Time of Origin: Confronted The Doctor on the Rock of Judgement
A powerful psychic mutant, Xais was also known as Xais of Guaal, princess of the Guaal Territories, last of the Ugly Mutants, a strain of humans mutated through unspecified circumstances and disregarded by regular humans. When she was young, Xais and her people lived in Guaal on the sixth planet of the Uva Beta Uva system. Miners came to the planet and killed all the mutants, so they would not interfere with their operations. Seeing everyone she loved being murdered unleashed her latent psychic powers, and Xais mentally crushed all the miners in sight. Afterwards, she found a spaceship and went to the most populous planet in the system, New Earth (Uva Beta Uva Five). Blaming all ‘Normals’ for the death of her fellow mutants, she killed two thousand people before she was nineteen, with her trademark being to telekinetically crush her victims. Xais finally was captured and brought to the Rock of Judgement, an asteroid that served as the main court, prison and place of execution for the system under the control of High Acheron Pyerpoint, where she was tried and executed via particle reversal for her crimes.
Before her execution, artist Menlove Stokes – who ran an art gallery on the Rock where his work was inspired by the criminals sentenced there – made a mask of her face out of helicon, allowing her to imprint her mind in the mask and survive the death of her body. Three years later, she had gained enough strength to influence Margo, chief of security for the Rock, to find and put on the mask, allowing Xais to continue her quest to destroy all ‘Normals’; without an actual host, she was trapped in the mask and limited to communicating with others, although once placed on another person she eventually consumed their identity to the extent that they would have no face left if the mask was removed.
However, this plan was jeopardised as the Fourth Doctor and Romana had arrived on the Rock earlier, becoming caught up in an investigation by maverick cop Frank Spiggot as he investigated anomalies in the computer net and the recent death of a mining expedition on Planet Eleven, killed in a manner that reflected Xais’s usual methods; she had managed to take control of Margo long enough to transmat to Planet Eleven and kill the expedition before they could jeopardise her plan. Although Xais had managed to influence Margo into transmitting a signal to her allies, the criminal Nisbett brothers and their army of Ogron thugs, the Nisbett brothers each believed that she had some ulterior motive in using them beyond needing to mine the belzite on Planet Eleven, going along with the plan simply so that they could use it for themselves.
When the Nisbetts arrived, Xais took full control of Margo and took The Doctor away to torture him in the belief that he was another security agent, leaving Romana to get K9 and Spiggot to dig out the TARDIS from the rubble that had surrounded it during the attack while she and Stokes infiltrated the Ogron ship. Before Xais could begin her torture, Margo took back control of her body long enough to free The Doctor and reveal that Pyerpoint had worked with Xais when she was alive, secretly running his own criminal empire with the goal of taking control of the system in the belief that only he could bring the order it needed, manipulating Xais into eliminating his competition. Before Xais resurfaced to crush Margo’s mind for good, Margo revealed that her true plan was to mine a large amount of helicon on Planet Eleven, then imprinting herself on it and using it to create an army of mental duplicates.
Audio – The Romance of Crime
The Romance of Crime
(Gareth Roberts, adapted by John Dorney)
When K9 and Spiggot’s attempt to sabotage the Rock sent it hurtling towards Planet Eleven, Xais and the Nisbetts took The Doctor, Romana and Stokes prisoner and transmatted down to the planet while the Ogrons followed in their ship, leaving K9 and Spiggot to take the TARDIS to a pre-establishing mining facility Pyerpoint had used to mine the planet’s helicon reserves. When the Nisbetts learned Xais’s true plan, she killed them both as they turned on her, but Margo’s body was too badly injured for her to continue, prompting Pyerpoint to try and force the mask onto Romana instead. Fortunately, although Xais was able to control Romana’s body, Romana was able to shield her mind from the worst of Xais’s influence, giving her more time before she would be overwhelmed completely by the insane psychic.
Although Pyerpoint tried to force Xais to share her secret of immortality with him, Romana was able to overcome Xais’ influence after Pyerpoint was forced to release Xais from her confinement to stop the Nisbetts blowing up the base to avenge their betrayal, Xais triggering a bomb she had planted on their ship before Romana removed the mask. Although The Doctor revealed that Xais couldn’t share her immortality with Pyerpoint as it depended on her own telepathy projecting her consciousness – a past demonstration had just been her manipulating Pyerpoint’s perception to show him what he wanted to see – when both of them were left trapped in the base as the rest fled, Xais was able to convince Pyerpoint to put it on so that she could share the secret with him. While struggling for control, he was killed by one of the station’s robots, which Pyerpoint had ironically programmed earlier to kill any intruders. Deprived of a body, Xais could not stop the primed helicon from expanding and covering the surface of Planet Eleven, with The Doctor leaving Spiggot with a chemical formula that would break down the helicon and destroy whatever remained of Xais forever.