Lindsey Willows' life didn't quite work out the way she expected. She kept waiting to become Karen Hollburn—that marvelous, brilliant woman who changed the world single-handedly. The woman who would be worshipped in the future; the woman who would unite the world in peace and harmony. But that moment never came.
She tried to get people to stop fighting wars, or carrying guns around. She even tried to break up a bar brawl once, but no one ever listened to her. Peace was all very well and good in theory, they all agreed, but in practice you just couldn't do it. The world wasn't going to be united under peace and harmony, because it was impossible. Everyone knew it, even if they claimed they believed her.
And then the Pontiac broke, and she couldn't find another one.
She started driving around in a Honda Civic. A Honda Civic with a working horn and a speedometer that actually told you what speed you were going. A working car.
All right, so she wasn't turning into Karen Hollburn. She wasn't the kind of person to attract a crowd or make people believe she was right. She wasn't menacing enough to scare off the bad guys, she wasn't convincing enough to gather together the good guys. She was just plain old Lindsey Willows.
She still had to write that book.
It was gnawing at her, in the back of her mind. She was going to write an autobiography that was so profound that it would change the course of history. The problem was, Lindsey Willows wasn't changing the course of history. She wasn't even changing the footnotes of history. So what could she write that was so profound that it would become some sort of holy litany?
She sat down to write something, and then she froze.
"People are going to worship me," she realized, and it sunk in just what that meant. At some point in the future, people were going to pray to her, to try to live their lives in the same way she lived hers. It was a thought that depressed her. She, who had made such a mess of her life, who couldn't even fry an egg without burning it to cinders. How could her autobiography change the world, anyways? How could it do half the things it was supposed to?
Perhaps she should write the whole book about the Doctor. Maybe switch around a few pronouns to make it less obvious. She played with this idea for quite a while. After all, the Doctor really did meet people and make them better. He really did try and stop the violence. Besides which, he had made a big stink about how she was certainly not going to write him into her book, and she thought it would be kind of funny if she wound up writing the entire book about him.
Eventually, she dismissed the idea. You couldn't write a book about the Doctor without at least a mention of what he'd done to Gallifrey. She shuddered as she remembered the murals on the wall of the cult she'd visited when she was eighteen. She recalled the Doctor's face when Herdon mentioned Gallifrey—how hard and cold it had been, how alien. During that year in the box, the Doctor had told her how he took people and ruined them forever. How every time they decided to use him as a role model, they reappeared in his life with a full array of deadly weapons. No, the Doctor wasn't a God. But neither was she.
She thought about all the people she had met in her life. All the ways they had been brave, all the ways they had been stupid, how they had succeeded and how they had failed. There was no Karen Hollburn, no woman who lived her ideals so perfectly that she could single-handedly change the world.
At least, not yet.
She opened up a new document on her computer. She was about to write a fictional character into existence. A character who wasn't a single person—she was everyone. Everyone that Lindsey had ever met, everyone that the Doctor had ever met, everyone that Lindsey had ever heard about or read about or dreamed about.
She called this character Karen Hollburn.