Monday, January 1, 2007

A non-so-abortive BC story (Final Part)

11: The Cast Die

Outside, the other custodian vanishes. All the city around the statue is disintegrating.

Inside the statue head, Badwolf is turning transparent. The older Rose has snatched up the gun and aims it at the Observer as Mickey and Jake carry Rose.

Badwolf: Holy Mother! Save us! Save us!

Observer: She can't. Her world is ceasing to exist. Don't cry at me, you caused it.

Woman: Change this, Doctor! Stop it!

Observer: I've never been into genetic purity. It's a flaw.

Woman: Hah! You think that's what the CHAVS were? Don't you know anything? They were the stagnated ones, the ones that couldn't invent, create, it was the mutants that we were saving. Those who were evolving.

Observer: You still slaughtered thousands.

Woman: And I'll do you next. My Doctor or not, you ruined my life!

The Observer raises his hands.

Jake and Mickey run into the TARDIS and lower Rose onto the floor.

Jake: It's not bad, Mickey. Mickey, let me!

He shoves him out of the way and tears off Rose's T-shirt to inspect the wound.

Jake: Went straight through her shoulder, just next to the arm pit. Not fatal.

Mickey: You think? Help her.

Rose opens her eyes.

Rose: I'm so sorry.

Mickey: Don't be. Stay awake.

Rose: (smirks) Or what?

Mickey: (smirks back) No chips for a week.

Jake gives Mickey a grave look. Mickey swallows.

Mickey: You'll be fine. Just stay awake.

Mickey rises and heads for the door.

Mickey: I'll get a doctor.

Outside, the Observer and the older Rose are the only ones left. The white nothing eats at the edges of the chamber.

Woman: I always came back for you. No matter what. And you abandoned me.

Observer: It wasn't me, Rose. And frankly, I don't trust your judgement in any case.

Woman: I should have let you die. Should have stayed behind. Saved myself pain.

Observer: Pain is life, life is pain, and anyone who says different works in advertising. Pain is what makes joy worth having. You can't enjoy food if you can't starve. And you've been starving for years, haven't you? Making everyone else starve as well.

Woman: I will change things back.

Observer: Not your choice to make, sadly. Mummy gets what she wants.

Woman: Not this time.

Mickey appears.

Mickey: Doctor! Get your butt in here!

Observer: (looks at woman) Bit busy, Mickey!

Woman: One step closer, I shoot him! Perfection will be maintained!!

Mickey: Sorry, but I have had ENOUGH of this crap!

Mickey snatches up an abandoned particle gun and fires it. The older Rose screams and fires randomly before she shimmers out of existance. The Observer grabs Mickey and they vanish. There is a wheezing groaning sound and then the whiteness consumes all.

The Observer is breathing raggedly as he sets controls. Mickey and Jake are crouched over Rose. Jake is applying a bandage.

Jake: She's losing a lot of blood. Come on, there must be medicine aboard this ship.

Observer: (sighs) Not for humans. Sorry. Back to Torchwood.

Jake: The place is in lock down.

Observer: Mickey.... Mickey!

Mickey tears his gaze from Rose, furious.

Mickey: What?

The Observer hands him a sonic screwdriver.

Observer: Setting 2356. Press down for sixteen seconds and it should revive the circuitry of your complex... Make it twenty seconds, just to be sure.

Mickey looks at the screwdriver. He frowns.

Mickey: There's blood on this.

The Observer grins.

Observer: That's the trouble with time paradoxes. Magic bullets really are magic. (shivers) Leave holes even though they never existed.

He grips the console. There is blood on his hands.

Mickey: Doctor...

Observer: Don't worry about me, Mickey. There's always a price to pay.

Mickey: That's what Rose said.

Observer: Then it's better she doesn't pay the price, eh? (frowns) Is it me or is it getting dark?

Mickey frowns and looks around.

Mickey: No, wh--

The Observer collapses onto Mickey and then slides to the ground. Mickey rolls him onto his back, but the Time Lord is dead. Blood trickles from his mouth. Jake calls over from applying the torniquet to Rose's arm.

Jake: What's happening?

Mickey: Doesn't matter, Jake, just focus on Rose.

Mickey closes the Observer's eyes.

Mickey: I was just getting used to having you round again.

He crosses to Jake and they looks down at Rose.

Mickey: How's she?

Jake: I've managed to staunch the bleeding, but...

Rose's eyes close and everything goes dark.


It grows light again. A familiar face appears, first stern, then smiling.

Doctor: See? Told you she'd be fine.

Rose: (groggy) Doctor?

Doctor: Observer. But, you know, I think I might take up the old moniker again.

Rose lies in bed on a drip. Mickey, in casual clothes sits beside her. At the end of the bed, in a hospital gown is a regenerated Observer. He sits down beside the bed.

Rose: Where's Mickey?

Mickey: Right here, babe.

Rose: You all right?

Mickey: Oh, you know. Haven't been able to relax for the last few years, been worried sick about you and the baby, but I'll live. You too. Turns out your anemic, babe.

Rose: Oh.

Doctor: Ah, don't worry about it. Bit of a different diet, do you wonders. Plenty of iron!

Rose laughs weakly.

Rose: How long he's been like this?

Mickey: Changed in the TARDIS.

Doctor: Regenerated, thank you. Difference is purely perceptual, Mickey.

Rose: Like dogs on Barcelona?

Doctor: BARCELONA! Yes, I've got to go there! One problem though, rather. Jumping between time tracks was a bit too much for my TARDIS. These new things, all plastic. I was wondering (checks no one else is looking) if you might put me up for a bit.

Rose: You asking for a job?

Doctor: Well, no, more sort of rent free accomodation. But I know the odd thing about aliens, maybe as much as Miss Smith here. (leans forward) What do you say?

Rose: (giggles) I'm doped up on pain killers and concussed!

Doctor: Best time to ask then, eh?

Rose: (laughs) What do you say, Mickey?

Mickey: You're asking me?

Rose: I'm asking you.

Mickey: Well, the motto of Torchwood is 'if it's alien, give it a chance'. You can start on Monday.

Doctor: Brilliant! And, you know, if I'm not good at this alien business, I have been known to make a fantastic babysitter! Now, I'm the Doctor, I better go onto my rounds. Other patients to see! Alonzi, Mr and Mrs Smith!

Waving, he leaves. Rose smiles.

Mickey: Well, you wanna keep the separation private then, babe?

Rose: (upset) Separation?

Mickey: Like you're gonna spend any time with me now he's back.

Rose: (shakes head) Nah. He was right. She was right. I got addicted to the Doctor. Maybe he got addicted to me. I'm not helping anyone pining over him. I got you and mum and dad and Angel. The Doctor wouldn't want me to give that up.

Mickey: You promise?

Rose: You bet. I'm still in this bed, aren't I?

Mickey: Well, Jake did suggest strapping you down. I got really excited at that bit.

Rose: You're looking for a smack you are.

Mickey: Even better! (sobers) Anything else you've been holding out on me?

Rose: What do you mean?

Mickey: About the baby.

Rose: What about the baby?

Mickey: Little bird says if I were get a stethoscope I'd get three heartbeats out of you. Now one is yours, and the others?

Rose starts laughing. A lot.

Mickey: What? What?

Rose: You think it's the Doctor's? You big idiot!

Mickey: I'm not an idiot!

Rose: You are so an idiot!

Mickey: What about the two hearts?!

Rose: It's twins, dummy!

Mickey's jaw drops.

Mickey: Twins?

Rose: It was gonna be a surprise.

Mickey: Twins? My twins?

Rose: Your twins!

Mickey jumps up in the air.


Full of joy, he grabs Rose and kisses her. She kisses him back.

Mickey: Eh, eh, wait a minute. If you wanted it as a surprise, why crack now?

Rose whispers in his ear.

Mickey: (baffled) Your what has broken? (blinks) Right. I'll get Griffin!

Rose: Nah. He'll be back soon. Stay.

Mickey smiles.

Mickey: For you, I got all the time in the world.

He sits down beside her.

Mickey: You know, I always thougth Rita was a good name for a girl. Or Anne...

Rose: How about Jennifer?

Mickey: "Jenny Smith"? OK, but no Johns...

Rose: (grins) Never! The world doesn't need another John Smith!

In another part of the hospital, Ben lies pale and ill. The Doctor arrives.

Doctor: Hello, Ben.

Ben: (weak) Hey... W-what's the verdict?

Doctor: About your health, you mean?

Ben: No one will tell me. I'm dying, aren't I?

The Doctor sits down beside Ben.

Doctor: You've got some kind of rare genetic kink in your system. The fertility chemical's gone mad trying to understand it, turned toxic. They've given you a total blood transfusion, but all it's done is give you a few extra hours.

Ben: So this is why no one knows who I am.

Doctor: Oh, come on, Benji boy! The Time Lords are a bunch of stuffed shirts who don't even know what century they're watching most of the time - I certainly don't trust their judgement. You see, Ben, you know what the Gia Syndrome is?

Ben: En...lighten me...

Doctor: All right. The Earth is a living thing, a sentient being that can affect everything that occurs there. Now, humanity gets out of control, breeds too much, the Earth puts a stop to it. Happens on tonnes of planets, except humanity's DNA has been tinkered and improved by all sorts - some of them even human themselves - and the reset button doesn't get pressed. However, that toxic battleground inside you hit the reset button. You're fertile now.

Ben: Much good it'll do me.

Doctor: But your children would be yours. Not the allsorts of that future. Proper children, taking from their parents, just like they should. Griffins' already trying to work out a non-fatal version, and I have the odd idea how to help... You saved the world, Ben Chatham.

Ben: You got my name right.

Doctor: (shrugs) Ah, regeneration, helps clear the mental decks.

Ben: That's why history changed isn't it?

The Doctor is quiet.

Doctor: Yeah. Clever, aren't you? Mickey would have jabbed you, you would have dropped dead, they would have found the solution. With you out of order, Rose would have used the old stuff on herself, her pre-existing children would corrupt the chemical, causing a mutant strain, whole new timeline, etc etc.

Ben: So, basically, it was all for nothing. Either way, I died.

Doctor: Everything has its time. Everything dies. You and I chose to interfere, Ben. Niether of us had to, we both had to pay the price.

Ben: We just put things back the way they were.

Doctor: Did we? What about Mickey and Rose. We saved them. Not just their history or their children, but their souls. We made a difference, Ben! Just the two of us!

Ben: Fat lot of good... it does me... Can't you help?

Doctor: No. (beat) But I could talk to Rose. Not now, she's a bit busy at the moment crushing Mickey's left hand, but afterwards. I could get her to make you a statue? Put it up next to the Queen Victoria one? Or we could make it Ben Chatham day, a holiday for everyone?

Ben: Who cares?

Doctor: Well, I do. I can't save you, I can't even ease your pain. What can I do?

Ben weakly smiles.

The Doctor helps Ben stagger into his TARDIS and gently lies him against the doors.

Doctor: You're sure about this?

Ben: Course I am... I gotta first from Cambridge...

Doctor: (grins) And you should be justly proud.

The Doctor taps at the console for a moment. He turns to Ben.

Doctor: I'll be off now... (sighs) It has been an honor to meet you, Ben Chatham.

Ben nods. The Doctor leaves. Slowly, the control room fades away, leaving Ben propped against the pavement in a city full of glass sky scrapers. People are walking by, laughing, smiling, dressed in strange clothes. Aliens walk amongst them, and flying cars slice through the sky. Ben smiles broadly.

Ben: So this is the future I made...

He giggles and closes his eyes. Gradually zoom out as the simulation continues, unfolding around Ben's still form.

The End.

No comments: