Two To Make Peace

by Kathryn A

Universe: Vorkosigan/Doctor Who
Challenge: Multiverse 2007
Written for: Mara
Words: 4850

The assignment was Doctor Who (Ten) & Miles Vorkosigan (MV)

"It takes one to make war, and two to make peace."

There was a sound at the hatch. Miles froze, reaching for his stunner. Surely they hadn't found him? He'd jiggered the controls so that the lifeboat appeared to be empty.

The hatch opened quietly, as if whoever it was was trying to be stealthy. Miles aimed his stunner, but hesitated to fire. What if it was a fellow passenger or crew, and not one of those... things?

It was neither. Human, yes, dark-haired and wearing dark clothing, but also a complete stranger.

"Oh, hello, I thought this was empty," the man said. "Mind if I join you?"

Miles gestured him inside. Better that than get caught because he was standing outside. "Who are you?" No uniform, so he wasn't part of the crew. And not a passenger; Miles had checked everyone who was supposed to be on board. Spy? Saboteur? Escaped prisoner?

The man smiled. "I'm the Doctor."

"Doctor who?" Miles asked.

"Just the Doctor," the man said. "Well, you can call me Doctor Smith if you like, but it's not my real name."

"So what's your real name?"

"Oh, it's unpronounceable," the Doctor said. "What's yours?"

"Miles Naismith," Miles said. No point in using his cover ID now that things had gone to hell. And it would be interesting to see how this "Doctor Smith" reacted to his "official" name -- well, his name with the Dendarii. Though sometimes that felt more real than his real name.

"You're Admiral Naismith?" The stranger grinned and grabbed Miles' hand, shaking it in the custom of Earth. "Marvelous! It's an honour to meet you. What you did on Dagoola IV was brilliant!"

The rescue of 10,000 Marilacan prisoners from the Cetagandan prison camp on Dagoola IV was highly classified. Perhaps the man was a spy. But, on the other hand... "You're a pretty poor spy if you don't know what I look like," Miles said.

"You were taller in the movie. And I'm not a spy."


"'The Greatest Escape'? Written by Suegar?"

Miles frowned. By Suegar? I bet that would make interesting reading -- if it exists.

"Maybe they haven't made it yet."

"You are a spy." Though if he was, not a very good one. Unless it was a double-bluff.

"Nah, I just love escapes," the Doctor said. "Speaking of which, we can't really hang around in this lifeboat forever." The Doctor bent over and peered at the open panel where Miles had been working. "Lifeboat beacon's not much to work with," he said. "Nice job with the indicators, though." He poked at the wiring. "Trying to get a signal to the Dendarii?"

"What makes you think that?"

The Doctor grinned. "Why, you're almost as good at getting into trouble as I am. Now here we have an alien incursion, a mystery, and you -- of course the Dendarii are involved!"

Miles gestured a concession. "They're just waiting for a signal..."

"Which isn't working," the Doctor surmised. He leaned back and frowned. "Now, if we could get to my, er, equipment..."

Miles noted the hesitation. "Equipment?"

"Tall blue box, says "Police Box" on the outside," the Doctor said. "Unfortunately, the Galyari recognised it; they've got it under guard."

"Those lizard-people are called Galyari? How do you know that?"

"Oh, I get around." The Doctor frowned. "The puzzle is, what are they doing here? They're a long way from the Clutch. Not even sure this is the right time, either."

The right time? Miles wondered.

"Maybe they fell through a rift," the Doctor continued.

"A rift?"

"A rift in space-time," the Doctor said. "There's been a lot more of them around since -- never mind."

"Where is your equipment being held?"

"Second storage hold," the Doctor said. "Two guards outside, but I don't think we'd be able to take out more than one with your stunner. Not before the other one got us." The Doctor frowned, running his hands through his hair and making it stick up more than ever. "It doesn't make sense! Why are they taking prisoners? The Galyari are either peaceful traders or gung-ho warriors. If these ones are traders, why take prisoners? And if they've gone all conquering hordes on us, they'd just kill everyone, not take prisoners."

Do I look like that when I'm thinking aloud? Miles wondered. "Not ransom, there haven't been any demands," he said aloud. "In fact, there hasn't been any communication at all. People thought it was just ordinary pirates, wanted us to investigate, but..."

The Doctor sighed. "But obviously they're not ordinary pirates, and perhaps not pirates at all." The Doctor stood up. "Still, we won't find any answers sitting around here!"

Miles went through the plans of the ship in his head, something he'd made sure to memorise before he'd gotten on board. Second storage hold... maybe there was a way... "I have an idea," he said slowly.


Why do I keep on having these bright ideas? Miles wondered as he crawled through the service tunnel. It gave him uncomfortable flashbacks to the time he'd crawled through the ducting on Aslund station. Though at least this time he didn't have Gregor to worry about. No, just lizard things, and the Doctor. Now there was an unknown quantity. Sharp, yes, and knew too much about the wrong things, but... You are supposed to be a good judge of character, Miles, he thought to himself. It's a bit late to be second-guessing now.

"How's it going?" the Doctor's voice said in Miles' ears. They'd managed to cannibalise communicators from two of the spacesuits in the lifeboat. Miles's was tied on with string from the Doctor's amazingly capacious pockets.

"Nearly there," Miles said softly. "Only about twenty metres to go."

Miles continued to inch along until he reached the panel he was aiming for. Fortunately it wasn't that difficult to get it undone. He eased the access open, and pushed the grate further along the tunnel. He didn't want to drop it with a clang in the storage hold and alert the guards. He peered through the hole. The light was dim, but he could still see. The panel was in the ceiling, unfortunately. Fortunately, the storage hold was actually used for storing things, so he could probably clamber down the piles of boxes -- so long as he didn't knock anything over. Yes, that looked like a possible route, there. He looked around the room, trying to spot the Doctor's "tall blue box". It was dim enough that he couldn't be entirely sure of the colours of anything, but... ah, not so much a box as something like a miniature building, with tiny glass windows. Yes. "I can see it," Miles said. "You didn't mention it had windows."

"They're decorative," the Doctor said.

Decorative? What's that supposed to mean? "I'm about to leave the duct," Miles whispered. He pulled himself out of the hole awkwardly, and then scrambled down. When he reached the floor, he stood, breathing quietly hoping he hadn't made too much noise. Then he picked his way through the boxes and shelves to the front of the storage hold, where the Doctor's eccentric "equipment box" was. The Doctor had been rather vague as to where his promised transmitter was, though Miles supposed that it wouldn't be hard to search through something that was only twice his height and no wider than his outstretched arms.

Miles crept to the front of the "Police Box". There was writing on it, looked to be some form of Betan. Was the Doctor from Beta? He didn't have the right accent, though. Miles pulled the key that the Doctor had given him from the chain around his neck, and put it to the old-fashioned lock. Who would use something so archaic nowadays? Well, besides Barrayarans. For a moment, he wondered if it was the right key, but it turned in the lock surprisingly easily. He pushed one door open. Yellow light streamed out, bright in the dimness. Miles blinked. And then blinked again. The door opened into an area which was much bigger than it ought to be. Was it an illusion? A hologram? Miles stepped inside, stretched out his arms and touched the glowing coral-like walls. "Yuri's toenails!" he swore.

"Ah, you're inside the TARDIS, then," the Doctor's voice came through his earpiece, with a tinge of amusement.

"TARDIS?" Miles said sharply.

"Time And Relative Dimension In Space," the Doctor said. "It's my ship."

Definitely not from Beta. "Your ship," Miles said dryly.

"Well, I didn't think you'd believe me," the Doctor said.

Miles looked around at the extraordinary interior. The walls curved like a room in a tower; a tower made by millions of industrious coral polyps with a penchant for hexagons. Branched pillars held up the ceiling. The metal mesh of the floor contrasted with the organic feel of the walls. And in the centre of the room, like some industrial-tech mushroom impaled by a column of glass, was what Miles took to be a set of controls. "Ah, you might have been correct there," he said.

He stepped up to the console, and realised that he didn't recognise anything. Well, obviously he recognised that they were controls, what with switches and dials and levers -- in a style which seemed to match the archaism of the door lock -- but he couldn't figure what any of them were for. Especially since none of them appeared to have labels. "So where's the transmitter?"

"Don't touch anything!" the Doctor snapped.

Miles jumped and put his hands behind his back. "Fine. Not touching anything."

"If you follow my directions precisely, we can set up the TARDIS to home in on the signal from my sonic screwdriver," the Doctor said. "Make a mistake and--"

"It'll explode?"

"Oh, nothing so simple as that," the Doctor said grimly. "On the other hand, nothing might happen," he said brightly.

"What a brilliant motivator," Miles said sarcastically.

"Oh, I have my moments."

Then followed twenty minutes of directions. "Now, that's the helmic regulator, requires a delicate touch... Turn the dial until it's at the half-way mark... Flip the first switch up, that's the one on the left..."

"Okay, now when the indicator on the screen shows 572--" the Doctor said.

"I can't see any numbers on the screen, just geometric shapes," Miles interrupted.

"Ah," the Doctor said. "Yes, used to be in English, but the Hindu-Arabic numeral system is so limited."

Who the heck has a numeric system that's based on geometric shapes? Well, who builds ships that are bigger on the inside than on the outside? Miles shoved that thought in the too-hard basket and concentrated on what the Doctor was saying.

"Okay," the Doctor continued, "look for three symbols on the screen. They're all framed by a double-lined hexagon, and inside there are hexagons and--"

"Circles with bites taken out of them," Miles said.

"Yes, right," the Doctor said. "Now, the symbol for five has got a large circle at the bottom, and five hexagons curving to the left."

"A large circle with three other circles inside it?"

"No, that's two, if it's the one with three hexagons in a straight line, then two hexagons slightly to the left, but going in the same direction. Five has three hexagons in a line, and then two hexagons at more of an angle, and the circle has got two small circles inside it."

"Two? I can only see one."

"Well, the second one is inside one of the bites."

"Ah, okay, got it."

"Seven is easy, it's got four hexagons, a circle, and another hexagon."

"Right. Adjusting... now."

"Good. Now see that switch just to the right? Flip it down -- and hold on tight!"

"Are you sure this is going to work?"

"Of course it'll work! And if it doesn't, kick the console."

"How very reassuring," Miles said dryly. He flicked the switch. The whole room began to shudder. The light in the column glowed and moved up and down, and a noise like a giant bellows erupted around him. Miles held on for dear life. After a minute, the noise stopped, and then started up again, and then stopped, with a sort of thud.

"Doctor?" Miles said. What the hell just happened?

"Admiral Naismith!" the Doctor said.

The voice came from behind him. Miles whirled. The Doctor was stepping through the door, grinning.

"How did you get here?"

"But I didn't," the Doctor said. "You got here. In the TARDIS. Speaking of which, we'd better get elsewhere before the Galyari notice--"

An alarm blared outside.

"Which they appear to have done already," the Doctor said. He pulled a lever and the doors closed with a snap. Then he leaped around the console like a hyperactive organ maestro, doing in seconds what Miles had done in painstaking minutes. The room shook, groaned, wheezed. The lights in the column began moving again.

"Where are we going?"

"Where would you like to go?" the Doctor asked. "Your flagship? That's where I'd want to go if I were you."

Miles blinked. "You can do that?" Appear anywhere. Out of thin air. What kind of a weapon that would make. Destroy the balance of power. Dangerous. Very, very dangerous. "Who are you?" Miles asked. "Where are you from?"

The Doctor sighed. "From a dead world. I'm not a threat." He threaded a hand through his hair. "Well, except to those who need threatening. Like the Galyari. Wanna play 'good cop, bad cop'?"

"And which one would you be?"

"Bad cop," the Doctor said. "The Galyari really don't like me."

"What did you do to them?"

"Ah..." The Doctor ticked off the points on his fingers. "Threw them off the world they were invading, destroyed their race-memory egg-thingie, blustered a bit -- well, a lot, really -- and gave their hatchlings nightmares. Still do, probably. I'm kind of their equivalent to the bogeyman."

"If you're not a good boy, Baba Yaga will come and take you away?"

"They call me the Sandman, but yes." The Doctor rubbed his ear. "It's kind of a difficult reputation to live down."


"Miles! Admiral! What are you doing here?" Bel Thorne's voice was a relief to hear.

"Betan stealth drone," Miles said. "Experimental. This is Doctor Smith, it belongs to him."

"Hello," the Doctor said cheerfully. "Call me the Doctor."

"You're not Betan," Thorne said.

"Immigrant," the Doctor lied promptly. "Love the lifestyle. Though the earrings take a bit of getting used to."

"You're not wearing any."

"Neither are you, Gentle Herm," the Doctor pointed out.

"Doctor, this is Bel Thorne, Captain of the Ariel," Miles said. "Captain, briefing in my office in fifteen minutes. Senior officers. I've encountered the pirates and... it's a more complicated situation than we'd anticipated."

"Sir." Miles was amazed how much dryness the herm could put into one syllable.


Changed into his Dendarii grey-and-whites, Miles faced the people sitting around the table. The Doctor was in on the briefing; as an information source he was invaluable; as an unknown quantity, it was better to have him under his eye.

Miles cleared his throat. Better just come out and say it. "The pirates are aliens. Lizard-people."

"Well, technically not lizards," the Doctor interrupted. "They're actually descended from chameleon-like reptiles; don't have the camouflage any more, still have the eyesight. Though the Galyari consider themselves to be descended from avians rather than reptilians, I'm fairly certain that that's a myth."

"You're not serious," Thorne said.

"Well --" the Doctor began, but was interrupted in turn.

"There aren't any aliens," Elena said.

"Well, they did find ruins on Mars," Eli Quinn said.

"Ruins, not spacefaring civilisations," Thorne said.

"What, you don't believe in aliens?" the Doctor exclaimed. "Are you thick, or just wilfully ignorant?"

"Doctor, don't insult the children," Miles said. He turned to the others. "Yes, I said aliens, and I meant aliens."

"What are their numbers?" Eli asked. "Can the fleet fight them off or will we have to get help?"

"Why is it always shoot first and ask questions afterwards with you people?" the Doctor snarled. "No wonder humans have such a bad reputation."

"Well it's not as if they speak our language," Thorne said. "They're alien."

"Language?" the Doctor said. "Language shouldn't be a problem, the Galyari are traders, they speak many languages..." he trailed off, deep in thought. "Unless they don't," he continued. He turned to Miles. "Admiral, did you manage to see what they were doing with the prisoners, close enough to hear what they were saying?"

Miles thought back. "They seemed to be questioning them, but it wasn't in any language that I knew. And none of the passengers did either."

"Was it language, or languages?"

"Didn't you notice yourself?"

"I'm fluent in everything, so no, I didn't notice," the Doctor said. "Think! It's important."

Miles was multi-lingual himself; while Barrayar did have one major language, there were enough language minorities that it behooved anyone with savvy to at least be able to understand them -- as he'd proved on Kyril island and other times since. And even if you didn't understand a language, different languages had different feels, some guttural, some liquid, some sing-song. "Languages," Miles stated. "Some of them sounded almost familiar."

"Yes!" the Doctor said. "That's it! They're trying to make themselves understood. It must have been a time-rift as well as a space-rift; while the Galyari know many languages, languages suffer from drift, change over time. If they'd fallen back or forward a couple of centuries, they wouldn't necessarily have any languages in common."

"How is that going to help us?" Elena asked. "We still won't be able to talk to them -- unless you can?"

"Yes, I can," the Doctor said, "but that's not going to be a long-term solution."

Because he's not planning on sticking around, Miles surmised.

"What languages would they know which wouldn't have drifted as much?" the Doctor wondered aloud. "Hindi? No, probably not, and obviously not English. Hebrew -- anyone here know Hebrew?" Headshakes all around. "Japanese? No, I've got it -- French! The French are obsessed with the purity of their language. Who here can speak French?"

"Me," said Miles, at the same time as Elena said "I can." The French-speaking minority on Barrayar was a voluble and very conservative one.

The Doctor beamed at them. "Good! There's your answer! Speak first--"

"And shoot afterwards," Miles said. "Only if we need to."


Miles sat up straighter in the chair and checked the settings again. The earbud in his ear had warmed to body-temperature, but it was still a hard lump. Part of him was gibbering Aliens! You're going to be talking to aliens! while another part of him was just getting impatient, waiting for the Doctor to return.

"Sorry," the Doctor said as he came in, "just needed to look something up. Are we ready?"

"Are you ready?" Miles asked, as Elena handed the Doctor the microphone he'd use to send to Miles' earbud. No point in having an expert if you don't use him -- and no point in letting the Other Guy know that you're being fed your lines. Though Miles was inclined to ad-lib anyway.

"Testing, testing, one, two, three," the Doctor said into Miles' ear, "with a banjo on my knee."

"Fine, we're ready," Miles said. The Doctor and Elena stood out of sight of the pickup, but near enough. Miles pressed the button.

"Calling the leader of the Galyari, this is Admiral Naismith of the Free Dendarii Mercenaries." The French was rusty on his tongue. He repeated the hail, and waited.

"No response," said Elena.

"Give them time," the Doctor said.

Miles repeated the hail.

The screen suddenly filled with a green-brown scaly head, with eyes like wrinkled cones that swivelled independently in all directions. The lipless mouth opened, and the alien spoke. "This is Negotiator Palin of the Clutch. At last, someone who can speak a trade tongue!"

"Good. A Negotiator. That means they're willing to negotiate."

"Why have you been attacking shipping in this sector?"

"We were defending ourselves. They attacked without provocation."

"Of which there are conveniently no survivors to tell their side of the story?" Miles said dryly.

"Not so!" Palin said. "We crippled only, where we could. Some ships would not surrender and kept firing. We had to destroy them or die. As it is, we lost three ships and two are crippled."

"What did I tell you? Shoot first and ask questions afterwards."

Miles ignored the comment. "Am I to understand that these... attacks are the result of simple misunderstanding?"

"Our flight was caught in some sort of disturbance, and when it was over, we were here, a place not on our charts."

"I was right, it was a Rift."

"We almost despaired," Palin continued, "but we encountered a ship -- signs of civilisation. We hailed it, and it opened fire on us."

"And that happened more than once," Miles stated. "The Dendarii were called in to investigate the disappearances."

"And who are the Dendarii? Police?" Palin asked.

"Our investigations are of a more private nature," Miles said.

"Mercenaries." Palin's voice was thoughtful.

"The best," Miles said. "We don't shoot first and ask questions afterwards. But we do know how to shoot."

Palin tilted her head in acknowledgement.

Miles nodded. "Now, it seems to me, Negotiator Palin, that you have a problem. You're far from home, you have no support, and you're outnumbered. There are a number of local governments in this area of space who will be talking piracy and kidnapping --" he held up one hand to forestall her protest, "whether or not it was self-defence. If you choose to do so, you can fight -- and you will die." Miles wondered if she realised how much he was bluffing. Sure, the Dendarii outnumbered the Galyari ships, but it had occurred to him that he had no idea what their weapons were capable of. Alien weapons against which they might have no defence; no, this wasn't a numbers game.

"We had no choice."

"You have a choice now," Miles said.

"What choices are you offering?" Palin asked.

"I can take them home," the Doctor said in his ear. "Just them, not their ships. The ships wouldn't fit."

I'm not sure they would trust the Doctor, not if he was right about his reputation, Miles thought. But he spoke anyway. "Transportation back to the Clutch, for your people, but not their ships."

"And what would happen to our ships? You would steal our homes from us!"

"Not at all," Miles said, though the thought of salvage had occurred to him. "It's just that your ships wouldn't fit through the doors of the transport that is being offered. I believe you're familiar with the ship in question -- rectangular shaped, and a particular shade of blue..."

"The Doctor," Palin hissed. "You are working with him."

"He is advising me," Miles said. "I am passing on his offer in good faith. You cannot deny that his ship is capable of taking you home."

"We must decline the offer," Palin said. "Our ships are our lives, our homes. Take us back that way, and we would have nothing."

"I've already mentioned the 'death' option, which I'm certain neither of us want," Miles said.

"We desire trade, not conflict," Palin said.

"And yet conflict is what you have given us," Miles said. "After this little... misunderstanding... I think certain guarantees would be required before any talk of trade. Certain governments are rather upset," he said. Though I bet the Houses of Jackson's Whole would be cutting each others' throats to talk trade with aliens, no matter what they'd done. Trading with them or dissecting them. No, we definitely don't want that. "The Houses of Jackson's Whole, for example, would probably like nothing more than to have your people on slabs -- or worse. House Ryoval is always looking for... exotic genetic material."

Miles wondered if the expression on Palin's face was horror, anger or just dyspepsia. It was rather hard to tell, though the way her eyes were swivelling she certainly seemed agitated.

"Why would they do such a thing?" Palin said, and then softer, so that Miles could barely hear it, "I do not understand humans."

"They're scum," Miles said. So much for the stick, how about the carrot? "If you're interested in trade, the best group to ally yourselves with in this sector of space is Komarr. Their trade fleets are famous throughout the nexus. And even better, from your point of view, is that there weren't any Komarran ships amongst those who attacked you." For once, Illyan had been proactive in sending Miles to investigate; Barrayar didn't want to wait until after they'd lost a Komarran trade fleet to look into the disappearances. Or maybe Illyan just didn't want Miles to get bored. He briefly wondered if Illyan would be pleased or horrified at what Miles was trying to achieve right now. Probably both.

"So you think the Komarrans would be open to negotiations?" Palin asked.

"Well, Komarr is a protectorate of Barrayar, so it's the Barrayarans you would have to negotiate with."

"Are you sure that's wise? Get the Barrayarans and the Galyari together and light the blue touch paper and stand well clear." the Doctor said in his ear. "On the other hand, they could get on like a house on fire, what with the bloodthirsty warrior thing."

Miles wished he could kick the Doctor or step on his foot; as it was, he couldn't even roll his eyes. "The Barrayarans," Miles continued, "have a warrior tradition not unlike your own, I'm told. And a colony world, Sergeyar, in need of colonists."

"I forgot to point out that the Clutch is not a planet, but a fleet. Great big floating conglomerate of many species. They aren't used to planets."

"A planet?" Palin said. "Does it have... birds?" she continued wistfully.

"Alas, no," Miles said. "The species that fills that niche on Sergeyar are lighter-than-air creatures somewhat resembling balloons. Though I believe the Barrayarans have introduced a few bird species of their own."

"The Galyari have had no homeworld since the Doctor drove us from Galyar," Palin said.

"It wasn't their homeworld, it was a colony," the Doctor protested. "They call all their colonies Galyar. Propaganda."

"The humans would allow us to share their world?" Palin continued.

"You would have to ask them," Miles said. "Barrayarans do tend to be a bit xenophobic, I admit. But like all pioneering efforts, Sergeyar tends to attract the more open-minded. And you already have experience in getting on with humans."

"Why would they listen to us?"

"They wouldn't," Miles said, "but they would listen to me. I happen to have an in with the Viceroy of Sergeyar; I'm certain I could get you an audience."

"And what would you get in return, mercenary?" Palin asked.

"I do get paid for peaceful solutions, you know," Miles said. "I prefer them. They're much less wearing on personnel and equipment. Win-win all around."

Palin nodded. "Trade is more profitable than conflict," she said. "But an audience does not mean they would agree."

"No," Miles conceded, "but at least when you were talking, nobody would be firing at you."

Palin inclined her head in agreement. "It is a fair offer," she said. "Now, I think we need to work out the details."

"Agreed," Miles said. Oh yes, the details are very important, Miles thought. All the difference between the edge of the knife and the flat.


Miles caught the Doctor just as he was putting his key into the door of the TARDIS. The final negotiations had taken a while, but now the fleet was ready to jump to Sergeyar, weapons on standby and suitable safeguards in place.

"Leaving already?" Miles said.

"Ah," the Doctor said, "I'm just getting --"

"Into your ship and preparing to leave," Miles said with a smile.

The Doctor turned and faced Miles, grinning back. "You are brilliant, you know," he said. "I'm very glad to have met you, Admiral Miles Naismith Vorkosigan."

"I'm a clone --" Miles began his usual cover story.

"Baba Yaga," the Doctor interrupted, "is not a folk-tale usually told on Beta Colony."


"And of course Viceroy Aral Vorkosigan would be likely to listen to his son," the Doctor continued.


"Don't worry, I won't tell anybody," the Doctor said. He stared at Miles intently. "But don't take it too much to heart when the game ends, which it will. There's more to your life than Admiral Naismith, and while he's a great man, I think Miles Vorkosigan is a greater one." He held out his hand, and Miles shook it.

"Thank you," Miles said.

"Maybe I'll see you around sometime," the Doctor said, opening the door of his impossible ship. He grinned. "I'll buy you a drink."

"I'll hold you to that, Doctor," Miles said.

The Doctor stepped back inside, and closed the door. For the first time, Miles got to see what the TARDIS looked like when it took off. The noise was almost the same, but the breeze was not. And in all that noise and wind, the blue box just... faded away.

But the memories, no, they wouldn't fade at all.

Thanks to Jonathan Burns and Judith Proctor for plot-help. Thanks to Nicola Mody for a lightening-quick beta.

The Galyari come from the Big Finish audio series, the adventures "The Sandman" and "Dreamtime".

The "Gallifreyan Numbers" come from a font of Gallifreyan numbers based on the images from the console screen on New Who. I don't know if the designations are correct, though.