The old woman pushes the book across the counter, "There you are, miss."
A young woman picks up the book, a story of adventurous pirates, one of great fame: Treasure Island. She's never read the book before, despite her near obsession with literary works. She stares at the cover for a short period, the image of the pirate captain and the young boy approaching a beach speaks volumes onto it. She opens her tiled rainbow satchel and places the novel kindly between her school science book and notebook, which are surrounded by miscellaneous items placed in careless areas. She leaves the library, a light smile upon her gentle pale face. She pushes her blonde hair from her face as she steps down a small flight of stairs. The free hair brushes annoyingly against her blue hoodie. She grabs her hair and ties it up to cause less self-disturbance. The snow is finally melting in the town of which she resides, she walks patiently to her home, about ten minutes into this walk she pulls out the book in anxiousness, she begins to read, and as far as she knows she is the only person in town who can both walk and read simultaneously. She continues her path home for nearly an hour.
"He was plainly blind, for he tapped before him with a stick, and wore a great green shade over his eyes and nose; and he was hunched, as if with age or weakness, and wore a huge old tattered sea cloak with a hood, that made him appear positively deformed. I never saw in my life a more dreadful-looking figure." The words appeared like pictures in her head, she was fully enveloped in the tale. Behind her home is a playground, a small little thing designed for children under the age of twelve to enjoy their time upon. No one was there as it was far too cold outside. She begins to walk across this spot, continuing to read the story. This comes to an instantaneous halt when the slide a few meters away seemingly smashes itself into the cold ground.
On simple human impulse she leaps away from the noise alone. As Treasure Island met the cold ground a strange thing happens before the girl's eyes, a man appears from seeming emptiness dressed in brown dress pants and a green dress shirt. He's flung to nearly the other side of the playground, glowing blue, before smashing into the earth with his shoulder. There's complete silence for only a moment; the girl lay upon the snow while the man in green does the same in considerably more pain.
The man stops glowing and lets out a groan due to ache. "I don't want to do that again for a long time."
Cautiously the girl crawls to her knees, eyes firmly locked on the strange man. "Are you okay?" She asks.
The man scampers to his feet, he has two inch long brunette hair and nearly glowing hazel eyes. "You!"
"Me?" she replies in a receding step.
"Yes, you. What color was it?"
The girl looks, puzzled, "What?"
"The light. What color was the light?" expresses the man.
"Oh." She clears her throat, not knowing what mysterious thing she's just encountered. "It was blue."
The man lets out a joyous grin, "Blue, wonderful." He stares at his hands, both back and palms, then once again. "So, how do I look?"
"You've seen regenerated people before, haven't you? How do I look?"
The girl begins to think she hit the ground a little harder than she first thought, "…What hit the swings?" she says, staring at the mangled remains of some child's fond area of play.
"My TARDIS of course, you've seen one before, haven't you?" He lets out a large twitch throughout his left side. A chilled expression overcomes him, "Where am I?" he asks, body suddenly overcome with worry.
"That's not…" He begins to feel awfully dizzy, "S'not Gallifreyan… Something's very wrong…" Without warning the man in green drops onto his back like a tree. The woman runs over to him and immediately checks to see if he continues to breathe, she's startled when he once again speaks. "What's your name?"
A short pause. The name in the back of her throat. "Catherine."
"That's a beautiful name, for a beautiful girl."
She smiles briefly, and utters a small reply that is easily hushed by the screech of car tires. She turns to see a black truck with a large symbol on its door, a capital T created from a grouping of hexagons. Out steps a single man dressed in an entirely black dress suit holding a military rifle in his hands. "Torchwood WC, freeze!" He shouts angrily. Catherine raises her hands as she would before a police officer. The man in green however raises his hands while remaining on his back on the cold snow.
Catherine and the man in green sit next to one another in the back of a vehicle. Catherine looks out the back to see two men in suits struggling with an invisible object. "What are they doing?"
The Timelord sighs. "Loading the TARDIS into the truck."
A woman sits in the driver's seat, "Correct, Doctor. After all, if it's alien: it's ours."
Another man sits in the passenger side, pointing a rifle at the man. He, in return, stares at him until the spoken words finally process in his mind. "Doctor? K-9! Lock the TARDIS!" A loud click is heard as the unseen door locks itself. Simultaneously the rifleman strikes the man in green with the butt of his gun. This sets off a surge of blue energy, causing the rifleman to smash his head into the dashboard. "So that's what dad meant about side-effects."
Catherine leans away from the man, "What was that?" she asks.
"Leftover regenerative energy, I'll be doing that for a while."
Without a word the woman begins to drive the car, it goes slowly down a road towards the highway.
"Where are we going?" asks the man.
"Torchwood HQ. There we can dissect your TARDIS more efficiently."
The man jumps up and down in his seat. "Oh how could I be so blind!?" He exclaims, "No knowledge of TARDIS's or regeneration, but still looking like that! I'm still on Earth!"
"That took you far longer than I'd expected. I'd hoped for greater from the legendary Doctor."
"Why do you keep calling me…?" The man slumps, his brain slows to a crawl before kicking back into normal speed.
The woman redirects her attention to Catherine, "And you, his newest companion?"
"I swear I don't know him."
"Ah, so you just got in the way then. No worries, we'll just erase your memory of today when we get to HQ."
Catherine smiles gently, "I was in the middle of a really good book."
The man stares at Catherine, "You're wonderful," is all he says. He then looks towards the driver seat and proceeds to head-butt it. This causes energy to blast from his forehead, making the woman slam her own face into the dashboard. The truck begins to swerve before smashing into a ditch beside the road. The back passengers lurch forward, the rifle from the passenger side bumps against the gear shifter and leans towards the still unnamed man. He then removes his black dress shoe from his right foot. He places the chains of his handcuffs in front of the barrel and pulls the trigger using his toe. This breaks the chain. He then steps out of the truck, leaving the shoe but bringing the rifle. He stops, remembering Catherine is still in the vehicle as a hostage. He opens the front door and searches the woman for keys. He checks the breast pocket, no luck. Front right pockets, nothing. Back pockets, bingo. He brings out the key and uncuffs Catherine. The both step out of the vehicle and the man looks to the back. "K-9, all clear."
He hears a small robotic voice from the other side, "Yes, master."
The man freezes as he hears a gun being cocked. "Freeze!" yells the Torchwood soldier behind them. This causes Catherine to jump in surprise, and, subsequently, causes the man to fire. The bullet pierces her spine, penetrates the lung, and exits through her breastbone. The man shouts in surprise and anger. Within a split second he points his own rifle at the Torchwood soldier and fires, hitting him in the nose. The soldier drops, already dead, but the man is not finished.
He steps across to the front of the truck, smacking the woman in the face to make her conscious once again. She stares at the rifle firmly gripped in his hands, and looks up to see the expression of hate in his eyes. "I thought the Doctor didn't kill people." She says in a near whisper, hoping to be spared from the fate staring back at her.
He raises the gun in his hands and points it at the woman, finger gently rubbing the trigger. "I'm not the Doctor." The shot is fired, she is now another casualty of that which is hidden from public. The man drops the rifle and approaches Catherine's still breathing body behind the truck. "Please forgive me."
She just stares at him, acting nearly oblivious to her close demise as he crouches beside her. "What is that thing they wanted anyways?"
The man looks at her meaningfully, thinking about the others he's seen die, all of them died with purpose, but she was going to die in lost potential, oh so much potential. "It's my TARDIS, it's a space ship."
"Can I go with you?" She says, smiling.
The man falsely smiles back to keep her happy, a single tear leaves his eye. "Sure, yeah, yeah of course you can. We'll go out for the best coffee in the galaxy."
She laughs, coughing up a small amount of blood. "Actually I prefer tea."
She stays quiet, if anyone watched at a distance they would think her already dead, but she speaks once again. "I'm not going to live, am I?"
A short pause, "Do you trust me?" asks the man.
"I just met y…"
"Do you trust me?"
The man leans over, "You humans have a phrase called 'kissing it better.' Little do you know it's because of our people." He places his lips gently on the wound, a gentle blue light heals the wound entirely shut. Catherine sits up and gasps, able to breathe properly once again, she quickly turns to the man and hugs him, staining his already damaged green dress shirt with her blood. He then holds her at arm's length, "Now let's go before I have to do that a second time today." He stands, leaving his arm out to pull up the girl. They then open the back of the truck together, he steps up before once again pulling up Catherine. He then pushes into the air, opening a door. They step inside and Catherine lays witness to a large room, the design and size reminiscent of a classic church.
"No way." She exclaims.
"I know, it's wonderful, isn't it?"
"You think so? This is only one tenth of the main floor." Replies the man
"And the other floors?"
"Haven't seen them yet."
A small puzzlement overcomes her, "You don't know all of your ship?"
"Hey, I got my license for this baby seven years ago, it takes a while, okay?"
"Seven years? You don't look like you've been driving for seven years, you look, my age."
"That's because humans age faster." Says the man, walking up to the controls to his ship.
"So then how old are you?"
"I am 167."
"Wow." Catherine says in surprise.
"Is something wrong?"
"I've heard of liking guys older than you before but…"
The man replies quickly, "You like me?"
The girl quiets down from shyness, "Just an observation."
The man pauses briefly, looking at Catherine. "Right. So where to?"
"I don't know, any suggestions?"
The man vaguely points at his console. "You see that lever right there?"
"Pull it, then press the large green button."
Catherine reaches at the console and pulls the instructed lever. "…I can't find the green button."
"Hmm? Oh, right, regeneration. It'll be blue now. Like my color, so I guess I'm Artist Blue." He leans over and presses the button.
And without a noise the TARDIS is whisked away through time and space, nobody knows where it will go, but wherever it is, there's bound to be adventure.