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Imperfect Copy

A Novel by David Carroll


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Tabula Rasa

Imperfect Copy

Author's Afterword

by David Carroll

Well, that's it. Or, at least, all there ever was... For those interested, here is a summary of the remaining events.

Part 2: Continued

In Chapter 14 the Doctor and Ace leave the village and head for Centrejo, looking for more information about getting out. Various things happen in the village while they're away, but basically the trip isn't a success and they return.

At the end of Part 2, the Doctor says there is only one more thing they can try. They have to repeat the earlier circumstances: they both need to die.

Ace isn't too happy by this (no surprises...) but doesn't really want to be stuck here either. So she agrees, the Doctor will kill her, then himself, and they'll see what happens (they do have a lot more information at this stage about the process by which the environment works).

The Doctor kills her... and then doesn't kill himself, just leaving her there. Meanwhile, [G]esemio has snuck in and has seen what went on, if not the explanation before hand.

Intermission: Far Away

Then we get Visiting Hours. The two intermissions (long ago, and far away) were basically there to spread things out and show Ace's development from S26ish to mercenary and beyond. I don't think they would have stayed, it was already getting way too long.

Part 3

Ace wakes up in the control room of the Alef Nul, the Eternity ship. Using the controls she is able to see what is happening in the village, and also finds out what happened when they landed the first time (I've no idea, I was going to make that up when we got to it, but it was going to involve Ajlmo Dunstaro). She also sees what happened when she and the Doctor died, and then programs the controls to let her back into the ship. She also blanks out for a second, and does something without quite realising she's doing it...

In the village [G]esemio is threatening to expose the Doctor for killing Ace, but he counterattacks with a threat to reveal her murder of Vil[c]jo.

Ace's body is discovered, and things start getting nasty. But Ace comes back from the River, and denounces the Doctor herself. It seems that when the Doctor died, the Alef Nul computer couldn't handle the full Time Lord physiology, plus all the 'extra stuff', and only did the best it could, producing the 'imperfect copy'. However, all the rest of the stuff didn't die either, and ended up being reborn twenty years ago out of the River... as Andreo Akvisto, who is genetically human but has all the hidden knowledge and traits of the Time Lord. (It was Andreo whom the bull saw, BTW, the inexpressibly old being...)

The Doctor has known this all along -- it's why he can't get into the TARDIS etc -- and it's scared him silly, which is why he's acting funny. He also has a contingency plan, which now comes into effect. He has previously hypnotised Ace so that when she was in the ship, she resurrected the fair-haired man, who had also been hypnotised by the Doctor, to act as his bodyguard.

So the man (Senisto, which literally means Nobody, or Nothing Man, actually) turns up and threatens Ace. She then has a big fight with him, around the village, and ends up killing him again (thanks to one of Andreo's little contingences). However, the problem remains. The solution is that Andreo has to die to release the extra essence of the Doctor and return him to normal... Except Ace refuses. There has been too much death already.

So she says to the Doctor, you're a time traveller, you can pick me up, and simply walks out of the village.


And so the review, or prologue, is at the play again. Andreo is the person narrating at the start, and basically dies of old age at the performance. Meanwhile the Doctor has returned from his journeys around Harriso, and is also in the audience. As the play finishes the Doctor has disappeared, and everyone hears the unfamiliar sounds of the TARDIS start up, and die away.

And that is it.

There's also a big subplot with [G]esemio being somewhat guilt-ridden, and then over-compensating for it, and various other things going on, but that's the essence of it all.

If you have any comments on the novel or related matters, feel free to write.


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