If someone had said to Martha that seeing Brighton one day would have thrilled her, she would never have believed it. But, after nearly a year of avoiding the Master's agents and talking about the Doctor, she was overjoyed to see the shores of England again. Because it meant that she was finally near the end of this nightmare. The horror she witnessed during this past year made her more than ready to end all this and go back to her life. She really loved the Doctor for all of the adventures that he took her on, and the sights that she never thought she'd get to see, but this year only proven to her that her first love would always be her desire to be a proper doctor.
"We're almost there. We need to be very quiet. The Master has a lot of agents snooping around here, and it's worse as we approach London. Are you sure you want to go there?" her visibly nervous escort asked while looking over his shoulder. The young man had been under order by the head of the local UNIT contingent to escort her from France to Brighton. He had been uneasy the whole trip, and would only be calm once he reached the safety of his base.
Martha sighed while looking around the desert town. "If we're going to stop the Master and all this madness, the I need to go to London." She looked at him. "You know, you weren't commanded to escort me this far. You could have given me the boat and told me where to go. Or you could have let me go alone into the city. I would have understood." That wasn't a lie. His family was a country away, and until three days ago he didn't even know her at all. Aside from her stories, she was a nobody to him.
Bolero was the name he wanted to be known as, and she didn't feel as if she knew him enough to ask for his real name. He smiled. "Someone brave enough to travel the world unarmed by herself? Was just something I needed to see for myself. Beside if I let you go alone, she'd probably kill me." He snorted while kicking at a pebble.
Martha was intrigued. "Who?"
"Me," a voice called from behind them.
Martha and Bolero spun around with Bolero raising his weapon just in case.
"At ease, soldier," the person commanded with a hint of amusement in their voice. "You can holster your weapon. Sorry to have surprised you."
Martha eyed the young woman before them. She appeared to be roughly two or three years older than her. She seemed friendly enough, with a nice smile and dark blond hair. However the habit of staying on guard when meeting a new person, regardless of if they held any sort of power or not, caused her to remain rigid and alert. "Who are you? Where did you come from?"
The woman's smile morphed into a smirk. "I was waiting for you, Martha Jones. Please feel free to call me Wolf if you want. Everyone else does." She turned to Bolero. "Good job, Captain, I will take it from here. Do you want to come with us or do you prefer to go back?"
"Thank you, Colonel. If it's alright with you, I would prefer to leave now. If I speed a little I should be back before the morning," Bolero answered after a perfect salute.
Wolf shook her head, as if she was expecting this answer. "As you wish. Have a safe return and give my respect to Ahmed will you?"
"Yes 'Ma'am" He turned to Martha and held out his hand." It was a pleasure to be your escort. Best of luck to you in your mission."
She shook his hand and smiled. "It was really nice knowing you. Be safe." Then in a surge of gratitude she hugged him. "I really hope one day you will tell me why you named yourself Bolero."
"If you survive this, I will tell you my whole life story if you want."
She released him with a small laugh. "That a promise."
"Sorry to interrupt but we have to go, it's not really safe here," Wolf reminded them with a cautious glance around her.
With a last smile and waves, the small group separated. But two seconds later Bolero turned around and shouted, "Hey Martha?"
The two woman halted and Martha raised an eyebrow
"My name is Thomas. Thomas Berger." And with a last smile he ran away, as Martha enjoyed the first real laugh she's had in a month.
They were walking in silence after seeing Bolero off. Wolf was walking without even looking everywhere except straight ahead. A sight that Martha was not accustomed; whereas she had gotten used to sleeping with 'one eye open' and always keeping to the shadows. All out of fear of being discovered by someone working for the Master or a roaming Toclafane. She still had her key but for even that wasn't comforting enough. Not with everything she witnessed. During the first few months after the Doctor sent her on this mission, she had constant nightmares of what would happen to her if they found her. And now, with her mission almost over, that fear was back almost in full force.
"So why Wolf?" Martha inquired in an attempt to break the uncomfortable silence.
She shrugged her shoulder. "That's sorta my name. But to be fair, I was more known as Bad Wolf in the very beginning." When Martha looked at her funny, she continued, "not that I'm a fan of the story or anything. It's just..." She looked into the distance with a sad face. "At first it was a joke. To remind me of something really important for me, even if that had gone to hell. But that was taken a little too seriously. So since that day it's also my code name. But it was a little too fairytale for some, so it's just Wolf. And with what's happening now, I think it's not a bad sign." She smiled at Martha. "But if you don't like it, you can still call me Colonel."
"You seem to be quite young to be colonel." Martha noted. "You're what… 25 maybe 27 at the most?"
Wolf smiled widely, her eyes taking a golden reflection with the sun. "Don't judge a book by its cover. I look younger than I am"
That surprised Martha. "Oh really? By how much?"
"Let's just say that I moisturize." Wolf snickered as if she had a private joke with herself, confusing Martha at the same time.
Martha opened her mouth to ask about the context, however Wolf suddenly announced, "Here we are." They walked through a maze of abandoned buildings, before finally entering one of the warehouses. "We'll stay here for a day. Two at most. Just some time to find a safer way to get into London?"
Martha nodded her head, temporarily distracted by the number of people in the warehouse. She hasn't seen this many people, at least a hundred by her count, in one place since Russia three months ago.
"Like you can see, we are a rather large crowd. In the scheme of things, it's really not safe, but I don't have the heart to separate anyone..." She sighs. "At least we can try to defend the maximum of people here. We do have the advantage of strength in numbers incase we get unwelcome guests."
"So you have plenty of people. Why am I here? Do you need me for medical assistance?"
"No, no we are good on that." Wolf motioned towards the little group of men and woman in brown jackets. "That's our medical support. They are the survivor of the local UNIT medical branch. Thank you though for the offer, and if we need anything we will not hesitate to ask." She then led Martha towards the back of the room.
"You were an UNIT officer before all this Master craziness?" The picture was seemingly getting clearer, yet fuzzier for Martha which each passing second. This woman was an all out mystery, and an inquisitive habit formed by her travels with the Doctor pushed her to learn more.
Wolf showed her something which could pass as a chair while taking a seat herself. "Yeah, technically I was. Well, I'm more the one sent in when everything is going pear shaped. They'll send me and a few other people wherever we're needed no matter the location. Almost like an expert in alien life if you want to see it like that. Well… not an expert like the Doctor, but we are trying to do our best. And I must insist that I'm more of a science person than a soldier." She shrugged. "Not really a fan of gun, me. But we can't afford to be too much peaceful these days." She looked at the other people in the place, some of them clearly way too young to have a gun in arms. Martha wanted clearly to ask more questions, including how she knew of the Doctor, but she was interrupted by a soldier who was frantically running towards them.
"Colonel, we have a situation!" He began. Martha made a move to let him take her seat, but he dismissed her with a gest of his hand. "The alpha team is under fire. They had an encounter with a dozen of the Master's soldiers and three Toclafane are said to be on their way. If we don't do something now, they are lost!"
"Rashtek!" Wolf shouted, at the surprise of Martha, who hadn't heard this particular insult since her travel in the market of Cashel. "Alright, tell team beta and omega to gear up and move out, we're going now!" She gave Martha an apologetic smile. "Sorry, I need to go." She looked around, visibly searching someone. "Appolo!"
A boy no more than sixteen answered as he jogged over. "I need you to take care of Martha until I come back," Wolf said quickly before taking off to finish preparations with her teams.
The young man smiled at her timidly. "So you are Martha?"
She smiled. "Yes. Martha Jones. And you?"
"I'm Apollo." He then added, "Wolf named me after she found me in a basement with my guitar."
"Nice. So everyone has a nickname here?"
"Yeah. With the Master so close, it's better that way. We are not supposed to say our real name to anyone. Wolf says that name have meaning and power. We have to hold them close."
Time passed, and the more she and Apollo talked, the more she was intrigued by Wolf. "So she's the person in charge here?"
"Oh yes! You can't find better person here!" Say Apollo with pride. "She the one who has kept us safe. Taught us things to help keep us alive."
Martha was still curious. "And you know her well?"
Apollo shook his head. "No. But then again, nobody really knows her. Some of the soldiers say they've heard this story, or that story but they never have proof. Even one that claims her to be this legendary figure. But I don't know that much, they don't really talk to me. I'm just a kid for them..." He was somber for a few seconds, like he was remembering something before suddenly smiling brightly. "But she's really nice, and sometimes she's funny, I think you'll like her alot!. She saved my life! She also protects all of us." He was quiet, looking into the distance with a look who broke Martha heart. So many lives destroyed by the Master. It was really not fair. He looked around briefly before asking the burning question on his mind. "So is it true? Wolf said that you are the one with the stories, and that you were tasked with the mission to go around telling them. Did you really travel into the stars?"
She smiled at the his hopeful expression. She could tell that he'd remember everything she was about to tell him as he spread the tale. "Yes, I am. Would you like to hear one of them now?"
When he nodded enthusiastically, Martha took a deep breath and began the story.