Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to their respective copyright owners.
Author’s note: These events occur as the same time as the events in the previous chapter.
Doctor at the Door
He was aware of his situation, something that would make his captors nervous.
He knew that he was a prisoner and that he had been incarcerated for a very long
time. His jailors had needed something from him and so instead of killing him
outright, which would have been the sensible thing to do, they had devised an
elaborate means of keeping him sidelined.
Unfortunately for them the moment he had become aware of his predicament he
had been able to find a way to take control of the situation. Even though his mind was suppressed by the most advanced sedatives
available and distracted by a reality simulator that presented him with a near
perfect reproduction of the universe, he still managed to cause trouble. They
were relieved the order had come to release him.
His eyes opened as he heard the seal break. He was back in the real world once more. The many needles and tubes that handled his life support while he was trapped within the mental prison had already withdrawn and the advanced healing provided by his physiology meant that the pain and marks had already faded. He caught his reflection as he sat up, noting the pale complexion,
slight wrinkles and greying hairline. Clearly he would need to spend a decade or so working on his tan again, which raised the question of just how long had he been in the chamber this time? The vibrations caused by his sonic screwdriver had disrupted the machinery, making it easier to realise what was happening, but it had taken time for his mind to grasp the meaning of the loud whine.
“Back with us again Doctor,” the Valeyard said, stepping around from behind the equipment. It didn’t hurt to make it seem like the Doctor was in control of the situation. If the Valeyard was honest he had no way of guaranteeing that that was not the case. “I suspected you would find a way
sooner or later; I expected to break free months ago. The technicians are upset
about the damage you’ve caused."
Upset didn’t really cover it. Every time the Doctor pulled one of his little suicide stunts the delicate machinery that kept him dreaming malfunctioned. The machine was supposed to keep the subject alive, very difficult to accomplish when said subject was unpredictable enough to throw himself in front of a bus with no warning. The technicians had been forced to constantly rewrite the program’s physics to keep him alive, but those watching hadn’t even noticed him obtaining the poison before he used it,
and worse the moment they altered the nature of the world around him they
confirmed his theory that he was being fooled.
“There are some who would prefer to remove your ability to interact with the world inside the machine. Imagine it: trapped in a dream world, aware that it is a dream but unable to move, or think.
There are others who would prefer to carry out a full lobotomy and put a
permanent end to the matter.”
It was an empty threat and the both knew it. Despite being the prisoner,
despite the guards and the restraints and the elaborate cell, the Doctor could
ruin their plans at any time. All he had to do was regenerate and he would
likely destroy the machinery and their facility that housed it. It was only his curiosity that caused him to endure it
for so long.
But the Doctor was done with games. He felt he had discovered everything he
could by playing the role of the unwilling prisoner. Now was the time to show
them who was in charge.
“I want to know what is really going on,” the Doctor declared. He’d had time to think and realised that he was still being played. “No more lies, half truths, omissions or misdirection. We both know there is nothing you would like more than to see me regenerate, it’s the only chance you would have to take this body. If the Time Lords could have given it to you, they would have done so. Which means they can’t.” His eyes widened
as his mind latched onto something he hadn’t realised before. “Why can’t they? Shifting the regeneration cycle of a Time Lord would be easy for them, they’ve had the techniques available for eons…”
“And that seems to be the problem,” the Valeyard told him. “Time Lords
knowledge is no longer reliable. Techniques they’ve perfected are not working
every time. There have been breakthroughs in fields that that had been fully
explored. Certain Time Lords are having their biodata rewritten on a whim. Our once great race has been reduced to a level it would consider
Humans on the planet Earth had known for decades about DNA, the building blocks of life. However very few races had learnt the intricacies of biodata, the complete history and timeline of an individual. Some had speculated that biodata was related to the Morphin Grid – the multi-dimensional map that pinpointed the location of every particle in existence-, but given the Time Lords’ refusal to consider anything that could be considered magical, that had never investigated such a link. Altering the biodata of an individual changed their history and their future. Even small changes could have spectacular effects as the changes rippled through the biodata. However a corruption on the level the Valeyard spoke of was uncommon and could not have occurred in such a small timescale.
“And whoever has carried out those changes has prevented others from doing the same thing.” the Valeyard continued. “The Time Lords have already attempted to overwrite your biodata with my own. It should have
simple given they are almost the same, but your biodata has changed so much that there is no longer a clear overlap.”
And there it was, laid out for him in simple terms. The Valeyard had kept him alive because the Time Lords were not in a position to give him his prize. Which also meant that the Time Lords still needed something either from the Valeyard or from the Doctor that the Valeyard could provide. And clearly the corruption of his biodata was severe if the attempts to repair it had failed meaning the Time Lords were all vulnerable. Biodata existed on a non-physical level out of reach of most beings and could only really be interpreted as mathematical equations. To manipulate it took special skills that only the Time Lords and a few higher dimensional beings possessed. While it could change over time, corruption was extremely rare and corruption to the extent the Valeyard implied was unheard of.
“They are naturally terrified of the implications if this is a new weapon of some sort,” the Valeyard told him. “Imagine the damage it could cause, to rewrite the biodata of an entire army. You could wipe them out without setting foot on the battlefield.”
“There’s more to it than that,” the Doctor guessed. “We’ve known how to use biodata as a weapon for centuries. Why has this got them so worried?”
“Because the changes made to you haven’t stopped yet,” the Valeyard told him. “Your biodata is still being edited and they haven’t managed to find the source. It’s little changes to things that would be insignificant, except you know how difficult it is to make the small changes. Your biodata is changing at a predetermined rate. We tried to slow the changes enough to understand them, but at some point your biodata was altered to be unreadable.”
“And that’s what this is all about,” the Doctor realised. “You put me in a modified prison chamber so that you could try to study my biodata while I was asleep. You thought the avatar would duplicate the biodata in a readable form.”
“And it did,” the Valeyard replied. “That’s why we know how many changes were made and when. We just don’t know why they were made and why they haven’t caught up to you yet.” He sneered. “The changes that we saw earlier were only the first of many. There are other changes filtering through your timeline, influencing those around you. Your continued existence is eroding the Web of Time, but your very existence has been hardwired into it so that
simply killing you would cause it to shatter.”
The Doctor recalled that one of his previous companions had shown signs of having her DNA and biodata altered – although human biodata was so simple it might as well have been just DNA. He had never resolved the reason for the changes although he had accepted that it was partly his fault. Was it possible that the reason he had accidentally altered her biodata was because somebody had altered his to give him that ability? And if so, who?
“So that speech about a war and the need to prepare, everything you told me was all false?” the Doctor asked.
The Valeyard laughed. “Rule One: the Doctor lies. I’m a part of you Doctor,
lies are natural. But I was not lying about the war; I might have forgotten to
say which war."
"What do you mean which war, the one that has them so worried," the Doctor
replied. He sensed the Valeyard was enjoying his confusion.
"Ah and therein lies the problem," the Valeyard explained. "The Time Lords
may or may not be fighting a single war, but they are being attacked on two
fronts by two different enemies. One they have always known about even if they
refuse to name it and the other.. the other has the ability to topple them from
power. Now of the two, which should they be more worried about?"
Of course the answer was obvious: an enemy that could cause them to lose
their position as the dominant species in the Universe was far worse than an
enemy they had feared since their people first discovered time travel. To negate
and invalidate Time Lord science suggested something the Time Lords had long
feared but rarely encountered: superior beings.
"Right now our people are faced with a war they have long feared and a battle
to remain the masters of time and space. Our loss of knowledge suggests we will
lose at least one of those battles if not both. The prophecy doesn’t state how
the war will start or how it will end, but they suspect that you are there at
the beginning of the war and at the end of both conflicts. They know that some
of your past associates will will play a pivotal roles in the war, which is why
they were given their freedom in the hope that their activities would throw events off course;
the same deal would have been offered to you if it hadn’t been obvious you would
turn it down."
There was something about what he said that made the Doctor pause for thought.
The Time Lords believed they would lose the war, which was an outcome they wanted to change
but were prevented from doing so by the second conflict. They were also desperate enough to offer an amnesty to known criminals yet
they had invested a great number of resources to preventing his escape. The only conclusion was that
they believed that he was somehow responsible for their eventual loss. Although
that in turn raised the question of why had they not decided to eliminate him?
“The war still hasn’t started yet,” he guessed.
“No, it’s been centuries since we last spoke and the Great Time War as our leaders want to call it, is still little more than a few skirmishes and some dirty tricks. And until they have found a way to emerge victorious, the war will not be allowed to start. We are in the middle of a temporal cold war that could break out into all out hostilities at any moment. And for all their supposed greatness, the High Council still does not know the identity of those we are supposed to fight.”
Then the Doctor understood. They thought that he was the one to start the war. The Time Lords had removed him from
time and space to keep him from doing so because they could not find a way to win. But that meant they had to know how the war would end, which meant they had knowledge of the future it was not possible for them to possess.
“It will be a war that will break most of the Laws of Time, Doctor,” the Valeyard explained. “Both sides will use paradox as a weapon. The Web of Time is already damaged and by the end refugees from the war, those that are not immediate victims of the end will attempt to travel back to change it. And when they arrived, they warned the High Council of the Time Lords
and they in turn tried to find a way to change the outcome. The High Council were unable to do so.”
In fact it was highly likely that just being aware of the coming war was enough to set those events in motion.
“So instead you decided to delay the inevitable by keeping me away from
anywhere that might start a war,” the Doctor guessed. “But why the deception?”
“Come now Doctor, if I had told you the real reason you were being kept here
you would have escaped immediately to try and find a way to avert the start of the war. You would have failed and likely accelerated events causing the war to happen sooner than expected. Instead we gave you a puzzle to solve
and you reacted as expected. But the problem remains: what do we do with you now?”
It was a problem. They couldn’t put him back in the chamber now he had shown that he was unwilling to cooperate. They couldn’t kill him if his role in the beginning of the war was set in stone. Unless of course his death was the event that started the war. Given that he could probably escape any other cell they chose to place him in, the chances of them keeping him a prisoner were now non-existent. Therefore as reluctant as the Valeyard was to do so, the Doctor knew his only choice was to let him go.
“And what about ‘Morphin Grid’?” the Doctor asked.
No matter how desperate things became the Doctor could not envisage any event that would cause the Time Lords to alter reality on such a massive scale. Allowing the existence of magic was abhorrent to his species.
“We don’t know," the Valeyard admitted. "During the last days of the war, some of the survivors decided to try one last gambit to snatch victory. They travelled back to the very beginning and attempted to burn the enemy from existence at the very start. Their mission failed so badly they almost wiped out all life in the universe. The only choice they had was to reset everything, removing all the changes made by our people to influence the nature of this reality. This universe is the result. Unmapped and outside of our influence. At least we assume that is the reason why; for some reason travelling back to that time has become impossible
and this could be a symptom of the other conflict.”
“Meddling with forces that you have no chance of comprehending, how typical of our people.
Anything to stay in control,” the Doctor sneered. The Time Lords had sacrificed a reality they had shaped to be a place of order and science, just for a
small chance of victory. “That’s it! It’s all about control. Events are not
going as planned, the universe has started to reshape itself and the Time Lords
no longer have the absolute control needed to stop it. They’re trying to regain control of it again, using the Earth as a focal point."
"Earth is a very powerful world for such an unassuming planet," the Valeyard
told him. "It could be the key to victory."
"Well that stops now. Regardless of what you do to me, you will leave the Earth out of it. You will stay well away from Earth, its galaxy and all surrounding galaxies. The universe is big enough for you to have your war without involving them.”
“And if we don’t?” Valeyard asked, clearly intrigued.
“Then I will take whatever steps I think are necessary to make sure you do,” the Doctor answered. “I am willing to stand on the front line battling the enemy, it’s your choice who that enemy will be.”
It was a lie. The Doctor would never stand on the front line and fight. He was more likely to rush headlong into a shower of bullets holding a medical kit just to help an injured soldier.
“And you really think that they will take your threats seriously?” the Valeyard asked, sceptically.
“I think I know what my role in this war will be,” the Doctor answered. “And I think there are many outcomes to this war, but there are only two that matter: either the Time Lords will survive or they will not. And I think we both know that if they make me an enemy, their chances of surviving are not worth mentioning.”
“The Earth is too valuable for us to overlook, you know that,” the Valeyard argued. “You know how important that world could be if used properly and even if we agreed there are enemies out there that would not.”
The Doctor did know the power the Earth represented. It was a world rich with raw materials. It was also a world where various extra dimensional energy fields seemed to leak through providing unlimited power to those that knew how to tap into it. However in a war where both sides had access to time travel, the Earth represented an even greater power. For Earth was a nexus of probabilities that could be used against an enemy, turning countless battles in the favour of those that controlled it. He was aware that his people had interfered with Earth in the past in an attempt to use it as a weapon. That plan had failed and wiped out an entire civilisation. He would not let that happen again.
“I will fight anybody that tries. Go and fight your battles, but fight them somewhere else. Because if either side try to use Earth or its people, I will fight them and if necessary, I will destroy them. Take your war away from this world, this galaxy, this whole section of the universe. Go and fight in the dark places where there is no intelligent life. Let them fight on Gallifrey for a few years and then decide if the war is worth it. Take the battle to their world and see if they like it.”
They wouldn’t listen. At best they would pretend to heed his warning and back away while positioning their agents in readiness to use the planet. He could live with that so long as all they did was prepare. However the moment they changed their stance, he would oppose them. At the moment he knew they considered that an undesirable position.
“The High Council will never agree to your terms,” the Valeyard told him. “They are currently engaged in other matters
and it will be some time before they decide to do anything drastic.”
Other matters, a euphemism to carrying out acts that went against the natural order of the universe. The Valeyard knew why the High Council had ordered complete access to the collective storage facility where the amassed wisdom of the Time Lords was kept. He knew why they had created massive numbers of looming facilities within which the Council could produce massive numbers of Time Lord soldiers. He even knew about the herds of war vessels they were growing in a secret part of the Time Vortex in readiness for war. That they were willing to bring a figure from Gallifrey’s past to life to guide them spoke of their desperation. It was also an act that would cause the Doctor to step in, which was why the Valeyard chose not to argue too much. Much better to send the fool on his way.
“I cannot guarantee that some of those rogue elements you used to associate with won’t take matters into their own hands,” he warned.
"Your little Dodeca was never good at following the rules."
“I’ll deal with them when I have to,” the Doctor promised.
The Dodeca? That was wrong. Why was it wrong? He couldn’t remember. He
remembered the group of twelve, no ten, no — definitely twelve peers and their
time as renegades before they had gone their separate ways. They were
collectively thought of as the lost generation of Gallifrey.
There was a loud buzzing noise and the Doctor’s TARDIS appeared. The Doctor spared him only a glance as he made his way inside and set the coordinates.
The sooner he was away from his dark side, the better. The TARDIS seemed to agree, throwing itself into the time vortex and back to more familiar territory.
The High Council Chambers, Gallifrey
“We have heard your report and approve of everything you have done,” the President announced. “You have kept your side of out bargain so we will honour ours. The body you occupy shall remain yours and we will provide you with a new regenerative cycle. You will of course be expected to join your fellow Time Lords in the… struggle… to come.”
The Valeyard nodded.
“Now, what do you make of the Doctor’s warning?”
“He meant every word he said,” the Valeyard told him. “If we involve the Earth or any of the local galaxies, he will consider us the enemy. I recommend you ignore him
and continue with your plans.” He waited for silence following the uproar that suggestion caused. Those present knew what an angry Doctor could do and the problems he could cause them. “The Doctor
will become aware of your plans whether you want him to or not. At least once he
is aware of what you are trying to do and why, he will dedicate his time to
preventing you from succeeding. That will keep him from sticking his nose into other matters.” He paused to stare directly at the President, his face conveying that he knew at least some of the things the High Council were considering. “If he should uncover any of
you other projects, well… he would probably hand you to the enemy himself.”
The Time Lords were building weapons of mass destruction on a cosmic scale in an arms race against an enemy that was far more capable in the ways of war. If the Doctor stopped them, they were bound to lose. Yes, it was far better to have him occupied while the work was completed before calling on him to complete his role.
End of Part
**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**