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Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor was unsurprised to see the controls moving of their own accord. He was being summoned, perhaps for the last time.
When the TARDIS landed he opened the doors and stepped out, finding himself, as he had expected, before Rassilon's tomb. He looked first at the frieze, and was pleased to see Borusa's space still blank. Perhaps he had at last earned the peace he had scorned in the days of his madness.
The Doctor felt rather than saw the brooding presence of Rassilon.
'Well, Doctor, you are whole again.'
'With your help, Lord Rassilon.' he said, softly. 'I rather think you have guided me every step of the way.'
'As you once said yourself, Doctor, a man is the sum of his memories, and a Time Lord even more so. You needed your other selves, just as they needed you. For a time I needed you - to make one or two small improvements in the patterns of history.'
The Doctor bowed his head. 'I am honoured to serve you.'
Rassilon laughed. "The game is over now, Doctor.'
'Is the game ever over, Lord Rassilon?'
'For you a new game is beginning, Doctor. One you must play alone.'
The Doctor contemplated the infinity of choices before him. 'Where shall I begin?'
'Surely you have unfinished business on the planet Earth?'
Memories came flooding back.
'That poor girl - I abandoned her, deserted her when she needed me!'
The laughter of Rassilon rolled around the vault like thunder.
'No, you didn't Doctor. Not yet!'
Suddenly he was back in the TARDlS and the TARDIS was inflight.
The Doctor was standing with his hands resting on the console, memories
of his other selves flooding through his mind.
He had all their memories, his memories now.
He had a lot to live up to.
The TARDIS landed and the Doctor prepared to open the door. Something soft struck against his foot. He bent down and picked up a plastic shopping bag.
***
Sam turned away from the police box just as the Doctor, still clutching the plastic bag, staggered into the yard.
'There he is,' she whispered.
Ignoring them, the Doctor made his way to the door of the police box and leaned against it for a moment.
Somehow the action seemed to give him strength. He fished a key from his pocket and opened the door.
'Doctor?' said Sam. 'Are you all right?'
He turned and stared at her, the blue eyes wide and unseeing. There was a livid bruise across one side of his forehead.
'You've been hurt,' said Sam. 'What happened?'
'Sorry,' said the Doctor. 'Must get away...wrong time... wrong place...'
'Oi, you!' screamed a voice from the gate.
Baz stood in the doorway, with Pete, Little Mikey and Mo behind him.
'Where d'you think you're going with my gear, Doc?'
Ignoring him, the Doctor turned to Sam.
'Goodbye.'
He stepped inside the police box, closing the door behind him. Baz rushed forward and hammered on the door. There was a strange wheezing, groaning sound and suddenly he was hammering on nothingness.
Slowly Baz turned round, stunned, as they all were, by the impossibility of what he'd just seen. But he still had a good grasp of his priorities.
'I'm a dead man without that gear,' he said conversationally.
He slipped a hand inside his jacket and took something out. There was a click, and the long thin blade of a flick-knife sprang from his fist.
'Hey!' shouted Trev in alarm.
Baz was too far gone even to notice. 'I brought this with me - for the Doctor!'
'Well, he's gone now,' said Sam.
'You've missed your chance.'
'Ah, but you're still here,' said Baz.
'And you started all this, didn't you Sam?'
The blade of the knife gleamed as he advanced towards her.
***
The wheezing, groaning sound came again, and suddenly, impossibly, the police box was back. The Doctor stepped out, the plastic bag in his hand.
There was a wail of police-car sirens from the street. Ignoring the sound,
Baz whirled round and ran towards the Doctor and the plastic bag, the knife in his hand pointing skywards.
As Baz reached him, the Doctor raised the plastic bag and swung it down, skewering it on the point of Baz's knife, just as policemen started running into the yard.
'Excellent!' cried the Doctor, and went back into the TARDIS. Sam suddenly sprinted across the yard, leaping through the closing doors as the police box faded away.
***
There was a good deal of confusion in the statements of the police officers who arrested Baz and his mob. Some said there had been a police box in the yard, some said there hadn't. Some actually said there had been a police box and then it had just vanished, but that was ridiculous.
The girl had certainly disappeared but the police theory was that she was simply scared. She'd turn up again when things calmed down a bit and Baz was safely locked up, no matter what those two teachers thought.
The one thing everyone remembered was Baz standing with a bag of drugs held up high on the point of his flick-knife with little white rocks and powder in his hair.
One of the policemen said he looked just like the Statue of Liberty.
***
Samantha Jones shot into the TARDIS, skidded across the floor and cannoned into the Doctor, who was just setting the controls. They both ended up on the ground, and by the time the Doctor was on his feet, the
TARDIS was in flight.
He helped Sam up, and she looked around the control room. 'Ah!'.
'Look, I expect you're feeling a bit confused and frightened,' said the Doctor. 'Don't worry. Everything's all right. You're quite safe. Let me try and explain -'
Sam cut him off. 'Don't bother. This is the control room of a space ship, right?"
'It's a control room,' said the Doctor loftily. 'You should see my new control room, now that's really something.'
'But this is a space ship?'
'The TARDIS travels through time and space,' said the Doctor. 'And it's dimensionally transcendental. That means it's -'
'Bigger on the inside than the outside,' said Sam impatiently. 'I can see that for myself. What did you say it was called?'
'The TARDIS - the initial letters of Time And Relative Dimension In Space.
The name was coined by my granddaughter, Susan.'
Sam gave him a look. 'Sure it was. And you're an alien?'
'I'm a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey,' said the Doctor, quite eager now to shock. 'It's in the constellation of Kasterborus, 29,000 light years from Earth. And as for my being an alien - well, to me you're an alien. Actually I'm quite used to humans, I lived on Earth for a while.'
Sam studied him thoughtfully.
'Well, as aliens go you're an improvement on the little green guys with pointy heads.'
'You're very kind.'
'Am I being abducted?'
'Certainly not.' No one asked you in here. You forced your way in. If anyone's being abducted, it's me.'
Sam continued her own train of thought.
'If I'm being abducted, okay, it's an experience. But no funny stuff.'
'I beg your pardon? I said the Doctor, outraged.
'No medical examination, no experiments. Nothing weird.'
The Doctor was losing patience.
'The weirdest thing around here, young woman, is you. I'd better get you home.'
Sam shook her head. 'Nope.'
'What do you mean, "nope"? Don't you want to go home?'
'I want a trip first. Somewhere. Anywhere in the universe.'
'This isn't a tour bus -'
Sam pointed to the centre column of the control console. It was rising and falling steadily.
'I take it that means we're moving?'
'It does.'
'Where to?'
'Since you jogged me when I was setting the coordinates - I've no idea.'
'Never mind. Are we heading for another place, another time?'
'We are.'
'Okay, take me there - wherever.
Show me you're telling the truth. For all I know this is all done with mirrors and we're still sitting in the junkyard.'
'What about your parents, friends, Coal Hill School, all that?'
Sam thought for a moment. 'You say this thing travels in time?'
"That's right"
'Well, you can take me back ten minutes after we left. Or even before we left so it never happened.'
'Well, possibly... Though that might be a bit tricky.'
'You do know how to work this thing?'
'Of course I do! Well, usually...'
'OK then, just one trip. Deal?'
'Deal,' said the Doctor resignedly. He looked at her in mild amusement.
'You're taking it all very calmly.'
'Why not? I've seen the movies and the shows on telly. Aliens and UFOs are everywhere these days.'
The Doctor shook his head. 'I've had a lot of human companions over the years but never one like you.'
'Thanks for the compliment!'
'I'm not sure it was one. I think they must be breeding a new kind of human female.'
'What's your name?' asked Sam.
'You can call me the Doctor.'
'That's not a name it's a title. What's the rest of it?
'Smith. Doctor John Smith.'
Sam laughed. 'I don't believe it.'
'What's so funny? It's a perfectly good name.'
'Of course it is! It's just that, well - you're Smith and I'm Jones. Samantha Jones.'
She held out her hand and they shook hands.
'Fancy that,' said Sam. 'Smith and Jones. It's a sign.'
'A sign of what?'
'That we were just made for each other.'
'I very much doubt it.'
As she followed the Doctor out of the old console room and towards the new one, Sam put on her best Bogart accent.
'Doc, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!'

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