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"The Most Important Step"

Title: "The Most Important Step
Fandom(s): Doctor Who
Characters: Harriet Jones
Pairing(s): None
Rating: G
Genre: Adventure
Word Count: 413

Summary: The one thing that scared you wasn't the aliens.

Notes: Inspired by bas_math_girl's episode prompt, "Journey's End". This doesn't technically count, as this is about "The Stolen Earth", so I'm still working on the prompt, but this is what came to mind first.

"I've got the protocols right here." Harriet brandished the sheaf of papers at the young man in the trim black suit. "This will be the first and likely the last test of the subwave network."

"We haven't much time." Suppressing his nervous fidget, he glanced out of the window at the street that was thankfully still clear of invaders. "It all depends on you. Good luck, ma'am." Though he wasn't a soldier, he snapped a respectful salute, then stepped toward the front door.

"Hold on, Michael, if you please. I need you to execute the first step."

Turning back, he frowned in confusion. "Ma'am? The protocols were designed to be executed by one person, in case there was only one left to do them."

"Oh, I added this step. It's the first one, the most important one, and I can't do it alone. I'll be right back." Dropping the papers next to the subwave terminal, Harriet jogged out into the hallway. Michael heard a knock, then the opening of a door, followed by her muffled voice. After a minute, Harriet reappeared in the doorway, leading an older woman gently by the arm. "Yes, Mum, Mr. Copper asked specifically for you. He had such a lovely time when we visited last month, and he was hoping that you'd stay a while to help him with his garden. I'll send your things over later today."

"Oh, all right," the woman replied, a bit testily. "But I don't see why it's such a rush."

"He says his hydrangeas are in a right sorry state." She glanced up at Michael. "You'll take her up there with all speed, won't you, Michael?"

Swallowing at the lump in his throat, he put forward an eager, polite front. "Of course, ma'am."

"Thank you." Harriet hugged her mother and planted a kiss on her cheek. "Be safe. And behave yourself, Mum."

"Oh, stop fussing about me!" She swatted at her daughter, then smiled at her as she took Michael's proffered arm. "Don't work too hard, Harriet." She shook her head. "Always so serious. It'll be the death of you."

"I'll be fine, Mum." Returning her smile, Harriet nodded at Michael, who led the old woman out.

Satisfied, Harriet inhaled deeply, then slipped into the chair in front of the subwave terminal. Glancing at the first paper, she started mumbling to herself as she reached down to flip the switch on the machinery under the desk. "Step two, turn on backup generator..."


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, tending to her mum. Alright, then...

Her mum was right, it was the death of her. Harriet Jones was a very intriguing character on her own. She had to make her own difficult decisions.
Jul. 28th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
Harriet Jones is one of my favorite characters in all of DW. One of the strongest women in the entire series, if not the strongest.
Jul. 28th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, she was, she stood up to the Doctor, even at the cost of her career, to make sure that Earth was protected. The Doctor may not always be there to protect Earth, so someone has to make really sure that Earth can take care of itself, and that's what she did, again and again. She gave her life to protect Earth.
Jul. 28th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. They characterized her so well, from the very start. She starts by faithfully serving her small part of Britain, and then when the alien crisis starts, she steps up and makes the decision about what to do, taking responsibility for the choice. Then she leads again when the Sycorax appear, and I think the very telling thing is that she didn't want to destroy them, but she again made that decision to protect what was important to her, and stood by it in the face of the Doctor's wrath. And then it turns out that she's been working to protect the Earth all along, and rather than building weapons, she chose to create a communication device to call the Doctor when the Earth needed him. I just love her!
Jul. 28th, 2015 08:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was just lovely! And sad. :)
Jul. 31st, 2015 12:32 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Jul. 28th, 2015 11:26 pm (UTC)
Awww, you've made me go all teary-eyed over Harriet's demise. *sniffs* This is lovely and sets exactly the right tone.
Jul. 31st, 2015 12:33 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it worked. Harriet is one of my favorite DW characters and I've always wanted to work with her.
Aug. 14th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
Lovely little scene! Harriet was so brave!!
Aug. 14th, 2015 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Harriet was definitely a brave and wonderful woman.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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