A Pause For Thought
Teapot here, kettle /on/...
There we go.
Nagging at me again.
It's far more irritating having a hole in your memory than having blank space.
Like having a rotten tooth that won't come out. You just want to keep poking at it.
Optional change. I /know/ the amnesia was an optional change - but I chose to keep it.
I forgot whatever lies in that hole for a /reason/. I hope it was a good one...
...but looking back, I suspect it was a case of "the straw that broke the camel's back".
A Time Lord's conscience is an ancient and terrible thing.
This Time Lord's conscience is ancient and terrible.
Planets and stars, dead at my hands... Cultures and civilisations dead.
Whatever happened in that hole, it crossed a line.
I remember... I remember leaving America with Charley, I remember that much...
...and the next I can remember is waking up in a railway carriage.
Between then and then, something happened. /Something/.
Sam aged - I hope I didn't leave her too long before I got back to her, at least I hope
Aged five, six years? A lot of time must have passed. She doesn't seem angry with me,
fortunately, we didn't leave on bad terms.
Happened far too often for my liking, leaving things undone, words unspoken...
Stacy and Ssard got married - I do hope the wedding went well. Monsters or megalomaniacs
always seem to have a habit of disrupting these things. Things don't seem to have been
messed up that much...
Wonder what I gave them as the present? Rude to ask...
...was it Charley or Sam I went with? Hmm.
/Somewhere/ along the line, I must have met Fitz. /Probably/ in the 1960s, I'm
guessing - his music definitely reminiscent of that era, some of the riffs and touches
are familiar - and he ended up in 2001, as I ended up in the 1880s.
Well, it'd hardly be fair to expect /him/ to live out a hundred years while the TARDIS
Now there's an irony. Charley asked me in Venice "I hope you'd never leave me like
that", leave her for a hundred years...
...and I ended up being the one left for one hundred years.
Hmm. The TARDIS /was/ still regrowing, Fitz was waiting for me - a note, left in my
pocket, a woman's handwriting. Compassion's, I suspect - Sam's and Charley's handwriting
are that little bit different. Might be someone else's, though. Compassion probably the
one who left us there, then off on her own...
...sometimes I /swear/ the old girl dotes on her daughter.
The family resemblance is striking - parts of Compassion's structure mirror the old
girl's. Developed from her template - not built, though. Hmm. Interesting, that.
What did I expect? The old girl's lived long enough to pick up some tricks even /they/
don't know. Beating the TARDIS builders at their own game... wonder what Romana made of
Something probably happened to the old girl. Near-destruction... so Compassion /chose/
to make her services available... up until the Bad Thing.
Fred said something about 'Bad things happening' once, I think... the Bad Thing is
locked /tight/ in my memory.
I can guess... Compassion, Fitz, the Ship, and I, at least, were there when the Bad
Thing happened. The Ship needed to regrow, Compassion decided to leave, Fitz decided to
stay... and, Inside, there is the blank space before I woke up on the train.
Feelings, images, thoughts... they come out of the blank space, sometimes, leak through
the gates I locked and barred, images from what happened before... I think they know
Outside... Outside, it's as if I can see across a gap - the void has become a hole,
years across, and beyond it lies the /rest/ of my life, the first few years of this
life...meeting Sam, popping off for a while while she went to that rally, meeting Stacy
and Ssard, their leaving in the 40th century, then meeting Charley... and then the hole.
Not the same for Izzy and Fey, though - I remember them, can see /why/ I remember...
I remember carrying a limp body back to the TARDIS, a voice telling me 'It's... gettin'
cold... Professor...'... another companion, dead in my arms.
Yet she's there, a confident, assured young woman, not the dead teenager I remember,
leaving me to become Time's Vigilante.
In one lifetime, she died. In the other, she lived.
In one, there is no hole in my memory. In the other, it's there.
In one, there's Sam, Stacy, Ssard, Charley... can /guess/ at Compassion, and Fitz, and
now there's Anji...
In the other, there is Izzy, Fey and Kroton.
And Outside, both are a part of my memory. Of my /life/.
And so all of them have travelled with me. Are my companions.
Travelling companions... in the Victorian sense, someone who travelled with, accompanied
a traveller on their journeys, it is the best word in English I've found.
Not parent... they have - or had - parents of their own. Acting as a parent figure
sometimes, yes... Mentor... too much of a teacher-student relationship, as if I'm
guiding them. Learn from me, yes... but that's not the main reason. Assistant?
Impersonal, for my taste, suggests their role is my assistance...
No, companion is the right word. That connotation of a certain amount of security and
responsibility in my hands, that recognition of independence and free will, the nature
of the relationship.
...hmm, getting Anji home. She wants it, thinks she wants it... not quite sure if she'll
let herself think she /doesn't/ want it. She doesn't want it just yet...
"You're my best friend."
If I take her back to her rightful time and place - her /rightful/ time - she's going to
die. Will die.
Time demands that all onboard her airship died - all 54 of them.
Charley is the 54th.
54 died. One survivor could alter the future in any number of ways - I know this, I
/know/ this, they drilled it into our heads at the Academy...
Time demands that this one girl be sacrificed to her. One girl.
I'm not that cold-blooded. Not that ruthless. Time was, I might have been... but not
To sacrifice another in her place? Selfish, Doctor, selfish. Sacrificing one life to
I cannot... I /must/, but I /cannot/.
One life. One life alone.
Time has already demanded so much... Roz, Adric, Katarina... lost to her ravages.
Will she claim one more as hers? Will time be arranged such that /not/ to take her back
would be a worse thing than to do so?
Or will I find myself with another body cooling in my arms? One I have no /choice/ but
to take back?
Cruel, too cruel...
...and it is all too clear why I chose to forget. There comes a time when it can /no
longer be borne/, beyond what even a /Time Lord/ might choose to accept.
And those secure in their high towers... they /would/ have taken her back, without even
a twinge of conscience - worse, /with/ a twinge, for Time will be served, no matter the
lives lost. /Everyone/ dies, sooner or later...
...but Charley's will be /later/, if it is within my power.
Time will ask a high price for that, I know.
Can I - Will I - pay?
Once, I would. Now?
I don't know.
And Time /watches/...
...I /cannot/ go back, cannot stop the mindswap, cannot stop Izzy ending up in a body
not her own. To do so interferes in our personal pasts - and that is the one thing I
Can save a girl from Time, but I cannot intervene in my past. Cannot save all those I
I cannot save Izzy. It /happened/. I saw it. To change my past would be...
...a paradox. I change my past because of what I know now, so it never happens in my
timeline - but it must have, otherwise I couldn't act on it.
That I'm even considering this... treads close, too close to darkness.
I do not belong to it - but one misstep, and I still may...
None of which matters if I don't stop that Necrotist in time.
"Art is rooted in death".
"Art is above morality"...
Art created through the death of others. Of other sentients.
That's the Necrotist philosophy.
And now... now, one of them has come to Earth. For her greatest piece of art - the death
of an entire town to 'reclothe' a fleshless, murderous group of aliens...
...who will, of course, kill the Necrotist once her job's done.
But it looks like that Necrotist, Susini, has her /own/ ideas...
And Izzy's out there - I left her back at the TARDIS, and she still followed me, still
felt she had to help.
I should know her well enough that she'd do that. But with this bodyswap...
...and that's what makes her vulnerable. Offered the chance to be the girl she used to
be - using their telepathy against her to see what - who - she most wants back. Herself.
A kind of mass hypnosis. Showing the town the people they most want back, hope will
-and I know who they'd show me. Know that all too well-
-then moving in to strip their flesh.
If I'm in time... if I'm in time.
My own assumptions. I assumed - she said - she'd stay in the TARDIS, stay out of sight -
they'd call her a freak, or an animal. Some would be sympathetic, one-on-one... but they
would /see/ an alien...
But she had to help me. Didn't want to leave me behind - not with what she knew was out
Braver than Izzy gives herself credit for. Far, far braver than she'll ever believe she
And that bravery - that pride - could kill her. Or save her...
He came back after... after the Bad Thing.
Came back... is there anything else for him? Anything else he sees as this important?
I don't know. I don't /know/ him that well, any more...
I know him - but I don't know what he's been through, what he's gone through, what else
He chose to stay after the Bad Thing. Even in the face of - that - he chose to stay.
Guarding or watching? Making sure I don't do it again - or making sure I don't remember?
Keeping me going. Trusting me to do the right thing.
...I deliberately /used/ it. Used and abused trust, in the name of the greater good.
Because there was no other way? I could tell myself that, but...
...there /were/ other ways, but the price was higher still. Higher than I could accept.
So their trust. Their trust became another piece on the great chessboard.
That's not the problem these days - blindness... Blindness is proving to be more of a
Frustration that others can't see what seems so plain. Frustration - disgust - with
myself for overlooking, for assuming, making assumptions.
Anger. Anger at the limitations of my worldview - and the limitations of others...
Anger and grief, the grief of what those limitations result in...
But I would accept this /happily/, if it meant never seeing the chessboard again.
And Time seems to take a distinct pleasure in removing their trust in... in life, in the
universe, in anything /except/ me.
Anji trusts that I will return her home, accepts that I do what I /think/ is right in a
situation, that I am what might be called good... but she remains at a distance, looking
at what I do in the name of that good. Never total trust... necessary, necessary.
Izzy... Izzy claims she trusts too much, too ready to accept people as they seem to be.
It's not a flaw, I told her that, but she doesn't believe it. She trusts in the way
things go around me. And deep down, there is faith that she will return to her original
Charley... she trusts that I will show her adventure, wonder... that we'll get mixed up
in /something/ - and that I will return her home. And I am faced with betraying that
trust in the name of the 'greater good'. Yet that trust is what matters...
Fitz trusts that I am a greater good to the universe than an evil - that we /will/ win
through, that we will save the day. Yet... yet his trust in himself, in his self,
seems... seems fragile, founded on rocky ground. And so he's placed it in me... why?
Compassion... I wonder. A security in herself, a /belief/ in something, secure in it.
Yet also unsure of herself, in what she can do, the potential of what she could be, by
turns terrified and wondering - a little girl, discovering trust in herself. Like her
mother, like and unalike.
Fey is a different case altogether. Her faith lies in those she calls friends - and to
use those friends, or to use /her/... /that/ is her trigger. What angers her, leads her
to lash out. What may also be a problem are her conflicting trusts - what would she do,
if asked to choose?
Ssard is like Fey in a number of ways. In /his/ time, the Martians were not invaders of
Earth. Trust was placed in the rulers of one's domain. It's whether or not others are
/worthy/ of that trust that matters. He feels I am... but to the unworthy?
Stacy... she trusted that I could keep her safe from harm, that I could rescue her. In
the second, she was right. In the first... in the first, I could not. Like Izzy, she
doesn't blame me for that. And she found that trust again - and, in time, care and
love - with Ssard.
Sam is hardest of all. Her faith is in what she and others can do, faced with an
injustice, willing to think about it - about what should be done against it. What is the
least wrong choice to make. That there are differnt ways of fighting. Her faith that she
was in the /right/ has changed...
...I wonder. This Sabbath - whomever, whatever, he is - differing goals, a differing
worldview. One that opposes mine in certain areas. Easier to trust him, or me? We'll
see. But he has his own agenda, whatever that is...
And Outside, there's a wedding to be planned...
...Fred, hmm, should really see about her, but... Recovering pretty well, physically,
although, given what Charley and she told me about her PLOT Hole talent, someone who can
open one /naturally/, that /is/ odd, don't know of anyone else with that talent...
...temple, which temple... hmm, temple wedding preferred. Something capable of dealing
with chaos, but not too chaotic itself...
...haven't heard anything on Cologne and Shampoo - /that/ worries me, that they're quiet
in the face of this. A look in on the Nekohanten - sorry, Cat Cafe - might be in
...Ranma and Akane seem happy enough - or at least what I /hope/ is happy enough. Could
be the calm before the storm...
...sorcerer around. Hikaru Gosunkugi? Better look into that - better he follow the left
hand path rather than right hand, had trouble with /that/ before...
...Jack Ryder. Jack and the Creeper /worry/ me. A war tearing across the Earth. "Our
Worlds at War", they called it. Jack was nowhere near the centre - but it was
devastating, in virtually every respect, to almost everyone. Psychologically, in
particular... how might that affect an incarnation of madness?
...happened, happened, and couldn't intervene, not without creating another timeline...
had to /watch/ as it swept across his Inside... powerless again, in the face of Time -
but time was changed, the future altered. What now? It's in their hands...
...Benny's pregnancy, must see about getting a present out - looks like she's doing okay
with Brax around....
Spike. Now there's an interesting one... Buffy returns soon, he knows that, doesn't know
how, or what will happen afterwards, yet... watching Dawn carefully - Dawn blushing
everytime someone makes a joke about 'flame' - fire spirits really need keeping an eye
on, right about now...
...says he's a monster, not human. But so does Izzy. I wonder.
Dawn wary of Sasami. Key and Ship - they /know/ what the other is, at an instinctive
level, maybe not consciously... but they can feel the other makes them uneasy. /Why/,
though? What effect would the Key have on one of the Ships of Jurai? Careful...
Happosai. /Him/ I know. An ancient evil... not the foe this time, I think. Is there one?
Antagonists, perhaps... don't think the foe will be any /person/, though... antagonists
will /include/ people - lot of people not happy about this. Ryouga and Ukyou
especially - but their anger /not/ directed Ranma's way, for once.
Fey mentioned the Mendos. Rather think we'll end up having to deal with them at some
stage along the way.
Cautious, cautious... the Senshi almost certainly know what's afoot by now, and I could
just see them popping up to battle something they thought was a youma, or threatening
Why does the name "Sailor Gallifrey" spring to mind?
/Kodachi/ Kuno... she's been quiet - in the asylum. But when she gets out... and finds
out... Nose plugs and food testers ready, lab on standby - a mind almost equalling the
Rani's in some respects - but Kodachi actually has a morality...
...Prince Toma? Ruler of a floating, all-male, island... arriving soon, hmm...
...things are dfferent this time. Not a straightforward adventure...
...didn't quite realise how different Outside adventures could be, forgotten I'd become
part of a community, no longer the outside agent of change, changing things from within.
Still an outside agent in /other/ Outside Zones, but in my own... a simple, but complex,
Not so physical. Psychological, emotional, more. Dealing with people, where the threats
aren't so much physical. Interaction. A change...
Problems inside... Ryouga's temporal alteration, still haven't been able to pin down
when that happened yet, that disturbs me. Urd's poking around, investigating
/something/... Skuld seems a little more thoughtful at the moment - then again, having
Tatewaki Kuno proclaim himself your champion...
Sasami's sticking close to Compassion whenever she can, result of the old girl doting
again, I think. Minagi's sticking close to Dawn and Fitz - hard one to figure, that.
Lum's bugging Fey for stories - Fey /did/ know her grandmother. Wouldn't hurt to keep an
ear out, would it?
Distinct tension between Ayeka and Ryoko - not their usual antagonism, think both of
them are uncertain about what they're doing... trying to clear things between them, no
matter which of them Tenchi chooses.
Washu enjoying her projects, though - and Mihoshi enjoying the camerawoman role,
especially with Sam taking her around Tokyo - hitting it off well... Norns - and
Keiichi - Lum worshipping them as emissaries from Kami-sama, even though she's an alien
demon... Ten still pestering Ukyou about an okonomiyaki job...
...Ryo-Ohki, Banpei, Azaka and Kamidake being /very/ quiet, spending a lot of time with
Anya and Fred having quite a few late night discussions - taco bags popping up
everywhere, these days -think they've decided to help each other out - wonder if Anya's
attitude is what's needed? Tenchi's avoided most problems - although I could swear he,
Fitz, Anya and Fred were playing Magic: the Gathering these last few nights...
Hm. I'd seen Kasumi and Dr Tofu together after I brought Fred over for an opinion -
embarrassment seems to be contagious in this Zone. Some confidence boosting needed
there, I think. Wonder how?
...Nabiki's a better businesswoman than most of the people I met as a consultant.
Looking for an opportunity - wonder how far she'd take it? Not completely ruthless...
Genma and Soun... excitable. Really, really excitable. Nodoka's keeping them in line -
pointed use of her katana's shown that. Not interfering in this... too much.
Fortunately. Wouldn't count on that holding for too long, though.
...Taro? Check on specifics - who, what, that sort of thing.
Ukyou getting back into business - no problems on that side, as far as I know.
Izzy... seeming a little more relaxed, a little more at ease. Been looking round
electrical shops... and digging around the TARDIS. Cable installation, for some reason.
TARDIS's already hooked up, though... Shayde's woken up again - he and Fey are switching
back and forth. Priest tried to exorcise him a while back...
Sam looking around this Tokyo - seeing what she could see... Compassion - possible she
wants company of her peers - not equals - someone to relate to... seems to have decided
on something... Charley looking around for souvenirs, and Fitz's been going to a lot of
concerts... Ssard and Stacy taking it easy - although Stacy and Washu are going head to
head over the Tendos' electrics...
And Anji asked me to check after a fainting spell...
...I /suspected/ what would happen, after I saw the medical results. When Izzy came
down, told me about a ki-aura she'd generated, that only confirmed it.
All of them. All nine of them.
After comparing Anji and Izzy's records...
Alteration at the biodata level.
Adaptation to this Outside Zone's environment.
Specifically, abilities tied to who and what they are. Izzy manifesting the ability to
call upon elemental water; Anji... /if/ I'm right... would, or could, call upon the
Void - the Vortex. The others... I would not care to hazard a guess, not now. Hazard.
Assumptions, guesses. Cannot be sure about this - expectation may endanger them.
They /do/ know what Izzy manifested, and suspect, too - if I ask them if they would
allow a precautionary examination...
Have to sit them down for this one.
Hmm. No guesses. No assumptions. The kami have invoked this, for their reasons. Ours is
to question why - but in the absense of evidence, such theorising would be worse than
But I /would/ prefer we not go down the 'elemental champion' route - happens far too
often. And if this is some misguided attempt at organising a sentai... Thank you, but no
Adaptation. Hmm. Would they adapt to other Outside Zones in a similar fashion?
Might /that/ be the intent here?
Interesting, if true.
Changes optional... since Inside and back home, they would change to mormal...
...hm. Clever. Clever. A way of getting around that rule.
But there's a /reason/ most of us don't manifest adaptations.
It's not an ability we're created with. A character /from/ an Outside Zone, perhaps...
I find myself left wondering - and whether or not this connects to Fred's PLOT Holes,
I would prefer this /not/ be a battle on a 'higher power's' behalf. That was a lifetime
One too many concerns, at the moment, for that. Enough just dealing with the change.
And whatever else it brings in its wake.
Time will tell. She always does.
Ah, good. The tea's done.
Copyright 2001 Imran Inayat