Please, Lilith prayed to whatever god was listening, let Rose and Dad be safe at the Powell Estate.
No one was listening, however, because Rose exited the TARDIS and was grabbed by a Sycorax at that moment. She screamed, “Get off me!” Mickey ran out. “The door! Close the door!” He got there just before a Sycorax.
“Rose. Rose!” Rose stumbled into Harriet’s arms. “I've got you. My Lord. Oh, my precious thing. The Doctor, is he with you?”
“No. Not right now.” Rose said quietly.
The Sycorax spoke again and the young man translated. “The yellow girl. She has the clever blue box. Therefore, she speaks for your planet.”
“But she can't!” Harriet protested.
“Yeah, I can.” Rose’s voice was still quiet.
“Don't you dare.” Mickey said.
“Someone's got to be the Doctor.”
Lilith looked at Rose sharply. ‘That’s why you have me. I know you can hear me, Tyler; I’m projecting right to you. Just say what I tell you to, okay?’
Rose nodded imperceptibly. “I address the Sycorax on behalf of the world below, in accordance with the articles of the Shadow Proclamation. This planet is not defenseless and not yours for the taking. This is a day of peace on earth and I demand you leave in a peaceful manner!”
The Sycorax all burst into laughter.
“You are very, very funny. And now you're going to die,” the man translated.
“Leave her alone!” Harriet yelled.
“Don't touch her!” Mickey shouted.
“Back off!” Lilith growled, standing at Rose’s side.
Harriet and Mickey were held back as the leader walked up to Rose and Lilith. It spoke and the man translated. “Did you think you were clever with your stolen words? We are the Sycorax; we stride the darkness. Next to us you are but a wailing child. If you are the best your planet can offer as a champion—”
“Then your world will be gutted,” the Sycorax said.
“Then your world will be gutted.”
“And your people enslaved.”
“Hold on, that's English.”
“He's talking English.” Harriet said.
“You're talking English.” Lilith smiled.
“I would never dirty my tongue with your primitive bile!” the Sycorax spat.
Rose started to smile too. “That's English. Can you hear English?”
Mickey nodded. “Yeah, that's English.”
“I speak only Sycoraxic!” cried the Sycorax.
“Oh, I’m sure you do.” Lilith said gleefully. “Why wouldn’t you? But, the thing is, we can hear English, that means the TARDIS translation circuit is working. And that means…” Everyone turned to look at the TARDIS. The Doctor opened the doors.
“Did you miss me?” he said with a cheeky grin.
The Sycorax cracked the whip. The Doctor caught the end and pulled it out of his hand. “You could have someone's eye out with that.”
“How dare—!” The Sycorax went to hit him with the staff which the Doctor promptly took and breaks over his knee.
“You just can't get the staff. Now, you, just wait. I'm busy.” He walked over to where the others stood. “Mickey, hello! And Harriet Jones MP for Flydale North. Blimey, it's like ‘This Is Your Life’. Tea! That's all I needed, a good cup of tea! Superheated infusion of free radicals and tannin. Just the thing for healing the synapses.” His voice went serious as he looked at Rose. “Now, first thing's first. Be honest, how do I look?”
“Different.” Rose decided.
“Good different or bad different?”
“Am I… ginger?”
Lilith giggled. Of course he’d ask that.
Rose shook her head. “No, you're just sort of brown.”
“I wanted to be ginger,” the Doctor whined. “I've never been ginger. And you, Mickey Smith, fat lot of good you were. You gave up on me. Oh, that's rude. That's the sort of man I am now, am I? Rude. Rude and not ginger.” He paused to think for a moment. “But Rose! No, Rose never gave up, did you Rose?”
“I'm sorry.” Harriet cut in. “Who is this?”
“I’m the Doctor,” the Doctor said.
“He's the Doctor.” Rose and Lilith confirmed.
“But what happened to my Doctor?” she asked. “Or is it a title that's just passed on?”
“I'm him. I'm literally him,” he said. “Same man; new face. Well, new everything.”
“But you can't be.” Harriet said, frowning.
“Harriet Jones, we were trapped in Downing Street and the one thing that scared you wasn't the aliens, it wasn't the war, it was the thought of your mother being on her own.
“Oh my God,” she breathed.
“Did you win the election?” the Doctor asked with a smile.
“If I might interrupt,” the Sycorax leader growled.
“Yes, sorry. Hello, big fellow,” the Doctor turned back to face the Sycorax.
“Who exactly are you?” demanded the Sycorax.
The Doctor shrugged. “Well, that's the question.”
“I demand to know who you are!”
“I don't know!” the Doctor growled in an imitation of the Sycorax. “See, there's the thing. I'm the Doctor, but beyond that, I just don't know. I literally do not know who I am. It's all untested. Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy? Right old misery? Life and soul? Right handed? Left handed? A gambler? A fighter? A coward? A traitor? A liar? A nervous wreck? I mean, judging by the evidence, I've certainly got a gob.” He paused. “And how am I going to react when I see this, a great big threatening button. A great big threatening button which must not be pressed under any circumstances, am I right? Let me guess. It's some sort of control matrix, hmm? Hold on, what's feeding it?”
The Doctor opened the base of the pillar under the button. “And what've we got here? Blood?” He stuck is finger in the red liquid and licked it. Rose looked horrified but Lilith just laughed at her father’s oral fixation. “Yeah, definitely blood. Human blood. A Positive, with just a dash of iron. Ah.” He wiped away the blood on the robe he was still wearing. “But that means blood control. Blood control! Oh, I haven't seen blood control for years. You're controlling all the A Positives. Which leaves us with a great big stinking problem. Because I really don't know who I am. I don't know when to stop. So if I see a great big threatening button, which should never, ever, ever be pressed, then I just want to do this."
He slammed the button.
“No!” all the humans yelled.
“You killed them!” Alex cried.
“What do you think, big fellow?” the Doctor asked. “Are they dead?”
“We allow them to live,” the leader of the Sycorax growled.
“‘Allow’?” the Doctor laughed. “You've no choice. I mean, that's all blood control is, a cheap bit of voodoo. Scares the pants off you, but that's as far as it goes. It's like hypnosis. You can hypnotize someone to walk like a chicken or sing like Elvis. You can't hypnotize them to death. Survival instinct's too strong.”
“Blood control was just one form of conquest. I can summon the armada and take this world by force.”
“Well, yeah, you could, yeah, you could do that, of course you could. But why? Look at these people, these human beings, consider their potential. From the day they arrive on the planet and blinking step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen. More to do than— no, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King.” Lilith face palmed. “But the point still stands. Leave them alone!”
“Or what?” the leader demanded.
“Or…” The Doctor took a sword from a nearby Sycorax and ran back towards the TARDIS. “I challenge you.” The Sycorax all laughed. “Oh, that struck a chord. Am I right that the sanctified rules of combat still apply?”
“You stand as this world's champion?” the leader asked, drawing his own sword.
“Thank you,” the Doctor said. “I've no idea who I am, but you just summed me up.” He threw the dressing gown to Rose. “So, you accept my challenge? Or are you just a cranak pel casacree salvak?”
“Oh damn.” Lilith muttered.
The insult seemed to make up the leader's mind. “For the planet?”
“For the planet.” They clashed swords.
“Look out!” Rose shouted.
“Oh, yeah, that helps. Wouldn't have thought of that otherwise, thanks!” the Doctor shouted back.
The leader was the more experienced swordsman. The Doctor retreated up a tunnel. “Bit of fresh air?” He pressed a button and darts out into the daylight. The humans, Lilith and a few Sycorax all follow.
The Doctor was driven back to the edge, and hit on the nose. Rose made to run forward but the Doctor shook his head. “Stay back! Invalidate the challenge and he wins the planet.”
The leader knocked the Doctor down then slashes. The sword and a hand fall to Earth. “You cut my hand off.” the Doctor said, disbelievingly.
“And now I know what sort of man I am.” the Doctor stood up. “I'm lucky. Because quite by chance I'm still within the first fifteen hours of my regeneration cycle, which means I've got just enough residual cellular energy to do this.” He grew a new hand.
“Witchcraft,” the Sycorax accused.
“Time Lord,” the Doctor corrected.
“Doctor!” Rose shouted and threw him another sword.
The Doctor caught it. “That’s my girl!” he beamed. “Want to know the best bit? This new hand? It's a fighting hand!” he finished in a southern accent.
They fought again. The Doctor disarms the Sycorax and thumped both hilts into its abdomen, twice. It fell, right on the edge, overlooking London. “I win.”
“Then kill me,” the Sycorax hissed.
“I'll spare your life if you'll take this Champion's command. Leave this planet, and never return. What do you say?”
“Swear on the blood of your species!” the Doctor growled.
“There we are, then,” he said lightly. “Thanks for that. Cheers, big fellow.”
“Bravo!” Harriet cried.
“Molto bene.” Lilith laughed.
“That says it all.” Rose grinned and helped him get the robe back on.
“Ah, not bad for a man in his jim-jams. Very Arthur Dent. Now, there was a nice man. Hold on, what have I got in here?” He pulled an orange fruit out of the pocket. “A Satsuma. Ah, that friend of your mothers. He does like his snacks doesn't he? But doesn't that just sum up Christmas? You go through all those presents and right at the end, tucked away at the bottom, there's always one stupid old Satsuma. Who wants a Satsuma?”
The Sycorax leader got up, grabbed his sword and ran at the Doctor's back. The Doctor threw the Satsuma at a control on the spaceship hull, a piece of the wing opened up and the leader fell to his death, screaming.
“No second chances,” the Doctor said darkly. “I'm that sort of a man.”
Back in the spaceship, the Doctor addressed all of the Sycorax. "By the ancient rites of combat, I forbid you to scavenge here for the rest of time. And when go you back to the stars and tell others of this planet, when you tell them of its riches, its people, its potential. When you talk of the Earth, then make sure that you tell them this. It. Is. Defended.”
The TARDIS, Harriet, Alex, Rose, Lilith, Mickey and the Doctor were beamed away.
“Where are we?” Rose asked.
Mickey looked around. “We're just off Bloxom Road. We're just round the corner; we did it!”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” the Doctor said.
The spaceship flew away.
“Go on, my son! Oh, yeah!”
“Yeah! Don't come back!” Rose yelled.
“It is defended!” Lilith shouted. The three of them laughed and hugged.
“My Doctor.” Harriet said.
“Prime Minister,” the Doctor grinned back. They hugged.
“Absolutely the same man. Are there many more out there?”
“Oh, not just Sycorax. Hundreds of species. Thousands of them. And the human race is drawing attention to itself. Every day you're sending out probes and messages and signals. This planet's so noisy. You're getting noticed more and more. You'd better get used to it.”
“Rose!” Jackie came running over.
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Oh, talking of trouble.”
Lilith elbowed him. “Oh, shut it, Doctor.”
“Oh my God! You did it, Rose! Oh!”
Rose hugged Jackie. “You did it too! It was the tea. Fixed his head.”
“That was all I needed,” the Doctor shrugged. “A cup of tea.”
“I said so.” Jackie said, and then her eyes widened. “Oh my God, it's the bleeding Prime Minister!”
“Come here, you,” the Doctor said.
And the group hug commenced, smashing Rose and the Doctor in the middle, nose to nose.
Suddenly, five green beams streak up into the sky, meet and fire out into space. The Sycorax asteroid ship exploded.
“What is that?” Rose gasped. “What's happening?”
Lilith gaped at Harriet and the Doctor glared at her. “That was murder.”
“That was defense,” she replied. “It's adapted from alien technology. A ship that fell to Earth ten years ago.”
“But they were leaving.”
“You said yourself, Doctor, they'd go back to the stars and tell others about the Earth. I'm sorry, Doctor, but you're not here all the time. You come and go. It happened today. Mister Llewellyn and the Major, they were murdered. They died right in front of me while you were sleeping. In which case we have to defend ourselves.”
“Britain's Golden Age,” he spat with disdain.
“It comes with a price.” Harriet said calmly.
“I gave them the wrong warning. I should've told them to run as fast as they can, run and hide because the monsters are coming. The human race.”
“Those are the people I represent. I did it on their behalf.”
“Then I should have stopped you,” the Doctor growled.
“What does that make you, Doctor?” Harriet challenged. “Another alien threat?”
Lilith’s hand drifted toward her pocket where her blaster was sitting. She didn’t like Harriet’s tone or implication. “Watch it, Jones,” she hissed.
“Don't challenge me, Harriet Jones,” the Doctor said. “Because I'm a completely new man. I could bring down your Government with a single word.”
“You're the most remarkable man I've ever met, but I don't think you're quite capable of that.”
“No, you're right. Not a single word, just six.”
“I don't think so.”
The Doctor went over to Alex and whispered in his ear the words that had been plaguing Lilith all day. “Don’t you think she looks tired?”
He turned on his heel, went back to the others, and the group left, leaving Harriet calling out the Doctor’s name behind them.
Back in the Tyler apartment, Lilith, Rose, Mickey, and Jackie were laughing and eating when the Doctor came in. Lilith nearly choked on her food at the sight of the man wearing the brown pinstriped suit, white converse and— “Janis Joplin’s coat!” she cried in laughter.
The five of them had a nice Christmas dinner while all wearing paper crowns. The Doctor’s was red; Rose’s was pink. Lilith engaged Mickey in a conversation about cars to distract him, and herself, from the fact that Jackie had caught the Doctor and Rose under the mistletoe.
The phone rang; Jackie picked it up. “It's Bev. She says go and look outside.”
“Why?” Rose asked.
“I don't know, just go outside and look. Come on, shift!” They all went outside where it was snowing. Lots of people were laughing and throwing snowballs around. The Doctor, on the other hand, just looked grim.
“It’s not snow, is it?” Lilith guessed.
“It’s the spaceship breaking up in the atmosphere. This isn’t snow— it’s ash.”
“Okay,” Rose said, “not so beautiful.”
“This is a brand new planet Earth,” the Doctor said. “No denying the existence of aliens now. Everyone saw it. Everything's new.”
“And what about you two? What are you going to do next?”
“Well,” he drew out the word, “back to the TARDIS. Same old life.”
“On your own?” she asked.
“Why, don't you want to come?”
“Do you, though?”
“I just thought, because I changed.”
“Yeah, I thought, because you changed,” Rose hesitated, “you might not want me anymore.”
“Oh, I'd love you to come!” the Doctor assured her
Lilith groaned. “You two are sickening. I’m going to get cavities just from living in the same timeship,” she complained loudly.
“Well, I reckon you're mad, the three of you.” Jackie said. "It's like you go looking for trouble.”
“Trouble's just the bits in-between,” the Doctor said. “It's all waiting out there, Jackie, and it's brand new to me. All those planets, and creatures and horizons. I haven't seem them yet! Not with these eyes. And it is going to be fantastic.” He linked arms with Lilith and offered Rose his hand.
“That hand of yours still gives me the creeps.” She took hold of it anyway. “So, where're we going to go first?”
“How about, that way? No, hold on. That way.” Lilith pointed up.
“Yeah,” Rose beamed, “that way.”