Monday, January 1, 2007

An abortive BC story

10: Last Chances

The acolytes empty their weapons. The blasts strike everyone except Rose, but none of the others are harmed. The Observer beams. The acolytes stop firing.

Badwolf: The guns are exhausted, Holy Mother.

Woman: It's all right, Badwolf. All right, Doctor. I'll bite. How?

Observer: I don't know much about this other me. He had a TARDIS, yeah? Beaten up blue police box? If so, I bet the state of grace circuitry didn't work right. My ship is a newer model, and as such, we are all inside it and, as such, don't technically exist. Therefore, we cannot harm each other. And, if Rose does inject herself, nothing will happen.

Woman: ...until she leaves the TARDIS.

Rose: I'm not going to do it. Not at all.

Woman: You must.

Ben: Why? This is insanity!

Woman: I have saved the Earth and its people! Who are you to tell me that I'm insane!?

Observer: Well, as a strictly neutral...

She smacks him. The Observer shrugs.

Observer: Ah. Temper wearing a bit thin?

Woman: You not the Doctor. And even if you were, this isn't your concern!

Observer: It's everyone's concern, Miss Smith, and I am in a position to help. Now, I admit, I'm rusty. My people take a dim view of this and imprisoned me for it. Only just got on parole and here I am. The only question is, are you worth risking my freedom for?

Woman: If you were my Doctor, you wouldn't care. If you had cared, you wouldn't have let me end up here!

Rose: He didn't have a choice!

Woman: Oh, right! I just HAPPENED to get the faulty lever and he just HAPPENED to get the right one!

Mickey: If he didn't care, why say goodbye?

Woman: Guilty conscience. But you've only got his word that he couldn't come back.

Rose: You're insane! You're paranoid! No, I loved the Doctor and the Doctor loved me.

Woman: What do you know? You're just a stupid kid, full of hormones and angst! I've outstripped you, like Homo Sapiens with the Neanderthals. Yeah, remember them, eh?

Ben: If you're so superior, prove it.

Woman: How?

Ben: Ah... Over to you Observer?

Observer: Thanks a lot, Balowksi. All right, Miss Tylers. Young Rose here was brave enough to see her future. Are you brave enough to see yours?

Woman: I don't need to...

Ben: That's not the question! Are you?

Woman: I don't need to. Badwolf, get that girl and inject the solution just under her belly button.

Badwolf: Yes, Holy Mother.

Mickey: Not in this lifetime!

Mickey decks her, the physical force hurling Badwolf across the room. Jake and Ben take on the other acolytes. The Observer grabs the old Rose as she heads for her younger self.

Observer: Sorry, big problems with this. You touch her, you touch yourself, bad things'll happen.

Woman: (laughs) What? I'll go blind?

Observer: And that's just the start! Now, excuse me!

He snaps his fingers.

Suddenly, they are standing alone in a grass field.

Observer: My TARDIS, apart from being able to interface its state of grace directly to its occupants, can also interface with every data source in a range of two solar systems. And it's also capable of recreating an external environment inside it.

Woman: You mean, like a holodeck?

Observer: (winces) Rose, please. Right. Around you is Earth, four hundred years after Rose's time. Have a wander. Run off if you want. There's no where to go. Because, there's no human life on Earth any more.

Jake: What? Did they leave?

Ben: No, they died out.

Observer: Exactly, Babar. You see, although the new humans weren't sterile, they were losing people faster than could be recreated. And the standard of perfect rises all the time. No one could match it, the next thing you know, one day, a planet without people.

Woman: This is a trick.

Observer: I wish. Young Chathingham here has given time the opportunity to go off in a completely new direction. And this is where it ends. Rose Tyler remakes the human race in, if not in her own image, a new one. The new humans wipe out the old ones, then themselves. All you did was keep the bloodshed going for two more centuries.

Woman: You're lying!

The Observer snaps his fingers.

They are back in the temple.

Observer: Why should I lie? I'm neutral. Like you said, it doesn't effect me if everything on this planet dies. So, do you trust me? Or not?

Woman: She'll still do it, Observer. She'll use it.

Rose: I won't. I promise.

Woman: You have to. You know you have to. Even if you can't remember why?

Jake: I'm sick of this cryptic bollocks. What is going to make her?

Woman: Jimmy Stone.

Rose: What about him?

Woman: You really don't know?

Ben looks pensive.

Ben: We don't need to know. Just hand over the hypo and...

Rose: What about Jimmy Stone?

Ben: Rose, don't...

Woman: You left school for him. And Mickey. And mum. Forever. Not like with the Doctor, cause you were never going to come back. You... we must have blocked it all out. But I remember it.

Rose: What happened?

Ben: No, don't...

Observer: Shut it, Ben. She wants to know.

Woman: You know why she ditched you like that, Mickey? Not cause you did anything wrong, or even if Jimmy Stone did anything right. But she wanted her child to be with its father.

Mickey's jaw drops.

Mickey: No. I mean, she didn't. She was only gone a few months. She wouldn't have...

Rose: I never had a baby. And I didn't have an abortion!

Woman: You didn't have a choice. Remember? In that camper van? And Jimmy getting worse and worse when no one wanted his band? When he blamed you? You remember that. (Rose nods) Remember the last night, the night it ended. When he stabbed you.

Rose: (swallows) He stabbed me?

Mickey: She weren't stabbed. I know ma woman, she doesn't have any scars.

Woman: It wasn't a bad injury. Just a nick. We might have forgiven Jimmy for that. But it wasn't the cut, it was falling out the van. And Jimmy wasn't apologizing, just screaming. And you went to the hospital. Cause you were bleeding.

Rose: (starting to remember) They... they said it was normal.

Woman: Yeah. But we didn't believe them. We had a scan. And there was the baby, safe and sound. Except, they couldn't find a heartbeat. You went home to mum, remember?

Rose: (weeping) I made her promise not to ask any questions. I kept bleeding.

Mickey: (sad) That why you wanted all those new PJs for your birthday.

Woman: See, Mickey, it makes sense?. You remember the day she came back and apologized, and I would let you touch me? You know why now? Because two hours earlier, I was in mum's bathroom, lying on the floor, surrounded by my own blood.

Rose: It was perfect, Mickey. Perfect. (sobs) So tiny.

Woman: And dead. You flushed it away, cleared up the bathroom and forgot about it. But you know you screwed up once, Rose. One baby never lived its life because of you. And that's why you want this so much. Because you will do anything to not have to do that again. Hold a lump of meat that should be your baby. And you know that that chemical is all there is.

Silence. Rose continues to sob into Mickey's shoulder.

Ben: You didn't have to make her remember that.

Woman: It's the truth.

Ben: Damn you for that.

Woman: It's the truth. Now she knows why she wants to save her children, she will. She must.

Rose glares at them all, still crying.

Rose: No. I won't do it. It's not enough.

Woman: You've got to! What about Angel? What about the human race!

Mickey: Her body, her choice. Nice future, but we won't take it.

Woman: If you don't do this, our world will die!

Ben: You make your own futures. And you don't have one!

Ben grabs the hypodermic.

In the office, Ben crackles with lightning and unfreezes.

Ben cries out, suddenly turning transparent. He hugs the hypo to his chest as he vanishes.

Observer: Time's up! The TARDIS isn't coping with the shifting timelines.

Woman: (grins) Which means all non-essentials will switch off. Like, say, state of grace?

Observer: Ah.

A sudden vibration rocks through the room. Everyone sways. Badwolf pulls out a gun.

Badwolf: No! I will not let you destroy perfection!

Observer: You don't have much choice.

She opens fire.

Jake: Down!

Another earthquake.

In the street outside, new humans are running and screaming. A strange breeze is blowing the clouds far too fast across the sky. The sky itself is being blown away to reveal a painful, aching white. The custodians look up in horror. The first is turning transparent, and looks down at himself in confusion. His fellow runs for it. The fading custodian cries out, but nothing can be heard as he vanishes. Other new humans are disappearing. The whole sky is blazing with the light that starts to consume the city.

Woman: What have you done? FOR GOD'S SAKE, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

The Observer rolls over and looks up at her.

Observer: Time is back on course. This realm can't exist. Mickey! Gotta move!

Mickey doesn't respond.

Jake: Mickey! Come on!

Mickey is staring at Rose. There is blood across her chest and her eyes are closed.

Back at Torchwood, Ben is slumped against the wall. He has unwittingly stabbed himself with the chest with the hypo. With shaking hands he pulls it out and drops it to the ground. He laughs with undisguised hysteria.

Ben: (giggles) Oh, this is just not FAIR!

He falls flat on his face.

The temple is shaking. Everyone is running and screaming. Mickey shakes Rose.

Mickey: Come on, girl, wake up! Wake up! Rose!

She opens her eyes and speaks very softly.

Rose: I screwed it up. I screw everything up.

Mickey: No, no, you're perfect! You're fantastic! Now stay awake!

Rose: I'm so tired!

Mickey: JAKE! HELP ME!

Rose: Sorry, baby... So sorry...

To be continued in 11: The Cast Die...

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