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13 May 2008 @ 01:26 pm
A Life Well Lived, G  
Title: A Life Well Lived
Author: valderys
Rating: Gen, G
Word Count: 699
Notes: Episode tag for The Doctor’s Daughter.
Summary: At the end of a long life, General Cobb regrets his actions so long ago.


General Cobb discovered he felt an astounding sense of loss. He’d been fighting all his life – couldn’t the Doctor have realised that? It was his reason for existence, he couldn’t have just given it up, just like that. He wasn’t like these youngsters, only hours old. Didn’t the Doctor realise – he was days old, not hours. After so very long, surely the Doctor could understand that he couldn’t change his ways?

He felt bad about... Jenny. He hadn’t wanted her to be hit. He’d been aiming at the man responsible for ending his whole way of life, not at his daughter. But at least it hadn’t been permanent – and wasn’t that strange. He was glad that she’d been persuaded to progenate before she left. It was her duty, after all, and Cobb was glad she’d seen that much sense, before gallivanting off to see the stars.

He coughed, and at that, his attendant leaned forward anxiously, wanting to help, but Cobb lifted an ancient wrinkled arm and waved the lad away. Goddess, but he remembered when he was young and strong, when he had armies laid out at his feet, ready to die in battle at his slightest order. He sighed and laid back against his pillows looking at the sunshine streaming in through the window. He supposed things weren’t so bad now. He supposed he could admit that, now that he was dying. Of old age, his thoughts supplied him with, smugly. He supposed that was an achievement in itself, and not a bad one.

There was a commotion in the doorway and Lady-General Ann came striding in. Cobb looked at her and marvelled, feeling satisfied, feeling lucky that he could leave all the children in such capable hands. There she was, a whole three days old, and not a sign of her age, not a grey hair, not a wrinkle. She looked the same as when she’d stepped out of the progenation machine. She’d chosen her name in honour of her mother, Cobb remembered, and that had showed her maturity and wisdom even at such a young age. Jenny, her mother had said, short for Generated Anomaly, and therefore I am Ann, said her daughter, for I am generated from the same Anomaly.

With the last of his strength, Cobb reached out his hands – he hadn’t seen Lady Ann since the celebration of his week, and hadn’t that been a wild party! He wished he’d been in a better shape to enjoy it, but still – a week! He’d reached a week! He was glad that she had come to see him now, he wanted to say goodbye.

She took his hands, and Cobb felt soothed. He looked into her face, drinking up the familiar clear brown eyes, and wild curly hair. She smiled that infectious toothy grin she was famous for, and Cobb smiled back, as much as he could.

“You’ll look after them,” he said, and yet it wasn’t a request.

“I will,” she replied, and squeezed his hands.

“I have a confession,” he said, “I wanted the Doctor to die. I didn’t want the war to end. I’m sorry for that.”

Ann smiled down at him. “But you have more than made up for that one error. You have been my loyal right hand man, for as long as there was strength within you.”

“Soon, you will be the only one who will remember,” said Cobb, fretting still, a little. “You will carry the message, won’t you? That we must all be Men Who Never Would.”

“I shall remember, Cobb. I promise. I shall remember for you all.”

And Cobb lay back comforted, looking after My Lady, as she moved away.

It may be that their search all those days ago had led to a new world, one born in blood and pain, and a world that they hadn’t even been looking for. But it didn’t matter. He felt comforted because whatever the Doctor had said about mythologizing their history, and the breath of the creator being false, he knew the real truth.

Lady Ann laughed with a nurse, and then reached out her hand in benediction.

He, Cobb, had found their Source, after all.
 
 
 
lefaym on May 13th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)
Nice one-- I like the way that you take a sympathetic angle towards an antagonistic character.
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - geek pridevalderys on May 14th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Cheer, m'dear! I was more trying to fix plot holes, and the characterisation sort of happened along the way :)
Eledhwen: dw_savestorn_eledhwen on May 13th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Very effective - making him sympathetic, and also with the time/generations thing. And Ann is a good idea!
Valderys: Tenth Doctor - geek pridevalderys on May 14th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Hee. I liked the idea of a Doctor type character acting as a God-like being to these really short-lived folk. It's what the Doctor actually does, but we don't usually see it so blatently! :)