Because I've fallen way, way behind, I'm updating this on here in chunks.
Chapter 6: The Quest Begins
By Kate Carter
The Googling would have to wait, however. I was exhausted. My parents took me home and I climbed into bed and slept…for the next fifteen hours. After that, I felt refreshed and ready to go. Except that I didn’t have any clothes.
I found some in my closet that had been too big for me previously, but fit me almost perfectly now. I made a mental note to tell Mom we needed to go shopping.
I sat down at the computer and tried to figure out what to search for. I tried several terms; “doctor+alien,” “doctor+London+alien,” “doctor+changes bodies+London,” but when I tried “doctor+London+blue box,” I hit paydirt. I found this website, whoisdoctorwho.org.uk. There were pictures of a man in a suit and a long trench coat, and, oddly, Converse sneakers, and another man, labeled as “the old Doctor” who was tall, with close-cropped brown hair and a leather jacket. He didn’t look anything like the man Dr. Holloway had described…but how many other aliens named the Doctor with the ability to change their bodies run around the universe?! It hadn’t been updated in about a year, but an old update said that it had been taken over by Mickey Smith. There was a phone number. I whipped out my cell phone and called it, wincing slightly as I pushed the “Call” button…my parents weren’t going to like a lot of overseas calls, even though Dad had pulled me aside and told me to do whatever I needed. Unfortunately, there was a disconnected message…guess that one was a dead end.
I searched for another three hours without any luck. I studied the pictures I’d found carefully; if I did see anything about him, I wanted to be able to recognize him.
Finally I sighed and pushed back from the computer. My eyes were aching from staring so intently at it for so long. I wasn’t sure what I’d do now. Normally, I’d be taking classes at USF, or working. But that was yesterday. Most of my professors wouldn’t know the difference if a strange girl walked in and sat down, but my friends and my boss definitely would. So I decided I might as well go shopping.
Since my car was totaled, I asked my mom if I could borrow her car. She refused. Typical mother, she insisted on driving me herself.
Mom and I went to the mall first, and after I’d hit up all my favorite stores, the bank account was somewhat lighter and the bags on my arms were definitely heavier. But I had a very cute, brand new wardrobe. There may be some perks to this changing-body-thingamajig after all.
We were driving back home, and Mom realized she needed to stop by the grocery store. I went in with her, and while she grabbed the things she needed for dinner tonight, I browsed the magazine rack. Normally I love reading the more ridiculous tabloids; you know, the ones that say things like, “Bigfoot wins tennis competition,” or “Demon from Hell frightens circus-goers (ringmaster says, ‘It’s not part of the act!’).” But today, a headline caught my attention. It was just a little thing, in the corner, but there was the headline “Do you know this man?” and a picture I recognized in the circle next to it. It was the Doctor.
I clutched at the paper as though it would disappear. Frantically, I flipped through it until I found the article. A grainy picture of a large blue box, exactly like the one Dr. Holloway had described, with the Doctor opening its door, was at the top, along with a bright yellow headline screaming “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?” I read the article below it with interest.
“This man (above, on a picture from a security camera) has been reported in connection with every unusual event happening in Britain in the last two years. States Mrs. E, 68, of the Powell Estate, London; ‘He was the one who was always hanging around here, over at the Tylers, before they were killed, although I don’t know how, because Jackie never went over to Canary Wharf anyway.’ The incident in question occurred nearly a year and a half ago, when metal robots attempted to take over London from the building One Canada Square, commonly known as ‘Canary Wharf.’ He has also been reported in connection with unusual events in Cardiff, and photographs from 1920s New York show a similar person in connection with some unusual events there. Indeed, all the unusual reports of alien invasion we’ve heard from England, commonly dismissed as hoaxes by such esteemed publications as this, all seem to share him as a common factor. It is known, however, that this man tends to appear in London every two to three months. We are looking for more information on this man; please inform us if you know anything about him!”
I was still clutching the article, reading it over and over again, when Mom came back.
“Emily, what are you doing? You know better than to read anything that says Elvis is alive, well, and living on the moon,” Mom said, giving a disdainful glance at the cover story, which proclaimed this very fact.
Dazed, I pointed at the article. “It’s the Doctor, Mom.” I flapped it in her face, doing an excited jig in place. “He’s in London! He’s been there every few months!”
I stopped as the realization hit me. I looked at my mom with wide eyes. “Mom,” I said slowly. “I have to go to London.”
Chapter 7: London and Leads
By Kate Carter
“No,” said my mother firmly. “For the last time, Emily. You can't just go running off to London on your own. You're only nineteen.”
“Mom,” I groaned. I turned and jumped up to sit on the kitchen counter, ignoring the disapproving look she was giving me. “I died, Mom. Died. And then I switched bodies, and now I have two hearts. And it just so happens I have the one doctor in all of San Francisco, and heck, probably the world, who's seen it before and can tell me who I need to find, and when I happen to get a very promising lead on him, you tell me I can't go because it's halfway around the world. I'm nineteen. People my age are getting married and having kids and joining the military. I can decide who I want to be president of the country, and yet my parents still won't let me go search for an alien in London.”
“I lived in London,” Mom insisted, putting the last few cans from the sack onto the shelf. “Emily, Frisco is nothing like London. It's a whole different place.”
“Yeah, I know. You lived in London for six months when you were working as a journalism intern, and you wanted to get back to the States because you accidentally insulted the Prime Minister when you were trying to do the whole 'V for victory' thing. But Mom, I'm not going to meet the Prime Minister, and I'm trying to track down the only person, to my knowledge, in the entire universe, who can tell me why this happened.” I looked at my mother earnestly. “Please Mom. I have to do this.”
Mom sighed. “I still have a few contacts at the newspaper. Let me get in touch with them. There's a woman who was starting out there at the same time I was, she and I were good friends while I was there. She might be able to help you out.”
The victory won, I headed upstairs to pack what clothes I had.
Three days and $1500 later, I was fighting my way through Heathrow Airport. I clutched my backpack tightly; it held all my truly important belongings, not that there were many. My few outfits, the article, the blanket and the note I'd been left with, and my passport. I'd been lucky, I was able to convince Customs that the passport picture was me, and that I'd just had a different haircut, colored my hair darker, and gotten colored contacts. They bought it pretty easily. Seriously, is that all you have to do to get into another country? Sheesh.
I fought my way to the Underground station and took it to the Earls Court station. This was the first time I'd been on a subway, and it was definitely an experience. I was lucky enough to find a seat and sat tightly clutching my pack the entire time. I had no idea how people did this on a regular basis. I was used to the streetcars in San Francisco, but the Underground gave me a slightly claustrophobic feeling.
All in all, I was grateful when I finally reached fresh air and the street outside the Earls Court station. As promised, my mom's friend was there waiting for me. I recognized her from the description I'd been given and went to introduce myself to her.
“Hello,” I said, “I'm Emily Thompson.”
“Yes, Emily, hello!” she said brightly. “I'm Sarah Jane Smith.”
We walked to where she'd parked her car, and she asked me those standard questions - “did you have a nice flight,” “what do you think of London so far,” the nice, polite questions, you know? Eventually we made it to the car, and as she carefully navigated the streets, she said, “Your mother said you were looking to find somebody in London?”
“Yeah,” I said, the thought sounding more and more ridiculous. How was I supposed to find someone in this city? It was huge. Between residents, and tourists, and who-knows-who-else, I'd be lucky to find my own way around. I decided to tell her anyway. Two people keeping an eye out is better than one, isn't it? “I'm looking for someone who tends to be here every few months. I know it sounds ridiculous, but he's got a blue box that will appear, and he's called the Doctor.”
Sarah Jane hit the brake and I found myself thankful for the seatbelt. As cars honked behind us and people made their way around with rude shouts and ruder gestures, I looked at Sarah Jane's face. She was pale, and looking at me with wide eyes. “You're looking for the Doctor?” she asked in disbelief.
I stared at her. “You know him?” I asked cautiously. Oh, this was turning out to be too good. I was destined to find him. Things were falling into place.
“You could say that,” Sarah Jane said. She slowly began to drive again, and the irritated honking and shouts abated. “I traveled with him for some time.”
“You what?!” Now it was my turn to be shocked. Then I grew excited. “This is great,” I said, practically bouncing in my seat. “You can help me get in touch with him!”
Sarah Jane shook her head. “No, I'm afraid not. I've only seen him once since then, and that was by sheer coincidence. However,” she said thoughtfully, “I might be able to give you the information of someone who could help.”
Chapter 8: When Companions Get Together, Gossip Occurs
By Kate Carter
A/N: I've never seen SJA, so it's a little short on detail...sorry!
When we made it to Sarah Jane's house, I was briefly introduced to her teenage son and his friends before they left for one of their houses. I was somewhat dazed and confused, and after the nearly twenty-hour flight, my body had just decided it was time to crash. Of course, I'd only slept three hours before I left...so, come to think of it, I'd only slept three hours in the last forty-eight. Huh.
It turned out to be all right, because Sarah Jane wasn't able to get a hold of whoever it was she was trying to find. I could vaguely hear her on the phone as I dozed where I was sitting on the couch. “She's in Cardiff? All right, thank you.” And then the sound of dialing, followed by a long pause; I'd guess it was an answering machine or voicemail or something. “Hello, this is Sarah Jane Smith. I need you to call me as soon as possible. I've got a friend's daughter visiting me from America, and you need to meet her.”
After this, I was too tired, and I couldn't resist falling asleep completely. I woke up four hours later, feeling refreshed. This was surprising – before, well, the accident, I'd been happy to sleep ten hours straight. For me to wake up after four hours and be fine? Well, I would have said impossible, but...
Sarah Jane was sitting in a chair, reading a book. She looked at me as I sat up from the couch and stretched. “Um, sorry,” I said. “Jet lag.”
She smiled. “That's all right,” she said. “I should have someone coming by soon who you'll want to talk to.”
“Great,” I said. My stomach let out a loud growl as I said it. I blushed. “Sorry.”
Sarah Jane smiled. “It's all right. Let me get you something to eat.”
She was in the kitchen when the doorbell rang. “Emily, would you mind getting that? It should be my friend,” she called from the kitchen.
“Sure,” I said. I walked over and opened the door.
A young black woman, a few years older than myself, was standing on the steps. She looked tired, and still had traces of what looked like a greenish - I'm not really sure whether to call it slime or goo. One of the two – on her clothing. Even so, she looked at me with interest. There was a bit of a hardness in her eyes though, and I got the impression of wariness. Something told me this woman had seen a lot more than most people.
“Hello, I'm Dr. Martha Jones,” she said, extending her hand. I shook it. “Is Sarah Jane around?”
Before I could answer, Sarah Jane came up behind me. “Martha,” she said warmly. “Come in, sit down, would you like some tea?”
Martha sighed as she sat carefully in a chair, mindful of what she had on her clothes. “Yes, please, that'd be wonderful. I was just helping Torchwood with a-” she glanced at me and stopped.
“Don't worry about the furniture, relax,” ordered Sarah Jane, coming back in and giving Martha a cup of tea. She handed me a sandwich, and then went back to the kitchen. She came back out with two more cups of tea, one of which she handed me. I sipped it appreciatively. I always had enjoyed tea.
“So, I'm guessing this is who you wanted me to meet?” Martha said, nodding towards me. I liked that she got straight to the point.
“Yes,” said Sarah Jane, glancing at me. “This is Emily Thompson. She- she's looking for the Doctor.”
Martha lifted an eyebrow and looked at me. “That's interesting,” she commented. “Why are you looking for the Doctor? And how do you even know who he is?”
I sighed. “Well, it started a week ago, when I was killed in a car crash,” I began. I told Sarah Jane and Martha the whole story; how Dr. Holloway had seen me coming back to life, how she'd told me to find a man called the Doctor who traveled in a blue box, how I had found the tabloid article detailing the mysterious man connected with mysterious events in London, and how my mother had remembered her old friend, Sarah Jane Smith, who lived in London. As I said all of this, I became aware of the fact that I hadn't used a restroom in several hours. I hurried the conclusion of my story and excused myself.
As I shut the door, I was still able to hear Sarah Jane and Martha talk. Don't ask me how, I have no idea. But I could.
“She seems sincere enough about it,” said Sarah Jane. “I've developed a rather good sense for when people are lying, and I don't think she is.”
“I agree,” said Martha. “But still, I'd like to take her to Cardiff with me tomorrow before I call him.”
“Absolutely,” said Sarah Jane. I could practically see her nodding her head in agreement. “He can take care of himself perfectly fine, but there's no point in tempting fate. We can do what we can to protect him. After all, he's already regenerated how many times?”
“Ten,” Martha said ruefully. “But he's been averaging nearly a hundred years a regeneration, so I wouldn't feel too sorry for him.”
“It certainly sounds like Emily regenerated,” said Sarah Jane thoughtfully. Then, slowly...”I know he doesn't like to talk about his past companions, but do you think he and Rose...?”
Martha laughed bitterly. “Who knows. He never talked about Rose, except in that wistful way. He's very protective of her memory.”
“Her middle name is Rose,” said Sarah Jane softly.
“Is it?” said Martha, surprised. “It may be than,” she said softly. “Maybe that's why...”
They were silent for a moment, and I chose to come back at this point. I tried to smile pleasantly as I sat down and began to drink my tea.
“Well, Sarah Jane, I'm exhausted. I'm going back to my flat,” said Martha, rising. She looked at me. “I might be able to help you out in your search for the Doctor tomorrow,” she said. “We'll need to go to Cardiff though. I'll be by to pick you up around eight.”
“All right,” I said cheerfully. “Sounds great.”
Martha left. Sarah Jane and I sat silently for another few minutes. Finally she stood up.
“I should make dinner, Luke will be coming back soon,” she said, excusing herself. I was alone.
I sat there for a moment and took in my surroundings, the first real chance I'd gotten. A picture caught my attention and I picked it up. It was a young woman standing with a man in front of a blue box, and I realized it must have been Sarah Jane and the Doctor.
“We took that in 2688,” Sarah Jane said softly. I jumped and turned around. She came over and took it from me. “That was his third regeneration. He died from radiation poisoning three weeks later.”
I looked at her closely. “You loved him, didn't you?” I asked, the realization dawning upon me.
She looked at me, her face quickly shuttering its emotion. “It was a long time ago,” she said firmly. “Come on, Emily, you can help me with dinner.”