Author's Note: This is a random idea I had for Doctor Who. Please review with your thoughts!
"But how do we find you if we need you again?" the desperate man cried. The young woman spun back to face him, her sleek blonde hair whipping around.
"You won't," she replied, a mischievous smile shining from the soft features of her face.
"But how can you know that?" he pleaded, reaching out to the savior of his people.
The woman's cheeky grin faded into a gentler, though firm, expression. Stepping towards the man, she clasped him comradely on the shoulder.
"Because your people have a wonderful leader. My assistance was only something you needed to help you realize that... you never needed me at all. I have faith in you, Aztan. You are a great man, who will lead your people into peaceful and prosperous times."
Clapping the man on the shoulder one last time, the Savior turned away once more, strutting away from the man who was glowing with surprise and modest pride. As the woman stepped onto her space shuttle, Aztan seemed to regain his thoughts.
"But wait! You never even told us your name. What may we call you, when we tell our children and our children's children about your heroic deeds here?" he called out.
The woman paused before turning towards Aztan one last time. She grinned and winked, causing the man to blush furiously.
"Jenny'll do just fine," she replied lightly. With that the shuttle door slid shut and the vehicle lifted off into space with a roar of fire, leaving a legend behind on the planet below.
Jenny walked away from the control panel, having set the coordinates for her next destination. Pausing, she took a moment to appreciate her space shuttle once more. For some time she had traveled in a small pod, where she had to be strapped in and there was no room to maneuver. Now however, she'd acquired a much more sizable shuttle, and there was a gravity-manipulator installed so she could roam freely during flight.
Making her way across the clanking metal floor in her boots, Jenny crouched down to examine a hunk of machinery which was the most recent addition to her flight equipment. Aztan's people, in thanks for her success in peacefully liberating their colony, had bestowed upon her their most advanced piece of technology. They had called it an atom-redistributor by technical name, and its nickname seemed to be "dust-catcher". Quite frankly, Jenny did not understand its purpose. She had tried to refuse, but their generosity (and stubborn natures) won out, and she accepted it with grace. Now however, she was at somewhat of a loss as to what to do with the machine.
The dust-catcher was at the least a fairly pretty piece of work. The center was a glass bowl with a long, thin neck extending upwards. The glass bowl was encased by a steel structure in the shape of a box, merely for support, but there were rings of orange energy, almost like flames, that circled around the glass bowl in constant motion. Jenny suspected that this was the power source. Inside the glass bowl Jenny could see the slightest tint of what appeared to be small, blue specks, but she couldn't be sure.
Rather than feel discouraged by her lack of understanding of the device, Jenny picked it up with ease and carried it to the side of her ship. One of the native women had installed a hole in the metal casing of the shuttle, guaranteeing that it was protected from oxygen loss. Though Jenny had struggled to understand the woman's speech through her heavy native accent, she had understood one thing: she was to position the dust-catcher so that the thin glass neck extended out of the ship through the hole. Jenny did just this and stood back up, her hands planting themselves on her hips in satisfaction. She watched the bowl for a few moments, but nothing seemed to be happening. Shrugging, Jenny spun away with a smile and made her way to her personal cabin to prepare for her next stop, almost forgetting entirely about the dust-catcher in her eagerness to explore another foreign land.
Astrid had no thoughts, not really. There wasn't a level of consciousness left in her that was deep enough to permit such a thing. Her only existence was in the string of particles which she had dissolved into, and which retained enough of her human soul to remain connected even as they drifted through space purposelessly. She could vaguely understand the sensation of floating, of flying eternally. There was no happiness, but neither was there sadness. There was simply space. Darkness and light. Stars and moons and planets. Floating, flying. Drifting endlessly, and yet it was peaceful.
Suddenly everything changed. Astrid's essence felt a pull, like that of a magnet, and the particles flew swiftly through the space vacuum. When they met their target, a small bubble of blue light sparked briefly, a beautiful spectacle that no one was present to see.
Jenny reached up to put her hair back up in its traditional ponytail, now that she'd finished brushing it thoroughly. Just as she twisted the hair band around her hair one more time to hold it securely, a shrill whistle sounded in her ears, emitting from the main control room. Jolting in shock, Jenny quickly ran back out to the room. Her eyes opened wide at the sight before her. The dust-catcher was glowing with impossible light. The glass bowl was no longer clear: there seemed to be a collection of moving, glowing, blue particles whirling madly within it. The orange rings of energy had expanded and brightened, and even the metal box structure seemed to be shining brighter than usual. Despite the painful intensity of light, Jenny's eyes remained transfixed by the machine.
Then suddenly, the collection of energy exploded outwards in a burst of light, and Jenny was forced to turn her head and shield her eyes. As soon as the light faded away, Jenny's head snapped back around and she stared dumbstruck at the sight there.
A woman, about the same age as Jenny appeared to be, stood where the dust-catcher had been previously. More exactly, she stood in the confines of the metal box, shattered glass both under her feet and scattered close by. Her hair was blonde and curled gently about her face, her eyes were a light gray-green, and her plump lips were parted slightly. The innocent expression in her wide eyes and lips immediately appealed to Jenny. However, there was another detail which was distracting Jenny a bit from closer examination of the woman's features- the woman was fully unclothed.
Astrid was flooded with a barrage of emotions and physical sensations. She stood absolutely still in amazement, her mind taking a moment to process the incredible occurrence. Her memories were hazy. How had she gotten here? What was going on?
Suddenly distinct images came flooding back. A beautiful man, perfect and terrible, brilliant and impossible. His teasing smile, his surprised glances, his kind heart... Then she remembered. She'd died. She remembered it clearly. Dying. For him, for that man. But then how...?
"Who are you? How did you get in here?" Astrid's eyes glanced upwards, startled. The woman standing across from her had smooth blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, dark blue eyes, a round attractive face, smooth pale skin, and she was about the same height as Astrid herself. She was dressed in a light green tank-top, tight black pants, and black boots. In her hands was a gun, pointed straight at Astrid's heart.
"I- I- I'm sorry, I don't..." stuttered Astrid. Her words failing her, Astrid began to move her jaw up and down, reveling in the odd feeling of having a physical body once more. Tenderly she reached up and touched her face, afraid that her fingers would pass right through. Instead, they met skin, and Astrid smiled timidly, forgetting about the other woman. Looking down at herself, Astrid suddenly noticed her nudity.
Eyes shooting back up at the woman, Astrid gave a small gasp and heat flooded to her cheeks as she attempted to cover as much of her private areas with her arms as possible. She shifted uncomfortably, glancing around at her surroundings, hoping naively for somewhere to hide herself. No such luck was to be found.
"I asked you a question. How did you get aboard this ship?" demanded the woman once more, jabbing the air with the gun for emphasis.
"P-please don't shoot," pleaded Astrid, "I don't... know how I came to be here. I... well you'll think I'm completely mad if I say..."
"What?" Astrid met the woman's fierce look with one of nervousness.
"Well I... I'm sure that I... I died."
The woman's eyebrows shot up in surprise, but she did not react incredulously or aggressively, as Astrid had feared.
"Then... how did you end up here?"
"He saved me I think... my soul. He preserved me in an essence of particles. I've been... Yes I remember it, though it is hazy... I was floating through space. As nothing more than pieces of... well, I'm not really sure I suppose," Astrid murmured in wonder, speaking almost more to herself than the inquirer.
"Oh my god!" Astrid's eyes shot back to the other woman at the loud exclamation.
"You're bleeding," the woman continued in horror, "My god I'm so sorry, I hadn't realized... Here, step out of the box and sit down here." Astrid allowed herself to be led to the seat and she obediently sat, now noticing the blood streaming from her feet from the shards of glass.
"Wait just one moment!" the woman cried, rushing off into the ship.
"Um, might you please..." Astrid began to call after her, thinking to ask for a blanket to cover herself with, but she let her voice trail off nervously. In a flash, the woman was back, now with a medical kit.
"Let's see... I've got bandages, lotions- no, there's the better one, the..." the woman muttered to herself as she grabbed the necessary items from the kit. Quickly she turned her attention to Astrid's feet. Her concentration completely focused, she picked out the few pieces of glass lodged there and then continued to work towards treating and wrapping the wounds.
"Excuse me but, may I ask, what is your name?" inquired Astrid cautiously. The woman smiled kindly.
"Well that's lovely," complimented Jenny brightly. Astrid gave a small laugh, mostly to relieve her tensions.
"So... you aren't healing me simply to shoot me later, are you?" Astrid asked teasingly; but Jenny wasn't fooled. She could hear the sincere tremor in Astrid's voice. Jenny made an apologetic face.
"I'm sorry about that. A girl's got to learn how to protect herself when she travels alone. That gun isn't even loaded, to be honest. I don't approve of violence except when absolutely necessary."
Astrid gave a big smile and let out a sigh of relief. Glancing up at the frightened young woman, Jenny found her expression immensely endearing and she let out a bright laugh. Astrid met Jenny's eyes briefly, and turned her head away blushing as she saw the twinkle of amusement there.
The two women stayed silent as Jenny finished her work wrapping Astrid's feet with bandages. When she'd finished, Jenny stood back up and observed her patient.
"I suppose you might like some clothes now," she stated bluntly. Astrid blushed once more-a rather common occurrence as Jenny was for some reason delighted to see-and nodded quickly. Jenny constrained her amusement to a smile and she jogged off once again into the rest of the shuttle. She returned quickly with a pair of skinny blue jeans, a plain blue t-shirt, socks, and sneakers. Handing them to Astrid, Jenny was confused to see that Astrid looked shy, uncomfortable even with the clothes in her hands.
"What's the matter?" she asked. Astrid shook her head and smiled.
"Nothing, this is wonderful, thank you," she said gratefully, "Where shall I...?" Jenny peered at her confusedly for a moment, before realizing her meaning.
"Oh! Yes, sure, I'll just... leave you here for a minute and you can get dressed."
Jenny strutted out of the main control room, waiting impatiently just around the corner. She understood Astrid's want for privacy, but at the same time, she wanted to stay near Astrid every minute. This was what she loved about space travel: seeing new places, learning new things, meeting new people. This Astrid girl was certainly an anomaly, and Jenny couldn't have been more fascinated by her. After a few minutes, Jenny heard a timid voice call out,
"Well I'm... decent now."
Jenny strolled back into the room, grinning. Astrid returned the grin with a hesitant smile of her own even as she shifted her body in discomfort.
"What's wrong?" asked Jenny again, "Is there something wrong with the clothes? You can tell me the truth, I don't mind."
"No! Not at all, it's very kind of you to lend me clothes at all, I'm simply unused to wearing men's clothes."
"Oh I see... you come from a traditional planet. You're used to wearing dresses," Jenny realized aloud. Astrid nodded, subconsciously tugging at the bottom of her shirt.
"But these are lovely!" she assured quickly. Jenny chuckled at the woman's determined politeness. It was really rather sweet.
"I'm afraid I only dress this way," explained Jenny guiltily, "So I'm afraid you'll be stuck with those. Once we dock, we'll find you some new outfits though, how about that?"
"That would be lovely, thank you. But please, you must tell me, where are we going? And why are you alone?"
"At the moment we are on a course set for the planet Turhsia. I hear it's lovely there, in a dry, desert-y sort of way. Might as well give it a try, you know?"
Astrid was taken aback by the sheer joy in Jenny's voice. This woman clearly lived to travel. In fact, Jenny's passion reminded her very much of that man... that man who had promised to take her traveling with him. She'd wanted that so very much. Astrid had always dreamed of traversing among the stars, seeing the different planets, but it had always seemed so impossible. She'd thought her dreams were coming true when the man had entered her life, but she had been cruelly disappointed. She wasn't bitter of course, only sad, regretful. But perhaps now her time had finally come. Just that thought alone brought a flood of warmth and excitement tingling through her veins and brightened her spirit.
"Astrid?" Astrid snapped out of her reveries, glancing up at the concerned voice. For a split second, what she saw there was not the woman Jenny... but the Doctor instead. His eyes, peering at her with care and concern. Blinking quickly, Astrid refocused and her vision of the Doctor disappeared, leaving reality in its place; it did amaze Astrid however how much Jenny's eyes did in fact remind her of the Doctor's.
"Astrid, what's wrong, are you in pain?"
"What?" Astrid blinked again, suddenly aware that her eyes were brimming with tears. Chuckling at her own stupidity, Astrid reached up to brush the tears away.
"No, I'm fine. Thank you for your concern. I was just... remembering something. Well... someone. There was a man once, before I... died. He promised to take me out to travel the universe with him, and I was never happier. But I died before we had the chance to go anywhere. Your enthusiasm reminded me of him. And then... for some reason your eyes are... so reminiscent of him. Or perhaps I'm merely projecting him onto you because he is the last, and most important, figure in my memories."
Jenny absorbed this speech in silence, her suspicions forming quickly. When Astrid fell quiet once more, Jenny voiced her thoughts.
"This man... what name did he go by? It wouldn't be the Doctor, would it?"
Astrid gasped and locked eyes intently with Jenny, taking several steps closer to her in amazement.
"You know the Doctor?"
Jenny smiled sadly, her own memories creeping back into her thoughts. Though the Doctor was her inspiration and role model, she usually avoided thinking too much on him because she, like Astrid, felt cheated out of the opportunity to travel with him as she had been meant to. Traveling on her own was incredible, for sure, but she'd looked forward to traveling with the Doctor and Donna as company.
"Yes. I suppose you could say... he's my father." Astrid gasped again, her hand flying up to cover her mouth in shock.
"But he looks so young! Oh... yes I do remember... he said once that he was actually hundreds of years old... You are truly his daughter?"
"Well... in a way. More specifically, I'm his clone." Now Astrid's brow crinkled confusedly. "You see... the Doctor landed on a planet in the middle of a war. Their way of producing soldiers for the war was to take DNA samples of each living person, rearrange the DNA slightly, and create new, fully-grown human beings. How old would you say I am?"
"Well I... about my age perhaps? A few years younger, in your early twenties?" guessed Astrid.
"I celebrated my fourth birthday about a month ago," replied Jenny, nodding in response to Astrid's newfound look of amazement. "So you see... the Doctor is my father. But I, like you, died before I could travel with him. He left. Little did he know that I would partially regenerate when he left. So now I travel alone. It's the traveling that I love, but I'm also still searching for my father. To reunite with him would be... wonderful. I miss him."
"I understand. I suppose I... miss him as well." The women shared a sad, knowing smile. Astrid broke the silence.
"I'm sorry but... you said... regenerate? I'm afraid I don't know what you meant by that. How did you return from the dead?"
"Oh yes of course, I'm sorry. I don't know if my father explained this to you, but he's not human. He's a Time Lord. And Time Lords, well, they have a way of cheating death. When they are dying, they regenerate, which basically means that their bodies completely heal themselves. The catch is that when they do so, they are left with a completely new body. New face, new everything. They'll look like a completely different person, and in some ways, they'll be one as well. Now... when I died, my father's Time Lord DNA kicked in and healed me, but I didn't quite regenerate because my body never changed. Does that... make any sense to you? I'm sorry if I'm horrible at explaining things," Jenny laughed at herself. Astrid smiled kindly.
"Not at all, I... believe I understood. That's truly quite amazing."
"What I find amazing is your rebirth," breathed Jenny excitedly, her eyes scanning Astrid's body interestedly. "At the last planet I visited, they gave me a device called an atom-redistributor. I didn't think it actually worked for anything, but it must have picked up the particles of your essence and reassembled them. Though I wonder why it broke... doesn't seem very well-built..."
"I apologize! I did not mean to break it," exclaimed Astrid in concern. Jenny released a bright laugh, growing increasingly more fond of the innocent, nervous young woman with every passing moment. Astrid felt her heartbeat pick up at the sound of Jenny's mirth and she smiled shyly.
"Don't worry about it," Jenny assured, "You are much more fun to have than some piece of technology that I can't even begin to understand. I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Thank you," was Astrid's simple, genuine response. Grinning, Jenny extended her hand to her new passenger. Astrid looked down at the hand in surprise, but as soon as she processed Jenny's intent, she placed her own hand in Jenny's confidently, grasping firmly. Jenny was surprised by this evidently less shy side of Astrid, and she realized that this woman would only continue to surprise her. A thrill of excitement rushed through her at this promising prospect.
"Come on, let's set up a room for you. You'll be needing somewhere to sleep. Luckily, I've got just the spot."