Doctor Who: Book of the Gods
Chapter 3: Worlds Apart?
The Doctor had stood silent at this proposal for almost an hour, the mere thought of it seemed to split his moral compass into two halves. The one half completely abhorring the idea, seeing as so many lives had been lost to the Time War already, he wouldn't let any more people suffer, not even if it were for the greater good. Yet, the other half, was considering the positives, so many people, friends, the closest friends that he'd watched die and burn, and for what? For the Daleks to find a way to come back, like they always do?
"No", he finally managed to say, "no, I won't be a part of this, I refuse". The Doctors voice almost showing trepidation. "And besides" he continued "even if I did want to stop it, it's a fixed point in history, it's locked, there's nothing I can do about that".
All this time, Ryuk had paid no attention to The Doctor, he was simply floating about the place, admiring the interior design of the TARDIS, but at this refusal, he turned to The Doctor; "fixed point?" Ryuk laughed, "Doctor, you know as well as I, there's no such thing. If there were, how would those tin-can-slug things keep coming back to pester you?". Ryuk suddenly held his finger up in such a manner you'd expect a bulb to illuminate above his head. "Davros!" He shouted with glee, "now there's a start".
It seemed that everything The Doctor had to say was being ignored, "Ryuk, nothing of the sort is going to happen" he insisted. "If one general falls, it is always a fact that another one, more wicked and ruthless than the last, shall take his place, and so on and so on. So any consideration of this would likely alleviate any situation I would try to prevent".
The Doctor had turned away from Ryuk to tap a course into the console of his TARDIS. Ryuk, upside down, popped down to him from above. "Where are we going first?" Ryuk asked, excited.
"Home" answered The Doctor, sternly.
"Gallifrey? Good choice, always good to have a home field advan-"
"No", The Doctor cut Ryuk off mid-word, "If you really are a Shinigami, and if my memory is as good as I brag it is… then your realm is directly above Earth"
Ryuk's entire expression changed, he seemed worried and angered at the same time, "Doctor, I wouldn't do that, the Shinigami would not welcome… either of us".
The Doctor smiled at Ryuk, "we'll see" he smirked, "we'll just see".
And with that, The Doctor pulled on the handle of the TARDIS console as hard as he could, the time machine began to spin out of control, Ryuk lost his balance in mid flight and was sent hurtling into a wall, "Doctor!" he shrieked, "you really don't want to do this!". The Doctor clutched on to the console, laughing all the way down, until everything stopped so suddenly that the doctor was slung back from the console, and thrown against the locked doors of the TARDIS.
Hours had passed, and the doctor was coming around. His vision faded back into view, and the first thing he saw was Ryuk's lipless, merciless smile above him. He jumped back, Ryuk shouted out, startled. "What the devil were you doing so close to my face?".
Ryuk chuckled, "there's a joke in there, but this is much too PG for me to find it" (right kids?). "I guess we'd better get this over with", Ryuk sighed as he put his hand on the TARDIS door.
The Doctor opened the door, the sight he opened it to was astonishing. Something that had once been beautiful, but was now decimated beyond any redemption. He stepped out into this wasteland, the heat was almost unbearable, the sandstorm that raged around him cut at his face and hands. He turned his back and ran back into the TARDIS. He looked at the backs of his hands, they were grazed from the storm, he felt his cheek, and noticed blood on his fingers when he removed his hand from his face. 'This is no sand' he thought. He took a sideward glance back at Ryuk, who was still at the door, unscathed by it all, or if he was scathed, he seemed to heal too quickly for the eye to see, either way, the look on his face was a sombre one, when you look past the smile and to the eyes, you could almost see sadness. "Are you alright?" asked The Doctor, more out of politeness than concern.
The response that followed was not one that The Doctor had expected. "I do not feel sad Doctor" he began, "I mourn". The irony of a Shinigami mourning seemed to confuse The Doctor.
"You kill to survive, what would you know about mourning!?" The Doctor was suddenly outraged.
"It's not that Doctor, I don't mourn for people, I never have. But I can mourn for a place, a home, a world.
The Doctor's expression changed, this was something he could empathize with. He walked through a door leading out of the console room, and re-emerged moments later, clad in heavy leathers, the type of thing you'd expect a desert walker to wear, his coat was down to his knees, a heavy scarf around his face and head, and a pair of goggles to shield his eyes. As he pulled on his last glove, he mumbled something muffled by the scarf, and set back out into the desert.
They seemed to walk in silence for far too long, The Doctor had initially intended to send Ryuk out into the storm and throw the notebook out with him, but a curiosity had overcame him, he was still thinking about what Ryuk had said. Why would a god of death mourn? Maybe he'd spent too much time away from his realm, and learnt a new emotion?
The further they walked the more The Doctor was noticing how the specs of whatever the material was in this storm were getting larger. He looked down onto the floor, and noticed that they were no longer specs, but they were becoming almost an inch in diameter, and the further he looked onto the horizon, the bigger they were becoming. The Doctor quickened his pace, intrigued to see what they would become. Ryuk was trying to say something to him, but The Doctor could only make out that the tone of his voice was desperate, he couldn't make out the words, so he didn't break his stride.
Until they reached the end of the cliff that was the horizon he'd thought it was…
The sight that befell The Doctor now was a horrifying one, he stood in awe and stared. In front of him, a citadel, surrounded by broken glass, it looked like a snow-globe that had been shattered on the floor and then stood back up in the midst of its pieces. Above it, a thousand or more winged creatures flew about the ruins, like a flock of vultures searching for prey.
He'd seen this sight before, a million times in his dreams, his nightmares. But never like this, never with these carrions flocking and scouring.
They were Shinigami…
…and their home was Gallifrey.