Chapter Twenty

Jackie started to cut Rose out of the cocoon when the Doctor laid her at his feet but the Doctor stopped her for a moment.

I think we need to go ahead and put you both in a trance, he said to them. We sent the signal and Callisto might beam in here at any moment. We need to be prepared. So if you can free her hands so she can put them against my head, Jackie?

Jackie nodded. She carefully cut Rose's hands and arms out of the cocoon while the Doctor stood back and watched. When they were free, Rose put her hands against the sides of his head when he came back and stood over her. The Doctor told her to relax and Jackie knelt nearby and watched while Rose's eyelids slowly drooped and she fell into a peaceful sleep. The Doctor asked Jackie to keep her hands against his head and she stood and pressed Rose's hands against his head while he deepened the trance. After five minutes, he told Jackie to take her hands away and Jackie lowered her daughter's hands and put them by her side.

"Doctor, I want to stay awake," Jackie said when she stood up.

In the cocoon, the Doctor thought to her.

"No, I was thinking if you could put that strap back on me, I could tell Callisto I managed to get away and lead him back here to you," Jackie said.

The Doctor thought about that.

"It would be dangerous, Jackie," he said to her.

"Doctor, my daughter has just allowed herself to be put in a trance and become bait for this madman," she said. "She's completely helpless and yet, she trusts you so much that she did this without the slightest protest. She has faith in this plan and in you and I love that but I'm her mother and I want to make sure she comes out of this alive. If I have to risk my life and perhaps even die to ensure that, I will. My life doesn't matter as much to me as hers does."

I understand, the Doctor said, nodding. If that is your wish, I won't force you to go into a trance. I just wanted to be sure you understood the risks.

"I do and I accept them," Jackie said, nodding.

The Doctor nodded and she put her hand on his head.

"Doctor, I know we've been at odds in the past. But you and I have something in common and that's our love for Rose. I know that you'll do anything to keep her safe and that's why I'm willing to help you. She's risking her life to make this plan a success and I need to do the same."

Thank you, Jackie, the Doctor said. Thank you for helping and not just whinging about the situation.

"Well, whinging doesn't help anyone, especially not now," Jackie said.

The Doctor nodded. He told Jackie to go ahead and cut Rose out of the webbing so she could get at the strap in her pocket. Once she was free and Jackie had the strap, the Doctor gently picked Rose up and rewrapped her. This time he covered her from head to toe, making sure the webbing around her face was thinner so she could still breathe. He checked her over to make sure she was safe before picking her up again and carrying her up the webbing to the ceiling.

"Doctor, I've been thinking," Jackie said while she watched him. "Perhaps I can pretend I'm running away from here and hopefully run into Callisto. I can tell him that you might still be alive inside Rose's mind and lead him back here. That way you can ambush him."

I like that, the Doctor said as he affixed Rose to the web. However, when you lead him in here, I will be outside the room at first and that way I can block the doorway and his escape.

He finished with Rose and stared at her as she hung suspended from the webbing. Jackie swore she saw a loving look in his eyes while he gazed at her. Then he turned and came back down the webbing towards Jackie.


"Damn him," Callisto snarled as he walked into the main control room on his ship. "Cocky arsehole, I'm glad he can't die because I'll have so much fun killing him again and again."

He had just dumped Jack's body into an unoccupied cell so he could deal with him later when he woke up. Then he came into the control room to get an update on their surroundings and their situation. That's when he noticed the monitor at the front had switched on and there was a loud beeping sound coming from it and a map of Arcadia with a flashing black dot near the spot where he had transmatted the Doctor, Rose and Jackie. He hurried to it and stared at the map. It took him a moment to realize it was the homing beacon on Jackie's leg.

"Now what has the Doctor gone and done?" he muttered as he stared at it. "Well, perhaps I could force the Time Lord to pilot his TARDIS if I threatened to torture and kill his beloved Rose and his friends."

He was out of range when it came to transmatting so he decided to go back and transmat down. He figured at the very least he could collect his slave and reprogram her again. He set a course for Arcadia and entered warp speed when the course was locked.


The Doctor stood outside the room, allowing Jackie to take off the bodysuit and strap the homing device on her leg again. He was thrilled that Jackie had added to the plan but at the same time he was worried it might backfire and Rose might have to see the dead body of her mother. He was determined to protect them both with every fiber of his being.

"It's alright, Rose."

The Doctor perked up when he heard Jackie inside the room.

"You rest. The Doctor and me, we'll protect you from that nutter," she was saying.

The Doctor's heart was warmed by that. He could imagine Jackie standing there under her daughter, saying that to her while she slept. Rose couldn't hear her mother but he liked to think that perhaps deep down she could and was comforted by that. He heard Jackie calling to him, telling her she was ready and he walked back into the room and they both prepared for Callisto's arrival.

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