A/N – All right, I've gone and done it. Crossed over to the dark side with an OC fic and daring to share it!
Actually, I've been writing OCs for years now, since before anyone ever coined the term "Mary-Sue." But they were truly awful and I never dared share them. I'm hoping that Kit Morgan doesn't cross into that territory. I will tell you she has no designs on the Doctor.
I don't own Doctor Who, and the only thing I earn from these stories is the warm fuzzy feeling of reading reviews. Kit is mine, however.
By Lariel Romeniel
Chapter One – Enter Kit Morgan
February 29, 2008.
A sunny Friday morning at Cape Canaveral. The skies clear, the temperature warm, the humidity surprisingly low for Florida. An ideal day for making history. So of course the Doctor was there. February 29th might come about every four years, but there would only be one same-day launch of America's remaining space shuttles. Just one final mission for the three gallant, aging spacecraft.
Just one launch of the Guardian.
Heralded as Earth's best defense against hostile aliens, the Guardian was born in response to the Sycorax invasion. The frightened American president had bullied Harriet Jones into sharing Torchwood's weapons technologies with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense. The Americans fused and melded the alien technologies with their own to create a super battle-satellite, so massive it had to be taken up in three parts to be assembled in space.
It was bold, brash, and doomed to failure. At least, the original Guardian project had been. But the timelines he thought he knew so well were so fractured by Torchwood that he wasn't always certain anymore. So he'd made it a point to keep an eye on anything touched by Torchwood.
Just in case.
To her credit, Martha had tried to understand his obsession. In return, he tried to show her as many alien wonders as he could. But all roads kept leading back to Earth. To Torchwood's influence.
To memories of Rose.
Eventually, Martha lost all patience with him and asked to be taken home. As she left the TARDIS for the last time, she looked at him with pity. "Doctor, this fixation with Torchwood won't bring her back to you. Would Rose want you to be like this?"
Then she was gone. Her words had stung, because she was right. Rose would have wanted him to have a fantastic life. And being Torchwood's unseen watchdog would not qualify as a fantastic life in her book.
However, he told himself, she would approve of being here on the LC-39 Observation Gantry to see this launch. It was a once-in-a-world's-lifetime event, after all.
"This is something that will happen only once in a lifetime."
The Doctor started out of his musing. His thoughts, nearly word for word, being spoken out loud…by a female voice? He looked around, and spotted a dark-haired woman a few feet away, speaking to a video camera mounted on a tripod. Incongruously, she was wearing a business blouse and jacket over a pair of somewhat scruffy jeans and trainers. No cameraman was in sight. The Doctor watched and listened as she continued.
"They stand on their launch pads for their final mission. Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavour. Symbols of American boldness and daring."
The Doctor snorted. "More like American paranoia," he muttered. He thought he'd kept his voice down, but apparently not enough. The woman looked away from the camera and straight at him. "Comments?" she challenged.
The Doctor shrugged and ambled over to her. "This," he said, waving a hand toward the shuttles for emphasis, "is just going for the easy answer and hoping it will all work out. In just two years, you've created a weapons satellite ready to take on the enemy, even though you don't know who the enemy might be. In typical American fashion," she bristled but he plowed on, "you've decided bigger is better but biggest is best. So this thing is loaded with the latest in lasers and beams and bombs, including nuclear warheads. The more the merrier, after all!" He paused to take a breath, but before he could continue, she jumped in, blue eyes flashing.
"Hey! Point one: I didn't do any of this. I'm just a reporter. Point two: you have a problem with us being ready to defend ourselves?" she demanded, staring up at him.
He shook his head. "No, it's not that. You..." at her look he stopped and corrected himself, "The U.S. is just walking around with the biggest, baddest stick it can and not even thinking about speaking softly. You…they'll just shoot first and never even bother to ask questions later. It's Harriet Jones with the Sycorax all over again."
"You know something about that?" she asked. When he nodded curtly, she pressed on, "You with Torchwood?"
"No!" he replied harshly. "Sore subject, Torchwood."
"Not surprising," she answered, unfazed. "You Brits suffered more than anyone with that mess." She paused, studying his face. "You lost someone in the Ghost Invasion, didn't you?"
Another mute nod. "I'm sorry," she said, reaching out to touch his arm. She paused a moment, as if trying to make up her mind about something. Then she made it up and charged forward, just a little apologetically. "Listen, I really don't mean to impose, but…you seem to know a lot about this. Can I interview you?" She flashed her press badge at him. "Kit Morgan, Florida News Network."
"Doctor John Smith, British Institute of Science and Technology," he introduced himself with his fake identity. "But, I'm sorry, I really can't…"
"Aw, come on! You came all the way from England to see this, and you're obviously not happy about it. So this means something to you. I want to talk with you about it. Tell your story. Maybe," she looked at him cannily, "tell her story? The woman you lost?"
"How do you know it was a woman?"
"I can tell," she said with a tilt of her head. "C'mon, Doc. It's all connected. The Ghost Invasion is what led to this, after all," she pointed back to the shuttles. "It's an angle no one's told yet."
He frowned at her. "Ms. Morgan, point one: do not call me 'Doc,'" he said sternly, ticking off his points with his fingers. "Point two: I am not an 'angle.' And point three: any…loss I suffered, I prefer to keep private. You want an interview? You should be talking to NASA."
She looked sheepish. "Can't get the clearance. FNN isn't exactly high on NASA's priority list since we're a local cable op." She motioned at the camera and tripod. "I'm a one-woman-band, so I have to think different."
"And I'm different?"
"Yup," she nodded, rocking back and forth on her heels. She watched him expectantly.
He had to admire her persistence. She kept her gaze locked on his, waiting. Something told him she would not take no for an answer, so finally, he relented. A little. "No formal interview, but I can give you some exclusive background. Just keep me off camera," he told her.
She smiled widely. "Deal! Let me get this standup done, and then I've got a treat for you in return!"
He watched her with a raised eyebrow as she returned to her camera. "You know we were recording all that time," she said conversationally. "Don't worry. It's off the record."
She checked her shot and went back in front of the camera to record her piece. After a quick playback, she was satisfied and pulled the camera off the tripod. "Let's go. Promised you a treat. I can't get clearance for an interview, but I can get us into the Launch Control Center just for a little bit. Got connections," she grinned. "C'mon. My car's down at the bottom of the gantry."
She started to pick up the tripod, but he took it from her. "Allow me." She quirked an eyebrow. "Thanks. Nice to know chivalry's not dead."
They took the lift down to the ground floor. She led him to a small, somewhat battered SUV emblazoned with the Florida News Network logo. After they stowed the camera gear in back, he tried to get into the passenger seat, just to find it covered in junk.
She reddened. "Sorry. I don't usually have passengers." She swept the stuff off the seat; empty water bottles, scraps of paper, energy bar wrappers, and... "A baseball bat?" he asked, hefting the red aluminum bat. She took it from him and tossed it into the backseat along with the rest of the junk. "I'm on a pickup team," she explained as she started the engine. "And sometimes I have to do a story in a bad neighborhood, so I like to…carry a big stick!" She grinned at him. "Buckle up, we're outta here!"
The Doctor grabbed onto the dash as the SUV lurched forward. "Sorry, she rides a little rough!" Kit shouted gleefully. She seemed to be enjoying herself, whether because of the fast ride or his discomfiture, he couldn't be sure.
It took only a few minutes for them to travel from the gantry to the Launch Control Center. Kit parked and grabbed her camera from the back. "C'mon, Doc...tor," she corrected herself, almost running to the building in her excitement. "If we hurry I can get video of the final systems check for Atlantis." The Doctor kept a step behind.
They were only a few feet from the center's entrance when the door flew open. A wild-eyed man ran through, heading straight for them. Kit shouldered her camera and began to roll as the man ran up to the Doctor and grabbed him by the arms.
"You've got to stop it," the man babbled to him. Behind him, a pair of burly MPs had burst through the doors and were running up. The man went on, "They're killers! They're going to destroy-" He was cut off as one of the MPs caught up to him and clouted him on the head with his pistol. The man dropped like a stone.
The MP looked at the Doctor and Kit. "Off with that camera," he ordered Kit. She didn't answer, merely kept the camera rolling. He raised his pistol. "I said OFF!"
She lowered the camera. The MP took it with a sneer. "All right, you two are coming with us."
Preview Chapter Two - Lockup
"Best case, you get deported and I spend a little time in the local pokey. Worst case, we're headed to negative four-star accommodations at the Hotel Gitmo." He glanced back at her quizzically. "You know, Guantanamo Bay ?"
He turned back to the window. "Ah. That would be bad."
The sound of a gunshot made Kit whirl. The Doctor went back to work. "I think the worst case scenario just got worse."