“Doctor, do you really think no one will notice your TARDIS in the Capitol building?”
Suzie, in period dress, and the Doctor walked out of the TARDIS. The TARDIS was parked in one of the bare halls in the United States Capitol building.
“I’m sure the TARDIS can take care of herself. She always does.”
The two walked towards and into the House gallery, a balcony that hung over the Chamber of the House of Representatives.
“There’s Emily Dickinson, if you want to go and sit by her. And her mother and sister are there.” The Doctor gently nudged Suzie towards where Emily and her family were sitting in the gallery. He smiled. Suzie stared back at him.
“Remember, Suzie,” the Doctor whispered in Suzie’s ear, “Emily never wanted her poetry published in her lifetime. She wanted most of it burned after she died. You shouldn’t mention anything about her poetry to her face or she’ll be suspicious of you.”
“I’ll try to remember, Doctor.”
Suzie sat beside Emily and her family. She extended a hand out to them. “My name’s Suzie Costello. I’m on holiday from Wales.”
The Doctor headed to another part of the Gallery when a figure stood up on the floor of the House. It was Emily’s father Edward, one of the current Representatives from Massachusetts.
Linn Boyd, the Speaker of the House, banged a gavel in front of the other Representatives. “Representative Dickinson, you may have the floor.”
Edward cleared his throat. “We know this is our last day in office. But we don’t understand why we are talking about camels.” His voice was high pitched and squeaky, but still masculine. The Doctor stopped in his tracks.
“We are discussing allocating $30,000 to the United States Army to fund an experiment with camels in the West, Representative Dickinson.”
“I know that, Speaker, but there really isn’t a point of giving money to the Army when we only assume the Western Territories are made up of desert. Can’t you send a few scouts all over the territory to check and assume the Western Territories are made up of sand?”
“That’s what this program is doing, Representative Dickinson. We’re allowing the Army to assure that the Western Territories are habitable and are not a desert wasteland.”
“We have a cheaper solution. Why don’t you let us send my scouts into the desert?”
Everyone in the Chamber started murmuring.
“Representative Dickinson, the state of Massachusetts doesn’t have enough enlisted men in the Army to make this trek without great casualties. You do realize there is growing dissent inside and outside the House chambers, correct? The last thing your state needs is a lack of enlisted men.”
“We weren’t talking about Earth men.”
Edward shed his skin in front of the House. Instead of Edward Dickinson, the House noticed a green jellyfish-like being on its floor.
“The Rutan Host,” the Doctor whispered to himself.
Emily stood up and fainted. Suzie felt her right side—her messenger bag from her Torchwood days was not on her side at this moment. All she could do was yell.
“Help! The daughter of Edward Dickinson has just fainted in the gallery! Doctor! What are you doing?”
The Doctor was on the railing of the Gallery.
“Don’t worry, Suzie. I’ve survived falls greater than this. Well, I regenerated after a fall like this, but I survived. And turned into some blonde-haired, blank-faced chap”—
The Doctor jumped into the Chamber of the House. He landed on his face. The Rutan Host hovered over the Doctor’s body.
“Hello, Doctor. We see you’ve decided to crash our party.”
The Doctor did not move.
A doctor ran to where Emily Dickinson had fainted in the gallery.
“She fainted, sir,” Suzie told the doctor.
Suzie looked down into the Chamber, where she saw the Doctor laid out on the Chamber floor.
“Get up, Doctor.”
Suzie ran out of the Gallery and back to the TARDIS. The Doctor had given her a key before they had arrived in the Capital. Beside the TARDIS door was a hat stand. On the stand was Suzie’s Torchwood bag. She opened the bag and pulled out the gun she used to attempt to kill herself in front of Jack and Gwen.
Suzie ran downstairs to get in the Gallery. She stood behind the Rutan Host, tiptoeing behind it.
“Get up, Doctor. Get up. This is not a fair fight.”
The Doctor got up from his fall and faced the Rutan Host.
“You’re right. This isn’t a fair fight. You’re in the middle of a room of unarmed members of the United States House of Representatives and a man with only a sonic screwdriver. And I’m still not sure why you’re referring yourself to ‘we.’ There’s only one of you. Did I ever tell you that before?”
“Silence, Doctor. We are united in transforming this building as a base for our operations against the Sontarans.”
“You couldn’t build a base on another planet with a large quarry? Not even Mars? Or do the Ice Warriors scare you?”
“This building is much more suitable for our plans.”
“I hate to disappoint you, but the Capitol building will not be yours for the taking today. In fact, I’m quite interested to hear about these plans for funding camels to trek the West and you’re ruining them.”
Three shots rang in the air; they all hit the Rutan Host. The Rutan Host fell to the Chamber floor.
“I never thought you’d use your morbid mind as a weapon, and quite an effective weapon at that,” the Doctor said to Suzie. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a nap on the floor.” The Doctor fell backwards on the floor.
A man ran into the Chamber. “I apologize for being late.” He was nearly out of breath. “This may seem silly to you all, but this green jellyfish appeared in my office and shocked me with electricity. He took my form and walked into the chamber. When I wasn’t being shocked, I ran down here as fast as I could. Did I miss anything?”
“You must be Edward Dickinson,” Suzie said.
“I am. How did you know my name?”
Suzie stood outside the TARDIS with Emily Dickinson.
“I’m sorry our conversation was cut short by the Rutan Host, Miss Dickinson. I wish we could’ve met under different circumstances.”
“I wish we did as well. After I return to Amherst, I am staying there for the rest of my life. I’ve seen too much death here.”
“That’s too bad.”
“Thank you for saving my father. We don’t always get along—he’s very demanding—but I still respect him and I would be saddened to see him perish to an alien menace.”
“I wish I could respect my father. He’s demanding just like your father, but he’s more despicable. He couldn’t hold an office in Wales if he tried.”
Emily laughed. “Someday you’ll see eye to eye with your father.”
I wish I could, Suzie thought.
“I must be going. Goodbye, Miss Costello.”
“Goodbye, Miss Dickinson.”
Emily walked down the hall. Suzie watched her walk away until she disappeared.
Suzie walked into the TARDIS. The TARDIS dematerialized as she shut the door.
Suzie visited the Doctor in the Zero Room; she carried him inside the TARDIS before looking for Emily to see if she had recovered from fainting. The Doctor was floating peacefully in the room.
“Doctor, are you okay?”
“Of course I am, Suzie. I told you, I’ve fallen from heights before and it doesn’t hurt me.”
“But you said you fell and then regenerated after that.”
“I survived, didn’t I? All I need is a bit of a rest in this room, and I’ll be as good as new. I promise I won’t regenerate. When I’m feeling better, I’ll look for you and we can have some more Earl Grey tea and talk about Emily Dickinson. Was she nice to you?”
“She likes me, Doctor. But she thinks I can repair things with my father. It’s not as simple as she thinks it is.”
“We’ll talk about your father later, Suzie. But for now...” The Doctor yawned. “I want to take a nap.”
The Doctor fell asleep. Suzie crossed his arms and left the Zero Room for the library.