A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
Tenth Doctor
A Secret Gate by samfeasor [Reviews - 2] Printer
Author's Notes:
The title is one of the walking songs in The Lord of the Rings. Specifically the lyrics: "Still round the corner there may wait/A new road or a secret gate".

One day, Jenny wakes up and (after her morning ritual of bed making, tooth brushing, face inspecting, sock changing, and exercise) sits at her shuttle's computer and enters in a two word search query.

She doesn't know where the concept for this query came from (she has been having odd dreams lately, but then dreams are meant to be odd, aren't they?). She doesn't have the slightest idea of what she'll find. All she knows is that she woke up with a very strange and compelling need to look up these two words (which she knows form a name) and see what there is to see.

"Query," she intones. The computer flashes ready.

Jenny continues.

"Rose Tyler."

Her monitor floods with a series of pictures and articles. Jenny learns three things right away. First, Rose Tyler lived on Earth. Second, Rose Tyler lived in the twenty-first century. Third, Rose Tyler disappeared at something called Canary Wharf.

Jenny frowns. None of these are particularly useful. Oh, sure, she likes humans (what's not to like!) and she knows her dad likes Earth (Donna's from Earth, after all) and particularly the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (again, Donna's home era), but what's so special about a girl who disappeared at some bird sanctuary a million million miles away?

"Oh well," Jenny tells her computer (it doesn't respond), "I suppose I'll just have to look a bit harder."

But Jenny has things to do. She's scheduled to reach the planet Sava in just under an hour, and that doesn't leave time for idle research, no matter what she woke up thinking this morning. So she spends twenty minutes creating a complicated search algorithim for her computer to run while she's off tending to the important business of exploring a new planet.

It turns out, much to Jenny's delight, that Sava has a lot worth exploring. Like a warzone, wherein three separate factions of the same religion (!) were fighting over the birthplace of their very-long-dead founder. Jenny accidentally suggested that maybe he could have been born in all three possible spots, since he was, after all, a very powerful and mystical man. The suggestion, to be fair, came in the form of a question, and Jenny felt very terrible afterwards that they had taken her seriously and literally.

But it did stop the fighting.

By the time she returned to her shuttle, she'd almost completely forgotten the early morning query she had made nearly a week before. Luckily, her computer was there to remind her. A small flashing light indicated that the search had been completed, and the monitor further informed her that it had taken approximately 1.4 seconds (leaving 552727 seconds for her computer to wait before Jenny had returned).

"Display results of search algorithm, please," Jenny told her computer. She lowered herself into her chair and set the auto-launch sequence and then leaned over to read what her computer had found.

Curiously to Jenny, especially considering she was almost positive (99.99%) that she'd seen hundreds of results pop up in her preliminary search, the results of the particular algorithm that she'd programmed were limited to one, single sentence:

Rose Tyler traveled with the Doctor.

"Oh," Jenny said to her computer.

It didn't respond.

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