Disclaimer: It all belongs to the BBC…I don't own them. I make no money from them.

Author's note: I started this one night after seeing a rerun of Interview with a Vampire and reading Goth Opera. I will finish it eventually, but not until I finish the others on which I am working. This takes place during Frontios…when the Doctor and Tegan deliver the Gravis to another planet. Turlough is not with them. And, yes, it is a Fifth Doctor story.


Planet of Blood


There is a rule book to the universe, the Doctor thought as he watched the instrumentation on the console move of its own accord. There is a rule book to the universe and it read simply: Anything that can go wrong, will.

He groaned and shook his head helplessly. All he had wanted to do was give Tegan one trip before they went back to pick up Turlough on Frontios. A quiet day at the Eye of Orion, or maybe a misty spring afternoon at Bath, he had thought. He had even toyed with the idea of a side trip to Trion 4 for the singing of the night crystals. He had gotten no further than fiddling with the coordinate controls when the TARDIS rotor had sped up, indicating fast travel. The coordinates dials spun, the temporal stabilizers whirled, twisting…he could even hear the transdimensional trackers moving under the console. Wherever the TARDIS was heading, it was causing the old girl severe distress.

A low resolute gong sound filled the console room and its simple presence sent him bending over the console in hopeless defeat. "That's all we need," he muttered.

The interior door flew open and his young friend, Tegan Jovanka, stumbled into the console room, buttoning up her shirt. "Hell's teeth, Doc…"

"Before you ask, I don't know…" he answered back, raising his head tiredly.

"That's the cloister bell," she pointed out needlessly. She looped into the center console and leaned into it, staring at her friend.

"I know."


"It's gonging."

Tegan screwed up her mouth in an almost comical frown. "And which branch of science did you use to figure that out. Why is it gonging?"

"We're moving," the Doctor explained, jumping into action, running around the console. His cream colored coat tails flapped behind him. "And I don't know why or how…I haven't set the coordinates yet. Wherever we are heading, the TARDIS was not designed to handle the strain."

"But you said the TARDIS could go to any planet and any time in that planet's existence," she groused. "If we are heading somewhere where the TARDIS was not designed to handle then that means…"

"That we are heading somewhere…out of the usual run of things." He ran back around the console and glanced at the coordinates as they finally stabilized. "No…good…not negative coordinates…we haven't gone through a CVE." He frowned. "Tegan…grab the galactic atlas. Now. Run!"

She turned on her heel and sprinted through the internal door and out into the corridor. Her stocking feet didn't have traction and she slid into the wall before turning down the hall toward the 'study'. She had opted to dress casual, but her chinos felt tight and restrictive as she plowed into the next door. The old book, weighing in her estimation about twenty pounds, sat on its pedestal. She grabbed it, hauling it back toward the console room. When the Doctor told her to run, he meant it. Tegan ran at full tilt until she pulled back on the console room door.

The brilliant light inside made her drop the atlas and cover her eyes. It stopped her dead.

When she was able to see again, when the static white that her world had become lessened, she saw the Doctor facing a small, compact man with a dove on his head. Tegan knew the being immediately. "The White Guardian," she whispered.

"Where have you taken us?" she heard the Doctor say. With hands in front of her, she approached her friend until she felt his back against her palms. She gathered the conversation had been going on some time.

"To where you are needed, Doctor."


"There is a mission that only you can complete for me, Doctor. Time is of the essence."

"Galactic 009 North 009 West 009…temporal 000, transdimension 0000." he muttered. Tegan tightened her hand into his coat to get his attention. She had not known that the White Guardian would be that brilliant in all his full power. The Doctor patted the air to the side to tell her to remain as she was. "Why here? This planet has not been visited by a Gallifreyan in over 100 millennia."

"They have evolved, Doctor…and they must not be allowed to complete the evolutionary path they have started on…technologically…this needs to be a dead end. If they are not stopped, the very rendering of time, space and your Time Lord Matrix is at peril."

The Doctor nodded. "How do I mask myself?"

"To infiltrate them, to survive, Doctor, you will need to become one of them. You and your companion." Tegan ducked behind the Doctor's broad form as the White Guardian looked to her.

The Doctor turned, startled, gazing at his friend with concern. His blue eyes were wide. Tegan frowned. "No."

"She must, Doctor. You will need help. She is reliable and loyal. That is why I took you from your time stream when I did. Turlough would not have been suited for this."

"He isn't suited for much," Tegan muttered under her breath.

"She can't," the Doctor answered, swinging around. "I will go alone. My genetics can handle…"

"She will go with you, Doctor…your TARDIS cannot remain here. It will be returned to you at the end of the mission. She cannot remain in it. The fourth law of Rassilon will protect you both'; even I cannot counteract that law."

Tegan pulled at the Doctor's coat. "What is going on?"

"Hush, Tegan."

"But if he is going to take the TARDIS…"

The Doctor turned and glanced down at her. He held her eyes for a few moments, before he turned to the Guardian again. "How long until it is irreversible?"

"One standard month Gallifreyan," came the simple terse answer. "Time is of the essence, Doctor. You must leave now."

"We're in hover mode," Tegan said, peeking around the Doctor's back. "We can't leave."

The Doctor sighed and reached behind him to grab Tegan's hand. As he squeezed it, he turned to her. "Tegan. Hold on. Do not let go. I know you don't listen to a word I say ever, but…"

As the walls of the TARDIS suddenly disappeared, Tegan yiped and clutched at his hand with both of hers. "Don't worry…I'll hold on…" she yelled. She couldn't see him any longer, there was nothing but black, but his presence still held and squeezed her hand.

"Thank Rassilon for small favors," came his voice back to her.