Thursday, 15 July 2010

The ending that never was...

Hopefully you've read (and enjoyed) The Cold Hand of Time already, but if not, just click on the post before this then come back!

So, the initial ending I had in mind was similar in some ways, but vastly different in others. For example, the whole reasoning behind everything was still to do with Triveck, but the way in which it happened was different. As I was writing the first draft I was getting a little bit frustrated with how to end it. What I then did came as a surprise (especially to me) as I popped an old enemy in (sort of). I'm not a huge fan of using old enemies in my own fiction – partly as I'd rather come up with something new, and partly because I worry that I won't be able to do anything new with them. Even as I wrote this, I wasn't really sure of it, and having finished it, I thought I could work the ending out in a different (and I think better) way.

There are quite a few dialogue tweaks, whole scenes that are changed, and even a character who doesn't appear at all in the finished version. Poor Mangrove! He may resurface somewhere else one day, but I realised as I was editing it that I didn't really need him at all. His role is pretty much fulfilled by Moltev and Triveck, so any lines that were his got divided between the two of them, though with some tweaks and some lines cut altogether. All you need to know about him is that he's a colleague of Moltev and Triveck's, and that he's an older man!

Hope you enjoy this little curio. I hope to bring you more as the stories progress, so keep checking back. But for now....

The Cold Hand of Time - Alternate Ending

    Moltev was now studying the globe, trying to ascertain why Triveck would have not told them about it. As she examined it, she thought back to the device that Nyssa was holding, the function of the machine. She turned to the Doctor. "This is it, isn't it? This is what caused the time corridor."
    The Doctor smiled. "Well done. I knew you'd get there. As soon as Nyssa told me of the readings I had a good idea what we'd find."
    Mangrove shook his head. "I may be an old man Doctor, but I don't understand why the lad here would find it and keep it a secret."
    "Oh, I think you do. I think you have a very good idea. You see, you were all under the impression that there was a bomb here big enough to destroy your planet. Hidden away, somewhere you wouldn't find it, by an invading force."
    As the Doctor spoke, Nyssa was looking into the corner of the room. For a brief moment, she was sure she could see a figure moving in the shadows. She turned to the Doctor, but looking back once more, the figure had gone.
    Triveck had his head in his hands, seemingly in tears at what was unfolding before him. Mangrove had clearly had enough, and grabbed the younger man by the shoulders, spinning him round to face the rest of them. A look of bewilderment crossed the older man's face as he stared at the figure before him. No longer was his face that of the Aryan looking boy he was used to, rather an older dark-haired bearded figure laughing at him.
    Nyssa was the first to react, recoiling in horror at the familiar face she saw before her. Where once she would have been overjoyed to see the smiling face in front of her, the creature that now stood before her had only a superficial connection to her.
    "Shall I explain Doctor? It's always so tedious to have to wait for your rationalisation of events." The Master chuckled once more.
    "I should have known. Very elaborate trick, invading my TARDIS like that. But why? Why did you need me here?"
    The Master's face formed an unpleasant grin. "My dear Doctor I didn't need you. As always you ended up blundering in." His form seemed to blur slightly, as if he weren't quite there momentarily, replaced again for a split second with Triveck's features.
    Now it was the Doctor's turn to smile. "I try."
    Repulsed by the figure before her, Nyssa was determined to undermine any plans he had, and – not normally taken to brute force – smashed the tracking device through one of the connecting wires, causing sparks to cascade down the sphere's shell.
    No one seemed to have noticed the damage Nyssa had caused, Mangrove and Moltev both drawn to the two men in front of them. The Doctor and the Master appeared to be circling one another, like predator and prey, though Moltev had no idea which was which.
    "The bomb was a hoax. I'm assuming that the wiping of these peoples' memories is your doing though. That and a little manipulation, adjusting the truth." Eyebrows raised, the Doctor stared at his opponent.
    "Of course, Doctor. When you are as well versed in hypnotism as I am, it's a simple matter of a mass regression. Besides, the invaders are real."
    The sparks were growing in number now, the sphere looking ready to explode. It had now caught the Doctor's eye too, and he acknowledged the fact to Nyssa, wanting her to get Mangrove and Moltev to safety.
    The Doctor continued his verbal sparring, while Nyssa gained the others' attention, and ushered them back through the door.

    The room lit up before him, a bright light flashing intermittently in the centre. Now Aldrich was sure he could see two figures, neither of whom he recognised.
    There was still no sign of the door. Aldrich's heart began to race faster. He knew that the flashing light was a warning, an indication that now was the time he needed to leave.
    In desperation, he began clawing at the walls, screaming at them for some kind of escape.

    "We need to get out of this complex, and fast. That sphere is going to cause a temporal explosion." Nyssa looked down one of what seemed like a maze of corridors, and was overjoyed to be greeted by the sight of the TARDIS. "Quickly, towards the blue box!"
    Mangrove and Moltev needed little prompting, and rushed through the open door.
    Nyssa looked back, realising the Doctor would need help.
    Against her better judgement, she hurried back the way she'd just come.

    The Master had finally taken notice of the malfunctioning sphere, while the Doctor had realised something. Every so often, the Master seemed to be flickering, like he was fading in and out of time.
    "It's not you at all, is it? You're a projection, aren't you, a kink in time."
    The Master simply grinned once again, before reverting back to Triveck's form. "Help me Doctor. This time distortion, it's causing all manner of chaos!" He was shaking once more, the Doctor understanding what was happening.
    "Echoes of different time and places, people I've seen, people you know, all colliding together. We need to get to my ship, my TARDIS." The Doctor held Triveck by the shoulders. "We have to go. NOW!"
    The two men dashed out of the room, and despite hearing the loud call of "Doctor", managed to run run straight into Nyssa.
    Nyssa looked at Trevick, then at the Doctor. "Doctor, what..."
    She had no time to finish as the Doctor grabbed her hand and pulled her along with him. "No time to explain Nyssa, just trust me when I say that things are not all as they seem."   
    "I don't suppose I have much choice!"
    The Doctor managed a small smile. "That's the spirit!"
    They crossed over the threshold of the TARDIS and locked the doors of the time ship.
    The Doctor looked over at the passengers on board, and saw Mangrove shake his head, the old man clearly vexed at what had just happened. "Will someone please explain what is going on!"
    The call "Doctor" was heard by Aldrich as he frantically tried to escape from the room. The bright light was now becoming more corporeal, the room taking on a different form, but still fading in and out of reality.
    Aldrich wasn't sure what would happen next, and a sudden stillness came over him.
    He closed his eyes as the light flared, blotting out reality.

    "So," Nyssa began, "the Master was a projection from our minds, focussed on Triveck and made to seem real."
    The Doctor nodded. "Time distortion, great big rupture caused by both the opening of the time corridor and..." he looked at his arm as if to consult a watch, "...its closure."
    Moltev shook her head. "Then that's it. We're doomed. They may have been no bomb, but they will come back."
    Nyssa was beginning to grasp the extent of what had happened. "It seems that they might not exist."
    "Precisely! Either that, or I rather think they planned to invade using the corridor which...also doesn't exist," surmised the Doctor.
    Mangrove chuckled. "So that means that we're safe!" A suddenly realisation hit him and the joy appeared to drain from his face. "Except the poor chaps still stuck down there when that thing exploded."
    "Except," Triveck said, "the Doctor confined the explosion. Within a small blast radius that is."
    A small crept back onto the old man's face. "Splendid! Now, what I wouldn't give for a decent cup of tea!"
In the space-time vortex, a myriad of lights danced over the outer shell of the TARDIS, time rippling around it as the time corridor spilled temporal energy out into the universe.
    Where once it had been, a solitary figure now stood, gazing up at the stars. "I shall have my revenge on you, Doctor," it hissed through what remained of its mouth.
    The starlight glanced off a metallic object attached to the creature, the only word visible a name.

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