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SUNDAY, April 14, 1912

 

This was it. The last day in the fated life of the RMS Titanic. Mika did not want to get out of bed. Maybe if she were to sleep through the whole thing, nothing would happen and they would reach New York as originally planned. But she knew that would never happen. They would strike the iceberg later that night and 1500 people would be dead by Monday morning. She shivered in spite of being buried under a mound of covers. Gradually, she noticed the incessant pounding on the door which eventually forced her to get out of bed and let Lisette in.

"Jeez," she said as she wrapped her robe about herself and headed for the door. "Keep your pantyhose on! What's all the emergency?"

"Ma'mselle, I've been knocking for nearly twenty minutes. I was worried when you failed to answer. Any longer and I would have called for a steward to let me in. Are you all right?"

"Huh?" Mika, still bleary-eyed, glanced at the clock by the bed. It was nearly eleven o'clock!

"I'm sorry, I was asleep. I was out rather late last night."

Lisette grinned knowingly as she began fussing with the bedclothes.

"With Monsieur Andrews, non?

Mika stretched her arms above her head and yawned. "If you must know . . ." she smiled, thinking of the night before and that wonderful man . . . then she frowned. She had no idea what she was going to do when the final moments came and it was time for her to leave. She wanted him to accompany her, but somehow she knew he would never willingly leave his precious ship. She shrugged it off and decided that she would try to enjoy the last few hours on board the Titanic if it killed her.

The Doctor knocked on her door adjoining the sitting room then walked in.

Mika folded her arms as she glared at the Time Lord. "Well, at least he knocked for once," she said to Lisette.

"Oui, Ma'mselle, it is an improvement," she giggled.

The Doctor chose to return this personal attack upon his good self with a slight jab of his own.

"Ah, up bright and early, I see?" he grinned impishly.

"Hmph," was all Mika replied.

"Uh, Lisette, would you excuse us for a moment? I need to speak to Mika in private."

Lisette offered a small curtsey as she exited the room. "I will just go and straighten your room, Docteur."

He shut the door quietly behind her.

"Yes?" Mika stared at him questioningly as he proceeded to perch on the end of her newly-made bed. "What is it this time?"

"What was it you had planned to do today?"

"Is this just idle curiosity or do you have some other sinister plans in mind?" The Doctor remained silent. Mika shrugged. "I don't really know. I'll tell you what I am not going to do, and that's mope about here all day. I know this is the last day Titanic will ever see above water, but I fully intend to enjoy myself and the remainder of this voyage. I rather think I will be spending the short time left with Thomas."

The Doctor could not help the look of mild surprise that crept across his face at hearing her utter these words. "Well, well, I believe this trip has not been in vain if this new attitude of yours is the result. I wonder what brought about such a change? A bit of Cupid's special brand of magic, perhaps?" he grinned.

Mika feigned innocence. "Whatever are you babbling about, Doctor?"

"That young man of yours, Mr. Andrew. The shipbuilder. I saw you two out and about together till all hours of the night."

Mika thrust her hands onto her hips in half-hearted anger. "You were spying on us, you little . . ."

"Not at all, my dear, not at all," he cut her off. "I was merely dozing in a deck chair and the two of you passed by on several occasions as you walked around the ship."

Mika fought to suppress a giggle. Surprisingly, she was in too good a mood to argue, even in jest. "Perhaps you were mistaken. Besides, we were just talking . . ."

"Flap doodle," he smiled. "You were doing a lot more than talking. Really, stopping right in front of me to . . . to smooch!"

"Oh . . . uh . . . Doctor!" she spluttered. "You should have made your presence known!"

He grinned that infuriating impish grin of his. "I wouldn't have dreamed of disturbing you. You seemed to be enjoying yourself very much."

"More like you didn't want to give yourself away, SPY!" Her grin belied her words.

"Anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying yourself, finally."

Mika's smile faded as the grim truth of the situation once again forced itself to the surface of reality. "Doctor, what am I going to do? I haven't the slightest clue. I want him to leave when we do, but I'm afraid that even if I convince him of who I really am, he will still refuse to leave his bloody ship. What do you think?"

The Doctor was silent as he pondered her question for a few moments.

"Well," he began slowly, knowing that she would not like what he was going to say. "You know you can't force him to go."

"I know that. How do you get your companions to join you?"

The Doctor laughed, fondly remembering all of his former companions. "Usually, I didn't have any choice. Most of my companions were stowaways and tagalongs."

Mika lowered her head and sat beside the Doctor on the bed. "I could always announce who I am and end up with 2200 stowaways and tagalongs . . ."

The Doctor patted her hand affectionately. "I don't think that would work, my dear. Besides, what would you do with them afterwards? How would you explain the lack of bodies to the families?"

Mika smiled sadly. "I know. It was worth a try anyway."

"I honestly don't know what to do when the time comes. But, it is my experience that these things usually sort themselves out."

"But not always the way we want them to, I know, I know." Mika sighed deeply and the Doctor could feel her despair. He desperately wished there was something he could do, but for now he could think of nothing. That reminded him of what he had wanted to speak with her about in the first place.

"Oh, I wanted to talk to you about Ismay, now . . ."

Here Mika cut him off forcefully.

"Oh no you don't, Doctor. You're not going to pawn Ismay off on me. For once in your life you are going to do your own dirty work. I am not going to be responsible for getting Ismay off the ship."

The Doctor tried to protest, but Mika would not let him.

"No. The Chancellor spoke to you, not me, and you are going to take care of Ismay. End of discussion. Capish?"

"But . . ." Her look made him stop. He knew it was pointless in even trying to argue.

"Oh, all right." He threw up his hands in mock surrender. "I know when I'm beat. I'll see to Ismay myself, but . . ."

"Good." She cut him off again. Mika knew only too well the Doctor's little games and tricks he used to get others to go along with him, and she was having none of that.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, Doctor, I have to get dressed. I promised Molly that I would walk with her today." With that Mika rose to her feet, and, after planting a friendly kiss on the little man's forehead, pulled him up and shoved him right out the door.

The rest of the day was spent alternately with Molly and Andrews. She took a walk and had lunch with Molly and some of the other ladies, then joined them in a round of bridge in which she played terribly. No matter, it was a very enjoyable afternoon anyway.

When tea-time came around, Mika found herself in the company of First Officer Murdoch, whom she had not seen since that first evening on board. For a while, anyway, she was able to completely forget the tragedy that was to take place later that night and concentrate on the charming fellow sitting across from her. Whether it was his delightful sense of humour or his gentle, easygoing attitude, Mika found herself quite entranced by Mr. Murdoch as they chatted. So captivated was she that she did not even notice when the Doctor approached their table until he had audaciously planted himself in the seat next to her and helped himself to a biscuit. She immediately apologized to Murdoch for her 'uncle's' brash behaviour, but the officer just dismissed it with a wave of his hand, and even offered to pour the Doctor a cup of tea which he accepted rather graciously. Murdoch then made apologies of his own for having to part company. He wanted to catch a little sleep before he went on bridge duty at 10:00 that night. Mika smiled wistfully as she watched him leave, only now remembering the vision she had had regarding his tragic end.

The Doctor banged the teapot down onto the table loudly to drag her out of her reverie.

"So, what devious thoughts are running through that clever mind of yours, hmmm?" he asked, his mouth full of Scottish shortbread.

Mika looked at the Time Lord as if seeing him for the first time. He was sitting there next to her, a biscuit in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, with crumbs on his waistcoat and a ridiculous grin on his face.

"Really, Doctor," she said as she brushed the crumbs away with her napkin, "I don't know about you sometimes."

"What?" he proclaimed innocently.

She shook her head and laughed. "Nothing, Doctor, nothing."

He sipped his tea noisily. "So, I thought you were seeing that Andrews chap?"

She looked at him puzzled, "Well, I am, sort of. Why?"

"Oh, it's just that you seemed rather swept away by that young man that just left, Officer Murdoch, was it?" The Doctor went to drink from his cup, and, finding it empty, poured out what was left in the teapot. When this, too, was empty, he removed the lid and tried to peer inside, as if he did not quite believe that it was completely empty. Having finally satisfied his curiosity, he replaced the lid and set the teapot back down on the table. Then he began to make a big show of adding cream and sugar to the half cup of tea he had poured.

Mika ignored his comment, filing it away for later argument, and watched the Doctor's performance with growing annoyance. She knew what he was trying to do. He was trying to unnerve her enough to give in to any request he might have, such as talking to Bruce Ismay.

"I know what you're doing, Doctor, and it won't work. I am not going to talk to Ismay and that's final."

He looked at her in feigned dismay. "I'm shocked that you think that I would try to do such a thing. I would never ask you to do my job. Unless you really wanted to . . ."

She shook her head and rose from the table. "You never give up do you?" She laughed softly, her humour still not broken. "I'll see you at dinner then?" She smiled, then bent down and kissed him fondly on the forehead. "As for Mr. Murdoch," she said quietly in his ear, "he's just a very charming fellow whose company I find most enjoyable. Spy!"

The Doctor watched her leave, wondering just what was going on in that mind of hers. He could always tell when she was plotting something. He just hoped that whatever it was would not cause him too much trouble.

The Doctor was correct in his interpretation of Mika's intentions -- she was indeed planning something. After she left the Doctor, she wandered about the ship aimlessly, absorbed in thought, turning the vision of Murdoch's death over and over in her mind. He would die when the Titanic sank, there were no two ways around this fact. But she decided that she would be damned if she were going to stand by helplessly while such a charming fellow took his own life like that. Thus was Mika's plot: to be present at the appropriate time and prevent it from happening. Then she would give him the chance to join her when she departed in her TARDIS. She even considered telling him in advance who she really was and offering him the opportunity to go along then, perhaps even avoiding the whole suicide thing altogether. She had entertained the thought of using this approach with Andrews as well, but somehow she just knew he would never believe her until it was too late. But Murdoch, on the other hand, just might.

Mika concentrated hard and tried to remember as much of Murdoch's future as she could, just in case he did not believe her either. That way she could be sure that she was not too late to do any good.

So absorbed was she in her thoughts, that Mika once again found herself in a head-on collision with a fellow passenger.

"Oh, I do beg your pardon, Miss," the gentleman began. Then he realized who she was. "Oh, it's you," he scowled.

"I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Ismay," Mika returned. She decided that she would try to be as amiable as possible. Perhaps the Doctor had been right after all and she had been a little hasty in her judgment of the man. She was willing to give him a second chance . . . if only he would let her.

"Hmmmph," was all he replied.

"Please, Mr. Ismay, I'd like to apologize for my behaviour. It was most unkind and unfair of me. Sometimes, I just get in those moods."

Ismay's features softened somewhat as he listened to her words. It finally took the most charming smile she could manage to convince him that she, too, was not really that bad a person.

"I accept your apology, Miss Smith," he said at last.

"Friends?" she extended her hand, which, after only a brief hesitation, he shook in return.

"Friends."

"Good," she smiled in relief. "And please, call me 'Mika'."

"Very well, Miss . . . erm, Mika. Now if you'll excuse me, I really must be going."

"Oh, I'm sorry to have kept you, Mr. Ismay. Good bye."

"Good bye." With that, he nodded and left quickly. As she watched him leave, Mika wondered just how the Doctor was going to convince that man to leave the ship when the time came. Ismay just seemed so stubborn. 'Oh well,' she thought, 'that's the Doctor's problem not mine.' Then she noticed her surroundings and realized that she had absolutely no idea where she was. "I really must pay more attention to where I am going!" she said aloud to herself.

******

Later that evening, Andrews joined Mika for a quiet dinner in the Cafe Parisienne, where, much to Mika's dismay, he spoke light-heartedly of his plans for the future once the voyage was over. It was all she could do to keep herself from blurting out everything. This was only the first time tonight that her hearts would break. She just smiled and nodded and remained relatively quiet. She barely touched her food, exquisite though it was, so disturbed was she by his words. She did, however, manage to control her feelings. When they were finished, Andrews apologized for having to leave: he had promised to meet with the Captain after dinner. But he promised that he would be back before long. He then escorted Mika back to her cabin, kissing her tenderly on the cheek as he left her standing in front of her door.

Mika watched him go, a lump forming in the pit of her stomach. But instead of going into her stateroom, Mika turned back down the corridor and made her way stealthily to the bridge. There she found First Officer Murdoch engaged in conversation with two fellow officers before officially reporting for duty.

Mika stood quietly in the shadows until they had finished, and Murdoch caught sight of her.

"Why, Mika, my dear," he exclaimed, "what in heaven's name are you doing out here and with no coat on? You'll catch your death like that."

She waved him off. "I'll be fine. Where I come from is much colder than this. See?" she took his hands in hers, which he found surprisingly warm. "My hands aren't even cool. But yours are freezing." She smiled as Murdoch, blushing slightly from her touch, pulled his hands away and rubbed them together to warm them.

"But, still, you should not be up here."

"I just wanted to speak to you for a moment, Will."

Her use of his Christian name got his attention. He looked down at her pale lavender chiffon dress blowing softly in the ship's breeze. In the faint starlight she looked to him like a beautiful spirit from another world, or even an angel.

"Are you sure you're not cold?" he asked, his breath visible in the frigid air.

Mika smiled and laughed softly. "I assure you, I am fine. The world I come from is much colder than this on the warmest days."

Murdoch was puzzled by her words. "World?"

"Yes, that's part of what I wanted to talk to you about. I wanted to tell you the truth about who I really am, where I come from and why I'm here." She paused briefly. "And to warn you about tonight."

Murdoch chuckled sceptically. "Oh, I see. Did you see danger lurking in your tea leaves?"

Mika gave him her most deadpan expression laced with mild annoyance. "I'm serious, Will. Don't be so closed-minded."

He forced the grin from his face. He did not wish to offend the young lady - he liked her very much - but of course he thought she was talking nonsense.

"I am sorry, Mika. Do go on."

Against her better judgment and despite her growing doubt as to the wisdom of her confession, she pressed on.

She drew a deep, frosty breath. "It's just that, well, I just wanted to warn you to keep a particularly close eye out for ice tonight."

Murdoch was puzzled. "We have received a few radiograms warning of ice up ahead, but I don't think it is anything to be alarmed about."

"Trust me, it is."

"What makes you so certain?"

"Because I know what is going to happen."

"Oh, I see, you are a fortune teller."

"No, I am a time traveller."

Murdoch failed to contain his laughter. "Do you honestly expect me to believe that? Ha, ha, ha! Look, I appreciate your little joke, but I really must return to my duties."

"This is no joke, Will." Mika forced herself to be patient. She could hardly expect a human of such a primitive society to accept the concept of time travel so readily and she said as much to Murdoch. "The Doctor and I are travellers in time and space. I have been to the past and the future of this quaint little planet, and I assure you that this ship is in grave danger."

Something about Mika's demeanour forced the First Officer to consider her words. But, no, it was all just too fantastic for him to believe. Obviously, she was having him on. But, so as not to offend the lady, he decided to play along.

"All right, I promise to keep a careful look out." He took her gently by the elbow and began escorting her towards the exit to the bridge. "Now, you really must go back down below. If the Captain catches you here, we'll both be in big trouble. Run along and get in out of the cold, there's a good lass. I'll come to see you tomorrow perhaps, hmm?"

Mika's eyes caught his and seemed to bore right through him to the very depths of his soul. He found himself almost believing her, but it was simply impossible, right? Then Mika shook her head and turned to go. After a few steps, she paused and turned back to the officer.

"I'm sorry, Will, but you have no more tomorrows."

And with that, she turned and left. Murdoch watched her leave with a growing sense of fear. What if she were right? What if she really was telling the truth? He returned to his watch duty. He drew his wool coat tighter about himself as a violent shiver ran down his spine -- a shiver that had nothing to do with the cold.

****

Mika stomped her way back to her stateroom, more angry with herself than anything. She should have realized how foolish she would sound in a time when even airborne machines were still in their infancy. She sighed and decided that she would just have to try to be present when Murdoch's time came.

When she reached her room, Mika found a slip of paper stuffed beneath the door. She picked it up and read it, already guessing who had left it. It was from Andrews. He wrote that he was sorry to have missed her, but if it was not too late when she read the note, she could come to his room, cabin A26.

Mika opened the door to the suite and looked about for any sign of the Doctor. Finding none, she checked the clock on the mantle for the time. Eleven o'clock. She was beginning to run out of time. Leaving the note on the coffee table, she went into her bedroom and switched on the light. She called to Lisette to make sure the maid was not around, then, taking the key from around her neck, entered her TARDIS. Here she changed clothes, foregoing the period costume for a more practical suit of Space Fleet issue body armour. What looked like nothing more than a matte black skintight cat suit, was actually the best in personal battle protection. The armour was lightweight, formfitting, bulletproof, temperature-regulated, and, most importantly, watertight. She then pulled on a pair of knee-high armoured space boots and a long, heavy woolen coat to conceal it all.

When her transformation was complete, she looked and felt more like her old self. Pulling her hair back tightly into a ponytail, Mika then made her way to the control room and, finding that her controls were no longer locked, began setting coordinates. Through with this task, she went back out into her stateroom and made on last look around to make sure she had not left anything behind. Satisfied, she reentered the TARDIS and dematerialized.

Before long, a whining, grinding sound could be heard near the aft end of the starboard promenade deck. When it ceased there now stood what looked like a very small storage building in the style of the rest of the ship. The door in the side opened a crack and Mika's head poked through. She quickly surveyed her surroundings, and finding no one around, stepped out onto the deck. She carefully pulled the door to the TARDIS to, noting somewhat concernedly that she had materialized precariously near the ship's edge. No matter, she did not plan to leave it there long.

Continuously keeping one eye open for any sign of the Doctor, Mika made her way hurriedly through the interior of A Deck, looking for cabin A26. She knew that this was one of the last minute additions that Ismay had ordered made before the Titanic's first voyage. She soon found it: the second cabin on the left just past the forward Grand Staircase. Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door. After waiting a few moments with no answer, she knocked a little harder. The door to the first cabin opened and one of Andrews' fellow engineers stuck his head out to see what was going on. Mika shot him a warning glance and continued to knock.

"Thomas," she called out, "it's me, Mika. I need to talk to you. Please let me in."

Finally, the door opened. "Mika, how good to see you, please come in." He stepped aside to allow her through, casting a dismissive glance at his colleague who was by now very curious. Andrews then followed her inside, closing the door behind him.

"I'm very sorry for leaving you standing out there, but I was working on my notes and must have dozed off."

"That's quite all right," she said distractedly. She turned to look at the clock on the table. Eleven twenty-five. Almost no time left.

"Mika, there's something I feel I ought to tell you," Andrews started to say, but thought better of it when he noticed that she was paying no attention to him. She just stood there, transfixed by the clock. He could sense the urgent panic that emanated from the Time Lord. He began to worry.

"Thomas," she began, "there's something I have to tell you, and you're not ging to like it."

"Mika, what is it? What is wrong?"

She looked at his handsome face, now clouded with concern. She had a million things to say and only fifteen minutes to say them. Yet no words would come out. Finally, she just rushed up to him and hugged him tightly.

"Oh, Thomas," she said at last. "You do love me, don't you?"

He hesitated slightly, but it went unnoticed by Mika. "Of course, my dear, of course I do. But what's this all about? What has happened to cause you to be so distraught?"

She pulled away and looked back to the clock. Then she cast her gaze over the objects on the table: blueprints of the Titanic, spread out, being held down by a wine glass, half full, a cigar case, a set of calipers. His notebook was also lying open on the table, where he had been meticulously making notes on modifications he would implement when they returned to England. With a sad symbolism, she closed the notebook.

"It's not what has happened, Thomas, but what will happen."

"What are you talking about?" A glint of realization spread across his features. "Did you have another one of your visions?"

"Not exactly." She bowed her head then began to speak. "Thomas, I have a confession to make."

Before she could continue, Andrews interrupted her. "You're not married, are you?" he asked anxiously.

Mika laughed out loud. "If only it were that simple. No, I am not now nor ever have been married ('and never will be by the looks of things', she added in her mind)." She shot a glance at the time: 11:35, only five minutes left before all hell broke loose. "Look, we haven't much time. I am not Mika Smith. My name is Mikanostinocolai and I am a Time Lord: a time traveler from another planet. There is no time to explain, but I know the future and it is not very good."

Andrews was not sure whether he believed who this woman was or not, but if there was even the remotest chance of any harm befalling his ship and its passengers and crew, she had his complete attention.

"Are you telling me that something is going to happen to this ship?"

"Yes."

"But, I fail to understand, what could possibly happen?"

Mika began to grow impatient and angry. There were only seconds left.

"Several things. You humans all think you're so smart don't you? If you were, you would never allow all the things that have led up to this tragedy to happen in the first place."

"Like what? Please tell me what is going to happen?"

She ignored his plea and continued her diatribe.

"Like declaring this ship unsinkable for a start. And not having enough lifeboats for everyone on board. Using low-quality steel, traveling too fast, ignoring ice warnings from other ships. Need I go on?"

His voice dropped to barely above a whisper. "How did you know about the steel? That's what you and the Doctor were doing in the engine room. I should have guessed you were spies all along."

Mika spun around and shook her fists at him vigourously. "Damn it man, how many times do I have to tell you, we are not spies. We are travelers in time. We have been to the future and know what is to happen."

Just then, they felt a shudder. The objects on the table began to bounce slightly and the chandelier above them tinkled softly.

Now Andrews was beginning to be frightened. "What was that?"

Mika looked at the clock. 11:42. "So the reports were off by two minutes," she muttered.

"An iceberg," she said matter-of-factly. "The Titanic has struck an iceberg."

Andrews was dumb struck. This could not be happening. "And you knew this all along yet did nothing to prevent it?" It was his turn to be angry.

"You don't understand. History can only be observed, even participated in. But the course is set, there is no changing it."

He turned away, amazed and shocked at what was happening around him. He was used to a sane, ordered world. He did not know how to handle the unexpected.

"How long do we have?" he asked, dreading the answer.

"According to reports, Titanic is completely gone by 2:20 am. So, about two and a half hours."

"My God," was all he could say. "Do you realize what this means?"

Her voice was short and brusque. "Of course I know what this means. It means that 1553 people are going to lose their lives tonight and we are powerless to prevent any of it."

"But you knew! You could have warned somebody or something!"

"Even though I knew it would make no difference, I did try. Only, no one would believe me. See? History cannot be changed. Period."

The look of pain on Andrews' face told Mika that he still was not convinced.

"Thomas," she took his hands in hers and spoke gently. "Do you think I'm such a monster that I would stand by and let 2200 people suffer if there was anything I could possibly do to prevent it? Do you think I want to watch these people die?" She paused, trying to suppress the lump that was rising in her throat. Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Do you think I want to watch you die?"

He knew she spoke the truth, he just did not want to believe it. He shut his eyes and pulled her tightly to him, hugging her closely as if together they could simply disappear from this nightmare.

"What about you?" he asked, quietly.

"Don't you worry about me. I can look after myself. I'm a time traveler, remember? I have my own ship and can leave safely when the time comes."

She looked up into his dear, grief-stricken face and took a chance. "Come with me, Thomas. We can leave here together. Alive. We can travel the universe; be together forever."

He looked at her, uncertain about anything at the moment. Just then there was a rapping at the door. He pulled away from Mika and answered it. It was a steward with a message from the Captain to come to the bridge immediately. When the steward had gone, Andrews, still somewhat dazed, began to move about the room, gathering up plans and putting away instruments.

"I have to go do what I can," he said to no one in particular.

"Thomas," she grabbed his arm. He froze in his tracks. "I'm going to help too, do whatever I can to help evacuate the passengers before I leave. Just think about what I said, all right?"

Without a word, he shrugged on his overcoat and, gathering his things, stepped out into the hallway. Mika just stood there and watched him, knowing there was nothing more she could say. He walked a few paces then paused and turned for one last look at the woman he loved right now more than anything. The look in her eyes almost made him agree to leave with her right then and there. But he knew he could not. Not yet, anyway.

"I have a job to do. It is my duty to the passengers and crew who have put their trust in me and my work. I have to go."

"I know," she said simply, the sadness unmistakable in her calm, quiet voice. "I love you, Thomas. I always will. Remember that."

He just nodded, then turned and hurried away.

Mika watched him go, heaving a huge sigh. "Give me a good battle with a Dalek anytime. This emotional stuff is exhausting," she said aloud to herself. Then she noticed the passengers that had come out into the hallway in various stages of dress to investigate the shudder they had felt. Some of them were looking at her strangely.

"What are you people waiting for?" she addressed them in a loud, authoritative voice. "Go on and put your life belts on. Captain's orders. Go on!"

After the Captain's order for life belts to be donned had actually been given, Mika made her way through the growing crowd of confused passengers looking for, not only the Doctor, but Molly Brown. She found her friend near the Grand Staircase on B Deck, handing out her fur coats to people to keep them warm outside.

"Mika!" she called when she caught sight of the Time Lord. "Do you know what's going on?" she asked hurriedly. "Is it serious?"

Mika pulled Molly aside and spoke quietly, telling her what had happened. "Yes, Molly, it is very serious indeed. Make your way to the closest boat and don't hesitate. Try to get as many people to go with you as possible. But do it quietly. The last thing we want to do is start a panic."

Unbeknownst to Mika, Andrews was, at that same moment, on the other side of the crowd that surrounded them telling Rose and Cal pretty much the same thing.

Also unbeknownst to her, the Doctor was sitting in his TARDIS control room, drinking a cup of hot cocoa, while watching all the activity unfold itself before him on the scanner screen. "I know it seems cold and heartless to leave her out there all alone," he explained to nobody. "But it is for her own good." He did not sound very convinced, even to himself.

After seeing Molly and Lisette off in one of the first of the lifeboats to be launched, Mika put most of her time left on the doomed Titanic to good use, calming down hysterical passengers, both men and women, and helping them into the lifeboats. She was working towards the center of the boat deck on the starboard side where she could keep an eye on Mr. Murdoch as he bustled about doing his duty. At one point, she ran into Chief Officer Wilde while helping to unstick one of the ropes supporting a lifeboat. She was sadly impressed when, even in the midst of the horrible tragedy unfolding all around them, he still had a bright, cheery smile for her. How she truly wished she could save them all. But she was doubtful that she would be able to save even one.

It was while helping passengers into collapsible boat C that she felt someone grab her from behind and try to put her into the boat. She turned to yell at the person to stop and found herself face to face with Bruce Ismay.

"Mr. Ismay. Please let me go. I do not wish to take up needed space in the lifeboats."

But Ismay would not be put off so easily. He was a gentleman after all. "Please get in the boat, Miss Smith. It's your only chance of surviving."

Mika was actually taken aback at this man's unexpected courtesy and bravado. He had been helping wherever he could all night long. He was exhausted and freezing, clad only in pajamas and dressing gown. Please, Mr. Ismay. I insist. I have my own way off the ship. I give you my spot."

He looked at her in disbelief. "What?"

"That's right, go on, get in the boat yourself. I am giving you my spot. And, rest assured, that I will make it off safely in my own way. All right?"

At this point, Ismay was so distraught and exhausted that he was easily persuaded into just about anything. Making sure there were no other passengers to be loaded, he climbed into the boat, turning his back to the whole tragic mess for what he hoped would be forever.

Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor chuckled softly to himself at how beautifully Mika handled the whole Ismay thing. Now, he thought, comes the really difficult bit.

Mika was caught up in the rush and panic of the struggling throng of passengers when, suddenly she felt faint. The deck seemed to spin beneath her as it lurched sickeningly, catching some people off balance and tossing them overboard into the freezing water of the North Atlantic. For a moment, she was disoriented, seeming to not know where she was or what was going on. Then she steadied herself and realized that she had seen all this before . . .

"Will!" she exclaimed and began pushing and shoving her way back towards the part of the bow that was still above water. That was where her vision was to play itself out. She just desperately hoped that she would make it there in time.

Mika found him hopelessly trying to maintain order in the midst of chaos as the last boat on this side, collapsible boat A, was being loaded. Widespread panic had engulfed the entire ship and men were trying to force their way into any boat possible. The crowd around the last boat was thickening and Murdoch was waving his revolver in the air, fearing a rush.

"Women and children first! Get back, all of you! I'm warning you for the last time!" he was shouting. He fired two warning shots into the air as an exclamation point to his words. Mr. Wilde was trying to help, holding men back while helping the few remaining women forward. But one frantic man climbed upon the rigging and tried to jump Murdoch from the side. Instinctively and in self-defense, the officer turned and fired at the man, wounding him in the leg. As a result, the crowd surged forward and another man was pushed forward. Murdoch, instinctively turned and fired, taking this for another attack. The man fell dead at his feet, having been shot squarely in the chest.

Murdoch was horrified, he never meant to kill anybody; his duty was to protect the passengers not shoot them down like common criminals. The crowd around him drew back in a nervous silence. An Italian man was cradling the body of his friend in his arms and cursing Murdoch in his native language. Lapsing into a state of shock, the First Officer stepped back slowly from the stream of blood that flowed down the tilted deck towards him like an accusatory finger, pointing at its murderer. Mika watched in frozen horror as the events from her vision played out before her.

Then everything seemed to shift to slow motion as Murdoch saluted his fellow officers nearby and pointed the gun at his own head. As in a dream, Mika heard Mr. Wilde shout, "No, Will!" as Murdoch tightened his finger on the trigger. The next thing she knew, a shot rang out and time seemed to restore itself.

Mika found herself standing in front of Murdoch, his wrist in her vice-like grip, trying to wrench the gun free from his hand. The bullet had missed, but only by a hair's breadth. His frightened eyes met hers, searching for an answer. She pulled the gun from his hand and tossed it into the water. Then she pulled him aside to allow the other officers to load the boat.

"Will," she tried to focus his attention, to prevent him from going into shock. "Will, it wasn't your fault. You were frightened." His eyes began to wander. "Will, listen to me." She grabbed him by the arms and shook him. Slowly he began to register her presence.

"Mika?" he mouthed. "I..."

"I know, Will, I know. You didn't mean to, it just happened. It's all right." His eyes grew misty. Mika pulled him to her and hugged him tightly. "It's all right now. You'll be all right. I'll take good care of you, I promise."

She let go and looked at him, gently touching her hand to his cheek. "Are you all right now? Will you come with me then?" Slowly he nodded. Mika then took him by the hand and began to lead him away. Calmly, they made their way through the crowd, down to the A Deck promenade, towards her time capsule. They were almost there when she finally spotted the Doctor through the window to the first class smoking lounge. Mika immediately turned in her tracks and pushed through the door, calling after her fellow Time Lord. Murdoch, his head beginning to clear a little, had no choice but to follow her.

"Doctor!" she shouted angrily. "Just where the bloody hell have you been?! I've looked everywhere for you!"

"My dear, I've been watching you and think you are doing a wonderful job," he began, but Mika was not listening. Instead her attention was focused on the figure in the distance. The man was just standing there, by the fireplace, staring absently at the painting above the mantle.

Waving the Doctor aside, Mika approached the figure.

"Thomas? What are you doing here?"

Slowly, Andrews turned to look at Mika. "Mika? I thought you would be gone by now."

"You didn't think I would leave without you?"

"You should have. It's over. It's all over. I've failed."

"What in Rassilon's name are you going on about? Come on, we haven't much time left."

He only shook his head and remained where he was.

Mika looked at him questioningly. "But why?"

He appeared not to have heard her and fell back to staring at the painting.

It was then that Mika lost her patience. She was through playing games. "Look, you're not responsible for this. You did your best, and now it's over. Case closed. Now, come on, before it's too late!"

Still he remained motionless.

"Bloody smegging hell!" she exclaimed as she grabbed his hand and began to bodily drag him away.

Andrews' voice was soft, but it froze her in her tracks. "Mika, stop. I am not coming with you."

She let go and looked him straight in the eyes.

"I can't leave here, knowing that all these others, people who trusted me and my creation, died because of my failures. Yes, and the failures of others."

Mika folded her arms and shut her eyes, trying desperately to contain her emotions.

"But it's not your fault!" she repeated.

"But it is," he countered. Andrews approached her and took her hands in his. "You see, I could have pushed for more lifeboats, but chose not to. And, I knew about the steel. I could have put a stop to that too, but I didn't. It is my fault Mika, and I cannot leave here and continue my life in peace knowing that the souls of 1500 people will always be haunting me, their needless deaths on my shoulders. Do you understand now?"

Mika was struggling to keep her emotions in check. "Yes," she managed to whisper. "I understand, I suppose. I don't agree, but I understand."

She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. There were no tears.

"So, I guess this is good-bye, then."

"Mika, I'm sorry...."

"Right." She pulled her hands away and turned to leave.

"Wait!" he called to her. She paused, but did not turn around. "I do love you, truly I do."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," she waved her hands dismissively. "Tell it to someone who gives a damn." She continued on.

"Mika!" he called again. "Have you no heart even to bid a dead man good-bye?"

Slowly she turned, her eyes meeting his, her voice cold and distant.

"No, I do not, for you will be carrying it with you to your cowardly grave."

They stared at one another, eyes locked in a battle of duelling wills, while all around them objects succumbed to the forces of gravity as the mighty ship sank ever further beneath the unforgiving waves.

Mika spoke first. "I offer you life, yet you choose to refuse it. I've done all I can. The matter is at an end. I'm leaving now." She turned and continued on her way. "Good-bye, Thomas Andrews. It was nice while it lasted."

With that she grabbed Murdoch by the hand and hurried out of the room, the First Officer in tow. The Doctor watched in silent sorrow as Andrews merely hung his head, oblivious to the sea water that began to lap at his feet.

"Will she be all right?" he asked the Doctor.

The Time Lord put his hands in his pockets and absently traced the pattern in the carpet with the toe of his shoe. "Oh, don't you worry about Mika, she can take of herself. Her heart may be broken, but she's got three more." He looked Andrews straight in the eye. "Now, tell me the real reason you wouldn't go." 

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