Nyssa's Christmas Carol

Part the Second:
The First Spirit

A shimmering purple light appeared in the middle of Nyssa's bedroom, slowly
resolving itself into a woman dressed all in lilac, with a pure white light
shining from her head, and a cap, of the same colour as her clothing, in one
hand. "G'day," she said, "I am the Ghost of Christmas Past and..."

Nyssa sighed. "No you're not. You're Tegan. What are you doing, Tegan?"

"No, I *look* like Tegan, but I'm the Ghost of Christmas Past, okay? Now, a
touch of my hand and you will fly. The emergency exits are here, here and here,
and we request passengers do not smoke."

The spirit took Nyssa by the hand and led her out the window, down the street
and through the upper window of the Look Who's Talking creche, where they
sailed straight past Izzy, who was sorting through the children's letters to
Santa Claus. She did not look up as the passed.

"They can neither see nor hear us." the spirit explained. "Thank you for
travelling Ghost of Christmas Past Airlines, we hope you enjoyed your trip."

Nyssa looked around. In front of her baby Nyssa was unwraping her presents.

"You aren't supposed to do that until Christmas morning!" protested baby Adric,
before becoming aware that the present was a NERF(TM) ground-to-ground guided
missile, with fully armed gunky-stuff warhead.

"This is going to sting, isn't it?" the Alzarian child murmured to no-one in
particular. He was proved to be absolutely correct in this particular.

As Izzy came rushing through to see what the noise was, the adult Nyssa turned
to the spirit that had lead her here.

"And this all proves *what*, exactly? That... that Trakenite Tweeny isn't even
really me!"

"Yeah, I know. That was just a diversion. The real reason we're here is for

The spirit led Nyssa to the Time-Space Visualiser the young Doctors had made
out of Duplo some weeks earlier. "This," she explained, "will enable us to look
at the Christmasses of your past."

And Nyssa looked. She saw her childhood, helping her father hang up the
Eternigreen branches for Keeper's Day. She saw the year the Doctor had taken
her back to Cranleigh Hall, to experience "a real Edwardian country-house
Christmas" (which had, naturally, turned out to include yet another real
Edwardian country-house murder). She saw the seasonal surprise of Lo-Shon
catching her (him?) under the mistletoe. She saw Richard Mace treating them
all to a Yuletide boar's head and mead and the Doctor springing for dinner at
the Crystal Bucephalus. Even the Christmas at the 'Round a couple of years

"Strange how enthusiastically the Doctor celebrates Christmas," observed the
spirit. "After all, he's not even human, let alone Christian."

"Yes, but that isn't the point," responded Nyssa, unconciously reacting like
her pre-psycho, not her current, self. "I mean, the birth of Christ was a
significant event, whether you believe or not. And Christmas is an important
time of the year. It's a celebration of life. It's a reminder of rebirth when
the world's at it's bleakest. It's..." She stopped.

"Okay, so maybe Christmas is quite nice," she said, eventually. "Can I get on
with preparing to kill Adric again now?"

"Nah," replied the spirit, "You can get on with preparing for the second
spirit, though."

Nyssa glanced at the Time-Space Visualiser again. It once more showed her under
the mistletoe, this time with Adric. She looked at the expression on her own
face, and was surprised. It was almost...

...And then Look Who's Talking faded, leaving Nyssa back in her badroom. Where,
much to her surprise, the clock was striking one. Again.

Part One - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five

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