"Where to now?" the Doctor asks Rose.
"I want to get some sun. Look at me, I'm pale!" Rose says jokingly.
"I know the perfect place, a cruise on the planet Jitsosyphus in the Zaicrus galaxy. Nice beaches, palm trees, warm water, the whole planet is like that," the Doctor tells Rose. To himself he says, "Of course they do have a horrible insect infestation," then louder and to Rose, "but no matter it's the perfect place to relax, very...romantic." The Doctor winks at Rose.
She laughs and smiles, her tongue sticking out between her teeth and says, "Sounds perfect."
The Doctor messes with the TARDIS controls and then braces himself. Rose grabs onto one of the handles around the controls and braces herself too. The TARDIS lands with the typical whooshing sound, and Rose walks into the large wardrobe in the TARDIS to picks out a red bikini to put on.
She starts to pull her shirt off, but remembering the Doctor yells, "Oi! Turn around!"
The Doctor turns his back, but watches Rose in the mirror, her back is to him. He watches her tie the bikini top and shakes her hair out from under it, and then he looks away.
Rose finishes putting the bikini on and the Doctor asks "Ready to go?"
"Just about." Rose slips a short, white sundress on over the bikini and goes to stand next to the Doctor.
"Allons-y!" the Doctor shouts and throws open the TARDIS doors.
The Doctor and Rose step outside right as a group of soldiers in formation march by, followed by some much smaller male and female people wearing normal clothes.
The soldiers aren't normal though. They have three eyes, two normal ones and one on their forehead. They are taller than humans, with an average height of 8 feet. Each soldier carries a giant gun like thing.
"Ohhh this is bad. They shouldn't be here," the Doctor says ominously.
"Why is it bad?" Rose whispers, fear and excitement flash in her eyes.
"Because they are Osezum. Their third eye can see smells and sound, making them excellent trackers. They are a very violent species and very demanding, so when they don't get their way...they kill. Just try to steer clear of them whenever possible and do whatever they ask of you and you should be fine," the Doctor says while reaching over and grabbing Rose's hand, gently squeezing it, and looking into her eyes.
A deadly serious look blazes in his eyes. The look on his face sends shivers up Rose's spine, good shivers though, and she blushes. It's a look only Rose gets from the Doctor when he is concerned for her safety.
"Okay, I promise," Rose replies quietly.
The Doctor relaxes a little. "Their one downfall is that they have a...king...a boss person, like a master computer, and all their knowledge comes from him," the Doctor explains.
"So the soldiers only know what the master computer knows."
"You said it was a 'he', couldn't the leader be a 'she'?"
"No, look around you, no females."
Rose glances around the area. Just like the Doctor said, no female Osezum anywhere. "Then how do they reproduce?"
"Every hundred years or so one female is hatched.."
"Hang on... HATCHED?"
"Yes, the female lays eggs, tiny eggs, about the size of a strawberry seed," The Doctor rushes to finish. "But why are they here? What are they doing here, on this ship, with humans around?"
"I don't know, maybe it's their ship and they need humans to run it or something?"
"No...OHHHHH! YES IT'S BRILLIANT!" the Doctor shouts, dropping Rose's hand and taking off down the hall in the direction the soldiers came from.
"Doctor! What's brilliant?" Rose yells as she runs after him.
The Doctor turns the corner without looking to see if Rose is following.
Rose, running as fast as she can, gets to the corner a few seconds behind the Doctor. He is nowhere to be seen though. She stops, a look of tired surprise crosses her face; tired from running, and surprised the Doctor could get away so fast. With one hand on the wall and one hand on her stomach, Rose catches her breath. Once she can breathe normally again she straightens up and inspects the hallway. Five doors, two on the left and three on the right line the hall. The Doctor could be in any of them or none at all.
She slowly starts down the hall. Reaching the first door on the right, labeled 'Egg Storage 10', Rose places her hand on a small glass plate on the side of the door. A noise sounds quietly and the door opens smoothly. She steps inside the doorframe, ready for whatever is in there. She slides a switch, on the left side of the doorframe, up. Immediately the lights turn on. Rose takes another step inside the room and a strong gust of wind blows her hair out of her face and almost knocks her over.
The room is large, with shelves lining the walls from top to bottom. On each shelf is a large black box, similar to a tool box, only dead locked with a keypad and finger scanner. Each keypad glows solid red, except for one box on a shelf across the room that flashes green. Rose walks over to the shelf and tries to lift the lid off the box. The top comes off easily and Rose looks inside. The only thing in this box is a single two inch by two inch square of gauze. Picking up the gauze, she sees that it is opalescent.
Out in the hallway an alarm sounds and Rose, not wanting to get caught in the room, shoves the gauze into the back pocket of her sundress and sprints out into the hall. She whips her head from right to left and right again trying to decide what direction to run. She chooses right, and arms pumping, takes off in that direction.
Rose runs until she can't run anymore. The adrenaline in her bloodstream finally releases its grip on her, and Rose slows to a stop. Heart pounding, Rose finds herself in a large corridor with only two doors. One door on the right, and one door on the left. The corridor is wide enough to have seven people stand shoulder to shoulder, and is 300 feet long before it narrows to normal size again.
The door on the left opens a crack and a head sticks out. "What are you doing out there?!"
"Oh no, I'm not..." Rose says before she's cut off by the girl in the doorway.
"Get in here. NOW!" the girl whispers fiercely.
"No! I'm not supposed to..." Rose says rather loudly as the girl opens the door all the way so she can grabs Rose's arm and pull her in the room.
"No! DOCTOR! Doctor help!" Rose screams.
The girl puts a hand over Rose's mouth to silence her. "Shhh! Do you want us all to get
shot? It's past curfew!"
"Rose? Rose is that you! Where are you, I'm coming to find you!" Rose hears the Doctor reply faintly.
Two more girls come out of the room and grab Rose also; now three people are trying to pull her into the room. Rose struggles against the girls' pull, trying to wrestle out of their grips, but the three girls manage to pull her inside and lock the door.
A few seconds later Rose can hear footsteps coming down the corridor. Immediately she can tell it's the Doctor; she can hear the determinedness in them. She tries to bang on the door and call out to him but she is quickly restrained and silenced by the girls until the footsteps are no longer heard.
Once Rose has settled down the three girls take a few steps back from Rose with their hands held out in front of them. Rose crosses her arms and stares them down. The girls put their hands down but stare back with a look of annoyance. They stand there glaring at each other for a few minutes until the girl that first grabbed Rose breaks up the stare down.
"I'm Fiona," the first girl says, "this is Maddy," She points to the girl on the left of her,
"and this is Ava." She points to the girl on the right.
Fiona has long dark, almost black hair braided down the right side of her head. She's the tallest of the three, and taller than Rose. Maddy also has dark hair, although not as dark as Fiona's, that is longer in the front than the back. The back comes down to just about shoulder length, while the front gets progressively longer until her bangs are an inch below her shoulders. She is about Rose's height, only an inch shorter. Ava has long blonde hair that hangs down around her rib cage in a loose ponytail. She's by far the shortest of the three. All of them wear the exact same bleached white nightgown.
"Rose." She makes no attempt to soften her look or sound friendly in any way.
"Sorry for earlier, we just couldn't allow you to go on making noise, you'd attract the soldiers," Fiona tells Rose, "We have a strict curfew, no one making noise in the halls after 7:00 pm and no one in the halls at all after 7:30 pm. Otherwise the dormitory gets shot." Fiona walks around behind Rose and places her hands on Rose's shoulder blades, slowly pushing her forward.
Ava jogs up to a big double door and pushes both sides hard to open them. They swing open with a bang and Maddy saunters into the room, followed by Rose, Fiona, and then Ava. Rose looks around the room.
The dormitory looks like the grand staircase on the Titanic minus the stairs themselves. The area is packed with bunk beds and small bedside tables. Some bunk beds have three or more girls sitting on them, some don't have any, but when the doors crashed open each girl fell completely silent and whipped their heads around to look at the people entering the room.
"How many of you are in here? There must be at least, 20, 45, 65, 70 bunk beds," Rose does the math in her head. "It looks like there are more than 70 of you here which means you're sleeping two to a bed. That makes...a lot."
"There are 100 of us here currently, but who knows when that will change. We started off with 140 girls in this room at the beginning of this cruise," Fiona says with a twinge of sadness in her voice.
"But where did they all go?" Rose asks.
"No one knows. Sometimes a girl will be called out of the dormitory before breakfast, or they don't return from mid-morning activities, or we'll wake up in the morning and they will be missing from their bunk. Once a person goes missing they never return." A girl playing cards a few bunks down speaks up. Her eyes sparkle as she talks about it, as if the whole idea of a mystery intrigues her. "The name is Jillian," she says almost as if she had read Rose's mind.
Jillian is young, the youngest Rose has seen yet. She has curly shoulder length strawberry blonde hair, and with her beauty and curiosity she commands the surrounding space.
Rose leans over and whispers to Ava, the quietest of the three girls surrounding her.
"How old is everyone?"
Ava's voice is one that fits her stature, small and mouse like, "There are many different ages here. I believe the youngest is 16 and the oldest is 28."
A loud ringing sound starts up and everyone jumps. Suddenly the girls are running around, throwing on the bleached white nightgowns, scurrying into beds, rushing to hide games, books, and other things under beds; all the while Rose just stood there amid the chaos until someone remembered her.
"Quick Rose how old are you?!" Maddy shouts at her.
"21," Rose mumbles back, but not low enough so that Maddy couldn't hear her.
Maddy frantically points to where Fiona is laying. There is an empty bunk above her so Rose sprints over to it as climbs the ladder, pulling the covers up just as the loud ringing stops. As soon as it stops heavy footsteps are heard outside in the corridor. Everyone holds their breath as they wait for what's coming.
The girls can hear the corridor door slide open, then more footsteps. The second door swings open and three Osezum march into the room. In the middle soldier's hand is a small scanner, programmed to scan the microchips imbedded in the girls' arms. In the two other soldiers' hands are the guns Rose saw earlier. The middle soldier holds up the scanner and sweeps it across the room. The Osezum stands like that for a few minutes, all the while Rose lying under the covers, wondering if they will find her. Simultaneously the Osezum shout "all here" and the lights go out.
Rose lays there in the darkness for a bit longer just to make sure she's safe before climbing down from the bunk bed. As she lays there she looks around she realizes that next to every bed with a person occupying it is a glowing, floating, transparent frame with a picture of a boy in it.
"Fiona, what are all those frames for?" Rose leans over the edge of her bed and whispers at Fiona. When she gets no reply she leans over further only to find her asleep. Figuring she might as well explore a bit, she slips out from under the blanket and places her hand on the post supporting the bed.
A blue light flashes where Rose's hand lays, a scanner. A glowing frame without a picture in it appears in front of her.
"Rose Tyler," the scanner says while producing a picture in the frame, "here is your picture of..."
Rose carefully peals the picture out of the frame and the previously glowing frame falls to the ground with a small crash. The scanner stops talking. She examines the photo closely. She can see some form of a face but can't make the exact shape out. Rose folds the picture into a small square and tucks it into her bikini top. She climbs the rest of the way down the ladder and sits on the bottom rung, looking around. The only light to see by comes from the frames. There are no windows and no light slipping through under the door.
Rose jumps off the rung and lands with a very muffled thud. Her feet sink in to the tiles she is standing on just a bit. She takes a few tentative steps towards the door before gas sprays her in the face and she collapses on the ground.