The Doctor, The Witch, and the War Zone.
Starring The 12th Doctor and
Harriet Jane Elderson as the Witch
T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the Tardis, nothing was stirring, except for a mad man in a blue box trying to get her to fly through a vortex of time that would take him far out of normal existence and into the realm of the supernatural.
He had a reason of course, he always did but reason wasn't enough for the Tardis to take notice of his instructions, nor indulge him in his quest to take her far out of her comfort zone, to the supernatural world known as Brujai, a world of fairy tales, hidden from the mortal realm under a veil of mystery and folklore, as the truth of such a place would have wiped out mankind a long time ago.
There were some who managed to venture across the realms and into Brujai, and those people came back warped of mental stability, if they came back at all, but only managed to tell the secrets of such a place within the pages of books that became great national treasures among the human children who still believed in such things as fairies, unicorns, and dragons.
The Doctor had someone to find, a woman he needed information from about a woman he once knew who had disappeared from earth and was lost, but had not died. How he knew this, would be explained by the woman herself, but for now he knew just one thing, he had a dream and the Doctor never dreamt of anything anymore.
In the dream, the lost woman he used to know was calling to him, she was out of her own time, many 100’s of years away from where she should be, but she wasn't sure if it was the past or the future. She had found a way to reach him as he slept which was itself a miracle as the Doctor hardly ever slept, yet he had fallen asleep and she had found him and she had a message for him...
” Find me Doctor, and bring me home. Find the witch and make her help you, she knows what happened to me, she always knows”
The witch in question was another woman the Doctor had known a very long time ago and one he had hoped he'd never run into again. She hadn't come from Brujai, she and her evil twin sister had come from the beginning of time itself, from the creation of earth before human kind was created when a species known only as the elders lived and breathed in the earth’s forming atmosphere.
It was said that the elders helped shaped the earth, that they were placed there to create the world and make it habitable for human kind, but no one knew where they had originated from. The witch and her sister had been created by the elders as twin boys who would grow into men and rule the world as kings, but something had gone wrong and they had been born girls instead, beta's instead of alphas, a crime against the natural order of how the elders lived.
Women were not tolerated and not needed and it is said that the witch and her sister were the first women to have stepped foot on the earth’s soil, and until evolution had its way, the last as they were sentenced to death the moment they were born.
(The bible suggests otherwise but books are not always as accurate as they would have you believe)
They were however far too powerful for the elders and their growth rate accelerated overnight along with their powers so by the next morning they had grown into young teenagers and the evil twin took her sisters hand and whisked her away from death, taking them both millions of years into the future to a time where the world is as it is today.
Their story, is another story for another day and how the witch met the Doctor is a book in itself and one he hopes will never get published, needless to say, it had been many 100's of years since he had seen the woman in his dream and she should in fact be dead now, so why she came to him now, how she came to him now, was indeed a mystery that needed solving.
"Why won’t you behave?" He said angrily to his time machine as she huffed and puffed and slowed her engines right down making the jump though time virtually impossible. "I know you don’t want to go, I don’t want to go, but we have to, I can’t leave her stranded wherever stranded is so we have no choice, now be a good girl and get moving!"
The Tardis lurched forward and her engines squealed as she applied her breaks, but the Doctor wasn't giving up on his mission. He knew it was a bad idea to find the witch and have her on board his ship, especially after what happened last time, but this time he was prepared for her, he knew her weaknesses and he would use them against her if he had too, but he knew his ships weakness too. "Look, do this for me and I'll let you look for Gallifrey. I know you want to, I know you feel you need to at least try and I know I’ve tried wiping it from your database, but do this for me and I'll give you one chance to look ok?"
The Tardis seemed to be thinking as she slowed down to almost nothing and as he stared at her console, a look of expectation across his face, she started to glow and began her descent to Brujai and materialized on its surface, perched neatly on a corner outside a very old and run down looking magic shop in a derelict deserted street very like the ones found on earth. The Doctor smiled a little. "Thank you. After Christmas I promise, it will be my present to you"
The doors opened and the Doctor walked slowly outside, he was far from excited to be there, but as he glared up at filthy blacked curtains hanging in the equally as filthy windows, he at least knew he was in the right place, and walked towards it, letting himself in through the never locked door.
Harri heard the door go, the small bell rang a little as it was pushed opened and her eyes narrowed slightly as she peered through the darkness trying to work out who had come into her magic shop and why? No one ever did, no one ever wanted or needed to as the planet was overrun with super natural’s, and no one ever needed the services of a witch! Good job really, she hated people, she was happy on her own, blowing things up as she brewed potions and created spells in a bid to find a way to restore her lost memories of her very long life. (Another story, and many more for another day and quite possible a book!) She could however, smell the man as he entered and knew instantly who he was then and why he was there, but she was far from happy to see him, less than he was to see her no doubt as they hadn't exactly parted on great terms when she had last seen him some few 100 years ago,
"Watcha gay lord, knew ya was comin', had one of them pathetic dreams. Ain’t got nothin' for ya though, ain’t my problem" Harri wasn't very intelligent nor very eclectic when it came to communication. Her voice was low and husky as if she smoked 100 cigarettes a day. She was a super witch, very powerful in potion creation and spell making, but rather inept when it came to waving her wand about as it often caused a commotion, explosion, or a black hole, all a result of her addiction to vodka. hence the Tardis’ apprehension to have her on board.
The Doctor ran his hands across his clothes as if he were wiping the stench and decay from them and looked around the room as he addressed her, not looking at her at all. "It’s Time lord, and you will help me find her because as pathetic as you are, your dream was prophetic and you know you have to. Have you re-decorated lately, looks different from the last time I was here, wasn't there a blood stain on that wall?"
Harri looked at the spot on the wall the Doctor was referring to and pointed her wand at it to cast some light over the place he was staring at, and the blood stain was illuminated like a fading masterpiece of graffiti. "Still there, can’t remember whose it was though" The Doctor ducked as the wand erupted and blew a hole in the wall, covering everything including him in brick dust and debris that sat like snow on his already grey hair. The witch emerged from her shadowy corner, watching with amusement as the time lord coughed and spluttered, patting his clothes down to rid himself of the broken wall he was now wearing "She ain’t gettin me help, not after what she did to me, what ya both did to me, why should I? I ain’t got no loyalties to her and nor do you, what ya got to get involved for, she should be long dead by now anyway, stupid cow, can't even die proper"
The Doctor, regaining his composure, stood tall once more, glaring at her with contempt. He had prepared for this moment of rebellion and he knew he could not win the argument nor the witches help with words of pleading, so he shrugged a little, raised his hands in defeat which made the witch smile as she thought she'd got away with it and could go back to bed and drink until she once more forgot everything she was trying to remember, but what she had obviously forgotten, was that the Doctor never gave up! He snapped his fingers and the air, dust, and debris of a 100 years of decay around them began to swirl. Harri squinted, watching everything around her change.
It took less than a second, it was like magic as somehow the shop vanished and she was stood in the Tardis staring at the Doctor who looked as clean as he had been when he entered the shop and as smug as he possibly could at his own cleverness. "Oi, where’s me shop?" She bellowed at him. "How'd ya get me on ya boat and what the bloody hell happened to ya face?"
The Doctor had regenerated twice since the last time he had seen Harri and although she knew it was him, she pulled a face of disgust as she stared at him, looking at him like he was a thing of repulsion, which was how she looked at everyone as she hated everyone in existence. "Time Lord technology” He replied matter of fact and pushing some buttons and shifting levers, the Tardis took flight and took them away from Brujai. “We didn’t land outside your shop, we landed in it and the Tardis camouflaged itself to look like the shambled mess you live in. You were sleeping when we arrived, drunk because you always are, you took no notice of anything other than your own stupid existence, now we're in flight and you will help me or I will leave you on earth, back at the manor, back in 2009, back with Hugo, Cook, and Harry"
Harri froze and the Doctor fixed his gaze firmly on hers., watching her reaction as she slowly raised her wand. "Nope" the Doctor exclaimed almost reading her mind. " That won’t work in here now, the explosion you caused just now was an illusion, try it though, go on I dare you and I’ll make it disintegrate to dust by exposing it to the time vortex, then what will you do? How will you conjure your magic vodka without waving your magic stick?"
Harri hated the Time Lord, but she loved vodka and she loved living on Brujai, so she poked the wand through her bird’s nest of hair to keep it safe and made a mental note to regenerate him backwards to his 10th version and shave his head so that he'd be ugly and bald as she knew how much he loved his hair and himself when he was number 10.
She would give him the benefit of the doubt and she would bargain her help with him as there was something she would want in return, but she wouldn’t let him know she needed his help, that would mean he held all the cards and Harri never gave her cards to anyone! “Like I can’t get vodka another way” She scoffed and snapped her fingers expecting a bottle of vodka to appear in the air as it usually did after she had magically trained herself to do so after 50 gruelling years. Instead, the Tardis doors flew open and she squealed as she saw they were flying at light speed through time and space and in danger of being sucked out of the Tardis into the void of the unknown.
The Doctor in slight shock, snapped his fingers quickly to shut the doors again but somehow, he managed to manifest a bottle of vodka instead and after Harri squealed again but this time with delight, and snatched it from him before he could make it go away again, he slammed his hand down on the console and the doors closed quickly leaving him slightly dazed. “That was weird, I must have reversed the polarity of your magic and my control of the Tardis, we’ll have to watch what we do in here whilst we’re both here or there might be another black hole I have to close”
Harri shrugged and had stopped listening as she uncapped the vodka and drank half of it by the time he spoke to her again. “Tell me about your dream and don’t miss details, you’ll get nothing from me if you’re not at least somewhat honest about it” Harri wondered if he knew what she wanted from him and sat back lazily, trying to recall the dream she’d had in as much detail as her vodka addled brain would allow.
“Oh, I dunno, that dopey bird came to me and she was all like…where’s the Doctor., can’t find him, where is he? And I was all like, get out of me head ya crazy bird, and she was like, I’m trapped on Maren Six and I got a sand man to get me in ya head cos I can’t get into his, and I was like, oh my god ya freak, get out of me dreams, and don’t go getting in me car either, and she was like, help me witch or I’ll die, and I was like, good, ya about 500 years dead anyway, and she was like, please or I’ll never leave ya alone, I’ll haunt ya for the rest of ya life, so I was like, fine, he’s with some ginger bird called Eileen or somethin’, wearin’ a bow tie and a fez and looks like he’s about 12, talks a load of shite but when didn’t he? She was like, found him, oh no lost him again, so I did some of me magic seein’ into the future and found ya with some other bird called Carmen, told her you were on earth with a dinosaur and a lizard women and she was like, cheers then and that was it. I knew cos of what she said about bein’ lost that you’d come for me help but don’t see how I can, magical beings like me can’t go to Maren six unless we’re invited or kidnapped, which we aint, so, sucks to be you gay lord”
Harri’s account of her dream was painful to listen to, especially as she insisted on mimicking the lost woman’s voice in a high-pitched squeak, making her sound more annoying than usual, but the Doctor managed to work out what was going on, that Eileen was in fact Amy, and Carmen was Clara. Harri was terrible when it came to names. Not because she had a terrible memory in that sense, but because she was a terrible person and liked to annoy people as much as she could. “How do you get by in life talking like that?” He asked her, “I need therapy now. I’m assuming she was looking for number 10 me? She wouldn’t know me in this regeneration I suppose, but you are right about one thing, neither you or I can go to Maren six so I’m not sure how I can help her either. Did she say how she got there? In my dream, she was just calling to me, telling me to go to Brujai and get your help but she must have known neither of us could help her so why come to us in the first place?”
Harri shrugged again and tossed the now empty bottle over her should making the Doctor wince. “Don’t do that” He argued, “My Tardis isn’t a rubbish dump”. “No?” She exclaimed, “Could have fooled me gay lord. We best leave her there if we can’t help her, can’t see why we have to help anyway, she should be dead by now, the world won’t tolerate her in this time if she’s alive, it ain’t natural and nor is she, she never bloody was”. “No”, the Doctor said rather resigned to her fate if she was left on Maren, “That’s true, so we’d have to take her back to her own time, on the day she died and work out why she didn’t just pass over, she’s alive now and she shouldn’t be and we need to change that”
Maren Six was another part of creation hidden from mankind. Humans only went there by accident, when they were taken by force by the Maren race and only then because it was necessary to the survival of their species. She would die on Maren if she was left there though and in a terrible way. Harri knew this but she wasn’t sure if the Doctor did, nor if he knew why the Maren had taken her in the first place.
They travelled in silence until the Tardis stopped wheezing and churning through the time vortex and the Doctor casually spoke to Harri, his voice quiet as though he was trying to keep her calm. “What do you know about the Maren race? Why do you think they took her or need us, or you? You’re nothing special, why not just use me? I have the time machine, you just have an exploding stick, I’m way more use than you on any planet, it just doesn’t make sense!”
Harri blinked rapidly as though his words were alien to her and if she wasn’t sure of the repercussions, she may have punched him in his old man’s face. she rolled her eyes in her head and sighed heavily like a sulking child trying to get attention. He was right, she hated it, him, and his stupid face, but he was right. “Dunno, maybe they want me to make ‘em a potion or somethin’? All I know about ‘em is that they don’t reproduce like normal beings do, somethin’ to do with being an all-male race, so they steal some poor bird from other planets, usually humans, get ‘em up the duff and then they die cos they are weak! Caused a lot of wars at one point between galaxies. Maren was declared a war zone for a while, even think it was involved in the time war, think they tried stealin’ a few of ya women whilst ya planet was under attack hopin’ yer wouldn’t notice. Ain’t got a clue why they want me, I aint havin’ no more kids, 3 was enough for me!”
“You’ve got 3 kids?” The Doctor said with mock surprise, rubbing his temples as he was once more forced to listen to the dialect of a common fish wife. “Are you allowed to be in charge of minors?”
Harri shrugged as if she didn’t know. She also didn’t know where her children were. Only that they were all somewhere on earth with their father who was a were wolf, or was it a vampire? Hidden from her by her own magic, a spell she had been forced to cast and forced to forget, meaning she hadn’t seen them since they were babies.
The Doctor stood up and thought for a moment. “I think they want you to carry the next generation of Maren’s. I think, they think that using your magic and your body they can probably triple the chances of how many children will be born. Christina (The women they were supposed to save) she’s just a human and can only breed once and it will kill her, but you, YOU could be a potential breeding machine for them. If you go to Maren six, they might never take another human for their survival again. That’s why they took her, to get to me so I could get you to them!”
Harri stood this time and shouted at the top of her lungs, so much so that the Doctor stepped back in fear, looking at her as though she were a demented dalek. “I BLOODY KNEW IT! I AINT BREEDIN’ FOR NO ONE MATE! NOT HER, NOT YOU, NO BLOODY WAY. YA GET ME!” The thought of contact with another being was enough to send Harri into a fit of anxiety. She had been extremely drunk each time she conceived her children and had needed sever therapy (more vodka) after each occasion which usually meant drinking continuously for the 9 months that followed, so there was no way on earth, Brujai or Maren six that she was going to let some outer space nutcase touch her or breed a whole planet from her womb. “LET ‘EM KEEP THE STUPID MARE, THEY ALREADY HAVE HER, I AINT GOIN’!”
The Doctor shrugged, he knew the witch and her needs, he knew what she desired from him and he knew how to get it from her, through her ego. “Oh, I totally agree, a whole planet of witches, a planet where you are the queen, the ruler of so many, goodness no, that would be terrible, you’d have to rename Maren, Harritopia or something. No no, we’ll come up with something else, make a potion, cast a spell, wave your wand and blow something up, but not that, anything but that!” He watched her expression for a second before he carried on nonchalantly “Shame we can’t go though, the Memoria weed grows in abundance there, it’s the natural habitat of such a rare plant, most commonly used in potion making I understand”
Harri perked up and scowled, yet smirked slightly at the same time. “Harritopia?” She then went back to her usual mood of miserable witch “Yeah so ya know what I need the Memoria weed for, big deal, now I know where to get it so ha! They ain’t usin’ me as a breedin’ cow though, I’d rather live the rest of me miserable without me memories then live like that!” In a potion, only the witch could brew, the Memoria weed would restore her lost memories, the ones taken from her when she was taken from the beginning of time at the age of 16 and whisked years into the future. Harri had no idea who she was, where she had come from, or anything about the elders or who they were as the massive jump in time has caused her memory loss. Her sister had said it was for the best but Harri needed to know, for once she learned her true heritage, she could further unlock her own magic and become more powerful than any witch in any creation and with the kind of power not even gods had, she could have the one thing she craved every second of every day she was forced to live in her desolate state, she would find her children.
The Doctor was falsely sympathetic and running out of ideas, “The Memoria weed can be used in reverse too. It can take the memories away. Every time you breed, you drink the potion and forget about it and all you remember is everything else and your children and their children and their children will live with you on Maren…I mean, Harritopia. It wouldn’t just be you, there are enough male Maren’s left to wipe out the possibility of too much inter breeding, they themselves have at least 100 years or so left so they would help repopulate the planet until the Maren race ceased to exist in its purest form. It’s not exactly in my nature to encourage the eradication of a species, but the Maren were never really a true race, they have always been made up from other beings so technically you would just be evolving them, just make sure you change the breeding process so that Harritopia can survive on its own, make sure you produce enough women so that other females will not be needed”
A plan had been formed. Harri wasn’t happy with it but the prospect of finding out who she was and getting her family back were too much of a chance to waste and if the Doctor was right which she hoped he wasn’t as she hated anyone being right who wasn’t her, she would breed once, triple the dwindling population, and let nature do the rest whilst she blissfully forgot on a potion of Memoria weed and vodka.
And so, it came to pass….
That Christmas, Harriet Jane Elderson, super witch, siren to all of mankind and most of any male species of any race, was taken by the Doctor to Maren Six and she was traded for the life of Lady Christina de Souza, the former lady of the de souza manor and internal jewel thief back in the year 2009. Lady C was taken by the Doctor to the year 2084 To the day she died at the age of 95 and she died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her faithful servant John Cook, her sister Monica who at the age of 75 had just survived another kidnapping, Hugo the stable boy and his wife clip clop ( a rather shabby looking donkey ) and the Doctor, who sat on her bed holding her hand as she whispered her last words to him…..”The bus….find it, it’s his Tardis” The Doctor knew she was talking about the number 200 bus that they had first met on when a worm hole in time had taken them to the planet San Helios , but he didn’t know who she was talking about and he never got to ask her. (another story for another day)
Harri stayed on Maren Six and is quite possibly still there now. No one knows the fate of the Maren’s or the fate of Harri’s children as the moment the Doctor left her there, the planet sealed itself from the rest of creation and now exists only in its own atmosphere.
Sometimes the Doctor takes the Tardis to the boarders of Maren and he stares at the planet as the Tardis searches its database through time and history trying to pinpoint moments in time that might alert the Doctor to Harri’s progress but all that is found is a small bit of information, information that only manifested after the planet was sealed and it’s enough to make the Doctor smile.
Maren Six, formally known as Maior. (The Latin term for Elder)
Originally habited by 12 members of the Maior Gods who were sent to earth at the beginning of its time to help its creation and prepare it for the human race. The Maior were a male dominated species and when they started to die out, they regularly took a female from every species in creation to mate with them and keep their species alive. Only ever producing males, the female would die soon after child birth so a new mother had to be found every few 100 years. Over time, a few 1000 years past earth’s future, the Maior mated with a female from earth who held a supernatural power, and although the female produced many children, she too died but not before she gave birth to a girl. One the elders called Maren, who became the maiors breeding mother. Maren gave birth to six daughters in turn, all named Maren, yet Maren six was born infertile and when she died, the Maior were forced once more to take other females to keep their race alive. By then their reputation became widespread and all races refused to give up one of their own to become part of such an unnatural now combined race, so the planet was renamed Maren six to fool those they proposed to take. It was said that in the time the Maior were on earth, they created two females by accident, the last two pure breeds left in existence and so it was declared that if one of the sisters came to live on Maren six and rebuild the community to its former peaceful glory, the planet would seal itself and no longer take the females it needed to survive.
Time travel, never a straight line of cause to affect, never one point leading directly to another, always jumping about from place to place like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey. When something in the universe goes wrong, it can take a million years to sort itself out but it always will. Harri came from the Maior race, Maren was once called Maior, Maren was the name of the first-born female, Harri’s daughter. Time eventually heals itself, no matter how long it takes.
The end, Merry Christmas