He'd been sitting in the corner ever since Sandra had begun her shift.

Every so often, he'd ask for a black coffee, no sugar, which she provided,
before retreating back to the bar.

She'd considered suggesting Klatchian coffee, but then rejected it. He was
looking deep enough into reality as it was.

Katarina had kept her distance too, being careful not to clean up anywhere near
to him.

Still, he'd simply sat there, occasionally pausing to take a sip of his coffee.

Sandra would've _liked_ to talk to Katarina about it, but given the way things
were, it was pretty obvious that once they started talking, _what_ they were
talking about would be easily apparent; in fact, she half-expected _he_ expected
it, so he could listen in, and she wasn't entirely sure she wanted things to go
like that...

"I remember when Adrienne died." Katarina said abruptly.

Sandra blinked, and stared at her. She'd thought Katarina had reached the same
conclusion she had.

"It was different - as our lives are different, so too are our deaths." Katarina
hesitated. "It had... It had been a long time since she played me, and I do not
think either of us ever expected that she would do so again. My time had been
and gone, whatever presence I had remaining but in the Lord Doctor's mind."

She half-smiled. "Although, to tell the truth, I was... pleasantly surprised at
Capo Lyons's tale of my journey through the Underworld. For that, I offer him

"But that is not the tale I tell now.

"I... am not quite sure what she thought of me, of the role she played - though
in the scheme of her life I think it was a small thing, compared to all else."
Again, Katarina half-smiled. "I do know how she summed up her time, though.
'Just a lot of charging about, hiding behind wooden sets and things. Tons of
close-ups... skulking about saying "What next, Doctor?"

"'It was all fun, though.'"

She sighed a little, and then continued. "She gave me my face and form, gave me
a spark of... not life, I think, for in a way I already existed in the scripts.
A spark of... essence, perhaps. Animation.

"The way I am - the way I was, the way I began - had part of its beginning in
her. Had it been another... I would have looked elsewise, behaved a little
elsewise... the life I have would have been different, though I doubt by much.

"But she was the one who took what lay in the script and gave it..." Katarina
mulled it over. "Gave it flesh, I think, would be the best term, though
doubtless there are others I am missing.

"For the span of those few short weeks, she played the part they had written,
playing out the span of my life to its foreordained conclusion.

"And then... it ended.

"Her contract came to an end... and my life Inside ended with it." The
half-smile returned to her face, this time edged with a certain sadness. "I find
it... a thing of irony, I think, that my life Outside has proven to be longer
than my life Inside. It is by no means longer than the life Adrienne lived...
but should it prove that we survive the next two decades, it shall be.

"That is... a humbling thing, I find."

Katarina let out a long, low sigh. "This is why I say that our lives and deaths
are different.

"In truth... I did not know Adrienne had cancer until she died. She did not make
it public - nor, I believe, was she the sort of person who would have done such
a thing.

"The first I knew of her death was when it was announced. For myself, it was as
if I had learned that a childhood friend - a friend whom I had not seen in many
years, a friend I remembered with fondness - had died.

"I mourned her a little while, offering up the coins for her that she might have
safe passage across the Styx.

"And then... I returned to my life, the memory of her ensconsed safe within my

"I can give her no greater memorial than this - that she will dwell there, safe
in the fields of memory, for so long as I live."

With that, she fell silent.

Lucas Wolenczek set his cup down on the table, pushed back the chair, and rose.

"Thank you." he said formally.

Katarina dipped a curtsey.

Lucas pulled out his wallet, extracted some money, and laid it on the bar.

He hesitated, then took out two one-cent coins and laid them down too.

"For Jonathan." he said simply.

Sandra inclined her head.

For a moment, Lucas stood there, looking down at the coins.

Then he took a deep breath, turned, and walked away.




[AN: Adrienne Hill, the actress who played Katarina, died 6th October 1997.

[Jonathan Brandis, who played Lucas Wolenczek in 'Seaquest: DSV', died 12th
November 2003.

[This is my inconsequential attempt to pay homage to them both.

[Katarina talks about her journey into the Underworld - the story was 'Katarina
in the Underworld', by Steve Lyons, for the Big Finish short story collection
'Short Trips: The Muses', edited by Jacqueline Rayner. (Katarina's was the
'Calliope' story).]

Disclaimer: 'Doctor Who' and Katarina are the BBC's, Lucas is Amblin's, This
Time Round was created by Tyler Dion, Klatchian coffee was thought up by Terry
Pratchett, and Sandra is mine.

Summary: Remembering the dead.


Copyright 2003 Imran Inayat