Publisher's summary Edit
"Time is not the preserve of an aristocracy — it is inviolate! Free! Free Time!"
The Time Lords of Gallifrey were the first to map the Web of Time. Now, under the reforming gaze of President Romanadvoratrelundar, the oldest civilisation is ready to shed its monopoly, sharing its secrets with a coalition of the Temporal Powers — the Monan Host, the Nekkistani and the Warpsmiths of Phaidon among them.
But the coalition is a fragile one, and despised in some quarters. When a team of Time Technology Assessors makes a horrific discovery on the barren moon of Kikrit, it seems their enemies are arming themselves to strike at the alliance. Has a terrorist group really acquired a temporal weapon so terrible the Time Lords forgot about its existence?
In search of the truth, Romana sends the woman called Leela and the robot dog K9 to the enclave of Gryben, a reception centre for temporal refugees. But the truth is war's first casualty — and the fallout could destroy them all...
A group of Time Technology Assessors representing the four Temporal Powers discovers a Timonic Fusion Device on the Third Moon of Kikrit. Once discovered, one of the assessors reveals herself to be a member of the Free Time movement named Nepenthe. She then steals the device.
Back on Gallifrey, the situation is described to President Romana. Braxiatel remembers secret research done a few centuries ago regarding a Timonic Fusion Device, but he admits that the work was unsuccessful and the device dismantled.
Romana then recruits Leela, Torvald, and K9 to go to the planet Gryben in order to investigate Free Time. There, they encounter Arkadian, who attests to having knowledge of the organisation. Arkadian agrees to give the information in exchange for an audience with Romana.
Leela, K9, and Torvald go to the location given by Arkadian to meet Nepenthe. There Leela learns that the Time Lords wanted the weapon for themselves. Leela also discovers that Nepenthe's leitenant is actually a Monan in disguise. The Monan sends a signal to his people stating the the mission has been compromised, prompting the High Monan to send troops to Gryben.
Nepenthe then activates the device. In desperation, Romana goes to Gryben under the guise of being Arkadian's hostage. She offers herself in exchange for the device. She then realises that the device may be a bluff, and lets it count down to zero. The device then disarms and disappears into thin air, leaving the threat of the device still hanging despite the immediate relief.
Leela and Romana suspect that a Time Lord group unhappy with Romana's progressive reforms was responsible for the whole incident. Leela then agrees to become Romana's bodyguard, with K9 as chief of security.
- 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
- Arkadian - Hugo Myatt
- Nepenthe - Helen Goldwyn
- Ba'aruk - Daniel Hogarth
- Scragbite - Stephen Mansfield
- Outsider - Trevor Littledale
- The Monan Host have pale blue skin.
- Torvald mentions Vortex Ops.
- Romana jokes that Braxiatel didn't start the Third Space War.
to be added
- Leela mentions the events of AUDIO: Zagreus.
- The Monan Host first appeared in AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element, which also debuted Romana as president.
- Leela and K9 Mark I have been on Gallifrey since TV: The Invasion of Time.
- K9 Mark II was last seen on screen in TV: Warriors' Gate, but PROSE: Lungbarrow saw him return to Gallifrey as well, and AUDIO: Shada established that he had been reunited with Romana.