"Doctor?" I questioned uneasily. The figures and faces around me nodded, shifting around unsettlingly as if staying still was too much work for them
"I don't need a Doctor, I'm fine." I had no desire to see the Doctor. Even the title sent shivers down my spine.
"We know dear, but we were thinking that some people mature faster than others, and that maybe you should see the Doctor earlier," one of the figures said. I couldn't even see them, for I was seated in a hard chair that dug into my back while everyone else was crowed around me. Their like faces and similar statures all began to blur into one solid black surrounding of grey and more grey. Even their voices were beginning to blend together.
"I don't want to see the Doctor though."
And I truly didn't. There were so many rumors about that place, the place called the hospital. I heard that when people entered they didn't come back the same again, that they Doctor messed with their minds and changed them into unfeeling robots for the Sovereignty.
"You do not have a choice in the matter."
The conversation was done with, over. One was not meant to argue with the Ancient, the people who had lived longer than them. Anyone who was just a day older than you was known as an Ancient to you at least. To the people younger than you, you were their Ancient. With age came power.
Still though, I did not want to see the Doctor. I had looked up the word as soon as I was able to, even though Libraries were banned for anyone who was under thirty. It was strange, being in there. Hardly anyone lives to thirty anymore, and the Library was dead silent. I wanted to rush out, but I had to know what 'Doctor' meant. I was ten when they first told me that everyone had to see the Doctor at a certain age.
Healer. Mender. One who fixes what has already been broken.
To me, the people who went to see the Doctor came out broken. I studied for weeks, how people entered the Doctor's building with smiles on their faces and left with frowns and broken eyes.
My 'family', if I could call them that, noticed my behavior. They noticed my small notebook and tried to take it from me when they had the chance, but I refused. I have written everything in this notebook that you the reader must be currently reading. It is the only splash of color in the gray drab that has become my life. I colored it myself, with some berries that I smashed for the dye.
As far as I can tell, no one else has had these suspicions or thought about the Doctor. My schoolmates are actually looking forward to the day when they get to see the Doctor. Someone once heard that it was the day that they find their fate and know everything that will ever happen to them until the moment that they die. They found that news exciting for some reason, while I dread it. I do not understand the reason why anyone would ever want to know the future, it will just take out the excitement and joy out of life. If you know that you live a horrible life, one where you simply hurt others, why would you keep on living?
I know that no one else has these suspicions. It almost hurts my heart to know that other people don't think about the things that I think about.
Right now as I write this all down, I am on a train to see the Doctor. My family telling me that I would have to see the Doctor before I turned eighteen happened less than an hour ago. There was apparently no time to let me adjust to the knowledge, maybe because me thinking is just too much for the Sovereignty to risk on. If I am the only one who has thought this way, then I really am a threat. The Sovereignty relies on unity and conformity, everyone must be the same, they must look the same and they must think the same.
The train stops, I'm writing this as I walk, so I'm sorry for the smudges. Hopefully you can understand my messy handwriting underneath it. Someone just grabbed my arm, making sure that I don't wander or try to escape. I don't wish to run though; it will just prolong the inevitable. I've just been placed in the back of a car. I have only ever seen one a couple of these in my life, and I never thought that I would be special enough to ride one.
There are people standing outside the drab dirt brown building, waiting for their turn to enter. The car attracts a lot of attention, and stops right in front of the main door. The woman who is stopping the other people regarded the car as if it was something normal, even though it was completely strange for a car to bring someone to see the Doctor. Some of the people waiting showed shock on their faces, but many regarded it just as the woman had.
"Is this her?" she had asked when I was dragged out of the car. I had never felt so small than right now under her gaze, it felt like I was a prize choice of meat being regarded by the butcher. The man escorting me nodded, and I was lead inside, even though the young men and women outside groaned and cried in exasperation.
I was led down a hallway, the same pale grey that I was wearing, that everyone was wearing for that matter. I tried writing as I walked, but every time that I tried the guard and woman would knock it out of my hand. At one point I almost dropped it.
After so many endless hallways, I was lead to some room, where I am writing now. I know that the door is locked, so I can't leave even if I tried. In front of me sits a desk, and on it papers are scattered. I'm writing as quickly as I can, I know the Doctor is about to come any moment. I will try to write as he talks to me, but I don't know if I am going to be able.
I just heard footsteps outside the door, oh someone's about to come in. If I make it through this I am going to hide these papers, and maybe one day someone else will find them and the world will be different.
"Hello, I'm the Doctor," a male voice said. Sorry if my pencil scribbles, I was shocked when the voice disturbed me.
I didn't respond to him, just looked at him warily. I wanted to leave, not be here with the man who said he was the Doctor. I can't say what I was expecting, but the man who sat down in the desk in front of me and searched through the papers. He was taller than any other man I had seen, and he wore white. I had never seen anyone wear white before. Everyone wore grey, no other colors were ever produced.
It was strange though, when you thought about colors here. They couldn't control the colors that bloomed in nature, but they tried their best. Grey, grey everywhere really, along with black and brown. White had never been seen anywhere but in picture books when one went through schooling.
"Do you know why you are here?" he asked me. I still didn't want to speak, so I just pursed my lips together and stared at his name plate. There was no name or other title there, it simply read 'THE DOCTOR'. I wonder if he ever had another title before then.
"I shall take that as a no," he said briefly. More papers shuffled on the desk and I stared at his hands moving. His fingers were long and slender, not like my hands, which were short and bulky. He had strange things on his hands, like circles around his fingers.
"Let me see, let me see. Ah, here we go! You are very young to be here don't you think?" he asked me. I wanted to respond, but I ground my teeth together making sure no sounds emerged.
"Not a talker are we? Well, that's okay, I can talk if you won't," he murmured as he got one of the files finally in front of him. I assumed it was my file. "You're young, I am going to assume that you don't know what I do and why everyone sees me correct?"
He didn't wait for a response and I didn't give him one.
"I am the Doctor. Everyone in the Sovereignty sees me once and only once in their lives. I look through their files and what they have done in their lives and I am the one who decides what kind of life they shall live. The more that they obey the rules, the higher the position in the Sovereignty that one receives. You following?" I nodded. The kids at school were right about something at least.
"I always see everyone right when they turn eighteen. Only twice have I seen someone who was younger than that. I saw one boy who had caused enough trouble for the Sovereignty that they needed him out of the way. That young man now works for me, and was the one who brought you here under my special orders."
"You brought me here?" I felt anger for the first time since I was here. Everything had been stressful and I had worried that I wasn't going to come out of this building when I entered it. The Doctor smiled at me, as if happy that I finally said something.
"Yes. I brought you here because you have been around asking questions, sneaking into the library, and breaking almost every rule that you come across. The Sovereignty knows everything, and unlike the young man before you who was brought to me with orders to erase, I found out about you before they did," he spoke as if I should have known what he was talking about. I had never felt more lost than right now though.
"That's all jolly and good but why do you need me?" I wanted to go home, lay in my bed with the thickest blanket in the house and sleep. He smiled, showing more and more happiness with the more emotion that I showed him. Anger had bubbled down a bit, but it left in its wake confusion and sorrow.
"You are special."
Special? I was special? All my life I just wanted to fit in, and be normal, I didn't want to be special and I wanted to be a part of the crowd. Yet it seemed every action that I took drew more and more attention. Eventually I had just stopped trying.
"You were once caught making out with another girl in the school hallway weren't you?"
I blushed. I had been caught with another girl. Things like that and mating were reserved to when you were seventeen and someone else was picked for you. I had been curious though, and so had she. Girls had always been more attractive to me than boys had. We had both been punished for weeks, and I had never seen her again.
"And then you were caught with illegal music."
This time I didn't blush, but I did hang my head in shame. Music had been banned long ago, yet when I had snuck into the library years ago I found some. It was amazing the sounds that could be created. Why it was banned I did not know.
"Which means that you have to have suck into the library where the music was kept."
Right on the dot. I briefly wondered if he had a robot inside of my mind, reading my thoughts. If the rumor about the Doctor had been true, then what is to say that the rumors about the robots the Sovereignty was making weren't true as well?
"You were also constantly reprimanded in school for not listening."
I guess that it was time to remember everything that I had ever done wrong according to the Sovereignty.
"So tell me Student, why are you here?"
"Because I fuck up all the time?"
He sighed. A simple sigh that almost made it seem as if he was tired of all my bullshit. Well, I was tired of being here as well, and if being unruly and a bit sarcastic was my way out then so be it. But then The Doctor looked at me, and almost smiled.
"You have been chosen by me to be the next Doctor."
He said it as if he was talking about the weather tomorrow, or if I wanted water or juice with my next mandated meal. I couldn't help but stare as if he had gotten a second head when I blinked my eyes. Silence descended over the room, and he and I said nothing.
"I don't want to be you."
Simple enough, I had thought at the time. A simple sentence that should have gotten my point across right then and there. For a moment The Doctor's face fell, and I almost felt a little guilty. But his sad expression would not change the fact that I had no desire to be in his position.
"You would be able to decide the fate of everyone. Power unlimited, nothing that anyone can do will be able to stop you. Don't you want that?"
Power, standing up for myself and never being told that I was doing something wrong because I was the person who would make the laws and designs. It sounded great, I would have been lying if I said that I wasn't tempted by the option. No more Teachers ordering me around, no more Officials making me attend curfew. Yet something inside me told me that this wasn't the role that I was meant to have.
He looked even more shocked than before. I sat on the bench there, notebook held resolutely held in my hands. At this point I was more relaxed in my place in the room, but nothing would have separated me from the small pieces of paper that kept my records.
"It's not an option for you to take though. I tried to be nice and give you an choice, to take this willingly, but you wanted to be stubborn. The people need a Doctor, and you are the next Doctor in line."
We both were standing by then. It was like a threat that he made against my entire being. For a moment I hoped that maybe if I ran maybe I could get along. Yet the more rationed, not fear driven part of my mind, told me that I wouldn't be able to make it out past the Guardians who more than likely stood outside the door of the time.
"I don't want to be The Doctor! Why should I? What makes me special, from the masses of people that live?"
It was a scream of retribution. I didn't want to be what he wanted me to be. I wanted to be myself, not something that was decided from me before I could even have a say in the matter. But this went all above my head, I just didn't know it at the time.
"You broke into the library before you were thirty, you kissed a girl outside of mating, you have gotten in trouble countless times at school for misbehaving, do I need to go on?"
"Those are just the bad things that I've done though! Don't you idiots want a model citizen?"
Surely they would right? A model citizen to take over the job and preform what the Sovereignty wanted day and night. Why would they want a trouble maker who caused them a lot more problems than they would ever want to deal with? Normally when they find a person who rebels as much as I do, they just get rid of them choosing not to take the trouble to reform them and remodel.
"No. They don't want model citizens. They want people who they can control, people who won't rebel even if they're mistreated. But you get mistreated and you rebel. Do something small to you then you do something big in return. So when a government doesn't deal with people who act out, how come they have put up with you for so long?"
I didn't know. I can honestly say that I no longer knew anything about being here anymore. I was trouble for the Sovereignty, and normally trouble was snuffed out before it even had the chance to spark into fire. I wondered for a moment if that is what happened to that beautiful gorgeous girl that I got caught kissing. Was she snuffed out because of what I wanted?
"I don't know."
That seemed to be an answer enough for him at the moment. He sat back down in his high
rise chair and I sat back down on my uncomfortable bench. For a moment, everything was silent.
"You were never taught about The Doctor, were you?"
He seemed genuinely interested but also concerned about this question. As if he attended school all those ages and was taught but couldn't remember. I just stared at him, wondering if I should answer or if it was all a trick. I decided that it wouldn't hurt me to answer his question.
"No. They said that when it came time, we would find out."
Nothing more was said. He held out his hand, as if he wanted me to touch it with my own. I hesitated, and he could see the questions written all over my face, I just knew it.
"This is your moment to find out."
And so I took his hand.