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Defender of Earth

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Defender of the Earth

By Lumendea

 Chapter One: Horath Academy: Changes with Time

 

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters. Of course I give them happy ending so they’d probably be happier with me in the long run.

 

AN: Welcome to the second story in the Guardians of the Universe series. If you haven’t read The Blonde Girl then I strongly urge you to go and read it first. Thank you to Natsumi Tsuchi-Ookami for doing major edits and corrections for this story.

………………………..

 

Rose Marion Tyler was sixteen years old and very relaxed as she painted on the roof of Powell Estates. She now had a full size folding easel that she would take up to the roof so she could enjoy painting in the sunlight and without fumes building up in her bedroom or Jackie poking her head in. Between the Doctor’s encouragement all those years ago, being saved by her own painting at the International Gallery and Jackie’s constant praise, Rose had kept painting as her major hobby. At the moment, she was just creating an outline on a new canvas of what she wanted to create. This time it was a simple landscape with a chain of mountains on the left side that opened into a plain on the right. Of course, she knew that as the process went on she’d change many of the details, but it gave her a place to start.

 

It had been a year since Eve left planet Earth in her restored spaceship with her father and Rose had received Eve’s letter by a special delivery. Rose had assumed that the letter would be the only one of its kind, but the day she had gotten her results from her Year 10 exams another letter had arrived once again promising great results for her final GCSE exams the next year. As much as Rose had faith in Eve’s abilities to see the timelines, given that her friend had apparently written a large stack of letters and arranged for them to all be delivered on particular days, she still made a point of working hard to ensure those good marks rather than making assumptions. Year 11 of school had been intense with more of their ever advancing courses for the GCSE exams. Rose, Sharon and Shareen had finished that stage in school only a month ago and were enjoying the calm period before results came. Then they would start their studies for A-Levels in hopes of scoring well enough to get into a good university.

 

Rose pushed thoughts of school out of her head and returned her focus to the new drawing before her. She didn’t need to be worrying about that just yet. The last month had been rough enough and Rose really wasn’t sure if she’d be calm enough to achieve those results that Eve promised. Sometimes it still seemed like too much to hope for or expect. Setting aside the charcoal piece, Rose turned to her box of supplies and pulled out a few tubes of paint to start mixing a base colour.

 

If you asked Rose herself, she probably would have shrugged off the idea that she had grown into a very special young woman. At the age of sixteen, she possessed a trim figure from her continued kickboxing lessons, although at the beginning of summer she had signed up for the new Kung Fu lessons being offered at the nearby sports centre. She hadn’t progressed very far, but her teacher was a big believer in calm and control which frustrated many students, but Rose enjoyed the challenge of mixing the mental and physical in a new way. She had a love of challenging and new experiences. The only downside to the new lessons was that Shareen had started humming ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ whenever Rose entered into a room.

 

Rose’s appearance had changed very little from age of fifteen except in a few small ways. She had grown another half inch but was starting to accept that she was probably never going to be taller than average. Which she was definitely a bit disappointed about. Her hair was longer, reaching past her shoulders now with a very soft curl to it that pleased Rose, but it had an odd colour mixture to it that was added to by the time she spent out in the sun in the summer. Rose’s habit of painting and studying on the sunny roof had made most of her hair blonde without the use of product, but there remained a few strands of stubborn brown hair and Rose had developed slightly red highlights that Jackie determined she must have gotten from her ginger father. Jackie loved to remark on the fact Rose managed to be a brunette, blonde and ginger all at once even if most people just would have insisted that she was blonde.

 

In another break from her mother’s beauty habits, Rose rarely wore makeup beyond a touch of concealer, hint of eye shadow and a dab of lip gloss unless it was a special occasion. Even then she tried to keep it natural and light finding a serious makeup routine too annoying to deal with around her busy schedule. Shareen, who loved makeup, liked to remark that paint smears were Rose’s form of makeup and Rose would laugh and reply that her makeup really said something about her. Honestly, Rose just didn’t have the patience for it and preferred spending the money on other things. There were always new books at the nearby second-hand store or she needed new paints or there was something needing fixing in the flat.

 

In reality, Rose wouldn’t agree that she had changed much in the last year. She still worked a few hours at the little computer repair shop down the road and was trusted enough to help build custom computers now rather than just fixing little problems and cleaning. Rose still split the money between a saving account, art supplies, book shopping and her kickboxing lessons. She still didn’t understand the boys in the area who kept asking her out despite clearly being a bit afraid of her. Only a couple of years before they’d been teasing her about reading all the time.

 

Still, her Mum was pretty insistent that Rose socialises with them on occasion. Jackie had set her up on dates with the children of her own friends a couple of time and Rose had agreed to go out with the area boys a few times, but it never went well and usually ended with Rose pushing away an overly forward boy’s hand. Rose was a bit embarrassed that she still hadn’t had a first kiss yet at the age of sixteen when Sharon’s had been at age thirteen, Shareen’s at age fourteen and her mother’s at age fifteen. But they were all just so… boring!

 

And contrary to what other people thought, Rose was aware that Mickey Smith watched her a lot and took every chance he had to talk with her. Rose didn’t mind him as much. Mickey was sweet and didn’t push his luck. To her, there was just always something more interesting to do. Like painting on the roof on a lovely day like this.

 

As the day rolled on, Rose painted a base coat on the new work. She put a dark blue layer down for the mountains and a simple lighter green for the hillside. There was a shape of grey for the building in the corner and a blue for the water. Rose even had enough time to start filling in the vague shapes before she packed up her things. She grabbed the simple box she used for her supplies and carefully collapsed her easel before heading down the stairs. Jackie glanced up at Rose as she walked into their flat with a smile. Mrs Williams who was sitting in a chair in front of Jackie with foil in her hair waved at Rose. She nodded in a friendly manner as she brought her things inside and greeted her mother with a smile before walking to her room to escape the smell of Jackie’s hair supplies.

 

Rose quickly put her things back into place and put the still wet painting on the small desktop easel to finish drying. Stretching, Rose flopped down on her bed and stared up at her painted star and planet ceiling. The small bedroom had evolved right along with Rose over the last few years. Many of the wall paintings had been painted over with fresh ideas in the last year as Rose’s skill improved. The ceiling’s images of planets and stars had been refined with some metallic paint forming comet tails and an image of a nebula. Her short bookshelf had been replaced with one that went to the ceiling and was now filled with books on any subject that caught Rose’s fancy. Used textbooks that Rose bought in the used bookshops were crammed alongside art history, mathematics, literature classics and technology books in no particular order, no matter how many times Rose promised herself that she’d organise them. This wasn’t to say that Rose lacked normal teenager qualities. Her desk doubled as her vanity with a drawer full of subtle makeup tones that Rose preferred to her mother’s exaggerated style. Pictures of her friends and classmates lined the edge of her full-length mirror and her latest stack of clean laundry was sitting in Rose’s small chair by the window where she liked to read still waiting to be put away. A stack of CDs was perched precariously next to the stereo and a stray tube of lip gloss had rolled into the middle of the floor by the door.

 

Lounging on the bed, Rose sighed and let her eyes fall shut as she tried to block out the noise from the rest of the estate. There were crying babies, the sounds of the telly, music and sadly one argument. It was the familiar if sometimes annoying musical of her home. Her breathing evened out as she relaxed over the next few minutes. A knock on her door made her groan slightly and sit up as Jackie poked her head in.

 

“What do you want for dinner sweetheart?”

 

“How about I cook tonight,” Rose suggested. She rolled her shoulders and gave her mum a smile. “Those cookbooks I studied have given me a lot of ideas.”

 

“You cook all the time now,” Jackie reminded her. She looked a bit put out. “I don’t mind Rose.”

 

“Mum,” Rose paused, “I love you.”

 

“But you hate my cooking,” Jackie finished.

 

“Most of it,” Rose admitted with a sheepish smile and a shrug. “But you made the best tea in the whole of London. And you make great Shepard’s pie, but we had that only two nights ago.”

 

Shaking her head, Jackie sighed. “I suppose I’ll take what I can get.”

 

“Then why are complaining about your kid doing most of the cooking?” Rose asked with a smirk. “Isn’t that one of the things about me that you brag about?”

 

“True, very true.” Jackie made a humming sound as if lost in thought. Then she grinned. “Alright then, Rose you can cook dinner.”

 

Rose grinned widely at her mother as Jackie retreated from the room and closed the door. She leaned back on her bed again and pulled out her diary. Tapping her pen against the cover, Rose bit her lip slightly. She had an odd feeling that she wasn’t managing to track back to anything particular. Work that morning had been calm, she had eaten lunch with Sharon and Shareen and spent her later afternoon painting, but all day something seemed just the slightest bit off. Flipping open her diary Rose began to record her fairly calm day, but even as she was writing she was certain that something was coming.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Two: Horath Academy: UNIT Knocks

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………………..

It was early afternoon on the sixteenth of June and Rose was lounging in front of the television, waiting for her hair to dry with a fan blowing next to her. She had come home from sparring at the centre and taken a nice cool shower in hopes of beating the summer heat. Sadly, nothing seemed to be on the telly and Rose was making plans in her head of what to do next. Her mother was out shopping with Bev and wouldn't be back for hours. Outside the window, she could hear the shouting and yelling of the younger children playing football in the courtyard.

A knock on the door drew her attention away from the telly and she quickly hit the power button on the remote as she stood up. Rose straightened her shirt quickly as she walked over the door. Opening it up, she froze at the sight of a man in the black UNIT uniform with the red cap on his head. He was Caucasian with stern features who gave Rose a quick glance over before his face became even sterner.

“Good afternoon Miss Tyler,” the man greeted. His tone was polite and he quickly presented her with his UNIT identification card. Rose recognized the uniform and the id cards from her last meeting them. “I am Sergeant Williams of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce.”

“I know,” Rose said. She looked around him at the stairwell to make sure no was watching, “I recognise the uniform.”

“Colonel Adams requests your presence at headquarters,” Sergeant Williams continued. He didn’t at seem bothered at her uneasy. “I am to take you there are once.”

“If those are your orders then it clearly isn't really a request,” Rose said. She frowned, but the sergeant didn’t say anything in response. “Give me a moment to put on some shoes.” Down the walkway, Rose heard a door open. “And come inside. I don’t need any more rumours around here.”

Rose allowed the man to step inside the flat while she grabbed a pair of trainers and pulled them on. She quickly pulled her still slightly damp hair back into a ponytail and glanced at the mirror. Her jeans and long purple t-shirt with the periodic table on it were not going to impress anyone. Still, they hadn’t exactly given her any warning. Shrugging, Rose quickly wrote a note to her mother that she had gone out and grabbed her phone and keys.

Sergeant Williams lead Rose down to the street where a black car was parked and another soldier sat in the driver's seat. He briefly glanced at Rose before a sharp look from the Sergeant made him turn his eyes forward again. The kids in the courtyard looked over at Rose and leaned closer to each other to start whispering. Rose held back a grimace and wondered just how she was going to explain this one. Enough people thought she was weird as it was.

“Do me a favour,” Rose said to the Sergeant as she climbed into the back seat of the car. “Come in civilian clothing next time someone needs to talk to me or better yet just call.”

The driver chuckled softly and gave Rose a quick smile in the rearview mirror, which helped her relax. The Sergeant climbed into the passenger seat next to the driver without a word. A moment later they merged into traffic and Rose sighed softly as she leaned back in the seat. It was a very comfortable car, honestly one of the nicest Rose had ever been in, but nerves were twisting in Rose’s gut. Nothing weird had happened since Eve so why did UNIT want to see her?

Neither of the men in the front of the car said anything to her as they drove through the busy streets of London. Rose amused herself looking at the window and watching the people on the sidewalks going about their normal lives. They were completely unaware of so much of the world and she couldn't help but smile a little that she had been given the chance to understand more of the world than most.

After crossing Tower Bridge, they pulled into an underground tunnel near the Tower of London where another UNIT guard checked the car before allowing them entry. Rose recognised the parking area where she had been brought after the Mona Lisa Incident over two years ago. A woman in the UNIT uniform opened her door and gave her a nod.

“Welcome back to UNIT Headquarters Miss Tyler,” the woman said. “I am Lieutenant Erisa Magambo, please follow me.”

Rose followed the rather intimidating woman up the stairs, glancing back only once at the car and the Sergeant. Lieutenant Magambo led Rose into a different area than she had been taken last time and into a lift. The Lieutenant swiped a card and pressed one of the buttons before she folded her hands behind her and calmly waited for them to reach their floor. Rose shifted slightly, trying not to show discomfort at how quiet and formal everyone was here. The lift doors opened with a ding revealing a clean grey hallway with office doors. Lieutenant Magambo led her into the hall and took a sharp right before walking up to a door that had two guards, one of either side. The two guards saluted her and stepped aside as one of them opened the door and announced them to whoever was inside. Rose glanced quickly at the plate on the door before it opened the whole way for them, it read Colonel Jason Adams.

Lieutenant Magambo remained in the doorway but motioned for Rose to step inside. Rose straightened her posture and forced herself to relax her tense muscles, an act that actually got a small smile from the Lieutenant. She walked into the room trying to seem confident and politely greeted the man in uniform that rose from his seat. The Colonel was in his mid-forties with sandy brown hair that only had a few strand of grey in it. He was attractive, tall and was clearly comfortable in his uniform. Reaching out, he shook Rose's hand and introduced himself to her before suggesting that she sit down.

“I am sorry for calling you so suddenly and without warning, but I do not wish the information I am about to give you to go outside of UNIT.” The Colonel paused and Rose nodded, detecting that it was the reaction he wanted. “The fact is that UNIT requires your assistance with an interesting and delicate matter.” Rose raised an eyebrow slightly. “Now normally ordering the assistance of a minor would be out of the question, but the situation requires we take action.”

“Hold on,” Rose interrupted, “One what do you mean by order the assistance and two what is the situation?”

The Colonel frowned at her interruption but forced his features back into a neutral state before continuing, “The Unified Intelligence Taskforce has the power to order the assistance of any human on Earth in the name of Homeworld Security. It is the situation we find ourselves in that makes bringing a minor in necessary.”

The Colonel stood and picked up a remote from a shelf near his desk and hit a button. The lights dimmed slightly the wall opened to reveal a screen. A moment later an image of an old and large brick building surrounded by trees appeared. There were a couple of outer buildings, a tennis court and what might be stables around the building.

“This is the Horath Academy, located a few hours outside of London,” Adams said. “We’ve been receiving troubling reports from the area. However, we lack evidence to launch a full-scale investigation of the Academy. It is a sixth form boarding college and you are about to start your own sixth form in preparation for A-Levels. I want you to attend the Academy and report anything odd you find to us.”

“What?” Rose blinked at him, the words echoing strangely in her head.

“Under the UNIT protocols I am ordering you to assist in an investigation Miss Tyler,” the colonel said impatiently.

Without waiting for her to respond he started the presentation up again, going over the main staff of the school and explaining that UNIT had submitted her school records for consideration along with her artistic and work resume. He was confident that Rose's mix of excellent grades in math and science along with her artistic achievements would secure a spot for her at the academy.

Rose was frowning at the Colonel, in reality, she would have been glad to help if he had asked. Once the danger had passed, she looked back on her experiences with aliens as exciting and special events and frankly she had been bored since Eve left. Plus a boarding school might be just the key to acing her exams. However, this whole forcing citizens to travel away from their families was not giving her a good feeling about this situation or the way UNIT was handling it. Captain Mace may not have been the friendliest man she ever knew, but at least he had been respectful. She forced herself to remain calm while she took the file from the Colonel and flipped through it.

“So why do you suspect alien activity at the school?” Rose asked.

“The test grades of the students are at the top, the students they take it go from average to brilliant.”

“Maybe it is just a good school,” Rose suggested. “That is the point of attending an expensive boarding school.”

“Perhaps, but this is a new school,” Adams said. “It opened only two years ago. We believe the resumes and histories of the staff to be forged and shortly before the school opened there were reports of strange lights.”

“Strange lights.” Rose raised an eyebrow and gave him a doubtful look. “Is that all?”

“Our suspicions are based on many small things Miss Tyler. Students seem to be different to their families in addition to high test scores, the staff papers are forged and they are accepting an odd mix of students, but nothing is absolute.” Colonel Adams said with a nod. “That is why our ability to investigate is so limited in this situation. Permission has been given for UNIT to pay for you to attend the school and give you some training before dispatching you.”

“Whoa,” Rose said. “Back up training?”

“Well, I can't send a teenage girl into a possibly hostile situation without some basic training beforehand.” The Colonel flipped through a file in front of him, “Although you don't need too much. According to or file, you have successfully dealt with aliens before, you understand a great deal of technology and you are trained in self-defense. Those are the reasons you were selected for this assignment. Additional training would flesh out your current abilities to bring them into line with UNIT field agents.”

“And if I don't want to go?” Rose asked.

The Colonel leaned forward and gave her a rather menacing smile. “Then we would have to discuss the penalties for assisting an unauthorised alien off Earth when she could have been valuable to UNIT.” When Rose didn't say anything, the Colonel sat back and nodded. He gave her a rather smug smile. “I trust we understand each other. Lieutenant Magambo will give you your training schedule and will oversee your training. A location near your home has been acquired for the rest of the summer to prepare you for the mission without drawing too much attention. You are dismissed.”

Rose opened her mouth but snapped it shut as she stood. Clenching her fists, she turned back to the door and stalked out of the room. Lieutenant Magambo was still standing in the hallway and frowned slightly at the sight of Rose's tense form, but said nothing.

“Please follow me, Miss Tyler,” Magambo finally said. “I will provide you with the rest of the information you require to begin your training. I arranged for the training location to be close enough to your home that an UNIT escort will not be necessary.”

Rose remained silent and accepted the information from the Lieutenant, nodding her understanding, but not saying anything. After what felt like hours, she was finally shown back to the car when the Lieutenant bid her a good evening. Rose glanced up at the driver and the Sergeant as she climbed into the car. She was quiet the whole way home and wondered briefly if this was the UNIT the Doctor had known.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Three: Horath Academy: Mission Preparation

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………..

UNIT was evil and mean and impatient and mean and inconsiderate and did she mention mean? No matter which way she looked at it, Rose disliked being ordered to take part in the investigation. She understood that any adult could be ordered to assist UNIT, but it did not seem far to start throwing orders at someone who had helped save the world, not to mention helped save a school full of teenagers. Rose’s first meeting with UNIT hadn’t exactly been warm and friendly, but Adams’ high and mighty attitude just made her mad. Rose sighed as she double checked the address on the piece of paper she was holding and looked at the building address in front of her.

It was the eighteenth of June and her first day of UNIT training awaited her. The schedule UNIT had devised demanded her to attend five days a week except for Wednesdays and Sundays for ten hours each day with no information as to what she would be doing there. Yesterday she had put in her notice at the shop that she couldn’t keep working this summer due to an art course she had been accepted into. At least UNIT had created a decent story this time even if her mother hadn’t been pleased by Rose’s sudden change without talking with her first. By the end of the summer, Rose would have to tell Jackie about going to a sixth form boarding school and she was not looking forward to it. Sharon and Shareen had been quietly informed of what was going on and the Colonel’s knowledge of Eve just in case. Both had been angry on Rose’s behalf and a bit afraid of being jailed for helping their friend.

That morning she had packed a small daypack with exercise clothing and a spare change of clothing like her information had said. She had also tossed in a few snack bars and a bottle of water just in case. She walked into the building and looked at the man who was sitting behind a plain counter. The building was one of the smaller office buildings in the area. A company had purchased the place and started renovating it just before they went out of business. Rose hadn’t been inside, but she could image that with UNIT in the area it didn’t look like a regular office building deeper inside. The man behind the counter looked Rose over and nodded. He stood up and asked for her bag. Rose frowned, but let him put the bag on a scanner like the ones she had seen on television for airports. A moment later he handed her bag back to her and then she heard a buzz. A door to her left opened and he pointed at it.

“That way Miss Tyler. There is a second door through there with a panel on the right side, just place your hand on it for a fingerprint scan.”

“Thank… uh, what’s your name?”

He blinked a bit in surprise before replying, “Private Davidson.”

“Nice to meet you,” Rose said politely before she walked through the door.

Like the guard had said, there was a handprint scanner which quickly accepted Rose’s prints and made her wonder how UNIT had those. She decided that she really did not want to think about it as she pushed the door open. As Rose expected it did not look like an office building anymore. The staircase in front of her led down into a large area that had been opened up by the construction and kept open by UNIT creating a large room with an incredibly high ceiling. A large obstacle course dominated the space, but exercise mats filled one corner, gym machines in another and computer stations seemed to fill all other space.

Rose stopped at the top of the staircase, letting her artist’s eye take in the people and the various smaller areas in the building. She quickly noticed that many people were not in UNIT uniforms, but white coats or tweed jackets and they seemed to be working on a project of some kind. The soldiers were running drills on one side of the room while others were monitoring security on computers.

“Not an ideal base, but it will serve,” Lieutenant Magambo said as she climbed up the stairs in front of Rose. “Please finish coming in Miss Tyler and we’ll begin.”

Rose followed the Lieutenant down the stairs, they passed the soldiers and the scientist who all turned and looked at Rose as she walked by. The Lieutenant led Rose to the side of the room and through a plain metal door. It opened into a small office with a desk covered in papers and a computer with two chairs in front of it.

“I am aware that you do not like this situation,” the Lieutenant said calmly as she closed the door. Rose raised an eyebrow at her, but the Lieutenant’s face remained calm and neutral. “You have met the Doctor twice Miss Tyler and encountered aliens in extreme circumstances, both of this facts make you a source of great interest to all UNIT personnel. The soldiers and the scientists assigned here that are working both on training you and analysing what information we have from the school are all very curious about you and the Doctor.” Magambo paused as she sat down in her office chair. “I have some reservations about the ethics of sending a minor into what is suspected to be a hostile environment. It was my recommendation to train a young operative to pass as sixteen. Many of our privates are eighteen or nineteen. However, Adams was firm that you are the proper person for this mission and he is in command of the investigation.”

“Wouldn’t that be cheaper or a normal investigation?”

“To be frank I believe this is my superiors’ way of getting a reading on you and what you are capable of. The circumstances line up to make this a perfect test of just what you can do in service to your planet. It is possible there are long term plans based on you.”

“I’ve already helped save this planet,” Rose reminded her with a frown. “I don’t think UNIT has any business ordering me around like this and I don’t like the theory that they plan to do it more often.”

Lieutenant Magambo looked a bit uncomfortable now and Rose sighed. Taking her anger out of the Lieutenant wouldn’t help anything since apparently, this woman did not like what was happening either. Rose forced her face back into a neutral expression since she couldn’t manage a smile which Magambo noticed.

“We have our orders Miss Tyler so shall we begin.”

“I suppose,” Rose agreed. “Can you tell me what I’ll actually be working on now?”

“Of course.” Magambo handed Rose a structured schedule that alternated between physical tests and training and different kinds of skill training.

“I’m supposed to learn all of this.” Rose gaped at the list as her stomach dropped.

“This is the standard training for any agent operating solo in a hostile situation. You may be a minor, but I am not going to operate on the assumption that a hostile will spare you or take it easy on you because of your age. The orders are to send you in and my job is to get you prepared.”

Rose nodded, slightly shocked and bit touched that at least one of the UNIT officers actually seemed to be remembering that this might be dangerous. “Do you have any other advice for me Lieutenant Magambo?” Rose asked.

“Remain calm, keep your temper as most of your trainers are used to working with soldiers who have been taught discipline and are not used to teenagers. Many people will ask you about the Doctor, but remember that is not what you are here for; it will distract them and you. Lastly, remember that this situation must be kept from the general public.”

“Yeah,” Rose agreed. “I had a hard time explaining that soldier that picked me up the other day.”

“How did you explain it?”

“I said that they thought I might be a witness to a crime, but it turned out I didn’t actually see anything useful.”

“Simple,” Magambo said.

“I’ve found in the last few years that the simple lies work best at keeping the rumours down.” Rose sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time today. “Sad that I have to actually say that about my life. I’ve perfected lying to my mother.”

“If it helps at all, you fall into the category of consultant for UNIT for the time being and will be paid accordingly.”

“I’m getting paid?” Rose asked with wide eyes, “You’re paying for me to go to a fancy school, paying me to do it and I might get to run into aliens again.” She smiled slightly, “This is looking up.”

Lieutenant Magambo stared at her for a moment with a slightly slack jaw before she collected herself and stood back up. “Well Miss Tyler, are you ready?”

“I suppose I might as well get started.” Rose looked back at the list. “I confess Judo lessons, lock picking lessons and hacking lessons all sound like a lot of fun. Any chance I can get fencing lessons?”

Magambo’s look of slight horror and shock made Rose grin as she headed out the door to the main room. She paused and said over her shoulder, “Just let me know when you want to hear about the Doctor.”

………………………

Six weeks later it wasn’t quite so fun to tease Magambo around the constant bruising and exhaustion that had caught Jackie’s attention. Rose’s cover story for her physical injuries and exhaustion was a new set of lessons that her martial arts classes which she was still enrolled in and attending even if most of the time she just wanted to run as far from them as possible. The Lieutenant had decided that Rose’s normal lessons were a good cover, but they were not advanced enough to serve as her only lessons. When Jackie had asked how the art class was going Rose insisted to Magambo that she needed at least an hour a day to actually produce something to keep their primary cover story intact.

Magambo had argued that Rose could simply sign something to keep her mother and the Powell Estate happy, but apparently, the look on Rose’s face at the suggestion had warned her from pursuing that idea. It was the only item that the Lieutenant had capitulated on and now Rose enjoyed a one hour break every day in a quiet back room with art supplies which she had made UNIT pay for after reminding them that everyone thought the ‘school’ was providing her daily supplies and questions would be raised if that suddenly changed. Magambo seemed to get revenge by intensifying Rose’s Kung Fu lessons.

So she was back to the theory that UNIT was evil and mean and impatient and mean and inconsiderate and again absolutely mean. Rose was grumbling to herself as one of the soldiers watched her jump through the damn obstacle course for the second time that hour. The UNIT soldiers were sitting at the side of the large room that had been turned into the jungle gym from hell and just watching as she was ordered through it again and again. Well, Lieutenant Magambo wasn’t actually ordering her through it, but the Colonel’s threat was always present in Rose’s mind as she literally jumped through UNIT’s hoops.

She sighed in relief when she hit the final button with eleven seconds still on the clock. The three soldiers sitting on the sidelines starting clapping and Rose smiled despite her exhaustion. Okay, so the UNIT officers weren’t that great, but the privates were a lot nicer about what was going on. Personally, she linked their friendliness to their curiosity about the Doctor. A tall man by the name of Samuel Watkins stood up and walked over to her with a bottle of water and a small towel. Rose took them both gratefully and gulped down the cool liquid before wiping her face.

“You’re improving,” Watkins said. He gave her a kind smile.

“I suppose,” Rose semi-agreed. She looked back at the course, remembering where she’d almost fallen.

“Given that you couldn’t beat the clock for the first two weeks, I’d call having more than ten seconds to spare an improvement.”

“Thanks,” Rose said with a nod.

Rose still felt uncomfortable around the armed soldiers in their uniforms while she was in exercise clothes and definitely not armed. She tried to stretch out her aching muscles before she walked over to the medical supervisor for her daily injury check. If all was clear she could shower, change back into her regular clothes and go home.

It was nearly six o’clock by the time Rose stepped out onto the street and breathed in the smell of her sweet freedom. Saturday meant a free Sunday to spend with her mother and friends. Rose still hadn’t told Jackie about having to leave for boarding school and wasn’t sure just what UNIT’s plan was if her mother refused. Perhaps they would tell her everything about aliens and Rose being ordered to help, but she supposed they’d come up with some kind of story to explain it or fake something. Rose couldn’t shake the feeling that while her mother didn’t know about aliens she was safer from people like Colonel Adams.

The whole situation was still difficult, annoying and irritating, but there were good points. It was like being in a very intense school where she was the only student and she couldn’t pretend that she hadn’t learned anything. Her classes were lined up throughout the day split between physical and mental training. The hardest part of it was physical training like the obstacle course and Rose had to admit that the fighter instructors she had been provided with were already making a difference in her endurance and knowledge.

There was a lot to be said for going from a class of students to being the sole pupil of an expert. She was being taught technology from some of the best minds in UNIT and had a fondness for the quirky Doctor Malcolm Taylor, one of the scientific advisors. He liked to extend her technology lessons a few minutes each day to give her some extra breathing time between combat lessons and was the only person at the training centre who called her Rose rather than Miss Tyler. Magambo seemed to like him enough that she didn’t question the longer lessons if they stayed less than ten minutes over. There was also a certain power trip in knowing how to pick locks and hack computer systems and Rose would be a liar if she said she did not enjoy.

The worst session she had been put through was the weapons training and she tried had put her foot down against learning to use a gun. Magambo, however, was a firm believer that there was nothing worse and more dangerous than a scared person with a gun who didn’t know how to use it properly. Despite herself, Rose found that she agreed a bit and took her lessons seriously so she wouldn’t hurt herself or anyone else if she ever did find herself with a gun in her hand. The instructor was a serious man, but she warmed up to him when he agreed to show her the safest way to disarm someone holding each kind of gun. If Magambo didn’t like that, she kept it to herself as they worked to remain civil despite both disliking the situation. Her instructors and the soldiers had also stopped whispering about her when she wasn’t looking at them and referring to her as the new agent.

When Rose arrived home, she collapsed on the sofa and turned on the telly. Jackie came out the kitchen and looked Rose over, checking for new bruises.

“You don’t have class tomorrow right?” Jackie asked.

“Nope, Sunday is a day off,” Rose said with a grin.

“Good,” Jackie said as she picked up a piece of paper from the kitchen counter. “Because we need to have a talk about this.” Rose looked up and felt her stomach tighten at the sight of a brochure for Horath Academy in her mother’s hand. “It says that you’ve been accepted and your student fees paid! What is going on Rose!?”

“I applied out of curiosity,” Rose said. She stood up and took the letter from her mother. “It is a fairly new school and rare as a boarding school for sixth form, but they said I could be eligible for a scholarship if they accepted me.” Rose looked down and scanned the brief letter quickly. The brochure held the most information, but nothing about her specifically that would break her lie open. “The school is just about to start its third year and students from the last two years had excellent ivy league acceptance statistics.”

“So you want to move away and go to a fancy boarding school?” Jackie asked with disbelief in her voice. “What about your friends and me?”

“Mum…” Rose swallowed, she hated lying and frankly wasn’t very good at it. “This is a really good school and I want to do the best I can. I just wanted to see if I could get into a place like that.” Rose took the letter and held it up for her mother. “And I did, I don’t have to go.”

Jackie deflated slightly and took the brochure back from Rose. She shook her head and sighed. “It looks like a good school,” her Mum said softly. “The sort your father and I had dreams of you going to someday, course he died and I knew it would never be possible.”

“Mum,” Rose whispered, not sure what to say.

“You should go.” Jackie forced a smile and patted her cheek. “I guess I’ll just have to go to that damn cyber café that your friends like so much so I can email you at this school of yours.”

“It’s only two hours from the London,” Rose reminded her. “I’m not going that far away.”

“I know,” Jackie said softly. Yet there were a few small tears wetting her eyes. “Just farther than you’ve ever gone before.”

Her mother hugged Rose tightly, letting the letter drop to the floor. Jackie Tyler didn’t cry, but she did sniff a little as Rose returned her hug fiercely. They didn’t move for a long time, both very aware that something was about to change and Rose couldn’t shake a gut feeling that life at Horath Academy was not going to be peaceful and educational.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Four: Horath Academy: Arrival and Astra

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………………………

The morning Rose left for Horath Academy had been a blur of hugs, crying and double checking that she had everything. The night before had been spent having one last sleepover with Sharon and Shareen while Jackie fussed over them. Her last day of training, exactly one week ago had been spent going over every last detail of UNIT’s suspicions, her new laptop that had been specially built for communicating with the ground team and being wished luck by Doctor Taylor. Rose had the layout of Horath all but memorised, knew all the staff from their photos and had recited parts of the suspicious reports so often she’d made them into a song. In short, Rose was ready for whatever was waiting for her, even if she didn’t feel like she was at all.

Now it was the mid-afternoon, just after two o’clock on the day she was due to arrive at the potentially alien boarding school. Beneath her feet, the train she was on slowed down. Rose looked out the window as the automated voice announced the next stop. Sunshine was streaming down onto the platform which was only partially covered. Rose could see trees in the distance and rolling hills. Rose’s feet itched and she wanted to take off running. It didn’t matter where to, she just wanted to be rid of the nervous energy. Worries about getting her Mum, Sharon and Shareen in trouble with Colonel Adams were all that kept her in place.

The long metal train pulled up at the platform with a high squeak and as the doors opened, a few adults stepped out, but it was mostly teenagers. Rose stepped off of the train from London, quickly pulling her two suitcases behind her and setting them down with a thud. She looked around the platform and noted with a smile that more kids her age were departing with luggage from the train from London. It had been one of the longer train trips Rose had ever taken and had been horribly dull. One of the girls who had departed with a backpack and two suitcases turned and smiled at Rose. She had long brown hair with a slight curl at the tips, long side swept bangs that partially covered one of her brown eyes and a wide warm smile. The girl grabbed her things and headed over to Rose.

“Horath Academy?”

“Yeah,” Rose said. She gave the other girl a smile as she pulled out a folded piece of paper out of her pocket and glanced at it. “This says that a coach is scheduled to meet this train from London.”

“I suppose that what we get for attending a school in the country.” The girl sighed and glanced at the train. “Pity Daddy couldn’t just drop me off there. I’m not really a fan of trains or travelling alone. I spent the whole trip checking each station to make sure I didn’t miss this stop.” She laughed and held out her hand,

“Forgot my manners for a moment, I’m Astra Wolfe.”

“Rose Tyler.” Rose took her hand and gave it a firm shake. The knot in her stomach eased a little. She’d been so busy worrying about the staff that she’d sort of forgotten that there’d be other students at the school. “Nice to meet you, Astra.”

“So, Rose shall we?” Astra picked up her suitcases again and nodded towards the exit.

“Right, we should get to the coach,” Rose agreed.

Astra stayed right next to Rose as they slowly inched their suitcases down a flight of stairs, thankfully a very short one to reach the station hall. It was only a small town so they had no trouble finding the large coach that was waiting. Locals nodded pleasantly to them and Rose noted in surprise that there really was only the one platform here.

There were about twenty other teenagers ranging from her age to a couple years older already loading their suitcases with the aid of the driver. Rose’s eyes swept over the other students. Many of them were dressed much nicer than she was and paid them no attention. Astra stepped forward into the line first and Rose followed, eying the driver, but he hadn’t been in the files. As soon as their things were loads, Astra darted onto the coach to snag a pair of seats before motioning for Rose to join her.

“It doesn’t look like many students came from London by train.”

“Their parents are probably driving them.” Rose shrugged and watched as the others climbed aboard. Most of them sat spread out from each other. “My mum would have liked to in theory, but she doesn’t have a license, much less a car.”

“My parents had other obligations,” Astra said. She looked out the window and sighed, a sad expression taking over her face. “I’m not even sure where they are right now.”

“They travel a lot?” Rose asked.

“Yeah,” Astra said. She forced a smile, but it just made her nervousness apparent. “I’ve never spent much time with other people my own age since we moved around so much so they decided to give boarding school a try.”

“So this is your first boarding school too?” Rose asked.

“First boarding school for you huh? Yeah, this is the first time for me. I’ve always been homeschooled.” She gave a sheepish smile and tugged on a strand of her brown hair. “I’m a bit nervous really.”

“You shouldn’t be,” Rose said. “I’m sure we’ll both do fine. Besides, it’s a pretty new school so I bet a lot of the others students haven’t been at boarding school before.”

“Yeah, think positive. You’re an optimist, I like that,” Astra said.

“Well panicking certainly won’t help matters.”

The girls lapsed into silence for a moment before Astra giggled. “Sorry, I’m just trying to get over the name, Horath Academy. The information boasted about the scores their students get on A-Levels, the picture perfect campus and the wonderful staff, but no explanation of the name.” Astra giggled and settled back into her seat as the coach pulled away from the station, “Horath. Just seems like there should be a story to that one. Is sounds like a noise you make when sneezing.”

Rose couldn’t quite help by giggle too as Astra rolled the name off of her tongue. As the coach pulled off the main road and started to follow a narrow private road towards the schools they started chatting about their families, favourite topics and anything else that popped into their minds. Rose occasionally checked on the other students, but most of them seemed happy with their phones or their headphones. Nothing unusual at all.

When they arrived at Horath Academy, Rose took a long look around at the small campus. It consisted of five buildings, all brick with ivy growing over them. A large trimmed lawn, perfect for playing football on dominated a large section of the campus with the five buildings arranged in a horseshoe shape around them. Two of the buildings were dorms, standing on opposite sides of the green to each other, one for boys and one for girls. One of the brick buildings’ roof was dominated by a radio tower and satellite dishes, marking it as the science building. There was the tennis court from the photos and apparently, there was indeed a small stable.

“Well, it’s not so bad,” Astra said. She pulled out her phone and held it up. “I’ve got a signal at least.”

“Me too.”

Rose gripped her own phone tightly. Suddenly it felt like a lifeline to the outside world. She couldn’t help but be very aware of just how far they were from any major city. At least she’d be able to stay in touch easily with her family. Especially Sharon and Shareen who had demanded regular check-ins out of worry for her safety. The new laptop computer that UNIT had provided her with had excellent communication abilities, linking into UNIT’s satellite network, but she had been warned against using it outside of an emergency.

Their things were unpacked and loaded onto small motorised carts to be taken to the dormitories. A few other coaches were in the parking lot, having picked up earlier trains from other cities and several cars remained where parents were still saying goodbye. Rose lost herself for a moment remembering her own tearful farewell to her mother only three hours before. Her stomach turned uncomfortably and she bit her lip. It had just been the two of them for so long she wondered how her mum was really going to handle her being gone.

“Come on,” Astra said. She grabbed Rose’s hand.  “Let’s see if we can room together. That staff person, don’t ask me her name, just said that roommates can be changed at this point.”

“Sure.” Rose pulled her backpack on and double checked that her bags were heading to the right building before she followed Astra towards the girl’s dorm. “Lead on,” she said.

……………………..

Astra was a near force of nature, Rose decided an hour later when the brunette girl had managed to get five people to change their living arrangements so she and Rose had the two person corner bedroom on the third floor of the building. Rose was under the impression that she rambled them into submission. Of course, her pretty smile and wide eyes combination hadn’t hurt anything, but it seemed like the others changed just to get her stop talking. If Rose had understood how Astra had managed the feat she would have taken notes, but it seemed to be a case of pure charm and talking circles around other people. The girl in question set her backpack down on the desk nearest to her bed before stretching out on the bed with a pleased sigh.

Their prize was the top corner room that looked out over the green lawn and towards the rolling hills beyond the school. The dorm rooms were all small in size, fitting two or three people based on the space. Theirs was a smaller room, but the large windows with the great view and having no one making noise above them balanced that out. There were two beds, one against each opposite side of the room, a desk with a bookshelf mounted above it next to each bed, a wardrobe for clothing and a small nightstand. It was extremely simple and plain compared to Rose’s room at home which she thought of with a twitch of longing. Setting down her own backpack at her desk, Rose followed Astra’s lead of lounging on the bed.

“Our things should be here when we get back from dinner,” Astra said. She sighed again and kept looking up at the boring ceiling. “I hope the food is good.”

“This is a nice school from everything I’ve heard,” Rose said. “I’d imagine they’d make sure the food is decent.”

“I suppose.” Then Astra suddenly leapt up and off her bed. “Come on then Rose, let’s explore a bit and then be the first to the dining hall.” Astra glanced around the empty room. “It’s not like we can get settled or anything like that.”

Rose smiled and climbed off her bed to follow Astra out of the room. Both girls, grabbed their new keys and jackets before they set off. As they walked down the hall to the stairs, they waved and greeted the other girls who were passed them. Once they were back down in the entry area, Astra made a point of poking her head into the common room.

“Not bad,” she declared. “At least we don’t have to share a telly with the boys.”

“It would never be on anything other than football,” Rose agreed seriously. “That’s what happens whenever my mate Mickey visits.”

Astra grinned, grabbed Rose’s hand and headed for the front door. “Come on, one hour to dinner and I want a look at the science building.”

“You’re going to get me into trouble this year aren’t you Astra,” Rose said. She couldn’t help but laugh as they stepped out into the sunlight.

Astra took a deep breath of the fresh air and looked out at the green lawn where several boys were already playing a game of football. She gestured around the school. “This is where we are for the next twelve weeks before the next break. Five buildings on campus and a small village, that’s all we have to work with.”

“Is that a yes,” Rose asked the brunette with an amused smirk.

“Oh, Rose that is a definitely! Come on!”

Rose laughed as Astra grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the science building as Astra muttered something about getting some sodium to test the plumbing with.

“Well,” Rose whispered with a smile. “This year is looking up.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Five: Horath Academy: Late Conversation

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………………..

The two weeks at Horath Academy yielded no new information for Rose to send UNIT, but it was far from boring. Since she was studying for four A-Level subjects she had a full course load for Physics, Mathematics, Electronics and Chemistry. Rose was both pleased and little afraid that her crazy roommate Astra was in Physics and Chemistry with her. Astra’s other subjects were Astronomy and Philosophy resulting in some interesting conversations after lights out, either talking about the universe or looking up at it through the window. Astra, while she was a little crazy and didn’t always keep her things tidy, did keep all of her stuff on her side of the room. The brunette was also an excellent violinist and liked to play while she worked on physics problems which didn’t bother Rose in the slightest. In return, Astra left Rose’s paints alone and didn’t mind the window being left open to prevent fumes from building up in their shared space.

Their teachers were nice enough, all very well qualified and they expected all the students to work hard at their studies. Most of the A-Level courses were small, no more than fifteen students at a time, spreading the schools three hundred students over the many courses offered. In the first two weeks, Astra had only caused one small explosion so far in chemistry, but Professor Greene had actually been impressed by her knowledge. Rose had spent one afternoon scrubbing all the test tubes with Astra as their punishment while Astra apologised for Rose getting her as a lab partner. Despite Astra’s tendency for boredom in chemistry, Rose had a feeling she’d be grateful come exams to have the crazy smart girl as her lab partner.

Physics was intense and Professor Erskine liked to load on challenges for the students to solve. He also liked to lecture about biophysics to root out the squeamish in the class. Rose wasn’t a wilting flower, but hearing how the human body came apart when exposed to different forces in the universe still made her glad that class was not right before lunch. The lectures even seem to shake the normally upbeat Astra up a little.

Rose’s electronics class had started out a little dull since Rose was ahead due to her former part-time job at the computer repair store. However, Professor Buchanan soon started pulling out the more interesting information and even let them take some expensive things apart in class to examine the workings first hand. Her mathematics professor Doctor Wallace was a stern woman, but she clearly knew the material and actually managed to explain rather than just talk the problems.

All things considered, Rose was enjoying herself at the Academy. Despite Astra’s worries, the food was good with a lot of variety every day. The gym was excellent and allowed her room to keep in shape, but she held back on her demonstrating her martial arts knowledge, just in case. In the evening, she found the small paths around the school relaxing to walk while she listened to Astra babble about her own classes. The first Saturday they had followed one of the trails all the way down to the local historical sight, an old small circle of standing stones not far from the village. Astra, who was actually good at history, had launched into a lecture about standing stones in the area while Rose just smiled and listened. Rose was a bit surprised at how quickly she had settled into the new routine of her life at Horath Academy.

Phone calls home let her know that her mother was adjusting to her absence by spending more time with her friends which relieved her. Jackie was working out the flat more often with Rose gone and was seeing a local man but promised Rose that he was a nice man. Sharon and Shareen were off to a good start for their school year, often sharing the phone on speaker when Rose called. Apparently, Kayla Miller had returned home following Jimmy Stone getting busted for drugs and sent to prison. Rose was glad to hear that Kayla seemed to be okay and had re-enrolled to finish her GCSEs while working part time to pay off some debts she had accrued while supporting Jimmy. Still, she was angry on Kayla’s behalf.

It was only a letter from Eve that arrived for her on her on her third Monday at school that kept Rose from dismissing UNIT’s concerns and accepting Horath Academy as just a very good school with slightly strange professors. The letter arrived with the daily mail, but Rose recognised the heavy envelope that Eve had used for all her letters and the now familiar elegant handwriting of Eve. She didn’t open the letter until she was alone in her room while Astra was out.

My Dear Rose,

While looking into your timeline I am both pleased and afraid to know that you will remain active in dealing with alien activity on Earth. It is good to know that whatever is going to happen to me will not sour you against the extraordinary life you have the potential to lead. I am worried because whatever is going to happen at this school will impact everything. My friend, I am not trying to be overly dramatic, but your future holds a great choice. While I have no doubt that you will make the right one, please be careful. I wish I could tell you more, but you have made your concerns on foreknowledge very clear and I will try to keep things simple. Instead, I will assure you that something is going on in your school and ask that you be careful.

Your friend,

Eve

She barely slept that night, turning over everything she had seen so far at the Academy over in her head. None of the equipment in class was unusual; the professors all seemed human and were considerate to the students despite UNIT’s suspicions about their records. Rose had been watching for strange things, but now she had Eve’s assurance that something wasn’t right. She briefly considered contacting Colonel Adams since he knew about Eve, but couldn’t bring herself to share something as special as the letters Eve had written and arranged delivery for with someone like him.

……………………………
The next night everything was quiet on the campus and Rose sighed softly as she rolled onto her side, unable to sleep. Across the room, she heard Astra shift and then the table lamp next to Astra’s bed clicked on. The brunette girl looked across the room at Rose with a nervous smile before softly calling Rose’s name.

“I’m awake, Astra,” Rose said as she turned on her own bedside lamp adding to the soft glow in the room. “Sorry.”

“I couldn’t sleep either,” Astra admitted. “My philosophy professor gave me a special assignment after we had a… discussion.”

“Started another argument, Astra,” Rose teased.

“It is Philosophy class,” Astra said defensively.

“Yeah, but studying for A-Levels, not discussing your own theories.” Rose paused and frowned a little. “Which professor is that?”

“Professor Elizabeth Baker,” Astra replied with a smile. “I think she’s my favourite, even if she does give me extra work.”

“What’s the assignment?”

“I suggested an alternative theory so she’s having me write it up.”

“I’d like to read it when you’re done,” Rose told Astra.

“Sure Rose.” Astra looked over at her desk. “You know this whole school thing isn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. Dad and Mum always taught me as we travelled and I read a lot. I didn’t think I’d like it here, but all the kids and the different professors who all teach a little different… it’s pretty cool.”

“I told you so,” Rose said with a grin.

“Don’t start Rose.” Astra none the less grinned. “So who is your favourite teacher?”

“Here at Horath Academy, Professor Buchanan,” Rose replied quickly. “He’s the one who teaches my electronics course. The class is a lot of fun and very hands on, much better than looking at the electronics in a book.”

“Cool.” Astra lounged back on her bed. “Who is your favourite teacher ever?”

Rose smiled and lounged back against her pillow. “That is easy, Mister Smith from when I was twelve years old. He was a substitute teacher for a few weeks, but he’s my favourite ever.”

“Tell me about him?” Astra rolled onto her side. “I’m curious.”

Rose shrugged and giggled. “Well, he dressed kind of strangely. He was younger than a lot of the teachers with dark brown hair and a huge smile. Mister Smith seemed crazy to most of the kids.” Rose giggled at the memory. “He always wore the same basic outfit, this tweed jacket with suspenders and a bowtie. His shirts were different colours, but I only remember him taking off his jacket once. Once one of the boys asked him about the bowtie and he just said that ‘bowties are cool’. He was strange but great as a science teacher.”

“So he was a bit odd.” Astra was smiling widely at Rose.  “Why was he your favourite?”

“I was becoming really interested in science, but I didn’t have a good background in it.” Rose looked over at Astra, “As you may have gathered from my accent, I’m not at this school because my family is rich. I’m a scholarship student as a result of good scores mixed with artistic talent.” When Astra just gave her a small smile, Rose relaxed and continued. “Thing is Astra, people have a vision of people from my social and economic class, one of them being that I wasn’t going to go anywhere. My school was okay, but my teachers didn’t really try to encourage me to study. When I finally got my head together and wanted to work hard at science and math, I didn’t have all the basics down. Mister Smith spent a lot of time after school helping get me caught up. He had so much energy for the subject and… he believed that I was worth the time and effort.”

“He was right,” Astra told her with a soft smile. “You’re brilliant.”

“Thanks, but not many people outside of family had ever expressed that kind of belief in me. Mister Smith seemed so absolutely certain that I could master the material and prove everyone who said I’d never amount to anything wrong. I’m grateful for that. I couldn’t have pulled myself up to this level on my own and he was there when I needed him.”

“Sounds like someone had a bit of a crush,” Astra teased lightly.

Rose smiled and felt a blush creeping over her cheeks. “Yeah, I suppose I did. Anyway, he left when the teacher he replaced had a permanent replacement assigned. He left me a book on physics so I could keep studying on my own. A year later I was top of my class and at the GCSE’s I was ahead of most of the other students.”

“And now you’re at an exclusive boarding school to do your A-Levels,” Astra finished. She leaned on her hand and examined Rose. “You’re impressive. A lot of people would have just whined that life isn’t fair and stayed where they were.”

“Too easy.” Rose lay on her back, staring up at the ceiling. “Maybe if I had been a little different I would have taken the easy dreamer route and waited for a big break, but I learned better. The only way I’m going to be happy is if I make myself happy and I know that what it is going to take for me to be happy is going to take some work.”

They were both silent for a few minutes until Astra said, “I’m sure that you’ll succeed beyond what you can imagine now. You’re pretty, clever and determined.” Astra paused for a moment. “And you’ve helped make this transition easier.”

“How so?” Rose asked. Looking over at Astra, she found her friend blushing.

“I was pretty scared when I got off that train. I’d never been away from my parents for a long period of time and when I wasn’t with them I was with my siblings. I thought I’d be so homesick, but this room smells a lot like home.”

“Really? How?” Rose asked confused.

“My mum paints so our home always smells faintly of paint. She tried to teach me when I was younger, but I didn’t have a talent for it so she taught me the violin instead. The smell of your paints makes me feel closer to home and her and when I’m playing my violin I can almost believe that I’m home.”

“Your mother sounds really incredible.”

“Actually when I was a kid I worshipped her and I still do in some ways I suppose. Now I just wonder how I can ever live up to her. My mum is brilliant, knows a lot of different things and has a special way of seeing the world, she paints and plays several instruments, is an expert swordswoman and is really respected by everyone. I guess I just worry about disappointing her.”

“I’m sure she’s proud of you,” Rose assured Astra. “It sounds like she’s smart enough to know she has a great daughter.”

The look Astra gave her shook Rose, it was gratitude, amusement and a touch of sadness all rolled into one. Astra nodded and a smile reappeared on her face. “Yeah, she tells me that. I suppose I’ll learn to really believe it someday.”

“I never thought you’d be self-conscience,” Rose remarked to lighten the mood.

“Oh I’m a good actress,” Astra said with a shrug. “But I’m still young and trying to feel my way through the universe just like anyone else.”

“Well for what it is worth, I’m glad you’re here,” Rose replied. “So you mentioned siblings.”

“I’ve got a few. Mum was an only child and didn’t want only one baby. I’ve got an adult older sister while the others are closer to me in age. We all have A names, Daddy says Mum started the pattern and refused to give it up.”

“There’s a lot of good A names,” Rose said. “It could have been worse.” Rose paused and tilted her head, “What’s your middle name?”

“Fortuna,” Astra replied with a chuckle. “I wonder about that often. Astra Fortuna Wolfe, my parents certainly gave me a mouthful name.”

“That’s a nice middle name,” Rose told her.

“I like Marion better, you’ve got a great middle name. It makes me think of the Robin Hood stories my Mum told me as a kid.”

“How did you know my middle name was Marion?” Rose asked. Astra gave her a confused look. “I didn’t introduce myself with my middle name when we met.”

“I must have heard it from a teacher at role call or something, or seen it on a form. I’ve got a good memory for names,” Astra replied with a shrug. “Anyway like I was saying it is a nice name.”

“Thanks, I guess, but the credit for that one goes to my Mum and Dad.” Rose lay back and looked at the clock. “So we’ve done favourite teachers, the smell of paint and middle names.”

“I suppose we should get some sleep,” Astra agreed to the implication as she rolled over to touch her lamp. “Sleep well, Rose Marion Tyler.”

“Sweet dreams Astra Fortuna Wolfe,” Rose replied with a grin just before they both turned off the lights.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Six: Horath Academy: Winter Holiday

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

………………………………..

Rose had started her research at the beginning: the actual buildings and history of the area on which Horath Academy was built. She communicated briefly with UNIT in order to gain access to all research they had completed so she didn’t attract attention in the library. The original manor house itself had been built in the early 17th century by a wealthy and now extinct family was the current administration building where staff offices were located and the dining hall. The floor layouts of the old building were nothing unusual for the period and Rose noted nothing that seemed to differ from the floor plans when she was in the administration building.

In the early 18th century the last heir had died and the estate had changed hands. The new family constructed the two dorm buildings and plans had been made to connect them to the main house as large wings, but the money dried up. The estate had changed hands again and the new family completed the dorm building as a standalone building, but they were rarely used. The two classroom buildings were the new additions, built only five years ago to match the older buildings. Five years ago was when the land was bought to construct the school, which opened two years later with Rose herself in the third class.

Nothing caught her attention as very strange in the logs from the time period. Many different construction groups had been used at different stages to meet with national guidelines for plumbing, electricity in the older buildings. The new buildings matched the layouts that Rose had been provided by UNIT. Nothing seemed out of place in the location itself, even if it seemed a strange place to build a school. Still, the head teacher often made speeches to the students about allowing nothing to distract them from their work, which possibly explained the location, but Rose couldn’t shake the feeling that Horath Academy was here because of something nearby. However, there wasn’t much nearby the Academy, the village with a train station, a few farms and a stone circle, none of which explained aliens being nearby.

She turned her attention to the staff, UNIT believed that they weren’t real people, but aliens or least helping the aliens. Rose read their histories and all the documents that UNIT had. Then she searched for the staff online and found papers they wrote, new articles and a hundred other tiny little things. She even found an announcement of divorce from a London newspaper that Professor Adams used to get a divorce from her absent husband. Another search turned up a birth announcement for Professor Buchanan’s daughter thirty years ago. It was the little things that made her doubt UNIT’s conclusion. Aliens would forge documents and make things look official, but would they really fake the little things that made up a human’s life.

Astra came in just after Rose sent another message to UNIT, asking them to verify a few of the events she had found. Either it meant that UNIT was wrong about the teachers being fake, their identities had been taken from real humans or that they had been here much longer than UNIT suspected. Or it meant that she was being led on purpose in the wrong direction while the real secret was someplace else entirely.

Three months into the school year and Rose felt like she had nothing to show other than improved grades and knowledge, which was good but wasn’t the real point of attending the academy. Her research on the school hadn’t found anything important, nothing about the land pointed to previous alien activity and the staff of the school all seemed normal. She had checked all the school layouts to the official plans and everything matched up, but Eve’s warning remained in her head throughout everything.

Winter holiday was upon the students in what seemed to be a blink and Rose found herself at London Victoria hugging Astra goodbye. Her roommate promised that she’d try to call Rose, but confided that she was going to have to travel further to catch up with her family. Apparently, her parents were off somewhere meeting up with her adult older sister Athena for Christmas. Still Rose gave Astra her home number and the small gift she had bought in town for her friend.

Sharon and Shareen were thrilled to see her and Jackie had brought her home to a clean flat that she had clearly put a great deal of effort into. For a few days, Rose allowed herself to forget the Academy and the question of what was happening around her there to fade away. However, the UNIT car finally came and she returned to the Tower of London to report. Magambo had delivered her to Adams’ office where he had her explain her responses and messages to UNIT over the last few months.

Adams had nodded at her suggestions for an investigation into the school’s board of governors and her concerns at the conclusion that the records were faked when she had found additional information. Rose had a sinking feeling that he really did not care about that issue. Dishearten and worried Rose had headed for her ride at the exit until Doctor Taylor had called her into his office.

“You alright Rose?” Malcolm asked. He frowned as he cleared his papers and two bits of technology off of a chair for her to sit in.

“Just worried.” Rose slumped into the newly cleared chair. “UNIT’s early reports don’t match up to what I’ve found and the Colonel is completely shrugging it off.

“That’s not unusual,” Malcolm told her gently. “Most early research is done very quickly to gauge the need for a more in-depth investigation.”

“Yeah, but they declared most of the teachers at the Academy fakes. I mean saying good humans with families aren’t human and labelling them dangerous is awfully extreme.”

Malcolm didn’t say anything as a response, but pressed his lips together and gave a quick nod that betrayed his nervousness. Rose sighed and leaned back. “I just have a weird feeling that I’m not doing what I should be doing there.”

“What do you mean?” Malcolm asked as Rose stared up at the ceiling.

“I’m missing something,” Rose muttered. “Something small and right in front of me. Something that has to do with the place the Academy was built. It’s not about the teachers so who is it?”

“Maybe you should look at the directors of the school,” Malcolm suggested. “If you don’t think the teachers are the threat than look at who wanted the school there and who made the arrangements for the teachers. If you’re right about the teachers being ordinary than perhaps someone created false clues for UNIT to follow.”

Rose turned her head back towards Malcolm and nodded. “That just makes me worry even more. I spent more time investigating the people at the school than I think the Colonel wanted me to.”

“The Colonel wants aliens,” Malcolm said, “He wants you to find him a plot against Earth so he can save the day and be promoted.”

“That’s harsh,” Rose said with a surprised blink at Malcolm.

“Oh plenty of the UNIT soldiers want to protect Earth, but there are those who do it for thrills and an ego boost mixed in as well.” Malcolm shook his head sadly. “Those that are here for Earth and just for Earth don’t seem to get promoted as quickly as the glory hounds.”

“I don’t like that,” Rose declared, slumping in the chair. “This should be a calling, not a job where you try to climb the ladder. That just seems wrong.”

“I agree,” Malcolm said. “But I’m just a scientific advisor, I don’t get any say in the military action side of things.”

“Pity,” Rose muttered. “You’re probably the smartest person I’ve met other than the Doctor of course.”

“Of course.” Malcolm sighed. “I envy you that you’ve met him.”

“I’ll see him again,” Rose said confidently. “So keep checking in on me and I’m sure you’ll meet him at some point.”

“Most people never see him more than once.”

“I’m not most people.” Rose gathered up her things and bit her bottom lip for a moment. “Do me a favour Malcolm; keep an eye on the Colonel for me.”

“You suspect the Colonel,” Malcolm asked with alarm.

“He’s not being completely frank with me and seems to want me focusing on a very narrow view of things at the Academy. Those are traits I don’t trust.”

Malcolm didn’t say anything further on the subject; he just hugged Rose and made her promise to be careful. Rose knew that Malcolm hated the whole legal minor on the front lines issue that Colonel Adams had brought into play. She promised him that she would be careful and put the word out to UNIT the moment she found anything important.

Rose returned home to her mother’s flat. A tree was in the corner of the living room waiting to be decorated tonight after dinner and she could hear her mother talking on the phone in her bedroom. Rose leaned against the wall by the front door and examined the room she had known all of her life. The painting Lumen now hung on the far wall in a place of honour, or as much of one as their flat had. Her mother’s taste in furnishings hadn’t changed while she was gone and the small space was still dominated by overstuffed sofas and chairs. Shaking her head, Rose started to walk towards her bedroom when a knock on the door catch her attention. Turning, she opened it and smiled at the delivery man who held her small computer out for her to sign before handing her a letter and a small package.

Rose smiled at the familiar letter in Eve’s handwriting, but she did not recognise the handwriting on the box. It seemed familiar to her so she shrugged and carried the two parcels back to her room. Sitting on her bed, Rose opened the letter from Eve first.

My Dearest Friend,

You’re right about someone trying to put you on the wrong trail at Horath Academy, but you have underestimated the danger you are in there. Please be careful, my vision is cloudy of your life in this period. There is presence near you that is causing your timeline to blur in my sight. I do not know if this being is a friend or foe, but I can see that a great conspiracy will move against you. My father tells me that your progress on the ship is going well so I have faith that you will not fail to help me. I just wish I could help you more in return.

Your friend,

Eve

P.S. Make sure you wear your gift in the other box. I have seen you wearing it in many of my visions of your future.

Rose frowned at the odd postscript and Eve’s vagueness. Usually, her friend saw the future with much more detail and precision. Rose leaned back against her pillows and reread Eve’s sentence about a presence near her at Horath Academy.

“What could that mean?” Rose asked herself softly.

Sighing, she folded the letter up carefully and stood from the bed. Taking a pen, she carefully wrote the date on a corner of the letter before she moved to her bookshelf and pulled out an old hardcover copy of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Rose opened the book to reveal a hollowed out middle with several carefully folded letter tied with a pale red ribbon. Carefully, Rose slipped the new letter into the packet and closed the book. Slipping the book back into place on the shelf Rose turned to the small package sitting on her bed. Eve hadn’t sent it, but said was safe and even important.

Cutting the small box open, Rose carefully tilted it out into her hand. She gasped when a small ring box fell into her palm and a small note fluttered to her bed. The ring box was the sort of thing Rose had seen in films, but she had never been given anything in one of the small boxes herself. It was made with soft fabric of a rich blue colour that made her smile. She set the cardboard box down and slowly opened the ring box. Tucked carefully inside the box was a golden ring with a small round cut gemstone that was a strange purple colour.

Rose removed the ring from the box and held it closer so she could see it better. The gem caught the light and shimmered several different shades of purple, blue and gold. Returning the ring into the box, Rose set it down on her bed but did not close the lid. She pulled out the small note that had fallen out of the box with the ring box. Opening it, she frowned at the familiar scrawl but wasn’t able to place it. The note simply said ‘Be careful’ and wasn’t signed.

The postage box did not have a return address and only indicated the use of the same delivery carrier that Eve had arranged for. After a moment of thought, Rose slipped the ring on her right hand and smiled at the perfect fit. She smiled at her hand for a long moment before she heard her mother calling her to the kitchen. Quickly, Rose removed the ring and threaded it onto the same chain that she wore the protective pendant the Doctor had given her when she was eleven. The weight of the ring settled against her chest and she smiled, promising to wear it properly when she went back to school. If her mother saw it… Rose chuckled at the thought as she put the chain under her shirt and went to join her mother.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Seven: Horath Academy: The Explosion that Started the End

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………………..

Rose Marion Tyler hadn’t planned on everything exploding all at once, she really hadn’t. Explosions for no reason were Astra’s thing and in fact, she could really blame the whole thing coming up like it had suddenly on her roommate. She had returned from winter break, wearing her ring on her right hand and accepting compliments on it from her fellow students. Rose was saying it was a Christmas gift from a friend since she had a short list of suspects that might have sent her a ring that Eve would care about. Astra had smiled at Rose, given her a huge hug and smirked slightly at the ring before going back to her chemical covered desk.

The school had settled back into classes, everyone performing wonderfully and the teachers rested from their break. As expected, many students had not returned from their breaks, either deeming the school too difficult or missing their families too much. A few people spoke about having slipped into poor moods with headaches at home which matched UNIT’s reports, but nothing screamed aliens.

Their fifth day back was marked by heavy coursework as exams approached and Astra’s experiment going all wrong. Rose had come back to their room from electronics class and dropped her things in shock. Astra was frantically adding chemicals into the complex system of tubes and flasks as the liquid inside glowed a strange green colour that Rose had never seen before.

“What did you do?” Rose shouted

Dashing over to the experiment, Rose pulled on the spare safety goggles as Astra started rambling on about a strange reaction with the local soil that she was looking at for extra credit. Rose filed the information away and examined Astra’s notes which were almost too frantically scrawled to read. Her chemistry classes suddenly seemed utterly worthless.

Suddenly, Astra grabbed Rose’ arm and hauled her across the room. Rose glanced behind her at the tubes to see them vibrating. Astra ripped the door open and the two girls stumbled out into the hall, slamming the door behind them. The explosion was fairly small and most of the smoke went straight out the window, but it shook the room. Rose could feel the shockwave hit the wall she was leaning against with a thud. Astra was slightly pale, but still standing and Rose listened to the brunette catch her breath. Taking a deep breath herself, Rose checked her safety goggles and slowly opened the door to their room.

The floor was covered with a softly green glowing liquid from the experiment and Rose avoided touching it as she entered. Astra’s side of the room was a disaster. The explosion had knocked Astra’s shelves and wardrobe over onto her bed, crushing the wooden frame. Her desk was partially intact with large splits in the wood and pieces in the wall.

“Oh my god, we are so expelled,” Astra muttered as she looked at the carnage.

“At least it was fairly contained,” Rose muttered as she looked around the room, noting the fragments of Astra’s desk that had become embedded in the walls.

“I wonder if any of our stuff is intact?” Astra asked with a sigh. “My mum is not going to like this.”

“What about your dad?” Rose carefully walked closer to Astra’s chemistry station.

“Oh, he’ll find it funny.” At Rose’s shocked look back at her, Astra grinned and shrugged. “Hey, no one was hurt so he’ll find it funny.”

Rose quickly switched off Astra’s equipment and sighed in relief as the soft humming sound it was making stopped. Outside they could hear running and shouting for professors. Rose chuckled to herself; expelled from Horath Academy wouldn’t please Colonel Adams. Then Rose blinked and looked around the room, realising now that the present danger was over than something wasn’t right.

The light fixture had been destroyed and there was glass from the bulbs on the floor, yet Rose was aware of the extra light in the room. Her artist's eyes traced the light source to Astra’s destroyed bed. Rose swallowed and approached the shattered bed frame that had been crushed by other furniture. She was vaguely aware of Astra watching her carefully.

“What caused the explosion?”

“I was running some basic tests on the area soil,” Astra said. “Nothing in the mixture should have caused an explosion. Even black powder in the soil shouldn’t have caused that.”

“So you don’t know,” Rose responded.

“Something is in the soil here,” Astra said. “Something highly volatile, but beyond that, I don’t know.”

Rose moved around the bed and gasped, the wood on the headboard had been crushed and behind it was a hidden panel of electronics beyond anything Rose had ever seen. They were flickering and sparking, giving off a faint glow that Rose realised the wood must have kept hidden.

“Rose, what is that?” Astra asked.

Rose frowned and stalked past Astra into the hallway. She ignored the other students who shouted questions as her and headed from the fire axe case at the end of the hall. Pulling off her jacket, Rose used it as a barrier between the glass and her elbow as she smashed the case’s glass. Rose glared at an older girl who tried to stop her as she picked up the axe and ignored her when she yelled that she was going to get a teacher. Moving back to her room, Rose found Astra examining the small panel of electronics in her bed.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before… what is the axe for?” Astra asked as she looked up. “And you look really angry so I’m going to stay over here.”

Rose swung the axe at the top of her own bed. The wood shuddered and Rose’s eyes narrowed dangerously. Another swing cut deep into the wooden panel and when Rose pulled the axe back, ripped a huge chunk out. Using her hands, she pried open the wooden shell and gave a triumphant shout when another electric panel was exposed to her eyes.

“There is one in my bed too.” Rose leaned forward to look it over. “This isn’t regular electronics. Nothing here matches up to Earth technology.”

Astra didn’t respond as Rose went to her own desk which was intact but slightly dented from the explosion. She pulled out her laptop and hit the emergency contact button. She turned to Astra and smiled as she pulled off her safety goggles. Her roommate’s expression was remarkably calm.

“Maybe you should go and get a professor.”

“Yeah,” Astra said softly as she looked at Rose. “You’re probably right. Be careful.” Astra gestured around the room. “Don’t know what else might happen now.”

After Astra left the room, Rose typed in her access code and became to speak into her laptop.
“Rose Tyler, identification number D79 calling from Horath Academy. Alien technology has been located in a dormitory and appears directed at the students. A UNIT team is needed to secure the area and a medical team is requested to perform full checks on students.”

Rose repeated the message and noted the signal verification she was detecting. However, there was no response from UNIT to her message. Rose hit the emergency signal again, checking that her emergency beacon was activated in case the message wasn’t getting through. A moment later her door flew open and Professor Buchanan stumbled in with wide eyes.

“Rose,” he gasped. “You’re alright?”

“I’m fine professor,” Rose told him as she closed her laptop.

Buchanan walked over to Rose’s bed and leaned forward. Rose heard him muttering to himself that he didn’t understand and smiled slightly. She was glad that Buchanan didn’t seem connected to whatever was happening here. Her professor shook his head and stood up.

“Head Teacher Duncan wants all the students in the cafeteria,” Buchanan told her.

“It was only one little explosion,” Rose protested. “We don’t need to evacuate.”

“Rose,” he said firmly. “Come along.”

Rose gave one last hopeful look towards her laptop, grabbed her phone and followed the professor out of the dorm room. Buchanan began to collect the remaining students and Rose flipped open her phone. Quickly, she hit the speed dial for Shareen and brought the phone to her ear as she followed the group heading out of the building.

“Hello, Rose, what’s new at that fancy-”

“Shareen I can’t talk long, but I need you to do something for me.”

“What?”

Rose told Shareen the UNIT phone number and quickly told her friend the message to pass on to Colonel Adams there. As they reached the main hall, Rose whispered a quick goodbye and snapped the mobile phone shut. Head Teacher Duncan was standing calmly in his neat suit, watching the students file in. His eyes settled on Rose as Astra darted over to her roommate.

“Are you alright Rose?”

“I’m fine, you Astra.”

“I’m okay, but something weird is going on.” Astra hissed to Rose. “Duncan is acting weird.”

Rose was about to reply when Head Teacher Duncan stepped forward and looked around at the all students. The two hundred and fifty students fell silent at the intense look on his face as he carefully examined them all as they sat down at the long tables, waiting to be addressed.

“We were not planning to move onto this stage so soon, but certain destructive students have made it necessary,” he said darkly.

The main dining hall doors opened and a troop of twenty UNIT soldiers suddenly marched into the room, fully armed. Several students leapt up and started shouting while Rose glanced between Duncan and the soldiers in confusion. The back door opened and another large group of soldiers marched in, flanking the students. Captain Baker, who Rose had only met once at the Headquarters, looked over at her with a small smirk.

“How did you get here so fast?” Rose asked him.

“We’ve been preparing for this Miss Tyler and your discovery tonight forced us to activate the final stage.” Captain Baker told her as he stepped into the centre of the room. “Students remain calm and cooperate and no harm will come to you.”

“What are you talking about?” Rose hissed. She stood up from her chair, ignoring Astra trying to hold her back.

“Calm down Tyler,” Colonel Adams said as he entered the room. “You’ve served your purpose marvellously. We feared it would take years and years of work to achieve our goal.” Adams gave Rose a small twisted smile. “But I was right that adding you into the mix would speed things along.” Adams turned away from Rose. “Take the students and the staff down into the computer system. We’ll use a deeper scan to finish the process.”

The UNIT soldiers aimed their weapons at various students and barked orders for them to move. Two soldiers grabbed Rose’s arms as she tried to dart away. Twisting, Rose threw one of the men over her soldier and turned to attack the other one. From behind another man grabbed her as she tried to fight off the small group of soldiers. Finally, one of them secured her in a hold and placed a handgun against her head.

Rose stilled at the weight of the gun against her head and forced herself to relax. The soldier chuckled and started dragging Rose towards the door where the other students were being marched out to the lawn. She saw Astra sharply turn and roundhouse kick one of the soldiers standing guard over the students. Astra darted towards one of the high windows of the dining hall and vaulted towards it. Rose’s vision started to blur as the soldier tightened his grip around her neck and turned sharply towards Astra, but she saw Astra going through the window, heard a gunfire and saw her friend’s form tumble out of sight.

Rose heard screaming and only realised a moment later she was one of the many people screaming. Another gunshot made the room fall silent as Colonel Adams calmly announced to the students that no one else needed to die if they all calmly went with his soldiers. Rose was kept near Adams, under the guard of four soldiers who kept their guns trained on her as they left the dining hall. They arrived out on the lawn; the large outdoor lights had been switched on lighting up the area as dusk started to fall. Adams pulled out a small grey box and opened it with a flourish. Rose squirmed in the grasp of her guards, trying to get a better look.

“It is the remote control for my ship,” Adams informed her calmly.

“Your ship?” Rose gasped. “You’re an alien?”

“No Miss Tyler.” Adams chuckled and gave her a pat on the head. “My ship was a gift from Lord Apep.”

“You serve an alien?” Rose stared at him in horror. “You’re sworn to protect Earth!”

“Earth is so small,” Adams told her. “So very tiny compared to becoming a god.”

Adams pressed a button on the small remote and the ground shook. The turf of the lawn split down the centre as a large metal tip began rising through the ground. Rose heard students gasp and few tried to run only to be knocked down by the soldier. The point rose up in front of them, revealing a huge four-sided pyramid shape. A large metal door appeared in the surface of the metal and slid open. Adams smirked at the shock on Rose’s face and looked at his soldiers.

“Get the students hooked up to the machine. We need to finish charging the key.”

“What key?” Rose demanded as Adams walked towards the entrance to the strange ship.

“The key to the greatest power in the galaxy. The deposed tyrant of the Dark Empire who was locked away on Earth three thousand years ago. A machine with the power to destroy and create worlds.” Adams smiled gleefully, a look that made Rose shudder. “And once the key is charged it will be unleashed under the command of the Lord Apep.”

Rose swallowed at the glint in Adams' eye as she was marched into the dark ship along with the other students. They were taken down a long dark corridor to a large room filled with rows and rows of transparent sarcophagi that made Rose think of glass coffins, the lids were a larger version of the technology panels Rose had found in the dorm room, each one flickering to life as a person was put into the sarcophagus. She watched, unable to move between the grips of two soldiers and the four guns points at her as the students were ordered under threat of death into each sarcophagus. The lids slid shut with a horrible thud, drowning out the soft crying of the scared teenagers as one by one they were pushed into the machines. It seemed to take forever for the hundreds of students and staff to be loaded into the machine while Rose watched in silence.

Her eyes scanned each little detail of the room, the light from each of the small machines adding to her ability to see as they were loaded. Finally, when Professor Greene was loaded in at gunpoint, Head Teacher Duncan turned to Colonel Adams with a smile.

“We are so close Colonel.”

“Good, this has taken too long as it is.”

“The school has only been here a few years,” Rose argued trying to gather information.

“Oh we’ve been trying to recharge the key for years,” Duncan said with a sigh. “For many years we used homeless people, but they lacked the mental strength we needed. We tried children, we tried adults, but to no success. Then we came here and charged the key off of young, but not infant minds close to Horath. Progress was still slow, but then Colonel Adams delivered the final piece of the puzzle.”

“And what was that?” Rose asked trying to sound brave.

“Someone young intelligent, artistic and who knew about aliens,” the Colonel replied. “I delivered you.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Eight: Horath Academy: The Standing Stones

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………………………….

“Me,” Rose asked in a more frightened tone than she meant to. “Why did you need me?”

“Not you exactly,” the Colonel replied. They walked down the long middle row of the sarcophagi and Rose tried to avoid looking at any of her unconscious classmates. “When Horath was buried on Earth, the power to restart Horath was sealed away separately within the Key and must be charged to awaken it.”

“Charged how?”

The Colonel gave Rose an amused look, “You can’t stop us, Miss Tyler.”

“The Doctor will stop you,” Rose snapped back at him.

“He can’t,” the Colonel laughed. “He doesn’t even know about Horath being on Earth. You see Miss Tyler when Horath was buried on Earth, the human race was made his jailors. Only human minds can recharge the key to release Horath and the prison is almost invisible to alien technology. Horath has been under the Doctor’s nose for centuries and he never noticed so believe me that he isn’t going to show up now.” Adams gave her a nasty smug look.“Besides, only humans can even enter the burial site. Anything not originating from Earth is repelled which is why Lord Apep needs me and my men. Even if the Doctor found the burial site and discovered what we were doing he couldn’t get close to me.” He smirked at her and said, “So forget any delusions of a rescue. I’ve ensured that everything will work in our favour.

The Colonel reached a large glowing control panel, covered with controls and circuits that had an Egyptian style. Rose frowned at the designs she recognised from the British Museum.

“Why does all this look Egyptian?”

“My Lord Apep was feared in Ancient Times as the God of Chaos and Darkness and his people shaped that civilisation.” The Colonel had a far off look in his eyes and answered her distractedly while he adjusted the controls. “I was only a young private in UNIT when Apep’s mind was released by my hand. It was an accident in the Black Archives and he called to me from his buried ship in Egypt. Together we were able to free his ship and bring it to the burial site of Horath, I personally hid it from UNIT’s scans. Lord Apep is weak now, but he will be able to control the power of Horath to reshape the Milky Way Galaxy into a new Empire. Then the universe will fall to his power.”

“And what do you get?” Rose asked. “You and your men betray Earth and children of your own species, for what?”

“Power Miss Tyler. Lord Apep will renew the Osirian species as their new King God and we will all be elevated to godhood in the universe.” The Colonel didn’t look back at her as he motioned to one of the other officers, a captain by his uniform. “I spent years working my way through the ranks, Apep’s knowledge helping me at every turn and I built up the United Kingdom UNIT to serve this purpose. I handpicked my top men who shared my dream of the universe.” The Colonel turned and gave Rose a dark look. “There is nothing on Earth for men like us.”

Rose shuddered at the look on his face and gasped as another sarcophagus rose from the floor of the ship. This one was larger and wasn’t transparent, but looked like the sarcophagi that she had seen in museums. Rose struggled against her captors, twisting one of them enough for a shoulder throw only to be caught in a hold by another one.

“The ship’s systems have identified you as the mind that resonates with the Key the most. Horath’s jailers knew that he couldn’t be contained once humankind reached a certain level. The Key was designed to be recharged by intelligent, but good minds which are why young and intelligent humans were our best option. And as I suspected your knowledge of aliens added just the final push the Key needed to be convinced that humankind was ready to take responsibility for Horath.”

Rose bit at one of the soldier’s hand and kicked frantically at one of the others as they raised her up. Throwing her limbs about, Rose tried to free herself from the four soldiers that were shoving her into the sarcophagus. She hit the bottom with a thud and tried to sit up quickly, but screamed as the heavy lid slammed shut. Rose tried to calm her breathing as she was encased in darkness, but started pounding against the lid a moment later when some kind of vapour spilt into the air. Shouting, Rose yelled at the Colonel despite knowing it wouldn’t help as she felt her limbs start to grow heavy. A moment later her arms fell to her sides and she couldn’t focus enough to yell, then her eyes slid shut and everything stopped.

Rose groaned as someone smacked her face and her eyes flinched closed at the sudden bright light from above her. “Rose,” a voice she couldn’t place called out. “Rose Tyler, wake up right now!” Her heavy eyelids slowly opened as she drew in a deep breath of fresh air. She was vaguely aware of her arms being pulled carefully and her upper body being lifted up.

“Easy Rose,” another voice said, “Mickey lift her legs over the edge.”

“I’m trying,” a masculine voice hissed. “She’s dead weight right now. Come on Rose wake up.”

“Mickey…” Rose groaned as she turned her head towards the voice and tried to focus her eyes. “What are you doing here?”

“Sharon and Shareen called me saying you were in trouble.” She heard him give a weak scared laugh. “Unconscious in a big coffin in the middle of a spaceship is definitely trouble.”

Rose was set down on the metal floor and a bottle of water was put to her mouth. She swallowed three gulps before forcing her eyes open as she took a deep breath. A voice that she now placed as Astra’s said, “That’s it. Breathing will help get the rest of the gas out of your system.”

Rose’s eyes flew open as she remembered Astra being shot at, her adrenaline pumping. Astra was kneeling in front of her with a small smile that turned into a huge grin as she saw Rose become alert. “There you are, welcome back.”

“Astra!” Rose gasped as she looked at her friend, her eyes wide at the sight of blood all over Astra’s arm. “Oh my god!”

“Yeah.” Astra grimaced as she looked at her arm. “I got shot and I must have hit my head when I fell because I didn’t come around until after dark. I headed for the car park hoping to go to get help when these three drove up.”

Rose turned her attention to her right and smiled at the sight of Sharon, Shareen and a flushed Mickey. “Why did you come?”

“We couldn’t get a hold of UNIT,” Shareen said.

“Yeah, they’re working with the enemy,” Rose hissed as she started to stand. “The Colonel must have blocked my alert.”

“The number you gave us was down with no messages or signal,” Sharon said. “So we went to Mickey.” She tilted her head towards the nineteen-year-old man next to her. “He found a number for that Doctor Taylor you mentioned and we sent him a message. Then Mickey drove us up here, he speeds by the way.”

“Aliens,” Mickey reminded them. “Real aliens, can we get out of here now?”

“No.” Rose shook her head as she looked around the room. “We have to stop them, I trust Malcolm, but if he doesn’t get that message to someone who isn’t on Adams’ side soon then planet Earth is in a lot of trouble.” Rose swallowed and focused on the doorway on the other side of the room. “If you lot just walked in here then that means that all of the Colonel’s men are at Horath’s burial site with the Key. It must be recharged now.” Taking a deep breath, Rose looked at her friends. “Get the others out of here as quickly as you can, but be careful. I don’t know where the alien Apep is.”

“What about you?” Mickey grabbed her arm, a terrified expression on his face. “Where are you going? We have to get everyone out of here like you said.”

“You’re going after Adams,” Astra said with a soft exhale and her lips curved into a smile. “That’s crazy you know.”

“Rose, the blonde always dies first in these movies!” Shareen reminded her with a frown.

“Adams said my mind resonated the most with the Key, I’m hoping that might be of some use.” Rose swallowed and tried to smile. “And that might just keep him from shooting me on sight.” Before her friends could object, Rose nodded firmly towards the other captives. “There are over two hundred and eighty people that have to be freed and you don’t know how much time we’ve got.”

“Rose-” Mickey started to say but trailed off at the solemn look on her face.

Sharon and Shareen both looked like they wanted to say something, but Shareen instead pulled Sharon towards the first of the sarcophagi which they started pushing open.

“Do you know where they are?” Astra asked.

“The stone circle.” Rose nodded, feeling certain all the way down to her bones. “It is three thousand years old, the same time Horath was brought here and must have been made to look like other human constructions of the time. Adams kept referring to the burial site so I’m certain that is where he is going.”

“Good luck Rose,” Astra told her with a small smile. “We’ll get them out.”

“Good.” Rose squared her shoulders and moved past her friends for the exit, breaking into a run.

Rose didn’t stop and didn’t hesitate as she rushed towards the path she had walked months earlier with Astra. In the low light from the school and the alien ship, she could see that the path had tramped down by heavy military boots. Sighing, Rose moved through the dark area as quickly as she could manage in the dark. Then a bright light flooded the area and Rose looked out in front of her towards the stone circle. Bright lights were now set up around the area and she could make out the circle far ahead of her. Taking another breath, Rose resumed running towards it.

Time seemed to crawl as she struggled to close the distance between her and the UNIT men, all the while hoping that she wouldn’t be too late. Based on the darkness and the moon, Rose was sure that she had been unconscious for roughly the two hours it must have taken her friends to get to the school. It was over half an hour before she reached the stone circle and she approached it slowly, staying near the tree line. Crouching, Rose cursed her school uniform and wished she was in more practical clothing for trying to save the world.

Colonel Adams was standing next to one of the portable lights, near one of the UNIT trucks that were parked around the stone circle. Rose figured that they must have come in two groups, some to the school and some to the circle. Of course, by her mental calculations that meant that there were, even more, people here waiting to betray their planet. Adams was holding a long crystal shaped object that came to a point on each end. It was covered in softly glowing rune-like symbols and seemed to be pulsing with energy. Rose was willing to bet her life that it was the Key. Rose crept forward as two UNIT men walked past her and darted up to one of the trucks. She ducked into the shadow of the truck and made herself as small as possible.

“Are we ready Captain Brown,” Adams asked another officer who walked over to him within earshot of Rose.

“Almost sir, according to Lord Apep we have to wait for the midpoint of the night. Based on the sunrise and sunset that is in ten minutes.”

“Ancient rituals,” Adams snorted. “Why couldn’t it just be whenever the key is ready.”

“Most likely another test for the advancement of humanity,” Captain Brown suggested only to get a withering look from the Colonel. “I’ll check the final preparations.”

Rose was about to slip out of her hiding spot when a fancy black car with tinted windows pulled up further away from the circle, causing Adams to straighten up and hold the Key gingerly in his hands in front of him. Rose turned her body slightly under the truck she was hiding under to see the new arrival. One soldier rushed forward and opened the back door of the car. Rose bit her lip to stay quiet as a tall humanoid form stepped from the car dressed in a neat black suit, but he had a serpent-like head with a great hood like a cobra. The figure took one step towards the circle, holding a hand out in front of him. Rose’s eyes widened when he suddenly stopped and the area in front of his hand shimmered.

“The field remains intact Colonel Adams,” the figure said in an oily voice that matched the snakehead perfectly in Rose’s opinion. “I trust you are ready.”

“Indeed Lord Apep, the Key was charged by the students and we have them imprisoned on your ship as you requested.”

“Good,” Apep said, straightening his tie. “I haven’t had a human slave in a very long time. What of the girl with a connection to aliens you informed me of.”

“She is sealed in the main sarcophagi; I wanted to ensure she did not escape.”

“Excellent,” the Osirian said. “Is she attractive?”

Colonel Adams blinked at the question. “I suppose so, sire. She is young, but athletic which gives her a good form.”

“Excellent,” Apep hissed, but he didn’t elaborate. Rose was pleased to see that Adams looked uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation. “Are you prepared?”

“Yes Lord Apep, we can use the Key in five minutes,” Colonel Adams said.

“Good, let nothing happen to that Key and get into position.”

Colonel Adams nodded and walked away from Apep who hissed as he looked around. Rose swallowed and tore her gaze away from the strange looking alien and rolled over on the ground to start crawling her way out from under the truck. Pulling herself back into a crouching position, Rose hid in the shadows between two trucks. She paused and glanced over the large number of soldiers who were starting to form a ring around the stone circle. Adam calmly walked past all of them and into the circle. Rose noted the centre stone in the middle of the circle and saw Adams’ position the Key above the stone.

Rose swallowed and whispered to herself, “Now or never Tyler.”

With those words, Rose darted out from her hiding place and rushed towards Adams. She vaguely heard shouting and the sound of the soldiers lifting their guns, but none fired as she broke past them into the circle. Everything seemed to slow down as Adams connected the Key to the stone and pulse of light flashed through the area. The Key lit up and streams of light seemed to flow into the centre stone. Launching herself forward Rose grabbed the Key from the startled Adams’ hands, pulling it away from the stone. Everything stopped as the soldiers all trained their guns on her.

“Don’t you could hit the Key,” Adams shouted as Rose pulled the alien artefact against her chest. He whirled on her with fury in his eyes. “Give me the Key Miss Tyler!”

“No!”

Rose looked around at the stone circle. Light was still pulsing from the centre stone and travelling through the ground towards the standing stones. Rose gasped as the outer stones suddenly lit up and pillars of light formed from them, reaching towards the sky. The ground began to shake and Rose looked up at Adams who started to laugh.

“It seems Miss Tyler that a moment was all the Key needed to unlock the tomb. And look now, my lord Apep approaches to claim Horath and this galaxy!”

Rose turned to see Apep slowly approaching, no field holding him back from the circle. The soldiers were no longer aiming at her, the shaking of the ground too much for them to remain stable. Rose felt the Key still pulsing in her arms and the soft heat coming off of it. Easing her grip, Rose took one end in her hand and stumbled towards the centre stone. Adams lurched after her, barely keeping his balance while Rose’s time as a gymnast seemed to be proving useful.

“Apep!” Rose shouted as a high wind began to circle through the area and the glowing increased. The ground was shifting upwards as Horath was being drawn to the surface. The serpent headed alien turned and fixed his yellow eyes on Rose as she left the Key above the centre stone. Rose smirked as the alarm she saw in the alien’s eyes and the sound of Adams’ shouts before she brought the Key smashing down on the stone.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Nine: Horath Academy: TARDIS

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………………….

Rose felt more than saw the Key shatter against the stone. Energy rippled past her hands and across her entire body. She could hear shouting and almost a roar coming from Apep’s direction. The rumbling of the ground became more violent and a high pitched whine filled the stone circle.

“What have you done?” Adams shouted. His voice was almost lost on the wind and the whine.

“What I imagine Horath’s jailors intended for a human to do! The Key wasn’t just the key to Horath’s prison, but designed to resonate with the machine itself.” Rose wasn’t sure where her insight was coming from, but it felt right as the words spilt out of her. “When fully charged the Key could be used either to set Horath free under the control of the Key or to destroy it.” Rose raised her chin defiantly. “And I chose to destroy it, for the safety of the universe. That’s why the Key resonated with me and not you or any of your goons.”

“Foolish child,” Apep growled. The snake headed creature backed away from the vibrating circle. “The system is overloading, you will die here.” The serpent headed being turned away from the circle and began to run.

Rose looked around, the standing stones were shaking and the energy beams were fracturing all over the circle. One burst forth and struck one of the soldiers in a brilliant beam of white and the man disintegrated. The soldiers outside the circle started running from the stones while those inside of it were being disintegrated one by one as the stone’s began to fracture.

The first stone had turned a brilliant violet colour with beams of light shooting forth from its fractured surface. Rose stumbled away from it as the whine became louder and higher pitched. It exploded a moment later, vaporising those nearby while Rose barely managed to jump behind the centre stone. She pulled her knees to her chest as she watched the soldiers try to escape the explosion without being hit by the beams from the remaining stones. Rose flinched as another stone exploded on the far side of the circle.

“You!” Adams grabbed Rose’s arm, hauling her to her feet. His right eye was wounded and the entire right side of his face was bleeding. “Decades of work lost because of a stupid sixteen-year-old girl couldn’t mind her own business!”

“You brought me here,” Rose shouted pulling her arm away. “You brought this on yourself! What happens to you and your men because you tried to betray your own species is on your own head!”

Another standing stone exploded shaking the area and causing Adams and Rose to stumble. Adams glared at Rose as he caught himself and looked back at her.

“At least you’ll die in this blasted circle with me.” He gestured wildly with his arms. “The beams have us trapped! Congratulations Rose Tyler, you saved the universe, but you’ll die.” Adams dropped his hand to his side and pulled his gun from the holster. “I have no intention of sending you into death any sooner than necessary. I want you to die in this circle like me, but I will make sure that your last minutes of life are in agony.”

Rose jumped to the right as he fired the gun and hit the ground with a sharp thud as the bullet shot past her. Looking up, Rose gasped as Adams was hit in the back by one of the beams coming from a fracturing stone. She gave a soft cry as she watched his body rapidly burn in front of her before crumbling into ash. Rose swallowed and stayed low to the ground as she looked the circle of stones. Most of the stones were reaching the breaking point with beams of light spilling out into the area. Rose could see the remaining soldiers inside the circle trying to dodge the beams, some with more success than others. Outside the circle, most of the soldiers had been caught in the blasts and by the beams. She could barely breathe and her entire body was hurting from the shaking ground and the vibrating air. Pulling her knees to her chest, Rose forced herself to take another breath after she caught sight of another soldier being burned to ash.

“Sorry Mum, I had to stop them.” Rose closed her eyes, waiting for the next explosion.

Above the high pitched whine of the stones and the shockwaves of the explosions, Rose heard a strangely familiar wheezing noise. A warm breeze seemed to wrap around her and cautiously she opened her eyes. Rose blinked her eyes in confusion, trying to clear her vision as the large domed room started to fade into sight around her. She started to stand just before another shockwave knocked her backwards. Rose fell back and hit… a smooth floor. Above her, the strange metal coiled ceiling solidified only a second later.

“Hold on! This is going to be bumpy!” A very familiar voice from when she was twelve years old shouted. “Geronimo!”

Everything lurched and shook within the odd room. Sparks shot out from the walls as it vibrated and Rose could hear the male voice muttering and shouting. Rose grabbed onto a nearby railing to pull herself up to her knees. Looking down, she gasped as the transparent floor that let her see the massive holes in the floor below her. Keeping a tight grip, Rose turned her whole body to look towards the voice that had been shouting. Her jaw dropped as her long ago teacher Mr Smith moved around an elaborate set of controls. He looked exactly the same, his long brown hair, his tweed jacket and a bow tie. Glancing over at her, he gave her a big smile and wink before pulling another switch. Then the shaking stopped and the wheezing sound faded. Mr Smith let out a small breath before he straightened up with a smile and turned to face her.

“Well now Rose Marion Tyler, where would you like to begin.”

Rose’s knees slid out from under her and she slumped slightly against the railing behind her. She took a moment and looked around the strange room and over the console before her eyes trailed back to Mr Smith. He was standing there calmly with the same patient smile she remembered.

“I was in the stone circle,” Rose said more to herself than him, “And now I’m in what I’m pretty sure is an alien spaceship… which given the fact that the entire Horath complex was in the process of blowing up is a good thing.” Her eyes were wide and she looked around the ship in shock.

“Breathe, Rose, your adrenaline is wearing off,” Mr Smith said gently.

Out of her old habit of listening to her favourite teacher more than really processing what he said Rose took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment. When she opened them, she pulled herself off the floor and took a shaky step towards the controls. Mr Smith moved slightly to allow Rose full view of the controls. After a moment of looking the controls over Rose giggled.

“I’ve never seen anything like these controls before.”

“Well this ship is one of a kind,” he informed her with a smile.

“So you’re an alien,” Rose said. “You’re an alien, you were my teacher and you just saved me.”

“Well you saved the universe, Rose Tyler,” Mr Smith said with a grin. “I couldn’t exactly leave the universe’s saviour to die with the villains.”

“Who are you?” Rose asked turning to him. “How did you know, they said that no aliens could detect Horath?”

“They were right,” he told her gently. “Until the Key was destroyed and the field surrounding Horath collapsed my sensors couldn’t find a thing. The jailors of Horath, a very nice secret society called the Warriors of Hope managed to overcome Horath’s might, switch it off and lock it away.” He brushed a strand of loose hair behind Rose’s ear. “But they couldn’t destroy it then. You were right the Key was both a prison key and a special device to link with Horath. Over the last three thousand years that device has been syncing itself with Horath and waiting for the right kind of human mind to take control. The jailors hoped that when humans advanced enough to understand what was there and have enough knowledge of the universe to know they were not alone that they would destroy it.”

“Colonel Adams was going to hand it over to Apep.”

“Yeah, that human was going to use it for remaking the universe and everything in it to his liking, but you stopped them.” He grinned at her, looking ready to jump around. “Given control of the ultimate power, Rose Tyler and you smash it.”

“I didn’t think of it like that,” Rose admitted softly. “I just knew they would use Horath to hurt anyone that didn’t agree with them. I wasn’t okay with that.”

“I know,” he replied giving her a long look. Then he smiled and grabbed her hand, pulling her down the stairs. Rose blinked in surprise at the odd doors that they stopped in front of. She was about to ask about the design and the words police public call box that were visible to her when he threw open the doors. Suddenly her vision was filled with a majestic spiral galaxy glittering in space, dominating the view out of the doors. Silently, Rose stepped forward past Mr Smith and gazed out. Her body reached the very edge of the ship’s interior and she gasped in quiet alarm.

“Easy,” Mr Smith said as he moved behind her, gently touching her arms. “Easy, we’re inside the ship’s force field.”

“That’s… we’re in space.”

“Yes,” he replied with a grin. “That Rose Tyler is the Milky Way Galaxy.” He raised his arm and shifted so Rose could look down his arm and where his finger was pointing, “And in that arm, there is the star Sol and the planet Earth. The home of one of the most interesting and diverse species in the universe, today is a good example of that. One human tries to take the ultimate power for itself and another human destroys it to save everything else.”

“My species,” Rose repeated with a small smile. Then Rose turned to look at him. “You still haven’t answered me, who you are?”

Mr Smith grinned and pulled Rose back from the doorway slightly so she could face him fully with starlight pouring into the ship around them. “When you were eleven years old I found you surrounded by clown dolls under the control of the Pied Piper.” Reaching down, his long fingers brushed over hers as he took her hand gently. “I took your hand and I said one word, run.”

“Doctor?” Rose whispered in shock as he smiled.

“And when you were fourteen we were trapped in that little exhibit room while the Mona Lisa’s living painting forces were breaking through the door. We were saved by your painting.” His grin widened even further. “Only time in my lives I’ve been saved by a painting.”

“It is you,” Rose gasped. “But how?”

He smiled at her gently and still holding her hand, he used his free hand to shut the doors and lead her up to the controls. At his urging, Rose sat down in the pilot chair near the controls, still gaping up at him.

“It is called regeneration.” He paused and frowned for a moment. “I’ve never actually explained this before the fact to anyone. My species, Time Lords have a way of cheating death based on our very complicated DNA. If I’m killed,” he held up a hand to stop her speaking, “as a Time Lord I can regenerate, that means I can change every cell in my body. Basically, build a new body for myself in seconds to save my life. My memories all transfer and so do the basic parts of my personality, but I’m a little different each time.”

“You died,” Rose said softly. “But, I met this you when I twelve and saw you with the leather jacket again when I was fourteen.”

“Clever girl,” the Doctor said with a grin. Still holding her hand, he gave a grand gesture to his ship. “This is the TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimensions in Space! She can travel in time. I can regenerate and go back in time to help teach you science at the age of twelve even though you’ll meet me again at the age of fourteen.”

“Time travel,” Rose repeated, a smile spreading over her face. She stared at him for a long moment before laughing. “Call me crazy, but I believe you. I cannot imagine anyone else could make me believe that, but well I’ve never met anyone else like you.”

“Big universe,” the Doctor said. He tried to look casual, but his smile return. “But yeah I’m quite … singular.” He paused for a moment before turning back to the controls and making some adjustments. “I had better get you back to Earth. I know you won’t want your friends to worry too long because the destruction of Horath is going to visible for quite the distance.”

“You know me well then?” Rose asked in response, watching him for a moment. “I mean if you go to all this trouble.”

“I went back in time so you would trust me,” the Doctor said. “By introducing this form to you at the age of twelve I knew you’d accept me more easily. I certainly didn’t want to scare you after the day you’ve had.”

“That didn’t answer the question,” Rose told him.

The Doctor looked at her for a moment before chuckling. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter and a leather bound book with golden trim on the edge, it had a rose embossed on the front. It occurred to Rose that it shouldn’t have fit in his pocket at all, but that was the least of her concerns. Holding them out to her, he smiled as she gingerly took them into her hands.

“I did things this way because you told me to,” the Doctor said as he tapped the book. “This journal is for you, for us.” Rose opened her mouth to say something, but he motioned for silence. “I’m afraid Rose Tyler that you’ve become a … gravity point in time on Earth.” The Doctor paused, considering his words. “You’ve sort of become heavy in your point in time and space and like how a large mass will attract smaller mass, you’re temporal presence will attract other temporal masses. It is similar to what happens with me, just on a one planet scale. I’m afraid that you’re going to spend the next few years dealing with a lot of strange things because of how what you’ve seen and done has changed you. It is all going to be very very complicated on your end of things: circular paradox, meetings out of order and a lot of foreknowledge. The events of your youth have started a very long and complex series of events that will help make you into the person Eve saw in your future. And the woman I know.”

Rose had so many questions, but none seemed to form properly on her tongue. The Doctor tilted his head slightly and smiled at her. “Write the strange things that happen to you down in the journal, it will help you keep it all straight as the years go on.” He paused and pointed at the letter, “That is a bit more complicated. I’m not actually the version that the leather coat me is going to regenerate into and that letter needs to get to an earlier me.”

“Why can’t you just-”

“Because I remember you giving it to me,” the Doctor said. “As I told you very complicated future ahead of you. When you are eighteen years old you’ll first meet the form of me that needs to receive this letter. Back then I had this ridiculous brown hair and wore a pinstripe brown suit with converses. An odd look, but I suppose not my worst.” He shook his head as if to clear it. “Anyway hold onto this letter and when you meet me in that form and I say ‘time can be rewritten,’ give it to me.”

“I have to keep this with me?” Rose asked.

“No, don’t worry, just keep it at home and you’ll have it when you need it.” The Doctor paused and licked his lips, almost nervously. “One more thing Rose, remember that time can be rewritten. Nothing in your life is certain and you can change the course of it whenever you want to. You are anything, but a victim of circumstance.”

Rose glanced down at the journal and the letter in her free hand and the grip he had on her other one. “You’re giving me an out,” she said looking back up at him. “That’s what you’re telling me, is that any point I decide I don’t want this complicated future and complex life I can walk away.” He said nothing and she nodded, “So we’re going to see more of each other in my future… your past.”

“If you want to,” the Doctor said.

Rose stared at him, having the feeling that she was just missing something. The Doctor seemed to be trying to tell her something, but stopping just short of saying it out loud. He turned back to the controls and released her hand. The TARDIS shook slightly, not as bad and Rose heard the wheezing noise fill the room.

“Here we are! Planet Earth, only five minutes after the explosion destroyed Horath and the traitor UNIT forces.”

“What about Apep?”

“I suggest you brush up on Egyptian mythology,” the Doctor said. “He survived and escaped with his ship. You’ll be very pleased to know that your friends were able to get all the students and teachers out of it first.”

“Good,” Rose glanced over at the doors before turning back to him. “I don’t understand all of this yet, but thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” the Doctor said as he walked her to the front door.

Rose stepped outside the ship and turned to look at it, only her jaw dropped open. She almost dropped the journal and letter she had tucked under her arm. “But, it’s so small,” Rose gasped, barely noticing the Doctor’s grin as he leaned against the doorframe.

“Yeah,” the Doctor replied as Rose circled the Police Public Call Box.

She circled three times, tapping the outer shell of the ship before she stopped in front of him. “Okay so you’re an alien who changes his face and you’ve got a transdimensional blue box.” Rose paused, “Wait no, you’ve got a time travelling transdimensional blue box.”

“Yeah,” the Doctor agreed with a smirk. “But most people just say that it is bigger on the inside.”

Rose glanced into the TARDIS, “That’s a bit obvious.” She shook her head and giggled. “Someday when we’ve got more time you’re going to have to explain how that is achieved to me. Not to mention exactly what a police public call box is.”

“I will,” the Doctor promised, “But I’m afraid that it is time for me to leave.” He gestured to the area behind Rose, “I don’t do cleanup jobs.” He paused, “Oh I suppose there is one more thing, Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is about to show up with other UNIT forces. He’s a good man and I’ve known him for a very long time. He’ll be a slightly bad mood that his retirement was cancelled again, but you can trust him.”

“What should I tell him?” Rose asked.

“About what?”

“About you,” Rose chuckled.

“Oh, just tell him that I swung by to save your life after you saved the universe and then left before they pulled out the paperwork. You can also tell him that I gave him a good character reference, he’ll find that amusing.”

Rose laughed at his statement and glanced back towards the main building. “I guess I should go.”

“Yeah,” the Doctor said looking around, “Me too, but one more thing.”

“You keep saying that,” Rose told him, but she stepped closer to him when he motioned for her to come closer. “What is it?”

The Doctor leaned forward through the TARDIS doors and softly kissed Rose on the lips, cupping her chin gently. The press of his lips to hers only lasted a moment before he pulled back and grinned at her shocked face. “Until next time Rose Tyler.”

Rose didn’t move as the doors closed, but grinned as a moment later a wind began to blow, the light on the top of the TARDIS flashed, the odd wheezing noise started up and the box faded right in front of her.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth

By Lumendea

Chapter Ten: Horath Academy: One More Thing

   

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

 

…………………………

 

Rose stood staring at the place where the Doctor’s TARDIS had been only a moment earlier. Her fingers brushed over her lips without her really being aware of the action. The Doctor had kissed her! He had saved her and stolen her first kiss!

 

Rose’s brain was stuck in a strange loop as she grasped the journal and letter to her chest with one hand and traced her lips with her second one. The sound of a helicopter overhead snapped her out of her daze and she spun to look around. Headlights announced the arrival of a group of trucks and a helicopter landed on the ripped up lawn where Apep’s ship had been.

 

Rose straightened her back and tucked the journal under her arm before she started moving towards the helicopter. The lights from the trucks and the helicopter made it hard to see exactly what was happening, but she could at least navigate around the holes and rips in the lawn. Rose saw a tall figure step out of the helicopter and look down the large hole in the middle of the lawn. She kept approaching until two UNIT soldiers moved to block her path, but at least they didn’t point their weapons at her.

 

“I need to speak with Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart,” Rose informed the taller of the two soldiers. “It is materialised.”

 

“Where are the civilians and Colonel Adams’ men?” The tall brown haired man asked in return.

 

“Well, I believe that the students and the teachers took refuge in the administration hall. Colonel Adams and his men are all dead.” Rose paused and tried to think of what the right thing to say was. “My name is Rose Tyler and the Doctor told me to speak with Lethbridge-Stewart.”

 

The soldiers glanced at each other and then the one Rose had been speaking to nodded. “Follow me,” he said, sounding a little stunned.

 

He led her past the helicopter and towards a large truck that had arrived. It was a huge lorry and Rose could see the UNIT insignia on the side of it. A short staircase led up into the back of the lorry, guarded by two more soldiers. As they walked in, Rose blinked in surprise at the numerous computers and crowd of people inside of the compartment.

 

“Follow me and stay close,” the soldier said as he led her down the centre of the room. Rose did as he said, but did glance around at the advanced equipment.

 

She smiled slightly as she spotted Captain Alan Mace, who she met after the Mona Lisa Incident, and he looked up and gave her a respectful nod. Rose did not stop to say hello but followed her guide until they reached a door on the far side of the main room. A female soldier was standing guard on the door and looked at Rose in mild surprise. “This is Rose Tyler and she says she has a message for the General from the Doctor.”

 

The door opened and Rose was allowed to step into a very small office, tucked in the back of the truck. An older man with straight posture and a dignified air was seated behind the desk. He wore a brown uniform with numerous pins and ribbons under his UNIT insignia.

 

“Sir, this is Rose Tyler, she says she has a message from the Doctor,” the female soldier said as she showed Rose in.

 

The officer looked up at Rose and his lips twitched into a slight smile. He had grey hair, a neatly trimmed moustache and eyes that had a spark in them. “Thank you Private Marks. Please sit down Miss Tyler.”

 

Rose did as the man suggested and sat down in the chair in front of the desk. Private Marks closed the door leaving them alone. The General glanced at a clock that showed it was just after midnight. “Good morning Miss Tyler, I am General Lethbridge-Stewart.”

 

“Pleasure sir,” Rose said politely, watching his eyes flash in amusement.

 

“I read your file on my way here. You’ve had quite a career with aliens and the Doctor at your age.” He paused examining her face before he continued, “Doctor Taylor called Geneva late last night after finding a disturbing message on his answering machine at home. When Geneva realised at all contact with the leadership of the British UNIT division had been lost they contacted me and ordered all remaining British UNIT personnel here immediately.

 

“Yes, the Doctor said you might be in a slightly bad mood over your retirement being cancelled again. I’m sorry about that.”

 

The General chuckled and relaxed back in his chair, “Well I’m pleased that Colonel Adams hasn’t completely made you hate UNIT. His actions in ordering you to Horath Academy were illegal.”

 

“Really?”

 

“The protocols allow for drafting any Earth citizen, but there is a clause protecting minors. Something he ignored.”

 

“Well, that wasn’t the worst of what he did,” Rose assured him. “And for the record, I don’t particularly like your guns and way of operating since no one with the UK stopped him from sending me here.” Rose sighed, “But the Doctor said you were a good man and that I could trust you.”

 

“I see,” the Lethbridge-Stewart replied with a nod. “Well then Miss Tyler, I can tell you that the civilians are being tended to by our medics with no serious injuries reported and my men have started cleaning up the alien technology we have detected. There is no sign of Colonel Adams, his men or the space ship that was reported earlier so why don’t you tell me exactly what happened?”

 

Rose forced herself to remain calm as she told General Lethbridge-Stewart about being ordered to attend Horath Academy and her concerns about the initial report. She recounted her investigation of the school staff and determining that the staff was not the aliens. General Lethbridge-Stewart remembered that she hadn’t slept last night and the early morning hours were slipping away. Rose was given some food and water, but she continued to speak about the events wanting to have it done with. On and off the General would stop her in order to give further orders to the troops in the area before gently asking her to continue. Rose was telling him about Apep, smashing the Key and being trapped within the stone circle as it fell apart and watching the soldiers burned to ash when she started to shake and get teary eyes.

 

The General quickly moved around the desk and handed her the glass of water, urging her to take another sip. “I imagine you’re having a touch of delayed shock,” the General said kindly. “Your brain has finally caught up to how close you came to dying.”

 

“I’m sorry,” Rose whispered as she tried to collect herself. “Give me a moment.”

 

“Take three,” the General told her. “You’ve already outperformed many officers I’ve known over the years.”

 

“I just did what had to be done.”

 

“I know,” the General said retaking his seat, “But some people can’t even do that right.”

 

Another man entered, also dressed in an officer’s uniform and Rose quickly wiped away all traces of tears. He had grey sandy hair and gave Rose a small smile as he turned to the General.

 

“Doctor Taylor says that the men can start clearing the remains of the circle. There isn’t any sign of a machine there, just a large cavern under the area. It looks like it was completely vaporised.”

 

Rose sighed in relief, drawing both men’s attention back to her.

 

“Ah, Miss Tyler this is Colonel John Benton, another poor retired soul that was ordered back into service to handle this.”

 

“A pleasure to meet you, Miss Tyler,” Colonel Benton said, warming shaking Rose’s hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you tonight from Doctor Taylor. He was very relieved to hear that you were safe.” He turned back to the General, “All the civilians have clean bills of health sir.”

 

“Then start moving them to London,” the General said. “This cleanup is going to take a long time, no reason to expose them to any more of this.”

 

“We’ve given them the terrorist plot story and most have accepted it.”

 

“Standard discussion with everyone else,” the General said. “We’ll make sure that their belonging have no alien traces on them and return what we can within the week.”

 

“What about the three who came up to help Miss Tyler, what can I tell them about her condition?”

 

The General turned back to Rose, “Miss Tyler was there anything else.”

 

“Just that the TARDIS materialized around me and the Doctor took me away from the explosion. He told me Apep escaped having been far enough away, but all of Adams’ men died either from the explosions or the energy beams.”

 

The General nodded, but his eyes went to the journal Rose was holding. She clutched it tighter to her and he moved his eyes away. “Very well then, Colonel Benton please escort Miss Tyler back to her friends and make sure they get back to London safely.” The General paused, “Are any of them good candidates?”

 

“The boy Mister Smith is the only legal adult,” Colonel Benton replied. “Our check on him suggests that he might make a good addition.”

 

“Make the offer then when you return him to London.”

 

General Lethbridge-Stewart stood up from his desk and gently shook Rose’s hand. “You did a great service for your planet today Miss Tyler. Thank you and have a safe trip.”

 

“What will happen with the school?”

 

“I’m afraid we will have to close it down, there is far too much alien technology in the area to have the school remain open. Given the information you provided on Adams, it appears that the school was constructed for this purpose and a much deeper investigation will need to be launched to determine how far this corruption went.”

 

“I see,” Rose said. “Good luck then.”

 

Rose followed Colonel Benton out of the truck and towards the car park where students and staff were being loaded into cars and trucks.

 

“You going to be okay?” the Colonel asked her. “This is a lot of take in.”

 

“This wasn’t my first time dealing with aliens,” Rose told him. “Course it was the first time the Doctor didn’t help me stop them, but yeah I’ll be fine.”

 

“I can see why he likes you,” Benton said with a smile. “He always did value intelligence and determination.”

 

“You know him?”

 

“The Brig- I mean the General and I worked with the Doctor at UNIT many years ago, he was out the scientific advisor.” Benton gave her a wink, “Before we tried to retire that is.” They reached another truck and Rose’s friends leapt out to hug her to the amusement of Colonel Benton. “Have a safe trip back to London Miss Tyler and do try to stay out of trouble.”

 

“I make no promises,” Rose replied out the window with a smile, to which the Colonel just laughed as they started to drive away.

 

Sharon, Shareen and Mickey told Rose that Astra had gone back to London with a different transport over an hour ago, but assured her that Astra was fine. All of the students were leaving under UNIT’s orders without their personal belongings, having been told that military terrorist group had sought to set off a major explosion. Rose managed to remain awake long enough to tell her friends most of what happened. She left out the kiss, for now, not wanting to discuss it in a UNIT car or with Mickey present. The journal remained tucked against her chest and was explained as a simple saving the world gift rather than telling them the whole story. Rose decided that she might tell Sharon and Shareen one day when she understood it better herself. As she finished the story, she began to nod off and listened to Sharon start to tell Mickey about the Mona Lisa incident. Rose was planning on closing her eye only for a moment but didn’t wake up until they were back at the Powell Estates.

 

Jackie had been furious about her daughter being close to a terrorist group and kept asking about what kind of compensation Rose could get for her trauma. Rose had tried to shrug it off in public and refused to speak of it in detail, insisting that she hadn’t seen anything. Of course, rumours still spread given Rose’s odd history being seen with military men and women near the estate. She received a phone call from Astra on her first day back in London and her friend revealed that she had left England and was back with her family in Paris. They had talked about what happened with Horath and Astra apologised for not being present when Rose returned but promised to call as often as she could. A letter from Eve congratulating her had arrived on her second day home, teasing her slightly about her first kiss and dropping some frustrating hints that made no sense to Rose. She spent the rest of the week lying low on the estate, staying her room with the painting supplies that UNIT had returned to her along with her other personal effects on her third day home. Rose puttered around the estate while Jackie made arrangement for her to join Sharon and Shareen at a local sixth form school to finish her A-Level studies starting the next week.

 

It was Sunday, six days since the Horath Incident as Rose had deemed with one when a letter arrived for her, this one not from Eve. Rose recognised the handwriting from the ring gift she received during Winter Break and slipped into her room to read it.

 

Dear Rose,

 

One more thing, you’re right I do keep saying that, I forgot to tell you that I sent you the ring. The stone is a fire heart stone from the planet Plesadius and gives off a very at energy signature. I sent it to you to make sure that the TARDIS could lock onto to you despite the explosions and energy waves in the stone circle. I certainly didn’t want to get it wrong given the very small window of opportunity. Don’t worry about the ring being detected by UNIT or anyone else since you really have to know what you’re looking for. You did an amazing job and I am very proud of you. No matter what you decide to do with your life I know you will be absolutely fantastic. Take care of yourself, Rose Tyler.

 

Love, The Doctor

 

Rose smiled and folded up the letter, setting it on her bed before she stood and walked to her bookshelf. With a small smile, she gently pulled out the leather journal from its place next to The Time Machine. Returning to her bed, she gently opened the journal and smiled. In the last few days, she had written her adventures against Spellman and the Mona Lisa, complete with drawings of both enemies and the Doctor who wore the leather jacket in the first few pages of the book. A section on Eve filled the next few pages and included drawings of her friend and the ship as well as the two strange men she had met. Rose calmly found the section on her adventure at Horath Academy and flipped to the drawing of the Doctor who had kissed her. Smiling, she placed the letter with the page and closed the journal. Returning the journal to her bookshelf, Rose turned back to her latest painting with a large smile on her face.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Eleven: Empty Earth: Lunch with Malcolm

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………….

Rose Marion Tyler was seventeen years old and leaning over an open school book at her desk in her bedroom. There was only a little natural light coming in through the window and Rose couldn’t help but play with a nearby pencil. It was early April so in truth she was closer to eighteen than seventeen, but with the end of year 13 of school quickly drawing near Rose wasn’t worrying about such things.

Class coursework was to be handed in this month as students kept preparing for their final A-Level examinations. Rose had performed well at the end of year 12 on the first half of her A-Levels and was determined to beat her earlier assessment. She was still planning to sit for four subjects: Physics, Mathematics, Electronics and Chemistry. There were plenty of people around the estate who had though her daft before she’d made that public knowledge.

Following the disaster, or at least near one at Horath Academy Rose had chosen to remain within London to finish her sixth form studies. The compensation received, while not enough in her mother’s view, had helped Rose pay for a place in a local sixth form college and set aside money for university fees the next year. While not nearly as exciting as Horath Academy it allowed her easy access to Sharon and Shareen for weekends and breaks from revising.

Her two friends had dug into their studies as much as Rose had. Shareen had plans of becoming a counsellor or therapist after university and to their great surprise, Sharon had discovered an interest in medicine. Rose received phone calls from Astra, but as always her friend talked at length without telling Rose much of the details of her life. One person, Rose did not see very often was Mickey Smith who had accepted an offer from UNIT the week after they returned from Horath Academy. Mickey did make a point of taking Rose out to lunch each month just to catch up on things and Rose made a point of bringing Sharon and Shareen along so it didn’t feel like a date. Rose was pleased that Mickey was a touch more confident and a little less obsessed with football. During their last meeting, he had even mentioned that he was thinking about taking some university classes part time.

Rose’s home life with Jackie had settled back into the same old routine of breakfast together before Rose dashed off to school and Jackie started her day of talking on the phone and seeing hr clients. It still amazed Rose how long her mother would spend talking to one of her mates on the phone when they lived eight doors over on the estate. Never mind how Jackie could dye hair and talk on the phone at the same time.

Her mother had finally given up trying to get Rose to dye her darker blonde hair and wear more makeup, but she did still try to get Rose to wear t-shirts that didn’t have science phrases on them. Rose was certain that her poor periodic table shirt had been a victim of an attack with bleach, not an accident. On the plus side, Jackie had managed to finally learn a few new things to cook so Rose didn’t have to handle all the cooking and still get real food. Still, her mother did still occasionally nag her about getting a boyfriend from time to time.

Rose’s room had changed very little in the months since her return to London that night in a military car with Mickey, Sharon and Shareen. She had finally sorted her bookshelf by subject, assigning physics its own shelf away from the art books. One shelf held an attractive wooden box that Malcolm had sent her as a Christmas present when he came back from an assignment in Poland. It was large enough to hold Rose’s special adventure journal and the letters Eve had sent her over the years. Her normal life diary sat on the same shelf, but frankly Rose had started to lose interest in keeping a journal of her normal activities. Compared to what was tucked away in the other one, it all seemed so dull and she hadn’t made an entry for a few weeks.

Sighing, Rose stood from her desk, stretched her arms out and rolled her shoulders. Part of her knew it was probably time for a real break, but the list of thing she wanted to get done today was front and centre in her mind. She straightened up her desk as she selected another book to revise from. Without thinking, Rose toyed with the protective pendant that the Doctor had given her after their first encounter that still hung around her neck. Strangely it had flashed to life a few times in the past year despite Rose previous belief that it was dead, but it never held for long. On her right hand, she wore the golden ring with the purple stone that the green-eyed Doctor had given her. It still amazed her to think of the Doctor in a different form, but time had helped her accept the idea. He was an alien after all even if he looked like a human. Maybe someday she’d learn more about how it worked, though the idea of him dying filled her with worry and dread.

Jackie had, of course, asked about the pretty ring and tried to get Rose to talk more about the boy who had given it to her. Rose allowed Jackie to believe that the boy who had given her the ring and her first kiss was her own age, not to mention human. According to her story, he’d been another student at Horath and much to Jackie’s disappointment Rose didn’t keep in contact with him any longer.

Glancing over at the clock, Rose smiled at herself and started to tidy up her room. She grabbed her shoulder bag, a simple black canvas bag that she kept her things in. It served both as a functional bag and it drove her mother crazy. She called out to her mum that she was going to lunch and would be back soon. Without waiting for a reply Rose stepped out into the sunny Saturday afternoon and headed down the stairs. A few residents waved to her and Rose waved back, even as a couple more pointed curiously towards her. Rose ignored them. She’d heard some of the weird rumours about her on the estate and was past caring.

Doctor Malcolm Taylor was already waiting for Rose in the corner table of the small chip shop near her home. His glasses were perched on his nose as he read through a paper in front of him. Rose smiled at the sight and gave a friendly nod to the girl behind the counter who smiled in return and started collecting their usual order.

“Hello Malcolm,” Rose greeted with a grin as he jumped slightly in surprise.

“Oh hello Rose,’ Malcolm greeted with a slight flush at being caught unawares. “How have you been?”

“I’ve been good,” Rose replied. “I’ve finished off the last of my coursework to turn in this week. Then I focus on my exams.”

“You’re far too worried,” Malcolm said. “Honestly Rose you act as if you have a hard time remembering the formulas and theories. You’ve been studying ahead of your age group for years now.”

“I know,” Rose admitted softly with a blush, “but I’m still worried. My best chance for a really good school is excellent grades and a scholarship.”

“You shouldn’t worry,” Malcolm said. “I have no doubt you’ll do brilliantly.”

“I know the material,” Rose agreed. “I’ve know most of the material for a while now, but supposed I have a bad test day.”

“You performed extremely well on you GSCE exams.” Malcolm gave her a kind understanding smile. “And if you do in theory have a bad test day than you retake the test. It will slow you down a bit, but it won’t stop you. Besides, UNIT would hire you given your history and experience.”

“I’m not soldier material,” Rose said. The chip girl brought them both their standard lunch orders and Rose gave her a quick smile. “And without school, I wouldn’t be qualified as a science advisor.”

“Tell you what if you have a terrible test day and have to wait for the next exam cycle,” Malcolm said, “Not that I think that will happen, I’ll arrange for you to spend that time as my assistant. Heaven knows that the assistants are based on the preferences of the scientific advisor and not their credentials.”

Rose smiled a touch at that statement. Over the last year, Malcolm had told her a bit of the Doctor’s UNIT years. Nothing that was still classified and apparently Rose did actually have a low level of security clearance from the incident with Adams. Personally, she found the story about the group of crazy environmentalist who brought dinosaurs into central London to be the most interesting. According to Malcolm, the group had planned on creating a huge time field to take everyone back in time to before humans evolved. Rose thought it sounds crazy, but it made her wonder about how flexible time really was. The green-eyed Doctor had told her that time could be rewritten, but could a group of humans really erase the history of their own ancestors? She had looked the incident up online and it was recorded as having been an elaborate stunt by the criminal underground to gain access to London. It really did amaze her what people would accept.

“Thank you, Malcolm,” Rose said, bringing herself back to the conversation. “You’re right of course that I’ll do fine. I suppose it is just nerves. It feels like everything is depending on this one thing and that just feels… overwhelming.”

Malcolm laughed at that. “So you can save the whole universe and shrug it off, but A-Levels scare you.”

“Had I failed to stop Adams it isn’t like I’d have survived long enough to see the results. Well, I suppose that would have depended on Apep.” She shuddered slightly. “Have they found anything about him?”

“Not that I know of,” Malcolm said. “According to the information UNIT has on Osirians from Miss Smith, they can change their head so Apep may actually look human now.”

“I need to meet her someday,” Rose said softly. “I think it would be interesting to meet someone else who has met the Doctor.”

“I suppose it would,” Malcolm said with a great sigh. “I hope that I meet him someday.”

Rose gave a bashful smile at Malcolm, having met the Doctor three times herself. “I’m sure you will Malcolm.”

“He won’t even come to Earth anymore if you keep saving it.”

“I only saved it once by myself,” Rose protested. “Hardly a trend.”

They drifted over other subjects, Malcolm’s latest experiment, Colonel Benton’s adjustment back to UNIT and Erisa Magambo’s promotion to Captain in the reorganising ranks. Then Malcolm’s phone rang and Rose sat quietly while he answered it. The conversation was mostly one-sided with Malcolm making little noises of understanding until he hung up.

“Let me guess,” Rose said with a smile, “You’re off.”

“I’m afraid so,” Malcolm said with a sigh. “A strange energy signal was detected a few moments ago and then it vanished.”

“Where was it?”

“The signal went all over the world,” Malcolm said and then he blinked at Rose. “Your pendant just turned on again.”

Rose glanced down to see the blue stone in the certain of the pendant flickering blue. She quickly slipped the necklace into her shirt to hide it. Malcolm dropped some cash on the table to cover lunch, bid Rose goodbye and darted out the door. Rose remained a few more minutes finishing the chips Malcolm didn’t finish. She did hate to see good chips go to waste.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twelve: Empty Earth: Silence on Earth

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………..

Rose’s alarm clock went off at eight, telling the teenager that it was time to face the sunny Sunday morning. She tossed off her turquoise duvet back and sat up in her bed. Rose pushed her long blonde wavy hair out of her face and looked over at the clock despite knowing exactly what the time should read. She stretched and grabbed her dressing gown before she headed across the hall to shower.

Rose had flipped on a CD as soon as she got out of the shower and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt with a smiling sun on it that read ‘a day without fusion is a day without sunshine’ that Rose had spent over an hour trying to explain to her Mum when she bought it last month to replace her destroyed periodic table t-shirt. She was certain that at some point her mother would just give up fighting Rose’s science and math t-shirt obsession, but for now, it was a fun game between them. Rose just liked standing out in the sea of hoodies and standard t-shirts with something different, but Jackie had a preferred look that her daughter just didn’t match up to.

“Mum,” Rose called as she switched off her music and walked into the hallway. “What do you want for breakfast?”

Rose paused in the hall when her mother did not reply, everything was quiet in the flat, absolutely quiet. She called for her mother again and knocked on the bedroom door. After a moment she opened it, but her mother wasn’t in her room. It only took Rose twenty seconds to check the entire flat with no sign of Jackie or a note. Grabbing her phone, Rose hit the speed dial for her mother’s mobile and waited. Rose’s phone beeped and she gasped as the message no signal flashed on the screen.

Then she heard it or more correctly didn’t hear it. The Powell Estate was not the quietest place in London. First thing the morning you could hear the baby three doors down crying, the couple downstairs having another argument and kids running about. Right now Rose could not hear anything like that. She could hear the building creaking silently and the wind outside, but she didn’t hear a single voice. Rose threw open the flat door and stepped out onto the landing, her eyes scanning the courtyard and the other buildings. There was no one and no movement that she could see.

“Hello!” Rose shouted. “Is anyone here?”

There was nothing and Rose darted to the next door. She pounded on it, crying out for the Jackson family to answer her. Rose moved on and found an open door. She darted inside the flat and noted the half-eaten breakfast on the table of the Brown family, the toys of their son on the floor and the total lack of any sign of a person. Running back outside, Rose shouted again and stood in shock as the silence around her became almost deafening.

She ran to Shareen’s flat and pounded on the door, hoping that maybe her friend was still around, but she was only met with silence. Rose returned back to her flat, shouted for her mother one last time as turned on the telly. She frowned as only static appeared as she flipped through the channels. Absolutely nothing was getting through on the channels. Rose picked up her mother’s landline phone and called 999, but got nothing. Hanging up, Rose tried to call the European 112 which was supposed to stay up no matter what, but again nothing.

She returned to her room and pulled out her laptop and plugged in her internet cable. Rose bit her lip nervously as she failed to connect to the internet. She hit the emergency button that connected to Malcolm via UNIT satellite, but even that failed to connect. Rose slumped back in her desk chair and forced herself to take in a deep breath.

“Please don’t let me be the only one,” Rose whispered softly as she looked up at the pictures of her family and friends.

She sat there only for a moment before she grabbed her canvas bag, her multitool, her laptop and after a moment she pulled out the leather journal the Doctor had given her and added it to her bag. From the kitchen, Rose grabbed a water bottle and a few packaged snacks which she added to her shoulder bag. Rose picked up her keys and took one last quick look around the flat before she stepped outside and locked the door. She tied her jacket around her waist and adjusted her bag as she walked down the stairs and headed for the street.

The silence was everywhere and Rose could not hear anything related to another human being. She could hear the wind blowing through the empty streets and birds chirping, but no people. Walking down the centre of the road, Rose frowned as she realised the absence of crashed cars. The middle of the street was empty and the only cars she could see were parked on the side of the road. She glanced up at the sky, searching for any sign of an airplane, but saw nothing. A sudden crash made Rose spin hopefully, but she sighed as a dog rushed past her barking.

“Animals are still here then,” Rose muttered.

She waited for her heart to stop pounding and listened for anything else moving. A few blocks down Rose reached her target, a large parking garage that was higher than her home building. In the utter silence, Rose slowly walked up all the flights of stairs, not trusting the elevator right now. Once she reached the top level, Rose walked over the edge and looked out as far as she could see.

There was nothing, she could see for miles and there was no sign of any movement anywhere. She couldn’t hear any cars, see any planes or hear anything except the wind. Rose had, of course, heard the joke that London closed down on Sundays, but this was beyond normal. She pulled out her phone again hoping that maybe she could get a signal here, even if she did doubt it. Rose snapped the phone shut when no signal appeared again.

“Okay,” Rose said to herself. “One: It is not an evacuation. We would have been notified and Mum wouldn’t have left me behind, plus there’s no way they could evacuate London so fast.” Rose took another breath, “Two: electricity is still working for now, but communication signals are not. Three: No moving vehicles.” Rose bit her lip as she looked down at the roads. “If everyone vanished all at once then cars and planes should be crashed… unless whatever took them took the moving vehicles too.” Rose sighed, “And the conclusion is aliens.”

Rose reached up and rubbed the protective pendant the Doctor had given her for a moment before she glanced down at her ring. “I hope you’re planning on showing up soon. This is beyond freaky.” Rose stood up on the roof for a few more minutes, staring at the familiar, but now alien city of London. “Right then,” Rose muttered. “Maybe there is someone else out there.”

She just kept walking towards central London, Rose did not really have a destination in mind, but she wasn’t willing to stand still. The silence was unlike anything she had ever lived with. Her whole life had been lived in Peckham where there were always people moving and the background noise of London had just been a fact of life. Seeing the huge city so silent and empty was shaking her much more than she would ever admit in the future.

Rose had been walking for over two hours when she suddenly heard a series of loud noises like doors being slammed. She stopped and looked around frantically as the sound of footfalls came neared. Then a young man, maybe a year or two older than her came running around the corner. He has dark brown hair and very cute, neither of which Rose noted at the moment. The young man and Rose stared at each other in shock for a moment before Rose grinned and rushed towards him. He scooped her up in a tight hug, spinning her around for a moment as they laughed. After a moment he set her down and stepped back as his face flushed.

“I’m sorry, I mean,” he said.

“Don’t worry,” Rose told him. “I know.” Grinning at him, Rose held out her hand, “I’m Rose Tyler.”

The young man chuckled and took her hand in a warm handshake. “I’m Gavin Alexander and it was wonderful to meet you.”

“Have you seen anyone else?” Rose asked.

“No,” Gavin said. “You’re the first person I’ve seen since six this morning.” Gavin shook his head, “I was just on my way to the library when suddenly there was this weird flash and everyone around me was gone.”

“You saw it happen then?” Rose asked with wide eyes. “They just vanished.”

“Yeah,” Gavin said. “All the moving cars vanished too.”

“I’d noticed that,” Rose told him. “That could be either good or bad.”

“What do you mean?” Gavin asked.

“Well, it means that whatever took everyone didn’t want to hurt anything,” Rose said with a shrug as she looked around. “That could mean keeping everything in order for when they return everyone or it could be they want the cities in order to move in.”

“You’re talking about aliens,” Gavin gaped at her. “You’re actually suggesting aliens.”

“The whole planet has been emptied,” Rose snapped. “I think aliens is the rational conclusion.”

“We don’t know that this is global,” Gavin said. “It might just be London.”

“You said everyone vanished at six this morning,” Rose said as she looked at her watch. “It’s after ten now. If the rest of the world was still out there they would know about it and be investigating by now. There’d be jets overhead doing scans and satellite connections would still be working. London is not a city that can just go silent and not put the rest of the world on alert.” Rose sighed, “Therefore I can only conclude that it is the whole world.”

“I see your point,” Gavin sighed as he looked around. “Then why are we still here?”

“I don’t know,” Rose said. She glanced around at the restaurants “Let’s get something to eat. I think better when I’m not starving.”

“Good idea,” Gavin agreed as they started walking over to the nearest deli. “I’m glad you’re here even if you did start talking about aliens as soon as we met.” He told her with a smile, “I was sure I was going mad.”

“Yeah,” Rose said with a giggle. “Now we can go mad with company.”

Rose smiled when Gavin held the door for her as they stepped into the small empty place. Spotting an empty table, Rose went over and set her things down. Gavin had walked back into the kitchen and returned a few minutes later.

“I put a kettle on.” He glanced around at the food on the tables, “This lot has been here for a few hours so give me a bit and I’ll cook up something new.” Gavin pulled out his wallet and took out a twenty-pound note. “Do you think a twenty will cover it?”

Rose grinned at him, “Well, I’m pleased that at least I’m left on Earth with a gentleman and apparently one who can cook.”

Gavin blushed a little and shrugged as he looked around, “Seems a bit early to start assuming that they’ll never return.”

“Yeah,” Rose agreed and stood back up. “I’ll give you hand in the kitchen. I don’t fancy waiting out here alone.”

“Right, of course,” Gavin said as they headed back into the kitchen.

They worked in silence for a few minutes as Rose chopped up a few things for Gavin to toss into their eggs. It was simple, but neither was too interested in being elaborate right now.

“I’m a bit surprised that the electricity is still on,” Gavin said after a moment.

“It holds with the whole not wanting to damage anything,” Rose said. “They might be maintaining power to keep things functioning normally.”

“You’re very comfortable with the idea of aliens,” Gavin observed.

“I’ve met aliens before,” Rose held up a hand to stop Gavin’s question. “I’ll tell you later more about it when we eat.” Rose paused, “The thing is if this was done by aliens where are they?”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Thirteen: Empty Earth: Signal From the Sky

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………….

“So aliens?” Gavin asked as he set the plate of eggs in front of Rose. “Care to elaborate.”
Rose nodded and took a bite of the fresh food with a smile. Gavin raised an eyebrow, but tucked into his own meal.

“Aliens are real,” Rose said simply. “There are different species all throughout the universe and they are at different stages of technology.” Rose paused and considered how to explain further, “I’ve met several who are nice and like humans, but there are some who just want to take over us.”

“Which ones did this?” Gavin asked, gesturing out at the empty street.

“I don’t know,” Rose admitted. “I’ve met aliens, but not that many. I’m not even sure how they did this. It was probably a teleport of some kind, but a highly advanced form of it if they could detect people in moving vehicles and take the vehicles.”

“So we don’t know what species did this or why?” Gavin asked, his voice rising and Rose noted that his eyes looked wider.

“Rule one,” Rose said sharply to get his attention. “We do not panic. Our best chance here is to keep our heads clear so we can reason through this.”

“Right,” Gavin said as he took a deep breath. “Okay so aliens took everyone, but us and animals. Why would they leave us here on Earth? Why would they single us out?”

“I know about aliens,” Rose said, “But you don’t so that can’t be it. There is no sign of UNIT, they deal with aliens all the time so again knowledge of aliens isn’t the reason. Why leave a random girl and boy behind.”

“Maybe it’s like Adam and Eve,” Gavin said with a small smile. “Aliens wanting to restart the human race.”

“That wouldn’t work with only one of each gender,” Rose said distractedly. “Too small of a gene pool would result in weakening genetics within just a few generations.” Rose then blushed as she looked up at the smirking Gavin. “Oh… you meant… oh.”

Gavin chuckled, “Well there are definitely worse girls I could be left on Earth with than the pretty smart girl.” He paused and said, “We’re not getting anywhere this way. Why don’t you tell me more about your previous experiences with aliens.”

Rose nodded and began talking about her various alien encounters since the age of eleven. She told Gavin about her encounters with the Piped Piper when she was eleven, the Mona Lisa coming to life when she was fourteen, meeting her best friend the alien Eve when she was fifteen and the more recent incident with Horath. She knew that UNIT wouldn’t want her talking about all this, but under the circumstances, Gavin had a right to know.

The older boy was in a slight state of shock when Rose finished telling him the basics. Chuckling, Rose wondered how he would have reacted to her strange and temporally complicated relationship with the Doctor. Rose excused herself to give Gavin a few minutes to absorb everything she has told him. Gathering up the plates, she quickly walked back into the kitchen to clean up everything they used. She was still hoping that everyone would be returned to their normal lives after all. Filling a sink with water, Rose began scrubbing the plate and pans while she mentally went over the little she knew about the situation.

“He’s taking it fairly well,” a smooth older voice said suddenly behind her.

Rose spun quickly and gasped at the sight of the strange man in black behind her. He looked exactly the same and was leaning calmly against the wall in his neat black suit. Even his tie is the same one she saw him in almost three years ago when she was fifteen.

“You,” Rose gasped. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m just checking in on you,” the man said with a chuckle. “You are in quite the situation right now.”

Rose stood up straighter and asked, “Did you do this?”

“Me, no.” He paused and then said, “This isn’t exactly chaos at its finest. You don’t exactly seem surprised that I’m still on Earth.”

Rose snorted and said, “Oh please give me some credit. You’re not human and I doubt you were on Earth when everyone was taken.”

“Gold star,” the man sneered. “You do not understand who I am yet, do you?”

“An enigmatic being that likes to stalk teenage girls when they’re having really bad days,” Rose snapped back at him.

The man stared at her for a moment before he started to laugh and clap his hands. When Rose glanced towards the door he added, “Don’t worry your new friend won’t hear us. I’ve made sure of that.”

“You haven’t harmed him,” Rose verified.

“I am not here to harm either of you. This is just proving to be a good show.”

Rose then looked around and raised an eyebrow, “Where’s the other one then, the man in white”

“Oh I’m sure he’ll be around today,” the man in black replied with a shrug. “Is that truly how you refer to us?”

Shrugging Rose answered, “You’ve never given me names so yeah that’s how I refer to you. Relax, man in black and man in white tend to sound pretty dramatic in my journal so don’t let it hurt your ego.”

“If you knew who I was little girl you would not speak to me that way,” he told her, his expression darkening.

“Given that you admitted to sending Spellman into my path which put my friends in danger and scared me half to death, yeah I think I still would,” Rose said, sounding braver than she felt. There was something very…. dark about the man in front of her that made her whole body uncomfortable. She had no doubt that he was capable of hurting her, but she also had no doubt that he wouldn’t harm her.

“Now both of you calm down,” another voice said with an amused tone. “Rose does have a point, Black.”

Rose turned to see the man in white standing calmly in the doorway with a small smile. She relaxed slightly; this man had at least saved her and didn’t feel as threatening. Of course, that didn’t mean she trusted him given how little she knew about them.

“I told you he’d come around. Why don’t you stay out of this White? If the girl wants to have a fight then so be it.” the man in black snarled.

“Black? White?” Rose asked as she raised an eyebrow. “You refer to each other by the colours you wear?”

“It is a touch more complex than that Miss Tyler,” White said with a smile. “Needless to say you have more important things to do today than banter with the pair of us.”

“What is happening?” Rose asked White quickly. “How do I get everyone back to Earth?”

“That is up to you to figure out Miss Tyler. Step back to what happened before today and you might start getting some answers.”

“That’s enough,” Black snapped. “She has to get through this herself. That is the only way the plan will work.”

“Indeed,” White sighed and then he smiled at Rose. “Remain calm and trust yourself.”

Then they both vanished from sight, leaving Rose standing in the kitchen standing next to the sink with a frown on her face. A moment later Gavin walked into the kitchen and came over next to her. Quickly, Rose went back to scrubbing the dishes.

“Okay, aliens,” Gavin said. “I think I can deal with that. So what do we do now?”

“We won’t learn anything else here,” Rose said as she stepped back from the sink and put the clean dishes away. “We should go out and see if we find anything. I know it is a long shot, but we can’t just wait here all day.”

“Agreed,” Gavin paused. “In case we get split up, we should meet back here.”

“Good idea,” Rose said as they headed for the door. “I just hope we find something.”

They were three blocks down when Gavin started talking, admitting to her that the silence was getting to be too much. Rose didn’t feel much like speaking herself but understood Gavin’s feelings. She listened as Gavin spoke about his mother who had died when he was eleven and his dad who had vanished when he was two. Apparently, he had lived with several aunts and uncles from his mother’s family, being passed around a few times every year. At the age seventeen, he left and his family never argued. He was studying literature at university and loved spending time reading in Green Park. Rose could almost hear Gavin running out of things to say and picked up the conversation herself.

She told Gavin about her mum and life on the Powell Estates. Rose admitted that she hated the stereotypes that got thrown at her because of her background and that she tried to prove them wrong every day. Gavin smiled as she told him about Shareen and Sharon and laughed when Rose recounted the sad fate of her periodic table t-shirt. She was fiddling with her necklace as they passed another major intersection that should have been noisy and busy.

Gavin stopped and looked at Rose. “We’ve come a far ways from HQ.”

“HQ?” Rose asked. She couldn’t help but smile. “That’s what we’re calling it now?”

“Sounds better that ‘that place we had breakfast’ doesn’t it,” Gavin replied with a shrug.

Rose opened her mouth to reply when they both heard a very strange sound. It was a rumbling like thunder, but it went on too long and the sky was clear. Rose and Gavin both looked up into the sky. They saw nothing, but then a sound like a trumpet exploded through the air. It was followed by a static like noise that varied in tone for roughly a minute later.

“I think it is some kind of signal,” Rose shouted above the noise to the confused Gavin. “I can’t see where it is coming from.”

The noise faded a moment later and Rose looked around to see if anything had changed. Gavin’s eyes were wide and he was staring up into the sky. “You said that was a signal.”

“Maybe,” Rose said. “Or it could have been a ship landing, I’m not sure. I’ve never heard anything like that.”

They both heard a strange beeping noise coming from their bags. Rose dug into her shoulder bag and pulled her mobile. A strange pattern of weird characters was flashing down the screen of her phone. Looking up, Rose saw the same pattern of characters on Gavin’s phone as he held it up for her to see. The symbols kept changing, but the structure was the same. It reminded Rose of a language or some of the computer codes she had seen while studying, but the characters were different from anything she had ever seen originating from Earth. Rose looked around and spotted an electronic shop nearby where more of the strange beeping and static noises were coming from.

“Gavin,” she called before she ran towards the shop. Rose stopped in front of it, staring at the six different screens that all had the characters running across them. Glancing between them, Rose said to Gavin as he joined her, “It is the same thing on all the screens.” She listened to the strange beeping noises coming from the signal and shook her head. “I have no idea what it means, but it has to be connected to that noise. It looks like a language of some sort.”

Then they heard the strange static noise again, coming from much closer. In fact, it seemed to be echoing down the road towards them. “That sounds like it is coming from the ground now,” Gavin said.

“What time is it?” Rose asked and Gavin looked down at his watch. “It’s twelve.”

“Six hours in,” Rose said. “They may be starting the next phase.”

“I don’t like the sound of that,” Gavin said as Rose started walking forward.

“Come on, it is coming from up there,” Rose said before breaking into a run towards the noise.
Rose slowed down once the noise grew even closer and moved closer to the buildings as she slowly moved around a corner. Her eyes widened as she heard heavy footsteps and using one of the windows as a reflective surface she saw a large machine moving towards her. Rose gasped and moved back trying to get a better look at the thing. It was larger than her and bright red, resembling a child’s robot toy. The robot turned to face her suddenly, it had one ‘eye’ on its face which was a large red dot that Rose assumed to be some kind of optical system.

Stumbling back, Rose ducked into an alley and started to run. She turned a corner quickly and stopped suddenly at a large gate in her way. The heavy footsteps were getting louder behind her and seemed to be moving even faster as the pace of the thuds increased. Turning back to the gate, Rose tried to get a good grip on the heavy frame of it and climb up. Rose grimaced as her feet slipped, the small holes too tiny to give her any leverage. She lost her grip and fell back to the ground. Spinning on her heels, Rose turned to face the robot only to gasp as two approached her, one red and one yellow.

Quickly, her eyes searched for another way out, but with the gate locked in place, she was in a dead end. The yellow robot stopped in front of her and raised a hand. The finger pointing at her had a small red dot that began to glow. Rose slowly raised her arms up, hoping it wouldn’t fire at her. “What do you want?” Rose asked, but she received no reply from either robot. The light on its finger intensified and it stepped closer to Rose.

Hearing something large rolling, Rose jumped back in time to avoid a large trash bin smashing into the red robot and knocking it into the yellow one. Both were shoved against the alley wall and pinned.

“Come on Rose,” Gavin shouted and Rose looked over to see him motioning for her to follow.

Nodding, Rose jumped around the trash bin and raced off, following Gavin back towards safety and away from the strange robots that had joined them on Earth.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Fourteen: Empty Earth: The Pendant

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………

Running was something Rose was getting better at every time she encountered aliens. She had run from Spellman holding the Doctor’s hand when she was eleven. Rose had run from the Mona Lisa’s Rider in the International Gallery with Sharon and Shareen. Running hadn’t been needed with Eve, but there had been a lot of hiking involved in fixing her friends ship. Needless to say, putting some distance between them and the robots wasn’t difficult. Of course running from oversized human shaped toy looking robots didn’t make her feel much better about things.

Rose finally stopped in front of the electronics shop and said to Gavin, “Thanks for that.”

“I’m surprised chucking a bin at it worked,” Gavin admitted with a laugh.

“Well you got both of them,” Rose said. “They didn’t see you coming.” Rose took a deep breath and looked back the way they had come, “Okay so now there are robots in the mix. Big robots that look way too much like children’s toys.”

“I never had toys like that,” Gavin replied with a forced laugh. Nodding, he pointed into the shop window, “Look at the telly. It’s the same thing.”

Rose nodded at the television in the shop window and pulled out her phone to compare them. “Yeah, it’s still picking up the same thing. No changes on that front.” Rose sighed, “I wish I knew what it meant. It reminds me of math equations more than sentences.”

“It might be their programming,” Gavin suggested as he leaned against the window. “They are robots. At least I think they are.”

“I think so,” Rose said. “They move very slowly like all their part are trying to work out how to react, but I doubt they would be transmitting their program code,” Rose muttered more to herself than Gavin. “Thing is why transmit a signal when there is just us.” Rose frowned and glanced back at the screen, “Maybe it is for us.”

“But we don’t understand it,” Gavin reminded her.

“They may not know that,” Rose said. “Those robots may think that we know exactly what this says. They have two legs, walk upright and have two arms with hands and a head. They may be operating on the assumption that we’re similar to them.” Looking back up the road, Rose sighed and started moving back towards the robots.

“Where are you going?” Gavin asked, grabbing her hand.

“I’m going to follow them,” Rose said. “Those robots are the first thing that has changed in six hours. They are the first real clue that we’ve had. We’ve got to track them, if they landed nearby they might be going back to base.”

“We need to get away from them Rose,” Gavin said. “It looked like that thing was pointing a gun at you.”

“I know,” Rose said gently. “But the more I know about them, the more I can learn about them, the better chance we’ve got,” Rose told him. “You don’t have to come with me. Wait at HQ for me,” Rose added.

“No,” Gavin said. Then he smiled slightly, “What if you need saving again?”

Rose smiled slightly in return and they started jogging back up the road towards where the robots had been. They came to a three-way intersection with no sign of the machines nearby. Gavin joined Rose in looking down each street, but nothing gave either of them a clue. Turning back to Rose, Gavin asked, “Back to HQ or split up and search.”

“We search the surrounding area together,” Rose said. “We don’t split up.”

Gavin nodded and calmly followed Rose through the twisting streets of London. They had both become used to the silence around them and the sight of the empty streets. Everything was still and they encountered only one dog running around. It was hard to be sure if anything had been disturbed by the robots or one of the dogs running loose in the city. Rose had pulled out the snacks from her bag to share with Gavin as they searched. After four hours of wandering in hopes of finding the strange robots, Rose finally sighed.

“I don’t think we’re going to find anything right now. For all we know those robots teleported somewhere else and we won’t find them. At this point it will take hours to get back to HQ,” she told Gavin.

“We don’t have to go back there,” Gavin reminded her. “The whole of London is open to us right now.”
“I think we’re better off with a familiar location,” Rose told him. “You live in that area and I’ve at least been there before. I don’t want to get stuck out in a strange area in the dark. This day has been creepy enough. Those robots arrived after the first six hours and we don’t know what the second six hours will bring.”

Gavin nodded in agreement and they started navigating their way back towards where they had begun when the odd signal had started hours ago. They walked back towards the small diner they had made their base of operations. Gavin remained very quiet, glancing down each alley and street that they passed to make sure that the robots weren’t nearby. Rose played with her pendant and kept trying to figure out what small detail she had overlooked. It must be something small and ordinary if she didn’t see it as unusual. When they arrived, Rose sat down at the table they had eaten at and glared up at the telly that had the signal flashing across it. Gavin went into the kitchen and returned with two glasses of water. Nodding her thanks, Rose began to sip at the water thoughtfully.

“Okay,” she said after a long moment. “There are alien robots, one yellow and one red on Earth. This whole thing now makes even less sense than it did before.”

“It never made sense,” Gavin told her, but Rose ignored him.

“These robots can clear everyone else off of the planet in a millisecond and prevent any damage to the surrounding in the process except for the two of us. Now they have come looking for us and yet with that kind of amazing technology they can’t find us.” Rose leaned back in her chair, “They must have sensors and right now we should be showing up bright as beacons as the only humans left in the whole of London.”

Rose stood up and started pacing while Gavin remained seated and watched her. “I need to calm down and try to think about this logically. There must be an explanation as to why they couldn’t take us. The robots wouldn’t be here if we were still supposed to be here. I’ve travelled in space, but you haven’t so that can’t be it. I’ve met aliens before, but you haven’t. What applies to just us?”

Rose fingered her pendant and froze. Gavin leaned forward in concern as Rose suddenly looked down at her necklace and groaned. “Rose,” he asked softly.

“Give me the blonde award,” Rose sighed. “There was an energy signal yesterday that UNIT picked up and my pendant has been flashing on and off for the last month. If it caught that first transmission, it would have protected me from any technology using that same energy signature. If it turned on at six this morning, I wouldn’t have been affected by the teleport!” Rose shouted, “That’s why I’m still here! The pendant protected me from their technology so they couldn’t take me! And doing something on this scale must consume a lot of power, so they could only do it once hence now sending in the robots.”

Rose paused and turned to Gavin as she held up her necklace, “Do you have anything like this?”

“No,” Gavin shouted. “Why do you keep asking me stuff like that? I’m a regular university student. I’m nineteen years old. I go to school, I do my papers, I work at a shop and I watch football with my mates. I’ve never met aliens or seen aliens before today. I’m not important and I’m not special. I’m not like you,” Gavin finished with a sigh, “I’m normal.”

“Yet you’re still here,” Rose reminded him as she crossed her arms. She sighed a moment later and added, “Fine, we’ll operate on your insistence that you’re still here by accident.”

“We’ve been out here trying to figure it out for hours,” Gavin said gently. “We had breakfast, but it is five and we haven’t eaten anything else. We should think about getting something to eat and figuring out a place to sleep tonight.”

“I hate just giving up,” Rose said.

“It has been almost twelve hours,” Gavin reminded her. “We don’t know what might happen at six tonight. It is getting late and I don’t think staying here would be a good idea.”

“Yeah,” Rose admitted with a glance down at her watch. “Do you have any thoughts?”

“My place isn’t too far from here,” Gavin said. “It will take us about half an hour to get there and it isn’t a luxury flat or anything, but we can sleep there. I’ve got food and electricity is still working.”

“Fine,” Rose agreed. “I just… it has never taken this long before to find out what is happening. Normally when I deal with aliens it is over within a few hours.”

Gavin smiled at her and shrugged, “I’m still hoping that Doctor of yours shows up.”

“I am too,” Rose admitted as she followed Gavin down the road towards his flat.

Gavin’s flat was very basic, but clean and tidy which mildly surprised Rose given what she knew of Mickey’s habits. He quickly offered her the bed in his room, but Rose assured him that the comfortable sofa in the common area would be just fine. On a whim, Rose turned on the telly and started drawing several of the characters in one of Gavin’s notebooks. She listened to Gavin working in his kitchen on something to eat as she drew the characters. There were roughly thirteen characters that she could identify, but Rose didn’t know enough about languages to determine if they were numbers or letters. Groaning, she set the notebook in front of her and stared at the screen.

“Rose,” Gavin said to get her attention. Looking up, Rose smiled as Gavin handed her a cup of tea. Gavin looked down at the paper and back at the screen. “They are flashing so fast, how could you tell them apart?”

“Artist remember,” Rose teased. “Details are my bread and butter. Of course, that is true in science as well so they really matter to me.”

When Gavin went into the kitchen to start making food, Rose decided to get more comfortable. Removing her shoulder bag, she set in next to her on the sofa and toed out of her shoes, but kept the laces tied in case she needed to get move fast. Pulling out her special journal, Rose stared down at it for a moment thinking about the Doctor and White and Black. The two strange beings seemed to hint that it was up to her to figure out. She had managed to stop Horath without the Doctor’s help and the whole universe had been at stake then. Now she just felt overwhelmed by how long it was taking, the clues were few and far between and she regretted running so far from the robots when they may have been her only chance.

Hoping that it might help her think, Rose used a pen to start recording the details of the day and included her meeting with the two strange men. She glanced back over her shoulder at Gavin and started drawing him as well and recording the various details he had told her. Rose believed Gavin when he said that he did not know what was going on, but out of the millions of people in London, he was the only other person left. There had to be a reason why he was still on Earth, and maybe he just didn’t know it yet.

Gavin produced a simple meal and they ate in relative silence, both thinking about the other events of the day. Pausing, they both listened when Rose’s mobile phone alarm sounded the twelve-hour mark. They heard nothing, no signal and no strange noises. Gavin relaxed and went back to his dinner while Rose went to the window and looked out. Since Gavin lived on the fifth floor Rose had a decent view of the city. Sunset wasn’t for another two hours, but in the shadows of the buildings, Rose could see street lights turning on. Lights were visible to her in the building across the street that had been left on by people that morning, but much of the city stretched out before her was dark.

Glancing back at the telly, Rose sighed at the odd symbol patterns and rubbed her forehead. She went back to the sofa and examined her drawings of the symbols in the notebook. Tearing out the page, Rose placed it in her journal and leaned back to stare at the symbols. Somehow, she nodded off and fell asleep, stretched out on the sofa.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Fifteen: Empty Earth: Running in the Dark

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

………………….

Rose slept for hours, oblivious to the pattern of symbols that were still flashing on the screen in front of her. At some point Gavin had wandered into his room and fallen asleep in his clothes, unwilling like Rose to be left completely unready. Darkness had settled over London and only a few lights remained on in the empty homes and flats across the once busy city. Automatic lights had turned on, but it was certainly the darkest London had been since the blackouts of the Second World War. Nearby, a few dogs barked and remarkably an owl hooted in one of the London parks.

Waking suddenly, Rose sat up on the sofa and looked around in confusion. She was expecting to wake in her room at home but was instead on a strange sofa with a plaid blanket over her. Blinking, her eyes Rose breathed out as the events of the last day came back to her. She looked at the screen and frowned at the characters that were still flashing. Throwing back the blanket, Rose retrieved her journal and flipped to the page with her notes on the strange symbols.

“The pattern has changed,” Rose muttered to herself as she straightened up and began to take down the new sequence. She examined each shape and started rearranging the layout of the page. At one point, Rose pulled out her phone and checked the time. It was two o’clock in the morning and she had managed to sleep for seven hours. She smiled slightly at the thought of Gavin making sure she had a blanket and bashfully stood to glance into his bedroom. He was still there and Rose let out a small sigh of relief. She wasn’t ready to face this by herself. The idea of being alone on the planet with those strange robots about made her shudder, but she was becoming very worried that the others might never be returned to Earth.

Setting aside her journal for a moment, Rose walked to the window and looked out at the darkness of London hoping to distract herself from the negative thoughts. The street lamps were on, but the buildings were dark and silent creating a strange atmosphere that Rose had never associated with the busy city of her birth. Glancing up, Rose gasped softly at the number of stars she could see. She was used to only seeing a few of the brightest stars, but this morning she could see so many in the night sky that she’d swear she was far away from London. Smiling, she thought back to her brief time on the TARDIS and looking out at her galaxy.

Of course, thinking of the TARDIS made Rose think of the Doctor, both of him that she had met. Things had been much simpler with the first Doctor she had met with his leather jacket and blue eyes. He had saved her and then was saved by her balancing out the whole experience. That Doctor was interesting, had good timing and had a kindness about him despite the sad look in his eye. Rose had liked him and been inspired, but that was the end of it. Now, she had much more complicated emotions towards the … man, alien man, but still apparently a bloke given that he had seen fit to snatch her first kiss. It wasn’t that she minded exactly, as far as first kisses went it had been nice. At least that was Rose’s conclusion after talking with her friends about their first kisses.

The real problem was that she didn’t understand it or what it really meant. If it had been some boy at the Powell Estate she would not have been confused about the meaning of it at all or the intentions of the kissers. However, it hadn’t been a boy at the Powell Estates. It was the Doctor who wore… would wear a tweed jacket and have green eyes, the notion of regeneration and timelines still confused her a little bit. He had been one of her earliest crushes as Mister Smith, the teacher that she adored and had helped Rose finally achieve the academic level she had wanted. And then he had swooped in with the TARDIS to save her and kiss her. Complicated relationship was right, but she still wanted him to come today.

Rose returned to the sofa and began to sort through the strange symbols as she tried to push thoughts of the Doctor from her mind. He wasn’t there and Rose wasn’t interested in hiding in the corner to wait for him. She focused on the symbols and frowned. In seven hours, the sequence had changed a great deal and become shorter. Rose glanced between the television screen and her journal as she slowly traced the new sequence in front of her and compared it to the notes she had made the day before. Her face fell as it the meaning fell into place.

“Morning,” Gavin said suddenly behind her. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yeah,” Rose said with a breathy voice, “But we shouldn’t have stopped to sleep.”

“Why?”

Rose held up her notes for Gavin to see and gestured towards the television, “Because it is a countdown.”

Gasping, Gavin looked between Rose’s notes and television. He walked around the sofa and collapsed on it next to Rose. “Are you sure?” Gavin finally managed to ask.

Calmly, Rose nodded and replied, “We already discussed that the sequence might be mathematical and meant for us. The changes in the length of the sequence and the repeating of certain characters more than others operate similar to what a numbered countdown looks like. This countdown is meant for us as a warning that we have only a limited amount of time.”

“For what?” Gavin asked, panic creeping into his voice. Rose glanced at him and he took a deep breath, “Sorry. Okay, not panicking. So how long is the countdown and what is it warning us of?”

“I can’t be certain,” Rose admitted as she slipped her shoes on. “But I think we’ve used up more than half of the time we had based on the placement of the symbols- numbers and the rate they are changing. As to what it is a countdown to, I’m not sure yet, but it might be an ultimatum for the return of everyone else.”

Rose closed her journal and slipped it back into her bag. Pulling the bag over her shoulder, Rose checked her shoes and started moving towards the door.

“What are you doing Rose?”

“I’m going outside,” Rose replied calmly. “I’m rested, but now I’ve got to keep working on how to fix this?”

“How?”

“I’m not sure,” Rose admitted with a sigh. “I’m going to head back to where we first saw the robots.”

“It is dark outside,” Gavin reminded her. “The sun won’t rise until six this morning.”

“Yeah, but I’ve got a bad feeling that the 24 hours mark is the final countdown point. Besides,” Rose added with a smile, “It’s not like there are murderers or muggers walking about right now.”

“Give me a moment,” Gavin said with a sigh as he grabbed his shoes and a jacket. “No point in splitting up now is there? Even if you’re probably better off by yourself.”

Rose smiled slightly and waited by the door for Gavin to finish getting his things together. Grabbing a box of cereal bars from his kitchen, Gavin handed Rose half of them to put into her bag while he shoved the other half into his own bag. Walking down the stairs, they were both fairly quiet until they stepped outside into the silence.

“Wow,” Gavin breathed, “And I thought before sunrise was quiet.”

“London is never quiet,” Rose said softly as they started walking back towards their base of operations from the day before. “I hope this is over soon. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

“Yeah,” Gavin said. “Even in the parks, you can still always hear the city.”

“You like the parks then,” Rose asked.

“One of the reasons I went to my university was the location near Hyde Park,” Gavin told her. “The money my mum left me lets me live in a nice place and I go to the park every day before classes. It opens at 5 each day so I can always go there.”

“I thought you said you were going to the library when everyone vanished?” Rose asked.

“I was, but for me, that means after an hour or two in the park at the Italian Garden, I like to sit there and read. My mum used to take me there so it is very familiar and I guess comforting. Plus the library isn’t open at six in the morning,” Gavin reminded her with a smile.

“I’ve never spent much time there,” Rose admitted. “I don’t come up to this part of London very often. There usually isn’t a reason for me too, but when everyone vanished it seemed my best bet for finding someone.”

“I suppose,” Gavin chuckled. “It just occurred to me that Buckingham and Parliament are completely empty. Too bad we don’t’ have time to go take a look.”

“Yeah,” Rose laughed. “We should have stayed there last night.”

They both laughed but drifted into silence as they walked through the streets. Rose pulled her jacket tighter around herself, not from the temperature, but from the atmosphere. If yesterday was creepy than this was straight out of a horror film.

“What’s wrong?” Gavin asked.

Blushing, Rose whispered, “My friend Shareen told me once to keep in mind that the blonde always dies first.” Rose glanced around, “And despite knowing that it is just us I can’t help but think about every horror film I’ve ever seen.”

“Don’t worry,” Gavin insisted. “It is just us, those robots are loud when they move and you’re a much darker blonde than the girls in those sorts of films.”

“I suppose,” Rose admitted with a sheepish smile. She stopped suddenly and turned towards an alley. “Did you hear that?”

“What?” Gavin asked in a low voice. “What did you hear.”

Heavy thuds from the alley echoed up into the street and now both could hear them. Gavin took a shaky step back while Rose moved forward. As she both hoped and feared, the two robots were marching up the alley towards them.

“Hello,” Rose said as Gavin hissed to run. “My name is Rose Tyler and I need to speak with you about the removal of the human species from their home planet Earth. Can you understand me?”
Raising its large red hand, the red robot pointed a finger at Rose and she flinched back when the tip glowed red.

“Okay that didn’t work,” Rose muttered. “Run!”

Gavin took off after Rose down the dark street. Rose followed the lights and hoped that she wasn’t missing anything that would trip them. She listened for Gavin’s breathing and footfalls behind her as she raced towards an intersection. The street went two directions and Rose shouted to split up as she went one direction and a moment later Gavin went the other. It did not take Rose long to realise that both sets of heavy footsteps were following her. Increasing her speed, Rose struggled to put distance between herself and the large robots as she heard the rate of their footfalls speed up. She navigated her way through the unfamiliar back roads, glad when they connected back to something.

Pushing herself to pick up speed, Rose turned onto one of the main roads and ran along it for only a moment before ducking into another alley. She jumped behind a group of trash bins and stayed low as the footsteps got closer. Holding her breath, Rose watched the two robots move past her hiding place and keep moving down the street. Rose remained in her hiding place until the sound of the heavy robot footsteps faded and then slowly looked out into the dark street. Waiting quietly, Rose let her eyes search the streets and the long shadows of the buildings for any sign of an ambush before she slowly stood. Turning around slowly, Rose made note of her location and started walking towards the diner, hoping that Gavin might meet her back there.

Rose sighed gratefully when she saw that the diner had a few lights on from the previous day. She wouldn’t have to risk attracting attention by turning anything on. Slipping inside through the front door, Rose quickly checked for Gavin. The fact that the robots hadn’t split up when they did concern her, but she wasn’t sure of the reason for that yet. Rose slipped back into the kitchen and poured a glass of water which she quickly drank. She froze when she heard the thud noises and darted for the back door. When she reached it, the door flew open and the yellow robot marched into the room. Turing on her heel, Rose dashed for the front door only to stagger to a stop as the red one walked through that entrance. Instinctively, Rose backed up against the wall in front of the menu while struggling to breathe.

The red robot moved in front of her and raised its hand once again. The red tip of its finger glowed and Rose braced herself. Her expectations were not met as instead a beam of light scanned her face and mouth. “What?” Rose asked in confusion.

The robots started making the strange static noises and then the red robot turned to the diner’s screen where the signal was being broadcast. Rose glanced between the robot and the screen.

“I don’t understand you,” Rose said trying to communicate again. She gestured to the screen, “Is that a countdown? What is it for?” The robot turned back to her as Rose started to move away from the wall. Neither robot approached Rose as she slowly put some distance between them and herself. Glancing around, Rose’s eyes found a discarded newspaper on a table. She looked back at the robots who were intently observing her.

“Okay,” Rose said softly to herself. “They don’t want to hurt me which means that they are here to make contact, but don’t understand me.” She picked up the newspaper and carried it over to the robots. Taking a deep breath, Rose said, “Here, try this. Input the language into your system.”
Rose began to flip through the pages of the paper and grinned when she heard the robots reading off the headlines and articles in a low key mechanical voice. When she reached the end of the paper, Rose tossed it on a nearby table and turned back to the robots.

“Do you understand me now?”

“Language acquired,” the robots said as one, “Input accepted.”

“Should have tried that ten hours ago,” Rose muttered before pointing to the screen. “What does that mean? Translate the signal.”

The yellow robot raised its hand and the red light flashed again. Instantly, the characters vanished and were replaced with a series of numbers only a split second later. Groaning, Rose took in the countdown in front of her that announced just under three hours left.

“Oh wonderful,” she hissed. “A countdown, I hate it when I’m right.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Sixteen: Empty Earth: The Prince and the Lady

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………..

Spinning back to the robots, Rose raised her chin and demanded, “What is the countdown for?”

“Give us air,” the robots said in their even tone. “Give us air.”

Rose gaped at them, “Why do you want our air? No, wait scratch that, I can’t give you our air even if I wanted to, which by the way my species needs it to breathe.”

“Give us air,” the yellow robot repeated.

“Not getting anywhere,” Rose muttered. “Where is everyone?”

“Warp shunt technology. Humans suspended in sub-dimension.”

“They’re alive,” Rose verified with a relieved smile.

“Yes,” the red robot replied.

“Give us the air,” the two robots then said together.

“Oh for the love of- you’re robots you don’t need to breathe!”

“No air, dimension closes and no human species return.”

Glancing at the countdown, Rose frowned. She wasn’t getting anywhere and her precious remaining time was slipping away. “So,” she said slowly, “If I don’t give you our air, the human race never comes back.”

“That is correct,” the red robot responded.

“But why?” Rose asked, “If there is no air then the human race will die the moment it returns. You’re giving me very bad choices here!” Rose yelled, throwing her arms up as she turned away from the robots. Taking a breath, she twisted the ring the Doctor had given her around on her finger, trying to think of an alternative.

“Give us the air. Give us the sun.”

Rose paused at the words and turned back to the robots slowly. “Say that again.”

“Give us the sun and air.”

“Wait a tick,” Rose said with a smile. “Translated indeed, but ideas not translating properly.” She laughed, “You want the son and heir,” Rose said. “You want a person like Prince Charles is the son and heir of the queen.”

“Give us the prince.”

Rose’s eyes widened and she groaned, “Gavin. You want the prince of your planet, Gavin is the son and heir.” She laughed, “His dad didn’t just run off, he was an alien and went back to his planet. He was an alien king!”

“King is dead,” the yellow robot said. “King’s brother is dead. Give us the son and heir.”

“Now everything makes sense,” Rose muttered. “Gavin’s your king and that’s why he is still here. You’ve come to get him.”

“He is new king,” the red robot replied. “He will give the order to return the human race.”

“And Gavin, I mean the Prince does he know he’s the prince? Does he know about this?”

“Information was sent to him,” the yellow robot replied.

“That energy trace, the one my pendant and UNIT picked up. But Gavin never got it. He knows nothing about this. He’s the only one that can order you to bring everyone back.” Rose looked over her shoulder and out into the street. “And I just sent him running away in the opposite direction. What have I done?”

Rose glanced around the diner, trying to decide if Gavin would return to here given the events of the last twenty-one hours. “He’d get away from this area,” Rose told herself quietly. “But if I’m wrong…” Turning back to the robots, Rose said, “I need more time. You have to keep the dimension open longer.”

“Does not compute,” the yellow robot stated. “Royal abduction protocol activated.”

“The prince didn’t respond, so your programming assumed that he was being held against his will. Removing all the humans was supposed to free him, but he doesn’t know who he is or what is going on. The mission to retrieve him has gone wrong and you don’t even know it. You’re not programmed for this.”

Rose groaned and grabbed her pendant. She dashed out into the street and looked up into the sky, hoping that the TARDIS would materialise, but after a minute of waiting it didn’t. Swallowing, Rose pulled out her phone and checked the screen as the robots followed her out into the street. The countdown was still in place and she was losing time. Motioning for the robots to follow, Rose started running back up the street towards Gavin’s flat. The robots hadn’t found them there so he might return to his home.

It took Rose ten minutes to get back to Gavin’s flat, an amount of time that she was very clearly aware of. Rushing up the stairs, she yelled for Gavin and crashed through the unlocked door to his flat that he hadn’t bothered with. There was no reply from the flat, but Rose checked his bedroom just in case. Turning back to the door, Rose was about to leave when she realised that something was different than when she had left with Gavin. Taking a breath, Rose closed her eyes for a moment before opening them and examining the room. The end table next to the sofa where she had slept last night was empty when this morning there had been several pictures of a little boy and an older woman. Rose realised with a start that the photos had been of Gavin and his mother.

“His mother,” Rose whispered. “End of the world, countdown in place and I run off to be chased by robots. He’d go where he feels safe…. Hyde Park.”

Racing back down the stairs, Rose shouted to the robots who were working their way up the stairs to turn around. She didn’t wait for them as she burst outside and started moving towards the parks. The heavy thudding of the robots who were moving as fast as they could assure her that they were still behind her. Rose risked her footing by pulling out her phone and checking the countdown. She had less than two hours to get to Hyde Park, find Gavin and get him to give the order to save their… well, his maternal half’s species anyway.

Hyde Park felt like it was a hundred miles away and Rose’s legs and sides hurt when she reached it with the robots almost fifty minutes later. Despite no traffic in London, moving on foot was still slow, especially since Rose could not risk losing the robots. Finding Gavin without them would mean it was all for nothing. Pulling a torch out her bag, Rose lit up a map of Hyde Park and tried to read the map around the painted words “Bad Wolf” left by a vandal. She briefly paused at the familiar words but shook it off to focus on finding the Italian Gardens that Gavin mentioned. According to the map, she was at Hyde Park Corner and her fingers traced up the map to the Italian Gardens. It was on the other side of the massive park.

“Come on,” Rose shouted to the two robots. “And pick up the pace. I’m not losing my species because you’re slow.”

Running on Serpentine Road, Rose had to watch her step and keep her small torch on. There were a few lamps along the path, but the park was not meant to be open after dusk making it difficult to navigate in the darkness. The steady sound of the robots behind Rose kept her moving up the long road. It was surreal in an entirely new way even for her, she was rushing into darkness with two robots on her trail to tell a boy that she sort of liked that he was an alien prince. Her legs were sore from running and the weight of her bag was starting to become difficult, but Rose shoved every concern other than reaching Gavin out of her mind. She refused to believe that she was going to fail everyone she ever knew today.

Rose kept running even as the early light of the day’s sunrise began to glow in the sky. In the vague low light, she could see the end of the Serpentine or the Longwater, whatever this section of the river was called up ahead at a dramatic fountain wall. Risking a glance down at her phone, Rose flinched at the reading of fifteen minutes and paused to check on the robots who were trailing behind her. She shouted for them to hurry up before she ran closer to the garden and started yelling for Gavin.

Any other day Rose would have stopped to admire the fountains, the flowers and the benches that lined the perfectly landscaped gardens, but it was the least of her concerns today. “Gavin!” She shouted and grinned when she was rewarded with Gavin standing up from a bench on the opposite end of the park and yelling her name.

Working her way around the garden, Rose grinned and hugged Gavin as she met him halfway. “You’re alright,” Gavin said in relief. “Both of the robots followed you, I was so worried.”

“I’m okay Gavin,” Rose assured him quickly. “But we don’t’ have much time.” Gavin then heard the robots coming up behind Rose and she had to grab his hand to keep him in place. “Gavin, stay with me, don’t worry about them. They understand English now and I understand what is going on.”

“Then explain it to me,” Gavin said as he kept his eyes on the two robots that were now standing a little ways behind Rose.

“Gavin when you said you weren’t important you were wrong. You were very wrong. You are the most important person on this planet, even if it is just the two of us. You just didn’t know it.” Rose pulled out her phone to check the countdown and showed it to Gavin. “I’m afraid that I don’t have time to ease you into this so just remember rule one and do not panic.”

“Where is the son and heir?” The two robots demanded and Rose turned to them in confusion.

“Right here,” Rose gestured to Gavin. “He is right in front of you.”

“Wait they’re after me?” Gavin demanded, “And you’re helping them.”

“There is no one there,” the robots responded.

“They can’t see you,” Rose muttered. “All this time they could never see you. That’s why you got the drop on them with that trash bin and why they just went after me.” Shaking her head, Rose took Gavin’s hand and told him, “Your father was an alien, he was the alien king of the planet the robots are from and now they are here to take you back to that planet to be king.”

“I never even knew my Dad,” Gavin reminded her. “He took off when I was little.”

“He went back to his home planet,” Rose said. “And something is shielding you from the robots. That is why everything has gone all wrong.”

“I don’t know anything!” Gavin shouted, “I swear Rose I don’t know.”

Rose looked down at her phone and frowned, she had less than ten minutes. “Okay Gavin,” she said taking a deep breath. “Tell me everything you know about your dad.”

“I don’t know anything,” Gavin repeated. “My Mum didn’t like talking about him. She said that when I was older she’d tell me about him, but..”

“She died,” Rose finished. “She never got the chance to tell you who he really was and who you really are.”

“Where is the son and heir?” The two robots demanded, taking a step forward, but Rose ignored them to keep her eyes on Gavin.

“Gavin, they can’t see you,” Rose told him gently. “Something is stopping them from finding you. Something to do with your Dad.”

Glancing past Rose at the robots, Gavin slowly touched the plain gold band that he wore on his right hand. “My Mum gave me this,” he said after a long pause. “She said that my father gave it to her… to protect me.”

“That must be it,” Rose said. “Your father wanted you to have a normal life on Earth and gave you that to shield your alien half and protect you from being detected by alien technology.” Seeing that Gavin was hesitating to remove the ring, Rose pleaded, “Please Gavin, trust me. We’ve been through so much together in the last day. Trust me and take off the ring.”

“What will happen then?”

“I’m not sure,” Rose admitted to him, “But the human species is in your hands. You are the only one that can save them now, but you have to take off the ring. Please.”

Gavin stared at Rose and slowly nodded as he gripped the ring with his left hand and pulled it off. Rose held out her hand and Gavin placed the ring in it. Stepping to the side, Rose looked at the robots that had suddenly straightened up and stepped closer together in front of Gavin. As one they raised their hands and began to scan Gavin’s face.

“The son and heir,” both robots said making Rose grin and look back at Gavin. “Biodamper shielded him.”

“That’s why he didn’t get your message,” Rose said with a smile. He gestured to Gavin, “Send the message again. Tell Gavin who he is.”

The red robot marched forward to Gavin, who only took one step back before catching himself, and raised its arm to put its glowing finger near Gavin’s eye. Rose watched quietly as Gavin tensed and then relaxed, a smile spreading over the young man’s face. His posture relaxed and a moment later when the robot stepped back Gavin turned to her with an expression of joy.

“It’s beautiful,” Gavin breathed. Turning to Rose, he grinned at her and said, “My planet is amazing, peaceful and beautiful. They want me, Rose, they need me. I’ve never felt that before.”

“It has to be your decision to go,” Rose told him with a smile.

“I’m going,” Gavin told her. “There is a whole new world waiting for me.”

“Okay,” Rose said softly. “Now if you don’t mind…. Your majesty, please give the order to return the humans.” Rose looked down at her phone, “There are only a few minutes left.”

Nodding, Gavin straightened and turned to the two robots. “Your king commands you.”

The two robots straightened and bowed while they said, “We await King’s command.”

“Return the human race and take me home,” Gavin said.

The two robots lifted their arms to the sky and their sensors flashed. Rose held her breath and looked up at the sky. Gavin reached over and took her hand making her turn her attention back to him.

“Thank you, Rose. Earth was never my home, not really and now I can finally go someplace that I belong,” Gavin said with a soft smile. Leaning forward, Gavin pressed his lips to Rose’s gently and Rose returned the soft kiss after a moment of surprise. When they parted, Gavin kissed Rose’s hand with a smile and stepped back to stand between the two robots. “I would have regretted it if I left without kissing you. Rose, I name you the Lady Rose Tyler of Neriva.”

Grinning, Rose watched as the two robots touched Gavin’s shoulders and a field of energy surrounded them. A flash of light lit up the area and shot up into the sky. Rose smiled and turned her face towards the rising sun as she pulled out her phone. The countdown had thirty-seven seconds left when Rose suddenly heard cars and honking horns on the nearby roads. Sighing in relief, Rose slipped her phone back into her bag as she started to walk back the way she came towards Hyde Park Corner.

The sound of clapping caught her attention before she’d taken five steps back down the road. Spinning, Rose’s mouth dropped open. In the early rays of sunlight, she could see the leather coat wearing, blue-eyed Doctor leaning against a tree and slowly clapping with a huge grin on his face.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Seventeen: Empty Earth: Strange Conversation

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

AN: I cannot take credit for the plot of this adventure, most of it anyway. Gavin and his resolution are from a Sarah Jane Adventure episode, my personal favourite in fact. If you are interested I do suggest giving that spin off a look, it is a lot of fun even if it can be a little silly.

……………………

The sound of clapping caught her attention before she’d taken five steps back down the road. Spinning, Rose’s mouth dropped open. In the early rays of sunlight, she could see the leather coat wearing, blue-eyed Doctor leaning against a tree and slowly clapping with a huge grin on his face.

Seeing that he had her attention, the Doctor stopped clapping and grinned at her. “Well done Rose Tyler!” The Doctor crossed his arms over his chest. “Congratulations, you just saved your species.”

“How long have you been there?” Rose stalked up to him and put her hands on her hips, but he just kept grinning.

“Oh about ten minutes,” the Doctor replied. “But you had things well in hand.”

“Six billion people at risk and you just-” Rose growled while glaring up at him. “Stop looking so pleased!”

“I am pleased. I’ve been saving you lot for centuries and suddenly a little girl is starting to do it for me! This is an exciting day!”

“I’m not eleven years old anymore Doctor, I’m seventeen so please do not refer to me as a little girl,” Rose told the Doctor with a raised eyebrow. “And I had to; no one else was here not UNIT and not you. Gavin had no idea about aliens, much less that he was part alien. I was alone.” The Doctor’s gaze softened slightly at her statement warming Rose. A smile broke through her irritation and she threw her arms around him to hug him. “It is good to see you. I’m glad you’re here even if you are very very late.” Rose said into his leather jacket, feeling oddly comforted by the smell. The Doctor hesitated for a moment before he returned the hug causing Rose to grin. They parted after a moment and the Doctor quickly crossed his arms in front of him.

Pushing a strand of dark blonde hair behind an ear, Rose tried not to blush as she remembered that in his future this man would be her first kiss. “Why didn’t the robots detect you?” Rose asked to start a new conversation.

The Doctor held up his right hand and tapped a simple gold ring on his finger that he pulled off a moment later. “Biodamper, just like your boyfriend. It hides a living being’s biological data from sensors. Once the TARDIS detected what was happening, I was not going to risk being sucked up by warp-shunt technology.” Shoving the ring back into his pocket, the Doctor resumed leaning against the tree.

Blushing slightly, Rose looked down at the ring she still had in her hand that she hadn’t thought to return to Gavin in the chaos. “He’s not my boyfriend,” Rose informed him as she opened the clasp of her necklace and slipped the ring onto it. “But I think I’ll add this to my collection. After all, the pendant is why I remained on Earth and you never know when a biodamper may prove useful.” The ring clinked against her pendant and Rose turned her attention back to the Doctor. His blue eyes were examining her carefully and Rose felt oddly exposed like he was seeing far more than she was aware of.

“It’s good to see you again Rose,” The Doctor said. “Bit surprising really, but it seems that lately if you want to find where the aliens on Earth are just find Rose Tyler. You are very jeopardy friendly.”

“At least I can get myself out of it,” Rose replied with a smirk. “After all, I did figure out what was happening in time.”

“Barely,” the Doctor replied.

“If I cut it so close why didn’t you step in?” Rose challenged, crossing her arms.

The Doctor grinned and shrugged, “Throwing one more alien into the mix might have been too much for your boyfriend.”

Rose rolled her eyes but smiled slightly despite herself. “He wasn’t my boyfriend and he certainly isn’t now so you can stop calling Gavin that.”

“He kissed you,” the Doctor reminded her.

“Jealous?” Rose asked innocently, but that made her think too much of the time he did… would kiss her so she tried to think of a new subject. “Why are you late anyways?”

The Doctor blinked at the subject change but seemed a bit grateful. “Well, the thing is that my ship takes me where I need to be.” The Doctor grinned, “It seems she knew that I wasn’t really needed on Earth today because Earth had Rose Tyler looking out for it.” His blue eyes almost glittered, “Rose Tyler Defender of the Earth.”

Rose couldn’t contain her own smile at the high praise and grinned in return. However, her body interrupted the moment by allowing her stomach to growl, very loudly. The Doctor blinked and then chuckled.

“I suppose you didn’t eat anything this morning,” he said.

“No,” Rose admitted with a slight blush. “Last thing I ate was,” she looked at her watch, “Eleven hours ago.”

“Well come on then,” the Doctor said holding out a hand to her. “You gave me a day off from saving Earth so I suppose I can manage buying breakfast.”

“You do know that as people realise that something has happened things are going to go a bit insane.” His manic grin answered her question and Rose took his offered hand with a smile. “Of course you do.”

“Well by this point I’m sure UNIT is working on some kind of explanation to cover up the alien activity that will quickly be accepted by most of the planet,” the Doctor assured her. “You lot are very thick when it comes to admitting you’re not alone in the universe.”

“I know,” Rose sighed. “Most arrogant idea humans ever had.”

“Pretty much,” the Doctor agreed as he walked with Rose out of the park.

As Rose expected, most people were calmly going about their early morning routines without any changes. It was a strange feeling, walking down the street with the Doctor, but she was in too good a mood to feel awkward. It was a few minutes after six when they heard the first shouts of concern from a street vendor whose stock had started to go off. Rose glanced at the Doctor who had an amused look on his face, grabbed his hand and pulled him into a small diner. Things were the same inside as customers were talking with the staff about their cold or sour food. Rose rolled her eyes at the Doctor’s amusement and pulled the man into a back corner booth.

“Ah human beings,” the Doctor said. “First assumption is that something is wrong with the cook even if the first few bits were fine.”

“I’m just grateful it happened so early here on a Sunday. Most people are still asleep and won’t notice anything. At least it wasn’t the middle of the day here.”

“Yeah, I bet they are having fun in the Americas with this.” The Doctor chuckled.

“You find this funny,” Rose gasped. “You seriously find this funny.”

“Yeah,” the Doctor told her as he looked around. “Entire human race saved by a teenager, seventeen wasn’t it. You must be getting close to A-Levels.”

“Really close,” Rose admitted. “I suppose this puts the exams into perspective.”

“Next thing you know you’ll be saving the galaxy,” the Doctor said with his huge smile. His glee was a touch irritating to the tired Rose. “Then the universe someday.”

Rose snorted, “Please saving the universe was last year.”

The Doctor was about to ask when a waitress came over and took their order. She was frazzled and clearly worried. Rose spotted a news report coming up as urgent on the diner screen. Quickly, she jumped up and turned it up before returning to the table with the Doctor.

“Looks like the explanation and rationalisation are about to begin,” the Doctor said.

Rose smiled as Malcolm Taylor appeared on the screen. Turning to the Doctor she quickly said, “Malcolm is the current scientific advisor of the British UNIT division.” Shushing the Doctor before he could ask anything, Rose turned back to the television. Doctor Taylor seemed very calm and collected as he announced a strange burst of radiation from space causing molecular acceleration that caused nearly a day worth of ageing to everything on Earth. Giggling, Rose covered her mouth as the locals she could see calmed down at the news that a scientific event had occurred that had not harmed humans. Turning back to the Doctor Rose chuckled, “That was fast.”

“UNIT has enough equipment to monitor something like this,” the Doctor told her. “They’re just probably confused about the details.”

Rose bit her lips slightly and looked back at the Doctor, “Would you go and tell them?”

“Excuse me?” The Doctor asked as he lounged back in his chair.

“General Lethbridge-Stewart is nice and all,” Rose said, “But I really don’t want to deal with UNIT this close to my A-Levels. So if you could just go and tell them and encourage them to keep me out of it I’d be grateful.”

Rose was aware of him giving her that intense stare again as she played with her pendant. Finally, he said, “I think there is a story that I need to hear because last time I saw you Alistair was retired and you certainly had not saved the universe.”

Leaning back in her chair, Rose glanced back at the television where Malcolm was answering questions. “Have you heard of Horath?” Rose asked.

“Of course,” the Doctor replied with a frown. “How did you?”

“It was here on Earth,” Rose told him quietly. “I destroyed it last year.” Lowering her voice, Rose leaned her chin on her elbow as she debated with herself for a moment. The issue was of course if she should reveal the temporal complexity of her past and his future right now. Part of her was worried that he’d stand up and walk out of her life to avoid the whole thing and that thought bothered her. Rose had also read enough about time travel theory to know the potential problems here. She gained a short delay when their food was brought and the Doctor allowed her to take a few bites, but he didn’t stop watching her.

“Rose,” the Doctor said. “Horath.”

“Right,” Rose took a deep breath. “First thing you need to know is that there were two bad guys: Apep and Colonel Adams of UNIT.”

Discovering that the Doctor’s blue eyes could turn to ice chilled Rose slightly as she related last year’s adventure to him. Rather than being bothered by it, Rose found it comforting since he was angry on her behalf. She explained Adams’ illegal handling of her and made sure to stress that Magambo and Doctor Taylor had been very supportive of her. Rose now had the feeling that the Doctor would be visiting UNIT, but probably not for the reason she originally asked. She brushed over the school year and focused on the final day when the equipment in the school was revealed.

Keeping her voice low, Rose told him everything she could remember about the series of events: her friends freeing her, sneaking down to the stone circle, the arrival of Apep and stealing the key out of Adams’ hand.

“So you got the key,” the Doctor said slowly, his eyes dark. “Then what?”

“I smashed it against a rock,” Rose told him with a smile. “I just… I just knew that the key was linked to Horath and its destruction by a human would destroy Horath.”

“Ancestral memory,” the Doctor told her suddenly. “When Horath was buried, an awareness of how to stop it was probably encoded into the human race. You must have connected to that.”

“Really,” Rose blinked at him, “Well that’s nice to know. So the key shattered and the whole complex started to blast apart around us. Most of Adams’ men were caught in the explosions or in these strange energy beams that were released as the stone circle broke apart. Adams was killed by an energy beam after he tried to shoot me. Apep wasn’t in the circle so he escaped back to his ship. Then UNIT arrived under the General’s command and he sent me home.”

“You were in the circle,” the Doctor said. “Yet you survived.”

“Clearly,” Rose responded with a cheeky smile.

“How?” The Doctor asked, clearly not amused. “That destruct sequence would have been designed to kill every life form near the circle once activated.”

Rose sighed, he had asked her directly and she did not want to lie to him. Deep down, she had known that if he asked her she would not be able to handle lying to him. “You saved me,” she answered honestly. “More accurately you will save me. The TARDIS materialised around me and you took me to safety. It is just going to be a long time to you.”

She could tell the exact moment he realised what she meant as his face flickered from confusion to surprise. The Doctor nodded sharply and glanced away from Rose and back at the television.

“You explained regeneration so I would accept that it was you,” Rose said softly.

“Don’t tell me,” the Doctor said sharply, but he sighed a moment later. “Rose-”

“Don’t worry about it,” Rose said with a smile. “I understand.”

Smiling softly, the Doctor nodded and began to work on his own breakfast while Rose returned to hers. They sat in silence listening to the other patrons talk about the strange radiations and their own theories about it. The news report with Malcolm had been replaced with new anchors discussing the report and the various effects it had caused around the world.

“You’re right,” Rose said finally. “We’ll believe anything. Thick lot aren’t we.”

“Well not all of you,” the Doctor said with a small smile which Rose returned. “So A-Levels coming up? What do you want to study?”

“Physics and computer science,” Rose told him, pleased with the surprised smile that spread across his face. “I’m hoping to do a concurrent degree since a lot of universities base those two on similar starting classes.”

“Good for you,” the Doctor said with a nod. “Fantastic.”

“Yeah,” Rose said and she was about to say something more when her phone suddenly rang. It was her mother and Rose sighed. “She’s up earlier than I thought. I’m sorry Doctor,” Rose said, “But I have to go. She just woke to find me gone.”

“Right then,” the Doctor said as he tossed some notes on the table. “You take care of yourself, Rose Tyler.”

“You too Doctor,” Rose said with a smile, “Until next time, Doctor.”

The Doctor returned her smile and nodded, “I’ll have a chat with Alistair. Until next time, Rose Tyler.”

Quickly slipping out of the booth, Rose pulled out her ringing phone and started assuring her mother that she was fine and on her way home. All the while as she walked out the door she could feel his eyes watching her. Outside the diner, she paused and looked back through the window at him. Their eyes met, Rose smiled and waved before she resumed walking down the street towards the bus stop. She couldn’t quite control the small smile on her face.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Eighteen: Empty Earth: UNIT Reunion

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………….

General Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was sitting at his desk inside the UNIT base at the Tower of London. Stacked in front of him, were reports on every little problem within the whole of the British Division and he was thinking about that lovely retirement he had been working on. Of course being retired meant very little to Geneva when things went wrong and he had been thrown back into command of the British UNIT division after that mess with Colonel Adams. He had spent the last year doing checks on all the men and women within UNIT’s UK division and trying to reign in the fast and loose methods that had taken hold of the organisation.

Today was a particularly bad day as he had been woken up by a phone call at 6:07 and informed that something very strange had occurred on Earth. UNIT scientific advisors around the globe had connected to each other and verified that the Earth had moved a day ahead in its rotation pattern, food had spoiled and humans had lost a day that no one could account for. Tests had been run and all reported no damage to the planet or to any humans. An official explanation had been prepared, but his experience told him that the internet was being filled with alternative theories even as he signed off on the reports. A conference call ending only an hour ago between himself and other UNIT commanders had revealed very little information.

Pausing, the General listened carefully as shouting filled the hallways, but nothing that he identified as violent. Far from flinching, Alistair just calmly looked up when his door banged open loudly and a tall man in a leather coat stormed in. The strange man stopped right in front of the desk, crossed his arms and looked down at Alistair. The blue eyes caught Alistair’s attention right way, they were angry, worried, nervous and very tired all at once, a look that Alistair recognised. Two soldiers chased him into the room, but Alistair held up a hand to motion them to stop as he looked at the strange man in front of him.

“Hello Doctor,” the General said calmly, not showing his reaction to the icy look in his old friend’s eyes. “Dismissed,” the General said to the two men who had followed the Doctor in.

“Hello Brigadier,” the Doctor said and then he glanced at the uniform. “Oh, I see it is General now or do you prefer Sir Alistair.”

“I doubt my preference would affect you much,” Alistair said as he stood and allowed a small smile. The two men then grasped hands and regarded each other warmly. Motioning to an open chair in front of his desk, Alistair walked around to sit in the other free chair. Speaking with the Doctor over a desk was always a strange experience that no longer felt appropriate. “It has been a while, Doctor. I don’t suppose you can enlighten me as to what occurred this morning.”

“Rose Tyler,” the Doctor replied, leaning back in the chair and crossing his arms.

“That is not an explanation, Doctor,” Alistair said as he stood and touched the intercom. “Colonel Benton please report to my office and bring Rose Tyler’s file.”

“John’s a colonel now?” The Doctor asked in surprise, “I thought he went into the used car business.”

“He did for a time, but I’m afraid that retirement means very little when Geneva needs us ‘Old Guard’. He had been called back a few times and promotions tend to be the method of apology,” Alistair explained as he sat back down. “Now the name Rose Tyler is hardly an explanation of what happened.”

Glancing up as the door opened, Alistair nodded to John Benton who grinned at the sight of the strange man. Benton handed a file to the General as the Doctor stood and warmly shook his hand. “Good to see you again Doctor.”

“Very few people recognise me that easily,” the Doctor told both men as Benton joined them sitting by the desk.

“After all the different forms we’ve known you in,” Alistair said with a small smile, “It is not that difficult.”

Colonel Benton smiled at the Doctor for a moment, “So what crisis did you prevent today that caused the loss of a day.”

“I had nothing to do with it,” the Doctor admitted with a grin as he crossed his arms. “As I told Alistair: Rose Tyler. What do you have in her file?”

The General picked up the file and handed it over to the Doctor. Glancing at the Colonel, he shook his head as the Doctor quickly scanned through it, ignoring both men sitting with him. After a moment, the Doctor closed the file and tossed it back onto the desk.

“Right then,” the Doctor said, “I suppose the first thing is I tell you what happened on Earth and then you tell me about what happened last year.”

“Last year?” Alistair asked, “But Tyler said you-”

“Not yet,” the Doctor said simply knowing his old friend would understand. Alistair nodded, content to accept the Doctor’s word on that and not try to understand the strange nature of time travel. “And I want to know how the hell a kid got pulled into a plot by UNIT traitors and why no one in command positions prevented her from being drafted,” the Doctor finished with a deep frown of disapproval.

“Alright Doctor,” Alistair said with a nod, “But first UNIT needs information from you. The entire human race is missing a day with no reasonable explanation. What happened?”

Grinning and clearly pleased about something, the Doctor lounged back in his chair and explained about the series of events as he had observed and Rose had recounted. The pendant he had given Rose years ago to protect her from Spellman had regained enough energy to start flickering on and off. By sheer chance, an accident of chaos her pendant had flashed on just at the right time to pick up the energy trace that was sent across Earth on Saturday. That recording of the energy signature protected her from the warp-shunt technology that was used on Sunday morning to remove all humans from Earth. It was a flaw in the robot’s programming and they did not know how to adapt. The Doctor enjoyed the slightly shocked looks as he admitted that he arrived only at the end of the crisis to find Rose Tyler revealing the prince to the robots and helping calm the lad down. His eyes glittered as he recounted that the prince gave Rose a title for her service and ordered the return of the humans to Earth before departing for his new planet Neriva.

“So you just showed up at the end and clapped,” Benton asked with wide eyes. “I bet she loved that.”

Alistair was less amused and picked up Tyler’s file. Frowning, he flipped through it and stopped at the most recent photo of the girl. “Is this something we should be concerned about?” Alistair closed the file, “I have met many of your assistants and there is something different here.”

“You’re right Alistair,” the Doctor admitted with a sigh. “But first what happened last year.”

It was the Brigadier’s turn to sigh and he glanced at the door. Benton nodded and stood up to double check the door. “Alright Doctor, in the last few years since I and the other founding members retired the methods of UNIT began to change.” The Doctor’s eyes were hard and cold as Alistair detailed all the information they had found about Adams’ rise to power and alliance with Apep. Horath Academy’s foundation and the selection of students was still under investigation, but Alistair explained what they knew and how close they had come to activating the key. Rose Tyler had been the final straw with her abilities and knowledge of aliens.

“So you arrived after the fact,” the Doctor verified.

“Yes, Tyler’s friends had already cleared the civilians out of the ship and Apep had escaped. My men provided medical support and transport to a safe location. Tyler was very calm about the whole affair, reported to me and told me the series of events.”

“She’s like that,” the Doctor agreed with a smile. “Girl knows how to focus. She’s pretty remarkable for a human.”

“So she is human?” Benton verified getting him a look from the Doctor.

“Yes, she’s very human,” the Doctor said. “But you’re right there is something odd about her. When humans are born they carry potential and their timelines reflect that, but most humans slowly cut themselves off from potential timelines because of their choices and some can gain more potential due to their own choices. As a Time Lord, I can see potential timelines around humans, something like an aura. Rose has more potential time swirling around her than I have ever seen on a human and it has increased each time I have met her. In theory, the most important thing she ever does should have been saving the universe last year, but the time potential around her says otherwise.”

“Can’t you see what she’s going to do?”

“Doesn’t work that way,” the Doctor said. “Time Lords don’t see time lines that way. An individual level doesn’t show up very often. If she was historically important I’d know that so I’m not sure what is going on with the kid. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I had money on her travelling with you someday,” Benton said with a smile to lift the tone of the conversation. “I hope I’m not about to lose that bet.”

The Doctor blinked and glanced at Benton, “She might. That could explain why I can’t find her in Earth’s history.”

Alistair chuckled, “Well that could be interesting.” At the Doctor’s look, Alistair added, “You usually travel with nice, smart and capable people, but have you ever travelled with someone who could save the universe without you?” When the Doctor did not respond, Alistair stood up and walked back to his desk. “I think I should speak with Doctor Taylor on checking up on Rose.”

“She wanted UNIT to leave her alone,” the Doctor reminded his old friend. “She’s worried about A-Levels. She can save the planet and the universe, but A-Levels worry her.”

“Calm yourself, Doctor,” Alistair said. “I’ll use your statements to complete the reports to let Miss Tyler have her life. She is a minor so I have no authority to order her here anyway. Besides, she sounds like a person UNIT wants to be on good terms with. However, I think given what happened with Adams a quick check-in would not be out of place. Doctor Taylor, our current scientific advisor… well, the second one since you’ve never resigned has lunch with her almost every Saturday.”

“She has that close a relationship with UNIT?”

“With Doctor Taylor, yes. Taylor was one of her teachers under Adams and he is very fond of the girl.”

“I think I should meet him,” the Doctor said, ignoring Benton’s small chuckle and Alistair’s smile.

“Of course Doctor,” Alistair said with a smile. “Benton call Taylor and tell him to report here.” The Doctor blinked at Alistair’s amusement and Benton’s chuckling as he left the office. Turning back to the General, the Doctor shifted under the intense examination of his friend. Sighing, Alistair shook his head and said, “You’ve changed.”

“You’ve seen regeneration before,” the Doctor replied with a shrug. “Shouldn’t be surprised.”

“Your eyes give you away,” Alistair explained, “But something there has changed.” Every muscle in the Doctor tensed as the two men stared at each other. Alistair slowly shook his head, “I’m so sorry Doctor. War is a terrible burden of memories to carry.” The General, formerly the Brigadier, was not surprised when the Doctor just nodded but didn’t answer. “It gets easier,” Alistair continued softly, “Right now that might not seem possible, but it does. For me the secret was staying busy, a purpose to keep me moving forward and Doris. She never let me stay in those memories for long.” The Doctor remained silent and the General glanced towards the door. “I should warn you that while Doctor Taylor is the friend of Miss Tyler’s, he is a… admirer of you.”

“What?” The Doctor asked, responding to him for the first time.

The General did not have time to reply as the door opened and Colonel Benton stepped inside with the slightly stuttering Doctor Malcolm Taylor who quickly grabbed the Doctor’s hand and began to shake it vigorously.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth

By Lumendea

Chapter Nineteen: Intermission: Eighteen Years

 

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

 

…………………….

 

Rose Marion Tyler was eighteen years old and sitting on a plaid fleece blanket on the roof of the Powell Estate. It was the 30th of April in the year 2004 and the majority of the population of the Powell Estate was celebrating Rose’s eighteenth birthday. While she had turned eighteen three days ago, as the first Friday night since Jackie had declared tonight her party.

 

Rose had been a daze all day, focusing more on school than worrying about whatever her mother had planned for her tonight. Naturally, Rose had done her part politely at the party, greeting everyone and accepting well wishes from people that she had known her whole life, but had only a passing interest in. Once the cake had been cut and people were settling into their own conversations with a drink in hand Rose had slipped away to come up to the roof. Everything happening in her mum’s flat just felt too loud, too messy and too dull. Instead, she favoured lounging under an open night sky with her own thoughts.

 

Sighing, she lay back on the blanket and listened to the noises of the party below her. Of course, the estate was celebrating a bit more than Rose’s birthday as two days ago she had received letters from Cambridge and Oxford offering her a place in their programs, the offers were conditional on her finishing her A-Levels with good grades of course, but that hadn’t stopped Jackie from telling everyone that she had been accepted by two of the most famous universities in the whole of the world. Rose, however, found that she was thinking more about seeing Malcolm for lunch the next day than the party or her mother’s absolute joy.

 

Rose reached into the pocket of her black canvas bag that she had brought up with her and pulled out the letter from Eve that had arrived the previous day for her. She unfolded it gently and used the low light of London’s night to read the words, despite knowing them already.

 

To her Ladyship Rose Tyler of Neriva,

 

Congratulations on saving Earth without any external aid and turning eighteen! I thought about sending a warning, but then I saw that you did not need it. I am so proud of you, just as the Doctor is. Had I been in your position there is no doubt I would have been blushing and stuttering when facing the man who will steal my first kiss. I wish you could write me a letter and tell me who is the better kisser, the Prince or the Doctor? I suppose I should not torment you with your strange complicated relationship since even seeing bits and pieces of it confused me and you’ll be living with it. Yet, I have no doubt that you will be amazing, but never forget that the choice is yours. Nothing is certain and time can be rewritten. Happy birthday and don’t worry so much, you’ll be just fine. Also never forget that I am your eternal friend and you always have my love.

 

Your friend, Eve

 

P.S. Father and I have a surprise for you and the girls that should be coming to your notice any day now. Sorry if it causes trouble at first.

 

Hearing the roof door open, Rose smiled and turned her head lazily to look at Sharon and Shareen who came up, each armed with a blanket of their own. Neither girl said anything as they each spread their blankets on each side of Rose. Smiling, Rose turned to look at Sharon who had laid down first. The black girl grinned at Rose and winked before she turned her attention to the night sky full of stars.

 

“Good night for stargazing,” Sharon said. “Are you thinking of anything in particular?”

 

“What would I be thinking of?” Rose asked with a small smile.

 

“Oh maybe saving the world, again!” Shareen laughed. “You are getting good at that.”

 

“I was actually thinking about something else,” Rose said softly. “Something I haven’t told either of you about yet, but I think I should.”

 

“What is it, honey?” Shareen asked gently.

 

“You can tell us anything,” Sharon said. “We’ve seen aliens, spaceships and helped stop the destruction of the universe. I doubt you could shock us now.”

 

Rose grinned at the challenge, “Well I’m about to try anyway. Do you two remember Mister Smith who taught our science section when we were twelve?”

 

“The young bowtie teacher,” Sharon asked. “Yeah, I remember him.”

 

“Me too,” Shareen said. “You had a crush on him.”

 

“Yeah I did,” Rose admitted with a soft smile. “That was the Doctor.”

 

Her two friends sat up sharply and turned to look at Rose as she just grinned and giggled at their reactions. Holding up her hands to silence the rapid fire of questions that began a moment later, Rose launched into the complete story of the Doctor’s rescue of her from Horath. She had told them bits and pieces, but not explained the odd event of regeneration and had never admitted to the kiss. Sitting up, Rose reached into her bag and pulled out the journal with the rose cover. Gently, she opened it to an image of the interior TARDIS and showed it to her friends. Quietly, Rose told them about the journal and hints she had received from both the Doctor and Eve.

 

“Have you read the letter he gave to you?” Sharon asked when Rose was finished.

 

“No,” Rose said as she opened the journal to the still sealed letter. “I’ve never thought about reading it, to be honest.”

 

“Seriously?” Shareen asked with wide eyes. “You have a letter from the future and you don’t’ want to read it.”

 

“I might not want to know,” Rose said in a low voice. “The Doctor, the green-eyed one, told me that time could be rewritten. He gave me a way out if I ever want to take it.” Rose took a breath, “I guess I’m a little afraid of what my future is. Eve tells me not to worry, but I just can’t shake the feeling that…”

 

“Stop it, Rose,” Shareen said sharply gaining Rose’s attention. “You’re right, leave the letter alone. Don’t focus on the foreknowledge and the question of what to do. You are young, pretty, smart, you’ve got good university offers, a mum that loves you, great friends if I do say so myself and you are now a legal adult. Focus on the present and enjoy what you’ve got here and now.”

 

“She’s right Rose,” Sharon said with an exaggerated sigh, “Though it pains me to admit it. You have a life that is worth putting effort into so don’t spend all your time in the future.”

 

“I suppose,” Rose said. “Sometimes though it feels like I am too aware of my future, or what might be my future. It is just distracting I guess and having something like a message to give just highlights that.”

 

“So you’re due to see him sometime this year?” Sharon asked. “And he’ll be in a different regeneration. How will you know him?”

 

“I suppose that I’ll just know him,” Rose answered softly.

 

Sharon and Shareen looked at each other and then Shareen gently took the journal from Rose. She flipped through the pages carefully. “Well,” Shareen said after a moment. “At least he’s got nice taste in jewellery.”

 

Rose chuckled and lay back down with her friends and the journal was handed back to her. Looking at the stars, she softly asked, “Promise me that you’ll be here to remind me of my present life.”

 

“I promise I won’t let you lose sight of it,” Shareen promised. “I don’t like being ignored.”

 

“Again I have to agree with Shareen,” Sharon said. “We’ll keep you grounded, don’t worry. We’re your friends and that’s what we’re here for.”

 

“Thanks,” Rose told him with a smile.

 

“So what else is worrying you?” Shareen asked after a moment. “I’ve been your friend too long to believe that your strange temporally weird relationship is the only reason you’re up here with that look on your face.”

 

Rose couldn’t help herself, she laughed as she pulled out Eve’s letter and handed it to her much too observant friend. Shareen quickly read the letter and got a funny look on her face when she read the postscript. Leaning over Rose, Shareen handed the letter to Sharon.

 

“What does she mean ‘Father and I have a surprise for you and the girls that should be coming to your notice any day now. Sorry if it causes trouble at first.’ What other stunts did our dear friend who can see the future do?”

 

“I’m not sure,” Rose replied with a laugh before she looked down at her watch. “Well I should probably head back downstairs, I need to get some sleep to face Malcolm in the morning.”

 

“I’m surprised you didn’t see him weeks ago,” Shareen commented as they gathered up their things.

 

“He’s been busy,” Rose said. “Human race goes missing for a day, there is a lot of clean up and cover up work to do.”

 

“Does it ever bother you?” Sharon asked. “The cover up I mean.”

 

“Oh, humans will admit it to ourselves when they want to. The cover ups aren’t that good, people just don’t want to see it yet.”

 

Rose slipped back into the flat to find that most of the guests were gone and her mother was chatting with a man named Howard. He was one of the few blokes her mother paid attention to that Rose didn’t disapprove of. Quietly, Rose went into her bedroom and returned Eve’s letter and her journal to their rightful places. She fell asleep staring up at the stars and planets painted on her ceiling.

 

Waking slowly, Rose rolled over and glared at the alarm clock that was playing music. After her late night or was it early morning with the party for her birthday she really could not remember why she had set the alarm. Another moment jogged her memory and Rose sat up on her bed, turning off the alarm. Rubbing her eyes, Rose forced herself to get up and moving.

 

An hour later Rose was sitting at her and Malcolm’s normal corner booth, waiting for her favourite quirky scientist so she could get food, having skipped breakfast. She glanced over at a telly behind the counter, making note the historical expansion of the EU and tapped her fingers on the table. She brightened when Malcolm walked into the diner with a huge grin on his face. He quickly walked over to Rose and hugged her tightly before taking his seat.

 

“I’m so glad you could come today,” Malcolm told her. “I’m been so busy at UNIT the last few weeks.”

 

“I understand,” Rose said. “I’m just grateful that UNIT left me alone.”

 

“Did you get everything finished and turned in for school?”

 

“Yes,” Rose told him with a nod. “Just A-Levels left now.”

 

“You’ll be fine,” Malcolm said as the waitress came up to take their orders. When the girl has returned the counter, Malcolm leaned forward and whispered, “I didn’t tell you this over the phone, but I met him.”

 

Rose smiled, “So you’ve met the Doctor. What did you think?”

 

“Well his dress is much more normal than most of the reports suggest so that was a surprise,” Malcolm said. “He was marvellous of course, I hope that someday I see him in action.” Malcolm paused, “He was very protective of you and only met me to check in who you were meeting from UNIT.”

 

Coughing, Rose tried to recover her calm. The notion of the blue-eyed Doctor, her earliest Doctor being protective of her made her blush slightly, but Malcolm didn’t seem to notice as he continued talking about the Doctor.

 

“Doctor Taylor, do keep your voice down.” A strong voice said beside them. Rose blinked in surprise as General Lethbridge-Stewart walked up to their table in civilian attire and pulled up a third chair. “Good day to you Miss Tyler.” Seeing Rose’s surprise, he continued, “Do not worry young lady, the Doctor already assisted UNIT in reporting the event that took place.”

 

“Then why are you here?” Rose asked.

 

The General smiled fondly and responded with, “Curiosity.” He chuckled at the look of surprise on Rose’s face, “I have known the Doctor for a very long time and it is not often that he is truly impressed by a human. And when that human is a teenage girl from London, well naturally I believe a quick look is in order.”

 

“So you are checking up on me?” Rose verified with a small smile of her own. “We already met once.”

 

“True,” the General agreed, “But I made the mistake of thinking that you stopping Horath, Adams and Apep was the peak of your world-saving career. It seems that was a mistake.”

 

“Oh, why?” Rose asked, leaning forward on her hand.

 

The General considered her carefully for a moment, “How much do you know about the Doctor?”

 

“Not much,” Rose admitted. “Usually when I see him there are other concerns.”

 

“His people are called Time Lords,” the General told her in a low voice. “They see and travel in time and space. The Doctor said that you have an unusual intensity of temporal potential around you. Now don’t ask me exactly what that means, I couldn’t tell you, but it meant that I was definitely curious.”

 

Rose didn’t say anything and avoided making direct eye contact with the General. The man stood up a moment later and nodded to Doctor Taylor, saying a quick farewell before he turned back to Rose. The General handed her a card with his name and number printed on it. “If you ever need UNIT Miss Tyler, please call me directly and if you ever need anything please know that you have but to ask.”

 

“Thank you General,” Rose said softly with a grateful smile.

 

“You are welcome,” the General said. Then he turned and walked away just as their waitress brought their food.

 

“Well,” Malcolm said with wide eyes, “That was interesting.”

 

“Yeah, interesting,” Rose replied.

 

“Are you alright Rose,” Malcolm asked with concern.

 

“I’m fine,” Rose said with a soft sigh. “I just have the feeling that things have only just begun.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty: Intermission: Last Will and Testament

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………..

Sharon, Shareen and Rose were so wrapped in taking their A-Levels that all three of them completely forgot to wonder about what surprise Eve and her father had planned for them all those years ago. Everyone kept reminding the girls of how vital the tests were to their future and that they had performed so wonderfully over the last few years so they had real chances at universities. Like Rose, both Sharon and Shareen had conditional offers awaiting exam results for them verify their places. Rose was desperate to score at the three As needed to achieve entry into Oxford or Cambridge, she was leaning towards Cambridge, but hadn’t made her mind up. Despite their hours of revising, the fears had built up until they actually took their first exams and then the fears had vanished.

Finishing her exams last, Rose had skipped away from the testing centre trying to contain her excitement. She had nothing but good feelings about the exam and was confident that she had scored high. Of course, she couldn’t be certain that she had scored what she needed, but she knew that she’d had decent enough marks to take a place at other universities if she hadn’t pulled top marks. Rose met Sharon and Shareen at her mum’s flat, collapsing on the sofa next to Sharon who quickly handed her a cup of tea and pushed a plate of biscuits towards her.

“How did it go?” Shareen asked.

“Good I think.” Rose took a large bite out the chocolate biscuit, enjoying the sweetness. “The electronics test was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I just have to keep myself from wondering if they were trick questions.”

“Rose, you fixed an alien spaceship when we were fifteen.” Sharon shook her head fondly and giggled. “I think you can safely assume that you can handle an Earth-based Electronics exam.”

“Problem was that I was worried that my more advanced knowledge might confuse me,” Rose admitted. “I mean I know about power supply systems and circuit systems that haven’t been invented yet.”

“And you haven’t patented them?” Sharon asked with wide eyes.

“Too cheatish,” Rose said with a shrug. “If I’m going to replicate alien technology on Earth for a profit, I’d prefer that I did it by accident because I was smart.”

“Your morals are amazing,” Shareen sighed. “Most people wouldn’t hold themselves to that rule.”

“Yes, well I always try to keep the moral high ground,” Rose replied with a grin before she looked at the television. “What are we watching anyway?”

“Don’t actually know,” Shareen said. “Your mum had it on when we got here and left it on for us when she went out. I think I recognise some of the characters, but I’ve spent the last year and a half with my head in books so I can’t be sure.”

Giggling, the three girls glanced at each other and sprawled across the furniture of the small living room. A knock on the door made them all jump a few minutes later when another commercial came on. Rose looked over at her friends who were smirking and pointedly ignoring the door. Sighing, Rose stood up and moved to open the door, but she blinked in surprise. Standing in the doorway was a smartly dressed woman in a suit with her brown hair up in a bun. For someone, so out of place she looked very calm and collected.

“Excuse the interruption, I am here to speak to Miss Rose Tyler.”

“I am Rose Tyler,” Rose replied, she glanced over her shoulder at the messy room, but dismissed it. “Please come in.”

Sharon and Shareen had leapt up and managed to tidy up a few things before she sat back down, properly this time as the woman stepped inside. The woman looked at Rose’s friends and placed a briefcase on the small table in front of the couch.

“Miss Tyler,” she said holding out a hand for Rose to shake. “I am Emily Higgins from the law firm Howard and MacDonald here in London.”

“Pleasure,” Rose said politely before she gestured to her friends. “This is Sharon Allen and Shareen Costello.”

“Really?” Ms Higgins now looked interested. “I am loathed to seem rude, but could I see both of your identification cards.” Rose’s friends glanced at each other but produced their picture school identification cards. Ms Higgins nodded and returned them after a moment with a small smile. “Thank you, Miss Allen and Miss Costello.”

Turning back to her briefcase, Emily Higgins opened it and pulled out three large envelopes. Each had one of their names on it in elegant handwriting. She first handed Rose’s to her and then handed Sharon and Shareen theirs. Rose set the envelope down and excused herself into the kitchen to put some more tea on and grab another cup for their guest. Returning the living room, Rose handed the fresh cup of tea to Ms Higgins and sat down next to Sharon and Shareen.

“As I mentioned I am from the law firm Howard and MacDonald. Our firm oversaw the estate and investments of Mister Harry Wallace who disappeared four years ago. Before his disappearance, many arrangements for his estate were made, including the distribution of letters marked in advance with dates and times for delivery.” Rose blushed slightly at this statement while Ms Higgins looked at her with interest before continuing. “His remaining family requested an inquest to determine if he was deceased last year after receiving no word from him in several years. The court declared Mister Wallace legally dead early last week.” She took a sip of her tea. “His last will and testament left specific instructions for his estate and the charities that he managed. All three of you are named in his will, a copy of which is in those envelopes for you to read.”

All three girls opened their envelopes and pulled out the large heavy documents. There was a series of coloured tabs on the sides of the document. Rose flipped open to the first tab and blinked at the long listing of names, dates and numbers. She flipped it back shut and looked up to find Ms Higgins smiling slightly at them.

“There is a great deal of information in the will. Mister Wallace was very wealthy with strong investments that continued to grow following his disappearance. He also left prepaid instructions on how to handle the event of his will being opened. The three of you have prepaid legal fees under Wallace’s agreement for the next ten years to help you manage the legal process. He also made arrangements for the management of the funds and tax assistance with the process.”

“Can you stop for a moment and tell us exactly what is happening here?” Shareen said. “We did not know Harry Wallace that well,” she lied easily.

“Yes, I know.” Ms Higgins had a curious tone in her voice, but it was tightly controlled. “According to his will, the three of you worked on a very brief project for his foundation. Apparently, you made an impression as he saw fit to leave you all trust funds.” Ms Higgins opened Rose’s copy of the will to another blue tab and pointed at a particular line. “Under the terms of his estate, you all inherit 5 million pounds in cash for housing and university fees. In addition, his investments have resulted in each of your trust funds totally roughly an additional 10 million pounds with an average income over the last few years of 40,000 pounds a year.” Ms Higgins couldn’t quite contain her smile as the three girls stared at her stunned.

It had been quite the surprise and Rose was a touch embarrassed that she’d never stopped to wonder about how Harry’s disappearance was viewed. She could just imagine the smirk on Eve’s face to know that the Wallace family had completely altered the lives of the Tylers, Allens and Costellos forever. Ms Higgins had answered all their questions very politely and explained the part of the will that impacted them.

Most of Harry’s fortune had gone to his charities and to various foundations like Rose had always assumed. Under the terms of Harry’s contract, the girls had the full legal support of the firm which was good since none of them had any idea on how to manage more than a few hundred pounds at a time. Jackie had returned home before Ms Higgins departed meaning that Rose had absolutely no time to consider how to best tell her mother that her daughter was suddenly a millionaire. The reaction had been brilliant as her mother’s face flashed through a hundred different emotions in the span of about five seconds before settling on total and utter shock. Rose had politely seen Ms Higgins out then and said goodbye to Sharon and Shareen while Jacke remained frozen on the spot.

There had been a lot of paperwork and going through the details of the new estates with the firm’s financial advisors. The whole thing was crazy and Rose could just imagine Harry giving orders that it couldn’t happen until the girls were all eighteen. Rose was grateful for her legal adult status and took all the information very seriously. Along with Sharon and Shareen, she spent hours at the office making sure she understood the restrictions that Harry had placed on a large sum of cash made available to her. Harry’s will stated at the initial inheritance was for housing for their families, clearly being aware that they would no longer qualify to live in the Powell Estates and their educations. That was perhaps the most important thing to Rose, she was no longer having to worry about paying for school or her books. She had been able to arrange for her mother to receive part of the annual income off of the trust fund, more money than Jackie had ever made in a year.

Thus, Rose Tyler found herself moving boxes into a new house in the middle of July. Jackie had driven three real estate agents mad before she settled on a brick home in Ealing, number 22 Bannerman Road. The very thought of living in Ealing, the Queen of the Suburbs was so strange to Rose that it made her head spin. She had always been an estate girl, all through school and now in the span of the last month she had been accepted into Cambridge fully and had bought her mother a house. It was the sort of dream Rose remembered from when she was young, being able to move her mother someplace nicer and have a real future.

Looking up at it, Rose smiled softly and paused to admire their new house. The place was in great condition and Rose had paid to have everything inspected before she paid the full amount for it. It was a dark red brick detached house with off street parking and the sort of place that the idea of living there shocked her. Jackie had picked the house for the large garden in the back and full patio which she had fallen in love with instantly. The garden was surrounded by a tall wooden fence with a tree planted alongside. Rose had a hard time imagining her mother gardening, but a hobby would be great for Jackie. Five bedrooms was a bit much in Rose’s opinion, but she had little doubt that Jackie would be having friends over often, if not moving in with her when Rose was gone off to university.

Picking up another box, Rose glanced at the nearly empty van before she entered the house and giggled. Their extreme lack of furniture was obvious in the spacious house and her mother was already formulating her plans for the place. Rose carried the box upstairs to the room she had selected for herself. It was a small room, but had an attached bath and was at the opposite end of the hall from her mother’s room. What she loved about it was the oddly angled ceiling from the roof line. Her desk was snugly tucked into a corner and her bookshelves, now plural lined one wall. For the first time ever, Rose had a separate vanity from her desk and she set the box down on it. Carefully she opened the cardboard box and removed the elegant wooden box Malcolm had given her. She placed it on the vanity and took out her journal which she gently placed on a shelf. Stepping back, Rose looked around the room with a slight smile. The walls were a dull light blue now, but she had almost two months to fix that before she was due at Cambridge. She stopped for a moment to listen to Jackie moving quickly through house and talking on the phone. Lying back on her bed, Rose looked up at the ceiling and smiled softly.

“Thanks, Harry, thanks, Eve.”

Closing her eyes, Rose could imagine her friend giggling in delight and replying that Rose was very welcome. Rolling over, Rose pulled out her mobile and called Shareen to see how her family’s move was proceeding. Grinning, Rose answered Shareen’s questions as she stood up from the bed and started walking back downstairs to get the last few boxes from the van.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-One: Star Knight: There She Goes Again

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………

Rose Marion Tyler was eighteen years old and enjoying the August afternoon sun on the patio of her family’s new house in Ealing. Rose was wearing shorts and a long blue t-shirt with her dark blonde hair piled on top of her head. Her easel in front of her with a half-way finished painting of the garden in front of her.

When they had moved in, the garden had been a lawn a few flower beds. Under her mother’s care, it had bloomed into something special in the last month. Her mother who could barely cook wasn’t very tidy and spent too much time on the phone had a green thumb and one that had been denied too long. Needless to say, Rose and most of Jackie’s friends had been shocked at the unexpected revelation. Of course, gardening was something that Rose really didn’t see the point of Jackie’s obsessive tending, but Jackie encouraged Rose to help her from time to time. It was odd in a way finally after all these years having something in common with her mother other than a stubborn streak and a gene pool. They even managed to find things to talk about when working in the garden together.

Her mother had befriended Gita Chandra a few doors down who owned a flower shop in the area and had been stunned by the rapid improvement of their garden. Gita had appeared one day to ask if they used a service and ended up sitting their kitchen chatting with her mum over tea. It had been surreal watching her mother bond with the sweet British Indian woman over flowers of all things. Jackie had given the hairdressing business when they had moved away from most of her customers and was planning on working part time in Gita’s shop when Rose went off to school. Rose had even briefly met Gita’s daughter Rani who was twelve years old and very curious, but endearing.

Currently, Rose’s mother was on a long overdue trip to Paris with Bev that Rose had talked her mother into. After years of carefully managing the family money to bring Rose up on her own Jackie was very hesitant to go too crazy. Rose wasn’t too worried, the lawyers had helped her establish a set annual income for her mother that gave Jackie the ability to pay all her bills and still have fun without the risk of draining the entire trust fund. If her mum knew one thing it was how to make the most of every penny and keep a budget.

In a short time, Rose would be moving up to Cambridge to attend King’s College and she was relishing a summer without studying. All her hard work had paid off and Rose Tyler, the little girl who had lost her dad as a baby and grown up with adults doubting she’d ever go anywhere was attending Cambridge. The story was the same for Shareen and Sharon who would be attending universities in London. Shareen was planning to study psychology and wanted to be a therapist while Sharon had been accepted into medical school. Rose hadn’t been at all surprised by Shareen’s choice of study, but Sharon’s decision to become a medical doctor had been a thrilling surprise. The more Rose thought about it, the more she realised that calm and collected Sharon would make an excellent doctor. Their families were taken care of and they had money to pay for their educations courtesy of their meddling future viewing friend Eve, life was pretty much perfect.

Smiling, Rose took a sip of her water and set down her paintbrush to take a seat. Taking a deep breath, she enjoyed the low hum of the world around her which vibrated with life even if it wasn’t Central London. Ealing was so quiet compared to the old flat where you could always hear someone else. A baby crying down the hall, a party two floors up or just those with night jobs coming and going. A person got used to the noises around them and both Rose and Jackie had found adjusting interesting. Jackie slept with a television on in her room on low volume and Rose had slept with the windows wide open to let every sound in, but in the last month, they had both adjusted to the flow of what felt like a brand new life. Rose finished her glass of water and was about to resume painting when she heard the phone ringing inside. She quickly stood and carried the water glass inside, depositing it in the sink before she picked up the handset.

“Hello Tyler residence,” Rose said pleasantly as she walked into the parlour. She glanced out the window at the street and stopped as she caught sight of a man leaning against a light post, staring at her. He was fairly tall with amazing brown hair wearing a long brown coat that was fluttering in the small breeze. It was his eyes that made it hard for Rose to breathe; they were brown, dark brown and filled with sorrow as he looked right at her. His lips moved, but she couldn’t hear him and yet she was certain that he was talking to her. An almost painful smile took over his face and he nodded to her before he quickly straightened up and walked down the street.

“Hello? Miss Tyler are you there?” a familiar voice on the other end of the phone asked, forcing Rose back to awareness.

“Yes, this is Rose Tyler,” Rose replied quickly even as she walked to the large window and looked down the street. The look the man had given her made her very curious and more than a little worried about him.

“Miss Tyler this is Captain Erisa Magambo from UNIT.”

“Yes Captain,” Rose said calmly, realising why the voice sounded familiar. “I haven’t done anything lately that would merit a call.”

Now normally Rose would have expected even the serious Captain Magambo to chuckle at that, but the woman just continued in a tight voice. “I am aware of that Miss Tyler, but UNIT has sent a car to your home that should be arriving shortly. Please come to UNIT HQ, the General needs to speak with you.”

The tone of the Captain’s voice forced Rose to focus on the call and push the strange man from her thoughts. Rose bit her lip, unsure if reporting to UNIT was wise, but she was an adult now and they could order her if they chose. In the end, it was the worry of the Captain’s voice that helped her decide.

“Of course Captain, do you have an estimated time of arrival?”

Perhaps Rose imagined the relief in the captain’s voice as she said, “The car should arrive in ten minutes.” Then the call ended with the captain hanging up and Rose returning the phone to the cradle.

Sighing, Rose allowed herself one moment to take a breath and look back out the window for the strange man. Something about him just made Rose feel so sad and lonely, a feeling that she hated the idea of anyone feeling. Finally, she went upstairs to quickly change out of her shorts and into proper jeans. She grabbed her black canvas bag and tossed in her notebook, torch and few other odds and ends to ease her worries about what UNIT might want. Returning downstairs, Rose calmly went out to the porch and cleaned up her art supplies and locked the house up. After sorting everything, Rose was just in time to meet the black car out front. She didn’t wait for someone to get out and open the door, but instead opened the back door and climbed into the back seat.

Her driver, a private couldn’t contain his smile at Rose’s action and gave her a nod as he pulled out into the road. Rose smiled in return before looking out the window and gasped softly. The brown haired man was standing at a street corner where they stopped for a traffic light. Despite the tinted windows, Rose would have sworn that he was looking right at her with the same sad brown eyes. His hands were shoved into the pockets of a blue suit as he leaned against a fence. Again he mouthed something to her just before her car pulled forward. Rose turned to look back at the figure until they had moved too far away.

Biting her lip softly, she settled back in her seat and wondered if it was the Doctor. He had said that she would see him again when she was eighteen, which she now was and UNIT had called her which meant that aliens were nearby. Yet, Rose hurt at the notion of that sad looking man being the Doctor, the lost look in his eye was too close to one that she saw in the blue eyes of his earlier form instead of the content mischief that was in the eyes of her green-eyed Doctor.

Rose allowed her thoughts to wander after discovering that her driver did not know why she was called and could tell her nothing on the subject. As the Tower of London came into view, Rose checked her mobile for any messages from Sharon and Shareen but doubted that UNIT had called them. She glanced out the window when they were stopped in traffic and grimaced as her eyes almost automatically focused on two figures. The two men Black and White were sitting on a bench in a small park. Rose sighed as the man in white tipped his wide-brimmed hat to her and man in black crossed his arms over his chest.

“That not a good sign,” Rose said softly to herself. “They never show up at good times.”

When the car pulled up in the underground garage, Rose was not surprised to find Captain Magambo waiting for her. The woman was normally a bit friendlier, but her expression was serious and worried.

“Captain Magambo.” Rose climbed out of the car and into the warm underground complex.

“Miss Tyler,” the Captain greeted. “This way please.”

Following, Magambo up the stairs Rose noted the tension in the whole building. Soldiers were all at attention even after Magambo passed and looking straight ahead. In her limited past experience at UNIT HQ, the soldiers were more relaxed and there was more movement throughout the building. To be honest, Rose was very relieved to see the General’s office up ahead, but when she walked inside it was Colonel Benton who waiting for her. He was sitting in a chair in front of the desk with a pile of files. Benton managed a small smile at Rose and dismissed the Captain.

“What has happened?” Rose asked looking at the place where the General should have been.

“I’m not sure. I was called in when the trouble started,” Benton admitted as he stood up. “Early this morning a large fleet of ships entered the solar system and opened contact with us. At first, it was simple trade negotiations for a few materials from Earth. Then four hours ago a mass teleport hit the building and over half of the personnel vanished in some kind of teleport. They are still in orbit, but they are refusing all hails that we’ve made. All UNIT branches are working on it with no new information yet. At this time we do not know if the people who were taken are even alive.”

“Where’s Malcolm?” Rose asked, but she sighed knowing the answer a moment later. “He’s up there too isn’t he? Your commanding officer and scientific advisor have both been taken out of the picture.”

“Yes.” Benton sighed and looked at Rose. “I asked you here Rose because we don’t know what is happening up there and all of our strategies and attempts in the last few hours have gotten nowhere.”

“What do you need from me?”

“New ideas,” Benton told her. “Something scanned our system so they know what we know and all our normal procedures. I need someone outside of those procedures and there’s no sign of the Doctor.”

“So you called me,” Rose finished as she glanced around the room. “I’ll do everything I can, but I need full access to all the information you have and full clearance to all UNIT files. There may be clues there that can help me.” She saw Benton’s hesitation, “I know I am not a member of UNIT, but we may not have time to argue about this Colonel.”

“Very well Miss Tyler. I’ll make sure a link is set up for you to all other UNIT branches. Give me a few minutes and you’ll have access to Malcolm’s lab.”

Nodding, sharply Rose returned to the office door where Mickey was waiting for her. She gave him a small smile and examined his private’s uniform since she had never seen him in it. “Private Smith please escort Miss Tyler to Doctor Taylor lab. Remain with her at all times.”

“Yes sir,” Mickey said with a salute. “This way please.”

“I’m glad you’re okay,” Rose said softly, understanding that Mickey was on duty and they were in an UNIT crisis. Her old friend’s lips twitched slightly at her remark as he led her down the hall to the lift.

“How’s the new house?” Mickey asked when they were in the lift.

“Big,” Rose responded briefly making Mickey smile.

They stepped into Malcolm’s lab and Rose glanced around at what Malcolm called his organised chaos with a sigh. Taking off her bag, Rose sat down at Malcolm’s desk and booted his computer system back up.

“Well, let’s see what I can find.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Two: Star Knight: Toshiko Sato

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………….

Two long hours later Rose had made several conclusions based on the evidence around her at UNIT. One Malcolm’s computer password “Bad Wolf” really bothered her, two of the UNIT personnel had been teleported out with a system that left an energy trail back up the ships and three her species lived in a state of denial. Benton had provided Rose with everything she asked for and while she could trace the teleport system, she could not figure out what the aliens were doing. At first, she had considered hostages, but military personnel who were prepared to die made poor hostages. The theory that they were being interrogated for information also did not make any sense as the whole of UNIT’s system had been scanned and they had proven that their technology could teleport them out.

Rose had checked over the personnel files to determine if there were any connecting factors between those taken. Roughly half of the personnel in the building that morning had been taken, but they were all different ages, different genders, different ranks and different ethnicities who lived in different parts of London. Communication with other branches verified the energy trail, but none of the Scientific Advisors could shed light on it. Then halfway through a conversation with the Scientific Advisor of South Africa, it occurred to Rose that the alien fleet was probably listening in on UNIT communications. She steered the conversation away from the energy trail and silently surrendered herself to not having the help of the other branches. The risk of creating a compromised plan wasn’t something they had time for.

Checking the roster for which members of the scientific staff were left, Rose sighed softly. The staff was only five people including Malcolm and the two scientists remaining were good, but not brilliant. Right now Rose needed brilliance if the plan her brain was started to formulate was going to work. Groaning, Rose leaned back in Malcolm’s chair and drummed her fingers on the armrest, trying to think. She briefly glanced across the room at Mickey and another young private that he had introduced quickly as Ross Jenkins.

Rose’s eyes settled on a set of plans that Malcolm had pinned up to one of his boards. Standing from Malcolm’s chair, Rose ignored Mickey’s question of what she was doing and examined the plans. They were both for a sonic modulator, a project that Malcolm had mentioned in passing. According to him, the technology was based on the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, but all attempts to reverse engineer it had failed. One of the sets had Malcolm’s name on it and the words Lodmoor Research Facility on it. The second set had several differences to the first and a few handwritten notes in Malcolm’s handwriting. Rose noticed one key difference, one the second plan the name Toshiko Sato was written. It wasn’t a name Rose recognised from the list of scientific advisors of UNIT.

“Mickey, who is Toshiko Sato?” She asked. In the corner of her eye, Rose saw Mickey shift nervously and she turned to face him fully. “Who is Toshiko Sato?” Rose asked again, putting her right hand on her hip and raising her eyebrow.

“This is hardly the time-”

“Malcolm’s notes indicate that she fixed his plan for the sonic modulator and got it working,” Rose said. “UNIT has some basic teleport technology, but I need a genius to get it working and investigate what is happening. The Colonel told me I could have what I needed.” Rose took a step closer to Mickey. “So this is the last time I’ll ask Mickey: who is Toshiko Sato?”

“She is a prisoner here,” Mickey said softly. “She is a genius who worked at Lodmoor, but she turned over the plans for the sonic modulator to a woman named Harriet Milton, an alien technology dealer who was linked to several disasters in the last decade. She was just brought her for questioning a few days ago.”

His answer made Rose pause, but she looked back over her shoulder at the plans. Calmly, Rose walked back to the computer and typed in Toshiko’s name. She could hear Mickey behind her speaking in a soft voice to Private Jenkins. Tapping her fingers, she waited impatiently for the file to unpack from the secured server and open. Rose leaned on her hand as she read through the file. Toshiko Sato was born in London early 1975 to Japanese-British parents who had moved the family back to Japan in 1977. The family had returned to the UK in 1986. Toshiko Sato’s childhood was a series of advanced classes and awards according to her file. The girl was declared a polymath and provided to be gifted with computers, but capable in numerous other subjects. She had finished university early and was a scooped up the British government for research and development.

According to everything, Toshiko Sato had been a rising star in the alien research business until just a few months ago. Sato had been imprisoned by UNIT when a raid on Milton revealed that she had turned over the plans for the sonic modulator. Toshiko and her mother had been found injured on the floor from the high pulse sonic waves. Her mother had been taken to the hospital and undergone a memory wipe of the event.

Frowning, Rose accessed Sato’s statement on the event and read through it, her frown deepening. Sato’s statement was brief on the situation and it clear that duress had been used on Milton’s part to get Sato’s aid in gaining the sonic modulator. According to the final notes in her file, Sato was under military lockdown to be held without trial and her work on the sonic modulator had been turned over the UNIT scientific advisor Doctor Malcolm Taylor. She had been moved to the Tower’s prison centre only a week ago while the case was being evaluated and was scheduled to be returned to the usual facility in five days. Nodding to herself, Rose pulled up the files on prototype teleport that Malcolm was working on. Printing them out, Rose also grabbed her readings on the energy trail that lead back to the space ships. She put everything into a file and walked back to Mickey. “I need to see Toshiko Sato

“Rose this is a very bad idea,” Mickey said. He shared a nervous look with Private Jenkins.

“It’s on my head,” Rose promised. “But I’m stuck and the other scientific advisors aren’t able to help me. I need someone who clever, fast and local.”

“On your head?” Mickey asked. He sighed softly when Rose nodded. He looked at Private Jenkins who gave a nervous glance at Mickey. “I suppose the Colonel agreed to give you access to everything, but I don’t think he really meant prisoners.”

“Mickey,” Rose said taking a step forward. “These aliens have scanned the entire system and are probably monitoring communications. That means that anything the other scientific advisors come up with and communicate to me is compromised. I do not have the knowledge to pull this off myself and Malcolm is gone. I was brought here for ideas, but I need help to make my idea work. Toshiko Sato is here and is brilliant, that is what is most important right now.”

Motioning for Rose to follow, Mickey led her out of Malcolm’s lab and down a long corridor to another lift. A guard at the lift glanced at Rose and then back at Mickey and Ross, both young privates shrugged. Rose held up the access card she had been granted and the soldier stepped aside to let them past. Pressing a button, Mickey let out a breath when the lift began to descend.

“So UNIT keeps prisoners without trials,” Rose said softly. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.”

“This line of work is dangerous Rose,” Mickey said gently trying to calm her, but she only glared at him.

“Two years ago I was willing to give my life to stop rogue UNIT agents from destroying the universe. Don’t talk to me about danger Private Smith.”

When the lift doors opened, the only thing that kept Rose’s temper from flaring up and her from stomping off was that she was standing at the intersection of several long stone corridors. Having grown up with Rose and around Jackie, Mickey knew the warning signs and stayed silent as he led Rose down the long hall. Most of the cells were empty, but a few had people sitting on their basic bunks in the dark little rooms. They looked up as Rose and Mickey passed them, but Rose kept her eyes forward, knowing this wasn’t the time to be distracted by UNIT having prison cells.

“Thank you, Mickey,” Rose said quietly. “I know you don’t like this idea.” She looked over her shoulder at the remarkably calm Ross Jenkins, “Thank you as well Private Jenkins.”

“I trust you, Rose,” Mickey answered in a soft voice. “As you said you’ve saved the world before so I figure you’ve earned some faith.” He stopped and gestured at the cell in front of them, “This one here.”

Rose was fully aware of Jenkins shifting his weapons to be ready for the prisoner while Mickey unlocked the cell door. It was a small dark room with very little light coming from a small lamp. The whole picture made Rose frown and clench her fists. It wasn’t at all like the government prisons, but she supposed it did not have to meet standards since this prisoner no longer had rights. Taking a breath, Rose glanced at the two privates before she stepped into the room.

Toshiko Sato was a small Asian woman with attractive, but sad and fearful features. Her eyes widened when Rose entered the room and she turned to face her. Glancing over Toshiko, Rose noted her standard prison clothing and the state of the woman.

“Toshiko Sato,” Rose said gently. “My name is Rose Tyler and I need your help.”

“My help?” Toshiko asked as she stood and looked at Rose and then at the soldiers outside who looked very nervous. “You are not a member of UNIT.”

“No,” Rose agreed as she stepped further into the cell. “I’m not.” Rose took a breath, “I need your help and I cannot promise you anything in return.”

“UNIT locked me up,” Tosh gasped. “My mother-”

“I know,” Rose said. “I checked the file. Your mother is fine, her injuries were treated and they erased her memory of the incident.”

“Erased her memory?”

“I’m not sure how they managed that,” Rose admitted with a small smile, trying to calm the woman. “But your mother is alright.” Taking a breath, Rose said, “When you built the sonic modulator you altered the plans so it would work. The reports on the device say the alternations were brilliant. I need that brilliance.”

“You said that you can’t help me,” Tosh reminded Rose, glancing at the two soldiers.

“If you say no they won’t harm you,” Rose assured her. “I don’t work that way.” Taking a step forward Rose held out to Tosh the file she was holding. “I have no authority to free you if you help me, but I’m asking because I believe that you are the sort of person who will help her home planet even if it won’t help you.”

“UNIT imprisoned me,” Tosh said taking a step back.

“I know and like I said I’m not UNIT. There is a ship in orbit that has abducted half of the British Division of UNIT and refused all communication. The aliens have scanned all UNIT systems so the missing people were not taken for information. Military personnel are not good hostage material and you do not put a military organisation on high alert if you are planning an invasion. There are only two reasons that UNIT called me in for this. A little bit of experience and good instincts. My instincts are telling me that those people are alive and that something much more complicated is going on in that fleet. Any contact I have with other UNIT branches has a high chance of being compromised so I can’t count on working with the science branches of other divisions. You are all I’ve got to help me figure this out.”

“Why would you trust me?”

“Your statement says that you were trying to save your mother,” Rose said gently. “That is so human, that’s love and loyalty, two of our best traits and if I was in your position I probably would have done the same. Beyond that, my instincts are saying that you’re the person I need for this.”

Trying not to smile, Rose watched as Toshiko took the file from her hands and started flipping through it in the low light. She looked over her shoulder at the two soldiers before turning back to Tosh. “I’m afraid there isn’t a lot of time. The UNIT personnel were taken six hours ago.”

“You want to get the teleport working and use the energy trail to teleport into the ship,” Toshiko gasped looking at Rose. “The alien ship, a ship with aliens in it who kidnapped half of the command centre’s staff.”

“That’s the idea,” Rose said with a grin. “You figured that out just by looking at what I brought, you are good.” Rose held out a hand to Toshiko, “So Toshiko Sato well you help me?”

“You are completely mad,” Tosh said staring at Rose, but then she looked back at the information in her hands. “You want me to help you without any pardon, rights or promises of better treatment simply because you have faith that I’m going to do the right thing for Earth.”

“Yes,” Rose told her calmly.

“Well alright then,” Tosh said handing the file back to Rose. “I don’t suppose I could get a quick shower in first?”

“I’ll meet you in the lab,” Rose said. “We’ve got a teleport to build and an alien mystery to solve.”

Mickey sighed as Jenkins turned to him and asked, “So are you going to tell the Colonel or should I?”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
 Chapter Twenty-Three: Star Knight: UNIT’s Teleport

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………………

UNIT’s teleport had never worked; it was a fact of the project that the large platform simply couldn’t lock onto coordinates. Oh, they had been able to send something and a person into the next room, but anything farther away had remained an issue. The system simply could not lock onto coordinates properly so the teleport machine had become something that Malcolm and the other scientists tinkered with when work was slow.

According to the files, it was based on technology gathered throughout UNIT’s long history which was probably half the problem. UNIT had never gotten a hold of a fully functioning teleport but had collected bits and pieces. All tests had failed and it was decided that it simply had to be a design flaw so when Toshiko and Rose arrived down in the work room, Rose set Toshiko on working on the machine right away. She hoped that the woman’s touch with technology would turn the teleport into something they could actually use.

Stretching, Rose took off her bag and dropped it onto a chair by one of the computers, logging in quickly so she’d have full access here. Rose had called down the two remaining science staff Doctor Andrew Peters and Doctor Nasser Kapoor to the workroom and told them the plan to connect UNIT’s teleport to the ship where everyone had been taken. Clearly, both men had their doubts, but Rose stuck by her old standby of acting like she knew what she was doing. Pulling up the necessary files, Rose gave each of the men their assigned tasks to help her and Toshiko. Rose was amused at the deference she was getting here at UNIT, probably from her relationship with both Malcolm and the Doctor.

Rose was aware that Private Jenkins had called in a few more men who had placed themselves throughout the room, watching Toshiko carefully. Also, she was aware that there was a limited amount of time before Colonel Benton would arrive and demand answers. Meanwhile Rose was preparing what she was mentally calling the ‘teleport path’ along the trail. It would keep the teleport following the same path the aliens had used earlier and should stabilise the issues of the teleport. A glance over at Toshiko made Rose smile, despite being worried about UNIT the Asian woman was clearly in her element. The teleport was a puzzle and Toshiko was determined to crack it.

Gathering up the printouts, Rose walked back to Tosh and handed her the new readouts. “Any thoughts?”

“I think this will work,” Toshiko said with a touch of awe. “You can’t be older than twenty and you figured this plan out.” She turned to look at Rose in open curiosity.

“I’m eighteen.” Rose couldn’t help but smile, feeling very flattered. “Just finished A-Levels actually. Now I’m thinking we should test it with a sensor so we can check the atmosphere and gravity.”

“Good idea. Does UNIT have those?”

Turning to Doctor Kapoor, Rose called the man over and requested a sensor array. He calmly brought a small box shaped device to Rose and Tosh a few minutes later.

“Here,” Kapoor said. He gently handed it to Rose. “This is a compact sensor system that we reverse engineered a few years ago. It detects gravity, atmosphere composition, radiation levels and has a built-in camera and audio system.”

“Oh, that’s brilliant.” Rose grinned and turned it over carefully. It didn’t weight very much and her excitement grew. “Just what we need.”

With Kapoor’s help, Rose connected the sensor to the workroom computer systems so they could connect to it. Kapoor pointed out that a UNIT satellite was also about to move into just the right position so they would have a clear signal through it. Glancing at Toshiko, Rose saw that the woman was clearly enthralled with the technology even if a little shaken up by the notion of aliens have kidnapped people.

“Is there enough power to handle the teleport?” Rose asked Toshiko.

“Yes,” Toshiko answered quickly. “It can handle two teleports, but then it will need at least half an hour to recharge I’m afraid. The circuitry in this just wasn’t constructed properly for rapid use and I can’t fix that quickly.”

Time seemed to flash by in the next twenty minutes. Rose was barely aware of the guards shifting uncomfortably around the room as she, Toshiko, Kapoor and Peters put the finishing touches on their work. The sensor array had been placed on the small teleport platform and Toshiko had a pleased smile on her face as she stood next to the controls.

“Miss Tyler please explain just what you are doing?”

Biting back a sigh, Rose forced herself to smile and turn to Colonel Benton who had just entered the room. “Hello Colonel,” Rose greeted pleasantly.

Colonel Benton’s eyes were on Toshiko who meekly looked away from him. Then his eyes checked on every guard in the room before returning to Rose. “Miss Tyler explain.”

“We are about to test the teleport system,” Rose replied calmly. She gestured to the teleport and the sensor array waiting on it. “This will tell us a bit about the ship and make sure that teleporting in is possible.”

“That teleport has never worked,” Benton told Rose.

“We’ve made some alterations,” Rose said with a small smirk. “Targeting was the biggest problem, but we should be able to teleport into the ship.”

“How?” Colonel Benton’s eyes were shifting between Toshiko, the teleport platform and Rose. He now looked torn between interest and irritation.

“Think of the teleport like a train,” Rose said. “It can’t properly control where it goes, but right now there is a strong energy trail from the alien teleport from this very building all the way up to the ship. That trail is the train tracks for your train teleport.”

Rose couldn’t quite help her smile as she saw the realisation shine in Benton’s eyes. His gaze went back to Sato a moment later. “And her?” He questioned.

“You wanted me to come in and think up new ideas,” Rose said, “But being able to think them up doesn’t mean that I can make them a reality by myself.”

“I gave you communication links to all Scientific Advisors around Earth.”

“Yes,” Rose agreed, “You did, but then I realised that if I was a group of aliens who had just kidnapped half the staff of one UNIT base I’d be listening to the other bases try to work it out.” At Benton’s shocked and slightly embarrassed face Rose added, “Yeah it took me longer than I’d like to admit to recognising that.” Rose gave him a moment before she finished, “Sato was in the building and she has been absolutely brilliant.”

“She committed treason,” Benton said sharply making Toshiko flinch.

“Privates Jenkins and Smith assembled help watching her,” Rose said. “Toshiko has been under guard ever since I asked her to help me. And yes I did ask for her help and she agreed. Now with your permission sir may we run the teleport test?”

“Very well Miss Tyler,” Benton said. His lips were trying to twitch into a smile.

“Excellent,” Rose turned back to Toshiko and the other techs. “Everyone please stay back from the teleport pad. Tosh final checks do we have a link to all the sensors? Nasser is the satellite in the right position to carry the signal? Andrew is the signal locked on?”

“Tosh?” Toshiko repeated when Rose darted up next to her at the controls.

“I think it suits you,” Rose informed the older woman with a smile. “Now here we go.”

The machine hummed and Rose took a step back at the force of the vibrations. However, a moment later the sensor box vanished in a flash and their computers began beeping. Tosh and Rose both ran over behind Andrew who was grinning broadly. Leaning around Andrew, Tosh hit a series of buttons and an image appeared on the screen. It was a long corridor with low light and long tubes running along the walls.

“Looks like we missed their teleportation area,” Andrew said. He was staring at the computer screen as numbers began to run down it.

“Even better,” Rose said. “We didn’t beam something in right in front of them.”

“Miss Tyler,” Benton said breaking into the conversation, “Is it safe for my men to go up?”

“Should be,” Rose said. “Atmosphere is breathable, there is enough space for a few people to teleport up at a time and none of the aliens around. We got lucky.”

“Gravity is only slightly less than our own,” Andrews added. “And no radiation detected.”

“Good,” Benton said with a pleased nod. “A team will be ready in ten minutes.”

“We can only beam something up-” Tosh started to say in a low voice.

“Every half an hour,” Rose cut in. “So get your men ready and in half an hour you can beam them up.”

Benton nodded and motioned for a few of the soldiers to follow him. Rose remained calm and still even as Tosh grabbed her arm.

“You lied,” Tosh said.

“No you can only beam something up every half an hour,” Rose said. “Of course the other half of that is that we beam something back. I didn’t lie I just didn’t tell the whole truth.”

“Why?” Tosh asked.

Rose gently pulled off her ring, the golden ring with the purple gem that the Doctor had given her for Christmas when she was sixteen. “I need you to scan the energy of this, it should let you find me if I need to be teleported back.”

“Teleported back?” Toshiko gasped as Rose began to unclasp her necklace. “You can’t be serious.”

Rose took off a simple ring from her necklace and clasped it before holding the ring up for Toshiko to see. “This is a bio-damper,” Rose informed her. “It hides the wearer from sensors so as long as I stay out of sight, they won’t know I’m there. Only scanning for the energy signature of that stone should be able to detect me. I only have the one ring and I’m not handing it over to UNIT which makes me the best person to go up and take a quick look around. And if I go now than I can be teleported back to report to Benton just in time for his team to go up.”

Calmly, Rose picked up her shoulder bag and slipped it back on, checking to make sure that everything was still in it. Toshiko was gaping at Rose but scanned the ring calmly gasping softly at the energy spike it created.

“What is that stone?”

“It is a fire heart stone from the planet Plesadius,” Rose replied with a soft laugh as she put the ring back on. “Now are you ready?”

“This isn’t a good idea,” Tosh said softly. “You’re not armed.”

“I’m just sneaking around for information,” Rose said. She walked towards the teleport, aware that the remaining guards were starting to look suspicious. “Is everything still set for the teleport?”

“Yes,” Tosh said glancing at the soldiers nervously. “The button just needs to be pressed.”

“Alright then,” Rose said with a small smile, “Let’s hope my instincts are still working right and I’m not making a huge mistake.”

Toshiko didn’t have time to react and neither did the soldiers around the room. Rose dashed forward, hit the button quickly and jumped onto the teleport platform. They all covered their eyes at the stronger burst of light as Rose Tyler vanished.

The first thing Rose realised that she had stopped breathing so she forced herself to take a deep gulp of air. The second thing she realised was that she was lying right next to the sensor box so as she pushed herself up onto her knees, she gave the sensor’s camera a little wave. Forcing her voice to stay low, she spoke towards the sensor array, “I’m alright. The teleport worked perfectly and I am at the same point as the sensor.” Rose looked down at her watch, “I’ll report back in half an hour, just when Benton’s troops can start heading up.”

Glancing down the corridor, Rose checked at the bio-damper ring was still on her thumb, the only finger it didn’t slip off of and that her fire stone ring was still on. Satisfied that she was in one piece, Rose carefully picked up the sensor box and slid it into partially behind some of the ship’s piping. Standing up slowly, Rose carefully examined her surrounding and concluded that she was in an engineering area of the ship and probably close to the ship’s teleport. She took a step down the corridor, eyes searching and moving very quietly.

Footfalls made Rose slip sideways into the piping where she could look out without being seen. She stayed very still as a group of five beings much taller than her moved down the connecting corridor. They were roughly seven feet tall wearing golden armour with long sabre like swords at their sides. Rose shifted slightly, trying to make out any key differences, but their heads were covered with helmets and their bodies were arranged with two legs and two arms like her own. The group moved on in a few more moments and Rose waited for an addition minute before she slipped out of her hiding place and went to the junction of corridors. She smiled slightly at the sight of a staircase and darted for it. Stopping at the bottom, Rose glanced up quickly to check for guards before she climbed the stairs herself.

The stairway opened into another long metal corridor, but the piping was absent on this level adding to Rose’s theory that she had teleported into engineering. However, it also limited her ability to hide. Moving quickly, Rose slipped down a corridor, listening for any unusual sounds.

Rose moved past another doorway when the sound of footsteps made her look around for a place to go. Somehow she remained silent when a hand grabbed her arm and drug her into the room. The door slid shut and Rose turned to see a very pale alien face staring at her with amusement.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Four: Star Knight: The General’s Plot

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………..

Rose was really wishing that she had a way to contact Earth other than the damn sensor array one floor down as the alien stared at her. However, the alien did not move to harm Rose giving her a chance to study the pale features. The face was humanoid, but it had fine features and high cheekbones with extremely pale skin that had a bluish gleam to it. Its eyes were wide and a deep stunning blue. Its lips were thin and a darker blue tone of the skin and seemed to be smiling. A veil covered much of its head, hiding the top of the head and the ears from Rose’s view. The figure opened its mouth and spoke, but the words were strange to Rose’s ears.

Shaking her head, Rose said, “I’m sorry I cannot understand you.”

The figure paused and tilted its head while looking at Rose before it uncovered the veil. As the dark blue veil fell, Rose’s eyes widened slightly at the almost deer-like ears that were long and rotating slightly at the side of its head. Black hair was piled up on its head in elegant braids with gems and jewellery. The figure seemed so feminine to Rose now as it took a step back from her and moved gracefully towards a table its long gown flowing behind it like a cloud. It opened a box and pulled out a small curved band. Stepping back towards Rose, the figure took Rose’s arm and turned her head. Rose flinched as the band was placed at the back of her ear with a cold chill.

“Is that better,” the soft musical voice said. “I am surprised that they did not equip you with a translator when you arrived.”

“Yes,” Rose answered. A relieved smile took over her face, this alien didn’t seem to want to harm her. “That is better thank you.”

“You are welcome,” the figure replied. Then it tilted its head curiously and examined her. “I was not aware that the negotiation party was already onboard. General Verigot did not inform me of that.”

“The negotiation party?”

“Oh, of course, you are lost,” the figure said. “I should have guessed by the look on your face.” She gave Rose a true smile, revealing rounded teeth very different from Rose’s. “I am Princess Alenica of the Durmino Empire, it means light of the future.”

“I am Rose Tyler,” Rose supplied still a bit surprised at the pleasantness of the alien girl, but still fighting down suspicions and shock.

The girl looked at Rose as if waiting for something before finally asking, “What does your name mean?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Names have great meaning for my people,” Alenica informed Rose looking very confused. “It is a way we determine ranks and jobs in my culture. Is it not that way for your people?”

“Oh names have meaning on Earth,” Rose said quickly. “Just not like that, we don’t put a lot of importance on what a name means. My name is Rose which is a kind of flower.”

“A flower,” Alenica repeated vaguely. “I see. Well, I supposed I should prepare myself for the negotiations and make sure that you get back to where you belong.”

Opening her mouth to argue, Rose was not able to stop Alenica from pressing a button near the door. A moment later, one of the tall guards in the golden armour stepped inside the room and looked at Rose. Alenica seemed completely comfortable with this and smiled as the guard took Rose’s arm and led her from the room.

However much Alenica felt everything was alright, Rose knew that something was wrong. As soon as the door to the Princess’ quarters shut, the grip on her arm tightened and the guard began to drag her down the hall. Struggling against him, Rose scanned everything around her, trying to memorise the layout of the ship. She glanced down at her watch, it was still twenty-five minutes until Toshiko would be able to teleport UNIT troops up and her back down. They quickly went back down the stairs to the engineering deck and the guard pulled Rose into a strange new room.

She froze and gasped, the room was large and metal, but on the far side stood all the missing UNIT staff. Rose’s eyes quickly found the General who was standing in the middle, his eyes were glassed over and his expression was vacant. Another alien, this one male now that Rose knew the features that defined the female turned to look at her. It was wearing a long grey robe and was standing next to a series of controls. The guard holding Rose pulled her closer to the other alien.

“This one escaped,” the guard said, Rose’s translator supplied.

“That is not possible,” the other alien said sharply as he checked over his machine. “All those that I teleported up were put into stasis until it is time.”

“Then explain her,” the guard hissed roughly. “You said the humans had no teleports.”

“I scanned their systems,” the scientist assured him. “She must have simply slipped out of the way of the beam. She is a small thing compared to the others. Tell the General everything is under control.”

Rose had heard enough, shifting slightly she adjusted her weight and twisted her body. Smirking, she felt more than saw the guard holding her get trapped in her movement and launch across her in a classic judo throw. Rose didn’t wait to confirm him crashing, but turned and ran through the doorway. She raced up the stairs and glanced around for a hiding place. Part of her wanted to return to Alenica since the Princess seemed to think nothing was wrong, but Rose didn’t think she’d be much help. The sound of footsteps made Rose want to groan and kick something, but instead, she put her ear against a nearby door for a moment before she crossed her fingers and slipped inside.

The room was long with a full table that dominated the space with small computers on it and chairs surrounding it. Curtains lined the wall, a similar fabric to the Princess’s head veil, but much thicker. It was a cross between a conference room and a fancy lounge. Rose’s eyes settled on a large case at the far end of the room with an elegant golden sword resting on a cushion. It looked very old and worn but still commanded attention. Shaking her head, Rose slipped back behind a heavy set of curtains and ducked down next to a table to hide her shape. It was a smart move as a moment later the door slid open again and by the sound of it, several people moved into the room. Unable to help herself, Rose slid the curtain away from her eyes so she could see.

All of them were tall and many wore helmets and swords, but one of them stood out. His armour was of a similar design but had extra gems and engravings on it and the sword hanging at his side was longer with a larger hilt than the others. This figure reached up and removed his helmet, setting it on the table. Rose saw that he had similar coloration to the princess, but his black hair was cropped short and close to his head and he had a long dark blue scar across one cheek.

“Any sign of interference in the plan from the Earth?” the figure with the scar asked.

“No General Verigot, we have monitored the communications between their branches. There was some discussion about energy readings, but since then they have made no progress.” Rose smiled softly to herself but forced herself to stay still as the conversation continued. “The humans we took remain in stasis ready for their part when we are ready.”

“What news from Blaklin?”

“They are almost ready, the coup in the capitol will be ready within the hour and when the Emperor leaves for Earth they will be in position.”

“Excellent,” Verigot said as he moved around the table. “Then we will end this foolish peace treaty and finish what we were meant to do. I will return home to lead the final strike myself.”

“Yes sir,” the soldiers all said, drawing their swords and crossing them across their chests. Verigot seemed pleased with the display until the door opened and an alien guard walked in. Rose glanced at the dark bruise taking shape on the right side of its face and smirked, it was her previous captor.

“General Verigot, one of the humans is loose onboard.”

“Scan for them,” Verigot snapped impatiently. “And get it back into stasis.”

“We tried that sir, but no human life readings are appearing outside the stasis chamber. Somehow it must be shielding itself from our instruments.”

“What?!” Verigot shouted, slamming a chair out of his way as he stalked towards the guard. “Our scans of their technology showed they were not that advanced. This UNIT of theirs has the best technology, but no indication of a shielding device.”

“Yes sir,” the guard stuttered, “That’s why I informed you.”

“Search, but do not alarm the Princess. I do not want that child thinking anything is wrong before I slice her open.”

“Yes sir,” the guard said before rushing out the door.

General Verigot snarled, his blue lips twisting unpleasantly and he grabbed his helmet from the table. Turning to one of his men, he snapped, “Double check that all scans are working and send your men to guard the humans in stasis. I don’t want this free human rescuing them.”

Rose glanced down at her watch as the room cleared out, everything was making much more sense now and she had only twenty minutes to stop it. Slipping out of her hiding place, Rose listened at the door before she entered the hallway. Glancing around carefully, Rose moved down the hall towards the Princess’ room, wondering how she was going to save the day this time.

Luck was on Rose’s side and she reached the Princess’ room or at least what she was pretty confident was the princess’ room. Rose opened the door and rushed in, hoping that there were no guards inside.

“You’re back!” The Princess said gleefully, “But I haven’t been called to join the negotiations yet.”

“There aren’t any negotiations,” Rose panted slightly, as she leaned against the wall by the door. Rose’s eyes swept around the elegant room searching for any threats as the princess moved towards her gracefully. The sight was so pretty and different that Rose couldn’t quite contain her smile. She was in the bedroom of an alien princess with light blue skin on the command ship of a fleet near the orbit of Mars.

“What do you mean?”

Biting her lip, Rose looked down at her watch and flinched, she didn’t have a lot of choices at this point. Taking a step forward, Rose moved in front of the princess. They were roughly the same height with the princess only having about an inch on Rose.

“Alenica,” Rose said using the girl’s first name which clearly surprised her. “I’m afraid that both of us are wrapped up in a very dangerous plot. General Verigot has kidnapped several humans from Earth.”

“No,” the princess interrupted, “They are here for negotiations. My people are peaceful.”

“Yes you just entered some new peace agreement,” Rose said quickly.

“How do you know that?” Alenica asked, actually surprised now. “We certainly would not have discussed that over communications and the negotiations have not begun.”

“I overheard General Verigot and he is planning a coup with someone named Blaklin in your capitol,” Rose said searching the princess’ face for some indication that she was believed. “They are going to kill you and frame the humans they brought onboard, probably make it look like a battle. Those people are not here awaiting negotiations, they are in stasis on the lower level. Once you are dead and Earth is blamed you father will leave your planet to come to Earth and Blaklin will oversee that part of the coup. Earth is about to be framed for your murder so Verigot can resume the war your father just ended.”

They stared at each other and Rose gently took each of Alenica’s hands in her own. “Please Alenica whose name means light of the future believe me. I am here to prevent a tragedy and a war. My planet is not perfect, but the humans on Earth deserve better than being the pawns in some war hungry Generals plans. The people he took are not perfect, but they are good people who believe in protecting their fellow humans. And you are too young to die.”

“I don’t… I don’t know,” Alenica whispered. They both heard the slight hiss of the door being told to open and Alenica pushed Rose to the side. Taking the hint, Rose ducked behind Alenica’s … well, it looked like a bed.

Another guard entered, shorter than the others, but still wearing the helmet so Rose could not be sure of male or female. The guard bowed to the Princess and glanced around the room.

“Is everything in order Princess?”

“Of course,” Alenica said drawing herself up to full height. “Why did you enter my chambers?”

“The General wished to apologise for the delay in beginning the negotiations. The Earthlings have experienced transport problems and have been delayed.”

“I see,” Alenica said slowly, her shoulder dropping slightly. “Tell the General I completely understand and await further news.”

The guard bowed again and backed out of the room. Alenica quickly walked to the door and pressed a series of buttons that made it close. Rose heard it hiss and click, while Alenica leaned against the door and shuddered. Slowly Rose stepped out of hiding and moved towards the upset Princess.

“The negotiations are the only reason we stopped in this solar system,” Alenica told Rose after taking a deep breath. The girl straightened herself up and for the first time actually made Rose think of a Princess rather than a young girl. “You say that there are humans onboard in stasis while the General’s men say this is not the case. Show the humans and I will know you speak the truth.”

Alenica moved across the room and passed through a small doorway. She returned a moment later with a long robe and a veil. “Put this on quickly, I occasionally call on company from the other ships in the fleet. If you are with me it should prevent you from being captured by the guards.”

Rose nodded and glanced at her watch she had fifteen minutes. “We don’t have much time, UNIT on Earth is getting ready to teleport up to this ship and since all communications have been refused since the kidnapping they will open fire,” she said as she put the robe on over her clothing and put the veil over her hair. If she kept her face down, it would keep her from standing out too much.

“You still have to convince me,” the princess reminded Rose as she adjusted the veil on her own head and moved toward the door. “Quickly Rose Tyler.”

“Uh Princess Alenica quick cultural question,” Rose asked as they entered the hallway and started moving towards the stairs to the lower level. “What is with all the swords?”

Alenica actually laughed at Rose’s question, drawing the notice of a guard, but she waved him off and Rose lowered her head. “The swords are a sign of honour and acts of good. The civilisation of my people reaches back millions of years. In the earliest days of my people, they created special swords that were semi-sentient and chose champions of good. According to the old stories our world was under the threat of the Eternals who were slowly destroying everything for their own amusement. The swords were forged to protect the innocent and strike down the Eternals. Their chosen wielders the Star Knights expelled the Eternals from our world, but then as they died the swords never chose another and were all lost to time. Because of the legend of these swords, to my people, the sword is a weapon of skill and defensive combat rather than offensive violence and combat. Carrying any sword is a sign of honour and purpose.”

Rose smiled slightly as they descended the stairway and Alenica’s musical voice took on a proud tone, “That is actually the reason I was with the fleet. An ancient sword with strange qualities was found on the planet Eritha in our empire. I went to fetch it from the archaeological site and bring it home for further testing. If it is the sword of Star Knight it would mean great tidings for the empire.”

“So you’re soldiers wear swords to remind them of the thinking swords and encourage them to act like the Star Knights of your legends.”

“The swords did not think,” Alencia defended dramatically as they reached the door to the stasis chamber. “They were only sentient enough to choose champions and aid them in learning to use the sword. Legend says that the swords were created with the help of the White Guardian himself to put the Eternals back into line. As I said, the art of making them has been lost and that Golden Age fell apart. It took over a thousand years for us to rebuild.”

“So the sword upstairs, the one in the case is the sword that was just found?” Rose asked and Alenica nodded. “Okay, I can see that. Of course, I have no idea what an Eternal is, but it sounds nasty in your story.”

Rose tucked the interesting story away in her mind as they reached the door to the stasis room. The story had proved more interesting than she expected, and her interest had helped Alenica warm up to her a bit, but reality beckoned with back with only thirteen minutes left before UNIT troops came up and possibly started a war anyway. Rose stepped to the side and allowed the Princess to open the door to the stasis room. She couldn’t quite contain a smile when Alenica gasped and demanded to know what the meaning of this way. The alien scientist that Rose had ‘met’ earlier could only gape and gasp at the princess as she stalked into the room where the UNIT staff remained in stasis, proving Rose’s story to be the truth.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Five: Star Knight: Thorns

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………..

The room was completely still for a moment as Alenica gaped at the UNIT personnel in stasis and the alien technicians gaped at her. Rose occupied herself with shifting away from the door and keeping her eye on the alien scientist that had claimed responsibility for the mass teleport and the newcomer that had joined him, neither seemed to be armed, but she wasn’t certain all their weapons looked like swords. Avoiding, looking at the completely still and vacant-eyed humans caught in the energy field, Rose moved around the room to look at the controls, hoping they would all be distracted for a little bit longer.

“What have you done Geriloc?” Alenica voice rose to a shrill pitch that made Rose flinch.

The scientist, Geriloc, took a step back and hit a button on the wall before Rose could grab his arm. Smirking, he looked back at the Princess. “We are saving the empire!” He looked back at Rose with a sneer and added, “Humans are irrelevant to the importance of the war.”

“The war is over,” Alenica said angrily. Her hands curled into fists. “My father ended it. We finally have peace.”

Grabbing Alenica’s arm, Rose tried to pull the Princess back towards the door, but the other girl wouldn’t have it. Pulling her arm back from Rose, Alenica marched up to Geriloc. “Release the humans at once! I will not have our empire be so shamed!” Rose noticed the slight hiss of the door opening but had her back to it as it opened still trying to pull Alenica away.

“Our empire was shamed when your father entered into a peace agreement,” the cold voice of a guard said from behind them. Rose began to turn, but both of her arms were caught by the guard. Two more grabbed her as she struggled against them. Turning her head, Rose saw the guard she had thrown earlier standing in the doorway with a squad of men which by her count put her against seven of the alien soldiers. The soldier she had judo thrown earlier glared at Rose, his face clearly still hurting from the impact with the ground he had suffered.

“Hello again,” Rose said with a smile. “How are you?”

The soldier snarled at her but moved around her to grab Alenica’s arm. The two guards holding Rose shoved her forward towards the door and when she began to move, the guard Rose had injured earlier pulled out his sword and put it across Alenica’s neck.

“Do not try your tricks again human.”

Relaxing her muscles, Rose glared at the soldier and allowed herself to be grabbed again and pulled forward out the door. She managed a quick look at her watch. There were only thirteen minutes left before UNIT would be able to teleport up and she had no doubt that Verigot’s men would open fire right away. They needed evidence of a fight and UNIT would give them one.

They were taken back up to the conference room where Verigot stood looking down at the sword. His back was to them as the guards shoved Rose and Alenica into the room. Glancing at Alenica, Rose was pleased to see that the alien girl wasn’t shaking or whimpering, but held her chin up high.

“General Verigot, explain yourself at once.”

The General slowly turned to face the princess, his face calm and showing no emotion which worried Rose since it illustrated that he still had control.

“Princess Alenica, light of the future,” Verigot said softly as he took a few steps towards them. “I am protecting the future of the empire. You father foolishly sued for peace, an act that shamed us.”

“Peace was the only way to end the bloodshed,” Alenica insisted. “And under the terms of the treaty, we received spaceport rights, which are why my great-grandfather entered into warfare in the first place.”

“Your great-grandfather was a visionary!” Verigot said with a frown. “He expanded the empire and I will not allow us to be shamed by peace. At the news of your death, your father will come to Earth with his fleet leaving the capitol open for Blaklin to seize power. Then I shall return home to take power and put us back on the right path, once your father has been dealt with.”

“So you are framing my planet for the princess’ murder,” Rose interjected. “Bring UNIT personnel up to either force a confrontation and if that doesn’t work kill them and make it look like a fight to protect the princess. The Emperor comes to attack Earth and thinks you are still loyal and gets stabbed in the back.”

Verigot took a step closer to Rose and gestured for the guards to release her arms. Rubbing, her wrists, Rose straightened up to look at the much taller alien that towered more than a foot and a half above her. The general’s blue eyes trailed over her, taking in her simple clothing and lack of weapons.

“Are you what Earth sends to protect it? A little girl with no weapons and no plan? I am General Verigot of the Sixth Fleet. My name means he that shakes the stars.”

“Well I’m Rose Tyler and I might just surprise you,” Rose hissed at Verigot. She took a step away from the guards. “I think this is the point that I ask you to stop for the sake of both our worlds. Earth may not be a highly advanced planet or a united planet, but you may be amazed at how we’ll handle a public alien invasion. There is an old saying that I’ve heard: I against my brother, my brother and I against our cousin and my brother, my cousin and I against the outsider. My history teacher told me that if I only remembered one thing to remember that.” Verigot’s face remained calm and Rose inwardly growled. “Point is that Earth will throw everything it has at stopping you. It won’t be the easy victory that you are hoping for.”

The General’s face remained impassive and he reached for Rose’s hand, grabbing her wrist harshly. His long fingers pried the biodamper off of her thumb before he dropped her arm. He examined the ring with a smirk. “A biodamper. I’ll admit that is a surprise on Earth, but this is not technology from your planet.” Verigot tossed the ring to the soldier Rose had thrown earlier before looking at the door which opened a moment later.

Suppressing a groan, Rose watched as a soldier walked in carrying the sensor array with the scientist Geriloc following. He placed it on the long table and saluted the General with his sword. The General looked it over and chuckled before looking at Geriloc. “Is it still in operation?”

“Yes sir,” Geriloc replied with a sharp nod. “I’m afraid that the humans can see and hear us.”

“It does not matter,” Verigot said. “Let them watch this girl and their fellows die.”

“Verigot,” Alenica said. “This is not what our culture is based on.” Alenica motioned towards the sword. “We are the descendants of the Star Knights. That sword at your side is to protect.”

“I am protecting the legacy of the Star Knights,” Verigot said. “Out of the whole of the universe, our ancestors were chosen to wield the power of the swords. We are the superior life forms and we should not be left scrambling for our place in this galaxy.”

Scanning, the room Rose tried to find a way out of the situation. She had Alenica, but she did not have the sense that the girl knew how to fight and there were ten aliens in the room, all armed with the swords and potentially other weapons. She listened to Alenica argue with Verigot for another moment, but fail to sway the man. Clearly, the General had embraced warfare as his method of shaping the universe and had twisted the legend of the Star Knights to suit his need to justify it.

She was able to slowly inch her way towards one of the computer consoles, the soldiers were at the door and the General was occupied with Alenica. Rose touched the screen softly and looked at the interface. The translator that the Princess had given her had done its job and she could make out reports on the various ship systems. She started to reach for the option on the teleport systems when the General turned to look at her suddenly. Rose managed a quick block against the tall alien’s fist, but she stumbled against a chair as Verigot swung his other arm at her.

Alenica’s shout came too late to warn Rose against another soldier came up on her flank. This soldier hit Rose on the side, knocking her into the table and she recovered enough to block his next swing. However, the distraction gave Verigot a perfect opening that he did not waste. The General’s next blow sent Rose crashing backwards into the case behind her. Rose’s vision blurred and she grit her teeth as fragments of the glass and metal case dug into her hands and arms as she pushed herself up.

Verigot’s expression was amused as he stared down at the carnage. The glass in the case had completely given out under the force and the contents had spilt out around Rose. Screaming reached Rose’s ears and she realised in the back of her mind that Alenica’s was still in the room. Time was running out before war broke out on this ship and she was out of options. Her hand brushed around beside her, searching for a shard of glass large enough to do some damage. Eyes not leaving the General, Rose watched him take a step back and unsheathe his sword. A warmth spread into her hand as it brushed the engraved hilt of the sword and Rose felt a jolt suddenly run up her arm.

“Earth will die so that my civilisation may live. We ruled the stars when your ancestors were still living in caves,” Verigot said regaining Rose’s attention. “Your name is a flower, Rose you had no chance.”

“There is something you should know about roses, Verigot,” Rose said defiantly. Forcing herself up, Rose climbed to her knees. “They have thorns!”

It happened suddenly and violently. Rose swung the sword up, barely aware of the action and it crashed against Verigot’s downward swing. Rose flinched at the force of his blow, but the ancient sword held. There was a moment of silence and then the golden sword in Rose’s hand glowed softly and a high pitched whine filled the room. Verigot’s eyes were wide as he stumbled back and Rose took the chance to clamour to her feet. She ignored the sting of the sword against the wounds in her hands and tightened her grip on the hilt.

Around the room, Alenica and the other aliens were covering their ears while Rose barely noticed the whine. Instead, she was focused on the intensifying glow of the sword and grabbed the hilt with her other hand. A steady hum was filling her head with a soft almost musical rhythm. Forcing herself to take a breath, Rose straightened up and held the sword out in front of her. The golden sword flashed and vanished from her hands, Rose felt a brush across the inside of her wrist for only a moment and looked down. A gold cuff bracelet had appeared on her right wrist decorated with a few small swirl designs. Staring at it, Rose tried to pull her thoughts together. Part of her was insisting that something strange had happened while another part of here was arguing that nothing had changed at all.

“Rose!” Alencia’s scream made Rose look up sharply and leap back as Verigot swung at her with his heavy sword.

Something shifted in Rose’s mind and she threw out her arm towards Verigot, this time not reacting when her golden bracelet shifted over her wrist and returned to its sword form in her hand. It was different now, the once gladius shape of the sword had been replaced with a longer and lighter curved sword with a slim white hilt. All signs of age were gone as the sword impacted with Verigot’s sword with a crash. The General’s blue face was white with shock as Rose parried the swing and returned with one of her own. Rose wasn’t aware of her movements or where they were coming from inside of her, but she moved fluidly with the sword and forced Verigot back. He stumbled on the overturned chair, losing his stance and Rose brought her sword down against his shattering the blade.

Staring down at the shocked General, Rose took a deep breath and looked up at Alenica. The princess was staring at Rose with wide blue eyes that reflected shock, joy, awe and worry all at once. Then the princess nodded to Rose and turned to the soldiers with a sharp motion.

“Put down your swords and surrender back to the leadership of your Emperor and Princess. This plot was defeated by a Star Knight!” Alenica glared at the guards. “Surely you do not seek to fight one chosen by the sword.”

Rose gaped at the Princess but heard the swords being dropped to the ground. Then tentatively Rose glanced down at her watch, two minutes to spare. Alenica took a step forward and turned to Geriloc. “You will return the humans to Earth at once and if any harm has befallen any of them I will hand you over to the Star Knight.”

“The human,” Geriloc hissed as he looked over at Rose. “But-”

“By the ancient laws of our people, a Star Knight holds power over justice.” Alenica reminded him in a harsh tone. Geriloc looked at Rose who straightened up and held her sword in front of her in what she hoped was an intimidating fashion. The scientist nodded and stumbled out of the room. Alenica stepped around the table and looked down Verigot with disdain. “And as for you General, I will contact my father immediately and have reinforcements sent to us.”

“My fleet-”

“I am taking command of this fleet and how many of them will follow you when I announce that the first Star Knight chosen in over half a million years defeated you,” Alenica said. “Oh, I’ll also be sure to add that she is a girl from Earth.”

Surrender in his eyes, Verigot collapsed against the wall and stared up at Alenica with something of surprise and wonder. Rose could understand that look; Alenica was finally acting like someone who would rule an empire. With grace and poise, Alenica turned back to Rose.

“Now I suggest that we get you to the teleport room to make sure that your fellows have arrived safely.” The princess gestured to the sensor box, “Please ask your comrades to give us some time to clean up this mess.”

Nodding, Rose turned back to the table and looked down at the sword in her hand. She bit her lip and glanced over at Alenica who looked amused and confused at the same time. Raising an eyebrow in irritation Rose was about to speak when she felt the strange brush against her wrist. She looked down in time to see the sword almost turning into dust and moving against her skin to form the bracelet on her wrist. Giving Alenica a triumphant smile, Rose leaned against the table and checked the small indication light on the sensor box.

“Okay Tosh, you heard the princess. Don’t teleport anyone up yet. Our people should be back down in just a few minutes, but do not teleport anyone up. Full control hasn’t been reestablished yet and we don’t want a gunfight starting.

Grinning at the sensor box, Rose gave the camera a small wave before stepping out of view and turning back to Alenica who was directing a soldier to chain Verigot and take him to a cell.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Six: Star Knight: Take the Hint

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…...........

Teleporting the UNIT staff back to Earth proved very simple. Geriloc was happy to help once Rose’s sword was against his neck. It was a strange realisation for Rose that all she had to do was want the sword and it would shift into blade form. When she didn’t want it, the sword turned back into the bracelet.

At the time Rose hadn’t thought too much about it. Geriloc had assured her that the removal of her fellow humans from the stasis field would return them to normal within minutes. Then the scientist who shared for too many of Verigot’s idea about superiority was led away to the brig as well. A transmission to Earth warned against any attempt to teleport up using the Earth system right before Alenica ordered the fleet to change position just to make sure. Rose was remaining close to the princess as she quickly set to work arresting the known conspirators. All others were keeping their heads low and rushing to fulfil the princess’ every order.

Taking off her watch, Rose shoved it into her pocket and decided not to pay attention to the time after the past half an hour she had survived. In hindsight, it felt so much longer than that and the effects would be felt both by herself and Alenica for a long time. They left the now familiar area and entered the next level of the ship where Rose was informed the bridge and most of the crew were actually located. Alenica spoke at length with several of the officers and Rose was highly aware of the eyes turning to look at her. Not wanting to deal with their attentions or the strange bracelet that was now around her wrist or her sudden ability to sword fight Rose settled for ignoring all of them completely.

Instead Rose occupied herself with enjoying the translator she was still equipped with and reading the technology screens, and reports that were being produced around her. Alenica was operating smoothly and confidently making arrangements for the fleet to hold in the Sol system until another fleet arrived to escort the compromised crew home. Staying close to the princess, Rose followed her into a small office space where she set up a communication link to her homeworld.

Sitting in a chair to the side of the room, Rose tried to stay out of view but watched with interest as a holographic scene appeared above the desk in front of Alenica. It was a male figure dressed in white robes with heavy gold decoration and trimmed with purple gems much like Alenica.

“Father,” Alenica greeted respectfully. “I fear that I must tell you grave news. Please allow me to first assure you that I am safe and the leader of the conspiracy is in custody.”

“Daughter,” the Emperor said. “Tell me frankly what has occurred.”

Rose wondered as she listened to the account of the events as far as Alenica knew what the language sounded like when it wasn’t translated. If the musical voice of the aliens was anything to go by, even when they were angry, it probably sounded lovely. It was this train of thought that also alerted Rose to the fact she was probably in shock and for the first time, she examined the wounds on her hands. Scabs covered her hands, none of the scraps was deep, but she certain that a few still had glass fragments in them. Absent-mindedly she noted that she hadn’t recovered her biodamper and probably should take care of that.

“Rose,” Alenica’s soft voice said in front of her. Looking up at the princess, Rose blinked in surprise at seeing that she had changed her clothing and was standing with another alien. “This is the medical officer. He uploaded information about humans and I’d like him to check you over.”

“I’m fine,” Rose started to say and then realised that she actually wasn’t and nodded in agreement.

“Thank you, Star Knight,” the new alien said respectfully with a small bow. “I am Reigy, it means healer. I have accessed the medical information on humans that the General took from your systems earlier.” Reigy held out a glass full of clear liquid to Rose, “First please drink this, it is water and has a slight restorative mixed it that should help you regain clarity.”

“Oh, and your ring,” Alenica said.

Reigy knelt by Rose and began unpacking a small kit as Alenica held out her biodamper. Smiling, Rose accepted the biodamper and slipped it into her pocket. Alenica watched Reigy gently turn over one of Rose’s hands and start cleaning it up for a moment before she turned back to her console.

Rose watched the alien technology with interest; once the blood was cleared away Reigy took out a long tube that looked like some kind of metal. The device gently pulled the shards out of her hands and glowed a light blue as it patched her skin. Smiling, Rose gently flexed her left hand and noted that the skin felt stiff, but it wasn’t painful. Reigy carefully worked on her right hand and she realised that he was tenderly avoiding the bracelet.

“I don’t mind if you touch it,” Rose said. “It won’t hurt you.” Reigy looked at her in surprise and then gently shifted the bracelet so he could address another small wound. “Do you know much about the swords?” Rose asked and Reigy smiled slightly.

“I grew up on the legends of the Ancient Star Knights fighting back the Eternals,” Reigy answered. “I confess that my interest in them has been motivated by curiosity as to how they select a new Star Knight and the telepathic link that is formed.”

“Telepathic link?” Rose asked with a raised eyebrow.

“It is my theory,” Reigy said. “There is no written evidence and many accept the old mystical ideal of the swords. The translators we use operate on a telepathic link with the user to translate what they are hearing so I suspect that sword uses something similar.” Rose touched the translator still tucked behind her ear carefully with a small frown. “It won’t harm you,” Reigy assured her. “If the telepathic link is incompatible it doesn’t work.”

“So am I speaking your language or just hearing English?”

“Oh you are still speaking your language,” Reigy assured her. He turned his head enough for her to see his translator. “Due to my translator, I hear my language just as you hear yours. There are enough different languages in the Durmino Empire that almost everyone wears translators.”

Rose flinched slightly as Reigy finished the last of the cuts on her arms and pulled the tube away. Stretching her arms, Rose smiled at the doctor and stood up from her chair. “Thank you, that is much better.” Reigy gave her another bow and quickly packed up his equipment before leaving the room. Turning back to Alenica, Rose smiled at the princess who was watching her. “Now what?”

“Earth is trying to hail us,” Alenica said. “I wanted to speak with my father before I did anything else. He has arrested the conspirators at home and has dispatched more ships to meet me on the way home, just to make sure that no other attempts are made.”

“Will that be enough?” Rose asked.

“I was rescued by a Star Knight,” Alenica reminded Rose with a smile. “I know you don’t fully understand what that means to my people, but it matters. Our legends and stories that we built rebuilt our civilisation upon have been validated. While I’m not taking the sword home I can take the news of a Star Knight home. The universe is a better place now than it was yesterday.”

“But I can’t keep it,” Rose said as her hand moved the bracelet, but Alenica grabbed her hand.

“That sword chose you Rose; it linked with you and taught you how to use it. You are a Star Knight, the only known Star Knight. In my world that is the stuff of legends. You saw that despite following a scientific view of the sword even Reigy wouldn’t touch it without permission. The swords might hold a place of legend, but our history does tell us that our ancestors were rescued from very powerful being by seven warriors who used swords and called themselves the Order of the Star Knights. I will not accept it back.”

“How long does this last,” Rose asked gently touching the engraved surface of the cuff bracelet.

“Until you die or the sword rejects you.”

“Rejects me?” Rose asked with a raised eyebrow.

“The sword choices a person based on their personality and morals, them knowing how to fight isn’t necessary. According to one story, a Star Knight began to abuse the power and position until one day the sword fell from his hand and would not accept him back.”

Rose opened her mouth, but couldn’t decide what question to ask first. Alenica smiled and walked to the other side of the room. Pulling out a long large box, Alenica gathered it into her arms and turned back to Rose with a smile. “If you please, Star Knight, it is time to return you home.”

“Uh, okay.” Rose followed Alenica out the door. “I was a little worried that”

“That you couldn’t return to Earth?” Alenica asked with a laugh.

“I’ve taken control of a valuable artefact and I am the only Star Knight is important to your people. Can you really blame me for being concerned?”

“The Star Knights left Durmino after defeating the Eternals to protect the innocent elsewhere; they do not belong to us. Of course, should you ever decide that you’d like to move to Durmino we would certainly not turn you away,” Alenica said with a pleased smile.

Forcing herself to focus on something other than the bracelet, Rose followed Alenica into the teleport room and noted that a new technician was waiting for them. The sensor box that Rose had all but forgotten about was waiting on the platform for Rose. Alenica turned to Rose and offered a soft smile, “Ready?”

“Are you coming?” Rose asked in surprise seeing Alenica moving towards the platform.

“I am to offer apologies and a gift on behalf of the Durmino empire,” Alenica informed Rose. “Come, you have been away from your planet for almost an hour.”

“Hell of an hour,” Rose muttered as she joined Alenica on the teleport pad.

While the UNIT teleport system had been quick and fuzzy, this one was completely smooth and either by accident or the skill of the technician Rose and Alenica arrived on the teleport pad in the UNIT workroom. Smiling, Rose noted Toshiko at a computer staring up at them in shock and then realised that there were a lot more soldiers in the room and their weapons were aimed at Alenica. Stepping in front of Alenica quickly, Rose relaxed slightly as the soldiers lowered their weapons and parted to allow General Lethbridge-Stewart and Colonel Benton to come to the front.

“Welcome back Miss Tyler,” the General said stiffly as he examined the princess.

Yeah, he was irritated with her. Of course, they had been sent back more than twenty minutes ago and she hadn’t exactly checked in so Rose did sort of understand it. Stepping down off the platform, Rose decided that presentation was probably her best bet here and respectfully turned to offer Alenica a hand off the platform. The princess smiled slightly, fully aware of exactly what Rose was doing which only made Rose smirk herself.

“General Lethbridge-Stewart I present to you the Imperial Princess Alenica of the Durmino Empire. Your highness this is General Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart the commanding officer of the British Division of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. The princess is equipped with a translator so she is able to understand you, but I am afraid that I’ll need to translate for you.”

Rose ignored the General’s surprised look and turned back to Alenica. The Princess stepped forward and held the box she was holding out to the General. To Rose’s pleasure, he did not miss a beat and carefully took the box. Colonel Benton took the box from the General and opened it so the General could see what was inside. Shifting onto her tip toes, Rose tried to be discreet as she peered into the box and smiled. Inside were five of the translators she was wearing.

“They are a gift and an apology from myself and Emperor of the Durmino Empire. I am afraid that citizens who were displeased with a recent peace agreement sought to use Earth to stage a coup and restart the war,” Alenica said and Rose quickly relayed the message.

“I take it that this coup was defeated if you have come to Earth with an apology.”

“Indeed General, the guilty parties are in prison and will be put on trial when my fleet reaches home. I am to give you the assurances of the Emperor that Durmino Empire has no hostile intentions towards your planet.”

Again Rose translated for Alenica, feeling strange as she was hearing English and the others were hearing the Durmino language.

“These are translators that link telepathically to the wearer and translate whatever language you are hearing. They are programmed for all verbal interplanetary languages in this quadrant of the galaxy. It is the Emperor’s hope that they will be of assistance to Earth in understanding other species and entering into discussion with your neighbours,” Alenica finished with a smile.

The General motioned for Malcolm to come forward which he did with a grin. Malcolm’s gave Rose a small wave before he picked up on the devices. Rose took a step forward and turned to head so Malcolm could see the one she was wearing, giving him a nod. Smiling, Malcolm carefully placed the device around the back of his own ear. The General glanced between Rose and Malcolm before he gingerly took one of the devices and put it behind his ear.

“I hope that these devices will help soothe what harsh feelings and views you may now hold of my people,” Alenica said regally, holding her smile in check as the General’s eyes widened slightly. “At the present time, I must return to the fleet and report to the capitol so that his conspiracy can be finally put to rest. In the future, I hope that the Durmino Empire and Earth may enter into a friendship.” Turning to Rose, Alenica smiled, “And I personally thank you, Rose Tyler, for saving my life and preventing a terrible war. I hope that you will keep your own translator as my personal gift.”

Alenica touched the gem at her neck which altered the ship. A moment later she vanished in a flash of light and Rose smirked, the girl knew how to make an exit. Taking a breath, Rose turned back to the General in time to see him removing the translator and placing it back in the box. He was angry and worried; his stance was tense as he turned to face Rose.

“Well Miss Tyler, I believe that I need an explanation for what happened today.”

“I’ll be happy to tell you, sir,” Rose said trying to seem relaxed and friendly.

The General nodded and turned to one of the guards, “Take Miss Sato back to her cell.”

“What?” Rose scoffed, “You must be joking, she helped save Earth and all of you.”

“She betrayed Earth first Miss Tyler. This is a military organisation with regulations,” the General reminded her firmly and Rose felt anger rising through her. She was about to yell when she felt the bracelet begin to shift and forced herself to take a breath. The last thing she needed was to be suddenly swinging a sword at the General.

“General Lethbridge-Stewart UNIT being a military organisation was not what saved you and kept Earth from being framed for the death of the Princess Alenica. What saved you was an eighteen-year-old teenage girl from London and a prisoner who put a greater priority on saving her world than petty revenge against UNIT for imprisoning her for a situation that occurred while she was under duress.”

“Miss Tyler this is not your concern.”

“The safety of my planet is most certainly my concern and so is the status of a friend,” Rose said.  Drawing herself up to her full height, Rose stared up defiantly at the General. “Two years ago the universe was saved from UNIT soldiers helping an alien bent on universal control by a sixteen-year-old girl. UNIT being a military organisation is what enabled that event. Last year every human on Earth is taken except one seventeen year girl who again saved the day. Your military rules and regulations didn’t stop the aliens then either.” Rose took a step closer. “And today that same girl thinking creatively and not acting like just another soldier is what prevented Earth being part of a planetary war.”

Rose was angrier than she had ever been in her life and it was made worse by the fact that she did actually like the General. Raising her chin, Rose forced herself to calmly finish, “The last three years Earth has been saved not by your military organisation with your regulations, but a teenager girl from London. The universe is telling you something, take the hint.”

The room was quiet and the two men with Toshiko were staring at Rose in shock and looked very unsure of what they should be doing at the moment. Rose, however, kept her eyes locked with the General’s as they sized each other up. Finally, he gave her a brief nod and turned sharply to Benton.

“Inform Geneva that the crisis has been averted and we’ll send the full report within the hour. Doctor Taylor start sorting out those translators, I want them tested and reverse engineered to standard equipment.” He then turned to Toshiko and gave the Asian woman a searching look before glancing back at Rose who had crossed her arms and was looking at him expectantly. “Miss Sato, I do not have the power to simply erase your criminal act, but your work here today suggests that you would be a strong addition to the Scientific Division. I offer you a parole arrangement within UNIT, work for us for five years and I will see that your record is cleared.”

“What about my mother?” Toshiko asked.

Rose saw a slight reaction to her request in the General’s posture and held her breath. “Supervised visits and monitored phone calls for the five years you are in parole here,” the General said after a moment. “You will not contact her or anyone from your old laboratory without clearing it with the British Division first. You will be permitted to live in London, but any travel with be monitored.”

“So my choice is to work for you for five years or go back into that cell?” Toshiko verified.

“You broke a serious international code that maintains the safety of humans on this planet Miss Sato and that cannot be erased with just one incident. However, your efforts with Miss Tyler demonstrate that you are prepared to defend Earth and with additional time served in that course UNIT would be prepared to free you.”

“I accept,” Toshiko said with a nod, looking over at Rose. “I accept sir, thank you.”

“Very well, Captain Magambo take Miss Sato and start processing her.”

“Yes sir,” Erisa Magambo said coming closer to them. She gave Rose a quick nod and motioned for Tosh to follow her. Rose smiled when Tosh gave her a quick wave before following the Captain.

“Now if everything is to your satisfaction Miss Tyler,” the General said with a touch of sarcasm, “Will you please tell me what occurred after you teleported up that ship.”

“Of course General,” Rose said pleasantly with a wide smile. “Just lead the way to your office.”

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Star Knight: The Visitor

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

………………………

The General’s office was messier than Rose expected and she suppressed a giggle as Alistair muttered something about Colonel Benton and moved several forms off of his desk. Sitting down on either side of the desk, Rose and the General looked at each other in silence for a moment. Finally, the General leaned forward to rest his hands on the desk.

“In the future Miss Tyler, please conduct corrections to UNIT policies in the privacy of my office.”

“I can’t promise anything,” Rose said. She felt a bit of a blush taking over her cheeks at the reminder of what she’d said. “But I’ll try.”

The General had a half amused and half annoyed smirk on his face and he just shook his head. “You reminded me of the Doctor out there. He was never one to hold back his thoughts on anything,” he said after a moment. “Well, then let’s start by you filling in the gaps. When I returned to Earth and we used the sensor array to listen in, but I’m afraid that I am still missing quite a bit of information Thorn.”

“Sure, things started, wait a moment Thorn?!”

“Oh I daresay everyone at UNIT today is going to remember ‘roses have thorns’ for many years. I suspect we just found your new code name.”

“And I’m a thorn in your side?” Rose asked with a slight smirk.

“Some days Miss Tyler,” the General agreed with the small smile returning. “Now please enlighten me how you came to be so close with the princess.”

So Rose had started at the beginning or at least as close to as she could manage. The General’s expression darkened as she admitted to teleporting up by herself in order to purposely slow down UNIT’s ability to teleport up. She described sneaking around and Alenica’s naïve belief of Verigot’s explanations. When she reached the part about the sword her hand moved to the bracelet protectively, not even thinking about it. The tension in the room was thick as the General eyed the bracelet in confusion before holding his hand out for it. He hadn’t even said anything, clearly as uncomfortable with the situation that was about to develop as Rose was.

Rose hadn’t completely made her mind up about this Star Knight position but had the feeling that it wasn’t as simple as taking the sword from a Star Knight. Therefore in a show of cooperation with someone that the Doctor considered a good man and who had tried to do right by Toshiko after suffering through being lectured at by a teenager, Rose took off the bracelet and held it out to him. However, the moment her hand stopped being in contact with the bracelet, it had shimmered and moved back to Rose’s wrist in a way that almost appeared to be teleportation or the molecules of the sword being called back to her. Rose honestly wasn’t sure which one it was.

Rose and the General had stared at the bracelet before he had started chuckling and Rose surrendered to the giggles building up in the mouth. Having broken the awkward tension, Rose had finished her report on the goings on in the ship and her interactions with the princess after Verigot had been taken away. When she finished, Rose leaned back in her chair and sighed in relief. The General calmly nodded and glanced over her.

“I’d like to have our medical officer have a quick look at you, just to make sure and if there are no problems a car will take you home.”

“That’s it?” Rose asked in slight surprise. “No trying to find a way to take the sword or my translator?”

“Would it do any good?” The General raised an eyebrow. “As I see it Earth has a chance at an actual peaceful relationship with an alien empire that respects your status as a Star Knight. I attempted to study the sword, but that won’t work and I can tell that to Geneva.” The General leaned back in his chair with a thoughtful expression. “Seems to me I do not want you telling the Princess that your life on Earth isn’t going well because of UNIT.”

“She did say that I was always welcome on her planet,” Rose added with an impish smile.

“Beyond that,” the General hesitated, “You are an adult now. You’re an adult who is actually good at this life and the demands of it. I’d be a fool to alienate UNIT from you. We have no way to contact the Doctor, but you even have a local number that we can call.”

“For now at least,” Rose said as she stood. “I’ll be starting at Cambridge in October.”

“Good for you,” the General told her warmly. “Physics and computer science correct?”

“Okay you knowing that is a bit creepy, is the file on me that detailed?”

“You can blame Doctor Taylor for that,” the General assured Rose. “He does so love to brag about you. He has no children and no siblings so I think you fulfil the role of niece.”

Rose’s smile widened at the comment. “Well, I could have done worse in the adoptive uncle category.” She turned to walk out the door, but the General stood up to stop her.

“Miss Tyler, Rose,” he amended. “Do you know when you’ll be leaving Earth to travel with the Doctor?”

“You sound certain that I will.” Rose turned around to face him again, unable to help the slightly confused frown on her face.

“I am certain,” the General said in a matter of fact tone.

“No,” Rose said with a shake of her head. “I don’t know, but I’m not going to give up on university. I’ve worked too hard to get into a good one.”

The General nodded and gestured for Rose to head for the medical wing. Once the door was closed, he set aside his report to Geneva and began making a few notes to send with it. Rose had made note of her own track record and it was time that was more properly addressed.

………………………….

It was late when Rose arrived back home and the sun was hanging low in the sky. Stretching, Rose managed a quick wave to the driver of the UNIT car before she sighed in relief and walked up the drive to her home. She didn’t bother to look around as she unlocked the house and went inside. Taking her bag upstairs, Rose hung it on the chair of her desk and went to the loo to clean up a bit and shower.

Once she had changed into fresh clothing and dried her hair, Rose felt how quiet the house really was with her mother gone. In the last few days it hadn’t bothered her, but after the strange and exciting day, everything about the house felt too still and too strange. Pulling on her trainers, Rose grabbed her phone and keys and went out the front door. Rose didn’t really have a plan, but there were still a couple hours of sunlight and Shareen’s new house was only a few miles away on foot.

That was when she saw him again. The tall mean with wild brown hair and soulful brown eyes was leaning against a street lamp on the far side of the street and looking at her house. As Rose met his eyes, they widened slightly and all but gleamed with a mess of emotions. Rose was completely still as she stared at him and then she knew. This was the Doctor.

Her breath caught in her throat, but she knew she was right. She was eighteen and aliens were around, he was the Doctor. However, he was so different from the sullen blue-eyed Doctor with the manic grin or the green-eyed Doctor who had stolen her first kiss. The way he was looking at her broke Rose’s, heart. Her chest felt too tight and she wanted to cry.  Suddenly a car drove past, breaking the connection as their views were cut off. When it was past, Rose blinked and gaped at the empty street across from her. Glancing both ways down the street, Rose sighed in relief when she caught sight of the brown coat and she ran after him.

Eyes wide, Rose dashed down the street after the Doctor. “Please stop,” she shouted. “Doctor please don’t walk away from me!”

He stopped and turned slowly to face her, the look in his eyes brought Rose to a halt a few feet from him. Those brown eyes were fixed on hers and Rose was shaken by the depth of them. Realising her feet didn’t want to move, Rose tried to say something only to find that he was walking towards her slowly. Stopping right in front of Rose, the Doctor lifted his hand and softly touched her cheek. The touch made her heart jump, it was gentle and tentative and his eyes never left hers.

“I could never walk away from you,” the Doctor said, barely louder than a whisper.

Tentatively, Rose closed the distance between them so she was right in front of him and examined the face he now wore. He was attractive, very attractive and the way he was staring at her made Rose blush lightly. For a moment all she could think about was the way his next self’s lips felt pressed against hers.

“Hello Doctor,” Rose greeted softly.

“Hello, Rose Tyler.” His voice was low and a bit rough.

“You look tired,” Rose said. Her eyes traced his features, noting the slight lines around his eyes. “Are you alright?”

“I’m always alright,” he replied, but he did not manage to force a smile.

Rose didn’t know what else to say, it felt like something huge was hanging between them clouding the air. After another long moment, the Doctor pulled a hand out of his pocket and reached for Rose’s right hand. Lifting it from her side, Rose allowed the Doctor to gently take her arm and examine the bracelet.

“You became Star Knight today,” he said gently. Smiling, really smiling, he brushed his thumb over the exposed skin of her wrist. A shiver went down Rose’s spine. “Saved the Earth from war, victorious in the sword fight and rescued the princess.”

“You make it sound like a fairytale,” Rose said. She felt a bit out of breath. “I’m still working on happily ever after though.”

The Doctor’s mood changed and his smile faded away as he examined the bracelet more closely. Looking away from him, Rose remembered they were standing in the middle of Bannerman road. She pulled her arm out of his grasp and gestured over her shoulder back towards her house.

“We should probably do the examination out of public view.”

The Doctor looked very uncomfortable and shook his head. “No, I’ll just…” He gestured over his shoulder, “Places to go and all.”

“Come with me,” Rose pleaded.

On instinct, she reached down and took his hand. He adjusted his hand a tiny bit and slid their fingers together. A soft breath escaped him, sounding to Rose like a sigh of relief. The contact and the sound sent another little shiver through her.

They didn’t speak as they walked down the road to the Tyler household. Rose opened the door quickly and invited the Doctor inside in a small voice. He glanced around the still bare house and his lips almost shifted into a smile. As Rose headed for the kitchen to put the kettle on, she saw him walking over the painting of Lumen in the corner of her eye. Taking a deep breath inside the kitchen, Rose looked out at the table and chairs on the patio. It felt hard to breathe in the house so she quickly decided that tea outside was the proper setting. Quickly she went about her task and called for the Doctor to join her outside. He helped her with the tea without a word and added just the right amount of sugar to Rose’s tea without her saying a word on the matter.

Sitting across the patio table, Rose studied the Doctor as he examined the bracelet on her wrist and used the sonic screwdriver a few times. He looked exhausted and somewhat tragic, but as his fingers brushed the skin around the bracelet she thought he seemed to finally relax. His reaction to her presence worried her and frightened the part of her that still felt like she was that little girl facing Spellman. Another part of her was excited and overwhelmed by the way he looked at her and gently touched her hand. It was beginning to mess with her head.

“Doctor,” Rose said softly. “Leave it for now. It’s not that important as long as it isn’t dangerous.”

“I need to make sure that it is working properly.” The Doctor tightened his grip on her hand and stroking the fingers more quickly. Rose tried not to shiver at the feeling. She was pretty sure this was all just an excuse to touch her. “The bracelet links to the mind of its user to control it. When you first touched the sword did you feel a jolt?”

“Yes,” Rose answered softly, her eyes fixed on the way he was grasping her hand.

“These swords were created to react to a very specific neurological pattern and then download information for how to use the sword into that mind. The jolt was the sword downloading the instructions for its use into your mind. It didn’t harm you, but a small telepathic link remains between it and you which allows you to control which form it takes. It is biologically bound to you until the day you become incompatible or die. The sword will even react to someone trying to take it from you.”

“The Durminos had it so why didn’t it respond to any of them.”

The Doctor’s lips quirked slightly and he replied, “The old civilisation that the Star Knights were a part of was destroyed by a form of nuclear warfare, slightly different from how you lot imagine it, but in the survivors, the radiation caused several key changes to their brain structure. The swords predate that and don’t recognise them as being compatible. Their brain structure had just changed a little too much for the telepathic system within the swords to connect with. Now out of all the humanoid species in the universe probably only five percent of them would be compatible with the sword’s systems, some much younger than the swords while others that used to be compatible wouldn’t be any longer. I met a Star Knight once; he was nice, but very by the book in the rules department.”

“Alenica said the swords were created by the White Guardian to fight the Eternals.”

The Doctor looked up at her sharply and his mouth opened, but no words came out. “Don’t worry about that Rose,” he finally managed.

“I think I can answer some of your questions, Miss Tyler,” a soothing and very familiar voice said behind Rose.

The Doctor jumped up and glared over Rose’s shoulder as she turned to see the familiar man in white standing calmly near her back door. He looked exactly the same with his perfectly neat white suit and hat and the same calm amused smile on his face.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Whole of Creation

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

……………..

The Doctor jumped up and glared over Rose’s shoulder as she turned to see the familiar man in white standing calmly near her back door. He looked exactly the same with his perfectly neat white suit and hat and the same calm amused smile on his face.

“You’re the White Guardian,” Rose said more than asked. He nodded, giving her a soft almost amused smile. “I’d like to know what that actually means.”

“Rose,” the Doctor said in warning. “Be careful, the Guardians-”

“This is her decision to make Doctor,” the White Guardian said firmly. “And I’m just here to explain the sword to her. After all, I had a hand in their creation.”

Rose glanced at the Doctor and saw a stormy look in his eye. Gently, she brushed her thumb over the back of the hand which was still holding hers. To her relief, some of the tension left him and he sat back down even if sulking a bit. Nodding, Rose gestured to the free chair on her left and gave a small smile to the White Guardian as he sat down.

“Is Black coming?”

“No,” the White Guardian replied calmly. He waved his hand and a third cup of tea appeared in front of him. Rose raised an eyebrow but did not comment as the White Guardian took a sip. “Now let’s see where shall I begin?”

“What are you and what are Eternals would probably be the best place,” Rose said with a small smile in spite of her efforts to be serious.

“I am the anthropomorphic personification of both order and good in this universe and all the alternate realities that make it up.”

“Oh,” Rose breathed, still confused. “Uh, I’m going to need a little bit more to understand what that really means.”

Smiling slightly, the Guardian held out a hand and a glowing white orb appeared in it. A moment later they floated higher into the air, hanging in front of Rose. “This is the universe created by the Big Bang,” the White Guardian said gently. The orb then broke apart into several different orbs. “As evolution occurs the original Big Bang universe separates into parallel universes that are the result of forces of nature.”

“But I thought parallel universe were the result of different choices,” Rose said without thinking.

“The term is often misused, even by Time Lords,” the White Guardian said looking at the Doctor who scowled. “A parallel universe is not created by choice, but by evolution and the path, nature takes. Earth might look exactly the same in a hundred parallel universes, but one other planet in that universe will have evolved differently.”

“Bit off topic isn’t this,” the Doctor said with a roll of his eyes. “That’s not really explaining what you actually do.”

“Hush Doctor,” Rose said squeezing his hand. “I’m curious.”

“Curiosity killed the cat,” the Doctor grumbled.

“And yet you’re still around,” Rose replied with a teasing smile that actually made the Doctor’s expression soften.

“Continuing with the exposition,” the White Guardian interrupted despite the smile tugging at his lips. One of the orbs moved away from the others and floated between Rose and the White Guardian. Five smaller orbs split off from the first orb and floated slightly below it. “Alternate realities are the result of the choices by sentient beings, but only the most powerful choices. The universe doesn’t care what you had for breakfast and many choices are easily compensated by all the forces within the universe. However, some choices are too powerful and have too many consequences for the universe to compensate for and an alternate reality is made. That alternate reality remains linked to the core universe it grew from and they remained connected until the end of that universe.”

“So parallel universes can actually look exactly the same to our world because the difference can be the evolution of a creation across the universe, but alternate realities are the result of the alternatives in life and the choice made at that alternative.”

“Correct,” the White Guardian said with pleasure. “Now the link between parallel universes is very weak and fragile, sometimes breaking off completely to form entirely new dimensions. This is not a problem. Alternate realities, however, must remain linked to the original universe because at the end of the universe all of them collapse into each other. This reaction causes the next Big Bang and starts the next universe and the process starts all over again. That new universe splits based on the scientific patterns that emerge within it, often starting within the first few seconds. Then in those parallel universes, sentient life creates alternate realities based on their choices and wills.”

The White Guardian paused to take a sip of his tea and waved his hand again. The parallel universe orbs vanished and he allowed the orb representing their universe to split several more times until looked like a root system. However, the main orb that everything had emerged from remained the brightest of all.

“So you are the Guardian of everything connected to this universe,” Rose clarified as she pointed the original glowing orb.

“Correct, I am one of the Six Guardians of Time and Space. You have already met my opposite and balance point, the Black Guardian of Chaos and Evil. The others are the Gold, Red, Blue and Violet Guardians.”

“Wait,” Rose said quickly. “That guy in black that I snap at when he shows up is the Guardian of Chaos and Evil!? He’s never hurt me and doesn’t seem that evil.”

“Oh he’s evil,” the Doctor muttered, “And a poor loser too.”

The White Guardian ignored the Doctor and snapped his fingers, making the orbs vanish. “It is not our purpose to hurt you and remember that comment he made when you were younger about putting Spellman into your path? Sending a very dangerous alien after a child is most certainly an act of evil.” Rose gave a small nod of agreement and understanding so the White Guardian continued, “The six Guardians balance out all the forces of the universe to keep it functioning for as long as possible. We protect Time and Space from unnatural decay.” He took another sip of tea. “And now you know who I am.”

“So who and what are Eternals?”

“As the name suggests the Eternals are being that live in the realm of eternity and are not affected by the passage of time. They are beings of immense power but limited creativity. They use the thoughts and emotions of Ephemerals, mortal creatures who live within time such as humans and Time Lords, for their own ends usually to amuse themselves. The Eternals they are amoral and not capable of any emotions that you would recognise. In the Dark Times, they took actions to help the rest of the universe, but they soon grew bored with this existence.” The White Guardian leaned back slightly and took a sip of his tea. “Many Eternals turned to slowly destroying worlds through Ephemerals or their own technology. The carnage reached a point that I felt an intervention was necessary.”

The White Guardian motioned for Rose to give him her hand that had the bracelet and she slowly pulled it away from the Doctor but shifted her left hand over to him. It was awkward, but the Doctor rewarded the action with a soft look that made her heart skip in a fashion that Rose was certain was not healthy. She turned back to the White Guardian who had been watching the exchange with a small smile. He then touched the golden bracelet carefully.

“I selected the Ancient Durmino civilisation to be part of a universal experiment. It was a wager with the Eternals if you would. I assisted in the creation of seven very special swords that could only be used by beings with a very particular moral and emotional mindset. They were also limited to being biologically compatible with a very small and basic set of Ephemeral humanoids. The Eternals did not believe that humanoids were truly capable of the sort of good and virtue that I programmed the swords to react to as they cannot understand such values and live in a state of amorality. Needless to say, they were shocked when all seven swords found suitable Star Knights in the first fifty years. These Star Knights quickly led the Durminos against the influence of the Eternals and renewed the society, allowing it to evolve into a space-faring people. The Eternals who were in the Durmino Empire were destroyed and this series of events contained the Eternals, for a little while at least.”

Rose ignored a snort from the Doctor to ask, “So this is one of seven swords?”

“Not anymore, now it is one of three. Most of the others have been destroyed by Eternals or other events of theirs in the last million years. They are very resistant, but not indestructible. One is at the bottom of a sea on the planet Eythi and one is in the Durmino Cultural Museum.” The White Guardian tapped the bracelet and leaned back as the sword shimmered within an instant from the bracelet form to the sword form. “It functions on a telepathic link with the humanoid it selects. As I’m sure the Doctor told you, the main function of the link is to select a user and give them the knowledge of how to use the sword. It can deflect some forms of energy upon mental command. It is a valuable tool for the fight of good in the universe, especially since there are so few of the swords remaining. Unless you ‘fall from grace’ as the saying goes and abuse the power of the sword it will remain connected to you for the rest of your life. Then it will enter stasis in the form of your sword until the sword is activated by another compatible mind. That is why it looked old and different when you first saw it and then altered itself. The sword selected the best shape for you to use and repaired itself to be of use. I do wish the balance allowed me to make more of them. They are one of my favourites.”

“You said once that I had potential and that was why you and the Black Guardian were around me,” Rose said as she looked down at her bracelet. “So you wanted me to become a Star Knight? That was the point of all of this.”

“Oh you being chosen by one of the swords and becoming a Star Knight is a good indicator, but no that is not what we were referring to.”

“Don’t White Guardian,” the Doctor said with a glare. “She doesn’t need to be pushed onto that path.”

“Her life and her path are Rose’s choice Doctor. Not mine and not yours,” the White Guardian replied.

“What are you two talking about?” Rose looked between them, noting the dark look the Doctor was giving the White Guardian.

“Don’t worry about it Rose,” the Doctor replied quickly, far too quickly.

“Don’t talk to me like that,” Rose snapped. “I’m not an idiot, something has happened to me at your point in the timeline and this is connected to it. You’re looking at me like you haven’t seen me in a long time and acting overprotective.”

“Rose,” the Doctor swallowed. “Don’t ask me.”

“I know you can’t say Doctor,” Rose said trying to calm down. “So why are you here?”

“I just needed to see you,” the Doctor admitted. He swallowed thickly and looked lost. “This morning I knew what you were heading for and how you would handle it. I wanted to see you like that, brave and able to handle anything. I needed to see that.”

Rose and the Doctor didn’t see the White Guardian rising from his place and slowly walking towards the garden gate. He was gone a moment later, but neither Rose nor the Doctor noticed as they were too busy staring at each other, unsure of what would happen next.

“What do you need to say to me?” Rose finally asked. Her hand threatened to tremble as she placed it over his. “I’m here now.”

“I love you, Rose Tyler,” he said gently looking right at her. “I’m going to love you, I do love you and I always will love you. I cannot comprehend what I ever did in my life to deserve having you in mine. And for a time I allowed myself to believe….” The Doctor trailed off and shook his head, a low pained sound escaping him. “You need to stay away from me.”

“That’s not so easy!” Rose desperately tried to ignore the twisting in her chest and stomach at his words.  She wasn’t sure if it was his grief or declaration of love that frightened her more.

“Walk away,” he insisted. “Rose, just walk away from me the next time you see me back when I have that daft leather jacket.”

“Why Doctor?”

“I already told you,” the Doctor whispered. “I could never walk away from you.”

“I don’t want to.” The words escaped Rose before she even thought of them. Somehow the idea of not seeing the Doctor ever again made her chest tighten.

“Time can be rewritten Rose, stay away from me and change your future,” the Doctor begged. “That will keep you safe and away from the Guardians and all the things they bring with them. Time can be rewritten!”

There were the words. She could almost hear his next form telling her those words. Rose blinked at him in surprise despite knowing that she had been waiting for those words. Smiling softly at him, she stood up and pulled gently at his hand.

“Come inside Doctor,” she said.

“Rose.”

“Please,” she whispered.

He did not release her hand as he stood but threaded their fingers. The gesture felt comforting to Rose and made her heart start skipping again. The Doctor did not say anything but followed Rose into the house. Rose had the feeling that there was nothing else he felt he could do but follow her. She considered having him wait downstairs, but couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d run if she let go of his hand. Instead, she led him upstairs to her room and was very grateful that her room was tidy as she brought him in. Releasing his hand, Rose picked up her journal and watched the Doctor stare at it nervously.

“You’ve seen this before?” Nodding, the Doctor eyed the journal carefully. His whole body was tense and tight, signalling his readiness to run. “Good to know.” Taking the letter out of the journal, Rose held it out to the Doctor and was quiet as he stared at it. When he raised his eyes back to her,s Rose smiled gently. “I was told to give you this when you said that ‘time can be rewritten.’ You will give it to me to give to you,” Rose explained. “Your next form said that he remembered this.”

The Doctor took a small step back and shook his head. “No. Start rewriting time now Rose. Don’t give it to me.”

“You seemed happy,” Rose said quickly. “Your next self, he was happy. You were my teacher when I was twelve and saved me from the explosion of Horath.”

“Rose,” the Doctor said in a warning tone. “Please, don’t. I can’t-”

“You stole my first kiss,” Rose added sharply and that statement stunned the Doctor.

“What?”

Taking a step forward, Rose grabbed the Doctor’s hand and placed the envelope into it. “You will steal my first kiss when I am sixteen years old,” Rose repeated with a slight blush that she inwardly cursed. She grasped for something else to say even as her whole body thrummed with embarrassment. “I guess you didn’t like seeing Gavin kiss me.”

With trembling hands, the Doctor slowly opened the envelope and unfolded the letter. Watching carefully, Rose was amazed at the gauntlet of emotions his features ran through as he went from sad, almost tragic to thoughtful, hopeful and then his features relaxed into relief. He dropped the letter to the floor, but Rose did not see it land on the floor as the Doctor pulled her flush against him and sealed his lips over hers.

It wasn’t the soft quick kiss that his next form had stolen. This was desperate, deep, frightening and comforting all at the same time. As Rose gasped, his tongue laved over her bottom lip before slipping into her mouth. His arms tightened around her and heat rushed through her body. Fisting her hands in his jacket, Rose melted against him. A low moan escaped her as fingers threaded through her hair, caressing just the right spot.

Her mind was jumping between clarity and a warm haze as her thoughts shortened and warred over the wisdom of this. In the end, however, as the Doctor’s kiss overwhelmed her, the haze strengthened and won. It could have been hours later when Rose pulled away to steal a breath. Soft warm lips moved across her jaw, brushing her hot skin and a hand found the hem of her shirt, gently caressing her hip. Rose struggled to breathe, another moan escaping her. Thankfully, the Doctor paused his ministrations and rested his forehead against hers, but continued to hold her close as she panted softly.

“Rose,” the Doctor groaned. “Please.”

Meeting his eyes, Rose searched them, for what she didn’t know, but she shivered when she found it a moment later. Her chest was too tight and the room too warm. She still couldn’t catch her breath, but the glow in his eyes was everything. Smiling, Rose pulled his head back down and this time, for the first time, she kissed him.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Star Knight: The Morning After

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.
………………………

Rose Marion Tyler awoke slowly and frowned slightly as she recognised that something was off. A thick haze lingered in her mind and her body felt sore. A moment later, she became aware of not only the arm wrapped around her waist, but the cool body pressed tightly against her. The memory of the prior afternoon and night returned all at once in a rush that stole her breath and made her whole body flush.

Closing her eyes, Rose took a breath and told herself to calm down, but her mind was now obsessing over the fact that she had slept with the Doctor. She had slept with an alien that she barely knew, yet had known in various incarnations since she was eleven years old. Her mind just could not process this. For the first time in a long time, she felt exactly like the teenager she was. The weight of his arm across her hips and the puffs of breath on her neck sent a pleasant shiver through Rose that was terrifying.

Rose lay there in her bed, trying to remain calm and perfectly still. Glancing at the bedside clock, Rose flinched at the late hour and concluded that it was no mystery she was hungry. She hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. There’d been an alien crisis and then she’d… Rose’s brain kicked that train of thought away as she carefully rolled onto her back and turned to head to look at the Doctor.

It surprised her to see that he was still asleep, but the change in his features was what amazed her. Gone were the worry lines that had been between his eyes and the signs of grief, he looked relaxed and so much younger. He was gorgeous like this, his hair ruffled, features relaxed and a slight smile on his lips. Realising that she was staring, Rose looked away from his face only to blush as her eyes landed on his bare chest. He was really fit and she couldn’t help but notice. Swallowing, Rose slowly moved his arm and slipped out of bed. Grabbing her dressing gown, Rose covered herself up and quietly left the room.

She made it to the loo before she started shaking and covered her mouth to smother the strange half sobs and half laughs that were building in her chest. Regaining control after a few deep breaths, Rose looked at herself in the mirror and blushed bright red. Signs of the Doctor’s kisses were visible on her neck and she reddened, even more, remembering how they got there. Sex with an alien was not how she imagined ending her latest adventures, but they had started kissing in her bedroom and everything had just escalated. Rose locked the door and climbed into the shower, forcing her mind to go through mathematical formulas to avoid thinking about what had happened. Showering helped Rose calm down and she carefully leaned into her bedroom to verify that the Doctor was still sleeping before she slipped into the room to grab some clothing and her phone before retreating back to the toilet.

Once dressed Rose felt much more in control of the situation and quietly went downstairs to start something for breakfast. She remembered the previous Doctor eating human food with her after the ‘Empty Earth Incident’ so it seemed rational to assume he could eat what she could. Tying her hair back, Rose pulled out the making for a large breakfast as she was famished and she had the feeling that the Doctor hadn’t been eating so he should, in addition, to clearly not sleeping as he should.

Having calmed down in the process of doing something normal, Rose was feeling quite a bit better about her lack of rational judgment the night before. It wasn’t like her fellow teenagers hadn’t had sexual relationships when she was growing up at Powell Estates, even her mum had brief sexual relationships. Plus this was the Doctor, someone who actually cared about her and loved her. She believed him when he said it and maybe that was the actual problem, she didn’t love him or at least she didn’t think she loved him. She could believe that in the future she would, but right now…

“Rose,” the Doctor called gently from behind her.

It wasn’t his fault that she was emotionally off this morning and he certainly hadn’t pressured her last night, so Rose turned and smiled softly. Watching his relief made her soften even more and she set the plates down on the table. He was dressed in his suit, but his posture and tension reminded Rose of a stray animal that didn’t know if it was welcome or not.

“Good timing Doctor.” Rose transferred the food from the pans onto plates, setting on the table with a smile. “Come on, I’m famished and you look like you could use a real sit down meal.”

He joined Rose at the table, sitting across from her and started staring at her even as she started to eat. Rose reached over and squeezed his left hand, only to have him turn his hand to hold it. Smiling slightly, Rose rubbed his hand with her thumb and continued to eat, pleased when he also began to eat something. The silence that surrounded them was a bit uncomfortable, but it wasn’t too bad. She wanted to think of something to say, but nothing sounded right in her head. As they finished, Rose slipped her hand out of his and collected the dishes.

“I’m sorry,” the Doctor said. The words sounded like they pained him. “I shouldn’t have… last night, I’m sorry.”

Inhaling slowly, Rose placed the dishes in the sink and turned back to him. “Takes two Doctor,” she reminded him. “This morning it’s just strange for me because…” Rose swallowed and grabbed another stack of dishes off of the table as the Doctor stood.

He waited for her to put the last of the dishes in the sink before he caught her hand and pressed a kiss to it. “Because I love you, but you don’t love me.”

“Not yet,” Rose agreed. She met his deep brown eyes and felt a flutter of something in her chest. “But in the future when I really know you. I believe I will.”

“Yeah, in the future.” The Doctor’s smile reached his eyes this time.

“That’s a change,” Rose said. “Yesterday it was time can be rewritten and stay away from me.” She couldn’t deny the rush of relief she felt.

“It still can,” the Doctor said softly. “There are so many reasons why you should.” He gently touched her face, caressing her skin for a moment. “But I confess I don’t want you to.”

“What was in that letter?” Rose asked with a chuckle, confused by his sudden change of attitude.

The Doctor smirked slightly and reached into the inner pocket of his suit and pulled out the folded letter. Elegantly, he handed it to Rose, making her smile and giggle slightly. She unfolded it and gaped at the two words. That was all that was written, two words, Bad Wolf. Rose looked up to the see the Doctor watching her with amusement.

“What does that mean?”

“It means you aren’t dead.” Taking back the letter, he folded it gently and slipped it into his pocket. Then he released a long breath. “Thing is Rose I don’t know what happened to you. We were together and then you were gone. I was so afraid, but now I know you’ll be back. I’ll see you again.”

“Something to do with the Guardians right?” Rose asked. “You were very rude to the White Guardian last night.”

“Well, I’m rude and not ginger.” He grinned at her look of confusion. “You’re not supposed to understand the words Bad Wolf yet.”

“But I see them all the time,” Rose argued. “Every time something important happens with aliens I see Bad Wolf somewhere or something similar.”

“I know.” The Doctor grasped her arms and stepped closer to her. “But I promise you, Rose, that you have nothing to fear from those words. Try not to worry too much. If you chose to follow this path you’ll come to a day that you’ll understand.”

“So that what it comes to then?” Rose asked softly. “I live the next few years of my life knowing about my future.”

“It’s your choice,” the Doctor whispered gently.

“Why did you come yesterday?” Rose asked. “Why now?”

“I had a bad day,” the Doctor confessed. “And someone asked me if I could spend one more day with the person I loved which day would I choose? I thought about you and the way you always described the day you received your sword. I wanted to see you like that.”

Smiling softly, Rose leaned up and kissed the Doctor again. This kiss was warm and chaste and allowed Rose’s mind to relax. Pulling back a moment later, Rose allowed the Doctor to pull her into a hug. They stood like that in the kitchen for a time before the Doctor's hand brushed against her ear. Rose stilled as he gently removed the translator that she had forgotten about and examined it.

“Problem Doctor?” Rose asked with a smile.

The Doctor grinned in response and kissed her forehead. “Nope. Give me a few minutes to move the TARDIS.”

“Then what?” Rose asked.

“Then I’ll link your little translator to the TARDIS system.”

“What will that change?” Rose asked as she moved back out of his arms.

“Oh nothing much, just link you to a lot more languages and give you the ability to speak those languages.”

He grinned at Rose’s stunned expression and brushed his lips against hers very quickly. Pulling on his coat, he turned back to Rose and smiled. “I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Rose answered and smiled as he gave her a long look. “I’ll be right here,” she promised.

It couldn’t have been more than thirty seconds later that she heard the familiar wheezing noise coming from outside the house. Moving the window of the kitchen, Rose looked out into the garden and laughed as the TARDIS materialised on a patch of grass. The Doctor stepped out a moment later and grinned at her through the window. Smiling in return, Rose dashed outside through the door and took his offered hand. The Doctor opened the door and allowed Rose to step inside the TARDIS first.

“She’s changed,” Rose remarked as she took in the coral columns and all the tiny differences in the console room. Then she remembered that she’d seen the TARDIS in the future. “I mean she will change.”

“Don’t tell me!” The Doctor gave her a warning look as he led her up to the console controls. He pulled out the translator and Rose watched for a few minutes as he fussed with it.

“When did we fall in love?” Rose asked suddenly before she lost her nerve.

“Oh that’s a complicated question,” the Doctor answered as he continued to work on the translator.

“That’s a rubbish answer,” Rose said with a smirk.

“It was an odd process,” the Doctor said softly. “I suppose for me it actually started when you were seventeen.” Rose’s eyes widened, but she stayed silent. “Something about you just stunned me and I wanted to ask you to come with me.”

“But you didn’t,” Rose reminded him.

“I’ve travelled with teenagers before,” the Doctor said, not looking up from his work. “I’ve been a teacher, father figure, uncle sort and grandfatherly, but I didn’t really have any interest in filling one of those roles with you. I couldn’t ask you to come with me then,” the Doctor kept his eyes down. “Fact is my reaction to you scared me badly.”

Rose couldn’t help the smile that appeared on her face and the Doctor nervously looked up, only to relax when he saw it. She shifted and joined him leaning against the console. Leaning over, she looked at the translator in his hand.

“So the TARDIS translates telepathically like this device?”

“Yeah, this ship is alive,” the Doctor said with a proud smile. “Most of the time it is very subtle.”

“So the translator is linked to the TARDIS translation circuit now?” Rose verified. “It will translate all the languages the TARDIS knows?”

“Yeah, I’ve turned this into the proper frequency and made a few changes. It won’t be as perfect as if you actually travelled in the TARDIS, but it will do for now. Not every alien that comes to Earth will translate for you and listening in on the villain’s plan is so much easier when you can understand them.”

Rose giggled and accepted the translator as the Doctor handed it to her. “What about the telepathic link with my bracelet, I mean the sword. They won’t conflict will they?”

“Oh you always ask the right questions,” the Doctor said with a wide grin. “No they won’t, I altered the translator just a touch to make sure of that. When you do start to travel in the TARDIS you’ll want to take this translator off so you don’t cause an overload.”

Nodding, Rose looked down at the translator before looking back at the Doctor. “It won’t change anything in my head, will it? I mean the sword downloaded information into me, but nothing beyond that is changed right?” She slipped the translator into her pocket, remembering his warning about wearing it in the TARDIS.

“No,” the Doctor promised her in a soft tone. “They provide information, but what you do with that information is still under your control. While it is possible to alter a person’s consciousness, the subconscious always fights back. Besides, I wouldn’t want to change you.”

The remark was so sincere and made her feel like she was glowing. Rose leaned forward and kissed the Doctor again. The brush of their lips made her feel warm and oddly happy. Despite the awkwardness of the morning, she relaxed into his touch and let him hold her. His arms wrapped around her and he relaxed his chin against her head after the kiss ended. Rose smiled softly, she might not understand everything in the future, but this wasn’t so bad.

The shrill ring of her mobile in her back pocket ended the moment and Rose pulled away with a blush. The Doctor smiled and shoved his hands in his pocket while Rose answered the phone. It was Shareen, but the signal was badly breaking up so Rose hung up after only a minute.

“I guess the TARDIS walls block the signal.” Rose gestured to the curved alien walls, fighting back disappointment over the loss of the moment. The Doctor nodded slightly and then a smile tugged at his lips.

“Give me your phone.” Rose blinked at him but handed him the mobile. With a wide grin, the Doctor opened the back of the phone and said, “Just a bit of rewiring.” He used the sonic screwdriver for a moment before snapping the back of the phone shut. Rose leaned forward as the Doctor entered something into the phone. Smiling, he handed it back to her. “There you are, superphone. It can call through the universe and time, I’ve put the TARDIS number in so if you need me… well, you can always call.”

“Thank you,” Rose said as she smiled up at him. She slid the mobile into her back pocket. “If things get really desperate on Earth I’ll call,” she promised.

“Oh you’ll be fine,” the Doctor told her. “You’re Rose Tyler.”

“Yes,” Rose agreed happily, “Yes I am.”

The Doctor leaned forward again and sighed happily when Rose leaned in to meet his kiss. Her body shifted closer to him without her meaning to and she ran a hand up his jaw. The Doctor moaned softly and brought a hand up to tilt her chin, aligning their mouths even better. She tangled her fingers in his hair, letting the world fall away until they parted. He pressed a soft kiss to her forehead that felt like a promise. Taking a step back, Rose squeezed his hand again.

“I don’t know what has happened obviously,” Rose said nervously. “But you seem to have hope again.”

“Hope is a good emotion,” the Doctor told her with a smile. “I like hope.”

“Agreed, but if you need to you can come and see me,” Rose offered. She felt nervous about the offer, but it felt like the right thing to say.

The Doctor swallowed, looking hopeful and panicked at the same time. “I probably shouldn’t.”

“But you’re welcome to,” Rose told him. “After all it’s not like I’m going to be dating anyone else now is it.” She blushed at her own words, but they were true.

He grinned widely at her and pulled her into another hug. “I don’t want to leave,’ the Doctor whispered into her ear.

“I know,” Rose replied. “But I’m willing to bet that there are other worlds out there that need you.” He nodded and kissed her quickly, holding her hand again. Smiling gently, Rose pulled her hand from him and gently touched his face before kissing him very softly. “It will be okay, Doctor.”

“It’s your choice, Rose,” the Doctor reminded her.

“Okay,” Rose said in a soft voice before she turned and walked down the ramp to the door. Once at the door she turned back and smiled, “Until next time Doctor.”

Stepping outside, Rose took a deep breath and took a few steps away from the TARDIS. Turning back to it, Rose stood perfectly still as she watched it dematerialize. Once the blue box was gone, Rose wrapped her arms around herself and started shaking. Collapsing to the ground, she pulled her knees up to her face and allowed the tears to fall. She couldn’t tell where her excitement and joy ended and her fear and doubt started. Instead, Rose remained there on the lawn rocking herself gently far too aware that she’d have to make a choice on her future much sooner than she was ready for.

Chapter Text

Defender of the Earth
By Lumendea
Chapter Thirty: Star Knight: Something New Begins

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.

…………………….

Rose must have fallen asleep because the next thing she was truly aware of was Shareen shaking her awake. Groaning, Rose looked up at her friend, squinting in the sunlight. Sighing, Shareen adjusted herself to put Rose’s face in her own shadow and examined Rose’s face.

“You look like hell,” Shareen said after a moment.

“Thank, Shareen,” Rose grumbled. “I can always count on you.”

“Come on, inside and then you can tell me all about it.”

Allowing herself to be led inside, Rose sat down at the kitchen table calmly while Shareen rang up Sharon and put the kettle on. Leaning, on her hand, Rose flinched at the state of her hair and quickly darted to the loo in order to splash some water on her face and brush her hair. When she returned, Shareen had set out a cup of tea for her and was calmly sitting at the table waiting for her.

“Sharon will be here in ten minutes,” Shareen said. “Now that she’s passed her test she’s enjoying that new car she bought.”

Rose smiled and grabbed onto that conversation topic. “I’m still debating between car and motorcycle.”

“Motorcycle?” Shareen asked with a raised eyebrow.

“My mum won’t ask me to drive her anywhere,” Rose replied with a small smile that made Shareen relax slightly.

They sat in what was surprisingly comfortable silence and Rose could only be silently grateful that she had two friends so in synch with her. Once Sharon arrived Rose knew she’d be telling them everything and in the process, she’d probably come to some epiphany and they would offer not only their support but also bits of advice. About eight minutes later Shareen stood and began preparing another cup of tea. As if on cue, Sharon Allen came rushing through the front door and into the kitchen. She took one look at Rose and instantly moved over to hug her friend. Watching with a soft amused smile, Shareen waited for Sharon to take a seat next to Rose before she brought over another cup of tea and plate with Rose’s favourite chocolate biscuits on it.

“Whenever you’re ready honey,” Shareen said as she retook her seat.

Rose couldn’t help but smile as she picked up on the biscuits and ate it slowly while her friends just sat with her. She was grateful for the silent support as she struggled to gather her thoughts. After licking the crumbs from her fingers, Rose took a breath and started to talk.

“I did something really stupid last night and this morning. Well, I guess I should start by telling you that UNIT called me yesterday to help deal with some alien crisis. It turned out okay and I’ll give you the complete story of that later. Thing was though yesterday morning I saw this bloke watching me. It was the Doctor and when I got home yesterday I talked with him.” Pausing, Rose stared into her teacup as if it held all the answers. “Well a lot happened, but it was clear that something happens to me in my future. I’m not dead, but I’m separated from the Doctor and he doesn’t know where I am. So he told me that ‘time can be rewritten’ and told me to stay away from him.”

“So you gave him the letter,” Shareen said softly. “How did he take it?”

“It just said Bad Wolf,” Rose said with a laugh, “I’ve seen those words a lot. Remember that’s what Lumen said to me right before she went back into the painting and Eve said it to me too. The Doctor knew what it meant; it seemed to give him hope that I was okay wherever I’m… going to be.” Rose groaned and rubbed her head. “Then he snogged me.”

“How was it? Good?” Sharon asked with a grin. For her question, Sharon got a light smack on the head from Shareen.

Flushing, Rose nodded and Sharon grinned, poking Shareen. “Yeah, it was a really good kiss except we were in my bedroom at the time and things sort of escalated.” Rose blushed again. “As in we slept together.”

“I wasn’t expecting you to sleep with the Doctor,” Sharon said with wide eyes.

“I wasn’t either,” Rose admitted with a sigh. “But I did.”

Then the whole story just poured out as Rose told them all about the Durmino coup, meeting Tosh, standing up to the General only to come home and find the Doctor sulking about. She recounted their awkward conversations before the White Guardian arrived and had an interesting time trying to assure them that she really had no idea why such an important being was interested in her. To Rose’s relief, her friends accept her vague and short jump from her snogging the Doctor to what had occurred that morning. When she finished, Rose started chuckling and put her head into her folded arms while her body shook with laughter.

Across from Rose, Shareen smiled slightly. “Okay honey, you’ve had a strange few days.” Shareen leaned forward and rested her chin on her hand. “Am I right in believing that what really has you worried right now if that you’ve entered into a relationship at what feels like the wrong time?” At Rose’s slight nod she continued, “I can understand you thinking that. He knows you completely, but in reality, you know very little about the Doctor.”

“For God’s sake Shareen, she knows all of that,” Sharon snapped suddenly before looking at Rose. “So yeah it’s strange Rose, but it could be worse.”

“It is worse already,” Shareen said calmly. “Thing is Rose now knows more about a possible future than she probably should. We’re eighteen years old, that’s not exactly the age to have your entire future figured out.”

“She’s worrying too much! We’re supposed to be making stupid decisions right now!” Sharon argued back, crossing her arms. “Including sleeping with blokes when our hormones win! At least the one she slept with is in love with her!” Sharon grumbled something about Mark and Shareen grimaced in sympathy.

Rose smiled slightly as her two friends banter, feeling better as they argued the pros and cons of Rose knowing about her future. Hearing a knock on the door, Rose carefully stood from the table and glanced back at Sharon and Shareen who had started arguing about foreknowledge while Shareen referenced the play Oedipus. Shivering at the reference, Rose walked to the front door and blinked in surprise at the delivery man standing there. She smiled as he handed her familiar envelope with Eve’s handwriting on it and calmly signed the sheet.

Both Sharon and Shareen looked at Rose with mild surprise as she reentered the kitchen with an actual smile on her face. She sat back down and held up the letter for them to see. They both nodded their understanding, Eve did not send as many letters now as she used to, but all three of them still received them from time to time. Rose tore open the envelope and unfolded the letter.

Dear Rose,

How I wish my ability to see your timeline included some empathy, but I’ll work off of what I can see. Of course, you’re confused, knowing the future is a complex and strange thing. I must also confess that you are approaching points of decision. My ability to see your future with clarity is fading. I have still seen glimpses of what might be, but nothing is certain. The good news is that your future is in your own hands and that is also the bad news. The only advice I can give you to figure out what makes you happy and what will make you happy. Sometimes leaving the problem is the only way to find the answer.

Love Eve

Rose finished reading the letter and giggled when she realised that at some point Sharon and Shareen had both moved behind her to read over her shoulder.

“Well that was vague,” Sharon said when she finished. “I swear Eve has got the Zen master vague advice thing figured out.”

“She would have done well for herself writing fortunes,” Shareen added with a grin.

“I think she and her father found the lottery and markets more profitable,” Rose chimed, looking over her shoulder at Sharon.

“So, what the plan?” Sharon asked as she glanced back at the letter.

Rose placed the letter on the table as her friends sat back down, “I’m thinking ice cream and movies tonight.” A smile appeared on Rose’s face and she added, “Then let’s go somewhere.”

“What?” Sharon and Shareen both said.

“We’ve got money and a month before our university terms start,” Rose said. Her smile widened as an idea took form in her head. “Let’s go somewhere, just the three of us and see what happens.”

“So you’re going with the old run away from your problems strategy?” Shareen asked with a raised eyebrow. “Classic?”

“No I’m taking Eve’s advice and leaving the problem behind for a while,” Rose replied with a grin. “Besides, we won’t see each other as much once we start school.”

“Fine, we’ll talk about that later,” Sharon said. “I’ll run out and get some ice cream, you two start figuring out what movies.”

“It isn’t even lunch yet,” Shareen scolded. “You just want an excuse to drive around.”

“I do not,” Sharon responded. “This way we don’t have to leave once we get started.”

Smiling into her teacup, Rose sipped the warm liquid while Shareen made a list of food for Sharon to buy at the shop. Looking out the window, Rose chuckled at the square impression on the grass that had been left by the TARDIS. She cleared the table and put the dishes in the sink to start washing them. About half way through Rose caught sight of the ring the green-eyed Doctor had sent her when she was sixteen. She stood there by the sink staring at it and couldn’t help but think that there was another level to this gift. Pushing the thought away, Rose finished the dishes and left the kitchen to join Shareen in the living room to start researching where they should go.

…………………………….

Six days later, Rose Tyler was sitting on a bench in Rome looking up at the Colosseum or the Flavian Amphitheatre depending on if you wanted to be technical. Her drawing pad was open in her lap and she was absentmindedly drawing the huge ancient structure and listening to the large crowds moving around her. The translator behind her ear made everyone sound English to her and the hum of life around her was both startling and comforting at the same time. Sharon and Shareen had dashed into one of the many shops in the area that sold overpriced cheap souvenirs to tourists with a promise to meet Rose was lunch in the café behind her in an hour.

Turning her body slightly to stretch, Rose caught sight of an older gentleman sitting on a nearby bench and glaring up at the Colosseum. Tilting her head, Rose observed him carefully. He stood out here wearing a neat black suit and neatly combed white hair. His utter lack of enthusiasm also stood out among the tourists and locals who made their living off of the tourists. Something about him bothered her, well bothered wasn’t the right word, but clearly, he did not belong here. There was a sense of sorrow and loneliness wrapped around him like a heavy winter coat. Rose remained where she was watching him for a time before making up her mind. She just couldn’t bear to see someone so sad.

Standing up, Rose gathered her things and shoved them into her bag before she moved over to the other bench. Sitting down next to the man, Rose pulled out her drawing pad again and started drawing the random faces moving through the crowd. They were both silent for a time as Rose saw him finally relax again after tensing up when she sat down. Rose didn’t look up from her drawing pad.

“I love Rome,” she said with a smile. “The age of this place makes everything else seem insignificant.”

“I suppose so,” the old man replied sternly.

Smiling, Rose brushed some hair behind her ear and looked over at him. “So what did you come here to forget?”

He looked over at her sharply and his eyes widened slightly before he regained control. In the back of her mind, Rose wondered about that odd reaction. “What makes you think that is my reason for being here?” He questioned her a moment later.

“You’re sad and angry at the world,” Rose replied. “You’ve been glaring up at the Colosseum as if it personally offended you.”

That remark actually made the strange man chuckle. “It reminds me of time passing,” he said a moment later. “This whole city does.”

“Time passing is usually a good thing,” Rose replied. She bit her bottom lip for a moment. “Or are you really talking about change?”

Again he chuckled. This time his eyes were a bit softer as he looked over at her. “You’re very perceptive,” he said.

“Not really,” Rose replied. “I just understand being worried about that. Something changed in my life lately and I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet. The city makes it feel small and less important so to me it is a comfort.”

Silence overtook them for a few minutes, while both of them stared up at the ancient structure. Then to Rose’s surprise, the strange man softly said, “My granddaughter is getting married. I shall not see her for a long time.”

“And that change worries you,” Rose said with a nod. “I can understand being sad about that loss even if you should be glad she’ll be happy.” At the man’s curious and amused expression Rose smiled and continued, “I’m about to start university which will have me leaving home for the first time. I’m happy and worried about my mother and my friends.”

“But you’re still leaving,” the man pressed.

Nodding, Rose answered, “I suppose it might be selfish, but as much as leaving scares me, staying still there scares me even more. I worry I’d regret it and never be as happy as I could have been. That means that I have to leave no matter how much it scares me.”

“If nothing ended nothing new could begin,” the man said thoughtfully before he gave Rose a very small smile, but a smile nonetheless. He stood gracefully, despite his cane and gave Rose a nod. “Thank you, young lady, and as for your concerns, I’m quite certain that you’ll be just fine.”

“Certain?” Rose asked with a raised eyebrow and a teasing smile.

The man’s eyes were serious as he examined her giving Rose the feeling that he saw something else. Nodding, he answered, “Yes, I think you’ll find where you should be very soon.” With that he turned and walked into the crowd, his dark clothing standing out.

Rose watched him for a few moments until the alarm in her mobile went off. Grabbing her things, Rose moved towards the café where she saw Sharon and Shareen already waiting for her. Sitting down, she greeted them happily and laughed as Shareen pulled out a ridiculous shirt that she had bought for her mother. Then she looked up over Sharon’s shoulder and stilled. Tucked in a corner of the plaza was the TARDIS. She stared at it and gaped as the old man walked up to it and entered it. Rose couldn’t hear the wheezing noise over the sounds of the busy area, but she could hear it in her mind as the TARDIS dematerialized.

“Rose?” Sharon called as she waved her hand in front of Rose’s face. “You okay?”

“I’m fine,” Rose said with a smile. She giggled softly and shook her head. “The universe is a strange thing,” she said after a moment.

“How so?” Shareen asked as she sipped her soda.

“Coincidences,” Rose said, “The universe’s way of telling you to stop being an idiot.” Grinning, Rose picked up her own soda and held it out in front of her. “To next year and whatever follows.” Sharon and Shareen glanced at each other but clinked their glasses to Rose repeating the toast to whatever came next year. Rose herself made a mental note to talk to the Doctor about his earlier forms because; if the universe was going to play that way she needed to know who to look for.