The Ends of the Earth

by vegetables [Reviews - 1]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • Teen
  • Explicit Violence, Swearing
  • Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, General, Introspection, Mixed, Romance, Standalone

“I didn’t kill her,” the Doctor said once Maltimundar was close enough to hear.

“We saw it,” he replied. “As we were running here. Everything going on in the sky, then suddenly stopping. The Doctor we’ve been tracking, exploding into light.”

He looked at her with an indefinable expression, something that wasn’t quite a smile.

“We didn’t know if it was even possible to kill her,” he said. “But I suppose if anyone could manage, it would be you.”

“She’s in here,” said the Doctor, holding up the book. “I forced her to regenerate into a story”—

Maltimunder scoffed.

“I’m not a fool, Doctor,” he said. “I believe in miracles. Not fairytales.”

The Doctor sighed. It was probably better just to go with it.

“Paradoxicide,” she said.

Maltimundar boggled at her.

“What did you say?” he said.

“Reserved for the greatest crimes of Time Lord society,” said the Doctor. “The guilty party executed by their future self.”

“I’m well aware,” said Maltimundar. “But we didn’t think the Doctor found out about that.”

“She didn’t,” said the Doctor. “And now she never will. But I found out, of course. Isn’t that contradiction the point?”

“Chekkow,” said the nearest COP. “Sitsvahlyd.”

Maltimundar nodded, reluctantly.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “But yes. You’ve already been punished for your crimes.”

“So we’re through, yeah?” said the Doctor. “My sentence is carried out. I’m not a fugitive to the Time Lords any more.”

“As far as I’m concerned?” said Maltimundar. “You’re a free woman. But I will tell you this.”

He frowned, looking up at the pale blue sky. Beyond it to the stars— which were invisible, but which still were there.

“I told you there were those loyal to the Reign, within the Division still,” he said. “And they’re traditionalists; they’ve no time for paradox. It’s not the kind of faction that they are. So they won’t be best pleased, when they learn that the Doctor is dead. And they’ll be even less pleased, when they find out that she’s still alive.”

He smiled.

“So some of us, you will have to worry about,” he said. “But I’ll do what I can.”

“Yeah,” said the Doctor. “As it happens. There was something else, which I thought that you might want to do.”

She got out the CULLIS from a pocket of her coat, and held it out to Maltimunder with both hands.

“I think this is yours,” she said.

Maltimundar looked at it, taken aback.

“Oh, that’s not from the Division!” he said. “It’s the Porter’s. It’s personal property.”

“I know,” said the Doctor. “That’s why I’m giving it to the Porter right now.”

Maltimundar gave her a very strange look indeed, like he was reevaluating if she was intelligent after all.

“Maybe you’ve misunderstood,” he said. “That’s not a title passed down from person to person. It was his alone.”

“I don’t think it’s a title at all,” said the Doctor. “I think the Porter’s a story. Of looking for some way out, or some way through. Knowing that there are things you haven’t seen. And from what you’ve told me about the universe, where you’re from? It sounds like it’s a story they’re going to need.”

Maltimunder looked at the doorknob in her hands, uncertainly. Eventually, he sighed, and took it into his.

“I’ll try,” he said. “But it’s a lot to live up to.”

“It always is. Doors of perception and wardrobes to other worlds. Imagine. Having to live up to that legacy.”

She looked around at the glade, at the pale, slivering light over the world.

“It’s always strange as a month like this comes to an end,” she said. “The old year fading, the new one not quite being born.”

“November’s coming,” she said quietly. “And 1963.”

Maltimundar looked at her. “What?” he said.

The Doctor shook her head, and smiled.

“Just getting caught up in another story,” she said.

Maltimundar had only been half-listening, she could tell. He was squinting; looking up high to the sky.

“We should go,” he said. “The possibility space is collapsing. There’s just one future up there, now. The one… I don’t want to say the one that should have happened.”

“You can go,” said the Doctor. “I’m going to stay.”

Maltimunder smiled.

“You want to stay and watch as a world dies. You got that from her.”

The Doctor looked back at him, awkward and sheepish.

“I was going to say it’s what she would’ve wanted,” she said. “She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t want any of what I did. But I’m going to do it anyway. I think I have to.”

“If you’re sure,” said Maltimunder. “Standing in the middle of a dozen nuclear explosions? It’s your funeral.”

“Yeah,” said the Doctor. “That’s it exactly.”

Maltimunder smiled, and nodded.

“Doctor,” he said.

The Doctor nodded back.

“Porter.”

“Until we meet again.”

Maltimunder – the Porter – held the CULLIS before him and the COPS, and they all watched as the doorknob began to glow. For an instant, they stood not quite motionless, but moving out in an impossible direction—

And then the Doctor was once again alone.

There was nothing to do now but watch, and wait.

It wouldn’t be long until she saw the end of the world.