Before beginning, it must be noted that the chronicler did not observe these events first-hand, and what follows was assembled from the reports of those who were actually present at the time. Some of the details conflict, and not all of what follows can be regarded as entirely accurate.
Nevertheless, it appears that the Doctor first arrives in London in February 1782, where he meets the witch-courtesan Scarlette and claims to have walked to Earth in search of a magician. Many prostitutes of the time have been trained in the tantric disciplines, which their clients usually don’t realise have much to do with the summoning and taming of demons. One such woman, Lisa-Beth Lachlan, grows bored while servicing a client on 20 March 1782, and drifts into a state of Shaktyanda, a sort of meditative overview of her own timeline. She has been warned that there’s a horizon beyond which no human can understand the nature of Time, but she has also been told that this horizon is impossibly distant; yet when she looks up it’s right before her, and a savage, demonic ape -- a babewyn -- lurches out of the horizon to attack her. She falls from the bed, trying to get away, and knocks herself out. When she recovers there is no sign of her client or of the demon, but Rebecca Macardle, a courtesan from Scarlette’s new House, is there, and is covering up a large bloodstain on Lisa-Beth’s bed.
It has been rumoured that some time ago, a prostitute named Anne-Belle Paley was torn apart in an empty hansom cab while screaming about “going through the wall”; thus, Lisa-Beth agrees to accompany Rebecca to Scarlette’s new House to learn about what’s just happened to her. There is a ball underway when they arrive, a housewarming at which Scarlette intends to introduce the young girl Juliette to polite society and hand out invitations to an event which is to take place on the first of December. Rebecca introduces Lisa-Beth to Scarlette and the Doctor, who explains his belief that there was once a race of elemental champions who served to stabilise the nature of Time -- but that somehow those elementals have been removed from time and space so thoroughly that it’s as if they never existed. Their presence was such an important part of the Universe that much of their knowledge is still in existence, having been passed on to other species in arcane and ritualised forms; Scarlette and her kind have inherited some of that knowledge, and thus it’s up to them to protect the Earth from the threat of the babewyns.
Despite her skepticism, Lisa-Beth agrees to move into the House. However, the battle will not be straightforward; many of those attending the ball have done so out of idle curiosity only. Britain has finally acknowledged America’s independence, and there’s a feeling that the old ways are passing -- and it’s unclear what will replace them. Even the Doctor feels as though he must change, and he’s grown a beard just to see whether he can. In December, he will wed the innocent young Juliette in a symbolic marriage which will bind him to the Earth and enable him to participate in its affairs. Scarlette has invited representatives of several lodges to the wedding, to unite the organisations which the Doctor believes have inherited the knowledge of the elementals. But on the night of the ball, the Doctor is attacked by a young Mayakai warrior, one of a near-extinct Polynesian tribe with a different cultural tradition of looking at Time. Someone sent her to attack the Doctor as a warning -- someone whom Scarlette knows well, someone named Sabbath.
Over the next few weeks, the Doctor studies the babewyns, and concludes that their biology is irrelevant; it’s as if the demons exist only as a function of the Universe, and their internal structure is just for show. On 3 April, at a rally for MP Charles Fox, the Doctor, Juliette and Rebecca follow a prostitute and her client into a back alley, arriving just in time to save them from the babewyns. This was an ordinary transaction with no tantra involved, proof that things are getting worse. What the Doctor doesn’t know is that Juliette is beginning to have doubts; although she respects both the Doctor and Scarlette immensely, she feels as though she’s being forced into a role she doesn’t fully understand. With the help of her friend Emily Hart, the young mistress of politician Charles Greville, Juliette begins to conduct illicit alchemical experiments, designed to increase her understanding of the nature of Time, without the Doctor or Scarlette’s knowledge.
Meanwhile, Lisa-Beth is frequenting the inn known as the Shakespeare’s Head, which is often visited by members of the British secret service. The Service was founded by astrologer John Dee and thus has a strong occult tradition of its own; thus, it seems to regard Scarlette as a rival and is using its influence to shut down the House. Lisa-Beth is selling the secrets of the House to the Servicemen... but at the same time she’s learning more from them than they are from her. When she’s learned enough, she lures a Serviceman to the House, binds him to her bed, paints the names of the five points of the Star Chamber on his chest and shows him to the others. If the Service continues to harass Scarlette, the names will be made known to every bordello in London. In one move she’s saved the House from the Service, made it clear which side she’s on and proven that the rival organisations can indeed be brought together to attend the wedding in December.
But there’s another potential threat to consider. Scarlette’s understanding of the patterns of history, biology and Time came during the brutal Gordon Riots of 1780; at that time she met a man named Sabbath in the ruins of Newgate Prison, and although she doesn’t like to talk about her experience, it appears that he tried to seduce her into his service. Sabbath himself used to be a Serviceman, but in 1780 he broke away from them, and they’ve been hunting him ever since. Part of their tradition requires new initiates to escape from a seemingly impossible situation; Sabbath somehow survived being bound in chains and dropped into the Thames. Legend has it that while sinking he met a great Leviathan, and learned a magic word which enabled him to transport himself through Time and Space. It is unclear how much of this is true, but he certainly seems to understand much more about the nature of Time than anyone else in 1780.
Sabbath’s agenda becomes important on 16 April, when the Marquis of M______ is caught in the grounds of Westminster Abbey, conducting a ritual meant to summon and bind a babewyn. He is questioned extensively by agents of the Service and the Freemasons, and eventually confesses that he was working on behalf of Sabbath. However, when the Masons force him to conduct the ritual again, the Marquis is torn apart by the enraged ape. It appears that either the ritual is unreliable or that this was a wild goose chase set up to distract Sabbath’s pursuers. But if the ritual was intended to work, it suggests that Sabbath may be responsible for summoning the apes to Earth.
Women continue to desert the House, lured away by the promise of more money elsewhere -- as if, despite Lisa-Beth’s actions, someone is still supplying Scarlette’s rivals with money in order to shut her House down. The women who remain are all in tune biologically, and have begun to dream of a bleak grey landscape where savage apes roam through the ruins of civilisation, while a black sun like a great staring eye looks down upon them. The Doctor, meanwhile, intends to investigate Sabbath without disturbing Scarlette, and thus on 1 May he uses an experimental new way of looking at Time to open up the horizon and transport his friends Fitz and Anji to the House (unfortunately both naked). The women in the House feel the disturbance, and Juliette has a vision of a metal war machine and realises that this future is inescapable. Due to the instability of Time, however, the Doctor is still unable to summon his TARDIS. Its continuing absence may explain why he’s showing signs of sickness and nervous exhaustion...
Aware that Juliette needs to know more about the situation they’re facing, the Doctor sends her to Cambridge with Fitz to investigate Sabbath’s time as a student. Fitz bluffs his way into the university archives, where he finds Sabbath’s journals; apparently Sabbath himself claims to have seen the shadow of Leviathan in the Thames. Could this “Leviathan” be the black sun-god of the babewyns’ ruined city? Before Fitz can learn more, real Service agents expose him as an impostor, and he and Juliette are expelled from Cambridge; however, he has learned enough to come to a conclusion few from 1780 could reach. Juliette dreamed of a metal war machine; Sabbath is an engineer who was initiated into an occult society in a river, where he claimed to have seen a Leviathan there. Fitz thus concludes that Sabbath is building a giant ship as his headquarters, and with this as a starting point the Doctor traces the materials needed in the construction and tracks Sabbath down to Manchester. However, Fitz doesn’t tell the Doctor that while speaking with Juliette during their journey, he got the impression that, despite being only about thirteen years old, she is rather less innocent than the Doctor believes.
The Doctor takes the courtesans to Manchester, but there, they face hosility from the local prostitutes; partly due to the competition, and partly due to rumours that the witch-courtesans of Scarlette’s House are dabbling in matters best left alone and thus causing the deaths of innocent women. Fitz and Juliette locate a factory building on the docks, but before they can report this to the Doctor, a mob of prostitutes attacks them and Fitz is beaten half to death. Juliette reports to the Doctor, who takes Rebecca to the docks; there, the recovering Fitz claims that he saw Service “rat-catchers” entering the factory after the attack. It appears that the Service has been tailing Fitz, using him to track down Sabbath, and then paying the prostitutes to rough him up so they can deal with the rogue agent without interference.
Fitz and Juliette had thought the factory building empty, but the Doctor and Rebecca can see Time in a different manner and are thus able to board Sabbath’s battleship -- a monstrously efficient metal war machine. The rat-catchers have already boarded, but have been killed, by Sabbath’s Mayakai warrior Tula Lui and by the babewyns which Sabbath has captured and trained to act as his crew. Sabbath is waiting on the bridge; in person he’s rather overweight, as he no longer regards personal appearance as important and prefers to pull strings from the centre of operations. It turns out that Sabbath isn’t the real enemy; he’s just taking advantage of the apes’ presence to turn them to his own ends, although the process of binding them to his service is indeed unreliable and he is thus forced to rely on agents to do this work for him. However, he’s not the one who drew the horizon to Earth in the first place; rather, he seems to believe that it’s the Doctor and his kind who are responsible, and this is why he’s been using his influence to shut down the House. The safety of Time is too important to leave it in the hands of prostitutes and failed elementals such as the Doctor.
Despite his unease, the Doctor acknowledges that Sabbath could be an important ally, and thus invites him to the wedding ceremony -- as the best man. It’s unclear how Scarlette reacts to this when she learns, but by now she has her own secrets. During the Doctor’s encounter with Sabbath, Scarlette met a pleasant, clean-shaven man who wore a blue-and-white rosette on his lapel -- the colours of the Whig party which supported America’s independence. This marks him out as a member of the Opposition, and yet he and Scarlette struck up a friendly conversation and Scarlette confessed that she was having doubts about what they were doing to Juliette. The man with the rosette later reappears and gives Scarlette rings for use in the wedding ceremony. Scarlette does not yet tell the Doctor why she’s having doubts about Juliette, but there are those in the House who believe that Lisa-Beth knows more about Juliette than she’s saying.
Sabbath isn’t quite the ally that the Doctor had hoped, for he refuses to reverse his decision to force the closure of the House; rather, he challenges the Doctor to prove his competence by saving the House without assistance. In the meantime, he sends Tula Lui to attack the five figurehead leaders of the Service -- not as revenge for their attempt on his life, but as a message to leave him alone and let him get on with his work. Still hoping to unite the various factions of Earth, the Doctor sends Scarlette and Lisa-Beth to France to try to save one of the Service leaders, but they are too late. However, Scarlette claims that she nearly caught Tula Lui at the scene of the murder, and that the girl fled through Time by speaking a magic word, possibly the same word which Sabbath used to survive his initiation in the Thames.
This takes place on 17 July, the same day that the Doctor tries using the same process to take himself out of Time. Rather than France, however, he finds himself in the ruined grey city of the babewyns, where he meets Tula Lui. She seems to believe that he’s reponsible for bringing her here, and she thus knocks him out and flees as the babewyns approach. The Doctor wakes on Sabbath’s ship, the Jonah, where Sabbath explains that he found the Doctor in the state of limbo through which his ship travels. He assumes that the Doctor got lost because he’s an amateur dabbling in work best left to professionals -- but when the Doctor reveals that he saw Tula Lui in the realm of the babewyns, Sabbath realises that he too has made a grave error of judgement. The damage to Time is worse than he’d thought, and it’s possible for Tula Lui to have transported herself into the babewyns’ realm thinking that she was escaping to safety. Sabbath sets course for the ruined city, telling the Doctor not to look at the black sun, which he seems to regard as the true enemy. However, they arrive too late, and must watch helplessly as Tula Lui is torn apart by a pack of savage apes.
After this, the Doctor and Sabbath begin to work together, as Sabbath seems to understand that he can learn from the Doctor after all. However, as Scarlette still has not forgiven Sabbath for his actions in 1780, this means that the Doctor must work on the Jonah... and as this keeps the Doctor away from the House, there may be another reason for Sabbath’s actions. In the meantime, Sabbath comes to believe that the babewyn attacks aren’t the result of amateur dabbling in Time as he’d originally thought. He still continues his unrelated quest; although the Jonah can travel anywhere on Earth, including the realm of the babewyns, Sabbath cannot venture any further into the deeper realms of Time without losing his sense of cohesion. It’s as if his world ceases to acknowledge his existence if he travels too far from it. Before he can travel safely through the far reaches of Time and Space, he must find some way to bind himself to the Earth.
The Doctor may also be avoiding the House because of what he’s learned about Juliette. Little is known of Juliette’s past, but when Lisa-Beth was trained in the tantric arts in India, a young girl was trained alongside her... and Lisa-Beth and Juliette seemed to recognise each other when they “first” met at Scarlette’s House. Perhaps Juliette is not the pure, virginal girl whom the Doctor had expected to marry. Whatever the truth, he now knows that she can have secrets and a life of her own, and perhaps this is why he leaves her to her own devices. This may be a mistake, as Juliette is starting to feel that the other courtesans -- especially the Russian girl Katya -- resent the fact that Scarlette is lavishing so much money and attention on her even though she doesn’t participate in the business of the House.
One night, Juliette has a dream in which she’s woken by the smell of smoke and goes downstairs to find a veiled woman dressed in black, who tells her that she must now explore the dark side of her nature. When she tells this dream to Emily, Emily advises her to begin writing a dream diary. The dreams express Juliette’s subconscious thoughts -- the belief that she is somehow symbolically representative of the whole Earth, and images of a lover whom she both admires and fears. She knows that her dream lover wishes to become rooted to the Earth through her, and that she is being manipulated into this position; but she loves her duty nonetheless. However, there are only two “dreams” in which she is apparently woken by the smell of smoke; the first dream of the veiled woman in black, and a second dream in which she finds a magic word written on a piece of paper in the salon. In her dream, she speaks the word aloud and is transported elsewhere. Significantly, Anji wakes on the same night to find Juliette gone, hears a voice from the salon, and investigates to find that the salon is empty...
Anji already distrusts Juliette, who has shown distress at Anji’s Indian background... although if Juliette is the young girl who was forced into tantric training alongside Lisa-Beth, against her will, this may not be just blind prejudice on her part. In any case, Lisa-Beth suspects that Anji’s distrust of Juliette and Scarlette is born out of jealousy, which Anji vehemently denies. Anji continues to keep an eye on Juliette, particularly in the last week of August, when Katya’s anger becomes too much for Juliette to stand. Juliette begins to sneak out of the House at night and walk the streets, as if looking for custom, or as if trying to get in tune with the world on her own terms. Anji follows her on these walks, and one night she sees Juliette brought up short by the sight of her own wedding dress in a shop window. The dress is in black rather than red, and Emily is waiting for her, as if the shop was placed here by someone who knew of Juliette’s doubts and is now ready to take advantage of them.
Anji concludes that Scarlette is initiating Juliette in arcane mysteries without the Doctor’s knowledge. The Doctor takes little notice of her warning, however, as he seems to have become obsessed with recovering the TARDIS; an obsession which may be a symptom of the illness which he’s still trying to hide, but which is steadily growing worse. Frustrated, Anji lashes out at Juliette, threatens to reveal everything she’s been doing, and storms out into the streets... but when Juliette follows, both women find themselves in the realm of the babewyns. Juliette has recently come to an understanding of the apes’ nature; they are a part of the Earth, just as she is. Perhaps this understanding is what causes her and Anji to cross over to the ruined city. Juliette confronts the approaching babewyns while Anji flees. As she runs, she notices a man standing nearby who seems to be taking an interest in Juliette’s actions, but in her fear she thinks nothing of it at the time...
Despite his dismissal of Anji’s warnings, the Doctor does write a letter to Juliette, claiming that he understands her doubts and wants her to make her own decision. In the meantime, he and Sabbath continue their research, and make an important discovery in the French slave colony of Hispaniola. There, the rebel leader Émondeur claims to have summoned a demon ape using nothing more than the power of a sermon, in which he stated that by shedding enough French blood his men could pluck the martyr Mackandal from the stake at the time of his execution and bring him alive into the present. For the era, this represents a whole new way of looking at Time -- and it’s further evidence that Sabbath’s initial beliefs, that the babewyns were summoned to Earth by the dabbling of amateurs, were not entirely true.
To help recover the TARDIS, which Sabbath believes can be used as a weapon against the apes, he and the Doctor contact a Chinese apothecary who goes by the name of Doctor Nie Who. As the Chinese regard Time differently than Westerners, Who’s perceptions will not summon the babewyn. The ceremony is held aboard the Jonah, although Sabbath again stays out of the way -- presumably out of tact, as Scarlette will be attending. Before the ritual takes place, the Doctor finally explains the nature of the Beasts to the women of the House. Humans are as much animals as they are intelligent, rational beings, and Time is partly a matter of mental perception. There is a point beyond which the human brain simply cannot understand what it is perceiving, and beyond this horizon the apes appear, manifestations of Mankind’s ignorance. Since the elementals are no more, the horizon has become unstable; and as this era marks the dawn of a new perception of Time in dimensional terms, this is where the Beasts are breaking through, attacking all those who dare to think differently.
With Who’s help, the Doctor reaches through Time and summons the TARDIS. But its arrival does not give the Doctor the roots which he’d hoped; he is still suffering from an illness he can’t explain, and it seems that only the wedding can save him. But by now, most of the women have given up on the House and have left; only Katya, Rebecca and Lisa-Beth remain to see the battle with the babewyns through to the end. But Juliette has vanished, and when Anji returns and tells her story, everybody recognises her description of the man she saw watching Juliette. It wasn’t Scarlette who was training Juliette in secret after all, and it wasn’t on Scarlette’s behalf that Emily Hart staged Juliette’s encounter with the woman in black, using incense and opium fumes to convince Juliette that she was having a dream. And it wasn’t for Scarlette’s sake that Sabbath left the Jonah on the night the Doctor summoned the TARDIS -- the same night Anji saw an overweight man watching Juliette as she banished the attacking babewyn. The point of the wedding was to root the Doctor to the Earth through Juliette -- but Sabbath also wishes to be rooted to the Earth, and needs a replacement for Tula Lui...
Despite Juliette’s apparent betrayal, the Doctor refuses to give up on the wedding, and becomes obsessed with planning its details. Nie Who designs decorations for the vault of the church on the Caribbean island of St Belique, where the wedding will take place. But the Doctor can no longer deny the truth when Juliette sends him a polite letter informing him that she has indeed chosen, of her own free will, to bond herself to Sabbath rather than to the Doctor. When the Doctor realises that the wedding will not take place, he collapses, no longer able to hide his illness. For over a century he’s been feeling twinges and chest pains, though not on the side of the chest in which the heart is normally found, and at last, he’s dying.
The Doctor spends most of the next two months in a sickbed in the TARDIS; at one point, he even goes so far as to write his will and to send Juliette her inheritance -- the screwdriver sonique, an odd device which he’d built earlier, in the House on Henrietta Street. Fitz, meanwhile, pursues further rumours from those who have found themselves in the realm of the babewyns, and deduces why there have been fewer reports of attacks recently. It appears that there is now a King of Beasts, the apes having fallen back to a hierarchical structure based on the prominence of the alpha male, which enforces conformity and represses attempts at progress. Right now the apes are worshipping their new leader, but it’s only a matter of time before the attacks resume -- and with the King directing them, possibly spurred on by the mysterious black sun, the attacks will be far more vicious than before.
Over the next few days, representatives of the world’s occult lodges begin to arrive on the island, wary but unwilling to be left out should the ceremony prove to be as important as their invitations claimed. None of them know that the Doctor is in his deathbed and that Juliette has gone missing, but there is still a sense of unease and a lack of committment. Realising this, Scarlette announces that the month leading up to the wedding will be celebrated with a grand hunt; using the TARDIS as a lodestone, she can draw the realm of the apes to St Belique, thus trapping confused and disoriented apes on the island and allowing the guests to hunt them for sport. After some initial uncertainty, the guests take to the hunt with a passion, united against the Beasts yet competing with each other. As Scarlette had hoped, this distracts them from the question of the wedding for some time, but as December approaches she must eventually admit to them that things will not go as planned. In Juliette’s absence, however, Scarlette herself has chosen to take the place of the bride, wed the Doctor and bind him to the Earth.
The mysterious man with the rosette arrives on the island, and the Doctor recovers somewhat, claiming that his Family is here at last, making the invitation list complete. On the night before the wedding, Scarlette auctions off the services of the demi-reps on the island; Lisa-Beth takes the opportunity to tell her that after the ceremony, she and Rebecca have chosen to take their leave of the House, something which Scarlette already knew. The Doctor and Fitz sit quietly on a pier and sip champagne. As the day of the wedding dawns, Anji helps Scarlette to prepare for it despite her remaining suspicions. The Doctor refuses to let Fitz support him to the altar, and walks there himself despite his evident weakness. The wedding then takes place, and is interrupted only by the arrival of a man in an ape mask, who approaches the altar when the priest asks for objections -- only to bow his head, symbolically showing that the apes have no power to halt these proceedings. (Most believe that the man in the ape mask was the French representative of the Catholic Church, but he is later found tied up in his rooms in the town; the figure must have been another overweight individual with an understanding of symbolism...) The Doctor and Scarlette kiss, completing the ceremony, binding the Doctor to the Earth, giving the world an elemental anchor and preventing the apes from assaulting it indiscriminately. And at that moment, in response, the apes attack the church in such numbers that everyone inside -- apart from Lisa-Beth and Rebecca, who are no longer bound to the tradition of the House -- is transported to the realm of the apes.
In the ruined city, the wedding guests see their homes and honoured traditions laid waste by the savage apes, and unite to fight off the apes and prevent them from destroying the world. The Doctor, meanwhile, appears on a vantage point overlooking the Kingdom, where he meets the man with the rosette. Despite his loss of memory, the Doctor seems to recognise the man as someone he once knew -- someone who once wore a beard but is now clean-shaven, as the Doctor was once clean-shaven but now wears a beard. Someone who has always been the Doctor’s polar opposite, but who knows that the Universe is now a different place, in which there are only four such as himself and the Doctor. Their duels somehow seem out of place here, and the man thus intends to stand by and let the Doctor defeat the apes and their dark sun god. Perhaps then, the Universe will be ready for them again. If this conversation took place as reported, it’s the last the Doctor sees of the man with the rosette during these events; but it’s said that he reappeared later during the Doctor’s life, “in an unexpected capacity”.
After meeting the man with the rosette, the Doctor then sees the Jonah moored in the city’s harbour. Juliette is hanging by her neck over the side, and the Doctor saves her life; but he may not understand that it wasn’t the brutal apes who tried to hang her. This may have been the death ritual she needed to go through, to make a symbolic break with the girl she once was. The exertion causes the Doctor to pass out for the last time, and Juliette takes him to a huge, deserted palace at the heart of the ruined city, where she finds Katya and leaves the Doctor in her care. All roads lead to this palace, and when the wedding guests arrive, Fitz recognises it as a fragment of the Doctor’s homeworld, perhaps the only part which survives. This is the last stronghold of the elementals who once protected Time from the Beasts, and it will be the last battleground against the apes.
The King of Beasts sends his army to slaughter the intruders, and under Scarlette’s guidance, the ritualists try to hold them off, giving the Doctor enough time to save them all. But in the heart of the palace, in a debating chamber with a giant Eye carved on the floor, the Doctor is dying. Fitz and Anji are unable to save him, and even Scarlette is helpless; the TARDIS did nothing, the wedding did nothing, and it seems that the Doctor is going to die after all. But then Sabbath and Juliette show up. Sabbath has spent the last month piecing together arcane knowledge and lore about the elementals, and he claims that he can save the Doctor. Exactly how he does so is unclear, as the only witness to describe what happened next couches it in mystical terms; however, it seems clear that Sabbath performed some sort of operation. The lost elementals knew that they were biologically linked to their homeworld through the great Eye, but they had forgotten the nature of that link, and Sabbath has rediscovered it. He thus cuts out the Doctor’s second heart, the one which once allowed him to travel through Time and Space with impunity, but which is now black and cancerous, pumping poison into his body as it tries to bind him to a homeworld which no longer exists.
The Doctor recovers almost immediately and walks out of the palace to confront the babewyns; he is now a man, an elemental of the Earth, and as such can confront the King of Beasts on those terms. This is a territorial challenge between alpha males, and the Doctor challenges the King to fight on the territory under dispute. This renders the ruined city inconsequential, and all of the survivors thus find themselves back in their proper places on Earth -- although since time passes differently in the Kingdom of Beasts, it’s early February when they return. The Doctor and his friends find themselves back in the House on Henrietta Street, which Lisa-Beth and Rebecca have arranged to refurnish and reopen, perhaps out of guilt at abandoning Scarlette and the Doctor. Almost as soon as the Doctor arrives, the Beasts attack -- and while Scarlette and the others hold them off, the Doctor goes to Juliette’s old room, where the King is waiting for him. It seems like an uneven battle, but the Doctor strikes down the King almost at once with the screwdriver sonique; however he got it back after bequeathing it to Juliette, it represents a power which the savage and stupid apes can’t hope to understand, and the Doctor is able to decapitate the King even though the device doesn’t seem nearly sharp enough to have done so on its own.
Rebecca takes the King’s head and shows it to the attacking apes, a clear demonstration that the elemental champion of the Earth is more powerful than they are. The apes vanish, pushed away from the Earth once again... but now the Doctor must be told what happened to Scarlette. Her funeral is held the next day, 9 February; her coffin is born to the Tyburn river, one of the rivers which flow hidden beneath London. Legend has it that though the river only forks physically in two directions, there is a third direction not to be found on any map, and thus her coffin could end up anywhere at all. The Doctor still wears her ring, representing that he is still bound to her, and that through her, he is justified in participating in the affairs of the Earth. Perhaps this is how he senses that she’s still alive after all, just waiting for him to go before she can return to the House. She had to let him believe that she was dead, because she knows that he feels for her and would stay here, for her sake. But he’s needed elsewhere, on other worlds.
Accepting the truth of this, the Doctor departs to resume his journeys. But he still hasn’t determined the nature of the black sun-god, and that’s a question which will eventually obsess him. And then there’s Sabbath. He seems content to have left the final battle with the King to the Doctor, but regards this as the Doctor’s last stand rather than a new beginning. He too knows that the apes were only part of a larger problem, and he intends to solve that problem himself. For now Sabbath has a second heart which binds him to his homeworld, a travelling companion in Juliette, and a ship crewed by idiot beasts which is capable of transporting him anywhere in Time and Space. The elementals have failed in their mission to protect Time, but Sabbath has taken their place, and the Doctor had better not get in his way...