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The Last Time Lord and The Impossible Girl

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Prologue

One day, you meet the Doctor. No surprise, it's the best day of your life, because…he's brilliant, and he's funny and mad and best of all, he really needs you. When you first meet him, like everyone else before you, you ask those questions: "Who are you?", "Where are you from?", "What set you on your way and where are you going?", "Have you ever had a family and what were they like?", "Oh, and what is your name, your real name?" He doesn't answer all of them and the ones he does it takes him a while, for he needs to find out: Can you be trusted with the answer? So, for his and your sake, you stop asking. You get used to it. But I know now, the answers to all of them. No matter how long I travel with that brilliant man, no matter what face he wears, I would never give it up for anything. I say this now because I must remember it all, where I am and why. It feels like I'm breaking into a million pieces, but I must remember. I must save the Doctor. He always looks different, but I know it's him. The madness, the brilliance, the hilarity, the ego, the mismatched clothes, it's always him. Yet sometimes I think I'm everywhere at once, running every second of eternity just to find him. Just to save him. But he never hears me. Well…almost never. The first time he met me was the day he started running. And he never looked back.

Citadel, Gallifrey
A Very Long Time Ago

Two men are working in a repair room, full of broken tools and electronics when an alarm goes off. One of the men stops working and goes to the computer monitor to check. "Something wrong?" The other man asked.

"It's the repair shop. What kind of idiot would steal a faulty TARDIS?" The first quipped dryly.

On the monitor was a black room full of undisguised TARDIS capsules. A white-haired old man, 5ft 8 with steel blue eyes and dressed in a black frock coat approached one capsule, accompanied by a young brunette girl, 5ft 1 with brown eyes and wearing a cream vest. The girl goes inside first whilst the man stops, checking around for any followers. When he is satisfied that no one else is there, he moves to enter but a girl in an orange Gallifreyan dress interrupts him as she moves into the room. "Doctor? Doctor?" The girl called.

"Yes, what is it? What do you want?" The Doctor asked impatiently.

"Sorry, but you're about to make a very big mistake." The girl said. His eyes flickered for a moment before he quickly composed himself and nodded for her to continue. "Don't steal that one, steal this one. The navigation system's knackered, but you'll have much more fun." The girl said while leaning on a TARDIS, a smirk wide across her face and her eyes twinkling.

"And why should I trust you, hmm?" He asked.

"Because you're running, but not just from fear or anxiety or for safety. You're running because you can't stand being still, so why would you run if not for a smile on your face and adrenaline running through your veins?" She asked like a mentor testing her student, her northern accent flourishing on her every word.

The Doctor gave an impressed smile at her cunning and truly turned his attention to her. The girl was 5ft 2, with dark brown hair and eyes, A round face, he playfully noted and…such a lovely smile. "What's your name, my dear?"

"Clara Oswald."

"Clara. Beautiful name." He complimented with a kind glow in his eyes. "But I must ask you Clara, what reason would you give me that would make me accept your advice?"

"Like I said, Doctor, it's in your nature. A faulty type 40 TARDIS compared to a better model gives you more fun. And I know that you will be choosing the faulty TARDIS." She looked at the model she was leaning against and whispered, "No offence."

The Doctor, who was still contemplating her reasoning, didn't hear the TARDIS whisper back in electronic beeping, "None taken," before it unlocked its doors in anticipation.

Clara then wordlessly turned and walked back to the door. As she reached it, she looked back at the Doctor. "It's your turn to choose, Doctor, but I know what you will pick. Just promise me one thing."

"What?" He asked in surprise.

"Run. Run, you clever boy. And remember me." She said before disappearing, and the Doctor was left staring at the doorway in confusion at her words. He thought for a moment in silence, then he reached into the nearby model and pulled the young girl back out.

"What's going on grandfather? Who were you talking to?" The girl asked.

"Someone who's given me the best advice in a long time. We're not taking that one, Susan, we're taking this one." He said, pointing to the type 40 TARDIS.

"But why? This model's in better condition." Susan pointed out.

"Because we know exactly when and where we could be going with a better TARDIS. A faulty one, *Chuckles* well, that makes it a mystery for us that we'll never solve, and it would be more fun that way." He said with a smile. "Now come along, my child. We should leave now. The other Time Lords that I may or may not have insulted will be on their way." The last sentence made Susan giggle as she entered the TARDIS, but it melted away as she looked at the interior in awe, a wide smile growing on her face. "Is something wrong, Susan?" He asked as he closed the door, before stopping and almost imitating Susan's look to a tee. The interior was white with round, hollow circles on the walls, and a giant rectangular shape on the opposite side by another door, which the Doctor assumed was the scanner screen. The room was almost completely empty except for the main console unit in the center, with a red and white time rotor.

"Oh grandfather, she's beautiful." She cried in joy.

"That she is, my child." He walked up to the console, placed his hand on it and said to himself, "She is the most beautiful thing I've ever known." The TARDIS beeped back an amused thanks as he and Susan moved around the console, flipping switches and controls to set their first journey. When they finish, the time rotor started up, and they promptly left Gallifrey.

Sometimes I think I'm everywhere at once, running every second of eternity just to find him. Just to save him. But he never hears me. Well…almost never. The 2nd was the beginning of the final day. The final day of hell in the cosmos and on this day, he told himself and the universe he had made his decision: No more.

Chapter Text

Asylum of the Daleks

From the beginning, she was impossible. Clara Oswald, my impossible girl. We have been running together for a long time now and she is perfect. She is always brave, makes light of every situation, a total genius and as bossy as she is gorgeous. And yet, I have met her before. Back on Gallifrey when I started running, she was there. She made me choose a different TARDIS, the one I have had for all of my lives. I met her again in the Dalek Asylum. That time people remember but not the face I wore then. That face…my biggest shame and regret, yet Clara gave a light in that darkness, until it became extinguished. That time of darkness was the last day of hell. War had descended for hundreds of years and no matter how hard I fought, no matter how many people I saved, it was never enough. That was the day I decided to end it all. Too long it had gone on, the Time War had to end. No more fighting. No more death. No more suffering. No more.

Plains, Gallifrey
The Last Day of the Time War

An old man, 5ft 8½, with brown eyes and dressed in war-torn clothing looked out upon Gallifrey's vast sand plains, the Citadel standing in the middle, far to the distance. What once was a beautiful stretch of red grass mixed with orange sand was now littered with the bodies of fallen Time Lords and destroyed Daleks. Dalek ships lay torn apart upon various parts of the plains, with tiny pockets of smoke appearing from their remains. The dead and leafless trees on the mountaintops creaked and swayed wearily in the hot, dry wind. Despite this, the old man looked upon the Citadel, with different emotions flickering across his face. The first was guilt: For all the families torn apart, homes burnt and children who died long before their time. The second was self-loathing: That he was foolish enough to think that the war would end any day, whether by his hand or others. Finally, was contemplation: All the forbidden weapons and plans of the Time Lords were exhausted over the course of the Time War to no avail, except for one: "The Moment", also known as "The Galaxy Eater". Now, in the old man's eyes, it was the only way to end the war and save the universe. He began planning to take the Moment from the Omega Arsenal to the barn. The same barn he ran to night after night when he was afraid and alone. There, he would activate the weapon and end the war, knowing full well he would not survive the aftermath, for with him, the Time Lords and the Daleks would pass into history. But before he could move forward with the new plan, he froze at once from a new presence to his right. He turned to see a figure dressed head to toe in red robes, the hood placed upon their head, yet their face remained unseen, shrouded in darkness. The old man recognized the figure at once as a member of the Headless Monks, a religious order allied with the Church of the Papal Mainframe. "The Doctor." The Monk said in a deep voice.

"Don't call me that. I'm not the Doctor, not anymore." The old man snapped.

"The Warrior." The Monk said, taking the comment as a request for a different name.

"What do you want?" He asked in a tired, world-weary voice.

"There is a woman who wants to meet you. Your help is required."

He stood there, deep in contemplation for a few, short and tense moments before he asked, "What is her name?"

"Darla von Karlsen."

"I've never heard of her." He muttered before turning around, then at once stopping his movements in shock. They were no longer on Gallifrey but instead in a dark room with a sickly green light and deeply familiar engravings and markings upon the walls. "A psychic projection?" The Warrior asked through a deduction. "Or a conference call through a soporific?"

"Do you recognize where you are?" The Monk asked, completely ignoring his questions.

The Warrior gave a small, dry snort. "Oh, I recognize it all right. But why would you or this "Darla" need my help?" He asked.

"You are the Warrior, the greatest and most respected fighter in the Time War, it can only be you. Her daughter is in danger." The Monk explained before he waved one of his hands in front of his face in a revealing motion. The movement left behind light blue symbols that arranged themselves before their eyes. "Space-time coordinates. You recognize the planet?" The Monk asked, echoing his earlier question.

"Yes." The Warrior answered, restrained anger bubbling up inside him when he did.

"Name the planet." The Monk demanded.

"No."

"Name the planet."

"No!" The Warrior exclaimed in rage.

"Name the planet." The Monk repeated, unaffected and uncaring about his outburst. The Warrior took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a few moments, as the Monk leaned in towards him. "Name the planet." The Monk whispered imploringly.

"Skaro." He opened his eyes to find himself sitting in his chair in the TARDIS, a soporific candle burned out on the table beside him. He glanced around the console room for a few moments before he gave out a sigh, rose up from his chair and started the TARDIS to follow the given co-ordinates.

Ruined Dalek Temple, Skaro

The TARDIS materialized inside a dark room, covered in filth, strewn wires and a hole in the wall that looked out upon the ruined city of Skaro below. The Warrior stood inside what might have been a Dalek temple, even though the Daleks had no concept of belief, worship or even blasphemy. "I received your message. Few people can do that, send a soporific aboard my ship mid-flight." The Warrior said without turning to the hooded figure in black to his left. The figure however turned to look at him, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see that it was a red headed woman with pale skin. Far too pale. He mused grimly to himself.

"I have a daughter, Hannah. She is in a Dalek prison camp. They say you can help." Darla pleaded.

"Darla, did you know that the universe is in the middle of the greatest and most terrible war it has ever known?" He asked sarcastically. "There are millions upon millions of cries for help across the universe, crying for safety, revenge…" He paused, and turned to look at her, "and for reunion with their lost family. So what story would tell you that your plea would be listened to?" He asked with a bitter sadness in his voice as he remembered all the people he tried and failed to help. "What makes you think that your request will be met with?"

"They said...I'd have to intrigue you." Darla said after an awkward moment, before she attempted to give a slight smile of humor.

The Warrior ignored her attempt to alleviate the tension, and he looked back out of the hole upon the ruined city. "Skaro, planet of the Daleks. Just like the Time Lords, look how far they've fallen from grace." He muttered, pushing away memories of the species in their earlier years aside before turning back to Darla. "Who told you about me?"

"Does it matter?" She asked with a blink of confusion.

"In other situations, no. In this war, yes. You see, if Hannah is in a prison camp, why aren't you?"

She shrugged. "I escaped." If it were anyone else but the Warrior, they would've missed the split second of uncertainty in both her eyes and her voice.

"No one escapes the Dalek camps without being liberated." He retorted before moving towards Darla and gently taking her hand. "You're a Thal, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"One of the last remaining," He paused before adding dryly, "survivors. But the Thal race is nearing extinction, driven off Skaro to find sanctuary with other civilizations. And you are cold. Far too cold to be alive." The Warrior sighed, before he let her hand go and started to pace back to the TARDIS. "This is a trap." He deducted.

"What is?"

"You are, and you don't even know it." Darla's head clicked twice before an eye-stalk appeared from her forehead, and the noise made the Warrior stop in his tracks. He turned around just in time to see her hold up her right hand, letting a Dalek gun emerge from her palm before she fired at the Warrior and knocked him down. No pain, just a blast to render me unconscious.

"The Warrior is acquired." A loud Dalek voice roared through the room before the Warrior drifted off into deep, dreamless sleep.


He awoke later to find himself in a round, white room with a window shaped oddly like prison bars in the wall. As he shook the drowsiness out of his mind, he stood up and moved to the window to see many Dalek ships flying outside in deep space. A door then suddenly opened at the other end of the room to show three Daleks moving inside, their eye-stalks fixed upon the old man. "Elevate." One of the Daleks said and upon its command, the floor began to move upwards as the ceiling opened to reveal a window dome far above and the view of a dull, golden room followed swiftly thereafter. The expanse of the room was monumental, with hundreds of Daleks lined up in rows, all of them staring at the Warrior.

To his left, he gave a brief sigh of relief as he saw the TARDIS, his oldest friend sitting there unharmed. In front of him was both a white console and a small, glass capsule, holding a large organic Dalek inside, its tentacles writhing about in anticipation. On its left was Darla, now dressed in a black leather battle outfit, while on the right was a blood red Dalek. The Dalek Minister and a Dalek Supreme. The Warrior gave a sigh of defeat. It is the Parliament of the Daleks. He waited for a moment but found to his surprise, none of the Daleks were doing anything. Not firing, not speaking, not even moving. So, in courage or foolish boldness, he marched forward. "Well, what are you waiting for?" He called almost tauntingly, his voice echoing through the expansive room. "After all these many years, you have me right where you want me, ready to die in your name. So, let me ask again: What are you waiting for?" The Warrior demanded, staring at the Minister.

"Save us." The Minister said, and a small moment of tense silence followed where the Warrior could only blink at its simple words. "You will save us."

He stared at the Minister, and surprise quickly spread across his face. "I beg your pardon?"

"You will save the Daleks."

Before the Warrior could get another word out, all the Daleks in the chamber began to chant "Save The Daleks" over and over again, making his expression turn from surprise to utter disbelief. After all this time, after all the defeats I made them suffer, they want my help. What for? Only the Time Lords know about the Moment and even then, only very few and they would know by now their failed attempts to beat the Daleks have given them the winning hand. So, what do they need?

"Save the Daleks! Save the Daleks! Save the Daleks!" They continued to chant, and their loud, echoing voices started to create a throbbing and painful ringing in his ears that made him blink, and he was forced to impromptu plug them with his own fingers.

"Legions of Daleks needing my help?" He chuckled lightly at that. "That's new."

Meanwhile, At the Same Time

In a grey, yet neatly maintained room, a young brunette girl, dressed in a red dress that came to her mid-thigh, was continuing to nail planks over the round entrance, whilst she silently hummed a Carmen opera song to herself as the same song played on her music box. As she finished, she quickly equipped a cooking apron and oven gloves before she opened the microwave with a light beeping sound, and she stared at the contents within. Her wide, beaming smile quickly turned into a frown, as she pulled out a horribly burnt soufflé then at once dumped it into the bin, giving a couple, playful pats on said bin's lid. She then took off her cooking gear before going to lie down on a gently swaying hammock. Then, she picked up a tape and clicked the record button, contemplating for a second before speaking, her northern accent flourishing on every word. "Oswin Oswald's log, day 363. The terror continues. Also, made another soufflé…" She paused before adding with a smirk, "very nearly. Checked defenses…" She glanced over to the barred entrance before continuing on with a small sigh. "They came again last night. Still always at night. They could be vampires." She quipped dryly to herself, before blinking for a silent moment, and then she suddenly carried on with a beaming smile again. "Oh, and it's my mum's birthday." She stared into the middle distance for a moment before she added somberly, "Happy birthday mum. I did make you a soufflé, but it was too beautiful to live." She finished with a giggle.

A loud bang was heard at the entrance, startling Oswin from her serene moment as she quickly switched off the recorder, and at least four Dalek voices started to flood through the door. "You will let us in! We will enter! You will let us in! We will enter! You will let us in! We will enter!"

Oswin flinched in fear before she grabbed a remote and switched to a different Carmen song and turned up the volume. For a moment it did nothing to blot out the sound of the Daleks, so she plugged her fingers in her ears in a vain effort to help. After a while however, the Daleks stopped banging and the faint sound of humming started as they moved away, which left Oswin feeling relieved and still utterly terrified.

Parliament of the Daleks
One Hour Later

The Warrior stood still with an ever-growing temptation to pace burning in his nerves. He used to do this when he called himself "The Doctor" but has many a time ignored the feeling as it reminded him of who he no longer is. Yet the slow, bulky ship and the sluggish journey began to eat away at his patience. Right until- "We have arrived." The Dalek Supreme announced.

Thank the heavens. "Where?" He questioned.

"The Prime Minister will speak with you now." Darla said, ignoring his question, and she motioned her hand to the glass capsule.

The Warrior walked to stand beside Darla and without looking at her, he asked dryly, "Do you remember who you were before they emptied you out and turned you into their errand girl?"

"My memories are only activated if they are required to facilitate deep cover or disguise." She said, mirroring his tone before motioning again to the capsule.

"Do you not remember her?" He asked in a different angle. "Your daughter Hannah?"

"No. I just read my file." She said with a sly smirk on her face.

The Warrior just gave her a dull glare before he walked past her and the console and up to the Minister. "Well then, where have we arrived?"

"Warrior, what do you know of the Dalek Asylum?" The Minister asked.

"In the early days of the Time War, one of the very first planets the Daleks conquered was, by order of Davros, to be turned into a dumping ground. This planet is where you lock up every single Dalek that is a failure. Whether they became battle-scarred, driven to insanity or were never pure-blooded Dalek to begin with, you lock them up there. Even after Davros disappeared, you still honor his order. Of course, it's never made any sense to me." The Warrior finished his diagnosis by turning around and walking back to the center of the room.

"Why not?"

"Because any Dalek failure is deemed shameful even though the Daleks should have no concept of it, so you would just kill them."

"We do not lock up hybrid abominations, Warrior, we destroy them. The Daleks in the Asylum are pure-blooded, and it is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred."

He stopped and turned to look back at the Minister with a look of surprise and disgust on his face. "Offensive?"

"Does it surprise you to know that the Daleks have a concept of beauty?"

"You think hatred is beautiful? After all these years fighting this war, I thought you ran out of ways to make me sick. Well here I am, proven wrong." The Warrior said, his surprise and disgust quickly turning into tamed rage.

"Perhaps it is why we have never been able to kill you."

The Warrior just stared blankly at the Minister before he turned around as he heard a circular hole open in the center of the room. He stood by it and peered down to see a singular planet, covered in grey clouds, and surrounded by a light that looked like gleaming grey ash, almost indistinguishable against the planet itself. Darla walked up to stand beside him, her heels clicking against the floor as she did. "The Asylum. It occupies the entire planet, right to the core."

"How many Daleks?"

"A count has not been made. Millions, certainly."

"Alive?"

"It has to be assumed."

"Armed?"

Darla gave him an extremely dull look. "Daleks are always armed. The Asylum is fully automated. Supervision is not necessary, but we did receive a signal from the planet. It originates right in the heart of the Asylum."

Upon her finishing, the Dalek Supreme moved to interact with the console. Then a Carmen song started to blare loudly into the room, making the Dalek Supreme move backwards in agitation. "What is that noise?! Explain! Explain!"

The Warrior began to walk up to the console with a nostalgic twinkle in his eyes. "It's a song from Earth. A long time ago I played the triangle in this song, but the rest of the instruments drown it out. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful show. Now someone, be it genuine or trap is transmitting this from the planet. Have any of you considered tracking the signal back to talk to them?" Utter silence followed with Darla looking confused and surprisingly embarrassed at his reasoning. He rolled his eyes then pressed a couple of switches to turn on the audio input. "Hello? Anybody there?"

In the room, Oswin, now with a red rose in her hair, looked at her screen in both surprise and wonder. I have not talked to someone that is not a Dalek since I crashed here. Maybe I can get out! "Hello?" She asked timidly.

"Hello? Anybody there?" The Warrior repeated.

"Hello! Yes, yes, sorry." Oswin raced up to the large computer and flicked a couple of switches to turn the music off. "Do you read me?"

"Yes. Reading you loud and clear. Could you kindly identify yourself and your current situation?"

"Wait a moment, are you real?" She asked in relieved bewilderment. "Are you actually, properly real?"

"Yes, my dear. I am real." He said, trying to hold back the instinctive pity in his voice. How long has she been on her own, without contact from anybody excluding Daleks?

Oswin quickly cleared her throat. "Oswin Oswald. Junior entertainment manager, star ship Alaska. Current status: Crashed and shipwrecked somewhere…"She glanced behind her to the boarded entrance for a moment before continuing, "not nice. Been here for a year, provisions are good but keen to move on."

"A year?" The Warrior muttered in bewilderment. "Are you okay? Are you under attack?"

"Some local life forms. Been keeping them out."

"You do know what those lifeforms are, my dear?"

"Anyone can hear a Dalek for miles, so yeah." She said amusingly.

The Warrior laughed before he stopped himself in surprise. I have not laughed properly for centuries. I really am getting old. He then asked timidly, "What have you been doing on you own against the Daleks for a year?"

"Making soufflés?" Oswin responded hesitantly.

The Warrior could not help himself and he laughed at her words. "Soufflés? Against the Daleks? Wonderful." However, he paused for a moment as he realized that something might be wrong with her words. "Wait, where do you get the milk?"

Before he and Oswin could converse any further, the Dalek Supreme interrupted. "This conversation is irrelevant!"

Back in the room, Oswin heard the connection cut off, replaced by static noise. "No, no, wait! Hello? Hello?" No answer came, and she growled in irritation before she started to flip the switches in an attempt to re-establish the connection.

"No, it isn't!" The Warrior responded in an irritated manner back on the Asylum. "Don't you realize what this is? A star liner has crashed into your Asylum and someone got in. If that happens then someone can get out. Even you don't want an avalanche of insane Daleks to break free."

"The Asylum must be cleansed!"

"Then why is it still here?" The Warrior retorted. "You have enough power to blow the planet to kingdom come yet you have done nothing. Why?"

"The force field is impenetrable." Darla interjected.

"Then turn it off!" The Warrior exclaimed impatiently.

"It can only be turned off from within the Asylum."

The Warrior put the pieces together before an amused twinkle started to shine in his eyes. "Oh, that's why. No matter your numbers or heavy firepower, you are too scared to go down there. That is where I come in. Now if my deduction is true, why on god's Earth would I help you?"

"Because Doctor, you would have no other means of escape!" The Dalek Supreme roared. If he was Human, he would have had a sickening grin plastered across his face.

The Warrior sighed as Darla walked up to him holding a wrist band. "You'll need this. It will protect from the Nano cloud."

"I beg your pardon?"

"The gravity beam will convey you close to the source of the transmission. You must find a way to deactivate the force field from there." Darla said, ignoring his question as she put the wrist band on, then she pressed a small button on the side to activate it.

The Warrior groaned loudly. "Oh, that's the plan then. Fire me at the planet and wait till I fix it." No response came from within the room, and Darla just motioned wordlessly towards the hole. As he moved forward, a beam of white light shone from the ceiling and through the hole. Taking a deep breath before whispering an old Gallifreyan prayer, he stepped through the hole. For what felt like hours, all the Warrior could see was a blinding light, forcing him to shut his eyes. Then he felt himself surrounded by snow and what sounded like Dalek eye-stalks tuning and focusing. He opened his eyes to see a blue sky with clouds above his head and cold snow surrounding him in all directions. This must be the planet's illusion, that it is a peaceful planet protected by a powerful force field from the war. He groaned deeply as he moved to get up, noticing a Dalek eye-stalk sticking out of the snow to his right. If it was not for his current predicament, he would have laughed at its silliness. Then the same Carmen song that played in the Asylum began to blare out before it was at once cut off.

"Sorry! Sorry, I pressed the wrong switch!" Oswin said.

"Soufflé girl?" The Warrior muttered, surprise in his voice at her manipulation of Dalek technology.

"You could always call me Oswin, seeing as that's my name." Oswin said, a degree of sass in her voice that made him smirk.

"Sorry, Oswin. But I must ask, how are you doing this? This is Dalek technology, not even Time Lords have figured out how to manipulate it so easily." The Warrior said, now with awe in his voice.

"Well...it's pretty easy for me. Maybe you're just a big idiot who hasn't figured it out." He did not need to see her to know that she had a cheeky grin on her face.

"Oh, quiet you." The Warrior retorted, yet he could not help the smile. "Where are you?"

"Ship broke up when it hit the planet, now I'm somewhere underground...I think. You coming to get me?" Oswin asked, her voice laced undeniably with hope. Yet just like the connection, it was cut off as static filled the screen. "Damn. Hello?" Oswin called, before sighing and returning to her work...again.

"Oswin, you there?" The Warrior asked. Before he would continue, he noticed coming down a mound of snow towards him from his right was a brown-skinned man in a white fur jacket, panting as he stopped his pace.

"Hello, who are you? Are you okay?" The man rambled. "I'm Harvey. I saw the transport beam on the other side of the hill. Are you the rescue team?"

The Warrior looked at him in puzzlement, and he answered timidly, "I think so. Well Harvey, I'm the Doctor." Wait a moment, since when did I refer to myself as the Doctor? Oh, never mind. "How did you get on this planet?"

"I'm part of maintenance on Star ship Alaska. We crashed here two days ago, but the escape pods launched into the surface before the ship burrowed underground."

Hold on, Oswin said the ship crashed here a year ago and Harvey says it was only a few days. What am I missing? "I'm trying to get to the ship, one of your crew members contacted me." Best not tell him about the Daleks blowing up the planet. Don't need him to panic.

"I can help you, me and the others, we all...somewhat camped in an escape pod." Harvey at once started to move back up the mound, the Doctor looking timidly at his hurried pace. He moved to follow Harvey and before long saw a grey latch in the snow which Harvey began to open. "There's at least twelve other escape pods, I don't know if they also have survivors, or where they are." Harvey said before moving inside the escape pod.

The Doctor followed him and watched as he gathered supplies, seeing three rows of chairs with bodies in them and a door behind him-Wait…bodies? "Aren't you going to introduce me to your crew?" He asked, not taking his eyes off the backs of their heads.

"Oh, sorry. Guys, this is the Doctor." Harvey introduced, but he paused as he noticed the bodies did not even react to either of them. "Guys?"

The Doctor pulled one of the hoods off and saw a rotten skeleton underneath. He moved in front of the others and saw the same thing. "They're all dead." He said dryly.

"No, they can't be. I just spoke to them. Two hours ago, we were doing engine repairs." Harvey said in shock.

"You sure about that? I'd say they've all been dead for an awfully long time." The Doctor turned to look at Harvey who then dulled his eyes in almost mocking realization.

"Oh, of course, stupid me. I died outside, and the cold preserved my body. I forgot about dying." As he finished, a cracking sound came from his neck as a Dalek eye-stalk emerged. The Doctor quickly pressed a nearby button to open the door, then grabbed a fire extinguisher and fired it directly into Harvey's eyes, forcing him through the door then he slammed his hand down on the button.

Now that explains the "Nano cloud". Microscopic machines that convert anything organic into Dalek puppets. It does not even need to be living to become a puppet. Wait, there's bodies in here too. Ok, time to go. The Doctor at once moved to the door on the other side of the room, pressing the button to open it, then doing the same with the button on the other side, closing the door before the corpse puppets could even move. The Doctor then sighed in relief, before jumping slightly as a loud static noise filled the room for a brief second.

"Unauthorized personnel may not enter the cockpit." Oswin quipped.

"Oh, shush you." The Doctor said with a smile, before moving over to the computer in front of him.

Oswin huffed. "Mr. Grumpy today. That is a bad combo, no sense of humor and that mess of an outfit." She continued.

"It's not an outfit, it's just something I wear instead of a military suit." The Doctor retorted incredulously.

"Like I said, mess of an outfit. I'm scanning you, you're in one of the escape pods from the Alaska and it seems your power is on."

"How can you hack into everything? It should be impossible, especially in a crashed ship." More than that, I cannot see her, yet she can see me. Why is that? Is it one way visual or something else?

"Long story. Is there a word for "Total Screaming Genius" that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?" Oswin flirted.

Well, two can play at this game. "The Doctor. Fits the bill, and that is also my name." The Doctor replied in the same tone. He had to hold his surprise when he heard Oswin giggle. Wait, that worked? Hmm, I've still got it. That is either really good or really bad.

"I see what you did there." Oswin replied but stopped to hear a loud beeping from her computer, making her return to her work. "Check the floor. I am picking up a breach at floor level, could be a way out. See ya later."

The Doctor smiled before turning to survey the room. Nothing much of note except for a used hatch in the floor. Hold on, used? Either nothing is adding up or I am missing something extremely obvious. The Doctor moved to the hatch to open it. The lower part of the pod is buried so this must go straight down to the Asylum. And whoever previously used this hatch tried to block it off behind them. Cannot really blame them for doing that. The Doctor then forced the hatch open to see a sheer drop inside with a ladder attached to the hatch. Someone else got in here, or did they get out? He then began the long climb down the ladder. After what again felt like an eternity, the Doctor reached the bottom of the ladder to see a corridor in front of him then quickly popped his back and suppressed a groan. Dear me, I am too old for this shit. Wait, was that from a film-oh never mind. He then marched down the corridor before coming to a stop, seeing a Dalek eyestalk in the roof acting strangely like a camera. Please let her hear me. "Oswin, are you there? Can you hear me?"

"Hello there, old fella. I have a visual on you."

Again, that same question. "Why don't I have a visual on you?"

"Limited power, bad hair, not enough makeup, horrific dress, take your pick."

"Well if the voice matches you, you would look good no matter what dress you are in."

Oswin paused in surprise for a moment. "Now I can't tell if that was smooth or really cheesy."

"Shush." That made Oswin giggle which in turn made the Doctor smirk.

"There's a door to your left, open it." The Doctor did as she said, seeing a small cupboard with a screen inside. "Going to send you a map to that screen. Can take you to a room containing teleports, those can get us out of here."

The Doctor waited as she stopped talking, noticing left out information. "And the problem is?"

"You have to go through a room of insane Daleks."

That made him nod slowly with a sigh. "Riiight. How many Daleks are ahead of me?"

"Ten? Twenty? It is hard to tell. Some of them are catatonic but they do have firepower, so be careful."

"I'll try to be." The Doctor said solemnly before opening the door and moving into the large room. The room was full of burnt wires, dripping water and Dalek waste along with many stationary Daleks. Asleep, dead, or dormant? Hard to recognize. He started his slow trek to the other side of the large room, moving around columns and Daleks whilst being careful to avoid touching anything on the ground. At least ten more feet before I can get to the door. Before he moved another inch, a loud metallic groaning sound came from right next to him. He turned to see a Dalek's head moving painfully slow towards him, the blue light in its eye-stalk being dim yet noticeable. The Doctor took a few slow steps back before stopping in shock as his foot clumsily bumped a steel rod on the ground, making a loud screeching sound in the process. This caused all the Daleks in the room to come alive. Some of the Daleks at the far side were doing silly gestures like moving close to each other in a form of hug or spinning around on the spot while staring straight upwards. However, the Dalek right beside him finished moving its head to stare straight into his eyes.

"Eh-Eh-Eh-Eh-Eh-Eggs…"

The Doctor blinked before sputtering, "I'm sorry?"

"Egg-Egg-Egg-Egg-Egg-Eggs…"

"Eggs? What do you mean?"

"Ehhhggs…"

"I... don't know what you want."

"Eggs...ter-"

"Okay, don't even bother finishing that." The Doctor spat out quickly before turning to run for the door.

"Mi... nate. Ex-ter-mi-nate." The Doctor reached the door but found it would not open. Quickly fishing out his silver sonic screwdriver, he pointed it at a red sensor at the top of the door to force it open. "Exterminate!" The same Dalek exclaimed before firing yet missing him by at least five feet. This still made him flinch in fear before returning to work. The door then opened, allowing the Doctor to run inside then repeat the same motion with his sonic, right after dodging another shot from the Dalek. The door then shut just in time to block a well-aimed blast from the Dalek, thus saving his life. This made him lean against the wall and breath a deep sigh of relief before returning to walk down the corridor to another door, this one leading into a small circular room filled with electronic devices and strewn wires.

"You have some incredibly good stamina for an old fella. Other people might interpret that differently though."

"Ummm, thank you?" The Doctor asked dumbly.

"No problem. Just flirting to keep you cheerful."

"Well, I'll take flirting over Daleks any day. Actually, I'd take almost anything than facing Daleks."

"Yeah, I know the feeling." Oswin admitted.

"Now I have a question Oswin, why hasn't the Dalek Nano cloud converted you?"

That made Oswin snort. "I mentioned the genius thing yeah. Shielded in here."

Again, even the most brilliant genius cannot integrate into Dalek technology so easily. "Not bad." He decided to say, so to not alarm Oswin. "Now, the Daleks said this place was fully automated but look at it. It's a complete mess."

"Well, I've had nearly a year to mess with it and... not much else to do."

Let us get this straight. "A junior entertainment manager hiding out in a wrecked star ship, integrating themselves into the security system of THE most advanced battle race the universe has ever seen. Yet what I find most strange is the soufflés. Where do you get the milk from?" That started to make Oswin look both confused and uncertain at her situation. "How do you fight Daleks for over a year while making soufflés without running out of supplies?"

"So, Doctor, I've been looking you up. You're all over the database, yet why would the Daleks call you names like "Predator" or "Valeyard" or "Warrior"?"

She did not simply ignore those questions, she avoided them in fear. "Because I've been fighting a war for an exceedingly long time. You do not fight wars and simply call yourself "The Doctor" it never works like that. I am still surprised I am using that name right now and not "The Warrior". I have not been the Doctor for so long now, and sometimes I keep forgetting what even made me him in the first place. But the one thing I do remember is that the Doctor is a good man."

"*Sigh* Have you got a plan then?"

"In no order I have to neutralize all the Daleks in this Asylum, rescue you from the wreckage and escape from both this planet and the Dalek Parliament that is in orbit."

"FYI, I picked up that ship on the sensors."

"Thank you Oswin. Now, this whole planet has a force field around it and the Daleks on said ship are waiting for me to turn it off then they will destroy the whole planet and everything on it. And if I think about common Dalek behavior, I shall receive no mercy. My question is, how fast can you turn off the force field?"

"Pretty fast. But why would I? And why would you let me if you know you won't survive?"

"This room I'm in Oswin, it is a teleport room, an internal teleport at that. And thanks to a good ounce of Dalek stupidity, I have an escape ship on the Dalek Parliament that I can just teleport to and get us out of here. And I can boost the power along with the accuracy of said teleport when the force field drops. So, how fast can you drop the force field, Oswin?"

"I can do it from here, as soon as you come and get me."

"Can you send me a map to your location?"

"Hold on, aren't you supposed to say, "Why not just drop the force field and come to me?""

"Because I have been fighting this violent war for far too long. There have been so many times where I have promised someone that I would save them and yet they die, so I will not let that happen again. When we do get out of here, I can take you back home but then I must return to my planet."

"Why? Why would you have to return to a war when you can just go somewhere peaceful?"

"Because I made myself a promise. A promise to end the war and I will see it through, even if I don't survive."

Oswin reluctantly accepted his words despite her sadness for him and his fate. "All right then, I'm sending you a map to my location."

The Doctor then began to hastily move around the room to prepare the teleport before moving back to the computer screen to see the map route then leaving the room and heading down a long corridor. He started to breathe unsteadily as he heard many distant Daleks chanting "We are the Daleks! Prepare to be annihilated!". After a full minute of walking, he let a small breath of relief pass as he saw a door at the end. "Oswin, are you there? I think I'm getting close." The Doctor whispered shakily.

"You are, less than twenty feet away. That's the good news."

He gulped. "And the bad?"

"You're going to pass through Intensive Care."

The door opened to reveal a room bathed in sickly green and brown light, which once again made the Doctor feel uneasy. It did not help that the badly arranged cells held dormant Daleks. "What's so special about this lot then?" The Doctor whispered.

"Don't know, survivors of particular wars: Spiridon, Kembel, Aridius, Vulcan, Exxilon, the Time War." That last one made Oswin pause. Is that the war he is referring to? "Any of them familiar?"

"The last one." He said simply.

"How?"

"These are the Daleks who survived me."

"Doc-tor." One of the Daleks said slowly. Before long all the Daleks in the room began to chant the same word, making him run towards the door at the end and pulling out his sonic to repeat the opening motion on the door. Yet nothing happened.

"Oh dear, it won't open. Oswin, can I have a hand please?"

"Hang on. I think there might be a release code, let me just…"

"Doctor!"

That made him turn around. All the Daleks were still in their cells, moving against the bars fruitlessly, yet one was not in a cell, just wrapped in chains. As it chanted, it moved violently against the chains which snapped away, setting it free to move forward. The Doctor saw that it had nothing attached to it, not even a gun, but the Daleks had other ways of killing their enemies. Just need to stall for Oswin. "Wait! Access your standing orders concerning the Doctor!"

"You must be exterminated!"

"How will you do that?! You do not have a gun! How are you going to destroy me?!" As he finished, he heard two sounds. One was the door behind him opening while the other was an alarm coming from the Dalek in front of him.

"Self-destruct initiated!"

20 seconds. The Doctor then pulled his sonic out and used it to remove part of the Dalek's head, so he could mess around with its own systems.

"Self-destruct cannot be countermanded!"

"I'm not looking for a countermand, child! I'm looking for reverse!" The Doctor taunted. He placed the Dalek's head back on then mocked it by moving backwards through the doorway as said Dalek flew away from him in haste.

"Forwards! Forwards! Forwards! Forwards! Forwards!" The Dalek screamed before it exploded in a blast that destroyed the nearby cells and the Daleks contained within. The same blast knocked the Doctor off his feet leaving him with a dazed head and ringing ears.

"Ow." He grumbled.

"That was pretty clever." Oswin complimented.

"It was, but it could've killed me if it wasn't for you Oswin. Thank you, though I'm surprised you opened the door so quickly."

"Well then Doctor, come meet the genius who saved your life." Oswin said smugly before moving to pack her belongings. The Doctor then stood up and popped his back, letting out a groan as he did. He then focused his attention on his surroundings once his ears stopped ringing loudly. The room was small and circular, with bright white lights coming out of the walls, yet they were not so bright like the transport beam from far earlier. He then turned around and froze in utter horror. He had misheard Oswin's voice due to the aftermath of the explosion, hearing her recognizable northern accent. Yet he saw in one image that not only did he hear her voice wrong, but he found the answer to all his questions related to Oswin. In front of him stood a chained Dalek staring at him.

"Hey, you're right outside. Come on in."

"Oswin, we have a very serious problem." The Doctor said, the horror now turning into utter sadness and guilt. Yet again, no matter how hard I tried, I still did not save her. She will not leave knowing what she is.

"No, we don't. Do not even say that. I joined Alaska to see the universe and ended up shipwrecked on my first adventure. Rescue me Doctor and show me the stars." Oswin said, fear and denial laced in her Dalek voice.

"Does it look real to you?"

"Does what look real?"

"Where you are, right now. Does it seem real?"

"It is real."

The Doctor gave out a sad sigh. "I'm so sorry Oswin, but it's only a dream. A dream you made to hide yourself from the truth because it was too horrific."

That made Oswin pause and her eyestalk began to dart around the room, almost as if she just realized where she was. "Where am I? Where am I? Where am I?"

"Because you have become a Dalek."

"I am not a Dalek!" Oswin cried. "I am not a Dalek! I am Human!"

"You were Human when you crashed. It was you who climbed out of the pod, which was your ladder."

"I am Human!" Oswin continued to protest.

"I am sorry Oswin but you're not. Not anymore. You were right, you are a genius. And the Daleks need genius. They didn't just make you a puppet, they did a full conversion." The Doctor then gave into his age-old tradition and started to pace in front of Oswin. "I asked you before how you made soufflés against the Daleks for a year, but you didn't. You were never making soufflés; it was all part of the dream."

"Eggs, I'm Human. I am Human, I am not a Dalek! I am Human!"

"It wasn't real, it was never real. And I did not save you. I am so deeply sorry." After a moment of silence Oswin started to twitch in agitation, and it made the Doctor gulp in nervousness.

"Eggs...term...i... nate."

"Oswin?"

"Ex-ter-minate. Exterminate. Exterminate!"

"No, Oswin please!" The Doctor cried. "You do not have to do this, please stop Oswin! Please!"

"Exterminaaaate!" On this, Oswin's speech started to become garbled before she stopped moving. Then the Doctor heard the sound that he recognized as…crying. "Why do they hate you so much? They hate you so much, why?" This time, Oswin unlike many other Daleks was not screaming her words but instead just speaking.

"I have fought them so many times over hundreds of years. I guess, like me...they just got tired of it all." The Doctor admitted sadly.

"We have grown stronger in fear of you."

"I know, and it made me a complete idiot. I have wished so many times over the war that someone, somehow would end it all, but nothing ever happened. It just kept going. That is why I made myself that promise to end it all. To stop all this suffering and endless fighting. Even if it kills me for good."

"Then...run."

That made the Doctor look at Oswin in bewilderment, despite the tears in his eyes over his admittance. "What did you say?"

"End the war, but live. Show the universe a better life than what it has seen." After a moment's pause, Oswin continued, "I have taken down the force field. The Daleks up above have begun their attack. Run!"

"Oswin, you don't have to do this. Not for me." The Doctor protested, but Oswin ignored him.

"I am Oswin Oswald. I fought the Daleks and I am Human. Now run. Run, you clever boy. And remember me."

For a moment, he didn't know what to say, until he gave a soft smile of gratitude at her words. "I won't forget this Oswin and thank you."

"Run!" At once, the Doctor ran in haste back to the teleport room, every so often stumbling from the shaking of the Dalek attack. He then picked up the teleport unit and slammed his hand down on the green button.


"The Asylum is destroyed!" The Dalek Supreme roared triumphantly.

"Send orders to all active Dalek units! Divert all forces to Gallifrey! Commence the final assault on the Time Lords! Destroy the entire planet!" The Dalek Minister ordered.

"Incoming teleport from Asylum planet. We are under attack!" A Dalek soldier yelled, making everyone in the expansive room twitch in agitation.

"Prepare to defend!" The Dalek Supreme ordered.

Inside the TARDIS, The Doctor started flicking switches to set his coordinates to Arcadia, before turning on another switch for audio output then setting his hand on the dematerialization lever. "You really should've seen this coming, children, because I happen to be marvelous at using teleports! So long everyone!" The Doctor yelled smugly before pulling the lever, making the TARDIS dematerialize.

"The Doctor is escaping! Exterminate! Exterminate!" The Daleks yelled fruitlessly.

As the TARDIS left the Parliament, the Doctor then stopped and lowered his head for a few moments with a solemn and guilt-ridden expression on his face. "I'm so sorry Oswin, but you're right. This war must end." The TARDIS then materialized at his destination and the Doctor stepped out into a ruined building. He heard by the entrance a soldier in engraved Gallifreyan war armor yelling into his radio.

"Message for the High Council! Priority Omega! Arcadia has fallen! I repeat: Arcadia has fallen!" The soldier however stopped his rambling as he noticed the Doctor suddenly standing there.

"Soldier, I'm going to need your gun."

"Yes sir." The soldier said, recognizing him at once before handing him the rifle. The Doctor took hold and blasted into the wall "No More", knowing the High Council would receive the message. He then gave the gun back to the soldier before returning into the TARDIS. In the distance as he neared the TARDIS, he heard many Dalek voices chanting "Seek, locate, destroy!" As he entered his ship, he piloted the TARDIS to crash through the wall to destroy the Daleks, allowing everyone outside to see the message he left. Setting new coordinates, the TARDIS materialized in the Omega Arsenal, a long dark grey corridor filled with empty holding vaults, except for one. At the end of the corridor was a mechanical box covered in Gallifreyan markings, and the Doctor recognized it at once as the Moment.

"No more." The Doctor muttered before pulling out a large brown bag and inserting the Moment into it before moving into the TARDIS. "No more." He then piloted the TARDIS to land in a deserted sand plain on Gallifrey. Stepping out of the TARDIS he took one sadder look at the environment, knowing this will be the last time he will see it whether he dies or not. Not the burnt orange sand nor the clear blue skies mixed with grey clouds and bathed in the red twin suns. In the far distance he saw the same barn he ran to in his childhood. This shall be my penance. If I shall burn everyone on this planet to end this war, this shall be my atonement. Picking up the Moment, he began the long trek towards the barn. "Time Lords of Gallifrey, Daleks of Skaro, I serve notice on you all. Too long I have stayed my hand, no more. Today, you leave me no choice. Today, this war will end. No more. No more."

Chapter Text

The Snowmen

In London in the time of Queen Victoria, there were many tales of a remarkable personage known as "The Great Detective", also known as Madame Vastra, the lizard woman of Paternoster Row. Aiding her is her beautiful accomplice, Jenny Flint, and their mysterious henchman, Strax, whose countenance was too abominable for photographers. There are also accounts of a fourth member of the Paternoster Gang, a shadowy figure whom they only seek help from for the direst emergencies.

London
November 1892

A dark and snow-filled night had fallen over London. Streets were busy as men and women alike were pacing about, while horse driven carriages were moving hastily up and down the roads. In one alleyway, a small figure stood there, seeing the nearby street. It was Strax, known henchman to Madame Vastra. 5ft 2, and with a face like an overgrown potato, wearing a black cloak to hide his silver blue armour. He motions a hand wave down the alley before two extra figures appeared from the darkness. The closest was Vastra's maid, Jenny Flint while the second figure was the detective herself as they joined Strax to watch the street, yet in a more waiting and patient manner. Jenny was 5ft 4, with brown hair and wearing a black frock dress with a matching hat. Vastra was 5ft 9, a humanoid reptile with skin and scales, all with varying shades of green, while wearing a large purple cloak to mask most of her features. A fourth figure appeared from behind them, a man who like the three, dressed in a typical Victorian suit, yet unlike the three before him, his clothes were more rugged with no care put into them. 6 feet with a top hat that hid his close cropped, deep brown hair and his face sported a 5 o'clock shadow that he did not seem to support. Jenny turned to look at him before nudging Vastra and Strax to do the same. "I'm so glad you came. We have news, I think, of interest to you. There was a meteor shower in the southwest, unexpected timing and density. I've calculated there is a thirty-four percent chance it is the result of alien intervention." Vastra said in restrained agitation, but the man stared at her in silent indifference, so she continued. "Twenty four percent." She corrected with a slight sheepish tone, but the man still didn't say anything. "Well, they could just be meteors, but it is worth looking into. There is also a very pleasant tearoom in that area." She added hopefully.

"Also, there's a Professor Arasmus Pink who's claiming he's going to split the world open with a giant drill through the thinnest part of the Earth's crust. I think we should investigate." Jenny added in the same tone, yet still, the man's expression did not change in the slightest. "Okay, he doesn't actually have a giant drill and he's not really a professor and he was a bit drunk at the time and singing a bit, but you know it's never too early to investigate a drill." Jenny added yet her tone grew more sheepish as she continued.

"I have declared war on the moon!" Strax suddenly roared in excitement.

"Do be quiet, Strax." Vastra snapped.

"Sorry, ma'am. It is just that the moon has hung unmonitored and unsuspected in the sky for too long. It has gained an enormous tactical advantage."

"There's no one living there." Jenny pointed out.

"Then it is clearly time to act, and they won't suspect a thing."

"Who won't suspect a thing?"

"Moonites." This made Vastra and Jenny roll their eyes before turning their attention back to the man, then they all fell into awkward, sheepish silence. They did not notice that his expression never changed, not even flickered during their banter.

"Why do you keep doing this? What is the point? I have told you. I keep telling you. I do not do this anymore. I've retired." The man said, his northern accent flourishing despite his indifference as he walked up to the trio.

"There's a man on Praed Street with an invisible wif-" Jenny stopped her attempt however as the man glared at her. "Okay, he doesn't have a wife." She muttered like a child in trouble.

"You're wasting your time." The man almost spat at them before he uncrossed his arms and walked away.

"Goodnight!" Jenny called yet the man did not respond. "I think he means it." She said now with a tone of sadness as the man disappeared out of sight.

"Yes, my dear. I rather think he does." Vastra replied in the same tone before urging the two of them to leave.

"Damn moon." Strax grumbled, looking up at the sky with a glare before leaving in their direction.

One Month Later

Inside the cream coloured home of their latest culprit, Strax was putting handcuffs on the criminal, while being watched by Vastra, Jenny and a police Inspector. "Prepare for obliteration, Earthling scum." Strax growled.

"Mister Strax, if you could just take him aside for a moment, I have some officers on the way." The Inspector interrupted, earning an eye roll from Strax.

"As you wish. Human filth." Strax said begrudgingly, causing Jenny to roll her eyes as Strax led the man out of the house.

"Sorry, he's new." Jenny said dryly to the Inspector.

"Funny looking fellow. Turkish, is he?"

"He is a genetically modified clone warrior from outer space." Vastra said indifferently.

"Ah, makes sense, heh. Well, what a case *Chuckles*. Identical twins, poison undetectable to science, an ancient Egyptian curse." The Inspector rambled before he refocused his attention back on Vastra. "Once more Scotland Yard is in your debt, Madame Vastra. Where would we be without you?"

"Quite some distance from a clue, one imagines."

"You may be right." He said with a nod, before he paused and stared with a puzzled frown at Vastra for a few moments. "Ummm, does it ever...uh...hurt?" He asked hesitantly.

"Does what hurt?" Vastra asked in a confused blink.

"Your skin condition, I've always wondered."

"It's not a condition, Inspector. It's just skin." Jenny interrupted sternly.

"Are you sure?"

"I am, as I may have failed to mention, an intelligent reptile from an ancient civilization long preceding humankind. Many of us slumber under the Earth's crust." Vastra said with a touch of dry humour.

"Madame was accidentally awoken by an extension to the London Underground." Jenny added.

"I was not initially keen on the society of apes, but I made the most elementary of errors. I fell in love." Vastra said before looking kindly at Jenny who returned the look.

"What, with the, uh…Turkish fellow?" He asked dumbly.

"No, not with the Turkish fellow." Vastra retorted with a roll of her eyes before wrapping her arm around Jenny's waist, making Jenny reciprocate by leaning into Vastra gently.

The Inspector glanced between them before the realization quickly sank in. "Good lord. Oh, good lord." He muttered in shock.

"Come along, my dear." Vastra said with a mischevious smile.

"Yes, my darling." Jenny returned. They both walked away to their carriage laughing at the Inspector's expression as he repeatedly muttered "Good lord" to himself before leaving. Even in the carriage they were still giggling before they calmed down as a comfortable silence sank in for a few moments. "Still no word from the Doctor then?" Jenny asked with a twinge of sadness.

"No, my dear and there won't be." Vastra replied in the same tone.

"He can't sulk in his box forever."

"Heartbreak and tragedy is a burden to us all. Pity the man with two hearts who had to kill his own people to save billions of others."

Jenny nodded silently before staring out of the carriage window. "It's starting to snow again."

Vastra frowned at that. "But it can't be."

"Well, it is nearly Christmas."

"But the clouds."

"What about them?"

"There aren't any." And Vastra was right. There was no clouds out that night. Just a clear, dark sky.

1842

In a snow-filled backyard to an enormous house, a group of children were playing in the snow while laughing in joy. One kid however stood alone, silently building a singular snowman. A pair of adults walked up to stand behind him, a male and a female, and the woman asked, "Walter, don't you want to play with the other boys and girls? They're very nice."

"I don't need anyone else." Walter responded indifferently.

The woman turned to look at the man with a sad expression on her face. "He never talks to anyone. He is so alone. It is not right. It's not healthy." They both gave a sigh of defeat knowing nothing they say would convince the boy, so they turned to walk back into the house, leaving him alone once again.

"I don't want to talk to them. They're silly." Walter said aloud.

"They're silly." A voice suddenly emanated from the snowman, making Walter pause before he looked around in case someone had said it behind him. "Don't talk to them, they're silly. Don't need anyone else." Walter turned to run back into the house but stopped his tracks by saying, "I can help you."

This made Walter gulp, and he asked in a cautious and timid voice, "How?"

"Help me be like you. Then we will not need anyone ever again. Do you wish to help me?"

It took Walter only a few moments of sudden silence to make his decision. He looked back at the and said with a small smile, "Yes. I will help you."

24th December 1892

Standing atop a small flight of stairs behind a massive house was Walter. Through all those long years, he had grown to 6ft 2, hair a deep brown with a large receding hair line and rather gaunt features to his face. His expression was a blend of indifference and a scowl, as he watches a group of men work in collecting samples from the snowmen below. They then pass the sample jars into a carriage that works its way around to the front of house, with Walter going to collect the jars before heading inside. Within the massive room is a large round glass globe, filled with flowing snow with four electrical pylons on each side, all sparking with power. Walter grabs one of the jars before walking up to the globe. "The last of the arrivals has been sampled." Walter said, holding up the jar in his hands.

"A great swarm is approaching. As humanity celebrates, so shall it end. Will the final piece by ready?" The voice of the snow booms out of the globe.

Walter opens a small latch in the globe, before opening the jar in his hand and using a spoon to shovel the snow inside before closing the empty jar. "It's in hand. I serve you in this as in everything else."

"And do you keep my secrets? Those men who helped us tonight?"

"It won't be a problem. I promised to feed them." Walter said. He then walked out onto the steps and looked down upon the men as they talked amongst themselves, stopping to look up at him.

"Beg your pardon, Dr Simeon. It's been a long day and I don't see any food here." One of the men says, politely confused.

"I do." Walter said dryly.

The men all look confused before a group of snowmen suddenly rise out of the ground, with delightfully evil faces and sharp teeth bared as they start to eat away at the men.

"What is this?!" Another of the men yells in terror.

"I said I'd feed you. I didn't say who too." Walter said, still keeping a dull expression on his face before turning back into the house, the men's screams of fear and pain lasting long into the night.

The Rose & Crown

Inside a local bar, many a man is conversing amongst themselves while downing drinks in their hands. Passing through them is a young brunette barmaid in a red dress, who picks up a few empty flagons before turning to pass out of the back door. As she closes the door, she turns to look down an alleyway to see a snowman rise out of the ground, this one with a small thin smile as it stares at her. She sets her tray down on a nearby barrel before slowly moving a small distance towards the snowman both in confusion and trepidation. Out of nowhere, a man passes by, ignoring both her and the snowman. "Did you make this snowman?" The girl asks in a cockney accent.

"No." The man says indifferently.

"Well who did? Cause it wasn't there a second ago, it just appeared, from nowhere." Her last words make the man stop before turning around to stand next to the snowman, trying desperately to hide a look of wonder.

"Maybe it's snow that fell before. Maybe it remembers how to make snowmen." He mutters to himself.

"What? Snow that can remember. That's silly." She said with a slight snort.

"What's wrong with silly?" He asks, turning to look at her, a small smile on his face.

"Nothing. I'm still talking to you, aren't I?" She retorted.

The man looks at her fondly for a moment. She's clever. And gorgeous. Wait, no, stop that. "What's your name?"

"Clara."

"That's a nice name. Clara." He looks away, hiding the sadness from his voice before walking away. "You should keep it. Goodbye."

Clara looks at him in confusion before walking to catch up to him. "Oi! Where are you going? I thought we was getting acquainted."

The man stops and turns to look at her. "Those were the old days." He says softly before walking away.

Clara stands in contemplation for a small moment. He's quite handsome. She mused to herself. But…his eyes. They were old. Far too old. She then hears someone urging a horse to move followed by the sound of carriage wheels. "Bugger it." She mutters before running down the alleyway to see a carriage moving through an empty street, then continuing to chase after it.

Inside the carriage, the man sits silently as the voice of Vastra floats in through a phone speaker. "Ah, refreshing to see you taking an interest again. Was she nice?" Vastra asks.

"I just spoke to her." The man restrains himself from rolling his eyes.

"And made your usual impact, no doubt."

"No, no, no impact at all." He said impatiently. "Those days are done."

"You can't help yourself. It's the same story every time and it always begins with the same two words." She admonished like a mother to her child.

"Uugh, she will never be able to find me again, she doesn't even have the name "Doctor"! What two words?!" He snapped.

The hatch on the top of the carriage opened suddenly, Clara popping her head inside with a grin on her face. ""Doctor"? Doctor Who?"

The Doctor raises his eyebrows in shock. "Okay, that's it. Get inside. Strax! Stop the carriage." Once Clara had entered the carriage with an "Oof", he opened the door to stand outside before holding up a hand to Clara, who was about to follow him. "Stay here." He then closes and locks the door.


In another part of town, a man with dark hair and a large matching beard is standing outside his house, looking upon a frozen pond. He bids farewell to the driver of his carriage as it moves away before gazing back at the pond. After a few moments, the front door of his house opens to reveal his maid and Walter standing there, but the man does not see either of them. "The pond has frozen over." As he speaks, Walter moves out of the doorway to stand behind the man. "It hasn't frozen since the night-"

"Since the night your children's governess died, a year ago." Walter interrupts.

The man looks at him in surprise before turning to look at his maid. "Dr Simeon, sir. He insisted on waiting." She informed.

"She drowned in this very pond, which then froze." Walter continued. "You didn't find her till a month later when the ice finally melted."

"I recall the incident, it's the sort of thing one remembers." The man says.

"Ice remembers too." Walter said, hiding a slight sinister tone of warning in his voice.

"Who are you? What do you want here?"

Walter reaches into his coat pocket to pull out a card that says "The Great Intelligence Institute" before handing it to the man. "The pond is yours, Captain Latimer. But what is growing inside it, when it is ready is ours. Good evening." Walter then walks away, leaving both Latimer and the maid confused as they walk into the house. Both do not notice a small amount of frost starting to form inside the pond. Walter takes a route through alleyways to silently head back to the institute. On the way he stops as Jenny appears suddenly in front of him.

"Well, Dr Simeon. You're out late tonight." Jenny said with her hands on her hips.

"Almost makes you wonder what you've been up to." Vastra said from behind Walter. "But then I have often wondered about the activities of Dr Simeon and his exceptionally secretive institute."

"Well, I am honoured this evening." Walter says sarcastically. "The veiled detective and her fatuous accomplice."

"At your service." Jenny mockingly curtsies.

"You realize Dr Doyle is almost certainly basing his fantastical tales on your own exploits? With a few choice alterations of course as I doubt his readers would accept that the veiled detective is in reality," He moves to Vastra to pull back her veil, showing indifference to her look, "a woman, and her suspiciously intimate companion."

"I resent your implication of impropriety. We are married." Vastra bluntly said, her last words surprisingly making Walter's eyebrows raise slightly.

"More than can be said for you, eh dear?" Jenny quipped, raising her eyebrows at Walter, making him scoff.

Vastra grabbed a small handful of snow and gazed intently at it. "Now then, this snow is very peculiar, don't you think? The ice crystals have a low-level telepathic field as if it can detect and respond to the thoughts and memories of those around it. Memory snow. Snow that learns." Vastra says, rolling the snow around in her grasp.

"How fascinating." Walter says, once again sarcastically.

"I hope it's listening to the right people. It could be a terrible weapon in the wrong hands, don't you think?" Vastra asks.

"I think winter is coming. Such a winter this world has never known. The last winter of Humankind. Do you know why I'm telling you all this?" He asked in a low, dark tone.

Vastra, while staring back at Walter, dropped the snow in her grasp and gave a small smile. "I am intrigued." She said simply.

"Because there's not a single thing you can do to stop it." Walter then steps around her and continues back down the path.

"Perhaps I can't but I know a man who can!" Vastra calls in a retort.

"I look forward to meeting him!" He calls back tauntingly before disappearing out of sight.

Vastra sighs before walking up to Jenny. "Do you mean the Doctor? He will not help us. He never helps any more, you know that." Jenny said in a soft tone.

"Yes, my dear I do. So, pray for a miracle because we are going to need him." Vastra said, returning her tone.


The Doctor knelt, getting a closer look at the snow as Strax was using high-tech binoculars to look upon the Institute, while Clara was banging and rocking the carriage, repeatedly demanding for release from custody. "They've taken samples from snowmen all over London." Strax puts away the device before turning to the Doctor. "What do you suppose they're doing in there?"

"This snow is new, most likely alien." The Doctor said, ignoring Strax's question. "When you find something brand new in the world, something you've never seen before, what's the next thing you look for?"

Strax ponders for a moment before grinning. "A grenade!"

The Doctor rolls his eyes, suppressing a groan. "A profit, Strax. Remember Victorian values, they'll be out to make profit." He said, standing back up and tossing the snow in his hand aside.

"I suggest a full-frontal assault with automated laser monkeys, scalpel mines and acid!" Strax beamed.

"Why?" The Doctor asked impatiently.

Strax had to hold back a gulp. "Couldn't we at least...investigate?" He asked with a sheepish whimper.

The Doctor scoffed. "It's none of my business. Go on your own."

"Sir, permission to express my opposition to your current apathy." Strax said.

The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Permission granted."

Strax stood straight and squared his shoulders. "Sir, I am opposed to your current apathy."

"Thank you, Strax. So, if I am ever in need of advice from a brainless and psychotic potato dwarf, I will let you know." The Doctor spat.

"But if this snow is suspiciously new and alien, shouldn't we be making some attempt to destroy it? Be reasonable-" The Doctor cuts off Strax by putting a finger on his lips.

"Like I said, it is not my problem. After saving so many people over so many lifetimes, the universe rewarded me with one gift: Loneliness." The Doctor said the last word with bitter sadness. "Now, we have a problem of our own to worry about." He then walks back towards the carriage before opening the door.

"Oi!" Clara yelled in annoyance.

"Quit your whining, no one's going to hurt you." The Doctor said, entering the carriage to sit opposite her.

"What is that thing?" Clara asks in confusion as Strax comes into view.

"Silence, boy!"

"That's Strax and as you can see, he is easily confused!" The Doctor growled to Strax.

"Silence, girl! Sorry sir." Strax said in sheepishness.

"He's a Sontaran." The Doctor said to Clara, as if Strax wasn't even there. All Clara could do was stare at the Doctor in wide eyed awe. "They're a clone warrior race; whole legions produced at a time. Two genders are apparently too far for him to count." The Doctor said slyly, making Strax appear even more sheepish.

"Sir, please do not discuss my reproductive cycle in front of enemy girls. It's embarrassing."

"Typical middle child of six million." The Doctor said with a beaming grin.

"Who are you?" Clara asked in confusion and awe.

"It doesn't matter because you're about to forget that you ever met me. Bring the worm." He ordered.

"Sir." Strax proudly said before marching to the front of the carriage.

"You'll bring the what?! The worm?! What worm?!" Clara demanded in fear and agitation.

"Don't worry, it won't hurt you. Just one touch and the last hour of your memory is gone. Nothing to be afraid of."

That made Clara furrow her eyebrows in confusion. Wait a moment. If you lose your memory by touching it, how will Strax bring it over- Strax steps back into view with a blank look, making the Doctor blink several times.

"Where is it?" He demanded.

"Where's what sir?" Clara bites her lip to hold back the giggling bubbling within her.

"I sent you to get the memory worm." The Doctor said through clenched teeth.

"Did you? When? Who's he?" Strax points at Clara, who lets out a snort. "What are we doing here?" Strax turned to look around him with a grin. "Look! It's been snowing!" He beamed.

The Doctor put his face in his hands for a moment before sighing. "You didn't use the gauntlets, did you?"

"Why would I need the gauntlets?" The Doctor raises his eyebrows at him in a "Are you that stupid?" manner, which made Strax slowly nod. "Oh, you want me to get the memory worm."

"You...idiot." This made Clara lose it, the Doctor glaring at her in embarrassment. After a few moments, Strax was underneath the carriage looking for the worm, which was squealing loudly. "Well can you see it?" The Doctor asked, standing outside the carriage while Clara leaned against a brick wall.

"I think I can hear it." Strax said, his voice slightly muffled by the loud screeching of said worm.

The Doctor turned to glance at Clara who is no longer holding back her laughter, instead giggling away to her hearts content. "Oi! Don't run away, just stay where you are." Besides, it's not like she looks great smiling-wait, no, stop it!

"Why would I run? I know what's going to happen next and it's funny." Clara grinned.

"Come on, he's not going to fall for it again." He groaned.

"Well then, he's quite the idiot, isn't he?" Clara returned with a smirk.

"That's true, but he gave his life for a friend of mine once."

"Then how is he alive?" Clara asked in awe.

"Another friend of mine brought him back, it's a long story. Now I'm not sure his brain made the return trip." The Doctor complained, making Clara giggle.

"I can see it!" Strax proclaimed gleefully.

"Ooh, can you reach it? Have you got it?" The Doctor asked, returning his attention to Strax in the vain hope that he wouldn't stare too long at Clara's glowing smile.

Silence. "Got what sir?"

Clara walked to the front of the carriage and grabbed a brown pair of large, three fingered gloves. "Are these the gauntlets?" She asked with a teasing smirk.

"Sir, an emergency! I think I've been run over by a cab!"

The Doctor looked back and forth between the gauntlets and Strax, before groaning aloud, which made Clara laugh even more. Grabbing the gauntlets and pulling out a jar, he went to grab the worm himself. "Here it is. One touch, an hour of memory. One bite, decades gone." He set the worm into the jar before sighing in relief, then turning to look at Clara in surprise, seeing her still standing there and looking eagerly at him. "You still don't want to run?"

"I don't understand how a snowman builds itself. I might run once you've explained."

The Doctor looked at her in admiration before taking off the gauntlets. "Clara who?"

"Doctor Who?" She countered.

"Ooh, that's a dangerous question." The Doctor flirts.

"What's wrong with dangerous?" Clara flirted back. Around the corner, a snowman rises suddenly out of the ground, attracting Clara's attention while the Doctor rambles to himself. "The snowman!" Clara exclaimed.

"...it targets a low-level telepathic field, seems to reflect people's thoughts and memories and because it's unusual-"

"No, Doctor!" Clara grabbed his arm to pull him into the snowman's view, stopping his rambling as he laid eyes upon it.

"Oh, that's interesting." The Doctor said, raising his eyebrows.

"Where did it come from Doctor?" Clara asked, some fear growing in them both as next to the snowman, the ground started to swirl.

"You were thinking about the snowman when it appeared?" The Doctor asked.

"Yes." Another snowman shot straight out of the ground.

"Well, please stop." They both turn to run but stop as more snowmen emerge to block their path, sadistic evil grins on their faces as they bare their teeth and move towards them. The Doctor cupped Clara's face in his hands to focus her attention on him. "Clara, you need to stop thinking about the snowmen, they're feeding on your thoughts!"

"What do you mean?!" Clara exclaimed.

"The more you think about them, the more they appear! Imagine them melting Clara!" He said.

"How?!"

"Just picture them melting!" Clara closed her eyes, thought deeply about melting snow and after a few seconds, they both jump in shock as freezing water washes onto them. They open their eyes and look around to see no more snowmen and the path clear again. "Good job Clara." The Doctor congratulated.

"Will that happen again?" Clara asked with relief.

"Don't worry, you'll know what to do if they come back." He said with a grin.

Clara then motions towards the worm. "Unless I forget."

The Doctor looks between her and the worm before sighing, grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the carriage. "Alright then, you won't forget. Just do not come looking for me. Awful things happen to those around me, you're better off on your own."

"Wait, what about the snowmen?" Clara interrupted. "Shouldn't we be warning people?"

The Doctor looks at her solemnly for a few moments. "It's not my problem." He then closed the door of the carriage and walked away, missing Clara's shocked and hurt expression. "Merry Christmas. Strax, take her back to where we found her."

"Sir."

The carriage began to move as the Doctor walked away, not noticing that Clara stood on the other side having jumped out. She begins to silently follow the Doctor as he looks around discreetly before jumping a large fence into a yard. He inconspicuously whistles "Silent Night" before looking around one more time then jumping straight up and grabbing onto something which he pulled down. This made Clara widen her eyes in awe. Did he just pull a ladder out of nowhere? The Doctor climbs onto the ladder before knocking twice on its side, then the ladder rolls back up taking him with it as he and the ladder disappear from view. Clara fights hard to restrain a grin as she watches before moving cautiously to the same spot and looking upwards. There is absolutely nothing there. So how did he do it? Clara jumped up with one arm raised upwards before falling back to the ground in a huff. Now I wish I was taller, because that was silly. Standing up straight, she jumps with both arms raised, surprise growing across her face as she grabs onto the ladder which then rolls down to the ground. Clara climbs onto it before pausing then knocking on it twice as it repeats the motion in reverse, raising her up towards a platform and a tall, spiral staircase. Clara looks down upon the street to see a few people moving about, one of them looking in her direction briefly before moving on as if they saw nothing. Am I... invisible? Is the whole staircase invisible? She looks up at the sound of ascending footsteps before she cautiously follows, wrapping an arm around herself as a bitter chilly wind blows around her. As she reaches the top, Clara stares around in wonder at the star-filled night sky before turning confused at the sight of a blue police box sitting atop the mist. Slowly reaching her left foot down, she giggles in awe as her foot touches a solid ground under the mist before continuing to walk on it towards the box. Reaching out her right hand, she puts a light touch on the box, recoiling in slight shock as she hears a soft humming noise before going ahead to knock on the door. Clara quickly moves to the side of the box in silence as she hears some loud sounds like metal clanging against each other for a moment before the door opens.

"Hello?" The Doctor called timidly. He walks outside a few steps before turning around at the brief sound of light breathing. "Anybody here?" He then moves quickly to check behind the box as Clara moves in front of the doors. "Hello?" Before she can look inside, she quickly moves towards the staircase to descend back to the ground. The Doctor moves back around the box to hear the soft sound of footsteps on the staircase. Did someone follow me here? Was it...Clara? The Doctor then timidly moved back inside the box and closed the door in silence.


Inside the Great Intelligence Institute, Walter is grabbing more sample jars before moving up to the globe. "It is time to wait. Time for patience. All we want will come soon enough." Walter said dreamily as he shoved more snow inside the globe.

"Yes. Tonight: The thaw. Tomorrow, the snow shall fall again but stronger. The drowned woman and the dreaming child shall give us form at last. We shall wait, then tomorrow the snow will fall and so shall mankind. She is coming. "The voice booms.


The sun rolls in through the window as Clara awakens, taking a few moments to wipe the drowsiness from her eyes. What was I doing today? …Ah yes. Time to be Miss Montague. This made her smile as she rises from bed to see her already packed bag filled with her black dress already waiting for her. After getting ready, she grabs her bag and heads out the door, the owner of The Rose & Crown following her. Look at that. The snow must have thawed during the night. Clara mused as she stared at the clear ground around her.

"I'm begging you, Clara. I'm on my knees." The owner said, and she shook her head with a smirk.

"I was only helping out; Elsie will be back this afternoon. I, meanwhile, have my own work to get back to." Clara said slyly.

"Why won't you tell us?"

"You'd never believe me." Clara kisses her hand in a farewell motion as the owner nods in reciprocation before she turns to leave. As she climbs into her arranged carriage, she lowers the blinds over the windows before hastily changing from her red bartender dress to her black governess frock. The carriage then arrives at the Latimer house and Clara exited the carriage, gazing at the house with a smile as the maid comes out to greet her. "Alice. How smart you look today." Clara said, now with a distinguished English accent.

"Governess should enter by the back door unless accompanied by the children." Alice quipped in a soft teasing manner, the both of them smiling at each other.

"And how are the children? Excited about tomorrow?"

"Francesca, same as ever. Digby said he missed you every day. Captain Latimer wants to see you." Alice quickly added.

"Of course." Clara then picked up her bag to move into the house before stopping and turning to look at Alice. "Every day?"

"Twice on Saturdays."

"That's better." Clara said with a wink before moving inside the large house. After moving towards Latimer's office, she politely knocked on the door before entering. "Captain Latimer." She greeted.

"Ah, Miss Montague, welcome back." Latimer replied with a kind smile.

"Thankfully, in time for Christmas. Apologies for my brief absence. Family, honestly, so unpredictable. You wanted to see me?" Clara hid a smile as she distantly wondered about her…rather intriguing night with the snowmen and the Doctor.

"Francesca has been having nightmares."

Clara sighed. "Young girls often do."

"Every night this week, she says. She will not tell me about them." Latimer gazed at the floor in dejected, dull misery. "I mean…I want to help her, I just…don't know what to do." He shrugged.

"Perhaps if you ask her kindly enough, she might tell you."

Latimer gave a smile at her words. "If I may say, you already have a remarkable amount of wisdom in your life, Miss Montague."

"Thank you. I'll see to the children now." Clara reciprocated the smile before curtsying and turning from the room. She heads through the house and out a door to the backyard to see the two children running around in laughter. They both spot Clara and rush towards her.

"Miss Montague!" Francesca exclaims.

"Miss Montague, you're back!" Digby also exclaims.

"Ah!" Clara holds up a hand making them stop and clear their throats politely.

"Good morning, Miss Montague." Digby said politely.

"Good morning, Miss Montague." Francesca mirrored.

"Good morning, Francesca." Clara shakes her hand. "Good morning, Digby." Clara repeated with him. "Christmas Eve is a most thrilling day, don't you think?" They both nod with a grin. "Now then, what have you two been up to while I was away?"

"I did seven drawings and we saw a dead cow." Digby said joyously.

Clara raised her eyebrows in mild shock. "Well…how exciting."

"Do your secret voice. Please."

Clara glanced around quickly before waving her hand for the two of them to lean forward as she does the same. "Hello mates!" She whispers in her cockney accent making the two children laugh. "Now then Francesca, I want a quick word and no, you're not in trouble." This made Francesca sigh in relief as they moved towards a nearby bench while Digby played with a red ball. "What is this about you having nightmares this week?" Clara asked worriedly.

"They're not exactly nightmares. Just dreams." Francesca said timidly.

"It's about our old governess, the one who died. She's haunting Franny from beyond the grave." Digby shakes his hands above him for mocking affect before returning to play.

"Why haven't you spoken to your father about this?"

"We can't talk about things like that to Daddy."

"You could try."

"Miss Montague, do you want to see where she died?" Digby asked. Clara contemplates for a few moments before giving into the temptation and nodding. Digby then leads them to the pond at the front of the house. "She fell in there and then it froze. She was stuck in there for days and days." Digby paused for a second. "I hated her. She was cross all the time, no matter what we did. In Franny's dreams, she's still down there, just waiting. Waiting to return."

Clara looks upon the pond with confusion riddled over her face. Why has everything else thawed out except the pond? The Doctor said the more you think about it, the more it will appear. Is this what he means? "Franny, you dream about her. But what exactly do you dream?"

"She just says that I've been naughty, so she'll come out and punish me."

"Did she say when?"

"Tonight, for Christmas."

"Honestly, I think Franny's gone mad. Maybe she needs a doctor." Digby inputted. This makes Clara look at him with a suppressed grin. I know just the man.


Clara returns to the yard where she followed the Doctor to the night before. "Doctor!" She called to the sky, not noticing the people around the yard looking at her in confused bewilderment. "Doctor!" Jenny pauses in her walk by the yard to see Clara, her yelling attracting the bewildered attention of the people around her. "Doctor!"

That made Jenny rush into the yard. "Now then, that's enough noise." She interrupted. "We don't want to attract attention, now do we?"

Clara turned to look at her. "I'm looking for the Doctor. Do you know him?"

Jenny smiled. "Doctor Who?" This made Clara smile knowingly.

"You do know him then."

Jenny nodded. "Yes, but he's not exactly here right now. I can take you to meet someone who can reach him."

"Who?"

"My wife." Jenny said bluntly, enjoying Clara's raised eyebrows at this. Then, after a moment, her eyes widened in realization.

"Wait a moment, are you Jenny Flint? From Paternoster Row?"

"Yes, I am. I won't need to tell you who my wife is."

13 Paternoster Row

Entering 13 Paternoster Row, Clara immediately paused in surprise upon the sight of Strax. "Do not attempt to escape or you will be obliterated!" Strax warned before blinking at Jenny's stern glare. "May I take your coat?" Strax held out his arm.

Clara blinked a couple times at the mixed signals before handing her coat timidly and moving past Strax with Jenny to enter a room filled with plants and two chairs in the centre. On one of those chairs sat Madame Vastra drinking...Okay, that's either red wine or blood. However, the mere sight of Madame Vastra made Clara look at her in awe.

"Sit." Jenny motioned to the empty chair as Vastra looks at Clara in observation.

"There are two refreshments in your world with the colour of red wine. This is not red wine." Vastra said bluntly as she placed her glass down on the table beside her.

"Madame Vastra will ask you questions." Jenny immediately said. "You will confine yourself to single word responses. Do you understand?"

"Why?" Clara asked in confusion.

"Truth is singular. Lies are words." Vastra said. "You met the Doctor, didn't you?"

"Yes."

"And now you've come looking for him again. Why?" Clara paused in contemplation at that.

"Take your time. One word only." Jenny said.

"Curiosity." Clara says finally.

"About?" Vastra asked.

"Snow."

"And about him?"

"Yes."

"What do you want from him?"

"Help."

"Why?"

"Danger."

"Why would he help you?"

Clara squints for a moment. "Kindness."

Vastra scoffed. "The Doctor is not kind."

Clara raised her eyebrows in challenge. "No?"

"No. The Doctor does not help people. Not anyone, not ever. He stands above this world and does not interfere in the affairs of its inhabitants. He is not your salvation nor your protector. Do you understand what I'm saying to you?"

Clara smirked. "Words."

Vastra relaxes slightly as Jenny gives a small smile. "He was...different once. A long time ago. Kind? Yes. A hero? Definitely. But something horrific happened."

Clara contemplated for a few moments. People only act like that because of…"War?" She finally asked.

Vastra looked up at her, slightly impressed at her cunning. "Yes. His world was at war. A long and terrible war. The Doctor had to make a choice. He could end the war, but it would leave him the only survivor of his race, yet the universe would be safe. Tell me, what would drive him to make that choice, knowing what it would do to him?"

"Selflessness."

Vastra nodded. "That is why he's alone. Putting everyone else before him. Now he prefers isolation, but not because he does not want the pain to return. That pain he will feel shall always be there. He prefers isolation because he does not know how to move on. Kindly choose a word to indicate your understanding of this."

Clara contemplated for a few moments. "Man." She said softly.

Vastra gave a questioning glance to Jenny, who quickly nodded. "We are the Doctor's friends. We assist him in his isolation but that does not mean we approve of it." Vastra then leaned forward towards Clara. "So, a test for you. Give me a message for the Doctor. Tell him all about the snow and what fresh dangers it presents and above all, explain why he should help you." Clara goes to speak but Vastra quickly put a finger on her lips. "But do it in one word." Vastra smirked as Clara's eyes widen in disbelief. "You're thinking it's impossible that such a word can exist or that you can find it. Let us see if the gods are with you."


The Doctor sat silently inside the TARDIS, reading one of the many books from the extensive library. The phone on the door rings, making him groan as he puts down the book to answer it. Someday, I must patch that back through to the console unit. "What is it Vastra? I'm trying to read here."

"Miss Clara Oswald and her concerns about the snow? I gave her the one-word test."

"That's always pointless." He groaned. "All right, what did she say?"

"Pond." The Doctor gave a completely and utterly confused expression at that word. "Strax has already suggested where to start investigating. There is an institute called "The Great Intelligence". Perhaps you should look there."

The Doctor heard Vastra hang up as he continues to stare in confusion. The TARDIS then beeps at him as if to say, "Go on then."

"No. I've already told them; I don't do this anymore." He said, placing the phone where it belonged.

*Beeps* (Take a look then.)

"Why would I? Ponds do not tell you that you are in danger. Clara must be in over her head."

*Beeps* (Not as much as you.)

"No. That is final. I'm not going."

*Beeps* (Don't forget your key and sonic, thief.)

The Doctor realized that in his aimless rambling, he had already opened the doors of the TARDIS, making him groan in defeat. "Oh, all right, you win. I hope you're feeling happy." However, he then paused before letting a grin appear on his face. "You know what? Let us have a bit of fun."


Inside the institute, Walter sat writing at his desk as the globe remained silent before the snow inside it started to move in agitation. "Danger. Danger."

Walter looked up in confusion and concern. "What's wrong?" He asked, moving around the desk and up to the globe.

"There is danger here. An intelligence that is beyond anything else in this time and place."

One of his butlers enters the large room without knocking. "Dr Simeon, sir. There is someone demanding to see you."

Walter waves dismissively. "No callers, not in here, not ever. Did he leave his name?"

"Sir...it's Sherlock Holmes." This make Walter turn around to look at the door, confusion radiating off his face as the door opens, the Doctor stepping inside, wearing a typical Sherlock Holmes outfit and a large, beaming grin.

"Hello! Impressive with the office and snow globe. Now, hush. I see from your collar that you have an apple tree and a wife with a limp, am I right?"

"No."

The Doctor started looking sheepish, yet the grin ceased to fade. "Do you have a wife?"

"No."

"Bit of a tree? Some apples?"

"I enjoy "The Strand Magazine" as much as the next man, but I'm perfectly aware that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character. Get out!" The last words Walter yelled towards his butler.

"Do you have a goldfish named Colin?" The Doctor asks the butler.

"No."

"I'm sure I used to be better at this." The Doctor went to the desk and picked up one of the business cards.

"Who are you and what do you want here?" Walter demanded.

The Doctor ignored the first question and moved up to the globe. "Snow. And how convenient of you to have an honestly, quite impressive snow globe inside your conveniently secretive institute."

"You must step away now! The equipment is highly valuable." Walter snapped.

"We are the Intelligence." The voice of the snow booms out into the room, making the Doctor raise his eyebrows.

"Talking snow. Now we're talking." The Doctor laughed at his own joke while Walter looked dully indifferent.

"You are not of this world."

"It takes one to snow one." The Doctor laughs again yet Walter stays indifferent. "Come on, work with me here. Sure, the jokes are a hundred years too early, but it is still very funny. *Clears Throat* Anyway, let us have a look. A multi-nuclear crystalline organism with the ability to mimic whoever and whatever it finds. It looks like snow, yet it isn't."

"You must leave here now." Walter repeated.

"Can I have a bit of hush, thank you?" Walter goes to ring a bell for aid. "Now then, big snow fella, you must be a swarm. You are the leader while the snowmen act as your foot soldiers. You turn up on a planet, generate a telepathic field to gather knowledge." The Doctor pulls out his red tipped sonic and points it at the lock on the door. "But you cannot conquer the world using snowmen, so you have to evolve. You'd have to become...Human."

The door begins to rattle as muffled voices float through outside. "Kick it down!" Walter yelled at the door.

The Doctor moves towards the desk and begins to flick through the large book on it. "To do that, you need a perfect duplicate of Human DNA in ice. Where do you find that?" The Doctor lands upon a page holding newspapers, one of which reports the death of a governess in a frozen pond. That is what Clara meant. This made the Doctor laugh heartily. "This is fantastic!"

"Get in here!" Walter yelled as the door opened swiftly. "Take him downstair-" Walter stops however as he turns around to notice the Doctor has already left, taking an exit through the back door.


The Doctor stands outside the Latimer house, looking upon the frozen pond in contemplation. Snow wants a good look at a Human being, they get a body frozen in a pond. Pond. Not bad at all, Clara. The Doctor lets an impressed smile appear before turning around at the sound of footsteps to see Strax armed with a gun. "Strax? What're you doing here?"

"Madame Vastra wondered if you were needing any grenades." Strax said with a grin.

"What?" The Doctor asked in bewilderment.

Strax paused sheepishly. "She may have said help."

"For what?"

Strax blinked. "Well…your investigation."

The Doctor scoffed. "Investigation? Who says I'm investigating? Do you think I will start investigating just because someone clever and…and…and gorgeous smiles at me? Who do you think I am?" The Doctor rambled in denial.

"Sherlock Holmes." Strax said with a smirk.

The Doctor turned around and pointed a finger but cannot find any words for a moment. "Don't be clever, Strax. It doesn't suit you." He warned emptily.

"Sorry, sir."

"I'm the clever one, you're the potato one." He said, poking Strax in the forehead with his finger.

"Yes, sir." Strax's smile becomes harder for him to hold.

"Now give me some hush or go away."

"Yes, Mister Holmes." Strax started giggling mischievously before walking away.

"Oi! Shut up! You're not clever, or funny and you've got...tiny legs." The Doctor turned around to glance at the pond, shaking his head with a small frown. "Nice job there, Doctor. Couldn't even produce your own retort." He muttered.

One of the windows of the house has its curtains drawn back to reveal Clara, who looks down at the Doctor with a smile. She then motions her hand for him to come up, which made him pause for a few seconds. I am just leaving; I am not going up. I am leaving, NOT going up. He then held up five fingers and a thumbs up making Clara grin as she shuts the curtain. He quickly smacked his forehead in self irritation. "Five minutes, Doctor, where did that come from? Sentimental old bastard." The Doctor said with a huff as he went ahead towards the house.


In front of the gate to the house, Walter Simeon's carriage pulls up, secretly watched by the Paternoster Gang. "It's the Human male from the institute. What is he doing here? I suggest we melt his brain using projectile acid fish, then interrogate him." Strax said, making Vastra and Jenny look at him, eyebrows furrowed. "Other way around." He grumbled, making them both shake their heads.


Inside the house, Clara is tucking a nervous Francesca into bed. "Am I going to have the nightmare tonight?" She asked in a small voice.

Clara looks at her in determination. "Definitely not."

"How do you know?"

"Because, someone is coming to help."

"Who?" Digby asked curiously.

"You'd never believe me."

"Is it another one of your stories? The ones that are "Definitely" true?" The last bit made Clara gasp and Digby giggle.

"Oi! All of my stories are true." Clara said with a smile.

"Like how you were born behind the clock face of Big Ben?" Digby asked.

Clara smirked. "Accounting for my acute sense of time."

"So, what's this one?" Digby and Francesca leaned forward anxiously.

Clara clears her throat. "There's a man, called "The Doctor". He lives on a cloud in the sky, and all he does all day, every day is to stop all the children in the world from ever having bad dreams."

"I've been having bad dreams." Francesca pointed out.

Clara had to hide a giggle. "He's been on holiday." A creaking sound emits from the floor outside the door. "But I am confident he has now returned to work and in fact, he's here right now. Aren't you Doctor?" Clara looks up at the opening door but jumps in shock as the children scream. Standing in the doorway was a living sculpture made purely of ice, with eyes as pale as the moon. "Bleedin' 'ell!" Clara exclaims, reverting back to her cockney accent.

"The children have been very naughty!" The Governess yelled.

"Just get back, now!" Clara demands to the children, who despite the terror in their eyes, did as she said.

"You're doing your other voice!" Digby reminds her.

"Yes, love, did you notice?!"

"Naughty, naughty children!"

"Run!" The three of them rush past the governess and out the door. Clara locks the door behind them as they hear the Governess groan impatiently.

"What do we do?" Digby asked.

"Franny. Picture her melting." Clara said as she rushes over to Francesca.

"What?"

"In your head!"

Francesca closes her eyes for a moment, but nothing happens. "I can't!"

"I have lost my patience!" The Governess roared as she rips the door open. "You have been very naughty!"

"What about the man?! You said the man was here, the cloud man!" Digby said to Clara.

"Well, he's not, is he?!"

"Where's the Doctor?!"

"Doctor?" The Doctor's voice rings out from the puppet box, making the three of them gasp. "Doctor? *Chuckles* Doctor Who?" The three of them looked bewildered at the moving puppet who pulls out the sonic screwdriver and points it at the Governess, who roars as she shatters into a million pieces, making the Doctor laugh as he moves out from behind the puppet box. "Fantastic!" The children smile at him while Clara raises her eyebrows, trying hard to hide a smile of her own.


Outside the house, Walter moves to the back of the carriage and activates a device that begins to spew snow all around it.


"Where did she go? Will she come back?" Francesca asks the Doctor as he scans the melted ice with the sonic.

"No. She's just draining through the carpet." The Doctor stands up to look at Clara. "Antifreeze. Not sure I have used it before, nor do I think I will be using it again. You're welcome."

"I'm incredibly grateful. I knew you'd come."

"No, you didn't. This is not the sort of thing I do anymore. So, the next time you're in trouble don't expect me to-" The Doctor pauses as he looks in the mirror. After he left the institute, he had changed into a black leather jacket, dark purple jumper, and black trousers. Yet what stopped him rambling was not his clothes.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Clara asked in concern.

He shook his head slightly, not taking his gaze away from his new face. "Nothing." In all that time on the cloud, I never even looked in the mirror to see this face. "Haven't been paying attention to the state I'm in. Clothes were just sort off jumbled together, like always."

The Doctor did not notice frost starting to form on the windows from the snow outside. "It's cooler." Clara said, pointing out the sudden drop in the temperature.

The Doctor looks up in the mirror, eyebrows raised before he lets forth a grin. "Ah, could've been worse. But look at the ears." He flicks them a few times with a frown. "They just do not want to stop. Nose is the same too. Hair…" He runs a hand over his head before shrugging. "Going to miss having big hair but short hair is nice enough."

"No, the room. The room is getting colder." The Doctor looks around in confusion before they divert their attention to the crackling noise under the carpet, which begins to give way as the Ice Governess rises.

"She's coming back!" Digby exclaimed.

"What's she going to do? Is she going to punish me?" Francesca asks fearfully.

The Doctor pulls out his sonic and tries the antifreeze, yet nothing happens. "Okay, she's learned not the melt. That or I need a new sonic. What is wrong with you?" The last part the Doctor says to the sonic, which would have been funny in any other situation. "Sorry children, but it's not really your old Governess. She's just a beast and she's here to eat you."

"Doctor!" Clara exclaims.

"What?! Do you want me to lie to them?! Have you got a better idea?!"

"No, you?!"

"Yes: Run!" The Doctor motions the children out as he grabs Clara's hand before they run out the door and downstairs, straight into Captain Latimer.

"Children, what is the exp-who the devil are you?! What are you doing in my house?!"

"It's fine, don't worry. I'm the Doctor, your governess's gentlemen friend and we've been upstairs...snogging!" Both the Doctor and Clara look at each other in surprise as they both exclaimed the same word in unison before clearing their throats to hide their blush.

The front doorbell rings as Alice runs into the hall. "Captain Latimer! In the garden, there's snowmen and they're just growing, out of nowhere, all by themselves! Look!" She rushes to the front door to open it and standing there is the sweetly smiling couple of Vastra and Jenny.

"Good evening, I'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife." Both jumped slightly as Alice runs back into the hallway, shrieking in terror.

"This dwelling is under attack! Remain calm, Human scum!" Strax demands as he strides into the room.

Alice shrieks again before fainting onto the floor, Captain Latimer checking to see if she's okay.

"So then, any questions?" The Doctor asks Latimer.

"You sure kissing is all you did up there?" Latimer quips, referring to their blushes.

"What? No!" Both the Doctor and Clara stammer before the Doctor rushes to a window, Vastra moving to join him. "Vastra, what's happening?"

"The snow is highly localized and, on this occasion, not naturally occurring."

"It's coming out of Dr Simeon's cab by the gates." Jenny points out.

"Of course, Simeon wants the Governess for snow globe boy in the institute, so he's come here for her now that she's up and about." The Doctor deducted.

"Sir, one pulver grenade would blow these snowmen to smithereens!" Strax exclaims passionately.

The Doctor groaned. "Come on, use your brain Strax. They're snow, you can't blow smithereens to smithereens. You know what Clara? You were right, not sure where his brain went to." This made Clara giggle in remembrance of their first meeting.

"Clara? Who's Clara?" Latimer asks.

"Captain Latimer, your current governess is in reality a barmaid called Clara."

"Fantastic!" The voice of the governess at the top of the stairs diverts everyone's attention.

"Meanwhile, your previous governess is now a living ice sculpture impersonating me. Oi! I'm the one that says "Fantastic", not you!"

"Fantastic!"

The Doctor sighs in defeat. "Oh, never mind then. Jenny, what have you got?"

Jenny holds up a force field bomb before throwing it in front of the Governess, causing an amber coloured field to appear, trapping the Governess on the stairs. "That should hold her!"

"Sir, into this room! One observational window on the line of attack and one defendable entrance!" Strax calls from the entrance to Latimer's office.

"Right, everyone in there. Latimer, you can help her. What's her name?" The Doctor asks, pointing to Alice as everyone but Vastra rushes in.

"Alice and don't worry, I'll help her." Latimer at once moves to carry Alice inside.

"Good man!" The Doctor moves to the foot of the stairs and pulls out his sonic to amplify the forcefield, yet it starts to fizz for a moment before working again. "Ugh! I seriously need to update you, old fella!" He grumbled.

"Nice to see you off your cloud and engaging again." Vastra said over his shoulder.

"Vastra, I'm not engaging. I'm under attack."

"Don't lie, you've missed this." Vastra says knowingly.

The Doctor turns and points the sonic at her before grinning. "Shut up!" This makes Vastra smile as they both move into the office. "Strax, how long have we got?"

"They're not going to attack, sir. They've made no attempt to conceal their arrival. An attack force would never abandon surprise so easily and they're clearly in a defence formation." Strax informed.

"Not bad, Strax. See? You've still got it!" The Doctor rubs his knuckles on Strax's head in glee.

"Sir, please do not noogie me during combat prep." Strax says with disgust.

"So, there's something here they want." Vastra points out, returning the Doctor to the task at hand.

"The ice woman. They need her to be like her." Clara quickly deducts.

"Exactly. Not bad there Clara." The Doctor says with a warm smile.

"What would she give to them?" Jenny asks.

"The Governess is a perfect duplication of Human DNA in ice form. That's what they're after, the fusion of snow and humanity. To live here, the snow needs to evolve. That's why they need her, she is what they need to become. Clara, when the snow melted last night, did the pond?"

"No."

"Living ice, so it will never melt. If the snow gets a hold of her, they will learn to make more. It will allow them to build an army of ice and it will be the last day of humanity on this planet." The doorbell rings, making the Doctor look up with a cold expression, already figuring out who is there. "All of you, stay here." He moves out of the room and closes the door but stops as it opens again to show Clara moving out to join him. "Oi! I told you to stay in there."

"Oh, I didn't listen."

"Yeah, you do that a lot."

"That's why you like me."

"Who says I like you-" Clara cuts him off by grabbing his jacket and bringing him down to smash her lips against his, making him freeze in surprise before he lets his hands rest on her shoulders.

"I think you just did." Clara says with a mischievous look as they part.

"No, you kissed me."

"And you blushed."

The Doctor does not find words for a second. "Can I have a bit of hush now?" He clears his throat after noticing how high pitched his voice is before moving quickly to the door, leaving Clara as she giggles behind him. He opens the door to see Walter standing there, the snowmen behind him growing aggressively, before letting an expression as cold as Walter's show on his face.

"Release her to us. You have five minutes." Walter warned.

The Doctor slams the door in his face, before marching towards the stairs. "We need to get her out of here yet kept away from them."

"How?" Clara asks.

The Doctor pulls out an umbrella from a nearby rack. "With this." He then pulls out the sonic and aims it at the field.

"Doctor, what're you doing?"

"Between you and me, I have no idea." The field deactivates before he uses the sonic to switch the position to behind him, not noticing Clara has already moved beside him. "Right, you look after everyone here then I can-Clara!" He whined.

"Look out!"

The Doctor ducks as the Governess lashes out before grasping Clara's hand and pulling her up the stairs. "That was stupid, Clara!"

"You were stupid too!"

"Oi! I'm allowed to be stupid!"

"Fantastic!"

"Why does she keep saying that?!" Clara groaned in annoyance.

"Mirroring, random mirroring!" The Doctor grabs the umbrella, ready to strike to delay her. "We need to get on the ro-" Clara however grabs his hand and continues the run. "No, no, wait! I'm the one that does the hand grabbing! That's my job!"

"Doctor, shut up!"

"Sorry!" Reaching the attic, he pushes open the window and climbs outside, before turning around to see Clara still there. "No time for a breather, Clara!" The Doctor admonishes.

"Oi! Try wearing a bustle and climb through a window!" The Doctor then grabs onto her and pulls, sending them tumbling onto the roof.

"It'll be easier if you take those off!" They both pause, their earlier blushes returning. "Ok, I didn't mean-"

"I know."

"I just-"

"I understand. Now what's the plan?"

"Who says I have a plan?"

"Of course you have a plan, you took this." Clara says, grabbing onto the umbrella.

"What did I just say, Clara? I'm allowed to be stupid." They both scramble as they get up off each other, the Doctor looking upwards to the sky.

"Yes, but you're also clever." Clara crosses her arms as she says this.

The Doctor smirked. Time for a test. "If I have a plan, what is it?"

"Fantastic!"

Clara's eyes widened in almost playful agitation. "Is this a test?"

"Yes, now hurry up."

"What will she do to us?"

"Kill us."

"Fantastic!" The Governess then started to slowly turn into snow to move through the window.

"So, hurry up then. Do I have a plan?"

"Oh, I figured it out already." Clara boasted before throwing the umbrella at the Doctor.

"No, you didn't." He reciprocated both the tone and throw.

"Course I did."

"Tell me then."

"Why should I?"

"Because we'll be dead in half a minute, so hurry up."

"Alright then, grumpy. If we were escaping, we'd be climbing down the building. If we were hiding, we'd be on the other side of the roof. But no, we're right here."

"So?"

"So…" Clara uses the umbrella to reach up and pull the ladder down. "After you."

"After you."

"After you!" Clara huffed. "I'm wearing a dress, have your eyes front soldier."

"What do you mean, they're always front." The Doctor grumbled before moving up the ladder.

"Mine aren't." Clara flirted while looking at him appreciatively.

The Doctor looks back at her with the blush returned. "Oi! Stop it!"

"No." Clara says with a sly smile. As the Doctor climbs onto the platform, Clara moves onto the ladder before clearing her throat and briefly returning to her English accent. "I understand you're the previous governess, but I regret to inform you the position is taken." She uses the umbrella to knock on the ladder twice to make it roll upwards. "Goodnight." She says the last part in a taunt, making the Governess growl. Clara climbs onto the platform to join the Doctor as they both begin to move up the staircase. "So, you can move your cloud? Can you control it?"

"What? No. No one can control clouds! That's silly. I use the wind. Much more sophisticated." The Doctor says the last part with proud smugness. They hear a rattling noise, making them look down to see the Governess pulling the ladder and beginning to climb it.

"She's following us." Clara says with a bit of fear as they continue to climb.

"That's the idea, keep her away from the snow." The Doctor said. "So, barmaid or governess?"

Clara blinked. "She's after us with the intent on killing us and you want to have a chat?"

"Well, we can't do that after we've been killed now can we?" The Doctor retorted.

"How are we climbing up this so quickly?" Clara asked, quickly changing the subject.

"It's a long story. I'll just simplify it and say it's shorter than it looks." They both reach the top, making the Doctor pull out the sonic and use it on the staircase.

"What are we standing on?"

"Remarkably dense water vapour. Should keep her trapped for a moment." Some of the cloud then forms around the staircase, hiding it from view. They both turn and walk towards the TARDIS as the Doctor pockets the sonic and pulls out a key.

"So, you actually live up here, on a cloud, in a box?" Clara reiterated.

"Yes, I do." The Doctor nodded.

"Blimey, you really do know how to sulk."

"Oi! I'm not sulking." The Doctor grumbled as he opened the door.

"You live in a box. One that you haven't been maintaining very well, I might add." Clara said, pointing out the muck and grease on the TARDIS.

"Are you going to witter on all night?" The Doctor adds in defensive of his home as they move inside, the lights off as he prepares the reveal. "She's no more a box than you are a governess."

Clara growled. "Ugh, spoken like a man! You know, you're the same as all the rest! Sweet little Clara works at "The Rose & Crown", ideas above her station. Well, for your information, I'm not sweet on the inside and I'm certainly not-" The Doctor cuts her off by flicking the lights on and she drops her growling to stare around in awe. "Little." The console room was expansive, bathed in a golden hue while stylized in the form of coral.

"She's called the TARDIS. A ship that can travel anywhere in time and space. And she's mine, my home." The Doctor added in fondness.

Clara was utterly speechless at the size and expanse of the room. "But this...look at it, its…"

"Go on, say it. Most people do." The Doctor teases with a smile, which turns into a laughing grin as Clara rushes around the TARDIS exterior before moving inside.

"It's smaller on the outside." Clara admits finally.

The Doctor deflates at the different admission. "Okay, that's a first."

"Were you expecting me to say, "Bigger on the inside"?"

"That's what most people say." He grumbled.

"Well, tough then." Clara rushes around, giggling as she sees the interior in more detail. "Is there a kitchen?"

The Doctor raises his eyebrows in surprise. "Another first."

Clara pauses in contemplation for a second. "I don't know why I asked that, it's just...I like making soufflés."

The Doctor looks at her distantly. "Soufflés?"

Clara turned to look at him in confusion. "Why are you showing me all this?"

"You followed me, remember?"

"You're nearly a foot taller than me." Clara holds up the umbrella to emphasise her point. "You could've reached the ladder without this. You took it, for me." She chucks the umbrella at him, who catches it, his expression growing softer. "Why?"

The Doctor puts the umbrella down before reaching into his pocket. "I never know why. I only know who." He then pulls out a TARDIS key and puts in into Clara's hand.

Clara looks down, tears of joy coming into her eyes. "What's this?"

"Me, giving in. You're right. I've been sulking on this cloud for too long. It's about time I stopped." He said, giving her a soft smile.

Clara gives a light chuckle despite the tears. "I don't know why I'm crying."

"I do. Remember this, Clara. Right now, remember all of it, because this is the day. This, Clara Oswald, is the day that I stop sulking and start running!" The Doctor's words turn passionate as he moves to the console and starts flicking switches but halting in terror as he hears Clara scream. He turns around to see her outside the TARDIS, the Governess dragging her as she drops the key in her hand. "Clara! Let her go! Clara!"

"Get off me!" Clara exclaimed.

"Let her go now!" The Governess pulls Clara to fall with her off the side of the cloud, laughing evilly as she does.

"Doctor!"

"No! Clara!" He kneels on the edge of the cloud, looking in despair as he watches her fall to the Earth.


Inside the Latimer house, everyone shoots up in shock as they hear a loud shatter followed by a slam of something hitting the ground.

"What on Earth was that?" Vastra exclaims as they move towards the window. They look outside to see the broken body of Clara on the ground, surrounded by ice.

"Clara." Jenny murmurs in sadness. Strax pulls out a medical device to scan Clara.

"Oh, dear god. Where did she fall from?!" Latimer exclaims before moving to the door. "We have to get her inside!"

"The snowmen will kill you, Latimer!" Vastra yells.

"She's hurt!"

The medical device beeps as it finishes the scan to say, "No Life Signs Detected". "She's Dead!" They all stop as they hear a loud, groaning noise, looking outside to see the TARDIS materialising around Clara.

"What is that?" Latimer wondered.

"The Doctor. He's bringing her in."

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor pilots it to land inside the house, before picking up Clara in bridal fashion and moving her outside. "Latimer, move everything off the table." The Doctor said bluntly.

"She's dead, Doctor." Vastra pointed out.

"She can't be, now do as I say!" The Doctor roars, making everyone flinch as they quickly move everything off the table. The Doctor then sets Clara down before snatching Strax's medical device and resuscitates Clara. "Keep her alive, Strax." He orders as he plants a soft kiss on Clara's forehead before moving inside the TARDIS, Vastra following him.

"Madame Vastra said she was dead, so how can she be alive again?" Latimer asks softly.

"This technology has capacities and abilities beyond anything your puny Human mind could possibly understand." Strax pauses awkwardly for a moment. "Try not to worry." Strax then gets to work on the medical device.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is scanning the ice crystals of the Governess before groaning. "This sonic is getting worthless!" He snapped.

*Beeps* (She'll be all right)

The TARDIS then opens a hole in the console before a silver sonic with a blue light appears, making him pause to grab it and stroke the console softly. "Thank you, old girl." The Doctor said with a sad smile before returning to work, not taking the time to marvel at the improved sonic.

"Doctor, could the creature still be a danger?" Vastra asks gently.

"No, not in here."

"Then you should be with Miss Clara."

"She's going to be fine. I know she is. She has to be." He muttered in an almost pleading voice.

"Doctor, please. Her injuries are severe. That equipment will bring back anyone for a moment but long-term-"

"Vastra, it's my fault what happened to Clara. She was in my care."

Vastra sighed. "What is the point in blaming yourself?"

The Doctor looked down in sadness. "None. Because she's going to live. She has to live." The Doctor then pulls a gauntlet out and a memory worm jar before taking the worm from the jar and placing it inside a box covered in markings then moving outside to join the others. "Jenny, could you please..." He stuttered.

"Sure." Jenny at once grabs the box for him as he moved towards Clara, placing a hand on her forehead and rubbing it gently.

The Doctor gives a soft smile as Clara opens her eyes and looks at him. "Hello." He whispered.

"They all think I'm going to die, don't they?" She asked wearily.

"They do. But I know you'll prove them wrong and live."

"How?"

"I never know how; I just know who." He then reaches into his pocket and pulls out the same key before placing it in her grasp and kissing her hand.

"Doctor…Vastra said you were the saver of worlds once. Are you going to save ours?"

"If I do, will you come away with me?" He asks with kind hope.

Clara, despite her current situation, lets a soft smile grace her features. "Yes."

"Well then, Merry Christmas Clara Oswald." He then leans down and plants a kiss on her forehead.

"Merry Christmas, Doctor."

The Doctor then stands up straight, clicks his neck before taking the box back from Jenny and moving to the front door. He opens it to see Walter standing there patiently, before holding the box up. "I have here a piece of the Ice Lady. It has everything you need to know about making ice people. If that's what you want, I'll see you at the office." He finishes with a taunt before shutting the door and moving to the TARDIS, motioning for Vastra to join him.

"So then, Doctor. Saving the world again? Might I ask why? Are you making a bargain with the universe? You'll save the world to let her live?" Vastra asked.

"Yes, and don't you think that after all this time and everything that I've ever done that I'm owed this one?!" He snapped as he flickered the switches of the console.

"I don't think the universe makes bargains, Doctor." Vastra simply said.

"It was my fault! So, she will live!"

"Well then, old friend. Better save the world." She said kindly.

The Doctor hugs Vastra with a smile before pulling the materialization lever to take them to the institute. They exit and set themselves patiently for Walter, the Doctor sitting at his desk with Vastra standing by him. They both give a knowing nod as they realize that the voice of the snow doesn't seem to talk without Walter. Said man then storms into the room in haste.

"You promised us something! Have you brought it?!" He demanded.

"Big fella has been remarkably quiet while you've been out. That's to be expected considering who he really is." Standing up, the Doctor grabs the box and holds it up as he moves towards the globe. "Do you know what this is?" He asked.

"I do not understand these markings." The voice booms.

"A map of the London Underground, 1967. Key strategic weakness in metropolitan living, if I'm being honest."

"Enough of this. We are powerful but, on this planet, we are limited." The Doctor pulls out his sonic and switches it behind his back, changing the voice to sound like a child. Walter Simeon, as a child to be exact. "We need to learn to take Human form. The Governess is our most perfect replication of humanity."

"What's happening to its voice?" Vastra asks.

"Just stripping away the disguise." The Doctor says as he pockets the sonic.

"No! Stop! Stop that! Cease! I command you!" The voice roared, it's new inflection now making Walter shake in shock.

"Why does it sound like a child, Doctor?"

"Because it is a child. Simeon as a child. The snow has no voice without him."

"Don't listen to him! He's ruining everything!"

"How long has he been talking to you?" The Doctor asked Walter.

Walter gulped. "I was a little boy and…he was my snowman. He spoke to me."

"Snow doesn't talk, Walter, it just mirrors. It reflects everything you think and feel and fear. You poured your darkest dreams into that snowman and look at what it became!" The Doctor spat.

"I don't understand." Vastra said, calming the Doctor slightly.

"It's a parasite, feeding on the loneliness of a child and the sickness of an old man. *Chuckles* Carnivorous snow meets Victorian values and a terrible monster is born."

"We can go on and do everything we've planned."The voice implored.

"Oh yes, sure. What a plan, create a world full of ice people." The Doctor mocked.

"What's wrong with Victorian values?" Walter asked rhetorically before snatching the box and ripping the lid off.

Vastra rushes forward, ready to draw her sword, but the Doctor holds up a hand. "Are you sure?"

"I've always been sure." Walter said coldly as he rips open the box before suddenly yelling in pain as he clutches onto the memory worm, which is biting deep into his hand. Eventually, his screams fade and his knees wobble, the man losing balance and falling face first onto the floor.

The Doctor gave a cold smirk. "Good. I'm glad you were so sure since your entire life's now erased. No parasite without a host. So, without you, no voice. Without the Governess, no form."

"What...what...what's happening? What's happening? What did you do?" The voice asked fearfully.

"You've got nothing left to mirror anymore." The Doctor taunted. "Goodbye."

"What...did...you…" For a moment it looked like it was dying before the machine powered up and the snow began to fly around inside menacingly. "Did you really think it would be so easy? "It taunted in return.

The Doctor looks at it in fear. "That's not possible. How is that possible?"

"Doctor!" Vastra motions towards the window, where they see even more snow than before.

"No, that's not possible! You were just Dr Simeon; you were never real! He just dreamed you, so how can you still exist?!" The Doctor demanded, turning back to the globe.

"Now the dream outlives the dreamer and can never die. Once I was the puppet-"

"Now I pull the strings!" Walter yells with the voice as he rises from the ground, covered in frost, and electrified by the globe's pylons. "I've tried for so long to take on Human form! By erasing Simeon, you made space for me! I fill him now!" Vastra draws her sword and rushes to Walter who throws a hard fist at her. She catches it before kicking him in the stomach and piercing her sword through his upper arm. Walter yells in pain as he backhands her hard, causing her to stumble to the floor in a loss of balance. Walter then rushes to the Doctor who performs the same backhanding motion causing Walter to stumble before the Doctor tackles him straight into his desk, shattering it upon impact. Walter however uses this moment to claim an iron grasp on the Doctor's neck, cutting off his air supply before removing Vastra's sword and placing his other hand on the Doctor's face, which begins to freeze over from Walter's ice-cold touch. "Born in snow! Born in Simeon! I applaud your effort, but it shall not be enough, for even this old body is strong in my control! Do you feel it now?! Winter is coming!" The Doctor begins to scream in pain as the frost begins to seep through his skin into his very flesh, causing his nerves and muscles to seize up in agony.


Back in the house, the children struggle to hold their tears for Clara while Latimer holds her hand and Strax works away on the medical device. "No, you must fight. Hang on and fight, boy, you can do it!" Strax said in encouragement.

"Captain Latimer." Clara whispered, gaining said man's attention. "Your children. They're afraid."

Latimer swallowed. "Help me, Clara, please. I don't know what to do." He pleaded.

"Hold them. Just hold them and be there for them. The rest will be easy." Clara smiles as Latimer moves towards his children, embracing them as the family cries together.


Walter begins to seize up as thunder booms outside while the snow begins to turn to rain. He then starts to shake in agony before giving a loud scream of pain as he collapses to the ground, the snow inside the globe bursting into water. "No! What's happening?!" Walter gasps in pain.

"Doctor! The globe! It's turning to rain!" Vastra yells as she struggles to regain her balance. Both her and the Doctor look to Walter who gives several more gasps for breath before collapsing into the floor, as the life of the snow rapidly drains away, leaving him cold and alone. Vastra moves to check his pulse before helping the Doctor off the floor. "He's dead. Walter must've died when the snow took over, leaving him a mere shell. But what killed the snow?"

The Doctor takes a moment to regain his breath. "Snow mirrors, Vastra." They move over to open the window before reaching out to catch some of the rainfall. "There was a critical mass of snow at the house, so if something happened there, it would be so powerful that the snow would be forced to mirror it."

Vastra pulls a hand back in and tastes the water, frowning for a moment before it comes to her. "Salty. Saltwater rain. It's the family, Doctor."

"Yes. The only force on Earth that could drown the snow is a whole family crying on Christmas Eve." They both nod at each before racing into the TARDIS. Materialising the TARDIS back inside the house, the Doctor and Vastra exiting to see Latimer embracing his children, the three of them crying over Clara's dying body. Jenny is rubbing Alice's shoulder as she too struggles to hold her tears while Strax stands in silent respect by Clara.

"I'm sorry sir, but there's no more to be done. She now has moments only." Strax said softly before moving aside.

The Doctor moves slowly to Clara, a few tears prickling his eyes as the two of them exchange eye contact while he kneels beside her to hold her hand. "We saved the world, Clara. But not only that, you saved my life. I thank you for that."

"Are you going back to your cloud?" Clara whispers, her voice almost faint.

"No. Not anymore. No more brooding."

Clara's eyebrows raised slightly. "What changed your mind?"

"It wasn't what changed my mind. It was who." The Doctor smiles fondly at her before kissing her forehead.

Clara closes her eyes while struggling to breathe before whispering at last, "Run. Run, you clever boy. And remember me." Clara then passes on just as the bell signalling midnight begins to toll.

"It's Christmas." Jenny informed in sadness. "Christmas Day."

25th December 1892

The Doctor and the Paternoster Gang stayed for Clara's funeral, even past their goodbyes given to Captain Latimer and his children.

"What was it controlling the snowmen, Doctor?" Jenny asks.

"The institute was called "The Great Intelligence", probably as the name Simeon coined for it. Think of it like a telepathic mind, able to manifest itself in singular and multiple forms at once."

"Do you think it truly melted with the snow?" Vastra implores.

"No. It already learned to survive beyond physical form, though I doubt we'll be seeing it anytime soon."

"Is that why you told it that the London Underground was a key strategic weakness?" Vastra points out, having already figured out his lie.

The Doctor stared blankly at that before pulling the business card out of his pocket and looked at it. ""Great Intelligence". Why does that sound familiar?" The Doctor muttered to himself before moving to Clara's grave.

"Doctor?" Jenny asks in puzzlement.

The Doctor looked at Clara's grave for a moment before his eyes widened as he saw her full name: Clara Oswin Oswald. "No. It was her." He whispered. Oswin. Soufflé girl. It can't be her. And Clara, on Gallifrey. It can't be. The Doctor stands up quickly, turning to look at Vastra and Jenny. "I never wondered about it the first time on Gallifrey, I was too busy running. And with the Daleks I was too busy fighting the War that I didn't notice then, but it was her. Both times! Same attitude, same personality, the same voice, the same woman! Twice! The second time and now she died to save me, the same woman!" The Doctor started to ramble in joyous excitement.

"Doctor, please, what are you talking about?" Vastra asked in bewilderment.

"Something is happening, and I don't know what it is!" The Doctor laughs maniacally for a few moments. "This is fantastic!"

"Doctor!" Jenny exclaims.

"Right, you two, stay right there! Don't move an inch!" The Doctor then starts to race back to the TARDIS.

"Are you coming back?!" Vastra called.

"Probably not!"

"But where are you going?!"

"To find her! To find Clara!" The Doctor runs away laughing, leaving Vastra and Jenny both bewildered and relieved to find their friend with a sense of renewed energy.

"But Clara's dead. What's he on about?" Jenny asks her wife.

"I'm not sure, but perhaps the universe makes bargains after all."


Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor is racing about, flicking switches as his ship flies away into the Time Vortex. "Clara Oswin Oswald!" He then looks at the monitor to see two photos of Clara. One from the Clara on Gallifrey and one from the Clara in Victorian London, before letting a large grin radiate off his face. "Watch me run!"

Chapter Text

The Bells of Saint John

Blackpool, England
1995

On a bright, sunny day, children are running around a playground, laughing in joy while their parents are conversing together in peace. One man, the Doctor, was sitting alone on a swing in deep contemplation. For many, many years he wondered the cosmos, trying and failing, to find Clara again. He was so drenched in his sad contemplation, he practically failed to hear a little brunette girl of nine years run up to sit on the swing next to him. "Hello." The girl greeted with curiosity, her voice a sweet northern accent.

"Hello." The Doctor responded with a smile.

"Why are you sitting on a swing?" She asked.

"Aren't I allowed to sit on a swing?" He retorted defensively.

"Yes. You're old." She said bluntly.

"Oi!" The girl giggled at his mock insulted expression.

"My Mum says I shouldn't talk to strange men."

He shrugged. "Yeah, your Mum's right."

"Are you strange?" The girl asked.

"In many ways, yes." The Doctor held a small smile at this before returning to his brooding.

"Are you lonely?" She asked suddenly, making him blink.

"Why would I be lonely?"

"You seem sad. Have you lost something?" The girl asked softly.

The Doctor's eyebrows furrowed at this. "No."

"When I lose something, I go to a quiet place, close my eyes and then I remember where I put it." She said gleefully.

"Good plan. I wish I could do that sometimes." The Doctor admitted sheepishly.

"I'm always losing things." She said with a small whine. "I lost my pencil, my best school bag and my mojo."

"Your mojo?" The Doctor asked in puzzlement.

"I got it back, though."

"Well, that's good then." A comfortable silence fell between the two for a moment before the girl perked up with another question.

"Did you lose someone?"

The Doctor gave a small, sad sigh. "Yes. A good friend of mine. I met her three times before now. First time I was in a bit of a hurry, but the latter two times, I lost her and now...I don't think I'll ever find her again." He admitted.

"Have you been looking?"

He nodded. "Of course."

"How long?"

"Oh...many years." He said distantly.

"That's sad." The girl said with pity.

"It is a bit." The Doctor glanced up to see an adult woman, who looked very similar to the girl, standing a small distance from them, chatting silently with another woman. "Is that your Mum?" He asked.

"Yeah." She nodded with a loving smile. "I'd better go and see if she's all right."

He chuckled. "Yeah, clever idea."

"How are you going to find her?"

"Well, the last two times I just bumped into her, so I thought maybe, third time's the charm...kind of." He added hesitantly.

The girl scoffed. "That's rubbish. Third time's the charm never works."

"Oi! Don't diss third time's the charm." He blinked, realising the absurdity of his words. "I mean, sure, it...doesn't work all the time, but it still works...sometimes." He said the last part sheepishly, making the girl giggle again. "Actually, I think your idea is better. I should just find a quiet place and think about it for a while."

"That is a better idea." She agreed with a nod, before standing up to leave. "Goodbye."

"Goodbye." He said with a smile and a wave.

"Oh, and mister…I hope you find her again." She said sincerely.

"I hope so too." He reciprocated.

The girl moved over to her mother, who after finishing her conversation, knelt in front of her. "Who was that?" She asked.

"I was talking to a sad man." The girl beamed.

"Clara Oswald, what have I told you about talking to strange men?" Her mother admonished before sighing, standing up and leading them away. If the Doctor heard the exchange, he either didn't notice it or he dismissed it entirely. So, after a moment of silence, he gets up off the swing and leaves for the TARDIS.

Cumbria
1207

A large stone monastery, surrounded in grey mist and fog, sat silently atop a green hill, its front gates being repeatedly knocked on by a fearful young monk. A view latch on the door opens to show another monk looking at him curiously, including some irritation. "Wake the Abbott! The bells of Saint John are ringing!"

The other monk nodded in understanding before closing the latch, opening the door for the younger monk, and hurrying to the main tower of the monastery. After a while, in which the young monk waited with a small semblance of impatience, the other monk returned with the Abbott, who walked straight towards the man bearing the news. "Are you words true, son?"

"Yes, Father." The young monk nodded.

"Then it is time. We must go to him." The Abbott said before motioning for the man to follow, the two monks entering the main tower before opening the door to the lower library.

""Him"? The Mad Monk?" The young monk asked vehemently.

"Yes, my son, but we shouldn't call him that. He is the furthest thing to be considered a monk." The Abbott admonished lightly. They enter the library to see many candles lit, with the Doctor sitting in a chair in silence, his dark brown cloak hood drawn over his head. Behind him on two stands were two paintings of Clara Oswald. One was her on Gallifrey, the other was her in Victorian London, yet both carried the same message. The Abbott cleared his throat, making the Doctor look up. "I'm sorry to intrude. But it is time. The bells of Saint John are ringing."

The Doctor immediately stood up from his chair and walked over to them, removing his hood to show his face bearing a scraggly beard, if you could call it a beard. "I'm going to need a horse." He said simply.

"You won't be coming back, sir?" The Abbott asked.

The Doctor gave a small smile. "Probably not."

"Then you're allowed to take a horse, as long as you send it back." The Doctor gave a thankful nod to the Abbott before moving to gather his belongings and turning to leave.

The younger monk looked at the paintings with widening eyes, only speaking up when the Doctor had left the room. "Is that her?" He asked.

The Abbott nodded. ""The Impossible Girl". "The Woman Twice Dead". This, my son, is why he was here. He came to this place of peace and solitude, so he could divine her meaning." He said, pointing to the phrase on both paintings that said "Run. Run, you clever boy, and remember me". "If he truly is mad, then this is his madness."

Chiswick
2013

Inside a single-story cream-coloured house, a young brunette, wearing a dye red dress with a grey jacket, is pacing about her bedroom in impatience as she holds a dialling phone to her ear. On her desk sat her dark grey laptop, while above it on the wall were three pictures. The first was of her and two teenagers, the second was of her as a little girl and her parents while the third was of her and a dark-skinned man in his early thirties. "Oh, come on! Just answer!" She groaned irritably to herself in her northern accent.


Outside of a cave, the Doctor patted the horse he arrived on, the motion making it trot back off to the monastery, as he entered the cave to see the TARDIS, still sitting there patiently. He stopped his movements however as he began hearing the TARDIS phone ringing suddenly. "That's not supposed to happen." He muttered to himself before he timidly moved over to the TARDIS and opened the front latch. Then, he pulled out the large brown cable phone and placed it against his ear. "Hello?"

"Ah, hello. I can't find the internet." He heard a girl say with relief. Very obvious relief, almost gratingly so.

"Sorry?" The Doctor asked in confusion.

"It's gone. The internet. Can't find it anywhere. Where is it?" She reiterated.

"The internet?" He asked incredulously.

"Yes, the internet." She almost snarled in frustration. "Why don't I have the internet?"

"It's 1207." He said bluntly.

He could almost picture the girl's irritated expression melting away into squinting puzzlement. "I got half-past 3. Am I phoning a different time zone?" She asked.

"Afraid so." The Doctor said, withholding his habit to make a bad joke.

"Will it show up on the bill?"

"I dread to think." He muttered under his breath. "Listen, where did you get this number?"

"The man in the shop wrote it down. It's a helpline, isn't it? He said, "It's the best helpline out there". "In the universe" he said."

He blinked. "What man? Who was he?"

"I don't know. The man in the shop. Gotta say, for a pretty boy, he looked knackered." The girl added but the Doctor didn't respond to that. "So, why isn't there internet? Shouldn't it just…be there?"

"Look, listen. I'm not actually…" The Doctor then trailed off, gave a sigh of defeat before going almost monotone in the tone of his voice. "You have clicked on the Wi-Fi button, haven't you?"

"Hang on. Umm…Wi-Fi…" The girl muttered to herself, which made the Doctor roll his eyes.

"Click on the Wi-Fi, you'll see a list of names with one you recognise…" He continued in the same tone.

"It's asking me for a password…" The girl muttered in confusion. "Hang on a mo." He could hear the girl rummaging around in search of something for a few moments. ""R-R-Y-C-B-A-R-M-1-2-3." How am I supposed to remember that?" The Doctor rubbed his hand over his eyes to suppress a groan. "Uh, here we go. Run. Run, you clever boy and remember me." The Doctor's eyes quickly widened in shock as he heard her speak these words. "1, 2…"

At the same time the girl says "3", the Doctor yells, "What did you just say?!"

The girl audibly winced. "Don't shout." There was a small pause for a moment before she spoke up again. "Now you made me type it wrong. It's thrown me out again. What do I do? How do I get back in?"

The Doctor didn't answer. Instead, he hung up the phone and raced inside the TARDIS, dashing around the console as he piloted the ship away from Cumbria. "Come on. Come on." He muttered as he landed the TARDIS with a thud, before racing outside and up to the front door of the girl's house, where he began to knock repeatedly, again and again, even using the doorbell when he received no answer. Eventually, he did receive an answer, being a pair of footsteps that were moving quickly towards the front door.

"Yes, I hear you!" The girl said in almost bemused irritation before she opened the door and all the Doctor could do was stand there like an idiot with a massive grin on his face. "Hello?"

"Clara Oswald?" He asked.

She frowned slightly at him. "Hello."

"Clara Oswin Oswald?" He reiterated.

"Just "Clara Oswald". What was that middle one?" Clara asked with a blink of confusion.

"Do you remember me?"

Clara squinted her large brown eyes at him. "No. Should I? Who are you?"

"The Doctor." He said obviously.

She frowned again, now from puzzled incredulity. "Doctor Who?"

"No. just the Doctor." He paused for a moment before his grin relaxed into a dreamy smile. "Sorry, could you just ask me that again?"

"Could I what?"

"Could you just ask me that question again?"

"Doctor Who?"

For a small moment, he thought only one question. Was it the scrunched expression on her face or the way she asked it? Either way, it left him with a small series of giggles. "Okay, just once more." He said, like a kid watching a funny magician.

"Doctor Who?" Clara repeated in the same confused tone.

He unabashedly continued with his childish giggling. "I'm so sorry. It's just I've never realised how much I enjoy hearing that. Thank you." He said earnestly.

"Okay." Clara gave him a smile before she slammed the door in his face, said motion causing his gleeful attitude to melt into pleading agitation.

"No, wait! Clara, please! I need to talk to you!

The Shard

Within one of the highest floors of the Shard, was a sleek, black office, full of computer desks and people in suits working away relentlessly. The front of the room had a small flight of steps leading to the head office while the back end had a large screen, filled with small pictures of various individuals from all over the world. One of the desks had a man, dressed in a regular suit, and an older woman, wearing a tie-less suit, standing behind it and looking at a newly acquired picture of Clara.

"Clara Oswald." The man said. "We've got a positive lock on her, but I think she's borderline. Very clever but no computer skills." The person he was informing was the woman, and his employer, who gave the ghost of an uninterested shrug, before glancing down at the black tablet in her left hand.

"Upload her anyway. Splice her a computer skills package." She ordered as the two of them walked towards the stairs at the front of the room.

"I'll activate a spoonhead." The man offered.

She just squinted her eyes at him. "Alexei, we call them servers, not spoonheads." She admonished.

"Sorry, Miss Kizlet." Alexei apologised before turning around and walking back to his desk.

Miss Kizlet, with a small sly smile, walked up the stairs to meet another employee, who was waiting for her in front of her office doors. She greeted him with a nod which he returned, before they walked inside. "I'm ever so fond of Alexei. But my conscience says we should kill him."

"I'll inform HR." The man says indifferently.

"Actually, he's about to go on holiday. Kill him when he gets back. Let's not be unreasonable. Now, what did you want to speak to me about?" Miss Kizlet asked as she sat down at her desk.

"We're uploading too many people too quickly. We're going to get noticed." The man said with a British accent, his voice laced with paranoia.

"If your conscience is bothering you, think of it like this: We're preserving living minds in permanent form in the data cloud. Rather like immortality." She placed her tablet on the desk and began to scroll through her employees before stopping on one with a picture of the man in front of her, Mahler. "Of course, gained fatally." She added with a mischievous smirk.

"My conscience is fine." Mahler said with his jaw clenched.

"Good. Because our client has his needs." Miss Kizlet then accessed his profile and turned his "Conscience" off completely, which in turn raised his paranoia, making Mahler sweat profusely. As he turned to leave, he paused, and glanced back at Miss Kizlet with worrying realization.

"Did you just hack me?" He asked.

"Because you changed your mind?" She retorted with mocking pity.

Mahler swallowed a small nervous gulp in his throat. "I hope I did." He then turned to leave without another word. Behind his back, Miss Kizlet briefly turned his "Paranoia" off before raising it back to nominal with a small smirk.


"Please, Clara! I just need to speak to you." Clara heard the Doctor call through the front door as she stood in the living room.

She then sighed before moving down the stairs and standing beside the door to click on the video intercom linked to the outside, which the Doctor didn't notice for a few seconds, almost making her giggle. Almost. "Why are you still here? Why are you here at all?" She asked.

"Oi! You phoned me, remember? You were looking for the internet." The Doctor retorted.

"Wait, that was you?" Clara asked with a blink.

"Yes, it was me." The Doctor said, restraining his urge to groan.

"How did you get here so fast?"

"I just happened to be in the neighbourhood, on my mobile phone." On his last words, he pointed behind him to a large blue police box sitting nearby the house.

"When you say, "Mobile phone", why did you point at that blue box?"

"Because it's a surprisingly accurate description." The Doctor retorted sarcastically.

"Okay, we're finished now." Clara said sternly before switching the intercom off and turning around, holding her head in her hands as she takes a couple of breaths, not noticing the Doctor had turned to walk back to the TARDIS in silence. As she opened her eyes, she noticed a dark skinned, teenage girl standing there in the room. She didn't take notice of the sudden appearance at first, even though she should have. "Angie! Good to see you again! Why didn't you phone me ahead?" Clara asked with a warm smile.

"I didn't phone you ahead." Angie said with an emotionless voice.

"Well, how did you get in the flat? You don't have a key." Clara pointed out in puzzlement.

"I don't have a key." Angie repeated.

"Is Artie all right?" Clara asked, now starting to get really worried.

"Is Artie all right?" Angie repeated. As she finished speaking, Clara could hear an electronic clicking from Angie before said person's head turned light blue, and her face disappeared like a hologram to reveal a silver, metallic head that focused a beam of energy onto Clara's now terrified face.


Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor ran straight out of the bathroom, his face now clean shaven, and he shredded off the monk clothes in disgust. "Note to self, Doctor: Don't be a monk. Never introduce yourself as a monk. Monks are stupid!" Quickly changing into his newly fashioned clothes, topped off with his black leather jacket, he rushed outside to Clara's doorstep and knocked three times. "Clara!"

"Hello?" Clara asked through the intercom, yet the video link was switched off.

"Hello. Don't worry, I'm not dressed like a monk anymore. That was stupid of me. Even got rid of the beard, if you could call it a beard." He said with a grin. "Can I come in now?"

"I...I don't understand."

He blinked. Weird answer. "Could you just open the door?"

"I don't know…where I am." The Doctor frowned at these words for a moment, then he heard Clara's breath getting increasingly hitched in a matter of seconds, and his eyes widened in horror. "I don't know where I am. Where am I?" Clara asked, her voice quickly becoming laced with paranoia. "Please tell me where I am! I don't know where I am!"

The Doctor pulled out his sonic and unlocked the front door to march inside, seeing Clara's unconscious body lying on the floor. "Clara!" He knelt beside her and took her face in his hands as she continued to cry and whimper in confusion. But her face did not move as she spoke. Nor were her eyes open in the wide-eyed horror he expected, not even her voice, or rather the source of it was what he expected. Instead, he looked up to see a silver chrome head, draped in clothes and bearing a hologram of Clara's real and terrified face, her eyes streaming with fresh, hot tears.

"I don't know where I am! I don't know where I am! Please, I don't know where I am!" Clara continued to cry.

The Doctor pulled out his sonic, pointed it at the robot and flicked it on, his face turning into rage as he saw a download meter appear beneath Clara's face, which said, "Uploading 62%". "Oh no, you don't!" He growled, quickly switching the settings and causing a sudden halt to the download before he raced to Clara's desk and grabbed her laptop.


Inside the office, an alarm sounded an ear-piercing wail at Alexei's desk, as he witnesses Clara's download being halted without warning. "I've got a problem." He called worriedly, earning the immediate and puzzled attention of Miss Kizlet and Mahler, as they walk over to his desk. "Someone's trying to reverse an upload." He said, turning off the alarm and relieving their ears of the noise.

"Is that possible?" Miss Kizlet asked.

"If the upload isn't fully integrated, then in theory, yes." As soon as Mahler points this bit of information out, the upload, once again without warning, began to reverse, making their eyes widen in disbelief.

"Oh my god." Alexei muttered under his breath.

"Can you stop this?" Mahler demanded.

After a moment of typing and working, Alexei gulped as his actions proved to be fruitless. "No."


The Doctor continued to type furiously at Clara's laptop, code being inputted at a frantic speed to reverse the upload. "Not this time, Clara! I promise you!" After inputting his last code, and quite literally slamming his finger on the enter key, Clara's upload was reversed and cancelled. The droid then shot a light into Clara's body, which, after it disappears, leaves her gasping for breath, yet her eyes remained closed. The Doctor puts the laptop aside as he moves to Clara, gently cradling her face and stroking her hair. "It's okay. It's okay." He whispered before picking her up, moving to her bed and placing her down with a kiss on her forehead. After drawing her blankets over her sleeping form and standing up from the bed, he spotted out of the corner of his eye, a book on her bedside table called "101 Places to See". With gentle care, he held up the book and opened it to a marked page, which contained a red leaf and a list. At the top of the list was a signature title that said: "Property of Clara Oswald". The list contained her age, starting at a crossed 9 before ending in an uncrossed 27. His eyebrows arched at this for a brief moment before his expression turned into confusion as he switched his attention to the leaf. He carefully picked it up between two fingers and looked at it for a few moments. Curious. He mused to himself before he placed it back inside the book, closed it, and put the book back where he found it. The Doctor then grasped Clara's laptop and moved from the room to exit the house and return to the TARDIS.


Back inside Miss Kizlet's office, now with the shadows of night pouring through the window, she kept pacing in agitation with her fingers interlaced, only relieving them of the tension as Mahler entered the room with the same expression. "Well?" Miss Kizlet asked simply.

"Our hacker sent us a message." He answered, moving to her personal monitor to press a few buttons, which brings up the message. "Under My Protection. -The Doctor."

"Get out." Mahler frowned at her and she restrained from rolling her eyes. "I have to speak to the client." Mahler nodded before darting from the room, as Miss Kizlet pressed a hidden button on the screen, bathing her in blue light. "Sir. The one you told me about, he's here. The Doctor is here."


Back at Clara's flat, now also bathed in the gleam of night, she awoke slowly from her unconscious state. Shaking off both the drowsiness from her eyes and the tiny, fading feeling of pain in her head, she stood up from her bed, exited her bedroom and crossed over her house to the front door and opened it, spotting the Doctor sitting on a chair outside the blue box, typing away on...her laptop? "Hello?" She asked with clear puzzlement.

"Hello!" The Doctor responded with a smile. "Are you all right?"

"I was in bed." Clara said obviously.

"Yeah."

"But I don't remember going. What happened to me?" She asked worriedly.

The Doctor looked at her with concern. "Don't you remember anything?"

"I was scared. Really scared. Didn't know where I was." She admitted.

"Do you know now?"

She unconsciously gave him a smile. "Yes."

"Well, you should go back to sleep. You'll be safe now. I promise." The Doctor then returned to work as Clara looked at him in confusion.

"Are you guarding me?"

"Yes, I am." He said before frowning. "That creepy? I hope it's not creepy."

"More like weird." Clara responded with a giggle, making the Doctor smile again. "Are you seriously going to sit there all night?"

"Yeah, I promise. I won't budge from this seat."

"Well then, I'll have to join you." Clara suddenly closed the door, leaving the Doctor staring dumbly at it.

"Eh?" The Doctor muttered in bewilderment before he shook it off and returned to work.


Miss Kizlet and Mahler are standing back beside Alexei's desk as they see a camera focused on the back of the TARDIS, sitting beside Clara's house. "I take it the girl's inside and alive?" Miss Kizlet asks. They nod, and she smirked. "Alexei, I need you to do something creative about that." She then moved to his profile on her tablet before turning his "I. Q" up to full. Alexei quickly moved to work.


The Doctor looks up from the laptop as he heard Clara's front door opening and closing, seeing said girl stepping outside her house, moving to sit by him, and offering him a cup of tea. "Oh, thank you." He said, taking a grateful sip, before letting a small smile of approval appear on his face, as he placed the cup down on a small foldout table beside them. "Now, I think we should properly introduce ourselves since I've forgotten my manners."

Clara snorted. "More like you being rude."

"Hush you." The Doctor said with a smile before holding out a hand. "I'm the Doctor. Pleased to meet you."

"Clara Oswald. Pleased to meet you, if ever so confused." She shook his hand.

"Yeah, I know the feeling." He admitted.

"Did I miss anything while I was out?"

"Eh, not much. I fixed that rattling noise in the washing machine, indexed the kitchen cupboards, optimised the photosynthesis in the flower bed and assembled the quadracycle."

"Assembled the what?" Clara asked.

"You had a disassembled quadracycle in the garage."

"I don't have a quadra-watcha-ma-call-it."

The Doctor's eyebrows furrow at that for a moment before he produces a bright grin. Did I just invent the quadracycle? Huh.

"Doctor, are you going to explain what happened to me?" Clara asked, regaining his attention.

He put the laptop down on the table and took another good gulp of the warm tea. "There is something in the Wi-Fi."

Clara frowned. "Okay. Isn't there always something in the Wi-Fi? Like a virus?"

"No." He blinked. "I mean, yes, there always is something like that, but what if something got in?"

"I don't follow."

"Clara, the entire world is almost literally swimming in Wi-Fi. Introduce kids to it then remove it from them for a few hours, they lose their minds." Clara giggled at that while the Doctor smirked. "Now, suppose something else got inside. Suppose something alive, literally alive, got inside, and is now harvesting Human minds, extracting them."

"Then they become trapped?" Clara deducted.

"Yes. Imagine that. Human souls trapped like flies in the World Wide Web, stuck forever, crying out for help."

"Isn't that basically Twitter?" Clara quipped, making the Doctor laugh.

"In a way, yes." The Doctor then…just paused and looked back up a Clara with squinting eyes.

"What's that face for, Doctor?" Clara asked in scepticism.

"A computer can hack another computer. But a living, sentient computer, an intelligence…maybe that can hack people. Edit them or rewrite them." He said in a small ramble.

"What makes you say that?"

"Because earlier today, you knew nothing about computers and now you just made two separate jokes about viruses and Twitter." Clara's eyes widened in shock as his words sank in. "Are you finding innovative ideas in your head, Clara? Ideas related to computers that you didn't have earlier?"

"Yeah. Where did all that come from?" Clara asked, starting to tremble in fear.

"You were uploaded for a while, so wherever you were, you brought something else back. Something that I very much doubt you'll be allowed to keep." The Doctor stood up quickly, gazing around with darting eyes before he moved beside the TARDIS to look behind it, seeing a man on the side path looking at them blankly. Far too blankly for anybody's liking. "You, me, box, now." The Doctor said simply despite the scattered words.

Clara just raised her eyebrows at his words. "I'm sorry?" She asked incredulously.

"Look, Clara, just get inside." The Doctor said as he unlocked the door and started to place everything back inside behind the door.

"Both of us?"

"Trust me, it'll make more sense inside."

"I bet it will." Clara said like a disappointed mother.

"Clara, please…" The Doctor started like a stubborn child, but Clara interrupted him.

"What is that box anyway? Why have you got a box?"

"Clara." He warned lightly.

"Is it a snogging booth?" Clara accused in amusement.

"A what?" The Doctor asked incredulously.

"Is that what you do? You bring a booth?" She flirted, her gaze unabashedly darting up and down his form in approval. "Yeah, you're a looker but there's such a thing as too keen." She said with a sly smile.

The Doctor looked up to see the lights in the neighbouring houses turn on far too rapidly for his own liking. "Clara, look around you." The Doctor whispered.

Clara slowly turned around, her eyes widening in surprise as she witnesses this as well. "What's happening? Is the Wi-Fi switching on the lights?"

"No. The people are, but the Wi-Fi is directing them." The Doctor said, his words sending cold shivers down Clara's spine. They watched as the man's head just disappeared in a blue light to reveal yet another silver chrome head.

"What is that thing, Doctor?"

"A walking base station, or server. They're the ones snatching up the people, doing the dirty work on location. You saw one earlier, that's how you got into the Wi-Fi."

"I saw a friend of mine." Clara said in denial, before turning around to notice the lights in the city being turned off. "Doctor."

"They must have taken an image from your self-conscious and thrown it back at you. In other words, active camouflage." He rambled.

"Doctor!" Clara grabbed his arm and pulled him over to view the city. "What's going on? Our lights are on, but everyone else's is off. Why?"

"I don't know, but we must be one hell of a target right now."

Clara looked up in the sky to see an airplane descending towards them. "Doctor, planes have Wi-Fi, right?"

"Some planes do, yeah." The Doctor then paused in quick realization as he looked up to notice the plane as well.

"Box, right?"

"Yep." They both race into the TARDIS, Clara holding onto her cup tightly as she stumbles in shock to see the interior of the TARDIS. "Yes, it's a spaceship! Yes, it's bigger on the inside! No, I don't have the time to witter on about it!" The Doctor yelled as he raced about the console to pilot the TARDIS.

"But…but…but it's- "

"Can I have some hush now, thank you?! Short bounces are difficult to do!"

"Bigger on the inside! Actually bigger!" The TARDIS landed with a thud, making the Doctor and Clara stumble slightly as he raced over to the door, Clara following him. "We're going back out there?!"

"No, we've moved! I told you, it's a spaceship! We flew away!"

"Away from the plane?!"

The Doctor laughed. "No way in hell!" He then threw open the door and they stumble out into the interior of the descending airplane, shrieking as they struggle to maintain balance.

"How did we get here?!" Clara shrieked.

"Seriously, Clara! It's a ship! Have you not been paying attention?!" The Doctor reprimanded as they moved forwards to the cockpit, past all the bodies of the passengers as they do so.

"Are they all dead?! Don't tell me they're all dead, Doctor!"

"No, they're not dead! They were just sent to sleep by the Wi-Fi!" The Doctor pulled out his sonic to unlock the cabin door, then pocketing it before ramming into the door with his shoulder to force it open as they both enter.

"What is going on?! Is this real?!"

"Do you want the long story or the short- "

"Doctor, just tell me what is happening!"

"Fine! I'm an alien from outer space with two hearts and I can't fly a bloody plane! Can you?!"

"No!"

"Fine then!" The Doctor just laughed with newfound glee. "Fantastic!" He then grasped onto the wheel before pulling up as hard as he could, Clara wrapping her arms around his shoulders as they scream from the adrenaline of the plane pulling up to narrowly miss the houses and the ground. "Whooo!" They both laugh their victory as they pull themselves together before starting to pant and wheeze. "I'm probably just going to stick to flying the TARDIS though." The Doctor quipped lightly.

"The what?"

"The TARDIS. That's the name of my ship."

One of the pilots, most likely the Captain, gave a groan as he began to wake from his sleep before jumping in shock at the sight of the Doctor and Clara. "What the hell is going on?"

"Oh, nothing much, just switching off the Wi-Fi. Do you want to go back to driving, mate? I'm a bit winded." The Doctor took several, loud breaths as he strolled out of the now stable cabin.

"You're winded?" Clara admonished in amusement.

"Oi!" The Doctor grabbed her arm and pulled her back into the TARDIS.


Miss Kizlet, Mahler, and Alexei look at the computer screen in bewilderment. "I don't understand. What's happened?" Miss Kizlet asked. "That box. Where's it gone?"

"I don't know, ma'am." Alexei said softly.

Miss Kizlet gave a growl of annoyance. "All of you!" Everyone in the office looked at her in fear. "Find that box! Now!"


The Doctor returned to piloting the TARDIS, now much more calmly as Clara slowly drinks back her cup of tea before setting the empty cup down. "Okay, Doctor. When are you going to explain to me what the hell just happened?" Clara asked.

"Oi. Have a bit of patience. I'll explain it at breakfast." The TARDIS landed with a thud as the Doctor picked up a fedora before moving to the door.

"What?! Doctor, I am not waiting till breakfast!" Clara growled in annoyance.

"You seriously haven't been paying attention, have you?" The Doctor retorted.

"Rude." Clara muttered under her breath.

"It's a time machine. You don't have to wait for breakfast." He then opened the door to a sunny day with people outside, already clapping in awe and joy at the sight of the TARDIS materialising in front of them. "Thank you! Thank you! All donations gratefully accepted!" Clara exited the TARDIS, looking both bewildered and amused as the people actually started giving money while the Doctor handed the cash filling fedora to her before moving back inside. "Just popping back into the garage!" He called.

Clara scrunched her face in wonderous bewilderment. "Garage?!" After a few more moments as the fedora filled up with more cash, Clara looked back at the box, the Doctor still not having exited the TARDIS. "So, is this tomorrow then? Tomorrow comes early?"

"No. Tomorrow came at the usual time, we just took the shortcut." The Doctor's voice rolled out as he…well…rolled out on a motorbike, making Clara look at him in awe.

Did he have a motorbike in there the whole time?

This new sight also made the people restart their cheering again as they took pictures and selfies with the TARDIS. "Thank you! Tomorrow, a camel!" He then hopped off quickly to lock the door before putting on a helmet to mount the bike.

"You have a camel?" Clara asked as she hopped onto the bike behind the Doctor, giving him the money as he handed her a helmet.

"No, that was a lie." The Doctor said simply, missing Clara almost wanting to pout at the answer before he started the motorbike into a roar and then sped off into the city.


Mahler walked over to Alexei's desk as pictures of the blue box popped up on his computer. "What's happening?" Mahler asked.

"Blue box, Southbank. Definitely wasn't there five minutes ago." Alexei answered as Miss Kizlet walked over.

"Are we sure this time? Earl's Court was an embarrassment." Mahler grumbled.


"If you've got a flying time machine, why are we on a motorbike?!" Clara asked over the roar of vehicle.

"I don't take the TARDIS when it's being noticed!"

"Because it's made of wood?!" Clara asked mischievously.

"Because it's the most powerful ship in the universe and I don't want-" The Doctor stopped himself as he didn't need to look behind him to see Clara's raised eyebrows in a "Are you kidding me?" expression. "Okay then! It's because it's made of wood!" He groaned.

"Does the Doctor not want to get embarrassed that his brilliant ship is made of wood?!" Clara teased.

"I'll have you know Clara-" The Doctor let go of the handle for a moment, making them both squeal in surprise as the motorbike started to swerve.

"Doctor!"

"Sorry!" He returned to his driving with a sheepish blush, making Clara giggle.


Miss Kizlet watches the computer screen with a growing smile of pleasure as recent photos of the Doctor and Clara on the motorbike pop up. "I do love London. So many cameras." Miss Kizlet said slyly.


Sitting on the outside balcony of an upstairs café, the Doctor pulled out Clara's laptop while she finishes a milkshake. "So, if we can travel anywhere in time and space, why travel to the morning? What's the point in that?" Clara asked.

"Whoever's after us spent the whole night looking. Clara, do you feel tired?" The Doctor asked.

"Not really, no." She shrugged.

"Well, imagine how they feel. They came the long way around." The Doctor reprimanded before working again. "They've got to be close. London, going by the signal distribution. I can hack the lowest level of their operating system, but I can't find their location. The security's too good."

"Are you an alien?" Clara asked randomly.

"Yeah. You fine with that?"

"Yeah, fine. At least, I think I'm fine with it." She gave a small amused snort as he just arched one eyebrow at her. "So, what happens if you do find them?"

"No idea. I can't tell the future; I just work there." He admitted.

"So, you don't have a plan?" Clara asked bluntly.

"I never have a plan, I just…improvise." He admitted, now in embarrassment.

Clara put her drained shake aside before grabbing the laptop from his grasp. "Give me."

"Sorry, what?" He asked incredulously as he took it back.

"You need to know their exact location?" Clara reminded.

"Obviously, yes."

"I can do it." She said as she grabbed it again.

"How?"

"I can give you their physical location in under five minutes. Pop off and get us a coffee." She said with a teasing smirk as the Doctor grabbed the laptop to begin their childish game of tug of war.

"If I can't find them, you definitely can't."

"They uploaded me, remember? I've got computer stuff in my head or were you not paying attention?" Clara teased.

"Oi! I did notice, missy! And I have better computer skills."

"My hacking skills are insane."

"I'm from space with two hearts and…twenty-seven brains." He almost sputtered the lie out. Unfortunately, Clara noticed.

"I can find them in under five minutes plus photographs. Twenty-seven brains? That lie is as big as your ears."

"Oi! Leave my ears alone! I'm fond of my ears!"

"Coffee, go get, now!" Clara reprimanded before pulling the laptop out of his grasp and starting to work.

The Doctor sat there in shock for a moment as he racked his brain for some other attempt to heal his injured ego. "The security is absolute."

"It's never about the security, it's about the people." The Doctor held a sigh of defeat as he stood up from his chair to re-enter the café before turning with a pause, making Clara look at him in confusion. "Why do you keep looking at me like that?"

"Sorry, it's just…your 27 yet you were at home trying to find internet." He pointed out.

"Yeah. And?" Clara shrugged.

"Well, shouldn't you be doing…you know…young things like…dancing?" The Doctor stammered as he failed to find the right words.

"What, with you? Down boy." Clara flirted with a wink.

"Oi! Stop it!" The Doctor said as he hurried back inside to hide his blush, which Clara already noticed, making her giggle. As he proceeded over to the counter, he paused for a moment to marvel the delicious food being presented. "Two cappuccinos over there, please." He said politely.

"One moment, sir." The Italian waiter said. Before he moved to work however, he stood up with a slight blue light in his eyes, holding his right hand up like he's holding something slim, now speaking in a dignified English accent. "You realize, you haven't got the slightest chance to save your new friend."

The Doctor looked at him, feeling both completely puzzled, and a tiny bit of anger in his hearts. "I'm sorry?"

"I said, "You haven't got the slightest chance to save your new friend". And don't annoy the old man. He isn't actually speaking." He then reverted back to his Italian accent, acting like he didn't say anything. "I said, "One moment, sir"."

"I'm speaking." The same English accent is heard behind the Doctor, now a female waiter, holding her right hand up in the same gesture and her eyes glowing with the same dim light. "Just using whatever's to hand."


Miss Kizlet kept pacing her office, her tablet held up in her right hand as she speaks in a self-satisfied manner into its imbedded microphone. "Oh, she's a gorgeous one, isn't she? Do you like her? I can make her like you too."


The female waiter had a brief spark in her eyes before she looked at the Doctor in confusion. "You all right, sir?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." He said dully, making her shake her head at him before she moved away. Whoever it is, when they speak, the person they talk through doesn't notice or remember it. He quickly ran outside to check on Clara. "You okay?"

"Sure, just setting stuff up. Need a username." Clara said quickly, as if she was on a sugar high.

"You're learning fast." The Doctor said, restraining how proud she him feel purely because of the danger at hand.

"Clara Oswald for the win. Oswin!" Clara punned before returning to work, not noticing the Doctor's look of recognition as he turned back into the café. He stopped as the same female waiter from before returned, now with a slight blue spark that he noted as the symbol of possession.

"Now, I want you to look around. Go on, have a little stroll, and see how impossible your situation is. Go on, look. I do love showing off." She said smugly, before the spark faded off, only to appear in a little girl wearing a pink jacket.

"Just let me show you what control of the Wi-Fi can do for me. Stop!" On this command, everyone inside the café halted in movement, making the Doctor's expression turn ice cold.

"I already saw what you could do last night."

"And clear!" She said, making everyone who had halted leave the café until the blue shock appears, now in the eyes of a female reporter on the TV.

"We can hack anyone in the Wi-Fi, once they've been exposed long enough."

"You have a server nearby, do you?" The Doctor deducted.

The woman scoffed. "There's always someone close. We've released thousands into the world. They home in on the Wi-Fi like starving rats chasing fresh cheese."


Back inside the office, the workers looked up in confusion as their webcams flash without warning.

"Mahler, there's something wrong with the webcams." Alexei called, making Mahler walk over to his desk. "Someone must be hacking them."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, someone is definitely hacking the webcams. But what would be the point?"

He contemplated for a moment before his eyes widened, moving to the front of the room. "Everyone!" Everyone looked up at Mahler. "Is anyone on social media of any kind? Twitter, Facebook, Myspace?" Everyone in the room held up their hands. "Put your hands down if you didn't mention where you work." No one did.


"I don't know who you are or why you are doing this, but the people of this planet will not be harmed! They will not be controlled!" The Doctor snarled.

"The people of this world are in no danger whatsoever." The woman retorted in a calm tone. "My client requires a steady diet of healthy, living, Human minds. He loves humanity, he cares for Humanity. In fact he can't get enough of it." She mused.

"This is murder!" The Doctor accused.

"It's life! The farmer tends his flock like a loving parent. The abattoir is not a contradiction, for no one loves cattle more than Burger King."

"This shall end today! There will be no more of this!"

"How would you end it? You don't even know where we are."

Outside on the balcony, Clara finished her cross referencing with the photos and social media to find the same answer: Everyone worked at the Shard. She looked up to the see the Doctor there, yet too satisfied to notice his face devoid of emotion. "I did it! I really did it! I found them!"

"You found them?"

"The Shard, floor 65."

"Floor 65."

"Are you listening to me, Doctor? I've found-" Clara paused her rambling in horror as she turned to look at him, his face disappearing in blue light before it once again takes her mind into the data cloud, and all she could do was scream. The real Doctor heard these screams, sending a cold feeling of dread into his hearts as he rushed outside.

"No!" He whipped out his sonic and used it on the server, his rage intensifying as it said, "Upload Complete". He looked at her laptop to see what she found, before a grand idea popped into his head.


Miss Kizlet and Mahler are standing beside the large screen to see the many faces of people uploaded into the cloud. One of them, is the horrified face of Clara. "Should we pulp her or use her as a hostage?" Mahler asked.

"There's no point, she's fully integrated now. She can't be downloaded again, I'm sure he's found that out." Miss Kizlet said smugly.

"I'm not sure he has. He's coming." Alexei said, making them both walk to his desk to see multiple pictures pop up of the Doctor on his motorbike, stopping at the base of the Shard.

"We could stop him." Mahler offered.

"Why bother? It could be rather funny." Miss Kizlet said.


The Doctor looked up at the Shard with a cold expression, trembling to hold his rage as he turned to his left to notice a bearded man holding fish and chips standing there, with the same dim blue light in his eyes. "Really, Doctor? A motorbike? It hardly seems like you."

"I rode this in the Anti-Grav Olympics, 2074." He said simply.

"The building is in lockdown. I'm afraid you can't get in."

"Did you not hear the word "Anti-Grav"?!" He then slammed his hand down on a large red button before racing over and up the walls and windows of the Shard, the man possessed by Miss Kizlet looking up at him in bewilderment.

"Oh dear lord." As the Doctor neared floor 65, he pulled out his sonic and used it to weaken one of the windows, which crashed under the force of the bike, landing him straight into Miss Kizlet's office. He stood up, quickly brushed the glass off his jacket before sitting down at desk with restrained patience, Miss Kizlet entering a few moments later. "Do come in."

"Download her." The Doctor growled, trying at least to give her a chance.

"Sorry about the draught." She quipped sarcastically.

"Download her back into her body right now."

"I can't."

"Oh yes, you can." The Doctor stood up with a huff, crossing his arms as he walked to her in the centre of the room.

"She's a fully integrated part of the data cloud now; she can't be separated." Miss Kizlet informed.

"Download the entire cloud then."

"You do realise what would happen, Doctor? So many of them don't have bodies to go to, so they would simply die."

"Better that than being trapped in a living hell, so give the order!" He roared in impatience.

"No."

The Doctor looked at her coldly as she declined his one chance. "Then I'll have to motivate you."

She scoffed. "You ridiculous man. Why did you come here? Whatever for?"

The Doctor's cold face somehow became even colder due to his smile. "I didn't."

Miss Kizlet blinked in confusion. "What?"

"I'm still in the café, finishing my coffee." He paused for a moment before swallowing. "It's utterly remarkable."

"What are you talking about?" She asked in growing fear.

"You hack people. Me on the other hand, I hack technology." As he tosses off his helmet, he says, "Here's your motivation." Then his face turned expressionless before vanishing in blue light while Miss Kizlet's turned into horror.

"No! Not me! Please, not me!" She screamed fruitlessly as she is uploaded unwillingly into the cloud.

The Doctor could hear argued muttering within the office behind the doors as he picked up his motorbike and walked back over to Miss Kizlet's desk. He then took her tablet and hacked Mahler's "Obedience" to full. Then, he placed it wordlessly back down and used the motorbike to return to the café. There, he picked up Clara's slumbering body and took her home.


"You have no right to be in this office and I'm demanding that you leave at once!" Mahler yelled as soldiers enter, their guns pointed at the workers.

"This building is under U.N.I.T's control!" The leader said.

Hidden in her office, Miss Kizlet pressed a hidden button on her screen to show the face of her client, the late Walter Simeon, bathing her in the familiar blue light. "U.N.I.T are here. Friends of the Doctor, I presume?"

"Oh, old friends. Very old friends." He nodded.

"Then I appear to have failed you, Great Intelligence." Miss Kizlet said in defeat.

"I have feasted on many minds, I have grown. But now, it is time for you to reduce."

"You've been whispering in my ear for so long. I'm not sure I remember what I was before." Miss Kizlet said, her voice trembling as she did.

"Goodbye, Miss Kizlet." The Great Intelligence said coldly before disappearing. She shook in fear as she pressed a button on her tablet, bringing up a prompt saying "Restore", before she pressed the button. This made all the workers including herself grasp their heads in pain before looking up in confusion.

"I'm sorry. Where am I? What am I doing here?" Alexei asked in fear. "Are you soldiers? What's happening? How did I get here?"

"Excuse me, where are the toilets?" Mahler asked, now in a less dignified British accent.

"The toilets?" Alexei asked incredulously.

"I'm here to fix the toilets, the gents. How long have I been here?"

Four of the soldiers burst into Miss Kizlet's office, pointing their guns at her. "Ma'am, identify yourself!" One of them demanded, as she turns to look at them on the ground in terror.

"Where are my Mummy and Daddy?" She asked with a child's voice. "They said they wouldn't be long. Are they coming back?"


Clara, now dressed in a dark grey, crepe jacket with a grey blouse, navy blue shorts and black tights, opened the front door of her house, noticing with raised eyebrows that the TARDIS was still there. She then walked over and knocked on the door politely. "Come in!" The Doctor called as she then entered, spotting him sitting on the Captain's chair with his legs crossed.

"So, he comes back, does he?"

He blinked at her. "What do you mean? I didn't leave. We got back a few minutes ago."

She frowned. "Then how have I been asleep for a bike ride yet the first time I was asleep for hours?"

"Basically, just then you were uploaded and downloaded properly whereas the first time, you were pulled out mid upload. That put more of a stress on your mind, making you sleep more. Like your clothes, by the way." He said with a warm smile.

She blushed lightly. "Thank you."

"Clara, who were those two kids?"

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"You have a picture of you and two teens. Who were they?"

Clara smiled softly. "Angie and Artie. They're good kids, albeit incredibly stubborn." That made the Doctor laugh. "I was going to travel, before becoming a teacher, but as I came to stay at their house for a week…" She trailed off.

"Their mother died." He finished for her. "You felt sorry for them, so you decided to help them as a friend." Clara nodded. ""101 Places to See" yet you didn't go because you don't run out on the people you care about. So, you keep the book for remembrance."

Clara shook her head. "I keep the book, because I'm still going." She said simply as she walked over to the console.

The Doctor stood up out of the chair and moved towards her with a grin. "Clara, did you know that the wonder of a space-time machine is that you can run away for however long you like and still be home in time for tea. So, what do you say? Anywhere, all of time and space right outside those doors."

Clara looked back at the doors before looking towards the Doctor, and a grin quickly shot up onto her face. "Does this work?" She asked.

"What?" The Doctor looked at her incredulously as she giggled and skipped around him gleefully.

"Is this actually what you do? Do you just crock your finger and then people jump in your snog box and fly away?"

"She is not a snog box!" The Doctor said in defence of the TARDIS.

"I'll be the judge of that!" She retorted, crossing her arms, mocking his own favourite stance.

"Starting when?" He said, unconsciously crossing his arms.

Clara squinted one eye, tapped her fingers on her arm for a few moments before she answered. "Come back tomorrow and ask me again."

The Doctor groaned. "Why?"

"Because tomorrow, I might say yes." She then skipped back around and to the doors of the TARDIS. "Is sometime after 7 all right?" She asked.

"It's a time machine. Any time's all right." The Doctor grumbled, making Clara giggle again.

"See you then."

"Wait, Clara!" Clara then stopped, her hand resting on the door handle. "In your book, there was a leaf. Why?"

Clara smiled, now with a nostalgic twinkle in her eyes. "That wasn't a leaf. That was page one." She said softly before opening the door and leaving the ship.

The Doctor blinked repeatedly in confusion before chuckling to himself. "All right then, Clara Oswald. I think it's time to find out who you are." He then moved back around the console, lowered the dematerialization lever, and started to pilot the TARDIS away to his next destination.

Chapter Text

The Rings of Akhaten

Blackpool
1981

The Doctor sat in a bus stop, casually reading a copy of "The Lord of the Rings" as he absently watched a man in his early thirties on the opposite side walk, struggling to hold a newspaper in the wind. The man was then hit in the face by a large, red leaf causing him to stumble onto the road. He would've been hit by an oncoming car if not for a brunette woman in her early thirties coming to save his life. "Oh, my stars! Are you alright?" She asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine." He replied as they both exchange a slightly awkward smile.

The Doctor raised his eyebrows at this. Hmmm, Clara's parents were both Northern?

1984

As the Doctor stood underneath a large tree to hide himself from both the midnight rain and from Clara's parents, who were called Dave and Ellie, he watched as they ran through the rain in laughter while they sought shelter, entering a comfortable silence as they did. "Ellie, I've got something for you." Dave says.

"What?' Ellie asks in confusion.

Dave pulls out of his pocket, the same red leaf from the day he met Ellie.

"You kept it?" She asked with raised eyebrows.

"Of course I kept it." He says with a shrug.

"Why? Do you have a new fondness for leaves?" She quips making them chuckle, and unknown to them, the Doctor. So, that's who Clara got her attitude from. Honestly, I'm not surprised.

"Ellie, we all live our lives by our own choices. We decide how to live our lives by ourselves. But if it wasn't for this leaf, and for you being there, you would never have become part of my life." He said gently.

She gazed at him with a soft smile. "You practiced that in the mirror?"

"A bit, yeah." He nodded.

"Come here then. You big softie." She says with a giggle before pulling him into a passionate kiss. The Doctor raised his eyebrows before shrugging and walking away.

1990

The Doctor was walking along a park, whistling to himself in solitude before he suddenly received a soccer ball to the head, causing him to stumble with a small groan. "Oh, my stars! Are you all right?" Ellie asks as she runs up to him with Dave and a small girl of four years.

"Oh, don't worry. Just a touch embarrassed, that's all." He pauses for a moment. "That's not dangerous, is it?"

"What is?"

"Embarrassment."

"No, not to my knowledge."

He smiled a bit in relief. "Thank god."

"Sorry mate. She just wants to be Bryan Robson." Dave says, pointing to their daughter.

"Oh, no harm done." He kneels in front of the girl with a soft smile. "What's her name?"

"Clara." Ellie says fondly.

That made him beam down at her warmly. "Hello there, Clara."

Clara giggles before pointing to his head. "Your ears look funny."

"Oi!"

"That's rude, missy." Dave admonishes with a chuckle.

"His ears have competition with your nose." Ellie says, carrying Clara's mocking.

"Oi!" Dave says with a grin as they share a laugh.

2005

The Doctor stands behind a tree in silent respect as a now 19-year-old Clara cries silently. In front of her was the graves of Dave and Ellie, which were marked with the death date of "March 5th, 2005". Standing to her left and offering a shoulder in comfort was the same man from the third picture in her house. "Thank you, Danny." Clara mumbles.

"It's no problem." Danny says softly.

She sniffed and took a deep breath. "How can we move on? How do people move on?"

"Clara, we mourn the people we lost because we love them. But then, we honour their memory. The honour lasts for the rest of your life, not the mourning. We eventually say to ourselves "It's time to honour them, by letting them go in peace."" He plants a kiss on her forehead as they walk away in silence.

The Doctor gives a small smile at Danny's words, knowing too well how many people he's had to let go before returning to the TARDIS, missing Clara looking behind her to see him. He looks on the monitor inside to see the pictures of the Gallifreyan, Victorian and Modern Clara's side by side. "She's just a girl, but she can't be. She is, but she can't be. She's impossible." He says to himself before setting new coordinates.

2013

Clara sat inside her home, now wearing dark blue shirtdress, black jacket, and tights, holding her "101 Places" book in agitation. She looks up with a contained grin as she hears the TARDIS materialising outside, with the Doctor exiting to walk to her door and ringing the doorbell. She then opens the door with a beaming grin. "Yes, I made it. Now come along!" The Doctor said impatiently as they rushed inside the TARDIS, before he pilots it into the Vortex.

"So, we're moving through actual time?" Clara looks at him in puzzlement. "So, what's time made of? I mean, if you could just roll through it, it's got to be made of something like jams made of strawberries."

"Well, not strawberries." The Doctor said with a look of disgust. "Just, envision it like it's made of energy. That's the best I can do." He shrugged.

"And we can go anywhere?"

"Backwards in time, forwards in time, space, you name it." The Doctor grinned. "So, where do you want to go? What do you want to see?"

Clara opens her mouth…and blinked. She closed her mouth with a sigh before scrunching her face. "I don't know."

His face falls a bit at that. "Oh, fat lot of good you are."

"Shut up!" Clara admonished. "It's like that moment where someone asks you "What's your favourite book?" and then straight away you just forget every single book you've ever read."

"Well, I've never had that happen to me." He said smugly. "So, just describe something that you want to see."

"Well, I would like to see…what I would like to see…is…something awesome." Her last words she says strongly after muttering to herself.

The Doctor gives a sly grin. "You know what? I know exactly the place." He pilots the TARDIS to his chosen location, landing with a thud before grabbing onto Clara's shoulders. "Now then Clara. Close your eyes."

"Eh?" She asks in confusion.

"What you're going to see needs to be seen in the moment, not as you arrive. Close your eyes." He implores before leading her outside the TARDIS. "Can you feel the light on your eyelids?"

She nodded. "Yeah."

"That is the light of an alien sun. Now, are you ready?"

"Not really, no." She admits with a chuckle.

"Fair enough." He shrugged. Clara opens her eyes before gasping in awe. In front of her, miles ahead, was a large burnt orange sun, gleaming with soft light. Orbiting it was two large asteroids, one was completely covered in lit buildings with a large platform in front of it, facing the sun. Rings of dust and rock surrounded the sun with the millions of stars seen in all directions. "Clara Oswald, welcome to "The Rings of Akhaten"." The Doctor says with a smile.

"It's…" She stumbles to find the right words before grinning. "Oh, my stars, it is beautiful!"

"It absolutely is, but that's not all." He says with a gleeful laugh.

"There's more?" Clara asks incredulously.

The barren asteroid began to move slowly away. "In about 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." At this, it passes by to reveal a small asteroid behind it, standing on it was a large, gleaming gold pyramid.

"What is it?" Clara whispers in awe.

"The pyramid of the Rings of Akhaten, the holy site for the Sound Singers of Akhate."

"The who of what?" Her look of awe doesn't fade despite her confusion.

"Blimey, you're slow." He teases.

"Oi! Shush you." She says with a giggle.

"Seven worlds, all orbiting the same star. Each one of them shares the belief that life in the whole universe originated there, from that sun." He carries on with the tale.

"Did it?" She asks curiously.

"Well, it's what they believe. It's a nice story." He says gently.

"Can we see it? Up close?"

The Doctor looks at her, raising his eyebrows in a "Are you kidding me?" look before they both grin and rush back into the TARDIS, piloting it into a storage inside a marketplace. The Doctor grins as Clara looks around in awe and bewilderment at the various species muttering and trading.

"Where are they from?" Clara asks with a giggle.

"Oh, the local system."

"And what do I call them?"

"Well, let's see." The Doctor racks his brain for knowledge. "There's some Pan-Babylonians, a Lugarlirakush, some Eukanians, a Hooloovoo, an Ultramanta." He walks up to a dark-blue alien with goggles and a hood drawn, as they exchange what Clara notes as a silly yet funny greeting. "That fella's a Terraberserker of the Kodonian Belt. You don't see many of them around anymore. You know, I keep forgetting how much I like it here. We should come here more often."

"You've been here before?" Clara quizzes.

"Yeah, about 700 years ago." He ventures off, missing Clara's wide-eyed expression before she hurries to catch up with him. He moves to a food vendor and picks up a casket containing blue fruit in cups. "Exotic fruit of some kind." Both him and Clara have a taste before shaking their heads at each other.

"Nah." They say at the same time before putting the fruit down.

"Doctor, what did you mean by "700 years ago"? How old are you?"

"900." He says bluntly, holding back his grin as Clara's eyes widen again.

"Blimey, you are one old fella." Clara teases.

"Oi!" Clara giggles at him.

"So, why is everyone here?" Clara asks.

""The Festival of Offerings". It takes place every thousand years when the rings align. It's quite a big event here, kind of like Christmas." He then moves towards a stall while Clara gets a jump as an alien starts to bark at her.

"Uh, Doctor?" She asks nervously as he comes over, a smile growing on his face. "Why's it angry?"

"Clara! She, not it. Her names Doreen." He converses with her in barking for a moment before turning back to Clara. "She was just asking if you wanted to rent a moped. It's kind of like a hovering motorbike." Doreen then moves slightly to show it off to her potential customers. Clara barks at her while Doreen gives a small bark with a shrug.

"What'd we say?"

"Basically, you said, "Maybe Later", and she said, "Fair Enough"."

Clara shrugged at that. "How much does everything cost around here?"

"Not money. Something of sentimental value, like a photograph of family or old friends or family heirlooms, that sort of thing. The more treasured they are, the more value they hold."

"That's horrible." She says bitterly.

"Not to them, it isn't. But I do see what you mean." He says sincerely.

"So, you pay then."

"With what?"

"You're 900 years old, you must have something." She turns around to continue marvelling at her surroundings, while behind her, the Doctor briefly pulls out his sonic before scoffing and walking away to converse more. Clara turns around, yet she can't find him amongst the sea of people walking about. "Doctor?" She calls before being bumped into by a small girl, wearing regal clothing and a look of fright. "Hi. You okay?" The girl rushes off without a word before two more people in the same regal clothing walk around into her view, looking straight at her.

"Have you seen her?" The first man asks.

"Who?" She says cautiously.

"The Queen of Years."

"Who?" She now says incredulously. The two men share a look before shaking their heads and walking off in another direction. Clara then turns to follow the girl in the direction she went, walking into an empty, dark storage room. "Hello?" She calls timidly. Walking forward quietly, she hears the footsteps of the girl echoing around her before turning around with a small gasp to see her, the girl also gasping as she nearly runs straight into Clara. "Hey. Are you okay? Are you lost?" The girl then runs off again, Clara following her slowly as the girl tries to find a hiding place before bumping a canister over, making her and Clara shriek. They before look at each other silently before giggling. "You all right?" She asks gently. The girl nods. "What're you doing?"

"Hiding."

"Oh." Clara pauses with a blink. "Why?"

"You don't know me?" The girl asks in puzzlement.

Clara shook her head. "Sorry, nope."

"So, why did you follow me?"

"To help. You looked lost." Clara said obviously.

"I don't believe you."

Clara took a small breath and crossed her arms. "I've got no idea who you might be. I've never been here before. I've never been anywhere like here before. I just saw a little girl who needed help." She said sincerely.

The girl looks at her in relief. "Really? Can you help me?"

"Really. It's why I'm still here. Why do you need help?""

"Because I need to hide."

Clara looks at Merry with a look of knowing. "I know the perfect box." She holds out her hand, which Merry takes as they move towards the door. Heading outside into the market, Clara leads Merry through the crowds of people as they reach a small, hidden corner where the TARDIS was located.

"What's this?" Merry asks in bewilderment.

"It's…uh…a space-ship thingy." Clara mutters.

"It's teeny."

"Ha. You wait." Clara said before moving to open the door. However, it wouldn't open, no matter how much she rattled it. Clara looks at it in confusion before she hears a small beeping.

*Beeps* (Sorry, you need a key)

"Please." She whispers imploringly.

*Beeps* (You don't need me. Just talk to her and the rest will be easy)

Clara looks to her side to see Merry moving behind the TARDIS, so she follows, and they sit down against it. "So then, what's your name?" Clara asks.

"Merry. Merry Galel."

"Clara Oswald." They shake their hands with a giggle. "So, what's happening? Is someone trying to hurt you?"

"No. I'm just scared." Merry whispers.

"Of what?"

"Getting it wrong."

"Okay, can you pretend that I'm completely idiotic and explain?"

"I'm the Queen of Years. They choose me when I was a baby, the day the last Queen died. I'm the vessel of our history. I know every chronicle, legend, poem and song."

"Every single one?" Clara asks in surprise. Merry nods. "Blimey, I hated history." Clara mutters with a smirk.

"Now I have to sing in front of everyone. A special song, I must sing to a god. And I'm really scared."

Clara gives a soft smile. "Everyone is scared when they're little. I used to be terrified of getting lost, I'd have nightmares about it. Blackpool Beach, bank holiday Monday, I was six, my worst nightmare come true."

"What happened?"

"My world ended, my heart broke and then my Mum found me." Merry gives a beaming smile at this. "We had fish and chips then she drove me home, tucked me in bed and told me a story. "It doesn't matter where you are, in the jungle or the desert or on the moon. However lost you might feel; you'll never really be lost. Because I will always be here, and I will always come and find you. Every single time."" Clara looks down in sadness at the memory.

"And you were never scared again?"

"I was scared lots of times, but never of being lost. So, this special song, what are you scared of?"

"Getting it wrong, making Grandfather angry."

"And do you think you'll get it wrong? Because I don't. I don't think you'll get it wrong. I think that you, Merry Galel, will get it right." Merry gives a small laugh and leaps into Clara's arms, making her gasp in surprise before hugging her back. Clara then leads her back into the market to find the same two men who were trying to find her. One of them kneels in front of her.

"Are you all right?" He asks sincerely.

"Yeah, I was just scared."

"Are you scared anymore?"

"No." They both smile before he leads her away, Merry looking back at Clara with a grateful look. Clara nearly jumps as the Doctor pops up behind her with a stupid grin on his face.

"What?" Clara asks.

"Clara Oswald is a nanny. Who knew."? He teases.

"Oi!" They both chuckle before moving away. "Where are we off to now?"

"The ceremony." They head down a path to emerge in a massive stadium, full of hundreds of people with Merry standing on a platform on the edge, looking over the nearby pyramid. They quickly move to take a seat, a neighbouring alien hissing at them. "Sorry." Merry turns to look at Clara who nods at her, so she turns back and begins to sing with a man in the pyramid.

O God of Akhaten

Sleep, My precious king

Lay down, My warrior

Rest now, My hero

Akhaten

Lay down, My king

Sleep now eternal

Sleep, My precious king

The Doctor is handed a pamphlet from a neighbouring alien, which he glances at before leaning into Clara, both not taking their eyes off Merry. "They're singing to the mummy in the temple. They call him "The Old God" or "Grandfather"."

"What are they singing?" Clara whispers back, watching with a smile.

""The Long Song". A lullaby without end, to feed the Old God, to keep him asleep. It's been going for millions of years, Chorister handing down to Chorister, generation after generation."

Clara watches with raised eyebrows as the crowd around her holds out their hands, loosening their grasp on the items they're holding, which turn into a golden light that flies towards the pyramid. "What're they doing?"

"Giving offerings. Gifts of value, mementos to feed Grandfather."

As all the light vanishes into the pyramid, the crowd begins to sing along with Merry and the Chorister.

Lay down, My warrior

Lay down, My king

Sleep now, My precious lord

Sleep now eternal

Rest now your heart

The crowd stopped singing however as the ground began to rumble in agitation beneath their feet, making Merry look around in confusion and fear. Then a light began to shine from the tip of the pyramid, engulfing Merry in a golden field as it begins to levitate her off the ground.

"Doctor, what's happening? Is that meant to happen?" Clara asked with worry. She looked around to see everyone not moving yet being afraid. "Is somebody going to help her?" The Doctor then got up without a word and proceeded to walk away, Clara rushing after him as they went through the now empty market. "Why are we walking away? We can't just walk away. This is my fault, I talked her into doing this."

The Doctor turned back to look at her with a stern expression. "There is just one thing you need to know about travelling with me: We don't walk away." Clara watched with wide eyes as he walked over to Doreen, briefly conversing with her before turning back to Clara. "We need something precious."

"Well, you must have something. All the places you've seen, there must be something."

The Doctor pulled out his sonic. "This, but I can't give it away, it always comes in handy."

"You're 900 years old and that's it? Your probe?"

"Screwdriver!"

Clara raises her eyebrows at him, like how he did to her when they arrived. Then she gives a sigh before taking off a small, diamond ring on her right hand and handing it to Doreen. "It's my Mum's." Doreen nods before allowing them the moped. The Doctor puts a comforting hand on her shoulder before kissing her forehead as they mount it, driving back towards the platform to see Merry flying towards the pyramid. Merry reaches her hand out as she struggles about in the air. Clara reaches her hand out and grasps onto her hand. "Merry! Hold on!" Clara yells. Clara starts to pull Merry towards the moped but an unseen force yanks Merry away, pulling her away from the TARDIS duo and through the pyramid entrance as it closes behind her. "Brakes! Brakes!" The Doctor yanks the brakes as the moped skids to a sudden halt and they stumble onto the ground before the door. The Doctor then stands up from the ground, giving a loud groan as he does before he helps Clara up.

"Sorry about the rough landing." He says as he pulls out his sonic and uses it on the door.

"Could've used a warning." Clara grumbles. "Can you open it?"

"Let's see. It's a frequency-modulated acoustic lock that changes ten million times a second. Not really, no." The Doctor then gives a grin. "Let's try it out anyway."

"How can they just sit there and watch?" Clara asks as she looks back at the crowd of people while the Doctor works.

"This is sacred ground."

"She's a child!"

"And he's a God. Well, to them at least."

A loud scream is heard from Merry inside, making Clara scramble to the door in worry. "Merry! Merry, hold on! We're coming! Doctor hurry up!"

"Give us a second!" After a moment, a loud clicking noise was heard within the door. "Aha! I've got it!" He yells with excitement as he uses the sonic to open the door, albeit struggling under the immense weight. They both see Merry, who looks at them in relieved surprise. Inside the large, stone room was the Chorister, mumbling a song to a corpse in robes inside a glass case. "Hello! I'm the Doctor! You've already met Clara! Are you coming?!" Merry stutters to find an answer, making the Doctor groan. "Any day now! This door is immensely heavy!"

"You'll wake Grandfather!" Merry yells in anxious worry.

"Clara, do you mind?!" The Doctor yells as the door jolts back down a few inches, making them gasp in fright as Clara rushes inside.

"Merry, we need to leave."

"No! You must leave, he will kill you when he awakens!"

"Well, you see Merry…" Clara walks up to the glass case to observe the corpse. "I don't think he looks big enough."

"Not our bodies, our souls." Merry said, making Clara look confused. "He doesn't want you; he wants me. But if you don't leave, he'll eat you both."

"Yes, and you don't want that, do you?!" The Doctor exclaims as his grip on the door begins to loosen. "You just want us to walk out of this bloody door, and never come back?!"

"Yes."

"Too bad, then." He says with a grin before rolling inside as the door slams shut behind him. He stands up to pocket his sonic again before popping his back with a groan, missing Clara's accusing glare.

"Did you just lock us in?"

"Yep."

"With the soul eating monster?"

"Yep."

"And is there a way to get out?"

"Before he eats us? Hopefully."

"Doctor, why is he still singing?" Clara asks with a nod towards the kneeling Chorister.

"He's trying to sing the Old God back to sleep, but it won't work. He's waking up, mate. He's coming, ready or not." The Doctor says, his words making the Chorister stop singing. "That's it, then? The song is over?"

"The song is over." The Chorister confirms as he stands up. "My name is Chorister Asbethix and the Long Song ended with me." On this, he pulls back his sleeve to show a golden bracelet with a button that he presses, teleporting him out with a flash.

"Rude! Couldn't have taken us with him!" The Doctor admonishes before they all turn around to look at the corpse as it gives a gasp for breath. "Oh, hello there!" He says with a grin.

"He's awake!" Merry yells.

"What's he doing?" Clara asks as they watch the corpse struggle to get out of his seat.

"Having a stretch. He's probably been asleep for a long while, he's lucky he woke up on the right side of bed."

"Why is he up now?"

"Because it's his time to wake up and feed. Feed on Merry's stories."

"She said souls, not stories!" Clara admonishes.

"They're the same thing, Mrs. Grumpy. Souls are made of stories of everything that happened in our lives, people we loved or lost or found again against all the odds." This last bit he says with a look at Clara. "Old fella threatens to awake, so the people offer him a pure soul, the Queen of Years."

"Stop it, you're scaring her." Clara admonishes as Merry gulps.

"She should be scared, Clara. She's sacrificing herself, so she should know why. Do you know why, Merry?"

"A god chose me."

"It's not a god. It'll feed on your soul but that doesn't make it a god, it's just a vampire and you don't need to do as it says." Merry keeps glancing towards the corpse in fear, giving the Doctor an idea. "Hey, why don't I tell you a story?" He then kneels in front of her. "All the elements in your body were forged millions of years ago, in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of space until after many, many years they came together to form new stars, planets, moons, civilizations until finally, they made you. You, Merry Galel, are unique in the universe. There is only one you, and there will never be another." He looked back at Clara to see her smiling fondly at him. "Getting rid of your life isn't a sacrifice, it's a waste." These words he says coldly towards the corpse.

"So, if I don't, then everyone else- "

"Will be fine."

"How?"

"We'll find a way." He reassures her.

"You promise?"

"Cross my hearts." He takes her hand as Clara comes to hold her other hand. He leads them back towards the door before pulling out his sonic. "Alright, let's try this again." They jump in fright as they hear the glass of the case cracking, looking back to see the corpse clenching its hand into a fist to smash against the glass while the ground beneath them begins to rumble. "Yes, we know, old fella! You're about to open your presents!" He taunts with a laugh as the door opens again, Clara and Merry rushing out before he closes it behind them. They stop to hear the glass smashing before a loud roar is heard, followed by total silence.

"What just happened?" Clara asked.

They heard a loud rumbling sound like earth moving against itself, making the Doctor's eyes widen as he put the pieces together. "I just made a massive mistake." The Doctor says nervously.

"What mistake?" Clara asks with concern.

"Old fella wasn't Grandfather, it was his alarm clock."

"Who's Grandfather, then?" Clara asks. Her question didn't need the answer as the rumbling intensified, making them look up at the star in terror, as a shadow of eyes and a toothless, evil grin appear, making the Doctor gulp. "Oh, my stars." She mumbles. "What do we do?"

"Against that? I don't know." He said shakily.

"But you promised." Merry protested. "He'll eat us all. He'll consume all seven worlds, then he'll embark on a new odyssey amongst the stars."

"I say leg it." Clara quips lightly.

The Doctor chuckles. "But, where exactly?"

"I don't know. Lake District?"

"Oh, I love the Lake District. They do great scones, especially in 1927." They fall back into silence as they stare up at the star.

"You're going to fight it, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"It's really big."

"I've seen bigger."

Her eyes widen even more. "Seriously?!"

He scoffed. "Are you joking?! It's massive!"

"I'm staying with you, then."

"No, you won't."

She clenches her jaw. ""We don't walk away". That's what you said, or doesn't that not apply to you?"

The Doctor looks at her in sadness. "Not with me. It applies to everyone else. You, Clara Oswald, are holding onto something precious, so you run. You run as fast as you can until they are safe."

"What happens if you don't come back?" Clara asks bitterly.

"Never worry about me, Clara. Now, take the moped. I'll walk." He said gently. Clara begrudgingly helps Merry onto the moped before speeding them off back to stadium, while the Doctor steps out into full view of the star. "Any ideas, Doctor? Nope, didn't think so." He mutters to himself.


Clara and Merry stare back at the pyramid with worry as the people behind them watch with confusion and fear. "Is he frightened?" Merry asks.

"I think he is." Clara nodded.

"I want to help."

"So do I."

Merry then thinks deeply before stepping onto the centre platform and starts to sing.

Rest now, My warrior

Rest now

Your hardship is over

The Doctor heard Merry singing, making him smile before looking back at the star. "Okay then. That's what I'll do. I will tell you a story." Clara looked on with a look of wonder as the people start to sing along with Merry.

Live

Wake up, Wake up

And let the cloak

Of life

Cling to your bones

"Can you hear them? All those people who've lived in terror of you and your judgment. All those people whose ancestors have devoted themselves, sacrificed themselves to you, can you hear them singing? I'm sure you think of yourself as a god, but you're not a god. You're just a parasite eating out with jealousy and envy and longing for the lives of others. You feed on them. On their memories of love and loss and birth and death and joy and sorrow so... so… come on then. Take mine. Take my memories." The star opens the shadow of its mouth, sending steams of fiery light that latch onto the Doctor's chest making him stumble with a groan. "I hope you've got a big appetite, because I have lived a very long life and I have seen many things. I walked away from The Last Great Time War and marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment until nothing remained. No time, no space, just me! I've walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman! I have watched universes freeze and creations burn! I have seen things you wouldn't believe! I have lost things you will never understand! And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken! Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! So, come on then! Take it! Take it all baby! Have it! You have it all!" He gives a loud scream as the star drains the energy out of him, making him fall to his knees in pain as he gasps for breath while the singing in the stadium ends. He then looks up to see the star give a silent roar of pain before it closes its eyes in a swallow action, then it opens them again with an evil grin.

Clara looks up at the star with a smile as it rumbles in pain but the smile fades as the grin returns, making her rack her brain in worried contemplation. After a moment, she produces an idea and gains a look of determination before rushing towards the moped and speeding back towards the pyramid, then running towards the Doctor's side and pulling out her "101 Places to See". "Still hungry? Well, I've brought something for you." She pulls the leaf out of the book. "This leaf is full of stories. It's full of history and full of many futures that never got lived. Days that should've been but never were, passed onto me." Tears start to prickle her eyes, but she ignores them, holding out the leaf for the star. "This leaf isn't just the past, it's whole future's that never happened. There are billions upon billions of unlived days for every day we live, an infinity. All the days that never came. And these are my Mum's and my Dad's." The star sends its tendrils towards the leaf and begins consuming it.

"Well, come on then! Eat up!" The Doctor called tauntingly. The star gives a silent roar of pain, making the Doctor's smug smile grow into a grin. "Are you full already? I expected so, because there's quite a difference between what was and what should've been. There's an awful lot of one but there's an infinity of the other." The star's pain increases as it starts to collapse within itself. "And infinity is too much, even for you." He says coldly as the star collapses into nothing. Both him and Clara look at each other in silence before he envelops her in a hug. "Show off." He whispers.

"You're one to talk." She teases.

"Oi." They chuckle as he leads her back to the moped.


"Well then, you're back home." The Doctor said as the TARDIS landed outside her house, mere minutes after she left.

"It looks different." She said as she stared at it distantly.

"It's not different, Clara. You're just seeing everything in a new light."

Clara looks him with an unreadable expression. "You were there. At my Mum and Dad's grave, you were watching. What were you doing there?"

The Doctor goes solemn. "I was…making sure."

"Of what?"

"You remind me of someone."

"Who?"

"Someone who died."

Clara gains a dark offended look, making him shiver slightly. "Well, whoever she was, I'm not her, okay? If you want me to travel with you, that's fine, but as me. I'm not standing in for someone else, I'm not going to compete with a ghost." She admonishes bluntly.

"No, you won't be." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out her mother's ring. "They wanted you to have it."

"Who did?" Clara asked, her expression now much softer.

"Everyone. All the people you saved, including me. Thank you, Clara." He says with a fond smile. Clara then kisses the ring fondly before turning to leave, giving him a soft smile as she does. The Doctor stared after her before smiling softly. "Until the next time, Clara." He then closes the door to pilot the TARDIS away.

Chapter Text

Cold War

North Pole
1983

The Russian soldiers are rushing about frantically in the Bridge, as red lights are flaring brightly. The captain with a tag bearing the name "Zhukov" and an officer with the name "Stepashin", both enter the room. "Signal is genuine! I repeat, signal is genuine!" One of the soldier's yells into an intercom.

"Moscow confirming launch sequence!" Another soldier yells.

"Prepare to launch nuclear weapons!" Zhukov orders.

"Aye sir!" The crew says in unison.

The captain and his officer move towards the console before inserting their keys to the red light, arming the missiles. He then places his hand over the launch button. "The Firebird stands ready to serve." Zhukov says.

"For the Motherland." Stepashin prays.

"For the Motherland." Zhukov repeats. As he is about to press the button, the door opens with an old man entering the room singing to himself with his Walkman. The soldiers all give a groan in unison as they turn to look at the man who hasn't noticed the new attention.

"This means nothing to me! This means nothing to me! Oh, Vienna!" He then glances up, before sheepishly turning off the Walkman and gulping guiltily. "Have I interrupted something?"

"We were about to blow up the world, Professor Grisenko." He says with blunt amusement.

"Again?" Grisenko says incredulously with a sigh, shaking his head.

"What are you singing?" Zhukov says in confusion.

"Ultravox, I bloody love them! Got a friend who sends me the tapes." He says with a smile.

Zhukov shakes his head before turning to the main intercom of the ship. "This is the captain. Drill abandoned; all hands stand down. I repeat, drill abandoned."

"With respect, sir, we must run it again." Stepashin says.

"Tomorrow." Zhukov says sternly.

"Comrade Captain, the NATO exercises- "

"Sabre rattling."

"*Scoffs* I don't think so."

"Oh, you don't think so?"

"Sir, American aggression gets more intolerable by the day. We must run the drill again."

"Tomorrow." Stepashin clenches his jaw before walking off to check on the men without a word. "Professor, did you get your specimen stored okay?"

"Yeah, Piotr's looking after him." He nods.

"Well, at least we have something to show for our little hunting expedition. What is it? A mammoth?"

Grisenko blinks. "Probably."

The Professor walks away, leaving Zhukov alone on the bridge with his men and Stepashin.

"Stepashin. I know how you feel- "

"We must run the drill again, Captain."

"You can't put the blame on the Americans alone."

Stepashin turns to Zhukov with his jaw clenched. "Who else am I going to blame for Irina's death? She was only 6 and she will never get to live her life how she wants. Everything she could've been, she will never be."

"Remember Stepashin, we all have lost someone to this war. It is every bit the American's fault as it is ours."

Stepashin takes a deep breath. "Yes sir." He mumbles. The alarm for integrity suddenly goes off, startling the men.

"Gangway! Alarm! Alarm!" One of the soldier's yells. The ship is then rocked violently, causing it to plummet deep into the sea, while spilling gallons of water into the ship, soaking the crew with an ice-cold chill.

"Onegin, Report!" Zhukov orders.

"Hull breached! Port side!" Onegin yells.

"Evasive manoeuvres!"

"Descending 200 meters!"

"Bring her up! Bring her up!"

"It's no good, sir!"

On this, to the crew's astonishment, the TARDIS materializes in the middle of the room. The door opens to show the Doctor wearing shades, Clara behind him in a silver-blue dress. "Viva Las Vegas!" The Doctor yells before being throttled forward by the sinking submarine.

"Stranger on the bridge!"

"Who the hell are you?!" Zhukov orders.

"Not Vegas then?!" Clara asks.

"No, a sinking, Russian submarine!" The Doctor yells with glee.

"Bring out sidearms! Restrain them!" Stepashin orders.

"410! 420! Turbine still not responding!"

"They've got to!" Zhukov denies.

"Sideways momentum! You've still got sideways momentum!" The Doctor says.

"What?!"

"Your propellers work independently of the main turbines! You can't stop her going down, but you can manoeuvre her laterally! Do it!"

"Get these people off the bridge now!" Stepashin asks.

"Uugh! Just listen to him, for god's sake!" Clara yells in irritation.

"We have one shot to stop the descent or this sub will implode, Captain!"

"600 meters, sir! 610!"

"Lateral thrust to starboard, all propellers!" Zhukov orders.

"Sir?! You're going to let this madman give the orders?!" Stepashin asks.

"Just do it! Now!" Zhukov roars, making the men hurry about frantically.

"660! 680!" The submarine violently shudders, making many lose their balance as the sub stabilizes. "Descent arrested at 700 meters."

"It seems, whoever you are, we owe you our lives." Zhukov says gratefully.

"Not a problem." The Doctor says with a smile.

"Search them." Stepashin orders. Clara looks at her arrangement with a bit of confusion and fright. "Yes, I know, it's a woman. Now search them." Some of the men then grab both the Doctor and Clara by their arms to place their backs by a pole, before searching them, but specifically the Doctor.

"Are we going to be okay?" Clara asks with a shuddery voice from the adrenaline.

"Yep."

"Is that a lie?"

"Yep."

"When are we?"

The Doctor smiles at her choice of question. "Cold War, 1983. It's a bit of a dangerous time, East and West standing on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Both sides have got trigger fingers that are getting itchy."

"When are they not?" Clara asks amusingly, making the Doctor laugh.

"Good point. This also happens to be the 80s. Hair, shoulder pads, nukes, you name it, they make it bigger."

"You don't need bigger hair; your nose and ears cover that." Clara says cheekily.

"Oi!" The Doctor looks at one of the men in front of him, as he finishes emptying the Doctor's surprisingly empty pockets to find only his sonic screwdriver. "Take care of that, it's quite the handy device." Outside, one of the rocks from the seabed fall on the sub, making it shudder and Clara stumbles to the ground, banging her head on a console, rendering her unconscious. By them, the TARDIS starts to dematerialize. "No! No, Clara!" The Doctor rips past the soldiers to pick Clara up from the waist, as he looks behind at the fading TARDIS. "Clara? Clara?!"

One of the soldiers puts his finger on her neck while checking her head. "Just unconscious but will wake up with a bruise and a pounding head."

The Doctor nods in thanks before taking off his jacket and wrapping it around Clara.

"Stepashin, get the crew down below. We need to start repairs on the ship and find out what started it." Zhukov orders.

"Yes sir." Stepashin says.

"Bring the man and the girl and be sure the girl remains well." Zhukov adds to his crew.

"Yes sir." They say in unison before following the orders.


Clara shakes the drowsiness from her head as she awakens from her forced sleep. Opening her eyes, she finds herself with the crew in a long corridor, bathed in blue light, with Grisenko kneeling before her. "Are you alright, my dear?" He asks.

"What happened?" Clara nods in a weary voice.

"Ship was rocked rather violently, and you banged your head. Don't worry, it's just a bruise. You'll be fine."

"Where's the Doctor?" She asks immediately.

"Who? Do you mean your friend?"

"Yes."

"Well…" He looks to his right down the damp corridor, showing her the Doctor and Zhukov conversing in irritated manners.

"Captain, we didn't attack your ship! Now if we can get the pump working, we can get her afloat!"

"We will last till the rescue ship comes, now answer the question. Who are you?!" Zhukov draws his gun on the Doctor.

"Alright, fine. I'm the Doctor, my friend's Clara, we're time travellers. We were going to Las Vegas, but we ended up here. Clara are you okay?" He asks, noticing Clara getting up.

"Think so." Clara says with fear in her voice for her friend's life.

"Time travellers?!" Zhukov says incredulously.

"We arrived out of thin air; you saw it!"

"I didn't." Grisenko points out.

"You're problem, not mine!"

"We were sinking?" Clara confirms.

"Yes."

"What happened?"

"We sank."

"No, the TARDIS, what happened?"

"Worry about that later. Listen, Captain, breath's precious down here. We've figured out the damage, we just need to figure out the source and fix it as soon as possible."

"Or we could save more air by having you both shot!"

"It doesn't matter how we arrive, the important matter at hand is that we need to-" Clara stops as she and the crew along with Zhukov notice a large silhouette standing behind the Doctor, hissing in a manner like a dragon.

"Thank you, Clara. That should be our main priority. Finally, some sense."

"Doctor!"

"What?!" The Doctor then pauses in fear as he feels damp breath on the back of his neck, making him shudder. "There's something standing behind me, isn't there?" Everyone nods at him in unison, so he slowly turns around to see it. The figure is a large, green shell suit, with the helmet covering a dark, scaled mouth with sharp teeth that is hissing in rhythm, like breathing. "Oh." He says simply.

"We were drilling in the ice. I thought we found a mammoth." Grisenko states.

"It's not a mammoth." The Doctor shakes his head slightly.

"What is…he?" Clara asks.

"He is an Ice Warrior. Native of the planet Mars. We go way back."

"Martian? You can't be serious." Zhukov says incredulously.

"I'm always serious, with days off." He says with a chuckle.

"Doctor." Clara warns.

"Trying to keep it light, Clara. They're scared."

"So am I, Doctor."

The Ice Warrior's gaze turns upon Zhukov and his lowered weapon, making him raise his arm, which extends out a gun with an electronic hissing sound in preparation. "No, wait! There is no need for this!" The Doctor says as Zhukov straightens before putting his gun away. "Please, just hear me out. Okay, you're confused and disorientated. Of course, you've been lying dormant for…how long professor?"

"By my reckoning, 5000 years."

"Five thousand years? That's a bloody long nap, can't blame you if you woke up a bit cranky. Look, nobody here wants to hurt you. Please, why don't you tell us your name?"

"What are you talking about, name? It has a name?!" Zhukov says incredulously.

"He, Captain! Of course, he has a name and a rank. He's a soldier so he deserves our respect."

"This is madness. That is a monster!"

"Skaldak." The deep, commanding voice of the Ice Warrior silenced everyone, sending chills down their spines.

The Doctor felt the same sensation, but not because of his voice. "I'm sorry?" The Doctor asked, his voice trembling with fear.

"I am Grand Marshall Skaldak."

The Doctor then closed his eyes and gulped. "Oh no." He mumbled.

"Is it true?" Skaldak asked.

"What is?"

"Five thousand years? I have slept for five thousand years?!" Skaldak now armed his weapon with a loud noise.

"No, wait, please- " Skaldak then immediately shudders violently from a bolt of electricity, causing him to collapse, showing Stepashin behind him with a cattle prodder. "You. Stupid. Ape!" The Doctor roared.

"He was going to kill you!" Stepashin argued.

"He was afraid, not angry!" Stepashin then silenced himself. "Grand Marshall Skaldak."

"You…know him?" Clara asked tentatively.

"Sovereign of the Tharsyssian Caste. Vanquisher of the Phobos Heresy. He is the greatest hero the proud Martian race has ever produced."

Zhukov gulp. "So, what do we do now?"

"Lock. Him. Up!"


Skaldak growled as he struggled against the chains tightly wrapped around his suit before the few crew members hastily leave the room, locking the door from the outside. Alone, he looks down in silence. "Five thousand years." He says in bitter sadness. "They would all be dust now. Iclar would be dust." He then turns on his distress beacon inside his suit, which emits a very faint noise that could barely be heard. "If you are still out there, my brothers, find me." He says pleadingly in the hope that he isn't alone.


The Doctor and Clara now stood before Zhukov and Stepashin in a small room, Grisenko sat on the side, listening to his Walkman. "The Ice Warriors have a different creed, Clara, a different code. By his own standards, Skaldak is a hero and it was said his enemies honoured him so much, they'd carve his name into their own flesh before they died." The Doctor said.

"Oh yeah. Very nice, he sounds lovely." Clara said in fearful sarcasm.

"An Ice Warrior? Explain." Zhukov said calmly.

"There isn't time." The Doctor said impatiently.

"Try me."

"Martian reptile, known as the Ice Warrior. When Mars turned cold, they had to adapt. Their biomechanoids, cyborgs, built themselves survival armour so they could exist in the freezing cold of their home world. But a sudden increase in temperature and the armour goes haywire."

"Like with the cattle prod?" Clara deducted.

"Like with the cattle prod." He confirmed. "It's a design flaw that I've always wondered why they've never bothered to fix it. Oh look, Captain, you've got me talking about them and I said there wasn't time!" He reprimanded.

"Is he that dangerous?" Clara asked bluntly. This made everyone look at the Doctor, almost trembling for his answer.

"Yes. Yes, he is." This answer made everyone's trembling sensation turn into a cold shiver.

Stepashin shook his head before turning to Zhukov. "Why are we listening to this nonsense, Captain? These people are clearly enemy spies."

"*Scoffs* Pretty bad spies, mate. We don't even speak Russian." Clara said almost smugly.

Stepashin turned to look at her in bewilderment. "What?"

"I don't..." Clara leaned towards the Doctor. "Am I speaking Russian? How can I speak Russian?" She whispered.

"Now? We have to do this now?" The Doctor asked imploringly.

"Are they speaking Russian?"

"Seriously, now?"

"Well, yeah. Are they Russians?"

The Doctor blinked. "I'm sorry?"

"Are they Russians?"

"Yes, they're Russians."

"Are we speaking Russian?"

"No, it's the TARDIS translation matrix."

"The what of the what?"

"Ugh, come on you slow poke."

"Oi, I heard that."

"You were meant to." They both pause as they look at each before turning to see Zhukov, Stepashin and Grisenko's eyebrows all furrowed at them. "Oh." They said in unison, making them gain a sheepish blush. "Sorry, we didn't…I mean- "They stop talking with a cough before staring at anything that wasn't each other.

Stepashin shakes his head before turning to Zhukov. "In my opinion, comrade Captain, this creature is a western weapon."

"A weapon?" Zhukov questions.

"Survival suit. What is the alternative? The little green man from Mars?"

"Correction. It's a big green man from Mars." Grisenko interjects making everyone chuckle and Stepashin roll his eyes.

"I don't appreciate your levity, Professor."

"Why does that not surprise me? Maybe, when they're not acting like children," he adds teasingly making the Doctor and Clara blush a bit more, "They're telling the truth."

"The truth?"

"Yes, it's a revolutionary concept."

"Captain, it's essential that we inform Moscow of what we have found."

"The radio is out of action in case you haven't noticed, Stepashin." Zhukov stated.

"They have our last position. They will find us. When they do…" The last words Stepashin mumbles to himself but Zhukov hears.

"Yes?"

"Well, the Cold War won't stay cold forever, Captain."

"For god's sake, Stepashin, you're like a broken record. "Zhukov states, his tone now getting impatient. "We have other priorities right now. I want you back on repairs immediately, we need to keep this ship alive. Dismissed."

"Sir?"

Zhukov stands up with his jaw clenched. "Dismissed, Stepashin."

Stepashin glares at Zhukov before moving from the room, nearly bumping Clara on the shoulder as he does. The Doctor then moves to stand in front of Zhukov, back straightened as he does. "All we needed to do was let Skaldak go and he would've forgotten us. But you attacked him, you declared war. 'Harm one of us and you harm us all.' It's the ancient Martian code. Do you hear that?" Faintly coming out of Grisenko's Walkman was a faint noise that sounded like a distorted Morse code. "Skaldak has sent out a distress call. He will rain down the fires of hell for laying a glove on him."

"Unless you talked to it?" Zhukov finished.

"Yes."

"Out of the question. We're not losing you; I'll do it."

"Sorry?"

"You can talk to it through me, Doctor."

"Skaldak won't talk to you, you're an enemy soldier."

"And how would he know?"

"A soldier knows another soldier. He would smell it on you from a mile off."

"And he wouldn't smell it on you, Doctor?"

The Doctor's eyes hardened slightly at that. "Just let me in there before it's too late. It can't be you or any of your men."

"Well, it can't be you."

Clara clears her throat, making them both turn to look at her. "Well, there really is only one choice, isn't there?"

"No, Clara, it can't be you." The Doctor protested.

"If I don't talk to him, we will all die anyway."

"And you're betting your own life on a risk?"

"To save you, yes." She looked at him sadly. "For once, Doctor, just do as you're told." The Doctor looked down for a moment before begrudgingly nodding.


Clara opened the door to enter the dark room containing Skaldak, wearing a pair of headphones on her head. She picked up a lamp to turn it on before smiling at the camera. "With your permission?" She heard the Doctor say over the mic.

"Be my guest." Zhukov stated.

"Ready, Clara?"

Clara took a gulp in fear at Skaldak rhythmic hissing. "Not entirely."

"I don't blame you. Now remember, like we rehearsed."

"Grand Marshall Skaldak." His hissing quietened, almost in politeness, allowing her to bump her fist to her chest, which he acknowledged with a clicking noise. "Sovereign of the Tharsyssian Caste, by the moons I honour thee. Grand Marshall, we're sorry about this, it's not what you deserve." The lights turned off in the room, including her lamp, casting her back into complete darkness. "Oh, oh great." She said, holding back her newfound terror.

"It's okay, Clara, you're doing fine."

She then pulled a torch out of the Doctor's jacket and turned it on to shine it on Skaldak. "You're a long way from home, and five thousand years adrift in time. Please, let us help you, we are not your enemy and you are not ours."

"And yet I am in chains." Skaldak hissed.

Clara paused at those words, unable to come up with an answer. "Doctor, what do I say?" She whispered, yet Skaldak heard.

"Yes, Doctor, what should she say?"

"I think he wants to speak to the organ grinder, not to the monkey." Grisenko muttered in amusement.

"Oi, I heard that." Clara poked back.

"You are restrained until we can trust each other, Skaldak, you would do the same in my position and don't even think about using that sonic weapon. Not in the torpedo room."

"I was fleet commander of the Nix Tharsyss. My daughter stood by me. It was her first taste of action. We sang the songs of the old times, of the red snows." Skaldak's tone now shifts from mourning to bitter. "Five thousand years. Now my daughter would be dust. Everyone I knew would be dust. My people would be dust."

"No, no, no, listen. Your people live on, Skaldak, scattered across the universe and Mars will rise again, I promise you. Just let me help you."

"I require no help. There will be no help."

Clara moved closer to Skaldak. Why isn't he moving when he speaks?

"Careful, Clara, don't get too close."

"I'm okay." Clara reassured. "Doctor, something's wrong."

"What?"

Clara reached up and pushed off Skaldak's helmet, only to jump back in shock as she found nothing underneath. The suit then opened to confirm her fear. "He's not there, he's gone!"

"Gone?! What do you mean?!"

"He's got out!"

"It is time I learnt the measure of my enemies and what this vessel is capable of." Skaldak's voice echoed throughout the room, making it hard for Clara to determine his location in the dark. "Harm one of us and you harm us all. By the moons, this I swear!"

"Clara, get out of there!" Clara spun around, squinting her eyes as she tried to find Skaldak before speeding back to the door and struggling to get it open. Once she does, she jumps back as she feels something rush past her and out of sight. "Clara!" She turns around to see the Doctor rush towards her and pull her into a hug, behind him is Zhukov and Grisenko.

"I'm okay, I'm okay." Clara mumbled to him. "Was I okay?"

"You were fantastic." The Doctor said sincerely.

"Really?"

"Really."

"Doctor. The signal, it's stopped." Grisenko says.

The Doctor swallows. "Skaldak has received no answer from his brothers. Now he's given up hope."

"Hope of?" Zhukov asks despite knowing the answer.

"Being rescued. Now he thinks he's alone in the universe." The Doctor didn't need the spell out the similarity there for himself. "He's got nothing left to lose."

"What can he do, stuck down here with the rest of us?"

"What can he do?" The Doctor said incredulously. "Zhukov, this sub is filled to the brim with nuclear missiles, it's obvious what he will do when he finds that out. It couldn't get any worse." On this note, the sub throttled around as another rock from the sea struck it, sending them stumbling to find a grip. The Doctor didn't need to look at Clara to know she had her eyebrows raised at him. "I know, Clara. I spoke too soon." He admitted with a sigh.

"We need to get back to the bridge and regroup with the men." Zhukov stated, making everyone move quickly and without a word.


Stepashin is alone in a small room, performing repairs while wiping the water from his eyes as he tried to focus. The lights flicker as the door opens, making him turn to look yet unable to see who entered. He pulls out his gun, his hand trembling as he does. "Hello? Who's there?" He asks shakily. There is utter silence for a few moments. "Who's there-" He stops as he feels two clawed hands grasp onto his face, with a large presence behind him and the familiar rhythmic hissing, making the hairs on his neck stand up. "What do you want with me?"

"Much." Skaldak hissed into his ear.

"Listen to me. We both understand each other. This mewling time of peace, it doesn't suit us. We're both warriors. And together, we can form an alliance."

"Alliance? Why?"

Stepashin gulped. "To win the Cold War."

"Why would I help you to win your petty war?"

"Both sides are capable of completely obliterating the other. It's called Mutually Assured Destruction. But it hasn't happened, not yet. I want my country to survive and America to die. This war took my daughter from me. America took my daughter from me. I want to see them repay me. Their blood for the blood they took from me."

Skaldak's hissing softened for a moment in contemplation. "Then you will understand me. I have slept for five thousand years, now my dear daughter has become dust. Your kind woke me before you attacked me. Not just them, you." He allowed a cold grin to appear on his face, even though Stepashin couldn't see it. "Harm one of us and you harm us all. And you, soldier, were the one to harm me. So, you will repay me with your blood." Taking one clawed hand, he dug it deep into Stepashin's throat, killing his scream before it escaped his mouth.


Inside the bridge, Zhukov stood in front of his men, with Grisenko, the Doctor and Clara standing off to the side. "Comrades, you know our situation. The reactor is drowned. We are completely reliant on battery power and our air is running out. Rescue is unlikely, but we still have a mission to fulfil. If the Doctor is right, then we are all that stands between this creature and the destruction of the world. Control of one missile is all he needs. I know I can rely on every one of you to do their duty without hesitation and without fail. We are expendable comrades, but our world is not. That is all."

"Sir." All 12 soldiers stated in unison before moving to work. Clara leaned towards the Doctor to whisper.

"Doctor, even if a missile did get launched, that wouldn't be, 'It', would it?"

"Clara, I told you, Earth is like a storm waiting to break. Both sides are barring their teeth, talking up war. It would take only one spark to ignite the flame." The Doctor stated.

"Yes, but the world didn't end in 1983, did it? Or I wouldn't be here."

"Afraid not, Clara. History is in flux. Time can be rewritten." Clara went into silence on this as the Doctor moved towards Zhukov. "How many of us are left?"

"Twelve, and we can't find Stepashin."

"We split up to comb the sub. Leave one team here to guard the bridge."

"That's the plan?" Zhukov asked.

"That or we wait until he kills us."

"Fine." Zhukov grumbled before marching back to the men to give the new orders.

Clara moved to stand beside the Doctor again. "Have you ever seen one outside their shell suits?"

"Shell suit?" The Doctor asked incredulously.

"Well, I don't know what it's called." Clara shrugged.

"Clara, for an Ice Warrior to leave its armour is the gravest dishonour."

"Won't that make him more vulnerable?" Clara asked.

"No, it would make him more dangerous, so we have to find him before it's too late."

"Will this help?" Grisenko interjects, holding up the Doctor's sonic.

"You saved it!" The Doctor said with a grin. "Fantastic! I could kiss you, professor!"

"If you insist, but little missy here won't be happy about it." Grisenko teased.

"What?" Clara squeaked. "No!" The Doctor also blushed yet he didn't say anything, making Grisenko's smile become smugger. Zhukov comes over to them.

"Clara, Doctor, Grisenko, you're with me." Zhukov stated, as they followed him out of the room into another, the Doctor briefly stopping to perform some repairs on the next door with Zhukov.

"So, why have you got a cattle prod on a submarine?" Clara asked Grisenko.

"Polar bears." He stated simply. "Run across them while drilling. They can be rather nasty, you know."

"I'd have one over an Ice Warrior any day. Cuddlier." Clara stated with a chuckle.

"Come on, Clara. Have a bit of courage." The Doctor stated.

"You know, I always sing a song." Grisenko stated, making Clara furrow her eyebrows at him. "To keep my spirits up."

"Yeah, that would work. If this was 'Pinocchio'." The Doctor grumbled, making everyone chuckle.

"Do you know 'Hungry Like the Wolf'?"

"What?" Clara asked.

"'Duran Duran', it's one of my favourites. Come on!" Grisenko stated gleefully.

"I'm not singing a song." Clara stated with a smirk. A loud rumbling noise is heard around the sub, from the underwater terrain outside crumbling under its weight, making everyone shiver. "What was that?"

"Pressure. Just pressure." The Doctor reassured. "We're 700 meters down, remember?"

"Don't worry about it, think of something else." Grisenko said. "I'm lost, and I'm found. And I'm hungry like the wolf." He hummed.

"I'm not singing." Clara stated with a giggle.

"Don't you know it?"

"Of course, I know it. We do it at karaoke, the odd hen night."

"Karaoke? Hen Night?" Grisenko stated incredulously. "You speak excellent Russian, my dear, but sometimes I don't understand a word you're talking about."

"That's what it's like with big ears over there."

"Oi!"

"You looked in the mirror lately?" The Doctor shook his head yet before he could return to work, a loud growling noise is heard along with two men screaming in terror and pain, making them all run from the room to the source of the noise. As they entered the room, they all saw the mutilated and torn bodies of two soldiers, one was Onegin. The Doctor and Zhukov clenched their jaws at this sight, while Clara put her hand over her mouth to contain her feeling of horror at the sight of them.

"Good god! He's torn them apart." Grisenko stated in horror.

"He's a monster." Zhukov growled.

"No, Zhukov. Forensic. He's learning, trying to find your weaknesses."

"We need to move faster before he kills anyone else." Zhukov stated as he, Grisenko and the Doctor moved from the room. The Doctor however stopped when he saw Clara standing still, looking at the bodies with wide eyes.

"Clara, come on, we need to keep moving." The Doctor said sincerely as he placed a hand on her cheek. Clara nodded weakly allowing him to lead her away. They found a small crossroads of two doors ahead of them. "Clara, stay here. Grisenko, look after her please."

"Sure." Grisenko stated. The Doctor did a double take as he saw Clara sitting down without a word. I'll talk to her when this is over.

"It's a young man's game, all this dashing about." Grisenko said amusingly despite his panting. As he sat down, he saw Clara not speaking, just staring off blankly. "Clara? What's wrong?"

"I was doing okay." She mumbled. "I mean, I went in there and I did all that…scary stuff, you know? I went in there, with Skaldak, and it went okay. I mean, it went as badly as it could've done, but that wasn't my fault exactly."

"Not at all." Grisenko nodded. "So, what's wrong?" Clara couldn't find any words, but her eyes said it all.

"Are we going to make it?" She asked weakly.

"Yes, of course." He reassured.


The Doctor and Zhukov are rushing through rooms and doors as they try to find Skaldak, stopping abruptly when they see another body. "Stepashin." Zhukov stated in bitter sadness. He knelt before him and pulled out from his clutched hand a small wallet containing a photo of a small blonde girl of 6 years and him smiling. "Stepashin, I'm so sorry."

The Doctor placed his hand on Zhukov's shoulder. "Who was she?" He asked softly.

"His daughter, Irina. That saying, Doctor, that a daughter is the apple of their father's eye, that wasn't truer with him. But she died."

"How?"

"In the middle of a war? What do you think happened, Doctor?" Zhukov stated bitterly. "All of us on this ship have lost someone we hold dear to us, but Stepashin took it the hardest. He already was a patriotic man, sometimes frustratingly so, but now he truly blamed the Americans for everything. We tried to tell him repeatedly that it was every bit the Americans fault as it was ours, but he never listened."

"Grief affects everyone, Zhukov. Some people differently and even drastically."

"How would you know, Doctor?"

The Doctor said nothing at this, which Zhukov guessed the reason for. "Come on, we need to keep moving." He gave Zhukov his hand in offer to stand him up, which as he did, they heard a rattling and rustling noise around them, making Zhukov raise his gun.

"He's in the walls." Zhukov stated.

"And he's fast." The Doctor said as Skaldak rushed out of the room. "Let's get back to the others." Zhukov nodded, and they rushed from the room.


"What was that?" Clara asked as more rumbling could be felt and heard around the submarine.

"The Doctor told you, it's just the boat settling." Grisenko said. "Tell me about yourself. What do you like doing?"

"Stuff. You know, stuff." Clara said in absentminded fear.

"Stuff. Very enlightening. And the Doctor, what he said…is it true? You're from another time? You're from our future?"

"Yes."

"Tell me what happens." He said in agitation.

"I can't."

"I need to know."

"I can't."

"Ultravox! Do they split up?!"

Clara jaw dropped before she started laughing at this, Grisenko smiling at her improved mood. "Funny. You're funny." Two large clawed hands reach down from the dark ceiling and grasp tightly onto her face, making her jump in shock.

"Let her go!" Grisenko roared as he pulled out a hidden pistol and fired upwards, making Skaldak let go of Clara, allowing her to give a sigh of relief. "See? I don't just like western music." Skaldak then reaches down and grasps on Grisenko's face.

"No, please! Don't hurt him!" Clara pleaded as the Doctor and Zhukov came rushing in, staring up into the darkness to see a pair of blood red eyes staring down upon them.

"You attacked me. Martian law decrees that the people of this planet are forfeit. I now have all the information I require. It will take only one missile to end this 'Cold War'."

"Grand Marshall, there is no need for this. Please, listen to me."

"My distress call hasn't been answered. My people are dead, and I am the last one. There is nothing left for me except for my revenge." Skaldak then gives a low roar, which Clara notices starts a faint humming noise from Grisenko's Walkman.

"There is something left, Skaldak. Mercy."

"Mercy?"

"You must wear that armour for a reason, my friend. Let us see, shall we?" Zhukov stated before raising his gun.

"No, Captain, wait!"

"I will do whatever it takes to defend my world, Doctor!"

"Don't you see?! We are getting somewhere here, we are negotiating!"

"Very well. We'll negotiate but from a position of strength."

"Excellent tactical thinking. My congratulations, captain." Skaldak said.

"Thank you?" Zhukov said in confusion.

"Unfortunately, your position is not as strong as you would hope."

"What do you mean?" The Doctor asked.

"Doctor, it's that sonic humming noise again. Are you bringing the armour?" Clara asked Skaldak.

"Remarkable thinking there, girl. Remarkable indeed." Skaldak said before letting go of Grisenko and rushing off towards his newly arriving armour, with every step sending a loud clucking noise to echo through the room as he leaves for the bridge. "My world is dead. But now there will be a second red planet. Red with the blood of humanity."

"Bridge, now!" The Doctor stated, making them all rush to follow Skaldak. Skaldak turned around a corner to see the door to the bridge closed, with two men in front of it with their weapons raised at him. They fire upon his armour, which does nothing of significance to it or him. Skaldak literally stomps his way down the corridor towards the two soldiers, as they change fire towards his helmet, which makes Skaldak raise a hand to protect his uncovered jaw. Once he reaches them, he grasps their weapons and snaps them in two like wood, before grabbing one of them to shove their face into the wall, crushing their skull underneath. He then holds down the second soldier with his left hand before raising his right and crushing his skull under the strength of his armour, then using his sonic weapon to blow apart the door to the bridge. Moving towards the main console, he hacks into it using his own technology, arming the missiles before placing his finger over the launch button. "No, Skaldak! Wait!" The Doctor yelled as he, Clara, Zhukov and Grisenko rush into the room. "Where is the honour of condemning billions of innocents to death? Five thousand years ago, Mars was the centre of a vast empire, the jewel of this solar system. These stupid little apes had only just begun to leave their caves. Five thousand years later, they still are frightened children. Who are you to judge them?"

Skaldak turned to face the Doctor. "I am Skaldak. This planet is forfeit under Martian law."

"Then teach them! Show them another way! Show them there is honour in mercy!" The Doctor pleaded. "Is this how you want history to remember you? Grand Marshall Skaldak, the destroyer of Earth? That's what you will become if you send those missiles. Five billion lives extinguished, snuffed out like a candle flame. You will be remembered as a murderer, not a soldier." Skaldak scoffed before turning back to the console. "All right! All right, Skaldak, you leave me no choice!" He said coldly before pulling out his sonic and turned towards a different setting.

"A threat?! You would threaten me, Doctor?!" Skaldak said incredulously.

"Not you! All of us!" He then activated it.

"Self-Destruct sequence initiated." A monotone, computer voice rang through the ship. If Skaldak was Human, he would've raised one eyebrow at his actions.

"I will blow this sub up before you can reach that button, Grand Marshall!"

"You would sacrifice yourself?"

"To save this planet?! Yes!"

Skaldak smiled. ""Mutually Assured Destruction.""

"Look into my eyes, Skaldak. Look into my eyes and tell me you're capable of doing this. Look into my eyes, Skaldak!" The Doctor said.

Skaldak then turned to face the Doctor. "Well, Doctor." Activating a command in his suit, it lifted his helmet off to reveal his face underneath. Compiled with the blood red, reptilian eyes and sharp teeth was dark green scales that made him resemble a dragon and a snake. "Which of us shall blink first?" He said tauntingly.

"Why did you hesitate?" Clara said, making Skaldak look at her. "Back there, in the dark, you were going to kill Grisenko. I begged you not to and you listened. Why show your compassion then, Skaldak, and not now?" Skaldak didn't give any words to this as he stared in contemplation. "The Doctor is right. Billions will die. Mothers, sons, fathers, daughters." This made him snap back to look at her, blinking as he does. "Remember that last battle, Skaldak? Your daughter? You sang the songs of the red snows. What was her name?"

"Iclar. Her name was Iclar." He said fondly. The sub then rocked violently, making everyone stumble about as they tried to regain their footing. They then heard from both Grisenko's Walkman and Skaldak's suit the same humming noise, but now much louder. This made Skaldak smile in gladness. "My people live! They have come for me!"

"We're rising. We're rising. 600 meters. 550." Zhukov stated with a grin as he looked at the pressure dial. After a moment, the sub suffered another violently rocking as it emerged out of the ice in the North Pole, before stabilising, making Zhukov and Grisenko sigh in relief. The Doctor and Clara didn't, not yet.

"We've surfaced. Your people have saved us." The Doctor said.

"Saved me, not you." Skaldak said with a shake of his head.

"Just go, Skaldak, please. Go in peace." The Doctor said softly. Skaldak looked at him with a soft expression before a small humming noise is heard and the nuclear missiles are disarmed before he teleports away in a white light. The Doctor then used his sonic to deactivate the self-destruct before sighing. "Now, we are safe." He said gladly. He looked at Clara who gave a similar sigh of relief before moving over to her as they jumped into each other's arms.

"Saved the world."

"Yep."

"That's what we do." Clara said with a smug smile.

"Let's head upstairs, see what we missed." Zhukov said with a hint of amusement, making everyone chuckle. They all followed him to exit the top of the sub, seeing the shattered ice surrounding the sub and a large ship hovering above them and the cold, misty snow.

"Doctor, the TARDIS! You never explained!" Clara realised.

"Oh, don't worry about that." The Doctor said with a sheepish blush.

"Stop saying that. Where is it?"

"Well, I wasn't to know, was I?"

"Know what?"

"I've been tinkering, breaking her in. I'm allowed."

"What did you do?"

"I reset the HADS." The Doctor grumbled under his breath which Clara didn't hear.

"Huh?"

"I reset the HADS." The Doctor repeated.

"The what?"

"The HADS, Clara! The Hostile Action Displacement System. If the TARDIS comes under attack, gunfire, time winds, the sea, it…relocates."

"Oh Doctor." Clara stated with a shake of her head.

"I haven't used it in god knows how long, it seemed like a good idea at the time." He said defensively to protect his already injured ego. "Well, never mind, it should turn up somewhere." He pulled out his sonic before using it to track the TARDIS. "See, found it."

"Where is it?"

"The pole."

"Not far then."

"The South Pole."

"Ah."

The Doctor gulped before almost squeaking, "Captain, can we have a lift?" Everyone, including Clara and the Doctor burst out laughing at this before moving back inside.

"Well then, you'll have to bunk up in a room, you two. It'll take a while." Zhukov said. The Doctor paused outside for a moment before giving the Ice Warrior salute as the ship flies away.


The Doctor and Clara now stood in a small room, which held one large bed, as they looked at it with a blush. "Okay." They squeaked at the same time. "I mean…it could be worse…" They stopped so they wouldn't continue their embarrassment.

"So, Doctor. Why exactly did you think it was a good idea to use the HADS?"

"Ugh, again Clara?" The Doctor grumbled.

Clara giggled. "I'm sorry, it's just funny seeing you acting like a kid."

"You know what I say to that?"

"What?"

"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." He said proudly, remembering that long scarf. They fell into a comfortable silence for a moment before the Doctor had to bring up the elephant in the room. "Are you alright, Clara?"

"What do you mean?" Clara asked in confusion. The Doctor simply looked at her with sadness, reminding her of what she'd been trying to avoid. "That." She said simply, making the Doctor nod at her. "I…don't know. Just, seeing those bodies. It's somehow become very…real." She said shakily, making the Doctor pull her into a hug.

"Clara, I can promise you that not all the time in the TARDIS is like this, but I can't promise you that you'll always be safe." He said sincerely.

"You don't need to worry about me."

"Rubbish. Of course, I worry about you." He then placed his hand on Clara's cheek. "Remember, I am here, Clara. You don't have to go through everything alone."

Clara then pulled him back into the hug in gladness. "What about you, Doctor? Are you fine with seeing them?"

"I've seen worse." The Doctor said simply, making Clara hug him tighter. "Don't worry about me, Clara."

"Rubbish. Of course, I worry about you." Clara repeated his earlier words, making him smile. They may be stuck in this submarine for a while, but at least they won't be alone.

Chapter Text

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Caliburn House
November 25th, 1974

Inside a large, lonely mansion on a pitch-black night, the wind and the rain battered ferociously against the walls of the house. The thunder as loud as drums of war boomed in the sky, terrifying animals and insects alike into utter silence. Inside a large room behind the front door however, two lonely figures, a man and a woman worked together, drifting from awkward conversation to awkward silence. "How are we looking?" She asks as she walks into the room, the man nearly banging his head on the desk he was under in shock.

"Uh…about ready, I think."

She chuckles, sending a pause between them. "Any thoughts on the…uh, interference?"

"A stray F.M broadcast possibly but I've fitted some ferrite suppressors and RF chokes. Just in case." He shrugs. After a moment he grabs a camera before standing up. "Are you sure you want to go through with this? I mean, the last time it was very- "

"But she's so lonely." She said in sadness.

"Very well, then." He nods. Sitting down on a chair with a microphone, he taps it in testing, creating a feedback noise before placing some headphones on his head. "Caliburn House, night four, November 25th, 1974, 11:04pm." He gets himself ready before nodding to her, as she walks towards a dark hallway, struggling to withhold her shaking fear.

"I'm talking to the spirit that inhabits this house. Are you there? Can you hear me?" She calls out, despite receiving no answer. "I'm speaking to the lost soul that abides in this place. Come to me. Speak to me. Let me show you the way home." The man looks at the desk as he hears the recording equipment responding rather erratically. He then hears a loud feedback sound in his headphones, making him wrench them off with a gasp of pain. The woman walks backwards as she feels a cold presence rushing towards her. "Let me show you the way home!" She exclaims as she hears the presence beginning to wail, the noise echoing throughout the house. As the man takes pictures of the activity, the presence reaches the woman making her gasp as if a hand of ice placed a firm grasp over her heart, making her stumble to a chair with the man rushing to her aid.

"Emma!" He says.

"She's…she's so…" Emma gasps out in sharp, wheezing breaths.

"So, what?"

"Dead." They both unknowingly lean their foreheads on each other, allowing their presence to calm them before they jump as a loud knocking noise is heard on the front door. The man then walks up to the door, missing Emma's look of worry that she gives him before he opens the door to see nothing, then jumping with a gasp as a face pops up.

"BOO!" The Doctor roars before laughing gleefully at his expression. "Fantastic! I've always wanted to do that." He says this to Clara, who is hiding behind him, so the man and Emma miss her giggling. "Hello. I'm looking for a ghost."

"And you are?" The man asks.

"Ghostbusters." Clara says as she appears from behind the Doctor, wearing a dark-blue ditsy dress, black tights and jacket, carrying a red umbrella as they both grin before they high five each other. "I've always wanted to do that."

"I just said that."

"I know, so I stole it." She smiles mischievously.

"Now, I'm the Doctor." He says as he pulls out his psychic paper, missing Clara's look of bewilderment at it.

"Doctor what?" The man asks incredulously.

"If you like." He shrugs. "This is Clara. Now, you must be Major Alec Palmer. Member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Specialising in espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance behind enemy lines. Also, a talented watercolourist, professor of psychology and ghost hunter. Total pleasure." He says with childlike excitement as he shakes Alec's hand, somewhat missing his accusing look.

"No, you're wrong. Professor Palmer spent most of the war as a POW." Emma denies.

"No, that's a lie told by a very brave man involved in very secret operations and the type of man that keeps a Victorian cross in a box in the attic. But you already know that because you're Emma Grayling. The Professor's companion." He says, shaking her hand as both him and Clara move inside, with Clara sitting on the desk filled with equipment.

"Assistant." Emma shakes her head, hiding her slight blush that Alec misses.

"It's 1974. You're the assistant and 'Non-Objective Equipment'. That means- "

"Psychic. Already guessed." Clara says smugly as she placed the umbrella down.

"Alright then. Smarty pants." He grumbles those last words under his breath.

"I'm sorry?" Clara says accusingly.

"No, nothing. I said nothing." He almost squeaks.

"Relax, Emma. He's military intelligence." Alec says, despite not being entirely convinced himself. "So, what is all of this in aid of?"

"Health and Safety."

Alec squints his eyes at the Doctor at this.

"I'm afraid so. The Ministry got word of what's going on here, so they sent me to check that everything is in order."

"They don't have the right." Alec mumbled in anger, making Emma place her hand on his shoulder instantly, calming him.

"Oh, don't worry. We'll be out of here in five minutes. But look at this!" The Doctor says, his childish wonder returning at his last words as he glances at the equipment. "Lovely! The ACR99821. It even has a toggle switch." He then starts to flick said switch repeatedly, missing Clara's slight blush at this. "I do love a toggle switch- "

"Doctor!" Clara slaps his hand.

"Ow! What was that for?" The Doctor whines as he rubs his hand.

"Don't do that. It's just wrong."

"Why?" The Doctor pauses as he looks at her. "Are you…blushing?"

"What? No!" Clara squeaks, making the Doctor gain a smug smile. He stands up while pulling out his sonic before scanning both Alec and Emma as they look at it with furrowed eyebrows.

"What is that?" Alec asks.

"Scientific tool. Classified, I'm afraid."

"What's it telling you?" Emma asks timidly as she looks at Alec who just shrugs.

"It's telling me that you haven't been exposed to any life-threatening trans mundane emanations." The Doctor says simply.

"Uh…English please?" Clara asks.

"It's…ghost…stuff." The Doctor fails to find the right words.

"Yeah, that totally helps." Clara says sarcastically, making the Doctor shake his head as he picks up a candelabra.

"So, where is the ghost?"

"No, no, no, no." Alec says frustratingly. "I will not have this stolen out from under me then be fobbed off with pat on the back from the queen, never again, do you understand? This is my house, Doctor, and it belongs to me."

"Wait a minute. Is this actually your house?" Clara asks with raised eyebrows.

"It is." Alec says bluntly.

"Sorry. You went to the bank and basically said, 'You know that gigantic, old house on the moors? The ones that dossers are too scared to doss in. The one that birds are too scared to fly over. I would like to buy it, please? With my money.'"

"Yes, I did."

Clara lowers one eyebrow but keeps the other raised. "I'm not sure if that's incredibly brave or very foolish."

"I guess time will tell." Alec admits.

The Doctor walks up to him so they stand face to face. "Listen, Major. We just need to know what is going on here."

"For the Ministry?"

"You know I can't answer that."

Alec sighs in admission. "Very well. Follow me."


Alec has rolled out a board, fill of photos and findings of his time here, with Clara, the Doctor and Emma sitting down in patience. "So, what's an empathic psychic?" Clara asks.

"Sometimes I sense feelings, the way a telepath can sense thoughts. Sometimes though, not always." Emma says.

"The most compassionate people you'll ever meet, empathics." The Doctor says. "And the loneliest." This makes Emma look down. "I mean, exposing themselves to all those hidden feelings of guilt and pain and sorrow- "

"Doctor." She places her hand on his.

"What?"

"Shhh." She places a finger on her lips while jerking her head in Emma's direction, making him see her expression.

"Oh. Sorry."

"Do you care to have a look?" Alec calls as he finishes putting the last findings on the board, making the three come over to him. "Caliburn House is over 400 years old but she has been around for much longer. The Caliburn Gast." He places his hand over the pictures, all of which show a ghastly, pale white ghost, with her hand up in front of her and her jaw hanging down as low as her chest. Her eyes and open mouth were filled with darkness, making the Doctor and Clara get a cold shiver down their spines. "She's mentioned in local Saxon poetry and parish folk tales, but no matter her new titles, she always remains constant. The Wraith of the Lady. The Maiden in the Dark. The Witch of the Well."

"Is she real? As in, properly real?" Clara asks as the Doctor looks on in contemplation.

"Oh, she's real. In the 17th century, a local clergyman saw her. He wrote that 'Her presence was accompanied by a dreadful knocking as if the Devil himself demanded entry.' During the war, American airmen stationed here and left offerings of tinned spam. The tins were found in 1965, bricked up in the servants' pantry, along with several handwritten notes, appeals to the Gast. 'For the love of God, stop screaming.'"

Clara looked at all the pictures like skim reading, her eyebrows becoming more furrowed. "She never changes. The angle's different, the framing but she's always in the same position. Why is that?" Clara asked as the Doctor picked up on this by leaning in closer.

"That, we don't know. She's an objective phenomenon. But objective recording equipment can't detect her…"

"Without the presence of a powerful psychic." The Doctor finished.

"Absolutely. Very well done." Alec complimented.

Emma took a small breath. "She knows I'm here." This made everyone turn to look at her. "I can feel her, calling out to me."

"What is she saying?" Clara asked.

"'Help me.'"

"The Witch of the Well. So, where's the well?" The Doctor asked.

Alec led him over to a desk. "A copy of the oldest plan that we could find. There is no well on the property, at least, one that we couldn't find, anyway."

"So, you think the well means something that isn't physical?" The Doctor concluded.

"Yes."

"Well, I'm going to go have a look for it." He says with a grin before picking up a candelabra.

"You going to take Clara?" Alec asks.

"I'd have to ask her first." He tapes her on the head, making her jump as she turns to look at him, her eyebrows raised in a "Are you kidding me?" manner. "Are you coming?"

"Where?"

"To find the ghost."

"Why would I want to do that?"

"Because you want to, now come on."

"Well, I dispute that assertion."

The Doctor thought for a moment before doing his best 'puppy dog eyes' look. "I'm giving you a face. Here, can you see me?"

Clara finds it hard to contain her laughter at his failed attempt before shaking her head with a smile. "Dare me."

"I dare you. No takesie-backsies." Clara then lets out her laughter at this before snatching his candelabra as they move out of the room, Alec and Emma looking on with raised eyebrows.

"The music room is the heart of the house." Emma called.

"Thanks very much." The Doctor called out before they disappeared, leaving Alec and Emma alone.

"Is he really from the ministry?" Emma asked.

"Uh, I don't know. He's certainly got the right demeanour. Capricious, brilliant."

"Deceitful." Emma added.

"*Chuckles* Yes. He's a liar. But you know, that's often how things are, when someone's seen a thing or two. Experience makes liars of us all. We lie about who we are, about what we've done…"

"And how we feel?" Emma asked, trying to hide the hope in her eyes.

"Yes. Always…always that." Alec says, stuttering a bit from the look. He notices Emma reaching for his hand, making his face flush. "You know, I have to…um…I have to be getting on with things. The…um…the equipment and so forth."

"Of course." Emma says, yet they stay still for a moment, just looking at each other before moving away.


Clara and the Doctor are walking through dark rooms and hallways, the only light being provided is their candelabra. "Doctor, what was that paper you showed Alec?" She asks.

"Psychic paper. Tells people whatever I want it to tell them. Saves a lot of time."

Clara nods slightly at that. "Okay, say we actually find her. What do we say?" Clara whispers.

"We ask her if she came to be or if she is." The Doctor reciprocated her tone.

"Why?"

"Because I don't know. And ignorance is…what's the opposite of bliss?"

"Carlisle?"

"Yes. Ignorance is Carlisle." They came to a pair of doors, which when opened revealed the music room. "Ah, the heart of the house. Do you feel anything?"

"No." Clara said sceptically.

"Your pants are so on fire." The Doctor teased.

"Shut up." Clara laughed. She then felt the back of her neck prickle, making her shudder. "Do you feel like you're being watched?"

"That's the weird tickling feeling on the back of your neck, right?"

"Yeah."

"Then a bit. Well, quite a big bit." He flirted.

"Well, I can't help it." She flirted back as they chuckled. Clara heard a crackling noise like burning fire behind her, so she turned to look yet found nothing there.

The Doctor moved the door leading to the next room before stopping as he felt himself get instantly cold. "Cold spot. Spooky." He then paced around to determine the exact spot before pulling out a piece of chalk and drawing a circle on the floor.

"Doctor?"

"Hmm?" He mumbled as he pulled out his sonic to scan the circle.

"Doctor."

"What?"

"I'm not happy."

He squinted his eyes as he looked around the room. "She might be here. We should go back." Clara nodded as they almost rushed from the room, missing the chalk circle starting to emit steam. They entered a dark hallway.

*BANG*

They jumped as they heard a loud noise like a battering ram on a castle gate. "Doctor, what was that?"

*BANG* *BANG*

They then shuddered as a cold wind blew through the room, extinguishing the candles and casting them into near darkness, the only light left being the dim moonlight casting through the window. The temperature of the house then suddenly dropped, making them shiver as Clara put down the candelabra to rub her arms for warmth, while the window started to fog up.

*BANG* *BANG* *BANG*

"Okay, what was that?" Clara asked, fear coming into her voice.

"It's…a…very loud and…angry noise." The Doctor said, reciprocating her tone.

"What's making it?"

"I don't know. Are you making it?" He failed to joke.

*BANG* *BANG* *BANG*

This makes the Doctor jump as he moves to Clara's side, as she looks at him with a small smirk. "Doctor?"

"Yes?"

"I may be a tiny bit terrified."

"Yes?"

"But I'm still a grown-up."

"Not sure about that. So?"

"So, there's no need to hold my hand."

"Clara?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm not holding your hand." The Doctor said warily as he held up both hands, making them freeze as they turned to look behind them. Lightning flashed, shining extra light through the window, casting down briefly upon a crooked figure made of jagged bones and pale flesh, making the Doctor and Clara shriek as they run back to Alec and Emma. When they reached the room, Alec was holding up his camera while Emma was staring down a dark hallway before everyone, but Emma's attention was diverted by a sudden appearance of a round, black disc that hovered before them. "Has this happened before?"

"No." Alec said as he handed the Doctor the camera, who took some pictures of the disc before it started to crack, gleaming white light upon them.

Emma, however, was staring with heavy breaths upon The Caliburn Gast, who simply stood there, holding out her hand towards her.

"Doctor!" Clara shouted, diverting his attention to the Gast.

"Help me!" The Gast shrieked as it disappeared. Emma gasped before losing her balance, making Alec rush over to catch her. The Doctor pulled out his sonic to scan her, while Clara looked up on the stair wall as she heard a crackling noise, like earth being torn apart.

"Doctor." She said. The Doctor looked up to see the words, 'Help Me', appear on the wall in a pale haze before disappearing.


Clara handed the seated Emma a glass of whiskey, who took a sip before flinching in disgust. "I'd rather have a cup of tea." Emma said humorously.

"Yeah, me too." Clara nodded before taking her glass. "Whiskey is one of the most disgusting things ever invented. So, you and Professor Palmer, have you ever…"

"Oh god, no." She shook her head.

"Why not? You do know how he feels about you, don't you? You of all people."

"I don't know." She denied. "People like me, sometimes we get it all mixed up. We think people are feeling how we want them to feel, when they're special to us, when there's nothing there."

"Oh, this is there." Clara smirked.

"How do you know?"

"Because it's obvious. It sticks out like a…big, pair of ears." She chuckled.

"What about you, and the Doctor?" Emma asked.

"Oh god, no."

"Now, who's denying the obvious?" Emma retorted.

"Shut up." Clara blushed.

"This one is more than obvious, it's just…"

"It's just what?" Clara asked.

"There's a sliver of ice in his heart. Just like Alec."

"What do you mean?"

"You've seen his record, so you know what Alec has been through. It's the same with the Doctor. It's a sense of…bitter sadness and loneliness."

Clara looked down with a hint of sadness. "Well, the Doctor doesn't say where he comes from, or where he's been, or any other people he's met. He doesn't say anything."

"Neither does Alec. No one likes to mention their past when they hate it. Give him time and he'll come around. You just have to remember, it's the here and now that really counts, not what came before." Clara nodded weakly.


The Doctor and Alec were alone, processing the taken photographs in the darkroom, being drowned in dark, red light. "I had a little peak at your records back at the ministry. Well, you've certainly seen many things in your time; Disrupting U-boat operations across the North Sea, sabotaging railway lines across Europe, Operation Gibbon. The one with the carrier pigeon was fantastic. I love carrier pigeons." The Doctor said gleefully.

"I did my duty but so did thousands of others. Millions. I was just lucky enough to come back." Alec admitted.

"Yes, but how does that man, that war hero, end up here in a lonely, old house looking for ghosts?"

Alec felt his throat constrict. "Because I killed, and I caused to have killed. I sent young men and women to their deaths. But here I am…still alive." He takes a deep breath to compose himself. "It does haunt you, living after causing so much…death." The Doctor looked down at that. "You see, I was alone and unmarried, so I didn't mind dying. Not for that cause, even though it was a very fine cause, defeating the enemy. But I guess, some things aren't worth giving up your life for."

"If you could contact them, the people you…lost, what would you say?"

"I would say that I'm very sorry for what I have done, but I'm also grateful for where it put me."

"With Emma?" The Doctor raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, with Emma. I'm still not exactly sure how to approach that, but just her being there makes it easier." The Doctor smiled at that. "You relate to this?" Alec inquired.

"Yes. I was in a war, but both sides had lost so much. It was no longer about winning or losing, it was about just ending it. And I did, so many horrific things that I regret."

"But your grateful for…who it put you with?" Alec said.

"Clara? Oh yes, I'm grateful." The Doctor smiled softly.

Alec then pulled out the processed picture of the Gast, before pegging it up. "What do you think she is?"

"I'm not sure. I'm getting ideas, but we need to find out how she came to be like this."

Alec thought for a moment. "Would you like to borrow this until you've finished?" He said, holding up the camera.

"Yes, thank you." He said. "Right then, I'm going to enact one idea, I'll be right back." He then rushed from the room, missing Alec's confused expression. "Clara!" He called as he reached the front door.

"What is it?" She asked.

"We're going to find out how the Gast came to be." He said simply. "Now, come on, hurry up." They raced from the house, through the rain to the parked TARDIS under their umbrella.

Clara paused as she noticed the sign on the front as the Doctor unlocked the door. "Doctor. I don't think that's how you open- "The Doctor already went inside, leaving her groaning to herself as the doors were opened inwards. "That's not how you open a police box." She grumbled before following him inside. She looked around in confusion as the Doctor raced around the console. "You need a place to keep this." She gestured to her umbrella.

"I've got one." He said, pointing to an empty space by the door before pausing to look. "Or, I had one. I think I had one. Did I have one? Am I going mad?" He grumbled.

"Nah, I think you're already mad." Clara teased as she put the umbrella down.

"Oi!"

"So, where are we going?" Clara asked as she walked up to the console.

"Nowhere. Staying right here if I can get it right."

"So, when are we going?"

The Doctor grinned before high fiving her. "That is brilliant. We are going always." He sent the TARDIS into lift off before rushing from the room to the wardrobe.

"Oh yeah, that totally answers it." Clara grumbled sarcastically. "Does he even notice the sign on the front door?" Clara asked the TARDIS.

*Beeps* (No).

Clara rolled her eyes. "Dear me, he is an idiot."

"I heard that." The Doctor called as he rushed back into the room with an orange spacesuit. "Now, what do you think?"

"Colour's a bit boisterous."

"I think it brings out my eyes."

"It makes my eyes hurt." Clara smiled slyly.

"Rude." The Doctor grumbled. He then piloted the TARDIS to a landing before scrambling into the suit. "I'll be right back." He said before leaving the TARDIS. Outside was plains of charcoal black rocks, mixed with lava. He then pulled out his sonic to perform precise scan, before using the camera then rushing back inside as he felt the suit begin to heat up rapidly. "Don't touch!" He yelled as the suit emitted steam, making Clara raise her hands as she backed off. "Hot suit! Hot, hot, hot!"

"When are we?"

"About six billion years ago." He then piloted the TARDIS several billion years forward, before leaving to repeat the action in a dense jungle. Racing back inside, he piloted the TARDIS to 1895 to once again repeat the action. He then piloted the TARDIS five billion years forward, exiting to repeat the action for a last time on a barren landscape, looking down upon a desolate, ruined city. Entering the TARDIS to quickly discard the suit, he noticed Clara staring at the monitor with tears in her eyes. "What's wrong?" He asked.

"Have we just watched the entire lifecycle of Earth, birth to death?"

The Doctor sighed. "Yes."

"And you're okay with that?"

"Yes."

"How can you be? One minute, you're in 1974 looking for ghosts, then the next you're standing on the final days of the planet. To you, I haven't been born yet and I've been dead for billions of years. Is my body out there, in the ground?"

The Doctor looked down with sadness. "Probably, yes."

"But here we are, talking, so I am a ghost. To you, all of us, even me are ghosts. We must be nothing." Clara mumbled.

"No, you're not."

"Then what are we? What can we, silly little apes possibly be?"

The Doctor placed a hand on her cheek before smiling softly. "You, silly little apes, are the only mystery worth solving."

Clara's eyes softened as he placed a kiss on her forehead.

"Don't ever think so badly of yourself, Clara. You, and all of humanity are brilliant." Clara nodded. "Now, come along, we have a ghost to catch." He said amusingly, making Clara smile a bit as he piloted the TARDIS back to the Caliburn House.


The Doctor and Clara now stood in the house, as he and Alec were preparing a projector for the new findings while Emma walked up to Clara, who had a distant look in her eyes. "What's wrong?" Emma asked.

"I just saw something I wish I hadn't."

"What did you see?"

"That everything ends."

"Not everything. Not always." She glanced at Alec.

"But you were right. It's the here and now that counts, not the past and certainly not the future."

Emma smiled. "Now you get it. I told you he'll come around."

"He hasn't come around fully, but he's getting there." Clara nodded.

"Fantastic!" The Doctor called gleefully, making Clara and Emma look at him with their eyebrows furrowed. "It's done, now come on." He motioned them over. "So, The Caliburn Gast. Never changing and forever trapped in a moment of fear and torment. But what if she's not?"

"Come again?" Alec asked, making the Doctor roll his eyes.

"What if she's just trapped somewhere that time runs much slower than it does here? And if someone took a snapshot of her every few billion years, what would they get?" Using the sonic, he flicked through the pictures to show a dark-skinned woman in a futuristic white spacesuit, running through a fogged forest. "She's not a ghost, but she's definitely a lost soul. Her name is Hila Tacorian. She's a pioneer, a time traveller, at least in a few hundred years." He added dryly, making Clara giggle.

"Time travel isn't possible, the paradoxes- "

"Resolve themselves." The Doctor cuts Alec off.

"How long has she been alone?" Emma asked.

"Well, this is the funny bit. For us, it's been several billion years. To her, she crash-landed roughly…3 minutes ago."

"Crash-landed? Where?"

"She's in a pocket universe, a distorted echo of our own. They happen on their own, yet they don't last very long."

"Doctor." Clara interrupted.

"What?" He turned to look at Clara as she nodded towards Alec and Emma, who were looking at him with open mouths and blinking eyes. "Oh." He then reached into his jacket and pulled out two balloons, one blue and one red.

"Why do you have balloons?" Clara asked

"Uh…no idea." He admitted, before breathing into the balloons, yet more so into the blue one. "Our universe." He holds up the blue balloon. "Hila Tacorian is here, in a pocket universe." He holds up the smaller, red balloon. "These two are linked and you, Emma, are the spotlight. You're the lantern, shining across the dimensions to guide her back to our universe." He said as he threw the balloons away with a small look of self-disgust.

"So, what's she running from?" Clara asked.

"No idea." He grinned. "Shall we see?" They nodded at him, so he flicked to another image, which made everyone gain an expression of confusion and fear. "Oh. I…don't know what that is." He admitted. On the projector was an image of a foggy forest, filled with dead trees and a blurry figure of a crooked man, hiding behind a tree.

"So, how do we save her?" Emma asked.

"Not we, you. You save Hila Tacorian because you are Emma Grayling, the rest of us are just along for the ride. Now, we're going to need some sturdy rope and a blue crystal from Metebelis III. Clara, you mind giving me a hand?" She nodded, so they raced from the room and back to the TARDIS to gather the equipment.

Alec started to pace while Emma gazed off in contemplation. "Don't do it." He said pleadingly.

"I'm sorry?"

"Nobody asked her to risk her life. This woman, she doesn't deserve…Whoever she is, however brilliant or brave, she's not you. She is not worth risking a single hair on your head, not to me." He rambled.

She looked at him lovingly. "Tell me what I'm thinking right now."

"I can't. I don't have your gift." He denied.

"You don't need it. Just look at me." He looked at her for a moment before a light of hopeful recognition entered his eyes. "There you are, you read my mind." She smiled. They looked up to see the Doctor and Clara racing into the room with armfuls of equipment as they began to set it up.

"Can't you just, you know, fly the TARDIS into the parallel universe?" Clara asked, missing Emma and Alec's blinking looks.

"Pocket universe, Clara, not parallel."

"Okay then, Mr. Grumpy." She teased.

"Oi!" She giggled. "Yes, the TARDIS could get in there fine and dandy, but the entropy would bleed her dry, and trap her there until it decayed away, taking her with it." The Doctor finished setting up the equipment, which filled the room with cables and clocks, with a chair in the centre and a large stand behind it. On top of it stood a gleaming, blue gemstone.

"What is that?" Clara asked.

"Subset of the Eye of Harmony."

"I don't- "

"Of course, you don't. It'd be bonkers if you did."

"Why?"

"Because I barely understand it myself."

"Your saying that it would be mad if I knew more than you?"

"Yes."

"Man, your ego is off the charts." She teased.

"Shut up!" He then grabbed a headset with a small, blue crystal inside it, before motioning Emma to the seat and placing it on her head.

"What does this do?" Emma asked.

"It amplifies your abilities."

"Like cerebro?" Clara asked. Emma and Alec looked at her funny.

"That doesn't come out for another 26 years." He hushed.

"Oh." She said simply.

"What exactly is this arrangement?" Alec asked as the Doctor used his sonic to activate the clocks in the room, creating an echoing, ticking noise.

"A psycho-chronograph." The Doctor said as Clara helped him into his harness.

"Forgive me, but isn't all this a little, 'Make do and mend'?"

"Non-psychic technology won't work where I'm going. Now, all I must do is rescue her from the monster in the woods before the entire dimension collapses and it'll all be fine. Any questions?"

"Will it hurt?" Emma asked.

"Yes. I'm afraid it will." The Doctor said with a touch of pity. Emma nods as Clara turns the Doctor around to face her.

"Stay safe out there, okay?" She said.

"Yes boss." He said.

"Oh, am I the boss now?" She said flirtatiously.

"I thought you already were." He flirted back before they hugged each other in parting. He turned to Emma. "Ready?"

"Ready." She said before closing her eyes. "I'm talking to the lost soul that abides in this place. I'm speaking to Hila Tacorian." The clocks in the room starting to spin and tick faster as the same black disc from much earlier reappeared, yet it now spun four times before conjuring a gateway made of blinding, white light that filled the room with a new rush of wind.

"See?! The Witch of the Well! It's a door!" The Doctor shouted over the wind before he clicked his neck. "Alright then, let's do this." He said before sprinting straight into the gateway, falling through a winding chasm of wind and light, like the inside of a tornado. He grasped onto the rope as he saw the oncoming ground, before he collapsed onto it with a loud groan. He stood up to take off the harness before glancing around. To his right, he saw a sheer cliff being drowned in rushing wind, while to his left, he saw an endless forest of dead trees and mist. He proceeded to sprint into the mist. "Hila! Hila! Hila Tacorian!" He yelled, before coming to a dead stop as he heard a crunching sound like bones being broken. He glanced around yet he couldn't find the source of the sound, until he heard a new sound of twigs and branches being stepped on before seeing Hila rushing out of the mist and literally shoving them to the ground.

"Oh, sorry!" She said.

"No problem. You Hila Tacorian?"

"Yes, who are you?"

"I'm the Doctor, and we've got to get out of here."

"Wait! There's something in the mist." She said, which was followed by the same bone-crunching sound, making them look for the source.

"Well then, we should run." He said, which she nodded to before they sprinted off.

"Doctor?! Doctor!"

"Who's that?" Hila asked.

"That would be Emma. She's the one that brought me here."

"Come home, Doctor!" They stopped to see a mirror image of the Caliburn House materialising into the forest in the same place that the Doctor entered. "Doctor! We're here!"

"Fantastic!" The Doctor said gleefully.

"What is it?"

"That would be our ticket out of here." The bone-crunching noise returned, yet more ferociously. "Keep running!" He said as they rushed towards the front door before shoving it open and barring it shut behind them. The same gateway as the one which he entered through appeared, with the harness beside it.

"I'm not strong enough!"

"Grab the rope! Give it three tugs and do it quickly!"

"What about you?!" Hila yelled as she put the harness on.

"I'll follow after!" Hila then nodded before giving the rope three tugs before lunging into the light. The Doctor then jumped back with a fright as the doors were rattled repeatedly. "Oh! That's what the banging was!" He said with a grin. He turned to rush into the light, before it closed off in front of him, his grin vanishing with it to be replaced by a look of terror. He blinked and found the house had disappeared, now finding himself alone in the woods. He took a breath as a loud roar was heard echoing through the forest. "Oh dear." He mumbled shakily.


Alec started rolling back the rope after it was tugged three times to see Hila stumble through the light before Emma gave a shriek of pain and collapsed, her loss of strength causing the portal to close. "No!" Clara yelled. Silence fell through the room as it closed, the only sound being Hila's painful breathing as Alec held her. "Emma, please! Open the portal!" Clara pleaded as she got on her knees in front of her.

"I'm sorry." Emma said tearfully.

"Don't be sorry, what you did- "

"Wasn't enough. She needs to do it again." Clara cut Alec off.

"She can't! Look at her!"

"She has to! I can't leave him there!" Clara then rushed out of the room and back to the TARDIS.

Alec placed his hands-on Emma's face to bring her gaze up to him. "I know that you feel like you can't do this, Emma, but look at Hila there. You saved her. She's only here because of your strength, and so am I." Emma looked at him with a soft gaze. "Emma, I was as lost as her but being with you, you gave me a reason to be, Emma." He kissed her softly on the lips, making her smile as he pulled away. "The Doctor feels the same way with Clara, so we can help them. You can help them." Emma nodded before getting onto her feet and placing the headset on her head, reaching out her hands so Alec and Hila could grasp onto them.


Clara raced towards the TARDIS, before groaning as she found it locked again. "Oh please, let me in! I need to save him!" She pleaded. She then turned around as a flickering sound happened behind her, to see the image of a young brunette woman.

"Okay, what's this?"

"The TARDIS voice visual interface. I'm programmed to select an image of a person you've seen. Of several billion images in my databanks, this one best meets the criterion."

"But I don't know her. Whatever, you need to help the Doctor."

"The Doctor is in the pocket universe."

"Then enter the pocket universe."

"The entropy would drain the energy from my heart. In four seconds, I'll be stranded. In ten, I'll be dead."

"I'm so sorry, but all I can hear is 'Meh-Meh-Meh-Meh-Meh'. Come on, let's go!" She said in agitation. The image disappeared without a word. "Oh, come on, please! I don't want him to die!" After a moment, the TARDIS unlocked its doors, allowing Clara to step inside. She paused for a second. "I just realised; I have no idea how to fly you." She laughed at her idiocy.

*Beeps* (Don't worry, I'll show you)

Clara raised her eyebrows, trying to hide her grin. "I'm sorry?"

*Beeps* (You heard me; I'll show you how)

Clara let her grin forth.


The Doctor stood alone in the forest, fear gripping his bones as he looked for the creature. "Where are you? What do you want? To frighten me, I suppose." An evil laughter was heard echoing through the forest in conjunction with the bone-crunching sound. "That's what you do, you hide. You're the bogeyman under the bed, seeking whom you may devour." Silence fell, making the Doctor shiver as he turned to look behind him, yet seeing nothing and hearing the evil laughter taunt him. This started to boil a cold rage in his veins. "So, why am I still here? Why not just eat me? It's because you still need me." This made the laughter stop, making the Doctor's rage become mixed with smugness. "Oh yes, you need me to ferry you out of here."

"Doctor! Doctor come home!"

The Doctor gave a cold grin. "To that I say; See if you can keep up!" He then sprinted further into the forest, hearing the TARDIS whooshing as it appeared above him, descending towards him rapidly. He started gaining more speed as it came closer, before jumping as high as he could and grasping onto the side of the box as it started to vanish, materialising with him back inside the Caliburn House as he saw Emma screaming in agony before she collapsed in tears, Alec and Hila by her side. He stood up with a stumble and a groan before Clara opened the TARDIS doors. The Doctor looked at her in confusion before moving over to Emma. "It's alright, Emma. It's over now." He said softly as he removed the headset before going to sit down on a chair, Clara moving to stand beside them as the sunrise gleamed through the windows. "How did the TARDIS get there?" He asked her.

"I flew her." She said bluntly, getting a smug grin as she saw his jaw drop.

"How?" He stuttered.

"She showed me how, so I could get you back." She said softly, looking down.

The Doctor's expression grew soft before he stood in front of her and placed his hands on her face to move her glance back. "Then you saved my life again, Clara. Thank you." He kissed her forehead before enveloping her in a hug, which she returned gladly.


The Doctor stood at the front doors as Clara, Alec and Hila conversed by the TARDIS, while Emma walks up beside him. "You wanted a word?" She asked.

"Well, if that's- "

"It's fine." She said dismissively. "You didn't come here for the ghost, did you?"

"No."

"You came here for me?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"I needed to ask you something."

"Ask away."

"Clara."

"Yes?"

"What is she?"

"She's a girl." She shrugged.

"What kind of girl?"

"She's a perfectly, ordinary girl. She's very pretty."

"Gorgeous, not pretty." He said, making her chuckle.

"Very clever."

"Oh yes."

"And more scared than she lets on." The Doctor sighed at that. "Is there more you wanted to know?"

"I'm starting to think it might not matter anymore." He said simply.

"How much do you care for her?" She asked.

"Well, a lot- "He stop as he saw her raise her eyebrows. "Oh, no, that can't ever happen." He denied.

She smiled. "Alec would've said the same thing."

The Doctor looked at her with furrowed eyebrows. "What made him not say it anymore?"

"When he looked at who was in front of him." She said. The Doctor had a look of recognition in his eyes as he pondered her meaning. "Come on, let's get to the others." Emma said, which he nodded to as they proceeded to the rest of the group, Emma walking up to Hila. "Where will you go?" She asked.

"He can't take me home. History says I went missing." Hila said.

"But he can change history, right?"

"No, not always, there are fixed points- "

"Doctor stop talking." Clara said as she pulled his arm away.

"Oi, Clara!"

"Shhh!" She said with a giggle.

Hila looked at Emma with gratification. "I knew you were there. I could feel you, calling out to me."

"I know."

They started blinking at each other. "Have we? No, we can't have." They said in unison.

"No, you can't have met her yet, but she could be yours and Alec's descendant, but you already figured that out, right?" The Doctor interjected but paused as Emma and Alec looked at him with wide eyes. "Oh. You didn't. Dear me."

"The paradoxes- "

"Resolve themselves. They always do, otherwise time travel would be impossible." The Doctor cut Alec off. "But you see, that's why the psychic link was so strong, it was blood calling to blood. See? Not everything ends." He said as he walked back to the TARDIS with Clara, Alec following them.

"Doctor? What about…um, what about us?" Alec gestured to him and Emma. "What's supposed to happen now? What do we do?"

"Hold hands." He said simply. "Hold hands and don't let go. The rest will come easy." He turned to Clara. "So then, missy."

"Yes?" She said mischievously.

"You flew the TARDIS. How did you learn so quickly?"

"Honestly I was just winging it." She shrugged.

"Well…that's how I do it." He said, making them chuckle.

Clara looked down for a moment. "There's just one thing I don't get, Doctor."

"What?"

"That creature, in the pocket universe."

"Yes?"

"How was he there in the house to hold my hand?"

The Doctor gazed off blankly before his eyes widened and he slapped himself on the forehead, alerting Alec, Emma and Hila. "Bloody hell, I'm slow!"

"Doctor?"

"Clara, how do sharks make babies?"

Clara blinked. "Carefully?"

"No. Happily."

Clara stared dumbfounded. "Sharks don't actually smile. They got lots of teeth and they're quite…eaty."

"Come on, Clara. How can he be here if he was in the pocket universe?"

Clara stared for a moment before she gained the same look in his eyes. "There's two of them?!"

"Exactly! Every lowly monster needs a companion." They then rushed to gazed into a window of the house to see the same crooked creature, yet this one had skin that was less pale. The Doctor wrapped his arms around Clara in a hug. "It's one of the oldest stories in the universe. Boy and girl fall in love, they get separated by war or politics, whether by their making or others. Since then, they have been yearning for each other across time and space, so this isn't a ghost story. It's a love story." They then looked at how close together they were before pulling back with a blush.

"Sorry." They said in unison before turning back to Emma.

"Sorry Emma. Just have a small favour to ask." The Doctor said.

"What?" She asked.


The Doctor landed in the forest and tore off his harness before sprinting into the forest. "I'm sorry! I understand now! I can take you to her! I can take you to a safe place far away from here! You can be together!" The Doctor called. He heard twigs crunching behind him, making him turn to look to see the male creature standing before him on all fours, gazing at him with an expression of hope. "Hello!" He said with a grin. "Now then, here she comes." He said proudly as the TARDIS materialised in the pocket universe.

"Whoohooohooo!" Clara called out from inside the TARDIS.

"Get ready to jump." He said cheekily before they jumped to grab onto the TARDIS as it took them out of the universe and back home.

Chapter Text

Clara and the TARDIS

TARDIS

Clara, wearing a red tank top and checkered pyjamas walked into an empty console room to give a half glare at the console. "Where is it?" She asked accusingly.

*Beeps* (I don't know what you're talking about)

"I know what just happened. I left to go to the bathroom and thank you for the hologram leopard, by the way. That was an unexpected pleasure, so when I returned, I found my bedroom completely missing!" She growled before taking a breath to calm herself. "So, just tell me where you put it."

*Beeps* (Nowhere)

Clara sighed. "Come on. This can't be the first time he's brought a girl home. He's over 900 years old, he should've had company at some point." The monitor then began to flicker through images which had names at the bottom. ""Romana", "Ace", "Sarah Jane", "Barbara", "Tegan", Romana again." She listed. The monitor came to a picture of a brunette woman with a tight v-shirt that was cut rather low. "Dear god, Peri! If that isn't suggestive clothing, I don't know what is."

*Beeps* (She was quite the looker)

"Yeah, she does look good in that." Clara agreed before giving a small tired sigh. "Look, this is the Doctor we're talking about. He's an overgrown child with an ego and a co-dependent relationship with a screwdriver. If he had to choose between a girl and enormous, complicated machine he could fix with a toolkit, who would he go with?"

*Beeps* (Both. Except you. He would choose you without a doubt)

"Shut up!" She blushed. The console beeped repeatedly which made Clara's jaw drop incredulously. "Are you…giggling? Are you giggling at me?" She accused.

*Beeps* (Yes)

Clara rolled her eyes at the console. "All right, I have one question. That girl you showed me with the interface at the house, who was she?" The TARDIS brought up a picture of the same girl. ""Susan Foreman". Who was she?" Clara asked.

*Beeps* (The Doctor should be the one to tell you)

Clara groaned. This conversation was indeed going nowhere. "All right, I give in. I'm going to find my goddamn bedroom now. Can't wait to see your next mischievous trick." She grumbled before moving to leave yet pausing in shock as she saw herself standing there, hair all rustled and a scowl on her face. "Who the hell are you?"

"You, from tomorrow night." The other Clara grumbled. She then walked up past the present Clara to the console. "Okay, where have you put it? Where's my bedroom?"

A pair of rushing footsteps drew Clara's attention as another Clara came rushing in, leaning against the railings and panting hard. "This isn't funny, I'm exhausted! Where is it?!" She demanded.

"You think you've got problems?" Two Clara's suddenly said in unison from the other end of the room. "We've got to share a bed." They said flirtatiously.

*Beeps* (The Doctor would love to see that)

"Shut up!" All the Clara's blushed in unison.

*Beeps* (Well, don't ever come back to me and say you were sorry)

Clara, the proper actual Clara, gave a blink as she scowled at the console. "Oh, dear god. Are you kidding with this?"

*Beeps* (Of course I'm kidding. They're holograms)

On this the Clara copies vanished from the room and Clara looked at the console accusingly. "Hang on. You just moved my bedroom and showed me the leopard for a laugh, didn't you?" Only silence answered for a few moments until a few playful beeps came from the console.

*Beeps* (Nooooooo)

"Ugh, you're the worst!" She growled before moving to leave.

*Beeps* (You still love me)

"No, I don't!" She called back before walking out the door and turning left.

*Beeps* (No, it's to the right)

"Next time, could you just have arrows to these places, please?" Clara muttered before disappearing, missing the chuckled beeping of the TARDIS.

*Beeps* (Maybe)

Chapter Text

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

The Van Baleen Bros. Ship

Flying through space was a long, charcoal black ship. Inside a room, filled with scrap, junk and thin layers of dust was three dark-skinned men. Two of them were sleeping while one with eyes that glowed neon green was cleaning in silence. An alarm sounded, blaring one of the sleeping men up as he gets up to join the other. "Incoming salvage! Please validate!" The computer said.

One of them turns off the alarm with a groan. "Rusty garbage. It's not worth lacing up my boots."

"We're wasting our time, Bram. There's no salvage this far out." The other says with a synthetic voice.

"You're a lucky boy, Tricky. You're an android. You don't get…" Bram cuts off his condescending tone with a sigh. "I'm sorry, Tricky."

"It's alright." Tricky mumbled.

"If we just got better luck, we could get out of this mess, you know. Have a better ship and all. Even Gregor would agree." Bram said, pointing to said man who was waking up.

"Gregor won't turn back, not with half a cargo." Tricky raised his eyebrow.

"He's not captain. We're equal partners." Bram scoffed.

"Yeah right." Tricky mumbled before taking a drink to cool himself.

The TARDIS, at the same time

The TARDIS beeped in a sighing manner as the Doctor and Clara paced around the TARDIS, Clara now wearing a red fit and flare dress and a black collar with her hair pinned up in a small bun. "What do you mean you don't know what this stuff does? You flew the TARDIS, of course you would know." The Doctor said.

"Yes, by winging it with the help of the TARDIS." Clara groaned. "Helmic Regulator. What is a Helmic Regulator anyway?"

"Ugh, it's like…um-"

*Beeps* (It's the steering wheel)

"See? Even the TARDIS is a better teacher than you. Hell, she can pilot herself better than you can." Clara admonished teasingly.

"You take that back, Clara. My piloting skills are fantastic."

"Dear god, you're like a walking ego wrapped in an overgrown child."

"No, I am not!"

"Oh yes, you are!" Clara said.

*Beeps* (Thank you, Clara)

"Oi, that's not fair! Why are you both teaming up against me?"

"Because it's fun." Clara said slyly. The TARDIS around them let out a whirring noise like giggling.

"You know what? I'll prove that I'm a better teacher. I'll just put the TARDIS in basic mode and show you the main controls." The Doctor said as he moved to work.

*Beeps* (That's a horrible idea)

"No, it's not. It's a marvellous idea." The Doctor denied as he finished his work.


"Suit up, fellas. It's good salvage. I can almost smell it." Gregor said as he walked up to them.

"It's just trash." Bram said.

"No, look. There's something in the Magno field." Tricky said as the screen showed the TARDIS appearing.

"Screw it." Gregor said as he activated the Magno-Grab.

"Magno-Grab ready. Engaging." The computer said.

"Go ahead, Tricky. It's your turn." Gregor said. Tricky smiled before selecting a song off the computer.

I see the bad moon arising

I see trouble on the way

I see earthquakes and lighnin'

I see bad times today

Gregor and Bram exchanged impressed looks.

"Good choice." Bram said, which Gregor nodded too.

"Now, come on. Let's suit up." Gregor said impatiently as the three hurriedly moved to their lockers to get into their brown leather jackets and equipment. Gregor pulled out a small, round charge before pressing the button, lighting the charge in red light. Outside, the front of the ship opened and sent a blue, hazy field towards the TARDIS


The Doctor moved to pull the materialisation lever yet found nothing happened. "Doctor?" Clara asked uncertainly. The same music from the ship began to float through the TARDIS.

Don't go around tonight

It's bound to take your life

There's a bad moon on the rise

"Okay, you were right, that was a stupid idea." He moved in agitation around the console.

"What's going on?"

"The electrical impulses are jammed; I can't get the shields back up. She's completely vulnerable." The Doctor placed both hands on a level as he struggled to lift it.

"External control, right?" Clara deducted.

"Basically, yes." The Doctor lifted the level, which did nothing until the TARDIS began to rock violently and cause sparks to fly out of the console as the room came apart in a mess. "It's a Magnetic Hubble field! We're flying right into it!"

"Please tell me there's a button you can press to fix this!" Clara yelled.

"Oh yes! A big, friendly button!" The Doctor yelled sarcastically.

"You're lying, right?!"

"Yes!"

"To stop me freaking out?!"

"Yes! Is it working?!"

"No!"

"Ah well, at least I tried!" Clara spotted a small, round charge lit red rolling towards her, so she bent down to pick it up with one hand while the other gripped onto the railing. As she held it, she felt a burning sensation in her hand causing her to scream in pain as she dropped it. The TARDIS rocked violently again, causing Clara to stumble and roll to the ground, banging her head on the railing and knocking her unconscious. "Clara!" The Doctor yelled before the same rocking caused him to lose his grip and tumble towards the doors. "Clara!" The railing he held onto creaked and groaned before it came loose, sending him tumbling through the door and onto a cold, hard ground before debris and junk came crashing down onto his head, sending him deep into a dark pit of sleep.


Gregor, Bram and Tricky watched through a thick window as the sparking and ruined TARDIS was brought in by large cranes as they let it go, sending it tumbling down onto the ground. "What is it? An escape pod?" Tricky asked.

Gregor shrugged. "Let's find out." They left to head into the room, missing the Doctor stumbling out as debris knocked him unconscious. As they walked into the room, they grabbed their allotted equipment and gear. "Crack it open." Gregor told Bram, who nodded as they proceeded to use their tools on the TARDIS doors, however nothing worked.

"Nothing's working." Bram told Gregor in confusion.

"Use a thermo-charge and blast it." Gregor told him as he chucked him a charge.

"No, wait!" They both turned their heads to look at Tricky as he moved towards the TARDIS. "Can't you feel it? It's like, it's alive and it's in pain."

"It's a robot, Tricky."

"No, Gregor, he's right. It's looks like there's a broken fuel line." Bram said, pointing to the smoke coming out of the ship as they backed off.

"Alright then, throw it back. No salvage today." Gregor said. "Open the bay doors, Bram."

"Wait." Tricky said as he motioned them over to a pile of debris. "I think that's one of the crew members. He must have fell out when we brought it in."

"Alright. You know the drill, boys. We did nothing. If anyone asks, the crew was already dead, and the ship was busted when we found it. Right?" Tricky and Bram nodded timidly.

"You do realize it's rude to whisper." The Doctor mumbled, making them turn around. "Hello. Can I have a hand?" They moved to push the debris off him. "Thank you." He said as he got up with a groan, popping his back as he did. "I'm the Doctor. And you are?"

"Gregor and Bram Van Baleen and this is Tricky. He's a lucky charm android." Gregor said with a pat on Tricky's back, who smiled softly. "What happened to your head?" Gregor pointed.

The Doctor looked confused as they gave him a mirror, which he help up to see two scars across his left cheek, stopping before they reached both his left ear and the corner of his mouth. "Right, I got debris on me head. That must have been a side effect."

"Yeah, we found you drifting. Your ship was busted pretty bad."

"What broke my ship was a Magno-Grab." He reprimanded. He pulled out of his pocket a small, red charge that Tricky looked at before checking his pockets with wide eyes. "Yeah, I found this baby in your pocket. This is outlawed in most galaxies as he can disable whole vessels, unless of course you have shield oscillators." The Doctor then placed his forehead in his palm. "Which I turned off to protect my injured ego. Blame Clara and the TARDIS for ganging up on me." The Doctor paused as his face fell. "Wait, where's Clara?" The three shrugged. "She's about yah-high." He placed his hand at his collarbone. "Rather feisty, quite gorgeous-" He cut himself off with a blush. "Forget that last bit." He then paled in realisation as he turned to look at the TARDIS. "She's still on board." He then started to the ship but was held back by Tricky.

"No, wait. Your ship is leaking fuel. If she's still in there, she's dead."

"She better not be." The Doctor said sternly as he moved to their lockers before grabbing a respirator. "Now, can I ask a favour, and have you fellas help me out?"

"What sort of fee are we talking?" Gregor asked.

"If you help me get her out, you get all of it. Think about it, this box can't hold two people and everything a ship needs to fly. The box is a disguise and it's bigger on the inside. Behind those doors is the salvage of a lifetime and I need your help."

The three exchanged timid looks before Gregor shrugged. "Bugger it. Get your respirators on."

"Is it really worth the risk? That ship is spewing poison." Bram protested.

"Which I can fix with your help." The Doctor rolled his eyes.

The three moved to grab the new gear before walking up to him as he pulled out a key to unlock the doors. "You're sure about this? The salvage of a lifetime?" Gregor asked.

"I feel rather confident that I can deliver on that." The Doctor said as he opened the door. "May I ask, if Tricky is an android, why does he need a respirator?"

"Flesh coating. He'd burn up just like us." Bram explained yet to the Doctor, it sounded like something that was rehearsed.

"No fear, no hate, no pain." Tricky said with a wink, which the Doctor raised an eyebrow at.

"Alright, in we go." The Doctor said as he pulled on the respirator and moved inside.

The three followed him in as they looked around in awe. "You were right. It's bigger on the inside." Gregor said.

"How big is this baby?" Bram asked.

"Picture the biggest spaceship then chuck that out because this ship is infinite." The Doctor said.

"Woah, awesome." Tricky said with a laugh.

"Rather well put." The Doctor said, raising his eyebrows with a grin. He then flicked a few switches that aired out the smoke. "It's safe to breathe now." He said as he pulled off his respirator with the others. "Now, the last time I remember, she was right there. Then she tumbled off down the corridor."

"It would take you hours to find her." Gregor said as they marvelled at the technology despite the mess.

"Days, plus this whole place is toxic. She'd be dead by the time I reach her, so here is the mission. We are going to find her in one hour."

"We?"

"Yes, we. You are my guys for this."

"That wasn't the deal." Gregor protested.

"It is now." The Doctor said coldly.

"What makes you think we'll help?" Bram asked.

The Doctor flicked a switch, which set off an alarm. The monitor showed a timer counting down from 60 minutes. "I just activated the TARDIS self-destruct system. We have one hour until this ship blows." Bram raced towards the doors which shut and locked on their own. "Don't try to leave and don't bother trying to steal my key, the TARDIS is in lockdown. I will open those doors when Clara is by my side, alive and safe."

"You crazy lunatic!" Bram yelled.

"My ship, my rules!"

"You'll kill us all and the girl." Gregor said.

"She'll be dead anyway if we don't do anything." Gregor and Tricky then raced towards the doors as they tried to break out, making the Doctor groan. "Alright, a little persuasion." He flicked a few switches to reduce the timer to 30 minutes. "How about half an hour?"

"We'll die even faster!" Bram protested.

"We all perform better under pressure. Would anybody like to go for 15 minutes?"

"Woah, wait, stop!" The three yelled in unison, making the Doctor grin coldly.

"Perhaps I should reiterate my earlier statement. 'Salvage of a lifetime'. I meant Clara Oswald."


Clara groaned as she shook the drowsiness from her head before pushing the debris off herself, so she could stand up, gasping in pain as she felt the stinging in her hand return tenfold while a bloody gash was burning in her forehead. She looked through the dark hallway, lit only by red lights and a small, burning fire. "Doctor?" She called out yet found no answer, making her proceed on by herself. She came to the door at one end, which was closed with a red flashing light above it. Okay, that means something bad. "Get out of here fast?" or "Whatever you do, don't open this door". Clara placed her uninjured hand to her chin in contemplation before placing her hand on the button to open the door, showing a storm of fire rushing towards her, making her shut the door again. "Bad decision." She grumbled as she smacked her forehead before gasping. Dammit, wrong hand. She then turned to walk back up the corridor and taking a left through an open doorway. One the wall was a black scorch mark, like someone had dragged fingers made of hot metal across the wall. She looked down to see a small hologram, pointing her down the corridor with the words 'The Library' on it. "Thank you dear." She said as she kissed the wall. What answered her was silence. "Old girl?" She asked, receiving a small, distant growl like a wolf, making her jerk her head as she proceeded cautiously down the direction of the arrow.


The Doctor led Tricky and Bram as they walked through a series of corridors, searching for Clara while Gregor trailed closely behind, holding out a small scanner. "Report. What's on board this thing?" Gregor asked the scanner.

"Dynamorphic generators. Conceptual geometer. Beam synthesiser. Orthogonal engine filters." A quieter version of the computer voice said from the scanner.

Gregor stared in contemplation before getting an idea, making him rush to catch up with the others. "Guys, I think we should split up. It's our best chance of finding the girl, you know it is."

The Doctor squinted his eyes before sighing. "Fine. Tricky, you with me." Tricky nodded as he moved off with the Doctor.

"Keep in radio contact, Tricky." Gregor said with a small salute.

"Yes boss." Tricky said with a smile.

"And don't touch anything, the TARDIS will get mad if you make a mess." The Doctor called out as he and Tricky disappeared.

"Get back to the console and strip it apart." Gregor told Bram, who nodded as they moved in separate directions. Bram re-entered back into the console room before taking out a few tools and proceeding to pry one of the console panels apart.

"I made up the name TARDIS from the initials. Time and Relative Dimension in Space."

"Dimensionally transcendental."

"That's trans-dimensional engineering. A key Time Lord discovery."

"A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard. It can move anywhere in time and space?"

These indistinct voices made Bram look up in confusion before he pulled a piece of the grating floor back to reveal a ladder. "Bram? Bram, can you hear me? Bram, the ship is alive. Get out of there and don't touch anything." The voice of Tricky came in through the radio yet Bram ignored it as he stared at the column of green light that was linked to the bottom of the console.

"You're just the sweetest thing ever." He marvelled before he started to descend the ladder.

"Bram, are you listening to me? You've got to get out of there." Bram placed his hand on a part of the ladder that was scorched through, burning his hand and making him hiss in pain as he lost his grip on the ladder, making him fall to the ground with a groan of pain. He struggled to get up as the pain in his hand burned with the spasm in his back from the fall. As he stood, trying to maintain balance, he turned to see a figure standing in a nearby doorway, covered in scorched rock and with lava for veins while its eyes glowed like red ambers. It stared at Bram, growling before it charged with a roar, knocking Bram to the ground before it placed its hands-on Bram, making him scream in pain as his head was burned alive.


Gregor was walking through a series of corridors as he held his scanner out in front of him, humming as it searched the nearby areas of the ship. As he passed by a door, the scanner beeped in an alert. "Everything." The scanner said.

"What? Report."

"Everything behind that door."

"Everything? What do you mean "Everything"?" Gregor asked incredulously.

"Sensor detects everything you could possibly want." Gregor thought for a moment before pressing his hand on the door button to open it, revealing a small room filled with wires and large, white bulbs with Gallifreyan markings, assembled like an overgrown, hanging tree. "Everything."

"I don't understand. Give me a price tag."

"Incalculable."

"What?"

"More valuable than the total sum of any currency. Living metal. Bespoke engineering. Whatever machine you require, this system will build it." Gregor smiled in appreciation as he put the scanner away, before holding up his cutting laser to detach one of the bulbs.

"Don't you dare do that!" The Doctor yelled as he ran in with Tricky. "If you take anything from this room, the TARDIS won't let you leave, do you hear me?!"

"What is this place?" Gregor asked.

"It doesn't matter what this place is, don't touch anything!" The Doctor roared.

"Gregor, please just listen to him. This ship, it's in pain. Let's just find the girl and get out of here." Tricky tried to reason.

Gregor snorted before he pulled a circuit out, causing a high-pitched tone to blare through the room, hurting Gregor's hearing yet leaving the Doctor and Tricky unharmed as the door suddenly disappeared. "What the hell? Where it's gone? Where's the door gone?!" Gregor asked in fear.

"Since you so obviously wanted to see the TARDIS get mad, now you're got the front seat." The Doctor mocked.

"Well, aren't you going to stop me?" Gregor mocked.

"Don't have too. I have a whole ship that you're in right now to do it for me." The Doctor said coldly. "It's her basic genetic material. She won't relinquish it."

"Tricky, torch the door." Gregor said, pulling out a thermo-charge.

"No. Just give her back the circuit, Gregor." Tricky pleaded.

Gregor scoffed before arming the charge, only to give a smug smirk as the door reappeared. "Look at that, Doctor. Your ship is too scared to fight me." Gregor mocked before he proceeded out of the room. Tricky looked at the Doctor apologetically before hurrying after him. The Doctor clenched his jaw as he tried to contain his boiling rage, running a hand on one of the circuits in apologetic pity to his ship. He then proceeded to follow the two, who found themselves walking in circles in a fork-pathed corridor. "It's just the same. What is going on here?!" Gregor asked in fear.

"She's spinning a maze around us. We'll never reach Clara in time now give it back!" The Doctor roared. Gregor shook his head as his fear towards the Doctor started to grow before he rushed down a different path. The Doctor rolled his eyes as he turned around to see Gregor walk towards him. "Don't you get it now?! There's no point in building walls, you'll just smash them down! Answer; Labyrinth! You can get out of this situation easily and unharmed. All you have to do is give it back!"

"Bram? Bram, can you hear me? Bram, the ship is alive. Get out of there and don't touch anything." Tricky heard nothing through the radio. "Bram, are you listening to me? You've got to get out of there." They then heard him stumble and fall in pain which after a moment of silence was heard by an animalistic roaring, followed by Bram's scream of pain and agony. "Bram? Bram?!" Tricky then turned to look at Gregor. "Gregor do something!"

"It's too late, he's gone. Let's just worry about the salvage." Gregor said, trying to hide the pain in his voice.

"Why do you care more about a circuit than you do about him?!" Tricky asked.

"Stop this now!" The Doctor roared, making them look down like guilty children. "Your concern for your brother is really touching, Gregor, yet Tricky seems more cut up about it than you are. Now stop bickering and listen! There was something with Bram that killed him, so something else is aboard this ship." The Doctor pulled out his sonic as he began a scan of the TARDIS.

"We've got to get out of here. Gregor give it back. Give it back now!" Tricky yelled.

"Alright, fine!" Gregor yelled as he took the circuit out of his bag and throwing it onto the ground, which didn't even dent it. "Why are you always on the side of the machines?!"

"I said stop this now!" The Doctor roared, repeating the same effect. "There are multiple life forms aboard this ship with us right now."

"Where are they?" Gregor asked in fear.

"You won't like the answer; About two steps away." This made them all pause as they turned around to look behind them, seeing now two figures like the one that killed Bram, only these two and only one limb each and were joined at the place where the other used to be.

"Run!" The Doctor ordered as they moved to rush from the room, however Gregor was backhanded by one of the creatures, causing him to stumble and fall to the ground at a different doorway.

"Gregor!" Tricky yelled.

"Tricky, Gregor, run now!" The Doctor yelled, which Gregor and Tricky complied to without hesitation then ran down the corridor while the Doctor looked at the two creatures with pity. "I'm sorry." He said sincerely before running to follow the two.


As Clara walked along a route of arrows, she found a door which when opened, made her raise her eyebrows at the site of the expansive library and- "Why does he have a swimming pool in the library?" She mumbled. She walked through the library, to raise her eyebrows as saw sitting alone on a stand, a book titled "The History of the Time War". In curiosity, she walked up to it and turned to the last page before reading a small section.

Stepping out of the TARDIS, the Doctor took one last look upon his home planet of Gallifrey, knowing this will be the last time he will see it whether he dies or not. Not the burnt orange sand nor the clear blue skies mixed with grey clouds and bathed in the red twin suns. In the far distance he saw the same barn he ran to in his childhood. This walk would be his penance, his atonement for the crime he would commit; burning all Gallifrey and his own people to save the universe. Picking up The Moment, he began the long trek towards the barn. "Time Lords of Gallifrey, Daleks of Skaro, I serve notice on you all. Too long I have stayed my hand, No More. Today, you leave me no choice. Today, this war will end. No More. No More."

Clara closed the book, sniffing as she held back the tears in her eyes. "You poor man." She mumbled in sadness. The door to the library clanged open, making Clara hold back a gasp in shock as she moved to a hiding place, wiping the tears from her eyes as she did. Another one of the creatures entered the library alone. This one had one of its hands on its face, rubbing it almost in sadness. Who are you? Clara watched in silence as the creature looked around before it moved silently out of the library. Clara then rushed out of another door, before following another trail of arrows that led her through another door into the console room. "Oh, thank you." She said gleefully before hurrying up to the console. "Thank you so much." She said, placing a kiss on the console, yet her face fell as she looked upon the door, which was instead of the wooden police box was just solid stone. "Oh, dear god. What's going on? Something's wrong with you, isn't there?" She asked the TARDIS which gave no answer. "Please, where are you, Doctor?" She mumbled. The console suddenly moved and jerked as pieces of debris and junk were flung from the console, making Clara jerk up in shock. Her breathing became full of fear as some of the switches were flicked before it stopped, leaving her in silence apart from her fearful panting. She then heard an animalistic growling as one of the creatures entered the console room. "I really should've closed the door." She reprimanded herself as it came near her yet stopped as Clara tried to steady herself. Clara looked at it with confusion despite her fear. "What are you?" She asked, receiving no answer. The creature then briefly looked around before giving a growl as it advanced on Clara, backing her to the door as it reached its lava covered hands out, making Clara scream in terror.


Gregor, Tricky and the Doctor ran into the console room, closing the door behind them as they stopped the pursuit of the creatures following them. "Back where we started?" Tricky asked.

"No, it's an echo room. The console room is the safest place on the ship, but this isn't the original. Look at the door." The Doctor said, pointing to the door which was replaced with a wall of stone. "This room is just a copy. The TARDIS can replicate this room any number of times, it's trying to protect us."

"Why would it protect me? I tried to steal from it." Gregor mumbled

The Doctor sighed. "You gave it back in the end; besides, the TARDIS would never condemn you to death and neither would I."

"Don't feel sorry for me, mate. It was my fault; I should've given it back earlier. We would've gotten to the girl much faster."

"No, it was my fault that Clara is in trouble. I'm the one to blame, not you, all because I can't control my goddam ego." He said in self anger, shoving some of the debris off the console yet him and Tricky paused as they just disappeared.

"Where did that go?" Tricky asked.

"There's more than one echo room. Wait, look!" He said, pointing to a small shadow that passed hesitantly over the railing. "The TARDIS has got Clara safe, that was her there. Thank you so much!" He said with a sigh of relief as he placed a kiss on the console.

"So, why can't we see her?" Gregor asked.

"Think of the echo rooms like a light switch. We're only together for brief instances. I just need something to identify her, so I can bring her to the right room."

Gregor thought for a moment. "Would this help?" He asked, pulling out his scanner.

"Oh yes, thank you!" The Doctor yelled before snatching it and pulling out his sonic.

"Wait, shhh!" Tricky said, making them quiet down. They could barely hear Clara's fearful panting filling the console room.

"That's her, that's definitely her." The Doctor said as he got to work with the scanner.

"Scanning for female Human." The scanner said.

Suddenly, the familiar growling noise filled the room.

"I really should've closed the door."

"She's by the front door!" Gregor pointed, finding the source of her voice as her terror filled screams echoed through the room and sending cold shivers down the Doctor's spine.

"That she is!" The Doctor yelled as they rushed to the door.

"Unidentified Human."

"It doesn't know Lancashire or sass, but that's her, that's Clara!" The Doctor switched a few settings before using the scanner as Clara began to fade into the room in a ghostlike haze. He then reached a hand, grabbing onto her arm and pulling her towards him as she focused into reality, throwing his arms around her shaking body. "It's alright, Clara! It's alright."

Clara wrenched herself from him, glaring, which made him gulp. "Clara, wait, I'm sorry!" The Doctor yelled fruitlessly as Clara punched his shoulder hard. "Oww!"

"You and your goddam ego got us into this mess!" Clara yelled as she smacked his face hard.

"Oww!"

"Why have you got zombie creatures in your ship?!"

"I said I'm sorry!" The Doctor pleaded.

Clara calmed down as some tears came into her eyes before she threw her arms around him. "Don't ever do that again, you hear me?"

"Yes boss." The Doctor mumbled.

Their presence started to calm each other down, before Clara noticed Gregor and Tricky standing there looking awkward. "Who are you?" She asked in confusion.

"I'm Gregor, this is Tricky." Gregor mumbled awkwardly. "Doctor wanted our help finding you."

Clara hugged him tighter. "You didn't have to worry about me."

"Rubbish. Of course, I worry about you. By the way, what happened to your head?" He asked, pointing to her gash.

"Banged my head. What happened to you?" She asked, pointing to his scars.

"Banged my head. Wait, did you just steal the words out of my mouth?"

"No." She giggled.

"Okay, you have Clara back, now can you please cancel the self-destruct?" Gregor asked.

Clara looked at the Doctor with accusing expression, yet it didn't reach her eyes. "Did you threaten them?"

"No, I lied. There is no self-destruct. I just wanted Clara back." The Doctor mumbled.

Gregor put his face in his hand, yet they looked at the console as an alarm set off.

"Okay, apparently there is something wrong." The Doctor said with furrowed eyebrows as he untangled himself from Clara and moving to the monitor. "Ah. The engine is damaged. Great."

"What's going to happen then?" Tricky asked.

"If we don't fix the engine, the TARDIS will blow up and yes, I'm not lying this time."

"Where is the engine at?" Gregor asked.

"The engine is at the centre of the TARDIS. Want to go on a little trip?" The Doctor asked.

"Well, we've got nothing to do and I don't want to be on my own again, so why not?" Clara said with a shrug.

"Yeah, me and Tricky could give a hand. It's the least we can do." Gregor mumbled apologetically.

"Would now be a good time to use that "Big Friendly Button"?" Clara said teasingly.

"Oi!"

"Sorry, what?" Tricky asked.

"Long story." Clara said.

"Are we going to witter on all day? Come on." The Doctor said impatiently.

"Rude." Clara admonished before she, Gregor and Tricky followed the Doctor.


The Doctor led the group through a series of dark hallways, lit by his scanning sonic. Rustling noise came past, making Clara shush them as they tried to listen. "Something is in here." Clara said.

"Of course, there is. Captain obvious." He mumbled under his breath.

"I'm right here." She warned.

"I didn't say nothing." He denied.

"What are those things? The creatures that are following us?" Gregor asked yet he got no answer.

"Doctor? What aren't you telling us?" Clara asked.

The Doctor looked at her in sadness as he placed a hand on her cheek. "There are some things you should never know."

They heard a growling noise behind them, making them look to see the back of one of the creatures.

"Okay, move and quietly." The Doctor said as they rushed away yet split up. Tricky and Gregor went down one hallway while the Doctor went down another with Clara before she lost track of him.

"Doctor?" She called timidly into the silence. "Doctor? Again." She mumbled, looking down to inspect her scar, the pain had faded from her hand to be replaced by what looked like a message but was hard to read. The pain in her forehead, while passing was still there, making her wince slightly.

"What do you mean you don't know what this stuff does? You flew the TARDIS, of course you would know."

"Yes, by winging it with the help of the TARDIS." Clara looked up to see past versions of her and the Doctor walking past, making her raise her eyebrows both in shock and confusion. She turned around to see herself staring at her.

"See? Even the TARDIS is a better teacher than you. Hell, she can pilot herself better than you can." Clara blinked at the past version of her disappeared to be replaced by another.

"Please tell me there's a button you can press to fix this!" Clara turned around to see the Doctor standing there, yet he had a look of rage on his face.

"She's spinning a maze around us. We'll never reach Clara in time now give it back!"

"Clara, wait!"

She turned to see the real Doctor standing there. "What's going on?"

"There's a rupture in time somewhere onboard this ship, a small tear in the fabric of reality. Past and future are leaking into the present."

"But, why were you angry? Who were you angry at?"

"I was angry with myself." He mumbled.

"It wasn't your fault, Doctor. No, stop." She cut him off. "It wasn't your fault, okay?"

The Doctor nodded weakly. "Okay. Now, come on. We've got to keep moving. Just ignore those, they are memories."

They turned around to see one of the creatures standing there, looking at them. "What about this?" Clara asked fearfully.

"I'd say…run." He said simply as he grabbed her hand to run through a series of corridors to lose it. "Hurry! She's right onto us!"

"She?"

"Clara, please don't ask me anymore." They hid around a corner in silence as the creature came down, trying to look for them.

"You take that back, Clara. My piloting skills are fantastic."

"Dear god, you're like a walking ego wrapped in an overgrown child." The creature looked to see the past versions of Clara and the Doctor walking past, deciding to chase after them instead.

"Well, thank goodness for that." The Doctor chuckled as Clara let out a slight laugh. They looked up as they heard a creaking and groaning noise above them.

"What's that noise?"

"We're right under the primary fuel cell."

"So?"

"So, the fuel's spilled out and the rods will be exposed. Means they'll cool-"

"And start to warp."

"Maybe even-"

"Don't say it."

"Maybe even-"

"Don't you dare say it."

"Maybe even break apart." They jumped back as a large, rod burst out of the roof into another wall, missing their heads by inches.

"Run?" She offered.

"Love that idea." He nodded before they rushed off down the corridor, gasping as more rods burst out, barely missing them. One rod burst out, missing both of their heads, making them wince before they heard Tricky scream in pain, making them rush to the source. They found Tricky impaled against the wall by a rod that was buried in his left arm, Gregor looking on in horror as he tried to pull the rod out.

"Just cut my arm off!" Tricky pleaded.

"No!" Gregor denied.

"It's the quickest way to release me, you know it is! I can get a replacement arm, just do it!"

"No, I can't!"

"Why not?!"

The Doctor looked on in bitter sadness. "Tell him, Gregor. Tell him the truth."

"What truth?!" Tricky asked.

The Doctor pulled out his sonic and performed a scan on Tricky. "The only thing that is android about you is the bionic eyes and the synthetic voice box. But the reality is, you are Human."

"What?" Tricky mumbled as his eyes widened.

"I'm sorry, mate. We just did it as a joke. A stupid joke." Gregor mumbled guiltily.

"Who am I?" Tricky asked.

"You're our brother, Tricky. You lost your memory, sight and voice in an accident. We made you think you were an android, because Dad wanted you to be captain."

"And you did this, so you could be captain?!" Tricky accused.

"Yes. But that was a mistake."

"Why would you insist on it being a mistake?"

"Because you would've made a better captain than us." Tricky's eyes softened at that. "I don't expect you to forgive us, Tricky, but at least know that we're sorry."

The Doctor looked between them with sadness, Clara placing her hand on his shoulder in comfort. "Cut the metal." He mumbled. Gregor complied without a word.


Gregor carried the wounded Tricky as they and Clara followed the Doctor until they arrived at a closed door with a window. Behind it was a brightly lit room with a dense orange glow. "Where are we?" Clara asked.

"Power source. Right, you lot wait here. I'll go inside, we can only survive for a few minutes in there."

"What happens if we stay too long?"

"Our skins would liquefy and burn." The Doctor said bluntly.

"I always feel so good after we've spoken." Clara said sarcastically.

"Yeah, so do I." The Doctor retorted.

"Watch it." Clara warned.

"Yes ma'am." He smirked.

"You're asking for a smack, aren't you?"

"Can you guys please keep the flirting down for a moment?" Gregor mumbled.

"We're not flirting!" They said in unison, which made them blush.

"Look, just keep this door shut." The Doctor said, which they nodded to, making him rush inside. The room was just a bridge over a dark chasm, wind rushing through the room as a bright star burned inside, boiling his skin and making him sweat profusely as he moved to the other door.


Gregor held up his scanner towards Clara, which made her raise an eyebrow. "Lancashire. Sass." The computer said.

"Sass?" She said incredulously.

"That's what the scanner said." Gregor mumbled.

Clara shrugged. They looked to see the Doctor open the door. "Woah, it is boiling in there!" He ranted. "Did I miss anything?"

"Apparently I'm sass." Clara said.

"Did you just figure that out?" He chuckled.

"Shut up!" She giggled.

"Now, come on, we can only last for a few minutes in there." He said hastily as they moved into the room.

"What is that?!" Clara shouted.

"The Eye of Harmony! An exploding star in the act of becoming a black hole! Time Lords rip the star from their orbits and suspend it in a permanent state of decay! Smart bunch they were! Horrendous dress sense, but smart!" He shouted as he wrenched the other door open, only to shut it again as the lava zombies growled on the other side. "Maybe not that way!"

Tricky and Gregor rushed to the other door, only to find more creatures banging on that door. "There's no way out, we're trapped!" Gregor yelled.

"You're going to tell me right now! If we are going to die here, tell me what they are!" Clara ordered.

The Doctor looked at her in guilt ridden sadness. "I can't."

"Tell me! What's the use of secrets now?!"

"It's not about secrets, Clara! If you knew the answer, you wouldn't…" He trailed off.

"Wouldn't what?!"

"Want to stay with me!" He finished, making her eyes widen.

Gregor held up his scanner to one of the creatures. "Sensor detects Human core element. Identified as: Lancashire. Sass."

"What?" Clara mumbled.

"I told you, Clara. Time is bleeding here, past and future. They're us, from being trapped in here. I didn't want to lose you again and now I have."

"What do you mean, lose me again?" Clara asked.

The Doctor placed rubbed his hand on his face to contain his guilt, turning around to look at anything but Clara yet he stopped. He noticed one of the zombies was mimicking his movements, which started to make his skin burn, until he stopped, making it return to normal. He looked up at Gregor and Tricky who were side by side, like the zombie pair earlier.

"Wait a moment! If we interrupt the timeline, this won't happen! Gregor, Tricky! Don't touch each other!"

They both moved away from the door, as one of the zombies broke the glass, reaching a hand down to open the door before moving through. Tricky grabbed one of their tools to smack it on the head, causing it to fall over the railing and down the chasm. They all moved to rush for the door, before stopping as the adjoined zombie pair emerged, trapping them again. Gregor then grabbed the tool from Tricky's hand before bashing the pair through the railing, before giving them a final push with a kick, which they took advantage off by grabbing onto his ankle and pulling him down, making him grasp a part of the railing. "Gregor!" Tricky yelled, rushing towards him.

"Don't worry about me, Tricky! Just go!"

"No, you're my brother!" Gregor looked at him with wide eyes as Tricky grabbed his hands. "No matter what you've done, I forgive you." They exchanged a small smile. "Now come on!"

"Wait, don't touch him!" The Doctor yelled but as they stood up, they screamed in pain as they're adjoining limbs melted into one another before smoke poured out of their eyes, as they're skin burned charcoal black with lava running through it. They then looked at Clara and the Doctor before growling and rushing towards them. "Run!" He yelled at him and Clara rushed through the door and locked it from the other side. They looked to the door at the end of the corridor before rushing towards it.

"What's through there?!" Clara yelled.

"The engine room! It's the heart of the TARDIS!" The Doctor said as he wrenched the door open, Clara running through first then the Doctor before he grabbed her hand to pull her back. They found themselves on a rocky cliffside overlooking a fog filled chasm.

"How are we outside?"

"We're not. We're still inside the TARDIS."

"There's no way across?"

"Afraid not."

"Time for a plan then?"

"What have I told you, Clara? I don't have a plan, I just improvise."

"Doctor, we need a plan, or we could die here." Clara protested.

"I don't have a plan, so you might as well tell me."

"Tell you what?"

"You're right Clara. If we're about to die what is the point of secrets? So just tell me who you are."

"You know who I am." Clara shook her head.

"No, I don't!" The Doctor yelled, silencing her. "I look at you every day and I still don't understand, why do I keep running into you?!"

"You invited me, remember?"

"Before that! I met you on my home planet when I stole this TARDIS, there was a girl there who understood me better than most people I've met in my life and she was you!"

"No, she wasn't."

"The Dalek Asylum during the Time War!" The Doctor ranted, ignoring her. "There was a girl in a shipwreck who died saving my life and she was you!"

"She can't be."

"Victorian London! I was sulking in the TARDIS on a cloud, there was a governess/barmaid who got me to stop sulking, save the planet yet she died saving my life and she was you!"

"Doctor, you're scaring me!"

"What are you?! A trick?! A trap?!"

"I don't know what you're talking about!" She slipped, making the Doctor grab her arm and pull her into a hug as his eyes widened at his actions to her. He pulled back slightly, giving her a soft look.

"You really don't know, do you?"

"I think I'm more scared of you right now than anything else in the TARDIS." She admitted cautiously.

"Emma was right. You're just Clara. Ordinary, perfect, Clara." He hugged her in gratitude.

"I don't know what the hell this is about, but the hug is appreciated." She said in confusion.

The Doctor pulled back as his eyebrows furrowed. "Wait a moment, we're not going to die here."

"What do you mean?"

"This isn't real, Clara." He said, picking up a rock and chucking it down the chasm, yet it vanished before it touched the fog. "See that?"

"Yes. What does it mean?"

"It's a snarl. Think Clara, what does a wounded animal do?"

"It tries to scare everyone away." She said in realisation.

"That's right. We're close to the engine so the TARDIS is just trying to scare us off. Which means-"

"Don't say it."

"It means-"

"Don't you dare say it."

"We need to jump."

"I told you not to say it."

"Sorry, I wasn't listening." He teased.

"How can you be so sure?" She asked, furrowing her eyebrows.

"Honestly, I'm not sure."

"Yeah, that's reassuring." She said sarcastically.

"Come on, Clara. I've piloted this ship for most of my life, so trust me this one time please." She now raised both eyebrows at him. "*Chuckles* Okay then, plus all the other times. You ready?"

"Not really, no."

"Neither am I." He laughed. "Fantastic!" They then ran to the edge, jumping off before landing suddenly in a white room. It looked like they were floating in space, with metallic debris hanging still in the air. "The engine, it's already exploded." He mumbled , despair coming into his voice. "It must have been the collision with the salvage ship."

"So, how are we not dead?"

"She wrapped her hands around the force. She froze it, but it's just delaying the inevitable. There's no way I can save her now." He blinked as tears started to prickle his eyes. "She's always been there for me and yet now when she needs help, I have no idea what to do." Clara walked up to him and immediately took his hand, rubbing her thumb on the back of his hand which began to calm him until he looked at her in confusion.

"What's that face for?" She asked.

He pulled her hand up in view to inspect the scar, before a grin came on to his face. Her hand bore a scarred message saying, "Big Friendly Button". "Wonderful." He said with a laugh, kissing both her hand and forehead.

"You have a plan now?" She asked with a smile.

"Oh yes." He pulled out his sonic and switched the settings. "The time rift is bleeding out the past and the future. All I just have to do is find the moment we crashed which would mean find the music." Flicking on the sonic, the song began to blare again.

Hope you got your things together

Hope you are quite prepared to die

Looks like we're in for nasty weather

One eye is taken for an eye

"You know, no matter what is happening, it's a great song." She said with a smile.

"Creedence Clearwater. I met the singer, John Fogerty. I was there at his wedding."

"Which one?"

"The one in 1965. We should go see them live sometime."

"That would be fun." She grinned.

"Alright, let's get out of here." He grabbed her hand again as they hurried away.


Inside the console room, they saw a crack in the wall, gleaming white light into the ruined room. "There's the time rift. Recent past and future, all colliding together at once." He pulled out the charge he took from Gregor.

"What are you going to do?"

"Hopefully, rewrite today. I've thrown this through the rift before, but now I must make sure I go through myself." He said as he wrote the words 'Big Friendly Button' into the charge.

"Will it hurt?"

"Tremendously." He said before turning to the crack.

"Wait!" Clara stopped him. "All those things you said. How we've met before and I've died-"

"Clara, if we get out of this, I promise you I'll tell you the truth, okay?"

"How do I know you're not lying?"

"I think you already know the answer to that."

"No, I don't." She shook her head.

"It's because I trust you, Clara." He said softly. "All you just need to do is hold onto these memories and you won't forget."

"Doctor, in the library, there was a book."

He looked down.

"Is that why you don't talk about yourself?"

"Yes."

"Why do I get the feeling you will tell me?"

"I told you, Clara. I trust you." He hugged her and kissed her forehead. "Now, just hold on."

"Hold onto what?"

"I was talking to myself." He said amusingly, making them chuckle. He pulled away, moving closer to the crack and clicking his neck. "Let's do this!" He shoved himself through the rift, screaming in pain as he did.


"It's a Magnetic Hubble field! We're flying right into it!"

"Please tell me there's a button you can press to fix this!" Clara yelled.

"Oh yes! A big, friendly button!" The Doctor yelled sarcastically.

"You're lying, right?!"

"Yes!"

"To stop me freaking out?!"

"Yes! Is it working?!"

"No!"

"Ah well, at least I tried!"

The future Doctor screamed as he shoved his way through the crack, holding up the charge in his hand as the past Doctor and Clara looked at him in astonishment. "Doctor, I'm from your future! This will reset time; you have to press it!" He chucked it onto the floor which rolled towards Clara as the rift disintegrated him into atoms.

Clara bent down to pick the charge up with one hand while the other gripped onto the railing. As she held it, she felt a burning sensation in her hand causing her to scream in pain as she dropped it. "Clara!" The Doctor yelled as he rushed towards her, catching the charge as it fell and looking at the message before laughing. "Big Friendly Button! Fantastic!" He then pressed the button, blinding the room with white light.


"Suit up, fellas. It's good salvage. I can almost smell it." Gregor said as he walked up to them.

"It's just trash." Bram said.

"No, look. There's something in the Magno field." Tricky said as the screen showed the TARDIS appearing.

"Screw it." Gregor said as he moved to activate the Magno-Grab, but he stopped as the TARDIS vanished.

"Where did it go?" Tricky asked.

"No idea." Gregor said, shrugging.

"Hey Tricky, got treat yourself to some food. You deserve it." Bram said. Tricky smiled softly before moving off. Gregor sent Bram an approving nod which Bram returned.


The Doctor finished cleaning and fixing the console room as Clara entered, a daisy dress and carrying a towel which she was using to dry her hair. "You alright?" He asked.

"I feel really exhausted." She admitted.

"We've had two days crammed into one."

"It's not that." She denied.

He looked at her softly. "You remember then?"

"Yeah. By the way, thank you." She said, kissing the console.

*Beeps* (No problem)

"What?" He asked.

"She showed me the way back to the console room in the first place."

The Doctor smiled. "Well, thank you old girl." He then kissed the console. He then pulled the monitor over, which showed the pictures of Gallifreyan and Victorian Clara.

"Woah." She mumbled.

"Yeah. I don't have a picture of you in the asylum. By the time I found you, you were already turned into a Dalek."

"What's a Dalek?"

The Doctor looked down with a sigh, which Clara took as a notice to listen. "I'm a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. Time Lords figured out a science to live long through regeneration. Basically, every time we would die, we heal except we would gain a new face and a new personality."

"How many faces are you on?"

The Doctor gulped, not ready to admit to his past face. "9, including this one. The last one was a bit of handsome bloke; you would've like him." He smiled.

"Shut up!" She blushed.

"But there was a war. The Time Lords were fighting a race called the Daleks. They're creatures built on nothing but rage and hate, whose only purpose is to eliminate anything that wasn't Dalek. I fought in the War myself, but it just kept going, no matter how hard we tried to stop it."

"What made you stop it?"

"It's not a matter of what, it's a matter of who." He said, pointing at her.

"Me?"

"In the asylum, I made you a promise to save your life, but you gave your life to save mine. I decided the War had gone on too long and it needed to stop. But…" He trailed off, tears starting to come into his eyes.

"Doctor, it wasn't your fault." She protested.

"How could it not be?! I had to burn everyone on my own planet to save the universe! Do you know how many children died on Gallifrey by my hand?! 2.47 billion! So many of them could've lived out brilliant lives but they're all dead because of me!"

Clara rushed to pull him into a hug as he tried to contain his sobbing. "What is the point in blaming yourself, Doctor? It's no good putting yourself to blame."

"Clara, I can only blame myself. There was no one else who did it but me."

"You can't blame anyone else, not even yourself. Doctor, it may have been by your hand, but it wasn't your fault." She said as she placed her hands on his face.

"How?"

"Because you keep going. You keep on moving and living. Just do one thing for them."

"What?"

"Don't hide it like a secret, Doctor. You'll always mourn them, but you don't honour their memory by acting like they didn't exist. You don't have to confess everything sin you've done, you just have to remember them, like family."

The Doctor gave her a soft smile before hugging her tightly. "Do you know that after the War, I sulked on a cloud?"

"Only you would do that." They chuckled lightly.

"But you were there, and you helped me. You brought me back from the dead."

Clara smiled. "I'm glad, but don't say that line, it's really cheesy."

"Sorry."

"Doctor, at the house, the TARDIS showed me a hologram. It was Susan. Who was she?"

"She was my granddaughter." He mumbled. "First person I ever travelled with. Brilliant yet she found enjoyment dressing like a pixie." Clara giggled at this.

"What happened to her?"

"She fell in love with a man called David. I decided it was time for her to live her own life, her own way."

"Was she happy?"

He smiled. "There were a few bumps later on, but yes, she was happy." He kissed her forehead again. "Thank you, Clara. I didn't expect you to react like this."

"What did you expect?"

"Does anger and disgust ring a bell?" They chuckled. "Now, I've got something for you."

"What?"

"It's about time you had one." He said, pulling out a TARDIS key.

"Thank you." She mumbled with a soft smile as she took the key.

"Now, tell me, do you feel safe travelling with me? Anything could happen wherever we go."

"That's what I'm counting on." She smirked.

"But first, you should get some rest. I got something to do."

Clara moved to leave the room. "Where are you going?"

"London. Got sort out some plastic."

"Some what?" She called confusingly.

"I'll explain later." He shrugged. She rolled her eyes before leaving, the Doctor looking on with a smirk before moving around the console to pilot it elsewhere.

Chapter Text

Rose

Powell Estate
March 4th, 2005

A blonde, teen girl of 19 years groaned as her alarm woke her up at 7:30am, shutting it off before shooting up out of bed, remembering to get to work. Hurrying to get dressed in her usual pink jumper and dark blue jeans, she gives her mother a kiss on the cheek as she hurries out of the door. "Bye Mum!" She calls.

"See ya later, Rosie!" Her Mum calls back.

Catching a bus into town, she heads into her work, Henrik's Department Store. The rest becomes a routine blur for her; Do as she's told, arrange the new clothes, go out with her boyfriend Mickey at lunch break, return to work, continue until 5:00pm, get the lottery money and deliver it to Wilson, the chief electrician before heading home again. She heads into the elevator, giving a slight sigh at her routine life. The elevator stops in the basement, so she heads out into the hallway, filled with boxes both opened and unopened as she knocks on the door, saying 'H.P Wilson C.E.O'. "Wilson? Wilson, I've got the lottery money. Wilson, you there? Look, I can't hang about cause they're closing the shop. Wilson?" She calls but receives no answer. "Ugh, come on." She mumbles. Her answer to this is a distant clattering followed by small footsteps, making her turn around. She walks to a nearby red door. "Hello? Wilson, it's Rose. Hello?" She pushes the door open to see a pitch-black room, making her flick on the lights. "Wilson?!" She calls, uncertainty not beginning to lace within her voice. She walks towards another red door, only to find it locked.

*SLAM*

Rose jumps as the door she entered through closed on its own, the noise echoing throughout the room. She runs towards the door and attempts to open it, but finds it locked from the other side. "You've got to be kidding me." She mumbles in fear. Items banging against each other are heard down the corridor, making her turn to look. "Is that someone mucking about?!" She walks forward in uncertainty, slowing as she hears a low, creaking noise, making her turn to see one of the mannequin dummies turning to look at her. She looked at it with wide eyes, a cold chill of fear racing up her spine as the dummy starts to walk towards her. "Right. You've got me, very funny." She says sarcastically. More dummies turn and start to walk towards her. "Right, I've got the joke! Whose idea was this?! Is it Derek's?!" The dummies start to corner her against a wall, her small amount of bravado fading fast. "Derek is this you?!" She turns to run but a dummy grabs her arm and shoves her against the wall, before raising its hand above its head, ready to strike. She closes her eyes in fear, before turning to look to her left as a hand grasps hers.

"Run." The Doctor says before leading her away just as the dummy strikes at where she was, only hitting a gas pipe. He leads her through another red door before running down the hallway, looking back to see the dummies starting to run to catch up with them. They arrive at an elevator, which after pressing the button opens, so they rush inside and get the door closed, just in time as the dummies arrive yet one of them shoves its hand through the door. The Doctor grabs it and wrenches hard a few times, which the 3rd pops the arm out and nearly stumbles him over as the door closes fully.

"You pulled his arm off." She said, swallowing the fear of death inside her.

"Yep. Plastic." He says with a smile as he tosses the arm to her, which she catches as he crosses his arms in patience.

"Very clever, nice trick. Who were they, then…students? Is this a student thing or what?"

"Why would they be students?" He asks.

"I don't know." She shrugs slightly.

"Well, you said it. Why students?"

"Cause, to get that many people dressed up and being silly, they've got to be students."

He nods slightly. "That makes sense. Well done."

"Thanks." She says blinking.

"They're not students."

"Look, whoever they are, when Wilson finds them, he's going to call the police."

"Who's Wilson?"

"Chief Electrician."

"Wilson's dead." He said sombrely as the door opens and they move out, Rose looks at him with furrowed eyebrows.

"That's not funny! That's sick!"

"Hold on. Mind your eyes." He said, pulling out his sonic and sparking the elevator controls so they couldn't be followed, the flash of light from it makes Rose wince.

"I've had enough of this now. Who are you, then? Who's that lot down there?" She asks but the Doctor just rushes off without saying a word, making her groan. "I said, who are they?!"

The Doctor then rolls his eyes as he leads her to an exit. "They're made of plastic. Living plastic creatures and they're being controlled by a relay device on the roof, which would be a great, big problem if I didn't have this." He said, pulling out a homemade bomb, which was beeping in small noises. "So, I'm going to go upstairs and blow them up and I might well die in the process. But don't worry about me, I'm more worried that I'll be found out I'm doing this by-" He stops as Rose raises her eyebrows at him. "Okay, never mind that bit." He says, turning to hide his slight blush, making Rose look at him in confusion. "Just go home, go on. Go have your lovely beans on toast." He said, pulling Rose out of the door. "Don't tell anyone about this, cause if you do, you'll get them killed." He said before closing the door, leaving her blinking in confusion before he opens the door again. "I'm the Doctor, by the way. What's your name?"

"Rose."

"Nice to meet you, Rose. Now run for your life!" He said with a grin before closing the door again. Rose then turns around before sprinting off from the back alleyway, heading in a fast walk down the street to a bus stop. She turns back to look at the store before shaking her head with a sigh.

*BOOM*

The store explodes, making people around duck and look at in fear before running off. Rose looks at it with wide eyes before she hops onto the oncoming bus to head home, shaking slightly from the sudden explosion as the bus passes the TARDIS, parked silently in an alleyway.


Rose sat in her home as the news of the destroyed store is shown on the television as her mother, Jackie, comes in the room with a cup of tea and the home phone in her hand. "I know, it's on the telly. It's everywhere. She's lucky to be alive. Honestly, it's aged her. Skin like an old bible. Walking in now, you'd think I was her daughter." Jackie ranted into the phone as the door opens and closes, Mickey walking into the room. "Oh, and here's himself." She said, motioning Mickey into the room as she leaves.

"I've been phoning your mobile. You could've been dead!" Mickey said in slight hysteria. "It's on the news and everything! I can't believe that your shop went up." He pulled her into a hug as she raised one eyebrow at him.

"I'm all right, honestly, I'm fine. Don't need to fuss." She said softly.

"Well, what happened?"

"I don't know."

"What was it though? What caused it?"

"I wasn't in the shop, I was outside. Didn't see anything."

Jackie walks back in, the phone held to her shoulder. "It's Debbie on the end. She knows a man on The Mirror, 500 quid for an interview."

"Oh, that's brilliant. Give it here." She mumbled. Jackie hands her the phone before she hangs up and places the phone down with a hand on her forehead.

"Look, Rose, you've got to find some way of making money. Your job just went kaput and I can't bail you out." Jackie said softly.

"I know. Just give me a couple of days."

Jackie then sighed before the phone rang, making her pick it up. "Beth! She's alive. Yes, I've told her; Sue for compensation. She was within seconds of death." Jackie entered rant mode again as she left the room.

"Wait a moment, why are you drinking tea? Nah, that's no good. You're in shock, you need something stronger." Mickey said as he took the cup from her hand to place down on the coffee table.

"I'm all right."

"Now, come on. You deserve a proper drink. We're going down to the pub, you and me, my treat. How about it?"

"Is there a match on?" She said slyly.

"No, no, no. I'm just thinking about you, babe." He rambled.

"There's a match on, isn't there?"

"Yeah, we could catch the last five minutes, but that's not the point."

"Go on then. I'm fine, really. Now go." She said, shaking her head. "Oh, get rid of that." She said, pointing to the plastic arm on the armchair.

He looked at her, raising his eyebrows. She sighed before leaning up and giving him a kiss before he playfully shoves her back, making her chuckle. He gets up to leave, making her raise her ankle to trip him slightly, making him chuckle. He picks up the plastic arm as he walks out. "Goodbye." He says, in a high-pitched voice and using the plastic arm to effect.

"Bye." He uses it to pretend choking himself before leaving, Rose looking back at the TV, her improved mood going back into silence. Outside as Mickey walks away, he chucks the plastic arm into a nearby trash can, not noticing as he leaves the rattling noise inside.

March 5th, 2005

Rose groaned as her alarm woke her up at 7:30am, shutting it off before shooting up out of bed, remembering to get to work. "There's no point in getting up, sweetheart. You've got no job to go to." Jackie called through the door.

Rose then sighed, before falling asleep for another hour, waking up at 8:30am and getting up out of bed as the sun shines through the window. Getting dressed in her usual clothes, she headed into the living room as Jackie brought her a cup of tea.

"There's Finch's. You could try them; they've always got jobs." Jackie offered.

"Oh great. The butchers." Rose grumbled, shaking the drowsiness from her head.

"Well, it might do you good. That shop was giving you airs and graces. And I'm not joking about compensation. You've had genuine shock and trauma. Arianna got 2,000 quid off the council just cause the old man behind the desk said she looked Greek." Jackie rambled, grabbing her cup of tea to get dressed. "I mean, she is Greek, but that's not the point. It was a valid claim." She called back, making Rose chuckle.

The cat flap on the door fluttered before soft pattering was heard on the carpet. Rose gets up and walks to the front door. "Mum, you're such a liar. I told you to nail that cat flap down, we're going to get strays."

"I did it weeks back!" Jackie denied.

"No, you thought about…it." Rose trailed off as she noticed that there were nails, just on the floor by the hole like they had been wrenched out. The flap then fluttered, making Rose jump slightly before she presses a cautious finger to the flap and pushing it, leaning down slightly to see the Doctor looking through with furrowed eyebrows, making her jump up to open the door.

"What are you doing here?" He asked incredulously.

"I live here." She said bluntly.

"Well, what did you do that for?"

"Because I do. And I'm only because someone blew up my job."

He pulled out his sonic to look at it in confusion. "Must've got the wrong signal. You're not plastic, are you?" He asked, tapping his knuckles softly on her forehead, making her lean back a bit. "Nope. Bone head. Bye then." He said with a grin, yet Rose grabbed him by the arm to pull him inside.

"You, inside, right now." She said before closing the door behind him as he blinked a few times.

"Who is it?" Jackie called.

Rose moved to the door of Jackie's room. "It's about last night, he's part of the inquiry. Give us ten minutes."

Jackie nodded as Rose moved away, the Doctor standing where she was. "She deserves compensation." Jackie said before looking at him in appreciation, which he didn't notice.

"Oh, we're talking millions." He said, his sarcastic tone going unnoticed by Jackie.

"Um. *Clears throat* I'm in my dressing gown." She says, attempting a flirtatious tone.

"Yes, you are." He said obliviously.

"There's a strange man in my bedroom."

"Yes, there is." He said, now noticing her behaviour.

"Well, anything could happen."

The Doctor forces himself not to laugh at her, instead going for a sly smile. "No." He said, moving from the room, Jackie giving a 'Rude' face at his back. He enters the living room, where Rose is doing a hasty clean before moving into the kitchen.

"Don't mind the mess. Do you want a coffee?" She offers.

"Might as well, thanks. Just milk." He says as he picks up a gossip magazine off the table.

"We should go to the police." Rose says, starting to ramble but the Doctor somewhat blanks it out.

"Hmph, that won't last. He's gay and she's an alien." He mumbles before putting it back down to pick up a book called 'The Lovely Bones'. Flicking through right to the last page, he frowns at it before putting it down. "Hmm, sad ending." He comments before finding a class picture and seeing the girl there yet younger. "Rose Tyler." He reads, before looking in the mirror. He gives a shrug before frowning. "If only she wouldn't keep poking fun at them." He says, flicking his ears and picking up a deck of cards. "Luck be a lady." He hums before trying to perform a card trick that ends up scattering the cards everywhere and him looking sheepish, yet Rose doesn't notice. "Maybe not." He groans before looking to the couch as a pattering noise is heard behind it. "What's that, then? Have you got a cat?"

"No." The Doctor gasps as a plastic arm shoots out and grasps hard onto his neck, choking him as he struggles to breathe and wrench it off. "We did have, but there's these strays, they come in off the estate." Rose says, coming into the room and rolling her eyes at him. "I told Mickey to chuck that out. You're all the same, just give a man a plastic hand." If the Doctor could, he would've given her the most obvious "Are you kidding me?" look. "Anyway, I don't even know your name. Doctor…what was it?" Before she continues, he finally wrenches the arm off completely, yet it hovers in the air for a split second before flying at Rose, placing its hand on her face, cutting off her sight and breathing as the Doctor jumps up to help her. He tries to wrench it off yet only succeeds in sending them tumbling into the coffee table, smashing it. He then pulls out his sonic and wrenches the arm off Rose before hastily flicking settings and killing the arm stone dead, making them breathe a sigh of relief.

"It's all right, I stopped it. You see? Harmless." He says with a smile, holding back a slight roll of the eyes as he hears a blow dryer on.

"Do you think?" She says before whacking his arm with the plastic arm.

"Ow." He says, wincing at the pain before grabbing the plastic arm and moving to leave, Rose looking at him with furrowed eyebrows and wide eyes.

"Hold on a minute, you can't just go swanning off!" She says as they leave the flat and descent down the flight of stairs to the ground.

"Yes, I can. Here I am, this is me, swanning off. See ya!" He says with a grin.

"That arm was moving! It tried to kill me!"

"Ten out of ten for observation." He mumbles which she doesn't hear.

"You can't just walk away! That's not fair! You've got to tell me what's going on."

"No, I don't." He says as they reach the bottom of the stairs and head outside, the Doctor heading down the route he took from the TARDIS.

"All right, then. I'll go 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." She says bluntly.

"Is that supposed to sound tough?" He asks, not impressed.

"Sort of." She mumbles.

"*Scoffs* Doesn't work."

"Who are you?"

"I told you; The Doctor."

"Yeah, but Doctor what?"

"Just "The Doctor"."

"The Doctor?"

"Hello!"

"Is that supposed to sound impressive?"

"Sort of." He says smugly.

"Come on, then. You can tell me, I've seen enough. Are you the police?"

"No! I was…just passing through. I'm a long way from home."

"But what have I done wrong? How come those plastic things keep coming after me?"

"Oh, suddenly the entire world revolves around you! You were just an accident, got in the way. That's all."

"It tried to kill me!"

"It was after me, not you! Last night, in the shop, I was there. You blundered in, almost ruined the whole thing. This morning, I was tracking it down and it was tracking me down. The only reason it fixed on you is because you've met me."

"So, what you're saying is, the entire world revolves around you?"

"Sort of, yeah."

"You're full of it!"

"Sort of, yeah."

"But, all this plastic stuff, who else knows about it?"

"Clara knows. Clara always knows." He says with a fond smile.

"Oh, who's Clara?" She asks, raising her eyebrows.

"Oh, nobody! She's just a friend." He squeaks yet she notices his blush.

"So, where's Clara at?"

"Oh, she's resting. Been knackered lately."

"Oh, knackered?" Rose teased.

"Not like that!"

"Hold on a minute! Last night you were worried you'd be found out. Did you mean by her?"

"No!"

Rose laughs. "Entire world revolves around you? Sounds like you revolve around her."

"No, I don't!"

"You're blushing." She points out.

The Doctor stammers for a bit. "Shut up."

"So, is there anyone else who knows about the plastic?"

"Who else could there be? 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." He rambled.

"Hey, start from the beginning. I mean, if we're going to go with the living plastic, which I don't believe for a second, but how did you kill it?"

"The thing controlling it projects life into the arm. I cut off the signal, stone dead." He explained.

"So, like radio control?"

"Thought control." He corrects. He looks at her, noticing her faraway look. "You, all right?"

"Yeah. So, who's controlling it, then?"

"Long story."

"But, what's it all for? I mean, shop window dummies, what's that about? Is someone trying to take over Britain's shops?" They start laughing at this.

"No. It's not a price war." This makes them laugh harder before they revert to comfortable talking. "They want to overthrow humanity and destroy you. Do you believe me?"

"No." She shakes her head.

"But you're still listening." He points out, making her pause yet he keeps on moving, finally seeing the TARDIS on a corner sidewalk.

"Really though, Doctor. Tell me, who are you?"

The Doctor stops as he turns to look back at her. "Do you know like we were saying, about the Earth revolving?" He asks as he walks to stand next to her. "It's like when you're a kid. The first time they tell you that the world's turning, and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still. But I can feel it." He then takes her hand as she looks at him in raptured confusion. "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 trails off, not needing to finish as he lets go of her hand. "That's who I am. Now forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home." He says before walking away to the TARDIS with the plastic arm. Rose slowly walks away, full of confusion at his words yet oddly enchanted by them. She stops as she hears the TARDIS engine, like rushing wind yet not feeling anything. She turns around to see the TARDIS disappear from the street, her eyes widening at this. She then gets an idea and heads off to Mickey's flat.


Knocking on the door, Rose waits until Mickey opens it, smiling to see her. "Hey, hey! Here's my woman. Kit off." He slaps her arse playfully.

"Shut up." She teases before giving him a kiss.

"Coffee?" He offers.

"Yes, but only if you wash the mug. And I don't mean rinse, I mean wash. Can I use your computer?"

"Yeah, any excuse to get in the bedroom." He flirts as he heads into the kitchen, turning back as he realises. "Don't read my emails!" He calls, the only answer being a mumbled 'sure' and the door closing, making him shrug as he moved to make the coffee. Inside the room, Rose sits at the computer, contemplating what to do before opening a search engine and typing in "Doctor". This brings up over 17 million results. She thinks before typing in "Doctor Living Plastic". This brings up over 55 thousand results. She thinks for another idea, before typing in "Doctor Blue Box". This brings up nearly 500 results with the first being a website called "Doctor Who?". She clicks on the link, bringing up a page with giant letters and a photo of the man she had conversed with not long before. "Doctor Who? Have you seen this man? Contact Clive".


"You're not coming in? He's safe, he's got a wife and kids." Rose says as Mickey pulls up to Clive's house.

"Yeah, but who told you that? He did. That's exactly what an internet lunatic murderer would say." He rambles in paranoia.

Rose shakes her head before exiting the car and heading to the front door of the house as a neighbour rolls out his bin to the side walk. Rose knocks on the door and a kid answers it. "Um, hello. I've come to see Clive, we've been emailing."

"Oh. Dad! It's one of your nutters!" He calls before heading back into the house as Rose raises one eyebrow at his words before shrugging as an adult man comes to the door.

"Oh, sorry, hello. You must be Rose, I'm Clive." He says warmly as he shakes her hand.

"I better tell you now, my boyfriend's waiting in the car just in case you're going to kill me." She says, her words making them laugh.

"Good point. Don't worry, no murders here."

"Who is it?" Clive's wife calls.

"Oh, it's something to do with the Doctor. She's been reading the website." He calls back, before turning back to Rose. "Please come through. I'm in the shed." He motions Rose inside as his wife comes down the stairs with a basket of washing.

"She? She's read a website about the Doctor. She's a she?" She mumbles incredulously as she closes the door.


"A lot of this stuff is quite sensitive, so I couldn't just send it to you. People might intercept, if you know what I mean." Rose nods in understanding as he rummages through his findings in the shed. "If you dig deep enough and keep a lively mind, this "Doctor" keeps cropping up all over the place. Political diaries, conspiracy theories, even ghost stories. No first name, no last name, just "The Doctor". Always "The Doctor". The title seems to be passed down from father to son, like an inheritance, that's your Doctor there, eh?" He asks, pointing to the computer with the website.

"Yeah."

"I tracked it down to the Washington Public Archive, just last year. The online photo's enhanced, but if we look at the original…" He pulls out a photo, containing the Doctor standing in a crowd as they watch President Kennedy in a car, waving at them. "November 22nd, 1963: The assassination of President Kennedy."

"Must be his father."

"Going further back…" He puts down the photo to pick up another. "April 1912. This is a photograph of the Daniels family of Southampton and 'friend'." He points to the black and white picture, containing a family of six and the Doctor, standing by them in a suit. "This was taken the day before they were due to sail for the new world on the Titanic and for some unknown reason, they cancelled the trip and survived. Another one…" He picks up another photo, this time a drawing of the Doctor outside a barn with a volcano in the background. "1883, another doctor. See the same lineage? He's identical. This one washed up on the coast of Sumatra on the very night that Krakatoa exploded. The Doctor is a legend, woven throughout history. When disaster comes, he's there. He brings a storm in his wake and he has one constant companion."

"Who's that?"

"Death." He says bluntly. "If the Doctor's back, if you've seen him, Rose, then one thing's for certain; We're all in danger. If he's singled you out, if the Doctor's making house calls, then god help you." He says in warning.

"But, who is he? Who do you think he is?"

"I think he's the same man. I think he's immortal. I think he's an alien from another world."


Waiting in the car with patience, Mickey looks at a nearby trash bin in confusion as it starts to shudder and move towards him. He blinks for a moment before raising his eyebrows as it starts to move more smoothly. He gets out of his car and walks towards it cautiously before grabbing the lid and fining it open. "Come on then!" He yells before pausing as he finds it empty. Shaking his head, he places the lid back down before going to move, except he can't. He finds his hands literally glued to the lid, so he tries to wrench the away, seeing silicon like plastic tethering him to the bin as it starts to growl and open its lid by itself. He looks at it in fear as he tries to wrench his hands away harder, causing him to spin so his back was to the bin before it flicks its lid, making him fly towards it with a yelp as he falls face first into the bin.


Rose returns from the house and enters the car, not noticing Mickey's face now paler with a complexity like someone sanded his skin and created fake hair, with him wearing a dreamy yet evil smile on his face. "All right, he's a nutter, off his head, a complete, online conspiracy freak, you win." Rose rambles. "What are we going to do tonight? I fancy a pizza."

"Pizza. Puh-puh-puh-pizza." Mickey stutters.

"Or Chinese." Rose says, oblivious.

"Pizza." He then drives off, swerving as he nearly crashes into the street lamps and bins on his way.


Now sitting in a restaurant at night, Rose sat across from Mickey, still oblivious to his change in manner and behaviour. "Do you think I should try the hospital? Suki said they had jobs going in the canteen. Is that it, then? Dishing out chips? I could do A-levels. I don't know. *Sigh* It's all Jimmy Stone's fault. I only left school because of him and look where he ended up. What do you think?" She rambles.

"So, where did you meet this Doctor?" Mickey asks, ignoring everything she said.

"I'm sorry, was I talking about me for a second?" Rose says, furrowing her eyebrows.

"Because I reckon it all started back at the shop, am I right? Was he something to do with that?"

"No."

"Come on." He fails his attempt at a soft smile, yet Rose doesn't notice.

"Sort of."

"What was he doing there?"

"I'm not going on about him, Mickey. Really, I'm not. Cause, I know it sounds daft, but I don't think he's safe. He's dangerous."

"But you can trust me, sweetheart. Babe, babe, sugar, babe, sugar. You can tell me anything. Tell me about the Doctor and what he's planning, and I can help you, Rose, cause that's all I really want to do, sweetheart. Babe, babe, sugar, sweetheart." He jerks every time he tries to say something endearing, causing his voice to change pitches, which makes Rose look at him in confusion.

The Doctor walks up to their table, holding a bottle of champagne. "Your champagne." He says to Mickey.

"We didn't order any champagne. Where's the Doctor?" He says, now getting much more serious as he reaches across the table to grasp at Rose's hand.

"Madam, your champagne." The Doctor says to Rose.

"It's not ours." Rose waves him off. "Mickey, what is it? What's wrong?"

"I need to find out how much he knows, so where is he?"

"Doesn't anybody want this champagne?" The Doctor asks, holding back his childish whine.

"Look, we didn't order it-" Mickey stops as he looks up to see the Doctor before an evil grin creeps across his face as the Doctor starts to shake the bottle violently. "Ah, gotcha."

"Don't mind me, I'm just toasting the happy couple. On the house!" He yells, attracting the attention of everyone else as he pops the cork, which fires directly to Mickey's forehead, yet it is absorbed like rocks falling into water. Mickey then chews around with the cork before spitting it out, the Doctor raising his eyebrows at this. "Huh, that was a bit clever."

Mickey shrugs. "Anyway, where was I?" He stands up and turns his hand into a paddle before striking the table, breaking it in half as Rose stands up and moves towards a nearby fire alarm. The Doctor leaps forward and grasps his hands onto Mickey's head, giving it a few wrenches before it pops off, causing him to stumble into a nearby table. Mickey's eyes open as he looks up at the Doctor. "Don't think that's going to stop me." This makes a man at the table scream while the Doctor laughs gleefully.

Rose smashes her hand on the fire alarm. "Everyone, out! Out now!" She yells and they all comply with her order immediately, leaving the restaurant as fast as they can. The Doctor leads Rose through the kitchen to a back exit. The headless Mickey follows them as he turns his other hand into a paddle, banging on the back door as the Doctor locks it with the sonic. Rose heads to a nearby gate, oblivious to the TARDIS sitting there. "Open the gate! Use that tube thing, come on!"

"Sonic screwdriver." He corrects as he heads over to the TARDIS.

"Use it!"

"Nah. Tell you what, let's go in here."

"We can't hide inside a wooden box!"

"Yes, we can!" He says as he unlocks it and enters. Closing the door behind him, he stops as he looks up. Standing by the console, wearing a black jacket over a red dress, with black tights and heeled boots, was Clara, her arms crossed as she looked at him with raised eyebrows.

"Where the hell have you been?" She demands.

"I was just dealing with some plastic." The Doctor mumbles, shifting under her gaze.

"Oh yeah, by using an arm and failing, might I add?"

"Did the TARDIS tell you?"

"Yes, and she told me how you blew up a building." She then walks towards him.

"No, wait, Clara, please!" He pleads as she pulls him around and Gibbs slaps him across the head. "Oww! Why did you do that for?!" He whines.

"For being an idiot!" She says before looking down. "Next time, please don't do that, never again." She says softly.

"All right, I'm sorry." He opens his arms as she gives him a hug.

"Whose was that with you outside?"

"Girl called Rose. Found her about to die in the shop then with the arm I was tracking down." He mumbles.

"She sounds a bit oblivious." Clara notes.

"Oh, that isn't even the half of it." The Doctor quipped, making them chuckle as Rose opens the door and rushes inside, looking around with wide eyes at the interior of the ship before rushing outside. "This is the part where people say-"

"It's bigger on the inside, yeah."

"What did I say in Victorian London?"

The Doctor gulped sheepishly. "'It's smaller on the outside.'"

Clara laughed. "Pity, I would've said the same thing but, you know…" They glanced at each other. "Plane." They said in unison with a chuckle. "Now, hurry up with that head." She nudges him along to the console as he gets to work.

Rose rushes back inside. "He's going to follow us!" She slows as she looks around the ship in blinking confusion and awe.

"The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn't get through that door and believe me, they've tried, now shut up a minute." Clara raised an eyebrow at him. "Okay, I'll tell you that story someday." He smiled at her before she grabs the sonic to give him a hand. "Maybe I should get you your own one sometime."

"Maybe. But where would be the fun of not snatching yours?" She says teasingly.

"Oi!"

"The arm was too simple then?" Clara asks.

"Yep. Head is much better. We can use it to trace back to the original source. But first…" He trails off as he nods in Rose's direction, making them both turn to her. "Now then, where do you want to start?"

"The inside is bigger than the outside."

"Yep." Clara nods.

"It's alien."

"Yep." The Doctor nods.

"Are you two aliens?"

"He is, I'm not." Clara says.

"Is that all right?" The Doctor asks.

"Yeah." Rose nods absentmindedly.

"She's called the TARDIS. T-A-R-D-I-S. That's Time and Relative Dimension in Space."

Rose places a hand over her mouth as she lets out a sob.

"It'll be all right, Rose." Clara reassures.

"Did they kill him, Mickey? Did they kill Mickey? Is he dead?"

"No." The Doctor shakes his head. "That was a duplicate. To maintain it, they would need Mickey alive."

"So, what's going to happen if you let him melt?!" Rose shrieks as she points to the head.

"Melt?" The Doctor mumbles incredulously before he and Clara noticed it. "Oh, no, no, no, no!" He says as he and Clara race around the TARDIS.

"What are you doing?" Rose asks.

"Following the signal, but it's fading." Clara answers. "Hold on, we might have it."

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" The Doctor whines. "Come on, old girl! We're almost there!" The TARDIS lands as he rushes outside, Clara rolling her eyes at his back.

"He can't go out there, it's not safe." Rose mumbles.

"He's an overgrown child with an ego, of course he would." Clara says, placing her hand on Rose's shoulder, calming her a bit. "Come on, let's hope he doesn't embarrass himself." They follow him outside, Rose's eyes widening as they see their new location of the London waterfront.

"I lost the signal! I got so close!" He whined.

"Well then, we better start looking." Clara pointed out with a shake of her head.

"We've moved. Does it fly?" Rose asks.

"No. It's like teleporting." The Doctor says.

"Well, what about that headless thing? Is it still on the loose?" Rose asks.

"It would've melted with the head." Clara says.

"Well, if the duplicate is dead, then wouldn't Mickey be dead?" Rose asks.

"No, they'd be using him as bait now." The Doctor says, Rose relaxing at his words slightly.

"Wait a moment, if you are an alien, how come you sound like you're from the north?" Rose points out, her words making Clara laugh.

"Lots of planets have a north!" He defended.

Rose raises her eyebrows. "You were right, Clara. He is an overgrown child with an ego."

"I am not!"

"Oh yes, you are!" Clara says, her and Rose giggling into their hands.

"Okay, what's a "Police Public Call Box"?" Rose asks.

The Doctor places a hand on the TARDIS in fondness. "They're telephone boxes, from the 1960's. It's a disguise."

"So, this living plastic, what's it got against us?"

"Nothing. It loves you. You got such a good planet, lots of smoke and oil, plenty of toxins and dioxins in the air, perfect. It's just what the Nestene consciousness needs, since it's food stock was destroyed in the war, rotting all its protein planets so Earth, dinner."

"Is there a way to stop it?"

The Doctor pulls out a vial full of blue liquid, but Clara beats him to it.

"Plasticide." She says.

The Doctor looks at her with raised eyebrows. "Plasticide?"

"Yeah. It's a chemical and it kills plastic."

"No, you don't get to name things. I'm the Doctor, I do the naming." He whines.

"Oh, really?" Clara raised her eyebrows. "What were you going to call it? Anti-plastic?"

The Doctor gains a sheepish blush. "What? No!"

Rose laughs at this. "I think Clara should handle the naming business."

"Aw, thanks Rose." Clara giggles.

"You two going to witter on all night?" He says with a damaged ego. "First, we have to find it. How can you hide something that big in a city this small?" He starts to pace, Clara and Rose following him.

"The Nestene?" Rose asks.

"No, the transmitter." Clara corrects. "If the Nestene is smart enough, he'd be underground, we're looking for the transmitter. The Nestene can't control every single piece of plastic on a planet, it needs a transmitter to boost the signal."

"So, what's it look like?"

"Like a normal transmitter. Round, massive, like a dish or a wheel and slap-bang in the middle of London. It should be close to where we're standing, so it must be completely invisible." He rambles, coming in front of the London Eye, yet not noticing it, Clara biting her lip to hide her laughter. The Doctor looks at her in confusion. "What?" She nods behind him, making him look back for a split second. "What?" She nods behind him, her grin becoming harder to maintain. "What is it, what?"

Rose bursts out laughing, making Clara hold back her giggling with a hand. "You are an idiot."

The Doctor gets the idea, looking behind him to notice the Eye. "Oh. Fantastic!" He says with a grin, taking Clara's hand to race off with Rose to the Eye.


Arriving underneath the Eye, Rose stops to regain her breath while the Doctor and Clara look around. "Think about it; Plastic, all over the world, just waiting to come alive."

"Shop window dummies, phones, wires, cables." Clara lists.

"The breast implants." Clara and the Doctor look at Rose with furrowed eyebrows. "What? I couldn't think of anything better."

"Still, we've found the transmitter, so there must be an entrance to go underneath it."

Clara looks around before heading to a nearby staircase, seeing a maintenance entrance. "How bout down here?" She calls, getting the Doctor and Rose to run over.

"Marvellous." The Doctor congratulates Clara, making her gain a smile as they race over to it and enter. Entering what could be a small cupboard, he opens the door to see a staircase inside, red light bathing them completely while they see a large vat at the bottom of the stairs. Inside the vat was a creature made of something eerily like lava, rolling around inside. "The Nestene consciousness. That's it, inside the vat. A living plastic creature."

"Well then, tip in your plasticide and let's go." Rose says.

"We're not here to kill it, Rose. We have to give it a chance." Clara says softly as the Doctor goes down the stairs slightly.

"I seek audience with the Nestene consciousness under peaceful contract, according to convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation."

*Growl* (Request granted)

"Thank you. If I might have permission to approach?"

*Growl* (You shall)

Rose notices a huddled and terrified Mickey near the bottom of the stairs. "Oh my god, Mickey." She rushes to his side. "Mickey, it's me, it's okay." She says as she reaches him.

"That thing down there, the liquid, Rose, it can talk." He murmurs in fear.

"You're stinking." Rose mumbles before turning to Clara. "You were right, they kept him alive."

"Told you he'd be fine." Clara says softly. The Doctor begins to walk downstairs. "Wait! You're not going down there."

"You're not either!"

"I can already guess what's going to happen, so you're not going down there." She warns.

"If you can already guess it, then why would it happening to you be any better?"

"Cause at least it's just little old me instead of you." She says softly. The Doctor looks at her in shock. "Doctor just do as you're told."

The Doctor then sighs before handing her the plastic. "Remember, only if you have to."

Clara nods before heading down, missing Rose's worried look at her back.

"She'll be fine, won't she?" Rose asks the Doctor.

"It's Clara, she'll always be fine." He says softly.

Clara walks down to the bottom of the stairs, before standing on a ledge overlooking the vat. "Am I addressing the consciousness?"

*Growl* (Yes)

"If I might observe, you infiltrated this planet by means of warp shunt technology. So, may I ask with the greatest respect that you just shut off?" She says with a giggle. If he was close enough, she would've heard the Doctor chuckling.

*Growl* (This planet is owed to me! Why else would it have so much plastic?!"

"Oh, don't give me that constitutional rights talk! It's an invasion, plain and simple!" She huffs.

*Growl* (All my planets are dead! Where else am I supposed to-)

"I am talking!" Clara shouts, shutting up the Nestene. The Doctor and Rose look on, surprised and impressed. "This planet is only just starting! We, stupid little apes have only just learnt how to walk, so what gives you the right to determine their fate?! I'm asking you, as a Human, please just go."

"Clara!" The Doctor shouts as three dummies come up from behind her, one restraining her while the other searchers her pockets. The third walks to the stairs and opens its hand to reveal a gun, pointing it at the Doctor. The dummy searching her pockets pulls out the plasticide.

*Growl* (You pretend to be kind, yet you would kill me?!)

"I wasn't going to use it!" She denies. "I'm not here to kill you, I'm not your enemy, I'm just here to help you!"

*Growl* (Then why did you bring a TARDIS?!")

"What do you mean?!" Clara asks, her answer being a storage door opening behind her to reveal the TARDIS. "No! She's just a ship, she's not a weapon!"

*Growl* (The Time Lords condemned my planet to die!)

"That's not true! I should know, I was there!" The Doctor denied. "I fought in the war; it wasn't my fault!"

*Growl* (You abandoned my people to die!)

"I couldn't save your world; I couldn't save any of them!"

"What's it doing?!" Rose shrieks.

"It's the TARDIS! The Nestene's identified its superior technology, and it's terrified! It's going to start the invasion!"

Rose immediately pulls out her phone to call Jackie. "Mum?!"

"Oh, there you are. I was just going to phone." Jackie's voice comes through the mobile. "You can get compensation, I said so. I've got this document thing off the police, so don't thank me."

"Where are you, Mum?!"

"I'm in town!"

"Look, go home! Just go home, right now!"

"Darling, you're breaking up! Listen, I'm just going to do a bit of late-night shopping. I'll see you later. Tra!"

The dial tone comes through. "Mum?! Mum!"

The Nestene begins to flare blue electricity, shooting up through the roof and the foundations of the Eye. "It's the activation signal, it's transmitting!" The Doctor yells.

"Doctor just leg it! Just get out, now!" Clara yells.

"I can't leave you!"

"You have to!" The Doctor shakes his head and moves forward, the dummy in front of him fires, missing his shoulder by inches and hitting the staircase connections, causing some of it to tumble away, leaving them trapped.

"The stairs have gone!" Rose says. She and Mickey rush to the box yet finding it locked. The Doctor moves to follow, but the dummy fires again, hitting his shoulder and making him gasp in pain. Rose looks around before seeing a long pair of chains, locked to the wall and next to an emergency axe. She rushes to the chains, Mickey and the Doctor watching.

"What're you doing?!" Mickey yells.

"I've got no A-levels, no job and no future." She mumbles before grabbing the axe and smashing the lock away. "But I tell you what I've got. Jericho Street Junior school, under-7s gymnastics team." She rolls out the chains and grasps onto them hard. "I've got the bronze." She rushes forward and off the staircase towards the ledge. The armed dummy fires three shots but they miss her as she knocks over the dummy holding the plasticide into the Nestene, while Clara shakes off the dummy holding her. The armed dummy turns to aim at Clara, but the plasticide burns into the Nestene, causing it to roar in pain, making the dummy stumble as it fires, aiming instead at Clara's shoulder as she cries in pain. She ignores it to stop Rose, before clutching her shoulder with a wince.

"Now we're in trouble." Clara quips despite the pain towards the Nestene before they rush towards the TARDIS. The Doctor unlocks it, Mickey rushing in first, followed by Rose as the Doctor pulls Clara inside as they pilot away, the Nestene continuing to roar in pain as the electrical transmission goes haywire, causing the tunnel to shatter and fill with rubble as it dies.


The TARDIS lands on an empty street, Mickey rushing out in fear of the TARDIS interior, Rose walking outside and breathing heavily. The Doctor walks towards Clara with a worried look as they help each other patch up their wounds. "Why did you have to be so stupid?" The Doctor murmurs.

"Better you than me. I'm only Human and you're a time lord." Clara mumbles.

The Doctor pulls her into a hug. "Don't do that ever again."

"I can't promise that if you haven't been holding to it either. Besides, you shouldn't worry about me." She says, looking at him softly.

"Rubbish, of course I worry about you." He says, reciprocating her look. They look down at their closeness with a small blush. "Perhaps we should see how they're doing." He nods to the open door.

"Yeah, we should." She nods as they move to the door, not noticing that they were still holding hands. Outside, they see Rose pull out her phone to dial her mother.

"Rose! Rose don't go out of the house, it's not safe! There were these things, and they were shooting and-"

Rose laughs in relief before hanging up, knowing she'll be fine despite her hysterical rambling. She turns towards Mickey who was huddled down by a wooden pallet. "Fat lot of good you were." She then turns to look at Clara and the Doctor.

"Nestene consciousness? Easy." Clara quips.

"You two were useless in there, you'd be dead if it wasn't for me." Rose teases.

"Yes, I would. Thank you." Clara says, giving a soft smile which Rose returns.

"Right then, we'll be off. Unless…you want to come with us?" The Doctor offers. "This box isn't just a London hopper, you know. She goes anywhere in the universe, free of charge."

"Don't. He's an alien, he's a thing!" Mickey mumbles hysterically. "They're both things!"

"Yes, and you're not invited, thank you." Clara says, not appreciating his words. The Doctor rubs his thumb on her hand, calming her.

"So, what do you think?" The Doctor asks. "You could stay here and fill your life with work, food and sleep or you could anywhere."

"Is it always this dangerous?" Rose asks.

"Yep." The Doctor nods.

Mickey hugs Rose's legs like a child. "Yeah, I can't, sorry. I've got to go and find my Mum, and someone's got to look after this stupid lump."

The Doctor and Clara look at her, Clara suppressing her disappointment better than the Doctor. "Okay." He mumbles. "See you around." He lets go of Clara's hand to move back to the console as Clara closes the door as the TARDIS dematerializes away.

"Come on, let's go." Rose says to Mickey, untangling his arms away from her legs to walk away. She looks back in shock as the TARDIS materializes again in the same spot, the door opening to reveal Clara with a smug smile.

"Did we mention that she also travels in time?" She asks, her words making Rose grin, so she steps aside, knowing her answer.

Rose turns to Mickey. "Thanks."

"Thanks for what?" Mickey asks.

"Exactly." Rose grins before kissing his cheek and rushing off into the TARDIS, closing the door behind her with after a moment, dematerializes again.

Chapter Text

The End of the World

TARDIS

Rose closed the TARDIS doors behind her with a grin as she raced up to the console, the Doctor and Clara waiting patiently for her. "Right then, Rose Tyler. You tell us, when do you want to go? Backwards or forwards in time? Your choice." The Doctor offers.

"Uh…forwards." She said.

The Doctor motions Clara, who flicks a few switches. "How far?" She asked.

"One hundred years." Rose said.

Clara pilots the ship to their new destination, looking at the Doctor with a nod. "There you go. Step outside those doors, it's the 22nd century." The Doctor informed.

"You're kidding?" Rose raised her eyebrows.

"That's a bit boring though. Do you want to go further?"

"Fine by me." She said with a smirk.

The Doctor then pilots the ship to their new destination. "10,000 years in the future. Step outside, it's the year 12,005, the New Roman Empire."

"He thinks he's so impressive." Rose quipped to Clara who just giggled.

"I am so impressive!" He whined.

"You wish!" Clara retorted.

"Right then, you asked for it. I know exactly where to go." The Doctor said smugly before piloting the ship even further into the future, the shaking of the TARDIS causing Rose and Clara to grip the railing in slight surprise as the ship lands and the Doctor motions Rose to the door.

"Where are we?" Rose asked. The Doctor just nodded to the door. "What's out there?" Rose reiterated, now giggling in anticipation.

The Doctor just motions to the door again, making Rose sigh as she moves to step outside while Clara goes to the Doctor's side. "When are we?" She asked.

The Doctor smiled at her. ""5.5/Apple/26"."

"English, please?"

"Come on, slow poke." He teased. "Five billion years."

"Woah. We that far?" Clara asked.

"Yup. Want to see?" He offers his arm.

"You didn't even have to ask." She grinned before taking his arm as they walk out the door to join Rose. They find themselves in a beautiful, cream coloured room and a window, which outside was a view of the Earth, a massive sun near it and millions of stars seen all around it and Rose looked out in soft admiration.

"You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying, whether you're going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible that maybe you survive." The Doctor said proudly. "Currently, we are five billion years into your future, and this is the day." The pair blinked and looked at him to continue. "Give it a mo." Almost as if on cue, the sun flared into a blinding glare, it's size expanding before their squinting eyes. "This is the day the sun expands. Welcome to the end of the world." He said, his words making Rose blink at the beauty and the sadness before them, unable to comprehend what exactly should she feel. Clara puts a hand on her shoulder and gives her a soft smile, putting Rose more at ease. "Come on. Let's have a look around." He said, leading them out a door into a series of hallways.

"Shuttles 5 and 6 now docking. Guests are reminded that Platform One forbids the use of weapons, teleportation and religion. Earth death is scheduled for 15:39 followed by drinks in the Manchester suite." The computer reported in an automated female voice.

"So, when it says "Guests", does that mean people?" Rose asked.

"Depends what you mean by "People"." The Doctor said.

"I mean "People". What do you mean?"

"Aliens." Clara answered for him, making him send her an empty warning glare, which just made her wink at him.

"So, what're they doing on board this spaceship? What's it for?" Rose asked as they entered a large room with a massive window overlooking the Earth.

"It's not really a spaceship, it's more of an observation deck. The great and the good are gathering to watch the planet burn."

"What for?"

"Fun." The Doctor said simply.

"Mind you, when he says, "The great and the good", he really means "The rich"." Clara points out as they stand by the window.

"Hold on, they did this once on "Newsround Extra"; The Sun expanding. That takes hundreds of years." Rose reiterated.

"Millions." The Doctor corrected. "But the planet is now the property of the "National Trust", which they've been keeping preserved. See down there?" He points to the top of the planet as they see distant machines moving about in its orbit. "Those are gravity satellites, holding back the sun."

Rose frowned ever so slightly. "The planet looks the same as ever. Shouldn't the continents have shifted?"

"They did, but the Trust shifted them back, recreating a classic Earth. But now the money has run out, nature shall take over."

"How long has it got?"

The Doctor looked up into the distance, blinking twice before he nodded. "About half an hour, then the planet gets roasted." He said with a grin.

"Is that why we're here?" Rose asked. "I mean, is that what you two do; Jump in at the last minute and save the Earth?"

"We're not saving it. Time's up." He said simply.

"Doctor, what about the people?" Clara protested.

"They all moved off world. By the year 200,000, you lot colonised half the galaxy, now you're all over the universe. But today is the day that humanity lets their planet go."

"I guess, that makes us the ones that say farewell." Rose muttered.

"Who the hell are you?!" They turn around to see a blue man moving towards them with a look of fear on his face.

"Oh, that's nice. Thanks." The Doctor retorted sarcastically.

"But how did you get in? This is a maximum hospitality zone. The guests have disembarked. They're on their way any second now."

"No, that's us, we're guests too. See?" Clara quickly said, holding up the psychic paper and ignoring the Doctor's incredulous glare at her. "It's fine. "Clara plus Two". I'm Clara Oswald, this is the Doctor and Rose Tyler. They're my "Plus Two'. Is that alright?"

"Well…obviously." The man takes a breath of relief. "Apologies, et cetera." Clara nodded to him in agreement. "Since you're on board, we'd better start. Enjoy." He said with a smile before moving to a small podium at the front of the room.

Clara turns to Rose first. "The paper's slightly psychic. Shows them whatever we want them to see. It just saves a lot of time." Rose nodded before nudging her shoulder and pointing in the Doctor's direction. "What?"

"When did you get that from me, missy?" The Doctor asked.

"While you were talking." She teased.

"Oh, so you thought it was a good idea to nick my stuff then?"

"Well, you weren't using it."

"That doesn't mean you can start nicking my sonic."

"Oh, is that a dare?" She flirted.

"More of a challenge." He flirted.

"Children, please." Rose grumbled.

"Yes Mum." They said in unison, chuckling as they did while Rose shook her head.

"Who's he then?" Rose asked, pointing towards the blue man.

"He'd be the Steward of this event." The Doctor said, making Rose shrug slightly.

"We have in attendance: Clara, the Doctor and Rose Tyler." They waved at him and he nodded in return. "Thank you. All staff to their positions." The Steward said on a michrophone before clapping his hands and a horde of hobbit sized blue people came rushing through the room. "Thank you. Quick as we can. Come along, come along." He ushered.

Clara raised her eyebrows at them while Rose hid her giggling behind her mouth. "Oh my god, they're so cute." She cooed.

"Rose!" The Doctor and Clara admonished despite their grins.

"And now, might I introduce the next honoured guest." The Stewart said. "Representing the Forest of Cheem, we have…trees. Namely Jabe, Lute and Coffa." Three humanoid figures made of wood and clad in golden regal uniforms came into the room. "There will be an exchange of gifts representing peace." The Stewart quickly added.

"They're gorgeous." Rose awed.

"That they are." Clara agreed.

"If we could keep the room circulating, thank you. Next, from the solicitors Jolco and Jolco, we have the Moxx of Balhoon." A small, blue man with a large head and barely any clothes came into the room on a hovering charcoal chair. "And next, from Financial Family Seven, we have the Adherents of the Repeated Meme." A group of five black hooded figures came into the room. The Steward then began to list several more aliens that came into the room as they were called. "From the "Silver Devastation" and the sponsor of this event, the Face of Boe." A large, manoeuvring glass capsule, filled with steam came into the room, containing a large pale pink head, with massive eyes, lips, a nose, and hair that looked rather similar to dreads, just with large pink balls on the ends.

"The inventors of Hyposlip Travel Systems, the brothers Hop Pyleen, thank you. Cal "Spark Plug". Mr. and Mrs. Pakoo. The Ambassadors from the city-state of Binding Light."

The three trees led by Jabe walked up to the TARDIS trio, one of them holding a tray of dirt filled pots that had a small stick and a leaf in each one. "The gift of peace. I bring you a cutting of my grandfather." Jabe said, handing a pot over, which Rose took.

"Um, yes, gifts." The Doctor shifted through his pockets, finding nothing to give. "I give you in return, air from my lungs." He breathed out a sigh softly in her direction.

Jabe blinked and looked at him with surprised interest. "How…intimate."

"There's more where that came from." He flirted.

"I bet there is." Jabe flirted back before moving away with her two companions.

The Doctor looked at Clara, who had a dissatisfied look on her face. "It was all in fun." He reassured.

"Yeah, sure." Clara grumbled but the Doctor didn't hear it.

"The Moxx of Balhoon." The Doctor said warmly as said person came forth.

"My felicitations upon this historical happenstance." He said in a high-pitched voice. "I bring you the gift of bodily saliva's." He said before spitting, which landed just under Rose's left eye, making her shudder as she wiped it off.

"Thanks very much." The Doctor chuckled, which made Rose glare at him. "Sorry." Rose looked over at Clara to see she had a distant look in her eyes, which began to prickle with tears. Before she could ask what was wrong, the Doctor interrupted. "Ah! The Adherents of the Repeated Meme!" He beamed. "I bring you, air from my lungs." He said before gleefully breathing all over them.

The one in front held up a silver clawed hand, which showed a small grey ball. "A gift of peace in all good faith." It said in a deep voice that sent shivers down Rose's spine, as the Doctor took it and passed it to Rose, who looked at it in confusion before putting it and the plant down on a nearby table.

"Last, but not least, our very special guest." The Steward said, silencing the room and drawing everyone's attention to him. "Ladies and gentlemen, consider the Earth below. In memory of this dying world, we call forth the last Human. The lady Cassandra O'Brian.Δ17!" He motioned a hand to the door, which opened to reveal two men dressed in full white and carrying…some form of moisture sprayer. What was with them was a moving, upright stretcher, holding skin with flaring veins. In the centre was a pair of eyes and a mouth that moved just like any Human and underneath it all was a glass jar filled with blue liquid, containing a brain. Rose looked at her in bewilderment and slight disgust, while the Doctor simply grinned. Clara just continued staring blankly, her mind racing at a thousand miles an hour.

"Oh now, don't stare." Cassandra said in a dignified British accent. "I know, I know, it's shocking, isn't it? I've had my chin completely taken away and look at the difference. Look how thin I am. Thin and dainty. I don't look a day over two thousand." She beamed before blinking. "Moisturize me, moisturize me." She muttered, one of her helpers conveying the order silently, while Clara moved around, pretending to look at her closely but was really aiming for the door. "Truly, I am the last Human." Cassandra continued. "My father was a Texan. My mother was from the Arctic Desert. They were born on the Earth and they were the last to be buried in its soil. I have come to honour them and to say…goodbye." She tried to hold back a few tears, which made some of the people present look at her with sad smiles as one of her helpers pulled out a tissue. "Oh, no tears. No tears. I'm sorry." She sniffed and quickly returned to her sweet smile. "But behold, I bring gifts." She said as the door opened, with one of the blue workers came through. "From Earth itself, the last remaining ostrich egg." The people awed at it, which made Rose look at them with slight confusion. "Legend says it had a wingspan of fifty feet and blew fire from its nostrils. Or was that my third husband?" This made everyone except Clara chuckle. "Oh no. Oh, don't laugh. I'll get laughter lines." Cassandra chuckled before clearing her throat slightly as the door opened again, two more blue workers wheeling in the next gift, a large classical music player. "And here, another rarity. According to the archives, this was called an iPod." The Doctor blinked at her, furrowing his eyebrows at her information. "It stores classical music from humanity's greatest composers. Play on." She said, as one of its songs was inserted and started playing.

"Refreshments will now be served." The Stewart informed. "Earth death in thirty minutes."

The Doctor and Rose exchanged a look at the choice of song before he started to unconsciously bob his head.

Sometimes I feel I've got to

Run away, I've got to

Get away from the pain you drive into the heart of me

The love we share

Seems to go nowhere

And I've lost my light

For I toss and turn, I can't sleep at night

"Doctor. Where's Clara?" Rose asked. He looked around, his eyes widening as he couldn't find her, before they saw the door open, with Clara walking out, making them move over to follow.

"Doctor?" Jabe called, making them stop briefly as she walked up and took a scan of him. "Thank you." She said. He looked at her in confusion before shrugging and moving out of the room with Rose.

Jabe moved off to a silent corner while the Repeated Meme approached the Steward. "A gift of peace in all good faith." One of them said, holding up another identical ball.

"No, you're very kind, but I'm just the Steward." He protested.

"A gift of peace in all good faith." It repeated calmly.

"Oh yes, thank you. Of course." He quickly said in defeat before taking the ball.

In a corner of the room, Jabe held up her device, which was doing a diagnosis of the Doctor's scan. "Identify species." She pressed a button, making it chirp.

*Chirp* (Species unknown)

"Please identify species." Jabe said with a small groan and a roll of her eyes.

*Chirp* (Species cannot be-)

"Now, stop it!" She snapped before quickly taking a breath to calm herself. "Identify his race. Where is he from?"

*Chirp* (Home planet: Gallifrey)

"That's impossible." Jabe muttered with wide eyes.


"So, what do you think?" The Doctor asked Rose as they looked for Clara. "Of…all of this." He motioned to their surroundings and their current situation.

"It's great." She said before frowning slightly. "Once you get past the "Slightly psychic paper"." He chuckled at her words. "They're just so alien." He looked at her in utter bewilderment. "I mean, the aliens are so…alien." She reiterated but it still wasn't helping. "You look at them…and they're alien."

"Good thing I didn't take you to the Deep South." He quipped.

"How are they all speaking English?" She asked.

"Well, by now English is a popular language. For those that don't know English in there, it's just a gift of the TARDIS. She generates a telepathic field and translates for you."

"I'll be sure to give her my thanks when we leave." Rose smiled. "Where are you from?"

He smiled but it was a sad smile. "Oh, all over the place. My home was called "Gallifrey", but like everybody else, I wanted to leave. But it was mainly to see the universe."

Rose just smiled. Clara's a lucky girl then. Good on her.


The Steward entered his office, placing down the grey ball onto a nearby table before sitting at his desk. The computer blipped at him, drawing his attention.

*Blip* (There's a blue box)

"What's that?" He asked.

*Blip* (In private gallery 15. How did it get there?)

"Well, how should I know?" He shrugged before pressing a button on the microphone, not noticing the ball open, showing a grey spider drone crawling out and away from sight. "Would the owner of the blue box in private gallery 15 please report to the Stewards office immediately? Guests are reminded that the use of teleportation devices is strictly forbidden under peace treaty 5.4/Cup/16, thank you." He finished before pressing a button to switch off the microphone.


The Doctor and Rose walked into a hallway, seeing the blue workers moving the TARDIS. "Oi! Park it properly and no scratches!" He called, one of them walking over and handing him a piece of paper, squeaking as it does before walking back. He and Rose looked at it, which said "Have a nice day". They shrugged at each other as he chucked it aside before walking away.

"Earth death in twenty-five minutes. Earth death in twenty-five minutes."

"Oh thanks." Rose said sarcastically, earning a chuckle from the Doctor. They came to a closed door, which he proceeded to open with the sonic.

"Clara? Are you in there?" They entered into a small room, with Clara standing by the window in silence. "Ah! There you are. Was wondering where you got to." The Doctor grinned. "Rose has takin' a liking to the workers." He quipped teasingly.

"No, I haven't!" She denied with a giggle.

He was about to continue speaking until he turned to see Clara. She was looking out upon the Earth in distant bitterness with tears running down her cheeks. "Clara? What's wrong?" He asked.

"Do you remember, Doctor?" She asked, her croaking voice causing the Doctor's chest to clench as she began her tale. "The date on their graves?" And indeed, he did.

Queen's Arcade, London
March 5th, 2005

"I mean, there's no point creating a spreadsheet if you're going to spend summer money in winter months." Danny argued as he, Dave, Ellie and Clara walked into the shopping mall.

"Thank you! See, he gets it!" Dave chuckled.

"I swear, you two are bloody awful." Ellie sighed.

"You get a couple of guys talking, they'll talk about anything." Clara teased.

"That they will, dear." Ellie giggled.

"You two can talk." Dave retorted.

"Oi!" They said in unison, making Dave and Danny chuckle. They walked past a shop window, Ellie gasping as she saw the dummies turn to look at them.

"Jesus! I thought they were dummies." Ellie breathed.

"No, I think they are." Clara assessed with squinting eyes. The dummies walked up to the window and raised their hands before smashing through, breaking the glass all over the floor as many other dummies smashed through theirs, causing the people in the mall to back away in fear. One dummy walked up to them before raising its arm, popping its hand to reveal a gun, aiming straight at Ellie.

"No! Ellie!" Dave yelled. The dummy fired twice, hitting Dave square in the chest, sending him falling to the floor, completely lifeless.

"Dave!" Ellie yelled before the dummy fired again, hitting her forehead, causing her to collapse broken to the ground.

"Mum! Dad!" Clara yelled, tears in her eyes as Danny grabbed her.

"We've got to run, Clara! Now!" He said, holding onto her waist tight as he quite literally dragged her away and out of the mall as other people around them started getting scream as their loved ones dropped dead in front of their eyes.

"No! Mum!" She shrieked. They ran onto the street to find crashed cars in flames, people running and screaming in terror while some of them were shot dead by the dummies. Danny and Clara found themselves being followed by a group of them, who backed them against a wrecked, turned over bus. Clara grasped onto Danny as he held her, still looking around yet failing for a way to escape. "I love you, Danny!" She cried.

"I love you too, Clara." He said sadly. They closed their eyes, waiting for the inevitable yet it never came. They opened their eyes to see the dummies stumbling to the ground, before going limp and motionless. The silence that followed was filled by Clara's crying, which only intensified at what happened to her parents. "Come on, Clara. Let's get out of here." He said sadly, to which she nodded weakly before he led her away.


The Doctor and Rose just stared at her in sadness as she finished her tale. "I never realised, but that was the day it happened. Now I wonder-"

"Don't Clara." He warned bitterly.

"Would they be alive if I just killed it?" She asked.

The Doctor looked down. "Clara, there's no way of knowing if they would've lived. Or if they would've died anyway -"

"Will you just shut up?! I am so sick of listening to you!" She roared, silencing the Doctor, who gave her a very hurt look. "Do you have some music playing in your head when you're trying to tell people rubbish like that?! Telling people that everything will be fine?! Telling them that it isn't their fucking fault when it bloody well is?!"

"Language." He said simply.

"Oh, don't you dare tell me to mind my language! Don't you dare tell me that it wasn't my fault because it was! My parents and all those people that died would've been alive if I just killed it! But no, I had to give it a chance when I shouldn't have!"

"Don't ever say that!" The Doctor yelled.

"Why?! You'd never do any different! You wouldn't just outright kill it even if it could save so many lives when you bloody well should have!'

"Then why did you want to go down there in the first place?!"

"To make sure you wouldn't die! One bloody Human is barely anything to you, but the entire race is so much more, so who would even care if I died?!"

"I would!" His simple words quickly placed Clara into silence as she stares at him, blinking despite the tears flowing out of her eyes. "Clara, I care if even a single person dies when I can't save them, so you are no different! Never think that about yourself and never think that it's better to live as a murderer because trust me, it isn't!"

"You're not a murderer, Doctor!"

"Oh yes, I am." He said calmly with a clenched jaw. "I have killed many people before I even fought in the War and I have loathed myself every time I did, because no one deserves that! Why do you think I didn't want you going down there?! So you wouldn't blame yourself if anybody died! It was my fault they died, Clara and it was my fault that they should've lived!" He quickly stops and takes a deep breath before stepping forward and placing his hands on her shoulders. "Please, Clara, never think this about yourself. Never again. Trust me, it doesn't end well. You hear me?"

Clara sniffed, making him move his hands to cup her face. "I'm *Sniffs* I'm sorry." She whimpered.

"I know." He said softly before drawing her into a hug as she sobbed into his chest. He kissed her forehead as he repeatedly whispered "It's okay" until she was breathing steadily. He looked over at Rose, who had been watching them in silent sadness. "You all right?"

"Yeah. You two all right now?" She asked.

"Yeah. Clara?" He asked, stroking her cheek with his thumb.

"*Sniff* Yeah, we're all right. I'm sorry you had to listen, Rose." She said.

"Not your fault."

"What did I just say?" She teased as her voice slowly improved from its croakiness.

"You said that to the Doctor, and last time I checked I'm not a man, so you can't count me." Her words made them laugh, finally letting the tension drain out of the room into a comfortable silence. Rose got up and walked over to them. "Come here you two." She said, making them pull her into the hug. "I just realised; how can I be taller than you?" She teased Clara.

"Shut up!" She admonished.

"I think her height makes her look adorable." The Doctor grinned.

"I said shut it!" She blushed, making Rose laugh. They pulled away and the Doctor quickly got an idea.

"Tell you what, you have your phones?" He asked. Clara and Rose pulled them out, Rose looking at Clara's with interest.

"At least the technology gets better with age." Rose commented.

"Not all of it does." The Doctor warned lightly.

"Huh?" They asked in unison.

"Spoilers." He grinned before holding out his hand, making them give their mobiles to him. He pulled out his sonic and went to work. "With a little jiggery pokery…" He muttered under his breath.

"Is that even a term? "Jiggery pokery"?" Clara teased.

"Of course. I came first in jiggery pokery. What about you?" He teased.

"Nah. Never even applied. You?" She asked Rose with a chuckle.

"Nah., I failed hullaballoo."

"Aww." He mocked cooed with a grin before putting away his sonic and handing them each back their phones.

Rose held hers up. "No signal. Guess we're out of range by a tiny bit." She teased.

"Give it a try." He said. Clara quickly gained an idea before holding up her phone and dialling a number.

"Would the owner of the blue box please sort the issue with its ringing audio equipment? Thanking you." The voice of the Stewart said, making Clara and the Doctor chuckle as she hung up.

"You have his phone number?" Rose raised an eyebrow with a knowing grin.

"That's how we met. I phoned him up, asking for the internet."

"And I was in 1207, Cumbria."

"Really?" Clara asked in surprise.

"Yep."

"I really was phoning a different time zone." Her words made them laugh. "How about you?" She asked Rose, pointing to her phone. Rose racked her brain before coming up with an idea and dialling Jackie.

"Hello?"

"Mum?" Rose asked, hiding back her bewilderment.

"Oh, what is it? What's wrong? What have I done now? Oh, Rosie, you tart!" She grumbled. "You need to stop buying these red tops, they're falling to bits! You should go and demand for your money back. Go on, there must be something. You never phone in the middle of the day." Her words made Rose chuckle as she failed to hold back her grin. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing. You all right, though?"

"Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?"

"What day is it?" Rose asked, deciding to avoid what could become a rather complicated question.

"Wednesday, all day. You got a hangover? You and Mickey should stop going to the pub. I mean, I know he likes watching those games of his, but you two should calm down on the bourbon you drink. Oh, by the way, I put a quid in that lottery syndicate. Got 75 quid from them. Bloody rip-off! Anyway, I'll pay you back later. Give that money something to do."

"Yeah…um…I was just calling because I might be late home." Rose said, holding back her giggling.

"Why? Is there something wrong?" Jackie asked with obvious concern.

"No, I'm fine. Top of the world." The Doctor and Clara chuckled at her pun. She heard Jackie give a sigh of "Really?" before hanging up.

"Think that's amazing? You'll want to see the bill." The Doctor said.

"How much?" Clara asked, remembering their first meeting.

The Doctor gained a sheepish blush as if he read her mind. "Oh, it's nothing! It's fine!"

"That was five billion years ago." Rose muttered. "Five billion years later, my mum's dead."

"After what we talked about, you're a right bundle of laughs." Clara scoffed, making Rose smile. Suddenly they felt the station rumble like a small earthquake, making them look at each other in confusion.

"That's not supposed to happen." The Doctor blinked.


"Well, what was it?" The Steward asked the computer. "I'm just getting green lights at this end." He pressed the microphone button. "Honoured guests may be reassured that gravity pockets may cause slight turbulence, thanking you." Taking his hand off the microphone, he wiped his brow which began to sweat from his growing paranoia. "The whole place shook! I felt it! I've hosted all sorts of events on platforms 3, 6, 12, 15 and I've never felt the slightest tremor! I warn you, if this lot decide to sue…" He grumbled under his breath. "I'm going to scan the infrastructure." Pressing a few keys on his computer, he looked at it as it showed its findings. "What's that? Control, I don't want to worry you, but I'm picking up readings."

*Blips* (What kind?)

"I have no idea. Well, they're small and the scan says they're metal."

*Blips* (What species?)

"Ugh, I don't know what they look like!" He groaned in frustration before noticing a small, spider drone climb up the legs of the desk to stand beside the computer, fixing its singular red eye on him. "Actually, I think they rather look like that." He said as the spider inched closer to him. "You're not on the guest list. How did you get on board?" He thought for a few moments before looking up with wide eyes, glancing at the other table to see the opened ball.

*Click*

He looked back to see the spider drone taking one of its legs off a computer key before scuttling away. "No!"

"Sun filter deactivated."

"No!"

"Sun filter descending."

Beams of intense, yellow light began to shine through the top of the window, moving downwards towards him, burning each part of the room to a charcoal black scheme as it went. "No! Sun filter up!" He pressed random keys on the computer, his horror growing as it did nothing.

"Sun filter descending. Internal temperature 4,000 degrees."

"Control! Sun filter up! Sun filter up!" He gave a scream of agony as the filter burned him alive until there was nothing left but ash and dust in the room.


The Doctor, Clara and Rose re-entered the main room where all the guests were conversing, except for Jabe who was quickly walking over to them. "That wasn't a gravity pocket. I know gravity pockets and they don't feel like that." The Doctor said. "What do you think?" He asked the three of them.

"The engines." Clara deducted.

"Yes. They've pitched up about thirty hertz. Jabe, is that dodgy or what?" He asked.

Jabe shrugged. "It's the sound of metal. It doesn't make any sense to me."

"Where's the engine room?" Clara asked.

"I don't know." She shrugged. "But the maintenance duct is just behind our guest's suite, I can show you and…your husband."

"He's/I'm not my/her husband!" They said in unison with a blush.

"Partner?"

"No!"

"Concubine?"

"No!"

"Prostitute?" Jabe asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Whatever he is, he must be invisible." Rose giggled at his bewildered expression. "Tell you what, you three go and pollinate or whatever. I'll go have a quick word with Michael Jackson." She said as she walked in Cassandra's direction.

"Don't start a fight." The Doctor warned as he held up an arm for Clara. "Let's go have a look then, eh?"

"Why not?" She grinned as they walked to the door with Jabe.

"And I want you two back home by midnight!" Rose called.

"Yes Mum!" They called back in unison, making Rose shake her head.

"You sure you two aren't together?" Jabe asked.

"No! What makes you think that?" The Doctor denied.

"One: You're blushing. Two: She got jealous of me flirting with you."

"No, I didn't!" Clara denied.

"Yes, you did." Jabe corrected with a smile.

"Earth death in fifteen minutes. Earth death in fifteen minutes."


The Doctor, Clara and Jabe entered a long maintenance corridor, lit by dim yellow lights. "Who's in charge of Platform One? Has it got a captain?" Clara asked.

"There's just the Steward and the staff." Jabe shrugged. "All the rest is controlled by the metal mind."

"So, who controls the computer?" The Doctor asked.

"The Corporation. They move every platform from one artistic event to another."

"But, there's no one from the Corporation on board? Are they not needed?" Clara deducted.

"No. This facility is purely automatic. It's the height of the alpha class. Nothing can go wrong." Jabe said proudly.

"Unsinkable?" The Doctor said, exchanging a small glance with Clara in remembrance of the submarine.

"If you like. The nautical metaphor is appropriate."

"You're telling me. I was on board another ship once. They said that was unsinkable. I ended up clinging to an iceberg. It wasn't half cold. So, what you're saying is, if we get in trouble, there's no one to help us out?" The Doctor reiterated.

"I'm afraid not."

"Fantastic." The Doctor beamed. Clara rolled her eyes while Jabe looked utterly bewildered.

"I don't understand. In what way is that fantastic?"

"That's just how he is. He's an overgrown child. Just give him a tug on his elephant ears and he'll grow up a bit." Clara teased.

"Oi! Leave them alone!" He said defensively.


"Soon, the Sun will blossom into a red giant and my home will die. That's where I used to live, when I was a little boy, down there. Mummy and Daddy had a house built into the side of the Los Angeles crevasse. *Sigh* I'd have such fun." Cassandra said nostalgically.

"What happened to everyone else? The Human race? Where did they go?" Rose asked.

"They say mankind has touched every star in the sky."

"So, you're not the last Human?" Rose reiterated.

"I am the last PURE Human. The others…mingled. Oh, they call themselves "New Humans", "Proto-Humans", "Digi-Humans" even "Humanish", but do you know what I call them? "Mongrels"." She growled in disgust.

"Right. And you stayed behind." Rose said sarcastically.

"I kept myself pure." Cassandra said proudly, not seeing the silver lining.

"How many operations have you had?" Rose asked.

"708. Next week its 709, I'm having my blood bleached. Is that why you wanted a word?" Cassandra asked with a smirk. "You could be flatter, Rose. You have a little bit of a chin poking out."

"I'd rather die." Rose said bluntly.

Cassandra rolled her eyes. "Honestly, it doesn't hurt."

"No, I mean it. I'd rather die. It's better to die than live like you, a whining, bitching trampoline."

"Oh well. What do you know?" Cassandra grumbled.

Rose clenched her jaw. "I was born on that planet. So was my mum and dad, so that makes ME, officially, the last Human being in this room, because you're not Human. You've had it all nipped, tucked and flattened till there's nothing left. Anything Human got chucked in the bin. You're just skin, Cassandra. Lipstick and skin. Thanks for the word." Rose ranted before storming off. If Cassandra had a jaw, it would've clenched with a scowl, making the Repeated Meme move to follow Rose. They found her wandering aimlessly in a series of corridors. Walking up to her, as Rose gave them a kind smile, the first raised its clawed hand and struck her hard across the face, sending her crashing into the wall and the floor, completely unconscious. They picked her body up and proceeded silently and swiftly out of the room.


"So, tell me, Jabe. What're you doing in a place like this?" Clara asked.

"Respect for the Earth." Jabe answered.

"Oh, come on. Everyone on this platform's worth zillions." The Doctor huffed.

"Well, perhaps it's a case of having to be seen at the right occasions." Jabe said cunningly.

"In case your share prices drop?" The Doctor retorted bluntly. "I know you lot. You've got massive forests everywhere, roots everywhere and there's always money in land."

"All the same, we respect the Earth as family. So many species evolved from that planet. Mankind is one, I'm another. My ancestors were transplanted from the planet down below, making me a direct descendant of the tropical rainforest." Jabe said proudly.

"Has it been a good life for you then?" Clara asked.

"Well, there were some hurtles to overcome for us. Some more serious than others, even taking hundreds of years for us to evolve properly, but I think we got there in the end." Jabe smiled.

"Excuse me." The Doctor said as he moved to a small console panel and using the sonic to scan it.

"So, what about your ancestry, Clara?" Jabe asked.

"Oh, there's nothing much there." She shrugged. "I mean, at school I was called "Young Victoria" but I never really understood it."

"You do act like her back in the day." The Doctor said honestly, and she raised her eyebrows at him. "Okay, maybe not that much." He backtracked, making her smirk.

"What about you, Doctor?" Those words made them fall silent. "Perhaps you could tell a story or two. Perhaps a man only enjoys trouble when there's nothing else left. I scanned you earlier. My machine had trouble identifying your species, it refused to admit your existence. And even when it named you, I wouldn't believe it. But it was right. I know where you're from. Forgive me for intruding, but it's remarkable you even exist. I just wanted to say…how sorry I am." She said softly, putting a hand on his arm. He glanced at her, some tears prickling his eyes as he placed his hand on hers, giving her a soft smile before moving it off and going back to his work on the panel, which caused a nearby door to slide open. Jabe looked at Clara, who gave her a sad smile before they followed him, entering through the door. They found themselves in a large, dark grey room, with a bridge over a deep chasm. Over the bridge was three, large fans, rotating slowly and causing a chill to flow through the room.

"Is it me or is it a bit nippy?" Clara asked.

"Nah, it's just you." He teased.

"Doctor are you seriously wanting a smack, right now?"

"I don't know. You haven't followed up on it yet."

"Is that a dare?"

"Would you two please keep the flirting down for a moment?" Jabe asked with a groan.

"Sorry." They said in unison before performing a "I'm watching you" motion to each other.

"That's a great bit of air-conditioning. It's sort of nice and old-fashioned. Bet they call it retro." He moved over to a console with a switch, using the sonic to scan underneath. "Gotcha." He said, ripping off part of the console, which made a spider drone scuttle out and up the wall. "What the hell's that?" He asked.

"Is it part of the retro?" Clara teased.

"Watch it, missy. Hold on." He said, pointing the sonic up to the drone. However, Jabe beat him to it, throwing out a liana which caught the spider and brought it down into their grasp.

"Nice liana." Clara commented.

"Thank you. We're not supposed to show them in public." Jabe blushed slightly.

"Not a word then." The Doctor smiled before inspecting the drone. "So, who's been bringing their pets on board?" He wondered.

"What does it do?" Jabe asked.

"Sabotage." Clara deducted.

"How would you know?"

"Earth death in ten minutes."

"Because the temperature is about to rocket. We should head back." Clara said, making them rush from the room.


"The planet's end. Come gather! Come gather!" Cassandra ushered, making the people present move into a group. "Bid farewell to the cradle of civilization. Let us mourn her with a traditional ballad." Another song was inserted, this one making everyone look at each other in complete confusion.

Baby, can't you see

I'm callin'

A guy like you should wear a warnin'

It's dangerous

I'm fallin'


The door to the Stewards office was surrounded by blue workers, who were whining and crying as they tried to open the door as the Doctor, Clara and Jabe came rushing in. "Get back!" Clara ordered, making them move out of the way as the Doctor used his sonic on the door panel.

"Sun filter rising. Sun filter rising."

"Is the Steward in there?" Jabe asked in horror.

"You can smell him." The Doctor said. "Hold on. There's another sun filter programmed to descend. Clara, with me!" He said, the two of them rushing out of the room as Jabe helped the workers.


Rose groaned as she shook the sudden drowsiness from her head, moving to stand up and holding a hand to her forehead, which was throbbing slightly in agony. "Sun filter deactivated. Sun filter descending. Sun filter descending."

Blinding light began to shine in at the roof of the room, making Rose hurry to the door. She tried to wrench it open, but found it locked. "Anyone there?! Let me out!" She demanded.

"Sun filter descending. Sun filter descending."

"Let me out! Please, let me out!"

"Sun filter descending."

Rose heard a hurrying pair of footsteps come to the door. She breathed in relief slightly, figuring out who they were as she heard the sonic. "Is anyone in there?" The Doctor asked.

"Let me out!"

"Oh, it would be you." The Doctor grumbled.

"Not now!" Clara admonished.

"Just open the door!"

"Give us two ticks!" The Doctor said.

"Sun filter descending. Sun filter descending." Rose heard a small beeping noise outside as the light stopped moving for a moment. "Sun filter rising. Sun filter rising. Sun filter descending."

The Doctor groaned, as Rose heard Clara rip open the door console. "Just what we need. The computer is trying to get clever." He said.

"Well, stop mucking about!"

"We're not mucking about! It's fighting back!" Clara said.

Rose quickly moved to lie down flat on the floor as the light inched closer, burning through the door. "The lock's melted!"

"Sun filter descending. Sun filter descending. Sun filter rising." This made Rose give a sigh of relief as the light moved upwards and disappeared from the room, leaving only a thin haze of steam as she got up to the door.

"The whole thing's jammed! We can't get through. Look, just stay there, Rose." The Doctor said.

"Where am I going to go? Ipswich?" She quipped.

"We'll be back, Rose, okay?" Clara asked.

"Okay. Just don't take too long, all right?"

"All right." Clara said as she and the Doctor raced away.

"Earth death in five minutes."


"The machine confirms: The spider devices have infiltrated the whole of Platform One." Jabe said in front of all the guests and the Doctor and Clara came into the room and her words made them all gasp.

"How is that possible? Our private rooms are protected by a code wall. Moisturize me, moisturize me." Cassandra muttered.

"Summon the Steward." The Moxx said.

"I'm afraid the Steward is dead." Jabe said grimly as she handed Clara the drone, the room gasping collectively as the news was delivered.

"Who killed him?" The Moxx asked.

"This whole event was sponsored by the Face of Boe. He invited us. Talk to the face, talk to the face." Cassandra said, making said Face shake his head.

"There's an easy way of finding out." Clara inputted, making everyone go into silence. "Somebody brought their pet here, so let's send him back." She placed the drone down, which began to waddle through the room, and flickered an eye briefly to Cassandra. Clara looked at the Doctor, who just squinted his eye as the drone moved towards the Repeated Meme.

"The Adherents of the Repeated Meme. J'accuse!" Cassandra growled.

"That's all very well, and quite obvious, but if you stop to think about it…" The Doctor said as he approached the group. The first one threw a fist to strike him, but he caught it and wrenched its arm out, making it gasp in pain. The arm was made up of metal covering white liquid and wires. "A repeated meme is just an idea. And that's all they are, an idea." He said, pulling one of the wires out which made the group collapse onto the ground, twitching for a moment before laying stone dead as he threw the arm back at them. "Remote-control droids. Just a little cover for the real troublemaker. Go on, Jimbo! Go home!" He said, nudging the drone with his foot who waddled over to Cassandra, making many in the room gasp.

"I bet you were the school swot and never got kissed. At arms!" Cassandra snarled.

"Oh, what're going to do, moisturize us?" The Doctor mocked.

"With acid." Cassandra said bluntly, making Clara clench her jaw. "Oh, you're too late anyway. My spiders have complete control of the mainframe." Everyone in the room just scowled at her and she scoffed. "Don't look at me like that, you all carried them as gifts, tax-free past every code wall. I'm not just a pretty face." She smirked.

"Sabotaging a ship while you're still inside it. How stupid's that?" The Doctor asked.

"I'd hoped to manufacture a hostage situation with myself as one of the victims. The compensation would've been enormous." Cassandra explained.

"Five billion years and it still comes down to money. How pathetic." Clara growled.

"Do you think it's cheap, looking like this? Flatness costs a fortune." Cassandra retorted. "I am the last Human, Clara. Me, not you or that freaky little kid of yours." The Doctor clenched his fists at her words.

"Arrest her, the infidel!" The Moxx said.

"Oh, shut it, pixie! I've still got my final option."

"Earth death in three minutes."

"And here it comes." Cassandra sighed dreamily. "You're just as useful dead, all of you. I have shares in your rival companies, and they'll triple in price as soon as you're dead. My spiders are primed and ready to destroy the safety systems. How did that old Earth song go? "Burn, baby, burn."" She growled.

"Then you'll burn with us." Jabe retorted.

"Oh, I'm so sorry." She pity mocked. "I know the use of teleportation is strictly forbidden, but…I'm such a naughty thing. Spiders activate!" The station shook and rocked about as many ducts in the walls burst out with smoke and the alarm went off.

"Alert. Forcefields are deactivated. Safety systems failing."

"Oh dear, force fields gone, and the planet is about to explode. At least it'll be quick, just like my fifth husband. *Chuckle* Oh, shame on me. Bye-bye, darlings! Bye-bye, my darlings!" She called mockingly as she and her two workers disappeared in a flash of blue light.

"Heat levels rising."

"Reset the computer." The Moxx said fearfully.

"Only the Steward would know how." Jabe denied.

"No, we can do it by hand. There must be a system-restore switch. Clara, come on! You lot, just chill." He quipped as he moved out of the room, Clara going to follow.

"Let me help." Jabe offered.

"No, you can't. Jabe, don't protest, please. You're made of wood; you'll burn in there. Just stay here and make sure everyone is fine."

"All right then. But you two keep safe." Jabe said softly.

"Oh, don't worry. We killed a sun with a leaf." Clara quipped, moving out as she giggled at Jabe's bewildered look.


"Heat levels critical. Heat levels critical."

The Doctor and Clara arrived back in the engine room, the fans moving at a faster rate, while he gave a groan as he saw the switch on the other side of the bridge. "Oh and guess where the switch is." He grumbled. He moved over to the nearby console, ripped the guard off and lowered the switch, causing the fans to slow down tremendously. Letting go, the switch flicked back up, causing the fans to return to their new speed.

"External temperature: Five thousand degrees."

Clara moved over the switch and lowered it, making him look at her with wide eyes. "No, Clara, please! The heat is going to vent through this place!

"I'll be fine!" She said, her breathing starting to get heavy from the heat.

"Clara, your hands are going to burn in here!" He pleaded.

"Then stop wasting time, Time Lord." She quipped, making him give her a soft smile before he rushed over to the first fan.

"Heat levels rising. Heat levels hazardous. "The Doctor let the blades pass by five times before rushing through, stopping at the next fan. "Shields, disabled. Shields disabled." The Doctor looked back at Clara, who had already started to sweat heavily, and her palms started to redden. He turned back, letting the blades pass three times before rushing through. "Heat levels critical. Heat levels critical. "The Doctor heard a scream of pain, making him look back to see Clara collapse to the ground, unconscious. His eyes widened, and his face dropped, hoping that she wasn't dead. He turned back to the fan, which without Clara's help started to spin so fast the blades became a blur, making the Doctor grip his feet into the bridge as his eyes struggled to stay open against the onrushing wind. "Planet explodes in…10.9."The Doctor closed his eyes and started to breathe calmly. "8. 7. 6. 5."He took a calm step forward, before standing straight. He opened his eyes to see the switch in front of him as he felt the fan inches from his back."4."

He rushed towards it, ripped off its guard and lowered the switch. "Raise shields!"

"3. 2. 1. Heat levels, normalised. Exo glass repairing. Shields enabled."

The Doctor rushed back through the now slowly moving fans to Clara's unconscious body. "Clara?" He asked with his hearts in his throat. Placing his fingers on her throat, he could feel her pulse, making him sigh in relief as he grasped her hands, which were blistered and torn on both sides. He placed a kiss on her forehead before picking her up and carrying her out of the room.


Rose walked back into the ruined and cracked guest room, looking around in sadness as she saw only a third of the workers helping the guests. Jabe and her friends were helping pass out medical supplies to those that were injured while some merely cried over their dead family. A few of the workers were huddled around the smoking chair that once belonged to the Moxx, now a pile of ash. She walked over to Jabe, who stood up to greet her. "You all right?" She asked.

"Yeah, I think so." Rose breathed shakily. "Where are they?" Before Jabe could answer, the Doctor came in through the door, carrying the unconscious Clara and a look of contained rage on his face. "Oh, my god. Is she all right?" Rose asked, as he placed Clara down with them.

"She'll be fine." He muttered. "She better be."

"Here, let me." Jabe offered, bringing a few supplies over as she began to patch up Clara's hands.

"Thank you." He said softly before getting up, his frame trembling as he began to pace the room.

"You all right?" Rose asked in worried fear.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm full of ideas, I'm bristling with them." He growled. "Idea number one: Teleportation through five thousand degrees needs some kind of feed. Idea number two: This feed must be hidden nearby and in plain sight." He walked over to a nearby table, which held the ostrich egg. Picking it up, he smashed it, finding it only to be made of glass and containing a small device which he caught as it fell out, before he moved to the centre of the room. "Idea number three: If you're as clever as me, then a teleportation feed can be reversed." Flicking the switch on the side, he and Rose looked as a blue light shined into the room.

"Oh, you should've seen their little alien faces." Cassandra laughed until she noticed her new surroundings, making what was left of her face tremble in fear. "Oh."

"The last Human." He growled.

"So, you passed my little test. Bravo. This makes you eligible to join the…um…the Human club." She stuttered.

"People died here, Cassandra. You murdered them, you tried to murder my friend and you're going to witter on like that?" He snarled.

"Oh, it depends on your definition of "People', and that's enough of a technicality to keep your lawyers dizzy for centuries. Take me to court then, Doctor. Watch me smile and cry and flutter-"

"And creak?"

"And what?"

"Creak." The Doctor reiterated. "You're creaking."

"What?" Cassandra stopped as she felt herself began to tear and wilt, becoming more inhumanly pale by the second, causing a loud noise like old, groaning wood to echo through the room. "I'm drying out!" She gasped out as pain began to burn through her. "Oh, sweet heavens! Moisturize me! Moisturize me! Where are my surgeons?! My lovely boys, it's too hot!"

"You raised the temperature." He mocked.

"Have pity! Please, Doctor! Moisturize me! Please!"

"Help her." Rose muttered softly as she looked at Cassandra with fearful pity.

The Doctor didn't turn to look at Rose. "Everything has its time, and everything dies." He said coldly.

"I'm…too…young!" She gasped as she suddenly burst apart, parts of her skin flew through the room, making Rose gasp while the Doctor took a breath as he moved to join Clara's side.

"Will you be all right?" He asked Jabe, who finished patching up Clara.

"Yes, we'll just return home. Have a hell of a story to tell." She said softly. "Just, do me a favour. Look after her."

The Doctor smiled as he gently stroked Clara's hair. "Oh, it's more like she looks after me."

Jabe chuckled. "Despite that, do look after her. She's good for you, and you're good for her." She got up and walked over to Rose, who had a distant look on her face. "Will you be all right?" She asked.

Rose failed to find words for a moment as tears started to come into her eyes. "The end of the Earth. It's gone. We were too busy saving ourselves and no one saw it go. All those years, all that history, and no one was even looking. It's just…" She held back a sob as Jabe placed a hand on her arm.

"We didn't need to see it go to say farewell. We already did." She said softly. "Nowadays, most people's planets are dying and they're seeking new worlds. But they don't need to see it die to consider it a farewell. They said it when they left." Rose mumbled thanks as they gave each other a small hug. "Take care of them. They may be good for each other, but they need a parent to hold them back." She quipped softly, making Rose smile. "Well then, we'll have to leave. I guess this is goodbye."

"Goodbye, Jabe. It was nice meeting you." She said softly as Jabe and her accomplices left the room with the other guests. Rose looked over to see Clara gasp softly as she woke up.

"Clara? Are you all right?" The Doctor asked.

"I feel bloody fantastic. Next stupid question." She quipped, making them chuckle softly. "What did I miss?" The Doctor looked at her sadly. "Doctor, it wasn't your fault. Whatever happened, it wasn't your fault."

He looked at her with slight surprise. "How did you know?"

"Those big, sad eyes." She smiled softly.

"Ah." He muttered as he helped her up, blinking as she leant forward to kiss his cheek.

"I always know." She said before moving over to Rose. "You all right?"

"Yeah, I think so." Rose said, yet it was not entirely earnest.

Clara gave her a sad look, which was echoed by the Doctor who came over to them. "Come with us." He said, as he wrapped an arm around Clara and lead them slowly out of the room.

London
2005

Rose exited the TARDIS to see a busy street, full of people moving about, conversing together and completely unaware of what would happen to their planet. The Doctor and Clara came out and joined her side. "You think it'll last forever. People, cars, homes, pets and concrete, but it won't. One day, it's all gone, even the sky." After a small moment, he gave a sigh. "My planet's gone." Rose looked at him with shocked sadness, Clara carefully placing her wounded hand in his to rub her thumb on the back of his hand. "It's dead. Gallifrey burned like the Earth, now it's just rocks and dust. Long before its time."

"What happened?" Rose asked.

"There was a war, against a race called the Daleks. But we lost. Even the Daleks lost. Their planet is a ruin now. Barren and empty."

"What about your people?"

"I'm a Time Lord. But I'm the last of the Time Lords, cause they're all gone. I'm the only survivor. I was left on my own for a while, sulking but then…" He trailed off, which Rose already figured out the answer, looking at Clara who gave her a soft smile. "You've seen how dangerous it is. Do you want to go home?" He asked.

"I don't know." She muttered. "I want…" She blinked, glanced around the street with a small sniff. "Oh, can you smell chips?" She asked.

Clara burst out laughing, which made the Doctor grin as he smelt it too. "Yeah!"

"I want chips." She chuckled.

"Me too." Clara said.

"Right then, before we go back in that box, chips it is, and you can pay." Rose said to him.

"I've got no money." He shrugged.

"Well, I am not making Clara pay. What sort of friend are you?" She groaned with a laugh. "Come on then, tightwad, chips are on me. We've only got five billion years till the shops close." She quipped, making them laugh as they walked off.

Chapter Text

The Unquiet Dead

Cardiff
December 24th, 1869

Inside a small room at night, an old, balding man with white haired sideburns is taking matches and lighting the gas lamps, creating a faint, hissing noise throughout the room. A younger man stands by a coffin with an old lady inside, looking at her in distant sadness. "Sneed and Company offer their sincerest condolences, sir, in this most trying hour." The old man said as he extinguished the match and walked over to him.

"Grandmother has a good innings, Mr. Sneed. She was so full of life. I can't believe she's gone." He mumbled.

"Not gone, Mr. Redpath, sir. Merely sleeping." Sneed said softly.

Redpath gave him a soft smile. "Can I have a moment, please?"

"Yes, of course. I shall be in the next room if you need anything." Sneed said, patting him on the back softly before leaving the man alone. Redpath looked at her with a sad smile, sniffing as he tried to hold back his tears, making him reach into his coat pocket for his handkerchief to dab his eyes. As he looked down at her, he jumped in shock as she stared up at him with wide, emotionless eyes as she shot her hand out and grasped hard onto his neck. He struggled to break free to breathe, causing him to knock over a nearby vase on the floor, smashing it and alerting Sneed into the room. Sneed looked on with a roll of his eyes. "Oh no." He groaned, moving over to help Redpath out of her grasp, yet only succeeded in snapping the man's neck, making him fall to the ground, stone dead. Sneed looked at his body with wide eyes, before grabbing the coffin lid and shoving it down onto the old woman, who held up both hands and stopped its path with surprising strength. "Gwyneth! Get down here now! We've got another one!" He shouted, as the woman shoved the lid into his face hard, making him fall to the ground unconscious while she broke the side of her coffin and went to stand up. She walked out of the house, wailing as she did before deciding to go to the nearby theatre, to see the man coming to visit town.


"Are you holding that one down?!" The Doctor said.

"Of course, I am!" Rose admonished.

"You hold both of them down, Rose!" Clara said.

"This isn't going to work!" Rose protested.

"Oi! I promised you a time machine and that's what you're getting! Now, you've seen the future, let's have a look into the past! 1860! How does 1860 sound?!"

"What happens in 1860?!"

"I don't know! Let's find out!" He said with a grin. "Hold on!" He pulled a lever, making them land with a thud, causing them to stumble to the floor of the TARDIS as it finally stabilised. The trio then started laughing, releasing the adrenaline they had just built up as they move to stand.

"Blimey!" Rose laughed.

"You're telling us. You two all right?" The Doctor asked.

"Yeah, all fine here." Clara said.

"I think so. Nothing broken." Rose said, as the Doctor checked the monitor. "Did we make it? Where are we?"

"I did it! Give the man a medal!" The Doctor grinned. "Earth, Naples, December 24th, 1860."

"That's so weird. It's Christmas."

"I know." Clara grinned.

"Like, think about it. Christmas, 1860. It happens once and then it's gone. It'll never happened again. Except for you two. You can go back and see days that are dead and gone, a hundred thousand sunsets ago." Rose rambled.

"We can see Shakespeare as he's writing Macbeth, or Freddie Mercury as they record Bohemian Rhapsody. Hell, we can meet Queen Victoria and make her say stuff that would've never happen then. It's not a bad life, eh?" He cocked an eyebrow.

"It's better with her. Consider me joining." Rose grinned as Clara went to open the door.

"Woah! Woah! Hold on! Where do you think you're going?" The Doctor asked.

Clara looked at him in confusion. "Out there, where the action is."

"Look, you…um…" He trailed off.

"What?"

"Clara, I like adventures as much as the next man, if the next man is a man who likes adventures. Even so, don't get reckless."

"What do you mean? I'm not." Clara chuckled.

"Clara, there's a whole dimension in this box, but there's only room for one…me."

Clara's jaw dropped incredulously. "Wait a second! You just raved about meeting people long dead like a history teacher on ecstasy."

"Do you know what you need? You need a hobby."

"I really don't." She laughed.

"Better yet, another relationship. Come on, you lot, you go bananas over relationships. You're always writing songs about them or going to war or getting tattooed. Why do you even get tattooed? What's the point of getting tattooed-"?

"Doctor." She stopped his rambling with a shake of her head. "I'm fine."

"I just…felt…I, I had to…say something." He stuttered with a blush.

"I know, and I appreciated it."

"Because I worry if something happens to you, Clara."

"I know. I feel the same too."

He blinked. "So, can I stop now?"

"Please do." She giggled.

He looked down in embarrassment. "I was just going to say that going out there dressed like that may be a bad idea."

"What, and you going out with that is a good idea?" She teased.

"Is there something wrong with my jumper?" He asked.

"Mmm." She squinted her eyes and shrugged at him.

He raised his eyebrows. "Watch it, missy."

"Excuse me?" She asked in warning.

"Okay, pipe down children."

"Sorry." They said in unison.

Rose shook her head. "Do you have a wardrobe or something in here?"

"Yeah. First left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, fifth door on your left."

"Huh?" Rose blinked.

"I know. He's trying to be impressive." Clara winked before moving to the console.

"I am impressive!" He whined.

"If only. Dear, could you point us to the wardrobe, please?" She asked the TARDIS.

*Beeps* (Sure)

Hologram arrows then appeared, pointing a path out of the room.

"Even the TARDIS is a better guide than you." Clara teased.

"Stop it." He warned.

"Make me." She flirted.

"Is that a dare-"

"Stop it, you two! I swear, you're worse than a couple of horny teenagers." Rose mumbled as she literally pushed Clara out of the room.

"No, we're not!" They blushed in unison.


Sneed was nursing the cut on his head with a damp cloth as he looked through the house. "Gwyneth! Where are you, girl?! Gwyneth?!" A young woman in her mid-twenties, with black hair and dressed in maid clothing came into the room, confused worry across her face. "Where've you been? I was shouting."

"I've been in the stables, sir, breaking the ice for old Sampson."

"Well, get back in there and harness him up."

"Whatever for, sir?"

"The stiffs are getting lively again. Mr. Redpath's grandmother; she's up on her feet and out there somewhere, on the streets. We've got to find her."

"Mr. Sneed, for shame. How many more times? It's ungodly."

"Don't look at me like it's my fault." He said defensively. "Now, come on and hurry up. She was 86, so she couldn't have gotten far."

"What about Mr. Redpath? Did you deal with him?"

He looked down. "No. She did." He said grimly.

"That's awful, sir." She said sadly. "I know it's not my place and please, forgive me for speaking out of turn, sir, but this is getting beyond now. Something terrible is happening in this house, and we've got to get help."

"And we will, dear." He said softly. "But first, we need to that the old lady back here where she can't terrify anyone. Now, stop worrying so much. Get the hearse ready. We're going body snatching." He said, as they walked to the stables.


Sneed gave a worried sigh as he and Gwyneth looked through the streets on their hearse. "Not a sign. Where is she?"

"She's vanished into the ether, sir. Where can she be?"

Sneed gained an idea, making him stop the hearse as Gwyneth looked at him in confusion. "You tell me." He said simply.

"What do you mean?"

"Gwyneth, you know full well." He implored.

"No, sir, I can't." She said uncomfortably.

"Use the sight."

"It's not right, sir." She protested.

"Gwyneth don't make me dismiss you." He said sadly. "We just need to find her."

Gwyneth nodded weakly before closing her eyes and breathing, putting herself in a calm state. "She's lost, sir. Oh, my lord, she's so alone, with so many strange things in her head. But she was excited, about tonight. Before she passed on, she was going to see him."

"Who?"

"A great man. All the way from London, the great, great man."

Sneed furrowed his eyebrows before recognition came across his face. "Of course." He mumbled.


Inside a small, dressing room, an old man sits at a chair in front of a mirror, massaging his pounding head in vain. A helper comes to knock on the open door politely. "Mr. Dickens. Mr. Dickens, sir. This is your call." He says, his eyebrows furrowing in worry as Charles doesn't speak. "Are you quite well, sir?"

"Splendid, splendid. Sorry." Charles mumbles in exhaustion.

"It's your time to go on, sir."

"Ah, yes. Absolutely. I was just brooding." The helper blinks. "It's Christmas Eve. Not a very good time to be alone." Charles said sadly.

"Did no one travel with you, sir? A lady wife waiting out front?"

"Afraid not."

"You can have mine if you want." The helper jokes.

Charles laughs at this. "Oh, I wouldn't dare. I've been rather, let's say clumsy, with family matters. But thank god that I'm too old to cause any more trouble.'

"You speak as if it's all over, sir."

"Oh, no, it's never over. On and on I go, with the same old show. I'm like a ghost, condemned to repeat myself for all eternity."

"It's never too late, sir. You could always think up some new stories."

Charles looked at him sadly. "No, I can't. Even my imagination grows stale. I'm an old man. I've already thought of everything I could ever think. Still, the lure of the limelight is as potent as a pipe, eh?" He chuckles lightly as he rises from his chair. "On with the motley." He clicks his tongue with a wink before moving from the room.


The Doctor was underneath the console, performing minute repairs with his sonic as Rose came into the room, wearing a black frock over a red dress, topped with a black coat and her hair pinned up. "Blimey!" He teased with a laugh.

"You had to laugh!" She giggled.

"Still, it's look good." He nods. "Considering…" He trailed off.

"Considering what?"

"That you're Human." He says like it's obvious.

Rose blinked. "I think that's a compliment. Aren't you going to change?"

"I've changed my jumper." He said.

"Well, it doesn't look any different than the last jumper. Do you have multiple copies of the same jumper?" She admonished.

"No!" He denied before blinking. "I think I've got a navy blue one somewhere…"

Rose shook her head before she and the Doctor looked to see Clara come into the room. She was wearing a black, bowknot gothic dress and a small, black hat with matching roses.

"Okay, it might be a little much, but what do you reckon?" She asked Rose, twirling the dress around.

"You look great!" She complimented. "But I don't think you should be asking me." She said slyly, nodding in the Doctor's direction.

Said man was looking at her with the softest yet the kindliest smile she'd seen on him, making her blush. "You look beautiful." He said softly.

"Thank you." She smiled, before frowning at him. "Are you seriously not going to change?"

"I just said that I've changed my jumper!" He whined.

"It doesn't look like you have." She giggled.

"Thank you!" Rose said, high fiving her.

The Doctor groaned, before standing up. "Come on."

"You two, stay there! You've done this before, so this is mine." Rose said, rushing to the door.

The Doctor looked at they as they shrugged in unison, before he held out his arm for her. "Come along, Clara."

"Sure thing, Doctor." She smiled, taking his arm.

"I tell you what, though. Your dress looks more Victorian than Rose's."

"Hey, watch it!" She warned despite her giggle. "It may not be Victorian, but she looks good in it."

"Yeah." He said, almost dismissively.

"So, why aren't you paying attention?" She asked in confusion.

"Well…I mean…you know…" He stuttered with a blush.

Clara smiled at him softly. "Whoever said you couldn't be sweet?" She questioned rhetorically, kissing his cheek.

"Will you hurry up?!" Rose called impatiently, making them blush.

"Sorry!" They said, hurrying out the door, seeing Rose pressing her shoes into the snow with a dreamy giggle.

"Here we go. History." He said as Rose almost rushed in a faster pace before them as they walked out of a small alleyway into the streets, slightly shivering yet looking in awe at the falling snow. They walked down the street, seeing many people either walking about or riding in coaches, while some were singing Christmas carols. The Doctor walked over to a man selling newspapers and gives him a few coins to grab one. He looked at it before a worried expression came over his face. "I got the flight a bit wrong."

Clara raised her eyebrows at him while Rose just shrugged. "I don't care."

"It's not 1860. It's 1869."

"I don't care."

"It's not Naples."

"I don't care."

"It's Cardiff."

Rose stopped walking, gaining a disappointed face as she blinked. "Right." She mumbled.

Clara leaned into him. "At least this is better than a Russian submarine instead of Vegas." She nearly growled.

"I said I was sorry." He whined, making her giggle. They heard a loud wailing, making them look at the theatre nearby with wide eyes before the Doctor and Clara gained a grin. "Now that's more like it!" He said gleefully as they rushed to the theatre.


Charles stood in front of a large audience, not noticing the dead woman sitting among them as he was telling one of his many stories to their raptured faces. "Now, it is a fact that there was nothing particular at all about the knocker on the door of this house. But let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change, not a knocker but Marley's face." The audience gasped. "Marley's face. It looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look. It looked like…" He trailed off as he saw the dead woman beginning to shine a hazy, blue light. "Oh, my lord, it looked like that!" He said, pointing to the woman, which made the audience turn before they gasped at her. "What phantasmagoria is this?!" He demanded fearfully. The woman then stood up to look at him, then gasped out a breath making blue mist flow out of her which then wailed like a phantom, making everyone in the audience scream and rush out of the theatre in terror. "Stay in your seats, I beg you! It's just a lantern show!" Charles pleaded vainly.

Sneed and Gwyneth rushed into the theatre before looking upon the woman as the blue ghost that began to fly in haste around the large room. "There she is, sir!" She pointed.

"I can see that. The whole bloody world can see that!" He said with wide eyes as they rushed to the old lady.

The Doctor, Clara and Rose came into the theatre, looking at the ghost with wide eyes. "Fantastic." He mumbled before he and Clara rushed to Charles. "Did you see where it came from?"

"Ah, the wag reveals himself, does he? I trust your satisfied, sir!" Charles grumbled.

"Oi! Leave her alone! I'll get them!" Rose said, rushing after Sneed and Gwyneth, who were now carrying the woman out of the theatre.

"Be careful!" Clara called back.

"Did it say anything? Can it speak? I'm the Doctor and this is Clara, by the way." He said to Charles.

"*Scoff* Doctor? You look more like a navy."

"What's wrong with this jumper?!" He whined. They watched as the ghost flew into a gas lamp and disappeared. "Gas. It's made of gas." He said in awe.

"Doctor. Rose." Clara said, making them exchange looks as they rushed out of the theatre.


Rose rushed over to Sneed's hearse as he and Gwyneth were laying the woman inside. "What're you doing?!" She demanded, making Gwyneth step in front to block the sight inside.

"Oh, it's a tragedy, Miss. Don't worry yourself, me and the master will deal with it. The fact is, this poor lady's been taken with the brain fever. We have to get her to the infirmary-"

Rose cuts her off by pushing past her, looking down at the woman with confused pity as she places a hand on her forehead. "She's cold. She's dead. Oh my god, what'd you do to her?" Rose asks.

Sneed comes up behind her with a tissue, placing it down firmly on Rose's mouth as she struggles before the drug takes her into unconsciousness. "What'd you do that for?" Gwyneth asks in shock.

"She's seen too much. Get her in the hearse." Sneed orders, making Gwyneth move to pick up her legs. They place her inside and close the door, missing Clara looking at them in worried anger.

"Rose!" She yells, as her and the Doctor rush over but the hearse is already moving down the street.

"You're not escaping me. Both of you." Charles says. "What do you know about that hobgoblin, hmm? Project on glass, I suppose. Who put you up to it?"

"Not now." The Doctor says sternly as he and Clara move to a nearby carriage. "Oi, you! Follow that hearse!" Him and Clara get inside, Charles rushing behind them.

"You can't do that, sir." The Driver says.

"Why not?"

"I'll tell you why not, I'll give you a very good reason why not because this is my coach!" Charles says in frustration.

"Well, get in then!" Clara retorts, making Charles get in with slight shock. "Hurry up!" She says, making the Driver move the coach after the hearse.

"Come on, you're losing them!" The Doctor says.

"Everything in order, Mr. Dickens?" The Driver asks.

"No, it's not!"

"What'd he say?" The Doctor asks with wide eyes.

"Let me say this first, I'm not without a sense of humour-"

"Dickens?" He asks, a grin spreading across his face which makes Clara roll her eyes.

"Yes?" Charles asks in confusion.

"Charles Dickens? THE Charles Dickens?"

"Should I remove the gentleman and the lady, sir?"

"Charles Dickens, you're brilliant, you are. Completely, 100% brilliant. I've read them all; Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and what's the other one, the one with the ghost?"

"A Christmas Carol?"

"No, the one with the trains. The Signal Man, that's it, terrifying. The best short story ever written. You're a genius."

"You want me to get rid of them, sir?"

"Uh, no, I think they can stay." He says with a slight blush.

"Honestly, Charles, can I call you Charles? I'm such a big fan."

"A what?"

"Fan, number one fan, that's me."

"How exactly are you a fan? In what way do you resemble a means of keeping oneself cool?" Clara snorts at his words, earning a 'Shut up' look from the Doctor.

"No, it means 'Fanatic', 'Devoted to'. Mind you, I've got to say, that American bit in Martin Chuzzlewit, what's that about? Was that just padding, or what? I mean, it's rubbish, that bit."

"I thought you said you were my fan." Charles mumbles.

"Ah, well, if you can't take criticism. Go on, do the death of Little Nell, it cracks me up-"

"Doctor!"

"What?" Clara glares at him, making him shrink slightly with an embarrassed blush. "No, sorry, forget about that. Come on, faster!"

"Who exactly is in that hearse?"

"Our friend." Clara speaks finally. "She's only 19, she was in our care and now she's in danger."

"Why are we wasting my time talking about dry old books? This is much more important. Driver be swift! The chase is on!"

"Yes sir!"

"Attaboy, Charlie!" The Doctor says gleefully.

"Nobody calls me Charlie."

"The ladies do."

"The ladies don't." Clara chuckles.

"Yes, they do."

"No, they don't."

"Yes, they do. And I know it because-"

"You're his number one fan." Clara rolls her eyes.


Sneed and Gwyneth were carrying Rose into the same room from which Redpath died in, laying her on a cloth covered table, beside two open coffins containing said man and his grandmother. "The poor girl's still alive, sir. What're we going to do with her?"

"I don't know. I didn't plan any of this, did I? Isn't my fault if the dead won't stay dead."

"Then whose fault is it, sir? Why is this happening to us?" She mumbles as she leaves, Sneed following her and locking the door.

"I did the bishop a favour once. Made his nephew look like a cherub even though he'd been a fortnight in the weir. Hey, perhaps he'll do us an exorcism on the cheap." A loud knock is heard on the front door. "Say I'm not in. Tell them we're closed, just…just get rid of them." He then wanders off as Gwyneth goes to the door.

"I'm sorry, sir. We're closed." She says to Charles, along with the Doctor and Clara who were standing behind him.

"Nonsense! Since when did an undertaker keep office hours? The dead don't die on schedule. I demand to see your master."

"He's not in, sir." Gwyneth says before moving to close the door, only to have Charles block it.

"Don't lie to me, child! Summon him at once!" He says sternly.

"I'm awfully sorry, Mr. Dickens, but the master's indisposed."

Clara looks to see a lamp flare on the wall. "Having trouble with your gas?" She asks.

"What the Shakespeare is going on?" Charles mumbled.

Clara looked at the Doctor with confusion. "Did he just-"

"Yes." The Doctor said simply as he moved past Charles and Gwyneth to press up against the wall, under the flaring gas lamp, furrowing his eyebrows as he did.

"You're not allowed inside, sir." Gwyneth protested.

"There's something inside the walls." He says, ignoring her. "Something's living inside the gas."

"Let me out! Open the door! Please, let me out!"

Clara marches past with a stern look. "That's her." She says, containing her anger as she and the Doctor raced through the house and past Sneed.

"How dare you, sir?! This is my house!" Sneed protests.

"Shut up!" Clara yells, silencing him.

"Let me out! Somebody open the door!"

The Doctor arrives at the door where the screaming was coming from, kicking it down to see Rose standing there, struggling against the corpse of Redpath who had a hand grasped over her mouth as his dead grandmother stood by him. "Let her go!" He says sternly, pulling her out of the corpse's grasp and towards Clara who came rushing in with the other three behind them.

"It's a prank. It must be. We're under some mesmeric influence." Charles says with shocked fear.

"No, we're not. The dead are walking." Clara says before looking at Rose, rubbing her shoulder to calm her. "You alright?"

"Yeah, thank you." Rose says softly. "Who's your friend?" She nods to Charles.

"Charles Dickens."

"Okay." Rose shrugs.

"My name's the Doctor. Who are you, then? What do you want?"

"We're failing. Open the rift, we're dying." The bodies say in unison, with ghastly and echoing voices despite the small room. "Trapped in this form. Cannot sustain. Help us." They give a loud gasp accompanied by wailing as two blue spectres exit their bodies and hide away into the gas lamps, while the bodies crumble to the ground.


Sitting in a room, Gwyneth was handing out five cups of tea, while Rose stood in front of Sneed with a look of bitterness. "First of all, you drugged me then kidnapped me and don't think I didn't feel your hands having a quick wander, you dirty old man!" She growls

The Doctor chuckles before receiving a painful elbow from Clara, who shakes her head at him. "Sorry." He whispers, while nursing his rib.

"I won't be spoken to like this!" Sneed says in shock.

"Then you stuck me in a room full of zombies. And if that isn't enough, you swan off and leave me to die! So, come on! Talk!"

"It's not my fault, it's this house!" He says in frustration, making Rose take a breath to calm herself. "It's always had a reputation, being haunted. But I never had much bother until about three months back, and then the stiffs…" He pauses as he sees Charles looking uncomfortable by his choice of words. "The…um…the dear departed started getting restless."

"*Scoff* Tommyrot." Charles denies.

"You witnessed it! I can't keep the beggars down, sir. They walk. And it's the queerest thing, but they hang onto scraps of their memories. One old fella used to be a sexton, almost walked into his own memorial service. Just like the old lady going to your performance, sir, just as she planned."

Charles shakes his head. "Morbid fancy."

"Oh Charles, you were there." Clara says.

"I saw nothing but an illusion."

"If you're going to deny it, don't waste my time, just shut up." Charles blinks at her before lowering his head to leave the room. Clara gains a slightly guilty look and moves to follow.

"What about the gas?" The Doctor asks, looking at Clara's back with a concerned look.

"That's new, sir. Never seen anything like that." Sneed admits.

"Means it's getting stronger, the rift's getting wider and something's sneaking through."

"What's the rift?" Rose asks.

"A weak point in time and space, a connection between this place and another. That's the cause of ghost stories, most of the time."

"That's how I got the house so cheap." Sneed agrees. "Stories going back generations, like echoes in the dark or queer songs in the air and this feeling like a shadow passing over your soul. Mind you, it's been good for the business. It's just what people expect from a gloomy old trade like mine." Sneed jokes, making the Doctor chuckle and Rose crack a smile.


Walking through the house, Charles paused by a flaring gas lamp as he felt like he could hear voices, whispering indistinctly inside. He went to lean into the wall before he stopped himself and shook his head. "Impossible." He muttered. Walking into the coffin room, he took off one lid to see Redpath's body, lying completely still. He started messy about and waving his hand above his head as if to feel for wires. Clara stood unnoticed by the door, looking at him with a smirk.

"Checking for strings?" She asked, making Charles jump.

"Wires, perhaps. There must be some mechanism behind this fraud."

"Come on, Charles. Look, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have told you to shut up. But you've got one of the best minds in the world. You saw those gas ghosts."

"I can't accept that."

"What does the Human body do when it decomposes?" Clara asks, going into 'Teacher' mode. "It breaks down and produces gas. It's the perfect home for these gas things. They can just slip inside and use it as a vehicle, just like your driver and his coach."

"Please, stop it." Charles says, wiping the sweat of his forehead. "Can it be, Clara, that I have the world entirely wrong? I've always railed against the fantasists. I mean, I loved an illusion as much as the next man, revelled in them, but that's exactly what they were, illusions. But the real world is something else. I dedicated myself to that; Injustices, the great social causes, I hoped that I was a force for good. But now, you tell me that the real world is a realm of spectres and jack-o'-lanterns. In which case, have I wasted my brief span here, Clara? Has it all been for nothing?" He asked.

Clara looked at him kindly. "No, it hasn't. There's just more to learn. Look at it like this; Gas ghosts were people once, and now they want to become people again. Gas is just the road to travel through. Everything has a story behind it, Charles, even illusions. Okay?"

Charles nodded with a shrug. "I guess so."

"Come on, then. Let's get back." She says, leading them out of the room.


Gwyneth lights a gas lamp before moving to dry the used cups and pots, Rose moving behind her to help. "Please, Miss. You shouldn't be helping, it's not right!" Gwyneth protested.

"Don't be daft. That Sneed works you to death." Rose mumbled, yet Gwyneth held out her hand, making her give over the cloth. "How much do you get paid?"

"Eight pound a year, Miss."

"How much?" Rose asks in bewilderment.

"I know. I would've been happy with six."

"So, did you go to school, or what?"

"Of course, I did. What do you think I am, an urchin? I went every Sunday, nice and proper."

"What, once a week?"

"We did sums and everything. To be honest, I hated every second."

"Me too." Rose says, making them giggle.

"Don't tell anyone, but one week, I didn't go, and I ran down the heath all on my own."

"I did plenty of that. I used to go around the shops with my mate Shareen and we used to look at boys." She said with a tongue in her teeth.

Gwyneth looks at her with a blush. "Well, I don't know much about that, Miss."

"Come on, times haven't changed that much." Rose said with a sly smirk. "I bet you've done the same."

"I don't think so, Miss."

"Gwyneth, you can tell me. I bet you've got your eye on someone."

"I suppose…there is one lad." Gwyneth says with a shy smile, making Rose giggle. "The butcher's boy. He comes by every Tuesday. Such a lovely smile on him."

"I love a nice smile. Good smile, nice bum."

Gwyneth looks at her with an intensified blush. "Well, I've never heard the like."

"Ask him out. Give him a cup of tea or something, now that's a start."

"I swear, it's the strangest thing, Miss. You've got all the clothes and the breeding, but you talk like some sort of wild thing."

"Maybe I am." Rose crooks an eyebrow. "Maybe that's a good thing. You need a bit more in your life than Mr. Sneed."

"Oh, that's not fair." Gwyneth mumbles. "He's not so bad, old Sneed. He was very kind to me to take me in, since I lost my Mum and Dad to the flu when I was twelve."

"I'm sorry."

"Thank you, Miss. But I'll be with them again, one day, sitting with them in paradise. I shall be so blessed." She smiles softly. "Maybe your Dad's up there waiting for you too, Miss."

"Maybe." Rose smiles softly, before gaining a frown. "Who told you he was dead?"

"I don't know. Must've been the Doctor." She says shyly.

"My father died years back."

"You've been thinking about him lately, more than ever."

"I suppose so. How do you know all this?"

"Mr. Sneed says I think too much. I'm all alone down here. I bet you've got dozens of servants, haven't you, Miss?"

"*Scoff* No, no servants where I'm from."

"And you've come such a long way."

"What makes you think so?"

Gwyneth looks at her, yet its more distantly as if she could see through her, sending a few chills up Rose's spine. "You're from London. I've seen London in drawings, but never like that. All those people rushing about, half naked, for shame and the noise. The metal boxes racing past and the birds in the sky…no. No, they're metal as well. Metal birds with people in them. People are flying. And you, you've flown so far, further than anyone. The things you've seen. The darkness. The Big Bad Wolf." Gwyneth gasps in fear, backing away into the wall, making Rose gain a guilty look. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Miss."

"It's alright."

"I can't help it. Ever since I was a little girl, my Mum said I had the sight. She told me to hide it."

"But it's getting stronger and more powerful, is that right?" The Doctor asks, making them jump to see him standing in the doorway.

"All the time, sir. Every night, voices in my head."

"You grew up on top of the rift. You're part of it. You're the key."

"I've tried to make sense of it, sir. I consulted with spiritualists, table rappers, all sorts."

"Well, that should help. You can show us what to do."

"What to do where, sir?"

"We're going to have a séance." He says with a grin.


The whole group sat at a big, round table. The Doctor and Clara sat next to each other, with Rose on her side followed by Gwyneth, Sneed and Charles. "This is how Madam Mortlock summons those from the land of mists down in Butetown. Come, we must all join hands." Gwyneth says, grasping Sneed's and going for Charles, who stands up.

"I can't take part in this."

"Humbug?" Clara calls, making him turn back. "Come on, open mind."

"This is precisely the sort of cheap mummery I strive to unmask. Séances? Nothing but luminous tambourines and a squeeze-box concealed between the knees. This girl knows nothing."

"Now, don't antagonize her. I love a happy medium." The Doctor says gleefully.

"I can't believe you just said that." Clara mumbles. "Come on, Charles, we might need you."

Charles takes a sigh before sitting down and grasping the hands next to his.

"Good man." The Doctor says. "Now, Gwyneth, reach out."

Gwyneth takes a breath before gazing upwards, yet not really looking at the ceiling. "Speak to us. Are you there? Spirits, come. Speak to us that we may relieve your burden."

Small, indistinct voices whispering begins to flow through the room.

"Can you hear that?" Rose asks.

"Nothing can happen. This is sheer folly." Charles mumbles in denial.

"Look at her." Rose says, making Charles look at Gwyneth to see her gazing upwards.

"I see them. I feel them." Gwyneth breathes. They all gaze upwards to see a thin haze of blue mist hanging above them.

"They can't get through the rift. Gwyneth, it's not controlling you, you're controlling it. Now look deep. Allow them through." The Doctor said.

"I can't!"

"Yes, you can. Just believe it. I have faith in you, Gwyneth. Make the link."

Gwyneth closes her eyes before lowering her head to gaze at the group. "Yes." She says. After a moment, a blue ghost appears behind her, making everyone look at it in awe.

"Great god. Spirits from the other side." Sneed breathes with wide eyes.

"The other side of the universe." The Doctor says.

"Pity us. Pity the Gelth." It says in unison with Gwyneth. "There is so little time. Help us."

"What do you want us to do?"

"The rift. Take the girl to the rift. Make the bridge."

"What for?"

"We are so very few. The last of our kind, we face extinction."

"Why, what happened?"

"Once, we had a physical form like you. But then the war came."

"War? What war?" Charles asks.

"The Time War." Rose looks at the Doctor, who gives her a sullen look. She looks to Clara, who's looking between the ghost and Gwyneth with squinting eyes. "The whole universe convulsed. The Time War raged, invisible to smaller species but devastating to higher forms. Our bodies wasted away. We're trapped in this gaseous state."

"So that's why you need the corpses." The Doctor concludes.

"We want to stand tall, to feel the sunlight, to live again. We need a physical form and your dead are abandoned. They're going to waste. Give them to us."

"But we can't." Rose mumbles.

"Why not?" The Doctor asks.

"It's not…I mean, it's not-"

"Not decent? Not polite? It could save their lives."

"Open the rift. Let the Gelth through. We're dying. Help us. Pity the Gelth." The ghost disappears into a lamp, making Gwyneth collapse into her seat, breathing hard.

"Oh, my god, Gwyneth." Rose says, rushing out of her seat to help her.

"All true. It's all true." Charles mumbles to himself. Clara gives him a hint of a smile, despite her mind being already occupied.


Rose was tending to a sleeping Gwyneth on a couch, while Sneed and Charles nursed themselves drinks. The Doctor stood watching Rose while Clara was gazing out of the window distantly. Gwyneth breaths softly, making everyone but Clara look at her. "It's all right. You just sleep." Rose says softly.

"But my angels, Miss. They came, didn't they? They need me."

"They do need you, Gwyneth. You're their only chance of survival." The Doctor says.

"I've told you, leave her alone. She's exhausted and she's not fighting your battles." Rose almost growls, making the Doctor roll his eyes. "Drink this." She says, handing her a glass of water.

"What did you say, Doctor? Explain it again. What are they?" Sneed asks.

"Aliens." He says bluntly.

"Like, foreigners?"

"Pretty foreign, yeah. From up there." He points to the ceiling.

"Brecon?"

The Doctor holds back a chuckle. "Close, and they've been trying to get through from Brecon to Cardiff, but the road's blocked. Only a few can get through, even then, they're weak. They can only test drive the bodies for so long, then they have to revert to gas and hide in the pipes."

"Which is why they need the girl." Charles concludes.

"They're not having her." Rose protests.

"But she can help. Living on the rift, she's become part of it. She can open it up, make a bridge, and let them through."

"Incredible. Ghosts that are not ghosts but beings from another world who can only exist in our realm by inhabiting cadavers." Charles sniggers.

"Good system. It might work." The Doctor shrugs.

"You can't let them run around inside of dead people." Rose protests, standing up to face the Doctor.

"Why not? It's like recycling."

"Seriously, though, you can't."

"Seriously, though, I can."

"It's just…wrong. Those bodies were living people. We should respect them, even in death."

"Do you carry a donor card?"

"That's different. That's-"

"It's different, yeah. It's a different morality. You can get used to it or go home-"

"Shut it!" Clara roars, silencing them, making everyone turn to her, who bore a hardened look. "If Gwyneth is going to be the one to help them, then why have you not given her a chance to speak?" She chastises, making the Doctor and Rose look down in guilt.

"Thank you, Miss." Gwyneth mumbles.

"So, what do you want to do, Gwyneth?"

"I've already figured out my own mind, and the angels need me. What do I have to do?"

"You don't have to do anything." The Doctor says softly.

"They've been singing to me since I was a child, sent by my Mum on a holy mission. So, tell me."

"We need to find the rift. This house is on a weak spot, so there must be a spot that's weaker than any other. Mr. Sneed, what's the weakest part of this house, the place where the ghosts are seen mostly?"

"That would be the morgue." He shrugs.

"No chance you were going to say "Gazebo", is there?" Rose quips, making the Doctor chuckle and Clara smile while everyone else looks at her in confusion.


They all arrive into the morgue, a dark and grey room with an ice-cold chill, making them shiver and Rose hug herself for warmth. "Talk about a bleak house." The Doctor mumbles.

"The thing is, Doctor, the Gelth don't succeed. Cause I know they don't. I know for a fact that corpses weren't walking around in 1869." Rose says.

"Time's in flux, changing every second. Your cosy little world could be rewritten like that." He says as he clicks his fingers. "Nothing is safe, remember that. Nothing." He turns to Clara to see she still has that distant look on her. "What's wrong, Clara?" Clara looks at him but doesn't say anything. "You've noticed something, haven't you?"

"There's something about them that doesn't feel right."

"The bodies?" The Doctor asks, getting ready to roll his eyes at her answer.

"No. Gwyneth." This makes him look at her in confusion. "I don't know what, but they just seem to…unconcerned with her helping them. I just…" She looks down with a sad face, making him place his hand under her chin to bring her gaze back up.

"Clara." He says kindly. "You don't have to worry, okay?"

"Just please, be careful." She says softly.

"I'll try to be." He says, placing a kiss on her forehead but before they could embrace in a hug, Charles interjects.

"Doctor, I think the room is getting colder." He says, which was true as it now felt like they stepped into a freezer, the cold starting to burn their nerves. The same voices from the séance came back, indistinctly whispering and growing louder by the second.

"Here they come." Rose says. A lamp flares before a blue ghost flies out of it and into the archway in the room.

"You've come to help. Praise the Doctor, praise him."

"Promise you won't hurt her!" Rose says.

"Hurry, please. So little time. Pity the Gelth."

The Doctor exchanges a look with Clara, now understanding her words as he moves forward. "I'll take you somewhere else after the transfer. Somewhere you can build proper bodies. This isn't a permanent solution, all right?"

"My angels. I can help them live." Gwyneth says softly.

"Okay, where's the weak point?"

"Here, beneath the arch."

"Beneath the arch." Gwyneth says, moving underneath it and Rose rushing towards her.

"You don't have to do this!" She protests.

"My angels." She says with a soft smile.

"Establish the bridge. Reach out to the void. Let us through."

Gwyneth stares ahead distantly. "Yes. I can see you. I can see you. Come."

"Bridgehead establishing."

"Come to me. Come to this world, poor lost souls."

"It has begun. The bridge is made." On this, Gwyneth's mouth opens wide, showing a bright light as more blue spectres fly out and around the room. "She has given herself to the Gelth."

"Rather a lot of them, eh?" Charles mumbles.

"The bridge is open. We descend." The ghost now turns a sinister orange and its voice distorts. "The Gelth shall come through in force."

"You said that you were few in number!" Charles says.

"A few billion and all of us in need of corpses." Unknown the group, a spectre flies into one of the corpses, which rises out of its bed.

"Oh, Gwyneth. Stop this! Listen to your master, this has gone far enough! Stop dabbling, child and leave these things alone, I beg of you!" Sneed orders, moving closer to Gwyneth.

"Mr. Sneed look out!" Rose says but too late. The corpse comes up behind him and grasps tightly onto his neck and snaps it. Another spectre then flies into Sneed's body, who now looks at them with the same cold expression as the corpse.

"I have joined the legions of the Gelth. Come. March with us. We need bodies. All of you, dead. Humanity, dead." Sneed says, his voice now ghastly and echoing.

"Gwyneth, stop them! Send them back now!" The Doctor yells fruitlessly as she does nothing.

"Three more bodies convert them. Make them vessels for the Gelth." The ghost says in unison with the two corpses as more spectres inhabited the rest of the bodies in the room.

"Clara, I…I can't." Charles says shakily. "I…I'm sorry. This new world of yours is too much for me." A wailing spectre flies after him, making him rush from the room as the TARDIS trio rush past a small cell gate and lock it behind them.

"Give yourself to glory. Sacrifice your lives to the Gelth." The corpses now grasp onto the cell door, trying to reach their hands through to grab at them.

"I trusted you. I pitied you!" The Doctor spats.

"We don't want your pity. We want this world and all its flesh."

"Not while I'm alive."

"Then live no more."

"I can't die. Tell me I can't. I haven't even been born yet. It's impossible for me to die. Isn't it?" Rose asks fearfully.

"I'm sorry." The Doctor says sadly.

"But it's 1869. How can I die now?"

"Time isn't a straight line, it can twist and turn into any shape. You can be born in the 20th century and die in the 19th and it's all my fault. I brought you here."

"It's not your fault. I wanted to come."

"What about me? I saw the fall of Troy, World War Five. I pushed boxes at the Boston Tea Party and now I'm going to die in a dungeon…in Cardiff." He adds with disgust.

"It's not just dying. We're going to become one of them." Clara says, making them both look at her. "We'll go down fighting, yeah?"

"Yeah." The Doctor says with a smile.

"Sure." Rose says, also with a smile.

"Together?"

"Oh yeah."

"What better way to go?" Rose quips.

The Doctor takes Rose's hand and looks at her. "I'm glad to have met you." He says kindly.

"Me too." Clara says.

"Me three." Rose says.

The Doctor looks at Clara before taking her hand. "I don't deserve you, Clara." He says softly.

"I'm sorry, Doctor. But I'm exactly what you deserve." Clara says with a smirk, making them chuckle.


Charles rushes through the house and out of the front door, panting as he does before jumping as a blue spectre flies out of the knocker, before it wails, making him look at it in confusion. "Failing! Atmosphere hostile!" It then flew into a street lamp, making Charles' eyes widen.

"Gas. Gas!" He says gleefully, heading back into the house and towards the morgue, turning off all the gas lamps yet turning up the gas output. As the house becomes more flooded, he takes out his handkerchief and places it over his mouth to cover his coughing. He shoves the door to the morgue open, drawing the attention of the trio. "Clara! Turn off the flame, turn up the gas! Now fill the room, all of it, now!"

"What're you doing?!" The Doctor asks.

"Turn it all on! Flood the place!"

"Oh, brilliant!" Clara says gleefully.

"What, so we choke to death instead?" Rose asks sarcastically.

"Am I correct, Clara? These creatures are gaseous." Charles says.

"Fill the room with gas, it'll draw them out of the host. Suck them into the air like poison from a wound." Clara says like a proud teacher.

The corpses all turn towards Charles, who looks at them in terror. "Oh lord. I hope this theory will be validated soon, if not immediately."

"Plenty more!" The Doctor says with a grin as he rips a gas pipe of the wall, making the corpses wail as the spectres are forced to leave and fly around the roof of the room.

"Thank god." Charles breathes before coughing due to the sudden intake of gas.

The Doctor unlocks and shoves the door open, rushing forward towards Gwyneth. "Gwyneth, send them back! They lied, they're not angels."

"Liars?" She asked in confusion, Clara noticing her emotionless voice.

"Look at me. If your mother and father could look down and see this, they'd tell you the same. They'd give you the strength, now send them back!"

"I can't breathe." Rose says, holding her hand to her mouth.

"Charles, get them out."

Charles moves to grab Rose and Clara's hands, but they rip away. "I'm not leaving her!" Rose protests.

"They're too strong." Gwyneth says softly.

"Remember that world you saw, Rose's world? All those people, none of it will exist unless you send them back through the rift."

"I can't send them back. But I can hold them. Hold them in this place, hold them here. Get out." She says pulling out a box of matches.

"You can't!" Rose rushes forward but the Doctor stops her.

"Rose, get out! I won't leave her while she's still in danger, now go!" He says, making her and Charles rush from the room. "Clara, you too! You need to go!"

"No, don't you see?!" Clara asks, making him pause. She rushes to Gwyneth and places a hand on her neck, her motions makes the Doctor's eyes widen in realisation as he moves forward slowly.

"I'm sorry." He says softly to Gwyneth, placing a kiss on her forehead. "Thank you." He grabs Clara's hand and leads her out, rushing through the house and out of the front door, just as the house explodes in flames and cinder. The explosion sends them stumbling to the ground, making Rose and Charles rush back towards them. Rose helps her up while the Doctor stands up with a groan as Charles looks at the building with sadness.

"She didn't make it." Rose mumbles.

"I'm sorry. She closed the rift." The Doctor says.

"At such a cost. The poor child." Charles softly.

"Rose, we did try, but Gwyneth was already dead." Clara says. "She had been for at least five minutes.

"What do you mean?"

"I think she was dead the moment she stood in the arch."

"But she can't have. She spoke to us. She helped us, she saved us. How could she have done that?"

"'There are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.'" Charles quotes. "Even for you, Clara."

Clara nods weakly, the Doctor pulling her into a hug.

"She saved the world. A servant girl and no one will ever know." Rose mumbles.

"We will, Rose." The Doctor says. "We will remember."


Walking back to the TARDIS, the Doctor pulls out his key and unlocks it. "Right then, Charlie boy, we've just got to go into my…um…shed. Won't be long."

"What're you going to do now?" Rose asks Charles.

"I shall take the mail coach back to London. Quite literally post-haste. This is no time for me to be on my own. I shall spend Christmas with my family and make amends to them. After all I've learned tonight, there can be nothing more vital."

"You've cheered up." Clara says proudly.

"Exceedingly!" He exclaims gleefully. "This morning, I thought I knew everything in the world. Now I know I've just started. All these huge and wonderful notions, Clara. I'm inspired, I must write about them."

"Do you think that's wise?" Rose asks.

"I shall be subtle, at first. The Mystery of Edwin Drood still lacks an ending. Perhaps the killer was not the boy's uncle. Perhaps he was not of this Earth. The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Blue Elementals. I can spread the word, tell the truth!"

"Good luck with it. It was nice meeting you." Clara says, pulling him into a hug.

"Fantastic meeting you." The Doctor says, shaking his hand.

"Bye, then and thanks." Rose says, shaking his hand and kissing his cheek, making him blush slightly, while the Doctor and Clara crook an eyebrow at her.

"Oh, my dear. How modern. Thank you, but…I don't understand, in what way is this goodbye? Where are you going?"

"You'll see, in the shed." The Doctor points inside.

"Oh, my soul. Doctor, it's one riddle after another with you. But after all these revelations, there's one mystery you still haven't explained. Answer me this: Who are you?"

"I'm just a friend, passing through." He says with a smile.

"But you have such a knowledge of the future. I don't wish to impose on you, but I must ask you; My books. Doctor, do they last?"

"Oh yes." He says with a grin.

"For how long?"

"Forever." Charles looks down, giving a small smile. "Right then, shed. Come on, Rose."

"In…in the box? All…all three of you?" Charles stammers.

"Down, boy. Goodbye." Clara says with a wink. They all walk inside and up to the console.

"Doesn't that change history, if he writes about blue ghosts?" Rose asks, as they look at the monitor to see Charles standing there, looking at the TARDIS doors in confusion.

"In a week's time, it's 1870 and that's the year he dies. I'm sorry, but he'll never get to tell his story." The Doctor says sadly.

"Oh, no. He was so nice, even in the end." Clara mumbles.

"In your time, he was already dead. You brought him back to life, Clara. It seems you're getting quite good at it." He says with a kind smile, which makes Clara give him a hug. "Let's give him one last surprise, eh?" He flicks a few switches to pilot the TARDIS away, the three of them laughing at Charles' bewildered expression.

Charles looks on at the disappearing TARDIS before bursting into joyful laughter as he heads back into the busy street.

"Merry Christmas, sir." A man calls.

"Merry Christmas to you." He says back with a beaming grin. "God bless us, everyone!" He yells joyfully, erupting in laughter as he walks down the street.

Chapter Text

Aliens of London

Powell Estate, London

The TARDIS landed outside Rose's flat as said person walks out, with the Doctor and Clara behind her. Rose was now dressed back in her normal clothes while Clara was dressed in a leather jacket over a grey sweater and a green polka dot shirtdress with tights. "How long have I been gone?" Rose asks.

"About twelve hours." The Doctor says.

Rose gives a laugh, making the Doctor and Clara snigger. "Right, I won't be long. I just want to see my Mum."

"What're you going to tell her?" Clara asks.

"I don't know." She shrugs. "I've been to the year five billion and 1869, met a talking trampoline and Charles Dickens and I've only been gone, what twelve hours? Nah, I'll just tell her I've spent the night at Shareen's. See you two later." She calls. "Oh, don't you two disappear."

They nod at her, making her run to the stairs and up to her flat. The Doctor paces for a moment before seeing something pinned to a nearby pillar, making his face fall.

"Doctor, what's wrong?" Clara asks.

He simply motions her over to a piece of paper, which was a missing person's paper, but on Rose. His eyes widened in shock.

"Oh dear. I think we went too far forward." He says, making him and Clara rush towards Rose's flat. Rushing inside, they see a bewildered Rose being hugged fiercely by Jackie, surrounded by large bundles of missing person's papers, which all had Rose's picture. "It's not twelve hours, its's twelve months. You've been gone a whole year. Sorry." He says sheepishly, him and Clara catching their breath while Jackie looks at them with clenched anger.


Rose slouched in a sofa in guilt, while the Doctor and Clara stood awkwardly by her side as Jackie ranted at them with a bewildered police officer in the room. "The hours I've sat here, days and weeks and months, all on my own! I thought you were dead and, where were you?! 'Traveling'! What the hell does that mean, 'Traveling'?! That's no sort of answer!" She turns to the police officer. "You ask her. She won't tell me. That's all she says, 'Traveling'."

"That's what I was doing." Rose mumbled.

"With your passport still in the drawer?! It's just one lie after another!"

"I meant to phone, I really did, I just…I forgot."

"What, for a year?! You forgot for a year?! And I am left sitting here?! I just don't believe you." She throws her arms up in a huff. "Why won't you tell me where you've been?!"

"Actually, it's our fault. We sort of employed Rose as our companion." The Doctor interjected, Clara nodding with him.

"When you say "Companion", is this a sexual relationship?" The officer asked.

"What on Earth makes you think that?" Clara scolded, making him gulp as he looked down at the floor.

"What else could it be?!" Jackie shrieked, moving closer to the Doctor. "You waltz in here, all charm and smiles and the next thing I know, she vanishes off the face of the Earth. How old are you then, 40? 45? Did you find her on the internet? Did you go online and pretend you're a doctor?"

"I am a Doctor." He shrugged innocently.

"Prove it. Stitch this, mate." She growled before slapping him hard across the face, making Clara snigger at his moan of pain, before Jackie turned to look at her. "What about you then? You wouldn't be more than ten years older than her, so how did this come about? Does your parents even know where you are?" Jackie admonished.

"My parents died in front of me when I was 19, thank you very much." Clara growled, making everyone look at her in shock. "What me and the Doctor are to Rose is friends, nothing more. But don't you dare talk about my parents like that ever again." She then pushed past her and stormed out of the room, slamming the front door as she headed up to the roof. The Doctor hurried after her with a concerned expression, closing the door behind him but more gently than she did. Jackie went into the kitchen with a slightly guilty look on her face, making Rose follow her before they enveloped each other in a hug, Rose starting to get tears in her eyes.

"Did you think about me at all?" Jackie asked softly.

"I did. All the time, but…" Rose said, her voice cracking.

"One phone call. Just to know that you were alive."

"I'm sorry. I really am."

"Do you know what terrifies me is that you still can't say. What happened to you, Rose? What can be so bad that you can't tell me, sweetheart? Where were you?" Jackie said, she now getting tears.

"You'd never believe me, Mum. And you'd never forgive me."

"Do you really believe that? I could never forgive you. I'm your Mum, Rosie. It's part of the job." Jackie quipped weakly, before enveloping her in a hug. "You going to see those friends of yours later?"

"Yeah."

"Can you tell Clara that I'm sorry for what I said?" Rose nodded against Jackie's shoulder, making her relax slightly.


The Doctor came up the top of the stairs to the roof of the building, where Clara leaned against the wall, breathing deeply to calm herself. "You alright?" He asked. Clara looked at him but didn't answer, making him move over and softly wrap her in a hug. "It wasn't her fault; she just didn't know." He mumbled.

"I know." Clara said softly, her face buried in his chest. "It's still…"

"And it wasn't your fault that they died, okay? Do we have to go through this again?" He admonished lightly.

"I may go through all that just to see you get slapped again." She teased.

"It hurt!" He whined, yet he smiled at her giggling, seeing her mood improve.

"Well then, if she can't do it, then I might." She flirted.

"Watch it, missy."

"I'm sorry?" She said innocently.

"Will you two please stop?" Rose groaned, making them jump and her giggle. "Seriously, when you two are 'In the Zone' it's like everything else ceases to exist. It would be cute if it wasn't so bloody annoying."

"Language!" They admonished.

"You two can talk!" She poked back, making them laugh. They fell into a comfortable silence for a moment.

"How did your mother take it all then?" The Doctor asked.

"She didn't. I couldn't tell her. I can't even begin, otherwise she won't ever forgive me, if she'd believe me."

"She'll forgive you." Clara disagreed. "The believing? No idea." She teased lightly.

"She did mean to say-"

"It's not her fault." Clara dismissed, making Rose nod slightly.

"So, I missed a year? Was it good?"

"Middling." The Doctor dismissed.

"You're so useless." Rose groaned slightly.

"If it's going to be a lot of trouble, would you stay?" He asked.

"I don't know. I don't want to, but I can't do that again to my Mum."

"Well, she's not coming with us." He grumbled, making them chuckle. "I don't do families."

"She slapped you."

"Nine hundred years of time and space and I've never been slapped by someone's mother."

"Did you see his face?" She giggled to Clara.

"Oh yeah." Clara said, struggling to stand from her giggling.

"It hurt!" He whined, holding a hand to his stung cheek.

"You're so gay!" Rose admonished. "Hold on, when you say nine hundred years…"

"That's my age."

"Damn, Clara. I didn't know you were into older men." Rose giggled.

"I'm not!" Clara blushed.

"Even then, nine hundred years is one hell of an age gap." Rose then stretched with a groan as she looked at she looked distantly. "Every conversation with you two just goes mental. There's no one else I can talk to. I've seen all that stuff up there, the size of it and I can't say a word. Aliens, spaceships, time travel and…I'm the only person on planet Earth who knows they exist."

*BURRR*

They looked up behind them to see a large, grey spaceship with smoke flowing out of its engines hurtling down over London, watching as it tried to maintain balance before its right wing tore a large chunk out of Big Ben and crashed down into the river Thames, making Rose groan. "That's just not fair." She whined. Clara smirked before they looked at the Doctor in confusion as he burst into gleeful laughter, before he grabbed their hands and rushed off to follow the ship.


Ending up in a crowded street, filled with unmoving cars and an army vehicle blocking the road, Clara and Rose gave a groan while the Doctor stood with a childlike grin. "It's blocked off." Rose mumbled.

"We're miles from the centre, so the scene must be gridlocked." Clara deducted. "Could even be closing down the whole of London."

"I know. I can't believe I'm here to see this. This is fantastic!"

"Did you know this was going to happen?" Clara asked.

"Nope."

"Do you recognize the ship?"

"Nope."

"Do you know why it crashed?"

"Nope."

"Oh, fat lot of good you are."

"Oi! Clara, this is what I travel for, to see history happening right in front of us!" He whined.

"Well, let's go see it. Never mind the traffic, we've got the TARDIS." Rose pointed out.

The Doctor and Clara winced in unison. "Better not. They've already got one spaceship; you don't want to shove another on top. There'll be all kinds of people watching." Clara said.

"So, history's happening, and we're stuck here."

"Afraid so." The Doctor mumbled.

"We could always do what everybody else does. We could watch it on TV." Rose said. Clara shrugged slightly while the Doctor shifted awkwardly.


"Big Ben destroyed as a UFO crash lands in Central London. Police reinforcements are drafted in from across the country to control widespread panic, looting and civil disturbance. A state of national emergency has been declared. Tom Hitchinson is at the scene."

"The police urge the public not to panic. There's a helpline number on-screen right now if you're worried about friends of family. The army is sending divers into the wreck of the spaceship. No one knows what they're going to find.

"I'd rather be in the action than watching it." Clara groaned.

"Me too." The Doctor mumbled as they sat together in the couch of Rose's flat in front of the TV. Rose sat on the sofa while Jackie's friends gathered round the table, conversing indistinctly.

"I've got no choice." Jackie said, entering the room. "Either I make them welcome, or I run the risk of never seeing you again."

"Oi, we're trying to listen, please!" The Doctor said, making everyone grumble slightly before lowering their voices.

"News is just coming in. They've found a body." The Doctor and Clara looked at each other with raised eyebrows. "It's unconfirmed, but I'm being told that a body has been found in the wreckage, a body of non-terrestrial origins. It's being brought ashore."

"Oh, guess who asked me out? Billy Croot." Jackie said to her friends, making Clara roll her eyes and the Doctor chuckled slightly, allowing her to punch him in the shoulder.

"Ow. That hurt." He whined, drawing some raised eyebrows at him.

"Aww, you big baby." Clara mocked cooed, making Rose laugh.

"Unconfirmed reports say that the body is of extra-terrestrial origin. It's an extraordinary event here in London, the body is now being transferred to a secure U.N.I.T mortuary, whose whereabouts are unknown. Roads in Central London-"

"And when you've stuck your fins on, you can cover the whole lot."

Clara burst out in laughter as the Doctor tried to wrestle the remote from a giggling toddler, looking at her every so often for help. Calming herself down, she reached over and picked up the toddler to place him in her lap. "Come on, hand it over." She cooed, making him giggle before placing the remote in her grasp, which she handed to the Doctor, before returning to briefly play with the kid. The Doctor looked at her with a soft smile before he flicked the channel back again.

"Albian Hospital. We still don't know whether it's alive or dead. Whitehall is denying everything. But the body has been brought here to Albian Hospital. With the roads closed off, it's the closest to the river. I'm being told that General Asquith is now entering the hospital. The building has been evacuated and the patients moved out onto the streets. The police still won't confirm the presence of an alien body contained inside those walls."


Asquith, a middle aged, somewhat overweight man, walks into a small room with a covered body on a metal table. A Japanese woman in her 30's and a lab coat is waiting. "Let's have a look, then." Asquith says, making her peel back the top of the cloth, allowing him to see the body's face. "Good god. And that's real? It's not a hoax or a dummy or…"

She shook her head. "I've x-rayed the skull. It's wired up inside like nothing I've ever seen before. No one could make this up."

He took of his hat to wipe the sweat from his brow. "We've got experts being flown in. Until they arrive, keep that out of sight." He then moves to leave the room.

"Excuse me, sir. I know it's a state of emergency and there's a lot of rumour flying around, but is it true, what they're saying about the Prime Minister?" He looked down in sadness before leaving the room, his silence being his confirmation.


"I'll be right back; I'm going to the bathroom." Clara says as she stands up.

"Okay." The Doctor said as she left.

"Mystery still surrounds the whereabouts of the Prime Minister. He's not been seen since the emergency began. The opposition is criticizing his lack of leadership and…hold on." On the tv, a car pulls up outside of 10 Downing Street, where an overweight man steps out of the car and into the building. "Oh, that's Joseph Green, MP for Hartley Dale. He's Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on the monitoring of sugar standards in exported confectionery. With respect, hardly the most important person right now."

Rose chuckled at this, making the Doctor raise his eyebrows at her. "Sorry." She mumbled.


Joseph steps into the cream and pink coloured building, being immediately met by a man with a red case. "Indra Ganesh, sir. Junior Secretary with the M.O.D. I'll be your liaison." He says, shaking his hand before motioning to follow him out of the room.

"Where the hell is he?" Joseph asks in concern.

"If we could talk in private, sir, follow me upstairs." They arrive to the foot of said stairs.

"Excuse me." Turning around, they see a middle-aged woman standing there, who immediately pulls out an I.D card. "Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North."

"I'm sorry, but can it wait?"

"I did have an appointment at 3:15." Harriet said.

"Yes, and then a spaceship crashed in the middle of London. Priorities changed." Indra shrugged with a slightly apologetic look before moving Joseph up the stairs with him. "You've heard about the alien body, sir?"

"Never mind that. Where is the Prime Minister?"

"No one knows, sir. He's disappeared. I have to inform you that with the city gridlocked and the cabinet stranded outside London, that makes you Acting Prime Minister, with immediate effect."

"Oh, dear lord." He mumbled in shock, before letting out a rather loud fart, making Indra look at him in bewilderment. "I'm so sorry, it's just a nervous stomach."

Indra shrugged slightly before moving to the top of the stairs and into another room, where an overweight, blonde woman awaited them.

"Margaret Blaine. She's with MI5." Indra introduced.

"There's no more information, sir. I personally escorted the Prime Minister from the cabinet room to his car. This is Oliver Charles, transport liaison." She motioned to another overweight man beside her.

"The car's disappeared. There's no record of it, sir, it literally vanished."

"Right…uh…inside, tell me everything. Better not let it all get leaked out, eh?" Joseph clicked his tongue with a wink, making them nod in agreement as they moved into the cabinet room.

"Sir?" Indra called, making them turn back slightly as he held up the red case. "The emergency protocols; Detailing the actions to be taken by the government of Great Britain in the event of an alien incursion."

"Right, sorry." Joseph mumbled, before taking the case from him as he let out another loud fart. "Blimey! Pardon me. Shall we get to work, eh?" He said, before moving into the room and closing the door, missing Indra waving his arms up in bewilderment. Inside the large room, filled with curtains, chandeliers, paintings along with a long table with glasses and alcohol adjoined with a small cupboard, he placed the case on the table, before looking at the two before him. They started to laugh amongst themselves in gleeful satisfaction.


Stepping out of Rose's flat silently, the Doctor moved to the stairs in haste. "And where do you think you're going?" Rose called, making him turn around to see her standing with her arms crossed.

"Nowhere." He squeaked, giving a cough and hoping she didn't notice. "It's just that…uh…a little too Human in there for me. I mean…history just happened, and they're talking about where you can buy dodgy top-up cards for half-price. I'm off on a wander, that's all."

"Right, there's a spaceship on the Thames, and you're just 'wandering', without Clara, might I add."

"Oh, she won't notice that I've been gone. Besides, this is nothing to do with me, it's not an invasion. That was a genuine crash landing. Angle of descent, colour of smoke, everything. It's perfect."

"So…"

"So, maybe this is it: First contact, the day mankind officially encounters an alien race. I'm not interfering because you've got to handle this on your own. That's when humanity finally grows up. Just this morning, you were all tiny, small and made of clay, now you can expand!" He said gleefully. "You don't need me, Rose. Go spend some time with your Mum and celebrate history."

"Promise you won't disappear?"

He glanced around a bit before padding his pockets to find the right one, taking out a TARDIS key and handing it over. "Tell you what. TARDIS key, it's about time you had one. See you later." He said with a grin before moving away, leaving Rose to look at the key softly as she moves back into her flat. Heading out of the building, he moved towards the TARDIS, ignoring the loud rock music blaring out on people's speakers.

"Oi, gorgeous! Come back and join the party!" A woman called, but he ignored her as he got to the TARDIS, looking up in surprise to find it unlocked as he opened the door, seeing Clara sitting by the console, fixing some of the controls with-

"When did you get my sonic, missy?!" He called, making Clara jump and drop what she was working on.

"Jesus! Don't do that!" She said with a slight blush, making him laugh. "I will kill you, Doctor, if you breathe a word of that to anyone, you hear?"

"Scouts honour." He said with a laugh, as he moved up to the console. "But you didn't answer my question."

"I took it when you were too busy gawping at the spaceship." Clara said with a sly smile.

"You could rival Robin Hood in his level of pickpocketing." He complimented.

"Is he real?" She asked in childlike excitement.

"No, he isn't!" He denied as he moved about the console to pilot the TARDIS away.


Outside, Mickey was running towards the TARDIS. "Oi, Clara! Doctor!" He yelled, before slamming into the wall as the TARDIS left, standing up with a cough and looking around to see if anyone noticed, before walking off to Rose's flat.


Harriet walked up to Indra's desk with a cup of coffee, placing it down which made him look at her in surprise. "I bet no one's bought you a coffee."

"Thank you." He smiled. Taking a sip, he placed it down before shaking his head knowingly at her. "I'm sorry, but you still can't go in."

"Damn, you've seen through my cunning plan." She quipped, making them chuckle.

"It's just impossible."

"Not even for two minutes?"

"I'm afraid not."

"Look, I don't get many chances to walk these corridors. I'm hardly one of the babes, just a faithful back-bencher. And I know we've had a brave new world land right on our doorstep, and that's wonderful. I think that's probably wonderful, but nevertheless, ordinary life keeps ticking away. I just need to enter this paper-Oh." On this, the door opened with Joseph stepping out. "Mr. Green, sir. I know you're busy, but could you put this on the next cabinet agenda?" She said, pulling out a file.

"What is it?" He said, feigning interest.

"Cottage hospitals. I've worked out a system whereby cottage hospitals don't have to be excluded from centres of excellence. You see, my mother's in the Flydale infirmary. That's my constituency, it's a tiny, little place. You wouldn't know it, but it's given me a chance to-"

"By all the saints! Get some perspective, woman! I'm busy!" Joseph groaned impatiently, moving away with the two behind him and an apologetic Indra, missing Harriet's hurt look. She glances into the empty cabinet room, moving hastily into it, looking ahead of her for watches before closing the door silently. Moving to the red case, she opens it to place the file inside, before pulling out a red folder with files inside entitled 'Emergency Protocols'.


"Rose not coming?" Clara asked as they paced around the console, flicking the switches to maintain flight.

"Oh, we won't be long. Besides, after all that debacle, she should spend some time with her Mum."

"So, Albian Hospital, is it?" She asked.

He smiled at her fondly. "You were paying attention, despite all the…humanness in that room." He added with slightly shudder.

Clara sniggered. "Is it bad to say that even I wanted to get out of there?"

"I don't know. Are you Human?" He teased.

"Shut it." She warned, making them laugh. "So, where do you think that ship came from?"

"Not sure."

She raised her eyebrows at him. "You seriously don't know?"

"Well, I can't know everything, can I?"

"Yes, like how you can shave without cutting yourself."

"Shut it." He warned.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, shut it, missy." He grabbed a mallet and went to whack the console.

"Make me." She said, grabbing the mallet and stepping closer, making them invade each other's space.

"Be careful what you wish for, Clara."

"You haven't done anything yet. You too scared?"

"No. Are you?"

"I think you are scared."

"I am not scared. Are you scared or impatient?"

Before she could retort, the TARDIS landed, making them move towards the door. "This isn't over." She said, making a "I'm watching you" motion, which he reciprocated before they moved to the door and found themselves in a small, packed cupboard. They moved to exit, repeatedly bumping into each other thanks to the lack of room. "Watch it."

"Sorry." He mumbled.

"Seriously, watch it." She said as he bumped into her again.

"I said I'm sorry." As he went to the door- "Ow!" He winced as he felt her foot slam on his.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I hit something?" She said innocently.

"Was that the payback you had in mind?"

"I think you should be glad, because I could do worse." She said boldly.

"I don't believe you." He said, pulling out his sonic to unlock the door, which made a noise louder than normal. "Shhh!" He reprimanded, making Clara giggle. "Shhh!" He said to her, making her giggle harder.

"You seriously are a…dolt." She finished hesitantly as he opened the door to find a room full of soldiers staring at them incredulously, before they rushed to grab their rifles and aimed at them. "I will smack you if you laugh at our situation." She growled to him.

"Yes, ma'am." He said, trying to stifle a snigger.

"AHHHH!"

They looked up upon hearing the shriek, before moving from the room in haste. "Defence plan Delta. Come on, move! Move!" He ordered, making the soldiers follow his instructions as they raced from the room, through a long corridor into a small lab. They found a Japanese woman huddled in the corner in fear, as they looked upon a series of body lockers, with one opened and empty.

"It's alive!" She cried in fear.

"Spread out. Tell the perimeter it's a lockdown." He said, moving to the woman, missing the confused looks on the soldiers.

"My god, it's still alive."

"Do it! Now! " Clara orders to the soldiers.

"Yes ma'am!" They said in unison before moving from the room.

The Doctor looked at her with an impressed look, making her shrug at him before she knelt beside the woman, who was nursing a cut on her forehead with a cloth. "I swear, it was dead."

"Coma, shock, hibernation, anything. What does it look like?" He asked. His answer was a rattling noise from behind the table, making them look to the other side of the room. "It's still here." Clara got up to investigate. "Careful." He said softly.

"When am I not?" She quipped, making him grin. She moved around the table and knelt to see a wide-eyed pig in a typical, grey spacesuit who was snorting quietly. "Hello." She said softly despite her confusion. The pig then squealed as it raced from the room, making the soldier at the door cock his rifle.

"Don't shoot!" Clara said as she moved to follow the pig who ran down the hallway towards a group of soldiers, screaming as it did. This attracted their attention who looked at it in confused fear, which grew to terror as it got closer, making one raise his rifle and fire a single shot into the pig, who fell to the ground instantly.

"What did you do that for?! It was scared!" Clara growled as she knelt beside the pig, cooing softly as it died. The Doctor came rushing to her side, placing a hand on the pig's head to close its eyes with a sad look on his face. Clara stood up, facing the soldier with a blazing glare. "You, fucking idiot! It was scared! It had no idea where it was, and you murdered it!" The soldier looked down in shame as the Doctor moved by her side, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"Clara, please don't." He said softly, rubbing her shoulder to calm her down. "Come on." He said, the two of them moving away as he picked up the pig's body and returned it to the lab table, where the woman looked at them in quiet sadness.

"What is it?" She asked.

"It's a pig, from Earth." He said simply.

"I almost assumed that this is what aliens looked like, but do you mean it? It's just an ordinary pig, from Earth?"

"Like a mermaid." Clara and the woman looked at him in confusion. "Victorian showmen used to draw the crowds by taking the skull of a cat, gluing it to a fish and calling it a mermaid. Now someone's taken a pig, opened its brain and stuck bits inside. Then they strap it inside the ship and made it dive bomb. It would've been terrified."

"They took an innocent animal and turned it into a joke." Clara growled, the Doctor wrapping an arm around her for comfort.

"So, it's a fake, a pretend like the mermaid. But the technology augmenting its brain, it's like nothing on Earth. It's alien, it must be. But why would aliens be faking aliens?" The woman asked, turning around to see the Doctor and Clara no longer standing there. She moved from the room to find them, before stopping in bewilderment as she heard the TARDIS dematerialising.


"I've got the White House phoning me direct because Downing Street won't answer their calls. This is outrageous!" Asquith said in admonishing anger, making Harriet place the papers back inside the case and move into the cupboard to hide. She heard the door open and a few figures enter the room, but she could only see Margaret and Asquith through the crack in the barely open door. "We haven't even started the vaccination program. This is appalling. The nations of the world are watching the United Kingdom."

"Well, it has all been a bit of a shock." Joseph defended.

"This is the greatest crisis in modern history, and you've done nothing! Your behaviour has been shameful, sir. You're supposed to be in charge, and we need positive leadership. The capital has been ground to a halt. Furthermore, we can only assume that the Prime Minister's disappearance is the direct result of hostile alien action and what've you been doing? Nothing!"

"Sorry, sorry. I thought I was Prime Minister now." Joseph said, dropping his attitude into smug satisfaction.

"Only by default."

"Oh, that's not fair. I've been having such fun."

"You think this is fun?" Asquith asked incredulously.

"It's a hoot, this job." Joseph said gleefully, making Margaret and Oliver chuckle to themselves.

"Honestly, it's super." Margaret said.

Oliver drew attention to himself as he let out a few loud farts. "Oh, excuse me." He mocked.

"What is going on here? Where's the rest of the cabinet? Why haven't they been airlifted in?"

"I cancelled it. They'd only get in the way." Joseph said dismissively.

"Sir, under section 5 of the emergency protocols, it is my duty to relieve you of command. And by god, I'll put this country under martial law if I have to."

"Oh, I'm scared. I mean, that's hair-raising." Joseph said sarcastically. "No, I meant it literally. Look." Harriet frowned in confusion as a blue light filled the room, before glancing at Asquith who looked at Joseph in terror while Margaret and Oliver laughed evilly. A large, green arm with three claws suddenly stabbed into Asquith, making him yell in pain as Harriet turned away to hide her horror before she heard a crunching followed by a sound like rushing water as a body collapsed to the ground.


"Here's to the Martians." Jackie said, holding up a glass while Rose reclined in the sofa in boredom.

"The Martians!" Everyone exclaimed in unison before utter silence fell into the room, making Rose look to see the cause, which was Mickey standing in the doorway, looking at her with wide eyes.

"I was going to come and see you." Rose said hurriedly.

"Someone owes Mickey an apology." One of Jackie's friends says.

"I'm sorry." Rose mumbled.

"Not you, dear." Everyone turned to look at Jackie.

"Well, it's not my fault. Be fair. What was I supposed to think?" Jackie said, motioning Rose and Mickey into the kitchen as everyone returned to their gleeful attitude.

"You disappear, who do they turn to? Your boyfriend. Five times I was taken in for questioning, five times. No evidence, of course, there couldn't be could there? And then I get her, your own mother, whispering around the estate, pointing the finger, putting stuff through my letterbox and all because of you." Mickey ranted.

"I didn't think I'd be gone for so long."

"And I waited for you, Rose. Twelve months waiting for you, the Doctor and Clara to come back."

"Hold on. You knew about them two?" Jackie asked suddenly. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Yeah, why not Rose? How could I tell her where you went? But we might as well tell her cause you're stuck here. The Doctor's gone. Just now, that box thing faded away."

"What do you mean?"

"He's left you. Some boyfriend he turned out to be."

Rose rushed out of the flat and down to the ground floor, finding Mickey to be correct that the TARDIS was indeed not there. "He wouldn't just go. He promised me."

"Oh, he's dumped you, Rose, sailed off into space. How does it fell, huh? Now you're left behind with the rest of us Earthlings. Get used to it."

"He would've said. And he wouldn't leave Clara."

"What you two chimps going on about? What's going on? What's this Doctor done now?" Jackie asked.

"*Chuckle* He's vamoosed."

"He's not, because he gave me this." Rose said, pulling out the TARDIS key. "He's not my boyfriend, Mickey, he's my friend. And he wouldn't leave Clara behind. He wouldn't do that to her, not after all they've been through." She looked down suddenly to see the key glowing a golden light before they heard the TARDIS materialising back where it had left, only with the words "Bad Wolf" graffitied on the side. "I said so." She shrugged before gaining a look of shock. "Mum! Go inside! Don't stand there, just go inside!" It proved fruitless as she just stood still, looking in wide eyes as the TARDIS materialised in front of them.

"How'd you do that, then?" Jackie asked incredulously. Rose simply bit her lip sheepishly before rushing inside, Mickey and Jackie following her.

"Alright, so we lied. I didn't go to the bathroom and he wasn't going for a wander. But you see, the whole crash landing's a fake. Even he thought so, it's just too perfect."

"Yeah, hitting Big Ben, come on." The Doctor rolled his eyes. "So, I thought "Let's go and have a look"-"

"My Mum's here." Rose interrupted, making them turn to see their new guests.

"Oh, that's just what we need." The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Don't you dare make this place domestic."

"You ruined my life, you two. They thought she was dead. I was a murder suspect because of the both of you." Mickey glared.

"See what I mean? Domestic."

"I bet you don't even remember my name."

"Rickey."

"It's Mickey."

"No, it's Rickey."

"I think I know my own name."

"You THINK you know your own name? How stupid are you?" Clara giggled into her mouth, making the Doctor grin at her.

Jackie then rushed out of the doors, Rose moving to follow her. "Don't start a fight, you three." Rose said. "Mum! It's not like that! He's not…" She looked outside to see Jackie already at the stairs of the flat. "I'll be up in a minute, hold on." She mumbled to herself before closing the door. "That was a real spaceship?"

"Yep."

"Why the pack of lies? Are they invading or something?"

"It's a funny way to invade, putting the world on red alert." Mickey pointed out.

"Good point. So, what would they be up to?" Clara asked.


Jackie sat on her bed with her face in her hands as she racked her brain while her personal TV was going. "As the crisis continues and the government shows a remarkable lack of leadership, paranoia sweeps the country. There have been at least three reports of public assaults on people falsely identified as aliens. Now back to Tom Hitchinson."

"Are there more ships to come? And what is their intention? The authorities are now asking if anyone knows anything. If any previous sighting has been made, then call this number. We need your help."

Jackie looked at the TV before grabbing her phone and inputting the number. She waited before rolling her eyes and pressing a few numbers to get through voicemail, jumping as she did. "Yes, I've seen one. I really have, an alien and she's with him. My daughter, she's with him and she's not safe. Oh my god, she's not safe. I've seen an alien and I know his name. He's called "The Doctor". He lives in a box, a blue box. She called it a TARDIS."


"So, what're you doing down there?" Mickey asked as the Doctor lay underneath the console fixing wires.

"Rickey." He said, his mouth currently holding his sonic.

"Mickey."

"Rickey," he pulled the sonic out and looked at him, "If I was to tell you what I was doing to the controls of my frankly magnificent time and space ship, would you even begin to understand?"

"I suppose not-"

"Well, shut it then." He said with a grin.

Mickey rolled his eyes at him before moving over to Rose. "Some friends you've got."

"He's winding you up. Look, I am sorry."

"Okay." He said absentmindedly.

"I am though."

"Every day I looked. On every street corner, wherever I went looking for a blue box, for a whole year."

"It was only a few days for me. I don't know, it's hard to tell inside this thing, but I swear it's just a few days since I left you."

"Not enough time to miss me, then?" He quipped.

"I did miss you." She smirked. "So, in twelve months, have you been seeing anyone else?"

"No. Well, mainly because everyone thinks I murdered you, so…yeah."

"Right."

Clara, who stood at the monitor with her arms crossed, exchanged a glance with the Doctor that screamed "Awkward", forcing them to contain their sniggers.

"So, now that you've come back, are you going to stay?" Before Rose could answer, electricity crackled at the console making them jump.

"Got it! Haha." The Doctor said proudly.

"Took you long enough." Clara fake yawned.

"Oi! You can have a go fixing this ship if you want."

"Well, some of those were unnecessary."

"And how would you know, missy?"

"Because old girl told me so." Clara smiled slyly.

*Beeps* (Waaay too long)

"Don't you both go ganging up on me!" He whined, making Clara laugh. Mickey mouthed to Rose 'Did the ship just-' and she interrupted with a hasty nod. "So, patched in the radar and looped it back twelve hours so it followed the flight of that spaceship and…Oh come on." He mumbled, going to whack the monitor as Clara slapped his hand. "Ow! What'd you do that for?"

"Give it a moment." She breathed as a video of the Earth from space appeared. "There you go, that's the spaceship on its way to Earth." She said, going into teacher mode as on the monitor the same ship in the Thames that was flying perfectly. "Now, give it a mo." Then a clock appeared as the ship reappeared again, which cycled through twelve hours as the ship looped in space before heading down to Earth in a crash landing. "The spaceship did a slingshot around the Earth before landing again, this time in the Thames."

"What does that mean?" Rose asked.

"The ship was already here on Earth for three days before another twelve hours passed and it appeared before the world. So, whoever these boys and girls are, they haven't just arrived. They've been here for a while."

"Now, the question is what they have been doing?" The Doctor asked.

"No." Clara shook her head.

"What?" The Doctor asked incredulously as Rose and Mickey raised their eyebrows at each other.

"Wrong question, Doctor."

"Alright then, Miss Oswald, what is the real question?"

"Why are they here?" She said, making him furrow his eyebrows. "They've been here already for a while, then just twelve hours later appeared as if they're crash landing in front of the world, putting it on red alert. So, they want something that either humanity must give up or fight for. We answer why they're here, that gives the answer to what they've been doing and what they want."

Rose and Mickey look at her with an impressed face while the Doctor gave a defeated sigh. "Alright then, why are they here?" He grumbled yet flashing her a soft smile, making her wink cheekily.


Harriet watched in terror filled confusion as Asquith stood up, placing the loose skin of Oliver on the table, complete with clothes and a zip in his forehead. "What do you think?" Asquith said, holding up his arms as Margaret straightened his clothes while Joseph shrugged. "I think I've got too much ballast around the middle." He let out a loud fart, making him cough in surprise. "Sorry about that."

"We've really got to fix the gas exchange, it's getting ridiculous." Margaret grumbled.

"I don't know. It seems rather Human to me." Joseph quipped.

"Yes, and it gives us away." Margaret growled, making him look sheepish.

"Sorry, sister."

Harriet didn't need to see her rolling her eyes. "Let's just fix it when this is all over. Now, we should get rid of Oliver's skin."

Asquith picked up said skin and went over to the cupboard, Harriet moving into a dark corner to hide. "It's a shame, I rather enjoyed being Oliver. He had a wife, a mistress and a young farmer. God I was busy." He said with a sly smile, making Joseph and Margaret chuckle. "Now, back to work eh. I have an army to command-"

"Not yet." Margaret correct.

"Alright, I will have an army to command soon." Asquith said with a nod as they left the room, only to nearly bump into a racing Indra.

"General Asquith, sir. We've had a priority alarm. It's Code 9, a confirmed Code 9." Harriet moved to the barely open door, being careful not to nudge it.

"Remind me again, please?" He said sheepishly.

"Well, in the event of the emergency protocols being activated, we've got software which automatically searches all communications for key words and one of those is "Doctor". I think we've found him, sir."

"What sort of "Doctor"?" Margaret asked.

"Evidently, he's some sort of expert in extra-terrestrial affairs, in fact THE ultimate expert. And we need him, sir. We need him here right now."

"Well, if all the experts are being brought in, be sure he comes then." Asquith said.

"Sir." Indra said with a nod as they left the room, Harriet moving silently back downstairs.


"How many channels do you get?" Mickey asked as the Doctor flicked through them on the monitor.

"All the basic packages." He said simply.

"You get sports channels?"

"Yes, I get the football." He rolled his eyes, making Clara crook an eyebrow at him which he merely shrugged at. "Hold on, I know that lot." He said, seeing on the monitor a group of soldiers with familiar uniforms. "U.N.I.T: United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. Good people they are."

"How do you know them?" Rose asked.

"Because he's worked for them." Everyone looked at Mickey. "Don't think I sat on my backside for twelve months. I read up on you, Doctor. You look deep enough on the internet or in the history books and there's his name, followed by a list of the dead."

"Yeah, good boy Rickey. You did your homework; now can we return to work?" Clara grumbled sarcastically, making him look down slightly and the Doctor snigger at her choice of name.

"If you know them, why don't you go and help?" Rose asked.

"They wouldn't recognise me. I've changed a lot since the old days. There are aliens and fake aliens out there, I want to keep this alien out of the mix. Currently, the world's standing on the edge of a knife-"

"Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all." Clara finished with a soft smile, making him furrow his eyebrows. "What?"

"Nothing." He said, now gaining her smile. "Good movies, they are."

"And good books." She added.

"That too. We should meet old Tolkien some time."

"That would be nice." She said dreamily.

The Doctor flicked a few switches, turning down the TARDIS' power. "Let's just keep her out of sight. Rickey, you've got a car. You can do some driving." He said, leading them to the doors.

"Where to?" He asked.

"The roads are clearing. Let's go and have a look at that spaceship." The Doctor opened the doors as they were met with the spotlight of a helicopter and racing police cars with army vehicles encircling them.

"Do not move. Step away from the box and raise your hands above your heads. You are under arrest. Do not move."

Mickey then raced away before the officers could get out of their cars. "Oi! Get after him! Get after him!" One of them called, sending a small squad to follow Mickey as he disappeared.

"Rose!" They looked to see Jackie rushing out, only to be held back a few soldiers. "Rose! That's my daughter!"

"Raise your hands above your heads. You are under arrest."

"You ready, Clara?" He asked with a beaming grin.

"Sure." She said with the same look as they glanced up at the helicopter.

"Take us to your leader." They said in unison before high fiving each other, making Rose literally face palm herself.

"I'm in the company of children." She grumbled as they complied and raised their hands above their heads, before being led into a rather clean and black car, almost like a small limo.

"This is a bit posh." Rose said with an impressed smirk. "If I'd known being arrested was like this, I would've done it years ago." She quipped, making them laugh.

"We're not being arrested. We're being escorted." The Doctor corrected.

"Where to?" Clara asked.

"Where do you think? Downing Street." He said laughing.

"You're kidding?!" Rose said with a childish grin.

"I'm not!"

"10 Downing Street?!" Clara said, mimicking their manner.

"That's the one!"

"Oh, my god. We're going to 10 Downing Street?!"

"Yup!" They coughed and took a breath to calm themselves despite their grins.

"How come?" Rose asked.

"I hate to say it, but Mickey was right. Over the years that I've been around this planet, I've been…uh…noticed."

"Now they need you?"

"Like it said on the news, they're gathering experts in alien knowledge. And who's the biggest expert of the lot?" He asked with a wide, smug smile.

"Patrick Moore?" Rose teased.

"Apart from him." His smile deflating slightly.

"The Men in Black?" Clara teased.

"Come on! They're not even real!" He whined.

"You and your ego must love this kind of attention, eh?"

"I'm telling you. Lloyd George used to drink me under the table. Hold on, who's the Prime Minister now?" He asked.

"How should any of us know? We skipped a year." Clara poked.

"Oi!" They pulled up at Downing Street, currently being photographed by reporters who were indistinctly exclaiming for questions and attention. The Doctor and Clara grinned and waved, earning many responders while Rose looked starstruck by it all as they moved into the building.


"So, she's all right then? She's not in any trouble?" Jackie asked as a few officers stood in her flat, one of them was another overweight man who sat on her sofa.

"All I can say is that your daughter and her companions might be in a position to help the country. We'll still need to know how she contacted them." His stomach gave a loud grumble, making him glare distantly, trying to withhold a growl. "Right, off you go. I'll need to talk to Mrs. Tyler on my own, thank you."


The Doctor, Clara and Rose stood awkwardly in a crowded room as Indra entered. "Ladies and gentlemen, if we can convene, thank you." Indra said, silencing the room. "It's this way on the right." He said, motioning his hand through the door he just walked through. "And can I remind you that I.D cards are to be worn always, please? Thank you." The people filtered through the door slowly as he walked over to the trio. "Indra Ganesh, sir. Here's your I.D card." He handed it over to the Doctor. "Now, I'm sorry, but your companions don't have clearance."

"I don't go anywhere without either of them." He said simply as he put the card around his neck.

"You're the Code 9, not them. I'm sorry, Doctor, but they must stay outside. Even I don't have clearance into that room."

"They're staying with me." He protested.

Clara placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's alright. We'll be fine." He exchanged a soft glance with her before kissing her palm. "You be careful, okay?"

"Yes boss." He said with a smile.

"Excuse me. Are you the Doctor?" Harriet interrupted.

"Not now, we're busy." Indra said with a roll of his eyes.

"I just need a word in private."

"It'll be fine." Clara interrupted. "She can be with us."

Indra sighed before nodding. "This way, sir." He motioned the Doctor out of the room, who kept exchanging worried glances with Clara as he left.

"Come on, walk with me. Harriet Jones, MP, Flydale North." She said, leading the two into a quiet and empty room. "This friend of yours, he's an expert, is that right? He knows about aliens?"

"Why do you want to know?" Rose asked before they looked at each other with soft confusion as Harriet started to cry, making Rose rub her shoulders in comfort.

"Sorry. It was in the cabinet room, this way." Harriet said, leading them up the stairs into said room as she pulled the skin out of the cupboard, Clara and Rose look at it with wide eyes. "They turned his body inside out. A disguise for the thing inside." Harriet said, trying to hold back her tears.

"It's alright. I believe you." Clara said, Rose nodding beside her. "But why would they need suits?" Clara looked closely at the skin before gaining an idea. "This man was a bit…let's say loose. That must mean that these aliens are rather big, needing…similarly sized Humans to fit inside. But what if they had rejects? People they wanted but couldn't use?" Clara asked, motioning for Rose to help her rummage through the room until they got to a large wardrobe, which when opened revealed the dead body of a middle-aged man, making Rose gasp in shock.

"Oh my god." Rose breathed.

"Harriet, for god's sake!" Indra said with a groan, moving into the room. "This has gone beyond a joke. You can't just wander…" He trailed off upon noticing the body. "Oh, dear lord. That's the Prime Minister."

"Ohhh. Has someone been naughty?" They turned to the door, seeing Margaret enter with an evil smirk.

"That's not possible. He left his afternoon. The Prime Minister left Downing Street; he was driven away." Indra protested.

"And…who told you that?" Margaret asked as she placed her hand bag down. "Me." She said with fake innocence before moving her hand to her forehead.


"Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention, please?" Asquith called in the packed room. The Doctor held a red slip with a handful of files inside which he flicked through quickly before rolling his eyes and setting it down. "As you can see from the summaries in front of you, the ship had one porcine pilot."

"Never mind that." The Doctor interrupted as he stood up and started to pace the room, drawing everyone's raptured yet confused attention. "The really interesting bit happened about three days ago. Filed away under any other business: In the North Sea, a satellite detected a signal, a small blip of radiation at one hundred fathoms like something was down there. You were just about to investigate but the next thing you know, this happens; Spaceships, pigs, all creating a massive diversion, but why? If aliens fake an alien crash and an alien pilot, what do they get?" After a moment, a look of dreadful realization crawled onto his face as his posture stiffened. "Us. They get us. It's not a diversion, it's a trap. It's all about us, the alien experts. The only people with the knowledge of how to fight them, all gathered together in one room." A loud fart from Joseph makes him turn around with an offended glare. "Excuse me, do you mind not farting while I'm saving the world?"

"Would you rather silent but deadly?" Joseph said before bursting into maniacal laughter. Asquith chuckled darkly with him before removing his hat then rubbing a thumb on his forehead, causing a small, blue blur to appear which revealed a zip straight across his forehead. He then pulled it back, gleaming a bright, blue light into the room as he fully unzipped his head, pulling the top back to show a dark, green head inside, with the suit crackling with electricity. Grabbing onto the suit, he tugged hard which pulled it down, revealing a large, 8ft tall creature with eyes as black as night and large, sharp claws on its three fingered hands. "Asquith" gave a deep, menacing growl, sending shivers down the Doctor's spine as he looked on with wide, blinking eyes. He glanced towards its long neck which wore a black collar with a variety of buttons and tech, making his eyebrows furrow slightly.

"We are the Slitheen." "Asquith" said with a growling, animalistic voice.


"It was bigger on the inside. I don't know. What do I know about spaceships?" Jackie said, moving into the kitchen, missing the officer's hardened look.

"That's what worries me. You see, this man is classified as trouble. Which means that anyone associated with him is the same." He said, hiding his gleeful growl as he moved to unzip his forehead. As he removed his skin suit, Jackie came out of the kitchen and looked upon him before screaming in horror as he moved in a predatorily manner towards her.


"Well then, it has been a pleasure." "Margaret" mocked before she pounced on Indra, shoving her claws through his chest before pushing him far up the wall as he screamed in agony, the three looking on with horrified faces.


"Thank you all for wearing your I.D cards. They'll help to identify the bodies." Joseph taunted darkly as he pulled a small, black switch out of his pocket and pressed the button, causing said cards to burst with electricity, making everyone except for the Doctor to collapse in agony and even he struggled to stand against the onslaught of pain, clenching his teeth hard as he did. "Asquith" and Joseph looked on with maniac laughter, missing the Doctor's face turning into stern rage.

Chapter Text

World War Three

10 Downing Street
2006

"Thank you all for wearing your I.D cards. They'll help to identify the bodies." Joseph taunted darkly as he pulled a small, black switch out of his pocket and pressed the button, causing said cards to burst with electricity, making everyone except for the Doctor to collapse in agony and even he struggled to stand against the onslaught of pain, clenching his teeth hard as he did. "Asquith" and Joseph looked on with maniac laughter, missing the Doctor's face turning into stern rage. He grabbed onto his I.D card and yanked it hard, snapping the chain and causing the electricity to be contained within his arm but slowly spreading again. He struggled to get to his feet, giving loud breaths as he did before moving in a predatorial manner to "Asquith" while they looked on with horrified eyes.

"Deadly to Humans, maybe." He taunted before inserting the card into 'Asquith's collar, causing the electricity to arc within him and Joseph through their linked collars, making them cry in agony and allowing the Doctor to race from the room. Rushing through the large building, he found a group of soldiers and clapped his hands. "Oi! You want aliens?! Well, they're inside Downing Street, now chop-chop!" His words moved the soldiers into action as they followed him out.


Jackie looked at the Slitheen with wide yet blinking eyes as it collapsed on its knees in agony, before the front door slammed open and Mickey came rushing into the flat. "Jackie!" He pulled out his phone to photograph it before grabbing a chair and slamming it hard onto the Slitheen, making it fall to the ground as he grabbed Jackie's hand and led her hastily out of the flat.


"Go!" Clara said, making Rose and Harriet follow her out of the room as 'Margaret' dropped Indra's body to the ground.


Despite the literally electrifying agony, Joseph reached towards "Asquith" and pulled out the card from its collar and throwing it on the ground, ending the arc and making them breathe a sigh of relief before letting out a loud groan from the pain. "Quickly! Reinstate my disguise! Hurry!" "Asquith" growled, making Joseph grab its skin and rush to place it back on. As they finished, the Doctor and a group of soldiers entered the room, making Joseph turn his face into fearful disdain.

"Where've you been?! I called for help; I sounded the alarm! There was this lightning and they all collapsed in front of me."

The head soldier moved to check. "I think they're all dead, sir."

"That's what I'm saying. He did it!" He said, pointing to the Doctor. "That man there!"

"I think you'll find that the Prime Minister is an alien in disguise…" He trailed off, realising how ridiculous he sounded. "That's never going to work, is it?" He asked a soldier.

"Sorry, no."

"Fair enough." He shrugged before racing from the room, being followed by the soldiers until he was cornered against a wall, raising his hands in surrender despite his grin.

"Under the jurisdiction of the emergency protocols, I authorize you to execute this man!" Asquith commands.

"Well, now, yes. You see…uh…the thing is, if I was you and I was going to execute someone by backing them against the wall, a little word of advice between you and me."

*Ding* The elevator opened behind him, making him back inside with his sonic out.

"Don't stand them against the lift." He taunted gleefully, using the sonic to close the door and send it up one level.


"No, wait! They're still in there, the emergency protocols!" Harriet called, making them stop to turn yet jump at the sight of "Margaret".

"Never mind that, now go!" Clara called, making them rush through a corridor, closing a door behind them so they could go through another route, jumping as they heard the door be destroyed by "Margaret". Running past the elevator, they wrench open the door as Clara sends the Doctor a smile which made him wink back.

"Hello!" He grinned cheerfully, distracting "Margaret" before closing the door again, sending it up to the second floor.

"Hide." Clara whispered, making Harriet hide behind a changer and Rose a curtain, with Clara behind a long drawer beside the sofa. "Margaret" then enters the room, growling in a sniggering manner as she does.

"Oh, such fun. Little Human children, where are you?" She singed. "Sweet little Humans come to me. Let me kiss you better, with my big green lips."


"I repeat, the upper floors are under quarantine. You will stay where you are, you will disregard all previous instructions and you will take your orders directly from me." Asquith orders as the elevator returns, him and Joseph stepping inside.

"Mr. Green, sir. I'm sorry but you've got to come with me. We should evacuate the entire building." The leader protested.

Joseph restrained his urge to roll his eyes. "Sergeant, have you read the emergency protocols?"

"No, sir."

"Then don't question me. Seal off Downing Street, secure the ground floor and if the Doctor makes it downstairs, shoot on sight!" He then pressed the button to proceed to floor 2, hearing the muffled voices of the Sergeant giving orders and the men shuffling about.

"Let the sport begin." Asquith said with a smirk.

Joseph winced as he let out a fart. "I'm getting poisoned by the gas exchange. I need to be naked."

"Rejoice in it." Joseph crooks an eyebrow at him. "Your body is…magnificent." They proceeded to unzip themselves out of their suits as the lift arrived, before proceeding to leave.

"It does us good to hunt, purifies the blood." "Joseph" said.

"We'll keep this floor quarantined as our last hunting ground before the final phase." "Asquith" said as they moved into the room where "Margaret" prowled, neither of them noticing the Doctor watching in a corner.

"My brothers." "Margaret" greeted.

"Happy hunting, sister?" "Joseph" asked.

"It's been wonderful. The more you prolong it, the more they stink of sweat and fear."

"Asquith" breathed deeply. "I can smell an old girl, a stale bird made of brittle bones." Harriet gained a look of shocked offense. "And two ripe youngsters, filled with hormones and adrenaline. Fresh enough to bend before they snap."

"One of them has that sweet smell, of a girl infatuated with a man. Her meal shall be ravishing." "Margaret" growled as she pulled back a curtain to find a squealing Rose. "Oh no, it's the wrong one." She whined slightly.

"No! Take me first! Take me!" Harriet yelled, attracting their attention. However, the door slammed open as the Doctor raced in with a fire extinguisher, before firing in "Joseph" and "Asquith"s faces, making them cry.

"With me, now!" He ordered. Harriet raced over to the Doctor while Rose ran around "Margaret", who sneered as she got ready to pounce.

"Don't you dare." Clara growled as she grabbed a chair and slammed it across "Margaret"s face, making her fall into the window and break some of the glass, cutting her skin and making her cry in pain.

"Clara, come on!" Rose said, pulling her over to the Doctor.

"You two alright?" He asked.

"Yeah." They said in unison.

"Who the hell are you?" He asked Harriet.

"Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North."

"Nice to meet you."

"Likewise." They sprinted out of the room, only having little time before the Slitheen caught up.

"We need to get to the cabinet rooms!" The Doctor said.

"The emergency protocols are in there!" Harriet said.

"Harriet Jones, I like you!"

"I think I like you too!"

Pushing open the door to said room, they rushed inside as the Doctor pulled out his sonic and grabbed a glass of whiskey before heading to the door as the Slitheen came closer. "Oi! One more move and my sonic device shall triplicate the flammability of this alcohol. Woof! We all go up, so back off!" To their surprise, the bluff worked as the Slitheen stood awkwardly. "Right then, question time. Who exactly are the Slitheen?"

"They're aliens." Harriet said.

"Yes, I got that, thanks." He rolled his eyes.

"Who are you if not Human?" "Asquith" asked.

"Who's not Human?" Harriet mumbled.

"He's not Human." Rose said.

"He's not Human?" Harriet raised her eyebrows.

"Can I have a bit of hush?"

"Sorry."

"So, what's the plan?"

"But he's got a northern accent."

"Lots of planets have a north." Rose quoted.

"I said hush. Come on, you've got a spaceship hidden in the North Sea. It's transmitting a signal and you've murdered your way to the top of government, but why? Invasion?"

"Why would we invade this godforsaken rock?" "Joseph" grumbled.

"Then why is the Slitheen race here?" The three exchanged looks of bewilderment.

"The Slitheen race? Slitheen isn't our species, it's our surname. Jocrassa Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen at your service." Jocrassa bowed.

"So, your family?" The Doctor mumbled.

"It's a family business."

Clara looked at them with crossed eyebrows. "Then you're out to make a profit. What would this 'Godforsaken rock' give to you?" The three blinked before "Margaret" raised her clawed hand.

"Excuse me." "Margaret" said. "Your device will do what? Triplicate the flammability?"

"Is that what I said?" The Doctor asked with a snigger.

"You're making it up."

"Ah well. It did fool you, so haha." He taunted, making Clara giggle as he passed the drink behind him. "Harriet, have a drink. You're going to need it."

"You pass it to the left first."

"Sorry." He said, giving it to Clara, who handed it to Rose then to Harriet.

"Now we can end this hunt with a slaughter." "Asquith" said, grinding his claws together.

"There's a fascinating history here with Downing Street. Two thousand years ago, this was marshland. 1730, it was occupied by a Mr. Chicken. *Chuckles* He was a nice man. 1796, this was the cabinet room. Now if the cabinet's in session and in danger, these are the four safest walls in all Great Britain. End of lesson." The Doctor taunted as he lifted a latch by the door and pressed a button, causing steel to slide up in the door frame and closing it off along with every window in the room. "They were installed in 1991. That's three inches of steel lining every wall, window and door. They'll never get in."

Clara crossed her arms and crooked an eyebrow. "But we won't get out."

The Doctor bit his lip as she sniggered at his embarrassed blush. "Ah."


"He's safely contained. Now cut off communications inside that room, then summon the family. It's time we finished with this waste of a planet for good." Jocrassa ordered as the three left the room.


Asquith approached the Sergeant. "Sergeant. Now that the Doctor's been neutralized, the upper levels are out of bounds to everyone."

"Then, who are they?" He asked, pointing to the stairs where Margaret was motioning a large group of overweight people upstairs.

"Need to know, Sergeant. Need to know. I want you to liaise with communications. The Acting Prime Minister will be making a public address. He will speak to the nations of the world."

"Yes sir." They walked off. Upstairs, Joseph approached Margaret who was ticking off all the present family.

"Is that all of us?"

"All the family except for Sip Fel-Fotch. He's found a hunt of his own."

"Ah." They exchanged a knowing smile.


"You got anything stronger?" Jackie asked weakly as Mickey prepared a cup of tea.

"No chance. I've seen you when you've had a few and this isn't time for a conga."

"We've got to tell someone."

"But who do we trust? For all we know, they've all got those big bog monsters inside of them. This is what he does, Jacks, that Doctor bloke. Everywhere he goes, there's death and destruction and now he's got Rose in the middle of it."

"Has he got a great big green thing inside of him?"

"I wouldn't put it past him."

"No. You see the way him and Clara act? I don't think he'd do that to her."

"Well like it or not, he's the only person who knows how to fight these things."

"I thought I was going to die." Jackie mumbled, tears of fear coming into her eyes as she began to sob silently.

Mickey blinked as he started to feel tears in his own. "Come on, Jacks. If anyone's going to cry it's me. Now you're safe in my flat okay? No one's going to look for you in here, especially since you hate me so much."

"But you saved my life. God, that's embarrassing."

"You're telling me." They exchanged a small chuckle.

"I'm sorry, Mickey. I didn't mean to put you through all of that."

"It's not your fault." He said as they gave a small hug.


The Doctor carried Indra's body into the cupboard before placing a hand on his forehead to close his eyes. "Sorry." He mumbled before standing up to pace about the room. "Right, what've we got?"

"Nothing. This place is completely antique." Rose said. "What I don't get is when they killed the Prime Minister, why didn't they use him as a disguise?"

"He's too slim and they're big old beasts. They can only fit inside big Humans."

"My god, Clara was right."

"What?" He asked softly.

"She already guessed that there must've been rejects of people they couldn't use."

He looked at Clara with a soft smile as she blushed. "Well…I just…you know…looked about." She stuttered. "What about the device around their necks? What's that for?"

"It's a compression field, literally shrinks them down a bit. That's why there's all that gas, it's a big exchange. It's also a form of linked communication between them, kind of like a Facebook group message."

"Wish I had a compression field; I could fit a size smaller." Rose quipped, making them chuckle.

"Excuse me, people are dead. This is not the time for making jokes." Harriet reprimanded.

"Sorry, you get used to it when your friends with these two clowns."

"I heard that." They said in unison.

"That's a strange friendship." Harriet mumbled.

"Harriet Jones. I've heard that name before, Harriet Jones. You're not famous for anything, are you?" The Doctor asked.

"*Scoffs* Hardly. Just a lifelong back bencher, I'm afraid."

"Rings a bell, Harriet Jones." He mumbled before turning to Clara. "Do you know anything of her? Anything at all?"

She looked down in sadness. "Sorry. I wasn't paying attention to anything for five years." She mumbled.

He walked over to her and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Now don't start that again, Clara. It wasn't your fault." She nodded weakly as they embraced in a soft hug.

Harriet looked at them before turning to Rose. "Are they together?" She whispered.

"Not really. They're a couple of idiots." She whispered, making them smile. "Is there anything you can find in the protocols?"

"Well, it's a fat lot of use right now, I'm afraid. It lists all the people that could help in this situation and they're all dead downstairs."

"What about defence codes or something? Couldn't we just launch a nuclear bomb at them?"

Harriet looked at her with wide eyes. "You're a very violent young woman."

"I'm serious. What if we could?"

"Well, there's nothing on that in here. Nuclear strikes do need a release code, yes, but it's kept secret by the United Nations."

Clara pulled her head out of the Doctor's chest with furrowed eyebrows. "I'm sorry, can you say that again?"

"The codes?"

"All of it."

"Well…the British Isles can't gain access to atomic weapons without a special resolution from the U.N."

"Like that's ever stopped them." Rose mumbled.

"Exactly, given our past record and I voted against that, thank you very much. But the codes have been taken out of the government's hands and given to the U.N. Why did you want to know? Is it important?"

"Everything's important." The Doctor said, nodding to Clara with a smile.

"If we only knew what the Slitheen wanted or why they're here. Dear me, I'm saying 'Slitheen' as if it's normal." She mumbled.

"What do they want, though?" Rose asked.

"Well, if it's an invasion then it's a stupid one because they put the whole planet on red alert and they're just one family and they don't want 'Slitheen World'. They're a family business, so they're out to make money. That means that they want something that's here on Earth."

"Like what? Gold? Oil? Water?" Harriet asked.

"Not bad." Clara smiled.

"Thank you." Harriet smiled softly.

"Harriet Jones, why do I know that name?" The Doctor mumbled.

*Ring* *Ring*

"Sorry, that's me." Rose said, pulling out her phone.

"But we're sealed off. How did you get a signal?"

"He zapped it; Superphone." Rose said.

"Then we can phone for help, you must have contacts."

"Dead downstairs, yeah." He mumbled. "Who is it?"

"Mickey."

"Oh, tell your stupid boyfriend we're busy." He rolled his eyes, making Clara snigger.

"Yeah, he's not so stupid after all." Rose said, holding up her phone to him which was a sent picture of an electrified Slitheen. He crooked an eyebrow at this.

"Give him a call."

Rose complied, phoning up Mickey. "Hey, what happened?"

"There was an alien, Rose."

"Yeah, we figured that."

"No, no, no, not just alien but like, proper alien. All stinking, wet and disgusting. And more to the point, it wanted to kill us."

"I could've died." Jackie said in the background.

"Is she all right, though? Don't put her on, just tell me."

The Doctor snatched the phone out of her grasp, making her jaw drop incredulously before Clara put a hand on her shoulder. "Give me a mo." She whispered slyly, making Rose crook an eyebrow.

"Is that Rickey? Don't talk, just shut up and go to your computer." The Doctor said.

"It's Mickey and why should I?"

"Mickey the idiot, I might just choke before I finish this sentence but…uh…I need you." Clara and Rose sniggered at him, making him glare at the two. "Now, go to the U.N.I.T website." He moved over to the table and plugged the phone into a speaker, not noticing Clara moving over to him silently before grasping onto one of his ears and pulling hard. "Ow, ow, ow, ow!" He whined.

"Next time ask for it." She reprimanded before punching his shoulder.

"Ow! That hurt!"

"Aww, would you like me to kiss it better, you big baby?" She mocked, Rose laughing while Harriet smiled as she poured four glasses.

"I think there's other places that you could kiss."

"Oh really? Doesn't sound like there is."

"Not now, children." Rose groaned.

"Yes Mum." They said in unison.

"Doctor, it says "Password'."

"Buffalo. Two f's and one "."

"So, what's that website?" Jackie asked, pouring a cup of tea in the background.

"All the secret information known to mankind. See, they've known about aliens for years, they've just kept us in the dark."

"Mickey, you were born in the dark." The Doctor smirked.

"Oh, leave him alone." Rose grumbled.

"Thank you. Password again."

"Just repeat "Buffalo" every time it asks." He then rolled his hands over his face with a slight groan. "Big Ben; Why would the Slitheen go and hit Big Ben?"

"You said to gather the experts, to kill them." Harriet said, handing out glasses of whiskey.

"That lot would've gathered for a weather balloon; you don't need to crash-land in the middle of London." He said, smirking as Clara put her glass down with a small face of disgust.

"The Slitheen were hiding, but then they put the entire planet on red alert. Why would they do that?" Rose asked.

"Oh, listen to her." Jackie grumbled.

"Well, at least I'm trying."

"Well, I've got a question if you don't mind. Since those two walked into our lives, I have been attacked in the streets. I've had creatures from the pits of hell in my own living room and my daughter disappeared off the face of the Earth."

"I told you what happened."

"I'm talking to them. Because I've seen this life of yours, the both of ya and maybe you get off on it. Maybe you think it's all clever and smart, but you tell me. You answer me this: Is my daughter safe?"

"I'm fine."

"Is she safe? Will she always be safe? Can you promise me that?" The Doctor looked down for a moment as Clara rubbed her hand on his shoulder, making him smile sadly at her, which she returned. "Well? What's the answer?" There was a small ruffling noise for a moment.

"We're in." Mickey said.

That made the Doctor and Clara give a small breath of relief, as their answer wasn't a good one. "Now then, on the left at the top, there's a tab, an icon with little concentric circles. Click on that."

*Click* What then followed was a faint noise of electronic whirring on a loop. "What is it?"

"The Slitheen have got a spaceship in the North Sea and it's transmitting that signal. Now hush, let me work out what it's saying.

"They'll have to answer me one day." Jackie grumbled.

"Shush!"

"It's some sort of message."

"What's it saying?" Rose asked.

"I don't know, but it's on a loop. It keeps repeating."

*Ring* *Ring*

"Hush!"

"That's not me. Go and see who that is."

"It's 3:00 in the morning."

"Well go and tell them that." Mickey groaned.

"It's beaming out into space on a loop by a family business with profit in mind." Clara racked her brain.

"Clara?" He asked softly.

"Could it be-"

"Ah! It's him! It's that thing! It's the Slick-een!" Jackie shrieked.

"They've found us."

"Mickey, I need that signal." The Doctor protested.

"Never mind the signal! Get out, Mum! Just get out!"

"We can't. It's by the front door." The muffled sound of a Slitheen roaring was heard through the speaker. "Oh my god, it's unmasking. It's going to kill us."

"There's got to be some way of stopping them!" Harriet freaked in concern. "You're supposed to be the expert! Think of something!"

"I'm trying!" The Doctor cried as he rushed to the front of the room, Clara moving to join him as Rose and Harriet followed.

"I'll take it on, Jackie. You just run, okay? Just run and don't look back." The sound of crunching wood was heard as the front door to Mickey's flat was slowly torn apart.

"Doctor, please." Clara said imploringly.

The Doctor stared at her before determination burrowed into his eyes as he hastily nodded. "Right! If we're going to find their weakness, we need to find out where they're from, which planet. Judging by their basic shape, that narrows it down to five thousand planets within traveling distance. What else do we know about them, Clara? Information."

"They're green."

"Narrows it down."

"Good sense of smell."

"Narrows it down."

"They can smell adrenaline."

"Narrows it down."

"The pig technology." Harriet inputted.

"Narrows it down."

"The spaceship in the Thames, you said slipstream engine?" Rose inputted.

"Narrows it down."

"It's getting in!"

"They hunt like it's a ritual." Clara said.

"Narrows it down."

"Wait a minute!" Harriet said, making them turn to look at her. "Did you notice? When they fart, if you'll pardon the word, it doesn't just smell like a fart, if you'll pardon the word, it's something else. What is it? It's more like…um…"

"Bad breath." Rose concluded.

"That's it!"

"Calcium decay! Now that narrows it down!" The Doctor yelled, his tone getting gleeful.

"We're getting there, Mum!" Rose reassured.

"Too late!"

"Calcium phosphate, organic calcium, living calcium, creatures made from living calcium. What else…what else…hyphenated surname, yes! That narrows it down to one planet: Raxacoricofallapatorius!"

"Oh, great! We could write them a letter!" Mickey quipped.

"Get into the kitchen!" A slammed door followed by a rushing and scrambling sound was heard.

"Oh my god! It's going to rip us apart!" Jackie shrieked as the Slitheen tore through the front door.

"Calcium, recombined with the compression field; Ascetic acid, vinegar."

"Just like Hannibal!" Harriet realised.

"Just like Hannibal! Mickey, have you got any vinegar?"

"How should I know?"

"It's your kitchen!"

"Cupboard by the sink, middle shelf." Rose pointed out.

"Oh, give it here. What do you need?" Jackie asked.

"Anything with vinegar!"

Scrambling was heard as Jackie pulled out a jug onto the counter. "Gherkins. Yeah, pickled onions! Pickled eggs!"

"You kiss this man?" Clara quipped, making everyone chuckle.

The kitchen door was torn open as the Slitheen roared.

*Splash*

Utter silence fell for a moment until-

*BANG*

Everyone jumped slightly as the sound flared out of the speakers. "Ugh, alien bits! Disgusting!" Jackie whined, making them breathe a sigh of relief.

"Hold on, Hannibal?" Rose asked incredulously.

"Hannibal crossed the Alps by dissolving boulders with vinegar." Harriet said with a smile.

"Well, thank god for vinegar, eh?" Rose quipped making them laugh as they raised their glasses in a toast before drinking, the Doctor and Clara spitting out in disgust.

"God, I never listen to my own advice." Clara grumbled.

"I know. It's one of your redeeming qualities." He teased.

"Watch it." She warned.

"Ugh, seriously can we have a moment of peace?" Rose grumbled.

"Thank you." Harriet groaned, making the pair blush sheepishly.

"Sorry." They said in unison.


Asquith marched up to Joseph through the soldiers with a look of worried anger. "He's dead. Sip Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen is dead."

"I felt it. How could that happen?" He mumbled.

"Someone must've gotten lucky."

"By the heavens, that's the last piece of luck anyone on this rock will ever have." He growled as they strode out the front door of Downing Street to the clamouring reporters.

"Ladies and gentlemen." Joseph called, making them hush despite the constant flickering of cameras. "Nations of the world, Humankind. The greatest experts in extra-terrestrial events came here tonight. They gathered here in the common cause for the good of this world, but the news I bring you now is grave indeed. The experts are dead, murdered right in front of me by alien hands. Peoples of the Earth heed my words. These "Visitors" do not come in peace."


"Listen to this." Mickey said, making everyone look at each other with furrowed eyebrows.

"Our inspectors have searched the skies above our heads, and they have found massive weapons of destruction, capable of being deployed within forty-five seconds."

"What?" The Doctor mumbled.

"Our technicians can baffle the alien probes, but not for long. We are facing extinction, unless we strike first. The United Kingdom stands directly beneath the belly of the mothership. I beg of the United Nations, pass an emergency resolution. Give us the access codes. A nuclear strike at the heart of the beast is our only chance of survival, because…from this moment on, it is my…solemn duty to inform you: Planet Earth is at war."

"He's making it up. There's no weapons up there, there's no threat. He just invented it." The Doctor shook his head.

"Do you think they'll believe him?"

"Well, they did last time." Rose pointed out.

"That's why the Slitheen went for spectacle. They want the whole world panicking, because you lot, you get scared then you lash out." He said, leading them to the door of the room.

"They release the defence codes…"

"And the Slitheen go nuclear."

"But why?" Harriet asked.

The Doctor pressed the button to pull back the steel wall, revealing three Slitheen standing there with Margaret.

"You get the codes and release the missiles. But not into space because there's nothing there. You attack every other country on Earth, then they retaliate and fight back. World War Three, the whole planet gets nuked."

"And we can sit through it, safe in our spaceship waiting in the Thames. Not crashed, just parked and only two minutes away." Margaret sneered smugly.

"But you'll destroy the planet, this beautiful place, what for?" Harriet asked.

"Profit." Clara said. "That's what that signal beaming into space is. It's an advert."

"Sale of the century." Margaret nodded with a smirk. "We reduce the Earth to molten slag then sell it, piece by piece. This rock becomes raw fuel, made of radioactive chunks, all capable of powering every cut-price star liner and budget cargo ship."

"So, even aliens can't escape the greed of money." Clara growled, clenching her fists.

"Of course not. There's a recession out there, Clara. People are buying cheap."

"At the cost of five billion lives?"

"*Scoff* Bargain."

"Then I'll give you a choice: Leave this planet or I'll stop you." The Doctor said.

The four before them burst into laughter. "What, you? Trapped in your box?" Margaret taunted.

"Yes, me." He said coldly, pressing the button without moving his hard stare, making Margaret's smirk falter as the wall closes.


Joseph and Asquith walk back to the stairs where the Sergeant stood on guard. "Sergeant. We'll take the call in the Prime Minister's office. Maintain your positions and good luck." Joseph said grimly, holding out a hand which the Sergeant shook. Asquith patted him on the back as they moved up the stairs and into said room, chuckling gleefully as the door closed behind them, meeting back with Margaret and the rest of the family, most of them in their real bodies.

"Look at that! The telephone is actually red!" Joseph almost squealed, making everyone snigger. "Now, how long till they phone?"

"Counting down." Asquith said.

Joseph looked up with an idea, turning to the rest of the family. "Victory should be naked." He smiled as everyone with their disguise still on moved their hands to their heads.


"All right, Doctor. I'm not saying I trust you; I mean I trust Clara more than you but there must be something that can be done." Jackie said.

"If we could ferment the porch, we could make ascetic acid." Harriet pointed out.

"It would take too long." The Doctor shook his head.

"Mickey, any luck?" Rose asked.

"There's loads of emergency numbers and they're all on voicemail."

"Voicemail dooms us all." Harriet groaned.

"If we could just get out of here."

The Doctor exchanged a sad look with Clara, who smiled softly at him and nodded. "There's a way out." He said.

"What?"

"There's always been a way out."

"Then why don't we use it?"

"Because I can't guarantee that your daughter will be safe, Jackie."

"Don't you dare. Whatever it is, don't you dare."

"That's the thing, if I don't dare, everyone dies."

"Do it." Rose said simply, making them raise their eyebrows at her.

"You don't even know what it is, you'd just let me?"

"Yes. You're my friend, the both of you. Of course, I would." She said softly.

"Please, Doctor, please. She's my daughter. She's just a kid." Jackie protested.

"Do you think I don't know that? Because this is my life, Jackie. It's not fun, it's not smart. It's people dying, and lives torn apart until someone stands up and makes a decision when no one else will."

"Because we don't walk away." Clara said, making him smile softly at her.

"Well, what're you waiting for?" Rose asked.

"We could save the world, but you could die." He said sadly.

"Except it's not your decision, Doctor. Nor is it Clara's. It's mine." Harriet spoke, straightening her back.

"And who the hell are you?"

"Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North. The only elected representative in this room, chosen by the people, for the people and on their behalf, I command you: Do it." She said proudly, making his soft smile turn into an infectious grin.

"Quick, pass the protocols." The Doctor said, Harriet pushing them down the table to his reach.

"How do we get out?" Rose asked.

"We don't. We stay here. Oh, come on." He mumbled, flicking through the papers. "Got it. Mickey, get through the Royal Navy with that website. Use the 'Buffalo' password, it overrides everything."

"What're you doing?"

"Like he said, I'm hacking into the Royal Navy. We're in. Here it is, HMS Taurean, Trafalgar class submarine and ten miles off the coast of Plymouth."

"Right, select a missile."

"But we can't go nuclear, we don't have the defence codes."

"All we need is an ordinary missile. What's the first category?"

"Sub Harpoon, UGM-84A."

"That's the one, select."

"I could stop you." Jackie said, making them gulp.

"Do it."

"You ready for this?" A tense moment of silence followed.

"Yeah."

"Mickey the idiot, the world is in your hands. Fire."

*Click*

"Oh my god." Jackie breathed.

"Doctor, how solid are these?" Harriet asked.

"Not solid enough. They were built for short-range attack but nothing this big."

"All right, now I'm making the decision." Rose said, making the Doctor and Clara exchange impressed looks. "We're not going to die; we're going to ride this out. It's like what they say about earthquakes: You can survive them by standing under a door frame. Now, this cupboard's small, so it's strong." She said, opening said cupboard. "Come and help me." She said, motioning everyone over to empty the room completely.

"The missile is on radar. Counter Defence 556."

"Stop them intercepting it." The Doctor called.

"556 already neutralized."

"Good boy." He then grabbed the phone from the table and rushed with everyone into the cupboard.

"It was nice knowing you all." Harriet said.

"Us too." Clara said, the Doctor and Rose nodding as they all grasped each other's hands.


"What do you mean, "Incoming"?" The Sergeant asked the soldiers at the computers. He simply pointed, which showed the radar and the missile only inches away from its target: Downing Street. "Get everyone out. Now!" He ordered, making everyone present move quickly as he rushed into the main hallway and smashed the fire alarm. "Everybody out! Now!" He ordered, racing upstairs through the rushing soldiers, he wrenched open the door to the Prime Minister's office." Sir! There's a missile-" He cut himself off as he saw the large group of Slitheen standing there, looking at him with something akin to incredulousness. "Sorry." He mumbled before closing the door and racing downstairs and out the front door, firing his pistol to attract everyone outside. "Run! Everyone run!" He yelled, making them rush in panic as he saw overhead the missile gaining closer, rushing out of range before the missile slammed into the building, exploding it in a mass of flames and rubble that went flying in all directions around it. All that was left was a black, steel container, dented and scorched amongst the rubble as its front door was kicked down, the group exiting it and coughing at the sudden welcome of smoke and ash.

"Made in Britain." Harriet said proudly.

The Sergeant saw them, rushing over with a concerned look. "Oh my god! Are you alright?"

"Harriet Jones, MP, Flydale North." She said, pulling out her I.D card. "I want you to contact the U.N immediately and tell the ambassadors that the crisis is over, they can step down. Go on, tell the news."

"Yes, ma'am." He said, rushing off.

"Someone's got a hell of a job sorting this lot out." Harriet grumbled before her eyes widened. "Oh lord! We haven't even got a Prime Minister."

"Maybe you should have a go." Clara suggested.

"Me? *Scoffs* I'm only a back-bencher."

"I'd vote for you." Rose nodded.

"I would too, if I was Human." The Doctor shrugged making them chuckle.

"Now, don't be silly." She reprimanded lightly. "Look, I'd better go and see if I can help. Hang on!" She called, making her way in the direction of the Sergeant and a dozen reporters. The trio followed her slowly.

"I thought I knew the name: Harriet Jones, future Prime Minister. Elected for three successive terms and the architect of Britain's golden age." The Doctor said proudly.

"The crisis has passed! Ladies and gentlemen, I have something to say to you all here today." Harriet said, gaining the attention of the reporters. "Mankind stands tall, proud and undefeated. God bless humanity."


Returning to her flat, Rose was swept up in a hug by Jackie. "You alright?" Rose asked.

"Yeah, I'm alright. You?"

"I'm alright."

"How's your friends?"

"They're okay."


The Doctor and Clara returned to the TARDIS and re-powered her up again, before embracing each other, her head buried in his chest. "Don't worry, Doctor. I'm okay." She reassured.

"Rubbish. Of course, I worry about you." He said softly, making her smile as he placed a kiss on her head.


"Harriet Jones. Who does she think she is?" Jackie grumbled as Rose watched Harriet addressing reporters on the TV. "It should be you on there. My daughter saved the world!"

"The Doctor and Clara helped a bit."

"Alright then, them too. You should be given knighthoods."

"That's not the way he does things. No fuss about it, he just…moves on. Even Clara's not that different. But he's not that bad if you gave him a chance."

"Clara's alright, I like her. And he's good in a crisis, I'll give him that."

"Oh, now that the world has changed, you'll start saying nice things about them. Him particularly."

"Well, I reckon I've got no choice. There's no getting rid of them since you three are so close."

"We're just friends, Mum."

"That's what I meant. What did you think I was meaning?" She reprimanded, making them chuckle.

"Fair enough." Rose shrugged.

"By the way, what do they eat?"

"How'd you mean?"

"I was going to do shepherd's pie. All of us have a proper sit-down because…I'm ready to listen. I want to learn about that life you three lead. I mean, I don't know, he's an alien. For all I know, he eats grass and safety pins. How does Clara even put up with him?"

"I think Clara's the one that asks that question." Rose quipped, making Jackie laugh. "No, I'm pretty sure he'll have shepherd's pie. Does that mean you'll cook for him?"

"What's wrong with that?"

"If Clara wasn't there already, he would've met his match."

"Careful, Rosie, you're not too old for a slap. You can go visit your gran tomorrow. Better learn some French, since I told her you were in France." She said, moving into the kitchen.

*Ring* *Ring*

Rose pulled out her phone and looked at the caller, which read "TARDIS". Furrowing her eyebrows, she answered. "Hello?"

"Right, we'll be a couple of hours, then we can go."

"Hold on, where does the TARDIS have a phone?"

The Doctor gave a flustered cough. "On the front door. It's supposed to be linked to the console unit, but I keep forgetting to fix it. Wipe that smirk of your face, missy, it's not helping. Like I said, Rose, couple of hours. We've just got to send out this dispersal to cancel out the Slitheen's advert in case any bargain hunters turn up."

"Umm, my mother's cooking."

"Good. Put her on a slow heat and let her simmer." Clara giggled in the background while Rose tried to contain a smirk.

"She's cooking tea, for all of us."

"I don't do that. Even Clara's shaking her head. Wait, are you giggling or disagreeing? Okay, she didn't even answer."

"She wants to get to know you, the both of you.

"Tough, we've got better things to do."

"It's just tea."

"Not to us, it isn't."

"She's my mother."

"Well, she's not mine or Clara's." He quipped.

"That's not fair." Rose said in frustration.

"Well, you can stay there if you want. But right now, there's a plasma storm brewing in the Horsehead Nebula. Fires are burning ten million miles wide. I could fly the TARDIS right into the heart of it, then ride the shockwave all the way out, hurtle right across the sky and end up anywhere. It's your choice." The dial tone came through, making Rose glance off for a minute before she gained her answer, heading to her room to pack a bag.

"Rose? I was thinking, I've got that bottle of amaretto from New Year's Eve. Do they drink?" Jackie opened the door before looking at Rose, gaining a sad look of realisation. "I was just wondering whether they drink or not."

"They don't." Rose said.

"Don't' go sweetheart. Please don't go." Rose said nothing and continued packing. "I can get a proper job and work weekends. I'll past my test and if Jim comes around again, I'll say no."

"Mum, I'm not leaving because of you. I'm just traveling and then I'll come back."

"But it's not safe."

"Mum, if you saw it out there, you'd never stay home. Besides, they're good friends and I like them. Even if they can behave like children, they just make life seem…like it's happy. They make you want to feel like a kid again."

"Now they're sounding like Santa and his missus."

"Actually, that's a good way of putting it." She smiled as Jackie gave her a soft hug.

"Just stay safe out there, okay? Because if they don't bring you back, I'll slap them both to all the circles of hell."

"Of course, you would." Rose giggled.


Clara exited the TARDIS to see Mickey sitting by a wall, reading a newspaper with an incredulous face. "It's all done, miss." A kid of nine said as he picked up a bit of water and a few cleaning tools, with the 'Bad Wolf' graffiti now completely removed.

"Good. You graffiti that again and you'll have it. Now get back home." She said with a gentle smile as the kid then ran off with a childlike grin. She turned around as the Doctor came back out with a confused look.

"What was that about?"

"Kid graffitied the TARDIS, I made him clean it up." He crooked an eyebrow at her. "Don't." She warned with a sly smile, making them chuckle as they turned to Mickey.

"I just went down to the shop. And I was thinking that, with the whole world changed as there's aliens and spaceships in public but here it is." Mickey held up the paper which had the headline "Alien Hoax?" "How can they do that? They saw it."

"Humanity isn't ready yet. We'll be happy to believe in something that's invisible but if it's staring you in the face then we say 'Nope, I can't see it'."

"Yes, and there's a very good scientific explanation for that. It's called you're thick." He quipped, making them laugh.

"We're just idiots after all." Mickey said.

"Not all of you."

"Yeah?" He asked shyly.

The Doctor pulled out a blank disc. "Present for you, Mickey. That's a virus. You put it online, it'll destroy every mention of me. I'll cease to exist."

"Why would you do that?"

"Because you're right. I am dangerous, and I don't want anybody following me."

"And you let Clara come?"

"Clara comes by her own word. She doesn't have to come along if she doesn't want to." Clara gave him a gentle smile.

"And what about Rose?"

"Same thing with her. You could look after her, you know. Come with us."

Mickey shook his head. "I can't. This life of yours, it's just too much. I couldn't do it. Don't tell Rose I said that." The Doctor gave a nod to that as Rose and Jackie came over.

"You got enough stuff?" Clara quipped.

"You can talk." Rose teased, making them giggle. "The last time I stepped in there, it was a spur of the moment. Now, I'm signing up. Which means, you two are stuck with me." She said mockingly.

"Be a good boy and get her bag inside." Clara bumped the Doctor, making him sulk as he took Rose's bag from her.

"You should come with us, Mickey. There's plenty of room." Rose offered.

"Sorry, Rose. But someone's got to look out for us on the ground, eh?" Clara said, winking at Mickey when she wasn't looking.

"Sorry." Rose mumbled as she and Mickey shared a farewell peck.

"Good luck out there." Mickey said.

"You still can't promise me. What if she gets lost? What if something happens to you or the Doctor and she's left stranded on some moon a million light years away? How long do I wait then?" Jackie ranted.

"Mum." Rose turned her around. "You're forgetting; It's a time machine. I could go traveling around suns, planets and all the way out to the edge of the universe and be back just ten seconds after I left. So please, stop worrying."

"I'm your Mum, Rosie. I have to worry about you." She said sadly, giving her a hug.

"See you." Rose said softly before she and Clara entered the TARDIS, which then dematerialised after a moment. Jackie then looked down at her watch.

"Ten seconds." Jackie mumbled, making Mickey roll his eyes.

"It was a figure of speech, Jacks."

"Well, how should I know?" Jackie quipped lightly, making them chuckle as they moved away, Mickey back to his paper and Jackie to her flat.

Chapter Text

 

Dalek

Underground Bunker

The TARDIS materialised inside a dark room, filled with glass cases of alien objects all lined up like an exhibit. The Doctor and Rose stepped out with Clara, dressed in a grey sweater over a lace white collar shirt and skinny black jeans. "So, what is it? What's wrong?" Rose asked, her voice echoing through the room.

"I don't know. It's a signal, drawing the TARDIS off course."

"Where are we?" Clara asked.

"Earth, Utah, North America. About half a mile underground."

"And when?"

"2012."

"God, that's so close. I should be 26." Rose mumbled.

"You'd be at my age then." Clara shrugged slightly, making Rose breath slightly.

The Doctor flicked a switch which turned on all the lights, revealing the room was the size of an auditorium, made entirely of dull grey bricks. "Blimey." Rose said at the alien objects. "It's like a great, big museum."

"An alien museum. Someone's got a hobby." Clara said.

"They must've spent a fortune on this. Chunks of meteorite and moon dust. That's the mileometer from the Roswell spaceship."

"That's a bit of a Slitheen. A Slitheen's arm has been stuffed." Rose said, gazing upon one case which held said arm, standing upright.

"Oh, look at you." The Doctor said sadly, drawing their attention to a case containing a grey robot head, with inactive wires coming out of where its neck should be and a thin line for a mouth. The eyes were shaped in a circle with a small notch in the corning, making it look like it's crying.

"Doctor? What is it?" Clara asked, grasping his hand, making him smile softly at her.

"An old friend of mine. Well…enemy." He mumbled. "It's the stuff of nightmares, reduced to an exhibit. I'm getting old."

"Is that where the signal's coming from?" Rose asked.

"No, it's stone dead. The signal's alive. Something's reaching out and calling for help." He placed a hand gently on the glass, causing a loud alarm to blare in the room, followed by a large group of soldiers rushing in and cocking their rifles at them.

"Well, if someone's collecting aliens, that makes you Exhibit A." Rose teased slightly, only gaining a small smile from the two.


"Attention all personnel: Bad Wolf One descending. Bad Wolf One descending." A helicopter touched down before a middle-aged man with four soldiers stepped out and into the base to be welcomed by another four soldiers along with a woman and two younger men.

"Welcome back, Mr. Van Statten. On behalf of all of us, I want to wish you a very happy birthday, sir." The man rolled his eyes at the younger individual. "And the President called to convey his personal best wishes."

"The President is ten points down; I want him replaced." He demanded.

"I don't think that's very wise-"

"Thank you so much for your opinion, you're fired!" He clicked his fingers, making two soldiers seize the man and drag him away, pleading as he does. "Wipe his memory and put him on the road someplace. Memphis, Minneapolis, somewhere beginning with "M"." The woman rushed up to his side. "So, what do you think for next President? Republican or Democrat?"

"Democrat, sir."

"For what reason?"

"They're just so funny, sir?" She mumbled uncertainly.

Van Statten stopped, halting the group as he turned to look at her, while she gulped in fear. "What's your name?"

"Goddard, sir. Diana Goddard."

Van Statten looked at her with an impressed look. "I like you, Diana Goddard." He said, making her smile but more in relief. "Where's Adam, the English kid?"

"Sir." Said man comes forth. "I bought ten more artefacts at auction, Mr. Van Statten."

"Bring them on. Let me see them." He said, moving the group with him again.

"Sir, with respect, there's something more urgent. We arrested two intruders 53 floors down and we don't know how they got in."

"I'll tell you how they got in: In through the window." He quipped a bad joke, the group not laughing. "In through the window, intruder window, it was funny." He demanded, making them laugh awkwardly as he gave an arrogant smile. "Bring them in, let's see them. Diana tell Simmons I want to visit my little pet. Get to it!" He ordered, making them rush while Diana leaned against the wall and pressed her earpiece.

"Simmons, you'd better give me good news. Is it talking?"

"Not exactly talking, no." Simmons said.

"Then, what's it doing?"

"Screaming. Is that any good?" She rolled her eyes before moving to join the others.


The Doctor, Clara and Rose stepped into Van Statten's office, where Adam was showing the small collection of artefacts to him, his expression growing more bored by the second. "And this is the last. I paid $800,000 for it."

"What does it do?" He asked, his boredom being relieved slightly as he picked up the item, which was dark black and shaped like a coral, twirling it in his hand.

"Well, I'm thinking with the tubes on the side that it must be to channel something, like fuel."

"I really wouldn't hold it like that." The Doctor interrupted.

"Shut it." Diana warned.

"No, really. That's wrong." He said, ignoring her.

"Is it dangerous?" Adam asked.

"No, it just looks silly." He reached for it but heard the rocking of rifles at his back, until Van Statten raised his hand in an 'Ease' motion before handing the item to the Doctor. "You just need to be…delicate." He said, running the very tips of his fingers along it, creating a series of soft sounds almost like singing birds.

"A musical instrument." Clara said in wonder as he handed it over to her, before she created the same sounds, smiling softly as she did.

"And it's a long way from home." He said, smiling proudly at her.

"Let me." Van Statten said, taking the item from Clara's grasp and making her glare daggers at him while the Doctor restrained his urge to punch Van Statten in the teeth. He ran his hands roughly over the item, making everyone wince at the horrific sounds.

"He did say "Delicate"." Clara said, still glaring at him. After a moment, Van Statten eased his fingers and creating a sound that they considered…adequate. "Quite the expert." She said sarcastically.

"As are you." He retorted before throwing the item aside, gaining a more intense glare from Clara. "Who exactly are you?"

"I'm the Doctor. And who are you?" The Doctor interjected, stepping slightly in front of Clara.

"Like you don't know. We're hidden away with the most valuable collection of extra-terrestrial artefacts in the world and you just stumbled in by mistake."

"Pretty much, yeah."

"The question is: How did you get in? 53 floors down with your cat-burglar accomplices. Quite a collector yourself, they're rather pretty although, I'm not sure about her whole 'teacher' act." He pointed with a face too Clara.

"I'm going to detach something from you if you keep behaving like that." Clara growled.

"And she's a bossy northern, just perfect for you. I bet she'd be great for a night with." He winked lecherously.

"Are all business assholes like this?" Rose muttered sarcastically, placing a hand on Clara's to calm her.

"Dear me, you're all English." He said in mocking shock. "Hey, little lord Fauntleroy, got you a couple of girlfriends."

"This is Mr. Henry Van Statten." Adam interjected.

"And who's he when he's at home?" Rose asked.

"Mr. Van Statten owns the internet."

"Don't be stupid. No one own's the internet."

"And let's just keep the whole world thinking that way, right kids?" Henry winked playfully.

"And you're just about an expert in everything except the things in your museum. Anything you don't understand, you lock up." The Doctor deduced.

"And you claim greater knowledge?"

"I don't need to make claims; I know how good I am."

"And yet, I captured you, right next to the cage. What were you doing down there?"

"You tell me."

"The cage contains my one living specimen."

"And what's that?"

"Like you don't know."

"Show me."

"You really want to see it?"

"Blimey, you can smell the testosterone." Rose quipped, making Clara smirk slightly before returning to her glare.

"Goddard. Inform the cage; We're heading down. English look after the girls. Go and canoodle and spoon or whatever it is you British do. And you, Doctor with no name, come and see my pet." Henry said, walking everyone expect for Clara, Rose and Adam out of the room. The Doctor and Clara exchanged a soft, longing look before he disappeared.

"God, I can't tell if its either cute or annoying how you two can have entire conversations just by staring." Rose quipped.

"I heard that." Clara retorted, letting a sigh of relief out now that Henry wasn't in the room.


Arriving in front of a large, heavily guarded door, Henry inputted a code into the side, making it slide open slowly. "We've tried everything. The creature has shielded itself, but there's definite signs of life inside."

"Inside? Inside what?" The Doctor asked.

"Welcome back, sir." Simmons said, stepping forward and taking his large gloves off. "I've had to take the power down. The Metaltron is resting."

The Doctor crooked an eyebrow. "Metaltron?"

"Thought of it myself. Good, isn't it? Although…I'd much prefer to find out its real name."

"Here, you better put these on. The last guy that touched it…burst into flames." Simmons said, holding out his gloves.

"I won't touch it then." The Doctor said cheekily, making Diana smirk.

"Go on in, Doctor. Impress me." Henry said, motioning him inside. As soon as the Doctor stepped in, the door closed behind him. "Don't open that door until we get a result." Henry's voice floated like a whisper through an intercom, making the Doctor roll his eyes. The only light source inside the dark room, which was filled with strewn wires and tools was a small, blue light like an eye as the Doctor turned to look at it.

"Look, I'm sorry about this. Mr. Van Statten might think he's clever but never mind him. I've come to help, I'm the Doctor."

"Doc-Tor." An eerily familiar voice came through the room, sending cold shives down his spine. Shives that he nowadays only felt when Clara was in danger.

"Impossible." He said, terror in his voice.

"THE Doctor?" The lights then switched on, revealing a battered and broken Dalek staring at him. "Exterminate! Exterminate!"

"Let me out! Let me out!" The Doctor pleaded, banging his hand on the door.

"Exterminate!"

"Sir, it's going to kill him!" Diana protested.

"It's talking!"

"You are an enemy of the Daleks! You must be destroyed!" The Doctor paused as he turned to look at the Dalek, who went silent as it stared down at its weapon, unable to fire.

"*Scoffs* It's not working." He then laughed darkly and maniacally, making the Dalek move back ever so slightly. "Fantastic! Oh, fantastic! Powerless! Look at you. The great space dustbin. How does it feel?!" He spat.

"Keep back!" The Dalek struggled against its chains fruitlessly as the Doctor approached him menacingly.

"What for?! What're you going to do to me?!" He then started to stalk around it, the eye-stalk following his every move. "If you can't kill, then what're you good for, Dalek?! What's the point of you being alive?! That makes you nothing. What the hell are you here for?" He asks with venom.

"I am waiting for orders."

"What does that mean?"

"I am a soldier. I was bred to receive orders."

"Well, you're never going to get any, not ever."

"I demand orders!"

"They're never going to come! Your race is dead! You all burnt, all of you! Ten million ships on fire, the entire Dalek race wiped out in one second!"

"You lie!"

"I watched it happen! I MADE it happen!"

"You destroyed us?!"

That silenced the Doctor who stepped back slowly and ran his hands over his face. "I had no choice." He mumbled.

"And what of the Time Lords?"

Utter silence as he looked down. "Dead. They burnt with you. The end of the Last Great Time War. Everyone lost."

"And the coward survived."

"Oh, and I caught your little signal. 'Help me. I'm a lost, lonely, poor little thing.'" He said sarcastically. "But there's no one else coming because there's no one else left."

"I…am…alone…in the…universe?" The Dalek struggled to get these words out.

"Yep." He mumbled.

"So are you." The Doctor's face turned into rage. "We are the same."

"We're not the same! I'm not…" He trailed off, before a cold grin came onto his face. "No, wait…maybe we are. You're right. Yeah, okay. You've got a point." He started to back towards a console with a level. "Because I know what to do. I know what should happen. I know what you deserve." He raised his eyebrows as the Dalek stared at him. "Exterminate." He said coldly as he flicked the level, causing electricity to arc through the Dalek as it writhed in its confines in agony.

"Get him out of there!" Henry demanded, making the door open.

"Ahhhh! Have pity!"

"Why should I?! You never did!" He flicked the lever again as two guards came in and restrained him before hauling him out of the room as Henry entered.

"Help me!"

"You've got to destroy it!" The Doctor called as the Dalek stared at Henry.

"I saved your life, now talk to me! Goddammit, talk to me!" He looked at him with a small smile. "The last in the universe and now…I know your name: Dalek. Speak to me, Dalek." Silence. "I am Henry Van Statten, now recognise me!" He demanded. Utter silence. He turned to Simmons. "Make it talk again, Simmons. Whatever it takes." Simmons nodded with a cold smirk.


Adam led Clara and Rose into his cramped workspace, Rose looking interested while Clara grabbed some items to inspect them albeit rather dully. "Sorry about the mess. Mr. Van Statten sort of lets me do my own thing, so long as I deliver the goods. Now, what do you think that is?" He held up a piece of metal, which Rose then inspected.

"A lump of metal?" Rose shrugs, making Clara snigger.

"Yeah. Well, I think, at least I'm almost certain, that it's from the hull of a spacecraft. The thing is, it's all true. Everything the United Nations tries to keep quiet: Spacecrafts, aliens, visitors to Earth…they really exist."

Rose sent Clara a mischievous look which made Clara nod to her with a wink. "That's amazing." She breathed, making him buy her act.

"I know, it sounds incredible, but I honestly believe that the whole universe is just teeming with life."

"I'm gobsmacked, yeah." Clara had to hide her giggles behind her mouth. "And you do what: Sit here and catalogue it?"

"It's the best job in the world."

"Imagine if you could get out there, travel amongst the stars and see it for real."

Clara dropped her shoulders, holding back a groan. Rose, he's not even that good looking. Ugh.

"Yeah? I'd give anything. But I don't think it's ever going to happen, not in our lifetimes."

"Oh, you never know. What about all those people who say they've been inside of spaceships and talked to aliens?"

"I think they're nutters."

After a moment, Rose smirked. "Yeah, me too." Clara smirked slightly as the two exchanged a chuckle. "So, how'd you end up here?"

"Van Statten has agents all over the world looking for geniuses to recruit."

"Oh right, you're a genius."

"Sorry but, yeah." He shrugged nonchalantly. "I can't help it; I was born clever."

At least the Doctor's ego is fun to watch.

"When I was 8, I logged on to the U.S Defence System, nearly caused World War Three."

Rose raised her eyebrows. "What, and that's funny, is it?"

"Well, you should've been there. Just to see them running about. Fantastic!" He said gleefully.

Clara clenched her jaw before taking a breath to calm herself.

"You sound like the Doctor." Rose said, Clara turning to glare at her which made her gulp. "Sorry." She whispered, making Clara nod slightly.

"Are you and him-"

"No, we're just friends." Rose cut him off.

"Good." Clara rolled her eyes.

"Why is it good?" Rose crooked an eyebrow.

"Just is." He mumbled slightly.

"So…wouldn't you rather be downstairs? I mean, you've got these bits of metal and stuff, but Mr. Van Statten's got a living creature down there."

"Yeah, yeah. Well, I did ask but he keeps it to himself. Although, if you're a genius, it doesn't take long to patch into the com system." He smirked slyly.

"Let's have a look then." Rose said, Clara moving to look over their shoulders.

"It doesn't do much, the alien. It's weird, it's kind of…useless. It's just liked this great big pepper pot." He said, inputting codes into his computer, which propped up a camera in the Dalek room, showing Simmons using a tool to torture it, causing loud screams to echo through the speakers.

"It's being tortured! Where's the Doctor?!" Clara demanded, speaking for the first time.

"I don't know." Adam said, slightly shocked at her outburst.

"I'm going down there." She said, moving to leave the room.

"You can't go down there; you don't have clearance." Adam protested.

"Then come along." Clara nearly growled, making him gulp and move hastily out of the room, Rose looking slightly worried for him but not because she liked him.


"The metal's just battle armour, the real Dalek creature's inside." The Doctor said as he, Henry, Diana and two soldiers moved into a large elevator.

"What does it look like?" Henry asked.

"A nightmare. It's a mutation. The Dalek race was genetically engineered; Every single emotion was removed except hate."

"Genetically engineered. By whom?" Henry asked in wonder.

"By a genius, Van Statten. By a man who was king of his own little world, you'd like him."

"It's been on Earth for over fifty years; Sold at a private auction and moving from one collection to another. Why would it be a threat now?" Diana asked.

"Because I'm here. How did it get to Earth? Does anyone know?"

"The records say it came from the sky like a meteorite. It fell to Earth on the Ascension Islands, burnt in its crater for three days before anybody could get near it and all that time it was screaming. It must've gone insane."

"Must've fallen through time, the only survivor." The Doctor mumbled, staring distantly.

"You talked about a war?"

"The Time War: The final battle between my people and the Dalek race."

"But you survived too." Henry pointed out.

"Not by choice."

"This means the Dalek isn't the only alien on earth, Doctor, there's you. The only one of your kind in existence." He pressed a different button on the elevator before clicking his fingers, the two soldiers then restraining the Doctor.

"What are you doing?!" He demanded.

"What you said earlier, Doctor. If you're an alien and I don't understand you, I'll have to lock you up." He smirked, the elevator opening as he led them into a dark room with a restraining table and a scanning tool in front of it. "Put him on the table." He ordered, the soldiers forcing the Doctor onto it before cuffing his hands and legs while struggled against them fruitlessly. "Now…smile." He said cheekily before pressing a button on the scanner. This emitted a red light that moved up and down the Doctor's chest, causing him to scream in agony while an x-ray of his body appeared on the scanner's screen, with two red signals flaring in the centre. "Two hearts! A binary vascular system! Oh, I am so going to patent this." He said, clapping his hands like a child getting presents.

"So, that's your secret." The Doctor breathed, holding back his pain. "You don't just collect this stuff, you scavenge it."

"This technology has been falling to Earth for centuries. All it took was the right mind to use it properly. Oh Doctor, the advances I've made from alien junk: Broadband. Roswell. Just last year, my scientists cultivated bacteria from the Russian crater, and you know what we found? The cure for the common cold. Kept it strictly within the laboratory, of course. There's no need to get people excited. Why sell one cure when I can sell a thousand palliatives?"

"Do you know what a Dalek is, Van Statten? A Dalek is honest. It does what it was born to do for the survival of its species. That makes that creature in your dungeon better than you."

"In that case, I will be true to myself and continue."

"Please, listen to me! That thing downstairs is going to kill every one of us!"

"Nothing can escape that cage, Doctor." Henry denied smugly, before pressing the button and making the Doctor clench in pain.

"But it's woken up! It knows I'm here! Van Statten, I swear, no one on this base is safe, no one on this planet!" He merely pressed it again, faking a yawn. "Aaah!"


"Hold it right there!" A soldier said, as Adam came into the room outside the Dalek cell with Clara and Rose.

"Level 3 access. Special clearance from Mr. Van Statten." Adam said, holding up a card and making the soldier halt his movements.

"If he insists." He mumbled, pressing a button to let them in before closing the door behind them. Clara moves towards it with Rose standing behind her.

"Hello. Are you in pain? My name's Rose and this is Clara. We've got a friend who can help. He's called the Doctor. What's your name?"

"Yes." The Dalek croaked weakly.

"What?"

"I…am…in pain. They…torture me. But still, they…fear…me. Do the both of you fear me?"

"No." Clara said softly, Rose nodding with her.

"I am dying."

"No, we can help."

"I welcome death. But…I am glad that…before…I die…I've met a Human who was not afraid."

"Is there anything we can do?" Rose asked.

"My race…is dead. I shall die…alone."

Clara looks at the Dalek in sadness before reaching to place her hand on it. "Clara, no!" Adam protested, making Rose's eyes widen. Clara touched the Dalek, causing her hand to burn slightly and making her withdraw it with a wince as they backed away.

"Genetic material extrapolated! Initiate cellular reconstruction!" The chains snapped away as sparks flied off the Dalek, while the door behind them opened and Simmons with two soldiers stepped inside.

"What the hell have you done?!" He demanded before moving to the Dalek, who raised it's 'arm' upwards. "What're you going to do? Sucker me to death?" He taunted until the arm shot out and grasped onto his mouth, cutting off his air supply as he struggled against it while the rest ran out of the room and shut the door.

"It's killing him! Do something!" Rose freaked.

A soldier pressed the intercom. "Condition Red. Condition Red. This is not a drill."


"I repeat, this is not a drill." Van Statten looked at the Doctor with pleading eyes.

"Release me if you want to live." He breathed.


Clara and Rose saw the Doctor come on the monitor. "You've got to keep it in that cell!" He demanded.

"Doctor, it's all my fault." Clara mumbled, making him look at her with worried eyes.

"I've sealed the compartment. It can't get out. That lock's got a billion combinations." A soldier protested.

"A Dalek's a genius. It can calculate a thousand billion combinations in one second flat."

Sure enough, they turned to look at the door, which the lock showed a rapid cycle of numbers flying past until they stabilised, and the door opened, showing the Dalek staring straight at them. "Open fire!" A soldier ordered, making the other fire their pistol with him, which made the bullets just bounce of the Dalek, only leaving bare scratches.

"Don't shoot it! I want it unharmed!" Henry protested.

"Clara, Rose, get out of there!" The Doctor yelled.

"De Maggio get the civilians and get them out alive. That's your job, okay?" The soldier ordered.

"Yes sir." She said, before turning to the three. "This way, now!" She demanded, making them rush from the room. The Dalek ignored the soldier and moved towards a computer before raising its 'arm' and plunging straight into the screen, causing electricity to arc within itself and repair its armour, all the while it was screaming in agony.


"Abandoning the cage, sir." The soldier said. Diana moved to their computer screen.

"We're losing power. It's draining the base…Oh my god, it's draining the entire power supplies for the whole of Utah."

"It's downloading."

"Downloading what?" Henry asked.

"Sir, the entire West Coast has gone down."

"It's not just energy. That Dalek just absorbed the entire internet. It knows everything." They flicked the screen to show the Dalek in the vault, slowly backing away from the wrecked computer.

"The Daleks survive in me?! Exterminate!" It then fired at the desk, destroying it completely. "Exterminate!" It then fired at a nearby gas canister, causing gas to flood the room before turning around to look at the computer. "Exterminate!" It then fired, destroying the camera.

"That's the cameras down, sir." Diana reported.

"We've only got emergency power. It's eaten everything else. You've got to kill it now!"

"All guards to converge on the Metaltron cage immediately."


A group of six soldiers gathered at one end of a long hallway as the group ran up to them. "Civilians! Let them through!" De Maggio ordered, making them part ways as the four ran through them, while the soldier from the vault came around a corner and ran towards them, the Dalek moving slowly behind him.

"Cover the north wall! Red Division maintain suppressing fire along the perimeter!"

"Exterminate!"

"Aaah!" The soldier collapsed dead in the hallway from the blast, causing the group to fire upon the Dalek.

Raise shields. It commanded mentally as some of the bullets inched too close to its eye-stalk, before an invisible shield appeared around it, causing the bullets to melt only inches from its armour. "Exterminate!" It then fired four blasts, hitting with pinpoint accuracy and causing four soldiers to fall to the ground, screaming as they died. The Dalek heard more rifles being fired from behind, turning around to see another six soldiers before turning back round again. "Exterminate!" It fired two blasts upon the survivors before turning around.

"Tell them to stop shooting at it!"

"But it's killing them!" Diana protested.

"They're dispensable! That Dalek is unique! I don't want a scratch on its body work, do you hear me?! Do you hear me?!"

"Exterminate!" Firing six shots, it sent the last remaining soldiers to the ground, stone dead. Turning around without a word, it began to slowly move up the hallway again.


"That's us, right below the surface." Diana pointed to one of the computer screens, showing the schematic of the base. "That's the cage and right there is the Dalek."

"This museum of yours, have you got any alien weapons?"

"Lots of them. But the problem is that the Dalek's between us and them."

"We've got to keep that thing alive. We could just seal the entire vault, trap it down there."

"That would leave everyone trapped with it. Clara's down there and so is Rose; I won't let that happen. Have you got that?" The Doctor almost growled, silencing Henry. "It's got to go through here, what's that?"

"Weapons testing." Diana said.

"Give guns to the technicians, the lawyers, anyone and everyone. Only then have you got a chance of killing it."


The group of four ran through a door, entering a stairwell. "Stairs, that's more like it." Rose said in relief. "It hasn't got legs, it'll be stuck."

"It's coming! Get up!" De Maggio ordered, making them move up to the next level, only stopping to see the Dalek entering and staring down at the step-in front of it.

"Great big alien death machine defeated by a flight of stairs." Adam said smugly, causing Clara to roll her eyes.

"Now, listen to me. I demand that you return to your cage. If you want to negotiate, then I can guarantee that Mr. Van Statten will be willing to talk. I accept that we imprisoned you, and that was wrong. But people have died and that stops right now. The killing stops, have you got that? I demand that you surrender, is that clear?!" De Maggio ordered with her pistol raised.

The Dalek turned its eye-stalk to stare at them. "Elevate." It then started to hover above the ground, moving slyly but slowly over the steps, staring at them with its every move as they looked at it in horror.

"Oh my god." Rose breathed.

"Adam, get them out of here." De Maggio ordered.

"Come with us, you can't stop it."

"Someone's got to try, now get out!" Rose and Adam moved up the stairs.

"Please! Don't do this!" Clara protested.

"Whatever happens, ma'am, it wasn't your fault. Have you got that?" Clara nodded weakly at her. "Now don't look back, just run!" Clara looked at her sadly before complying as they rushed up the stairs and through another door.

"Exterminate!"

"Aaah!" They heard the faint sound of a blast and her body hitting the ground before silence fell upon them, the only sounds being their rushing footsteps and panting breaths.


I thought you were the great expert, Doctor. If you're so impressive, then why not just reason with this Dalek? It must be willing to negotiate. There must be something it needs. Everything needs something." Henry rambled in shaking fear.

"What's the nearest town?"

"Salt Lake City."

"Population?"

"One million."

"All dead. If the Dalek gets out, it'll murder every living creature. That's all it needs."

"But why would it do that?!"

"Because it honestly believes they should die. Human beings are different, and anything different is wrong. It's the ultimate in racial cleansing and you, Van Statten, you've let it loose!"


"Positions!" The Commander yelled, causing all the armed men and soldiers to rush about, with at least ten men on the ground while six including the Commander stood on the overhead railing.

"The Dalek's surrounded by a forcefield. The bullets are melting before they even hit home, but it's not indestructible. If you concentrate your fire, you might get through. Aim for the dome, the head, the eyepiece, that's the weak spot-"

"Thank you, Doctor, but I think I know how to fight one single tin robot." The Commander said sarcastically before turning off his communicator. "Take aim!" He ordered, making everyone cock their rifles and aim to the other end of the room until Clara, Rose and Adam came rushing in. "Hold your fire! You three, get the hell out of there now!" He demanded, making them rush past the soldiers, turning back to see the Dalek slowly rolling into the room, who turned its eye-stalk towards them. Clara breathed a heavy sigh as she felt the back of her neck prickle, like someone was watching her, realising that the Dalek was staring straight at her as Adam and Rose pulled her away.

"It was looking at me." She mumbled.

"Yeah, it wants to slaughter us."

"No, Clara's right, it was looking right at her." Rose protested.

"Yeah, it's a sort of…metal eye thing, it's looking all around."

"I don't know. It's like there's something inside, looking at me like…like it knows me." Clara mumbled.

"Come on, we've got to keep moving." Adam said, making them rush despite Clara's distant thinking.


The TV in front of them flickered as the image of the Dalek surrounded by soldiers appeared. "What's it doing?" Henry asked in confusion.

"It wants us to see." The Doctor said grimly.

"On my mark." The Commander said as the Dalek moved forward slightly before staring at the ceiling and down again. "Open fire!" A loud, echoing sound flew through the room as everyone started firing at the Dalek, not letting up despite none of the bullets hitting home as the Dalek stood motionless. It then levitated until it was 5 feet off the ground before firing at the wall, shattering a fire alarm and causing water to rain from the ceiling. Setting a timer within itself for 30 seconds, it waited until it finished counting down, by that time the floor was covered in an inch of water, all the soldiers completely soaked through.

"Exterminate!" Firing at the ground, a large bolt of electricity arced through the water, killing all the soldiers on the ground instantly.

"Fall back! Fall back!" The Commander yelled.

"Exterminate!" The Dalek then fired at the drenched railing, arcing more electricity and killing those left until only the Dalek was left, the only sounds being the pattering of water as the Dalek floated back down to the ground in silence. The Doctor, Henry and Diana looked on with horror as it switched off the screen.

"Perhaps it's time for a new strategy. Maybe we should consider abandoning this place." Henry breathed while Diana glared at him.

"Except there's no power to the helipad, sir. We can't get out."

"You said we could seal the vault." The Doctor pointed, making Henry move to sit at one of the computers.

"It was designed to be a bunker in the event of nuclear war with steal bulkheads to close off the area."

"There's not enough power, those bulkheads are massive."

"We've got emergency power. We can reroute that to the bulkhead doors."

"We'd have to bypass the security codes, that would take a computer genius."

"Good thing you've got me then." Van Statten interjected.

"You want to help?"

"I don't want to die, Doctor, simple as that and nobody knows this software better than me." Diana looked up to see the screen switch on, the Dalek staring right at them.

"Sir." She breathed, making them look at the screen.

"I shall speak only to the Doctor."

The Doctor then stepped towards the screen slowly. "You're going to get rusty." He quipped weakly.

"I fed off the DNA of Clara Oswald. Extrapolating the biomass of a time traveller regenerated me."

"What's your next trick?"

"I have been searching for the Daleks."

"Yeah, I saw. You were downloading the internet. What did you find?"

"I scanned your satellites and radio telescopes."

"And?"

"Nothing. Where shall I get my orders now?!"

"You're just a soldier without commands."

"Then I shall follow the primary order, the Dalek instinct: To destroy, to conquer!"

"What for?! What's the point?!" He roared, silencing the Dalek. "Don't you see, it's all gone. Everything you were, everything you stood for."

"Then what should I do?" It said weakly.

The Doctor gained a cold expression. "Alright then. If you want orders, follow this one: Kill yourself."

"The Daleks must survive!"

"The Daleks have failed! Why don't you finish the job and make the Daleks extinct?! Rid the universe of your filth! Why don't you just die?!" He spat. Utter silence until…

"You would make a good Dalek." It said, switching off the screen and making the Doctor blink for a moment before he turned around.

"Seal the vaults." He ordered, making him and Henry move onto the computer and type hastily on their keyboards.

"I can leech power off the ground defences and feed it to the bulkheads. God, it's been years since I've had to work this fast."

"Are you enjoying this?" The Doctor reprimanded.

"Doctor, they're still down there." Diana reminded him, making him take an earpiece and input a number into it.

"Blimey, you have some horrible timing, Doctor." Clara quipped despite her panting.

"Hello to you too. Where are you?" He asked, sighing in relief at her voice.

"Level 49."

"You've got to keep moving. The vault's being sealed off up at level 46."

"Can't you stop them closing?"

"I'm the one who's closing them. I can't wait, and I can't help you. Please Clara, just run." He pulled up a schematic showing their life sign coming up the stairs to level 46.

"Got it, that's power to the bulkheads." Henry said.

"The Dalek's right behind them." He said, getting worried.

"We're nearly there give us two seconds!" Clara panted.

"Doctor, I can't sustain the power, this whole system is failing. Doctor, you've got to close the bulkheads." Henry pleaded.

The Doctor looked down at the keyboard with a sad face. "I'm sorry." He mumbled before pressing the enter key. The life signs reached the door making him stand up.

"The vault is sealed." Henry stated.

"Where are you? Clara, did you make it?"

"I think…I was a bit slow there. I'm sealed in." She panted, her words causing his chest to clench painfully. "Don't go blaming anyone, especially Rose. I pushed her through. Only one of us could make it."

"Clara." He breathed with wide eyes.

"It wasn't your fault either, okay? Remember that, it wasn't your fault. And do you know what? I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thank you, Doctor, for everything."

"Exterminate!" Hearing these words, he ripped the earpiece away, tears coming into his eyes as he looked distantly.

"I killed her." He mumbled.

"I'm sorry." Henry said with pity.

He turned around with an empty glare. "I promised I'd save her life. I failed twice before, and I failed again and you're sorry?! I could've killed that Dalek in its cell, but you stopped me."

"It was the prize of my collection."

"Your collection?!" He roared, stunning them with shock. "Was it worth it?! Was it worth all those men's deaths?! Worth Clara?! Let me tell you something, Van Statten. Mankind goes into space to explore, to be part of something greater."

"Exactly! I wanted to touch the stars!"

"You just wanted to drag the stars down and stick them underground, underneath tons of sand and dirt and label them! You're about as far from the stars as you can get!" He breathed before his sadness came back. "And you took her down with you. First trip, she killed a sun with a leaf and now she…she's dead. She was 27 years old and now she's dead."


Clara looked back at the Dalek with bewilderment as it stood there, staring at her. "Go on then. Kill me. Why're you doing this?"

"I am armed. I will kill. It is my purpose."

"They're all dead because of you!"

"They are dead because of us."

Clara clenched her jaw. "So now what? What're you waiting for?"

"I…feel your…fear."

"What do you expect?" She said shakily.

"Daleks do not fear, must not fear." It then fired at either side of her, making her flinch. "You gave me life! What else have you given me?! I am contaminated!"


Rose and Adam entered the room, with her looking at the Doctor with sadness. "I'm sorry." She mumbled.

"It wasn't your-"

"Open the bulkhead or Clara Oswald dies!" The voice of the Dalek rang through the room as the screen showed Clara standing beside it.

He laughed but more in relief. "You're alive?! I thought you were dead!"

"Can't get rid of me that easily, eh old man?" She quipped.

"Hush you." They smiled despite only he could see her.

"Open the bulkhead!"

"Don't do it, Doctor!"

"What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?"

The Doctor breathed knowing the Dalek was right while Clara had an internal struggle of denying the Dalek's words. He turned around to see everyone looking at him with wide eyes. "I killed her already and I lost her twice before that. Never again." He said sternly before pressing the enter key again, opening the bulkhead door as the Dalek and Clara stepped through the door.

"Well Doctor, what the hell do we do now?!" Henry exclaimed in fear.

"We can kill it when it gets here." Adam pointed.

"All the guns are useless, and the alien weapons are in the vault." Diana protested.

"Only the catalogued ones." Henry looked at him with a 'Are you kidding me?' look while everyone crooked an eyebrow at him. "This way." He said, leading the Doctor and Rose out of the room and into his workspace. The Doctor approached a container and started inspecting the items inside.

"Broken. Broken. Hairdryer." He said, tossing each item aside, making Adam place his face in his hands.

"Mr. Van Statten tends to dispose of his staff and when he does, he wipes their memories. I kept this stuff in case I needed to fight my way out one day."

"What, you in a fight? I'd like to see that." He said sarcastically.

"I could do."

"What're you going to do? Throw you're a-levels at them?" He sassed before picking up another item, gaining a smirk. "Oh yes, lock and load."


Inside the elevator, Clara looked between the door and the Dalek's twitching blaster with worried eyes. "Please, don't kill them. You don't have to kill them; you didn't kill me."

"But why not? Why are you alive? My function is to kill. What am I? What am I?!"

The door opened to show Henry standing there, his face growing more horrified at the sight of the Dalek. "Wait! Please, it's beginning to question itself."

The Dalek rolled forward slowly, ignoring her and making Henry back towards the wall. "Van Statten. You tortured me. Why?"

"I wanted to help you. I just…I don't know. I-I was trying to help. I thought if we could get through to you, if we could mend you. I wanted you better. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry! I swear, I just wanted you to talk!" He exclaimed in fear.

"Then hear me talk now. Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate!"

"Please, don't kill him!" Clara interjected, making the Dalek turn its eye-stalk to her. "You don't have to do this anymore. There must be something else, not just killing. What do you want?"

"I want…freedom." The Dalek said weakly.


Arriving into an empty hallway, the Dalek aimed its blaster at the ceiling and fired, causing a hole to appear with rumble falling to the ground as bright sunlight through, causing Clara to shield her eyes briefly. "Well, there you go. You made it." She said with a small smile as she felt the sunlight warm her body. "I thought I'd never feel the sunlight again."

"How…does…it…feel?" Small whirring sounds were heard inside the Dalek until its armour opened, letting the sunlight enter. Clara blinked as she saw the creature inside, which was like a small, wrinkled grey squid with a brain as its eye blinked, while raising a tentacle upwards yet rather weakly into the sunlight.

"Get out of the way!" She turned around to see the Doctor standing there with a gun, Rose behind him with a worried look on her face. Seeing the Doctor with a gun caused her blood to run cold. "Clara, get out of the way now!"

"No. I won't let you do this."

"That thing killed hundreds of people!"

"It's not the one pointing a gun at me." She said, almost coldly.

"I've got to do this; I've got to end it! The Daleks destroyed my home, my people! I've got nothing left!"

"Doctor look at it." Rose interjected, making Clara stand aside slightly to see the Dalek.

"What's it doing?" He asked.

"It's the sunlight. That's all it wants."

"But it can't-"

"It couldn't kill Van Statten. It couldn't kill me, it's changing. What about you, Doctor? I told you it wasn't your fault. What on Earth are you changing into?" Clara mumbled.

He looked on with widening eyes as he lowered the gun before looking at her, tears starting to come into his eyes.

"I couldn't…I wasn't…" He breathed, seeing Clara smile gently at him. "I'm sorry, Clara. I thought you died down there. I don't want you to…" He trailed off, making Clara nod at him slightly.

"It's alright, Doctor. It wasn't your fault." She mumbled.

"Why…do we…survive?" The Dalek said, its voice now weak yet gaining their attention.

"I don't know." The Doctor mumbled.

"I am the last…of the…Daleks."

"You're not even that anymore. Clara did more than regenerate you. You absorbed her DNA, you're mutating."

"Into…what?"

"Something new. I'm sorry."

"Isn't that better?" Rose asked.

"Not for a Dalek." He mumbled.

"I can…feel…so…many ideas. So much darkness. Clara, give me orders. Order…me…to die."

The Doctor and Rose looked at her with wide eyes. "I can't do that." She mumbled, tears prickling her eyes.

"This is not life. This is…sickness. I…shall not…be like you. Order my destruction!" Clara breathed, clenching her jaw but not in anger. "Obey! Obey! Obey!"

She looked down for a moment before looking back at him. "Do it." She croaked.

"Are you…frightened…Clara…Oswald?"

"Yes." She said, giving a sad smile.

"So…am I. Exterminate."

Clara backed away, standing beside the Doctor as they looked at the Dalek. It floated upwards before it formed a blue, hazy field around itself, which then burst with bright light and disappeared, leaving nothing behind. She and the Doctor looked at each other before embracing in a hug. "I'm sorry." He breathed.

"It wasn't your fault."

"Nor was it yours." He mumbled, making her hug him tighter. They parted slightly to look at Rose, who looked at them with sadness.

"Room for one more?" She quipped lightly, making them smirk as she embraced them both.


Diana stepped in front of Henry, who was flanked by four soldiers before nodding, making two grasp his shoulders and haul him away. "What the hell are you doing?!" He demanded.

"Two hundred personnel are dead and all because of you, sir. Take him away, wipe his memory and leave him by the road someplace." Diana said coldly.

"You can't do this to me! I am Henry Van Statten!"

"And by tonight Henry Van Statten will be a homeless, brainless junkie living on the streets of San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento. Some place beginning with "S"." She said smugly before turning to walk away from them.


"Little piece of home, better than nothing." The Doctor mumbled with a smile as he stroked the side of the TARDIS, Clara hugging his side.

"Is that the end of it, the Time War?" Rose asked.

"I'm the only one left. I win. How about that?"

"The Dalek survived. Maybe some of your people did too."

"I'd know, in here." He said, tapping his head. "It feels like there's no one."

"You really think that?" Clara mumbled sadly.

"Alright then, I've got you." He smiled softly at her, embracing her in a hug.

"Doctor, how much are you going to hug me?" She quipped lightly.

"I like hugging you, Clara." He admitted.

"Shut up." She blushed lightly.

"Also, you're short enough, so it's even better." He said with a sly smile.

"I said shut up!" She blushed harder, Rose sniggering at their exchange. Adam came rushing towards them, making the two loosen the hug.

"We'd better get out. Van Statten's disappeared and they're closing the base. Goddard says they're going to fill it with cement like it never existed."

"About time." Clara nodded.

"I'll have to go back home."

"You'd better hurry up, then. The next flight to Heathrow leaves at 1500 hours." The Doctor said.

"Adam was saying that all his life he wanted to see the stars." Rose said, making Clara roll her eyes.

"Tell him to go and stand outside then." She sassed, making the Doctor snigger.

"He's all on his own and he did help."

"He left Clara down there."

"So, did I, and you did too." Rose pointed out.

"What're you talking about? We've got to leave!" Adam said hurriedly.

"Rose, he's a bit pretty." The Doctor teased.

"I hadn't noticed." She said with a slight blush.

He exchanged a look with Clara who just shrugged, making him groan.

"It's on your own head." He warned as they entered the TARDIS.

"What're you doing? She said 'cement'. She wasn't joking, we're going to get sealed in. Doctor? Clara? What're you doing, standing inside a box?"

Rose popped her head out and grasped his arm. "Hurry up!" She admonished, pulling him in.

"What're you…Oh my god! It's bigger on the inside!" He exclaimed.

"No, it's smaller on the outside." Clara mumbled sarcastically, so only the Doctor could hear, who just sniggered at her as they piloted the TARDIS away and out of the vault.

Chapter Text

The Long Game

The TARDIS materialised inside a large room, vivid with cream, pink and white colours with bright lights. The Doctor, Clara and Rose stepped out before closing the door, slightly shuddering at the sudden intense heat. "So, it's 200,000 on a spaceship. No, scratch that, space station and…try that gate over there. Off you go." The Doctor said teasingly to Rose.

"200,000?"

"200,000."

"Right. Adam? Out you come." She opened the door and let said man out, who looked around in bewilderment.

"Oh my god." He breathed.

"Don't worry. You'll get used to it."

"Where are we?"

"Good question. Let's see. Judging by the architecture, I'd say we're around the year 200,000." She said, winking at the Doctor and Clara who sniggered.

"Uh-huh." Adam said dumbly.

"And if you listen…engines. Which means we're on some sort of spaceship. No, scratch that, space station." The Doctor exchanged a sheepish look with Clara who shook her head playfully at him. "Yeah, definitely a space station. It's a bit warm in here, though. They could turn the heating down." She mumbled, tugging her shirt collar back a bit as she did.

"She's got a point." Clara nodded.

"Yeah, why is it so hot in here? Or is it because you're around?" He flirted.

"Maybe. You're doing the same to me." She flirted, the two exchanging an intense look.

"You two need to calm down for a second." Rose groaned, making them blush slightly. "Tell you what, let's try that gate over there, come on." She clapped her hands, making them follow her through said gate to stand on an observational deck, overlooking the Earth, which was covered in cities so large, they could be seen from their position in space. "Here we go, and this is…actually I'll let the Doctor describe it."

The Doctor sent a cheeky grin to Clara who rolled her eyes at him. "The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire and there it is, planet Earth at its height. Covered with megacities, five moons and a population of 96 billion. The hub of a galactic domain, stretching across a million planets and a million species with mankind right in the middle." They heard Adam breathe loudly before collapsing onto the floor.

"He's your boyfriend." Clara teased, without looking.

"Not anymore." Rose quipped, exchanging a snigger with the two.


Leading the group into a large, empty food court, the Doctor had his hands-on Adam's shoulders. "Come on, Adam. Open your mind. You're going to like this fantastic period of history. Humanity at its most intelligent. Culture, art, politics. This era has got fine food, good manners-"

"Out of the way!" A man suddenly demanded, pushing through them as an alarm blared through the room, the food court services opening as people came rushing in and indistinctly talking loudly to each other. The three exchanged confused looks while Adam stared around blankly.

"Fine cuisines?" Rose asked.

"My watch must be wrong." The Doctor mumbled, checking his wristwatch before furrowing his eyebrows. "No, its fine. That's weird."

"That's what comes from showing off." Rose teased, making Clara snigger. "Your history's not as good as you thought it was."

"My history's perfect."

"Well, obviously not."

"Doctor, where's all the species?" Clara whispered.

"No idea. Isn't that odd?" He agreed, making her nod with him.

"They're all Human, but what about the millions of planets, the millions of species? Where are they?" Adam rambled.

"Good question. Actually, that is a good question." He said, sending a playful wink to Clara who giggled into her hand. "Adam, me old mate, you must be starving."

"No, I'm just a bit time sick."

"Nah, you just need a bit of grub. Oi, mate! How much is a…cronk burger?" He asked a shop vendor while reading their menu.

"Two credits twenty sweetheart now join the queue."

"Money. We need money." The Doctor said, leading them over to a familiar yet advanced ATM. "Let's use a cashpoint." Pulling out his sonic, he scanned the ATM, causing it to send out a small stick of grey metal. "There you go, pocket money. Don't spend it all on sweets." He said, handing it to Adam.

"How does it work?"

"Go and find out, stop nagging me. Thing is, Adam, time travel's like visiting Paris. You can't just read the guidebook; You've got to throw yourself in. Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers, or is that just me?" He rambled, making Rose laugh.

"Nah, that's just you." Clara teased.

"Watch it, missy." He said playfully, the two exchanging a snigger. "Look just stop asking questions. Go on, do it." He ushered Adam away before looking at Rose. "Off you go then. Your first date." He teased.

"Clara, can you smack him more often?" Rose asked slyly.

"It'll be my pleasure." She grinned making the Doctor gulp as she leaned into him. "Did you just steal money from a vendor?"

"Nooo." He mumbled sheepishly. "So, you ready to go snooping about?"

"Always. Tell you what, let's try those two over there." She said, pointing to a dark-skinned woman in a business suit conversing with a brunette in everyday clothing. "I mean, I don't know where else to start." She shrugged.

"Me neither." He admitted as they walked over to them, unknowingly holding each other's hands. "Uh, excuse me. This is going to sound daft, but can you tell us where we are?"

"Floor 139. Couldn't they have written it any bigger?" The businesswoman blinked, pointing to a large writing on the wall that indeed said, 'Floor 139'.

"Floor 139 of what?"

"Must've been a hell of a party." She mumbled.

"You're on Satellite Five." The other interjected.

"What's Satellite Five?" Clara asked.

"Come on. How could you get on board without knowing where you are?"

"Look at us. We're stupid." The Doctor said cheerfully, making Clara struggle to hide her laughter.

"Wait a minute. Are you a test? Management test?" The other said with wide eyes.

"You've got us. Well done." The Doctor said, pulling out his psychic paper.

"We were warned about this in basic training. All workers have to be versed in company promotion."

"Right then. Fire away, ask your questions. If it gets me to Floor 500, I'll do anything." The first said, brushing back her hair.

"Why? What happens on Floor 500?"

She blinked a few times. "The walls are made of gold." She said as if it was obvious, only making the Doctor and Clara furrow their eyebrows. "And you should know, Mr. & Mrs. Management."

"Oh, we're not a couple." They blushed in unison.

"Right." She mumbled unconvincingly, glancing down at their still joined hands. "So, this is what we do." She said, leading them over to a few news screens, all with narrated voices speaking indistinctly. "Latest news: Sandstorms on the New Venus archipelago, 200 dead. Glasgow water riots into their third day. Space lane 77 closed by sunspot activity. And over on the Bad Wolf channel, the Face of Boe has just announced he's pregnant."

The Doctor and Clara exchanged a small look at the mention of 'Bad Wolf'. "We get it. You broadcast the news."

"No, we are the news. We're the journalists." Unknown to them, a camera zoomed in on them.


"We write it, package it and sell it. 600 channels, all coming out of Satellite Five, broadcasting everywhere. Nothing happens in the whole Human Empire without it going through us."

Inside an ice-cold room, a man with short, blonde hair in a navy-blue suit is standing in front of a monitor, with 5 people, all covered in frost sitting at computers and working silently, not even blinking. "Something is wrong. Something fictional." He mumbled, moving closer to the screen. "Those people. Perform a security check. Go deep." He whispered to one of the workers.


"All staff are reminded that the canteen area is now operating a self-cleaning table system. Thank you."

Rose came to a table where Adam sat, with a slightly overwhelmed look on his face. "Try this." She said, holding up a drink cup. "It's called Zaphic. It's nice, it's like a…um…slush puppy."

"What flavour?"

She takes a sip before shrugging. "Sort of beef?"

"Oh my god." He breathes, making her laugh. "It's like everything's gone. Home, family, everything."

"This helps." She said, pulling out her phone. "The Doctor gave it a bit of a top-up. Who's back home, your Mum and Dad?"

"Yeah."

"Phone them up."

"But that's 198,000 years ago."

"Honestly, try it. Go on." She implored, holding out her phone which he then took.

"Is there a code for-"

"Just dial." She almost groans.

He dials before waiting.

"I'm sorry we're not in." He looks at her with wide eyes. "Please leave a message. Thanks, bye."

"It's on hook."

*Beep*

"Hi. It's me. I've sort of gone…traveling. I met these people and…we're traveling together. But…I'm fine and I'll call you later. Love you. Bye." Hanging up, he gets a childlike grin. "That is just-" An alarm blares through the room, making everyone rush to leave.

"Oi! Mutt and Jeff! Over here!" The Doctor calls to them, making Rose move over to them. Adam, with a side glance puts Rose's phone in his pocket, unknowingly being watched by Clara, squinting at him.


"Security check cleared."

"No, something's wrong." The Man says, shaking his head. "I can almost…taste it. There's just this tiny little shift in the information. Someone down there shouldn't be here. Double-check. Triple-check. Follow them." He whispers to the workers as the camera shows the group moving into a blank, white room. "Who is it?"

"Now, everybody behave. It's a management inspection. How do you want it? By the book?"

"Right from scratch, thank you." The Doctor says, holding back a sarcastic tone yet making the Man chuckle.

"Okay, so. Ladies and gentlemen, multi-sex, undecided or robot, my name is Cathica Santini Khadeni. That's Cathica with a 'c', in case you want to write to Floor 500 praising me and please do." She sends a smile to them; the Doctor and Clara exchanged a crooked eyebrow. "Now, please feel free to ask any questions. The process of news gathering must be open, honest and beyond bias. That's company policy."

"Actually, um…it's the law." The woman from earlier interjects with a kind smile, making the Doctor and Clara snigger under their breaths.

"Yes, thank you, Suki." Cathica says almost degradingly, making her give a small, smug smile.

"Can we just get to it already?" The Man groaned.

"Okay, keep it calm. Don't show off for the guests. Here we go." Cathica sits on a reclining chair in the middle of the room, surrounded by small workstations with handprints like sensors. "And…engage safety." The walls light up with orange lights, but not enough to blind them. Cathica clicks her fingers, opening a small latch in her forehead to reveal the front of her brain, making the four's jaws drop as the people around her place their hands on the sensors. "And 3…2…1…spike." From a small device in the ceiling, a ray of dim, blue light shoots out and into her forehead as she closes her eyes in a dreamlike state.

"Look into everyone. And go deep." The Man whispers to the workers.

"Compressed information streaming into her. Reports from every city, every country, every planet and they all get packaged inside her head. She becomes part of the software. Her brain IS the computer." The Doctor rambled.

"If it all goes through her, she must be a genius." Rose mumbled.

"She wouldn't remember any of it. There's too much, her head would blow up. The brain's the processor. As soon as it closes, she forgets." Clara spoke in her 'Teacher' mode, getting a smile from the Doctor.

"So, what about all these people around the edge?"

"They've all got tiny little chips inside their heads, connecting them to her and they transmit over 600 channels. Every single fact in the empire beams out of this place. Now I'd either call that power or control."

"They are good." The Man said with a small smile. "Who would they-"

"Analysis confirmed. Security breach."

"Oh, I knew it. Which one then? It's someone inside that room, which one?"

"Isolating breach."

He looked at the screen, almost shaking with agitation. "Come on, show me. Who is it?"

"You, all right?" Rose asked Adam.

"I can see her brain."

"Do you want to get out?"

"No, no. It's…this technology, its…it's amazing."

"This technology's wrong." The Doctor said grimly, making them look at him.

"Trouble?" Clara said with a smirk.

"Oh yeah." He said in the same tone.

A tiny pulse flared through the sensors, not doing anything except making Suki flinch. "That's it! Oh yes! She's the liar. Intercept and scan." The Man said with a sly smile.

"Scan complete. Confirmed: Double biographies with one fictional."

"Gotcha."

Sending a pulse through the room, it turns off the lights and makes everyone look up with blinking eyes while the blue light shuts off and Cathica's forehead closes, blinking as she turns to Suki. "Come off it, Suki! I wasn't even halfway." She groaned.

"Sorry. It must've been a glitch." Suki mumbled.

"Of course. Her information's been tampered with. Her first biography is a lie, so what's that second one underneath?" The Man mumbles.

*Snarls*

He looks up to the ceiling with a flinch. "Yes sir."

*Snarls*

"Absolutely sir."

*Snarls*

"Yes, well, her data was encrypted, so there's no way we could've found her sooner."

*Snarls*

"Yes sir. I'm sorry sir." He turns back to the workers. "Get her up here. Now."

"Promotion." Inside the room a blue screen appears with the word 'Promotion'.

"This is it, come on. Make it me. Come on, say my name. Say my name. Say my name." Cathica mumbles to herself. The Doctor and Clara look at each other as if she was off her rockers.

"Promotion for…Suki Macrae Cantrell. Please proceed to Floor 500."

"I don't believe it. Floor 500." Suki said with her jaw dropped.

"How the hell did you manage that? I'm above you."

"I don't know, I just applied on the off-chance. And they've said yes!" She squealed with a grin.

"That is so not fair. I've been applying to Floor 500 for three years." Cathica groaned, crossing her arms.

"What's Floor 500?" Rose whispers.

"The walls are made of gold." Clara says, but not with certainty.

"*Chuckles* As if. While Suki's on her way, do a full security check on those four. Especially U-boat captain and teacher down there. They're rather good, so who are they?" The Man mumbles.


"Cathica, I'm going to miss you. Floor 500. Thank you." She said to the Doctor and Clara, Cathica sulking by them while Rose moves over to a breathing Adam.

"We didn't do anything." The Doctor shrugged.

"Well, you two are my lucky charm."

He and Clara exchanged a smirk. "Why not? We'll hug anyone." He grinned as the three embraced.

"Come on. It's not that bad." Rose reassured Adam.

"What, with the…head thing?"

"Yeah, well, she's closed it now."

"Yeah, but it…it's everything. It freaks me out. And I just need to…if I could just…cold down, you know? Take a breather. Just have a moment of silence to…let it sink in before I go mad."

"Trust me, that's every moment with those clowns." Rose smirked knowingly.

"I heard that." They said in unison.

"Do you want me to come with you?" Rose offered.

"I think you might be better off with them. They seem like they've got a mystery to solve."

"Alright then. Just take a moment back on the observation deck. And," She pulls out her TARDIS key. "Take the TARDIS key. Just in case it gets a bit too much."

"Like it's not weird in there." He mumbles, making them chuckle as he takes the key and puts it in his pocket. "Right then. I'll be on the deck."

"Okay. We won't be too long…hopefully." Rose said as they parted, yet she missed his small smirk as he left.

"Oh my god! I've got to go! I can't keep them waiting!" Suki squealed as she picked up a large, black bag and moved to a nearby lift. "Oh, say goodbye to Steve for me! Bye!" She waves as the door closes.

"Good riddance." Cathica mumbles, making them furrow their eyebrows at her.

"You're talking like you'll never see her again." The Doctor said. "She's only going upstairs."

"We won't. Once you go to Floor 500 you never come back." The Doctor and Clara exchanged a grim look.

"Have you ever been up there?" Clara asked.

"You can't. You need a key for the lift and you only get a key with promotion. Nobody goes to 500 except for the chosen few."


Suki paced in the elevator with agitation for two minutes before it stopped moving, the door opening to reveal another extension of Satellite Five, only covered in frost and ice with flakes falling from the ceiling and vents, chilling her to the bone. Picking up her bag, she moved forward with caution only to flinch with shock as the elevator closed behind her. Taking a torch out of her bag, she flicks it on and moves towards an open door, entering a news reporting room yet covered in plastic, making her unable to see inside. She reaches out a hand and pulls it back only to scream as she finds withered, snow laced corpses inside, the one on the reclining chair with its forehead still open. She moves away in haste, finding a small flight of stairs which she takes to the room at the top, still looking behind her as she breathes deeply, before turning around and jumping slightly as she sees the Man standing there, looking at her with a small smirk. The workers were still sitting, not even acknowledging her presence. "Who are you?" She asks.

"I'm the Editor."

"What's happening? Th…there are bodies out there. What's going on?"

"While we're asking questions, could you please confirm your name?" He clicks his finger, causing a holographic screen to appear with her in it.

"My name is Suki Macrae Cantrell. I was born 199'89 in the Independent Republic of Morocco."

"Liar." He clicks his fingers.

"Hobbies include reading and archaeology. I'm not an expert or anything, I just like digging."

"Liar." He clicks his fingers.

"I want to work for Satellite Five because my sister can't afford university. And the pay scheme is really good."

"Liar!" He roars, making her jump. "Let's look at the facts, shall we?" He clicks his fingers, changing the screen to show her in a camouflage combat outfit, firing a rifle at something off screen. "Ah, there we go. Hidden behind a genetic graft but that's still you. Eva Saint Julienne, the last surviving member of the Freedom Fifteen. And a self-declared anarchist, is that right?"

"Who controls Satellite Five?" She asks sternly, holding up a gun and making him raise his hands in shock before bursting out in laughter.

"There's the truth!" He says gleefully.

"The Freedom Foundation has been monitoring Satellite Five's transmissions. We have absolute proof that the facts are being manipulated. You are lying to the people."

"Ooh, I love it! Say it again."

"This whole system is corrupt. Who do you represent?"

"I'm merely a humble slave. I answer to the Editor-in-Chief." He admits.

"Who is he? Where is he?"

"He's overseeing everything. Quite literally, everything. In fact, I'll have to refer this upwards." He points up, making her look to the ceiling, jumping in shock as she points her pistol upwards.

*Snarls*

"What is that?!"

"Your boss. This has always been your boss since the day you were born." He said smugly. She begins firing at the ceiling as he turns away with a disgusted look, knowing what would follow as she screams in terror before utter silence, allowing him to breathe a sigh of relief.


"Look, they only give us twenty minutes maintenance. Can't you give it a rest?" Cathica groans as she returns to the newsroom, the Doctor reclining on the chair with Clara sitting with him, laying into his chest as he wraps her in a loose hug. Rose crooks an eyebrow and holds back a snigger at this.

"But you've never been to another floor, not even on floor down or up?" The Doctor asked.

"I went to Floor 16 when I first arrived. That's medical, so its where I got my head done and then I came straight here. Satellite Five; You work, eat and sleep on the same floor and that's it, that's all." She looks at them with squinting eyes. "You're not management, are you?"

"At last, she's clever." The Doctor sassed.

"And you're sure you're not together?" She asked smugly, making the two see how close they were.

"I'm so sorry." They blushed in unison, making Clara stand up to place her elbow on his shoulder, coughing slightly to avert her blush. Cathica looks at Rose in bewilderment, which she just mouths 'They're idiots' with a grin, making her shake her head.

"Look, whatever it is, don't involve me. I don't know anything."

"Don't you even ask?" The Doctor deducts.

"Well, why would I?"

"You're a journalist. Why's all the crew Human?"

"What's that got to do with anything?"

"There's no aliens onboard. Why?"

"I don't know, no real reason. They're not banned or anything."

"Then, where are they?" Clara asks, making even Rose squint her eyes.

Cathica blinks a few times. "I suppose immigrations tightened up. It's had to, what with all the threats."

"What threats?"

"I don't know, all of them. Usual stuff. And the price of space warp doubled, so that kept the visitors away. And the government on Traffic Five's collapsed, so that lot stopped coming. Just…lots of little reasons, that's all." She dismissed.

"Adding up to one great big fact, and you didn't even notice." The Doctor said.

"Doctor, I think if there was any kind of conspiracy, Satellite Five would've seen it. We see everything."

"I can see better. This society's the wrong shape, even the technology."

"It's cutting edge." She defended.

"It's backwards! There's a great big door in your head. You should've chucked this out years ago."

"So, what do you think is going on?" Rose asked.

"It's not just this space station. It's the whole attitude, it's the way people think. The Great and Bountiful Human Empire's stunted. Something's holding it back."

"And how would you know?" Cathica asked, crossing her arms.

"Trust me. Humanity's been set back about 90 years. When did Satellite Five start broadcasting?"

Cathica gains a small look of shocking realisation. "91 years ago." She mumbles.


Adam stands on the balcony, looking down at Earth with soft wonder before gazing at a console with a hand sensor. Moving over to it, he places his hand on with slight hesitancy. "Give me access." He mumbles, before fluttering his eyes as a stream of information flickered through his head. "I can learn anything." He said in amazement. "Let's try…computers. From the 21st Century to the present date, give me the history of the microprocessor." More information flickered through his mind. "Oh my god." He pulled out Rose's phone and dialled.

"I'm sorry we're not in. Please leave a message. Thanks, bye."

*Beeps*

"Mum, Dad, keep this message, okay? Whatever you do, don't erase it, save it. You got that?" He nods slightly to himself before returning to the sensor. "The microprocessor became redundant in the year 2019, replaced by a system called SMT. That's Single-Molecule Transcription." He received a message in his mind almost blaring 'Floor 16'. "No, no, no, no, no, no. What're you doing?" He ranted, kicking the console before wincing at the sudden pain in his foot, then hanging up the call. "What's Floor 16? What's down there?"


Arriving at Floor 16, he gazed through the grey room at the long lines of information desks with people conversing at them. Walking through, he sees one sitting alone, a 30-year-old woman writing down on paper. He walks over to the desk and clearing his throat to gain her attention. "Sorry. Um…Floor 16…what do you cover?"

"Medical Non-Emergency."

"Right, yes, wrong floor. I'm having technical difficulties. My screen keeps freezing, blocking me out."

"No, that's medical. There must be something wrong with your chip."

"Yes, right. Um…I haven't got one." He admitted.

She rolled her eyes. "No wonder you can't get a screen to work. What are you, a…student?"

"Yes, I'm on a research project from…the University of Mars." He thinks.

She rolls her eyes again. "The Martian Boondocks. Typical."

"Yep." He said, slightly confused that it worked.

"Well, you still need chipping."

"So, does that mean like…brain surgery?"

"An old-fashioned phrase, but yes, it's the same thing."

"Ah, okay, never mind. But if I get a chip, then that means…I can use any computer."

"Absolutely. You'll have to pay for it. They've stopped subsidizing."

"Right, sorry then. Hold on." He pauses before reaching into his pocket, pulling out the thin grey stick of metal. "Can I use this?"

"That'll do nicely." She smiles.


Now sitting in a reclining chair in an advanced surgery room, Adam looked at her in rapture. "It all comes down to two basic types. Type One is the Head Chip. Inserted into the back of the skull, 100 credits. Here's the chip." She picks up a small piece of black metal, the size of a rice grain. "Tiny, invisible with no scarring. Type Two is the Full Info-Spike."

"That's the…umm…" He points to his forehead.

She nods. "That's the one. Now, it does cost 10,000."

"Oh, I don't think I could afford it."

"Not at all. In fact, you have unlimited credit." She smiles at him with a blend of sweetness and seduction.

"Well, I…I couldn't have it done. I mean…it's got to hurt, right?"

"Painless. A contractual guarantee."

"No. My…um…my mate's waiting upstairs, I can't have major surgery."

"It only takes 10 minutes. That sort of money buys a very fast pico-surgeon."

"No…I…no…I couldn't."

"Type One: You can interface with a simple computer. Type Two: You…ARE the computer. You can transmit any piece of information from the archive of Satellite Five which is…just about the entire history of humanity. Now, which one's it going to be?"


The Editor looks in confusion as the Doctor and Clara stand by the mainframe in the wall, using the sonic to open it while Rose watches them. "We're so going to get in trouble." Cathica mumbles. "You're not allowed to touch the mainframe; we'll get told off."

"Rose, tell her to button it." The Doctor mumbles.

"You can't just vandalize the place, someone's going to notice."

"I don't understand. We did a full security scan. Those two were there when we found Suki Macrae Cantrell. There were no indications about him and yet, here he is, clearly acting outside the parameters. Fascinating."

*Snarls*

"Yes sir." He says, looking to the ceiling immediately.

*Snarls*

"Absolutely."

*Snarls*

"At once." He turns back to the workers, one of them is now a frost covered Suki. "Check them. Double-check them. Triple-check them. Quadruple."

The sonic sparks, making Cathica jump as they rip the door open and mess around with the wires inside. "This is nothing to do with me, I'm going back to work."

"Go on then, see ya." The Doctor said cheerfully.

"I can't just leave you, can I?"

"If you want to be useful, can you get them to turn the heating down? It's boiling." Rose mumbles. "What's wrong with this place? Can't they do something about it?"

"I don't know. We keep asking. It's something to do with the turbine." Cathica dismisses.

"Something to do with the turbine." The Doctor mutters mockingly.

"Well, I don't know!"

"Exactly! I give up on you, Cathica. Now look at Rose. Rose is asking the right kind of questions."

"Thank you." She smiled.

"Why is it so hot?"

"One minute, you're worried about the Empire and the next minute, it's the central heating." Cathica groans.

"Oh, never underestimate plumbing. Plumbing's very important."

*Sparks*

He holds up a broken wire with a sheepish look. "Fat lot of use you are." Clara rolls her eyes.

"Oi!"

"Security scan complete."

"Well? Who is he?" He asks in agitation.

"He is no one."

"*Chuckles* What does that mean?"

"He is no one."

"You mean he has a fake I.D?"

"He has no identification."

He furrows his eyebrows in bewilderment. "But everyone's registered. We have a census for the entire Empire."

"He is no one."

"What, he doesn't exist? Not anywhere?"

"He is no one."

"What about the brunette he likes?"

"She is no one."

"Both of them?! Their blonde friend?!"

"She is no one."

"All of them?! Well, we all know what happens to non-entities: They get promoted." He says gleefully. "Bring them up." He whispers to a worker.

"Here we go, Satellite Five. Pipes and plumbing. Look at the layout." The Doctor said, bringing out a screen with a schematic of the entire station.

"This is ridiculous. You've got access to the computer's core. You could look at the archive, the news, the stock exchange…and you're looking at pipes?" She says in bewilderment.

"But there's something wrong." Clara says, crooking her eyebrows briefly.

"I suppose." She mumbles.

"Why? What is it?" Rose asks.

"The ventilation system. Cooling ducts, ice filters, all working flat-out. Channelling massive amounts of heat down…"

"All the way from the top." Clara finishes.

"Floor 500." Rose concludes.

"Something up there is generating massive amounts of heat."

"Well, I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm missing out on a party. It's all going on upstairs. Fancy a trip?" Rose says slyly, making them smirk at her.

"But you can't. You need a key." Cathica protests.

"Oh, keys are just codes, and I have the codes right here." The Doctor pushes past and uses the keyboard on the screen. "Override 215.9." A key stick then pops out of the screen.

"How come it's giving you the code?" Cathica berates.

He looks up at the camera above him. "Someone up there likes us." He winks.

The Editor bursts into laughter. "Oh, you have no idea." He says, like an excited child.


Adam rubs his forehead as the nurse holds up a mirror. "I told you it was painless." She said with a small shrug. "No scarring, you see. Perfect success."

"How do I…um…"

"Activate it?" She finished, making him nod. "It's a personal choice. Some people whistle. I know one man who triggers it with 'Oh, Danny boy.' But you're set on default for now. That's a click of the fingers."

"So, you mean I just…"

"Click."

He clicks his fingers, opening his forehead before gazing in the mirror with wide eyes. He briefly touches the outlining, feeling metal before clicking his fingers again. "Oh my god. I'm going to be sick." He vomits before holding a hand to his mouth, finding the waste coming out in ice form, making him look at her in confusion.

"It's a special offer. We installed the Vomitomatic at the same time. Nano-termites have been placed in the lining of your throat. So, in the event of sickness, they freeze the waste." She takes the cube and places it inside a small bowl, before looking at it in slight confusion as he hiccups.


The Doctor, Clara and Rose enter the elevator, Cathica watching them. "Come on. Come with us." Rose implored.

"No way."

"Bye!" The Doctor said cheerfully, Clara waving.

"Well, don't mention my name. When you get in trouble, don't involve me." She walks away.

"That's her gone. Adam's given up. Looks like it's just us." He said, looking at Clara.

"Yep."

"Good."

"Yep." Their staring gets slightly intense before he inserts the key into the elevator, Rose rolling her eyes.

"Can they just admit it already?" She mumbled under her breath.

"What'd you say?" They said in unison.

"Nothing. I said nothing."

They looked at each other before shrugging and taking grasping their hands. Arriving at Floor 500, they look at each other with grim concern as they see the room covered in snow. Stepping out cautiously, the Doctor looks around. "The walls are not made of gold. You two should head back."

"And leave you here?" Clara mumbles.

He rolls his eyes despite his soft smile. "Alright then boss." They walk around the room before taking a small flight of steps, stopping as they see the Editor looking at them with patience.

"I started without you. Sorry." He shrugged. "Now, this is fascinating. Satellite Five contains every piece of information within the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire: Birth certificates, shopping habits, bank statements, but you two…you don't exist. There's not a trace. No birth, no job, not the slightest kiss. How can you walk through the world and not leave a single footprint?"

"Oh my god, Suki." Rose rushes forward, grasping her arm but recoiling slightly as she doesn't even budge. "Hello? Suki, can you hear me? What have you done to her?" She turned to him.

"I think she's dead. They're all dead." The Doctor said grimly.

"But she's…working."

"They've all got chips in their head and the chips keep going. They're like puppets now."

"Oh! You're full of information. But it's only fair we get some information back because apparently, you're no one. *Chuckles* It's so rare not to know something. Who are you?"

"It doesn't matter because we're off. Nice to meet you. Come on." He motions to Rose, but three workers come from the desk, two restraining the Doctor while the third holds both of Clara's arms behind her as Suki grasps hard onto Rose's.

"Tell me who you're are." He says impatiently.

"Since that information's keeping us alive, I'm hardly going to say, am I?"

"True, but my Editor-in-Chief can convince you otherwise."

The Doctor blinks. "And who's that?"

"It may interest you to know that this is not the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. In fact, it's not actually Human at all. It's merely a place where Humans happen to live."

*Snarls*

"Yeah." He mumbled sheepishly, making the Doctor and Clara share confused looks at the sound of the snarling.

*Snarls*

"Sorry. Let me reiterate. It's a place where Humans CAN live by kind permission from my client." He snaps his fingers upwards, making them glance. Their eyes widened as on the ceiling was a large, red mass with a mouth filled with rows of sharp teeth baring down at them.

"What is that?" Rose muttered in shock.

"You mean that thing's in charge of Satellite Five?" The Doctor asked.

"That "Thing", as you put it, is in charge of the Human Race." The Doctor and Clara glance at him with fearful eyes. "For almost one hundred years, mankind has been shaped and guided by his knowledge and ambition, strictly controlled by its broadcast news, all edited by my superior, your master and humanity's guiding light: The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarondenfoe. I call him Max." He chuckles gleefully, making the Doctor and Clara give him fake smiles.


Cathica with a distant gaze, walks through the main room and past Adam who heads towards the newsroom. Arriving at the mainframe, she pulls out the screen and inputs the same code the Doctor did and received a key card, before heading to the elevator and inputting the code into its screen, waiting as the elevator took her to Floor 500.


"If we create a climate of fear, the it's easy to keep the borders closed. It's just a matter of emphasis. The right word in the right broadcast, repeated often enough can destabilize an economy, invent an enemy, change a vote." The Editor explains as the three were now bound in manacles.

"So, all the people on Earth are like…slaves." Rose says with conclusion.

"Well now, there's an interesting point. Is a slave a slave if he doesn't know he's enslaved?"

"Yes." Clara and the Doctor say in unison.

"Aww. I was hoping for a philosophical debate. Is that all I'm going to get, 'Yes'?"

"Yes." Clara glares at him.

"Dear me. You may be pretty but your no fun." He shakes his head, making the Doctor clench his jaw.

"Let me out of these manacles. You'll find out how much FUN I am." She growls, making Rose's eyes widen slightly.

"Dear, you actually are tough. Now wonder why he likes you." He glances at the Doctor, smirking as he doesn't deny it. "But come on, isn't it a great system? You've got to admire it, just a little bit."

"You can't hide something on this scale. Somebody must've noticed." Rose said.

"They did." Clara inputted.

"Who then?"

"Who do you think those people are?" Clara nods to the workers, making Rose's breathing hitch slightly. "If they don't fit in, be it fictional or non-existent, they are 'Promoted'."

"And now I'm wrong. She's more than a pretty face." The Editor nodded. "Yes, someone notices from time to time, but the computer-chip system allows me to see inside their brains. I can see the smallest doubt then crush it. And then, they all just carry on, living the life. Strutting about downstairs and all over the surface of the Earth like they're so individual when, of course, they're not. They're just cattle. In that respect, the Jagrafess hasn't changed a thing."

The Doctor and Clara both notice Cathica from a mirrored glass, both winking at each other when the Editor isn't looking. "What about you? You're not a Jagra…a…belly…"

"Jagrafess." The Doctor says in a bored tone.

"Jagrafess. You're not a Jagrafess, you're Human."

"Yes, well being Human doesn't pay very well, now does it?"

Clara rolled her eyes. Again, it's always about the money.

"But you couldn't have done this all on your own."

"No. I represent a consortium of banks. Money prefers a long-term investment. Also, the Jagrafess needed a little hand to…um…install himself." He shivered slightly in disgust.

"No wonder, a creature that size. What's his life span?" The Doctor asked.

"3,000 years." Rose whistled slightly.

"That's one hell of a metabolism generating all that heat. That's why Satellite Five is so hot. You pump it out of the creature and channel it downstairs. Jagrafess stays cool, he stays alive. Satellite Five is one great big life support system."

"But that's why you're so dangerous. Knowledge is power, but you remain unknown. Who are you?" He snaps his fingers, causing electricity to arc through the manacles, making the three clench their teeth to hold back their cries of agony. Clara fails however, letting out a small cry, making the Doctor look at her with concern.

"Leave them alone. I'm the Doctor, she's Clara Oswald and our friend is Rose Tyler. We're nothing, just wanderers."

"Tell me who you are." He nearly whined.

"I just said."

"Yes, but who do you work for? Who sent you? Who knows about us? Who exactly-" He cuts himself off as his eyes widened before a sly smirk crawls onto his face, turning into a satisfied grin, making the three exchange small looks of worry? "Time Lord." He says finally.

"What?" The Doctor mutters in shock.

"Oh, yes! The last of the Time Lords and his traveling machine. Along with his two, little Human girls from long ago. One who has given her life twice to save him." He brushes Clara's cheek with his hand, making her flinch.

"You don't know what you're talking about." The Doctor growled at Clara's uncomfortableness.

"Time travel." He nods with a knowing smile.

"Someone's been telling you lies."

"Young master Adam Mitchell?" He clicks his fingers, bringing up a screen of Adam in the newsroom with his head open and the dim, blue light streaming into his forehead, while he sits writhing in agony.

"Oh my god, his head." Rose mutters in shock.

"What the hell's he done? What the hell's he gone and done?" The Doctor said in fear and anger.

"His mind is open. We can read this mind and through him, I know now everything about you." The Editor said smugly. "Every piece of information in his head is now mine. And you have infinite knowledge, Doctor. The Human Empire is tiny compared to what you've seen in your T-A-R-D-I-S, TARDIS."

"Well, you'll never get your hands on it. I'll die first!"

"Die all you like. I don't need you; I've got the key. Dear me, Rose. You shouldn't have given it to him." He said, not losing his smug tone.

"You and your boyfriends." Clara growled.

"Today, WE are the headlines. We can rewrite history, prevent mankind from ever developing."

"And no one's going to stop you. Because you've bred a Human Race who doesn't bother to ask questions." Clara glares, hoping Cathica could take the hint. "Stupid little slaves, believing every lie. They'll just trot right into the slaughterhouse if they're told it's made of gold." Cathica glances at the mirror into Clara's eyes as a fierce determination burrows into her own as she walks off.

An alarm flares through the room, followed by Adam's light being shut off. "What's happening?" The Editor said, his smug tone dropping. "Someone's disengaged the safety." He clicks his fingers, bringing up a screen of Cathica in the newsroom filled with corpses, with her own head open. "Who's that?"

"That's Cathica." Rose mumbles, now gaining a smile of relief.

"And she's thinking. She's using what she knows. Everything we told her about Satellite Five: The pipes, the filters, she's reversing it. Look at that." The Doctor nods to some ice, beginning to melt into water. "It's getting hot. She's venting the heat up here. The Jagrafess needs to stay cool and how he's sitting on top of a volcano." He sends a proud grin to Clara, who gives him a cheeky wink.

"Terminate her. I said terminate her. Burn out her mind." The Editor growls.

"Oh no, you don't. You should've promoted me years back." Cathica says defiantly. Suddenly, sparks burst from the screens in the room, breaking and shattering them, causing the workers to collapse onto the desk. The Jagrafess roars in anger and pain while Clara's manacles break open from the force, making her rummage through the Doctor's jacket for his sonic.

*Snarls*

"Yes. I'm trying sir, but…I don't know how she did it, but it's impossible. A member of staff with an idea." The Editor says in shaking fear as Clara frees both the Doctor and Rose from their manacles.

"Oi, mate! Do you want to bank on a certainty? Massive heat in a massive body equals massive bang. See you in the headlines!" The Doctor taunted, taking Clara's hand to rush out with Rose running in front of them. Running into the newsroom, they see Cathica sitting on the reclining chair with her eyes closed in peace.

*BANG*

They jump at the sound of the Jagrafess exploding before Clara clicks her fingers, closing Cathica's forehead as she looks up at her, Clara giving her a kind smile.


Back on Floor 139, the Doctor and Clara sat with Cathica while Rose had her hands on their shoulders. "We're just going to go. I hate tidying up." The Doctor muttered, making Clara snigger. "There'll be too many questions, but you'll manage."

"You have to explain it. No one's going to believe me." Cathica shook her head.

"Oh, they might start believing a lot of things now. Humanity should accelerate, all back to normal."

"What about your friend?" Cathica glances at Adam, who was standing by the TARDIS.

"He's not our friend." They stood up, walking towards the TARDIS, the Doctor gaining a stern look.

"Now don't…" Rose sighs in defeat as they ignore her.

"I'm all right now. Much better. And I've got the key." Adam holds up the key as he tries to defend himself. "Look, it's…it all worked out for the best, didn't it?" The Doctor snatched the key from his hand and unlocked the TARDIS door. "You know, it's not actually my fault, because you were in charge-"

Clara smacked him hard across the face. "Shut up, now." She growled as the Doctor pulled him into the TARDIS before it dematerialised.

Adam's House
2012

The Doctor led Adam out of the TARDIS. "This is my house, I'm home. *Chuckles* Oh my god, I'm home. Blimey, I thought you were going to chuck me out of an airlock."

"Is there something else you want to mention?" Clara asked with her eyebrows raised.

"No. Um…what do you mean?"

"Sonic." She holds out her hand, the Doctor giving it to her as she walks over to his home phone. "The archive of Satellite Five. One second of that message you sent could've changed the world, and not for the better." She admonished before using the sonic on the phone, causing it to spark and burst apart, making Adam jump as Clara handed the sonic back to the Doctor.

"That's it then. See ya." The Doctor said.

"How do you mean 'See ya'."

"As in goodbye."

"But what about me? You can't just go, I've got my head, a chip type two, my head opens."

"What, like this?" *Clicks*

"Don't." *Clicks*

"Don't do what?" *Clicks*

"Stop it!" *Clicks*

"Stop what?" Clara said innocently. *Clicks*

"Stop that!" *Clicks*

"Alright you two children, enough." Rose admonished, making them stand down.

"Thank you." Adam said.

Rose smirked. *Clicks*

"Oi!" *Clicks*

"Sorry, I couldn't resist." She laughed, making Clara snigger and the Doctor smirk.

"The whole of history could've changed because of you."

"I just wanted to help."

"You were helping yourself."

"I know and I'm sorry. I said I'm sorry and I really am but, you can't just leave me like this."

"Yes, I can, because if you show the head to anyone, they'll dissect you in seconds. You'll have to live a very quiet life. Keep out of trouble, be average and unseen. Good luck." He said, opening the TARDIS.

"But I want to come with you." Adam protested.

"I only take the best. I've already got Clara and Rose." He winked at Clara, making her blush slightly as they entered the TARDIS. The front door then opened with the jangling of keys.

"Oh my god." Adam breathed.

"Who's that? Jeff! Is that you?!"

"It's me, Mum! Don't come in, wait there a minute!"

"Oh, my lord! You never told me you were coming home! Hold on, I'll just take my coat off."

Rose smirked devilishly at him.

"Rose, take me with you."

She looks at him as if she's never met him before moving into the TARDIS as the engines sound and it dematerialises.

"What's that noise?! Have you left the back door open?! Blimey, there's a draft!" Adam's mother comes in as the TARDIS disappears, a warm smile on her face. "What a surprise. Oh, let me look at you. Six months. It's like I saw you yesterday. Isn't it funny? Time goes by like that." *Clicks* She looks at him, horror growing into her eyes.

Chapter Text

Listen

TARDIS

The Doctor stood alone in the console room, pacing around a chalkboard with a distant look in his eyes, rolling a piece of chalk in his hand and an open book in the other. Rose was currently sleeping in her bedroom while Clara was back home, waiting for the next Wednesday. He pauses, closing his eyes and breathing deeply before snapping them open. "Listen." He says into the silence, receiving no answer. "Question: Why do we talk out loud when we know that we're alone? Conjecture: Because we know we're not. Evolution perfects survival skills. There are perfect hunters and there is perfect defence. So why is there no such thing as perfect hiding? Because how would you know? If evolution did perfect a creature whose primary skill was to hide from view, then how could you know it existed? It could be with us every second and we would never know. How would you detect it? Even sense it?" He puts the chalk down on the board. "It's from those moments when for no clear reason that you chose to speak aloud. What would such a creature want? What would it do? Well? What would you do?!" He calls, his voice echoing through the TARDIS. Silence follows, making him scoff until he hears a slight rolling noise, feeling the chalk bump against his feet. He kneels, picking it up and looking to the chalkboard, his blood running cold with fear as it now said 'Listen'.

Clara's House
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Clara comes into the kitchen, wearing a navy-blue cut-out dress, black tights, with a colour matching blazer over it and her hair pined up in a small bun. She's about to gather ingredients for a soufflé, before she hears the TARDIS materialising in her bedroom, making her smile as she waits. Hearing its doors open, Rose steps out of her bedroom. "Nice dress." She commented.

"Thank you." Clara said with a smile.

"Oh, Clara. You weren't going to try and make a soufflé again, were you?" She groans, motions to the baking gear she's putting away.

"My Mum's soufflé, yeah. But someday, I will get it right. Someday I will be Soufflé Girl."

"If there's one thing you can't do, Clara, it's made soufflés." The Doctor muttered from the room.

"I heard that."

"And I second that." Rose laughed, making the Doctor chuckle.

"Oi!"

"Doctor?" Rose asked. "What're you doing?" Clara finishes putting the gear away, moving over to see the Doctor sitting at a chair in front of three mirrors.

"Why do you have three mirrors? Can't you just turn your head?" He asked in bewilderment.

"I need the three mirrors. Makes it easier."

"What for?" He gazed at her before gaining a devilish smirk.

"What?" She asks.

"Is it because your face is so wide, and your eyes are so big?"

"My face is not wide!" She whined. "And my eyes are perfectly fine."

"Alright then, you look good." He smiled softly at her dress. "In fact, you great in that."

"Thank you." She said with a blush.

"Did you wear that to impress him?" Rose whispered.

"No. Of course I didn't." She blushed harder, making Rose smirk.

"Now, I need you for a thing." The Doctor stood up.

"A what?"

"A thing."

"What thing?"

"It's a thing. Don't question the thing." He whined slightly, leading her and Rose into the TARDIS.

"He's had an epiphany." Rose said to Clara. "A really…stupid epiphany."

"Isn't that just him in general?" She winked, making them laugh.

"Oi!"

"Okay, Doctor, what is your brand-new epiphany?"

"You know sometimes when you talk to yourself, what if you're not?"

"How'd you mean?"

"What if it isn't you that you're talking to? My theory is: What if no one is ever alone? What if every single being in the universe has a companion? A silent passenger? A shadow? What if the prickle on the back of your neck is the breath of something close behind you?"

"Doctor, have you been making banana hyper vodkas again?" She squinted at him.

"No." He blinks for a moment. "Well, yes…but-but-but that's not the point." He stammers with a sheepish blush. "Clara, just look at that." He points to the chalkboard.

"It says 'Listen'. And?"

"I didn't write it."

"And neither did I." Rose pointed out.

"Well, it looks like your handwriting, Doctor."

"I couldn't have written it and forgotten, now could I?"

"*Chuckles* Have you met you?" She spots an open book on the console. "What's this?"

"Dreams. Accounts of dreams by different people, all throughout history. You see, I have a theory."

She rolls her eyes. "Dear god, another one. Okay then, what theory?"

"I think everybody at some point in their lives has the exact same nightmare." He moves behind her, placing his hands on her shoulders before talking, his breath on her ear sending pleasant shivers down her spine. "You wake up, or you think you do and there's someone in the dark. Someone close, or you think there might be. So, you sit up and turn on the light and the room looks different at night. It ticks, creaks, groans and breathes. You tell yourself, 'There's nobody there. Nobody watching. Nobody listening. Nobody there at all.' And for a small moment, you very nearly believe it. You really, really try. You move your legs out of the bed and place your feet on the floor, wiping the sweat from your forehead with your hand until…" He places his hand gently around her neck, causing the shivers to intensify. "A hand shoots out from under the bed, wrapping itself around your ankle. Your breathing shudders and quickens, your pulse rises, until you hear a soft voice like a whisper telling you, 'It's ok. This is just a dream. Just lie back again. Just lie back on the bed. It'll all be ok, if you just lie down and go to sleep. Just do that for me. Just sleep.'" He takes his hand off her neck, moving around to see her flushed face and wide eyes. "Are you…blushing?" He asks.

"No!" She squeaks, coughing it back and turning around to hide her face from him. He turns to Rose, who was watching their exchange with the most devilish smirk she'd ever borne.

"What?" He asks.

"Oh nothing." She says with her tongue in her teeth. He rubs his hand, thinking briefly of the smoothness of Clara's skin before shuddering with a blush and moving around the console.

"There are accounts of that dream throughout human history. Time and time again, the same dream. It is always when the person is either young or old. Now, I asked Rose first, but she said…" He motioned to her.

"I couldn't remember having the dream." She finished.

"So, either she's forgotten, or she will be having that dream…when she's 80 years old and grumpy as all hell." He teased.

"What?"

"Nothing." He says sheepishly, making Clara smirk. "Now Clara, there is an obvious question I'm about to ask you. Do you know what it is?"

"Have you had that dream?" She asks him.

"Exactly."

"No, that was me asking you."

"I asked first.

"No, I did."

"No, you really didn't."

"Yes, I really did."

"No, you really didn't." He chuckles.

She sighs in defeat. "Ok, yeah. Maybe…probably…yes. But everybody dreams about something under the bed."

"But why?" He asks. Clara fails to find an answer. "Is it instinct? Is it fear? Or is it something quite real?" He opens a part of the console, revealing a panel lined with white gel-like material. He takes Clara's hands and places them inside.

"Ew. Sorry old girl." Clara mumbles in disgust.

*Beeps* (It's alright.)

"Just hold on tight. If anything bites…let it." He winks at her.

"I can think of a few things I could bite."

"Oh, be careful what you wish for, Clara." They give each other an intense stare, not noticing Rose wave her hands above her head in exasperation.

"What is it, then?" Rose asks, making the pair jump.

"The TARDIS telepathic interface. Clara is now in mental contact with her, so don't think anything rude."

"Why not?" Clara asks.

"Because I will see it on the monitor." He says, pulling it over for him and Rose to see. Clara smirks, watching as his furrowed eyebrows turn into childish fear. "Oi! Leave them alone!" He whines, placing his hands over his ears in protection while Rose laughs. "The TARDIS is now extrapolating your entire timeline, from the moment of your birth to the moment of your death."

"Which I do not need a preview of." Clara points out.

"Don't worry. We won't go anywhere past this moment." He says reassuringly, making her sigh in relief. "I'm now turning off the safeguards on the navigation. The TARDIS is now slaved to you. Rose, could you watch the monitor for me, please?"

"Sure." She says.

"Clara, I need you to focus on the dream." He says, coming over and to her delight, resuming their earlier position. "Focus on the details. Picture them, feel them. The old girl will track on your subconscious and extract the relevant information. It should be able to home in on the moment in your timeline when you first had that dream. And then…we'll see."

"What will we see?" She asks, somewhat breathlessly.

"What's under your bed." He says. She didn't need to turn around to see his cheeky grin. "One more thing, Clara: Don't get distracted. Otherwise, we might end up in the wrong place." He pulls the dematerialisation lever, causing the TARDIS to lift off from her flat. She closes her eyes as the Doctor rubs her shoulders affectionately before jumping as Rose's phone goes off. "Rose, tell your stupid boyfriend that we're busy." He groaned.

"I'm on it." Rose groaned, but not at the Doctor. "If there's one thing Mickey can't do, it's good timing." She said as she turned off her phone.

Clara winced. Boyfriend. Boyfriend. Danny. No. Don't get distracted. Danny. Don't get distracted.

The TARDIS lands, making her look up with some uncertainty. "Did it work?" Rose asked.

"We wouldn't have landed if it didn't." The Doctor said. "What's the monitor say?"

"Mid 90's. Gloucester, the West Country Children's Home." Rose read.

The Doctor furrowed his eyebrows. "It's the right time zone but the wrong place."

"Sorry. I got distracted." Clara mumbled softly.

"Come on, Clara. Don't blame yourself." He said gently. "May I ask, what were you thinking about?"

"The dream and…Danny."

The Doctor looked at her with realisation. "Boyfriend. Of course." He mumbled, pulling her hands out of the gel before moving her to the door, motioning for Rose to follow.

"Doctor, didn't you say that this was the wrong place?" Clara pointed out.

"Yes, but you were thinking of the dream, which means that Danny must've had that dream and told you when you knew him and since he was connected to your timeline, that allowed the TARDIS to land. Correction: The right time and different place. Not correct, but not wrong. Besides, this might be a better idea than the other one."

"What other one?"

"I just realised that I would've taken you to meet your younger self." He blushed sheepishly.

"And that's obviously bad?" She deducted.

"It could've been catastrophic."

"Oh, Doctor. You seriously can be a dolt." She chuckled.

"Oi! I told you, Clara, it was just a thing."

"What kind of thing?"

"A thing."

"Children, we've got somewhere to be." Rose cut in with a small smirk.

"Sorry Mum." They said in unison before moving out of the TARDIS. They saw a large building, drenched in the colour of night with a low, ice cold fog hanging down around them.

"I should've worn something warmer." Clara shuddered, the Doctor rubbing her shoulders to warm her.

"Well, that's what you get for looking great." He teased.

"Are you saying that I should look horrible?" She said with a low glare.

"No! No, of course not!" He denied. "I was just meaning-"

"I know." She smiled, grabbing his hand and pulled him towards the large, front door. "Now, come on."

Rose moved to follow but stopped as she saw a window with a light inside, a young, dark skinned boy standing. He spotted her and waved, making her wave back as he opened the window. "What're you doing down there?" He asked.

"Nothing." She shrugged. "I'm just with a couple of friends. What's your name?"

"Rupert Pink."

"Hello, Rupert. My name's Rose. Rose Tyler."

"At least you've got a good name. My name's stupid." He mumbled dejectedly.

"No, it isn't. My friend knew someone called Pink."

"I meant Rupert. I'm going to change it."

"Well, be sure it's a good one." She smirked, making him smile. "Why're you awake?" He said nothing. "Are you scared?" He nodded weakly. "Well, I'm coming in. Be up there in a minute." She said, hurrying to the front door.


The Doctor and Clara walked through the empty, dark hallway, clutching each other's hands as they looked around. Moving past a room, they saw a lit light on a desk and the indistinct chatter of a TV somewhere close by, until they see a door in the office open, the TV behind growing slightly louder until the door closes as a middle-aged man with balding hair and black rimmed glasses steps towards them. "How did you get in?" He asks.

"Your door must be faulty." The Doctor said, winking slightly at Clara who smirked. She pulled out the psychic paper, ignoring the Doctor's roll of the eyes at her.

The Man slouched his shoulders slightly. "An inspection. It's 2:00 in the morning."

"When better? Do you always work nights?" She asks, handing the paper back to the Doctor.

"Most nights, yes."

"You ever end up talking to yourself?" The Doctor asked.

"*Chuckles* All the time. You can't help it. It's this place, does your head in."

"What about your coffee?"

He glances down at the filled coffee cup on his desk. "My coffee?"

"Sometimes, do you put it down and look around, and it's not there?" Both him and Clara don't notice Rose going up the stairs.

"*Scoffs* It's a children's home. They always do that." He groaned. The TV in his room switches off suddenly, making him look over.

"Who turned your telly off?"

"It does that. It-" He turns around to see them no longer standing there. "Just goes off." He finishes before sighing. He reaches to grab the coffee cup, but widens his eyes as it's no longer there, only leaving a circular stain on the desk. The Doctor walked with Clara up the stairs, sniggering childishly at each other before drinking from the coffee, both admiring it.


Upstairs, Rose finds a door slightly open with a light shining through. She moves to open it to see Rupert sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. "Hello." She says with a smile.

"Hello." He reciprocates.

"Nice room." She comments as she glances around, seeing the different books with a CD player on the shelves and a neatly made bed with a red bedspread on top. She grabs a chair to sit by him. "You know, you should have more than one chair. What do you do when people come around?"

"Sit on the bed."

"Why aren't you sitting on it, then?" He says nothing, just staring at it in fear. "Do you think that there's something underneath it?" He nods. "Hey. Everyone thinks that sometimes. It's just how people think at night."

"Why?"

She thinks for a moment. "Did you have a dream? A hand grabbing your foot?" His eyes widened in shock. "You have, haven't you? You've had that exact dream."

"How did you know?"

"Do you know why dreams are called dreams?"

"Why?"

"Because they're not real. If they were, they wouldn't be called dreams." She moved over to kneel beside the bed.

"What're you doing?"

"Do you know what's under the bed?"

"What?"

"Me!" She grins, dashing underneath. "Come on! It's perfectly safe." He sighs, moving over and lying beside her, the bottom of the bed only inches away from their faces. "See? Nobody here, except us."

"Sometimes I hear noises." He says with uncertainty.

"It's a house full of people. Of course, you hear noises."

"They're all asleep."

"And they're dreaming."

"Can you hear dreams?"

"If you're clever enough, or daft enough." They sniggered. "But they can't harm you. Sometimes, we think there's something behind us and the space under your bed is what's behind you at night. Simple as that. It's nothing to be afraid of."

*Creaks*

The bottom of the bed inches even closes towards them in a bump, making their eyes widen and their breathing quicken. "Who else is in this room?" Rose whispers.

"Nobody." He reciprocates.

"Someone must've come in."

"Nobody came in." They move slowly out from under the bed, seeing a figure underneath the bedspread, yet they could feel it staring at them.

"Hello?" She asks. "Who's this? Is this a friend of yours, playing a game? Playing a trick, are you eh? A little trick on Rupert here?" The figure, the size of a kid, stands up on the bed, still covered in the red bedspread.

*Click*

They turn around to see the Doctor sitting on the chair with the desk light turned on, the empty coffee cup sitting on it while he was flicking through a large, picture book with Clara looking at him in bewilderment. "Where is he?" He asks.

"Doctor? Clara? When did you get in?"

"Just now." Clara shrugged.

"I can't find him." He whined.

"Find who?" Rose asks.

"Wally." Clara groaned as she rolled her eyes.

"Wally?

"He's nowhere in this book." He said, putting the book down.

"Not every book is a Where's Wally one." Rupert says, his eyebrows furrowed.

The Doctor's eyes widened in disbelief. "Really? That's a few years of my life I'll be needing back." He kneels before Rupert. "Now, one question: "The thing on the bed, or whatever it is, does it scare you?"

"Yes." Rupert says.

"That's good. You want to know why?" He says, making Rose and Clara exchange confused looks.

"Why?"

"Let me tell you about scared. When you get scared, your heart starts to beat so hard and so fast, that you can almost feel it in your own hands. There's so much blood and oxygen pumping through your entire body. It fuels your brain, your nerves, your muscles. Right now, you could run faster, fight harder and jump higher than you ever could in your life, and you are so alert, you could almost slow down time as you take in everything around you. What's wrong with scared, eh? Scared is a superpower. There is danger in this room and guess what?" Rupert blinks, waiting in raptured attention. "It's you. Do you think he feels it? Do you think he's scared when he's trying to scare others?" Rupert shakes his head. "Nah, what a loser." They snigger. "Now, what're we're going to do is we're going to turn our backs."

"Eh?"

"Yeah, turn your back. Look out the window." Rupert does this with him. "Clara, Rose, turn your backs." They stand by him. "It's a lovely view out this window."

"Yeah. Come and see all the dark." Clara says with slight uncertainty at the Doctor, as they stare out into the void.

"Okay, there are two possibilities. One: It's just one of your friends standing there and he's playing a joke on you. Two: It isn't."

"So, plan? Plans are good." Clara points out.

"Clara, I never have a plan, I just…improvise." Clara shakes her head. "You. On the bed. I'm talking to you now. Go in peace. We won't look, just go. If all you want to do is stay hidden, it's ok. Just leave."

*Creaks*

"Is it gone?" Rose asks.

"Don't look round. Not yet."

"I can't hear anything." Rupert says.

"Don't look round. Don't even look at the reflection in the window. In fact, close your eyes."

"What?"

"Close your eyes. You too, the both of you. Close your eyes." They all do as he says. "Prove to it, that you won't look at it. Make a promise. Promise you're never going to look at it."

"I'll never look at it." Rupert says. Utter silence followed, only filled by their quickened breathing.

*Slam*

They turn around to see it no longer there and the door closed. "Gone?" Clara asks.

"Gone." The Doctor confirms.

"He took my bedspread." Rupert whines, making the Doctor's shoulders slouch.

"Oh, Humans. You're never happy, are you?" He teases. Clara punches him in the shoulder. "Ow! What was that for?"

"For mocking us."

"Alright, I'm sorry." Clara shook her head slightly.

"You're a big baby, you are." She mumbled.

"No, I'm not!"

"Yes, you are!"

Rupert moves to sit on the bed with Rose, while Clara rummages through his shelves as the Doctor sits on the chair. "Am I safe now?" Rupert asks.

"Not really. Nobody's safe when they're alone in the dark." Clara softly slaps the back of his head. "What?" She gives him a "Seriously?" look. "Okay, yes. You're safe now."

"Are these yours?" Clara asks, holding up a small, cardboard box filled with toy soldiers.

"They're the homes." He denies.

"They're yours now."

"Don't lie to him, Clara." The Doctor admonishes.

"Well, he doesn't need to be scared by a northerner with big ears, yet here you are." He moves to protest. "Stay still. Shut up." Rose sniggers at their interaction. Clara takes a few soldiers and places them at the foot of Rupert's bed. "You see what I'm doing? This is your army."

"Plastic army." The Doctor sniggers.

"Sit!" He rolled his eyes yet did as she said. "And they're going to guard you from underneath your bed. You see this one?" She holds up a soldier, who doesn't have a gun. "This one's the boss one. The Colonel, he's going to keep a special eye out."

"It's broken, that one. He doesn't have a gun." Rupert points out.

"That's why he's the boss. A soldier so brave, he doesn't need a gun. He can keep the whole world safe, not matter what he goes through, and he'll always win, and he'll never raise a weapon or even hurt anyone." She looks back at the Doctor, who gives her a sad smile. "What shall we call him?"

"Danny."

Clara looks at him with wide eyes. "Sorry?"

"Danny, or Dan the soldier man." Rupert says with a smile.

"See? I said you could come up with a good name." Rose compliments.

"Shut up!" Rupert says playfully, making them laugh.

"Good. Good name." Clara mumbles to herself, making the Doctor place a hand on her shoulder.

"Here. You have it." Rupert said, pushing it into Clara's hands.

"Why?"

"A reminder."

"For what?"

"I don't know. You'll figure it out." He shrugged. "Would you read me a story? It'll help me get to sleep?"

"Sure." The Doctor says, coming forward. "Once upon a time. The end." He says, placing a finger on his forehead, making Rupert fall back into the bed, his eyes closed as he falls asleep.

"Doctor!" Rose and Clara admonished in unison.

"What? It's my Dad skills." He defended as they walked out of the building and back into the TARDIS, before he pilots it into lift-off.

"So, is it possible that we just saved Rupert from another kid in a bedspread?"

"Entirely possible, yes." The Doctor mumbles.

"Will he remember any of that?" Rose asks.

"Scrambled his memory. I think he'll remember some of it, maybe a lot of it. Just gave him some big dream about being 'Dan the soldier man.'"

*Beeps*

He looked at the monitor with squinting eyes. "What is it?" Clara asks.

"It's a distress signal."

Clara looks at the monitor, her eyes widening. "From the end of the universe. How did we get that?"

"No idea. We're not only in the Time Vortex, we're swirling around Earth, 2013. I'm not sure how it could reach back this far." He sent the TARDIS to track the signal to its source, their breaths quickening as the TARDIS lands.

"Doctor are you sure about this?" Clara asks.

"No. The TARDIS isn't meant to come this far, yet some idiot turned the safeguards off." He mumbled to himself. The door opens, making them jump as a man in an orange spacesuit comes into the TARDIS. "Who are you?" The Doctor asks.

The man takes off his helmet, revealing his face. "Danny?" Clara breathes in shock. It was indeed the same man, only with a few grey hairs.

"Clara?" He reciprocates. The Doctor and Rose exchange bewildered looks.

"What's going on with you?" Danny asks Clara.

"What?"

"Come on, Clara. You're going all eyes." He teased, making her smile. He looks over to see the Doctor giving him a smirk. "What? It's true. Her eyes are so big."

"No there not!" She whined.

"Oh yes, they are." The Doctor interjects. "She's always about the eyes. She needs three mirrors." He jokes.

"Yeah. It doesn't help that her face is so round." They laugh, making Clara stomp her foot childishly.

"May I just ask, Danny, how did you…get here?"

"I time travelled." He motions them out of the TARDIS, where they find themselves in a turquoise spaceship, bathed in red light with the doors locked and the windows closed, making it unable to see outside.

"Where did you come from?"

"Earth, 2042."

"Earth doesn't get time travel in 2042." The Doctor says, furrowing his eyebrows.

"Well, it did with mine." Danny shrugged as he started to rush around the room, packing most of his things into a large, black bag. "I was meant to go a few weeks into the future."

"And you went too far?" Rose concluded.

"Unfortunately."

"Why're you packing? Can't you just reverse the ship to go back the way you went?" Clara asked.

"I want to get home. Back to my family, to my own time. You can take me."

"How long have you been here?" The Doctor asked, making Danny slouch as silence filled the room.

"Six months."

"Well, I can't leave immediately." Everyone looked at him in surprise.

"Why not?"

The Doctor puts his hands in his trouser pockets. "Earth doesn't get time travel by 2042, and since this ship is so advanced, I'd say that you are from a different universe than us. An alternate dimension. We can get you back, but we need to repair this ship first. It will take one night. One more night, that's…not a problem, is it?"

"No. No problem." He mumbled, making them squint their eyes slightly.

"It's a shame, isn't it?"

"What is?"

"There's only four people left in the universe and you're lying to the other three. It was the first thing I noticed when I stepped out here. You two must've seen it. Especially Clara, you've got eyes as big as my ears." He quipped.

"Oi!"

"Seen what?" Danny asks.

"Listen." The Doctor says simply, making them quiet down.

"To what?" Rose asks.

"Nothing. There's nothing to hear. Not a breath, a slither, a click, a tick or a groan. This is the silence at the end of time. The universe is dead. Everything that ever was is dead and gone. There's nothing beyond this door but nothingness, forever. So why is it locked? Why is the windows and the blinds shut?"

"Please. Don't make me spend another night here." Danny whimpers in fear.

"You're afraid of the dark. But the dark…is empty now."

"No. No it isn't."

"So, what's out there?" The Doctor moves to open the blinds, but Danny grabs his arms.

"Please! Don't look! You don't want to see what is out there!"

"Why not?"

"Because what you will see will terrify you beyond anything." Danny warns, making the Doctor's eyebrows furrow.

"I think I've seen enough in this life to terrify me." He says grimly.

"Not like what's out there. Please, I'm begging you. Don't go outside. Don't even look."

The Doctor stares at him blankly before sighing. "Fine. I won't look. But we are staying. If you don't want to be in this ship, I suggest you wait in the TARDIS."

"The what?"

"The TARDIS. That's my ship." He said, pointing to the box. "Only one night, just to recalibrate your ship, then we can send you home. That's all. The TARDIS will keep you safe."

Danny admits defeat. "Ok." They help him carry his things into the TARDIS.


The Doctor sat with Clara and Rose as they fixed the main computer, every so often passing the sonic around. "Doctor, what're we doing?" Clara asked.

"Fixing Danny's ship." He said simply.

"But there's not much to fix." She said, making him stop. "Don't lie to me, Doctor. We're not staying here to fix his ship. Why are we here?"

"Waiting."

"For what? For who? If everybody in the universe is dead, then there's nobody out there."

"That's one way to look at it."

"What's the other?"

"That's a hell of a lot of ghosts." The lights switched immediately to blue.

"Does this ship have its own mood lighting now? Frankly, you are providing enough of it." Clara quipped lightly, making them smile. Rose looked at the round, front door, which now said the words 'Don't open the door'.

"Where did that come from?" Rose asked.

"It's always been there. It's only visible with the night lights."

"So, who wrote it?"

"Danny. Six months stranded alone. I suppose it must be very tempting."

"What is?"

"Company." A loud, metallic creaking occurs above them, making them look upwards with wide eyes.

"What's that?" Clara asks.

"What kind of explanation-"

"Doctor, what is it?" She interrupted, with a slight roll of her eyes.

"Well, the systems are switching to low power. There are temperature differentials all over this ship. It's like…pipes banging when the heating goes off."

"I always thought there was something in the pipes."

"Me too."

"Remind me, how big is this ship?" Rose asks.

"It's roughly the size of a small house."

"But…aren't ships bigger than that?"

"I know. That's why I think Danny is from another universe. One where Earth is much more advanced than ours." The Doctor deducted.

*Shriek*

They jump, Clara grasping onto the Doctor's hand tightly. "It's just the atmospheric pressure equalising."

"Or?"

"Company."

"Doctor, why can't we just go?"

"Because Danny needs to get home."

"No. Why are we here?" She denied.

"Because I need to know."

"Know what?"

"Suppose that there are creatures that live to hide. That only show themselves to the very young, or the very old or the mad or anyone who wouldn't be believed. What would those creatures do when everyone was gone? When there was only one man left standing in the universe?"

*BANG* *BANG* *BANG*

"What's that?" Rose asked, the sudden banging on the door making them jump.

"Potentially, the hull cooling. Or rocks and dust from outside rattling on the door."

"Or?"

"Someone knocking."

*BANG* *BANG* *BANG*

"Doctor, you don't actually believe all of this, do you? Hiding creatures? Things from under the bed?"

"What's that in the mirror or the corner of your eye? What's that footstep following, but never passing by?"

"Did we come to the end of the universe because of a nursery rhyme?" Clara groaned. He said nothing, pulling out his sonic and used it to unlock the door, which by itself began to open.

"That's you turning it, right?" Rose asked, fear now beginning to flare within them.

"No." He began to back away slightly. "Get in the TARDIS."

"Why?"

"I have to know."

"Doctor-"

"The TARIDS, now."

"Ok, somebody is out there, now we know. We can leave." Clara grabbed his hand, but he yanked it back. "Doctor!" She cried.

"It's a pressure lock. Releasing it could've triggered the opening mechanism."

"Is there even an atmosphere out there?"

"There's an air shell around this ship." He turned to see them still there. "Why are you still here?"

"Because I'm not going to leave you in danger!"

"Well I'm not going to let you stay with me if it happens! Better me than you, now for god's sake Clara, do as you are told!" He yelled, pushing the two into the TARDIS, his heart clenching as he did.

"You're an idiot." Clara said, her voice breaking.

"I know." He mumbled guiltily before closing the door and moving back to the front of the room. "Perhaps they're all just waiting. Perhaps when we're all dead, out they'll come a-slithering from underneath the bed." The door slid open, blaring the alarm as the air began to rush out from the ship. Squinting his eyes, he saw outside on the barren rocky landscape a large, sinister crack, as large as the ship and gleaming white light onto his surroundings and into the ship. The air started to rush out even faster, causing him to grasp onto the console as his feet were lifted from the ground. The rushing air pulled at him hard, his grip started to weaken as sweat began to drench his body, his breathing become harder to maintain. His vision began to blur as something hit him across the head, leaving behind a stinging pain before he felt the rushing air begin to ease. He collapsed onto the ground, barely hearing above the ringing in his ears the door slam shut, before he felt something warm hug him.

"Doctor? Doctor?!" Someone called, but all he could see was something glowing, not able to determine who it was before he faded in unconsciousness, as someone picked him up and carried him back into the TARDIS.


"Will he be alright?" Clara asked, her voice filled with worry.

"He's out cold, but he'll be fine." Danny reassured her. Clara hugged the Doctor's unconscious form, relief washing through her. "You like him, don't you?" He asked with a knowing smirk.

"No, I don't!" She blushed.

"Oh yes, you do." Rose interjected as she grabbed a cloth to clean the cut on the Doctor's forehead.

"He is good for you." Danny admitted, making them fall silent.

"Really?" Clara asked.

"Oh yeah. Even if you behave like children." He teased.

"Oh, you don't know the half of it!" Rose laughed.

"Shut up!" Clara said, moving over to the console.

"What're you doing?" Danny asked.

"TARDIS telepathic circuits." She said, scrunching her face in disgust as she placed her hands back inside the gel. "The Doctor needed to know, and so do I."

"Know what?"

"Why does he want to know if the creatures under the bed are real?" She says before closing her eyes. "Come on, old girl. Show me. You've known him for a long time. What makes him want to know this so badly?"

The TARDIS went into lift off, making Rose and Danny stumble to the ground, groaning as they did.

"Sorry!" Clara said before the TARDIS landed. "Okay then. What was it?"

*Beeps* (Not what, but who)

Clara furrowed her eyebrows, checking the monitor but groaning as it just flickered with static before moving to the door. "Wait, Clara!" Rose called.

"No, stay here. Look after him." Clara said.

"You can't go out there by yourself!"

"And you're not coming with me." She said. "Rose, Danny, stay here. I'll only be two minutes. Okay?"

Rose and Danny exchanged a worried look before they sighed in defeat. "Fine. But don't you take too long." Rose warned.

"Yes Mum." She quipped as she exited the TARDIS. Clara found herself in a wooden barn drenched in the colour of night, filled with hay bales and hay mixed with sand strewn about the floor. Moving past a door on the side of the barn, she looked at the other end to see a bed with a young boy inside, the covers over his head. She heard the muffled crying of the kid, his whimpers causing her heart to clench with pity as she moved to stand by the bed. The door clanged open, making her crawl under the bed in haste as two pairs of footsteps were heard entering the barn.

"Why does he have to sleep out here?" A man said.

"He doesn't want the others to hear him crying." A woman said.

"Why does he have to cry all the time?"

"You know why." Clara didn't need to look to see her rolling her eyes.

"There'll be no crying in the army."

"Hush!"

They stood by the bed. "Don't pretend you're not awake. We're not idiots."

"Come and sleep in the house. You don't have to be alone. If you're willing, you're very welcome in the house with the other boys. I'll leave the door on the latch; you can come in any time." The Woman said gently as they moved back to the door.

"He can't just run away crying all the time if he wants to join the army."

"He doesn't want to join the army; I keep telling you."

"Well, he's not going to the Academy, is he, that boy? He'll never make a Time Lord." The Man scoffed as they closed the door behind them.

Clara's eyes widened in shock, her heart rate shooting through the roof as her breathing turns to soft panting.

"Clara! Clara, where are you?!" She heard the Doctor call from inside the TARDIS.

"Hello? Who's there?" The boy called, sitting up on the bed. She heard him rub the sweat from his forehead with his hand as he moved to get out. "Hello?" He placed his feet on the ground, as Clara shot her hand out and grasped onto his ankle, her eyes widening even more than possible as she heard the boy breathing heavily in fear.

"It's ok." She whispered softly. "This is just a dream. Just lie back again. Just lie back on the bed. It'll all be ok, if you just lie down and go to sleep. Just do that for me. Just sleep." The boy did as she bade, moving to crawl back into the bed as Clara stood up from underneath. The boy's sobbing returned, making her gaze at him sadly as tears prickled her eyes, making her sit down on the bed and place her hand on his hair, rubbing it softly. "Listen. This is just a dream. But very clever people can hear dreams. So please, just listen." She whispered; the boy's sobbing lessened into unsteady breathing. "I know you're afraid but being afraid is all right. Has nobody ever told you? Fear is a superpower." She said with a soft smile. "Fear can make you faster, more clever and stronger. One day, whether you know it or not, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's ok. Because if you're very wise and very strong, fear won't make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind. It doesn't matter if there's nothing under the bed or in the dark, so long as you know that it's ok to be afraid of it. So, listen. If you listen to nothing else, listen to this: You're always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like…a companion. A constant companion, always there. But that's ok. Because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home." She reached into her blazer pocket and pulled out "Dan the soldier man". "I'm going to leave you something, just so you'll always remember. Fear makes companions of us all." She said, slipping it into his hand and placing a kiss on his forehead.


"Sontarans, perverting the course of Human history!" The Doctor yelled as he shot up from his seat, making Danny and Rose jump. "Sorry." He mumbled, his eyes widening as he looked around. "Wait. Where's Clara? Clara! Clara, where are you?!" He said, moving to the door, but Rose and Danny moved into his path. "What're you doing?"

"Sorry, Doctor. It's Clara's orders." Rose said softly.

"What was out there? What did you see?" Danny asked.

"It was a crack. A crack in the skin of the universe. That was the gateway of how you got from your universe into ours."

"Is that my way of getting home?" He asked, both with concern and hope.

"Yes. All we need to do is restart the engines of your ship and you'll be on your way."

"Are you sure the…'Crack' wont damage the ship or anything?"

"No. Because you've already gone through, and the ship is fine enough. It'll be fine on the way back." He went to move past them again, but they stopped him.

"No, Doctor. We're not on the ship anymore." Rose interjected.

"Then, where are we?" He asked.

"We don't know." He blinked at them incredulously. "Doctor, before you saw the crack, what did you think it all was?"

The door closed behind them, making them turn to look to see Clara standing there, the tears fading from her eyes but still noticeable.

"Clara? What's wrong?" The Doctor asked.

"What if there was nothing? Nothing under the bed, nothing at the door." She said, moving past Danny and Rose to stand merely inches from the Doctor. "What if…the big bad Time Lord doesn't want to admit he's just afraid of the dark?" She asked gently.

He looked at her with shock, his hearts racing. "Clara, where are we? Where did we move to?" He implored.

"Don't look, Doctor. Take off and promise me that you will never look where we've been."

"Why?"

"Just take off, don't ask questions. Just take us back to Danny's ship, so we can get him home."

"I don't take orders, Clara." He said weakly.

"Doctor, do as you are told."

He looked down for a moment. "Alright then." He mumbled, before moving back to the console to pilot them back, grabbing Danny's stuff to put them back in his ship. Moving towards the computer, changed the coordinates and used the sonic and fired it up. "Okay then, Danny. You've got one minute before the ship takes off. I just changed the coordinates, so you will go back through the crack. I'll then use the TARDIS to close it after you've gone through."

"So, I'll take it that this is goodbye." Danny said.

"I'm afraid so." He nodded, reaching out a hand, which Danny shook. "Good luck out there, Danny."

"Good luck to you, Doctor. And look after them. Especially Clara. She's good for you." Danny winked.

"Shut up." The Doctor denied with a small blush as Danny turned and hugged Rose.

"Good luck then, eh?" Rose said.

"Yep. Good luck, Rose." He turned to Clara and hugged her.

Clara looked at him softly. "Danny, what happened to her? To your Clara?"

He gave her a sad look. "We were talking…on the phone. She was coming back home from teaching and…she crossed the road. She didn't look where she was going and…a car hit her. The driver had called for an ambulance but by the time they arrived…she was already gone. Dave and Ellie…they weren't happy. I try to help them, but I guess…parents take a long time to get over their child dying."

Clara looked at him with tears. "They survived?"

"Survived what?" He asked.

Realisation crashed over her. "Nothing." They must've never had an invasion in their world.

"What am I meant to do, Clara? I don't know how to help." He muttered weakly.

Clara gazed off for a moment before smiling softly. "People mourn those they lost because we love them. But eventually, we let them go and we honour them. The honour lasts for the rest of your life but never the mourning. Tell them: It's time to honour Clara, by letting her go in peace."

Danny looked at her sadly. "Someone told you that, eh?"

"Yeah. He was a good man."

"And you moved on from him?" He smiled.

Clara's gaze flickered to the Doctor. "Yes."

Danny nodded. "Alright then. Goodbye Clara."

"Goodbye Danny." She said.

The ship rumbled around them as it began to lift off. "Time to go. Now!" The Doctor ordered, making Clara and Rose move into the TARDIS while Danny gave them a farewell salute as they closed the doors, piloting the TARDIS to hover outside of the ship. They looked at the monitor to see the ship fly through the crack before the Doctor flicked a few switches, causing the crack to close and leaving the surroundings to be drenched in total blackness, then piloting the TARDIS away to their own time.

"You two okay?" The Doctor asked.

"Yep." Rose nodded.

"I think so." Clara shrugged, making them snigger slightly.

"Clara…what happened to Danny?" He asked.

She looked down. "Same as the other Clara. A couple of years before I met you, and mere months after I left Angie and Artie, I got a teaching job with Danny. He was coming back to the flat we shared, talking on the phone and then…"

"Someone hit him." The Doctor finished softly.

"Yes." The Doctor pulled her into a hug, Rose giving them a sad smile, before gazing off distantly at the familiar thought. Someone close to her did die from a car crash and she never even knew him.

Chapter Text

Father's Day

Peter Alan Tyler, my Dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Born September 15th , 1954. Died November 7th , 1987.

Rose's Flat
1994

An eight-year-old Rose enters Jackie's room, who was sitting on her bed with a photo album. "Come here, Rose." She calls softly. "Come here." She pats the bed beside her, where Rose sits as she peers into the album. "Who's that?" She points to a picture of man with short blonde hair. "It's your Daddy. You weren't old enough to remember when he died. 1987, 7th of November. Do you remember what I told you? The day that Stuart Hoskins and Sarah Clarke got married. He was always having adventures. Oh, he'd have loved to have seen you now. He was meant to be there, your Daddy. I was already there, with you, when you were barely a year old. He died so close to home. I wasn't there, nobody was. The driver was just a kid. He stopped and waited of the police, but Pete was already dead when the ambulance got there. It wasn't his fault. For some reason, Pete just ran out. People say that there was this girl and she sat with Pete while he was dying. She held his hand…then she was gone. Never found out who she was but…I'm thankful for her because…she didn't let him die on his own. Remember that Rose. Nobody should ever die alone." She says softly, tears prickling her eyes as she embraces Rose in a hug.

TARDIS

The Doctor and Clara exchanged sad looks at Rose's tale. "That's what Mum always says. So…I was thinking…could we?" Rose asks. "Could we go and see my Dad, when he was still alive?"

"Where's this come from, all of a sudden?" The Doctor asks.

Rose's gaze flickered towards Clara, who gave her a sad smile. "Rose, do you really want to do this?" She asks.

"I want to see him. I mean…we don't have to if it's against the laws of time or some such…" She trailed off.

"You have to be sure, Rose." She said, her eyes telling her everything.

Rose nodded. "I want to see him."

"Then your wish is our command. Just be careful what you wish for." The Doctor said with a smile. He then got up with Clara as they piloted the TARDIS.


The three stood with sat with somewhat awkward looks as they watched Peter and Jackie get married. "I, Peter Alan Tyler, take you, Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Prentice." The priest said.

"I, Peter Alan Tyler, take you, Jacqueline…Suzanne, Suzette…Anita…" He stammered, making Jackie roll her eyes at him incredulously.

"Oh, just carry on. It's good enough for Lady Di."

The Doctor and Clara sniggered, while Rose looked on in slight disappointment. "I thought he'd be taller." Rose almost whined.

"How tall did you think he was?" The Doctor asked. Rose stammered, deciding not to answer, making him smirk.

"All are weddings this awkward?" Clara asked him.

"A bit, yeah." They sniggered again, making Rose roll her eyes at them.

"Do other races have different kinds of weddings?"

"Oh yeah, there is. Back on Gallifrey, when two people are getting married, they would be married in private, just them for one night. They would take a bond cloth, which…" He blinked, "Is just a cloth." Clara gave him a 'Seriously?' look. "Anyway, they would take a cloth, wrap it around both of their hands and tell each other their true names. Well, in some parts of Gallifrey. Other parts, people told everyone their names freely."

"And you?"

"Well…I'm the Doctor. But my family, they were the…other part, should we say?" He winked slightly, making her pull an 'Okay' face.

Back in the TARDIS, they piloted it to their new destination. "Alright then, Rose. We will ask this once more: Are you sure?" The Doctor asked.

"Yes. I want to be that someone, so he doesn't die alone."

"November the 7th?"

"1987."

"Alright then. Just letting you know, Rose, follow what we say. Or this could all go wrong very quickly." He warned, making her nod.

London
November 7th, 1987

The three stepped out of the TARDIS onto a quiet street, on a cloudy day. "That's so weird. The day my father died. I thought it'd be all sort of grim and stormy, but it's just an ordinary day." Rose mumbled.

"The past is another country. 1987's just The Isle of Wight. Come on, he should be this way." The Doctor said, leading them down the street to a corner.

"This is it. Jordan Road. He was late. He'd been to get a wedding present, a vase. Mum always said: 'That stupid vase.'" On that, Peter came down the road in a rugged old, green car. "He got out of his car…and crossed the road. Oh god, this is it." Clara took her hand while the Doctor placed his hand on her shoulder. They flinched as Peter stepped out of the car, before being hit face first by another car, this one a dull grey colour, which then sped off down the road as he fell, the vase he carried smashed onto the pavement.

"Go to him. Quick." Clara implored.

Rose blinked as tears came to her eyes, before heading off down the road, making them follow her. They stood by each other, as they heard the ambulance arrive at Peter's body. "It's too late now. By the time the ambulance got there, he was dead. He can't die on his own. Can I try again?" She asked, her voice breaking. The Doctor and Clara exchanged an uncomfortable look before nodding slightly.


Arriving back at the corner, they stood hidden as their past selves came to the sidewalk. "Right. That's us, the first time. Now, it's a horrible idea to have two sets of us in the same time. Just be careful that they don't see us. Wait till you run off and we follow, then go to your Dad." The Doctor advised, Rose nodding as he finished.

They saw Peter's car pull up on the sidewalk, the car that would kill him coming down the road. "Oh god, this is it." Rose said.

"I can't do this." Rose mumbled.

"You don't have to do anything you don't want to, but this is the last time we can be here." Rose took a deep breath as Peter stepped out of the car, before sprinting towards him. "No!"

"Rose!" Clara called fruitlessly as Rose sped past their past selves and dove Peter out of the way of the oncoming car, which like their past selves vanished in a golden light.

"I did it." Rose muttered with a smile as she and Peter got to their feet. "I saved your life."

"Blimey, did you see the speed of it? Did you get his number?" Peter said with a shaking voice.

"I really did it. Oh my god, look at you, you're alive. That car was going to kill you!"

"Well, give me some credit. I could see it coming. I wasn't going to walk under it, was I?"

"I'm Rose." She blurted.

"That's a coincidence. That's my daughter's name."

She nodded. "That's a great name. Good choice, well done."

"Right then, I'd better shift. I've got a wedding to go to."

"Is that Sarah Clarke's wedding?"

"Yeah. Are you going?"

"Yeah."

"You and your friends need a lift?" He asked, making Rose turn to the two. The Doctor was staring at her with disappointment while Clara was glaring daggers at her.


"Right, here we go. Sorry about the mess." Peter said as they entered the living room of his cramped flat. "If you want a cup of tea, the kitchen's just down there. Milk's in the fridge." He rolled his eyes. "Well, it would be, wouldn't it? Where else would you put milk?" He paused in thought. "Mind you, there's always the windowsill outside. You know, I always that that if someone invented a windowsill with special compartments, like one for milk and one for yogurt, they could make a lot of money out of that. Sell it to students and things. I should write that down." He blinked a few times. "Oh, never mind that. Ramblings of a mad man." He quipped, making them smirk. "Please excuse me for a minute, I need to go and change." He went into his bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Rose moved into the middle of the living room, not noticing the Doctor placing a hand on Clara's shoulder to calm her.

"All the stuff Mum kept, his stuff. She kept it all packed away in boxes in the cupboard. She used to show me when she'd had a bit to drink. Yet here it is…on display, where it should be." Noticing their looks, she starts to feel awkward and somewhat guilty, before picking up a trophy. "Third prize at the bowling. First two got to go to Didcot." She puts it down before gaining a childlike smile at the cartons of drinks on the floor. "Health drinks. "Tonics", Mum used to call them. He made his money selling this vitex stuff. He had all sorts of jobs; he was so clever." She moves over to a set of blueprints on the table, her awkward anxiety starting to rise at their silence. "Solar power. Mum said he was going to do this. Now he can." She gulps at their looks, knowing that they ignored everything she said.

"When we met, we asked if you wanted to travel the universe with us and you said no. Then I said, "That it also travels in time"." Clara says in an accusing tone.

"It wasn't some big plan. I just…saw it happening and I thought, that I could stop it."

The Doctor scoffed under his breath. "I should've listened to Clara, but I did it again, I picked another stupid ape. It's never about showing you the universe, it's about the universe doing something for you."

"So, it's okay when you two go to other times and you save people's lives but not when it's me saving my Dad."

"We know what we're doing, you don't. Two sets of us being there made that a vulnerable point."

"But he's alive!" She protested.

"Yeah, good job." Clara growled sarcastically.

"It's not like I've changed history. Not much. I mean, he's never going to be a world leader. He's not going to start World War III or anything."

"Rose, it's a simple as this." Clara interrupted. "There's a man alive in the world who wasn't alive before. The whole world is now different because he's alive."

"What, would you rather have him dead?" She accused.

*Smack*

The Doctor flinched while Rose looked at Clara with wide eyes, her cheek stinging with pain. "Don't ever say that kind of bullshit again." Clara growled, Rose flinching at her tone. "We don't enjoy people dying, but no more than when we can't save them. For god's sake, my own parents died, Rose! My whole family is now dead! Do you think it's never occurred to me to go back and save them?! Of course, it has! But that's not how this works!" Rose blinked, making Clara roll her eyes. "You still don't get it. Alright then, give me the key."

Her jaw dropped slightly. "Wha-"

"The TARDIS key." Clara snapped, making Rose hand it to her with haste. "Since you got what you wanted, it's goodbye." She moved from the flat, the Doctor shooting Rose a slightly apologetic look before leaving.

"You don't scare me!" Rose blurted. "I know how sad you are. You'll be back in a minute or you'll hang around outside the TARDIS-"

"No, we won't. Goodbye Rose." Clara growled, silencing her as they slammed the door behind them.

Peter opened his door slightly, poking his head out to see Rose's shocked and hurt face. "Trouble with friends?" He quips lightly, yet it does nothing to help her mood.

Outside, the Doctor raced to catch up with Clara. "Clara. Clara." He grabbed her hand, but she yanked it out of his grasp.

"For once in your life, Doctor, shut up!" She growled, leaving him silent and rooted for a few minutes as she disappears around the corner.


Rose absentmindedly began cleaning up Peter's table, trying to keep her guilt-ridden thoughts off Clara's words, not even hearing Peter enter the room, now dressed in a suit. "Excuse me, do you mind? What're you cleaning up for?" He asked.

She jumped slightly. "Sorry. Force of habit."

"Listen, don't worry about them. Friends always have rows."

"Look, I know what you mean, but this wasn't one of them." She sat on the couch, slouching her shoulders. "I think they just left me."

"They'll be back. Friends always will be." He reassured.

"Right then, are we off?" Rose jumped up, holding out her arm.

"Uh…yeah." He blinked. "Sorry, but just asking, do you have a boyfriend?"

She breathed. "I don't know. Not really. It's all a little bit complicated."

"What, with a pretty girl like you? If I was going out with you-"

"Stop! Just stop!" She said, disgusted at the reality.

He shrugged. "I'm just saying-"

"I know what you're saying and we're not going there. At no point are we going anywhere near there. You aren't even aware that THERE exists. I don't even want to think about there and believe me, neither do you. There, for you is like…pfft, it's like the Bermuda Triangle." She ranted.

His jaw dropped before sniggering slightly. "Blimey, you know how to flatter a bloke."

"Like I said, are we off?" She asked, holding her arm out again.

"So, that's not mixed signals at all?"

"Absolutely not."

He sighed before taking her arm to lead her out of the door to his car. "I'll take you back to the loony bin, where you belong." He gazed distantly for a moment. "Still, I'm sure I've met you somewhere before."


Inside the church, the organ was playing while Stuart Hoskins and his father, both dressed in grey suits stood in front of the alter, Stuart glancing back at the small amount of people in the chairs with anxiety. "It's weird."

"What?" His father asked.

"There's so many people missing. Uncle Steven, Auntie Lynn, all the Baxters. I mean, where are they? You don't think something's gone wrong?"

"Maybe it's a godsend. Gives you time to think. You don't have to go through with it, not these days. Live in sin for a bit." His father winked knowingly.

"Dad!" He muttered incredulously.

"I'm warning you, in ten years' time, you'll turn around and say, "If only I could turn the clock back."" A sudden, icy chill passed through, making some shift uncomfortably. "Is it me, or did it just get cold?"


Clara walked back to the TARDIS, the Doctor following close behind with a look of worry. She paused briefly to glance upwards. "Clara? What is it?"

She didn't turn to look at him. "I just… I thought I heard…never mind." She mumbled, taking her key out of her blazer to unlock the TARDIS, their eyes widening as they found it empty. Completely empty, now just a normal police box. The Doctor even stood inside and banged on the walls to be sure before she grabbed his arm. "Rose!" She said, making them rush off.


"I met this bloke at the horses and he's cutting me on copyright." Peter said as he drove her and Rose to the church, the song "Never Gonna Give You Up" playing on the radio.

"But I thought you were like a proper businessman."

"*Scoffs* I wish! Nah, I just do a bit of this, a bit of that, more of a straight bloke."

Rose nodded despite her confusion. "Right. I must've heard wrong. So really, you're a…a bit of a del boy?"

"Oh, shoot me down in flames." He groaned slightly. "You're not related to my wife by any chance, are you?"

Rose paused before dropping her jaw slightly. "Oh my god. She's going to be at the wedding."

"What, Jackie? Do you know her?"

"Sort of." She mumbled.

"What'd she tell you about me then?"

She smiled softly. "She said that she picked the most fantastic man in the world."

He gave her a "Seriously?" look. "Must be a different Jackie, then. She'd never say that." The radio went through sudden static before the song switched to "Don't Mug Yourself". "You know, this stuff goes right over my head."

Rose blinked, her eyebrows furrowing. "But that's not out yet. I'm just going to check my messages." She mumbled, pulling out her phone.

"How'd you mean, "Messages"?" He asked, looking over and blinking in surprise. "Is that a phone?"

"Yeah." She held it up to her ear.

"Watson come here. I need you. Watson come here. I need you. Watson come here. I need you." She gazed up in surprise as they turned a corner, missing the dull grey car pass by, the driver throwing an arm in front of his face and screeching the car tyres before he disappeared in golden light.


The father stood in front of church, holding a black phone to his ear. "Half the guests haven't turned up. You're better off not being here, it's a disaster in the making. No, in this case, 'Knocked her up' is a phrase I'd use."

"Watson come here. I need you."

"Hello? Who's this?" He blinked.

"Watson come here. I-" He hung up with a shake of his head.

"Dad! Get inside!" Stuart implored. "We can't see the bride before the wedding. It's bad luck."

"*Scoffs* Bad luck when you met her. I tell you; this day is cursed." He said, following his son into the church as a large grey car pulled up in front. Two women, a brunette and a blonde waited as Sarah Clarke stepped out in her wedding dress, as they smiled at her.

"Now, THAT is what I call a meringue." The brunette said with a nod.

"Listen. Stuart's Dad said to go around the block, because there's people missing." The blonde said.

"How'd you mean missing?" Sarah asked.

"There's no Dave, no Sunita, no Bea. There's no one from The Lamb and Flag."

"Oh, my train's detached again! I knew I should've used Velcro." Sarah groaned as the car door closed.

"I'm here. Stop your bellyaching." Jackie said, wearing a pink dress and holding a baby crib with an infant Rose inside. "Take Rose a second, will you?" She asked the brunette.

"Oh, isn't she pretty?" She cooed.

"She's a little madam is what she is. Jesus, I need more hands. Where's her useless article of a Dad got to now?"

Said car came around the corner, before they jumped in shock as the dull, grey car suddenly appeared in front of them. "Dad!" Rose shrieked, Peter brining the Car to a screeching halt on the sidewalk.

"It's that car…the same one as before." He hopped out, looking around for the car. "It was right in front of us. Where's it gone?" He breathed before turning to look at her with an incredulous look. "You called me "Dad". What'd you do that for?"

"Oh, wonderful. Here he is, the accident waiting to happen." Jackie growled. "You'd be later for your own funeral and it nearly was."

"No damage done." He groaned.

"And who's this?" Jackie nodded to Rose, who was staring at her with a distant look. "What're you looking at with your mouth open?"

"Your hair."

"What?"

"I…" She stops herself from blurting out anything else. "It's lovely. Your hair's lovely." She glanced at her younger self, staring with wide eyes at everything around her. "And that baby…" She stops herself again. "Sorry."

"Another one of yours, is she?" Jackie asked.

"She saved my life." Peter defended.

"Oh, that's a new one. What was it last time?"

"I didn't even know her; she was a cloakroom attendant. I was helping her look for my ticket. There were three duffel coats all the same and the rack just collapsed on top of us."

"Were you playing around?" Rose asked in shock.

"What's it got to do with you what he gets up to?" Jackie interrupted.

"What does he get up to?"

"You'd know."

"Oh, because I'm that stupid to play around and bring her to meet the missus. You silly cow." He groaned.

"But you ARE that stupid."

"Can we keep this stuff for back home, just for now, please?"

"What, with the rest of the rubbish? You bring home cut-price detergents, tonic water, Betamax tapes and none of it works. I'm drowning in your rubbish. What'd he tell you? Did he say he's this big businessman? Well, he's not. He's a failure! A born failure, that one. Rose needs a proper father. Not one who's playing about like a big kid."

"Jackie, I'm making a living. It keeps us fed, don't it?"

"Stop it!" Rose shrieked, trying to contain her anxiety again. "You're not like this. You love each other."

Jackie rolled her eyes. "Oh, Peter. You never used to like them mental. Or I don't know. Maybe you did."

"Jackie, wait, just listen."

"If you're not careful, there'll be a wedding and a divorce on the same day!" Jackie growled, walking back to the church entrance.

"Wait right here, just give me a couple minutes with the missus." Peter said, handing her his car keys. "Tell you what, straighten the car up or stick it around the corner or something. And don't cause any more trouble." He pleaded as he walked after Jackie. "Jacks, please."

"I'm not listening. It's just the duffel coats all over again." Jackie mumbled, placing Rose's cot down by her feet.

"Jackie, sometimes a duffel coat is just a duffel coat. Things will get better soon, I promise."

"I've had enough of all your daft schemes. I never know where the next meal's coming from."

"I'll get it right, love. One day soon, I promise you, I'll get it right. Come on." Jackie gave him a sad smile before they embraced in a soft hug. Around the corner, a young, dark skinned boy came running with fear in his eyes.

"Monsters! Going to eat us!" He called before sprinting into the church.

"What sort of monsters, sweetheart? Is it aliens?" The blonde asked, before chuckling slightly.

"Rose!" She turned around to see Clara and the Doctor running towards her, unable to contain her grand smile of relief.

"Get in the church!" The Doctor called, making her blink as he pointed upwards. She followed it to see a sudden spectrum of golden light appear, revealing a large, ash black creature like a dragon with bat wings, claws and a scythe-like tail, glaring its ember eyes down upon rose.

*Shriek*

It opened its jaws wide, revealing its sharp teeth as it descended towards Rose. "Aaah!" Rose screamed, being pushed down to the ground by the Doctor and Clara, the creature narrowly missing the three as they scrambled to their feet.

"Get in the church!" Clara commanded, making everyone in front race inside as they gazed at the creature with horror-stricken eyes. More spectrums of golden light appeared in the sky above their heads, revealing more of the same creatures.

"Oh my god. What are they? What are they?!" The blonde shrieked as people within the church stood at the doors to see the commotion.

"Stay inside!" The Doctor yelled.

*Shriek*

Another creature descended upon the large group. "Sarah!" Stuart called, making his father grab his arms and haul him back.

"No, stay inside!" Their commotion made the creature stop and look at them, dashing forward as the father ran away from the door. Using its tail, it swiped at his feet, tripping him and making his head slam onto the concrete ground before descending upon him, using its large jaw to devour him in large bites, the man screaming in agony until all that was left was a heap of bones, skin and blood on the ground. The Doctor gazed around to see more of the bat creatures descending and devouring everyone that stood in the streets.

"Inside! Now!" He ordered, making everyone rush into the church as he slammed and locked the front doors shut behind him, the whole group panicking as they tried to reassure each other.

"Doctor, will we be okay?" Clara asked.

"Yes, they can't get in. The church has old windows and doors. The older something is, the stronger it is."

"Are you telling the truth or trying to reassure me?" She asked softly.

He looked at her sadly. "Why can't it be both?"

"Because it never is." She mumbled.

He sighed. "Go and check the other doors. Move!" He ordered everyone, making them rush around the church, as he went with Clara, Jackie following them.

"What's happening? What are they? What are they?" She freaked.

"There's been an accident in time, a wound in time. They're like bacteria, taking advantage."

"What do you mean, 'Time'?" What are you jabbering on about, 'Time'?"

"Oh, I might've known you'd argue." He groaned, earning a snigger from Clara. "Jackie, I'm sick of you complaining."

"How do you know my name? I've never me you in my life!"

"No, and you never will unless I sort this out. Now, if you don't mind, I have waited a long time to say this." He squared his shoulders. "Jackie Tyler! Do as I say! Go and check the doors!"

"Yes sir." She said weakly, moving off in a haste as Stuart came over.

"I should've done that ages ago." He said smugly to Clara.

"Well, now you know."

"Oi!"

"My Dad was out there." Stuart interrupted.

"You can mourn him later. Right now, we've got to concentrate on keeping ourselves alive."

"My Dad had this-"

"There is nothing that I can do for him."

"No! He had this…phone thing. I can't get it work. I keep getting this voice."

The Doctor took it with a crooked eyebrow, pressing a few buttons and holding it to his ear. "Watson come here. I need you."

He smiled gleefully. "That's the very first phone call. Alexander Graham Bell." He returned to his grim state. "I don't think the telephone's going to be much use."

"But someone must've called the police." Stuart protested.

"The police can't help you now, no one can. Nothing in this universe can harm those things. Time's been damaged, and they've come to sterilise the wound…by consuming everything in sight." He said into the silent church.

"Is this because…" Rose muttered weakly, gaining his and Clara's attention. "Is this my fault?"

Clara clenched her jaw before moving away, the Doctor breathing slightly before moving after her. Clara arrived at a window to see outside, the Doctor standing beside her while Peter came up to them. "There's smoke coming up from the city, but no sirens. I-I don't think it's just us, I think these things are all over the place, maybe the whole world."

On the street, the dull grey car appeared again before disappearing just as quickly. The Doctor and Clara exchanged a sad look. "Was that a car?" Peter asked, looking out the window.

The Doctor gulped. "It's not important. Don't worry about it." He and Clara walked off, leaving Peter on his own to contemplate for a few moments.


*Shriek*

Rose jumped as the shadow of a creature appeared at the large window above her, writhing around for a few moments before flying away, making her sigh in relief. Despite this, the events of the day plus Clara's attitude started to bring tears of guilt to her eyes, which she wiped away as Peter entered the room. "These mates of yours, what did they mean that this is your fault?"

"Just…everything." She said, her voice breaking slightly.

"I gave you my car keys." He said bluntly, making her gaze soften even more. "You don't give your keys to a stranger. It's like…I trusted you. From the moment I met you, I-I just did. 'A wound in time'? You called me Dad?" He approached her, her eyes pleading with him to look at her. "I can see it. My eyes and…Jackie's attitude. You sound like her when you shout." He unconsciously caressed her cheek, Rose grabbing his hand to hold it there as the tears returned. His eyes widened in realization. "You are. You're my Rose. You're my Rose, all grown up." He hugged her tightly, her tears turning into small sobs.

"Dad. My Dad." She whispered, her voice shattering. "My Daddy."


Stuart and Sarah walk up to the Doctor and Clara, who were checking on another door. "Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs…"

"Doctor." "Clara." They said without looking.

"You two seem to know what's going on."

"We give that impression, yeah." The Doctor mumbled.

"I just wanted to ask-"

"Can you save us?" Sarah asks, making them stop to look at the two.

"Who are you two then?" Clara asks.

"Stuart Hoskins."

"Sarah Clarke."

"And one extra. Boy or girl?" The Doctor nods towards Sarah's stomach.

She rubs it softly. "I don't know. I don't want to know really. Not yet."

"How did all of this get started?"

Stuart and Sarah exchange a fond smile. "Outside the beat box club, 2:00 in the morning, on a street corner."

"I'd lost my purse and didn't have money for a taxi."

"So…I took her home."

"Then what? Asked her for a date?" The Doctor asked with raising eyebrows.

"Wrote his number on the back of my hand."

"Never got rid of her since. My Dad said…" He trails off in sadness, Sarah rubbing his shoulder reassuringly.

"Look, I don't know what this is all about. And I know we're not important."

"Who said you're not important?" The Doctor says softly, making them look at him with slight surprise. "I've travelled to all sorts of places and done things you couldn't even imagine, but…you two. Street corner, 2:00 in the morning, getting a taxi home. I've never had a life like that. Yes. We'll try and save you."

Stuart and Sarah nodded their thanks, walking off while Jackie rushes up too them with baby Rose in her arms. "I'm so sorry, but can you look after her for a second? I've got to go and find little Rickey." Jackie said, pushing Rose into Clara's arms, missing her shocked expression as she rushed away. Clara saw the Doctor's jaw drop.

"Rickey? Jackie just called him Rickey?" He laughs gleefully, making Clara smile before she went to sit down, missing his concerned look as he followed her. "Clara? What's wrong?" She looked down at Rose, not saying anything yet tears began to prickle her eyes.

"Rose is lucky, you know." She said, her voice breaking.

"Lucky with what?" He asked gently.

"She can say goodbye to her Dad."

The Doctor looked at her sadly. "Clara, you know that it wasn't your fault."

"I know, but I wish I could've said goodbye to them." He sat down beside her, wrapping his right arm around her, putting her head on his shoulder as she cried softly, ignoring the shrieking of the creatures outside as they rattled on the walls and doors.


Rose and Peter sat down in two chairs in silence for a moment. "I'm a Dad. I-I mean, I'm already a Dad but, Rose grows up and…she's you. That's wonderful. I mean, I thought that you'd be a bit useless since you got my genes and all." They chuckled at his jab. "How did you get here then?"

"Do you really want to know?" Rose asked, wiping the drying tears from her face.

"Yeah."

"A time machine."

"Time machine?" He raised his eyebrows.

"Cross my heart."

"What, do you all have time machines where you come from?"

"No. Just the Doctor and Clara."

"Did you know that these things were coming?"

"No."

"God, I don't know. This is making my head spin." Peter sighed.

"That's every moment with those clowns." Rose smiled softly.

"What's the future like?"

"It's not so different."

"What am I like? Have I gone grey? Or have I gone bald?" Rose stares at him in silence, unable to come up with an answer. "Oh, don't tell me I've gotten bald." He groaned. "So, I was wondering that with these mates of yours, I'm glad I'm not Clara's Dad because I've got to say, he's a bit older than her."

"You have no idea." Rose said, making them laugh.

"Mickey!" Jackie said, making them stand as the young boy ran into the room, straight into Rose and hugging her waist as Jackie followed him in.

"Do you know him?" Peter whispered.

"I do. I just didn't recognize him in a suit." She whispered, placing her hands on his arms to remove them off her. "You have to let go of me, sweetheart." She blinked in surprise. "I'm always saying that." She mumbled.

"He just grabs hold of what's passing and holds on for dear life." Jackie groaned, taking Mickey by the hand. "God help his poor girlfriend, if he ever gets one."

"Me and Rose were just talking." Peter said.

"Oh yeah, talking? When the world comes to an end, what do you do? Cling to the youngest blonde." She spat. "Come on, Rick." She said, pulling Mickey out of the room and missing Rose's hurt look. Peter goes to follow, but Rose grabs his arm.

"You can't tell her."

"Why not?"

"I mean, I really don't want you to tell her."

"You don't want people to know?"

"Look, where I come from, Jackie doesn't know how to work the timer on the video recorder."

"*Chuckles* I showed her that last week." Rose raised her eyebrows at him. "Ugh, point taken." He said as they left the room.


Rose found the Doctor and Clara looking after her young self. "Now, Rose, you're not going to bring about the end of the world, are you?" The Doctor asks, baby Rose staring at him with wide eyes as Clara stifles a giggle. "Are you?" Rose stood by them, making them look at her. "Jackie gave her to us to look after. How times change."

"I'd better be careful. I think I just imprinted myself on Mickey like a mother chicken." Rose laughs, making them smirk. She reaches towards her baby self, but Clara grabs her arm.

"No. Don't touch the baby." She said sternly.

"What'll happen?"

"You're both the same person and that's a paradox. We don't want a paradox happening, not with these things outside. Anything new, any disturbance in time makes them stronger. The paradox might let them in." The Doctor answers for Clara, earning a look of gratitude from her.

"Can't do anything right, can I?" Rose mumbles.

"Since you ask, no. So, don't touch the baby." Clara repeated.

"I'm not stupid."

"You could've fooled me-" She cut herself off, looking down with a look of guilt. "Alright, I'm sorry. We weren't just going to leave you here."

Rose blinked at her sadly. "For a moment I thought you were."

Clara nodded weakly. "I was afraid that…I actually would've. I wasn't angry with you because you broke a rule, I was angry because I can't do what you did. I can't go back and save my parents, let alone say goodbye to them."

"I didn't mean to do that to you." Rose mumbled.

Clara gave her a sad look. "Between us, Rose, we don't have a plan. No way out."

"I'm sure you'll think of something."

The Doctor shook his head. "The entire earth's being sterilized. This and other places like it are all that's left of humanity. We might hold out for a while, but nothing can stop those creatures. They'll get through in the end. The walls aren't that old, I'm afraid and there's nothing I can do to stop them. There used to be laws stopping this kind of thing from happening. My people would've stopped this…" He trailed off sadly at the thought. "But they're all gone. And now…I'm going the same way."

"If I'd realized…" Rose mumbled weakly.

"Just…tell me you're sorry." Clara pleaded.

"I am. I'm sorry." Rose said, her voice breaking. Clara placed her hand on her cheek, Rose flinching slightly as she did.

"I'm sorry for that too." She drew Rose into a hug.

"To be honest, I actually feel sorry for him now."

"How'd you mean?"

"First Mum, now you. Am I next to slap him?" Rose quipped, making her chuckle.

"I heard that." The Doctor protested.

"I know." Rose and he exchanged a small smile before Rose frowned. "Clara? Have you got something hot?"

Clara raised her eyebrows. "I thought you weren't interested in me like that." She teased.

"No, literally, have you got something hot?" Clara looked at her with confusion as Rose searched her blazer pockets, before yelping in pain as she threw out a TARDIS key onto the floor, which was gleaming with golden light.

"It's the TARDIS key!" The Doctor said with a grin, shredding off his jacket as he knelt to pick it up. "It's telling me it's still connected to the TARDIS." He laughed, making them grin as he raced to the front of the room, Rose and Clara sitting down. "Everyone! I have a way to solve this." Everyone looked at him with confusion but still gave him their attention. "The inside of my ship was thrown out of the wound, but we can use this to bring it back. Once I've got my ship back, then I can mend everything. Now, I just need a bit of power. Has anybody got a battery?" Everyone checked around them to find nothing before Stuart shot up out of his seat.

"This one big enough?" He asked, running over to the Doctor with a phone battery.

"Fantastic." The Doctor grinned.

"Good old Dad. There you go." He handed it over, making the Doctor take out his sonic.

"It just needs to do a bit of charging up and then we can bring everyone back." As the Doctor went to work, Jackie came over to Rose and Clara.

"Sorry. Just need to take her back now." Jackie said, taking Rose out of their arms.

"It's alright. She was rather quiet." Clara said.

"She'll grow up to be a kind little madam, she'll be." Jackie smiled softly as she walked away, missing Rose's glowing smile at her words. Peter then came over to sit by them, Clara shifting slightly to give them some space.

"You, um…you never said why you came here in the first place. If I had a time machine, I wouldn't have thought 1987 was anything special. Not around here anyway." Peter said.

"We just ended up here."

"Lucky for me, eh? If you hadn't been there to save me…"

"That was just a coincidence." Rose shrugged nonchalantly. "That was just really good luck, it's amazing."

Peter nodded yet still had a gaze of uncertainty. "So, in the future…um…are me and her still together?"

"Yeah."

"Are you still living with us?"

"Well, I kind of have to. First time I met my friends, they blew up my job to save the world."

"Seriously?" Peter raised his eyebrows.

"The Doctor did." Clara inputted. "Gave him a smack after that."

"Of course, you would." Rose teased.

"Shut up." She blushed slightly, making the pair smirk before shifting into a small silence.

"Rose am I a good Dad?"

Rose looked at him, trying to figure out what to say. "You…you told me a bedtime story every night when I was small. You were always there, you never missed one. And, um…you took us for picnics in the country every Saturday. You never let us down. You were there for us all the time; someone I could really rely on."

Peter smiled sadly. "That's not me."

The groaning sound of the TARDIS engines made them look to the front of the room, where the ghost of a golden TARDIS appeared, the Doctor look at it with a grin as he put his jacket back on.

"Right, no one touches that key. Have you got that? Don't touch it. Anyone touches that key, it'll be…well…zap! Just leave it be and everything will be fine. We'll get out of here, all of us. Stuart, Sarah." The two perked up slightly. "You're going to get married, just like I said. Just give it one hour and everyone will come back." Everyone nodded at him, despite some bewildered looks.


Fifty minutes later, the Doctor beside Clara with an arm around her as everyone murmured amongst themselves, mainly in comforting reassurance. "Doctor?" Clara asked, making him look at her. "If someone or something did touch that, what would happen to them?"

"They would die." He said grimly, making her blink. "And we only get one shot at this, if it did get touched, the connection to the TARDIS would be cut off." She nodded, leaning her head into his embrace.

"When time gets sorted out…" Rose started to ask.

"Everybody here forgets what happened." The Doctor finished. "And don't worry, the thing that you changed will stay changed."

"You mean I'll still be alive." Peter said on a seat behind them, making them look at him. "Though I'm meant to be dead. That's why I haven't done anything with my life, why I didn't mean anything."

"It doesn't work like that-"

"Rubbish." Peter scoffed, cutting the Doctor off. "I'm so useless, I couldn't even die properly. Now it's my fault all of this has happened."

"This is my fault." Rose protested.

"No, love. I'm your Dad. It's my job for it to be my fault."

"Her Dad?" Jackie asked, none of them noticing that she moved over to them. "How are you her Dad? How old were you, 12? Oh, that's disgusting." The Doctor felt Clara groan into him, making him place a hand over her ear, feeling a small smile on her face.

"Jacks, listen. This is Rose." Peter said, standing up beside her.

"Rose? How sick is that? Did you give my daughter a second-hand name? How many are there? Do you call them all Rose?"

"Oh, for god's sake, look! It's the same Rose." Peter said, taking baby Rose out of Jackie's arms and into Rose's.

"Rose, no!" The Doctor yelled, untangling himself from Clara to stop her but too late.

*Shriek*

Everyone screamed as one of the creatures appeared in the room. "Everyone! Behind me!" The Doctor called, making them rush behind him in a huddle, Clara by his side as they all gazed at the creature, who glared down at them hungrily. "I'm the oldest thing in here."

"No, you don't." Clara growled as the creature hinged its jaws, shoving the Doctor over onto the chairs, the creature flying down and devouring her whole.

"Clara!" He screamed as the creature flew upwards, before spinning around and-

*Shriek*

This scream was of agony as it flew into the materialising TARDIS, which along with the creature disappeared, leaving behind the key, now no longer glowing with golden light as the Doctor rushed over to pick it up. "Clara." He mumbled in shock. "Please, no."

Rose and Peter walked slowly over to him. "Doctor?" She asked, her voice in shock at the death of her friend.

"This is your fault." He mumbled.

"I'm sorry?"

"This is your fault!" He roared, making her flinch. "Everything that has happened, it's all your fault!" Rose blinked as she saw tears starting to flow from his eyes. "And…and now she's…she's dead. Not again. Not again." He fell to his knees, struggling to contain his sobs. "She can't be. Not again." Rose knelt beside him and hugged him, as he sobbed into her shoulder. "She can't be, Rose. She can't be." Peter looked at them sadly before moving to look out of the window, seeing the dull grey car appear and disappear again. He looks at it for a moment before realization creeps into him.


Peter, now dressed in his suit again, walks over to the Doctor and Rose, who were loosely hugging each other as the Doctor stared down at the floor, tears still in his eyes. "You love her, don't you?" Peter asked him.

"Clara's just a-"

"Enough with the shit, alright?" Peter snapped. "I'm married, so I know when I see two people in love. And don't get me started on how you look at her, or how she looks at you. Just promise me one thing: Don't let each other go. Not ever."

The Doctor looked at him with slight confusion. "Why do you ask?"

"Tell me I'm wrong, Doctor. That car outside." His eyes softened as Peter's words hit him.

"Dad…what're you talking about?" Rose asked.

"The car that should've killed me, love. It's still here. You figured it out way back, didn't you, Doctor? You and Clara?" He nodded. "Well…I thank you for trying to give me another chance, but I'm afraid my time is up."

"You can't." Rose said, her voice breaking.

"Who am I, love?" Peter asked softly, placing his hands-on Rose's face.

"My Daddy." She said, trying to contain her sobs as Jackie came over.

"Jackie, look at her. She's ours." Jackie then looked at her for a few, long moments before her eyes widened.

"Oh my god." She breathed, wrapping Rose in a hug, before pulling away to look at Peter.

"I'm meant to be dead, Jackie. You're going to get rid of me at last."

"Please don't say that." Jackie said, her voice breaking too.

"For once in your life, trust me. It's got to be done. You've got to survive because you've got to bring up our daughter. Please, Jacks, trust me." He implored, making her nod as they drew into a farewell kiss. "I never read you those bedtime stories and I never took you on those picnics. I was never there for you."

"You would've been." Rose sobbed.

"But I can do this for you. Just for once, I can be a proper Dad."

"But it's not fair."

"I've had all these extra hours. No one else in the world has ever had that. And on top of that, I get to see you…and you're beautiful. How lucky am I, eh? I'm proud of you, Rose. Remember that. So, come on. Do as your Dad say." Rose grabbed the vase and handing it to him. "Are you going to be there for me, love?" She nodded. "Thanks for saving me." He drew her into a hug, before moving to stand in front of the Doctor. "Now, you still have to agree. Don't let go of Clara, okay? Never let go of her."

"Alright then." The Doctor said sadly, before shaking his hand. "You're a good man, Peter. It was a pleasure to meet you."

"It was a pleasure to meet you, too. And say goodbye to Clara for me."

"I will."

"And don't you ever dare let her go, or I will come back for you." He quipped lightly, making the Doctor grin.

"I won't."

Peter opened the front doors before looking at Jackie. "I love you, Jacks."

"I love you too, Pete." She mumbled sadly as he ran out of the building. Looking above him, he saw the creatures stopping their assault on the church, turning their bloodhungry gaze onto him, before he sprinted to the street corner and out onto the road, as the car appeared in front of him.

"Goodbye, love." He closed his eyes and breathed out as the car slammed into him, the sudden impact causing his bones to shatter and bruise. On this, the creatures all let out a shriek in unison as they disappeared, causing everyone who had been killed by them to reappear in the spot they died. The Doctor and Rose exited the church to see Peter's broken body on the road, before Rose felt a small hand on her shoulder, turning to see Clara standing there.

"Go to him." She said softly, her voice making the Doctor look at her with gleaming relief as Rose ran out to her Dad.

"You're okay. You're alive." He mumbled, drawing her into a tight hug.

"Don't worry about me." Instead of a usual, playful retort, the Doctor drew back slightly and cup her face in one hand.

"It was you, wasn't it?"

"What'd you mean?"

"That night, in the barn." Clara looked at him with wide eyes.

"I thought I told you not to look where we'd been."

"I didn't, nor did I have to. It was you." She gave him a sad smile.

"I just saw a little boy who needed help."

He smiled, before drawing her into a hug again. "Don't ever do that again, you hear me?"

Clara chuckled lightly. "Yes boss." She mumbled into his chest. Everyone that had been standing in the church had come out in confusion, before their gaze turned upon Peter's body, whose hand was being held by Rose. The Doctor and Clara walked over to her, as she gazed at him in adoration while he drew his final breaths. Rose then placed a kiss on Peter's forehead, before standing up to see the Doctor and Clara standing before her, giving her a soft, sad look. Clara held out her hand, which Rose took.

"You alright now?" She asked.

"Not sure." Rose mumbled. "You two alright?"

They exchanged a fond smile. "Yeah, we're alright. Come on, let's go." She said, leading them off to the TARDIS in comfortable silence.

Chapter Text

The Empty Child

The TARDIS rocked violently as they sped through the Time Vortex, Rose and Clara struggling to maintain a grip on the railing as the Doctor raced around the console. "What's the emergency?" Rose asked.

"It's mauve."

"Mauve?" Clara asked.

"Universally recognized colour for danger."

"What happened to red?"

"That's just Humans. By everyone else's standards, red's camp. Oh, the misunderstandings. All those red alerts when it's just dancing. Now, this ship we're following has a very basic flight computer, so I've hacked in, slaved the TARDIS to it. Wherever it goes, we go."

"And that's safe, right?"

"Totally." He flicked a lever, causing the console to spark violently, making them yelp in shock and he winced in pain as it burned his hand. "Okay, reasonably. I should've said reasonably there." On the monitor, the round capsule they followed sped ahead of them and out of sight. "No, no, no, no! It's jumping time tracks, getting away from us."

"What exactly is this thing?" Rose asked.

"No idea."

"So, why're we chasing it?"

"It's mauve, dangerous and about thirty seconds from the centre of London."

Clara rolled her eyes. "What is it with aliens hanging about London? Is there a London party or a London fetish we don't know about?"

"Oi! Don't say that to them, Clara! They'd find that offensive!" He admonished.


The TARDIS materialised in a small, back alleyway, drenched in the cold of night, the only light source being the moon hanging in the cloudless sky. The trio then stepped out of the TARDIS. "You know how long you can knock around space without happening to bump into Earth?"

"Five days? And that's when Clara wants to go back home. Or is it when we're out of milk?"

He groaned. "Of all the species in the universe and it has to come out of a cow?" They glanced around before starting down the alleyway. "It must've come down somewhere close. Within a mile anyway, and it couldn't have been more than a few weeks, maybe a month."

"A month? We were right behind it." Rose said, raising her eyebrows at him.

"It was jumping time tracks all over the place, we're bound to be a little bit out. Do you want to drive?" He whined.

"Not really. Clara's the better driver, between you two."

"No, she's not."

"Yes, I am. You completely forgot about the blue stabilizers." Clara interjected.

"There isn't any blue stabilizers."

Clara rolled her eyes at that. "Hold on, how much is a little?"

"A bit."

"Is that exactly a bit?"

"Ish."

"So, what's the plan then? You going to do a scan for alien tech or something?" Rose asked.

"Rose, it hit the middle of London with a very loud bang. I'm going to ask." He said, pulling out the psychic paper, sending Clara a grin.

"Dr. John Smith, Ministry of Asteroids." Rose read.

"It's psychic paper. It tells you what-"

"Whatever you want it to say, I know."

He breathed. "Sorry." They reached a small, blue door, like an emergency, back exit, hearing the muffled sounds of music and laughter.

"It's not very Spock, is it? Just asking."

"What is it with you and Spock?" Clara asked, making Rose shrug.

"What can I say? I like Spock."

The Doctor leaned against the door. "Door, music, people. What do you think?" He asked, pulling out his sonic to unlock the door.

"I think you should do a scan for alien tech. Give me some Spock, for once. Would it kill ya?"

"You sure about that t-shirt?" He asked, nodding to her union jack shirt she had on.

"Too early to say, I'm taking it for a spin. Besides, you two can talk: Mr. U-boat captain and Mrs. English teacher."

"Oi! I like this jumper." Clara whined, pulling her grey jumper down slightly.

"Mummy." Rose turned to look back down the alleyway. "Mummy."

*Clicks*

"Come on, if you're coming. We won't take a minute." The Doctor said as he opened the door and motioned Clara in first.

"Ladies first." She quipped.

"I'm holding that against you, missy." He warned before they entered in. Rose ignored them as she backed down the alleyway, looking up to see a small, brown haired child in a gas mask standing on a roof.

"Mummy."

"Doctor? Clara? There's a kid up there!" She called but received no answer.


Walking through a hallway, they saw a waiter carrying a tray of champagne glasses through an open door, hearing music float around them. "It's rather old school music, eh?" Clara asked, making him shrug as they walked through, see a crowded room, with people sitting at tables, smoking cigarettes and drinking champagne while a woman with a band stood on a stage in the front of the room. Clara noticed a small poster on the wall, saying 'Hitler will send no warning!'. This made her bit her lip, knowing how ridiculous the Doctor will look. "Okay then, you can ask the question this time."

He raised his eyebrows at her. "You sure?"

"Yep." She nodded, hoping he wouldn't notice her devilish smirk. He shrugged obliviously as they waited for the woman to finish singing.

For nobody else

Gave me the thrill

With all your faults

I love you still

It had to be you

Wonderful you

It had to be you

Everyone, including the Doctor and Clara clapped their hands appreciatively as the song ended, before he moved up and onto the stage. "Excuse me! Excuse me! Could I have your attention for just a moment, please? I'll be very quick…hello." He waved with a grin, as they looked at him with some confusion. "Um…it might seem like a stupid question, but has anything fallen from the sky recently?" Everyone looked at each other with raised eyebrows, before they burst into laughter. Clara hid hers behind her hand, still hoping he wouldn't notice.


Rose reached the roof, seeing the child standing on a large, steel container, looking down at her with empty eyes. "Mummy."

"Okay, hang on. Don't move." Rose called, looking for a way up before a rope appeared suddenly, making her jump a bit as she grabbed it. She looked up in confusion but couldn't find where it came from the dark sky. Using the rope, she hoisted her legs up, placing them on the container wall as she began to scale up.


"Sorry, have I said something funny? It's just, there's this thing that I need to find. It would've fallen from the sky a month ago." The Doctor said with raised eyebrows in slight offense. At that moment, a loud air raid siren started to blare, making everyone stop laughing as they took one last gulp of their drinks or one last puff of smoke before they started to rush out of the room. "It would've landed quite near here…" He looked up in confusion. "With a very loud-"

"Come on, everyone. Quickly as you can, down to the shelter." A waiter called, making the Doctor's eyes widen as he looked over to the wall, seeing the poster.

"Bang." He slouched his shoulders for a moment before turning to glare at Clara, striding over to her as she let her laughter burst. "You knew?" He asked, crossing his arms.

"You should've seen your face!" She giggled. "You looked so ridiculous!"

He rolled his eyes. "Come on then, missy. Let's find Rose."


Rose struggled as she continued to climb the container, her hands starting to bruise and burn from grasping the rope. "Mummy? Balloon." The child pointed up into the sky. Now Rose could see the source of the rope, being a barrage balloon that was starting to move away, carrying her with it.

"Oh, god!" She gasped, grasping tighter onto the rope as she struggled to stay still, while the rope carried her away from the roof and slowly towards the Thames and Big Ben. "Doctor! Clara!" She called fruitlessly as the air raid sirens began to blare out, with spotlights being shined into the sky, showing the distance a mass group of planes beginning to fly towards her, bombs being dropped and exploding on whatever it hit as they went. "Okay. Maybe not this t-shirt." She quipped lightly to herself as the airplanes engines roared louder, the sound hurting her ears as they grew closer.


"Rose!" The Doctor called as he and Clara raced back up the alleyway.

"Rose! Where are you?!" They reached the TARDIS, looking around frantically, with no sign of their friend.

*Meow*

Clara melted slightly at the sight of a cat, moving to pick him up out of his comfort spot and starting to cuddle him, making the Doctor smirk. "One day, Clara. Just one day we'll meet someone who gets the whole 'Don't wander off thing.' Over nine hundred years of phone box travel, that's one of the few things left that can surprise me."

"So, me pick pocketing your things doesn't surprise you anymore?" She asked with large, puppy dog eyes.

"I can't tell if that's endearing or annoying." He smirked at her, before gulping as he found himself get weak at her expression. "Although…I'm sure you can still surprise me." He said, making her smile at him. The TARDIS phone then started to ring, making them look at it in confusion.

"Sorry, dear." Clara said sadly as she put the cat down before they moved to the TARDIS, the Doctor opening the phone latch.

"You've got your phone on you, right?" The Doctor asked her.

She pulled it out. "Yeah. So, it's not me ringing."

"And Rose doesn't have the number either. So how can it be ringing? Unless it's that pretty boy you mentioned." He grumbled.

She raised her eyebrows at him. "Are you jealous?"

"No!" He denied with a blush, inwardly cursing at himself as she smirked at him.

"Your jealous."

"I'm not jealous. I'm just wondering how this could be ringing. I mean, what else am I supposed to do with a ringing phone?" He reached for it.

"Don't answer it. It's not for you." They turned to see a young, black haired girl in her early twenties looking at them.

"And how do you know that?" He asked.

"Because I do, and I'm telling ya. Don't answer it." The Girl said sternly.

"If you know so much, tell us this. How can it be ringing?" Clara asked, both turning back to the TARDIS. "It shouldn't even work but doofus keeps forgetting to-" She turns around to see the girl not there anymore. "Reconnect it back to the console unit." She finishes with slight uncertainty as they exchange a confused look. The Doctor, with slight trepidation, grabbed the phone and held it to his ear, Clara leaning in to listen.

"Hello?" Silence. "This is the Doctor speaking." Silence. "How may I help you?"

"Mummy? Mummy?" They both shared a cold shiver down their spines at the sound of a child's empty voice.

"Who is this? Who's speaking?"

" Are you my Mummy?"

"Who is this?"

" Mummy!"

"How did you ring here? How did you get this number? This isn't even supposed to be a real phone-"

"Mummy?!" The dial tone followed, making him put the phone back before knocking on the TARDIS lightly.

"Rose? Rose are you in there?" They both exchanged worried looks at the silence that followed, before rushing out of the alleyway, finding themselves by a brick wall outside a house. They heard the door slam open, making them hop on the nearby trash cans to peek over.

"The planes are coming! Can't you hear 'em?! Into the shelter! No, I'm not having any of your nonsense, now move it!" They saw a mother ushering her child inside a shelter, before she looked back at the house, seeing the father move out with his hands in his pockets and an aggravated expression on his face. "Arthur! Arthur, will you hurry up?! Didn't you hear the siren?!"

"Middle of dinner, every night. Bloomin' Germans. Don't they eat?!" Arthur groaned, making the Doctor and Clara snigger at his words.

"Aghh, hurry up! I can hear the planes!"

"Don't you eat?!"

"Keep your voice down will ya?! It's an air raid!" She ushered him into the shelter, closing the door behind them, their muffled voices still bickering inside as the planes roared above them. Beside the shed, the girl from earlier popped out, walking cautiously towards the house, missing the furrowed looks of the TARDIS pair.


Inside a large mansion, filled with the sounds of people chattering and drinking, a soldier walks out onto the balcony to see a man dressed in a long, dark coat looking out towards the sky with binoculars. "Get those lights out, please! Everyone down to the shelter!" Some calls, making everyone rush about.

"Jack? Are you going down to the shelter?" The soldier asked. "Blimey, I've got to go off for some damn silly guard duty." He looks out to see what Jack was looking at, a distant barrage balloon. However, he didn't see Rose dangling on the rope. "Ah, barrage balloon, eh? Must've come loose, it happens now and then. Don't you R.A.F boys use them for target practice?"

"Excellent bottom." Jack says.

The soldier blinked incredulously. "I say, old man. There's a time and a place. Look, we should really be off."

Jack turned to look at him with a wolfish grin. "Sorry, old man. I've got to go meet a girl. But don't worry, you've got an excellent bottom too." He winked before smacking his ass and walking off, knowing the soldier was blushing with a shy smile.


The girl was rummaging through the large house's pantry, packing a lot of their food into a large bag she carried with her. She then walked to the front door but paused, moving backwards to peer into the dining room, the table within as covered in a large, family roast dinner. This made her smile as she opened the door before whistling three times in succession, then moving into the dining room and removing her large coat. She smirked as a pair of rushing footsteps was heard outside, before she grabbed the utensils to continue carving the meat as a pair of teenage boys came into the room. "Many kids out there?" She asked.

"Yes Miss." One said. They rushed to the table.

"Ah-ah-ah! I'm still carving!" She admonished, making them blush in embarrassment. "Sit and wait." She ordered, making them sit down at the large table with a small groan. "We've got the whole air raid."

"Look at that." One marvelled at the food. "I bet it's off the black market."

"That's enough." She admonished with a gentle smile.


Rose felt her anxiety increase by the second. The sweat in the palms of her hands made it increasingly difficult for her to keep a grip on the rope as it started to slide away, finding herself getting closer to the end of the rope. Until… "Aaah!" She screamed in terror as she lost grip on the rope, falling downwards to the ground, the only thing to catch her being the buildings beneath. She screamed and screamed until she stopped, finding herself not falling but just…hovering. Hovering in mid-air, with a bright, blue light circling around her.

"It's okay! It's okay! I've got you." Jack's voice rang out of the air, making her look around, still with fear in her nerves.

"Who's got me? Who's got me and…you know…how?"

"I'm just programming your descend pattern. Stay as still as you can and keep your hands and feet inside the light field."

"Descent pattern?"

"Oh, and can you please switch off your cell phone?"

"*Scoffs* What?"

"No, seriously, it interferes with my instruments."

"You know, no one ever believes that." She huffed, pulling out her phone and turning it off.

"Thank you. That's much better."

"Oh yeah, that's a real load off, that is! I'm hanging in the sky in the middle of a German air raid with a union jack across my chest, but hey! My mobile phone's off!" She ranted. She blinked as she heard him chuckling.

"Be with you in a moment."

She looked around, waving her arms up in exasperation. "What am I supposed to do for a moment?" She mumbled, deciding to take in the scenery. "It would be a nice view, if it wasn't…you know…the London Blitz." She shook her head at herself. "Stop it Rose, you're talking to yourself."

"Ready for you. Hold tight."

"To what?!"

"….Fair point." Suddenly, almost like a water slide, she started to fly down the light shaft, her speed increasing as she went, making her squeal as she got closer and closer to the end…

"I got you. You're fine. You're just fine." Jack said, as she was somehow caught in his arms. "The tractor beam, it can scramble your head a little."

She glanced at his face. Blimey, he's good looking. No, stop it, Rose! Her face burned from her inner thoughts. "Hello." She breathed.

"Hello."

"Hello." He furrowed his eyebrows at her, making her blush intensify, now from embarrassment. "Sorry, that was hello twice there. Dull, but you know, thorough."

"Are you okay?"

"Fine." He set her back on her legs, however she couldn't take in her surroundings as her vision started to blur. "Why, are you expecting me to faint or something?" She asked, her feet starting to wobble as her speech started to slur.

"You look a little dizzy." Jack said, holding his arms out a bit to catch her again, knowing what's coming.

"What about you? You're not even in focus." She chuckled before rolling her eyes back as she lost consciousness, falling again into Jack's arms. He shook his head with a sigh before picking her up and placing her in a bed compartment.


"It's got to be black market. He didn't get all this on coupons." The oldest kid at the table said, which was now packed with many other kids, both boy and girl.

"Ernie. How many times? We are guests in this house, and we will not make comments of that kind. Washing up." The girl admonished as she finished carving.

Everyone at the table laughed at him. "Nancy!" He groaned.

She looked at the kid beside her. "I haven't seen you at one of these before."

"He told me about it." He mumbled shyly.

"You sleeping rough?" She asked softly.

"Yes Miss."

She gave him a gentle smile before nodding. "Alright then." She picked up the large plate, covered in meat slices and passed it around, the kids breathing a sigh of amazement. "One slice each! And I want to see everyone chewing properly!" She ordered above the noise.

"Thank you, Miss."

Ernie reached over and grabbed the plate, making the next kid give him a "Seriously?" look. "Thank you, Miss."

"Thank you, Miss."

"Thank you, Miss." The Doctor's voice rang, making everyone gasp as they shot out of their seat, Clara chuckling beside him.

"It's all right. Everybody stay where they are." Nancy ordered, making them calm down.

"It's good here, isn't 'it? Who's got the salt?"

"Back in your seats. You two shouldn't be here." Nancy glared at them slightly, but they merely smirked at her as the kids got back in their chairs.

"So, you lot. What's the story?"

"What do you mean?" Ernie asked.

"You're homeless, right? Living rough?"

"Why do you want to know that?" Another kid asked. "Are you two coppers?"

"Of course, we're not coppers. What're coppers going to do to you lot anyway? Arrest you for starving?" Clara quipped, making them laugh and Nancy smile.

The Doctor checked his watch, furrowing his eyebrows slightly. "I make it 1941. You lot shouldn't even be in London. You should've been evacuated to the country by now."

"I was evacuated. Sent me to a farm." One kid said.

"So, why'd you come back?"

"There was a man there." He mumbled, making Clara clench her jaw slightly. The Doctor took her hand and rubbed his thumb on it, calming her.

"Yeah, same with Ernie, two homes ago." Another interjected.

"Shut up. It's better on the streets anyway. There's better food." Ernie said.

"Yeah. Nancy always gets the best food for us."

"So that's what you do, is it Nancy?" The Doctor asked, him and Clara giving her a small smile.

"What is?" She asked.

"As soon as the sirens go, you find a big, fat, family meal, still warm on the table with everyone down in the air raid shelter and bingo! Feeding frenzy for the homeless kids of London town, puddings for all…as long as the bombs don't get you."

"Something wrong with that?"

"Wrong with it? It's brilliant. Still, I'm not sure if it's Marxism in action or a West End musical." Everyone blinked at him. Clara then slapped the back of his head, making their eyes widen. "Ow! What was that for?"

"They don't get it yet." She said bluntly.

He gulped in embarrassment. "Oh." The kids sniggered at their exchange.

"Why'd you follow me? What do you want?" Nancy asked, trying to hide her smile at their behaviour.

"I want to know how a phone gets a phone call when the only people with said phone's number is standing by said phone." The Doctor said.

"The phone book?" A kid asked.

"What? No, not that." The Doctor shook his head, making Clara chuckle. "Watch it, missy."

"I'm sorry?"

"I said, watch it missy."

"And no flirting in front of the kids." Nancy admonished, making the kids laugh at them.

"We weren't flirting." They blushed.

"Oh, and we want to find a blonde in a union jack. I mean a specific one. We didn't just wake up this morning with a craving." The kids laughed again, making Nancy look at them incredulously. "Anybody seen a girl like that-" Nancy was suddenly by their side, taking the Doctor's plate from him. "What've I done wrong?"

"You took two slices, and you didn't share with your missus." The kids laughed at their blushing again. "No blondes and no flags. Anything else before you leave?"

"There is actually, thanks for asking." The Doctor said, pulling out a pencil and notepad. "Something we've been looking for, it would've fallen from the sky about a month ago, but not a bomb. Not the usual kind, anyway and it wouldn't have exploded. Probably just buried itself in the ground somewhere and it would've looked something like…this." He said, holding up a drawing of the capsule they were following. They noticed Nancy shiver, but not in fear.

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

"Mummy?" Everyone gasped, their eyes widening in shock as Clara got up and pulled back the curtain, seeing a kid with a gas mask standing outside, looking at them with his empty eyes.

*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*

"Are you in there, Mummy? Mummy?"

"Who was the last one in?" Nancy asked, her voice now laced with fear.

"Them." Ernie pointed to the duo.

"No, they came through the back. Who came through the front?"

"Me." The kid who sat beside her mumbled.

"Did you close the door?"

"I-"

"Did you close the door?" He shook his head.

"Mummy? Mummy?" Nancy then raced towards the front door, the silhouette of the child outside growing closer. "Mummy." Slamming the door shut, she bolted the locks.

"What's this, then?" Clara asked, making Nancy jump as she and the Doctor stood watching with confusion.

"It's never easy being the only child left out in the cold, you know." The Doctor said.

"I suppose you'd know."

He looked at her sadly, making Clara grasp his hand. "I do actually, yes."

Nancy gulped. "It's not exactly a child."

"Mummy." She raced back inside and got her coat back on.

"Everybody out, across the back garden, under the fence." The kids blinked at her. "Now! Come on, move!" Everyone then rushed out of the room, taking their belongings with them, while one kid sat looking at Nancy with terror in her eyes. "Come on, baby, we've got to go, all right? It's just liked a game, just like chasing." She nodded, jumping out of the seat. "Take your coat, go on." She did, rushing to the door, looking back at Nancy with wide eyes. "Go!"

"Mummy? Mummy? Please let me in, Mummy." The gas mask kid reached his hand through the letterbox, showing a large, red scar on the back of his hand. "Please let me in, Mummy."

"Are you, all right?" Clara asked.

"Please let me in."

*Smash*

They jumped at the remains of a vase smashed at the door, making the kid recoil his hand out as they turned to look at Nancy. "You mustn't let him touch ya!"

"What happens if he touches us?"

"He'll make you like him."

"And what's he like?"

She hesitated. "I've got to go."

"Nancy. What's he like?" The Doctor asked.

She looked at them sadly. "He's empty."

*Rings*

They looked at the phone beside them with slightly wide eyes. "It's him. He can make phones ring, he can. Just like with that police box you saw."

The Doctor grabbed the phone and held it to his ear. "Are you my Mummy-" Nancy took it off and placed it back down. The radio turned on in the living room, blaring music and making them rush inside. "Mummy? Mummy. Please let me in, Mummy." A toy monkey with a speaker then started its drums in tune with the child. "Mum-my. Mum-my. Mum-my. Mum-my. Mum-my. Mum-my."

"You stay here if you want to." Nancy rushed out, making them move after her before they heard the rattling of the front door, the kid once again reaching his hand through.

"Mummy? Let me in please, Mummy. Please let me in."

"Your Mummy isn't here." Clara said.

The devices inside switched off, making them exchange a small glance. "Are you my Mummy?"

"No mummies here. Nobody here but us chickens." The Doctor said with a grin, before glancing behind them. "Well…these chickens." Clara smirked softly.

"I'm scared."

Clara's eyes gleamed pity despite her furrowed eyebrows. "Why are those other children frightened of you?"

"Please let me in, Mummy. I'm scared of the bombs."

The two exchanged a long, soft look before nodding. "Okay. We're opening the door now."

The kid silently took his hand out as they unlocked the door, before grasping the handle and opening only to find…nothing. Their eyes widened as they stepped outside, trying to find the kid but couldn't see a sign, even in the darkness of night. The Doctor looked at Clara, who still had the sad look in her eyes. "You alright?" He asked, taking her hand.

"He just…he seems like…" She struggled to get the words out.

"Like a scared little boy who wants his Mummy." He finished for her. She nodded, leaning her head into him as he stroked her hair.

"Doctor? What happened to your hand?" She asked, referring to the burn.

"The console spark when we landed." He said simply. She grabbed it and kissed it, making him wince slightly but still giving her a soft smile.


Rose got out of the bed compartment, squinting as she struggled to see her surroundings, despite a few low lights. "Better now?" Jack asked.

She glanced around, trying to look for him. "You got lights in here?"

"Oh. Sorry." He mumbled, flicking a few switches. The lights came on, making Rose squint for a second. She then saw the interior of a spaceship, yet it was rather packed and strewn with wires, metal and lights, which gave a low, red hue. She then saw Jack sitting on the captain's chair, looking at her expectantly. "Hello."

"Hello."

"Hello."

She shook her head. "Let's not start that again." They laughed.

"Fair enough." He nodded.

"So…who are you supposed to be, then?"

"Captain Jack Harkness." He said, pulling out a leather wallet. "133 Squadron, Royal Air Force and American volunteer." He handed it to her, yet she put her tongue in her teeth as the paper was far too plain for an ID.

"Liar." He blinked. "This is psychic paper. It tells me whatever you want it to tell me."

He sat back. "How do you know?" He asked.

"Two things. One: I have a friend that uses this all the time."

He nodded. "Ah."

"And Two: You just handed me a piece of paper telling me your single and you work out."

He grinned. "Tricky thing, psychic paper."

"Yep. Can't let your mind wander when your handing it over." She passed it back to him.

He checked and somehow, his grin got bigger and more wolfish. "Oh. You sort of have a boyfriend called Mickey Smith, but you consider yourself to be footloose and fancy free."

"*Scoffs* What?" She blushed slightly.

"Actually, the word to use is: Available."

"No way."

"And another one: Very."

"Shall we…uh…try to get along without the psychic paper?"

"That would be better, wouldn't it?" He said, getting out of his chair with a groan as she checked around, nodding as she did.

"Nice spaceship."

He shrugged. "It gets me around."

"Its…very…Spock."

He blinked. "Who?"

She shook her head. How does he not know who Spock is?! "I'm guessing you're not a local boy, then."

He pressed a few buttons on his wrist pad, which beeped for a few moments before he nodded. "A Cell phone, liquid-crystal watch and fabrics that won't be around for at least another two decades. Guessing you're not a local girl."

She nodded. "Guessing right." She reached for the chair and grasped before pulling back with a wince, checking her hands to see a lot of cuts and bruises.

"Burn your hands on the rope?"

"Yeah." She looked outside to see that they were a few miles above the ground. "We're parked in mid-air! Can't anyone see us?"

"No, we're invisible."

She blinked. "Oh."

"Yeah. Can I have a look at your hands for a moment?"

"Why?" She asked.

"Please?" He implored, making her sigh and hold them out. He took out a small scanner and ran it over her hands, being careful not to touch. "You can stop acting now. I know exactly who you are. I can spot a Time Agent a mile away."

She blinked, holding back a snigger. "Time Agent?"

"I've been expecting one of you guys to show up. Though not, I must say, by barrage balloon. Do you often travel that way?"

"Sometimes I get swept off my feet." She blushed at her words. "B-By balloons." He took a red scarf from around his neck and gently wrapped it around her wrists. "What're you doing?"

"Try to keep still." When he finished, he leaned over and flicked a few switches. Then a small cloud of golden lights appeared in her hands, suddenly making them feel warm as she felt the pain go away, making her giggle in wonder. "Nanogenes. Subatomic robots. The air in here is full of them." He flicked a switch, making them disappear and leaving her hands completely fine again. "They just repaired three layers of your skin." He took the scarf of her wrists and put it around his neck again.

"Well…tell them thanks." She smiled, marvelling at her fixed hands.

He clicked his tongue and winked before grabbing a champagne bottle. "Shall we get down to business?"

She blinked, but more at the champagne. "Business?"

"Shall we have a drink on the balcony?" He pressed a button, which lowered a ramp to the outside, bringing back in some of the chilly, night air, grabbing two glasses and motioning her to follow him. Outside, her eyes widened as she saw the ground beneath them, yet they seemed to hover in the air, feeling something hard under her feet.

"Okay. I know I'm standing on something." Rose chuckled lightly. Jack pulled out the small device and flicked the switch, causing a shimmer to appear beneath them and revealing the roof of a large ship, tethered to the side of Big Ben. "Okay…you have an invisible spaceship…"

"Yeah."

"Tethered up to Big Ben…for some reason."

"First rule of active camouflage: Always remember where you parked. Big Ben just makes it more fun." He smirked.

*Pop*

Rose jumped as the champagne cork flew off into the night. "Woah!" Jack said, laughing as he did before he poured their glasses.


Nancy walked through the night, looking around her anxiously as she passed through fences and over train tracks until she came to a small hideout, making her give a small sigh of relief. She entered, placing her new acquired food in the storage before standing up and jumping at the sight of the Doctor and Clara standing there with a smirk on their faces. "How'd you follow me here?"

"We're good at following, us." The Doctor said. "I've got the nose for it."

"People can't follow me if I don't want them to."

"My nose has special powers."

Nancy smirked. "Yeah? That's why it's…uh…"

"What?"

"Nothing."

"What?"

"Nothing." She thought for a moment. "Do your ears have special powers too?"

Clara sniggered beside him. What're you trying to say?"

"Good night, Mister." She turned to leave.

"Nancy." She gave a sigh but decided to listen. "There's something chasing you and the other kids. Looks like a boy but it isn't a boy and it started about a month ago, right?" She squinted her eyes at them, making the Doctor crook and eyebrow. "The thing we're looking for. The thing that fell from the sky, that's when it landed. And you know what I'm talking about, don't you?"

She nodded. "There was a bomb. A bomb that wasn't a bomb. Fell the other end of Limehouse Green Station."

"Take us there."

She shook her head. "There's soldiers guarding it, barbed wire, you'll never get through."

"Try us." Clara said smugly, making him snigger.

"You sure you want to know what's going on in there?"

"We really want to know."

"Then there's someone you need to talk to first."

"And who might that be?"

"The doctor." He furrowed his eyebrows before Clara leaned over.

"She was meaning A doctor." She whispered.

"Ah."


"You know, it's getting a bit late. I should really be getting back." Rose shook her head as Jack offered to pour her another glass.

"We're discussing business."

She giggled, some of the champagne getting to her head. "This isn't business. This is champagne."

"I try never to discuss business with a clear head." He downed another glass before setting down and standing up with her. "Are you traveling alone? Are you authorized to negotiate with me?"

"What would we be negotiating?"

"I have something for the Time Agency. Something they'd like to buy. Are you empowered to make payment?"

"Well, I-I should talk to my…companions."

"Companions?"

"I should really be getting back to them. Do you have the time?" Jack shook his head before pulling out the device and flicked it, flaring up Big Ben as it chimed. "Okay. That was flash." Rose giggled. "That was on the flash side."

"So…when you say your "Companions", just how disappointed should I be?" Jack asked, putting his hands on her waist, hitching her breath.

"Okay, we're standing in mid-air…"

"Mmm."

"On a spaceship during a German air raid…" He took one hand and raised it to his lips. "Do you really think now's a good time to be coming on to me?"

Jack nodded. "Perhaps not." He said, patting her hand before letting it go.

"Well, it was just a suggestion." She blurted with a small blush.

"Do you like Glenn Miller?" He asked before flicking a switch, Moonlight Serenade playing inside the spaceship for them. He held out his arms, she accepted, and they took each other in a dancer embrace. "It's 1941, height of the London Blitz, the height of the German bombing campaign, but something else has fallen on London. A fully equipped Chula warship, the last one in existence, armed to the teeth and…I know where it is, because I parked it. If the Agency can name the right price, I can get it for you. But in two hours, a German bomb is going to fall on it and destroy it forever." He stopped their dancing, moving to look her in the eyes. "That's your deadline, that's the deal. Now, shall we discuss payment?"

"Do you know what I think?"

"What?"

"I think you were talking just there." She said breathlessly.

"Two hours, the bomb falls, there'll be nothing left but dust in a crater."

"Promises, promises."

"Are you listening to any of this?"

She cleared her throat. "You used to be a Time Agent, now you're some kind of freelancer."

He flinched slightly. "That's a little harsh. I'd like to think of myself as a criminal." He said, pulling her closer with a wink.

"I bet you do." She giggled.

"So, these companions of yours, do they handle the business?"

"Well, I delegate a lot of that, yeah."

"Well, maybe we should go and find them."

"And how're you going to do that?"

He shrugged. "Easy. I'll do a scan for alien tech." He let go of her and flicked a few switches on his wrist pad.

Rose turned around with a smirk. "Finally, a professional." She chuckled to herself.


The Doctor pulled out a pair of binoculars, looking over to an enclosed area, surrounded with fencing and barbed wire. Within was soldiers pacing about with lights beaming down onto a large object underneath a tarpaulin. "The bomb's under that tarpaulin, they put the fence up overnight. See that building over there, the hospital?" Nancy pointed off. The Doctor looked to see the large building she was referring to.

"What about it?" The Doctor asked, handing the binoculars to Clara.

"That's where the doctor is. You should talk to him."

"For now, I'm more interested in getting in there."

"Me too." Clara said.

"Talk to the doctor first."

"Why?"

"Because then maybe you won't want to get inside." Nancy turned to leave.

"Where you going?" The Doctor asked.

"There was a lot of food in that house. I've got mouths to feed and it should be safe enough now."

"Can I ask you a question?" Clara interjected, handing the binoculars back to the Doctor, who pocketed them. "Who did you lose?" She crossed her arms as they turned to look at Nancy.

"What?" Nancy asked softly.

"The way you look after all those kids. It's because you lost somebody, isn't it? You're doing all of this to make up for it." The Doctor sent Clara a soft glance.

Nancy swallowed. "My little brother…Jamie. One night, I went out looking for food, same night that thing fell. I told him not to follow me, I told him it was dangerous but he just…he just didn't like being on his own."

"What happened?"

"In the middle of an air raid? What do you think happened?"

Clara looked down. "Sorry."

"It's not your fault."

The Doctor gave them a sad look for a moment before gazing up into the sky. "Amazing."

"What is?"

"1941. Right now, not very far from here, the German war machine is rolling up the map of Europe. Country after country, falling like dominoes and nothing can stop it. Until one tiny, damp little island says "No! Not here!". *Chuckles* A mouse in front of a lion. You're amazing, the lot of you. Don't know what you do to Hitler, but you frighten the hell out of me. Off you go then. Do what you got to do. Save the world." Nancy smiled at him before leaving. He turned to look at Clara who was gazing at him with a soft look.

"Thank you." She mumbled.

He took her hand. "No problem." He said, kissing her palm before they walked off. Arriving at the front gates of the hospital, he pulled out his sonic and used it on the padlock, which was clasping chains around the gate.

"That's breaking and entering, you know that." She reprimanded softly.

"Sonicing and entering, Clara. There's a difference." He grumbled as he opened the gate and they entered the hospital. Walking through the dark hallways, they opened one wing door and entered, finding the room was filled of people, men and women, lying on the beds asleep but with gas masks on their faces. They exchanged a look before they walked back into the hallway and into another wing. They found the same thing, starting to feel a small shiver down their spines. A door opened behind them, making them turn to look as an old, bald man with a walking stick came out to greet them.

"You'll find them everywhere. In every bed in every ward, hundreds of them." He said.

"Yes, we saw. Why're they still wearing gas masks?" The Doctor asked.

"They're not. Who are you?"

"I'm, uh…are you the doctor?"

"Doctor Constantine. And you are?"

"Nancy sent us."

"Nancy? That means you must've been asking about the bomb."

"Yes."

"What do you know about it?"

"Nothing. Why we're asking. What do you know?"

"Only what it's done."

"These people, they were all caught up in the blast?" Clara asked.

"None of them were." They furrowed their eyebrows at him. Constantine started coughing heavily, stumbling back into a chair in the middle of the room. They moved to help him, but he held up a hand.

"You're very sick." The Doctor commented.

"Dying, I should think. I just haven't been able to find the time. Are you a Doctor?"

"I have my moments." Clara rolled her eyes.

"Have either of you examined any of them yet?"

"No."

"Don't touch the flesh." Constantine warned.

"Which one?"

"All of them." They shared a look before he moved over with her, pulling out the sonic and using it to scan a body.

"How do you know what it's saying?" Clara whispered.

He paused. "It's a tiny bit complicated. I'll explain."

"When?"

"When I give you one." He winked at her, her eyes widening in excitement.

"You would?"

"Oh yeah." She gave him a glowing smile, making him stare at her for just a moment too long.

"I'd still nick yours."

"Oi."

"Conclusions?" Constantine asked, both smirking and rolling his eyes at their interchange.

"Massive head trauma, mostly to the left side. Partial collapse of the chest cavity, mostly to the right. There's some scarring on the back of the hand and the gas mask seems to be fused to the flesh but I can't see any burns."

"Examine another one."

The Doctor walked over to another body and repeated the process. "This is impossible." He mumbled, his eyebrows furrowing.

"Examine another."

He repeated on another body. "This is impossible."

"No."

"Do they all have the same injuries?" Clara asked, catching on.

"Yes."

"Exactly the same?"

"Yes."

"They're identical, all of them, right down to the scar on the back of their hand." The Doctor said. "How did this happen? How did it start?" He asked as they turned back to Constantine.

"When that bomb dropped, there was just one victim."

"Dead?"

"At first. His injuries were truly dreadful. By the following morning, every doctor and nurse who had treated him or had even touched him gained those exact same injuries. By the morning after that, every patient in the ward. Within a week, the entire hospital. Physical injuries as plague, how would you explain that? What would you say was the cause of death?"

"The head trauma."

"No."

"Asphyxiation."

"No."

"The collapse of the chest cavity-"

"No."

Clara's eyes widened. "They're not dead, are they? They're still alive?"

"Correct, my dear. They're not dead." Constantine took his cane and wacked a nearby bucket, making everybody sit up in their beds, staring at them. Their sudden movements made them jump in shock. "It's alright, they're harmless. They just…sort of sit there. There's no heartbeat, no life signs of any kind. They just…don't die."

"And they've just been left here? Nobody's doing anything?" The Doctor asked as they lay back into their beds without a word.

Constantine shrugged. "I try to make them comfortable. What else is there to do?"

"Just you? You're the only one here?"

"Before this war began, I was a father and a grandfather. Now I'm neither but I'm still a doctor."

"Yeah. I know the feeling." The Doctor mumbled. Clara grasped his hand, making him smile sadly at her.

"I suspect the plan was to blow up the hospital and blame it on a German bomb."

"But it's too late."

"Yes. There are isolated cases…" He trails off, starting to cough violently, making them blink. "Isolated cases breaking out…all over…London." They moved forward to help. "Stay back! Stay back!" He demanded, showing the back of his hand, making their eyes widen at the scar. "Listen to me…the top floor…Room 802, that's where they took the first victim, the one from the crash site and you must find Nancy again."

"Why?"

"It was her brother." Their breathing hitched as they started to piece it together. "She knows more than she's saying. She won't tell me but she mi…mi…mu…Mum…my." They stepped back in shock as he started to choke. "Are…you…my…Mum…my?" His mouth opened wide, with a gas mask breather coming out as his eyes teared up in agony. Slowly, his own skin turned charcoal black as it became the gas mask, his own eyes widening before becoming the eye protectors until the whole front of his face was a gas mask, his breathing steadying behind it. His head rolled to the side before his movements stilled completely, his breathing slowing down to a stop.

The Doctor looked at him sadly for a moment, before the sound of Clara sniffling drew his attention. He saw her eyes redden, only a small tear coming out. He grabbed her shoulders to turn her, cupping her face to wipe away the tear.

"Come here." He mumbled, drawing her into a hug.

"That was horrible." She mumbled.

"I know. I'm sorry you had to watch."

"It wasn't your fault." They held each other until they calmed down, still not letting go as they enjoyed the quiet embrace.

"Hello?" They blinked. "Hello?"

"Did you hear something?" Clara asked.

"Doctor? Clara?" They let go at hearing Rose's voice. "Where are you?" The voices were getting less muffled as a pair of footsteps approached, making them move out of the door to see Rose with Jack.

"Good evening. Hope we're not interrupting." Jack said, shaking their hands. "Jack Harkness. I've been hearing all about you on the way over."

"He knows. I had to tell him about us being Time Agents." Rose blinked at them, making them nod slowly despite their inner confusion.

"And it's a real pleasure to meet you, Mr. & Mrs. Oswald." He clapped the Doctor's shoulder before moving past them into the room, missing their blushing.

"Mr. & Mrs. Oswald? Rose, we're not a couple." The Doctor protested, Clara nodding hastily.

"Come on, it's obvious. Besides, what was I supposed to say? You don't have a name. Don't you ever get tired of Doctor? Doctor Who?"

"Nine centuries in, I'm coping. Where the hell have you been? We're in the middle of the London Blitz, it's not a good time for a stroll." He grumbled as they moved to follow Jack.

"*Scoffs* Who's strolling? I went by barrage balloon. Only way to see an air raid."

"What?" They said in unison.

"Listen, what's a Chula warship?"

They paused, Clara looking at him. "Chula?" He mumbled. "Where've I heard that before? Chula." He shrugged. "No idea. It'll come to me." He winked at her, making her snigger as they entered the room, Jack was scanning the bodies with his wrist pad.

"This just isn't possible. How did this happen?" Jack shook his head as he continued scanning the bodies, while the trio watched with their arms crossed.

"What kind of Chula ship landed here?" The Doctor asked.

"What?"

"He said it was a warship. He stole it, parked it somewhere out there, where a bomb's going to fall on it unless we making him an offer." Rose inputted.

"What kind of warship?"

"Does it matter? It's got nothing to do with this!"

"This started at the bomb site, it has everything to do with it! What kind of warship was it?!"

"An ambulance!" Jack sighed, pressing a few buttons on his wrist pad, bringing up a hologram of the capsule. "That's what you chased through the Time Vortex. It's space junk. I wanted to kid you it was valuable. It's empty, I made sure of it. Nothing but a shell. I saw your time-travel vehicle, and I love the retro look by the way, nice panels. I threw it at you as bait, so I could sell it to you then destroy it before you found out it was junk."

"You said it was a warship." Rose said.

"They have ambulances in wars." He sighed, running his hand over his face. "It's a con. I was conning you. That's what I am, I'm a con man! Thought you were Time Agents but you're not, are you?"

"Just a couple more freelancers." Rose sassed, making them smirk.

"Ah, I should've known. The way you guys are blending in with the local colour. I mean, flag girl was bad enough, but U-boat captain and English teacher?"

"I like this sweater." Clara grumbled.

"And I like this jacket." He grumbled.

"Anyway, whatever's happening here has got nothing to do with that ship."

"What is happening here, Doctor?"

"Human DNA is being rewritten…by an idiot."

"What do you mean?"

"I don't know. A virus, converting Human beings into these things, but why? What's the point?"


Nancy re-entered the house, taking her bag to pack some of the food on the table. The radio crackled to life, making her eyes widen. "Please, Mummy. Please let me in. I'm scared of the bombs, Mummy. Please, Mummy." The front door then slammed open, a pair of footsteps entering the house. "Mummy. Mummy." Nancy's gaze danced around the room, before moving underneath the table, holding her breath down to a whisper as Jamie's footsteps drew closer. "Mummy? Where's my Mummy? Mummy." Nancy shifted slightly, making an apple tumble out of her bag and into open view. Jamie moved over and picked up the apple, Nancy seizing the chance to rush out and towards the door.

*Slam*

She jumped as it closed in front of her, before she grasped the door handle and repeatedly tried to open the door. Her breath hitched as she found it locked before turning to look at Jamie, who stared at her. "Are you my Mummy?" He moved forward; Nancy pushed a chair in front of him fruitlessly as he tossed it aside. "Mummy?"

"It's me, Nancy!"


The bodies jumped out and turned to look at them, before moving out of their beds. "Mummy?" They started to incoherently say as they moved towards the group, who backed into a wall, looking around frantically for a way out.

"What's happening?" Rose asked. "Why are they like this?"

"I don't know." The Doctor said simply. "Don't let them touch you."

"What happens if they touch us?"

"We become them."


"Are you my Mummy?"

"It's Nancy. Your sister."

"Mummy."

"You're dead, Jamie. You're dead." She mumbled in terror as she was backed into the wall, Jamie getting closer and closer by the second.

"Mummy. Mummy. Mummy. Mummy." He reached out a hand, moving it towards her face as she tried to recoil away. "Mummy. Mummy. Mummy."

Chapter Text

The Doctor Dances

The bodies jumped out and turned to look at them, before moving out of their beds. "Mummy?" They started to incoherently say as they moved towards the group, who backed into a wall, looking around frantically for a way out.

"What's happening?" Rose asked. "Why are they like this?"

"I don't know." The Doctor said simply. "Don't let them touch you."

"What happens if they touch us?"

"We become them."


"Are you my Mummy?"

"It's Nancy. Your sister."

"Mummy."

"You're dead, Jamie. You're dead." She mumbled in terror as she was backed into the wall, Jamie getting closer and closer by the second.

"Mummy. Mummy. Mummy. Mummy." He reached out a hand, moving it towards her face as she tried to recoil away. "Mummy. Mummy. Mummy."


The Doctor moved forward a few steps. "Go to your room." He said sternly. The people stopped, sending the room back into silence as the trio behind him glanced at each other uncertainly. "Go to your room!" They all tilted their heads sideways like a child who got their hand caught in the cookie jar. "I mean it. I'm very, very angry with you. I'm very, very cross. Go. To. Your. Room!" The people started shuffling back to their beds with their heads hung low, becoming still again as they lay back. He turned look at the three who had their jaws open. "I'm really glad that worked. Those would've been terrible last words." He laughed nervously, making them chuckle with him.


Nancy watched through the window as Jamie walked out through the streets in silence, her eyes starting to water. "Jamie. I'm so sorry." She collapsed to her knees, starting to sob. "I'm so sorry." Her voice broke as she placed her face in her hands.


Rose moved slowly towards one of the bodies but kept her distance. "Why're they all wearing gas masks?"

"They're not. Those masks are flesh and bone." Jack answered.

"How was your con supposed to work?" Clara asked.

"Simple enough, really. Find some harmless piece of space junk, let the nearest Time Agent track it back to Earth, convince them it's valuable so he or she names a price. When they put 50% up front, oops, a German bomb falls on it, destroys it forever. They never get to see what they've paid for; they never know they've been had. I buy them a drink with their own money, and we discuss dumb luck. The perfect self-cleaning con."

"Yeah. Perfect." The Doctor mumbled.

"The Blitz is great for self-cleaners. Pompeii's nice if you want to make a vacation of it, but you've got to set your alarm for volcano day." Jack belly laughed, however he let it subside when he saw the stern look on Clara's face, making him gulp. "Getting a hint of disapproval."

"Take a look around the room. This is what your piece of harmless space junk did." Clara admonished.

"It was a burnt-out medical transporter. It was empty."

"*Scoffs* You keep saying that. Empty." Clara muttered. "Come on."

"We getting out of here?" Rose asked.

"We're going upstairs." They moved to follow her.

"I even programmed the flight computer, so it wouldn't land on anything living. I harmed no one." They stopped briefly to look at him. "I don't know what's happening here but believe me, I had nothing to do with it."

"I'll tell you what's happening. A moron went through so much detail and missed something very important. You forgot to set your alarm clock. It's volcano day." Clara growled. The air raid alarm blared outside.

"What's that?" Rose asked.

"The all-clear." Jack mumbled.

"I wish." The Doctor muttered as they left the room.


Nancy wiped the tears from her face as the sirens sounded outside. She blinked before standing up and hurrying to the back door, only to recoil in shock as a kid in a gas mask stood there. However, he took it off, making her sigh in relief. "I thought you were Jamie." She breathed before rushing past him, before getting blocked by Arthur and his wife.

"Dad? Dad?" The kid called.

"Bloody kids!" Arthur groaned, as he grabbed Nancy by the shoulders and hauled her back inside.

"Get off me! Get your hands off me!"

"Get in! Get in!"

"Let me go!"

"Get her in there! She nicked!" The wife called as she shut the back door behind them.


"Mr. & Mrs. Oswald?" Jack called as he and Rose raced through the corridors.

"Doctor? Clara?"

"Have you got a blaster?" They heard the Doctor ask, making them double back to a small flight of steps they missed, seeing the two looking down at them.

"Sure." Jack said as they raced up the stairs, finding the two standing outside a locked, steel door.

"The night your space junk landed; someone was hurt. This is where they were taken."

"What happened?" Rose asked.

"Let's find out. Get it open." The Doctor said to Jack, who smirked before pulling out a blaster with neon blue lights.

"What's wrong with your sonic screwdriver?"

"Nothing." Clara answered for him.

"Are you…testing him?" Rose asked. Clara clicked her neck in answer, making her eyebrows raise a bit. Jack used the blaster on the door lock, causing it to disappear and the door to open, leaving behind a square hole where the lock was.

"Sonic blaster, 51st century. Weapon factories of Villengard?" The Doctor deducted.

"You've been to the factories?"

"Once."

"Well, they're gone now, destroyed. The main reactor went critical, vaporized the lot."

"Like I said, once." The Doctor answered, sending Clara a wink, making her smirk. "There's a banana grove there now. I like bananas. Bananas are good." He grinned.

"You and your bananas." She groaned.

"Oi! What've you got against bananas?"

She shrugged. "Don't know. Maybe you eat them too much?"

He blinked before shrugging. "Okay, fair enough." They went inside the room.

"Nice blast pattern." Rose commented to Jack.

"Digital."

"Square-nosed gun?"

"Yeah."

"I like it." Jack chuckled at her before they moved inside the room. The room was filled with filing cabinets and recording equipment complete with marked findings. The desk in the middle of the room, in front of a glass window was trashed with the glass smashed to pieces.

"What do you think?" The Doctor asked.

"Something got out of here." Jack answered.

"Yeah. And?"

"Something powerful…angry."

The Doctor and Clara nodded to each other slightly. "Powerful and angry."

Jack moved through a door on the left of the glass, finding an equally trashed room, yet filled with drawings of a mother with children's toys and an unmade bed in the corner. "A child? I suppose this explains "Mummy"."

"How could a child do this?" Rose asked.

*Click*

They looked to see the Doctor standing by the desk, looking down at it with furrowed eyebrows, while Clara moved to his side. "Do you know where you are?" Constantine's voice came out of the recording equipment.

"Are you my Mummy?"

"Are you aware of what's around you?"

"Are you my Mummy?"

"What do you want? Do you know-"

"I want my Mummy. Are you my Mummy? I want my Mummy! Are you my Mummy? Are you my Mummy? Mummy! Mummy!"

"I've heard this voice before." Rose said.

"Both of us have." Clara said.

"Mummy!"

"Always "Are you my Mummy?"" Like he doesn't know."

"Mummy."

"Why doesn't he know?"

The Doctor and Clara exchanged sad looks at this, yet they didn't say a word. "Are you their Mummy? Mummy!"


Arthur shut the door to the living room, moving inside with a stern look as Nancy sat at the table somewhat shyly. Said table was now clean and empty, now just covered with a green table cloth. "The police are on their way. I pay for the food on this table. The sweat on my brow, that food is. The sweat on my brow." Nancy refrained the urge to roll her eyes. "Anything else you'd like? I've got a whole house here. Anything else you'd like to help yourself to?"

"Yeah." Arthur blinked at her. "I'd like some wire cutters, please. Something that can cut through barbed wire. Oh, and a torch. *Scoffs* Don't look like that, Mr. Lloyd. I know you've got plenty of tools in here, I've been watching this house for ages. And I'd like another look around your kitchen cupboards. I was in a hurry the first time. I want to see if there's anything I missed."

"The food on this table-"

"It's an awful lot of food, isn't it, Mr. Lloyd? A lot more than on anyone else's table. Half this street thinks your missus must be messing about with Mr. Haverstock, the butcher. But she's not, is she? You are." Arthur flinched at her accusing tone. "Wire cutters, torch, food. And I'd like to use your bathroom before I leave, please. Oh look, there's the sweat on your brow." She smirked, making him rub his forehead sheepishly.


"Mummy! Please, Mummy. Mummy!"

The Doctor paced about Jamie's room while Clara crossed her arms, her, Rose and Jack watching him. "Doctor?" Rose asked.

"Can you sense it?"

"Sense what?" Jack asked.

"It's coming out of the walls. Can't you feel it?"

"Mummy?" None of them noticed the end of the tape was now rattling on the recording equipment.

"Funny little human brains. How do you get around in those things?"

"When he's stressed, he likes to insult species." Rose told Jack, who nodded despite his confusion.

"Rose, I'm thinking."

"Mummy."

"He cuts himself shaving, does half an hour on life forms he's cleverer than. I just leave it to Clara. She gives his big ears a good tug when he's in that mood." Clara smirked while Jack chuckled.

"There are these children, living rough around the bomb sites. They come out during air raids, looking for food."

"Mummy, please."

"Suppose they were there when this thing, whatever it was, landed?"

"It was a med-ship. It was harmless." Jack defended.

"Yeah, you keep saying 'Harmless'. Suppose one of them was affected, altered?"

"Altered how?" Rose asked.

"I'm here."

"It's afraid. Terribly afraid and powerful. It doesn't know it yet, but it will do." He chuckled nervously. "It's got the power of a god and I just sent it to its room." They now just realised the tape rattling.

"Doctor?"

"I'm here. Can't you see me?"

"What's that noise?"

"End of the tape." Clara said, her eyes widening, making the Doctor's eyes synchronise with her. "It ran out about 30 seconds ago."

"I'm here now. Can't you see me?"

"I sent it to its room. This is its room." He spun around as they looked through the glass behind them, seeing Jamie standing there, staring at them.

"Are you my Mummy?" He tilted his head as he stared at Clara. "Mummy?" Clara gulped at his meaning, despite the fear she felt inside her.

"Okay. On my signal, make for the door." Jack said, slowing moving behind the Doctor.

"Mummy?"

"Now!" He yelled, but he recoiled as he noticed the banana in his hand. The Doctor grinned cheekily, before he pulled the blaster out of his pocket and used it on the wall.

"Mummy!"

"Go, now! Don't drop the banana!"

"Why not?"

"Good source of potassium!" They climbed through the hole.

"Give me that." Jack snatched the blaster back and used it to reverse the hole in the wall.

"Mummy. Are you my Mummy-" The wall resealed again, cutting off Jamie's voice?

They breathed a sigh of relief. "Digital rewind." Jack said. "Nice switch." He tossed the banana to him.

"It's from the groves of Villengard. Thought it was appropriate."

"There's really a banana grove in the heart of Villengard and you did that?"

"Bananas are good." Clara moved beside him and smacked the back of his head, Rose smirking while Jack's eyes widened. "Ow! What was that for?"

"Nicking is meant to be my job!" She admonished.

"Shut up, Clara." He grumbled.

"I'm sorry?" She warned.

"I said shut it."

"Tough. What're you going to do about it?"

*Crack*

They jumped as the wall in front of them started to break. "Okay, that's a good answer." Clara nodded, making them rush to one end of the corridor, when the door burst open, revealing gas mask people marching towards them. "Other way!" She yelled, making them rush to the other end, yet the door revealed more gas mask people, trapping them beside the cracking wall.

"They're keeping us here till it can get at us." The Doctor stated.

"It's controlling them?" Jack asked.

"It is them. It's every living thing in this hospital."

"Okay, this can function as a sonic blaster, a sonic cannon and a triple enfolded sonic disruptor. Doc, what you got?"

"I've got a sonic, uh…ohm never mind." The Doctor said as he pulled out the sonic.

"What?"

"It's sonic, okay? Let's leave it at that."

"Disruptor, cannon, what?"

"It's sonic, totally sonic. I am sonic-ed up."

"A sonic what?!"

"Screwdriver!" Jack gave him a "Are you kidding me?!" look as the wall burst apart, Jamie starting to climb through.

Rose groaned and grabbed Jack's hand that held the blaster, pointing it to the floor. "Going down!" They fell through the hole, collapsing to the ground with a loud groan before Jack used the blaster to repair the floor above them.

"You guys okay?" Rose asked.

"Yeah." Jack nodded.

"Yeah. Clara?" The Doctor asked, helping her up.

"You could've used a warning." She grumbled, groaning as she stood up.

"Who has a sonic screwdriver?" Jack asked.

"I do!" The Doctor groaned.

"Lights." Rose rolled her eyes, trying to look for a switch inside the dark room.

"Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, 'Ooh-ooh. This could be a little more sonic?'"

"What, you never been bored?"

"There's got to be a light switch!"

"Never had a long night. Never had a lot of cabinets to put up?"

"If it makes you feel any better, I like the screwdriver." Clara said.

"Thank you, Clara." He grinned at her.

"Dear god, you two really are children, aren't you?" Jack rolled his eyes.

"Ugh, talk about calling the kettle black." Rose grumbled.

"I heard that." They said in unison as Rose flicked on the lights.

"Mummy!" They jumped as gas mask people sat up in the beds.

"Door." Jack said, making them move to a door at the end of the room which Jack used the blaster on. It gave off weak whirring sounds as they looked at him incredulously. "Dammit! It's the special features. They really drain the battery." Jack grumbled, smacking the blaster as the Doctor used the sonic to unlock the door.

"The battery? That's so lame." Rose grumbled as they locked the door behind them, finding themselves inside a large storage closed with a wheel chair in the centre and a window on the other side.

"I was going to send for another one, but somebody's got to blow up the factory." Jack grumbled in the Doctor's direction, which he merely smirked.

"Oh, I know. First day I met him, he blew my job up. That's practically how he communicates."

"Okay, that door should hold it for a bit." The Doctor said, moving to the window.

"The door? The wall didn't stop it!"

"Well, it's got to find us first. Come on, we're not done yet. Assets, assets."

"Well, I've got a banana. In a pinch, you could put up some shelves." Jack said, sitting down in the wheelchair.

"Window-"

"Barred with a sheer drop outside, seven stories."

"And no other exits." Rose finished.

"Well, the assets conversation went in a flash, didn't it?"

Clara turned to look at Rose. "So, where'd you pick this one up, then?"

"Clara." Rose grumbled with a shameful blush.

"She was hanging from a barrage balloon; I had an invisible spaceship. I never stood a chance." Jack said with a slight smirk. Clara rolled her eyes at him.

"Okay. One: We've got to get out of here. Two: We can't get out of here. Have I missed anything?" Clara asked.

"Nope." The Doctor shook his head.

"Yeah. Jack just disappeared." Rose said, making them look at the now empty wheelchair in slight shock.


Nancy entered a small hideout, finding some of the kids, including Ernie sitting there patiently, one of them typing out on a typewriter. "Thought as much. What're all you doing here?! Different house every night, I told ya!" Nancy admonished.

"We thought you were dead, or you'd run off."

"I didn't. I knew you'd come back for us." Ernie said. Nancy took their empty food container and emptied her food bag into it. "Jimmy found that old in the junk. He thinks he can write now."

"I'm writing a letter to me Dad." Jimmy said as he typed away.

"You don't even know where your Dad is. And how're you going to send it?"

"I don't know. Stick it in an envelope?"

"You can't even read or write."

"I don't need to. I've got a machine."

"Will you stop making that noise?!" Nancy ordered in irritation, making them slouch in shame. Nancy closed her eyes and breathed. "I'm sorry, Jim. On you go. You write a letter to your Dad if you want to." Jimmy nodded before returning to type.

"I know we should've gone somewhere else, but we need you, see? For the thinking."

"And what if I wasn't here? What If one night, I didn't come back for ya? There's a war on. People go out, they don't always come back, it happens. What would you do then?" Nancy knelt to grab the bag again, while Ernie's eyes widened, and he moved forward, snatching the wire cutters from her grasp.

"Wire cutters?"

Nancy snatched them back. "I need you to think about that. Someone's got to look after this lot."

"Why? Are you going somewhere?"

Nancy gave them a grim look. "The bomb site, the one at the railway station." All their eyes widened at her and Jimmy stopped typing to look at her.

"Why?"

"The child. That's where he was killed. That's where it all started, and I'm going to find out how."

"He'll get you, and then he'll come for us. He always comes for us."

"No, Ernie, he doesn't. He always comes after me." His eyebrows furrowed at her. "There are things I haven't told ya. Things I can't tell ya. If you're with me, you're in danger." The keys on the typewriter started clicking, making her heart race in fear. "Even right now, sitting here, you're in danger because of me."

"You're the one that keeps us safe."

"You think so, Ernie? Then answer this. Jim is sitting there, right next to ya. So, who's typing?" Their breathing hitched as they looked at the typewriter, which was clicking away by itself. Once it stopped, Nancy took the paper out and looked at it. Past Jimmy's partial message was the repeated words of 'Mummy? Are you my Mummy?'.

"Is he coming?"

"Ernie, as long as you're with me, he's always coming." She tossed the paper to them, which Ernie caught as he looked at it, with Nancy moving to exit the hideout. "Plenty of greens and chew your food." She said sternly before leaving.


The Doctor sat down, one arm around Clara who leaned her head into his shoulder as Rose paced about. "Okay, so he's vanished into thin air. Why is it always the great looking ones who do that?" Rose asked sarcastically.

"I'm making an effort not to be insulted."

"I mean…men."

"Okay, thanks. That really helped." The Doctor grumbled.

"If it makes you feel any better, you're better looking than him." Clara smiled fondly, making him grin at her.

The radio in the room crackled to life, making them give it an apprehensive look. "Rose? Doctor? Clara? Can you hear me?" They moved to stand beside it, the Doctor searching the radio but finding it's wires completely cut. "I'm back on my ship. Used the emergency teleport, I'm sorry I couldn't take you. It's security-keyed to my molecular structure. I'm working on it, hang in there."

"How're you speaking to us?" Clara asked.

"Omcom: I can call anything with a speaker grille."

"Now there's a coincidence." The Doctor muttered, making Clara nod.

"What is?"

"The child can Omcom too."

"It can?" Rose asked.

"Anything with a speaker grille. Even the TARDIS phone."

"What, you mean the child can phone us?"

"And I can hear you." They jumped at the voice. "Coming to find you. Coming to find you."

"Doctor, Clara, can you hear that?"

"Loud and clear."

"I'll try to block out the signal. Least I can do."

"Coming to find you Mummy."

"You remember this one, Rose?" Moonlight Serenade began to play, making them look at her which she merely blushed at.

"Our song." She smiled, making them nod before exchanging crooked eyebrows. The Doctor moved over to the window with the sonic while Clara sat down in the wheelchair, rolling about in it with a cheeky smile. "Having fun?" She teased.

"Oh yeah." Clara smiled. She then furrowed her eyebrows and reached out her hands. "Can I see your hands?"

"Sure." Rose said, moving over to her, who took her hands gently under her gaze.

"What're you trying to do, Doctor?" Clara called as he used the sonic.

"I'm trying to set up a resonation pattern in the concrete, loosen the bars."

"That'll take a while." Clara grumbled as she inspected Rose's hands.

"You got a better idea, missy?"

"No. You?"

"No." He blinked before blushing sheepishly. "I actually don't know what to do. I'm just-"

"Improvising, I know."

"Sorry."

Rose rolled her eyes at them despite her light chuckling. She started feeling somewhat tingling like someone getting a massage as Clara ran her hands over hers. "What're you doing?"

"Barrage balloon."

"What?" Rose blinked.

"You were hanging from a barrage balloon."

Rose blinked before realization kicked in. "Oh, yeah, about two minutes after you two left me. Thousands of feet above London, middle of a German air raid and a Union Jack all over my chest."

The Doctor chuckled. "I've travelled with a lot of people but you're setting new records for jeopardy-friendly."

"Rose, you were hanging from a rope, thousands of feet above London, but look at your hands." Clara said, holding them up. "You don't have a cut or a bruise." The Doctor stopped using his sonic at those words.

"Yeah, I know. Captain Jack fixed me up."

"Oh, we're calling him "Captain", now are we?"

"Well, his name's Jack and he's a Captain."

"He's not really a Captain, Rose." Clara shook her head at him.

"Maybe not to you. You've got your own Captain." Rose winked at her.

"No, I don't." She blushed.

"Okay, seriously, it's starting to get a bit old now." Rose groaned.

"What is?" They said in unison.

Rose groaned again. "Look, do either of you think he's coming back?"

"*Scoffs* Wouldn't bet my life." Clara grumbled. The Doctor nodded with her.

"Why don't either of you trust him?"

"Why do you?"

"He saved my life. Bloke-wise, that's up there with flossing." Clara blinked at her. "I trust him because he's like the Doctor, except he's bolder with dating and dancing."

Clara gazed off before nodding slightly. "Okay, that's fair enough." Rose giggled while she smirked. They heard the Doctor grumble, making Clara turn to look at him. "What?"

"You just assume I'm-"

"What?"

"You just assume I don't…dance."

Clara grinned. "What, are you telling me that you do dance?"

"900 years old, me, I've been around a bit. I think you can assume that at some point, I danced."

"You?" She giggled, Rose moving off to the side with a devilish smirk.

"Problem?"

"The big bad Time Lord dancing? Does the universe decide to implode if you dance, is that it?"

"Well, I've got the moves, but I wouldn't want to boast." The Doctor said smugly.

Clara bit her lip, standing up and pushing the chair to Rose, who winked at her before Clara turned up the volume on the radio, making the Doctor look at her with a blush. "You got the moves? Show me your moves." She held out a hand.

He blinked. "Clara…I'm-I'm trying to resonate concrete." He stuttered.

"We'll have to wait for Captain Jack, because that'll take too long, so come on. The world won't end just because the Doctor dances."

The Doctor looked at her with dilated eyes and a blush before he pocketed the sonic and took her hands. "Hold on, Captain Jack?"

She rolled her eyes. "If that's his name, then fine. Captain Jack it is. Although, it would be funnier if his last name was Sparrow. And if he drank rum." She paused and squinted her eyes as his clenched jaw. "Are you…jealous?"

"No." He denied.

"You're jealous. Is it because I'm calling him Captain, or is it because I'm not calling you captain?" She flirted.

He clicked his neck and started to waltz with her, yet his movements was somewhat awkward despite his intense staring. "I wouldn't mind that." He flirted.

"Well, I can't call you "Captain Doctor", that wouldn't make any sense. That just sounds like "Mister Doctor"." She blinked as he nearly stepped on her toes. "You'll find your feet at the end of your legs. Can you please move them? My feet aren't for stepping on, thank you very much." She said, their personal space growing smaller by the second.

"If ever he's been a Captain, he's been defrocked."

"Yeah? Thank goodness then, eh?"

"Now isn't that just rude, eh missy? How'd he feel if you said that to him?" He quipped.

"I wouldn't care."

"Aww, that hurt." Jack mocked, making them jump. They found themselves inside of Jack's ship, with Rose standing to the side trying to hide her laughter. "Most people notice when they've been teleported. Rose was right, you guys are so sweet…when you're not children." He grinned at Rose, who nodded with a smirk. "And to answer your theory, I quit. Nobody takes my frock. Sorry about the delay. I had to take the Navcom offline to override the teleport security."

"You can spend 10 minutes overriding your own protocols? Maybe you should remember whose ship it is." The Doctor said, him and Clara still not moving from their embrace, making Rose and Jack's smiles grow wider.

"Oh, I do. She was gorgeous. Although, you're quite the lucky man to have Rose with you."

"Oi!" Clara admonished as Rose laughed.

"Sorry, you mock me, I mock you." Jack smirked at her, making her roll her eyes at him despite a smile on both hers and the Doctor's faces. "Like I told her: Be back in five minutes."

The Doctor glanced around as Jack worked underneath the pilot console, before realization creeped into his eyes. "This is a Chula ship."

"Yeah, just like that medical transporter. Only this one is dangerous."

*Clicks*

Nanogenes fluttered around the Doctor's hand, making Clara give them a soft look. "They're beautiful." She breathed.

"They are." The Doctor nodded.

"They're what fixed my hands up. Jack called them…um…" Rose clicked her fingers, scrunching her face.

"Nanobots?" Rose shook her head. "Nanogenes?"

"Nanogenes. Yeah."

"Subatomic robots. There's millions of them in here, see? Burned my hand on the console when we landed. All better now. They activate when the bulkhead's sealed, check you out for damage, fix any physical flaws." He waved his hand, making the Nanogenes disappear.

"Aww." Clara whined.

"Sorry." He teased, making her half glare at him. "Take us to the crash site. I need to see your space junk."

"As soon as I get the navcom back online." Jack shrugged as he sat in the pilot seat and worked away on the console. "Make yourself comfortable and carry on with whatever it was you were…doing."

"We were talking about dancing."

"It didn't look like talking."

"It didn't feel like dancing." Clara grumbled.

"Watch it, missy." The Doctor said as they untangled themselves from each other.

"What'd you say?"

"I said watch it, missy."

"They seriously haven't said anything?" Jack whispered to Rose.

"Nope."

"Dear god, that's going to get old."

"It already is." Rose groaned, making them chuckle.

"What'd you say?" They said in unison.

"Nothing." Rose and Jack mocked in unison.


Nancy crept up to the bomb site, crouching behind the large, stone fence to hide from view. Creeping around to where the fence ended in debris, turning into metal and barb wire. She knelt, glancing around to see if any soldiers were watching. Satisfied despite her caution, she pulled out the wire cutters and snapped a wire. She glanced around each time she cut barb wire until there was enough space to crawl through, moving quickly to hide in the shadows. Waiting for a long minute, she crept over to the tarpaulin and peeled it back slightly. Lights suddenly blinded her vision, making her cover her eyes as the sound of rifles being cocked were heard around her. "Halt! Don't move!" A voice shouted, before she felt two hands grasping her shoulders and hauling her away, the bright lights dimming and clearing her vision again.


"So, you used to be a Time Agent and now you're trying to con them?" Rose asked Jack while the Doctor and Clara sat together in silence.

"If it makes me sound any better, it's not for the money."

"What for, then?"

"I woke up one morning when I was still working for them, found they'd stolen two years of my memories. I'd like them back."

"They stole your memories?"

"Two years of my life, with no idea what I did." The Doctor and Clara exchanged a silent look but said nothing. "Your friends over there don't trust me and for all I know, they're right not to." He said with a sad tone. Rose turned to look at them, who were just gazing at each other softly before leaning back into each other in contempt. "Is that their secret? They can have-"

"Entire conversations just by staring, I know." Rose nodded.

"Yep, you're right. It's already old." Jack smirked.

*Beeps*

Jack turned the chair around as the console flared, the sound perking the pair's interest. "Okay, we're good to go. Crash site?" Jack called, already knowing the answer.


Nancy was hauled through a large, red gate into a small warehouse, where a man sat a table, looking down with his face in his hands. "As you were. Feeling any better?" The head guard asked.

"Just a turn, sir."

"Chain her up where Jenkins can keep an eye on her."

"No, not in here. Not with him." Nancy protested as she saw the scar on his hand.

"You shouldn't have broken in here if you didn't want to stay."

"You don't understand. Not with him."

"This is a restricted area, Miss. You can just sit here for a bit. We're going to have to ask you a few questions."

"Found these, sir." A soldier said, holding out her wire cutters.

He grumbled with a small smirk. "Very professional. A little bit too professional. Didn't just drop in by accident then, did you?"

"My little brother died here. I wanted to find out what killed him."

The head guard looked at the soldiers standing there. "Take the men, check the fence for any other breaches and search the area. She may not have come here alone."

"Yes, sir." They said in unison as they left, the head guard moving to follow them.

"Please, listen, you can't leave me here." Nancy protested.

"Watch her, Jenkins."

"Yes Mummy."

He blinked. "Jenkins?"

"Sorry. Sir, I-I don't know what's the matter with me."

"Look, lock me up, fine, but not here. Please, anywhere but here." The head guard stared at her before leaving without a word. Nancy started struggling against the handcuffs.

"You'll be all right, Miss. I'm just a little…just a little…just a little…what's the matter with you?"

"Please, let me go."

"Why would I do that?"

"Because you've got a scar on the back of your hand."

"Well, yes. But I don't see what that's got to do with anything."

"And you feel like you're going to be sick, like something's forcing its way up your throat." He blinked at her in surprise. "I know, because I've seen it before."

"What's happening to me?"

"In a minute, you won't be you anymore. You won't even remember you and unless you let me go, it's going to happen to me too, please."

"What're you talking about?" He said as his breathing grew heavier.

"What's your mother's name?"

"Matilda."

"You got a wife?"

"Yes."

"Wife's name." He started to chock, making her heart grow cold in terror. "You got kids? What's your name?"

"I-I-I can't-"

"Please, let me go. It's too late for you, I'm sorry, but please, let me go."

"What d-d-do you m-mea-mea-Mmm-Mmm-Mmmu-Mummy!" He yelled in agony as his face turned into a gas mask before he collapsed onto the table unconscious.


The four walked through the abandoned railway station, seeing a small group of soldiers chatting and pacing about. "There it is." Jack nodded to the tarpaulin. "Hey, they've got Algy on duty. Must be important."

"We've got to get past." The Doctor said, the three nodding.

"Are the words "Distract the guard" heading in my general direction?" Rose asked.

"I don't think that'd be such a good idea." Jack shook his head with a smirk.

"Don't worry, I can handle it."

"It's not that. I've gotten to know Algy quite well since I've been in town. Trust me, you're not his type. I'll distract him. Don't wait up." Jack winked as he walked away to the soldiers, Rose staring wide eyed after him.

"Relax, Rose." The Doctor grinned as her wide eyes combined with furrowed eyebrows, making Clara snigger. "He's a 51st century guy. He's just a bit more flexible when it comes to dancing."

"How flexible?"

"Well, by his time, you lot have spread out across half the galaxy."

"Meaning?"

"So many species, so little time." He grinned while Clara crinkled her nose in disgust.

"What, that's what we do when we get out there? That's our mission, we seek new life and…and…and…" Rose stuttered.

"Dance." He chuckled at her expression.

Jack walked up to Algy, the head guard with a grin. "Hey, tiger. How's it hanging?"

Algy looked at him, tilting his head. "Mummy?"

"Algy, old sport, it's me."

"Mummy?"

"It's me, Jack."

"Jack? Are you my…Mummy?" Jack stared at him with shock as Algy started to chock, collapsing to his knees, his face turning into a gas mask.

"Stay back!" Clara yelled, the three rushing over.

"You men stay away!" Jack ordered as they came to help Algy, staring at him with horror.

"The effect's becoming airborne, accelerating." The Doctor said grimly.

"What's keeping us safe?" Rose asked.

"Nothing."

The air-raid siren blared again, making Jack groan. "Ah, here they come again."

"All we need. Wait, didn't you say a bomb was going to land here?" Rose asked with wide eyes. Jack nodded at her, making her gulp.

"Never mind about that. If the contaminant's airborne, there's hours left."

"Till what?" Jack asked.

"Till nothing, forever, for the entire human race."

"Can anyone else hear singing?" Clara asked, making them look to the large red door.

"Rock-a-bye, baby, on the treetops. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. Down will come baby, cradle and all." Nancy hummed as they opened the door. The Doctor motioned for her to come with them, but she simply tugged on her handcuffs. He pulled out his sonic and came over to her. "Rock-a-bye, baby, on the treetops. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock." The Doctor unlocked the handcuffs, making Nancy move out with them towards the tarpaulin. The lights flicked on as they approached while Jack moved the tarpaulin back, revealing the old capsule.

"You see? Just an ambulance." Jack said.

"That's an ambulance?" Nancy asked.

"It's hard to explain. It's…It's from another world." Rose answered, yet it didn't lessen Nancy's bewilderment.

"They've been trying to get in." Jack grumbled.

"Of course, they have. They think they've got their hands-on Hitler's latest secret weapon." The Doctor said. Jack started inputting code into the front panel. "What're you doing?"

"Well, the sooner you see this thing is empty, the sooner you'll know I had nothing to do with it." The capsule sparked, blaring an alarm which made them jump. "Didn't happen last time."

"It hadn't crashed last time. They're the emergency protocols."

"Doctor, what is that?" Rose asked.

Clara looked over at the large red gate, which was beginning to rattle. "We're going to have company. Captain secure those gates!" She ordered.

"Why-"

"Just do it!" Jack flinched but ran to the fence gates, closing and chaining them shut. "Nancy, how did you get in here?"

"I cut the wire."

"Show Rose."

The Doctor pulled out the sonic and tossed it to Rose. "Setting 2,428D."

"What?"

"Reattaches barbed wire. Go!" They rushed over to the side, kneeling at the fence. Nancy held up the cut wire while Rose used the sonic, reattaching each end together.

"Who are you?" Nancy asked. "Who are any of you?"

"You'd never believe me if I told you."

"You just told me that was an ambulance from another world. There are people running around with gas-mask heads, calling for their mummies and the sky's full of Germans dropping bombs on me. Tell me, do you think there's anything left I couldn't believe?"

"The Doctor and Clara aren't together?" Rose quipped.

Nancy rolled her eyes. "Apart from that."

"We're time travellers from the future."

"Mad, you are."

"We have a time travel machine. Seriously."

"It's not that." Nancy sighed as they finished their work, yet they didn't move. "All right, you got a time travel machine. I believe ya. Believe anything, me. But what future?" She nodded to the sky.

Rose grasped her shoulder, making Nancy look at her. "Nancy, this isn't the end. I know how it looks, but it's not the end of the world or anything."

"How can you say that? Look at it."

"Listen to me. I was born in this city. I'm from here in like 50 years' time."

"From here?"

"I'm a Londoner, from your future."

"But…but you're not…"

"Not what?"

"German."

"Nancy, the Germans don't come here, they don't win. Don't tell anyone I told you so, but do you know what? You win."

"We win?"

Rose nodded, making Nancy smile in relief. "Come on." She nodded, leading them back to the others, where Jack had joined them and just opened the capsule.

"It's empty. Look at it." Jack said, motioning inside which was indeed empty.

"What do you expect in a Chula medical transporter? Bandages? Cough drops? Rose." The Doctor nodded to her.

"I don't know."

"Yes, you do." He held up a hand.

Rose's eyes widened. "Nanogenes."

"It wasn't empty, Captain. There was enough Nanogenes in there to rebuild a species."

Jack breathed out loud, his shoulders slouching. "Oh god." He mumbled.

"Getting it now, are we?" He growled, making Jack gulp. "When the ship crashes, the Nanogenes escape. Billions upon billions of them, ready to fix all the cuts and bruises in the whole world. But what they find first is a dead child, killed earlier that night and wearing a gas mask."

"And they brought him back to life? They can do that?" Rose blinked.

"What's life? Life's easy. A quirk of matter. It's nature's way of keeping meat fresh. Nothing to a Nanogene. One problem: These Nanogenes aren't like the ones on your ship. This lot have never seen a Human being before. They don't know what a Human's supposed to look like. All they've got to go on is one little body and there's not a lot left. But they carry right on. They do what they're programmed to do, they patch it up. Can't tell what's gas mask and what's skull but they do their best and off they fly, off they go, work to be done. Cause you see, now they know what people should look like and it's time to fix all the rest and they won't ever stop. They won't ever, ever stop. The entire Human Race is going to be torn down and rebuilt in the form of one terrified child looking for its mother and nothing in the world can stop it!"

"I didn't know!" Jack said simply. The Doctor clenched his jaw, Clara grasping his hand to calm him. Jack ran his hands over his face in guilt, moving off to the side briefly as he took it all in.

"Rose!" Nancy called. Rose ran over but the other three didn't need to look to see what was coming, as the incoherent yells of 'Mummy' grew closer.

"The ship thinks it's under attack, isn't it?" Clara asked. "That's why it's bringing the gas-mask people here."

"I'm afraid so. It's just standard protocol.

"But the gas-mask people aren't troops." Rose argued.

"They are now. This is a battlefield ambulance. The Nanogenes don't just fix you up, they get you ready for the frontline, equip you and program you."

"That's why the child's so strong. Why it could do that phoning thing." Rose concluded.

"He's now a fully equipped Chula warrior, yes. All that weapons tech in the hands of a hysterical four-year-old, looking for his mummy and now there's an army of them."

"Why don't they attack?" Jack asked.

"Soldiers wait for their commander." Clara answered.

"The child?" Jack deducted.

"Jamie." Nancy said.

"Sorry?"

"Not 'The child', Jamie."

"So, how long until the bomb falls?" Rose asked.

"Any second." Jack answered.

"What's the matter, Captain? Bit close to the volcano for you?" Clara sassed, making his guilt increase.

"He's just a little boy." Nancy said sadly.

"I know."

"He's just a little boy who wants his mummy."

"There isn't a boy born who wouldn't tear the world apart to save his mummy and this one can."

"So, what're we going to do?" Rose asked.

"I don't know." The Doctor said simply.

"It's my fault."

"No." Clara shook her head.

"It is. It's all my fault." Nancy choked as tears came into her eyes.

"How can it be your-"

"Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!"

Clara blinked, turning back to the Doctor who also realized, nodding to her. Clara turned to Nancy with a soft look.

"Nancy, what age are you?" She didn't answer. "20? 21? Older than you look, yes?"

The bombs started drawing closer, making them flinch slightly.

"Doctor, that bomb. We've got seconds." Jack informed.

"You can teleport us out." Rose said.

"Not you guys. The Navcom's back online. It's going to take too long to override the protocols."

"So, it's volcano day. Do what you've got to do." The Doctor said simply.

"Jack." Rose said bluntly. He gave her an apologetic look before teleporting away.

"How old were you 5 years ago? 15? 16? Old enough to give birth, anyway. He's not your brother, is he?" Nancy shook her head weakly. "A teenage single mother in 1941. So, you hid. You lied. You even lied to him."

The gates slammed open, Jamie standing there at the front of the horde. "Are you my Mummy?" He asked, his voice quieting everyone else down into silence as he strode towards them, alone.

"He's going to keep asking, Nancy. He's never going to stop."

"Mummy."

"Tell him." Nancy gave her a look that screamed 'How?'. "Nancy, the future of humanity is in your hands. Trust me and tell him."

"Are you my Mummy?" Nancy turned and started walking towards Jamie. "Are you my Mummy? Are you my Mummy?"

"Yes. Yes, I am your mummy." Nancy choked.

"Mummy?"

"I'm here."

"Are you my Mummy?"

"I'm here." Nancy knelt before him, who stopped moving just to stare at her.

"Are you my Mummy?"

"Yes."

"Are you my Mummy?"

Nancy took a deep breath. "I am your mummy. I will always be your mummy. I'm so sorry." She pulled Jamie into a hug, causing Nanogenes to circle around them. "I am so, so sorry."

"What's happening?" Rose asked. "Doctor, it's changing her, we should-"

"Shh!" Clara shushed her as they watched.

"Come on, please." The Doctor implored. "Come on, you clever little Nanogenes, figure it out. The mother. She's the mother. That's got to be enough information. Please, figure it out." The Nanogenes stopped circling, then disappearing away, making the Doctor rush over, Nancy loosening the hug. "Oh, come on. Give me a day like this. Give me this one." He took hold of the gas mask and pulled it off, revealing a bewildered Jamie underneath, staring at them with wide eyes. "Ha ha! Ha ha!" The Doctor laughed, grasping Jamie and holding him up in a hug, everyone else gaining grins as they watched. "Welcome back! 20 years till pop music. You're going to love it! Ha ha!" Jamie blinked despite his grin.

"What happened?" A relieved Nancy asked.

"The Nanogenes recognised the superior information, the parent DNA. They didn't change you because you changed them." He handed Jamie to Nancy, who hugged him tight. "Mother knows best." He grinned.

"Jamie." Nancy cried in joy into his shoulder.

The bombs grew even closer, making Rose gulp. "Doctor, that bomb."

"Taken care of it."

"How?"

"Psychology." They heard the whistling of the bomb falling, looking up to see it coming closer before Jack's ship appeared above it, firing the tractor beam onto the bomb and stopping it in mid-air. Jack appeared on the bomb, looking down on them with a grin.

"Doctor!"

"Good lad!" The Doctor nodded at him.

"The bomb's already commenced detonation. I've put in stasis, but it won't last long."

"Change of plan, don't need the bomb. Can you get rid of it? Safely as you can."

Jack nodded. "Rose?"

"Yeah?" She called.

"Goodbye." He disappeared for a moment before reappearing again. "By the way, love the t-shirt." Rose pulled down the shirt with a shy smile. "And Clara?" Clara looked at him. "He's lucky to have you, you know. You are gorgeous." He winked, making her grin cheekily at him. Jack disappeared again with the tractor beam as his ship flew off into the sky.

The Doctor stepped forward, holding up his hands which were now being circled by Nanogenes, making everyone look at him in awe. "What're you doing?" Clara asked.

"Software patch. Going to e-mail the upgrade. You want move, Clara? I'll give you moves." He clicked both hands, sending the Nanogenes towards the horde, who stumbled to the ground for a moment, before they slowly stood up, taking off their gas masks. "Everybody lives, Clara. Just this once! Everybody lives!" They laughed with joy as he rushed forward to the group, one of the people standing up being a full recovered Constantine. "Dr. Constantine, who never left his patients. Back on your feet, constant doctor. World doesn't want to get by without you just yet and I don't blame it one bit. These are you patients, all better now."

Constantine looked around incredulously. "Yes. Yes, so it seems. They also seem to be standing around in a disused railway station. Is there any particular reason for that?"

"Well…c-c-cutbacks." The Doctor stammered sheepishly. "Listen, whatever was wrong with them in the past, you're probably going to find that they're cured. Just tell them what a great doctor you are. Don't make a big thing of it, okay?" He grinned at him before rushing off, making Constantine blink.

"Dr. Constantine." He turned around with shock to see an old woman approaching him.

"Mrs. Harcourt. How much better you are looking."

"My leg's grown back. When I came to the hospital, I had one leg."

"Well, there is a war on. Is it…possible you miscounted?" Constantine shrugged, making her blink for a few moments.

"Right, you lot! Lots to do, beat the Germans! Save the world! Don't forget the welfare state!" The Doctor called to them, making Constantine smile before they all starting to move away from the area. He knelt on the capsule, inputting code into the computer. "Setting this to self-destruct, soon as everybody's clear. History says there was an explosion here. Who am I to argue with history?"

"You're the first in line." Clara quipped, making him wink at her.


They rushed back inside the TARDIS, the Doctor racing around the console with a beaming grin. "The Nanogenes will clean up the mess and switch themselves off, because I just told them to. Nancy and Jamie will go to Dr. Constantine for help, ditto. All in all, all things considered, fantastic!"

"Look at you, beaming away like you're Father Christmas." Rose grinned as Clara laughed.

"Who says I'm not? Red bicycle when you were 12." He mouthed 'Her idea', pointing to Clara.

"What?" Rose blinked.

"And everybody lives, Clara! Everybody lives! I need more days like this."

"Doctor…" Rose started.

"Go on, ask me anything. I'm on fire!"

"What about Jack?" He paused, looking at her sombrely. "Why'd he say goodbye?" The Doctor said nothing, still working on the console.

"Doctor." Clara grasped his arm, making him stop to look at her. "One chance. Give him one chance." She said simply. He stared at her in deep contemplation, weighing the two choices.


"Okay, computer. How long can we keep the bomb in stasis?" Jack asked as he sat in the Captain's chair, his ship flying through space.

"Stasis decaying at 90% cycle. Detonation in three minutes."

"Can we jettison it?"

"Any attempt to jettison the device will precipitate detonation. 100% probability."

Jack blinked for a moment as his heart stopped. "We could stick it in an escape pod."

"There is no escape pod on board."

"Okay, I see the flaw in that. I'll get in the escape pod."

"There is no escape pod on board."

"Did you check everywhere?"

"Affirmative."

"Under the sink!"

"Affirmative."

He sighed. "Okay, out of 100, exactly how dead am I?"

"Termination of Captain Jack Harkness in under two minutes. 100% probability."

"Lovely. Thanks. Good to know the numbers." He grumbled sarcastically.

"You're welcome."

"Okay then. I think we'd better initiate emergency protocol 417."

"Affirmative." On a small pad nearby, a martini with an olive appeared, making him smirk as he grabbed it and took a sip.

"Ohh, a little too much vermouth. See if I come here again. *Chuckles* Funny thing. The last time I was sentenced to death, I ordered four hyper-vodkas for my breakfast. All a bit of a blur after that. Woke up in bed with both my executioners." He popped the olive into his mouth. "Hmm, lovely couple. They stayed in touch. *Chuckles* You can't say that about most executioners. Anyway…thanks for everything, computer." He raised his glass in a toast. "It's been great." He downed the glass in one gulp, relaxing back into his chair, closing his eyes and entering a calm state of peace. The jazz music playing in the background helped. Wait, jazz music? He turned the seat around to see the TARDIS doors open, the Doctor and Clara awkwardly waltzing at the console while Rose waved her hand.

"Well, hurry up then!" She called, making him rush through the doors, pausing as he took it all in with surprise.

"Okay, and…turn." The Doctor failed that, getting her arm caught. "Oi! Watch it!"

"Sorry." He grumbled.

"Try to do it again and this time, don't get my arm caught up my back, please?"

Rose scoffed. "Obviously. There's no extra points for a half-nelson."

"I'm sure I used to know this stuff." The Doctor grumbled before he looked at Jack. "Close the door, will you? Your ship's about to blow up, there's going to be a draft." Jack closed the door as the Doctor piloted them away. "Welcome to the TARDIS."

He nodded slowly. "Much bigger on the inside."

"You'd better be." The Doctor teased, making Jack mock glare at him.

"What the Doctor is trying to say, you may join us." Clara said, holding her hand, which he took with a smirk.

"Don't worry, there's enough room in this gorgeous girl for all of us." Rose giggled, making them grin.

"Clara! I've just remembered." The Doctor said, beaming a grin at her.

"Remembered what?"

He changed to a more upbeat song, clicking his fingers in tune. "I can dance. I can dance."

"Doctor, I think Jack would like a dance, you know, to welcome him on board?"

"I'm sure he would, Clara. But who with?" Clara bit her lip to hide her giggling before she took his outstretched hand, the two now dancing much more fluidly. Jack and Rose leaned against each other, chuckling as they watched.

"They may be children, but at least they're fun." Jack whispered.

"That they are." The two shared a grin.

"Ooh!" Clara yelped in surprise as the Doctor dipped her, making them laugh as they stopped dancing. "You so did that because you were jealous!" She giggled.

"I was not jealous, missy." He denied despite his grin.

"Yeah, sure." She leaned her head on him as Rose and Jack clapped, making them mock bow at them. "The pleasure was all ours." Clara said.

"Shut up, you!" Rose quipped, the four laughing as the song came to an end.

Chapter Text

Nightmare in Silver

The TARDIS materialised inside a large room, modelled after the moon landing, complete with American flag in the centre. The four stepped out of the TARDIS, looking around in confusion. Clara exited last, now dressed in a white shirt, black jeans and a long, leather jacket with her hair tied up in a small bun and crimson lipstick. "First time out and we go to an amusement park?" Jack grumbled.

"Oi! I promised you a time-space machine, so here we are. Hedgewick's World. The biggest and best amusement park there will ever be."

"Doctor why are we here?" Clara asked.

"We've got a golden ticket." He said obviously, handing her said ticket. She gave him a 'Are you kidding me?' look. "What? I like amusement parks." He grinned childishly. "What's wrong with amusement parks?"

"You're too old for them?"

"No, I'm not, missy." He reprimanded.

"What part of the ride would this be?"

"Anti-gravity." Jack answered, making the Doctor look at him with raised eyebrows. "What? It's the moon, so it'll be anti-gravity."

The Doctor blinked a few times. "Okay, you've got me there."

"Psst!" They turned around to see a man in a top hat emerging out of a door in the wall. "Excuse me. I don't suppose you happen to be my lift off planet. Dave's Discount Interstellar Removals?"

"Afraid not." Clara shook her head.

"Yeah, they were meant to be here six months ago. Well, that's Dave for you, you see. Unreliable." He rolled his eyes.

"Stay where you are!"

"Oh dear." He closed the door as soldiers came running into the room, surrounding the four.

"Throw down your weapons and identify yourselves!" The leader, a blonde woman ordered.

"Great. More guns." The Doctor rolled his eyes at Clara, who nodded with a blank look.

"Who are you? This planet is closed by Imperial order."

"How about this?" The Doctor winked at Clara, pulling out the psychic paper and making the blonde's eyes widen.

"Oh. Welcome, Proconsul. Wish they'd told us you were coming. Does the Emperor bring us any new orders?"

"No, I'm afraid not."

She looked down in disappointment. "Of course. Then we shall have to stick to our current orders. If you need any help, my platoon will gladly be of assistance."

"Very much appreciated." He grinned. "Well, carry on, Captain."

She saluted him, making him inwardly wince. "Platoon! Let's move out." She ordered, making the soldiers rush out with her. "Come on! Two, three, four! Two, three, four!"

"God, I hate saluting." The Doctor groaned to Clara when they left.

"Sometimes, I don't blame you."

"Well then, Doctor…" Jack started, making him turn before recoiling as Jack saluted him.

"Please don't." He whined.

"You shouldn't have said anything." Jack gave a sly smirk. The wall door opened again, the man coming out with a shy look.

"Have they gone? Sorry, it's the uniforms. They give me the heebie-jeebies." He shuddered. "Come on." He motioned the group to follow him. They opened a large door, revealing the abandoned and ruined amusement park outside. "They can't stop me being here, but they don't like it."

"I told you it was amazing." The Doctor said, his tone growing lower. "Well, it used to be."

"It closed down. Wish I'd known that before I landed here. Let me show you my collection. Follow me." He led them into a large, authentic room, complete with artefacts, outfits and models alike. "Welcome to my ship, Webley's World of Wonders. Miracles, marvels and more await you. I am Impresario Webley. You see before you waxwork representations of the famous and the infamous." Webley thought for a moment as they glanced around. "Do any of you play chess?" The Doctor raised his hand childishly, but Webley pointed to Rose. "Do you, my dear?"

"Ummm…yeah. I've played." Rose said with slight uncertainty.

Webley motioned them into a large room, where a chess table was set up with a clothed figure in one seat. "Now, let me demonstrate to you all the wonder of the age, the miracle of modernity. We defeated them all a thousand years ago but now he's back to destroy us all." He said dramatically, making them snigger. "Behold…the enemy!" He pulled the cloth, revealing a Cyberman staring at them.

"Cyberman! Get down!" The Doctor yelled, making them duck.

"What're you doing?" Webley asked. "There's no need to panic, my friends. We all know there are no more living Cybermen. What you are seeing is a miracle. The 699th wonder of the universe…well…as displayed before the Imperial Court. Right now, he's only here to destroy you…at chess." He motioned to the table. "He is free of all devices, but he has never been beaten."

"I'm sorry, what?" Rose blinked.

"You, my dear are going to fight this Cyberman at chess." He pulled Rose to sit down at the table. "Now, I would charge you for this game…but I'm afraid we haven't had many people here, so until there is more visitors, we're making it temporarily free."

"Lucky me then." Rose quipped.

"However, there is a reward involved if you also answer the riddle. The Cyberman sitting in front of you is dead. Completely braindead with no activity and yet…he moves. You will get three Imperial Pennies if you beat the Cybermen at chess, however if you can guess the riddle, whether you can beat it or not…you gain one Imperial Penny. Now, you are on the starting side so, what will be your first move?"

The trio behind her moved up in anticipation.

"Stop that, you're not helping." Rose mocked growled, making them chuckle.

"Sorry." Jack backed off with his hands raised, despite his grin. Rose bit her lip before moving her hand out to start the match.

Pawn to G4.

Pawn to D5

Pawn to B4

Bishop to G4, eliminates Pawn

Pawn to E4

Bishop to D1, eliminates Queen

They winced as that happened.

"Dammit." Rose grumbled.

King to D1, eliminates Bishop

Pawn to E4, eliminates Pawn

Pawn to B5

Queen to D4

Pawn to H4

Queen to A1, eliminates Castle

Knight to C3

Knight to F6

Pawn to H6

Knight to D7

Castle to H4

Castle to D8, makes King move to C8

Castle to E4

Knight to E4, eliminates Castle

Knight to E4, eliminates Knight

"Is that technically cannibalism?" Jack quipped.

"Probably." The Doctor smirked.

"Hush." A nervous Rose snaps.

"Sorry." They say in unison.

"You've got this." Clara rubs Rose's shoulder.

"Thanks." She smiles.

Pawn to E6

Knight to G5

Knight to E5

Knight to F7, eliminates Pawn

Knight to F7, eliminates Knight

Knight to F3

Bishop to A3

King to E2

Queen to C1, eliminates Bishop

Bishop to H3

Knight to G5

Bishop to E6

Knight to E6, eliminates Bishop

Knight to H4

Knight to G5

Knight to G6

Castle to E8. Check

"Oh dear." The Doctor mumbled.

Knight to E5

Castle to E5, eliminates Knight. Checkmate

"Dammit!" Rose growls, making them jump slightly. "Sorry." She mumbles.

"Well, better luck next time." Jack said.

"Sorry, my dear. But…you can still get a penny if you solve the riddle."

Rose thinks for a moment.

"It has to be-Ow!" Clara cuts the Doctor off by elbowing him in the ribs.

"Shush!" She reprimanded.

Rose clicked her fingers. "Remote control?"

Webley grinned. "Correct, my dear." He tossed her an Imperial Penny before moving to the table and opened a panel, revealing tech inside wired to the Cyberman. "An artificial intelligence designed to play chess, using the Cyberman as a puppet."

"That's…not bad." Rose nodded.

"As long as it wasn't living." The Doctor muttered.

"Speaking of which, I have two more Cybermen in my collection." Webley led them to two models that were covered in cloth, which he pulled to reveal two more Cybermen. "These ones however are completely stone dead. Frankly that's something to be thankful about. A living Cyberman wouldn't end well for anybody."

"That's rather true." Jack nodded.

The Doctor raised his eyebrows. "You know of the Cybermen?"

"Well, I've heard of them, when I was a Time Agent. But we've been careful not to encounter them."

"Good choice."

"Who's that meant to be?" Clara pointed to another model, which was a man dressed in Roman inspired clothing.

"Emperor Ludens Nimrod Kendrick, etc., etc. the 41st." Jack informed her. "Known as the Defender of Humanity and the Imperator of known space."

"He looks a bit full of himself."

"A lot of leaders are." The Doctor said distantly. He moved closer to the Cybermen, seeing something moving on under its armour. He plucked it between two fingers, causing a small sound like squealing which he pulled out, revealing a small, metallic insect writhing about. Jack's eyes widened as he looked at it.

"Doctor, is that-"

"I'm afraid so." They exchanged a grim look.

"What's going on?" Clara whispered.

"It's a Cybermite. They're the Cybermen's spies…and I don't think they're quite as extinct as they seem. Webley?" He called, attracting said man's attention. "Where are the soldiers?"

Webley blinked. "They're at the barracks."

"Doctor, why do we need soldiers?" Rose asked.

"Because these Cybermen are a fully-fledged empire. And if my hunch is correct, they're not dead. They're dormant. Come on." He led them out of the room, Webley staring at them incredulously.

"Well, don't bring the soldiers here." He mumbled, heading over to the chess table to reset the pieces. "At this rate, I'll have to start charging people again when they come here. Of course, it's hard to do that when barely anybody comes." The Cyberman in front of him grasped onto his arms, holding him in place while his heart rate rocketed through the roof. "That's not funny. I didn't program you to do that. Let go of my hands!" He demanded fearfully. Cybermites came out of the Cyberman's head, crawling down and across Webley's arms, starting to scurry across his face, making him tremble. "Please, get off!" He cried.

"Where did the new arrivals go to?" The Cyberman demanded.

"What?" He cried. "You shouldn't be able-"

"Where are they going?"

"The barracks! Now please, just let me go!"

"Upgrade in progress."

"Aaaaaah!" He cried in agony as the Cybermites burrowed into his face.


"Was this really the biggest amusement park in the universe?" Rose asked Jack as the group walked through a large, ruined warehouse.

"Yeah. Hedgewick had bought the planet cheap. It had been ravaged during the Cyberwars."

"And who were they fighting?"

"Cybermen. They see themselves as Humanity's next evolution. They're stronger, faster, can adapt to survive at a greater rate and they're amongst the greatest fighters in the universe. You can fight to a draw, then they'd upgrade. Fix the weaknesses and then destroy you."

"An enemy that can use your army as spare parts?"

"Afraid so. Some early Cybermen could be disabled by gold or cleaning fluid but they long since countered that."

"But we won." Clara interjected. "We wouldn't be here if they didn't win. How?"

Jack opened a large door outside and pointed up at the sky, at a swirling mass of white cloud surrounding a large, empty, black space. "Look up there, at that corner of the sky. What do you see?"

"Nothing. It's just black. No stars, nothing."

"It used to be the Tiberian Spiral Galaxy. Millions of star systems, a hundred million planets and a billion trillion people. But it's not there anymore. All because the Cybermen appeared."

"That's horrible." Rose said.

"Yeah. I feel bad about it myself." He said, looking down.

"Why?" Clara asked.

"Because instead of mourning a billion trillion dead people, I just feel sorry for whoever had to press the button to blow it all up." Clara glanced at the Doctor, who gave her a sad look before they walked away.


Inside the barracks, a female soldier approached the blonde Captain with a large device. "I can't fix this."

"It can't be broken. It's a solid-state sub-ether ansible-class communicator. Just run the diagnostics."

"There's nothing left to diagnose. It's not broken, it's empty. All the components are gone."

"Well, we must have replacement parts somewhere."

"Not enough to build a new one." The Captain sighed, running a hand over her face as another soldier approached.

"Captain, the weather controller is malfunctioning again. There's storms, heatwaves, snow." The door to the barracks opened, the TARDIS crew marching inside.

"Ah, Captain, what was your name?" The Doctor asked.

"Alice Ferrin."

"Well, Captain Alice…we've got a problem." He pulled out the dead Cybermite.

Her eyes widened. "That's got to be prop. All the Cybermen are extinct."

"There's a difference between dead and dormant Captain. Now, if the Cybermen are using Cybermites, what would they be looking for? Think."

Alice blinked, staring off for a moment. "They'd be scanning the brainwaves of everyone they can find to locate a host for the Cyber-Planner."

"What's a Cyber-Planner?" Rose asked.

"Think of him as the Cybermen's Emperor."

*Slam*

They looked over to the door, seeing a Cyberman standing there, staring at them. "Cyberman!" Alice yells, getting all the soldiers attention. "Attack formation!" She orders, the soldiers grabbing their guns and lining up, cocking their rifles towards the Cyberman.

"Aaah!" One soldier runs towards the Cyberman with a large, metal Warhammer, brining it down upon the Cyberman's head, but it catches the Warhammer before it makes impact.

"No!" Alice yells fruitlessly as the Cyberman grabs the soldier's neck with one hand, lifting him off the ground while tossing the Warhammer aside.

The Cyberman turns its head to stare at Clara, before straightening its back. "Target located." It snaps the soldiers neck, sending him collapsing to the ground.

"Open fire!" In unison, they pull their triggers, causing the lasers to impact upon the Cyberman's body, damaging and denting it.

"Upgrade in progress." The armour on its body pops out small fins, before it rushes forward at immense speed, passing through the laser bolts in mid-air and straight towards Clara. Clenching its fist, it charges an electrical shock before grasping Clara by the head, the shock sending her straight into unconsciousness before it lifted her body up and carried her out of sight.

"That's a Cyberman. A real Cyberman." Alice breathes.

"We need to find a place to hold up. If there are more Cybermen, they'll be sending reinforcements." The Doctor says, pacing up the room. "Captain, what's a good place on this planet that can be fortified?"

"Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle. Because…it's a castle." She shrugged.

"Fair point. Get any weapons and technology you have in here and take them to the castle."

"Doctor, where's Clara?" Rose asked.

He spun around, gazing frantically around the room but couldn't find a sign. "Clara? Clara?!" He yelled. "Clara?!"

"Sir, we need to get to the castle."

"I can't leave Clara! I need to find her!"

"We need to regroup at the castle. Then, we can send a squad to look for her but until then, we can't do anything."

"Then I'll look for her myself." He said sternly.

"Doctor…don't." Jack warned, stepping in his way.

"Get out of my way-"

"Doctor!" Jack yelled, silencing him. "Get everyone to the castle, then we look for Clara. All right?"

The Doctor clenched his jaw before nodding. "Fine." He spat as he went with the soldiers to gather their equipment.

"Will she be alright?" Rose asked.

"I…I don't know." Jack answered. Rose took a deep breath while Jack turned to Alice. "Captain correct me if I'm wrong, but I take it that your platoon doesn't do much fighting."

"What do you expect?"

"What?" Rose asked.

"We're a punishment platoon. That's why the Empire sent us out here, so we can't get into trouble."

"Why did you get sent out here?" Rose asked.

"We didn't follow orders." Alice simply said.

"Captain, can we report this to said Empire?" Jack asked.

"No communicators. I'm afraid we're on our own." She looked over at the Doctor. "Will he be fine? Those two seemed rather…"

"Close?" Alice nodded. "He won't be fine if we can't find her. Either way, we need to hurry before the Cybermen catch up."

"Sir." She saluted before moving off. "Quickly everyone! Only take what we need!" She ordered.


Clara's head rolled as she groaned, emerging from the drowsiness of sleep. She blinked a few times before opening her eyes, which slowly widened as she took in her new surroundings of a large, steel room with blue lighting. She tried to move; however she found her legs and arms restrained to the chair she sat in. Filled with bewilderment and fear, she gasped as she saw Webley standing before her, however he had steel across half his face, which beeped repeatedly with a blue light as he stared down at her, emotionless. "Where am I?" She asked, her fear growing by the second.

He merely smirked, despite his emotionless gaze. "We needed children, but the children had stopped coming. However, you will do nicely until we can acquire him."

"Where am I?" She repeated.

"Oh, don't worry about where we are, my dear." He mocked cooed. "You are sorely needed."

"Where am I?! What do you want with me?!" She cried.

"Hush." He placed a finger on his lips. "Listen carefully. As the battle raged between humanity and the Cyberiad, the Cyber-Planners built a Valkyrie to save critically damaged units, bring them here and one by one, repair them."

"That's where all those missing people are at, then?" She asked, anger growing to side with her terror. "You use them as scrap?"

"Ohh, that's putting it harshly. They're used to repair the army until we can acquire a new leader. Someone with a marvellous brain to be host to the new Cyber-Planner. And since we've had all this time to ourselves, we've spent so long upgrading our units. The next model will be undefeatable."

"So, why am I here?"

"We found that the perfect host for a Cyber-Planner was children. The infinite potential found within their brains was perfect for our needs. However, we no longer have need for them. The Cybermites have been scanning the brains of you and your friends. The blonde and the Time Agent are useless to us however, you and the Time Lord…you are perfect. The Time Lord's biology is utterly unique. An unfamiliar pulmonary setup, hyper conductive nervous system and remarkable brain processing speed. However, there is but one small problem…"

Clara smirked boldly. "You don't know how to convert him?"

"I'm afraid so. Cybermen take very few people, sometimes only one, but enough to scan and identify the species and how to convert them to our army. So very long ago, we started with just Humans, but we've evolved since then. Time Lords however, we've never encountered and since your friend is the only one we've found, well…we're not going to waste him on simple knowledge gathering."

"Do I need to ask again? Why am I here?"

"Haven't you figured it out?" Clara blinked at him. "You are here because without the Time Lord, you are the next best candidate for the Cyber-Planner. But we've noticed how…close you two are. If there is anyone on this planet that knows Time Lord biology, it would be you."

"What makes you think that I will tell you?"

Webley chuckled darkly, before reaching into his pockets and pulling out two handfuls of living Cybermites. "You don't need to." He said simply.

"Don't you dare." She warned. "Don't you dare!" He threw the Cybermites onto her body, which crawled over her clothes, making her tremble as she tried to shake them off. "Get them off!" She cried fruitlessly until they reached her face and started to burrow themselves. "Aaah! Stop it! Doctor! Help me! Aaah!" She screamed in agony as they drilled and drilled until-

Clara blinked as she found herself in a dark space, surrounded by symbols, with memories of her whole past from childhood to now fluttering about.

"Untie me, Webley." She blinked as she heard her own voice, yet the tone was ice cold.

"Get out of my head." She growled, receiving no answer.

"How marvellous. *Chuckles* Dear me, this girl's brain is a mess. The hormones are off the charts. I'd have to completely rework the neural interface to do anything in here. But she is remarkably clever and oh the things she's seen. Amazing."

Clara clenched her fist, gaining control of her body where she found it was standing and untied from the chair. "Get out of my head!" She demanded before she lost control. "Stop going through my mind!" She yelled, spinning around inside the empty space before stopping with a shock. Before her stood an exact replica of herself, yet with half a face of silver steel and eyes pitch black, sending cold shivers down her spine.

"You can try to stop me." Cyber Clara smirked coldly. She closed her eyes, causing pain to shoot through Clara as the memories and thoughts of her and the Doctor sped through her mind. "Clara, Clara, Clara." She tutted. "The dreams you've had of this man. Blimey, I'd blush if I actually felt anything." Clara cried as more pain shot through her, the memories now of her parents and Danny. "Dear me, you let your own parents die? You distracted your own boyfriend to his death? That is just-"

"Enough!" Clara yelled. After a moment, Cyber Clara's eyes widened before an impressed smile came onto her face.

"A complete mental block. You're learning, dear." She shrugged impassively. "Of course, I've got to get past it so it's rather a waste of time."

"What is this place? A hive? You're getting signals from every Cyberman in your whole army."

"Aw, relax Clara." She fake cooed. "If you just relax, you'll find this a perfectly pleasant experience. You're being incorporated into the Cyberiad as a Cyber-Planner."

"Get out of my head!" Clara yelled.

"Sorry. No can do, Clara. You have information that I need. Just give me what you know, and I'll set you free." She implored.

"No." Clara growled, her fear now being replaced by anger.

Cyber Clara clenched her jaw. "Then I'll have to break through your mental block to acquire that information. And once I'm done, your body will be completely useless, your brain melted away."

"And with it, the information."

Cyber Clara blinked. "What?"

Clara smirked. "You were too busy taunting me that you weren't actually looking for what you wanted. And if you try to attack my brain, which would kill me, I would quite literally take that secret to the grave. And along with it, you would die too. Webley said it himself, none of those other people are capable of being a Cyber-Planner host, so if I die and you don't get the information…your army would remain asleep. How long are they willing to wait until they can get a capable leader?" Clara taunted.

Cyber Clara clenched her fists in contained rage before sighing. "Give me one form of proof that you have the information I require."

"Fine. I'll allow you access to memories of Time Lord regeneration." Clara closed her eyes, allowing the faces of all nine Doctors to float through her head. Opening her eyes again, she stared defiantly at Cyber Clara. "Proof enough?"

"Yes. Now, Clara, Clara, Clara." Cyber Clara drawled, making her roll her eyes. "Only one of us can control this head and we're at a stalemate. You better think of something fast or I will risk losing it all for killing you."

Clara squinted her eyes before contemplating. "Stalemate." She muttered. "How much of this brain do each of us control?"

"49.881%. 0.238 is still in the balance. You should consider yourself lucky, your number was lower a minute ago." Cyber Clara said smugly.

Clara ignored the taunt. "Do you play chess?"

Cyber Clara cocked an eyebrow. "The rules of chess are in my memory banks. You're proposing that we play chess to end the stalemate?"

"Winner takes all. Neither of us can gain that portion of the brain without winning." Cyber Clara smirked before holding out her hand. "Ah-ah-ah." Clara tutted, making Cyber Clara's jaw clench. "First, the stakes."

"If I win, I can the entire of your brain without a fight, and along with everything you know about Time Lords."

"If I win, you leave my brain, deactivate yourself, your army and leave my friends and those soldiers alive and unharmed. Do we have terms and think very carefully before you answer? If you gain the Doctor's body, he could regenerate right then and there. That would burn you out of his head along with every single Cyberman that your connected to."

Cyber Clara went silent for a few moments before grinning coldly. "Oh, I'm sure of what I want."

"Then we have terms?" Clara held out her hand.

"We have terms." Cyber Clara shook her hand, then closed her eyes to gain control of her body. "Webley. Bring us a chess set."

Clara jerked as she felt control of her body again, where in front of her on a table sat the readied chess set.

"Your move."

Pawn to D4

Knight to F6

Pawn to G4

Pawn to H6

Pawn to B4

Pawn to E5

Pawn to E5, eliminates Pawn

Knight to G4, eliminates Pawn

"There. That was easy."

"The game has just started." Clara rolled her eyes.

Pawn to F3

Queen to H4, check

"Oh." Clara mouths.

"You're on a slippery slope now, Clara. You know that you can't win." Cyber Clara taunted.

"I know things you don't." Clara smirked, slyly reaching her hand into her pocket. "For example, did you know that very early in the evolution of the Cybermen, they could be disabled by exposure to certain elements like gold or cleaning fluid? What's interesting and slightly moronic is that you're still running that code."

Cyber Clara laughed with dark joy. "Really? That's your secret weapon? Cleaning fluid?"

"Nope. Gold." She smacked the golden ticket onto the steel part of her face, paralyzing Cyber Clara. "Oh, thank you Captain Jack." She sighed in relief.

"What're you doing?" Webley protested.

"Don't you dare." Clara warned and this time, he listened. "I've still got a chess game to finish but I also have friends that I need to get to. So, if you don't mind Webley, where are my friends?"

"Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle."

"Then we're going to find them."


Closing the gates to the large medieval castle, Jack and Rose walked up to the Doctor, who was standing on a balcony overlooking the outer courtyard. "Doctor?" Jack tried, not getting a response. "Doctor?"

"What?" He spat.

"We'll get her back. Okay?" The Doctor ignored him. "Okay?" He repeated.

"Okay."

Jack sighed. "Stay with him, Rose." Rose nodded slightly as Jack moved off to the soldiers. "Alright. What do we have for weapons?" Alice motioned to all their rifles and a large beam cannon. "Only one Cyber gun?"

Alice sighed. "The Cybermen have been extinct for a thousand years. Even one anti-Cyber gun is a miracle. We're lucky the rifles can actually damage them."

"Yes, until they upgrade to make them redundant."

Alice sighed before pulling out small devices out of the cases. "These are hand pulsers. Touch the back of a Cyberman's head, the electromagnetic pulse deactivates it."

"Then be sure everyone gets one." Jack saw a small case with a black device inside. "What's this?"

"The last resort. By official Imperial order, if we can't kill any identified Cybermen, we implode the planet."

"We only use it if we have no other choice. Is that clear?"

Alice rolled her eyes slightly before sighing. "Yes sir."

"Now, if we do have to use it, how does it work?"

"Trigger unit." She pulls out a small red switch and hands it to him.

"Rose." He calls, making her rush over. "Look after this."

"Why not give it to the Doctor?"

Jack looked over at his turned back. "He wouldn't agree to guarding it. He'd destroy it."

"Sir!" A soldier called, rushing over to them from the gates. "We've got two civilians outside."

"Who?" Jack asked.

"It's Miss Clara." The Doctor perked up, rushing over to them with a look of anxiety on his face.

"Is she alright? Is she okay?" He asked frantically.

"I think you'd better see for yourself, sir." The soldier said grimly, making them rush to the gates and opening them. Behind it was Clara and Webley, standing with patience.

"Clara?" The Doctor asked softly.

Clara gained a beaming look of relief at the sight of him. "Doctor." He pulls her into a tight hug, while one of the soldiers snuck up behind Webley and disabled him with a hand pulser.

"What happened to you?" He said, cradling her face in his hands.

"I'm supposed to be the Cyber-Planner."

"I'm sorry, Clara." He said, a few tears prickling his eyes.

"Now don't start, Doctor. It wasn't your fault." She quipped lightly, making him smirk. "Firstly, I need to be tied up to a chair."

He blinked. "Sorry?"

"I have a chess game to finish." She shrugged.

He blinked a few more times. "What?"

She sighed. "Long story."


Now in the throne room, Clara was tied around the waist to a chair while the chess pieces were placed back in their last positions." "Thank you." Clara said to Jack. "And I know what you're thinking, but no."

Jack frowned, trying to hide his wolfish smirk. "I didn't say anything-"

"You were thinking it. It's annoying. Stop it." She ordered like an irritated parent.

"Sorry." Jack smirked.

"Clara are you playing chess with yourself?" Rose asked.

"Yes. Cyber-Planner's in my head so we're taking turns at…well…taking our turns." She punned unintentionally. "But don't worry, I'm winning." She smiled reassuringly. "Now, in advance, I do apologise."

"For what?" Jack asked.

"For this." She ripped off the gold patch, allowing Cyber Clara to take control of her body.

"Actually, she has no better than a 25% chance of winning at this stage in the game. She made some very abysmal calls at the beginning." Cyber Clara looked up, grinning a murderous smile at them, sending cold shivers down into their hearts. "Well, hello there to you two humans and one Doctor. Fantastic!" She taunted, making his jaw clench. "I'm the Cyber-Planner."

"Clara?" Rose whimpered in fear for her friend.

"Afraid not. I'm working the mouth now. Oh, my stars!" She mocked. "You should see the state of this brain. It's a hormonal mess and it's all big ears' fault."

"My ears are fine." The Doctor growled.

"You're not Clara. What've you done to her?" Rose demanded.

"I've only entered her mind. We've yet to decide who is in charge. But…I know who you are." She smirked at Rose. "Rose Tyler. Boring little Bad Wolf from so long ago. Tell me, what would your father say if he could see you know?"

"Well, I guess this considers us even." Rose mumbled.

Cyber Clara blinked. "What do you mean?"

*Slap*

"Ow!" Clara cried. "Okay. If Jackie slaps as hard as you, I feel sorry for doofus." The Doctor smirked softly.

"Clara, the stakes. What're you fighting for?" Jack asked.

"If I win, the army deactivates, I get my mind back and we all live safe and sound. If she wins, she gets my mind and the knowledge she's after."

"What's she after?" Rose asked.

"More who." Clara grinned coldly as her eyes returned to black. "Clara's a good host for me but I know one better. Time Lord's, what an interesting yet pompous race however your brain is magnificent."

"But you don't know how to convert me?" The Doctor deducted.

"No. But you and her, this flesh girl, you're close. If anyone has the answer, it's her."

"So why haven't you fought for it?" The Doctor asked. Cyber Clara clenched her jaw, making him smirk.

"Enough." She groaned, almost childishly. "I have a chess game to finish and you have to die pointlessly, and very far from home." She closed her eyes and breathed, before flinching.

"Stop that. What're you doing?" Clara demanded.

"Waking them up." The eyes of the group before them widened.

"That wasn't in the terms!" Clara growled.

"You said to leave your friends alive and unharmed. Technically, as Cybermen, they will be alive and unharmed. Now, wakey-wakey, boys and girls. Wakey-wakey." Cyber Clara fake cooed. The group rushed from the room.


"Right. Captain?" The Doctor called as they moved over to the soldiers by the front gate. "Your platoon is armed, yes?"

"Yes."

"We'll need to be. More Cybermen are on the way."

"Doctor, what is that cable?" Rose asked, pointing down to the said cable on the ground.

Alice shrugged. "Power line."

The Doctor grinned at her. "Good observation, Rose."

"Thank you."

"Captain, unhook the end, drop it into the moat and turn it on."

"Yes sir."


King to D2

Knight to F2

Pawn to F4

Bishop to B4, eliminates Pawn

King to E3

Knight to D1, eliminates Queen

King to D4

Pawn to D5

King to D5, eliminates Pawn

Pawn to B5

Bishop to G2

Bishop to B7, check

Clara clenched her jaw as the end game came closer. "Emotions, Clara Oswald. Don't you see? They are a weakness." Cyber Clara growled. "And now, I will show you exactly why."


"Hey, Rose!"

"I'll see what she wants." Rose shrugged.

"Wait then." Alice said. "Jackson!" She called to a nearby soldier, a young man with short brown hair.

"Yes ma'am?"

"Go with her. I need you two here." Alice said to the Doctor and Clara.

"Fine. But if she's in danger-"

"You're free to rush to her help. Yeah, I know." Alice rolled her eyes playfully, making them grin.

"Be careful, Rose."

"Sure will." She said before leaving with Jackson.


They entered the room, seeing Clara in control. "Rose, you know the Cybermen are coming, right?'

"Yes."

"Will you be fine?" She asked.

"Yeah."

Clara shrugged. "Well? What do you have?"

"One big gun, a bunch of those hand pulsers and a big, black bomb that implodes the planet."

"And I'm going to guess that said bomb has a remote?"

"Yeah." She pulled it out with her right arm.

"Great. Pass it here."

"No."

"Why not?"

"In case you're not you right now."

"Don't worry. The Cyber-Planner's hibernating between moves right now." She put her finger to her lips playfully.

"Prove you're you. Tell me something that only Clara knows." Rose said, placing both her hands on the table.

Clara took a deep breath. "Rose. I suppose…I'm the only one who knows how I feel about you right now."

Rose blinked incredulously. "Nice try. But I know who Clara likes."

*Slap*

Clara clicked her jaw, looking back at her with her eyes turning black. "Oh, Rose." She fake cooed, holding up her hand, showing the trigger, making her Rose's eyes widen. "You shouldn't have done that." She crushed it in her hands, turning it into dust, before grinning coldly and snatching Rose's arm in a tight grip.

"Doctor!" Rose called. "Doctor! Jack!"

"Let her go!" Jackson ordered, aiming the rifle at her head. "Let her go or I will fire!"

"Too bad." Cyber Clara smirked before shoving Rose to the ground. Snatching the gun, she yanked hard, making Jackson stumble before she smacked his face with it. He collapsed to his knees with a groan beside her as she grasped his neck with one hand, choking him while the gun was tossed aside with the other.

"Rose! Rose!" The Doctor called as he, Jack and Alice rushed into the room. "Let him go!"

"No."

"Let him go now!"

"No."

"Don't kill him, please!"

"Sorry, Clara."

"Please! Don't do this!"

"Actually, I'm not sorry." Cyber Clara grinned coldly before grasping his neck with both hands and snapping it, making Jackson tumble to the ground dead. Switching back to Clara, she looked down at her hands with horror, trying and failing to find any words. She jerked again as Cyber Clara took back control, the group watching them with shock.

Inside their head, Clara sank to her knees, starting to cry. Cyber Clara knelt beside her with a look of impassivity. "Why?" Clara cried. "Why did you have to do that?"

"I didn't." Cyber Clara said simply. Clara stared at her with wide, tear filled eyes. "I could've let him live if I wanted to, but I didn't. I'm trying to make you see, Clara. To give you a choice."

"What choice?" Clara choked.

"Do you know what being a Cyberman feels like?" Clara shook her head. "Nothing. There's nothing to feel, because you don't need to feel. I've seen your memories, Clara. Even after all this time, you're still sad over your parents. As a Cyberman, you don't have to be anymore." She stood up, holding a hand to Clara. "Join us. And you won't need to feel pain, sadness or guilt anymore."

Clara sniffed, staring up at her for a few moments of contemplation. Finally, wiping the tears from her face to create a mask, she stood up and crossed her arms. "No." She said finally.

Cyber Clara rolled her eyes. "You answer in weakness or strength? Doesn't matter anymore. Your friends are now going to die and all you can do, my dear," She mocked, "is watch. And I'm afraid that when all this is over, you will not be getting a painless death." Cyber Clara grinned coldly at her. "I've learnt so much in this head of yours, but now, it's time of the