And imagination was a friend once, but even that had left him now. Only a sterile residue of thoughts remained. Hazy conceptions of right and wrong, of good and evil, of love and war and of life and death still languished in what he believed to be his head, falling to develop beyond rudimentary synaptic functions.
The elementary biological circuitry remained, as ever, intact. What failed to coagulate was the rich heritage of notions and beliefs and memories of actual experience that all sentient beings possess. That his mind - completely deprived of sensory input, blinded by the light that was darkness - failed him again, delivered fresh urgency to his plight. Fighting to distinguish himself from the light that engulfed this world and enslaved his spirit, he had long since forgotten how to invent monsters that weren't really there, or how to create sounds from silence, or touch that which had no form.
Here in the silent, blinding solitude, without so much as a landscape or even a whisper of air for company, he could feel his body - such as he perceived it - rotting from within. Cell pulling from cell; the Self reduced to a nebulous assemblence of what might be. And, perhaps for the first time - for he had no recollection of such an experience, or indeed any experience - he glimpsed what it was to be afraid. And fear conspired with the light to consume him. He thought hard. The choice was simple: find someone who could provide a will, a context, a purpose, a form. Or else...
No. It would be too easy to curl-up and not exist, and become part of the void. There was no choice. He must think hard, reveal himself to a suitable host, a willing surrogate.
It took a long time - perhaps forever - but at last his shapeless body began to solidify in to an idea.
'And does this idea of yours have a name?' inquired Verity Lambert.
'I call him the Doctor, and his time vessel TARDIS,' enthused Sydney Newman.
'So let me get this right. You are proposing a six-week mini-series about a...man, who travels through space-time in a police call box. What on Earth gave you that idea?' Lambert's tone of voice was a strange amalgam of incredulity and awe...
'Shall we say...divine inspiration, hmmm?' Sydney Newman spoke the words, but somehow he knew he had no choice in the matter; he was talking out of compulsion.
Winning his freedom the Doctor stared at the board, carefully appraising all possible moves with machine-like efficiency. Hmmm, Neanderthal Man, and then a little peace-making on Skaro, he thought to himself.
He knew the game wouldn't end there; perhaps it would never end. The idea, you see, now had a mind - and body - of his own.
STEPHEN J THOMAS
For Marnie and Sasha, because something's never end.