Short Trips - Walking in Eternity

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Short Trips - Walking in Eternity

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:11 pm

".....something on your mind, Doctor?"

Emily's remark earned her a half-hearted "Hmm?" from the Time Lord in question. "Sorry, you said something...."

"You were staring at the monitor again, looking a bit....I think the best word I could think of is 'forlorn'."

"....a word I'd always said I'd hate to see applied to myself," the Doctor muttered, quickly realizing that he was, in fact, leaning on the TARDIS console and staring into the monitor. A glance at his reflection revealed that he did, indeed, look somewhat wistful. "Won't happen again, I promise."

Emily giggled. "Everyone has a right to be introspective,, more than most."

The Time Lord tried for a frown, but found himself chuckling instead. "You know me all too well, Emily Grace Quinn....and I was, indeed, lost in thought here at the monitor. I actually intended to find something specific on it...hence the chair." He gestured to the folding chair he'd brought to the console room. "Given to me as a gift by Bruno Sammartino, after I saved his life from a roving Sontaran war party that wanted to siphon his knowledge of 'combat sports' to further their war against the Rutans...."

"...and you're sitting on it," Emily remarked.

"He told me I could use it as I see fit," the Doctor countered. "I'm certainly not going to go swinging it around like a cudgel, trying to whack someone across the back...or, Rassilon forbid, the top of the head....." His words trailed off with a sigh.

"....and we're back to the matter of something being on your mind," Emily finished, approaching the console. "What's--"

"PLEASE don't say 'up, Doc?'," the Doctor cut in. "Not that I have anything against Bugs Bunny....I actually met him once, long story, but anyway...."

He sighed again. "In human terms, today is my birthday."

"Really?" Emily beamed. "Well, Happy--"

"Let me finish, please....." The Doctor moved the chair aside, taking one last look at the console. "In Gallifreyan terms, today marks the day that who I was before I entered the Academy ceased to be, and I started the long journey to becoming who I am now..." He turned away, slightly. "The Birth of the Doctor, if you want to be dramatic about it."

"And what's so bad about that?"

"It's not that there's anything 'bad' about it, as much as it is....." The Doctor shook his head. "I thought I had everything figured out, when I left the Academy. I was going to be the Time Lord who changed everything...which I did, in a roundabout way,, when I 'acquired' my TARDIS. I looked at where Time Lord society was going...and I knew that if I went down that road, the same way Koschei and Maxil and all the rest did...."

He gripped the console with both hands, bowing his head. "....there's a good chance you never would've met 'the Doctor' as you know you know me right now."

"But I did," Emily reminded him. "You saved everyone at Trinity Leeds---"

"Not everyone. A few....there were a few I couldn't save when the Mynnraks showed up...they died in such a way that there wasn't enough of them to bury in anything larger than a shoe box."

A faint memory rose to the forefront of Emily's thoughts---a sizable pile of dust, next to a tangled heap of shoes....

"You'll probably hate me, now. For lying, and going along with everyone saying 'you saved us all, Doctor' for so long...."

"....did they fight back?"

The question prompted the Doctor to turn, staring at Emily with a surprised glance. "....what?"

"The ones you couldn't save....when the Mynnraks found them, did they fight back?"

" of them tried to flat out kill the Mynnraks," the Doctor admitted. "The others died holding the line near one of the exits when Trinity Leeds was brought back, to distract the final reclamation party so that everyone else could leave...."

"Then they didn't die in vain," Emily assured him, "and they didn't die because you couldn't save them....and for the record, I don't hate you."

"You don't," the Doctor agreed, "but I'm pretty sure I have a laundry list of lunatics who'd love nothing more than for my head to be on a pike. Fenton Wilcox, the Daleks, that psychopathic Faceless, the Cybermen, Mortimus---he might not admit that he hates me, but I know for a fact that he'd love to watch me fail, over and over again...." He gave a half-chuckle. "...sometimes it feels like the universe itself just wants to throw new challenges at me, to see how I handle them....and how many times I fall on my face before I get something right."

"You do have a tendency to trip over your own feet," Emily admitted.

"Really not helping....." The rebuke ended in another chuckle. " be honest," the Doctor murmured, "I think this is really what I wanted all along, when I first set off in the TARDIS. Just...these little moments." He didn't turn to acknowledge Emily's approach, choosing instead to continue observing the monitor. "I mean, yes, it's great that I've helped a lot of people, so far...and that I've made friends I never would've met if I'd just stayed on Gallifrey...."

"So it's the little moments that mean the most?" Emily inquired.

" the grand scheme of things....yes. Like what we're doing now. Just...talking." Now, the Doctor did turn to regard Emily. "I remember days at the Academy---room full of people, fellow students and such....and I felt alone. Like I barely had any connection to them at all...."

"That sounds horrid," Emily replied. "I mean, you were all Gallifreyans, but they didn't even speak to you?"

"It wasn't that, no....they'd talk to me, from time to time, and we'd have conversations and such....but it wasn't like this. It wasn' didn't feel like they cared about anything going on, at the moment....they already had their eyes on the end of the road. In their minds, they were already Time Lords...." The Doctor scoffed. "....and I was just the daydreamer. The one who screamed in the night, scared of his own shadow..."

A hand rested on his shoulder. "Those days are long gone, Doctor," Emily gently reminded him. "You've changed for the better."

"Have I?" The Doctor wasn't smiling. "I destroyed an entire civilization just to stop one madman from trying to play God."

"He was turning his own people into human cattle, Doctor! He took away their emotions, their capacity for free will!"

"And some would say he was on the right track...." The Doctor turned away. "....obviously, I'm not one of them. 'Needs of the many, needs of the few' and all that....." He rested a hand on the TARDIS console. "....of all the expectations I had about this....Hell, I never really expected any of it."

"And 'this' would be..." Emily arched an eyebrow.

"This. What I'm doing now. Walking in eternity, or whatever you want to call it....aimless wandering through time and space, wondering who needs rescuing on any given day." The Doctor smirked at his choice of words. "Some might think I'm setting myself up as a god, swooping in to save the poor, defenseless mortals when they've run out of options...."

"You've never called humans 'poor' and 'defenseless' before," Emily mused, frowning.

"Because that's not how I see them!" the Doctor insisted. "I've never set myself up to lord it over anyone! I don't want to be the king in the ivory tower, watching the rabble down below and laughing as they squabble among themselves...."

"And who says you are?"

The Doctor noticed Emily's incredulous look reflected in the monitor. "Yes, traveling with you is...insane, at times," she admitted, "and I've been in peril on more than occasions than I'd like to admit....but I trust you with my life, Doctor. I've never thought of you as a distant king who wants the peasants to fight just to break it up and be the hero....and I'd punch anyone who did think that about you."

Her particular choice of words earned her a grin. ", Emily Grace Quinn, are something else," he mused.

"I'll take that as a compliment," Emily teased, giggling. "So....seeing as how it's your 'birthday'---and don't argue semantics with me!"

"I wasn't going to," the Doctor lied, rolling his eyes.

"...anyway, since it's your birthday....feel like giving the whole 'walking in eternity' thing a break, for 24 hours?"

The Doctor glanced at the monitor one more time, before turning his attention to the red-trimmed coat hanging on the coat rack near the TARDIS door. "I do think it's time I took a bit of a break," he admitted. "I mean, if something goes really wrong, we could just call Jack or River and ask them to handle it...."

He grinned. "24 hours it is."
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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Deborah J
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Re: Short Trips - Walking in Eternity

Postby Deborah J » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:29 am

That was a nice story, very introspective, although I feel like they keep referring to other stories I'd rather be reading, does that one about people being turned into shoes in Leeds actually exist? I feel this story implies that that's another story you've written that I've not seen, but I don't know.

Also, why is Emily surprised that the doctor is sitting on a chair? If I had a chair that's probably the only thing I'd do with it.

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DukeNukem 2417
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Re: Short Trips - Walking in Eternity

Postby DukeNukem 2417 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:58 pm

Few people sit down in a TARDIS console room; I figured bringing a chair next to the console would make an interesting change. Also, it's a chair given as a gift by a famous pro wrestler, which one would be expected to frame or something, rather than sit on.

The alluded-to events are from stories that haven't yet been's a bit like starting in the middle of a series and then having to work back to square one. Those tales will eventually appear here, so keep an eye out. ;)
Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see....
One chants out between two worlds:
"Fire...walk with me."

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