Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Genesis of a Time Lord - Chapter 7: Gallifrey Academy

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 6:

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.”

CHAPTER 7: Gallifrey Academy

At the end of the hall were stairs that appeared to go forever. We made our way up the stairs passing landscape oil paintings of different worlds. As we went higher and higher, I realised I couldn’t really see the top of the stairs. They just disappeared into the distance. Remembering how the Doctor described the size of the TARDIS being infinite, I hoped the same didn’t apply to these stairs! Looking out of the arched windows, Borusa pointed out the panopticon dome that covered and protected the citadel. He also pointed towards a large barn-like building that stood in the centre of the courtyard and said it was the dining hall for the academy. At the entrance if it stood much larger versions of the statues I saw in the entrance hall. He also pointed out the garden of remembrance within the citadel. I saw a large shrine for an uncertain soldier, who wiped his own timeline, which resulted in destroying a war before it started.

We came to a door where Borusa guided me into a chamber and he described some meditating exercise tips that would help to strengthen my mind. He explained that all the information I needed to know about my origins and other important matters like the laws of Gallifrey were in my subconscious waiting to be released into my memory. He said that like a psychic receiving spiritual signals for the first time, I was to expect cold shivers as the mind grew stronger.

He turned to leave the room and as he left, he said, “I suggest you get yourself ready for the evening meal. Your clothes are in the wardrobe.” He walked out of the room closing the door behind him.

As I approached the wardrobe I looked out of the window. The view was magnificent. I could just about see the TARDIS standing patiently. People were walking passed as though they didn’t notice it was there. I suppose they knew it was there and that it was a TARDIS, but being Time Lords themselves, they would not have bothered about the sudden appearance of the object. Looking away from the window, I went to the wardrobe, opened it and saw the uniform I was to wear. It consisted of a black tunic worn over a white shirt, which went with beige trousers and a black leather snake belt with a bronze fastener.

It was a magnificent meal. An assortment of food was laid out on a long table. There were silver plates with utensils lying beside them, waiting patiently to be used. The food on the table was a wonderful sight. There were what looked like grilled cutlets of lamb stuffed with mashed potato, sweet peppers stuffed with what looked like rice, tomatoes and eggs, a shell of a crab stuffed with what looked like prawns and tuna. There were also several glass jugs containing juices of different colours. The smell and taste of these beverages laid out were delicious. The only thing missing from the meal, which was something I had been used to throughout my life, was the fact that I did not have to take tablets. Now that I was on the planet where my kind of people originated, I no longer required the medication I depended on when on Earth, as the supplements that I required were already in the food.

A girl of my age and height, with blue eyes and brown hair that reached just past her shoulders, sat next to me and watched as I reached out for tablets that were not there.

Laughing she said, “You’re new to all this.”

“Yes,” I said, “I only arrived this afternoon.”

“Doesn’t it seem strange you no longer need the supplements supplied by the humans?” she asked.

“I’m not sure yet because this is the first meal I’ve had since I arrived here.” I replied.

“My name is Lisa by the way.” she said offering her hand for friendship.

“I’m James,” I replied shaking her hand.

“How did you find out about being a Time Lord?” she asked.

I told her about the images I received from the Doctor, and then my Mum explaining how Cystic Fibrosis was a government cover up so Time Lords could live peacefully on Earth. Lisa listened with interest, and then told me it was almost the same for her. Except that her Time Lord mother, who also lived on Earth, told her about her true identity. She came to Gallifrey when they started to run short of supplies of the nourishment tablets.

“I remember the Doctor telling me about that. In 1964 the government was brought into the secret of the Time Lords living on Earth. Deciding that they would help, they set up a charity trust to raise money for the equipment required to make more of the supplements.” I said.

Although we appeared to be the same age, I knew that she was older because she had come from an earlier time. I asked what time she came from.

“When I left Earth, it was the evening of November 12, 1963.” She replied.

“That would make you about 55 years old in the time I came from, which means you are 35 years older than me.” I exclaimed.

Her face dropped. “Good grief.” She said, and then started to laugh.

After the meal, Lisa and I went into the garden where the TARDIS was. As we approached the ship, Lisa noticed the new object standing before us.

“This is new,” she said.

“It’s my TARDIS.” I replied.

As we got nearer to the TARDIS, I started to get a tingling feeling in my head followed by cold shivers down my spine. I started to feel dizzy so I quickly sat down. Getting concerned about what was going on, Lisa knelt down beside me asking if I was all right.

“Yes,” I said, “I was warned about these tingling sensations by Borusa.”

“I guess it is the first time you’ve had this experience.” She said. “You will get used to it.”

During the experience I could see the aliens I had encountered before. The names to these and other creatures started to appear in my head. Autons, Sea Devils, Silurians, Sontarans, Zygons, were one by one making themselves familiar with me. When the dizziness faded, I stood up feeling myself once more. When I looked at Lisa expecting her to be concerned about my wellbeing, but she continued as though all was normal. Perhaps she was right; the effects experienced would be something that I would have to get used to. Continuing towards the TARDIS, she started asking questions about what things were like in the time from which I came. When I told her about the evolution of technology that took place since the late 1960s, she could not believe how things had changed so quickly in so little time. Suddenly Lisa started to receive more knowledge from her subconscious resulting with similar effects I experienced. When she recovered, Lisa told me she already had the knowledge of Time Lord enemies, and was starting to receive knowledge about planets. Starting with Earth, she told me that she understood the technologies of my era, and the other eras of past and future. This stage of the process was only the beginning for her.

When we got to the TARDIS I realised I left the key with my clothes back in my room. Even if I had the key, I would have been unsure how I would get in as there was no door. I put my hand on the TARDIS surface to feel the humming vibration once more and watched in amazement as a door from nowhere opened revealing the large control room inside. I found it odd the door opened without the key. Perhaps I didn’t lock it? Even though it was my second visit into the TARDIS, I was still amazed by the functions of it being bigger on the inside than the out. I approached the console and keyed in some commands. The scanner screen appeared on the wall, but instead of the view outside appearing on the screen, the screen went black, and green writing appeared on it. ‘TARDIS Index File’ it read. Lisa pointed to a display screen on the console that also viewed what was on the scanner screen. Placing my hand on the screen, it flickered and a contents list appeared.

“It’s a touch sensitive screen.” I thought to myself as I scrolled down the screen reading the different topic titles.

As I looked through the contents, I had another one of those tingling sensations again. It was not as bad as the last one. Like Lisa I too started to receive information about different planets and their history. When the tingling faded away, I looked at the screen to find that I had come across the TARDIS manual. Intrigued by my findings, I started to look through the manual and learned the different functions of the console. Amazed by my unexpected findings, I had the sudden urge to go on a test flight somewhere. Looking over at Lisa, who was also reading the screen, she looked at me as though she was thinking the same thing. At once we started to read carefully how we could set co-ordinates to take the TARDIS to another point in time and space.