I awoke to find myself in some sort of dark cave. I
was still wearing my night dress but someone had draped a cardigan of some sort over my to keep me warm as it was rather cold
in the cave and I quickly pulled the cardigan over the evidence. The cave floor
was even colder and covered in parts in a layer of fine dust or sand. I heard
voices in the distance and went to explore.
“So the world’s really going to end?”
“Sadly, yes. You see that’s the thing
about prophecy, planets have minds too and if enough people believe then the planet believes and once that happens then it
will come to pass.”
“Can’t we prevent this? Change its
“It took millions of years of evolution and theology to shape this event; do you think
a last desperate plea in the dying moments of existence will really be heard?”
“They have to be heard…at least I have to try.”
I found the Doctor speaking to a weird guy with a beard, he looked sad, tired. Like he’d lost everything and didn’t know what to do next.
“What’s up?” I asked as I moved forward.
“Erin? You’re awake?”
“Well I don’t feel like a ghost.”
I replied. “Unless I am and this is how ghosts feel.”
“Are you a ghost?”
“Hey, watch it.” I shouted as the
Doctor threw small stones at me. “I’m alive.”
“Thank Rassilon for small mercies.”
I looked at the beardy-weirdy again. “Are
you her new boyfriend then?”
“No! I mean, we’re just good friends.”
“From way back.”
“He’s just a friend, we’re not that close.”
“No, I should be going now.”
I looked at the Doctor. “You fancy him
though, don’t you? You almost had your hand on his butt, I saw it.”
“I never, never mind that now, we have things to do Erin, we need a plan.”
“You said you dreamed of a tall dark stranger in a cave.
That was him. It’s not too late to go and snog him.”
“I do not want to snog him. It was bad
enough when we were married.”
“That was your bloke? The one you killed? I thought you said he was oriental?”
“No, that was Yin, my second partner. That
man was my first, my wife, I was his husband when we were married, he was my wife.”
“This sex change thing raises a lot of interesting questions.” I wondered how a marriage could work if one day your husband has a bigger bust than you did.
“He got custody of the kids. My son later
married. My Granddaughter travelled with me, for a time. I had to protect her. She was expelled after being uncovered
as a political agitator. I had to do what I had to do to keep her safe and well. Since then, well I found new roles to pursue: wanderer, hobo, protector, meddler,
saviour, champion, meddler, investigator, persecutor and many more aspects of myself.
Now I guess I’m trying to find who I am this time, what my calling is.”
“I’d say avenging angel.” I
replied. “Considering the number of planets you destroyed before and since
I met you.”
“I did not destroy all those planets and I’m not going to let this one be destroyed
either. Dogma is a dangerous thing – it has a life of its own. It’s like a magic sword that burns all the way down to the handle.
It’s not meant to control, only serve. I have to save this planet
Erin, I have to.”
“How are we going to save this planet then?”
I asked. “It seems to me that it’s rather big and we’re
very small, and we don’t have anything in common at all.”
“It’s the people’s fault; they’re the ones I’ll have to communicate
“So what are you going to do? Grab one
off the street and start demanding answers?”
“Nothing so mundane. I’ll just imprint
a few psychic words upon the cultural psyche.”
“Really? How?” I wondered what the Doctor was planning now. It seemed to
me we were on a mad fool’s quest. We’d be better just leaving these
people to their fate. “It’s not as if they’re going to listen,
is it?” I looked around to see the Doctor snogging some bloke. At least she’d scored. I figured all of this was just
a massive deception to try and convince me that she wasn’t a slut of the highest order.
I didn’t care one way or the other, a brief romance was perfectly fine, although next time if she could find
a guy who had a friend for me to go on a date with too, that would be nice. I
sat on a nearby wooden bench and waited for the love Doctor to finish putting her tongue down his tonsils. I fished into my bag and pulled out a slightly tatty copy of the Doctor’s favourite magazine: Time
Chick Monthly. It was full of the usual crap, hair, nails, relationships, but
at least there were a few interesting articles about stuff and I started to read one about a woman called Romana who had been
killed by an alien species called the Jade Tempest. I was half way through reading
about how Romana had survived the ordeal by changing her appearance and personality when the Doctor sat down next to me. “Did it work then?” I forced
my eyes not to leave the page.
“I think so.”
“So what next?”
“I reckon a couple more should do it.”
I gave in and looked at her. “Your lipstick’s
smudged.” Also can you stop grinning like that? “At least try to pretend that it’s a chore to save the world.”
“I can’t help it, this body’s much more sexual than the last few I’ve
had. I like to kiss, be held, caressed, made love to.”
“Too much information!” I said sharply. “Fine, you have a sex life, that doesn’t mean you have to boast about
it when mine’s nose diving into oblivion.”
“I thought you were still a virgin.”
“So? I meet a guy I like and you scare
him away or worse, he turns into a weird psycho stalker type who wants to turn me into some sort of weird genetic monstrosity.”
“That only happened once, and I was able to reverse it.”
“Yeah, well once was too much.” I
tried to repress the memories of the creep who had turned me into another one of his menagerie of animals. Unfortunately it had been too late to save the other girls he’d changed, but they found new homes
in zoos and with families that loved them. I’d almost ended up as someone’s
pet lizard/dog/moose which hadn’t been the scary part, I’d have been the only one of my species in existence,
my life would have been one of loneliness and isolation. Then I remembered I
was the only one of my species left, but at least I had a friend to help me get through the tough times.
I guess we started having an effect. A crowd
of people started to follow us, not a random group of people though, weird loony types who looked like they were infected
with the religion virus. They surrounded us and began to mutter about us being
infidels and harlots and someone called me fat, which really hurt as I was the perfect weight for my height and I worked out
regularly. If it came to a fight I reckoned I could easily hold my own with any
of these creeps.
“Just stay calm Erin.”
“What happens now, Doctor?” I feared
“They’ll shout, posture, make empty threats, I’ll say something and then
they’ll try to kill us.”
Yep, that was what I feared, although I had nicer shoes and my hair wasn’t so crap in
my imagination. “Can’t we just explain things to them?”
“You cannot put new ideas into a closed mind, Erin.”
“Oh, so we’re going to die then?”
“Not at all…I hope.”
“Do we get one last request?”
“What would you ask for?”
“A hundred second head start and a pair of good running shoes.” I laughed nervously at my own joke.
“Me too. Brave heart Erin.”
“I’d rather kick their butts.” They
drew closer and the really scary one looked me over, like I disgusted him. “I
guess you never got laid once in your life.” I muttered nervously.
“Get stuffed.” I replied. “You’re a sad loser who gets his jollies from intimidating defenceless women. You’re the infidel not me.”
He tried to slap me but I drew left and punched him as hard as I could in the face and he
went down, so I kicked him as he fell, until they dragged me off of him. “I
lied about being defenceless. Touch me and I’ll break something.” Another one glared at the Doctor but she touched his hand and he simply fainted. “How the hell did you do that?”
“Venusian Aikido. Haaiii!”
Another went down when she touched his chest. I
was impressed. It took me a good kick between a guy’s legs to get the same
effect. The group backed off.
“You cannot stop the end of the world.”
“She’s funny like that.” I
muttered. “She helps those who can’t save themselves.”
“This world must end.”
“Your planet is committing suicide. I have
to stop it.”
“You cannot stop it.”
“Yes I can.” The Doctor said sadly. “There is one way I can stop this.”
“You cannot end the apocalypse.”
“I can, by causing it. I won’t allow
Doria to end its own existence and I will prevent it the only way I can, by murdering it.”
This made them all moan and wail. “Let’s
get out of here.” The Doctor pulled her TARDIS summoning device and activated
it. A second later we were standing inside of the control room. “We’re leaving now?”
“Not just yet.”
The Doctor operated a few controls. “What
are you doing?”
“Not everyone believes the world is ending. I’m
bringing them in here.”
“It’ll be a tight squeeze, won’t it?”
“I’ll put them in one of the storage rooms.
That can hold twenty or thirty million people easily. We can take them
to a new world. They can start over on a world untainted by a suicide cult.”
From orbit it happened so quickly. The Doctor
launched the fragment of anti-time at the planet and a second later it was simply gone.
Four billion people and countless other animals and plants gone. “Let’s
get out of here.” I said to the Doctor.
“We have to find a new home for the people we saved.”
“Yes, of course.”
She set the controls and we were off to find a new planet that our guests could call home.
“Is this the best we could find?” I
asked the Doctor, suspicious that the desolate wasteland looked an awful lot like that planet Earth she insisted on visiting
“They have everything they need, to start over, to rebuild their life from scratch. I’m an expert at reinventing myself.”
“Yes, I met one of your other selves, he was…very different.” I watched as the Dorians walking away and remembered those minutes after my world was gone, the loneliness,
the shock, the wondering what I was going to do now and questioning if I was better off dead along with the rest of my people. But then I remembered the hope as the Doctor helped me put my life back together. I figured if I could do that by myself (ok with some help) then all these people united
had enough courage between them to start over and make a new life for themselves.