Part 02 - Going Forward Chapter 01 - Rose, what is it about Rose?

By the time we reach the alley, I have decided that the young woman I have just liberated from the clutches of the Autons has a good head on her shoulders. Untrained humans that do as well as she has about thinking through things while running for their lives are few. As I push her out the door, I can't shake the feeling I know her from someplace.

As I turn to set up the bomb on the roof, I pause and feel compelled to go back and ask her name. Rose, a pretty name that, quite a lovely flower. They really are pretty rare in terms of flowers of the universe. Not like a trixtafaraven or a daisy. Now daisies, daisies were quite the prolific little flower. I continue to muse on types of flowers as I dodge my way past Autons and take the stairs two and three at a time 'til I reach the primary relay structure on the roof. I quickly finish setting the timer and run for it; one never could quite trust Ace's timers to give the proper time. Hopefully this one will get close. It really is funny how self-preservation kicks in when running for your life, I think, while trying not to think too much about the fact that a little over three weeks ago I wouldn't have even bothered trying to leave the roof let alone the building.

Hitting the exit at full tilt, I make barely a few dozen steps when the charge on the roof goes off. I dive for the pavement, just before the second even larger charge I had dropped in the stair well explodes to finish off the job. I move back to observe my handy work satisfied there will be no saving the infrastructure thus no way for the Autons to use that relay. True that still left finding the Nestene and convincing it, if I could, to leave earth peacefully. I regret the fact that I have to make up some anti-plastic; but I haven't lived as long as I have without taking at least some precautions. If anything war has taught me is that, just some beings cannot or will not accept peaceful coexistence.

As I pessimistically make my way back to the TARDIS, I pull out my sonic screwdriver and check to see if I can pick up the primary transmitter. Not getting any signal, my mind wanders back to the young blonde I had escorted from building. There really is something unusual about her. I just can't put my finger on what. I have this intense feeling I know her, and despite having snatched glances at her as we traveled up the elevator, I still can't place her. I am unsure why it seems so important, but I have learned long time ago to pay attention to these odd feelings. Entering the TARDIS, I move to the main monitor and begin scanning for the transmitter I know it has to be someplace near. After a dozen cups of tea, two full pots of coffee and making one tube of anti-plastic I still haven't managed to trace down the signal.

It really does feel good to have a puzzle to solve again, especially one that can be life or death. Scowling I think, well, to be more exact has already been deadly to that shop fellow. Just one more in my personal body count, just one more I wasn't able to save. Still, trying to keep more people from dying is something that I can take action on, do something about and maybe this time make some kind of difference in its outcome. Not like… Before I can spiral off into even more depressing thoughts I pick up a short blip on the monitor. Quickly I reset coordinates to make the short hop needed to get the TARDIS closer to the signal. Back to tracing the signal on foot, at least it is morning again so I'm not wandering around in the dark.

Why did I do it? Why did I tell her so much? I don't usually go around spouting off about Nestenes and living plastic, get you locked up that will, and now I have talked to her about it twice in 48 hours. Is it because of that nagging feeling that I know her from some place? For that matter, what was it that possessed me to take her hand and show her the spin of the planet; I've never done that before for any of my companions, why should I start with her? She isn't even my companion, just some stupid ape I met in a shop I had to blow up. Nevertheless, there is something there though; she had actually made me laugh. After everything that has happened, she made me laugh. I shake my head marveling at that fact. How can I laugh, how can I even dare to be happy let alone laugh when... No, none of this makes sense.

I really do need to focus on getting a trace on that Nestene, hopefully with this plastic hand I disabled in her flat. Not very complex but I should get some readings maybe that will be enough to get closer to that signal. When this is sorted, I'm getting off this planet with its confusing humans that are so… well human.

Tapping into the residual signal from the arm, I move the TARDIS only to lose the signal again almost immediately. Most of the day goes like that, picking up the signal then losing it again. Finally, in my last small hop I pick up a stronger signal and again set off on foot to track it down.

Oh No! Not her again! What is it with this blonde? I walk into the restaurant, finding the signal getting stronger the closer I get to her. Why is it that I feel so relieved when I determine it's her dinner partner and not her? As the plastic dummy starts to grill her about what she knows regarding my location and plans, I grab a bottle of champagne from a cooling bucket. Not exactly top-notch champagne, but then it's not as if I'm planning on drinking the stuff. I just need something to slow that thing down 'til I can get it away from Rose and the restaurant full of people.

Oh Rassilion, it's grabbed her hand. Okay, maybe a bit subtler tact 'til I can get it to let go of Rose. Well, at least it let her go when it saw me. I'll just pop dummy on the noggin with the cork and… Oh, that didn't go quite as planned. Really the cheek spitting the cork at me, really quite rude but then what do you expect of a dummy.

Well let's see if I can get the head off that thing, it has to be much more complex then the arm so should make a perfect tracker. Not to mention without its head it will be much harder for it to catch or take hostages which if these people have any sense at all should give them plenty of time to get out of here.

Oh, very clever Rose, using the fire alarm to get everyone to scatter. Nice work that should nicely take care of the bystanders and keeping dummy focused on me will be easy. Good, now a quick run through the shop, and… Yes! There it is, the steel reinforced door I saw earlier when I landed the TARDIS that should slow it down a bit.

Lock the door quick like and into the TARDIS to get the head hooked up, and Rose, well I've told her where I'm going. She's a smart girl; she'll follow me in when she can't get out that gate. I mean she's already told plastic boy she thought I might be an alien and although she was cautious, she didn't sound freaked out by the idea. Heck, she had even tried to dissuade dummy from asking about me and she didn't contacted the police last night regarding me blowing the store up. Yes indeed, something definitely different about this girl.

Ah there she is. Oops, out the door again. These humans can be so funny when they see the inside is bigger than the outside. There, all wired up, should have just enough time to sort her out while the TARDIS triangulates.

"Right where do you want to start?" Okay, now for the typical questions:

"The insides bigger then the outside?"

"Yes

"It's alien?

"Yeah"

"Are you Alien?" OK now for the biggie

"Yes," She is looking at me disbelieving. "That all right?" What was that? Why does it matter if she is okay with me being an alien?

"Yeah"

Why did just I find myself holding my breath waiting for her approval? What is it about this woman, well actually no more then a slip of a girl, that is so affecting me? I'm a Time Lord for Rassilion's sake the opinion of a mere human child really shouldn't matter so much.

Oh no now don't cry it's all right, "That's ok, culture shock happens to the best of us" I say trying to alleviate her anxiety. What? She is more worried about this Mickey fellow than being in an alien ship. Okay that's different.

What, the head's melting! "No, no, no, can't lose the signal! It's fading! NO, no, no, no!"

Maybe from outside I can spot it; the primary transmitter has to be huge. "I lost it! I lost the signal. I got so close!" Why is that female 'whittering on about that friend of hers again? Doesn't she get the big picture yet? How can I be worried just about her friend when the whole planet is at stake? This is so much bigger then her bloody boyfriend! No, that's not fair, she doesn't know what I do about these beings.

She's asking me about my accent, what is she trying to get at? Great now questions about the TARDIS that's more like it, they really do ask such random questions when their flustered.

"And this… this living plastic what does it got against us?" Oh good, good she's asking important questions again. I explain and amazingly, she seems to be getting it.

"How can you hide something that big in a city this small?" I explain to her what I can't find. Why is she making funny faces at me now? Oh, why can't these humans say what's on their minds?

"Oh, Fantastic!" Clever, very clever, Rose. Now look who's being dense! Some days I could just kiss these humans for their ability to spot the obvious; she's found the transmitter! Now to just get to the base of that transmitter, the Nestene has to be right at its base.

Why does her hand feel so right in mine? Why does it seem so natural her running here at my side? What is it about her?

She really is so very clever finding the access door. I tried to explain how unique Nestene are, how they have come here just trying to survive and all she wants me to do is kill it. Humans! Why can't they see beyond themselves? Well yes, I did mention the anti-plastic but I have to give her credit, she isn't arguing with me when I tell her I need to give it a chance.

Now for some negotiation, I just need to get this thing to move along and everyone goes home happy.

Oh great, now for the domestics, just what I need, a stupid lump and there she is on again about the boy.

Why, why can't the Nestene just move on? I asked politely and all it wants to do is demand its rights? Why won't it listen? Why do they never listen? No, the Nestene has found the anti-plastic, and it's all coming apart, why does it always have to come down to war? It's blaming me, blaming the Time Lords for the war. Like we really asked for a plague of Daleks, I try to explain but it is just too afraid, too angry to listen. Why, why, why does it always have to come back war? I'm so tired of war, tired of no one listening, tired of the killing. This time it's going to kill me, and you know maybe it is better this way at least then it won't be my fault. Let them fight their stupid wars without me this time!

I tell the humans to go so what does the girl do? The sensible thing and go, no, she has to make a phone call, I can't believe these humans! I will try to delay for as long as I can but the Nestene is transmitting and I can't stop it. Why won't they just go? No! Now they can't get out, the stairs have gone. If I can just get away from this mannequin I can get them out, but it doesn't seem to matter, I just can't get loose! I look up at the humans, oh so fragile, and I have failed again. They're going to pay the price; they're going to die because I can't help them.

Oh man, she looks so beautiful far to beautiful to die. The light shimmers around her like a renaissance angel. This ethereal creature is going to die and I can do nothing, if only she ran when I told her! I hear that useless lump of hers yell, "Just leave him! There's nothing you can do!" Why isn't he protecting her? She said he was her friend and yet all he has done since we got here has been a worthless sniveling lump. She deserves so much better. If only I could just knock the anti-plastic from the mannequin's hand and into the vat. It's our only hope and it's just out of my reach, always out of reach! I just wish there was some way for her to survive. Then as if she suddenly understands what has to happen, she is running. What is she up too? She is breaking loose some chain with an axe and, like some celestial being, she using the chain to fly overhead, knocking the dummy with the anti-plastic into the vat and giving me just the distraction I need to send the other one in as well.

Helplessly I yell, "Rose!" As she swings out over the Nestene, she just has to hold on, she can't fall in, not now! She is swinging back, I can't believe how happy I am as I grab her and hold her to me, I never want to let her go. My beautiful Rose is safe!

"Now were in trouble," I say looking up as the Nestene begins thrashing in its death throes thanks to the Nestene's transporting the TARDIS down here is only a short run to escape. I can't believe it I have to peel her idiot from the side of my TARDIS to get in, can he get any more useless? There a quick jump to the last coordinates. Amazing, I have never seen anyone move so as fast as that idiot to get out of my TARDIS guess he does a talent after all. How can she have any interest in him? Why in the world would someone so bright be with someone so utterly useless?

As Rose leaves the TARDIS to comfort idiot boy I try to bluff it was simple, that there wasn't any doubt of the outcome. She is not stupid, she knows it was her that saved the day and calls me on it "You were useless in there you would have been dead if it wasn't for me."

"Yes, I would." Somehow, that admission doesn't seem so hard when she is looking at me like that. I nod my head, trying not to think about how warm her smile is making me feel. "Thank you." I say watching her smile, what am I going to do without someone to make it all worth doing?

'Theta, ask her to come!' The TARDIS states, I know she must have she picked up on my stray thought. I wonder what else might have prompted that suggestion never did figure out why she has been acting so odd. Maybe it was grief, that 'ill do funny things to you I didn't find anything else wrong with her.

So I offer and what do I get? The idiot piping up, "Don't! He's an alien, he's a thing." The ungrateful git! He would have been dead but for me and he can't see beyond his own selfish desires. I make it clear he's not welcome, last thing I need, a xenophobic idiot.

The fear of being alone again clenches at my hearts, as she doesn't answer. I can't lose her; I have just found this intelligent beautiful angel who makes me smile. I have to convince her to come. I try to come up with scores of reasons why she would want to come; I try to make her see that what I am offering her is so much better.

Now idiot is grabbing at her like a strangling vine and suddenly I'm losing her. She's rattling on about the reasons why she can't come and it feels like some black hole is devouring me, consuming me alive. I try not to look like she has just stolen my hope, swallowed my light, destroying my will to continue. I try to be casual, pretend it doesn't matter, but I can't. She looks me in the eye and just for a moment, I think she might change her mind if I delay just a bit more. No, not a word, she just stares at me and I can't take it any more. I have to leave and so I step back into the darkness, hiding the loss from her. I go numbly through the motions of telling the TARDIS to leave she can decide where we go this time. I just stand staring at the time rotor move. How can anyone turn down the universe, turn down all the marvelous beautiful things in space and time… Time!! I didn't mention time! Even as I move to return, I feel the TARDIS rematerializing only a few moments after we left. We can travel though time, maybe that will be enough for her to leave that pointless existence, leave that worthless lump behind. It looked like she wanted to go so maybe, just maybe, if I'm very lucky, this would convince her.

The smile that bursts onto her face as I say 'Time' tells me that I have won my hearts are soaring and I leave the door open and run to the console to begin figuring out where to take her that will convince her to never leave me!