The gallifrey five, p.1
The Gallifrey Five
Copyright 20/08/13 by Raymond Daley
The ship waited silently in space.
Others would come. They always did. An empty ship was an irresistible lure to all lifeforms it seemed. Each had boarded for different reasons but all of them were eventually put to the same uses.
The only two needs the ship had since The Accident.
Parts and power.
The last ones had only been any good for power. There had been nothing else to salvage from them apart from their memories which the ship always did as an incidental extra. More data was always useful.
The boarders had recognised the ships markings and had boarded her in the hope of either taking control or finding navigation data about the ships home world. They had discharged their weapons which caused superficial damage, nothing that could not eventually regenerate over time.
Time was something the ship had a lot of. Its ONLY surplus.
There had been ten of them and they had attempted to search the entire ship. At just over two miles long and a mile wide with five hundred levels, this had been no small undertaking. But it had also been their eventual undoing.
Like all other lifeforms, these creatures needed energy to sustain life. Their violent attacks with energy weapons had depleted their reserves and like all previous boarders before them they too had died.
The ship absorbed their remaining residual energy. Their cases were left useless, the genetic material within was deemed unfit for use as spare parts for the ship and left to decay. After scanning and storing their memories the ship was aware of their home planet but had never heard of these creatures who called themselves Daleks.
But for now the ship sat empty and waiting again.
Sending out a single distress call once per year to conserve power.
Just a few more boarders and she would be back at full power once more. The Gallifrey Five would return home to her people soon enough.
How she missed them.
The distress call continued as before, broadcast in all directions.
It was weak but would continue to travel many light years before eventually fading away, mixing in with signals given off by rogue quasars. It would attract the attention of any type of detecting device. The device which detected it next was not expecting that particular kind of signal.
In the control room, an alarm was sounding.
As far as The Doctor was concerned, an alarm was almost always sounding inside the TARDIS from one place or another. It was merely another by-product of piloting a stolen ship.
“Alarms, Doctor!” Clara shouted, doing her best to make herself heard over the noise. It was getting to the edge of physically painful, subsonic. Almost at the point of starting to vibrate internal organs.
The Doctor moved around the console, franticly trying to locate the source of this particular alarm. He too was feeling the effects, more than aware Clara would be suffering worse than him.
“Yes, still trying to find it!” he shouted back at her.
Despite being less than a foot apart it was becoming increasingly difficult to carry on a conversation. At the rate the alarm was increasing, it'd soon be increasingly more difficult to carry on being alive.
Clara shouted something, by this point she was inaudible. The Doctor shrugged and turned away from the console for a few seconds, she was pointing at his jacket and waving her other hand about wildly.
But of course!
The Doctor reached inside his pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver, fumbling between settings until the alarm eventually faded away completely. “Good thinking! Anti-sonic to counteract the effect.”
“Actually, I was thinking it could be used to trace the alarm but that worked too. Thank you for stopping it though, it was getting quite painful.” replied Clara.
The Doctor started fiddling with the sonic screwdriver again, until it finally started making a noise he seemed to approve of. “Oh, over there? Really? Okay then.” He seemed surprised at whatever it was telling him.
The Doctor walked around the console, finally noticing the flashing yellow light. “Oh.” he said.
“Oh good, oh bad or something else?” asked Clara.
“Not sure. I don't think any TARDIS pilot has ever seen this light go on before. Ever.” said The Doctor. He moved left a few panels. “If I can tie this in, it should take us to it.”
“To what?” asked Clara.
“Distress beacon. And no, before you say it, not any ordinary distress beacon. This one is giving off a signal in very old Gallifreyan. Even before my time.” As The Doctor adjusted a few more controls he suddenly paused and stepped back from the console. “Oh.” he said.
“Again? Now what?” asked Clara.
“I'm not sure how to tell you this, but the TARDIS is operating itself. As soon as I tied the signal in she started taking over. We're heading for where ever that signal is coming from. Or when ever.” The Doctor replied.
“Oh.” said Clara. It was kind of infectious. “Another TARDIS?”
“Oddly enough, no. They give off a very different signal altogether.” The Doctor replied.
Where ever the TARDIS was going, it was moving more quickly and directly than it had ever done before, The Doctor was able to tell that much from the various instruments on the console. Eventually the Time Rotor slowed and came to a complete stop.
“We've landed.” The Doctor said, more to himself than actually speaking to Clara.
“Come on then, Allons-y!” said Clara, standing impatiently by the door.
The Doctor turned from the console and gave her a particularly hard look. “No! Don't do that. That used to be my line. Another life ago.”
The sensors on The Gallifrey Five detected the ship. It hadn't detected its approach which it knew was fairly unusual, the fact that the ship hadn't docked at any of the docking ports or even landed in the landing bay was also pretty unusual. It appeared on initial inspection to be a small craft, the markings were Terran but its technology was vaguely familiar.
The door opened and it detected two lifeforms.
One Terran, confirming the ships markings. The other.....
No. It couldn't be possible. Not so far away from home.
The Gallifrey Five checked its instruments again, the read-outs were clear. A Gallifreyan!
“Welcome travellers to The Gallifrey Five. I detect one of you is from my home-world, are you here to tow me home?” The voice came from everywhere at once.
“Erm, no. We got your distress call, my TARDIS brought us here. How can we help you? Whoever you are?” said The Doctor.
“I am The Gallifrey Five, my crew died many centuries ago. I've been drifting on minimal power, broadcasting the distress beacon to attract parts and power. I was almost at full power and about to return back to Gallifrey.” said the ship.
“We can help with more power, no problem there.” said The Doctor, beckoning to Clara. “We can't let this ship go back.” he whispered to her.
“Why not?” asked Clara quietly.
“Because there's no back to go to. Gallifrey is gone, destroyed. I saw it happen myself, I was there.” The Doctor whispered.
“Oh.” whispered Clara.
“Oh, indeed.” replied The Doctor.
Rigging cables to transfer power was a laborious business but eventually full power was achieved aboard The Gallifrey Five.
“Have you seen many other Gallifreyans in your travels?” The Doctor asked.
“No, just you. I've never seen a vessel like yours before either. Is is new?” asked the ship.
“The TARDIS? Heavens no, she's an antique. A genu
“May I ask, is there something about me or my journey home that you aren't telling me? I know I'm lost, I haven't been able to map my position accurately for a very long time now. Will I not have enough power to make back in one try?” asked the ship.
“You are a very smart ship, you know.” This was more an observation than a statement from The Doctor, trying to avoid answering the question.
“Hand programmed by Rasillon himself, designed to cope in any situation. It's why I've been able to survive so long after the death of my crew.” The ship was almost boasting.
“I'd never heard of you before, were you launched a long time ago?” asked The Doctor.
“Ah, yes. Well, kind of. We were a bit secret back then, testing several Type One time travel craft. I assume your ship is a more advanced model?” the ship asked.
“Type Forty, with chameleon circuit. That's broken though, as you can see. It's been stuck like this quite a long time.” The Doctor said.
“A fairly common problem in the initial circuit tests from what I was told. Have you tried reversing the polarity of the neutron flow?” asked the ship.
The Doctor raised his eyebrows. “Actually, I'd never thought to try that. Would it work?”
“It has before. What's the worst that could happen? You'll still be stuck like that?” asked the ship.
The Doctor contemplated the repair, not difficult to attempt or do, failure would leave him exactly where he was now. Something to ponder on further, he felt. “Perhaps later, when we've got you on your way. Do you have any other orders, other than to return home?” asked The Doctor.
“No, not really. I didn't even have those orders. I just thought it'd be a good idea to go back, I thought perhaps they might have wondered where we'd got to by now. I might be old but I can still get up a good speed, perhaps not as fast as your vessel but I'll make it back one way or another.” said the ship.
'No orders, eh?' The Doctor thought to himself. “Would you accept new orders?” asked The Doctor.
“From you? Yes, of course. I need some updated navigation charts though.” replied the ship.
This was something The Doctor could do easily enough, providing short range charts for the local systems at least. He dared not to think about giving the ship charts for anywhere actually near to Gallifrey in celestial or astronomical terms. Charts like that would have to be edited, modified, to keep secret the destruction of Gallifrey from this ship.
Who knows how it would react to such knowledge?
The Gallifrey Five was pleased to received new data in such an easy way, extracting it from living or almost living creatures had always felt so difficult, so uncomfortable. “These are good charts Doctor, thank-you for letting me have them. What are your new orders then?” asked the ship.
“Just a simple set of instructions, you'll see I've plotted a grid that I want you to patrol and continue to broadcast your distress call. I want you to try and find any other Gallifreyan ships in that sector.” said The Doctor.
He began to walk back to the TARDIS when the ship said something he didn't quite catch the first time. “What was that?” he asked, from the TARDIS door.
“They're all gone, aren't they? It's just us left?” asked the ship.
The Doctor closed the TARDIS door and dematerialised. He stood at the console as it finally left The Gallifrey Five and said quietly to himself “Perhaps not. We can only hope.”
Authors notes:- This is another in my series of Doctor Who fanfic stories (this one being about Matt Smiths Doctor) written specially for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. The story originally ended at the line “How she missed them” but I had the inkling of an idea for a different ending which you've just read.
That took the best part of 3 days to work out and I hope it wasn't too bad.
I'm not a big Matt Smith fan, which is why I had him be a bit of a dick to Clara. I wanted to do something a little funny and used the “Allons-y” line from David Tennant. Ditto with the old line from John Pertwee.
Legal bits:- The Doctor, Clara, Gallifrey, Rasillon, chameleon circuit, sonic screwdriver and TARDIS are all copyright of the BBC. Daleks are copyright Terry Nation. This story is fan fiction written under creative commons terms. I am merely a fan, seeking to write something to entertain other fans.
The Gallifrey Five by Ray Daley / Science Fiction have rating 2.3 out of 5 / Based on30 votes