14 : Utopia (Part 2)
Skip forward a little and Violet finds herself inside what humans and aliens remaining call the “silo,” and she can see why they do - it’s cylindrical and all, and downright creepy in her opinion. Being inside this building is making her head spin and her stomach churn, and the now undeniable call worse than it was when they first left the TARDIS.
The four time travellers are lead by an alien called Chantho through the silo, past countless people, and even a woman who Violet knows should not be there - someone with teeth like the Futurekind outside who eat humans. However, that thought is of minimal concern as Violet comes face-to-face with an almost elderly man, her eyes widening in horror and her mouth becoming dry, and the call downright unbearable as she looks into intelligent brown eyes.
Whilst they aren’t the same as she remembers them, they dredge up some of the horrors of Violet’s past; fire and blood of countless species, and of her friends and family. She remembers the insane laugh that would seem to echo over the sound of the screams of aliens and humans of the future alike, and the chills it would make encompass her body.
“So what about those things outside?” Jack asks, snapping Violet from her memories. “The Beastie Boys. What are they?”
“We call them the Futurekind, which is a myth in itself,” the man, Professor Yana, informs. “But it’s feared they are what we will become, unless we reach Utopia.”
The Doctor looks over at the elderly man. “And Utopia is?”
“Oh, every human knows of Utopia. Where have you been?”
“Bit of a hermit.”
“A hermit with friends?”
“Hermits United. We meet up every ten years and swap stories about caves. It’s good fun, for a hermit. So, er, Utopia?”
Yana shows them a display on the gravitational field navigation system. “The call came from across the stars, over and over again. Come to Utopia. Originating from that point.”
The Doctor pulls on a pair of glasses and looks at the display. “Where is that?”
“Oh, it’s far beyond the Condensate Wilderness, out towards the Wildlands and the Dark Matter reefs, calling us in. The last of the humans scattered across the night.”
“What do you think’s out there?”
“We can’t know. A colony, a city, some sort of haven? The Science Foundation created the Utopia Project thousands of years ago to preserve mankind, to find a way of surviving beyond the collapse of reality itself. Now perhaps they found it. Perhaps not. But it’s worth a look, don’t you think?”
Violet’s head snaps toward the professor as Yana hears the drum beats again, all but drowning out the Doctor’s words, and she forces the lump in her throat down as she swallows. In all her years, she’s only ever met one being who hears drum beats inside his head, and the thought of him sends chills down her spine and makes her body begin to tremble. She doesn’t want it to be who she believes it to be, but all the signs are pointing to Professor Yana being that being.
“Professor? Professor? Professor,” the Doctor calls.
“I, er, ahem, right, that’s enough talk,” Professor Yana informs, stumbling over his words. “There’s work to do. Now if you could leave, thank you.”
As the Doctor and Professor Yana talk, Violet crouches down in front of the jar containing the Doctor’s hand from when he first regenerated into this version of himself and had a duel with some alien, effectively losing his hand. It bothers the young half Time Lord seeing another version of this hand in the future when another version is back in the Torchwood bunker where Ianto and Gwen currently are.
A single exclamation of “Don’t! It’s going to flare!” from the Doctor breaks the young girl from her thoughts, and her own grey-blue eyes widen in horror as she witnesses power surge through Jack as he holds the live ends of wire together, being electrocuted as it flares. Violet and Martha pull Jack away from the live wires and the latter gives Jack mouth to mouth resuscitation, making the former growl lowly in her throat, cursing Jack in the ancient language that is long forgotten.
“Martha, leave him,” the Doctor orders.
The darker-skinned woman pulls away from the immortal man. “You’ve got to let me try.”
“Come on, come on, just listen to me. Now leave him alone. It strikes me, Professor, you’ve got a room which no man can enter without dying. Is that correct?”
“Yes,” Professor Yana replies, confusion alive on his seemingly innocent face.
Violet leans down and briefly kisses her former lover, resting her forehead on his and closing her eyes as she is forced to witness him die yet again. Jack gasps as he returns to life, making the half breed to move away from him, smiling softly.
“I think I’ve got just the man,” the Doctor informs.
“Was someone kissing me?” the disorientated man asks, bright blue eyes looking over at Violet for a moment.
It doesn’t take long to fill Jack in, and soon he’s rushing off with the Doctor, leaving Violet with Martha and Professor Yana. The half breed watches on the monitor as they talk with a man for a moment before Jack sheds his shirt and goes to walk into the room filled with stet radiation, making Violet’s skin crawl at the thought of the stuff.
Jack’s voice filters through the speakers. “How long have you known?”
The Doctor leans against the wall. “Ever since I ran away from you. Good luck.”
Jack goes inside the radiation chamber and continues connecting things up. The screen turns black and Martha reboots the monitor by typing Atillo into a hiragona keyboard before calling for the Doctor. Once she gets a reply, Violet leans against a wall and watches the screen, hardly paying attention to their conversation, but unable to pay full attention to the screen as a sharp pain arises in her mind the moment Yana hears voices whispering in his head.
The Doctor’s voice slices through the pain. “When did you first realise?”
“Earth, 1892,” Jack replies. “Got in a fight in Ellis Island. A man shot me through the heart. Then I woke up. Thought it was kind of strange, but then it never stopped. Fell off a cliff, trampled by horses, World War One, World War Two, poison, starvation, a stray javelin. In the end, I got the message. I’m the man who can never die, and all that time you knew.”
“That’s why I left you behind. It’s not easy even just looking at you, Jack, because you’re wrong.”
“You are. I can’t help it. I’m a Time Lord. It’s instinct. It’s in my guts. You’re a fixed point in time and space; you’re a fact. That’s never meant to happen. Even the TARDIS reacted against you, tried to shake you off. Flew all the way to the end of the universe just to get rid of you.”
“So what you’re saying is that you’re, er, prejudiced?”
“I never thought of it like that.”
“Shame on you.”
“Last thing I remember, back when I was mortal, I was facing three Daleks. Death by extermination, and then I came back to life.” Jack pauses and Violet winces, knowing that pain. “What happened?”
“Rose,” the Doctor replies, his voice more pained than Violet has heard it in a while.
“I thought you’d sent her back home.”
“She came back. Opened the heart of the TARDIS and absorbed the Time Vortex itself.”
“What does that mean, exactly?”
“No one’s ever mean to have that power.” The Doctor shakes his head. “If a Time Lord did that, he’d become a god. A vengeful god. But she was Human. Everything she did was so Human. She brought you back to life but she couldn’t control it. She brought you back forever. That’s something, I suppose. The final act of the Time War was life.”
“Do you think she could change me back?” Jack has never sounded more hopeful to Violet.
“I took the power out of her. She’s gone, Jack. She’s not just living on a parallel world, she’s trapped there. The walls have closed.”
“I went back to her estate, in the nineties, just once or twice. Watched her growing up. Never said hello. Timelines and all that.”
“Do you want to die?”
Jack dodges the question. “Oh, this one’s a little stuck.”
“Jack?” the Doctor pushes.
“I thought I did. I don’t know. But this lot. You see them out here surviving, and that’s fantastic.”
“You might be out there, somewhere.”
“I could go meet myself.”
“Well, the only man you’re ever going to be happy with.”
“This new Regeneration, it’s kind of cheeky.”
Violet’s head snaps away from the screen at Chantho’s worried voice, and she’s not disappointed when Professor Yana starts ranting about time travel and time running out. Her ancient eyes dart to the man’s hands at a flash of gold and her stomach drops at the sight of an ornately inscribed fob watch.
Martha quickly questions the man once she sees the fob watch, and the answers she gets make Violet push herself off the wall and stare at the Professor with dead, emotionless eyes. Martha turns the watch over and recognises the inscriptions, instantly handing the watch back and excusing herself to go find the Doctor just as Jack makes the final connection in the radiation room.