FANFIC FRIDAY: The Resurrection of Evil, Episode One

If you enjoyed “The Masque of the Baron“, it gets better.  I learned from the experience of writing that one and did another, following straight after “Minnehaha Falls“.  I wrote this probably in 1998 – I remember for sure I was a senior in college, anyway.  I’ve made some minor corrections in this first episode, because it contained some rather significant historical errors.  (That’s what I got for going off memory when I first wrote it!)  I will not make any further correctiosn, however, so the rest is as it is — warts and all!

Twin Citians may be amused also to notice how much of the Mall of America (which forms much of the setting) has changed — I think absolutely none of the stores and restaurants which appear in the story have remained in business.  They were all real and extant at the time I wrote it, but not any more.  The nightclub promenade on the fourth floor almost completely collapsed (financially, not literally) about five years after I wrote this, and now it’s only just recovered.  Even the movie theater and amusement park have changed hands, although they do still exist and are doing respectable business still.

Continuity note: this takes place immediately after the 1996 Dr Who telemovie starring Paul McGann, and therefore features the Eighth Doctor.  Expanded universe materials such as the New Adventures, awesome as they are, are ignored.  On the Highlander side, this would fall somewhere in the first half of Series Five (prior to the mid-season shift across the Atlantic).  As far as the Highlander movies, only one Highlander movie exists.  The other things of that name are figments of your imagination and as far as I’m concerned do not exist.  😉

Forward to Episode Two (TBD) >

The Resurrection of Evil

Episode One: The Birth

“I don’t wanna live here no more,

I don’t wanna stay

Ain’t gonna spend the rest of my life,

Quietly fading away”

— “Games People Play,” the Alan Parsons Project

The darkness surrounds you, enfolds you in its silence. You cannot see, you cannot touch, you cannot hear, you cannot taste. You are nothing here. This is the eternal void.

You are not alone in the blackness, and you are constantly reminded of this by the soundless cries of the beasts crawling through the perpetual murk. Although you can touch nothing, there is some sensation here; there is a vague feeling every time one of the worms slips soundlessly by. And there is pain whenever one sinks its fangs into your — we shall call it living — essence.

You scream, but it does no good.

The scream rings in your mind, but the creature cannot hear, and it does not let off until it remembers in its dim way that you are not good to eat. It has tried before, although the concepts of before and after are muddled here.

Because of this you cannot tell how long you have been here. But you have been in this prison for a time, and that is enough. Desire burns within your breast, or whatever would be your breast if you had a physical presence here. Desire to escape this prison, desire to avenge your death; but most of all, a raging desire to live.

And so you wait patiently for an exit, a return to life.

It’s only a matter of time.

Rhieinwylydd walked briskly along the bank of the Minnesota River, beneath the oak and aspen of Fort Snelling State Park. Her long blonde hair poked out of the back of her Twins baseball cap and swung back and forth, marking time.

The morning air was still crisp with the last of spring; in Minnesota, the sharp cool persists even in early May. And so Rhieinwylydd wore running pants and a matching jacket for her daily constitutional.

A red-winged blackbird called out. Rhieinwylydd paused in the shadow of the vast Mendota Bridge, far above, and inhaled deeply. With so few people in the park this early, it was easy to forget that she was in heart of the Twin Cities, home to several million human beings.

She thrust her hands into her pockets and looked up at the cliff face far above. Fort Snelling perched on top, overlooking the confluence of the Minnesota and the Mississippi. It had stood there since before the Civil War, but chance had kept it from being tested in battle.

Rhieinwylydd allowed her mind to wander back into the past, forgetting that she was in the twentieth century, and imagined that she were once more tending the sick at the village of Pig’s Eye and at the Dakota Sioux camp, not far from where she stood now….

{Pig’s Eye himself was still alive, and ran a liquor store. The soldiers came down and got drunk, then stumbled on their way back to the fort. This made Father Galtier very angry. He ran the Log Chapel of Saint Paul, and would rather there were no liquor here at all. Some of the townsfolk, drawn by the mission rather than the saloon, were talking of renaming the town Saint Paul. It seemed to make much more sense. Meanwhile, there was another bout of German measles in the Dakota camp, but no one wanted to help Rhieinwylydd care for them….}

A 747 screamed overhead, wrenching her mind back to the present. She turned to watch the jet glide gently in to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

And then it came.

It filled her mind with the rushing, whirling, confusion that presaged another Immortal. Rhieinwylydd felt her senses automatically snap to their fullest extension. In one smooth motion, she unzipped her jacket and drew her sword.

“Who’s there?” she called. “I am Rhieinwylydd. Who are you?”

A man emerged from around a bend in the pathway. He was about five foot eight, with dishwater blond hair and an unremarkable face. He wore a long grey overcoat. In his hands he carried a naked broadsword.

“My name is Edward Chevalier. There can be only one.”

A growl built in Rhieinwylydd’s throat. “Then get ready to fight for it!”

The sound of metal on metal rang across the early morning stillness.

The Time Rotor scraped its way up and down in the center of the console, marking out the minutes until the TARDIS reached its destination. The only other sounds were a calm background hum and a scratchy phonograph recording of Edith Piaf singing “La Vie En Rose.”

A young man in an Edwardian frock coat sat next to the phonograph in a large, threadbare armchair, reading a book of poetry. His slender form was folded into the chair, giving him the impression of one who had been sitting there a very long time.

A soft tone rang out from the console. The rotor stopped.

The Doctor looked up. A smile broke across his placid features. He set the book aside and leapt easily out of the chair, pausing only to turn off the phonograph.

“Excellent!” he said, rubbing his hands together briskly as he strode across to the console. He peered at the instrumentation.

Then something went disastrously wrong.

Rhieinwylydd felt her hands slip briefly on the hilt of her sword and knew that she was falling behind. Something deep inside of her rebelled at this, and she felt a surge of energy ride up into her arms for one last, desperate attempt.

–I’m damned if I’m gonna die here, she thought, and snarled. The snarl turned into a yell, and the yell into a shriek as she swung at her attacker with all her might.

But it was not enough.

In her mad rush, she overextended herself, and Edward knocked the sword from her hands. For a moment, she stood there staring dumbly at her empty hands. Then, exhausted, she fell to her knees.

A bird sang in the distance. The beginnings of rush hour could be heard on the bridge far above. The air was filled with the rich, loamy smells of spring. Rhieinwylydd did not want it to end, and for a moment it seemed that it would not.

Edward spoke. “There can be only one.”

Then everything went white, flaring up in an instant before disappearing forever.

Sparks flew from the TARDIS console. The Doctor rushed around its hexagonal face. The Rotor moved an inch, then jammed. A dozen alarms were ringing simultaneously.

The Doctor flipped a switch. He was rewarded by a shower of sparks. Another claxon joined the din.

He stepped back from the console for a moment and pulled down the monitor. His brows knit together. “That’s odd,” he muttered, peering at the readout. “Artron energy flux?”

The Doctor pondered a moment, his fingers clasped on his chin, seemingly unaware of the noise. Then he dove under the console and began sorting through the jumble of wires inside.

In the distance, the cloister bell tolled, its deep and somber tone ringing clear through the chaos in the console room.

It began with St. Elmo’s Fire, hovering ghostlike around the still form of the dead Immortal. Then the wind came, lifting Edward’s hair and drying the sweat from his face. He took a deep breath and gripped his sword firmly in both hands.

Lightning crackled through the forest, skittered madly across the shallow river, and drew sparks from the bridge far above. Sympathetic vibrations shot through the electromagnetic spectrum, sending a burst of static across the FM bands. Edward shouted incoherently, the sound lost within the whirlwind.

And then it changed.

Light bent, swirled around the ghostlike form of a blue police box, floating ten feet away from Edward. It drew the eldritch lightning towards it, and then reflected the power back tenfold. The landscape shimmered horribly, reality flickering on and off like a faulty flourescent light. Time effects shivered in and out of existence.

A trilobite swam through the air and the flowered stalks of crinoids waved gently in the maelstrom, then faded away. A herd of buffalo drank at the river, became a herd of mastadons, then sank into the river and vanished. A deep grinding noise shuddered through the madness, and the ghostly police box faded in and out. The air stank of ozone.

A circuit blew and a puff of smoke emerged from deep within the TARDIS console. The alarms had mostly subsided, with the sole exception of the cloister bell, which echoed down the infinite corridors of the TARDIS.

The Doctor stuck his head above the console and flicked a switch. Nothing happened.

“And I just fixed that,” he said quietly, shaking his head.

He straightened up, brushing invisible dust from his velvet coat. “Well,” he said. “There’s just one thing left to try.”

He set the console to manual and began programming the architectural configuration.

The blackness is still there, all around you.

But now you can see, for there is a fire building, roaring with power and life. The blind worms shy away from it, their teeth glistening with the reflection of the blaze.

You smile, and move closer to the fire.

It is warm and comforting. You move closer still, and a force unreckoned with takes hold of you, pulling you into the heart of the blazing glory.

It burns, and you scream in pain.

Your essence bubbles and boils as the non-world around you fades from blackness into oblivion. For a moment, all you can think is that you were cheated, wronged. This is not an exit; this is death.

The wind was focusing now on the ghostly police box. The time effects were fading. Space itself was distorting now, bending and even folding in places. The swirling strangeness of the Time Vortex showed through the gaps.

A tremendous bolt of lightning leapt out from Edward’s extended sword and grounded itself on the transient blue box. He screamed one last scream. The grinding noise increased in volume. There was a popping sound.

Then it was over.

Reality snapped back into place as though it had never been gone. The birds were still keeping well away, but apart from that it seemed a perfectly normal morning in May. The ghostly police box had vanished, taking with it the temporal distortions.

Edward collapsed onto the ground, breathing heavily.

But then it is over. The fire is gone, and with it the pleasure so intense you had thought it to be pain.

You open your eyes to sunlight and cry out with relief. You laugh and sob at the same time until the tears run down your cheeks and mingle with the dust upon which you lie, turning it to mud.

The Doctor held his finger poised over the button to delete a portion of the TARDIS interior. But then, all of a sudden, a tremendous surge lit up the Rotor and it moved.

He stared blankly at it for several seconds before realizing that the cloister bell had stopped. A smile crept across his features. “Well, that’s a relief. Now…where are we going?”

The Time Rotor scraped smoothly up and down, its rhythm a welcome change. But a look at the instrumentation showed a new problem.

“Oh, dear,” said the Doctor. He sighed deeply.

The curious energy surge had given the TARDIS enough energy to break out of the Vortex distortions caused by the artron energy flux. But it had also caused a temporal displacement in the destination setting.

He was going to land in exactly the right place, but two months late. And it would be far too risky to take off again before a complete diagnostic of all the TARDIS systems.

The Doctor shrugged and let the TARDIS take him where it would.

After a time, you lift your head from the muddy soil.

Your happiness is unbounded, for you are alive again. The birds are singing in the distance, and your veins are singing with life.

As you draw yourself to your feet, you breathe in the crisp morning air. You have control again, which means you have life again. And you are Immortal.

You have power. And this time you have the chance to use it.



Filed under Doctor Who, Fanfiction

10 responses to “FANFIC FRIDAY: The Resurrection of Evil, Episode One

  1. Pingback: FANFIC FRIDAY: The Resurrection of Evil, Episode Two | Calli Arcale's Fractal Wonder

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