In a darkened room where the glow of a videophone link was the only source of light, a man whose face was hidden by a hood stared angrily at the two men who appeared on the screen as the picture cleared. Even though his face was hidden they recognised his anger and visibly flinched.

"STILL you have nothing to report. The half-blood lives. And the last news of him at the High Council is that he has gained a powerful ally - The Great Immortal One of the Silver Devastation."

"Sire," one of them began. "It is not easy… We have no way of knowing where he would be. Twice we have arrived in a temporal location only to see him depart."

"Fools," the hooded man hissed. "He is a half-blood abomination. How can he outwit two full-blooded Time Lords?"

"With respect, sire," the other said. "He doesn't even know he HAS to outwit us. He is not evading us. He is simply continuing the High Council's assignment. But they gave him no instructions of how and where to carry out the assignment. He has no agenda, and they do not expect him to report his activities. We have NOTHING to go on, and it is a BIG universe."

"You are TIME LORDS," the hooded man told them. "Use what you know retrospectively."

"Sir… We cannot do that. The Laws of Time…" That was exactly the wrong thing to say. Though they still didn't see their commander's face they felt his anger even over light years of space. They paled.

"ANY MEANS!" he commanded. "Destroy the half-blood abomination by any means."

"Sire…" They both bowed to him and then cut the transmission quickly.

The hooded man turned away. His anger still seethed. Words like 'fools', 'abomination', and several Low Gallifreyan curses hung on the air as he left the lead-lined chamber where the most confidential communications of senior officials were made in absolute privacy.

Cassie looked in the window of the department store and sighed at the range of accessories for a new baby. The clothes, prams, cots and toys.

"There is so much choice in this time," she said. "So many beautiful things. I wish…"

"You don't have to wish," Chrístõ told her. "You just choose what you want. Remember my unlimited credit cards."

Cassie smiled and kissed his cheek.

"Sweet of you, Chrístõ," she said. "But no. Terry and I should provide for the baby ourselves."

"Yes," he sighed. "You're probably right."

"Chrístõ," Cassie turned away from the shop window. "It's not just about buying prams. You know we've got to think of moving on soon. This baby can't really be born in the TARDIS somewhere in time and space. It belongs on Earth, and so do we."

"I know," Chrístõ told her. "That's why we're here. I want to talk to Li Tuo about the future for all of you. I need his advice, and some of his skills. But first, at least let me buy you those two beautiful maternity dresses I know you liked."

"I really don't need clothes either," she said. "The TARDIS provides all we need. I don't know how it KNOWS, but it does."

He bought her the dresses anyway, and some for Bo, as well. He knew his time with them both was coming to an end and he felt as if he wanted to treat them.

"Let's get lunch now, before we go up to Chinatown," he said as they walked along the pedestrianised shopping street. Nobody objected to that.

"Sir, would you like your fortune told?" Chrístõ hardly realised what was happening before the woman with a gypsy look to her face and demeanour stepped in front of him and grasped his hand. He stopped walking. His friends stopped, too. Terry and Sammie both kept a close eye on the woman in case her hands moved from Chrístõ's palm to his pockets.

"Please, no," he said. "I don't…"

"You have come from a far place," the woman said. "And it will be long before you return. Oh…" Her eyes widened and she grasped his hand all the more tightly. "You are…." She looked at him with an expression somewhere between fear and awe. "You are the seventh born of the seventh who shall be the greatest of his people."

"That isn't me," Chrístõ said pulling his hand away. "You're mistaken." He turned from the fortune teller. He should not have let her touch him. She looked like a charlatan, but he had felt something when she took his hand. As if she really could see into his soul.

"Young sir," the woman insisted. "There is danger for you. I see it."

"That's no surprise for Chrístõ," Sammie told her. "Danger is his middle name."

"As if he NEEDED a middle name," Terry added with a chuckle.

"It is a surprise that somebody like this should know it," Chrístõ said. He turned back to the woman. "What danger? And when?"

"Very soon," she told him. "One of your own kind. One who is kin to you, means you harm. Take care, precious son."

"What?" Chrístõ was disconcerted. But the woman let go of his hand and stepped away quickly, soon becoming lost in the crowd.

He felt uncomfortable.

"One of your own kind?" Cassie put her hand on his arm. "Oh Chrístõ…"

"Epsilon?" Bo looked at him anxiously.

"He won't be stuck on that planet forever. We delayed him, that's all."

"But Chrístõ…"

"Lunch," he decided. "Then we go see Li Tuo."


Chrístõ wasn't going to mention it to his old friend, but as they all sat in his garden pagoda drinking tea the traditional Chinese way, Sammie brought it up.

"Sorry, Chrístõ, but it WAS creepy the way she knew so much about you. Those sorts… usually the line is 'You will go on a long journey.' But she knew you'd already BEEN on a long journey. And that stuff about being in danger… Not the sort of 'intel' I'd want to explain to my C.O., but can we dismiss it?"

"No, we can't," Terry said. "I agree with Sammie."

Li Tuo listened to them both, but kept his eyes fixed on Chrístõ. He looked distressed and disturbed by the incident.

"Is it so strange that one gifted with the sight should see so much in your soul?" Li Tuo asked him at last.

"No," he replied. "But she WAS wrong. 'The seventh born of the seventh who shall be the greatest of his people.' That's NOT me."

"Yes, it is," Li Tuo said quietly. "Shang Hui, you ARE the seventh born of the seventh. "Your father is the seventh in line since the sire of your line, the first Chrístõ de Lœngbærrow. And you are his seventh child."

"I'm an only child, Li Tuo. You know that. Or I was until Valena gave birth. But that child…."

"Your father never told you… I suppose he would not. But your mother had several miscarriages and stillbirths before you were born safe and well. Six in all. You were the seventh child of your father. But the only one who lived."

"I never…." Chrístõ was shocked. "Oh, my poor mama."

"Indeed. We all felt for her. She was loved by all who knew her. And it was a source of grief. But you were her joy at last. And your father has always been proud of you."

"I… But…" Chrístõ was lost for words.

"Well, that explains that," Cassie said, touching Chrístõ's hand comfortingly "But what does it mean about him being the greatest of his people?"

"From what we know of his people they would never allow a half-blood to be that," Terry added.

"It's about the Mark of Rassilon," isn't it," Chrístõ said. "My GREAT destiny." He seemed bitter as he said those words.

"When you were born, Shang Hui, a seer tried to read your future timeline, as is the custom when the primogeniture is born to an aristocrat of our world. He was so disturbed by what he saw he refused to practice his skill ever again. He retreated to a mountain cave and would touch nobody's flesh. And he would never tell anyone what he saw in your future."

"This is not making me feel any better," Chrístõ told him. "I don't WANT this destiny. I want… Yes, I have ambitions. I would like to follow in my father's footsteps and be Lord High President in my turn. And that's the greatest of all Gallifreyans as far as I know. But that's nothing for people to be afraid of. And other than that, I just want to join the diplomatic corps so I can travel some more after I graduate. And I want to find the woman Li Tuo says I will meet one day who will be mother to my children. To be a husband and a father - what more of a destiny does anyone need than that?"

"The darkness lies in the far future, yet. You will realise those other ambitions - especially the one about finding true love. And you WILL be a father, Shang Hui. Have no fear of that. But you ARE a singular man. And you are going to walk a path none of us walked before. But let your soul be at ease about it. The time is not yet."

"What about Epsilon and the danger Chrístõ might be in?" Terry said getting back to the central point as he saw it. "The woman seemed to think that was going to be soon."

"I told you," Chrístõ said. "I knew Epsilon would be back sooner or later. I'll handle him."

"Shang Hui sees it well," Li Tuo said. "He is forewarned. And the old Human adage is correct in this. Forewarned is, indeed, forearmed." Li Tuo looked about the group of friends and smiled. "But not four armed." None of them expected puns from such a serious man as Li Tuo. It caught them off guard. "I think the time is near at hand when this fellowship of travellers is to break up."

"That's what I wanted to talk about," Chrístõ said, surprised, then on reflection NOT surprised that Li Tuo understood so well. "Li Tuo, you may be the greatest seer I know, but I have some precognition myself, and I know the next time I go into time and space I go alone. It IS time my friends put their feet down on this Earth for good."

"Chrístõ!" They all looked at him with dismay. Though they had realised it had to happen, they had not expected it to happen so quickly. Bo looked tearful as she moved closer to him.

"Chrístõ, do you mean for me to leave you?"

"But you belong to Sammie now," he told her. "Your destiny is to be with him, to bear his children."

"Children?" The idea startled her. "Chrístõ, I don't think that could be. When I was with Marley… It happened once, but he kicked and beat me until… until it was no more. And now I fear… I would not be able…"

Chrístõ looked at Sammie. This was clearly not news to him. She had told her husband of her fears even though she had never been able to bring herself to tell him.


"It is not so," Li Tuo said. "You will know the same joy of motherhood that your friend here knows. Have patience."

"Truly?" Bo looked at him with new hope in her eyes. "Master Li, you would not lie to me?"

"I would not lie to anyone," he assured her. "Be sure of that. But…" He turned to Terry and Cassie. "What of these two children of light? And the child that will bless their lives soon? What is their destiny?"

"I suppose Chrístõ will have to take us back to 1969," Terry said. "Or should it be 1970 by now?"

"I don't want to," Cassie said. "If we must stay on Earth, then I'd like to do it now. In 2006. When people like Terry and myself are not scorned for daring to be together. And I'd like to stay here in Liverpool, where we could visit Li Tuo and… Well he can contact you, Chrístõ. He would be our link to you. Because I will not let you leave us and forget about us, my beautiful alien. I want to know how you are. I want to know when you find your true love. And… and you must come back to me when it is time. I want you to bring my baby safe into this world, Chrístõ."

"Stay here?" Chrístõ considered the idea. Was it possible? It would certainly make some things easier. She was right in saying that Li Tuo could be their link to him, at least.

"There are three universities in this city," Terry said. "I might be able to get into one of them and finish my degree. I don't know what I'd do for qualifications, but…"

"But what about the time continuum?" Chrístõ addressed his question to Li Tuo. "I took them from 1969. They want me to leave them in 2006. Can it be done?"

"Come with me," Li Tuo said. He stood up, unfolding his body gracefully from the legs crossed and straight backed position he adopted. Chrístõ and Bo both stood equally gracefully. Terry and Sammie both scrambled less elegantly from the low Chinese tea table and between them helped Cassie to stand up. For her, elegant or smooth movement from sitting to standing didn't happen any more.

They followed Li Tuo through his meditation garden to the little ornamental bridge across the lily pond that led to a small Buddhist shrine. Or so it appeared. Chrístõ wondered why he had never realised before.

The shrine was Li Tuo's TARDIS! They stepped inside and the four Earth friends looked around in astonishment. It WAS a TARDIS console room, but its décor was so very different from the one they were used to.

It looked Oriental. The walls were red lacquer with black and gold panelling. The keypads on the console were in Chinese characters. And everywhere, walls, ceiling, even across the floor, was inscribed with good luck charms and blessings in Mandarin.

"It's beautiful," Cassie said.

"Why isn't Chrístõ's TARDIS customised like this?" Sammie asked.

"Shang Hui is young. His TARDIS is young with him. As he grows older it will become more like him. It will arrange itself to match his needs."

"You have need of protection, Master Li?" Bo looked at the symbols around the room. They were a deep and ancient magic that protected the space they enclosed from dark forces. They protected this room and all within it.

"I have walked the dark path for centuries," Li Tuo answered. "Yes, I have need of a sanctuary where my enemies cannot reach. But come…" He went to the console and typed in data as quickly as Chrístõ did. Moments later the screen in front of him filled with a newspaper archive. He drew Cassie and Terry closer and showed them.

"Oh!" Cassie gave a sob and clung to Terry as they read the newspaper article dated September 2nd, 1969. It was only a small one, but full of significance for them. It reported the tragic death of two young hitchhikers returning from the Isle of Wight Festival. They were killed at the road side by a lorry that was going too fast to see them. They were identified as Terrence Phillips and Cassandra Jameson, both of London.

"We're dead?" Terry looked at Chrístõ and Li Tuo.

"Nature abhors a vacuum," Li Tuo said. "When you two left for the stars with Shang Hui, it left a gap where you should have been. Your places at university, the jobs you would do, your children... all were missing from history. So history wrote you out of itself. You died. Your parents mourned you. They did so separately, for the divisions that caused you such pain, even grief could not close. But the gap was closed. The world went on without you in it."

"And if they stay here, in this time?" Chrístõ asked. "Will the gap open to let them in?"

"I believe it will," Li Tuo said. "There are practical matters, but I believe they can. Shang Hui, there is work we must do." He addressed Chrístõ before turning to the others. "Please return to the garden and enjoy its tranquillity for a short while. When we come to you, your future will be assured."

"What did he mean?" Terry asked as they did as he asked, resting on the grass by the lily pond together. Cassie was still a little disturbed at what she had seen.

"Did that mean that we would have died if we hadn't gone with Chrístõ?" she asked.

"No," Sammie told her. "I think it means that you died BECAUSE you went with him. If you hadn't, you'd have gone home and led an ordinary life and never known anything about it."

"No," Terry said. "If Chrístõ hadn't been there, Cassie would have been a victim of the space cannibals. They took her. Chrístõ rescued her and all those other people. I might have been taken, too. I don't know. If Chrístõ had not been there, the Isle of Wight festival would have been a massacre."

"I would definitely be dead without him," Sammie added. "So would Bo. All four of us exist because of him. But if we're to live on Earth, now, or any other time…"

"HOW?" Cassie asked the practical question. "Where would we live? How would we live? We none of us have any money."

"We have this," Terry said, pulling a velvet bag from his pocket. It was full of diamonds.

"I thought Epsilon's mercenaries stole those," Sammie said.

"Chrístõ refilled the bag," Terry told him. "He didn't even flinch at it. He just put a handful of diamonds - a fortune - into the bag and gave it to me. So… So I CAN afford to buy all those things for the baby. I can get us a place to live. We'll be fine. More than fine. I can support us and still finish my education. Still be an archaeologist like I always wanted. So could Cassie when the baby is older. We meant to graduate together, but…"

"I wish our future was so sure," Sammie sighed. "I never really thought seriously about what I'd do when I finished with the army. I had a vague idea about setting up a training school for CPO's, bodyguards for important people, that sort of thing. My special forces knowledge could be useful that way. But I'd need money to kick start it."

"I suppose I could make an investment," Terry suggested. Sammie grinned.

"A peacenik investing in a training centre for hired gunmen!"

"A friend helping out a friend," Terry said. He had long ago stopped being annoyed by the 'peacenik' epithet coming from Sammie. They'd been through too much together. He looked at the diamonds. "I wonder actually, did he mean us to split these between us. I'm sure he never meant you and Bo to be destitute. He must have some plan…"

Chrístõ and Li Tuo emerged from the shrine and came and sat with them. They had a small wooden box with them which they placed on the ground.

"Shang Hui knows that he is responsible for your future lives, because he took you from your true destiny," Li Tuo said. "Therefore, please don't think any of this is mere charity. It is what he owes to you. It is a debt repaid."

Chrístõ said nothing but he opened the box. First, he passed to Terry what appeared to be birth certificates, with their names on but the years of their birth changed - they were now born in 1985 and were twenty one years old. He also gave them a marriage certificate and to Terry a letter of recommendation which would get him an interview at any one of the Liverpool universities in order to join it's post-graduate programme.

"I gave you a 2-1," He said handing him a degree certificate from the London University he had attended in 1969. "I thought it might look ostentatious if you got a first."

"Everything you need to pick up your lives here in this time," Li Tuo told them. "And until you have a place to live, be assured my home is yours." He turned to Bo and Sammie and told them the same. "Bo Juan, I would wish that YOU would consider my home to be yours not just for a short while. I am an old man, and I have no kin. This shop and this garden are a poor legacy, but I should be honoured if you would consider yourself my heir. We are both lost souls in our own way, and it is fitting."

"Oh," Bo looked startled at the idea for a moment and then she knelt before the old man and bowed her head. "Master, it is an honour and a kindness. I should be glad to accept. But…" She looked at Sammie. Li Tuo understood. The way he had phrased the question to her seemed to exclude him.

"The honourable man who is your husband will be son to me as you are daughter," he assured her.

"That is kind of you, sir," Sammie said. "But… Well… Call it pride, but I've never been beholden to anyone. I'm not sure…"

"You have plans of your own," Chrístõ said. "What was it? A training centre for bodyguards?" He smiled at Sammie's astonished face. "You're in the presence of two Time Lords, Sammie. You think a bit of simple mind reading is beyond us. But our magic box here is not yet empty. First…." He passed Sammie a closely folded paper. He opened it and saw it was an honourable discharge from the army, on medical grounds. Another piece of paper was his marriage certificate, and also naturalisation papers making Bo a legal immigrant from Hong Kong and entitled to live and work in Britain. They, too, had their history now. A foothold on Earth in 2006.

"These are…." Sammie looked at the discharge papers. "They're not forgeries?"

"They ARE," Li Tuo admitted with an inscrutable smile. "But they are forgeries by the best forger this side of the Andromeda galaxy - if you will permit me to make such a claim. And they are, by way of the best computer operator in the same quadrant - he pointed to Chrístõ, who blushed at the compliment - duly entered into the relevant records departments. Your marriages are registered, your degree is real, Terry. Your Regiment, Sammie, has records of your leaving them after suffering an injury in combat. The Home Office admitted Hui Ying Bo Juan to this country and accepted her as one of its citizens. You all exist here. And Sammie, when it comes to being beholden, Chrístõ knows that he owes you his life on more than one occasion. Could you put a price on that?"

"No," Sammie said. "I didn't do that for money - I did it for friendship, and because it was the right thing to do."

"That you did," Chrístõ said. "But, Sammie, I took you from your world for fifteen years." He handed him another piece of paper. Sammie looked at it. It was a cheque, and the amount on it was mind-boggling. "Fifteen years as my CPO, at the rate you will be charging when your business is up and running. Not charity, just a fair salary."

"But I've not been with you fifteen years," Sammie protested. "Not really." He looked at the cheque. "You really have this much money in the bank?" He thought about what Terry had said about the diamonds.

"It's JUST money," Chrístõ said. "The friendship we have is priceless. And it is eternal."

"There's another thing," Sammie told him. "I'm not sure I'm done being your CPO. Epsilon is out there. So are who knows what enemies. I can't let you face that on your own."

"You're a VERY good friend, Sammie," Chrístõ told him. "But yes, it is time I went on alone. I will miss all of you, but it was always going to happen."

"I never expected it to be so soon," Terry said. "I can't believe the adventure is over. That we'll never again travel with you in the TARDIS and see strange places."

"Never is a long time," Chrístõ said. "And I will be back. Who knows what adventures we might have, yet. For you and Cassie, the greatest adventure is to come. You are going to be parents."

"Yes," Cassie had been day-dreaming of the home they might have now, and the things she could buy in that shop for the baby. But now she looked at Chrístõ and she, too, felt sad that the adventure was over. "Oh, my beautiful alien, I will miss you."

“So will I,” Bo told him with the same loving smile she always reserved for him, no matter how much she loved Sammie.

"But you don't need to go yet," Sammie said. "Chrístõ, surely you can stay a few days with us. Let us… let us get used to the idea of parting. It doesn't have to be as sudden as this."

"No, it doesn't," he said with a smile. "After all, I AM a Time Lord. If I can't use some of that time with my friends, what is the point of it?"


It was a happy few days, despite the inevitable parting. Chrístõ spent as much time as he could with all of his friends, but most especially with the two girls. He would miss them both very much. He still loved them both deeply, if only as friends. They had been a comfort to him so often.

And the two men who had followed him with unquestioning faith. Terry, who had found being a pacifist difficult in Chrístõ's dangerous world; Sammie who had found that his military solutions weren't always the best. Between them, they had helped him fight so much danger. In the tasks he had been set by his Time Lord masters, he knew he would miss their help.

But he knew the time was here, at last, when he would leave them.


The final parting was tearful. The most emotional of them all was Humphrey, the darkness creature who by all logic shouldn't even HAVE emotions. But he wailed inconsolably and enveloped the two girls in what for him was a loving hug. He did the same to the men, but he went back to the girls a second time. His sorrow echoed Chrístõ's as he stood and waited by the TARDIS door.

"I WILL miss you," Terry said to him, and he hugged him unashamedly. "Can't see your constellation up here in the North of England, but every time I look up into the night sky, I'll be thinking of you."

Sammie put out his hand to shake manfully, but then he, too, reached out and embraced Chrístõ. It wasn't wrong, he told himself. He was allowed to care about his comrades, about Chrístõ.

"You saved my life," he said. "That's a debt no money can repay. I still owe you, Chrístõ. And don't be afraid to call in that debt any time."

Then the men stepped back, because although they had papers in their pockets that said that Bo and Cassie were THEIR wives, for a few minutes now they belonged only to Chrístõ.

"I will only miss you for a little while," Cassie told him. "You ARE coming back when the baby is ready to be born."

"Yes, I am," Chrístõ said. "I wouldn't miss that for the world." She smiled and closed her arms around him and kissed him long and deeply, not wanting to let him go. He held her tightly, not wanting her to let go. He felt her baby's kicks against him and he put his hand gently on her stomach through her dress. He felt the strongly growing mind of her unborn child and smiled with the joy of it. "Are you SURE you don't want to know if it is a boy or a girl?"

"Yes," she insisted and kissed him one more time before she gave him to Bo. Chrístõ's two hearts raced as he felt her in his arms. His precious Bo. The kiss they shared was the kiss of two lovers. For old time's sake she was his again for the length of that kiss. He loved her with his very soul. He pressed her beautiful body closer to him, loving the very feel of her near him.

Then there were no more excuses. They all stood with Li Tuo who smiled inscrutably and bowed his head to his fellow Time Lord and spoke to him in their own language. It was a blessing upon his future travels. Chrístõ bowed and replied in the same form, wishing his friend well. Then he closed the TARDIS door and stepped to the console. Humphrey whirled around the console room, still keening quietly. Chrístõ begged him to stop. It didn't make things any easier for him.

"It's all right, Humphrey," he said. "We'll see them again. And who knows what new friends we shall make. The universe is ours." He pressed the control to put them into temporal orbit and the TARDIS began to dematerialise, leaving Li Tuo's garden behind.

"Now where?" He asked himself. He looked at the list of preset destinations in his computer databank. There were still hundreds of them to explore, and most of them would have some challenge for him, something to prove his worth as a Time Lord, and prove to the Time Lords that their role in the universe should be more than passive.

His hearts rebelled. He wasn't ready for that yet. He needed a holiday.


"Lyria," his father told him when he called him up on the videophone later, if for no other reason than to have somebody to talk to. The TARDIS seemed too quiet once Humphrey went off to the corner and nestled down like a sleeping dog.

"Lyria?" Chrístõ asked.

"Holiday planet. You'll love it. I took your mother there many times. Nothing unusual happens on Lyria. It's a place where people lie on beaches and swim and water ski and that's all. Book yourself into a hotel, go and sunbathe, be an ordinary young man for a while and don't let your destiny weigh you down."

"Sounds about right," he said. "Bet it's not a preset on here, though."

"No," his father told him. "The only challenge is going to be steering the TARDIS now you are on your own again."

"I know. But I made the right choice. It was time."

"Are you assuring me or yourself, Chrístõ?" his father asked him.

"Both," he said. "I miss them."

"They have been good friends," his father told him. "And they still are. They are good reason for you to return to Earth, the planet your mother came from. It pleases me that you should have ties to that place. That you might almost call it home. Especially when our world seems less like home to you these days."

"We are both exiles just now, father," Chrístõ said. "You and Valena are still estranged?"

"She will always be my wife," his father told him. "Nothing but death can sever an Alliance of Unity. But she does not love me as she should. The child… your brother, he is a fine, strong child. He will be a credit to the House of Lœngbærrow. But he will not grow up in that House. I doubt I shall have much to do with his upbringing. He will be my son in name only."

"I'm sorry," Chrístõ said. And he meant it. He felt his father's unhappiness deeply. He knew that the estrangement was a good thing for him. It meant that his half-brother could not replace him in his father's affections, and that the demand for him to be passed over as primogeniture because Valena's child was pure blood could not be pressed. But his love for his father, his empathy for his sorrow, made it an empty triumph.

"I have you," he said with a smile. "My precious blood. My love for you is unwavering, my son."

"I know that father. I…." He stopped. The viewscreen had changed. His father's image had been narrowed as an emergency signal took up part of the screen. "Father… I am getting an alert. I must answer it." He pressed the button to accept the incoming call. His hearts froze. It was Cassie, calling from Li Tuo's TARDIS. She was crying.

"Chrístõ," she said. "I've found you. Please… you must come back quickly."

"The baby?" he asked, fearful.

"No," she sobbed. "It's not me. It's.... Something happened here. Li Tuo - I think they killed him. And Terry and Sammie are gone after them…"

"Killed…. Who…?" Her story was incoherent, but she told him enough to freeze his hearts. "I'll be there as soon as I can," he assured her. "Be brave, Cassie. All of you." He cut the connection and returned to tell his father what he knew.

"Go now," his father said. "I will join you as soon as I can."


"Li Tuo is my friend. If he is hurt, then I cannot stand idly by. I will be there. But you go now."

Chrístõ nodded and cut the connection and turned to the TARDIS console. He set his course back to Liverpool, Earth.