Chapter 11

The First Doctor

At the start of the universe, there was a big bang. Matter began to expand at an outstanding rate, rushing outwards, creating stars and planets. Until it was stopped.

A large golden blanket of energy spread around the ball of flame that was the universe, as if trying to smother it. The sheet of particles closed around its target, struggling to contain the ever outstanding mass.

The Doctor held on to the console as the interior of the ship shook violently, prompting a quick glance at the wall that housed the fault locator. However, all of the instruments remained blank. Something was wrong though, he'd been flying the ship long enough to know that. The Doctor desperately pressed at buttons, attempting to remember which one was the stabiliser. Ian, Barbara and Susan were all sleeping, and the last thing they needed was to be woken up by being thrown out of their beds.

Suddenly the TARDIS ground to a halt, the central column dropping sharply as all of the lights around the console went out. After another quick check of the fault locator, the Doctor immediately turned his attention to the fast return switch, poking at it to make sure it wasn't sticking again. He had seen the ship act like this before, and had a horrible feeling that he had been bought back to the place, or rather time, where the original fault had taken place. This time, however, it didn't seem to be through any fault of his own. Taking hold of his jacket, as had become habit; he stared intently at the console, before looking up to the monitors, which were completely blank.

"Sometimes, I wish I had stolen a more reliable ship." The Doctor muttered. Almost immediately, the monitor lit up. If he hadn't have known better, he would have sworn the ship was responding to him.

Immediately, the Doctor knew he had been right. There it was, in all its glory. The creation of the universe. So many cultures had different theories on this one moment in time. The Doctor chuckled to himself. His human companions would have been thrilled to see this, but then they would know the truth. They would have no reason to theorise, no reason to try and advance their understanding. Sometimes, the Doctor thought, ignorance really was bliss.

It was then he noticed something different. It was almost like a bubble inflating around the burning mass of the universe.

"Impossible." The Doctor said, intrigued. "That's not right at all." He pressed a button hopefully, and smiled when he realised he had hit the analyser button as planned.

Lines and numbers scrolled on the monitor, too quickly for the human eye to process, but the Doctor took it all in immediately.

"Can't be." He whispered to himself. "Shows signs of being from…" He stopped himself saying the name. "What would they be doing here? Interfering old fools."

At that moment the Doctor was glad that he was on his own in the console room. He knew for certain Chesterton or Barbara would have commented on his hypocrisy.

For a few seconds a battle raged between the universe and the being, before the universe won. The sphere of energy recoiled violently, unable to constrain the expansion anymore.

At that moment, he heard a very familiar noise as a ship ripped its way through the space-time continuum. As soon as he had registered the sound, the being knew this was the end. It was time to give up. No more chances.

As his form shrunk back down, he watched the ever growing universe, sighing as he recalled everything that would happen, had happened, within it.

The TARDIS shuddered sharply and the large doors swung open.

Although he saw nothing, the Doctor sensed something entering the TARDIS, a presence so vivid yet completely intangible, a feeling that chilled his bones and started his hearts beating even faster than normal. He turned to face the doors, and the new presence inside the ship. A golden mist of energy appeared to float in to the machine, before coming together, forming a humanoid shape. The Doctor quickly noted the figure's odd appearance. He wore an old beaten blue jacket, with beige patches on the elbows. Long black hair flopped down his face, almost covering his eyes, and around his neck was a dark green bow tie.

"You look so old, Doctor." The voice was cold and emotionless, almost muted yet filled the console room. "For one so young."

"And you look rather ridiculous." The Time Lord replied. "For one with the cheek to force himself in to my ship."

"You'll appreciate the look one day Doctor," the voice replied. "Right now, I get it, it looks foolish, but one day." He fondled his bow tie. "One day, you'll say this is 'cool'."

"I very much doubt that young man. " The Doctor replied sharply. "I am assuming we have met before then." The Doctor turned his back to the doors, his attention back on the central console. "I know my body is wearing thin, but my old mind is still as sharp as it used to be. And I don't recall you. How do you explain that? Hm?"

"One day Doctor. One day you'll understand." There was a pause. "The story is just beginning for you, but for me, it is the end."

"What nonsense are you babbling on about now? And why exactly, are we at the beginning of the universe?" Although there was no read out on the instruments, the Doctor was certain this was where the ship had been drawn to. "I've been here before you know. Not the best place for a holiday."

"As I have found out Doctor. I came here to stop it before it even began." For the first time the Doctor sensed a hint of sadness from the figure.

"Stop what? There is nothing out there. Not yet."

"Exactly. The perfect time to nip the human race in the bud. Stop their very existence."

"Impossible!" The Doctor exclaimed. "Besides, what would compel you to do that? They may be a pain at times, but they are most certainly becoming my favourite species." He stopped suddenly. "Just don't tell Chetterson that, hm?" The Doctor realised he was diverting from the point. "You can't stop the creation of the universe!"

"You rebooted it." The figure quipped. "But, our opinion of them is irrelevant now. This was my last chance, I have tried everything else. Stopping their progression, changing their history. All failed. And, as you say, stopping the creation of their universe is impossible. Trying has all but killed me." There was a long silence. "And your presence here truly does mean it is the end for me."

"Nonsense! Are you implying that I have killed you?" His tone changed, patience wearing thin. "You boarded my ship! Why?"

"To return something I took from you a long time ago. Something I have been repaying for a very long time now. I've been running, but it's time to stop."

"Taken something you say? What? When?"

"A long time ago for me, Doctor. A long time to come, for you. As for what, you will find out, when the time is right. But for now, my time is up. My chances are gone."

The Doctor stared at the figure, his eyes burning in to the stranger.

"I have had enough of this impertinence, You will explain yourself. Now!"

"No time for that Doctor. But the time for explanations will come. You will meet me again." For the first time the Doctor saw a smile on the figures face.

The figure spread his arms out wide, and golden energy poured from his arms and face as he faded away.

As the physical form disappeared, The Doctor also felt the presence fade, as if the pressure in the room was changing dramatically. The doors of the TARDIS swung closed as the console lit up, a bank of buttons at a time. It may have been his imagination, but the Doctor felt a spark of energy inside himself, something he hadn't felt for a long time in this old body.

"Grandfather!" Susan shouted, as the doors to the sleeping quarters opened, Barbara following behind her. "What's going on?"

"Yes Doctor," Ian added, entering the room. "I heard voices too. Shouting, almost. Don't tell me you were arguing with the ship again?"

"Or himself." Barbara added.

"Oh, nothing to worry about." The Doctor smiled gently, adjusting his coat. He felt invigorated, so much so that he was willing to ignore their flippant remarks. "Now then, as you're all out of bed, you may as well get dressed." He looked down at the console. "Looks like the ship has locked on to some new co-ordinates. A new day beckons!"

As his companions headed back to the bedroom, the central column of the TARDIS burst back in to life. However, even over the noise of the ancient engines, the Doctor could hear a faint voice.

"None left."

Death was nowhere near as painful as he had imagined. As the last piece was returned, he felt a sense of freedom, one he had not felt for such a long time. The urge, the obsession had vanished all together, replaced by a sense of satisfaction and understanding. These were the last emotions he felt as his very existence faded away in to the ether.

Seeing the Doctor, so old, yet so young, had filled in many of the blank pieces of the puzzle that had wrapped itself around his brain for so long. The authority, the sometimes crotchety demeanour, all topped off with an incomparable sense of compassion. All of those, combined with what he had already seen, made everything make perfect sense at last.

Having all those emotions, and more, running through his head his whole life had almost been over whelming, trying to understand each one, deciding which of all his different emotions to guide him. Which ones to take notice of and which ones to ignore.

Ultimately, it was his, and the Doctor's compassion that had driven all of his plans. He knew something had to be done in order to save the human race. The latest plan was extreme, but all of his previous attempts had failed. He had tried to stop suffering, but just created more.

Even his attempts to advance mankind had met resistance and eventually been thwarted. Time and time again he failed, leading up to this one last chance. If he was to succeed in saving the human race, the only way he could see was to stop them ever existing.

He knew that his final gambit was a risky one, and as soon as he had attempted to wrap his true form around the greatly expanding universe he realised how futile it was. It was not, however, the intense burning of a newly formed universe that had sealed his fate, but the appearance of that familiar blue box. As always, he knew this meant a change was coming. But this time, it was for good.

As the TARDIS had appeared, he just could not understand why the Doctor would not accept that he was right. After all, they both shared the same admiration for Earth and its inhabitants, but the Doctor seemed unwilling to do anything to save them from their own history. The Time Lord always showed so much anger and sadness when tragedy struck the species, but at the same time would often let the events unfold. The decision had been made from his rebirth- whilst the Doctor would be the one to fix the human race, he would shape them. He would be their Architect.