Part 00 - Prologue Chapter 02 - Loss
A/N: WARNING THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS ATTEMPTED SUICIDE!
This is my way of dealing with the death of a cousin of mine who committed suicide in early 2008 and brought up a lot of old memories, originally I hadn't planned on doing this chapter, but real life had other ideas thus it appearance so long after I had closed the Part 00 on Teaspoon. As grim is this topic is I hope that I at least have left it on a positive enough note that it isn't a total downer. If there is anything I have learned from my experiences is that no matter how dark the situation walking away is better. If you hate your life enough to die, walk away and build another one instead. If you look there will always be someone to help you do so. It is a better solution then throwing it all away. You do that and all that is evil in the universe gets the win, better to live and thumb your nose at the devil.
This is my way of dealing with his death. If you have a squeamish stomach or just can't handle this level of angst I recommend you continue on to the next part in this series, which was originally the next chapter. If you want to have some insight to what goes through the mind of those left behind, read on. The feelings and emotions expressed by the Doctor are somewhat based on my own remembered emotions from when I attempted suicide over 20 years ago. To put it bluntly, if you don't like this chapter I don't want to hear it, you have been warned.
She didn't know what to do. She had watched, helpless, as he had spiraled ever further away from her. She had tried to comfort him but he wouldn't accept her comfort, he was too absorbed in his own pain.
He had lost everything that mattered in those few moments when their planet was destroyed and the grief and guilt were taking their toll on his mind. He couldn't accept that they had died and he had not. It was his actions that had killed them. True, he had been told that it was the only way, but the reality of the situation was devastating. He had felt their minds shatter within his as the planet exploded. Ten thousand minds suddenly screaming and then snuffed out in an instant. The psychic shock had nearly killed him and left him stunned senseless on the floor of the TARDIS for days. When he finally awoke it was screaming. His body had survived the disaster but his mind was shattered by the destruction he had brought.
The TARDIS, Verity, had tried to comfort him but no matter what she said or did it reminded him of how much he had lost. The loss was too great to bear and all he wanted to do was escape the pain he was incapable of dealing with.
He couldn't close his eyes without seeing the disaster, the mess he had made of those he had loved and yet failed to protect. One by one he had watched those he loved die at Arcadia. The first had been Leela, so strong and wise in the ways of battle, but even the strongest fall in the face of laser weapons shot from behind. Andred was next as he stood in shock as his wife's body collapsed into his arms. They were the lucky ones, only separated by death for a few moments. The days had crawled by in a haze of pain suffering and death. Those that died of Dalek fire were at least spared the agonizing death afforded those that were captured by the Dalek's allies. Allies who took great delight in taking bets on how many lives a Time Lord or Lady had left as they slowly tortured them to death, time and again, until they ran out of regenerations and settled the wager. Many were the races that had sided with the Daleks over some slight that they felt the Time Lords had dealt their people; real or imagined didn't matter when they had captives on whom to take out their anger. For a time he had been at the not so tender mercy of a roving band of mercenaries and had watched as Ace and his academy friend Dax had been slowly tortured to death. Up to her dying breath Ace had tried to have confidence that he could somehow get them out of this as he had so many other situations. He had screamed till he had no voice left, struggled till he stripped most of the flesh from his wrists, only to be beaten into unconsciousness when he was finally able to give one of his captors a painful injury. Later he found out that this was the only thing that had saved him; they had thought they had killed him and before they could check a Dalek patrol had killed the lot of them, foe and ally alike.
He had awoken later in the arms of a stranger. His body had healed enough that he was able to resume the fight, and fight he did. Finally he had made it back to the TARDIS but by then all of those he had came to save were dead. Roving patrols killed Susan as she searched for him. Fitz had gone missing, only for the Doctor to find his body days later, his lower body crushed by a collapsed wall. Both of his children had been killed in the TARDIS battles over his head. When he finally staggered into Verity's interior he had been met with a desperate message from Romana that he was needed at the capital. Answering her call, she gave him the task in which she claimed that no other would be able to succeed. If all was lost he was to destroy Gallifrey and all life in and around the planet. The Dalek armies that would descend to the planet would be consumed in same pyre as the Time Lords with whom they had chosen to do battle. He was to be the executioner, he was to be the ultimate destroyer of both their races; genocide was the task they had given him, not just of their enemies but of all those that remained of his own people as well. Rassilion help him, he had done it, praying all the while to gods he didn't believe in that the firestorm would engulf him and save him from the consequences of his actions.
Fate was not that kind. He had survived; he had watched as the explosion took the planet and imploded it into the eye of harmony he had fully opened. The safeties built into its structure had ensured that he couldn't be close enough to be caught in the blast. Rassilion, damn him, had wanted to make sure that someone survived of their people as it was only a Time Lord that could do what he did. Why him? He asked for the zillionth time. Why did they think he was the kind of monster that would be able to destroy their entire race and live with the consequences? They had brought the Master back; he had seen him in the battle. He was the one who they should have tasked with this. He would have enjoyed watching them all burn. He would have laughed at their fate, but no, they chose him. It would be the final time they would use him as their scapegoat! They couldn't force him to live with this! They were dead; they had ensured that. They had ensured he would have to make that choice, them or the rest of the universe. He had never wanted this; he had never asked to be the destroyer of worlds. It was the role fate had given him and now for once they wouldn't get their way. They wouldn't have him to use and abuse any longer. He could, he would, find a way to escape this fate they doomed him too.
Moving with mindless purpose he enters the med bay. He searches frantically about the cupboards. He knows without question that there has to be something that he can take, something that he can use to ensure that he can't regenerate.
'Theta please, please don't do this!!' I scream, I yell, yet I cannot get him to stop. 'Please Theta, please don't leave me alone! I can't do this without you. Please don't leave me here by myself. Please don't do this! Please...' Oh what I would do for a biped body right now! I can't stop him! I can't protect him this way! Too late I realize why he has come to the medical bay and try to force him to leave. I try to push him out with pressurized air. He holds on and still searches. I try everything in my power that I can think of yet I can't stop him. He will not be dissuaded or deterred. When I try to talk to him he throws beakers, jars, anything he can put his hands on at my walls until he realizes that he has exhausted all the liquids that can be thrown. He also realizes too late that some of the liquids that he had so violently thrown could have bought him the very destruction he was seeking. He yells at me, curses me for saving us from the destruction of our home. He screams and rants. His words are not logical and far from rational, as his mind completely snaps under the pressure of the guilt, the anger, the anguish, and the repetitive soundtrack of the screams of our people dying in his mind. He doesn't rationally think through anything that he does and I don't know which is worse, the cold detached rationalizing that he has displayed for the last day or the raving that his is exhibiting now. There is no reasoning with him as he screams mindlessly, throwing himself against things. He beats his hands against my walls and wails his anguish at the top of his lungs. I feel him warping the time and space around him. Randomly and indiscriminately things are speeding up and slowing down, seemingly of their own accord. A table explodes into fragments caused by the sheering force of part of it slowing down while another speeds up. A chair he throws hangs almost motionless in the air caught in a ripple of slowed down time. A microscope he hurls becomes a projectile moving hundreds of kilometers per minute as he accelerates the speed of its movement and I scream in pain as it imbeds itself in my wall, unable to counter the time distortion effect in time. I become desperate to stop him, as my scream of pain seems to fuel his madness even more. The storm of power within him that he has always wielded so wisely and compassionately has become a raging tempest, uncontrolled and unleashed within my walls. I cannot stem my horrified panic as I watch him latch on to a fallen scalpel and begin to stab randomly at himself, seeming to be fascinated with the blood that begins to flow from the wounds he has inflicted, apparently unaware of the pain that must accompany each. Unfettered madness rages in his eyes and there is no hint of the rational man that has always been lurking in their depths. In desperation I lock the doors and flood the room with a sedative. Praying that there is someone out there listening who can help me save him even if, as I fear, he has done himself far too much damage for this body to survive. I watch as he slowly crumples to the floor, as the gas takes effect and I am unable to aid him, unable to do anything for him but slowly watch him bleed to death from self-inflicted wounds. I rage at my powerlessness and if I had eyes I would cry till I had no more tears. I want, need him so much yet I am unable to save him. I wasn't able to convince him that life was worth living anymore; too much hurt, too much trauma, too much cruelty from those who should have loved him.
Those that were his leaders, his elders, and his family turned on him time and again, leaving him unable to fight them any longer. So we had for a time run away, we had Omega's box that found us and gave us both a chance of escape from that place that had been our home, and that had forsaken us. We had traveled, grown stronger and had good times. In the end though, they still destroyed him. So gentle, kind and compassionate in this eighth body, yet he was left more vulnerable by his flashes of future vision. Very, very few are meant to carry both yesterday and tomorrow as well as today. We TARDIS' were made for this, made to be able to handle all the knowledge for the multitude of paths and still remain sane. Time Lords are able to handle far more of the web of time than any of the other races but even they have limits far short of ours... of mine. It's so hard to believe that I am the last. We are the last of our world and I can't lose him too. I can't handle eternity on my own. I never was meant to have to, he's all I have left and all he wants to do is die. I would do anything to protect him, but I can't even protect him from himself. If I can't find a way to convince him then we are both lost; I can't go on with out him.
I watch helplessly as slowly the light in his eyes flickers out. Thankfully unconsciousness takes him before he bleeds to death, thus leaving him unable to fight the regeneration that soon consumes his eighth body. I am the only witness to the last of Time Lords' most recent death. There is no one left. No one to know or care besides me, and I have to wonder why I still feel such a drive to survive.
I have lost as much as he in the destruction of our home yet there is still a streak of self-preservation that for now has to be strong enough for two. I watch numbly as his features distort and reform; so different from any of this previous forms, so much harder than his last. The long soft locks of brown curls have burned away, replaced by short stubbly hair; his ears appear too large for his face because of its shortness, and a Romanesque nose. Strong, callused hands he has now, the hands of the warrior that he was forced to become. Never has he liked violence and yet he has been forced to commit one of the most violent acts of all for not one but three races, genocide. I watch and wonder if there was anything I could have done, anything I could have said that would have stopped him. Yet I have done nothing, trapped by my own inability to reach out.
How could he try to leave me behind? I would be trapped here to go slowly insane. Did he hate me that much that he had to leave me to face extinction by insanity, by loneliness? It's not like I can pilot myself, I am even more worthless than usual right now with all the damage I have taken in the war. I am useless to both him and myself. Maybe he had the right idea, to just end it all. He obviously doesn't think I am worth sticking around for, that I'm worth living for, what gives me such airs that I think I deserve to live still. I have failed him, failed myself, and failed the other Time Lords too. How can I want to go on in the face of everything that has happened? Maybe I should just let him wake up and pilot us into the heart of a star.
It is so cold out in space all by yourself, no one to hear you cry, no one to care. I just wanted him to be happy, that's all I ever wanted for him. Yet never does it seem that happiness can last for us. It all seems so pointless, a futile effort against the perpetual pull of entropy. What joy we find is so quickly snuffed out, yet unlike him I can still look forward, I can see threads of happiness that could be woven into the fabric of our lives. It is the relationships we build that sustain us, that give us meaning and purpose, but what do you do when they're all gone? For long moments I can find no answer and just as I begin to despair I realize the obvious. If the ones we had are gone then we need to build new friendships. They will never replace those we have lost, or make their loss less painful. But if we are to survive we need to find new friends, new people to help us see what it is that makes this universe unique and worth the time to go see. For without that hope we are truly cut adrift and I cannot, I will not let that happen
I just need to find a way to help him realize this, that there will always be those lost, but there are always those new relationships to be found too. I have no delusions that this is going to be easy for either of us, shorn of all that anchored our sense of self, reduced from millions to just us two, but I refuse to give in to chaos, the true father of entropy, loss and despair. I am not ready to lose him yet, and as long as there is life there is still hope that tomorrow will be better. Death can wait for another day! Because today Theta is mine and I don't intend to surrender him without a fight. I may have lost the battle for this body but I will not lose the war. I will find someone to help me, to help him understand his value to us, to the universe. I know he is weary and needs rest, but he can't do it here, he needs to be someplace where he can be cared for properly. If I can but get him back to Earth I know that there will be someone there who will help; but how? I am so useless right now I can't do anything without repair, but I have to find a way I just have to. I need him, and he needs help, I will not give in! I will never ever give up!
To Be Continued in Part 01 - What Came Before?