“I hope you know what you’re doing,” said Romana as she talked to the Doctor over the comm. They were currently in London, England, chasing after a signal that came up. It was the Nestene Consciousness, that they knew; but unfortunately they had no idea where the signal was coming from exactly. They were lucky to track it to London. “Where are you?” she then asked.
*Outside a clothing store,* he replied. *This is where the scanner is leading me.* There was a pause before he added, *And all I see is a small satellite dish.*
“That’s not powerful enough to send out the signals that,” she said as she looked at the scanners again, shifting a strand of her brown hair behind her right ear.
*The signal may be bouncing off,* he said. *Going in anyway. I’ll contact you in a bit.* And with that, the line went dead.
Romana just sighed and shook her head. Nothing ever changes when it comes to him – he just continues to go blindly into danger. She then chuckled to herself as she remembered the times that he did just that. But almost always he succeeded – though there were a few times where she had to intervene. But that was then and this is now. Who knows what is going to happen next.
It was not until an hour later that she heard from him. Not by comm, but by him walking into the TARDIS. He smelt as if he was in an explosion. “What happened?” she asked.
“Saved an ape from Autons, blew up the store. Nothing new,” he replied, his face staying stoic as he looked at the scanner.
“You had to save a human?”
“Wrong place, wrong time for her. Though she was a little demanding,” he answered.
Romana just smiled. “I thought that was why you liked to bring humans along?” she teased. The Doctor gave her a mock glare. Laughing, she instead asked, “What’s next?”
“Continue to track the signal,” he replied. “Hopefully it will get us somewhere.”
And she certainly hoped so.
It was not until the next day that they managed to find a good lead. Romana managed to pick up a weak signal that was coming from a residential complex – well, flats, if she remembered the correct term for them. Anyway, the Doctor, using his sonic, led her to a particular one. They had to go up a few flights of stairs before coming to the door of one of the flats. “This is where it’s coming from?” asked Romana. It seemed to be rather an odd place for the signal to be coming from.
“Whatever it is, it keeps moving,” he replied.
“Oh goodie, a mobile signal. What is the universe coming to?” she sarcastically said.
The Doctor glared at her before dropping to his knees to examine the small opening in the door. He pushed it rather roughly; but a second later it moves softly before it stayed opened. The Doctor’s eyes went wide as he jumped up, making Romana wonder what just happened. The door then opened and she saw a young blonde woman with brown eyes. “What're you doing here?” he demanded.
“I live here,” said the young woman.
“Well, what do you do that for?”
“Because I do! And I'm only at home because someone blew up my job,” the girl replied. That was when the Time Lady realized that this must be the human the Doctor had rescued the night before.
He looked at his sonic before looking back at the human. “Must've got the wrong signal. You're not plastic, are you?” he asked as he knocked on the girl’s forehead. Romana rolled her eyes. “No, bonehead. Bye, then!”
But before he could move, the young woman grabbed him and pulled him into the flat. “You, inside. Right now,” she said. Romana barely had enough time to get in before the other woman closed the door.
“Who is it?” came an older female voice.
The girl poked her head into a room and replied, “It's about last night, he's part of the inquiry. Give us 10 minutes.”
“She deserves compensation,” the older woman said as the other walked away and the Doctor took her spot.
“Huh, we're talking millions,” he said. Romana smirked and rolled her eyes.
They just stood there for a moment waiting for the younger one to come back. But the elder seemed to have an eye for her friend. She looked at him and then stood up. “I'm in my dressing gown,” she said flirtatiously.
Romana tried so hard not to laugh as the Doctor said, “Yes, you are.”
“There's a strange man in my bedroom.”
“Yes, there is.”
“Well, anything could happen.”
The Time Lord stared at her for a moment before saying, “No.” He then walked off as Romana continued to contain her composure as the human pulled a face.
Walking quickly to catch up with him, she asked, “It’s safe to assume that the young woman was the one you saved last night?” He nodded as they walked into what appeared to be a sitting area.
“Don't mind the mess. Do you want a coffee?” asked the girl. Seeing Romana, she amended, “For the both of you?”
“Might as well, thanks! Just milk,” replied the Doctor.
Romana responded with, “No, thank you.”
The girl nodded as she walked into another room. “We should go to the police. Seriously. Both of us.”
But the man was not listening. Instead, he picked up a magazine and looked at it. “That won't last, he's gay and she's an alien,” he said. The Time Lady just shook her head as she took a seat in one of the chairs.
“I'm not blaming you, even if it was just some sort of joke that went wrong.”
He then picked up a book and flicked through it. “Sad ending,” he said.
“Do any stories have a happy ending?” asked Romana.
“They said on the news they'd found a body,” the girl continued on, blissfully unaware that she was being ignore.
The Doctor then picked up an envelope and said, “Rose Tyler.” He spotted a mirror and looked at his reflection. “Ahh, could've been worse!” he observed as he tugged his ears. “Look at me' ears.” He then looked at Romana and said, “You could’ve said something about that.”
“With all the trouble you kept getting us into, I never really had the chance,” she retorted while giving him a ‘give-me-a-break’ face. “Besides, since when did you care about how you looked?”
“All the same, he was nice. Nice bloke,” Romana then heard the girl – Rose – say, obviously continuing on with a conversation that neither her or the Doctor were responding to.
He then found a pack of cards and began to play with them. “Luck be a lady!” he sang as he shuffled them. Romana snorted.
“Well anyway if we are going to go to the police, I want to know what I'm saying,” said Rose as she was still busy in the other room. The cards that the Time Lord was playing with went flying when he shuffled them again. Romana could only laugh. “I want you to explain everything,” the young woman then added.
Looking at the cards, he said, “Maybe not.” Suddenly, a scuffling sound was heard from behind the sofa.
The two Time Lords looked at each other. “Do you have a cat?” called Romana as the Doctor went to look.
“No,” Rose replied. The Doctor then leaned to look behind the sofa. That was when an arm – more than likely plastic arm – leaped out from behind it and grabbed him by the neck. Rose happened to enter at that time, saying, “We did have, but there's these strays. They come in off the estate.”
Romana, in the meantime, could not decide if she wanted to laugh or come to his aid. Deciding on the latter, she moved from the chair and tried to pry the dummy arm’s fingers from off the Doctor’s neck. “Shit. Why is it that they keep getting stronger?” she mumbled to herself.
Rose apparently was not paying attention to what was going on. Setting down the coffee, she said, “I told Mickey to chuck that out. Honestly, give a man a plastic hand. Anyway, I don't even know your name. Doctor, what was it?”
It was at that moment that the Time Lord managed to through the hand off of him. Unfortunately, it then flew across the room and attached itself to Rose’s face. The girl responded by screaming while the Doctor and Romana leapt to her aid and tried to pull it off.
Romana lost her grip on it, causing the other two to crash into the glass table, which caused it to break. The Doctor then pushed Rose back onto the sofa and pulled out his sonic. One click caused the hand to lose its grip on Rose and a few more caused it to disable completely. It's alright, I've stopped it. There you go, you see?” he said as he tossed the arm to the human girl. “'Armless.”
Rose was not impressed – more liked extremely unhappy, which Romana found amusing. “Do you think?” responded Rose as she hit him in the arm with it.
“Ow!” said the Time Lord as he grabbed his arm. He then took the dummy arm from Rose. Grabbing Romana’s hand, he drags her out the door with him.
Unfortunately for him but amusing to Romana, Rose came running after them. “Hold on a minute! You two can't just go swanning off,” she yelled as they ran down the stairwell.
“Yes we can. Here we are, this is us, swanning off. See ya!” replied the Doctor.
“That arm was moving, it tried to kill me!”
“Brilliant observation,” retorted Romana.
“You can't just walk away. That's not fair! You've got to tell me what's going on.”
“No we don't,” said the Doctor as they reached the bottom of the stairs.
As they exited the building, Rose said, “Alright then. I'll go to the police. I'll tell everyone. You said, if I did that, I'd get people killed. So, your choice. Tell me, or I'll start talking.”
“Why do you always have to meet the ones that like to argue?” Romana sarcastically asked.
Ignoring her, the Time Lord replied to Rose, “Is that supposed to sound tough?”
He smirked and said, “Doesn't work.”
“Who are you two?” asked the girl.
“I told you! The Doctor. Though you didn’t meet Romana at that point.” The Time Lady gave the girl a wave.
“Yeah. But Doctor what?”
“Just the Doctor.”
“Hello!” the Doctor said cheerily.
“Is that supposed to sound impressive?” asked Rose.
Romana snorted. “To him, yes.” Her friend glared at her. She just gave him a friendly smile.
“Come on. You can tell me. I've seen enough. Are you two the police?”
“No,” he replied. “We were just passing through. We’re a long way from home.” The Time Lady smirked and thought, “That’s an understatement.”
“But what have I done wrong? How comes those plastic things keep coming after me?” asked Rose.
In disbelief, the Doctor said, “Oh! Suddenly the entire world revolves around you! You were just an accident. You got in the way, that's all.”
“It tried to kill me!”
“It was after us, Rose,” said Romana.
The Doctor added, “Last night, in the shop, I was there, you blundered it. Almost ruined the whole thing. This morning, we were tracking it down, it was tracking us down. The only reason it fixed on you is that you met me.”
Rose asked sarcastically, “So, what you're saying is, the entire world revolves around you?”
Romana laughed as the Doctor replied, “Sort of, yeah.”
“You're full of it!” said a disbelieving Rose.
“You have no idea!” Romana said as she continued to laugh.
Ignoring the Time Lady, he said, “Sort of, yeah.”
“But, all this plastic stuff – who else knows about it?” asked the young woman.
This time Romana answered with, “No one.”
“What, you're both on your own?”
“Well, who else is there? I mean, you lot, all you do is eat chips, go to bed, and watch telly! When all the time, underneath you, there's a war going on!” exploded the Doctor in frustration, frustration that was more than likely directed at Rose. Romana rubbed his back gently in an attempt to calm him down.
Taking the dummy arm away from him, Rose said, “Okay, start from the beginning.” They came to a road and began to walk down it. “If you're gonna go with this living plastic, and I don't even believe that, but if we do…how did you kill it?” asked Rose.
“The thing controlling it projects life into the arm. I cut off the signal, dead,” answered the Doctor.
“So that's radio control?”
“Oh, heavens, no. It’s thought controlled,” responded Romana. She dropped her hand back to her side only for her friend to grab it and hold onto it.
He then looked at the young human and asked, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” replied Rose, though her voice told her something different. “So, who's controlling it, then?”
“Long story,” he replied.
“But what's it all for? I mean, shop window dummies…what's that about? Is someone trying to take over Britain's shops?” she teasingly asked.
The trio laughed. “No,” replied the Time Lord.
“No price war,” added Romana.
They laughed again before the Doctor said seriously, “They want to overthrow the human race and destroy you. Do you believe me?”
“Yet you’re still here and listening,” said Romana.
Rose stopped but the two Time Lords continued on. “Really though, Doctor, Romana. Tell me - who are you two?” she asked again.
The duo stopped and looked at each other. The Doctor then turned to face Rose. “Do you know like we were saying? About the Earth revolving?” he asked as he walked back to her, leaving Romana where she was. “It's like when you were a kid. The first time they tell you the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still.” He then looks at her and takes her hand. “Romana and I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me. Clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go…” He let go of her hand. “That's who we are. Now, forget us, Rose Tyler.” He took back the arm and waved it in her face. “Go home,” he said to her as he turned and walked away. When he reached Romana, he grabbed her hand again and they went to the TARDIS.
Once they entered, Romana said, “She’s not.”
He walked up to the console, taking the old girl into the Vortex and began to attach wires to the arm. “What?” he asked.
“She’s not going to forget us.”
He sighed. “Why do I have the feeling that you’re right?” he wondered.
“Because I usually am.” He did not reply to that, so instead she said, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”