Chapter Twenty Three

The Doctor smiled while he listened to Rose and Donna chatting and getting acquainted with each other. It felt good to see his friend, alive and well, although he ached knowing her family had been destroyed. He began to wonder if some of his other friends that lived on Earth had survived the ordeal. He wondered if Sarah Jane had survived and he wished he could go back and check but now it was too late. They were on their way out of England.

Halfway through the trip, they felt the lorry slowing down and stopping. Donna held up her hand.

"We're not there yet, something is stopping us," she said softly. "Quick, get under the blanket and pretend to be sick in case someone does an inspection."

She moved off the bed and the Doctor and Rose lay down. Donna put a cotton blanket over their bodies and the Doctor and Rose faced each other while Donna walked up to the front.

"If they see me, they'll know who I am," Rose whispered to the Doctor.

"We need to change your appearance," the Doctor whispered back. "At least change the color and style of your hair. But keep quiet; we're wearing the filters so hopefully whoever this is won't see us here."

"Keep forgetting about those things," Rose whispered as she fingered the key. "What about Donna though?"

"I'll have to make another one for her when I have the time. For the moment, her medical ID is protecting her," the Doctor whispered.

They heard someone outside telling John to show his ID.

"We're transporting patients to the hospital at Dover," John was saying. "My partner and I are licensed to travel."

"Where is your partner?" the voice demanded.

There was a moment of silence and then they heard the door unlocking and being lifted up. The Doctor put the blanket up over Rose, hoping whoever it was would see him and not her.

"I have an ID," Donna said.

They felt the lorry rock and heard it creak when she jumped out of it. He swallowed hard; hoping Donna and John wouldn't be found out or punished for doing this. The last thing he wanted to see was his friend being killed in front of him.

Then he froze when a Toclafane ball zoomed into the back and hovered above him. To his relief, Rose lay absolutely still and the Doctor put his hands up, purposely showing himself so the Toclafane would know there was someone there and be satisfied. A small hatch opened up on the bottom of the ball and the Doctor squinted when a spotlight switched on and illuminated his face in the darkness.

"Who are you?" the Toclafane said to the Doctor. "Identify yourself."

"Prisoner 125, from the labor camp at Canterbury," he said, hoping there was a labor camp there.

The ball hovered silently above him and for a moment, the Doctor feared he'd been found out. Then the ball zoomed away and he let out a soft sigh of relief.

"You may continue to Dover," he heard the ball say. "Do not deviate from your course."

"Wouldn't dream of it," John said.

The lorry creaked and shifted again and Donna came back to them while Rose peeked out of the blanket.

"Bloody balls, I hate them," Donna muttered as John closed the door and locked it. "Harass us every chance they get. We usually get stopped once per run so it would have been unusual if we hadn't met one. They run night and day though, whatever they are, they don't need sleep."

"They're something from the future, from the year 100 trillion," the Doctor said as they heard the passenger door slam and the motor starting up. "Toclafane is a made up word, a bogeyman from my home world. Whatever these things are, that's not their real name."

"Do you know how to stop them?" Donna said as Rose lowered the blanket to her upper arm and relaxed.

"Not yet but we'll work on that once we get to France," the Doctor said. "I need to make you something when we get there."

He showed her the filter and explained the concept to her.

"Sorta like the biodamper?" Donna said when he finished his explanation.

"Sorta. It'll hide you from humans and the Toclafane but not Time Lords so the Master won't be fooled but he's small potatoes compared to his army. If we can hide from six billion Toclafane and move about unmolested, we can find a way to fight back and stop the Master."

"And you can destroy this…paradox machine?" Donna said.

"I'll do whatever it takes to destroy it, even if I have to lose a life in the process."

"I believe that, after seeing ya in action underneath the Thames."

"Oh yeah. Rose, this is who I was talking about when I was talking about the Torchwood lab under the Thames," the Doctor said. "She was with me there."

"What happened?" Rose asked.

"Donna told her about her encounter with the Doctor while Rose listened. While she did that, the Doctor closed his eyes and reached out with his mind to the Archangel satellites. He'd been doing that for the past month after he decided to try to link his mind with them. He hoped that perhaps he could use the satellites to try to find Martha as well as pinpoint missile bases and other things the Master was doing. The images he was getting from the satellites were fuzzy and indistinct; he hadn't tuned in long enough to get a clear picture. But at least he was making progress. At least he could see something now even if it was just a blur.


The Doctor opened one eye.

"You finally go to sleep?" Rose said.

"No, meditating," he said.

"He never sleeps. At least I've never seen him sleep," Rose said to Donna.

"I don't need that much sleep," the Doctor said, opening both eyes. "You lot are sleepyheads, not me."

"At least he'll stay awake most of the time," Donna said. "We need someone to watch our backs. I just hope you know what you're doing. I hope I know what I'm doing," she added. "I've been trying to avoid getting killed these past few months."

"Really?" the Doctor said. "You help to transport people illegally out of England and you're trying to avoid getting killed?"

"Yes, but we make sure we won't have any problems or at least not many when we do this. This going out into the world is something new and risky."

"Perhaps," the Doctor said. "But I think the Master will eventually kill all the humans off, given enough time. If he doesn't work them to death in the labor camps, he'll use them as cannon fodder in his war or kill everyone just for shits and giggles."

"War?" Donna said.

"What else is he building the missiles for?" the Doctor said. "I told Rose that he doesn't need the missiles to subjugate the humans, even the rebels. Not when he has six billion Toclafane at his disposal. He's doing this to make war with other planets. The Master won't stop until he rules over all."

"Great!" Donna said. "Love how you know all these homicidal aliens that are hellbent on destroying Earth."

"Well, when you fight evil as long as I have, you're bound to make enemies," the Doctor said. "It's time to make a stand though or we're all just sitting ducks."

"Evil flourishes when good men do nothing," Rose said.

"Precisely. Apathy can be as big an enemy as guns or missiles. If we just sit back and let the Master run roughshod over the planet, we're beggers to our own demise. We might die but we'll probably die anyway, so what have we got to lose?"

"Our heads and arms and legs once those balls get done chopping us up," Donna said grimly.


Finally, they reached Dover and the Doctor nudged his friends awake when the lorry stopped. Donna got up, grabbed one of the flashlights and went up to the front while Rose sat up and yawned.

"And now it's possible death at sea," Rose whispered to the Doctor. "Wonder if those things patrol the ocean as well?"

"Don't know but these people have been doing this for awhile, Ma'dori, we have to trust them," the Doctor said. "They obviously have a way to shield people who don't filters so you and I have an edge on them."

"But Donna, they could see her and whoever will be taking us across. Oh God, I wish this nightmare was all over."

"So do I, Rose, so do I," the Doctor whispered.

They stood up and the Doctor gave Rose's back a brief rub as he followed her up to the front. John had unlocked the door and Donna had jumped down. The Doctor and John helped Rose get down and then the Doctor jumped down behind her. They were parked out on the beach and the moon made the white chalk of the cliffs stand out. John led them down to the roaring water and Rose thought the white foam of the waves as they crashed against the beach was beautiful. She was thankful that her husband hadn't managed to destroy every beautiful thing on Earth.

Rose looked around but couldn't see any boat. She asked John where it was and he told her to be patient. Rose stood by the Doctor's side and the Doctor put his arm around her shoulder while they stared out at the crashing waves. Then twenty minutes after they left the lorry, they suddenly saw a light briefly flash in the distance. John raised his flashlight and clicked it on and off twice. There was a pause and the light flashed twice.

"That's them," John said to everyone.

"What sort of boat is it?" Rose said.

"Rowboat. Speedboat would alert the Toclafane. We have a large rowboat with room for twenty so you lot will fit nicely."

"We're gonna go twenty one miles in a rowboat?" Rose said in dismay.

"That's why we start at night," John said. "Don't worry; they're experts at rowing across now."

The light flashed again, just beyond the breaking surf and five minutes later they could see a long white boat and four men inside. The men got out into the water and dragged the boat up onto the beach. At the back of the boat was a makeshift canopy made out of brown tarps. The tarps were on a metal frame that was attached to the sides the boat and the tarps were tied to it, making a shelter in the back. The wooden planks where the men sat had been removed in the back and a green plastic tarp had been laid down under it. On top of it were several heavy blankets and a large sheet of clear plastic. The men approached the Doctor and Rose. The man in front was middle age, grizzled with a full red beard and mustache. He had dark green eyes and a warm smile. He was dressed in a black flannel shirt with jeans and rubber boots. He extended his hand to shake and the Doctor noticed a large scar running along the back of it.

"Name's George," he said in a thick Scottish accent. "Nice tae meet ya. We'll be takin' ya 'cross the pond here to Frogville."

The second man stepped up. He was a young Asian man with a thin face and a goatee. He grinned a toothy grin that was missing a few molars from the top. He extending his hand and the Doctor noticed a wedding ring. He was also dressed in black flannel and jeans with rubber boots.

"I'm Yun," he said to them with a slight Japanese accent.

The third man was Jamaican with dreadlocks hanging down past his shoulder blades. He had on a grey jacket that was slightly open, showing a black t-shirt underneath. He had on black jeans and rubber boots.

"Name is Joseph, nice to meet ya," he said with a heavy Jamaican accent.

The fourth man stepped up. He was albino with snow white hair that had been tied back in a ponytail. He had pale pink eyes and pale skin. He was dressed in the black flannel, jeans and boots that his companions were wearing and he had a black ski mask that had been pushed up to his forehead. He smiled at everyone.

"I'm Patrick," he said with an Irish accent. "Don't mind the pale skin and pink eyes, I'm perfectly normal otherwise."

The Doctor and Rose introduced themselves and shook everyone's hand. To Rose's dismay they recognized her and the Doctor had to explain that she was helping the rebellion. She knew now that she would have to alter her appearance once they got to France. She was too well known and she didn't want that to be a liability. They were already in enough danger without her putting everyone in more peril.

George told them to go ahead and sit in the back of the boat.

"We have blankets for you tae use and there's plastic to protect youselves in case the water gets a bit rough. The weather's a bit unpredictable sometimes so just be warned of that. Where are you goin'?" he said when he saw Donna walk past them.

"She's going with them," John said. "Turns out these are old friends of hers and she's decided to help them."

"You're nae gonna stay here then?" George said.

"No, I have to go with them. They need me," Donna said. "They may be the only chance we have to set things right."

"Set things right? The world is already fucked up," Patrick said.

"That may be, but I want to go," Donna said.

"Fine. It's your funeral," George said. "Okay, if you're going tae go, get inside so we can get goin'. We have a lot of rowin' to do tonight and the moon's out."

Donna hurried and got into the back of the boat. The Doctor and Rose were sitting on the top, huddled together with the blankets around them. Donna grabbed one of the blankets, threw it around her and sat down beside the Doctor. She huddled with them while the four men grabbed the sides of the boat and shoved off. They leaped into it nearly at the same time and grabbed the oars as they sat down on the seats, rowing away from the shore while the passengers in the back tried to keep warm and dry.

Back                         Home                              Doctor Who Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted.