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.
A long time ago, when Mickey Smith was still on Earth, Trisha had thought about something. She had stood out on a balcony and thought:
Who’s going to turn up and say This is your choice, and it might not be easy but at least you know what the right and wrong options are? The Doctor did for Rose…I doubt anyone will for me.
It was now a year later: she had twice played a tiny tiny part in the saving of the world. Or the saving of people, at any rate. It was as the words OR WE WILL KILL THEM ALL echoed in her ears that she knew the answer to her question- there was rarely any such choice where you knew for certain what the right and wrong options were.
And as for the second thing? Somebody had.
Her family stood on the road, Elton stood on the shed, and Shareen stood next to her. Trisha swallowed, and looked up at Elton. He seemed petrified. And she was as well.
It was Thomas who said, in a choked voice, “What happens if we surrender?” But the Dalek didn’t answer, if it even heard him. Hell, it wasn’t like it had ears. It just swivelled its gun around, pointing first right at them and then at the people on the road.
“Trisha?” Elton whispered. But she wasn’t listening; was barely even there. She was staring at the wall to the right of them: it was caked in crude graffiti and decaying posters, but written across one of the posters was two words. BAD WOLF in bright electric blue.
Her message. From who? Send a message and recieve one in return. BAD WOLF could mean anything. Go back. Or stay.
(Oh no, Trisha, you can do it! You can do anything you want, you’re strong enough!)
And it had…christ, she’d dreamt about this…was it in her head? Was she being told what to do, was she someone’s puppet? But why would a puppeteer spare a thought for Trisha’s helpless family? Was Bad Wolf’s little legacy in Shareen’s head too, was it in Sam’s, would she ever even know what had happened? Had Rose Tyler reached through time and space to help her? Had Mickey?
(this non-relationship is over.)
Her thoughts were finished soon as they begun: she, unlike Rose, had no time. She thought about that stupid dream and then she looked down at the rock in her hands. There was no reason why it should cease to be what it was just because she broke it. A stone split in two was still stone.
(this non-relationship is over!)
And people were broken all the time, and…
“NOBODY IS COMING TO SAVE YOU,” the Dalek said. It had only been two seconds since it’d spoken last.
“No,” Trisha said, “they’ve given us a way to save ourselves.”
She dropped it.
Trisha snatched one of the pieces from the ground, and threw it to her father. She missed completely, and so it was her mother who flung herself into its path and snatched it from the air. And then she held it, uncertain and still panicked.
“They can’t shoot you now!” Trisha shrieked, and her throat hurt. “Or us.”
The Dalek swivelled round once more and advanced on them. It wouldn’t be able to get to them, but Trisha dived to pick the other piece from the floor- to lift it to the sky again and turn the anti-gravity off- but someone got there first. Alex Kelly had snatched the rock, and she flung her hand to the air. There was an awful, indescribable expression on her face.
“Go to hell,” she said.
The Dalek fell to the ground and landed with a crunch. It seemed to happen in slow-motion: Trisha would always remember that moment as being long. The creature’s silver gun rolled towards her feet. She stepped backwards.
Alex stared around giddily and remained where she was, swaying slightly. She almost fell fowards on her face, but Shareen darted forwards and caught her. The Dalek didn’t move, its lights weren’t even on.
Trisha looked up, and then somebody charged into her and almost knocked her over.
“Sweetheart!” her mother sobbed, hugging her around the neck. “Oh god, sweetheart, you’re alright!”
Sam was crying too. Looking much younger than his fourteen years, he hugged her legs, terror still in his eyes. Trisha hugged back best she could: she wanted to faint. Alex quietly handed the rock back to her. She had gone white.
“Look!” Shania yelled.
They all whipped around. The broken Dalek on the ground was gone.
“It just sort of- flew away,” Shania said, twisting her hands nervously about. She looked at them all.
Slowly, Shareen stared upward.
“The fuck?” she said.
One by one, they all looked up. Alex struggled to stand properly.
The Daleks, the remaining ones, were shooting from the sky and through the streets. They were whirring and fizzing and whipping their guns around, but they weren’t in control. They were helpless- some force of nature had got a hold over them-
“Get down!” Shareen’s mother screamed.
No-one had a word of arguement. They hit the floor. Trisha caught a glimpse of the sky before she went down, and it was turning pitch black. The whole army was falling onto them, and she couldn’t even hear herself breathe.
“What the fuck is going on?” someone screamed. It might have been Rob. Trisha looked up- her father was still standing. He was in a daze, staring at the nearest wall. Unthinkingly, Trisha jumped up again and forced him down with her. She did it just in time- as she and her father fell to the ground, a Dalek plummeted down to the place Roger had been standing. It would have taken his head off.
London was a vortex. Someone was holding her hands. Her mother? Shareen? One of her brothers?
Where were the others? Were they okay?
“Maggie?” she heard Elton shout. “Thank you!”
After that she heard nothing but the sound of a million monsters zooming past her- she felt it as they shot overhead. She was terrified that she or the others would be hit, and she held Shareen’s hand (if indeed it was hers) as tight as she could.
She seemed to live out half a lifetime there on the ground. But slowly- very slowly- the noise lessened. And then it stopped.
Trisha didn’t stand up. Her eyes were closed. When she opened them, the first thing she saw was her father, and he helped her up. He looked her in the eyes for a few seconds and then he was sick, and nobody batted an eyelid.
Gradually, everybody stood up, and they waited. The world was not silent, not even in Trisha’s head- sirens echoed in from far away, and high-pitched human voices from the flats.
They were alive.