Time and the Trickster
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Locked in the Cabinet Room
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: Thanks for all the great reviews and I hope you all enjoy the continuing insanity that is Rose Tyler’s life. Well we’re about to have the series 7 finale so I guess I’ll just have to see what is worth taking and hope it doesn’t completely hose up my own plans. If it does and I can’t incorporate the new aspects into my story then we’ll just continue forward in our little ‘alternate reality.’
Frost took point, having pulled her handgun even if Rose wondered about its usefulness. Aliens had control of Downing Street in a story that seemed better suited to ‘Invasion of the Body Snatcher’ or something similar.
“Did you see what they looked like?” Frost questioned Harried in a low voice as they moved towards the cabinet room.
“A bit yes,” Harriet answered. “But when the … transference took place there was a lot of blue light that disoriented me. They are larger than us, a bit green with large limbs and sort of baby faces.”
“Tyler?” Frost asked. “Sound familiar?”
“Afraid not,” Rose answered.
Suddenly a long green limb with a strange bone like protrusion that ran along the length of it lashed out and knocked Frost back against the wall. On reflex, Rose summoned her sword and moved forward to black frost before the two long claw like fingers could move again. As she stepped forward Rose got a quick look at the large alien creature with its black round eyes, strange collar device and pot belly. Then it moved, lashing out the dangerous looking hand towards Rose who swung her sword up. Her Star Knight sword slashed through the flesh and caught on the bone like protrusion for only a moment before slicing through.
“You beast!” the alien screamed in a shrill almost feminine voice.
“Who are you!?” Rose demanded as she raised her sword to prepare for another attack. “Why are you here?”
“Rose!” Harriet yelled. “Two more of them coming down the corridor!”
“Get to the cabinet room,” Rose hissed as she stepped towards the alien to let the other’s past. The alien made a threatening hiss at her as Rose raised the sword and watched the creature carefully. It began to raise its remaining hand towards her, but when Rose moved the sword towards the hand the movement stopped.
“Tyler!” Frost’s voice barked. “Come on!”
“Kill it!” The alien shouted, “Kill the bag of hormones and adrenaline!”
Rose risked a quick glance down the hall. Two of the aliens were rushing towards her. She heard the alien nearest to her moving and ducked just in time to avoid its remaining clawed hand. Rose spun on her heel, almost slipping in the greenish blood that had dribbled onto the floor and ran. There was a rushing sound past her eyes and she saw some kind of dart hit the wooden panel of the wall right in front of her, but didn’t stop to examine it.
The aliens were right behind her when Rose reached the cabinet room. Rose had just crossed the threshold when the sound of metal shifting reached her ears. Turning, she had just enough time to glimpse the aliens before two slabs of metal clashed closed in front of her, sealing the door.
Blinking at the sudden change, Rose reached forward and knocked the metal barrier.
“Installed in 1991,” Ganesh said weakly next to her. Rose turned to see that his hand was on a button next to the doorframe. “Three inches of steel,” he gestured to the sealed windows. “It’s through all the walls.”
“That’s a relief,” Harriet breathed. “They’ll never get in.”
“And we’ll never get out,” Frost added as she checked the phone on the table. “No signal.”
“When you said the room sealed I wasn’t expecting a mini fortress,” Rose said to Ganesh with a smile. “Nice job.”
Rose’s eyes swept the room as she reached into her bag for her mobile. Her identity badge was lying by the cabinet table where it had fallen and she sucked in a breath at the sight of it.
Looking over at Harriet Jones who eyes had also gone to the abandoned badge, Rose said, “Thanks for that.” The older woman nodded.
“Can someone please tell me what is happening?!” Ganesh asked, his voice almost hysterical. “And please I need more than just ‘aliens’ and ‘run’.”
“I’m afraid I don’t fully understand,” Harriet told him gently. “I was in here earlier… well,” the woman blushed slightly and gestured to a case on the table. “I was reading the emergency protocols.”
Frost was at the case in an instant and opened it, pulling out the files to read.
“And I saw the aliens change bodies,” Harriet said weakly as she pointed to the skin that was still draped over one of the chairs. Ganesh’s whole face changed and he looked ready to be sick, not that Rose blamed him.
“I know it’s a lot,” Rose said gently to the man. “But we have to focus.” Rose took a breath and forced a smile for Ganesh. “Well first things first, I’m Rose Tyler. I’m a consultant for UNIT on aliens.” She gestured towards Frost and added, “This is Lt. Colonel Frost… uh I don’t actually know your first name.”
Frost looked up at the civilians and then back at Rose. “I answer to Frost, but my first name is Elizabeth.”
“I’m Harriet Jones,” Harriet said holding up her badge, clutching it like a lifeline. “I’m the MP Flydale North.”
“I’m Indra Ganesh,” the Indian man said with a nervous nod. “I’m a junior secretary with the Ministry of Defense.”
“Great,” Rose said with a smile. “Nice to properly meet you. Indra can you and Harriet start checking all of these cupboards for anything that might help us. Also keep an eye out for anything you don’t recognize and let Frost and I know.”
Harriet took charge of the search at once, directing Ganesh to one of the larger cupboards with instructions to move across the wall and meet her on the other side. Frost watched them for a moment before her eyes landed on Rose’s phone.
“That’s not going to work,” Frost said quietly. “Three inches of steel will block the signal.”
“Not this phone,” Rose said with a smile as she leaned against the table by Frost. “It works anyplace, anytime and anywhere. No restrictions or contracts needed.”
Frost’s eyes widened as she understood the statement. She eyes went back to the seemingly ordinary phone.
“He gave you that?” she asked in an awed voice. “And it can call through time and space.”
“Yep,” Rose said popping the p slightly. “So three inches of steel isn’t a problem.” Rose bit her lip, “The problem is who to call.” She nodded towards the skin. “We don’t know how deep this goes.”
“Surely not Benton….” Frost said before shaking her head. “I wish we knew more.”
“Well I can start with my contacts,” Rose said as she dialed the number that Spock was attached to. “We’ve got to start somewhere and maybe they can identify the species.”
There was a conference phone speaker on the table and after a brief moment of debate, Rose hooked her phone into it. Frost nodded in approval and Rose hit the button for Spock. The phone rang only once before the calm collected voice of the Xylok came through.
“Hello Rose,” Spock greeted.
“Incredible,” Harriet Jones said as she looked at the phone and then at Rose. “How can you have a signal?”
“Super phone,” Rose replied with a smile at Harriet and Ganesh. “Spock we’ve officially got hostile aliens on our hands and I need some identification and background.”
“Spock?” Indra asked in a shock tone. “Who is this? Someone at UNIT?”
“I am a Xylok,” Spock answered sounding a bit impatient. “Please give me as much information as you have on the aliens and I will run a search.”
A cry of alarm from Harriet made Rose spin and look over towards the older woman. She was standing next to a tall cupboard, but a body was on the floor next to her. Judging from the position and it earlier absence, Rose guessed that it must have fallen out.
“Oh god!” Indra gasped as he reached Harriet first. “That's the Prime Minister!”
Rose leaned over the table to see the man’s face and grimaced at the horrified expression on his face, but there was no doubt that it was the prime minister.
“Why didn’t they take his body?” Frost asked thoughtfully from beside Rose.
“But he was driven away!?” Indra gasped, his eyes still locked on the body. “That's impossible. He left this afternoon. The Prime Minister left Downing Street, he was driven away!”
“Who told you that?” Rose asked as she walked around the table.
“Margaret Blaine from MI5,” Indra responded automatically.
“What did she look like?” Rose questioned as she examined the Prime Minister thoughtfully and ignored the queasy feeling in her stomach from the examination.
“Uh,” Indra stumbled for a moment before he said, “She was shorter than Harriet, short blonde hair and wearing a blue dress.”
“Was she heavy?” Rose asked.
“What?” Indra asked.
“Was she a heavy set woman?” Rose asked. “Fat?”
“Yes, I suppose so,” Indra said.
“That’s it then,” Rose said as she turned to Frost. “They must need larger people. The general and Greene were both heavy large men.”
“I suppose that makes sense,” Frost said thoughtfully. “But they are still larger than those people.”
“They said something about a gas exchange,” Harriet said suddenly. “After… the body change. One of them, if you’ll pardon the word, farted and another said something about fixing the gas exchange.”
“Perhaps a compression field,” Spock said through the phone. Rose almost jumped, she’d forgotten that he was listening. “That would allow them to shrink themselves down a small bit, but it would not be enough to allow them to fit inside slimmer humans.”
“Which explains killing the Prime Minister instead of taking him over,” Frost observed.
Rose nodded and finished walking over to the Prime Minister, with Indra’s help she adjusted the body so he was lying flat on the floor and gently crossed his arms over his chest.
“Sorry,” Rose said in a soft voice, unsure of what else to say. Indra said something which sounded like a prayer under his breath and the room was still for a moment.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” Frost said speaking up, “But we’ve got to figure out something. All the names listed in the emergency protocols are dead downstairs! If the compression field doesn’t work for skinny people then we should contact Benton.”
“Let’s get a bit more information first,” Rose said calmly as she climbed to her feet. “See if we can identify the species and weaknesses for Benton before he has to try to attack number 10.” Rose walked back over to the table. “Alright Spock we have eight feet tall, light green creatures that require a compression field.”
“I require more data than that,” Spock said. “Please provide me with any details you have noticed.”
Rose shut her eyes and recited a physical description of the aliens and was grateful when no interrupted her.
“Face and shape, that narrows it down to five thousand planets within travelling distance,” Spock said. “More data is needed.”
“Uh they have a good sense of smell,” Rose guessed. “One of them described me as a bag of hormones and adrenaline.”
“Access to the compression technology,” Frost said. “And their blood is green.”
“The technology of the ship,” Rose added quickly.
“Wait a minute! Did you notice, when they fart - if you'll pardon the word - it doesn't just smell like a fart - if you'll pardon the word - it's something else, what is it, it's more like uh... um...”
“Bad breathe,” Indra said quickly stepping closer to the phone with the others.
“Calcium decay added,” Spock said. “Match located. Aliens are natives of Raxacoricofallapatorius.”
“Raxacoricofallapatorius,” Rose repeated carefully, unable to help the small smile on her face. “Okay any information on if this an invasion of some kind.”
“No,” Spock said. “According to the files I copied from the Judon ships when they were last in the solar system Raxacoricofallapatorius is a peaceful planet and a member of the Raxas Alliance. They have a council government structure lead by the lord Predator.”
“Lord Predator?” Harriet asked doubtfully.
“A traditional title that honors the native’s traditions of ritualistic hunting which they recreate on major holidays.”
“Okay,” Rose said interrupting the lesson. “But if they are peaceful then what is this about.”
“In the Judoon’s files about Raxacoricofallapatorius there is a notion that the criminal Slitheen family are from the planet. They fled from the planet after their rule of the planet caused the crash of the planet’s government and nearly started a war. That was several centuries ago and since then the family has committed a long list of crimes across the universe including three cases of planet murder.”
“Planet murder?” Indra repeated in a soft place. “Please tell me-”
“Sorry, it’s exactly what it sounds like,” Rose said.
“The entire family was tried and found guilty in perpetuity and sentenced to death,” Spock added. “But most remain at large.”
“So this isn’t an invasion,” Rose said with a relieved smile. “Spock would you be able to do a global scan to see if there are any more of these things on Earth.”
“That will take some time,” Spock said. “But it is possible since they are calcium rather than carbon based life forces.”
“Get on that, oh and did you and K-9 learn anything else about the ship or the signal?”
“The ship is quite standard, but I cannot get a detailed enough scan to determine what is wrong with the ship. K-9 has been monitoring the signal.”
“The signal is a looping message Mistress Rose,” K-9 robot voice suddenly said through the phone, earning an amused look from Frost. “It is an advertisement for nuclear fuel.”
“Nuclear fuel?” Rose repeated. “Is that all?”
“Affirmative Mistress,” K-9 responded. “Source of nuclear fuel is unknown.”
Rose exchanged a confused looks with Harriet, but saw a thoughtful look on Frost’s face.
“Frost?” Rose questioned.
“Maybe the nuclear missiles,” Frost suggested. “Perhaps them or a nuclear plant.”
“Then why take over Britain,” Rose questioned. “The Americans have a lot more missiles.”
“I don’t know,” Frost said with a shake of her head. “Spock any thoughts on how to destroy the Slithleen.”
“The use of the compression field with their calcium bodies may have made them vulnerable to ascetic acid.”
“Ascetic acid,” Rose said thoughtfully as she crossed her arms. “You mean like vinegar.”
“Precisely,” Spock said.
“Great thanks,” Rose said as she reached for the phone. “Call me when you have more, but we should have enough to contact Geneva.”
“Shall I monitor UNIT communications?” Spock questioned and Rose could feel Frost’s eyes on her.
“Under the circumstances, that is probably a good idea,” Rose said. “If you can manage the scan for more Slithleen let me know.”
Hanging up the phone, Rose pulled it from the speaker center and handed it to Lt. Colonel Frost. “Benton’s number is programmed in,” Rose said with a sheepish smile. “It’s his emergency con number and not his office phone so you should be able to reach him.”
Frost took the phone from Rose’s hand and turned it over a few times to examine it. Then it suddenly rang with a very particular ring tone that made Rose sigh. It was her mother.
“Ignore it,” Rose told Frost.
The phone stopped ringing and then promptly started again just as Frost was scrolling through the contact list. Rolling her eyes, Rose grabbed the phone.
“Sorry,” she said quickly. “I’ll appease her and we can get back to work.”
“Who is it?” Harriet asked Frost in a low voice, but the Lt. Colonel could only shrug.
“Hello Mum,” Rose greeted pleasantly. “This isn’t a good time, I’m out with the-”
“Don’t even finish that lie,” Jackie said on the other end. “I just got off the phone with Sharon and Shireen and despite their best efforts at lying I know you aren’t with them.”
“Mum,” Rose said softly. “Can we do this later? Please.”
“No we cannot do this later!” Jackie snapped. “Rose I’ve known for years that you have secrets, but this has gone on too long.”
“What are you talking about?” Rose questioned, trying to keep her voice calm and even.
“I spent year watching the finances,” Jackie said. “I know how much money you inherited and I keep an eye on things. There’s extra income from somewhere. You told me that you haven’t got a job, but you’re making more than twenty thousand pounds a year that isn’t connected to the investments.”
“Mum-” Rose started to say, but Jackie was on a rant.
“I told myself that you’re an adult now and doing far better with your life than I was at your age, but now…. Rose why won’t you talk to me?”
“Mum, it’s not what you think,” Rose insisted.
“I hope not,” Jackie said. “Cause the only thing I can come up with to explain the lying, the secrets and the money is that you’re a call girl!”
Rose’s eyes widened and she was suddenly very aware that she was blushing and that the others in the room were watching her with confusion.
“Mum it’s not like that,” Rose said. “I’m a consultant for a private firm and I have a confidentially agreement. I’m not allowed to talk about it.”
“You haven’t even finished your second year,” Jackie hissed. “And I doubt I’d have a policeman waiting in the living room if that was all you were doing! I’ve tried Rose,” Jackie sounded close to tears. “I know I wasn’t the best mother Rose, but really I-”
“Is the policeman heavy!?” Rose asked loudly to distract her mother. If she was trembling a little bit, Rose ignored it and hoped the others would too.
“What!?” Jackie gasped.
“Is the policeman fat?” Rose asked impatientely. “Mum this is very important!”
“I supposed so,” Jackie said in a confused voice. “Plus he’s got some gas issues… No, don’t you try to distract me Rose!”
“Mum you need to leave the house!” Rose cried. “Leave now and run! Just run!”
“What are you on about?” Jackie asked. “Hold on what’s that noise? Oh what is he doing in there?”
“Mum!” Rose shouted into the phone. “No, don’t look, just leave out the back!”
A sudden scream echoed through the phone and Rose screamed, “Mum!” in return.Chapter Twenty-Nine