[ The story continues.. ]
“No.” The answer was so blunt and so forceful that even the white space around them shuddered to silence. The woman shook her head as if mishearing. This was unexpected and confusing. The moment hung in the air like an anvil.
The Doctor stayed firm. His brows furrowed and he said it again, even more resilient. “No. I will not.”
“I don’t understand. You are the maker of the original laws here… you were the one who originally intervened. The history records state clearly that it was by your intervention the Mind War finally ended. From everything I’ve learned you are the one who keeps peace and who acts for the best interests. Even when it’s hard. Even when others refuse…”
“Guess what? I refuse.” He adjusted the hem of his sleeve in passive agitation. “Oh sure… Genocide does make my blood boil as it were. It ruffles my collar, you could say. I’ve met my fair share of genocidal monsters I’ve had to deal with. Sometimes I’ve been the death of them. Sometimes not. It’s a game of percentages I suppose… but that’s not the point!”
The world started changing around them, fracturing the white space like huge pieces of a mirrors surface. All around them cracks were forming with the rolling crumbling noise of thunder. Her eyes scanned the sky and then looked back to him as she shrunk back slightly.
“But you don’t get to force my hand! You don’t get to assign blame and deal out your punishment. You don’t get off that easy!” His words were edged with ice, but softened as a slow but certain whirring echoed in the distance. “Because you are not a genocidal monster like others I have dealt with. Your actions were horrible, but they weren’t entirely under your control…”
Was this his doing? Was he starting his assault? She had thought so at first and prepared herself for death – but now it seemed a bit fuzzy and unsure. Calculations in her mind were telling her that something definitely wasn’t adding up.
The white space had been under her control. She had welcomed him into her mind but it had always been her area to control. She tried to reach out and erase the damage forming in her little world – but no matter how she tried the cracks remained.
“I have killed many, perhaps a thousand by my estimation.” She whispered, her eyes watching as pieces of her world seemed to be falling from the proverbial sky. Behind the glass like shards of falling white – there were lights and machinery. There was something familiar about it.
“I can’t control this… I should be able to but I can’t. Doctor, what is happening?”
He had moved to her then. She wasn’t entirely sure how he had moved so quickly, but the suddenness alarmed her. He had his arm around her. She wanted to pull away but strangely weakness was overcoming her. It took her a few moments to realize that she wasn’t even standing anymore, but had fallen into his arms onto a floor that wasn’t even her own.
She was no longer in her safe white space, but a fragmented version of his TARDIS. A mash-up of her mind losing to his. It felt like there was a tearing of distant connections which she had held herself in place.
“–easier to work here,” he winced but reached a hand up and frantically pulled a few levers while holding her with his other arm. “Bit quicker and familiar.”
“You are hurt. I don’t understand.”
“Yeah, get that alot.” He managed a small chuckle, breathed deep and hit another few switches.
“Haven’t you been feeling it? You are slipping… you’ve been slipping for a while. I wasn’t entirely sure until I got a good look at your inner mind, your deeper subconscious while we were talking here. You are damaged Ravenya, far more then I think you realize.”
She shook her head confused. “I told you about the experiments. I told you I was Void–”
“Not that. That is just a part of your original nature, but that’s not what’s hurting you now. You’ve been dying the moment he made you. Slowly perhaps, only because you’ve tricked yourself to thinking you weren’t. Your systems are running on fumes and eventually they’ll just run out. The Fountain is poisoned… I get that now.
I understand what he was trying to do. He saw similar properties in the Fountain as a place on Karn. It was a foolish way to cheat death which was exactly what dear ol’ Mortimus was attempting to do. Thing is, he didn’t have a clue how to recreate it and he certainly didn’t have access to the original. So he did the best he could to set up another version.
He had the properties of the Fountain. He just needed power. A lot of it.
The Sisterhood had the Sacred Flame, and a bunch of other tricks up their ornate sleeves. Mortimus used what he had available.. part of his TARDIS matrix and likely parts of it’s own engine. These are powerful things… enough power to accomplish massive things. However those parts were far too unstable.
A Matrix will die when out of it’s TARDIS too long. Even pieces of it. He must have watched as his experiment was crumbling before his eyes. He needed something to bind it together into something more stable. He needed a sentience to bring order to the creation.
He must have learned about you. Such a powerful mind. I guess he hoped your mind would be strong enough to force all that chaotic energy to be still. Indeed… seems to have worked mostly but… hold in there with me!”
She had started to fade, his sudden jolting of her body roused her back into the moment. He looked a bit frantic and pale. She imagined she didn’t look much better.
“..I don’t know what happened to him after. He would have been flying a damaged ship to who knows where – but he obviously left before things blew up here. He was always good at that. The point is; you are dying. Unless I do something about it – you will.”
“Is that not best?” he looked down at her eyes which had paled from lavender to a sullen off white. Her whole image had faded considerably to a ghostly apparition while his mind tried to keep hers in one piece. “At least it’s beautiful here. Your ship… it is pretty.”
“Listen. Listen carefully.” He pulled her up and propped her against the middle counsel. “You’ve spent your life sheltered by your illness in a way. Some have given up everything to lose the ability to feel emotions. Maybe it helped keep you going through everything they did to you. But you are starting to feel them now, aren’t you? You are starting to feel so much more then you’ve ever been meant to feel. I think that is why you summoned me here… that is why you made the others and caused the Great Resurrection… Guilt. You feel new and scary things. You could have went on pretending to be a God here and living out as long as you had in your own created paradise… but you didn’t.”
She nodded slowly, glancing away to the rhythmic whirring of his mind’s sanctuary. He pulled her back with his hand on her cheek. There were tears flowing down her face, traces of ghostly blue which lifted from her skin as her silvery image flickered.
“Time is running out. I can’t undo the things you’ve suffered. I can’t make you normal – I’m not even sure what your normal originally was. I can however try to make you whole. I don’t know how it’ll go… I don’t even know if you will survive it. You’ll be able to feel things that will break your heart – but also you’ll be able to feel things that might mend it… This is your choice now, Ravenya. Choose to try, to live, and I will do the best I can to fix you. Choose not to.. and I’ll simply walk away. I can’t hold on forever… neither can you.”
The jolt shook them both. He couldn’t hold her unstable mind much longer – the pieces were starting to unravel once more. He swore he saw cracks in his own minds vision.
Too much damage had been done. Calling him here and allowing him so much access to the deepest recesses of her mind had been the straw that broke the camels back. Time was running out for her and he wasn’t even sure he could fix this tangled mess. Secretly though he knew protections were in place, merely waiting for his signal…
“Life.” She said weakly, “I believe I am afraid. I think I am afraid to die. I do not like this feeling.”
“Here’s a secret; neither do I.” He managed a smirk as he lifted his hand, both in his mind and physically – he slammed his fist down at the controls and shouted for nostalgia’s sake “GERONI–”
“–MO!” His voice was harsh and his head foggy.
He awakened to find himself propped half up on the control panel and waited for the crushing headache to slowly ease. It took a few moments for his vision to stop swimming and dancing before becoming clear.
He had not been as elegant as he assumed he was; instead it looked like he had stumbled and knocked over a few things drunkenly on his way in. Even so, he was still impressed that he had managed to get here at all.
The Doctor had managed to call the TARDIS to the Asheran building and fumble inside of it while deep in the mind of Ravenya. Very few times had he ever been able to multitask like that. He hoped he wouldn’t have to try it again anytime soon because the splitting headache he suffered now made his stomach queasy and his nose drip blood. He was also pretty sure he scraped up his left shin and possibly his elbow.
“Almost there.” He awkwardly got his footing and scanned over the monitors and buttons.
The powerhouse of the Monk’s creation involved pieces of a TARDIS Matrix. What was better at straightening out pieces of a TARDIS then a TARDIS itself? With his ship he carefully managed to do all the scans necessary from both inside and outside of her mind. Now it was simply a matter of trying to piece it all together in a proper whole.
It felt strange. The Monk had attempted to build a fountain of youth, and created a God. He was trying to take a God and create a person. He wondered what result he may end up with. He hoped for something less dangerous.