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Doctor Who- The Eternal Fallacy

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Nemesis, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    Yep, another Doctor Who fic. Not sure if I'm going to get this finished, but I hope so, I really like the idea. The pacing might be a bit off, but I am trying to go with the pacing of an episode.

    "It's been a while, hasn't it?" The Doctor said softly, stroking the TARDIS console with the palm of his hand as it hummed gently. "I guess I sometimes forget you need a rest old girl." He smiled, ruffling his wild brown hair. "Good excuse for me to take a break too, I suppose." He continued, grabbing his long coat from the TARDIS handrail, his attention still on the central column of the machine. "Not that I need one, you understand," he said, shrugging the coat over his shoulders. "But I have some good memories of this place." He stopped for a moment, tilting his head to one side thoughtfully. "Well," he started again, stretching the word through his mouth as he spoke, "Good memories, bad memories, same thing I suppose. For me anyway." He looked from side to side around the TARDIS, noting the empty room, the silence broken only by the humming of the TARDIS console. "Talking to myself again. Must stop doing that. First sign of madness." The Doctor ruffled his hair again.

    "No, can't be the first, I have plenty of other signs of that." He stopped, buttoning his coat up over his blue suit as he walked towards the TARDIS door. "Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Cardiff!"

    The blue door of the TARDIS opened with a creak, revealing the bright Cardiff summer day. The Doctor smiled at its familiarity, the light bursting down on Roald Dahl Plass, the water tower, the flying cars, people hurriedly getting on with their business. The Doctor continued to look around, a grin on his face, until it very suddenly fell in to a puzzled expression.

    "Hold on? Flying cars?"

    He looked up again, this time taking more notice of the silver vehicles soaring through the sky, seemingly narrowly missing each other as they headed across the city. He followed one through the sky with his gaze, wondering when it was he had landed, when something else took his attention.

    The car he was following was flying past a huge advertising billboard in the sky, just like the ones he had seen on thousands of planets, through so many time periods. The board depicted a smiling family, mother, father, son, daughter, all laughing together. And beneath them, in large letters, emblazoned across the Cardiff skyline was one question. A question that bore fear in to the Doctor's hearts.

    "Do you want to live forever?"

    **



    [size=18pt]
    Doctor Who
    The Eternal Fallacy
    [/size]


    **


    "What do you mean, a blue box?" The man said, his tone slightly surprised as the information was relayed through his headpiece. Quickly, his hands ran over the set of keys in front of him, taping keys until the monitor in front of him flashed to life. On it was an image of Roald Dahl Plass. The figure squinted at the screen intently, focusing on the image, specifically the spot just in front of the Millennium Theatre. After a few moments he saw it, an odd, old looking blue box standing on the spot that didn't exist.

    "Yes, I see it." He eventually replied. "How should I know? Just get it moved!" He fell silent for a moment as the voice on the other end replied. "No, it can't be a coincidence. No one knows that spot exists! That's the point of it! Now get that thing moved and keep surveillance on the entrance, look out for whoever might be going back for their box!"

    **

    "Live forever?" The Doctor repeated, pulling his glasses from his coat pocket. He wasn't quite sure why, he wasn't concentrating on anything up close, like when he usually used them, but they did help him to think. "Not just longer? But forever?"

    "I know!" Came a female voice from beside him. "Isn't it wonderful?"
    "Is it?" The Doctor replied, looking over his glasses and turning to the right to see a young brunette woman, quite a bit shorter than him, but then again, many people were. "I mean, living a bit longer, yeah, I can see that, but forever? Who would want that? And, more importantly, how can they offer this?"

    The girl looked up at him, her face blank, apparently overwhelmed by his short rant. Suddenly, the Doctor's expression changed to a large grin.

    "I'm sorry!" He exclaimed, placing his glasses in his pocket. "I'm the Doctor. And you are?"
    "Just," She was quickly interrupted by a smiling Doctor.
    "Yep, just the Doctor!"
    "Ok then, Doctor." She smiled, a little uncertainly, "I'm Susan."

    There it was. That short sharp jolt of, well, of something, shooting through his hearts. It was very rare that he felt that nowadays, but every now and again he would experience something to trigger it off again.

    "Nice to meet you Susan." The Doctor replied, his voice a little more somber than he had intended. "So, can you tell me about that billboard? Oh, and more importantly, silly question maybe, but what year is this?"

    Susan looked at the Doctor, an even more confused expression on her face.
    "It's 2211. Look, I'm sorry Doctor," She smiled, a sweet, soft smile that made the Doctor want to smile himself. "I really have to be going. I'm on my way to the hospital, to visit my Grandfather."

    Grandfather.

    "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." He said, with all sincerity, looking at her with those big brown eyes. "What's wrong with him? If you don't mind me asking."

    "No," She smiled. "He's part way through the treatment."

    "Treatment?" The Doctor asked quietly, before realizing where her gaze had moved to. "Let me guess, your Grandfather is going to live forever?"

    **

    As the Doctor quickly walked away from the Plass, Susan by his side patiently answering his questions, the crowd parted as a large truck hovered above the ground, stopping suddenly and descending until it was resting on the cobbled street. Quickly, the rear doors opened, and a smaller vehicle emerged from within, a forklift truck, rolling forward on its traditional style tires from the back of the truck.

    "What is it we have come to get again?" Asked a man, climbing from the passenger side of the truck. He dusted down his silver uniform, mostly plain, apart from two black stripes across each arm, as he walked around the truck to meet his partner, who was dressed in an identical uniform.

    "That box, remember!" The second man impatiently, pointing behind him. "Just concentrate on that spot, just tell yourself it's there. The blue box is there."

    "But not for long apparently." The first man added chuckling. "Right, ok, I've got it. It keeps darting out of my line of sight, but I think I have it." He added, climbing in to the driving seat of the forklift. "Let's get this thing out of here."

    **

    "So," The Doctor said cheerily, but with a hidden hint of worry in his voice, "Why is it your Grandfather is under going this ‘treatment'." Susan looked up at him, a look of sadness in those eyes that had been so happy, so full of hope since the two had met.
    "He's just getting old." She said, looking down at the floor. "He is such a great man, so loving caring, has never hurt a single living thing in his life. He deserves it. No matter what it costs."

    "Of course." The Doctor said quietly. "A cost. Feeding on the human fear of life ending, of loosing those close to you. Let me guess, this ‘treatment' isn't cheap?"
    "No." Susan replied, shaking her head. "But he's worth it. Have you never felt like that Doctor? Have you never had someone who you would give anything to save, to keep them alive for even one more day?"

    The Doctor stopped walking suddenly, thoughts of the past creeping in to his head. Holding Jenny in his arms as she slowly lost her fight. The look the Master gave him as he chose not to regenerate, out of spite.

    "Yes, Susan. I have." He started walking again, following Susans' lead. It still didn't make any sense. There was no way that there was any technology in this time period that could offer anything like an eternal life, especially not in Cardiff of all places. There was, and probably only ever would be, one man would could live forever in Cardiff. Speaking of which, where was Jack? Surely with something like this going on Torchwood would have gotten involved. If they were still here of course. Knowing Jack he might have met a young woman, or man, or both, and galloped off across the Universe somewhere. Not that the Doctor could blame him, it's how he lived his life after all.

    "So how is your Grandfather doing?" The Doctor said, the cheerful tone back in his voice. "Does this treatment take much time?"
    "They say it's instantaneous." Susan replied, "But they are keeping him in for observation, the formula is still in the early stages."
    "He's doing ok though?" The Doctor asked inquisitively, "No side effects?"
    "Well," the young woman replied, looking to the Doctor, "He says these really …odd things sometimes."
    "The Doctor titled his head a little. "Odd things?"
    "Yeah. He drifts in and out of these odd trance like states. Comes up with these odd little phrases. There's one he says the most though, that's the oddest one."
    "Oh?"
    Susan turned away from him again.
    The Doctor stopped walking, taking hold of Susan's hand and facing her, looking her in the eyes. "Susan, what does he say?"
    "It's nothing, just hysteria bought on by the formula."
    The Doctor looked down at her warm, caring eyes.
    "Susan. What does your Grandfather say?"
    "He says he is waiting for the right kind of Doctor."

    **
     
    #1 Nemesis, Mar 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  2. The prospect of living forever is such a mixed bag. I do hope you carry on with this story of yours, it looks to be very interesting. I can imagine a long, philosophical rhetoric on the problems of eternal life, not coming from the Doctor either.

    Also you've very well captured Tennant's Doctor as well I think. I really can picture him squinting through those glasses at a giant billboard :)
     
  3. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    **

    "Blue box?" The man said loudly, standing up from his desk. His old face showed signs of worry as he news was relayed to him through his earpiece. "Are you sure?" He paused momentarily for the reply. "Then why wasn't I told sooner?" He growled, pulling at the bottom of his black jacket and unconsciously playing with the red trim. "Do you not know what this means? He's here!"

    The man pulled his chair from his desk as he walked from it, across the silver floor towards the grand wooden door of the office. Along the walls were several photographs, each containing pictures of groups of around four to five people. As his contact spoke, he concentrated on one picture particularly. Five people, standing together smiling. A Japanese woman, next to her another woman, her black hair falling just over her shoulder. On the other side stood too men, one with a pale, skinny face, the other very well dressed in a suit. In between the two sets of people stood a main in a long blue coat, his confident smile beaming from the picture.

    "Who do you think I mean?" He continued, anger rising in his voice. "The Doctor is here!"

    Pressing a button on his earpiece to end the conversation, the man hurried from the room. Sensors throughout acknowledged him leaving and turned off the lights. Moments later the computer screen dimmed, setting itself to standby mode. As it did the screensaver appeared.

    A black screen, emblazoned in the middle with a set of red hexagons, arranged together to resemble a large "T".

    **

    "So, if you're a doctor," Susan asked as the pair continued their walk through Cardiff, "How come you don't know about the treatment? I thought it was huge news?"
    "Well," The Doctor said, tilting his head from side to side as he decided which excuse to use this time. "I've been out of town for a while." He spoke up as a car flew overhead, its engine noises almost drowning him out. "Quite a while, come to mention it."
    "What brings you here then?" Susan asked, the smile back on her face now.
    "Just a fuel stop." The Doctor grinned. "And thought I might visit an old friend whilst I was here."
    "Oh." Susan said, her gaze darting to the ground. "And here's me dragging you along to see Grandfather. Sorry, I should let you go and see your friend."
    The Doctor leant in front of Susan, to catch her gaze again, before flailing his hands out in front of him.
    "Look! No dragging going on here! I want to come and meet your Grandfather. Professional interest and all that. And he sounds like a great man." The Doctor knew he was lying a little bit. However nice Susan's grandfather was, he had to admit that the prospect of an unknown company offering eternal life was higher up on his list of priorities.
    "Oh he is." She smiled. "Always so jolly. When I was young," she continued, "He used to have this big beard and I used to actually think he was Santa Claus!" She let out a small embarrassed giggle.
    The Doctor looked thoughtful.
    "Santa? Oh I've met him. Not as jolly as they say."
    Susan looked at him for a moment, a look of sheer confusion on her face, before breaking in to a short smile."What about your friend?"
    "Oh, he'll be here when I'm done." The Doctor replied chirpily. "That's Jack, always here!" There it was again, another little white lie. Jack wouldn't really have just let something like this go on, would he?
    "Ok then." Susan replied, smiling again. "I'm sure Grandfather will be pleased to see a new face after all these weeks. He doesn't really like his own doctors."
    "Bad bedside manner eh?" The Doctor grinned. "Well, I've never had any complaints."
    "I'm sure you haven't." Susan replied cheekily, cocking an eyebrow at the Time Lord.
    "I didn't…not like," The Doctor stumbled over his words. "Anyway, where's this hospital?"
    Susan chuckled slightly, before pointing across the street at a large building.
    "Should have known." The Doctor thought to himself. "Very clinical."
    A few people were entering the hospital, the doors sliding open to allow them to enter. The Doctor stopped suddenly as he caught a glimpse of the logo through the doors.

    A black square, with a large red letter made up of hexagons. Below, a single line of text identifying the company who owned the hospital.

    "No," The Doctor said, shaking his head as the doors slid closed. "No, no, no."
    "What is it?" Susan asked, turning around to face the Doctor. "What's the matter."

    People barged around him as the Doctor stood still, taking in what he had seen. High above at the top of the building stood the same billboard he had seen from the Plass. Although this building was new, it seemed some things never changed. The streets were still packed, people were rude, and there was still an organization dealing with alien artifacts hidden in Cardiff. Although it seemed they were not so hidden anymore.

    "Doctor, what is it?"
    Still staring intently, he stressfully threw his hand through his hair and down his face.
    "Torchwood."

    **

    Inside, the hospital bore a large similarity to Torchwood London, even despite the time gap. The over bearing nice attitude that seemed to emanate throughout the sprawling corridors and rooms of the hospital, even the décor bought back memories. Those plain white walls.

    He pressed himself tightly against the wall where the hole in to the Void had been moments before. The portal to nothingness that Rose had been hurtling towards. But she was ok. Pete had caught her. He'd seen it, She was ok. Locked in a parallel universe, but she was ok. She had to be.

    "Doctor." He was bought back by Susan's soft voice as she guided him towards her Grandfathers room. "What was wrong out there? What's wrong with Torchwood?"

    "Oh, that." The Doctor hesitated, once again formulating his next sentence in his head. He seemed to do that often. Much to often. Part of him wanted to tell Susan everything, about how Torchwood couldn't be trusted, about how this had to be some scam, probably involving alien technology and ending the world or universe in some way or another. He stopped himself though. She wasn't anything to do with this. She was a young girl desperate to help her Grandfather live a little longer. She had said forever, but did she really acknowledge what that meant? Did she realize that eventually, she would be gone, her children, even her grandchildren would be gone and her grandfather would still be here watching them all wither and die whilst he remained? Of course not. And why should she? She hadn't gotten herself or her grandfather involved in this out of selfish reasons. Well, the Doctor thought quickly, maybe a little, but only because she was afraid. Susan didn't want to blow up the planet or take over the universe.

    He didn't think so, anyway. How could she? She had such a nice smile. Mind you, could be a Slitheen.

    No, not a Slitheen, too skinny for a Slitheen.

    The Doctor raised his eyebrows high as he realized that he had been silent for much to long.
    "An old friend of mine started Torchwood, that's all." The Doctor lied again. "Small company, only the three of them. Well, that's what he said. Never did know with Jack. Anyway, was a bit of a shock, didn't know they were involved in this sort of thing. What would my old mate Jack know about living forever?" Now, the Doctor thought to himself, that was a biggee. Well, if he was going to lie, why no treat himself a little bit. Afterall, there wasn't much of his life that was a lie. Crazy enough to be maybe, but it was normally true.

    "Just in here." Susan said, her face the brightest the Doctor had seen all afternoon. He'd been right, he thought. No world domination plans here. Made a change.

    No, that wasn't fair. He had met plenty of good people on his travels. Rose, Martha, Donna, Jack. Hmm, Jack. He would have to judge that one later, after a bit of snooping. One of his favorite things, snooping. Right after jiggery pockery.

    The Doctor waited as Susan entered a code on the keypad next to the door, and it slid open. Following her in, the Doctor couldn't help but smile. Sitting up in a bed situated in the middle of the huge room was quite possibly the jolliest looking man the Doctor had ever seen, particularly for someone in a hospital. Maybe he had been to the little shop. Thinking of which, was there even one? The Doctor didn't imagine Torchwood had much time for shops. Well, maybe Jack's Torchwood would, but the Doctor wasn't quite sure he wanted to know what they would be selling.

    As he acknowledged his visitors, an even wider smile spread across the old mans face.
    "Susan!" He beamed, raising his arms, indicating he expected a hug from his granddaughter. The Doctor smiled as she happily obliged, more than aware that his presence hadn't been noticed yet. As he stood silently, his hands in his pockets, the Doctor realized why people had chosen to accept the offer of eternal life, why they had wanted to believe in it so much.

    As he hugged Susan tightly, he caught her Grandfather's eye.
    "And who do we have here then?" She said loudly, releasing the girl from his arms. "New boyfriend?" He chuckled, as Susan blushed slightly.
    "No Granddad," She said sheepishly, avoiding the Doctor's glance. "This is..Grandad?" She stopped as the smile seemed to be wiped from his face in an instant, leaving just a vacant look. Even in his eyes, it was as if there was nothing there.

    "Grandad?"
    "Susan," The Doctor said softly, walking towards the bed. "Is this what you meant by the trances?" She replied only with a nod, looking up slightly as the Doctor put his arm round her shoulder.
    "Better not let him wake up and see us like this." Susan smiled weakly. "He really will think my luck is in!" Realizing what she had said, Susan looked away quickly, stepping away from the Doctor.
    "Uh, yeah." The Doctor said awkwardly, removing his long coat and placing it over the back of a sterile looking white chair.

    "Susan." Came the weak voice of her Grandfather, still sitting motionless in his bed, as the young girl leant towards him. "I need the doctor."
    "Ok Granddad, I'll get him. Just hold on." She turned to the Doctor. "Can you wait with him for me?"
    "Of course." He smiled as she left the room and headed down the corridor.

    "Doctor." The old man whispered, no hint of emotion in his voice. "I need the doctor."
    "Susan's just gone to get her." The Doctor replied, pulling the chair closer to the bed. "Won't be long now."
    "No, I need the doctor."
    "She's coming, trust me, the doctor is coming."
    "No. I need the Doctor. The right kind of Doctor."
    The Doctor lent back slightly, staring intently at the old man.
    "What do you mean, the right kind of doctor? What's wrong, what's happening?"

    "Doctor!"

    It came not as a whisper like before, but as a shout, a sharp cry for help. The Doctor was used to people calling his name, but they usually knew him. Was he just being self indulgent again, or was this old man really asking for his help rather than that of a medical doctor? There was something else though, something he recognized on that shout. Something that wasn't present when the man was speaking before. What was it? An American accent perhaps?

    "Doctor!"
    "I'm here, I'm here." He replied. "I'll try and help, I just need to know what's wrong. How do you know me?"

    "If you don't mind," Came a voice from the doorway, "I'll be the one to see to my patient."

    The Doctor looked behind him to see Susan standing with a female doctor, her blonde hair running to part way down her back.

    "Now, if you don't mind." The doctor said, rather indignantly, "I need privacy with my patient, so I am going to have to ask you to leave. Family only."

    The Doctor looked at Susan who gave him a look that he assumed was meant to be ‘sorry' and ‘thanks' all in one.
    "Of course." He said politely, gathering up his coat and heading towards the door. "Nice meeting you Susan. See you soon, I'm sure." He winked, before secretly kicking himself. Shouldn't have done that, he thought. Don't want to encourage her. Not any more, anyway.

    Although he didn't trust this doctor, being thrown out gave him an excuse to snoop. He loved to snoop after all.

    As the Doctor went to close the door behind him, he heard one last cry and was certain that there was something in that shout that he recognized, that he had heard many times before.

    "Doctor!"
     
    #3 Nemesis, Mar 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  4. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    **
    "If the Doctor is in Cardiff," The man said into his earpiece, idly playing at his wispy grey hair as he walked down the white sterile corridors which ran along the top floor of the hospital., "Then he will no doubt have taken an interest in us. All the files mention a connection between Torchwood Cardiff and the Doctor, mainly due to a close relationship between him and our.." He paused for a moment, thinking of the next word. "Benefactor. Yes, it seems the Doctor and Captain Harkness have a bit of history. We can use that. Imagine, with the Doctor's help we could neutralize the one flaw in the formula."

    **

    The Doctor looked around his surroundings which a touch of annoyance. How was anyone meant to snoop around here, proper, serious snooping, if Torchwood allowed everyone in everywhere? All the doors he tried were unlocked, so the Doctor left them. No one ever kept information, the type of information he was looking for anyway, in an unlocked room. All he longed for was one of those signs, the type that might as well jump up and down shouting "There's something you don't want to see in here!"

    Keep out, no entry, staff only. Any would do, the Doctor thought as he passed yet another set of doors to private rooms. They were all occupied, he noticed. When he shut this operation down, not if, when, they would all go back to leaving their normal human lives. Back to the cycle of life and death. Not all of them would thank him, maybe none of them would, but only because they wouldn't realize what he was sparing them from. His own life wasn't eternal by any sense of the word, but it was long enough. Too long, if he told the truth. He imagined a nice life, seventy, eighty years or so, a normal life, punctuated with those normal, human, events. Birth, love death. He had seen a glimpse of it, not so long ago, but had to face the fact that it was not a life he could embrace.

    He loved his life, he had to admit, but given the choice, if the decision had no repercussions on the universe, deep down he knew what he would choose. But that was because he knew what he was choosing between. An informed decision. Not like these people. They were choosing an option that they didn't understand, undoubtly only told about the benefits of living forever. Throughout the history of the human race people had searched for the key to eternal life but never understood just what it meant, not really. The Eternal Fallacy.

    Ooh, the Doctor thought. That's a good one. If Rose were here, or Donna, or Martha, now, they would have been impressed. Well, maybe Rose and Martha. Donna would have mocked him for getting ‘deep' and ‘philosophical'.

    The Doctor reached the end of the corridor, looking to the identical paths leading left and right. That was another thing his traveling partners were good for. Always off getting lost or captured, so the Doctor had to go and find them, usually leading him to just what he was looking for. Not this time though. This time the Doctor would have to find whatever it was he was looking for himself.

    **

    If only he knew.

    "Doctor…" The whispered words were barely audible outside of the large glass tank, the Torchwood agent sitting at the computer post didn't even look up.

    All around him, the golden energy flowed around him, just as it always did, fading only as his eyelids clamped shut yet again.

    Eternal death.


    ""This is Agent Kells." The agent, a young man, no older than mid-twenties, said in to his earpiece, looking up at the large tube in the middle of the darkened room. "Yes, he's died again. Going on recent data, it will be around thirty seconds before he wake again." Kells kept his eyes on the tank, as the figure inside let out an inaudible gasp, his eyes snapping open. "Sir, he's back."

    Eternal life.


    He so desperately wanted to shout out, but even if he could he knew no one would hear. Especially not the one person who could help him.

    "Doctor!"
     
    #4 Nemesis, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  5. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    "Who was that man?" The blonde doctor asked Susan, as she studied a se of screens sitting next to the bed, taking in the various sets of information being relayed through them.

    "Just," Susan started, a little uncertain if she knew he was himself. "A friend." She faked a smile. "A friend of Grandfathers. Just came to visit."

    "How nice." The doctor, Ellis Susan seemed to remember her name was, replied uninterestingly, her gaze not moving from the screen.
    Susan looked to her Grandfather, apparently asleep now. At least she wouldn't have to explain herself to him. Not that she knew what she would say anyway, it was hard enough to justify the lie herself, let alone to anyone else. She didn't know why she had done it, other than the fact that she trusted the Doctor. Not like the staff around here, she looked to Doctor Ellis who was still staring intently at the set of monitors. She hadn't even tried to speak to her Grandfather yet, for half an hour now she had just stood at the computers almost silently, breaking it only to ask Susan about the Doctor. Susan noticed her press a series of buttons, and moments later a shimmering golden fluid flowed from the machine sitting directly next to her Grandfathers bed. She followed it with her eyes as it traveled along the attached tube until it entered her Grandfathers body. Susan looked away, she'd not seen the treatment in progress before. She coped badly enough with the thought of needles, let alone some odd fluid being pumped in to her body, any body. Ellis, however, seemed completely unphased, not reacting at all. She's used to it, Susan reasoned to herself.

    The doctor did react however, when the old man suddenly bolted upright in the bed.

    "Doctor!" He shouted, as Susan jumped back. That wasn't her Grandfathers voice, was it? "Doctor!"

    Ellis turned to Susan's Grandfather for the first time, a look of annoyance on her face.
    "I'm here." She snapped. "What is it?"

    "No!" The voice was slightly different again, more fierce, more like an order than a cry for help. "I need the Doctor! Doctor! Doctor!"

    "Grandfather!" Susan cried, perching at the side of his bed. "What's wrong with him?"
    "Nothing." Ellis replied indignantly. "I've seen it many times before, just a cry for attention." She tapped at more buttons, stopping the flow of liquid through the tube. Susan looked on as her Grandfather shook a little, giving out one last cry before he drifted back to unconsciousness.

    "DOCTOR!"

    **

    "Ah ha!" The Doctor let out a triumphant yell. "No admittance! Brilliant!" He looked over the silver door, no sign of a handle, just a keypad on the wall to the left, stepping forward, after checking over his shoulder, the Doctor gave it a slight push before tutting at himself. "Why is it," he sighed, reaching in to his coat pocket, "that after over 900 years of doing this, I still haven't learnt that there's no point in checking the doors?" The Sonic Screwdriver let out a high pitched buzz as the Doctor held its glowing blue tip to the keypad, which emitted a series of blips and beeps before the door gave a loud click. He looked down the corridor once again. No cameras, he noted. That wasn't like Torchwood, the Doctor thought to himself. Or maybe it was. Well, Torchwood London anyway. So overconfident, so secure in the feeling that they could do no wrong. Maybe they simply felt they didn't need cameras because no one was going to want to sabotage their little eternal life project. Well, who would?

    "Then they weren't betting on me." The Doctor whispered to himself. "Big mistake."

    The Doctor gave one last look at the sign on the door as he pushed it open.
    "Sorry," He shrugged, "but I never pay much attention to signs myself. No offence of course." He paused, holding the door half open as a sudden wave of realization hit him. "I'm talking to a sign."

    The corridors looked identical to those of the wards downstairs, except with fewer doors. No doors in fact, just a long straight corridor, leading to an elevator. The Doctor looked closely at the buttons on the outside of the elevator door.

    "Hmm. Labs or offices." The Doctor looked up slightly, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Both sound so tempting." He pondered. "What happened to up and down? A nice, simple uninformed choice."

    **

    Throughout the Torchwood Hospital, communications systems were alive, buzzing with activity.

    "Code Red. All security personnel be on the lookout for a man calling himself the Doctor."

    "Any personnel who witness the presence of the Doctor are instructed to initiate security protocol 2 without hesitation."

    "Security team Theta are instructed to lock down storage room A6 immediately. Any attempt to enter should be immediately reported and security protocol 2 instigated."


    **

    The Doctor shifted his weight impatiently as the lift smoothly descended. The decision hadn't been an easy one for his overly inquisitive mind. Offices quite often held answers, paperwork, computer files, that kind of thing, where as labs, labs held the possibility for brand new discoveries. Probably quite horrifying possibilities, considering the circumstances.

    Eternal life wasn't going to be some herbal remedy; he knew that, he just hoped that some of his suspicions didn't prove to be true. They couldn't be. His judgment of character was better than that, surely? Mind you, he thought, two hundred years was a long time, the amount of time that could change people, even Jack.

    There was another explanation though, but the Doctor preferred to keep that one out of his head for as long as he could.

    Even still, the Doctor wasn't going to give up the opportunity to discover something new, something that held the possibility to be a fantastic leap of science. No matter how unethical it was, offering eternal life to those desperate for a way to carry on, his curiosity had gotten the better of him. Not for the first time, the Doctor thought to himself. He knew it was sometimes his biggest downfall, but even still he once again let his curiosity take hold when he pushed to button to send the lift down to the labs.

    After what seemed like an eternity, quite an ironic thought, the Doctor quickly realised, the elevator doors slid open. Unsurprisingly, this floor also had the same white and sterile décor of those he had visited previously. Quite right too, it was a lab after all.

    Straight ahead, just a few steps from the elevator, was a lightweight door, with one large window set in the center. Peering through, making no effort to hide himself, the Doctor noted the dimmed lights.
    "No one home?" He enquired to no one in particular. "Guess I'll just have to let myself in." He paused, pulling the Sonic Screwdriver from his coat pocket. "No change there then." He waved the screwdriver over the lock of the door, a regular key lock this time, the Doctor observed, presumably for more security. Or just left over from whatever this building used to be before Torchwood took it over.

    After a few moments the door slid open. The Doctor instinctively pulled his glasses from his suit pocket, popping the screwdriver back in one swift movement, before putting them on, balancing them perfectly near the end of his nose. He hadn't seen anything of interest yet, but over 900 years experience told him it was probably time for the brainy specs. Looking around, it quickly seemed that he was right. The room was full of individual workstations, all with their own computers, monitors and various pieces of scientific apparatus. The Doctor recognized the vast majority of them, slightly futuristic variations on twenty-first century Earth equipment. Each monitor hummed slightly, on a low power setting, the Doctor had quickly deduced. Squinting slightly in the dim light, the Doctor stepped towards the nearest desk, his attention quickly drawn to a lone test-tube standing in a metal rack. He paused for a moment, a slight expression of shock on his face. Inside the glass tube stands of golden energy danced about, twisting around each other constantly.

    The Doctor crouched down, leaning towards the test tube rack before slowly picking it up, the golden aura emitted from it flickering over his hand. He tipped the tube slightly, staring intensely at the contents. It couldn't be what he thought it was, could it? He was about the get his answer, however, as he turned the tube around in his hand, revealing the black printed lettering on the glass tube.

    HARKNESS FORMULA

    "Oh Jack." The Doctor sighed, shaking his head. Something inside of him wanted to explode, to throw the tube across the room, to turn the whole place upside down. He should have known better than to trust Jack Harkness, a voice shouted inside his head. A con man, that's all his was when the pair had met, and it seemed that was what he still was.

    Realising how tightly he was now gripping the tube, the Doctor tried to calm himself. How many times had he told Rose, Martha or Donna not to jump to conclusions? See the bigger picture, he'd have said. Yet, right at this moment he was doing the exact opposite. He knew better than this. Jack had changed, the Doctor knew this. He thought back to their discussion at the end of the universe. Would Jack really want to give anyone the ‘gift' of eternal life? Would he want to pass on that curse?

    The Doctor looked up suddenly, a thought suddenly jumping in to his head. He had broken in to a top secret lab, supposedly containing a formula which gave eternal life. Yet, the only sound in the room was the slight hum of the computer monitors, no alarms, no motion sensitive lights. It seemed odd, the lab being so empty, so quiet. Come to think of it, what sort of organization would leave a formula like that out in the open with a big label on it? If he didn't know better, the Doctor would have said it was a trap.

    And, of course, the Doctor did know better.

    Quickly slipping the glowing test-tube in to the pocket of his long brown coat, the Doctor got to his feet before hurriedly heading towards the door he had come through.

    "Three." The Doctor counted under his breath, "Two." So, he thought, maybe his life was becoming a bit predictable. "One." He span round on the spot quickly, as a door on the other side of the room slid open, revealing a bright light from beyond, masking a group of around six Torchwood agents. The half dozen men moved forward quickly, in formation, taking position with their weapons poised. From behind them stepped another man, much older, the Doctor noticed. The suit he was wearing suggested he was in charge, a little individualism among the black uniforms of his soldiers.

    "Hello Doctor." The main said, a slight grin breaking across his wrinkled face. "My name is Aubrey Wittgen. How very nice to meet you at long last. "

    "I would say the same," The Doctor answered, taking the glasses from his face and fiddling with them in his hand, "but it's always hard to enjoy meeting someone when they have half a dozen guns pointing at you."

    "Oh, of course." Wittgen said gently. "Weapons down." In unison, the soldiers lowered their small guns. The Doctor quickly took note that they seemed a little antique for this time period. A leaf out of Jack's book maybe? "Just a formality, you understand." He continued, giving the Doctor a sickly smile.

    "The only thing I understand about guns," The Doctor snapped, "is that when they are around, people get hurt and people die."
    "That isn't going to happen." The old man replied, adjusting his suit. "Besides," he grinned, "even if you were shot, you wouldn't die, would you Doctor?"
    "I could, if I wanted too." He said, looking Aubrey straight in the eyes, he knew where this was going.
    "But why would you want to?" He stepped forward. "You have the power to live on, past death, Doctor. Yet you want to stop us from offering the same? You deny mankind the power of immortality? Is that not hypocritical?"

    All thoughts of an escape popped from the Doctor's head for a moment.
    "The power of immortality?" The Doctor shouted incredulously. "That's," he hesitated, moving his head from side to side slightly as he looked for the right term. "That's just," This wasn't looking very impressive, he thought to himself. "It's just one lie, a desire for something without knowing what it truly is you are looking for." That's better, the Doctor thought. "You may be able to make people live forever, but with what cost?"

    "If you mean the money," Wittgen replied, "I think you will find it is appropriate given our services." He quickly saw the Doctor's face twist in to a snarl of anger.
    "Of course I don't mean the money!" He roared. "A price doesn't always mean money! What about those your immortals leave behind? What happens when they die?" He quickly answered his own question. "Oh, but they won't, will they? You'll talk them in to this treatment too, just keeping the status quo. Keeping those who are alive alive and keeping your bank account full to the brim."

    You have just disproved your own argument Doctor." Wittgen boasted smugly. "No death, no pain."
    "Look Aubrey!" The Doctor shouted again, keeping his position across the room. "I don't know who you lost in the past, and whoever it was, I truly am sorry, but this won't bring them back. Maybe you will create a world with no pain, but from that comes a world with no progress. Surely the whole point of life is to enjoy it whilst you can, to do the things that scare you, the things that have risk. What happens when people stop enjoying this eternal life? When they have experienced all life has to offer?" The Doctor stopped, taking a deep breath. "Don't you see? Don't you see Aubrey? That isn't an eternal life. That's just an eternal existence."

    "It's the same thing Doctor." Wittgen replied, showing signs of becoming a little more tense as the Doctor continued.

    "No." The Doctor replied quietly. "There's no such thing as eternal life. It's a lie, a lie based on only half the facts. It's just one big eternal fallacy."

    "How deep." Aubrey replied. "Quite similar to what your friend Harkness said."
    "Oh yes!" The Doctor exclaimed, his mood seemingly switching from enraged to excited. "I wondered when we would get round to that. Where is ol' Jack anyway? I must say I found it a little hard to believe he would have anything to do with this." The Doctor grinned a little. "Wouldn't want to make himself any less unique, would he?"

    "When I ‘took over'," Aubrey explained, "Harkness was less than happy, particularly when I explained what I had planned for him and his unique ability. It was such a shame, if he had agreed it could all have been so much more civilized." The Doctor concentrated on Wittgen's face. Was that really a look of regret?
    "It must have been a long hundred years for Captain Harkness."

    "A hundred years?" The Doctor said, shock reappearing on his face once again.
    "Yes." The man replied, glaring straight at the Doctor. "I was the last remnant of Torchwood outside Cardiff. I had been working freelance for many years, before ending up with Captain Harkness. Of course, once I discovered what he could do.."

    "You had to use it." The Doctor finished the mans sentence for him.
    "Of course. However, as you can see from me, there is only one flaw with using just the energy from the Captain."
    "You're stuck in the same body?" The Doctor asked, although he already knew he was right. "Hence why you wanted me here."
    "Correct." Aubrey nodded. "All the reports about you were right Doctor. So clever, always one step ahead. Always so energetic. And with your ability of regeneration, I too can have that quality. I can be free of this body I have been trapped in for so many years." His fists clenched as his body started to shake slightly.
    The Doctor's eyes narrowed.
    "If you think I am about to just hand that over, you need to go and do some more research."
    "I thought you might say that." Wittgen replied, as the door behind the Doctor opened, revealing a group of around a dozen more Torchwood soldiers. "Just give them a reason to fire, Doctor." He smirked. "Give them a reason to trigger your regeneration!"

    "Do I need to give them a reason?" The Doctor snapped. "Isn't that how Torchwood works? Any excuse for violence?"

    "Not quite." Aubrey said, his smile dropping to a serious look. "I did learn a thing or two from Captain Harkness and I suppose from you in a way. "There's always a non-violent solution. I would much prefer to use that way, if possible."

    The Doctor looked around him. He was surrounded. He could try and effect the equipment with the Sonic Screwdriver somehow, but he was unsure of how much time that would buy him. The whole of Torchwood Cardiff would be after him if he escaped now.

    Besides, he thought, as a pair of soldiers seized him, they were no doubt going to take him to wherever it was they were keeping Jack.

    Exactly where he wanted to be.
     
    #5 Nemesis, Apr 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  6. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    **

    It certainly had been a long hundred years. Or was it a hundred and one? Jack Harkness didn't know anymore. He'd stopped counting, stopped caring, a long time ago. Even though he had spent so much longer in situations like this before, he couldn't bare to think of the time he spent buried alive again, it still seemed like such a long time ago. Those hundred years, when a young Aubrey Wittgen waltzed in to Torchwood Three. A free lance agent, he had claimed, cleaning up after various Torchwood operations for years. There must have been some truth to it, Jack thought, after all he knew things about Torchwood not even Gwen and Ianto had. For example, how to render a Raxacoricofallapatorian completely defenseless and how to identify a shapeshifter just by looking at them. Or, of course, how to hook someone up to the Rift Manipulator in order to drain vortex energy from them.

    For forty-six years Wittgen would visit Jack. How regularly, the time-agent neither knew nor cared. However, he did noticed the subtle signs of aging every time he appeared in the hub, standing in front of the tube, gloating. Boasting about how close he was to a breakthrough. Then, fifty-four years ago, those signs of aging seemed to stop. Aubrey would come to the hub, months, years since the last time, yet would look exactly the same. The wrinkles under his eyes hadn't moved and his hairline that had been receding slowly over those forty-six years seemed to have been frozen in time. Although his perception of time had been blurred after so long in his glass prison, Jack knew he wasn't wrong. Wittgen had stopped aging and that only meant one thing. And that scared Jack more than anything.

    For fifty years, and more, Jack wondered what was going on in Cardiff, his adopted home. All he knew was that vortex energy was being continuously drawn from him and Wittgen had somehow managed to harness it for his own means. Although he hadn't gotten to know Aubrey in the short time before he was hooked up to the manipulator, Jack had a good idea as to what Aubrey's intentions were. He had more or less explained it all whilst hooking him up to this contraption. He made a good villain, Jack had thought at the time, giving away all his plans. Wittgen's just seemed to take much longer to come to fruition.

    The ex-time agent's eyes were focused on the bank of CCTV monitors in front of him, just as they were anytime he had enough strength. Jack was sure that they had purposely been placed so he could see them, so that he could see whatever it was this new Torchwood was up too. Although, until now that didn't seem to be much. It was a year ago that the signs had started to appear, offering eternal life. At least, Jack thought, Aubrey had spent more than fifty years researching whatever process he was using before unleashing it on the public. It was a small consolation though. Innocent people were being convinced to buy in to something they didn't understand, something that shouldn't be messed with, and there was nothing Jack could do about it.

    There was only one person who could do anything about it. The person Jack had spent all of his time looking for on the CCTV monitors. The person who filled Jack's thoughts almost continuously.

    "Doctor." Over the first few years he had tried to escape himself, but soon learnt it was futile. Since then, all of his hopes lay with the Time Lord. "Doctor." Jack muttered, his eyes becoming heavy again as the he felt a surge of energy leave him. It was usual, the manipulator cycled between absorbing a steady trickle of energy and going all out, giving the impression that it was attempting to drain him dry. "Just need," he sighed, "the right kind of Doctor."

    That long coat, the suit with trainers that only he could pull off, and the hair. Ooh, that hair. Jack took a deep breath as a surge of golden particles flew from his body. It had been years since an image had been so clear in his mind.

    Two Torchwood soldiers flanked the Time Lord, marching him at gunpoint down the empty white corridor.

    Jack was hit by a sudden realization. His eyes were open, weren't they? He hadn't hallucinated for a hundred years, why would he be starting now?

    Using all the energy he could muster, Jack forced his eyes open, just to make sure, concentrating on the set of monitors. It couldn't be, could it?

    "Doctor?"

    He was marched across the screen, followed by several more soldiers and, eventually, Aubrey Wittgen himself. He wasn't imagining it, he couldn't be. The Doctor was here, at last.

    "Doctor!" Jack yelled, unsure why, he knew it would have no effect than make the agent sitting at the desk across the room look up briefly. Jack wasn't even sure if he was making a noise.

    "DOCTOR!"

    **
    "Doctor!"

    The cry echoed through the plain walls of the corridor as Susan walked, trying to hold back the tears welling up in her eyes. It had started minutes ago, her Grandfather had bolted upright in his bed, his eyes wide.

    "Doctor!"

    His tone had been one of terror and desperation, one Susan had never heard from her Grandfather. She tried to convince him that his doctor was here, by his bedside. She had looked up to Doctor Ellis, who was paying little attention, her eyes still locked on the machines by the bed. No matter how hard Susan had tried to comfort the old man, there was no effect, just the continuous shouting. Eventually, Susan had taken it upon herself to leave the room, no longer able to stand seeing her grandfather in this state.

    Now, in the corridor, her thoughts were full of regret. She had been the one to suggest that her grandfather undergo the treatment, she had even paid for it, with money her other grandfather, the one on her mother's side, had left her. That's what all this was about, she suddenly realized. She had already lost one grandfather, one man she adored; she couldn't bare to loose another. And now, because of that, she was probably going to loose her other grandfather too.

    Susan was no longer alone in the long white corridor, as other people began to vacate their relatives' rooms. All of them, Susan knew, were feeling the same as her. They had been so afraid of loosing their loved ones that they would believe anything they had been told, paid anything they were asked. They had all been so naive.

    Not the Doctor though. That strange, charismatic man, he knew all of this, she could see that now. Susan couldn't understand why he hadn't told her, slapped her for being so stupid. Part of her wished he had done.

    "Doctor!"

    Was it him they were shouting for? Susan knew nothing about him, but sensed that there was something special about the stranger. Looking in to those deep brown eyes, she knew that he had seen things, experienced things that she could never imagine. Did he have something to do with this? Was it his fault?

    The questions ran through her mind as she slowly paced down the corridor, stopping at the large window. Looking out she saw the Cardiff skyline, decorated with the ancient theatre, the water tower, and that damn sign. Finally letting a tear drop down her face, she looked away from the smiling family to the streets below.

    "What?" She said, louder than she had intended. Below the hospital she saw a group of uniformed Torchwood soldiers marching in formation, heading towards a transport vehicle.

    And amongst them was a man. A tall, skinny man in a long brown coat, looking rather relaxed considering that he was surrounded by armed soldiers. Susan stood for a moment as one opened the doors of the large transported and started to guide the Doctor towards it.

    "Doctor!" Susan gasped, joining the chorus of patients as she quickly turned from the window and darted down the corridor.

    **

    Aubrey Wittgen unconsciously had a large smirk across his face as he sat in the back of the Torchwood transport vehicle. Built specifically for transporting equipment, or people, between the hospital and what had once been known as the Hub, the transporter was one of the few Torchwood vehicles to still run on wheels. Although he would not admit it to his underlings, Wittgen still preferred this more traditional form of transport over the flying vehicles that filled the Cardiff skyline.

    The back of the transporter was fitted with long seats on either wall. Wittgen sat on one side, the Doctor, his prisoner, sat opposite him. Soldiers sat either side of him, holding their weapons ready. They had all read the files, they all knew what this man was capable of. He didn't need violence or weapons. In fact, the metal handcuffs were purely to stop him from reaching for the sonic device. None of the soldiers on board were quite sure why Wittgen had not asked them to search him and remove the device, but they all knew better than to use their own initiative. If Wittgen had wanted the Doctor unarmed, he would have said so.

    Wittgen's eyes were on the Doctor. The Time Lord was staring down towards the floor, making no attempt to struggle against his bonds. It was unusual, Aubrey thought. From what he knew of the Doctor, he had expected a continued verbal assault on why what he was doing was wrong, an attempt to convince him that he was wrong. The Time Lord's silence could only mean that he had seen the truth. The Doctor must have realized that what Aubrey was right, He knew that denying his power, Harkness' power, from mankind, was selfish and wrong. He had seen the light. Wittgen's smile widened across his face and, for the first time in so many years, he felt alive again.

    So many times, Wittgen had thought about giving up. Most of his doubts had surfaced when he realized the mistake of using the formula on himself at such a late age. He wished that the work on the formula had been completed earlier, that he could have undergone the treatment in his thirties, forties even. But know, he was facing an eternal life as an eighty year old. Before the Doctor turned up, of course.

    It had mostly been the lack of money that had prompted the decision market the Harkness Formula. Wittgen knew, and regretted, that some of his customers would suffer the same fate as himself, but at the same time, without their money there was no way to further the research. He had hoped that after enough time the vortex energy from Jack could be manipulated to replicate the regeneration process of the Time Lords. It was quite ironic then, he felt, that so soon afterwards the Doctor had appeared. His plan had worked, but not in the way he had intended. In retrospect, he should have started the commercialization of the formula long ago. After all, he thought, what better way would there have been to draw the Doctor to Torchwood?

    It didn't matter now though. The Doctor was here, his prisoner, but not for much longer. Soon, Aubrey was sure, the Doctor would be working alongside him, sharing his knowledge of regeneration. Wittgen grinned at the thought of it, the pair of them, working together at last. There would be no need for violence and perhaps after all those years, Jack could be released from his prison. It hadn't been easy, locking away a man he had respected from afar for so long but deep down Aubrey knew it had to be done.

    But things had changed since then. Now, with the Doctor here, supporting his cause, Jack would be willing to help, he knew it and his dream would come true. He would be the one to grant immortality to the human race. He would have the power to make people live forever. And he would be the one to choose who deserved it.

    Wittgen looked up, realizing he had been drawn away by his thoughts. The Doctor was looking up now, looking Wittgen right in the eye, a deadly serious look on his face. Eventually the Time Lord broke the silence.

    "I know what you're thinking Wittgen." The words were said softly, but the tone behind them was unmistakable. "But you are wrong. I'm not going to help you. You are going to stop this, and if you don't," The Doctor sighed. He seemed to be saying this quite a bit lately. "I'm going to have to stop you."

    **
     
    #6 Nemesis, Apr 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  7. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    Aubrey Wittgen unconsciously had a large smirk across his face as he sat in the back of the Torchwood transport vehicle. Built specifically for transporting equipment, or people, between the hospital and what had once been known as the Hub, the transporter was one of the few Torchwood vehicles to still run on wheels. Although he would not admit it to his underlings, Wittgen still preferred this more traditional form of transport over the flying vehicles that filled the Cardiff skyline.

    The back of the transporter was fitted with long seats on either wall. Wittgen sat on one side, the Doctor, his prisoner, sat opposite him. Soldiers sat either side of him, holding their weapons ready. They had all read the files, they all knew what this man was capable of. He didn't need violence or weapons. In fact, the metal handcuffs were purely to stop him from reaching for the sonic device. None of the soldiers on board were quite sure why Wittgen had not asked them to search him and remove the device, but they all knew better than to use their own initiative. If Wittgen had wanted the Doctor unarmed, he would have said so.

    Wittgen's eyes were on the Doctor. The Time Lord was staring down towards the floor, making no attempt to struggle against his bonds. It was unusual, Aubrey thought. From what he knew of the Doctor, he had expected a continued verbal assault on why what he was doing was wrong, an attempt to convince him that he was wrong. The Time Lord's silence could only mean that he had seen the truth. The Doctor must have realized that what Aubrey was right, He knew that denying his power, Harkness' power, from mankind, was selfish and wrong. He had seen the light. Wittgen's smile widened across his face and, for the first time in so many years, he felt alive again.

    So many times, Wittgen had thought about giving up. Most of his doubts had surfaced when he realized the mistake of using the formula on himself at such a late age. He wished that the work on the formula had been completed earlier, that he could have undergone the treatment in his thirties, forties even. But know, he was facing an eternal life as an eighty year old. Before the Doctor turned up, of course.

    It had mostly been the lack of money that had prompted the decision market the Harkness Formula. Wittgen knew, and regretted, that some of his customers would suffer the same fate as himself, but at the same time, without their money there was no way to further the research. He had hoped that after enough time the vortex energy from Jack could be manipulated to replicate the regeneration process of the Time Lords. It was quite ironic then, he felt, that so soon afterwards the Doctor had appeared. His plan had worked, but not in the way he had intended. In retrospect, he should have started the commercialization of the formula long ago. After all, he thought, what better way would there have been to draw the Doctor to Torchwood?

    It didn't matter now though. The Doctor was here, his prisoner, but not for much longer. Soon, Aubrey was sure, the Doctor would be working alongside him, sharing his knowledge of regeneration. Wittgen grinned at the thought of it, the pair of them, working together at last. There would be no need for violence and perhaps after all those years, Jack could be released from his prison. It hadn't been easy, locking away a man he had respected from afar for so long but deep down Aubrey knew it had to be done.

    But things had changed since then. Now, with the Doctor here, supporting his cause, Jack would be willing to help, he knew it and his dream would come true. He would be the one to grant immortality to the human race. He would have the power to make people live forever. And he would be the one to choose who deserved it.

    Wittgen looked up, realizing he had been drawn away by his thoughts. The Doctor was looking up now, looking Wittgen right in the eye, a deadly serious look on his face. Eventually the Time Lord broke the silence.

    "I know what you're thinking Wittgen." The words were said softly, but the tone behind them was unmistakable. "But you are wrong. I'm not going to help you. You are going to stop this, and if you don't," The Doctor sighed. He seemed to be saying this quite a bit lately. "I'm going to have to stop you."

    **

    Susan sat anxiously in the backseat of the taxi as it started to descend, she was about to question the driver, but he pre-empted her question.

    "They've stopped." He shrugged, craning his neck to face her. "I don't know what you're after," The driver said softly, "but be careful. I know they've got the whole city convinced, but I just don't trust this Torchwood."

    "What do you mean?" Susan replied inquisitively. It had been obvious that the Doctor had a reason for not trusting Torchwood, but until now she hadn't questioned why. The driver was right, the whole city, including herself had been taken in.

    "Well, eternal life," he said as the vehicle came to a stop just above the ground, "can't be all it's cracked up to be, can it?"

    **

    "No need to be so rough!" The Doctor snapped as he was pushed from the transporter. Maybe, he thought, he had played his cards too soon. Perhaps he should have let Wittgen think that he was planning to help with this little project, just as a way to get answers voluntarily rather than having to fight for them. Never mind, the Doctor thought to himself. Let's see what happens next.

    He quickly realized where he was, the water tower loomed above, opposite the Millennium Theatre. Perfect! The Doctor beamed to himself. The TARDIS! Now all he had to do was slip away. The smile quickly faded from his face, however, as he looked around the Plass. He had left the TARDIS here, hadn't he?

    "Looking for your blue box, are you Doctor?" Wittgen hissed, stepping from the transporter.
    "What have you done with it Aubrey?" The Doctor snarled, glaring at the man. "Where's the TARDIS?"
    "Safe." Wittgen replied. "One of my security officers had it removed. Didn't know what it was at the time, of course."
    "Then why bother moving it?" The Doctor asked, puzzled, as he was marched forwards.
    "Because, Doctor," Wittgen smiled, it felt so empowering to have the upper hand over the Doctor. "you had parked it on top of our lift."
    "What?" The Doctor laughed, "A lift. In the middle of Roald Dahl Plass. Right, yeah, because no ones going to notice…" He trailed off, raising his cuffed hands to his hair, ruffling it as he looked up, ignoring Wittgen's smug expression. "Right, I get it. Chameleon Circuit, rift surge, properties transferred etcetera etcetera. You've got yourself an invisible lift."
    "Not invisible, Doctor." Wittgen smirked, stepping on to a specific pathing slab. "Just unnoticed. I thought you of all people would know that difference." He ignored the Doctor's glare as his soldiers guided their prisoner on to the slab, standing behind Wittgen. "Going down!"

    **

    Susan watched from the other side of the Plass as the Doctor was marched from the transporter. She waved, out of courtesy, to the taxi driver as his vehicle started to ascend again. He'd wanted to know what she was up too, but in truth, Susan didn't even know herself. She hardly knew this man, the Doctor. It had just occurred to her that she didn't even know his name. When they had met, she'd just trusted him, listened to everything he had to say. But now, with no real reason, she was trying to help him. That's if he even needed help. She could tell that he was an extraordinary man, but probably not extraordinary enough to survive being shot by half a dozen soldiers at point blank range.

    Concentrating on the task at hand, she glanced back across the Plass, only to see that the Doctor, along with the Torchwood staff, had gone. She stared for a moment. They'd been there a moment ago, she knew it.

    **

    The Doctor watched as the lift descended below the Plass. He hadn't even thought that the TARDIS could have transferred its chameleon properties to the slab it had been standing on. Thinking about it now, it seemed obvious, that amount of rift energy passing through the TARDIS like that, there was bound to be some side-effects. It made sense too, the Doctor thought. It wasn't coincidence that the machine had materialized at the exact same place in Cardiff yet again, something had drawn it to the spot.

    Soon, the large open space of the Torchwood hub became visible. Looking around, the Doctor took note of several computer terminals, a lowered area, which, the Doctor deduced, may have once been used as an infirmary. As he looked, the Doctor sniffed the air inquisitively.
    "Nice place you've got here." He muttered, looking toward Wittgen. "Though," he sniffed again, "do I smell pterodactyl?" He looked thoughtfully for a moment. "Pteranadon?"
    "Oh." Wittgen replied, uninterested. "That thing. We had it taken care of."
    "That's not the attitude I expected from you, Aubrey." The Doctor said, genuinely. "You're trying to offer eternal life, yet it's only those of humans that matter? If you really want to live forever, and trust me, that's a long time, you'll have to learn to care for more than just your own race."
    "Don't pretend to know me Doctor." Wittgen looked the Time Lord right in the eyes. "I never said anything about the entire race."
    "So, it's all about the money then? Should have known."
    "No Doctor. Once we have the funds we need to complete the research, the formula will be withdrawn from the commercial market." He continued, before the Doctor had a chance to interject. "Just because they can pay for eternal life, does not mean that they deserve it."
    "And who judges who deserves it Wittgen?" The Doctor asked loudly, he wanted to make sure the soldiers around him heard this.
    "Me, of course." Aubrey grinned as the concrete lift made contact with the floor of the hub. "Over there." He gestured to the soldiers, who, with no hesitation, herded the Doctor away from the lift and towards the darkened center of the room.

    "So then," The Doctor said, gesturing towards the unlit area right in the middle of the hub. "I'm going to guess you were going to light up this big tube and surprise me with Jack, right?" He looked, mock-sympathetically towards Wittgen. "Sorry, but bit predictable."

    "You." Wittgen snapped to the agent sitting at a nearby terminal.
    "Agent Kells, sir."
    "Yes, of course. Turn on the lights. Let's reunite the Doctor with his old friend."

    "Little ant-climatic now," The Doctor said quietly as the tube in front of him was illuminated. "Good to see you though, Jack." He looked up at his old friend, standing wearily in the glass prison, surrounded by golden vortex energy. The process had evidently taken its toll on the ex-time agent, his hair was graying and his face covered in wrinkles.

    "Doctor!" Jack mouthed.
    "I'm so sorry." The Doctor said somberly, addressing the whole room, Jack included. "But this ends now."
    "Why?" Wittgen said smugly. "Why would you stop me from helping the human race?"
    "But you're not, are you?" The Doctor shouted in reply. "You just said yourself. You'll help those you think deserve it. Just how many people will that include I wonder?" He looked around at the Torchwood agents, their weapons still trained on him. "How many of these people will that include? How many of them will you dispose of, once they've outlived their usefulness?
    "Of course," Wittgen replied nervously, looking around at his staff, "All Torchwood personnel will be entitled to the treatment."
    "Really?" The Doctor questioned, noting the body language of the soldiers around him starting to change. "Even the scientists that helped you develop the treatment?" There was a banging from the tube behind him, prompting the Doctor to look round. "Hold on Jack, be with you in a minute." He scratched his head with a cuffed hand. "Now, where was I? Oh yes, the scientists! They will all be ‘allowed' to live forever will they? Even though they share the one thing that will make you special among your world of immortals?"

    The Doctor paused, allowing Wittgen to speak, as the lift descended once again behind Aubrey and the soldiers. The Doctor hid his look of surprise, and slight worry, as he recognized the girl on the platform.

    "What are you implying, Doctor?" Wittgen growled, visibly shaking slightly.
    "Well, if everyone lives forever," He explained, "then they only unique thing about you, the only thing that will grant you respect, is that you hold the secret to immortality. I've met people like you before Aubrey, and none of them would want anyone sharing that knowledge with them. I doubt you're any different. I wonder how many you've been through in he past hundred years? How many you have handcuffed," He lifted his own hands out infront of him, "had taken away, and killed, just to make sure you're still special?"

    The Doctor gave the impression that he was looking straight at the Torchwood leader, when infact his attention was on Susan. She was now at a control panel near the back of the room. Ideally, the Doctor would have shouted at her to stop, he had no way of knowing what any of the controls did, but he couldn't afford to draw attention to her. And, of course, with him unable to reach his Sonic Screwdriver, she was his only hope.

    "You've said enough Doctor!" Wittgen finally replied. "I expected this. The Doctor, fights with words rather than weapons. Always tries to convince everyone else they are wrong. But not this time. The tables have turned, and you need to know that I mean business. So," he smirked, an evil smirk, "take this as me making a point rather than an attempt at your life. We both know that would be useless anyway." He paused, savoring the moment. "Fire!"
     
    #7 Nemesis, Apr 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  8. Well, I have to say that this story is as good as, no, better than 'The Lonely God'. The way you make tension, and how they shout doctor for some reason is amazing. I can't wait for the next chapter :)

    (By the way, you accidentally put the previous chapter into your last post as well as the next :p)
     
  9. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    I like it. The plot is surprisingly enthralling, and I can picture everything very vividly in my mind, including the Doctor's accent and his speech. The only issue so far as to watch your grammar and spelling, particularly on the word "losing". There were a few cases of missing speech marks too. Other than that, I'm looking forward to reading the rest :)
     
  10. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    Susan's eyes had clamped shut as she heard Wittgen shout the order to his men. She had expected a bang, then a scream, but neither came. Slowly, she opened her eyes, slamming a hand over her mouth to contain her surprise at what she had seen.

    "What are you doing?" Aubrey Wittgen shouted at his men who were all standing with their weapons drawn. However, the guns were not pointing at the Doctor. Instead they were all facing at Wittgen. Susan looked straight at one of the soldiers, at the look in his eyes. Susan had seen that before. It seemed like a bit of a silly comparison, she thought, but the look on the soldier's face looked just like her friend Maxine's had after finding out her boyfriend had been cheating on her. A look of betrayal.

    "Don't!" The Doctor shouted, stepping forward, trying to raise his hands in front of him. He gave up, however, when he remembered that the handcuffs stopped him from separating them as much as he wanted.

    Susan remained rooted on the spot, looking now at the Doctor, looking right in to his eyes. She recognized that look too, coincidently, it was similar to the one she had seen on Maxine's boyfriend's face. Guilt.

    "Go on!" Wittgen mocked. "It won't make a difference, remember! Just kill me, and I'll come right back to life!"
    "He's right." One of the soldiers said, turning to his comrades. "He won't die. So it won't be murder."

    "Exactly! He'll come back to life!" The Doctor said, the pitch of his voice getting higher. "So there isn't any point in killing him, is there? Now," He attempted to gesture, "put the weapons down! Shooting him won't do anyone any good!"

    "It will." Another soldier replied. "It'll make me feel a hell of a lot better."

    "No no no!" The Doctor said quickly, stepping calming towards Wittgen. "I can stop this. Just put the weapons down, and I can stop it all."

    "We don't take orders from you." The first soldier replied, raising his weapon towards the old man and the Doctor. "You said it yourself. He's been using us. He would have left us to die, if he didn't kill us himself. Now, out of my way, or I will have to shoot you too."

    The Doctor looked nervously to side to side at the group of soldiers surrounding him, before glancing up at Jack again. His eyes were barely open and the Doctor could tell that even staying standing upright was a huge effort right now.

    Susan's attention quickly snapped back to the panel she was standing behind. She had to do something. The Doctor needed help and it looked like she was the only one who could provide it. Granted, he hadn't given her any reason as to why she should help him, but Susan was sure that given a chance he would. Desperately, she looked at the console in front of her for any clue as to what she could do. One button stood out amongst the rest, large and round as opposed to the small squares of the rest. Well, she thought, here goes.

    "Don't do it." The Doctor said again, his attention long gone from Susan.
    "Give me one good reason?" One of the soldiers replied bitterly.
    "Because…" He paused, looking back at Wittgen, old and frail, yet a smirk of content still on his face. "Because it would be murder!" The Doctor exclaimed. "He might come back to life, but you will still be killing him! It will still make you a murderer." He looked around at the soldiers, all relatively young men. "Could any of you live with yourselves, knowing you had killed an unarmed old man?"
    "You call yourselves soldiers?" Wittgen mocked. "You can't shoot someone who has betrayed your trust for so long, just because some man tells you it might make you feel guilty? Just do it! Make yourselves feel better! And then you will see the true potential of what I can offer humanity! A world with no death!"

    The Doctor could sense that the group was becoming uneasy now, uneasy and unpredictable. And unpredictability and guns, the Doctor had learnt, was not a good combination. He tried to formulate his next words in his head as quickly as possible, to find some way to diffuse the situation. He tried to push everything else to the back of his mind whilst he thought. Everything, including the hissing noise coming from behind him.

    "Stop!" The Doctor said as calmly as possible. "Just stop this. Can't you see, he wants you to prove his point? He wants to justify his vision for a new world on the basis that it wouldn't make you a murder!" He paused for breath. "And even that's just a technicality! He would be dead for a second at least, so in my mind, and that of anyone anywhere in the galaxy, you would still have killed him. You would still be murderers!" Although he was trying his best, the Doctor knew that his voice betrayed him. He was starting to panic, stalling for time, and the soldiers knew it. All of them had their weapons raised now, fingers on the triggers.

    "He's right, you know." Came a new voice, slightly croaky, but the Doctor recognized the American accent immediately. The Doctor turned to see Jack stepping shakily from the glass tube like a newborn lamb. Vortex energy swam around him as it flew from the now open tube, engulfing the hub in a magnificent glow.
    "Just because we don't stay dead," Jack addressed the soldiers, "doesn't mean we don't die. It doesn't mean we don't feel the pain, every time." Jack turned to the Doctor, a grin on his face, which soon vanished again as he turned back to the soldiers. "So you can't kill him. I won't let you." He stepped past the Doctor towards Wittgen, his hand reaching inside his greatcoat. "Besides, if anyone is going to kill him," Jack snarled, revealing his gun, "it's going to be me."

    The Doctor's face dropped. This situation wasn't getting any better.
    "Jack!" The Doctor said, a warning rather than a cry of anger. He looked at his old friend, then over to Susan. He'd almost forgotten about her amongst all of the commotion.
    "Doctor!" She called out suddenly, pointing behind him.
    "What now?" The Doctor sighed, "Someone else waving a gun around is there?" He span on the spot, his mouth dropping as he looked at what Susan had been referring too.

    Golden Vortex Energy was swirling around the hub, rising quickly as the particles started to accelerate, faster and faster, spinning around each other.

    "Of course," The Doctor winced a little. "mass amounts of Vortex Energy, suddenly released from a contained space."
    "I take it that's not good?" Jack shouted in reply, lowering his weapon.
    "Well," The Doctor said back, stretching the word as he often did, "Vortex Energy is named that because it comes from the Vortex, obviously. It's not meant to be anywhere else. I guess this tube thing contained it somehow, but now," He gestured to his coat pocket, which was now glowing, golden energy from the test tube floating from it towards the amalgamation of energy that was swirling above them.
    "So what happens next?" Jack asked again, knowing the answer wouldn't be good.
    "Well, Vortex Energy, big old rift in time and space," The Doctor shrugged as the ground began to shake beneath them. "I'd guess that's not a good combination!" He shouted over the rumbling around him as the soldiers began to panic. "But I'm no expert. Oh wait," He yelled, running towards Susan, still standing at the back of the room. "Yes I am! Now, everybody, get out now!"

    The Torchwood soldiers ran as a group towards the large gear like doorway of the Hub, the shaking beneath them increasing with every passing second.
    "Wittgen!" Jack yelled, as the old man threw himself towards the pathing slab elevator as it started to ascend back towards the streets of the Plass.
    "Let him go!" The Doctor cried back. "We'll deal with him later. Susan!" He exclaimed. "Top pocket, long silver tubey thing, be a mate would you?" Susan smiled, despite the earthquake going on around her, shaking the monitor from the desk nearby leaving it to smash against the floor of the hub. She reached in to his top pocket, and found the object he described. "Just press the big button," The Doctor explained, "not the little one though." he said quickly, "You'll have every dog in Cardiff going crazy." The device buzzed as Susan held it to the handcuffs, which soon fell away.

    "You should keep hold of them Doctor." Jack smiled, the same old cheeky smile, despite his apparent aging. "They suit you." He turned to Susan, taking her hand and kissing it. "Captain Jack Harkness, nice to meet you."
    "Jack!" The Doctor warned, raising his eyebrows. Even after a hundred years Jack hadn't changed.
    "It's been a hundred years!" Jack replied. "A hundred and one even!"
    "I'm not complaining." Susan blushed, pulling her hand away from Jack as she noticed the earthquake increase even more. The glass tube that Jack had been in minutes ago suddenly shattered in front of them as the Vortex Energy soared upwards, passing through the roof of the hub.
    "You can flirt later!" The Doctor snapped, rubbing his wrists. "But right now, the rift is reacting with the sudden influx of Vortex Energy and we need to stop it!" He looked over to the Rift Manipulator, the soft hum it had once emitted now silenced. "And seeing as good old Torchwood have wrecked the one machine we could have used, we need to get up there!" He pointed straight up.
    "The rift?" Susan asked, looking puzzled. Jack attempted to explain, but was interrupted.
    "Yep, big crack in time and space, runs through Cardiff, reacting with the energy of pure time, rips the fabric of space itself in to pieces. Not good. You get the point." The Doctor said impatiently. "Now," He pointed to the large circular doorway, "seeing as your old friend Aubrey took the lift, let's get out of here!" He didn't pause, just headed straight for the doorway. "Alons y!"
    "Doctor!" Susan shouted as she and Jack followed him. "This rift, can we stop it?"
    "I hope so." He looked back, "Because if we can't, well, you know those nice people that draw maps?"
    "Yeah?"
    "Let's just say they'll be out of a job."

    **
     
    #10 Nemesis, Apr 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  11. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    Approaching the end now. Just another few chapters to go...


    The Doctor, Jack and Susan burst out of the small office that had once acted as Torchwood's cover up Tourist Information desk. The Doctor was suddenly thrown in to the doorframe as another intense shockwave rippled across the ground.

    "My god." Susan said quietly, looking up to the sky. Above Cardiff a golden cloud was gathering, shimmering brightly as bolts of energy shot randomly towards the ground. From across the city she could see lighter strands of energy flowing towards the cloud, just as the particles from the tube in the Doctor's pocket had.
    "It's coming from the hospital." The Doctor said softly, stepping up behind her. "All that energy that was released is pulling all of the rest of it together. Like a magnet."
    "From the hospital?" She replied, shocked. "So all of that is coming from the people inside? From Grandfather?"
    "Yes." The Doctor nodded.
    "That energy isn't supposed to be free, or in human beings." Jack joined in. "Before, there wasn't enough of it to do any harm, but now it's all together.."
    "It was in you!" Susan interrupted sharply. "You've been living for who knows how long with that stuff floating around inside you."
    "But I'm different." Jack replied, in a matter of fact tone.
    "You can say that again." The Doctor interjected quickly, before turning to Susan. "I know this hard, really I do, but none of those people, not even your Grandfather, were meant to live forever. No one is, not even Jack. That was all one big accident."
    "But if it works for him," Susan started, holding back tears behind her eyes.
    "It doesn't work like that." Jack added. "It's complicated, I don't even understand all of it."
    "I do." The Doctor said, "And I can explain it all later. But right now, we need to do something about that." He gestured to the large cloud, gathering in intensity above them. The bolts of energy were increasing in frequency now, striking the ground with a large crash and flash of sparks.
    "Well, what can we do?" Susan asked quietly. Whoever the Doctor was, she assumed he had some kind of idea of how to stop all of this.
    "Where's the TARDIS?" Jack questioned, "We could use it to reabsorb the Vortex Energy?"
    "TARDIS?" Susan asked, confused.
    "My ship. Torchwood have it." The Doctor grimaced. "I managed to park it on your invisible lift, and they've taken it. Somewhere. Anyway, that wouldn't work. The energy's been contaminated."
    "Contaminated?" Jack said, puzzled. "By what?"
    "By the air, the humans," He shot an apologetic look to Susan, before glancing back to Jack. "And by you. Absorbing it back in to the TARDIS would just create a bigger mess."
    "Well, what can we do then Doctor?" Jack replied impatiently.
    "It's not just the Vortex Energy that's causing all this. It's the Rift Reacting with it. We can use the TARDIS to close it as much as possible, then the Vortex Energy will be harmless." He paused, stroking his chin. "In theory anyway."
    "Wouldn't the Rift Manipulator be a better solution?" Jack shouted over the noise around him as the Doctor began to head down the street, his brown coat flapping behind him. "It's right here! We don't even know where the TARDIS is!"
    "I have an idea." The Doctor pointed in the direction of the hospital. "Besides, you saw the state of the manipulator. It would take ages to just undo the damage Torchwood have done to it. Even for me." He looked up to the golden storm gathering above him. "And we don't have ages."

    The three of them ran down the street of the Plass, Jack lagging behind slightly. He's gotten over the initial shock of being free, his legs no longer felt like jelly, but there was something else there. Something he hadn't felt for a long time. He felt tired. So very tired. Then Jack realized, for the first time in such a long time, he felt old. He was feeling old, and he loved it.

    "What's going to happen to everyone in the hospital?" Susan shouted as she ran behind the Doctor. He slowed slightly, a pang of guilt running through him. He hadn't even thought about that. Well, he reasoned to himself, although he would never say it to Susan, there were bigger things at stake than her Grandfather.
    "They'll be fine." He replied after a few moments, his tone uncharacteristically uncertain. "They'll be just fine."
    "I've caused all this!" Susan cried in sudden realization. "By opening that tube, I've done all this!" She looked upwards again to the ever increasing golden blanket that was covering the Cardiff skyline.
    "Well," Jack shouted back, "I'll thank you, even if no one else will! Always nice to get a bit of fresh air after a hundred years!"
    "I thought you said a hundred and one?" The Doctor smiled slightly, but it was short lived. He stopped running at the sight of a golden figure standing further down the street.

    "One hundred and one years, four months and seventeen days." The figure boomed, his voice echoing unnaturally as golden energy swam around him. "Five thousand two hundred and sixty six weeks."

    The Doctor stepped forward cautiously towards the figure of Wittgen, his head tilted slightly as he thought.
    "Yeah," He nodded. "About that."
    "Do you know how many days that is Doctor?" His eyes, now just blank, glowing with energy, stared straight at the Time Lord.
    "Thirty nine thousand, three hundred and fift.." He stopped suddenly, rubbing the side of his face, "No, wait, forgot the leap years… Thirty nine thousand, three hundred and seventy nine?"
    "Precisely." Wittgen roared. "Thirty nine thousand, three hundred and seventy nine days that I have spent working on my dream. And now, you are attempting to destroy it in just a few hours. More than a life times work and you are quite content to throw it all away?"
    "Yes." The Doctor replied matter of factly. "Yes I am. And I'll tell you why Aubrey. Because it's wrong. You might think giving eternal life to whomever you want is fine, good maybe. Maybe it's your way of making up for whoever it was you lost. Whoever's death you blame yourself for. But I know," He pointed to his head, "I know in here, that it's wrong."
    "Hypocrite!" Wittgen screamed. "You cheat death! So does he!" He painted to Jack with a glowing arm. "Yet he is not wrong?"
    "Oh, he's wrong." The Doctor shrugged, looking back at his old friend who shot him a look, which the Doctor ignored. "Jack shouldn't exist. But he does. There's nothing I can do about that. But you. I can stop this. Just look at yourself now Wittgen. So full of Vortex Energy. It must be burning you up, trying to get out. But you're not letting it, are you? You're keeping hold, no matter what the cost. But why?"

    "It's because you're scared." Said Jack, stepping forward to join the Doctor. "You're scared of what comes next. Believe it or not, I can understand that. You're scared of the darkness, but it's all part of life. It's a part I can never experience. You've seen the pictures Aubrey. My team. Gwen, Owen, Tosh, Ianto. All gone now. My friends, people that I loved. And they are all gone now. And I'm left."
    "I can prevent that from happening!" Wittgen roared, a hint of pain in his voice as he looked to Susan for the first time. "I can make your Grandfather live forever! And you! You can both spend eternity together! You'll never have to say goodbye!"

    The Doctor was about to speak, but was interrupted as Susan stepped forward.
    "But then," She said nervously, "what is the value of the time we have spent together? All those little things that showed me he cared, all the fun we had. If it lasts forever, it's meaningless."
    The Doctor raised his eyebrows and nodded.
    "Well said, wouldn't you say Captain?"
    "Certainly would Doctor." Jack replied, glaring straight at Wittgen. "I've experienced eternal life Aubrey, much longer than you have. I've spent thousands of years buried underground, a hundred,"
    "A hundred and one." The Doctor interrupted.
    "A hundred and one," Jack continued, "locked in a glass tube whilst you slowly drained my life from me. Let's just say, eternal life isn't not all it's cracked up to be."
    "You're getting old now Jack!" Wittgen screamed in reply. "All those little signs, the wrinkles, the aches and pains. How does that make you feel? Don't you just want them to go away?"
    "No." Jack shook his head. "So, I'm going gray, maybe slightly less handsome than usual. But, do you know what?" He paused, rubbing the back of his neck. "For the first time in a very, very long time, I feel alive."

    "Fool!" Wittgen shouted, the Vortex Energy crackling around him. "You would happily give up everything? You don't deserve to live forever! You don't want it enough!" Bolts of energy shot down from the sky around the old man, his features almost completely engulfed by energy now.

    "That's why he does deserve it." The Doctor replied. "If you want eternal life you should never have it."
    "But I shall!" Aubrey Wittgen screamed back, his voice unrecognizable now. "All this energy will be mine!"
    "No!" The Doctor shouted desperately, running towards Wittgen. "You can't!"
    "I can! This will all be mine! And I will live forever!"

    "Doctor!" Jack shouted as the Time Lord ran towards Wittgen, the Vortex energy in the sky funneling down towards him, bolts shooting from the sky surrounding him. "Stay back!" He ordered to Susan before charging forward.

    "I will live forever!" Wittgen repeated, followed by an intense scream as the energy charged in to him. Susan looked up, the sky above her was now clearing, instead just engulfing the area in front of her.

    "Jack!" The Doctor said in surprise, "Get back!"
    "No!" He replied defiantly. "I've got to do this!"
    "It'll kill you!"
    "Let it try!" Jack grinned at the Doctor, mustering all the strength he could to push him to the floor. The Doctor looked up in angry surprise as Jack ran towards the huge aura of gold that had now engulfed Aubrey.
    "Jack!"

    After what seemed like hours, the glow subsided, slowly shrinking around the two men. The bolts of energy had ceased, now just small crackles which eventually stopped altogether. Susan tried to make out the figures, distorted by the glow. Could she really only see one now?

    The figure started to walk towards the Doctor and Susan, his shoulders held high as the glow vanished completely, absorbed in to his body.

    "Sorry about that Doctor." Jack said, helping the Doctor to his feet. His hair was back to its chestnut brown, his face smooth and wrinkle free. He grinned, looking full of life. "Best spa I've ever been to!"
     
    #11 Nemesis, Apr 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  12. Nemesis

    Former Administrator

    "How is he?" The Doctor asked quietly, stepping in to the room where Susan was sat, holding the hand of her unconscious Grandfather. He looked pale, his breathing very shallow. Susan looked up towards the Doctor and gave him a faint smile.
    "The doctor said," She paused, the smile growing to a grin, "his doctor, said he'll be fine. They'll all be fine." She caught the Doctor glancing over at her Grandfather. "He just needs some rest."
    "Sounds about right." The Doctor smiled back, reassuringly. "Bit of a shock to the system, having all that energy flowing through a body then being sucked away." He tilted his head to one side and shrugged. "I should know."

    The Doctor stepped forward towards the bed and pulled up a chair, sitting down next to Susan.
    "There's one thing I don't understand Doctor." Susan said softly, after a few moments of silence.
    "There's always things we don't understand." The Doctor smirked. "That's what makes the universe so exciting." Susan ignored his comment, and continued.
    "What happened to Wittgen? It was as if he just vanished?"
    "Well, he did, in a way." The Doctor shrugged his shoulders. "He thought he was absorbing the Vortex Energy, but he was wrong."
    "It was absorbing him?" Susan replied, shocked.
    "Yes." He nodded solemnly. "Aubrey had absorbed so much energy over all those years, it must have made up the majority of his body. In the end, his body just couldn't cope without it."
    "But what about Jack?"
    "Like I said down in the Hub," The Doctor smiled. "Jack's just wrong. It's like how his thoughts were able to echo through to your Grandfather and the other patients."
    "You mean them shouting your name?"
    "Yeah." He nodded. "That shouldn't have happened. Vortex energy doesn't carry a person's consciousness. But it carried Jack's. The normal rules just don't apply to him."

    "And don't I know it!" Jack beamed, striding in to the room, his blue coat flowing behind him. "Doctor, I found the TARDIS. Storage room A6."
    "Fantastic." The Time Lord replied, getting to his feet. He was about to address Susan when she interrupted him.
    "You're going?" She also got up, a look of surprise on her face. "You're just leaving everybody here, after all that's happened?" There were a few moments of uncomfortable silence before Jack jumped in.
    "That's the Doctor. Not really the morning after type."
    "It's best if I go now Susan." The Doctor eventually replied. "Whilst things are simple."
    "Simple?" The volume of her voice was rising a little. "Wittgen's gone, but Torchwood isn't! What if they just try and do it all again? And what about all the patients? We don't even know that they'll be ok."
    "This won't happen again." The Doctor said very seriously, looking Susan straight in the eyes. "Not with Jack back in charge anyway."
    "Certainly won't." The ex-Time Agent confirmed. "There's a few too many ‘staff' for my liking too, too many people who knew what went on, but I'll make sure they won't remember." He stopped, but soon noticed the surprised look on Susan's face. "Oh, not like that. No killing, just some memory loss. They can all go back to the lives they had before Wittgen."
    "Then what happens to you Jack?" The Doctor questioned.
    "Well, might hang round Cardiff a bit more. Find out what I missed over the last hundred years. Maybe check out that new club on the Bay. Might as well take advantage of these good looks now I've got them back."

    Susan giggled, before noticing that the Doctor was making his way out of the room.
    "Good bye Susan. Jack," He smiled a cheeky smile. "Try and keep out of trouble."
    "Doctor. Don't go now." Susan pleaded. "Please. I don't even know who you are."
    "Maybe that's for the best." He replied, turning his head back to face Susan, Jack and Susan's Grandfather.
    "I know who he is." Came a faint, croaky voice. "I've seen just who he is."
    "Grandfather!"

    "He is the Doctor." The old man sat up slightly, his eyes locked on Susan. "A lone traveler. The last of the Time Lords. The Oncoming Storm. The Lonely God. He doesn't want to let people get close because he knows that soon enough, they will be gone. He travels the Universe trying to make a difference because no one else will."
    Sudden tears had started to well up in Susan's eyes. He turned around quickly to the empty doorway, where the Doctor had been standing moments ago.
    "Doctor!" She shouted, heading towards the doorway. Jack stepped forward, taking her by the shoulders.
    "Let him go." Jack whispered in to her ear. "He'll be fine, he always is."
    "But that life. Is it true? Is he really alone? Really so lonely?"
    "He likes to think he is." Jack smiled. "But as long as we, and everyone who he has ever met, helped or saved, as long as we all remember him, he will never be alone. In that way, the Doctor will live forever."

    **

    He always hated leaving like that, but the Doctor had learnt better. Even though it was difficult, slipping away was often for the best. For everybody. He sighed as he turned the TARDIS key in the lock, the door creaking open.

    He stepped inside, the familiar hum of the central pillar somehow comforting. Here it was. The only companion that he knew really would be with him forever. Well, he thought, maybe not forever.

    After all, forever was a long time.
     
    #12 Nemesis, Apr 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  13. A nice ending, at least, I'm assuming that's the end of this story. You've certainly developed a good way of reaffirming what the Doctor's life is like and what it is to be so breifly near him. He certainly is a life changing experience.

    It's good to see Jack sill has a cheeky streak over his deeper emotions. He's an attractive onion.
     

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