Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

“What IS that?” Jean asked. She stood at the open door of the TARDIS and looked out into what was usually a serene star field when they were in ordinary space. This was anything but serene. Something huge with far too many teeth for one creature was thrashing about, whipping a space ship around with its tail and snapping at it with that mouthful of teeth.

“It’s a Carcharodon Carcharias Galactica, a Great White Galactic Shark,” The Doctor explained. “A particularly cruel carnivore. It likes to play with its food before devouring it. The heightened adrenaline, the fear, adds to the piquancy of the flavour.”

“It’s going to EAT that ship?” Jean was horrified. “And all the people on board? I mean… I presume there ARE people aboard?”

“It’s a Draconian Diplomatic ship,” The Doctor said. “Draconians are definitely people, but not quite the way you think of people. That ship must be on the way to a very important interplanetary conference.”

“Not if it gets eaten by a space shark,” Jean pointed out.

“I’m going to deal with that,” The Doctor answered. “Close the door and grab a handhold.”

Jean was a relative newcomer to the TARDIS, but she had learnt to react fast to those sorts of instructions. She was hanging on tight when the TARDIS headed into the fray. Jean hadn’t realised until they were close up just how HUGE the shark was. The TARDIS was like a fly buzzing around its head.

A fly that was seriously annoying the shark. So much so that it let the Draconian ship go in order to snap at the TARDIS instead. Jean saw the ship’s nacelles glow bright green before it accelerated away.

“You saved the ship. Now let’s avoid being swallowed whole ourselves,” Jean told The Doctor.

“Oh, don’t worry,” The Doctor answered. “We’re going to swallow the shark.”


The Doctor grinned widely and pulled a lever on the console dramatically. Jean heard the familiar de-materialisation sound and the starfield dissolved. Then he pushed the lever again and the TARDIS re-materialised in the same piece of space….

….around the shark, which flopped on the console room floor like a – well, a fish out of water. It measured just over a foot from nose to tail.

“What….” Jean began. The Doctor picked the shark up by its tail and ran towards the corridor. He came back a few minutes later.

“Don’t go into the swimming pool for a bit,” he said. “I’ve left the shark in there. Curious thing about space sharks. They do just as nicely in water and in space. The only thing they don’t like is air. I’ll drop it off later at the Sea Life Centre in Blackpool. I’m sure they won’t mind getting a new shark.”

“A foot long shark?”

“That’s a relative dimension,” The Doctor explained. “I’ll make sure it’s about the normal size for an Earth Carcharodon.”

“I’m still wondering how you made it chip shop fillet sized,” Jean pointed out. “And don’t you dare say relative dimensions, because that doesn’t tell me anything.”

The Doctor grinned again and opened the door onto a quieter bit of space than it had been. The Draconian ship was disappearing into the distance. It looked about the size of a toy from a Kinder egg.

“Put your hand out and cover the ship with the tip of your finger,” The Doctor said. Jean did so. “There you go. That’s how big the Draconian ship is – smaller than the tip of your finger.”

“Yes… but… that’s because it’s thousands of miles away. I used to do that to the moon lying in bed.”

“So the moon is the size of your fingertip?”

“No. The moon is…. Shut up. I know this one. When I was at school, it was on a poster on the wall in my registration room. I’d know it instantly. The moon is 3,476 km in diameter.”

“Or the size of your fingertip.”

Jean gave up.

“But what you’re saying is that you made the TARDIS huge in relation to the shark. That means that we’re… giants.”


“Well, I hope you can get us back to normal size. I don’t want to be the lead role in a remake of Attack of The Fifty Foot Woman.”

“Not a problem,” The Doctor answered. “I’m working on it now. We’ll be back to ‘normal size’ in two tics.”

“Or the size of two tics,” Jean responded. “What IS normal size, anyway? How does anyone really know? I mean, are there worlds out there where normal is five inches high, or where everyone IS fifty foot high?”

“Yes, there ARE,” The Doctor answered. “Size IS relative. I’ve been to places like that. That’s where the TARDIS is really handy. I can set the relative size and fit in perfectly. Of course, having fitted myself to the local dimensions everything looks perfectly normal. If I didn’t, it would be like Gulliver in Lilliput and Brobdingnag.”

“So how do I know that I’m really five foot seven and you’re a gangling six-foot whatever you are and normal is normal?”

“We don’t. Normal is relative.” Jean looked about ready to hit him in frustration. “What you mean, is what is the average size of people in the universe? And the answer is between five foot five and six foot. You and I are AVERAGE for organic beings. This is the size, give or take a foot each way, of most species. The giants and the tiny people are the opposite ends of the scale.”

Jean finally thought she understood. Then The Doctor gave an exasperated howl of frustration and began pushing buttons all over the console – which meant running all around it and back and forwards.

“Oh no!” he moaned. “Oh no, no, no, no, no. Please, old girl, don’t do this to me.”

“Do what?” Jean felt compelled to ask. “What’s going on?”

“I’m having trouble with the relative dimensions,” The Doctor admitted. “I think we’ve gone too far….”

Jean looked at the thing The Doctor called the Time Rotor. The curious green light within what looked like a big blown glass sculpture glowed brighter than usual and the whooshing noise of the materialisation oscillated even more dramatically as The Doctor attempted what he chose to call a ‘judicious landing’.

Jean suspected that was a less worrying word for ‘emergency landing’.

“Where are we?” she asked when the sounds and the time rotor’s up and down movement had stopped. “And why are we still moving?”

“I think we’re in water,” The Doctor replied. “We’re in the current of a stream. Nothing to worry about. The TARDIS is airtight.”

“Ok.” Jean was relieved by his reassurance. Being underwater was not the worst thing that could happen. She reached for the button that switched on the round viewscreen, wondering if she might see some interesting alien fish.

What she saw didn’t look like fish as she knew them. There were hundreds of fleshy things that looked like a half sucked fruit sweet, disc-shaped with an indent in the middle. In amongst them were something like an organic globe with indentations and little spikes here and there. A third lifeform within the stream was a smaller transparent blob that didn’t seem to hold any one shape as it was carried along.

“Very strange fish,” she commented. “But I suppose the universe is full of strange things.”

“Those are not fish,” The Doctor replied in a gloomy tone. “They’re red and white blood cells and platelets. We’re not in an ordinary stream. We’re in the blood stream of an organic entity.”

“WHAT!” Jean couldn’t help letting out a shriek of panic. “But we can’t be. That’s impossible. It’s… it’s…. HOW small must we be to fit into somebody’s BLOOD?”

“I didn’t say somebody. We could be in an animal or… anything. The only thing I’m sure of is that we’re not in MY body. Time Lord red blood cells are not that red. We don’t have haemoglobin in our blood.”

“How could we be inside YOUR body anyway?” Jean demanded. “I mean…. We’re HERE, in the TARDIS. It would be like eating our own heads.” She thought about it a little more and then a horrible thought struck her. “Tell me we’re not in MY body.”

“No,” The Doctor assured her, though she wasn’t especially assured. “The TARDIS is analysing the environment, now. Give her a chance. Ah. Here we are. The blood is Draconian. We’re inside a Draconian.”

“A Draconian? The people in the ship that we saved? How did that happen?”

“The ship was the closest non-vacuum environment. The TARDIS aimed to materialise on it in order to set the relative dimensions correctly. Unfortunately it went too far and materialised inside one of the passengers.”

“A Draconian.”


“Would he KNOW that he’s got a TARDIS in his veins?”

“Not at all. We’re no bigger than his own blood constituents. He wouldn’t be aware of us at all.”

“Well, that’s a relief. Because I don’t know what those people would say if they knew. Draconian… sounds like a rather fierce sort….”

“They are a proud people with a very rigid social structure,” The Doctor answered. “I’ve dealt with them in the past. They’re… difficult to deal with, but….” He shook his head. “No, you’re right. There is no way a Draconian is going to see the funny side of this.”

“I didn’t think there WAS a funny side,” Jean countered. “What are we going to do, anyway?”

“We’re going to avoid getting into any part of the cardio-vascular system where we could cause any trouble and hold tight for a bit. The TARDIS needs to fully adjust to this environment before we try to move somewhere else. I think that was the problem in the first place. She got so confused by the changes in dimensions. Give it an hour or so and then she’ll comfortably materialise at the right size. Meanwhile, I’m just going to send out a couple of probes.”

“Probes?” Jean questioned as The Doctor pressed a couple of buttons and two small objects shot across the viewscreen, cutting a swathe through the shoal of blood cells.

“One will attach to the aural nerves, the other to the ocular,” he explained. “So we can see and hear what’s going on outside this particular Draconian’s body.”

“Er… ok.”

They knew when it had worked. A loud roar of pain burst from the console speakers and an image flickered onto the main viewscreen. The Doctor adjusted the console monitor so that it showed where they were in the bloodstream, but they were now looking through the eyes of a Draconian.

“Are you all right, sire?” asked a fellow Draconian in a military style uniform that involved a lot of stiff leather and chainmail. Jean studied him carefully. They were humanoid. The Doctor had explained that the term could be applied to any being that had the combination of head, trunk, two arms and two legs that was the common pattern in the universe. Human specifically referred to people born on, or descended from, the biped species that evolved on Earth.

Draconians obviously didn’t. Their heads were shaped like elongated coconuts and were bald with reptilian scales where Jean still expected hair despite meeting a lot of very different species in her short time with The Doctor. They had deep set eyes under heavy foreheads and a permanent frown on their thin lips.

“Descended from the reptiles that developed before mammals on their planet,” The Doctor explained. “There was no catastrophic event such as the one that wiped out the cold blooded giants on your world, so the sentient life had a direct line.”

“Sire….” The Draconian repeated his question. The one The Doctor and Jean were inside replied impatiently.

“I am quite all right. For one moment I felt… a sharp pain in my right eye and ear, but it was nothing. Do not fuss. Are we clear of that accursed creature, now?”

“We are, your Highness. We have images of the craft which drew the monster away from us. This is it, sire.”

Jean and The Doctor saw a hand held device with a screen held up in front of their view. A sequence of still images of the TARDIS buzzing the space shark appeared upon it. The one addressed as ‘Highness’ gave a satisfied sigh.

“It is the box belonging to the Time Lord called The Doctor. He has come to the aid of Draconia before, in my grandfather’s reign and before then. He is the only non-Draconian to attain the rank of Nobleman in our Court. It seems that we owe him another honour. Unfortunately there are none that we may offer to an outsider, and a warm-blooded one at that. But we are in his debt nonetheless.”

“Well, there’s a thing,” Jean commented. “They owe you one.”

“I hope I never have to call in the favour,” The Doctor answered. “I would have to be in very desperate trouble. ‘Highness’? It looks as if we’re in the bloodstream of the heir to the Draconian throne. The TARDIS chose to hitchhike in royalty.”

“Well, contrary to popular thought, his blood isn’t blue,” Jean noted. “Or green, either, despite his skin colour. Or is that just a science fiction myth about alien blood?”

She expected some response from The Doctor about that. She was a little surprised when he didn’t answer at all. He was busy studying a read out on the environmental monitor.

“The prince is in trouble,” he said. “Look at that.”

“I’m looking, but it’s just a bunch of numbers to me. I don’t read hexadecimal or whatever that is.”

“It’s the white blood count,” The Doctor explained. “Something is attacking the prince’s blood. And it isn’t us.”

“What could do that?” Jean asked. “I mean… when you say ‘attack’ do you mean something deliberate, like a weapon, or a disease that damages the cells?”

“Normally I would mean the latter,” The Doctor answered. “And there are diseases that do that. The white blood cells, of course, carry the acquired immunity the body has to any number of illnesses – in your case, things like polio, whooping cough, measles, that you were vaccinated against as a baby. The antibodies are replicated in the white blood cells for the rest of your life. But if those cells are damaged, you become vulnerable.”

The Doctor was working as he talked. One talent he always excelled in was multi-tasking. He was pressing buttons and pulling levers all around the console, darting from one section to another. Jean asked if she could help, but he told her it would take longer to explain how than to do it himself. She didn’t feel insulted by that. It was very probably true.

She wondered if she dared even ask him what he was doing.

“I’m programming the TARDIS’s environmental sensors to detect anything alien to the immediate environment – in this case, the body of the Draconian prince.”

She hadn’t actually asked the question. He had either read her mind or the curiosity on her face.

“Actually, Doctor,” she said. “I think the alien things might be outside.”

She drew his attention to the round viewscreen where, in addition to red and white cells and platelets there was now something small and silvery swimming about in the Draconian Prince’s bloodstream.

“What are they?” she asked.

“Nanites, nano-genes, nano-bots, nano-something, anyway,” The Doctor replied. “Nobody ever decided on a definitive answer. They’re the future of medicine, microscopic robots, tiny tiny, but incredibly complex machines, that are programmed to seek out the cause of illness, a tumour, bacteria in the blood, the blockage in an artery, and fix it. They ARE alien to the Prince’s body, but they’re the good guys. They’re here to help. He must know he has something wrong with him and he’s taken nano-medicine to deal with it.”

“Don’t sound so disappointed,” Jean told him. “You didn’t get to be the hero this time, saving the Prince, but at least he’s going to be all right.”

“I’m not disappointed,” he responded. “Draconians are never especially grateful, anyway. Admitting that they needed anyone else’s help is beneath their high dignity. I’m relieved that the problem is solved, though. The Prince might be difficult to deal with, but he’s far less of a war-monger than his predecessors. He at least TRIES to make a peace deal before sending in his battle cruisers. The galaxy is in better shape with him alive.”

Jean decided she never wanted to get involved in galactic diplomacy. It all sounded like too much hard work.

“Oh diplomacy is a great life,” The Doctor said, even though she – again - hadn’t commented out loud. “You get to meet so many amazing characters, so many different people – different kinds of people. Did I ever tell you about the Azacallians? They look like big yellow beach balls with their heads in the middle of their bodies. They have a servant class, like humanoid stick insects, who roll them around. Then there are the Alpha Centaurans, and the Obolo. They’re….”

“Doctor, are you SURE the nano-whatsits are HELPING? It looks to me as if they’re attacking the white blood cells.”

“No, they’re….” The Doctor began to speak then he paused and looked closely at the screen. He turned a dial and zoomed in on one of the white, lumpy globes and the tiny, tiny metal robots surrounding it. “Oh, dear. I think you’re right. It’s the nanos. They’re attacking the white blood cells.”

“That means somebody is deliberately trying to kill the Prince,” Jean said. “These nanos are programmed to attack his blood. That’s murder.”

“Yes,” The Doctor responded. He had a worried frown on his face as he watched the screen and controlled the TARDIS by touch alone. “Strange. It’s almost too sophisticated, too clever, for a Draconian assassination attempt. They usually just shoot each other.”

“Well, somebody got a bit creative,” Jean answered. “What are we going to do? You said you wanted the Prince alive. Besides, it’s creepy enough being around his body when he’s up and about. Being in his corpse would be too nasty for words.”

“I’m working on it,” The Doctor promised. “The only trouble is, it’s NOT a nice plan. You may want to close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears for a little while.”

“I’ll cope. What can I do to help?”

“You don’t even know what the plan is, and I just told you it might be unpleasant, and you’re still happy to help?”

“Yes. I trust you. And besides, we’re trying to save a life. There’s no point in being squeamish about it.”

“All right, then, you take hold of these two levers and hold them down while I navigate.”

The two levers in question were on the far side of the console to the navigation controls. If she HADN’T volunteered to help, how exactly would he have managed? Jean had a feeling that she had been subtly manoeuvred into playing her part. It was probably going to be really nasty, but she had said she could cope, so there was no point in complaining when it was.

“What am I doing, exactly?” she asked. “This IS an important part of the plan, I hope? Not just opening a valve.”

“Opening a valve could be very important,” The Doctor answered. “But in this case, you’re magnetising the outside of the TARDIS. The nanos are metal. They’re going to be attracted to it. That’s part one of the plan.”

The noise as hundreds of the nanos were pulled towards the TARDIS exterior reverberated inside like gunshots. That wasn’t the nasty part, though. Jean was quite confident that the TARDIS was not going to be penetrated by the microscopic machines. Nor was she worried entirely by the fact that they were moving through the bloodstream, now, following a deliberate route rather than drifting in the flow. She looked up at the big viewscreen. There was a schematic of a humanoid blood vessel system - a map of the Draconian Prince. A moving blip was obviously the TARDIS. They were currently moving down the anterior humeral circumflex artery into the Prince’s right arm. All the time the nanos were coming away from his depleted white blood cells and clinging instead to the TARDIS. Jean held on tight to the two levers as they headed back up the right arm and along the subclavian artery to the left side of his body and down the left arm.

“He knows,” Jean commented. “He’s complaining about pains in his arms. First the right one, now the left.”

“He’s a bit of a moaner,” The Doctor replied. “For a Draconian. They’re not supposed to get upset about little aches and pains.”

“I think this one is a bit of a prima donna,” Jean said, and she certainly seemed to be right. The prince was demanding a couch to lie on and his medicine brought immediately.

“His medicine?” Jean looked at The Doctor urgently. “Do you think that’s the stuff with the dangerous nanos in?”

“I wouldn’t mind betting.” The Doctor set an autopilot back up the right arm and quickly typed at the environmental controls. Jean kept her hands on the levers but she watched and listened to the Prince impatiently speaking to his assistant. He snatched the glass of medicine and raised it to his lips.

Then his arm jerked. The medicine spilled all down his royal chain mail jerkin. He howled in outrage and lashed out at his assistant, who dodged out of his way just in time.

“You made him spill it?”

“I just agitated the nerves in his arm,” The Doctor explained. “It’ll take the assistant a little while to make up another dose. Let’s get on with the job.”

They moved swiftly around the body. Jean watched the blip and the captions that indicated which of the arteries they were travelling along. She was learning some new words, at least. She had never heard of the internal or external iliac artery before. They led down through the abdomen to the legs.

“How did we get to the legs?” Jean asked. “We didn’t go through the heart, surely?”

“Draconians have a slightly different arterial system to humans,” The Doctor answered. “They have a left and right abdominal aorta. The right one bypasses the heart and continues down through the body. We’ll head back along the left, but I’m going to stop before we actually reach the heart. We really don’t want to have to do that.”

“Too right we don’t,” Jean added. “Doctor, just how many more of these nanos do we have to collect? There are a LOT of them now. And these levers are getting hard to hold. Are they pushing back or something?”

“Keep holding on, please,” The Doctor told her. “The magnetic force is increasing, that’s why the lever pushes back, but hold on as long as you can.”

“I’ll do my best,” she promised. It was actually hurting her fingers, now. There would be imprints of the levers on her thumbs for days afterwards. But The Doctor had asked her to do something important and she had to keep doing it.

“Just a little bit longer,” he promised her as they moved up that left abdominal aorta. The levers were harder than ever to hold and there was a stronger feeling of movement. The TARDIS was in a strong current. The Doctor pulled hard on what had to be some kind of brake before they crossed a dangerous threshold.

“@%^&@!” The Doctor exclaimed. Jean assumed it must be some very rude swear word in his own language that the TARDIS was too polite to translate.

She knew exactly why he had said it.

“We’re going towards the heart?”


“I’m no expert, but isn’t that dangerous? Won’t we give him a heart attack or something?”

“I hope not,” The Doctor answered. “I’m going to be REALLY, REALLY careful.”

“You’ve got to be,” Jean told him. “Otherwise, WE’LL kill him and do the job of the assassin.”

The Doctor didn’t answer. Jean looked at the screen. The schematic of the body now focussed on the heart. The TARDIS was already inside the right atrium and passing into the tricuspid valve. Jean didn’t know a lot about such things, but she understood that the valves acted like an airlock in a submarine. First they let the de-oxygenated blood through from the artery, then the inner door opened and the blood, along with the TARDIS and the nanos attached to it were let into the right atrium. From there they passed into the pulmonary valve, another one way door, and into the pulmonary artery.

“We’re through,” The Doctor said. “He’s complaining about chest pains, but he’s all right. Hang on. We get off here.”

The schematic showed them heading to the lungs, but The Doctor reached for the dematerialisation switch. The TARDIS re-materialised in the oesophagus before descending rapidly.

“This is the REALLY ugly bit,” he said. “Feel free not to look.”

“Why? Where are we going?” Jean asked then wished she hadn’t asked. “Oh, the stomach….”

“Stomach acid, one of the nastiest subjects in the universe. Strong enough to deal with those little blighters.”

Jean looked, despite his warning. She really wished she hadn’t, but she wasn’t going to tell him that. Sinking into stomach acid was a REALLY revolting sight. She turned back to the console, to the two levers that had been her responsibility for so long. They were starting to feel less difficult to hold onto. The pressure was off.

“The nanos are falling away, aren’t they?” she said, not looking around at the screen. “The acid is eating through them?”

“Yes, it is. A couple of minutes more and they’ll all be gone. The prince will have digested them. It won’t do him any harm. They were mostly a zinc compound, just like you get in multivitamins. You can let go of the levers, by the way. And to answer your next question, no, the acid can’t harm the TARDIS. It won’t even scratch the paint.”

“I hadn’t even considered that possibility,” Jean responded. “I ASSUMED you already accounted for that. So we can get out of his stomach soon?”

“Yes. The TARDIS should be ready to resume normal dimensions. Well, normal by our standard, that is. Not normal by….”

“Don’t start that again.”

The Doctor grinned widely. Then his smile faded. He dashed around the console twice,

“Oh no!” he cried, followed by one of those untranslatable swear words. “Oh no, I think we DID cause some trouble after all. He’s having trouble breathing.”

“Oh no, after all our efforts,” Jean groaned. “Is there anything we can do?”

She wasn’t hopeful, but The Doctor was animated again, pressing buttons frenetically.

“There’s always something we can do. The day there’s nothing I can do, is the day I stop breathing. Of course, that’s kind of obvious, but… well, you know what I mean.”

The TARDIS dematerialised and re-materialised again, this time in the Prince’s lungs.

“Oh dear,” he said in a very understated manner. “Oh, this is nothing to do with us. I think… Oh dear, the Prince had a bit of a nap, and somebody took advantage. He’s been stabbed.”

“So he’s going to die after all?”

“Not if I can help it,” The Doctor insisted. He was busy lifting a panel in the floor by the console and pulling out something that looked like a cross between a fireman’s breathing apparatus and a jetpack.

“It’s a cross between a fireman’s breathing apparatus and a jetpack,” The Doctor said as he strapped himself into the contraption. “I’m going out there to help. You need to press some more buttons for me. These three buttons here, in the sequence 1,3,2,1,2,3, repeated over and over again.”

“What does that do?” she asked.

“It mixes N2, O2, CO2, CH4, H2, Kr, Ar and He and pumps it into the environment outside the TARDIS.”

“N2, O2….” Jean thought about it, determined not to let him get away with sounding clever. “You mean it’s going to make air and put it out into the Prince’s lungs?”

“That’s what I said.” He grinned again and opened the TARDIS door. He stepped out and tiny jets on his back supported him almost impossibly as he moved towards the hole in the lung where a thin blade had pierced it. Jean watched him for a few moments, using the sonic screwdriver like a welder to repair the hole, then she turned and carried on with the vital job she had been given to do.

It was a full twenty minutes before he came into the TARDIS again and told her she could stop making air.

“Time to go and say hello to the Draconians,” The Doctor said. “They’re even more misogynistic than my people. You have to walk a pace behind me and don’t speak without permission, but they’re all right, I promise.”

Jean was still deciding if she WANTED to meet the Draconian Prince when the TARDIS materialised on the bridge of the diplomatic ship. Of course, there was consternation at its appearance. Armed guards were waiting for them. But The Doctor bowed to the ship’s captain and greeted him in a very formal way.

“I am The Doctor,” he said. “I am a nobleman of the Court of Draconia and an old friend of the Prince. I apologise for arriving here unannounced, but look to his Highness. He has been wounded by a would-be assassin. The injury is not life-threatening, but some medical attention is necessary.”

The Draconian captain paused just for a moment in astonishment then sent one of his men to examine the prince, who was still lying on his couch, apparently asleep. Only when he was examined was the slender incision in his chest found and immediately attended to using a laser suture to close it.

“How could you possibly have known?” the Captain demanded.

“He could not have known,” the Prince’s aide remarked. “His box was not here when….”

“When you stabbed the Prince?” The Doctor asked. “When you grew tired of poisoning him slowly, and decided to plunge a stiletto into his lung?”

“No….” the aide protested, but he had already very nearly given himself away. The captain ordered his arrest.

“If the stain on the Prince’s robe is analysed it will confirm what I have said,” The Doctor added. “But knowing your methods of interrogation you’ll probably get a confession much faster than the forensic evidence. I would disapprove, but regicide is a nasty business.”

“Doctor, it appears that we are in your debt twice this day,” the Captain told him. “The Prince will doubtless wish to thank you personally. Will you wait until he is sufficiently recovered?”

“No, not today,” The Doctor answered. “I promised my companion a trip to Blackpool. But the next time our paths cross I will be pleased if his Highness would grant me an audience.”

“Until that day, my Noble Lord of Time,” the Captain answered, bowing low to The Doctor, the only non-Draconian that any of his race would ever bow to. The Doctor returned the gesture then turned and headed back into his TARDIS. Jean followed him.

“Well, that was short and sweet.”

“The shorter the better. They really are hard work, Draconians.”

“Blackpool?” Jean queried.

“We still have to drop off the shark in the swimming pool.”

“I’d forgotten about the shark in the swimming pool,” Jean admitted. “Blackpool it is.”