Lilith grabbed Rose’s hand and, for the second time that day, swore in her native language. “Tyler, we’re in big trouble.”
Suddenly, the alien was covered in an electrical current. It dropped the secretary as it screeched in pain.
“What’s going on?” Rose asked, wide eyed in shock.
“Beats me. Run!” Lilith dragged Rose, who in turn dragged Harriet Jones, out the door and down the hall.
"No, wait!” Harriet said. “They're still in there. The emergency protocols, we need them.”
“We don’t have ti—” Lilith started to protest, but Rose and Harriet had already darted back. “Humans!” she growled under her breath as she heard Harriet let out a scream.
The two human women ran down the hall back to where Lilith was. Rose took Lilith’s hand and pulled her into a sprint. Slamming a door behind them, they ran through another doorway. The alien, however, simply smashed through the oak door and continued the chase.
The next door was locked, Rose twisted the handle furiously, banging against the door, but it was no use.
The elevator door opened just as the alien went past, revealing the Doctor. “Hello!” he said with a smile, distracting it long enough for Lilith, Harriet, and Rose to slip though an open door.
It led to a large sitting room. “Hide!” Rose shouted. Lilith pulled her behind a cabinet and Harriet hid behind a screen.
Lilith could hear the door open and she shivered when the alien, Slitheen, she suddenly recalled, spoke. “Oh, such fun. Little human children, where are you? Sweet little humeykins; come to me. Let me kiss you better. Kiss you with my big, green lips.”
Rose darted behind the curtains. Lilith fiddled with her perception filter, making it impossible for the Slitheen to see her. She poked her head above the cabinet just as two more Slitheen came in the room.
“My brothers,” the original one greeted.
“Happy hunting?” asked one of the others.
“It's wonderful. The more you prolong it, the more they stink.”
“Sweat and fear,” said the third. “I can smell an old girl. Stale bird, and brittle bones.”
“A young one, just ready to run.”
“And another ripe youngster, all hormones and adrenalin. Fresh enough to bend before she snaps.”
The first Slitheen had made its way to the curtain where Rose was hiding, it started to pull it back.
“No! Take me first!” Harriet shouted, jumping out on her hiding place. “Take me!”
At that moment, the Doctor burst in with a fire extinguisher and sprayed the two newcomers. “Out, with me!” he yelled. Rose pulled the curtain down over the Slitheen by her and ran over to the Doctor. Lilith switched off the perception filter and joined them, along with Harriet. “Who the hell are you?”
“Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North.” Harriet introduced herself.
“Nice to meet you.”
The Doctor uses up the last of the fire extinguisher and they ran out of the room. “We need to head to the Cabinet Room.”
“The Emergency Protocols are in there. They give instructions for aliens.” Harriet said.
“Harriet Jones, I like you,” the Doctor grinned.
“And I like you too.”
They made it to the Cabinet Room just as the Slitheen caught up with them. The Doctor grabbed a bottle from a side table and stood in the doorway, holding the sonic against it. “One more move and my sonic device will triplicate the flammability of this alcohol. Whoof, we all go up. So back off!”
The Slitheen took a few steps back into the outer office.
“Right then. Question time. Who exactly are the Slitheen?”
“They're aliens.” Harriet breathed.
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Yes. I got that, thanks.”
“Who are you, if not human?” one of the Slitheen asked.
“Who's not human?” Harriet asked.
“We’re not human.” Lilith said.
“I’m human.” Rose pointed out.
“He's not human?”
The Doctor looked back at the trio. “Can I have a bit of hush?”
He turned back to the three green aliens. “So, what's the plan?”
“But he's got a Northern accent.” Harriet whispered to Rose.
“Lots of planets have a north,” she replied and Lilith giggled.
“I said hush,” the Doctor said. “Come on. You've got a spaceship hidden in the North Sea. It's transmitting a signal. You've murdered your way to the top of government. What for, invasion?”
“Why would we invade this God-forsaken rock?”
“Then something's brought the Slitheen race here. What is it?”
“The Slitheen race?” one Slitheen repeated.
“Slitheen is not our species. Slitheen is our surname," another said. “Jocrassa Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day-Slitheen at your service.”
“So, you're family.”
“A family business,” the second Slitheen reasoned.
“Then you're out to make a profit,” the Doctor guessed. “How can you do that on a God-forsaken rock?”
“Ah, excuse me? Your device will do what? Triplicate the flammability?”
“Is that what I said?”
“You're making it up!” the green alien accused.
“Ah, well! Nice try. Harriet, have a drink. I think you're gonna need it.” He held the bottle out to Harriet, who was still clutching the red briefcase.
“You pass it to the left first,” she said.
“Sorry.” He handed it to Lilith.
“Thanks,” she muttered.
The Slitheen raised its talons. “Now we can end this hunt with a slaughter.”
“Don't you think we should run?” Rose suggested.
“Fascinating history, Downing Street,” the Doctor said. “Two thousand years ago, this was marsh land. 1730, it was occupied by a Mister Chicken. He was a nice man. 1796, this was the Cabinet Room. If the Cabinet's in session and in danger, these are about the four most safest walls in the whole of Great Britain. End of lesson.” He lifted a small panel by the door and pressed a button. Metal shutters crashed shut across the windows and doors. “Installed in 1991, three inches of steel lining every single wall. They'll never get in.”
Lilith sighed. “Meaning we can’t get out.”
The Doctor dragged the secretary's body into a small storeroom, where the former Prime Minister was also laid out. “What was his name?”
“Who?” Harriet asked.
The Doctor motioned to the secretary. “This one. The secretary or whatever he was called.”
“I don't know. I talked to him. I brought him a cup of coffee. I never asked his name.”
“Ganesh.” Lilith remembered aloud.
“Right, what have we got?” the Doctor took out the sonic. “Any terminals, anything?”
“No,” Rose said, searching under a desk. “This place is antique. What I don't get is, when they killed the Prime Minister, why didn't they use him as a disguise?”
“Too thin?” Lilith guessed. “They're big ugly things. They need to fit inside big humans.”
“But the Slitheen are about eight feet. How do they fit inside?”
The Doctor was the one to explain. “That's the device around their necks. Compression field. Literally shrinks them down a bit. That's why there's all that gas. It's a big exchange.”
“Wish I had a compression field. I could fit a size smaller.”
“Excuse me, people are dead!” Harriet said, appalled. “This is not the time for making jokes.”
“Sorry. You get used to this stuff when you're friends with him.”
“Well, that's a strange friendship.”
“Harriet Jones. I've heard that name before,” the Doctor frowned. “Harriet Jones. You're not famous for anything, are you?”
“Ha! Hardly.” Harriet scoffed.
“Rings a bell. Harriet Jones?”
“Lifelong backbencher I'm afraid, and a fat lot of use I'm being now. The Protocols are redundant. They list the people who could help and they're all dead downstairs.”
Rose sat up. “Hasn't it got, like, defense codes and things? Couldn't we just launch a nuclear bomb at them?”
“You're a very violent young woman.” Harriet said. Lilith snorted.
“I'm serious. We could.”
“Well, there's nothing like that in here. Nuclear strikes do need a release code, yes, but it's kept secret by the United Nations.”
The Doctor stopped sonicing random items and turned around. “Say that again.”
“What, about the codes?”
“Anything. All of it.”
“Well, the British Isles can't gain access to atomic weapons without a Special Resolution from the UN.”
Rose muttered, “Like that's ever stopped them.”
“Exactly,” she said. “Given our past record, and I voted against that, thank you very much, the codes have been taken out of the government's hands and given to the UN. Is it important?”
“Everything's important.” Lilith said, seriously.
“If we only knew what the Slitheen wanted.” Harriet paused. “Listen to me. I'm saying ‘Slitheen’ as if it's normal.”
“What do they want, though?” Rose wondered.
“Well, they're just one family, so it's not an invasion.” Lilith noted.
“Right,” said the Doctor. “They don't want Slitheen World They're out to make money. That means they want to use something, something here on Earth. Some kind of asset.”
“Like what? Gold? Oil? Water?”
The Doctor smiled at her. “You're very good at this.”
“Harriet Jones,” he said again. “Why do I know that name?”
Rose’s phone beeped. “Oh, that's me.”
Lilith’s went off. “Me too.”
Harriet frowned. “But we're sealed off. How did you get a signal?”
“He zapped it. Super phone.” Rose explained.
“Well, mine’s alien tech.” Lilith shrugged.
“Then we can phone for help.” Harriet turned to the Doctor. “You must have contacts.”
“Dead downstairs, yeah.”
Rose furrowed her eyebrows. “It's Mickey.”
“Oh, tell your stupid boyfriend we're busy,” the Doctor groaned.
“Yeah, he's not so stupid after all.”
Lilith showed the Doctor the screen of her phone. Mickey had sent them a photo of a Slitheen. “Oh.”
She immediately dialed Mickey’s number and put it on speaker. “Micks, are you okay?”
“No, no, no, no, no. It wasn’t just an alien, but like, proper alien. All stinking, and wet, and disgusting. And more to the point, it wanted to kill us!”
“I could've died!” Jackie cried on the other end.
“Is she all right, though?” Rose asked. “Don't put her on, just tell me.”
“Ricky?” the Doctor cut in. “Don't talk, just shut up and go to your computer.”
“It's Mickey, and why should I?” Mickey demanded.
“Mickey the Idiot, I might just choke before I finish this sentence, but, er, I need you.”
‘ You’re having Mickey, a regular human citizen, hack into UNIT’s website? ’
The Doctor frowned at Lilith ‘Why are you worried?’
‘Who said I was worried?’ she asked.
It was Lilith’s turn to frown. ‘I’m not the one who’s worried, Uncle.’ She tried to, but couldn’t, miss the Doctor’s eyes flick towards Rose, who was staring intently at the phone on the table.
“It says password.” Mickey said.
The Doctor plugged the phone into the conference phone speaker. “Say again.”
“It's asking for the password.”
“Buffalo,” the Doctor told him. “Two F’s, one L.”
“So, what's that website?” Jackie questioned.
“All the secret information known to mankind.” Mickey answered. “See, they've known about aliens for years. They just kept us in the dark.”
Lilith rolled her eyes. “Micks, you were born in the dark.”
“Oh, leave him alone, Lil.” Rose sighed.
“Thank you. Password again.”
“Just repeat it every time,” the Doctor said. “Big Ben - why did the Slitheen go and hit Big Ben?”
“You said to gather the experts, to kill them.” Harriet handed him a glass of alcohol.
“That lot would've gathered for a weather balloon,” he dismissed. “You don't need to crash land in the middle of London.”
“The Slitheen are hiding, but then they put the entire planet on red alert.” Rose mused. “What would they do that for?”
“Oh, listen to her.” Jackie scoffed.
“Well, at least I'm trying.”
“Well, I've got a question, if you don't mind,” the blond woman said over the phone. “Because since that man walked into our lives, I have been attacked in the streets, I have had creatures from the pits of hell in my own living room, and my daughter disappeared off the face of the Earth.”
“I told you what happened.” Rose protested.
“I'm talking to him. 'Cuz I've seen this life of yours, Doctor, and maybe you get off on it, and maybe you think it's all clever and smart, but you tell me. Just answer me this. Is my daughter safe?”
“I'm fine.” Rose insisted. Lilith saw the Doctor expression harden.
‘Don’t you dare let that crazy woman get to you.’
“Is she safe? Will she always be safe? Can you promise me that? Well, what's the answer?”
“We're in.” Mickey said, clearly having taken back the phone.
The Doctor kicked back into action. “Now then, on the left at the top, there's a tab, an icon. Little concentric circles. Click on that.”
“What is it?”
“The Slitheen have got a spaceship in the North Sea and it's transmitting that signal. Now hush, let me work out what it's saying.” He listened for a moment. “It's some sort of message.”
“What's it say?”
“Don't know. It's on a loop, keeps repeating.”
On the other end on the line, a doorbell rang. “Hush!” the Doctor said.
“That's not me. Go and see who that is.”
“It's three o'clock in the morning.” Jackie protested.
“Well, go and tell them that!”
The Doctor furrowed his eyebrows “It's beaming out into space, who's it for?”
“It's him!” Jackie yelled. “It's the thing, it's the Slipeen!”
“They've found us.” Mickey hissed.
“Mickey, I need that signal!” the Doctor said.
“Never mind the signal, get out! Mum, just get out! Get out!” Rose shouted.
“We can't. It's by the front door.” Mickey said. “Oh my God, it's unmasking. It's going to kill us.”
“There's got to be some way of stopping them!” Harriet panicked. “You're supposed to be the experts, think of something!”
“We’re trying!” snapped Lilith
Lilith could hear the front door of Mickey’s flat splintering on the other end of the phone. She bit her lip. That thing was there to killher friend.
“That's my mother in trouble.” Rose said quietly.
The Doctor leaned his hands against the table. “Right, if we're going to find their weakness, we need to find out where they're from. Which planet. So, judging by their basic shape, that narrows it down to five thousand planets within travelling distance. What else do we know about them? Information!”
“They're green.” Rose offered.
The Doctor nodded. “Yep, narrows it down.”
“Good sense of smell.” Lilith added.
“Narrows it down.”
“They can smell adrenalin.”
“Narrows it down.”
“The pig technology.” Harriet put in.
“Narrows it down.”
“The spaceship in the Thames, you said,” Rose struggled for the words “slipstream engine?”
“Narrows it down.”
“They hunt like it's a ritual.”
“Narrows it down.”
“Wait a minute,” Harriet said. “Did you notice? When they fart, if you'll pardon the word, it doesn't just smell like a fart, if you'll pardon the word, it's something else. What is it? It's more like, er…”
“Bad breath!” Rose realized.
“Calcium decay! Now, that narrows it down!”
“Calcium phosphate. Organic calcium. Living calcium,” the Doctor said. “Creatures made out of living calcium. What else? What else?”
“Hyphenated surname!” Lilith cried. “That narrows it down to one planet!”
The Doctor grinned at his niece and the exclaimed together, “Raxacoricofallapatorius!”
“Oh, yeah, great. We could write 'em a letter.” Mickey yelled sarcastically.
“Get into the kitchen!” the Doctor order. “Calcium, recombined with compression field. Acetic acid. Vinegar!”
“Just like Hannibal!” cried Harriet.
“Just like Hannibal.” the Doctor confirmed. “Mickey, have you got any vinegar?”
“How should I know?”
The Doctor stared at the phone in disbelief. “It's your kitchen.”
“Cupboard by the sink, middle shelf.” Rose said.
“Oh, give it here.” Jackie snapped. “What do you need?”
“Anything with vinegar!”
Jackie started naming things that she found. “Gherkins. Yeah, pickled onions. Pickled eggs.”
The Doctor looked up at Rose. “You kiss this man?”
“Not anymore.” Lilith heard Rose mutter.
The sound of an explosion came over the speaker. Everyone sighed in relief. Rose turned to Harriet. “Hannibal?” she questioned.
“Hannibal crossed the Alps by dissolving boulders with vinegar.” Harriet explained.
“Oh. Well, there you go then.”
They all toasted the moment with a glass from the bottle.
“Lilith? Rose?” Mickey said. “Listen to this.”
A new voice came over the phone, one that must have been playing on the TV. “Our inspectors have searched the sky above our heads and they have found massive weapons of destruction capable of being deployed within forty-five seconds.”
“What?” the Doctor exclaimed.
“Our technicians can baffle the alien probes, but not for long. We are facing extinction, unless we strike first. The United Kingdom stands directly beneath the belly of the mother ship. I beg of the United Nations, pass an emergency resolution. Give us the access codes. A nuclear strike at the heart of the beast is our only chance of survival, because from this moment on it is my solemn duty to inform you planet Earth is at war.”