Doctor Who: The Journey Home
By Ian D. McArdell
A brief encounter with the Doctor, after a fashion popular in the early nineties. This sees the erstwhile Timelord tie up a loose end from 'The Curse of Fenric' and nudge a pawn into place for another time, so to speak. Originally appeared (in dead tree format) in Cosmic Masque 21.
Hours had passed. The storm raged on and still Kathleen drove. Into the night, into her future.
Her mind could not fully comprehend what had happened at the North Yorkshire Signals base - and she doubted it ever would. She resolved never to tell a soul of the events of those few days. Who would ever believe her?
As Kathleen drove, her baby Audrey slept peacefully by her side, oblivious to it all. Probably the best way to be, Kathleen thought. She stopped the Land Rover, parking awkwardly by the roadside.
"I'm too tired to drive" she declared to the world.
Shivering with the cold, Kathleen looked behind her to see what fate had provided for this journey. A blanket, a tool kit and some emergency rations - for once luck had been on here side. Still, she thought, only a few weeks until Frank would be home on shore leave, things would be better then.
Frank won't be coming home... he's dead.
Kathleen began to cry, bitter tears. For herself and for a daughter who would never know her father. Kathleen prayed for guidance and help. As if in answer to that prayer a man appeared from the shadows, instantly she recognised him as the Doctor, Ace's friend. The girls had said he worked for the War office, rumour had it that the Prime Minister himself had sent him. Hatred welled deep within Kathleen.
"You send men like Frank to their death every day. Don't you care? Fathers, Husbands, Brothers and Sons. Wrecking people's lives."
"Don't you think I know," the Doctor replied, "Every waking moment I am haunted by the deaths I have caused."
"Why carry on, why this continuing battle? The world is falling apart."
"Evil must never triumph, in any form. Have pride in Frank's death - tell the world. Never let them forget the sacrifice he made in the name of liberty."
"How do I go on Doctor. Without him?"
"You'll find a way. I told a friend once that memories aren't always sad. Treasure the time you had together and tell Audrey about him. Frank will always live with you, in your mind."
"Where do I go now? I've nowhere to live."
Kathleen looked at him, her eyes pleading for help. Constrained by time and his knowledge of her future, the Doctor could say very little.
"Follow your destiny and remember what Ace told you..." With that, he turned and disappeared into the night.
Follow your destiny and remember what Ace told you.
Kathleen strained to remember the day's awful events.
"17 Old Terrace... Streatham."
After a hard night's drive, Kathleen found the place. 17 Old Terrace, a little back street. She gathered Audrey up in her arms and ran to the house. The door was open, as if someone was expecting her. The house looked deserted and cold. However, for the moment it was home. She curled up in the front room, under the naval blanket and fell asleep.
The worst of the storm was over - time to count the cost.