The Tyler Factor
Chapter Six: Treaty of Rethilan Prime: Too Easy
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.
AN: Alright here we go the last chapter of the opening episode. Thank you for all the great comments and reviews and even your support over my job hunt. You guys are awesome.
“Rose!” a worried male voice called. It sounded familiar, but no name came to mind as Rose struggled to open her eyes. The voice called her name again and Rose made a small noise of irritation. She was tangled up pretty tight in her duvet, Rose realized when she wasn’t able to moved her arms.
“Rose! Come on, you’ve got to snap out of it!” another voice called, this one female and sounding more irritated than angry. It wasn’t her mother, Sharon or Shireen, but it was familiar too.
With great effort, Rose forced open her eyes and saw a flickering panel of circuits to her right. That was odd and interesting. She blinked again, this time the black flecks vanished and she could see more clearly. A male voice called again and she felt hands moving over her arms. Her first instinct was to lash out, but then she felt something holding her arms in place and that the hands were trying pull them away.
“Rose,” the male voice called again. “Focus, come on we need you. Remember alien conference in danger! Markin and princess Alenica are counting on you.”
Maybe it was the names, that magic word in her life aliens or just the urgency of the voice, but adrenaline began pumping through Rose’s veins and the world started to clear up a little. Her eyes focused in front of her where she found a young woman with long ginger hair tugging and trying to loosen the thick red vines holding her in place.
“Damn Zygons,” the girl muttered and Rose laughed without meaning to. Amelia, this was Amelia, a girl from her future who she apparently had a close relationship with in the future. The girl looked up to meet her eyes, relief and irritation flashing in them.
“Welcome back,” Amelia said dryly making the man, Rory, chuckle behind her.
Rose tried to shift her arms, but they were stuck tight. As she moved her wrist, Rose could feel the warm metal of her bracelet on her wrist and relaxed.
“I still have my sword,” she announced calmly as a feeling more control settled over her. “Back up and give me some room.”
“What if you fall asleep again?” Rory asked with a frown. “We don’t know what they gave you.”
“I’ll be fine,” Rose assured him, sounding more confident than she was. At his doubtful expression Rose added, “Come on, surely you know that the Doctor does his best to keep me from getting hurt too badly.”
“Even if it means cheating,” Amelia added with a soft warm smile. It was odd, how the smile conveyed familiarity, resignation and amusement all at once. None the less, Amelia stood up and pulled Rory back.
Taking in a deep breath, Rose turned her wrist as far from her face and neck as she could. The blade slid out, the metal brushing over Rose’s wrist as it changed shape. Red vines fell away as the blade sliced neatly through them. A moment later Amelia and Rory were next to her, tugging the remains of the vines off of her and helping Rose untangle herself.
“That’s better,” Rory observed with a calmer and more relaxed voice. “I’m not as much a fan of the danger when we don’t have at least you or the Doctor at the ready.”
Rose wasn’t sure how to take that remark, on hand she felt flattered that a future companion would equate her with the Doctor and also more than a little worried by the very idea. Rory held out his hand as Amelia stood back and kicked away some of the vines. Taking Rory’s hand, Rose let him pull her up and ignored the part of her that was angry and embarrassed by the turn of events. Lately she’d been feeling that more than she liked, but reminded herself that this wasn’t the time.
“What happened?” Amelia asked glancing Rose over for any signs of injury.
“A Zygon disguised as Rory lured me to the basement,” Rose snarled as she looked past Amelia down the hall. “Knocked me out with some kind of drug, I’ll get checked over later,” Rose added quickly seeing that Rory was about to say something. “Next thing I know it looks like me now, but then I fell asleep from the drug.” Rose twisted between the two future companions and started walking towards the stairs. “Come on! Who knows that they are doing?”
“Rose! Wait let me make sure you’re alright!” Rory shouted behind her.
Reaching the doorway, Rose smirked as she noted the piece of metal that had been jammed into the groove to keep it open. Amelia’s handiwork no doubt, after all a rescue mission wasn’t worth much if it got everyone trapped. “No time,” Rose called over her shoulder. “We have got to deal with this thing before the conference falls apart.”
She launched herself forward, running down the hallway and doing her best to navigate towards he raised voices she could hear in the distance. Several aides and security guards had to jump out of Rose’s way and then press themselves against the smooth walls to avoid Amelia and Rory. Behind her, Rose could hear Rory and Amelia shouting apologizes and smiled.
Rushing into the secondary conference room, Rose came to a sudden stop nearly causing Amelia and Rory to slam into her. Standing at the edge of the table was the Zygon in her form, wearing the crisp white uniform that Alenica. A stray thought about if she really looked that impressive shot through Rose’s mind, but as members of the conference turned and look at her with surprise, she banished the thought.
“Ladies and gentleman that is an imposter,” Rose announced as calmly as she could. “A zygon to be exact using metamorphic powers to sneak around the conference. Eariler they caused the explosion to cause distrust amongst you all.”
“You are the imposter,” the Zygon huffed glaring at Rose. “The representatives and I have been working on outlining the need for Etheia to hold control over their own space and have privacy in their internal matters. I am helping, you on the other hand are barging in and disrupting the conference which we only just got restarted.”
“The Zygons like to take over planets,” Rose snapped as Markin gave her a suspicious look. “Of course they want Etheia to go the isolationist route, if there is no contact between them and the other worlds then no one will be able to help them when the Zygons move in. hence the need for mistrust, they need the best solution in the eyes of everyone to be ignoring Etheia.”
“Etheia is not ready for being a part of the galactic community,” the Zygon Rose countered.
“Maybe not,” Rose agreed earning an odd look from the Zygon. “But they can’t act as if all of this never happened. They can’t go back to when they didn’t know about aliens for better or for worse. That ignorance is gone and pretending won’t bring it back.” Rose shook her head and let her eyes sweep the room. “I’ve seen that, it doesn’t help. Maybe what’s ahead is hard, but they have to face it and their descendants won’t thank them for being cowards about it.”
Not the most diplomatic statement, Rose admitted to herself as General Vardic straightened up in his chair and is fellow Etheias looked murderous. The Zygon glared at her before stepping back and gesturing to the security forced.
“Get the alien,” the Zygon ordered. “We cannot allow for foreign elements to contaminate the conference and treaty.”
“Okay that’s something I would never say,” Rose countered with a glance at Princess Alencia.
“And we came with Rose,” Amelia added speaking up. “Would we be helping the Zygon.”
The Zygon turned sharply and glared at them. “They were part of the trap, they are Zygons too. They came to see me this morning…” the Zygon looked confused sorting through Rose’s memories with limited success based on the expression. “Yes they aren’t really my friends.”
“Oi!” Rose snapped as the security officers moved around them slowly. “Enough of this!” Rose held out her arm, showing her golden bracelet.
“Don’t be excited,” the Zygon mocked, showing their own arm and bracelet. “Zygons copy anything that has skin contact.”
“Apparently your ability to sort my memories isn’t very good,” Rose mocked with a growing smile. “Otherwise you’d know that mine does this.” A moment later the bracelet shimmered and grew into a golden sabre clutched in Rose’s hand.
Princess Alenica jumped to her feet and pointed at the Zygon Rose who looked startled and worried. “That’s the imposter, get it and secure it…” Princess Alenica glanced around the table. “Uh I offer my ships brig to hold the prisoner.”
“It was a Star Knight that they sought to impersonate,” Markin said diplomatically. “I accept your offer.” They looked towards Vardic who had a nervous and stunned expression on his face, but he nodded.
“Resume your true form,” the guards ordered as they surrounded the Zygon who was glaring at Rose. “Resume your true form,” one of them repeated as he pulled out strange looking handcuffs, “or else this may harm you.”
Still glaring at Rose, the Zygon’s form shimmered for a moment before it grew and changed shape. A moment later the tall red creature with suction cup looking skin stood in its place. Two security guards snapped the cuffs on while a third spoke into a communication device.
“Beware your Star Knight,” the Zygon growled. “There’s something in her head, something that confused me and misled me.” The Zygon’s reddish eyes seemed far away, seeing something they couldn’t. “The Bad Wolf,” it muttered just before it was pulled towards the door leaving Rose a little worried and confused in its wake.
“Was that it?” Rory asked Amelia in a low voice behind Rose. “That seemed too easy.”
“Shh,” Amelia hushed him quickly.
Rose frowned slightly, agreeing with Rory’s remark. The Zygon leaving her with her bracelet had been a terrible mistake and made proving who she was too easy. But then the Zygon’s words had her a bit worried… was there still something in her head? But the Doctor and the blue Guardian had seemed certain that everything was fine.
Then she was aware of Amelia stepping up behind her, grabbing her hand and giving it a quick squeeze. Rose relaxed slightly at the reassuring gesture and forced a smile.
“Well the plan to expose the Zygon is no logner necessary,” Rose told the assembled diplomats cheerfully. She released Amelia’s hand and stepped closer to the conference table. “And we have our bomber. I suggest that we finish what we came here to do.”
“I agree,” Princess Alencia announced, raising her chin proudly and smiling at Rose.
“Indeed,” Markin added, “If the Zygons are interested in your planet then we should not given them further opportunities to damage these talks.”
General Vardic nodded, but there was a hint of uncertainty in his expression. As she sat down in an empty seat and gestured for Amelia and Rory to do the same, Rose calmly suggested, “Perhaps first as a sign of goodwill you should brief the general on the Zygons so he can make sure his people are prepared.”
If Vardic was relieved at the suggestion and Markin’s nod then he did not show it. Instead he calmly nodded and one of his fellows began to take notes. Rose allowed herself to relax slightly at Markin explained that the Zygon were a small time menace in the galaxy who kept trying to usurp planets. Rose noted he seemed more amused by them than anything else, but she supposed when you had battle cruisers like his people had that you probably didn’t feel the need to worry about the Zygons.
With the drugs still in her system, Rose found it a bit difficult to focus, but everyone was on their best behavior. Rory kept glancing over at Rose while she did her best not to nod off. She still may have because one moment there was a potential argument brewing that she’d cut off by standing off and the next Princess Alenica and General Vardic were nodding in agreement as an aide placed a long sheet of metal with lettering in it on the table. Alenica accepted a small thin tool that she used to mark the bottom of the metal. Rose blinked, surprised to realize that they used metal to record treaties rather than paper.
Lips quirking into a smile, Rose conceded that for a largely digital culture using metal to record important agreements was probably to signify its importance. General Vardic accepted the sheet of metal and small tool as Rose leaned forward to get a better look at the document. It was shorter than then she would thought. Then it was passed over to Markin who used the tool to mark the bottom. And then to Rose’s surprise it was set down in front of her.
With all eyes on her, Rose quickly scanned the document and relaxed in relief. It called for the Etheias to control the space of their own star system with no external traffic into it, but did establish a set time to renew or end the treaty in the future. It also established the clause for communication relays to be provided to the major Etheia power so they could report any violations to their space or potential invasions. For a moment Rose was tempted to ask if she could something like that for the United Nations.
The Orthan aide was holding out the small tool which Rose took carefully in her hand. As her fingers brushed over it, she felt a small button. Holding her breath, Rose lowered the tool down to a black space on the metal sheet. The others had signed their names, titles and planet so after a moment of hesitation Rose pressed the small button and pushed down on the metal.
There was a slight smell as the tool caused an imprint in the metal. More confident that she knew what she was doing Rose engraved her name into the metal, an odd feeling of awe hitting her. Normally her life was stopping invasions or saving aliens in trouble like Markin, but today….
Star Knight Rose Tyler of Earth
Rose stared at her title, name and planet on the treaty for a moment before snapping herself out of her stunned silence. Smiling, she sat back to allow the aide to collect the metal sheet and tool from her. He held up the treaty and everyone began clapping which Rose joined in with quickly.
Then Rory was next to her, tugging on her arm. “Medics now,” he ordered in a low voice, pulling Rose up and out of the chair.
Too tried to fight, Rose allowed him and Amelia to steer her out of the room and down the hall to the medical center. Rory pushed her down into one of the Orthans weird pods and told her to sleep. Normally Rose disliked being ordered around, but at the moment that just seemed like a really good idea.
When she woke up everything was much clearer, the fog at the corner of her eyes was gone. Amelia was sitting in a small green chair next to her, reading something off of a digital pad.
“Welcome back,” Amelia said warmly as she noticed Rose starting to sit up. “You’ll be glad to know that the toxin the Zygon used is out of your system and there won’t be any long term side effects.”
“That is good,” Rose replied as she swung her feet down. “How bad was it?”
“Another hour you could have gone blind,” Amelia informed her sternly. “It’s pretty nasty stuff. Oh and the infected boil that was forming on your arm has been cleaned up to.” Amelia paused, “Seriously Rose a Zygon’s poison can kill, you need to be more careful. You’re lucky it wanted to keep you alive for information.”
“I know,” Rose assured Amelia softly, looking down in embarrassment. “In my defense I wasn’t thinking totally straight after it injected me.”
“Maybe, but next time you see Rory in the proper time line understand if he’s irritated with you. You’ve been asleep for thirty-six hours.”
“Just tell me that the conference went well,” Rose begged with a sigh.
“It did, you might remember the signing. The conversation you and zygon had was very insightful according to General Vardic and their threat actually helped push the Etheias into accepting that they need to be peaceful with their neighbors.”
“Good,” Rose said softly as she stood up and looked around. “Are we still on Rethilan Prime?”
“Nope,” Amelia told her, standing up. Rose noticed that she was actually back in her regular clothing. Glancing down at herself, Rose noted that she was as well and decided not to think too much about when that happened. “We’re back at Earth actually. Markin wanted to make sure that you were healthy before he returned her. I think he feels bad about you getting poisoned.”
“It wasn’t his fault,” Rose observed, rolling her shoulders. “Have you got my stuff?”
“Right here,” Amelia replied, bending over and retrieved Rose’s shoulder bag from the floor and handing it to her. “Ready to go?”
“Well I do have classes to prepare for,” Rose remarked with a smile. “And you two need to get on with your lives in your proper time line.”
“There’s no such thing as a proper time line around you,” Amelia teased with a smile as the medic approached them.
Rose did her best to be calm and friendly through the medical examination even as Rory scowled at her and muttered under his breath. Markin joined them, but said little as he waited for Rose to be given the all clear. Smiling warmly, he offered to show them back to the transport room. As they walked down the corridors, Rose noted that she was getting odd looks. She wondered if it was good or bad. After all she’d stopped the Zygon, but only after it captured her and used her form resulting in her needing medical attention. Rose was inclined to call it a draw rather than a victory.
The transport room was brighter than Rose remembered from their arrival. An Orthan stepped forward and handed Rose a bag before handing similar bags to Amelia and Rory. The other two accepted them without question while Rose glanced down at the small pale blue fabric bag held closed by a series of small buttons.
“Your clothing,” the Orthan said, answering her unspoken question.
Accepting the bag, Rose swung it over her shoulder and wondered when she’d possibly wear the white outfit again. Although it did look really good, she’d probably add it to the TARDIS wardrobe the next time the Doctor visited her.
“Take care Rose Tyler,” Markin told her with a soft smile as she stepped up onto the platform.
“You as well Markin,” Rose replied with a small smile of her own. “And next time, try to send me a warning.”
Markin chuckled, the sound warm and rich as it echoed in the transport chamber. He nodded to a waiting Orthan who pressed a series of buttons. A bright flash of light threatened to blind Rose as the world fell away.
The transport wasn’t so bad this time, Rose stomach flipped twice, but no bile came up her throat. Her legs shook for a moment, but she was able to stabilize herself quickly and look around. They were in the back alley near her place in Cambridge. Down the alley she could see some traffic passing on the road.
Amelia flattered slightly as she tried to walk, but Rory steadied her. The red head shook her head and straightened up, dusting off her shirt.
“So…” Rose said slowly, bouncing on her feet slightly, a bad habit picked up from her significant other no doubt. “Thanks for all your help.”
“You’re welcome,” Amelia told her with a wide smile. “It was a nice little adventure for us to.”
“If you say so,” Rory muttered only to get elbowed lightly in the ribs by Amelia. “But it was great to see you,” Rory added quickly with a nervous look at Amelia. “Even if you’re …. You know younger.”
“Thanks I guess,” Rose replied with a chuckle. “Time travel is always weird. Brilliant, but weird,” Rose told him with a warm smile.
“That’s the truth,” Amelia agreed before stepping forward and hugging Rose tightly.
Blinking in surprise, Rose nearly stumbled back, but caught herself and slowly brought her arms up to return the embrace. Amelia seemed completely relaxed and calm while Rose glanced at Rory who chuckled at her surprise and discomfort.
“Thank you,” Amelia whispered in a low voice. “For everything you’re going to do for me.”
Rose wanted to say thank you, but the words caught in her throat at the emotion in Amelia’s voice. Finally the younger woman let her go and Rose heard her charm bracelet jingle lightly. It gleamed in the sun as Amelia stepped back and pushed a strand of long red hair behind her ears. Rory stepped up next to her, threading their arms together and grinning down at her. Amelia looked up at him and smiled warmly, leaving Rose frozen for a moment as she took in the two of them. A soft smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she watched them silently communicate for a moment.
“We’d better be going,” Amelia told her. “Left our luggage locked up at the train station a bit longer than I’d like.”
“Where you off to?” Rose asked them.
“Oh, just… anywhere,” Amelia replied with a laugh. “We’ve got a few more months to explore this planet.”
“So we’re going to use it,” Rory finished, tugging gently at his girlfriend’s hand and waving to Rose.
Lifting her hand to wave at them, Rose stood silently as she watched the young couple walk down the alley to the street and out of sight, smiling to herself all the while. Then she turned and headed to the main door of her building and feeling lazy entered the lift. As the lift began to rise, Rose leaned back against the wall and chuckled.
“Rory’s right though, that was too easy,” she looked upwards. “What have you got planned for me next?”
Rose licked at the melting ice cream, enjoying the sugar rush and flavor. So far the visit to Cardiff had been a bust despite the lecturer being an old friend of Ian’s. She pouted slightly, Ian had probably known that the lecture on time travel was actually about why time travel was impossible and silly. This was his way of getting her back, Rose was sure of it. Then she heard the familar grinding of the TARDIS and straightened up. Wind whipped her hair back from her face as the TARDIS materialized a few feet in front of her near Roald Dahl Plass.
She stared at the blue box for a moment, wondering just what was happening that he was here. Then the natural question of which Doctor was going to step out of the TARDIS hit her and Rose considered slipping away until she could confirm. The door opened and out stepped the tall leather clade Doctor who was grinning at he looked around. Then his blue eyes landed on Rose and widened comically.
“For the record,” Rose said trying to fight back a manic smile. “I was here first.”Chapter Seven