AOH :: DOCRET1.TXT|
Return of the Doctor Part 1 of 6
The Doctor's Return
Mares 6 ... described by celestial poets as the "jewel in God's crown."
Indeed, it is a beautiful planet. The air has been known to smell as fragrant
as a warm spring day on Earth ... during Mares 6's winter. The planet was
warmed during the day by the red star-sun about which it orbited, during the
night by natural warm springs which emerged at various places in the surface of
The Yelvinda, the dominant species of Mares 6, were equally high-praised
by poet-laureats and galactic tourist bureau writers alike. Considered to be
the most hospitable people in the known universe, the Yelvinda would eagerly
welcome any visitor to their planet. Of course both the poet-laureats and
galactic tourist bureau writers would also remind the eager traveller of
another side to the average Yelvind. The Yelvinda are also the galaxy's
fiercest warrior race. Their recorded history shows the population fighting
off and/or destroying, on separate occasions, invasion fleets of the universe's
most feared races, including fleets from Skaro, Movella, and Telos. Such
reminders were always enough to keep even the tourist with the most violent
temper under control for the duration of his holiday on the paradise planet.
With that in mind such a visitor would force him/her/itself to kick back,
relax, and enjoy the hospitality.
On a typical day the flight control building located near the top of the
highest peak on Mares 6 was bustling with activity. The emperor of the planet
had decreed that no ship requesting passage should be turned away unless
hostile intents were absolutely clear, although races notorious for violence
were closely watched. There would be the occasional squabble, the rare
occurrence of violence, but a "gentle" reminder by Yelvind security officers
would be enough to stop the outbreak; indeed the very thought of being
incapacitated for 3 Earth weeks would usually suffice.
Arkter, the chief flight controller on duty, noticed something odd about a
recent request to land. The being had requested an entrance corridor
authorization for six ships -- he and several "friends" wished to land and take
advantage of the delights of the planet. Arkter had not been around when Mares
6 was the center of invasion attempts -- indeed the last recorded invasion was
so far in the past that the only Yelvind who could still remember it was the
Emperor herself. Arkter had been fascinated, however, by the recorded
invasions. In his younger days he had eagerly listened to recordings of the
conversations between the invasion fleet and Mares ground forces prior to the
elimination of the invaders. Something about the one who was requesting to
land struck a familiar note to him, making him think back to the last tape he
had listened to. He quickly dismissed the thought; he had heard so many voices
from so many different travellers from so many different parts of the galaxy
that it could easily have been one he had heard last week. He cleared the
ships for landing, giving them the familiar "Welcome to Eden" greeting (it
seems that, in the history of the Yelvind, there was mention of a garden that
so closely resembled Terran descriptions of Eden that the name Eden was chosen
by the Yelvind as the popular name of their planet, just as Earth was the
popular name for Sol 3).
"Meranda, take over for me. I wish to greet this set of tourists myself,"
Arkter said to his wife and team-mate as he walked toward the access elevator
"Something isn't wrong, is it?"
"It's probably just my imagination, but I'm curious. Besides, I haven't
been part of the welcome party since I started here." With that, the elevator
door slid closed. Meranda watched the indicator show the car's descent to
landing bay level, then picked up her husband's task as if she had started it.
Arkter's elevator car arrived at the "ground floor" (a misnomer ... ships
would land at the center of the peak, be parked nearby, and the occupants of
the ships driven via hovercraft down the mountainside to the inviting meadows
at the foot of the peak) just as the last of the six starships were landing.
Once again Arkter felt a tingle run down his spine ... these ships seemed
familiar somehow. They weren't patterned identically to each other; in fact,
they looked more like three pairs of ships from three greater fleets. The
sides of each ship had something in common, however, in that weapondry were
apparant on each. The contingent of joyous Yelvinda stood at a central point,
ready to greet the passengers and crew of each ship as they disembarked.
Arkter joined them hesitantly. What was so familiar about these vessels?
Up in the control room, Meranda served her husband's duties well, yet she
repeatedly glanced over to a monitor focused on the welcoming committee which
her husband had joined. She always loved to watch the expressions on the
visitors' faces when the party began their welcome song; she always drank in
the overwhelming joy that shown on each face as the lilting melodies wafted
across the landing bay. She watched as one ship lowered its exit ramp. Down
it came one lone figure, a huge humanoid whose head was covered by a wide,
hemispherical helmet which gave the appearance of the humanoid having no neck
whatsoever. Halfway down the ramp the humanoid raised his massive arm.
Down below Arkter also witnessed the giant stride down the ramp. Once
again recognition flickered in his mind. Where have I seen this creature
before? he heard himself think. At the raising of his arm two events
occurred. The first was recognition at last. The second was the levelling of
each ship's weapons at the small crowd of Yelvinda.
"Run! They will shoot us down. They are the invaders of old," Arkter
shouted. At that the Sontaran dropped his arm, signalling each ship to fire
upon the welcome party.
Meranda could almost hear her husband's death screams. In shock for only
a matter of moments, she lunged at the "Alert" control, unused for so many
years. As the other Yelvinda reacted to the alert signals, the other five
ships lowered their ramps. From the two Sontaran ships came several dozen
warriors, hand guns firing at the panicking tourists who were still in the
bay. From two other ships came other obviously hostile beings. These also had
the two arms and two legs, but they were smaller than their allies. These
humanoids were covered in silver-like metal and plastic, their chest units
rasping as they worked. From the final two ships rolled squat "salt shaker"
machines, eye-stalks sweeping the carnage they and their compatriots were
The alert spread over the entire planet of Eden, but it reached out even
farther, to a planet protected by an ancient force field. This was Gallifrey,
home planet of the Time Lords. The signal was received by a young Time Lord
serving the branch of Time Lord activity known as the Celestial Intervention
Agency. Decoding the incoming data, he summoned the high official of the
Agency, who appeared almost immediately by his side.
"Mares 6, giving a distress signal?" the commanding official asked. "Give
me the details."
The young communications officer finished decoding the message and showed
it to his senior. Each time he looked at his Colonel, he would marvel at the
grace shown to the Colonel during his past two regenerations. He hoped his
first one would go equally as well. "What do you make of the descriptions,
Although he wasn't surprised his subordinate didn't recognize the
tell-tale characteristics, he was too familiar with the descriptions of the
Sontarans, the Cybermen, and the Daleks. He has studied his late wife's former
companion too well to miss them. "Put all available personnel on alert. I
must see the President."
Colonel Andred found President Trinian taking a tour of the Time Lord Hall
of History. Quickly walking past statues of Omega and Rassilon, he entered the
special exibit room which housed, among other items, a long colorful scarf, a
SIDRAT confiscated from the War Lords, and a mock-up of a sonic screwdriver.
"President Trinian, an urgent message from Mares 6. They're in trouble,
"What?" The President was quickly broken from his reverie by the
statement. He himself had been involved in observing the last recorded
Sontaran invasion of Mares 6, as well as invasions by the Cybermen and Daleks.
The news of the current team of invaders disturbed him all the more. They both
hurried themselves out of the exibit and the Hall, moving toward the chambers
of the High Council. "Which of your squad would be best suited to lend a hand,
"None of my people have the experience against those three. You know that
there has only been one Time Lord who has bested each of those three races."
"Yes," President Trinian quietly responded, "but we don't dare call on him
again. When he came to Gallifrey for the last time ..."
"I know, sir," Andred interrupted, "but the situation warrants drastic
measures. The report says that, despite the reputation of the Yelvind people,
even they cannot overcome the menace. We've got to contact him."
President Trinian stopped, thought for a moment, then turned toward
Andred. "You know he won't want to get involved."
"I suspect this will change his mind," Andred replied, waving the report.
"Remember, I met him once. I think I remember enough about him to be able to
convince him to come with me ... especially if I travel to him in a ... certain
Reluctant, but seeing no other choice, Trinian nods his agreement. "Ever
since his retirement, he's been spending his time on ..."
"I know, sir. You can count on me," Andred shouted as he raced down the
hallway. There was much preparation to be made, and undoubtedly so little time
in which to do it. As he passed the communications post, the young officer
harked his commanding officer to him. "Another communication, sir ... the
invasion forces have completely taken over Mares 6. The Yelvinda were
Andred gave the young Time Lord a pat on the shoulder and resumed his trot
down the hall.
Next month: Chapter II
Story (c) 1986 Joe Sewell
Doctor Who and related material (c) 1986 BBC
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to email@example.com.