Hello again! I've finally added a new chapter. I sincerely apologize for how long it's been. I'm bad at this, I know.
So, this chapter is written in quite a different style from the others, as well as being rather longer. I would love it if you would review and tell me what you think of it. Do you prefer the old style or is this one better? What do you think of it actually having a plot for once? Even though this chapter is more dialogue and actually doing things than the thought-centric ones before it, it doesn't mean I'll never do a chapter in the old way again. I want to hear your opinion on the matter!
One last thing: The Doctor's look that I do a very bad job of describing is supposed to be like that really amazing one he gives Martha in the "Smith and Jones" episode, when they're talking about him possibly not being human. I hope you can figure out what I'm trying to explain here.
My computer decided to stop spellchecking and I don't know how to fix it, so I apologize for any errors. I did my best to catch them, but no guarantees that I succeeded.
Enjoy, if you can! And review, too, because that would make me so very happy.
He was yelling again.
She sighed, walking towards the adjoining lab. There he was, screaming his head off at some poor scientist. Come to think of it, this looked like the same one he'd been yelling at two days ago.
"Look, you just can't do this!" he was saying loudly, waving his hands for emphasis. "It's dangerous and irrational. Do you have any idea how many people you could kill, not to mention all the Judoon?"
"What's a Judoon?" she asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Intergalactic police in the form of space rhinos," he explained quickly. "But anyway, Rose, tell Harold how stupid he's being!"
"Stupid about what?" she said patiently, shooting Harold a sympathetic look. It wasn't his fault the Doctor was a bit of a genius.
"He thinks that using a highly experimental force field to isolate the Judoon is a good idea," he said, somehow managing to look both pitying and condescending.
"Explain why that's bad…" she said, immediately regretting speaking when he looked completely shocked.
"Rose, this force field is yet to be perfected or even tested at all, meaning that it could do absolutely anything to those Judoon and all the people anywhere near them, which could possibly be a great deal of London," he explained impatiently. "It's ridiculously dangerous."
"That's not good, then," she said simply. "Is there another way to deal with this?"
"Er—yes, but it's…it's a bit complicated," the Doctor said, suddenly looking awkward. She frowned, confused, and he continued, "You see, I speak the Judoon language, so I can talk to them, but…they might not respond well to my presence."
"What do you mean?" Rose asked warily, exchanging a bewildered glance with Harold.
"I'm half-human, half-Time Lord. Technically speaking, that's illegal, and the Judoon are very big on justice. There's a good chance that they would kill me," he said, adding, "Of course, since Time Lords don't appear to exist in this universe, they might just have no idea what I was and take me to their ships for scanning and dissection and all that."
"You're not getting dissected," Rose said flatly, "and you're not going to talk to the Judoon if they're just going to end up killing you. We need a different plan."
"That's what I was saying—" Harold began, but the Doctor spoke over him.
"Well, the Judoon are capable of assimilating other languages, so, really, anyone could talk to them, but I can't imagine who…"
"Right, then, I'll go talk with the Judoon and find out what they're doing here," she said. "Where are they?"
"No, Rose, you can't go!" he objected.
"Why not?" she said, shrugging. "Someone's got to, and I've got the most experience with aliens out of anyone here, except you, of course."
"I've met the Judoon; I should be the one going," he insisted resolutely, but she shook her head, frowning.
"I thought we already established that you can't go. So I'll be off," she said. "Again, where can I find them?"
"Are you sure this is a good idea, Rose?" Harold asked. "I mean, these are dangerous aliens. Maybe we should send a team or something…"
"Don't worry, I'll be fine," she said impatiently.
"Lyncrest Road," the Doctor said. "That's where they are. I can drive you."
"You can drive?" she asked, surprised. Of course, it really shouldn't have been so shocking, since he could drive a TARDIS, so why not a car as well?
"Probably," he said with a grin. She laughed, a bit anxiously.
Twenty minutes later, they were pulling onto Lyncrest Road in Rose's old, beat-up minivan. The Doctor was driving, and doing a rather bad job. He kept forgetting how to brake.
"Here we are then. Can you see them, there in the middle of the street?" he said, pointing. "They've just been standing there for about an hour. All the people in the surrounding houses got out and they haven't tried to do anything yet, but…it's concerning. And quite…weird."
"Fair enough," Rose said cheerily. "See you later, then."
She got out of the car and started down the street, very aware of the unusual silence around her. As the Doctor had said, absolutely no one was around, except for her and the Judoon.
Speaking of which, this particular brand of aliens looked…strange. Extremely strange. He'd likened them to rhinoceri, but she hadn't thought he was speaking all that literally. Turns out, he most certainly was.
Rose glanced back at the Doctor, who was standing next to the van and watching her, frowning. She didn't want to admit how scared she had been at his talk of getting executed and dissected. He had spoken so matter-of-factly, as if it was of no importance. She couldn't help but wonder if that was because the reality of his ability to die had not yet sunk in or if he simply didn't want to reflect on death too much.
If he died, she didn't know what she would do. She'd been separated from him so many times over, but so far, they'd always ended up finding each other again. Death was not going to be so kind to them.
Several yards from the Judoon, Rose shook these thoughts out of her mind, concentrating on the task at hand. Specifically, finding out what exactly a group of five Judoon were doing on Earth, in the middle of London?
"Er—hello," she said awkwardly, standing behind the Judoon. They didn't move. "Hello? Can you hear me?"
"Bo-sko, fro-jo, no-cro, blow-co, sho-ro."
One of the Judoon turned around and stuck some suspicious-looking instrument into her face.
"Sorry, what are you doing?" she asked, stepping back quickly.
The Judoon took the instrument and attached it to his suit. Bemused, Rose heard her own voice played back to her, high and anxious: "Sorry, what are you doing?"
"Language assimilated. Earth English."
She was so surprised to hear him (Her? It?) speaking English that she just stared for a minute. Finally overcoming her shock, she said, "Hello, I'm Rose Tyler of the Torchwood Institute. Could you tell me what you're doing here?"
"We are waiting," the Judoon said flatly. She blinked.
"Waiting for what, exactly?"
"What commands?" she asked, starting to get irritated by this somewhat circular exchange.
"Commands from the Shadow Proclamation."
Intrigued to find out that this universe had a Shadow Proclamation as well, she said, "And what's the Shadow Proclamation supposed to tell you to do?"
"This planet has an unauthorized alien," he told her. "We need orders to find it."
"Do you know what alien it is? And what do you mean by 'unauthorized'?" In her experience, most aliens didn't ask permission before showing up on Earth.
"It is unidentified."
"If you don't know what it is, how are you going to find it?"
"The Shadow Proclamation will tell us."
"Yeah, but how do they know?" she insisted. These Judoon were not much fun to talk to.
"That is unknown."
"Brilliant. Okay, I'll be back in a minute. Stay here, yeah?" she said, already starting to walk away, rather exasperated. The Judoon didn't bother to answer.
So, what alien could they be talking about? As far as Torchwood knew, the Judoon themselves were the only aliens to arrive recently. Perhaps it had been here for a while already? No, that didn't make sense; the Judoon would have come earlier if that was the case. Clearly they didn't mind standing around doing nothing until they got orders.
"What happened, Rose?" the Doctor asked as soon as she got within speaking distance.
"The Judoon told me they're waiting for commands from the Shadow Proclamation about where to find an unauthorized alien," she said, sitting on the hood of the car.
"What did they mean by that?" he said, raising an eyebrow.
"They just said the alien was 'unidentified'." She shrugged. "At least they're not causing any trouble right now."
"Still…as soon as the Shadow Proclamation gets back to them, who knows what could happen," he said thoughtfully. "I don't understand why they think this alien is unauthorized. What is that supposed to mean?"
He squinted slightly, looking up at the sky with his forehead creased in concentration. "The only way it could be unidentified to the Shadow Proclamation would be if…" His voice faded away and Rose looked at him, confused.
"A new alien." He said it simply, without concern or emotion, but she could tell that something seriously wasn't right in spite of (or perhaps because of) it.
"If a new life form appeared and somehow the Shadow Proclamation noticed it, they'd want to find out more. Depending on the circumstances, it could be a violation of Article 42.6," he said quickly. "Of course, the fact that they sent in the Judoon could mean it's actually quite a big problem. The Shadow Proclamation could know more than they decided to tell the Judoon."
"But Torchwood hasn't noticed anything alien going on for a while," she reminded him. "Nothing suspicious has passed through the atmosphere for weeks."
"And that makes me think it could have been created here."
"What—on Earth somewhere?" Rose said, surprised. "By who?"
"I don't know," he said, sighing dejectedly and sinking down onto the car hood beside her. "That's the problem."
They sat there for a minute in silence, each of them thinking (and worrying) to themselves. Then the Doctor suddenly sat up ramrod straight, eyes going wide.
"What's wrong?" Rose said immediately, staring at him, slightly scared.
"Rose, go and ask them when they first found a sign that there was some new alien on Earth," he said, speaking quickly and with disturbing urgency.
"Okay." She obeyed without thinking, responding instinctively to his tone.
Setting off at a run, Rose almost smiled, recognizing the simultaneous uniqueness and familiarity of this situation. She was with the Doctor, dealing with a confusing alien threat, and, above all, she was running. It was brilliant to run like this again, even if the reason for her running could be very dangerous indeed. Just like old times.
"Judoon!" she called, slightly out of breath as she skidded to a stop in front of them. "I've got a…question for you."
"What is it?" She was pretty sure it was same one that she'd talked to earlier that was now speaking, but, frankly, it was hard to tell.
"When did you first see a sign that a new alien had come to Earth?" Rose demanded, pushing blonde hair out of her face and waiting impatiently for an answer.
"We received a signal approximately two weeks ago," the Judoon said.
"What d'you mean, a signal?"
"Unusual energy traces alerted the Shadow Proclamation, who called on the Judoon for assistance."
"Right…thanks!" she said, although she wasn't sure if she had anything to thank them for, and took off running again.
"What did they say?" the Doctor called out, coming to meet Rose as she approached. He was looking very nervous and kept running his hand through his hair, making it look even messier than normal. She couldn't help wondering if this was a side effect of fighting aliens without actually being able to do anything, having to rely on her for information.
"They said they found out from some energy traces about two weeks ago," she told him, trying to remain calm even when his face went pale. "What's wrong? What is it?"
"We need to get back to Torchwood," was all he said, getting in the van before she could respond.
"Why? What's going on?" she demanded, getting into the car anyway. "What do you know that you're not telling me?"
"We just need to drive right now," he said, speaking from between clenched teeth. She didn't know if he was angry at her persistent questions or at whatever it was that had concerned him so much.
Rose didn't say anything for the rest of ride (which took rather shorter than it should have—she wouldn't let herself look at the speedometer for fear of what she'd see, but something told her that they were not quite staying within the law). The second they arrived at Torchwood, the Doctor parked in a handicapped spot and galloped inside, Rose following him, extremely concerned.
"Pete! Scan the skies, now! Especially around the moon," he was yelling loudly, bursting into a lab in a most alarming fashion.
"What's happened?" Rose's father asked, mercifully obeying the Doctor's orders despite his questions. "And exactly what am I scanning for?"
"A ship. Specifically, a Judoon ship. They look like this"—he quickly drew a rather awful sketch of a spaceship that vaguely resembled an oxygen tank or some similar canister—"and they should be letting off some form of energy. I can't say what exactly; it's hard to know what they'll be using the energy for right now, which would affect what signals we're getting. Still, a simple scan should be sufficient—"
"Is this it?" Pete cut him off, pointing at a computer screen. The Doctor pulled out his brainy specs and leaned down to read the incomprehensible (at least to Rose) lines of symbols and numbers.
"Yes, that's it!" he proclaimed loudly, running over to a cart of alien devices and rifling through them.
"What are you doing?" Rose demanded, still exceptionally confused.
"I can't explain; I don't have time!" he said quickly.
"What do you need the coordinates of the ship?" she asked, speaking as fast as she could in hopes that that would somehow make him listen. "What are you planning to do, go to the ship or something?"
He gave her one of those looks, with one eyebrow raised and a highly disconcerting look in his eyes. She suddenly felt extremely worried.
"You can't be serious! You said yourself, you'd get killed if you went up there!" Rose pointed out loudly. "You're being completely ridiculous and—"
And then, without any apparent reason, he kissed her.
"What was that?" she said, not exactly angry; more confused.
"Sorry, but I may not be coming back," the Doctor said, with more good cheer than the situation called for. "Good-bye, then."
With a slight crackle of electricity and a flash of light, he disappeared completely.
So, I don't know if you've figured out why he left, so…try to guess in the reviews, I suppose. I found it obvious, but that's almost certainly just because I already knew, of course. I could definitely see how you could not understand it. Just…drop me a review, pretty please?