Monday 2 May 2011

The Superman, by Matthew Clarke (my fan fiction)

Another story about Big Finish character Elizabeth Klein. This is set between A Thousand Tiny Wings and Survival of the Fittest.

The Doctor busied himself making a pot of tea. In the complexity of his machinations, the simple task of making tea was always a great relief.

Klein entered the room. Things were rapidly about to become more complex. They always were when she was around.

Klein wore a cardigan and wool skirt. As she usually did in the TARDIS, she was wearing her slippers. For a moment, the Doctor was reminded of his old companion, Barbara. Like all his fellow travellers, Klein had spent time rummaging in the vast wardrobe on the TARDIS. She tended to pick out very conservative outfits. The Doctor wondered how he would interact with Klein if she were in the habit of wearing some hideous Nazi uniform. He suspected that might make the relationship simpler. Everybody knew that Nazis wore sleek uniforms and big jackboots; it was rather more disconcerting to deal with a Nazi wearing a cardigan and slippers. Klein was not some cartoon Gestapo officer but a flesh and blood human being who held to poisonous ideals.

"You're just in time for tea, Klein. Won't you have a cup?" the Doctor offered.

"Yes, I will indeed. You are always such a British gentleman, Herr Doctor," she replied. The Doctor poured her a cup of hot and steaming tea. He passed her a bowl of sugar, which she declined ('can't ever be seen to be sweet,' he thought to himself).

Klein placed a large and dusty book on the table. It was a book he had not seen for some time. It was bound in black leather and marked '500 Year Diary.'

"Doctor, I found this dusty old book in one of the rooms in your impossibly vast TARDIS. I was quite intrigued as to how one could record five hundred years of events in any detail. It seems to be have more pages in it than it appears, much like your ship has such a surprisingly vast interior. I found a lot of the diary rather perplexing, but many entries were very enlightening; not that I have read all of it," said Klein.

The Doctor frowned. "Many people would consider it a great offence to have somebody looking in their diary. It might be fair to say that you are spying on me."

Klein laughed. "Of course I am spying on you, Herr Doctor. I agreed to travel with you. I would never have agreed not to peer into your secrets."

"And what secrets have you discovered in my diary?" he asked.

"As I said, much of it was perplexing. Nevertheless, skimming through, I did find some interesting references to a race of creatures called Androgums," she replied.

"Ah, Androgums," repeated the Doctor.

"You made several notes about the biology of Androgums, which I was fascinated to discover was not dissimilar to that of humans. I was much more interested to read your opinions of them as a species. You wrote: 'Androgums are a monstrous race. Ever killing and eating. They are a menace to the entire cosmos. These subhumans must be wiped out.' It appears that at some time you destroyed several Androgum colonies, killing all the inhabitants; not to mention killing individual Androgums on occasions," Klein said with a gleeful smile.

The Doctor groaned. Of all the things that Klein could discover that might make him look bad, this was one of them. He had made those notes during his second incarnation, in the period when he was put on probation by the Time Lords, after his trial. It had been a strange time. He had become particularly aggressive in that period, actively seeking out monsters to destroy them. He hoped Klein had not discovered his embarrassing secrets about that time; his introducing himself as Dr. Who and carrying a ray gun in his superhero-like utility belt. He rather hoped to forget about those days, even if he did miss his grandchildren, John and Gillian.

"Your actions don't seem that different to what any of the leaders of the Third Reich would do," Klein continued. "You identified the Androgum race as a menace and set out to eradicate them. I refer you to another entry I found in your '500 Year Diary.' The Macra. It seems that you eradicated an entire colony of Macra. The entry states that you knew very little about them. It is quite clear that you prepared to engage in genocide when you feel it is warranted, Herr Doctor."

The Doctor knew this information was embarrassing, but he felt no regret for the actions of his past self. He pulled the snarling face that he always used when he wanted to appear angry. "Klein, I travel in time and space. Throughout 900 years, I have dealt with terrors and threats that you cannot begin to understand. I have to make life and death decisions that could affect the life of countless millions throughout eternity. Can you even imagine that responsibility? Sometimes I have to make shocking decisions. Yes, I killed a lot of Macra. I have since learned that they were swarming from planet to planet, building themselves an empire based on slave labour. My decision has been proven to be right. The Androgums were hideous creatures. Their appetite for butchery brought destruction on themselves. In some situations I used deadly force against them. There are people who have been shocked by my decisions. Did you know they call me the Bringer of Darkness? I have done things that seem terrible, but I did them out of a sense of justice."

The Doctor was surprised by Klein's reaction. She smiled in admiration as though she were about to burst into applause. He continued. "Don't dare to compare me to your precious Third Reich. The peoples that they slaughtered, Jews, Gypsies and Slavs were no threat. They were the victims of irrational fears and prejudices built up over centuries. When I killed creatures it was because they really were monsters- creatures bred in the dark corners of the universe, bent on destroying any other life. I always investigated the situation and only took action when I saw fit."

"When you saw fit," repeated Klein. "I admire you more than ever, Doctor. Do you know why? Because you are a fascist! You see a universe in chaos and you strive to bring order to it. You have strength and purpose of will. You are unrelenting and will do anything to destroy the monsters you fight. In fact you are not only a fascist, you are a superman! You are Nietzsche's superman personified! You are the lone hero who turns chaos to order. You are the outsider who brings leadership to the weak masses. As you said, you are the only one who knows how to make the decisions that affect the destiny of worlds. If you could only drop your hypocrisy of standing on the high moral ground, you could have ultimate power."

The Doctor had to admit that Klein had a point. "There is something in what you say, Klein. But a part of leadership is self-knowledge and honesty. At times I have gone to far in my schemes and plans. You remember my companion, Ace? She was young when she met you. I pushed her too far in my power games. I forgot about the responsibility that comes with power. She is an older woman now and has never forgiven me for how I used her."

Klein sneered. "She was a soldier and she had a duty to follow you. You are a fool to be steered by such scruples. I'm sure it would be interesting to meet Fraulein McShane again, but I doubt she would be too delighted. We must save the discussion for another time, Herr Doctor. I feel I need to take a swim in your pool." With that Klein left the room, leaving the Doctor once again to his deep thoughts.

These endless intellectual games that he played with that woman! How long would they be constantly trying to outwit each other and prove the validity of their worldview? Klein seemed to raise her game with each intellectual maneuver.

The Doctor knew Klein was right. He was a superman and perhaps also a fascist. It was his heritage as a Time Lord. If Klein knew of Rassilon, she would have worshipped him in admiration. He was the ultimate fascist. He had taken on the leadership of his people, mastered the power of time travel, vanquished their enemies in the terrible wars of heaven and altered the destiny of the universe forever. He knew he was heir to Rassilon. He was Time's Champion, the all-conquering hero who stood alone against the horrors of the cosmos. This was his lonely task.

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