A/N: Welcome, once again, to another installment in my Doctor Who saga. This is Episode 3 of my series, so all you people who are skipping ahead should go back and read the others first...or not. Doesn't bother me. So, this story stars the Doctor, Jack Harkness and my companion, Brittany Harvey, and an old enemy that you may recognise. Read on, review, and most of all, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who or Torchwood.....but I'm on rather good terms with the Doctor. The wonders a bit of banana bread can do.
SERIES ONE: EPISODE THREE FOREST OF SHADOWS
SERIES ONE: EPISODE THREE
FOREST OF SHADOWS
CHAPTER ONE: TIME, BRILLIANT COMPLEX TIME
In the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy, a number of planets revolved around a yellow-orange star known to the inhabitants of that solar system as Sol, or simply, the Sun. There was more than one life-bearing planet in that system, but the third planet out from the sun, a blue-green orb, was the home of a race barely a few thousand years old. They called themselves humans, and the planet was known as Earth.
While they weren't one of the most technologically advanced species in the galaxy, or indeed their portion of it, they were certainly one of the loudest. Every day, messages and probes and satellites were sent out from the Earth, and many alien races had noticed them. They had been invaded by many of these aliens, but the humans on the surface of the planet were mostly ignorant of this fact. All these invasion attempts had been thwarted by one man. Or, if you want to get technical, one alien.
And yet, even though Earth and the human race had been invaded by species such as the Daleks, Cybermen, Sycorax, Slitheen, Pyroviles and Racnoss, just to name a few, there was more bad news to come.
For a great entity, spanning across a thousand timelines, and mentioned in the cultures of a thousand worlds, had its attention focused on the Earth. However, it was different from many of the other aliens that had set their attentions on that particular planet, for it was neither interested in the planet itself, nor the humans that inhabited it. It was after only one thing, the one reason why humans had survived so long, the one being that had saved the Earth, and indeed the universe, time and time again.
It was after a Time Lord, and no power in the whole of creation was going to stop it.
On the blue-green planet known as Earth, in the city of Cardiff, Wales, a member of the human race called for another drink.
"Ianto, could you bring me another cup of coffee? This one has gone cold!"
After he heard the affirmative reply, Captain Jack Harkness settled back into his chair. The ex-Time agent and con man whistled a little tune to himself to take his mind off how tired he was. It was probably about one in the morning, but Jack refused to sleep. Ianto Jones had decided to stay up with him, if only to keep the captain company and make him the occasional coffee.
Sometimes Jack wished for a normal job, with a normal routine, but knew that it could never happen. His team needed him too much. Cardiff needed him too much. That was one of the downsides about working at Torchwood; it may be separate from the government and beyond the United Nations, but you could never get a god damned night of sleep.
Jack roused himself when he noticed that he was beginning to doze off. He mentally shook himself. This project was his top priority, not sleep. That could come later. While he worked out the aches in his neck and shoulders, the captain pulled up some displays on the screen in front of him.
"Damned Cardiff," he muttered, irritated by the lack of sleep and the lack of leads on his current project. He pulled at the leather band around his wrist to ease an itch, but paused and looked down when the itch grew into a tingle, and then to a burn. He shook his head. Either his eyes were playing tricks on him, or the leather wristband was glowing a faint yellow-orange colour.
When Ianto walked ten seconds later, Jack had disappeared.
Across the stars, on a planet far away from Earth, a Time Lord and his human companion sprinted down a corridor, a horde of bug-like aliens thundering after them, chittering in rage. For the Doctor and Brittany, it had started out as a fun outing, visiting a new planet on the other side of the galaxy. But the Doctor, not being able to resist the urge, had found the need to make a rude comment about the rubbishness of certain beings.
Now a ravaging mob of carnivorous aliens was after them, all because the insect-like Ma'ark weren't to the Doctor's highly advanced Time Lord tastes. Brittany shook her head as she ran. Sometimes she wondered why she continued to travel with him.
The Doctor had the TARDIS key clutched in his hand as if his life depended on it. Well, in fact, it did. He grabbed Brittany's arm and, rapidly changing direction, dragged her down a side passage. She gave a gasp of surprise, but her legs continued running even though her thoughts skipped a few beats.
The Ma'ark's clawed feet skidded across the shiny floor as they struggled to turn around and follow their prey. Once they had righted themselves, they caught a glimpse of the Doctor slamming the door shut to what appeared to be a blue wooden box with the words, 'police box, public call' written across the top.
Inside the TARDIS, Brittany and the Doctor looked at each other triumphantly, then suddenly burst out laughing. "You're a bit rubbish," the Doctor roared, gasping for breath.
"You should have seen their faces when you said that," Brittany replied, tears running down her face.
The Doctor doubled over in response, hanging onto the console for support. "They're all kind of short and gooey!"
"And the wrong colour."
"Don't get your antennae in a knot!"
The Doctor paused. "Did I really say that?" Brittany nodded, still laughing hysterically. He shrugged and pulled a pained expression. Leaving Brittany to work the rest of the laughter out of her system, he began fiddling with the console, setting their next destination. The TARDIS hummed pleasantly beneath his fingers as he flicked switches and spun knobs with expert precision.
Brittany, having extracted all the possible humour from the situation, appeared by his side. "So," she said, slightly out of breath. "Where are we off to next?"
"I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"I don't know." The Doctor shrugged. "I was going to let you choose." Seeing Brittany's shocked expression, he quickly added, "Only if you want to, of course."
"Of course I want to!" she exclaimed. "What have I got to choose from?"
The Doctor smiled, and gripped the handbrake. "Try, the whole of creation."