A/N: My profound apologies for keeping you waiting for this ending, especially since it's so short. My only defense is my jam-packed life.


The Lady's Story

We returned to the Tor once more, and the King led the three aliens, Uther, and myself up the side until we came to the most astounding sight: a tall box made of wood, rather like a very large upended chest, painted blue, with curious markings upon it. When he unlocked it and showed us the inside, it was purest magic: an entire large chamber was tucked somehow inside that one small box. It was impossible, and I stared at him along with the others in disbelief.

Then he grinned at me. "You could come with me, Merelen. We could go traveling together, all through time and space, and have such wonderful adventures!"

I confess, I was tempted. But the geas of the Goddess weighs heaviest upon those she most favors. "My place is here, my lord, where I serve the Goddess and my people." I could tell he was disappointed – and so was I – but I had no choice.

The King, the Doctor, then turned to Uther, and drew the sword Caliburn from its sheath. Holding it reverently across his palms, he presented it to the warrior, to his astonishment.

"This land needs a King, Uther, who can hold it together and protect it from the Saxon Tide for as long as he can. I cannot be that King; I am leaving, and will not return. That King is you."

Uther tried to protest, but the Doctor would have none of it, and at last he persuaded Uther to take the sword – and the Kingship.

Then he grinned, and winked at us both, before returning inside his box where the Telashid awaited him. And then, by the Goddess herself, I swear this is true: with a flashing light and a sound I can only describe as coming from another world, the box disappeared into thin air, leaving only Uther and I in the clearing. The Doctor was gone, and he has not been seen in the twenty years since.

Uther took up the sword as he promised, and ruled these twenty years as I knew he would: magnificently. He fought a great many battles against Saxons, Picts, and Irish, and won them all – until the last one. Ironically again at Camlann, he was at last defeated by the Saxon King Cerdic. Uther was wounded many times during those years, and each time I was able to use the Goddess's holy fire to cure him – until, again, the last battle. Then the Christian priests he had begun to favor in his later years burst in upon us, screaming that I was doing the work of their evil god Satan rather than the Goddess, and her fire fled, running down and disappearing in the rushes like raindrops. I was thrown out of the chamber, and Uther died later that night. Since that final battle, the Saxon Tide has swept across our land unchecked, and the final days of the Britons has disappeared with the sunset.

My readers may claim I am mistaken, or lying, when I tell of these events. Surely it was King Arthur who did these things. And they are right. For Uther not only took up the sword of his predecessor, he also took his name, the name the Doctor had denied from the beginning, and ruled for two decades as King Arthur. I think that if the Doctor had known, he would not have been displeased.

At least I was able to retrieve the sword, though I shall not recount exactly how I did so, by trickery and deceit. I am hiding it, along with the Grallish I have kept tucked away all these years, and this manuscript, deep inside the Tor, in the hopes that some day they will be found again.

In the hopes that someday, when he is needed, the Doctor will return.