The Doctor had been thrown to the floor by the force of Davros’s regeneration, and metal constraints had sprung up to keep her there. Her ears were ringing from the force of the blast, but she could barely even hear how that was true.
There was a siren heralding the end of everything that had been blaring for longer than she knew. Once, it had been on the very edge of sound, but now it was screaming to all of creation; telling it to evacuate the universe while it could. Over the siren and somehow even louder, the clock above the theatre was tolling the chimes of the hour.
But the nightmare in the Doctor’s ears wasn’t mirrored in her eyes. The light was gone, like it had never been there at all. There was no cast away metal hand, no ruins of an old man’s chair. There was just the person that Davros had become, calm like he couldn’t hear anything at all.
He smiled delicately and she took him in. Young and handsome with a mass of curly hair. Yellow trousers and a bright red shirt. Crisply dressed. Perfectly groomed. A heartthrob with a genocide underneath.
Davros inhaled deeply and sighed. Everything was on fire now, but he hadn’t noticed. He could have been breathing in the smell of a garden instead of the smoke and fumes.
“There is no pain,” he said softly. “I had forgotten that. To move, to speak, and all of it without effort. To be new!”
He laughed, then guffawed, then threw out his hands with delight.
She had to hold him here, if nothing else. If the best she could do was make sure that they both died together: in its way that would still be a victory. She’d take him down and leave the rest to hope. As long as she didn’t think of Chris, or ever of anything human.
“That’s not you,” she said. “What you’ve become, it isn’t what you are. You were proud once; you had a dignity.”
“I was past it!” barked the man, sounding nothing like Davros when he did. “I was old.”
“Yeah,” said the Doctor. “But old isn’t always bad. It was your thing.”
The man in front of her smiled, very slightly.
“Perhaps that’s what Davros always was,” he said. “Old and weak and very far away. But everyone has the ability to change, do they not? Or should I say,” he smiled, “don’t they? And when one sets out on a very big adventure, perhaps it’s time to take on a whole new name“–
The unburning curtain on the stage pulled back and the Doctor’s eyes widened in horror, as every hope she had in her finally died....
...and the man in front of her turned round to his bright blue police box, bigger and bolder than any she’d ever seen. And he grinned the giant smile of a man who always wins…
“I’m the Doctor,” he said. “And I’m going to save the world.”
The Doctor’s story ends in SURVIVAL.