The Exiles (short story)

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The Exiles was the first short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors. It was written by Lance Parkin. It featured the First Doctor and Susan Foreman.


Susan and the Doctor are on the run. They have taken a TARDIS that was in long-term storage. The console room is dark, but the Doctor manages to set them in flight. He then figures out how to turn on the instrument lights, and levels the TARDIS' flight. After Susan finds the room's lights, they discover the room has other features besides the console: the double doors through which they entered, an alcove with a fault locator, a scanner, and another door, presumably leading to the rest of the ship. Susan wants to explore now, but the Doctor cautions her to wait.

The Doctor settles down to rest, but Susan can't sleep. She thinks she might find operating instructions for the TARDIS. There must be a library on board. Making sure her grandfather is asleep, she sneaks through the door, closing it behind her. She finds herself in a bright corridor. She runs down the corridor and comes face to face with a mirror in the middle of the corridor. She finds a door nearby, and enters. She finds a large room, filled with clothing. She spends quite a bit of time looking at the clothes, then chooses an outfit for herself. Suddenly she has a strange feeling that someone is in the room with her, but no one is there. She wants to know what she looks like in her new outfit, but for some reason she is reluctant to look in the mirror in the corridor.

Susan finally musters the courage to look in the mirror. She sees a man in the reflection, though he is not in the corridor with her. He is pale and wears long dark robes. His hand reaches out, and she holds out her hand. He kisses her hand and smiles, and Susan sees that he has fangs instead of teeth. He then tells her, in a strange language, that she is not the one and this is not the time.

The mirror is suddenly empty, and Susan runs back to the console room. She tells her grandfather what happened. The Doctor thinks the man is a time echo, a glimpse of the past. He tells her they must concentrate on the future.