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Title: The Noble Girl – The End of the World
Rating: T

Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Jenny Noble and Mickey Smith's first TARDIS adventure? The Earth's Death. Time to see just how alien the universe is. Written for cassikat's birthday, but started posting for Christmas 2012.
Disclaimer: Hugely AU. So no, I own nothing.

Dedication: cassikat, of course. Happy birthday, my friend! :D And tardis-mole and bas_math_girl, for beta-reading.
Author's Note: This idea was floating around in my head because I thought that a certain character looked more like another character than the one who was her (sole) parent in canon. And I know cassikat wanted a Nine story without Rose. So we both get our wish here! :D

Everyone has had the idea of taking a character and putting them into a different family situation. So, take one character from Who, transform the circumstances of her birth into something normal (or as normal as one can get in DW), and give her a different family. What do you get? Possibly this story. If you eliminate one other character...


Chapter One / Chapter Two

CHAPTER THREE: CULTURE SHOCK

The Steward entered his office. It was small, with cabinets and drawers complementary to the wooden walls. He put his egg on a nearby table and sat down. He listened to Control speaking through his earpiece. “What's that? Well, how should I know?”

Silently groaning, he activated the loudspeaker. “Would the owner of the blue box in private gallery 15 please report to the steward’s office immediately. Guests are reminded that use of all teleportation devices is strictly forbidden under Peace Treaty 5.4/cup/16. Thank you.”

Unbeknowst to him, a spider broke out of his egg while he was talking. It ran up the opposite wall.




The Steward's voice interrupted their quiet moment of reflection. Jenny grimaced, not looking up from the egg in her hands. They'd found their way into a room that looked like the one they first arrived in, but they been sure it wasn't since the TARDIS was nowhere in sight. Each sat on opposite ends of the stairs, on the elevated parts. “Oh, dear. Might want to go find the Doctor or the TARDIS then. In a minute.”

Mickey snorted. “Well, I'd like to see how he handles it.”

Earth Death in 25 minutes,” the computer voice announced. “Earth Death in 25 minutes.”

Mickey looked up at the ceiling. “Yeah, thanks.” He looked at her suddenly. “Did you know that already?”

Yeah,” she answered absently. She looked at the egg in her left hand, tossed it up like the Doctor had, and caught it just as easily.

Show off,” he teased.

She grinned, glad he wasn't intimidated by her talent.

Mickey sighed, looking back at the sampling Jabe gave them. “Do you think this gift can hear us?”

I don't know. I've heard people say that plants like being talked to, but I've never tested that on the ones we grow in the allotment.” She frowned suddenly and put down the egg.

What?” Mickey stood when she did.

I don't know. I-” She cut herself off as a metal spider broke out of the egg.

They stared at it as it seemed to stare at them.




Oi, now, careful with that,” the Doctor admonished a slew of staff members who were moving the TARDIS away. It was not so amusing to see that many people of short stature touching his ship at once. “Park it properly. No scratches.” He knew he sounded like some Earth bloke who worried about his sports car, but he was justified! This was a special ship – the last of her kind!

One of them, also masked, walked up to the Doctor, squeaked a warning at him that no one needed translated, and handed him a card before walking away again.

Frowning, the Doctor read it. 'Have a nice day' it said in slightly distorted lettering. He didn't recognise the font style. He stared at the retreating staff's back, wondering if they were all completely off their rockers, before walking off to locate his wayward companions.

He also didn't notice two spiders walk along the wall. Unbeknownst to him, they wandered through the walls.




Mickey and Jenny continued staring. “D'you think that was supposed to happen?” Mickey asked.

Jenny frowned uneasily. “I'm not sure, but I have an odd sinking feeling about it.”

The spider started scanning her feet, but Jenny backed away. Before she could protest, the Doctor called out. “Jenny? Mickey Are you in there?”

The two watched in amazement as the spider jumped and scrambled through the air vent just before the Doctor came through the door.

He looked at their slightly pale faces. “Aye aye!”

Jenny blinked. “God, you sounded like my Great-Grandy there!”

The Doctor smiled. “Not a bad thing to sound like him.” He sat on the spot Mickey had vacated. “What do you think, then?”

Mickey cleared his throat. “Great! Yeah... fine. Once you get past the slightly psychic paper... or if you can ignore the fact that slavery is still alive.”

Sighing, the Doctor waved a hand helplessly. “Did you really think that it was over in your era? How many countries that you buy cheap clothing from do you think use slave labour? Your species, despite the best efforts of those who know that equality is the only proper treatment, will be dealing with it for a long time.”

Can't you help them?!” Mickey cried.

Wish I could. But there are limits to what I can do without getting noticed by the wrong authorities. Sometimes all you can do is plant the seeds of rebellion and revolution, and hope that not only is the soil is fertile enough to take but that the people will be able to nurture it and flourish.”

Mickey cringed. He'd read about slave revolts that didn't work because they lacked the things needed to succeed. And they were just three people. He sighed heavily, not liking it but grasping his point.

The Doctor paused, waiting for more. He knew it was coming. “Jenny?”

It's a lot to take in, that's all.” Her voice was even, but she was distracted from looking intently at the air vent.

Mickey forced his mind to the earlier topics that had pervaded his thoughts. “I wasn't ready to see how... alien... other beings could look.” When he saw the Doctor look at him questioningly, he tried to find an explanation. No sense in annoying their ride home. “I mean, I had no idea how Earth-centric my views were. I bet Jenny was better prepared for this than I was.”

Jenny shrugged. “Not as much as I'd thought.” She looked carefully at the Doctor, putting aside concerns about that spider for the moment. “Where are you from?”

The Doctor hesitated a moment. This Earthgirl had an uncanny sense of when he was lying. So what could he say that wasn't a lie – and yet didn't admit anything? He shrugged. “Right now? All over the place.”

Mickey decided he had to ask another important question. “Is there some universal translator or something around? Because I've only heard English spoken here.”

The Doctor shook his head, leaning back to rest on one arm and drawing one foot in. “No - you just hear English. It's a gift of the TARDIS. Telepathic field, gets inside your brain – translates.”

Mickey seized on that. “It's inside our brains?!”

Well, in a good way.” But he was stunned that even Jenny was frowning at him.

Your machine gets inside my brain,” Mickey rephrased what he heard, coldly and angrily. “It gets inside and it changes my mind, and you didn't even ask?”

The Doctor was thrown. No one had ever raised such a fuss before. “I didn't think about it like that,” he admitted.

Oh, and one other thing: I had a look at that paper, and it always looked blank to me. You mean that alien saw some drivel you created?!”

Strange,” Jenny interjected. “I saw it, and I can't understand why. It wasn't aimed at me.”

The Doctor's mouth slackened. He shook his head. “Remarkable. You knew it was fake and still saw it. Those family psychic genes at work. And Mickey... you must have strong psychic resistance. You might be able to conceal yourself from quite a few tests.”

Jenny held up a hand, stopping Mickey from asking questions – even if she wanted the answers, too. “Evidently you don't stop to think about a lot of things, do you? Has anyone ever made you look at what you do and think about whether it's the right thing to do?!”

He stared at her, stunned by the force behind her calm. He sensed something that he could recognize as like the anger he felt when the Oncoming Storm was brewing.

Who are you then, Doctor?” Jenny approached, still holding the cutting. “What are you called? What sort of alien are you?”

The question made him cringe. He sat up straight and looked away from them. “I'm just The Doctor.”

Mickey frowned at the tight tone. “No one is just anything. From what planet?”

Well, it's not as if you'll know where it is!”

Jenny scowled, but kept her tone even. “No reason to snap at us. Just answer the question. Where are you from?”

What does it matter?” He didn't want to think about his insistence on using the present tense to speak of his planet. It let him pretend, escape for a while. Run from the truth.

Mickey stepped right in front of him, suddenly losing all his nervousness. “Tell us who you are!”

The Doctor resisted the urge to stand and tower over Mickey. “This is who I am, right here, right now, alright? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”

Jenny got right in his face. “Just because whatever happened hurts don't mean you have the right to take your anger out on us!”

Paling, the Doctor got up slowly and walked down the steps away from them. “Please,” he asked quietly. “Please don't ask. Too painful.”

Earth Death in 20 minutes,” the computer voice broke in. “Earth Death in 20 minutes.”

Mickey looked at Jenny. What do we do? his eyes asked her silently. Jenny sighed. “Alright...we won't ask. Just don't lie to us, even if you're not supposed to argue with the designated driver!”

The Doctor smiled at that. He was glad his back was turned. It gave him a moment to recover his calm.

Instinctively, Jenny pulled her mobile out of her pocket. Then she laughed at herself as she joined the Doctor. “Silly me. Can't exactly call for a taxi if you're completely out of range.” Sighing, she looked up. “Wish I could talk with Mum right now...”

Listening to the wistful tone, the Doctor made a decision. “Tell you what...” He took the phone from her.

What are you doing?!” Jenny exclaimed.

He paused. “Well, with a little bit of jiggery pokery, I can arrange that you can talk with her from anywhere.”

Jenny looked at him with her best What-do-you-think-I-am look. “Is that a technical term, 'jiggery pokery'?”

He didn't like seeing that anger, and didn't fancy the idea that she'd demand to be taken home after this. So he didn't move. “Yeah, I came first in jiggery pokery, what about you?”

Jenny rolled her eyes. “I don't talk about something I don't understand. You mean you're some tech wiz?”

Yes,” he agreed. “May I?”

Well, now that you asked...” Jenny waved as if to say, suit yourself.

He smiled as he removed the back. He pulled out the battery, replaced it with something from his right trouser pocket, and closed the back again. “There you go,” he said as he handed it back.

Jenny took it, looking at him dubiously. He nodded, gesturing for her to give it a go.

Mickey frowned. “How can you get a signal out here?!”

Jenny saw she had reception. And messages. She checked – the calls were from her gran's cell, her gran's home, Mum's cell. She quickly speed-dialed her mum's number, and her jaw dropped as it rang. She moved a bit away, hoping for a little bit of privacy. At least from the Doctor.

In her temporary room, Donna Noble was sitting with papers strewn about on the coffee table. She was pouring herself a gin and tonic (heavy on the gin), eyes wide with alarm. “God, what's my girl got herself into now?” she asked the ceiling. Her cell rang, and she numbly seized the phone. “Hello?”

Jenny's face beamed. “Hi, Mum!”

Donna nearly toppled her glass, grabbing it at the last second to prevent a spill. “Jenny! Your gramps just called! What the hell was he going on about you and Mickey going off with that strange man from Henrick's you mentioned?! Did you know that your gran was nearly killed by some moving mannequins tonight?!”

Jenny's face fell. “Is she alright?”

Donna groaned. Sometimes it was like pulling teeth to get Jenny on the focal point. “Yes! She and Jackie got home safe, but Mum was going on and on when Gramps told her. God, I've never heard her rant and storm so much! What the hell do you think you're doing?!”

He saved the world, Mum. And I saved his life, helping him out. He offered to show us the stars and time. Didn't Gramps tell you that I sensed he's trustworthy?”

Well, yes, but that don't mean I'm comfortable with it!”

Jenny cleared her throat. “You all right, though? None of those plastic things came alive near you?”

Donna ran a hand through her hair. “No,” she snarked. “Would I be so calm if they had? Jenny, you are going to turn my hair all grey soon!”

Mickey marveled over the sight of Jenny getting to talk with her mum. He glanced at the Doctor in shock, who just smiled at him.

Mum, I'll be able to call now. While I'm travelling, I'll call daily, if that'll make you feel better, okay? Even though it's a bit overprotective of you to insist.”

Donna scowled. “Listen, Jenny! You're still a child and you freak me out sometimes with how your mind works! I'm not going to be calm until you're home safely!”

We'll be home tomorrow morning, just as we promised Great-Grandy. Okay? I'm fine. Mickey and I will look after each other.”

Sighing, Donna sat down heavily. “Fine. Just take care of yourself, love. I worry about you.”

Jenny smiled. “Love you, too, Mum. I'm sorry I didn't tell you first.”

Donna's eyes teared. “Get home safe, my treasure. Bye,” she sighed, waiting for the call to end. She didn't hear it click, but she did see the phone indicate the call ended. She lowered the phone numbly and took a huge drink from her glass.

Back in the Platform, Jenny laughed nervously. “I talked with Mum!”

Think that's amazing,” the Doctor joked, “you want to see the bill.” When her eyes flashed, he held up his hands. “No, it won't affect your bill.”

She sighed in relief. Then she shook her head as the weirdness hit. “That was 5 billion years ago. So... according to now, she's dead.” She looked at the Doctor with a frown. “Does it ever get confusing for you?”

The Doctor shook his head. “No. I can keep track of it all.”

He was going to say more, but then the platform shuddered. While his companions' eyes widened, his eyes held a mix of curiosity and pleasure. “That's not supposed to happen.”

What about those spiders wandering about?” Mickey asked. “Are those part of the system?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows. Okay, that didn't sound right. “What spiders? Where?”

Mickey motioned at the egg. The Doctor's eyes widened more when he saw it was open. “Now what are those Adherents up to?”




The Steward was again talking with Control. “Well, what was it? I'm just getting green lights at this end.”


Not liking the answer, he activated the loudspeaker again. “Honoured guests may be reassured that gravity pockets may cause slight turbulence, thanking you.”

As soon as he switched it off again, he spoke angrily to Control again. “The whole place shook! I felt it! I've hosted all sorts of events on platforms 1, 3, 6 and 15 and I've never felt the slightest tremor. I warn you, if this lot decide to sue... I'm going to scan the infrastructure.” He pressed a few buttons, and frowned. “What's that?”

A spider scurried down the wall behind him.

He only saw something small and metallic on the scanners. “Control, I don't want to worry you, but I'm picking up readings...” The computer beeped. “I have no idea! Well, they're small, and the scan says they're metal...” The computer beeped again, and he al-but groaned in frustration. “I don't know what they look like!”

Suddenly, he spotted the spider, pottering around on his desk next to his mug. “Although, I imagine they might look rather like that... you're not on the guest list... how did you get on board...?”

The spider looked at him, almost mockingly, and pressed a yellow button on the control panel. The computerized woman's voice boomed: “Sunfilter deactivated.”

No. No!” the Steward shouted.

Sunfilter descending.” And the sunfilter did begin descending.

No! Sunfilter, up! No, no, no!” He fumbled frantically with the buttons on the control panels. “Sunfilter up! Sunfilter up!

But it was too late. Blinding light engulfed the steward. “Sunfilter descending,” the computer announced as the Steward screamed.

Outside the room, the spider escaped through an air vent.

Chapter Four: Exploring the Problems

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
cassikat
Jul. 3rd, 2013 05:19 pm (UTC)
Ouch, tag-team demanding to know who he is...that didn't go over well :P But wahey, superphone! And Donna! :DDDDD

...now when is Donna going to get to meet the man who's run off with her daughter? ;D
tkel_paris
Jul. 3rd, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
But it had to happen, right? ;) And yay to Jenny talking with her mum, right? :D

You'll see. You will see. ;DDDDDD
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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