Chapter Thirty Three
: And what is the Scythe?
(Wow, only two more chapters before the end of this story. That's kind of scary. I'd better read over the next story and make sure it's okay.)--000--
"I'm surprised you never asked," said the First as they entered the room, "what this contraption does."
"I'm surprised that you've resorted to doing the whole evil-villain-gloating thing," said Buffy. "Or… no, wait, don't tell me. Origin of all evil. You invented
evil-villain-gloating, didn't you?" She cracked a smile. "On behalf of good guys everywhere, thanks for that."
"You've guessed that this machine opens the Hellmouth," the First explained, ignoring her. "But it also absorbs the energy the Hellmouth emits, to serve another purpose." He stood beside the seal to the Hellmouth, triumph written across his features. "The power to pour my essence into any vessel I choose."
Okay, that was bad.
Buffy kicked out, trying to get free from the Uber-Vamps, as they strapped her into the machine. But they were too strong, and she couldn't get free. Couldn't even reach the Scythe that was now propped up — tantalizingly close, but just out of reach — against the far side of the machine.
"Your mind may be closed to me, now," said the First, "but using the Doctor's body, I will be able to take it for myself. To use you as the gateway to the real world."
The First glanced over at an Uber-Vamp, who responded to the gesture, flipping on a few switches on the machine.
Buffy felt the ground shake, the whole Earth roaring as if in pain, as the seal began to shift on the Hellmouth. She struggled to break free, but the Uber-Vamps were still encircling her, the straps holding her were insanely strong, and she couldn't stop this. Couldn't stop any of it.
The First spread his arms in triumph. "The Doctor gave up his body to save you!" he shouted at Buffy. "But in giving it up, he gave me the means to destroy you! A noble gesture turned to something nasty! And that will be the essence of the world! The essence of the universe! All things that were once good will become evil! All things will become me
Buffy gritted her teeth, yanking on the unrelenting straps one more time.
"Come on, Mr. All-Powerful Leather-Jacket No-Name!" she gritted out. "You're supposed to be helping me, here!"
An annoyed sigh rushed past her ears, as the essence of a person surrounded her.
"Never get it, do you?" a disembodied voice with a Northern English accent whispered into her ear. "My superpower is mucking about with history. So by the time you actually ask me for help…"
Another rumble of the ground around her, and the Scythe tumbled from its resting spot, catching on a stray bit of machinery and falling right at Buffy's feet.
"…I've already done it," said the man who wasn't the Ninth Doctor.
Buffy felt a smile creep up her face, as she realized. He'd said, hadn't he? He'd told her, before, that the Scythe was only here, in this reality, because she asked him to get it here. Which she'd just done. Oh, good going, Buffy!
She reached out her foot, hoping to flip the handle so it launched into her hand, but the First noticed the motion, and snapped his head around.
"No!" he cried, dashing forwards.
Buffy stomped down on the handle, and the Scythe flipped into the air, just in the arc she'd planned for it. But before she could manage to catch it, the First had swiped it out of the air, and jumped back.
"Gotcha!" he said, holding the Scythe with both hands. He raised it up for Buffy to see. "Your weapons are mine. Your defenses have crumbled. You are weak and helpless, and I will triumph. Not even the Doctor could stop me, Buffy Summers! What hope do you…?"
And then the First's eyes grew wide, and the glow began to leave them. Behind him, the seal across the Hellmouth creaked, and Buffy could feel — something — pouring out of it. Something invisible. Something powerful.
Something that swirled through the air and zeroed in on the Scythe, racing through it and rushing into the pinstripe suited body.
The body threw its head back, its jaw moving but no sounds coming out, and when it looked back at Buffy, the eyes were brown once more.
"Haven't stopped you, yet
, you mean," said the Doctor.
Buffy felt her jaw drop open, her heart racing. He was… alive! No, wait, of course he was, this was the Doctor, the one who tricked and pretended in order to play his enemies at their own game. She'd seen him do this before.
His eyes glowed red, and for a moment, he was the First, again. "What have you done?"
"It's a regenerative recycler, Toby!" the Doctor replied, holding up the Scythe. "That's what this Scythe really is! A weapon of death turned into a weapon of life! And the one thing that there's a lot of, when you open the Hellmouth — the one thing that Omega was stockpiling, throughout the centuries — is regenerative energy. Slayer
regenerative energy! Use the Scythe to channel that kind of energy through anyone with the merest hint of a Time Lord essence, and the Time Lord inside comes out!"
Another rumbling sound, as the world around them shook.
"You wanted to pour your essence into every person on Earth, Toby," the Doctor said. "You wanted me to build a machine that would allow you to do that. A machine that would allow you to send your evil into any place or person you desired. And I built that machine. Calibrated it. Adjusted where it sends your essence. But there's one thing you forgot."
The Doctor ran forwards, anger and rage and determination in his every step, and slammed the Scythe down into the red crystal attached to the top, splitting the crystal in two.
"I am not your slave
!" the Doctor shouted.
With that action, sparks shot out of the machine, and Buffy felt something tugging at her, a tremendous force, as if something was trying to tear her out of the restraints, but couldn't manage it.
The seal across the Hellmouth shattered like glass.
The Doctor, still clutching onto the handle of the Scythe, laughed, as the Hellmouth seemed to gape, wider and wider.
"Open the Hellmouth?" the Doctor said. "You think I'd just open it? I've ripped into it, tapped into its energies, and managed to reverse them."
The ceiling buckled under the pull of the Hellmouth, and then collapsed, sucked into the gaping maw of Hell.
"You're going back to Hell, Toby!" the Doctor cried. "And so is everything else you've pulled through into this world!"
Buffy's restraints snapped, and she tumbled against the metal cage, as she saw the vampires, demons, Bringers, Uber-Vamps — all of it — flying through the air and being sucked into the Hellmouth.
The Doctor adjusted his grip on the Scythe, climbing upwards on the handle, trying to hold himself steady. A stream of black air, a feeling of evil and hatred and malice was suddenly ripped from the Doctor like a scab, pouring out towards the Hellmouth.
Then the Doctor cringed, as if struck with another headache, and when he opened his eyes, they were glowing red.
"If I die, Doctor," said the First, "then you die, too."
And he let go.