Following on from Romana's arrest and the beginning of civil war in Imperiatrix, Fractures skipped ahead to some time after Romana's escape. It saw Leela blinded, a condition which would not be cured until Gallifrey IV's Annihilation and introduced the recurring characters of Matthias, Annos and Janartis.
- It learns. It evolves. It wants. It hungers. And now Romana has delivered herself to its very door.
Gallifrey is a world at war with itself. The Pandora entity, clothed in the body of President Romana's first incarnation, seeks to control the populace through mind control and manipulation. The real Romana has resorted to destroying key parts of the Capitol, hoping to weaken Pandora's power base.
But when one such attack goes horribly wrong, Leela is left injured and Romana's base of operations is exposed. Hunted by their enemies, Leela must make for a medical outpost on the fringes of the fighting while Romana seeks a desperate solution in the planet's Anomaly Vaults. But what each discovers will alter their lives, and Gallifrey's future, forever.
In the older levels of the Capitol, Lord Gerber reports on the civil war raging on Gallifrey, one side led by President Romana and the other by Imperiatrix Pandora, and warns his viewers that the only just cause is to support Romana as Pandora will only lead Gallifrey into war. Whilst Pandora converts Time Lords to her cause using fear and the Dogma Virus, Romana has, since defending the condemned off-worlder students at the Gallifreyan Academy, been using sabotage and regularly causes power outages in the city. Gerber believes that she is alienating her supporters and that persuasion would be more effective.
In the presidential suite, Pandora is told by Chancellor Valyes of the explosion at the Forum and that Inquisitor Prime Darkel and her guards are heading there. K9's assessment is that the Forum has not suffered extensive damage, leading Pandora to wonder if it is a distraction or a trick to lull her into a false sense of security.
Romana and Commander Hallan await Leela and Narvin's return in the Maelstrom Cloisters. When they finally do arrive, they find that Narvin has suffered serious cranial damage and that Leela is blind, although she believes that she will get her sight back just as she did when she suffered pigmentation dispersal.
Valyes informs Pandora that more bombs have been found at the Forum and that a trail of blood leads into the lower levels, likely showing the way to Romana's base. To alienate Romana's supporters, they agree to leave some guards in the Forum to be killed by the imminent explosions and to arrange for other innocents to be caught in the area, including her own supporters. Pandora sends K9 with the guards to find Romana, ordering him not to kill his former mistress but giving him permission to kill Leela, Narvin and Lord Matthias.
Romana and Matthias discuss Leela and Narvin's injuries, with Matthias telling her that he has heard of a neutral medical station in the Outlands which could help them. Leela hears them calling her helpless and, whilst she agrees that Hallan should take Narvin there, she insists that she will recover. The group feel the explosion at the Forum and are attacked by Pandora's guards and K9, who has stunned Henzil; Romana orders Hallan to find Captain Annos and take Matthias through the labyrinth to safety, his survival being important due to his status as a figurehead to be rallied around. As Romana and Leela prepare to escape to the Outlands, they are threatened by K9.
Pandora is pleased that forty people were killed by the explosion of the Artron Forum and tells Valyes that she will make a public address once she has allowed the fear and confusion to build. She contacts K9, whom Romana and Leela were able to evade by tricking him into believing that an image generator was a weapon.
Romana, Leela, Narvin, Hallan and Annos are in the Outlands. Romana decides that Leela, Narvin and Annos will go to the medical station whilst she and Hallan enter the Anomaly Vault and take possession of the only TARDIS unaffected by her scrambling of the Imprimatur Cortex: the TARDIS that Wynter used to travel to Davidia. The groups head out on skimmers placed there by Narvin in case of an emergency.
K9 updates Pandora on the events in the Maelstrom Cloisters and tells her of the two skimmers and their directions. Pandora asks him to trace Romana's recent movements around the Capitol in the hopes of working out her plans and learns from him that Romana has been mainly active in the Outer Labyrinth and the Pazithi Cloisters. She has Valyes arrange for Leela's skimmer to be intercepted so that she can be interrogated and her words used against Romana, but Valyes also suggests that they could send Darkel to try to get the support of one of Pazithi's most outspoken residents.
On the skimmer, Narvin's hearts are beating irregularly and, due to the Dogma Virus, Annos hopes that he will not regenerate. They are ambushed by enemies hidden from sight.
Gerber is visited at his home by Darkel and, threatened by her guards, allows her in. Because of his pro-Romana vidcasts, Darkel has him arrested and tells him that he will soon be speaking in favour of Pandora, blaming Romana for the massacre at the Forum.
Leela calls out for Annos, drawing one of Pandora's guards to her so that she can kill him with her blade. Hiding behind the overturned skimmer with Narvin and Annos, Leela kills more of the guards and only Captain Janartis, with whom Annos had trained, escapes. They head to higher ground.
Romana and Hallan arrive at the Anomaly Vault and, uncertain as to whether or not Pandora has already visited it, Hallan prepares to transmat in using the access point.
K9 informs Pandora of the medical station to which it would seem that Leela, Narvin and Annos are heading and that Romana is headed to the Anomaly Vault. Darkel contacts Pandora and tells her about Gerber and his seditious vidcasts which she believes she can re-edit to show Pandora in a better light.
Approaching the medical unit, Narvin regains consciousness and says that Romana must not enter the Anomaly Vault. Leela and Annos are unable to understand what he is trying to say and rush to get him to the unit.
Romana and Hallan are in the Anomaly Vault and, aware of the telepathic circuits, Romana thinks about Wynter's TARDIS in the hopes that it will be presented to them.
Leela, Narvin and Annos are stopped by an armed Dr Elboncaveldron and turned away due to the station being full. When Leela tells him that Narvin is on the High Council, Elbon demands remuneration in return for his medical care and his silence when Pandora's guards come looking for them. Narvin awakens again and promises Elbon his eye-scan uplink which will give him access to all of the Capitol's restricted files and technologies, an offer which Elbon accepts.
Romana and Hallan are presented with honeycombs holding various bodies of the gestalt entity Aesino. Romana wonders if she could be of use in defeating Pandora.
Darkel has edited Gerber's vidcast, painting Romana as the villain rather than Pandora, and tells Gerber that there is a special, live transmission that he will have to make. K9 informs Darkel that Leela, Narvin and Annos have reached the medical unit and that Pandora is supervising modifications in the visualiser suite, although he is unable to comment on the purpose of her modifications and says that Darkel will find out for herself.
Narvin's condition is improving thanks to Elbon's dermamites and medigel, but Elbon checks Leela's eyes and finds that her blindness is permanent; the damage caused to her retinas by the flash of the explosion was exacerbated by vestigial artron energy in the Forum's siphoning equipment, the blast tearing them open and the energy releasing super-intense photo emissions. Elbon thanks the trio for the uplink and leaves them, knowing that Pandora's guards will soon be coming in search of them. Leela asks Annos to leave her alone and, once he has gone, she cries.
Aesino cannot be killed, being replaced by an identical version of herself freed from stasis upon her death, able to do this thanks to being hardwired to Wynter's bastardised timeship by, Romana assumes, Narvin. Bred to live for a thousand years and saying that it is finally the time of release, she breaks free and attacks, asking who they want her to kill.
Valyes visits Pandora, who has had K9 patch her newly-acquired weapons tech to the visualiser, allowing her to target and assign her weapons across the planet and, once K9 has resolved Romana's sabotage to the imprimaturs, beyond. Darkel, Valyes says, is escorting Gerber and several ocular probes to the medical station to report on the damage that Romana's agent will allegedly be causing there. Looking at her screen, Pandora sees that Romana has foolishly entered the Anomaly Vaults and the war is practically over as a result.
Aesino demands to be killed and to be given the name of someone to kill. Hallan shoots her and she is replaced by another version whom Hallan also shoots.
Narvin awakens and, after Leela tells him where Romana has gone, says that they have to stop the weapon within from possessing her. Pandora's guards have arrived at the medical station and, after Elbon failed to persuade them to leave, Annos began a shootout. An ocular probe bursts in and Elbon scrambles its workings before leaving via an underground channel, giving Leela and Narvin a biotool for the opening mechanism. When Annos comes in, Leela and Narvin take him with them into the channel.
Darkel forces Lord Gerber to report on the attack on the medical station, blaming Romana's forces, but he deviates from the script and shouts out that Pandora is responsible. He flees into the Outlands and is killed. Pandora and Valyes watch the footage, which was not broadcast live, and plan to send K9 to the station once the fighting has died down to identify the bodies of Romana's supporters.
Having killed twenty versions of Aesino, Romana and Hallan go to the stasis machine where Romana attempts to make it so that each version comes from a century in the future rather than a second.
Leela, Narvin and Annos are stopped by K9, who claims to be fighting against Pandora's conditioning and warns them of the danger that Romana is in. He tells them of Aesino, retrieved by the Celestial Intervention Agency from a temporal cul-de-sac to serve as an assassin due to the worsening political situation, and K9 gives them a special matter transmitter given to him by Cardinal Braxiatel. Whilst Annos leads the guards away, Leela and Narvin will steal one of their transporters and K9 will try to keep them from being discovered. Narvin says that Aesino is not the real danger to Romana.
Aesino continues to ask to be fully released, but Hallan does not know what she means. Leela and Narvin enter the vault and Narvin goes to stop Romana.
Valyes informs Pandora of Leela, Narvin and Annos's escape from the medical station, but she already knows that Leela and Narvin are in the Anomaly Vault. She orders K9 to irradiate the area with a warhead as the resulting ion flux would make teleportation impossible and, even if they managed to, they would die regardless. Pandora notices K9 hesitate to obey her, which he claims is due to unstable communication with the weapons network.
Leela and Hallan fight Aesino and notice that each new version is older than the last. She dies, telling them that Romana will replace her.
Pandora explains to Valyes that there is a living being, who exists outside of time, in the Anomaly Vaults who keeps it insulated from its own impossibility, one which the CIA broke to their will and believed that it would be content to serve in this capacity. However, Pandora became aware of it whilst inside the Matrix and knows that it has learnt and evolved. Due to Romana being anomalous now that she is coexisting in the same timeframe as her earlier regeneration, Pandora believes that the sentience will want to keep her. She orders K9 to launch the warhead.
Narvin finds Romana, who has interfaced herself with the stasis cell's systems, and tells her to move away. They hear the voice of the sentience and Narvin says that it will now want to use her instead of Aesino, something made easier by her giving the sentience a link to her mind. Now only Romana can save herself. Narvin tries unsuccessfully to use the matter transmitter, but it is non-functional. The sentience, however, might not be contained and could escape through the Matrix with Romana's knowledge after splintering Romana into millions of versions just like Aesino.
With the matter transmitter out of action, Narvin uncouples Wynter's TARDIS from the stasis cells despite it lacking a plasmic shell. He is left unconscious as the TARDIS enters the Time Vortex. Leela calls out to Romana to take control of the TARDIS; Romana manages to fight the sentience and says that the unit is causing the TARDIS to materialise. They arrive at the security wing of the Gallifreyan Academy, Narvin revealing that he had expected Braxiatel's matter transmitter to take them to a place of safety and plugged it into the stasis cell. They agree that this would make a good base of operations, especially with Braxiatel's Sensor Net.
Romana hears the voice of her previous incarnation in her head, telling her that she is hers and that she will not win. She collapses.
- Ex-President Romana - Lalla Ward
- Leela of the Sevateem - Louise Jameson
- K-9 Mk II - John Leeson
- Inquisitor-Prime Darkel - Lynda Bellingham
- CIA Coordinator Narvin - Seán Carlsen
- Imperiatrix Pandora - Mary Tamm
- Lord Matthias - Stephen Perring
- Chancellor Valyes - Steven Wickham
- Commander Hallan - Michael Cuckson
- Medic Elbon - Paul Grunert
- Captain Annos - Dickon Tolson
- Captain Janartis - Charlie Ross
- Commentator Gerber - Charles Pemberton
- Aesino - Lisa Bowerman
- Lord Gerber makes vidcasts.
- Romana has destroyed the Archives.
- Romana scrambled the Imprimatur Cortex in the berthing bays, grounding all TARDISes.
- Romana was saved from her cell by one of her guards, who died during the mission. Hundreds of her other guards died defending the Academy.
- Artron energy can be found in the minds of Time Lords. The Artron Forum painlessly absorbs the energy to help power TARDISes.
- Leela and Narvin plant percussion grenades.
- Romana and Hallan visit the Anomaly Vault.
- The Maelstrom Cloisters are little-known ruins.
- Raldeth is one of Romana's guards.
- The labyrinth is obscured by an image generator.
- Romana's mother and father would threaten to leave her in the Outlands when she was young.
- Romana and her people use skimmers in their escape.
- Romana has been active in the Outer Labyrinth and the Pazithi Cloisters, a once-regal area now in decay.
- Gerber was once a presidential advisor.
- Gerber took down President Eldhein's High Council single-handedly.
- Pandora's guards have vortex grenades.
- In the Anomaly Vault are robots who built themselves, objects propelled through time by zygma energy and Wynter's TARDIS. During the Archetryx Expansion, the Third Moon of Hentaphlobin became so irradiated by waste time energy that its core ended up existing in a thousand timeframes simultaneously. The moon was extracted from reality and locked in a dungeon in the Anomaly Vault whilst local timespace was cauterised.
- Two of Elbon's patients died when his laser scalpel overloaded.
- The medical station is overrun with pig-rats.
- Elbon uses dermamites to regenerate Narvin's burnt skin and medigel to counter infection.
- The Celestial Intervention Agency found Aesino splintered across reality in a temporal cul-de-sac, her systems almost shattered due to chronal decay. They transplanted her into the Anomaly Vault and hardwired her to Wynter's TARDIS to restabilise her.
- Before Braxiatel left, he gave K9 Mark II a special matter transmitter. K9 kept it in his inspection plate.
- Aesino was bio-engineered and has augmented flesh.
- This story was recorded at the Moat Studios.
- Leela says that Narvin is on the High Council, something which does not seem to have been the case.
- This story was originally released on CD. It is now available as a download only.
- When blinded, Leela states that this is the second time that she has been so afflicted. (TV: Horror of Fang Rock) Her sight would eventually be returned through the infusion of vampire blood on the Gallifrey of an alternative timeline. (AUDIO: Annihilation)
- Raldeth, who previously appeared in The Sirens of Time and The Apocalypse Element, is mentioned but does not appear. He would later return in Appropriation.