Sunday, December 31, 2006

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?

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