Better With Three

Lilithanadir had been traveling with the Doctor for ten years when he dropped her off in London. There she met Rose tyler and, two months later, the Autons invaded. A rewrite of series one of Doctor Who.

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24. Return of Margaret Part One

The TARDIS had landed in Cardiff a few minutes earlier for a refuel. Rose, Lilith, and Jack were relaxing in the console room while the Doctor was up a ladder mending something. There was a knock on the door.

“I got it.” Jack said and got up to answer the door. “Who the hell are you?”

“What do you mean, who the hell am I? Who the hell are you?” asked a familiar voice. Lilith perked up.

“Captain Jack Harkness. Whatever you’re selling, we're not buying.”

“Get out of my way!” Mickey said harshly.

“Don't tell me. This must be Mickey.” Jack said, closing the door.

The Doctor looked over with a ridiculous flashing light on his forehead. “Here comes trouble! How're you doing, Ricky boy?”

“It's Mickey!” Mickey snapped.

Rose got up and went over to Mickey. “Don't listen to him, he's winding you up.”

“You look fantastic.” Rose and Mickey hugged.

“Good to see you too, Micks.” Lilith called, not looking up from her book.

“Aw, sweet, look at these two.” Jack said. “How come I never get any of that?”

“Buy me a drink first,” the Doctor quipped.

“Lilith?”

Lilith shook her head. “I told you, Jack, you’ve got the wrong— what do the Brits say? — bits.

Jack chuckled. “Lesbians, the bane of my existence.”

“Did you manage to find it?” Rose asked Mickey,

Mickey tore his eyes away from the bantering duo. “There you go.” He handed over Rose's passport.

“I can go anywhere now.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes. “I told you, you don't need a passport.”

“It's all very well going to Platform One and Justicia and the Glass Pyramid of San Kaloon, but what if we end up in Brazil? I might need it. You see, I'm prepared for anything.” Rose shot the Doctor her signature tongue-touched grin.

“Sounds like your staying, then.” Mickey said. “So, what're you doing in Cardiff? And who the hell's Jumping Jack Flash? I mean, I don't mind you hanging out with big-ears up there—”

“Oi!” the Doctor protested.

Lilith snickered. “Satellite dishes.”

“Look in the mirror.” Mickey looked back at Rose. “But this guy, I don't know, he's kind of…”

“Handsome?” Jack offered.

“More like cheesy.”

The captain frowned. “Early twenty first Century slang. Is cheesy good or bad?”

“It's bad.” Mickey answered.

“But bad means good, isn't that right?”

“We just stopped off. We need to refuel.” Rose said. “The thing is, Cardiff's got this rift running through the middle of the city. It's invisible, but it's like an earthquake fault between different dimensions.”

“The rift was healed back in 1869,” the Doctor began.

“Thanks to a girl named Gwyneth,” Rose continued, “because these creatures called the Gelth, they were using the rift as a gateway but she saved the world and closed it.”

“But closing a rift always leaves a scar, and that scar generates energy.” Jack added, “Harmless to the human race,”

“But perfect for the TARDIS.” Lilith chirped. “So just park it here for a couple of days right on top of the scar.”

“Open up the engines, soak up the radiation.”

“Like filling her up with petrol and off we go!”

“Into time!”

“And space!” The four all laughed in unison.

Mickey stared at them. “My God, have you seen yourselves? You all think you're so clever, don't you?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, yes.”

“Yeah.”

“Yep!”

“Should take another twenty four hours, which means we've got time to kill,” the Doctor said, pushing open the doors to the TARDIS.

“That old lady's staring.” Mickey noted.

“Probably wondering what four people could do inside a small wooden box.” Jack chuckled.

“What are you captain of, the Innuendo Squad?”

Jack made a gesture and started to walk away.

“Wait, the TARDIS, we can't just leave it. Doesn't it get noticed?” Mickey asked.

Jack turned back around. “Yeah, what's with the police box? Why does it look like that?”

“It's a cloaking device.” Rose said.

“It's called a chameleon circuit. The TARDIS is meant to disguise itself wherever it lands, like if this was Ancient Rome, it'd be a statue on a plinth or something,” the Doctor explained.

“But the pilot landed her the 1960s, she disguised itself as a police box, and the circuit got stuck.” Lilith elbowed the Doctor.

“So it copied a real thing? There actually was police boxes?”

“Yeah, on street corners. Phone for help before they had radios and mobiles. If they arrested someone, they could shove them inside till help came, like a little prison cell.”

“Why don't you just fix the circuit?” Jack wondered.

The Doctor shrugged. “I like it, don't you?”

“I love it.” Rose said.

“But that's what I meant. There's no police boxes anymore, so doesn't it get noticed?” Mickey asked.

“Micks, let me tell you something about the human race.” Lilith said. “You put a mysterious blue box in the middle of freaking England, what do they do? Just walk past it. Now, quit the nagging and let's go and explore.”

“What's the plan?” Rose asked.

The Doctor linked his arm through hers. “I don't know. Cardiff, early twenty first century, and the wind's coming from the east. Trust me. Safest place in the universe.”

I really wish you hadn’t said that.

They went to a restaurant on a small jetty. The five of them picked a table by the window and Jack spent the time regaling them with stories of his adventures. “I swear, six feet tall and with big tusks!”

“You're lying through your teeth!” the Doctor accused.

“I'd have gone bonkers!” Rose laughed. “That's the word- bonkers!”

“I mean, it turns out the white things are tusks and I mean tusks! And it's woken, and it's not happy. And we're standing there, fifteen of us, naked—”

“Naked?” Lilith shook her head, amused.

“And I'm like, oh, no, no, it's got nothing to do with me.” Jack continued. And then it roars, and we are running. Oh my God, we are running! And Brakovitch falls, so I turn to him and I say—”

“I knew we should've turned left!” Mickey finished.

“That's my line!”

“I don't believe you.” Rose hit Jack on the arm playfully. “I don't believe a word you say ever. That is so brilliant. Did you ever get your clothes back?”

Lilith felt a wave of shock and worry wash over her. She looked over at the Doctor who had snatched a newspaper from the man at the next table and read it.

What’s wrong?’ Lilith questioned.

The Doctor held up the front page of the Western Mail, with a picture that a photographer took of a familiar large woman, Margret the Slitheen. “And I was having such a nice day.”

~~~

“According to intelligence, the target is the last surviving member of the Slitheen family, a criminal sect from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius, masquerading as a human being, zipped inside a skin suit.” Jack informed the group. “Okay, plan of attack, we assume a basic fifty seven fifty six strategy, covering all available exits on the ground floor. Doctor, Lilith, you go face to face. That'll designate Exit One; I'll cover Exit Two. Rose, you Exit Three. Mickey Smith, you take Exit Four. Have you got that?”

“Excuse me,” the Doctor said, “who's in charge?”

“Sorry. Awaiting orders, sir.” Jack retorted sarcastically.

“Right, here's the plan.” He paused. “Like he said. Nice plan. Anything else?”

“Present arms.” They each pulled out a cell phone. “Speed dial?”

“Yup,” the Doctor nodded.

“Ready.” Rose confirmed.

“All set.” Lilith added.

“Check.” Mickey said.

Jack grinned. “See you in hell.”

The Doctor and Lilith made their way to the Mayor’s office. “Hello, We've come to see the Lord Mayor,” he said to the young man sitting at a desk by the door.

“Have you got an appointment?” the young man asked.

“No, just old friends passing by. Bit of a surprise. Can't wait to see her face.”

“Well, she's just having a cup of tea.”

“Just go in there and tell her the Doctor would like to see her,” the Doctor said.

“Doctor who?” That made Lilith smile.

“Just the Doctor. Tell her exactly that. The Doctor.”

“Hang on a tick.”

The man went into the Mayor's office. A teacup smashed on the floor and he came out again. “The Lord Mayor says thank you for popping by. She'd love to have a chat, but, er, she's up to her eyes in paperwork. Perhaps if you could make an appointment for next week?”

“She's climbing out of the window, isn't she?” Lilith guessed.

The young man gulped and nodded. “Yes, she is.”

Lilith and the Doctor rushed into the room and onto the balcony. “Slitheen heading north!” the Doctor reported into his phone. They ran back inside and down the halls. When they ran into Rose and Jack outside, Margaret was getting away.

“Who's on Exit Four?” Jack asked.

“That was Mickey!”

“Here I am.” Mickey panted, stumbling out.

“Mickey the idiot.”

“Oh, be fair.” Rose said. “She's not exactly going to outrun us, is she?”

Margaret vanished.

“She's got a teleport! That's cheating!” Jack shouted. “Now we're never going to get her.”

“Oh, the Doctor's very good at teleports.”

The Doctor held up his sonic screwdriver and Margaret reappeared, running towards them. She turned around and ran the other way, teleporting again, but the Doctor buzzed the sonic and she came back again. She tried one more time, but just reappeared closer.

“I could do this all day,” the Doctor said.

“This is persecution.” Margaret insisted. “Why can't you leave me alone? What did I ever do to you?”

 “You tried to kill us and destroy this entire planet.”

“Apart from that.” Margaret said dismissively.

Lilith stared at her incredulously. “Are you serious?”

The Doctor shook his head and led Margaret back into the building. “So, you're a Slitheen, you're on Earth, you're trapped. Your family get killed but you teleport out just in the nick of time. You have no means of escape. What do you do? You build a nuclear power station. But what for?”

“A philanthropic gesture. I've learnt the error of my ways.” Margaret said haughtily.

Lilith crossed her arms. “Right, and it just so happens to be right on top of the rift.”

“What rift would that be?”

“A rift in space and time. If this power station went into meltdown, the entire planet would go,” Jack made a sucking noise, then an explosion noise.

“This station is designed to explode the minute it reaches capacity,” the Doctor said.

“Didn't anyone notice?” Rose asked. “Isn't there someone in London checking this sort of stuff?”

“We're in Cardiff. London doesn't care. The South Wales coast could fall into the sea and they wouldn't notice.” Margaret paused and frowned. “Oh. I sound like a Welshman. God help me, I've gone native.”

“But why would she do that? A great big explosion, she'd only end up killing herself.” Mickey said.

“She's got a name, you know.” Margaret snapped.

Mickey rolled his eyes. “She's not even a she, she's a thing.”

“Oh, but she's clever.” The Doctor pulled the middle section out of the model and turned it over to reveal electronics. “Fantastic.”

“Whoa.” Lilith breathed.

Jack’s eye widened. “Is that a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator? Genius! You didn't build this?”

“I have my hobbies.” Margaret said with false modesty. “A little tinkering.”

“No, no, no. I mean you really didn't build this. Way beyond you.”

“I bet she stole it.” Mickey muttered.

“It fell into my hands.”

“Is it a weapon?” Rose questioned.

Jack put the extrapolator on the floor. “It's transport. You see, if the reactor blows, the rift opens. Phenomenal cosmic disaster. But this thing shrouds you in a force field. You have this energy bubble, so you're safe. Then you feed it coordinates, stand on top, and ride the concussion all the way out of the solar system.”

“It's a surfboard.” Mickey concluded.

“A pan-dimensional surfboard, yeah.” Jack said.

“And it would've worked. I’d have surfed away from this dead end dump and back to civilization.” Margret snapped.

“Yeah, if it weren’t for us meddling kids.” Lilith smirked.

“Really, Lil?”

“You'd blow up a whole planet just to get a lift?” Mickey asked the Slitheen, disbelievingly.

“Like stepping on an anthill,” she confirmed.

“How'd you think of the name?” the Doctor asked.

Margaret blinked. “What, Blaidd Drwg? It's Welsh.”

The TARDIS translation matrix translated those two words for Lilith and she shivered.

“I know, but how did you think of it?”

Margaret shrugged. “I chose it at random, that's all. I don't know. It just sounded good. Does it matter?”

“Blaidd Drwg.”

“What's it mean?”

“Bad Wolf,” the Doctor said.

Bad Wolf.

Rose frowned. “But I've heard that before. Bad Wolf. I've heard that lots of times.”

“Everywhere we go, two words following us. Bad Wolf.”

“How can they be following us?” Rose’s voice was a bit panicky.

 

She called herself the Bad Wolf. She was beautiful; she was terrifying.

 

The Doctor was silent for a moment. “Nah, just a coincidence. Like hearing a word on the radio then hearing it all day. Never mind. Things to do. Margaret, we're going to take you home.”

What the hell was that?’ Lilith demanded.

The Doctor shot her a look. ‘Later, Lilith.

“Hold on,” Jack said. “Isn't that the easy option, like letting her go?”

“I don't believe it!” Rose cheered. “We actually get to go to Raxa. Wait a minute! Raxacor…”

“Raxacoricofallapatorius.” Lilith supplied.

“Raxacorico…”

“Fallapatorius.” the Doctor finished.

“Raxacoricofallapatorius.” Rose grinned and the Doctor hugged her. “That's it! I did it!”

“They have the death penalty.” Margaret protested. “The family Slitheen was tried in its absence many years ago and found guilty with no chance of appeal. According to the statutes of government, the moment I return, I am to be executed. What do you make of that, Doctor? Take me home and you take me to my death.”

“Not my problem,” the Doctor said coldly.

~~~

“This ship is impossible.” Margaret gasped as they entered the TARDIS. “It's superb. How do you get the outside around the inside?”

“Like I'd give you the secret, yeah,” the Doctor muttered.

“I almost feel better about being defeated,” the Slitheen said. “I never stood a chance. This is the technology of the gods.”

“Don't worship him– He'd make a terrible god. You wouldn't get a day off, for starters.” Lilith tried to joke.

The Doctor just looked at her. “Thanks,” he said sarcastically. “Jack, how we doing, big fella?”

Jack was trying to connect the extrapolator to the TARDIS. “This extrapolator's top of the range. Where did you get it?”

“Oh, I don't know. Some airlock sale?” Margaret said nonchalantly.

“Must've been a great big heist.” Jack mused. “It's stacked with power.”

“But we can use it for fuel?” the Doctor asked.

Jack shook his head. “It's not compatible, but it should knock off about twelve hours. We'll be ready to go by morning."

“Then we're stuck here overnight.” Lilith grumbled.

Margaret continued to study the ship. “I'm in no hurry.”

“We've got a prisoner. The police box is really a police box.” Rose said.

“You're not just police, though. Since you're taking me to my death. That makes you my executioners. Each and every one of you.” Margaret guilted them.

“Well, you deserve it.” Mickey snapped.

“You're very quick to say so. You're very quick to soak your hands in my blood, which makes you better than me, how, exactly?” the hostile alien questioned. “Long night ahead. Let's see who can look me in the eye.”

None of them could.

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