This Doctor Who fic was inspired by the Great Performances (PBS) “Much Ado About Nothing”, which highlights how Shakespeare’s works can hold their form, even when twisted beautifully into new shapes.
Additional bits come from the idea for a Time Agent roleplaying game I had (have?), set during a time when humanity works together to fix our world, just not into a shape that one expects.
This has also been posted to my ao3 account: https://archiveofourown.org/works/24784885
SYLLABUS ANCIENT HISTORY 906/G
Annex 41395, Precinct 14 of the Third Great and Bountiful Human Empire
Relationships between H.Erectus Sapiens and H. Reptilia Sapiens, 1000 CE (common era, Old reckoning) to establishment of Nova Terra I (common term: Silurian Earth) in 7432 (common era, Old Reckoning).
ESSAY 4 (of 12): REQUIRED.Worth 27.3% of final grade
WRITING PROMPT: Please choose a culturally significant event from either the Silurian reintegration of 3000 or the repatriation of Nova Terra (Silurian Earth) in the 75th century. Include a comprehensive timeline of events that you feel may have had a significant impact on this event.
THIS IS A TERRA INSYS-ONLY ASSIGNMENT
You are not required to list any event outside of the Terran system (Earth inclusive, satellites and orbitals). You are required to have a minimum of 10 examples from history and their relevance to your essay to pass this assignment.
The Silurian/Terran Resurgence to Nova Terra I
A Cultural Flashpoint Preserved in Classical Theater
By Sally Sparx H’rulthop/8/Vetter (Pod 9), Greater Magellanic District
In this paper, I will go into detail about the Celebration of Regency’s Will Shakspere production in 7432 CE (common era, Old reckoning) | 4532 AE (After Exodus, Common Reckoning) | -365 B/3E (Before Imperial reckoning). Shakspere’s classical and tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers was a unique look at human/silurian relationships and considered by many scholars to be the highlight of the Celebration and the start of the blossoming of human/silurian friendship that led to the foundation of the success of the Third and Great Bountiful Human Empire.
For sourcing this essay, I used Hyper Index Net vs 2.9.392 A/zed|omega and tried to get at least two other sources to validate. I am including the timeline at the end of this essay.
In the 75th Century, the humans of Earth completed a multi-millennial project to restore a devastated ecosystem into a fully functioning world. Not content with replicating the planet they had evolved on, H. Erectus Sapiens took it a step further and recreated the environment that their co-tenants, the silurians (common term for H. Reptilia Sapiens), had evolved.
This was the birth of Silurian Earth or Nova Terra I. To commemorate the occasion, the humans put on the Celebration of Regency, a presentation on human and Silurian art from 440 mya to the current time. One of the most notable and copied of the events was the resurrection of William Shakspere’s romantic tragedy “Dame Jenny and Lady Vastra.”
The play is set in the Terran city of Paternoster and begins with a street fight between the servants of the Houses of the human Montague and the silurian Capulet, who have been traditional enemies for over a thousand years.
The fight is put to an end by Prince John, the local leader, who feels the dispute disrupts his ability to collect taxes for the absent king, Arthur, who is off fighting the crusades against his wicked cousin, Mordred, a recently converted cyberman. Prince John declares that any further breach of the peace will be punishable by death.
The Capulet family is approached by the Count of Monte Cristo, who proposes that he produce a clutch with Lady Vastra, Capulet’s oldest daughter. Capulet asks the noble count to hold off for two years, but also invites him to an upcoming Capulet ball as a gesture of respect.
Lady Capulet and Vastra’s nurse, Strax (a well known comic figure from many other plays including “The Battle of Demon’s Run”), work to persuade Vastra to agree to making a clutch with the Count, as it will strengthen the reputation of the House. Vastra is unconvinced, pleading in a moving song (“Only One Word”) that her heart feels nothing for such a man and she wants to follow her heart.
At the Montague household, Ben-K talks to his cousin and lifelong friend, Jenny. Sensing that she appears distressed, Ben-K finds out that Jenny is infatuated with a young human who has been staying at the Capulet’s home, Rosalind (From Shakespere’s other famous play “As You Like it”), who has just been exiled by her father’s usurping brother Duke Frederick.
Ben-K, and his prank-obsessed companion Mercury, decide it is a wonderful idea to sneak Jenny into the ball to meet up with Rosalind.
This does not go as planned.
Jenny meets and falls for Vastra, who realizes what has been missing from her life all along. Their electrifying and sensual dance is interrupted by Cobalt, one of Vastra’s clutchmates, who recognizes Jenny and is furious that a Montague has snuck into the Capulet Ball.
Jenny is only saved by the fact that Capulet does not wish to shed blood in his house and invoke the wrath of Prince John. Jenny is saved from a beating by the quick wits of Ben-K and Mercury, who get her out of the complex and to safety.
Jenny immediately abandons her friends and sneaks back into the Capulet compound. There, she overhears Vastra at the window, declaring her love for Jenny, regardless of the feud between their families. Jenny makes her presence known and in a thrilling speech, they exchange vows of love and agree to be married in a human ceremony.
With the help of the shaman/doctor/priest character known as Qui Medicus, Vastra and Jenny are secretly married the next day. Qui Medicus (a popular figure that pops up often with the iconography of a tiny blue hut) freely offers that they are doing this for Jenny and Vastra to try and unite the two warring Houses.
The next day, Cobalt, still angry about Jenny breaking into the ball, hunts her down. Jenny, who openly considers Cobalt kin (now that she is married to Vastra) refuses to duel. Mercury, who fails to understand why his friend won’t defend herself, challenges Cobalt himself.
As the two duel, Jenny intervenes to try and stop the fight, but Cobalt takes advantage of the distraction to kill Mercury. Outraged, with the blood of her friend on her hands, Jenny battles Cobalt and slaughters him. She is immediately arrested and imprisoned in the Montague estate.
Prince John is incensed, since Cobalt was his best sheriff and tax collector. Ben-K successfully argues to the prince that Cobalt violated the law by killing Mercury (which invoked the death penalty) and that Jenny was simply fulfilling a legal obligation by killing Cobalt in turn. While the prince recognizes the wisdom in Ben-K’s words, he cannot let the crime pass, so he exiles Jenny permanently, upon pain of death. Ashamed at his failure, Ben-K self-exiles himself to the desert, planning to live out his days as a moisture farmer.
In her last night in Paternoster, Jenny manages to enter Vastra’s chambers and the two consummate their marriage. The very next day, Capulet announces that Vastra will be clutching with the Count of Monte Cristo. Left in an untenable situation, Vastra hunts down Qui Medicus in their strange blue hut. Qui Medicus promises to set things right by placing Vastra in a hibernation chamber sabotaged to keep her in deepsleep for a thousand years. It’s a ruse, though, since Qui Medicus has slyly changed the settings to open in “two and forty hours” after it is delivered to the family crypt. Then the two lovers can elope together without fear of the family following. They also promise to deliver a message to Jenny, to inform her of the plot.
Unfortunately, while Vastra is placed in hibernation, Qui Medicus becomes lost (a key feature of the character in many plays) and Nurse Strax gets to Jenny first, telling her of Vastra’s thousand-year slumber. Since hibernation chambers don’t work on humans, Jenny purchases diluted red leech venom, which, according to silurian lore, should preserve her a thousand years if the dosage is right. If the dosage is too pure, though, the same venom that would preserve her will kill her instead. She believes it is worth the risk. She cannot conceive of life without her love.
She sneaks into Paternoster, into the Capulet family crypt, and takes the potion. To her horror, her hands begin to flush crimson, a sure sign that she has taken too pure a dose and is going to die. She dies sobbing on her lover’s chamber. The audience can see that the counter has reset and is swiftly counting down to opening as Jenny dies.
Moments later, the two-and-forty hour time limit being up, Vastra comes about, sees Jenny’s body curled up on the chamber and knows exactly what happened. She choses to laboriously pull her love into the chamber and then sabotage the controls, for real this time, so that they will lay together “until kind tides of times bring cure to crimson lips / Or the stars themselves fade and die o’er our love.”
Now here two versions were offered to the audience: the traditional and the reviso. In the traditional, Qui Medicus appears, as do the families. Qui Medicus recounts the fate of the “star cross’d lovers” and the families reconcile to be united by their children’s death. The play ends with Prince John’s elegy to the two.
The second, however, (and the far more popular version) has time move forward millennia. By this time, the chamber is in the middle of a meadow on Nova Terra. The chamber opens and Vastra emerges gasping. Just as she turns, in horror, towards her lover’s corpse, white petals rain down and where they touch, the crimson hue disappears from Jenny’s skin. Weeping, Jenny awakes in the arms of her beloved Vastra.
A hologram then appears, with the heads of the family. They deliver their message and the hope that time and a new world will be kind to the two. The Prince appears and repeats that the city’s shame was not recognizing the two for their ardent, enduring love.
As the hologram ends and Jenny and Vastra emerge into a new and bountiful world, behind them, off to the side, impossibly, Qui Medicus can be seen, smiling. Then, they step offstage, there is the sound of the rushing of wind, and the play ends.
TIMELINE OF RELEVANT EVENTS
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/31ce//cat:VSULm|sub:coldblood The 31st century was the time when the Eldane branch of homo reptilia (Silurians) awoke from their hibernation chambers and re-introduced themselves to the human race.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/31ce//cat:RTm&LITm|sub:theloveinvasion In the 31st century, World War V starts a period of long term societal collapse for both Earth and the custodians of Kustollia follows “an enormous, terrible battle.” (as recalled by Igrix)
Analysis: The rise of the silurians was marked by the decline of human civilization on Earth, with many humans moving to extraterrestrial colonies as their new neighbors emerged from their hollows in the earth. World War V was fought against Kustollia, which didn’t help. The emergence of the “Animus” (an extension of an mental energy being termed “The Great Intelligence”) forces the powerful Torchwood Archive to abandon Earthspace and move to the Isop Galaxy, specifically to Vortis. The moons of Vortis are altered so that the Great Intelligence cannot manifest within the Terran system but this leaves Earthspace open to more mundane threats that lead to the end of Earth as humans know it.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/38ce//cat:VSULM|sub:sleepnomore The Rassmussen Transmission radiates out from Le Verrier station on Neptune’s moon, Triton. This signal, when encountered by organic life , starts a fatal interaction that converts a person into a hive-mind silicon multiphasic creature (colloquially called “sandmen”).
Analysis: This important event led to a contraction of the population in Earthspace, with some retreating to Earth and others out-sys. The RT spelled the end of the off-world colonies and a sizable chunk of the population of earth before the signal was terminated. Silurians proved to be slightly more resilient in that they could be placed in hibernation where the infection would either die or compound quickly so that the infected could easily be marked and disposed of. This led to a sort of survivors-mentality among those relative few that remained behind of Earth, a feeling not shared with their star-ward kin.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/40ce//cat:VSULm|sub:thedalerksmasterplan By the end of the 40th century, the Space Security Service was created with a mission to control threats in the solar system. Its headquarters was in Central City on Earth.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/40ce//cat:LITm|sub:thepirateloop Space piracy in Earthspace became common at this period, because there was plenty of old RT-destroyed colonies to raid / use as bases of operations.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/40ce//cat:VISULm|sub:missiontotheunknown&thedaleksmasterplan The beginning of the century saw the New Dalek Paradigm begin a war against humanity, overlapping their past inactivity and subsequent attempted invasion of the solar system.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/40ce//cat:RTm&LITm|sub:theonlygooddalek This war against the Daleks was fought throughout the century and continued into the next.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/40ce//cat:VISULm|sub:theinfinitequest The pirate Baltazar destroyed Earth’s Space Security Service but his warship was destroyed before he could assault the planet.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/41ce//cat:VISULm|sub:thedaleksmasterplan The daleks, Mavic Chen, and the Time Destructor launched plots to destroy the Solar System but failed.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/41ce//cat:LITm|sub:theevilofthedaleks This sparked the Great War between humanity and the daleks which lasted over a millennium.
Analysis: Earth’s population continued to decline, centering on the tech-driven Central City in Antarctica. Their interactions with those forces outside the system were negative at best, with anarchistic pirates and genocidal daleks making the populace embrace order and diversity. This led to the combine age outside the solar system and a millennium long separation between terran human/silurians and their counterparts.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/44ce//cat:LITm|sub:miscrumors First report of emotional ‘watchers’ (always human) who appear and disappear randomly throughout this century. Some consider these rumors to be the initial actions of time travelers from the 51st century
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/45ce//cat:AUDm|sub:red&plagueofthedaleks Outside of the Terran system, the Combine Age was fully established. Attempts to reintegrate Earth into a larger whole were largely failures as sporadic bursts of Rasmussen Tranmissions could hamper re-colonization in-system. During this time, Earth became uninhabitable.
Analysis: Records from humans at this time are very rare, but the silurians did a a better job at preserving the oral history. They called this The Great Rain (also the 2nd Great Extinction). A large chunk of asteroids came suddenly out of the asteroid belt and impacted on Mars, the Earth, and the Moon. A large chunk of silurians fled the Terran system. The ones on Earth retreated to hidden, underground hibernation in ancient chambers from their first sleep when Earth captured the moon. The humans who stayed behind watched as the Earth fully froze over, a phenomenon termed “Iceball Earth”.
About 150 years in, the humans create the Grimnir project (from Global Rhizomal Mind), using modified fungus to eat human dead but preserve personalities. The Grim becomes the dominant form of technology on the planet.
In the 47th century, it becomes evident that the humans have discovered the source of the Great Rain – a Combine Age failed colony in the asteroid belt that was attempting to create a wormhole, but instead created a singularity. That singularity was now oscillating in and out of the belt disrupting the asteroids and flinging them sunwards. Using the same mathematical techniques they would have had available at the time, I was able to determine that, conservatively, this phenomenon would have continued its destructive course another 6.8 million years.
Working backwards from reports about the Time Agency, it was probably some time in the 48th century that historians realized that the “watchers” in the 44th century might be proof of time travel. Mavic Chen’s experiments with a Time Destructor proved the idea feasible but the power requirements would be prohibitive. Prohibitive, until someone figured out that they could use the singularity as a power source.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/49ce//cat:LITm&AUDm|sub:eaterofwasps&tradingfutures&singularity&deathsdeal&iamadalek The official records pick up in the 49th century and mark that this was an era of peace and prosperity on Earth, although one account indicated that World War V might have re-ignited temporarily at some point during this century. Most historians classify it as a time when the children of humanity were not insystem, instead “off exploring the unknown”. Earth’s moon was terraformed to have an atmosphere.
Analysis: Time agents were grown from the GrM and decanted into Flesh, the same substance used in 22nd gangers. There, they were placed in a state of quantum flux to insure invisibility within the time stream. This means, pretty much, that if they changed something, it wouldn’t fundamentally alter them. Their time travel would ultimately cause the singularity to collapse into a micro-black hole and cease to be, reducing the danger of the nemesis object from millions of years to centuries.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/51ce//cat:VISLm&LITm&AUDm|sub:thetalonsofwengchiang&emotionalchemistry&thebutcherofbrisbane&thedoctordances&dayone&fragments&kisskissbangbang&theemptychild Under the GrM program, Earth progressed from Iceball Earth to Ice Age Earth. Overall, humanity became liberal and widely accepting, evolving to produce more highly specialized pheromones, which made them more attractive than their ancestors. The Time Agency operated primarily out of this century, but it was closed when the singularity was finally exhausted. World War VI also took place in the early 51st century. The Icelandic Alliance fell and the Supreme Alliance of Eastern States, of which Magnus Greel was Minister of Justice, rose in its stead. The Supreme Alliance committed a number of war crimes and was brought down by the Filipino Army at the Battle of Reykjavik. Also in the early 51st century, Magnus Greel killed approximately 100,000 people and scoured the land where they died. This prevented their absorption into the Grm, a deed which earned him the epithet “Butcher of Brisbane”. Consequently, the area that Greel defoliated known as the Brisbane Dead Zone. Greel used a different method of time travel to escape prosecution, calling himself the first human (as opposed to someone decanted from Flesh) to travel through time.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/52ce//cat:LITm|sub:thefrozen Reports from this time indicated that the Earth no longer had winters, due to “pollution”. In-system environmentalists were concerned about the warp footprint of vessels, especially in disturbing the fragile asteroid belt, still recovering from the nemesis singularity.
Analysis: the records here, as well as the testimony of famous Time Agents from that era — Captain Harkness, Captain Hart, and Captain Flint — report that the “pollution” in the archives were actually caused by the Nausicaa spores, part of the GrM program dedicated to clearing up organic debris and making the world safer for plant-life, especially ones tolerant of silurian earth conditions. Unfortunately 25% of the human population was lethally allergic to the spores and had to leave the planet, settling on the moon or in geo-synchronous Ark stations. The end result, though, was a carefully curated, tree-filled world that approximated the target conditions of 65 mya, when the silurians thrived.
Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/73ce//cat:RTm|sub:facades By the 73rd century, the work was done. A defrosted Antarctica was urbanized into the supercity Antarctopolis, the only major city on the planet.
Analysis: Antarctopolis, once Central City, grew to encompass the whole continent. It was the only source of high technology on the planet. The rest was terraformed & locally populated by GrM neo-tribes.
A little under two hundred years later, the Silurians were awoken by the GrM tribes and discovered the humans had remade the world as a gift to them. Both embrace a new era of peace, with the added bonus that the Ice Warriors of Mars appreciated the warmer habitat and enter into an alliance with the Silurians.
The 75th Century brought a new era of peace and happiness to the H. Erectus Sapiens and H. Reptilia Sapiens species. This was best exhibited in the production of William Shakspere’s beautiful tragedy “Lady Vastra and Dame Jenny”, as delivered to their present as a gift by the Time Agent Captain Flint. This showed the resilience of the two species even in the face of a history of distrust and conflict and promises a better future, a future that we, the citizens of the Third and Bountiful Human Empire, now enjoy. That is the heart of my presentation.
Addendum: for audio and video transcripts, refer to Hyprdxnt:tfndm/wk/51ce//cat:AUDm&VISULm|sub:historyassignmnet