Monday, 6 March 2017

Genesis of a Time Lord - Chapter 5: History of the Time Lords

Written in 1998, Genesis of a Time Lord used the mythology of Doctor Who to educate in a fun way the definition of Cystic Fibrosis.

Join James and find out how he came to know that Cystic Fibrosis is not all it's made to be.

Previously in Chapter 4:

“Ah!” began the man as he looked at my Mum, “I wondered when I would see you again.” He continued, still with a toothy grin. He reminded me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I did start to wonder at one point that if he blew through his teeth, if they would flap and sound like a mouth organ like the Cheshire Cat’s did.

Brushing herself down as she got herself up off the floor, Mum looked in awe at the size of the room and then noticed the screen displaying the man.

“It’s you!” Mum said.

“Mum,” I began. “Who is he?”

“I am many things.” the man said in a booming voice. “To some I am a clown, others a philanthropist, to my enemies a target, my allies I am a hero. However to my dear dear friends, I am known as...”

“The Doctor.” Said Mum cutting in.

CHAPTER 5: History of the Time Lords

I couldn’t believe that more and more my visions were becoming reality. Here I was standing in what was once a car and now a time and space machine staring at a screen that displayed the Doctor, who was staring back. He was as I visualised only he wasn’t wearing his wide- brimmed hat. “Hello.” He said smiling. This time the smile wasn’t the toothy grin that greeted us earlier. His expression had a look of seriousness. “Are you ready?” He asked.

Eh?” I responded.

The Doctor looked at me with a more serious expression. “I guess you’ve come to an age where you’re ready to receive the knowledge and laws of time travel.” He glanced at my parents and Angela. “But first, I will allow you to say goodbye to your family.” He looked back at me and noticed my apprehensive expression. “Don’t look so worried. You’ll see your family again. They won’t know you’ve gone with the advantage you have.”

I looked over at my parents. Dad acknowledged the Doctor and then looked at me. “Don’t worry James, everything is ok. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

I couldn’t believe how calm everyone was. I expected reactions to be totally different. The events that took place in the last two days seemed to have been expected by everyone but me. I started to look back at my life once more. On top of the dreams I had that came true, I enjoyed visiting historic buildings and take interest in them. There were times I was able to walk into a room I hadn’t visited before and feel as though I had been there before. I was even able to know something historic about the room without ever reading up on it. As I became older these feelings of déjà vu became more and more. Until now I never really thought anything of it. I merely accepted that somehow I must have subliminally fed this information somehow. Perhaps through watching television adverts. However now I started to think differently. I started to wonder if all that I experienced over the years up to now were all linked.

I looked at my parents and Angela, who were still stood by the door. “Everything phenomenal that I experienced over the years is starting to make sense. Though what now?” I asked.

Mum looked at me. “I guess now is time to learn.” She said. “We’ll let you go, and I will have tea ready for when you come back.”

It was quite obvious she knew how the TARDIS worked, which I was yet to understand. My parents and Angela turned to leave and I followed.

Outside the TARDIS we all climbed out of the car and Angela went into the house to get Paul. Mum and dad both behaved as though everything was normal, which I found reassuring. Angela came back out with Paul in her arms to wish me good luck as I hugged my family one by one before I climbed once more into the TARDIS.

The Doctor had a patient look on his face as he waited for me to say goodbye to my family before readying myself for what was yet to come. “Are you ready?” He asked calmly.

“Will I see them again?” I asked looking back at the door.

“You’re in a time and space machine.” Replied the Doctor. “To them you will have been away for a mere 5 minutes.”

Realising he made a good point, I felt a little assured. I approached the console and asked, “Right, what now?”

“Before I go into detail about the TARDIS, let me first give you a brief history about how the Time Lords first appeared on Earth.” The Doctor said. “During a war on Gallifrey, small colonies of Time Lord Children were evacuated, along with their mothers, to Earth until the war had ceased.

Unfortunately for them, their TARDIS got caught up in a meteor storm, resulting with the TARDIS going out of control and crash landing on Earth. Luckily Earth was to be their destination. However the damage caused by the crash meant they were stranded and would have to wait for a rescue.

Earth was an ideal hideaway for Time Lords as they could blend in with the humans to make the task of them being found by enemies more difficult. The only problem though, with these Time Lords being stranded, it was only a matter of time before their supplies ran out. Although Earth is pretty much similar to Gallifrey, a Time Lord has to take nourishment tablets and treatment for their lungs to adapt them to the Earth’s atmosphere, which had subtle differences.”

“But,” I said interrupting; “did the humans not notice something odd about the Time Lords when they were taking these treatments?”

“No.” The reply was. “They made sure that this was kept a secret until the humans were able to understand who we were and where we came from.”

He went on to say that he was half human, on his mother’s side, and was brought up on Gallifrey, just like I was on Earth, not really knowing his true past. He said that when he found out he was half-human, even he found it quite a shock, so he decided that he would visit his natural mother, taking his granddaughter Susan with him. He then explained that a few hundred years after the crash, the Time Lords started to run short supply of nourishment tablets, so it was then they had to desperately get help.

“How did they do this whilst maintaining their alien identity?” I asked.

He replied that in 1938, they came up with a hereditary disease appearing in early childhood, marked by overproduction of mucus and fibrous tissue, with consequent breathing and digestive difficulties. This was so humans could help to come up with treatments and funds for the required appliances to create the nourishing tablets, enabling the Time Lords to live on the planet longer.

“When did the humans first find out that they were sharing a planet with aliens, who had the abilities to travel through the barriers of time and space?” I asked.

He said, “When I was living in my TARDIS at London, two teachers forced their way in because they were curious why Susan was seen going into a junkyard. I had no choice but to leave Earth taking the teachers with me.”

“And then they escaped and spread rumours about you being an alien?” I asked interrupting him.

“No,” he said, “when I allowed them to leave, they promised that they would keep their time with me a secret.”

“Did the humans ever find out about the Time Lords?” I asked again.

He said when he was in his second incarnation, he started to help UN.I.T., the Brigadier of the team found out about the Doctor being a Time Lord and learned about the other Time Lords who lived on Earth.

“Then when you told him about the cover up, he agreed to help you?” I asked cutting in.

“Yes. You are starting to think boy. Showing signs of some intelligence,” he said showing sarcasm.

He then went on to say that when the government got involved with what was going on, they decided the general public should not know about the Time Lords, unless they were closely related to them.

I could not believe it. All my life I had been taking these medications to help me survive from what I thought was a genetic disorder. Medications that included nebulisers and inhalers to help keep my lungs clear from infection, vitamins and liquid supplements to keep my nutritional requirements to a suitable level, and enzymes and anti-acids to assist in digesting food and maintaining stomach acids at a reasonable level. Also there were the regular check-ups at a specialist unit to record my progress in health. Now it seems that these people were merely helping in keeping a race that had crash landed on their planet all those years ago.

“What an amazing species humans are.” said the Doctor concluding his tale with this evaluative gesture towards those who helped those like me.

“So what happens now?” I asked.

“I help you to set the co-ordinates for Gallifrey, and then off you go to a place where you can concentrate your thoughts as you learn about your origins.”

“How long will this take?” I asked.

“I am not sure really.” Replied the Doctor. “It depends on how strong you are.”

I sat down on a chair I just noticed and wondered nervously at what was yet to come.

“Are you ready now?” The Doctor asked in a serious tone.

“Yes,” I said, and then looked over to the doors.

“It’s not easy this is it?” he said noticing that I was nervous.

“No,” I said looking back at him.

“I bet you are feeling exactly the same way as I did when I first entered the TARDIS,” he said trying to make me feel reassured. “All nervous and not sure whether you are going to see the familiar faces of those you love again.”

“Yes,” I said, “will I ever see them again, as they are now?”

“Well being in a time machine, you can travel back as though you did not leave,” he said with a smile.

“Yes, well, how do I operate these controls?” I asked. “The quicker I leave, the quicker I’ll get back.”

Walking to the computer console, the Doctor directed me to a panel with a small monitor on it. He guided me through minor operations, such as how to open the doors, use the scanner and most importantly use the chameleon circuit, which I learned is something that blends the TARDIS to fit its surroundings wherever it lands. After he had done this, he directed me to a keyboard and gave me coordinates to type in so the TARDIS would take me to Gallifrey. Making sure that I had typed the coordinates correctly, he instructed me to shut the doors, and then press a red button next to the door control. As I did this, I felt a little excitement build up inside me as for the first time, I was able to control the TARDIS and venture to a new world never seen before by humans.

Outside the TARDIS, the family stood watching and listening to what sounded like a cross between an anchor chain slipping into the sea and a whale wailing out of it. To their surprise, the car started to fade away, along with the noise. Not believing what they saw, some of them took a step forward thinking the car had become invisible and then realising it had gone...vanished into thin air.