Chapter Six

The Doctor and Rose lay on his bed in his room while they waited for Pete to come. They decided to stay together in case the journalists came back. The Doctor still had a spare perception filter so he gave it to Rose since she was now in danger, at least until they left the city. The TV was on and the Doctor was looking for more news reports or chat shows that mentioned him or the book. He finally found some sort of chat show where a group of three scientists sat at a table with a moderator and discussed him. It was in Norwegian so Rose closed her eyes and relaxed while the Doctor listened to the discussion. So far, the scientists were debating whether he was genuinely an alien or whether this was all a hoax. The Doctor felt hopeful at that. Perhaps he could somehow influence the humans and get them to think it was all a hoax, better than going everywhere with the perception filter on while he worried about getting mobbed by crazed people.

Now they were discussing David Icke and the conspiracy theory involving reptilian aliens ruling the Earth. The Doctor had to chuckle about that. A few stray Silurian woke from hibernation and were seen by humans in passing and now there are people who believed that they were disguised as world leaders. The Doctor knew better. Humans were already good at mucking up their own planet without the assistance of other aliens. But these scientists were wondering whether the Doctor was a part of the reptilian overlords that was enslaving humanity. Again, the Doctor let out a chuckle.

"What's so funny?" Rose said, opening her eyes slightly to look at him.

When he told her, Rose had to laugh with him.

"If you're a great big reptile alien, that's a pretty convincing disguise since I've seen ya naked and touched your body," she said.

"I can assure you that I'm a humanoid and all the world leaders are human as well. No one but you lot are enslaving the humans," he said.

"So if they think all this, they want to destroy you then? " Rose said worriedly.

"Dunno. But those journalists didn't mention anyone wanting to destroy me, only worship me. Maybe they think if they fall at my feet, I won't eat them or something like that."

"Oh, that's why you take people with ya. You're fattening them up for slaughter," Rose said with a twinkle in her eyes.

"Fattening you up? With all the running we do? More like making you lean," the Doctor teased back. "Apparently, I like lean meat on my human cattle."

They fell silent while the Doctor listened to the scientists. Rose watched TV, even though she had no idea what was being said. While she watched, she mulled over what the Doctor said before about temptation. After being with him and seeing what he was capable of, she knew he could be ruthless at times but also capable of great mercy and goodness. She would choose him to lead over most of the world leaders. She felt like he could really make a difference in the world. After all, he'd made a difference in her life and changed her for the better. But she thought back to the Crucible and what Davros and Caan had said, about turning her and the others into weapons and revealing his soul. She had never thought of herself as his weapon but then again, she never carried a gun or fought aliens when she was a simple shopgirl. She realized then that he really did have the power to influence people on a large scale and enthrall them to the point they'd do anything for them. She suddenly had a vision of him standing on a platform behind a podium like Hitler and influencing an army of humans to do his bidding. She knew that she would give her life for him in a heartbeat so it wasn't much of a stretch imagining an army wanting to do the same. She looked at him, looked at his boyish, youthful face and realized how deceptive the youthful face was, how much it hid the true power inside the Doctor. No wonder many people underestimate him and dismiss him at first glance only to regret it later.

She raised her eyebrow when the Doctor chuckled again.

"Now what?" she said.

"Oh, these humans," the Doctor said, waving his hand dismissively. "They're coming up with all sorts of theories about me. Now they're wondering if I'm a robot. Spaceship crashes into Big Ben, Sycorax over London and some people still can't believe aliens really exist. You lot have a talent for tunnel vision, I'll give you that."

"Are you going to go on one of these programs and try to calm everyone down then?"

"Dunno. After what happened to John at the bookshop, I really don't have a desire to jump into the middle of all this. But…" he said with a sigh, "if it means putting a stop to this whole cult thing, I s'pose I'll have to do it. But my first priority is still the missing people and TARDIS. This whole cult thing can wait, let them continue to think I'm a lizard or an android or some bloke perpetrating a hoax. Maybe this whole thing will die out by itself…I hope."

"Doctor, do you think someone took the TARDIS to force you to stay here and confront all…this," she said, gesturing to the TV.

The Doctor shrugged.

"Seems like it. But that brings us back to the question of who is doing this since I'm sure George White is just a pseudonym."

Rose's mobile rang and the Doctor watched while she pulled it out of her pocket and answered it. She spoke for a few minutes before ending the call.

"It's Dad, he's downstairs. I told him not to come up in case the arsehole at the desk follows him and finds us."

"On with the perception filters then," the Doctor said.

Rose put her filter on and the two of them carefully left the room and shut the door behind them.


Once they were inside Pete's jeep, he drove them out of town as quickly as he could.

"So you don't have any idea where Jacks is?" Pete asked the Doctor as he sat beside him.

"Not yet. I was hoping Rose could take me to Torchwood. I might be able to find something there that can help us," he said.

Pete glanced at Rose in the rearview mirror.

"You do know what's happening?" he said to her as she sat behind him. "This Doctor mania isn't just here; it's beginning to spread all over the world."

Rose told him about the perception filter and showed him the one hanging around her neck. Pete nodded.

"On your own head then," he said to the Doctor. "I wouldn't rely on those perception things totally. Torchwood might have something that can see through it."

"I wouldn't doubt it," the Doctor said. "But we have to try. I can't run a proper scan now since I don't have my TARDIS. I need something else."

"Dad, do you know if someone at Torchwood is doing all this?" Rose said. "I mean, you haven't talked to anyone about the Doctor, have you?"

"Only in passing," Pete said. "I read the book and I haven't a clue about what goes on on Gallifrey."

"I don't either," Rose said. "I mean, I do know a little…"

"But not as much as the author does," the Doctor said. "I don't tell people about my childhood and that included Rose."

"So someone knows you intimately then," Pete said, glancing at him.

"Or there's another version of me in this universe," the Doctor said.

"If there is, Torchwood's never found him," Pete said.

"Torchwood doesn't know everything," the Doctor said. "What about this George White, has he shown himself before?"

"Yes and no. He talks to the press and goes on chat shows and such but he's always in shadow. No one's ever seen his face and when he goes out, he's hooded."

"And people trust him?" Rose said. "He won't show his face and they believe everything he's said?"

"Not everyone believes, not yet anyway. The people who believe are mainly conspiracy theory buffs," Pete said. "People who believe aliens are ruling us anyway. They think that you're the leader now," Pete added, glancing at the Doctor.

"There are no reptilian aliens ruling you lot, trust me," the Doctor said.

"I believe you but I'm sure you're aware that many people are very dim and easily led."

Rose chuckled when the Doctor let out a huge snort in response.

"Well, If you lot are looking for me to lead you, you can find someone else to do the job. They tried to get me to lead Gallifrey and I ran away from that. I have no desire to sit at a desk and tell Rose to do my bidding."

Rose laughed when Pete turned his head and gave her a dubious look.

"And you would, wouldn't you?" Pete said, turning his attention back to the road.

"Um…maybe, depends on what he wants me to do," Rose said, playfully poking the Doctor's shoulder. "I won't shoot people but I will fetch sandwiches."

"Ooo, bacon butty then, now!" he said, snapping his fingers at her.

"In all seriousness though, you might not want to show your face. Jacks told me what happened to your clone at the bookshop. You would get that on a massive scale if you went out."

"I'm well aware of that," the Doctor said. "But I can't stay in your house, I need to find out what happened to Jackie, John and Donna and the TARDIS and find out why someone is making me into a god."

"John?" Pete said, frowning.

"My clone. I use the alias John Smith from time to time so he adopted the name to avoid confusion between us," the Doctor said.

Pete nodded. They drove on and everyone fell silent for awhile. The Doctor stared at the scenery outside the passenger window and listened to the sound of the engine. There weren't many people on the road so it was a peaceful ride. Pete drove about 60 miles before finding a gas station. He pulled in and handed the Doctor and Rose some money so they could get something to snack on inside the convenience store. While Pete pumped the gas, the Doctor and Rose went inside. The Doctor wasn't really hungry so he walked towards the back where the sodas and juices were at. He stood in front of the glass doors and scanned the drink selections before reaching in and grabbing a small bottle of Coke. He closed the door and turned to see Rose standing behind him.

"I need my caffeine, I'm not hyper enough," he teased her as he jiggled the bottle in front of her eyes.

"Doctor, I've been thinking," Rose said as she stepped up beside him to the doors.

"Yes?" the Doctor said, turning to look at her.

"John. Could someone use John and brainwash him into thinking he's you and use him to spread this cult thing?" Rose said.

The Doctor sighed. He had thought of that. It always amazed him how likeminded he and Rose really were.

"I considered that," he said while Rose reached in to grab a bottle of orange juice. "My mind is…stronger than yours, in some ways. I'm not as susceptible to brainwashing as a human would be. But John is half human and the bulk of this Time Lord mind went to Donna."

"So he could…"

"In theory, yes," the Doctor said. "He's more susceptible to hypnosis as well and mind control. And…he's already shown a willingness to annihilate others if need be. So someone could use him to lead an army."

"But what about Mum? And Donna?"

"Your mother was probably an innocent bystander. I suspect John was the target when they transmatted them. She was in the same room so she was taken with him. Donna…"

He let out a ragged sigh and Rose put her hand on his arm.

"If Donna is still alive," he said, forcing himself to say it, "she could have been an innocent bystander and the TARDIS was the target or…if someone found a way to sustain her Time Lord mind…"

"Another Doctor to control?" Rose finished for him.

"Perhaps," the Doctor said, nodding. "Although, she'd have the Time Lord mind so they'd have to do something else to control her besides brainwashing. Then again, we have no idea who we're up against or how powerful they are. For all I know, they could have the means to assert their will despite the Time Lord mind. That's why we need to find out what's going on as quickly as possible. Especially if our thought about John is spot on and he's going to be made over into me…well, a more ruthless version of me at any rate."

He glanced over when Pete opened the door and called for them to come.

"Come on, we'll discuss this later," he said as he and Rose took their drinks up to the cashier.

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