“Do you have something against front doors?” Lilith asked as the Doctor soniced the read fire escape open. “We have the psychic paper and we’re still sneaking in.”
“Focus, Lilith,” the Doctor said. “We need to figure out what’s going on here."
“Right,” she sighed. They made their way to the projection room where they were running a video about the science of the Adipose pill.
That’s what they were there investigating. Adipose Industries. The new diet pill that worked miracles. The Doctor didn’t believe in miracles and Lilith didn’t trust the magic diet pill one bit.
So there they were, investigating. It was Lilith’s first time leaving the TARDIS after a month of self-imposed solitude. In truth, she was hoping for something a bit more thrilling than just checking out a conspiracy theory, but she’d make do.
The Doctor watched the film through the window in the wall. The man there opened his mouth to protest, but Lilith held up the psychic paper. “Health and Safety, film department.”
It didn’t make much sense, but he accepted it and left them to their own devices.
Once the video ended, they went to the call center. The Doctor sat next to a young woman on the phone. “John Smith, Health and Safety. Don't mind me,” he whispered to her.
Lilith studied the necklace that was given away. The charm was a gold plated adipose pill.
“It's made of eighteen carat gold, and it's yours for free,” the woman said over the phone. “No, we don't give away pens, sorry. No, I can't make an exception, no.” When she got off the phone, she turned to the Doctor. “How can I help you?”
“Can you just print us off you customer list?” the Doctor requested.
“Of course, I’ll send it to the printer,” she said.
The Doctor stood. “That's the printer there?”
“By the plant, yeah.”
“Brilliant. Has it got paper?”
The owner of the industry, Miss Foster, walked in. “Excuse me, everyone, if I could have your attention.” All the workers stood, but Lilith and the Doctor stayed out of the woman’s sight. “On average, you're each selling forty Adipose packs per day. It's not enough. I want one hundred sales per person per day. And if not, you'll be replaced. Because if anyone's good in trimming the fat, it's me. Now. Back to it.”
Miss Foster left and the workers sat down again.
“Anyway, if you could print that off. Thanks.”
The young woman typed something on the computer, then clicked a button and handed the Doctor a piece of paper.
“Thanks, then. Oh, what's that?” he asked.
“My telephone number,” the young woman said with a smile.
“Health and Safety. You be health, I'll be safety.”
“Sorry,” Lilith said, stiffly, “but that contravenes paragraph five, subsection C. We’ll be on our way now.”
The two of them went over to the printer, but the copies weren’t there. The Doctor went back to the cubicle. “Me again.”
Lilith rolled her eyes.
The Doctor knocked on the door to the fourth name on the list. A man answered. “Mister Roger Davey? We’re calling on behalf of Adipose Industries.” He held up the psychic paper. “Just need to ask you a few questions.”
“Of course, come in.” They followed Roger into the house. “I've been on the pills for two weeks now. I've lost fourteen kilos.”
“That's the same amount every day?” Lilith asked.
“One kilo exactly,” Roger confirmed. “You wake up, and it's disappeared overnight. Well, technically speaking, it's gone by ten past one in the morning.”
“What makes you say that?”
“That's when I get woken up. Might as well weigh myself at the same time. It is driving me mad. Ten minutes past one, every night, bang on the dot without fail, the burglar alarm goes off. I've had experts in, I've had it replaced, I've even phoned Watchdog. But no, ten past one in the morning, off it goes.”
“But with no burglars?”
“Nothing. I've given up looking.”
“Tell me, Roger,” the Doctor said, “have you got a cat flap?”
The man nodded towards the door. “It was here when I bought the house. I've never bothered with it, really. I'm not a cat person.”
“No, we've met cat people.” Lilith smirked at the Doctor. “You're nothing like them.”
Roger frowned. “It's that what it is, though? Cats getting inside the house?”
“Well, thing about cat flaps is, they don't just let things in, they let things out as well.”
“The fat just walks away,” the Doctor murmured.
“Well, thanks for your help,” Lilith said, clapping her hands. “Tell you what, maybe you could lay off the pills for a week or so.”
The Doctor's three lobed gadget beeped. “Oh. Got to go. Sorry.” He ran off.
Lilith grimaced. “Sorry about him. Have a nice night.” She ran after him.
They had to stop a few times when the machine started to malfunction, but the Doctor insisted it was fine after hitting it a few times and they kept following the signal. They nearly got run over by a van and the beeping went wild. “Follow it!” the Doctor shouted. The beeping slowed, and then stopped as they lost the van.
Lilith kicked the ground and swore in Gallifreyan. They trudged back to the TARDIS.
The Doctor went over to the console and examined the pendant through a magnifying glass. “Oh, fascinating. Seems to be a bio-flip digital stitch, specifically for…” he trailed off, realizing that Lilith had fallen asleep on the jump seat. “Fair do, you haven’t slept in a week."
After hiding in a storage closet for the majority of the day, once Adipose Industries closed, they made their way up to the roof and got in the window cleaner’s cradle. The Doctor lowered them to Miss Foster’s office window, ducking when she entered with one of the reporters.
He took out a stethoscope to listen to the conversation inside. Lilith watched Miss Foster take out a small white creature and put it on the desk. Out of the corner of her eye, she was a ginger woman looking through the door, mouthing furiously at someone.
That someone was apparently the Doctor, who was mouthing back.
“Um, Dad?” Lilith elbowed him and pointed to Miss Foster who was watching them. “I think she noticed.”
“Are we interrupting you?”
‘Run!’ the Doctor mouthed to the woman behind the door. He raised the sonic and the cradle rose back to the roof. They ran down the stairwell and Lilith found herself face to face with the other ginger.
The Doctor hugged her. “Donna!”
“Oh my God. I don't believe it. You've even got the same suit! Don't you ever change?”
Lilith snorted. “It’s either this or blue. I’m Lilith, by the way, his daughter.”
“This is your kid?”
“You mentioned me?”
“Yeah, thanks, Donna. Not right now.” The guards were a few floors below them. “Just like old times!” The Doctor grinned and they raced back up the stairs.
“Because I thought, how do you find the Doctor?” Donna was explaining. “And then I just thought, look for trouble and then he'll turn up.”
“Sounds pretty accurate to me,” Lilith said.
“So I looked everywhere. You name it. UFOs, sightings, crop circles, sea monsters. I looked, I found them all. Like that stuff about the bees disappearing, I thought, I bet he's connected. Because the thing is, Doctor, I believe it all now. You opened my eyes. All those amazing things out there, I believe them all. Well, apart from that replica of the Titanic flying over Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day. I mean, that's got to be a hoax.”
Lilith shook her head. “Nope. We were on it.”
“What do you mean, the bees are disappearing?” the Doctor questioned.
“I don't know. That's what it says on the Internet. Well, on the same site, there was all these conspiracy theories about Adipose Industries and I thought, let's take a look.”
The Doctor soniced the cradle controls as he and Lilith got in. “In you get!”
Donna stared at him. “What, in that thing?”
“Yes, in that thing.”
“But if we go down in that, they'll just call us back up again,” she protested.
“No, no, no, because I've locked the controls with a sonic cage. I'm the only one that can control it. Not unless she's got a sonic device of her own, which is very unlikely.”
Donna got in and the cradle started to go down. Suddenly, the cradle dropped. Lilith swore loudly in Gallifreyan. The Doctor managed to sonic the controls to a stop. “Hold on. Hold on. We can get in through the window.” He tried to sonically cut through the glass. “Can't get it open!”
“Deadlocked,” Lilith hissed.
“Well, smash it then!” Donna found a wrench and started hitting the glass, which did nothing. “She's cutting the cable!”
The cable snapped, tipping Donna out. The Doctor and Lilith managed to hang on. “Donna!”
Donna was dangling from the end of the cable. “Doctor!”
Lilith saw Miss Foster’s hand reach over the side of the building with a sonic pen. She gripped the cable tighter and drew her blaster. She aimed and shot the pen out of the woman’s hand.
The pen fell through the air and Lilith caught it and stuffed it into her pocket. The Doctor climbed up higher and opened a window. “I won’t be a minute,” he said, slipping inside.
“Dad!” Lilith called, climbing through after him.
The two of them sprinted to Miss Foster’s office where Donna’s legs were visible through the window.
“Is anyone going to tell me what's going on?” demanded a woman tied to a chair.
“What are you, a journalist?” Lilith asked.
“Well, make it up, then.”
The Doctor unlocked the window and grabbed Donna's legs. “I've got you. I've got you. Stop kicking!” He pulled Donna inside.
“I was right,” she panted “It's always like this with you, innit?”
“Oh, yes!” the Doctor beamed. “And off we go.”