3 months after the Asylum, Bless had finally found her feet living a TARDIS life. The Doctor had taken her across the universe. The Maldovium bar, Space Florida and a short holiday to Ember to see the fishes in the fog, The Doctor not telling her spoilers by only the scrape of his teeth.
Bless stared at herself in the mirror in the wardrobe room, with her new outfit. She'd been wearing random clothes, mainly The Doctor's, that she could find until the man himself told her there was a wardrobe in The TARDIS. Her hair was lightly curled and she wore a low necked green vest top with thick straps, black cycling shorts and black ankle trainers. She smiled to herself before leaving the wardrobe and gasping loudly as a woman appeared a few feet next to her down the hallway.
"Sorry," The woman laughed, running a hand through her jet black hair and across her dark skin. "Didn't mean to scare you babe. When did you get back?" Bless just stared at her, horrified and speechless.
"Doctor." She whispered, making the woman frown at her. "DOCTOR!" She screamed.
"Whoah whoah whoah!" The woman started panicking, holding a hand out in front of her as Bless started backing up against the wall.
"DOCTOR!" She screamed once again when The Doctor bolted round the corner with sheer fear on his face, grabbing onto Bless before noticing the woman and sighed with relief.
"You scared me then." The Doctor sighed.
"Doctor..." The woman began slowly, pulling her pyjama top nervously. "What's wrong with her?"
"I should have explained it to you all before you came home."
"It's three in the morning!" The woman spluttered.
"I've just woken up." Bless said nervously. "Who the hell is that woman?" The woman stared at her, hurt before walking up the coridor a few steps and taking the phone that had came out of nowhere off the wall and put it to her ear.
"Everyone in the kitchen, we've got a problem." She muttered before slamming the phone down and stalking off to the kitchen.
"Come on love." The Doctor mumbled, taking Bless' hand and leading her towards the kitchen. She stopped in the doorway as The Doctor walked into the kitchen, leaning against the work surface as everyone else sat around the table. "We've, hit a problem."
"What is wrong with her?" Martha snapped. "What have you done to her?"
"Hey nightingale, relax." Jack said, rubbing his eyes as Mickey put his arm around his wife.
"Dad, do we have to do this now?" Jenny asked groggily, laying her head on Jack's shoulder and her legs across River's lap. "It's the middle of the night." River stared at Bless, biting her lip when suddenly her eyes grew wider. She wripped off her vortex minipulator, throwing it to her, only to be caught slightly. Bless frowned at it before looking at The Doctor.
"She's at the beggining of her timeline," He told his dysfunctional family. "She doesn't know who any of you are yet. Don't take it personally Martha."
"What about Amy and Rory?" River asked. "Do they know who she is yet?"
"But she doesn't?"
"Oi!" Bless exclaimed angrily. "I think I know myself! Better than anyone thank you!" Everyone burst into laughter, making her frown. "You think that's funny?" She asked, raising a eyebrow whilst The Doctor raised a eyebrow at her. "STUFF IT THEN!" She shouted, making everyones faces drop. She quickly strapped the vortex minipulator around her wrist, observing all the buttons. She'd read up in the library about them after The Doctor explained how her life worked and how she'd mainly travel. "I can do things for myself," She shrugged calmly. "I can go off on a adventure by myself and I bet you I can find you again."
Jack smirked, "Ok doll, got one thing for you first." He stood up and took her hand, pulling her through the corridors and pulling open a blue door. The room was small with a hole in the middle, one that was identical to his cubby in the Torchwood hub. He jumped down the hole, and grabbed a blue military jacket identical to his but waist length, before climbing back up again, thrusting it into Bless' hand. "Good luck doll."
"Ok," She muttered as Jack dissapeared out of the room as she fiddled with the vortex minipulator. "How does this work then?"
3 months later...
"Unexpected source in observation deck side storage 3." A voice said over the PA as Bless walked nearby. She sighed and grabbed the small remote hanging down by the wall and pressed the intercom button.
"I'll take a look." She said.
"Bless, you're not staff, we can't let you." The voice replied.
"What's in there?" She asked. The voice sighed and there was a quick tapping. "A..." The voice hesitated. "It's a big blue box, wooden." She dropped the remote and bolted off at full pace down towards side storage 3. "Bless?"
As Bless entered the room, she peered round the side of the TARDIS as a blonde girl and a man stepped out; Rose and the Doctor.
"Where are we?" Rose asked.
"Somewhere about..." He began to calculate when Bless walked round properly.
"It's the year 200 000, this is the fourth great and bountiful human empire and we're on Satellite 5." She said politely to the, who to her were, strangers. The Doctor rolled his eyes and Rose smirked at her. "Blessing." She held her hand out to Rose. Rose eyed it a second before shaking it before The Doctor did too.
"Rose Tyler," Rose laughed, waiting for Bless to give up the act.
"Where's The Doctor?" Bless asked innocently.
"Hello," The Doctor grinned.
"Ohhhhh..." Bless gulped, making Rose snigger. "I've literally only started all of this so-"
"Can I come out now?" Adam's voice called out.
"200 000?" Rose asked. Bless nodded quickly. "Kay." She opened the TARDIS door. "Adam? Out you come." She called in. Adam stepped out slowly, mouth hanging out and looking around.
"Oh my God."
"Don't worry, you'll get used to it."
"Where are we?"
"Good question." Rose nodded, looking around. "Let's see. So, um... judging by the architecture, I'd say we're around the year 200 000. If you listen... engines. We're on some sort of space station. Yeah. Definitely a space station. It's a bit warm in here, they could turn the heating down... Tell you what - let's try that gate." She walked over to the gate and pulled it open. "Come on!" The three of them followed her through into the observation deck. "Here we go! And this is... " The paused, looking out at the Earth. "...I'll let Bless describe it."
Bless stared at her, a little stunned, before starting to explain. "I've been here 3 months now. This is the fourth great and bountiful human empire. And there it is. Planet Earth at it's height. Covered with mega-cities, five moons - population 96 billion. The hub of a galactic domain, stretching across a million planets, a million species - with mankind right in the middle." Adam gulped and rolled his eyes back, fainting to the ground with a girlish sigh, nobody bothering to even turn around.
"He's your boyfriend." The Doctor said.
"Not anymore." Rose sighed.
"Erm... this is gonna sound daft, but can you tell me where I am?" The Doctor asked Bless as they approached two of her friends, Cathica and Suki.
"Floor 139... could they write it any bigger?" Bless laughed.
"Floor 139 of what?"
"Must've been a hell of a party." Cathica said.
"I've told you this," Bless sighed. "We're on Satellite Five."
"What's Satellite Five?" The Doctor asked.
"Come on, how could you get on board without knowing where you are?" Cathica asked.
"Look at me, I'm stupid!"
"Hang on, wait a minute - are you a test?" Suki asked. "Some sort of management test kind of thing?"
"You've got me." The Doctor grinned. "Well done. You're too clever for me." He took the pyschic paper out of his inside pocket, flashing it to Cathica and Suki.
"We were warned about this in basic training. All workers have to be versed in company promotion."
"Right. Fire away, ask your questions. If it gets me to Floor 500 I'll do anything." Cathica said confidently.
"Why, what happens on Floor 500?"
"The walls are made of gold." Bless said sarcastically. "And you should know... Mr. Management. So... this is what we do." She interlocked her fingers with The Doctor's and led him over to the wall covered in TV screens. "Latest news... sandstorms on the new Venus archipelago. Two hundred dead. Glasgow water riots into their third day... spacelane 37 closed by sunspot activity. And over on the Bad Wolf channel, the Face of Boe has just announced he's pregnant." She smiled at him.
"I get it. You broadcast the news." He nodded. "How the hell did you end up here?" He asked Bless. She just smiled at him, shaking her head.
"We ARE the news." Cathica corrected. "We're the journalists. We write it, package it and sell it."
"600 channels all coming out of Satellite Five, broadcasting everywhere." Bless said, nodding at all the televisions.
"Please don't tell me you've got one of those in your head dear." The Doctor muttered to Bless as Suki got into the lift for floor 500.
"Of course not." She frowned.
"Good riddance." Cathica sighed as the lift doors shut.
"You're talking like you'll never see her again. She's only going upstairs." The Doctor said.
"We won't." Bless scoffed. "Once you go to Floor 500 you never come back."
"Have you ever been up there?" The Doctor asked Bless.
"No. You need a key for the lift, and you only get a key with promotion. No one gets to 500 except for the chosen few."
"Humanity's been set back about 90 years - when did Satellite Five start broadcasting?" The Doctor asked as he sat in the spiking chair whilst Bless, Rose and Cathica stood around the edge of the room.
"91 years ago..." Cathica said.
"We're SO gonna get in trouble." Bless said nervously.
"Believe me," The Doctor muttered as he soniced the side of a door with Rose, Bless and Cathica behind him. "When we first met, you dragged me kicking and screaming into more danger than the Time War."
"Note to self, ask about the Time War." Bless whispered to herself.
"You're not allowed to touch the mainframe, you're gonna get told off." Cathica said.
"Rose, tell her to button it." The Doctor muttered.
"You can't just vandalise the place, someone's gonna notice!" Cathica hissed as The Doctor wrenched open the door. "This is nothing to do with me, I'm going back to work." She said, beginning to walk away.
"Go on then! See ya!" She stopped abruptly, turning back towards them.
"I can't just leave you, can I!"
"If you wanna be useful, get 'em to turn the heating down." Rose moaned. "It's boiling. What's wrong with this place, can't they do something about it?"
"I don't know, we keep asking - something to do with the turbine." Cathica muttered.
"Something to do with the turbine." The Doctor said mockingly.
"Well, I don't know!"
"Exactly! I give up on you, Cathica. Now, Rose - look at Rose." Rose smiled at Cathica. "Rose is asking the right kind of questions."
"Oh, thank you." Rose grinned.
"Why is it so hot?" Bless asked.
"One minutes you're worried about the Empire and the next it's the central heating!" Cathica exclaimed.
"Well, never underestimate plumbing. Plumbing's very important." The Doctor said as he snapped a bunch of wires and pulled the screen round to Cathica. "Here we go - Satellite Five. Pipes and plumbing. Look at the layout."
"This is ridiculous. You've got access to the computer's core." She gasped. "You can look at the archive, the news, the stock exchange... and you're looking at pipes?"
"But there's something wrong."
"Why, what is it?" Rose asked.
"The ventilation system." Bless frowned, staring at the screen. "Cooling ducts, ice filters, all working flat out... channelling massive amounts of heat DOWN." They all looked up at the ceiling. "All the way from the top."
"Floor 500." Rose whispered.
"Something up there is generating tonnes and tonnes of heat." The Doctor said.
"Well, I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm missing out on a party. It's all going on upstairs. Fancy a trip?" Rose asked.
"You can't, you need a key." Cathica sighed.
"Keys are just codes, and I've got the codes right here." The Doctor said, tapping a few keys. "Here we go - override 215.9."
"How come it's giving you the code?" The Doctor and Bless looked up at the security camera.
"Someone up there likes him." Bless whispered.
"The walls are not made of gold." The Doctor said as he, Rose and Bless stepped out into floor 500, covered in snow and ice. "You should go back downstairs."
"Tough." Bless whispered. "I waited 3 months to find you again. Like I'm gonna leave you." She grabbed his hand and strode forward with Rose following, through floor 500 and towards the other end, where a man, The Editor, stood with people staring at screens.
"I started without you." The Editor said. "This is fascinating. Satellite Five contains every piece of information within the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. Birth certificates, shopping habits, bank statements, but YOU three... you don't exist!" He laughed, staring at the three of them. "Not a trace! No birth - no job - not the slightest kiss. How can you walk through the world and not leave a single footprint?"
"Suki!" Rose gasped, running over to her, shaking her. "Suki! Hello? Can you hear me? Suki?" She looked up at the Editor. "What've you done to her?"
"I think she's dead." Bless whispered.
"They've all got chips in their head, and the chips keep going. Like puppets." The Doctor said darkly.
"Ohhhh!" The Editor said. "You're full of information! But it's only fair we get information back, because apparently, you're no-one." The Doctor nodded. "It's so rare not to know something. Who are you?"
"It doesn't matter, 'cause we're off. Nice to meet you." He turned to Bless and Rose. "Come on." Suddenly, The Doctor and Bless were restrained by two of the drones and Suki grabbed hold of Rose as she tried to stand.
"Tell me who you are!"
"Since that information's keeping us alive, we're hardly gonna say, am we?" Bless said sarcastically, making The Doctor smirk.
"Well, perhaps my Editor in Chief can convince you otherwise." The Editor said, smiling.
"And who's that?" Bless asked.
"It may interest you to know that this is NOT the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. In fact, it's not actually human at all. It's merely a place where humans happen to live." There was a sudden roar. "Yeah- sorry. It's a place where humans are allowed to live by kind permission of my client." He snapped his fingers and pointed at the ceiling, holding a alien, slobbering lump with sharp snapping teeth, the Jagrafess.
"What is that?" Rose asked nervously.
"You mean, that thing's in charge of Satellite Five?" The Doctor spluttered.
"That 'thing' - as you put it - is in charge of the human race." The Editor said smugly. "For almost a hundred years, mankind has been shaped and guided, his knowledge and ambition strictly controlled by its broadcast news. Edited by my superior - your master - and humanities guiding light - the mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe." The Jagrafess roared loudly. "I call him Max."
"If we create a climate of fear..." The Editor began as The Doctor, Bless and Rose was held up by shackles together. "Then it's easy to keep the borders closed. It's just a matter of emphasis. The right word in the right broadcast repeated often enough can destabilize an economy... invent an enemy... change a vote..."
"So, all the people on Earth are like, slaves. " Rose said.
"Well, now. There's an interesting point. Is a slave a slave if he doesn't know he's enslaved?"
"Yes." The Doctor and Bless said quickly.
"Oh. I was hoping for a philosophical debate. Is that all I'm going to get? 'Yes'?"
The Editor laughed, "You're no fun."
"Let me out of these manacles - you'll find out how much fun I am." The Doctor said darkly.
"Oh, he's tough, isn't he. But, come on. Isn't it a great system? You've got to admire it, just a little bit."
"You can't hide something on this scale. Somebody must've noticed." Rose said.
"From time to time, someone, yes. But the computer system allows me to see inside their brain... I can see the smallest doubt - and crush it." The Editor grinned. "And then they just carry on, living their life. Strutting about downstairs and all over the surface of the Earth like they're SO individual. When of course, they're not. They're just cattle. In that respect, the Jagrafess hasn't changed a thing."
"What about you?" Rose asked. "You're not a Jagra... uh... a..."
"Jagrafess." Bless said.
"Jagrafess. You're not a Jagrafess. You're human."
"Yeah, well simply being human doesn't pay very well." The Editor shrugged.
"But you couldn't have done this all on your own."
"No! I represent a consortium of banks. Money prefers a long-term investment. Also, the Jagrafess needed a little hand to um... install himself."
"No wonder, a creature that size." The Doctor said. "What's his life span?"
"Three thousand years."
"That's one hell of a metabolism generating all that heat. That's why Satellite Five's so hot. You pump it out of the creature, channel it downstairs - Jagrafess stays cool - stays alive. Satellite Five's one great big life support system."
"But THAT'S why you're so dangerous. Knowledge is power, but you remain unknown." The Editor said. He gave a small laugh and clicked his fingers, sending a electric shock through the shackles. "Who are you?" The Doctor screamed out in pain, making Bless and Rose watch nervously.
"Leave them alone!" Bless screamed. "I'm Blessing... Blessing," She frowned a second, remembering she didn't have a surname. "He's the Doctor, she's Rose Tyler, we're nothing, we're just wandering."
"Tell me who you are!" The Editor shouted.
"We just said!" The Doctor argued.
"Yeah, but who do you work for? Who sent you? Who knows about us? Who exactly-" He stopped abruptly and smiled. "Time Lord."
"Oh, yes! The last of the Time Lords in his travelling machine. Oh, with his little human girl from long ago... And his woman."
"Excuse me?" Bless spluttered, jerking her head away as The Editor reached for her face.
"You don't know what you're talking about." The Doctor said bitterly.
"Time travel." The Editor said.
"Someone's been telling you lies."
"Young master Adam Mitchell?" He snapped his fingers and a projection of Adam appeared in the air, him writhing and screaming with information streaming into his head.
"Oh, my God - his head!" Rose gasped.
"What the hell's he done?" The Doctor shouted. "What the hell's he gone and done? They're reading his mind. He's telling them everything!"
"And through him, I know everything about you." The Editor shrugged. "Every piece of information in his head is now mine. And you have infinite knowledge, Doctor. The Human Empire is tiny compared to what you've seen in your T-A-R-D-I-S - TARDIS."
"You'll never get your hands on it. I'll die first."
"Die all you like. I don't need you. I've got the key." The key started to float out of Adam's pocket and dangle in front of his face.
"You and your boyfriends!" The Doctor hissed at Rose. "What was wrong with Mickey?"
"Mickey?" Bless muttered to herself.
"Today, WE are the headlines." The Editor said. "We can rewrite history. We could prevent mankind from ever developing."
"And no-one's gonna stop you." The Doctor said nervously. "Because you've bred a human race that doesn't bother to ask questions. Stupid little slaves, believing every lie. They'll just trot right into the slaughter house if they're told it's made of gold." Suddenly a alarm started to blare out."
"What's happening?" The Editor asked as the projection showed the key drop. "Someone's disengaged the safety." He clicked his fingers and the projection flickered to show Cathica with compressed information flowing into her brain. "Who's that?!"
"It's Cathica!" Bless laughed. "That's my girl!"
"And she's thinking. She's using what she knows!" The Doctor said.
"Terminate her access." The Editor hissed to Suki.
"Everything I told her about Satellite Five - the pipes - the filters - she's reversing it! Look at that..." The Doctor laughed. "It's getting hot."
"I said, terminate!" He squashed his hands onto Suki's. "Burn her mind." Alarms started to blare, screens exploded and Bless' shackles became undone.
"Where's the sonic?" She asked, shovelling her hand into The Doctor's pocket, pulling out the sonic and quickly sonicing his and Rose's shackles.
"She's venting the heat up here. The Jagrafess needs to stay cool and now it's sitting on top of a volcano." The Doctor laughed as the Jagrafess roared. "It's gonna go bang."
"Well move idiot!" Bless exclaimed, pulling at The Doctor and Rose's arms.
"I better get going," Bless laughed, holding up her vortex minipulator as they stood back on floor 139. "Got things to do."
"Goodbye you." The Doctor said with a wink as Bless pressed teleport, and dissapeared.
Bless reappeared in The TARDIS, the same day she had left. Everyone had finally slept through to the morning, and gone through the day, including a quick trip to the pub in 5019 with Shakespeare, where he for the second time tried to woo Martha, much to Mickey's annoyment and Jack's amusment.
"3 months!" She called out, walking across the console room and into the hallways. "3 months, on my own, on Satellite 5!" She walked into the kitchen and jumped up on the work surface, looking at The Doctor, Jack, Jenny, Martha and Mickey around the kitchen table. "And here you are. All of ya."
"There's more of us." Jack smirked.
"Really?" She exclaimed.
The Doctor nodded, "In our little family," Bless' eyes grew bigger. "There's us," He gestured to everyone sitting round the table and to her. "Donna, John, The Ponds. You're in for a ride." He grinned at her.
"Family?" Bless asked slowly.
"Bless how long has it been since you saw us?" River asked.
"And what happened the last time you saw us?" Mickey asked.
"I freaked out at Martha and Jack gave me a jacket." She said, pulling on the lapels. "Then about 3 months before we'd just escaped the Asylum."
"Oh." The Doctor muttered.
"It's weird seeing you so young." Jack smirked.
"You can talk." Jenny laughed as Bless sighed, jumping off the work surface and through the hallways.
"Nice one." Martha muttered.
Bless walked into the console room and down the steps, pulling the scanner round.
"England, 2022." She sighed, letting go and walking out of the doors, slamming them behind her.
"Hello you." She looked up to find herself in someone's garden. She frowned, looking at the open glass patio door. She quickly trotted up to the door and inside. She stepped into the kitchen to see Rory leaning against the fridge.
"Rory!" She grinned, rushing forward and hugging him. "I've missed you." She let go of him and grinned. "Where's Amy?"
"The Doctor dropped her at some space spa with Melody."
"Who's Melody?" She frowned.
Rory chuckled, placing a kiss to her forehead, "Spoilers."
"Sorry, I had to get out of there." She sighed, turning and leaning against the fridge next to him. "The Doctor was going on about this family of ours and it was just a bit much... I've not exactly had a life you know?" He nodded. "The last time I saw you was at the Asylum. I've literally only come back from The Doctor's past."
"You're way too early in your timeline for all of this." Rory said, shaking his head. "He knows that."
"Does he have children?"
Rory stopped for a second, "Well, he's got Jenny, she's his daughter."
"How could he do that? After all that danger I faced today, I could never have kids because of what I have to do!"
"You're saying you don't want to have kids?" Rory asked quietly.
"I don't think I could." She sighed. "What about Jenny's mother, doesn't she have a say in it?"
"She's not exactly... around, it's a long story."
"Could you do it though?" She asked, looking into his eyes. "Could you and Amy have children knowing with the way The Doctor's life goes, they could get hurt or kidnapped." Rory blinked, about to say something when-
"Come on Mr Pond!" They looked round to see The Doctor popping his head in the door. "We need to go track down a chicken for Casanova!"