By the time I had reached the atmosphere, I had already implemented Plan A. A subprogram in my brain that I could use to shut my future self down. It wouldn't work. My core programming assumed (correctly) that it was malware, and began attacking it. I devoted part of my brain to finding a version of that code capable of surviving millennia. Most of the rest of my brain was busy thinking of better ideas.
I flew through the stratosphere, approaching my lab. As it appeared over the horizon, I saw that my house had been rebuilt. With communications satellites still in shambles, I hadn't been able to get a good look at my home until my naked eyes afforded it.
As soon as my house entered view, however, I started talking to it. Noetron gave my a complete inventory of everything in my new lab. The highlights were the kilograms of antimatter, a black hole weighing ten billion kilograms (it was smaller than an atom), a hard drive full of what Noetron thought was advanced science (he couldn't understand it), several very impressive lasers, and Vera Rapport.
It seemed Vera was trapped there. She could move freely throughout my home, but she would involuntarily teleport back inside whenever she attempted to leave. I told Noetron to start testing her out. With flashpoint dead, I needed every teleporter I could reverse engineer. Also, what had Demented done to her, as far as Noetron could tell? Did he have any idea how the power had been transferred? Also, as an afterthought, how was she?
And what about this black hole? Why wasn't it falling to the ground? How do you keep something like that contained? Noetron said he had no idea. It was just floating in the middle of the lab, giving off intense radiation. I told him to measure it closely. See if he couldn't find something of use.
By the time I had landed in my home, I was trawling through four sets of data, reading a book written by a mad god, and writing a computer virus to destroy my own brain.
Even as I worked through all of my myriad plans to destroy the Doctor, I asked myself if I was making the right decision. Yes, it would be a terrible thing if he ended life on Earth. But he was me. And he/I was the most important being in the universe. Just think about it. Think about all the great and terrible things he said he had done. Maybe he was damaged beyond repair, but on the off chance he wasn't... was it really worth sacrificing him just to save such a small planet?
Then again, my future self wanted to be killed. Should I trust the judgment of my future self? Probably not, considering he had 'demented' as part of his name. But, seriously. Shouldn't I?
Well, I could always pull out at the last minute. And the Doctor was threatening pretty much everything I cared about. And who knows how long he had lived. And how long a second was for him. I was willing to take a billion or a trillion years of life, lived at a million times speed. This was the time to go out with a bang.
I knew the odds of my success were small. People a lot more powerful than me had spent a lot more than twenty-four hours trying to kill Dr. Demented. Presumably, they had all failed. Or, at least, the effect hadn't stuck.
"How are you feeling," I asked. I didn't wait for her to respond. As in, I didn't have to wait. I was doing a six hundred and forty thousand other things. A percent of a percent of a percent of my brain didn't need to wait in the spaces between sentences.
"Nervous. Will he kill me?"
"In twenty-two point four hours, assuming I cannot stop him."
"Will you? Can you stop him?"
Probably not. And I'm not even positive that I would if I had the option. "I estimate that there is a fifty-fifty chance."
She had been in situations like this before. She kept her cool. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
You're a human. Around you, an army of robots performs tasks your clumsy hands could never accomplish, under the direction of a mind you cannot begin to fathom. What could you possibly do? "Just keep on talking. Remind me what I'm fighting for."
Vera sighed. "Phoenix, I want you to know. I do care about you. I was wrong to break things off. Do you forgive me?"
Interesting. I analyzed her brain, voice patterns, facial expression... suffice it to say that I analyzed everything about her. It seemed that she was telling the truth. She did feel sorry for breaking things off. But she was only admitting it to me because she knew my life was in her hands.
What should I tell her? She deserved at least some honesty. "I care about you as well. But, as long as you are a human and I am a cyborg, we cannot be lovers. I'm sorry, but you have as little in common with me as with Noetron."
"Why should that stop us?"
"Because for me, it would be like having sexual relations with a child. Or with a pet. You might think you can give your informed consent, but nothing any human does is ever informed. We can be friends, perhaps, but I am too far beyond you to ever be your life partner." There. Her ex-boyfriend had juts called her an inferior being. And another version of her ex-boyfriend was going to murder her in less than a day.
I focused on my work.