Chapter Nine

“Here, we are, Monononia,” the Doctor said as he, Rose, Jack and Ianto stepped outside the door. “Isn’t it beautiful?”

They looked around at the silver grass and orange sky with twin suns shining overhead.

“And what lives here?” Rose asked.

He smiled.

“The Flax.”

“Like the seed?” Ianto said.

“No, like the alien race that lives here,” the Doctor said. “They’re called the Flax. Other things in the universe can be named Flax, you know.”

“Are the Flax dangerous?” Jack asked.

“Oh no, very peaceful race, highly intelligent and industrious. They like to build and invent things. It’s one of their passions. So, what say we go and have a look at their planet?”

Jack glanced at Ianto.

“Um…if you don’t mind, Doctor. Ianto and I want to be alone for awhile. So, how about you and Rose and me and Ianto split up and meet back here?”

The Doctor gave Rose a knowing look.

“Alright, that sounds good to me. Two hours alright?”

“Fine,” Jack said while Ianto nodded in agreement.

“Got a spare key just in case something does happen?”

“In my pocket,” Jack said.

“Great, well then, have fun you two and we’ll meet back here in two hours time.”

Jack took Ianto’s hand. They walked off to the right while the Doctor took Rose’s hand and walked straight ahead.

After about a half hour, Rose finally stopped and tugged on the Doctor’s hand.

“Where is everyone?” she said when he turned to look at her. “We’ve been walking and I haven’t seen any sign of life except for us. Where are these Flax you were talking about?”

The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck.

“Weeeeeeeeeell, the Flax don’t really get out much. They prefer to stay indoors and invent things.”

“Yeah, but I haven’t seen any cities either. Just grass and sky. Are we out in the middle of nowhere? I mean, is it safe to be here because if there’s nothing around, I’m thinking that’s a bad sign.”

“Oh, P’shaw Rose, just because it’s completely deserted and a little bit creepy out here doesn’t mean there’s something evil lurking in the grass. I mean, I do know this planet and I would know if something dangerous could be lying in wait for us and…um….there’s something going up my leg.”


The Doctor pointed to his left leg.

“There’s something walking up my leg right now, I can feel it.”

He stopped Rose when she started to move.

“Just stay perfectly still. If it’s dangerous, I don’t want to alarm it. Just stay there.”

Both of them remained motionless. Rose’s heart was beating in her chest, fearful for the Doctor’s life.

“It’s going up my back now,” the Doctor whispered.

A minute later…

“It’s going up my neck and now my head. It’s going towards the top of my head. See what it is.”

Rose looked up at his head. Suddenly, she saw a little robot walk onto the top of his head. It was about three inches tall with a round metallic head and a little circular opening in the center that glowed green. Surprisingly, the robot was also wearing a suit exactly like the Doctor’s.

“What is it, Rose?” the Doctor whispered.

“Um…a tiny robot with a little green eye that’s wearing a little version of your suit.”


He reached up and grabbed for it. The robot activated jet propulsion rockets in the bottom of his feet, flew over to Rose’s head and turned to look at him.

“Oh, so that’s what you look like,” the Doctor said. “How cute. Where did you come from, eh?”

He cleared his throat.

“Um, I’m the Doctor and this is Rose. Do you have a name, little fella?”

The robot stared at him for a moment. Then, reaching into his pocket; he took out a tiny business card and held it out to him. The Doctor held up his finger and let the robot lay the card on it. Rose raised her eyebrow when she saw the card.

“Can you even read that?” she asked.

“Not yet. Have to get my special magnifying lenses for my glasses.”

He fished around in his pocket, got his glasses and gave them to Rose. Rose put them on his face while he reached in and pulled out a series of lenses. He instructed Rose on how to fit them and which lens to use. Once the thickest lens was down over the lens of the glasses, he brought the card up and studied it intently.

“Says…Benjamin Bot, Solicitor.”

He put the card into his pocket along with the glasses.

“Well, nice to meet you, Benjamin. I had no idea little robots existed here. I suppose the Flax invented you then?”

Benjamin said nothing.

“The silent type?” the Doctor asked. “So, are you able to find enough clients being a solicitor and all?”

The robot said nothing. The Doctor watched as a little door in the top of his head opened, a little pole rose up and a light flashed like a beacon.

“I’m sorry, is this your language?” he asked.

“What’s he doing?”

“He’s flashing a light at me.”

“Is that good or bad?”

“Dunno, I’ve never seen a little robot like him on Monononia before. I assume some Flax invented him and…Rose, there’s something going up my leg again.”

Rose walked around him.

“It’s another robot like Benjamin except this one’s wearing a pink dress.”

She heard Benjamin let out a couple of high pitched squeaks. The girl robot stopped activated her jet propulsion and flew up to Rose’s head.

“Oh wonderful, now there’s tiny robots on my head. Why do I keep getting tiny aliens on my head now?”

The Doctor turned to her and noticed the pole going back down inside Benjamin.

“I take it that light was a signaling device to call his friend over,” he said.

He watched as Benjamin opened the top of his friends head and took out a tiny picnic basket and blanket. He spread the blanket on Rose’s head, sat the basket down and both of them sat together.

“Okay, what are they doing? I just felt something covering my head,” Rose said.

The Doctor tried not to laugh.

“Um, I think they’re about to have a picnic on your head, Rose.”

“Uh-huh, and what comes after that, a flagpole in my skull? Get them off me, Doctor!”

The Doctor reached up and gently nudged Benjamin’s side.

“Okay, little fella, you and your friend gotta take the meal elsewhere.”

He gasped when Benjamin raised his finger and shot a laser at his head.

“Now, wait a minute, I’m getting sick and tired of puny aliens firing at me when I tell them to behave themselves or leave. This is getting out of hand, so pack up the basket and the blanket and get off my companion’s head!”

He jumped back when Benjamin raised his hand, but he didn’t fire. He stayed like that and it took a moment for the Doctor to work out that he was just pointing.

“What? You wanna go straight ahead? Well, I’m sorry, but if you think Rose is a taxi, you and your friend are sorely mistaken. She does not give rides to…”

Rose yelped when Benjamin grabbed a handful of hair and yanked on it.

“OW! What the hell!” she screamed.

She yelled when Benjamin yanked again and pointed ahead.

“Stop doing that!” the Doctor yelled. “You’re hurting her! She’s not your ride, get off…”

He gasped when Benjamin fired the laser at him, yanked on Rose’s hair and pointed ahead.

“No, no, I’ll take them for a ride. Anything to get him to stop pulling on my hair,” Rose said.

The Doctor glowered at the little robot when Rose quickly walked off. He followed along behind, watching while the two robots reached into the basket, pulled out a can of motor oil, some cheese and some wine glasses and set them down on the blanket. Benjamin poured the motor oil into the glasses. They clinked their glasses as hatches slid open where a mouth would normally be and they drank. The Doctor kept a close eye on them in case they hurt Rose again, but for the moment, the two were just content to stretch out on their blanket, drink their motor oil, eat their cheese and enjoy the view.

“How far are we supposed to walk?” Rose said after about ten minutes.

“I don’t know, but if they don’t get off you in the next few minutes, I’m making them leave. I’m not walking several miles away from the TARDIS because two robots want a little scenic carriage ride.”

Suddenly, Benjamin yanked on Rose’s hair again.

“OW! DAMN IT, I’m going!” Rose screamed. “What now, he wants me to speed up?”

“No,” the Doctor said. “He’s pointing off to his right, so I guess you’re supposed to go that way.”

Muttering under her breath, Rose turned to the right, stomped both her feet and walked on with the Doctor right behind her. They walked up the top of a hill and stopped when they noticed a tiny metal city at the bottom of it. They watched as hundreds of little bots walked up and down the pathways between the buildings going about their daily lives.

“Oh, so I guess little Benjamin just wanted a ride home,” the Doctor said.

“Well, good, he can get off my head now.”

The Doctor looked over and smiled when he saw Benjamin putting the basket and blanket back into his friend’s head. Both of them flew off Rose’s head and landed at the edge of the city.

“Bye, Benjamin, nice knowing you,” the Doctor said, waving.

“Yeah, it would have been nicer if you hadn’t yanked my hair the entire time I knew ya, but bye bye!”

They were about to turn and go back when they heard Benjamin let out a shrill squeak. Instantly the entire population came to a halt and walked over to him. Benjamin began to squeak at them while he pointed up to the Doctor and Rose. The robots looked at him, looked at the Doctor and Rose and started to swarm out of the city towards them.

“Um, what are they doing?” Rose said.

“I don’t know, but I have a feeling Benjamin just told the city about the nifty transportation system he found. So, I suggest we run like hell back to the TARDIS before we become the local bus.”

“Fine by me!”

Both of them turned and ran. They looked around and noticed the robots rising into the sky while they chased after them. They picked up speed and ran back to the TARDIS as fast as they could. They ran and ran trying to escape the robotic swarm.

“Leave us alone!” the Doctor yelled back at them! “We’re not your mules!”

The robots ignored him and the Doctor and Rose ran until their lungs felt like they were going to burst out of their bodies and their hearts were going to explode. Finally, they saw the TARDIS up ahead. The Doctor ran to it, tried the door and found it was open. He shoved Rose inside, slammed the door and leaned against it, heaving and gasping for air while Rose slumped over the railing.

“Next time…” the Doctor gasped out, “a robot wants to ride you, I’m gonna risk getting shot and pull it off before we have to go through something like that again.”

“Good,” Rose gasped back.

The Doctor looked over when Jack entered the room and stared at them.

“Doc, Rose, you alright?” he said, walking over.

The Doctor swallowed hard and nodded while he pushed himself away from the door and staggered up the ramp.

“What happened?” Jack asked.

“Just…let me get the TARDIS away from this planet and then I’ll tell you,” he gasped as he reached the console.

Jack set on the captain’s chair completely pissed off. The Doctor had just finished telling him what had happened.

“So, once again, I miss seeing a little alien on the top of Rose’s head,” Jack said angrily. “I told you to let me know when cool stuff like that was happening!”

The Doctor’s mouth fell open.

“How? You and Ianto went off somewhere for a snog. What was I supposed to do, yell at top of my lungs repeatedly until you showed up?”

“Well, you need a walkie talkie or something, so when aliens land on Rose’s head, you can tell me.”

“I am not getting a walkie talkie. I have never needed a walkie talkie and I don’t need one now!”

“Oh, yeah, as often as you get into trouble? Maybe if you had one, you wouldn’t get in half the messes you get in.”

“Whatever, Harkness, I’m not gonna debate it,” the Doctor said, holding up his hand. “If you and Ianto hadn’t decided to go off and play kissy face you would have seen it. Next time, come with me and Rose and then maybe you’ll see “cool stuff.””

Jack looked at Rose.

“This one plant a flagpole in your skull?” he asked her.

“No, he had a picnic on my head with his friend and yanked on my hair when he wanted me to go somewhere.”

“Teeny robots had a picnic on your head? Damn, I really will have to stick by you guys in the future.”

“Oh goody, just what I need, Jack Harkness tailgating me wherever I go,” the Doctor muttered.

(Two weeks later on the planet Swampizia…)

“Hmmm, fascinating,” the Doctor muttered as he squatted down by a riverbank.

Jack and Ianto, who were standing nearby, walked over.

“What is?” Jack said.

The Doctor pointed to a small mound in the mud.

“This is the nest of a Porgia, a squid-like creature that lives in these waters. Normally, they make their nests in more remote areas, so this is the first I’ve seen.”

“It looks like a mound of mud to me,” Ianto said. “How do you know it’s a nest?”

The Doctor gave him a smug grin.

“Because I’m brilliant,” he said.

Ianto looked at Jack. He shrugged.

“Say what you will, the man has no problem with low self-esteem,” Jack said.

The Doctor stood up.

“If the nest is here, the mother must be close, so we better not disturb…”


The Doctor looked over at a clump of trees beside him when he heard Rose’s voice.


“You said these Porgia are squids?”

“Yes, they’re small purple squids.”

“With tentacles?”

“Yes, why?”

Rose came out of the trees.

“Because one of them dropped onto my head and is holding on to my hair!” she said, pointing to the large purple blob on the top of her head.

The Doctor stared at her for a moment and then looked at Jack.

“There, cool stuff happening to Rose and you finally saw it,” he said to him.

“Yes!” Jack said, pumping his fist.

Rose put her hands on her hips.

“Will you two idiots get over here and get the bleedin’ octopus off my head?”

The Doctor grinned while he sauntered over to her.

“Oh, I don’t know, Rose. I think the Porgia is nice and comfy now. Be a shame to disturb it.”

“Yeah, I’m sure Rose’s soft hair beats wet, swampy mud any day!”

Rose gave them a look of death when both men bent over laughing.

“Yeah, really funny. Get it off me!”

“Wait! Hold on! Not till I get my camera!” Jack said. “Just hold on, gotta go get it from the TARDIS.”

Rose’s mouth dropped open when Jack ran off. She glared at the Doctor who was trying not to laugh.

“Well…you gotta admit, the squid hat looks cute on you,” he said, shrugging.

Rose sighed and walked over to Ianto.

“Ianto, please…could you?”

Ianto reached up and tried to take the squid off. However, the squid wrapped its tentacles around Rose’s hair and clung fast.

“OW! Stop! It’s pulling my hair!” Rose screamed.





Rose glowered at the Doctor who was failing to keep a straight face.

“Oh, get out of my way,” she snarled at Ianto. “I’ll have to do this myself.”

She walked up to the Doctor, dived into his jacket pocket and grabbed the screwdriver.

“Hey! Do you mind? That’s my property!” the Doctor said, incensed.

Rose ignored him. She aimed the screwdriver at her head and turned it on. The Porgia let out a howl, let go and slid off her head to the ground. Rose grabbed the Doctor’s hand, slammed the screwdriver into his palm and stalked away just as Jack ran up.

“No, no, no! I wanted a picture, damn it!” he moaned as Rose went past him.

Ianto walked up to him.

“If I were you, Jack, I’d hide that camera before she smashes it. In fact, I think the two of you should just stay clear of her for a long while.”

He followed Rose back to the TARDIS. Jack looked at the Doctor.

“So, I guess we should take Ianto’s advice and let her cool down?” he said to him.

The Doctor nodded.

“Yeah, I think that’s best. Follow me and we’ll go for a walk and hopefully by the time we get back, the urge to kill us will have worn off. Come on!”

Jack nodded. Putting his camera in his pocket, he followed the Doctor and listened while he gave him a tour of the planet.

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