A/N) Hello everyone! This is a brand new story, fully written and completed so expect updates every other day. This story is set within my 'Choices-universe' where Rose stayed with the Doctor after Doomsday. You do not have to read Choices to understand this story... you just have to know that Rose survived Doomsday.
Title: Doctor On Trial
Set: Between Evolution of the Daleks and The Lazarus Experiment
Summary: The Doctor is convicted of murder on the planet Valafax. Can Rose and Martha find the culprit before the Doctor is executed for his crime?
Characters: Ten, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and a few original creations.
Chapter One: The Day Before
"So," said Rose, placing her hands on the table and looking at Martha straight in the eyes. "What the hell are we gonna do?" She pulled her hair out of her face, as she sat in the chair. "Seven days. That's all we have. Seven days to find evidence and clear the Doctor's name. At sunset on the seventh day he'll be beheaded. Not a good prognosis at the moment."
Martha sighed, holding the ball point pen in her right hand that she had been using to make notes with. They didn't have much information on the Doctor's case, but according to an eye-witness the Doctor had been seen dumping the battered and bloody body of an eleven year old girl on the pavement outside her family's premises. Now, they knew at around that time the Doctor had been inside the TARDIS working, (they had phoned him minutes before, asking him to join them for an evening meal), but as he had stepped outside his ship to walk to their location, he had stumbled across the body. He hadn't just stumbled across the body: he had fallen on it, drenching his suit with the girl's slippery and leaking blood.
Unfortunately for the Doctor, a passer-by on the street at the time had yelled for help, while taking photographs of evidence of his guilt of him being the killer of the girl and the dumper of her body. The blood that had stained his suit only proved to the jury that he was guilty of kidnap, rape and murder. One other unrecognisable DNA had been found on the body, but the person was untraceable. After a week-long trial in which the Doctor had refused to admit he was guilty, the jury had gone by the evidence that had been presented before them by the prosecutors. The Doctor's stained clothes had not helped with his case. However the jury knew that another person had been involved with the girl's murder as that person's DNA had been found inside the girl but they couldn't identify it. But short of finding the real culprit, the Doctor had been found guilty of kidnap, rape and murder all because of his stained clothes. They just wouldn't accept that he had simply tripped.
Unfortunately for the Doctor, execution for such a crime was considered normal on this planet's society. Violent crimes of that sort were uncommon, and the criminals were dealt with harshly. Thankfully, the Doctor had been granted a reprieve from his imminent execution...until he had found out why he had been, leaving Rose and Martha utterly shocked at his sentence.
"There's only one thing we can do," said Martha, "and that's find the real killer."
"But how? We don't have access to police records! We're both lucky to not be charged with helping the 'murderer'! Seven days, Martha, that's all we have. How the hell are we gonna track the killer and bring him to justice when we have nothing to go on?" shouted Rose, frustrated, balling her hands into fists and slamming them down upon the table.
"Maybe we could ask for time to prove the Doctor's innocence?" asked Martha, completely at a loss for ideas.
Rose signed, running a hand over her weary face. "He's had the trial. The sentence has been passed. Heck, we weren't even allowed to see him in the run-up to the trial so we couldn't do any research of our own and they didn't publicise the case in the national papers! It was only in the court-room that we found out what he was accused of. And I really HATE this!"
Martha reached across the table to grasp her friend's hand. "It'll be alright."
"How can you be so sure?" demanded Rose vehemently. "He's going to be tortured by the family for his part in their daughter's death! And he did nothing wrong!"
"Then let's go and talk to the father," stated Martha. "It's the only option we have. Besides, the Doctor is still being held in jail – the family haven't collected him yet." She looked at her watch. "It's three-thirty. The father's coming to get him at seven. We've got time. I know he can't overturn his sentence but maybe he'll agree to not hurt the Doctor until we get back with evidence which we can then present to the police."
Rose was shaking her head. "He won't. To him, the Doctor killed his baby. He's already guilty in his eyes and he wants vengeance. Either way, the Doctor is still gonna be hurt by him. And that girl was rich, her father's going to have some nasty equipment at his disposal with the money he has."
"It's worth a try," pressed Martha, her dark eyes burning into her friend's. "If we don't, we'll be stuck on this planet forever. Do we really want that?"
The Doctor leaned back in his cell, his head resting against the cold surface of the wall. His wrists were chained together, and links trailed from the binders and locked into the wall. His ankles, too, met a similar fate. Murder. He had been convicted of murdering a little girl. All because he hadn't seen her body in the dark and his DNA had been found on her clothes. Admittedly, his lips had made contact with her cheek when he had fallen and the blood that had still been pouring from her open wounds had stained his favourite suit, mixing her DNA with his and vice-a-versa. If he made this out alive he would have to get another suit custom made.
He wore an orange jumpsuit, his clothes now stashed away in an evidence box to be burned at a later date. His sonic screwdriver, his psychic paper, his yo-yo, his banana, his glasses had all be confiscated as well. He knew that Rose and Martha had made a request to keep his stuff; however that had been denied by the authorities. He had to rely on them to clear his name.
However he had more pressing concerns to think about then his upcoming execution. The murdered girls' father – Baron Wilkinson – had made his intentions very clear. He wanted the Doctor to suffer the way his daughter had, but even worse, before he died. His daughter had been missing for seven days, and the coroner had reported that his daughter had been killed shortly before her body had been dumped outside their gates.
Baron was not a nice man, but he was well respected within the community, the Doctor knew that, judging by what he had seen of the man at his trial. He was facing seven days of intense torture before being executed at sunset. He was not looking forward to it. How the people could allow the man's wishes was beyond him. But the father wanted the killer to suffer and beg for mercy, which was something the Doctor wouldn't give him, especially considering he had not killed the girl anyway.
He heard footsteps approaching his cell and he knew it was nearly time for his collection. Informed that he would have one last meal before being taken, he had been allowed to request what he wanted. Knowing that it might really be his last meal if other evidence wasn't found, the Doctor had requested steak and chips with carrots and peas, topped with thick gravy, followed by a banana and a bowl of ice-cream.
The lock turned in the door and in walked a warden. He didn't even look at the prisoner, but placed the meal - that was on a red tray - within reaching distance, before backing out the door and locking him in once more.
"Well," the Doctor contemplated, "I'd better dig in." He reached for the tray and placed it on his lap, suddenly feeling queasy in his stomach. He didn't want this. He had to hope.
Hope that Rose and Martha were working on getting him out.
Baron Wilkinson was a proud man, a patient man, a well respected man, and most of all he was a family man. His wife, May, was now a broken woman, shattered by the brutal murder of her youngest and only daughter. Baron had three other sons, all of whom who would participate in the forthcoming sessions that would last seven days.
The man convicted of his daughter's murder, who had refused to give his name in court, except for a title of 'Doctor' would be arriving shortly at his residence. The chamber was ready, prepared for its imminent use. All high-profile Humarians, such as himself, had access to this equipment if they so wished. Baron was the first in a hundred years to request seven days to harm a sentient being, but what this Doctor had done to his precious girl... well, in his mind, it justified it. Humarians, by nature, were not a violent people. Once in a while one would come along and Baron liked to think he wasn't one. Baron's species had originated from planet Earth and Valafax, but when humans had colonised Valafax, the two species of Humans and Mians had started to breed with each other.
Humans had mated with Mians, birthing a new species: Humarians. Essentially human in appearance, the only three differences were the square-like eyes, the much smaller nose and three fingers and a thumb instead of the human equivalent of four fingers and a thumb on each hand. Before human colonisation, the Mians had been a peaceful loving species and it was believed that the humans had brought the violent nature with them, making the Humarians a mostly calm, peaceful people with the occasional violent one stirring up trouble once in a blue moon.
Baron sighed, rubbing a hand over his weary eyes. He missed his daughter so much. He remembered brushing her pink hair the day before she'd gone missing. All she'd done was take the rubbish out to the bin, but she had never returned alive. Baron blamed himself for that. If he hadn't asked her to... his precious baby would still be alive.
Baron lifted his gaze from the table he had been staring at. "Arka. What is it?"
"There are two humans wishing to speak to you. I think it is the two females who are friends with that Doctor."
"Did you ask what they wanted?" asked Baron. He couldn't deal with those two, not right now.
"They didn't say, they just want to speak to you," answered Arka. "Would you like them thrown off our property? I will call security and arrange it, if you say so."
"No," replied Baron, shaking his head. "I'll go out and speak to them. And Arka, stay at my back."
"Yes, father." Arka fell in line behind his father.
Arka had left the two girls standing on the porch of the house. Closer inspection revealed to Baron that the girls were tired and weary: they probably wouldn't put up much of a fight if one came to it. "Yes?"
The girl with blonde hair stepped forward, holding out her hand, a small smile on her face. "I'm Rose Tyler... I'm sure you recognise me from the court-room."
Reluctant as he was to touch the human's hand, Baron knew it would be offence to her if he didn't, but he immediately placed his hand back in pocket, mentally reminding himself to wash it once he had dealt with the two girls. "I do."
The girl called Rose steeled herself. "The Doctor didn't do it. He didn't kill your daughter. Please, just let me speak before you say something. I know I can't change your mind and that you believe the Doctor is responsible for your daughter's murder. I've travelled with that man for years and he's saved billions of people from dying. He's never killed unless he had to. And killing a little girl, he would never do. I know him. But..." She took a deep breath. "What if Martha and I can prove to you that he has nothing to do with this and it is all an innocent mistake?"
Baron raised his eyebrows, crossing his arms. "How do you intend to prove your friend's innocence?"
The girl laughed falsely. "See, that's the problem we don't know how... and we need your help for that. Someone else was involved."
"The DNA is not recognisable, nor can it be identified. They matched your friend's DNA though," replied Baron, harshly.
"That's because he FELL on her and they had him in custody!" shouted the blonde girl, angrily.
"Rose," said the other girl, her skin dark. She pushed Rose back. "Mr Wilkinson, we don't know much about this planet or its customs. We only came here for a fleeting visit. We only arrived a few hours before the Doctor stumbled on her body. But we know there is some sort of underground network... If we could get in contact with that network, the real culprit could be hiding among them. If we can match a sample of the other DNA with someone..."
"You still wouldn't be able to prove that your friend is innocent," snapped Baron, his eyes flashing. "His DNA was on my daughter's cheek!"
"Truth serum," said the blonde girl, Rose. "Doesn't your government have a small supply of that?"
"They do," replied Arka, "but it's only used in extreme cases."
"This is an extreme case," snapped Rose. "You could kill someone who is innocent!"
"If we can bring you the real culprit and you use it on them – and the Doctor – will it be enough to prove his innocence?" asked the other.
Baron licked his lips, his eyes slits. "Only if this other person's DNA matched what was found inside my daughter. People can fight the truth serum and lie through it if they have a strong mind."
"If we have a sample of the DNA..."
"...you'll match it to the real killer?" finished Baron, smugly.
"Yes," nodded the other girl.
"And you expect me to provide this sample for you?"
Rose shrugged. "We can't exactly get hold of a sample ourselves... I'm sorry about your daughter, but if you execute the wrong man and you find out later who really did it, won't you regret ending his life prematurely without giving us a chance to gather evidence that might clear his name?"
"You could have done this before his trial," pointed out Arka.
"No one would tell us what he was charged with," replied the black girl. "We only found out in court, and we only managed to get in by pure luck. By then it was too late. But we have seven days till he is executed. We're not asking you to not do what you want to do with him – we both know there is no way you will – all we're asking for is for you to help us get hold of that DNA sample and let us have it. And if you can, give us any names connected to the network we heard about. That's it. If we don't have any evidence by the end of the seven days, all we ask for is that you let us say goodbye to him because he has made our lives better. And we owe it to him to try to clear his name."
Baron stayed silent, musing over what he had heard. The Doctor hadn't had anyone to defend him, which was unusual... no one had stepped forth with evidence to back up his statements, though his crime hadn't been widely put out... It had been the Doctor's word against his prosecutors and the evidence was more than staggering to convict him. He made a decision. He'd give them a chance. He was a fair man after all. "Very well. I will contact my other sons to bring the DNA sample. I'll contact the police commission and give them my authority that I want it released. You were correct in assuming I will hurt your friend. If you find evidence that he is innocent then I'll pay for any treatment that he may need to recover. It won't dent my finances. However, if you cannot find any evidence, these are my terms. Both you and your friend," he looked pointedly at Rose, "will serve as maidens in my household for five years. And, for the duration of your investigation I will send my son, Arka, with you."
To his son's credit, he did not protest. Arka would understand the need for him to keep watch over the girls, just in case they faked any evidence and accused an innocent Humarian of murder.
"There will be no negotiation for these terms. If you don't take them, then I will not help you," said Baron, ensuring that his eyes bored deep into the two girl's eyes.
The two girls exchanged glances. "We accept," said Rose, though he could see a fire brewing behind her pupils. It was not something they wanted but since they were asking for his help, he had the upper hand. He could have requested for them to marry one of his son's after all...
"Good," he smiled softly. "Come back tomorrow. The sample will be with me by then. And it will give Arka time to make some arrangements before departing with you."
"Thank you," said Rose, bowing her head slightly.
So they have read up on our customs, thought Baron. He watched as the two girls departed, walking back to the open gate. He waited till they were gone, before stepping back inside the house, his son at his side. "You don't mind missing out on the fun, do you?"
"No father. I must admit I was looking forward to giving him a few pot-shots, but it will be even more fun to see his friends fail in finding evidence that clears that Doctor's name," laughed Arka.
"Don't hinder them, Arka. Look at them from a different angle. Find out more about this Doctor and his friends if you can..."
"Which he isn't father," interrupted Arka. "He killed my little sister. I hope you are planning on keeping his head when he is executed. I look forward to thrusting it in front of those human's faces when they begin working for you."
Baron chose to ignore his son's comment. He was angry and upset. Little Yarien had been the apple of his eye. "Keep an open mind. Don't let your hatred towards humans get in the way."
"If humans hadn't bred with us in the first place, we wouldn't have these emotions! I wish I was a full Mian," snapped Arka, his eyes darkening, but he took a deep breath and calmed himself and the hatred that had flared up in his eyes, disappeared.
Baron tapped his son on his shoulder. "We're working on it. You've done a fantastic job of containing your anger and your violent nature. Don't let me down."
Arka took a deep, shuddering breath. "Thank you, father, for believing in me."
To be continued...
Please let me know what you think!