The Transmutation Of Time - Part 2 © 2003 - A Hole In Time © 1993 Margaret Price
This story is set one year after the conclusion of "The Will of Ormril,"bringing together all of the players in that story...and then is an overlapping 5th and 7th Doctor story taken out of time.
For series chronology, it is after "Resurrection of the Daleks" for the 5th Doctor and "Survival" for the 7th Doctor.
THE TRANSMUTATION OF TIME
A HOLE IN TIME
One Year Later
"Can You Manage?"
Inside the TARDIS control room, the Doctor stood scowling down at the control console, his usually bright and cheerful face sullen. He had always found parting company with his com pan ions difficult, even at the best of times, but his most recent parting had been especially hard. Af ter encountering the Daleks on Earth Tegan announced that she'd had enough of the death and destruction that always seemed to follow in the Time Lord's wake and stayed behind. Feeling partly responsible for her disillusionment, the Doctor had been brooding ever since.
Turlough came through the inner door, stopping dead when he saw the Doctor was still sulk ing. Sighing heavily, he wondered what might be going on inside the Time Lord's mercurial mind. His moods were next to impossible to gauge. One minute he would be so deep in thought as to be practically catatonic and the next he would be dashing out the door into the most ap palling danger.
The Doctor looked up and smiled, attempting to raise his own spirits with a show of cheerful ness. "Well? Have you decided where you want to go?"
Turlough shook his head. "I haven't given it much thought, actually. I came to tell you…" his voice trailed off when he thought he saw the Doctor waver on his feet. "Are you alright?"
Just as puzzled as his companion, the Doctor leaned heavily against the console. "I'm fine. Just a bit dizzy, that's all." Seeing the young man was less than convinced, he admitted, "Well, actually, I haven't felt quite myself since that last trip down the Dalek's time corridor."
Just the fact that the Doctor would admit to feeling even slightly off had Turlough worried. "Perhaps you should lie down for a while. You know you haven't slept since—"
"No, no, no, I'm fine," the Doctor said, waving a hand in the air. "Stop making such a—" His knees suddenly gave way, forcing him to grab the console to keep from falling. His companion was beside him immediately. Looking him in the eye, he said mildly, "Perhaps I should lie down for a while."
With Turlough to steady him, the Doctor slowly made his way from the console room into the maze of corridors within the impossibly large time machine. He intended on going to his own room, but he continued to weaken visibly with each step, forcing Turlough to steer him into one of the unoccupied rooms in the living area. He eased the exhausted Time Lord down onto the bed, helping him off with his coat.
"I don't understand what's wrong with me," the Doctor admitted dazedly. "I'm so tired. No, that's wrong, not tired. Drained."
"I think you need a doctor," Turlough remarked, receiving a sideways glance in reply. "I'm not joking, Doctor! You need help!" He was expecting the usual argument and was astonished when the Time Lord nodded his agreement.
"You'll need to change course," the Doctor said as he sank wearily back onto the bed. "Now let's see, where are we…?" he muttered. A moment later he was rattling off a set of coordinates that would take them to the nearest medical station.
Turlough nodded and turned to leave, stopping when the Doctor asked, "Do you think you can manage on your own?"
His companion gave him a wry smile. "I was about to ask you the same thing."
Turlough hurriedly entered the coordinates, checking them over once before hurrying back to the Doctor. Even in this brief absence it was obvious his condition was deteriorating rapidly. He had gone very pale and was weakening steadily, his breathing having become slightly labored. As serious as this was, it was not nearly so worrying as the fact that his hearts seemed to be beating out of synch.
It was obvious the Doctor would not be going anywhere for a while and Turlough decided to put him to bed properly. The Doctor did his best to assist as his companion changed his clothes, but found he had almost no strength left and muttered something in an apologetic tone as the blankets were pulled over him.
Within a few minutes the Time Lord was out cold. Whether he simply fell asleep or lost consciousness, Turlough could not tell. Heaving a resigned sigh, the young man took a seat beside the bed and leaned back. He was at a complete loss as to what to do next and sat staring into space. The TARDIS suddenly gave a violent shudder and Turlough cursed under his breath, thinking he had either programmed the computer wrong, or the Doctor had given him the wrong coordinates. He got as far as the door before another violent lurch threw him into the wall in the corridor and then down to the floor.
To Turlough's horror, the walls started to distort and then everything seemed to spin. His last thoughts before passing out were of the irony of the situation. While a servant of the Black Guardian, he had tried—and failed—several times to kill the Doctor. Now he actually seemed to have succeeded without even trying.