Chapter Two

The Doctor eased down onto his jump seat and took a rest. He'd done a bit of updating to the console and made a few minor repairs to the circuitry, taking advantage of the lull in activity while Rose visited her mother. He'd fixed a minor flaw in the stabilizers and checked that the rift energy was sufficient, which it was, before taking a break. But after ten minutes, he began to feel lonely. Rose usually hung out with him in the console room and he usually was teasing and laughing with her while he was there. Her absence was as wide and deep as a black hole and more than once, she wished that Rose didn't feel the urge to go home so much. Most of the people he traveled with had cut ties while they were with him, figuring they could resume their lives when they got back. He hated feeling selfish but he loved that Rose adored him and wanted to be with him. Besides, Jackie wasn't one of his favorite people and she made him feel unwelcome whenever he stopped by her flat. He wondered when he had ever become so lonely and so needy of another person. He figured it was because he was getting old and because he was the last of his kind and because Rose had penetrated his hearts in a way no other human had.

Finally, he couldn't bear the silence any longer and figured putting up with Jackie was a reasonable tradeoff for being with Rose. He set a course for the Powell Estate.


The Doctor paused at the door to Jackie's flat, bracing himself for Jackie. It was only a couple of hours and he was sure Jackie would protest his returning so soon. He thought two hours was a reasonable time to spend for Rose to spend with her mother but he knew Mother had other ideas.

He knocked on the door and waited. He frowned when no one answered and he put his ear against the door, listening for any sounds inside the flat. He didn't hear anything so he knocked again, wondering if they were asleep. He waited for five minutes and when no one came to the door, he decided to wait inside. He looked around to make sure no one was watching before using his sonic to let himself in. To his surprise, the door was unlocked since he had to use the sonic again to unlock the door he locked. He opened the door and peeked inside, calling for Rose and Jackie. No one answered and he looked around before letting himself inside. He shut the door and sniffed the air. He smelled the faint aroma of tea and he saw two half drank cups of tea on the tables by the furniture. He put his finger in one. It was cold. He sucked his finger while he went to check the other rooms. They were all empty and the Doctor wondered where they went. He figured they might have gone shopping or gone on an outing but it seemed odd to him to leave their cups of tea on the tables and not wash them out before going.

He walked over to Jackie's phone and called Rose's mobile. The phone rang and rang and rang but no one answered it. Now the Doctor felt red flags going off in his mind. He knew her mobile screen read out his name whenever he dialed her number and she always answered if it was him. Now he was really worried. He cursed himself for not learning Jackie's mobile number but he never felt he would ever have to use it.

"Where are you, Rose," he muttered to himself as he put his mobile away.


Rose and Jackie lay strapped to tables inside a spaceship. They were inside a laboratory which didn't sit well with Rose since the hooded men never told them what their intentions were. At first they protested, especially her mother until the man raised his hand and electric bolts shot out of them, shocking them both. The pain was excruciating but for Rose, it was terrible seeing her mother screaming in agony as the electricity coursed through their bodies. They both shut up after that and did what the hooded men wanted. They led them here and strapped them down to a couple of padded tables and left. Rose was terrified but she had been trained by the Doctor to remain calm during situations like this and keep a level head. She was the one who had to calm her mother down and reassure her that everything would be fine. She knew her mother wasn't convinced and to be honest, neither was she but what else could she do. They needed to keep calm and think if they were going to escape this alive.

It was while they were on the table that Rose's mobile rang in her trouser pocket. She knew who it was and she fought the straps that held her wrists, willing them to break so she could get to her phone and let the Doctor know where she was. The straps held fast and Rose muttered a curse as she relaxed her arms. Her spirits sank when the phone stopped ringing and didn't start again.

"You better turn that off when you get your arms free," Jackie said softly to her while she lay on the table beside her. "If that rings again, they might take it from you or worse."

Rose nodded.

"S'pose this sort of thing happens all the time," Jackie said to her.

"Sometimes," Rose said, staring up at the ceiling.

"Do you wait for him to come then?" Jackie said, watching her.

"Sometimes. Sometimes I free myself and escape," Rose said, looking at her. "I'm not completely useless, Mum."

"Didn't say you were," Jackie said. "But that was him, wasn't it? He tried to ring you just now?"

"I think so, yeah."

"Better turn it off then."

"I will, Mum, when I get my arms free. I can't do much at the moment."

"I know, sweetie, I'm just trying to keep calm. I haven't been through something like this before."

Rose softened her attitude and voice.

"It'll be alright, Mum," she said, trying to be reassuring.

Jackie nodded and stared at the ceiling for a moment.

"Can he track you?" she finally said, looking at her daughter.

"Track me?" Rose said.

"Yeah, he have some sort of tracking device on you so he can find you," Jackie said.

"UmI don't think so. That's why he tried to ring me," Rose said.

"Well why not?"

Rose was taken aback at her mother's sudden angry tone of voice.

"He cares for you? And he doesn't bother to find a way to track you apart from ringing you on your mobile. Fat lot of good that does us now!" she spat out.

"Mum, calm down please," Rose said, guessing the source of her anger was more from fear than anger at the Doctor.

"I told him to protect you," Jackie said. "I made him promise so why doesn't he do what I ask and make sure he can track you when you get in trouble like this? I thought he cared for you, Rose."

"He does, Mum," Rose said.

"So why hasn't he come for you then?" Jackie said.

"He will. Just calm down."

"Rose, you're far too nave and trusting. He puts your life in danger and you still think he's the greatest thing in the universe. What if this lot cripples you or kills you? What if he doesn't get here in time? What then?"

"Why are we here?" Rose countered. "Why were we taken? We're not important to these aliens, except for the Doctor. They want to hold us hostage and make him come to us. They're not gonna hurt us because if they do, they'll have the Oncoming Storm to deal with and he'll rip the universe apart to get to us."

"That's what you think but is that reality?"

"I don't know, Mum," Rose said with a frustrated sigh. "I know that he's always been here for me before and he's never let me down. I have to believe that he'll come and if not, we'll find a way to escape this place."

Jackie shook her head, hating her daughter's logic. She figured one day this logic would get her killed but she wasn't willing to argue with her about it since she was also holding onto the tenuous hope that the Doctor would appear. Instead, the taller of the hooded figures appeared twenty minutes later. Jackie observed her daughter. She had a defiant look on her face as the figure stood over her and Jackie was proud of her daughter for not showing fear or begging for her life. Despite her reservations about her daughter traveling with the Doctor, she could see that there had been some positive changes in her daughter. Not only was she more confident and courageous but she'd grown up and become more mature and responsible. She observed her daughter and the man staring at one another.

"What do you want?" Rose finally said, again without a trace of fear.

"The Doctor on his knees in front of me."

"P'eh, good luck with that, mate," Rose said.

"Oh, I think he will bow before me, once he sees what I've done to you and your mother."

"Leave my mother out of this," Rose spat at him while Jackie watched her with silent pride. "She has nothing to do with the Doctor or me."

"How very brave, you have learned much from him," the man said. "But I'm afraid that your mother must also pay the price for being his ally."

"No, just leave her alone, please," Rose said.

"No, leave Rose alone," Jackie finally said.

"Ah, the love between mother and daughter," the man said. "So touching. But I'm afraid I cannot fulfil your requests. You, Rose Tyler, will come with me first. Do anything to resist or escape and your mother will be tortured until she's near death. Do you understand?"

"Yes," Rose said. "I won't resist or try to escape."

"Very good," the man said. "I will unstrap you and you will come with me."

"Rose," Jackie said, her heart filled with fear for her daughter.

"I'll be alright, Mum," Rose said as the man started to unstrap her.

Jackie watched while the man finished unstrapping her. Rose sat up, hopped off the table and she watched while Rose walked out of the room with the man.

"Damn you, Doctor. Damn you to Hell," Jackie growled under her breath when the room was empty.

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