By Micheal Dwyer

In the far reaches of deep space there floated a spaceship called the Red Herring. The Red Herring was a long, sophisticated kind of ship with interstellar hyperdrive, but it was hardly used, mostly because it had broken down some time ago.

In a certain corridor of this ship, a tall blue box appeared...

...and faded, then appeared again, this time stable...

In the TARDIS the Doctor worked frantically to put the fire out. At last he succeeded, and set the fire extinguisher at rest and put it down. He then began to survey the damage.

‘How many times,’ he turned to look at his companion, who was slumped against the wall of the control room. ‘How many times do I have to tell you not to make your nitro-nine in the control room?’ His face was filled with hatred, for his beloved TARDIS had been damaged.

‘I-I-I... couldn't find the lab...’ Ace stammered. She cowered before him. Ever since his regeneration the Doctor had become very bitter and aggravated. Luck of the draw, she thought at first, but now?

He looked all right, she even thought the Doctor looked very handsome! But now the Doctor wasn't good natured, his personality had completely changed, from good... to evil...

The Doctor was wearing his old clothes, for the regeneration had occurred less than an hour ago. He towered over her.

‘Get up,’ he said. Ace slowly stood up.

‘What are you going to do?’ Ace's fear for this ‘new’ Doctor showed as clear as day, as though written all over her face.

‘I'm sick of you. You're being dismissed. I'm putting you outside and then I'm leaving you.’ The Doctor's voice was cold and harsh, but calm. He turned and left the control room. Ace just stood there, stunned.

In a few minutes the Doctor returned, carrying Ace's belongings. He gave them to her and pointed to the now open doors of the TARDIS.

‘You can't just chuck me out like this,’ she pleaded.

‘Just watch me.’ All calm-like he stepped over to her and dragged her towards the opening. Ace struggled, but knew it was useless against the Doctor's now powerful body, so she pleaded some more.

‘What if the air's not breathable? You ever think of that?’ She was nearly at the door.

‘The TARDIS has landed on board a ship, deep in space. You'll be quite safe,’ he replied (ever so calmly) and pushed her out, closing the doors behind her.

Outside, Ace watched the TARDIS fade. Then, and only then, did a tear roll down her cheek. She cursed him, but she loved him.

This item appeared in Timestreams 4 (April 1992).

Index nodes: Fiction