‘The Curse of Dr. Filthy’


By Tim Bradley

Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.

Set between ‘The Prime Factor’ and ‘The Coins of Deno’.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were downstairs in the basement. They moved all the equipment that was needed from the TARDIS. The Doctor hoped to utilise the equipment well to combat the deadly ‘invisible enemy’ they were facing. They could go outside to do some food shopping or have a pleasant walk once a day, but apart from this, they had to stay in the house. They had to keep socially distanced from everyone else.

It was a turbulent time. The nightmare had begun on the planet they were on. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy had agreed to help save the planet, not realising what the implications were. The Doctor purchased their new home whilst the invaders in space were attacking the planet. The attackers were sending in germ-bombs to unleash their deadly virus on everyone. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy hoped to prevent any more heartache and death whilst they worked on a vaccine to save the planet.

“Have you got everything you need?” Nyssa asked.

“Yes I have,” the Doctor answered her. “Thank you both for helping me move my equipment down here. I should have enough space in the basement to concoct a vaccine required to reduce the infection rate of the virus attacking the planet.”

“It might take a long time for you to come up with a vaccine, Doctor,” Nyssa told him. “This is a new virus.”

“Sadly, I know that, Nyssa,” the Doctor replied. “I hope I’ll be able to come up with a vaccine after a number of test trials. It’s such a shame that the TARDIS is inoperable. I could have procured a vaccine from somewhere else rather than having to concoct it with limited resources whilst stuck here. It’s frustrating! I can’t understand why the TARDIS lost power upon our arrival.”

“Probably our unknown invaders from outer space are causing the power drainage,” Nyssa suggested. “All the cities are low on power. Billy and I have to help restore power to technology which will be of essential use to everyone needing to contact each other.”

“And very commendable I must say so too, Nyssa,” the Doctor applauded her.

“It’s still horrible to think that people are continuing to die from this virus,” Nyssa said, feeling very sad.

“It is horrible,” the Doctor agreed. “But we can’t give up. The people on this planet need hope. The vaccine we can make can provide that hope. We’ve got to try in order to succeed in saving people’s lives, haven’t we?”

Nyssa nodded. “Yes. You’re quite right, Doctor. I shouldn’t be so morbid. We must stay positive and focused whilst we remain on this planet.” She then turned to Billy, seeing him distracted. “Billy? Billy, are you alright?”

Billy snapped out of it as he held four photos in his hands. “Sorry Nyssa; Doctor. What did you say?”

“You haven’t said a word since we moved the last piece of equipment into the basement,” the Doctor observed. “You seem to be preoccupied.”

Realising this, Billy smiled and answered, “Yes, sorry, you two. I didn’t mean to be distracted. It’s just…well; these photos of us are great, aren’t they?”

Billy showed the photos to Nyssa and the Doctor. They were photos of the trio on a green hilltop. Somewhere in Carlisle actually! One photo had the trio together, one had Nyssa and Billy embracing each other; another had the Doctor and Billy together and the fourth had the Doctor and Nyssa together. The trio had taken it in turns to use Billy’s camera before they asked a passer-by to take a photo of the three of them.

“Oh yes,” Nyssa agreed. “Yes, they are lovely photos. Such happy memories!”

“Indeed they are,” Billy said contentedly. “Happy memories I wish we could have back. The next couple of months or so are going to be pretty grim. I mean, with us being cooped up inside the house with the terrible disease going on out there.”

The Doctor took the photos from Nyssa and had a look at them.

“Yes, the next few months are going to be pretty grim, Billy,” the Doctor said. “Hopefully I should be able to come up with a vaccine soon. It will take time but never be downhearted. Beside, our stay here should allow us to create new happy memories whilst we stay at this house. It could be rather fun actually.”

“Staying inside a house most of the time isn’t my idea of fun, Doctor,” Nyssa said.

“No,” the Doctor concurred. “But we’ve got to keep cheerful no matter what. We mustn’t get depressed or downhearted. We must keep cheerful for the sake of ourselves as well as those living on the planet.”

“You’re right of course,” Nyssa agreed. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be negative about it. We’ve got to be strong about this situation we’re in.”

“Indeed,” Billy nodded. “Hopefully we should have enough food in the house as well as have enough movies to watch on the box. That should keep us entertained as we stay here.”

“I hope the food won’t run out on this planet,” Nyssa commented. “Did you hear the news about people panic-buying in the shops? Most of the food has gone from the shelves. It’s terrifying to imagine.”

“Indeed it is,” the Doctor said. “I’ll put a word in to the city’s governor to make sure matters don’t go out of hand.”

“He’ll be hard to persuade,” Nyssa remarked. “He didn’t like it when we crashed into his house whilst he had his bath.”

“No he didn’t,” the Doctor said. “I hope I’ll be able to repair any damage after crashing my TARDIS into his bathroom. I’m relieved he agreed to have the old girl moved to our new home. I should have the vaccine created by the time I come to pay for any damage caused. And hopefully this world’s nightmare will have ended.”

The weeks passed. Nyssa and Billy went food shopping one time, wearing face masks to protect themselves out in the open. The first set of weeks were tough for the TARDIS trio, but they learnt to cope with the restrictions imposed upon society and enjoyed being in each other’s company. They preferred being inside their temporary home than outside. It was always a hazard outside. Social distancing wasn’t always successful as many people flouted the rules. Nyssa tried to help the Doctor procure a vaccine for the disease, thanks to her biochemical skills, but he wasn’t getting anywhere. That often got him into foul moods. Seeing the Doctor in a foul mood was an excuse for Nyssa to ask Billy to accompany her doing some food shopping.

They bought all the necessities – milk, bread, tea bags, toiletries, etc. They also bought a few treats like chocolate and a few ready meals. The Doctor considered having all the shopping delivered to them. Nyssa and Billy were happy about that option. Many shops tended to be packed at times and crowd control was an issue.

“These face masks are really uncomfortable,” Billy commented as they walked through a street, trying to avoid as many people as possible.

“They certainly are,” Nyssa concurred. “But they are essential in protecting us when we go outside. Remember that, Billy.”

“I know that, Nyssa,” Billy said. “I prefer it when we go out for walks in open spaces like the countryside rather than be in narrow streets manoeuvring around people and avoiding contact with them, which can be a challenge. The masks often bother your nose after you’ve worn them for a long time.”

“Don’t worry, Billy,” Nyssa assured him. “We’ll be having a walk in one of the open-spaced country parks soon enough.”

“Was the Doctor really foul-tempered when you left him this morning?”

“Yes he was. Hopefully he’ll have cooled down by the time we get back to him.”

“It must be very frustrating for him, being stuck in one place and one time with the TARDIS being worn out and such,” Billy remarked.

“We have to make do with what we’ve got,” Nyssa said. “I feel happy when all three of us are inside the house. It’s comfort and safety rather than being outside.”

“I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that we haven’t contracted the virus.”

“Don’t speak too soon, Billy,” Nyssa said. “Anything can happen. The virus is running rampant at present.”

Billy became silent for a moment. He should have known not to take things lightly as they were currently for him, Nyssa and the Doctor. He decided to change the subject. “Fancy watching a movie tonight with our ready meals?”

“That’ll be nice, yes,” Nyssa replied cheerfully. “Hopefully we can persuade the Doctor to join us and not think about working on the vaccine for a while.”

“We could order a pizza instead if you like,” Billy offered. “The pizza delivery service has been top notch so far since we’ve been on this planet.”

“Which movie would you like to watch?” Nyssa asked.

Before Billy could answer her however, screams echoed nearby. Nyssa and Billy stopped in their tracks listening to the screams.

“That doesn’t sound good, does it?” Billy remarked.

“No it doesn’t,” Nyssa agreed.

Just then, people ran down the street where they were. Nyssa and Billy moved out of the way to avoid making contact with them.

They heard people screaming things like “They’ve come to kill us again!”; “Don’t go near them!” and “If you do, you’ll die instantly!”

As they heard these things, Nyssa tugged Billy and said, “Come on! We’ve got to go and see if we can do anything to help!”

With that, Billy followed Nyssa as they went to find out what was going on that had created such a pandemonium in the streets.

Eventually, Nyssa and Billy came to a street corner, avoiding people running past them as they were getting away. What they saw shocked and horrified them. The alien attackers, dressed in dark cloaks and robes, were placing their hands forcibly on the heads of their victims kneeling before them. The victims shook and shuddered as the deadly virus was fed into them. They screamed before they collapsed to the ground.

Nyssa and Billy saw the dark-cloaked, robed figures look at them once they had finished their work. Realising they were too late, the dark-cloaked, robed figures beamed out. Nyssa and Billy presumed they were returning to their ship in outer space.

As soon as they had gone, Nyssa ventured forward to examine what was left of the victims who had been attacked.

“Don’t touch them, Nyssa,” Billy told her.

“I won’t, Billy, I won’t,” Nyssa assured Billy as she kept a safe distance from the victims’ bodies whilst scanning them.

Joining her, Billy saw that the victims’ faces were deathly pale. Nyssa brought out from her coat pocket the portable medical scanning device, which she had created in the TARDIS. She used the scanner to confirm that the victims’ conditions were definite. Eventually, she finished her scans of the victims’ bodies and looked grimly at Billy.

“They’re dead, aren’t they?” Billy enquired.

“Yes, Billy, I’m afraid they are,” Nyssa replied.

Billy sighed. “When will this nightmare end?”

“It’ll end soon,” Nyssa reassured him. “The nightmare will end soon”

Eventually, Nyssa stood up and took Billy’s hand, helping him to get back up on his feet.

“Come on,” Nyssa said. “Let’s head back home.”

“Shouldn’t we call for an ambulance?” Billy asked, indicating the bodies on the ground.

Just then, noisy ambulances sirens echoed nearby. Billy’s question was answered as far as Nyssa was concerned.

“Somebody’s already attended to that, Billy,” Nyssa said. “The ambulance services are very prompt like the pizza delivery service. Besides, we don’t want to be in their way, do we?”

Appreciating Nyssa’s argument, Billy accompanied her as they took their shopping bags and headed for home. They hoped they hadn’t been contaminated by the virus. The Doctor had installed a decontamination system inside their temporary home, using bits of his TARDIS, to check whether he or his companions caught anything or not when they went out. They wished they could provide this technology to other people on the planet.

A month or so passed. It was the Doctor’s birthday today! To be precise, Nyssa and Billy didn’t know when the Doctor’s birthday was as he couldn’t remember the day he was born. Or so he said. Also, Time Lord calendars didn’t match Nyssa and Billy’s interpretation of a calendar. They were all so complicated and the Doctor didn’t bother to explain to his friends how Time Lord calendars worked. Besides, calendars and birthdays weren’t something the Doctor was very fussed about. So, Nyssa and Billy decided to give the Doctor a birthday celebration anyway whether he liked it or not. They’d been cooped up in their temporary home for so long that they all needed cheering up, especially the Doctor. He had been working hard to procure a vaccine, which was still in the making. Plus, Nyssa and Billy had bought the birthday cake already.

“This is very kind of you, Nyssa and Billy,” he said affably. “But you really shouldn’t have gone to the trouble.”

“Yes we should have,” Nyssa spoke back. “After all your goings upstairs and downstairs to the TARDIS and back down to the basement, you deserve a birthday treat like this.”

“And it’s not even my birthday today.”

“That we know.”

“Come on, Doctor,” Billy said encouragingly. “Blow out the candles and make your wish while you do so.”

“Oh you both know what my wish is,” the Doctor said. “I wish to procure the vaccine needed to save people’s lives on this planet.”

“Don’t fret about it now, Doctor,” Nyssa said. “I can do some work for you on the vaccine. Wish for something else. A cricket field where you can play cricket all day perhaps?”

“You know, Nyssa, I might just take you up on that,” the Doctor remarked cheerfully.

“Come on, Doctor, hurry up,” Billy persisted. “Don’t let the candles go out by themselves.”

With that, the Doctor shut his eyes before he blew out the candles on his birthday cake. Nyssa and Billy clapped their hands once the Doctor had done this.

“What did you wish for then, Doctor?” Nyssa asked, intrigued.

“Don’t ask him to share the wish,” Billy said. “Wishes are meant to be secret, aren’t they?”

“It’s alright, Billy,” the Doctor reassured him. “I don’t mind sharing my wish. I wished to procure a vaccine needed to save people’s lives on this planet.”

Nyssa tut-tutted. “Honestly Doctor.” She paused for a moment. “Still, I suppose what you wished for was as good as any.”

The Doctor went on. “Did I ever tell you about the time Romana, K-9 and me had a birthday party once? It was my birthday too and we had a birthday cake. It was when we were searching for the Key to Time…”

“I believe you’ve told us that story already,” Billy interjected cheerfully.

“What do you plan to do today for your birthday then, Doctor?” Nyssa asked.

“Well, we’re rather limited on choice aren’t we?” the Doctor remarked. “We can’t go about in the TARDIS to visit places. I suppose a walk in the countryside would be good.”

“You can practice your cricket in the countryside if you want to, Doctor,” Billy suggested. “You must be getting rusty lately after working so hard on the vaccine.”

“Good idea, Billy,” Nyssa said approvingly. She turned to the Time Lord. “You go out there and practice some cricket in the countryside, Doctor. Billy can join you.”

“Alright then,” the Doctor said satisfied before he turned to Billy. “You Billy can bowl to me whilst I bat. We’ll take it in turns. I’ll teach you how to play cricket just as well as refreshing myself in the game’s basics.”

Billy was dismayed. “You’re not joining us, Nyssa dear?”

“I’ll work on the vaccine the Doctor’s trying to make,” Nyssa answered. “Maybe I can find out where he’s gone wrong in order to process the formula he needs.”

“That would be very helpful, Nyssa,” the Doctor said. “I’m flat out of ideas to tackle the deadly virus.”

“But you shouldn’t be working on the Doctor’s birthday,” Billy argued. “We should be celebrating as a threesome, shouldn’t we?”

“Don’t worry, Billy,” the Doctor told him. “You’ll see Nyssa again later this afternoon.” He turned to her. “Won’t he, Nyssa?”

“Of course,” Nyssa replied, assuring her boyfriend. “I’ll order a pizza delivery when you two get back. Then we can watch a movie this evening. The Doctor’s choice of course!”

“Hmm, that’ll be something to think on,” the Doctor pondered. “It’ll have to be something relaxing. Something that’ll allow me to fall asleep.”

“In other words, a Disney movie,” Billy suggested.

“Yes, something along those lines,” the Doctor concurred.

“Haven’t we had a surfeit of pizzas though?” Billy asked. “We’ve had pizza delivery services almost every week.”

“That’s because they’re the best,” Nyssa said. “Haven’t you forgotten? We tried to order food from other delivery services and they don’t seem to meet our expectations. They deliver the food late and the food ends up lukewarm.”

“Alright, you’ve convinced me,” Billy said. “Pizza delivery service it is then. I was just thinking about the Doctor. I wondered if he had had a surfeit…”

“No, no, it’s fine with me,” the Doctor interjected. “Pizza will do fine. So long as I have the vegetarian supreme option. Don’t want anything too cheesy.”

“I’ll see you both later on,” Nyssa said.

“Of course,” said the Doctor “Take care of yourself, Nyssa. We shouldn’t be out too long.”

“And it’s sunny weather too,” Nyssa remarked, looking out of the window.

Billy gave Nyssa a kiss before he accompanied the Doctor. The Doctor made sure he brought two sets of cricketing gear, including pads; cricket bats; a cricket ball; etc. They eventually set off out of the house via the front door. Nyssa watched them go, hoping they would be safe outside whilst she was inside the house, working on the vaccine. She soon went downstairs. She was sure to find the Doctor’s scatty and messy notes in the basement.

That evening, the trio watched the Disney film ‘Peter Pan’. The Doctor slept halfway through the film though. He taught Billy how to play cricket in the countryside and it had tired him out. Billy suspected the vegetarian supreme pizza the Doctor had might also have brought on his sleepiness. Nyssa and Billy shared a ham and pineapple pizza together whilst watching the movie, enjoying it very much.

“Thanks for ordering the extra pineapple, Billy,” Nyssa said. “I hope you had enough ham on your pizza slices.”

“Yes I did thanks,” Billy replied. “It was extra ham I ordered as well as extra pineapple with our pizza.”

Nyssa and Billy sniggered a bit before noticing the Doctor moving about on his sofa as he slept. They were relieved their sniggering didn’t wake him up.

“Should we wake him up?” Billy asked. “The movie’s finished and he’ll probably want to know what happened at the end.”

“No, leave him be,” Nyssa said. “He’s worked every day since this planet’s crisis began.”

Billy felt sad. He tried to cover up his sadness as he said to Nyssa, “I’m glad to be with you and the Doctor, Nyssa. I couldn’t have asked for better company during this time of crisis.”

Nyssa however noticed the sad look on his face. “You miss your parents greatly, don’t you, Billy dear?”

It took a while for Billy to answer. “A bit, yes.” He paused for a moment. “Anytime we enjoy ourselves across the universe, I tend to forget about my parents. But as we’re in a turbulent time on a planet I barely know, I can’t help but think about them from time to time. I want to let them know I’m alright. But with the TARDIS systems unable to send out digital postcards, I can’t help feel that my parents are fretting about me, especially Mum. Or worse, they may think I’m dead.”

Nyssa placed a comforting hand on Billy’s shoulder. “You’ll see your parents again, Billy. I promise. The Doctor will sort out everything.”

Billy smiled a weak smile before he looked at Nyssa. “Don’t you think that promise is a little premature, Nyssa dear?”

“Have faith, Billy,” she told him. “I have faith in you as well as in the Doctor.”

The two embraced each other for a bit whilst they sat together on their living room sofa. The Doctor continued to sleep away whilst Nyssa and Billy embraced.

Eventually, Billy let go of Nyssa and got up from the sofa. He made his way over to the other end of the room.

“What are you doing?” Nyssa asked, curious.

Not answering Nyssa at first, Billy approached a portable terminal that was on top of a bookshelf. He took the terminal and pressed a few buttons on the keypad.

Eventually he said aloud, “Play ‘Love is the Sweetest Thing’, sung by Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra from 1932.  Put the song on loop.”

Once he’d done that, Billy placed the portable terminal back on top of the bookshelf. He went back to re-join Nyssa. The music began to play. Soon Al Bowlly sang the lyrics as his voice came across clearly on the sound speakers. Fortunately, the song wasn’t loud enough to wake the Doctor.

Billy bowed before Nyssa where she sat and asked, “May I have this dance, my lady?”

Nyssa smiled happily at Billy before she said, “It will be my pleasure, young sir.”

With that, Nyssa took Billy’s hand and got up from the sofa. The two danced together whilst the song played in the background. They gently waltzed with each other in the living room, careful not to disturb the Doctor.

“I wish we could go back to the Rotenhend 360 space hotel and dance on the dance floor in one of those simi-suites,” Billy remarked as they danced. “Good times, weren’t they?”

“I’d like to go back to Cranleigh Hall and enjoy some dancing there,” Nyssa said. “You’d like Cranleigh Hall. We even get to meet my double Ann.”

“Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what your lookalike looks like,” Billy quipped.

Nyssa giggled before she laid her head on Billy’s chest as they danced.

Billy sighed. “This nightmare’s gone on long enough. I think the alien invaders should stop what they’re doing; pack up their bags and leave this planet alone. Everybody has suffered enough with the virus running rampant. They don’t need to suffer anymore.”

“If only life were that simple,” Nyssa remarked.

“Hmm, and I thought we could make everybody’s lives simple,” Billy commented. “Instead we’re stuck here with everyone else. Powerless and unable to stop the menace that’s happening in the world! We can only give people a vain hope that a vaccine will be ready for them to be immune against the disease.”

“This nightmare won’t last forever, Billy.”

“I know, I know. Have faith in the Doctor, you said. It’s just…I don’t know. Everything seems so bleak at the moment. Even with the Doctor working on the vaccine in controlled conditions, it seems like a lost cause.”

“You’ve got to keep cheerful, Billy. Like you’ve kept the Doctor and me cheerful! I don’t know where we’d be without your dry humour and positive outlook on life to keep us entertained with films and pizza deliveries. You’ve saved our lives, Billy. You’ve saved mine.”

Billy looked at Nyssa and saw the genuine sincerity of what she said in her eyes.

He smiled at her. “Golly, Nyssa! When you put it like that, I suppose I have been helping things along with getting ourselves back on track. For us to look for a brighter future…”

Just then, bombardments occurred. Everything shook and shuddered violently. Nyssa and Billy lost their balance and they stopped dancing. Things became stable momentarily. Billy went over to the portable terminal and switched off the music. Another bombardment occurred. Everything shook and shuddered violently again. This time, the Doctor did wake up, shooting up from the sofa in reaction to what was happening.

“What is it?! What’s going on?!” he demanded out loud. “Have I been asleep?”

“Yes you have,” Nyssa answered him. “And I don’t know what’s happening, Doctor. It seems like a war’s going on outside.”

Billy returned to Nyssa and the Doctor just in time before another bombardment occurred. Everything shook violently again and this time, the ceiling collapsed. Something fell through the roof close to where the TARDIS trio were. The trio staggered as they couldn’t quite see what it was that had fallen through the roof. It appeared to be a lump of rock. They weren’t sure whether it was radioactive or something deadlier.

“Are they bombing in rocks full of the disease, these aliens?” Billy panicked.

“You could be right, Billy,” the Doctor said grimly. “Come on! We’re going outside, the three of us!”

“To get away from what could be a diseased rock from space?” Nyssa clarified.

“More than that,” the Doctor answered. “We must establish a force-barrier around the city we’re in to protect us from the mongrels attacking the planet with rocks from space. I’ve been working on a device lately to make that force-barrier happen. Come on! Let’s get to it, shall we?”

With that, the Doctor set out of the house to deal with the alien invaders. Nyssa and Billy followed. The trio made sure they took and wore face masks as they went outside.

Outside, the Doctor attended to the generator device that would create the force-barrier around the local city which he had installed in the back garden. Nyssa and Billy helped him to ensure that all the device’s enhancements were in place. The Doctor hoped the generator device would work first time lucky in order to establish the force-barrier around the city they were in. Thus preventing any more virus-infected rocks from space hitting the planet!

Thankfully, the force-barrier did work first time. Bombardments still came through, but with the force-barrier up, there was little chance of the city being ravaged by heavily-infected space rocks by the alien attackers.

“Excellent! Well done, Doctor,” Nyssa applauded him cheerfully and she was relieved.

The Doctor chewed his thumb for a bit. “We’ll have to keep a constant watch on this generator,” he told Nyssa and Billy. “Make sure it doesn’t break down whilst it’s in operation.”

“I can attend to its circuitry every day and make sure it’s not faulty,” Nyssa offered. “That way we’ll be better defended against the invaders.”

“Thank you, Nyssa,” the Doctor said graciously. “That would be most helpful.”

Just then, alien figures in dark cloaks beamed into the back garden.

“Doctor; Nyssa, we’ve got company.” Billy warned his friends.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy backed away as the cloaked figures slowly advanced towards them. Picking up his cricket bat nearby – which he had left at the back door following his and Billy’s trip to the countryside – the Doctor raised it up against the intruders.

“Stop right there,” he told them.

The alien figures didn’t adhere. The Doctor found that rude. Then again, their enemies were cruel and merciless in their silent manner as the Doctor discovered. They continued to advance whilst the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy backed away to the back door of their house. The Doctor was certain the generator device was secure against the alien invaders. He placed a force-field around it before he and his friends backed away to the back door.

“You had one stroke of luck to attack the planet at full pelt,” the Doctor told the dark-cloaked figures. He, Nyssa and Billy climbed up the small staircase to the back door. “But I took that away from you. You’re not going to hurt this planet and its people for as long as I’m here to protect them. I will stop you. I will procure the vaccine for this horrible virus you’ve created.”

The alien attackers didn’t answer as they ignored the Doctor’s defiance against them. They didn’t understand what the Doctor had said. All they cared about was spreading their virus to other people whether they liked it or not. They were pretty cruel-hearted. They raised their hands, ready to strike at the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy.

“Doctor, they’re about to strike at us!” Nyssa warned the Time Lord.

“Yes they are,” the Doctor agreed. “Quickly, Nyssa; Billy! Inside!”

Billy opened the back door, allowing himself, Nyssa and the Doctor to enter. Just as the aliens were about to strike, the door was closed upon them. The Doctor firmly locked the door whilst he and his friends were safe inside. The aliens banged on the back door for a bit before they gave up. It was a hard metal door the Doctor had installed to prevent them breaking in. The aliens soon beamed out, returning to their base of operations.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy saw them go; looking out through the back door window framed by metal, and breathed sighs of relief.

“Thank goodness they have gone,” Nyssa said. “I was really afraid that one of us would be infected as soon as they touched us.”

“No, I wouldn’t let that happen,” the Doctor assured his friends. “Not ever. All the same, I’d best check your temperatures as well as mine to make sure we haven’t been infected.”

“Agreed,” Nyssa joined in. “I’ll fetch the scanner.”

Billy meanwhile looked out of the front window of the house. He could hear cries of despair from outside and saw horrifying activity at a distance.

“Nyssa, Doctor,” he said wearily. “Take a look outside. See what’s happening.”

Nyssa and the Doctor accompanied Billy as they looked to see what was going on outside. They saw many people getting attacked by the alien invaders who beamed into the streets. People were touched left, right and centre by the invaders. People collapsed to the floor, already infected. It was a horrible sight. Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor were grief-stricken by the people who’d just been attacked.

“It’s horrible,” Nyssa said sadly. “There’s nothing we can do for them. Not without getting infected ourselves.”

“The Governor will soon blame us,” Billy said. “Once he hears about this disaster.”

“He’ll blame me, Billy,” the Doctor said grimly. “I’ll take full responsibility.” He then became sullen. “I can’t procure a vaccine for these people and I don’t have a fully-functioning TARDIS anymore. Why can’t things work fast enough in the way I want them to? Why can’t I save these people from this deadly disease?”

“It’s not your fault, Doctor,” Nyssa tried to reassure him. “You mustn’t think like that.”

“Tell that to the Governor!” the Doctor said abruptly.

Nyssa said nothing else after that. She knew how upset the Doctor was. And when the Doctor was upset, it wasn’t very good to be in the same room with him. Billy had learnt that too. The Doctor realised that he had been quite abrupt with Nyssa. He tried to think of some way to apologise. But it was a struggle with all the chaos happening outside.

“Happy birthday to me indeed,” the Time Lord said bitterly.

Eventually, he stormed off. Nyssa and Billy remained where they were, looking out of the front window for a bit. The carnage continued with everyone getting infected. The two lovers soon closed the curtains, unable to cope with what they were seeing. They remained in silence, still hearing the despair and chaos outside.

“I really wish we could see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Billy said simply.

Nyssa looked to Billy and sympathised. She embraced him, comforting him whilst everything else was happening. Billy received the embrace, comforted by Nyssa’s presence.

Another month or so passed. It was Billy’s birthday today. A happier occasion compared to how things were for the Doctor’s ‘birthday’. People had listened in to the new guidance laws provided by the government. Social distancing had been achieved and the infection rates of the disease had lowered. There was still unrest and uncertainty in the world, but at least the crisis had past the peak point of infections being so severe.

Billy enjoyed his birthday. He had some nice gifts from Nyssa and the Doctor. Nyssa gave him some new pullovers and T-shirts for the summer and winter months as well as a new music player where he could play all of his favourite music like Glenn Miller, Ray Conniff and such. Billy was pleased with the gifts Nyssa gave him, astonished by the trouble she had gone to. The Doctor didn’t know what to get for Billy, so he got him a gift card to purchase any books he wanted from a book shop or a newsagent. Billy appreciated the gift card. He wondered when he could use it.

They had a pizza delivery for Billy’s birthday and they watched the Disney/Pixar film ‘Toy Story 2’. Billy liked the movie. The Doctor was thankful that the alien invaders didn’t attack the city using tear gas to spread the virus before the pizza delivery came. One time the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy had tried to order pizza but the alien attackers attacked before they had put their order in. They had to spend a whole evening without pizza until the tear gas had cleared the following day. Fortunately they purchased frozen chicken wings from the local food store to eat in case of an emergency.

“How are you and Nyssa getting on with the vaccine side of things, Doctor?” Billy asked, once they had finished watching the film.

The Doctor groaned. “Oh I feel as if Nyssa and I have been working on the dratted vaccine for years, Billy.”

“There doesn’t seem to be a viable solution to the problem, does there, Doctor?” Nyssa remarked. “Every time we’re on the verge of procuring a credible vaccine, the formula falls apart by the wayside.”

“It didn’t take this long to figure out when Liz Shaw and I tackled the Silurians’ disease to harm humanity on Earth one time,” the Doctor remarked. “I wonder if we have exhausted all our resources.”

“Don’t fret about it, Doctor,” Nyssa assured him. “Never give up. We can beat this virus. I know we can. In the protective conditions we’re in and the hazard suits we wear, we’re bound to come up with the right vaccine soon enough.”

“Yes but how long will it take, Nyssa?” the Doctor asked testily. “By the time we find the vaccine, the planet’s population will be scarce by then.”

Billy lowered his head, regretting starting this conversation. “Sorry, Doctor. I shouldn’t have asked. I was just trying to make conversation…”

“It’s nothing for you to worry about, Billy,” Nyssa assured him. “The Doctor and I have been working hard on this problem for far too long and it’s a mystery as to how our potential vaccine solutions don’t seem to be effective as we hoped. The virus always seems to be mutating, even when we put it in encased and secure conditions.”

“It doesn’t help with the Governor consistently criticising me with when we’re to deliver ‘our project’ to everyone,” the Doctor added irritably. “It used to be twice a week he would contact us…contact me, but nowadays it’s almost every day at the same hour in the afternoon.”

A moment of silence ensued.

Billy decided to change the subject. “Anyway, Nyssa dear, it’s your birthday next! How shall we celebrate?”

“Oh don’t worry, Billy,” Nyssa told him. “I’m happy to celebrate my birthday in the same way that you and the Doctor have. Watching a movie in the evening; having a pizza delivery and receiving gifts from you and the Doctor. That’s all I can ask for.”

“Surely we’ve had a surfeit of pizzas lately,” the Doctor remarked.

“Yes we have, haven’t we,” Billy agreed.

“But the pizza service we rely on is very reliable,” Nyssa reminded the two.

“Exactly our point,” Billy said. “We must try something different. You can’t have the same birthday as me and the Doctor. It’s got to be extra special.”

“It’s rather limiting to provide me with the sort of birthday I want,” Nyssa said. “Especially in the current climate we’re in. Besides, I wouldn’t ask you to do anything fancy for me, Billy. It’s not in my nature to ask for that kind of thing.”

“No, no, it isn’t,” Billy concurred. “That’s probably why I love you so much, Nyssa. You’re never too demanding. You’re always content and patient.”

Nyssa nodded. “As long as you, the Doctor…and perhaps our cuddly toy dog Cuddles are there on my birthday in a few months’ time, I’ll be very happy indeed to celebrate when the time comes.

“Well, whatever happens on your birthday, Nyssa, I’m certainly looking forward to it,” the Doctor declared. “It’ll provide another distraction away from the work we’re meant to be doing. Right, Billy?”

Billy nodded. He kept wondering how he could give Nyssa the best kind of birthday she deserved. Even in the current climate they were in, he hoped to make Nyssa’s birthday extra-special. But how would he do it? Would the Doctor even help him?

A few months later and Nyssa’s birthday came. She couldn’t be happier as Billy did make her day extra-special. She couldn’t believe how he had managed it. Billy gave a stand-up performance/reading of a Traken poem that Nyssa had loved ever since she was a child.

The poem was called ‘The Children of Traken’. It was a very beautiful poem, written by Consul Ardaius at the age of the second Keeper of Traken. It was about how the first young natives formed the Traken Union and how unity between science and spiritualty was established. It was a challenging poem for Billy to narrate and perform as he had to say names that seemed hard to pronounce. He had had the Doctor’s help to get the names right. He struggled but he was determined to read the poem for Nyssa to hear. He hoped she would approve how he read it.

Once finished, Billy looked up at Nyssa. “Sorry if I pronounced some of the names wrong, Nyssa. They sounded different to how the Doctor said them.”

Nyssa got up from her seat and went over to hug Billy. Billy received the hug, feeling pleased that Nyssa warmly approved of him reading the poem.

“Thank you so much, Billy,” she said. “It’s the nicest birthday present I have ever had.”

She then gave Billy a kiss. Billy glowed happily once she’d kissed him.

The Doctor seemed to approve too as he shook Billy’s hand. “Well done, Billy! Not many people can get their tongues around ancient poetry like the one you just read.”

“The birthday celebrations aren’t over yet,” Billy said.

“Oh really, do tell,” the Doctor prompted. “What else are we to enjoy on Nyssa’s birthday?”

“I cooked us a lasagne meal,” Billy announced. “Since we’ve been in lockdown on this planet, I’ve had the chance to improve my cookery skills. I’ve gone from spaghetti bolognese extraordinaire to lasagne extraordinaire.”

“You’re spoiling me, Billy,” Nyssa remarked happily. “I look forward to trying out your new lasagne. It sounds tasty the way you describe it.”

“How long will it be before its ready?” the Doctor asked.

“It was about forty-five minutes ago since I put the lasagne in the oven,” Billy replied. “It should be done within an hour.”

A quarter of an hour later, Billy had the lasagne out on the table. He, Nyssa and the Doctor sat down to eat. Nyssa wondered where he had got the recipe from and how he had got the ingredients. Billy told Nyssa that the recipe was based on his mum’s. He used to love his mum’s lasagnes when she made them so he had a go cooking a lasagne too. Billy had got the ingredients when he went out shopping whilst the Doctor and Nyssa were busy working on a vaccine. He had a face mask on at all times.

The trio enjoyed the lasagne Billy had made. The Doctor was impressed by Billy’s culinary skills. Nyssa was gratified that Billy had gone to the trouble of cooking a lasagne for her on her birthday.

“Isn’t it ironic?” Nyssa remarked as they ate.

“What?” Billy asked.

“Every time each one of us has a birthday, we’re always content and at peace with one another. Everything else happening in the world makes us depressed. This is especially when we’re not on the verge of achieving a proper vaccine to counteract the disease being spread by the alien invaders wanting to destroy us all.”

“That might change, Nyssa” the Doctor announced knowingly.

Nyssa and Billy looked at the Doctor, surprised and confused.

“What do you mean, Doctor?” Billy asked.

“I believe I’ve cracked the formula required to get the vaccine procured as soon as possible before the year runs out.”

“Oh Doctor, that’s wonderful news,” Nyssa said happily, clasping her hands together. “This is the best birthday I’ve ever had! I’m so pleased you’ve been able to decipher the formula.”

“All thanks to you Nyssa for helping me,” the Doctor told her. “I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we’ve set out to do without your help over the past number of months we’ve been through this pandemic.”

“So what is it?” Nyssa wanted to know. “How did you crack the formula…?”

“No, no,” the Doctor interjected. “No more talk about work. We’re here to enjoy your birthday, Nyssa. Call what I’ve just announced to be my birthday present to you. Sorry I couldn’t get you anything tangible. Or anything like the gifts Billy gave you.”

“You’re going to tell the Governor about the news?” Nyssa enquired.

“Absolutely,” the Doctor said happily. “I hope he’ll be pleased. I certainly am.”

“You sound it,” Billy commented cheerfully. “I’ve never known you to be this happy before.”

“To tell you the truth, Billy, I didn’t think we were getting anywhere in this situation,” the Doctor admitted. “But with you and Nyssa supporting me along the way, I can safely say that things are more hopeful than they ever were before in terms of the future.”

Just then, Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor heard a song being played outside. It was loud and clear, like it was on sound speakers. The song being played was ‘We’ll Meet Again’, sung by Vera Lynn. The TARDIS trio got up from their chairs and went over to the front window in their living room to hear the song being played. They saw other people looking out of their front windows and standing in the doorways of their houses too. Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor couldn’t help be pleased to hear the song played, as it felt hopeful and reassuring.

“That’s definitely a song that needs to be heard,” Billy declared.

“Indeed it does,” Nyssa agreed. “Especially with a vaccine on the way. We need to inform people of the hope they’re about to have.”

“You attend to that, Nyssa,” the Doctor suggested. “I’m sure Billy can help you out as well.”

“Absolutely,” Billy joined in eagerly.

“I’ve never felt so positive about something like this in a long time,” Nyssa said cheerfully. “It couldn’t have come at a better time and on my birthday of all days.”

“Fancy a dance to the song, Nyssa dear?” Billy offered politely.

“I’d be delighted to accept, dear Billy,” Nyssa happily curtsied.

With that, Nyssa and Billy danced together in the living room. The Doctor looked on outside the front window, continuing to hear the ‘We’ll Meet Again’ song being played.

“Yes, things look to be rather positive for the future,” he declared, smiling pleasantly.

The next day however, the Doctor had trouble trying to convince the city’s governor that he and his friends had procured the vaccine. The Governor just laughed at the Doctor’s good news whilst talking to him on the video-com. The Time Lord hoped the Governor would be pleased by his latest news, but the Governor had been more sceptical over the years. The Doctor’s efforts weren’t fast enough to put the Governor’s scepticism to rest.

“Governor, all I’m asking you is to broadcast a worldwide announcement,” the Time Lord said. “The vaccine is on its way. I don’t understand why you’re scoffing at the positive news.”

“Forget it, Doctor,” the Governor retorted. “I’m not going to give false hope to people again that a vaccine is on its way.”

“It’s not false hope!” the Doctor argued. “I tell you, my friends and I have found it!”

“How long will the vaccine’s distribution take then?” the Governor challenged him. “It’s going to take a long time for the vaccine to be given to everyone. You don’t want to give everyone the news that they’ll have to wait an extra few months, do you?”

“That is likely to be the case, I’m afraid,” the Doctor admitted. “The vaccine will take a while to be distributed to everyone. But given time, we’ll be handing out the vaccine to specific groups who need it most. The most vulnerable I should add. Such as care workers and those living in care homes…”

“No!” the Governor retorted. “I won’t broadcast the news so readily. Not until you provide actual proof that the vaccine exists and is viable. Can you provide that, Doctor?”

The Doctor hesitated. He had cracked the code, but he hadn’t been able to produce the vaccine in a tangible form yet. He told this to the Governor.

“Then I can’t tell the people yet,” the Governor answered. “It’s not in my nature. It would undermine my position in leading the people of this planet to a hopeful future.”

“I don’t understand your attitude,” the Doctor remarked. “I thought you’d be pleased to hear the good news that I’ve come up with a vaccine.”

“Believe me, Doctor,” the Governor said. “Any news you give me is bad news. I must maintain a sense of stability for the people on this planet whilst the crisis goes on. Give me a tangible version of the vaccine and I will reconsider your offer to distribute it.”

With that, the Governor broke off communications as he chuckled away. Once he had gone, the Doctor fumed for a bit.

Nyssa and Billy entered.

“Hey Doctor,” Billy cheered. “How did your chat go with the Governor?”

“Badly,” the Doctor answered grimly. “He wasn’t convinced about the news I gave him.”

“That’s not the right attitude,” Nyssa remarked. “He should have been pleased with your work and how it’s come thus far. He should have been grateful of the progress you’ve made to save everyone from the virus.”

“The progress we’ve made, Nyssa,” the Doctor reminded her. “You have helped me out after all, you know.”

“I’ve pitched in on a few occasions, yes,” Nyssa was willing to admit.

The Doctor shook his head. “No, there’s something odd going on here.”

“Odd? What do you mean?” Billy asked.

“The way the Governor was talking to me when I spoke to him. Like Nyssa said, his attitude was all wrong. It wasn’t the way he dismissed me that worried me. It was how he dismissed me. It was like he didn’t want it to be common knowledge among this planet’s society that a vaccine had been procured against the deadly virus we’ve been fighting against.”

“Why would he not want the vaccine to be common knowledge?” Nyssa enquired, puzzled.

“I’m not sure,” the Doctor answered. “But the possible answers are disturbing.”

“Is there anything you can do to go against the Governor’s word?” Billy asked. “The people on this planet need the vaccine and they need to know of the hope they’re about to receive.”

“The only thing to do now is to produce the vaccine in its liquid form so that it can be tangible to make the Governor happy. Don’t know how long it will take. It might make the Governor more irritable in the delays we make to get it out there to everyone, but it’s got to be done.”

“I’ll help you with the procurement of the vaccine in its tangible form, Doctor,” Nyssa assured him. “We’ll show the Governor we can make fast work of its distribution to everyone.”

“Thank you, Nyssa,” the Doctor said graciously. “That would be most appreciated.”

“I wish there was something I could do to help,” Billy said. “But I’m not as scientific as you two are. I would like to contribute something to the endeavour of saving people’s lives with the vaccine we make. You know, to raise people’s spirits up.”

“I’ll help you out with contributing something, Billy,” Nyssa said. “We can perform a sketch together or perhaps something to keep people’s spirits up and make everyone happy. It can be a sketch with our cuddly toy dog Cuddles. You write a script; we’ll perform it out with Cuddles and we’ll see if we can broadcast it to everyone.”

“Yeah, that might be an idea,” Billy said, warming to it. “I’ll see what I can do with writing a sketch and feature Cuddles in it. It’ll be spectacular.”

“I’m sure it will be,” Nyssa said happily.

“Either way,” the Doctor remarked, “it’s going to be another few depressing months for us as well as for everyone. And I was so certain the Governor would be behind me to raise people’s hopes up. Not sure why he’s so pessimistic lately.”

Just then, shuddering occurred. Violent shuddering as well as trembling! Nyssa and Billy held on to each other whilst the Doctor held onto a nearby table.

“What’s that?” Billy asked, just as the shuddering and trembling began to subside.

“I didn’t like the feel of that,” Nyssa declared.

“Quick! To the front window,” the Doctor said urgently.

The trio went to look outside. They could see more alien attackers attacking many people in the streets. It seemed the aliens were using sonic vibrations from the engines of their ships in outer space to force people to come out. The aliens were becoming persistent in spreading their virus to everyone. They latched on to anyone who had come out of their homes, touching them with their filthy hands. The people screamed, terrified at the aliens maliciously and viciously planting the virus onto their faces and bodies. Very soon, the people who had been touched died in the streets and in their homes.

Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor were sad and forlorn to see this happen. They kept safe inside their house, resisting the sonic vibrations from the alien ships attacking as best as they could. But it didn’t make them feel any easier or less sorry for those who had been attacked viciously by the aliens wanting to kill them with their deadly disease.

“It’s just so horrible,” Billy declared. “I can’t bear another few more months of this.”

“The vaccine must be produced as soon as possible,” Nyssa added. “We’ve got to get it distributed to everyone who needs it.”

“Indeed Nyssa,” the Doctor concurred. “I wish my TARDIS was in proper working order without the power drainage on this planet.”

The Time Lord began to wonder whether the enemy responsible for the planet’s power drainage knew about him cracking the code to counteract the virus already. And if so, who could that enemy be?

It took a while for the Doctor and Nyssa to produce the tangible version of the vaccine they had uncovered, but thankfully it was on its way. The Doctor hoped to meet up with the Governor soon, under proper safety conditions of course, in order to deliver the vaccine to him so he could distribute it to the planet. He hoped the Governor would be more forthcoming this time. The Doctor shared his hopes with Nyssa and Billy over dinner once.

Meanwhile, Nyssa and Billy performed and recorded a sketch that Billy had written called ‘The Curse of Dr. Filthy: Cuddles’ Story’. The sketch involved them performing with cuddly toys as puppets, including their own toy dog Cuddles. They also had toy dogs and teddy bears sent to them via post. The public wanted to see their dogs and teddy bears in the sketch as it was being recorded on video. This was so the kids could enjoy seeing their toy animals in the sketch when it was being broadcast on various streaming services. Nyssa and Billy used three toy dogs in the end along with Cuddles in the sketch. This included Snuggles and his son Buggles as well as Puddles.

The sketch involved Cuddles telling the story of how important it was to ‘wash your hands’ with Snuggles, Buggles and Puddles interacting with him. This was so people could combat against the deadly virus, represented by Dr. Filthy. Nyssa and Billy enjoyed performing their sketch. Nyssa liked the voices Billy gave to Cuddles and Buggles whilst she performed Snuggles and Puddles. They hoped the message would get across to people once they started broadcasting the video sketch to the public.

It seemed to go down rather well with lots of likes and viewing figures accounted for. Nyssa and Billy were pleased with their efforts in making their video sketch about Cuddles’ story of Dr. Filthy possible. They also had a chance to interact with the viewing public who reacted warmly to Nyssa and Billy’s sketch. They answered questions from people and shared stories about their travels in time and space with the Doctor. The viewing public enjoyed that as much as they enjoyed the video sketch about Dr. Filthy with Cuddles. Nyssa and Billy made sure they sent the cuddly toy items back to the public who sent them to them.

After a long day of answering questions and sharing stories with people, Nyssa and Billy ended up sitting on the settee together in the living room of their house. They were exhausted by the hard work they’d put into making their little project possible.

“I’m glad we’ve made people happy, especially with Cuddles,” Billy said. “But it does take the wind out of our sails, doesn’t it?”

“I feel absolutely exhausted,” Nyssa concurred. “After all the technicalities of getting the sketch broadcast securely, I didn’t think we would ever achieve what we’d set out to do.”

“I believed in you, Nyssa,” Billy said. “You’re so gifted in your technical expertise. I don’t know what I’d do without you in encouraging me and supporting me with the project we did.”

“Thank you, Billy,” Nyssa looked at him. “It’s very nice of you to say that about me.”

“And it is the truth no matter what people say,” Billy told her. “Especially those critics who ridiculed our sketch!”

“Oh yes, I didn’t like answering questions from them,” Nyssa said. “Some of their comments were very crude and harsh.”

“Ah well, we don’t have to worry about them,” Billy said. “At least the general public liked what we did.”

Nyssa smiled and gave Billy a kiss. They both embraced whilst they kissed each other.

After kissing, Billy said, “Once all this is over, I’m going to see to it that the Doctor takes us to a place where we can have a proper holiday.”

“Where had you in mind, Billy?” Nyssa asked. “Earth perhaps?”

“Maybe. Or it could be a leisure resort on another alien planet that we haven’t been to before,” Billy said. “Somewhere peaceful. Perhaps tropical.”

“You sound adventurous,” Nyssa remarked cheekily.

“Just some place where we don’t have to think about viruses or deadly aliens in dark hoods wanting to kill us anymore,” Billy went on.

Nyssa became silent for a moment, nodding and appreciating what Billy meant.

“You’ve been very brave these past number of months, Billy,” Nyssa asked. “I don’t think the Doctor and I could have coped without you being so supportive in our endeavours to save this planet. Despite all the sacrifices made.”

“Yeah, I know,” Billy said sadly. “It’s coming to a full year of this and I still feel like we’ve been on this planet for more than a year.” He paused for a moment. “I can’t wait for the lockdown to end. I look forward to when the Doctor will see to it that the vaccine is distributed. Then this nightmare can be over and we can move about freely and off this planet in the Doctor’s TARDIS.”

“That’s providing the Governor will approve of the vaccine given to him by the Doctor,” Nyssa remarked. She was almost distracted somehow.

Billy noticed the tone in her voice and looked at her. “You don’t seem so sure that the Governor will approve of the tangible vaccine that the Doctor will give him.”

“No,” Nyssa replied. “The Doctor does have his suspicions about the Governor. I’m wondering if he’s right about him. He wasn’t willing to share the news freely that we had cracked the code for the vaccine.”

“No he wasn’t, was he?” Billy concurred. “Do you think we should do a check on him? To make sure he is sincere being the Governor of this planet.”

“It would help things to understand what’s going on,” Nyssa said. “The Doctor needn’t know about this. He’s got a lot to worry about with finishing off the procurement of that tangible vaccine he’s making.”

“Aren’t you helping him finalising the vaccine, dear?” Billy enquired.

“In some stages, yes,” Nyssa answered. “But I think he prefers to conduct the work on this vaccine alone. I respect him in the way he conducts his work. Whilst he’s focusing on that, we can check up on any records of the Governor that have come of late. Perhaps identify any anomalies in his behaviour.”

“And how are we going to find information on him?” Billy asked. “The libraries on this planet are bound to be shut due to lockdown to prevent us getting any information on him.”

“No, the libraries on this planet wouldn’t be much good, Billy,” Nyssa said. “But the TARDIS libraries might be able to help us out. We can check on the Governor’s history once we get into the TARDIS.”

“Hang on, I thought the power was out in the TARDIS,” Billy reminded her. “Surely the TARDIS library systems wouldn’t be working.”

“I have been experimenting on providing power to the TARDIS energy reserves from an outside source.”

“What outside source?”

“One of the space rocks that crashed to the planet during an alien attack months ago,” Nyssa answered. “It has excess amounts of radiation from it. I utilised that as energy for the TARDIS energy reserves to feed on.”

“Are you sure that was wise?” Billy asked. “Those space rocks sent to us by the aliens were infected with the deadly disease, remember?”

“Don’t worry, Billy,” Nyssa reassured him. “I checked and double-checked to make sure no viral substance was found on the space rock I acquired. And my Trakenite biology should be immune to the disease’s effects.”

“You’re not indestructible, Nyssa.”

“Point being,” Nyssa went on, “the power from the space rock was fed into the TARDIS energy serves to provide power for the TARDIS library to function again. I used the correct amount of wirings and transmission ducts to ensure that would happen. It’s on a limited range, the power supply, but I think we should be able to find out all we need to know about the Governor on this planet using the TARDIS library.”

“Alright then,” Billy shrugged. “Let’s go and see if we can find out what this Governor’s about. Hopefully it’ll help us to understand what’s going on regarding his behaviour lately.”

With that, Nyssa and Billy got up from the settee as they headed off for the TARDIS inside their house.

A month or so later, the Doctor finally finished his work on the procurement of the tangible vaccine. He was pleased with himself. He hoped to make contact with the Governor soon via video-com and tell him that he would deliver the tangible vaccine to him in the post soon.

Just as he was about to make the video call via the laptop he’d been using to communicate with the Governor, the Doctor received some unexpected guests. The Governor beamed into the living room with two of the dark-clad alien invaders. The Doctor was shocked and horrified to see them beaming into the living room like this.

“Governor!” the Time Lord exclaimed.

“Yes, Doctor,” the Governor bellowed. “I am the leader of the so-called aliens. We are the Coradvers and we will not let you distribute this vaccine to the people of this planet. This planet shall be ours!”

“Honestly, Governor,” the Doctor quipped. “You should have called in sooner. I would have been happy to have made you and your friends a cup of tea.”

“There’s no point in flippancy, Doctor,” the Governor taunted. “Social distancing can’t save you now! We Coradvers will touch you and you will get the disease, just as we want everyone to have the disease so that they can die!”

“I wouldn’t raise your hopes about that,” the Doctor replied. “The immunity levels in Time Lords might be higher than you and your friends anticipate.”

“We shall see,” the Governor goaded. He then commanded his two minions, “Advance!”

With that, the Governor and his two black-clad Coradvers advanced towards the Doctor.

Just then, Nyssa and Billy ran into the living room to join the Doctor. Nyssa held up a glass phial to show the Coradvers advancing towards them.

“Stay back,” she cried. “Anyone who comes closer to me, the Doctor and Billy will receive a deadly end. This glass phial contains a toxin to disintegrate Coradver physiognomy. I will use it against you if you try to hurt us!”

“You lie, girl,” the Governor taunted.

“Would you care to risk chancing it?” Nyssa challenged him.

“Doctor, sorry for us barging in like this,” Billy said. “But the Governor isn’t what he seems…”

“Yes Billy, I had gathered that before you and Nyssa arrived,” the Doctor responded testily.

“We discovered it very recently when we were checking the TARDIS library,” Nyssa told the Time Lord.

“You’ve been accessing the TARDIS library?!” the Doctor reacted astonished. “How were you able to get the power for…?”

“Long story, Doctor,” Nyssa interjected. “We’ll tell you about it another time. The point is the Coradvers, as we found out about them, caused the power drainage. They didn’t want anyone to know about their presence on this planet.”

“Hence why the TARDIS can’t work properly and can’t take off,” Billy added. “According to history records about this planet, the real Governor was killed and replaced by the one posing as him to put the people under a false sense of security.”

“We’ve also been able to learn about the Coradvers’ weaknesses,” Nyssa said. “That’s why I’ve brought this phial along!”

“This is all very interesting, Nyssa; Billy,” the Doctor remarked. “But it doesn’t explain why the Coradvers would want to attack and invade this planet in the first place.”

“It’s very simple,” the Governor answered coolly. “We want to populate this planet with our own kind by putting the consciences of the Coradvers into the dead!”

“What?!” the Doctor became even more horrified.

“Yes!” the Governor exclaimed gleefully. “This Governor’s body you see before you is a walking cadaver. A corpse animated by the leader of the Coradvers! We’ve had to work hard on killing the population slowly as the process of inserting everyone of our kind into the dead is instantaneous. I was the exception due to being the leader and all and the dark-clad figures you’ve been seeing in the streets are animated by remote control with in-built computer chips. They spread the disease in order to kill the insignificant population living on this putrid planet.”

“But that’s murder!” Billy exclaimed, disgusted. “Cold-blooded, heartless murder!”

“And I don’t care!” the Governor snorted. “We want to live on this planet! And we will kill everyone who gets in our way!”

“The carnage is unnecessary!” the Doctor told him. “I can help you move to a planet. You have no need to kill. I can attend to any needs you have…”

“No Doctor!” the Governor bellowed. “This planet is ours and we want it! We want to kill people for it! It is in our nature as Coradvers to kill! And we will kill you three to stop you getting in our way and destroy the vaccine!” He turned to his minions again. “Advance!”

With that, the Coradvers advanced again.

“You give me no choice,” Nyssa said as she threw the phial down to the floor, smashing it.

It caused an explosion. Smoke billowed out and the Coradvers, including the Governor, coughed away loudly.

“Well done, Nyssa,” Billy said approvingly.

“That was hardly necessary,” the Doctor reprimanded her.

“It’s not what you think, Doctor,” Nyssa said. “That really wasn’t a toxin to disintegrate Coradver physiognomy. Even I wouldn’t be that cruel.”

“It was just a smoke bomb Nyssa concocted,” Billy told the Time Lord.

The Doctor became confused. “But you and Billy said you’d learnt about the Coradvers’ weaknesses. Is smoke one of them?”

“Not exactly,” Nyssa replied. “Come on! We’ll explain as we get away!”

“Where are we going?” the Doctor demanded to know.

“To the rooftop,” Nyssa answered before she said urgently. “Come on! Quick, before the Governor and his minions recover!”

With that, the Doctor followed Nyssa and Billy as they headed up to the rooftop. Once they had escaped, the Governor, who had recovered, ridiculed his two minions for their efforts.

“You imbeciles! They got away! That smoke screen was to distract us! Come! After them! After them at once!”

Getting up from the floor, the Governor and the Coradvers chased after the TARDIS trio.

Up on the rooftop, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy made their way over to a small transmitter device already installed. The Doctor was surprised to see it there. Nyssa explained to the Doctor that she and Billy had installed the transmitter whilst he’d been working on the tangible vaccine. They didn’t want to worry him whilst he’d been procuring the vaccine in its tangible form to save people’s lives.

“But why install the transmitter here?” the Doctor enquired. “That’s what I want to know.”

“You’ll see, Doctor,” Nyssa replied. “You’ll see very soon. Have you got that tangible vaccine on you?”

“Yes I have,” the Doctor answered, fishing out the phial containing the vaccine inside.

“Good. May I have it?” Nyssa asked. “I assume you’ve made more of this.”

“Yes, they’re being kept at a low temperature in the fridge,” the Doctor explained. “These Coradver chaps don’t even know about it yet.”

“And let’s hope it stays that way,” Nyssa said, taking the phial from the Time Lord.

“Are you sure this is going to work, Nyssa?” Billy asked anxiously.

“Of course, Billy,” Nyssa told him. “Have faith! We have to keep strong in faith as we’ve been doing for the past number of months we’ve spent on this planet.”

Eventually, the trio approached the transmitter. Nyssa pressed a few buttons on a keypad and a compartment opened up on the back of the transmitter.

“We install the phial here,” Nyssa explained, installing the phial into the compartment itself. She then turned to the Doctor. “Would you care to do the honours of pressing the button to switch on the transmitter, Doctor?”

“The transmitter should be powered up already,” Billy told his girlfriend. “I’ve made sure I attended to it myself.”

“Yes and I’m very grateful, Billy dear,” Nyssa patiently told him.

“Nyssa; Billy, will you two please explain to me what all of this is about?” the Doctor demanded impatiently of his companions.

Just then, the Coradvers led by the Governor appeared on the rooftop, ready to tackle the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy who were at the transmitter.

“At last,” the Governor said gleefully. “We have you and your friends in our sights, Doctor! You cannot escape from us!”

“Now Doctor,” Nyssa said urgently. “Do it now! Press the button!”

“Which one?”

“The big red one of course!”

With that and without hesitation, the Doctor pressed the big red button on the transmitter. As soon as he did that, the transmitter switched on and fired an energy beam at the Governor and his two Coradver minions. The Governor and the Coradvers screamed out in agony once the transmitter beam hit them.

“No!” the Governor screamed. “You can’t stop us! You cannot defeat us! NO!!!”

But it was already too late. With one final scream, the Governor and his two Coradver minions disintegrated, evaporating into dust. Silence ensued for a moment when the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy saw what had occurred.

“Well done, Nyssa,” Billy said relieved. “I’m glad your theory worked out correct in the end.”

“Yes it did, didn’t it?” Nyssa said pleased.

“What did you just do, Nyssa?” the Doctor demanded, rather put-out.

“It’s alright, Doctor,” Nyssa assured the Time Lord. “Billy and I analysed the Governor and the Coradvers’ composition as a species. Or rather the TARDIS library systems did. Apparently the Coradvers are filled with the virus they created. So Billy and I assumed that if we transmitted an energy beam containing the vaccine you created onto the Coradvers, they’d disintegrate entirely.”

“And it turned out to be the case as you saw, Doctor,” Billy concluded.

The Doctor was astounded. He considered for a moment.

“Well,” he eventually said. “I’m glad you two have been resourceful. If it weren’t for you two, the Governor and his Coradvers would have finished us in an instant.”

“And if you hadn’t created the tangible vaccine,” Nyssa went on, “we couldn’t have had the vital ingredient to make our transmitter weapon possible to destroy the Coradvers.”

“So we’ve all played our part in saving the day, haven’t we?” Billy said cheerfully.

“Yes, indeed we have,” the Doctor concurred. “Though there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

“You’re right, Doctor,” Nyssa joined in. “We have to make sure all the Coradvers are destroyed by the vaccine before we can distribute it to people on the planet.”

“Do we have a portable transmitter we can use to fight against the Coradvers in the city streets?” Billy enquired.

“Yes we have,” Nyssa answered. “There should be one in the TARDIS.”

“You and Billy get onto it with disintegrating every Coradver left remaining in the city,” the Doctor told them. “Also try and find the device the Coradvers are using to drain power from the planet and the TARDIS. That way, once the TARDIS is restored to full power, we can continue to disintegrate more Coradvers across the planet before we distribute the vaccine to everybody. With their leader gone, the Coradvers should be easy pickings.”

“We’ll do that, Doctor,” Nyssa said approvingly. “You work on producing more tangible vaccines whilst Billy and I attend to the Coradvers and in restoring power to the TARDIS.”

“I’ll get onto the manufacturers in replicating the vaccine as soon as possible,” the Doctor added cheerfully.

“Come on, Billy, let’s go,” Nyssa said encouragingly.

Billy had no qualms about that as he followed Nyssa eagerly. Once Nyssa and Billy had gone, the Doctor remained on the rooftop reflecting on the sudden victory he and his friends had achieved against the enemy that had told everyone to remain at home for a whole year. The Doctor was looking forward to getting back into the TARDIS and resuming his travels in time and space very soon.

The end of the year had come and the Coradvers had been defeated and destroyed. Everyone was also vaccinated against the Coradvers’ terrible virus. The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were vaccinated too. They were able to move freely, walking out among the community who were celebrating a day of peace and freedom, which was very fitting for the end of their oppression imposed upon them by the Coradvers. The day of peace and freedom was almost similar to Christmas as Nyssa and Billy noticed. And most importantly, the TARDIS was in full working order again. The Doctor couldn’t be happier than that.

“It’ll be a struggle for everyone to get back to normality,” Nyssa remarked as they walked down the street, seeing lots of people recuperating from the hellish year they had had.

“It will indeed, yes, Nyssa,” the Doctor said. “It’ll take time but we’ve given these people hope at last. Something I didn’t think would ever happen in a long while.”

“I wouldn’t like to go through another year of that,” Billy said. He then corrected himself. “I take it back. As long as I’m with you Nyssa and you Doctor, I would be happy to cope with another year. We three kept safe during that time and I’m pleased I was in good company.”

“Yes well, thankfully we don’t have to go through another year of what we just went through,” Nyssa said. “That is such a relief.”

“Indeed it is,” the Doctor remarked. He paused before addressing his companions. “Thank you both for helping me out during that time. It would have been a lonely experience if I had had to do all the work myself in saving this planet and its people.”

“That’s alright, Doctor,” Nyssa said. “We’re always happy to help.”

“I’m glad we had some good times in the home we’ve had to live in for a year,” Billy said. “All those birthdays we had.”

“Yes,” Nyssa smiled. “It’s such a shame to leave the house behind like this.”

“Don’t worry, you two,” the Doctor said. “We can always rent the house should we ever come back to this planet. Hopefully that’ll be when the planet’s society is going through happier times as opposed to bad.”

“I think we should leave these people with that Cuddles sketch Nyssa and I did about Dr. Filthy,” Billy said. “It’s very important for people to remember that they ‘wash their hands’.” Billy mimicked Cuddles’ voice from the sketch he and Nyssa performed.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Billy laughed together at that.

“I think you’ve saved many people’s lives with that video sketch we did, Billy, by telling them to wash their hands,” Nyssa remarked. “As I’ve said before, you’ve saved my life as well as the Doctor’s.”

“Thank you, Nyssa,” Billy replied. “You’ve saved my life too.”

Both embraced and kissed each other as they walked.

“And you two have saved my life most definitely from the Coradvers and the Governor,” the Doctor said happily.

“And you saved our lives as well as everyone else’s with the vaccine you and Nyssa created,” Billy commented.

“Couldn’t agree with you more, Billy,” Nyssa said happily.

“Well, I’m glad we’re all fair and square with saving people’s lives as well as our own,” the Doctor remarked.

“So long as we wash our hands to protect ourselves from any virus that comes our way,” Billy said, “we won’t be filthy-fied!” He mimicked Cuddles’ voice again.

“And as long as we don’t get too close to each other, we’ll keep a safe distance from Dr. Filthy indeed,” Nyssa said, mimicking Cuddles’ voice in return. “Oh he’s such a filthy man Dr. Filthy is.”

“If you two don’t imply that I’m Dr. Filthy, that’s okay with me,” the Doctor quipped.

The trio laughed again. They soon joined in with the Christmassy celebrations for a bit. About two hours or so later, they made their way back into their house. They soon returned to the TARDIS inside the house and left the planet behind them. The blue police box whooshed and groaned away. No-one knew if they would ever see the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy again.

‘Nyssa of Traken’ originally created by Johnny Byrne
‘Billy Walker’ created by Tim Bradley

© Tim Bradley, 2021

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