Summary- Regeneration takes the pieces of you and turns them into something else. But what if a part of you didn't want to leave. What if your old self didn't agree with what you were doing? What if the animal within got out?
The Darkness Within Prologue (PG13)
The Darkness Within 1 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 2 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 3 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 4 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 5 (PG13)
Miles underground in the middle of the American state of Utah sat the most elaborate and secret facility in the world. More secure than the hanger at Area 51, more heavily guarded than the Pentagon, and more expensive than any of the shops on Rodeo Drive.
A man with a heavy western moustache and deep southern accent sat back in a huge leather chair and rubbed his hands along the lines of his suit.
“Nice, is it Italian?”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Van Statten, sir,” toadied the man with pins in his mouth. “The designer is tipped to be the next big thing. Dolce and Gabana are out, Versace’s a gonner. This Tribbiani is the next star.”
“Tribbiani?” Henry Van Statten grinned as he rubbed the satiny soft material. “I like him. Set him up with a store in the Boulevard and advance him three million.”
The man’s eyes widened. “Yes, sir. At once.”
Van Statten sniffed, waited a beat, and then shooed the man out who left bowing and scraping. He turned to a young woman who sat nervously in a chair opposite.
“Now, where were we, Miss—?” He said with a big grin.
“Diana Goddard, Mr. Van Statten, sir.” She gave a small tremulous smile. “I was showing you my resume.”
“Ah, yes.” He picked up the folder tossed casually across the table. “Diana Goddard, first in your class at MIT, transferred to Washington and then back to New York. Why the change?”
“I noticed the Assistant Director of the President’s leading opposition was using alien technology to alter votes. I notified the proper authorities—”
“Who referred you to me,” he nodded. “Good eye, Miss Goddard. I can use people like you, and I will.”
He gave her a once over and nodded to himself, obviously secure with his own opinion. “You get one shot and one shot only, screw up,” he grinned maliciously, “and you won’t ever know about it.”
Diana acknowledged the comment without a flinch and he was impressed despite himself. Before he could take the interview any further he was interrupted.
“What?” he snapped as his aide walked in without so much as knocking.
“Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Van Statten, sir. But there are four people here to see you.”
Van Statten blinked. “Do they have an appointment?”
“No, sir.” The man visibly sweated. “But they say they have an artefact that would interest you.”
“Really?” an intrigued look crossed his face. “Fine, show ‘em in and McGee?”
“Don’t knock again and we’ll relocate you.”
“Where?” Diana Goddard asked curiously.
“Oh, Alabama, Arkansas, someplace beginning with an ‘A’,” he offered sinisterly and motioned for them to leave him alone.
He sat back in his chair and waited for his guest to enter, projecting the image of a man in total control of himself and his surroundings.
The doors opened and four people entered, all dressed in black with an air of authority and power that enticed him.
The one in front was skinnier and slightly more untidy than the rest, dressed in a beaten leather jacket and black jeans, but it was obviously he who was in charge. A very attractive Japanese woman stood to one side with a tall, butch male who had the all-American appearance to her left. The fourth member was tame and subdued in contrast and merely stood there, observing what was going on.
“Gentlemen and Lady.” Van Statten greeted with insincere politeness. “To what do I owe the pleasure of you dropping in, without an appointment?”
The leader just shrugged. “Never really been the kind for making appointments, me.” He had an odd English accent that Mr. Van Statten couldn’t quite place, not that he was an aficionado of European linguistics, but he did like to know where his allies—or enemies—came from.
“English?” He smiled. “Just got me a genius from England, bright kid, a certified geek, but I’m sure he’ll do okay. If not he’ll be out.”
“A harsh philosophy,” the woman spoke up and he turned to her with his most charming expression.
“It’s a harsh world, sweetheart, adversity maketh the man.”
“Yeah,” the leader rolled his eyes. “Never been one for small talk either.”
“A man after my heart.”
“Got two of my own, thanks,” he muttered.
It had been a short trip to the US but the Doctor had been chomping at the bit to get there and get the next piece of the puzzle to get him closer to Rose.
The next incarnation of himself had taken to singing loudly in the back of his head and the fiftieth rendition of “I know a song that’ll get on your nerves” was starting to give him a migraine and a twitch that Jack was quick to pick up on.
Citing it as another ‘flaw’ of this regeneration made the tenth Doctor shut up in indignation but the Doctor was left with a screaming headache which wasn’t helped by Van Statten and the memory of all that had happened here before—or would happen in a few years from now.
He sighed. Time travel played hell on your grammar.
He sniffed, not wanting to have to deal with this obnoxious man again. The sooner he was out of here, the better.
“I’m Doctor Smith and these are my associates, Mr. Jones, Ms Sato and Captain Harkness. We specialise in extra-terrestrial accumulations.”
Van Statten seemed to appreciate him getting down to business and gave him a once over with interest.
“You’re a collector?”
“Of sorts,” the Doctor smirked. Collector, destroyer; it was all part and parcel of the same thing.
Van Statten gave them his fakest smile. “And what can you do for me?”
“A few years ago I was at one of your auctions on behalf of the Doctor,” said Jack, “I bought an object but a part was missing.”
Van Statten stiffened. “I don’t do refunds.”
“I don’t want one,” the Doctor interjected. “What I am interested in is who bought the extra part. I want his details.”
Van Statten folded his hands over his stomach in nonchalance. “Sensitive information. I mean my reputation as a reputable dealer would be at stake if I gave you the information. Not to mention the damned Defence of Data Protection Act. Giving out personal details is a big no. Sorry, Gentlemen I can’t help you.”
The Doctor wasn’t going to take no for an answer, especially not from this stamp collector with delusions of grandeur.
How dare he get in the way of what the Doctor wanted?
The Doctor hadn’t spent over a year locked in the head of skinny, badly-dressed, sugar-hyped, pretty boy facsimile of himself only to be denied the opportunity to get what he wanted by some damned human with a super-villain moustache and bad dress sense.
He felt his fists clench in annoyance at being thwarted and a surge of resentment boiled away in his stomach.
Ianto seemed to sense that the Doctor was angry and cleared his throat slightly, the sound recalling the Doctor back to business.
“I’d make it worth your while,” he replied, trying to calm down while the sounds of people screaming and dying in pain down in the bunker below echoed in his memory.
Van Statten chuckled. “I have enough money, thanks.”
“But you don’t have one of these.” The Doctor clicked his fingers and Ianto stepped forward, bringing a black briefcase out from behind him. He placed it carefully on the table and backed away.
The Doctor took something from the insides of his leather jacket and aimed it at the catch. There was a buzz and a blue light and the catches flicked open.
Van Statten stared at it in fascination. “What is that?”
“Sonic screwdriver,” the Doctor sniffed, “very useful, this little fellow. But what’s inside the case is even more precious.”
He lifted the lid and turned the case to face Van Statten.
Inside was a shiny, sleek grey metal object. It was an almost perfect cylinder with pipes and circuits travelling all over and through it. It was obviously sophisticated, obviously elaborate, and obviously alien.
Ianto hid a frown of confusion as Jack bit his lip and looked away, seemingly unable to stare at it for long.
The gesture hadn’t passed Van Statten by either and his eyes lit up at the indication that this held power over the tall Captain. “What is it?”
“As near as we can tell with our resources its part of an alien craft,” Toshiko explained. “The navigation and weapons system most likely. The tubes are inserted into the cranium and the galactic co-ordinates are telepathically removed from the being in question. Once taken, a blast of hot air soothes the neurodes and extraction begins. The ship takes the course and travels.”
“A neural unit,” Van Statten rubbed his hands together in greed. “Like virtual reality in reverse, taking the tangible and translating it to mathematical.”
“Block transfer,” the Doctor said offhandedly. “I paid good money for this, two million and I’ll do you a deal for it.”
Van Statten practically salivated at the thought of getting his hands on this kind of alien technology. He’d corner the market on all of the applications that it could be put to, everything from computers and games to actual space travel and medical research. The Doctor was a fool for giving it up.
“I want the information, who bought the other piece and where he lives. Then you can have it for half of what I paid.”
“A million?” He pretended to think about it. He would actually pay a good deal more for it. “What’s the piece you bought?”
“Energy transferral unit,” the Doctor said quickly. “Bought at auction in 1998 by my man here. You’d sold the internal clock already.”
Van Statten nodded and pressed a button on his desk. “Hey, English, get me the auction files from 1998.”
He leaned back, confident that his orders would be followed. “Energy transferral unit?”
“Like a matter spectrometer,” Toshiko answered with a smile, obviously in her element. “Scientific exploration into the stars, stronger than the Hubble telescope.”
“Great,” his enthusiasm was distinctly lacking. “I prefer my alien exploration a little closer to home.”
“We saw,” said the Captain with a heavy drawl. “Nice museum.”
“Biggest collection of extra-terrestrial memorabilia on the planet.”
“Not seen my place,” muttered the Doctor.
“Memorabilia,” shot back Jack with a smirk, “not junk.”
“Hey!” the Doctor was affronted. “She is not full of junk, Jack!”
The Doctor and Jack froze, not willing to let the name ‘TARDIS’ slip into the wrong hands.
“The Doctor named his collection,” interjected Ms Sato smoothly.
“Well, I’ll have to visit your collection, sometime,” Van Statten said as there was a knock at the door.
The interruption meant that he missed the Doctor’s whispered; “Over my dead body.”
The door swung open and a young boy, no more than 19 looked nervously about the room. The Doctor stiffened at the intrusion.
“English!” enthused Van Statten. “People from the home land. I’m sure you’ll all be great friends. Now the file?”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Van Statten, sir.” The boy handed over the huge volume and dug his hands into his pockets quickly, eyeing the open briefcase with curiosity.
“Hello,” Toshiko smiled at the boy, who blushed, much to Jack’s amusement. “Who are you?”
“Hi. Adam Mitchell, resident genius,” he said sheepishly.
“Genius?” Jack queried, wondering where he had heard the name before. Adam Mitchell sounded so very familiar.
Adam nodded and stuck his hands into his pockets. “Mr. Van Statten recruited me from Harvard post-grad last month.”
Toshiko blinked. “Harvard? Aren’t you a little young?”
Adam just shrugged. “Genius.”
“Yeah, so genius you nearly started World War three,” Van Statten said without looking up.
Adam had the grace to blush and Jack grinned. “Bet that gets you far with women, huh?”
“Yeah, right lady-killer,” the Doctor spat and they all looked at him in shock at the acid evident in his words.
But the Doctor only had eyes for Adam Mitchell— the young man who had outrun Rose and left her alone to face the Dalek. The man who had taken her key, flirted with her, stolen her phone, and then tried to change the whole world to his own ends.
The Doctor hated him. Hated him for wringing a smile out of Rose, for making him doubt her, but most of all, for leaving her behind to die. He hated Adam for coming on board the TARDIS and taking up time that Rose could have—should have—spent with her Doctor. He hated him for being young and male and human and able to give Rose what he never could—a home, a family, a life.
Adam seemed to sense the hostility that flowed off the Doctor in waves and he flushed red, stepping back away from the man who radiated pure rage.
“Mr. Van Statten keeps me very busy,” he offered nervously, scratching the back of his neck.
“I’ll bet,” the Doctor all but growled.
Jack reached over and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Doc,” he whispered. “Ease up.”
The Doctor’s reply was lost in the emphatic yelp of triumph that came from Mr. Van Statten.
“Got it!” he drawled.
The Doctor turned back to him, dismissing the annoying teen from his field of vision and focussing on the more important things; a way to get closer to Rose.
“What have you got?” he questioned firmly and Van Statten looked up at him.
“Harkness for…Torchwood?” an eyebrow raised in questioning as the Doctor nodded. “1998, energy transferral unit monitoring some sort of special awareness. Paid by cash.”
Jack grinned. “You wouldn’t accept my American Express.”
Van Statten smirked. “My notes say that the inner harmonic wouldn’t have altered the overall usage of the machine.”
“I like my toys to be complete.” The Doctor folded his arms across his chest. “I’m sure you understand.”
Van Statten nodded, eyes drifting down the page. “The inner harmonic was a temporal cog bought by a collector of archaic time pieces.” He sneered. “Waste of time, it’s the past—right?”
The two men who had lived in the past turned their noses up at his erroneous reasoning.
Van Statten turned the page. “Okay, guy called Bilis Manger bought it for—whooo, couple of thousand dollars, also paid cash. Runs a shop called uh…Stitch in time.” He frowned and looked up. “Sorry guys, looks like he’s given us some bogus address…or it’s in Ireland.”
“Some place called Car-diff.”
All four strangers froze.
“Cardiff?” Ianto said in abject disbelief.
“Yeah, doesn’t even sound real, does it?” Van Statten grimaced. “Car-diff. Card-iff.” He rolled the word around in his American accent. “Maybe it is Irish.”
“Welsh,” Toshiko amended. “Cardiff is in Wales.”
Van Statten paused. “Is that one of those Scandinavian bits?”
“European,” Jack said with a grin. He shut the lid of the suitcase. “Thank you, Mr. Van Statten, you were very helpful.”
Van Statten nodded and grasped the suitcase. “I’ll wire the money to your account for this.”
Toshiko nodded and handed over a sheet of paper with the relevant account details on it. “All the information you should need is here. We thank you for your time.”
“Hmm,” Van Statten watched as the four of them straightened up and started to walk out of the room. Adam Mitchell stepped back as the Doctor stalked by teeth bared in a snarl.
The Doctor shot a glance over his shoulder to Van Statten and nodded towards Adam. “You might wanna watch this one, Van Statten.”
Van Statten frowned at Adam as the Doctor strolled out of the room and his eyes narrowed as he sat back. “You English, you like dramatic exits don’t ya?”
Adam blustered nervously and backed out of the office leaving Henry Van Statten to muse on his latest toy, the boy and the four mysterious guests all but forgotten.
Toshiko shivered as she stepped back into the TARDIS. “He gave me the creeps.”
“Yeah,” Jack agreed. “I could do with a shower.”
Jack waggled his eyebrows at the Doctor’s words. “Wanna share?”
“I thought the point of a shower was to get less dirty,” offered Ianto with asperity.
Jack grinned at the implied jealousy.
“Don’t worry, Ianto, there is more than enough room for the three…hell, the four of us.”
“I’ll pass, thanks,” Toshiko said as she looked up from her organizer. “According to this ‘Stitch in Time’ is found on Caroline Street, next to the Old Bar and Grill.”
“The whole of time and space,” the Doctor grumbled, “and it had to be Cardiff.”
“Probably by design.” Jack leaned against the edge of the console watching as the Doctor’s thin fingers danced over the controls. “If this Manger guy knows anything about what he’s got, dealing on a rift is a solid plan.”
“I have a question,” Ianto said suddenly and they all looked at him. “I realise that this information is vital to your plan of getting the rift opened and getting your Rose back, but isn’t handing Van Statten a piece of alien tech a little, shall we say, risky?”
“We didn’t hand it over.” Jack beamed broadly. “We got paid a million for it, that’s a hefty bonus, Ianto.”
“Still,” Toshiko worried her lip. “He has a point.”
“Do you honestly think I’d hand a slimy scumbag like Van Statten a real useful piece of alien technology?” the Doctor sounded insulted.
Ianto and Toshiko both looked slightly shame-faced. “So, what was it then?”
The Doctor shared an amused glance with Jack who laughed aloud.
“Probably the most expensive hair-dryer in the universe.”