Title: The War On Earth
Rating: PG13, possibly bordering on R
A Sequel To: Turn of the Earth and all related ficlets (but it just about makes sense without it)
Characters: Trisha Delaney, Shareen Costello, Maggie and Thomas Finch (Clive’s wife and son), Elton Pope, many OCs
Summary: Bad Wolf went everywhere, including people’s heads. That in itself would be troublesome enough without half a million Daleks destroying your planet. Or having the man who changed your life leave to defend an alternate universe. Or knowing that the person who saved Rose Tyler is not coming to save you.
She dropped the coffee cup and it smashed on the floor, and she screamed and screamed and screamed. She dived for the kitchen door, and found Shareen. The creature lumbered out of the kitchen. Then everything started to blur a bit- Maggie and Elton stood up, Maggie instinctively grabbed Thomas and moved him behind her-
“EVERYBODY OUT!” Elton yelled.
They raced for the door, and Trisha made the mistake of looking back. The robot was advancing, and it had a gun. A gun in its wrist.
It didn’t fire at them, though- something no-one paid much heed to. Trisha felt someone grab her hand- it was Shareen. And she ran and ran and ran and looked: the robots were everywhere. Walking in the streets. Herding people up, and shooting at things.
They made it to Shareen’s car. Trisha had no idea how. They all climbed in, and Shareen took the wheel (she looked terrified) and they drove like mad. The robots turned, they ran forward to catch up…they stopped.
“They stopped!” Thomas screamed. “Why’ve they stopped?”
Other people were getting into cars, fleeing. Trisha flung herself around and looked out of the back window. Another car, a red one, was catching up to them. Trisha could see the faces of the people inside. Behind that car were the robots, and they were catching up.
The driver of the red car looked right at her- he was petrified, almost crying- there were kids in the back seat-
One of the robots raised its arm, and fired.
Trisha gasped; didn’t scream; had no voice.
The red car exploded behind them. Trisha saw the world go white- and then she heard the noise. And the noise, when it came, was terrible. A roll of thunder. An oncoming storm.
Thomas screamed at the noise, Elton covered his eyes, Shareen swirved the car away from the falling fire, and Maggie pushed her hands over her mouth. Trisha stayed still, voiceless and senseless. Flaming bits of car fell to the ground- fireballs and a piece of windscreen. Trisha couldn’t look away. The face of the dead man hovered in her mind, and then vanished, and she finally forced herself to turn back around.
She could smell smoke.
“Oh my god,” Maggie said, her knuckles white from holding the back of Shareen’s seat. “Oh my god.”
They shot through the streets of London, breaking all the speed limits. And nothing fired at them-
-nothing at all.
They arrived at the Powell Estate and it was surrounded by robots. Now there was something Trisha had never thought she’d think.
Shareen had turned on the radio. It was buzzing on and off.
“-Torchwood- bzzt – stay inside – bzzzzzzz – Cybermen.”
“Cybermen,” Trisha repeated. She looked outside, and saw them. They saw her. They advanced.
And stopped. Again. They weren’t coming any nearer.
No-one in the car moved a muscle.
“Shall we stay in here?” Maggie whispered, but Trisha wasn’t listening: she was staring up at the block of flats.
“Our families are in there. Mine and Shareen’s. We need to go and get them.” Her voice was high and frightened and her mind kept flashing back to Bad Wolf Day. “What can we do?”
Elton stared out of the car window. “They just don’t move,” he said. “They’re killing everything else in the area. They shot that car. Why aren’t we dead?”
Trisha turned around to look out of the back window again- and she felt her purple rock shift in her pocket. She had a thought. A frankly unbelievable thought.
She had had a dream. Mickey had been there. He had said the word almost. Almost what? She wished she could remember. She took the stone out of her pocket. It wasn’t glowing. It wasn’t doing anything.
“They’re just standing there,” Elton said. “God, it’s eerie. Shall we try getting out of the car?”
Trisha turned the rock over in her hands. It was time for a leap of faith. Exactly what she didn’t want to do. But maybe there was a middle ground…she wound down the window.
“No!” Elton hissed. “What’re you doing?”
“It’s the rock,” Trisha said. “This rock. It’s the only thing I can think of- the only reason they’re staying back.”
She leaned out of the window as far as she could, holding the rock out in front of her. One of the Cybermen turned his head, and looked, and raised his arm. Trisha almost died right then. But then it sort of froze…froze and stopped, and took a few steps backward. Didn’t kill them.
Everyone in the car was watching intently, barely breathing. Shareen spoke first.
“Mickey gave that rock to you,” she whispered. “It’s from another planet!”
“What?” Elton asked.
“Last Christmas,” Trisha told him. “Before Mickey left. He gave me a present. This was it.” She inched back into the car. “This…rock.”
There was a dead silence in the car. This was not a good thing, because then they heard the screaming on the air.
“What’re they d-doing to people?” Thomas asked, almost in tears.
“I’m going to go and see,” Trisha said, absolutely terrified. “I mean…we can’t stay here, can we? Can we? S’just…I really need to find my family, and Shareen does too.”
“Hold on,” Elton said, staring out of the window. “Who’s this Mickey? That name keeps popping up. Is he the same Mickey who runs Who Is Doctor Who?”
“Ran Who Is Doctor Who,” Trisha said.
“He was Rose Tyler’s boyfriend,” Maggie explained. “A friend of mine- a friend of all of us. But he left with the Doctor, you see, and we never saw him again.”
“Jackie mentioned him,” Elton said slowly.
“Yeah. He was her friend too.” Maggie slapped the side of the car. “Now. Back to business. Here’s what we’ll do- we’ll get out of this car, and all five of us will go into the flats, sticking together, and find the others. We’ll be safe. Won’t we, Trisha?” she said, and leveled her gaze at her.
“Yeah,” Trisha said, terrified at the responsibility she’d suddenly shouldered. “Yeah. We will.”
“What if they start shooting?” Thomas moaned, his face buried in Maggie’s shoulder.
“They’re not shooting,” Elton said. “Whatever makes them stay back, it stops them shooting. Mostly. I…guess.” he finished lamely.
Shareen reached around from the driver’s seat and poked the rock in Trisha’s hands. “Must be something they’re allergic to. Maybe? Some sort of weapon against them?” She and Trisha looked at each other: they alone in the group knew that Mickey had gone to fight something.
“I’m happy not knowing, to be honest,” Maggie said. “So long as it lets us live. Let’s go?”
Trisha held the rock tightly in her hand, and put her other hand on the door handle. She was very, very scared-
-and she opened the door and stepped out of the car.
She held the rock right out in front of her, and the others stumbled out of the car as well, gathering around. A Cyberman looked at them.
“Weapon detected,” it said, somehow sounding slightly anxious although it spoke in a robotic voice. “Weapon detected. Weapon detected.”
Trisha and the others ran. Maggie kept hold of Thomas, and Trisha and Shareen ran in front, and Elton ran alone at the back. And then a shot was fired.
Elton screamed. It was weird hearing him scream…
“It’s alright!” Shareen shrieked. “It came from round the corner!” Somebody was dead, but it wasn’t them. They didn’t pause for thought- not even for that thought- they kept running and they weren’t shot at again. They got to one of the back doors, Trisha flung it open with the hand not holding the rock-
-and there was a Cyberman there.
Before anyone had a chance to do anything it flung itself backwards. One minute it was there and about to kill them, the next it was sliding down the corridor in almost comical fashion. It smashed into a wall, and remained where it was. Too surprised to speak, the five of them ran down the corridor anyway- went right past it, and it didn’t hurt them.
“Weapon detected,” it said, just like the others. As it tried to get up, Trisha and the others reached the door at the end of the corridor, and went through it, slammed and locked it. There was nothing on the other side. They did not consider that Cybermen could probably smash through doors, and it was an incredible stroke of luck that they didn’t really have to. On the other side of the door, it stood up- but then it stood still and there was a faint robotic babble, as if it was recieving orders. Then it went. Marched away.
Shareen had gone to the only window. “Look!” she said. “They’re all going.”
The others crowded around and watched, apart from Thomas, who had slid to a sitting position on the floor.
“Where’re they going?” Elton asked. “Is that it?”
Trisha stared at the ground beneath the window. Ants were crawling there. Oh, to be an ant. The creaking of metal echoed in her ears.
“Maybe they came to find something?” Shareen said. “And found it? So they can leave again?”
“But what?” Maggie asked.
“Or,” Elton said slowly, “the Doctor’s gone and done something…”
They were interupted by a small sob. Thomas had started to cry.
“This is the fourth time!” he shouted, looking up at all the adults. “The fourth time.”
The adults looked right back at him.
“Dad died in the first one,” he whispered. “Then there was the one they said was a hoax but wasn’t. And then there was Christmas, and now there’s this and it’s never gonna stop!”
Maggie knelt down to comfort him, but Trisha kept her attention on the window. Huge groups of Cybermen were marching down the streets, and there was smoke on the horizon. But there was nothing else. They were leaving, they were leaving…
…it wasn’t over.
“What do we do now?” Elton asked.
“I need to find my family,” Trisha said, her voice trembling. She could hear voices now- people venturing out of their front doors- and it gladdened her, because if those people were all fine… “I know they’re probably all right, but I need to check. And they don’t know where I am.”
“Me and Trisha can go upstairs,” Shareen said, staring transfixed out of the window. “You lot- d’ya want to come? In case they come back.”
“In case they come back?” Thomas wailed.
“Yes,” Maggie said, standing up and taking Thomas’s hand. “Best we stick together, especially considering Trisha has…” She trailed off thoughtfully. “A weapon.”
Trisha turned the rock over in her hands, again. Elton reached out a finger towards it.
“Where’s it from?” he asked. “Which planet?”
“Raxicoricofallapatorios,” Trisha answered.
“Where?” Thomas asked, startled out of fear for a second.
“I’ve heard that name!” Elton whispered. “The Doctor said it. I think. You don’t forget a name like that…”
“It was a present from Mickey. Rose gave it to him.”
“I’ve met Rose…” Elton said, trailing off. “She was nice.”
“I know,” Shareen spoke up. “She was nice when I knew her, as well.”
Things went quiet. Trisha put the rock away.
“Alright,” she said, “All of us, let’s go.”