101 adventures in time and space
Summary: Clara Oswald's nice ordinary life was disrupted in the most explosive manner. Now the girl that dreamed of travel is seeing more than she ever expected thanks to a big eared, two hearted alien that calls himself The Doctor.
AN1: hello everyone, I feel the need to warn you that this is a mammoth chapter. I don't know how long future chapters will be but I have had this story in my head for so long that I just really needed to get this episode finished so I could move onto the next one. I hope the length of the chapter doesn't bother you and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Happy reading.
Clara part 3
It didn't take Clara long to reach the agreed upon meeting place. Nina was already seated waiting for her but there was no sign of Mickey.
"Hello Nina" the young woman greeted her friend as she slid into the seat opposite her "where's Mickey?" she asked looking around.
"I don't want to talk about Mickey" Nina said in a strangely emotionless voice.
"You guys didn't have a fight, already did you?" Clara worried.
"I want to talk about The Doctor" Nina explained still in that odd tone of voice.
"The Doctor?" Clara asked quizzically, she had finally come to realize something was very wrong with Nina "there's nothing to talk about" she dismissed.
"I think there is" Nina pressed "I think you are in danger and it's all because of him".
Clara didn't know what was going on but she was sure of one thing the woman sat with her was not Nina. Every instinct in Clara's body was screaming at her to run but she had seen enough monster movies to know that never works out too well. The best course of action open to her seemed to be to playing dumb and hoping against hope she could find her way out of trouble.
"Look Nina" Clara smiled tightly, trying to act as normally as possible "I appreciate your concern, I really do but there is nothing to worry about. I am over the whole Doctor thing" she promised "now where is Mickey?" she asked changing the subject.
"Right here" came Mickey's voice from behind her and for a moment Clara was relieved, that was until he took a seat and she could see he was just as glassy eyed, shiny skinned and emotionless as his girlfriend.
"You have got to trust us Clara" Mickey said taking one of her hands in a vice like grip.
"We want you to be safe" Nina added, grabbing Clara's other hand and imprisoning her in her seat.
"I am safe" Clara insisted as she discreetly tried to pull her hands free "The Doctor is just a strange guy who crossed my path, that's all, no danger there" she made it sound like she was reassuring them but really, she was trying to convince them she was of no use to them on their Doctor hunt.
"Champagne for the table" a kind gentleman offered behind her and Clara cringed at the danger he had unwittingly put himself in.
"No thank you" she answered curtly, not taking her eyes off the couple sharing her table.
"Now Clara" the fake Nina almost scolded "it's not nice to lie to your friends, buddies, chums, pals" she seemed to glitch at the end of the sentence unable to choose just one word to describe the relationship Clara shared with the real Nina and Mickey.
"What about you love" the champagne man cut in yet again, this time he was talking to fake Nina.
"No" Nina snapped without looking up.
Clara wished the guy would just leave before he got hurt. She was still holding out hope that she could talk her way out of this somehow but him and his champagne didn't stand a chance.
"You are going to tell us everything you know about The Doctor" fake Mickey demanded dropping his friendly pretence and tightening his grip on Clara's wrist to the point of pain.
Clara gasped and redoubled her efforts to get her hands lose but she said nothing, there wasn't much she could have told them but she wasn't going to give them even the little bits of information she did know.
"Does no one want this champagne?" the man asked finally losing his patience with them. Clara had to wonder just where he had gotten the champagne in the first place, it wasn't usually served and the food court and why he was so desperate to get rid of it.
"Look, we don't want it" Mickey practically yelled up at the man, taking his eyes off of Clara for the first time since he sat down. His whole demeanour seemed to change as he looked up at the interloper, he became almost gleeful.
"Doctor" the fake Mickey grinned and released Clara's hand so that he could make a grab for the man in the leather jacket.
"The one and only" The Doctor confirmed as he side-stepped fake Mickey, shaking the bottle he held vigorously as he did so "cheers" he grinned that manic smile of his as he let the cork fly at fake Mickey's head.
While the Doctor was busy with fake Mickey Clara dealt with fake Nina, she snatched up the nearest sharp object, a shiny metal fork and stabbed it into the hand holding her captive. Even though it sank deeply into her hand the fork didn't seem to hurt fake Nina, she did however let go of Clara in order to pull it out. Clara seized the opportunity to jump to her feet and head to the nearest point of safety, which for some reason seemed to be The Doctor.
When Clara reached the Doctors side he was wrestling with the fake Mickey and the fake Nina was fork free and coming after her, things did not look good.
Clara pulled the chairs out from under the nearest tables and threw them between her and fake Nina "Doctor do something" she yelled fearfully, the chairs were buying her very little time as fake Nina's hands had turned into long flat paddles that could easily push obstacles out of her way.
"I'm trying" The Doctor called back as he pulled fake Mickey head clean off. For a moment, Clara thought that would stop them but the Mickey head just carried on talking while his body began to flail around. Fake Nina didn't even spare her companion a glace, she just kept coming after Clara.
Taking the fake man's head may not have stopped him but apparently, it was enough for The Doctor because seconds later he had hold of Clara's hand and was trying to pull her towards the nearest exit. Clara snatched her hand back long enough to push the now headless Mickey double so hard that he stumbled back into fake Nina causing them both to hit the ground. She also broke the glass on the first fire alarm she saw, the food court was already evacuating but she didn't want to risk anyone getting too close to the fake version of her friends, there was no telling what would happen to them if they did.
Once she had finished setting off the alarm Clara notice that instead of joining the mass of people rushing down the stairs and away from the fight, The Doctor was almost sauntering towards the door that led to the indoor car park. For a moment, the girl weighed her options, she could escape by blending in with the crowds of people making their way out and leave The Doctor to his own devices or she could follow him and probably get herself into more trouble than she already was.
Clara wasn't sure why but when she heard fake Nina coming, she chose The Doctor and raced off after him at full pelt. Clara caught up just as The Doctor passed through the door that led to the car park, when it closed behind them she threw herself against it to keep it that way.
"Doctor use that sonic screwdriver thing, lock the door" she yelled after the rapidly departing man.
"How did you know it locks doors?" he asked, turning back to look at her.
"You locked the fire door with it last night, didn't you?" Clara huffed at him.
"Yes, I did" The Doctor confirmed, once again flashing her that manic smile of his. Clara was beginning to think that smile meant she had pleased or impressed him but seen as she was also beginning to think he was completely insane she wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.
"Well lock the door then" she insisted knowing that fake Nina couldn't be far behind them.
"Nah" The Doctor said pointing off to the side "tell you what, let's go in here instead" Clara looked over to where he had pointed and noticed the old blue police box for the first time.
"Doctor I don't think that's a good idea" she called but it was too late The Doctor had already gone inside. Reluctantly Clara gave up barricading the door and rushed after him. "Doctor we can't hide in a wooded box" she panicked. "Doctor those plastic things are going to get us" she cried pounding on the wooden doors in hope The Doctor would come out and somehow save the day.
Behind her Clara heard the door she had been guarding slam open, she didn't need to look back to see who it was, she knew it was the fakes, she could hear the odd creaking nose she had come to associate with the living plastic. Deciding that some protection was better than none, Clara pushed the door open and hurried inside.
"They're going to follow-"Clara trailed off as she took in the immense room around her, the tiny wooden box was huge on the inside. How was that possible? "us" the astonished girl finally managed to finish her sentence in a lost sounding whisper.
"The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn't get through that door and believe me they have tried" The Doctor reassured her breezily as he placed fake Mickey's head on the large console that took up the centre of the room.
"Now shut up a minute" he ordered her connecting the head to a mass of wires.
Clara however could not stay quiet, she was shocked and scared and when Clara Oswald was scared she babbled "It's bigger on the inside" she gasped "actually bigger"
"Yes" The Doctor agreed "now shush, you see the arm was too simple but the heads perfect. I can use it to track back to the original source" he explained before turning his full attention back to the girl who was still stood frozen by the door. "Right where do you want to start?" he asked her.
"It's bigger on the inside" Clara muttered more to herself than him as she finally moved away from the door and further into the room.
"Yessss" The Doctor said drawing the word out as though she were a child "we already covered that one, next?".
"It's alien" Clara's tone implied she was guessing but The Doctor still smiled and nodded encouragingly
"Are you an alien?" Clara asked as she reached out to touch one of the rooms many intricate support beams.
"Yes, you alright with that" The Doctor had gone from indulgent to defensive in an instant.
"Fine" Clara shot back a little too quickly for The Doctors liking, she also snatched her hand away from the beam as if it had burnt her. The tiny human took a deep breath and tried again "yeah, I think I'm fine" she reassured him with a slightly wobbly smile.
"It's called the TARDIS, this thing" he explained when she looked confused "T.A.R.D.I.S, that's time and relative dimensions in space" The Doctor began proudly prancing back and forth in front of the console.
His slight movements allowed Clara her first glimpse of just what The Doctor had done to the plastic Mickey's head and fake or not she couldn't prevent the sob that escaped her at the sight. Wires were stuck all over and into it, tying it into the futuristic machine.
"That's OK" The Doctor tried to reassure her thinking she was suffering from information overload. "Culture shock, happens to the best of us" he smiled.
"Are they dead?" Clara snapped feeling angry and hurt by just how blasé he was being while all she had left of one of her best friends was wired into his Tardy or whatever he called it.
"Who?" The Doctor sounded genuinely confused.
"Nina and Mickey" Clara was yelling now "Are. They. Dead?"
"Oh, I didn't think of that" he admitted truthfully.
"They're my friends, two of my best friends" Clara told him losing some of her anger "this living plastic stuff did goodness knows what to them, so that it could find you. You pulled Mickey's head off, so you could use him to find it and never occurred to you that the two of them might be dead?"
Silence rained in the wake of Clara's heartbroken outburst but it didn't last long because the observant young human suddenly noticed something the wise old alien missed.
"Doctor, the head, it's melting" she cried pointing at the plastic blob that had once bared a likeness to her friend.
The Doctor sprang into action, he raced around the console flipping switches, hitting buttons and yelling the whole time. Clara had no idea what he was doing but whatever it was made the whole room shake and grown.
"What are you doing?" she yelled grabbing the nearest rail in hopes of steadying herself.
"retrieving the signal" The Doctor snapped at her as if she should know that already "it's fading. Wait, I've got it" he yelled basking in his momentarily triumph but it passed quickly.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!" he was getting increasingly angry "almost there, we are almost there! Here we go" with that he raced past Clara and out of the door.
"Wait Doctor" the girl yelled after him "you can't go out there, it's not safe" the fake Nina was just outside the door, he was going to get himself killed. She hurried after him in hopes that she could pull him back into the relative safety of the box before the demented version of her friend got her plastic hands on him.
When Clara exited the door she nearly tripped over her own feet due to shock. They weren't in the shopping centre car park anymore they were on the Thames embankment.
"I lost the signal" The Doctor told her bitterly "I got so close too" he sighed.
"We moved" Clara gasped looking around her "How did we move? Can this thing fly?" she asked looking back at the box.
"Disappears from there, reappears here, you wouldn't understand" he said waving his hand dismissively.
"But if we are here, who is going to stop plastic Nina and headless Mickey from hurting anyone back there?" Clara demanded, she didn't like the thought of anyone getting hurt by those things while they were hunting for her and the Doctor.
"They probably both melted along with the head" The Doctor said using the same dismissive tone as before.
"I'm going to have to tell their families" Clara felt her heart break at the realization that it was going to fall to her to give two groups of people that she genuinely cared about the worst news of their lives.
The Doctor shot her a questioning look and Clara felt her recently suppressed temper rise again. "You know Nina and Mickey's families" she shouted "I have to tell everyone who loves them that they are dead and you just forgot about them, first it doesn't even occur to you that they could be dead then you forget about them like there nothing".
The Doctor gave her an are you done yet look and Clara realized she was, she was done with him and his people don't matter attitude. He could deal with whatever trouble he got himself into all by himself, she was going to go home and try to convince her family and friends to avoid plastic for the next few weeks at least.
"You, know what?" she seethed "I am fine with you being an alien, I really am but your disregard for human life, that, I can't handle" she practically spat at The Doctor before turning to leave.
"Look if I forgot your precious Mickey and Nina, it's because I'm trying to save the lives of every stupid ape blundering around on top of this planet, alright?" The Doctor yelled after the retreating girl as if his justification would fix things but to Clara it actually made things worst.
"No" she snapped turning to face him again "no, not alright, no one deserves to be thrown away and forgotten, no matter what is happening around them. Every lost should be mourned by someone" she told him trying to hold her tears at bay. "Everyone matters and everyone should be missed"
Clara's words hit The Doctor like a punch in the gut, he himself had used to say much the same thing. He had clearly been traveling alone for too long, he had always known he needed his companions for their humanity as much for their company but for so long he felt he didn't deserve either. Maybe it was time for that to change.
"Your right" he admitted softly and Clara immediately deflated, for a moment The Doctor was worried she was going to be swallowed by her grief once she no longer had her anger to hide behind, if she did that she would be useless to both him and her planet.
"Help me stop the living plastic Clara and I'll make sure this whole planet remembers Mickey and Nina's names for centuries to come" he bargained with her and was pleased to see her straighten up slightly, clearly steeling herself and returned to his side.
"One question" she said that wobbly smile from earlier was back again "If you really are an alien how come you sound like you're from up north" she asked taking off his accent almost perfectly.
Her attempt at levity was weak at best but it was also a sign of just how resilient Clara Oswald could be. "Lots of planets have a north" he told her with a genuinely warm smile.
"OK, how do we stop the living plastic" she said getting right down to business.
"Don't you want to know more about the TARDIS" The Doctor asked patting the box affectionately, he knew she was right, they should begin searching for the living plastic's base off operations but he also wanted to know Clara really was alright. She would need time to both adjust and pull herself together and him answering any questions she had would give her that.
"I'm assuming it's your ship" she shot back "and it looks like one of those old public call boxes the police used to use" she continued impressing him with her knowledge of somewhat obscure earth history. "What I don't get is why it looks like a police public call box?"
"It's a disguise" he grinned at her.
"Oh, OK then, back to the plastic how do we stop it" she asked again, more firmly this time.
"We have to find it first" The Doctor sighed "how can they hide something that big in a city this small" he muttered.
"Hide what, I can't help if I don't know what I am looking for" Clara reminded him.
"The transmitter, every single piece of plastic is being controlled by a consciousness somewhere in this city, for that it needs a transmitter" he explained.
"And what does this transmitter look like?" Clara pressed on. With her emotions, somewhat under control she was eager to help The Doctor but she was also completely out of her death. She needed him to be clear on exactly what he needed from her.
"Like a transmitter" he told her as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Clara just looked at him for a moment before rising one eyebrow and making a circular motion with her finger, indicating that she needed more.
"Round and massive" he said expanding upon his earlier explanation, waving his arms about to emphasize just how big the transmitter would have to be. "And its slap bang in the middle of London".
Clara looked past The Doctor to the huge structure that loomed over them, the London eye.
"Like a giant metal disk" The Doctor continued, it seemed once you got him started there was no stopping him.
"Doctor-" Clara tried to interrupt him but it didn't work.
"Like a dish, like a wheel"
"Doctor" Clara tried again, louder this time but still he prattled on as if she hadn't said anything.
"Close to where we are standing, must be completely invisible" he finished in complete frustration.
Clara didn't say anything this time, instead she forcibly turned the large man to face the landmark that towered over them.
"What?" he asked looking down at the tiny woman and not up at what she was trying to show him"
"Doctor" Clara groaned and rolled her eyes before pointing directly at the monument she had been trying to show him.
The Doctor looked between Clara and the London eye before his manic grin appeared once more "Oh fantastic" he crowed and snatching up Clara's hand he raced off towards the giant Ferris wheel.
"What does this living plastic have against us anyway?" Clara panted as she and the Doctor ran through the streets of London hand in hand.
"Nothing" The Doctor said looking back to the girl who was slightly behind him "it loves you and your planet, so much so that it wants it for its self.
"Why?" Clara asked again, The Doctor racked his brain trying to remember if his past companions had asked so many questions then he scolded himself for thinking like that, Clara was not his companion. She was just a helpful human, that was it.
"Lots of smoke and oil, plenty of toxins and dioxins in the air, all the things the Nestene consciousness needs. Its food stock was destroyed in the war, all it's protein planets rotted" he explained.
"So, it wants earth as a replacement" Clara concluded as they raced to their destination. She didn't need The Doctor to confirm she was right verbally the sad almost regretful look he gave her was enough. "So how do we stop it?" she asked for what felt like the hundredth time.
The Doctor pulled out a vial of liquid and waved it under the girl's nose "anti-plastic" he said sounding quite proud of himself.
"Anti-plastic" Clara repeated studying the vial "so this kills the creature that that is controlling the living plastic" she deduced in a slightly disapproving tone.
"More like neutralises it but yeah" The Doctor said sounding defensive again.
"You're not just going to waltz in there and kill it, are you?" Clara asked feeling anxious, she was a pacifist at heart and too many people had died already. She wasn't eager to add to the tally, even if the next casualty wasn't human.
"I'm not here to kill it" The Doctor reassured her "I've got to give it a chance to leave peacefully, I also have to find a way into it. The Nestene Consciousness should be under the transmitter but where?" he wondered looking around him.
"How about down there?" Clara said pointing to a small stair well that led to the service entrance.
"looks good to me" The Doctor agreed, taking Clara's hand in his to pull her along behind him once again, the possibility of leaving her outside never occurred to him.
They crept through the narrow underground hallways until they reached a large room filled with machinery, heat and smoke. In the centre of the room was what looked like a huge smelting pot full of moving, glowing goo.
"The Nestene Consciousness" The Doctor whispered in Clara's ear answering her unasked question "that's it in the vat, a living plastic creature".
"What do we do now?" Clara whispered back.
"Now" The Doctor said much louder "now Clara we talk to it".
The Doctor moved slightly closer to the vat, he was careful not to get close enough to pose the creature within it any threat. A stunned Clara watched on as he did exactly what he had said he was going to, he spoke to the slime. He used a tone that was both respectful and confident, the girl couldn't pretend to understand half of what he said but she was impressed none the less.
"I seek an audience with the Nestene Consciousness under a peaceful contract, according to the shadow proclamation" he announced.
The molten creature in the vat sploshed around and made an odd gurgling sound but The Doctor clearly understood it as he continued. "Thank you, might I have permission to approach?".
More sloshing and gurgling came from the vat, to Clara it all sounded very aggressive and threatening but it must have been positive because The Doctor confidently strode forward and waved his hand at her to do the same. As soon as Clara had moved further into the room she spotted two very familiar figures tied to the nearby railing, Nina and Mickey.
Mickey was cowering as close to the rail as he could get while Nina was stood tugging frantically at the thick ropes that held her in place.
"Oh, my stars" Clara gasped rushing past The Doctor to her friend's side. "Are you two OK?" she asked as she began to help them to get free.
"Yeah, we're alright" Nina said trying to reassure her clearly worried friend but Mickey wasn't having any of it.
"No, we're not" he contradicted "that thing down there" he cried pointing wildly with his now free hands "the liquid, it can talk Clara, it talks" the poor guy sounded completely terrified but Clara was just glad that he was alive, that they both were.
"Doctor, their alive" she called joyfully.
"That was always a possibility, keep them alive to maintain the copies" he replied never taking his eyes off the vat in front of him. He had always known that Clara's friends might still be alive but there was no way he was getting the girls hopes up. To give someone hope only to take it away again was just too cruel.
"Why didn't you tell me that?" Clara demanded as she and Nina helped Mickey up.
"Can we keep the domestics outside, thank you" The Doctor snapped at her. He needed to concentrate on the Nestene Consciousness and it was always safer for any humans involved with him to appear meaningless to his enemy's, they stayed alive longer that way.
Clara knew she should be angry with The Doctor but she had suffered through so many different emotions in such a short time that she suddenly found herself feeling almost pleasantly numb over the whole thing.
Numb or not Clara listened to The Doctor's continued negotiations with an intense interest, knowing the fate of the world could depend on what he said next. He was trying to convince the Nestene Consciousness to leave earth peacefully just as he had said he would. At first it seemed to be going well but the angry growls from the vat made it clear exactly when things started to go downhill.
As the Nestene Consciousness temper rose so did The Doctor's but that didn't last, he quickly switched from yelling to pleading. As Clara listened to The Doctor plead impassionedly on the earth behalf she was hit with a sudden realisation, it wasn't just the humans he wanted to save but the living plastic as well. He desperately didn't want to end its existence, The Doctor wanted to end the plastic invasion peacefully but the Nestene Consciousness wasn't having any of it.
The splashing and sploshing from the vat was becoming even more aggressive, even Clara could tell that and she didn't actually know what the creature was saying but The Doctor who apparently could understand every word did not see the treat until it was too late. Two smartly dressed manikins appeared behind him but he was so engrossed in his peace talks that he didn't seem to notice.
"Doctor, look out!" Clara yelled a warning and tried to run to his aid but Nina caught her by the arms and held her back.
"No Clara, those things are dangerous" she warned her friend.
"I know they are" Clara shot back, trying to wriggle out of her friend's tight grip "and they've got him, I have to help" she pleaded but Nina had no intention of letting her best friend get herself killed over some weirdo stranger.
While Clara and Nina had been arguing, the manikins had searched The Doctor and unfortunately for both him and the humans they had found the anti-plastic.
The Doctor tried to assure them that it was a last resort and he was never going to use it but they didn't believe him and their discovery of the TARDIS seemed to make the already terrible situation worse.
The Doctor struggled valiantly against his captors but they were too strong for him. It made Clara's heart hurt to listen to him as he tried to explain himself. It seemed the Nestene Consciousness blamed The Doctor for the war that had left it homeless and no matter how close to begging The Doctor came it would not listen to reason.
To Clara it made no sense, she didn't see how one man, even one as strange as The Doctor could be held solely responsible for what she assumed was an intergalactic war. "Doctor what's wrong?" she yelled from her position still in Nina's arms.
"It's the TARDIS" he shouted back still struggling against the plastic arms that held him, whereas Clara had given up any hope of getting away from Nina.
"It's identified it as superior technology and it's scared" he explained "actually it's terrified" he corrected himself "it's going to the final phase, it's starting the invasion"
"How do we stop it?" Clara demanded.
"You can't" The Doctor sounded so lost and defeated that Clara wanted to cry for him, she and her best friends were in grave danger but The Doctor was the one she was feeling for. "Get out, Clara" he ordered her "just leg it, take your friends and go".
Clara didn't want to leave The Doctor but Mickey and Nina didn't give her much choice, they were already pulling her towards the exit. "Wait" she pleaded with them "stop, please let me warn my Dad" she gasped out, he worked in an office, he may as well be sitting in a plastic box, if she didn't warn him he might die, she had already lost her Mum she could lose her Dad too.
"Oh No" Micky said firmly "we have got to keep going, even he said we should" he said pointing back towards The Doctor. Nina however gave a deep sigh and finally release her grip on her friend.
"There are people we should war too" she said thinking of her own family as she took out her phone. "I'm going to call my Mum, Clara's got her Dad covered" she paused to point at their tiny friend who already had her phone to her ear. "Why don't you see if you can get a hold of Rose and Jackie, warn them and tell them we love them, yeah?"
"If we do this, we might die" Mickey pointed out bluntly, he was pretty sure might was an understatement, if they stopped to call their loved ones now they would die here.
"If we don't make the calls, they might die" Nina shot back, Mickey didn't need to ask who she meant, he knew exactly who she meant and that ended any droughts he had. He gave a resolute nod quickly began searching his pockets for his own phone.
Clara was hoping beyond hope that she would reach her Father on her first try, normally she would get his voice mail at least twice, he was a busy man after all but she didn't have time for that today.
"Dave Oswald" he answered cheerfully and despite the situation she was in just hearing his voice made Clara feel a tiny bit better.
"Dad I need you to listen to me" she told him firmly "this is going to sound crazy but I need you to do exactly as I tell you, OK?" normally Clara would wait for some kind of response but not today. Today she just barrelled on barely pausing for breath. "You need to get yourself and anyone else that will listen to you as far away from anything plastic as you can" she explained.
"Clara what's going on?" Dave asked clearly worried.
"I don't have time to explain everything right now, just lock yourself in a toilet or a filing room please" she said hoping a large amount of porcelain or metal would offer him some protection "anywhere that is away from plastic" she reiterated.
"Clara love, your making no sense" her Dad was sounding really worried now.
"I know" Clara almost sobbed "Just do as I ask, please" she begged.
"OK" Dave agreed quickly, if it would make Clara feel better he would do just about anything.
"Thanks Dad" Clara sighed "I love you" she told him before abruptly hanging up, if there was any chance she was going to get attacked by possessed manikins she didn't want her Father to hear it.
Just as Clara got off of the phone strange blue lightning shot from the Nestene Consciousness in its vat up to the celling. "What the hell is that?" yelled Nina who had also finished with her call.
"It's the activation signal" The Doctor answered "It's transmitting"
As the room around them shook the three humans were filled with more fear than any of them had ever felt before. Nina who had always considered herself to be strong and brave couldn't stop trembling. Mickey felt a surge of protectiveness overcome his earlier terror and pulled his new girlfriend against his chest. "We'll be OK" he lied in an almost convincing manner.
"No, we won't" whimpered the girl that clung to him "it's the end of the world".
Clara couldn't help but agree with her friend assessment. The world was ending but she refused to cower in the face of it. She couldn't stop the tears that were rolling down her cheeks but over the years she had learnt to push her fears aside, so she stood with her stance firm and her back straight, if this was how her existence was to end she would face it without fear.
As the Nestene Consciousness signal spread throughout London every piece of plastic it encountered became a weapon in its war against humanity. In his office, Dave Oswald had been trying to talk his colleagues into joining him in the records room, which was mostly metal filing cabinets and had very little plastic involved.
Most of the men and women that he worked with thought he was nuts, that after so many years of teetering on the edge, old Dave had finally gone off the deep end.
Those that doubted him quickly changed their tunes when a desk phone launched its self at a passing employee and attempted to strangle them with its cord. Luckily the new temp could think on her feet, she knocked the phones plug out of the socket with a broom, then she cut the cord from the guy's neck using a nearby pair of scissors.
"I don't know about you lot" the temp announced "but I'm with Mr Oswald on this one, the records room sounds good to me".
It didn't take her and Dave long to usher everyone into the little room and most people had the sense to arm themselves with something or other that wasn't made of plastic. Once they were barricaded in all they could do was wait, weather they were waiting for the danger to pass or for an attack to come, none of them was quite sure.
The Doctor was still fighting the manikin's holding him but it was very hard to gain the upper hand against creatures that were incredibly strong and didn't feel pain. Glancing up he saw Clara and her friends hadn't gone anywhere.
The boy and girl were huddled together much like they had been when he and Clara had entered but now the boy was the one protecting the girl, it had been the other way around before. Clara was stood slightly away from them with her eyes never leaving the Nestene Consciousness, did she really think she could stare this creature down, that her bravery would earn her its respect and it would stop the attack. There were some races in the universe with whom that would work but not the Nestene Consciousness, she needed to go now if she was going to stand any chance of surviving.
"get out Clara" he yelled at her, fighting even harder in the face of the human girl's bravery. "Just get out, run".
His order finally had Clara looking away from the vat and turning her attention to her friends, she didn't want to leave the Doctor but she didn't want them dying because of her either.
"Come on, we've got to move" she told the couple, pushing them towards the exit. With Clara's urging Nina and Mickey moved quickly along the walk way but they weren't quite quick enough. A huge chunk of debris came crashing down on the stairs ahead of them, completely destroying them.
"The stair's, there gone" Nina gasped, stating the obvious.
"Come on, this way" Mickey hollered pulling both girls up the only stairs that were left intact, the stairs that led to the TARDIS. Both Nina and Mickey rattled at the doors but they remained locked tight.
"Clara do something" Nina demanded glancing over her shoulder at her friend, she had arrived with The Doctor guy, she had to know how to get the doors to the box open.
"I don't have a key" Clara said as she joined in rattling the door "there's nothing I can do".
Mickey sank to the ground bring both girls down with him, weather he was trying to protect them or his courage had given out again Clara wasn't sure.
"We're going to die" Nina started to cry and once again Mickey pulled his girlfriend into his embrace but this time he was trembling just as much as she was. Clara didn't tremble, not because she had decided to be brave but because she was sort of frozen with shock.
She was going to die and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Her friends were in trouble, her father had hopefully locked himself away in a small safe room and The Doctor, her strange new sort of friend was being held prisoner by a pair of manikins that were being controlled by a psychotic vat full of plastic slime and there was nothing any she could do about any of it. Clara hadn't felt this helpless since she was 15 and lost her Mum, there was nothing she could have done then either.
A sudden realization washed over Clara, there was nothing she could have tried that would have saved her Mother but this was different, maybe this time there was something she could do. Maybe she could save Mickey and Nina and her Father and The Doctor, if she just tried. With that thought in mind Clara jumped to her feet and began to scan her surroundings for anything she that might help her save The Doctor and stop the invasion.
She noticed that one of the manikins holding The Doctor was also holding the anti-plastic. The Doctors struggles may not have gotten him free put it had pushed both him and his plastic guards closer the edge of the platform, Clara could work with that, she just needed to knock the manikin off balance enough that it would drop the anti-plastic into the vat. She didn't particularly like the idea of neutralising the Nestene Consciousness at first but now it seemed to be the only option. She just needed away to reach The Doctor and the manikins.
There was a chain attached from the ceiling, it hung down not far from where Clara stood but due to her small stature it was just out of her reach. "Mickey help me" she yelled pulling the tallest of her friends to his feet. "Grab me that chain" she ordered not giving him time to ask any questions.
Mickey looked at Clara as if she had gone mad but did as she asked, reaching over he pulled then chain close enough that Clara could take hold of the end of it.
Nina looked between Clara and the Doctor and she just knew what her friend was going to try. When they had been younger their friend Rose wasn't half bad at gymnastics so of course Nina and Clara had tried it too, Clara had never been any good at it and Nina didn't think that had changed recently.
"Clara if you are thinking what I think you're thinking, then stop right now" she ordered her friend.
"I'm thinking that right now I have nothing to lose" Clara told her and before Nina or Mickey could say or do anything to stop her, Clara took a running jump and swung herself towards The Doctor and the manikins.
Clara's heart was in her throat and she desperately wanted to close her eyes to try and keep her fear at bay but she knew that she couldn't. her aim wasn't very good, she knew as soon as her feet left the ground that she had timed her swing poorly and worst yet her hands were so sweaty that they were slipping, she wasn't going to be attached the chain for long so she was going to have to do everything she could to make this attempt count as she wasn't going to get another one.
As she lost her grip Clara somehow managed to land right on top of the manikin that was holding the anti-plastic. She sent it tumbling into the vat below but she also went with it. A fresh wave of terror rushed through her as she realized she was going to share the fate of the manikin that had gone before her, she just had time to finally give in and close her eyes before her descent suddenly stopped.
The Doctor had freed himself just in time to catch Clara before she and the Nestene Consciousness could get to be close friends. "I've got you Clara" he assured her as he pulled to safety and for the first time since leaving Mickey's flat Clara really and truly felt safe.
Sadly, the feeling didn't last, The Doctor was smiling that manic smile again and Clara was learning that could be a very bad thing.
"Oh boy" he laughed "We're in trouble now" he crowed pulling Clara away from the platform edge and towards the TARDIS as all hell began to break loose. Explosions rocked the room as the Nestene Consciousness imploded in on itself.
"Excuse me" The Doctor said pleasantly to Mickey and Nina when he and Clara reached the TARDIS "we need to be leaving" he told them as he opened the blue double doors.
In the records room of Dave Oswald's office, the door that was shielding the cowering workers finally stopped rattling on its hinges and the few plastic objects that were in the room ceased their relentless attacks. Cautiously Dave and his co-workers crept out of their hiding place to find the main office in complete disarray.
"OK" Dave sighed "let the clean-up begin" all around him people gawped in shock, they had just been attacked by their office supplies and Dave Oswald, the resident conspiracy nut was acting like nothing even slightly odd had happened.
Back on the south bank Mickey stumbled out of the TARDIS dragging Nina along with him. Clara followed at a much more sedate pace with a bright smile on her face and her phone in her hand. She was pretty sure she had just help to save London, if not the world but in that moment, nothing mattered to her more than making sure her Father was OK.
For the second time that day she got through to him on the first try.
"Clara love are you OK?" her Dad asked as soon as he picked up.
"I'm fine Dad" Clara almost laughed down the line, she was so relieved he was alright. Glancing over her shoulder she saw The Doctor leaning against the door frame of the TARDIS and smiling at her with a look in his eyes that could only be described as pride.
"Actually Dad, I'm great" she corrected herself "it has been a really weird day but everything is alright now" she told her Father brightly.
"I'm glad to hear it" Dave said and he did sound pleased but also a little baffled, Clara couldn't blame him. How could she explain all of the things that had happened to her in the last 24 hours?
"I'll see you soon Dad, love you, take care" she signed off warmly before hanging up and approaching her shaken friends.
Nina had once again taken over the role of protector, Clara couldn't help but smile at the two of them, the complemented then almost perfectly. When one of them gave into their weakness the other came into their strength, making them an awesome team.
"Are you two OK" she asked opening her arms to offer them a hug. Both Mickey and Nina rushed into their friend's arms, Clara was famous for her amazingly warm hugs.
"Yeah, we're OK" Nina reassured her.
"Speak for yourself woman" Mickey wined making both girls laugh, even though they knew he was only half joking.
The Doctor chose that moment to remind them of his presents. "The Nestene Consciousness, easy" he said snapping his fingers and grinning at them.
"You didn't do it all by yourself you know" Clara reminded him "we helped too" she pointed out.
"You helped" The Doctor countered "them not so much" he said pointing at both Nina and Mickey.
"You saved my life Clara" The Doctor admitted letting his cheery smile slip for the first time since they left the Nestene Consciousness behind. "Thank you" he said solemnly and Clara could tell he really meant it.
"Your very welcome Doctor" she smiled brightly "it was my pleasure".
"Well I best be off" The Doctor said almost sadly "unless you fancy coming along with me?" he asked Clara nervously. "This box isn't just a London hopper, you know" he powered on trying to sell Clara on the idea. "It goes anywhere in the universe, free of charge" he offered.
"Clara no" Mickey cut in before she could even think about saying anything. "He is dangerous and mad and dangerous" he rambled pointing almost accusingly at The Doctor. Nina couldn't help but laugh whole heartedly at her boyfriend's slightly panicked reaction.
"They are not inveighed" The Doctor said firmly, gesturing towards the hyperventilating boy and the chortling girl. "What do you think, do you want to stay here, find yourself a new job, settle down and live a nice safe life? Or do you want to go out and see the universe?" he asked her. For the first time since before the Time War he really wanted someone to come along with him, he wanted Clara Oswald to choose him.
"Is it always like this?" Clara wondered aloud, seriously considering his offer.
"What, with the running and the danger?" The Doctor clarified "Yeah, it's like that a lot" he admitted.
"I-I-I" as Clara searched for the right words The Doctor knew he had lost her. "I would love to" she admitted "but I can't, I have responsibilities here, I can't just leave" she sighed "I'm sorry"
"So am I" The Doctor replied "have a good life Clara Oswald, I'll see you again" he promised to himself as much as her before stepping back into the TARDIS and shutting the door behind him.
"You did the right thing Clara" Mickey assured her as soon as the blue box disappeared.
"Do you think so?" Clara asked feeling completely torn, she really had wanted to go with The Doctor but as always with her, her sense of responsibility had held her back.
"Actually no" Nina told her being brutally honest "for as long as I have known you Clara there has been two things that you couldn't resist, a lost soul in need of help and adventure. That man, alien, whatever he is, just offered you both of those things and you turned him down, I think you're crazy"
"I can't just up and leave Nina, you know that" Clara sighed.
The three young people were almost out of the alley when the strange noise Clara had come to associate with The Doctor and his TARDIS filled the air again.
As soon as the box had fully materialized The Doctor popped his head out of the door grinning "oh by the way Clara" he called out to her "did I mention it also travels in time?"
"Really?" she asked, if the ship really could travel in time she could have all the adventures she had dreamed of and still be there for those who needed her when they needed her.
"Really" The Doctor confirmed, giving the door he leant against a gentle pat and smiling more brightly than before.
"What are you waiting for" Nina urged her "go" she said literally giving her friend a push in the right direction.
Clara turned her back on The Doctor just long enough to hug Nina tightly. "Thanks Nina, you're the best" she said truly meaning it. "And you" the tiny brunet said fixing Mickey with a firm look "take care of her or else" she warned before giving the man a warm hug of his own. "Take care of yourself too" she murmured into his shoulder
"Will do" Mickey promised "you be careful OK" he added.
"Will do" Clara said mimicking Mickey just to make her friends laugh one last time before she left. Then feeling lighter that she had in years she took off running towards both The Doctor and all the adventures he had offered her.
Clara Oswald, the girl that had dreamed of seeing the world was off to see so much more, 101 adventures in time and space lay before her and she couldn't wait to begin.
Little did she know that she would find so much more on her journey that just adventure.
AN2: so, there you go episode one of my Clara as the Ninth Doctors first companion series 1. As I have said before just because she is the first person to travel with The Doctor doesn't mean she will be the only one, a second very important companion will be joining them soon. I have to confess I not sure how long the wait for the next episode will be but I hope it won't be too long, so watch this space. Thank you for taking the time to read, I would really love to know what you thought of this as I pretty sue it is the longest chapter I have ever written (it took me 5 days to type it all out).