First Doctor Who Story Ever Told;Doctor Who;Jo Grant;Katy Manning;Third Doctor;Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart;Jon Pertwee;Jeri Massi
The First Doctor Who
Story Ever Told
The large structure that dominated the ancient estate still retained the outward architecture favored by Gallifreyen tastes of the previous era. Overall, the impression that it gave was of a big, old rambling house: austere and cultured, but familiar and even reassuring to Gallifreyen citizenry.
But inside, any indications of domestic warmth had been carefully removed. Gleaming, undecorated walls were laid out with perfect and unadorned symmetry. The upper chambers housed the students, the middle floors were for the doctors and masters, and the main rooms below were reserved for instruction. One small room in the very back of the structure had been reserved for discipline. In this room, the Master of Tertiary Level Instruction was conducting his interview with the student designated only as Forty-two.
Forty-Two wore the grey pull-over tunic with sleeves down to the wrist to indicate his standing as a Tertiary level student. Underneath, visible only at the throat, was the white, collarless silk shirt that gave evidence of scholastic superiority, even among his academically elevated peers.
"I want their pickles and their wines and such," the Master repeated to the tall, lanky boy who stood before him. Forty-two bowed his head. "Do you even know what it means?"
"It is an expression of desire for contraband items, Master," he replied, head down.
"Where did you find this expression?"
The boy did not answer.
"Tell me what pickles and wines are. Do you know?"
Again, the student did not answer, but the Master of Tertiary Level Instruction judged from the bowed head that the boy did not know. Well, that was something to be relieved about. The corruption was only in his mind. He stood up and came around the desk.
"Where did you find the expression?" he repeated.
Forty two did not answer.
The Master of the Students paced in front of him. "Creatures of appetite; creatures of appetite!" he exclaimed. He turned and glared at the boy. "Look at me, you miserable failed experiment!"
Eyes stinging under such a personal attack, the boy looked up at him.
"Yes, failed experiment!" the Master thundered. "We programmed everything carefully, but something was wrong somewhere. A flawed gene: a protease that over ran its design limits and made a change. You must have been bad right from the mouth of the tube!"
In spite of his resolve to be dignified, a single tear forced itself from one eye.
"Yes, you hate that, don't you," the Master observed. "That you were engineered, not born. Ugh!" he shuddered. "All the world is at your feet. All the universe! All knowledge! And what do I find! Pickles and wine! Pickles and wine!" he shouted. He stabbed a finger into the boy's face. "Where did you find that expression!" he roared. But the boy, though his face had gone pale, still did not answer.
The Master stood right over him. "That's what you want, Forty-two, you miserable failed experiment! It's not just pickles and wine! No, not just pickles and wine! It's some mother's arms, some father's craft you want. Voices and dinners at the table. and the low, crude jokes of the people. Tell me this, you anomaly: what is a kiss? Do you know?"
"Yes," he quavered.
"Keep your feet right where they are. Put your hands on that desk!" the Master ordered. The boy obeyed. He had to lean forward to comply. In spite of his discomfort, he looked questioningly up at the Master. Just then, the another of the instructors entered through the doorless doorway. He stopped at sight of the student who was awkwardly leaning forward with his hands on the desk.
"Stay where you are!" the Master of the Students ordered the boy, who would have stood up again. The second person walked further into the room so that Forty-two could see him.
"Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences," the Master said. "This is your prize student from the Tertiary Level. He refuses the correction that will realign him to his design."
The Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences was less stern than the Master. "Forty-two," he said gravely. "Your design was for the good of both you and the people of Gallifrey. Your skills in Math and logic show great promise. For the good of the universe, comply with the Master's instructions."
"I cannot, Doctor," the boy said respectfully. "I gave my word."
"He longs to be Gallifreyen," the Master said with contempt. He went behind the desk and drew out a flexible rod. "And he shall learn what it means to be Gallifreyen. Stand there, Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences, and be a witness to this. For the student had better learn now the shame that comes along with being a creature of appetite." He held up the rod. "Shame, student Forty-two, is another facet of being a born Gallifreyen. And you will learn it today, for I intend to teach it to you."
Even the Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences went pale, but he did not interfere.
"Keep your hands on that desk until I give you leave to stand up straight," the Master said. He swung the rod briskly into the backside of Forty-two.
The sudden, sharp pain created an even sharper, more unbearable emotion that the boy had never felt.
"No!" he shouted, and would have stood.
"On the desk!" the Master ordered, and the boy instantly put his hands back in place. The Master struck again in the same place, and the boy yelled again and stood, but the next crack of the rod against him reminded him to put his hands back on the desk. The Master continued in grim silence, until tears--which Forty-two had only experienced one at a time up until then--came out his eyes in small streams and he sobbed out loud.
"This!" the Master exclaimed as he swung and struck again. "Is shame, Student Forty-two! The Gallifreyens and all creatures of appetite and passion eat it and drink it with their pickles and their wines! Shame and regret and misery and bitterness of heart!"
He finally stopped. The boy trembled as he wept, the long thin fingers now dug into the edge of the desk, the long arms bracing him up lest he fall.
"Yes," the Master said as he returned to his place on the other side of the desk. "The knees tremble, don't they, Forty-Two? Shame is a terrible thing. Stand up straight."
The boy instantly obeyed.
"Look at me if you can."
The student did, though the tears ran unchecked down his face. If he had glanced at the Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences, he would have seen evident compassion on the instructor's face.
"Who showed you that expression?" the Master asked again. "How did you find out aboutu pickles and wine?"
"I may not tell you, Master," he said faintly. "I would never subject another student to the Shame. Now that it is my fate, I will bear it."
The Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences stepped forward, distressed. "Shame passes, Forty-Two," he said quickly. "It does not--"
"Doctor, if you please," the Master said sharply, and the young student realized in an instant another new emotion that he had never felt. One glance at the Doctor showed him the sudden, evident respect for him newly born in his favorite teacher. But it was all too new for the student. The consolation of the instructor's words was new. The words and the evident sympathy strengthened him. The student looked at his Master.
"Return to your studies," the Master said sharply. "This matter is not yet closed."
Forty-two walked out, his legs still quivering.
The Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences spoke. "Master, you are eminent in your insight into adolescent development," he began, racing through the necessary preamble. "But are you mad? Do you know what suffering does?"
"It would have conquered him, except for your intervention," the Master retorted. "We could have stamped out this alarming fad towards individualism in a moment."
"You mean for a moment," the Doctor corrected. "Yes, he might have given in under the impression that shame is permanent. But suffering in the long run will only strengthen him. You have made him more individualistic than ever. Before he is ready for it."
"You interfered out of sheer pity. You have no experience in dealing with these students--"
"And you beat him out of sheer anger! What did you and the other masters think would happen when you programmed a generation to be more intelligent than ourselves?" he asked.
"Only a sample was programmed. A small sample," the Master said. "And Forty-two is the only radical behavior that has resulted."
The Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences shook his head. "How complacent you are!" he exclaimed. "The others are simply too smart to be caught, Master. They--or at least some of them--are already more adept at the system than we ourselves are. It is by sheer bad luck on Forty-Two's part that you found the pickles and wine expression. But you know he did not find that expression on his own. We can safely conclude that he has a partner. And that means that at least two of the sample batch are conducting their own studies." He turned and glared at the Master. "If you make him suffer, whoever is joining him will experience only solidarity with him. You may provoke a full scale revolt."
Forty-two's legs obstinately refused to stop quivering after the thrashing. He had experienced hard knocks before; The previous year he had undertaken the study of Venusian martial skills and was considered quite adept. But this was the first time he had been made helpless and then struck; humiliated by the blows. Physical pain and emotional pain had joined somehow--each feeding the other. Even while he staggered unevenly up the hall, his mind trying to steady his legs, some part of him continually analyzed what had happened and why it had affected him so. But it was too new to his experience, too overwhelming. Eighteen would know.
A long arm shot out of another doorless room, got him around the neck, and dragged him out of the gleaming corridor and into an empty classroom.
"Eighteen!" Forty-two gasped, relieved. "I was going to the fourth floor to meet you!"
His fellow student was slightly shorter than Forty-two, but carried himself with a tad more presence and less openess. But at sight of his friend's paleness, Eighteen's dark eyes became anxious and concerned. "They'll be watching to see who you go to find," Eighteen told him. "What's happened? You look so strange, like the day you dissected the lobe worm."
"The Master did something new," Forty-two told him. "In front of the Doctor of Non-Linear."
"New? What?" Eighteen asked.
"I can't say it all, yet, Eighteen. He taught me shame."
"What is shame?"
"I thought you would know from the books."
Eighteen shook his head. "We can find out, though. If you think it's safe to go up." But he hesitated and scanned his friend's face, worried. "Did he make you--"
Forty two shook his head. "I didn't tell. I didn't tell. If he finds out about you, he'll teach you shame, too. I won't let it happen to you." He had been nearly ready to cry again, but a sudden reslove hardened his voice and face. "I won't let him find out. Nobody will teach you that, if I can help it."
To his surprise, he saw that same look of respect that he had seen in the face of the Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences now pass across Eighteen's face. "Come on, then," Eighteen said. "I've found a new way up there. They won't catch us."
He led Forty-two back through the classroom and into one of the labs. "See that?" he asked. "The Fifth Level have started on dimensionally transcendent travel." He pointed to a large, very sloppy conglomeration of machinery and electronic circuits. "They stand on this small platform here and transport just across the room." And he showed Forty-two the receiving platform in the far corner of the lab. "What do you think?"
Forty-two stepped up on the platform and then walked over to the complex and unwieldy machine. The youthful, innnocent expression on his face gave way to a look far more analytical and thoughtful than one would find in a human boy. "Bit sloppy, isn't it?" Forty-two asked. "But at least it's easy to read the circuit logic with it all hanging out like that."
"We're only Third Level, but we could build a better one now if we had the complete plans," Eighteen agreed. "But I rewired it. I boosted the signal broadcast. We can go where we want in the building. Come on. I'll show you."
He led Forty-two to the platform. "We're going to transmit ourselves?" Forty two asked, both horrified and delighted. He knew that Eighteen could do anything that a Fifth Level could do, but the raw confidence of attempting it delighted him, even as the raw contempt for senior students horrified him. Eighteen grinned. They stepped onto the platform together, and Eighteen pulled a transmitter from the pocket of his tunic.
"This will activate the one-off switching," he said, and pressed the button.
Forty-two laughed out loud as they saw the cluttered lab turn into the crawlspace over the cubicles of the students. The walls in the crawl space were made of the same gleaming material as down below, and so their hideout was not dark.
"You did it!" Forty-two exclaimed, heedless of the danger that if Eighteen had been mistaken in the least, both their body parts would have been spread out all over the walls of the school.
"Shhh," Eighteen whispered. "The Masters are still around down below. Probably looking for you to see where you'll go."
Forty-two nodded, and led the way along the rafters to a small platform where they had stored a treasure of stacked books of antique vintage--most of them mere fragments with the bindings broken. Eighteen eagerly dug out the one completely intact volume: Treasure Island. It was an aged and excellent volume, with four-color illustrations by Andrew Wyeth that depicted the the glories of the Hispaniola and all aboard her. Both boys settled down, and Eighteen read their favorite passage out loud:
`Oh, I know'd Dick was square,' returned the voice of the coxswain, Israel Hands. `He's no fool, is Dick.' And he turned his quid and spat. `But, look here,' he went on, here's what I want to know, Barbecue: how long are we a-going to stand off and on like a blessed bumboat? I've had a' most enough o Cap'n Smollett; he's hazed me long enough, by thunder! I want to go into that cabin, I do. I want their pickles and wines, and that.'
`Israel,' said Silver, `your head aint much account, nor ever was. But you're able to hear, I reckon; leastways, your ears is big enough. Now, here's what I say: you'll berth forward, and you'll live hard, and you'll speak soft, and you'll keep sober, till I give the word; and you may lay to that, my son.'
`Well, I don't say no, do I?' growled the coxswain. `What I say is, when? That's what I say.'
`When! by the powers!' cried Silver. `Well, now, if you want to know, I'll tell you when. The last moment I can manage; and that's when. Here's a first-rate seaman, Cap'n Smollett, sails the blessed ship for us. Here's this squire and doctor with a map and such - I don't know where it is, do I? No more do you, says you. Well, then, I mean this squire and doctor shall find the stuff, and help us to get it aboard, by the powers. Then we'll see. If was sure of you all, sons of double Dutchmen, I'd have Cap'n Smollett navigate us half-way back again before we struck.'
"A quid is something pirates carry in their mouths," Eighteen at last concluded. "But they never swallow it."
"I thought it was a unit of money," Forty-two ventured.
"Well they fight and kill for money and treasure, so maybe they like to suck on it, too," Eighteen said.
"Would you suck a quid if they told you to?" Forty-two asked.
"Yes. How about you?"
Forty-two suddenly looked up, startled. "I think the shame is going away," he suddenly ventured. "The Doctor of Non-Linear Engineering Sciences said it would. And it is."
Eighteen leaned with his back against the wall and looked at his friend. Where he was dark of eye and hair, Forty-two was fair and blue eyed. Both boys were lanky and slim, but Forty-two was the taller of them.
"Tell me what shame is," Eighteen said. And Forty-two told him about the thrashing. When he had finished, Eighteen exclaimed, "Curse him for a yellow-livered land lubber!" He had no idea what the words meant, but he knew that they were insulting and vile to somebody.
He also had no idea of how to comfort his friend, so he promised, "I'll be Master here someday, Forty-two. And I'll let the students read and tell stories, and we'll have quids for breakfast every day if we like."
Forty-two burst out with a laugh and then covered his mouth with his hand, mindful of the need to be quiet. "You're going to be the Master of the students?' he asked. "That dried out old stick? You can do better than that!"
"I shall be the Master and I will thank you to address me as such," Eighteen intoned, mimicking the feared head of their school. Forty-two laughed again.
"Then if you must be the Master, I shall be the first student," Forty-two said.
"Don't be stupid. You shall be the Doctor of-- let's see, Doctor of--"
"Piracy!" Forty-two exclaimed. "No wait. I'll be the Doctor of all things. Or, just Doctor for short!"
* * * *
Forty-two's notes about pickles and wine had been the cause of the latest furor over his radical development. Neither he nor Eighteen could ever be sure of what led to their next interview with the Master of the Students.
The call to visit the Master's office came the next day after the evening meal. As the two boys walked down the corridor, Forty-two could feel the quivering starting in his legs, even before the thrashing had begun.
"Shame works backwards through time," he whispered. "I can feel it already--"
Don't be so post hoc," Eighteen told him. "That's plain ordinary fear. It doesn't follow that you'll get another thrashing."
"Fear has never been like this."
"Only because you have never felt it to any great degree before. Listen." And he stopped and looked at Forty-two. Forty-two stopped as well. "It's all in those books," Eighteen said. "There's a way to get a thrashing and still resist the shame and the fear and all the rest."
"Believing in what you did offsets the shame."
Forty-two looked helpless. "I don't know what that means."
Eighteen considered briefly. "Then let me take the lead with the Master," he said.
"Take the lead?"
"I'll talk more than you," Eighteen told him. And I'll get the Master to do whatever he's going to do to me, first. And then you do what I do. Follow my example."
They walked down the corridor and entered the Master's office. The Master sat behind the desk. One of the younger doctors stood against the wall, ill at ease. Forty two saw that the rod lay across the desk top, and his knees went weak, but he stayed as resolute as he could. Eighteen smiled at the rod and looked at the Master.
"Do you find something amusing, student Eighteen?" the Master asked coldly.
"I do, sir," Eighteen told him.
"And what is that?"
"That you should try to conquer me with a stick," he replied. "you ought to have picked a more substantial weapon."
The Master leaped to his feet. "Put your hands on the edge of the desk!" he ordered.
"With a good will, my Master." And Eighteen did so. The Master came around the desk and took up the rod.
"Did your accomplice here tell you what shame is?" he demanded.
"He did, sir," Eighteen said coolly. "And then I took away his shame. It is a momentary thing; beneath the notice of those who shall one day rule Gallifrey."
"Please, sir," Forty-two interjected. "Don't hit him. It's been my fault all along."
Eighteen, who was bent over awkwardly with his hands on the desk, turned coolly to his friend. "Don't plead for me, Doctor," he said. "And don't indict yourself. I don't mind this lesson."
The Master of the students froze and then turned, and the instructor on the other side of the room turned startled eyes onto Eighteen.
"What did you call him?" the Master asked with dreadful slowness.
"I called him Doctor," Eighteen said. "For I know that already he understands more of the Equations than this excuse for an instructor here." And he tossed a careless nod at the young doctor, who stood speechless.
The crack of the rod of his backside was loud and sharp. Forty-two took in a sobbing breath and then steadied himself as Eighteen neither cried out nor reacted except for a slight quiver down his legs from the pain. The Master struck three more times, and Eighteen never bothered to wince. Both boys, of course, had learned to control pain from their Venusian martial skills classes. Typical of him, Eighteen had been the only one to realize its benefits and apply it outside of the classroom. He sighed and looked at the ceiling.
"You truly are a Master," Forty-two said softly, and without being told he leaned forward and put his hands on the desk.
"Look! We have founded the first school of hard knocks here on Gallifrey," Eighteen told him, and grinned.
Abruptly, the thrashing stopped.
"Stand up!" the Master snapped. Both of them straightened. The Master jabbed a finger at Forty-two but spoke to Eighteen. "Tell me his name."
"He is the Doctor," Eighteen told him.
"The Doctor of what?"
"Does it matter?" Eighteen asked. "He is more adept than any of the Doctors here. As am I."
"Call in the Doctor of Philosophies," the Master of students ordered, and the young instructor hurried out.
"There has not been an expulsion in hundreds of years," the Master of students told him. "But there is one today. You are expelled."
"That is good news indeed!" Eighteen snapped, and turned to go. "Come Doctor, we shall make our own way."
"Stop!" the Master ordered. Eighteen turned to look at him. "Do you think I'm such a fool as to let an uncontrolled meteor loose upon Gallifrey?" he asked. "You are expelled from the school, but you may never be expelled from being among the time lords. You shall be taken by transport beam to the other side of the planet, and then by land you shall go to a remote observation post in the mountains. There you shall serve the observers who chart the progress of the galaxies as they wheel through the universe. And surely even you know how slowly the galaxies move, Eighteen. It is time consuming, tedious work. But I shall be sure to let them know to treat you as a master."
Forty-two and he exchanged glances.
"Spare Forty-two," Eighteen said suddenly.
"No!" Forty-two exclaimed.
"Silence!" the Master thundered. "You twp trouble makers shall be separated forever," he told them. "And from this moment. I shall see to Eighteen myself." He pressed a button on the panel and punched up a code.
"No!" Eighteen exclaimed. Forty-two echoed him, but before they cry was even out of his mouth, Eighteen was gone, transmitted across the planet to a distant receiving station. "Eighteen!" Forty-two cried.
Just then the Doctor of Philosophies entered. He was a gentle looking Doctor, bearded, and an onlooker would have seen a slight similarity between him and the two students.
"Ah!" he exclaimed as he saw Forty-two. "Our best--"
"Doctor of Philosophies!" the Master of Students exclaimed.
The Doctor of Philosophies looked at him enquiringly. "This student," and the Master gestured at Forty-two. "Has reveled in forbidden pleasures--"
"Oh, dear me," the Doctor of Philosophies said. "Which ones?"
"Frivolous knowledge, stories and legends, tales from other, lesser worlds that he esteems superior to us and our ways--"
"Oh, those pleasures--" the Doctor began, relieved.
The Master slammed the rod onto the desk, and the Doctor broke off. "Show him his errors," he ordered grimly. "Take him away from here. Deprive him of the scholarship he has been accustomed to. Give him a new scholarship in the school of sorrows."
The Doctor's face fell, as though unhappy with this assignment. The Master looked at Forty-two. "Eighteen has been banished to the remotest reaches of this planet," he said. "But perhaps we can save you, Forty-two. You shall learn indeed of pirates and soldiers--all that the stories never told you: death and disease and starvation: all the suffering that humans bring upon themselves with their pickles and their wines and their greed and prejudice and everything else." He looked at the Doctor of philosophies. "Take him to Terra and show him one of the European wars. Let him talk to the people and let him watch them die at each other's hands. Do not bring him back until he has learned that our ways are the superior ways, and until he has acknowledged the same." The Doctor bowed his head in silent assent.
"Come, poor student," the Doctor of Philosophies said gravely. He gripped Forty-two's shoulder with a surprising strength and led him quickly away.