Nightmare of a Timelord

August 7, 2013
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“I bring life.”

Eyes aglow with the power of time, Rose lifted her hand and dissolved everything.

The Doctor toppled through the void, the final shrieks of the Dalek Emperor reverberating in his ears. The inconceivable nothingness suffocated him, even as he clawed futilely at anything to hold on to and screamed noiselessly. Then he hit the floor, hard, causing him to wince. He scrambled to his feet, observing in half a tick that he was in the Tardis’ center console. He had to get to Rose. Having the whole of time in her head would burn her up. And it was all his fault, if he hadn’t brought her along in the first place, he wouldn’t have jeopardized her life and all existence. The power would drive her mad...

...just like it had driven him.

All of eternity, all that has been and is to come, constantly flashing before his eyes. How could he bring that upon anyone, let alone his best friend? But where was she now? If he didn’t find her and help her, all the burning determination inside him would be for naught. Frustration built, causing him to heave himself up to a stand on the Tardis console. It was so unfair, but he didn’t care, he’d fix it. He was the Doctor, that’s what he did.

Yet that one, flickering moment of hesitation foiled him.

Suddenly the Tardis started up unexpectedly, bucking him off of his feet again. Sprawled on the floor, he helplessly listened to the alarms blaring and mauve lights flashing. He struggled to get up, then loped clumsily for the doors. Swinging them open, he almost ran into a blazing inferno.

“My children!” wailed the Raknoss, throwing her crested head back in agony. Fire raged all around, as water gushed and alien death throes sounded from far below. Throwing his arm over his face to keep out the smoke, his gaze was attracted to a man standing far above on a balcony. His face was impassive, yet in his eyes throbbed a quiet rage and sorrow that surpassed anything he’d ever seen from a living being. Only a madman could bring such raw, intense power down upon anyone.

“Who are you!?” he demanded, squinting up through the light. The man looked down at him, his spiky brown hair flattened by the pouring indoor rain. Their eyes met, and the result was like an atomic combustion.

That was himself.

The Doctor, a Timelord victorious.

“No!” he gasped. “Not me! How? What happened to you!?”

Shaking, the other Doctor mouthed one word at him, something starting with R. Someone called up at the new Doctor, drawing the old's attention to her. A middle-aged redhead, in a pristine white wedding dress. She was telling him to stop. But why would he listen to her, of all people? Why was it that only she, out of all the beings in the universe, could stop him? Because that wasn't fair.
Or safe, for anyone.
The other Doctor vanished, as did the redhead, leaving him and the Raknoss alone in the burning building. Infrastructure groaned under the strain, signalling an imminent collapse. The Doctor turned and ran back to where to the Tardis, but it wasn’t there. Placing his hands on the blank wall before him as if he could will his ship back into existence, he was once more helpless to fix anything as the building came down in fire and pressure and pain. His scream was lost in the falling rubble, a final cry of a dying species, the last Timelord lost in the ruin. Some things simply happened too fast to prevent.

Then, inexplicably, he found himself facing off with the Lord President, who was supposed to be dead. But so far he’d seen a lot of impossible things, and he’d acquired a half-numb acceptance this far in. Behind him were two other Timelords, haunts arisen from Gallifrey’s grave, their eyes covered in shame. But one of them dropped her hands from her face and looked him in the eye. He trembled in disbelief, the revelation of the woman Timelord somehow changing everything and shattering his foundation. He had to make an impossible choice, that much he knew. He could bring them all back and bring upon the universe a power he couldn’t hope to control, or condemn them to a burning planet set aflame by none other than himself. There had to be a way, he couldn’t simply pick one or the other, existence as the world knew it was hanging in the balance--

“Get out of the way.”
Apparently he wouldn't have to make it. Despite himself, he dodged to the right. A wrathful lightning bolt struck the President in the chest, causing him to stagger and lower his glove. The Master stepped forward from behind the Doctor, the lightning arcing from the palm of his hand, supernatural power granted to a lunatic. Again and again the Master shot the President full of voltage, stepping forward with every attack. Finally the Master and the President were face-to-face, one dying, the other avenging. Before they faded back into the Timewar, the Master looked back at his old friend, the Doctor, their eyes meeting almost as explosively as the two Doctors looking at each other. The insanity in his eyes, the almost-there fear, the confusion, and above all one question--
Why couldn’t you fix it, Doctor?
“NO!” He was vaguely aware of his own scream as it all faded to an intense, accusatory white.
Thousands of burning questions and aching truths whirled through his mind, hurting him with their complications. Who am I? Why do I do what I do? How did it all fall so far? How can I fix it? Why can’t I? How many have I killed, how many are dying, how many will I kill? Who cared, who cares, who ever will? What have I done? What will I do? Who will I be? How much longer? Will I ever know? Where will I go now? What matters? What doesn’t? How should I know? Am I going in circles? Am I going to my doom? What will I remember? What won’t I? What shouldn’t I? Who did I used to be? Where do I go? Where have I gone? Will I make it through the night? Will I ever return? Am I black or am I white? Did I ever know? Will I ever be one or the other? Have I changed? Will I? How much is left of me? How long will this dark last? What is this? What does it mean? Can I take one more step without it all falling apart?


The alarm in his voice woke her up immediately. The blonde sat up, groggy from sleep as she murmured a faint query. Opening her sleepy eyes, she saw the silhouette of the Doctor in the lit doorway, his buzz cut and prominent ears identifying him even in her half-consciousness. Squinting to adjust to the bright light, she tried not to notice that he was only wearing pajama pants.
“What? What is it?” she mumbled, confused at the midnight awakening. She rubbed her eyes, bringing home the realization of how late it must be for Rose. The Doctor seemed to relax a little bit.
“I just...wanted to check on you,” he apologized, leaning on the doorjamb and watching her. He still couldn’t shake the thralls of the nightmare, and human companionship tended to soothe him better than most things. “I had a bit of a scare.”
“What, do Timelords have nightmares, now?” she asked goofily. He smiled, her sass bringing him down to earth. “You’re the Doctor. What could you possibly be afraid of?”

“You mean what was it about?” he clarified.

“Yeah. You can tell me, I’m too drowsy to comprehend anything at the moment.” insisted Rose, rolling her eyes at herself. The Doctor frowned.
“I...I can’t seem to recall,” he admitted, his brow furrowing. The hollow sorrow mingled with petrifying fear was still there, but the actual events weren’t. “But something tells me that’s a good thing.”
“Right,” agreed Rose, stifling a yawn. “If you’re scared, I probably should be. Just go back to sleep, get some rest, yeah?”

The Doctor nodded, his gaze still distant and afraid. Rose rolled over, adjusting her pillow and shutting her eyes. The Doctor shut the door, exhaling heavily. What had been so horrible that his time-hardened mind had refused to remember?

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

bethanyebethany said...
Aug. 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm
Love this!
Kinners replied...
Aug. 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm
D'aw, thank yoh~
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