A Home Is Left Behind

Authors Note:-
I wrote this little throwaway story to flex my knowledge of the good Doctor. Like many things it got out of control and became something very interesting. So after a sleepless night where I wrote, edited, reread and threw a few tricks into it I decided to post it.


The old man sat down, leaning a little to much on his walking stick. His family had gathered to him, like he had asked. Father watched with haunted eyes, those same eyes that looked at him in the times of strife. In a moment he knew it was this moment the old lord had seen. His son sat with his young wife. Both still in love, making none of his mistakes the two had raised for him three wonderful grand children.

All three sat at their grandfather's feet in wrapped attention, even they had seen the horrible glow of destiny around him. Only they were too young to understand. Today they would learn. Feeling a coiled spring about to explode he calmed himself by gripping the old coin stashed in his pocket, the first step he had taken that morning. There was no turning back now.

'Father; why are we here?' Even after all the struggles between them his son still cared for him.

'You're a good man, you take far too much from your mother in that regard. I've never admitted that; to myself, to you or even to her.'

'No father.' The man jumped to the wrong conclusion. 'You have years left. You can go back to the academy, learn the secret...'

'I left the academy for very good reasons.'

'But you were the prodigy and we've spoke often of joining.'

The old man smiled at that 'We spoke of you joining. I don't think I have anything to contribute...'

His own father laughed at that; 'Nothing to contribute? Last time you said that it lead to an argument between your teachers coming before the grand council. We spent months Debating it before the arch conservatives understood it.' He allowed himself a smile as his father beamed to the children. 'In the first year of the academy your grandfather has a suggestion that changed the ancient laws. No one had done that before, even after the academy. He could have been the best, he was the best.'

His son's wife frowned at him; 'If you were that good why did you never graduate?'

'Have I never told you why I left, any of you?' He knew full well he had not. His family respected and looked up to him, he never would have let them throw their reputation away like he had his. 'The academy trains you but it also installs it's values. I disagreed with them.'

'Disagreed son? They say you walked to the front of a theology lecture and insulted the entire faculty, council, its founders and every single graduate past, present and future.'

His granddaughter gasped. 'Did you really?'

'Not in that order. Anyway after that little session I left and was not asked to return. I met your grandmother and we loved each other very much. Through my many mistakes and few successes you, my family, came about. Though I must tell you this now, as I have watched my former friends graduate I have seen the great council stagnate.

'I've read about worlds where the sun burns so cold the very frost is alive. Worlds of smoke where vapour lives and the clouds make love as they dance across the skies. In the vast glories out there we are still so small. Yet we cower here, safe from all while people across this vast universe are imprisoned, dying and never given the chance. Only looking out for our own interests.' He took a deep breath, the coin so tight in his palm it almost cut his brittle old skin. 'I don't know how many years I have left before my body grows too old. I won't die here, on this world. Not when there is so much out there.'

'Grandfather, what are you saying?' Susan asked. His father simply stood and turned his back. His son grasped his wife's hand tightly. The two grandsons gaped at him.

'Susan, granddaughter, I'm leaving. Leaving Gallifray forever, Accepting the banishment.'

'Father...'

'NO' Roared the ancient councillor. 'This man has made his choice. By voicing it there is no turning back. I have no son and you no father.' He turned those terribly wounded eyes to him:- 'Person, you have no name. No identity here or across the infinite cosmos. Name thy self.' Word for word the code of a Time Lord to one who has broken it.

'I am... The Doctor.' the old man sat calmly, his was jaw set and everything was ready. 'And I will travel far and wide, see the universe you hide from.' True banishment meant to be marooned. Stripped of all knowledge and power on some forsaken rock that never truly developed. But he was about to brake those rules. 'I'll see it all!'

His son, now nothing more than a theory merchant to him, asked simply; 'How?'

'In my newly acquired vessel of course.' Never in all those years since he had brow beaten those stuck up lectures had he felt this alive! Jumping to his feet the Doctor waved his battered walking stick 'And I think I'll take this young lady with me. If she accepts.'

Three voices rose in protest. The councillor in anger, the merchant in desperation and the wife in despair.

One rose in agreement.

Before anyone could stop him The Doctor flicked the old coin into the air with one hand as he clutched Susan and walking stick with the other. The ancient time ship unfolded around them. The coin spinning harmlessly as the walking stick swallowed them both.

Standing in the control room The Doctor felt his face cracking into a smile. Laughing with the youth and energy of a man a hundred, no two hundred, years younger. He had no idea what he was doing as he flicked switches and dials in a random little dance he made up on the spot.

A screen fell down from a slot in the ceiling and showed the family that was even now hammering at the doors 'Doctor! You have committed crimes against the Time Lords! Stand down and surrender!' The councillor shouted in a voice torn between outrage and pain.

In a sobering instant The Doctor knew he could never see these people again. He didn't care one jot about the rules but they did. Stagnant old swine. 'Goodbye my family. We will not meet again.'

Susan, brave wise young Susan. Her life so far ahead of her looked to him. And him to her. 'I can leave you here. You don't have to go.'

'Yes I do grandfather.' she turned to the screen with far too much of his fire in her spirit. 'Goodbye! I love you all!'

The central column suddenly shuddered, reared out of its housing and back in. Again. Again and again. Building a rhythm not heard in the thousand years since this prototype was first tested.

'Where are we going Grandfather?'

'I don't know. That's the fun part!'

In the thousand years that followed he left Susan to have that life she deserved. He picked up hitchhikers and fellow travellers. He fought demons, rouge Time Lords, monsters and aliens across the universe. Learnt the secret of Regeneration and saw his own world consumed in the fires of a exploding star. As far and wide he travelled through time, space and everywhere between he would look back on that moment with crystal clarity. Without a drop of regret.


Postscript:-
I'm getting sick and tired of these vast arc plots and dropping hints about unwritten chapters. Sure its a great thing to read but it feels like I'm wrestling treacle to get the plot working. Then comes the explanations and the exposition and it really makes my brain cook. Five pages of spam for a paragraph of action or WOW factor? Forget that for a laugh, so here we have just had something plane and simple. but for those of you who really need it explaining...

Glossary:-
A lot in here is fringe fan theory and while supported by cannon I think someone should explain it in case someone get confused:-

"The Secret"
This, of course, is regeneration. I've heard some Fans say it was genetic engineering by the Time Lords that let them do this. That is wrong, regeneration is a natural part of the Time Lord healing process. It only requires a conscious effort by the Time Lord, HOW to make this effort is the secret given at graduating Time Lord Academy. As a natural process it is important to remember that the 13 regeneration's are only an arbitrary number and it may be possible to regenerate more with enough effort (something demonstrated by the Master many times).

"Time Lord Academy"
Yes, there is such a thing in cannon and it is the only way to become a Time Lord. Of note this is where the Doctor and the Master were classmates, the Doctor never graduated and it is where he learnt sword fighting. Apparently because every race in the universe invented the sword somewhere in it's history.

"Banishment"
We know that the Doctor was banished, we also know that part of that banishment was the loss of his given name. Time Lords like the Master, the Rani and the Meddling Monk have no name, this supports the idea that in leaving Galifray they leave their identity behind. Despite returning the Doctor and the Master are still "nameless" so if banished as a criminal their identity is never returned. The Meddling Monk (a character met by the first Doctor) however both returned and regained his name. While the Doctor has renounced what the order of the Time Lord became he still respected its principles and traditions, abandoning name and previous identity.

"Theory merchant"
In the radio program "Whatever happened to Susan" as well as complaining that the Doctor never came back for her Susan mentions that her father and mother sold ideas. Something supported in the scene only in the pilot where she throws ink on a piece of paper for inspiration and is scared of the results.

"A life"
A strange concept I am afraid I have no experience in.

Thomas Fishwick
AKA Mountain King
June 2007