Cardinal Richelieu lay in his bed clutching his golden pendant cross as the doctors bled him in the hope to save him from whatever aliment was causing his heart to beat irregularly. His face cringed in pain as the blade was dragged across his skin creating more small wounds during the bleeding process. When the last cut was complete the Cardinal arched in pain, his breath stopping, as his heart beat for the final time.
A doctor touched the side of his neck as the King pushed opened the doors to the Cardinal's bed chambers, "I demand to know how he is…." His words faltering as he saw the forlorn faces of the attending physicians.
Pushing his way through them the King knelt at the Cardinal’s bedside, and he wept as he grabbed his hand. Taking a deep breath he prayed, "Oh Lord in Heaven grant this man passage into the afterlife so he may be at God's side and have peace."
As soon as the prayer was completed, a bright light shined blinding everyone in the room. Once the light faded the King gasped as he stared at the bed: the Cardinal's body was gone. It had disappeared; not a trace was left of the First Minister of France. Casting his eyes toward Heaven again, Louis prayed thanking God for the blessing he just witnessed: the ascension of Cardinal Richelieu.
Clara was startled awake by the shrill of her mobile on her bedside table, for a brief moment she was confused to her whereabouts: after traveling with the Doctor for so many months her previous room felt strange to her and she longed for her room on the TARDIS.
Reaching for her mobile she pushed the answer button and huffed, "There better be damn good reason for calling me in the middle of the night."
Kate Stewart's voice responded with a chuckle, "There is never a good reason for getting a phone call in the middle of the night."
Sitting up in bed quickly, instantly alert she questioned the Chief Scientific Officer of UNIT, "What's going on Kate?"
"Are you with the Doctor right now?" the other women asked cryptically.
"Nah I needed to take care of a few things at home. My gran is ill."
"I'm sorry to hear that, but can you spare some time and come to the Tower? There's someone here I think you should see."
"I'll be there in thirty minutes," Clara stated as she hung up the phone. She got dressed in a hurry and exited her flat. Climbing on her motor bike, she was on her way. As the night air rushed past her ears she wondered who the person was that Kate wanted her to see. It could be anyone or anything especially if UNIT was involved; she should have called the Doctor right away but decided she would wait till she knew more information before ringing the Time Lord.
After having been cleared by UNIT security to enter the Tower of London, a guard escorted Clara to Kate's office and upon seeing each other the two women embraced briefly before getting down to business.
"I'm sorry for waking you." Kate said as she reached for a remote, clicking it an image appeared on one of the many monitors located in her office. Nodding her head toward the image she continued, "This is why I called you."
Clara moved closer to the screen and shook her head in disbelief. On the screen was a man with a mustache and a goatee pacing the confined space of a detention room; he was dressed in a 17th century nightshirt and fiddling with a cross pendent that hung down from his neck. What was even more amazing was that the man looked exactly like the Doctor. "Why do you have the Doctor detained?"
Pointing at the screen Kate explained, "Because this man is not the Doctor. He claims to be Cardinal Richelieu."
"Are you saying he is the First Minister to the King of France?" Clara asked.
"Yes and when we questioned him about the Doctor, he said he doesn't have any idea who he was."
"He looks like the Doctor," Clara stated as she moved even closer to the screen, "Where did you find him?"
Turning off the monitor Kate explained, "Our sensors picked up a temporal anomaly at Trafalgar Square and we went to investigate. We found him lying on the pavement when we arrived, and we brought him in because of his similarities to the Doctor."
"Hold on, you have sensors at Trafalgar Square for temporal anomalies?" Clara asked stunned.
"We have sensors all over London; we can never be sure when some sort of alien incursion will be initiated," Kate stated before questioning, "When you and the Doctor separated, did he mention anything to you about visiting 17th century France."
Shaking her head Clara answered, "No."
"Could he have gotten injured and forgotten he was the Doctor?" Kate continued to pursue her line of questioning.
"I guess it's possible. He does get into a bit trouble often." Turning toward the door Clara stopped to face her friend. "I think I should talk to him," she finished as she exited the room.
Kate followed closely behind, "I was hoping you would say that."
Arriving at the detainment room Kate nodded to the guard, "Open the door."
With a click and a hiss the door opened allowing the two women to enter, and once inside the door quickly closed behind them.
Immediately they were bombarded by the Cardinal, "I demand to know why I am detained in this god forsaken room. Do you have any idea who I am? I'll have you both executed for your treachery."
Rolling her eyes Kate hissed, "Shut up! You are in no position to demand anything."
The Cardinal approached Kate dangerously when Clara interceded, moving herself between the two individuals. Holding her hand up she stated calmly, "Your Eminence, may I suggest you sit down before things get out of hand."
Looking at the woman in front of him, Armand nodded his head and moved to sit. Turning toward Kate, Clara asked, "Can you please leave us for a few minutes?"
"I'm not sure if that is a good idea," Kate stated worriedly.
"I'll be fine, I promise, just give me ten minutes. Okay?"
"Okay, ten minutes but not a moment longer."
Once Kate had left the room Clara occupied the opposite chair to the Cardinal‘s. "Now, I know things are a bit strange right now and I can only image how terrifying this can be…"
"I'm not terrified young woman I'm angry and I want to know what is going on!" he interrupted quickly.
"Okay, tell me the last thing you remember."
Sitting back in his chair he stared at her pointedly, "And why should I tell you anything? You are just an insignificant female who is prone to fits of hysteria."
Trying to remain calm, remembering he was from a different time and place, she gave a silent thank you to the Doctor for preparing her for situations like this. "You should tell me because if you have any hopes to get back to your time, you're going to need me. Any questions?"
Silence enveloped the room as the Cardinal contemplated his options. He could tell this woman what happened or he could remain lost. "No, I don't have any questions but I do have a request before I tell you anything."
"What's your request?" Clara asked with a smile.
"I want to leave this cell; confinement isn't something I enjoy."
Clara looked at him and noticed a slight sheen of sweat on his brow, the dilation of his eyes, the rapid breathing and knew that he must be claustrophobic; only he was too proud to admit his fear. Her heart went out to him because she never liked enclosed places either. "Okay, I will have Kate release you to my custody once you're done answering my questions."
"Do I have your word?" he questioned one last time.
"Yes, you have my word."
Kate rolled her eyes as she heard Clara's agreement with the Cardinal. She didn't like it but knew that if they were going to get to the bottom of this she would have to trust Clara. Gesturing toward one of the guards she ordered, "Go and get two containment wrist bands and bring them here immediately."
"Yes ma'am," the guard affirmed as he exited the room.
Turning back to the two way mirror Kate whispered, "Clara, I hope you know what you are doing."
Leaning forward placing his elbows on the table braiding his fingers together, his blue eyes bore into Clara's brown ones. She met his intense gaze without flinching, "So are you going to tell me now or are we going to just stare at each other for the rest of the night."
A smile graced the Cardinal's face as he commented, "I like you. Not many people can meet my stare without contemplating looking away. The last thing I remember is being bled, as my heart beat rapidly in my chest, and my lungs ached to breath. I think the doctors failed in their task to save me, and I died that day. When I opened my eyes to see Heaven, I saw instead a world unfamiliar to me: a world of blazing lights and strange noises."
Clara listened intently to his response then asked, "Your Eminence, what year did you die?"
"In the year of our Lord 1631… and it is Armand." he responded.
Standing up Clara started to pace the small room. Her memory of French history wasn't very good but she was sure Cardinal Richelieu died in 1642; she would have to ask Kate to look into it for her. So the question was: why did the Cardinal die almost 10 years earlier than his time and who caused his death? She desperately needed to get a hold of the Doctor, because the man in the room with her was definitely not the Time Lord she has been traveling with for close to three years.
Armand watched patiently as the woman paced in front of him, fascinated by the many different expressions crossing her features as she thought about his situation. He couldn't help but admire her body in men's clothing; the pants fit her hips snuggly and her blue button down shirt gave him a tantalizing glimpse of her neck and shoulders; he wanted to explore her body and find all the secrets that remained hidden from view.
It had been a very long time since he had enjoyed the company of a woman and his body reacted to the image before him with lust and want. He was contemplating the many ways to seduce the dark haired woman when the door opened revealing the blonde haired one holding two bracelet like items in her hand.
Placing one of the bracelets on Clara's wrist Kate went to place one on the Cardinal when he reeled back, "I will not have such a strange device adorn my body."
Getting extremely frustrated with the Cardinal's holy than thou attitude, she grabbed his wrist and clamped the device on, "I don't care what you want. If you expect to leave this room with Clara you will wear this."
Playing referee again Clara asked, "What are these?"
"Those are containment bands; they will remain on your wrists until we find out what the Doctor thinks we should do. Neither of you can be more than 5 meters from each other, and if you go beyond that distance the bands will alert us and we will have no choice but to apprehend you both and return you to the Tower."
"That is a bit extreme, Kate, I am sure I can take care of things without the bands," Clara stated.
"There are many protocols in place for this type of situation and I'm breaking quite a few of them by releasing the Cardinal into your custody. I wouldn't be so lenient if it was anyone else."
"Okay, thank you then," Clara responded before turning toward the Cardinal, "Armand, are you ready to leave?"
"More than ready Clara," he answered as he rose from his chair to follow her out the cell door.
Kate halted their departure, "May I suggest a side trip to the wardrobe department."
Clara looked at the Cardinal in his white nightshirt and nodded, "Yeah, I think you're right."
Outside the Tower, Clara led the Cardinal to her motor bike, and as she glanced sideways at him she smiled thinking that he looked dashing in the dark blue suit and red button down shirt.
Armand met her eyes smirking, "I'm guessing that you approve of my choice of apparel."
Embarrassed she turned her face away from him, "Sorry, I didn't mean to stare."
"No need to apologize my dear, having a beautiful woman admire my choice is quite the compliment."
Reaching her motor bike, she reached into the seat compartment and pulled out an extra helmet for him to use, "Here put this on."
Walking around the bike his eyes widened in disbelief, "Are we getting on this contraption?"
"No need to worry Armand, it is just like riding a horse, except a bit faster," she stated as she straddled the bike putting on her own helmet. Patting the seat behind her, "Come on. Hop on and hold on tight."
Mimicking her position he sat behind her, "So what do I hold on to?""Just wrap your arms around me." She felt his arms encircle her chest. Rolling her eyes she moved his arms to her waist, "Okay let's go.” She revved up the engine and with a pop of the clutch they were off with Armand's screams echoing in their wake.