Disclaimer – I own nothing, all characters are property of other people who make money off of them; namely BBC and Fox. I have simply borrowed them for my entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.
~London Present Day~
The distinctive warbling of the TARDIS echoed through the empty alley, within moments the blue police box materialized in the street. The Doctor jumped out of the door with a grin, “Well my Rose, your week is up, and it’s time to visit new places, see new things, and find new trouble.” An almost maniac like grin crossed his face exposing a snaggle tooth grin, short brown hair, and a black hip length leather jacket flapping behind him as he strode out towards the tenements where Jackie Tyler resided, and Rose was currently visiting.
Impatiently the Doctor rapped on the door, “Jackie come on, I’m here to get Rose.”
The door flew open and the blonde head of Jackie Tyler stuck out of the door, fighting age very ungracefully, and wearing clothes her daughter would have found too tight, “Whadda ya mean, yer here to get her?” anger and resentment in her tone. “You got her 4 weeks ago, and without a bye your leave or even a simple goodbye.”
While he and Jackie didn’t get on well in the best of times, the Doctor knew she loved her daughter, and also knew that he hadn’t been to get Rose. “What do you mean I got her four weeks ago, I only dropped her off a week ago…. Jackie what is today?”
Jackie had stepped back into the room, leaving the door open, “November 5th, ye stupid get, Guy Fawkes day.”
“I have GOT to get her temporal time piece fixed.” The Doctor was now actually worried, he had dropped Rose off September 1st, promising to pick her up in a week. She had wanted time to see her mum, and get some laundry done, laundry of all things, like you couldn’t just pick up clean knickers at any world.
“Jackie, I didn’t get her. I just got back, who did she leave with?” Rose wouldn’t just take off, not without telling him, would she?
Jackie came back out with a cuppa tea, now looking puzzled, worry starting to slowly dawn on her face. “Well I thought you got her, when she just disappeared, didn’t take her purse, nor clothes, nor nothing. She just went to the store and never came back, so I thought you had grabbed her off for another jaunt across the universe.” She set the cuppa down slowly. “But you don’t have her?”
“No,” worry gripped him, while Rose was many things, thoughtless she was not. “When did you see her last? Did she have her phone with her?”
“She was headed out to meet some school chums on September 6th, she took that fancy schmancy phone you gave her, and some Euro’s but that was about it. Doctor, if you don’t have her, where is she?” Panic was beginning to take hold of Jackie, at the same time anger was settling into the Doctors chest.
“I don’t know, but rest assured, I will find her.”
~The DollHouse – London Branch~
“So how is our newest acquisition, Toc I believe is her designation?” The current director of the Dollhouse, Lloyd Surrington, was former Royal Air Force and doggedly stuck with the RAF phonetic alphabet from the beginning of the war, the first war, and as a result all of the dolls were designated by those names, even Pip and Beer.
“She is doing well sir, the amnesia that was present when she was acquired has stood in good stead; however our resident mind geek says there is a persistent block there, as if protecting something, rather than her memory truly being gone.” Agatha Cromarty was the antithesis of every image that would spring to mind for an Agatha. She was whip thin, short spiky black hair, large grey eyes, and cheekbones that looked sharp enough to cut. While she was efficient, cold, and brilliant, not one handler in the house ever even wondered what she would be like in bed, they were all sure she didn’t even know what sex was, other than a tool to be employed by others.
“However sir, I am still concerned about bringing her here without her fully understanding the contract, an amnesiac may have people looking for them.”
Lloyd waved away her fears, “She had no id, only a strange cell phone that doesn’t even work and only a few Euros in her pocket. Her possessions are in storage with all of the dolls belongings. Most likely she is one of these jobless waifs whose parents wouldn’t even recognize them if they passed on the street. I don’t want to hear anymore about it, besides, the entire reason we needed her is the demand for a blonde with decent curves, most of our residents of late all seem to take after you Agatha, skin and bones, and some men prefer a little flesh on their women. I believe she has an assignment tonight?”
The insult, if it was one, Lloyd always made statements like that in the same tone and pace as he said anything else, besides which Agatha had developed diamond hard skin years ago. “Yes, Lord Smythe has requested for a an evening with his son, he wants someone who seems respectable, but wild enough to take the virginity he feels his 19 year old heir, George, has held on to for too long. A room has been rented for them, one of the suites at Grange White Hall Hotel, including the night club pass. The instructions are to and I quote ‘show him why a man wants women’ unquote.”
The dry delivery of the instructions caused Lloyd’s mouth to twitch up a bit. “I take it the mindgeek has the appropriate personality created.”
“Yes, he described it as a cross between Paris Hilton and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.” There was no inflection in Agatha’s voice, neither condemnation nor approval, a simple retelling of the facts.
Lloyd did allow a smile this time, he loved the absolute ruthlessness of Agatha, she was a true treasure. “Excellent, now I believe there was an incident with Yorker yesterday.”
The conversation slipped into assignments and the performance of the dolls.
The Doctor was gone out of the house headed back for the TARDIS. If she had her phone, while she might ignore a call from her mother, she wouldn’t ignore him, would she? He was dialing the moment he was inside, but instead of a ring he received a simple beep and a disconnect. Frowning, he stared at the phone, that battery wouldn’t die before the sun went out, so the only way it could not ring was if she had it turned off, and Rose never turned off that phone, ever. The Doctor started fiddling with dials and displays on the TARDIS, while it might be off, he could track that phone in any state through time and space, and he damn well would, if Rose wanted done with him, she could jolly well tell him to his face.
Irritation was replaced by triumph as he isolated the signal, pin pointing it to a location in London near unremarkable office buildings and a hospital. He locked the door and was out the door, checking the locator he had created as he headed towards his Rose.
Bailey Carollan was the handler for Toc, he was a bland individual suited to this work as nothing about him was memorable, light brown hair, light brown eyes, lightly tanned skin, he could pass for most races, average height, no scars, all in all very bland. He was also extremely amoral. While he cared nothing about the dolls particularly, he found them amusing and he also enjoyed the very nice paycheck he received for taking care of them, so with that in mind he was polite if distant, especially as they never remembered him anyway, and made sure nothing happened to them, as incidents were deducted from his paycheck. He would do what was necessary to protect his charge, but at the same time, made every effort to make sure there was nothing to endanger his charge, he hated having to curtail his spending.
Bailey had been fully briefed on the current assignment, and rather felt that Toc would fill out the role nicely, something about her hinted that she knew how to party. He still felt there was something unknown about her, but that was not what he was paid to care about, his job was to escort to the assignment, guard from outside events, and then escort her back for a “treatment.”
Dr. Lindsay Palmer, was a pure sociopath, interested only in how the imprints worked, how to make them better, and viewed the result of every assignment as an experiment to record the results from. She viewed everyone there as a lab rat, there to flesh out her study, even Lloyd and Agatha were merely tolerated as they enabled her to do her research. Only her experience that the dolls responded better to a soothing tone allowed her to even pretend any level of humanity.
“Toc, come take a seat it is time for your treatment.” A fake smile plastered on her face, and a carefully modulated tone as if speaking to a child, as she gestured to the chair.
Rose, a vacant smile on her face that would have chilled the Doctor to the core, obediently sat in the chair. “Will I take a nap?”
“Not exactly,” with that Dr. Palmer, she tolerated no one calling her Lindsay, pressed the button, loading the imprint into Toc’s mind.
Pain flashed through, and then Kelly opened her eyes, “Hi!” a big smile for Bailey who was waiting for her, “Are we about done here, I have to go get ready for my date with George.”
“Yes we are done, come with me and you can finish getting ready.”
“Great, this is going to be so fun, a night to rock and roll, poor George won’t be able to walk by the time I am through with me.” Toc, aka Kelly bounced along with Bailey, flashing a bright smile at him.
Bailey spared George a slight thought of ‘lucky bastard’ and then was ushering Kelly into the ‘preparation room’ where her clothes and make up was all waiting for her. Shortly after that they were in the elevator moving to the ground floor to head to the hotel.
~Streets of London~
The Doctor stood outside an unprepossessing office building looking at his locator. Apparently Rose’s phone was in there somewhere, but it was unable to give him any idea as to what floor it might be on, or even if it was under the building. “Well this is going to be interesting, first to find the phone, and then see if Rose is with it, and I swear if she has been hurt…,” his voice trailed off as his heart clenched at the idea of her being hurt or dead, he refused to look at the reaction to losing Rose, to what he wanted from her, locking it down hard inside him.
He was digging in his coat pocket for his psychic paper holder, when a side door opened, and out walked Rose with a man he had never seen, before and she was dressed in a way that he had never imagine she could be, but now he wanted to see her dressed this way for him. Her hair was a mass of loose waves, tousled in a way that suggested she had just risen from lengthy bedroom activities. Her dress was a green silk gown that revealed way too much hugging her every curve, and made you want to see everything it didn’t reveal. The finishing touch was heels that accented very nice legs under a skirt much too short, and very sexy.
He was so stunned, aroused, by her appearance, they were halfway down the block before he recovered his voice, “Yo Rose!” They didn’t stop or even blink, simply chattering as they walked towards a waiting limo. “ROSE! Stop!
This time the couple did stop, and the Doctors heart froze in his chest, as Rose, his Rose, turned and looked at him, with nothing in her eyes, no recognition, no joy, no snark. A bright smile with nothing behind it appeared, “Hi, do I know you?” The voice was perky and was not Rose.
The man with her, glared at him, “No you don’t, come on Kelly, George is waiting for you.”
“Oh yes, it will be so much fun tonight, I’ll take him to places he never dreamed.” Dismissing the Doctor totally from her mind she slipped into the limo, the man behind her and disappeared into London traffic.
Horror washed through him as he ran through all the various beings he had encountered in his travels, and nothing jumped to mind as to any which would clone his Rose and replace her with something so vacant, or could remove her, the spark which made Rose who she was so fully. A few deep breaths and some frantic thinking, “Okay first figure out if that is Rose or a clone. That will help me to decide which way to go, and then investigate every company in this building.” With the plans made, the Doctor faded back into a sheltered corner to wait, fiddling with his sonic screwdriver, first he needed as scan of whatever that was with Rose’s face, then the rest would go from there.
~Inside Grange White Hall~
Bailey stood lingering in the bar where Toc and George were flirting, and she was dazzling him, to the point that no one else existed in the universe for poor George. Cynically Bailey thought that it would be nice if Kelly really existed. He followed them upstairs to the room, and then slipped into the room next door that had been reserved for him. Keeping an ear on the mics that transmitted all the sound going on in the room next door, he called the House.
“Bailey here, handler for designation Toc. We might have an issue with her.”
The cool unflappable voice of Operations replied, “Is her impression failing?”
“No, nothing like that, she is the perfect party girl at the moment. As we were leaving the House a man ran up to her and called her Rose, he was most taken aback when the Kelly persona responded. There is a possibility of mistaken identity but I wanted to alert the House that someone might be looking for her.”
“Understood. Your concerns are noted and will be relayed to Mr. Surrington.”
“Bailey out.” With that he stood up, helped himself to a drink. From the sounds in the next room George would not leave there a virgin, and any sex he ever had again was going to have a hell of a time living up to this first experience.
~Outside the Dollhouse~
The Doctor was not known for his patience, but when it was necessary he could remain perfectly still, waiting for days. He had his scanner ready, and was simply waiting, waiting for his Rose. He had avoided any lasting emotional commitment to anyone for centuries, but the fear of losing Rose had images and emotions rising through him that he hadn’t felt in centuries. Desire and fear mingled, until he wasn’t quite sure how he had been able to treat her existence in his life so cavalierly. Perhaps it was luck that prior to him truly working himself into a state the limo pulled up. He glanced at the sky, dawn was just breaking, and Rose and the man climbed out.
He aimed the screwdriver at her, taking a good reading, and then the stroke of luck he needed occurred. As they passed columns to the entrance her hair blew in the wind, and he saw a strand of hair snag on one of the columns. The moment the door closed behind them, he was moving, grabbing the hair and then headed back to the TARDIS.
The next day was spent investigating every business in that building, and who owned them, and deciphering the information from the scan and the DNA sample. Finally he sat looking at the results both happy and scared to death.
It was Rose, no question. The hair and the scans proved it, not even a first generation clone, but the brain waves were what truly worried him. They weren’t hers, he had captured hers one time when she was hit on the head, and these looked different, drastically different, yet underneath the wrong patterns, hidden by the invaders pattern, was a very weak, very low echo of Rose, his Rose. Something was going on here, but his instincts told him it was human based, not alien.
After running an extensive search on all the businesses in that building, he came up with one possible culprit that seemed to have branches in Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Sydney, and London. The company was virtually impossible to tie back to any one group of people, but the name of it, once he got past all the fronts and dummy corporations, which in and of itself took way longer than it should have, implying a very high level of subterfuge and planning for humans; was called MarionetHuis. The company was privately owned, with no published board of directors, and all of their accounts were held in Liechtenstein, making it even more difficult to find out exactly who was actually behind the company, though at this point to be honest he didn’t know if they were legit or not, so more information had to be gathered.
The next two weeks the Doctor kept a very close watch on that building, from afar of course, reactivating CCTV cameras that had been disabled, and placing one or two of his own toys around the area. And then he watched and took notes.
At the end of two weeks the Doctor was incensed with rage and disbelief at what he had figured out. By his reckoning there were 15 people, 7 men, 8 women; who on a regular basis were given different personalities, taken to places always by the same person for each of these make believe people. And what really set his blood boiling was he knew that his Rose’s body was being used sexually in many of this encounters, and that, that could not be tolerated.
The Doctor shut the door in his mind firmly on the idea that he was the only one she should be having sexual encounters with, and instead focused on the fact that this was both physical and mental rape as his Rose would never have agreed to this, never.
She went out once as a dark hard rocker type, that had images of her controlling him pop into his head, that night he followed her, he had to know.
He slipped into the club behind her, but was shocked when she walked on stage as a guest singer, and then brought the house down with her throaty versions of 80’s rock. The sight of her walking on stage to the cheers of the crowd got to him, but he tried to just watch her, get a feel for what was going on with her, until she looked at him and started to sing.
Faye was riding the wave of adrenaline, boosted by a bit of speed handed to her as she was shaking out her muscles, getting ready for her appearance. She normally didn’t do small venue’s like this but it was a favor for an old friend, who had retired from the scene, asking for a boost to his small club he ran now, and what the hell, it had been ages since she had been close enough to feel the heat of the crowd, and honestly she had missed it.
The man watching her so fixedly from the bar seemed familiar somehow; probably a groupie who followed her, though if he followed her that much surely should have taken him for a romp and a bit of fun by now, he looked like he would be a blast in the sack. Lordy she needed a good shag, but then the buzz of adoration was almost as good. So rather than worrying about the shag, she spent the night singing to her strange watcher, loving the look on his face as she gyrated and ground, and made love to him virtually on stage.
He ignored the hard on that stayed with him all night, and refused to look too closely at the dreams of a woman with dark hair, wicked eyes, and a body that drove him to heights of pleasure. “Bloody hell I want my Rose back.” His growl was deep as he rose the next morning, barely rested and horny as hell.
While he gathered information he tinkered with the scanner until it could give him distance readings, then in the wee hours of the morning, he slipped into the building. Frying the lock was easy, and the distance reading told him to go down not up, when he got to the elevator. Down he went, hoping he had over ridden all the security measures, and wondering what he would find.
Agatha was woken by a beeping on her phone, her eyes opened and she was instantly wide awake, picking up and answering in her clear sharp voice, “Agatha Cromarty.”
“Ms Cromarty, we have unauthorized access into the main area of the house, heading toward the storage bays. “
The House was not staffed with much security as the dolls required little, and their handlers were either with them or off, so all security was electronic, which was good and bad. Agatha lived in one of the apartments above the House, “I will be down momentarily, track, do not interfere at this point. Do not wake Mr. Surrington.”
“Yes ma’am, tracking via the cameras, be aware that he is managing to disable a large number of them as he goes.”
“So noted,” by this point she had dressed and was striding out of the room, the phone still in her hand. “Has he made it to storage yet?”
“Not yet ma’am but he is close.”
Agatha thought furiously as she strode down the hall, the only abnormalities reported lately had been one doll acting off task, and the man approaching Toc, calling her by the name of Rose, but neither of those should have lead to this.
She entered the security center, the lone person manning the console a quiet woman, who looked up sharply as she entered. “He entered the storage area ma’am, but has killed all the cameras up to the point and in the area, so I don’t currently know where he is.”
The Doctor looked at the contents of the locker he had just broken into, the phone in his hands instantly, and he recognized the jacket as one that Rose wore often. But why did these people have this stuff, and why was Rose a different person each time he saw her. “I think it is time I got a few more answers.” He turned around went back to the camera’s and promptly overloaded the system with his handy tool. “That’s better, now let’s find the computers in this place.”
The technician swore as suddenly all her cameras went down, not even static on the screens. “Damn, they’re all gone, I have no visibility anywhere.”
Agatha swore softly as she strode out of the room. Who the hell was this man, why was he here, and what was he looking for. She moved quickly to the storage area, hoping that the contents of the lockers opened would give her something insight into why he was here.
The Doctor however was working his way down, further into the offices of the London Dollhouse. In London the first level was storage, both belongings, outfits, and extra office supplies. Working your way down was the personal living quarters of some staff that lived there, then the three levels of open atrium where the Dolls lived. First was where they were imprinted, treated, offices for the director and staff. Next was the spa, gym, a few endless pools, and other things to keep them pretty and healthy. At the ground floor for this area hosted the cafeteria and open social area, and the pods where they slept in sectioned off areas.
The Doctor stuck in his head in the first level from the stairway he was coming down, but instantly dismissed it, there were not enough rooms here for all the different people he had seen leaving, only about six in all. The next area caught his attention though. He moved swiftly through, sensing that people were behind him, the offices he passed by quickly enough but the imprinting area got his attention, his eyes alight with interest. He quickly went through looking, eyes narrowing as he drew conclusions. He heard noise of the searchers coming for him and pointed to a large empty area to his right, file cabinets had recently been uploaded to digital versions and Dr. Palmer hadn’t moved in any furniture to that spot yet, and triggered the remote call on the TARDIS.
The strange warbling of the TARDIS filled the air as he quickly grabbed some DVD’s sitting on the desk and a few strange blocks of electronics that for some reason reminded him of a upgraded version of eight tracks, but they would have held terabytes of data. He was standing at the door of the TARDIS as it materialized, then in and the TARDIS was gone, except for the warbling as Agatha and two handlers rushed in. “Where the hell is he… I know he was here and we have all the exits covered, spread out and find him, he is just one person.” Agatha stood there frustrated and confused, where the HELL had he gone?
In her pod Toc woke up, eyes wide the warbling sound calling to her heart. She laid there, eyes open for a long time, wondering what that sound was, and why she wanted to go to it so badly, why she hurt for longing for it. Eventually she fell asleep but even the next morning there was a strange ache in her heart.
Agatha immediately called Dr. Palmer who was there in minutes, being one of the few staff that preferred to sleep on site. “There was an intruder here, did he take anything, or is there anything he could have seen that would comprise this operation?”
Dr. Palmer didn’t waste time with accusations, but within minutes was back with a simple report, “Two personality loaders are done, and some of my research into the flexibility of the mind. But unless he has a set up like this, is a genius in neurology, or has science more advanced than anything I have heard of, he won’t be able to make heads or tails of it.” The calm passionless voice of the doctor did nothing to soothe Agatha, but Lindsay Palmer was not a soothing person. “It will take a day to two to recreate the personality matrixes that were taken, but nothing that was for an upcoming encounter.”
“Very well doctor.” Agatha turned and marched out of the office, wondering once again, where the hell had he gone?
The Doctor directed the TARDIS to just hover in space and time as he worked on what he had grabbed from the place, staring at it curiously. He got to work on the strange devices and was soon lost in the puzzle of what he was looking at. Two days later he sat shaking his head, not sure if he was amazed by the complexity of it and sheer novelty of creating new people, or horrified by the idea of wiping people away to place a created person there instead. But no matter what, doing it to someone who had not agreed to it, was a crime, one that he didn’t think the Earth had figured out yet how to legislate. Actually the more he looked at it, this was a bit beyond Earth technology, wasn’t it?
A few hours more research and he was relieved to know it wasn’t outside Earth’s current technological status, but it was cutting edge, making him wonder who developed it, but even more so, why they would choose to use it in such a manner. While many planets and civilizations used brain washing as a means of criminal punishment, it was rather unusual to use the implanted personality, and leave the original personality intact, hidden but intact.
He had taken scans of many of the people in that place, but even in this area Rose’s scan was slightly different. The rest of the actives had a low weak signal at the bottom of the brain wave activity; so low you would almost dismiss it as an anomaly, but all of them had this signal, a signal that differed from the rest of the brain waves. Except Rose; hers was stronger, interrupting the other signal occasionally, and it was always obvious and had to miss.
Three hours later the Doctor thought he had a workable plan, all he had to do now was implement it, and hope like crazy he didn’t end up killing his Rose for ever.
Meanwhile the House had been in an upgraded state of awareness, a picture of the man seen entering was provided to Bailey and he confirmed it was the man that had yelled out to Toc with the name of Rose. All engagements for her were temporarily suspended while the House went through a full security review, but nothing else was found. A new background search was done on Toc, and again nothing was found, her DNA was not in any database, nor were her finger prints, and since they didn’t know her name they drew a blank as to who she might have been.
Everything was quiet for two full weeks, and they finally decided they couldn’t afford to have Toc still sitting out engagements, as there were numerous clients clamoring for her. Finally they let her out, but this time with a secondary handler, just to be on the safe side.
Laura opened her eyes, “Are we quite done with this? I have an appointment in two hours, and it will take me close to that to get ready. And I am NEVER late.”
Bailey fought back a smile, “Yes ma’am, a room has been prepared for you.”
With regal control Laura rose from the chair stalking towards Bailey, “Good, you would not want to see me disappointed.”
With a sense of disquiet Bailey shot a look towards Dr. Palmer, who just smiled slowly and turned away. Even she had a sense of humor, twisted and dangerous as it might be.
1 hour 45 minutes later Laura was stalking out of the entrance to the Dollhouse, she had an appointment with a very high level minister who needed a bit of control taken away from him, and she knew exactly how to take control from any man. She didn’t need any whips or chains, her body, her mouth, and her brains were enough that she could make any man she wanted crawl on the floor to please her, and she did so love being pleased.
Bailey had escorted various incarnations of Toc, once even as an assassin, and none of them had made him feel as uncomfortable as this one did. She looked at him, and he would swear she knew his every thought, why he preferred cotton underwear to silk, and why his women were usually red heads. The smile she gave was enough to both send chills up his spine and a hardening to his groin, wondering just how much she knew.
The Doctor had been waiting patiently for the last two weeks, seeing all the others coming out, taking readings, but not acting, not letting them know that he was there. But here was Rose, finally he could move. There was another man with her this time besides the normal escort, it didn’t matter, he had been prepared for more. He walked up quickly, upon them before Bailey realized, and before Bailey could shout the extra was on the sidewalk unconscious. The Doctor had used an advanced form of a tazer that simply knocked the person unconscious, it was a wonderful toy he had picked up.
“She is coming with me.” His voice was flat as he looked at Bailey.
Bailey’s mind raced, he had taken down Stephen fast and hard, and most drugs didn’t work that fast, so he wasn’t sure how he had done that, Laura meanwhile was watching with an arrogant amusement.
Bailey stood back lifting his hands, “By all means, never argue with a guy smarter than me.”
The grin on the Doctor’s face set the hairs on the back of Bailey’s neck up, “I knew you couldn’t all be morons. Come on Ro.. milady.”
A cruel smile twisted Laura’s lips, “Why not, this at least might prove to be more interesting than my appointment would have been, most men are so predictable, you might not be as predictable.”
A laugh was startled out of the Doctor, “Well that is one thing I rarely am, predictable that is.”
Laura slipped her arm through his, “Then lead on MacDuff,” her voice a low throaty growl.
“Ah Willy, you would have enjoyed him, even though you never met him. Remind me to take you there someday.”
Laura arched a brow, “To see William Shakespeare, now if you could pull that off, that would indeed be interesting.”
“MiLady, you have no idea what I am capable of, none.”
This time they had been slowly walking backwards away from Bailey, the Doctor’s eyes never leaving Bailey, until with a smile they spun and turned the corner.
With a curse Bailey, hit the alarm signal in his coat and leapt after them, turning the corner as a strange warbling filled the air, and something blue and square seemed to disappear. “This is Bailey, they’re gone, the guy, the one that broke in and accosted us previously, he has Toc, Stephen is down.”
Minutes later security and Agatha were up on the sidewalk, to no avail, nothing was there. Anger being bitten out through every word Agatha snapped into her radio, “Get a replacement for Toc, we need to keep this appointment, all haste. Meanwhile find out who the hell took her, he can’t have just appeared out of nowhere, and I want to know who the hell she was!”
Laura strode around the inside of the TARDIS, “Rather quaint, the inside is a bit deceiving given the outward appearance, but then I suspect it reflects you, not much on the outside, but rather interesting once you get in.”
“Hey now… “ The Doctor paused, “I’m not sure if I’ve been insulted or complimented.”
Her smile stirred a hunger much lower than his belly, and he blinked, then refocused looking at the gadget he had created. “You said your name was Laura, correct?”
An arch smile crossed her lips, “It is the name most people use, my name… well that is for me to know.”
Reminding himself once again, he wanted Rose back, his Rose, he lifted the device, “Do you trust me?”
Laura started to laugh, then frowned puzzled, “I don’t trust anyone, never have, especially men, but… I trust you.” Anger and fear caused her eyes to narrow, “Why do I trust you?”
A slightly wistful smile crossed the Doctors face, “Perhaps, because I know who you were? And part of you still knows me? Will you trust me?”
“Why not? After all, I’ve come with you this far.” She gracefully sank down into a seat, “Go for it.”
The Doctor silently sent a prayer of thanks, to what he didn’t know, but now he had a chance to get his Rose back. “This might hurt, if it does I am sorry.” Before she had a chance to react, he depressed the button.
Laura/Toc/Rose screamed as barriers in her head came down, memories that arrogant doctors thought were wiped away all dumped at once into her brain. Images, sounds, feelings, smells, tastes, Rose was invaded with them, remembering doing things she hadn’t done, having sex with people she hadn’t agreed to have sex with, hurting people who had done nothing to her.
Nausea slammed into her like a wave, and knowing where she was, home/safe/Doctor, she stumbled to the bathroom, throwing up convulsively. The Doctor stayed where he was, letting her have this time, not really able to understand, but then he had been killed but never used in that manner, at least not that he knew about. For a moment he wondered if letting her know had been cruel even beyond his occasionally careless cruelty.
He watched her cautiously as she walked out of the bathroom, the anger, the sheer rage in her eyes answering his question, his Rose could never have lived with not knowing, she was many things, but a coward was not one of them.
“Doctor, I would say thank you but until I pay them for what they did to me, pay them for what they made me do without my agreeing to it, until then I can’t thank you, all I have in me is the urge to make them pay, to make them know exactly what it feels like.”
A slow sad smile crossed the Doctor’s face, “While normally I am not a violent person, I think I might have the answer for you, and I think it will fit your need for… “ he paused then said carefully, “I think it would be Justice.”
Rose fought down the memories, fighting with the need to rage, to scream, to hurt. The only thing keeping her sane was two things, never was she hurt with what they did to her body, always it was her body being willing, which was in a weird way the worst sort of rape, but she knew she wasn’t pregnant, had no diseases, and had not been forced into anything that she, Rose, would not have enjoyed. She firmly refused to think about how right Laura and Kelly had felt, instead focusing on the others, thinking. “You know they use some of those people as assassins’ right, used me as an assassin? Cleaners for other peoples messes. Not just party girls.”
The Doctor’s look got a little darker, “No I didn’t, that should make this even more apropos, as anyone who is not bent that way is scarred a little from taking a life. Yes Rose, I have your Justice for you.”
“Good, but right now I need to shower, and get into clothes and hair that is more me, at least the me I want to be, the me I need to be. I might have learned more about myself than anyone, anyone human has the right to.”
Wisely the Doctor just nodded and let her deal with her own way of healing, right now, regardless of how much he wanted to grab her and kiss every inch of flesh, kiss away even the memory of someone else touching her, making her moan, seeing her beauty, right now he would get ready a very appropriate Justice.
It took Rose a while, but the Doctor, this once, did not begrudge her the time he normally referred to a primping, this time it was healing. When she was ready, so was he, and he brought the TARDIS back into the middle of the London Dollhouse.
Alarms went off everywhere as they landed, and the Doctor just smiled at Rose, who was brimming with incandescent rage, but she waited, trusting that he had a plan. “Here my darling, you might want to put these in.” He handed her a set of ear plugs.
Part of Rose’s mind registered the “my darling” and thought that sounded very interesting, but the rest of her was focused on payback, for all that the Doctor called it Justice, she wanted revenge. She slipped in the ear plugs, noting they weren’t the standard squishy ones she was use to, but rather an odd combination of metal and plastic.
He peeped out the tiny window, “This might be a bit disorienting dear,” he remarked absently, not noticing the considering look she gave him, parts of Laura interpreting things in an interesting way. Everyone had come running, the actives were distressed and handlers were trying to get them away, but without much effort, he saw the ones in command headed down, the way they snapped at people told him who they were, plus the anger he saw in them. He spied a women in a white lab coat leaning over the railing watching them, but his problem solver should reach that far. Waiting just a few more seconds for everyone to get there, he stepped out and flipped on the sonic screwdriver to the setting he had preprogrammed.
A strange sound came out that made Rose’s teeth hurt, but that was it, what caught her attention was everyone grabbing for their ears, and then like domino’s collapsing on the floor unconscious. The Doctor smiled grimly and switched it off, he waited a moment for Rose to remove the ear plugs, “Sonic waves at the right frequency can cause unconsciousness. Keep the plugs handy, I might have to do it again before we are all through. Do you know who the leaders are?”
Blinking a bit at the way her teeth were still vibrating, she nodded, “oh yeah, I remember.” She pointed to Agatha, Lloyd, then looked up and saw Dr. Palmer laying on the ground, “Her, she… she didn’t enjoy it, but she regarded all of us as guina pigs for her science experiment, at least most of the people here regarded us as human, retarded but human, but for her, we were just rats in a maze.”
The Doctor turned and looked at Lindsay, “Well this is going to take some doing, hmm… “ The Doctor turned and looked around, spying a relatively strong looking young man dressed in the pajama lounge wear the majority of them had on. “Let’s grab him first, we are going to need some strength for this.”
Curious about what the plan was, Rose didn’t argue, and had to restrain from kicking the employees as between the Doctor and herself they dragged Ace up to Dr Palmers chair, and grunting lifted him into it. “Lets hope I was right about how I figured all this out, you were slightly different as they never really wiped you, just did an overlay. You said he was called Ace right?”
Rose nodded, as the Doctor typed quickly into the computer, “Really I miss my voice activated computers, so much easier to deal with. Ah, here he is… lets put him back as he was. He will remember what happened as Ace, but not the personalities, not like you do… sorry about that.”
Rose shrugged, ignoring the ideas of just how good the Doctor would look in nothing put a pair of leather cuffs, and some red satin boxers… that were slowly being pulled down. She blinked and refocused, anger working wonderfully, as she shut the door firmly on that idea… for now. “No problem, might come in useful down the line.”
The Doctor flashed her a questioning look but Rose just nodded her head towards Ace, and the Doctor hit a button, “Here goes something.” The familiar snapping sound and a moment later Ace opened his eyes.
“What the…,” he paused eyes narrowing, looking at the Doctor, then Rose, then out the window to the actives and personnel laying on the ground. He blinked once, then again, and slowly and very not nice smile spread across his face. “First Lieutenant,” though he pronounced it Left-tenant , “Charles Smythe, I presume you are extracting a little payback for what these assholes did?” The hate and anger was clear in his voice.
Rose cocked her head, “I got here cause no one claimed you, how did you?” She gave nothing away, waiting to see what he said.
“I was wounded in Iraq, washed out of the service because of debilitating PTAD, nightmare every night, I would give away any position. For 3 years of my life, helping them help others, they promised they would take away my nightmares. I took it, figured I had nothing to lose. If I had known,” he took a deep breath tamping down the anger, “I figured bodyguard, undercover agent, maybe chauffer for some rich banker types. They used me as a whore for women, as a killer for people with money to pay for it. They took everything I believed in and twisted it. I remember what they had me do, like I was watching myself do things in a dream, but with perfect clarity. I don’t remember the personality they gave me, just the things I did. If I had known what I was getting into I would have killed them on the spot.”
Rose saw past the anger into the grief that was locked up inside him, at the sense of self he had lost, oh she understood that all too well. “The Doctor here has a bit of pay back in mind, would you like to help?”
“Hell yes. I would like these arses to be skinned alive, but I’ll take what I can get.”
The three of them shared a wolfish grin, and Charles began carrying actives up. Each of them set back to themselves, two asked to have all memory of what they had been programmed to do wiped, their faces gray as they looked at the still unconscious personnel. Three, begging in tears, asked to either be killed or have new personalities that remembered neither their original lives, nor anything they had done. The Doctor, a bit gray faced himself granted all the wishes, most of the actives just wanted out. Soon the room was empty, the actives having grabbed their id’s, and share of the £ 500,00 that had been in a safe in the main office, Rose refused to take a share so it was split between the other 14 actives. Then they disappeared. Only Charles, Rose, and the oldest of the actives, a tiny white haired woman, with a backbone of steel, Marigold stayed, wanting justice. The only name she would give was Marigold. She just shook her head when asked why she was here, saying only, “I was willing to pay the price of my own life, not that of others.”
They had moved through the actives quickly, but even so the Doctor didn’t know how much longer they others would stay unconscious, “Everyone stay in here, I need to give them another quick zap, cover your ears.”
Rose quickly put the ear plugs he had given her in, and they shut the door tightly, the other two sticking their fingers in their ears. The sound cut through their bones, making them sway on their feet, but then it stopped.
The Doctor walked in the limp form of Agatha in his arms, “I think her first, as she seems to be in charge.”
“She is, but the main guy is the older man laying down there, the one who looks like he is missing a top hat.” She pointed out Lloyd laying on the floor, still somehow managing to look dignified.
“Well then I will save something special for him,” the Doctor turned to the table, where he can carefully laid out an electronic brick. “Ladies and gentleman, here is the plan presented for your approval as justice. Before you lay the memories, the actions of every person here, each one that was used in a manner completely unbecoming any civilized society. My plan is to override their personalities with these blocks, forcing them to live the feelings on both sides, both how the real person felt, and how the persona felt, forced to live through every moment in all dimensions, touch, sound, taste, their brains will provide it all to them. They will have no choice but to experience exactly what was done to you. Now since I don’t feel like being executioner also, I was planning on limiting it to three replays of the entire suite, then it would mostly be gone, but they would be haunted with the feeling of déjà vu, flashbacks, for the rest of their life anytime they went someplace one of the personas had been. They will never be able to escape the memory of what they had done.”
There was silence then Rose’s slowly smiled, “So they can feel over and over again the feeling of old men touching me, slobbering over me?”
The Doctor had to fight to change his desire to kill, locking it down hard only nodding.
Charles nodded slowly, “That works but I want five times not three.”
The Doctor nodded, then they all looked at Marigold. She was quiet her face blank, then she nodded abruptly, “I agree, but for one thing, I want men to experience what it was like for the females, and vice versa, let them know what it feels like to be used in ways their bodies aren’t made for.”
The Doctor blinked, “You’re vicious… I like that. Deal. So we ready?”
Agatha came around her head still in the chair, the four of them looking at her, “I believe you have the rest of your life to pay for what you have done to these people.” The Doctor smiled, a very unkind smile, and pulled her up into a sitting position.
Agatha almost screamed as she saw, felt, heard, tasted, smelled everything that had happened the conflicting desires of the active and the persona, the anger, rage, fear, helplessness, and it was too much she passed out.
The Doctor warded off the angry looks, “Don’t worry they have to stay conscious through five complete cycles, it will pick up right where it left off next time she regains consciousness, though I did program in random 1-4 hour breaks, to eat, sleep, shower, and make them hope it is over.”
The three nodded, and slowly they worked their way through the rest of the handlers, having no sympathy for anyone, until the only person left was Dr Lindsay Palmer.
“She…,” Rose paused thinking, “I suspect she is a sociopath from the few we have met,” she ignored the strange looks from Charles and Marigold, “I don’t know if this will be worse to her, or if she will even notice, as I am not sure she has any empathy.”
The Doctor was quiet for a long moment, “Let me check something.” They placed her in the chair, and he ran a few extra tests on her. “Okay, she will be more resistant at first, but at the same time… I suspect it might create channels in her mind that are currently missing, so while she won’t become a nice wonderful person, I think by the time this is done, she will have the ability for empathy and understand, this is going to force her to open those channels.”
“Hmm, a cure for being a sociopath, interesting, do it.” Rose words were bitter, but all of them were tired, were ready to walk away and be who they once were. Moments later it was done, and they left Lindsay with the rest of the employees, though she was walking around talking to herself, and the four of them walked out.
Charles stopped outside looking up into the London smog, “I never thought it would feel so good to take a lungful of this filthy air, but it does, I am glad to be free. Thank you both of you, I think it is time though for me to forget all of this, and try to see what is left of the life I walked away from.”
Marigold nodded a bit, “Me too, though in my case, I need to see what life I can create, now that I have some idea of how fragile they can be. Thank you.” She turned and walked away, not looking back even once.
The Doctor turned to Rose, “Well, I guess this is it… what to you want to do?” His voice a bit concerned, not sure if she was ready to keep going to weird places, risking danger, or if she needed time to heal.
A slow wicked grin spread over Rose’s face, “First I want another shower and a few very, very stiff drinks, to try and forget at least some of that, then, “ she reached forward and grabbed him, pulling him down hard into a kiss that caused both his hearts to skip a beat. “Then I think I would like to show you some tricks that Laura knew. After all that I realized, life is too fucking short to miss anything, especially something as wondering as fucking you is going to be.” She slipped her arm into his, and led him towards the TARDIS, “Unless you have some objections, that is.”
Fighting to get his brain and mouth working, the Doctor managed to mutter, “No, no objections here, always listen to the lady I say.”
Bailey stumbled to his feet, head spinning, but at least he was seeing only the world physically in front of him at the moment, that in itself was an improvement. He took a deep breath, looking at the other former Dollhouse employees, former, because he was sure none of them would ever do this work again. Lindsay Palmer was drawing on the wall, humming to herself, Agatha was curled up in a ball, her face wet with tears, it was more emotion than he had ever seen her show.
He wanted to cry, and the only thing preventing him was the desire to see clearly for a while, to see if it would last long enough for him to get home. The true scope of what had been done to the actives, to these people had sunk in. For the first time in a long time he faced the fact that it was people they had dehumanized with distancing words, like dolls and actives, people whose souls they had raped.
Rape was the right word, watching their memories, their feelings, knowing without doubt, without the comforting distance of words and flesh between that empathy, he no longer had any doubt as to the damage to the souls and psyches they caused. When a person was forced to do things that went against their soul, it scarred them, deeper than anyone had ever realized, and even though they were theoretically blank slates, you couldn’t erase the soul.
God, the arrogance of them all, to think they could just make these people forget what they had done, it had been burned into their minds at a level he wasn’t sure technology could ever measure or reach. Head still spinning, he was gratified to realize he was almost home, he only lived a few blocks away. The door shut behind him, and for a moment, a long precious moment, he felt safe
He started to get up, wanting a drink desperately when it slammed into him like a street trolley, the full body flashback hit him, and he whimpered as he knees gave out on him, and he saw/felt/heard George, pulling him into a kiss, “Wow, Kelly that really was fun, wanna go again?” Bailey fought back the scream as he felt George pulling him forward again, kissing and touching, and the laugher and repugnance all laced together. Sensation upon sensation, Kelly’s joy, Roses rage and loathing, his own horror and fear, he welcomed the blackness that rose up to greet him. The only thought in his head as he sunk under once again, please let it stop.
Rose lay with her head on his chest. “Do you think what we did will change anything? Will stop anyone else from doing this?”
There was a long moment of silence, then “No. I learned a long time ago sentient beings are their own worst enemies. There are other branches of that place, and nothing we did today will stop them. But, I think for you and those they hurt here, perhaps Justice was done?”
A soft shrug, “Maybe, but I know I am no longer who I use to be.” She giggled for a moment running her hand up his bare chest, “But maybe that is for the better, I know I would not have done this a month ago, and that would have truly been a crime. But I hate the idea of someone stepping in and pickup where we left off.”
“Nature abhors a vacuum my dear, in all ways. If not this, then something else, all we can do is try and make right what we can. I don’t mind being a crusader, but I’m not Superman, I can’t change the world.”
A slow sexy smile grew on Rose’s face, “Oh I don’t know about that, I think you are rather Super, and you changed my world. One life at a time, eh?” Her hand crept a little lower, “But now I think we need to do serve some more justice, to what I have in my hand, don’t you?”
The Doctor smiled in return, “Oh definitely, justice must be served.” His mouth covered hers, in a hard, needy kiss, as he fell head first into her love.
Authors Note: This was written for an author's auction. The winner wanted Doctor Who. I hope she enjoyed.