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Deception was the first audio story in Time War: Volume Four, the twelfth series of Gallifrey.

Publisher's summary[]

As the resistance scatters, Leela and an unknown ally embark on a rescue. But there are traps for the unwary inside the Vortex.

Meanwhile on Gallifrey, Livia and Mantus are at odds, seeking to protect themselves as Rassilon's grip tightens.


Leela and Narvin get in the TARDIS with Rayo and depart Unity, leaving Romana behind and intending to travel to the renegade hub of Nisteria after dropping Rayo off in the Sanctus Delta. However, Rayo wants to fight and join the resistance against the Time Lords and the Daleks.

Yakob and Andreas examine the deception field, which Andreas says looks like Hell. Later, Jakub tells Eris that Andreas was swallowed up by the deception field, a distortion in the Time Vortex shifting spacetime and making it so that she was simultaneously inside and outside the air corridor. She had removed her harness because "the Neverman" told her to.

Narvin leads Leela and Rayo to Resistance HQ before leaving them to meet with the Resistance Council. Leela is not content to wait, however, and they split up to try to follow him. Eris and Yakob are discussing a distraction to keep attention away from the deception field when Rayo walks in; Rayo recognises Eris' name and tells him that Narvin is looking for him. Eris and Yakob are surprised to hear that Narvin is here with Leela rather than Romana and do not believe he will approve of their plan to pollute the Vortex by accessing the Untempered Schism.

Leela meets somebody from the Cornelius Complex just before the temporal shield begins cracking and, anticipating an attack from the Time Lords or Daleks, goes in search of Narvin and Rayo. Eris tells Yakob that he is ready to leave in his TARDIS and, when somebody enters the TARDIS, he assumes that it is Arkania and dematerialises. It is actually Leela, whom he does not know.

Yakob calls for evacuation as the shield has been breached. Rayo calls out for Leela.

Leela demands that Eris takes her back to Nisteria for Rayo, but the resistance are being evacuated elsewhere and Eris has a mission which she must now join him on. He tells her that two agents are smuggling information to their resistance fighters about a Time Lord attack on a Dalek stronghold which will involve the extinguishing of a sun which a planet is orbiting. The agents, however, are flying into a deception field.

The agents, Filius and Castine, find that there TARDIS has apparently stopped in the Vortex. The walls disappear, having switched to window mode, and they see a planet entirely unlike what they can see on the scanner. When they exit the TARDIS, they scream in pain.

Eris explains to Leela that a deception field plucks ships out of spacetime, paralysing their navigation systems and driving the pilots insane. Gallifrey have placed a number throughout the universe, with only the IDU and war operatives being given their coordinates. Eris had been on the original CIA exploratory team and got a hold of a leaked copy of the coordinates, which should have been passed on to Filius and Castine but were not.

Filius and Castine can see nothing and hear whispers and laughter.

Eris plans to position the TARDIS on the edge of the deception field, open an air corridor and attach himself to the console with a harness, hoping to reach and rescue Filius and Castine and thus avoid an investigation into their disappearance. He tasks Leela with keeping the TARDIS steady, but she tells him that she does not know how to pilot one.

Mantus meets with Livia uninvited and tells her that there are rumours of Romana having been captured and exterminated by the Daleks. He refuses to give Livia the identity of his source and gives her the opportunity to inform Rassilon of the news, but she says that he takes no interest in affairs of state and likely will not care. She tells Mantus that she too has sources, namely a strategist in the resistance, and knows that they are aware of the deception fields, an experiment of Rassilon's which she disapproves of due to their risk to the innocent.

Having learnt that Leela cannot fly a TARDIS, Eris dematerialises to take them to one of the resistance rendezvous points so that Leela can find out where Narvin and Rayo have been taken to. However, he finds that he cannot get a lock on any of them, so Leela suggests that she enter the deception field instead and ties him up when he says that she is too weak to handle its effects. Once he agrees to keep the TARDIS steady for her, she releases him.

Filius and Castine worry about whether they are hallucinating or if Rassilon has succeeded in obliterating the universe with chronium bombs. Whilst trying to find the TARDIS, they hear the voice of the Neverman.

Rassilon unexpectedly attends a meeting, surprising Livia and Mantus, and addresses the resistance, saying that those who are not in solidarity with the cause, united in the fight and loyal to their President will be exterminated like vermin. Afterwards, Livia tells Mantus that she is concerned about the language that Rassilon chose and how he seems to be elevating himself above the practicalities of government. Mantus warns her that her rhetoric is beginning to sound dangerous and says that he will see her at the War Council.

Leela walks down the air corridor into the deception field and sees multiple versions of Sholan on a battlefield, dying over and over. After losing audio contact, Eris contacts Yakob and asks him for advice; Yakob tells him to rescue Leela as she is more valuable than Filius and Castine, but he finds the harness empty when he pulls it up. Despite Castine urging him not to, Filius runs away and Leela hears her shout after him.

On a secret communications line, Livia orders that somebody send her their data and asks about Filius and Castine's whereabouts. She is confused as there is no deception field in that position and says that Eris' TARDIS must be recalled, as they cannot afford to lose a TARDIS as well as four people.

After Filius is swallowed up by the field, Leela hits Castine to make her more amenable to being carried to the air corridor. She tells her that the hallucinations cannot harm them if they fight against them, which she demonstrates by frightening away a vicious creature. They see the TARDIS, but it flies away.

Rassilon makes another speech, announcing that the "ascension to the apex cannot now be halted", a phrase which means nothing to Livia or Mantus. He says that he will not speak again of dissent or discord as, he claims, all resistance has been crushed and all renegades chased down. The crowd cheer, but Livia and Mantus know that this is not the case.

Eris returns and saves Leela and Castine. As the deception field was not on any of the charts, Eris says that they have to find out why one was here and takes them to an evacuation ship from Nisteria. Castine goes in search of Filius' friends whilst Eris finds Yakob and demands to know how he knew about the deception field when it was not on the chart that Eris supplied. Threatened, Yakob says that Livia told him about them and that she is with the resistance. In truth, Yakob is a double agent and is spying on Mantus and the resistance for Livia. Mantus now knows this and sends him a TARDIS which, rather than taking him to Gallifrey, takes him into the deception field.

Leela and Eris search for Narvin on the evacuation ships without success. Having salvaged the plans for the attack on the Dalek stronghold, Castine will remain with the resistance rather than returning to the Capitol as Eris does not trust Livia. Narvin contacts the ship and tells them that he is on his way, although he has been separated from Rayo. Narvin says that disrupting the Time Lords and Daleks is no longer enough and that they have to destroy the Vortex by releasing the deception field toxins into the Untempered Schism. However, this will require them to return to Gallifrey.



  • Narvin says that they will drop off Rayo at the Sanctus Delta.
  • Resistance HQ was once the communications centre of an obsolete tech conglomeration.
  • Nisteria has a temporal shield.
  • Narvin and Romana bumped into resistance members on the way to Unity and learnt that they have double agents in the Interior Defence Unit and on the War Council.
  • Yakob says that the resistance have a group in the Iridian Sector.
  • Eris mentions the Untempered Schism.
  • Leela meets someone from the Cornelius Complex, which was purged. The survivors picked up the call from Ysalus.
  • Yakob sends Arkania to him.
  • Leela has a Paluvian handclaw.


to be added


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