Symmetry, not science, fueled Nyssa's fascination with fours. Algebraically, four was the first cardinality with complexity beyond basic cyclic groups. Four elements could also be paired, each locked in dihedral congruence within the whole. It was the first construction of something completely new, and only the barest hint of the strangeness in higher orders. Adric teased her when she tried to explain, but to Nyssa, four was satisfying--in a manner utterly unattainable with smaller structures.
But Adric was gone, now. And Tegan. Now, it was just her and the Doctor. Identity and zero.
Things were supposed to be simpler.
Grandpa, the world's been closer than it ought since I took the Wolf-King into my head. He's got a claw on my thoughts--and I can take him, sure thing I can--but he ain't gonna settle easy. Don't help that I've spent too much time around walls these days, city walls that rise up square at sunset like cow teeth grinding at the sky. And when I try to get away, out with the dust and the 'dillos, seems the world's gone and took notice of me.
There was ball lightning in the desert, or near enough. And I met another traveler. A woman on a motorbike, miles and miles from any road.
She said there was a war. She said I drew her here, and I think I know why. Because if I got the old forest in my head--rising alive from the dry bones of this desert--then, oh, Grandpa, she's got the rest.
It was a legitimate career path. Get a temp job at some whiz-bang software company, catch the right eye, and shag the CEO in the maintenance closet. Mum would be proud.
Well, maybe not this time.
"Oh my God." Melanie Bush sagged breathless against the supply shelves. "Where did you learn that?"
"For some reason"--Donna frowned, concentrating--"I want to say Mars."
Mel laughed. "I knew I liked you. But don't get me started."