Well, this idea came to me when the Lost people introduced time travel. The first thing I thought was: “Holy moley, Lost is a prequel to some sort of American version of Doctor Who!” For a delusional split second there I though that Daniel Faraday would take up the mantle of a new Time Lord or something. Then, as the series continued, and more terrible time travel things kept happening to the Lost characters, I kept saying: “Watch this, The Doctor will arrive and close the rift.”
Well, it didn’t happen, so I just had to write it!
This is for every fan of Lost and Doctor Who. For all those strange delusional fans that hoped for the Time Lord to arrive and help those poor people Lost in space and time. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I only wish I had more time. I could’ve turned this story into a novel… It was a little treat for myself, a little break from writing my novels. Have fun.
The Lost and the Time Lord
The tropical island no longer looked like a tropical island and its dark master no longer looked human. The landscape in all direction was a nightmare of chaos, and the master of the island pulsed and throbbed with darkness, power, and the majesty of victory.
They simply stood there, a ragtag bunch of terrified people whose destiny was so tampered with that time, protecting itself, curled up space to trap them.
What used to be John Locke, what the humans so childishly coined ‘the smoke monster’, was now triumphant, and with a voice so warped and so powerful as take those who remained to the edge on insanity it declared “YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR END.” There was a pause, almost as if the creature was savouring the moment. “THIS REALITY IS NOW MINE.”
Those who stood witness thought that they could hear reality collapse upon itself as the dark creature roared. An overwhelming sound was coming from all directions. It was a rhythmic screeching. A pulsation like the heartbeat of the Universe itself.
‘Whoosh-whoosh-whoosh,’ it droned on. Their brains, unable to process what their simple human senses sensed, threatened to shut down. They knew it was over. They were nowhere and everywhere, in darkness and light all at once. It was an impossible situation. They hugged each other for comfort, using human touch to stave of madness. The dark creature, victorious, basked in the final moments of his playthings, savouring the situation. Then suddenly the dark creature paused in mid roar and directed its attention over the heads of those few who remained.
The last humans, confused and frightened, hugged each other tighter, every soul prepared to die, but then, the most astonishing thing happened. Behind them they heard something truly unexpected: “You have failed! I’m back! And this reality is so not yours. Not as long as I’m alive. It belongs to them!” It was a man’s voice, and the words were spoken in a very British accent. The humans turned as one towards the source of the voice, and again their brains couldn’t make sense of what they were seeing.
A tall thin man in a blue stripped suit, a bright red tie, and a long flowing tan jacket, emerged from and leaned against a blue police box straight out of an old British movie. There was nothing menacing about the man. He was leaning back, arms crossed, against that strange blue police box. He just stood there calmly, yet every last remaining human suddenly questioned who frightened them more, the beast about to destroy reality, or the man standing calmly before the beast about to destroy reality.
The man took a step forward, calm and confident. “A reality rift? Really? What species are you?”
The ghastly form contracted like a spring before expanding violently forward, passing right over the heads of those who remained witness.
The humans instantly dropped to the ground and watched the twirling dark mass of chaos pass them by above. The man in the long jacket just stood there, eyebrows furled, with a slight shimmer of anger on his features as the creature thundered forward like a current of unstoppable evil. The last remaining humans felt pity for the man in the jacket, to them his death was assured. However, next, another strange thing happened: the creature impacted violently on an invisible barrier a meter in front of the strange newcomer. The ground, if you can call it that, shook violently from the impact, the sky, if you can call it that, ignited into lighting and fire and rage.
“Tardis shield. Do you know what that means? Tardis?” There was definitely more than a hint of anger in his voice, and something else, something beautiful and terrifying all at once.
The dark creature wasn’t listening as it howled, roared, and pounded the invisible dome that surrounded the man and his strange blue box. Whenever a dark tendril hit the invisible barrier it spread out like a skin around it.
This was the first time ever that the remaining humans saw the creature not in control of events, the first time ever that they felt frustration emanating from the dark beast. A tiny current of hope began to spring out of the darkness of their predicament. Whatever can frustrate a creature that can destroy reality, could maybe, just maybe, fix whatever this creature did to reality.
“Tardis. T.A.R.D.I.S. Time And Relative Dimension In Space. I’m way out of your league.” He didn’t raise his voice, but his features hardened. “Now, by Article 15 of the Shadow Proclamation, I order you to tell me who you are!”
There came a wail from the creature that shook reality itself. The huddled humans screamed as the transforming essence shot back towards them.“I CAN STILL KILL THE HUMANS.”
“No you can’t, or you would have done so already. I think you need them to see reality collapse. You need them be witnesses. Yes! Yes! You need them to be observers! If what you’re doing can’t be observed, it can’t be accomplished. Basic waveform dynamics. Observing the wave causes its collapse. You need observers to prevent the collapse of the reality wave.”
He began walking forward, hands in the pockets of his pants, jacket bellowing in the wind. So confident did he look that some of the remaining humans began to feel normal again. Some even began to stand.
His voice was flippant as he spoke but his eyes burned with the fires of absolutes. “Tardis. Time and relative dimension – doesn’t anybody listen when I speak anymore – Time and Relative Dimension in Space, it’s out of your reach. Plus, even without the Tardis, I don’t count. I’m special.” He grinned widely. “I can see waveforms without causing their collapse. In fact, most waveforms are very friendly creatures, absurdly shy, but very friendly. My people, really, were the only ones waveforms felt comfortable around.”
The creature, so powerful only minutes before, was now moving back, a puff of smoke retreating before an oncoming storm. “That’s why waveforms collapse for everyone else, you know, it wasn’t always like that.”
The man paused and cocked his head to the right, squinting his eyes, he shrugged, “It’s really not fair for mathematicians… Poor misunderstood saps. Anyway, I nursed one back to health when I was young, er, a waveform, not a mathematician. Called it Shrody. So you’ll forgive for not being impressed.”
The man kept advancing towards the darkness, fearless, like a force of nature. “Now, I’m asking you one last time to identify yourself or I’ll be forced to close this reality rift with you in it! And believe you me, if there is one person, one person only in the entire spectrum of creation that a creature of reality shouldn’t mess with it’s a Lord of Time.”
The creature suddenly recoiled. “DOCTOR.” It rasped the word like two concrete slabs being rubbed against each other. The dark creature began to grow in size at an exponential rate until it encompassed everything in all directions. “WE ARE THE EXTERIONS. WE MEANT NO HARM.” Then, with a thunderous roar the creature faded into nothingness.
Seven humans, one Time Lord, and a blue police box, suddenly found themselves on a beautiful tropical beach, before a spectacular setting sun.
“Yes, it’s over.” The man who the creature named The Doctor looked at her intently.
“We’re safe?” She asked, excitement bursting through her terror.
“Yes, you’re safe.” There was a note of sadness in his voice that ran through everyone present.
After a moment of silence a man with an air of leadership around him asked the question that was on the minds of everyone present. “We can’t go home, can we, Doctor?”
“I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.”
Another man, more agitated and with a scruffy look about him spoke up. “What the hell is an Exterion? Who the hell are you? What the hell just happened, and why the hell can’t we go home?”
The man in the long tan jacket, now being ruffled by a warm fragrant breeze, walked up to the group and looked them each in the eyes before speaking. “The Exterions are child like creatures that live outside space and time, on the event horizon of the void. They manipulate reality as naturally as we manipulate objects. What they did here was the equivalent of playing coppers and robbers together… Except that while playing, they broke a window, a window between worlds with different laws of physics, a window between this reality and theirs. I’m so sorry, they didn’t know. They were just playing.”
The Doctor took a deep breath. “This island, well, this construct, well, this thing that you’re standing on here and now, this reality is called a Taris. Like a Tardis but without the ‘D’, and well, with a different meaning associated with the letters in the acronym. A TARIS is a ‘Temporal Absolute Reality In Space’. It’s the opposite of my Tardis. It’s bigger on the outside.”
“What?” Exclaimed a portly fellow.
“That’s not important right now. I don’t have much time. You don’t really exist. Well, that might be a bit strong. You’re real because obviously you’re standing here, right in front of me, but that’s only because you’re in a Taris. Without the Taris there would be no reality for you to be real in. Not to mention that you wouldn’t be standing in front of me because there would be nowhere for me to park my Tardis. Remember, the Taris is bigger on the outside.”
“What?” The portly man repeated.
“Wait, Hurley… So what now?” A slightly older man cut in.
“You live out your lives here. Normally. For you it’s real, everything is real, you can leave the island, you can do anything you want. Now that the Exterions are gone, this reality works just like normal reality, but the instant the last one of you dies, there will be no more observers, and then this reality will collapse upon itself and vanish from existence and the Taris will return home to the Exterions.”
A younger girl came closer, she spoke with a melodic accent. “So none of this is real?”
“Of course it’s real, it just doesn’t exist. No one listens anymore.”
“Who are you?” The scruffy looking man asked again.
“I’m the Doctor.”
“Just The Doctor. And I really, really, have to be going. I’m dangerously overheating my Tardis staying here, keeping it in place, it’s like hitting the gas and the breaks at the same time, not good, eventually something explodes. And when two objects that are each inside one another simultaneously explode, well… well… it just… actually, well, to be honest, I don’t think that has ever happened before, but it would be bad. I must leave. Really.”
The Doctor looked at the bunch one last time. The ground suddenly began to shake. “I’m so sorry, I have to go. You’ll be fine.” He turned and ran towards his blue police box.
It began making that strange sound, like a rushing of blood –whoosh, whoosh, whoosh- a light pulsed in rhythm to each otherworldly screech as the blue box gradually vanished, leaving the humans alone on the beach.
Rose Tyler, inside the Tardis, watched in amazement as the Doctor popped back into existence holding a tiny glowing sphere in his upturned palm. “Rose, I really cannot recommend being inverted. Dreadful experience, absolutely terrible.” He stuck his tongue out repeatedly as if trying to get rid of a bad taste in his mouth, all the while grimacing and rubbing his chest and arms. “Utterly dreadful sensation. Sort of feels like what canned Tuna smells like. Disgusting. It’s like being, well, inverted!”
“Well? Did you save them?”
If for simply to reply yes to that question, asked by that girl, the Time Lord knew that he would always succeed.
“The waveforms live on, Rose,” he grinned.
“Do those poor people know?”
“That they’re waveforms? Nah, if they did, they would perceive themselves for what they are, and since they’re in human form, they’d collapse.”
Rose approached and looked at the tiny sphere in The Doctor’s palm. “And they’re all trapped in there?”
“Well, trapped it a bit harsh… Their waveform essence lives on. It was already too late for those people the instant the Exterions touched their lives. The Exterions chose them to play in their game. They chose absolutes. Wrath, lust, pride, and so on, versus self-sacrifice, nobility, love, generosity, and so on, they only wanted to play a game. They didn’t know that they were actually recruiting ‘real’ people to play their game. People who represented these absolutes.”
“Well, Doctor, tell me, don’t keep me waiting, who won? Good or Evil?”
The Doctor looked at Rose for a second before dropping the tiny sphere into his jacket pocked. “Neither, Rose. They both Lost.”