Everything Ends

Traveling is always better with three. But while Donna Noble is fun, sassy, and more than a match for the Doctor, she's the sign that Lilithanadir's time with this Doctor is coming to a close and a reminder that everything good must come to an end. A rewrite of series 4 of Doctor Who


20. Reasons to Fear the Dark Part Two

They were interrupted by a noise. Some sort of alarm, Lilith thought, but different.

“Sorry,” Proper Dave apologized, “that was me. Trying to get through into the security protocols, I seem to have set something off. What is that? Is that an alarm?”

“Doctor,” Donna said, “that sounds like…”

“It is,” he agreed. “It’s a phone.” He went over to the terminal.

Lilith saw that River looked devastated. She took her hand. “I’m really sorry, Aunt River.”

She smiled at her. “I’ve been expecting this day for a while now. I just…” She shook her head. “When was the last time you saw me?”

“You were there when I left. I haven’t seen you since.” Lilith hugged River again. “I missed you.”

River hugged her back. “Let’s see what he’s found.” They joined the Doctor at the terminal.

“Okay, here it comes,” he said. An image of a little girl appeared on the screen. “Hello?”

“Hello,” the girl said. “Are you in my television?”

“Well, no. I’m, I’m…” the Doctor struggled for words, “sort of in space. I, I was trying to call up the data core of a triple-grid security processor.”

“Dad, she’s not going to know what that means,” Lilith hissed.

“Would you like to speak to my dad?” the girl questioned. Then her eyes widened in recognition. “I know you! You were in my Library.”

Your Library?”

She frowned. “The Library’s never been on the television before. What have you done?”

“Ah I… I just rerouted the interface.”

The screen went black. “What happened, who was that?” River asked.

The Doctor tried pressing some more keys, but nothing worked. “I need another terminal. Keep working on those lights, we need those lights!”

“You heard him, people. Let there be light,” River barked. She went back over to where the Doctor was working on the terminal near her bag just in time to take her journal from him. “Sorry, you’re not aloud to see inside the book. It’s against the rules.”

“What rules?”

River looked at him, a bit sad. “Your rules.”

Lilith looked back and gasped. “Not sure, but I don't think that’s supposed to be happening.” Books were flying off the shelves of their own accord. “What the hell?”

“What’s that? I didn’t do that. Did you do that?” the Doctor called to Proper Dave.

Proper Dave shook his head. “Not me.”

The terminal screen displayed the access denied screen with the letters CAL written across the top. “What’s CAL?”

“What’s causing that? Is it the little girl?” River wondered.

“But who is the little girl? What’s she got to do with this place?” The Doctor stormed over to Mr. Lux. “CAL, what is it?”

“Sorry, you didn’t sign your personal experience contracts,” Mr. Lux sniffed.

“Mr. Lux, right now you’re in more danger than you’ve ever been in your who life. And you’re protecting a patent?”

Mr. Lux crossed his arms. “I’m protecting my family’s pride.”

“Let me tell you something, Lux,” Lilith said, seriously. “There is no way any of you are leaving this planet alive without his help. Soon we’ll all be dead because some idiotic bastard thought his pride was more important than the lives of everyone here.”

River looked at Lilith, amused. “Then why didn’t you sign his contract?”

“Really, Aunt River?”

“I didn’t either. I’m getting worse than him.”

The Doctor started pacing. “Okay, okay, okay. Let’s start at the beginning. What happened here? On the actual day one hundred years ago, what physically happened?”

“There was a message from the Library,” River answered. “Just one. ‘The lights are going out’. Then the computer sealed the planet, and there was nothing for a hundred years.”

“It’s taken three generations of my family just to decode the seals and get back in,” Mr. Lux said.

“There was one other thing in the last message.” River looked pointedly at Mr. Lux.

“That’s confidential.”

“The Doctor and Lilith? I trust them with my life,” River said, sincerely. “With everything.”

“You’ve only just met the man!” Mr. Lux protested.

River shook her head. “No, he’s only just met me.” She took something out og her bag and gave it to the Doctor. “This is a data extract that came with the message.”

“4022 saved. No survivors,” he read.

“4022 is the exact number of people who were in the Library when it was sealed.”

Donna frowned. “But how can 4022 people have been saved if there were no survivors?”

“That’s what the expedition was for,” Lilith guessed. “To find out.”

“And so far, we haven’t found any bodies,” Mr. Lux added.

A scream pierced the air. The group ran through an open panel down a hall to a lecture room where there was a skeleton sitting in the chair wearing the remains of a shredded spacesuit.

“Everybody, careful. Stay in the light,” the Doctor warned.

Proper Dave crossed his arms. “You keep saying that. I don’t see the point!”

“Shut it!” Lilith hissed at him.

“Who screamed?” the Doctor asked.

“Miss Evengelista.”

“Where is she?”

River spoke into her communicator. “Miss Evangelista, please state your current…” She trailed off when her voice echoed from the direction of the skeleton. “Please sate your current…” She pulled a piece of the spacesuit’s collar from behind the skeletons back. The green lights of the communicator were still on. “It’s her. It’s Miss Evangelista.”

“We head her scream a few seconds ago. What could do that to a person in a few seconds?” Anita asked.

“It took a lot less that a few seconds,” the Doctor said, darkly.

Hello?” The voice came from the communicator.

River stepped back. “Er, I’m sorry everyone. This isn’t going to be pleasant. She’s ghosting.”

“She’s what?”

Hello, excuse me? I-I’m sorry, hello? Excuse me?

Donna stared at the skeleton in shock. “That’s… that’s her, that’s Miss Evangelista!”

Other Dave shifted. “”I don’t want to sound horrible, but couldn’t we just… you know?”

“This is her last moment,” Lilith snapped. “You could show a little respect.”

Sorry, where am I? Excuse me?

“But that’s Miss Evangelista,” Donna said.

River shook her head. “It’s a data ghost, she’ll be gone in a moment.” She spoke into her communicator. “Miss Evangelista, you’re fine. Just relax. We’ll be with you presently."

“What’s a data ghost?” Donna asked the Doctor.

“There’s a neural relay in the communicator. That’s it there, those green lights. Sometimes, it can hold an impression of a living consciousness for a short time after death.”

“My grandfather lasted a day,” Anita offered. “Kept talking about his shoelaces.”

I can’t see, I can’t… Where am I?

Lilith covered her mouth with her hand. “Oh, Rassilon.”

“She’s just brain waves now. That pattern won’t hold for long.”

“She’s conscious!” Donna protested. “She’s thinking.”

I can’t see, I can’t… I don’t know what I’m thinking.

“She’s a footprint on the beach,” the Doctor told Donna. “And the tide’s coming in.”

Where’s that woman? The nice woman, is the there?

Donna hesitated. “She means… I think she means me.”

Is she there? The nice woman?

“Yeah, she’s here. Hang on.” River turned to Donna. “Go ahead. She can here you.”

“Help her,” Lilith whispered.

Hello? Is that the nice woman?

“Yeah, hello. Yeah, I’m… I’m here. You okay?” Donna’s voice shook.

What I said before, about being stupid. Don’t tell the others, they’ll only laugh.

The other archaeologists all looked embarrassed. Donna looked to Lilith, who nodded encouragingly. “’Course I won’t. ‘Course I won’t tell them.”

Don’t tell the others, they’ll only laugh.

“I’m not going to tell them,” Donna assured the voice.

The lights on the communicator started to blink. “Don’t tell the others, they’ll only laugh.

“She’s looping now,” River said, sadly. “The pattern’s degrading.”

I can’t think, I…don’t know. I-I-I-Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream.

“Does anyone mind if I…?” When no one protested, River turned off the communicator.

“That was…that was horrible. That was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen.” Donna was in tears. The Doctor put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

River glared at the tattered suit. “No. It’s just a freak of technology. But whatever did this to her, whatever killed her, I want a word with that.”

“I’ll introduce you.” The Doctor stormed back to the rotunda and the rest of them followed. “I’m gonna need a packed lunch.”

“Hang on.” River crouched down next to her bag, searching for food, she pulled out her TARDIS journal first.

“What’s in that book?” the Doctor questioned.

“Spoilers,” she responded.

“Who are you?”

“Professor River Song, University of—”

“To us. To Lilith. Who are you to me?”

There was pity in River’s eyes. “Again, spoilers.”

“Lilith?” He looked up at his daughter, who bit her lip.

“She’s Aunt River. That’s all that’s important.”

River handed the Doctor a lunch box. Chicken and a bit of salad, knock yourself out.”

He stared at her for a moment, then stood up. He started scanning the shadows with the sonic screwdriver. Lilith stood back and watched, listening to River and Donna’s conversation.

“Oh, God, do I know that man. We go way back, that man and me,” River was saying. “Just not this far back.”

Donna looked confused. “I’m sorry, what?”

“He hasn’t met me yet. I sent him a message, but it went wrong. It arrived to early,” River explained. “This is the Doctor in the days before he knew me. And he looks at me, he looks right through me. It shouldn’t kill be, but it does.”

Lilith couldn’t stand the pain in her words. She took River’s hand and sent her a wave of mental comfort.

“What are you talking about?” Donna demanded. “Are you just talking rubbish? Do you know him or don’t you?”

“Stop!” Lilith hissed.

“Donna! Quiet! I’m working!” the Doctor barked.

Donna rolled her eyes. “Sorry.”

“Donna? You’re Donna?” River stared at her. “Donna Noble?”

“Yeah, why?”

Before River could answer, the Doctor jumped up and shouted, “Okay, we’ve got a live one! That’s not darkness down those tunnels; this is not a shadow. It’s a swarm, a man-eating swarm."

He threw a chicken leg from the lunch box into the shadows. By the time it hit the ground, there was nothing left but the bone. “The piranhas of the air, the Vashta Nerada. Literally ‘the shadows that melt the flash’. Most planets have them, but usually in small clusters. I’ve never seen an infestation on this scale, or this aggressive.”

“What do you mean, most planets? Not Earth?” Donna asked.

“Earth too,” Lilith confirmed. “Earth and a billion other planets. Where you can find meat, you’ll find Vashta Nerada. You can see them sometimes, if you look. They’re the dust in the sunbeams.”

“If they were on Earth, we’d know,” Donna protested.

Lilith shook her head. “Normally, they live on road kill and things. But sometimes people go missing, not everyone comes back out of the dark.”

River eyed the shadows around them. “Every shadow?”

“No,” the Doctor said. “But any shadow.”

“So what do we do?”

“Daleks- aim for the eyestalk. Sontarans- back of the neck. Vashta Nerada… run. Just run."

Lilith looked around. “This is an index point. There must be an exit teleport somewhere.”

They all turned to Mr. Lux. “Don’t look at me, I haven’t memorized the schematics!”

Donna lit up. “Doctor, the little shop! They always make you go through the little shop on the way out so they can sell you stuff.”

“You’re right! Brilliant!” the Doctor crowed. “Love the little shop!”

“Then let’s go.” Proper Dave headed towards the shop. Lilith noticed something off about him, but it was the Doctor who spoke up.

“Actually, Proper Dave, could you stay where you are for a moment?”

He frowned. “Why?”

“I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry. But you’ve got two shadows.” The Doctor nodded at the shadows behind Proper Dave. Everyone stared at the extra shadow with horrified looks. Lilith pulled River further away. “It’s how they hunt, they latch onto a food source and keep it fresh.”

“What do I do?”

“You stay absolutely still. Like there’s a wasp in the room. Like there’s a million wasps.”

“We’re not leaving you, Dave,” River assured him.

“’Course we’re not leaving,” the Doctor agreed. “Where’s your helmet? Don’t point, just tell me.”

“One the floor,” Proper Dave answered, “by my bag.”

Anita grabbed the helmet and gave it to the Doctor. “Thanks. Now, the rest of you put your helmets back on and sealed up. We’ll need everything we’ve got. Professor, anything I can do with the suits?”

“What good are the damn suits?” Mr. Lux demanded. “Miss Evangelista was wearing her suit, there was nothing left!”

River ignored him. “We can increase the mesh-density, dial it up 400 percent. Make it a tougher meal.”

“Alright.” The Doctor soniced Proper Dave’s suit. “800 percent! Pass it on.” He went to give the screwdriver to River, but she held up her own.

“Ooh, nice,” Lilith complimented.


The Doctor stared at it. “What’s that?”

“It’s a screwdriver.”

“It’s sonic.”

“Yeah, I know.” River went around sealing up everyone’s suits. The Doctor watched her suspiciously for a moment, and then dragged Donna over to the shop.

Lilith followed River as she worked. “When’d you get your own screwdriver?” she asked.

“Your mum and dad paid me a visit a few months ago,” River answered. “We went on a trip. I expected you to be there, honestly.”

“Don’t know how long it’s been for them since I left.” Lilith shrugged. “Hopefully not the same amount of time. I don’t want to go back and find the twins as teenagers in human years.”

“Jamie and Nyx were two last I saw.”

Lilith glanced back at Proper Dave and froze. “Aunt River…” she said, slowly.

River caught on. “Doctor!”

The Doctor came running back. “What is it?”

The two women pointed at Proper Dave’s extra shadow. Or, more accurately, lack thereof. “It’s gone.”

He frowned. “Where did it go?”

“It-It’s just gone,” Proper Dave stammered. “I-I looked round, one shadow. See?”

“Does that mean we can leave?” River asked. “Lilith, can you teleport us out of here?”

Lilith shook her head. “This many people with a homemade vortex manipulator? Not gonna work.”

“I don’t know why we’re still here,” Mr. Lux said. “We can leave him, can’t we? I mean no offence—”

“Shut up, Mr. Lux,” River snapped.

“Did you feel anything?” the Doctor questioned. “Like an energy transfer? Anything at all?”

“No, but looked, it’s gone.” Proper Dave started to turn around to show them.

“Don’t move!” Lilith warned. “They never leave and they certainly never give up.”

The Doctor knelt down to scan the remaining shadow. “Well, this one’s benign.”

“Hey! Who turned out the lights?” Proper Dave asked.

The Doctor stood up. “No one, they’re fine.”

“I can’t see a ruddy thing,” he protested.

Lilith and her father exchanged looks. “Dave… turn around."

Proper Dave turned back to face the group. His face was invisible in the darkness inside his helmet. “What’s going on? Why can’t I see? Is the power gone, are we safe here?”

“Dave, I was you to stay still. Absolutely still,” the Doctor said. Dave stiffened. “Dave? Dave, can you hear me? Are you all right? Talk to me, Dave.”

I’m fine, I’m okay, I’m… I’m fine.

“You have to stay still.”

I’m fine, I’m okay, I’m… I’m fine. I can’t… Why can’t I? I can’t… Why can’t I? I can’t… Why can’t I?” The lights on his communicator were blinking.

“He’s gone,” River said. “He’s ghosting.”

Hey! Who turned out the lights? Hey! Who turned out the lights?

“Dad, I know what you’re thinking,” Lilith growled. “Don’t you dare.”

The Doctor took a few cautious steps closer to Proper Dave. “Dave, can you hear me?”

Hey! Who turned out the lights?” He grabbed the Doctor and started choking him. His helmet finally lit, they could see that only a skeleton was left in the spacesuit. “Hey! Who turned out the lights?

Lilith pulled out her blaster and aimed it at the suit. River grabbed her arm. “All you’ll do is make a hole for the Vashta Nerada to get out from.” She used her screwdriver to stun the skeleton and free the Doctor, who stumbled back.

“Back from it! Get back, right back!” he shouted.

Everyone started backing away, but the suit cornered them, walking in an awkward manner.

“Doesn’t move very fast does it?” River commented.

“It’s a swarm in a suit,” the Doctor pointed out. “But it’s learning.”

Several shadows reached out from the suit and crept towards the group. “What do we do? Where do we go?” Mr. Lux panicked.

Lilith was struck with an idea. She flicked a switch on her blaster and yelled, “Duck!” He ducked and Lilith created a hole in the wall.

“Squareness gun!” River grinned at her. “Everybody out. Go, go, go! Move it! Move, move!” The ran through the hole and came to a dark aisle between book shelves. “You said not every shadow.”

“But any shadow,” the Doctor confirmed.

The suit made it through the hole in the wall. “Hey! Who turned out the lights?

“Run!” River grabbed Lilith’s hand and they ran.


The Doctor stood on a stack of books, messing with the lamp with his sonic. Lilith and River stood next to him while the rest of them sat there, panting.

“Dad, what the hell are you doing?”

“Trying to boost the power,” he told her. “Light doesn’t stop them, but it slows them down.”

“So what the plan?” River asked, sonicing the lamp. The light became stronger. “Do we have a plan?”

The Doctor stared down at her. “Your screwdriver looks like mine.”

“Yeah, you gave it to me.”

“I don’t give my screwdriver to anyone.”

She grinned. “I’m not anyone.”

Lilith raised an eyebrow. “Are you enjoying this?”

River smirked and turned back to the Doctor. “What’s the plan?”

“I teleported Donna back to the TARDIS,” he said. "If we don’t get back there in under five hours, emergency program one will activate.”

“And send her home,” Lilith finished. “I really hate that program. It never ends up going well for us.”

The Doctor looked at his sonic and frowned. “She’s not there. I should’ve received a signal, the console signals me if there’s a teleport breach.”

“And it’s already not going well,” muttered Lilith.

“Maybe the coordinates have slipped,” River suggested. “The equipment here is ancient.”

The Doctor ran to a nearby node. “Donna Noble. There’s a Donna Noble somewhere in the Library Do you have the software to locate her position?” The node turned around and Lilith gasped. “Donna!” the Doctor breathed, horrified.

“Donna Noble has left the Library,” the node said. “Donna Noble has been saved.”

River stared at it. “How can it be Donna? How’s that possible?”

“Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved.”

Hey! Who turned out the lights?

“Dad!” Lilith grabbed the Doctor’s hand and pulled him along with the rest of the group. They ran as fast as they could away from the oncoming spacesuit.

“Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved.”

Hey! Who turned out the lights?

They were cornered, the suit coming at them from one end of the aisle and shadows moving closer from the other. “Doctor, what are we going to do?” River panicked.

“Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved.”

Hey! Who turned out the lights?

Lilith swore in Gallifreyan.

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