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 Doctor and Master both swung their arms up and around their captor's grip and pushed against each elbow. He fell forward between them.
"See to Miss Libby!" the Doctor exclaimed, and he shifted quickly to imprison the human man's wrist and elbow in a joint lock. Albert came down to one knee, held immobile. "Let me go at once!" he exclaimed.
The Master ran to their mentor. "Don't be afraid, Miss Libby!" he said quickly. "We won't hurt him, but he's not taking us away from you!" He put his arms around her and felt himself seized just as possessively by her, and held close. In an instant he understood her sense of injury at Albert's words and the deep feelings that lay beneath the facade of being a plain book shop owner.
"Please don't hurt him, Doctor," Miss Libby pleaded, while Rose stood still, shocked to see this turnabout of events.
"You must promise not to lay hands on us again," the Doctor said. "And you mustn't use that tone of voice with her."
"I'm sorry," Albert gasped. The Doctor released him, and Albert stood up, ruefully rubbing his arm. He glared at both boys with a sort of disbelieving resentment.
"Can't you see they aren't normal?" he asked his sister-in-law. "Where have they come from?"
"Of course we're not normal," the Master snapped. "If by normal you mean we rely on insults and force to get things done."
"Just ask them who they are," Miss Libby said. "They don't tell lies. They're good boys."
"We're not exactly good boys," the Master said quickly. He looked at Albert. "We angered our teachers at school because we were too smart for them. I was being sent away, and so we decided to team up and run away together. That's how we came here."
"But we never hurt ordinary people," the Doctor said. "If you want us to help you with radar, just ask us. We'll be glad to stop this Hitler fellow if we can. We don't like him any more than you do."
"Why, you don't really know who he is, do you?" Albert asked.
"We know he kills the people who live in London," the Doctor returned. "Do we need to know more before we decide to fight him?"
Rose spoke up. "Albert," she said gently. "They are clearly attached to Libby. There are better ways to handle this."
The human man sighed and relented. "All right. I'm sorry Libby. I'm sorry I shouted at you. Young men, I do apologize. There are spies every where in the city. Radar is our last hope against Germany. We are very protective of our secrets."
The Doctor nodded at the wall. "You can copy it all down if you like," he said. "And we can always design more advanced mechanisms for generating and receiving signals. We'll be happy to help you."
Albert nodded and then paused. The Doctor moved over to Miss Libby and was glad when she pulled him.
"The thing is," Albert said. "If we come to you for your calculations--I mean, if word were leaked out that new designs were coming from a bookshop on an ordinary street in London--"
"No, you mustn't take them away," Libby said.
"I'm not talking about imprisonment, Lib, but safety."
"No!" she exclaimed. "Who would suspect a little bookshop of harboring military secrets?"
Rose spoke up again. "What do the boys say?" she asked. "Boys, you may endanger yourselves and my sister if you stay here while helping the Allied cause."
"There are men who would murder you, children that you are, if they thought you posed a threat to Germany," Albert added.
"Spies," the Master exclaimed, more thrilled than frightened. "We read about spies."
"Albert, surely you can offer protection," Miss Libby said. "I can't stand to have them turned over to the military. It would be too hard on them."
"Clearly, I must do as the boys wish," he said, a little sourly.
"What does Miss Libby say?" the Doctor asked. He looked up at her. "Are you afraid to have us stay?"
"You must stay," she said. "You're happy here, and so am I. You'll do your best work with a comfortable and safe environment." She looked at Albert, her eyes showing some of the hurt from his remarks about her being a spinster. "They're happy with me."
Albert nodded. "All right then, Libby. Have it your way. Draw the shades will you? I want to copy this material from the wall. And then you must wash it off."
* * * *
The initial confrontation caused an unpleasant after taste in everybody's mouth. So after Albert had copied down the calculations on the wall and helped wash them off, he and Rose left.
By then it was nearly evening. Miss Libby closed the shop early. She was startled to realize how deeply shaken her boarders were by the high emotions they had witnessed. They were anxious to please her by making the tea, but she had them sit at the table, and she put the kettle on and busied her hands mixing flour, salt, and shortening. She poured their tea for them and then put a flat griddle on to heat.
"Is this bread?" the Doctor asked.
"Crumpets," she said. "You'll like them. You may have jam, if there's any left."
"Miss Libby," the Master said suddenly.
"What's that, dear?"
"Do we love you?"
"Well now, there's all sorts of love," she began. But then she said simply, "Yes, of course you do."
"Which sort is it?" the Doctor asked. He went to the narrow pantry and looked for the jam.
She slid a fork under each small cake on the griddle and quickly transferred them to a plate. "The best sort. The sort that makes you feel right at home, and as if you belonged there forever, even if you're hiding in the underground together."
"Yes, that's what it is," the Master said after a moment's thought. "Does it only happen in war? I mean, among people who aren't really related to each other?"
"People value it most in war, I expect," she said.
They sat down together. The Master poured her tea for her. She looked at them, and without thinking she touched their faces. "You're both such beautiful boys," she said. "And so kind and yet as hard as adamant, the both of you. It's like entertaining angels."
She dropped her hands and looked at her tea without taking up the cup. "But what will become of you?" she asked, half to herself.
"We've done all right so far," the Doctor said.
"I mean, because you don't really know what war is, or lying, or greed or desire--or many things that one sees in London all the time. Where ever you two have come from, it wasn't much like this."
The two students glanced at each other, slightly dismayed. The Master spoke. "But we like it here, Miss Libby. We'd rather be here than anywhere else."
"Nobody loves anybody where we come from," the Doctor said. "Or, if they do, they don't think much about it. We're not supposed to have friendships until we're older. We had to get away."
She suddenly took up her cup and became her plain and ordinary self again. "A world without greed or anger or jealousy would certainly be a world without war," she said. "It sounds like a good world to me. But there you are. The grass is always greener as they say. If we're careful here, we should be all right. Provided the Allies defeat Hitler."
* * * *
Aside from visits from Albert twice every week in the evenings, their routine continued. Over the next three weeks the warmth of late summer surrendered entirely to the rains and chill of fall. Miss Libby purchased clothing and pocket handkerchiefs for them.
"I could have had those handkerchiefs monogrammed if you two had respectable names," she told them as the two young students stood ankle deep in pasteboard boxes while she knelt on the hard floor and tunred up the cuffs of their trousers for hemming.
Eighteen held out an unfolded handkerchief by the corners and examined it. "But what do people do with them?" he asked.
"They keep them folded nicely in their breast pockets," she said around the pins in her mouth.
"And then what?" the Doctor asked.
She sighed and finished the Doctor's left cuff. "Don't shift now," she said.
"Then what do they do with them?" he asked again.
"If they need to use them, why there's the handkerchief right at hand," she said. She tugged and pulled for a monent and then said, "There, that's done with you. Slip out of them if you can, as gently as possible."
She turned to the Master and went to work onhis cuffs. The Master took up the questioning. "But what does a human need to use a handkerchief for?" he persisted. "What should we do with them now that we have them?"
She sighed and looked up, then sat back on her heels to rest a moment. She took the pins out of her mouth. "You'll know what to do with them when the time comes," she said at last. "Now ponder that for a bit and let me finish this. Doctor, if you can manage it, that crate of discards can go to the rag man."
Slipping his old trousers on, the Doctor nodded.
"I could go with him," the Master said.
"Nonsense, Watson, I'll see to it." The Doctor stopped and peered through the doorway as though seeing something, then he shouted, "Jane! Donkeys!" He snatched up the crate and raced out the door.
"Oh, he's been reading David Copperfield," Miss Libby said.
Somebody knocked out on the shop door. They were doing their tayloring work in the store room that the boys used. The front door was pushed open.
"Libby?" a familiar voice called.
"Back here, Albert!" she called. "What are you doing here on a Wednesday?"
"Just stopping by on my errands!" he called. "Are the boys with you?"
"Yes, come back here so we can see you. I don't like shouting."
"I'll go to the bakery and collect a few things for tea," he called back. "Shouldn't be long."
She looked up in time to see Eighteen's face brighten at this prospect. Both of the boys loved the items that Albert brought from the bakery shop. She could not afford sweets very often, especially now with everything in such short supply, but Albert had quickly discovered the quickest way to the hearts of his young informants.
"All right then! We'll have tea ready!" she called. They heard a genbtle scrape and then the door closed.
"The Doctor better hurry," Eighteen said.
Forty-two meanwhile, had made his delivery and was hurrying back to the shop, his hands dug into the pockets of his jacket. A haze of grey clouds hung over the city, and smoke from many grates and gas rings coiled down the roofs.
"Twas brillig--" he said experimentally to himself. "Yes, this must be brillig. Right now. Twas brillig, and the slithy toves--" A hard, rock-like projectile smashed into his shoulder and exploded into a foul smelling puddle against him. Just as he yelled and jumped back, another one struck him full in the face. The smell made him gag. He raced his sleeve across his eyes and ducked as two more missiles hit him.
"Eggs!" he yelled. Another rotten egg struck him square in the forehead. Up ahead, he saw a red-headed figure duck into an alley.
"Oy!" he shouted. Furious, he raced off in pursuit. He ducked into the alley after his quarry, got a glimpse of the smaller, tough human as it clambered over a wooden fence, and continued the chase. He scrambled over the rough boards.
"Come back here!" he yelled. "You've ruined my jacket!"
"Fauntleroy!" a voice shouted back.
"I'm gormed! I'm dodder-blasted! Just wait you!" he yelled, and got over the fence.
The chase was a long one, but the end was inevitable. Though the red haired boy knew every inch of the terrain, he could not outrun a time lord in the flower of youth. Nor could he outlast him. In and out of alleys, abandoned and ruined buildings, and empty lots the chase continued. But at last it came to the human quarry being completely winded, unable to keep running.
By this time they were several blocks from the shop. The red haired boy ran into the street and fell as his ankle came into the gutter too hard. The Doctor was on him instantly. The exhilaration of the chase and the sheer funniness of the situation had, by this time, cooled off the student, but he felt he ought to seem angry.
"Here you," he exclaimed, tackling the former egg thrower. "What about this jacket, then?"
He lifted Red by the shoulders, and just then the sky erupted. A single tongue of flame shot skyward, plainly visible over the rooftops. The roar of buckling brick and exploding glass stunned everything else into silence for a moment.
"That's my street!" the Doctor jumped up and ran for the bookshop. "Miss Libby! Eighteen!"
* * * *
"How did we get here?" Miss Libby asked.
"I don't know. I think I carried you," Eighteen gasped. He was dazed, and blood streamed from his left ear and down his face from a gash in his head.
"Here lad, you stay at her head. We'll just wrap this tightly now, Miss," the man from the shop scross the street said. "Try to stop this bleeding." He had a rough woolen blanket, which he quickly wrapped and pulled very tightly around Miss Libby, covering the bloody mess that had been her skirt and legs.
"She has no legs," Eighteen gasped to nobody.
"Hush, lad, hush now," the man said. Other footsteps pounded closer.
"Master," she whispered. "Can you hear me?"
He looked down at her and returned to himself. He bent close to her. "Yes," he said to her. "You're badly hurt. Try to regenerate. Just try."
"Our poor boys go through this--so young," she said. "No friends, no faces nearby. It's all right. Take my hand."
"I have it. Please--I don't know what happened--I don't--"
"Promise me you'll be a good boy, a fine young man," she said.
"I will," he said. A sudden quietness descended over him as he saw the flush of life slowly drain from her face.
"Promise you'll always be so good and kind."
"I promise you, I will," he whispered.
People with blankets were everywhere, the same people they shared quarters with in the underground station. There were hands everywhere, catching his head, examining him to see how badly he had been injured. People were talking all around him, hushed whispers, tense, frightened, excited.
The big blue tunic inserted itself into the crowd and pushed about half of them back.
"Now, now, it's no good closing her off from light and air. Give her a bit of room," the constable said.
The man who had pulled the blanket so tightly looked up and shook his head. "It's no good," he said. "She's gone."
"Eighteen! Eighteen!" Gasping, Forty-two dropped down by her body. "What's happened?" he screamed. "What's happened to her? What happened to the shop?" He threw his head up and took in the smoldering remains of the book shop. He stared at Eighteen.
Eighteen's lower jaw chattered helplessly. For a moment he could not control it enough to speak. "She's dead. They don't regenerate. Even when they're still alive and know they're going to die. They just lie there and die."
The big constable crouched alongside him. "Come on then, lad. You're hurt yourself. There's blood all over your face. Do you know what happened?"
"Good heavens!" Albert's voice made both boys turn their heads, and the crowd cleared so that he could come through. But both boys saw a look--almost of dismay-cross his face as he saw them. In an instant it was gone, and he ran to them. "Libby!" he exclaimed. He dropped the box he had been carrying and dropped by her side, alongside the Doctor.
"She was hemming my trousers," Eighteen said through chattering teeth to the policeman. "She went to put on the water for tea--"
"It was the gas, then," Albert said quickly.
"No. She didn't light the stove. She was looking for the sugarbowl. I heard everything--everything--"
"Yes, the explosion," the constable said.
"And then I was here," he said haltingly. "It took her legs off."
Forty-two broke down into sobs of both horror and grief. "Did Hitler do this?" he asked. Then he bowed all the way to the pavement and cried so hard that he could not speak at all. The shop owner from across the street caught him. He took in a great breath. "Why would Hitler do this?" he screamed.
"It was him, not Hitler." Eighteen said suddenly. In an instant, the shock, the grief, and the effect of his injuries fell away like a garment. He pointed at Albert. "There was a case in the front room. You left that case there! That's what exploded!"
Albert stopped, stunned at this accusation. Forty-two also instantly stopped his tears. He looked back at the destroyed bookshop. The front was collapsed, but the structure in the back was still intact. Whatever had exploded had blasted from the front room.
Sirens were going off as police and fire squads arrived. More of the people were being pushed back, and two men came up, knelt down, and lifted the blanket with a certain hesitant expertise as they examined her.
"She was in the doorway of the kitchen," Eighteen said as new tears streamed down his face, but he kept his eyes riveted to Albert. "If she had been behind the kitchen wall, she might have lived." He turned to the police constable. "He did it! Why do you think it did what it did to her? It was a bomb sitting low on the floor in the front room. That's why it hit her so low and tore her apart."
The constable suddenly straightend and clapped his hand on Albert's shoulder, uncertain about the man's guilt but much swayed by the boy's words.
"I didn't have a case!" Albert exclaimed. "I put my head in the door to tell her I would go get things for tea. I never carry a case. Look, I'm a military agent for the crown."
"You did have a case sir," the shopkeeper from across the street said. "I noticed it when I said good day to you out on the sidewalk there."
More policemen pushed their way forward. "Take this one," the constable said with a nod at Albert. "We'll know more when someone looks at what's left of that poor shop."
"Why would he kill Miss Libby?" Eighteen asked. "Why would he do that to her?"
"Come on then, young gentleman. You come here." The constable and the shopkeeper wrapped fresh blankets around Eighteen. "Someone get these lads some tea, eh?"
"Where will you take Miss Libby?" the Doctor asked. Though he was also trembling and shivering, he helped them guide his friend to the next shop up. They eased Eighteen to the ground so that he could lean against the brickwork. The Doctor sank down next to him. "Where will you take her?" he asked.
"Well now, young sir," the police constable said. He crouched down. "She was a proper woman. She'd want us to clean her up a bit, make her presentable. We have people who can do that--see that she's made to look proper. Can you add to anything that this young gentleman's told me?"
Forty-two nodded. "We were telling him--the man who left the case--about radar," he said.
"You understand radar?" the constable asked.
"Yes, all sorts of signal dynamics. Albert said we were helping the Allies. We were trying to help the Allies stop Hitler. We thought if we improved radar it would stop him."
"You--you lads must be mistaken, or perhaps he were gaming you--" the constable began.
"We do understand radar!" Eighteen shouted.
A sudden, quiet voice spoke behind the constable. "They do understand radar, my good man." The voice held so much quietness, and so much authority that the policeman stood and turned instantly and made room for the newcomer.
"Do you know these boys, sir?" he asked.
"K'An Po!" Forty-two exclaimed. He burst into tears again. Eighteen only looked up at the Doctor of Philosophy. K'An Po leaned forward and rested a hand on Eighteen's head. "You are injured, my boy, but not seriously. I shall see to you directly."
"These are my pupils," he said to the constable. "They are brilliant young men who attend a special school suited to their station and ability. They have been playing truant. I would like to see them back safely as soon as is possible, officer."
"I'm afraid they'll have to be questioned, sir," the human said, but with great respect. "The injured lad here asserts very convincingly that this woman's brother-in-law rigged the explosion."
K'An Po bowed to acquiesce. "I think," he added. "That if your-er-investigators examine the ruin, they will see that there was certainly a bomb in the front of the shop."
"Why?" Forty-two sobbed, putting his head down on his knees. "Why did he hurt her? She was so beautiful."
"Young sir," the police man said quietly, "I'd give a lot to know the answer to that question myself." He glanced at K'An Po. "She were just a shop keep, sir, and good to the lads here. Very mothering."
K'An Po nodded. "Hitler does not fear radar," he said quietly. "Because he does not understand it. But his agents in this country understand it. Not being able to persuade the Nazis to make use of the secrets of radar, a German agent may have thought it best to prevent the Allies from making any use of the same information."
The constable was stunned. "You mean he wanted to kill--these lads?"
Both boys looked up, startled. "Yes," K'An Po said gravely. "Kill them rather than risk their knowledge being spread to people who might make use of it. I'm sure the man is an agent for the Nazis." He changed the subject. "Constable, the boy is hurt. Can you arrange conveyence?"
"Right away, sir!" He trudged away, and K'An Po held out his hands to the boys. "Come, if you have had enough of Earth," he said. "Student Eighteen, I shall see to you in the TARDIS."
On quivering legs, the two students shook away the blankets and stood up. K'An Po rested a hand on a shoulder of each of them, and they walked away. They turned a corner into another street, and there was the TARDIS. It simply looked like another shop, but the boys recognized it at once.
"Please, Doctor," Forty-two said. "Can't Eighteen be spared from being sent away on Gallifrey?"
K'An Po nodded gravely. "The punishment you have devised for yourselves here on Earth is far worse than anything originally intended," he said. "I shall appeal to the Master of Students on both your behalves. Come inside."
"It's bleeding again," Eighteen said faintly. Forty-two slipped an arm around him as they entered the gleaming interior of the TARDIS. "Lean on me. Here" He dug into his breast pocket and pulled out the handkerchief. "She said we would know when to use it," he said. He pressed it to Eighteen's face.
"It will be all right," K'An Po said. "We'll go home now."
* * * *
Jo opened her eyes. The lab was silent but bright with the washed, clear light of a winter morning after a ferocious ice storm has passed.
She sat up.
"Good morning, Jo," the Doctor said from where he sat at the workbench, his jeweler's glass in his eye, a bit of circuitry in his hand. "Did you want to get breakfast for us? Why not fill up a tray and bring it back?"
She stood up and looked around.
"It's Christmas morning," he reminded her.
"The story?" she asked. "Did Miss Libby die?"
He hesitated and then went on as though working on the circuit. "Yes, but it was a long time ago. Never mind. Please don't forget cream for the coffee, and none of that fake powdered stuff, mind you."
She started for the door, stopped, and turned. "I'm so sorry--" she began.
"I'm dreadffully hungry, Jo. There's a good girl."
She went out. When she came back with a tray, she set it down and poured his coffee for him. He set down the jeweler's glass. "Ah, toast! The very thing after too much brandy the night before!" He took an enormous bite from a piece of toast.
She stepped behind him as though she would have found a chair or stool for herself. Very gently, she rested her hands on his shoulders. There was some reason he had told her his story, she thought, some desire to be known and understood. For a moment he chewed on the toast as though she were not there at all, and then he swallowed and was still.
"The funny thing," he said after a moment. "The funny thing is, just after we trounced the Autons, I went to her grave. Seeing him again made me think of her. And do you know what?"
"What?" she asked softly. She came around him so that he could see her.
"Somebody had fenced off the grave and put up a statue, Jo. A very pretty little angel." He glanced at her with a knowing look. "A very lovely little thing that I swear I saw in Michelangelo's shop once. Sitting there in an English churchyard."
"You don't think--" she began. "But he hates humans! All humans!"
The Doctor did not answer.
"What happened to Albert?" she asked.
"The same end that came to all traitors back then," he said briefly. "Rose was exonerated. She'd had no idea of what Albert was really doing. But she never really recovered, from what I understand."
Jo was silent, but she stayed by him. She looked up to see him looking at her with a faint, very faint smile. "Do you know what else?" he asked.
"I have some investigative work to do up in Ostenbury today. Isn't that where your family are?"
"But I'm on shift--"
"Nonsense! I get first claim on you. I can't get by without an assistant. We'll drive up right after breakfast. Your family won't mind an extra place at the table for Christmas dinner, will they?"
"Not at all."
"Well go on, call them then. We'll make it a merry Christmas yet." She nodded, went to the phone and picked it up, and then stopped. "But how did he go bad?" she asked.
The Doctor took a huge drink of coffee, set the cup down, and then poured more for himself. "One story at a time, Jo," he said. "That's for another day."
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