SUNDAY, April 14, 1912 (cont'd)
and Murdoch emerged out onto the deck, the water only a few feet away and rising
fast. They struggled to keep their balance as the deck continued to tilt and
screaming people shoved their way past in a vain effort to stay ahead of the
on!" she shouted to Murdoch, trying with some difficulty to make herself
heard over the deafening roar of the doomed passengers and ship. "We
haven't got much time. Stay close to me, whatever you do!"
nodded that he understood and together they made their way precariously across
the sloping deck. They had emerged on the opposite side of the ship from where
she had left her time capsule and so had to make their way around the back part
of the deck to reach it. But passengers and crew, in a frantic attempt to
prolong the inevitable, were clogging up every possible route. Finally, Mika led
them through the aft Grand Staircase entrance and through to the other side.
Finally, they were within reach of the TARDIS and safety.
Mika's hearts stopped at the sight that greeted them: a group of men were
surrounding the structure, trying to tip it overboard. Apparently, they thought
it would float and provide a means of rescue for some of them. Mika knew that
the TARDIS was much too heavy and would sink to the bottom like a rock, leaving
them stranded with the rest of the unfortunate souls.
she cried desperately, pointing at the men, "we have to stop them! That's
our only way off!"
he did not fully understand what she was talking about, he could see the panic
in her face. Immediately, he sprang into action and began pulling people from
around the small building. He managed to thin the crowd out a bit, but it was
too little too late and the TARDIS began to rock back and forth, threatening to
fall over the edge. Mika joined in the action as well, grabbing first one man
and then another, shoving them aside and screaming for them to stop.
one fellow, one of the ship's stokers who had apparently had his fill of
officers' orders, grabbed Murdoch by the collar and punched him in the jaw,
sending him flying over the rail and down into the icy water below. Mika saw
this and flew at the man, grabbing him by the arm and kneeing him in the
stomach. She peered over the rail and searched for Murdoch. At first, she saw no
sign of him amid the thrashing people already in the water. Then she spotted
him, floating lifelessly a few yards from the ship. She considered her options
for a split-second then turned back to the TARDIS. Just then, the dying Titanic
gave a sickening lurch and rolled slightly to starboard, completing the task the
men had begun, sending the time capsule overboard. Mika watched in horror as it
instantly sank beneath the waves.
course of action now having been decided for her, Mika shoved everyone aside and
pulled off her coat. Several of the men froze in shock and amazement at the
sight of Mika in her skintight suit. Ignoring them, she checked the controls at
her wrist to make sure that the thermal regulator was set at maximum. Then,
taking a deep breath, she dove into the freezing ocean below.
Doctor, meanwhile, had rushed out onto the deck just in time to see the TARDIS
tip overboard. He tried to shout to Mika as she prepared to dive in after it,
but could not make himself heard over the surrounding pandemonium. He uttered an
epithet in some obscure, forgotten language and hurried back the way he had
struggled to overcome the initial shock of hitting the frigid water in spite of
her protective clothing. When she had sufficiently recovered her orientation,
she headed for Murdoch's still form floating nearby.
she reached him, she first checked for a pulse. Luckily, he was floating
face-up. He was still alive, just unconscious. Behind them, the ship continued
it's death throes. The eerie moaning from the collapsing bulkheads as the mighty
creature broke apart sent shivers down Mika's spine. She acted quickly, knowing
there were only moments left.
she grabbed him and shook him trying to bring him around. "Will, come
eyelids fluttered and he began to panic as he remembered where he was and what
what happened? Your ship?" he stammered.
mind that, it's on the bottom of the ocean by now. Come on, we have to swim away
from here or when this thing goes under, it'll take us right along with
nodded and the two of them began to swim as fast as they could away from the
ship. Once clear of most of the poor souls thrashing about in the water, Mika
surveyed her surroundings as best as she could. The moonless night made it
difficult to see very far, but she thought she could just make out an object
floating some way off in the distance. It looked to be of considerable size, so
she decided to head in that direction.
on, Will," she called to the seaman, now beginning to show signs of fatigue
and exposure. "There's something floating just up ahead. I think we may be
safe if we can reach it."
was lagging far behind and slowing with every passing minute. He looked to where
the Time Lord was indicating. He could not see anything, but trusted her
d...don't think I can make it. You g...go on ahead. I'll just rest here f...for
a moment," he called back, his teeth chattering so hard he could barely
swam back to him. "Nonsense," she told him. "Come on, put your
arms around my neck. I'm not leaving you here. Not after having come this
exhausted and cold to argue, he did as he was told and Mika towed him towards
the dark object looming ahead. The progress was slow and tiring, even for Mika's
extraordinary strength. She could feel his body shivering almost convulsively
and knew that she had to get him out of the freezing water quickly or he would
last, they reached what turned out to be a huge, flat sheet of ice, presumably
broken off from the ice floes that lay only a few miles ahead. She found a
suitable spot and helped to push Murdoch's weakening form up onto its surface
where he lay still, too exhausted to move. Mika then hauled herself out of the
water and sat gasping for breath beside him. Then she ventured a look at the
scene they had just left.
sight before her was like none she had ever seen. The whole massive stern of
Titanic was on its end, the three enormous propellers hundreds of feet in the
air. Murdoch groaned and sat up unsteadily beside her. Together they watched in
silence as the lights finally flickered and went out for the last time. They
were far enough away that the only sounds that reached their ears were those of
the dying ship as she broke in half. Then they heard the tremendous splash as
the stern fell back before flooding and sinking, itself, beneath the unforgiving
sea. The last thing they heard was a mighty sucking sound as the last trace of
the unsinkable ship disappeared forever. Then nothing. It was as if there had
never been anything there at all. Only the sound of their own breathing and of
Murdoch's chattering teeth broke the eerie silence. This caught Mika's
stood up, carefully, for the surface of the ice was slippery, and held out her
hand. "Will, give me your coat."
looked up at her questioningly, but did as he was told. He owed her too much not
to trust her.
took the heavy water-logged coat and began to wring it out. Satisfied that she
had removed as much of the water as she could, Mika then wrapped it tightly
around the First Officer's shivering, huddled form.
that should help a little."
you. But, wh...what about you?"
you worry yourself about me." She indicated the outfit she was wearing.
"This suit is waterproof and has a built-in heater. I will be just fine, as
long as the power pack holds out."
he averted his eyes as he noticed her strange clothing, or apparent lack
thereof, for the first time. Mika noted this and laughed as she sat down next to
him, hugging her knees. "You had best get used to it. I wear this sort of
thing all the time."
looked over at her and managed a small, sheepish grin. It faded quickly as he
thought about their dismal future.
do w...we do now? Your sh...ship is gone."
shrugged her shoulders and sighed. "There is really nothing we can do,
except wait. Perhaps, by some miracle, the Doctor will have realized what
happened and come rescue us. If not, we just sit here and wait for the Carpathia
to arrive." She studied the trembling form next to her. 'Either way,' she
thought to herself, 'I don't think you are going to last much longer in this
cold.' In spite of her suit, Mika, too, was beginning to feel the effects of the
frigid night air.
sat quietly, each immersed in their own thoughts. Mika tried in vain not to
think about the events of that night and what she had been forced to leave
behind. Murdoch was trying to justify his survival. He was the first to break
wh...why did you s...save me?"
looked at him questioningly. "Would you rather I hadn't?" she asked.
just...well...I d...deserved to die. I w...was in charge. It was m...my duty to
watch for ice - you even w...warned me - and I failed. I was respons...sible and
I should have g...gone down with the ship."
she exclaimed. "You did the best you could - what anyone put in your
position would have done. History will not place the blame on your head, William
McMaster Murdoch. In fact, it will be determined that there was no single cause
for what happened here this night. Just a lot of little things that added
up." She paused to study his reaction. "Titanic was doomed from the
moment they began to lay her keel. So don't go blaming yourself, all
do you hear me?" He just sat there hunched over, with his knees drawn up to
his chest, his arms tightly around them, and his head down. Mika was beginning
to worry. "Will?" She gently touched his arm.
he raised his head and brought his eyes to meet hers. A single tear crept down
his already moist cheek. Embarrassed, he wiped it away and feebly tried to
least now I w...won't die alone," he said feebly.
sighed and shook her head. Then she put her arms about him and drew him close.
Will, you are not going to die. Not if I can help it." She tenderly brushed
the hair from his forehead and gave him what she hoped was an encouraging smile.
They huddled together to conserve body heat and waited in the eerie silence. It
felt to them as if they were the only two beings left alive in the entire world.
her breath, Mika found herself uttering, "Come on, Doctor, you're our only
awoke slowly, as if from a bad dream. Her first thought was of Murdoch. He was
lying in a heap beside her. His shivering had stopped and she feared the worst.
She knew she had to do something quickly, or they would both die out here.
Mika would not die. She was a Time Lord and Time Lords did not die until they
had used all twelve of their regenerations. Of course! In order to regenerate,
her body would automatically be transported back to her TARDIS thanks to the
tiny transmat node she had had implanted several years ago after a close call on
Bandragenous VI. Knowing what she now had to do, Mika stood up and sighed. She
switched off the power supply to her suit, then knelt down beside her friend.
After having determined that he was still alive, but barely, she kissed him
gently on the forehead, then turned back to the deep, unforgiving black water.
She would have to give up a regeneration, but she still had ten more left. So
many other people had already been forced to give up their lives on this night,
what was one more?
a final glance back at Murdoch's still form, she took a deep breath and dove
into the icy blackness. The impact was like running headfirst into a wall of
ice. She instinctively fought off the unconsciousness that threatened to
envelope her, but then remembered that that was the whole point, and forced
herself to let go.
lungs felt as if they were on fire, and she began to feel light headed and
disoriented as first one of her four hearts stopped beating, and then another.
The last thing she remembered, before she lost consciousness completely, was
seeing Thomas Andrews beckoning her into his arms, tears streaming down his
awoke with a start, almost knocking over the sleeping Murdoch. Had she heard a
noise? She was not sure. She wasn't even sure where she really was anymore. A
noise behind her caused her to look behind. There was something. It had been the
sound of a TARDIS' materialization circuits that had awakened her from her icy
Murdoch into wakefulness, Mika scrambled stiffly to her feet. There was a huge
impression in the ice where their warm bodies had melted it away.
she croaked, her voice stiff with cold.
door of the battered, old blue police box creaked open and the Doctor's bright
smiling face peered out. Mika had never been more happy to see the old
Gallifreyan than she was at this moment.
Haven't you people paid your heating bill lately?" he cracked.
helped Murdoch gingerly to his feet. "Boy, are we ever glad to see
you!" she proclaimed. "My TARDIS, it..."
I know what happened," he interrupted. "I saw it all, but was too late
to help. I took the liberty of picking it up before I came here. That's what
took me so long, you know how difficult these short hops are for the old Type
was ecstatic. "Doctor, I could just kiss you. But we'd better get this poor
fellow in out of the cold. I think he's suffered long enough."
all means." The Doctor took one of Murdoch's arms and with Mika's help, the
Time Lords carried him into the warm, dry TARDIS. After seeing him to a nearby
chair and wrapping him in a dry blanket, the Doctor went off in search of some
hot cocoa for all of them. Mika glanced around the Doctor's control room. There
it was, in the corner, Mika's TARDIS: her home. She walked over to it and patted
it lovingly. Now she knew how the Doctor felt about his old Type 40. Battered
and timeworn though it was, it was all the home she had and she felt completely
lost without it. She took the key from about her neck and opened the door.
found his voice, "Mika, you're not going to leave me here are you? I want
to stay with you if I may. I owe you so much; you've managed to save my life
twice in one night."
was startled by his words. She had not even considered that he would not be
coming with her and said as much. "You don't owe me anything, Will. I know
you would have done the same for me." She cast him a sweet smile.
"Don't worry, I'll be back. I'm just going to change clothes."
inside her own TARDIS, Mika allowed herself the luxury of a hot shower, then
changed into her favourite boxers and t-shirt, covering that up with her hot
the golden glint of something on her bed caught her eye. She went over and
picked it up. It was a man's gold pocket watch, and it was vaguely familiar.
Beneath it was a notebook she had definitely seen before. She opened the pocket watch
and read the inscription. 'To T from H. All my love.'
Mika looked up to see the Doctor and Murdoch standing in the doorway. "He
asked me to give those to you."
slowly closed the pocket watch and let the chain dangle between her fingers,
feeling the cool smoothness of the metal. She sat down on the end of the bed.
already had a family, didn't he? That was the real reason he didn't want to
leave the ship. Am I right?"
Doctor leaned against the doorway, his hands in his pockets, looking at the
closed her eyes and struggled with her emotions. She was determined to not let
any of this get to her. But she was not succeeding.
fool," she snapped, finally. "There was no need to die because of
that. Didn't you tell him that he could go with you, that he didn't have to stay
with me if it was uncomfortable?"
did, but he said that since he couldn't return to his family or be with you, he
was better off staying with the only other thing he loved, his ship. There was
nothing I could do. I couldn't very well force him to leave now, could I?"
idiot," was all she would say. She looked at the watch in her hands then
let it slowly fall to the floor. Mika closed her eyes tightly and fought a
losing battle with the tears. Murdoch approached the bed and placed his hand on
sorry, Mika. Any one of the crew could have told you he was married. But no one
knew you two were so ... close."
buried her face in her hands, then balled them into fists. "Why? It's all
so senseless. Why did he lead me on like that? I feel so...so stupid."
Doctor shrugged. "Who knows? Perhaps he really did love you. Perhaps he
figured he would never see you again once the voyage was over so no harm
had picked up the notebook and was thumbing through it. He had always been
curious as to what was in it. Most of the pages were full of figures and
diagrams and notes of modifications and changes that he and the other engineers
had decided on. It was all very dry and boring and Murdoch only glanced at it
briefly. But there was one page at the very back that caught his eye. He read
the first few lines then turned to Mika.
this will make things a wee bit clearer," he said, handing the open book to
took the book and read the page he had indicated. Tears fell unchecked as Thomas
Andrews' last thoughts were revealed to her. When she was through, she sat still
as stone, allowing her hands to fall to her lap. Suddenly, she hurled the
notebook across the room where it struck the wall then fell to the floor in a
bloody bastard!" she cried. "We could have dealt with his wife and her
lover. He didn't have to die!"
turned and threw herself face down upon her bed, her body wracked with sobs. The
Doctor motioned wordlessly for Murdoch to accompany him out; to leave her alone
for awhile to sort it all out for herself.
seaman nodded and rose. But he could not bear to see Mika so upset. He thought
of all she had done for him, the selfless sacrifices she had made. He walked
around to the end of the bed and addressed his grief-ridden friend.
he began, his voice low and soft. "I know I've been nothing but a burden to
you, and that I am a poor substitute for someone you loved, but if I could
change places with Mr. Andrews right now, I would, in a heartbeat, just to see
you happy again."
looked up, her tear-filled eyes looked like amethysts at the bottom of a
champagne glass. As she considered the words of this dear, simple man, she
suddenly felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from her hearts. Romance was
all well and good, but there was no substitute for the love of a true friend.
She rose to her feet and hugged Murdoch tightly.
Will. I think things are perfectly fine just the way they are. I don't think I
could bear to be without you by my side." She looked into the mildly
surprised face of the officer. "There will be no more talk of this. All
right? The subject is closed from now on. It's only you and me, together
smiled and blushed. "You must be a sorceress, for I fear you have placed a
spell upon me as well."
looked at him in disbelief. "What are you saying, Will?"
could not quite bring himself to say it. "Never mind, it was nothing."
knew what he had meant, but decided to let him go about it in his own way, and
in his own time. After all, time was the one thing they now had plenty of.