All was quiet in the council meeting chambers in the capitol city of Gallifrey. Inside the hexagonal chamber sat the tall, blue Police Box that had been the form of the Doctor's TARDIS for many years. Lady President Flavia, Mythraff, and handful of Gallifreyan sentries nervously paced, awaiting the Doctors' return. Or Omega's triumphant arrival.
Suddenly, a grinding, almost wheezing noise began to emanate from all around the room. Flavia signaled for the sentries to be at the ready and Mythraff shielded Flavia from what was coming. Gradually, a peculiar Greek Corinthian column materialized in the room. Flavia immediately recognized it as the Master's TARDIS. She indicated for the sentries to surround it and to train their weapons.
As the sentries moved into position, the TARDIS' door (if it could be called that) creaked open. For a moment, there was an unbearable tension in the room. It quickly faded as the Doctors and their companions emerged from the Master's TARDIS.
Applause erupted from the assembled Gallifreyans as the Third Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS first, with his arm lovingly draped over Sarah Jane Smith's shoulder. Then came the Fourth Doctor towering a few heads above his companion Romana. Next, the Fifth Doctor stepped forth, flanked on either side by Nyssa and Tegan. And finally, Mel approached flanked on either side by the Sixth and Seventh Doctors.
The applause died as Flavia and Mythraff stepped up to the Doctors. "Well?" she insisted.
"Omega is no more," the Doctor replied confidently. The applause erupted once again from the assembled throng.
After it subsided once more, the Third Doctor said to Flavia, "Madame President, you needn't worry about the black hole. It should be closing up as we speak."
"Yes, but…" This came from Mythraff. "How did you defeat Omega?"
"A few cruel words in the right place at the right time," beamed the Sixth Doctor.
Suddenly, the familiar grinding and wheezing sound of a TARDIS once again filled the room. The group whirled about in time to see the Master's TARDIS disappear for good.
"The Master!" cried Nyssa.
"Oh, let him go, Nyssa," said the Doctor. "He's learned his lesson."
"Yes. Let's just hope he remembers it when we again," commented the Fourth Doctor.
"Well," interjected the Fifth Doctor. "I think it's time for us to return to our own times."
The Sixth Doctor agreed. "Yes. We've been together quite long enough as it is!"
The Doctors and companions quickly exchanged goodbyes with Flavia and Mythraff before filing into the Doctor's TARDIS. As the Doctor himself was about to enter, Flavia called to him. He turned to face her.
"Twice before you were offered the seat of President of the High Council," she declared. "What say you now?"
The Doctor simply smiled at her. And, with that mischievous twinkle in his eye, said, "You have full deputy powers until I return!"
Flavia smiled and nodded knowingly as the Doctor stepped into the TARDIS and closed the door. Soon, like the Master's before it, the Doctor's TARDIS disappeared; once again heading out into the vastness of the universe.
Ultimately, the TARDIS materialized at the point in time and space where all the Doctors had first met. Inside the TARDIS control room, the Doctors set the controls of the machine to hover in space. It was the first time the Doctor could remember there being more than one person on board who could operate the machine. And he was grateful for their assistance, even if he hesitated to admit it.
Meanwhile, Mel conferred with her fellow sidekicks. "It'll be goodbye soon," she sighed.
"Yes. And we hardly ever get the change to know one another," said Romana mournfully.
"I wish there was something we could do," Nyssa moped.
"Maybe there is!" said Sarah Jane with a twinkle in her eye. The others turned to her for answer. "Why don't we ask the Doctors if we could get together again at some relaxing spot and have a picnic or something?"
"Yeah! Why not?" Tegan remarked. "Someplace peaceful. Like the Eye or Orion!"
"Well, the Doctor does seem to encounter himself," remarked Romana. "Rather a lot, actually."
"Let's do it!" said Mel with vigor. She called for the Doctor.
"Yes?" responded all five. They turned to each other with no small amount of consternation before Mel's Doctor stepped over to her. "What is it, Mel?"
"We were wondering—since we had so little time together…"
"When we weren't in mortal danger, that is," added Sarah Jane.
"…If we could all possibly get together and have a picnic?" Mel concluded.
The Doctor looked to his other selves, each of whom's expression seemed disapproving of the idea. "Well, I don't know…" the Doctor pondered. "We really all shouldn't be together anyway, you know."
Tegan nodded. Mel's heart momentarily sank. But then, with that wry twinkle in his eye, the Doctor added, "But who knows? Maybe… someday soon… we'll all happen to pass by the Eye of Orion at the exact same time."
The Doctor winked slyly at his other selves, who each returned a knowing a grin his way. After a moment, the Third Doctor spoke up. "But for now, it's time to go. Come on, Sarah."
Sarah Jane Smith turned to her fellow companions and bid them each a heartfelt farewell before hurrying over to the Third Doctor's side. He was enthusiastically shaking the hand of his current self. "Well, old boy," he said. "I must say it was an exhilarating experience!"
"Let's just try not to do it too often," Sarah remarked. The Doctor bid his Third self adieu and watched as he and Sarah walked out of the console room and disappeared down the main corridor of the TARDIS.
"Come along, Romana," said the Fourth Doctor impatiently. She skipped over to his side and regarded his newest incarnation.
"Well, I've always hated long goodbyes," the Fourth Doctor said. "Goodbye and good luck!" He firmly clasped the Seventh Doctor's hand and vigorously shook it for a moment before turning on his heel and stepping toward the main corridor.
Romana warmly embraced the Doctor as her farewell. After a moment, she broke the embrace and smiled warmly at the Doctor before turning back to the version she was more familiar with. As the pair strode with purpose out into the main corridor, the Fourth Doctor could be heard remarking, "Romana. I didn't know you cared…"
Now it was the Fifth Doctor's turn. He, Nyssa, and Tegan approached the man who had taken up the mantle of the Doctor. The Fifth Doctor offered his hand to his current incarnation. "Goodbye," he said simply.
"Regeneration is a lottery, is it?" said the Seventh Doctor with slight consternation, recalling his predecessor's earlier assessment of his appearance.
"Ah. Yes…" stammered the Fifth Doctor. Nyssa and Tegan shared a chuckle at their Doctor's expense.
"…But," the Fifth Doctor finally said. "In this case, I'd say the winning number came up!"
The two Doctors exchanged a smile before the Fifth Doctor led Nyssa and Tegan out into the main corridor.
Finally, the Sixth Doctor approached his successor. He examined the shorter man quizzically for a moment before saying, "You know, at first, I had my doubts about you…"
But within moments, the Sixth Doctor's expression softened and an appreciable smile wormed its way across his face. "But then I remembered," he concluded. "Seven is my lucky number!"
"Mine too," replied the Seventh Doctor, as the two men grasped each other's hands and shook vigorously. A moment later, the Sixth Doctor released his grip, turned on his heel, and gave Mel a hearty wave as he strode into the main corridor.
Mel stepped over to the Doctor's side, and he draped his arm around her shoulders as the last Doctor disappeared.
Somewhere in space, a tall, blue Police Box suddenly hummed and grinded to life. Four separate TARDISes—each one similar to the primary one, but slightly different in its own way—emerged. For a moment, the four other machines orbited the machine that seemed to be their progenitor before disappearing into the past.
To adventures experienced and remembered.
The Doctor decided to keep his TARDIS stationary in the space where it had materialized so that he could run a few diagnostic checks. He leaned over the control console, observing one of the monitor screens. Mel—who had been out in the main corridor—entered the control room and stepped over to the Doctor's side.
"What are you doing?" she inquired.
"Oh, just making sure my first two selves are alright." On the monitor, a split-screen display showed the grey haired man that was the First Doctor back in his adventure with the Dalek and the Second Chaplin-esque Doctor returned to his plight with the Cybermen.
"To them," the Doctor remarked. "It must seem as if nothing happened."
The Doctor switched the monitor off and sighed. Mel noticed that he seemed to have a touch of melancholia and asked him what was the matter.
"I don't know," he replied. "I guess… I just go used to them being around."
"I know you'll miss them, Doctor. But they'll always be here…" Mel laid a hand on the Doctor's chest. "In your heart."
The Doctor shot her a puzzled expression. "Er… hearts!" she corrected herself with a wry smile.
The Doctor smiled and bade Mel to follow him. He bounded out into the main corridor and Mel followed somewhat puzzled herself.
The Doctor led her down a route that was becoming familiar to her: The way to the gallery room. "I want to show you something," said the Doctor as he and Mel entered the room that was decorated with majestic works of art.
There on an easel in the center of the room was a new canvass covered by a piece of blue cloth. The Doctor led Mel over to it and placed his hand atop it. That sparkle that seemed to appear in the Doctor's eyes when he got excited had definitely returned.
"What is it?" Mel asked.
"I've been working on it for months," replied the Doctor. "You'll be the first to see it finished!"
Mel beamed as the Doctor grabbed the blue cloth and pulled it away. There on the easel sat a beautiful and—if Mel was honest—somewhat startling painting.
It was the Doctor at the controls of the TARDIS, surrounded on all sides by his six other selves.