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looked at him.
'You've got just about all the blood you need - which is fortunate, since he's given all he can spare.'
The Fourth Doctor grinned. 'You deserve a cup of tea and a biscuit, old chap, but you'll have to settle for a
goblet of the local wine.'
The Doctors sat up on their couches and drank their wine, toasting each other and then Romana.
'I suppose nobody's going to tell me what all this is about?' she said.
'We would if we could,' said the Doctor.
'All I can tell you is that I lost my memory - my memories - and I have to find my other selves to get them
back.'
'How is it going?'
'Not too badly. I'm not quite the man I was, but I'm getting there. Which reminds me, I'd better be off.'
Romana felt strangely disappointed.
'So soon?'
The Doctor drained his wine and stood up.
'We temporal anomalies mustn't hang around too long.'
He shook hands with the Fourth Doctor, then took Romana's hand and kissed her gently on the cheek.
'Goodbye!'He strode across to theTARDIS and disappeared inside.
A wheezing, groaning sound filled the air.
Romana looked at her Doctor in alarm.
'The TARDISes have merged! If he takes the only TARDIS now we'll be stranded.'
'
No need to worry,' said the Doctor.
'Look!'
They watched as a sort of ghost TARDIS rose from the original and floated away. . 'He's gone!' said
Romana.
'That's right,' said the Doctor. 'Of course, in a way he was never really here.'
'What shall we tell Adric and K9?'
'Nothing! They'd never believe us anyway!'
Chapter 13
Timescoop
The Doctor lay stretched out on the chaise-longue in the TARDIS control room. On the table beside him
stood a mug of hot, sweet tea and a plate of buttered toast.
He was dozing, eyes half-closed, hovering between sleep and waking, and he was reminiscing, leafing
through the memories of his other selves, reacquainting himself with the events of their adventurous lives.
As the First Doctor had predicted, even those memories, dormant in his own mind, were beginning to stir...
He was recovering.
He thought of the fierce old man in the prehistoric jungle, of the gentle little fellow who had sacrificed his own
freedom so that others might be free.
He saw the tall, elegant dandy struggling bitterly against the chains of his exile but unable to resist defending
the planet that had become his prison. He saw the casual bohemian in the floppy hat and ridiculously long
scarf who dared to take on the evil that stalks the dark.
He had no reason to be ashamed of himselves, thought the Doctor. Indeed, there was much of which to be
modestly proud.
What had the old man said? Seven regenerations...
Three more to go.
'When and where will they be, and what will they be doing?' murmured the Doctor sleepily. 'What will they
belike?'
His eyes closed, his head nodded and a half-eaten slice of buttered toast slipped from his hand and dropped
to the floor, landing, as always, buttered side down. The Doctor slept.
As his two hearts pumped steadily, his extraordinary Time Lord physiology laboured to restore him to full
health and strength. Sleep, the Doctor had once observed, is for tortoises. But even a Time Lord needs to
take it easy occasionally, especially with half of his blood supply to makeup.
***
Summoned yet again to the Temporal Control Room, President Flavia studied the tempograph on the big
monitor screen. The short red segment that represented the Doctor's seventh regeneration had reappeared. It
seemed to be motionless.
'The tempograph now indicates, Madam President,' began Chief
Temporal Technician Volnar nervously,' that the Doctor -'
'- is back in normal space and time,' snapped Flavia. 'That much I can see for myself. Have you any idea why
his time trace disappeared?'
'I think I have, Madam President. The Fourth Doctor's time trace once showed a similar anomaly, as did that
of his then companion, the Lady Romanadvoratrelundar. I believe that for a time he passed through a Charged
Vacuum Emboitment into E-Space, which as you know is -'
'- a kind of parallel universe,' concluded Flavia impatiently.
'Exactly so, Madam President,' agreed Volnar, wondering if he was ever going to be allowed to finish a
sentence.
'So the Doctor visited his fourth reincarnation, then in E-Space, and has now returned. Is he heading for his
fifth self?'
'Apparently not, Madam President. As you can see, there appears to be some kind of hiatus. The Doctor
seems to be, well, resting. Perhaps the phenomenon is at an end.'
'I very much doubt it. Something tells me that if the Doctor has revisited his first, second, third and fourth
selves, he will go on to meet his fifth, sixth and seventh selves as well.' [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]