- Amaranths are used to configure reality in areas where the laws of physics are breaking down:
ʻWhat about the amaranth?ʼ Roz insisted.
ʻTime Lord technology. The first amaranth was designed by the maintenance engineers who tended to the Eye of Harmony.ʼ
ʻRemind me.ʼ ʻThe Eye of Harmony. The power source around which all of Time Lord civilization revolves.ʼ The Doctor sounded almost proud when he said that, throwing his arms wide and rolling his Rʼs. Or maybe heʼs just taking the piss, Roz thought.
ʻItʼs our pet black hole,ʼ he continued. ʻNo TARDIS could ever have got off the ground without it. But the thing about black holes is that they do tend to have unfortunate effects on the continuum around them. All sorts of things start happening when you mess about with that kind of energy. Ancient legend holds that when the Eye was first used, Rassilon himself was very nearly killed by a free-falling rhinoceros.ʼ
ʻYes. But you get the idea. The continuum becomes warped, frayed, ambiguous. The amaranth is designed to stop unpleasant things happening. It looks for parts of the universe that have become unstable in some way or other, and rebuilds them according to more... rational patterns.ʼ
ʻBut there arenʼt any black holes around here. Presumably.ʼ
ʻOh, I donʼt know. Iʼm sure I must have one somewhere.ʼ He began fumbling in his pockets, but thankfully gave up the search before he managed to produce anything disturbing. ʻBut I take your point. However, there are other things that can have distortional effects on the continuum.ʼ
ʻGynoids. And their friends and families.ʼ He stopped abruptly, and turned, pointing at the corner of a boarded-up barberʼs shop with the end of his cane. Roz squinted in that direction, just in time to see something vanish around the corner.
ʻWas that...?ʼ she began. The Doctor turned, pointed again, and again, and again. Each time she looked, Roz glimpsed something out of the corner of her eye. Each time, it disappeared before she could focus on it. None of the townspeople who passed them by seemed to notice anything strange, except, of course, for a peculiar man with a walking-cane who kept pointing at things.
ʻWeʼre surrounded,ʼ Roz murmured. ʻThereʼs got to be dozens of them.ʼ
ʻNo, just one. But itʼs around every corner.ʼ
ʻThat doesnʼt make sense.ʼ
~Christmas on a Rational Planet
- Copies a person:
ʻThe amaranth,ʼ said Roz, ignoring him ʻThe amaranth rebuilds things using whatever informationʼs available. Like, for instance, the information in my implant. Genetic data, personality matrices. Adjudication codes. The amaranth grew you out of the implant like it was a seed or something.ʼ
ʻForrester?ʼ said Daniel. ʻI donʼt understand. Is she you?ʼ
The shape frowned at him ʻIʼm nothing like her. Sheʼs a fugitive, sheʼs wanted by the Order of Adjudicators in the thirtieth century. And, come to think of it, Iʼm definitely not the kind whoʼd open fire on an innocent bystander just because he has the same surname as a future president.ʼ That stung.
ʻThis cow used to be a good Adjudicator,ʼ continued the Rozshaped shape. ʻWell, maybe an okay Adjudicator. But thereʼs nothing worse than a bent cop. Now sheʼs just a traitor.ʼ
ʻOh, and youʼre not?ʼ growled Roz. Her dopplegänger shook her head.
ʻNope. Iʼm based on the data from your implant, remember. Old data. From before you started hanging out with alien lowlife. From the time when you called yourself Roslyn Sarah Forrester, because you didnʼt want to have to keep explaining what "Inyathi" meant and you didnʼt want to talk about your family because everyone would figure out how much more successful your sister was. Itʼs all in the implant.ʼ Roz-2 touched her chest, where the heart should be.
ʻI get the idea,ʼ said Roz. ʻCan I ask a question?ʼ
ʻShoot.ʼ ʻWhy are you pointing that thing at me?ʼ Roz-2ʼs finger brushed the trigger- stud of her flenser gun.
ʻLike I said, youʼre a wanted criminal Iʼm just doing my job. The same way you used to. Nothing personal, Roz.ʼ
~Christmas on a Rational Planet
- Creates a new history to compensate for irrationality:
A flenser wave rippled towards Roz, but by the time it reached the spot where sheʼd been standing, she was a decade into the future. Forrester-2 in front of her, being dragged away on a current of passing years. Roz suddenly realized where the amaranth had to be getting its information from. It was still linked to the TARDIS. The amaranth was sucking the raw data out of the shipʼs systems, working its way through the Doctorʼs historical records, rebuilding Woodwicke according to the lore of the data banks. The sphere was forcing history to happen, faster than history wanted to go. Around them, roaches bred in their millions between the paving-stones as their own little corner of New York went through half a century of expansion in under a minute. Roz blinked, and by the time the blink was over, the world had turned and they were standing on a battlefield.
The battlefield was a wide open plain, and there was nothing on the horizon in any direction, no buildings or mountains or landmarks of any kind. There was mud on the ground, and night in the sky. And there were armies. One to the north, one to the south, rolling forward like thunderheads. Roz and Daniel were standing in the exact spot where the two sides would meet. Roz estimated that they had about forty seconds before the forces collided.
ʻThis is history,ʼ said Daniel. ʻIsnʼt it?ʼ Roz frowned.
ʻHow did you know that?ʼ
ʻDonʼt know.ʼ Daniel shook his head. ʻI can remember lots about the Revolution, as well, but I was a baby when the shooting stopped. Itʼs like Iʼve got a feel for it. Like I was born to it.ʼ Roz looked down at the amaranth. Still turning.
ʻDaniel, listen to me. This is the future. Except that it isnʼt. This is... kind of like a stage-show of the future. The amaranthʼs making it happen, but itʼs not real. Not really real.ʼ She squinted at one of the approaching armies. She could make out mounts, probably horses, and hear the beat of their hooves. ʻThat doesnʼt mean they canʼt hurt us, though,ʼ she concluded.
ʻWhat happened to the town?ʼ
ʻI donʼt know. Maybe weʼre still in it. Maybe it just got bigger. At least we lost Forrester-the-sequel.ʼ The armies thundered on, and the soldiers rode into view. Their bodies were smooth and shapeless, like melted lumps of obsidian, riding on skeletal horses with bleeding lips. Roz looked from north to south. Their flags and uniforms were in tatters, but one side was wearing blue, the other grey.
ʻSheol,ʼ said Forrester. ʻThe Civil War.ʼ
ʻThe Civil War. I know this from the simcords. Halfway through the next century. The nineteenth century.ʼ The horsesʼ hoofs threw up dust-clouds that smelt of gunpowder. If the soldiers had possessed eyes, Roz would have been able to see the whites of them by now.
~Christmas on a Rational Planet
- Rassilon's Gauntlet can delete people from reality:
But of course, you won’t,’ said Rassilon, from behind him. He heard the tap-tap-tap of Rassilon’s gauntleted fingers on the surface of the table. A warning, the Doctor knew – that gauntlet held unimaginable power, including the ability to dematerialise a person, just like the new Dalek weapon. Rassilon was reminding him where he was.
-Engines of War