Nobody's Gift single work   short story   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2005 2005
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'Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire, 1480. The Doctor visits a feather shop owned by Tochtli the merchant. Tochtli invites the Doctor to his home but is unsure whether he must kill him. On the way they encounter four warriors who taunt the pair. Tochtli shrinks from them in fear while the Doctor persuades them that there is no need for violence and the two carry on their journey. At the merchant's house there is a brief conversation. His father died before Tochtli was born, killed by the 'bonepuppets', an alien race that were planting the seeds of a weed that would have covered half the Earth and driven out the human race. Tochtli's (pregnant) mother helped the Doctor (in a previous incarnation) to destroy the weed and then he delivered her child. She had a psychic gift, an ability to read people's intentions from any object that they had touched. She had previously used this gift to keep her husband alive in dangerous times, and aided him in some spying for the Emperor. For the Doctor she had 'read' a piece of discarded bonepuppet plastic and understood the true nature of the weed. In return the Doctor had buried her son's umbilical cord on a battlefield, as his mother requested, in order to allow him to achieve the status of warrior. The Doctor chose a muddy battlefield on the other side of the galaxy. Tochtli is aggrieved. He blames the Doctor for delivering him a month early on a Nothing Day (one of five days in the Aztec calendar that do not belong to a specific month). Because of this he has become a merchant like his father. The Doctor gives him an object to hold. It looks like a jewel but Tochtli 'reads' it as a seed. At first it seems benign but then he detects a lie in the intentions of the bonepuppets who made it, it is another weapon to be used to kill another world. As soon as he has imparted this knowledge the merchant tries to kill the Doctor but loses the fight. The Doctor says that he knows the merchant has inherited his mother's psychic gift and is using it to spy for the Emperor, his life always in danger but with none of the honour accorded to soldiers. Tochtli reads the Doctor's intentions and sees that he is no threat. The Doctor tells Tochtli that he is not merely a merchant but a warrior in his own way, and that his actions that night will have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands on another world.'

[The Doctor is the Seventh Doctor.]

Source: ( Sighted: 20/5/11

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y The History of Christmas : A Short-Story Anthology Simon Guerrier (editor), Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2005 Z1780560 2005 anthology short story science fiction

    'Christmas is a time for many things. For family and old acquaintances. For giving, for receiving, for feasts and celebration. For huddling round the warmth of the fire, sheltered from the dark and the cold outside.

    And the monsters.

    It's also the busiest time of year for the mysterious Doctor, whether he's caught-up in the violence of ancient Rome, taking Leonardo da Vinci on a day-trip to the stars, or popping in on the very first Christmas on the moon.

    Spend Christmas with the Doctor. If you dare.'

    Source: ( Sighted 20/5/11

    Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2005
Last amended 2 Apr 2015 08:42:27
  • Tenochtitlan, Mexico City,
    Central America, Americas,
  • 1480
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