ByMary Decker, writer at

I've always enjoyed the twists and turns when it comes to Doctor Who and River Song: Time crossed lovers, but even the beginning, or was it the end? wasn't what I expected.

I often wondered what it was like for Melody, and how she became Mels... How a child programmed to kill could fight it... what chance did she stand?

It’s the choices we make— the little things every day that shape who we are to become.

My earliest memory of my mother was that of a gentle woman holding me, comforting me and warning me.

They say I was too young— that I shouldn't have remembered anything, but I remember her telling me that I had to be brave. She told me that my father was coming, a man who would rescue me. ‘Old yet young,’ she told me, and I remember him only as ‘The Last Centurion.’

I remember her hands, so gentle when she held me, and so strong and fierce when they took me away.

It took me a lifetime to find her, two in fact. And though my mother looked for me, I was the one who found her.

It’s funny, growing up in a time traveling family: For them it’s all new, but for me it is ancient history.

I cannot undo the training and conditioning they used on me since my birth, but even as they were layering it into my subconscious, I was was layering in my rebellion.

It all started with one small act of defiance:


Sister Agatha’s voice was neither loud, nor harsh but it held command. Command I had been taught to follow. I stood and once again reached for the suit… and faltered.

She studied me, seeing only exhaustion in my actions. She smiled indulgently and nodded towards my books.

“Rest child,” she said. “We’ll start again in the morning.”

I bowed my head respectfully, and being a good girl followed her orders.

Of all the members of the Silence, Sister Agatha was the kindest, but that did not say much. How ‘kind’ can you be when you are programming a child to kill her future husband?

As I picked up a book and curled up in bed she began singing. I know now that the song was part of the programming, but then it would fade into the task I was given until nothing else existed.

It was simple at first, a song they sang to me as a lullaby, but then they would speak the words and bind me to the task at hand. By the time I was 5 and they started the training, the song was so much a part of me that I had no thought of rebellion, but they forgot one thing: I may have been the future wife of The Doctor, but I am my mother’s daughter.

By the time I was old enough to understand what they were preparing me to do, their grip was so strong they didn't even bother hiding it. The indoctrination was so powerful I couldn't outright defy them but I could on some small level fight them - if only in my dreams.

It was in dreams that I saw her: my other mother… the one who touched my soul when I was just a spark in my mother’s dreams.

While my love could not find me, and my mother was just a faded memory, my other mother touched my mind through the distance. You see, time and space mean nothing to one who exists in all space and time. She would sing to me a different song, one that wove itself into the fiber of the other— turning it into something more than they intended.

While they taught me stealth and concealment, she taught me recklessness and flippancy. While they taught me singleness of purpose, she taught me defiance. It was such a small thing, but the choice was as natural as breathing. I was their instrument, and the song was set long before I was born… but I was the one who would choose how to play it.

My name is Melody Pond, the silence took me and made me their puppet, but my mother’s blood runs in me, I am Scottish and defiance flows in my veins.

… penny in the air… I wonder where it will land.


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