by Drake the Archr
NOTE: This story takes place in the same storyline as King of Hell, and as such, it is placed in the same series. There are few crossover elements in this, but it is placed in a universe with BtVS, Dr Who, and SG-1. THe focus for the moment here is on the Dr Who characters.
Disclaimer: No series used in this story are owned by me.
Spoilers: Doctor Who, pretty much most of it, but focussed on the end of Series 2, Army of Ghosts and Doomsday.
Thanks to Greywizard who Beta'd the story for me.
Requiem for an Uncommon Woman
a Column by Sarah Jane Smith
With the fallout from the events some officials refer to as the Ghost War, secret organizations have been brought into the light; organizations like the American Stargate Command and the British Torchwood Institute, both dedicated to protecting the Earth from alien menaces. As events have been made clear, there has been much political blame-saying and finger pointing, but there is a general consensus that there are heroes amongst us.
Not since the events of September 11, 2001 has the world been under siege as it was that day in June. After months of ghost sightings, the truth was revealed: the Ghosts were an invasion force of cybernetic warriors, called Cybermen. There was also a second invading army that appeared over the skies of London, identified as Daleks, also cybernetic monsters bent on destruction, or in their words, ‘Extermination’.
It was a dark day for humanity, but as with all dark days, there are those that step up. Ordinary people who stand and be counted to perform extraordinary feats and become heroes.
In a previous article, I described the Doctor. He is a Traveler, nigh immortal, a master of time and space, and self styled protector of humanity. He is a man without a home, as his world was destroyed in a war of a scale that is impossible to calculate or even truly envision. Some races beyond our world call him many names. Many see him as ‘The Lonely God’ or ‘The Wanderer’, while some of the darker and more evil races, such as Daleks, refer to him as the ‘Oncoming Storm’. He sees this world as a second home, and humanity has a special place in his hearts (Oh, yes, he has two hearts.) Many times, he has allowed others to share his travels, most from this world. I once had that privilege, and this time, his companion -- actually his partner -- was a twenty-one year old woman from London: Rose Tyler.
Rose met the Doctor in 2004, and traveled with him since. Some might recall how she had been missing for a year and then just reappeared, with no explanation. She had been with the Doctor. It had been a few days for her, but twelve months for us. She was with him the night of the nuclear crisis, with the death of the Prime Minister and the fluke missile strike on Number Ten Downing Street, and the crash of an alien space ship in the Thames. She was inside the building and rode out the explosion with the Doctor and former Prime Minister Harriet Jones. She also was in the thick of things when the Sycorax attempted to claim the Earth for themselves. She has seen Daleks, werewolves and even the end of the Earth, five billion years hence.
And, she was in what is now known to be Torchwood Tower, when the Ghost War began, and ended.
She faced down four Daleks with no weapons other than her mind; the Daleks were far overmatched. She was given the chance to escape to the world the Cybermen had left behind to attack ours. She had the chance to be reunited with a man who was a duplicate of her father, a place where her mother, Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Tyler, and her friend Mickey Smith, a young man who had been fighting the Cybermen on the other world still lived. She chose instead to remain with the Doctor to ensure the Daleks and Cybermen were defeated.
The plan was simple.
The Cybermen were from another Earth, and to get here, they had to cross an expanse called the Void. Passing through the Void left traces of radiation on the Cybermen as well as the Daleks, who had hidden there while plotting their own invasion schemes. Due to travel methods from one world to the other, Rose and the Doctor both had passed through the Void, and were at risk. The Doctor had a plan to reverse the breach that allowed the Dalek and Cybermen armies to pass to our world, pulling them into the Void and stranding them there for all time. Once implemented, both of them needed to hold on tightly to resist being pulled into the Void. The Doctor’s people called it the Void, but others called it Hell.
Their plan was desperate; it was reckless.
It was all they had.
Unless they held their grip, they would be lost. The breach would pull them in and seal itself, trapping them in nothing, nowhere, for all eternity with their foes.
It was a risk, but risk it they did.
I saw the tapes of the end of the Ghost War. A friend brought them to me as he wanted the truth known, and heroes remembered. It was a fitting tribute. People need heroes, and Rose was unquestionably a hero. Heroes are the ordinary people who stand up to do what is right, not what is easy, all in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
I saw them raise the twin levers, one on each side, forward of the breach, separated by ten meters. Rose and the Doctor took a lever and grabbed on to handholds that would take them through the storm. They opened the breach and began to pull the Daleks and Cybermen out of this plane of existence. Many in London remember the sights of Daleks being pulled away from their strafing runs and sent screaming into the Torchwood Tower. Many worldwide saw the Cybermen pulled away into the sky, away from the innocents they threatened.
On the tapes, I saw them pulled into the Void.
Of course, Murphy could not leave them alone. The lever by Rose shorted and fell from its lock. She left the safety of her handhold to reset the lever. The Doctor was out of reach. He could not reach her, help her… save her. The last of the Daleks were pulled through, and the maelstrom had her in its grip.
It was a tug of war, and Rose knew how it would end even as she reset her lever. She knew, and the Doctor knew. She fought the pull with every fiber of her being.
It just wasn’t enough.
She lost her grip and fell toward the breach. The audio pickups clearly caught the screams torn from their throats. The Doctor screamed as he saw his friend, someone he cared for, his partner, and perhaps more, pulled toward a fate worse than death and he was helpless to prevent. Rose screamed as she fell, pulled from the life she chose and the man she chose to live it with.
They screamed as she fell toward Hell, but the Devil was denied his due. At the last second, one of the warriors of the other world, one of the leaders of their fight against the Cybermen, Peter Alan Tyler, an analogue of Rose’s father, crossed to catch Rose. With seconds to spare, he took her back with him across the Void to his world.
The breach was closed. The two saviors of Earth lived, but were torn from each other.
She would have spent the rest of her life with him, traveling the universe, throughout space and time, but she was denied her dream. And he would have let her, finally being close to someone for the first time since his race, his civilization, was destroyed.
It was a victory for Earth.
It was a pyrrhic victory for both Rose and the Doctor.
She sacrificed her life and future for us.
He sacrificed his partner and more.
They sacrificed so we could live. They sacrificed so we could choose our own fates.
She made her choice out of love of life. She lost her life here, but has a chance at life there.
Rose Tyler is a hero and deserved to be remembered.
She did what she felt right in the face of overwhelming fear.
For us, she faced the certainty of falling into Hell.
For us, she lost her world and her love.
What will you do with that gift?
This wrote itself within an hour of seeing Doomsday for the first time. I had been holding on to this until after the American release of the episode, so not to spoil it for those who were not in the UK or could not find it on the internet.
I decided to post this after reading the articles about the construction worker in NYC that saved a 20 yr old college stuent from getting run over by a subway train. He is a hero. People need heroes to believe in, especially with all the negativity in the world today.
I saw this as a way to give those in that world, all those who suffered losses from both the Cybermen and the Daleks, a hero. The way that the tapes were taken to Sarah Jane will be revelaed in another story, but just know the individual responsible knew the world needed heroes to believe in, so one was given, and the story written by one who could understand the heriosm, and the tragedy that surrounded that act.
Heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things, but to them, it is somethng they just have to do.
Perhaps that is what makes it so extraordinary to the rest of us.
Drake the Archr