Doctor Who Internet Adventure #29 - "Destiny Rules"

Chapter 8
"Chaos' Children"
by warinbabylon


The Doctor continued to pace in front of the group. His hands held his arms tightly straight causing his back to be tense. Rose had seen the look on his face before, most often when he was going to give a bad guy a piece of his mind.

       "Well, it's beyond like or dislike at this point, Fate," the Doctor rumbled as he pivoted and faced the group. "And whereas this exercise, attempts on my life AND entering into a duel of medieval proportions with a dragon has kept me on my toes and increased the cardiovascular fitness of my friend here--"

       Rose rolled her eyes.

       "--I think that we are owed an explanation whether we like it or not. I don't much like being a pawn."

       Fate adjusted his glasses and appeared to rock back and forth on the balls of his feet. The small smile on his face spoke to Rose of cosmic knowing. All her life she had viewed fate as friendly. It was in charge making sure you would arrive at the bus stop just ahead of the rain; it was what got you a job or had you bump into that perfectly nice man on the underground. But this boy was proving that fate was different than that. Another belief thrown out the window, she supposed.

       "You admit you were his pawn," Lachesis stated before the boy could speak. "All Time Lords are the pawns of fate."

       "That's a bit stereotypical," Rose interjected, but the Doctor waved her to silence.

       "And why do you think that?" the Doctor pressed. "A Time Lord was sent to kill you, Lachesis. My guess is that he was a member of the CIA, wasn't he? The real question is: why would a Time Lord want to end the existence of a part of Fate?"

       Fate smiled widely. "Why indeed, Doctor? If you could kill one of us, which one would it be? Coincidence? The one who weaves your life, the one who measures it, or the one who ends it?"

       "You can't deny existence and therefore you cannot deny the creation of that life, nor can you deny the end of existence. It's what creates order and allows life to continue," the Doctor said. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, brushing back his leather jacket. "Therefore it would either be coincidence or the measure of how long you live. As coincidence and longevity are products of statistical probability, the loss of one would possibly increase the power of the other," the Doctor responded. "But this wasn't a family matter or vie for power — the grandchildren of Chaos would never do that. Call it genetics."

       Verthandi nodded. "No, this was an outside influence."

       Urd agreed with a sigh.

       Fate's smile gained a mean edge and Rose's hair on the back of her neck stood on end. "You Time Lords either love fate or hate it, Doctor."

       The Doctor's lips formed a sour frown. "Destiny has a nasty ring to it, thank you. It negates free will."

       "Fate is statistics," Lachesis argued. "We are complete order borne from a line of complete disorder."

       "Yes, but that really doesn't answer the question," the Doctor said loudly as he rubbed his brow. "You are saying that Gallifrey was sent to do away with a statistical portion of fate. We've co-existed with you for untold centuries. The general public allows you to have your way; the CIA helps you. Why now?"

       "It was fate that it was to happen," the boy retorted. He pushed his glasses up on the brigdge of his nose.

       "Cheek," Urd reprimanded.

       The Doctor blinked and a scowl of distaste and worry settled on his face. "Gallifrey couldn't interfere again. They haven't the constitution for it. They don't mind being a pawn."

       Rose allowed a quiet giggle. "You really rolled far from the tree, didn't you, Doctor?"

       He sighed in response and Rose sobered as quickly as she was able. Lachesis leaned closer to the still Time Lord. "You don't understand, Doctor. I don't think you can. We keep order in the face of chaos."

       Rose watched as the Doctor stopped breathing and his mouth fell open slowly. "They want to increase the presence of Chaos? To allow more freedom in the variables? The fools! To interfere on that level would bring down too many outcomes. And it is rather an uncontrollable release: once done it can't be undone!"

       Urd's quiet voice filled the console room in the wake left by the Doctor's outburst. "They swear they cannot interfere on the individual level, but we are like you. We are outside of time as well. To interfere with us is to interfere with one's self in their eyes. It was foreseen that Skuld would be eliminated to increase statistical variance--"

       "Maths," Rose breathed as she rubbed her head.

       "--to allow more chaos to happen. To allow more change. A desperate measure..."

       "To eliminate one of you," the Doctor's hoarse voice responded, "is to eliminate one of the four points of the compass. You would all lose your placement and your purpose. There would be no balance. It's better to thwart Fate on an individual level than to remove it completely."

       "Finally," Lachesis commented. "You see reason."

       The Doctor nodded slowly. "And now has the situation been...?"

       Verthandi nodded. "The situation has been dealt with for now - we have you to thank for that. But there is a possibility it will happen again. Everything is a possibility." She looked harshly at her sisters.

       The Doctor looked tired, but smiled. He turned and put the card pile down on the console and let the coordinates reset themselves.

* * *

When the door closed on the foursome, the Doctor leaned into the console. He absentmindedly flicked switches. It was in this morose state that Rose found him. She nudged his arm and held out a small ice cream cone. "No coffee, I get my ice cream," she said quietly. "Besides, you look like you could deal with sunshine on a stick..."

       He stood up and accepted the cone from her with little fanfare or notice.

       "Will something like this happen again?" Rose asked. She began to eat her cone. "Strike that, when will something like this not happen on our travels?"

       The Doctor came out of his introspection. He tapped his fingers against the console and then gave her a wide smile. "Where to, Rose?"

       "Oh, I don't know," Rose smiled, seeing a little of her friend coming back. "Anywhere sounds good. Anywhere away from creepy little boys."

       His smile widened even more and he hit a button, sending them almost gleefully on their way. "If it's any consolation, Rose... I didn't much like him either."


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