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remember my prophetic chickens [userpic]

Rude Awakening G 1614 words

Title: Rude Awakening
Characters: Harriet Jones, Sarah Jane Smith, Jack Harkness, Tenth Doctor.
Rating: G
Word count: 1614
Notes Written for erisinia for the Doctor Who Minor Characters Ficathon. Cross-posted to tindogs_fic. Many thanks to atraphoenix for the wonderful beta.

Light flooded the room. Harriet Jones threw an arm across her eyes to shield them from the glare and lifted her head from the pillow.

She sighed. There was an alien standing at the foot of her bed. This was becoming a regular occurrence.

It had started just after she’d moved back to the rebuilt 10 Downing Street. The destruction of the Sycorax had apparently left a large gap in the slave market, impacting negatively on industry and production and leading to a widespread recession.

The news about Harriet Jones and Earth had somehow spread. Rumour and gossip seemed to seed spontaneously. Perhaps there was a price on her head or perhaps that speculation was a symptom of inflated self-importance, one thing she shouldn’t have. Nothing like your government crumbling around your ears due to a lack of confidence in you to deflate your ego- and all caused by those six words.

“Good-” Harriet checked the clock, “-morning.”

A mechanical voice spoke. “Of the six thousand, two hundred and fifty-two languages spoken on the planet Earth, English is believed by many to be the second most widely spoken. Named for the country of origin, English is also spoken in-”

“Can you turn the light down please?”

“Liquid human eyes take time to adjust between light and dark. Human eyes cannot see without light or with too much light. Bright lights can cause pain and damage the eye. Humans depend heavily on the sight sense and this-”

The light emitting from the figure dimmed. It was humanoid, corporeal, around seven feet tall and completely featureless.

“So,” she sat up, trying to appear alert and ready to defend her planet if necessary, “what can I do for you?”

“Harriet Jones. Our research has found that you are dangerous. You are a leader, a powerful human. You have knowledge of aliens. Therefore we ask you to work with us, not against us.”

Something in Harriet sighed in resignation and sat back to watch this play out. Why couldn’t it be ‘We come in peace’? It would make a change.

“Towards what aim?”

“We wish to harness the energies of the Earth’s core. We have researched your mining equipment and, although it is crude, it can be upgraded with our technology and made capable.”

Harriet waited. When the alien remained silent, she prompted ‘Of…’

“Puncturing the Earth’s crust. The energies inside are great enough to power our Empire for the glorious millennia to come. But such a project would be on a large scale, for humans, and we would need a spokesman.”

“Puncturing the Earth’s crust?” she frowned, pretending to consider it. “That sounds like the Inferno project, back in the seventies. I believe it was shut down shortly before penetration. It was decided that the risks of releasing such energies had not been fully evaluated.”

“Tectonic disturbance,” came the prompt reply. “Fault lines in the Earth’s crust would fracture and magma would rise.”

“So, people would die.”

“We estimate approximately one third to one half of the Earth’s population. This should alleviate your overpopulation problem and allow for a better quality of life. We would ensure your safety.”

Aliens differed from humans in more than just appearance. Harriet Jones knew this. But statements like that- the cold detachment in stating a fact that meant nothing to it, actually seeing advantage in such a catastrophe- still shocked her. Did it actually think like that?

Her questing hand found the alien alert alarm, albeit melted into an interesting new shape. She was on her own.

“And how exactly would you do that? Would I sit in your ship and watch the Earth burn? Would I be beyond harm or help?” Keep it talking, keep it talking.

She crossed to her dressing table and began fiddling with the objects there. The alien’s smooth head turned to face her again.

When she was sure she had its attention, she shook her head.

“A human gesture,” the computer informed its user. “Whereas the movement of the head on the vertical plane indicates agreement or consent, movement on the horizontal plane-”

“No,” Harriet clarified, pouring nail varnish remover onto a pad of cotton wool.

The light intensity increased once more, taking on a blood-red tinge. The temperature began to climb. Terrible features started to form on the face.

The cotton wool pad landed with a slap, then a sizzle. The creature clawed desperately at the spot and then the lights went out.

Walking back across the room and avoiding the sharp corner of the bedside cabinet, she switched on her bedside lamp.

The alien was lying rigid on the floor, grey and featureless once more.

“Interesting effect alcohol has on your body,” Harriet observed. “Does it affect the mind at all?”

“The...soldiers will co-come,” the computer ground out.

“Of course they will. But you seem to have missed one very important point in your research on this planet. It is defended.”

She made a call.

“Hello, Sarah. Yes, another. I’m sorry to wake you- oh, I didn’t. Jack’s there, is he? That’ll save some time.”

The first time Harriet Jones had woken up to find an alien at the end of her bed had been a few months ago.
That had been the easiest by far to deal with.
No invasion, no threats- it was the encounter she wistfully thought back to.
Tim, as he invited her to call him, had crashed his ship in her back garden, due to the computer being confused by the multitude of signals bouncing off satellites, and unfortunately mangled the rose bushes beyond recovery. They’d been doing really well.

His planet was in what was apparently the fashionable arm of the galaxy. This had been his driving test, but he’d strayed from the appointed path. He wasn’t hopeful that this primitive planet which had developed technology on a different path to his could repair his ship, so Harriet made tea and put some biscuits out and they sat down to discuss it.

Apparently the problem was not with the condition of the vehicle, although it was definitely bashed around a bit Tim seemed sure it was space-worthy. The problem lay in the scrambling of the computer.

After chemically testing them and overcoming his initial doubts, Tim discovered a liking for tea (black, one sugar) accompanied by a chocolate digestive and was on his third cup and biscuit when the doorbell rang.

“Come in, Miss Smith, you’re just in time.” Harriet smiled. “There’s still some tea left but I think Tim’s eating the last chocolate biscuit now.”

Sarah Jane, overcoming her slight surprise at the alien signal leading straight to the ex-Prime Minister’s house, graciously accepted the invitation.

“He challenged the Sycorax to a sword fight for Earth?” Sarah laughed, a few hours later.

A few applications of the sonic lipstick had restored Tim’s ship’s computer to more or less full functionality, with a little extra re-encoding to protect it from Earth signals in the future, and the two women had bid a fond farewell to Tim.

Then Harriet had asked after the sonic lipstick (a very interesting tale involving a Doctor who said he was Twelve and a red-haired woman) and Sarah had asked after the events surrounding the destruction of 10 Downing Street and the murder of quite a lot of UNIT. One thing led to another; both had several tales to tell.

“That sounds a lot like the Doctor I knew, especially the one with the scarf.”

“Tell me, how did he manage not to trip over it?”

“I never knew! He’d run along with this great long scarf flapping underfoot- and he was a tall man, that one, so it was a very long scarf- and yet I never once saw him tread on it or trip over it.”

“Not once?”

“Never,” Sarah confirmed. “Oh, but I loved that scarf.”

Harriet raised an eyebrow.

The next time was a few months later, after the election and after the diplomatic unease caused by the British Prime Minister assassinating the American President live on air had died down.

This was just as well, as this particular alien incident grew into quite a major crisis. Both UNIT and Torchwood were called in, and Harriet knew this was something to avoid at quite a high cost. But not this high.

The problem was eventually resolved, after three days and eight fatalities, but peace was not restored. The argument between the freelance alien investigator and the head of Torchwood Three had something to do with this.

“It was scared!” Harriet heard something of the Doctor in Sarah’s voice.

“It was frying people’s brains because it was scared?” Jack loaded his tone with disbelief.

“It couldn’t help it, the psychic field was out of control.”

“Six civilians and two UNIT soldiers dead. Four UNIT soldiers and Owen and Gwen still in hospital. You’d have preferred to add to that toll?”

The only time an alien woke up and saw Harriet Jones standing at the foot of her bed was March 3rd 2009.

“Why, Doctor. When did you last sleep?”

The Doctor opened his eyes. “Sarah says I should apologise.”

“For bringing down my government so that it’s so much easier for your evil ex-boyfriend to get elected?”

“What has she been saying?” The Doctor sat up and glared.

Harriet smiled serenely.

“Why is it that whenever companions get together, they laugh at me behind my back?” he whined.

“I was never your companion, Doctor,” she reminded him. “And I think you should look in the mirror.”

The Doctor peered in the hand mirror, running a hand through his hair.

“Why, what’s wrong?”

“Don’t you think you look tired?”


Posted by: erisette (erisinia)
Posted at: 2nd September 2007 03:45 (UTC)
bad wolf

Oh, oh, oh, flappy hands of exitement!!! *flail*

This was amazingly awesome. Harriet was PERFECT (and how much did I like the Doctor getting his comeuppance? The answer is, a whole freaking lot) and Sarah was great too and mention of Four and his big long scarf! And where Sarah got her sonic lipstick! *spazzes out a bit more*

I particularly loved this bit:

“It was scared!” Harriet heard something of the Doctor in Sarah’s voice.

That was fanTAStic. I would tell you how much I love this fic, but the superlatives would explode livejournal. *sage nod*

Thank you again! ^.^

Posted by: remember my prophetic chickens (agapi42)
Posted at: 2nd September 2007 10:26 (UTC)


I'm thrilled you enjoyed it!

(And yes, exploding LJ just to inflate my ego would be a bad idea)

Posted by: Evil Plotbunny (hhertzof)
Posted at: 2nd September 2007 14:48 (UTC)

*sputter*, hee, YES!

Posted by: remember my prophetic chickens (agapi42)
Posted at: 2nd September 2007 15:18 (UTC)


Glad you like.

Posted by: celievamp (celievamp)
Posted at: 2nd September 2007 15:23 (UTC)

Very good!

Posted by: remember my prophetic chickens (agapi42)
Posted at: 2nd September 2007 15:26 (UTC)

Thanks :)

Posted by: akeyoftime (akeyoftime)
Posted at: 3rd September 2007 01:47 (UTC)
sweet rainbow

Harriet Jones, still saving the world. (It was a tough call she made, but part of me is still sympathetic to her.) I love seeing Sarah Jane, especially to hear her argue with Jack and sound like the Doctor. Nice zinger on the end, there.

Posted by: remember my prophetic chickens (agapi42)
Posted at: 3rd September 2007 09:49 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Posted by: Cedara (cedara)
Posted at: 4th September 2007 11:19 (UTC)


Good one.

Posted by: remember my prophetic chickens (agapi42)
Posted at: 4th September 2007 16:15 (UTC)

Thanks! Glad you liked it.

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