|Lady of the Snows|
|Part of:||Short Trips: Destination Prague|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Leap Second||The Time Eater|
Yan Periko makes his way through the heavy snow of Prague to the pub. He meets his friends there, but he learns to his dismay that they know about the young girl he rescued and they want details. He tells them he found her in the snow and brought her home, and she doesn't remember who she is. He has been painting pictures of her.
On the way home, he encounters a strange man who is looking for a missing friend. The man asks Yan what year it is, but Yan can't remember. Suddenly the man has to leave. When Yan returns home, the girl, whom he calls Libuse, has been having dreams. As she describes them, he paints them.
Several months later, Yan is making more money from his paintings. The heavy winter storms continue. He and Libuse move to a larger place. Yan's friend Nyjtta, who owns a gallery, is featuring his work. At the gallery, Yan, trying to avoid the crowd, once again encounters the strange man he met months ago. They introduce themselves, and the man, called the Doctor, explains that he is looking for his friend Charley. He tells Yan that Charley's presence in Prague is dangerous. The roof collapses and the snow seems to attack the Doctor. When Yan's friends come to see what happened, the Doctor is no longer there and Yan doesn't mention him.
That night, as Libuse sleeps, Yan whispers the name "Charley" to her, and she stirs in her sleep, saying, "Doctor?" Yan's suspicions and fears are realised — "Libuse" is the Doctor's missing friend.
A few weeks later Yan and his friend Marie are at the pub. Marie accuses Yan of keeping Libuse around because of the paintings. Two more friends, Kurtis and Leaux, arrive with the news that another friend, Nils, has been killed in an avalanche.
When Yan heads home through the snow, there is no one around, but there is a blue kiosk. He is not surprised to see the Doctor in the doorway. He invites Yan in and explains the situation.
Prague is not really Prague, but is a gallery built by aliens to be a repository of art. The "snow" is actually nanomolecular caretakers. The Doctor is not actually present in Prague; he was just a projection. Somehow Charley fell into the gallery; her presence is causing disruptions and her amnesia is an incidental side effect. Yan resists all of this until the Doctor tells him that Charley will freeze to death. He takes her to the TARDIS.
- Landmarks in Prague include the Vltava River, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Square and the Jirásek Bridge.
- The pub frequented by Yan and his friends is The Sparrow.
to be added