A Servant to Time and Consequence (rude_not_ginger) wrote,
A Servant to Time and Consequence
rude_not_ginger

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for theatrical_muse: The moral of the story is...

The moral of the story is that in the end, the Evil survives.

You've always wanted to believe that the Good balances out, that in the end, Dark cannot exist without the Light, so therefore the Light will always survive---but in the end, that means the Dark does, too.

You had it trapped, too, didn't you? You were so very clever. You remembered the dark-streaked lightning skies, the evervasting desert, the bone-chilling cold that cut through your coat and sneakers and bit into your skin, the icy wind that blew up the sand like a storm and cut out all noise but the roar. Evil lived there, didn't it? Oh, you remembered, and for the life of you, you couldn't remember why you were there, how you could end up in such a terrible place. All that internal praying to the Menti Celesti didn't do you any good, did it, Doctor? No, because, in the end you still didn't know where Rose had ended up, you couldn't feel your TARDIS, and you were still trapped knee-deep in icy sand. The Shadow Dimension.

reality is so fluid a concept---

There was some voice wasn't there? You could hear it over your shoulder, feel it whisper through your synapses, that ever-so mocking, ever-so knowing voice. That Evil. Slide a cane through the door and someone would knock it out, let the Devil free. He was free in this dimension, wasn't he? He trapped you there, well, that's what you thought, at any rate. Trapped your companion (your only friend) and you here, and it was simply toying with you, biding its time. It didn't know what you knew, didn't know how that story ended.

off to Rassilon's tower we'll go---

No time to wait, was there, Doctor? No, you dropped to your knees and pulled bones from the desert sand. The wind whipped your coat around you, tossed debris in your eyes, and separated you from your screwdriver, that stupid little slip of metal you'd come to rely on so strongly. A pocketknife was pulled from the depths of your pocket, the tiny blade worked when nothing else would.

Your fear sat thickly on your tongue, and your fingertips shook as you whittled at the bones (though not only from the bitter cold). An escape, you were looking for an escape. A way out, a riddle, what was the riddle? You couldn't remember the riddle. You had to remember. How many regenerations in the past were you told of this moment? Two? Three? Could you even remember anymore? You were listening to it then, already heard it, long since forgotten it, hadn’t even met the man who told you it. Funny thing, time.

this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends

if only you could remember how and why that matters---


Chess pieces, carved from the bones. Three pawns, two kings. So small a chess set, but that was all you needed. What was right? How did it go? You should've left yourself a diagram, Doctor. But, then again, he would've found it, then, wouldn't he? The sand whipped around your head, howled in your ears. His voice was still there. The Howling.

"You've a puzzle for me, Timelord?"

Of course you did, but your voice, however fierce you attempted to make it, was drowned by the wind. Yes. You trapped me here, think you can best me through wit? The laughter was clear over your shoulder, and you spun around, to nothing, of course. Oh, my dear Doctor, how foolish of you to think that he would've allowed you access to him at any point before he was ready.

"Come, then, if you think you can. Show me your puzzle."

a simple game. a game of chess.

He appeared before you then, did he not? A mass of smoke and darkness, untouched by wind, sand, and time. A part of the shadow dimension? you wondered. Oh, but there was no real way to know. He was Evil, though. That dark, frightening kind that your mother used to warn you about along with your prayers to Death. That thing that would get you at night.

Did you shiver, Doctor? The wind's sudden silence and the vastness of the plane, that terrified you, didn't it? I would've loved to have seen that. Karashkavaar, the Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Darkness, afraid.

"Where is Rose?" Your voice was firm, but he could feel that fear, he fed off it. You were so very afraid. Kudos, though, to your attempts to not show it.

"Show me the puzzle." The Evil did not care what you wanted, who you needed, what world you had waiting out there for you. It was the puzzle, the game, the need, the motion. You understand that, don't you, my dear Doctor? You couldn't deny him that want, oh, no.

Loved one forgotten (what a ridiculous concept, love), you demanded a chess board, which appeared on the still sand. The chess pieces were so crude---you could've done a better job, honestly---but they functioned. The puzzle, oh, the puzzle. You could best him, you knew you could.

Did they fit in place, would they be correct? Oh, it must've been agony, knowing you had no second chances when your life had always been second chances. You didn't make a mistake, your piece placement was correct. Bravo.

off to Rassilon's tower we'll go---

"One move." Your words rang out in the silence of the plane, the Evil before you and the sand, your only audience. You never needed an audience, though, did you, Doctor? You always knew how to set a stage.

"One move, and black will win." One hand waved over the board. The puzzle was set, and the Evil glanced down at it. Focused on the game, on its knowledge. Oh, it knew so much. So much logic. The answer was quick, secure.

"It is not possible."

"Oh, but it is." The black of it, the wispy smoke had a stare like daggers, it penetrated, cut, cauterized and healed your soul all in one look. Evil has a way of doing that, don't you think, Doctor? You weren't lying, of course. There was a solution, so ridiculously simple, but Evil would've never figured it out. That was how you knew you would win.

the pawns are fighting together now

Its body curled around the chess board, the wind began to howl again. It had focused on the puzzle, had to know. Pawn moved, removed, moved again. The icy cold cut at you, cut at your skin, whipped your hair, but did not move the chess board. That was all the Evil cared about, the puzzle, knowing the puzzle. One space, one diagonal, there was no way to win, in its mind. But there was a way, you had said it, you knew it.

"Doctor!" That familiar girl cried out for you. No longer hidden, trapped. The Evil had forgotten all about her, in favor of the puzzle, oh, the puzzle. She threw her arms around you, and motioned to that damnable blue box of yours. Both uncloaked, both revealed to you to leave, depart, run away.

"What is the solution?" the Evil's voice was dark, aching, longing for an answer. You know that longing, don't you, Doctor? Why didn't you reply to it? Tell it before you left, before you condemned it to ten thousand years in the Shadow Dimension with that chess board? Oh, I know you'll tell me it was because you knew he would fail, you learned in your Seventh regeneration that you trapped him there, that he didn't know.

I know better, don't I? You wanted to best the Evil. Never give in, never fail. Show it that you, being your ever-so-good self, would win. Would know more, see more, beat the puzzle, win the prize.

Why was it, then, that the Evil returned? Stole your companion's love from you, killed, maimed, ruined homes and lives? Did you think that it wasn't your fault for caging it for so long?

I was wrong, my dear Doctor. The moral of the story is, it's all your fault, in the end.

Think about that.

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,397
Tags: community: theatrical muse, featuring: fenric
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