The Doctor and Rose were a little worn out after the last adventure. Being the prize inhabitant of a Sultan's Harem had not been high on Rose's list. The Doctor had proved he was still her Doctor when he had led the rescue. Rose had been proud of herself when she'd persuaded the other women that their lives were worth much more outside the Harem and they'd listened and followed her.
"Let's go somewhere quiet, with a beach, in a galaxy far, far away," said Rose with a giggle
"I know just the planet, it's in the Pegasus Galaxy, miles of shoreline, no life forms, well not the last time I was there anyway" the Doctor replied "I....er....can't remember it's name, but it's quiet". Rose smiled
"Sounds great" she replied
"Go and get your bikini on and I'll set the co-ordinates" said the Doctor, Rose frowned "What? I'm ok, don't you trust me?"
"I trust you, it's the Tardis I don't trust, if I get my bikini on I'll probably find myself in an ice cave, no thanks I'll wait".
The Doctor punched in the co-ordinates and the Tardis lurched to one side throwing them off balance,
"Ok, hold this lever while I find the hammer" he shouted, Rose grabbed the lever and braced herself for the next lurch "right when I've hit the console press the yellow button........ok.......NOW!!" he hit the console and Rose pressed the button, the Tardis flipped and she landed with a thud on her backside. The Doctor grabbed her hand and hauled her to her feet "I do believe it's getting easier to programme now", Rose just burst into laughter.
Dr Radek Zelenka blinked at the screen, he was sure he'd seen a blip on the monitor, the computer confirmed something had entered the atmosphere but now it was gone, well it wasn't coming towards the city it had landed on the shoreline. He sighed and logged the event, he would tell Dr Weir at the meeting. The computer icon blinked again, there was something there, he tapped his earpiece and spoke.
Dr Elizabeth Weir and Lt Colonel John Sheppard stood behind Zelenka and stared at the screen, Zelenka pointed to the blip
"There, it came through the atmosphere, disappeared, then reappeared on the shore" Radek explained
"Wraith?" enquired Weir, Zelenka shrugged
"If it is they have new technology," he replied
"So whatever it is is just sittin' there, right?" asked Sheppard, Zelenka nodded "it's not made any moves towards us?" Zelenka shook his head this time, Sheppard glanced in Weir's direction "I say we leave it where it is for now, it's not doing anyone any harm"
"I agree, lets not go looking for trouble, if it moves track it and call me" she replied.
Rose opened the Tardis door and stepped out, she took a deep breath and smiled, this place was perfect, shore, sea, quiet, just what they needed. She was dressed in denim shorts and her Union Jack t-shirt, the Doctor appeared still dressed in the pinstripe suit and trainers.
"You're not seriously wearing that are you?" she asked laughing
"Why not" the Doctor replied
"You look like someone's granddad, you'll be wearing a knotted hankie on your head next".
"Are you wearing that t-shirt?, remember the last time you wore it you were used as target practise by the Luftwaffe" he retorted
"Well they 'aint here are they" she replied poking her tongue out. The Doctor sat with his back leaning against the Tardis, Rose stretched out on her stomach and closed her eyes. The Doctor stared out to sea, Rose seemed to have settled down now after the shock of his regeneration, she was almost back to her old self. He glanced over to her, she had no idea how much she meant to him, he had spent far too long by himself. He noticed a flash as the sun hit something on the horizon, he stood up, Rose rolled over
"What?" she asked
"There's something out there, the sun is reflecting on something in the water" he replied
"Could it be the sun hitting the water?" said Rose, the Doctor shook is head
"No this was higher up, off the water" he said, Rose sighed and sat up, so much for the rest. The Doctor went into the Tardis and returned with some binoculars "present from the Brigadier" he explained, he looked out and gasped, "there's a city out there floating on the sea". Rose got up and took the binoculars off him.
"I thought you said this place was deserted" she said accusingly, she looked at the city "wow that looks like something out of those geeky-sci-fi books Shareen's brother reads"
"It was deserted when I was last here, about 300 years ago I think, that means someone else is here too" he grabbed her hand and led her back to the Tardis "come on lets go and see who's at home". Rose sighed so much for the break by the sea. She grinned as his child-like excitement caught up with her, he was never happier than when he was getting them into trouble.
"Doctor Weir, Colonel Sheppard" yelped Zelenka in surprise "it's moving and it's coming this way". Elizabeth Weir came running as soon as she was called
"How long?" she asked, Zelenka shrugged
"Moments" he said
"Rodney raise the shields" she yelled, Dr Rodney McKay scowled , punched a few buttons and the shield began to cover the city.
"It's not working, it's coming through the shields, how is that possible?" yelled back McKay. He took it personally, whatever it was that was coming through the shields was doing it deliberately to annoy him.
"Where's it going" asked Weir
"East Pier" replied McKay
"Colonel Sheppard, get a team to the East Pier" Weir ordered. The Colonel ran off yelling orders
"How long 'till Daedalus gets here?" she asked McKay
"About another four hours" he replied
"Can we contact them?" she said, McKay shrugged
"We can try" he said, she patted his shoulder
"Thank you Rodney". Another figure appeared beside them
"What's the problem" asked Daniel Jackson
"Unknown intruders" said an exasperated Weir "and they've come right through the shields"
"That's not good" remarked Jackson, Weir glared him, he'd been influenced by Jack O'Neill for far too long she decided.
"I've got Colonel Caldwell online" said McKay
"Dr Weir what's the problem down there" said the disembodied voice of the Daedalus' commander
"We have an intruder, it came right through the shields and it appears to be landing on the east pier, how long before you can get here?" Weir asked
"With our engine's at maximum it'll be another 3 hours I'm afraid" Caldwell replied, Elizabeth sighed
"Thank you Colonel, Atlantis out, how long will it take to evacuate through the Stargate" she asked McKay, he rolled his eyes and sighed
"You're kidding, we couldn't pack up in less than a day" he grouched, Weir almost screamed in frustration
"John what's happening down there?".
Colonel John Sheppard and his team were watching open mouthed as the pale light started to blink, a whooshing noise started and a wind started to blow as something materialized in front of them.
"Lock and load gentlemen" he ordered. His men got into position and waited "You've got to be kiddin' me what the hell is that" he gasped as the blue box materialized in front of him.
The Tardis landed without a bump for once, the Doctor punched up an image on the screen
"Well that's what it looks like" he said, Rose cocked her head on one side
"Looks like a five pointed star or a flower" she remarked, the Doctor grinned
"Shall we see if anyone's home" he headed for the door and opened it, he turned to look at her over his shoulder as he headed out "with any luck they'll have the kettle.............." his voice died at the sound of rifles being cocked ".........on". Rose came out behind him
"What's going on?" she stopped as she saw the suspiciously human looking guns pointed at them.
"Who are you and how did you get through our shields" asked Sheppard. The Doctor grinned
"I'm the Doctor she's Rose and the Tardis can land anywhere" he replied, Rose tapped him on the shoulder
"Why is the Tardis giving him an American accent" she asked
"The Tardis isn't translating, he is American" he pointed to the patches on their uniforms "they're all Americans" Rose snorted in disgust
"You mean we came all the way to a planet in another galaxy to find the bloody Yanks have beaten us to it, talk about Germans and sunbeds but this is ridiculous" she said. Sheppard grinned as some of his men sniggered, this girl was going to be trouble. He looked her up and down, she was still a kid, shame she wasn't older.
"What are you lot doing here anyway, humanity shouldn't have come this far this quickly" said the Doctor "and this galaxy's in trouble if humanity have sent American's with guns to explore it"
"And we're pleased to meet you to Doctor" said Sheppard sarcastically "I think you'd better come and meet Dr Weir", he motioned them to follow
The Doctor was angry, Rose could feel it, she grabbed his hand and squeezed it
"Don't start preaching that "Humanity isn't ready to explore space yet" speech, listen to what they have to say. I know we haven't got off to a good start what with Harriet Jones and that Torchwood Death Ray thing of hers, but this might be a Captain-Kirk-five-year-mission type thing". Rose grinned at him "don't start a fight, I'd expect that of the old you but this you has a few more manners" she said. The Doctor looked at her then grinned his maniacal grin
"I promise, I can't believe I missed this, humanity's first serious exploration in space, and American's too, there goes the neighbourhood" he replied, Rose started to chuckle. Sheppard looked back at them, she had an infectious laugh, he thought.
Back in the Gateroom Weir was going over what she'd been told about the intruders, a small blue telephone box that held two humans had materialized under their shields like they weren't there, she'd relayed what she'd been told to McKay and Zelenka who were positively drooling at the prospect of getting their hands on such superior technology.
"A blue police phone box that can materialize through Ancient shielding, I have got to see it in action" said Zelenka, practically rubbing his hands "This has to be more superior to anything the ancients have, these people could be more advanced than the Ancients", McKay gave him a withering look
"According to Colonel Sheppard this superior blue box is piloted by an eccentric Englishman in a suit and tie and a blonde teenage girl, hardly 'More advanced than the ancients'" Rodney sneered. Zelenka rolled his eyes and muttered something in his own language.
"Dr Weir, we're bringing these....people into your office" said Sheppard's voice in her ear
"Ok John" she replied. Daniel appeared at her elbow
"Do you mind if I join in, I'd like to know what they know" he asked and she nodded.
During their walk from the Tardis to wherever it was they were being taken Rose had tried to chat up Sheppard, he seemed a nice enough guy she decided
"So how'd you get here?" she asked
"Classified Ma'am" he replied, Rose laughed
"Classified, we land on your top secret base in a ship that you've never seen before, you're taking us to be interrogated about how we got through your shields and you're worried about classified information, don't be so paranoid" she said
"Don't forget these are American's, they thrive on paranoia, how do you think J Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy stayed in power for so long, they fed the population's fear" replied the Doctor. Rose sighed
"Don't mind him, if he hasn't had his tea he gets a little.........touchy" she said apologetically, Sheppard smiled
"Well that was a little before my time" he replied, determined to gain the upper hand
"Now he was a strange bloke, J Edgar Hoover, you know the stories about the women's underwear were true, he had draws full of them, strange bloke" the Doctor said wistfully as they came to the Gateroom.
Dr Weir and Dr Jackson looked up as Sheppard and his team led the Doctor and Rose into the Briefing Room.
"Sit down please" Weir said. McKay, Zelenka and Beckett had also managed to invite themselves to the interrogation on some pretext or other, "My name is Dr Elizabeth Weir, this is Dr Daniel Jackson, Dr's Radek Zelenka and Rodney McKay and my Medical Chief Dr Carson Beckett" she said introducing the others.
"Blimey talk about Dr overload" muttered Rose, they glared at her "sorry"
"Well as I said to Captain Yates here......." the Doctor began
"That's Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard to you" remarked Sheppard, the Doctor grinned
"Yes of course, sorry, in my job you meet so many military types, Brigadier’s Captain's, Group Captain's, Sergeants, you tend to lose track......" continues the Doctor. Rose sighed
"He's the Doctor, he doesn't have another name, he won't tell me so he won't tell you, I'm Rose Tyler, I'm human, born in London 19 years ago. He's a Timelord born on Gallifrey nine hundred years ago, we travel around time and space in the Tardis which is that blue box, we get into trouble we get out of trouble and we move on, that's about it really" Rose explained. Elizabeth looked at them both
"Where exactly is Gallifrey" she asked. Rose glanced at the Doctor, his face crumpled, she glanced at Sheppard her eyes imploring him not to ask anymore. Sheppard looked first at the Doctor and then at Rose, her eyes were begging him not to ask what happened, the Doctors face told him exactly what had happened, he'd seen that look on Ronan's face when he discovered Sateda had been destroyed.
"I don't think we need to go into that now" he said, Rose smiled her thanks to him. Elizabeth glared at him, she hadn't expected him to jump in and cut her interrogation off like that.
"John I'd just like to know.............." she carried on.
Zelenka, who had also seen the looks between Rose and Sheppard, interrupted her
"I want to know why they are speaking Czech" he asked. Sheppard looked at him as if he was mad
"They're speakin' English" he replied, Rose waved her hand dismissively and pointed over her shoulder
"Oh that's the Tardis it gets inside your head and translates everything into your own language" she said. Rodney perked up at this
"Even Alien languages?" he asked. The Doctor nodded
"Yes and no I can't tell you how it works, your little brain would overload trying to figure it out" he replied, Rodney looked like he was about to have a heart attack, he wasn't used to having his superior intelligence questioned, certainly not by and eccentric Englishman.
"I can assure you Doctor I'm perfectly able to understand any technology you have, if I can work all the technology in Atlantis I can understand any you have" he sneered. Seeing that this interrogation was going off track, Daniel spoke up
"So you're space explorers like us, can you tell us about any of the places you've been, see if we've been on the same planet" he asked
"I'd like to know how you got here?" said the Doctor. Daniel smiled and pointed to the Stargate.
"Through the Stargate, there's a whole network of these in this galaxy and ours, one was discovered in Egypt in the twenties, I helped get ours working about eleven years ago and we've been using them to explore the galaxy, making a few enemies on the way but who doesn't. About two years ago we discovered the Ancients, ah that's what we called the race who built the Stargate system, had hidden one of their cities and this city had weapons hidden that we could use to defend Earth against an attack by the Goa'uld" Rose opened her mouth to ask a question but Daniel carried on. "the Goa'uld are a race of evil parasites who were bent on galactic domination, this particular one, Anubis, attacked Earth about 2 years ago and was defeated by a weapon the Ancients left behind in an outpost in Antarctica..." he continued
"But I was on Earth two years ago, I don't remember any alien attack" interrupted Rose
"Do you remember a "Meteor shower" hitting a group of US warships?" Rose nods "Anubis" Daniel remarks. Remembering how the Slitheen attack had been covered up by her own government, Rose didn't say anything. "Anyway about eighteen months ago we found the gate address to the Ancient's lost city, this one, which is Atlantis, we came through the gate and we've been here ever since, exploring, making friends and enemies" he finishes. Rose and the Doctor look at each other,
"Well that explains what those stone rings were that we found" said Rose
"The Timelords missed a hell of a lot" remarks the Doctor Rose laughed
"And here's me thinking you were the galactic know all".
Elizabeth had been listening to everything with interest, she was still smarting over the way she'd been cut off by Sheppard and Zelenka but she trusted John, he must have had a good reason. She also couldn't see them being a threat to the city either, she could tell. Rodney and Zelenka were dying to have a look inside their ship and Daniel was desperate to talk about the planets that they'd visited. The word that had intrigued her was Timelord, did this strange man with the teenage companion have the ability to travel in time?, she'd ask them later. At this moment in time she wanted to split them up, Rodney and Radek wanted to get at the Doctor and ask questions about his ship, she wanted to get Rose alone and ask questions about the Doctor.
"Ok, I'd like Dr Beckett to check you over, it's strictly routine, just to make sure you haven't brought any contagions with you, Doctor if you'd go with Dr Beckett, I'd like to get to know Rose a little better" Weir said, the Doctor grinned at Beckett
"Ok Doc lead the way" he said.
After Beckett and the Doctor had left, Rose was left to face Sheppard, Weir, McKay and Zelenka. John didn't bother waiting for Weir he asked the question that had been bothering him,
"Ok, why didn't you want us to ask about the Doctor's home planet?" he asked, Rose sighed
"It doesn't exist anymore, it was destroyed in a war, the Doctor called it a Time War, against a bunch of evil machines called the Daleks, everyone lost. The Doctor is the last of the Timelords, I didn't want you going on at him about it he was the one that destroyed his home planet, it was the only way to make sure the Daleks were destroyed only it didn't work, they're still out there. Thousands of years from now they'll try and destroy Earth again and I'll be there again sending the Bad Wolf messages and Jack will die again and my doctor will die again and it'll go on and on and on..........". She breathed hard in an effort not to cry "You wouldn't understand" she got up and strode out of the room bumping into a tall, dreadlocked man on the way "get out of my way" she growled as she pushed past him. Ronan Dex watched the blond girl stomp off down the stairs, he turned to his female companion,
"What's that all about?" he asked
"I think it is best not to ask" replied Teyla Emmagen
Rodney threw down his pen
"That went well" he remarked, Elizabeth sighed
"I imagine she's seen more than a girl her age should have judging by what just happened" she said. Teyla and Ronan entered the room
"Was she one of the intruders?" asked Teyla, Weir nodded
"She looked upset, what happened?" asked Ronan. Rodney smirked
"Ask Lieutenant Colonel Tact here" he said smugly. Sheppard glared at him.
"All I did was ask her why she didn't want us to interrogate the Doctor about his home planet and under the circumstances I can see why, destroying your home planet must carry a lot of guilt" he replied. Ronan's head jerked up
"He destroyed his own planet, why?" he asked.
"We never got that far, but his enemies sounded.........mean, evil machines that destroy Earth some time in the future" said Zelenka. Rodney groaned
"You don't really believe they can travel in time do you" he sneered
"The Ancients could do it, SG-1 managed it, just because you can't work it out doesn't mean it can't be done, now please excuse me I have work to do" replied Zelenka as he got up and left.
"Guess that told you" said Sheppard. Rodney, not being able to think of a smart comeback, folded his arms and clamped his lips together.
Elizabeth groaned silently, sometimes these meetings were more like days in a Kindergarten, she wondered if General Landry would approve a request for a Nanny to supervise the senior officers meeting.
"Are we sure we should be letting them roam around the base" said Ronan, Teyla smiled
"I did not see you trying to stop her when she pushed you out of the way" she remarked,
"I know better than to stand in the way of an angry woman" he said with a grin, the men in the room silently agreed with him.
"I don't think they're a threat to us" said Sheppard "and I doubt we could stop them leaving if they wanted too, see what the Doctor's got to say for himself after Beckett's finished with him". Elizabeth nodded
"I agree, I really don't think they're going to cause us any trouble, not on the base anyway" said Weir. Sheppard nodded, but remembering the looks Rose had got from the members of his team he couldn't agree about them not causing trouble. "Teyla, in 30 minutes or so could you find Rose and escort her to the medical bay so Dr Beckett can check her over", Teyla nodded in agreement, she understood, a little female company and the girl might talk a bit more.
Dr Carson Beckett had finished his examination of the Doctor, all he could tell was that the Doctor wasn't carrying anything contagious, the two hearts would take a lot more studying to understand.
"So Doc am I fit enough for you" asked The Doctor, Carson sighed
"Aye, I can't pretend to know anything about your physiology but you seem ok to me" he admitted, The Doctor grinned and jumped off the bed
"Can I go then" he said, Carson nodded, something had been bugging him since Zelenka and Rodney had mentioned time travel
"Sure, but before you do can I ask, do you really travel in time?" he asked
"Of course, I am a Timelord, why?" The Doctor had a feeling he knew what was coming
"Well, years ago I traced my family tree and we are related to the McLaren clan. There are stories in that family about a Doctor helping the Laird after he was wounded at the Battle of Culloden and the same Doctor helped some of the men escape to France, do you know anything about it?" asked Beckett, The Doctor smiled kindly
"Yes that was me only I looked a lot different then" he counted on his fingers "wow eight regenerations ago". He noticed Beckett's look "we Timelords have a little 'Clause' in our lives, kind of immortality clause, we can regenerate instead of dying, the insides are there but the outside changes, believe it or not I used to be an old man with white hair" Beckett's face looked confused
"I'll take your word for it" he said "there have been stories about a blue box on the fields of Culloden handed down from the Clans that were there, that's why I talked myself into the meeting, to see if it was you"
"It wasn't pleasant, we were there at the end, the smell of death" The Doctor shivered "I couldn't wait to leave but it did give me the chance to meet Jamie, I missed his pipes around the Tardis when he was sent back to his place in history" The Doctor smiled at the memories. "I wonder what happened to him"
"What Clan was he from?" asked Carson
"McCrimmon, Jamie was the McLaren's young piper" Carson smiled
"There was a girl called Zoë McCrimmon at university with me" he shrugged "she said Zoë had been a popular name in her family since Culloden, she was never quite sure why, it's not a Scottish name" The Doctor smiled, so a little of Zoë and Jamie still lived on.
Rose was lost, all corridors in this stupid city looked the same. In front of her was a door that led to a balcony, she headed for it, giving herself a telling off for being a total girl in the interrogation. She hadn't meant to rant at all those doctors, she thought she was over what had happened on the Game Station, she'd cried over Jack and her Doctor in a dark corner of the Tardis, her mum had always said a good cry made everything ok, not this time though. She though back to the first meeting with the Lieutenant Colonel in charge of the military, Sheppard was it? he reminded her so much of Jack, the accent, the cocky attitude, bandying words with The Doctor, her emotions had tripped and it had all got too much. She strode towards the door, which opened before she could put her hand out, there was a seat under some kind of tree or big plant. As she sat down she could feel the tears starting, great, just what she needed, a reputation as a cry baby.
Radek Zelenka was hurrying down the same corridor, she was just in sight, he didn't want to catch her straight away. She'd tugged on his heartstrings back in the interrogation room, the way she'd tried to be brave and not let them see she was close to tears reminded him of his sister when she was younger, the way she'd try to convince him that yet another failed romance was no big deal. He wanted to make sure she was ok and tell her not all in Atlantis were as thoughtless as Sheppard and the others.
Rose was wiping her eyes when a tissue appeared in front of her, she looked up to see a slightly scruffy man with glasses holding it out to her.
"Here" he said
"Thanks" she replied. she wiped her eyes and her nose and put the tissue in her pocket, what was his name, he was one of the doctors, the one who asked about them speaking Czech "I'm sorry I've forgotten your name "she said apologetically
"Radek Zelenka, from the Czech Republic" he replied holding out his hand, she took it
"Rose Tyler, from London" she said with a grin.
"I'm sorry about earlier, they have no idea about tact" Radek remarked
"Oh don't worry, it's been tough out there for me" Rose replied, Radek sat down beside her.
"So where have you been?" he asked
"Loads of places, last time I ended up in a Harem somewhere in Turkey, I'm not sure when" Zelenka decided to say nothing "we were here having a bit of a holiday when the Doctor spotted your city and decided to investigate, that's usually when the trouble starts" she sighed,
"Why did you join him?" he asked, he knew Rodney well enough to know this would be the first question he'd ask.
"He rescued me from a bunch of shop dummies that had come to life, then he blew up the shop I was working in, I rescued him from a blob of plastic called the Nestene Consciousness, after that he asked me to join him so I did, it was that or sign on the dole". Rose replied, grinning, Radek smiled back.
"I guess that's a good enough reason to go exploring space" he said
"Is that why you're here?" she asked, Radek smiled
"Yes, I volunteered as soon as we're found the city, since then I've been getting the Ancient technology to work, this is what I studied so long for" he said.
"Maybe you could get the Tardis working properly, the bloody thing hasn't worked for years I think". She smiled at him flirtatiously "talking of which can you show me where the Tardis is, I want to change I don't think shorts and T-shirt are ideal for wandering around an alien city". Zelenka looked a little worried, Rose saw it "Don't worry, I can't fly it, you'll be quite safe".
"Pity" he said under his breath "come on I'll show you". Rose put her arm through his and smiled.
On the observation balcony the Doctor was watching people milling about, Daniel Jackson wandered up and joined him.
"I guess we haven't got off to a very good start in your eyes" he said
"Enjoy it while you can it gets a lot worse, if you think the Goa'uld were trouble you wait until the Daleks arrive" replied the Doctor "Of course things could be different now that you've already started exploring space, someone else could get there first, I've seen Earth invaded and destroyed so many times you tend to forget who does what, when"
"And every time it's someone different?" asks Daniel
"Daleks, Cybermen, Autons, Sycorax, plus many others over the millenia" said The Doctor
"Not to mention Replicators, Goa'uld and now the Wraith" said Daniel, The Doctor frowned
"Wraith?" he asked
"Oh they're the biggest threat in this galaxy, sort of Space Vampires, they feed on the life force of humanoids and they see Earth as a new feeding ground" he replied
"Mind you somewhere out there Earth does die of natural causes, me and Rose watched the sun expand and swallow it up five billion years from now" said the Doctor, smiling "you have taken the first step in preserving humanity by being here". Daniel smiled back
"At least we're doing something right" he replied, the Doctor grinned
"Any tea on this spaceship" he asked
"Follow me" said Daniel "and we'll swap stories"
Rodney was watching Daniel and the Doctor, typical, trust Daniel Jackson to get to the alien first if anyone should be with the Doctor it should be him, wasn't he the smartest, brainiest, most intelligent one in Atlantis, the one who was most capable of figuring out how to fly the Doctor's ship. He'd make the Doctor eat his words, little brain indeed, he'd show him, he, Rodney McKay, would learn the secrets of the Doctor's time travel ship and he would make one of his own, the Ancient's managed to do it so how hard could it be. Hah that would wipe the smile of Zelenka's face 'Just because you can't make it work doesn't mean it can't be done', yes he would make it work, then he'd get the recognition he deserved. Rodney started to gather up a few things he'd need to get a good idea of what the Doctor's ship was all about, he was just heading out of the door when he noticed something.
"Where's Radek?" he asked.
Zelenka led Rose to the East Pier where the Tardis was being guarded, Rose fumbled in her pocket and pulled out the key and began to unlock the door.
"You're kidding, you lock your ship with a door key" Radek asked in amazement as he waved the guard away "It's ok" he explained to the guard" Rose chuckled
"I know I could quite believe it when the Doctor first gave it to me" she replied "now, I've got to warn you, the inside of the Tardis takes a little getting used to" Zelenka looked at the Tardis
"It must get a little cramped in there, good job I'm not claustrophobic" he said, Rose grinned at him, opened the door and went in .Radek followed her and his mouth dropped open
"Oh my God, how is this possible" he said looking around him "It's....it's......"
"Bigger on the inside than the outside" finished Rose "that's exactly what I said"
"How does it work" Zelenka asked
"It's a dimensional control unit, it's posh name is a time vector generator, from what the Doctor says the inside of the Tardis occupies a different dimention in space than the outside, it's why it's bigger" explained Rose, Radek was wandering around looking at everything
"Yes, yes I can see that happening, it's how that's the facinating part, I could spend years trying to figure out how this works" he said in wonder.
"Let me change and I'll explain what I can, I'm no brainiac but I'll do my best" said Rose and she ran off.
In her room she changed into her jeans and trainers. She wished that Radek would join them, he was such a nice guy, in a big brother way but she doubted he'd leave this place, he'd never replace Jack, no-one could but he'd come close. She ran off back to the main control room and found Zelenka looking at the console
"I don't suppose we could take it out for a spin?" he asked, Rose shook her head
"It was built for the Doctor only he can fly it, it's alive, I know you'll think it weird but the Tardis is alive, it has a heart. Last Christmas the Doctor was dying and so was the Tardis, it's wouldn't work properly" she gave a forced laugh "less than usual I mean. I did fly it once, kind of, I cracked the console open and looked into the Heart of the Tardis and suddenly I knew everything, briefly, but I can't remember much of it now, only bits and pieces" she explained "I think the Tardis has a lot to do with the trouble we get ourselves into, I think it says to itself 'I know we'll go here because trouble's brewing', I can't understand half of what goes on in here". Radek smiled
"If I spent the rest of my life in here I'd never get bored trying to understand how it worked" he said.
"It's weird but when I was at school I hated science and history, but being part of it, it's not so boring. Before I met the Doctor the closest I got to history was my mum letting me stay up and watch the news the day they opened up Checkpoint Charlie, and all those people climbed on to the Berlin Wall and started pulling it down with their bare hands, "You're watching history being made Rose" she said to me, I was only a kid then" she replied. Zelenka smiled wistfully
"I was part of history too, I was on the streets of Prague in 89 during the Velvet Revolution. I was at University and I wanted freedom, we'd seen it in Hungary and Poland, the people of East Germany were travelling through Czechoslovakia to get to the West and we wanted it too. I'd done my military service when I was seventeen and the Party expected me to work in the Russian space programme or in their Nuclear facilities, I would have done anything to get away. So I joined in the revolution just like my parents did in 68 and my grandparents during the Nazi occupation" he explained. Rose hugged him
"I guess seeing history second hand is no substitute for being there at the time" she said.
Dr Rodney McKay was hurrying down the corridor towards the Tardis, muttering. According to Rodney life did not treat him fairly, what was the phrase in that Douglas Adams book 'Life! Don't talk to me about life'. Not only had Zelenka made a fool of him in front of Sheppard but now it appeared he was in The Doctor's ship with his companion. He had met Major Lorne on the way to the blue box and he'd told him where Radek was
"Hey Doc, you off to look at that ship then?" Lorne had asked him. McKay sighed
"Of course" he'd replied
"I spoke to Sergeant Tyler, who's been guarding it, earlier and he told me Doc Zelenka and the English girl have been in there for quite a while, who'd have thought it of Doc Zelenka eh. Some girls go for the geek type so you may be in luck". Lorne had said, grinning mischievously.
He reached the Tardis and Rodney barged through the doors like he owned it, he spotted Rose with her arms around Zelenka
"Well Radek, nice work if you can get it and fast work too, she's only been here a couple of hours" he said with a twinge of jealousy. Radek let go of Rose and grouched
"Proboha MacKayi, musíš pořád myslet jen na to jedno?"1 he grumbled in Czech. Rose gasped and laughed
"I do not" said McKay indignantly, Zelenka looked startled
"The Tardis translates" Rose reminded him. Rodney finally began to take in his surroundings
"Wow, how do you do that" he asked
"Apparently it occupies a different dimention of space to the outside" put in Zelenka smugly
"How big is this thing?" Rodney asked Rose
"I don't know, I've seen about half of it, the swimming pool's nice and so are the gardens, there's about a dozen bedrooms rooms, some Australian girl called Tegan had my room before me, there's a walled cloister that the Doctor sort of meditates in sometimes" replied Rose. Rodney looked aghast.
"A pool, you have a pool in this ship" he said, he looked at Radek "I don't suppose she's told you how it travels in time", Radek shook his head as Rose glared at Rodney.
"She's gonna smack you in the face in a minute" she said angrily. A picture of a ship flickered on to the screen on the console
"What's that?" asked McKay.
"I don't know, I've never seen it before" Rose replied. The doors of the Tardis slammed shut and the central column started to move up and down. Both McKay and Zelenka turned to look at Rose,
"What did you do" yelled Rodney
"Nothing" yelled back Rose "As I told him, the Tardis is alive, it's doing this by itself" she grabbed the console "hang on to something it's going to get a little wild". The two scientists braced themselves and the Tardis lurched as it took off "you wanted to see it in action, now's your chance".
Chuck, the Canadian technician2, tapped his earpiece and spoke
"Dr Weir, the Doctor's ship has taken off, it's in the atmosphere and moving away from the planet" he said, Weir, Jackson and the Doctor came running.
"Dr Weir this is Major Lorne, I've had a report that the blue box has gone from the East Pier" said a voice in her ear
"Thank you Major I'm aware of the situation" she replied
"It's just Dr McKay, Dr Zelenka and the English girl were on board when it disappeared" Lorne remarked
"Thank you Major" she said. She turned to the Doctor "what's going on, where's your assistant taken them?", The Doctor shrugged
"I don't know, Rose can't fly the Tardis, it must have sensed something and gone to investigate, it tends to do that sometimes" he replied
"Can you communicate with Rose" Weir asked
"Not unless you've got a phone" he answered.
"Dr Weir, Daedalus is requesting permission to land" said Chuck.
"Permission granted, but tell Colonel Caldwell we may need him to chase the Doctor's ship" she replied
"Yes Ma'am" he said.
Meanwhile on the Tardis McKay was trying not to lose his cool
"Please tell me you can control this thing" he asked, Rose shook her head
"Only the Doctor can fly it, the Tardis knows what it's doing" Rose replied, she patted the console "Don't let me down sweetheart" she whispered
"Apparently it's a symbiotic process, the Tardis was made for the Doctor and it reacts to him only" said Zelenka
"So I'm going to die in a police phone box" grouched McKay
"It depends on what we find at the other end" said Rose.
Suddenly Zelenka slapped himself on the head and tapped his earpiece
"Atlantis this is Zelenka can you hear me"
In Atlantis' control room everyone jumped when they heard Zelenka's voice
"Yes Dr Zelenka we can hear you, what happened?" said Weir
"I don't know, it just started by itself when a ship appeared on the screen" said Zelenka's voice "according to Rose this is not unusual". The Doctor looked around him
"Let me talk to Rose" he said, Chuck handed him an earpiece, the Doctor put it in.
"This is the Doctor can I speak to Rose" he asked.
On the Tardis Zelenka took out his earpiece and handed it to Rose,
"The Doctor wants to speak to you" he said. Rodney looked at him
"Why didn't I think of that?" he said
"You were too worried about dying in a Police phone box" retorted Zelenka
"Doctor it's Rose, what's going?" asked Rose
"Go to the phone on the wall and dial the Hash key" came the reply, Rose went over to a section of the wall, opened it, took the reciever off the hook and dialled. Radek looked at Rodney who just waved his hand in a 'I give up' gesture.
"Done" said Rose into the phone. On Atlantis Rose's voice seemed to echo out of the walls, the Doctor took his earpiece out and handed it back to Chuck
"Thanks, Rose what does the ship look like?" he asked, on the Tardis the three of them looked
"It's not Wraith" said Rodney
"No-one else I can think of" said Radek
"I don't recognise it but the Tardis is trying to say something, there's writing at the bottom of the screen, I can't read it" said Rose
"That's because it's Old High Gallifreyan" replied the Doctor "are you sure you can't describe the ship". Rose looked at the data pad under Rodney's arm
"Can that thing Email?" she asked, Rodney rolled his eyes
"It can send a short data transmission, hardly MSN but it works better" he said
"Doctor I've got an idea, give me five minutes" Rose said. She went over to a cupboard and pulled out a computer cable, next she pulled her mobile out of her back pocket and lined it up with the computer screen. The two scientists couldn't believe the answer was that simple, she was going to use her mobile to take a picture of the screen and download it to Atlantis.
"I don't believe I'm watching a teenager outsmart the brains of the Atlantis Expedition" said Zelenka, Rodney just glared, he couldn't believe it either. Rose plugged her phone into Rodney's data pad and he sent the picture to Atlants.
"Atlantis, you've got mail" he said with a sigh.
Colonel Steven Caldwell entered the Atlantis Control Room with Sheppard following, explaining what had happened so far.
"Dr Weir" he said in acknowledgement "Colonel Sheppard has bought me up to date, do we know who the ship belongs to yet?"
"We're waiting on an 'Email' from the Doctor's companion, she's transfering a photo of the ship she took using her mobile phone" Elizabeth replied, Caldwell looked at the scientists huddled together looking sheepish.
"Your kidding" he remarked, She gave him an amused smile which he returned. Dr Miko Kusanagi finished downloading the transmission from Rose and brought it up onto the screen. When the Doctor saw it he gasped
"Oh no, no,no,no, not the Cybermen, not here".
On the Tardis, the three occupants looked at eachother and shrugged. The computer blipped and another ship appeared on the screen, Rodney and Radek looked and both sucked in a breath.
"Elizabeth, a Hive ship has just exited hyperspace and is joining up with the other one" said Rodney.
On Atlantis Elizabeth Weir and Col Caldwell looked at the Doctor for an explanation
"Who are the Cybermen?" Caldwell asked
"Cybernetic creatures that were once human, well as close to human as you can get". He sighed "once upon a time there were ten planets in your solar system, Earth had a twin planet called Mondas, it broke orbit and drifted away, the planet's inhabitants devised a way to transplant cybernetic parts onto their bodies when the living tissue wore out until only the brain was left, they wanted to live forever. They removed all sign of weakness and all emotions until all that was left was an empty metal shell" the Doctor said bitterly.
"Why would the Wraith make an alliance with these Cybermen?" asked Weir "They've never needed allies before".
"Maybe they need help putting down the rebellions that have started because of us," remarked Sheppard. Weir tapped her earpiece
"Teyla can you and Ronan join us on the balcony," she asked,
"We will be there shortly" came Teyla's reply.
"You said the Wraith feed on the life force of humans," said the Doctor "How exactly do they do it"
"They drain your life force through a device on their palm until there's nothing left but a husk," said Sheppard with a shudder as he remembered witnessing the death of Colonel Sumner. Teyla and Ronan appeared on the balcony
"How can we help?" asked Teyla
"Have either of you ever heard of the Wraith needing allies?" asked Elizabeth. Teyla shook her head
"Never" she replied "they have never needed them, nor have I known them trade, they take what they need and go"
"No-one in their right mind would invite the Wraith to be their allies, everyone knows that would mean death to their world. A few have tried but their destruction was inevitable," said Ronan
"I don't think the Wraith made the first move, I think it was the Cybermen, think about it they have nothing to fear from the Wraith, they can't be used for food they're ninety percent metal. The question is, what to the Wraith have that the Cybermen want so desperately," said the Doctor.
On the Tardis, Rose, McKay and Zelenka were waiting
"What are they doing down there" moaned Rodney "why haven't they sent the Daedalus to rescue us". Rose sighed
"And I thought Mickey could whinge, is he always like this?" she asked Zelenka
"Pretty much" replied Radek. Rodney glared at them
"I need to be down there on Atlantis, God knows what Kusanagi and Kavanaugh are doing without me to guide them" her remarked
"Probably doing a lot better without him" whispered Radek to Rose who burst out laughing, Rodney rolled his eyes and tapped his earpiece.
"Hey what's going on down there, when are you coming to rescue me" he said.
"Easy Rodney the Doctor says your safe as long as you're in the Tardis" said Elizabeth, Rodney sighed
"That does not inspire me with confidence" he grouched "oh ok, Rose the Doctor says pick up the phone". Rose went over and picked it up
"What's up?" she asked
"What's the Tardis doing?" he said. Rose stretched to look at the screen
"At a guess it's scanning the ships, that strange writing is still on the screen, oh hang on, no it's stopped, it's just sitting here doing nothing now." she said
"Probably doesn't want to draw attention to itself by entering the vortex, don't worry we're coming to get you, they have some kind of cloaked ship that's big enough to transport the Tardis back to neutral ground" said the Doctor. "According to the people here we'll be with you in a couple of hours, you're quite a way out and they need a bigger ship to transport the cloaked one" Rose sighed.
"Ok" she replied and put the phone down
"Your friends are coming to the rescue, they'll be here in a couple of hours," she said to the others
"Thank God for that" said Rodney as he sank down onto the seat. "It's never a good idea to be this close to a Hive ship"
"I don't know why you're worried the Tardis is the safest place to be, the Daleks couldn't get in and neither could a crowd of Inter Milan fans and they were scarier, I could have killed Mickey that night" she said "I suppose I could show you a bit of the Tardis while we're waiting.
Back on Atlantis final preparations were being made to rescue the Tardis occupants, Colonel Sheppard had loaded one of the Puddle Jumpers onto the Daedalus' hanger and had joined Colonel Caldwell and the Doctor on the Bridge.
"Everything's ready Sir," he said with a salute, Caldwell nodded
"Helm, inform Dr Weir we're leaving" he said
"Yes Sir" replied his pilot, Major Emma Cooper.
"Nice ship you have here Colonel" said the Doctor "and congratulations on keeping it so quiet, even I had no idea about it" Caldwell smiled
"Thank you Doctor" he said
"How did you get hold of the technology for all this?" the Doctor asked
"Courtesy of the Asgard, we helped them defeat an enemy of theirs and as a thank you they gave us the technology to build the Prometheus and then the Daedalus." Caldwell replied. The Doctor looked thoughtful,
"Asgard, Asgard, oh yes little grey fellas with big eyes, haven't seen them for years" said the Doctor, smiling.
"Colonel Sheppard, maybe you and the Doctor would be more comfortable in the mess" said Caldwell. Both the Doctor and Sheppard got the hint and left.
"I gotta ask you Doc" said Sheppard as they sat drinking tea "Rose, how'd you do it? How did you convince her to join you?" and what have you got that I haven't, he added silently. The Doctor smiled
"I just asked her, after we'd stopped Earth being over-run by living plastic, I asked her to join me mind you her mother wasn't too pleased when we went back a year later. Jackie actually slapped me, nine hundred years old and I get slapped by a companions mum, I was so embarrassed." replied the Doctor.
"What about your home, we never got the chance to ask, Rose told us some, but...what really happened," asked John. The Doctor sighed
"It was the old, old story a war, Time War, between good and evil, the Timelords and the Daleks. Its effects were hardly felt elsewhere, the odd ripple in time, you'd wake up one morning and the wallpaper had changed or you had three kids instead of two that kind of thing. Many races did suffer though, we had to make sure the war finally ended and no one got their hands on the ability to control time, so Gallifrey was destroyed and the Daleks with it. I was the only survivor, the last of the Timelords," replied the Doctor. Sheppard didn't know what to say, he'd seen the Wraith destroy civilizations before but to witness your own destroyed. He sympathised with and pitied the Doctor at the same time.
The Daedalus exited hyperspace just outside the Wraith sensors and Colonel Sheppard and the Doctor left the hanger in the cloaked puddle jumper.
"This is neat" said the Doctor "really neat, how's it controlled", Sheppard smiled smugly,
"Only someone with the Ancient gene can operate it, the Ancients somehow made sure only their race could use the technology." He replied, the Doctor nodded
"Makes sense, that way their technology can't be used against them," he said
"We're coming up on your ship," said Sheppard. The Doctor closed his eyes and concentrated.
In the Tardis' control room the central column started to move and it disappeared from view the reappeared in the back of the puddle jumper, the top of the Tardis scraping the roof of the jumper. The Doctor got out of his seat and went to the Tardis door
"I'll get this out of your way and see you back on the Daedalus," he said
"I thought you said moving it would let the Wraith know it was here," said Sheppard
"For short hops like this the hop into the vortex barely registers" he replied as he opened the door and went in. He went to the console and set to work getting the Tardis to take off and land in the Daedalus' hanger. The Tardis dematerialised from the puddle jumper and Sheppard breathed a sigh of relief, he hadn't relished the thought of trying to fly with a Police Box in the back.
Inside the Tardis the Doctor looked for Rose.
"Rose! Rose! Now where's she gone?" he shouted. He went to the phone and called her mobile "where are you" he said as she answered
"In the library" she replied
"Ok if you turn right instead of left as you come out go to the end of the corridor, down the stairs, straight in front of you, past Adric's old room to the end of the corridor and that'll bring you to the spiral staircase by the wardrobe room, it's a short cut. He said as Caldwell opened the door.
"Ok" replied Rose
"They'll be here in about ten minutes, five if they run," said the Doctor to Caldwell. Caldwell looked around him
"Impressive ship you have Doctor" he said”,now do you mind telling me what's going on". The doctor was busy studying the information on the console screen,
"The inside occupies a different area of space to the outside," said the Doctor, distractedly.
"That's not what I meant," said Caldwell, thinking that Lt Colonel Samantha Carter would love to get her hands on this ship "I meant what's happening with the Wraith and the Cybermen". Just then Rose, Radek and Rodney came through the doorway,
"Colonel Caldwell, you have no idea how pleased I am to see you" said Rodney, gasping”,I've walked miles around this thing" Radek rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"So what's going on?" asked Rose.
"I don't know" said the Doctor "but there's only a couple of dozen Cybermen on that ship, forty at the most yet there's got to be at least five thousand Wraith on that ship"
"It might not be all Wraith, some of those readings maybe culling victims...ah...food," said Rodney
"The Cybermen need humanoids so they can create more Cybermen, they need the brain but they're not crazy enough to try and take that ship by force" replied the Doctor
"The Wraith don't need the technology to live forever, they are virtually immortal anyway" put in Radek.
"You're saying both the Wraith and the Cybermen need humans to survive?" said Rose "and there are humans on that ship?, maybe they are trading, the humans for something only the Wraith can get from the Cybermen". Rodney shook his head
"The Wraith wouldn't part with the Humans for anything, you see the Wraith cull planets for food, and they leave just enough people on the planets to repopulate the galaxy while they go into hibernation. According to Teyla this takes about five hundred years, when we arrived we woke them up too early so basically there's not enough food to go around..." Rodney's face paled "Have the Cybermen been to Earth?" The Doctor nodded.
"Not for a long time" he said "their original home was earth's twin, Mondas"
"If the Cybermen can give the Wraith the technology to get to Earth they won't need the population of this galaxy, they'll have what they've wanted ever since we got here, a new feeding ground with billions of people just waiting to be culled" said Rodney.