Chapter Five

"Well," John said while everyone gathered around to listen, "it's a good thing you did tell the story about the Crucible so we don't have to start with that. After the Doctor left us behind, we managed to get back to civilization. Pete helped me adjust, got me the necessary documentation that humans need to function in daily life and they got me a job as scientific advisor at Torchwood, working alongside Rose. Rose and I adjusted to our situation, worked out our differences and eventually she fell in love with me and not just the ghost of the Doctor. We married about a year and a half ago and we've been happily married since. So, that's our back-story so now I'll take you up to where we were when the Brotherhood first arrived…

(One year ago on Pete's World…)

John rubbed the bridge of his nose while he took a break from reading the paperwork he had been given. He was sitting at his desk in his office next door to his wife. His office wasn't huge or fancy, just a basic office with the usual office stuff but it suited his purposes since most of the time he was working on a project or out on an assignment with Rose.

He was reading a field report about a supposed big cat that had been sighted in Devon. Eyewitnesses claimed it was a panther, even though panthers weren't native to England. The panther was supposedly huge, much bigger than an average panther and supposedly at times it could walk on its hind legs like a human. This report was the first set in determining whether a sighting was worth Torchwood's time. They had field agents all over the UK and some abroad, reporting on paranormal and alien sightings and these sightings were typed up in a report, copied and sent to the supervisors who then made the call as to whether or not to follow up and who would be sent to investigate it. Because of Pete, Rose was one of the top field agents at Torchwood and because he was married to her, they worked as a team so he was sent the same reports as her.

He looked up when he heard a knock on his door and smiled at Rose as she came into the room. She was dressed in a grey skirt, white blouse and matching grey jacket and he had to admit she looked sexy. This was her outfit in the office, on assignment it was usually jeans and a t-shirt and jacket. Rose held up her copy of the report while she walked towards his oak desk.

"Seriously? Phantom panther?" she said, sitting down in a leather chair in front of his desk.

"I don't know, might be interesting. We could go see the Devon countryside," John said.

"Yeah so you can shag on it," Rose teased.

"Ah, Rose, you know me so well," he said while she laughed. "So…no to the phantom panther then?"

"Let someone else handle it," Rose said. "Let Jenkins handle it."

"The arsehole you hate more than life itself?" John said.

"Yup," Rose said. "Let him go on a panther hunt. Might be fun for him."

"Well, what's next then?" John said, setting the report aside and picking up the next one. "Strange lights just outside London and other cities? Reports of UFOs and SETI has picked up a strange message from the stars. Worth looking into?"

"What does the message say?" Rose said while John quickly skimmed through the report.

John muttered to himself for a moment.

"It's a mathematical code but I can translate, give me a moment," he said, glancing at his wife. "Well, it's someone called The Brotherhood apparently and they wish to visit Earth. They say they come in peace," he said, putting the report down.

"And you don't believe that?" Rose said.

"Dunno. A lot of aliens claim to come in peace. Some do, some don't. Perhaps this one is worth looking into."


"That was the beginning of it," John said, looking around at the Doctor and his family. "We contacted SETI and I told them what the translation said and offered my expertise on the matter and me and Rose's assistance if they wanted to arrange a meeting. I knew how to send a message back to this Brotherhood and I told them that. So we were flown out to Mountain View, California to meet with the scientists there…


"John Smith and Rose Tyler?"

A middle aged man with salt and pepper hair and wire rimmed glasses and a young blonde woman with a pixie haircut and a cherubic face came out to greet Rose and John when their helicopter landed outside SETI headquarters. Both of them were dressed casually in jeans, t-shirts and trainers. The man was holding a metal clipboard with some papers clipped to it. They shook John and Rose's hands.

"I am Bill Bryson and this is Nancy Love," he said to them. "We're sorta the head researchers here, although there really is no hierarchy to speak of. But we were picked to be your liaisons here. You're with Torchwood?"

"We are," Rose said.

"We've worked with them in the past concerning alien transmissions. We sent you all the information we had at the time but there was one more transmission that was received this morning. If you'll follow me, we'll let you take a listen to it."

John and Rose followed him into a large rectangular concrete building. He led them through it until they came to a wooden door near the back that had Bill's name affixed to the door as a small brass plaque.

"My office," he said to them as he opened it. "Sorry about the mess."

Unlike John and Rose's office which was fairly neat and tidy, Bill's office was cluttered with papers all over his desk along with little plushies of aliens and various knickknacks. On the wall was an X-Files I Want To Believe poster and another poster of Mulder and Scully.

"Big fan of the show," Bill said when he noticed John and Rose staring at the posters.

He sat down at his desk, unlocked the bottom drawer and took out his laptop. He opened it up and waited for it to load up while he motioned for Nancy, Rose and John to sit in front of the desk. Unlike John and Rose's office where they had expensive leather chairs, Bill had only wooden chairs you might find at the dinner table. Bill found the file on his laptop and clicked on it. He turned his laptop around and they listened to a lot of high-pitched gibberish.

"This is different from the equations we've been getting, this one we have no clue about," Bill said to them.

"That's because it's their language, not a code," John said.

"How do you know that?" Bill said.

"I'm very good, that's why they pay me the big bucks…or pounds, if you prefer," John said smugly while Rose stifled her laughter. "They're saying they wish to meet with you and by you, I mean SETI. They're very insistent. I don't know why they're using their own language to send this message but perhaps it's a test. If you can decode it and send one in return, they'll come. And they are asking you send a return message."

"So they're trying to see if we're intelligent enough for them?" Nancy said.

"Perhaps," John said shrugging. "Perhaps they have information and they want to see if you're ready to handle it. Do you want me to ask them to come because I can speak to them in their own language and tell them you want a meeting with them."

"We do and we would love to send you a return message," Bill said.


"That was our first mistake," John said to everyone. "Mine and SETI's. I should have said no but I was just as curious as they were to meet these aliens."

"So they came down and took over?" Brittany asked.

"Not at first, no. They came down and acted all friendly and it was all, "Oh, we come in peace and we mean you no harm and we'd love to share our technology with you!"

"Like V?" Brittany said.

"I'm sorry?" John said, frowning.

"Like V, the TV show," Brittany said.

"Oh! Sorry. Yes, it was like that. It was all we are of peace always but behind the scenes, they were planning to subjugate the Earth, starting with the government leaders and people they felt were a threat, which meant…" he pointed to himself and Rose. "Especially me since I'm the one that spoke their language so I could potentially uncover any plot. So when they came to SETI, they were especially insistent that they meet me…

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