To see the cover of this book go to: img./albums/v404/Jetplague/TenthWho/TNA-TTL.jpg
Based on the BBC program of "Doctor Who" created by Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber and Donald Wilson.
The Time Lord
By Jeff Walker
November 23rd, 1963
In a rural area of the city, a lone male figure stands looking out the window of the old brick stoned school that has stood there for many long years. The dimming sun shined through the clouds as it cast its beams down onto the building. An old design of stone and brick that looked repaired over the years, a reminder perhaps back from the days of World War II. The bombings destroyed many old style buildings of the London scene and were quickly rebuilt with other materials at the time. But now the bricks and stones look completely as if they belong, the long wear and tear of the weathered years have returned the school to a unique look again. The Caucasian man standing at the white trimmed window gives a long glance out of them and gave a soft sigh. His dark brown eyes gave the look of a man totally lost in his thoughts. As he turned around to look inward at the room, the slightly large wooden teacher's desk showed a box full of items stuffed to the brim with personal effects, pictures and doctrines of his academic knowledge.
The man shifted his feet over to the table and took hold of the box with yet another long sigh. Taking more papers and books laying near the box, he now gazed at them as he placed them inside of it to continue his clean up of the area. The classroom itself is of very average size, full of small wooden student desks and chairs that are vacant as the children shuffle in the halls as they get ready to leave for home. The end of the day brings much joy to all the students, all but for Ian Chesterton as he packs his belongings into the box. This day is that of his termination, a teacher no more. By the number of graduate degrees and pictures of him with his students, Ian was a teacher of greatness. He giggled at old pictures he found of him with some of the faculty, especially of that of a woman he was seen giving a shoulder hug too with great affection. His fingers stroked on her face as he glanced at the image, but then shook his head and placed it into the box as well.
Ian Chesterton was nearing his mid-thirties and seemed to feel every bit of that age. Even though some had complimented him on his youthful face and deep chestnut hair, he couldn't put it past himself that he was growing old and had seen the white hair setting in. Often he would muse to himself that being in your thirties isn't really old, but his lifestyle and boring daily routines made him feel as if he was twice that age. His white collared shirt and light sandy looking cardigan, made his black trousers stick out like sore thumbs. If his faded brown loafers didn't give away his apparent lack of style, then the rest of the ensemble did the job for him. Packing away the last item in his box, he picked up an apple that remained alone on the table and playfully tossed in his hand. A sudden knock at the door made him almost lose balance to catch it, and quickly kept it tight in his hand.
"Yes? Come in." He answered.
"Sorry to bother you." The woman entering apologized. "I just wanted to talk."
She was exactly like the woman in the picture he was giggling about earlier. Barbara Wright, a fairly younger woman with long hair of strawberry blonde pinned up in a bun at the top of her head. She was a pretty woman of average height and of average weight. Ian immediately changed his attitude as she stepped in making himself look busy packing when there was nothing left to pack at all.
"What's there to talk about?" He said looking in his box and fiddling with the pictures.
Ms. Wright ringed her hands and nervously glared at him.
"Did you explain what happened to them? Did they accept your apology?"
"I did indeed." Ian blinked calmly.
"And?" She asked.
He picked up more of his books beside him and put them in the box.
"I'm sacked and that's that as they say. No short term suspension, no letter of reference from them and one rather nasty speech by the Head Master himself."
"Ian…" She said to him stepping into the classroom. "It wasn't your fault. I blame myself for being so stupid."
"Barbara, its not your fault either." He replied to her with compassion. "I took the blame for it all and defended you. Otherwise they would have had you out of here too. But, why should both of us suffer for being so reckless? You're needed here more then I am."
She shut the door behind her and came over to touch his cheek with affection.
"Oh Ian...I can't believe they're doing this to us. It was just a kiss, a harmless passionate moment between two people…"
"In the hallway." Ian pointed out to her. "Just as this school's Head Master passed by, it was careless of us and rather just bad timing on our part. To him and many of the faculty it was appalling, you've just left your husband and I…the widowed bachelor. How did he put it? Oh yes…'Teachers aren't supposed to get involved with each other on school grounds.' A ridiculous policy to be sure, but one that's enforced here none the less. The entire faculty is behind him on that one. That's discrimination for you."
"Yes but its such a foolish thing for them to have." Barbara scowled. "I mean it was just in the moment…you and I have been working for so long, comforting each other in terrible moments and being so lonely…we just…just…"
"Shared a feeling between a man and a woman." He smiled as he leaned on the box looking at her. "We've been good friends for sometime…I honestly don't know how we managed to hold back for so long before."
"I didn't think there was anything there to be honest." The woman said as she rubbed her arms and walked over to the window. Her eyes tear up slightly as she tired to hide her emotions.
"Nor I for that matter." Ian chuckled. "I guess I wanted to do it for so long…I just caved. It's been so long since….well…"
Barbara turned around and quickly nodded at him.
"I know. Your wife sounded like a wonderful woman, I'm so sorry she died in that terrible traffic accident. Its hard to lose the ones we love…how to pick up the pieces again one thinks?"
"Exactly." Ian smiled at her. "But it's been sometime and I'm sure she would hate to think of me not living my life. At least, I had you as a friend to be with me in my times of need. Just as I was there for you when your husband left you for someone else. We comforted one another, tended to each other…we seemed to have a common bond in our loneliness."
"Perhaps it was the loneliness between us that caused that kiss to happen." She smiled back at him.
"Perhaps." He nodded. "And now one kiss between us has caused a controversy in the halls of this school. Dismissed after all these loyal years of teaching…you'd think that would account for something."
Both share a moment of silence as they keep eyes locked on one another, but soon Ian grabbed his box and motioned to the door with his head.
"Come on, you can keep me company while I take this to the car."
As Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright stroll through the narrow halls of the school, they share a few laughs as they reminisced of old times and discuss their students. The hallway is light yellow and green in color, a black and white checkerboard tiled floor stretched down all the way. Barbara put on her cream colored shawl over her green flowered white shirt, a pair of brown slacks match her light brown heeled shoes as she took Ian in arm as they walk together.
"I'm going to miss this place." Ian admitted to her. "Most of all the students. Teaching them was challenging to me."
"Oh I know." She nodded. "They all loved you. Challenge is what they all wanted it seems and you gave it too them without insulting their intelligence. I'd wish I knew how to cope with that….especially with those that try to challenge you back."
"What do you mean?" Ian asked as they continue to stroll to the end of the hall. "Have you found a student that challenges you? You of all people Ms. Wright?"
"To be honest yes. There is one that sort of…oh I dunno, just sort of sticks out from the others."
"Oh?" He said in a curious tone. "How so?"
"Well, it's this girl actually." She winced. "A fairly new student, bright and inquisitive, but always arguing with me about the facts of my history lessons."
Ian stopped in his tracks and looked at her with realization.
"I know which one mean. You're talking about…uh…what's her name…Susan isn't it?"
"Yes." Barbara answered with surprise. "That's her. Susan Forman. Did you have her too?"
"Mathematics is her strong suit." Ian snickered as he thought about her. "But like you she was questioning me about the dynamics of the problems. Giving me all this poppycock about calculations of the fourth and fifth dimensions. Theories in time and space. Oh, what a girl. I told her they weren't practical applications of what we were trying to learn, yet she wouldn't do the work unless I took them into account."
Barbara shook her head in disbelief and looked at him.
"Such a strange child. She tried to tell me the French Revolution was full of missing details and of people that I've never heard of before. And when the class laughed at her answers she quickly snapped into a quiet demeanor and refused to answer any more history questions."
"She has an odd look about her don't you think?" Ian asked.
"Odd? I don't know what you mean?" She glared at him with curiosity.
"Well I'm not saying she's ugly, far from it. There's just something about her appearance that strikes me as odd. She's not from England or English born is what I mean. I wonder if her relatives are just as odd looking as her?"
"I can't believe you're saying that." Barbara gazed at him as she rolled her eyes. "Really Ian."
"Hear now…what's that look for?"
Ian watched her as she walked over to the doors and kept it for him as he finally stepped through. She gave him a disapproving shake of her head and he in turn winked at her as he passed by. Barbara was completely amazed at his racial prejudice, an educated man like that giving in to typical views of foreigners. But such is the times they live in. Even she had to admit to having a nasty thought of someone that was not of English background. The world was changing in this decade; ideas, politics and even viewpoints of people were being reshaped because of the events around them. The younger generation was coping better then most of the older kind, yet both she and Ian were in the middle gap, clinging to both views and having a mild acceptance to the changes around them. While they grabbed their coats from the cloakroom at the end of the corridor, Ian gave one last long look to the school he was leaving behind and turned back to Barbara's smiling face.
"They won't forget you Ian. You inspired their imaginations." She said taking hold of his hand.
"Not only them I hope." He said smiling back at her.
Barbara gave a tug of his hand as a friendly response. Together they finished the long walk out of the school that he would no longer teach at for the rest of his days.
Outside the sun was beginning to set, a low haze was also starting to set in and Barbara covered herself a bit more with her full-length jacket she put on as they exited the school. She gave a slight shiver as she felt the cold all around. Ian had already had his long grey trench coat on and carried the box over to his vehicle near by. As Barbara quickly darts out after him, Ian opens his car and placed his belongings into the back of it. Closing the door afterwards, he looked up to see Barbara standing beside him and looking out at the street beyond.
"I'm worried about that girl Ian." She grimaced at him.
"Who?" He asked.
"Susan Forman." She answered. "Every day after school, she walks alone and well after anyone else is around to join her."
"Maybe she's just not too far?" Ian said looking out just as she was. "Maybe she just shy? What difference does it make? She's probably long gone now."
"That's just it Ian. She's on her own out there in city…it's not right for a girl that young and certainly not after dark like this."
"Strange children like her probably love the night air." He joked.
"Please Ian!" She said in frustration. "I'm being serious. She's all alone out there."
Ian began to think she was right, the darkness was starting to set in and a young girl wandering the streets of London was a dangerous thought indeed. He rubbed the back of his neck in frustration and finally nodded to her in agreement.
"Yes, I suppose it is rather disturbing to think that poor girl out there on her own. You'd think at least she'd ride on a bus or get a cab ride."
"I tried to get the address of where she lived from the secretaries office." Barbara said rubbing her arms from the cold night setting in. "It's the strangest thing. The address Susan gave was rather unusual. I drove around looking for it one day just to see where it was…then I found it. The street had no homes or flats around the area, just a large Junkyard at the end. I thought for sure I had got the name wrong or the number at least, but when I looked it up in the office again, I found I was right."
"A junk yard? Are you sure?" Ian questioned.
"Positive. 76 Totters Lane, there's nothing there but an old Junkyard. That's the only thing out there on that dead end street."
"Maybe her father owns it?" Ian scoffed.
"Grandfather actually. She told me bits and pieces about him and the fact he lets her do her own thing. But I thought he was a Doctor of some sort?" Barbara says in a frustrated voice. "I highly doubt a Doctor lives in a junkyard of all places."
"You're right." Ian glared. "I asked her if someone was helping her study…seeing how she was getting overly complicated on the answers, but she told me no one was. She said her Grandfather insisted on her figuring it out for herself."
The two looked at each other with confusion and then turned their attention to the streets beyond.
"Oh Ian…" Barbara sighed. "Perhaps we should find out what's going on with her. I'd hate to think she's living in a junkyard and making this all up to simply keep in school."
"Alright…lets go then." He said taking out his car keys. "She's probably nearly there now…hop in and we'll see if she goes there."
"What are we going to do when we get there?" She questioned coming to the opposite side of his car.
"We'll think of something on the way. Come on."
The woman gave a sigh of relief and joined him as he opened up his vehicles' doors. As they both sit inside, Ian started his small car and began to shift into reverse out of the parking spot. He switched on his headlights and headed out onto the darkened roads of London.
"Susan! Will you stop making up nonsense! I will not have you going on with this fantasy…read the lesson and no more adding in your own imagination."
"It's not fantasy Ms. Wright! This history is wrong I tell you…I know it is! It's just all wrong!"
Barbara sat there in the car thinking of her conversation with the young girl she's worried about. She found it odd that Susan Forman would constantly bicker about the minor details and facts of key historical moments. That Queen Elizabeth the first was nearly assassinated before being crowned, that Napoleon was developing secret weapons to win the war, and that all of ancient Rome was nearly wiped out by an unknown disease that was never recorded to happen. Fabricated stories that this little girl would spill out before all of the class, it made the school teacher mad thinking about all this fantasy that filled this child's head up so. She wondered desperately what could make Susan lie so much and make her so determined that everything she said was absolute. The Grandfather. It had to be this man filling her head with nonsense. Barbara bit her thumbnail lightly as she continued to think while Ian drove to their destination.
"You're being rather quiet." Ian glanced at her. "I could turn on the radio if you like? To break the silence."
"No." She muttered to him. "I like the quiet. I'm just thinking that's all."
"Oh?" He inquired as he kept his eyes focused ahead. "About Susan is it? Come on…fill me in on things."
Barbara let out a breath and rubbed her forehead. She kept her head tilted to the side of window and began to share her thoughts with him.
"Such an…an unearthly child."
"I beg your pardon?" Ian giggled.
"Oh, I just mean she's so beyond our level of thinking. On the one hand she's got a vast grip on advanced subjects and then the next…it's as if she's lost interest in the remaining courses."
"Yes." Ian nodded slightly. "She does well in math, science, biology, history…but not so much in sports, art or…well I guess whatever she feels is mundane. But it's also a few minor things too, like money…she doesn't seem to grasp the concept of its importance. 'Oh were on metric...not decimal', she'd say to me, as I'd have to correct her. I had to help her figure out basic figures and why people would spend it on what she called 'strange things'. I was at a loss on how she managed to survive outside of the school."
"You've noticed then." Barbara said as she turned to look at him. "She's strange and isolated from others. Borderline genius but also quite slow to learn other non-intellectual pursuits."
"Well, Einstein wasn't so great in few areas. Simple math was hard to grasp for the old boy."
"I think she's confused." Barbara said as she sat back and faced forward again. "Torn between living a normal life or becoming something special. Maybe I was pushing her too much, maybe she just needs better tutoring…I….I don't know."
Ian said nothing else as he left her alone to nervously bite down onto her nails. While he was worried about her and her obsession about this girl, he was more concerned about the kiss he should never have given Ms. Wright. It was innocent enough he thought, a simple spark between them that might otherwise never have happened had she not dropped her marked term papers on the floor. The timing was just wrong is all. The dean catching them was probably divine intervention in some way; perhaps the two of them had grown too close to one another. Maybe this was for the best, at least, that's what Ian was thinking in his head as he drove on saying nothing to her.