One Life (audio story)

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One Life was the fourth and final story in the audio anthology The Eighth Doctor: Time War: Volume One, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by John Dorney and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Rakhee Thakrar as Bliss and Jacqueline Pearce as Cardinal Ollistra.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

As the full force of the Time War crashes down around the Doctor and his friends, a desperate battle for survival ensues.

But not everyone is playing the same game. Ollistra is after a weapon that could end the war in a stroke and she'll sacrifice anyone or anything to take it back to Gallifrey. Even the Doctor.

Surrounded by Daleks, and on a tortured planet, only one man can save the day. But he doesn't want to fight.


Commander Aymor is summoned from the frontlines by the Chancellor and shown that the Matrix projections of the Time Lords' chronology looks broken and partially healed around the recent weapons development programs. It seems that a weapon has been used to erase any evidence of its own existence, so the Chancellor tasks Aymor with finding it and keeping it from the Daleks.

In a club, Rupa meets Quarren Maguire and buys him a drink.

Years later, on the Moon of Tenacity, the Doctor is saved from being shot by Cardinal Ollistra when the Daleks break through the final defences and attack. The Doctor gets Bliss, Rupa and Quarren into the TARDIS and tries to get Ollistra to evacuate her people, but she tells the Doctor that what is in his TARDIS is more important and joins him. She dematerialises the TARDIS and tells him that the Daleks used a reversal wave to break through Tenacity's defences, regressing the entire star system in time.

On Rupa and Quarren's first date in a diner by a spaceport, they share that they both want to explore beyond the star system. When Quarren suggests that they do that for their second date, Rupa jokingly asks why he is sure that there will be a second date.

The Doctor flies the TARDIS away from the pursuing Daleks, unable to enter the Time Vortex due to the TARDIS still repairing itself. He sets the coordinates to a nearby disintegrating planet and passes through it with the aim of getting the Daleks swept up in it. He soon loses them and asks why Ollistra is more interested in his friends rather than himself, especially since she only had him sent to a training camp when Aymor seemed intent on capturing him. She reveals that he was not the target of either the Time Lords or the Daleks; she looked into the anomalies on the Theseus and learnt that, inside of the TARDIS, is a temporal weapon and part of a secret CIA scheme.

The night of their wedding, Quarren carries Rupa over the threshold and gives her one of a pair of pendants, inside of which is a hologram from after the ceremony earlier that day. He says that he will never take his off.

The Daleks use a quantum causality generator and, in the TARDIS, the Cloister Bell rings. Knowing what she is looking for, Ollistra performs a scan to find the weapon whilst the Doctor sees that one Dalek ship survived and that they have split it into multiple versions of itself, encircling them and creating a wall in time around the star system whilst it is destroyed. Ollistra reminds the Doctor that he has a deadly weapon aboard and points at Quarren.

After a miscarriage, Quarren tries to comfort Rupa and they accept that they will never have children. He promises her that he will not go anywhere.

According to Ollistra, Quarren is a Time Lord with the power to rewrite history with his thoughts. Rupa does not believe her, but the Doctor realises that it was Quarren that Aymor was looking for on the Theseus and not him. Ollistra shows them a Matrix projection showing Quarren in Time Lord regalia, one which the CIA was able to reconstruct despite him having erased all records of himself. He had one of the highest psych scores in Academy history and was augmented to make him capable of changing reality, a power which he did not wish to use in the Time War; to keep his powers from being misused, he left Gallifrey and used a Chameleon Arch to make himself human with his memories hidden in his pendant.

Rupa shows the Doctor her pendant, which he says looks like a biodata module and contains a faked hologram. He tells Quarren not to open his. The Dalek Commander contacts the TARDIS and orders the Doctor to surrender the Time Lord weapon in return for his life, but he turns off the transmission and, when Quarren expresses a willingness to give himself up, he thinks of what to do. Bliss says that, in terms of quantum physics, the Dalek ships are both everywhere and nowhere simultaneously; against Ollistra's advice, the Doctor decides to devolve the TARDIS into a reverse-quantum state and fly through the Dalek wall. The Dalek Commander orders the pursuit of the disappearing TARDIS despite it meaning the destruction of the Dalek wall.

Quarren presents Rupa with tickets for the Theseus and suddenly finds that they are in a warzone, one which he remembers is one that they have been in for some time. They hurry to the ship to escape.

The TARDIS returns to reality and crashes into Jedris. Outside of the damaged ship, Ollistra sends a Hypercube, which Aymor informs the Chancellor about, and the Doctor quietly tells Quarren that he should destroy his biodata module once they have been saved. The Daleks and Time Lords arrive at Jedris at the same time. The system begins to hyper-evolve and the Doctor leads Ollistra, Bliss and the Maguires in search of somewhere stable to hide; the Daleks do not have time to compensate for the acceleration and some are destroyed.

As the group climb and watch a city rise and fall in moments, Ollistra fires a temporal flare. The Chancellor travels to Jedris with Aymor and sends him to bring her and the group into their TARDIS, but the Doctor is left behind with the Daleks whilst the TARDIS dematerialises in search of a planet to dump Bliss and Rupa on. Quarren opens his biodata module to give himself the power to save the Doctor, realising that his memories of meeting Rupa, going on their first date, getting married, experiencing a miscarriage and running to the Theseus are not real.

Cornered by the Daleks, the Doctor accepts his imminent death. However, he is saved by Quarren, who destroys the Daleks and their saucers with his power before taking the Doctor's hand and transporting him to the Chancellor's TARDIS. However, Rupa no longer recognises Quarren. The Doctor stabilises the ship and Quarren, refusing to be used for war, tells Rupa that he will try to make her happy and makes her disappear before sending Ollistra, the Chancellor and Aymor back to Gallifrey. He summons the Doctor's TARDIS and returns all of the refugees that the Doctor saved to their homes aside from Bliss, whom he thinks should stay with the Doctor. He erases himself from time.

The Doctor and Bliss cannot remember what has just happened to them. The Doctor dematerialises the TARDIS, although he is not entirely sure where he is taking them, and they meet Rupa Trivel, whose happiness the Doctor feels is important to him for some reason. After, Rupa tells them that she never got married or had children as she never met the right person, the Doctor and Bliss leave. The Doctor says that, as they only get one life, they have to remain ahead of the Time War.




to be added


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