Chapter 8: Going Home
Rose groaned when they materialized.
“Yeah, time travel without a capsule… Never gets any easier,” the Doctor stated and slightly shook his head to clear it.
“I really miss the TARDIS,” Rose complained, but regretted it almost as soon as the words left her lips. The Doctor never talked about it, but she knew how much he missed his ship. The look on his face right now was testament to that.
“We’re in Cardiff,” the Doctor said a moment later.
Rose looked at him then her surroundings. They were in a dark room, probably an office of some kind. “How do you know?”
The Doctor pointed at his vortex manipulator. “But even if it didn’t show Cardiff as our location I would have known. We’re inside the Hub, Rose. This is Lisa Hallet’s office.”
“So they really are after the rift,” Rose concluded whilst leaving the office and following the Doctor who was waving the sonic screwdriver, probably to find out where exactly the Tolaan were.
“Looks like it,” the Doctor agreed. “Maybe they stayed away from it for the past years so we wouldn’t know what they were after.”
That made sense, Rose thought. If Torchwood knew that the Tolaan were after the rift they would have sent more employees to work for Torchwood 3. Not that that would have done any good, since it seemed to be the middle of the night right now. There was no one around. As soon as Rose had finished that thought gun shots echoed through the Hub, as if trying to prove her wrong.
“Gwen?” Rose called surprised when she saw her friend, who was hiding behind a desk and shooting at the Tolaan. She hadn’t seen her in almost 40 years. After Jack’s death Gwen hadn’t really wanted them around. They reminded her too much of Jack. Rose hadn’t wanted to leave her, but respected her wishes. She and the Doctor went back to London, and she stayed in contact with Gwen mostly through e-mail, hoping that one day Gwen would realize that she wanted her friends around again. Unfortunately about six months after Jack’s death Gwen disappeared. Some had speculated that Jack’s death had been too much for her and she ran off, others thought it might have had something to do with unusually high rift activity the night after Gwen had last been at work. Rose had thought that the rift must have taken her, because no matter how badly Gwen took Jack’s death, she didn’t think Gwen would ever run off and stop hunting the aliens that killed him.
“Rose? Doctor?” Gwen asked surprised. “I haven’t even had a chance to call for backup yet.”
Rose smirked. “Mind if we help anyway?” she asked whilst ducking behind another desk and starting to shoot as well.
“Be my guest,” Gwen replied with a hint of a smile.
Rose grinned, happy to see her friend again.
“Rose, this is it,” the Doctor whispered next to her. Rose turned to him, not sure what he was talking about.
“The night the rift acted up, and the night Gwen disappeared. It’s happening right now. We travelled back in time to it.”
Rose’s eyes widened. All this time she had had no idea what really happened to Gwen; and now here they were, right in the middle of everything. She’d find out first hand what happened.
“You don’t think the Tolaan got her?” she asked. “I’m not going to let that happen!”
“No we won’t,” the Doctor agreed. He hadn’t been able to save Jack, and hadn’t been able to save Gwyneth, Gwen’s ancestor… or well, the ancestor of the Gwen back in their own reality. He would not let anything happen to Gwen now.
“They are opening the rift,” Gwen called. “We have to stop them.”
Before Rose could say anything Gwen jumped out from behind her desk and went towards the Tolaan, shooting at them with two guns. Rose cursed and quickly followed. They advanced side by side, taking down at least 4 Tolaan in the process, then the Doctor tackled them from behind. They hit the floor just as a blast soared above their heads and ended up ripping a large hole through one of the desks. The next second the remaining Tolaan roared in triumph, then disappeared in a greenish light at the same time as an alarm went off.
“No!” Gwen exclaimed scrambling to her feet and rushing over to one of the computers.
“Where did they go?” Rose asked glancing at the Doctor. “Can we follow them again?”
The Doctor was already fumbling with the sonic screwdriver and looking at his vortex manipulator, his eyes narrowing. “No, no, no,” he exclaimed whilst a wind was starting to ruffle his hair.
“They opened the rift,” Gwen exclaimed and pushed away a paper that soared towards her through the air. “We have to close it.”
Rose looked from the Doctor to Gwen, a frown on her face. The Tolaan couldn’t have gotten away again, could they? Had they opened the rift to make sure they wouldn’t be followed? She sighed and went to join Gwen. No matter how much she hated it, closing the rift was more important right now. It was simply too dangerous to be left active for a moment longer than necessary. Every second it was open it could displace someone else in time and space.
“Enter your security code to close it,” Gwen shouted over the noise of the alarm and the stronger getting wind inside the Hub.
Rose nodded and started typing.
“No, wait,” the Doctor called. “The Tolaan escaped through the rift. If we close it we can’t follow.”
“But we have to close it,” Gwen exclaimed. “It could destroy everything!”
“I know,” he answered. “One of us has to stay behind to close it.”
“Oh no,” Gwen said firmly. “They killed Jack, I’m not staying behind!”
The wind was getting stronger by the second and Rose was having difficulties understanding the others, but that wasn’t the worst, neither was the blaring alarm or the objects soaring through the Hub. She barely registered those. The rift was getting stronger and she could feel
it in every cell of her being. It was as if it was calling to her, showing her things. Her mind seemed to connect with it on a level she couldn’t fully comprehend.
“Bad Wolf,” she whispered. It wasn’t really her the rift connected with, it was Bad Wolf. Over the years Rose had learned to understand Bad Wolf better and tap into its power occasionally, but she still didn’t understand most of what was happening when Bad Wolf actually awoke. The only thing she was absolutely sure of was that Bad Wolf only decided to take over when it was absolutely necessary. Like right now, she thought as she started to comprehend what was going on.
“The Tolaan used the rift to cross over to another universe,” she said as her skin started to glow.
“Rose?!” Gwen exclaimed, staring at her.
“Everything they did was in order to find a way home,” Rose continued. She could actually sympathise with that. When she had been stuck in this world without the Doctor she had wanted nothing more than to get back home either. The difference was that Rose wouldn’t have killed innocents for it.
“We can follow them and I can close the rift whilst we’re leaving.”
“Rose, are you sure you can do this?” the Doctor asked, sounding concerned.
“Bad Wolf can,” Rose assured him. “And don’t worry about me. Like you said, Bad Wolf would never let me die.” That said she let go, allowing Bad Wolf to take over. Glowing brighter than before she held her hands out to Gwen and the Doctor, then smiled at him.
“We’re going home.”
Rose, 10.5 & Gwen's story will continue in 'It's Far From Over' chapter 11. ;-)