Publisher's summary Edit
"Let those who have business in this place rise and state it to the Court of Enquiry."
President Romana has been called to account for her actions. But the only evidence that she has responded to a real and present danger has disappeared. To clear her good name she is dependent on the testimony of the very people who want to see her publicly humiliated and her power removed.
While Leela tries to discover truths of her own, Romana is forced into an uneasy truce with her rivals at the CIA. But at least she can be sure the inquiry will be handled in a fair and proper manner. Or can she? When the investigation itself triggers danger and time is — quite literally — running out for all of Gallifrey's power and knowledge, just who can Romana trust?
President Romana is on trial to decide whether her actions regarding the situation with the Timonic Fusion Device on Gryben were justified. It is under question whether the device truly existed or not. While K9 investigates the Matrix data on Project Alpha, he discovers a data bomb that will detonate in 5 microspans, possibly compromising the entire Matrix. K9 delays the detonation by drawing on his own power source.
The Timonic Fusion Device is collected from Gryben, after Romana presented evidence suggesting that the device didn't disappear and was only sent forward one day in time.
Using the artron imprint from the Matrix data bomb, Narvin identifies Braxiatel as the culprit. Braxiatel is also tracked to a museum, and is caught buying rare pieces of artwork for the Braxiatel Collection. He denies planting the data bomb, although he admits to considering the possibility if Project: Alpha was to continue.
The data bomb explodes, but it is not a virus as previously thought. Instead it contains the truth about Project: Alpha. According to the data, the test went through and the explosion destroyed the planet Minyos before anyone knew what was happening. The High Council covered up the incident, claiming that the planet was destroyed in a civil war. Braxiatel then planted the data bomb to ensure that the truth about Project Alpha would be spread throughout the Matrix for all to see if the High Council ever tried to kill him.
These events never happened, however, because the device was stolen right before detonation. Unwilling to admit to losing such a powerful weapon, the High Council launched a cover up, claiming to have dismantled the device. Because the Matrix exists outside relative time, it was unaffected by the changed events, and the data bomb which Braxiatel originally planted in the Matrix before history was changed remained intact.
Romana and Braxiatel travel back in time to set history straight, stopping the servitor robots from stealing the device in the first place and destroying the planet Minyos in the process. The trial is then considered redundant, and any charges are dropped.
- President Romana - Lalla Ward
- Leela - Louise Jameson
- K9 - John Leeson
- Cardinal Braxiatel - Miles Richardson
- Coordinator Narvin - Seán Carlsen
- Commander Torvald - Andy Coleman
- Inquisitor Darkel - Lynda Bellingham
- Glower - Daniel Hogarth
- Archivist - Trevor Littledale
- Glower's Technician - Stephen Mansfield
- Servitor - Robert Dick
- The destruction of the planet Minyos is mentioned.
- Vortisaurs are mentioned by the Time Lords.
- The Time Lords are able to track Braxiatel due to his artron energy
to be added
- Minyos (and Gallifrey's involvement) was first mentioned in TV: Underworld.
- Braxiatel is caught collecting art for his Braxiatel Collection, breaking the laws of time. He claims he started the endeavour after witnessing how easily time can be destroyed with things like the Timonic Fusion Device. The Collection plays a large role in the Big Finish Bernice Summerfield series.
- Braxiatel claims that he will receive a K9 unit as a gift from an old friend that he hasn't met yet. It is unknown whether this is true, yet it suggests that Braxiatel is knowledgable about his own future, revealing that he is breaking more laws of time than he has let on. Braxiatel becomes much more invested in bending the laws of time later in his life. (AUDIO: Resurrecting the Past, Escaping the Future)