The Doctor idly flipped through the pages
of her freshly acquired copy of Capitol Today. It was a little bit morbid reading the deaths and rebirths column, but she
liked to keep track of all her old her friend’s new faces. It was a terrible faux pas not to recognise someone's new
body and she didn't want to upset anyone, not intentionally anyway.
The cup of tea was quite warm; Debbie had excelled
herself this time. There was even some sugar too, which was a bonus, as her companion existed only on a diet of the sweet
The door to the quiet room opened and there was a quite shuffling of many feet that meant Webbi wanted something.
The Time Lady looked down from her plastic sun lounger to see her companion carrying a silver dish on her back with a large
chocolate cake on it.
"Debbie asked me to send you this, she said that you needed lots of bad food to make you feel better
and ruin your waistline." Webbi set the tray down. "Personally I think it needs more maggots, but that's just me. You seem
to be coping better today Doctor."
"Am I?" The Doctor asked no one in particular. "Or maybe the guilt is just fading? Inside
I feel a constant waterfall of self hatred but my eyes can cry no more tears."
"Well maybe they need a little time to fill
up again Doctor? Are you going to wear that black dress and veil for the rest of the week? Only I was thinking I could get
a host body and I could try that outfit on. You don't have one in bright orange do you? That's my colour de jour. Look, I
even painted my mandible claws that colour."
The Doctor sighed and stood up. "One minute he was alive, vibrant with energy
and passion. The next he's a skin for Omega to wear like a dress or a hat. It was so senseless Webbi, "she sighed softly "he
shouldn't have died. I keep asking myself why did Bobby have to die and there are no answers, there's no reason why Bobby
had to die."
Webbi put a leg on the Doctor's shoulder. Perhaps there's no 'right' answer. People are born and then they
die. Sometimes it's for a noble cause, sometimes it on the receiving end of a noble cause, sometimes it's to be food and sometimes
it just happens. People die Doctor, its wrong but sometimes that's the way it is. Not even you can save everyone."
well maybe we'll se about that."
"You can't save them all Doctor; even I don't want people to just die. Not when they can
be eaten alive. I'm not speaking about me personally, I don't like consuming bipeds, and you’re much nicer than many
of my sisters. What I mean is you can't judge who lives and who dies. If you do that then you're trying to be a god and that
makes you no better than Omega."
The Doctor looked around before picking her companion up and giving her a big hug. "Maybe
you're right; it's time to do what I do best."
"Buy clothes and drink tea?"
"What? No. Fight evil and look great doing
it. Come on Webbi, let’s get Debbie away from the sugar and go to work!"
Another day, just like the last
one and the 728 before that. Mordred, son of Arthur and Morgaine opened his eyes and looked up at the ceiling of his prison
“Get up.” A voice, feminine and powerful snapped out the order.
Mordred looked across at the woman.
“Well, well. My luck’s changed for the better at last. Come woman, sit with me and keep me company. This place
wearies me and I have much need of beauty such as yours. I am Mordred.”
The blonde woman stood where she was. “I
know who you are boy, you are nothing compared to your father. He was a good man...still that hardly matters now. I’m
here not because you killed him, no my motives are much baser in motive. You see Mordred; I’m here simply to kill you.”
me? I think not woman, you are no warrior.”
“No, I am not a warrior. I am Merlin, the trickster, the joker,
“Merlin? What manner of jest is this? Merlin may have worn many faces but not even he could
manage one as fair as this.”
“I jest not.” Merlin raised her hand and pointed a red painted fingernail
at Mordred. “I summon the breath of the dragon, from deep within the lungs of Albion. Rise forth foul and pestilent vapours, rise forth and strip away the flesh from the bone.”
this cannot be. My mother killed you Merlin, my mother killed you!” Mordred found his legs immobile as he tried to attack
the witch and he fell forward onto his hands. Great clouds of white smoke billowed up out of the ground, covering him fully.
fitting that you should die on your knees Mordred.” Merlin waited until the smoke receded, leaving only the bleached
bones of her victim. “One down and one to go.” She put her hand on the cell door and it swung open. No one would
miss this petulant child, but the mother? Killing her was going to be a much harder, but much more satisfying challenge.
were faces of panic and fear as the three figures walked through the massed crowds. Faces that had seen things they should
not have had to see.
The Doctor did not ignore these people; indeed her hearts were pounding in her chest at the outrage.
Seeing so many innocent people suffer made her walk that much more determined, made her hold her head up in angry defiance
at this evil, walk with her shoulders supporting the weight of the Universe on them, even with the pads of her jacket.
slid through the crowds of people, a lighting fast latex clad woman with the reactions of lightning and the snarl of a lioness.
Her blonde mane of hair was slicked back and this added to her tuff grrrl image.
Webbi was still trying to get used to
her borrowed body, the arms were a little long for her taste and the legs, well don't talk to her about the legs. However
she could walk, talk and despite making as much headway through the crowd as a tadpole trying to swim up a waterfall she made
up for it with plucky courage and a bloody big stick.
"Stop hitting them so hard Webbi." The Doctor called back to her
chum. "You're causing a scene."
"I'll give them a permanent migraine in a minute." Webbi snapped back. "Will you get out
of my way?" She had to push a rather burly man out of her way. "Heroine trying to get through here. Don't panic, I'm here
to save you all."
"Do me a favour love." The burly man said sarcastically. "You're about as much use as a bottle of petrol
on a bonfire."
"Excuse my young friend; she hasn't quite got the whole heroine thing yet." The Doctor took hold of Webbi's
wrist. "Will you come on? We don't want to be late for the big showdown. You'll make me forget my speech."
"I thought you
always improvised Doctor." Debbie said. "Hey, this is honey." She held up the strange jar. Anyone got a spoon?"
no time." The Doctor grabbed Debbie's writs and dragged her along with her too. "We are going to be noble, heroic and stunningly
gorgeous. We won't win if Webbi keeps on hitting people with that stick and you have your face buried in that jar of honey."
She rolled her eyes. "Honestly you two drive me to despair sometimes.
They came to a tall tower, the door was burned
off and there was a large pool of blood in the doorway.
"Great, now I feel hungry too." Webbi looked at the others. "What?
I'm a carnivore; I like this sort of thing. True it's not a tasty bar of dried beetles and worms but it's still warm and yummy.
Ok, ok. I can take the hint."
"Come on." The Doctor headed up the staircase quite quickly. "We've got an entrance to make.
I've got an appointment with publicity and I don't want to be late."
Debbie looked at Webbi. "Is it just me or is she overcompensating
for Bobby's death?"
Webbi nodded. "Total guilt trip, I'm surprised she hasn't called you Bobby yet."
"Well I don't really
look like him do I? What with being a woman and everything."
"I'm not even the same species as Bobby, maybe we should find
her a convenient likeness to be confused with?"
"I don't think we have the time right now." Debbie replied. "I think she
wants us for this dramatic entrance thing she has planned."
The hall was red, not the mad decorating of someone
with a liking for red but the charnel red of blood splattered death. The walls were covered in the dripping red of murdered
victims. The floor was one huge puddle of congealing blood and the ceiling was a porcupine of metal spines, each one with
the impaled body of a child hanging lifelessly from it.
"Noooooooooo!" The Doctor shrieked as her legs buckled and she
fell down onto her knees. "Noooooooooo!"
"Oh my." Webbi was appalled by the needless slaughter of so many children. Even
though she had seen her sisters dine on human children as a snack, she herself did not like such things. Even killing grown
people was a big no no in her mind.
"We're too late." Debbie said casually. Being already dead, she was not really moved
by the sight of death. Had she been still capable of feeling such things, she would be screaming her lungs out and crying
her eyes out. However her non-living status meant that this never crossed her mind and even the Doctor was not sure if this
was a good thing or not. "We should go."
"Not yet." The Doctor said, her voice low and hateful. "Not yet. Someone has to
bury these poor children. Then we'll find those responsible and then I'll give them a lecture they'll quickly forget."
bother then Doctor?" Webbi asked.
"It was a figure of speech Webbi. I mean that I'm going to kill them. There must be a
price for this evil. I am the ticket collector for all the damned souls in the cosmos. Know me for I am retribution. I am
Nemesis, I am the Doctor."
"Yes." Debbie agreed. "Now how do we get them down?"
The lack of dignity and respect
in this place was astonishing. Since being moved to H wing of Durham prison from
that dreary little place called Holloway she had just not been shown the level of respect she deserved.
She was a Queen,
forged by magic and tempered by sorcery. She was not supposed to be a prisoner, shackled in chains of iron and bound by a
ward of chalk.
It was all his fault of course, that accursed meddler in all of her affairs - Merlin. He had manipulated
her into allowing him to position this world’s champion into a place where he could defeat her. The Brigadier was a
honourable fellow true, but like all warriors he was steeped in blood and like all victors he fought too well.
TARDIS seemed colder now, colder than the empty infinity between the stars. Colder than the space between the bitterest of
enemies. The Doctor looked at her two so-called friends; well it was more of an icy glare really. “You shouldn’t
have stopped me. I had every right to my revenge. Those butchers killed those poor children in cold blood.”
shook her head. “Adding them to the pile of corpses to be buried would not change anything. People would think it was
perfectly acceptable to kill those who were different to themselves. You used to stand for equality and virtue and goodness
for all peoples.”
Webbi nodded in agreement with Debbie. “If you killed those men then you would have become
no better than they were. You would have validated their evil ways. You would have condoned their villainy. You’re not
a killer Doctor, you’re not.”
“I can be anything I like.” The Doctor retorted petulantly.
you can only be you. You are the Doctor, or have you forgotten who you really are?”
“I know exactly who and
what I am thank you very much young lady.” The Doctor spoke like two icebergs colliding. “I’ve done things
you would never believe, I’ve killed in anger before, and I’ve killed in cold blood. I’ve let millions of
people die before; I’ve manipulated my best friends and destroyed my enemies. I know my sins very well, I know what
“You’re not like that though Doctor. Not this you anyway. You’re a good woman, a kind woman;
you’re the sort of person people look to so that they can measure themselves against your goodness.” Webbi looked
at the Doctor. “You’re the sort of person I want to be like. My own people are no better than the Death Lords;
perhaps not one of my sisters or nieces will ever get the chance I did to escape. I would have become like them eventually,
if you hadn’t rescued me Doctor. I know that your hearts are filled with love and kindness; you’re a role model
for the Universe. If you live into this hate then you’ll destroy all the goodness you’ve created in the Universe.
All people will know is hate and suffering and pain and terror and misery. Do you really want to inflict that legacy on all
the innocent people whose deaths you’ll be responsible for?”
The Doctor hung her head. “No, no I don’t
want that. I had to make them pay though.”
“They will. Digging the graves for each and everyone of their victims
is a start.” Debbie put the empty packet of sugar down. “What we have to do now is let you find somewhere where
you can relax. We’ve all been through so much.”
The Doctor stood up. “I know just the place.”
you value our friendship Doctor, you will not suggest the Eye of Orion.”
“Oh.” The Doctor pouted. “Well
I’ve always meant to pop by and see Alistair, why don’t we catch up on some of his stories about him? I should
warn you though; anything he tells you about me is totally true. Yes, once I wore shirts with frilly collars and cuffs!”
cell door opened and a blonde woman walked into her cell.
“So, you must be my new social worker.”
did you come to that conclusion?”
“Well you’re not the governor, you’re not a guard and none of
the inmates here can open a locked door without even a homemade key. So they’ve sent you to tell me what my options
are? Did they tell you all about me? Did they warn you? Everything they said is true and much more besides. I am Morgaine,
I am the Battle Queen of the…”
“I know perfectly well who and what you are.” Merlin looked at her
hated foe. “You sealed me up in that Ice for a thousand years, but I broke free.”
Morgaine backed away. “Merlin?
Is that really you? My, my...this is an improvement.”
“Your son is dead Morgaine.” Merlin took out a
gold ring and held it up to the light. “You gave him this the night before the battle that saw Arthur die. You said
it would protect him against my magic. Nothing can stop the dragon when its anger trembles the very land itself. Not even
I can tame such a beast, nor would I ever try. There is only one reason why I’m here Morgaine, you know why.”
smiled. “I am ready to die Merlin. The question is, are you ready to kill?”
Merlin flicked the ring up into
the air and it was transformed into ashes. “Death comes to everything and everyone. Inside this place we are stripped
of our magic’s, there is only flesh and bone.”
“Very well then Merlin, a fair fight too as you come to
me in the body of a woman. I have killed many women before with my bare hands; one more will make no difference to me.”
TARDIS seemed calm, peaceful and tranquil one second, and the next the cloister bell started tolling. This caused no end of
chaos as the Doctor was running around the controls like a woman possessed and her companions were both trying to keep up
with her and keep out of her way at the same time.
“This can’t be right.” The Doctor studied the instruments
really very carefully.
“What is it Doctor?” Webbi asked.
“This can’t be true.” She tried
to get a second opinion from herself but found that her conclusions were just the same as her own.
“Tell us what’s
going on.” Debbie asked.
“This isn’t possible.” Her worst fears were confirmed, everything was
far too dangerous, too unstable, too epochryphal.”
“What’s not possible?” Webbi and Debbie
The Doctor looked at her two dearest friends. “It seems that I’ve crossed my own time track.
They won’t be happy about that, they never are. The main problem however is the TARDIS cannot cross back over to when
we were. The poor confused thing seems to think I’m not the real me. We’ll have to land nearby and I can reset
Webbi looked across at Debbie and both women shrugged their shoulders.
“You really shouldn’t
have kept that body you know Webbi. I know you were in a rush, we’ll return her to her planet later on.”
hurry Doctor.” Webbi replied. “In fact it could be years. The woman’s mind is addled with madness, if I
were to separate us she couldn’t look after herself. I can repair some of the damage myself, the physical damage. However
the mental problems are well beyond my abilities. The trouble is by the time she could be ready for separation our bodies
will have become as one permanently. I’m stuck as a human woman forever.”
Debbie comforted Webbi as she accepted
her new bi-pedal form. “Do not be too worried, I have many clothes you can borrow.”
The Doctor flicked one final switch and the central column settled down and there was a faint chime. “There we are...touchdown.”
well.” Morgaine said as the form of a blue box appeared in her cell. “It seems my jailor has returned to see his
“Don’t be so certain Morgaine.” Merlin replied. “I sense something of cosmic disturbance
around this vessel.”
Morgaine’s jaw dropped open as a second Merlin walked out of the box. “Two of you
“I’ve told you, I’m the Doctor Morgaine.” Then the Doctor saw her identical twin.
“I see, this must be Merlin. Well she’s certainly attractive and a snappy dresser too, even down to the crushed
green velvet trouser suit with the gold buttons. No wonder the ship got confused. We’re exactly the same Time Lady.”
looked at her twin self. “So you are me in this reality? A wanderer and a compulsive accessoriser?”
nodded. “Yes, it appears so. Still not to worry, I’ve got enough cups in the kitchen. Debbie, be a dear and bring
another cup out with you. Webbi, you can add a few more cakes to the tray.”
Morgaine looked across at Merlin’s
twin. “Doctor, she was going to kill me.”
Merlin nodded. “I’m sure I can share the joy with my
The Doctor looked at Merlin. “You want to kill her? Why?”
“She trapped me, for a thousand
years, in a block of ice. I demand my just revenge from this witch.”
“You want to kill her for that?”
The Doctor asked. “There’s never a good reason to kill, never! I should know, I nearly walked down that path just
a few hours ago. Let your anger go Merlin, you can be so much better than this.”
“Maybe I don’t want
to be the good one anymore? Maybe I want to reshape the Universe in my image?”
“Trust me, you don’t want
all the paperwork. That’s why I let Borusa and Romana have the Presidency. Look at her, see her for what she is. If
you kill her then all that she is, is what you’ll be. You’ll throw away everything we stand for, we must not give
in to our darker side. If you kill then you’re no better than the Valeyard!”
Morgaine looked at Merlin. “You
would give up on your revenge so easily Merlin? You who once called forth Excalibur and gave it to Uther Pendragon? You who
called forth the Dragon? You who taught me everything I knew?” Slowly she inched a homemade knife down her forearm.”
won’t kill you Morgaine.” Merlin replied. “I’d rather let a vile toad like you live. Seeing you trapped
without your magic, it’s more enjoyable than the simple and transient joy of watching the life fade out of your dying
“Then die you fool.” Morgaine threw her homemade knife at the foolish woman.”
The Doctor shouted in wild panic.
Debbie left the TARDIS to see the Doctor holding the lifeless body of someone who looked
exactly like she did. “What’s going on Doctor?”
“Morgaine, she killed her. She had a knife.”
looked across at a second body, the red haired woman was dead. The body was cut in two with each half charred by some great
fire. “You killed her Doctor?”
“Me? I’m not a killer. Not anymore.”
“That is good
Doctor.” Debbie helped the Doctor pick up the body of her identical twin.
“We have to give her a good send
off. I think she would appreciate a funeral pyre.” She operated the controls, dematerialising the ship into the vortex.
She had to get away from this place, away from the place where she had murdered Morgaine.
Webbi handed the Doctor a chocolate
cake. “I’m sure this will cheer you up Doctor.”
She looked at the cake. “Well it looks nice.”
Then she went further inside the ship. “I wonder which one of these rooms is mine?” The woman known as Merlin
was dead, from now on she would be known only as the Doctor. A wanderer in the dimensions of time and space, with her best
friends Debbie and Webbi at her side. Now all she needed to do was work out which of them was which and what the pink metal
dog at her feet wanted so badly it kept bumping into her left ankle