You give her a choice. A simple one. A precise one. Leave now, take the offer. Go. She'd already slaughtered Lance and his sad but needy wife Lucy Cole. You already know she is incapable of mercy but that didn't mean you can't try.
You offer her freedom.
She laughs at you.
You can be incapable of mercy, too.
You set your jaw and stare her down as she writhes and laughs. Her maw is open and unhinged, like a snake's, waiting to swallow the whole world. It's almost funny that she's laughing so maniacally when she's only got moments left to live. If even that.
You reach into your pocket and turn the ornaments in your hand over and over. The little grooves on the side are sharp and you feel one slice a neat cut over your left pinkie. It burns like a papercut. Such a tiny pain.
You hold the weapon---because that's what they are in the end, just more weapons---aloft. Her black eyes widen in terror and that sends a tiny thrill up your spine. It instantly sickens you.
"No! Doctor! No!" It sounds almost like she's begging for mercy.
What's the easiest way to kill a family of spiders? Drown them.
You toss the explosive balls in the air and direct them to destroy the walls. Destroy the walls, bring in the water. Bring in the water, kill the beasts. Kill the beasts, save the world. It's all for the best, really. A whole planet will be saved.
The explosions are muted and dull, tiny popping noises in your ear. The acrid and briny smell of Thames water fills your nose as the rushing water fills the cavern. The blast of cold December water and the raging fire from the explosion equally scores and numbs your skin.
This is destruction.
This is what you bring. The Oncoming Storm and the Bringer of Darkness standing over a pit as thousands of screaming children are silenced by the rush of water. The Empress cries for them and it feels good. It feels good because you've won.
She teleports away, back up to her ship. Running away before the end of the final battle. Not unlike you, now that you think about it. You fled in the TARDIS before Gallifrey had stopped blazing and you left a trail of smoke in your wake.
You wonder if your own children had screamed like these Racnoss do. Begged for their parent to come, come down and save them. You feel the bile rise in your throat as you imagine them.
What have you done?
What are you doing?
The cries die but the water continues to rush in, filling the tiny room. You watch the water come up through the cracks in the stairs then circle around your feet.
It's not done yet. It's never done yet. A child Racnoss leaps from the water and he'll drown in a moment but as long as you're still here----
You toss another explosive and the sickening crunch of flesh and shell is louder than the explosion itself. A child that had never seen the daylight and you just slaughtered it. Oh, you're quite the hero. Always have been. And yet you can't stop.
The rushing water threatens to knock you from your perch so you hook a leg around the edge of the railing. Another explosion. More water. Faster. Fill the room faster. You're not even certain who you're trying to kill at this point. There's no one left. Nothing left. Not even fire. Nothing but you.
Clearly, you've changed a great deal since the Time War. Genocide is your favorite form of justice.
The icy sewage-like water slaps against your face and runs up your nose and you choke and cough but you can't stop. You can't stop just yet. Not now. No, you've almost won. Almost won again. You win and that is all that's important right now.
Not the people who died.
Just you and your final complete destruction of this species.
The water overtakes your head and you stand there, still flipping the controls. Still winning. Blowing another hole in another side of the wall. It should be enough. It should be enough but it isn't.
Your body needs oxygen. You involuntarily try to take a breath and water fills your lungs.
You've won, but you're going to die. You're going to drown right here under the surface of the Thames, swallowing filthy English water. You unhook your leg and start to swim. You can get to the stairs, you think. Get up, get out. Climb the ladder and get away. You hold the controller in your right hand and pull out the sonic with your left. You can open the doors….
But it's really too late, now. Too long standing and destroying, this incarnation is drowning. You're drowning. You cough and writhe and choke and you're going to die. The dark water grows darker and you feel your cells start to twist and reform.
Regenerating is like breathing, you think. No human can die by holding their breath simply because the need to survive is too great. You just breathe.
But not you. You're not human, you've never been anything but human-shaped. And right now, right here, all you can ask yourself is why?
You have nothing waiting for you. The TARDIS, who aches and cries out for you in your mind. A great big blue police box and that's it. Not even Rose. The universe had to rip her away from you, the only person you've cared about since the War. She'll never know you've died. No one would mourn you and somehow that feels fitting.
So you let go. The control slips from your hand, the colored lights dropping into the murky darkness, eventually being overtaken by it. The sonic screwdriver stays in your grip---the last of the TARDIS trying to hold onto you.
The darkness overwhelms.
Everything in your mind, the rambling, the noises, the aching loneliness; it all starts to quiet. All that life you lived, it considers passing in your vision but you haven't really got enough time to revisit it all. But that’s always the way with you: Never enough time.
Everything is so quiet. It's so quiet.
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them. She was the universe.
-Lord Byron, "The Darkness"
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,079
Written for the lovely ambitious_woman.