55 : End of Time (Part 8)
“Listen to me,” the Doctor pleads. “You can’t!”
“It is a fitting paradox that our salvation comes at the hands of our most infamous child,” Rassilon declares.
“Oh, he’s not saving you. Don’t you realise what he’s doing?”
“Hey, no, hey! That’s mine. Hush,” the Master hisses. “Look around you. I’ve transplanted myself into every single human being. But who wants a mongrel little species like them, because now I can transplant myself into every single Time Lord. Oh, yes, Mister President, sir, standing there all noble and resplendent and decrepit. Think how much better you’re going to look as me.”
The Lord President holds up his metal gauntlet. It glows and everyone who looks like the Master goes through the head blur thing again.
“No, no, don’t. No, no, stop it! No, no, no, don’t!”
Finally, everyone on Earth is restored to themselves.
“On your knees, mankind,” Rassilon orders, and the people obey.
“No, that’s fine, that’s good, because you said salvation,” the Master says. “I still saved you. Don’t forget that.”
“The approach begins.”
“Approach of what?”
“Something is returning. Don’t you ever listen? That was the prophecy. Not someone, something.”
“What is it?”
“They’re not just bringing back the species,” the Doctor hisses.
“It’s Gallifrey,” Violet informs as a big burning planet appears close to the Earth. “Right here, right now.”
Instantly, people begin to panic, screaming and running from Naismith’s study, no longer under the control of the Master. Violet listens to her father plead for some sort of gratitude for bringing the Time Lords and Gallifrey back into existence; in this time. However, Rassilon doesn’t respond, instead giving Violet a somewhat unnerving and hair-raising half-smile.
Wilfred pushes his way in. “Come on, get out of the way. Get out of the way! Doctor? Violet?”
A technician is hammering on the door of his locked glass booth. “Help me, please. Somebody, please.”
“All right! I’ve got you, mate. I’ve got you.” Wilfred goes into the open booth.
“Wilf, don’t,” the Doctor pleads. “Don’t!”
Wilfred unlocks the other booth and the freed technician runs. “I’ve got you. Come on. Go on.”
“But this is fantastic, isn’t it?” the Master exclaims with glee. “The Time Lords restored.”
“You weren’t there in the final days of the War. You never saw what was born,” the Doctor says sadly, knowing that his old friend doesn’t know what he’s truly done. “But if the Timelock’s broken, then everything’s coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-have-been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres. The War turned into hell. And that’s what you’ve opened, right above the Earth. Hell is descending.”
“My kind of world.”
“Just listen! Because even the Time Lords can’t survive that.”
“We will initiate the Final Sanction,” Rassilon decrees. “The end of time will come at my hand. The rupture will continue until it rips the Time Vortex apart.”
“That’s suicide,” Violet and the Master say.
“We will ascend to become creatures of consciousness alone. Free of these bodies, free of time, and cause and effect, while creation itself ceases to be.”
“You see now?” the Doctor asks, desperately pleading. “That’s what they were planning in the final days of the War. I had to stop them.”
“Then, take me with you, Lord President,” the Master asks. “Let me ascend into glory.”
“You are diseased, albeit a disease of our own making,” Rassilon says. “No more.”
The Doctor is on his feet, and Violet is aiming the revolver at the Lord President.
“Choose your enemy well. We are many. The Master is but one.”
“But he’s the President,” the Master retorts. “Kill him, and Gallifrey could be yours.”
Violet turns and aims at her father, agony in her eyes.
“He’s to blame, not me. Oh, the Link is inside my head. Kill me, the Link gets broken, they go back. Go on then, my daughter. Do it.”
Violet aims at the Lord President again.
“Exactly. It’s not just me, it’s him. He’s the Link. Kill him!”
“The final act of your life is murder,” Rassilon says with something akin to delight. “But which one of us?”
Behind the Lord President, one the Women lowers her hands and looks over the Doctor’s shoulder. There’s agony in her eyes, and it is then that Violet recognises the woman to be someone who was close to the Doctor during his years on Gallifrey. The Doctor himself appears to be in strife at her appearance as well, and Violet knows what she has to do.
Violet turns back to face the Master. “Get out of the way, father.”
The Master moves and Adrenilda - no longer in the same mental state as “Violet,” so she cannot call herself that in this moment - shoots the Whitepoint diamond in its gizmo. The Link explodes and the Time Lords are sucked away.
“The Link is broken,” the Doctor declares, standing beside his wife. “Back into the Time War, Rassilon. Back into hell.”
“You’ll die with me, Doctor,” Rassilon warns. “So will you, Adrenilda.”
Rassilon aims his gauntlet at the Doctor and Violet, who is now quaking where she stands, the revolver hanging by her side in limp fingers as the Woman covers her face again. The Master orders them to get out of the way and the Doctor steps back, pulling Violet with him, as the Master attacks the Lord President with his energy.
“You did this to me! All of my life! You made me!” The blond Time Lord is showing his insanity more than before, and this time it’s directed at the right person. “One! Two! Three! Four!”
Rassilon is forced to his knees, and the Time Lords and the Master disappear in a bright light, Gallifrey fading away from the sky. Violet stares at where she last saw her father with wide eyes that are slowly beginning to fill with burning hot tears and her knees give out, sending her to the marble floor, the revolver skittering across the floor. There’s an emptiness in her head that’s never been there before, and it’s aching, pleading, to have something back.
“I’m alive. I’ve…” the Doctor trails off in his shock. “There was… I’m still alive.”
Knock, knock, knock, knock. Violet’s stomach falls and she feels her heart skip a beat. Knock, knock, knock, knock. She looks up at the completely broken expression on the Doctor’s face as he realises that he is going to die today. Knock, knock, knock, knock. They both share a heartbroken look. Knock, knock, knock, knock. They both look over to where Wilfred is still locked inside the radiation chamber.
“They gone, then?” Wilfred calls. “Yeah, good-o. If you could let me out?”
“Yeah,” the Doctor confirms.
“Only, this thing seems to be making a bit of a noise.”
“The Master left the Nuclear Bolt running. It’s gone into overload.”
“And that’s bad, is it?”
“No, because all the excess radiation gets vented inside there. Vinvocci glass contains it. All five hundred thousand rads, about to flood that thing.”
“Oh. Well, you’d better let me out, then.”
“Except it’s gone critical. Touch one control and it floods. Even this would set it off.” He holds up his sonic screwdriver.
“Look, just leave me.”
“Okay, right then, I will. Because you had to go in there, didn’t you? You had to go and get stuck, oh yes. Because that’s who you are, Wilfred. You were always this. Waiting for me all this time.”
“No really, just leave me. I’m an old man, Doctor. I’ve had my time.”
“Well, exactly. Look at you. Not remotely important. But me? I could do so much more. So much more! But this is what I get. My reward. And it’s not fair!” He shoves papers off the desk and they go flying across the room, Violet jumping up from the floor and her feet flying backwards as she moves away from the utterly broken man before her. “Oh. Oh. I’ve lived too long.”
“No. No, no, please, please don’t. No, don’t! Please don’t! Please!”
“Wilfred, it’s my honour. Better be quick. Three, two, one.”
The Doctor quickly goes into the open booth and unlocks Wilfred’s side. Wilfred runs out and red light floods the Doctor’s booth, making him yell out in pure agony as he gradually curls up into a ball on the floor. Violet watches her husband, wishing she could do something to help him, but knowing that it is much too late for that. Then the power shuts down. After a few moments, the Doctor gets up.
“What?” Wilfred says in shock. “Hello.”
“Hi,” the Doctor replies.
“Still with us?”
“The system’s dead. I absorbed it all. Whole thing’s kaput.” He places his hand on the door and it opens. “Oh. Now it opens, yeah.” The Doctor comes out of the booth.
“Well, there we are, then. Safe and sound. Mind you, you’re in hell of a state. You’ve got some battle scars there.”
The Doctor rubs his face and the cuts vanish. Violet squeezes her eyes shut and a sprinkle of tears streak down her face, her hands clenching into fists by her sides. They’re clenched so tightly that her arms begin to tremble at the force and her blunt nails bury themselves into the flesh of her palms.
“But they’ve…” Wilfred trails off. “Your face. How did you do that?”
Wilfred hugs the Doctor.