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 7:
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.
CHAPTER 8: It’s the end!
Lisa read the instructions to me whilst I punched away at the controls inputting the data she read. With the coordinates settings complete, the familiar sound from before started as the central column in the centre of the console started to rise and fall. For the first time since I learned of my origins, I started to feel that I belonged to the race that I had only just met due to the mutual lifestyle we shared. The thought of being able to travel anywhere in the universe and any time also started to excite me. There were things in life I interest in knowing about. The journey we were to embark on would take us to something I’ve always wished to see out of interest. It was at this moment I realised the feel of incantation I would feel as I travelled between worlds, visiting many with which I would bring potential and honourable friendship.
11 August 2925 – Earth
Unsure if the TARDIS landed where I had set the coordinates, I operated the scanner to confirm where we were. There was nothing. All we could see was black. The display screen on the console confirmed we had landed on Earth, so that showed some promise we had landed in the right place. However I was puzzled over the scanner not showing us a view of our home world, so we assumed there must have been a fault. Wondering what we would see outside, I opened the doors and made my way outside. As we approached the doors, my heart was pounding. The idea of walking out of the TARDIS onto a world I knew, but in a different time filled me with excitement. I stopped briefly due to the excitement and Lisa asked if I was all right. I confirmed I was ok, but exclaimed about a sudden increase in my pulse rate. It was then I was told something that really did shock me. Lisa said the reason for the unusual pulse rate was due to me having a second heart. This certainly did surprise me because it never showed on any x-rays I had at the Cystic Fibrosis clinic. I felt around my chest to see if Lisa’s claim was true. Upon discovering the second heartbeat, my eyes widened with surprise and puzzlement. The thought of an extra heart without me realising it made me feel more distinct to the people I knew back on Earth. On the other hand I grew up with these people and anything that would happen to me now probably would not surprise them. I continued towards the exterior of the TARDIS and as I stepped out, found we had landed inside a cave.
“Heh, you fool,” I said to Lisa in relief, the echo of my voice going around the cave as it bounced off the walls, “we’re inside a cave.”
Searching for the cave’s entrance, I had a suspicious feeling that we were being watched, or even followed. Taking quick glances to see if anyone was there, all I could see were our shadows being cast by the light coming from the TARDIS. I looked over to Lisa to find she was holding some sort of watch. Asking her what is was, she told me it was some sort of barometer she found in the TARDIS. I looked at the barometer and noticed this one was counting down. I found it hard to tell what the countdown was, so we searched for a way out of the cave to find we were in a desert.
“What does the countdown indicate?” I thought as I read the words besides the descending numbers. “Planet extinction.” I read aloud.
“What?” exclaimed Lisa looking at the gadget.
I quickly realised we were in danger. “What’s the reading of the countdown?” I asked Lisa who quickly looked at the barometer.
“One minute and thirty seconds.” She replied.
“We’d best get out of here and quick!” I said hesitantly grabbing Lisa’s arm and pulling her back to the cave.
Without realising it, I accidentally landed the TARDIS on Earth just minutes before its life ended. What I intended was to watch the Earth’s life end from a safe distance without being a part of it.
Boarding back into the TARDIS, Lisa helped me set the controls to dematerialise to a safer place for us to witness the big event that was about to take place. As we set the controls, I felt an increase in temperature as the atmosphere outside started to burn up. Looking at the barometer, I realised we were just seconds away from being obliterated and a mistake with the controls now would mean doom for the both of us. As I set the final controls, there was a loud explosion, which shook the cave.
“What was that?” asked Lisa almost falling over.
“It’s started!” I exclaimed as I continued to set the coordinates.
“What has started?” she asked as she continued setting the controls.
“If I could put it this way, it’s the beginning of the end.” I said as I had finished setting the coordinates.
“You mean, the world is ending and you decided to land us in the middle of it?” she exclaimed with discontent.
“I didn’t intend for the TARDIS to land us on Earth two minutes before its destruction did I?”
Just then, there was another explosion, which rocked the ship and made us fall to the ground. I got up and turned on the scanner. This time I could see what was outside. The cave had crumbled and the TARDIS was now exposed to the open were we could witness as the Earth started to burn up. Coming to my senses, I hit one more button so the TARDIS would dematerialise. The central column started to rise and fall as the TARDIS made the usual noise. Once more, I looked at the scanner as molten lava came flowing towards the TARDIS. Lisa watched in horror wondering whether we would take-off before the lava would reach us. Just then, the view on the scanner faded to black.
“We’ve had it,” cried Lisa, “we’re going to die!”
She started to wander around the control room in panic. “No we’re not,” I replied. “We’ve still got a chance to escape.”
It was ironic really. Mentioning chances lead me to another thought on what my disorder was like. The chances for carrier parents to have a child born with my disorder was one out of four. Once diagnosis was confirmed, treatment could be carried out straight away. Without which the outcome would depend on the strain. These were my thoughts as I continued to look at the scanner as tiny white dots appeared on the screen.
“Lisa, look.” I said pointing towards the scanner.
Lisa could see an astonishing vista of stars and planets, dominated by a livid, boiling sun – a halo of vapours expanding from its disc. She felt my hand close to her shoulder as I comforted her.
To comfort Lisa during all this, I said as I watched, “Beautiful isn’t it?”
Suddenly the sun erupted into molten fire, a dazzling explosion as its mass expanded beyond reason. In the midst of it all, Lisa saw a tiny blue and green planet world vaporise into space. The astonishing fury filled the entire screen until I switched off the scanner. Instead of grief or rage I expected us to feel, we found ourselves overwhelmed by the beauty of the sight. As the hum of the console room once again filled the room, we came to our senses.
“That was beautiful,” said Lisa wiping tears from her eyes.
I smiled, and then turned to the console. “Yes well. Let us see what we can do about coordinates for getting us back to Gallifrey hmmm?” I said punching in the coordinates for home.
4 May 5730 – Gallifrey
Back on Gallifrey, Borusa noticed that two of his new young Time Lord recruits had disappeared. Looking around the garden, he soon found out by the missing TARDIS where it was that they had gone, and who was responsible for the disappearance. As he turned to walk off, the noise of a TARDIS sounded. He turned again and waited for the youths to depart from the TARDIS, which stood looking like the pillar with flowers on it once more. It landed as though it hadn’t moved.
Coming out of the TARDIS I hoped no one would have noticed we had gone, but when we saw Borusa standing before the TARDIS with his arms folded, I guessed we had been gone for some time.
“And where in the Universe have you two been?” He asked in fury. “Do you realise the danger you could have put yourselves into by trying to navigate such a machine before you even learn how to function it properly?”
“It’s my fault,” I said, “I came across the TARDIS manual and I guess the curiosity of a test flight was too tempting.”
“Yes, well,” he began, “next time you want to witness the destruction of a planet, do not land on the planet you are studying. Now move along and don’t attempt to navigate it again, not until you’ve complete knowledge of what you’re doing.” He instructed watching us go to our dorm with puzzled looks on our faces, wondering how he knew where we went.