The Death of Doctor Who
Zero charged in first, taking the initiative. All his anger and fury was focused on the bane of his existence. The young fool dressed up as a retrograde. His piousness and cocky stance only served to infuriate Zero beyond reason. He hefted his broadsword and sliced down at the Doctor but the Doctor just stepped to one side. The sword slice missed him by a mile.
"Ha, I believe you missed me" teased the Doctor.
Without warning, Zero lunged forward. The tip of his sword posed to plunge through the Doctor's chest but as if seeing Zero move before he made it, the Doctor side stepped to the left. Zero's lunge took him past the Doctor, but he quickly spun and took another slash at the Doctor; a slash which the Doctor dodged with ease.
"Stand still and fight me Doctor" roared Zero!
The Doctor whipped off his black frockcoat and tossing it to the ground and heft his sword to point at Zero.
"On guard sir" challenged the Doctor.
Zero slashed at the Doctor's sword, trying to use his great strength to knock the weapon out of his enemy’s hand but the Doctor dodged out of reach. From her vantage point of the floor, Artemis smiled.
She was amazed that the Doctor had been able to replicate her actions with the mutant mouse just by watching her movements. It was a simply concept, basically examining the enemies muscles and eyes to work out there next move.
Of course the technique could only work for people with access to higher brain functions. Only species like a Time Lord would be able to read an opponent and react in time.
It also helped that Zero was angry. People that were in a fury tended to telegraph the moves more than people who were calm and calculating. Zero suddenly seemed to get the advantage over the Doctor.
He had manoeuvred the Doctor and cornered him behind the shattered Time rotor; still sparking with blue artron energy. Stuck between the rotor and Zero, he gave a defiant smile.
"I am so constantly outwitting the opposition, I tend to forget the delights and satisfaction of combat" goaded the Doctor.
Zero raised his sword to strike at the Doctor.
"Give up Doctor. You have lost. I have you exactly where I want you" roared Zero
"Stop right there sir! You don't want to do that" beseeched the Doctor!
Zero gave out a long leering chuckle.
"Are you pleading for your life Doctor" smirked Zero?
The smile faded from the Doctor's face to be replaced by a look of absolute seriousness. In fact it was the most serious that the Doctor had ever been in his life.
"I am not pleading for my life. I am pleading for yours. It's not too late to end this madness. You are on the edge of destruction. It isn't too late to come back from the edge" pleaded the Doctor.
"Bah, I reject your offer. I have worked too long for this. It is my dream for a stronger Gallifrey and it is a dream worth protecting. Now why won't you just DIE" screamed Zero.
Zero swung his sword in a horizontal chop, aimed at the Doctor's neck. Instinctively, the Doctor ducked and Zero's blade smashed against the shattered time rotor. Artron energy arced up from the time rotor, through the blade like a lightning rod and engulfed General Zero. It lit Zero up like a Christmas tree. Small doses of Artron energy usual would not affect a Time Lord but large doses are deadly. There was enough energy in the Rotor to power a TARDIS let alone destroy a Time Lord. Zero screamed in agony as his skin began to blacken and burn. Bright white energies were added to the mix as Zero began to regenerate.
In a white flash, Zero changed from an ugly old man to a fair young man with long golden hair. Unfortunately the nerves in his hand had frozen around the hilt of the blade. As hard as he tried, he could not let go of the blade and the Artron energy continued to arc into Zero, like water from a broken dam.
To the Doctor's revulsion, he watched as Zero regenerated again into a dark skinned black haired woman and then into a fat man with no hair. It went on and on until Zero ran out of regenerations. With a bright explosion, Zero fell to the floor. All his regenerations spent, Zero had been transformed into a burnt and rotten husk. Patches of burnt skin and cloth still clung to Zero, making the body look rancid.
The Doctor clambered to his feet in stunned shock. He hadn't meant for this to happen. He had just planned to tire Zero out, not fry him with Artron energy. It was to the Doctor's absolute horror that the rotting skeleton came to life. Zero came to life; all that was left on his rotting face were two eyes which stared hate at the Doctor.
"This isn't possible! Nobody can live past there thirteenth regeneration" spluttered the Doctor!
Zero bared his teeth, showing off a row of foul teeth.
"You do not understand hatred as I understand it. Only hate keeps me alive. Why else should I endure this pain? With my hate; I will destroy you" snarled Zero.
Picking up his burned blade, Zero struck the Doctor with all of his might. The Doctor just managed to block the blow with his sword, which caused his hands to turn numb. Zero didn't waste any time in striking the Doctor again and again. With the Doctor just managing to fend off the sword blows.
In this fight, the tables had solidly turned against the Doctor. His fear and repulsion at Zero's skeleton form made him unable to predict Zero's moves. So the Doctor was completely at the mercy of Zero's hate fuelled speed and strength.
Artemis eyes too had widened in horror at Zero's new form. It was just like the vision she had in the Time Lord Interrogation room. The one she had of the Doctor in eternal combat with a skull man. She had to do something otherwise the
future she had seen in the Doctor's cards would be imperilled.
Artemis sat up and began to get slowly to her feet; her bones aching all the way. Meanwhile, the duel had reached a climax with the Doctor and Zero had crossing swords, going body to body, each struggling to get the advantage. The Doctor was using all his strength to keep Zero's sword from slicing him open. In a surprise move, Zero lashed out with his foot causing the Doctor to fly backwards.
The Doctor impacted the ground; all the air was driven from his lungs. His sword clattered a few meters away from him; out of reach. He lay on the ground, stunned from the impact as Zero stood over him.
The cooked flesh that still clung to Zero's face arranged itself into an expression of vengefully victory. Zero had become a monster clinging onto his last bit of life like fungus onto a moist surface. He raised his black sword above his head.
"I have got you this time Doc-tor. You have interfered in my affairs for the last time" stated Zero coldly.
A mixture of fear and fatigue kept the Doctor on the ground and unable to dodge his doom. The blade stabbed down at the Doctor aimed at his chest. With no chance of escape, the Doctor closed his eyes and prepared for death.
A cry of pain came from above. The Doctor opened his eyes and gasped in shock. Standing over him was the old grey haired Artemis. She had jumped in front of Zero's downward thrust. The tip of the blade had pieced her chest.
"Artemis" cried the Doctor!
Zero's skull face contorted in surprise while Artemis groaned in agony. Strength disappearing from her limbs, she fell off the blade and into the Doctors arms. The Doctor cradled her there, sadness creeping up on him like a thunder storm over a sunny day. Tears began to fall from his face like the start of rain.
"Why Artemis? Why sacrifice yourself for me" questioned the Doctor, through a storm of tears?
"I've glimpse your future remember. I've seen some of those wonderful amazing things you'll do. All those lives you'll save. You will save Gallifrey in its darkest hour. I promised myself that I would protect that future with my life" sputtered Artemis through a mouthful of blood.
"Don't go! There so much for me to learn you. There is so much I can tell you. Like my age; I was lying about it. I'm not one hundred and three. I am actually just one hundred years old" confessed the Doctor, hurriedly.
She smiled up at the Doctor; the last smile she would ever give.
"She wants you. She wants you all to herself. Without me, she is going to need a new champion" muttered Artemis deliriously.
The regeneration caught up with her and every cell inside her body began to glow yellow before it engulfed her completely. But instead of renewing every cell in her body, it had the opposite effect.
The metal of Zero's blade caused all the regeneration energy running through her body to have a negative effect, causing all her cells to degenerate rather than renew. The Doctor could only watch on as Artemis evaporated in a blinding flash. What remained was blown away like dust on the breeze.
Sadness quickly became pure unadulterated anger in the Doctor's mind. Before Zero could react to Artemis's sacrifice; the Doctor kicked his shins, forcing him to stumble backwards.
Taking advantage of the distraction, the Doctor grabbed his fallen sword and with this sword of truth he turned to fight the satanic powers of the night. Zero was unable to cope with the Doctor's fierce assault. A burning fire had blossomed in the Doctor's eyes. A fire that translated into a series of sword strikes that Zero just managed to block.
Zero may have been stronger but his wreck of a body was failing him. The power of hate could only keep a Time Lord going for so long and his sloppy blocks with his broadsword we're no match against the cold fury of the Doctor. With an expert flick of his sword, the Doctor disarmed Zero and brought the would-be ruler of the Universe to his knees.
This time it was the Doctor standing over Zero, the tip of the Doctor's sword placed at the nape of his enemy's neck. The Doctor had an expression of cold anger on his face; the fire in his eyes had frozen over. Zero could see that the Doctor was considering his death.
Before the burned and weakened Zero could plead for his life, the Doctor spoke. His voice was full of a vindictive fury as he looked into Zero's dead eyes.
"You want dominion over the living yet all you do is kill. Too many people have died today. Well I say no more" declared the Doctor.
The Doctor turned his eyes to the battalion of Tempest Knight, each of them still frozen in place by the power of the Magnetron core. The Doctor focused on the angry Magnus and Ushas, who were furious at seeing their scheme foiled.
Koschei however was in shocked and awe of the Doctor. He never would have guessed his best friend could be so ruthless; so powerful. The Doctor then spoke; raising his voice so that all could hear.
"Do you all hear that? No more. NO MORE" proclaimed the Doctor.
Turning back to Zero; the Doctor became determined.
"Justice needs to be done. You're too dangerous to be left alive" announced the Doctor.
The Doctor pulled back his blade and prepared the killing blow.
The Doctor stopped his strike halfway. Time around him seemed to have cauterized. Everything around the Doctor had become motionless. He looked up surprise to see a newcomer appear out of thin air.
He was an elderly gentleman with grey hair and a white beard. His leather coat was old and frayed. He had a red scarf tied around his neck. On first inspection the Doctor gleamed that this man had the mannerism of a soldier. His back was straight and he was alert to everything around him.
"A Time bubble" said the Doctor in amazement.
"Yes, state of temporal stasis. A freak effect of crossing the time streams at multiple points. Just in time to stop you making the greatest mistake of your lives" stated the elderly man.
The Doctor growled in annoyance.
"Look, another older Doctor standing over me making pious judgement. You're older than those other Doctors, I will give you that. But that doesn't give you the right to judge me.”
The elderly man frowned at his younger self, an expression that was a mix of disapproval and disappointed.
"I may be older than you but I am not the Doctor. I lost the right to that name a long time ago. I have seen billions die and hundreds of worlds burned to cinders. I tell you with all honesty that I would give anything to be the Doctor again. If you kill that man, justly or unjustly then you will have to find another name because you too will no longer be the Doctor" advised the old soldier.
The younger Doctor was not so easily swayed by this argument.
"What's the point of being the Doctor when I can't save anyone? What's the point if Zero gets away" questioned the Doctor?
"My dear boy, you've just saved the entire universe. Zero is no fit state to hurt anyone, not anymore. You beat Zero as the Doctor not a soldier or a killer. You've won my boy" exclaimed the Soldier.
The Doctor looked down at his sword, his hands shaking.
"But I could put an end of it. All with this sword" reflected the Doctor, dangerously.
Another man appeared from behind the soldier. This one was a complete opposite to the first. A handsome young man with long wavy brown hair and dreamy blue eyes. He wore a long green velvet jacket, a waistcoat with a pocket watch and cravat.
"Doctor, Doctor, Doctor; that's all rot. The whole living by the sword; eye for an eye until we all go blind. We stand beyond all of that. Remember the promise we made all those years ago. The night we ran from untempered schism, so long ago. We watched the suns rise over Mount Plutarch and we made an oath. A oath that would define us. Do you remember" questioned the Oscar Wilde looking Doctor?
The younger Doctor stared at the floor in shame.
Two more men appeared. One was dressed in a battered black frock coat, bowtie and a bowl haircut to match. The other was the complete opposite to the last, a gentleman with a chock of white hair, a red smoking jacket and a frilly shirt.
"We swore to never to be cruel nor cowardly" stated the dandy.
"Yes, Fancy pants is right. We swore to give up and never give in. To stand up for what is right, even if we are standing alone" stated the small clown.
The dandy Doctor gave the small cosmic hobo a dirty look before continuing.
"We see where others stumble blind. To seek a truth they never find. Eternal wisdom will be our guide" recited the Dandy.
The old soldier stepped forward and the other Doctor's faded into nothing.
"Just remember; you are the Doctor. Your actions today will define you in the centuries to come. Make us proud" said the tired soldier with a smile.
The old soldier and the other Doctors faded away to nothing. Time snapped back to normal and the Doctor was back in same position; holding a sword over General Zero's fallen body.
The Doctor stared at the rotting burned flesh of Zero's body and felt a slight stab of pity. With loud metal clang, the Doctor's sword fell to the floor.
The corpse on floor began to laugh at the Doctor.
"After all the people I have killed, even after I murdered your friend; you still don't have the stomach to kill me. You are weak" accused Zero.
The Doctor returned Zero's hateful glare with a piteous look.
"No, it is because I am better. It would be so easy to pick up that sword and put you out of your misery, but not today. Today; everybody lives" declared the Doctor.
He turned his back on Zero and started to walk away. Too weak to even move, all Zero could do was fall in unconsciousness. The Chaos chamber had become silent but the Doctor could feel all the eyes of the Tempest Knight boring holes into his soul.
But he ignored them, because unlike these tin soldiers, he had a plan. A idea that had taken seconds to formulate in his head and work into something that would reverse the Chaos Engine and save millions of lives.
Retrieving his frock coat, the Doctor put it back on, one arm at a time; before reaching into the coat and removing the Magnetron core. The Doctor couldn't believe what he was about to but for his plan to work he needed his oldest friend, now more than ever.
He walked over to Koschei and used to the core to release him from the energy that bound him. Koschei took a deep gasp as feeling came back into his body. He flexed his fingers, feeling the blood begin to pump through them again. A deep frown of confusion appeared on Koschei.
"Why, Doctor? Why release me after everything that I did" questioned Koschei?
"Isn't it obvious hrmm? I don't believe the evil that is infected your mind has truly taken over your heart. I am betting that beneath that armour, my best friend is still in there somewhere and if I am ever going to reverse this mess I will need your help. Are you with me" asked the Doctor?
The Doctor held his hand out, waiting for the Koschei to take it. Koschei looked at the hand and a part of him wanted to kill the Doctor. A part of Koschei wanted him to kill his nemesis once and for all. Koschei stared down at the rod tucked into a holster in his armour. It was his Tissue Compression Eliminator or TCE for short.
It had the power to drastically compress the body of a target to the point where life ceases to function. He had first developed a nonlethal version of the device in his youth to stop his older cousins from annoying him. He had only recently developed a prototype of the device for his own amusement.
A little toy he could use to impress his comrades in the Tempest Order. As he stared at the TCE, the drums in his head reached a crescendo and a dark voice in the back of his head demanded blood but Koschei couldn't do it. He couldn't pick up the TCE and strike the Doctor dead.
There was still a part of him that hadn't yet given into the drums. That still respected the Doctor as his greatest friend and ally. While that part existed in the Koschei head then he could never truly give into the madness. Koschei eyes stared turned back to the Doctor, as he reached out and shook the Doctor firmly by the hand.
"Of course Doctor, of course I will help you" said Koschei, sincerely.
The Doctor grinned, delighted to have his old friend back.
"Oh yes, yes! Good to have you back" proclaimed the Doctor.
"What is your plan Doctor? We could reconfigure your TARDIS there into a time cone inverter and create a stable safe zone by applying temporal inversion isometry to save as much of space/time as we can isolate" suggested Koschei.
"Hrmm a good plan but I actually have something more ambitious in mind. Like I said before Koschei, today everybody lives and I have worked out a way to achieve it. We reverse the Chaos Engines to a point just before the Tempest Revolution. Before all that death and carnage engulfed the Capitol. The paradox of two Chaos Engines existing in the same time and space will cause the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. Creating a enormous explosion which will destroy both engines. Time will shift around the Engine to deal with the paradox, resulting in the Tempest Revolution never occurring and all the perpetrators captured by this Magnetron core" explained the Doctor, smugly.
Kocshei mouth was agape at the Doctor's plan.
"But you'd be breaking the first law of Time. The amount of temporal disturbances will enormous" complained Koschei.
The Doctor's smug smile widened.
"Any temporal disturbances will ripple back down the timeline creating echoes and other effects. The same effects that Gallifrey had been experiencing in the days leading up to the Revolution. The Time Lords thought that all those echoes were created by the Engine when actually they were an after effect of the paradox that we are about to create now. I am sure the Temporal Engineers will be able to fix anything we miss" dismissed the Doctor.
Koschei was still frowning.
"But to reverse the Chaos Engine, we are going to need a focus. Someone to get into the Rotor and guide it mentally to our destination" complained Koschei?
"I will do it" said the Doctor simply.
"That's suicide. There is every chance that the Time Rotor could drain you dry" said Koschei.
The Doctor smile dissolved into a grimace.
"Oh yes, quite. But it's a chance worth taking. If we stay here any longer than reality will begin to degrade around the us. We may not have a Gallifrey left to go back" said the Doctor, bravely.
Gesturing his old friend to the nearest cracked control screen, the Doctor stated.
"Come on Koschei, we have work to do!"