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Magnificent Folly

Title: Magnificent Folly
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: One, Steven, Dodo
Word Count: 4,967
Rating: G
Notes: This was originally written for the chairty anthology "Missing Pieces" and was posted on FFN December 2001. Any and all comments welcome!



Magnificent Folly

The TARDIS was at rest. The steady rise and fall of the rotor had stopped, provoking a 'humph' from the old man at the controls, satisfied with a trouble free arrival. The silence that now filled the room was shattered as the door to the Ship's interior opened to admit the old man's companions; a dark haired, petite featured teenage girl and a clean-cut, short haired young man.

‘So, we’ve landed, eh?’ questioned the man.

‘Of course we have, Steven,’ answered the girl. ‘See, the rotor’s stopped.’

‘Thanks a lot, Dodo. Any idea where we are, Doctor? Or when?’

The old man looked at his two companions. They couldn’t be more different- a schoolgirl from 1960s Earth and a fighter pilot from the 23rd Century - but the two had forged a common bond during their recent adventures.

‘Doctor?’

‘Hmmm?’

‘Steven asked if you knew where we were.’

‘Oh, yes.” He checked the console. “The Ukraine, 1854. Interesting. I wonder...’

‘What?’ questioned Steven.

‘Oh, nothing, m’boy. Just lost in thought.’

‘Can we go out and look about?’ asked Dodo.

‘First off, I think a change of clothes is in order. You would cause quite a stir dressed like that should we meet anyone,’ he said with a pointed look at her short skirt and close-fitting blouse. ‘There should be something in the wardrobe that would suffice.’ With a groan, Dodo turned back and headed for the inner corridors of the TARDIS. Steven laughed at her discomfort but stopped at a look from the Doctor. ‘You’ll need a change as well, young man.’

‘What’s wrong with what I have on?’ Steven looked down and his navy trousers and white button-down shirt.

‘Perhaps a uniform will not lead to so many questions.’

Steven puffed himself up at the thought of a uniform. ‘An officer?’

‘An unaccounted-for officer would cause too many problems. Though perhaps one more lieutenant among many might not be noticed.’

A few moments later, Steven joined the Doctor outside. The Doctor was always amazed at how a simple change of clothes could change how one was perceived. He smiled as Steven ran a finger along the inside of his collar as if to loosen it.

‘C’mon, Dodo! We haven’t got all day!’

‘You don’t have to walk in this thing!’ Dodo walked out of the TARDIS wearing a pale blue dress with hoop petticoats. The Doctor made her carry a matching parasol for no lady would dare be caught in the sun without one. ‘Well?’

‘You truly look like a lady,’ grinned Steven in awe. ‘But can you talk like one?’

‘I can be posh when I need to be.’ She straightened to her full diminuative height and tried to look haughty and austere.

‘Yeah, you’re a duchess.’

‘This just may be one of those instances, my dear. You look wonderful,’ said the Doctor. ‘Now I think we should be on our way.’

*********************************************************

They trudged along the almost desert-like landscape. The Doctor found the walk invigorating even thought it was a little on the warm side. He stopped at looked back at the others. Steven had perspiration dripping down his face and his hair was slicked to his head. Dodo was reduced to taking tiny steps in her dainty slippers. After a brief rest, they continued on. They soon spotted the British encampment and made their way towards it. They were stopped by a sentry who pointed his rifle at them. When he saw the stripes on Steven’s tunic, he lowered it and saluted. Steven returned the salute and let the Doctor explain their presence.

‘Is your commander about?’

‘Yes, sir, but he’s busy with the generals, what, with the Russians so close and all.’

‘Yes, of course. I am here as an observer and this is my ward, Dorothea. Lt. Taylor was assigned to escort us.’

‘Well, I guess it couldn’t hurt for him to know you’re here.’ The sentry gave them directions to the commander’s tent.

On the way, Dodo confronted him. ‘You landed us in the middle of a war, Doctor!’

‘There are wars happening all the time on this planet of yours. Odds are we’d find one sooner or later,’ he said in his defence.

They entered the commandeered house and faced the group of officers in scarlet and gold. In his mind, the Doctor identified them one by one. Major-General Sir George Brown, who had spent most of his military career in administration, was in charge of the Light Division. The Duke of Cambridge, cousin to the Queen, headed the First Division. Sir George de Lacy Evans, who had a brilliant record in the Peninsular, American, and Waterloo campaigns, commanded the Second Division. Sir Richard England led the Third Division. Sir George Cathcart commanded the Fourth Division. One, older and balding, turned to face them. The first thing that struck the Doctor was the fact that his right arm was missing. ‘I am Lord Raglan. What are you doing in the middle of a war zone?’ The Doctor gave Lord Raglan the same explanation he used on the sentry. ‘Wonderful, another observer.’ Raglan shook his head. ‘Very well, but stay out of the way and do not tell me how to run my army.’

‘I wouldn’t dare do such a thing. I am an observer, not an advisor.’

Raglan turned to Steven who saluted and stood at attention ‘And where do you fit in, lieutenant?’

‘Escort, sir. I was charged to safely deliver them.’

‘I’m giving you new orders. Watch over them and see that they come to no harm.’

‘Yes, sir!’

There was a loud boom of cannon and Dodo gripped the Doctor’s arm. ‘Welcome to the Crimea,’ said Raglan.

‘Yes, well, these must be expected when so close to the front lines, hm? Have there been any hits from Russian artillery?’

‘A few minor annoyances. Nothing too disastrous.’ Raglan looked about the tent and spotted one of his aides. ‘Nolan, arrange some accommodations for our guests.’

‘Sir.’ Nolan saluted and showed the travellers to a mid-size tent toward the opposite end of the camp. ‘Will this be satisfactory, Doctor?’

Inside were two camp beds, each with a trunk at its foot. ‘It is more than I expected.’

Nolan immediately set about gathering a few things into a pack. ‘Is this your tent, Captain?’ asked Dodo. ‘We didn’t mean to put you out.’

‘That’s all right, miss. Everyone thinks the Russians will attack soon and I need to be closer to the general.’

‘And your tent-mate?’ questioned the Doctor.

‘He doesn’t have to worry about where to sleep anymore.’ Nolan checked that he had all he needed. ‘Lieutenant, let me show you to where you’ll be sleeping.’

Steven looked at the Doctor. They needed to talk about a few things. Quite a few things. As a lieutenant, however, he knew he couldn’t speak to a captain without expecting some repercussions. ‘One moment, Captain,’ said the Doctor. ‘I think the three of us need to discuss a few things. Does this pose any problems?’

‘No, sir, of course not.’ He turned to Steven. ‘I’ll wait for you outside Lord Raglan’s headquarters.’ The young captain left.

Once they were alone, Steven glared at the Doctor. ‘The Crimean War? Gee, Doctor, how do you manage to take us to all the hot spots?’

‘It isn’t that much of a surprise—‘

‘You knew when we landed, didn’t you? And yet you treated it like a walk in the park!’

‘Steven, your voice,’ Dodo cautioned. ‘They’ll hear you.’

Steven took a deep breath. ‘Well?’ he asked the Doctor.

‘Judging by our location and the year, yes, I knew. And you would have too if you knew your own planet’s history.’

‘How far into the war are we?’ asked Dodo. ‘What can we expect?’

The Doctor walked over to the tent flap and peered outside. Towards the west he could see a walled city with forts and bastions. He then looked up at the sky as if the gauge the weather. ‘Fall, perhaps October.’

‘How can you tell?’

‘The weather, firstly. The air has that touch of autumn. Also, there is still a siege of Sebastopol.’ He closed the flap as it began to rain. ‘From what I noticed during our walk, we are on the Chersonese Plateau near Balaclava.’ He looked expectantly at his two companions for any glimmer of recognition. When nothing was forthcoming he sighed. ‘From Taylor I expected this, but you, my dear, you were still in school. Surely they taught you something regarding history.’

Dodo shook her head. ‘I’m sorry, Doctor. I was never one for history.’

”Half a league, half a league, Half a league onwards All in the valley of Death rode the six hundred.”’ Steven grinned and looked at the Doctor. ‘I, on the other hand, loved to study military history. It just took me a minute.’

‘Yes, well, now we must figure out what to do.’

‘Warn them, of course,’ exclaimed Dodo.

‘That’s the one thing we must not do,’ declared the Doctor. ‘The one thing we cannot do. We mustn’t change history, not one little thing. It could have dire consequences and change your world, perhaps many others that arose from Earth colonies.’

‘But—‘

‘The Doctor’s right, Dodo. On my first trip we met a man who wanted to give King Harold modern weapons so he could defeat the Vikings and William the Conqueror.’

‘We must do what we can without letting on what we know. One wrong word could mean catastrophe.’

Steven took a deep breath. ‘That’s going to be a hard thing to do, Doctor, knowing that so many are going to die.’

‘Remember Troy and Paris. There was nothing we could do in either situation.’ He sighed. ‘Now you had better go find Captain Nolan and get yourself a tent before you end up sleeping in the rain.’

Steven smiled ruefully and headed out into the rain.

‘What do we do now?’ asked Dodo.

‘Why don’t you get some sleep while I try to think of something.’

***********************************************************

Steven found Nolan at Raglan’s house. ‘Is everything all right?’ he asked.

‘As well as can be,’ Steven answered, wiping the rain out of his face. ‘The Doctor just wanted me to meet them in the morning.’

‘If the Russians don’t attack first,’ said Nolan as they walked through the camp in the rain.

‘You really think they’ll attack tomorrow?’

‘It’s been expected for some time, and engineers in the forward trenches heard Russian bands playing from somewhere near the river.’

‘You’d think they’d want to be quiet about their position.’

‘But they have a whole different approach, don’t they? That’s not all. One of the Pasha’s spies reported that an attack was imminent, probably from Baidar to the east.’

‘Has anyone acted on this?’

‘Lord Raglan refuses to use spies. It’s not honourable.’

‘But surely the information is proven true. I would think that anything that would save a large amount of lives would be worth it.’

‘Raglan is one of the old school where honour is everything. It will make things interesting, that’s all I can say. I wonder how any of them survived in the army this long.’ He soon realised he was talking to a junior officer. ‘Not a word of this, lieutenant.’

‘No, sir. I wouldn’t dare.’ Steven was quiet as he followed Nolan. If this was how the officers, men who were in the know, felt, maybe there was something going on here. Something else to tell the Doctor. Then again, maybe he already knew.

They stopped outside a larger tent and Nolan held open the flap for him. ‘You’ll be sharing with William Russell, reporter for The Times, and a few others. It was the best I could do on such short notice. There should be more openings tomorrow.’

‘Where’s Mr. Russell now?’ asked Steven.

‘Probably at the calvary camp getting some information for his reports.’

Steven looked at the captain and could see he still felt a little nervous about what he had revealed earlier. He saluted. ‘Thank you for your assistance, sir.’

Back on the correct military footing, Nolan returned the salute. ‘Very good, lieutenant. Carry on.’ He left.

Steven tightened the flap against the rain and wind before falling onto one of the beds with a sigh. ‘Here we are with an army of Russians between us and the TARDIS with an “imminent attack” possible in the morning. Thank you, Doctor.’

************************************************************

If someone had walked into the Doctor’s tent, they would have thought him asleep. For all outward appearances, that was as it seemed, however, the Doctor’s mind was searching every possible avenue for a safe way out of their situation. He knew the attack would begin a little after sunrise when the Russians approached from the east. He heard Dodo’s deep and easy breathing and wished he had that ability to put his problems behind him, even for a short time. He hoped Steven was sleeping soundly as well.

He rose early, an hour or so before dawn, and walked out to face the morning. The cold and damp passed through him and he shuddered before his body adjusted. A few fires sputtered weakly as the sodden wood struggled to do its job. He saw a few sentries as the sky began to lighten. He looked at his watch. Lord Lucan was just starting out on his morning inspection, a ride that would end abruptly.

He turned back inside the tent and quietly roused Dodo. ‘Come, my child, things will be be picking up soon. We must be ready.’

Dodo sat up on the bed and rubbed her eyes. ‘Are we going to leave, then?’

‘They think I am an observer and what would be the point of leaving before observing the battle? No, we must follow through on everything. I promise you we will leave at the first opportune moment.’

‘And what of Steven? Do you think they’ll make him fight?’

‘I strongly doubt that. He was “assigned” to us by Lord Raglan himself. Now, hurry.’

As if to emphasise the Doctor’s words, cannon sounded in the distance. Dodo hopped up from the bed and fumbled with her petticoats. Assured they were on properly, she slipped on her shoes and automatically ran a hand through her hair. The Doctor waited with reined impatience.
When she was done, they headed for Raglan’s tent on the premise of a morning constitutional.

Not long after dawn, a rider galloped into camp. The Doctor glanced at his watch. ‘Hmm, just as I thought.’

At that moment, the camp burst into activity. Every soldier was awake and checking his weapon and pack. Steven, hair tousled and tunic unbuttoned, came running up to them. ‘I take it it’s started.’

The Doctor pulled him aside. ‘The Russians have begun their attack on the redoubts with cannon cover from Kamara. The first will fall in less than an hour.’ He could see that Steven was taking his forced inactivity hard. He took Dodo by the arm. ‘We must take up our own positions.’

The Sapouné Ridge at the edge of the Chersonese Plateau afforded an ideal view of the plain below. The Doctor led his two companions to an area where they could see the battle unfold. With the low-lying mist obscuring most of what lay below, all they could see was the fire from the muzzles of the cannon as they shelled the redoubts. The Doctor took his telescope from his inside coat pocket, opened it, and aimed it at the valley.

From their vantage point, they could see the Russians as they overran the first redoubt and the Turks as they fled.

‘Why aren’t they doing anything?’ demanded Dodo.

‘Ah, but they are.’ Some of the cavalry had finally set off to help the Turks by running interference as they ran for cover. The Doctor could see the determination on the soldiers’ faces as well as the wide-eyed fear of the horses. Dodo tapped his arm to borrow the telescope and he passed it to her.

‘Ah, lieutenant, this is where you got to.’

The Doctor watched as Steven greeted the bearded portly newcomer as if greeting an old friend. ‘Mr. Russell! You were still asleep when I left and I didn’t want to disturb you.’

‘Nonsense. I’m here to write about this and it wouldn’t do for me to sleep through it all.’
The Doctor ‘harrumphed’ and Steven immediately made the introductions. ‘Mr. William Russell, reporter for the Times, this is Dr Watson and his ward Dorothea Chaplet. I was appointed their escort for the journey here.’

The Doctor bowed his head in greeting while Dodo dropped a polite curtsey. ‘An honour, sir. I have read some of your work.’

‘Why, thank you, sir. Lt. Taylor has told me of some of the things that occurred during your voyage.’

The Doctor looked pointedly at Steven. ‘There wasn’t much else to do inside a tent while it was raining,’ declared Steven.

‘It was a journey with the usual hazards, nothing troublesome.’

‘You were lucky enough to avoid the cholera. That is enough to make any expedition successful.’ commented Russell.

‘Doctor,’ called Dodo, ‘we have some movement.’ She handed over the telescope. ‘Three more redoubts have fallen.’

Steven and Russell peered through the mist as the Doctor saw for himself. ‘It seems they saw the Russians’ approach and didn’t like the odds. However, it seems that the Light Brigade is preparing to make a stand. They are about even with the second redoubt.’

‘Commanding view, is it not?’ They all turned to see that Lord Raglan and his aides had arrived to view the battle.

‘Ideal for a commanding officer, my lord.’ answered the Doctor. ‘One that allows you to place your men as if on a board.’

‘Are you comparing this battle to a game, Doctor?’

‘One of strategy and risk,’ remarked the Doctor to calm ruffled feathers. ‘Only a strong tactician and a man knowledgeable in the ways of war could win.’

The mist cleared and all could see the valley below them and the sun glinting off the swords and bayonets. They could also see the water beyond Balaclava and the red of the Highlanders standing in defence of it.

Steven turned his gaze to the north valley and saw the Russians--calvary, artillery, and infantry—advancing. ‘I think someone might need to take a look at this.’

A number of telescopes were turned in that direction. ‘Looks as if they’re headed for Balaclava,’ commented the Doctor.

‘Could be,’ agreed Russell. ‘That is where the supplies are, and the weakest defence.’

The Doctor noticed that Captain Nolan was highly agitated regarding the inaction of the calvary below. He knew Raglan was worried at this new development as they had been expecting the main attack towards Sebastopol. ‘Hardinge!’ he called.

A captain rode up to him and saluted. ‘Sir?’

‘You are to tell Lucan to have eight squadrons of the Heavies support Campbell and the Turks and to guard Kadikoi and the calvary camp.’

‘Sir.’ Hardinge saluted and rode off.

‘Will that work, sir?’ questioned Dodo, not wanting to seem unintelligent in these matters.

‘It will have to.’ Raglan watched as Hardinge rode down the slope and soon saw the squadrons placed as requested.

The Russians then moved towards Kadikoi to face the Highlanders that now commanded the rise that blocked the way to Balaclava. ‘He must be in his element,’ Raglan murmured.

‘Who, sir?’ questioned Steven.

‘Campbell. Always at his best when there’s action.’

The observers watched as the Russians approached the hill, thinking it unoccupied. The Highlanders then rose and crested the hill, firing at the surprised Russians. They recovered and advanced again, only to be met with another round of fire. A third volley was fired and the Russians broke and turned back to Canrobert’s Hill.

‘Magnificent!’ declared Russell as he jotted in his notebook. ‘An unwavering line of red.’

Steven and the Doctor exchanged knowing glances.

Dodo had kept her eyes on the Heavy Brigade as they made their way slowly to help the Highlanders. A second division of Russian cavalry rose over the Causeway Heights and looked down on the British, less than half a mile away. The Russians watched in astonishment as the British wheeled about in parade ground fashion.

Raglan soon turned his attention to the Heavies. ‘What does Scarlett think he’s doing? Why doesn’t he charge?’ he muttered.

Soon they heard the trumpet sound the charge. In moments, the Russian grey swallowed the red of the British as the two cavalries clashed. Dragoons then attacked the Russian flank and centre. The Light Calvary, however, stayed where they were, less than 500 yards away.

‘It looks as if Lucan and Cardigan had another “tiff”,’ Nolan whispered to Steven. ‘They hate each other.’

‘Yet they placed Cardigan under Lucan’s command?’

‘Makes you wonder about the military mind, eh?’

‘It looks as if the Russians are regrouping, sir,’ said one of Raglan’s aides.

Raglan looked out over the plain and saw the aide was right. They seemed to be bringing up more infantry with the intent to take away his guns. Something needed to be done. He sent the order to Lucan to prepare the calvary for a combined attack on the Causeway.

As they waited, the Doctor turned to Dodo. ‘Well, my dear, what do you think?’

‘I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. I imagine it will last me for the rest of my life.’

‘It is true that not many young women of your station witness war this close. If it were my decision,’ he said with a pointed look at the Doctor, ‘you would have come no further than Constantinople.’

‘But she is my ward and under my constant supervision.’ Steven laughed at this comment and quickly turned it to a cough.

‘But women can contribute almost as much as men,’ began Dodo. ‘Maybe not in the field itself, but what about reporting, as Mr Russell does, or even nursing. We shouldn’t be shunned or sheltered because we are female.’

‘A delightful speech, miss, but hardly new.’ Dodo opened her mouth to argue but Raglan immediately turned to the battle. ‘What is Lucan doing?’ He looked at the French officers who were there watching as well and didn’t want them to think he couldn’t control his officers. ‘Nolan!’ The captain rushed over and saluted. ‘I want you to tell Lucan that he is to attack to prevent the loss of the guns on the Causeway.’

‘Sir!’ Nolan saluted and glanced at Steven as he went past, a glance that said ‘about time’.

While the others were watching Nolan’s tricky descent down the slopes, Steven went over to the Doctor. ‘This is where it happened, isn’t it? Lucan misinterpreted the orders and told Cardigan to go for the Russian guns in the North Valley instead of the guns of the redoubts.’

‘Yes. As you know, Nolan didn’t care for either of the men so he made no effort to clarify. Perhaps it was Nolan’s own need to see action that made him act the way he did.’

‘Why didn’t Cardigan refuse?’ asked Dodo.

‘You can’t refuse the orders of a superior officer,’ said Steven. ‘Tantamount to treason.’

‘Even suicidal ones?’

‘For the most part, if the orders are suicidal, it usual follows that the officer is too. He wouldn’t exactly listen to reason.’

‘Steven is right, Dodo. For the most part, in the heat of battle, words get turned around and there is much miscommunication. It is not always the commanding officer’s fault, though Lord Lucan will be brought before the House of Commons to defend his actions. What are you doing, young man?’ This was directed at Steven.

‘I can’t sit idly by!’ he called as he grabbed the reins of a horse and quickly mounted it. ‘I know what you’ve said, but I still have to try.’

****************************************************************

Steven gripped the horse with his legs and held the reins as he followed Nolan’s path down the tricky slope. He barely kept his seat in the saddle and prayed the horse didn’t break his leg on the way down. When he reached the bottom, he took a brief breath and galloped towards Lucan and the Light Brigade. He spotted Lucan returning and called out to him. ‘My lord! Lord Lucan!’

Lucan stopped at looked at Steven as if he were some insignificant bug. ‘Yes?’

Steven saluted. ‘I’m sorry, sir, but Lord Raglan wishes to confirm that you are aware that you are to retake the redoubts and keep the Russians from taking the guns.’

‘Those are the guns he wants? Nolan intimated that it was the guns in the North Valley.’ He wheeled around to attempt to stop Cardigan, but the Light Brigade had begun the charge.

Steven saw Nolan leave his place and ride forward. He must have realized that they were going the wrong way. Cardigan didn’t seem to pay attention as the brigade kept going. A shell exploded and Nolan shuddered and Steven knew he was hit. Like the cavalryman he was, Nolan stayed in the saddle until the end.

Lucan halted and Steven did the same. ‘There’s nothing we can do now, lieutenant. Let’s hope my demmed brother-in-law can make something out of this.’

Steven watched from a safe distance as the Light Brigade continued on its suicide mission. ‘ “Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do or die”,’ he murmured.

Lucan pulled out his telescope and watched. ‘The first line are practically all gone,’ he commented to Steven. ‘The second and third line have suffered heavily but have managed to make it to the Russian artillery. Demm, there’s too much smoke from the cannon. I can’t tell what’s happening.’

‘Perhaps it’s for the best, sir. What you don’t know. . .’

‘Could ruin my career.’ He turned his telescope back to the valley. ‘I should have realised Raglan wouldn’t make such an order. A mile and a half straight into twelve cannon with added infantry and guns on their flanks. I don’t bloody believe it!’

‘What is it, m’lord?’

‘Cardigan has survived, the blighter. They’re on the way back now.’

‘Splendid news, sir.’ Steven turned his horse around. ‘I’ll go back to Lord Raglan and hopefully explain what happened.’

‘It would be appreciated, lieutenant, but I don’t think it would do much good.’

With a salute, Steven headed back to the plateau and tried to think of what the Doctor would say.

*********************************************************************************

‘What were you thinking, young man?’ the Doctor exclaimed once the three were able to make their way back to the TARDIS. ‘You could have been killed!’

‘I know, Doctor, but I just had to try. Nothing happened anyway. Nolan tried to correct his mistake and was killed, so maybe you were right, maybe it was meant to be.’

‘I have told you many times, m’boy, so why won’t you listen? I’m not just saying this for my health, you know.’

‘I realise that. I do have a question though. How come at times you say it is possible for history to be “ruined” yet at other times, it’s as if there’s no other way?’

The Doctor thought, trying to come up with the best possible metaphor. ‘Picture time as a river---‘

‘If you put a rock in it, a boulder, it diverts the stream, changing history,’ put in Dodo.
‘Yes, my dear, but it depends on where in the river you place your boulder.’

‘I don’t understand,’ said Dodo.

‘I don’t either.’

The Doctor sighed and stopped walking. ‘If you place your rock at the beginning of the river, where it is still rather weak, it is easily diverted. However, if you attempt to place a rock further downstream where it is flowing strong, the river will wash right over the boulder as if it had never been there.’

‘Ah, I see now,’ said Steven. ‘Everything had already been set in motion, gathering momentum, and nothing would have stopped it.’

‘Exactly.’ They continued walking. ‘I never want you to do something as foolhardy again.’

‘Yes, sir,’ said Steven, saluting the Doctor’s back.

Dodo laughed. ‘Look! There it is.’ They looked at the blue police box standing like a lone monolith on the plain. ‘I can’t wait to get out of this gear.’

‘I could do with a shower and a fresh change of clothes myself,’ commented Steven as he looked down at his blood and mud spattered tunic. ‘Too bad I can’t do the same to my memory. All those men slaughtered due to miscommunication.’

‘It wasn’t the first and it definitely would not be the last,’ said the Doctor. ‘You should keep these memories and treasure them even though they aren’t the most pleasant.’

‘Treasure them?’ questioned Dodo. ‘Why?’

‘To keep their memories alive,’ said Steven with realisation. ‘So they didn’t die in vain. Right?’ He looked to the Doctor.

‘That, and the fact that you can hope to avoid the repetition of such an act. I have seen many such battles and it aches me to know I can do nothing to prevent it. As a friend once said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” or some such.’

‘But all those lives? How could they forget?’

‘It becomes history, my dear, something in a textbook. The realities of death and destruction give way to the glory of war; soldiers wishing to die for crown and country.’

The three continued on to the TARDIS, each in their own thoughts regarding what they had just seen and of the future wars that extended through centuries of mankind’s existence. Underlying this was the hope that the next destination would be somewhere peaceful and relaxing.

FIN

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