>> Saturday, 17 January 2009

All around the room, the Doctor’s shouts echoed and Beth winced, shaking her head uncontrollably. Beth let go of the button in protest and the Master frowned at her, pressing it himself.
“Stop it!” she yelled at the Master, “Just stop it, now!”
The Master took his finger slowly off the button and walked towards Beth. The Doctor lay panting on the floor, shuddering.
“You do not tell me what to do!” the Master yelled, grabbing Beth by her neck. She gasped as his cold hand blocked off her airway, “Do you understand?”
Beth nodded frantically and the Master pushed her down to the floor. “Good,” he smiled and turned on his heel, “Now Doctor, we wait for the Clamots to settle in!”

On Earth, amongst all the running and screaming, James knelt down and examined the creature in front of him closely. The creature looked back at him with big, puppy dog eyes and he smiled.
“Stop!” he called, standing up, “These things are harmless. They’re just like dogs.”
Around him, the people slowly stopped screaming and looking closely at the creatures. Despite their bizarre appearance, the humans found themselves falling in love with them. James knelt down again and held out a hand. The creature slowly approached him and leapt onto his hand. James smiled as it curled up next to him.
“I’m taking this thing home,” he put the creature in his hand and dropped the newspaper he was carrying, “Damn,” he said, but before he could pick it up, the creature had done so for him, “Wow, they’re practically housetrained!”
The people around him seemed wary but found the creatures fascinating. They all begin picking them up and taking them up, without the creatures protesting.
James smiled at his new pet, “I’m calling you James Junior.”

The TV in the room blared and Sally Sparrow watched in despair.
“How do people trust these things?” she called to her boyfriend, Larry, “They look disgusting.”
Larry hesitated in the corridor, trying to hide the creature he’d just picked up. “Er, yeah, disgusting,” he lied.
Sally sighed heavily, “You’ve got one haven’t you?”
Larry walked into the room and held it out, “Don’t you think it’s cute?” he said, scratching the creature’s head, “What should we call it?”
“We’re not keeping it!” Sally shouted, “It looks… alien.”
“So what if it is? It does housework,” Larry said, raising his eyebrows.
“What?” Sally asked in disbelief.
“Yup,” Larry replied, “Look.”
He gave the creature his ‘The angels have the phone box’ T Shirt, and without hesitation, the creature went straight to the washing machine and placed it inside. It then returned to Larry’s side.
“But that’s insane,” Sally said, “Creatures wouldn’t just do that naturally, they must have been made to do it so we’d trust them.” She stood up, “I need to investigate this.”
“Sallllly,” Larry said in an exasperated tone, “Please, you said you’d give up all this stuff.”
“But it’s so interesting, don’t you think?” she thought to herself, “Maybe we’ll find the Doctor again.”
Larry sighed, “That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Doctor this, Doctor that.”“Shut up,” Sally snapped, grabbing her coat, “I’m going out.”Without waiting for a reply, she was gone.

Two weeks later

“Please, stop,” Beth managed as the Master once again tortured the Doctor, “Don’t you think it’s enough now?”
The Master stood up and look at his watch, “Ah, two weeks, should be used to them now.”
He flicked on his wide screen television and placed on the news channel.
“These creatures have been described as the best thing since sliced-bread. A fortnight ago, millions of the dog-like animals appeared across the world and willingly approached humans. Dazzling them with their charm and housework abilities, most of the human race took them into their homes and now they use them on a day to day basis. Here is James Adams with his tale:
‘”I first saw them and I knew they could be trusted. They’re a miracle, aren’t you JJ?””
More news on these amazing creatures as they come, please visit our sponsor
http://www.creatureclothes.co.uk/ (NOT A REAL WEBSITE!!!) where you can purchase all kinds of fashionable items for your housepet.”
The Master switched off the screen and smiled.
“Now,” he said, hovering over a button, “Time to make them devour the human race.”
“No,” the Doctor struggled, “Please, don’t.”
The Master laughed, “Just try and stop me.”“Please, just tell me one thing,” the Doctor gasped.
The Master sighed, “What?”
“Where did the Clamots come from?” he asked.
The Master laughed and circled the room, “Do you really want to know? They’re made from an alien race from a dying planet. I arrived there and recycled their bodies into these creatures.”
The Doctor’s face was grim, “Murder.”
“I was salvaging them Doctor, saving them. They’re now a better race that are about to feast.”
“No,” the Doctor said once again, “Please, not yet.”
The Master sighed, “One more hour. In the meantime…” he produced the button, “You know what’s coming!”

Sally Sparrow had spent the past two weeks researching the creatures and had managed to find and visit Torchwood.
“How do you know about us?” Captain Jack Harkness shouted, as Sally traipsed through the doors.
“I have connections,” she muttered and said, “Anyway, I was wondering if you’d done any research on these creatures? Please, I need to do this, you can trust me.”Jack eyed her warily then smiled, “OK, but only because you’re cute.”Sally sighed then followed Jack into another room. “This is what we’ve found out.”There was suddenly a knock on the door and a woman dressed in a white coat swept in. Her black hair was neatly styled back and she wore a red top with perfect black trousers. Her face looked confused. Sally instantly recognised her and vice versa.
“Sally Sparrow!” the woman said.
“Martha Jones!” Sally said.
They smiled at each other and Sally said, “I need your help.”“Thought so,” she smiled, “Is it about the creatures?” Martha asked.
“Yes,” Sally nodded, “They don’t seem safe.”“They’re not,” Martha sighed, “They’ve been made out of different types of tissue, completely mixed DNA. They’ve been put together.”
“By who?” Sally asked. “Someone who’s got a grudge against the Earth…” Martha sighed, “Something like this happened before…”“We need the Doctor,” Sally asked, “The Earth could be in trouble.”“I agree,” Martha said, “Torchwood is a small team, we can’t contain all the creatures in here.”“But the Doctor’s even smaller,” Sally said.
“Oh no, he’s a thousand times better than Torchwood,” Martha sighed, “He’ll know what to do.”“So what are we supposed to do?” Sally said, beginning to feel frustrated.
“We wait, I suppose,” Martha sighed, sitting down, “And, you could tell us how you know about Torchwood?”Jack coughed, “I am here you know,” he laughed, “Blimey, you girls can be so power-crazed sometimes.” He turned seriously to Sally, “Now, explain to us.”
“Right, I’ve had enough of waiting,” the Master sighed, “I’m getting this show on the road.”“Please,” the Doctor pleaded, “Don’t.”The Master just laughed and pressed another button.

Sarah, Beth’s mother, continuously phoned her daughter but there was no reply. She cried with fury and slammed the phone against the wall, causing it to shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces. She then ran towards her car and prepared for a long journey to Cardiff.

2 hours later

“OK,” Jack said, “Now, I’m just worried.”“What?” Martha said, running towards the screen that Jack was frowning at.
“There’s a woman who’s walking towards us,” they watched as she stepped on the Torchwood front entrance and managed to make it work. Jack sighed.
“Come on, get the guns out,” he ordered.

Jack stood with his gun ready as Sarah descended down to the Hub. She saw the gun and put her hands up.
“Don’t shoot me,” she said, “I’m here to help! I know where the Doctor is.”
Jack exchanged a look with Martha and Sarah said, “My daughter’s with him, Beth, she’s in trouble.”
Jack lowered his gun then said, “Tell us what you know.”
“He can’t be…” Martha said in disbelief, “Why on earth did your daughter revive him?”“I’m sorry, she was forced,” she cried, “I haven’t received any messages from her so she must be in trouble.”
“Are you involved too?” Jack said, eyeing her warily.
“Not really,” she replied, “I’ve always hated him for what he’s doing to my daughter.”“So Beth just travelled with the Doctor,” Martha said, “To bring him to the Master.”“That’s the plan,” Sarah said. “What a bit…” Martha began but Jack cut her off, “OK, what can we do?”
“You’ve got teleports haven’t you?” Sarah said.
“Hey, how do you know about us?” he glanced at Sally, “We’re gonna get overcrowded here!”
“The Master informed us about you, what dangers you could cause. I’m supposed to be stopping you. But I’m here to help.” She looked around, “Is this your new team then?”Jack shook his head, “Nah, Gwen and Ianto are out for a pizza. Anyway, yes, help us. How?”
“The teleports,” she said, “Use them; I’ve got co-ordinates for his new ship.”
“How many teleports are there?” Sally asked.
“Three,” Jack said, “One of us will have to stay behind.”
Sally sighed, “I suppose that’ll be me.”“No,” Martha said, “I’ll stay behind, keep an eye on what’s going on, I’ll stay here and keep this place safe.”
Jack looked at her warily then nodded, “OK.”
“Let’s get these teleports then,” Sally smiled.

The Master hadn’t set the Clamots off to eat the humans yet, he just wanted to annoy the Doctor.
He sighed, “Oh, this is so funny.”“Hilarious,” Beth muttered sarcastically.
“Shut up,” the Master snapped, “You’re lucky I haven’t killed you.”Suddenly, the room filled with a strange energy and 3 people appeared in the centre of the room.
“What?” the Master gasped. “What?” the Doctor frowned, “Jack! Sarah!” he gasped, “Sally Sparrow! What are you doing here?”
“Helping,” Sally smiled.
Sarah ran over to her daughter and hugged her tight. Jack pointed his gun at the Master, “Now listen, you know you can’t kill me, so stay right there.”The Master looked around in disbelief, “What?” He looked at Jack and then at Sarah.
“You were supposed to eliminate Torchwood,” he said in an angry voice, “You worthless…” he grabbed a laser from his pocket and pointed it at Sarah, who suddenly evaporated and left Beth hugging thin air.
“Mum!” she gasped and pain rushed through her body. Her throat began to feel tight as all the memories she’d had with her mother ran through her mind. It all seemed worth nothing now; she was an orphan and a betrayer. She didn’t even have enough in her to make herself cry, her eyes just stared into space, dead.
“Drop the gun,” the Master said, “Or I’ll disintegrate you too!”Jack hesitated then dropped his gun. Sally stood behind him.
“And who is this?” the Master said, ushering Jack out of the way, “Another companion?”
Sally frowned at him, “And who are you?”
The Master laughed, “I am the Master, and I’m about to turn the Clamots against the human race!”“What? The Clam-what?” Sally frowned.
“They’re the creatures,” the Master sighed, “I created them and now the human race will die.”
“Larry…” Sally gasped.
“Martha…” Jack muttered.
“Martha?” the Doctor asked.
“She works for us part time now,” Jack explained.
“Oh shut up all your gabble,” the Master shouted, “Now, it’s time!”
Jack quickly reached for his gun as the Master produced a device. He shot at the Master’s hand with the device in several times, so much so his hand fell off and on to the floor. Sally grabbed her mouth in disgust as the Master looked at his hand and the device on the floor. Jack quickly shot at it and destroyed it.
The Master collapsed to the floor in pain; he was bleeding heavily. The Doctor managed to get up and walk past him to all his controls. He found what he was looking for and pressed a button. On Earth, all the creatures suddenly disintegrated and the Doctor looked grim.
“What did you do?” Sally asked.
“Ah you wouldn’t understand,” the Doctor brushed off, sitting by the Master’s side.
“You killed a whole species,” the Master gasped, “My species.”
The Doctor ignored him as he quickly removed all weapons from the Master’s pockets. As all this happened, Beth just stood there, motionless.
“Doctor,” the Master said, “This is enough! Beth,” he called, “The watch.”Beth automatically reached for her watch, not caring anymore, and chucked it to the Master, “Teleport.”They suddenly all disappeared and appeared on Earth, in a deserted street with a long road in the middle of it. The Master stood up, despite his injury. He pushed the Doctor forward, “Come on.”
Jack and Sally stayed back but Beth edged forward. She knew what was going to happen. They walked across the road and the Master told the Doctor to stop in the middle, “I need some space.”The Master walked along to the pavement and talked to the Doctor, “I need your help Doctor.”“You’ve got a nerve,” the Doctor said, facing him, “After all you’ve done.”In the distance, the revving of a truck sounded and Beth’s heart skipped a beat.
The Doctor continued to face the Master as Beth watched the truck she had heard hurtle towards the Doctor at a shocking speed, who was oblivious of the danger. The Master looked at Beth with a stern face.
Beth gasped as the Doctor turned around and noticed the truck coming. She rushed out into the road without thinking. She quickly pushed the Doctor out of the way, safely onto the pavement with the Master, and was hit at full speed by the truck and pushed over the bonnet of it. She slumped off onto the cold road and the Doctor rushed to her side. Jack and Sally gasped as they watched the Doctor cradling her in his arms.
Beth’s head lolled around powerlessly as she struggled for air.
“Beth…” he gasped, “Stay with me, please Beth.”“I’m… so… sorry,” she managed and stared at the Doctor.
“Don’t go, please,” tears were flooding his eyes, “We’ve had such good times together, don’t spoil it all now! I forgive you.”
“S-s-sorry,” Beth gasped and her eyes slowly closed.
The Doctor clutched her close and tears dripped onto Beth’s hair. He cradled her broken body and remembered of all the good times they’d had together; on the planet Felspoon, in Barcelona, seeing the sights, laughing…
He slowly laid her onto the floor to rest and placed his head in his hands in despair.
The Master watched on, unmoved, and shouted, “Another one’s left you, then?”
The Doctor slowly raised his head and stood up, his gaze shattering. His face was full of heartbreak and the Master saw this as triumph.
“Damn it, that truck was aimed for you. Anyway, I’ve finally defeated…” he paused as a shot passed through his stomach. The Doctor looked up at Jack who had a gun in his hand. The Master collapsed to the floor and the Doctor stood there, unable to sit with him. He watched as the Master slowly died and seemed to grin.
“I don’t need to regenerate,” he gasped and chuckled to himself. He then closed his eyes and died along with Beth.
The Doctor sat once more beside his companion and felt the pain and loss he had continuously experienced hit him all over again. He felt lonelier than ever before and suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Sally, her face full of sorrow, and she pulled him into a hug. Jack stood watching and looked at the floor at Beth, who remained motionless but peaceful.

“As we remember the life of Bethany Lily Wright, we scatter her ashes across the river, free to explore and experience the afterlife in peace.”
The vicar scattered Beth’s ashes into the river and the Doctor stood motionless in a black suit. Sally Sparrow and Jack were at the back of the crowd, looking at the floor. Jack whispered something to Sally and she looked at him with worry.
“What about Larry?” she asked.
“Do you really need him?” Jack queried.
“I know, but it’s so dangerous, I mean look what happened to Beth!”“It isn’t always that way,” Jack said, “Anyway, you’ll have to ask him. I’m sure ever since you met him you’ve always wanted that thrill that comes with travelling with him.”
Sally felt excitement rush through her and then she felt ashamed.
“We shouldn’t be talking about this,” she said, “He’s just lost someone.”“Yeah,” he sighed as the Doctor walked towards them, his face now looking old with pain. Jack placed his hand on his shoulder.
“The TARDIS?” he asked, looking at Sally.
The Doctor barely nodded and began walking forward. Sally contemplated asking him if she could travel with him, but worried if it was too soon.
The trio walked towards the TARDIS and the Doctor opened the doors with no emotion. Once inside, he sat down and stared at the console. Sally gaped at the interior, amazed by its beauty while Jack stood there awkwardly. No one knew what to say.
Suddenly, the TARDIS console lit to life and it began moving. The Doctor stood up in shock and frowned. He darted around the console and pressed buttons urgently.
“We’re being pulled somewhere!” he shouted, his face full of concentration.
As the TARDIS hurtled from side to side, Sally couldn’t help smiling, the thrill of excitement overwhelming her. Jack felt slightly inconvenienced; he had a team to look after and they wouldn’t be very happy with him disappearing again. He sighed, allowing a smile to spread across his face. Nothing was ever simple with the Doctor.

The TOCS Series will return in the Easter Special – ALONE AT SEA