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FIC: Not Everyone Should Be Saved (4/5)

Title: Not Everyone Should Be Saved
Genre: Doctor Who
Rating: T
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: When the TARDIS is caught in a loop, Twelve realizes that a new weapon has been created to use against him thanks to an earlier act of what he thought was compassion. The only way he can free the TARDIS is to get a message to an earlier self to prevent two critical things from happening, even though it will cause a dangerous paradox.
Disclaimer: Not mine, and probably never will be.
Dedication: tardis_mole, for reminding me about this one inadvertently during our prompt-a-thon. We had so much fun!
Author’s Note: One of the many things I thought someone should’ve thought of before ending the Library episodes. And so I’m righting a few things. It may seem cruel, but there are pointed questions behind the actions within. Along with pointing out ways the solutions of the episodes could’ve gone wrong, and… well… did.

And apologies to Bill, as well as Pearl Mackie. When I wrote this, we had almost nothing to go on for what Bill is like. So to not get her totally wrong… I used a convenient plot device. Oops. :D

Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three

Not Everyone Should Be Saved

Started June 20, 2016
Finished June 22, 2016

Chapter Four: Forcing Her Hand

As Donna screamed the air was filled with a bright flash of light and several further pale blue fizzles. And then nothing.

When their eyes had readjusted, the shadows were gone. And they were all still there.

The Doctor grinned. “Yes! Now the damage that person caused is fixed! I can get on with saving everyone! Professor, I need you to sit in that chair!”

River knew that she had no choice but to do so. She took off her bag, but once she sat she found she couldn’t get out, even though she was trying. “The suit’s stuck!”

“More like bonded to the chair. A little fail-safe I set up. Call it my last gift to you. Oh, I forgot to give you this one.” He aimed the sonic at her and pressed the button, and then her neural relay light went out. “Can’t risk the wifi picking up your mind. It’s hopefully what happened to the others.”

The rest were silent at that thought as he took her backpack, which was now out of her reach. “Now that I have a little time to actually investigate I can see what’s here.” He took out a worryingly familiar-looking book from the backpack.

Holo-Donna moved into his line-of-sight, wishing she could touch him. “Spoilers!” she reminded him. Even though she was alarmed at the sight of a book that looked like the TARDIS.

“Just making sure I get the things I was supposed to. I’m not going to look in this diary. I don’t want to know what she thinks we got up to. Especially after what that future me said.”

“He and I spent 24 years together! I wrote all about it!”

“He said it was 50 too many,” the Doctor casually remarked. “Ooh! So it is the diary he mentioned. And the sonic.” He placed both on the ground, ignoring River’s wet face and aimed the Squareness gun at them.

“Doctor, no!” she cried as he fired, making both items vanish.

He then adjusted a few settings and the gun made a chirping sound. “There. Memory erased. One of part of my mission accomplished. Mr. Lux, would you and the others go up and prepare the rockets for their passengers? I imagine their families will be impatient to have them back.”

The woman, who he now knew was named Anita, uttered the big question. “Who are you and what right do you have to send the Professor to her death?”

The Doctor sighed. “I’m very sorry about Miss Evangelista and Proper Dave. Yes, the system told me their names. I would have saved them if I could have, because that’s what I do. I’m the last guardian of Time, and I’ve found that when people don’t listen to me they often die. Especially when there’s danger. You three are alive by luck, and I am grateful that you did listen. As for her… she’s my problem. I don’t know how I caused her to come into being, but I’ve been tasked with ending it. She is a time criminal, and it’s my responsibility to see a sentence carried out. And sometimes… death is the only acceptable sentence. Here, it has an honorable element, because she gives her life for thousands of others. It’s more than what any other Neverwere has ever done.”

Lux was not interested in learning what a Neverwere was. He hadn’t trusted her since she had unexpectedly arrived in his office, and demanded to be on his team. Never mind that she had made it seem like he needed her. “Let’s not stay here. We have a job to do.”

Anita and Other Dave slowly followed him, glancing back at the mysterious professor, and the even more mysterious Doctor and his ghost-friend before leaving.

Soon the Doctor and his strange accompaniment, one welcome and the other very much not, could hear the gravity lift moving upwards. He walked close enough to River to force the headset on her scalp, locking it into place. It said something about how shocked she was that she wasn’t saying anything. Not that he wanted to hear it, if she had. The mere presence of another person was ensuring that she would have to whisper anything like what he feared he had heard in the other time-line, and he was not getting that close.

River watched as he fiddled with two cables, getting the settings just right. “So it was all a lie. Every day I had with you, everything you told me. I was… practically nothing to you.”

Holo-Donna lost some of the compassion on her face. “You clearly never got him, because emotional blackmail never works on him.” She paused, and then added, “I am curious, even if it is spoilers. Who are you really? What’s your real name?”

“For once I won’t challenge that, Donna,” the Doctor remarked as he continued working. “Because those are questions I want answered, too. Before I hand her these to connect.”

“Please,” River pleaded. “Let me go and I’ll tell you.”

“Wrong answer,” the Doctor snapped as he held the cables up and placed them within her reach. “They’re ready. Either you tell me what I want to know, and nothing else, before you connect these yourself… or I will make you do both.”

River shook her head, eyes huge. “You can’t. You wouldn’t.”

“I can, and because I know what you are, I would. The universe is at stake.”

She sank into the chair and took the cables, one in each hand. “What do you want to know?” she asked in a small voice, defeated.

He sat down and crossed his legs in front of her. He sensed Holo-Donna do the same even though she didn’t need to. “Your name.”

“Where I was born, my name translated into River Song. But where I was conceived… I was Melody Pond.”

“How’s that possible?” asked Holo-Donna.

“Some planets don’t have words for certain things,” explained the Doctor. “Mine has no concept of a number of things that you take for granted. I think I’ve probably guessed, but tell me where you were conceived.”

River swallowed. “You’re going to change it, aren’t you?”

“That’s not your problem, is it? Now, the answer.”

“Inside… your TARDIS.”

He winced and took a deep breath. “That explains how you’ve got my DNA.”

“What? Does that mean she’s your daughter?!” Holo-Donna gasped. “But she… she flirted with you!”

“I know. It’s what Neverweres can be capable of, but they’re not supposed to be able to speak. How can you? Oh, wait. That’s why you read strangely to the scanner. You were conceived by two Humans.”

River nodded. “And I was kidnapped from them, brainwashed. So how is this my fault?”

He didn’t blink. “Because even Neverweres had a choice. Some actually refused to do what their programming demanded of them, and preferred to commit suicide. I think you fought the programming at times, but others… when it absolutely mattered... you didn’t. You don’t have a sense of morality or true higher reasoning. And now my final question: are you going to press those cables together?”

River looked at the cables and then looked at him. “How do I know you told me the truth about what that future Doctor said?”

“Because I witnessed it, too,” Holo-Donna said. “And besides, he has me to answer to when he lies. He doesn’t dare. He only tried it once, and I saw through it. He’s never done it since.”

“Are you Donna Noble?”

“What’s it to you?”

“Proof that he isn’t lying. I spent my last night with the Doctor, and once again it felt like your shadow was hanging over my entire time with the Doctor. As hard I as tried, I could never even hope to live up to you. Even though you were long gone from his life.”

Holo-Donna glanced at the Doctor, who wouldn’t meet her eyes but looked embarrassed. It meant that she was dead by the time River had really met the Doctor. Maybe this was the reason that future Doctor had looked so sad on seeing her, and why he he told them about the Threefold man - whatever that was. He wanted to avert whatever fate she had met. “A lot of your behaviour makes sense, now, Spaceman.”

River closed her eyes for a moment, and then looked at the cables. “So I just press these ends together?”

The Doctor was grateful for delaying a very awkward conversation. “Yes.”

She held them up and took a deep breath of her own. “I’m so sorry for everything,” she whispered before she connected the cables.

Holo-Donna looked away from the bright light that filled the room, brighter than anything she had ever seen before. Even the Doctor winced. But he was still sitting there when it faded, and all that was left of River was her skeleton in her suit.

They were silent for several seconds before the Doctor got up. “We’ve done our job here.”

“Hang on, Spaceman. Let’s make sure everyone gets on the rockets first. And by the bye, when we do you and I are going to have a little chat.”

He gulped.

Chapter Five: Opening a Door Closes Two More


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2016 08:23 am (UTC)
Ooh! Other Dave and Anita survived!!! Great!
And Donna has found out that the Doctor is hiding something from her!

River died without telling the Doctor his name. So that means that 11 isn't going to marry her. Will it change the whole future for the Doctor? Because he knows now that he has to prevent future companions to "mate" (unless they use protection) on board the TARDIS.
Amy won't have a daughter that was conceived on the TARDIS, so no Silents are going after the Doctor. And that also means no Kovarian? No message on a Diamond Cliff on Planet One? No Big BangII? No exploding TARDIS? No cracks in the universe?
Assuming Trenzalore will still happen, how will the Doctor enter his giant TARDIS if River's grave isn't there with the secret entrance?
Will 12 have a completely different existence? Will he even be able to warn 10 against River? Will the cycle not start over again?

So many questions.... :D

Jun. 26th, 2016 12:20 pm (UTC)
River's time-line was a flipping mess. A lot of the problems were, I feel, caused by her actions to begin with. And without the Silents' rouge chapter going after the Doctor, it's possible that what caused Clara's sacrifice to be necessary isn't anymore. The universe and Time would compensate around a lot, and my beta and I didn't particularly care to get into greater depth about the time between Ten and Twelve here.

A paradox, yes, but a healing one. Loads of questions that wouldn't be necessary had a few continuity checks been done in canon. At least, that's my opinion. :)
Jun. 26th, 2016 01:37 pm (UTC)
I kept imagining them in an episode of Scooby Doo as Donna floated along.....
Anyway, Anita and Other Dave didn't deserve to die so it was good to see them survive after all.
Blimey, River really got her comeuppance, didn't she! Not that I'm heartbroken about it, but she served her purpose in a much better way and we wouldn't get all the stupidity that later happened in the Doctor's life.
Jun. 26th, 2016 01:46 pm (UTC)
*giggles* I bet the others would've thought of it had they known about Scooby Doo. :D

None of them did, but... it seemed I couldn't avoid a few deaths. To heighten the danger.

Well, given everything I've seen, she didn't do a lot to exactly earn redemption or compassion. And yes avoiding that stupidity will help tons.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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