The old man was known to Doctor as the Keeper, and now stood over his grave, paying his respects to a good man. He was said to be the only friend of the Doctor, and was the last to remain at his grave side.
He was about to leave, when the police box groaned. The Keeper swung around and glared at the TARDIS. He approached it with caution when it groaned again. He felt something was wrong so with caution peered inside, checking all was well. As he entered he caught the glimpse of a picture that had been left on the console, and as he held it up to the light, he smiled. It was him, his friend the Doctor. He was sure he was still alive.
'Doctor!' bellowed the Keeper. 'Where are you?'
'Turn around,' was the reply.
The Keeper turned sharply and there stood before him was the unmistakable form of his friend, the Doctor.
'Did you miss me?' he asked.
'What happened to you?' asked the Keeper.
'I was unable to stop it,' he answered. 'The war, I mean. I was never any good at fighting wars.'
'Probably just as well,' murmured the Keeper. 'It's hardly like you to go to war.'
'It's nice of you to say so,' replied the Doctor.
'So what happens now?' asked the Keeper.
'I leave here,' said the Doctor. 'Before anyone finds out that I am alive and my funeral has been faked.'
'Not to mention your death,' muttered the Keeper.
A while later, the Keeper watched as the blue box vanished and the graveyard fell silent. As he exited the graveyard, unknown to him he had been observed and as he saw them gliding towards him, he tried to make one final attempt to evade the on lookers but he was too late.
The Daleks had found their prey after a long search through time and space. It was known to them that he had travelled with the Doctor and soon they would find their Time Lord enemy and do with him what they liked. The Doctor had been ordered dead.
The Doctor had arrived on Skaro. It was where he was going and when he graced the unearthly plains, he saw how different it was. The planet had been roasted and the Daleks were no more. But he had found fresh foot prints in the ground, proof that someone had been to Skaro before him.
It was on Skaro the Doctor sought the help of Davros. They met in an underground base, just about held together despite the bomb damage. There had been a great war. Skaro was not what it was, and Davros looked fearful as he came face to face with the Doctor.
'The Daleks will find you, Doctor!' insisted Davros. 'And when they do,' he chuckled, 'I will rejoice!'
'You would,' replied the Doctor. He wasn't in the least impressed, 'but the Daleks aren't acting on your orders.' said the Doctor. 'They're working alone!'
'Not quite,' hissed Davros, 'they're working for the Supreme Dalek!'
'Then you will help me?' asked the Doctor, 'Because you too can not be happy with the eventual outcome?'
'I simply make do,' replied Davros. 'I have Skaro…'
'Not for long,' the Doctor reminded him, 'The planet is burning up and soon there will be nothing left. Not even you…'
'Nevertheless,' barked Davros, 'I will not help you!'
As the Doctor made his way from Davros' side he said, 'Oh, very well, fine…but remember this, Davros…I shall show no pity.' and accepting the decision he left.
Returning to his ship, the Doctor set the controls of the TARDIS to return to Earth. On his arrival the Doctor found his friend, the Keeper dead. His body had been left there purposely for him to find, and when he did…he shuddered with sheer annoyance. 'Another pointless killing,' he murmured to himself.
On closer examination of the Keeper's body, the Doctor had found a key left beside him, gleaming in the light. He picked it up and held it in his hands. 'Strange…' he mused, 'I wonder…' He rushed aboard the TARDIS and found a slot for the key that fit. 'It belongs to the TARDIS…' he mumbled. 'But what's if for? What does it do?'
The questions fell on the silence around him, then there was a sudden and instant disturbance in the air, and as he looked around he saw the Keeper walking towards him. His face was bloody, his eyes were closed. The Doctor was horrified to see the gruesome ghost of his friend walking towards him, so much so he fell backwards.
'I exist!' bellowed the Keeper, continuing to move towards the Doctor.
'Yes, you do, it seems.' muttered the Doctor.
'There is little time, Doctor. The Daleks are on to us…'
'But what do they want?' replied the Doctor. 'The Key, perhaps?'
'No. It is said they want you…'
'Me? Why?' asked the Doctor.
'I do not have the answer you seek,' answered the Keeper. 'But they wanted it enough to kill me.'
'Who exactly are you? What do you do?' demanded the Doctor.
'I am the Keeper,Doctor-'
'Not the Keeper I know, who's lying out there...dead!' interrupted the Doctor.
'The Keeper of the TARDIS!'
'What have you kept from me?' demanded the Doctor. 'It had better be good, otherwise why else would the Daleks be on to us?'
'The Key,' answered the Keeper. 'The Key to the TARDIS. The key to life, death, and adventure…'
'But it's my TARDIS!' shouted the Doctor. 'It's got nothing to do with you!'
'So why was I given it to look after?'
'I have no idea!' moaned the Doctor. 'But that's something else altogether. 'Who gave you this?' he asked.
'The Time Lords,' replied the Keeper. 'They saw the usefulness, Its special purpose…'
'So what is it?' bellowed the Doctor, 'What does it do?'
'It is you!' answered the Keeper.
He suddenly froze. He was mystified. He suddenly mouthed, ‘Doctor who?' It all suddenly made sense.
There was a sudden whirr from the console.
'They've found us!' yelled the Keeper. 'We must leave here now!'
'The Daleks are attempting to board the TARDIS.' the Doctor said, studying the console readings. 'Stay Back!' ordered the Doctor to the Keeper. He quickly adjusted the controls on the panels before him. 'Come on!' he stressed, pulling at the leavers, trying to force the TARDIS into working his way. Then it suddenly disappeared and the Doctor and the Keeper finally breathed a sigh of relief.
'Something has to be done to save the key,' declared the Keeper. 'The Daleks cannot be allowed to possess it!'
'What do you want me to do about it? mummbled the Doctor, while busy piloting the TARDIS. As most occasions, he wasn't sure where he was going.
'You must protect the key!' urged the Keeper, 'whatever the cost!' he declared and he suddenly vanished.
The Doctor held the key in his hands and sighed. What do the Daleks want with it, he wondered. But he couldn't sit back and pretend everything was alright. He was being hunted by the Daleks, like he had been many times and years ago. Only this time they wouldn't give him the chance to escape.
The Dalek fleet was closing in, travelling through space and time.
On board, the Supreme Dalek made preparations for the key retrieval, the Dalek creature was certain the Doctor would surrender, and that the key would be theirs.
'All Daleks to the observation deck!' he bellowed.
Aboard the TARDIS the Doctor continued to adjust the controls on the console, constantly changing directions through space, constantly moving through the vortex to other times.
He was suddenly aware of a light shimmering in one corner of the TARDIS. A light he'd never seen before. He tried not to be detracted from the task in hand but the light was so bright, he couldn't help but wonder what the apparition was that now stood before him. 'Who are you?' cried the Doctor, peering closer at the form before him taking shape.
An image of a girl; familiar, gentle, and well spoken. She seemed familiar to him. 'No wait…' he added, as she was about to speak. 'I know who you are!' her name was Clara, he remembered and she was a friend of the Doctor...or was she?
The girl smiled and crept towards the Doctor, and pulled him closer to herself. She frowned, as if something was wrong. She recognised him. 'You may call me Clara,' she said, tears running down her eyes. 'I am a memory, a spec of the imagination...'
'I see,' replied the Doctor, pulling on his glasses. 'You may not remember me, but we've met before.'
'Remember you?' murmured Clara, 'Yes, I do…' she replied. 'It's John Smith,' she added. 'Am I right?'
The Doctor didn't know what to say. He took her hands in his and smiled.
'That's a yes then, I suppose.'
'But I'm afraid we've little time to talk,' said the Doctor, pulling away from Clara. 'As much as I'd like to…' he went on. 'I'm afraid we've got company!'