Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
LilacFree would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Winter of Her Discontent

By LilacFree

Romance / Scifi

Chapter 1

“Doctor, you have evaded your responsibilities for far too long.  The disqualification of President Borusa leaves a gap at the very summit of the Time Lord hierarchy.  There is only one who can take his place.  Yet again it is my duty and my pleasure to inform you that the full Council has exercised its emergency powers to appoint you to the position of President, to take office immediately.”

“Oh, no.”

(“The Five Doctors”, Terrance Dicks, 1983)


The Doctor closed the outer door of the TARDIS and sent her off into the vortex.  His hands rested on the controls.  The lights of the churning Time Rotor stroked up and down his face.

“It’ll soon be good-bye then,” Tegan said regretfully.

“Will it?”  The Doctor looked over at Tegan, who turned to face him.  She had changed a great deal from the sullen air hostess who’d been his accidental passenger and he saw genuine affection in her eyes.

“Well,” Turlough slapped his hands together, “you’re off to Gallifrey to be President.  I suppose your Time Lord subjects will find a TARDIS that really works and get us both home.”  His sarcasm served to veil the sorrow the Doctor’s reluctant would-be assassin anticipated at this parting.

“Who said anything about sending you two home?  Gallifrey has been through enough upheaval.  I must do this.  And I would ask a favor of you two.  Come with me.  I don’t want the High Council left in any doubt of what sort of President is in office.  They called upon the Master for help.  I had you, and many other old friends.  I think it has been shown which path was the better choice.”

“Do you still need our help?  Is that what this is about, Doctor?”  Turlough fiddled with his tie, restless fingers giving away the speculation in his gaze.

“You can help as you think you may, but you are welcome, more than welcome, to enjoy the amenities of Gallifrey.  It is an exceedingly wealthy world.  You needn’t have anything to do with the Time Lords.”

“Isn’t it more like they needn’t have anything to do with us?  Maybe it’s not your way, Doctor, but Borusa looked at us like we were insects.”  Tegan tilted her chin up defiantly.  “And I hope you don’t expect me to blunt my tongue.  I’ve never had much luck at that.  Besides, I know you.  If you find something wrong you won’t rest until you’ve dragged it all out into the open.  I think your fellow Time Lords will be glad to see the back of you in short order.”

“May it be so, Tegan, may it be so!”  The Doctor laughed.  With a light step, he roamed around the console until the Tardis’ engine hummed purposefully.  “I was tempted to do a runner and leave Flavia waiting in vain in the High Council chambers.”  His face grew somber again.  “Borusa was a power in Gallifrey for a long time.  I always thought of him as a principled man.  Now I wonder who else is going his route while claiming to respect the laws of Rassilon.”

Tegan and Turlough exchanged looks.  “Politics is a continuation of war by other means, Doctor,” Turlough observed.  “My home world recently endured a vicious civil war.  Is Gallifrey beyond that?”

“It would not be open warfare.  The political conflicts of Gallifrey tend to work out in covert maneuvers.  The Time Lords have long claimed they follow a strict policy of non-intervention.  Officially, it’s true.  Unofficially-- as an exile in dubious favor, I was often forced to work towards their ends.

“Anyway—there’s a sense in which having the two of you here with me is a vindication.  The Time Lords once captured me and took away the memories of our travels together from my companions.  They forced me to regenerate.  Yet my last incarnation was voted the Presidency.  I never intended to keep the office.  It was a desperate measure to stop an alien invasion.  They have made it an excuse to recruit me to clean up Borusa’s mess.  Me, whom they call the renegade, the clown, the eccentric.  I’m not coming back to dance to their tune.  I am who I am, and my friends are my friends.  Please come with me.”  The Doctor looked at Tegan and Turlough and for a moment saw in their places Zoe and Jamie, whose minds had been violated.  His companions would serve as a living reproach to the arrogant ways of the Time Lords.

He watched their faces as they thought seriously about what he was asking.  Turlough was intrigued, his pale eyes sharp with curiosity.  The Doctor wasn’t surprised that Turlough was tempted by the idea of living on Gallifrey.

Tegan was staring at the Doctor as if she was reading something from his face.  He had no idea what she was thinking, which was unusual.  In most ways Tegan was frank and outspoken.

“I’ll go, Doctor.  I understand wanting to make your world a better place.  And I’m not ready to go home yet, not when I’ve a chance to see the place that made you.”  She grinned; her eyes slid from his face to Turlough’s.

“Isn’t Lady Flavia expecting you already, Doctor?” Turlough inquired, raising an eyebrow.

“Indeed she is.”  The Doctor’s fingers hesitated over the controls.  The Lord President did not leave Gallifrey.  Was he trapping himself?  He entered the final sequence, and the TARDIS sang her materialization song.  It was over far too quickly.


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

sarahsweet898123: I loved the story ... its was fascinating. ... cant put it down.... the way it was written....was so beautiful. .. the details. .. especially the characters. ..I loved them so much ... Garrick and mairi... every time there was some kind of attraction. ... just cant help it .... no words to express

Castro Ohana: This book is a great read. I can't wait for the next one (I hope there is another). Like my title I could not put it down! It has just the right amount of drama, actions and wow moments. I also love it when the person you least expected becomes the hero. A few grammar errors but overall a great...

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

JenniferParks: This story is very progressive. I like the main characters so far ( i am on chapter 5) and i am hoping to read more chapters. The writing, style, plot and everything is so far so good, i can really understand and read the story very well.The story really sticks to its themes and its target audi...

John Smith: This is what Sci Fi is all about. Reads like early Heinlein. In the style of Space Cadets. No esoteric problems..but good ol blaster and space action with a host of relatable characters

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

More Recommendations

KC_Ward: Black Mark was one of the most interesting romance novels I have read. I really enjoyed the fact that Mora has such a strong character and held her ground. Each character had a background story that gave clues as to what shaped their personalities. This novel was almost like two books rolled into...

jessiealexandrap: Truly loving the novel, each chapter presents itself greater than the one beforehand. I truly love the novel and give definate question to why it's not published of yet. The novel truly deserves great attention and all should read the beautiful story.

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

Melissa Barras Trahan: If you enjoy reading a thriller with twists and turns, this is the book for you. When you think you have the story figured out.....the author surprises you and then the whole story changes again until the very last page! The further along I got, the faster things changed. Even though this is a ...