The sad but incredible man made his way back to the blue police box. All his efforts at finding a particular inexplicable woman had proven futile. He was beginning to lose all hope of ever finding her and possibly getting a tiny bit concerned that it may drive him completely mad. However, the idea from the little girl on the swing was intriguing – find a quiet room and give it a good think.
He approached the blue box; with a snap of his fingers and newfound determination, he burst through the doors proclaiming, “Right then – Randomiser it is.” His finger flicked open a cover revealing a hidden button. A moment of reverie abruptly overtook him. River loved to push that button…especially when she thought he was not looking...Taking a deep breath and forcing himself back to reality he pressed it and readied himself to engage the engines. “Come on Old Girl,” he said addressing his faithful ship of time and space, “Take me where I need to be.” He threw the final lever while raising his voice in a hopeful, “Geronimo!”
The aged Abbot was in a very secluded part of the monastery. He came here often to pray being much troubled of late, humbly seeking a mission of significance that would produce a beneficial legacy long after he was gone and forgotten. Deep in the midst of his meditation he fell into a trance and beheld a bright being, dressed in white having long curly hair. He was told a strange man in a blue box would soon come, seeking solitude and solace for his wounded soul. Suddenly there was this odd wheezing-groaning sound that caused the Abbot to look up. A blue box appeared as if out of a whirlwind. Then a door opened and as foretold the strange man came out offering his hand in greeting.
“Hello, I’m the Doctor.” As the Abbot took his hand he felt a strong overwhelming sensation of melancholy hiding under a chipper façade.
“You seek a quiet place,” he informed the Doctor.
“Yes,” the Doctor answered with a somewhat puzzled expression.
“I’m the Abbot here.”
“Where and what year is this?”
“Cumbria…year of our Lord 1207.”
“Ah, yes early 13th century, relatively peaceful…the Lake District,” Briefly looking over his shoulder and seeming to address the box the Doctor said, “Good choice.” Then quickly back to the Abbot, “Hang on, you don’t seem at all taken aback by my arrival.”
“Actually you’re an answer to prayer, I was told to expect you,” he then related to the Doctor his vision.
“Curly hair you say? Hmm…I wonder.” Still looking after me, he thought to himself.
“I sense a retrospection of warmth, enshrined by loneliness, followed by regret with an effort to forget…Don’t be alarmed I should explain…For as far back as I can remember I’ve been bestowed with the spiritual gift of compassion,” explained the Abbott.
“Ah, you’re an empath,” realized the Doctor, “able to sense another’s guilt, pain and sorrow. Silly me, I didn’t notice it at first but there’s a strong psychic field about you.”
“When I was young I treated it like a curse but as I grew in wisdom I learned to embrace it for the good of others. It became my ministry of visitation, prayer and concern for the poor and sick, both in body and spirit…What is it that troubles you so my son?”
The Doctor thought for a moment, “You remind me a bit of my old teacher…I’m going to take a leap of faith and allow you a deeper look into my mind, but be forewarned, this will open your mind to me also.”
“I have become your servant,” replied the humble Abbot.
“If there’s something you don’t want me to see just imagine a door and close it.”
“I’ve nothing to hide, please…proceed.”
“Very well,” said the Doctor. “We must be in physical contact.” He proceeded to place his hands on either side of the Abbot’s well-worn face. “Close your eyes…visualise.”
In a few short moments words gushed forth, the old man’s voice gradually increased in emotional intensity, “Oh…oh, so much loneliness…and loss…friends, family, wife…your entire race!...closed doors…secrets that protect…Such…such heavy burdens!” At that the Doctor broke the link. Tears had started to trickle down both their faces.
“That’s enough for now…just gave you a quick peep of what you’ll be dealing with.”
“This old vessel may be weak but the psyche’s quite hardy.”
“I know, I could tell…didn’t want to overwhelm you, we’ve only just met.”
The Abbot moved nearer the TARDIS, “I’m curious…your box…I sense…something.” He touched the doors, noticing the symbol and sign. “St John Ambulance, like the insignia of a knight…Advice and Assistance Obtainable Immediately,” he said reading the sign.
“Go on,” said the Doctor inviting him to open the door.
The old man’s eyes lit up after passing over the threshold, “Dimensionally transcendental!” he said fully awed, “Oh, this is extraordinary, and….and, I can feel it. Your ship has feelings! Is it…alive?”
With a grin and a little chuckle the Doctor replied, “Yes, she’s quite sentient. Here, lay your hands on the telepathic circuits.”
The Abbot cheerfully did as instructed, “I do believe she likes me.”
“The TARDIS picked you, brought us together…for our mutual benefit…apparently.”
“She cares greatly for you and is quite desirous of my assistance.”
“Yeah, about that solitude thing…We need to find a place for her.”
“Somewhere out of the way and a bit hidden – Oh, I know just the place.”
“Right,” the Doctor ran around the console pushing and flicking buttons and switches then engaging the engines.
“Moving to the place,” stated the Doctor, “We’re here.” The enthusiastic Abbot opened the door and walked out. “Where’s this?” asked the Doctor right behind him looking all around.
“It’s the burial grounds…this is a cave.”
“Hopefully, no carnivorous skulls…,” he quietly mumbled.
“What did you say?”
“Sorry…another time, another place…”
“We have rooms for special guests at the monastery.”
“One of your cells will do just fine…don’t wish to draw unnecessary attention to myself or be a burden.”
“As you wish…But what of your…TARDIS?”
“She’ll be fine, she understands that I just need some time to think…outside the box.”