Unfinished Symphony Episode Eight
The Other Side-Part Seven
Time Lords can be creatures of propriety at times.
Raised as nobles on Gallifrey, they are raised with the understanding that they are in fact, better than most people. Most Gallifreyians already shared that belief in regards with the rest of the world, but Time Lords were a special breed, after all they controlled time. Possessing the odd brain pattern that allowed them to experience the world in all four dimensions, the Gallifreyians that become Time Lords are unique in that they see the world not only as it is, but as it can be. Able to see time unfold in its myriad of directions gives one's ego a rush that mot people can't understand. Like knowing the answer to a quiz show when no one else can guess it, Time Lords know how the world SHOULD be, when no one else can. This gives them a bit of an attitude at times, and there were things they simply do not do.
They do not panic for instance.
When hurled into the Time Vortex with an ancient Time Agent's band homing in on a multi spacial rift billions of light years away with no way to control your ascent, lesser people would scream. They would cry and and they would struggle, fearing being lost in the endless pathways of time forever,eternally falling with nowhere to land. Lesser people,. But not a Time Lord. Instead you would steel yourself against the feeling and press on, having faith that your knowledge of interspacial navigation was as good as you thought it was.
Time Lords do not scream.
When seeing the time vortex begin to dissipate in front of you and the vision of concrete and steel that makes up the Torchwood complex above ground come hurtling at you, one would think to scream. Possibly hold one's hands in front of your face or even close your eyes, a normal person might do all of these, but not a Time Lord. A Time Lord instead sees his past ten lives flash before his eyes and wonders what the next guy will look like.
Time Lords do not give out unsightly sighs of relief (at least around others).
Say for when the wrist band begins to beep and a flash of light streaks our around you and you fund yourself floating to the ground effortlessly; a normal person might et out a sigh of relief as he knelt over and gathered his breath. He might wipe the sweat off his forehead and he gave thanks to every deity within praying distance. He might wonder if he was going to have to change his undergarments or not. A normal person might, but not a Time lord. A Time Lord would continue walking forward as soon as the non inertia field dropped, giving anyone looking at him the impression he had known the entire time he was completely safe.
Time Lords do not vomit in public.
Alas this is more than a desire than an actual rule as the first few steps you would take after traveling from one universe to another might seem full of confidence and bravado, but that illusion would be shattered for you as it was for The Doctor as he went to his knees and saw everything he ever ate in his life make a hasty exit out of his mouth. Heaving in the middle of the night he thought to himself it was incredibly fortunate there was no one around to see him, as appearing out of thin air might have caused a few eyebrows to raise but he could have explained it, him on his knees forcefully discharging his stomachs contents would be too much for him to bear.
It was several minutes until he felt well enough to look up.
The moon looked down at him, her pale smile reminded him of a mother's compassion, as if she knew how horrible he felt about such a scene. The night air felt good on his skin as he took several deep breaths to counteract the feeling of nausea that swirled around his mind. It was about a minute more before it dawned on him.
He had made it.
He looked up again and he saw the slight differences in the building and surrounding area. This wasn't his Torchwood, this was Jack's. This was not his Cardiff, it was the other one. And this was not Pete's world, not the Trickster's place...
This was his.
He jumped up and then almost fell; down again as his body rebelled against his wishes and reminded him he had just traversed an entire dimension without the protection of a TARDIS. He sat there smiling until his stomach settled, after all, he had all the time in the world now.
“They're coming.” Mr. Smith said minutes after the Doctor had left.
Rose had stood there, watching the microscopic portal that had opened up to the time vortex in silence. She was at odds with herself and she wasn't sure which side was going to win. On the one hand, she knew how things were supposed to turn out because of the Bad Wolf entity. It had shown her the infinite paths of the this future, allowing her to be one step ahead of everyone so far. She understood now that this Doctor had to get free so that he could free her. She understood that Ten was in trouble, the real Ten, and that he was going to need help. Which meant helping this Doctor escape from the Trickster's Universe, that much was clear.
After that though the path became fuzzy.
Bad Wolf had shown her that he was becoming more and more erratic, his previous regenerations no longer able to be continued within his now human brain. If the process continued, if the bleed became worse, there was a very good chance he wasn't coming back for her. In fact it was more than a very good chance, it was almost a certainty he wouldn't.
Which would leave her stranded in a secure Torchwood facility after rendering everyone unconscious.
“How?” she asked moving out of the TARDIS room and down the endless hallway.
“I am not sure, I believe..” and Mr. Smith's perfect computer voice faltered “What I mean to say is that I think...” and he paused again.
“Luke” she said not able to hide the pride in her voice. That boy was a marvel. “Who is coming?” she asked stopping on front of a huge metal door with what looked like steel bars running through it.
“Everyone” Mr. Smith said in what sounded like a joke, until Rose remembered, the computer didn't know how to joke.
Pulling out her card she flashed it in front of the door and it slid open with a slow deliberateness. Inside the room was dark as night, but as she moved in several small flood lights began to flicker on, each one situated above a different alien weapon that had been captured by Torchwood and UNIT over the years. She moved in and grabbed the largest rifle she could find, it was light yet solid and looked like it carried a wallop.
She cocked the rifle and it began to glow “Let em come then.” she said with steel in her voice.
He could feel the field that surrounded the invisible lift with his mind.
The rift had bonded with the TARDIS years back when him and Rose had landed here for the first time and dealt with the Slitheen who was pretending to be the Mayor of Cardiff. She had wanted to use a nuclear power station to blow up the planet and use the resulting explosion as a shockwave so she could 'surf' home. In the end she was exposed to the heart of the TARDIS and regressed back to an egg. He had recalled how badly he wanted to bring that fat witch to justice and make her pay for that she had...
That wasn't him.
H shook his head as he forced his memories into place where he knew they belonged. It was Nine not Ten who had stopped the mayor, he hadn't been back to the rift with Rose. Yet he could remember all of it as if he was there, sitting in the diner, going to city hall, everything. He tried to remember it as Nine but nothing happened. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't remember it right. He couldn't remember who it was.
And then he couldn't remember what he was trying to do.
He sat up from the bench and looked around in confusion, what was he trying to do? He was sitting here, waiting...he had thought about how he could feel the field...
The rift had bonded with the TARDIS years back when him and Rose had landed here for the first time and dealt with the Slitheen who was pretending to be the Mayor of Cardiff. The area here had bonded with the TARDIS' chameleon field making the area where the lift came out completely unnoticeable. It wasn't invisibility proper where light moved around a person, it was more a perception field. Where people could see you they just tended not to. Since the field was just an extension of Gallifreyian technology it was child's play to reach out with his mind and surround himself with the field as well. After all he had no idea how long he would need to sit here, waiting for himself to arrive, the last thing he needed was Jack or a wandering policeman to wonder why that devilishly good looking man had been sitting there a fortnight.
He felt the perception field move around him like a blanket. Safe in its cloaking properties he was free to wander around the plaza without notice while he waited. This way he could stretch his legs and grab a paper while he waited. Also there was a hot dog stand across the way and he was suddenly ravished...and since he was invisible that made them the only thing better than a hot dog.
They were free hot dogs.
Ianto stood on the Cliffs of Dover and watched the team assemble.
Literally thousands of agents from all over England proper had begun to descend on the area from his order. Pete was coordinating them into a more manageable configuration, but Ianto didn't think it would matter in the least.
“You look worried.” Luke asked watching Ianto's face.
The man looked to the boy “I am.”
“You think they are gone?” he asked sounding a little sad.
“I hope they are.” Ianto said more to himself than an answer “If one or both of them down there I don't think this ends well.”
“But Pete is telling them they are to be taken alive!” Luke said with eyes wide in shock.
Ianto nodded towards the entrance “Do they know that?” he said grimly “They have an arsenal capable of destroying England forty times over down there. If I was trapped down there with an army up here trying to stop me, the first thing I would do is start turning things on to defend me.”
Luke stood there in silent shock as his mind raced through all the possibilities “But most of those weapons are deadly dangerous. If Rose and the Doctor use those against these men, they will retaliate in kind.”
Ianto nodded, the boy had now caught up with his own line of reasoning.
Luke stood and stared at the massive doors and said quietly “Well now I am worried too.”
After three hotdogs Luke style (extra mustard, ketchup, onions and relish for the WHOLE experience) the Doctor walked around the plaza wondering how long this would take. Time was relative of course but ever since becoming part human, he had found his patience to be sorely lacking. It wasn't the same knowing how things would turn out, being able to see the infinite paths of time ahead of you. And the not knowing led to wanting to know and you couldn't know until you got there it seems, which of course explained to him why most humans he met were crazy in one way or another. After all, what was the point of a story if you couldn't skip to the last chapter to make sure it all turned out ok?
Something about that last statement didn't sound right to him. There was a taste about it that left him soured almost, he began to mull it over in his mind when he saw the lift begin to rise. Since he was in the same field as the lift, he could see Jack standing in the center of the platform, a look of concern and anxiousness on his face.
According to the newspapers this was a few months after Ten had
stranded dumped abandoned exiled left Rose and him in the other dimension. Which meant he had no idea what was going on in this time and had to be careful. Folding the perception field over himself again, he made sure he could watch Jack while he remained invisible. There were questions Jack might want to ask that he had no answers for, and that would signal trouble in the former Time Agent's mind, trouble the Doctor did not need. Jack stood there, waiting for something in silence as the crowds around him ignored his presence. Long minutes passed, every one of them felt like a year to the Doctor, wondering if this was going to be his chance. He was almost ready to walk over and shake the information out of Jack himself when he heard it. A sound he had heard a million times before, but never like this.
It was the sound of his TARDIS materializing, but not his TARDIS.
There was something missing, something faded about the sound. Like an old recording of a magnificent orchestra, none of the real beauty is there, but you can tell they were damn good at the time. He tried not to stare opened jawed as the blue box began to fade into the small corner around the building, right out of place and mind. As it settled into its spot he smiled automatically as if seeing an old friend from across the room. And then began to panic as he saw the door open and The Doctor walked out.
Perception fields be damned, if a half human clone could see through the perception field, a full blown Time Lord would do it twice as fast. He ducked behind the hot dog stand, pulling out his stethoscope and placing them in his ears. He pointed the end at the two of them as Jack made his way towards the Doctor, who seemed lost in thought.
“Doctor?” Jack exclaimed from behind him. Though he was sure no one alive would have noticed, he could tell that Jack had gotten way too close to him without notice, which meant whatever was wrong, it was preying on his mind with worry.
“Jack!” the Doctor said holding out his hands and then making a face. He winced as he saw Jack take the Doctor's show of welcome and turn it into an excuse to flirt as he hugged him back and let his hands wander downwards.
The Doctor took a half step back “Ok” he said more to himself “Donna? Remember?” he said to Jack as if reminding a dog that jumping up was bad.
“You sir are and old fuddy duddy.” Jack said smiling.
“And don't forget it. Take me to her.” the Doctor said more serious now. As he watched them walk to the lift and vanish from sight, he wondered if he had heard them correctly? Was Donna in trouble? If so did that mean...
He closed his eyes and concentrated again, gathering his thoughts together. He knew what he had to do next and worrying wasn't going to help. He needed the TARDIS and that meant waiting to see how long the Doctor would be down there. No use and trying to borrow it if he was going to come running up to the surface minutes later. Pulling out his jury rigged sonic screwdriver he began to fiddle with it, modifying it to detect Gallifreyian energy signatures, with that he should be able to at least approximate where the Doctor was.
The signal was strong and steady for about the next twenty minutes, indicating the Doctor was still in Torchwood. But after that the signal began to get weaker and weaker as it if pulling away from Cardiff altogether. Seeing his chance he began to make his way towards the TARDIS.
He stopped at the door, his heart pounding in excitement, he had forgotten how much he had missed all this. He put his hand out to the door and tried to open the door, and found it stuck. Pushing harder the door rattled a bit but remained closed, even when he moved to using both hands to force it open. He shook the door again, but he already knew he wasn't getting it open, he didn't have the key. The TARDIS would know he wasn't the Doctor and without a key, she wouldn't let him in at all. He rested his head against the door for a moment in frustration, to come this far to be stopped by a lock, it just wasn't fair. He stood there for a good five minutes, wondering what he was to do now. Wait for his other self to show up? Which would be disastrous since he had gone through such lengths to make his involvement almost invisible. Odds were if he had gone through all the trouble to remain unnoticed, he would continue to do so if confronted, so waiting wasn't an option. Staying here wasn't one either, Rose was waiting for him and he was still losing his mind.
Which left getting inside.
“Oh do move!” One said from within his mind and pushed the others out of the way. Taking a few steps back he stood up straight and gathered himself up tall and said to the box “You know who I am and you know what I need. I have no times for games old girl, we have work to do. Now either let me in...” and his voice got deep “...or suffer the consequences.” He began to walk forward and snapped his fingers at the door. He was not the least surprised to find the door swing open and let him in. They closed behind him quietly, as the other Doctors in his mind marveled at his performance.
“Nonsense” One said to them “It is all in how you carry yourself.” Turning mentally to Ten “You had tasks you wished to accomplish?”
Ten took over the body and found himself standing in front of the control panel in awe. He was here, he was really here. He stroked his hand over the controls and smiled, it was like being home again.
“Ok then” he said moving the dials quickly “First off, we need to find us a Donna Noble to fix!” he slammed the lever up and felt the TARDIS begin to vanish around him and proclaimed “Allons-y!"
To be continued...