Animorphs: The Dr. Who Chronicles

Author's Summary: An alternate look into the origins of the Ellimist. Rather than a Ketran named Toomin, what if the Ellimist started out as a Time Lord called the Doctor?

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or the Animorphs. Those are owned by BBC and K.A. Applegate. This story takes place in AU of The Pandorica Opens. It takes place after the TARDIS explodes.

In the dark, empty void, the girl faced down the Ellimist. Her name was Rachael and before she died, she'd been one of the Animorphs.

For what seemed like a long time now, the Ellimist had manipulated their lives in his quest to win the game that he played with the evil being known as Crayak. Rachael and her friends had merely been the pawns in this game.

The Ellimist had no fixed form, but there were eleven different forms that he seemed to repeat; all of them human and all of them flamboyantly dressed.

"Tell me something," she demanded. "What are you?"

The Ellimist's form changed, becoming an old man with white hair. "That is a very good question."

The girl's anger grew. "No really, who do you think you are? You treat me and my friends like game pieces, you ride in and out of our lives whenever it suits you and you don't even have the damn decency to give a straight answer!"

The Ellimist sighed and once more his form shifted, becoming a blond stout man in a white suit; a celery stalk was pinned to his shirt like a flower. "Who I am is a complex question that requires a complex answer."

The girl's outrage would not subside. "No, tell me; what are you? Sometimes it's 'I' and sometimes it's 'we.' For once, just be honest with me."

Ellimist's form shifted once more, becoming a rough looking man in a leather jacket and a North England accent. "My name is the Ellimist; always has been. What you see now, the God, the great gamer; I wasn't always like that. Once I was a mortal, harder to kill than a human but still able to die."

The girl listened intently. She didn't fully trust the Ellimist, but seeing as how she had just died there wasn't much else for her to do but listen.

"When I left my home world to travel, I could have looked like anything I wanted to: a Hork Bajir, a Panjabran, anything. I just thought that the humans looked funny."

Rachael grew impatient. "Get to the point," she snapped.

"I came from a world called Gallifrey, from a species known as The Time Lords."

The God like being's form shifted one last time, becoming a short, dark haired man with a fur coat. "For the majority of my mortal life, I had control of time and space and I hated my name. So for nearly all of my life, I wasn't known as the Ellimist, I was simply known as the Doctor."

The Doctor was a fool. He was the smartest man in the universe and still he hadn't seen this coming. The pandorica was a mythical box, said to house the most feared creature in the universe. Inside it was some kind of warrior or imp depending on who you asked.

When the pandorica opened, the Doctor found that it was empty. That was because the most feared creature in the universe hadn't locked up yet.

In this case, the Doctor had been undone by his own humility, rather than his hubris. He was the most feared creature in the universe and now he was about to be locked away in the pandorica, the most secure prison in three universes.

The pandorica was inescapable. Every security method imaginable had been built into this large, black cube; from time locks to nullentrophy restraints. Even death could not release a prisoner from the box for it rejuvenated its prisoner and kept them conscious for every agonizing moment.

The Doctor was not a physically impressive man. His hair was goofy, his chin was big and his build was thin. He was dressed in a brown jacket, suspenders and bow tie to finish off the look.

However, the Doctor deserved the title of most feared being in the Universe. He'd brought down empires and armies like they were nothing. He'd brokered peace and broken the backs of tyrants, murderers and conquerors; leaving them ruined and humiliated. His magnificent brain could feel the infinite strings of time and generated more power than an electric eel.

He had some of the most resilient cell biology in the universe. He'd actually survived a glancing shot from a Dalek death ray and was immune to more viruses, poisons and diseases than could be listed in every primitive library and computer on earth.

Now, when the universe needed him most, he was being put into the ultimate trap, not by one enemy but by all of them. Every single enemy that he'd beaten, every single foe gathered from over nine hundred years of existence was here today to lock him away.

As he was dragged to the now open pandorica by a pair of plastic, imitation Romans, he shouted for them to see reason. "You don't understand! The TARDIS is exploding and I'm the only one who can stop it!"

The Doctor begged and pleaded but his enemies would not hear of it. They believed that he was the cause for the cracks in time that were slowly eating at the universe, killing history itself.

That crack in the universe was caused by an explosion so massive that time itself had become damaged and those cracks were getting steadily wider. The only thing powerful enough to do that was an exploding TARDIS, or Time and Relative Dimensions in Space; the Doctor's time machine.

Amidst the screaming and pleading, the Doctor's mind was still working. Unlike a human, his higher brain function worked just perfectly when he panicked, although a panicked state was not fun to be in.

As he shouted and begged, his brain was hard at work. The Doctor was a fool, all this time, since he'd regenerated into his eleventh incarnation; he'd followed instead of lead.

Case in point: in the room of Amelia Pond he'd found the first of the cracks, two points in time and space that should never have touched.

Years later he'd taken the adult Amy Pond to be his companion and the girl had shown a fire and grit unique to the many companions that he'd taken with him on his adventures. And everywhere he'd gone with Amy, the cracks in the wall followed him. He was seemingly the only one who didn't know the cause of these cracks.

The Doctor was strapped into a chair inside the pandorica. The doors were closing and the restraints were tight. Mentally, he counted off at least twenty thousand different restraining methods in the handcuffs alone.

Much time had been put into the designing of the pandorica and the finest minds from uncountable factions and civilizations had worked themselves to death designing it.

That was the problem though. All of the Doctor's enemies were working together on this one. Something wasn't right about that.

The Daleks were a species incapable of feeling anything except hate; their whole existence was programmed to kill all non-Daleks. Even with the universe ending, it was astounding that they were able to work alongside the various races that they hated.

The Sontarrans: a race of cloned warriors who were literally born to die. Their arrogance was legendary. Getting them to get their minds off of war and actually form an alliance of any sort was truly a herculean labour.

Naturally, all species will do crazy things when survival was at stake but still. . .

Who was it that first proposed this little villain's club? Who'd made the first step?

The Doctor shook his head. He'd been deceived, hood winked. Something was very wrong.

The reason that the Doctor was the most feared being in the universe was because he was the smartest. He not only worked to outsmart his enemies, but to outsmart himself. Each minute he ran through over ten million scenarios of death and dismemberment and attempted to figure out a way from each one. Thus far this practice had served him well to prepare him for real death threats to him and the people he loved.

What was happening here, the Doctor could guess. There was a possibility that was too terrible to contemplate for the Doctor. For ages, he'd wondered if there was anyone else as smart as him or smarter; a monster or lunatic whose plans were so intricate and delicate that the Doctor would never see it coming until it was too late.

The various strange creatures cheered as the doors of the pandorica nearly were done closing. At last they would triumph over their hated enemy.

The joke was on them though because the moment that the doors shut, a crack in time opened and engulfed them all. None of those species present would ever have existed.

The pandorica was inescapable, even for the Doctor. Thus he wasn't just going to sit in this machine and let it trap him. There were twenty thousand restraining methods in the handcuffs, forty thousand in the head clamp and thirty thousand in the leg irons. The weakness of the box was that it took time to activate all those methods of restraint.

With a little superhuman will, some luck and a hidden vortex device, the Doctor teleported away to another time. He nearly ripped off his hand reaching the primitive time travel device and he received shocks of nearly two hundred and fifty-two types of energy.

Luckily he spent an hour each day building up resistance to various energy forms. Amy thought that he used this time to masturbate, which was totally untrue. It was just wishful and girl-crush thinking on her part.

With a zap and a crack, the doctor was gone just before the pandorica closed.

"Jelly baby?" asked Ellimist. He had paused his story to offer Rachael a brightly coloured sweet. Once more he'd changed forms, becoming a curly haired man with a white smile and ungodly long scarf.

"No, thanks," came the terse reply. Rachael wanted to get a few things straight. "So, you were a time traveller that saved the earth a few hundred times."

Ellimist nodded and nibbled on a jelly baby. "Correct, and I travelled across the universe in a TARDIS resembling a blue police box of the sort found in nineteen fifties England."

"Is that the reason you have an English accent?"

He shrugged his temporary shoulders. "Not really, I love all languages but a British accent just really hit the spot back then. Are you sure you won't have a jelly baby?"

Time travel by vortex device is a nasty thing; it bombards a time traveller with nearly every known form of radiation and leaves you with a killer headache.

Luckily the doctor had modified this vortex device to leave out the headache bit. It still wasn't a healthy way to time travel, though.

When the Doctor landed, the precise time was June 6, two thousand and six. He knew this because his nose was keen enough to be able to differentiate time eras by scent alone. This time zone however, did not smell right.

There should have been the scent of exhaust, the smell of CO2 breathed out by living things. He could smell those things but they were very faint.

The Doctor surveyed his surroundings and found himself to be in London, one of the places he frequented most often. You didn't need the super senses of a Time Lord to understand that London was a dead city.

The Doctor nearly stumbled over London's dead. All of them lay on the earth, same as the day that they'd fallen. By the pallor and level of calcification of the bodies, the Doctor would say they'd died of radiation poisoning.

So where did the radiation come from?

The Doctor looked up at the sky, directly at the sun; dangerous for humans but not for the regenerative eyes of a Time Lord. That wasn't the sun up in the sky.

The man who always travelled in a blue box ran for the nearest tall building, dodging over the corpses with their agonized rictus grins. The sight of these macabre cadavers sent tremors of pain running through the Doctor's twin hearts. He'd always loved seeing things grow and thrive, seeing them dead with so little dignity was almost too much for his old heart to bear.

Running up a flight of stairs, he did his best to avoid the white, calcified, clay like face of a four year old child that died looking for his mommy and daddy.

Up on the roof of the apartment, the time traveller found what he'd been searching for. The satellite dish came off easily from its place, bolted to the wall. After all, the Doctor was nowhere near as frail as he looked.

He winced and pulled back his injured hand; four of five fingers were missing. He was forced to pull down the satellite with only one hand.

With the dish down, the Doctor went for his sonic screwdriver, the universe's most versatile tool; capable of driving screws, doing scans, unlocking doors. The only thing it didn't do was kill.

Holding the dish in his teeth, the Doctor fired the sonic screwdriver into the disc shaped piece of plastic. Doing this, he pointed the dish at the "sun" in the sky. It was not the sun. The sun, like every single star in the galaxy had never existed, courtesy of the cracks in time. That was the exploding TARDIS, burning brighter than the Earth's sun ever did.

Immediately, the receiving power of the satellite dish was amplified. The Doctor could hear a voice that made his throat tighten and caused another load of anguish to flood his system.

"Goodbye, my love." River Song: the woman in the future who would become the Doctor's wife. Now, that would never happen.

There was still a chance that he could save River; if he got to her right before the TARDIS exploded using the vortex device, he might save her.

That was a big "if." Rescuing River Song would require precise timing (easy) and waiting for the vortex device to recharge (the Doctor wasn't known for his patience.)

Modifying the frequency of the sonic screw driver, the Doctor tried to see if he could get anything else off the exploding TARDIS.

Finegneling with the frequency, the Doctor picked up something very faint. At first it seemed like only background noise. A bit of massaging the controls, the noise became clearer.

"Silence will fall." That was what the voice said. It was a cold, brutal voice that was emptiness personified.

The voice repeated itself. "Silence will fall."

Was that the voice of the Doctor's feared mastermind? Was this the voice of the one who'd taken control of the TARDIS remotely and caused it to explode?

Unfortunately for the Doctor, he was drawing only blanks. He'd conceived of an enemy superior to him, but this was more frightening than any imagined danger. This was real and the Doctor had no idea how long this mysterious enemy had been operating.

With no more that he could learn from the burning TARDIS, the Doctor took the dish clamped in his teeth and aimed it towards London town.

The city truly looked horrifying; even the worst of the Black Death couldn't compare with this. The former capital of England looked like a bleached white cancer on a blighted land.

Looking around, the Doctor couldn't see a bit of greenery. He was going to have to come to grips with the fact that possibly all life on Earth was dead.

The bacteria hadn't even touched the bodies, assuming that there were any left. The omnipresent dust in this city gave the Doctor an idea how long the human race had been dead.

The gravity of the situation nearly crushed the doctor. The humans had such potential before them. The five Great and Bountiful Human Empires, exploration of the stars, the discovery of the universe's many marvels and mysteries. None of that was going to happen now; those and a trillion other accomplishments of science and morality.

"Apparently it isn't that easy to save the human race, Doctor."

At first, the Doctor thought that heartless, deprecating voice was his own self loathing. While he took many companions, he'd spent enough time alone that he didn't resist having a bit of internal monologue.

"Am I right, Doctor?"

No question; that was not the Doctor's internal monologue. The Doctor knew who it must be. It was the same voice as the bitter voice that had trumpeted the triumph of silence.

The Doctor dropped the dish unceremoniously. With blank features and in deadpan voice, he issued forth his challenge. "I am the Doctor. If you value your continued existence, you will show yourself. Believe me; I will not hesitate to end you."

If ever a man, woman or creature was serious about committing murder; it was the Doctor at that moment. There was no more sparkle in his eye or looseness in his limbs. Everything was coiled and ready to strike. He was in a mindset to murder totally without guilt.

For some moments, the unknown voice did not reply. The Doctor waited; it was a short wait.

In the central square of London, the Doctor saw an object start to materialize.

Like Arthur C. Clarke's monolith, the black object teleported into Trafalgar Square without a sound. Unlike Clarke's monolith, this thing was crudely fashioned, with rough edges and irregular surfaces; as if it had been crudely chopped by bronze picks.

The Doctor felt his hand. Already the injured appendage was starting to regenerate. The bleeding had stopped and his fingers were starting to grow back.

Quickly, the Doctor checked what tools he had on his person. He had a sonic screw driver, some psychic paper, sunglasses that allowed him to see in any part of the electromagnetic spectrum, a cookie, an immaterial hankie that was indestructible and could be used as a gas mask and finally he had some odds and ends that could be put together to make either a new blender or a powerful bomb.

This was all that the Doctor would have to face down this enigmatic enemy with.

It was not long before he received a dry, unimpassioned taunt. Step into my lair, said the dreth to the chorkat.

Dreths and chorkats were two creatures from the Doctor's home planet. Dreths ate Chorkats. The Doctor recognized the taunt and understood that this adversary had an edge in that he knew something about the Doctor's home planet.

"I am waiting, Doctor."

The Time Lord understood what he had to do. The only thing left to do now was to walk into the lion's den.

"You can probably guess as to who was there waiting for me," said the Ellimist.

"Crayak," Rachael replied.

The Ellimist nodded. "Yes, Crayak, the cosmic psychopath." His form now was that of a wild haired young man in three piece brown suit and sneakers. "He came from another universe, where he was driven out by a power greater than him. The important thing to remember about Crayak is that you cannot sense or touch the essence of him because the essence of Crayak's entire being is emptiness."

Rachael understood this. She and her friends in their long war saving Earth had encountered the monster, Crayak.

"The first thing he did when he became like I am now was to erase himself from the timeline completely because he wanted to acknowledge no predecessors or past to his current 'greatness."

The Elimist paused and ran a hand through his most modern haircut. "It's funny; the Time Lord President Rassilon tried to make us a race of Gods at the expense of the rest of the universe. It was because of my efforts that they all died instead and now it is I who am the god."

"Nothing could have prepared me for my first meeting with Crayak."

The Doctor stood at the face of the black monolith. Its surface was rough and cracked but strangely enough it seemed completely without feature. Even the deep cracks could be mistaken for constructs of the imagination.

The Doctor scanned this unknown device with his sonic screw driver. His scans revealed little but what they did show was most interesting.

This was a time machine. That in itself was nothing special; the Doctor had seen hundreds of forms of time travel. What was really interesting was that this machine was on the level with TARDIS technology, a living, sentient dimension unto itself; parallel with the finest work of the extinct Time Lords.

In all his long years of travel, the Doctor had never seen until today any technology that could match that of his bygone people.

That alone meant that the Doctor must be on his watch.

As he finished scanning, a door opened in the side of the monolith's unfinished surface. Step into my lair . . .

The Doctor walked inside and almost immediately the opening slammed shut behind him.

The first thing he noticed was the cramped quarters. The ceiling was extremely low and he had to duck down to avoid hitting his big head. As his eyes adjusted to the low light levels, he saw that the walls and floor were the same rough, unrefined cut of black material as the outside.

The second thing he noticed was the atmosphere. It was enormously hot here; just like Earth in its primordial history before the crust fully solidified. The air here was very poor, full of sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide, virtually no oxygen to speak of. It felt like being inside a giant combustion engine.

A human would quickly die in these conditions, but being an alien, the Doctor was far more resilient. Still, this was pushing it for him and he hastily grabbed the immaterial hankie with his newly healed hand and placed it over his mouth.

As he travelled down the hallway, no, the tunnel, he encountered a greeting party.

Popping out from the walls like an anemone's tentacles, a series of ovular objects shot forward.

Like spring loaded demons, smiling plastic faces came off the walls. Grinning brightly with grimy screws for eyes, they edged forward, their "eyes" unscrewing.

As rapidly as they'd come out, the plastic faces started to retract and their screws turned to retreat into their bodies.

The Doctor was telepathic; while these strange things might be made of plastic and circuitry, they were very much alive.

He continued on the tunnel, but a few of the plastic faces still followed him and "watched" him with their queer screw eyes.

The Doctor continued in this hell like subterranean environment. This thing was just like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside than on the outside. Except that the Doctor had no idea how big the inside was.

Soon the Doctor stumbled upon a morbid scene. The ceiling here was marginally higher, enough that the Doctor could actually stand straight.

The green light on his sonic screwdriver flashed as the Doctor went into scan mode. In front of him was some kind of assembly line.

A huge bloated creature lay posed above a crudely fashioned conveyor belt, like an octopus/spider hybrid.

Spaced out on the belt were dead creatures with bloated bellies and empty faces. As they went by, the octo-spider took a sharp knife and sliced open the creatures.

It ripped from their wombs, squirming, wide eyed offspring who were then tossed into a chute.

The scene turned the Doctor's stomach; he was an avowed vegan.

The arrival of the Doctor in no way slowed down this grisly scene. The octo-spider looked to the Doctor; its face was a blank oval. With an organic sounding squelch, facial features formed on the octo-spider's head.

The knife wielding creature faced the Doctor with a ravenous grin. Lewdly, it ran a black tongue over its lips.

The Doctor was glad for the hankie, as it hid how disgusted he was.

Rachael looked at the Elimist with a reserved expression. "That doesn't sound so bad, not compared to some things I've seen."

Ellimist shook his head. He was an older man now, short and with a straw hat; the very picture of an eccentric English gentleman. "It wasn't just the physical deeds that I saw in Crayak's machine; it was the intent behind them."

The Ellimist idly held a can in his hand. "Two animals are killed. One has its throat cut for meat while the other is slowly torn apart by a psychopathic child. Trust me, Rachel; there was evil intent in Crayak's heart."

Farther and farther the tunnel took the Doctor, into the inner lair of the unknown enemy. He saw many things that shocked and horrified him. He saw a severed head inside a jar belonging to an unknown species. Surgically implanted into the creature's cranium was a rusty metal plate. Every few seconds or so, one of the infant creatures from the assembly line would fall from a portal and land on the metal plate.

When this happened, the severed head would become electrified and it would scream in torment. After a consistent period of thirty seconds, the head automatically tilted and the infant fell into another portal. In a never ending cycle, this went on and the Doctor forced himself not to vomit.

He'd have all new nightmares to take with him to sleep every night.

He must have walked for hours along that same endless corridor of rough black material.

At last, when his feet hurt and he felt almost certain that he was going to suffocate, he reached the lair of the one who commanded this machine.

The ceiling was not high, perhaps ten or twelve feet. The same black material made up everything, except now it was smooth and polished. The Doctor felt that he could go over this on the nano level and he would find no imperfections.

An endless forest of pillars held up the ceiling, like a Hindu temple of darkness.

As the Doctor navigated the pillars, he heard that thought speak voice. Over here, Doctor.

Then he found it.

The creature sat on an enormous black throne that was smooth but totally void of all detail.

Sitting in the throne was a massive alien with dark red skin. Attached to the gigantic trunk of a body were enormous, powerful limbs. In the center of the chest was a row of teeth, like a zipper; that was where its mouth was located. Blood drool dripped from the teeth as it had recently fed.

Its most prominent feature however was the eye. The creature's head was little more than a glorified eye socket that housed a massive omnidirectional eye.

Nearly as big as the Doctor's head, this blood red eye spun in every which way. It moved from view screens on the ceiling and floor to read data broadcasted directly into its mind.

Given the size of the eye, the Doctor concluded that the brain and auditory organs must be housed within the torso.

After much spinning and staring, the great eye stopped . . . and slowly focused on the Doctor.

He'd never seen anything like that unfeeling crimson orb. It was like a Dalek's electronic eye; lifeless and apathetic, but it was also different. The eye seemed to stare right through him; it felt like it could see all his secrets, hopes, dreams and fears.

The Doctor was afraid in a way that he hadn't been since he was a child.

At last the creature introduced itself. "My game name is Crayak. You are the Doctor."

From behind the hankie, the Doctor tried his best to sound cheerful and nonchalant. "Hello, I'm the Doctor. I'm the time traveller, the oncoming storm, the learned scholar, the omnipotent and all that."

Quickly the Doctor wiped his brow with his sleeve. "So, Crayak, what neck of the woods are you from."

Crayak ignored the question. The massive eye blinked, a nictitating membrane ran over its surface for a split second. "The Doctor; is that your game name?"

"I am the Doctor, that is all you need to know about me," his voice was casual and friendly, but there was a cold finality to his body language. The Doctor's curiosity was piqued. "What kind of games do you play, Crayak? Games of skill, chance; do you like games of blood, games of patience? Do you like tennis?"

Crayak's thought speech voice was dead and distant. I play all games, Doctor. But if you must know, genocide is my game of choice.

"You were the one that caused the cracks in time and space." This wasn't a question the Doctor was asking.

Crayak, with his veiled manner, did not respond.

Once more the eye blinked, the bottomless pupil scrutinized the doctor.

Then Crayak stood up from his throne while around them, the Doctor could sense movement in the shadows; more of Crayak's creatures.

From the corner of his eye, the Doctor saw a large, twelve legged creature that slowly hobbled forward. From hatches in the ceiling dropped what seemed to be eyeballs. These eyeballs landed in the creature's jagged maw, which was located on its back.

As it ate the falling eggs, a score of small cyborg creatures sucked from trailing tentacles on the beast's body.

Even from here, the Doctor could feel the creature's pain. Its legs were too thin to support its body and it was incapable of stopping for a rest. It was locked in torment.

Crayak payed the creature no notice. The red alien started to walk towards the Doctor using small, shuffling steps.

After a handful of steps, Crayak got down on all fours and silently padded towards the Doctor. Like an ape, Crayak could walk upright, just not very far. And if his homeworld was anything like this cave like environment, he wouldn't get many chances to stand upright anyway.

Crayak stood before the Doctor and reared up on his hind legs. In height and wideness, he was a mountain compared to the Doctor. But the Doctor would not show fear before this monster. "I've never seen anything like you before. Where are you from?. When did you first arrive?"

"I happened upon this reality shortly before the conclusion of the Last Great Time War, when your people sacrificed themselves to fight the Daleks. Or more accurately, you sacrificed your people to defeat the Daleks."

Crayak was obviously well informed, but what he had to say next shocked the Doctor to his core. I was so impressed by the destructive capabilities of the Daleks that I just had to recreate them.

The Doctor froze. Surely he hadn't heard what he'd heard. "You're joking," he said in a voice that was as dead to emotion as Crayak's.

That thought speech voice was still frozen and phlegmatic, but now it contained a hint of mockery. "I never joke, Doctor. You successfully destroyed the Daleks at the price of your own people. You really didn't think that the Dalek Emperor aboard satellite five really survived the Time Lock, or the Dalek Cult of Skarro?"

The Doctor was shaking, he felt like he was going to throw up, he felt so sick; and it had nothing to do with the heat and noxious fumes. He'd murdered his own people in a display of phyrric victory. The only thing that made that bearable was the fact that he took down his arch enemies with them.

What kind of beast was Crayak? How could he be so irresponsible and callous as to unleash a plague like that on the universe? It was like leaking nerve gas into a children's cancer ward for the fun of it.

Before the Doctor could talk himself down enough to speak, Crayak went ahead again. "Do you remember the cosmic entity known as Bad Wolf?"

The Doctor knew of Bad Wolf, the self creating cosmic being that had inhabited the body of his old companion, Rose Tyler.

"I thank you for removing Bad Wolf from Rose's body. The reason the creature came to be was that it was going to evict me from this universe, but that never happened; again, thanks to you."

Truly the Doctor was a fool. For years now it'd seemed that he'd followed instead of led, like a cow lead up the conveyor belt to the slaughter house.

Slowly, the Doctor dropped the hankie that hid his expression. He could stomach the fumes for a little while.

And now here we stand, Doctor, as the universe is on its death bed and all hope is lost.

More than ever before, the Doctor wished that he had a gun on him. Nothing would make him happier right now than to kill this hollow thing, head stuffed with sliced organs and the blood of the innocent.

"You will be able to save the universe, Doctor, but will you be able to stop me?"

The Doctor focused his hatred on Crayak like the heat of a trillion suns. "You had better start running now, because I'm coming for you and there will be nowhere for you to hide."

Crayak laughed. It was a horrible sound, like pieces of broken glass made into sound. It was not an expression of mirth or happiness, just simple pleasure at another's suffering. "That is good, Doctor. Davros would have done well to fear you after I resurrected him."

"So, Doctor, let the games begin. The rules are simple, stop me from killing as many people as I can before I tire of your presence and terminate you. And in case you are wondering, there is nothing left alive on Earth. The human race is truly and well extinct."

"You have twenty minutes until the end of time. I know how to survive such a catacylysm, but you do not. Your choices are two: stay here and finish this and let the universe die with a whimper, or you can save the universe and you will never see me again, only the destruction I leave in my wake."

Crayak began to laugh again in that not-laughter hiliarity. Crayak jeered at the Doctor, the chortles needled his very being.

Clenching the immaterial hankie, the Doctor raised his sonic screw driver like a lethal weapon. He fired the device past Crayak and a panel exploded.

"YOU SHALL NOT DEFEAT ME"! Crayak thought shouted in the Doctor's mind. The immense eyeball seemed to grow redder and the geometric pupil constricted to a small point.

The giant beast threw himself into a fighting stance, his mighty feet shook the floor.

The Doctor went all out with the sonic screwdriver, trying to sabotage Crayak's machine, but Crayak reacted just as quickly.

Telepathically, the monster sent out commands to his machine and the panels began to repair themselves. Crayak threw his arms into a precise martial arts hold and drew reality bending patterns in the air.

For the Doctor, everything started to fade and he felt his thumb involuntarily slip off the button of the sonic tool.

Overwhelmed by Crayak's technique as much as the inhospitable environment, the Doctor stumbled.

The Ellimist now took the form of the second Doctor, a senior man with a cute head of curly white hair. "You understand, that where I was I had no chance of beating Crayak. I simply lashed out in anger."

"So what happened next, you saved the planet and everything was okay?"

The Doctor almost approved of Rachael's sarcastic attitude. The girl was a born fighter.

"No, that is most certainly not what happened."

Everything was suddenly cool, and very bright too. Either Crayak had turned down the heat and turned up the lights or he was outside again.

The Doctor opened his eyes. Indeed, he was back in Trafalgar Square, full of corpses and the rusted hulks of motor cars. The only difference was that Crayak was gone, with all of his toadies and mutants and with his suffocating machine.

An empty feeling came over the Doctor. This was what defeat was like, utter defeat; where a person has been stripped of all dignity and their life's work rendered meaningless.

Every battle preivious to this, every engagement, every friend and loved one lost; none of it mattered. The Doctor was like a proud scarab beetle over a dung ball, ever so proud of his tiny accomplishments while all around him, reality itself was readied for slaughter.

All those freaks, beasts, killers and psychopaths, just small potatoes. It seemed that all he'd done was clear a path, carve a niche for the greatest evil of them all.

Ten minutes to the end of the universe; he consulted his wrist watch. It would be accurate if Crayak wasn't lying, and thus far that guy hadn't proven himself to be a very trustworthy . . . whatever the hell he was.

Ten minutes to just lay down and go quietly into that good night or—

Or nine and a half minutes in which to raise some hell.

Memories started to run through the Doctor's mind, from his first visit to earth to his time at the academy. There were so many memories.

Creatures that were ten thousand years old hadn't seen as many things or done as much as the Doctor had in his first five hundred years.

Slowly, he packed the immaterial hankie into his pocket. Eight minutes left.

Why should he lie down and die when he could get even with Crayak? The Doctor was one of the good guys, but he wasn't that good. Truly it would be a pleasure to see that red eyed bastard on his knees and begging for mercy.

The Doctor was known as the oncoming storm. He was fundamentally good, but when he stuck his nose into things, nothing was ever the same again.

Seven minutes left to the end of time.

He'd always been able to save the Earth before and its people. Crayak had changed that. More than that, Crayak had changed the rules.

The Doctor was going to adapt to Crayak's new rules. He'd first adapt, then he'd own the rules.

Six minutes to the end of the universe, the Doctor had better get his butt in gear.

The vortex generator was at full charge now, he'd wrapped it with a loose corner of the hankie both to protect it from strange environment and to cloak it from any scans that Crayak might have.

He knew where he must go and how to save the universe. He didn't have a plan to make Crayak pay for his crimes, but that was on the way.

Setting the coordinates on the primitive time machine, the Doctor shouted "GERONIMO!" And he was gone to save us all.

The Ellimist now wore the form of the eleventh Doctor; the last form he wore before the name of "The Doctor" ceased to apply to him.

"So what then," Rachael said, "you saved the universe and everything was okay?" She half sounded cynical and half sounded hopeful that everything had worked out fine.

He gave Rachael a boyish smile that did not reach his sad eyes. "Oh yes, I saved the universe. That's me, the Doctor, that's what I did, but Crayak had a special way of souring my victories."

"I took the pandorica and flew it into the heart of the burning TARDIS. That prison when it was built had taken a snapshot of the universe as it was before the cracks; part of how it kept its inmate alive."

From nothing, he conjured himself a fez and started to survey it. "The universe was restored and everything was good."

"But," Rachael let the statement hang. There was always something else.

"When I finally got back to Earth, everything was still dead. Nothing was left alive on the planet. After that, I gathered what allies I could and I started hunting for Crayak."

"For centuries afterwards, Crayak won every round. Everywhere I went, I was too late. The universe became more and more sterile and I couldn't figure out what to do."

Changing the subject, Ellimist put the fez on his head. "Like it?"

Rachael was characteristically honest. "I hate it."

"Nobody likes the fez," the Ellimist complained. "Why does nobody like the fez?"

Rachael ran a hand through her straight, golden locks. "I was a fashion fiend before I . . . died. I could tell you why a fez is morally wrong, but if you can't see it then it's not worth saying."

There were some moments of awkward silence before Rachael finally asked the most important question. "Did it matter. Did I make a difference?"

The Ellimist had asked that very same thing a thousand times in his mortal life, before he learned how to exploit Crayak's weaknesses and give himself a fighting chance. There was no doubt about this mortal girl who'd hurt and killed and died to defend her species and many others from tyranny.

"Yes, you did make a difference."

Rachael smiled, letting her guard down for just a second. "Thanks."

Removing the fez, the Ellimist adjusted his bowtie. "Rachael, before you go to I need to say something to you."

The girl listened and the Ellimist, once Doctor, spoke. "One day you will return, Rachael. Before then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."

Taking her hand in his, he smiled at Rachael, warmly and tenderly. "Goodbye, Rachael; as Marco would say, warrior queen."

Rachael looked apprehensively at the Ellimist for a moment. "I have regrets." Her expression melted into a smile, "but I think I can live with them."

Then she was gone, becoming part of the wider universe.

And once more, the Ellimist, the one who keeps running and never looking back, is alone. The size of the universe yet small as an atom, everywhere and nowhere and living in every single moment of time, the Ellimist diligently walked forth with no feet.

He was alone, the only one of his kind. The only being even close to him wanted nothing better than to kill him.

The game had to go on, the pointless stupid game that saw the whole of reality as its pawns.

It was time for the next move.

Thanks for reading this, all you Dr. Who and Animorph fans :D And thanks to all you guys who decided to read this thing because it had a cool title. The inside of Crayak's machine was inspired by the Editor's song Raw Meat. See the music video, it's amazingly dark.

Remember to read and review, it's an author's all. And if you want a good Deathnote/Hellsing crossover, just look up Shallowswan's Flower of War. It's like nothing you've seen before.


Master of the Boot