Doctor Who: Life with Theta

Those Mechanical Lights

“I told you, my name is Jenny. I was born from an extrapolator on the planet Messaline. Go ahead. Test me!”

But no matter how many times she said it, the men in black and white seemed not to hear. They were watching her now, gauging her, studying. It really was too obvious. They thought she was a crazy. Well, she didn’t have time for them. She had to find her father The Doctor, tell him about the TimeStation, about the Rani and her former partner. About the CAT. But here she was. Back in a cell again. Brilliant.

Suddenly a honeyed voice was in her head, soft and thick and smooth as silver.

“Hello, Jenny. Don’t ask. Just wait there. I’ll have you out of this detestable place in a very few moments.”

“Who are you?”

Mentally, she asked it of him, for oh yes, it was certainly a him. But she had watched the CAT die in her arms on the TimeStation as the Rani trashed the controls, so who could it be? It wasn’t her father’s mental presence, and yet she knew him. Or rather, a part of him.

“Hey, young lady. Are you listening to us?”

“Don’t bother, Tobin. She’s off in la-la land. Just look at that stupid grin she’s got on her face.”

“Well, I certainly think that was uncalled for, Remmy. Now miss, uh, Jenny. Do you want a nice glass of water? I could get you one, if you like.”

Jenny shook her head, staring at him with that -stupid grin- her father so favored. “No thanks. I really ought to be going. I’ve got a universe to save!”

“That does it. Call upstate. We gotta get her to the psych ward.”


The stockier of the two men, William Tobin, held up two shiny metal click-rings attached by a chain.

“Did I say water? I meant these, uh, pretty bracelets! Now, honey, you just put these on and we’ll, uh-”

“Those handcuffs won’t be necessary, gentlemen.”

It was that honeyed voice again. A knock came at the door, and when it had opened fully, a man stood in the gap. A pallid man, with bright silver eyes that sparkled like her father’s. The two men stared at the third, for he was a tall man, with a face full of faint scars that caught the dim light just so, making him look... rather menacing. But she could smell her father on him.

“Oh, hello! Are you here to take me to my father?”

She said it with gusto, ignoring the two men as she stood up and moved toward the tall man at the door. Suddenly the man’s pale face swung left to right, as though he were listening to something far off, something that would not be staying that way for very long. She listened, too.


Their gazes connected, and they understood each other. But more importantly, she understood what he wanted her to do. Looking back at the two men, Jenny slipped past the man who smelled of her father and hit the opposite wall, flattening herself against the hard, cold blocks.

“What are you going to do about these people?”

“Oh, don’t worry about them. They won’t remember much of anything after Captain Jack gets through with them.”

A frown grew on Jenny’s face. She hadn’t believed her father would befriend anyone who could kill so easi-”

But the man’s voice interrupted her.

“It’s quite all right, Jenny. Jack would never betray your father in such a fashion. Just follow me, and we’ll soon get to where we need to go.”

Well that was fast. He must have seen her scrunch her face muscles. Absently she wondered what her father would have done as the man smiled, grabbed her hand and sprinted toward yet another man, who -in a long bluish coat and faded boots- was leaning on the emergency exit staircase wearing a crooked grin and waving after them with a strange gun. He had a strap on his wrist of faded leather, which he would check every few minutes.

“Captain Jack, Jenny. Jenny, Captain Jack.”

The pale man, -Jack called him an albino- introduced them to each other as the three of them were running down the stairs.

“May I suggest a swift departure, Captain?”

To her utter awe, his silvery-blue eyes glinted in amusement when he spoke, just like her father’s.

“Sounds like a plan! Let’s go!”

Jenny said it with a shrug, just like The Doctor would have. Then she turned to Jack as they hit flat ground again on the back lot of the station.

“What did you do to them, Jack? Did you give them something to knock them out? Hope it doesn’t hurt them. Dad wouldn’t like that much.”

The man grinned as he ran beside her, one hand on her shoulder for a short moment.

“You’re right. When he wakes up, I’m never gonna hear the end of it for using that much Retcon. Aloysius, shall we hightail it?”

They’d reached the opposite lot, where a mess of rusted fence stood guard across an overgrown field. There was a blue box in the clearing, and the grass wasn’t blowing around it.

Jenny knew it at once.

“Dad’s ship! But where is he?”

She turned to Jack.

“Is he all right? I know he’s pregnant, but... why did he need to sleep? Was he hurt?”

Jack just looked at her.

“Ah, well... one of his hearts sort of... there was this signal from space that was hurting him badly. We couldn’t wake him up, so we brought him back to Her... ”

Aloysius touched his shoulder lightly.

“Jack. Perhaps she should see him for herself.”

The other man seemed to hesitate as he met Jenny’s eyes, then he looked away toward her father’s ship, giving them the come on to hurry to the safety of that ship. The safety of the TARDIS.

Then they had to duck, for the sound of clicking guns could be heard coming at them.

“Hm. Reinforcements. How unfortunate. Perhaps you ought to have upped their dosage?”

Agent Pendergast ducked as a bullet winged past his face, drawing a line of blood. He never blinked.

Jack just glared as he crawled, taking a moment to look back and fire his strange, sleek firearm into the air. Then Pendergast flung a hand toward the crowd of police, and a flood of air flew backwards at their pursuers, shoving the gaggle of officers back.

“What was that?”

Jack managed flatly as they reached the safe confines of the TARDIS’ shielding.

But Pendergast only smiled as he took Jenny’s shoulders briefly, then pointed her in the direction of the center console.

“A magician must keep some secrets, Captain Harkness,” he breathed, distracted for a moment as he wiped sweat from his thin white eyebrows with the flick of a slender hand, “... now, Jenny, I don’t want you to be alarmed, but... he may look quite different than before, do you understand?”

All she could see were the wings. Three red wings were poking from her father’s back. He was floating above the console, curled in a loose ball within a twisted mesh of coral and crystal and validium.

“It looks... like the ship grew around him, doesn’t it?”

“That it does, Jenny. That it does,” Pendergast said, eyeing Jack as two women, one chocolate-skinned, one pale, came around the center to greet them.

The tags on one woman’s coat said: Grace Holloway. The other said: Martha Jones.

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