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he Doctor stared at the small read-out screen on the console until the numbers and letters seemed to break down into their component points of green. His mind whirled with lightening thoughts. The quandary seemed endless, but as a walker in eternity he had enough time to consider the implications to the full.

Fate had provided him with the pretext that he had shied away from for so long. He tried to consider the chances of the TARDIS having picked out this planet from the billions of others in the cosmos, and it struck him rather like a single grain of sand in a huge, deep beach. Such thoughts as that hurt his mind.

He cancelled the screen display with an impatient stab of the cancel control, and he began to probe the memory banks of the TARDIS. He had never before been sufficiently interested to observe the causes of something that he knew far too well. He saw entropy of the strangest kind: a number of relatively small developments multiplying through the centuries to the final, evil conclusion.

He looked up at Tegan walked into the console room, her beauty providing a breath of fresh air. 'Turlough wanted to know whether we've landed anywhere interesting.' she said lightly, trying to peer over the Doctor's shoulder.

'It depends what you mean by "interesting"...' The Doctor cleared the screen, and turned to face her, his smile very hesitant. 'If you mean "interesting" referring to knowledge, this planet has that in abundance. But a very dark form of knowledge...'

'What do you mean?'
'I am going to perform a task here that will change the future. I doubt I will succeed, but I feel I must attempt to change this planet's development, even if only fractionally...If I do succeed, I might provoke a great response from the Time Lords.'

'Where are we then?'

The Doctor shook his head slightly, 'I do not want to say too much...I don't want to make you a partner in crime.

Gallifreyan courts are notoriously vindictive, you know.' Tegan's lips began to form another question, but the Doctor held up his hand. 'Please, no more questions.'

Tegan operated the scanner, but it showed only trees. A bird seemed to peer quizzically at the TARDIS, and then it flew off.

The Doctor moved to open the door. 'I want you and Turlough to stay here.'

'I'm coming with you, Doctor.'

The Doctor's fist crashed into his palm. 'You must stay here. I wouldn't want the-

'We've been through everything else before together,' she said, with steely determination flashing in her eyes.

'But this planet holds no interest to you at all...'

'That doesn't matter.'

The Doctor sighed and placed the Panama hat upon his head. 'Very well,' He smiled at Tegan. 'And I can't say I won't be glad of the company.'

t was a very beautiful planet indeed.

Although the landscape distantly bore the marks of technology, much of it was almost primeval beautiful, with lush green hills, still quite extensively forested. Birds flew through the air and there was a gentle breeze, bringing with it the sweet fragrances of distant meadows.

The city, although it was a huge metal spider at the centre of a web of roads, had a certain metallic beauty about it, composed as it was of as many curves, columns and arches as harsh corners and straight edges. The sun glinted off the silvered metal and plastic, creating occasional walls and areas of pure burnished gold.  
artwork by ANDY LAMBERT
used with permission
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Inferno Fiction is an on-line Doctor Who Fiction Fanzine. First created in the 80's when fanzines in the printed form were the norm, the fanzine has now leapt onto the world wide web and is enjoyed by many across the world!
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