My name used to be Romana. I had another name before that one, but I can’t remember it. I spent 12 years with those monsters. Monsters made of metal and tin and fear. I escaped and regenerated, changing myself.
A new face.
A new day.
A new name.
Today I am someone else.
I’ve been on Planet Earth a while now. Hiding, eating, sleeping, nightmares. I dread sleep now. I hide as long as I can, but I always give in. I nightmare every night now. It’s as steady and as dependable as breathing, or a sunset. I feel so horrible and I cry so much now. I just want to go. Away. Away from here.
Yesterday I went out. This is so rare for me now. I was so scared. So afraid that they would find me again. I made it to the corner store before I couldn’t walk because I was shaking too much. I tasted salt. It leaked from my eyes. I couldn’t see because it blurred everything.
I sat down and shook and leaked. After a second I tasted bile, acid in my mouth. My stomach turned over. I felt sick.
“Hey, are you alright? Hey.” Someone kelt by me. They were warm, not metal. I felt reassured enough to turn to them. The face was blurred by water and I screamed. They were hiding their face from me. Just like the monsters.
The monster put their claw on my shoulder. Not claw, hand. Hand with fingers and nails. I relaxed again. The water cleared and I saw a face looking into my face.
Raw, tired, angry eyes.
Big stick-out ears.
Long bird nose.
Crooked smile. “You alright now?”
I made a sound. Something between a gasp and a sob and a nod. I’m alright. I feel safe now.
“I’m fine.” That was me. “Thank you.”
“Good. Just wanted to make sure.” He smiled. All his teeth laughed at me. “Nice hair. Very flapper.” He was still grinning. I felt my lips tug at my mouth. I smiled. Out of practice like. He helped me to my feet. My legs protested and wobbled threateningly. I clung to the man’s arm. It was very strong and didn’t let me fall.
“D’you think you can walk?” He asked. I shook my head as the world spun. The arm walked me home.
“What’s your name?” I felt like I should thank him, but I needed his name to do it properly.
A slight flicker of the eyes before he answered.
“Doctor. Doctor John Smith.”
“Hello John Smith.”
“H’lo.” The grin made an appearance.
“My name’s Trey.”
“Nice to have met you. Trey.” The grin widened and laughed, “That’s a good name. Keep it.”
“Okay,” I said, “Goodbye Mr. Smith!”
“Goodbye Miss Trey.” A slight dip of the bristled head. Then he was gone.
As I walked inside I felt strange. Like I had made a friend. Like I wasn’t alone anymore. The feeling took hold and warmed me. I smiled again.
That night I woke from the nightmare and sat up. I was shaking and scared and desperate. I took my phone from my dresser and dialed a random number. It always calmed me to do this but something happened this time. Something unsuspected. My friend answered.
“H’lo?” His voice was very surprised.
“Help me.” I shook.
“Oh My God! Oh My Goodness!” My breaths came in short painful gasps as I opened the door. Dr. Smith looked surprised but worry overridden it.
“What happened? Trey, look at me. What happened.”
I could not look to him, I buried my face in leather.
“Daleks.” I sobbed.
There was a pause. Then
“What did you say?”
“Oh God. Oh, bloody Hell.”
There was another painful, dangerous, pause, then Dr. Smith stepped away.
“How do you know about them?”
“I-.” My shaking increased as I spoke. “I was held by them. For twelve years.” I felt tears again and my voice became caught, “How do you know?”
“I fought them.” He was looking at me, but at the same time was very far away. “I fought them so many times… In the War.”
“The Time War.” I whispered.
Again he stepped back, frightened and angry. “Who the Hell are you?” He was steady, “Who the bloody Hell are you?”
I looked at him for a very long time, then
“I am Lady Romanadvoratrelundar, last of the Time Lords.” It was a funny realization. I hadn’t heard my true name in so long that I had accidentally forgotten it.
“Blimey…” He walked past me into my apartment. As he walked the circumference of my one small room I asked the next logical question.
“Who are you? I don’t know you.”
“No,” He sounded almost feverish, “you don’t know me. Not my face anyway.”
As he talked something happened to me. To my thoughts. They became clearer, more sharp, in my mind like they had been just little weak fuzz-balls floating in my head, until now.
“But I do know you!” I was frustrated at the slowness that my thoughts came to me , “I do! I just…”
“Frustrated? I don’t blame you.” The Man ran his hands across his head, “I look so different. I’m so old now.” I closed my eyes. A image flouted, teasingly, in my mind for a second.
“Scarf.” I said simply what I saw.
“I miss that scarf,” I heard The Man say, “That scarf was fantastic.” I could hear that grin in his voice.
“Your name, you said it was Dr. John Smith.”
“You're getting close, dear.”
“Doctor Smith.” My mind rippled and spun, the image became sharper, looking like a newly taken picture developing.
My eyes snapped open and a surge of triumph crossed through me.
His face split open in a wide familiar toothy grin. “You got it! Give the girl a medal! And you! Romana! I thought you-!” Words failed him. One thing left to do.
He hugged me, hard and desperate, like I could and would disappear again at any moment.