The end had come. Nozdormu, lord of the Bronze Dragonflight' gazed wearily across the shattered surroundings. He was called the Timeless-One or the Lord of Time by some. Regardless of his viewing of the future and the Hourglass of Time's power, he knew that in the current crisis, he was helpless. In zeal to change his fate, he was foolish enough to attack the structure of time itself, with both the 'Infinite Dragonflight' and his own actions. Nozdormu knew now, that he had pushed too far. He had unraveled the timelines further then even he could fix. Time was collapsing. There was nothing he could do. Could anyone? Who are the Time Lords? What is that blue box?
(I do not own Warcraft or Dr. Who. If I did, I would not be posting here. I may or may not own a TARDIS, but who knows? This is my first time actually posting fan-fiction, so let me know what you think and what I should work on' if you could. Thank you and enjoy.)
Chapter 1: A Timeless Mistake
Most of Azeroth was already touched and coming apart at the seams. After the fall of many of the other aspects, the so-called 'heroes' of the land had assumed that killing him would do nothing but good. They were arrogant and their intent was foolish, Nozdormu privately decided. Each 'Aspect' of the dragons was tied intricately with the very weave of the world itself. The only reason that everything did not see its' end prior, was because he was busy frantically adjusting and rewriting entire sections of the planet's timeline to simply keep it stable. His personal timeline was so tied up in this, that Nozdormu had seemed to completely disappear from the stage of things. This was the case, even with his ability to exist in multiple timelines at once.
It was ironic in a morbid way, he mused silently to himself. The mortals of Azeroth and beyond had essentially decided that any non-humanoid was the enemy by this point, always finding some excuse to kill anyone more powerful then themselves. There were a few younger dragons who stepped into higher roles, certainly…but absorbing an Aspect's energy and performing their job of stabilizing the planet, are two completely different things. If he were killed, then there would be none left to preserve the structure of things…to fix the damage. Recently throughout the fixed points in time, something became apparent. Nozdormu was only steadily growing more aware of it as he passed them, but the fact was that he could not sway the world from its present course. Azeroth's purpose was devolving away from a vivid world of varied life, turning instead to a hypocritical cesspool of a mere few…and there was nothing he could do to change it.
Nozdormu himself had tried to do so, regardless of this fact. When the so-called 'heroes' reached his deepest home though, he did not proceed to mock them or attack blindly. He had seen how that turned out with others, while he could see in his mind's eye…every possibility and potential that every slight action would cause. There were countless ways to deal with the attacking groups, but every victory would only lead more attacks to come. Traitors who refused to see the bigger picture, whom meandered on in self- righteousness and power-games…had recently gifted a temporal defense of sorts to any who went against him. This meant that he could not simply remove them from the time-stream, nor could he alter its flow around his enemies' to allow for an easy elimination. Even if he were able to survive, perhaps things had dragged too far down the wrong path?
The thought plagued him near the end…so he decided to act. Unlike others, he took both the initiative and the final move. Nozdormu took himself through the center of the traitors' domain, in the center of his flight's home. Mercenaries swarmed to disgustingly fill the chamber, yet that was not his concern. He ignored the Alliance and Horde battle-camps that blanketed over the sands, which used it as a staging ground. Instead, he focused entirely on reaching the central platform. As his younger children all moved to respond to his intrusion, Nozdormu ignored them and set instead on his prize. In almost an instant, the centerpiece of the room and of the flight's power was in his grasp. The 'Hourglass of Time' floated innocently atop the central platform in his grip. With a harsh swing of his tail, Nozdormu easily and unceremoniously shoved its guardian dragon to the side. It was unprepared for this and was removed from the platform easily, landing harshly with its back to the sands below. Atop the high stone platform, Nozdormu wasted no time in forcing his power into the artifact. He intended to destroy that object, that which he had guarded ever since receiving it from the Titans at the dawn of the world.
Even with millennia to study it, Nozdormu had never fully understood the Hourglass. Certainly, no-one else on Azeroth had even come close. It was easily the most powerful object known to the world, beyond even the Frozen Throne or the Sunwell itself…if perhaps a different sort of power. This was fact, yet people walked past it every day without a single thought. Most mortals essentially considered it as just another part of the cavern's landscape. The problem that Nozdormu failed to consider was that despite the fragile appearance, the Hourglass wasn't all that easy to destroy. More importantly, it wasn't just the source of his dragons' temporal power as he had imagined it to be. Instead, the artifact was far more important than he had ever realized…an integral piece of Azeroth.
Nozdormu understood and accepted that there were things he didn't know. He had heard the stories passed down to him by his creator, showing that fact. The stories he had heard were like fantasy though, so they were simply put to the back of his mind as too distant. His planet's infinite versions were extensive enough, that he could barely imagine a greater universe...where his guarded world was less than a speck of dust in infinity. Most of him didn't even want to imagine it. Some of the stories had even told of the true 'Lords of Time', masters of all creation that even the Titans themselves made certain to avoid the attention of. Apparently, his creator modeled him after them, in a way.
As for the 'Hourglass of Time', it was not just a core for temporal energy and manipulation of it…it was an anchor. The Hourglass was a temporal anchor that was tied to every version of Azeroth in existence. It stabilized and allowed the flow of time, tying the normally isolated world into the greater web formed by gods even greater then the wandering Titans. When Nozdormu channeled his given power to it, the energy did not go inside to overload or offset the artifact. No, it instead channeled and amplified the energy to completely flood his body and mind with Artron energy, sending the great dragon into shock. It seemed to envelope him and actually extended outside of Azeroth's own dimensional set, to send an energy pulse across the great time-web itself. His mind, trained to exist even in multiple points' touched a small piece of the entire universe's timeline and was overwhelmed…It terrified him.
In that instant, Nozdormu knew he had made a great mistake. The object was not truly even made by the titans, only stolen and repurposed. It was a trinket…a toy to any one of those 'Time Lords' and there were billions of them…Perhaps more importantly, he had just unplugged the screw holding the world in place and now the world was going to start to collapse into the void. Without the anchor, his entire purpose and ability to contain Azeroth's damage had disappeared and the world would now try to 'correct' itself according to the damage that 'should' have been there by the other Aspects' fall…Death now seemed like it would have been a better alternative, then trying this mad plan. Nozdormu had caused the planet to recognize the timeline's damage. He had created a grand paradox.
To the others nearby, it seemed much like a glaring flash of blue and gold light' appearing after the Timeless-One grasped the artifact. After that, everything seemed to just…shift. The world itself on some unseen level seemed to shudder and crack under unknown forces, while the Old Ones cowered in their deep hidden prisons. After a moment, everything seemed to happen at once.
On one end, the dragons broke their shock to attempt to rush towards the chamber's inner dais. A flash of rippling blue energy seemed to pulse out from the area, less than a heartbeat later. They and the present humanoids alike were thrown back to the edges of the room, some actually rebounding off the walls. The pulse seemed to reverberate through bodies and stone alike, viewed from outside in the world like a tidal wave. To those in the nearby Gadgetzan, the mountain holding the dragons' home seemed to glow for an instant before the world seemed to disappear from view. Those living across the sea in Stormwind stopped to stare as the ocean seemed to turn a transparent and sparking gold, before a pulse washed over the city like static.
Back within the caverns, Nozdormu found himself in a shifting bubble of energy with the Hourglass now in a death-grip. Just outside of the energy screen, space seemed to twist upon itself and rip formless holes in the air. Pulling in a shuddering breath, the dragon felt himself starting to lose consciousness while being overwhelmed by the nearby distortions…the paradoxes. Time itself was trying to sort itself out, but was in so many knots and twists' that it was ripping instead.
Both mortals and the Bronze Dragonflight itself had been changing the way that events played out for a very long time, without really understanding what they were doing. The temporal anchor helped stabilize any minor fluctuations to keep events mostly the same, even in face of these. The problems were not 'fixed', but the device essentially allowed these to be ignored without harm. Without it…everything was reacting and pulling time back to where it should have been, like a rubber band. The problem was that all of the thousands of different directions were each acting as a pulling influence, to leave time at an unstable point in the middle.
After a failed herculean effort to rein back the energy, Nozdormu finally succumbed to unconsciousness. Throughout the world in all timelines, millions of different possible things happened at every single spot on Azeroth. It was almost like a broken mirror, reflecting a picture in more than a thousand different ways. This left the world in a sort of half-state, with only untouched dirt, covered above by a blanket of shifting landscapes and unaware life. To those people affected, it was like a hallucinogenic coma…only vaguely aware of reality and in a confused daze with their brains unable to process their surroundings.
This was the sort of situation that the Bronze Aspect awoke to. The mountain that held the Caverns of Time were just gone, occasionally fading in and out of visibility like glass. Painfully pulling himself upright, Nozdormu looked around with widened eyes before scrambling for the artifact…this was a disaster. The Hourglass was nowhere in sight though, leaving him in a sort of dazed panic. It was simply 'gone'. Gazing outward, he let loose a half-crazed chuckle of despair. His view showed an empty wasteland without even the desert's sand, covered by a translucent mirage.
A shuddering breath left him, before a slight whisper in the air caused the dragon's head to snap upward. Turning in the sound's direction, a wheezing groan began to pull its way into the audible spectrum. It shifted in and out, dancing through temporal energy of a magnitude beyond any he had ever sensed before. A deep shudder left his scales feeling like ice in apprehension, as he finally managed to get a slight sense of the incoming object's energy. The Hourglass itself made Nozdormu feel overwhelmed and awed…this 'thing' though, made him feel like an insect facing infinity.
A slight gust of…something…blew out from the previously empty spot that the object was appearing in. It seemed like displaced air, but could the mere touch of that thing really make even air seem overwhelming to his senses? Apparently it 'could', as he was feeling exactly that. Now that it started to come into view, Nozdormu took more then a few cautious steps back, keeping a wary eye on it. It was small…'far' smaller then himself. The…box? Yes, it was only perhaps the height of a Tauren…enough for a human to easily walk in and out of, if they didn't go anywhere. It was now, clearly an upright blue box that fully faded into view. His eyes briefly caught the words "Police Public Call Box" below a small electric lantern that sat atop it…There was what seemed to be a sliding blue wooden door at the side facing him, but…it wasn't.
When focusing his eyes, he finally registered what was wrong. There was some kind of psychic intelligence urging him to not focus on the object…It was only a minor compulsion, but…It was terrifying to see the power behind it. If whatever it was had actually wished to, it could probably easily overpower his mental defenses. The blue 'wood' of the structure was now obviously not, now that he managed to shrug off the compulsion. It was some kind of compressed energy shell that he couldn't even fathom, only seeing that much due to the temporal energy that literally 'overflowed' from the thing. This box seemed to completely drown everything including himself, in an over-wash of its 'Artron' energy.
Now that he took notice of that overwhelming energy flow, he saw that it seemed to stretch as far as he could see. Since the box appeared, all of the distortions in the area seemed to have stabilized. All of the holes ripped into the area by minor paradoxes were no longer present. The Hourglass may have allowed persons to travel through time and manipulate it to an extent, but only on a personal level. This thing seemed to go beyond that, enveloping everything on 'every' temporal level…and that was only what he could sense it doing with a few moments.
The door snapped open, with a bright light almost burning his sight from within. A figure stood within, though the strange light seemed to block any easy sight of them. It also revealed to Nozdormu that he wasn't entirely correct. It wasn't just an energy shell at all. With that shell open; he could tell that it was an entire dimensional and temporal set, which was compressed down into a single point. He couldn't even imagine how, but as his entire domain of Azeroth stretched into its own dimensional and timeline set, as a piece alongside all of the rest of the universe…Well, this one small box was greater then all the versions of Azeroth put together. It was a very humbling thought, leading Nozdormu to silently hope that his senses were wrong.
The humanoid figure stepped out from the box, revealing what seemed to be a male human at first glance. The man had a slightly messy mop of hair, with a long brown coat thrown over the rest of his attire. Although he seemed human at a first visual glance, Nozdormu could tell that assumption couldn't be further from the truth. With his stronger eyesight, the various physical differences that a human might miss, added together to show a picture very different from the races he knew of. His other basic senses showed a much more obvious set of differences, practically screaming a mental 'Not Human!' throughout his mind. With those senses that were dulled in most humanoids, even his smell and hearing could find such things that showed that the…creature in front of him was further from human then a fish was. His other senses that touched on aspects of the mental, temporal, and even magical levels…showed a far more alien and terrifying picture. The small probe he sent out with his magic didn't even register the presence of the creature.
The man-shaped alien seemed entirely uncaring of the presence of the massive draconic 'Aspect of Time'. It seemed to observe the shifting surroundings with an appraising eye, before meeting Nozdormu's gaze with a strained' yet understanding smile. "I see that things aren't going too well here." If Nozdormu weren't so focused, he would have snorted in derision at the understatement. 'Of course things weren't going well!', his mind raged at the nonchalance that it showed. "Weeell…", the man stretched out the word. "This actually isn't all that bad. The paradoxes were minor enough to stabilize with the TARDIS's presence and I can fix the rest of this easily enough…but we do need to talk." The relaxed but timeless eyes hardened, looking clinically at the so-called 'Timeless One'. Nozdormu's stance became slightly more guarded, as he chided himself mentally for relaxing at the creature's unassuming presence.
"You can call me the 'Doctor'. How about you calm down and tell me who you are, local keeper of timelines?", the man offered in a slightly clipped tone of voice. The box behind him, or 'TARDIS' as it was apparently called, seemed to dim it's light to allow a partial view of a massive chamber within. Rather than focus on that however, the dragon found his voice.
"I am known as 'Nozdormu'…what are you, Doctor? You claim you can fix this, yet I cannot see how…regardless of your power." His tempered skepticism was understandable, really. An entire world had all of its dimensional and temporal levels completely smashed together. This was what his job was to prevent, the worst-case-scenario.
"I am simply that good!", the Doctor stated glibly. Rocking back and forth on his heels, he paused before answering the question. "I'm a Time Lord.", he announced calmly. Nozdormu's thoughts ground to a halt before rushing forward. 'Time Lord!?' He knew he probably should have expected that, given the old stories he had heard and the overwhelming energy he sensed. He simply had never expected one to be so unassuming and basic looking. For beings that the Titans themselves feared, he had expected something more beyond comprehension like the Old Ones. In comparison, this example of the species seemed rather straightforward. The creature was physically no match for him at all, but its body seemed to have depths he could not understand at the moment. Instead, it was the ridiculous level of energy possessed and used, along with that…thing behind the Doctor that screamed 'danger' to his senses. With the extended pause, the Doctor apparently took that as his sign to proceed.
"You have been very, very naughty to toy with technology beyond your understanding…but at least you sent off that pulse to get someone's attention. From the looks of it, that temporal anchor you messed with, ended up locked in with everything else in the 'off' position, you could say." The Doctor let off an aggravated sigh of annoyance. "You do not even have the proper authority to alter timelines as a designated keeper! Instead, it looks like someone just dumped the power and the job on you, then left. Whoever it was even did a shoddy job on that anchor, if my TARDIS's scans are any indication! Any time zone's designated keeper is 'supposed' to have a line of contact to someone higher up, in case they get in over their heads like happened to you.", he explained. "This work…", he gestured expansively to Azeroth in general. "This was purposely kept out of sight and then abandoned, probably as a test world for biological variations and organic energy-manipulation…if the ridiculous levels of species variation and illegal 'Mirin Energy' generation are any indication. You'd probably refer to that last bit as 'magic' or something like it." Even though the Time Lords decided that magic was too chaotic and wiped it from existence (canon), that didn't mean that some races didn't try to bring it back out in various hidden pockets of space. It was rare, but sometimes those experiments succeeded.
Nozdormu stilled, as he silently tried to process everything that the alien in front of him was going on about. Partway into the tangent, it seemed that the Doctor went from talking to him, to ranting about the Titan's work. It was an interesting and concerning thought to hear that they merely used his home as an experiment, but what followed was simply insulting to him on a personal level. "I can tell that you are some kind of engineered biological construct…an artificial species.", the Doctor stated, peering at him through a pair of glasses that Nozdormu was 'certain' had not been there a moment before. The dragon couldn't help but bristle at the negligent remark, though kept his anger silent. "There is no helping that now, but making new species is supposed to be highly regulated…hm." The Doctor left the glasses on, choosing to pull a small device out from his brown coat.
A pitched buzz seemed to emit from the object, a small light glowing at its end. The Doctor waved it back and forth in a steady arc, looking at it intently. Nozdormu shifted his vision to see the energy flowing from the TARDIS once more; taking note of how much more seemed to exude from it with the doorway open. He was surprised he didn't notice it earlier, but the energy seemed to wrap around the Time Lord in enormous amounts, almost in a protective grasp. It flowed around him like a shroud, linking him and the 'box' intricately together and seemingly on all levels except the physical. Nozdormu was suddenly not so certain that the alien was as physically defenseless as he seemed.
"Well.", the Doctor announced. "I'll just go and fix this, then. I think I recognize the work done on that anchor, so I don't really need you to tell me who was responsible for the work done on this world.", he mused to himself. "With how long you lasted without a problem, I'll leave you in charge as this world's time keeper, but get you some kind of line of contact to myself. I may check in from time to time…" He looked over Nozdormu's huge form critically. "I don't think a cell phone would work for you. How about I get a box with a button, for you instead?" He lifted an eyebrow at the lack of response. "Yes, a big red button should work well enough. I'll see you later, 'Nozey'. I'll just reverse the main timeline back a few years and realign the rest. Try to wait awhile before calling me. It looks like I have some things to bring up to the Shadow Proclamation.", he said off-handedly. Twirling on his heel, the Doctor ambled back into the TARDIS with a relaxed gait.
Nozdormu blinked numbly, trying to process everything that had just happened. That was quite a lot of things packed into a short spurt of words. Shaking his head to clear it, Nozdormu let out a simple, "…What?" The TARDIS faded out of sight with the same grinding pulse that it appeared in, leaving the Bronze Aspect in an anxious state. No parts of the surroundings had changed yet and…oh, wait. As he watched, the shifting mirage of events, blinked out of sight and a single image seemed to impose itself over the landscape, to his sight. The temporal energy he viewed was seeming to collect together to reform the strands they once formed and bunch together neatly, rather than return to the knots and twists it used to be in. His view was cut off, as the mountain sheltering the Caverns of Time reasserted itself overhead. Gazing around in a numb state of shock, he couldn't help but wonder…just how 'easy' was such a massive fix, to the Time Lord?
When the other living beings began to return to a corporal state, his muscles tensed visibly. Would they immediately attack him, as they had tried when he had last seen them? He noted absently that the Hourglass didn't return to its place, Azeroth's timelines no longer needing an anchor. Gesturing with his claws, he released a minute amount of magic to form into a visual illusion of the Hourglass, floating in the spot that the real one had vacated. It had to be somewhere, but he didn't want anyone to panic in it's absence. With a flinch, Nozdormu watched as space seemed to shift for a moment and things began to move again. Nearby, a ripple faded away to reveal a box…with a red button. Maybe he should have argued against that point? As the movement of everything started going in reverse to reveal not battle camps, but an almost empty chamber…he couldn't bring himself to really care.
The Time Lord kept his word and it looked like he had a new chance. As things came to a normal pace again, he heard a shocked gasp and turned his head to face it. Before he could register anything else, Nozdormu's mate in her true form slammed into his chest, gripping tightly with her claws and heaving out sobs of relief. More of his kin in the chamber came over, shocked to see the Aspect of Time returned once more. As he stood there in a numb daze, he reflected that it really had been a long time. He had been spread across Azeroth's timelines, locked in a temporal limbo for so long to simply try and keep things together…that he had almost forgotten all the ones in his flight that he had left behind. It had been so many years since he had disappeared…ages where his kin were not even sure what had happened to him, in all honesty. After that, when he suddenly seemed to appear in their main chamber and out of nowhere, they were certainly relieved.
It was now early enough in the main timeline, that the bloody hunt for him had never occurred and his role with the Infinite Flight was not yet revealed. Neither would ever come to pass if he had his say in the matter, he silently promised himself. Cradling his sobbing mate in his arms, the great dragon took a long look at the box, sitting innocently in the sand nearby. With the merest thought and a gesture of his claw, it faded away to appear elsewhere. It would stay hidden away in his horde for a while…he'd decide what to do with the device later on. For now, Nozdormu knew that his family needed him. Time could apparently change and the tragic death he saw for himself when he was first given his power would never occur. The vision's 'Doom of Damocles' would not haunt his life any longer. For now…for now, he had some catching up to do. With this thought firmly in mind, Nozdormu gave a real smile for the first time since he could remember.
(This was originally a one-shot fic, though I'm considering making it a fully story. I would like to hear any thoughts or advice that you have. I'm a bit new when it comes to actually writing, so every comment helps.)