“Alistaire Stuart, my mate! Oh, look at you, all grown up and in charge!” The Doctor didn’t lose time, and as soon as he entered the facility and spotted his old companion from a former incarnation, he hugged him, his smile in place as usual, his weapon against the shadows of his past; Alistaire gulped down a mouthful of saliva, as The Doctor practically lifted him- not easy, between Alistaire not being in his prime any longer and, like many man, after getting married, having developed quite the beer belly, and the Doctor being… well, he did look fragile, at times.
Donna, at The Doctor’s back, rolled her eyes, hands on her hips. “So? Are we going to do something? Because you promised me an adventure- and yet here I am, a few miles from my mother’s house.” Which, in Donna’s dictionary, translated in torture; she knew herself- now that she was so close to home, she would have wanted to go looking for her family, didn’t matter what a viper her mother could be. They were still her family- besides, it was her grandfather she was crazy about.
“Yes, yes, of course!” Alistaire grunted, recomposing himself, starting with his clothes. “I’m glad we’ve been able to reach you, Doctor, as there’s something you may find… interesting. If you want to follow me…”
“Oh, a new mystery! Aren’t you excited, Donna?” The Doctor asked, barely keeping up with Stuart; again the ginger-head rolled her eyes.
“Weren’t you supposed to hate the military?” She asked, even if it was rhetorical in nature. “Something about them not understanding the evils of space and time, misusing the technology that shouldn’t fall in the wrong hands…”
“Yes, yes, of course! But he is Alistaire. He is different. Sort of.” He paused, his mind going back to an early incarnation, when Alistaire had been a partner in crime for him. “Let’s say that I’m quite fond of him.”
“Weren’t you supposed to be fond of all of humanity?”
“Yes, of course I’m fond of all of humanity, but I’m fonder of Alistaire. Is that how you say it? Or do you think that more fond may sound better?”
Donna rolled her eyes, and, at the same time, Alistaire stopped in front of a heavy metallic door and cleared his voice.
“Ehm. If you’ve finished bickering like an old married couple…”
“WE ARENT’ LIKE THAT!” The Doctor and his companion answered at the same time.
“Anyway”, Alistaire resumed being the one rolling his own eyes this time, not fully believing what they were telling him. “As I was saying, behind this door there’s something of incredible importance to all of us…”
Reading his DNA and his fingerprints, the door automatically slid open, and as soon as it did, the Doctor and his companion found themselves into a cozy and yet modern apartment; at the glass table, a young, blonde girl, more or less a teenager, was busy obviously studying between a mountain of books; Donna and The Doctor turned to look at Alistaire, their eyebrows lifted, as it didn’t seem like the girl was anything out of the ordinary.
Alistaire sighed. “Just wait….” He instructed them, and walked in direction of the girl. “Hello, Miss Peterson. How are you this fine morning? Well, I hope?”
“Miss Peterson” immediately closed her books and stood, politely greeting the guest from the military installation. “Yes, Mister Stuart, thank you. Although I miss my every-day life… But I can understand why you may want to be cautious.”
The Doctor looked quizzically at the girl; maybe she was some kind of super-evolved human? An hybrid of some kind? She seemed way too polite and understanding for a teenager from Earth… he retrieved from his coat his sonic screwdriver, and started examining from afar the “specimen”; when he didn’t get the result he hoped for, he turned to face Donna, who was looking at him with open arms, like to say, so, now what?
“ Alistaire, my mate, I hate to break it to you, but the only peculiar thing about this young woman here is her politeness.”
Alistaire face-palmed, grunting. “I know it, Doctor. She is not what…” Miss Peterson politeness vanished as soon as he said the word “what”, and she stepped onto the military’s left feet. “Who! This is not who I was talking about! I’m sorry!”
Miss Peterson crossed her arms, and hummed satisfied, her expression the same as she had just won a war and not acted like the childish creature the Doctor had believed she wasn’t. “All right, then. Brian? You can come out now!”
Alistaire sighed at closed eyes, sweating profoundly, and both Donna and the Doctor looked shocked right before them as soon as they heard an all too familiar sound; even before he could see the creature, the Doctor lifted his screwdriver, ready to open fire and stop one of his arch-nemesis from committing any kind of atrocities or even just think about hurting any of his friends.
“THE. DOCTOR?!! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!” The Dalek started screaming as soon as he detected The Doctor’s presence; it was marching towards the Space-man, but before he could even think about hurting him, Miss Peterson placed herself in front of him, arms crossed over her chest and an expression that said that she was mad and/or disappointed with the alien.
“Brian! What did we say about exterminating?” She said, lifted a perfect eyebrow. The Doctor looked at her astonished. Wow- she sounded like a general.
“EXTERMINATING. IS. BAD. MOLLY. IS GOOD. I. WILL. LISTEN. TO. MOLLY.ALWAYS”
“What the…?” Donna asked, her eyes as huge as saucers.
Molly turned towards them, patting “Brain” on the head like he was a puppy, and smiled at the group. “Lady. Gentleman. This is my old friend, Brian Moore. Brian and I used to go to school together before the invasion.”
Alistaire rolled his eyes. “Mister Moore had a crush on our dear Molly here.”
“Oh My.” The Doctor went closer to the Dalek, cautious, making sure that he was always behind Molly.
“One day, I went out looking for food, but I stumbled upon a group of Daleks; I was running, but I fell and hurt myself badly; I thought they were going to assimilate me as well, but then, just as they were ready to… take me, this one here opens fire on the others; I lost my senses, and went I came back, he had taken me in some shelter and was going all, like,” She cleared her voice, and made her best Dalek impression. “PROTECT. MOLLY.”
The Doctor chuckled. “Well, well, well, hello Mister Moore. Do you know that right now you are the most important Dalek in all of history?” He turned to Donna, and tinkered with his screwdriver and pointed it at Brian as to get some decent reading. “My, my, my… something went wrong and they couldn’t reconvert him fully. He maintained a good part of his humanity… do you understand what it means? Ah, the things we could do, were we to understand what happened into this tiny brain of his!”