Utopia pt 2
The Doctor continued to praise Yana. For his ingenuity, for his brilliance, for his determination to carry on. And Rose, as she helped install various circuit panels and finish some final mechanics with Jack, couldn’t help be feel like this was dangerous. Yana was pointedly ignoring her for the most part, which was fine by her since he really was a sexist pig. He made that pointedly clear when she volunteered to help Jack instead of getting parts with Martha and Chantho, and he scoffed. Scoffed.
“Rosie,” Jack said in a quiet, comforting voice. “You okay?”
She shook her head. “Don’t get a good feeling ‘bout all this.” She said simply, connecting wires to circuits.
Jack nodded, looking over his shoulder a second. “Why did he leave me behind?” He asked, and Rose looked to see the Doctor was busy smelling wires and likely wasn’t tuned into them at all.
“Dunno,” She replied honestly. “He lied to me ‘bout it. That day, we don’t talk about it. Something happened to me there, and now we just ….” Rose shook her head.
“What happened to you?” Jack asked, dropping the wires in his hands and turned to Rose. He gripped her shoulders, looking scared and hopeful all at once as his blue eyes studied her hazel ones.
“Professor,” Atillo’s voice came over the communication systems. “Tell the Doctor we’ve found his blue box.”
“Ah!” The Doctor exclaimed, and he and Jack moved to the monitor with Yana hot on the Doctor’s heels. Rose immediately sent her mind to the TARDIS, hoping to feel her. The ship wouldn’t respond except a for a basic hum that let Rose know she did indeed connect. It was light, disconnected, and it broke Rose’s heart.
“Professor,” The Doctor said to the older man, dropping his hand on the waist-coat covered shoulder with a grin. “It’s a wild stab in the dark, but I may just have found you a way out.”
“Just to safety, yeah?” Rose said quickly without thinking.
“’Course,” The Doctor said, narrowing his gaze at Rose, clearly trying to read her reluctance.
Rose nodded, trying not to let her relief be too palatable as Atillo announced they were bringing the TARDIS up to them.
Everyone was quiet as they waited, returning to fiddle with what they had been while waiting for the Old Girl’s arrival.
A quiver in her mind alerted Rose that the ship had arrived, and whatever was going on with Rose was either affecting the TARDIS, or vice versa.
Once she was settled, the Doctor headed inside, and Rose ran after him.
The TARDIS wasn’t as bright as she normally was, yet the Doctor didn’t seem to notice as he ran for the stairs leading under the grating.
“What’s wrong?” Rose whispered as she approached the control panel and reached a hand up to stroke the time rotor. The TARDIS hummed in her mind quickly, sending red, giving Rose the feeling that if there was a word to be used, ‘wrong’ was it. Too much of everything going on here was wrong.
“Why do you look so sullen?” The Doctor asked as he came back up carrying a long, thick cord in a bundle in his arms.
“Can’t you feel her distress?” Rose asked.
“Yeah,” He said curtly. “I do. Too well.”
“And it doesn’t concern you?” Rose asked, and the Doctor’s brown eyes locked on to hers with a thousand unsaid things running behind them.
“Not really.” He said not unkindly. “Because I have a feeling that she’s going to have to get very used to what makes her so uncomfortable, as am I.” He said before lifting a panel on the console and connecting one end of the wire. He didn’t say anything else as he carried the bundle out the doors, leaving them open ajar.
Giving the rotor one last stroke, Rose reluctantly left the TARDIS.
“Oh am I glad to see that thing?” Martha said, seeming to arrive as Rose stepped outside. The second thing Rose noticed was Yana sitting in a chair, staring at the box, squinting at it like his head was killing him.
“Something wrong?” She asked him gently despite her distaste for him. Chantho was at his side in another breath, kneeling down beside him and ready to help him.
Yana looked up at Rose, and she couldn’t tell if the dark squint he had turned on her was because of pain or because she dared to ask about his well being. “I’m fine,” he said kindly. Rose nodded, going back to Jack to see if he needed help.
“Where do you want me?” Rose asked as he put her hands in her pockets, eyes following Martha who seemed to have a task of her own.
“Oh I can think of a few places, but I don’t think your nearly husband would let me.” He said with a salacious grin that Rose merely rolled her eyes at. Jack laughed. “He put me in charge of the retro-feeds. Not exactly a two person job, but since there isn’t really anything else.”
Rose shrugged, standing beside Jack and watching the feeds, quicker than him to note and correct the things that seemed off.
“Professor! Systems are down.” Atillo’s voice sounded. “Professor, are you getting me?”
“I’m here,” Yana said with mild impatience as he clamoured over to the monitor and plopped down in the chair. “We’re ready. Now, all you need to do is connect the couplings. Then we can launch.” He half shouted before smacking the side of the monitor. “Gods sakes! This equipment needs rebooting all the time!” He cursed the machine out, gesturing at it with frustration.
“Anything I can do?” Martha asked as she hurried over. “I’ve finished that lot.”
“Yes, if you could.” Yana said kindly, offering Martha his seat. “Just press the reboot key every time the picture goes out.”
“Certainly,” Martha said with a nod, earning a grin from Yana.
Okay, so he wasn’t sexist, he just didn’t like her. Rose chuckled to herself, shaking her head when Jack looked inquisitively at her. So she didn’t believe in Utopia? Was that reason enough to hate her so much? Then again there was just something about Yana that made her skin crawl, so maybe it went both ways somehow. After all, he seemed to like his women submissive, one thing Rose was not.
“Captain,” Yana said, coming up to them after a conversation with Atillo. “Keep the levels below the red.” He said, pointing to the radiation level meters. Jack nodded, glancing at Rose who merely shrugged.
“Where is that room?” The Doctor asked, and Rose glanced over her shoulder in time to see him put on his specs and step toward the monitor. Where ever it was was hot enough to send a hue of red over the monitor.
“It’s underneath the rocket.” Yana explained as Rose came up to the other side of the Doctor and put her hand on his shoulder, watching the man in a full haz-mat suit enter the room and head for four cylinder like things. “Fix the couplings and the footprint can work. But the entire chamber is flooded with stet radiation.”
“Stet?” The Doctor curled his lip, perplexed. “Never heard of it.”
“You wouldn’t want to.” Yana replied, shrugging. “But it’s safe enough. We can hold back the radiation from here.” He said nonchalantly, as if a man going into a radiation flooded room was a common practice.
“He looks like he’s struggling,” Rose noted as the man pulled one of the couplings up.
“It’s boiling in there, and those couplings aren’t light.” Yana said, his tone much more friendly than he had been.
As the man in the chamber dropped the coupling into place, and alarm went off, startling Rose.
“It’s rising,” Yana said, panicked as he looked to Jack behind them. “Keep it level.” Yana hissed.
“Yes, sir,” Jack replied, and started making adjustments.
Rose darted back over, helping him restore the levels. Just as they seemed to get them back down to the acceptable zone another alarm went off, and the lights in the room started to dim.
“Chan, we’re losing power, tho,” Chantho panicked, and Rose and Jack immediately began to skim the controls in front of them. It didn’t seem to matter what adjustments they made, nothing seemed to counter the drain.
“Radiation’s rising,” The Doctor warned.
“We’ve noticed,” Rose snapped back as she frantically tried another adjustment.
“Override the vents,” The Doctor yelled.
“Think we haven’t tried that?” She yelled back as the panel shocked her, causing her hand to jerk back.
“We can jump start it,” Jack said, a light coming to his eyes before he bolted across the room. He picked up two wires, sparks flaring from the ends of them the closer he brought them together,
“Jack, what’re ya doing?” Rose yelled at him, her voice cracking in fear as he held the cables together.
“Don’t! It’s going to flare!” The Doctor warned, but it was too late.
Too late, and Rose was unable to look away from Jack as he screamed in agony while electricity coursed through his body. He struggled, eyes fluttering while barely locking on to Rose’s as if trying to tell her something. And then he collapsed, dropping the wires to the floor. The lights came back up, levels returned to normal, but Jack laid motionless.
A breath later, Rose was rushing to Jack’s side with Martha, Chantho moving to the wires and pushing them aside to ensure no one else came to the same fate.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Rose heard Yana say sincerely as her hand gripped Jack’s hand.
“The chamber’s flooded with radiation, yeah?” The Doctor said in an unaffected voice that made Rose whip her head around to look at him while Martha started mouth to mouth. He looked on at Jack unperturbed, unfeeling.
“Without the couplings, the engines will never start. It was all for nothing.” Yana said, frustrated and solemn.
“Oh, I don’t know.” The Doctor shrugged. “Martha, just leave him.” He said casually.
And Rose broke.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” She demanded, tears stinging her eyes as she stalked quickly toward the Doctor. “He’s dead, our friend died.” She made to beat her fists against his chest in anger but he caught them and held them steadily. “How can you just look at him like he was nothing? How can you be so cold?” She demanded.
“Rose,” he said gently. “It’s okay,” He then looked to Yana. “You’ve got a room a man can’t enter without dying?” He asked.
“Yes?” Yana replied, his brow furrowing.
“Well,” The Doctor said, and a gasp from behind her made Rose twist out of the Doctor’s grip. She stared disbelieving as Jack sat up, looking around at everyone staring at him. “I’ve got just the man you need.” The Doctor finished.
“Was someone kissing me?” Jack asked, looking to Martha who was the closest person to him, a smirk playing on his lips.
“Don’t worry about that, we need you.” The Doctor said, moving to Jack’s side and pulling him to his feet. “You need to go in that chamber and fix the couplings.”
“Alright, let’s go.” Jack said, gesturing to the door.
Rose followed as they moved toward it, causing them both to stop. “Rose, what are you doing?” The Doctor asked. “It’s not safe.”
“You know what else isn’t safe? Keeping things from me. I’m going with you, and I’m getting some answers.” She said firmly, leaving no room for either of them to argue as she pushed past them and started running down the corridors to the chamber.
Atillo stood shocked by the chamber door, seeming unsure as to whether or not he should leave the empty haz-mat suit inside even though there was no reason he shouldn’t. He didn’t look up until all three of them were in front of him, and the Doctor stepped around Rose and put a hand on Atillo’s shoulder.
“Lieutenant, get on board the rocket. I promise, you’re going to fly.” The Doctor said with a gentle nudge as Jack hurriedly removed his long coat. Rose took it, folding it neatly without thinking and setting it aside as Jack worked on the cuffs of his sleeves before pushing his suspenders down.
“The chamber’s flooded.” Atillo replied, his automatic.
“Trust me, we’ve found a way of tripping the system. Run.” The Doctor said as Jack pulled off his oxford, handing that to Rose as well as he pulled his suspenders back up. “Wh-what are you doing?” The Doctor stuttered, looking between Jack and Rose like he couldn’t believe she was helping him.
“I’m going in,” Jack replied like it was obvious.
“Well by the looks of it, I’d say that stet radiation doesn’t affect clothing, only flesh.”
“And ‘s boiling in there.” Rose gestured to the door as she Jack’s oxford on top of his jacket. “And he’s human.” She said, looking pointedly at the Doctor as Jack moved to the door. “Right?”
“Right.” He said, turning to Jack and putting his hand on the door.
The two men stared each other down before Jack asked, “How long have you known?”
“Ever since I took Rose and ran away from you.” The Doctor replied. “Good luck,” He added before opening the door for Jack, turning away from the intense heat that sizzled against Rose’s exposed skin even ten feet away. When the door was shut tight, she moved closer to the Doctor, arms folded.
“Known what?” She asked.
“That he can’t die.” The Doctor replied evenly, before looking at Jack through the window Rose was too short to see through.
“Doctor, are you there?” Martha’s voice came over the communicator.
“Receiving, yeah, he’s inside.”
“And still alive?” Martha asked, her voice rising an octave.
“Oh yes.” The Doctor replied. “Which leads me to ask, when did you first realize?” He asked as he looked back through the window.
“Earth, 1892.” Jack replied, sounding like he was straining with something. “Got in a fight on Ellis Island. A man shot me through the heart, then I woke up. Thought it was kinda strange, but then it never stopped. Fell off a cliff, trampled by horses, World War 1, World War 2, poison, strangulation, a stray Javalin,” Jack listed, and the Doctor winced. “In the end, I got the message: I’m the man who can never die.” Jack said, and while Rose’s heart broke from the pain of hearing how much he suffered, a tiny part of her was comforted in knowing Jack wouldn’t suddenly leave her. “And you knew all this time.” He added in an accusatory manor which prompted Rose to glare at the Doctor.
He met her gaze, regret swimming in those warm, brown eyes as he sighed heavily. “That’s why I left you,” He said to Jack while looking at Rose. “It’s not easy even just looking at you Jack, ‘cause you’re wrong.”
“Hey,” Rose said as Jack said “thanks.”
“I can’t help it,” The Doctor defended himself to them both. “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. Flew all the way to the end of the universe just to get rid of you.”
“So I need to give both of you a scolding, then,” Rose huffed. “Which is probably why she’s been so quiet with me, knows what’s coming.” She said, and the Doctor chuckled, smirking a bit as he shook his head.
“She’ll love that.” He mused.
“So what happened?” Jack asked on the other side of the door. “Because the last thing I remember when I was mortal was facing three Daleks. I knew it was the end, had no ammunition, no one left but you, and no where to go fast enough. I come back to life, whole body aching, and surrounded by dust.
The Doctor looked to Rose. “Rose.”
“What?” Jack asked.
“I did this?” Rose said in disbelief, pointing to the door. “I made him immortal?” She asked for clarification, getting a nod from the Doctor.
“How?” Jack asked. “I thought you sent her away.”
“He did,” Rose replied, trying to be angry at the thought but couldn’t get past the shock of learning what she had done. “He sent me back and I wouldn’t have it. So Micks and I, we got the console opened and I looked into the Heart of the TARDIS.”
“You did what?” Jack asked, his voice cracking.
“I looked into the TARDIS, and she looked into me. I took on the time vortex, returned to the Doctor, and turned the Dalek’s to dust.”
“But you did more than that.” The Doctor said gently. “Do you remember?”
“I-I-I remember saving him.” She protested. “I remember feeling like his life was gone, and wanting to bring him back.”
“And you did.” He said, pushing off the wall and stepping toward her. The Doctor caressed her cheek, and she felt how scared he was, how he was terrified of losing her and how much he cared about her. “You just couldn’t control it, and you brought him back for good.”
“Jack.” She whimpered. “Jack, I’m so, so sorry.” She said as she turned to the door, her voice cracking with every word. “I didn’t mean to do this. I didn’t, I just….”
“Rose, it’s okay,” Jack replied sincerely, and she felt the warmth in his voice pierce her heart. “Do you know what it means to me? To know you loved me so much you brought me back to life?”
“But you’ll out live us all.” She said, feeling the tear roll down her cheek as she pressed her hand to the hot door, not caring how it caused her skin to ache.
“True,” Jack grunted on the other side of the door. “But I already came to terms with that. Already thought I out lived you.” He said, a huff of relief. “It’s funny, I’m so accepting of it that when I saw you when I woke up I didn’t even question if it was the afterlife.”
“Do you wanna die, Jack?” The Doctor asked curiously.
“I dunno,” Jack replied. “Thought I did, once. Then you stumble across places like this, people just surviving against the odds, and it’s fantastic. Makes you glad you can take some of the burden of death without facing the consequences of it.”
The Doctor smirked, “You know, end of the Universe. The man who can’t die. You may just be out there somewhere.”
“I could meet myself.”
“Only man you’re ever gonna be happy with.” The Doctor teased, earning a slap from Rose but her first smile since the mention of the Game Station.
“This new regeneration’s kinda cheeky,” Jack commented.
“And it’s gotten me in trouble, too.” The Doctor grinned in the very way Jack just pointed out.
“And it’s gonna keep gettin’ you in trouble if you don’t watch it.” Rose reminded him.
“So, Rosie.” Jack said. “Brought me back to life, turned Dalek’s to dust, what did you do to you?” He asked, but before she could answer he cried in triumph. “Last couplings in place!” Jack declared.
“Good, get out of there.” The Doctor said, and Rose stepped back so he could get the door opened for Jack. Her hand still burned, and her skin was pink and angry.
As the door closed, the two men ran about the room, the Doctor calling Atillo and telling him to prepare for launch while Jack went to some controls.
“Where do you need me?” She asked the Doctor who looked down at her palm.
“No where.” He said.
“Doctor,” She said sternly.
He huffed. “Fine, help Jack keep the gravity pulse stable.” He instructed, pointing to a panel. “But if your hand is that raw.”
“Doesn’t hurt,” She said as she went to the controls he indicated, studying them quickly and making sure they were balance, fingers on controls that needed adjusting.
Footsteps came thundering toward them, and Rose glanced over her shoulder to see Martha grinning eagerly, coming to a stumbling stop as she stopped in front of the Doctor as he made adjustments on the panel opposite of Rose.
“It’s the professor,” Martha said, trying to keep her voice even, though the pitch was all over the place. “He’s got this watch, a fob watch, same as yours. Same writing, same everything.” She said, wringing her hands.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” The Doctor replied automatically.
“I asked him, he said he’s had it all his life.” Martha added, and Rose tensed.
“So he’s got the same watch?” Jack said, sounding annoyed that they were discussing something seemingly so pointless.
“Yeah, but it’s not a watch. It’s this chameleon thing.” Martha tried to explain.
“No, no , no,” The Doctor said, growing more flustered the more insistent Martha was. “It’s this thing, this device. It rewrites biology, turns a Time Lord human.”
“Martha, are you sure.” Rose said evenly, and she felt the Doctor’s eyes on her as she stared down Martha.
“It’s the same watch,” She said firmly.
Rose closed her eyes, a cold chill shooting down her spin.
“Rose,” The Doctor ground out. “Rose, what is it? What aren’t you telling me?” He asked, stalking toward her, hurt and anger in his eyes.
“His eyes,” Rose said, not flinching from the look in his eyes. “They’re old. Like yours. Even as John, your eyes were old.”
“John? What are you talking about?” Jack asked as the Doctor turned away and started interrogating Martha.
“A while back we were being chased by a family of aliens who wanted the Doctor’s essence. He changed into a human, and he went by the name of John during that time.” Rose explained. “I kept the watch safe for him then, but if Yana didn’t have someone, if he is a Time Lord.”
“Then he would have had the watch himself.” Jack concluded, and Rose could tell he understood her unease about all this.
The slam of something got there attention, and the both looked over to see the Doctor was now running back in the direction of where they left Yana.
“What did you say to him?” Rose yelled at Martha as she ran past the stunned girl, chasing after the Doctor.
“That he didn’t see the watch before.” Martha shouted from behind as she likely started to chase after Rose.
A glance over her shoulder, and she could see Martha and Jack were coming up behind her. “And now?” She bit out, and she could tell by the cold fear in Martha’s eyes that not only had the Doctor probably asked the same thing, but that Martha was starting to regret having ever brought it up.
She caught up with the Doctor at a door, seeing him running his sonic along a key pad. Like she had with the door to the rocket earlier, Rose punched in the codes she calculated quickly, releasing the door. They ran, stopping short when they heard the chant of the futurekind.
“How did they get inside?” She asked as she caught their shadows coming toward them.
The Doctor grabbed her hand, pulling her down a corridor behind them.
“Because the man who’s upstairs let them.” He bit out.
“And who is upstairs, Doctor?” Rose asked, glancing behind them to make sure Jack and Martha were close.
“The Master”, the Doctor whispered in her mind, showing her brief flashes of his past with the other Time Lord as they made their way up stairs to where they had left him. “I can feel him,” he added as they came to the door.
“Professor!” The Doctor said, dropping Rose’s hand to pound at the door. “Professor, where are you? Are you there? Please, I need to explain,” The Doctor pleaded as Rose tried to work the key pad the same way she had before.
“Here,” Jack whispered in her ear, and she relented, her brain still too clouded with images of the Doctor’s past with the man he knew was on the other side of the door. How they were kids who played together, growing apart as they grew up. All the times the Master tried to kill the Doctor, the times he came painfully close.
“Open the door, please, I’m begging you!” The Doctor shouted. “Please.”
Jack let out a frustrated growl, pulling out his revolver and hitting it the control panel with the butt of the weapon. The panel sparked, but the door opened. The Doctor flew inside, Rose and the others following behind just as they heard the clamouring feet of the future kind on the stairs.
Jack slammed the door shut, putting his weight against it as Martha ran over to a fallen Chantho. Rose, small as she was, knew exactly what Jack was doing and joined him by putting what strength she had into holding it closed just as a thud shook the frame.
“She’d dead,” Martha said of Chantho as the Doctor started to yell and pound at the TARDIS on the other side of the room.
“Come give us a hand,” Jack said, and Martha came to help them as the futurekind made another attempt to get in. The door slipped a fragment, and panic shot through Rose before she tried to put more weight into keeping it closed.
A scream came from the direction of the TARDIS, and Rose looked on in cold fear as a golden light permeated from the cracks in the door and from the windows. Her heart pounded as she watched the Doctor take a step back as the light faded.
“Doctor,” A voice sounded as if over a speaker. “Oooh, new voice. Hello! Hello. Hello, hello,” The new voice changed pitches, and Rose swallowed the lump in her throat.
“I know that voice,” Martha said, her voice shaking.
“Anyway, why don’t we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me.” The Master said gleefully.
“I’m asking you really properly, just stop. Just think,” The Doctor begged.
“Use my name.” The Master asked.
“Master, I’m sorry.” The Doctor conceded, sounding more like a compliant slave than the strong, bold man she knew. Rose forced herself to stay where she was instead of charging over to the TARDIS and trying to open the doors with her bare hands. Sending her mind out to the ship, she tried to plead with the old girl to let their Time Lord in, but she got nothing. Absolutely nothing. The TARDIS closed herself off, and Rose hadn’t been so scared in a long time.
“Tough!” The Master snapped back. The Doctor held out his sonic, pointing it with the posture of the Oncoming storm at the ship he loved so much. “Oh no you don’t,” The Master growled, and the TARDIS started to dematerialize. “End of the Universe, have fun, bye bye.” The Master’s voice faded from the room as the TARDIS vanished.
“Doctor! Stop him.” Martha cried.
“Do you really think he just willingly let that psychopath take off with our ship?” Rose growled at her without fully meaning to.
“Doctor!” Jack called. “We need help.”
And at that, the Doctor turned on his heel and came toward them. He grabbed Jack’s wrist roughly, holding his sonic over the vortex manipulator. “Hold still,” he growled, and Jack listened. A moment later, the Doctor pushed some buttons. “Girls, hold on.” He instructed, and Rose put her hand on Jack’s manipulator, Martha’s on top of hers, the Doctor’s fingers on a button beneath her palm.
A moment later the air was knocked from her lungs, her head spun. And then she was standing on a London side street, the sound of a siren in the distance, and a “Vote Saxon” poster plastered prominently on the wall across from her.