xiii. utopia (part 01)
THE TARDIS LANDS IN Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff, and a wide grin spreads across Violet’s face as she flies around the console to look at the monitor, scanning the area and finding the familiar landmark only moments later. She watches as the water cascades down the sides of the reflective monument with a soft, nostalgic smile.
“Cardiff,” the Doctor declares.
Martha is in disbelief. “Cardiff?”
“Ah, but the thing about Cardiff, it’s built on a Rift in time and space, just like California and the San Andreas Fault, but the Rift bleeds energy. Every now and then I need to open up the engines, soak up the energy and use it as fuel.”
“So it’s a pit stop.”
“Exactly. Should only take twenty seconds. The Rift’s been active.”
A man in a great big coat is running across the plaza and Violet can’t help the grin that breaks across her young face, or the delight that pulses in her centuries old eyes. It is Captain Jack Harkness, and he has a rucksack on his back.
“Wait a minute. They had an earthquake in Cardiff a couple of years ago. Was that you?”
“Bit of trouble with the Slitheen. A long time ago. Lifetimes. I was a different man back then.”
Jack’s mouth moves on the monitor, and Violet can only guess that he’s yelling out “Doctor!” as the man in question comes back around the console to stand beside Violet once he informs her and Martha that the TARDIS is all powered up. The Doctor sees Jack on the scanner and he sets the Time Rotor moving. Jack leaps for the TARDIS and something goes bang and shakes the console room before Violet can whack the only other remaining being of her species.
“Whoa! What’s that?” Martha exclaims, hands gripping the console.
“We’re accelerating into the future,” Violet breathes in disbelief.
The Doctor hits the monitor, staring at it with an almost horrified expression. “The year one billion. Five billion. Five trillion. Fifty trillion? What? The year one hundred trillion? That’s impossible.”
“Why?” Martha exclaims. “What happens then?”
“We’re going to the end of the universe.”
Violet keeps her glasses covered eyes glued on the monitor, worry spiking and stinging within her as she hangs on for dear life. Jack is hanging on for his life as the TARDIS hurtles through the vortex, and shows no sign of letting go as he calls out for the Doctor again. The large blue coat whips around the time traveller as he clings to the blue time machine, head flush against the wood and blue eyes wide.
The TARDIS comes to a stop moments later, sending the three inside reeling, and the one on the outside tumbling to the earth, currently as dead as a doornail. Violet’s eyes fly over the monitor with a sickening feeling in her gut at the readings, and a call that is beckoning her from not too far away.
“Well, we’ve landed,” the Doctor informs with a strange voice.
“So what’s out there?” Martha asks.
“I don’t know.”
“Say that again. That’s rare.”
“Not even the Time Lords came this far. We should leave. We should go. We should really, really go.”
Violet shakes her head and slips out the door of the TARDIS, coming to a stop a few metres from the door, staring down at the currently dead body of her former lover for a moment before sitting cross-legged beside the 51st Century man. The Doctor runs out of the blue box with a wide grin on his face moments later and it’s with no surprise that Martha is following behind the Time Lord like a lost puppy. Almost instantly, she spots Jack lying on the ground near the TARDIS and Violet sitting beside the immortal man.
“Oh my God,” the British woman exclaims, landing on the ground beside the man and instantly trying to find a pulse. “Can’t get a pulse. Hold on. You’ve got that medical kit thing.”
The older woman runs into the TARDIS and leaves the three time travellers outside where there is more danger than Violet cares to share with the Doctor. She has been this far in time before, but not to this exact place at the end of the universe.
“Hello again,” the Doctor greets with a mixed expression of sadness and something Violet can’t quite put her finger on. “Oh, I’m sorry.”
Martha returns with the medical kit a minute later and places herself beside the currently dead Captain Jack Harkness and a patiently waiting Violet. As the woman tries to do whatever it is doctors do, she and the Doctor have a chat, making Violet’s skin crawl at how nonchalant the Time Lord sounds as he explains how he knows the man and how he followed them to the end of the universe.
Violet watches with amusement and delight as Jack gasps and grabs Martha, who screams at the unexpected movement. The half Gallifreyan watches with a soft smile as the British woman carefully raises the alien up off the dirt, earning herself a blinding smile from the man.
“Captain Jack Harkness,” the flirty man greets. “And who are you?”
“Martha Jones,” the doctor-in-training informs with a blush.
“Nice to meet you, Martha Jones.”
The Doctor sticks his hands in the pants of his suit and rolls his eyes. “Oh, don’t start.”
“I was only saying hello.”
Martha helps Jack stand up, both clearly having forgotten that Violet is sitting beside where he once lay. Except, that thought is banished from her mind the second Jack turns around and pulls Violet up from the dusty ground and into his arms, holding her tightly as though they have been apart for longer than a week at most. The centuries old girl reciprocates the hug without hesitation, burying her face into his long coat as one of his hands rests on her lower back and the other on the back of her head, head resting against hers and eyes closed as he holds the young girl.
It takes for the Doctor to clear his throat to snap the two aliens back to the current present and move away from each others hold, a slight flush of embarrassment dusted over Violet’s cheeks and a wide grin on Jack’s face. However, it’s quick to fade as Jack’s baby blue eyes meet the Doctor’s deep brown ones, a sort of respectful reverence and bubbling irritation taking its place.
“Doctor,” Jack greets.
“Captain,” the Doctor replies.
“Good to see you.”
“And you. Same as ever. Although, have you had work done?”
“You can talk.”
“Oh yes, the face. Regeneration. How did you know this was me?”
“The police box kind of gives it away. I’ve been following you for a long time. You abandoned me.”
“Did I? Busy life. Moving on.”
“Just got to ask. The Battle of Canary Wharf. I saw the list of the dead. It said Rose Tyler.”
Violet flinches, and it’s not missed by Jack.
The Doctor grins. “Oh, no! Sorry, she’s alive.”
“You’re kidding,” the immortal breathes in disbelief.
“Parallel world, safe and sound - and Mickey, and her mother.”
A bright smile bursts to life on Jack’s face as he hugs the Doctor, the Time Lord grinning widely. Violet allows herself to have a wide smile tinged with sadness and loss grace her face, but it’s forced away when she hears Martha mutter a “good old Rose” in a sarcastic voice. That, of course, ends with Violet lightly slapping the darker-skinned woman and giving her a warning glare.
Turning on her heel, Violet begins walking in the direction the call is coming from, making Jack and the Doctor hurry after her, Martha hot on their heels. The young Time Lady is not amused by the conversation between the three travellers, and decides to tune it out, thinking of a time when it was much simpler and a time when all of this hadn’t happened yet.
“So there I was, stranded in the year 200-100, ankle deep in Dalek dust, and he goes off without me. But I had this.” Jack holds up his wrist and shows Martha his Vortex Manipulator. “I used to be a Time Agent. It’s called a Vortex Manipulator. He’s not the only one who can time travel.”
“Oh, excuse me. That is not time travel,” the Doctor laughs with annoyance, turning and jabbing a finger at the offensive technology. “It’s like, I’ve got a sports car and you’ve got a space hopper.”
“Oh ho. Boys and their toys.” Martha snickers and looks over at Violet, earning a grin in response as the physically younger girl all but latches onto Jack.
“All right, so I bounced. I thought 21st century, the best place to find the Doctor, except that I got it a little wrong,” the immortal man informs. “Arrived in 1869, this thing burnt out, so it was useless.”
“Told you,” the Doctor
“I had to live through the entire twentieth century waiting for a version of you that would coincide with me.”
“But that makes you more than one hundred years old,” Martha says with disbelief.
“And looking good, don’t you think? So I went to the time rift, based myself there because I knew you’d come back to refuel. Until finally I get a signal on this detecting you and here we are.”
“But the thing is, how come you left him behind, Doctor?”
“I was busy.”
“Is that what happens, though, seriously? Do you just get bored with us one day and disappear?”
“Not if you’re blonde,” Jack says with a slight chuckle.
“Oh, she was blonde?” Martha exclaims. “Oh, what a surprise!”
“You two!” the Doctor groans. “We’re at the end of the universe, all right? Right at the edge of knowledge itself and you’re busy blogging! Come on.”