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Interlude

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INT. TARDIS - NIGHT

The Doctor checking various things at the TARDIS console, a nervous energy as though waiting impatiently. Facing away from doorway where Yaz quietly walks in with 2 teas and sets one down on the console, then moves to lean against a warm glowing column. The Doctor flipping switches on the console nearby doesn’t appear to notice, or so Yaz thinks. The Doctor loops around the console grabs the drink.

THE DOCTOR

Thanks Yaz! Just what I needed.
Is it “morning”, are Ryan and Graham up too?

YAZ
No, couldn’t sleep. Thought I’d come see how you were doing?

THE DOCTOR
I’m fine, fine. why wouldn’t I be?

Nervously, flicks a dial, The TARDIS lerches. Flicks it back, and checks a scanner reading.

Aren’t you tired.

YAZ
(Thinks about calling the Doctor out, but let’s it go, again.)
Nope, I was on Nights this week use to late hours.
You called to picked us up in the middle of the night.
You won’t even tell us what happened on Galli…

THE DOCTOR interrupts Yaz.

THE DOCTOR
Ah, so you’re the reason the TARDIS landed at midnight, you just got off shift.

YAZ
Well yes, but what does…

THE DOCTOR interrupts Yaz, again.

THE DOCTOR
The TARDIS wants me to talk to you.

YAZ
(To herself almost, slightly annoyed)
I’m trying but you keep interrupting.

The Doctor finishing the tea, settles down against a column.

THE DOCTOR
Have I told you the TARDIS is sentient?
Once the TARDIS’s soul was stolen, put in a body, it was nice, well no it wasn’t, she was dying.
But we got to talk with mouth’s and everything for a little while.
Think flying the TARDIS it's more of a negotiation, She doesn’t always take me where I want to go, but she always takes me where I need to be when I need to be there. And for some reason she thought I needed to be here, right now.

YAZ
Do you know why?

THE DOCTOR
No, maybe, probably, but I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.
Have I told you, in emergencies you can activate a voice interface.
If she likes you, she’ll be nice about it.

TARDIS hums agreeably.

YAZ
Why is it only for emergencies why can’t you talk to the TARDIS all the time?

THE DOCTOR
Believe me ...timelords tried.
It doesn’t work, a 12th dimensional Matrix can’t exist that way.
They don’t think like you do, once she told me she has about 30 desktops of the console room already archived, but I’d only changed it about a dozen times then. But The TARDIS she exists all across space and time and all the will have been’s, might be’s, could have been’s, shouldn’t be’s and nevermore’s happening all at once.

YAZ
Doctor...

THE DOCTOR interrupts Yaz, yet again. YAZ sighs and shakes her head.

THE DOCTOR
Yaz, have I told you my rules?

YAZ
Yea, rule 1 no guns.

THE DOCTOR
Actually, the rules numbers change all the time, I’ve had many different rule ones.
Earlier Days, Rule 1 once was “Don’t wander off.” Sometimes it moves to rule 2: a variation of Stick Close to Me.

YAZ
You don’t really do rule two anymore.
I mean, you send us off on our own on all the time.

THE DOCTOR
Not by yourself, ya go in pairs. Like You and Ryan to Barton’s office.
I trust you to look after yourselves and each other.
Anyway, when I was a grey-haired Scotsman
Rule 1 was : “Use your enemies’ power against them.”
When I was Chinny rule 1 was: “There is always a plan.” However it was more like a plan to have a plan, that turned into a thing.
I still like that one, it’s a good one, not sure if it’s still rule 1 though.
Other times rule 1 was: “the Doctor lies.”
I’ve been trying to not use that one, but..

This time YAZ interrupts THE DOCTOR.

YAZ
Well, I’m glad you're not using that rule anymore it’s not right.

THE DOCTOR
No that Rule 1 It’s not about right or wrong, It’s more complicated than that, Yaz. It can be about kindness… and about fore knowledge, that can be cruel and dangerous. If you’re not careful you can create fixed points, things that can’t be changed, sometimes those things can be bad.

YAZ
How can lies be about kindness?

THE DOCTOR
Have I told you but my wife?

YAZ gives a look that says you know you haven’t.

THE DOCTOR
You’re right I know I haven’t.
She’s a time traveler too, you may even meet her sometime.
Professor River Song, PhD. 52nd Century, Luna University, Archeology Department.
If you ever need to look.

YAZ
Do you think I will, need to look?

THE DOCTOR
Maybe, I don’t know. We always meet out of order, usually.
The first time I remember meeting her, was the day she died.
Are you telling me that next time I met her when she was younger and it would have been a kindness for me to tell her I saw her die?

YAZ
Yes!! Maybe if you’d have warned her, it could have be prevented.
Like what you told us after Orphan 55.

THE DOCTOR
No, Yaz because she told me about the last time I saw her.
How I cried as the towers sang because I knew where she was going, and she made me promise not to change one line of our story because if I did, if i took her place that day then we would never have met, and she wouldn’t have been who she was / who she became. Also quite possibly it would’ve created a universe ending paradox.
When I first met her I used to hate her word “spoilers”, but then over the centuries “spoilers” became best word ever.

YAZ
(To herself almost)
centuries….
(To the Doctor)
Why spoilers?

THE DOCTOR
Because it was a way to say I’ll see you again and a way to say I know something about the future but I can’t tell you, I’m sorry and I’m not going to make up a lie to you about what that something is, just to give you an answer to your question. Because there’s a chance if you don’t know, you can make changes, if those changes ripple outword and so long as they don’t create waves, somethings don’t have happen the way I remember, they can happen the way You will remember, and time will fix everybody’s memories. Well, if I was the one with the spoiler it wouldn’t fix my memories I would end up with two sets of memories but otherwise most people won’t notice, but I’m a timelord.
It’s sort of like how when younger versions of me meet older versions of me, only the oldest of us remember what happened, but we still remember what our younger selves thought, felt, and believed.

YAZ
You told us you were a Timelord before, but you didn’t really explain..

THE DOCTOR
A bit pretentious I know, but that’s what those that mastered time decided to call themselves. Those in the Outerlands...are… were the Shobogans.
Anyway, as children when we are eight we are taken and tested before the untempered schism, those that...pass, join a Chapter and attend the Academy; Timelord, school, so to speak.

YAZ
At 8? What’s the schim? What’s a Chapter, like a degree program?

THE DOCTOR
Not exactly, Gallifrey is...was.. not like Earth.
There’s one central government and based on a very old caste system.
The Chapters represent the original six ruling families or Houses, and associated sub-Houses. Generally those of us of the Old Houses are expected to stay within our Chapters, unless of course an alliance amongst the other Chapters would’ve been advantageous.

YAZ
What was your house?

THE DOCTOR
Oh, House was once a Noble House perched on the west side of Mount Lung overlooking the Cadonflood River south of the Citadel.

Awkward Pause

You don’t mean....you mean the name, Lungbarrow was one of the senior Prydonian Houses. It was once a family of wealth and privilege but over the centuries it stagnated and only produced petty servants and clerks.
Could you imagine me a clerk for one of the High Council.
Uhhh. nope couldn’t be that still for lives on end.
Although once I was a lecturer for 70 years...
Oh, need to go back, clear out my office, St Luke's University in Bristol. There’s a photo of my wife, River and my granddaughter, Susan, along with some old sonic screwdrivers, on my desk. Could come in handy.

YAZ
And how could they be handy, you haven’t shown us how the sonic screwdriver works, the display’s just those circles.

THE DOCTOR
Well mostly they are a bit point-and-click, the newer models have extra settings, but mainly you need to concentrate on what you want it to do.
None of them have a setting for wood though, still haven’t gotten around to it.

THE DOCTOR stands up in the stretches.

THE DOCTOR
Enough of the past, back to lies being about kindness. Say I jumped forward in your timeline, picked you all up one midnight just after our last trip and then you all were asking me questions wanting answers to things that haven’t happened yet for me; I try to change the subject but you still end up telling me things I don’t know. It’s going to force my hand to do those very things you spoke about.
If I try to do something to change the things you told me, It’s not gonna end well.
I can already see the timelines solidifying around me.
My course for Gallifrey and Master is set.
Would you want to know that, or would it be kinder for you to not know that?

YAZ
*Gasps* Doctor, no

THE DOCTOR
Yes, I’m sorry, to burden you so.
Do you want Ryan and Graham to know?
Do you want to remember?

YAZ
You say that like remembering is optional…

THE DOCTOR
It is.