Return to Gallifrey, Chapter 16

Disclaimer: This chapter is ripe with inaccuracies. I see that as part of the fun of writing a fiction, but if this is likely to upset you, cease reading now and come back next week. Thank you.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Martha, a little uncertainly, “I could never hate you.”

The Doctor smiled grimly. “Don’t be so sure. Now, years ago…well, that’s what it seems like. You know me; I can’t really keep track, now, can I? Anyway, I used to have a job up at the Citadel.” He gestured towards the marvelous structure that was the focus of their journey. Now, I’m still bound–morally, if nothing else–by Gallifreyan law not to go into too much detail. I believe you’ll find out for yourself, anyway, if this journey goes as I think it will. Oh, I was so young…” he grinned, “a mere 350 years! Can you imagine? Newly regenerated and full of vigor. In fact, a newly-named Time Lord!”

His face turned dark. “But one day, I noticed something coming up on the radar. Now, I was poking around where I didn’t belong, as…” he paused, looking a tad sheepish, “as I sometimes tend to do, I’m afraid. But what I saw was what appeared to be an attack from Skaro upon Gallifrey.”

He looked away from his friend, wondering if he should continue or not. Deciding he’d come this far and might was well finish the job, he spoke in carefully measured tones so as not to seem angry or upset. “As it turns out, it wasn’t an attack. It was a test of Skaro’s equipment, as needs to be done from time to time, even here and on Earth. But I tipped off Archimedes, and–”

Martha interrupted. “Archimedes?” she said in disbelief. The Doctor nodded. “Your inventor back on Earth? Took his name from a passing Time Lord, you know. Would you believe it? His real name was Frank. But nevermind that,” he said, turning solemn once more. “I tipped off Archimedes–our Archimedes, obviously–and he called for open fire. I hadn’t meant for that to happen, Martha. Really I didn’t! An investigation, maybe, that’s all I’d really had in mind.”

They sat in one of the loudest silences Martha could ever remember. “So…” she said, her voice thick with a mixture of anticipation and worry.

To her surprise, the Doctor’s eyes were bloodshot. His voice cracked when he answered. “I started the Time War.”


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