Run With You

Utopia pt 1

“Well, we’ve landed.” The Doctor said when the TARDIS finally came to a stop, the old girl whimpering with fear and discomfort in Rose’s mind. As she got to her feet she caressed as much of the time machine’s surface as she could, trying to comfort her, attempting to send wave of love and reassurance to the old girl like she would the Doctor.

“So what’s out there?” Martha asked nervously.

“I don’t know,” The Doctor replied with a lot of trepidation.

“That’s an unsettling first,” Rose said, feeling the TARDIS’s appreciation of the attempts at soothing but was still unsettled.

“Had to happen eventually,” The Doctor said, looking at the rotor, likely sensing exactly what Rose was. “Not even the Time Lords came this far. We should leave. We should go. We should really, really, go.” He said.

“Should we?” Rose asked, and the Doctor answered her with a manic grin.

Snatching her hand, he grabbed his jacket and barely gave her a second to collect hers before they were running out the TARDIS door.

The cold, barren wasteland in front of them stopped Rose short. The end of the Universe, stands to reason that there wouldn’t be much left. It was just so gray, no color anywhere. Not even on the body twenty feet away.

Rose’s eyes snapped back to him, for it was a him laying there appearing entirely dead.

“Oh my God!” Martha cried as the TARDIS doors closed behind them, and then she was past them in a blur, kneeling down beside him. “Can’t get a pulse,” She called over. A second later she was back on her feet, running for the TARDIS. “You’ve got that medical kit thing.” She said to the Doctor as she passed them.

Rose moved to the body, pulled toward him like a magnet. A subtle desire to protect him was coursing through her, and she was finding no will to fight it even as the Doctor tried to grip her hand tighter and keep her beside him. Eventually his fingers slipped from hers, and she jogged over to the man.

“Jack?” She breathed, falling to her knees. “Oh my god,” the tears stung her eyes as she caressed his cheek, his hair, placing her head over his chest and wishing there was the sound of a heartbeat beneath her ear.

“Rose, come back.” The Doctor said evenly, stopping short a few feet away.

“No,” She said to him, shaking her head against Jack’s still chest as she wondering why the Doctor looked ready to crawl out of his skin.

“Here we go,” Martha said as she came rushing over. “Rose, what are you doing?” She asked, distrust in her voice.

“Being there for him.” Rose replied, her fingers tracing Jack’s jaw.

“A little much for a stranger,” Martha grumbled, gently pushing Rose off of Jack.

“He’s a friend of ours.” The Doctor said, getting Martha’s attention when Rose thought she felt the flutter of a heart as she got up. “Used to travel with us back when I was the other me. Must’ve been clinging to the outside of the TARDIS all the way through the vortex. Very him.”

“So what you’re saying is ….” Rose started to accuse him when Jack cut her off by bolting upright with a gasp and grabbing on to her.

Rose yelped, but as Jack gained his sense, she couldn’t help the smile that started pulling at her mouth as Jack’s eyes filled with tears. Happy tears.

“Rosie!” He said, changing his grip to a tight hug, practically yanking her on to his lap as he laughed. “Oh my god, Rose, you’re alive!”

“’Course I am, why wouldn’t I be?” She asked when he finally let go.

“Canary Wharf. I saw the list of the dead, you were on it. So was Mickey.”

Rose shook her head. “Lost Micks and my mum to a parallel world. They’re safe, good, happy I suppose. But I didn’t have any reason to go back and say that I was alive.” She explained.

“I’m just so glad you are.” He said with the widest of smiles before he noted Martha hovering nearby in shock. “Captain Jack Harkness, who are you?” He asked leeringly, and Rose promptly moved off and away from him.

“Martha Jones,” She replied shyly.

“Nice to meet you, Martha Jones.” Jack said as he offered her his hand.

“Oh, don’t start.” The Doctor said, fidgeting uncomfortably.

“Doctor,” Jack said coolly as he and Martha got their feet.

“Captain,” the Doctor said, not unfriendly but with no trace of warmth.

“Good to see you,” Jack said curtly.

“And you, same as ever.” The Doctor replied. “Although, have you had work done?” The Doctor asked, eyeing Jack over.

He reached up and touched his face. “You can talk,” Jack bit back.

The Doctor looked perplexed a moment before the understanding shone through. “Oh yes, the face. Regeneration. How did you know this was me?”

Jack snorted. “The police box kinda gave it away. And if that wasn’t enough, seeing Rose sealed the deal. Shoulda known you’d have never let her die, let alone abandon her.”

“Abandon?” Rose asked, “What’s this ‘bout abandoning?” She asked, looking between Jack and the Doctor, neither seeming to want to answer.

After a long stare down, the Doctor inhaled sharply and turned away. “Well, you’re here. Might as well join us.” He said as he led the way.

“Same as ever,” Jack grumbled, looking to Rose sympathetically.

“Give him time to get over his Captain envy, he’ll be fine.” Rose waved it off as they all started to follow the Doctor. After a little bit, Rose put her hand on Jack’s arm. “I almost went to see you a few months back. Well, months for us. We had a fight, and I was going to go back to help you rebuild the Earth while our tempers cooled.”

“Rebuild the Earth?” Jack said to her before looking at the back of the Doctor’s head. “Is that what he told you?” He asked accusingly.

The Doctor pulled on his reddening ears.

“You lied to me?” Rose growled, causing the Doctor to stop and turn slowly.

“I dunno. Jack, what did you do after we ….”

“Left me behind ankle-deep in Dalek dust? I teleported out, tried to make my way back to the 21st century.” Jack replied.

“Wait, teleported?” Martha asked.

“I used to be a Time Agent so I had this,” he said, lifting his left arm and showing Martha who was at his side as well. She took his wrist in her hand, looking the device over. “It’s called a vortex manipulator.” Jack explained as he glanced back to the Doctor who had continued on. “He’s not the only one who can time travel.”

“Oh, excuse me!” The Doctor said as he started walking backwards a moment. “That’s not time travel. It’s like I’ve got a sports car and you’ve got a space hopper.”

“Oh, ho, ho, boys and their toys.” Martha remarked.

“Not a new argument for them,” Rose sighed.

“Oi,” The Doctor said at the same time Jack said, “Hey.”

Rose rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You were saying, Jack?”

“Right, so, I bounced. Thought 21st century, best place to find the Doctor, except I got it a little wrong. I arrived in 1869 and this thing burnt out.”

“Told you,” The Doctor snorted tauntingly.

“Oi, you abandoned him. Not his fault he got out of there the only way he knew how.” Rose growled back. “And don’t think you’re off the hook for lying to me, Mister.” She scolded as her hand slide down Jack’s arm and landed in his. “You’re gonna hear it later.”

“Hold on!” Jack stopped short, pulling Rose’s hand up to his face and looking at it wide eyed. “What the hell is this?” He asked, the smile slowly starting to pull. “What the hell is this?” He asked again, this time directed at the Doctor as heat rose in Rose’s cheeks. “This better be yours because if I find out she married Mickey Mouse.”

“Yes, it’s mine.” The Doctor replied, trying to sound annoyed but his manic grin gave him away. “And we aren’t married, that’s still going to be a bit off.”

Jack looked between the two of them, gapping with a mix of happy and uncertainty. “So, wait. You’re … engaged?” He asked.

“Sorta,” Rose said as the Doctor mumbled, “complicated.”

“Right, okay.” Jack said, his smile fading. “Well, umm, since this all seems to be Time Lord related, Doc, if you need some advice or a demonstration on how the wedding night should go.”

“Oh he doesn’t need pointers, trust me.” Rose smiled involuntarily, earning one of wonder and admiration from Jack.

“Rose, end of the Universe. Some perspective if you could.” The Doctor said, though his pride was getting the better of him, and it showed in the cocky way he straightened his tie.

“I have an excellent one from back here,” She quipped, getting Jack to chuckle.

“Don’t want or need to hear it,” Martha snapped, stepping away from the snickering pair and standing by the Doctor even though his head was held a little too high and his chest seemed a little too puffed.

“What was that about?” Jack asked in a conspiratorial whisper. “You two a little too loud for her?”

Rose shook her head. “She’s in love with him. Or was, maybe she is still.”

“Take it from me, Rosie,” Jack said with a sigh as they started moving to where the Doctor and Martha were heading. “Once you love that man it’s permanent. It may change, it may become something different, but it’s still love. And if she was in love, and she hasn’t left him yet, then she still is.”

Rose nodded, simply understanding. Not like she had any experience to draw from, having never really left his side since joining him, but she could see how true it was.

The four of them slowly made their way over to a canyon’s edge, and as she and Jack rejoined the Doctor and Martha, Rose’s free hand fell into the Time Lord’s.

Relief, along with discomfort, flooded over her at the initial contact, followed by reassurance and love. She leaned her head against his arm as they stared down at what looked like a former city, finding herself utterly content to have the two men she loved most in the Universe at her sides.

“What’s down there?” Martha asked from the other side of the Doctor.

“A city, or a hive, or a nest, or a conglomeration. Looks like it was grown, but,” He lifted his free hand, pointing. “Look there. That’s like pathways, roads. Must have been some sort of life, long ago.”

“What killed it?” Martha asked.

“End of the Universe.” Rose said from where she rested against her Time Lord. “What’s possibly left?”

“Planet’s still here, isn’t it?” Martha countered bitterly, and Jack’s hand flexed around Rose’s.

“Yeah,” The Doctor said, dragging out the word. “But it’s dying. Everything’s dying. Time has killed all the great civilizations. This isn’t just night, all the stars have burned up and faded into nothing.”

“It must have an atmospheric shell or we’d be frozen to death.” Jack said.

“Well, us three, sure. Not so sure about you, Jack.” The Doctor said. Rose looked up, seeing him looking pointedly at Jack, and then she turned to the other man and seeing this look of understanding. She lifted her head, looking between the two with her brow knit together, trying to make sense of what they were talking about because as much as she understood she didn’t.

“What about the people?” Martha asked, serving as a good distraction. “Does no one survive?” She asked pleadingly.

“I suppose we have to hope that life will find a way.” The Doctor said.

“Well, he’s not doin’ too bad.” Jack said, pointing to a man running below, seeming not to notice the mob running after him.

“If you consider running for you life a good thing.” Rose said.

“Didn’t we always?” Jack asked, nudging her.

“Yeah, but that’s not just running. That looks like … like a hunt.” The Doctor said before sharply turning. “Come on!” He said, pulling Rose’s hand who in turned pulled on Jack.

“Oh I’ve missed this!” Jack laughed as the four of them sprinted to meet up with the man on the run.

As the canyon slopped down, their paths starting to collide, Jack let go of Rose’s hand and moved ahead of them. He eventually reached the man. “I’ve got you,” Jack tried to reassure as he stopped him.

“We’ve gotta run! They’re coming!” The man replied in panic.

Jack pushed the man toward the Doctor, flipping aside his long coat and pulling a revolver from his hip. He aimed it at the people running toward them, a feral looking tribe with pointed teeth and various weapons all looking at them like they were foor.

“Jack, don’t you dare!” The Doctor warned.

Jack hesitated, then aimed the gun in the air and fired, stopping the tribe in their tracks.

“There’s more of them, we’ve got to keep going,” The man begged, tugging on the Doctor and Rose before looking imploringly to Martha.

“We’ve got a ship nearby. It’s safe, it’s not far. Just over there.” The Doctor pointed out only to see more of the tribe cresting the hill. “Or maybe now.”

“We’re close to the silo,” The man said. “If we get to the silo, we’re safe.”

“Silo sounds like a good plan, yeah?” Rose said, turning her head in the opposite direction of the TARDIS and noted how her instinct that there were more coming had been right.

“Silo,” The Doctor and Jack said at once.

“Silo for me,” Martha chimmed in, and the five of them ran to where the man pointed to.

The compound was surrounded by a chainlink face, and there were centuries with shot guns posted at the entrance.

“It’s the futurekind,” the man yelled as the ran to the locked gate. “Open the gate!”

“Show me your teeth!” One of the centuries yelled repeatedly.

Rose didn’t ask, didn’t need to be told twice, and opened her mouth without hesitation. The others must have as well, because a moment later they were pulled inside and shot were being fired at what the man called the futurekind.

“Humans. Humani. Make feast.” One of the Futurekind at the front said, looking at them like they were a banquet.

“Go back to where you came from.” The Guard pointing th gun at them yelled. The Futurekind didn’t move. “I said go back.” He leveled the gun at the Futurekind.

“Oh, don’t tell him to put down his gun,” Jack said, the eye roll clear in his voice though Rose couldn’t pull her eyes away from the tribe on the other side of the gate to see him actually do it.

“He’s not my responsibility.” The Doctor retorted.

Jack scoffed, “And I am?”

“Both of you,” Rose hissed, “Stop.”

“Sorry,” They both said, and if there hadn’t been a tribe of cannibals making gestures that they were going to eat them, Rose may have laughed at how familiar this all was. Slowly the tribe backed away, eventually turning away completely.

“Right, let’s get you inside,” The guards said, gesturing for them to follow.

“My name is Padrafet Shafekane,” The man said, pushing past the quartet to stand by the guard. “Please tell me you can take me to Utopia.”

“Oh yes, sir, we can.” The Guard said with a smile, leading them into a large tunnel.

Utopia. In one of the many, many books Rose had read while on the TARDIS she recalled such a place. Paradise, perfection. Heaven. A chill ran down her spin at the thought, and she took in the shelter they were being led through. It was carved into a mountain, much like the place they were looking at before meeting Padrafet, but she could sense that it was likely overcrowded.

“And who are the rest of you?” The guard asked.

“I’m the Doctor, this is my … wife Rose.” He said, and Rose glanced up to see he the light come into his eyes. “And our friends, Jack and Martha.”

“Doctor?” The guard asked, walking backwards a moment so he could look the Doctor over. “Of what?”

“Oh, everything.” The Doctor replied. “Martha here is a doctor of medicine, though.”

“Sorta,” Martha replied, looking up at Jack as he looked at her curiously. “I was training when I met them.”

“What of the other two? Any use?” The guard asked.

“Oi, kinda rude.” Rose growled.

“Rose is a bit of an engine and tech savant.” The Doctor said easily.

“Since when?” Jack asked with a bit of disbelief.

“Probably know more than you do,” Rose retorted, looking the Captain over. He pouted his lip, nodding his belief.

“Jack’s not bad either.” The Doctor threw in.

The guard nodded as they came to a room that was quite obviously the entry point to what was referred to as the silo. Stairs leading up and down, pipes and wires running along the walls.

“This is Atillo,” The guard said, introducing him to one of the first men they came across once the tunnel branched out more. “He’s in charge. He’ll get you some ID badges.” And the guard left them abruptly.

“ID badges will have to be temporary.” Atillo said with a sigh, handing them each a plastic card. Or at least what felt like a plastic card, though Rose supposed this far in the future it could be anything.

“I was wondering,” The Doctor stepped up. “Is there anyway someone could retrieve my ship. It’s a box, a big blue box. It’s stuck out there, and I really need it back.”

“I’m sorry, but my family were heading for the silo,” Padrafet cut in. “Did they get here? My mother is Kistane Shafekane. My brother is Beltone.”

Atillo sighed. “Computers are down, which is why the IDs are only temps. We can check the paperwork. Creet!” Atillo called over his shoulder, and a small blonde boy stuck his head around the corner. “Passenger needs help.”

The small boy walked toward Padrefet with a clipboard.

Atillo turned to the Doctor. “A blue box you said?”

“Big, tall, wooden. Says Police.” The Doctor added.

“We’re driving out for a last water collection. I’ll see what I can do.” Atillo said.

“Thank you,” The Doctor said as he took Rose’s hand and followed Martha as she followed Creet.

“I can’t hear or feel her.” Rose said quietly to the Doctor, and she felt the same concern flow back to her from him. “’S weird. Even after spending so much time away from her over the last few months, I still feel like there’s something missing.”

“You and her have a strong bond,” The Doctor replied. “Nearly equal to mine with her. For better or worse, you two are connected.”

Rose grinned. “I’m more married to her than I am you.” She mused.

“Oh, come on, that’s not nice.” He said, sending her a quick mental image of them wrapped up in one another naked. “I’m your mate, your other half.” He said with a pout while his mind was showing her something else other than indignation.

“Not technically.” Rose said, letting go of his hand and causing him to whimper. “See? I don’t have to be inside the TARDIS for her to show me things, yet you can’t even whisper in my mind without skin contact.”

The teasing ended abruptly as they stepped through a door and was bombarded with the smell of people. So many crammed in a small space, reminding Rose of rush hour public transit during the summer. The smell was atrocious, and Rose only just managed to keep herself from gagging while her brain quickly helped her nose get used to it.

“It’s like a refugee camp.” Martha noted.

“It is a refugee camp,” Rose reminded her. “Refugees of time.” Rose noted sadly.

“It stinks,” Jack said bluntly, earning a swift smack on the chest from Rose.

“The ripe ol’ smell of humans!” The Doctor proclaimed with enthusiasm. “Don’t you see, you survived! End of the universe and here you are. Indomitable!” He said as dropped an arm around Rose’s shoulders. “That’s the word, indomitable.”

Suddenly Creet managed to find Padrefet’s family, causing them all to pause for a moment. The bitter-sweetness of the moment made Rose’s eyes sting, and she grabbed the Doctor’s hand to help combat the wave of melancholy. Seeing how even at the end of time family still meant the world made Rose think of her own. What was her sibling, and were they anything like her? How was her Mum and other Pete getting along, and were they truly happy? She supposed it didn’t matter, and when the others started to head down the hall, Rose gratefully followed.

A door got the Doctor’s attention, and he let got of Rose’s hand to take his sonic out his coat pocket. He waved it over the locked system, groaning.

“What’s wrong?” Rose asked.

“It’s half deadlocked, he said as Jack introduced himself to someone. “Jack, not now. Give us a hand,” the Doctor said, not really noticing how Rose stared at the control panel.

Just before Jack’s hand passed her head to gain access Rose’s own nimble fingers darted to the controls, pressing buttons quickly as she deciphered the code with ease. Finger prints from previous use was minimal, but there enough to put just enough oil on the buttons to dim their lights a fraction, and it didn’t take long to calculate how many possibilities there would be simply by how much darker some buttons were than others.

The doors slide open before either she or the Doctor had expected, and while she was firmly behind a wall the Doctor started flailing as he lost his balance. She and Jack reached out and grabbed him together, but she had to admit that the captain probably had the better hold.

“Thanks,” The Doctor said sincerely, smiling at Jack.

“How did you cope without me?” Jack teased back.

“Easy, I had her.” The Doctor gestured to Rose with a wink.

“Really though,” Jack said, turning to Rose. “How did you figure out the codes so quick, Rosie?”

She shrugged, “Just did.” She replied.

“Not to disrupt this, I dunno, moment,” Martha said. “But has anyone even noticed the giant rocket?”

Looking out the door hadn’t been Rose’s top priority, but now that the Doctor wasn’t about to fall she could take in the impressive structure in front of her.

“They’re not refugees, they’re passengers.” The Doctor marveled.

“He said they were going to Utopia,” Martha reminded them all.

“But ‘s not real.” Rose argued. “It’s a fable, a fantasy.”

“End of the Universe? I’d believe anything.” Martha countered.

“Jack, do you recognize those engines?” The Doctor asked.

“Nope,” Jack replied, “And whatever it is, it’s not rocket science.” He said, and Rose snorted before she could stop herself. She bowed her head, hoping no one noticed. “Anyway,” Jack said, making her blush. “It’s hot though.”

“Boiling,” the Doctor agreed, taking Rose’s arm gently as they stepped back and Jack closed the door.

As the door shut, and older man came running up to them, dressed very dapperly when compared to everyone else, and standing at bit shorter than the Doctor. He immediately moved to Jack with hope in his eyes. “The Doctor?” He asked, taking everyone aback.

“That’s me,” The Doctor said, lifting his hand to get the older man’s attention. He grabbed it and started pulling the Doctor away.

“Good, good, good,” The old man continually repeated as the others followed him and the Doctor as they went up a couple flights of stairs.

“Apparently that’s good,” The Doctor said over his shoulder, surprised that this was the case for once.

It made Rose oddly uneasy.

The older man pulled them into what looked like a control room, and Rose groaned on the inside as she thought of all the time she spent as of late working on various space crafts.

“Chan, welcome, tho.” A beautiful blue, bug like alien greeted them. Though bug like, Rose supposed, was an unfair comparison. It was only the shape of her head and the pincers by her chin that brought on images of bugs.

“Hello,” Rose replied with a smile, and the poor girl, for she knew she was a girl, was beside herself.

The old man had pulled the Doctor away, and having little interest in gravitissimal accelerators or footprint impellor systems, Rose stayed near the alien girl.

“Who are you?” Martha asked the alien warmly.

“Chan, Chantho, tho.” She replied.

“Captain Jack Harkness,” Jack said with his most charming smile, and Rose could only roll her eyes.

“Stop it,” The Doctor said from somewhere behind a piece of equipment.

“Can’t I say hello to anyone?” Jack asked innocently, and maybe a touch offended.

“Chan, I do not protest, tho.” Chantho replied, and Rose imagined if her biology allowed the sweet alien would be blushing.

“Maybe later, Blue.” Jack said with a wink before he went off to join the older man and the Doctor.

“Well, they’re going to be occupied for a while.” Rose said, noting a seating area where Jack had discarded the bag he had with him. She gestured for the girls to follow her, but Chantho shook her head with a smile. Her attention was then immediately returned to the older man.

“I’ll sit.” Martha said, joining Rose as they flopped down. “So you and Jack are …?” She asked.

“He’s like a brother to me.” Rose replied. “Three of us were thick of thieves before the game station.” She huffed a sigh. “The Doctor lied to me, told me he was rebuilding the Earth. He’s so … uncomfortable around Jack. I literally feel how much he wants to run from him, and I don’t understand. They’re getting along, but there it is.” Rose gestured to the men. “’S subtle, but the Doctor is trying to be as far from Jack as he can.”

“Well,” Martha said, picking up Jack’s bag and putting it between them, glancing back at the men before grinning at Rose. “Maybe there’s a hint in here.” She said, and before Rose could stop her, Martha was opening the bag.

At first she thought it was just holding some weird container of bubbly fluid until she saw the fingers. Fingers she knew well from having them trail her body in intimacy, or interlocked with her own. Well, not those fingers specifically, but it did belong to the man she loved.

“Oh my God!” Martha cried out as she moved the jar on to the table, looking up at the men and Chantho approaching. “You’ve got a hand. A hand in a jar.”

“That’s my hand!” The Doctor stuttered and pointed while looking at Jack.

“It’s my Doctor detector.” Jack said as if it was such a normal thing to have a hand in the jar.

“How did you even know it was his?” Rose asked as she looked it over.

“Well, umm, if you remember correctly he was the last person I kissed before I went off to my death. When you guys left me I did a bit of a DNA swab, used it to lock on to the Doctor’s biometric signature. Found it on the streets next to a sword.”

“I did lose it in a sword fight.” The Doctor said thoughtfully.

“What do you mean you lost in a sword fight. You’ve got both your hands, I can see them.” Martha asked, seeming to double check that maybe one of them had been a fake, examining them from her spot on the sofa.

“I grew another.” The Doctor said, grinning cheekily as he removed his newer hand from his pockets and wiggled it at Martha.

“Don’t worry, creeped me out for a bit, too.” Rose tried to reassure her.

“Doesn’t anymore though, does it?” He turned to her with a wink, and Rose rolled her eyes and shook her head while trying not grin and failing.

“Might I ask what species are you?” The older man asked.

“Time Lord. Last of. Heard of them?” Chantho and the older man both looked clueless. “Legend or anything? Not even a myth?” The Doctor asked, searching for any sign of recognition. “Blimey, end of the universe is a bit humbling.”

“Should come here more often, then.” Rose quipped. The Doctor shot her a glare and grin.

“Chan, it is said that I am the last of my species, too, tho.” Chantho said sadly.

“Sorry, what was your name?” The Doctor asked.

“My assistant and good friend, Chantho.” The older man replied for her. “A survivor of the Malmooth. This was their planet, Malcassairo, before we took refuge.” He explained.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch your name,” Rose said, holding back all the comments she wanted to make against the man.

“Professor Yana.” He said with a curt nod. There was something in his eyes that struck Rose as familiar. They were old, much older than he was, but they weren’t like the Doctor’s. Something told her she would know her Time Lord regardless of the regeneration. But this man, he was something else.

But what ever he was, it didn’t matter. For now, she’d chalk him up to just a rude ol’ bloke with a sexist attitude.

“You’re supposed to say sorry,” Jack’s voice broke Rose’s thoughts, and she looked up to see the Doctor looking sheepish.

“Oh, yes, Sorry.” He said to Chantho.

“Chan, most grateful, tho.”

“So what about those things outside? The Beastie boys?” Jack asked. “What are they?”

“We call them the Futurekind,” Yana explained. “Which is a myth in itself, but, uh, it’s feared they are what we will become unless we reach Utopia.”

“Utopia, the completely fictional and entirely impossible place of paradise?” Rose pointed out, getting a glare from Yana.

“It’s out there. Real. A project created by the Science Foundation thousands of years ago to preserve mankind and survive the collapse of reality itself. It’s far beyond the Condensate Wilderness, out toward the wildlands and the dark matter reeds. Call us in.” Yana partly growled back.

“Sounds amazing.” Rose said evenly. “Science foundation? Basic name, that. Science foundation of what? Earth? The constellation of Borra? Raxacoricovarlonpatorius?” She asked as evenly as possible, but somehow only made Yana’s eyes darken.

“You don’t believe.” He stated.

“No, I don’t.” Rose answered honestly.

“Then explain the signal.” He asked, gesturing to where the Doctor had wandered.

He was standing in front of control panel. “He’s right,” He said to Rose. “There’s a signal that keeps modulating, so it’s not automatic. Someone’s out there.”

But Rose wasn’t focused on him so much as the man in front of her. Yana had been ready to tear her a new one a moment ago, but now he looked like he was experiencing a migraine. His face was contorted in pain, eyes shut tight as a hand hovered near his temple.

“Professor?” The Doctor called, and suddenly the older man seemed as right as rain.

“I … Right. That’s enough talk, there’s work to be done.” He said, joining the Doctor.

“You alright?” He asked the Professor.

“Yes, I’m fine.” The older man growled. “We’re on a deadline, aren’t we? Must get this rocket in the air, and soon.”

“Except, as of now, the Rocket’s not going to fly, is it?” The Doctor pointed out, and Rose leaned forward to listen better.

“Rose?” Martha asked, hand on her arm and drowning out the conversation half way across the room. “You alright?”

Rose shook her head. “I don’t know what it is about this Yana,” She said quietly, Chantho having gone to join the men with Jack. Without know how good the alien girl’s hearing was, Rose wasn’t about to risk being heard. “I don’t trust him. If he’s as smart as he seems to think, he must realize there’s no Utopia. So what’s the signal? End of the Universe, yeah? What is there to run from?”

“Your family is in another Universe,” Martha pointed out softly. “Maybe that’s where the signal is coming from?”

“Except walls between worlds are closed.” Rose replied. “’S why I can never see my Mum or mate again. Why I dunno if I have a lil brother or sister over there. Why I’ll never know. And if this is the end of this Universe, who’s to say it’s not the end of all of them?” She asked Martha.

Before she could reply, the hum of power thrummed around the room, lights going brighter and smiles coming to Yana and Chantho’s faces as the Doctor held his sonic against a panel.

“How did you do that?” Yana asked, a hint of suspicion in his astonishment.

“Oh, we’ve been chatting away. I forgot to tell you, I’m brilliant.” The Doctor smiled cockily, but it made Rose more unsettled.


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