30 April 2009
The Dalek Crucible
Jack couldn’t believe his eyes.
He turned to the Doctor, who was being held within some sort of force field, and then back to the open door of the TARDIS. The Doctor who was stepping out of it wore a blue suit, different from the one on the current, captive Doctor, and there was something different about him…Jack couldn’t put his finger on it.
Was this some future version of the man standing, illuminated in the light of the energy field that surrounded him? Had the Doctor crossed his own time stream to come back and defeat Davros and the Dalek Empire he’d created?
But that was the TARDIS…the same TARDIS he’d seen destroyed within the heart of the Crucible. How has she survived that? Had she gone forward into the future to fetch this Doctor and bring him there, in the nick of time, before the Reality Bomb was due to detonate?
“This is impossible!” Davros practically screamed. The mad genius behind the Daleks looked gobsmacked at the appearance of a Second Doctor, so much so his chair moved back from the Time Lord in a move that had to have been unconscious.
“That is so brilliant!” Rose exclaimed.
The Doctor, however – the one in the cell – didn’t look at all happy at the doppelganger striding away from the TARDIS.
Jack stood up, taking his own step away from the second Doctor, so shocked that he was staring at them both in a mixture of surprise and horror. Two different Doctors…two different timelines…so much could go wrong with this that he wanted nothing more than to toss the one back into the TARDIS and send him on his way, despite the fact that he was there to save the day.
The second Doctor stopped a short distance from the open TARDIS, hands on his hips. “Davros!” he called out, his dark eyes in full Oncoming Storm mode, and yet there was a teasing smirk on his face. “Nice place you’ve got here, although the decorations could use a bit of improvement.”
“Doctor,” Davros greeted, sounding far more mad than he had up until that point. Having two Doctors in the same room must be tipping him over into full-blown insanity. Just how did someone react when his enemy was in the same place, in two different ways?
“Is that a future version or a past one?” Martha whispered.
Jack turned to look at her; she’d also stood, her own eyes watching the confrontation play out in front of them. “No idea, Nightingale,” he answered honestly, “but this isn’t a good thing despite the fact that he’s most likely here to save all our asses and the planets the Daleks stole. There’s no telling what this is doing to the timelines.”
In the background, Jack would hear the countdown to detonation. It was like a death knell at the edge of his consciousness. It would be anytime now, so the Doctor needed to get a move on if he was going to save the rest of the universe.
He eyed the pair of Daleks that were on guard within the chamber. They had their eyestalks on their creator and the second Doctor. Jack took a step toward one of them, and then another, knowing he wouldn’t be able to overpower one on his own but needing to be in position for whatever the Doctor had up his pinstriped sleeve.
“How are you here?” Davros was demanding. It was something Jack wanted to know as well. “The TARDIS was destroyed.”
The Doctor made a rude noise with his lips. “Like being dropped into zed-neutrino energy is enough to do that! You and your Daleks have seriously underestimated me, Davros.”
“Then it is time I stopped doing that!”
With those words, Davros lifted his single hand, pointing the metal-covered index finger toward the Doctor. From its tip a jagged bolt of energy shot out, striking the second Doctor high on the chest, tossing him back toward the control console that was lurking against the wall.
The gasp that echoed through the chamber was loud, as it came from several different people.
The second Doctor didn’t move.
Davros began to cackle maniacally.
The bolt of energy that erupted from the open door of the TARDIS slammed into Davros, the force of it pushing him backward uncontrollably, until he stopped near the rear wall.
The countdown to detonation reached zero.
Jack barely had time to register Clint stepping out of the TARDIS, strange weapon in hand, followed by Donna, the redhead running toward the fallen Doctor, when the Reality Bomb went off.
However, something strange happened.
Suddenly, green fire flared into life, surrounding Davros. The creator of the Daleks began to scream, a high, electronically tinged sound of rage and pain.
The two Daleks in the chamber exploded.
The sound of Daleks in distress rang throughout the Crucible, followed closely by bursts of sound that could only be every single one of them detonating.
“What have you done?” the Doctor demanded as the forcefield around him spluttered brightly, then collapsed.
Donna was helping the other Doctor to his feet, and she rolled her eyes. “Oh, hi Donna! Nice to see you’re still alive, Donna. Thanks for helping to save our arses, Donna!”
Jack wanted to hug her.
Instead, he began ushering everyone toward the TARDIS. Daleks all over the Crucible were being destroyed, and he didn’t want anyone caught in the middle of all that destruction. There was no telling just what that would do to the structural integrity of the space station and he wasn’t about to risk losing anyone just when it looked as if they were all going to get out of this alive.
Already the Crucible was shuddering under the assault of so many Daleks being destroyed practically all at once.
“Hey, boss.” Clint came up to him, resting the odd gun-shaped device on his shoulder. It should have made him seem like a cocky bastard, but instead the SHIELD agent merely looked competent.
Jack had no choice but to hug him.
Clint gave an, “Oof!” of surprise, but hugged him back, one-armed.
“Don’t ever do that to me again!” Jack ordered as he pulled away. “I’ve been sweating bullets on how I was going to explain to Agent Coulson how I got you killed.”
Clint blushed a little. “Well, you’re off the hook. Let’s say we get shit done and then go home? I need some of Ianto’s coffee like most people need air.”
Jack had to laugh at that, even though he was very much worried about his mate. There was no telling what the energies being channelled between the planets was doing to Ianto, or to Alice and Toshiko and the other Great Dragon Friends.
Yeah, it was time to get shit done, as Clint had so eloquently put it, and then go home.