Doctor Who--The Superiority Complex Audio Dramas
A short story involving the Doctor as played by Jeffrey Coburn
"Can You Pwn The Devil?"
by Matt U. Chambers
The Doctor finds himself pondering boring and pretentious thoughts, seeking an answer to a non-existent mystery that's only sprung up from urban legends, chinese whispers and internet forums. How does the Bastard... his oldest and most charismatic ex... How does he ALWAYS get used as a returning foe time and time again rather than, say the Wine Peddler, the Manicurist, Drax, Low-Key or the Tinkerer?
And soon the Doctor finds himself questioning the very belief structure that has safe-guarded the neuroses of the SCAD production team all these years.
(Note: Set between 'The Warlords of Apeshit' and 'Divine Aura # 4')
* * * * *
If God is the creator of the universe and capable of infinite miracles and goodness; then surely the Devil is capable of infinite equal and opposite. And did God banish Lucifer because they were more alike than God had always admitted to himself? Was God insecure? If so, what about? If he is so insecure, is God really the right man for the job? Does anyone really care?
That's how the Doctor had always reasoned it when mormons accosted him.
The Doctor sat alone in his vast cathedral-like library alone. That's twice as alone as he'd normally be, in his special library that differed from his normal, smaller, less-cathedral-like libraries. And he wasn't actually reading anything, he was simply sat quietly. Alone. I did mention alone, right?
"Dara, would you excuse me?" he said, which was rather odd considering he was alone. "I just need some time to myself. I'll be in the library so for once in your horrid and misbegotten life, do me a favor and please don't disturb me."
This kind of odd statement had in recent weeks proved to be not quite so odd coming from the Doctor. Because he was odd at the best of times and often made completely random requests to thin air when no one else was looking.
* * * * *
Dara held the Doctor in so low a regard that she was assured that he didn't even have a tenth of a clue as to how deeply he cared for her, even though she often needed to be reminded who the guy in the magician outfit was twice a day.
She was too busy being in love with herself. She completely adored herself. Now, there's a statement that could raise a few eyebrows, if the owners were in a strange mood and raised their eyebrows at the very slightest of provocation. And assumed that these people are somehow reading this and are amazed at her egomania. Are they reading this? Did we just break the fourth wall? Crap. Still, we best establish a context here: she loved herself as she would her idol, her role model.
The Doctor was very much her least-favorite chauffer. There's never any "romance" or anything else which might suggest the faintest of emotional connections. They were barely close travelling companions, certainly not comrades in arms and to say that they were the best of friends would cause both to collapse in paroxysms of hilarity. Dara cared for no one but herself. And that kind of love was special, deep. Her faith in her own incredible hotness was unshakable, and above all she was convinced her naked body drove everyone crazy. Which it did, but Dara assumed it left menfolk insane with desire, rather than nervous wrecks trying to rip their own eyeballs out to end the Lovecraftian horror they were witnessing. It was only the Doctor's incredible Time Lord brain that kept him going when she deliberately stalked the strange man, jumping out from behind doors and furniture, inflicting her horrors on him.
After twelve days of non-stop Benny Hill chase sequences, the Doctor still hadn't tried to kill himself or ravish her, and she assumed he was a strange old man who was past it. To her, anyone over the age of 24 was ancient, and thus she concluded the Doctor was dead from the neck up and extra dead from the waste down. Why else would a man in a time machine with a goddess like her not spend every hour of every day sexing her continuously, but instead be more interested in rabbits up his sleeve. And when she told people this - often people who had no idea who she was or why she was talking at them - she would literally mean it, even though it sounded like she was confused about "rabbits in hats" and "tricks up sleeves". Oh, what a retard she was!
Whenever they had been on some madcap adventure to save the universe, there were occasions when events and circumstances had hit home very hard for her. Like that time she stubbed her toe. Or the time the Dustbins bombed humanity back to the Stone Age and converted the survivors into brain-dead flesh-eating zombies. Or that time she got that not-so-fresh-feeling in the middle of a hostage situation. Or that time her mascara ran.
"Nil desperandum, fair Dara, for I shall show the wonders of prestidigitation, never fear your smile will be clear," the Doctor would say, his face beaming with such radiance. Then, with a few flicks of his wrist he would repeatedly slap her round the face in a bid to get her to crack her skull open until she lay, bleeding and unconscious on the floor. He would then sod off and check out some magic shows, never without a smile brought on by ABH on her person.
That was the Doctor she knew. Mind you, there was the total sad-act in the scarf, though. He was also a Doctor she knew. And that grey-haired twat in the Napoleonic gear. Or the fat, hairy, moustached lazy cunt with a walking stick. She knew a lot of Doctors, now she thought of it.
But recently she began to think that her Doctor, the magic geek, had become a totally psycho. Instead of merely groaning, "Oh, fuck, you're STILL alive!" and running away in the mornings when he saw her, he had started to simply chloroform her unconscious whenever she spoke. Just the other day she had woken up in the middle of the night to discover she had been doused in petrol and the Doctor crouched at the end of the bed, trying to light a match and muttering "Burn! BURN!" to himself. It was amazing how tolerant she was, really. Still, they had been through a lot. It was true, the Warlords of Apeshit had taken a lot out of him, but he had faced gods before. He lived with HER divine radiance for crying out loud. What was so different now?
As ever, Dara's deep-rooted psychosis made it utterly impossible for her to accept what a malodorous bitch she was and thus she would need to find a scapegoat for her own actions - and she knew exactly who to lay the blame on:
An evil twisted man who this time had gotten away three times over without once sleeping with her. This boiled her blood to the core. He had invaded her mind but gone absolutely nowhere near her body, no, he had saved that for the Doctor, he done untold damage. But she always wondered...
Didn't he think she was hot?!
* * * * *
"How does he get away with it?" the Doctor would ask himself constantly about a variety of people, from the President of the United States of America to a passing taxi driver. "How is it that wherever and whenever we go, he's there, with that dark-bearded face pulsing with unceasing evil? OK, he's regenerated into a ginger-haired twit with a completely new face, but it's a face that had
haunted my dreams. In the few times that I do sleep. So it doesn't actually haunt me at all. Why the hell am I driveling on like this?" he wondered to himself. But he didn't answer. No one did. He was alone. Did I mention that?
These thoughts would constantly revolve again and again in his head which is what "constant" means now I come to think of it. And the more the Doctor thought, the more angry he became, and he didn't want Dara to see that. He was not going to give the bitch the satisfaction. He had long held the conviction that, since he regenerated right in front of Dara's eyes and the bimbo hadn't even noticed, the dominant factors of his new persona had formed an image, and he didn't want to shatter that image. Not that Dara would notice. Or care. In fact, he could shatter it every single day and no one would be any the wiser. For the love of Led Zeppelin, all this constant skulking in secret was probably doing him no good either, but it was the lesser of two evils. He didn't know what the greater was, but statistically speaking, it was very likely it was the lesser if you looked at it to the right angle.
That last thought sent a shiver through him, which was really stupid as the thought barely made sense, let alone was worthy enough to be scared of. Had someone had just walked over his grave, twelve times over? Who the hell was this wanker pacing back and forth on his grave? Didn't they have something better to do? Were they illiterate? Could this disrespectful myopic malinger not see the gravestone marked "THE DOCTOR, A FRIEND TO THE EARTH!"?!
More thoughts and memories bobbed to the surface of his mind in that nebulous activity known as consciousness. There were a lot of things that the Bastard had said on Dead Parrot 5 in the games of the Apeshit, about his plans and schemes being not so far grandiose as those of the Doctor. And what frightened the Doctor more was that the guy had actually believed that cheap chat-up line; he had even said to himself that he could almost forget how great the sex was... ALMOST forget, that is. But the Doctor shrugged it off. That was another problem for the Bastard to discuss with his psychiatrist. The point - if indeed, there WAS a point - was, when would their next encounter to be? Actually, that was less of a point and more of a question. Oh there would be one, there would always a fight between them usually once every other season. Wherever you find the Doctor, you will find the Bastard. Or the Dustbins. Or Cybermen. Or Trods. But it had always confounded the Doctor as to how the Bastard had survived.
At one point he would always just see the Bastard escape to safety, laughing in knowledge that he had confounded the Doctor and UNIT in their prudish, melon-fetishist ways. But those were younger and far more innocent days of unargued canonicity amongst the fan base. The next time they met, the Bastard was a crippled emaciated creature resembling a sea-bound mammal. But how did he do it? How the hell does a life of crime lead to you turning into a sea-lion? And ever since then, the Doctor had seen him fall into chasms in the furniture; trapped in collapsing giant robots of death that no one else in their right mind would be standing in, let alone survive; sent him coursing through time and space; and at one point at even seen him burn to death before his very eyes. Hang on a sec, is the TV series canon? Oh, never mind. Other defeats with the Bastard were usually outside of his sight and vision, but the Bastard had always survived. And the revolving question was how? The stationary question why? And the bouncing-up-and-down question was did anyone REALLY care?
As he sat musing over this in the library, where he was alone just in case this hadn't come across strongly enough, his eyes wandered across the majestic architecture, glancing at paintings, statues, the gargoyles he had completely forgotten why he put them there because they were so utterly atrocious. The fact they all resembled David Segal in a long scarf jealously clutching a microphone was probably symbolic of something. He repeatedly cast his gaze, before sticking with the actor already in the role and start looking for some sort of inspiration, a clue, anything. He found sweet fuck all... except....
He looked at one of the many desks which contained many books about many religious icons and many such many. He pondered for many a second, then went over and looked at many the desk. Many many many many. How I love that word. Why such an array of books was heaped together was beyond him, like pretty much every single thing he had thought about since he came to this library. This many library. ALONE!!
He... who am I talking about again? Oh yes. The Doctor. The Doctor admitted it was probably one of his earlier, more sexually pathetic manifestations that had made the mess in the first place. In this library. Alone. Because I really can't stress that enough, people. And so the Time Lord rummaged through the books, and it was a varied selection as one would expect for a completely random pile of books from a library bigger than most solar systems. Bibles and sacred texts from numerous peoples and cultures across the universe... actually it wasn't VERY varied, now you come to mention it? Surprisingly secular given the library contained every book on every subject in existence. What are the odds that a pile of random books turned out to be all holy scriptures? Seriously!
As the Doctor sped-read most of the texts, he began to feel something deep inside him welling up. It wasn't fear, it wasn't trepidation... it was just the frightening creeping sense that he shouldn't have eaten that six month old Spanish omelet he'd found stuck to the underside of the console. In retrospect he was a complete fool and it was probably only his superhuman Time Lord constitution that had stopped his colon from liquefying. But he might have finally found the answer - food poisoning! No wonder he was so wound up!
Now the Doctor in any incarnation was not a religious man. To put it in a more grammatically accurate way, he was not a religious man in any incarnation and when you start talking about yourself in terms of reincarnation and you pooh-pooh all religions, it really does smack of some serious chutzpah. Instead he said he was a scientist and regularly tried to pull hot alien chicks.
"To devote all yourself into an omnipresent being that wasn't there was a waste of valuable time," or something like that he would say in the days before people were intelligent enough to come up with ideas like the Flying Spaghetti Monster and he would be forced to either change the subject or kick them repeatedly in the head until they let him escape.
Well, he would often beat up Scientologists and other such god-botherers he met in the street because it was so long since he had decided to vent his sexual frustrations on robed cultists who hadn't worked out the unified grand theory of relativity. He loved the sound of his own voice but never carried a pen and paper to quote - unquote himself. The Doctor often got K9 to tape-record his witticisms and play them back after dinner... until the little tin bastard had worked out to edit them into incriminating and embarrassing revelations about certain sexual abnormalities on his master's part.
However the Doctor did find the belief structures of other peoples and planets very useful. He found that megalomaniacs would often twist the belief structure of others to suit their own diabolical aims, and that kind of lateral thinking was not only admirable, it showed how gormless the followers were to not spot such manipulation in the first place. As such, it made it quite clear to the Doctor that there were plenty of civilizations that were so bone-crushingly stupid they didn't DESERVE saving, thus allowing the Doctor to sit back, relax and concentrate all his energies on saving planets and people that weren't completely beyond hope.
And so over aeons of time and parsecs of space he would pick up the gospel according to whatever saint or whichever deity was popular at the time and spend the afternoon laughing uncontrollably at the incoherent blasphemy of it all, secretly glad he wasn't gullible enough to fall for this shit the first time around. Then he'd kick back and watch some "Monkey Magic" to cheer himself up.
As he flipped through the pages at twice the speed of sound, he sank silently into another chair and he became lost in his own thoughts. Mainly wondering how the hell he was sitting in two chairs at the same time. Had he got up without realizing it? Reading back through the last few paragraphs I can safely say the answer was "no - he got up earlier to rummage through the bibles - pay more attention damn you".
What was the point of this story again...?
Throughout the universe there always had to be a balancing force, Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative, Good Idea/Bad Idea, and so on and thus forth. But the primal essence of the universe is that there must be Good and Evil... isn't it? Oh well, pretend that it is and no one ever believes anything different. A popular theory amongst the under-fives is that good will always triumph against evil in whatever form it might take. Evil might get a foothold, but good will always triumph absolutely in the universe. At least that was the theory. George Lucas swore by it... frequently.
The Doctor found the Star Wars franchise kept an awful lot of people happy, and it was always a good start off point for him if... no, actually, WHEN he got into a bad situation involving science fiction fans. Rather than beat them up like he did with religious nutters, he just asked their opinions of Jar-Jar Binks and fled, letting the fans destroy themselves.
So he pondered his dark theory.
Sorry, WHO pondered WHAT dark theory? I must have blanked out there for a moment. No idea what the hell is going on. Let me just check... yeah... uh-huh... nope. No theory there. Better make one up pronto, and have the Doctor explain it because he hasn't done much in this adventure. Just sort of sat in a library brooding about the God paradox like some sulky teen. This is crap! Why not have a couple of car chases and some cool sex scenes in it? Oh well...
Right. Let's start again.
If he - himself - the Doctor - was always doing good, was it possible that he - the Bastard - himself - or indeed any of his adversaries - the Dustbins - the Cybermen - the Trods - had often thought the very same things he was pondering at that very moment? Actually... no. Trods and Cybermen and Dustbins were all ruthless killing machines with printed circuitry instead of hearts and minds and no interest in abstract thought. In fact, they often executed in cold blood and cheap negative effects anyone who DID have abstract thought. And they had no interest in any religion. In short, therefore, the Doctor concluded this train of thought was the biggest waste of time imaginable.
But what about the Bastard? Did he wonder how come the Doctor always survived? Did he think the Doctor had a charmed life? Did he think the Doctor had good karma, or even more frighteningly, was the central character in some kind of long-running cult television program and ergo impossible to kill?!?
Every religious text always talks about a benevolent deity that in times of great crisis will step in and perform a miracle that would defy any logical scientific explanation. Well. Not EVERY religious text. But most of them. Well. Not MOST of them, but some of them. Occasionally. And the Doctor himself on Very Rare Occasions will concede that in whatever situation he was in, there should have been no way for him to escape certain death, but by some fluke of good fortune his companions would turn up and save him, or the power to the death ray would fail. And to this point that's all he had pinned it down to: pure random fluke. Sometimes really bad editing, script writing or direction, but mainly pure random fluke.
This would confound his enemies and so in turn he would save the day again. Sometimes. Other times he might have a panic attack, scream "BY THE ASS CRACK OF THE INFINITE, I NEARLY FUCKING DIED JUST THERE!!" at the top of his voice and hide under the TARDIS console until he'd calmed down again. But usually he would save the day again. Often after he endangered it in the first place.
But what if there was some kind of Force? Was if Lucas was right? Or maybe a being, a guardian angel, an omnipresent toddler that was looking out for the Doctor? Who, at certain points, would waltz in and save the Doctor from the clutches of death? Was he being stalked? Did this being spy on him in the shower? And did he know about the Doctor's truly shameful affair with the Perfect One and the Masochists of Leather back in 1963?!?
The Doctor tried not to freak out. At least it wasn't the Time Lords. He refused to believe it was the Time Lords. They only interfere when it suited them and even then it would never be for the Doctor's sake. The frigid prudes couldn't handle him visiting the Velvet Underground, let alone those hot, steamy sessions with Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroitcon 6.
But that didn't change his current, Spanish-omelet-induced train of paranoia. This thought that there might be some kind of supernatural force manipulating him, using him, guiding him, throwing him up against Dustbins, and UNIT, and bat-shit-insane sequels to Alice in Wonderland, in a life the Doctor had rather recklessly and selfishly decreed as his own, free from interference and...
He stopped dead in his tracks. Which was remarkably easy, as he was still sitting in the chair and... wait. Nope, he was definitely sitting the chair.
Another alarming thought sprung forth from whether alarming thoughts come from. Yeah, explain THAT, mister high-and-mighty neurosurgeons! What IF the Bastard had the same equal and opposite help? Was THAT why he planned schemes on such a grand scale that few could be believed? Did he honestly think that he was privy to the same kind of luck? Or was it just that incident with the Rogue Traders and the iPod back at Prydon Academy?
The Doctor shook, trying to wash away the thought and not soil his underwear. He really should have rushed to the lavatory as soon as he remembered that omelet he had consumed. This kind of diarrhea could keep him here for years as well as ruining the upholstery of his chair. And he'd never be able to wear these trousers ever again. Still, he could take his mind off it with his existential paranoia, with questions that would eventually snowball, but as a distraction from sitting ALONE in his library soiling himself was not much better.
Was it true that the Bastard survived because there was something watching out for him? Something that liked setting the Doctor and the Bastard up against each other every five stories or so? Therefore, the question occurred: would their unhappy affair ever end? And if it did, where? And how? It wouldn't involve a certain gay Welshman, a quarry, some floating soccer balls and the expression "Vote B'Stard", would it? And did the Doctor have the same or opposite possible guardian angel to look after him and script edit his life?
Dara would never let him hear the end of it if she found out he'd unintentionally shat himself.
* * * * *
He had not spoken these thoughts, because that would be stupid. He was ALONE in the library. In a chair which was now disturbingly warm, damp and smelly. Luckily, he had his paranoid crisis of faith to take his mind off his bowel movements when a voice broke the silence and the Doctor's train of thought, derailing it with a maiden tied to the railway tracks and the next bridge mysteriously missing so the train went off the rails completely and plunged, out of control into the freezing canyon river of The Real World.
"You know, I something wonder that, too," said the voice with just the right level of annoying nasal whine to let the Doctor tell that the owner of the voice was picking his nose while he spoke.
For those who have just joined us, the Bastard was standing in the library with the Doctor. I know I didn't mention that earlier but I can't handle every tiny detail, now, can I? And this was not Anthony Ainley in hot pants in case you were wondering, I've paid attention. This is the Nouveau Bastard, a small pucking individual in a leather jacket with nuclear-tipped red hair and an icy grin, along with a disturbing obsession with tentacle rape fan fiction.
The Doctor felt a swell of panic and moved swiftly, but this only succeeded in releasing MORE anal leakage. The Bastard raised a hand as if to silently tell to the Doctor to halt his advance, before waving said hand rapidly and clutching his nose. "What fuck have you been eating?!" the Bastard demanded.
"A rather mature Spanish omelet if it's anything to do with you! What the hell are you doing here, anyway?" asked the Doctor briskly.
"What the hell am I doing here? What the hell are you doing here?!"
"I live here."
"Fair enough, I was just dropping by... and I don't think I'll come back, it stinks like Kuwait in here!" the Bastard wretched, trying not to inhale the stench. He prepared to use his time travelling friendship bracelet and, even after all this time and bobbing atop a rising pile of his own fecal matter, the Doctor couldn't help but muse how cool and badass his enemy looked.
"Fine!" the Doctor snapped, trying to mask the revolting burbling noises coming from his trousers. "Good riddance!" he added, turning his back on the Bastard as steam started to rise from the chair beneath him.
"Oh, I can barely see any more!" the Bastard moaned unhappily, stumbling over to the desk the Doctor had been staring at for the best part of the e-Book. Instantly forgetting the overwhelming stench, the Bastard snatched up one of the books, he turned his head slightly towards the Doctor and cackled insanely, finding all this very amusing. And why wouldn't finding your oldest enemy having a theological crisis while shitting himself be amusing?
"You know, sometimes I wonder how the hell we both survived this long," the Bastard said - he had read the story so far and was entirely up to date.
The Doctor huffed at the Bastard as something unspeakable dripped off the chair and fell, steaming to the floor. "Because one of us has always had the superior advantage!" the Doctor said pathetically.
"Yeah, right, that's why we're both still alive!" the Bastard sneered. "If one of us was superior, the other would be dead! Mind you, looking at you now, like this, it's hard not to feel superior. But seriously, what are the odds that we both always survive?" The Bastard then closed the distance between the Doctor and himself, coming almost nose to nose with him - before the stench hit him and recoiled across the room. "Could it possibly be that we owe our lives to the whims of another?" he asked after he finished being sick.
The Doctor went silent, as he had for most of this story. Why? Because he didn't have the answer, that's why! He looked at the Bastard, but as ever, sitting on his dirty arse waiting for inspiration to strike proved as unhelpful as ever.
"You see? I always wondered if we were just the puppets for some great godlike entity," said the Bastard between vomiting. "It's not that I don't like being kept alive when I should have died long ago, but let's be honest here - having to put up with you forever is a massive turn off. Don't you think? Besides, it's obvious I'D win, isn't it?"
The Doctor frowned as the mess he was sitting in started to go cold. "Perhaps we will just never know," he said calmly, eyes wateriung.
"So the question's not 'how do we survive today?' but 'How will we die tomorrow?'" the Bastard asked, unimpressed.
"Death has always been the most uncertain of fates for us both, it seems," the Doctor said darkly in such a way you didn't instantly realize he was talking complete and utter bollocks and desperately trying to distract everyone from his trouser accident.
Suddenly, the Doctor blinked. "Hang on, didn't we just fight the Apeshit, the immortal godlike beings who had been manipulating all our lives in one endless battle to ready us for elevation to godhood?" he asked.
The Bastard stared him. "Oh yeah," he said after a few minutes. "So we did."
"So, it turns out there really WAS a higher purpose controlling us, but now we're completely free to do whatever we want," the Doctor said, completing the thought that clearly had not occurred to the author when he started writing this pretentious drivel.
"Guess so. I might even stop calling myself the Bastard. I always thought something like 'Jimmy the Blind, Illustrated, Solid Silver Bitch Stokopolis the 3rd' might work. Anyway, I'll be off. Good luck with the incontinence trousers."
And with that, the Bastard faded away, as if dissolved by the stench.
The Doctor shivered as a cold chill filled the room and he realized he was sitting in a heap of cold shit. Was it just the atmosphere he had brought, or did the Doctor secretly believe that the Bastard was right and the Doctor's bowel control was completely? The Doctor was man enough to admit to himself that he had always had the luck of the devil, that is the ugly red bastard who got completely pwned the first time he tried anything and was busted so low he ended up underground with all the people he hated.
If the Doctor was capable of infinite miracles and goodness in the universe, then surely the Bastard is capable of infinite equal and opposite. But the Doctor WASN'T and so the Bastard COULDN'T. Stands to reason. The whole thing was based on a false premise, like every other religion.
That's how the Doctor reasoned it now, as he tried to get out of the chair before Dara worked out where the smell was coming from.
Can You Pwn The Devil?
David Segal pretending to be Anthony Ainley
Religious Schims Pty Ltd
Doctor Who copyright SCAD. This is an official production. No infringement from the lying bastards in the BBC will be tolerated.