Meltdown (Turn of the Earth #8)

Rose left Earth, but her mother and friends remained there. Mickey meets another girl, Jackie tries not to think about her dying mother, and the Bad Wolf hunts them all.

#1- Not The End Of The World– Mickey after Rose
#2- So Are You– Jackie before Aliens of London
#3- It’ll Be Alright– Trisha during AOL/WWIII
#4- Coward In Your Own Story– Mickey visits Clive’s family
#5- The One I Love– Trisha and Mickey go on a date, as friends- they hope.
#6- The Escape– Shireen, Trisha, and Jimmy Stone
#7- Mother’s Day– Jackie and her mother

#8- Meltdown
Rating: PG13
Concrit: Yes please. :)
AN: You really have had to have looked at Mickey’s website before reading this…


Someone was letting off fireworks outside.

There was no good reason. It wasn’t Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, or anything. It was stupid, and it was keeping Mickey awake. People ought to be more considerate.

There was a flash of green outside the window, and some cheers from far away.

One week after Rose had vanished, people had been letting off fireworks. It hadn’t been their fault- to them Rose had been nothing more than another face in the paper, they had no idea who she even was and it didn’t affect them- but it had been so depressing. How could they be letting fireworks off when Rose had abandoned him?

And why were they still at it, a year later, when he had confirmation that Rose hadn’t quite abandoned him and that was almost worse?

He went to his computer, falling over things as he went. It was dark, but it was common practise for him to leave the machine on all night. The stuff on his desk was illuminated by the thin white light of the screen: a pile of newspapers and print-outs of emails. Old photographs in very old photoframes.

The screen displayed his latest piece of writing:

It’s been an interesting week. UNIT have changed their password (nice try guys, but we’ll get in there, don’t you fear), someone’s been sending me plans of a nuclear power station, and my ex-girlfriend’s been in touch.

Those of you who’ve been following this site for a while will know that the last fact means trouble. ‘Cos if she’s around, so is Doctor Death.

See ya next week. If there is one. Mix


He was about to upload the page the next morning when he thought he’d check the sites he usually checked: the news, the sports, and the UNIT website. The last one contained something very much of interest. Mickey read it several times and then began typing.

Well, it’s all been solved thanks to our fine friends at UNIT – the international agency responsible for covering up after aliens. They’ve issued a press release warning about the Schlechter Wolf bomb. Apparently, several have been found recently in the area around Albion Hospital – and UNIT are *really freaked*.

Mickey personally was more interested than worried about the bomb: he had other things to worry about. Maybe they weren’t quite as bad as the thought of bombs specially designed to deform you…but still. Maybe Rose and the Doctor had been out there, in World War II. Maybe they’d found the bombs, destroyed them and saved the planet. Possibly. Probably.

He finished, uploaded everything, emailed the guy who had sent the nuclear power plant plans to him, and then went to do his latest job: washing cars. It wasn’t a bad occupation: his employer was a friendly old bloke who didn’t mind Mickey and the other two boys who worked there watching pirate DVDs in the back of the garage. Mickey didn’t speak to anyone there about his life: it was mostly unbelievable anyway. He didn’t even mention that he had a girlfriend, or pretty much had a girlfriend, or almost had two girlfriends or whatever.

He and Trisha hadn’t even done anything.

And he had once again neglected to tell her something very important: Rose was back and she wanted to see him. She had asked him to bring her passport along- maybe that was all she wanted, who knew?

But probably not. He hated being in this situation. What was he going to tell Trisha, when he saw her?

Business was slow that morning, and the weather was wet. Mickey and the others hung around in the garage and pretended to do paperwork.

Mickey’s phone buzzed: it was Trisha calling. His heart sank. Well, it didn’t necessarily mean he had to tell her anything-

“Has Rose really been in touch with you?” she asked breathlessly.

Mickey groaned. “Yeah. Yeah, she has. She wants me to go see her. In Cardiff. In a week or so. How do you know?”

“I read it on the website,” she answered, with just a hint of impatience. “I do read it, you know.”

Mickey took a moment to be taken aback at his incredible stupidity. He considered the website world and the real world to be entirely different things, and it rarely occured to him that they overlapped. Or that was his excuse, anyway, “Oh. Yeah. I mentioned that there, yeah…”

“Are you going to see her, then?”

“Um…yeah. She wants her passport.”

“Is that all she wants?”

“I dunno…I was going to tell you…”

“Does Jackie know?”

“Yeah. Phoned her as soon as I could…I just…I was going to ring you as soon…”

“I’m not jealous of Rose, you know,” Trisha said quietly.

“I know you’re not, but…I gotta go.”

“Okay. Bye.”

She hung up, and Mickey also put his phone away. He looked up to see his workmates looking at him.

“Girl trouble?” one of them said with a snicker.

Mickey shrugged.


Later that day he went to see Maggie, and glumly told her everything. She offered him coffee.

“Now, I don’t have much experience with this sort of thing- I married the first man I loved,” she said. “Two dates was all it took. You ought to think about all this, Mickey. Not just rush into the situation-”

“What situation, exactly?” Mickey asked, drinking the coffee.

“Well, are you in love with Trisha, Mickey?”

Mickey considered it.

“…No. We’re just friends. I think.”

Maggie looked at him.

“I don’t know, alright? We just sort of ended up together.”

“And does she know that?”

“I dunno.”

“Maybe you’d better tell her.”

“Maybe, yeah.”

His heart sank.


The next day, after a sleepness night, he went to see Jackie. She wanted him to fix her computer for her.

“There’s a virus on it, Jackie. Have you been opening emails from people you don’t know?”

“They were offering free iPods- I really want an iPod.” Jackie said.

“Oh, Christ. Jackie- from now on don’t open an email unless it’s from me, alright?”

“Or from Rose?”

“She doesn’t know you have email! You didn’t when she left!”

“Don’t shout, Mickey.”


He twirled around on the computer chair pointlessly.

“You know what else I haven’t thought of,” Jackie said,

“What?” Mickey asked vaguely.

“What if she comes back, right, with a half-human baby? I’m not ‘aving that. That’s just wrong, that is.”

Mickey goggled at her. She just looked back.

“It’d be creepy,” she said. “‘Sides, Rose never wanted to be a mum. Not like me.”

Mickey turned away in frustration and went back to the computer. The virus was proving hard to crack.

“You know, I saw your latest update…before I broke the computer, I mean.” Jackie said. “On your website,” She sounded rather guilty, and Mickey wondered if they all had secrets.

“What is it, Jackie?”

Schlecter Wolf. That’s German, isn’t it? Means Bad Wolf.”

“Yeah, I know. I did do German at school, Jackie.”

Jackie shifted on the sofa nervously. “It’s about my mother. She…you know…how she was always a bit weird…”

“What…?” Mickey asked nervously.

Jackie sighed. “Bad Wolf. Once when I went to visit her, when Rose was…still missing…she started talking about a Bad Wolf.”


“She said, She’s run away with the big bad wolf. Meaning Rose.”

Mickey was silent.

“I…it’s probably nothing important. Just…I mean, I don’t even know what Bad Wolf is…”

More silence.

“Can I come with you, Mickey?” Jackie asked. “To Cardiff. I just want to see her.”

Mickey shook his head.

“Um. I don’t know. I was hoping to go on my own…I only need to give her her passport.”

Jackie gave him a very cold look.

“Fine, then. You go. Enjoy yourself.”


A day later, and he was preparing to leave. He was throwing stuff into a overnight bag when the doorbell rang. He knew who it would be even before he opened the door.

“Hello, Trisha.”

“You’re going now, then?” she asked. “Jackie said you said she couldn’t come.”

Mickey shook his head. “She’s welcome to make her own way to Cardiff, if she wants.”

“She’s frightened,” Trisha said.

“Of what?”

“She’s just frightened. S’just…” Trisha tapped her fingers on the doorframe. “It’s weird. All sorts of weird stuff is happening all the time, it feels like, but nobody seems actually scared about it. Ever since the aliens…”

“What, the Slitheen?”

“Yeah, them…it’s like no-one cares anymore…my family doesn’t care.”

Mickey finally stepped aside to let her in.

“Well, I care.”


There was an awkward silence.

“You know, you mentioned on the website something about a nuclear power station,” Trisha said finally. “What’s that about?”

“Oh. Some guy sent me an email. About a nuclear power plant. It was slightly weird,” Mickey went on. “He said not to do anything unless I heard from him by midnight…um…yesterday, I think. Can’t remember. Anyway, heard nothing, so I was going to put them online as soon as I got to Cardiff…”

“And did this guy say anything else about the nuclear plant?” Trisha questioned. “Like…oh, I don’t know…it’s being built by aliens, or something?”

“He didn’t mention aliens.”

“What else did he say, then?”

“It’s called Blaidd Drwg. The Blaidd Drwg project. That’s pretty much all he said.”

Trisha looked thoughtful.

“Blaidd Drwg? That’s a pretty weird coincidence…”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the Schlecter Wolf bomb thing and now this…you see, Bad Wolf is my brother’s graffiti tag. So it sort of rung a bell…”


“Oh Mickey, don’t you know Welsh?”

“No. D’you?”

“Yeah- Blaidd Drwg means Bad Wolf.”

Mickey could only stare at her, suddenly slightly scared in a detached kind of way. This was all he needed.

“Oh. Well. That’s interesting,” he said.

“Mickey- is there something you’re not telling me?” Trisha asked.

Yes. A couple of things. At least. So much for not being a liar.


Trisha sighed. “May I use your computer? I want to look up Bad Wolf.”

Mickey felt anxiety in the pit of his stomach. “Why can’t you use your own computer?”

“It’s broken. My older brother broke it. Please don’t ask how.”

“Well, alright.”

He switched the computer on for her and went back to packing in the other room. But he felt horribly nervous now. It couldn’t just be down to the the fact he was worried about meeting Rose…

No, it was something else.

She’s run away with the big bad wolf…

He ignored his bad feeling until he could ignore it no longer. He went back to the computer room- Trisha was looking at a website. And as soon as he came in, she closed it and turned around.

“Something funny’s going on, Mickey,” she said in a panicky voice.

“What? What did you just see?

“I….look, I typed it into a search engine, and the first one that came up…” She trailed off, and hugged herself.

What, Trisha?”

You don’t want to know!” And she pushed back the computer chair and stood up, shaking.

“Trisha?” Mickey asked lamely.

“Something bad is going on,” she said. “That website I was just at, it said…”


She shook her head, and appeared to regain her sanity.

“Are…are you about to leave, Mickey?”


They looked at each other for a long time.

“Look, what was…”

“No! I don’t want to talk about it. Okay?”

Mickey realised he felt faintly sick. He picked up his bag, lead her outside, and locked the door. “Okay. I’ll be back by tomorrow, probably, see you later.” He kissed her on the cheek and walked away- and then looked back. She was just standing there, terrified. But then she raised her hand, and waved goodbye.

“See you later,” she said quietly.


Mickey spent half an hour at Swindon Station doing nothing. His brain was in turmoil: what on earth had Trisha seen to leave her shaking like that? Was it nothing? Something? A message saying the world will end tomorrow?

Or today?

And what was he going to say to Rose, anyway? About…everything? The fact that he was dating someone else, if it could be called dating? Rose had been the one who’d left, anyway, so…

He was quite angry with her, he realised. And with himself.

Eventually he trundled off to a cybercafe to update the website. He typed Bad Wolf into the search engine, and stared at the first entry.

What’s the mystery that’s haunted the Doctor and Rose? Find out absolutely nothing…

Scared, he looked away, then moved his mouse to click on it. But he couldn’t. He listed this as proof that he was a terrible coward, closed the window and went back to typing.

I’m off to meet Rose in a bit – she said to look for You-Know-What in Cardiff Bay, which is right by the Millennium Something – that’s got to be the Millenniun Stadium. After all, how many Millennium Things can you have in one city?

I dunno. All this Millennium stuff is so last century. LOL.

But anyway – she whistles, and I come. Two hours on the train. Two-and-a-half if you count the weird half hour admiring the view from Swindon station. The things you do for love. I’ve waited six months. But that extra half hour was the worst.

It most definately had been.

He read over that paragraph again. The things you do for love…if Trisha saw that, what would she think? But then he remembered her computer wasn’t working anyway, and nor was Jackie’s.

He carried on, waiting for the guilt to come. It didn’t.

So, this power station’s in Cardiff. So is Rose. These days, the two are bound to be connected. Meltdown.

But I think the real explosion’ll come if I tell her about Trisha…

Yes. What was he going to do about that, anyway?

He wanted to leave now, but there was one more thing.

Curious. That nuclear power station is called Blaidd Drwg. Which translates as “Evil or Bad Wolf”.

Now, something really weird happens if you type bad wolf into a search engine.

That wouldn’t panic anybody. Good.

He left then, trying to make the fear go away. Halfway across town, it faded a little…the Doctor would know what to do, surely. The man who’d stolen his girlfriend and his life for a year, he’d know what to do…

He approached the time machine.