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Desperate Measures was the fourth and final audio story in Time War: Volume One, the ninth series of Gallifrey.

Publisher's summary[]

The Dalek Emperor attacks a vital Time Lord outpost. Victory would be a devastating blow to Gallifrey.

Romana is caught in the machinations of a President who sees control slipping away. Is it time to bargain with the War Council, or perhaps to parlay with even more dangerous parties?

The Time War has barely begun, and for Gallifrey, desperate times are already here...

Plot[]

The Dalek Emperor demands to know how his war will be won and learns from the Dalek Time Strategist that Daleks have been deployed to the Kaiphos Occlusion and are battling Battle TARDISes. Soon, the Strategist says, Project Revenant will no longer be under Time Lord control. The Emperor sends the Supreme Dalek to lead the final assault and makes contact with Romana, who says that Gallifrey can resist for as long as it needs to.

Narvin argues with Trave about the War Council's expulsion of all aliens and refugees on Gallifrey only two months after the Phaidonians were granted asylum. Livia dismisses Narvin and addresses the council about Zeiton stocks. Trave leaves as well and continues to argue with Narvin about the Celestial Intervention Agency and Project Revenant and mock how Romana keeps losing her agents.

Karla informs Trave that the Daleks have opened a time corridor into the Kaiphos Occlusion from the Seventh Galaxy. She sends the reports on to Romana and the High Council and Trave has the War Councillors prepare to fight the Dalek fleet and protect Project Revenant at all costs.

Livia contacts Romana and tells her that she wants to leave office due to her limitations as a wartime President, but cannot resign as it would be a political disaster. Narvin believes that he has a way for her to resign and save face; the War Council have forced through amendments which affect the Ancient Houses without the consent of the electorate. He advises Livia to ask for transparency and arrange a transfer of power. She agrees and goes to speak with the High Council and Trave, but Romana believes that she wants to avoid being held responsible if the Daleks get control of Project Revenant.

The Supreme Dalek has entered the Kaiphos Occlusion and despatches drones to combat the approaching Battle TARDISes. Karla shows Trave a message from the Revenant station requesting evacuation, but Trave refuses and orders Karla to try to draw the whole station back through the Death Zone. He takes a call from Livia in his office.

Narvin encourages Romana to try for the office of President, which she accepts is the right thing to do. She has a request to make of Narvin.

Livia announces her resignation as a matter of legal procedure and dissolves the High Council, appointing Admiral Valerian of the First Fleet, a descendant of Rassilon, as her successor. He proves to be a popular choice and Romana and Narvin realise that they have been used to help Livia appoint a War Council puppet to the Presidency. Romana steps forward and declares her candidacy, promising to regenerate if she wins the public vote against Valerian.

Livia is unhappy at this turn of events as she is worried about her legacy, but Trave advises her to simply retire quietly from public life.

Romana informs Narvin that the War Council is expanding conscription and that he is on the Patrex list, added to remove him from as Romana's advisor. To avoid this, Romana is sending him with Karla to Project Revenant to destroy the resurrection facility and keep it from falling into the Daleks' hands. Karla is honoured to work closely with Narvin and they take a TARDIS to the Death Zone.

Romana contacts the Dalek Emperor for another one of their "chats" on a secure line opened up by Braxiatel. She tries to convince him that both the Time Lords and the Daleks will be destroyed if the Time War continues, but the Emperor is sure that he will triumph. She offers to let the Daleks live in return for leaving the Web of Time alone, an offer which is ignored.

Narvin and Karla arrive at the Occlusion bridge and place chronon mines for them to use to seal the bridge behind them once they return. They reach the Resurrection Engine.

Valerian makes a speech to the new High Council and Romana reminds him that he is not yet President. He declares that open government is important and has Trave show a Matrix recording of the conflict in the Occlusion, showing them that the war will no doubt last for years. Romana impresses the importance of diplomacy and alliances in the war, but Valerian scoffs at her.

Narvin sends Karla to release a defensive cloud whilst he reasons with the sentient core and tries to persuade it to destroy itself.

In the Panopticon, Romana counters Valerian's claim that Gallifrey has been left open to attack given that a time lock is ready for activation and sky trenches are being constructed. He proposes bringing out the Bowships and making the Agency more accountable, also suggesting that he is a superior candidate to Romana as he has fought the Daleks whilst she was once held prisoner by them for years. Trave discreetly orders an agent to breach the Agency's servers.

Livia watches the debate and is impressed by Valerian. Rather than the traditional debate, Valerian chooses to do a tour of Gallifrey's cities in the hours before the election, declaring that he will lead the Time Lords to victory.

Karla contacts Livia and tells her that everything is ready. At the outgoing President's command, she takes the core into the Matrix and aligns it with Gallifreyan Mean Time one hour from now. She asks if the vote is indeed certain, which Livia says is the case thanks to a trick that Valerian has up his sleeve. Karla destroys the bridge with the chronon mines and opens a Matrix door, taking the core through it and shooting Narvin with a staser, leaving him to die.

Romana makes her final statement, asking for trust and saying that she is willing to give up her life by regenerating for Gallifrey. Valerian, instead of making a statement, plays a recording of Romana's conversations with the Dalek Emperor, recut to incriminate her as a Dalek sympathiser willing to concede war. The vote begins and Romana and Valerian wait together until the polls are closed.

Narvin flees as the Daleks enter the engine and is saved when Braxiatel arrives in his TARDIS.

With 76% of the vote, Valerian is named President of the High Council and asks Romana if she has any last words. She refuses to concede gracefully and instead describes this as a coup by the War Council and that both Livia and Valerian are their puppets. She calls for an investigation into Valerian's empty promises and is removed from the stand. The CIA will be brought under the control of the War Council and the the Daleks will be exterminated.

Confined to her rooms, Romana is joined by Narvin and learns of Karla's treachery. He has a data stamp.

Valerian is invested by Livia, who is now Chancellor. Trave has Karla prepare to sacrifice her life as Livia is about to activate a link to the Matrix.

Narvin shows Romana a message from Braxiatel in which he says that the Time War is inevitable and that they have one final decision: to stay on Gallifrey and fight or to leave while they still can. Having made his choice, he apologises and says goodbye. Romana decides to attend Valerian's investiture and hurries there with Narvin.

The Supreme Dalek detects a power surge and the Occlusion begins to collapse. The Emperor has a new Supreme appointed and orders the Time Strategist to devise a new strategy.

Livia places the Coronet of Rassilon on Valerian's head. As he experiences pain, Livia announces that a leader like no other is required and leaves, bumping into Romana and Narvin on her way out. Narvin holds a staser at her and forces her to return to the Panopticon where Trave announces the resurrection of Rassilon as Lord President Eternal.

Cast[]

References[]

Notes[]

Textless cover.

to be added

Continuity[]

External links[]

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