Monday, January 1, 2007

An abortive BC story

9: Harsh Truths

The woman opens her eyes. A blur in front of them resolves into the Observer's face.

Woman: (weakly) Doctor?

Observer: Sorry. Not the one you're thinking of.

Regaining some strength, she steps out of the cylinder. She stumbles. The Observer catches her and supports her. Rose and Mickey move closer.

Observer: No, no, you two keep back. Keep very back.

Rose: Why? It's my mum!

The woman giggles.

Woman: You know what they say about teenage girls, Mickey? Always look at the mum in law. Cause that's what they'll turn into.

Mickey: You what?

Rose: It's me. You're... you're me. In the future.

Woman: Yep. Good thing you had the Doctor, otherwise it'd get confusing.

Observer: Er, I'm not the Doctor. At least, not yours.

Woman: It's all right, sweetheart. Not your fault.

Ben: What's not his fault?

Woman: All this. This is perfection, Rose. God, how wierd does that sound? "Rose"! Hah, I'm talking to myself and still not making sense.

Mickey: What happened? To Earth?

Woman: Well, unless Badwolf's been lying to me...

Badwolf: I haven't Holy Mother.

Woman: I know, love. I know. Anyway, Earth should be in good nick. Atmosphere's cleaned up, lots of fish in the sea, rainforest growing back. What we all wanted?

Ben: Did you ask the rest of us that?

Woman: Who are you?

Ben: You don't know?

Woman: I don't remember this meeting, um, me. Rose. Whatever. So, I guess our Time Lord here has changed history. Naughty boy, Doctor. You better put it back on track before those things turn up.

Jake: Things? What things?

Rose: Nah, that's not going to happen. Now, what happened? Why are you here? Where are the others?

Woman: They're dead, aren't they? I mean, two hundred years. It is that, isn't it? (The Observer nods) Yeah, two hundred years. (to Rose) Gosh, look at you. You look fit to explode. How far gone are you?

Rose: Thirty nine weeks.

Woman: Oh. You told Mickey yet?

Mickey: Told me what?

Woman: She's been having contractions the last few days.

Mickey: What?

Jake: No wonder she thinking straight.

Rose: Oi! Look, I can cope, all right. They're all natural. I'm not about to give birth or anything?

Woman: Not yet. Have you had the treatment yet?

Mickey: No. (uncertain) Rose?

Rose: No. Not yet.

The older Rose suddenly looks annoyed for the first time.

Woman: Then you've got to. Doctor... Alternate Doctor, whatever you're called, get her back there now and give her the process. It's part of history.

Observer: This history is wrong.

Woman: Oh no, Doctor. This history is perfect. And I know you can't make it a 100% the same, but you can get damn close. Now do it.

Ben: Why? What's going to happen?

Woman: The beginning of a new age, pretty boy. A new age. Peace. Prosperity. Great advancement. The new baby boomers. Children being born across the world, all the same. No one will pick on them, or treat them different. They know each other's minds. Kinda like telepathy. Or empathy. I forget which.

Mickey: Great, first Children of Man, now the Village of the Damned!

Observer: You mean The Midwich Cuckoos.

Mickey: I don't care what I mean. Look, lady, it's not gonna happen. You're not Rose.

Woman: I am.

Observer: Fraid she is.

Rose: Keep out of it, you. How do I know you're me?

Woman: Well, what do you want me to say? I was with the Doctor when we visited Mars and met those reflections. I saw our old cat try to conquer the world. I played Death to the Mantodeans with a Nothern accent, Rose the Mantodean Slayer! I was there at Bad Wolf Bay, the last time we saw the Doctor. I was at the hotel that night...

Mickey: Shut up.

Woman: I went to bed early. Didn't notice I had that bottle of dad's whiskey...

Mickey: OK, I believe you...

Woman: ...and then mum stopped taking those sleeping pills cause of carrying Angel. No one noticed me pinching them either. And you'd not begrude me a little lie in. After the day I'd had.

Mickey: I believe you. Now shut up!

Woman: No. It's got to be said.

Observer: (disbelieving) You tried to kill yourself? Because of this other me? Rose, what the hell did he do to you?

Mickey: I went in to check on her. Managed to drag her to shower, get her to throw up the stuff.

Rose: Ruined your shirt.

Mickey: Who cares about the shirt?

Woman: You did.

Mickey: I care more about Rose.

Woman: You see? My point exactly. And you know why you tried to end it all, Rose?

Rose: I wasn't going to see the Doctor again.

Observer: It's not worth it, Rose. It's never worth throwing your life away.

Rose: I know that now!

Woman: No, that's not it. On the beach, you said you loved him. And he was about to say something when he disappeared.

Mickey: That he loved her.

Woman: No. You see, that's what I worked out. The Doctor, the real Doctor, didn't love you. Me. Us. That's why he switched off. Right in our faces. Just hung up.

Rose: That isn't what happened!

Woman: Isn't it? Oh, he liked us, I know that. He really did. But he didn't love us. All that time, he was saving our lives, not for us, not even for mum. For himself. To prove he still had the moves. Didn't you notice how often he tried to get rid of us. First thing he did after he changed was trying to chuck us out. You think if he'd got Reniette the French whore, we'd have lasted long. He ditched us, Rose. All the clues were there. And when you twigged, you tried to end it all.

Rose starts to cry.

Woman: No point asking mum or dad or Mickey. The Doctor could lie through his teeth and no one would notice. If he fooled you, he fooled them. And that's the truth.

Rose: It isn't! We loved each other! (uncertain) Didn't we?

Observer: Look, seriously, I know this is awkward, but I'm not able to help in this.

Woman: Course not, Doctor. I'm not blaming you. The fact is, I don't need you. That's the thing, Rose. You get addicted. Like Sarah Jane. But I've lived long enough to get him out of my system. And that's why I did this. That's why you started it.

Rose: It's to save humanity!

Woman: What is humanity? Cells? DNA? Language?

Ben: Very interesting. But what happened? What happens once Rose takes the drug?

Woman: Other people take it. A new race appears over the next few years. Fertile, loving, powerful. Made the rest of us redundant. They all worshipped me. Dunno why, I never asked for it. But when I was the first, somehow, every baby born after that knew about me. Loved me. They were so grateful to live. Cause, the parents got upset. There was a war.

Observer: A war?

Woman: The new humans won, of course. And we had termination chambers. No one suffered. Not even you Mickey. (silence) I begged them not to take you. Or mum. Or dad. Or Angel. But they all went. And I went to sleep. Badwolf here, sorry, couldn't resist the name, well her great grandmother promised to keep me alive.

Jake: You wiped out humanity.

Woman: Not me. But my children saved it. You see, the chemical didn't work. They were born all right, but they didn't stay that right. They were starting to get sick, and weak. The old humans were holding them back. They only did it to survive.

Rose: And you let them?!

Woman: I tried to stop them. But I was wrong. I've been asleep longer than I've been alive. I ran out of dreams, started to relive my whole life. Saw the truth.

Mickey: You've been brainwashed!

Woman: Aw, and I saw how I treated you, Mickey. No, I wouldn't change this world for anything, but if I could have just made you happy. You deserve to know the truth.

Mickey: What truth?

Woman: Why I was so nasty to you.

Mickey: You weren't...

Woman: I was. And it's the same reason Rose is going to use that chemical. No matter what any of you say, or what she says, she has to use it. No matter what. You've got it with you, don't you?

Mickey: Rose?

She sadly delves under her shirt and pulls out the hypogun.

Rose: Who notices another bump, eh?

Mickey: Rose. Give that, no, no, HAND that to me. Carefully.

Woman: Take it Rose. Make this real.

Rose: No.

Woman: I'll tell him.

Rose: Tell him what?

Woman: The truth.

Rose: I don't know what you're on about!

Woman: Don't you? Well then, how about this. Either you take it, and save this future, or my acolytes will use particle guns on everyone except you. Sorry, Mickey. But this is too important.

The cloaked figures raise chunky rifles. Ben raises his hand. Jake draws his gun. Mickey holds onto Rose. The Observer folds his arms.

Observer: (unimpressed) That sort of blackmail won't work, you see.

Woman: My Doctor... (sighs) Kill them.

The acolytes open fire.

To be continued in 10: Last Chances


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