Chapter Twenty-One

Getting On With The Past

While Jason and Turlough returned the sedated Doctor to his own room, Ace's Doctor tackled the difficult job of separating the TARDIS from itself. It turned out to be more difficult than he expected. Several anomalies popped up in his calculations the moment he tried to dematerialize.

Asta volunteered to help, since the powers she possessed were of the same nature as those used to pull the time machine off course. Unfortunately, there was not much she could do until the Doctor entered his newest calculations.

Ace seized the opportunity to press Lady Asta for an explanation of what, exactly, had happened while she was in the alternate dimension and to Ormril after he was crystallized. Within a few minutes it was obvious Ace still had no clue what Asta was talking about.

"Alright," Ace said slowly, attempting to get everything straight in her head, "I understand about telepathy and how you could talk to the Doctor. And I understand about trapping Ormril. What I don't understand is how he destroyed himself when he went back."

Lady Asta drew a deep breath, exchanging a long-suffering look with the sympathetic Time Lord. He knew just how she felt, which was why he tried to avoid explaining anything if he could get away with it. "To put it simply," Asta began slowly, "I made his universe too small for him. When he went back, he couldn't squeeze in and it split at the seams."

"Like putting on a space suit and having it fall apart," Juris said helpfully.

"Pop goes the spaceman," King Jason injected darkly as he and Turlough came through the inner door. "Very nasty."

His ward lowered her eyes, only to look up sharply when the King snapped, "Now don't start that again! Good riddance to him. Maybe now we can finally stop looking over our shoulders and get on with our lives." Throwing a meaningful glance in the Doctor's direction, he added sharply, "If the TARDIS ever gets separated from itself, that is."

The Doctor gave him a fierce reproving look, muttering something vaguely about temporal continuity before returning his full attention to the console.

Jason chuckled and turned to Turlough, drawing him aside and further complicating his life. "Turlough, you realize what happened here is out of synch with more than just the Doctor's timeline, don't you?" he asked seriously.

"Yes, I know," the young man sighed wearily. "I'm not to let the Doctor know what really happened. We've been over all that."

"No, that's not what I mean. Once you've been returned to your proper place in time, you'll be re-entering my past. And you can't tell me, either."

Turlough groaned and rolled his eyes. Why couldn't anything involving the Doctor be simple? "And I suppose you can't tell me anything about it either, can you?"

The Alterran shook his head. "Only that I'm pretty sure you'll be dropping straight into my past." Pausing, he added, "It does explain a lot, though. I could never understand how you could be so resolute—"

"Ah, ah, no hints!" the Doctor's voice broke in sharply. He crossed to the King, saying, "I wondered if you'd noticed the anomalies in relation to your own timeline."

"I knew the minute Turlough said he'd left me on Tel-Shye," Jason replied.

Turlough listened to this exchange with growing irritation. It was bad enough when he could not keep up in the normal course of things, but to be deliberately left out was intolerable. "Is the TARDIS ready so I can go, Doctor?" he asked pointedly. "We were trying to get your timeline straightened out, weren't we?"

"Yes, yes," the Time Lord replied, waving a hand in the air. "You're quite right. It's time you got on with the past."

Throwing the Alterran a quick sideways glance, Turlough ventured, "Am I really going to drop into Jason's past?"

The Doctor paused a moment to consider. "Almost straight in, actually," he informed. "So the caution holds. You mustn't reveal anything you've seen here to anyone—especially me!" Turning, he strode over to the console, activating the scanner to reveal a second police box. "I've managed to get the TARDIS separated. That one's yours. I've programmed it to dematerialize as soon as you're inside."

"So where are you sending me, anyway?" Turlough wanted to know.

The Doctor flashed an impish grin. "You'll just have to wait and see."

This story is followed by Part 3 - "The New Argonauts" - Time Line One - The 5th Doctor and Turlough

The Transmutation Of Time -Part Two© 2003 - A Hole In Time © 1993 Margaret Price is an original work written for the enjoyment of Doctor Who fans everywhere. No copyright infringement is intended.

Original series broadcast on the BBC. Format © BBC 1963

Doctor Who and Tardis are trademarks of the BBC.

The story and all other original characters are © Margaret Price