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The Beginning of Forever

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As soon as the TARDIS landed on Earth, the Doctor strode out, muttering to himself as he approached a milkman. “It's fine. Everything's fine. Nothing's wrong, all fine. Excuse me. What day is it?”

“Saturday,” the man replied, looking at the Doctor as though he was mad.

Thankful he hadn’t done something really odd like ask what year it was, Rose followed the Doctor out as he said, “Saturday. Good, I like Saturdays.”

“Do you really think that was Mickey?” Rose asked. “Like our Mickey?”

“Yeah,” he nodded.

“But he’s in Pete’s World, and I thought we couldn’t travel between universes anymore,” Rose replied.

“Exactly. If he can cross from his parallel world to your parallel world, then that means the walls of the universe are breaking down, which puts everything in danger. Everything. But how?” the Doctor asked, striding back into the TARDIS.

Seconds after Rose shut the door behind her, the TARDIS began to shake. Everyone grabbed the nearest coral strut and hung on for the few seconds it lasted. “What the hell was that?” Donna asked.

“Don’t know,” the Doctor said, before looking at his fiancée. “Rose?”

“The Old Girl says it wasn’t her,” Rose shrugged.

“Well, then it came from outside,” the Doctor said, moving back to the doors and throwing them open. Everyone crowded around behind him, staring out at the empty void.

“But we're in space. How did that happen? What did you do?” Donna exclaimed.

The Doctor ran back to the console and checked it. “We haven’t moved. We’re fixed. It can’t have. No. The TARDIS is still in the same place, but the Earth has gone. The entire planet. It’s gone.”

Donna started pacing back and forth in the TARDIS, getting more and more upset by the second. “But if the Earth's been moved, they've lost the Sun. What about my Mum? And Granddad? They're dead, aren't they? Are they dead?”

“And Sarah Jane and Luke, and Aunt Martha, and everybody!” Jenny exclaimed, turning to look at her mother.

“I don’t think they’re dead,” Rose said soothingly.

“How do you know that?” Jenny asked her mum.

“I don’t, but I just have a feeling. And usually, those are right. I don’t know if it’s intuition or Bad Wolf, but I’m gonna trust it,” Rose said before making eye contact with the Doctor and adding telepathically, “Because I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t.”

“There's no readings. Nothing. Not a trace. Not even a whisper. Oh, that is fearsome technology,” the Doctor mumbled, staring at the console, but Rose knew he understood based on the telepathic wave of sympathy she got from him. She knew this was just his way of coping by trying to fix the problem.

“So what do we do now, Dad?” Jenny asked, looking over his shoulder.

“We’ve got to get help,” he replied, starting to set the coordinates.

“From where?” Donna asked.

“I'm taking you all to the Shadow Proclamation. Hold tight,” he said, throwing a lever.

“I thought that was a document? Like a constitution?” Rose asked.

“Is someone gonna tell me what it is?” Donna said, crossing her arms and looking at them.

“Posh name for police. Outer space police. They made the rules, so we just named them after the group,” the Doctor explained. “Now, Jenny press that button there, and Rose, hold that lever steady. Here we go.”

They landed in a long, plain corridor. A platoon of Judoon was waiting to greet them, guns at the ready. “Sco bo tro no flo jo ko fo to to,” the leader demanded.

“No bo ho sho ko ro to so. Bokodozogobofopojo,” the Doctor replied. Immediately all the Judoon stood at attention. “Moho.”

As they followed the Judoon away, Jenny and Donna both shot Rose a confused look. She shrugged in return. The TARDIS wasn’t translating for her any more than she was for them. The TARDIS just really did not like Judoon.

**********************************************************************************************************************

An hour later, the four of them were in a large room, watching a silver-haired woman pace the room. The girls were all sitting on the steps, having been continuously ignored by all present. “Time Lords are the stuff of legend. They belong in the myths and whispers of the Higher Species. You cannot possibly exist,” the Architect said, staring at the Doctor.

He sighed, “Yeah. More to the point, I’ve got a missing planet.”

“Then you're not as wise as the stories would say. The picture is far bigger than you imagine. The whole universe is in outrage, Doctor. Twenty-four worlds have been taken from the sky,” she replied.

“How many? Which ones? Show me,” he demanded, following her over to the screen.

Jenny jumped up to follow her father over, but Rose held her back. The Doctor had warned them not to mention that Jenny was a Time Lady and that Rose was…whatever she was. He didn’t exactly trust the Shadow Proclamation, and he wasn’t about to have them using his family.

“Locations range far and wide, but all disappeared at the exact same moment, leaving no trace,” the Architect said, pointing to the list of planets.

“Callufrax Minor. Jahoo. Shallacatop. Woman Wept. Clom. Clom's gone? Who'd want Clom?” The Doctor turned to look at Rose and she just screwed up her face and shook her head.

“Nope, don’t even want to think about Clom,” she laughed.

“What’s Clom?” Jenny asked, sure she hadn’t heard about that one from her parents.

“Twin planet to Raxicoricofallipatorius,” Rose replied. “Met an Absorbaloff from there. Not a memory I want to relive.”

Ignoring the Rose and Jenny, the Architect continued. “All different sizes. Some populated, some not. But all unconnected.”

“What about Pyrovillia?” Donna asked.

The Architect scowled and looked at the Doctor. “Who are these females?”

“Donna. I'm a human being. Maybe not the stuff of legend but every bit as important as Time Lords, thank you. Way back, when we were in Pompeii, Lucius said Pyrovillia had gone missing,” Donna snapped.

“And this female’s gonna slap ya if you keep calling her female,” Rose growled.

“Rose,” the Doctor said, warningly. He really did not need the Shadow Proclamation finding out about the Bad Wolf, and he could feel her control slipping. She was doing a good job of hiding how scared she was about her friends from Donna and Jenny, but he knew that even though she was pretty sure they were fine, the longer it took to find them the less sure she was.

Rose held up her hands in mock surrender, turning her attention to the Judoon that said, “Pyrovillia is cold case. Not relevant.”

“How do you mean, cold case?” Donna asked.

“The planet Pyrovillia cannot be part of this. It disappeared over two thousand years ago,” the Architect argued.

“Yes, yes, hang on. But there's the Adipose breeding planet, too. Miss Foster said that was lost, but that must've been a long time ago,” Donna added.

“That's it! Donna, brilliant. Planets are being taken out of time as well as space. Let's put this into 3-D,” the Doctor said as scaled holograms of the planets began to appear around the room. “Now, if we add Pyrovillia and Adipose Three…”

“Something’s missing,” Jenny said, jumping up and looking at the holograms. “I can’t explain it, but it just looks like something’s missing.”

“You’re right,” the Doctor said, looking around. “Hmmm…. Something missing. Where else, where else, where else? Where else lost, lost, lost, lost. Oh! The Lost Moon of Poosh.”

As the last planet appeared, the holograms began realigning themselves. “What did you do?” the architect asked.

“Nothing. The planets rearranged themselves into the optimum pattern. Oh, look at that. Twenty-seven planets in perfect balance. Come on, that is gorgeous,” he grinned.

“Oi, don't get all spaceman. What does it mean?” Donna asked.

“All those worlds fit together like pieces of an engine. It's like a powerhouse. What for?” the Doctor muttered to himself.

“Who could design such a thing?” the Architect asked.

“Someone tried to move the Earth once before. Long time ago. Can't be…” The Doctor said, suddenly looking at Rose with panic shining clearly in his eyes.

**********************************************************************************************************************

Rose and Donna went back to where they had been sitting on the stairs. Rose had given up on trying to keep Jenny with her, mostly because she sensed that the Doctor needed her near him right then. There was only one thing Rose had ever seen put that kind of panic into his eyes.

Suddenly, an albino woman offered a tray to her and Donna. “You need sustenance. Take the water, it purifies.”

“Thank you,” Rose smiled.

“There was something on your back,” the albino said, looking curiously at Rose.

“How do you know that?” Rose asked.

“You are something new,” the albino replied simply.

“What do you mean?” Rose asked nervously.

“There is something of the wolf about you, just below the surface,” the woman said quickly, bowing to Rose before scurrying up the stairs.

“Wait,” Rose called, but the woman was gone.

“Donna, come on, think. Earth. There must've been some sort of warning. Was anything happening back in your day, like electrical storms, freak weather, patterns in the sky?” the Doctor yelled.

“Well, how should I know? Er, no. I don't think so, no,” Donna replied.

“Oh, okay, never mind,” he sighed, starting to pace the room.

“Although, there were the bees disappearing,” Donna said.

“The bees disappearing. The bees disappearing. The bees disappearing!” he exclaimed, jumping up.

“How is that significant?” the Architect asked.

“On Earth we had these insects. Some people said it was pollution or mobile phone signals,” Donna explained.

“Or, they were going back home,” the Doctor grinned.

“Hold on. I’ve been traveling with you for how long, and you never mentioned that bees are alien?” Rose said, standing next to her fiancé.

“Don't be so daft. Not all of them. But if the migrant bees felt something coming, some sort of danger, and escaped? Tandocca,” he rambled, taking off in the direction of the TARDIS.

“The Tandocca Scale,” the Architect nodded.

“Tandocca Scale is the series of wavelengths used as a carrier signals by migrant bees. Infinitely small. No wonder we didn't see it. It's like looking for a speck of cinnamon in the Sahara, but look, there it is. The Tandocca trail. The transmat that moved the planets was using the same wavelength, we can follow the path,” the Doctor explained.

“And find the Earth?. Well, stop talking and do it,” Donna ordered as they followed him into the TARDIS.

“I am,” he replied. “We're a bit late. The signal's scattered, but it's a start.”

He stuck his head out the door to address the Architect. “I've got a blip. It's just a blip, But it's definitely a blip.”

“Then according to the Strictures of the Shadow Proclamation, I will have to seize your transport and your technology,” the Architect said.

“Oh, really? What for?” he asked.

“The planets were stolen with hostile intent. We are declaring war, Doctor, right across the universe, and you will lead us into battle,” she smiled.

“Right, yes. Course I will. I’ll just go and get you the key,” he said, ducking back into the TARDIS.

The Doctor dashed back to the console and started putting in the directions for following the blip to the Earth. “Now do you see why I couldn’t let them find out you were a Time Lady, Jenny? Or that your mum was…special?”

“They thought you were going to lead them into war? Do they honestly know anything about you?” Jenny asked.

“I’ve fought in a war before, you know that,” he said quietly. “And if I’m right, which I hope I’m not, it was against the same beings that took the Earth.”

Before anyone could reply, Rose looked at the time rotor. “It’s stopped.”

“What do you mean? Is that good or bad? Where are we?”

“The Medusa Cascade. I came here when I was just a kid, ninety years old. It was the centre of a rift in time and space,” the Doctor explained.

“So, where are the twenty-seven planets?” Jenny asked.

“Nowhere. The Tandocca Trail stops dead. End of the line,” he said, bowing his head and leaning on the TARDIS console.

“Come on,” Rose said, quietly slipping up behind him and wrapping her arms around him. She pressed her face into his shoulder blade and said, “You never give up. Not when people need you. And they do. All the people of those 27 planets. And maybe even the universe. Our friends are down there, and you never let our friends down. So come on. What are we going to do?”

Suddenly, Rose’s mobile starting ringing. “Phone!”

“The only people that could possibly have that number are all on Earth,” Jenny exclaimed.

“It’s a signal,” the Doctor grinned.

“Can we follow it?” Rose asked.

“Oh, just watch me,” the Doctor grinned, plugging Rose’s mobile into the TARDIS console. “Got it. Locking on.”

Suddenly, the TARDIS started to spark and bang around. “We're travelling through time. One second in the future. The phone call's pulling us through,” the Doctor explained, pressing buttons to try to help the TARDIS out.

When he pulled a mallet from under the console, Rose immediately grabbed it. “What have I told you about these?” she huffed before turning to the console and running a soothing hand along it. “It’s okay, Old Girl. I won’t let the mean man hit you.”

“Rose!” the Doctor whinged.

She rolled her eyes and read the screen, announcing the TARDIS’s countdown. “Three, two, one.”

Suddenly, the shaking stopped as the twenty-seven planets popped into existence around them. The screen now showed all of the planets, with the Earth centered on it. “Twenty-seven planets. And there's the Earth. But why couldn't we see them?”

“The entire Medusa Cascade has been put a second out of sync with the rest of the universe. Perfect hiding place. Tiny little pocket of time. But we found them. Ooo, ooo, ooo, what's that? Hold on, hold on. Some sort of Subwave Network,” the Doctor said, typing on the console. Suddenly the screen split into four parts, with them on one corner, Jack on another, Martha on yet another, and Sarah Jane on the last corner.

“Where the hell have you been?” Jack asked.

“Sorry, Jack, you’re a hard man to find,” Rose grinned, her tongue pocking out of the corner of her smile.

Jack, however, didn’t smile back. “Doctor, Rose. It’s the Daleks.”

Behind him, a woman said, “Oh, he's a bit nice. I thought he'd be older.”

“Oi, he’s taken,” Rose said at the same time that a man behind Jack said, “He’s not that young.”

Ignoring them all, Sarah Jane said, “It's the Daleks. They're taking people to their spaceship.”

“It’s not just Dalek Caan,” Martha added.

Suddenly, the scanner went blank. “Oh, we’ve lost them,” Donna sighed.

“No, no, no, no, no. There's another signal coming through. There's someone else out there. Hello? Can you hear me?” the Doctor asked.

“Mickey?” Rose asked, hopefully.

“Your voice is different, and yet its arrogance is unchanged,” a voice called from the darkness before a hideous face finally filled the screen. “Welcome to my new Empire, Doctor. It is only fitting that you should bear witness to the resurrection and the triumph of Davros, lord and creator of the Dalek race.”

“Doctor?” Donna asked, noticing how rigid he had gone.

“Have you nothing to say?” Davros taunted.

“It’s alright. We’re in the TARDIS, we’re safe,” Jenny said, taking her dad’s hand.

He pushed her behind him, desperate to get her away from the camera. It was too late for Rose, and besides, there was a good chance the Daleks already knew about her. But he could protect Jenny a little bit longer.

“But you were destroyed. In the very first year of the Time War, at the Gates of Elysium. I saw your command ship fly into the jaws of the Nightmare Child. I tried to save you,” the Doctor muttered, unable to take his eyes off Davros.

“But it took one stronger than you. Dalek Caan himself,” Davros said, pointing behind him to the monstrous Dalek behind him. Dalek Caan was no longer inside his shell, and his Dalek self was mangled to the point of looking wrong, even for a Dalek.

“I flew into the wild and fire. I danced and died a thousand times,” Dalek Caan laughed.

“Emergency Temporal Shift took him back into the Time War itself,” Davros explained.

“But that's impossible. The entire War is timelocked,” the Doctor argued.

“And yet he succeeded. Oh, it cost him his mind, but imagine. A single, simple Dalek succeeded where Emperors and Time Lords have failed. A testament, don't you think, to my remarkable creations?” Davros grinned.

“And you made a new race of Daleks,” the Doctor spat.

“I gave myself to them, quite literally. Each one grown from a cell of my own body,” Davros said, opening his shirt to reveal his ribs, bare but for a few nerves and his internal organs. “New Daleks. True Daleks. I have my children, Doctor. What do you have, now?”

“After all this time, everything we saw, everything we lost, I have only one thing to say to you. Bye!” the Doctor said, throwing a lever and disconnecting the signal as the TARDIS flew off.

The four of them stepped out of the TARDIS onto an empty street. “It’s like a ghost town,” Donna whispered.

“Sarah Jane said they were taking the people. What for? Think, Rose. When you met Mickey in that parallel world, what did he say?”

“That the stars are going out. But I wish I knew what he meant,” Rose huffed.

Suddenly, the Doctor’s face broke into a grin as he stared at something behind Rose. “Well, why don’t you ask him?”

Rose turned around to see Mickey standing at the other end of the street, holding the biggest gun she’s ever seen. He slung it around his back as he smiled, and the two of them took off toward each other. Before Rose could reach Mickey though, a Dalek screamed, “Exterminate!”

The shot just barely grazed her, but the energy was enough. Rose knew it would kill her as she fell to the ground. Vaguely, she registered something blowing up the Dalek, but she couldn’t move enough to look and see what had happened.

Kneeling next to her, Mickey sobbed, “Hey, babe. I’ve got you. You’re gonna be fine.”

“Mickey,” she grinned.

“Hi,” he laughed as tears started running down his face. “This isn’t exactly how I pictured this going.”

“It never is,” Rose muttered weakly.

The Doctor raced over and scooped Rose up. “Into the TARDIS. All of you.”

Mickey followed the Doctor in, noticing that Jack was there, holding a rather large gun himself. He must have been the one to take out the Dalek. He also briefly noticed two other women, but he was far more focused on Rose. “Can you save her?”

“No,” the Doctor said, laying Rose down on the grating.

Jenny sat down behind Rose and scooped her mum’s head into her lap. She was fighting hard to keep it together, and the Doctor pressed a kiss to her forehead. “It’ll be okay, sweetie.”

“I know,” Jenny whispered.

Donna was hugging Jack, and the Doctor wasn’t sure if it was for comfort, or just an excuse to hug Jack, but he wasn’t in the mood to warn either of them off something as normal for them as flirting as he watched Rose’s lifeless body.

“Aren’t you going to do something?” Mickey screamed. “That’s Rose! You promised you would keep her safe.”

“Mickey, there’s nothing I can do,” the Doctor said. “It’s up to her now.”

“Up to her? Doctor, she’s dead!” Mickey exclaimed, gesturing behind him to her to prove his point.

Suddenly, a large gasp made Mickey turn around and stare in shock.

“Sorry about that,” Rose said to Mickey, before turning to Jack and scrunching her nose up in disgust. “Daleks. Not my favorite way to die.”