What the Doctor had intended to be a calm shopping trip on a happy planet for Martha, quickly turned into them aiding a rebellion that aimed to overthrow a very corrupt government.
Halfway through their stroll around the outdoor market, the Doctor stopped like a child in a candy store at the sight of what appeared to be the planet's version of a chocolate-covered banana on a stick. The second he took a bite, he knew something was amiss and spit out the offending fruit.
This led the Doctor to a discovery of a government controlling the minds and actions of its inhabitants by means of multiple drugs being pumped into their foods, giving the citizens calm, blissful and almost wonder-like personalities…easy to control and manipulate.
The Doctor and Martha quickly took action and in less than a day, the rebellion had won, the government had crashed and those controlling it thrown in jail awaiting their punishments. When all was over, the General of the rebellion had talked the Doctor and Martha into staying to help the citizens in their recovery.
However, after their victory, the members of the rebellion had ransacked the government's parliament building, leading the Doctor and Martha to discovering what could only be described as a dungeon, with cells holding at least 20 prisoners.
At first sight, the Doctor and Martha were sickened at what they saw. These prisoners were not only drugged, they looked like they had no idea who they were or where they were. As they walked down the corridor and looked into each cell, the Doctor took in the sight before him of each prisoner.
"Oh my god! Doctor, this is horrible! How could they do something like this to their own people?" asked Martha.
"The same reason all corrupt governments take control of their citizens, Martha. Money and Power." the Doctor responded.
"They look almost catatonic…their eyes are glassed over. Are we going to be able to fix this?" she asked.
"I'm sorry Martha, but I believe these people are too far gone. The antidote I gave the General may be able to help a bit, but we will have to wait and see just how much the drugs have affected their minds. They were given quite a bit." he explained.
"But who were these people Doctor? Why are they down here?" Martha asked.
"I bet these are the missing members of the rebellion that had been captured. As punishment, their minds have been wiped." he said.
"That's horrible." Martha said in shock.
"I know. Martha, will you go find the General and inform him we have found his missing soldiers. Bring him down here." said the Doctor.
"Course." she responded as she turned to leave and head back upstairs.
As the Doctor continued to make his way down the corridor, he stopped and froze at the prisoner in the last cell.
It was a woman. A young woman, sitting on the dirt floor in the middle of her cell, her head down resting on her knees that she was clutching to her chest. Her ankles were crossed in front of her…her shoes had been removed, her clothes were torn and caked with mud. Her finger nails had dirt beneath them and judging by the cuts on her hands, this girl had put up a fight. Her dirty hair hanging down covering her face. She was blonde.
Something about this girl was familiar, reminded him of Rose. It was a good thing she was in another universe, he thought, because it would kill him multiple times over if he ever had to see Rose like the girl before him.
The girl in the cell began to move, rocking back and forth on the floor…almost like a bored child. As it seemed, this girl was not as far gone as the other prisoners. Maybe they hadn't given her as much as the others.
"Hello." the Doctor said quietly, as to not spook the girl…hoping for some kind of response.
She continued to rock back and forth, keeping her head down. No sign of acknowledgment.
"Can you understand me?" he asked her. The girl began to hum quietly in response. He guessed that was a yes.
"Will you look up at me?" he asked.
After a few seconds, the girl slowly raised her head up off her knees and as the Doctor saw her face, he stumbled back in shock and hit the wall behind him. A look of pure shock and terror on his face.
"No…that's impossible. It can't be…" he said quietly, not quite being able to move as he stared at the face of the prisoner in front of him.
Suddenly, his brain kicked in and he dug his hand into his pocket, whipped out the sonic screwdriver, opened the cell door in front of him, ran into the cell and sank to his knees in front of her.
As she looked at him, no recognition in her glazed-over eyes, the Doctor began to panic. How was she here and what had they done to her? He slowly brought his hand up to cup her cheek, just wanting to touch her somehow.
At his touch, a blissful expression crossed Rose's face as she leaned in to his touch.
"Rose. Rose, it's me. It's the Doctor. Can you hear me? Do you know who I am?" he asked her as he slowly brushed her cheek with this thumb, but received no other response.
"Doctor? Where are you?" he heard Martha calling as she came down the stairwell.
"Down here Martha! Get down here, quickly!" he yelled to her, removing his hand from Rose's cheek.
"Doctor? What's…" Martha started as she ran down the corridor and turned into the cell, "…wrong?" "Oh my god, Doctor! Is she ok?" Martha asked as she got to her knees next to the girl…checking her over. She had a cut on the right side of her forehead and a bloody lip. She had put up a fight.
"I don't know. I hope so." he responded.
"Do you know your name?" he asked her, wondering if she could even speak.
"…flower…" she said quietly, her eyes still glazed and staring straight ahead.
"That's right…your name is a flower." the Doctor said to her as he raised his hand back up to her cheek to brush the dirt away.
"What's that mean, Doctor? Her name's a flower? Do you know her?" Martha asked. The Doctor let out a loud sigh before responding to her, just staring at Rose.
"Martha…this is Rose." he said softly as he continued to brush her cheek.
"What?! Oh my god, are you sure Doctor? Is she ok? How did she get here?!" Martha asked, a million questions running through her head…all the same as the Doctors.
"I don't know Martha, but I imagine the same thing we were doing here. She was fighting. What I don't understand is how she got here to begin with." he responded.
"You said she was in a parallel world? With her family?" said Martha.
"She was…somehow she came back. Well, that's my Rose. I should have known." the Doctor said with a small amount of awe, considering her current state.
"Well she doesn't seem to be as far gone as the others, Doctor. Maybe we can still save her." said Martha.
"Rose?" the Doctor softly called to her. "Rose, can you hear me?" he asked.
"…Rose…" she softly said in response.
"That's right! Your name is Rose." he said to her, elated that she not only heard him, but could respond. He was hopeful.
"…Rose…" she repeated. "…Tyler…" she quietly said next.
The Doctor froze. "Yes! Your name is Rose Tyler." he said, beginning to become excited. It seemed as though he was right…she was not as far gone as the others.
"Doctor, that's great! If she's starting to remember, maybe you're her trigger…like someone with amnesia who looks at a photo!" exclaimed Martha.
"I think that's exactly what it's like, Martha Jones." he said happily. The Doctor took his hand from her cheek, earning him a whimper from Rose.
"Looks like your touch keeps her calm, Doctor." said Martha.
The Doctor smiled. "It would appear so." he said as he replaced his hand on her cheek. Rose immediately calming.
"Rose, do you know who I am?" he asked her. She turned her head and looked at him, but she did not speak. He sighed.
"Well, Doctor, the General is on his way down. Maybe we can see if that antidote will work on her?" stated Martha.
"No, I want to take her back to the Tardis. I want to run some tests in the infirmary. The Tardis will be better for her than anywhere else." he responded.
The Doctor carefully placed his right arm under Rose's knees and his left arm behind her back and slowly picked her up in his arms, her head resting on his left shoulder. "Let's take you home." he said to her.
As they began to walk back down the corridor to the stairs, Rose nuzzled her face into the Doctor's neck and hummed. Excited, the Doctor looked down at her face, hope swelling in his chest, a blissful smile on her face. "Rose?"
"…missed you…" she said softly.
The Doctor was puzzled by what her mind was allowing to come through. "How could you miss me? You don't know who I am?" he quietly asked her.
"…just did…" she replied.
"I missed you too…very much." he said, resting his cheek against her head. She hummed.
As they reached the top of the stairs, the General approached them.
"Doctor, Martha has told me you have found my missing men? But then who is this one" he asked, addressing Rose in his arms.
"Yes, General your missing men are downstairs in the dungeon. You will need to free them and take them to be looked over immediately. Be warned General, they are in quiet a bad state. Administer the antidote to them, but do not expect them to return to their previous selves. It seems the amount of drugs they were given has wiped their minds. It is possible some semblance of self will return to them in time, but not fully. I am so sorry, General. However, this one must come with me. I am going to take her to my ship in hopes to heal her there." he explained.
"She is a friend of yours?" the General asked.
"Yes, and I had no idea she was here. There may be hope for her." the Doctor responded.
"Well then, Doctor, by all means take her to your ship. I do hope your friend recovers. I will attend to my men. Thank you and Martha for all you have done." responds the General.
"You are quite welcome General. If there is anything you need in the future, you know how to contact me." the Doctor said to him matter-of-factly.
"Yes, Doctor. As do you." the Doctor nodded. "Goodbye Doctor, Martha." the nodded to both of them before turning to head down to the dungeons, letting the Doctor and Martha head back to the Tardis.
Returning to the Tardis, the Doctor let Martha open the door using her key and immediately rush to the infirmary. The Doctor carefully places Rose down on the bed and brings up a monitor next to the bed, not wanting to move from her. Rose whimpers at the loss of contact when he puts her down. He quickly grabs her hand in his and brings it next to him. She again calms instantly.
"Martha, do you remember how to put us into the vortex?" the Doctor asked her.
"Ya you showed me just the other day." she responded.
"Great, think you can manage? I don't want to leave her just yet." he asked.
"Course Doctor." she responded before turning to leave.
Turning his head back to the monitor, the Doctor began to run every test he could think of over Rose…assessing both her physical and mental health. "Come on old girl, show me what you got!" he exclaimed at the Tardis' monitor. The Tardis hummed in response. She cared about Rose just as much as he did.
"…Doctor…" Rose spoke quietly behind him. His head snapped around to Rose, shocked she addressed him.
"Rose?! Do you know who I am?" he frantically asked her.
"…Doctor…" she said again, opening her eyes to look at him. Her eyes somewhat more clear than they had been.
"That's right Rose, it's the Doctor! We're on the Tardis…you're safe." he stated, even more hopeful.
"…mmm…Tardis…home…" she said softly as her eyes closed again.
"Rose? Look at me, please?" he asked her as she opened her eyes again.
"Rose, who am I?" he asked her, needed to double-check.
"…Doctor…" she said looking at him with a small smile.
"Yes! Rose, you've been drugged and tortured, but you're safe now. You're on the Tardis and I'm going make you better. Nod if you understand me." he said and she nodded.
"Oh thank the gods!" he sighed just as Martha came back in the room.
"How is she Doctor?" she asked.
"She's doing well. It seems just be back in the Tardis has helped clear her mind a bit…they always did have a connection. Anyway, it seems she can understand me, so I have explained to her what is going on. It seems though that she is not able to say more than one word at a time…so when she responds she cannot form full sentences yet." he explained.
"Well that's great news at least. Is there anything I can do to help Doctor? I want to help." she asked as the Doctor smiled to her appreciatively.
"Thanks Martha Jones. I am running some tests on Rose so I can figure out how to help her. Maybe you can help clean her up a bit…patch up the cuts on her hands and face? I think I saw some on her feet as well…" he said. "Course I can." she said.
"There's a dermal regenerator on the wall behind you. Just gently run it over her skin and it will patch up her wounds. There's also a solution in the cabinet that you can use to clean her up with, since we can't give her a bath just yet. It should clean her right up." he explained as she got to work.
"Rose?" he said as she opened her eyes to look at him again. "This is my friend Martha…she's a Doctor. She's gonna help me make you better, alright?" Rose nodded. "Can you remember anything yet? About what happened to you?" she didn't respond so he took that as a no. "I know you can remember now who you are…what is the last thing you do remember?" he asked her. "…mum…" she responded.
If the last thing she was remembering was Jackie Tyler, then it seems they really did a number on her mind. By what the Doctor could assess, it had been as least 3 months that Rose has been in the dungeon and also looked at least 5 years older. Although how far back her memory of her mum went, he didn't know.
The Doctor turned to the monitor to see if the results from the Tardis had come in yet and they had. "Oh yes!" he exclaimed.
"Is it good news Doctor?" asked Martha.
"It is…very good news. Rose will be just fine…she's severely dehydrated and malnourished, but nothing is broken or damaged. Physically, she will be fine once the drugs are out of her system. It seems they were constantly giving her more to keep her sedated. She needs rest. We'll hook her up to an IV so she can get some fluids and nutrients in her. Rose…I'm going to need to let go of you for a minute, ok? But I'll be right here…" he said. Rose nodded. The Doctor began the process of hooking Rose up to the IV.
"What about her mind, Doctor? Will she get her memories back?" asked Martha.
"Yes, I think she will. I'm going to need to go into her mind a bit to help, though. The drugs have sort of locked them away." he said.
Once Martha had Rose patched and cleaned up, the Doctor had finished administering the IV to Rose. The Doctor had asked to go into Rose's room, which it seemed the Tardis had moved across the hall, and find Rose a pair of pj's to change her into. It was time for the Doctor to begin fixing her mind.
"Rose? Can you hear me?" he asked her, rubbing her cheek as she opened her eyes again. "…Doctor…" she said, he smiled.
"I'm going to help you remember ok? I need to go into your mind to do it though. Is that ok? Do you understand?" Rose nodded. "Ok." he said.
Just then, Martha came back in. "Here you go Doctor. Rose must like pink a lot…that's the only color pj's I could find." she said as the Doctor smirked. "Yes she does." he said.
"You can set them down for now Martha. I'd like to do this first." he said as she placed his fingers on each temple.
"Close your eyes Rose." he said just before he closed his.
The second the Doctor entered Rose's mind, she sighed. Her mind looked as though a thick fog had settled over it…like pea soup. The drugs had clouded her mind so much, he could barely see through it.
"Rose…I know you're here. I know you can hear me. You need to help me…where are you?" he spoke to her. "Doctor? Help me…I'm so confused." she said muffled.
"I'm going to Rose, I promise. We can communicate in here, properly…there's part of you that is fighting to get out. Keep fighting…help me find you." he said. "How?" she asked. "Just keep calling my name. I'll follow your voice." he said. "Ok." she responded.
As Rose kept calling after the Doctor, he waded slowly through the fog, following her voice. Suddenly, as he got closer a figure began to come into view. "Rose? Is that you ahead?" he asked. "Ya, I can see you, but I can't move." she said. The Doctor continued to walk forward until Rose came into focus and he sighed. "Oh Rose!" he said as he ran to her and wrapped his arms around her.
"Doctor!" she said happily as tears formed in her eyes. "I can't believe you found me! I've been so scared, so confused. Trapped here…don't even know how long for." she said into his shoulder.
"Oh Rose, it's ok now. Everything's ok…I'm here. You've been held prisoner for about 3 months now. You've been dosed with drugs to keep you quiet and sedated. Unfortunately, it clouded your mind, kept your memories and consciousness locked in your head so you wouldn't escape. But I've got you. You're on the Tardis. You're fine now." he explained to her.
"Rose, look at me?" he asked as she looked up into his eyes.
"Hello." he said to her with a smile. "Hello." she said, smiling back.
"I've missed you so much, Rose!" he said.
"I've missed you too, Doctor!" she said. "What happens now?" she asked.
"Now, I need to pull you out of this. Keep hold of me and as I leave your mind, you'll come with me…it will pull you out of the fog. You'll still be asleep, but as the drug begins to wear off the fog will clear. Once the drug is out of your system, you will be back to normal. Ok?" he asked.
"Ok." she nodded. "Ok, I'll count to three…keep ahold of me. 1…2…3…" he said as he opened his eyes and was back in the infirmary. He removed his fingers from her temples and smiled.
"So how'd it go? Everything ok? asked Martha.
"Yup, just fine. I was able to find Rose. The drugs have clouded her mind, making it hard for her memories to get out. She's fine now…just needs rest. The drugs should be out of her system in a couple of hours. When she wakes up, she'll be just fine. Then we'll see if she remembers what happened." he said.
"Well should we change her now? Can't be comfortable in those things she has on now." said Martha.
"Oh…yes. Good idea." he said. The Doctor and Martha got to work removing her clothes, but once she was down to her bra and knickers, the Doctor visibly reddened.
"Um, Martha…you think you could…" he said as he motioned to Rose.
Martha smirked at his nervous behavior. "Course Doctor."
"Good, I'm just gonna…" he said as he motioned nervously to the door and left. Martha laughed.
With the Doctor out of the room, Martha was able to finish bathing Rose and the Tardis was nice enough to leave a change of knickers for her as well. With Rose, bathed and changed, she called the Doctor back in. He smiled when he saw Rose. With her now cleaned up, she looked as though nothing had changed.
"I think she needs to rest properly now, Doctor. Maybe we should leave her." she said to him.
"No, it's ok Martha. I'm going to stay in case anything happens. You go rest, get something to eat. You must be starved." he said.
"Alright, you call if you need me though." she said. "Course." he said. "And thanks Martha." he said as she left.
As she left, the Doctor pulled a chair next to Rose's bed, grabbed her hand with his, and fell asleep waiting for her to wake. The Doctor woke a few hours later to a hand squeezing his. When he opened his eyes, he looked right into the sleepy eyes of a very conscious Rose Tyler, smiling at him.
"Rose!" he said as he bolted up cupped her face. "Doctor." she said with a smile.
"How are you feeling?" he asked. "Like I was put in the dryer on tumble." she said.
"That's to be expected. You were also extremely dehydrated and malnourished when we found you. You are on an IV now. Another couple hours and you'll be back to normal." he said stroking her face.
"It was so scary…like I was there but I wasn't. How long was I there for?" she asked.
"Best I could tell…they had you about 3 months. Do you remember anything?" he asked.
"Only a little. Once they started giving me those drugs, it all went fuzzy." she said.
"Do you remember how you ended up there? How you were able to leave Pete's world?" he asked.
She nodded. "We had been working on this dimension cannon thing…me, Pete, and Mickey at Torchwood…to help me get back to you. I tested it a couple of times, was able to jump back over here. It was supposed to lock on to your location, but after the first couple of times and me still not finding you, I realized the times were off a bit. So the last jump brought me here and I figured I would just wait till you showed up…bound to happen at some point. Anyway, while I was there I found out what was going on and tried to help. Then I was captured and that was it. I tried to fight as much as I could, but they drugged me. After the first dose, they were able to get whatever information out of me they wanted…they found out about you." she said.
"Me?" he asked. She nodded. "Come on now, Doctor. You're known everywhere." she said, smiling.
"Soon as they found out I knew you, they panicked. Thought you were going to bring them down, so they began beating me for more information, but the more they drugged me, the more I couldn't remember anything. Guess they didn't think about that first." she told him.
"Well you're fine now. And they've been handled. The rebellion won and they're all in jail. The General will handle things from now on." he told her. Rose smiled. "Good." she said. He nodded.
"So what about the parts I don't remember Doctor?" she asked.
"Well best I was able get, they kept dosing you with those drugs daily to keep you under. At first, it just sedates you, but over time it wipes the mind. I found you before it got to that point, which is why you were able to come out of it. However, the other prisoners were too far gone. All of them had reached the point where drugs were not necessary anymore. Their minds were gone. I was able to give the General an antidote that might help them a bit, but they'll never be normal again. I'm sorry." he said.
Tears began to fall from her eyes. "I fought with some of them…they were my friends." she sobbed.
"I'm so sorry Rose. There was nothing else I could do. The General will make sure they are comfortable though…he'll take care of them." she nodded.
"What about the cannon? Did you still have that?" he asked her.
"They took it. That's why I wasn't able to escape. It's specific to my DNA though…something happens to me, it deactivates. No one else can use it." she explained.
"That's good. Who knows what they would do with that technology." he replied.
She sobbed again though. My mum though! Pete, Tony, Mickey…they're gonna know something happened to me. They're gonna be worried and I've no way to tell them!" she cried.
"It's ok, Rose. We'll tell them somehow." he reassured her. She nodded.
"Get some more sleep. When you wake, the IV will be done and we can move you to your bedroom so you're more comfortable. Ok?" he asked, brushing her cheek.
"Ya, and thanks Doctor. I missed you." she said to him.
"I missed you too. Sleep now. I'll be outside. The Tardis will let me know when you're awake." she nodded ok as she closed her eyes.
The Doctor stepped into the hallway and as the door closed behind him, he let out a sigh, running his hands down his face. As he heard footsteps coming down the hallway towards him, he turned to see Martha.
"How's the patient?" she asked.
The Doctor nodded. "She's good. She woke briefly. I was able to tell her what was going on and she did tell me what happened to her. She's sleeping again. Should be perfectly normal in a couple more hours." he said as they began walking towards the console room.
"So what's the plan now?" she asked.