Divided Loyalties (novel)
Doctor Who book:|
Past Doctor Adventures
Tegan, Adric, Nyssa and the Celestial Toymaker
The Visitation and
|Preceded by||City at World's End|
|Followed by||Corpse Marker|
Divided Loyalties is a BBC Books original novel written by Gary Russell and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka, Nyssa, Adric and the Celestial Toymaker.
The book is divided into four rounds, each named after the title of an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark song, as well as all the chapters within each round.
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The Doctor dreams about a familiar voice calling to him for help, and awakens to find that the TARDIS has materialized aboard an Earth space station orbiting the planet Dymok. The Dymova have cut themselves off from the rest of the galaxy, and refuse to communicate with anyone beyond their planet apart from a repeated signal warning others away; however, an Observer on Dymok's surface detects the arrival of the TARDIS, and knows that salvation is at hand. At the very same moment that the TARDIS materializes, all communication from Dymok ceases and the crew of the Little Boy 2 find themselves unable to detect any life signs from the planet. Commander Oakwood leads a team into the cargo bays to investigate the energy spike caused by the TARDIS materialization, and the Doctor and his companions are captured as they explore their surroundings. The Doctor reluctantly leads Oakwood's security team to the TARDIS to explain his and his friends' presence—only to find that someone or something has placed a force field around the TARDIS, blocking him out.
Tegan touches the force field and is transported to what appears to be her home city of Brisbane; however, the city is deserted and the buildings have been rearranged to form a giant maze. Although vicious replicas of Adric and Nyssa appear in the maze to spur her on, she refuses to play the game which has been set for her, thus proving herself ideal for the Observer's purposes. As she demands to know what is happening, she experiences a vision of a strange man begging for help, and then of another man in the clothing of a Chinese Mandarin, who dismisses her as unsuitable and sends her back to the space station at the moment of her departure, with no memory of what has happened to her. The Doctor convinces Oakwood to tell him what has happened to Dymok, and Tegan realizes to her disgust that once again he is involving himself in a potentially dangerous situation which is no concern of his; or so she believes. In fact, events on Dymok are all part of the trap the Celestial Toymaker has set for the Doctor. Already, he has collected a new set of players from across time and space. A World War Two aviatrix is plucked from her crashing aeroplane and forced to play backgammon for her life; and a single hand of cards costs Sir Henry Rugglesthorpe not only his freedom, but the lives of his wife, children and household servants...
Nyssa tells the curious Lieutenant Paladopous about the death of her world and how the Master took over her father's body, killing him. Adric then has a vision of the Toymaker, who tells him that he will soon have to decide just how much he trusts this new Doctor. Meanwhile, Oakwood refuses to send an away team to Dymok to investigate the sudden silence, until an energy spike from the planet's surface possesses Tegan, who speaks with an alien voice and orders the crew of the station to bring her to Dymok. Faced with such an invitation, Oakwood has little choice but to agree. The Doctor takes Tegan and Nyssa but orders Adric to remain behind and keep an eye on the TARDIS; he claims that Adric is the only one he trusts with such a role, but Adric nevertheless feels as though he's being sidelined again.
As the away team's shuttle approaches Dymok, some unknown power forces it to land near a single black pyramid, the only landmark on the planet's surface. The Doctor finds it oddly familiar, and when Oakwood comments on its puzzling appearance he realizes why too late—the pyramid resembles the famous Towers of Hanoi puzzle, or the Celestial Toymaker's Trilogic Game. The Observer appears to them and destroys their shuttle with minimal mental effort, leaving them with no choice but to follow him into the depths of the pyramid. There, Tegan experiences a vision of her father's death from cancer, and realizes that because the Doctor abducted her from the site of her aunt Vanessa's murder, her mother will be left alone, believing her to be dead. Tegan's sudden fury at the Doctor is something the Observer can use for his own ends, and he therefore separates Tegan from the others, who find themselves abandoned in the heart of the pyramid amongst the sleeping forms of comatose Dymova. With little choice, they eat the food which has been laid out for them, but it has been drugged and then all find themselves falling asleep...
The Doctor dreams of his misspent youth at the Time Lords' Academy, and of the time that he refused to return home to Lungbarrow for his Name Day because Kithriarch Quences seemed to expect his automatic, unthinking obedience. His tutor Delox, learning of his refusal, suspended him from the Academy until he had learned humility. It was on this day that the Doctor visited the hermit behind the Academy and learned the secret of life in a daisy. Armed with his new determination to prove to the Time Lords that things could change, he convinced his friend Mortimus to hack into the Time Lords' secret files and find something of interest that he could investigate. Mortimus found an entry on a legendary being, or beings, called the Toymakers, and the Doctor set off to investigate with his friends Rallon and Millennia, stealing a TARDIS with the help of their fellow student Magnus. Upon entering the realm of the Toymaker, however, Rallon was consumed and possessed by the spirit of the Toymaker, an ancient collective intelligence which took on Rallon's physical form and forced the Doctor to play its games. The Doctor won a game of Capture the Flag against a tin soldier by setting a trap on the muddy battlefield, and the Toymaker, impressed by the Doctor's skill, decided to release him in order to let him mature; he would prove a worthy opponent later in life. The Doctor was forced to return to Gallifrey in disgrace, having led Rallon to his death and Millennia to a worse fate, trapped forever as one of the Toymaker's living dolls.
Tegan awakens elsewhere in the pyramid to find herself surrounded by the Dymova, who chant praise to her, their Chosen One. In fact, their chanting serves to distract the Toymaker, giving the Observer time to explain what is happening to Tegan. The Dymova are some of the most powerful telepaths in the galaxy, but when the Toymaker arrived on their planet they welcomed him as a god; ever since, in return for his protection, they have slept and given him access to their powers, which he uses to create his illusions and dreamscapes. Tegan's forthrightness and strength of will are just what the Dymova need to free themselves from slavery to their god—but there is one more secret which the Observer must reveal before Tegan is ready to stop the Doctor from spoiling the Observer's plans...
Nyssa dreams of the death of Traken and her father, and of the Toymaker warning the Consuls not to trust the Doctor. The Toymaker then brings the Doctor to his realm, where he reveals that he is the Guardian of Dreams, one of the fundamental forces which make up the Universe; as such, he creates games and illusions to justify his existence, just as the Black and White Guardians create chaos and conflict to justify theirs. As such he does not require a physical existence, but since he bound himself to Rallon he has found he cannot separate himself from his stolen form—and since Rallon is now dying after centuries of existence bound to the Toymaker, the Toymaker too will die unless the Doctor can separate them and take Rallon's place. If he does not, the Toymaker will torture him and his companions for the rest of eternity. Nyssa storms out on the Doctor, furious beyond measure; if the Doctor can free Rallon from his bond to the Toymaker, why can he not free her father from the Master? Before the Doctor can think how to respond to her, the Toymaker presents him with a new puzzle—a double-sided jigsaw with the Doctor's face on both sides. He must complete the puzzle at the same time that his friends complete their game, or his companions will become the Toymaker's new playthings and the Doctor will be subsumed into the Toymaker's being to provide him with a new, fresh source of imaginative power.
Adric is surprised when the crew of the Little Boy 2 suddenly seems to forget who he is and places him in prison for trespassing. He is then transported to a surreal dreamscape where his personal insecurities are given physical form, but there he realizes that his fellow travellers only treat him as a spoiled brat because he believes that of himself; he must learn that he has matured and start behaving appropriately, and once he does so the others will treat him accordingly. He and Nyssa are then "invited" to a new game—and become the White King and Queen of a chess set, on a board which sets the crew of the Little Boy 2 against the Red of Sir Henry Rugglesthorpe and his household. Adric begins to play the game, unaware that whenever a piece is lost, the person represented by that piece dies. Fortunately, before the game goes too far, the Dymova make their move, relying upon Tegan's strength to keep them focussed while they release a blast of mental energy at the Toymaker. The chess game is interrupted and abandoned, but the Toymaker resists the attack—and sends the energy back to its source, erasing the entire planet Dymok from existence.
It appears that the Toymaker has won, and with delight he summons the Doctor's companions and the crew of the Little Boy 2 to witness his final defeat. But the Doctor's companions stop him from placing the final jigsaw puzzle piece into place; they have seen through the Toymaker's attempts to turn them against him and do not wish him to sacrifice himself for their sakes. The Toymaker, furious, realizes too late that Rallon is using the distraction to make his move at last. The captured Time Lord uses the energy from Dymok's destruction to force himself through twelve regenerations all at once, and the trauma expels the Toymaker from his body. As Rallon dies, free at last, the Doctor realizes that Rallon's spirit had always been present within the Toymaker, keeping the Toymaker in check and allowing the Doctor to defeat him and escape with his life. Tegan also reveals that Dymok never existed; it was an illusion created by Rallon to lay the groundwork for this plan. The Observer was in fact a Watcher, a shayde projection of Rallon's future incarnations, and it now merges with the Toymaker to ensure that the Toymaker's vast powers remain in check in the future.
The Toymaker recovers more quickly than expected, but crewman Matt Desorgher gives his life to complete the jigsaw, thus destroying the Toyroom and giving the others the chance to escape. The TARDIS comes to their rescue, apparently sensing the Doctor's distress, and he returns the surviving crew of the Little Boy 2 to their station. As they set about reporting the odd events to Earth, the Doctor and his friends set off to come to terms with what they have learned about themselves. The Toymaker, meanwhile, decides to take his servant Stefan to Earth to seek amusement while waiting for his Toyroom to repair itself...
- Divided Loyalties title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Divided Loyalties at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Cloister Library – Divided Loyalties
- Divided Loyalties at The TARDIS Library