DISCLAIMER: I am not connected to Doctor Who and its characters, which belong to the BBC.
This is the second of two stories that I wrote in the late 1990's, the first was 'Empire of the Daleks' (which has already been uploaded to Fanfic). Again, I only kept a printed copy and I am now transcribing it to the computer. As before, this story is 'old school' Doctor Who: before the more 'modern' series (starting in 2005) was even contemplated. It features the same Doctor's assistants that I created for 'Empire of the Daleks'.
Chapter 1 – Contact
All that could be seen of the Doctor were his legs as he tinkered about under the console in the Tardis' control room. Jade looked on, impatiently fidgeting with a small metal box which the Doctor had given her to hold.
"How much longer are you going to be?" she asked.
"I can't rush these things, Jade," replied the Doctor's muffled voice, "hand me back that isotonic modulator would you? There's a good girl!"
Jade hated to be patronised and she scowled as she put the small box into the Doctor's hand.
"And there's no need to pull a face!" scolded the Doctor.
Jade looked down, but could not make eye contact; as the top half of the Doctor's body was still under the console.
"How do you know what my face looks like, down there?" Jade enquired.
"My dear Jade, I know you well enough to know that when I make a remark like that, your nose wrinkles up as if you had encountered a bad smell!"
A laugh from behind her made Jade look round.
"He's got the measure of you, hasn't he?" Orleo chuckled.
Jade looked into Orleo's clear blue eyes; which sparkled mischievously.
"That's the trouble with you men," she said, indignantly, "You always have to stick together!"
The Doctor spoke again, "I think we've stayed too long holidaying on Gallifrey! Sounds as if you two need to be involved in a new adventure!"
"As long as we don't meet another army of Daleks!" replied Jade.
Suddenly, a bleeping noise from the control panel interrupted their conversation. The Doctor slid out from under the console and scrambled to his feet. He looked over the mass of knobs and dials and settled on a switch near the centre of the panel. He threw the switch and the noise ceased, though an associated light continued to flash.
"I wonder how long that signal has been coming through," said the Doctor.
"What do you mean Doctor?" asked Orleo, "It has only just started!"
"That's because I have only just reconnected the modulator; we wouldn't have known anything about the signal until I made the circuit operational again!"
"Where is it coming from, anyway?" queried Jade.
The Doctor fiddled with various controls for a few moments until he seemed satisfied that he had found the answer, "That's odd! According to this, the signal is emanating from inside the planet! Come on; let's find out what's happening!"
The Doctor hurried off through the open doors of the Tardis and his companions followed close behind. They walked towards the nearby High Council chamber and, as they entered, they were greeted by a Timelord dressed in a long white robe. The bleeping noise still echoed in the background.
"Doctor!" exclaimed the man, "What do you make of the signal? It appears to be coming from the Tomb of Rassilon!"
"Are you sure, Savin?" queried the Doctor, "That tomb has been dormant for aeons! How could anyone be emitting a signal from there?"
"I'm just as baffled as you. Could someone have broken in, do you think?"
"No, it's impossible! The place is like a fortress and, anyway, the Eye of Harmony would have been alerted and sounded the alarm long before now!"
"I wish I understood what you are talking about," Jade looked perplexed, "who was Rassilon and what is the Eye of Harmony?"
"Oh Jade!" the Doctor said, impatiently, "Don't you remember any of the history that I have tried to teach you while you've been on Gallifrey? If you recall, Rassilon was the first of the Timelords and the Eye of Harmony is our power source."
"Oh yes, I remember now!" Jade said, with a cheeky grin.
Suddenly, the bleeping noise in the background stopped. The Doctor looked at Savin with a surprised expression.
"Well," said Savin, "whoever was sending that signal has given up. I wonder if it could have been an automatic circuit that activated itself. Maybe it has rectified itself now."
"I doubt whether an automatic device would have come to life after all this time," suggested the Doctor, "I think something more mysterious is taking place and I intend to find out what it is!"
Jade looked at Orleo and rolled her eyes skywards. Orleo understood the expression perfectly and responded with a wry smile.
The Doctor did not need to use too much persuasion to get his two companions to accompany him to the Tomb of Rassilon, even though it was situated in the inhospitable landscape of Gallifrey. Since the Timelords had moved into their cities, centuries earlier, they had no need to go outside into the barren wastelands which covered most of the planet.
The Doctor's Tardis materialised near a steep hill. It was capped by an ancient stone structure which looked like a small castle. With the Doctor leading the way, they climbed towards the mysterious monument. Soon, they had reached the wall of the building which appeared to have no doors or windows.
"How do we get inside?" queried Orleo.
"Simple!" exclaimed the Doctor, never one to be ruffled by such a small problem, "We use these!"
Jade and Orleo looked down at the objects that the Doctor had produced from his pockets; they looked like plain, silver bracelets.
"All you do," continued the Doctor, "is put these on your wrists and I will activate them. We will dematerialise momentarily and then re-materialise inside the tomb. These are a sort of time machine like the Tardis, but much more compact. Mind you, they don't have the same range or power of the bigger versions."
They all slipped the bracelets onto their wrists. The Doctor's one had a row of buttons which were missing from Jade's and Orleo's. He pushed one of the buttons and they vanished from the spot where they had been standing. Moments later, they were inside the building.
"Hey, that's the way to travel!" quipped Orleo, "Why couldn't we have used them to save us the climb up here!"
"Their range isn't long enough," explained the Doctor, "They only work over a few metres! One day, I'm sure; the Timelords will be able to increase their power and range. Who knows; they could make the traditional Tardis redundant!"
They were in a dimly lit hall. Way above them, a window in the high roof was letting in the only light. They stood for a few seconds, letting their eyes become accustomed to the gloom. The place had a musty smell; as could be expected of an old building that had been deserted for a very long time.
"This place gives me the creeps!" Jade whispered, almost as if to speak loudly would have resulted in someone chastising her for making a noise.
"It must have been like this for years," Orleo also spoke in hushed tones.
"Centuries more like!" answered the Doctor, "I don't think anyone has ever come in here since Rassilon was entombed!"
Suddenly, a ghostly figure appeared at the end of the hall, it had the shape of an old man with a long, white beard, "I knew you would come!" said a voice, though the face of the semi-transparent figure remained still, "The time has come to undo the damage that has been done!"
"Who are you?" asked the Doctor.
"My name is of no importance," answered the voice, "I am one of a number of beings that you would call the Overlords."
"The Overlords!" the Doctor repeated the name, "But you only exist in the myths and superstitions of the Timelords!"
"I can understand your scepticism," continued the voice, "I would feel the same if confronted by something that I considered to be just an object from a fable. But, I can assure you, although we have no solid, physical presence, the Overlords do exist! We are real and we have been awakened by the threat of a catastrophe; it will be a menace to the very fabric of space and time!"
"What's the problem?" asked Jade, still looking wide-eyed at the apparition, "What catastrophe?"
"Soon, malevolent time travellers will invade Gallifrey. If they are not stopped, the time-track of this universe will be breached and it will cease to exist! You must stop them from doing this!"
"But how?" asked the Doctor, "We don't know who these people are, or how they intend to carry out their threat."
"Fear not! The Overlords will provide you with all the information that you will require to repel the invaders. Now, you must return quickly to the Timelords to warn them and seek their help."
The image faded away until it disappeared completely. The three companions all looked at the spot for several moments, almost as if each of them had just experienced a strange dream.
Orleo was first to speak, "Well, what do we do now?"
The Doctor approached the place where they had seen the ghostly figure, extending his arms and feeling the walls.
"What are you doing, Doctor?" Jade enquired.
"I'm just seeing if I can feel any vibrations or anything. Our friend must have some way of manifesting himself; unless it's done by means of holographic projection. Well, come on you two, we'd better get back!"
...next chapter: Faith of the Timelords