xl. the stolen earth (part 03)
“CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?” a woman’s voice calls, startling Violet. “The Subwave Network is open. You should be able to hear my voice. Is there anyone there?”
A static ridden picture comes on the computer screen, making the young half Gallifreyan frown. She shares a look with Jack before turning back to the screen
“Who’s that?” a young male voice asks.
“Some poor soul calling for help,” an older woman replies, the familiarity of the voice making Violet smile.
“Can anyone hear me?” the first woman repeats.
“There’s nothing we can do.”
“But look at Mister Smith,” the young male says.
“Processing incoming Subwave,” a robotic voice informs.
“This message is of the utmost importance,” the first woman pleads. “We haven’t much time. Can anyone hear me?”
“Someone’s trying to get in touch,” Gwen informs.
“The whole world’s crying out,” Jack sighs, sounding completely drained and defeated. “Just leave it.”
The image starts to resolve into colour and a woman appears on the screen. “Captain Jack Harkness, shame on you. Now stand to attention, sir.”
“What? Who is that?” He hurries over to Violet and stares at the screen.
Harriet holds up her ID. “Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.”
“Yeah, I know who you are.”
“Sarah Jane Smith, 13 Bannerman Road. Are you there?”
“Yeah,” Sarah Jane replies. “Yeah, I’m here. That, that’s me.”
“Sarah Jane, it’s Violet,” the half Gallifreyan greets, a wide smile on her face. “Do you remember me?”
“Yes, I remember, Vi.”
“Good,” Harriet replies, cutting their reunion short. “Now, let’s see if we can talk to each other.”
Three images come up on the four quarters of the screen - Harriet, Jack and Violet, Sarah Jane and Luke, and static.
“The fourth contact seems to be having some trouble getting through. I’ll just boost the signal.”
Martha appears on the screen. “Hello?”
“Ha, ha!” Jack exclaims, a wide grin on his face. “Martha Jones. Martha, where are you?”
“I guess Project Indigo was more clever than we thought. One second I was in Manhattan, next second... Maybe Indigo tapped into my mind, because I ended up in the one place that I wanted to be. But then all of a sudden, it’s like the laptop turned itself on.”
“It did. That was me,” Harriet informs. “Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister.”
“Yes, I know who you are.”
“I thought it was about time we all met given the current crisis. Torchwood, this is Sarah Jane Smith.”
“I’ve been following your work,” Jack appreciates. “Nice job with the Slitheen.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve been staying away from you lot,” Sarah Jane retorts. “Too many guns.” She nods towards young Luke.
“All the same, might I say looking good, ma’am?”
“Not now, Captain. And Martha Jones, former companion to the Doctor.” Harriet squints at her screen. “And it appears we have the Doctor’s wife with us too. Hello, Violet.”
Violet rolls her eyes. “The news must have travelled back in time to reach your ears, Harriet Jones.”
“We know quite a lot about you, except for certain things we’ve found to be unattainable.”
“Let me guess, like my race and age? Also my other relationships and marriages? Yeah, I know. I’m good when it comes to hiding things.”
“But how did you find me?” Martha asks, cutting off the almost bitch fight with an amused smile.
“This, ladies and gentlemen, this is the Subwave Network,” Harriet declares. “A sentient piece of software programmed to seek out anyone and everyone who can help to contact the Doctor.”
“What if the Daleks can hear us?”
“No, that’s the beauty of the Subwave. It’s undetectable.”
“And you invented it?” Sarah Jane asks.
“I developed it. It was created by the Mister Copper Foundation.”
“Yeah, but what we need right now is a weapon,” Jack says, crossing his arms over his chest. “Martha, back there at UNIT, what, what did they give you? What was that key thing?”
“The Osterhagen key,” Martha informs.
“That key is not to be used, Doctor Jones,” Harriet says, a warning tone in her voice. “Not under any circumstances.”
“But what is an Osterhagen key?” Jack asks.
“Forget about the key, and that’s an order. All we need is the Doctor.”
Violet looks over her shoulder at Jack. “It basically controls all the nuclear weapons on this planet. It’ll blow up the planet.”
The bewildered and horrified looks on Jack’s, Ianto’s and Gwen’s faces would be laughable at any time other than where it appears to be the end of all life on the twenty-seven planets thanks to a genocidal race of aliens, so Violet remains with a blank expression as she turns back to the screen, and the conversation she briefly left.
“But I’ve been trying to find him,” Martha stresses. “The Doctor’s got my phone on the TARDIS, but I can’t get through.”
“I haven’t had any luck either,” Violet informs. “I’m guessing the thing we have in common doesn’t wanna work either.”
“That’s why we need the Subwave,” Harriet informs. “To bring us all together. Combine forces. The Doctor’s secret army.”
“Wait a minute. We boost the signal. That’s it,” Jack exclaims, utterly delighted at his idea. “We transmit that telephone number through Torchwood itself, using all the power of the Rift.”
“And we’ve got Mister Smith,” Sarah Jane’s son, Luke, adds. “He can link up with every telephone exchange on the Earth. He can get the whole world to call the same number, all at the same time. Billions of phones, calling out all at once”
“Brilliant. Who’s the kid?”
“That’s my son,” Sarah Jane replies.
“Excuse me. Sorry. Sorry. Hello. Ianto Jones,” Ianto says awkwardly, pushing his way onto the screen. “Er, if we start transmitting, then this Subwave Network is going to become visible. I mean, to the Daleks.”
“Yes, and they’ll trace it back to me,” Harriet informs, making Violet’s stomach drop. “But my life doesn’t matter. Not if it saves the Earth.”
Jack salutes. “Ma’am.”
“Thank you, Captain. But there are people out there dying on the streets. Now, enough of words. Let’s begin.”
Jack, Gwen and Ianto spring into action, the former two heading to the other computer and Ianto heading to the Rift Manipulator in the middle of the Hub. Violet shrinks down the Subwave Network and begins to work on coordinating all the terminals in the Hub, her fingers flying across the keyboard at a pace not many could match. While she does that, she starts humming a song that doesn’t come out for another few years, earning confused looks from everyone except Jack, who starts humming along with her.
Soon they’re quietly singing top hits from the next decade, leaving everyone else utterly confused as to what is going on in front of them. Violet can’t help but laugh at the bewildered looks as they start yet another song, this one a hit from 2011; two years in the future. Jack lets out a loud laugh at the song of choice, but he sings it all the same, and that makes Violet grin, now knowing that the 51st Century man is the biggest damn fangirl of all time.
“Rift power activated,” Jack declares.
“All terminals coordinated,” Violet informs.
Ianto plugs in a big power cable. “National grid online. Giving you everything we’ve got.”
“Connecting you to Mister Smith,” Sarah Jane informs.
“All telephone networks combined,” Luke declares.
“Sending you the number now,” Martha calls.
Calling 07700 900461.
“Opening Subwave Network to maximum,” Harriet says, typing away.
“Mister Smith, make that call,” Sarah Jane orders.
Mr Smith does just that. “Calling the Doctor.”
“And sending.” Jack hits the enter button.
Circles of energy pulse out from the ornamental waterfall in Roald Dahl Plass.