Breaking the Bad News

The Never Ending Quest - Episode 8684

Probe hears a knocking on the outer door of his quarters inside the palace of the Regent of Ethiopia. When he answers it, even his superhuman senses cannot tell this Doctor apart from the other two, so alike are they, so "Dr Which" identifies himself. Then he continues: "I have some bad news for you," and he describes what he has just seen. [8683] "What are Inquirer's chances?" Probe asks worriedly. "Well, if she was human, I would have to say non-existent. Assuming she could hang on, if she didn't freeze, then she'd asphyxiate. As an AI, she's presumably much tougher than a human being, and I imagine the near vacuum of space won't bother her, but whether she can survive what could be several minutes at a temperature close to Absolute Zero you will know better than I." Probe shakes his head. "I would have known once, when we were AIs pure and simple, but for the magic-science hybrid that we have now become, I have no idea. All I can do now is pray. This might sound strange to you, given that Inquirer and I are AIs and also that I was her superior officer, but we used to look on each other as father and daughter. I shall miss her a lot, and so will her many friends on Terra Prime. She saved my life once, in the fight against Zerm, [5400] and there are others too on this planet who owe their lives to her. Alicia 2 for one. [2505] Indeed, you could say that everyone on the planet does, since it was she that put the tape recorder in place for the shutting down of the Slipgates. [5401]"

"I'm afraid there's more nad news," says the Doctor. "Although Inquirer was still clutching the note as the TARDIS and herself dematerialised, she did show me what was in it first. Apparently Inquirer isn't the only one to have gone with my 'brother'. Sigin 2, Gilmuriel, E'eysha, B'Elenna and Elrondir have all done so too, albeit in more conventional fashion. They send their fond farewells to everyone, and hope people will understand, but they couldn't pass up the opportunity of seeing the universe."

  1. Once that day's session of the newly formed United Nations has concluded, the news is passed on to the Regent and other interested parties.

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