My 2016 fanedit of Face the Raven is again available and will be up on Fanedit.org shortly.
This edit mergers the first episode of Doctor Who’s tenth series with three other episodes from that particular series, removing all the pretentious teasing of what’s inside The Vault that goes ultimately nowhere and has an obvious reveal handed to us within minutes of the episode
Extremis is the first part of the Monk trilogy, which really isn’t that much to write home about, other than virtually any scene that includes Michelle Gomez. It is that scenery chewing that compels me also to use the last few precious minutes of “The Lie Of the Land”, the conclusion to the trilogy, as a coda to this episode, replacing the original ending with The Doctor trying to wipe Bill’s mind of her adventure.
I’ve also decided to insert Bill and her friends finding a new house to live in from the episode “Knock, Knock”. This particular plot point doesn’t actually go anywhere in this edit, it’s just a nice little set up that gives us more of a slice of life with Bill, plus I like the atmosphere of Bill with mates more than putting up with her step-mum.
– After titles, we play some footage from “Extremis”
– “Knock Knock” footage takes over after Missy tells The Doctor to let her live
– Just as Bill is hesitant to sign the contract to move into the house, we cut to The Doctor’s “Time” lecture. Producer and director credit scenes cut
– We cut to “Extremis” footage after The Doctor says “It means life”
– We cut back to “The Pilot” after Nardole tells The Doctor he can kick his arse
– We cut back to “Extremis” after the Puddle establishes the link with the pilot
– White flash cross fade from “Extremis” to Christmas at the University in “The Pilot”
– Cut Heather meeting Bill outside the university and repeating what she says
– Cut the TARDIS landing in Australia
– Last of the “Extremis” footage plays after Bill notices her tears
– “Lie of the Land” ending used as final scene
(To download, please register at Fanedit.org and PM “Zarius”)
Debuts for Doctors are, like regeneration, a bit dodgy, you never know what you’re going to end up with, but it’d better be good.
Deep Breath is good for the most part, and this by no means an attempt to reinvent the wheel, rather instead we take the wheel and add it to an altogether different motor.
Fanediting is very much like the broom analogy in the story, which, lucky for you I’ve kept in. After a while, is it the same film or show? Of course it is’nt, and that’s the point.
But with the way story arcs in television and film series, one can glue things together a tiny bit more confidant that it can mesh well, and create the illusion that some things stay very much the same.
So we come to this, a chance to launch Peter Capaldi’s Doctor a bit differently. An hour-long opening with Twelve mulling over whether or not he’s a good man, complete with a scene that really enforces whether or not he is as he dispatches Half-Face Man at the start of the story.
I figure if you’re going to relaunch Doctor Who to the casual crowd, you really should try things the way Russel T. Davies managed…we’ve seen the regeneration, we’ve seen previous Doctors work out their mission statement in their openers…let’s see Capaldi struggle with his mission statement right off the bat and not have him try to work out if he’s got Clara’s name right or if he can really complain about things now that he’s scottish. Let’s be like our rebel time lord and be rebellious…let us see him kick up a fuss, be proactive, and kick arse as soon as he see him.
Let’s stick him in the midst of a proper adventure. A typical Saturday Night out for him and his mates. Most of the story you’ve seen unfold in the original cut of Deep Breath is elaborated on within the restaurant confrontation with Half-Face Man, it’s almost as if Deep Breath could have just been a “day in the life” minisode before the main event.
And, appropriately enough, the privilege of facing off against Capaldi should lie with The Daleks.
Outside of The Power of the Daleks, no other Doctor’s debut story has opened with them facing him. Odd given their long history, but they’re mostly reserved for Doctor’s finales in the new stuff (except for Tennant), so I figured “what the heck?”
Changes in full
-Kicking things off in the edit right off the bat is the final third of Deep Breath, and the Doctor’s companions knee-deep in danger. It’s a typical Saturday night with the new Doctor introducing himself by pouring a glass and then debating life and death with The Half-Man. What serves as a decisive stand off becomes an enigmatic introduction to our favorite time lord.
-The titles kick in after Clara finds the TARDIS is missing from the courtyard
-First use of Into the Dalek footage kicks off after the titles, with the new Doctor answering the distress call and reaching the asteroid base where he learns of the Dalek being held prisoner. We cut before we see what he sees
-Resume Deep Breath footage here with Vastra assuring Clara The Doctor will return for her. We end the footage once they arrive in Glasgow, but cut before they talk about buying chips and coffee.
–Cut to Danny Pink arriving for class. His drill sergeant routine with the boys has been cut
-Cut The Doctor and Clara talking about coffee and glasgow.
At the 26: 29 mark of the edit , you hear a door clicking just before Clara closes the door in the shot, this is not a miscue with the audio, that is actually The Doctor opening the TARDIS door, which becomes clear in the next shot. I was worried people would mistake that for an error, but rest assured it isn’t.
Big T Anderson of Youtube was kind enough to read out one of my fanfics. Check out his profile for more fanfiction readings and give him a like and comment
Prior to the sensations one experiences with the real thing, it is photographs that are your infant footsteps into the mists of time.
The day you’re born, the day you marry, the day life you’ve yourself created comes to life, and the cycle repeats.
All of it contained in photographs.
In her attack on Bannermen Road, Sarah Jane Smith was looking over one such photograph, trying to solve a puzzle. She had been resisting a desire to sort it out at later date, but something was compelling her to examine it more thoroughly now.
It had been sent to her via a time/space telegram courtesy of her computer Mr. Smith, who had intercepted it. The photograph, a colourful photo of what appeared to be a bright and bustling summer’s day, two young and energized people standing still in the midst of a traffic jam surrounding a vast futuristic city with golden spires and lush gardens growing from every rooftop.
They stood transfixed, one holding the other tightly, beside him a small grey and white cylinder.
It was tranquil, it allowed her present mood to settle.
She turned back to her computer to resume her Skype call, all too suddenly reminded why she had put off her examination.
“You alright Mum?” Luke Smith asked as they continued their online chat.
“Tell me more about this Earl ‘Early’ Ladd” she asked
“Well, he kind of got that nickname from how early his social care buddies always were with him. He’s sort of become the envy of the rest of the dorm at the moment, his carers caught wind one of his interests was professional wrestling, so they found someone who had connections with the business and were keen to give him an opportunity to interview them”
“Oh my, I hope he doesn’t feel too overwhelmed” a concerned Sarah asked
“He did sort of vent to me about it, he said he was starting to feel less like a person and more of a project, something for the programme to brag about if he ever achieved success through those opportunities”
“He should make that clear to his carers then, when’s this interview due?”
“It’s just past midnight, so sometime this afternoon, Saturday the twenty-ninth, the choice is entirely up to him”
Luke couldn’t help but notice that Sarah Jane was starting to look a bit distant. Her eyes had widened, her face looked visibly fragile. She peered over at a calendar and let out a small giggle. Luke kept his eyes trained on her eyes.
“Mum?” he asked
“Oh don’t mind me, it’s silly” she said.
“No, it’s sad” came a voice from behind her.
Sarah turned around to find a lean, tall, somewhat elder man standing in front of a bulky police call box situated in the centre of the loft.
“Mum…is that…” Luke began as he recognized the police box as belonging to a friend of the family, The Doctor.
Sarah swiftly turned back to the computer and cut him off.
“We’ll talk later, ok? You be a good boy and pop off to bed, dream of the next day, or the day before, pick and choose, just don’t worry about tonight”
“Any dream will do” said the man.
“But Mum…” Luke spoke.
“I love you” Sarah continued.
With a punch of a key, the Skype chat was cut off, and Sarah turned to address her visitor.
“Yes, well, memories can be sad as well as kind I suppose” she said
“Tell me what’s wrong” The Doctor replied
“It’s an important date today, surprised you remembered it” Sarah said, folding her arms.
“I count all the anniversaries…none of them get past me” The Doctor replied.
“We both know from experience some people evade time” Sarah replied.
“Not always by choice Sarah” The Doctor responded.
“That photograph you sent me…from the far future correct?”
“Correct” said The Doctor.
“Who’s future is it? Yours, or mine?”
“There’s a third answer to that”
“Yes, well I’m not entertaining it”
“Yes, I imagine you wouldn’t” The Doctor remarked.
“I shouldn’t even have asked you the first question” Sarah replied.
“Days like these to a time traveller…they provide all sorts of questions, even the answers are riddles to us all” The Doctor answered back.
“Is that why you’ve come…to help us sort something out? Keep that future in place, or are we to prevent it from happening?”
“That would entail running towards something, I just dropped in to say why I’m not dropping in on this day a lifetime ago…why it has to be me”
“I got careless Sarah…incredibly careless. Something happened at the Olympic Games last year for you…so many years past for me now”
“I saw it on the news, you carrying the torch, I was beaming with pride” Sarah replied.
” I was there twice that day Sarah, a runner with the torch came under attack. I saved him”
“Saved him from what?”
“I delivered him from Angels” The Doctor replied, walking over to a table and flicking small traces of dust from atop it.
“So what was the problem?”
“The Angel found its way into the TARDIS, it gathered up as much artron energy as it could muster and it hid itself away, lurked undetected and followed us all the way back to Manhattan where we dealt with other Angels…and when we tucked time back into place, it picked it’s moment to strike…and it took them Sarah, my friends…sacrificed to it…’my Angel'”
“Is that how you lost her?” Sarah asked, knowing what this meant.
“She chose her heart over her head, it’s love, it triumphs, that’s all I can take from this”
“You must tire so easily these days”
“Of what?” The Doctor asked
“Of how many times your hearts break”
“So many of them stray so far beyond me…this one was different, this one encouraged me to go on..just for a bit longer”
“And you did?” Sarah asked.
“Eventually, life sent forth a spark, one that lit the milky way, it will take a very special star in the eye of another to match what I saw in that…whoever that may be, I intend to give their name and their face a place in my memory”
“You’ve forgotten the last one? You?” Sarah said, slightly aghast.
“It surprises even me too”
“But you remember the feelings that person gave you, it’s strong…as strong as when you said…”
She trailed off, not wanting to add further tension, The Doctor opted to finish her sentence for her
“…As strong as when I said goodbye to you. You and one other”
“Other? There was another?” Sarah asked.
“Her name was River…” The Doctor replied.
A chap came from the TARDIS doors, The Doctor’s plump and oafish assistant Nardole stepped forward.
“Interrupting am I?” he asked.
“Hopefully it’s with good news” The Doctor remarked.
Nardole waved to Sarah, who nimbly waved back.
“Doctor, the temporal tears over Manhattan were made of the same artron storms as those over Coal Hill”
“Are you trying to tell me our attempts to deflect the tears caused them to bounce off one continental radius to another?”
“Were they supposed to?” asked Nardole.
“I’ve got to get over there as soon as possible, someone may lose an arm or a leg over all this” The Doctor remarked, and ushered Nardole back into the TARDIS.
He took a look back at Sarah.
“I’m on call” he said.
“Do your duty” she said.
Before he entered The TARDIS, The Doctor froze, and looked back up at her.
“When River and I last parted…I said goodbye, but I never called her mine. She’d kill me if I ever claimed her as my property”
“It’s never been about property Doctor, it’s always been about the promise. Promise me you’ll be safe…that you’ll always be safe”
“Goodbye, my Sarah Jane” The Doctor replied, permitting himself a wry smile, before entering his faithful ship.
As he began punching in co-ordinates and cross-examining tears settling across the Manhattan and Coal Hill skyline, Nardole saw fit to intercede again.
“You know I was running a background check on that photograph you sent Ms. Smith and I was fascinated by it, apparently it’s meant to be a representation of a secret commitment ceremony that Time Lords make to those they consider compatible soul mates that they are torn from by time and duty …was there any particular reason you…”
“If I were you, I’d just answer the call” The Doctor remarked.
“That didn’t work out so well for Melissa McCarthy” remarked Nardole.
The TARDIS dematerialized, leaving Sarah Jane Smith to tend to her moist eyes, her tense emotions, her photograph, and her eternal promise.
“God speed my Doctor…….MY angel” she whispered.
“LEAVE THE DEAD TO DUST”
A SHORT SCREEN PLAY BASED OFF OF “HELL BENT”
- EXT- DESERT-DAY
Several Gallifreyan younglings are playing a game of tag with one another when a stern, commanding middle-aged woman urges them to seek shelter within-she has spotted someone approaching in the distance.
This person- THE DOCTOR- his coat slung over his shoulder, his head flooded with sweat under the searing sun of his homeworld. He has walked many miles and the fatigue is visible on his weary head.
Still, he walks with purpose, heading towards the hut. It is a place very familiar to him-very personal-he begins to reminisce…
- INT-HUT-NIGHT (FLASHBACK)
Flashback to “LISTEN”, where CLARA OSWALD’s familiar voice sooths the frightened and distressed YOUNG DOCTOR. She assures him all is well.
CUT BACK TO:
A CLOSE UP OF THE DOCTOR’S FACE, there is clear and visible anger here…a man driven to his limits. Clara’s voice can still be heard to echo all around our ears.
The Doctor enters the hut and is greeted by the woman, the younglings cowering behind her. CLOSE UPs of their frightened faces. The woman looks concerned…for a moment.
The Doctor does not say a word. He lets his eyes do the talking.
The Woman’s facial expressions go through a series of expressions-curiosity turns to excitement-she recognizes him!
Then, as quickly as that expression appears-it’s gone, as a looming dread washes over her.
Her hesitation to speak ends abruptly.
They’ll kill you
CUT BACK TO:
- EXT-GALLIFREYAN CAPITAL-DAY
Within the domed capital of the planet GALLIFREY, we see panic on the streets as the familiar tolling of CLOISTER BELLS ring from every corner of the city.
We PAN UPWARDS from the streets of the city to a majestic ,gleaming TOWERING STRUCTURES. Buildings belonging to the most elite and privileged of Gallifreyan society-THE HIGH COUNCIL OF TIME LORDS.
We steadily ZOOM IN on the central tower. Peering out of the structure is a robed figure- a stressed and perturbed expression on his features, his head resting against the metallic hand he has leaned on the glass of the window giving him a view of the city
- INT-HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER
It is a frantic and bustling scene as Time Lords of supreme stature receive a visit from the captain of the CHANCELLERY GUARDS. He leans down on one knee and bows before the assembled Time Lords
My Lord President
The President turns from the window to address the captain
The entire cloister is ringing Captain Gastron…how many of the Wraiths are active?
All of them sir.
Then we are facing great danger
Another of the assembled Time Lords, THE GENERAL, last seen in “DAY OF THE DOCTOR”, intercedes
What of The Doctor?
Returned to his roots sir, the orphanage just east of the capital.
Despatch a squadron to retrieve him immediately.
The General takes The President aside
Lord President, I have been in contact with Karn. Ohlia of the Sisterhood requests an audience
LORD PRESIDENT (angry)
They are exiles, cut off from our society, they should have no influence on the affairs of this planet!
Now is not the time to remind us of how divided we are. The hybrid is a danger that threatens all corners of the Universe.
The President’s ire is quick to fade , his face one of solemn resignation to the matter at hand.
The Doctor is enjoying a piping hot bowl of soup. The Woman keeps the children at arm’s length, watching The Doctor silently. The Doctor does not say a word, he takes a few spoonfuls.
One child chooses to be brave and breaks off from the sheltered group to ask The Doctor a question
You’re sad. Most sad. I can see it in your eyes. Why is this so?
The Doctor stares coldly at the child, there is no compassion even in moments where there should be.
The Woman pulls the child back, The Doctor resumes his meal.
A distant rumble can be heard in the distance. Steadily, the noise gets louder, the table and soup bowl begins to shake.
Some of the children begin to talk amongst themselves. Some are frightened.
She exits through the main door, the bright and searing sunlight seeps into the room, illuminating The Doctor. The children remain transfixed by him…and somehow all their fears evaporate
The Woman steps back into the barn, she steadily approaches The Doctor, anxious, but resolute.
They’ve come for you
The Doctor stares back at the children. He slowly rises to his feet and walks up to the Woman.
Tell them everything will be alright
The Woman finally permits herself a grin. The children smile too. Though his soul is lost, The Doctor is not without heart.
The Doctor pats the Woman tenderly on the shoulder and opens the door
The Doctor peers out of the door to find a small platoon of Gallifreyan storm troopers awaiting him. Towering high above them is a Gallifreyan assault ship, it’s weapons firmly and locked on to the soil on which The Doctor stands.
The leader of the platoon, BESTRAL, approaches The Doctor and extends his hand in a gesture of friendship
Doctor, I am Captain Bestral, on behalf of the high council, I welcome you back…
The Doctor has no time for pleasantries, especially from this type of person. He quickly takes a few steps backwards back into the barn and slams the door firmly shut, leaving the guards flabbergasted.
Put me through to the High Council
- INT-HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER-DAY
Bestral is granted an audience with the assembled Time Lords. The President a tad overeager for progress to be made. His iron gauntlet shimmers with sheer power as if to more clearly convey his frustration as he tries to maintain a sense of composure.
Why do you delay?
He is being… difficult…Lord President, as you had foreseen
The President turns to The General, his features contorted as he juggles disbelief and paranoia.
What does he want?
What any victim of the confession trials want and seldom never receive my Lord…a reckoning.
The child that had noted The Doctor’s sadness from earlier spots the Time Lord searching through a casket. He removes several items, including several fob watches and an Edwardian era Jacket. At one point, he finds a packet of Jelly Babies. He takes a few out and offers them to the boy.
Care for one?
No one’s supposed to touch anything in there
Because a grownup said so?
We have to obey orders, they say we’ll become soldiers one day
How long has it been since this planet last saw war?
They say war is as eternal as time.
And just like time…it inevitably passes.
The Doctor finds what he is looking for, a musical instrument, a wooden, six string guitar, he plays a solemn version of Clara’s theme on it. The children all gather around him as he plays, transfixed by the occasion. Even The Woman, trying to maintain a semblance of structure and attempting to pry the children’s attention away from The Doctor, cannot help but be moved.
There was such sadness in your eyes…now there is pain in this song. This one, does it have a name?
The Doctor spots something in the crate, the small soldier figurine from “Listen”, he stares at it, a sense of longing in his ancient face
I think it’s called…Clara
A voice from behind the door swiftly interrupts them
Doctor, this is your last warning. Accompany us to the capital, or we will be forced to remove you from this dwelling by force
What are you going to do?
The Doctor begins playing a different track on the guitar, “Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky”
Don’t worry, it’s empty words. I trust them to follow their conscious. They know what I did in the last war.
What did you do?
I did some counting
- INT-HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER
We find the President is again in great distress, his frustration knows no limits as the guards delay outside the hut
Who do they think he is to warrant more delay?
The man who won the time war sir
Ohlia and the Sisterhood of Karn enter the chamber, flanked by guards
I see The Doctor’s homecoming has not come without it’s inevitable problems
He blame us for the horrors he faced in the confession dial
No, not at all..he just blames YOU
The Doctor is perched on a straw bed, hearing the music he’d been playing earlier played back to him by the child, who he is now allowing to play with the guitar. He hears another loud hum overhead. He steadily rises to his feet, he seems to know this is the kind of house call he had been desiring. His reckoning is here
The President of the Time Lords, flanked by Bestron and his guards, stand outside the hut
The Doctor takes the Edwardian jacket from the pile left on the floor and puts it on. He make his way to the door. The woman and children are there to greet him. The woman is conflicted, not wanting to defy the President, but does not desire The Doctor to give himself up when he has brought much joy to her children.
He’s waiting for you…I don’t think we should delay any further. If you knew the stories about what he can do…I don’t wish for that on the boys, you understand of course.
Yes. I know. This is where we part, thank you for all you’ve done for me
The child, still holding the guitar in his right hand, tugs at The Doctor’s coat with his left.
Will we see you again?
In time…and maybe in space. It’s a big universe. You could do with running straight into it when you’re older
The Doctor pats the child on the head and boldly takes steps to exit the Hut.
The bright searing Gallifreyan sunlight bursts forth and some of its rays illuminate the tense showdown between The Doctor and the President
We did not go to this much trouble for you to create discord upon your return
Get off my planet
The President laughs
You have no gratitude. Were it not for my orders, you would not standing before me now with a new face…a new life
This face is old, this life is scarred. Also by your orders. Another life has been lost. I do not forget these deeds.
Your companion’s death was a result of her own reckless overconfidence
You set a trap for me and she walked straight into it
We required your assistance
You could have summoned me
And give our location away to our enemies? We are more vulnerable now than ever Doctor, we have seen much conflict since returning to this universe. Many have tried to stand in Gallifrey’s ruins.
There were other ways
You would have been difficult to deal with if merely summoned. You may not have been willing to tell us all you know about the Hybrid, a danger to us all
The Hybrid was a story
Every story ever told is history Doctor, history that has either been prevented by us, or history that is bound to happen if we leave it unchecked
You said you were the Hybrid Doctor
Yes I did, and no, I didn’t. Have you been paying attention to history?
Tell us what you know
Get off my planet
Gallifrey is mine
The President raises his iron glove, it begins to glow
Lord President, please, this is not the way
No, let him sic his mitten on me, it’s bringing out the colour in those ice-cold cheeks
I do not jest Doctor, I shall go to any lengths to get the truth. In the confession dial you died time and again…and where we come from, time has no desire to leave the dead alone.
The Doctor stands firm, we continuously CUT BETWEEN CLOSE-UPS of the two staring intently at each other, neither backing down from what they mean or say.
Finally, one Time Lord can stand it no longer.
Lord President, do not-
The President unleashes a sudden burst of energy from his glove, the General throws himself into the line of fire and becomes a smouldering wisp of smoke and ash.
The Doctor catches the President unawares with a firm right hook, the President falls to the floor, The Doctor places one foot soundly on his glove as guards swarm over them
The Doctor removes the President’s glove
Take a look at what he is willing to do here, make a choice.
The Doctor stares at the remnants of the General’s clothes, a pained yet stern and commanding presence on his face as he recalls the smoke pouring from Clara’s corpse in “FACE THE RAVEN”
The soldiers drop their weapons and pick up the fallen President, restraining him, their choice made
I am Rassilon, the redeemer, Rassilon the resurrected, Gallifrey is mine. You will obey me!
Noone is your servant and you are not The Master, and I mean that quite literally. You do not rule over these men or any other. Not any longer.
Rassilon is taken back to his ship, he looks over at the children staring back at him. The young boy plays ‘Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky’ on the guitar
Nicely played kid.
My Lord Doctor, shall I order the potion mixers back at the capital to prepare the General for resurrection?
No, no soldier, he’s earned his rest. Even as it comes to claim us all, it’s best for life and time if we merely leave the dead to dust.
TWO SIDES TO THIS WALL
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Doctor Who is trademarked by the BBC.
Note: This takes place during “For Tonight We Might Die”, the opening episode of the DW spin-off CLASS, shortly after the character Ram has been dealt a personal blow by The Shadow-Kin.
Ram was unable to comprehend it at this moment in time.
He felt there there was this wall where he used to be. Of which there was two sides.
The physical one, and the mental one. Both fused together. Both sides couldn’t be climbed over.
The loss of so much this night had been overwhelming.
He looked around him, taking in the immense width of the room he was in. He hoped it would take one side of the wall, the one chained to his mind, off of dealing with the immense pain.
“So much” he whispered, hoping he wouldn’t be heard.
The Doctor caught what he said.
“So much pain?” The Doctor asked.
“So much…bigger” Ram said, raising his voice a little higher.
“Yes, you don’t know how many times I’ve tried to shorten the length. I once had Santa himself complain to me about it, all those children of the universe writing letters back saying their toys were never quite as accurate in relative dimensions as this”
“What, you know Santa?” Ram asked
“Doesn’t everybody?” the man replied.
“Yeah, but he’s…a story” Ram said
“Everything’s a story, a character, a play, I’ve never preferred the one-man shows though, imagine a whole room where there’s no speaking parts but you and an audience that you have to inject with all of your ego-massaging. The sound of your own voice will never be the sound of drums, I’ve tried telling an old friend that a few times. She never listens.”
“What happened…back there…in the halls, in the dark, it’s just…I can’t face it again” Ram said, his mind already racing back to the fragile final seconds of the life he’d lived before. A life with Rachel and an intact leg.
“What is it with you teenagers wanting to disconnect from the world, especially without realizing what you can do with it?” The Doctor asked, refusing to settle for the pessimism.
“We wanted to be happy, to challenge the world in ways that don’t…punish us you know? We wanted to scale the walls, not be pushed off a building” Ram said.
“Oh who are we fooling?” The Doctor countered, scanning the frightened teen with his sonic screwdriver, “The human race does nothing but climb, they ascend to the highest mountains, they plant the seeds for generations to grow taller. If someone comes and finds it so easy to cut you down, it doesn’t stop you inspiring others to push harder so it’s much more difficult to do so again. Don’t just climb over the wall, break through it. Do I have your promise of that?”
Ram nodded. He didn’t really buy the speech given to him, he just wanted the procedure over with so he could walk out of this strange blue box and back into the uninviting world. It may not be the world he desired, but he had to see where he now stood in it, and make up his mind later whether he should stand his ground there.
Rachel would have wanted that much for him at least.
“Careful now” said The Doctor as he grafted the artificial leg to the gaping hole that was once connected to Ram’s original one, now severed from his body by the nefarious Shadow-Kin.
Ram felt a nerve-wrenching jolt as the leg snapped into place, but he held in the urge to yell, for his soul had deafened heaven and hell enough for one evening.
And something about this place felt calm, soothing. The elderly man working on him had done much to keep him and a band of other misfit sorts from further hall this cold and unkindly night.
As he walked back out of the blue box, he sat down and took in what the old man had to say. That there were tears in time and space, that Coal Hill Academy would serve as a beacon for all manner of alien terrors, things that would ensure things would never resemble a normal quality of life for any of them.
He said time had looked upon all of them, and then it would not forget.
And then he stopped.
And he stared.
He stared intently at something on the wall, a mural with names listed on them. Two names stood out to The Doctor.
He was immersed, interested, but distant.
Ram could sense something. Something all too familiar.
He couldn’t tell how, he just knew, instinctively.
Part of him felt he should have sensed it earlier when he looked the old man straight in the eyes, for they were well-worn eyes, eyes that had seen billions of years of physical taxation and emotional heartache. His fancy speeches were all he could do to camouflage years of loss, years of struggle, internally and outwardly.
He should have seen it.
The Doctor was facing a wall. Of which there were two sides to it. Physical and mental.
And he couldn’t breach either one of them.