground. The knife he had held to her throat fell softly to the carpeted floor.

“Look after Garrick,” he told her. She darted across to the bed and sat against the headboard, cuddling the child in her arms as Chrístõ dealt with the intruder.

“Cal!” he exclaimed as he recognised his features. “What’s this about?”

“It’s about you!” he replied, and Chrístõ almost missed the second knife he pulled from inside his jacket. The edge grazed his throat before he pushed it away and held both of Cal’s arms. He pressed a knee against his stomach and restrained him.

“What about me?”

“I came to kill you. And… and your brother. My father’s favoured sons…”

“Your… what….” Chrístõ was so surprised by that remark that he nearly lost his hold on the struggling teenager. For a moment or two they fought again before Chrístõ gained the upper hand once more. Cal was very strong and he had some rudimentary training in unarmed combat of some sort. He was almost a match for him.

“You… Time Lord… son of a Time Lord… When my mother died in poverty, I vowed I would track down the kin of the one who fathered me and abandoned us. I vowed I would kill those he favoured instead of me. It took me ten years to find you…”

“Ten years?” Chrístõ was puzzled. “You vowed to kill me when you were seven?”

“No,” he answered. “When I was thirty-five. Time Lords don’t age, remember. We look like teenagers for nearly two hundred years. I changed the records so it looked like my mother only died recently. I let myself be taken as a seventeen year old so that I could get near to you… so I could kill you.”

“You’re not a Time Lord,” Chrístõ told him. “You’re obviously not completely Human, either. But you’re not a Time Lord. You’re too young, for a start. Forty-five is just a child. But…” He risked moving one hand away from restraining him and put it on his forehead. He looked inside him at molecular level. He saw his mixed DNA. He recognised certain familiar markers.

“Yes,” he said. “You got that part right. You are a child of a Time Lord – a half blood, like me. Your mother was from the Ganymede sector… mine was from Earth.”

“But you… are acknowledged as the son of the Gallifreyan. You are honoured, favoured. I was… denied. Your father rejected me.”

“No, he didn’t. Our DNA is different. You’re not MY father’s son. If you were… My father loved my mother dearly. When she died he was heartsbroken. If he had found solace in the arms of any other human woman… if he had sired a child by her… he would have acknowledged her and you. He is an honourable man. He would have done what was right. You would have been… you would have been my brother as much as Garrick is. You would have had the honour. My father would not have rejected you.”

“My mother told me… he wore a cloak with a silver fixing… with a design on it of two trees with interlocking branches.”

“That is the family crest of the House of Lœngbærrow,” Chrístõ admitted. “But that signifies nothing. Our servants wear such ornaments to denote their loyalty to our House. A copy could be made. It is not like a true family heirloom like a dagger or the great sword. Believe me, we are not brothers. My father did not keep a mistress. He did not wrong you.”

“I don’t believe you,” he replied, his anger lending strength that belied his inexperience as he pushed Chrístõ off him and ran for it.

“Stay there, both of you,” Chrístõ said to Julia and Garrick as he turned and ran after him. He heard his footsteps on the stairs, going up to the roof. Chrístõ wondered briefly why as he pursued him.

It was raining. The narrow flat piece of roof before the slates slanted up was wet and slippery. Even so, Cal kept to his feet and moved agilely. So did Chrístõ. He had spent enough time on the roof of the Prydonian Academy dormitory block when he was about Cal’s age. He caught up with him easily.

“Come back,” he said. “Cal, I can help you. I know who your father was. I understand what happened. I even understand your anger. Let me help you.”

“Nobody helps me,” Cal answered. “Nobody EVER helped me from the day I was born. Least of all the man who was responsible for my existence. I hate him. And… I hate you… I hate what you are…”

“Then you must hate yourself. Because you’re exactly the same as me… except wound up with so much bitterness. Come on… Cal… please… please let me help you. I really can, you know. If you’ll just stop… stop trying to kill me and stop running away from me. And… for Rassilon’s sake, don’t try to climb up there. The chimney stack needs work. It got damaged in the winter storms. You’ll….”

The chimney stack crumbled as he tried to climb it. Cal fell backwards. Chrístõ lunged forward and tried to grab him. He screamed as they both slid inexorably towards the edge of the roof, along with several chunks of chimney stack that concussed them both.

Afterwards when he remembered it, the fall off the roof felt as if it was in slow motion. At the time, it was anything but. They both fell hearts-stoppingly fast and Chrístõ saw only too clearly where they were going to land and knew he could do nothing about it. He knew it was going to hurt them both badly.

He woke in an air ambulance. He felt the movement and the vibration of the engines. He heard somebody talking urgently. He opened his eyes and saw the roof of the ambulance. He felt an ache in his shoulder where the broken fence post had gone straight through, but he knew his wound had almost mended. He turned his head and saw Julia sitting next to his stretcher, holding onto Garrick. She was crying. Garrick wasn't crying. He was a pure blood Gallifreyan without tear ducts. But he was making a distressed noise and as his senses came back to him Chrístõ felt him telepathically, too.

“I’m all right,” he said. “Julia… can you release the restraint. Let me sit up.”

She did as he asked. He hugged them both and looked around. Nobody was paying him any attention. They were too busy attending to Cal. The paramedics were clearly very worried about him.

“Let me see,” he said, standing up and crossing the few feet between the two stretchers. He was shocked to see how bad Cal was. He remembered that he had been underneath when they landed. The huge splinter of wood in the overgrown back garden he hadn’t got around to clearing had gone through Cal’s chest before it went through his shoulder. Red-orange blood was still pouring from the wound. The paramedics were putting plasma into him because they had no idea how to give him a blood transfusion, but mostly they were astonished he was alive at all.

“He has two hearts,” Chrístõ said. “That’s what saved him. Sweet Mother of Chaos, his left heart is shredded. And one lung. He’s bad. Blood plasma isn’t going to help. He’s too weak to help repair himself. You need to do a whole blood transfusion right now.”

The paramedics looked at him as he sat down next to Cal and rolled up his sleeve. For a moment they didn’t seem to realise what he wanted them to do.

“We’re both the same species,” he said. “You must have realised by now, we’re neither of us Human. Our bodies are different. He’d be dead already if he wasn’t. He’s dying, now. But if you give him a transfusion using my blood, he’ll make it to the hospital, at least.”

The paramedics had no reason to listen to him except the Power of Suggestion he was desperately radiating in his voice. He was relieved when they took notice of him.

“Chrístõ,” Julia said anxiously. “You lost blood, too. Can you…”

“Two pints should be enough to help him.”

The ambulance was landing on the roof of the hospital by the time the transfusion had finished. Cal was rushed to emergency surgery. Chrístõ tried to follow, but he swayed dizzily from lack of blood. They made him sit in a wheelchair and he was brought down to a recovery room where he was ordered to lie down in bed.

“All right,” he conceded as a nurse threatened to put him in restraints if he didn’t rest. “But I need a videophone, one with interstellar range.”

The videophone was brought to his bedside. He called Mrs Richards first and told her that Cal was injured. Then he made another call which surprised Julia, even though she had witnessed all that Cal had said to him in the bedroom and had been with him in the ambulance, too.

It was an hour past dawn when Cal woke. He blinked at the natural light coming through the window into his private room and turned his head to see Chrístõ sitting beside him. He tried to sit up, but he was still in a lot of pain. Even with the blood transfusion his body had only partially repaired itself simply because it was so very badly damaged and he had lost so much of his own blood. An emergency operation had removed the fragments of his damaged heart and lung and breathing would be an effort until he grew both back in a few months time.

“How am I alive?” he asked. “I thought…. I felt….”

“You’re alive because your father was a Time Lord and you have a lot of his DNA in you,” Chrístõ answered. “If you were Human, you would be dead.”

“I wish I was. What do I have to live for? I... have nothing… I’ve lived for ten years on anger… searching for… for those who… ruined my life… and…”

“And you got it wrong. You held a knife to my girlfriend. You scared my little brother. You threatened me. You nearly killed us both. You don’t deserve my help. But there’s some people outside waiting to talk to you. Two good, honourable men, and if you are rude to either of them I am quite capable of making you feel worse pain than you’ve experienced already.”

He stood and went to the door. He saw Julia and Garrick sleeping together on an armchair with a blanket around them. Neither could be persuaded to go home or even to go to a proper bed. Mrs Richards was waiting, too. And so was his father and Maestro, both of whom had come from Gallifrey in answer to his urgent call.

“Who are you?” Cal demanded as they came to his bedside.

“I am known as Lord de Lœngbærrow, Magister of the Southern Continent of Gallifrey,” said his father in his most autocratic manner. “I am Chrístõ’s father. I understand from him that you mistakenly believed that I was also your father.”

“I…” Cal began to speak but could think of nothing to say.

“I’m not. There is plenty of DNA evidence to prove that I am not, even if I was in the habit of using women in that way. But the same DNA evidence did tell us a lot more. Chrístõ worked it out. That’s why he contacted us. Cal… I am the executor of your father’s estate. He died, by our reckoning of passage of time in different space sectors, when you were a few months old. He was guilty of many things, but abandoning your mother and you wasn’t one of them. The fact that he used your mother in the first place IS his fault, and it doesn’t entirely surprise me, I’m afraid. He was a shameless womaniser and a disgrace to his House. However, if you will allow us, we can try to make amends for the wrongs that were done to you.”

“My father… is dead?” Cal looked at him and managed to grasp that much.



He had spent a lot of time hating the man who fathered him. To find out that he was long dead and there was nobody to hate disconcerted him. He looked at Lord de Lœngbærrow uncertainly. Then his eyes turned towards Maestro questioningly.

“Cal,” Lord de Lœngbærrow said calmly. “This is Legæn Koschei Oakdaene, known to us all as Maestro. He is your uncle. Your father’s brother.”

“I have an uncle?”

“Yes, you do, young man,” Maestro said. “And there is a great deal we need to talk about. But first… I think you need to apologise to Chrístõ for the trouble you caused him, and thank him for all his help, despite the wrong you’ve done to him.”

Chrístõ accepted his apology and his thanks and then left the room. So did his father. Cal needed this time with his uncle.

“It is true?” Julia asked him as he stepped into the waiting room. She was awake now. So was Garrick. He ran to his father’s arms. “Cal is Epsilon’s little brother?”

“Half brother,” Chrístõ replied automatically. “They have the same father.”

“So he’s…. Well… no wonder he was so… unlikeable.”

“No, that’s not it,” Chrístõ assured her. “He’s a mixed up kid who had a lot of anger and bitterness and half a story about who he really was. But just because his father was a criminal, just because his brother is worse than his father… doesn’t mean he is. All he needs is a chance to get things right. And he’ll have that chance now.”

“Will Maestro take him back to Gallifrey, then?”

“No,” Chrístõ said. “He’s going to stay here for now. He doesn’t need a foster mother, Mrs Richards, but my father will arrange for him to lodge with you for the time being. He can continue to attend classes but I’ll be teaching him the basic skills he would need to be a Gallifreyan. He has a lot of catching up to do. When he’s ready, he can go to Gallifrey. He’ll attend the Academy… His family have always been Prydonians. He’ll learn to be a Time Lord. Epsilon has been formally dispossessed. Even if he should be released from Shada, he can no longer claim to be Patriarch of the House of Oakdaene. The title, the family property, their fortune… will belong to Cal. Maestro and my father are going to arrange for his formal recognition. There will be some rumblings. An illegitimate half blood as head of an Oldblood House… some Time Lords will regard that as the thin end of the wedge. But they’ll have to get used to it. When he comes of age, The House of Oakdaene will have a patriarch again.”

“You mean to say that Cal will be a rich man?” Mrs Richards was astounded.

“Yes, he will,” Chrístõ assured her. “But more importantly, he will belong to a family. He will have Maestro. And…” He smiled widely. “I just realised, that makes him Penne’s cousin. That’ll be a surprise for both of them. We might leave that for another day. Meanwhile… home, I think. Breakfast, and then bed for you and Garrick. I’ll call the school and arrange for us all to have a day off. We’ve all had a stressful night. I could use some rest, too.”