Disclaimer: I do not own te Power Rangers, the belong to Saban Brands, and will soon belong to Hasbro. This is a fan work and no profit is being made.
Author’s Note: This chapter is based in both the Conquest of Evil Prime Reality and the Conquest of Evil Final Reckoning Reality as the events within the Prime Reality have a decided effect on the nature of time travel in Final Reckoning. It should be noted that this is the final fates of the TIme Lords in Final Reckoning, but may contradict previous events.
Parts of this story are lifted from the Eighth Doctor story Ancestor Cell.
Interlude: Temporum Mortis
Life is but a dream, as the old song goes. The Time Lord known as the Doctor had been trapped within a machine for some time as a means of keeping him from interfering in a war he was guaranteed to win… and lose in the same battle. It had been a daring plan that had taken advantage of a fracture in reality and placed the Doctor’s mind, memory and imagination inside one of those temporary realities while his body remained in a sleeping chamber.
It had not been easy to convince the Doctor’s subconscious that the illusion was real. The Doctor was rebellious by nature and his mind quickly found reasons to start doubting the reality it had been presented. And so the illusion was altered to include layers of dream that would allow the Doctor to believe he had broken free of his captors while keeping him safely locked away.
And for a time the Doctor had believed it. He had been drawn into the events that mirrored the events going on outside of his mind. He had found himself facing a similar scenario to the looming battle he had faced in the real world. Similar, but very very different. And that was enough for his mind to create a series of events that would release him from his dream world in a way that would ensure he could not be held there any longer: the complete destruction of the Doctor, his race and his enemies.
Gallifrey, Reality 206.012.012.007
Faction Paradox had long been considered a dirty little secret that the Time Lords had kept hidden away. They were a cult known for their obsession with death and their bizarre initiation rites. The Time Lords considered them harmless and had forgotten that despite their portrayal of social misfits that dabbled in the seedier side of time travel and were offensive to the upstanding citizens of Gallifrey, they had once been a very dangerous foe. Somehow they had managed to disguise their real nature until it was too late.
The tear in time and space continued to leak visions of the possible future he had inadvertently unlocked. He saw the coming war in his mind and the horrors it would bring. He saw the many strikes and counter-strikes, the hard fought victories that were overturned repeatedly by time travel, endless revision and paradox. Territory had been won, lost and ultimately eliminated before it had ever existed. It was an all consuming war of chaos and denial in which the universe burned. Not just a single universe, every universe. The war expanded beyond all boundaries threatening existence as other realities were drawn into the endless conflict.
And the Faction, oh the Faction had been so clever. They had waited until the very end of the war when the final moments had been so devastating that a decision either way could have pushed one side to victory over the other. And then they had chosen to strike at the Time Lords, using the probability of defeat to overwhelm the temporal buffers and travel far into the past.
Once there they had used their future knowledge to rewrite the basic laws of existence, placing themselves as the highest authority, a role the Time Lords had once enjoyed. They had then erased the knowledge that they had done so, allowing themselves to operate in secret.
The Faction had systematically rewritten the history of the universe, inducing paradox to grow stronger. They had used a virus to manipulate the perceptions of their targeted Time Lords, making them susceptible to the Faction’s manipulations. But it wasn’t until they selected a young Time Lord known as the Doctor to become the leader of their cult: Grandfather Paradox.
The Faction had engineered a situation, a phoney war fuelled by fear of an unknown foe. They had pushed the Time Lords away from the selfishly peaceful race they had once been and turned them into something hideous.
The Doctor watched, disbelieving, as the Time Lords of Gallifrey broke the laws of nature. They used technology to snatched their soldiers from death and reanimate back onto the battlefield. Lives snuffed out in an instant but denied their rest as they were thrown repeatedly into battle. He saw the attempts to undermine an enemy they could not understand and the horrors they unleashed in doing so. He saw the things they did to their own race as they turned living beings into monsters just to win a never ending fight.
And with that revelation came the understanding that whatever foe they had been fighting, in the end the Time Lords had grown to become something equally bad if not worse. And the moment they had lost themselves they had been vulnerable to the manipulations of the Faction, which had in turn pushed them to lose themselves in the horror of war. They had become the race that would one day allow Faction Paradox to arise and engineer the war. The Time Lords had become a paradox.
Only a few stood against them. The Doctor, his companion Fitz and Compassion an advanced TARDIS evolved from a member of the Remote race. Fitz had fallen and Compassion had seemingly decided to run from the fight out of fear the Faction would take control of her. The Doctor was truly alone. He had been fooled by all sides of the conflict. He had failed to see the truth about the enemy until it was too late and had failed to understand the motivations of his nemesis until he had no choice but to accept the inevitable.
And now they stood upon the Edifice, the paradox mutated form of the Doctor’s own TARDIS. It had sacrificed itself for him, shielding him from the Paradox virus long enough for a corrupted psychopath that had evolved from a possible timeline known as Grandfather Paradox to take form. Blue sparks flew from the console, and a nonsensical gabbling of whispered voices rose in the room like a tide heralding Grandfather’s victory.
In contrast to Grandfather’s confident stance, the Doctor was battered and humiliated by the knowledge he had been fooled so easily yet desperate to put things right. He stood his ground against the chaos and paradox around him just as the rest of his race should have done.
“Bow to me Doctor,” the Grandfather instructed, offering a lopsided grin. “On your knees and beg me to save Gallifrey.”
The Doctor ignored him, reaching out with his mind to seek a solution, any alternative. He was desperate. There was a loud snapping noise from one of the ancient bone control panels and the Doctor’s eyes opened wide. A cloud of mould spores flew from the misshapen mushroom of the console as a dull brass lever sprang up.
Concentric rings hooped round the spike of the lever, forming a symbol like a target. The Edifice it seemed had a solution.
The Doctor started to shake his head in horror, to mouth silent words in disbelief. He turned to recoil, but Grandfather had reached hi own conclusions about what the Doctor planned and was upon him his pale shining face rushed to meet his own; the hooked hand grasped for the Doctor’s throat.
“You’ll never reach that lever, Doctor,” hissed the Grandfather.
“I don’t want to,” the Doctor muttered, as the bony fingers closed more tightly round his swollen neck. “If I do, I lose everything I hold dear.”
The Grandfather tried to pull the Doctor away from the gleaming brass spike. “So why even try?”
Dark spots clouded the Doctor’s vision. He felt a roaring pressure in his ears. “You’ll kill me,” he gasped.
“What’s one more paradox now?” the Grandfather spat into his face. “I can survive anything.”
The Doctor grabbed hold of the Grandfather’s stump and squeezed as hard as he could. He saw his own aged and pitted face grimace in pain, and knew he had to try harder. He clutched at the lever, almost touching it. Grandfather tugged him away, just as the Doctor had hoped. His numb fingers scrabbled for one of the metal stabiliser cubes, and freed it from its housing. Somehow he managed to secure it between two fingers and started pounding the bare flesh of the stump with his fist.
Still Grandfather Paradox held him fast. In desperation, he swung up both legs and kicked as hard as he could into Grandfather Paradox’s stomach. Grandfather let go and fell backwards. The Doctor landed heavily on the cracked ivory floor.
Grandfather Paradox recovered and swooped through the air, his cloak never moving, wrapped protectively round him like a chrysalis. The Doctor imagined with a chill this was only the first of many cadaverous forms peeping out. He rolled desperately out of the way, felt a rush of cold air pass his hot face. Then he turned to find Grandfather Paradox blocking his way to the console.
“It’s hopeless, Doctor,” the Grandfather said. “I have only to wait and you will be mine.”
The Doctor looked up at him, wiped a streak of blood from his mouth. “You’re right. It is hopeless. You’re really not my type.”
An almighty lurch shook the Edifice.
“Listen to me, Grandfather!” The Doctor spoke slowly and gravely. He held up one hand like an Earthly man of God warding off the evil before him, and approached the console from the rear. "The Edifice is losing form. It’s grown to this colossal size by mapping its external dimensions on to those of its interior. It’s as big inside and out… but the dimensional interfaces are fatigued, wearing thin.” The Doctor showed the stabiliser cube in his other hand, and smiled.
“Now I’ve removed this, it won’t take so much to bring the whole thing tumbling down.”
The Grandfather gestured to the curved brass handle. "The device is useless, it can’t focus fire now. It’s just a relic of the ancient times of conflict.”
“You’ve helped bring those times upon us again,’ the Doctor said. “No one knows that better than the core of this good, tired old TARDIS of mine.”
The Edifice pitched again, and its floor became a steep gradient. The Grandfather reached out with his missing arm to support himself, and fell with an angry shout. The Doctor tumbled forward too, hurting himself against the edge of the console. He staggered round to the lever
Grandfather Paradox smashed his head down against the Doctor’s own. There was the dull smack of bone on bone. The Doctor wasn’t sure whether his head was spinning or the Edifice had actually begun to turn on some precarious axis. He gathered all his strength into one punch, and his fist smashed into the Grandfather’s cheek. Soundlessly the Grandfather fell backwards, and the Doctor staggered back to his feet.
“Just one bolt fired will drain off the last of the binding energy holding the Edifice together,” he yelled. "The internal dimensions will collapse down to something the size of this stabiliser.”
The Grandfather stared back at him. “Gallifrey, Kasterborous this entire sector of space will be torn apart, destroyed.”
The Doctor nodded, eyes welling with tears. “But your entire fleet will perish along with it.”
“You will die too.”
“Just as well, I think,” the Doctor said, gritting his teeth. “I’d never be able to live with the memory anyway.”
“You will destroy all Gallifrey — wipe out millions of lives.”
“I never thought I’d admit to choosing the lesser of two evils.”
He seized the branching brass device on the console, but again, the Grandfather flew over to grapple with him. With the Edifice tipping at such an angle now, the Doctor couldn’t get clear. He tried to duck, but Grandfather Paradox held his right arm, twisted it painfully behind his back.
“Give in to me,” the cold voice hissed. “You know you can’t bring yourself to do this.”
“I must!” The Doctor gasped. The words ground out of him: “I will be sparing my people a war that will dehumanise them to the point of becoming monsters. I will be saving them from whatever living nightmares the Faction’s technology can inflict upon them.”
The Grandfather’s voice rose in fury. “And yourself?”
“You know as well as I that the only thing sustaining two of us is the TARDIS. The moment the Edifice falls only one of us will survive… although I doubt they will survive very long. To be honest, I don’t know which way this TARDIS will jump,” the Doctor whispered. “Nor which timeline will be set in stone. But at least that’s what it will be. Stone, not bone.”
“I will ensure that the Faction’s reality is chosen,” hissed Grandfather Paradox in his ear. “You will never destroy the Faction. We’re spread across reality; all of space and all of time is riddled with us.”
The Edifice lurched the other way, and the two men tumbled away from the console. The Doctor struggled to be free, but his arm was held tight.
He went suddenly limp in the Grandfather’s grip.
“Riddled?” he gasped, shaking sweat from his eyes, pain pricking all over his weary body. His voice hardened. “I’ll give you a riddle. I’ve been thinking of a paradox — an extra special one, just for you. That missing arm of yours, the stuff of your legend.”
The Grandfather scowled down at him. “I removed it myself. To defy the Time Lords branding me their prisoner.”
“No you didn’t,” the Doctor said, glaring contemptuously back at his future self. “You forget who you’re talking to. If you want to lie to me, you need to be a lot more convincing than that.”
He saw a movement and his eyes opened in shock. Compassion was back and she had not come alone although the journey had taken its toll.
“You cut off your own arm because you used it…” the Doctor said as he gripped the lever with his free hand, the Grandfather’s single arm occupied with holding down his other one, “…to do…” twisting down with all his strength on the lever as he screamed out the final word, “…THIS!”
As he slammed his hand down next to the control.
The capsule opened but was left unnoticed as technicians raced to try to save their hard work. The simulation had been designed to keep the Doctor imprisoned, but it also served to create new strategies against a very real enemy. The Doctor’s actions inside the imaginary world they had created for him had made it impossible for them to return him there. The most they could hope for now was to save the vital information they had gathered so that it could be used as a weapon against their foes.
When the Doctor slipped away, nobody tried to stop him. They had delayed his intervention long enough and now they would just have to deal with his attempts to frustrate their plans.
A few senior technicians watched the events in the reality the Doctor had escaped from. That they had gone to the extremes of latching onto a temporary multiverse just to keep one man under control was a testament to how dangerous they believed the Doctor to be. That reality would continue for a time until it had completed it original purpose: to help test if there was a circumstance under which the villain known as Minion could ever succeed in his plans; the advanced nature of that reality meant it had allowed for Minion to lose his first encounter with the Power Rangers, but when he returned they would face the end of days.
In the meantime the nature of time and space had been changed within that reality. Many of the dimensions previously accessible had been locked away, time travel was no longer possible between Earth and its future. The Time Lords were gone with only a few oddities to ever show that they had existed in the first place. And while some memories would endure, most would forget that the Time Lords had been there to begin with as others moved in to take their place.
The technician turned off the last monitor, breaking contact with the pseudo-reality. Its fate was no longer their concern, the had more pressing matters… the Doctor had just returned.
This site has been visited 1435413 times.