The 12 Doctors
It’s over now. The regenerations are finished. No number of coins or companions tears will add new lives.
But I do not tell those who love me that I have a final, though brief, retreat.
The Tardis core, once made, cannot be unmade.
The shell is no more—having reverted back to a set prop it sprang from..thus tying into my section of the multiverse where my past history of THIS universe’s fictional character Dr. Who was written.
There are ideas, concepts so great and powerful that they are given life by the simple act of of thought—the creative process enabled precisely by their unobservable non-locality…maybe this is why certain religious writings—Prestor John now being as real as I—hold that thinking of a crime is as much a sin as doing said crime--so tainting one’s mirror selves.
Take the Valeyard as a case in point. My arrogance gave rise to him. He almost killed Amy, forcing her to make a choice…but I digress.
The Tardis shell may be no more, but the cosmological defect—the tessaract/texture hybrid that is its core lives on for a bit before evaporating back into the N-Space emboltment, the Q Continuum, Borges writing of the Aleph. Or pixie dust.
I float here, just outside the light cone and yet I see my other selves. I now spy my earliest incarnation. I spent most of my life in that shell. I even had a family---a granddaughter. I lived most of my life then—wanting to blow all my regen cycle only toward the last centuries of life. Youth is, as they say, wasted on the young.
Why did I abandon my granddaughter?
Moving on…I see the wandering fool of King Lear what with the Moe Howard haircut. I still had some of the Bertrand Russell mindset of the first incarnation who was really the biggest rebel. He stole the Tardis after all. The old girl still exists here—Gaia like—in this pleasant field.
Ah, here comes my third self. I have never been that dashing before or since. Good thing Captain Jack never saw that me, even though I was never so young as I was at Androzani before the trouble with my regeneration cycle came to a climax with regen number six.
He always loved cats.
Here is my 8th look—Heathcliff when he visited the states.
Where are the fourth and Seventh Doctors?
Here come my three previous mindsets. First the timewar veteran: I was a bit suicidal then--did most of my travels to Earth’s historical events in that body.
I almost caught that villain in the grassy knoll.
Brilliant! The adventurer is next. I so loved life then. Had ever so much fun! During my regeneration to my penultimate form even the very fabric of space began to wail and unveil upon his passing.
He sits in state at the center of a huge table table. On a side note, I once dreamed that I was cradling his head as he lay dying in a darkened room. But the adventurer never had that fate—becoming the eleventh doctor—a hybrid between Keats and William Butler Yeats was it?
That was my Lake District poet days. Fitting, that.
His was the saddest Doctor I think. I don’t remember much of him due to the reset.
I almost forgot—the table! What is it doing here in N-space?
Next to the adventurer sits my fourth incarnation, the Savant. To his left sits the seventh doctor—the music hall performer. The regeneration crisis ended with him. I was at my most formidable then. He never met River Soong but I bet he would have known who she and Amy and Rory were. To steal a quote—it was as if certain doors to memory were opened up to him. He had perfect recall of both past and future history.
Is that why he is staring at me? The Adventurer and the Savant join in their glare…as the rest of my incarnations begin fighting with each other—they’re killing themselves! But these three at this odd Last Supper are still glaring at me!
I hear a door slam—What? That’s the 12th Doctor? So…who am I?
“This is what will become of us—of you—if you don’t act” says the Music Hall Performer—pointing his ‘brella at me. The Adventurer is next to speak: “You spent a lifetime with Rose Tyler. Even though you were a lesser me, you got all of her.
The cat-lover stands up after having murdered the others (he was always the biggest flake.)
“You had me on trial after all—remember?”
am the Valeyard?
The Savant now speaks, standing as he does so. "The rest of us actually have one last regeneration left to us, so to speak. We are now a multi-personality download as Doctor Moon at the Library."
"All of our companions, save Rose, have been saved, you see. You did this under our control using the Vortex manipulator and nano-whatsits."
The Adventurer speaks next:
"We made you think you were the 12th Doctor—see the watch on your lapel, Mr. Smith? You spent years saving folks who died by invisibly infecting folks with tiny drones who downloaded their personalities to the Library.”
“ Even Adric,” said the Gatsby.
The Cat-lover speaks next as his victims magically recover from wounds: “You went off track—became stodgy like your first self. Your crimes are understandable in that you were born in hate for the Daleks. For the crime of attempted genocide—and in your false accusation against me—you are now on trial. But it is time for the trial to end.”
The Twelve now stand to pronounce judgement.
The Adventurer —or rather the library image of him-- speaks: “You have ever been our hand—or my hand actually. But it is time for you to rejoin us.”
The Savant pronounces an odd sentence: “You are aware of course, that Logopolis has interesting field effects that hamper the regeneration cycle. A proxy body is needed for me there.”
They all hold me down, all under direction of the Seventh Doctor, playing chess with himself now. The Music Hall performer planned this all along it seems.
“No need of force gents. I know of my crimes.” I tell them. ” I will willingly comply. Now take my memory of Rose Tyler and of the life I lived with her. Good…Now give me your pain…excellent. I will now go to Logopolis and give the Savant his new body. It is time I rejoined.”
“We’re crossing o’er the line” says the adventurer. “Time we tarred and feathered my other half.”
They are all Judas at this Last Supper. Or I am.
I am now on a different field. I see a man with Harpo Marx hair and a long scarf. The poor Savant has fallen from a great height. Friends are kneeling around the prone figure. The man here in life is clearly beloved.
I know what I have to do.
I walk over to the savant so that I can give him new life as the cricket-playing Gatsby.
I often wondered why this regen was different. Now I know.
As everything I am passes away, the words of the fallen hero echo in my mind.
“The moment has been prepared for.”