Tuesday, February 6, 2007

If *I* Had Written Time-Flight 1

An unearthed document created in 2005, long before the IIHWS22 operation began, reprinted here for the first time...


A Concord plane is streaking through the sky above the Atlantic. At Heathrow airport, the traffic controllers are totally taken aback when the plane suddenly vanishes in mid-air. Aboard the plane, however, nothing has changed.

The Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa are repairing the damage to the TARDIS console in silence, avoiding each other's gaze. Tegan is shattered to learn that the repairs will not allow them to return and save Adric - the TARDIS couldn't save him at the time and it can't save him now. Nyssa is even disconcerted as the apparently indifferent Doctor begins to test out the console, pretending to have forgotten about Adric already.

But this argument is broken when the time machine suddenly goes out of control before stabilizing - inside Terminal Three at Heathrow, the day Tegan was supposed to arrive. The Doctor calmly announces that it is time Tegan got her things and prepared to return to her old life. Before his companions can argue, he opens the doors and walks outside.

The Doctor is surprised that no one has noticed the TARDIS and when he crosses to a news stand, the assistant doesn't seem to see him. Paying the man and taking the paper, the Doctor is shocked to find the front page has a photo of Adric - MATHEMATICAL GENIUS MAKES FATAL MISTAKE! DOCTOR BLAMED! He angrily turns on the vendor, but he still doesn't react. The Doctor reads the rest of the paper, which has articles like CYBER FLEET DISPERSES TOO LATE, FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION and OPINION: WHY DOESN'T THE STATE OF GRACE AFFECT THE TARDIS ANYMORE?

The Doctor storms back into the TARDIS and demands to know what the others are up to - are they messing with him? They don't have the faintest idea what he's talking about or what newspaper disturbs him. The Doctor realizes the paper has vanished from his pocket.

Troubled, the trio emerge from the TARDIS and have a look around. People continue to move back and forth but pay the travelers no attention whatsoever. The Doctor, puzzled, grabs an airport police officer and shakes him. But he can't, for the officer is a ghost who doesn't seem to notice.

Tegan can't cope with the concept that Heathrow has been invaded by ghost commuters and runs off. Nyssa runs after her and when the Doctor follows he bumps into a foreign businessman, who mumbles an apology and wanders off. The Doctor stops dead in his tracks and runs after this seemingly real-traveller.

Nyssa loses track of Tegan in the crowd and begins to hear a voice calling her name. Soon, Nyssa is compelled to follow it, not realizing she has been followed by a short, bearded professor. Tegan, meanwhile, heads for the security block to try and get some answers and is stunned to find her Aunt Vanessa waiting for her. Like she promised, she got her niece to the airport in time, despite that flat tyre.

Tegan protests that Vanessa died and she met the Doctor, but she can't quite remember the details. Vanessa is bewildered when Tegan mentions the Doctor becoming someone else, and soon Tegan is too. How can a man come back to life in a different body? It's nonsense...

The Doctor finds the businessman and quizzes him. The businessman is baffled at the Doctor's questions; they're in Heathrow, and the planes are temporarily grounded due to a snowstorm of course! But as the Doctor ruminates on it, the businessman falls into a trance and wanders off.

The Doctor catches up with him and snaps him out of it - but the man has no memory of meeting the Doctor before or the conversation they just had. The man moves off into the crowd and this time the Doctor doesn't follow. Because he's seen something outside the window.

A hideously deformed figure called Kalid watches this on his crystal ball, chanting with delight and giggling as the ball shows what has happened to the TARDIS travelers.

Tegan is now with Aunt Vanessa. She has forgotten all about the Doctor, Nyssa and the TARDIS, and is eager to get on her plane. Once the snow lets up, she can finally do it. Together they wander off into the crowd of ghosts.

Nyssa finally finds the voice calling her name coming from a doorway. Sitting there is a kind, bearded old man. Nyssa backs away, horrified to see the Master has somehow escaped Castrovalva. But the man insists he is Tremas, her father, he's finally returned for her, to take her home. To Traken...

The Doctor stares out the window, incredulous. There is only one plane there, the missing Concord, and the only other thing outside Heathrow bar the snow is a huge stone zigurat. He considers what has been happening and wonders if he is finally going mad.

"You're not going mad," says a voice behind him.

The Doctor turns. His jaw drops.

"You know that, Doctor!" says Adric reprovingly...


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