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.
They made their way downstairs as one large group. Trisha (and the rock) in front, Shareen right next to her, Maggie, Thomas and the Costellos behind them, Alex next, and Elton and Howard at the back. Trisha took a moment out to consider if the two men would ever find out that they had something in common: that something being Jackie Tyler. The thought almost amused her for about five seconds.
They reached the door. They staggered out into the light, into the back of the estate-
-there wasn’t anyone there, not at the moment. Trisha could hear screaming on the wind…
Alex sobbed. Shania inched forward.
“They…them things…they’re killing people, aren’t they…”
“Yes,” Elton said, shaking all over.
“They’re gonna get here soon…are they like an army?”
“They must be.”
“They just want to kill us, yeah?” Howard asked, and Trisha was astounded at how calm he sounded. “They’re not interested in surrender?”
“No,” Elton said. “Why is everybody asking me?”
“Because,” Trisha said, “you’re the only one who’s met the Doctor.”
Elton digested this. He shook his head and clenched his fists- he looked quite different for a moment. Then he looked up- they all did, because something, high in the sky, was coming closer.
He swallowed. And, to Trisha’s horror, he looked right at her.
“Are we going to die here?”
And she said, shaking,
Then something blew up. Right in front of them, on the other side of the street. Trisha would discover later that it was in fact a phone box and half a fish and chip shop. She screamed into the sudden whiteness, and flung herself to the ground. Most of the others followed suit.
And then they looked up.
What they saw, sliding out of the smoke, was an alien. The most alien alien they’d seen so far- it had no face, no arms, no legs, nothing. It had a gun, a laser and an eyestalk -closer inspection revealed it also had a plunger- and it was coated in shining gold metal. It looked throughly and spectacularly out of place. Wrong. Oh so very wrong.
It landed on the grass.
Time stood still.
Shareen grabbed Trisha’s arm. She was being pulled away again- she heard both Alex and Shania shriek horribly- all over London people were being killed-
oh no we’re not dead yet please we’re not we’re not we’re not- you can do anything you want you’re strong enough!
Trisha held the rock, faced the monster, and- in what she realised at the time was an act of staggering stupidity- ran towards it.
Someone screamed her name.
The monster froze in position- in the position of pointing a gun at her. And then, like the Cyberman before it, it flew backwards. Backwards into a wall, on its side.
Shareen came racing towards her. Trisha had rarely seen her so frantic, and her knees almost buckled. The people behind them- even Elton- were going in all directions, racing for shelter. Above them, the sky was turning black.
The monster righted itself, and flew upwards.
“WE ARE THE DALEKS,” it said, in a barking robotic voice. “YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED.”
In what was quite possibly her finest hour, Trisha thrust the rock at the sky.
Had she done this one second later they all would be dead, because a second Dalek was in the air and ready to fire at them. But on its shields and guns meeting the invisible and immensely clever force-field of the rock, they switched themselves off. As did the anti-gravity system. It fell from the sky.
It landed on top of the first Dalek. This may have been pure coincidence, or possibly it arose from the first Dalek hurrying forward in its zeal to destroy all humans, or possibly it was a sneaky trick the Universe decided to pull, to help out a terrified bunch of near-hopeless ape desendants. Either way-
Trisha jammed shut her eyes, saw the whiteness, heard the noise, felt the heat, and opened her eyes again. There appeared to be a tremendous amount of dust in the air all of a sudden.
She was not dead. Nor were the others.
“Oh my god,” she said, her senses suddenly not taking in very much, “Oh my god.”
But it wasn’t over, of course. They were still in the sky, millions of them. London was under attack, and she knew she couldn’t save London and certainly couldn’t save the world. Her head spun. Shareen caught her before she fell.
“Anti-metal,” she whispered.
The pair of them struggled to right themselves. Another Dalek came shooting towards them, and found itself turned off its path and sent crashing to the ground. Shareen held Trisha’s hand and they ran back to the others, back to shelter, the world in flames around them.
“Anti-metal!” Shareen shrieked hysterically, as Trisha held the rock to the sky once more. “ANTI-METAL! THEM THINGS, THEY’RE MADE OF METAL!”
“Oh,” Trisha said weakly.
“ANTI-METAL! I WILL NEVER REPEAT THIS EVER, BUT MICKEY SMITH WAS A FUCKING GENIUS!”
Trisha nodded, and curled her fingers tighter around the rock. She felt arms guiding her towards a wall, and she felt herself being crushed in a hug.
“Trish?” said Shareen, sounding sane again, “You saved our lives. Thank you.”
Trisha felt her old self coming back. Not her old old self, just her old self. The one who had, along with several others, survived three alien invasions and one Bad Wolf already. She leaned against the wall.
“I…oh my god…there is just no way I did that.” Her voice sounded alien in her ears.
“Well done,” said Howard, making her jump. She hadn’t noticed him. She looked around: Maggie and Thomas were there, Shareen’s family was still standing off to the side, Elton was leaning against the estate’s one garden shed, Alex was staring up at the sky. Trisha counted: ten people. Ten people she had to keep safe. What should she do first?
“Everyone get together in a group!” she called. Everybody did, even Alex. They huddled up next to the shed, and most of them kept their eyes on the sky. Elton shifted himself in front of Maggie and Thomas.
“They can still blow up the building,” he said. “They can kill everything, just not us. What’re we going to do?”
Trisha considered the situation best she could. Everyone in the building was still vunerable, and she could absolutely not handle the thought of seeing the whole estate and everyone inside it go up in flames. And, of course, there was still the fact that her family was nowhere to be seen.
Shareen’s mother, who had handled things rather well so far, slid to the ground and started crying. She had reached her breaking point, and Trisha wondered why she hadn’t reached hers.
Shareen tried to comfort her mother. Trisha waited. It occured to her for the first time that Jackie lived here too- obviously- and she hadn’t seen Jackie yet. So she must be with the Doctor. With the Doctor and Rose and Mickey, finding a way to save them. Probably.
A Dalek came flying into view. The air went thick with screams-
-and then it swerved to the left as if caught by a blast of wind, and fell out of sight. For almost a second there was a glorious silence, and then the noise began again. Trisha spun her thoughts in her mind and went over the fact that she would not be able to leave this garden: if she did she condemned everyone to death. Unless she left the rock where it was. Then she condemned herself to death.
Alex Kelly gave another scream. Trisha looked up. A Dalek was hovering halfway up the building. It wasn’t doing anything- it couldn’t use its gun- but it began to speak. The angry robotic babble echoed out from all around.
“WE DEMAND YOUR SURRENDER. GIVE UP YOUR WEAPONS.”
“We haven’t got any weapons, you stupid flying dustbin!” bellowed a voice, and Trisha realised it was Howard. She thought that might not be such a good idea: the score did after all stand at Humans: 2, Daleks: something around one million and still counting. They weren’t even close to being out of danger and oh god her family might be dead. She swallowed. And kept her eyes on the eyestalk: the nearest alternative to staring at it.
“THIS PLANET BELONGS TO US NOW.” It stopped just short of saying RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. Trisha clenched her fists. She stood with the others- with Shareen and Maggie and Thomas and Howard- and then realised Elton wasn’t there. She searched for him urgently-
-Elton had climbed onto the roof of the shed.
Trisha’s heart leapt into her mouth.
“Elton!” Maggie screamed.
Elton stood up. He blinked. It was dark now: too much smoke and the sun behind a cloud.
“YOU ARE THEIR LEADER?” the Dalek questioned. Two other Daleks had flown up behind it. “SURRENDER YOUR WEAPONS.”
“No,” Elton said.
“WE DETECT AN ORGANIC TRANSMITTER. DESTROY IT.”
“WE DEMAND YOUR SURRENDER!”
“Maybe we should?” Alex said in a quiet moan. No-one paid her any attention.
“No,” Elton said once more. “And you know why?”
The Daleks said nothing.
“Because somebody is coming to destroy you.” Elton said. “The daddy of them all,” he went on, and Trisha felt a chill go down her spine. “He’s going to kill every last one of you. The Doctor. You know him, don’t you?”
The Dalek did nothing. It seemed like something had taken Elton’s place, though. For a minute he reminded Trisha of a boy she used to know: one who had gone off to become a hero in a distant land.
And for one split second, everything was silent.
“THE DOCTOR IS DEAD,” the Dalek said. “HE CAN DO NOTHING.”
It took Elton maybe a second to fully comprehend that- and it had a profound effect on him. He shook his head, stepped backwards- he almost crumpled before Trisha’s eyes. He wasn’t even the only one- Maggie gave a little gasp and clutched Thomas to her, and Shareen’s parents restarted their panicked whispering. It was as if they were a very small army being told their general was slain.
“Is that it then?” whispered Alex. “What will they do to us?”
Trisha was not listening: her mind was somewhere else. The image of the rock falling and breaking in two was turning round and round and round in her mind.
“Bad wolf,” she whispered. Nothing happened, and nobody said “What?”
“YOUR WORLD HAS FALLEN TO US.” the Dalek said. But Elton was straightening up again now.
“Right. Come and get us,” he said.
It was then that Trisha looked past Elton, past the Dalek, to the road just beyond the Estate. Dust was visible in the air.
“Come and get us!” Elton screamed.
There was somone on the road. A woman. A plump woman with brown hair. It wasn’t…oh god, no, it couldn’t be, not now no…it was her mother, and as Trisha watched in horror, her father and brothers joined her there.
“No!” she screamed, but her voice was lost as Elton screamed his challenge once more. “NO!”
Her mother had seen her, and she started to run.
Time didn’t slow down, not this time.
One of the Daleks jerked its eyestalk up and veered off towards the road. Trisha screamed then; it was the worst moment of her life.
The rock almost slid from her fingers.
Her father looked up and saw her. Saw her and saw what was coming-he dived to the ground, pulling Karen, Sam and Rob down with him. The Dalek swung overhead, and Trisha closed her eyes and covered her face and screamed–
-and it didn’t fire. They didn’t die.
All was silent for a second. Elton was still on the shed…and a horrified expression slowly spread over his face.
“Oh no,” he said. “Oh no.”
“LOWER THE FORCEFIELD AND SURRENDER,” the first Dalek said, its eyestalk directly facing Trisha. “OR WE WILL KILL THEM ALL.”