The Sins of the Doctor

by TheFaceofClom [Reviews - 1]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Character Study, Introspection, Missing Scene

Part 1- The War Doctor

"I killed them all," the Doctor said in his gravelly voice, "I made sure none escaped."

The creature- the Silent, as it had named itself- looked at him without talking. It had done this a lot in the short time he had been there, the Doctor now realised. And it was he who was filling the silence, with one confession after another. The thought began to make him angry.

"But why am I telling you this?" he said in a rising voice, scratching at the strange device covering his left eye, "Why have I told you anything? What is this thing? And what exactly are you? You’ve said nothing since I got here, and I don’t even know how that happened. Did you somehow take control of the TARDIS..?"

The Doctor's frustration slowly dissipated as the creature sat unmoved. Its face- its strange, sunken face- was bereft of even a flicker of emotion.

"It prevents you forgetting me."

The Doctor looked up from holding his head in his hands.

"That only answered one of my questions."

The Silent tilted its bulbous head to one side and studied the Doctor. The Doctor, not for the first time during this strange meeting, got the impression that it was looking into his very soul.

"Because you feel compelled to. Because you need to."

Its voice rasped and rattled, and the effect was compounded by the echo created in the cave.

They sat in silence for a while longer.

"And how did this make you feel?"

The Doctor's breath almost caught in his throat. The Silent stared at him.

"Had the Time Lord not considered his emotions?"

"I couldn't- I can't..."

The Doctor stood up. His voice took on a harder edge like the breaking of small stones trampled underfoot.

"I can't think about emotions. This face was forged in battle- was forged for battle. The warrior fights and kills and destroys wherever he needs to, and then he goes to the next place and does exactly the same thing. The chaos this face has seen would bury lesser men. The deaths and the loss and the torture these hands have caused… I've got no time for emotions. Emotions don't pull the trigger or push the big red button. I do. That's what I was made for. I can't let emotions cloud my judgement when I have less than a second between life and death. Emotions have no place in this damnable war, and I-"

The Doctor stopped suddenly. His rage was spent. He sat down again, and ran a hand over his weary face.

"And I'm tired," he finished.

The Silent continued with its boring stare.

"I too know what it means to fight in a war."

The Doctor looked up. If he wasn't mistaken the creature's voice had taken on a softer tone, though it was difficult to tell.

"To fight in an endless, pointless war."

"I didn't say it was pointle-"

"All war is pointless. This is the conclusion I have come to over many long years. But you, warrior of Gallifrey, you are needed. It is not my time or my place to dissuade you from your task. I am here merely to listen."

"I don't think there is much else to say."

The unlikely pair sat in silence a while longer.

Eventually the Doctor stood up.

"Well,” he said, running his hands over his battered leather jacket, “I think it's time I left. I do have a war to fight."

"I will not keep you a moment longer."

The Doctor made as if to remove the metallic covering from his eye, which the creature had given to him when he first emerged from the TARDIS.

"Do not take that off yet," rattled the creature, "I will escort you to your time machine. You shall take it off there."

"Whatever you say."

The Silent and the Time Lord walked side by side through the long entrance of the cave. Large holes in the roof let through the occasional shower of rain. The foliage overhead provided some protection, but water would suddenly burst through, sending splashes bouncing and dancing across the rocks.

"You don't seem the answering questions type, but tell me one thing," said the Doctor as they reached the TARDIS, "How did I get here? I had set the TARDIS for Arcadia, but the next moment it had materialised here."

He looked out across the vista before him. The TARDIS had landed on a mountainside, in front of the Silent's cave. The views were of dark hinterlands giving way to endless plains of raging storms. The Doctor judged that it was a small planet, uninhabited. Except for the Silent.

"You will find out."

The Doctor smiled for the first time since his arrival. It looked almost out of place on his deeply-lined, battle-hardened face.

"Hmm- yes, that always seems to be the way. I suppose that will have to do."

"You will be back."

"I doubt it. It's been most enjoyable but I don't think-"

"You will be back. You will programme your TARDIS to bring you to these exact coordinates in one hundred years’ time. It will be a silent programme- you will be unaware it exists. You must specify that you are alone in the TARDIS when this command is enacted. If you are not, the TARDIS will bring you here as soon as you are alone after the hundred years has elapsed."

The Doctor was getting angry again.

"I have a war to fight- I do not have time to take orders from a Silent, as you call yourself. I've never even heard of your species. Where are you from? Is this your planet of origin? Are there more of you?"

"You will find out."

"Hmm. That again."

The Doctor's brow furrowed menacingly as he turned back to the TARDIS.

"Well... so long."

The Doctor had his key in the lock before the Silent spoke again.

"Your eye-drive."

"My what?"

"Your eye-drive."

"Oh yes, almost forgot. I'm still not sure exactly what this is, you know. You really don't give a lot away. Anyway- here it is."

The Doctor pealed the eye-drive clear of his face and placed it into the grotesquely swollen hands of the creature.

He turned back to his blue box...

As the TARDIS materialised in Arcadia the Doctor had a strange feeling. His hands were poised over the central console as if he had been about to programme a different destination. But he couldn't have done- the screens were definitely showing the coordinates of the second city of his home planet, where he had just arrived from the shores of Lake Abydos, once a place of serenity and tranquility on Gallifrey. He shook his head.

He looked grimly at the doors. He knew what lay in wait outside. The carnage. The flames. The screams. His jaw tensed.

But somewhere, in the farthest reaches of his limitless mind, something had happened. An infinitesimally small change had come over the Doctor, so that for just a millisecond the weight of the war was lifted from his shoulders. He knew that this is what he had to do. The guilt which he could never admit to felt ever so slightly easier to fight down, if only momentarily.

The Doctor strode around the console, out of the doors, and into the fray.