Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective
copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made
from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe with an alternate time line.
In the beginning, there was nothingness, an absolute void inside of which nothing could physically exist and outside of which nothing did exist. And the inside and the outside were the same for there was nothing to divide them. And there was no time to measure how long the void remained the same and no change to mark a point at which time could be measured. For an eternal stretch or the briefest moment everything was perfect. Just raw currents of potential energy that twirled throughout the darkness, but being only potential energy it did not change the state of the void.
Then a planet appeared. It did not form or merge from specks of dust because the void was a perfect void. There was no conversion energy to matter because there was no method for such a transformation to take place. Nor was there dark matter to become visible. The planet simply blinked into existence. And yet as there was no time when it appeared was unknown and how it was known that it had not been there before was unclear. But the perfect void was no longer a perfect void even though the planet was but a tiny drop of grey pigment in an ocean of black.
And upon the planet there appeared creatures of great size and complexity. Unbound by such things as biology, physics and logic, the creatures evolved without the limits of form and structure. Imaginary beings crafted by a mind that didn’t know it existed, they were creatures too strange, complex and yet overly simple to be described or understood. Their nature defied reason and would have driven a sane man crazy, had there been a sense of sanity. And their presence disturbed the order of the void and so a new creature appeared at the will of the eternal nothingness and sought to consume all things that polluted the void.
And the creatures were consumed by the dark creature, returning to the void to a near perfect state, now guarded by the lone predator that laid in wait for anything that attempted to appear within the darkness and angrily lashing out at anything that invaded its domain. But despite its success the dark force was not satisfied; it was unable to destroy the planet, or harm the planet… or in any way affect the planet. And the void was now less perfect for it contained the planet and a creature that tried in vain to it.
Time didn’t pass for the void was timeless and then something new appeared upon the planet, bringing a light to the darkness around it. It was an egg, a luminous shell protecting new life within, straining under the stress of the forces growing within its frail shell. The egg grew larger, the strain of the forces within combined with the violent attacks from the void’s other occupant forced it to reach critical mass. Small cracks appeared in the structure and then the contents burst forth in an explosive release of Cosmic Power, obliterating the egg in the process and chasing away whatever had lurked in the darkness; the planet remained unscathed.
The universe was born. Large, filled with many interesting sights, it continued to grow for an immeasurable amount of time. But whenever it appeared that the swirling mists of colour and light would come together to form physical structure, the darkness seemed to consume it
The darkness could not prevent change, only delay it. A star ignited in the darkness bringing forth true light in the void. And then a planet formed in orbit around the lonely star. Life emerged once more and the first forms of intelligent species appeared, building – by their standards – a peaceful society. But the creature that lived within the darkness, the same creature that had been there in the void and had survived the explosion of the cosmic egg, was not prepared to share it with anything. Not the creatures that evolved at an astounding rate, not the planet it had tried in vain to destroy, and certainly not the strange creatures that had lived there.
Millions of years after they had emerged, a mere moment in the mind of the darkness that sought their destruction, the primitive race developed an understanding for their foe. They still feared the darkness, but it was not the crippling fear they had once known. They named it Entropy and they fought against it, eventually containing it, but too late to save their universe. For Entropy was a powerful foe and had already destroyed the very structure of their universe. Even as they banished it, a wave of destructive energy erupted, destroying everything in its path.
Space collapsed in upon itself. The universe compacted, all manner of matter and energy forcibly compressed into a rapidly shrinking space. The proud race that had conquered the first darkness could only watch, knowing that they would be wiped out by a phenomenon they could not control. Despite the advances they had made and their ability to perform wonders, this was something beyond their control.
Instead they tried to preserve something from their universe: an egg shaped vessel that contained a collection of genetic material from their race. The vessel was launched into space and barely escaped as their world was destroyed. Eventually the tiny vessel came to rest upon the only structure that had endured the destructive wave; the planet where it had all started.
The end arrived as the deflated universe reached a critical mass and collapsed back toward the first planet. Soon all that remained was the void, the lone planet, a tiny egg and somewhere a beast named Entropy. Closer inspection would have revealed the presence of tinier forms of life, the equivalent of the bacteria, viruses and parasites that appeared in many ecosystems. Despite the void being less of a void, it was dark and silent and for eons remained undisturbed. The monstrous Entropy ceased its attempts to break free and slept.
When the change occurred was unknown for there was no means to measure the time that had elapsed between the ending of the universe and the present. The simple life forms had evolved in the darkness, learning to use the Cosmic energy to survive. Although it was raw power and uncontrollable, the primitive creatures evolved to a point where they could safely handle it. Some even developed the natural ability to alter the volatile energy, breaking it down into a less powerful but safer form. For the first time in a near eternity there was light in the darkness.
But the Power Cosmic was not there to be changed or controlled, or used to make pretty lights. It was a destructive force of change, obliterating the old to make way for the new. And even as it changed those capable of drawing its power, it grew more and more unstable. Finally something happened; whether it was one of the creatures drawing too much energy or a build up of pressure would never be known. A reaction took place, a spark ignited, a gas expanded and driven by the immense force of the Power Cosmic, an explosion tore through the darkness.
Infinite energy lit up the darkness, pushing forcing existence to expand outward, leaving only the small planet untouched. The creatures that had inhabited the planet were thrown through the expanding cosmos. The egg that contained the remnants of the previous universe was incubated by the cosmic radiation. It cracked open, giving birth to a new entity unlike anything seen before. It grew rapidly in the first moments of its life, the Power Cosmic feeding its cells and forcing it to evolve. Awareness followed, bringing with it understanding and rationalisation of its surroundings. Even in the chaos of creation it tried to apply its own logic and concepts of order to the events.
The new life fed upon the Power Cosmic, using it as an animal would food. And as its body processed the parts that it needed and could use, other forms of energy were released along with the building blocks of matter. And they were all expelled into the almost empty void and were carried along by the explosion.
At some point the occupants of the new universe became aware of the passage of time. With that awareness came sentience and true consciousness. The creatures that had existed on the planet after the death of the earlier universe evolved further, gaining limited abilities to think, and decide for themselves. By now the small life forms had grown into massive beasts of incredible power; creatures of fire and lights and power that were both beautiful and frightening, and impossible for the mind to truly appreciate.
The entity that had emerged from the egg had also grown and evolved. Although appearing in some moments as a male, a change in aspect caused it to look distinctly female. Too complex for gender it was both and neither. Its body was covered with the same bacteria and viruses and parasitic creatures that had evolved on the planet’s surface. As time passed they too evolved until they were carried away by the still rushing force of the explosion. Their evolution was different than those that had been on the outside of the egg; the earlier creatures had belonged to the previous universe, while these were native to its replacement. The lone entity could not control them and as time passed they too left to find their own territories. Some would become useful in the new universe while others would become a nuisance. The Cosmic Beings were soon forgotten.
The thoughts and dreams of the entity shaped the nature of the new universe, creating layers of realms and dimensions. The newly formed creatures chose some of the early realms as their own dominion, placing themselves outside of the mainstream universe and looking down on those that would come to dwell within its boundaries. The entity was lost within his dreams and his lack of awareness led him to become locked within a realm of his own, protected from the rest of the universe and yet somehow guiding its formation; his mind had grown beyond the limitations of existence and so he never noticed as the universe became an eternal dream of the slumbering entity.
In a brief instant of lucidity, he somehow recognised the life growing within her body. She gathered the raw materials needed for life and bound them with his will, forcing the seed of life from her body into the new forms. These were the children of the single entity that they referred to as The One. Guided by his will these Celestials followed in the wake of the explosion, nudging reality to take form according to her desires and The One returned to its dreams.
As its slumbering mind processed the events going on around it, The One’s thought pondered the unknown concepts of life, death, order, chaos, good and evil, along with many others. Its powers drew on those thoughts and abstract beings to represent them, each with an avatar to allow The One to learn through their experience as they set forth to explore creation.
Time passed, the universe expanded and The One grew along with it. His awareness was spread so fine that he rarely reacted to those that were capable of reaching his realm. Those that could visit him dwindled. The Power Cosmic fed him, allowing him to continue to grow. In turn other forms of energy passed from him, breaching the walls between his realm and the rest of existence. His subconscious sought to understand the strange emissions and created a new breed of beings charged with the task of overseeing and understanding the Power in its various forms. HE dubbed them Eternals.
The Celestials that The One had birthed into existence continued with their task despite his lack of guidance. They planted the seeds of life throughout the realms, nudging matter with bursts of Cosmic energy to form creatures capable of existing within their habitats. These were the first truly living beings, creatures very different from those that would eventually emerge. Shaped by the needs of their territory, they were creatures of matter, spirit, thought and energy; beings of fire, water, earth, air and other elements, some simple and other complex combinations.
They worked tirelessly in the name of their creator, crafting existence to how he would want it. Their task was never complete as the expanding universe offered them an increasing amount of work to perform. In her name they laboured, bringing glory to their father with every act. And never did they think about themselves or their own needs… well only once in a while.
As the first sentient and independent races emerged, the conceptual beings The One had created to explore the ideas of good and evil, love and hate, chaos and order, among others, sent a constant stream of information to his slumbering mind. Although she was more than capable of handling the information, processing the many different thoughts took time. His mind became overwhelmed by the equal strength of what he came to understand to be opposing forces; until that point the differing concepts did not concern themselves with each other, but as The One struggled internally with his emotions, the conceptual beings also started to fight amongst themselves, pushing their avatars to fight on their behalf. And before long their conflict would spread further.
In the darkness the force known as Entropy awoke. It had been trapped since the ending of the previous universe, but was impossible to eliminate completely looked away it could only wait for the opportunity to strike as a predator waits for its prey. Lacking a physical form it swept back and forth as a wave of destruction, growing daily but unable to have an effect while imprisoned outside of existence.
And then for some reason the barriers that had prevented it from entering the universe vanished and the destructive force was unleashed. By that time existence had grown so large that it would take a long time before anybody noticed.
End of part**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**
Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to the copyright owners. This is a piece of fan work and no profit is being made from this.
Zordon was frustrated. After ten thousand years trapped in a time warp he had believed that very little could aggravate him. He had been wrong. No matter what he had experienced, the incompetence and selfishness of politicians could never be underestimated. Even in a time of war when the threat had been revealed and the casualty list had been updated by the hour, they refused to work together unless it furthered their personal agendas.
How many times had the Earth been raised as an issue in the days since the Galactic Council had acknowledged that there was a conflict to be fought? How difficult had it been for them to accept that in such times there were seats allocated to allies that would not normally be represented? Very few councillors had appreciated the idea that the Morphin Masters now held a small but significant number of seats to represent their forces on all Council worlds.
Petty squabbles had slowed the preparations for war even as reports of planets falling to the United Alliance of Evil’s power were updated. Instead of debating why the Grand Monarch of Evil had decided to target minor planets of little strategic value, they had spent two days negotiating mineral rights for when they reclaimed those worlds.
He was not alone in his frustration; Trey had arrived as Triforia’s representative only to have his status debated by the rest of the Council. It had only been when the Lord of Triforia had threatened to withdraw his planet’s support that the Council had acknowledged his right to be there. Zordon could tell by the look on the Gold Ranger’s face that he wished that he hadn’t bothered. And then there was Andros, the Red Guardian of KO-35 who had provided much of the intelligence on their new enemy. The Council had spent more time debating whether the loss of KO-35 had stripped him of his Astro Guardian status than it had reviewing the evidence he had given them.
~All that time sensitive data now useless,~ Zordon thought bitterly. ~Perhaps I’m going about this in the wrong way.~
Deciding that perhaps he should follow his instincts, Zordon stood and took his turn to speak. What he was about to say would not be popular, but it was needed.
“Fellow Councillors, I returned here to help fight the war against the Grand Monarch and his United Alliance of Evil. To date all we have fought is each other. While we delay, the enemy grows stronger. I do not know why the recent strikes have targeted the world they have chosen, but I believe there is a reason and that we must discover it. However, I do not believe that this body will uncover that truth or take any positive steps to protect its members as long as these pointless debates continue.”
He paused, allowing the angry shouts to die down before he continued. Many of them questioned his right to speak to them in that way. It had after all been ten thousand years since he had set foot in the chamber; it was a low blow and all that heard it knew that the speaker had gone too far.
“You are correct of course,” Zordon said, his agreement causing more concern than if he had reacted angrily. “It has been a long time since I ‘set foot’ in this chamber, despite my regular attendance at meetings during my imprisonment. Since you believe I do not belong here, I will return to my post on Earth and prepare for the fight to come.”
This caused another wave of anger as the Council realised that he was willing to leave them to fight on their own. For without the support of Zordon it was unlikely the Morphin Masters would remain as patient as they had been. It looked as if the Council’s efforts would fail before they started. Zordon however was not in the mood to negotiate as he left the chamber despite the calls for his return. He was not surprised when Andros followed him, nor when Trey joined them after handing his duties to an aide.
“I will return to Triforia and report back on the lack of progress,” Trey decided. “Then I will join you on Earth.”
Zordon nodded before glancing at Andros. The Red Astro Guardian looked lost.
“Andros, will you accompany me to Earth?”
Andros nodded. “Of course, Master Zordon.”
“Then we will leave as soon as your vessel is ready. I will have Alpha transfer our belongings there.” There was somebody he needed to see first.
Graceful, swift and deadly. All were words that described Gosei and his fighting style. He was a late trainee of Zordon who had been unable to complete his education under the White Morphin Master. He had instead dedicated himself to Zordon’s sacrifice and taken advice from the best tutors he could find in dedication to his former master. It gave him a varied fighting style.
“Master Zordon,” he greeted as the older man entered the room. He knew his master well enough to sense the shift in the Morphin Grid’s currents when the man was close by.
“Your growth in the ways of the Power are astounding,” Zordon commented as he took a seat that had been offered to him. “I thank you for allowing me to resume your training after so long, but as I told you before, you are no longer a student.”
“There is still so much to learn,” Gosei protested.
“Yes, but the place to learn those things is not in a classroom, but outside. I have a favour to ask.”
Gosei stood up straight, allowing Zordon to gain a good look at him. He was slender with a shaven head and brown eyes. He wore an off-white robe with a wide sash tied at the waist holding various pouches. He reminded Zordon of himself in his younger days and the Morphin Master felt guilty that his disappearance had likely caused his former student to choose his appearance as a tribute. Such tributes were unnecessary, but alas Gosei was not the only one that had felt otherwise.
Zordon nodded. “I am to return to Earth to help prepare the planet for the war to come. In my absence I need somebody to carry my vote in the Council. I have chosen you to act as my proxy.”
“Master Zordon, I have only studied politics from books. I’ve never been in the Council’s chambers or held a debate.”
“You will do fine,” Zordon assured his student. “Consider this a part of your training. It is one thing to know how to act, it is another to do so.”
He could see the hesitation, the doubt and perhaps disappointment that he was to be left behind again. But Zordon knew that Gosei needed to learn these skills and quickly. If the visions he had had were an indication, time was running out.
Despite being a machine, Alpha Five was capable of an incredible range of human behaviour. He felt concern, sadness and on a rare occasion righteous anger; he could be curious and was prone to panic despite being extremely brave. If an observer had been asked to describe his current mood, the word smug would have been closely followed by satisfaction. Alpha had spent the time while Zordon and Trey had been locked in conversation with the Council, reacquainting himself with the Council’s Central Database. He had only been allowed one previous visit to the site before he had entered Zordon’s service, but it was there that King Lexian had provided him with his core programming.
And now that same computer system had granted him an understanding of the United Alliance of Evil’s strategy. He didn’t comprehend everything he had discovered, it took a little more imagination than Alpha could manage to achieve that, but he had learnt enough to prove that their random actions were anything but. Every planet they had raided while insignificant by Council standards were the sole producers of items a growing army could need.
Lord Zedd and Rita had been spotted harassing undeveloped worlds that only provided a small selection of food for the Council and materials for its artists. The reports had failed to identify the foods as being the preference of breeding Tengas or that the clay extracted from the raided mines could be used to craft monsters and Putty Patrollers. The other planets they had seemingly hit at random had given the treacherous duo the raw potion and alchemy ingredients needed for any potions they would need. And the forest moon they had ravaged had provided Rita with enough raw materials to craft a never ending supply of wands.
With the thought that the various villains were actually undertaking their otherwise pointless missions to cover their plundering of supplies, Alpha had turned his attention to the Machine Empire. Since the Empire was split into Houses and the number of divisions within those groupings, their acts had been more difficult to monitor. However the breaking up of the Machine Home World had been too big an event to miss. It had been a surprise to see the massive planet divide itself into a number of large war vessels until Alpha realised that the Royal House of Gadgetry had taken control of the once organic world long before Zordon’s clash with Rita. The chances that there had been anything left of the original planet were remote given the machines’ desire to asset strip everything they encountered.
The machine ships had set off on their own missions, once again attacking minor planets. However those they attacked were known for the production of at least one electronic component the Machine Empire had yet to perfect. The machines took the factories, the workers and any stockpiled components before devastating the worlds. Even by Machine Empire standards their raids were vicious. Nothing had been left.
Meanwhile Gasket and Archerina had been spotted rounding up slave labour to service their machines. Exactly why they needed organic servants instead of Cogs was unclear, but suggested they were using them for something that was hazardous to machines. And their antics were copied by his restored brother Sprocket as the younger prince set out to prove his worth to King Mondo, and some of the rival factions that sought to replace the Royal House of Gadgetry as the rulers of the Machine Empire.
Divatox had been seen raiding ships across the Council’s territory. It was only when Alpha had computed where her seemingly erratic course could lead that that he noticed her brother had been carrying out a similar pattern of raids elsewhere. Indeed several of the Dianthe’s leading members had been seen to be conducting random acts of piracy, leading the Council to dismiss them… until they reached their destinations. At that point the Dianthe had been in striking range of every maximum security prison operated by the IGPF. The guards hadn’t stood a chance as the prisoners were released, their numbers swelling the ranks of the Dianthe once more.
And that was why the feeling of smug satisfaction that Alpha had felt when he had made the connection between the random activity had rapidly disappeared. The war that the Council had been arguing over and had failed to take action to stop had not even started. The Grand Monarch had deceived the Council’s spies by making the UAE appear to be little more than an evil version of the Galactic Council where little was accomplished due to petty squabbles and long debates. Then when his forces had made their move the randomness had made them seem undisciplined and divided. Even now as Alpha knew that the Council had allowed the enemy forces to prepare their armies for war, Alpha wondered what other deceptions he had failed to spot.
“Alpha, we are leaving,” Zordon announced over the communications channel they shared. “I trust your research has been rewarding?”
Zordon had not pressed when Alpha had asked to visit the Central Database, but it had been clear that the small robot’s actions had made him curious.
“Ai-yi-yi, yes Zordon,” Alpha replied. “You won’t like what I’ve discovered.”
“Very well Alpha, transmit a copy of everything you have found to Pyramidas, the Astro Megaship and my datapad,” Zordon instructed. “Then prepare to depart. I fear we have accomplished everything we can here.”
“Yes Zordon,” Alpha agreed, already changing his route to pass by Zordon’s chambers to retrieve any personal belongings.
Zordon watched as the Astro Megaship departed. He had made certain that he had been seen boarding the vessel and had no doubt that there would be some that would try to prevent him from reaching Earth. But the task he had set Andros would not take the Megaship to Earth immediately. The Kerovian had volunteered to run an important errand while also acting as a diversion.
Trey had left some time ago. The Lord of Triforia would rendezvous with Andros in a few days and then head directly for Earth with Alpha. They would be there by the time Zordon arrived. Meanwhile Zordon planned to seek out a few of his old allies before returning to Earth; the dimensional prison that had once preserved his life had following his freedom turned into a shortcut that allowed the White Morphin Master to cross the galaxy faster than most vessels. That would give him enough time. At least he hoped that it would.
Weeks later Dimitiria closed the Book of the Unknown once more and tried to make sense of all that she had seen. As an Inquirian she was the perfect guardian for the ancient tome, possessing a thirst for knowledge and a natural grasp of asking the right questions. Still it seemed that there were too many forces in play to draw any real conclusions.
It seemed that nature could not tolerate a vacuum and with so many threats out there steps had been taken to ensure the Earth remained protected. Why the planet was so important was still not clear. The reasons were growing daily, but she still felt there was something they had yet to learn. A great secret that would be revealed only when the time was right, but that by that stage it would be too late.
She feared for her old friend Zordon when the time came. She strongly suspected that the price of securing the peace he so desired would be too high. Still for now Zordon was safely back on Earth, guiding his Rangers and Trey of Triforia had also arrived safely. Andros was still completing the task Zordon had set him; Dimitria briefly wondered if the Astro Megaship was ever going to reach Earth given that something always seemed to interrupt its journey.
But the darkness was closing in as Dark Specter and his forces set forth on their campaign. And other dangers beyond Dark Specter’s control were also on the rise. There were many enemies hiding in the darkness and no matter how brightly Zordon and his Rangers shone their beacon of hope, there was only one conclusion:
~Dark days are coming.~
End**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**
Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to whoever owns the copyright. This is a fan work and no profit is being made.
In some ways the Galactic Council had been lucky. The galaxy was a very big place, the universe was even bigger. The forces of darkness had set out on their campaign of renewed conquest and instead of heading inwards towards Erlion and Eltare, they had pushed out into the wider cosmos. In doing so they had given the Galactic Council a reprieve, but had also raised the paranoia, fear and arguing among its members. For it was not a matter of if the enemy turned their attention to Council worlds, it was only a matter of when.
And with that realisation had come an understanding that the Galactic Council and its members were not prepared for war. They had grown used to the watered down tactics of the Machine Empire and the lacklustre campaigns of Rita and Zedd. Dark Spectre had renewed his forces and had sent them forth with determination and a degree of evil competence not seen for a long time.
There was no question that the forces of darkness held the advantage. Dark Specter had somehow united them, organised them and motivated them. The same could not be said for the Council’s forces, which under the squabbling, selfish and fractured leadership, would not present a united front. The Morphin Council had mobilised, assembling an army of Morphin Masters, Power Rangers and Power Soldiers. The Masked Rider Corps were actively recruiting and the Green Lanterns had activated their entire membership in response to the threat.
In comparison the IGPF had been slowed by bureaucracy and bickering between members of the Galactic Council concerning their role and the Council’s military forces were still scattered awaiting orders. There had been no increase in recruitment or training. Technology and budgets were still limited and those responsible for leading the military forces had been held back by a lack of guidance.
One thing they could agree upon though was that dark days were coming and that they needed to work quickly if they were to weather the storm. Sadly it appeared that there was a vast difference between recognising the need for action and following through on their obligations. It would not take long for them to realise that it was already too late.
Dark Specter had won.
Dark Specter had won. He hadn’t conquered the universe, the galaxy or even the planet known as Earth. But in the battle for dominance between the many villainous factions, he had emerged victorious. The members of the United Alliance of Evil had followed his edict and accepted his empty promises. In return for completing the tasks he had set them, they would be allowed an opportunity to strike at the planet Earth.
What Dark Specter had failed to explain to the suddenly eager followers was that he would be the one to assign the tasks and that those that were most likely to conquer the Earth were those given the most difficult, time consuming tasks far away from the ultimate prize. He had sent Rita, Zedd and others to conquer galaxies, knowing that doing so would take them centuries. He had changed the definition of success to slow their progress and to remove the competition.
There was still some competition, but they were limited and easily dealt with. He had given them simpler tasks to complete, knowing that their attempts to target the Earth would quell any complaints that he had cheated. He had even set his own forces tasks that would delay his own strike at the planet until others had tried and failed.
In the end though Dark Specter knew that he would emerge victorious because he alone understood the importance of the planet Earth. Members of the UAE had seen some of the reports regarding the planet’s power. He understood why it was so powerful and why those that attacked it were bound to grow incompetent. And he planned to extract the source of that power and to use it to bind the universe together with himself as its ruler.
And it didn’t matter if they Council managed to get their act together. The only way they could stop him would be to destroy the prize before he could claim it, at which point the greatest weapon they possessed would be lost. One way or another, Dark Specter had already triumphed.
Dimitiria closed the Book of the Unknown once more and tried to make sense of all that she had seen. As an Inquirian she was the perfect guardian for the ancient tome, possessing a thirst for knowledge and a natural grasp of asking the right questions. Still it seemed that there were too many forces in play to draw any real conclusions.
It seemed that nature could not tolerate a vacuum and with so many threats out there steps had been taken to ensure the Earth remained protected. Why the planet was so important was still not clear. The reasons were growing daily, but she still felt there was something they had yet to learn. A great secret that would shake their society to its core.
She feared for her old friend Zordon when the time came. She strongly suspected that the price of securing the peace he so desired would be too high. Still for now Zordon was safely back on Earth, guiding his Rangers and Trey of Triforia had also arrived safely. Andros was still completing the task Zordon had set him.
There was no question that the darkness was expanding. Dark Specter and his forces had set forth on their campaign, extending the reach of their dark powers beyond their previous territories. Sooner or later that expansion would turn inward and the light was at risk of being swept aside by the dark tide.
And then there were the other dangers beyond Dark Specter’s control. The Xenotome spoke of enemies hiding in the darkness and waiting for the opportunity the Grand Monarch’s actions granted them. Sadly it seemed that no matter how brightly Zordon and his Rangers shone their beacon of hope, there could be only one conclusion:
~The worst is yet to come.~
End**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**
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.
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 incompetant.”
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**
Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to their respective copyright owners.
Is a man held within a cell he cannot see or hear, or sense in anyway still not a prisoner even though he believes himself free?
He became aware of his surroundings. He was in pain, absolute agony from the needles that had been implanted into his body. A mask had been attached to his face, allowing him to breathe and there was something poking into the back of his head. He reached up, aware of the viscous fluid that made moving difficult and grabbed the object. It was a tube, a thick cable that had been slotted into the upper part of his spine.
And then there was a click, followed by a whirling noise as the tubes retracted itself, causing the needles and other cables to pull themselves free. The mask on his face was torn away, leaving him to drown before the surface beneath him vanished and the fluid drained away.
And the darkness was transformed into glaring light.
“Welcome back, Doctor. You had me worried for a time there.”
He raised his head and regretted doing so. His head was thumping, a side effect from the trauma it had suffered.
“You were very lucky,” the voice continued. “You suffered a minor stroke as a result of bleeding inside your brain. As suicides go, that poison was not a painless method.”
“Where am I?” he asked. His mind was still affected by the recent trauma.
“An insignificant little research facility on a world that cannot possibly exist; trapped behind the event horizon of a black hole just as the star it recently swallowed turned into a super nova. I am told this world was once called Minitee; that’s a silent m, but be sure to pronounce it fully.”
“That’s impossible!” the Doctor snapped, realising as he did so that the contradiction had been exactly what was needed to give his higher reasoning a kick. With his awareness returning, he took the time to study his surrounding and was not surprised to find that he was exactly where he had been told – for while he couldn’t see the black hole or super nova, he could feel the competing gravitation effects.
With that confirmed he chose to study his captors. Most wore black and white tunics with a gold seal embroidered on the left shoulder. That identified them as the lowest tier of technicians from his home planet. Not really surprising given that there were very few who were capable of trapping and holding him for more than a short time. Keeping his mind subdued but active was one way to extend the time before he realised something was wrong.
With the knowledge that he was in familiar, but far from friendly hands, he turned his attention to the person that had addressed him earlier. There was a meeting of minds as they telepathically introduced themselves – for Time Lords preferred to identify each other using telepathy given how easily the senses could be fooled. As usual upon making contact with a familiar mind, his memory recovered the memories of their previous meetings and replayed them at an accelerated rate, merging the person he had known with the stranger before him. As it did so his brain identified the emotions that person projected, in this case hatred and darkness. The pieces click together and he knew what he was addressing.
What, not who. For he did not view the being before him as a person. It was a creature, an abomination brought to life by a corrupt society to try and cover their crimes. It was called the Valeyard and was an enemy he had hoped never to see again. He remembered the previous times they had met, but then the Doctor had not known that in reality it was just a temporal possibility of a being that would arise from his own dark side.
In his younger days the Doctor had not always been a good man. He had aspired to be a person that would make things better, but inside he knew that there had been rage and anger and darkness. He had suppressed the darkness, keeping it hidden beneath the surface instead of dealing with his emotions and in doing so had allowed it to grow. His enemies had found a way to extract that darkness and had given it a temporary body. They had promised that if it managed to defeat the Doctor it would become a proper Time Lord.
Fortunately he had defeated it with a little help from some unlikely allies, but it had escaped in the chaos that had ensued. And now it seemed it had found its way into the good graces of its former masters and gained itself a position of authority.
But why did it exist. The Doctor had spent centuries following his encounter with the Valeyard meditating. He had confronted the darkness with and purged the things that he believed would lead to the Valeyard’s creation. It seemed that his attempt to prevent it had failed.
“Oh Doctor, you can’t erase me no matter how many changes you try to make,” the Valeyard told him. "I was made to be a fixed point in your timeline. You can’t prevent my existence because if you did I would not exist for you to defeat me. And where would you be now Doctor if you had not taken steps to purge that darkness? At some point during your final incarnation, I will be extracted from your timeline and given form. You cannot prevent it and if you did you would condemn billions of innocents. Accept it: I will emerge.”
“You’ve changed though,” the Doctor noted.
He hadn’t failed to notice that the Valeyard claimed to emerge during his final life, not as he had been told previously at a point between the Doctor’s Twelfth and final regeneration.
The Valeyard chuckled. “There have been amendments to your life expectancy that meant I didn’t emerge exactly when they planned. When we first met I was the amalgamation of the anger and rage you kept suppressed throughout your very long life. All that murderous intent just waiting to boil over. So many feelings and thoughts and desires, too much darkness for you to erase it completely. But then you became aware of me and how I formed. You changed your behaviour and with it you altered my nature.”
“So you’re claiming not to be my dark side anymore?” the Doctor asked.
The Valeyard laughed, shaking his head in wonderment of how naive the Doctor had been when he was younger. It was a cruel and mocking laugh.
“I am and always will always be what you consider to be your dark side, Doctor. No matter how hard you try to change it you will fail; any time you feel a slight pleasure in watching the downfall of an enemy, any cruel remark or desire to throttle an unhelpful official, your darker nature will emerge. You’ve let go of the murderous intent and the desire to lash out… all the things that helped mould my being. But you cannot eliminate all of it. Right now I am a representation of your dark side. As your personality grow darker or perhaps lighter, I will change to represent the darkness within. It’s very subjective but I am only a reflection of your nature and compared to your — our — earlier self, there is less darkness there to reflect.”
It made sense in a twisted sort of way. The Valeyard was a snapshot of the Doctor’s darkness at any given time and depending on when the Doctor encountered it would affect how it appeared to him. Had it appeared during his first incarnation it would have been completely ruthless, seeking out its idea of paradise and then destroying it just to prevent it from changing. It would have been the reflection of an old man that was prepared to kill a savage in order to get his own way. If he had met him during his seventh incarnation, the Valeyard would have been manipulative, unrepentant and ruthless; a cold methodical madman fully at ease that his actions were for a greater good.
“So what are you now?” the Doctor asked. “Remove all the murder and the anger, and the bitterness. What is there left to give you form?”
“I’m the one thing you can’t stop yourself from hating,” Valeyard replied. “I am the personification of your self-loathing. I’m the part of you that bullied, manipulated and eventually engineered the death of your previous self just to fit your needs. I represent everything you hate about yourself and you are everything I hate. In the end locking you up here, and watching you exist in a state of non-being was intensely gratifying.”
Around him the Doctor was aware of the technicians making adjustments to the machinery. Clearly this discussion was intended to distract him from the need to escape. So far, it was working.
“For evil exists where good men do nothing,” the Valeyard continued. “And I’ve been helping to make sure that you’ve had little chance to do anything besides gaining a few pressure sores.”
As he spoke the memories returned. The Doctor remembered the trap, being captured and then spending months within some sort of capsule, alone. He recalled how a projection of himself had been sent to an alternate Earth alongside Samantha and the adventures they had had there. He remembered how the Valeyard had used him as a bridge between the two realities, allowing Minion to visit and observe a tournament as Valeyard tried to convince the villain to change his ways. Except he hadn’t been trying to change him, rather the Valeyard had been manipulating Minion, directing the clone on a path that would lead to the creation of the alternate reality he visited. In a way the Time Lords were responsible for creating a small multiverse that revolved around Minion and his shattered soul.
“So why did you stop?” the Doctor asked. “You could have continued playing with my mind indefinitely. What’s changed?”
“Simple survival,” the Valeyard told him. “I know your mind Doctor. I know the things you’ve done to protect yourself and the traps you’ve built to make sure you cannot be toyed with. You’ve been inside the world of the Matrix and the equipment available here is sadly lacking in comparison. Your mind started to doubt the illusion and when it did so it triggered one of those defence mechanisms you picked up. Your mind started to close down, disrupting the process and causing a feedback loop. If we hadn’t removed you there was a chance you would have destroyed the entire facility.”
To the Doctor that made sense. The Valeyard wanted to exist as a real being, not a mere anomaly. That meant that sooner or later he would need to clash with the Doctor in a battle of wills, the winner claiming the ultimate prize of existing. But the Valeyard knew that confrontation could not happen yet. In a previous incarnation he would not have cared, but for now they needed the Doctor. And the Valeyard was certain that time would make the Doctor vulnerable once again.
“There was a war spoken about in the old times. Do you remember the semester your class spent studying the old legends. The ancients knew it was coming they just didn’t know when so over time it was ignored. The truth is that even when they predicted the war, it had already started. It’s been waging all this time and the High Council failed to see what was happening. The Time Lords have fallen behind Doctor, far behind an enemy that is already positioned through time and space, but the first shots have yet to be fired.
"Both sides are building their military and trying to undermine the other side. There have been only a few minor battles, but the ferocity of the fighting is growing. Our people have drawn up complex battle plans with the help of detailed knowledge of the future but as it stands, the plans they have been given are for war that has been fought and lost. The War Chiefs struggle to change those plans without stopping to ask themselves what they did that caused them to lose the first time. They’re playing games with time against an enemy that is just as adept at playing that game and had a head start – not to mention a backdoor to their greatest secrets. Soon they will become desperate and when they do they will become just as dangerous as the enemy. And you Doctor will be spending most of your time making sure that they keep their war to themselves.”
“And where do you fit into all this? Temporal anomalies like you can’t exist for long without outside help.”
“The Time Lords recruited me,” the Valeyard explained. “And others like me. They needed you out of the way so that they would have more time to prepare for the war without your… conscience interfering. They used me to make sure you remained ignorant of your situation. My knowledge of how your mind works was invaluable, mainly because I knew that sooner or later you would realise the truth.”
The use of the Time Lord prison known as Shada had been the perfect place to keep the Doctor, but the Time Lords knew from past experience that the strongest of prisons was not enough to stop the Doctor from interfering. And that was why they had located the Valeyard in the non-space where he had been depositied, promising him a limited existence in return for his services. And he in turn had manipulated the Doctor’s memories — his memories, suppressing the events surrounding his previous visit to Angel Grove, his separation from Samantha and the trap he had walked into. From there it had been easy to project the Doctor into another reality where the events played out and the Doctor was free to do as he wished without affecting the Time Lords’ plans.
But the Valeyard was aware of how dangerous the Time Lords had become and with his existence threatened he had decided that the time had come to unleash the one force capable of making them see sense: the Doctor. First though he needed to impress upon the Doctor how dire the situation had become.
“The problem Doctor is that this was not supposed to happen. You were supposed to return to Angel Grove, set down long enough to understand how bad things have become and then leave. I never expected you to bring the human with you. I’m not sure how you accomplished that anyway since she no longer exists in this reality. But then I suppose that would be a side effect of the compression.”
“Compression?” the Doctor queried, his mind racing to slot all the pieces into place. “Time is being squeezed and accelerated? Why?”
The Valeyard chose to look out over the suddenly spectacular view of Angel Grove. He had not noticed it at first, but then slowly events had seemed to accelerate, skipping ahead without warning. It was most obvious when watching the Doctor’s allies the Power Rangers and their enemies. Whole battles seemed to begin and then fast forward to the end. Evil Rangers had arisen and were next seen free of whatever means had been used to control them. He couldn’t even recall their names although he knew they had existed. The sudden return of Lord Zedd, the struggle between the Rangers and their enemies on multiple fronts… even Zordon’s capture… key events of history were being preserved but the story surrounding them had been washed away.
And he knew that the Time Lords were responsible, just as they were the ones that had kidnapped the majority of Earth’s heroes, erasing their existence from the rest of the world as they tried to build an army of super warriors. Of course their plan would not succeed any more than their attempts to use alien monsters as cannon fodder and in the end they had had to return the majority of those they had abducted. Their enemy was time active and no matter how powerful an army was, if the enemy could shift across time as well as space and they couldn’t, they were useless.
“The Time Lord’s have been using this world for their experiments,” he said. “They’ve been taking advantage of the Earth’s rather unique nature to help them create their super weapons.”
That was true. While the population was not considered very advanced by Gallifrey standards, the Earth was a very powerful planet. Over time it had been theorised the planet was a nexus point of probability where alternate realities intercepted. That was why Time Lords needed to be wary when travelling near the planet not to get drawn into a different time stream. It was why despite being easy to manipulate, history was extremely resilient where the little planet was concerned.
Valeyard gave him a cruel smile.
“Because of you, Doctor. They have seen the forces that the people of this world have repelled with your help and they believe that they can harness such a force. They wanted the Earth’s heroes, so they took them, leaving only those that have likely come into contact with you. Is it any wonder they started messing with forces they didn’t completely grasp, ripping tears into the fabric of reality and forcing time to compress just so they could buy a little more time?”
The Doctor shook his head. The Time Lords were so desperate that they were willing to commit unspeakable acts in the hope that they would somehow stumble upon the key to a Time Lord victory. And then he realised that it was not those creations that the Time Lords sought, it was whatever arose to counter them. They were forcing the humans, the universe even to give them a blueprint for a new army.
“It’s strange really that the reason the Time Lords’ desire to win has required them to sacrifice everything they hold dear,” Valeyard continued. “They have even found a way to rationalise the existence of magic. They can access forces they previously dared not dream about and turn them into a scientifically explainable weapon.”
Time Lords had a natural fear and hatred of magic hard wired into their genetic codes. Only certain renegades seemed to be able to bypass the restrictions normally. If not for that oddity, there was no way the Master could have ever rationalised his contact with demons as aliens beyond the dimensional void. Oh there were limits, the Doctor doubted any of his former associates would be able study or manipulate the Morphin Grid. That would move beyond mere rationalisation and into the realms of insanity. But that raised the question of how the Morphin Grid could be there in the first place when magic was erased from existence by the Time Lords?
“They’ve had help of course,” Valeyard explained. “The compression of time is a side effect of the Time Lords twisting the personal timelines of their comrades, making it possible for them to exist in the present, and the near present where they have proven able assistants. And while the protectors of this world have been distracted by their recent adventures, the Time Lords have continued their work in the background, working on projects to aid the Time Lord war effort.”
And then it occurred to the Doctor that the Time Lords had gone too far. They had extended their influence not only into the affairs of Earth and the nature of magic, but were trying to manipulate the ongoing war between Good and Evil, concepts they could barely understand. And all so that when they war came they would have a slim hope of changing the outcome in their favour. Somehow the Doctor doubted that would occur.
“So why am I here?” he quickly added: “Awake I mean.”
“To stop them of course,” the Valeyard told him. “Think of it as a choice Doctor: your precious planet Earth or the chance of a Time Lord victory. Which would you chose? Which do you value most, your own planet or your adopted home? How far are you prepared to allow this war to spread before you take action. How far are you willing to let either side go before you meddle in their plans even if it costs them the war?”
And whichever choice he made the Doctor knew that it would only bring about pain and suffering. And to see he suffer and question his decision, to watch as he agonised over an impossible choice. That was what the Valeyard desired. And the Doctor had no choice. He knew that he would never bring himself to fight a war for either side, but he was prepared to fight both sides on behalf of those that could not.
“And now you have been made aware the question is whether you are prepared to put your rules aside for them?” the Valeyard told him.
What followed was a list of the atrocities the Time Lords had already committed to prepare for war. They had already broken the rules of time, breaking through the temporal buffers surrounding their planet’s past to retrieve genetic samples of long dead peers. The genetic looms used for breeding new Time Lords had been altered to recreate bodies using that DNA as a template. The repository of Time Lord Knowledge, known as the Matrix, had been pillaged to fill those bodies with the memories and intellects of the beings they resembled. All so that the Time Lord’s ranks were swelled with some of the most intelligent and sadistic leaders an army could need – all of them soulless travesties.
Then to make matters worse, they had released their prisoners, offering suspended sentences in return for military service. For the cause of victory those crimes they had committed in the past were considered tactics. Amoral scientists, deviants, corruptors of innocents… all were welcomed so long as their methods helped to build the military might that was needed. And those that had been involved with the Doctor directly, his enemies? They too had been offered the forgiveness of their people if they could prove themselves useful. Some had received bribes far beyond money and power.
“No, I can see that you’re not ready to do that… yet. Did you know it took seven attempts before you finally broke free?” the Valeyard asked. “The first time you became so immersed in the mental simulator we had to remove you before you transferred your mental capacity to the device. After that with each attempt your mind became more and more able to pick the world apart and notice the inconsistencies.”
“And now?” the Doctor asked. He noticed the Valeyard gesture to one of the technicians and felt the prick of a needle.
"Now that your body has healed you will return to sleep until we have need of you. By that time I’m certain you will be willing to do whatever needs to be done."
The chamber started to close as the Doctor struggled to overcome the sedative. His hand touched the something in his pocket and he smiled as he realised that his situation was not hopeless after all. Where there was a screwdriver, there was a way.
End of Part