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

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for oncoming_storms: 1: The Most Dangerous...

The Last Great Time War: The Front Lines


Mistah Kurtz – he dead.
A penny for the old guy.


He's running. Run, run, run running. Shoes were lost somewhere behind him---what a pity, he loved those shoes. Grace gave him those shoes. Still running, still trying to get away. He climbs a tree, pulls into that half-monkey heritage that he doesn't like to talk about. His uniform is torn in about eight places, and he's bleeding. But he's alive.

(Only just.)

His gun is out of ammo. He feels equally pleased that the gun is empty and disgusted that it was he who emptied it into enemies. Targets. What had his lieutenant said? Game. They were just out hunting game. Deer and cattle and gumblejack fish. Easier to pick off that way.

But now he's the game (the most dangerous game? hardly!), and he's hiding and waiting for the hunters to be tired, to seek easier kills.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
.


Eyes blink open, crusted with tears and sleep and just a bit of blood from the cuts on his head and face. (To think that this was the pretty boy regeneration---not anymore.)

He's not sure how long he's been up there. A day? Two? His regiment is probably long since dead, regenerated, and moved on. He's alone, and his enemy is down there, waiting. Chasing. The blood is dried and that's good, otherwise they could smell it.

Smelling, waiting, savages with tin boxes making them look like they're stronger than they are. And pigs and insects and Teraleptils following. They follow the stronger, and the Daleks are stronger and the Timelords are weak and right now one of them is very weak in a tree and alone and he needs to get down and run because he's good at running.

He gently, delicately, lowers himself from the tree into the thick, wet swamp below.

(It's just a game. It's just like chasey.)

He can run. He has to run, he knows how to run. It's easy. It's part of him, part of his genetic makeup, practically.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.


"Theta Sigma---"

The voice is ragged, but he can hear him. Behind him, begging him to stop running. A schoolmate, from before all this. He'll be damned if he can remember the man's name. The man is fading. Final regeneration, he's going. A Timelord can feel it when another goes, and the Doctor can feel the pain, feel the loss, feel the fear.

It's not safe to stop, but he does. Leans down. Holds his hand.

"This is my first trip out, Theta," the man says, "I-I-I've never been off Gallifrey before. Couldn't pass my TARDIS exams, not that that stopped you or anything. But, oh, I wanted to. I wanted to see the stars, run around the universe like in the nursery games."

"It's not a game, uh..." he stammers. This is when he would end the sentence with the man's name, but it's not there, just empty space.

"Runcible," the man prompts, and the Doctor nods, slowly. Poor man. Dying on a foreign planet with someone who couldn't even remember his name.

"Runcible. I-I'm so sorry." There's nothing he can do. Nothing. He can't even give him a trip in a rusty old TARDIS.

But he can...

He takes a breath, and places his hand over Runcible's eyes. Breathes out. Lets a thought travel down his arm and to his fingertips, into the dying man's eyes. Twin moons, shimmering lakes, the feeling of negative ion bombardment soaking into skin.

"It's a place I saw once," he says.

Runcible sighs, "It's beautiful." And his breath goes out, and his hearts stop.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


He doesn't believe in Death, Pain and Time anymore. Three sisters with the power to give and take away and loved every Timetot ever born? No, no, they can't exist, because if they did he wouldn't be here, waist-deep in alien mud, terrified that every noise is a Dalek or something worse out to kill him.

He's afraid, and he's not even sure where he's going anymore because anywhere would be good but nowhere's good as well as long as he can make it off this bloody planet alive.

(Run, run as fast as you can---)

If they existed, the Timelord Triplets, then they must've been hateful, spiteful, or simply uncaring. They must've ignored every prayer that went up to them from every dead or dying Timelord on the frontlines. From him, from Runcible, from Susan and Romana and everyone.

Friends, family...they're all out there somewhere. Fighting.

Maybe this is a game to the Triplets. They unleashed the Doctor, a hero, and the Daleks, an old enemy. A game, within a game.

There's the sound of a siren not far off. The planet is lost, the whole section of the galaxy is lost, and he knows it, knows what he has to do.

He gets the inclination to pray, but suppresses it.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long


He's there, he's there, at the field of TARDISes, all trees and plantlife, save one lone blue police box, standing defiantly throughout the storm. The other TARDISes' leaves curl and brown, their owners dead or dying or worse.

(It's too late, now)

Ship and owner move and leave and move and run away because they know what they have to do and it's not a game---

This is the way the world ends

He's on another planet, in another body, but he remembers the front lines, remembers the galaxy that had nothing left---

This is the way the world ends

And the button is pressed and there's a sudden, deafening silence that overtakes him as they all perish and there's nothing nothing nothing—

This is the way the world ends

He doesn't have a chance to think how much he'll miss it. The burnt orange sky, the silver leaves, the red grass that would poke up into his ribs as he stared at the stars. The way the breeze would blow through the branches like a song. And its gone just like that and he realizes that he has so many memories of other places, but so few of home and now there's---

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: (not including lines from T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men") 984
Tags: community: oncoming storms, setting: the time war
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