Sunday, December 31, 2006

An abortive BC story

8: Into the Abyss

The Observer stares at Rose.

Observer: Yeah. I haven't been called that in a while. Yeah, I'm the Doctor.

Jake: You look nothing like him.

Rose bashes Jake's gun away, furious.

Rose: What does that matter?! (to Observer) You came for us. You came back.

Mickey: No.

Rose: Shut it, Mickey.

Mickey: It's not him. Remember? He can't come back. This is the Doctor of this universe.

Observer: Such big talk. So, you two from another universe then? Fantastic! How's it done? I've always wanted to visit the universe where there was no shrimp! Imagine that! (rises) I'm the... well, the Doctor, but you can call me Observer if it's a bit confusing. I suppose I don't need to tell you lot I am a Time Lord from a planet called Gallifrey and when it comes to unusual, time distorting chaos like our friend Bunny over there, I know where of I speak?

Rose: (sighs) Not the Doctor.

Observer: But I'm sure I'll do in the meantime. Say, why don't you sit down, take that awesome weight off your feet. We have lots of stuff to discuss.

In Central Control, Deeka approaches a swivel throne. On this sits a well-dressed woman in robes, called Badwolf.

Deeka: The mutant was not terminated, Badwolf. We don't know what happened to it?

Badwolf: A creature like this suggests that the census is not truly affective.

Deeka: The census is working, Badwolf. The most we have detected until today was 0.0003 per cent imperfection. Our society is well within limits.

Badwolf: Where there is one creature, there will be more. The scriptures and the Holy Mother was very clear on this topic. Only perfection is allowed. Unless the creature is found by tonight, the Judgement of Humanity will take place.

Deeka looks horrified.

Deeka: You might kill millions.

Badwolf: Why not? They should already be dead in the termination centre. We must survive, Deeka. And survive as perfection - nothing less.

Elsewhere, everyone is listening to the Observer tell his tale.

Observer: I traced the signal and materialized just as Bell here was walking to his doom.

Ben: One of my luckier escapes.

Jake: Right. So... Mr Chatham here has pushed history off course and created a nightmare future, and we have to change it back now?

Observer: While the original one is frozen in time, time is unfrozen, if you get my drift.

Rose: In flux. It can be rewritten.

Observer: (surprised) Yeah. Exactly. And the Time Lords, gosh they hate that so much. In fact, a while ago, there was a talk of this multiverse conflict... (sees their expressions) Sorry. Don't get a chance to talk much nowadays. So, anyway, I think Bartolemew over here has established that your project to rewrite human DNA is pretty much a bad one.

Mickey: Don't worry, Doc, I just canceled it.

Ben: I thought she was in charge.

Mickey: (grins) Business restructure.

Rose: Oh, you are so sleeping on the couch tonight.

Mickey: Not enough room in the bed, anyway.

Rose: Oi! (smacks his arm) Look... friend. I'm not after conquering the world. I'm happy with it the way it is, but it's not gonna stay that way. People are sick, babies aren't being born. I put this off for so long. But if Pete Tyler's daughter takes it and her baby is fine, people will listen.

Ben: Will they? And is it worth the price?

Rose: What price?

Ben: There are people being killed, Mrs Smith! Being dragged into cells and slaughtered because their genes aren't perfect! And that's because of what you're going to do!

Rose: I don't want that! I'll stop it, I'll write a bible or something...

Observer: A book can be altered. Misinterpreted.

Rose: I can change it! It won't be like that... and I don't know if it IS like that! You're not the real Doctor, and this idiot (points to Ben) is so thick he doesn't realize that most of his campus hate his guts! Yeah, checked out the files at Cambridge. There are social diseases more popular than you! So why should I endanger the whole human race for what you say?

The Observer shrugs and shows her the photo of the Doctor.

Observer: I dunno what he was like. But if he was like me, he wouldn't lie about this.

Rose closes her eyes, as if in pain. After a moment she speaks.

Rose: My sister is called Angel. She is going to grow up in a world where the only other kids are mine. She's going to grow up in a world of old people, sick people, and no hope. (opens eyes) You think I'm going to let that happen?

Ben: Put your money where your mouth is then.

Rose: What?

Ben: Come on, Observer. Let's take a trip to the future. She if she's happy with what she's done!

Jake: No way, she's too delicate to go.

Observer: My TARDIS, very smooth, Commander. Come on. This is a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated look into alternative time. Guaranteed that no matter what we see, we can annul it. My people have destroyed whole solar systems for less.

The Observer rises.

Observer: Ready?

He strides towards the wall and vanishes. Ben follows. The others exchange looks.

Mickey: You up for this?

Rose: I'm right Mickey. And this will just prove it.

Mickey: All right. And if I'm right?

Rose: Then I'm going to be very scared.

She's not joking. They quietly walk forwards and vanish as well.

Jake is looking quietly freaked. Rose and Mickey wander around. The Observer works at the console. The time rotor starts moving.

Mickey: Nice. I like it. Better than the other Doctor's.

Observer: Well, this is a new model. Company car, you might call it. No soul, not like my old one. There we go. London, two hundred years in a future based on Rose pumping her child full of second hand alien gene bleach.

He turns to face the hexagonal scanner screen, which displays an image of the city, of the people in it and finally a huge statue we cannot see clearly.

Rose: All those people...

Ben: All? There's less people then there are now. And there are fewer all the time.

Observer: Every few hours, the people are subjected to a census. Anyone failing is taken away and atomized. Ironic, but they're facing extinction as well. They're not sterile, but they're cleansing themselves faster than they can replace their numbers.

Mickey: I don't get it. I mean, if they're all one kind of people, what's the problem?

Rose: Yeah. The chemical makes one type only.

Ben: Obviously then it doesn't work.

Rose: It does work!

Observer: Maybe some kind of later mutation in the cells? Getting worse all the time. Of course, instead of
evolving, they just cull their own numbers.

Rose: I'll stop this, I'll flood the internet with messages of what not to do.

Ben: What's to say you already didn't?

Rose: Look, they're human, they survived! They're out there now, building things, falling in love, doing what human beings do! It's what I wanted! OK, some nutters got a bee in their bonnet about genetic purity, I'll just make sure that...

Observer: Aye aye. Look at this.

The scanner zooms out to show a huge statue of Rose, cradling a toddler. Its base is marked ROSLYN SMITH - PERFECT FEMALE - HOLY MOTHER.

Mickey: Yeah. Made a big impression, eh, sweetheart?

Observer: Good likeness. You've become a goddess, Rose Smith.

Rose: Not the first time.

Observer: Well then, I don't know about you, but I think it's time for the second coming!

He operates more controls. The scanner zooms in on the statue head.

In a grand temple, a silver cylinder fills the centre of the room. Badwolf kneels in prayer before the cylinder. Other acolytes are present.

Badwolf: Oh Holy Mother, who saw the light of truth and made it burn like the sun in the hearts of all her children, I beg of you to share the knowledge with me. The good are threatened, the hope is lost, and the evil refuse to be vanquished. I beg of you to return and give me guidance.

She places her hands on the floor before the cylinder. A low whirr fills the air, followed by a wheezing groaning sound. The Observer appears.

Observer: Evening, all.

There are shouts and cries. Badwolf whirls to face him.

Badwolf: You... creature, how dare you profane the inner sanctum?

Observer: Please, please, no disrespect meant. And I'm not imperfect, I'm not even human. Not remotely. Well, once, but never again. I'm here as a visitor from my world, and I bring you a gift you could never dream of in a millennia of Sundays.

Badwolf: What is this... gift?

Observer: I've brought you your Holy Mother. Say hello to Rose Smith.

Rose appears beside him, followed by the others. All bar Badwolf fall to their knees.

Acolytes: It is her. It is her. It is her.

Badwolf: You are false. That is not the Holy Mother.

Rose: I am too. Statue not big enough for you to recognize!

Badwolf: You are not the Holy Mother!

Observer: She is. I am a Time Lord, and I have brought her through time to speak with you.

Badwolf: I have no need of this. I commune with the Holy Mother herself. I am Badwolf!

Rose rubs her eyes and shakes her head.

Rose: Bad wolf? I don't believe it...

Mickey: Seriously, is there an anecdote for that? Were you mauled as a baby or something?

Rose: Shut it, Mickey. Look, I am Roslyn Marion Tyler-nee-Smith. I dare say you can check my DNA and if you don't know what the real one is, then you're not much of a cult...

Badwolf: I need nothing. I know Rose Smith.

Ben: How? She must be dead by now.

Rose: Thanks a lot.

Ben: Come on, Mrs Smith, two hundred years, it's not surprising, is it?

Badwolf: She lives.

The cylinder opens.

Badwolf: She rests the rest of the just as the world keeps turning on the slow path. Imposters, behold the true holy mother!

Smoke inside the cylinder clears to show a blonde woman in a white robe. Jake, Mickey and Rose look on in horror. The Observer narrows his eyes.

Observer: The true Holy Mother?

Jake: (shocked) Jackie!

Mickey: (even more shocked) Jackie?

Rose: (totally shocked) Mum?

To be continued in 9: Harsh Truths

An abortive BC story

7: Crisis Point

Just as Griffin is about to inject Rose, a sharp two-tone alert starts squawking in the background.

Griffin: What the hell's going on?

Rose: Perimeter compromised! (struggles to sit up) Link us up to security section.

PA: Torchwood compromised. Lockdown in effect.

Rose: No, wait! Griffin, get the security...

PA: Lockdown in effect.

Suddenly, all the computer screens turn to static and shut down. The lights go out and are replaced with dim green emergency lighting. Rose sighs.

Rose: OK. Change of plan. Gimme my clothes, somebody. We've got problems.

Lower in Torchwood Tower, Mickey and Jake stand beside a vandalized junction box.

Jake: So, "diagonal thinking" means "smash everything" does it?

Mickey: Never fails. Like the Doc said, "when in doubt, everything out".

They high five.

Mickey: Come on, let's get back to work.

Jake: What if he managed to treat Rose before lockdown?

Mickey: He won't have.

Jake: Why?

Mickey: (firmly) Because she has to be all right. She HAS to be.

In Rose's office, Ben is still frozen in time. There is a wheezing groan, and then the Observer and Ben emerge from thin air.

Observer: ... D - I - S. Stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space, as sort of machine that travels through time. And space, but that's not half as impressive. Course, the old ones turned into everyday objects as a disguise, but these new ones were invisible. My old one, well, I say it was mine, got stuck as - hold up.

Ben: What the...?

The Observer scans the frozen Ben with a handheld tool.

Observer: Well, well, Balazar, seems I was wrong. You do have some kind of destiny, here and now, today. But when that activated, you were unable to do it, that's why when you went into the future, that future was so different. (pockets tool) So, go on, what were your plans for today? Inventing something? Marrying someone? Write a book?

Ben: Well, I was going to finish up at the dig and then...

Observer: You're an archaeologist?

Ben: Amateur.

Observer: Yeah, with those hands, it's easy to tell. No, not some fad...

Ben: It's not a fad...

Observer: In the big picture, everything is a fad. No... maybe you're not important as yourself, but what you do this Director Smith. What's she like?

Ben: Like?

The Observer starts shuffling through the desk.

Observer: Simple question. What do we have here? Notepaper, a copy of Hello, memos, memos, a cartoon drawing of a police box? Fancy that, haven't seen one of those in ages, a diary... (pockets that) might come in handy.

Ben: Hey, you can't...

Observer: A mobile phone that isn't working, with what looks like... Gallifreyan technology installed into the sim card. Definitely wrong. (pockets it) Oh, and a framed photo. More than one.

He pulls out a handfull of photos in frames.

Observer: Rose Smith. She's beautiful. For a human. Don't tell me. That's her, that's her husband, her parents, maybe? Bit old to be having kids, aren't they? Some prat in a brown coat, what is he thinking with that hair? And Miss Smith...

He trails off. He hands Ben the photo.

Observer: Care to explain that?

Ben: It's you.

Observer: Yeah. It's me. With Rose Smith at Brighton Peer and I am wearing a Kiss Me Quick hat. When I've never met Rose Smith before, and I avoid Brighton after the nineteenth century.

Ben: Wierd.

Observer: Yeah, sums up the situation.

Rose enters the main floor. A large crowd of troops and workers are present. She awkwardly finishes tugging down her shirt. Jake and Mickey are the near the front.

Rose: Some of us were busy with doctors and nurses, all right?

Mickey: Did you go through with it then?

Rose: No, you can be happy. So, what's the situation?

Jake: Sabotage on level 4, someone who knew what they were doing. It's triggered a chain reaction, we're in lockdown indefinitely. Nothing gets in and out.

Rose: Lockdown are on a timer unless I say so.

Mickey: Not this time, sweetheart. Damage is too bad.

Rose: What, you're saying we're all trapped in here?

Jake: There's the link up to the Thames floodstation base, that's still clear. We'd be able to get out, but not back in.

Mickey: All or nothing.

Rose: And no one can get in here.

Mickey: That's what's designed to. All windows, doors, everything sealed off.

Jake: We'll start to suffocate soon. We'll have to evacuate.

Rose: What? Abandon all this? This is humanity's last hope!

Jake: It's not like we can carry any of this stuff. It's either stay here and die, or leave.

Rose: Leave and die!

Mickey: Everything dies, Rose. We gotta learn to deal with that.

Rose: No, we are staying here.

Mickey: Come on, babe. What would the Doctor do, huh?

Rose advances on him.

Rose: Well, considering you're the one who was telling me to forget about him for the last year, that's an odd question. But I tell you what he'd do. He'd find out what went wrong, WHO betrayed all of Torchwood and then he'd made them fix it.

Mickey: Don't look at me, babe, I was with Jake.

Jake nods.

Rose: And how do I know he's not in on it?

Jake: In on what?

The rest of staff are now staring at Rose.

Mickey: Sweetheart, Jake was here since the beginning. So was I. I think, carrying a baby around twenty four seven isn't doing your head any good. OK? Now, as second in command of the Torchwood Institute...

Rose: Oh, no you don't...

Mickey: With the power invested in me by President Harriet Jones of the Republic of Great Britain, I hereby assume all executive control of the complex.

Rose moves to grab him, but Jake stops her.

Jake: What's the problem, Rose. You're going on maternity leave next week, weren't you?

Rose continues to glare at Mickey.

Rose: I underestimated you, Mickey.

Mickey: You don't do anything else, sweetheart. As my first order of business, the Regeneration project is closed. Now that's done, I want a head count. Once we know everyone's here, I want you to gather torches, food supplies, as much water as we can get, and then we are evacuating. The auxiliary computers in Number 10 will have absorbed all out data, so basically, this place is just a junk shop now. So, move it!

The group starts to break up.

Rose: Do you even know what you're doing, Mickey? You'll kill us all.

Mickey looks at her.

Mickey: How many times do I have to come back for you before you wake up, Rose. I love you. And the baby. And, maybe, just maybe, you're not right this time. Even the Doctor admitted that.

Rose: But I am right!

Mickey: Time will tell, sweetheart. Time will tell.

The Observer sits in Rose's chair, feet on her desk, studying the picture. Ben is pacing, casting looks at his frozen doppleganger.

Ben: But what's happened? All the lights are off, I can't get a signal...

Observer: Lockdown. And keep away from that frozen you.

Ben: Or what?

Observer: 'Zap'.

Ben: 'Zap'?

Observer: 'Zap'. It's the technical term for it. You know, I don't think this photo is of me. You can tell by the eyes. It's not me. It looks like me - same, devilishly handsome good looks, face full of clavicles, but it isn't. So, it's either some clone or genetic duplicate, or else...

Rose, Mickey and Jake enter the room.

Observer: Oh. (waves) Hello?

Rose and Mickey boggle as Jake draws his gun.

Jake: And who the hell are you?

Rose: (sounds lost) Doctor?

An abortive BC story

Well, Spara wants more, so I'll post it here, where he'll never find it. Bwahahahahahahahaaaahhaha.


6: Escape to Danger

Ben calmly approaches the hatch. Beyond is whiteness.

Krella: Don't despair, CHAV. The Holy Mother embraces all her offspring. You'll face perfection in the final realm. Hey, if we didn't believe that, this whole society would be insane!

Krella chuckles. Ben shakes the gadget in his hand. Nothing.

Ben: Oh, God... this is it. This is real.

He steps forward into the hatch. It closes after him. Krella sighs.

Krella: Nice mind, but what a body...

She shudders.

Ben opens his eyes. He is standing in a circular room with a vaulted ceiling. Standing at a narrow, triangular console is a man with short hair, big ears and a leather jacket. At his touch, the doors behind Ben close and the cylinder in the middle of the console starts to rise and fall. The man turns to face Ben and beams.

Observer: Ah! Speak of the Devil!

He snatches the gadget off Ben and peers at it, then glares at Ben.

Observer: Have you been messing about with this?

Elsewhere, Mickey is pacing while Jake taps at the computer.

Jake: Well, it seems you're only locked out for the next day.

Mickey: Giving her plenty of time to pump that muck in her belly.

Jake: Come on, Mickey. You know Rose. If there was any danger to the baby, a squad of Cybermen couldn't get her on that operating table.

Mickey: No, no, Jake, she THINKS there isn't any danger. Big difference.

Jake: You showed me the test results.

Mickey: For intertile cell structures! Not fertile ones! Not eight and a half months pregnant ones from a different universe on the far side of the Void ones! It's not safe.

Jake: So... why hasn't she tested it.

Mickey: She is, she's doing it to herself! Cause all the computers say unless we start now, humanity will be lucky to see out the decade, let alone the century. Now, that baby is 50 per cent mine, and I say 'no'.

Jake: You're sure?

Mickey: What?

Jake: That it's yours.

Mickey silently approaches Jake.

Mickey: Are you saying what I think you're saying, Jakey boy?

Jake: I mean, all I'm sayin is - you counted the heart beats?

Mickey: What?

Jake: (lowers eyes) Griffin got wasted at Christmas. Says that, during the ultra sound, she made damn sure he counted how many hearts he could here. He said there were two.

Mickey is silent.

The man in the leather jacket is wiring up the gadget to the console.

Observer: This is an Ameralian teleporter. Musta got soaked in artron energy before it arrived on Earth. The Ameralians use it to jump from place to place, using their mental energy. You musta been terrified when you used it, and instead of jumping through space, through time.

Ben: I wasn't terrified!

Observer: Well, you don't look like you were the happiest you'd ever been and I doubt anythin else coulda set this off. But somehow, you've pushed time entirely out of shape. You jumped into the future and pushed that future so off the beaten track, they sent me, muggins here, to sort it out. I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to humans.

Ben: And who are you?

Observer: Just an observer. Passin through. So, tell me... What scared you death?

Ben: You ever hear of Rose Smith?

Observer: Nope.

Ben: Torchwood?

Observer: Never heard of it. Is it an acronym?

Ben: No... look. You're an alien, right?

Observer: The rightest alien you'll ever meet, Bert.

Ben: Ben.

Observer: Ben. Whatever.

Ben: Look, it's a long story.

Observer: The best to tell. (works at the console for a few moments) Well? Go on.

Mickey and Jake are now inches apart.

Mickey: You think that the Doctor is the father? Is that it?

Jake: I dunno. Griffin was wasted, like I said. He was telling a story, he passed out before the end of it... But you said the Doctor had two hearts.

Mickey: Oh yeah, Jake, I did. And I also said, Rose is eight and a half months gone. And when did we last see the Doctor? A year ago. A year and a day. And he was a hologram at the time. Last time we saw him in the flesh, it was fifteen months ago.

Jake: Maybe Time Babies take longer than nine months.

Mickey: Are you looking for a bruise, Jake?

Jake: (grins) More a snog.

Mickey laughs, despite everything.

Mickey: Man, time and a place. Time and a place. (sobers) We've gotta stop Rose.

Jake: Yeah. Trouble is, she's our boss. She's higher up, smarter, clever, cuter, she's got this entire institute on her side and she knows we're onto her. Plus, she's really worked on the bambi eyes lately, so no one's gonna go against her.

Mickey: Plus she learned all the tricks from the most dangerous bloke in both universes.

Jake: So, we're basically screwed.

Mickey: Oh no. I was with the Doctor too, you know.

Jake: And he gave you a trick did he?

Mickey: Yeah. It's called diagonal thinking.

Jake: You mean 'lateral'?

Mickey: Nah, this is way more extreme than just lateral.

The Observer is pacing around the console.

Observer: Things like this never go well. You always go at your own pace, you do not, ever, steal alien technology and reverse engineer it. It never works. Unforeseen side effects, long term social mutation, cats and dogs living together, this is bad on so many levels.

Ben: She says it's the only way to save mankind.

Observer: Oh, come on, Barry, how many dictators use that as their excuse? On the other hand, she's clever. She must be clever. I mean, to succeed, even in a parallel timeline... Does she strike you as the sort that would purge genetically impure humans?

Ben: No. Her husband's black.

Observer: (chuckles) Honestly, you lot. So superficial. But that's a good sign. If this future isn't what she wanted, then that means something went wrong. Really wrong. Something linked to you being taken out of time. Now, what's so special about you?

Ben: Uh. I've got a first from Cambridge.

Observer: And?

Ben: That's it, pretty much.

Observer: What's your name?

Ben: Ben Chatham.

Observer: Never heard of you before. And I've heard of everyone. You're not famous, you're not on the radar, so why are you so important? (blinks) Cosmically speaking, I mean, everyone's important. Just cause a wandering Time Lord hasn't heard of you don't mean you've wasted your life, I'm just talking in temporal terms. No offence, yeah? Thought not. OK, Baxter, time to subdivide our forces. First thing first, return you to your customary time and place. You say Smith wanted you to be the first to be made fertile?

Ben: It's what she said.

He starts operating controls.

Observer: And you believe her, so as long as you aren't injected, that history cannot happen. There you go, Blake, you are important! Bless!

In the operating theatre, Rose is wearing a gown, sitting on the bench. A nurse has taken her blood pressure. Griffin is attaching cables to her shoulder, chest, leg and forehead.

Griffin: Your blood pressure is higher than I'd like, Director...

Rose: It's been kicking a lot and it's a hard day. Go on.

Griffin: All right. Just lie back.

Rose does so, putting her legs into the styrrups. Griffin is still undecided.

Rose: Look, if you don't wanna do this, you don't have to be the staff gynaecologist. Do it.

Griffin: Yes, Director.

The nurse lifts a circle of the gown covering Rose's engorged stomach.

Griffin: The chemical has been treated as you requested. It will take five minutes to complete the process, and then your... child will be complete.

Rose smiles.

Rose: Fantastic.

To be continued...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tenth Doc/Rose Love Ballad

Song for Ten by the Sycoraxic War Orphan fund

In the depths of the TARDIS is a room full of clothes. Each piece a memory, a thought, an idea. And a blank canvas has so little chance to choose what will become of it. Pieces are discarded, some a kept, and then it is time for Christmas dinner, time to be domestic... while they still can.

Well, I woke up today
And the world was a restless place
It could have been that way for me
And I wandered around
And I thought of your face
That Christmas looking back at me


I wish today could be like every other day
Cause today has been the best day

Everything I ever dreamed...
And I started to walk
Pretty soon I will run
And I’ll come running back to you

Cause you are my star
And that’s what you are
I had a merry time with you


I wish today could be like every other day
Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed

So have a good life
Do it for me
Make me so proud
Like you want me to be
Wherever you are
I’m thinking of you
Oceans apart
I want you to know...


When I woke up today
And you’re on the other side
Our time will never come again
But if you can still dream
Close your eyes and you’ll see
That you can see me now and then


I wish today could be like every other day
Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed!

I wish today could be like every other day
Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed...

from Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion

Series Three Spoilers

The series three spoilers

1: Smith & Jones by RTD
A hospital containing medical Martha Jones is drawn to the moon by the rhino-faced, Sontaranesque Jundoon...

2: The Shakespeare Code by Gareth Roberts
Just like A Groatsworth of Wit. But with cackling witches instead of demonic ghosts.

3: Flesh & Bone by RTD
Back to New Earth of the year 5 billion and 23, where the Face of Boe, Novice Hame and Ardal O'Hanlan as a cat in an aviator's cap who doesn't believe the Doctor's a hitchhiker. You are not alone.

4 & 5: Daleks in Manhatten by Helen Raynor
Showgirls! Daleks! Maybe Ogrons? What else matters?!?

6: The Lazarus Project by Stephen Greenhorn
In the Millennium Centre of Cardiff, Professor Lazarus shreds fifty years of age in front of an astonished crowd. But everything has its price, and soon the deaths begin...

7: 42 by Chris Chinball
No idea. Hopefully better than his Torchwood eps. Perhaps involving half-human hybrids terrorizing American settlers. Or the Cybermen. Dunno, really.

8 & 9: The Family of Blood by Paul Cornell
If it is a remake of Human Nature, it's hiding well. The Doctor and Martha arrive a bording school where the tradition for a Spaced regular to play a worryingly familiar villain, as Jessica Stevenson plays the evil chemist Head Matron after Simon Pegg as the evil mastermind the Editor...

10: Untitled by Stephen Moffat
The return of Captain Jack... and two years of his memory...

11: Utopia by RTD
No TARDIS crew this week. Or the Ice Warriors. Or the Doctor's son.

12 & 13: Untitled by RTD
Weeeeeeeeeelll, the rumors have the Doctor arrive on a planet where the natives worship the Face of Boe and a colony of surviving Time Lords. They ain't pleased to see the Doctor either... oh, and Derek Jacobi regenerates into the bloke from Life on Mars who is playing the Master. Just like David Jason, a bloke off Big Brother, Simon Pegg and Anthony Stewart Head...

Tenth Doc/Rose Love Ballad

It's Christmas Eve, a wedding reception under way. The bride and groom dance, the bridesmaid and best man dance, everyone is happy and jiving. Except for the man by the bar in the pin stripe suit and spectacles. He sees a woman on the dance floor. A laughing woman, with long blonde hair. And this lonely man remembers a different blonde, on another world, five billion years in the future. Gone forever. But not dead. So, so alive...

Love Don't Roam by RTD and the Bad Wolf Beat Combo

I've roamed about this Earth
With just a suitcase in my hand
And I've met some bug-eyed joes
I've met the blessed, I've met the damned.

But of all the strange, strange creatures
In the air, at sea, on land
Oh, my girl, my girl, my precious girl
I love you, you understand?

So reel me in, my precious girl
Come on, take me home
Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Well, I have wandered, I have rambled
I have crossed this crowded sphere
And I've seen a mess of problems
That I long to disappear

And all I have is this anguished heart
Cause you have vanished too
Oh, my girl, my girl, my precious girl
Just what is this man to do?

So reel me in, my precious girl
Come on, take me home
Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Yeah, reel me in, my precious girl
Come on, take me home
Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Well, you took me in, you stole my heart
I cannot roam no more.
Cause love, it stays within you
It doesn’t wash upon a shore

A fighting man forgets each knock
Each knock, each bruise, each fall
Ah, but a fighting man cannot forget
Why his love don’t roam no more!

Yeah, reel me in, my precious girl
Come on, take me home
Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Come on, reel me in, my precious girl
Come on, take me home
Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Yeah, walk with me, my love, my love
Walk tall, walk proud, walk far
Cause you know, you know, you know, you know
You are my shining star!

Come on, walk with me, my love, my love
Walk tall, walk proud, walk far
Cause you know, you know, you know, you know
You are my shining star!!

Yes, you know, you know, you know, you know
You are my shining star!!
Cause you know, you know, you know, you know
You are my shining STAR!!

from Doctor Who: The Runaway Bride...

Friday, December 29, 2006

An abortive BC story

Following Spara's challenge, I wrote this. It depressed me, I stopped and maybe Cameron J Mason might finish it. Or maybe not.

Ben Chatham in...


1: Suffer the Children

Zeppelins fly through the sky, passing Torchwood Tower. The Head of Torchwood, Rose Tyler, sits in her desk in her office. Mickey Smith enters in a sharp suit looking over some print outs. The mood is sombre.

Rose: Nothing on the scanner today?

Mickey: (not looking up from papers) No, babe, same answer as yesterday and the day before that and every day since you started broadcasting. (puts down papers) Look, Rose, you gotta accept it. It's over. It ended at Bad Wolf Bay - not our fault, not his fault, but we're on our own now. The Doctor can't help us.

Rose: I know, I know! But there was another you in this universe, another dad, another mum. Why not another Doctor?

Mickey: Maybe his war with the Daleks actually ended here. There wasn't another you here. Maybe he wasn't born here either. Or maybe he's so different he couldn't care less about Earth.

Rose: That signal is set specifically to his TARDIS. He's got to pick it up!

Mickey: You mean, the TARDIS that he stole? The one that, if it exists, might belong to its proper owner, who doesn't go round the universe stirring up trouble? (sighs) Stochastic reports, sweetheart. Twelve times, same thing every time. Adapt or die.

Rose: There's got to be another way.

Mickey: We're still looking, but all the computers say the same. Unless we start by tomorrow, it won't work anyway.

Rose: And there's still not contact with any aliens?

Mickey: Nah. I told you, the Sycorax deal ended different here. A lot more screaming and threats - as far as the rest of the universe is concerned, Earth is marked "HERE BE MONSTERS". No one's coming. At least not soon enough to change things.

A chime. The wall screen lights up, showing Jake.

Jake: Mr Smith. Mrs Smith. Got a wandering idiot in the Fylingdale op. He says he's claiming his constitutional rights and he wants to contact the head of Torchwood.

Mickey: (rolls eyes) And we have to let him?

Jake: Unless President Jones rethinks the constitution.

Rose: (rubs eyes) OK, Jake. Put him through.

A blonde haired man is shoved into view. Mickey checks a palm computer.

Mickey: Benjamin Sebastian Chatham, archaeological student from Oxford. So, student boy, why aren't you smart enough to understand signs saying 'Torchwood - Keep Out'?

Ben: This is my dig. I started it three weeks ago.

Rose: According to the Xenotech Protocol act of 20.8 paragraph three, subsection two, Torchwood has full rights to all areas classified as alien incursions until as and when the situation is declared safe for citizens and Torchwood withdrawn. Don't you watch the news?

Ben: You're the same lot that took away my ear pods, you know how much they cost?

Mickey: You're lucky to still have your life. The ear pods are unsafe. The Presidium can give you all the details you want, student boy. So, if you want to go back to your rooms, we'll let you back in once the xeno tech is examined.

Ben: What? Like THIS xeno-tech?!

He holds up what looks like a sonic screwdriver with a crystal ball on the end.

Ben: I found it first, my privilege. So, if you want it, you can clear off my site.

Rose: We could just take it from you. It's within the law.

Ben: It's within the law to smash it here and now.

Rose: (annoyed) Look, Mr.... Chatham, was it? What do you want? If that's all the xeno-tech, give it to us and we'll be gone before lunch time.

Ben: I want, Mrs Smith, for you lot never to bother me again.

Mickey: (brightly) Oh, easy. Commander Simmonds there will just blow your head off.

Rose: Leave him alone, Mickey. (to Ben) You want some kind of official document? So you can wave it in our faces and make you leave us alone?

Ben: Oh, and some recompense for the time wasted and damage done.

Mickey: Seriously. We can shoot you. Not joking.

Rose: All right! Jake, keep searching for further evidence, and try not to make a mess. Have him brought here to me, and we can do a deal like proper human beings.

Ben: At last! I'm part of the Archaeological Preservers Trust, and we've been campaigning for Torchwood autonomy for the last two year--

Rose: Yeah, thanks for sharing, Mr. Chatham.

She switches off the screen.

Rose: God, as if things weren't bad enough.

Mickey: What are you going to do about him?

Rose: Get some very specific retcon brewed, Mickey. I want him to not remember anything about this dig and also be extremely mellow when it comes to outside interference.

Mickey makes a note.

Mickey: We are using that stuff too much nowadays.

Rose: Needs must when the devil drives, Mickey.

Mickey heads for the exit.

Mickey: The Doctor, he'd be real glad to see how you haven't changed.

Rose: I do what I have to do, Mickey. For us. For the human race.

She rises from her desk. She's eight months pregnant.

Rose: For our children.

2: Better the Devil...

Under guard, Ben Chatham is taken by a Torchwood van into an underground basement. After four security checks - passcard, voice recognition, retinal scan, they enter a lift and emerge on the top floor of Torchwood Tower. Ben is marched through to the glass office where Rose is placing three cups of tea on the desk. Mickey is looking out the window.

Rose: Ah, Mr. Chatham. Do sit down. You have milk or sugar in your tea?

Ben: (suspicious) I'll just have it plain.

Rose shrugs and puts aside the milk and sugar. She sits behind her desk.

Rose: You know how old I am, Mr. Chatham?

Ben: No.

Rose: Twenty-one. And you know what I've learned after all those years? You don't get something for nothing. There's always a price. And at the end of the day, the only choice we have is whether we are going to pay that price. You still with me?

Ben: Of course. I'm not an idiot.

Mickey: Course not. You gotta a first from Cambridge. Then again, standards are going downhill.
Ben glares at him.

Ben: Do you mind? I'm speaking to the organ grinder. Not the monkey.

Mickey: (smiles) If I'm the monkey, YOU are the hat we get the spare change in.

Ben: Look, I want to get on with my studies without you lot pestering me. Promise me that, and you can have this gadget.

He holds it up. Rose moves to take it, but Ben pulls it out of reach.

Ben: Deal?

Rose: (sighs) Any idea what it is?

Mickey runs his palm pilot near the device.

Mickey: Some kind of field generator. Still working, but that's all I can make out.

Rose: Any obvious use?

Mickey shakes his head.

Rose: Pity. All right, Mr. Chatham. Those are your terms. These are mine. You'll get your carte blanch - but first I want you to answer a question.

Ben: Go on?

Rose: When was the last time you saw a pregnant woman?

Ben: Just now. You. Obviously.

Rose: And before that?

Ben is quiet.

Rose: This year? Last year, maybe? When was the last time you saw a newborn baby?

Ben: (shrugs) I don't know. A couple of months ago.

Rose: And not one since. You heard about Barren Earth?

Ben: Oh, it's just another doomsday fear. Like global warming. That sorted itself out.

Rose: (bitterly) Cause it wasn't global warming, it was a dimensional breach. The facts, Mr. Chatham, is that there hasn't been a baby born in Britain for eight months. A year in New Germany. Three years for South Africa. Mankind is becoming sterile.

Ben: Nonsense.

Mickey: Is it? You read the papers. President Jones is authorizing a cut back of day care centres and nursery schools. Why? Cause they're not needed. The whole world is turning into Children of Man, 3-D.

Ben: What?

Rose: Never mind.

Ben: Look, you two seem rather... expectant. Are you infertile too?

Rose: No.

Mickey: But we're special. Not from this universe. But, oddly enough, having one breeding couple isn't going to save humanity, now, is it?

Rose: Hope not, this is painful enough the first time.

Ben: So... what?

Rose: We've checked it out. If things don't change, humanity has about another twenty five years and that's it. Extinction. Doesn't matter if we colonize Mars or cure all diseases, we're all gonna die and no one is going to replace us.

Ben: ...what's this got to do with me?

Mickey: (laughs) You're not part of humanity then?

Ben: I mean, why tell me this? What can I do? Stop being gay?

Rose: I'm not saying that. I'm just saying, you're a fit bloke. Your file says you've got not just boyfriends, but girlfriends.

Ben: So what? Breed for Britain, is that it?

Mickey: You couldn't anyway. I checked it out. You're as sterile as a petri dish. Dunno if you ever wanted kids, student boy, but you ain't ever having them, Barren Earth or not.

Ben blinks, falling quiet. He sips from his cup of tea.

Rose: But I can fix that.

Mickey: (quickly) Not the way you think.

Ben: Oh? How then?

Rose: Xeno-tech. One injection, you're fertile again. It's been adapted into a kind of benevolent STD. Any one of your parters will become fertile too. We just need someone...

Ben: As a test subject?

Rose: No. Just to be the first.

Ben: If you've got this magic potion, why not use it?

Rose: Because... it will make our children different. Strong, yeah, healthy, yeah. But not like us. I mean, they'll be human, no two heads. But genetically, they'll be, well, pure. None of your kids will have your DNA. If we do this... ethnic diversity ends.

Ben: Ethnic cleansing?

Mickey: Fraid so. In a hundred years time, there'll just be one type of humans. Not black, not white, not Chinese, not Asian... It's not some kind of evil master plan, you get that, right? We've spent over a year trying to change it. But it won't. And unless we get this into the population starting now, it won't make a difference.

Rose: So.... Ben. Are you willing to be the first? The man that saves mankind as a species?

Ben is uncertain.

3: Two Paths You Can Go Down

Mickey picks up a gun-like hypodermic needle device.

Mickey: Injects by hypo spray. Painless.

Ben: I haven't said yes! Look, why haven't you taken it?

Mickey: I don't need it, student boy. I'm not firing blanks, and my wife is living proof.

Ben: Does the President know what's going on?

Rose: (nods) Not all the details, but she's authorized us to use this stuff. As long as no one is killed, and birth rates rise and secrecy is maintained, she's happy. We're not just gonna make life, we're gonna save it. Twenty-three teenage girls committed suicide in last month alone, when they twigged they could never have kids. This will stop that.

Ben: There's got to be some other way.

Mickey: There is. Cybermen.

Ben: You're not suggesting...

Rose: No. We're not. But we've checked. Humanity's ground to a halt. Either we prevent death and become Cybermen, or we start over, with this (indicates hypo). The stuff only effects the next generation. You'll still be fine. So will any of your lovers.

Ben: You can't! You haven't seen the future, have you? How do you know we'll become extinct?

Rose: Believe it or not, Ben, me and Mickey have seen the future. But, no, we don't know if mankind will survive this century. All we know is that there is a 97.6 per cent chance it won't unless we release the virus here and now. Are you going to be the first?

Ben: I... (shakes his head) My head. Fuzzy.

Rose: Oh, that'll be the retcon. You'll wake up tomorrow, feeling nice and good and with a newfound respect for us. Oh, and you'll probably want to celebrate with one of your girl friends. Congratulations, in advance. Even if she doesn't want to keep it, she'll be fertile from now on.

Ben: Hey... hey, I... I didn't say...

Rose: Say what?

Ben: ...yes...

Rose: Oh, hear that Mickey? He agrees. Jab him one.

Ben's head falls back, eyes unfocussed. Mickey doesn't move.

Mickey: He didn't say yes, Rose.

Rose: Don't upset a pregnant woman, Mickey. Don't upset your boss. And never upset your boss when she's pregnant AND your wife. It's not gonna hurt him. Look, you know as well as I do. We've gotta survive.

Mickey nods and is about to inject Ben in the neck when he suddenly convulses.

Ben: No! No! Leave me alone!

Ben reaches forward and grabs the gadget. The crystal sphere flashes with lightening, that spreads out to totally engulf Ben. Rose and Mickey back away. Ben is now frozen, transparent, with energy coursing through him.

Mickey: What the hell is happening?

Rose: He's frozen... frozen in time.

Mickey: So, then, boss. What do we do now?

Rose glares at him.

The freezing energy releases Ben and he stumbles. Everything is spinning around him, looming closer and then drawing away. Ben takes a step, still clutching the gadget, then falls over and is violently sick. He rolls over, eyes opening. He's lying in the office – but it now deserted. Getting unsteadily to his feet, he looks around, still dazed. There is no one on the floor.

Ben: Huh... M... Mrs... Smith? Hello? What happened?

He moves through the chambers beyond.

Ben: What the hell happened? Where am I? (checks watch) That's stopped too. Hello?

Ben moves down to the lift, but loses his balance and falls over. He loses consciousness once more.

Mickey and Rose stand to one side as technicians are circling the frozen Ben. One technician, Griffin, approaches.

Griffin: Well, there's not much to be examined, but the energy aura seems to be decaying at an exponential rate. In a few hours it should clear completely and release him.

Mickey: Any idea what's happening to him?

Griffin: Like you said, Mr. Smith. He's frozen in time. Or rather, time is frozen around him. This man seems to have been projected into some other time and place, but not completely. Like a bit of elastic he'll snap back to the here and now when the energy field breaks down.

Rose: So, he should be all right?

Griffin: Should be. I'm sorry, but I can't be any more accurate than that.

Griffin moves off. Mickey sighs.

Mickey: There goes the lab rat. So, you want to try preparing to be put in the water supply? Cause, that could mean a population explosion...

Rose: No. We'll have to go public.

Mickey: Public? Rose, sugar, what are you thinking?

Rose: The Doctor once said that 'Your children are the door to the future and you may not enter.'

Mickey: He also said 'Many a mick micks a muckle'.

Rose: We'll get Harriet Jones to help, explain things.

Mickey: No one is going to take it, Rose. At least, not until it's too late.

Rose: Then we'll prove it's safe.

Mickey: And how do we do that?

Rose: Me. I'll take it.

Mickey stares at her in horror.

Mickey: You can't.

Rose: I can.

Mickey: You don't need it.

Rose: That's how I prove it's safe!

Mickey: But... (he indicates her stomach) what about the baby, huh?

Rose: It'll be all right. In the end. It's due in a week anyway. Mickey, we've got to do it. Make a stand. If I take it and come out all right, then they'll have to listen to us.

Mickey: But if you do... it won't be ours.

Rose: You were the one who said to try it!

Mickey: But not on us. We don't need it! You, me, your mum, we don't need it, the rest do!

Rose: And they won't take it. Unless I take it as well.

Mickey: No way, Rose Tyler. I won't let you!

Rose: You can't stop me.

She strides out.

4: The Shape of Things to Come

Ben awakes outside Rose’s office. He gets up, looking around. He spots the gadget on the floor next to him and pick it up. He crosses to the lift and moves to press the control. It is a different display to the one a while ago. He looks back. The Torchwood logo is missing, as is the equipment.

Ben: Weird.

He fumbles in his pocket and pulls out a mobile. He dials a number. Nothing.

Ben: Plenty of battery. Signal strength... nil?

He heads back into the office and looks out. The city is different – a forest of sky scrapers.

Ben: The zeppelins... where are the zeppelins...?

Shaking his head, he runs back to the lift and starts punching the control. Finally the lift opens and he runs into it. The lift doors close. A moment later, a familiar wheezing, groaning sound is heard. But nothing appears. Silence falls.

Elsewhere, a screen lights up with a diagram. A light flashes. Two figures in simple uniform watch on. They both have white kinky hair, tanned skin and slanted eyes. They are the same height, and have the same mellow Irish accents.

Geldon: Someone is in the Memorial Shrine.

Styan: That’s not possible. There has been no approach there all day. The Memorial Custodians would have spotted them before now.

Geldon: Nevertheless, it is fact. Alert them.

An older woman approaches.

Deeka: When is the next census?

Styan: One hour seven seconds.

Deeka: Acceptable. Once the census is over, prepare the Termination Complex.

On the ground floor of the tower, two such people in identical uniform and plumed helmets stand guard on the entrance. They both carry coiled staffs with flags carrying the double helix logo.

PA: Intruder in Memorial Shrine. Apprehend.

The custodians nod and enter the foyer. They cross to the lift. In the corner behind the door hides Ben. He turns and sprints out of the building. The guards whirl to face him.

Custodian 1: Sacrilege! After him!

The nearest custodian runs, jumps, rolls and straightens up – having got out of the building and right beside Ben. The two look at each other. The custodian is horrified and backs away. Ben turns and sprints down the street, turning around a corner and out of sight. The other custodian arrives.

Custodian 1: What happened? Why didn’t you stop him?

Custodian 2: He was... a... hideous! The worst CHAV I’ve ever seen?

Custodian 1: (aghast) A CHAV got into the Memorial Shrine? We must not speak of this. Understand?

The other custodian stares after Ben.

Custodian 2: So... monstrous...

Custodian 1: Do you understand?!

Custodian 2: Yes! Yes, I understand.

Custodian 1: You better. If that gets out, we will be declared imperfect. Understand?

The custodian swallows and nods. The other one speaks to his wrist.

Guard 1: Memorial Shrine to Central City Control. Intruder on the loose. Pursue and capture?

PA: Description?

The custodians exchange looks.

Custodian 1: Not available.

PA: ... Very well. Maintain guard.

The custodians sigh in relief and assume their former positions.

Back in Torchwood Tower, Rose is with Griffin. They are in an operating theatre with several large vats of bubbling clear fluid in the side of the room. An angled bed is in the centre of the room.

Griffin: Director, are you sure? So close to the birth, it will be risky.

Rose: You can do it. The virus is designed to cover all gene types.

Griffin: I would recommend we... infect you after the birth. Your next child can...

Rose: That will take time. We need to start circulation at once, and I, or rather, my kid, will be the poster child. To prove we won’t be creating monsters. Unless you can finally fix the virus? Can you?

Griffin is silent.

Rose: Thought not. What do I have to do?

Griffin: It will take a while to get the equipment ready. In the meantime, you best relax, take a shower, get ready for surgery.

Rose: (nods) Thanks, Griff. I really do trust you, you know.

Griffin nods and starts to walk off.

Rose: If this works, I might name him after you.

Griffin smiles and walks off. Rose takes a deep breath and picks up a phone.

Rose: Commander Tollinger? Director Smith. Yeah. I want all access logs to be altered for the next forty-eight hours so one user is rendered inactive for that time. Yes. My husband. You heard. Do it.

She puts down the phone. She is about to leave when Mickey enters.

Mickey: We have got to talk.

Rose: Sorry, Mickey. Need to use the loo.

Mickey: It can wait.

Rose: Trust me, it can’t.

Mickey: I’m not letting this happen. You could die. You both could.

Rose: And think of everyone we’ll save.

Mickey: Sorry, ‘everyone’ is a big number. I’ll settle for you two. And I’m not letting you do this.

Rose: Mickey, fact one: my body. Fact two: my choice.

She starts to move. Mickey grabs her wrist.

Mickey: Fact three: you have been known to do some extremely stupid things, especially when a police box is involved. Yeah, well, Doctor’s gone now, but if he was here, he’d say the same thing.

Rose: And I’d react just the same.

She gives him a patented Tyler slap, flinging him across the room and letting go of her.

Rose: I’ll see you afterwards. And then you’ll realize I was right all along.

She leaves. Mickey rubs his face, painfully. He crosses to a phone.

Mickey: Hello? Jake. We have a problem. Get back here now.

Elsewhere, Ben Chatham pauses as he sees the main street. There are no advertisements or motor vehicles. Peaceful music plays. More of the dark-skinned, white-haired people are wandering around, all with similar hair cuts and clothes, but the age ranges from babes in arms to pensioners. Ben shakes his head in disbelief.

Ben: What’s going on here?

PA: Attention all humans. There will now be a census. Cooperation is compulsory.

The people calmly arrange into queues. Black-clad guards with long, bazookoid-type weapons are marching up and down the queues. Ben turns back the way he came. Three guards with a leader in a visored helmet stand behind him.

Leader: Stay where you are.

Guard: Holy Mother, look at it...

Leader: Silence. We will continue our task. Identify yourself.

Ben: Oh, Ben. Benjamin Sebastian Chatham.

Guard: He is imperfect.

Ben: Imperfect? Me?!

Leader: Scan. Degree of imperfection?

The guard raises a handheld many-pronged device and aims it at Ben. It buzzes.

Guard: (shocked) 94.556 per cent! A real monster...

Leader: How old are you?

Ben: Mind your own business?

Guard: Minimum twenty-five years.

Leader: How did he manage to remain unprotected for so long?

Ben: No idea. What’s going on here?

Guard: He must have been protected during development.

Leader: It is irrelevant. Take him away for genetic dismantling.

The guards grab Ben’s shoulders and haul his protesting form away.

5: The Price of Perfection

Ben is carted into a monorail with tinted windows.

Ben: Let go of me, you stupid, grey-faced...

Leader: Resistance is useless.

Ben: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Guard: Silence, CHAV.

Ben: What did you just call me?

Guard: (raises weapon) Silence!

The leader and the guards follow. The monorail heads off.

Outside Torchwood Tower, the custodians stand guard.

PA: An extremely mutated imperfect has been located. It is possible it was the intruder in the Memorial Shrine. Are there any other humans in the area?

Custodian 2: None. We are alone.

On the top floor, there is the sound of the TARDIS taking off, but no sign of the source.
Elsewhere, Jake and Mickey are in a guard room, talking.

Jake: She’s the Director. The only person who can directly overrule her on internal affairs is her dad.

Mickey: Yeah, and he’s still in Paris with Jackie and Angel. I can’t get through to them.

Jake: Price of giving up ear pods.

Mickey: Jake, if you say that one more time...

Jake: Look, I trust Rose. She wouldn’t put the baby at risk, no matter what.

Mickey: She’s cracked in the head, Jake. I dunno, her hormones or something. You know, it’s a year and a day since we went to Norway. She says, ‘Oh, Mickey, I’m over it, get me some pickles and ice cream’ but she’s lying. I always know when she’s lying.

Jake: What? When was the last time she lied?

Mickey: The last time she said she was happy here and didn’t miss the Doctor.

Jake: Oh. Look, if I go against her without proof she’s nuts, the People’s Republic will...

Mickey: Say I forced you. Jake. Please. For me.

Jake: All right. Where is she?

Mickey: In the apartment, doing birth exercises or something.

Jake: Well, log in, so I can scan her.

Mickey taps out at a terminal. TORCHWOOD: ACCESS DENIED appears.

Mickey: What?

Jake: You musta typed in wrong.

Mickey: I’m not an idiot! (types) They’ve frozen me out.

Jake: (bleakly) Only the Director has that authority.

Mickey: Oh, I am so gonna get her for this. Right, old fashioned plan.

Jake: What’s that?

Mickey: Get me some flowers and chocolates.

Elsewhere, Ben is held in front of a scanning machine.

Leader: CHAV, approximately twenty five plus years of age, imperfection at 94.556 per cent.

PA: You are registered termination code 9369. When this code is called you will move through the archway and genetic dismantling will take place. You will feel nothing... ever again.

Ben: Somehow, that isn’t comforting.

The troopers march him down a corridor to a black-lined door. It opens. Beyond is a chamber with five or six people, and a small group of toddlers in the corner. Ben is shoved in and the door is closed before he can regain his balance. Ben hurries over to the nearest prisoner, a woman named Krella.

Ben: Sorry, this might sound stupid, but is there a way out of here?

Krella: Holy Mother, what are you?

Ben: Impatient is what I am! Is there a way out of here?

Krella: Not alive, no. Your DNA is in the system now. Try and get out that door, you’ll be atomized.

Ben: Same for you too, I bet.

Krella: Yup. At the right time, the systems are keyed so it’s painless. That’s when we go through.

Ben: They’re going to kill us without a trial?

Krella: What sort of trial should there be. We’re imperfect. You only have to look at yourself to know that you’re guilty. Guilty twice more than everyone else in this room put together.

Ben: Guilty? Imperfect? What crap! I haven’t done anything wrong?

Krella: Why would you have done anything wrong. You exist.

Ben: So, what’s your crime?

Krella: Crime?

Ben: Why are you here?

Krella: Same reason as you, freak. We’re CHAVs.

Ben: What?

Krella: Chromosomal Aberration Variants. Mutants. Imperfect. Where have you been? How did you survive this long without being caught by the Census Guards?

Ben: The rest here... they’re just kids!

Krella: The newborn infants are in another section.

Ben: They’re going to kill babies?!

Krella: They’re lucky. They won’t know anything... except peace. Still, can’t win them all.

Ben: They’re going to kill babies!!

Krella: Well, they’re CHAVs, like us. Detected sooner rather than later.

Ben: And you’re happy to let that happen?

Krella: What can I do? Even if we stopped it happening, what good would it do? They’d be inferior, prone to diseases and complexes, their children inferior. It’s a law of diminishing returns. You know very little about the way society works, but then to look like that you’d have had to grow up in the dark.

Ben: Thanks a lot. How long did it take for them to get you?

Krella: Oh, it’s a minor thing. Gene failure, thrown up during development from child to adult. Chances are, my children could be blind. And, well, what good can a blind human do for society? Nothing.

Ben: Surely, I mean, with this technology, you can’t fix blindness?

Krella: Prevention is better than cure, isn’t that right?

In a luxury apartment, Rose emerges from an en suite bathroom in a silk dressing gown, drying her hair. She crosses to a framed photo of an ultrasound. She strokes it with her fingers and strokes her stomach.

Rose: It’ll be all right in the end. I’ve got so much to show you. It’ll be fantastic.

There is a knock at the door. Rose hastily ties her dressing gown up.

Rose: Just a minute!

Another knock.

Rose: Come in.

The door opens. Mickey enters, arms behind his back.

Mickey: There’s ma woman! Kit off!

Rose: (grins) You used to say that to me every day.

Mickey: You used to be up for it every day.

Rose: Aw, come on, things have gotten a bit big for that...

Mickey chuckles and reveals from behind his back a bunch of roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Rose is delighted.

Rose: Wow! What you done wrong?

Mickey: Disagreed with the most beautiful woman in at least two universes?

Rose pulls him into an embrace.

Rose: I knew you’d see sense.

Mickey: Hey, come on, I’m slow. Now, you wanna sit down and indulge yourself. I mean, next weekend, it’ll just be all nappies and screaming, won’t it? Let’s take a last chance to cool off.

Rose: I’ve got to go for the operation. I’m all clean and everything.

Mickey: (kisses her) You’re the Director of Torchwood. You can do whatever you like.

Rose: I like. (kisses him) I like a lot.

Mickey leads her over to the couch, and opens the chocolate box.

Mickey: You can have first pick.

Rose: Oh, no, you.

Mickey: Go on.

Rose: Nah, honestly, I’m fat enough.

Mickey: (slightly irritated) Sure.

Mickey takes a chocolate and munches it.

Mickey: You sure you don’t want one?

Rose: Not really. I dunno if it’s good for the baby... eating chocolate covered in retcon.

Mickey’s face falls.

Rose: Nice trick, Mickey. But I taught you most of them. It means a lot, though, that you’d eat one too. You hoping we’d both fall asleep together and wake up happy and safe. Nice.

Mickey starts to look groggy.

Mickey: You cunning bitch.

Rose: It’s why you love me. And once this is all over, and you hold your child, you’ll know it was all for the best. I know what I’m doing.

Mickey: Please Rose... don’t. For me.

Rose: Sorry, Mickey. But this time, everyone is gonna live.

Mickey topples and collapses. Rose rises with difficulty.

Rose: Aw, my back... Scuse me, Mickey. Got a baby to recreate.

She heads for the door as Mickey goes limp. As she leaves, his eyes open and he spits out the undamaged chocolate. He sits up, fully awake.

Mickey: This is gonna be harder than I thought.

Back in the cell, Ben is pacing.

Ben: OK. I can just about understand this place is based on purity and perfection, I get that. But how can any of you be happy to be killed because of some problem with your genes that can’t hurt anyone? How can you willingly come here to die?

Krella: We are imperfect. Why would we want to live in the world of perfection?

Ben: When did all this start?

Krella: Oh, the start of the last century, when the New Race started, of course.

Ben: New Race?

Krella: New Race... (blinks) you don’t know about the New Race? The species without creed or colour, that out evolved the other humans on Earth? The gift to humanity from the Perfect Female? No...? Are you intellectually subnormal?

Ben: What are you on about? I’ve got a first from Cambridge!

Krella: What is Cambridge? In fact, what’s a first?

Ben: A degree in archaeology. (slowly) I’m clever.

Krella: You’re clever, are you? But you know nothing of history? You don’t know about Roselyn Smith?

Ben turns.

Ben: What about her?

Krella: She’s only the mother of the perfect race! We’d all be imperfect savages without her giving birth to perfection, two century ago now. After all, without her and without us, her children, life would have died on Earth years ago, wouldn’t it. You are dumb, aren’t you?

Ben: Rose Smith... that gunk she was going to use... she’s the cause of all of this!

Krella: Hallelujah. You would have loved being in religious assembly.

PA: Imperfect termination 9369. The time is now. Imperfect termination 9369. The time is now.

Krella: Pity you weren’t. Around now, it’s traditional to start praying.

Ben looks at the hatch in horror as it starts to rise.

Ben: It’s me. They want me.

Krella: I’m afraid so.

PA: Imperfect termination 9369. The time is now. Imperfect termination 9369. The time is now....

To be continued... in 6: Escape to Danger

Chopin's Children

I always thought
That we'd live in space
At least on Mars
Or moon's face
It seemed so right
For the human race
But something just gets in the way

We've gotto hold on
What can it be?
Is it more than naivete?
Can't we live past yesterday?
Something just gets in the way.

I always thought
There'd be lots to eat
At least some herds
Some fields of wheat
There seemed to be
An obtainer to feed
But something just gets in the way.

We've gotto hold on
What can it be?
Is it more than naivete?
Can't we live past yesterday?
Something just gets in the way.

Hold on
What can it be?
Is it more than naivete?
Can't we live past yesterday?
Something just gets in the way.

I always thought
That we'd all be friends
At least we'd try
To make amends
It seemed so easy
To comprehend
But something just gets in the way.

We've gotto hold on
What can it be?
Is it more than naivete?
Can't we live past yesterday?
Something just gets in the way...