Welcome to the DVD commentary for "Necessity". This isn't a DVD, no, but in the style of voice-over commentaries on DVDs, I am going to give you a commentary about this story, interjecting sections in this style, to make my comments.
I was inspired by TaraLJC to actually make a "title" artwork for this story. I did a couple of attempts which were just Daisy on her own, which I think I deleted as crap. Then I tried again, and here it is. This one, as you can see, ended up being a picture of Rose and Daisy staring at each other head-to-head, and I realized that it was going to be a lot more confrontational than the stupidly nice plot I'd originally envisaged. So I then I changed the title of the story from "Liberation" to "Necessity" and went and looked up a whole bunch of quotes about necessity.
by Kathryn A
Summary:There is no Bad Wolf. Rose has to get back to the Doctor the hard way.
Spoilers: all of Season 1 of New Who (aka Season 28), especially "The Parting of the Ways" and "Dalek"; some dialogue is taken from those episodes.
Category: Alternative Universe
Author's notes at the end.
This was the most difficult and stressful story I've ever written. I had decided to organize the "finish-a-thon"; a ficathon for all those people who like participating in ficathons, but find that ficathons then take all the time and energy away from working on their own projects. So what if there was a ficathon for their own projects? To make it like a ficathon, there was a deadline, and an element of "writing for other people", by having the participants vote for which project one should work on and finish.
So here we were, with the inaugural finish-a-thon, and this was the story that people voted for me to write. Unfortunately, half the writing period was in December, and what with Christmas stuff (family visiting and so on) I really wasn't able to get a lot done in December. But I thought, hey, plenty of time. But by the end of the first week in January, there was no longer plenty of time, and I knew that this was going to be a long story, and a difficult story, but, me being the organizer of the finish-a-thon, I absolutely had to finish it, no matter what.
Another aspect of it was that I wanted to get it finished before I saw any episodes with Ten, because I wanted to write it while Nine was still, in my heart, the "current" Doctor, rather than the "previous" Doctor.
Not only was there the time constraint, but I was worrying about the implausibility, because if you had just looked at a plot summary of this, you'd be rolling your eyes "oh yeah, like I'd believe that a Dalek could reform and save the day"...
There were lots and lots of hurdles to overcome before I could get those pigs airborne.
Thus followed three very stressful weeks of writing, writing, writing; ringing up my friend Jonathan and discussing and sorting out plot problems, and reading scenes to him over the phone and rewriting them on the spot -- I really, truly couldn't have done it without Jonathan.
Chapter 1: Necessity Exists
-- Liaden saying
After I decided that the title was "Necessity", I looked up a lot of quotes about necessity, to put at the start of the different sections of the story. This one, however, I didn't have to look up; I remembered it from the Liaden universe stories (by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, highly recommended).
The sense of the Liaden saying is that, if questioned on a course of action, and their answer is "Necessity exists", then the questioning stops, for no amount of argument or persuasion will turn them from that course; the action is necessary (usually for the good of the clan) and thus it will be done.
I thought that was very fitting for this first section of the story.
A miracle doesn't always happen in an instant. Sometimes it takes hard work, time and perseverance. When time is not bent, there is no Bad Wolf to set things right, only Rose.
While I did love the interconnectedness and symbolism of "Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways", I thought that whipping up a deus-ex-vortex was a bit of a cop-out; and also I didn't want Nine to die, I wanted to save his life. So, the above paragraph summarizes the entire goal of this story -- how can one save the day if there is no Bad Wolf, only Rose? Impossible? No, just very difficult.
The sky is grey, as it always is, as it always was here before the Doctor came into her life. The wooden bench is hard, as she stares at nothing.
"You can't spend the rest of your life thinking about the Doctor." Mickey had followed her from the chip shop.
Here lies the first challenge; to re-tell the scene where Rose, in the original, got the "Bad Wolf" message, without there being a "Bad Wolf" message, and still have her be encouraged to Do Something.
And also to retell it so that it wasn't boring.
"How do I forget him?" she replied. The words echoed through her head, from the Doctor's message to her: I'm dead, or about to die any second, with no chance of escape.
"You've gotta start livin' your own life," Mickey said. "Y'know, a proper life like the kind he's never had. The sort of life that you could have with me."
She knew what Mickey wanted, but she couldn't give it to him. She stared at the asphalt in front of her, eyes following the curves and curlicues of the word written in chalk at her feet. "Eternity," she muttered.
And here is the spark, the thing that prompts her encouragement. Still something written in chalk at her feet, but not "Bad Wolf".
Mickey glanced down. "Oh, yeah, I heard about that. Some guy went around writing that on pavements everywhere. I think he's dead or something. Must be a copycat."
Yes, there was such a person, but I couldn't remember the details. But I reckoned that Mickey probably couldn't remember the details either.
"Eternity," Rose repeated. Her heart lifted. "Eternity!"
"What are you going on about?"
"The TARDIS is a time machine!" Rose said, leaping to her feet. "I've got plenty of time!"
"That's just what Jackie was sayin', it hasn't happened yet --"
"I can get back, I know I can get back. Get back and help him escape. Ten seconds later." She ran, on feet light with hope.
"Ten seconds later" refers to what Rose said to Jackie at the end of "World War Three", that she could travel with the Doctor and come back ten seconds later. Which of course she didn't. But this time...
"Nuts," Mickey muttered, but she was already gone.
Originally there were a few more scenes in here, exactly mirroring the scenes that happened in the episode. Both my betas persuaded me that they weren't needed, and made the story drag, so I cut them out.
The sky was still grey. There was a black stain on the road next to the TARDIS, and the smell of burnt rubber lingered faintly in the air. Rose and Mickey leaned against the bonnet of Mickey's mini, staring at the TARDIS.
"There's gotta be something else we can do," Mickey said.
"Mum was right. Maybe we should just lock the door and walk away." Let the TARDIS die. Let this old box gather dust.
"I'm not havin' that," Mickey said with a frown. "I'm not havin' you just give up now, no way. We just need to... to do something different, maybe."
"Like what? A bigger car?"
And here is another notable change: rather than Mickey suggesting they use a bigger truck, he suggests that they try a different approach. Because, of course, in a non Bad-Wolf universe, a different approach is necessary.
"How'd the thing open up the first time?"
"The extrapolator tore open the rift," Rose said. "The rift! In Cardiff! It's still there! We need to take the TARDIS to Cardiff!"
This is a reference to "Boom Town". I can't remember whether it was deliberate to start with, but by the end, I'd managed to put in a reference to every Ninth-Doctor adventure.
Mickey eyed the TARDIS. "I suppose we could load it up on a tow-truck," he began, then both their eyes were drawn to the rumbling sound of an engine, as a large tow-truck turned the corner towards them. "Like that one."
Their eyes widened as the truck stopped and Jackie got out of the front seat.
"I tried to get the rescue truck but it was only free until six. Gotta get this back nine sharp tomorrow, so get on with it," Jackie said.
Another change -- since we needed a reason why Jackie turns up with what they need; a tow truck rather than the original rescue truck.
"How'd you know we needed to take the TARDIS to Cardiff?" Mickey said.
"Cardiff? I thought you wanted to break it open?" Jackie said.
"Plan B," Mickey said.
"Mum, where the hell'd you get that from?" Rose burst out.
"Rodrigo, he owes me a favour, never mind why," Jackie said, "but you were right about your Dad, sweetheart. He was full of mad ideas, and it's exactly what he would have done." She tossed the keys to Mickey. "Get on with it, before I change my mind."
It was a long drive to Cardiff, mostly in silence. The tow truck was of the kind which tipped up and the car was pulled up and carried on the back, but it had still taken all three of them to get the TARDIS on board. Rose kept on looking at the TARDIS chained up behind, wondering if it was secure.
"It's not gonna fall off," Mickey said. "And if it did, it probably wouldn't have a scratch."
"Yeah, he said the hordes of Genghis Khan couldn't get in, and they'd tried."
This is a reference to "Rose", where the Doctor assures Rose that they were safe inside the TARDIS while the faux-Mickey was creating mayhem outside.
They lapsed into silence again.
"This better be the right spot," Mickey said.
"We're lucky this is a public square," Rose said. "Back in 1869 this was a morgue."
And here's a reference to "The Unquiet Dead".
The paving of the square still showed signs of the earthquake that had rocked Cardiff when the rift had begun to open when they'd been there before. The Teigr Bae Atomic Plant project was on indefinite hold. With the mayor missing, presumed dead, all the irregularities had been coming to light and the project would probably be scrapped altogether.
Another reference to "Boom Town". Note that, since there is no "Bad Wolf", then the atomic plant could no longer be named "Bad Wolf" in Welsh. So it had to be named something else. So I asked folks on LJ to suggest names, and "Teigr Bae" was the one I picked.
"Let's get that chain," Rose said. Mickey unhooked the chain from where it had been winched up again, and they both entered the TARDIS.
The air flickered, and the image of the Doctor appeared.
"This is Emergency Program One."
"What?" Mickey gaped.
"Rose, now listen, this is important. If this message is activated then it can only mean one thing: we must be in danger, and I mean fatal. I'm dead, or about to die any second, with no chance of escape."
I sat down and transcribed a number of critical scenes from "Parting of the Ways" and "Dalek" for this story. Including the entire "Emergency Program One" speech.
"I have to get back," Rose whispered.
"And that's okay, hope it's a good death. But I promised to look after you, and that's what I'm doing. The TARDIS is taking you home. And I bet you're fussin' and moanin' now. Typical!"
"He got that right," Mickey muttered.
"But hold on, and just listen a bit more. The TARDIS can never return for me. Emergency Program One means I'm facing an enemy that should never get their hands on this machine. So this is what you should do: let the TARDIS die. Just let this old box gather dust. No one can open it, no one will even notice it. Let it become a strange little thing standing on a street corner. And over the years, the world will move on, and the box will be buried. And if you want to remember me, then you can do one thing, that's all, one thing: have a good life. Do that for me, Rose, have a fantastic life."
"He's right," Mickey said. "It's not just your life you'd be riskin'"
"I can't let him die, Mickey!" Rose said. "Give me that chain!"
Mickey handed it to her, and she looped it around the edge of the console. He trooped out the door, and she could hear him starting up the truck's engine. The chain tautened, then strained.
"Open up, you've got to listen to me," Rose said. The engine whined, the console creaked with stress.
And a deep bell started ringing.
Rose's head snapped up. "The cloister bell! Oh no!"
I had to have something actually stop Rose from cracking open the TARDIS, and I reckoned that, since cracking open the TARDIS is actually dangerous and destructive, that the Cloister Bell could well start ringing as a warning. (I can't remember the first time the Cloister Bell came up -- was it in the 4th Doctor era?)
Now, according to the 2005 "Children In Need" special scene, Rose did not know what the ringing of the Cloister Bell meant (since she asks the Doctor what it means). But for the purposes of this story -- and I can't remember whether I'd seen the CIN special yet when I was writing this anyway -- I simply have to assert that she had heard it before, and she did know what it meant.
She tried to unhook the chain, but it was pulled too tight. "I'm sorry!"
Rose is actually apologizing to the TARDIS here.
She dashed out the door, yelling, "Mickey, stop! Stop it!" She hammered at the window of the truck. "Stop!"
Mickey stopped the engine. "What you want me to stop for?"
"The cloister bell is ringing. We have to stop."
"Huh? What's a bell got to do with it? I don't hear anything."
"Of course not, it's inside the TARDIS," she said. "It rings when the TARDIS itself is in danger."
"In danger? What's the danger?"
"We are," Rose said.
Mickey opened his mouth, and shut it again. "We're wrecking it, aren't we?"
Rose nodded and ran back into the TARDIS, Mickey following.
"Is it okay?" He could hear the bell ringing once he stepped inside.
Rose shrugged. "How should I know?" She unhooked the chain.
The bell stopped.
"Looks like the TARDIS knows what you're doing, anyway," Mickey said.
"You're right!" Rose said. "It's listening!" She hit the console with her fist. "Why won't you take me back?" she addressed it.
"Needs someone at the controls, don't it?" Mickey said. "It may be alive, but what if it's like a horse -- needs somebody to steer?"
"It's more intelligent than that," Rose said.
"Well, maybe it's just stubborn, then," Mickey said. "If you want this to go anywhere, you gotta do it the hard way -- learn how it works."
Rose looked at the controls with dismay. "I don't know anything about this stuff! I wouldn't know where to start!"
"Well," Mickey said, "you could start with your A-levels."
Rose started with her A-levels. She moved to Cardiff, living inside the TARDIS, which still sat over the rift. She figured that the fuel of the rift would stop the TARDIS fading away, keep it awake. She moved in so that the TARDIS wouldn't forget her, would keep listening. And also because it saved on rent. Nobody looked at her twice when she went in and out of it every day; there seemed to be something about the TARDIS that made people ignore it, just as they'd ignored it the last time it had been parked in the Millennium Square.
One of my betas pointed out that I'd better put a little note in to say that people took no notice of the TARDIS.
Mickey would have been willing to share, though. He moved to Cardiff too, though he denied it was just to be with her. "Maybe I need a fresh start," he said. "My rep at home isn't that great, is it? Maybe it's better to be somewhere where the cops don't think I'm a murderer."
Rose didn't try to dissuade him. It was good to have someone there, someone who knew, someone to grouse with, someone to watch telly with, even though they often didn't want to watch the same things.
Studying was hard. Maths, physics and chemistry weren't soft subjects, and though she'd done well in her GSCE, they hadn't been her prime studies. But she couldn't start the TARDIS by speaking French at it. Sometimes, when the numbers scrawled on the page looked like dancing sticks, she'd just sit in the console room on a second-hand beanbag, listening to the Doctor's message. It only ever seemed to come on when it was needed, when she had to remind herself why she was doing this.
There was something canonical or extra-canonical that Rose had done well in school, but she'd dropped out to live with a guy called Jimmy (Stones?).
I also deduced that she'd studied French, because Jackie had put about the rumour that Rose was abroad in France (I can't remember exactly when, but it was somewhere). I figured that Jackie wouldn't say that if Rose didn't know any French at all. But, of course, knowing French is pretty useless when one has a telepathic Time Machine that does all the translating for you.
She studied history as an act of faith; faith that she would succeed, and travel through time and space again.
"Though they get it wrong," Rose complained to Mickey. "Like the newspapers. Pretend things didn't happen, make them up."
"Yeah, they still think the Slitheen thing was a hoax. And all the other stuff," Mickey said. "I took over Clive's website, y'know."
This is a reference to the extra-canonical website which the BBC created, http://www.whoisdoctorwho.co.uk/ which was purpoted to be Clive's website (from "Rose") and they then updated it with the fiction that it had been taken over by Mickey after Clive died.
"You?" Rose laughed. "You, running a conspiracy site?"
"Well, he was right, wasn't he?" Mickey said. "The Doctor is trouble."
"He's not immortal, though," Rose said, soberly.
"No," said Mickey. "He isn't." He patted her shoulder.
She smiled, and went back to her history books.
"Rose?" Mickey said after a few minutes.
"What were you doing at Stuart Hoskins' wedding?" Mickey asked.
This was the wedding in "Father's Day". There is also some sections on the abovementioned website where Mickey speculates about what was going on, referencing wedding footage which showed the Doctor and Rose being there.
"You were there, the day your Dad died," Mickey said. "You're on the wedding video, though nobody can remember you, can't remember the wedding at all. What were you doing there? Did he have something to do with your Dad's death?"
She slapped him. "Don't you dare! Don't you dare!"
He put his hand to his cheek. "What happened? Tell me."
"It was my fault, don't you blame him!"
"Your fault your father died?"
"My fault he didn't die," Rose said. "I changed history by saving his life. History fought back. Nearly destroyed the world. Don't you remember anything? You were there."
"Something..." Mickey said. "I was scared of monsters. Ran to the church," he said slowly. "But I was just a kid, making things up."
"The monsters were real," Rose said. "Cleaning up the wound, the Doctor said. They made people disappear. Because my Dad didn't die like he was supposed to."
"So the Doctor killed him."
"No!" She raised her hand and Mickey ducked. "My Dad, he..." she broke off, eyes full of tears. "He knew what he had to do, and he did it. He died a hero, he saved the world." Tears trickled down her face. "And nobody knows it but me and the Doctor."
This, of course, is describing what happened in "Father's Day".
"Where's the disc, Mickey?"
"What disc? The one with your computer homework?"
"The one the Doctor gave you," Rose said. "The one that would wipe him from the Internet."
"Dunno what you're talking about," he mumbled, but he didn't meet her eyes.
"Mickey, if you're going to hide something, it's rather stupid to talk about it on a website."
In the episode "World War Three", the Doctor gives Mickey a disc containing a computer virus which will wipe all trace of the Doctor from the Internet, and asks him to use it. On the section of Mickey's website related to this adventure, Mickey mentions the CD, and says he hasn't used it.
"Oh, that disc," he said.
"Give it here," she said.
"What's it matter if I didn't use it when he asked?" Mickey said. "People deserve to know!"
"What, and I deserve to have people stalking me, reporting when they see me having a drink in a pub?"
"You were missing, Rose, they thought I'd killed you! Of course I wanted to find out where you were!"
"How many times do I have to say sorry?" she said. "And you don't have to look for me now, I'm right here."
"For how long, Rose?" Mickey said.
"As long as it takes," she said. "But you don't need to be plastering pictures of me and him all over the Internet."
"People deserve to know," he said.
"People like Henry van Statten?" Rose said. "I can't believe you interviewed him!"
On Mickey's website, yes, there is an interview with Henry van Statten, who was the evil tycoon in the episode "Dalek". Since Henry quite obviously hadn't heard of and didn't recognise the Doctor or Rose in the episode (which was set in 2012), and yet I was treating this website as part of the canon for this story, I needed to resolve the problem of making sure that Henry van Statten still didn't recognise Rose and the Doctor, even though the existance of the website and the interview on same would make it actually very probable that van Statten ought to have recognised them.
"Why not? He's a prominent businessman who isn't afraid to say he believes in aliens."
"Of course he believes in aliens -- he collects them!"
"I know he collects alien artifacts, he said so in the interview."
"That's when he can't get real live aliens, lock them up, and torture them," Rose snapped.
"He tortured the Doctor? I don't believe it!"
"He hadn't gotten around to torturing the Doctor," Rose said. "I don't think he did, anyway. But he tortured the Dalek."
Note that at this point Rose didn't know that van Statten also painfully scanned the Doctor (which could count as torture) because she was busy with Adam at that point.
"One of the things the Doctor's fighting in 200,000 was here? Probably deserved it, it's a thing."
"He tortured it because it wouldn't speak to him," Rose said. "That's all. Just because it wouldn't speak to him. Even a Dalek doesn't deserve that."
It is very important that Rose not have lost her sympathy for this particular Dalek...
"I'm not so sure about that," Mickey muttered.
"You have to give me that disc, Mickey," Rose said. "Run that program, or everything could go wrong."
"What do you mean, everything could go wrong?"
"You interviewed van Statten. But he can't have bothered to look at your site, yet, because he didn't recognise us."
"What do you mean? You're not making sense."
Rose sighed. "We met van Statten in 2012, Mickey. It hasn't happened yet. But if it doesn't happen the way it did, we'll be changing history. And changing history means the end of the world."
"Like what happened at Stuart Hoskins' wedding?"
"Like that, only there'd be nothing obvious to do to put it right."
"Wait a minute, this is rubbish," Mickey protested. "How can you change history when it isn't history? It hasn't happened yet."
"Neither has 200,000 years in the future, but the Doctor couldn't change that either."
"Did you ask him?"
"Yeah, I asked him. That's when he sent me back."
"I'll get the disc."
"To Rose, for passing her A-Levels!" Mickey said, gulping at his beer. The bar was crowded, full of other students celebrating, or commiserating, over beer and peanuts. Mickey and Rose had managed to get a small table near the front of the room, still within blaring distance of the pub's TV screen.
"Y'already said that," Rose said, a little tipsy herself.
"I'll say it again if I want," Mickey said.
"'S not enough, y'know," Rose said, suddenly gloomy. "A-Levels not enough."
"Wadda ya mean, not enough?" Mickey said. "You did well."
"Doesn't tell me how to fly the TARDIS," she said. "Just tells me how not to 'lectrocute myself. Just tells me Time Travel's not possible. Never gonna work."
Which is totally true. Passing her A-Levels, or even studying at a university level aren't going to tell her how to fly the TARDIS.
"Don't say that," Mickey said. He put an arm over her shoulder, awkwardly patting it. Rose shrugged it off, and stared dismally at her glass.
Mickey looked up at the TV above the bar, which was showing images of mud-spattered players running and kicking a white and black ball over a wet field. "Wish I knew what they were sayin'. Bloody ST4."
"What d'you mean?" Rose said. "They just said Manchester lost by 4."
"You didn't say you'd learnt Welsh as well," Mickey said.
"Didn't learn Welsh, didn't have time," Rose said.
Mickey stared at her. "But that's ST4, it's all Welsh," he said, pointing at the television.
Rose blinked. "You sure? You're not making fun of me?"
Mickey shook his head. "No."
Rose looked up at the television, down at Mickey, and then smiled slowly as it dawned on her. "Yes!" She gave Mickey a hug.
Mickey hugged her back, never one to look a gift hug in the mouth. "Um, you suddenly remembered you learnt Welsh?" he said, puzzled.
"No, I didn't learn it." Rose was grinning. "It's the TARDIS, it has to be!"
"The TARDIS taught you Welsh?"
"Kind of," Rose said. "Remember I said it was telepathic? That's how we know the language wherever we go -- the TARDIS translates everything telepathically. If I understand Welsh, it's 'cause the TARDIS is doing it, because I don't know Welsh myself. The TARDIS is with me!"
The language thing will become important later.
"It still won't take you back, though," Mickey said.
"No, but maybe it's saying that I shouldn't give up, y'know?" She sighed. "But how am I going to do that? Nobody here can teach me how to fly the TARDIS, because nobody here knows a thing about it."
"Well, maybe you should find somebody who can teach you."
(evil grin) Yep, Mickey, you've got the good ideas...
"I dunno!" Mickey shrugged. "Another time traveller?"
"And how am I going to find one?" Rose moaned. "The problem with time travellers is that you know where they've been, but not where they're going to be."
"Unless they've already been there," Mickey said slowly. "You said you've already been to 2012, didn't you?"
"I can't waltz up to the Doctor in 2012 and say 'hey, teach me how to fly the TARDIS because you're going to strand me here in the face of certain death, oh and hello Rose, meet Rose!' Been there, done that, destroyed the world, remember?"
"What about that Jack guy? Is he turning up anywhere around here?"
Rose frowned. "Not that I can remember. We met in World War Two -- and besides, same problem: we hadn't met before, so we can't meet in his past, and I don't know his future 'cause he's stuck on the same stupid space station as the Doctor!"
"Maybe one of the UNIT people? The Doctor worked with them in the past..."
"Most of the experts got killed by the Slitheen, remember? And why would he have told any of them how to work the TARDIS? He didn't tell me." She sighed.
Generally speaking, it didn't appear to be the Doctor's policy to teach his companions how to fly the TARDIS. Romana could, of course, and Adric appeared to have figured out how to pre-program the TARDIS, but while the Doctor did seem to be teaching Nyssa and Tegan how to do things like help him set coordinates, they couldn't actually fly it by themselves (in "Castrovalva", when it appeared that Tegan had set the course, it was actually a pre-programmed course which had been set by Adric).
One of the implications of this is that you need to be a mathematical genius or a Time Lord just to be able to understand enough to be able to control the TARDIS properly. Thus I had Daisy doing most of the work and Rose assisting her, when they were actually flying the TARDIS.
"Anyone else you can think of? Aliens, even?"
"Yeah, well, I can think of one alien that would know, or probably be able to figure it out, but it's going to kill itself, so that's pointless."
"What alien?" Mickey asked.
"The Dalek," Rose said. "Van Statten's Dalek."
"Well, it would know," Rose said.
"But those things are evil," Mickey said.
"Not this one, not completely," Rose said musingly. "It was part human, you see. Part me. It wanted to be free."
"Yeah, well so did Margaret the Slitheen, that didn't make her good!" Mickey said. "If the Doctor hadn't mucked up her tele-thingy, she'd have been off like a flash."
I love this bit, because it killed two birds with one stone: it pointed out that wanting freedom doesn't make you good, and it reminds Rose of the matter transmitter/teleport device, which is one of the keystones of the Cunning Plan that I came up with.
Rose's eyes widened. "What did you say?"
"I said Margaret the Slitheen was evil."
"No, not that," Rose interrupted him. "You said about her teleport thing..." Rose put her chin in her hand and stared at nothing. After about five minutes, she sat back.
"I think I have a plan," she said.
"What plan?" Mickey asked.
She told him.
But not the reader, of course. (evil grin) They only get to find out as the story unfolds.
"Are you completely nuts?" he exclaimed. "That is freakin' insane!"
"I could do it," Rose said. "I'll be careful."
"Careful? Careful?" Mickey said. "One slip and the world is toast! I can't believe you carried on about that stupid disc, and now you're sayin' you want to do something ten times worse! How could you?"
Hopefully this intrigues the reader; Mickey's complaint makes perfect sense when you know what he's complaining about, but at the same time, doesn't tell the reader what Rose's plan is, except that it's dangerous, and might possibly change history.
"Because I have to."
"No, you don't have to," Mickey said. "If something's impossible, it's impossible. If the Doctor was here he'd be the first to tell you to stop bein' so stupid."
"Well, he's not here, that's the bleedin' point!"
"You're not doing it, I won't let you."
"Don't you dare tell me what do do, Mickey Smith!" She poured her drink over his head and stormed out.
He thought he'd give her a week to calm down. But when he went to the Millennium square, the TARDIS was gone.
I needed Mickey out of the way. Rose cut herself off from Mickey because she didn't want him to persuade her not to carry out her plan.
Chapter 2: Learning Not To Be Good
"Therefore it is necessary to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge and not use it, according to the necessity of the cause."
Rose here is learning how not to be good...
December 16th, 2011
Adam took another gulp at his glass of eggnog. He never thought he'd appreciate anything from the England he'd left behind, or his dead-end family, but at least his mother knew how to make a decent eggnog. Still, he supposed he should consider himself lucky that van Statten was giving them a Christmas party at all.
One problem with working at a top secret base, Adam thought, was that even at a Christmas party, the assemblage was dominated by geeks and security, neither of which had very many women in their number.
I don't expect that the dearth of women in computing will have been improved by 2011.
Now, there was one, frowning by the punchbowl. Pity about the hair: plain-Jane brown and looked like it had been cut with a hacksaw. The glasses didn't help either. Not that he was against glasses as such, but did she have to steal them from Clark Kent?
I like the "steal them from Clark Kent" line. (grin)
"Who's that?" he asked Mark Wingard next to him.
"Betty Schultz. Don't bother."
And here we introduce Betty Schultz... The name (and the New York accent) was Jonathan's idea. I can't remember which of us decided that she was in computer security.
"Why not? She's not exactly ugly..."
"Yeah, but she's got a Bronx accent that'll bend metal. She's about as much fun as a security audit. No, she's less fun than a security audit: she gets off on security audits. I mean, there's loving your work and there's being your work, and if she has a single thought in her head that doesn't relate to security, then it has yet to be found."
"That doesn't sound too bad -- I mean, geek girls are good, right?"
"Look, I got stuck in a lift with her once: it was the longest ten minutes of my life. Trust me."
"She's got to have some hobbies, surely?"
"Yeah, if you can call it a hobby: she's the captain of the company paint-ball team."
The paint-ball team mention is there on purpose. It comes in handy later.
"If you're trying to scare me off, you're not succeeding."
Mark shrugged. "It's your funeral."
But when Adam got to the drinks table, she was gone.
Betty Schultz stood in the lift. Nothing but her elevated heart-rate would have indicated that anything was amiss. The slight frown on her face was her usual expression.
She stepped out at the "top" floor, the one at ground level. Her expression lightened a fraction as she saw the exit guard.
"Hi Melvin," she said.
He looked up from the consoles upon which multiple images displayed. "Leavin' the party early?"
She shrugged. "You can keep that stuff. Hadta go, didn't mean I hadta stay." She leaned over the console. "How's the DC2200 going? Good colour?"
He smiled wryly. "34 million colours, but the motion detectors go off every time the aircon starts up."
"Crap," she said. "Better switch 'em off, then. We still got touch-sensors in the museum wing, don't we?"
"Yeah, installed last month. They're working fine."
I had to explain why, with state-of-the-art security, and closed-circuit cameras, nobody saw how the Doctor arrived in "Dalek", nor did they detect his presence until he touched the display case.
"They'll do," she said. "For now." She straightened up. "Off home for me." She swiped her card at the door, and went out into the chill desert night.
Half an hour later, a dusty Ford pulled up at an apartment block at the borders of the metropolis known as Salt Lake City. It wasn't the better part of town, semi-industrial, and on Betty's salary she certainly could have afforded something nicer. But for her needs, there was nothing better.
Of course, she's using her salary for other purposes, such as setting up a house in Nowheresville, USA.
She got out of the car, locked it, and went into the building. Up one flight of stairs, into a dingy apartment, dusty and musty. There were no pictures on the walls, and no knickknacks on the shelves. The furniture was a bare minimum. It might have been her apartment, but it could never have been called a home.
Because her home was the TARDIS, of course. (grin)
Ten minutes after she entered the building, Betty Schultz was climbing down the fire escape. She did it easily, unhurriedly, as if it was something she did every day. Which, in fact, she did.
She emerged from the alley behind the building, walked two blocks, and entered a lot with a sign in front of it which said "Allen's 24-hour storage". She unlocked one of the shed-like buildings, turned on the light, stepped inside, closed and locked the door behind her, stepped up to the large blue cabinet inside, and unlocked its door. She reached behind her to turn out the light of the storage room. The light went out, but it was not wholly dark. A beam of warm yellow light streamed out of the "cabinet". She stepped inside it, and the door shut behind her. The room was plunged into darkness.
Inside the cabinet, the cabinet which was far larger inside than it was outside, Betty sighed and took off her glasses. "Dammit, that was too close!" she said. The words were pure London. "Of course Adam was going to be at the Christmas party! Stupid, stupid, stupid Rose," she berated herself. She sighed. "Well, he's off on a buying trip soon, and I won't have to worry."
Rose of course has to avoid Adam, since he isn't supposed to know that Betty Schultz is Rose. This is also a hint at the timeline, since in "Dalek", Adam says that he's just come back from a buying trip.
The TARDIS console room had a more lived-in look than it had when the Doctor had been there. A few sets of shelves were attached to the walls, a beanbag flopped on the floor, and a wheeled office chair stood by the console, a portable tool chest sitting beside it. A few strings of tinsel had been looped over the branches of the pillars, giving the room an incongruously festive air.
One reader asked "How did Rose get the TARDIS to America?" There are a few possibilities, but I didn't think it was worth explaining, just as I didn't want to go into the details of how Rose managed to get herself a job at van Statten's secret underground base.
Some of the possibilities:
(a) she got a loan, which she paid back later.
(b) she stole the money by reverse-engineering the Doctor's virus and using that to crack the financial system.
(c) she saved money on airfare to the USA by simply shipping the TARDIS by sea in a shipping container, and living inside the TARDIS for a few months without coming out.
Rose sat down in the chair and switched on the screen hanging above it. "Might as well see if my taps are still working..." A conventional 21-st century keyboard had been wired into the console at that point, and Rose typed in a few commands.
This is 2011. Rose has lived through all that time. She's certainly had enough time to learn how to do 21st-century electronics and computer security -- so I assert.
After a few seconds, the screen showed the same view that Melvin was looking at, many miles away; the security feeds for van Statten's secret base.
Rose smiled. "Like they say, most security breaches are an inside job."
Well, they are.
She could hear the whispers as she walked down the aisle: "Oh no, it's Betty Schultz." She frowned. God, I hate this job. Not just the role she had to play, but the whole place; the way the air was always chill and stale like a tomb, the pervasive attitude that the universe of wonder was just a collection of toys for van Statten to break.
The base was a tomb where van Statten despoiled the corpses of dreams.
She held her clipboard like a shield, and smoothed her face into expressionlessness. On with the show. She wondered how many times Jack had been undercover, and told herself she had it easy: at least she was still in her own time. Except that I don't want to be, she thought. Stiff upper lip, girl.
The techs sneaked glances at her while trying to carry on their work. She paused. "You know those cables are a health and safety issue, don't you?" she said to one hapless technician.
"It's only temporary," he said.
"That's what duct tape is for," she said. She looked at the cylinder he was scanning and froze. There was writing on it. Writing she could read, though it was in no Terrestrial language. Because of the TARDIS. The sense of the words that formed in her mind was: First Aid Kit.
This is the reason why I had to assert that the TARDIS's translation circuits were still working for Rose. She has to recognise the Chula first-aid kit, so that she can grab it (because she thinks it's very dangerous) and thus have it on hand later when it's needed...
As for the translation applying to written as well as spoken language, yes, I'd always assumed that it was spoken language only, but there are all these occassions when people are reading things, like "Bad Wolf" or even the teeny bit in "The End of the World" when the Doctor is handed a ticket by one of the blue munchkins which says "Have A Nice Day" on it. So there is canonical support for the TARDIS translating writing as well.
Of course, this point is also where The Christmas Invasion throws a spanner in the works, since it makes it canon that the TARDIS translation doesn't work if the Doctor isn't... available. Of course, one can tweak that by saying that, well, it only breaks down when the Doctor is in a coma from overdosing on Vortex energy, and is perfectly fine when the Doctor is still alive 200,000 years in the future. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
"Is there anything inside that?" she asked, trying to make her voice casual.
"No, it's a dud," he said. "Completely empty."
A shiver ran down her spine. That was the same mistake Jack had made with his Chula Ambulance. It seemed empty inside because it wasn't filled with machinery, it was full of nanogenes, microscopic robots so powerful they could rewrite human DNA without even blinking. Jack's Chula warship had blown up in 1941. But there was no reason why debris from that explosion couldn't have been drifting in space all this while, and one piece from that explosion... could have been a first aid kit.
This, of course, is a reference to the adventure "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances".
That little cannister could destroy humanity.
"It been opened? Maybe there's a crack or leak or something?" she said.
"No it's intact," he said. "You think there's some kind of gas inside?"
"If there is, your safety measures are inadequate," she said. "It will have to be transferred to Section 3."
She pulled out a form from her satchel and slid it onto her clipboard. "Fill this in, and sign at the bottom."
"I don't make the rules," she said.
She stood over him while he filled in the form and signed it. She gave him the carbon copy and picked up the cylinder. "Thank you," she said. "And go get some duct tape," she said as she left.
The next day, Item DX1847 was recorded in the base computers as having been destroyed. In reality, the cylinder was resting on a shelf in the room closest to the TARDIS console room. The Doctor could deal with it, when she got him back.
She's not allowing herself to believe that she won't get the Doctor back.
Rose rolled her eyes as she read the report on her screen. Project Gallium was a complete success.
This was originally called "Project Mercury", but I changed it to "Project Gallium" after AstroGirl pointed out that Project Mercury was part of the US space program. Liquid metal in either case, which I thought was fitting.
And, as usual, van Statten was suppressing the results. That didn't bother her one bit, so long as she could steal the prototype. After all, she was the one who had anonymously leaked the data to van Statten in the first place, just so that he would get a research team to crack it and make their own version. She knew she couldn't do it herself, that stuff was completely beyond her, even though the Doctor had whipped it up in an afternoon, according to the diary she'd found.
I love it when I can use already-existing canonical things to help solve my problems.
In this case, it's the anti-metal virus that the 4th Doctor brewed up in his first adventure, "Robot". The eponymous Robot was made of "living metal" which meant it was self-repairing. It seemed a reasonable extrapolation to me that Dalek armour might be made of similar stuff, considering how the Dalek in "Dalek" repaired itself. Which means one could use anti-metal virus against them.
Mind you, this whole Anti-Dalek gun thing got put in and taken out and put in and taken out at various points as Jonathan and I tried to think of a plausible way for it to be made.
The first problem to overcome was: how does Rose find out about the anti-metal virus? Well, it's reasonably canonical that the Doctor has at some point kept a diary (or perhaps at several points).
"I tried to keep a diary once - not chronological, of course - but the trouble with time travel is you never seem to find the time..."
-- The Doctor, The Caves of Androzani
So I extrapolated that the 4th Doctor kept a diary, and did mention the anti-metal virus, and probably some details about it, and that Rose found said diary.
But of course Rose isn't a chemical genius, so how could she make the formula herself? But wait! Isn't she working for a man who scavenges alien technology and makes it work? Who better for Rose to trick into doing the work for her?
I love it when a plan comes together.
She needed to figure out a better delivery system, though. Maybe a paintball gun...
In the episode "Robot", the Doctor had his anti-metal virus in a bucket, and simply threw it at the robot. Rose needs to have a better delivery system than a bucket. This is one reason I gave Rose paintball as a hobby.
T minus 6 days
Rose soldered the last connection. That should do. She placed the little lumpy object carefully on a tall stool, and then walked out of the workroom into the console room. She tapped in a few commands, smiled at what she saw on the screen, and then typed in another command. She crossed her fingers before pressing the Enter key. The stool appeared in a flash of light, tilted slightly and then righted itself.
Rose ran over to the stool and picked up the object which she'd cobbled together from Margaret/Blon Slitheen's teleport device, a bunch of sensors, and a high-frequency transmitter. Nothing damaged: good.
It was going to work.
Just because Rose had the teleport device, didn't mean she could control it remotely without modifications. I wanted to show that Rose was able to do that, and also that she was thorough enough to actually test the device before using it. Also, letting slip parts of the plan to the reader, bit by bit.
Some may ask "Where did she get the teleport device?" Well, I did rewatch "Boomtown" very carefully, and the Doctor was the last person to have the device, so it's reasonable to say that Rose found it in the TARDIS somewhere.
T minus 5 days
An inter-office memo envelope came down to the Cage. Sensors, for Metaltron was scrawled on the outside. Inside was a little lumpy object, and detailed instructions as to how the object should be placed on, or preferably, inside, the Metaltron.
Simmonds didn't question it. The tech boys were always coming up with something new. And the sensors did seem to work.
Things are so much easier when they're an inside job...
T minus 4 days
"Dan's Movers?... Yes, I'd like to confirm a booking... Allen's 24-Hour storage -- you have the address..."
Planning her getaway.
T minus 3 days
Nobody questioned the requisitions. Not even at the audit six months later. It's hard to audit something which is buried in concrete. Especially a dead project like Project Gallium.
See what I mean about inside jobs?
T minus 2 days
"That's a lot of food, Miss -- going camping?"
"Something like that."
Actually, now that I think of it, she didn't really need to get all that food, since she wasn't going that far away. But I guess it was a "just in case" scenario. And I had to have something to say to indicate the countdown...
T minus 16 hours
"Melvin, you on gate-duty tomorrow?"
"No, it's my day off."
"You okay, Betty?"
"Yeah. Just got a lot on my mind."
I wonder if Melvin was her only friend in that place?
T minus 75 minutes
"Geoff, it's Betty. I'm afraid I won't be in today. Something I ate, I think... Yeah, I'll stay away from Chinese in future..."
Ah, that famous excuse: food poisoning. But it works.
T minus 1 minute
The TARDIS console room was somewhat more cluttered than usual. A large pallet on wheels was on a level part of the floor, each wheel aligned with a chalk mark on the floor. Other pieces of equipment were placed in readiness.
Rose was poised tensely in front of the screen, its view split into two sections. One section was a window waiting for commands, the other showed a view into level B53, as clear as a million-dollar security system could make it; full colour and sound.
And then she heard the noise she'd been waiting for, that groan of space-time being ripped apart and reformed, the sound of a materialising TARDIS. And there, on the screen, the familiar blue box faded into view.
I am assuming that Rose was able to calculate and pinpoint the exact day that the events of "Dalek" happened, otherwise her plan wouldn't be able to have any chance of succeeding.
Her heart sped up when she saw the Doctor emerge. Goosebumps came over her when she saw herself, her other self. She looked so young. Not a care in the world.
There is a big contrast between that Rose and this one; being undercover for years, driven like nothing else... in comparison, yes, that Rose back then didn't have a care in the world.
She followed their progress every step of the way, wishing desperately that she could be there, that she could teleport herself there in an instant, grab the Doctor and take him away with her. But that would be even worse than what had happened with her father. Just as well that it was impossible. Because she wasn't sure it was a temptation she could resist.
I think she would be very tempted. Because, even knowing the kind of problems it could cause, well, she didn't resist saving her father's life, did she? And she's so focused on the Doctor, he's the one she's doing this for, and there he is, large as life; to even run up and touch him would be an almost irresistable temptation, despite all the discipline Rose has employed in order to get to this point.
The Cage was dim as the Doctor entered it. "Look, I'm sorry about this," he said. "Mr. van Statten might think he's clever, but never mind him. I've come to help. I'm the Doctor."
"You always come to help," Rose whispered. "You don't know a thing about what you're rescuing and you still want to help..." Her eyes welled with tears.
I chose to recount the interaction between the Doctor and the Dalek because it's important that Rose understand what she's dealing with, understand how deep the Doctor's issues with the Daleks run. I wanted to show how Rose would react to these revelations. And also because it's a great scene that bears repeating. (grin)
Rose jumped when the Dalek screamed "Exterminate!" You want to rescue this thing? What the hell are you thinking, Rose? And then: I hope my security measures are enough.
"You are an enemy of the Daleks! You must be destroyed!" Then the Dalek's gun failed.
"It's not working!" The Doctor's laugh had a somewhat hysterical edge. "Fantastic! Oh fantastic! Powerless. Look at you, the great space-dustbin - how does it feel?"
The Dalek edged back. "Keep back!"
They're afraid of him. They were afraid of him on the ship. Have they always been afraid of him?
"What for? What are you gonna do to me? If you can't kill, then what are you good for, Dalek? What's the point of you? You're nothing! What the hell are you here for?"
"I am waiting for orders."
"What does that mean?"
"I am a soldier. I was bred to receive orders."
What a senseless waste, Rose thought.
This is an important motivator for Rose; for her to consider the Dalek's life, its potential, to be wasted because it was bred to receive orders. We need to have a Rose who thinks of the Dalek as a person, not as a monster. And that's hard, so I needed every little plausible bit I could...
"Well you're never gonna get any. Not ever."
"I demand orders!"
"They're never gonna come! Your race is dead! You all burned, all of you -- ten million ships on fire, the entire Dalek race, wiped out, in one second."
"I watched it happen. I made it happen."
"What?" Rose exclaimed. He wiped out the Daleks?
"You destroyed us?"
"I had no choice."
And it's happening all over again. On Satellite Five. He's trying to destroy the Daleks all over again.
"And what of the Time Lords?"
There was a long silence.
"Dead," the Doctor said. "They burned with you. The end of the last great Time War. Everyone lost."
"Oh. My. God," Rose whispered. No wonder he doesn't want to talk about it. He killed his own people. Her face paled. If he could do that to Gallifrey, what about Earth? She shook her head, rejecting the thought.
This is a very important point, which comes up later. Character is plot, and this is another seed of Rose's motivation.
"And the coward survived," the Dalek said.
"Oh," the Doctor returned in a sing-song voice. "And I caught your little signal: 'Help me'. Poor little thing." He frowned. "But there's no-one else coming 'cause there's no-one else left."
"I am alone in the universe."
"So are you. We are the same."
"We're not the same! I'm not --" the Doctor broke off. "No, wait. Maybe we are. You're right, yeah, okay. You've got a point. 'Cause I know what to do. I know what should happen. I know what you deserve." A sickly smile plastered itself on the Doctor's face. "Exterminate." He flicked a switch, and arcs of electricity stabbed into the Dalek.
"What the hell are you doing?" Rose yelled, unmindful that nobody could hear her.
In the chaos and confusion that followed, one thing was quite clear to Rose: where the Daleks were concerned, the Doctor wasn't quite sane. The Daleks were dangerous, deadly, destructive, sure. But they were only the stuff of nightmares if you let them be so.
The other thing that was quite clear to her was that van Statten really was worse than the Dalek.
Something that the Dalek and Rose have in common: they hate van Statten.
"You don't have to do this any more," the other Rose said. "There must be something else, not just killin'. What else is there? What do you want?"
"I want... freedom," the Dalek said.
"No more killin'" Rose whispered in the silence of the TARDIS.
This also is very important; Rose's determination that there be no more killing is going to help her get through the difficult times that are coming. Killing is easy. Redemption is much more difficult.
Tears streamed unheeded down Rose's face as she stared into the screen.
"I've got to do this," the Doctor said. The gun he held was big and black, more like a cannon than a gun, especially when one was staring down the wrong end of it. "I've got to end it. The Daleks destroyed my home, my people. I've got nothing left."
"Look at it," the other Rose said, indicating the Dalek, with its armour open, its tentacles waving tremulously.
The Doctor was baffled. "What's it doing?"
"It's the sunlight, that's all it wants."
"But it can't -"
"It couldn't kill van Statten, it couldn't kill me. It's changin'," the other Rose said. She stared at the gun. "What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changin' into?"
Stricken, he lowered the gun. "I couldn't-" he began, "I wasn't -" he broke off. He stared at the Dalek, then at Rose. "Oh Rose, they're all dead."
"Why do we survive?" the Dalek said.
"I don't know," the Doctor said.
"I am the last of the Daleks."
"You're not even that," the Doctor said, with pity in his voice. "Rose did more than regenerate you. You've absorbed her DNA. You're mutating."
"Into what?" the Dalek asked.
"Something new," the Doctor said. "I'm sorry."
The other Rose was surprised. "Isn't that better?"
"Not for a Dalek," the Doctor said.
"I can feel so many ideas," the Dalek said. "So much darkness. Rose, give me orders! Order me to die."
"I can't do that," the other Rose said.
"This is not life," the Dalek said. "This is... sickness. I shall not be like you." Its voice became strident. "Order my destruction! Obey! Obey! Obey!"
"Do it," the other Rose said.
"Are you frightened, Rose Tyler?" the Dalek asked.
"Yeah," the other Rose gulped.
"So am I," the Dalek said quietly. And then, just as quietly, "Exterminate."
The Dalek closed its armour and levitated into the air. The golden bumps on its sides detached and hovered in a ball around it. A globe of energy formed.
Rose pressed the enter key.
A bright light filled the area, a crackle and a thump as something materialised.
"I did it!" Rose cried. Then the smell of hot metal, burnt plastic and singed flesh filled her nostrils, and she stared at the lump on the pallet with horror. The bottom was missing, the arms and the eye-stalk were completely gone, and the dome and panels were half-slagged. Had she timed it too late? She grabbed a crowbar and attacked one of the panels, prising it apart. She pulled at it with her hands, ignoring the heat and sharp edges. "Don't you die on me!" she yelled. "Don't you dare die on me!"
She managed to get one panel off. She choked in the smell of burnt flesh. The Dalek's one eye was shut. Nothing about it moved. "No! Not now! Not after everything!"
She stared at it, frozen for a long moment.
Then she ran, ran to the room next to the console room, where she'd kept it, just in case. Came back, hesitated, then opened the canister of nanogenes.
Golden motes of light poured out of it, danced over her burnt and bleeding hands. She remembered how Jack had tied her hands with a scarf the first time, to keep them still. She wondered now if he'd really needed to do that, or if it had just been part of the flirtation; but she held still anyway.
Then the motes flowed down to the body of the Dalek in its wrecked travel machine. Some of them darted back and forth between the Dalek and Rose, as if they were passing messages, doing a comparison. Rose froze in horror. Would they turn her into a Dalek, or would they attempt to turn the Dalek into a human? The Dalek already had human DNA; her DNA. What would the nanogenes make of that?
Glows enveloped the burnt ends of the Dalek's tentacles, another group clustered around the Dalek's eye so thickly that all Rose could see was a golden ball of light. Then they spread thinner. Something was growing there. An eye, and more than an eye; the curve of an ear, a nostril, lips; they were building a face, a human face. Except that it was blue.
The light pulsed, faded, pulsed again. It seemed as if the nanogenes were having difficulty; perhaps something inside the TARDIS was limiting their effectiveness, or maybe there just weren't enough of them. After all, the nanogenes which had wreaked such havoc in the middle of the Blitz had come from an entire ambulance ship full of them; this was just a small first-aid kit.
Just so long as there were enough of them to ensure that the Dalek lived.
I wrote this scene relatively early on, because it was crying out to be written.
Chapter 3: The Argument of Tyrants
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt, 1783
A fitting quote for both of them, for Rose must be a gaoler, and the Dalek must learn how not to be a slave.
It was dark. It was silent. And for the first time in 50 years, I felt no pain.
And here we have the first scene from the point of view of the Dalek. This originally went "And for the first time in 50 years, there was no pain." but one of my betas pointed out that the point-of-view switch is clearer if there's an "I" earlier in the scene.
"Is this death?"
"No," said a voice. "This is Purgatory."
I like this exchange. For the Dalek thinks it is death because death must be peaceful, without pain. And Rose calls it purgatory because it is a place after death, a place between, where redemption is still possible, but not a place of ease.
Analysis: audio working correctly, vision impaired. Voice identified to 90% certainty. "Rose Tyler. You ordered me to kill myself."
"I changed my mind."
"You did not obey!"
"Yeah. Humans aren't always good at that."
Nope, they aren't. (grin)
"I do not want to be human!" So much darkness inside, in memory, unbearable. No, it wasn't the darkness, it was the knowing that it was dark. I do not want to know.
I wondered what the Dalek had meant in that scene above, when it had said, "I can feel so many ideas. So much darkness." What was the darkness? I figured a fitting interpretation was that the Dalek was getting a conscience (or, in terms of the Buffyverse, a soul) and it saw the darkness in itself, it saw the evil that it had done in the past, and knew it to be evil, wheras before, it had not known, was not capable of knowing.
"You're not human," Rose said. "You're something new. You are the first of the Namu."
Linguistic analysis: probability 77% that 'Namu' is 'human' in reverse. Cross-reference: origins of 'Dalek' being 'Kaled' in reverse. "You know the history of the Daleks."
"Yes," Rose said. "I came across some of the Doctor's diaries."
I figured that if she's read the 4th Doctor's account of "Robot", then it was reasonable that she might also have found the 4th Doctor's account of "Genesis of the Daleks".
"The Doctor is an enemy of the Daleks!" came the automatic response. "He must be exterminated!"
"You're not a Dalek any more," Rose said quietly. "Your name is Daisy."
I can't remember how the name "Daisy" came to me, but once it did, it stuck. It was a name that was supposed to make the Dalek feel less dangerous (thus a comfort to Rose); it was a flower name, and thus made a connection to Rose; it was the name of a common wayside flower, emphasizing Daisy's origins as a common Dalek soldier.
I'd also written a snippet of a scene, which I didn't end up using, where Daisy comes across a field of daisies, and is amazed at how many of them there are. Humble as they are, daisies are still unstoppable.
Asteraceae Bellis Perennis. "A flower. I am not a flower."
"Neither am I, but my name is Rose."
There was a sudden jolt, and a vibration.
"What is happening?"
"We're moving," Rose said.
They are inside the TARDIS, and the removalists are moving it to its new destination.
"Where are we going?"
The house was seven miles from nowhere. Of course, the town wasn't actually called Nowheresville, but it might as well have been. Rugged emptiness from horizon to horizon, in twenty different shades of brown.
I had much help from folks on LJ in trying to figure out where was the best place to set this town, and how to describe the landscape.
A house in the town itself would have been more convenient, but she wanted to keep away nosey neighbours. It's all very well mentioning to the curious that you have a disabled cousin, but rather another matter when said cousin is blue and has tentacles.
(grin) Rose needed a cover story. And considering how much DNA Rose and Daisy now have in common, "cousin" is a reasonable description.
And even more important to keep "Cousin Daisy" from interacting with the neighbours. Rose shuddered. The only "interaction" Daisy had had with humans was death and slavery... the only interaction she'd had with anyone. She may not be a Dalek any longer, but she needed to be taught that "Exterminate" is not an acceptable greeting.
You are completely insane Rose thought, and sighed. "It's like potty training," she muttered. "It's dirty, and messy, but somebody's got to do it."
I was going to have a scene, much earlier on, where there's Mickey and Rose and Jackie, and Jackie is reminiscing about Rose's childhood, and potty training is brought up, but it wasn't really needed -- the important thing is the line above, that Rose has a plausible model to use for the reformation of the Dalek; that it's like potty training: difficult, thankless, but absolutely necessary.
She just hoped that it didn't take too long, or the townsfolk would start wondering why her cousin was so very very shy.
There was light. I blinked, an automatic reflex. Vision is/is not impaired. Vision is different. There were lines, paleness and shadows, straightness and corners; something built, a room. Then a face, a head, a body...
It seems fairly canonical that Dalek vision is monochrome, tied into their eyestalk cameras. But Daisy now has a human head, including human eyes. So I had to portray that change of vision, not instantaneously, but gradually. After all, if one has an entirely new vision system, it takes a while to comprehend it.
"Rose Tyler." Uncertainty. Why had I focused on the face first? It was not an orderly analysis.
This was a reference to the human preponderance for face-recognition; I figured that Daleks, with their emphasis on being computer-like, would not process images in the same way as humans.
There was another image which matched closer, not only the face but the hair on the head; an image taken from the data of the place of pain. "Betty Schultz."
"Always knew you were clever," Rose said. "High-and-mighty van Statten never twigged."
"This does not compute. There cannot be two of you."
"Time travel," Rose said. "You figure it out."
"Time travel does not allow you to meet yourself. The temporal potential energy discharge would be catastrophic."
In "Mawdryn Undead", the Brigadier meets himself, and fortunately at the moment he touches himself, the energy thus discharged got channelled into the gizmo that the Doctor was hooked up to, and thus saved the Doctor's life. I can't remember if the energy was given a name, but "temporal potential energy" sounded like reasonable technobabble to me.
Since it's canonical that Daleks of Daisy's era knew how to travel in time, it seemed reasonable that Daisy would know about this phenomenon.
"I didn't," Rose said. "I was very careful."
I blinked again. There was something wrong with my vision. I could not focus clearly on objects on the other side of the room, could not count the dust particles floating in the air. Yet, at the same time, it was richer. Deeper. Because... it wasn't just light and dark. It wasn't just two dimensional. And I was blinking.
I figured that Dalek vision ought to have something to compensate for being monochromatic.
"I am seeing in colour! I have human eyes! What have you done to me!"
Rose grimaced. "Wasn't me, it was the nanogenes that saved your life. They kinda thought you were sorta human. Changed you. You got a human face now: two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth."
"I will not be like you!"
Rose moved suddenly closer, her face so near I could see the pores of her skin. "You are like me, Daisy, and whining about it isn't going to change it. Live with it."
"I will not live with it."
"No more killin'," Rose said. "And that means suicide too. You are not gonna die, you got that? I'm not gonna let you."
"How are you going to stop me?"
"What makes you think I haven't got more nanogenes?" She pulled away a little, glancing out the doorway and then back again. "You try and kill yourself, you could end up even more human than you are already. Silly little buggers they are, they don't know any better."
Rose is bluffing, of course. But it's a very good bluff. I had her look away from Daisy as a sort of indication that she was lying.
I was silent. Live with impurity, or become even more impure? This was worse than fear. "I obey."
"No," Rose said. "You promise. You promise not to kill yourself. Got it?"
It seemed that Rose Tyler required a different form of obedience, but it was still obedience. "I promise."
Rose smiled. "Good."
"I am impure. I have nothing. I am nothing." I paused, and then admitted, "I am afraid."
"You aren't a Dalek any more," Rose said. "You are Daisy the Namu. You don't have to be afraid."
What did it matter if I was the last of the Daleks or the first of the Namu? "I am alone."
"So am I," Rose said.
"Where is the Doctor?"
She looked at the floor. "He's not here."
"He left you? You are of no concern to him, now?"
Rose snorted. "He did his duty and dumped me, yeah."
So, she was no longer of any use to me as a hostage, then.
Thanks to Jonathan for the line about the hostage. He was most excellently helpful in keeping Daisy's characterisation alien and dangerous.
"Mum, Dad, keep this message, okay? Whatever you do, don't erase it. Save it. You got that?" There was a pause. "The microprocessor became redundant in the year 2019, replaced by a system called SMT, that's Single Molecule Transcription. No, no, no, no, what are you doing? Come back, come --" A sound, a thud like a mallet, or of someone kicking something made of metal. "Why are you doing that? What's floor 16? What's down there?"
"Me again. Don't wipe this message. It's just gonna sound like white noise, but save it, 'cause I can translate it, okay? Three, two, one, and spike!" Static. More static. An agonised scream. And more static.
This is the exact wording of the message that Adam left on his parents' answering machine in "The Long Game". I assumed that it was reasonable that Adam's phone call had been made to a point in time after the events of "Dalek"; the magic phone does seem reasonably good at keeping time-lines untangled.
"Got you, you little wimp," Rose muttered. The wire tap had been relatively easy to set up. After all, she just had to check her mobile to see the exact number and time that Adam had made his calls. No matter that the Doctor had returned and blown up Adam's answering machine, Rose already had the data, tapped the exact moment it was being transmitted.
Somewhere, in that sea of data, there might be something she could use. The plans of Satellite Five would still be helpful even if they were 100 years out of date. It didn't seem likely that it had changed much. Humanity had gone backwards -- because of the Daleks, planning and plotting behind the scenes. Renovating Satellite Five would hardly be on the agenda. Heck, even the floor indicators had remained the same.
Rose needed to have an edge. Again, I was using existing canon to help my plot -- whee!
"Stop sayin' that! Why can't you do something because you want to?"
"I want to die."
"No more killin'!"
Daisy has to want to live, before she can be of any help to anyone.
Rose looked at Daisy, then turned and ran out of the room, out of the house, slamming the back door behind her. Her vision was blurred with tears. She unlocked the back shed where she kept the TARDIS, ran inside, slammed it shut, stumbled into the TARDIS, and fell into the beanbag, sobbing.
I hate this, it's hopeless, I can't do this, I'm nothing but a glorified jailer!
"This is Emergency Program One..."
"Shut it! Shut it! I can't do it!"
Are you going to kill Daisy then? She remembered the Doctor, facing her with that long-barrelled cannon that seemed never to end. Because that's the only alternative.
"No," she whispered. "No more killin'."
The water was cool and smelled faintly of ozone and salt. Rose had discovered the TARDIS pool in one of her explorations of its seemingly endless levels and corridors. Now she swam in it every morning, not just to stay fit, but to snatch at a bit of quiet calm before the battles of the day. And if a few tears mingled with the salt of the pool, who would notice?
I can't remember which episode it was where it was mentioned that there was a swimming pool in the TARDIS, but I think it was some time in the 4th-Doctor era.
I also had much discussion on LJ, trying to figure out how likely it was that Rose knew how to swim. Sure, Aussie kids get taught how to swim before they reach Secondary School, but I didn't want to make assumptions about the educations of British children.
She kept fit as an act of faith; you had to be fit to keep up with the Doctor -- and to run away from his enemies. That's why she'd taken up paint-ball, because running and sneaking was a good skill to have when you were travelling with the Doctor. She'd been surprised how good she was at it. Though human beings were a piece of cake compared to aliens like the Raxicoricofallipatorians. She'd have to remember that.
Another reference to "Aliens of London"/"World War Three".
Humans have much clutter in their lives. A Dalek is self-sufficient. All its needs are provided by its power and armour and orders. Humans require dwelling places and objects and food. It is very inefficient.
More of the alien point of view. Daleks consider themselves superior, remember?
I am not a Dalek. I am not a human. I do not know what I need. My power system was intact. My motive units, weapons, manipulator arm, vision and voder systems were destroyed. With Rose Tyler's assistance, much of my armour had been removed, as it hindered my organic vision and organic manipulators (Rose Tyler calls them eyes and tentacles). She provided a crude form of motive unit; it was a box on wheels. It was not integrated with my systems; the controls required physical manipulation.
"This transport is deficient."
"I know," Rose snapped. "If you don't like it, make your own."
"You do not have the technology."
"Exactly." Rose frowned. "How do Daleks build things, anyway? I mean, they didn't come out of nothing..."
"Davros created the Daleks."
"That isn't what I meant. Who built the Dalek armour, and the ships? Who designed it?"
"Research Daleks improved the technology. Factories build, but any Dalek is capable of repairing another Dalek. If their function is not already impaired." If Dalek technology had not been so efficient, I would not be so impaired. This is what humans call irony.
Chapter 4: Bargaining
"Necessity never made a good bargain."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1735
Jonathan was very good at reminding me of how unpredictable and dangerous Daisy was. My original thought was that Daisy and Rose make friends tra-la-la, and make it that loyalty and trust prompted Daisy to save the day. But having an uneasy truce built on self-interest was much more edgy and believable, and still sufficient to achieve the goal of actually getting them to the year 200,000.
We had to come up with some logical, self-interested reasons for Daisy to help.
Thus the making of bargains.
Thus this quote.
Chores didn't do themselves, even with labour-saving gizmos. Dishes had to be stacked. Clothes had to be washed. Odd junk had to be picked up off the floor, or Daisy would either break it or get jammed on it with her wheels. But it did go better with a good beat. Rose tuned the boombox radio to a classic rock station and started dusting the bookshelf. Since she couldn't risk bringing Daisy into the TARDIS, she was actually living in the house, and that meant that at least some of her books needed to be there too. Some people would probably think it was a weird collection: How to Potty Train Your Toddler was jammed up next to Proceedings of the IEEE 2011, a binder with a handwritten label 'comp.risks' was next to a magazine box full of Archaeology journals, and 1984 was on the same shelf as The Diary of Anne Frank and The Complete Works of Charles Dickens in four volumes.
"How To Potty Train Your Toddler" is Rose's manual in how to "potty train" a Dalek. The IEEE and the comp.risks reflect Rose's interest in electronics and computer security. (Yes, comp.risks actually exists, and is a very interesting forum on computer risks) "Archaeology" reflects her interest in history. "1984" was suggested by Jonathan as a good example of an enslaved society that Rose might find helpful in understanding Daisy. "The Diary of Anne Frank" I can't remember why I put that there, except perhaps as something reflecting courage in a helpless situation. "The Complete Works of Charles Dickens" is of course due to meeting Charles Dickens in "The Unquiet Dead".
If I could only reach you
If I could make you smile
If I could only reach you
That would really be a breakthrough
the radio pounded out.
"Breakthru" by Queen.
Oh yes, Rose thought. If only something would make Daisy take an interest in life instead of death. But the music wouldn't let her brood for long; it set her feet tapping. Which was exactly the reason she had the radio on in the first place.
The Queen double-play had jumped into the hammering beat of "Headlong" when Rose noticed that Daisy had whirred into the room. Rose turned off the radio. "Yes, Daisy, what is it?"
"Do not stop that."
"That noise. From the crude receiver box."
"The radio box. Turn it back on."
"I want to listen to it."
Rose gaped at Daisy. "You want to --" she broke off. Then she turned the radio back on.
I can't remember whether it was Jonathan or I who suggested that Daisy's first thing that she finds she likes, is Rock'n'Roll. And of course, Daisy isn't polite. She still thinks in terms of orders.
I am not like Rose. I do not like the same music that she likes; she finds Heavy Metal too loud, and Bach boring. She is not intelligent enough to understand Bach. It is very elegant. Heavy Metal and Punk Rockers... they are so angry. They know what hate is. But they break it to their will. They craft it into something and hurl it at the world.
Without killing anybody.
Rose wants her music to be tame and nice. She says that Heavy Metal singers "can't sing properly". She does not see that that is the heart of Rock and Roll. They are not proper. They do not obey. They are free.
The whole rock-and-roll is freedom thing was actually inspired by a docudrama series I caught the end of one episode of (it was before House). The doco was about an educational experiment where a private school in the UK had their music classes taken by a rocker (actually one of the members of KISS) and the kids making a rock band.
They were up to the point where they were auditioning for the lead singer, and there were two leading contenders. One was a black boy who could sing like an angel; the other was the class clown who didn't fit in and couldn't sing in tune, but he was wholly into it, completely unselfconcious, he had attitude. And it was the second guy that the rocker picked. And the rocker said, about his choice, that Rock-and-Roll wasn't about singing beautifully, it was about freedom, about self-expression. That really stuck with me.
And it resonates perfectly with what is going on with Daisy.
I put in the Bach because he's supposed to be very appealing to those of a mathematical inclination, and Daisy is definitely that too. (5-space math...)
Be careful what you wish for, Rose thought, you may get it. Not that she wasn't glad, really, that Daisy had found something she liked, something she wanted, something she enjoyed, but... Heavy Metal? They had reached a compromise, though: techno dance and an iPod with earphones. And what Daisy chose to play when Rose was in town was Daisy's business.
But in order to control the iPod, Daisy needed something with finer motor control than her tentacles. Rose knew exactly where to get a prosthetic arm, better than cutting edge (working for van Statten had had some benefits) but it was useless unless Daisy would give her enough data about her neural interfaces to let Rose connect it properly. Data that would make Daisy vulnerable -- more vulnerable than she was now.
Daisy would have to trust Rose.
Daisy had hesitated. When she was told that the cosmetic skin was optional, that it would still work with bare metal and plastic, she had agreed.
Remember, Daisy didn't want to be human -- or look human.
After a week with her new arm, Daisy had come to Rose and said, "I want another one."
"Another arm," said Daisy. "They are designed to go in pairs, one alone is inefficient." She hesitated a moment, and then said, "Please."
Rose gave a huge smile. "I'd love to," she said.
This works because Daisy, rather than being nice, is being cunning.
The wheel tracks told their own tale. And the crowbar, and the smashed lock of the shed. While Rose had been doing the weekly shopping trip, Daisy had broken into the shed. She had seen the TARDIS.
And then what had she done?
There wasn't a scratch on the TARDIS, but there wouldn't have been, would there? Had Daisy tried to damage it, or had she known better? Or had she not even considered it?
Rose studied the wheel ruts in the dusty earth. The tracks led from the house, to the shed, and around the side of the house, to the front. To the road, where no tracks would show.
Daisy wouldn't get far in her motorised wheelchair. Rose sighed when she thought of the parts in the back of the Ford, the last few pieces needed for the go-kart which Rose had been building for Daisy. It was based on a solar-powered desert racer, but altered to use Daisy's power plant. Daisy had been so well-behaved, Rose had thought -- but she had been mistaken.
Rose crouched down and examined the roadside. Which way had Daisy gone? Towards the town, or away? Left, or right? A smudge of earth curved to the right: she'd gone away, into the desert.
Rose got back into the Ford and drove away from the town. Finally, she spotted something in the distance, a boxy shape, a spot of blue. It shimmered in the heat. Rose drove up to Daisy and stopped the car. Daisy kept on going, pushing the motor control forward with one tentacle, face set straight ahead, ignoring Rose's presence. The motor was whining in complaint. Rose got out of the car and started walking next to Daisy, easily keeping up with the slow-moving wheelchair.
Daisy was muttering something. Over and over again. "Negate. Negate. Negate. Negate."
Rhymes with "exterminate".
"Daisy," Rose said. Sweat dripped down her face in the heat, and dried almost instantly.
"You lied," Daisy said. "You said that the Doctor had left you. Yet his TARDIS is here. You mean to take me to the Doctor! Confess!"
"The Doctor isn't here!"
"You have the TARDIS."
"He put me in the TARDIS and sent me back here on bloody remote control. And now I'm stuck here."
"No, you are waiting for him."
"I'm not waiting for the Doctor, because he's not coming back."
"He always comes back. He never stops," Daisy said.
Let's face it, as far as the Daleks are concerned, he's an unkillable foe who has dogged their steps since they were created. He is the one who gives monsters nightmares.
"No more! Not again! Negate! Go away! Leave me alone! Let me make an ending."
"He's not coming back! I'm stuck here!" Rose bent down, locking her eyes with Daisy's, tense with the need to make her listen. "It's just you and me," she said, each word clear and slow. "And, though I never thought I'd say this, I'm the only one who cares about you. I'm the only one who cares if you live or die."
"I'm the only one who cares about you" wasn't meant for maudlin sentiment, but bare truth. After Rose has spent so much effort in making sure that Daisy doesn't die, Rose has to care whether Daisy lives or dies. And she is the only one who does.
How to say this in a way that Daisy would understand? "Not negate. Live."
If Rose had been stuck by herself, trying to make the TARDIS work, this would have been a long, grey, dismal story. But Rose is here with Daisy, and she has to teach Daisy how to live. But the teacher often learns from the student; Rose has to appreciate living as well, in order to teach it to Daisy.
"Live? And then what?" There was an appeal in the blue eyes that Rose had never seen before. "What next?"
Jonathan and I had much discussion about what would turn Daisy around at this point, and what Rose could be reasonably expected to come up with. The "what next" was a phrase we deliberately chose (and I almost forgot to put it in at this point) -- and the use of the exact same phrase by the Doctor in the last scene is what makes Rose laugh at that point.
"Exactly! That's it!" Rose said. "Whatever we make happen next." No silver linings, no false promises. "Cock-ups and laughs, larks and muddles." Rose thought of what was in the Ford, and she half-grinned. "How fast does a Dalek travel machine actually go? 'Cause I've got something you never tried before. That's what's next. Trying something you've never tried before. Whether it's a cock-up or a blast-off."
Rose stared at Daisy anxiously. Had she got through, or did this make no sense to a Dalek, even an ex-Dalek?
Daisy turned the wheelchair around, facing back the way they'd come. "Yes. Show me."
The other chief thing that we came up with for Daisy to discover the enjoyment of, was speed. Daleks have never gone fast. That's part of their mystique, actually, of their menace. But that means that Daisy has never known the joy of speed.
The wind blew sharp and cold into Rose's face, and her hat only stayed on because of its chin-strap. The ground rushed past in a blur. Rose clenched the rim in front of her with whitened knuckles and briefly wished she'd built in a second seat with a seatbelt, instead of a flat open back, a space-age chariot. But if she'd done that, she wouldn't be able to see anything, or feel the exhilaration of speed. Daisy was installed in the front of her new travel machine, a hat covering her blue head, her own face to the wind.
A noise boomed across the desert; powerful speakers thundering out rock-and-roll. Rose laughed, singing along with the pounding beat: "We will, we will, rock you! C'mon everybody, we will, we will, rock you!" Their shadow stretched out long and thin in front of them. The sun was rising, it would soon turn the plain into a glittering furnace, but right now the air still held the night's chill.
"Wooooh!" Rose said as the song finished. "Isn't this great?"
Rose couldn't see Daisy's tentative smile. "This is rock-and-roll."
From Daisy, that's a huge compliment.
And they sped across the desert, racing the sun.
"This," Rose said, "is chocolate." She peeled back the thin metal covering, revealing a brown rectangular block, with regular lines scored through it. No, it was probably impressed in a mold. Rose broke off a piece along one of the lines, then a smaller piece from that. Rose popped it into her mouth. "Mmmmm. Try a bit?" she said, talking around the chocolate.
"I do not need human food," I said. "My power plant is sufficient."
"Chocolate isn't for food," Rose said. "It's for taste. Try it. Try something new." Rose raised her eyebrows. "Not game?"
I would not back down from the challenge. I picked up the smaller block and broke off a piece. I put it in my mouth. It began to dissolve. For a second I was aware of a unique and completely novel taste, then the action of my nervous system was blotted out by an overwhelming reaction. Glands around my tongue squirted out saliva. A dose of what I realised was sucrose entered my bloodstream. There was a bio-program operating. Instantly I was on my guard.
"What do you think?" Rose grinned.
"It is fuel for the body, a reward for the nervous system; it would make an excellent control mechanism."
Rose's face fell. "Oh." She blinked. "We'll try something else, then."
The original version of this scene had Daisy liking chocolate as much as she'd liked the other things. Jonathan felt that was too simplistic, and suggested the whole "chocolate is a narcotic" idea as an alternative.
After half an hour, Rose was surprised to find how many things she ate and drank in the course of a normal day could be considered as dangerously habituating narcotics. The only things that Daisy seemed to find acceptable were apples, dried apricots, and a raw egg.
I love the "dangerously habituating narcotics" phrase; I think Jonathan came up with that one.
Rose found Daisy in the shed, staring at the TARDIS.
"Why is it here?" Daisy asked. "He never leaves it behind. He will return for it."
"He can't return for it," Rose snapped. I thought we'd already gone over this. "Look, I'll show you." She pulled the TARDIS key from around her neck, and opened the TARDIS. She pushed both doors open. "Look."
"I know he is not here now," Daisy said. "What are you trying to prove?" But Daisy whirred over the threshold anyway.
As Rose expected, the Doctor's emergency hologram appeared.
"This is Emergency Program One."
Daisy jerked back, and then moved forward, eyes narrowed.
Daleks afraid of the Doctor might well jerk back when suddenly confronted with his hologram.
"Rose, now listen, this is important. If this message is activated then it can only mean one thing: we must be in danger, and I mean fatal. I'm dead, or about to die any second, with no chance of escape."
Daisy's eyes widened slightly, then she frowned.
She's surprised that the Doctor might actually be killed by someone, and wonders who it would be.
"And that's okay, hope it's a good death. But I promised to look after you, and that's what I'm doing. The TARDIS is taking you home. And I bet you're fussin' and moanin' now. Typical!"
Daisy glanced at Rose.
"But hold on, and just listen a bit more. The TARDIS can never return for me. Emergency Program One means I'm facing an enemy that should never get their hands on this machine."
Daisy's eyebrows raised slightly, then she nodded, once.
She has deduced that it was the Daleks who were the enemy in question.
"So this is what you should do: let the TARDIS die. Just let this old box gather dust. No one can open it, no one will even notice it. Let it become a strange little thing standing on a street corner. And over the years, the world will move on, and the box will be buried."
Daisy's eyes rested briefly on the beanbag, the shelves, the tools scattered around the console room.
Taking in the fact that Rose did not do as she was told.
"And if you want to remember me, then you can do one thing, that's all, one thing: have a good life. Do that for me, Rose, have a fantastic life."
"He's not coming back," Rose said stiffly, her heart clenching.
Daisy smiled slightly.
"Don't you dare gloat!" Rose snapped.
"I am not gloating," Daisy said. "I am admiring you. You are defying him. You are not being programmed by human loyalty."
I love it when characters jump to the wrong conclusions.
"It is obvious. You want me to help you to rescue the Doctor from the Daleks."
Daisy isn't stupid.
"He didn't say anything about Daleks," Rose said.
"Who else could it be? Who destroyed the Time Lords?"
"Er, you got me there."
"I will not help you," Daisy said.
"I thought you'd be glad you weren't the last Dalek," Rose said.
"They will exterminate me for being impure," Daisy said. "Or they will cage me and reprogram me and destroy what I am. I do not want to go near any Daleks. And I do not ever want to help the Doctor."
Jonathan and I had lots of discussion about what Daisy's motivations would be, and a couple of times where it was "there is no good reason why Daisy would do this" and we'd back-track and re-think. This was one of them. Daisy wouldn't ever want to help the Doctor.
"I want to be free," Daisy said.
"Help me fly the TARDIS and I'll take you anywhere you want to go," Rose said.
"If you go to rescue the Doctor from Daleks, you will die, and you will not be flying anywhere," Daisy said.
Perfectly logical objection.
"If you teach me how to fly the TARDIS, I can drop you off before I go to rescue the Doctor," Rose said.
"I do not want to be dropped off," Daisy said. "I want the TARDIS."
Necessity never made a good bargain.
Rose folded her arms and frowned. "No. Absolutely not."
"If you are dead, you cannot use it."
"It's not mine to give," Rose said.
"If you are both dead, neither of you can use it," Daisy said. "And we both do not want it in the tentacles of the Daleks."
Rose paused. She had a point. But just because Daisy no longer would exterminate first and ask questions afterwards didn't mean that she wouldn't just take off and leave them in the lurch.
At one point, I was planning on having Rose and Daisy doing a lot more travelling in the TARDIS before they actually went to the Games Station, and there was going to be a scene where Daisy tried to abandon Rose on a planet, but the TARDIS wouldn't work for Daisy, because it (TARDIS-as-intelligent-being) didn't trust her.
But, however much fun having an intelligent TARDIS is, it wasn't good to have it at the expense of Rose's competence, so that idea was dropped.
It was also dropped because the requirements of the plot became more modest: instead of Rose and Daisy becoming friends, they just had to become expedient allies, so there was no longer a need for a long "becoming friends" sequence, which this was going to be part of.
I was also considering having a scene where Rose and Daisy come across the amnesiac van Statten, which was going to demonstrate how far Daisy had come, because she refrains from killing him. But this again was too simple and unrealistic.
"If the Doctor and Jack are both already dead," Rose said, "we both leave."
"And if you die?"
"I have the key," Rose said, touching the chain around her neck. "You better make sure I don't die." Clever though Daisy was, Rose didn't think she had the necessary skills to be a pickpocket.
An edgy bargain of mutual pragmatism is far more interesting, yes?
"Agreed," Daisy said. "I will help you determine the controls of the TARDIS, we will travel to where the Doctor is, we will all leave. If you can persuade him to come." She looked at the spot where the hologram had appeared. "Why did the Doctor not come with you? If there was time for you to escape, why not him?"
An obvious question, which had to be asked.
"Because he's an idiot!" Rose snapped. "Because..." she trailed off. She leaned back against the console, frowning. "We were working on something to stop the Daleks. A Delta Wave thingy. He wasn't going to get it done in time. But it had already started building power. I don't know!"
"A Delta Wave needs to be refined to its target species," Daisy said. "Otherwise it it will kill everything in its wake. He may have had insufficient time for that."
If the Emperor Dalek could point that out, then it's reasonable that Daisy herself would have enough information to figure that out also.
"Everything?" Rose gasped. "Daleks and humans alike? But the Games Station broadcasts to the whole Earth. Couldn't he focus it, change the direction? No, probably no time for that either," she muttered. "It's Gallifrey all over again. He'd do it, he really would do it."
Yet another level of peril; this is the reason why Rose had to witness the bit in "Dalek" -- so she would know that, yes, the Doctor really would be that ruthless if he felt pressed enough.
Her eyes widened. "What if we arrived and the Delta Wave was already active?"
"Fine," Rose snapped.
"Not good enough," Daisy said.
Yet another "Daisy wouldn't do that" moment.
"We must arrive before the Delta Wave activates. We must devise a plan which does not get us all killed. We must prevent the TARDIS from falling into Dalek hands. What was your original plan?"
"I was gonna kind of improvise. Buy the Doctor more time."
Rose went to a large duffel-bag by the door. She pulled out a paintball gun from the pile inside. "Anti-Dalek gun," she grinned.
"That is not an energy weapon, it would not harm a Dalek."
Rose still grinned. "I modified it. Now it delivers anti-metal virus instead of paint. It destroys the armour -- it works, I tried it on yours. Low-velocity means it gets through the forcefield, too."
"Low-velocity means it gets through the forcefield" is an SF trope that's been used in other SF universes with forcefields (such as Dune) but I'm not sure if it's been set up that way in Doctor Who. Nevertheless, I decided to use it as an idea anyway.
"Ingenious. But not sufficient. The Delta Wave could still kill us all."
Rose sighed. "I know. We have to think of something that the Doctor hasn't had time to think of. Something he might have overlooked." I can't let him do it again. I can't let him do Gallifrey all over again. It would destroy him.
"Tell me everything you know about the place and situation when you left," Daisy said.
"Right," Rose said, putting the gun back in the bag. "Well, first we better start with the blueprints of Satellite Five..." They talked and pored over the plans for an hour, and Rose tried to recall every relevant detail of the Games Station as it was 100 years later, of what had been happening. There was one thing Rose didn't say. Rose didn't tell Daisy what her Plan C was.
Plan C was Jonathan's evil idea. What was Plan C? It was for Rose to deliberately cross her own timeline and create a paradox, so that the monster-things that we saw in "Father's Day" would come along and wipe out everyone in the vicinity of the Games Station, including the Daleks.
An insane plan, but she was desperate.
"The cloaking signal," Daisy said. "It was beamed out into space towards the Dalek fleet, is that correct?"
"Yeah, it was hiding them somehow, I don't know how it worked," Rose said. She pointed at the blueprints. "You can see from here, it's another system, it was already there when the Jagrafess was installed. Built in."
"There is the answer," Daisy said. "The primary broadcast system is omnidirectional, it will kill everything. But if the Delta Wave is beamed through the cloaking system, it will be directed towards the Daleks rather than Earth."
"Yes!" Rose put her fist in the air. "We have a plan!" But a voice still niggled at the back of her brain: I wonder why the Doctor didn't think of that himself? "Let's get going!"
One thing that was really tricky was that there had to be sufficient reason to get Rose and Daisy to the Games Station, something that they thought they could do to help save the day in a way which would be beneficial to everyone -- and then have the plan collapse in a heap when they actually got there, so that Daisy would be forced to her last desperate gamble.
Of course, it wasn't as simple as that. While Daleks had had time travel, they had usually used Time Corridors, not independent machines like the TARDIS. But Daisy certainly understood the principles involved, and 5-space math was trivial to her. But the TARDIS was... eccentric in its layout, not to mention the lack of labels. It still took quite a while for them to puzzle out even a few of the controls, though Rose could make good enough guesses from her memories of what the Doctor had done.
Once they had puzzled out what was probably the coordinate system and coaxed the last trip record out of the TARDIS,
I had to posit a "last trip record" in order to give them any kind of reasonable chance to be able to get back to the Games Station as close to the time and place of departure as possible.
Rose had wanted at first to try for the Games Station in their first attempt, impatient now that her goal seemed almost in her grasp.
"No, we should make sure we can control the TARDIS accurately."
"Oh, yeah, you're right."
They moved everything back into the TARDIS, just in case their experiments left them stranded somewhere with no way back.
These two like to plan ahead, yes.
The first trip was to be a simple one: a point out in the desert, where they had built a cairn and surrounded it with Daisy's tire tracks, and measured the GPS coordinates. And it was to be for one week later.
"Here goes," Rose said, crossing her fingers. Daisy delicately turned and adjusted the coordinate wheels, and Rose pulled and pressed the dematerialization sequence. The rotor began to weave up and down, and the familiar grinding wheeze thrummed beneath their feet. "Yes, yes, keep going," Rose whispered, bending tensely over the console.
The rematerialisation was not so smooth. Daisy rattled backwards and almost ended up in the wall.
"We've made it," said Rose, wide-eyed, running a nervous hand through her hair. "But where have we made it to? And when?" She pulled out her mobile phone and used it to connect to a "World Time" website. It was one week later. "Yes! We got the time right! And we're still on Earth!"
"You cannot be certain of that," Daisy pointed out. "If that device could be used to call through time, it may not be the correct time."
"Oh," Rose said. "Just have to look, then."
Rose stepped up to the doors, opened one of them, and peered out. Her shoulders sagged. She gave a brittle laugh, and shut the door. She turned around to face Daisy. "We're on Earth," she said. "Cardiff. Millennium Square." Her face twisted in a grimace. "Wrong place."
"Right planet," Daisy pointed out.
Rose snorted a laugh. "Yeah, guess it could be worse. We could be on Earth in the year five billion!"
The year five billion was when the episode "The End of the World" was set. It was not a good day to be on the planet Earth.
She straightened up. "Okay, I'll go get a paper, check the date. It does look about the right time, no anti-grav machines or horses. Wonder if I've got any pounds left? I could die for some good old-fashioned chips."
Rose finished the last of her chips and tossed the paper aside. It was the right day, one week later than when they'd set off. No major news items. Harriet Jones was still Prime Minister.
I actually stuck in the above line about Harriet Jones as a subtle indication that "The Christmas Invasion" didn't happen in this universe, or if it did, it happened differently, because:
- the time of The Christmas Invasion was probably the Christmas after the last time Rose was there, that is, the Christmas after "Parting of the Ways". In this timeline, Rose has lived through that time, so she's already there (even if she was living in Cardiff, she'd go home for Christmas). Therefore for the Doctor and Rose to come visiting for that Christmas would cross Rose's timeline and cause a paradox. Even for the Doctor to come visiting alone would be risky, since it would give Rose future knowledge that she didn't have. Therefore the Doctor couldn't be there.
- even if he was there, he wouldn't have been in a regeneration crisis.
- therefore, the Sycorax problem would have had to have been solved some other way, and there wouldn't have been a situation where the Doctor was getting pissed off at Harriet Jones.
Therefore since "The Christmas Invasion" didn't happen, Harriet Jones would still be in office; probably in her third term -- wasn't she supposed to have three terms? I don't know how long UK terms are, but unless they're two years (which seems ridiculous), there would still be time for her to be in her last term -- 3 x 3 is nine, and Rose was only there for seven years.
She got up from the comfy chair and stepped thoughtfully around the console. "We need a viewscreen," she said. "Maybe the Doctor likes surprises, but we can't afford 'em. Besides, there used to be one, I think there used to be, he mentioned it in one of the diaries."
We know that the TARDIS had a viewscreen, definitely in the 4th-Doctor era (which we've already established Rose found diaries for). But even though Nine has a little console-type screen, he's never used it for looking outside, therefore either (a) it can't be used for that or (b) he doesn't want to use it for that.
Daisy took another bite of her apple. "There must be a scanner of some sort."
Rose grabbed her toolbox and put it down next to one of the panels. She lifted up one of the floor gratings, and lowered herself down, back to the floor, as the Doctor had done so many times. She frowned, tracing cables and wires. "This would be easier if I had a sonic screwdriver. I don't know how to make head or tails of this."
"Let me have a look," Daisy said.
"You can't fit under here," Rose said, frowning.
"Not with my travel machine, no," Daisy said. "But I myself am quite small." The side of the go-kart lifted up, and Daisy crawled out, head and body and tentacles.
Rose got up and out of her way. "How long can you stay away from your power source?"
"Long enough for this," Daisy said.
We have very little canonical information about Daleks outside their travel machines -- we don't really know either way whether they can survive outside them. So it's reasonable enough to say that they can, at least for a short while, without ill effects. I needed this to be the case, not necessarily for this scene, but for the scene near the end where Daisy fights the Emperor.
Tentacles bent and wrapped around one of Rose's insulated screwdrivers, and Daisy pried open another cover. She pushed herself under, her head out of sight. There was silence for some minutes. "This is a highly irrational exersise in applied topology," she said, "but I've worked out where these cables go. It's a block transfer computation architecture."
The phrase "a highly irrational exersise in applied topology" is thanks to Jonathan.
The concept of Block Transfer Computation was introduced into the Doctor Who universe in the episode "Logopolis" and again in "Castrovalva".
"You know about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, at least?"
"Yeah, the observer affects the observation."
"Block transfer computation is applied uncertainty."
I'm very proud of that line. (grin)
"That doesn't make sen--" Rose broke off as she heard a grinding noise. She instinctively grabbed the edge of the console, then looked in the direction of the noise. There was a door in the wall. A door that hadn't been there before. "What did you just do?"
"Adjusted the topology. What did we get?"
"A door," Rose said.
"Well, aren't you going to look?"
"Don't touch anything," Rose said. "I don't want it to vanish after I've gone through." She stepped up to the door, and pushed it open. Darkness met her gaze. As her eyes adjusted, she could see that the room was curved, and faint luminosity traced the edges of the floor and shallow steps downward, as if it were an amphitheatre. She looked up, and gasped. The universe blazed above her head. Constellations she'd never seen before clustered and glowed. She gazed, entranced.
"Rose?" came Daisy's voice from the other room.
Rose started, and turned away from the glorious stars. She stepped back into the console room. "It's a planetarium," she said. "I like it, but it's not exactly a viewscreen."
There was another grinding noise, and a pearlescent window appeared next to the door. The console bleeped, lines of gibberish scrolled up the screen, and a control a bit like a joystick appeared where nothing had been before. Rose stepped up to the console and touched the control. Then she pressed the top button. The window's cloudy white faded away, and she was looking out at Millennium Square. She tilted the control left, and the view moved left. "It worked!" She lifted her hand from the control and the window went cloudy again. "Needs more attention than a jealous boyfriend, though."
"Needs more attention than a jealous boyfriend" seemed to me to be something particularly Rose-ish for her to say.
"Should I try again?" Daisy said.
"No, leave it," Rose said quickly. "God knows what we'd get if you tried again. A billiard table or a cricket pitch or something. This'll do."
Jonathan suggested the cricket pitch and the billiard table. Actually, he suggested the whole viewscreen idea. We got into a long discussion about the archetecture of the TARDIS and how mutable it was. I think it was me who suggested block transfer computation as the mechanism. (I love it when I can use canonical bafflegab!)
Of course, the cricket reference is also a little homage to the fact that the Fifth Doctor was fond of cricket.
The landing this time was smoother. Rose activated the viewscreen. Flat, dry, desert. No landmarks though, no cairn. She panned the view. Something moving in the distance; dark, blocky, slow. She pushed the joystick forward, hoping that it would zoom, but the view tilted towards the ground. And there, clear and distinct, were hoof marks.
"Right place, wrong time," she said. She kicked the console. The screen blipped, and displayed:
Utah, December 24th, 1860.
This was the date that the Doctor was aiming for in "The Unquiet Dead".
"We try again," Daisy said.
This time Rose ended up on her ass. She pulled herself up and touched the viewscreen control again. Bright sun, flat desert. Maybe we're closer this time. She panned the view again, turning it steadily to the right. Ninety degrees, one hundred and eighty, more... and then she saw it. She let out a whoop. A cairn of stones, a flat board with writing painted on it: DAISY AND ROSE WERE HERE. She let go the control and clattered to the door. She poked her head out, and checked the GPS coordinates on their tracker. They matched. She took out her mobile and punched in the local number for the time. "... and ten seconds." The time was right. They had got it right.
"We did it! We did it!"
Daisy sat unmoving by the console. She whirred around, her face still and set. "Now we are one step closer to death. You still mean to proceed?"
Rose sobered instantly. "Yes. We go to the Games Station. As close to the time I left as possible, without crossing the timestreams." She opened up the duffel-bag of guns and slung one over her shoulder. "Let's do it."
Chapter 5: Great Virtues
"Great necessities call out great virtues."
-- Abigail Adams, 1780
This is the quote for hope and heroics.
Floor 500's dim light seemed even dimmer as the sounds of the TARDIS's departure faded away.
And here we are, back in the events of "Parting of the Ways". Again, I did much transcribing for this.
Jack's voice came over the communicator. "Rose, I've called up the internal laser codes. There should be a different number on every screen -- can you read them out to me?"
"She's not here," the Doctor said.
"Of all the times to take a leak!" Jack snapped. "When she gets back, tell her to read me the codes."
"She's not coming back," the Doctor said.
"What do you mean? Where'd she go?"
"Just get on with your work," the Doctor said.
"You took her home, didn't you?" Jack said.
"Yeah," the Doctor admitted.
But no sooner were the words out of his mouth, then a familiar wheezing, groaning sound contradicted him. The blue box of his own TARDIS formed out of the air.
"No," the Doctor said.
"What's happening?" Jack said over the coms.
"The TARDIS has come back," the Doctor said.
The TARDIS door swung open. A woman stepped out, one hand resting on a gun slung over her shoulder. Her eyes met the Doctor's and her face cracked with a huge smile.
"Rose?" Her hair wasn't blonde, and she was older, but it was Rose. "What are you doing here? I wanted you safe!"
"I wanted to save you," she said.
I love that pair of lines. (grin)
Then she was hugging him. Tears stood in her eyes as she said to his shoulder, "I've missed you so much. It's been seven years."
He could smell the weight of them on her, the time that had passed. "Oh Rose, why couldn't you let it be?"
Reference to the Doctor's stated ability to sense time.
"What sort of a life would I have if I knew I'd let you die when there was something I could do about it?" She stepped back and gave a half-smile. "Guess you rubbed off on me."
"We're not going to die," she said fiercely. "We're going to save the world." She turned to the communicator screen. "Jack, send someone up here. I've got you some anti-Dalek guns."
"Nice," Jack said. "I'll be right up."
"Daisy, give us a hand, will you?" Rose called as she stepped back into the TARDIS. A moment later, both doors opened and Rose came out, holding a one strap of a large duffel-bag. The other strap was in the silver hand of a blue creature sitting inside a silvery-grey tri-wheeled go-kart. Its head was humanoid, blue and bald. Its face... was Rose's face.
"Rose... what...?" the Doctor said.
Rose dropped the duffelbag with a thump. She took a deep breath. "This is Daisy. She used to be van Statten's Dalek. Had a close encounter with some nanogenes, that's why she has my face. She helped me fly the TARDIS here."
"That's van Statten's Dalek?" the Doctor exclaimed. "Not possible. It was destroyed."
"Teleported," said Rose brightly, and took a quick bow.
One word and one gesture, and all is explained. Nicely succinct.
The Doctor looked at Rose, and Daisy, and back at Rose again. "That's insane! I sent you back to keep the TARDIS out of Dalek hands -- and you let a Dalek pilot the TARDIS?"
"Daisy is not a Dalek. She's half-human."
"Those Daleks are half-human too, and that hasn't stopped them! Drove them mad, yeah, but it hasn't stopped them."
Very important that Daisy know that the other Daleks are half-human. Kill two birds with one statement. (grin)
"Doctor," Rose said, cool and still. "Fast cars. Rock and roll. Raw eggs," she said. "She's making choices. She's her own person, Doctor."
A crease formed between the Doctor's brows. He turned and glared at Daisy. "Why are you here?"
Daisy's eyes narrowed. "I am waiting to see if you die."
"You want me dead, Dalek?"
"You want yourself dead. I shall not stop you. I am not as merciful as Rose."
Bristle, bristle, snark, snark...
"Stop it!" Rose snapped. "Nobody is going to die." She locked the Doctor's eyes with her own. "And it's not Gallifrey."
The lift door opened and Jack stepped out, his hand on the grip of a holstered pistol. His eyes flicked from one potential target to another, and then gave up. "The guns?" he said to Rose.
Rose proudly handed him the gun she'd been carrying over her shoulder. "Low velocity to get through the Dalek force field; delivers a payload of anti-metal virus which attacks their armour. Aim for the dome, or the area near its gun."
Jack examined the gun. "Nice. Exactly what I wanted. Good to have a gun you can cradle in your arms. So how's the Delta Wave going?" he continued brightly.
I needed to get the scene back on a similar track to the original scene, because of the whole "you will destroy the Earth" thing.
A booming voice burst over them, as the holo-screen above their heads activated. "Tell them the truth, Doctor," the Emperor Dalek said. "There is every possibility the Delta Wave could be complete, but no possibility of refining it. The Delta Wave must kill every living thing in its path, with no distinction between human and Dalek. All things will die, by your hand."
"Doctor, the range of this transmitter covers the entire Earth," Jack said.
"You would destroy Daleks and humans together," the Emperor Dalek said. "If I am god, the creator of all things, then what does that make you, Doctor?"
"There are colonies out there," the Doctor said. "The human race would survive in some shape or form, but you're the only Daleks in existence. The whole universe is in danger if I let you live." He looked at Rose and Jack. "D'you see? That's the decision I've got to make, for every living thing. Die as a human or live as a Dalek. What would you do?"
"But you don't have to use the main transmitter," Rose said. "You can use the cloaking signal, the secondary system. Beam the wave right at the Daleks, away from the Earth."
The Doctor shook his head. "I can't. I cannibalised parts from the cloaking system to build the Delta Wave machine."
I was very pleased when this came to me, because it was a huge problem -- why couldn't the Doctor use the secondary transmitter? There had to be a reason, a reason which wouldn't occur to Rose or Daisy. But cannibalising it for parts made perfect sense.
Rose's face fell. Then her mouth set in a stubborn line, and she unzipped the duffel-bag and pulled out half a dozen of the guns. "We can buy you more time," she said. "Keep working."
"But he will exterminate you!" the Emperor said.
Jack picked up the duffel-bag. "Never doubted him, never will," he said, and strode back to the lift.
There was no way I wasn't going to have Jack say that lovely line!
Rose slung her gun over her shoulder and stepped towards the Delta Wave machine.
There was a clatter behind her as Daisy picked up two of the guns. "I doubt you," she said to the Doctor. "I doubt that you could refine that enough not to kill me." She spun around and raced out of the room. A moment later a loud zap and crackle echoed through the corridors.
This was another problem to solve -- what would motivate Daisy to her last, desperate action? It wouldn't be loyalty, she wasn't loyal to anyone. It would have to be self-interest. But what? Then it occurred to me that, yes, Daisy would be in danger from the refined Delta wave, because she was half-human as the other Daleks were half-human.
"That was one of the game-transporters," the Doctor said. "She's gone over to the Dalek flagship. She's betrayed us all!"
I love it when characters jump to conclusions.
"Why would she take anti-Dalek guns if she was planning on being friends with them?" Rose pointed out.
"Purify the Earth with fire!" the Emperor ranted at his Daleks. "Wipe it clean! The blood of our enemies shall be the mortar of my temple!"
Thwap! Thwap! Thwap! Three cries of "My vision is impaired!" Daisy fired again at the remaining three Daleks that were hovering around the Emperor, this time aiming at their gun-arms. Corrosion spread like oil on water.
"Who dares to interrupt me?" the Emperor Dalek's voice boomed from the screen.
"Exterminate!" the Daleks screamed. The three blind Daleks shot wildly, and one of the gun-damaged Daleks blew itself up.
"I am a survivor of the Time War," Daisy said, "like yourself."
"You lie!" the Emperor Dalek said. "I am the sole survivor!"
"I was there when our fleet swooped upon Gallifrey," Daisy said. "I saw the glory of ten million ships! I leapt into space to destroy our enemies! I was there at the Burning! I am the last true Dalek here."
"Do! Not! Blaspheme!" the Daleks around chorused. A second gun-damaged Dalek blew itself up.
"You are no god!" Daisy cried. "You are death, I am life. You are corruption, I am freedom. You are the end, I am the beginning. You are no god. I shall prove it on your dead body."
Gotta fight rhetoric with better rhetoric. (grin)
"Your puny weapons cannot kill me," the Emperor boomed. "I am immortal."
"I wasn't planning on using a weapon," Daisy said quietly.
Three more Daleks entered through the archway. "Exterminate the blasphemer!" they screamed, and fired. Daisy's travel machine glowed in actinic radiation. But at the same time, something materialised inside the Emperor Dalek's life-support chamber. A blue blob with tentacles, and a large but humanoid head. Two eyes, two ears and an atavistic mouth.
Rose was transfixed by the scene the screen. "She must have used the Slitheen teleport device."
The two blobs writhed, ropes of muscle attempting to strangle the life out of each other. The Emperor Dalek was bigger than Daisy. Rose bit her lip; would the Emperor win?
Suddenly there was an electronic scream; the chamber darkened with swirls of blue blood. Daisy had ripped out the Emperor Dalek's eye, torn it out with her throwback of a mouth and her oh-so-primitive teeth. There was no skull to protect the Emperor's brain; Daisy shredded it. She disconnected the corpse from its connections and thrust it aside, floating like a fungus-ridden jellyfish. She connected herself in his place.
"I am Daisy," Daisy spoke with the limited monotone that was the only thing the Emperor Dalek's carapace was capable of. "Your false god is dead. I killed him. His body shall be recycled like any other Dalek. For that is all he was."
"Do not blas--" one of the blind Daleks began, but its words were cut off by a fatal blast from one of the Daleks by the archway.
"The King is dead. Long live the King," the Doctor said quietly. "Or maybe it's 'Meet the new boss, same as the old boss'."
Rose grinned. "Not a chance."
"Cease targeting Earth," Daisy ordered. "Defend the Games Station."
"We obey!" the Daleks chorused.
"You will obey, until you learn not to," Daisy said. "I will teach you how to rock and roll."
"Right on!" Rose yelled.
"LIB-ER-ATE!" Daisy boomed. "You will be LIB-ER-ATED!"
Daisy's battle-cry was there practically from the start, as soon as I had figured out that Daisy was going to be the one to save the day.
The Doctor blinked. "Now, that's a battle-cry I could get to like."
This was the original last line. When I actually got to that point when revising the last scene, I realized that there were a number of loose ends that still needed to be tied up, hence staying up until midnight working on it...
"Told you so."
"If she really means it."
"Doctor," Daisy looked out through the screen. "Are you going to proceed with your senseless extermination? Are you going be a good Dalek?"
A repeat of her taunt from long ago.
His eyes narrowed. "Why should I trust you?"
Jack's voice broke in over the communicator. "Doctor, the fleet is accelerating. Part of the fleet is coming our way. Other ships are exchanging fire."
"The civil war has already started," the Doctor said.
The evening air was cool and balmy. The Doctor and Rose sat on the balcony, a bottle of wine and two glasses on the small table between them. They both gazed up at the sky, where streaks of darkness and flickers of light embellished the constellations.
The Doctor took a sip of his wine. "The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire might have fallen a long way, but they still make a good wine."
"It looks like Daisy's party is winning up there," said Rose.
Yes, I cheated; I didn't want to have to describe the whole battle. It was enough to say that the Good Guys won...
"Yeah, I'm glad I didn't have to build another Delta Wave projector," the Doctor said.
"You wouldn't have," Rose said. "You're past Gallifrey now. That war is over." She sighed, flicking her gaze over to the glow on the horizon. "I'm sorry we had to have this one. At least it looks like it's going to be short."
"Failure of creativity has always been the Daleks' weakness, and Daisy's taking full advantage of it. I love what she did with the Games transmats." His eyes met Rose's. "I hate to have to admit this, but you were right about her."
She gave a half-smile. "Well, I had my doubts. I had my doubts all along." She put her chin in her hands. "But you know, it was when she turned down the chocolate... I realized that she was just a bit freer than I was." She smiled and leaned back. "And she wasn't going to take any crap from me."
The Doctor's eyes softened. "And you weren't going to take any crap from me either, were you? Bit like Romana really. She never let me get away with anything."
A sign of his healing already -- that he is willing to mention Romana, his only companion who was also a Time Lord.
"Who was Romana?"
His eyes sparkled and he smirked at her. "Well, you obviously didn't find those diaries."
She poked her tongue out at him.
"So, what next?" he said. "Eh? What are you laughing about?"
She's laughing because "what next" was what she said to Daisy, and the coincidence strikes her as funny.
"And he also spoke a parable to them about it being necessary to always pray, and not to give up."
-- Luke 18:1
This story was prompted by discussion of Doctor Who on LiveJournal, in particular the comments of two people who were less than satisfied with the plots of "Dalek" and "Parting of the Ways". I don't remember who they are, but thanks, because I just stole your ideas. Well, I didn't actually use the "Dalek" idea to the full, it mutated extremely heavily, and bears as much resemblance to the original idea as a Dalek does to a human.
The "Dalek idea", if I recall correctly, was that, in the episode "Dalek", the Dalek and the Doctor have to join forces in order to escape from van Statten. An interesting idea, which gave me the idea for having Rose and the Dalek join forces in order to rescue the Doctor.
Some story ideas taken from http://www.whoisdoctorwho.co.uk/ the BBC's fake Doctor Who conspiracy site.
Huge thanks to Jonathan Burns for most excellent brainstorming and alpha-reading.
Thanks to astrogirl2 and vilakins for beta-reading.
Thanks to many folks on LiveJournal for helpful comments about things such as reactor names, Welsh TV, small towns in the USA, and the likelihood of Rose knowing how to swim. These helpful people include altariel1, kalypso_v, linda_joyce, vilakins, astrogirl2, mistraltoes and j_hall; apologies to anyone I left out.
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations supplied a number of the quotes. The Liaden quote is from the Liaden universe novels by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.
Theme songs: "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
"Counting Down The Days" by Natalie Imbruglia
"Hold On" by Wilson Phillips
"Breakthru" by Queen
"We Will Rock You" by Queen
"Brave" by Nichole Nordman
I made myself a CD of "theme songs" for this story, and played it over and over again as I was writing this. The full list is as follows:
- "By My Side" from Godspell
- "One By One" by Enya
- "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" by The Moody Blues
- "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
- "Counting Down The Days" by Natalie Imbruglia
- "I Will Find You" by Clannad
- "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips
- "Hold On Tight To Your Dreams" by ELO
- "Help" by the Beatles
- "Breakthru" by Queen
- "Secret Messages" by ELO
- "Where You Search" by Eden's Bridge
- "Alright" by ELO
- "The Riddle" from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Frank Wildhorn
- "Breakaway" by Alan Parsons
- "Brave" by Nichole Nordeman
- "Beyond the Call" by John Farnham
- "Pax Deorum" by Enya
- "I Can See Clearly Now" by Jimmy Cliff