The First Doctor starts innocently enough on his journeys across space and time with his granddaughter Susan, but little does he know that he's about to meet one of the most terrible enemies of the Doctor. He'll lose a lot more than he ever bargained for when he first stole the TARDIS looking for grand adventure.
We're also using the variant introduced in Classic Pacing.
Warning: This tale is so grim that I hesitated to post it at all. It is very dark, and would definitely have made for an episode that would never, ever air in all the years of Doctor Who.
Stats of the First Doctor:
Brains 13 Brawn 4 Bravery 9
Aware, Bureacrat, Engineering, Gloating, History (2), Science, Thief
Stats of his companion, Susan:
Brains 8 Brawn 4 Bravery 6
Aware, History, Science, Running, Screamer
Loyal, Protective (Doctor)
The Doctor looked up from the control panel of the TARDIS just as his granddaughter entered the room, shoulders slumped beneath her bag of school books.
"My dear Susan," said the Doctor, "what's happened?"
"I just don't fit in," said Susan as she placed her books down on a chair. "I'm too advanced for these classes, and the teachers look at me oddly. And the other students are even worse."
The Doctor put an arm around Susan's shoulders. "Well, I have some good news. How about a trip? I've managed to fix the TARDIS. Let's explore the universe, eh? Forget this planet."
"Oh, I could never do that," said Susan. "But if it's just for a little while?"
"I promise," said the Doctor. "We'll even stay on this planet, we'll just move ahead in time."
And with that, he set the controls for the future year of 2565---but the TARDIS suddenly jittered. He looked at the controls in disbelief, just as the floor shook and tossed him to the ground with Susan. The TARDIS wheezed fearsomely as it dematerialized from a junkyard in England, Earth, 1963.
Ca03: Vortis 2565 (Expansion Era)
Special: To move the TARDIS, you must make a successful Engineering 9 roll.
"Where are we?" asked Susan as she wandered out through the open doors. The environment outside was rocky and seemingly devoid of flora and fauna, and above stretched the night sky, studded with stars, unobscured by any lights of settlements.
The Doctor followed her, leaning on his cane, looking around alertly. "According to the readings, we're on the planet Vortis, in 2565. I don't know much else about this place, especially not at this time."
"Look over there!" said Susan, pointing. "There's someone! Perhaps they could tell us about the locals."
The Doctor and Susan strode over the rocky landscape, and came upon a young woman, sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees. She turned her head, seemingly unstartled by the sound of their feet behind her.
"My dear," said the Doctor, "we are visitors to this area, and---"
"You're human," said Vicki. "Oh, you're human!"
"Not exactly," said the Doctor. "We hail from Gallifrey."
Vicki leapt to her feet. "Take me away from here. Take me anywhere."
"Are you in danger?" asked Susan, as the Doctor found himself holding Vicki in a grandfatherly embrace.
"No. I've just been alone for so long. Years. Please, take me with you."
"Alright, alright," said the Doctor, patting her back. "It will be alright."
"Thank you," said Vicki, tears in her eyes.
"Do you know anything about the locals here?" asked Susan.
"This planet is occupied by some strange beings---almost, well, butterfly men. But I don't know much more about them. They keep to themselves. They seem very peaceful. There's another race of beings here as well---less peaceful. I keep out of their way."
Vicki, who becomes an instant Companion
Brains 5, Brawn 3, Bravery 6
Aware, Charisma, Medicine, Thief
If attacked by a native Creature, she may cancel the attack with a successful Charisma 7 roll.
Luck +1 = 7
Turn 1 [1-4 encounter matrix column]
"Look at this!" Susan said, staring at a crystalline flower in wonder, the sole inhabitant of a chest-high boulder.
The Doctor nodded as he looked over her shoulder. He wished he had a device that could record what they were discovering. Even this barren planet piqued his curiosity. "Well then," he thought to himself, "I'll just have to use my brains. What else are they good for?"
Susan looked around, and said, "Vicki?"
The Doctor looked up. Vicki had vanished.
Action: Explore 2d6-5: e002, Companion in trouble!
Random comapnion chosen: Vicki.
d6-2: e002a Separated.
Encounter Doctor/Susan: 2d6-3, none
Encounter Vicki: 2d6-2, none
"We can't just abandon her," said the Doctor. "Let's find her."
Calling out Vicki's name, the Doctor and Susan traversed the landscape.
Meanwhile Vicki, lost down a valleyside, heard her name, but could not pinpoint where the cries were coming from. But before she could call back, something appeared out of the darkness of a rock.
Turn 2 [5-8 encounter matrix column]
Action Doctor/Susan: Move 2d6-3 to join Vicki; fail.
Action Vicki: Move 1 + 2d6-5 to join others; fail.
The Doctor and Susan turned at the sight of a shadow behind them.
"Vicki?" asked Susan, and then she saw the thing, a monster with an enormous maw filled with rows of teeth, and a baleful glow in its eyes. It was wrong, misshapen. When she looked even closer, fixated in place, she could see the writhing of limbs inside the beast, just under the skin, as if they would break out and reach for her.
Susan screamed, a long, undulating cry of absolute terror.
Encounter Doctor/Susan: 2d6-10: d6-1 Enemy
d6-3: v512 The Beast. -2 DM (fortunately Doctor has none)
The Beast is something Lovecraftian in nature, as far as I can understand from the Villain book. And this is, indeed, how the adventure is going to turn out.
Every time I roll for an event with the Beast, I add 1 for every previous roll with the Beast.
d6-3 + 1: Susan randomly chosen to be scared.
2d6-7 > 6-1. Susan fails her Bravery roll by only 2, so she is just Frozen for a turn.
Down in the ravine, Vicki tried to scream as the shadows formed wrong shapes in the air, but her breath caught and she found herself laughing. The world seemed to shatter in her mind, or was it her mind shattering? Glass, like glass, melting in the heat of the sun, and the sun grinned down at her with teeth in misshapen jaws.
Vicki wept with laughter and fear.
Encounter Vicki: 2d6-11: d6-2 Enemy
1 + d6-3: Vicki will be scared.
2d6-9 > 6 by 3. Vicki gains Madman, and is -1 to her qualities until end of game.
"We must find Vicki," said the Doctor. "There is something about this place." He gently guided his frightened granddaughter while trying to hurry towards the sound of laughing. It sounded like Vicki.
But the keening died away, leaving the Doctor and Susan without a guide towards Vicki. Little did they know that the presence had been leading them astray, farther and farther from the ravine where Vicki sat behind a boulder, stiffling her mad giggles.
Susan froze in place suddenly, and the Doctor found he couldn't move her.
"Susan?" he asked, looking into her eyes, which began to glow with a baleful yellow light. The light disappeared, and Susan began to breathe normally again.
"I'm fine," she said, but there was a certain quality to her voice that discomforted the Doctor.
Still, he put his mind to the task at hand: reuniting wit Vicki and then piling into the TARDIS and escaping this forsaken planet.
Turn 3 [9-12 encounter matrix column]
Acton Doctor/Susan: Move 2 + 2d6-2, fail.
Action Vicki: Madman 2d6-9 fails Bravery (5) check. She Waits.
Encounter Doctor/Susan: 2d6-8: d6-5 Event(2)
d6-2: e135 Possessed
- the Doctor uses luck to reroll his check, and escapes the control of the Beast.
- the Doctor uses luck to reroll Susan's check, but she still fails and joins the Beast, gaining Domination, Madman, and Minion.
Encounter Vicki: 2d6-8: d6-4 Event(2)
d6-5: e116 Cliffhanger!
-2 DM (which is okay, as the Doctor doesn't have any yet). We now have 24 turns to defeat the Beast, and on Turn 12 we gain 1 luck point and a random group rolls a d6 on the Cliffhanger line.
As the Doctor continued to search for Vicki, taking along a Susan with a strange half-smile on her face, Vicki continued to rock herself, humming softly. She looked around herself, and discovered that the rocky overhang above was metallic. She blinked, and looked around.
The remains of a spaceship were scattered all around her, and then she remembered: the accident. She shuddered. "It's not the same ship," she said to herself. "Not the same." But it didn't make a difference to the memories that began to surface in the darkness of her mind.
Turn 4 [1-4 encounter matrix column]
Action Doctor/Susan: Move 3 + 2d6-3, fail.
Action Vicki: Madman 2d6-8, fail. Wait.
Encounter Doctor/Susan: 2d6-6, none.
Encouner Vicki: 2d6-7: d6-6 Location
d6-1: e158 Crashed Spaceship
Can Explore even if there was an Enemy event.
Investigate with bonuses for Aware and Engineering.
When an Encounter resolved to an Event, roll 2d6 on the Crashed Spaceship line instead of the Adventure.
Vicki felt the curtains of madness temporarily lift from her mind, and she stood up. She wandered through the corridors, ruptured and open to the eternal night sky. Lights dashed about in the sky briefly, and she blinked. Something about that mattered, she thought.
In the distance, still searching for Vicki, the Doctor and Susan noticed the lights as well.
Turn 5 [5-8 encounter matrix column]
Action Doctor/Susan: Move 4 + 2d6-2, fail.
Action Vicki: Madman 2d6-5, succeeds her Bravery check.
Investigate + 1 (Aware)
2d6-7 + 1 = 8 Already at a location, so a plot event.
d6-2: e133 Lights in the Sky. +1 DM
Encounter Doctor/Susan: 2d6-3: none
Encounter Vicki: 2d6-6: d6-2 Enemy
2 + d6-2: Scaring Vicki.
2d6-8, she fails her Bravery roll by 3, so she gains another Madman and her qualities take another -1.
Night never fell in this place. It was, however, hours before the Doctor and Susan finally wandered down the ravine, and stopped in awe of the crashed spaceship around them.
The Doctor rushed to Vicki, who was leaning against a wall, shuddering.
"Vicki, we're here."
Vicki looked at him, eyes aglow with something other than happiness in them. Startled, the Doctor realized something was very wrong with both of his companions.
Turn 6 [9-12]
Action: Doctor/Susan: Move 5 + 2d6-8 Rejoin Vicki at the Crashed Spaceship
Encounter: 2d6-3: none
Perhaps there was something about the ship, thought the Doctor, that was turning his companions strange. Perhaps the answer lay deeper in its hull.
"Come on," he said to his companions, who both followed him. Uneasiness about them crept up his spine, but he steeled himself and walked into the darkness of the spaceship.
He tapped the ring on his finger. It lit the corridor, and with hand outstretched, he walked forwards, and then stopped.
The light fell upon the face of a young man, dressed in a blue uniform. His hand was on his gun, but when he saw that the newcomers were an old man and two young women, he relaxed.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I might ask you the same question," replied the old man. "I am the Doctor. These are my compansions, Susan and Vicki. We are looking for the cause of some of the disturbances around here."
"I am Steven Taylor," he replied. "What kind of disturbances?" His face became grim. "There was something that... caused my crewmates to...." He stopped.
The Doctor was starting to have an inkling of the evil he had unwittingly led his grandaughter to.
"You need not finish that sentence," he said.
Turn 7 [1-4]
Action: Investigate + 2 (Aware) [ed. I forgot to include Susan, but she's under the control of the Beast, so she was unlikely to contribute anyways.]
2 + 2d6-8 = 10 Plot Event
d6-2: e133 Lights in the Sky. +1 DM, +1 more DM for 2 Aware.
Encounter: 2d6-9: d6-5 Character
d6-5: ce07 Steven Taylor
Brains 5 Brawn 6 Bravery 7
Marksman, Pilot, Running, Thief
Gains +1 Brains and +1 Bravery in Expansion or Twilight eras.
We only roll 2d6-5 Charisma, so he becomes an Ally, not a companion. He doesn't know anything useful (2d6-7 fails Brains 6), so no plot event.
Together, the four investigated the area, with Steven leading the way.
Suddenly, a darkness entered the Doctor's mind. He shut his eyes and stopped. He noticed that only Steven said, "Doctor?" while the others were silent.
"Go away!" the Doctor said, and put all of his will into those words. The darkness receeded, but now the Doctor knew that his companions---perhaps both of them---might have had their minds invaded in the same way. In fact, it was practically a surety.
What to do about it?
Turn 8 [5-8]
Action: Investigate + 2 Aware
2 + 2d6-10 = 12: e082 Important Place
1 (Turn 8+) + 1 (DM 2+) + 1 (at a Location) + d6-3 = 6
+1 DM, Enemy Event
3 + d6-1 = 4. Randomy choose the Doctor to scare.
Note: A lot of scary stuff happened, resulting in Vicki fleeing, Steven dead, and the Doctor dead at the hands of Susan.
2d6 = 7, so the Doctor regenerates!
As the Beast began to leave her, Susan began to remember something. Something about her species. What was it?
The torn body of the Doctor began to glow, throwing out a brilliant and almost blinding light.
Susan knelt on the floor in awe.
When the regeneration finished, the Doctor sat up in his now ill-fitting old clothes. He was taller, younger, with a shock of white hair and a craggy nose. He stood up, letting his cane clatter to the floor, and towered above her.
And then he ran.
I decided to go with more Brawn for this Doctor.
One Plus (The Doctor)
Brains 12 Brawn 6 Bravery 8
Aware, Charisma, Demolotions, Domination, Engineering, History, Thief, Running
I felt Running had to be there, so I dropped Gloating. The Doctor seems full humbled at this moment.
He keeps his 4 DM.
2d6-1 means he's incapacitated with -2 to his qualities for 1 turn. I took it to mean that this turn was that turn, because there was still more combat with Susan to go, which absolutely could kill him again and cause more regneeration, or just outright death.
Fortunately the Doctor escaped with a 2d6-7 + 1 Running = 8.
The haze of his regeneration began to dissipate as the Doctor remembered, all too clearly, his granddaughter's possession, and her murder of Steven and himself.
He caught up with Vicki, his strides much longer and far steadier with the height and youth of his new incarnation.
Vicki turned around, and screamed at the sight of him.
"It's me, Vicki. It's the Doctor."
She backed away from him, her eyes going glassy once more. "I don't know you. I don't know you! Help! Help!"
"Shush, Vicki, or else---"
"Or else what, Grandfather?" said Susan, her voice more normal now, but cold.
The Doctor turned around, and looked upon his granddaughter. He remembered her as a little girl, then, running away from him on one of their chases through the silver grass of Gallifrey, the sun high above, the skies a brilliant orange. She had turned to him, laughing, then, with the bright laugh of children.
He looked at her. "Susan," he began, trying to reach her, as if he could put all his love and care into her name and breach the hold this evil presence had upon her.
She attacked him.
He dodged, bracing himself for the furious attack of her possession, but then he realized that for some reason she was not possessed.
"Susan!" he cried out, but she lunged at him.
Forgive me, he thought, as he grabbed her arm and threw her backwards and hard into the floor.
Vicki started screaming.
Susan growled, and got back up. But she hesitated now.
The Doctor said her name again.
And she heard the voice of the one whom she had to kill, and lunged again.
He dodged her, and she attacked once more, desperately in her pain; something had broken when he had tossed her into the floor, but that didn't matter; what mattered was killing him.
His face was in pain, but not from being rent or hurt. She felt confused, and a small part of mind thought, "Grandfather! Grandfather!" But she leapt at his throat anyways.
He killed her.
Turn 10 [1-4]
Action: Doctor: Move 2d6-8 Rejoin Vicki.
Encounter: 2d6-11: d6-1: Enemy
d6-4 + 5 = 9 Legions attack.
I decided that Susan had chased after him, and now was attacking them. She no longer was Evil Incarnate for some reason, according to the rules.
This was heartbreaking, because for the greater good the Doctor was going to have to kill.
And kill his own granddaughter.
The Beast is truly evil incarnate. It's almost as if he planned this tragic event to break the Doctor.
I gotta say, I can see why this episode DID NOT air.
Four rounds of combat, Susan assigning 3 hits that all miss, the Doctor assigning 4 hits of which 2 hit.
And Susan is dead. +1 DM probably wasn't worth it, but I suspect that if the fight went longer she was going to kill Vicki, who has only 1 Brawn at this point in the game.
Vicki's screams died away. The Doctor stood over the broken body of his granddaughter and stared at his hands. They were not covered in blood, except in his mind.
"Susan," he whispered, tears in his eyes. He thought he could hear the Beast---for that was what he would call it---laughing in the corners of his mind.
After a long while, he lifted his head and walked over the Vicki.
He offered a hand. "Get up," he commanded. "We're going to put an end to this."
Vicki took his hand, and stood up uncertainly. She went with him willingly as he led her away from the ruins of the spaceship.
After an hour of walking up the ravine and onto a cliff, Vicki balked.
"Stay with me," said the Doctor, trying to hold onto her.
"No!" she screamed, and shoved him over the cliff edge.
She ran until she stumbled into a deep hole in the ground. She lay at the bottom, curled up in a fetal position and shaking. Eventually, as nothing continued to happen to her, she fell asleep in her exhaustion.
The Doctor clung to a rope as he dangled over a dizzying height. So this is how it ends, he thought, but then someone began to haul him up, up, up, and over the edge.
Five of the butterfly beings that Vicki spoke of had rescued him, for the moment.
The Doctor stood up. He talked to them of the Beast below, but they were more interested in other enemies of theirs. He could have fought them, but his heart wasn't in it. They arrested him.
Turn 11 [5-8]
Action: Investigate + 2 Aware
2 + 2d6-5 = 7 +1 Investigate next turn
Encounter: 2d6-7: d6-4: Event(1)
d6-6: e002 Companion in trouble!
d6-6: e002c Vicki is trapped!
Turn 12 [9-12]
From the Cliffhanger!: +1 Luck, d6-1: e035 Doctor is in a Dangerous Situation.
d6-2: Dangling on the end of a long rope over a dizzying height.
d6-3 + 1 Charisma = 4 - Character event, someone rescues him!
d6-3: ce05 Menoptra, d6-5 of them.
Talk: +1 Charisma, 1 + 2d6-5 = 6
Allow surrender on e059.
Good thing there was that luck point, because a d6-1 was e060, execution! A reroll resulted in d6-5, e059a, short imprisonment.
The Doctor sat in the cell that the Menoptra had put him in. As the hour wore on, the rage began to set in. Rage at himself, for failing to save his granddaughter; for killing her, to save a human who might now even be dead. Rage at the Beast, for violating the minds of his companions, for turning Susan. Using Susan to kill his ally.
This had to stop. And there was only one way to stop it.
The Doctor looked at his ring, almost too tight on his finger now, and touched it.
Turn 13 [1-4]
Action: escape 2d6-8 + 1 Thief = 9 Success!
Encounter: 2d6-5: none
Turn 14 [5-8]
Action: Investigate + 1 Aware
2d6-2 + 1 = 3 e059 (captured)
d6-6 e059a again.
Turn 15 [9-12]
Action: Escape 2d6-9+1 Thief = 10, success!
Encounter: 2d6-4: none
The Doctor returned to the ruins of the spaceship. By now the place was swarming with the butterfly beings, who looked at him and decided that, given the carnage they had seen both outside and inside the spaceship, to let him pass by quietly.
He walked past the body of Susan, determination in his very being to put an end to the Beast.
He walked past the body of Steven, whom he had only known a short time, but who had not deserved to die that way.
His ring glowed as he passed one part of the ship: what would be, and apparently still was, the cargo hold. There was something about that room. He looked at his ring, wishing it could tell him more, then pressed a button. The hold door slid open, and he stepped inside.
Nightmarish creatures came out of the gloom at him, but he dived past them and rushed onwards, as his ring glowed brighter and brighter. Surely the cargo hold could not have gone on at this length, which meant that the ship had breached the entrance to some darker chamber....
And that was when he saw it. The Beast. Like a half-melted half-man, half-beast, its horns spread out from its terrible, melted face. Chains stretched across its chest and legs, locking it down. Teeth exposed from a skull face, the Beast looked down at the Doctor, and chuckled.
"So," the Beast said. "You have found me at long last, mortal. I know you, despite you having adopted the skin of another."
"I am the Doctor."
"And now you are here. Release me. For there is nothing else that will salve your pain. Release me, and see your granddaughter alive again. That I can grant to you."
"So, it was that simple," said the Doctor. "You think you could manipulate me into releasing you?"
"If not you, then someone else, here."
The Doctor crossed his arms. "Who, the butterfly people? You have been trapped her for aeons, most likely, and never made an impression on them. Even after the ship crashed into this chamber, effectively waking you or allowing you to release your influence, they remain peaceful. Whatever you do---it doesn't work on them."
"The body of your granddaughter lies not far away," the Beast reminded him.
"I will tell the butterfly beings of your evil. They will seal you away once more. And I will leave this place, and you will never see another soul that can do your bidding land in this place."
The Beast concentrated. All the darkness, the loneliness, the guilt, the fear---it filled the Doctor's mind.
The Doctor turned away, and walked out.
Turn 16 [1-4]
Action: Investigate + 1 Aware
2d6-7 + 1 = 8 Location event
d6-6: e158 Crashed Spaceship again
Encounter: 2d6-11: d6-5 Character
d6-2: ce05 Menoptra d6-4 of them
Talk: 2d6-6 + 1 Charisma = 7
Pass by with no incident
Turn 17 [5-8]
Action: Investigate + 1 Aware + 1 Engineering
2d6-9 + 2 = 11 +1 DM
Encounter: 2d6-7: d6-4 Event
Roll on the crashed spaceship line:
2d6-10: e155 Mysterious Cargo
Strange cargo in the hold of the ship. Investigate next turn with +2 to die roll. If you do, increase chances of an encounter by +1 and if an encounter is rolled, reduce the vertical die by -1.
Turn 18 [9-12]
Action: Investigate + 2 + 1 Aware + 1 Engineering = max +3
2d6-6 + 3 = 9 Plot Event
d6-3 e260 Strange Enemy Reading
Tracking 8: 2d6-8 made it.
Investigate + 1 Aware + 1 Engineering
2d6-3 + 2 = 5 Enemy Event
d6-5 + 6 = 11 d6-2 + 1 Nightmarish Legions
Escape: 2d6-7 + 1 = 8 yes!
Encounter: 2d6-4 + 1 = 5 d6-3 - 1 = 2 Enemy Event
d6-5 + 7 = 12
d6-4 + 1 Domination + 6 DM + 12 Brains = 23
+2DM and reveal goal: e204 Escape Prison!
Turn 19 [1-4]
Action: Defeat Enemies
2d6-5 + 8DM = 13 Enemy Event
d6-4 + 8 = 12 Encounter the Beast directly
d6-2 + 1 Domination + 8DM + 12 Brains = 23
Defeat the Beast as I can Oppose
Vicki woke up to find herself resting lying in a bed, covered in soft sheets, as though she had merely been sleeping. The place hummed around her, but so softly. She felt so safe.
On one wall was a large painting of rolling silver hills under an orange sky. An old man and a young girl sat together on a nearby hill, sharing a flower between them. It could have been a photograph, the detailing was so real.
As she wondered at it, the door to the bedroom slid open, and the man who had called himself the Doctor stepped in. He was dressed in looser clothes than the ones she had last seen him in. They were still quite formal, but with a certain flair about the wrists and the neckline that set him off from the old man she had seen before.
He sat down next to her. "Welcome, Vicki. Welcome to your new home."
- Last edited Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:57 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:00 pm
Good story, although you are certainly right about it being dark!
Something occurred to me while reading it: since Susan is technically a Time Lady, albeit a Junior Grade one, could she regenerate?
Good story, although you are certainly right about it being dark!
Something occurred to me while reading it: since Susan is technically a Time Lady, albeit a Junior Grade one, could she regenerate?
Hm, you are right about that. She should be able to regenerate! Let's see if she does:
1d6 on my trusty Mach Dice iPhone app:
And on the regeneration table for the Doctor: 3-4: You regenerate (see r309)
Interesting! I wonder what Simon would have to say about determining new stats for Timelord/lady companions. And it would add another epilogue to make this story a little less hard-hitting (but only a little).
I roll a so Susan regenerates!
Using cwmills' random Doctor regeneration modifications in Question: Regenerating Timelord/lady characters who are not the Doctor?, here's what I got:
1d3-3 + 3 = 6 points to assign! Base stats 4-4-4, after some d3 rolling (1: add to brains, 2: brawn, 3: bravery), got 7-5-6 for qualities.
For traits, I created a table of desirable ones and rolled 1d3 (get trait on a 1), repeat through the table until I reached 5 qualities (instead of just 4; I decided that she grew up a little). I got Aware, History, Medicine, Thief, and Tracking.
:1d6-1: resulted in Screamer.
could be either Moral Code or Protective. I decided on something different: Moral Code.
could be either Untrustworthy or Determined. I decided on something positive, so Determined it is.
And there we have it. New Susan!
The Doctor stopped just before another door. Having just visited Vicki, he was relieved to see that the encounter with the Beast had not scarred her mind–at least, that he could tell.
Now he was going to face someone who have a far higher chance of damage. For his part in forcing Susan's regeneration, he felt as though he could never make that up to her.
What would she be like? he wondered. Would her mind be intact? Would she scream at the sight of him? Perhaps he should let her depart, if she felt she must put distance between him and the unexpectedly dark adventure they had just endured.
Well, he said to himself, I shan't accomplish anything by just standing here.
And the door slid open.
Susan was sitting up in bed. Her hair was longer now, and her eyes a darker shade of grey. Her face hadn't changed much, with perhaps a slight shortening of her nose. She was reading a rather thick book. As he approached the bed, she did not look up at him. He noticed that the title of the book appeared to indicate a medical text of some kind.
"Susan," he said at last, sitting down in a silverwood chair next to her bed. He paused, not knowing what to say to someone you had killed with your bare hands.
She looked up at him. She frowned, and put her book aside. "Grandfather?"
Relief began to trickle through his heart then, and he dared to breathe again. "Yes, Susan. We've both regenerated. Quite traumatic for a first adventure, eh." He stopped, unsure if she would suddenly turn on him. He wouldn't have blamed her if she did.
"Grandfather, are you worried that I'll hate you for what you did?"
The Doctor said, with a troubled sigh, "In not so many words, yes."
"You did what you had to. If we're to travel to dangerous places, you need to face that."
The Doctor wished he had not left his cane behind. He could have used something to twiddle with. "I suppose."
"I guess the next question you have is whether I want to leave all this behind."
"Yes, Susan. It would not be surprising, and I would bear you no ill will if you chose to depart."
"I will stay, at least for one more adventure. I won't let... what happened to just control me. But I admit a rest looks like a tempting option. Perhaps it is one I'll take in the future." At the Doctor's downcast expression, she placed her hand on his. "But not today."
"Thank you," said the Doctor. To himself he vowed to do all in his power to protect her.