Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Genesis of a Time Lord - Chapter 6: Travelling to Gallifrey

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 5:

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.

CHAPTER 6: Travelling to Gallifrey

Watching the cylinder in the centre of the console rise and fall, and then noticing the noise it was making; I asked, “What’s the console doing? And what is that noise?”

“What?” asked the Doctor listening, “oh that?” He said as he remembered the first time he heard it in his own TARDIS. “The TARDIS is travelling to the destination I helped you set. You will get used to it....in time.” He said and gave me a reassuring grin.

Whilst I watched the lights on the console flicker and the cylinder in the centre rise and fall, I drifted off into a daydream. I thought about how my life had been before it opened up into an unexpected twist of events. I imagined my life as it started back in August 1979 when I was first diagnosed with this awful disorder that was to rule my life. I had believed it to be the UK’s most common life-threatening disease, which affected more than 7500 babies, children and young adults. The effect of which included poor weight gain, troublesome coughs, repeated chest infections, salty sweat and abnormal stools.

Waking out of my day dream I wondered what the rest of the TARDIS was like, and went over to a door I noticed before. I went through to find a corridor leading off into the distance. The walls were patterned like the ones in the control room. As I walked down the corridor, I came to another door and opened it. Inside were racks of clothing. I decided to change out of my christening suit into something more comfortable. Upon looking at the different styles of clothing, I realised the further into the room I went, the styles of clothing went further back in time. I saw what I thought were clothes dating back to the Vikings right through to sixties and beyond to future times. I was amazed at how styles had changed over the years. It was like looking at my disorder really...until the 1930s, the life expectancy of a baby born with my disorder was only a few months. As the years passed by, the life expectancy improved for those who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis due to the improved treatments available to help combat infection and improve quality of life.

Gazing at the choice of clothing I settled to wearing a pair of jeans with a plain white t-shirt and a black shirt to go over the top. Looking into the distance as I got changed, I noticed the room was so deep, I could not see the other side. As I left the cloak room, I walked to another door and opened it to find a swimming pool, some deck chairs and a cocktail bar in the corner. Shutting the door, I went back to the main control room and looked at the scanner to see if the Doctor was still there.

“It’s big isn’t?” he said smiling. Then noticing my clothes he said, “Changed into something more comfortable I see.”

Not hearing what he said, I exclaimed, “I don’t believe it. There’s even a swimming pool in this place.”

Laughing at my reaction he said, “If you went even further down the corridor, you would’ve come across a garden.”

“What?” I asked surprised, “By heck how big is this TARDIS?”

“How big is big?” he asked.

“There must have an end to it surely?” I asked.

“Well if you put it that way, no,” he said. “If an object had no beginning, no middle and no end, then that would conclude that it would go on through infinity. Just like space.”

Not being able to take it all in, I sat back down on the chair.

Looking up at the Doctor, I asked, “How does this TARDIS work?” Just as I finished my sentence, the console went silent. “What’s happening?” I thought. “Has the TARDIS run out of fuel?”

Noticing the concerned look on my face, the Doctor reassured me that I had arrived on Gallifrey.

“That did not take long,” I exclaimed somewhat relieved.

“You’ll soon learn that journeys in a time and space machine don’t take long to complete.” He said.

4 May 5730 – Gallifrey

I went over to the console to operate the scanner. Listening to the vibrating sound from before, the scanner flickered from the Doctor’s image, to that of a garden outside with a group of men wearing a red jacket with white stripes going down along the button, a white cloak that was hanging down from their neck, reaching to the floor, red trousers with white stripes going down the side, red gloves and black boots which reached right up to their knees. On their heads they wore what looked like a red moped helmet with a white stripe going from the forehead right to the back to the neck. I guessed these were some sort of authority, like Time Lord Police. They gathered around the TARDIS waiting for me to go outside. I checked the chameleon circuits had blended the TARDIS with its surrounding, and then I reached over to the controls and opened the doors. Wandering what was yet to come; I made my way to the doors, and then stepped outside.

As I walked away from the TARDIS, I looked back wondering what it had transformed into. Instead of the Volkswagen Beetle from before, I saw a pillar with flowers growing from it. I continued my way towards the company of the uniformed men standing before me. The clothing they wore was magnificent. The group of Time Lords opened up forming an aisle. Down the aisle walked a man dressed in a red and gold robe reaching down just below his knees, showing the bottom part of his black trousers and black shoes he wore underneath. His hair was combed back. The way he looked was as though he had just come from an important business meeting.

“Hello,” He said. “I am the Head of Gallifreyan Education and would like to welcome you to Gallifrey’s Academy.”

Offering his hand to greet me, I took hold and shook it. “Hello,” I replied nervously. “It is nice to be here at this magnificent place. If I had known about the formal dressing,” I continued, “I would have changed into something more suitable.”

“Don’t worry about that,” he replied. “You can change after I have shown you to your room.” He turned and asked me to follow.

As I followed the Head down the centre of the aisle made by the Time Lords, I looked at the magnificent view of the garden. There were all sorts of different flowers I had never seen before. Some were metallic looking and stood up straight taking in the sun light. A strange looking insect with characteristics of a bee flew into one of them, crawled around inside the flower, and then flew away to another one. On closer inspection I saw it was some sort of robotic creature maintaining them. We approached a couple of large wooden doors; the type you would see at a medieval castle, with silver rings in the centre to open them to a citadel. Doormen stood to attention on either side of the doors. Catching a glimpse of us approaching, they prepared themselves ready to open the doors. As we got closer, they pulled hard on the rings and the doors swung open. Expecting a hint of a creek from the hinges, the doors opened as silent as a ghost. On the other side of the doors lay an entrance hall of which a fountain stood in the centre. Red and white tiles were laid out on the floor like a chess board and the walls were a plain white colour with plaques hung upon them. As we walked across the hall, I looked at 3 statues in archways we were passing. I managed to see plaques displaying who the statues were of – Rassilon, Omega and…I couldn’t read the third.

I started thinking about what the Doctor told me in the TARDIS. How the Time Lords crash landed on Earth and how it was a few hundred years before they ran out of nutrition supplies. How old the Time Lords must have looked, living on the Earth for all that time. I asked, “Did the humans not notice something peculiar when the crash victims were living to over 100 years old?”

“What do you mean?” asked the Head.

“Living on Earth for over two or three hundred years must have put them in the Guinness Book of Records.” I replied.

The Head explained that when a Time Lord reached the end of its generation; they regenerate into a new body. He explained that they could do this twelve times, having thirteen lives altogether.

“Do you mean that when I come to the end of my life,” I began, “I will physically change form?”

“Yes,” he replied, “and feel younger every time.” Looking at the expression on my face, he could see there were other questions I wanted to ask. “If there is anything else you would like to ask,” He began, “feel free and don’t hesitate. You are new to this after all.”

“There’s just one more question.” I said.

“And what is that?” he asked.

“I didn’t quite catch your name.” I replied.

The Head gave a small laugh and said, “Of course, I do apologise. My name is Borusa.”