Response to Challenge the Seventeenth
Death is the only thing he can count on now. The marauding beast whispers in his ear: Join me; hunt with me; kill for me.
So he runs away as fast as he can, but can’t bear to look at the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. All he sees are the faces of those people who died because he was there. They all ask him the same unanswerable question: if you hadn’t come here, on a whim, would anyone here have died.
He yells the answer as loud as he can: NO. Of course they would still be alive. He is Death’s Champion. But no one ever understands that. They just thank him for saving their town or space base from almost certain destruction. The destruction is only there because of me, he tries to say, but he can’t make his voice work properly.
Once, just once, he wants to keep the beast far away from wherever he ends up. He wants to land in a mountain forest somewhere and meet a group of people who have no concept of loss, or pain, or despair. Would that really be so hard to manage?
The Doctor is something of a fatalist, so he reasons he would never find such a place. All of creation is tainted with the smell of Death, because he exists. He wants the beast to whisper something different in his ear: You’ll be next, and then I’ll take a break.
He will never stop running because there will always be something to run from. If he’s not running from the people who have died, he’s running from the people he knows will die. If he’s not running from them, he’s running from the faces he has never seen, but are dying at this instant.
Death is the only thing he can count on now.