As promised, here is another chapter. So it urns out that I have been sitting on a few. I've been so intent on writing, that I forgot to post. So, I just have to finish typing up half a chapter of Gaps, and I'll have two to post. So, I hope these few can tie you over for the next few weeks, while I move houses, make Christmas costume for work, and Christmas day. So I should have something up soon after boxing day.


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The Crucible

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"Is it just me," Rose said. "Or does it seem really easy to find the TARDIS right now? Both Jack and Sarah Jane found us in seconds… So not fair, it took me two years!"

"Wait a minute, what if these Dalek things find us too?" Donna said.

"Quite likely," the Doctor said. "A Dalek is a genius. But, for now, we're safe in the TARDIS."

No sooner had he said that, the door swung open, making everyone jump. There was an audible sigh of relief from everyone onboard when they saw the figure of Captain Jack Harkness step through the door.

"Hey everyone," he grinned. "Look who I found." He stepped aside to reveal that he had been followed in by someone very familiar, dressed in his black Torchwood gear.

"Mickey!" Rose cried before launching herself at him. "Oh my god! How did you get over here?"

"Well, it wasn't easy, but while you were jumping from universe to universe on your own, we got the dimension cannon working," he said. "The walls of the universe are weak. Something's up, Rose. It just started happening one day. All the stars were going out. It was just this… I don't know-"

"Darkness," Rose said.

"Yeah."

"Hold on," the Doctor said. "Rose, you said that before when this first started. What is the darkness?"

"I told you I stayed with the Ood," she explained. "They showed me something. This nightmare they'd been having. Everything was gone. In a split second, gone. There was nothing. The end of time, the end of all reality. And there was this face… Old and dead, he looked like a mummy… but he was laughing. And he had this light on his head…"

"A split second?" Mickey said. "But this has been happening for weeks. It's not just my world, it's all of them. Even the Void's dead."

"But not here," the Doctor said. "The eye of the storm."

"So it starts here and spreads out to every universe before it actually happens?" Donna said, slightly confused.

"A ripple back," he said. "Whatever happens is going to be so big that the ripple effect goes everywhere, including back in time… because there's nowhere else for it to go."

"Which really begs the question, what the hell are the Daleks doing?" Rose said. "They have to be taking people for a reason."

"Something that obviously wont take long," the Doctor sighed. "They're usually a bit more subtle in the way that they take people." Suddenly the power went down around them. "Like that. They used to be a lot more subtle… or blunt, depending on how you look at it."

"What's happening?" Donna cried as the TARDIS began to shake.

"They've got us," the Doctor said, attempting the controls to no avail. "They've taken down the power… Rose?" He stopped when he noticed that Rose was leaning heavily on the console.

"Doctor, I'm so tired," she yawned. He rushed over to her and held her by the shoulders.

"No, no, no, no. Come one, stay awake. You hear me?"

"Doctor, what's wrong?" Mickey said.

"The device they've used, it's some sort of chronon loop, put on the outside of the TARDIS. and it will shut down the power of anything remotely TARDIS or that deals with the vortex inside."

"And… Rose is a TARDIS…? Jack said uncertainly.

"Part TARDIS, yes."

"Yup," Rose said tiredly. "I'm a little blue box that goes 'woosh, woosh, woosh'!" Everyone almost jumped when the real TARDIS noises came out of her mouth. The Doctor gave a little chuckle at her tired antics.

"You know, not all TARDISes looked like this," he said. "This one does because it's Chameleon Circuit is broken."

"I can't change… Is my Chameleon Circuit broken too?"

"Well, if it is, I like what it's stuck on."

"Okay," was all she said, her eyes drifting shut.

"No, no. Look at me." Rose forced her eyes open and gave him a weak smile.

"There's a massive Dalek ship at the center of the planets. They're calling it the 'Crucible'," Jack said. "I guess that's out destination."

"You said these planets were like an engine," Donna said. "But what for?"

"I'm not sure… But whatever it is, I bet it's powerful enough to cause what Rose and Mickey saw."

Finally the monitor gave a small beep and the Doctor looked at it to see that they had arrived.

"The Dalek Crucible. All aboard!"

"What, out there?" Donna cried. She didn't like the sound of Daleks one bit.

"DOC-TOR, - YOU - WILL - STEP - FORTH - OR - DIE!" came the robotic voice of a Dalek.

"We'll have to go out. 'Cause if we don't, they'll get in."

"But - you told me nothing could get through those doors," Rose said. She still sounded sleepy, but seemed much more alert.

"You've got extrapolator shielding!" Jack said.

"Last time we fought the Daleks they were scavengers and hybrids and mad. But this is a fully fledged Dalek empire at the height of it's power. Experts at fighting TARDISes. They can do anything. Right now, that wooden door, is just wood."

"What about your Dimension Jump?" Jack asked Mickey.

"Na, it needs another twenty minutes to recharge. Besides, it only takes one, and I'm not leaving you lot to them." Rose gave him as warm a smile as she could manage.

"Jack, what about your teleport?"

"Went down with the power loss. Like you said, anything that deals the with the Vortex."

"Right then," the Doctor said. "All of us together… yeah?"

"Well, at least we know we won't die," Rose said.

"What makes you say that?"

"Well, Jack's immortal. Mickey has to get married. And we still have three more kids to have."

"Sounds like you've got it all planned out there, Rose," Jack laughed.

"She's seen it," Mickey said. "Evil woman won't even tell me when I'm going to meet this Jones lady!"

"Martha?!" Donna cried.

"Wasn't supposed to tell him," Rose mumbled. "Hang on… 'The Crucible'. 'The What-able'. 'You'll find out'. Oh! Oh, that's now!" Everyone looked at her oddly and she just shrugged. "Conversations in the future."

"SUR-ENDER - DOC-TOR, - AND - FACE - YOUR - DA-LEK - MAST-ERS."

"CRU-CIBLE - ON - MAXI-MUM - ALERT."

"Daleks," she laughed nervously.

"Oh, god!" Jack said in a funny voice, trying to inject humour into the situation.

"We better get out there," the Doctor said. He turned to Rose. "You sure we survive this?"

"Either that, or I've been living in a paradox."

"Right then… Nothing for it, eh?" And with a deep breath, he stepped out the door. Rose followed behind him, and then everyone else.

They stopped when they saw all the Daleks. It was more than Rose had ever seen before… and once she had jumped right into the middle of Skaro. Instinctively, she moved closer to the Doctor.

Then behind them, the TARDIS doors swung shut and the light on top flashed, but, thankfully, she did not start to dematerialise as they had thought for a second.

"WHAT - IS - THIS?" demanded the big, shiny red Dalek.

"How am I supposed to know? It's never done that before," the Doctor said.

"YOU - ARE - US-ING - YOUR - TAR-DIS - AG-AINST - US! - THIS - IS - TIME - LORD - TREACH-ERY!"

"Me?! But I haven't done anything! It did it on it's own!"

"NEVER-THE-LESS: - THE - TAR-DIS - IS - A - WEA-PON. - AND - IT - WILL - BE - DES-TROYED!"

"What?! No!" Rose cried. "You can't."

"What?!" the Doctor said at the same time. "You can't be serious!"

The next second, there was a mechanical creak and the TARDIS dropped down a trapdoor.

"No!" Rose cried.

The Doctor ran to the edge and peered down the hole in the ground. He turned back angrily to the red Dalek. "What are you doing?! Bring it back!" He began to panic. He couldn't lose his ship. "What have you done?! Where's it going?"

"THE - CRUC-IBLE - HAS - A - HEART - OF - Z-NEU-TRINO - ENER-GY. - THE - TAR-DIS - WILL - BE- DEP-OSITED - INTO - THE - CORE."

"But you can't!" he cried in horror. "You've taken the defences down. It'll be torn apart!"

He couldn't lose his ship… And even worse, he couldn't lose Rose. She was connected to the TARDIS as much as she was him. If the TARDIS died, he didn't know how long he would be able to keep her alive…

"Doctor, I can do something," Rose said, grabbing his arm.

"What?" he turned to her. "No!"

"I have a connection with the TARDIS. I can save her!"

"You can't. It's too dangerous!" he begged.

"If the TARDIS is destroyed, I'll die eventually anyway. And then you won't hold up much longer either. I've been to quite a few universes where you weren't there. I can't let this be one of them. I'm grounded to the TARDIS now. It shouldn't be too hard to just-"

And she was gone.

"Rose!" the Doctor cried in horror, but there was no way to bring her back. "Please, stop! Rose is in there!"

"THEN - THE - FEM-ALE - AND - THE - TAR-DIS - WILL - PER-ISH - TOGE-THER! - OBSERVE," the Dalek replied coldly.

"No!" Everyone else had similar comments and cries of disappear. Rose and the TARDIS couldn't die. They just couldn't. All the Dalek did was indicate behind them. The Doctor strode in that direction as a holographic screen appeared above them. In it, they could see the TARDIS as it bobbed in the burning energy.

"THE - LAST - CHILD - OF - GALLI-FREY - IS - POWER-LESS."

The Doctor looked on in horror, fear growing deeper. He whipped around to the Red Dalek. "Please. I'm begging you, I'll do anything! Put me in her place! You can do anything to me, I don't care, just get her out of there! Please!"

The Dalek said nothing. The Doctor turned back to the screen. By now, his breath was coming out in pants, and he was trembling.

"YOU - ARE - CONN-ECTED - TO - THE - TAR-DIS. - NOW - FEEL - IT - DIE!"

"TO-TAL - TAR-DIS - DEST-RUCTION - IN - TEN - RELS," another Dalek stated. Jack walked up behind the Doctor, placed a hand on his shoulder and gripped it tightly. Donna walked up on the other and grabbed his limp hand in hers.

"NINE. - EIGHT. - SE-VEN. - SIX. - FIVE. - FOUR. - THREE. - TWO. - ONE."

The TARDIS faded away into the molten energy.

"THE - TAR-DIS - HAS - BEEN - DEST-ROYED. - NOW, - TELL - ME, - DOC-TOR… - WHAT - DO - YOU - FEEL? - ANGER? - SORROW? - DESPAIR?"

The Doctor just stared at the screen. He didn't know what to feel. He was hollow and numb. He was horrified and sad. Though, if there was one thing he did know, it was that he should be feeling differently.

If Rose or the TARDIS had been destroyed, he would have felt it. Really felt it. He would be down on the ground in agony. Instead he just felt… empty. And that alone, gave him hope.

"Yeah," he whispered. Donna looked at him sadly. She knew how much Rose meant to him. She had seen what he was like…

"THEN - IF - EMOT-IONS - ARE - SO - IMPOR-TANT, - SURE-LY - WE - HAVE - EN-HANCED - YOU."

"Yeah?" Jack shouted. "Feel this!" He took his hand from the Doctor's shoulder, and faster than the Daleks could react, he pulled out his gun and shot at the red one. The bullets, of course, just bounced off it. That didn't stop him from shooting more.

"EXTER-MINATE!" It shot it's death-ray at Jack, who screamed as his body lit up enough to see his skeleton, and fell to the floor.

Donna let out a scream. She fell to her knees next to Jack, her hands fluttering over his in distress. "Oh my god!"

"Donna…" the Doctor said softly, kneeling beside her.

"They killed him. They - they shot him with that thing and killed him. And Rose and…" Tears began to run down her cheeks.

"I know. There's nothing we can do," he said sadly. He pulled her to her feet and put an arm around her. He looked over at Mickey, who was standing there in shock, face streaked with tear tracks. Right now there was nothing more he wanted to do than join them in mourning, but he still had that one shred of hope. So he had to be strong. He had to keep it together…

"ES-CORT - THEM - TO - THE - VAULT," the red Dalek said. "THEY - ARE - THE - PLAY-THINGS - OF - DA-VROS, - NOW."

The Doctor looked up in shock. Did he - did he just say 'Davros'?

"WHAT?!"


?…DW…?


Rose choked as she appeared in the TARDIS. Many parts of the console room were on fire, and the smoke was thick in the air. She could barely stay on her feet, due to the shaking. She squealed as lights burst from the walls and showered down on her.

Stumbling, she made her way to the console where she looked at the mess of buttons. He had taught her to fly it once or twice… but she had never done it on her own before.

Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath. She had noticed that when the Doctor had regenerated, parts of the console had changed with him, but she knew them. She knew a lot of them. She only had to remember.

Instinctively, her hands began to reach across the console, she moved about, stretching as far as she could go to reach things. She could swear that it was meant to be flown by more than one or two people.

Soon, she heard the TARDIS materialising, and she smiled. She hadn't set a time, place or date, so she only hoped that she knew where to go.

.

A moment later, the engines stopped and she looked at the monitor. From what she could make out, she had only jumped a few minutes ahead in time. She wasn't all that far from the crucible. If she did anything too rash they would notice her here.

She folded her arms, looked about, and sighed. "What am I supposed to do?" she said to no one.

She had saved the TARDIS, but now what? How was she going to get back to help them. Better yet, what situation where they in. She didn't know what part of the ship they were in, or what sort of trouble they had gotten into by now.

She was just about to guess at co-ordinates, when suddenly there was a loud crash from just beside her.

Part on the console cracked open… and a gold light, filled the room.