Chapter Twenty Five

Everyone hurried back to the TARDIS before anything else happened. The Doctor was concerned about Pagos and Tiana. They were nowhere in sight and given the Arcadian's hatred of Anthrosis, he was afraid they were being tortured or killed while they were stuck on the planet's surface. The other distressing thing was where Callisto had gone to. He kept glancing back at his lover and his friends, checking to see if they were possessed. He didn't think Callisto would give up that easily, not while they were still alive. He stood outside the door of his TARDIS and called to his ship, telling her to do a scan to confirm it was him. He waited a moment and then smiled when he heard the door unlock.

"Thanks, old girl," he said as he opened the door and went inside.

To his relief, Pagos and Tiana were sitting on the seat by the console. They rose when everyone came inside.

"I'm glad you're okay," the Doctor said as he ran up the steps to them.

They recoiled a bit, confusion on their faces, and he remembered he was a changed man now. He explained what happened and why he regenerated and both Anthrosis were livid that Callisto had cost him a life.

"Where is that filthy Arcadian?" Pagos growled. "He must die for this!"

"I don't know where he is at the moment," the Doctor said, holding up his hands to calm him. "He left and went…into the atmosphere, as far as I know. I have to run a scan to try to pinpoint his location but he's not inside any of us. At least I don't think so," he said, looking back at his friends.

"Doctor, Mum wants to rest and have a shower and get this thing off of her," Rose said, gesturing to her mother's clothes as they came towards him. "Is that alright?"

"Yes, go ahead. Just save that mind control device once you get it off. I want to examine it more closely in the lab."

Rose nodded.

"Come on, Mum, I'll show you my room," she said, taking Jackie's hand.

"I'll have the TARDIS make Jackie a regular room and you as well," he said to the Anthrosis. "All of you have a rest while I figure out what's going on and…"

He gasped when the TARDIS suddenly went haywire and began flying on her own. He gasped again when Rose and Jackie were thrown back and Rose's head smacked into the railing on the way down, knocking her unconscious.

"Rose!" Jackie said as she landed beside her.

The Doctor held onto the railing while everyone else hit the floor and tried to find something to hang on to while the TARDIS vibrated and convulsed as it sped off to somewhere. He could see a bit of blood in Rose's hair and he knew she hit the railing hard. He had to get her to the med bay to check her out but at the moment all he could do was hold on to the railing for dear life. The TARDIS shuddered and the Doctor hoped she would be alright. Then after five minutes, everything fell still and the lights dimmed as the TARDIS landed. The Doctor got to his feet and went around the other side of the railing. Jackie was smoothing back Rose's hair and checking to see if she was still alive while the Doctor knelt down beside her.

"What happened? Why did you do that?" Jackie said to him.

"I didn't do anything, my ship just went beserk," the Doctor said.

"Is she alright?" Jack said as he and Ianto ran up to Rose.

"She's unconscious but she's still breathing. Help me get her to med bay," the Doctor said, glancing up at them. "Pagos, Tiana, follow us," he added as the Anthrosis came up beside Jack.

The Doctor, Jack and Ianto gently picked her up and everyone followed them while they carried her out of the room. When all of them were out of the room and out of earshot, Callisto's laugh echoed out of the console before he fell silent.


When they got her to the med bay, they laid her down on a padded examination table. Jackie stayed by her side and held her daughter's hand while the Doctor had the others fetch things and help him.

"No wonder you're knackered each time you come home," Jackie said, stroking Rose's cheek. "All this trauma and stress, it's a wonder you're still sane, Rose."

She stepped back and let everyone do their work. She lingered nearby, watching with a mother's worry while they checked Rose's open wound and ran tests to make sure she was alright.

"She has a concussion," the Doctor said, glancing at a scanner above the table. "Figured that but there's no swelling or excess fluid on the brain. I think she'll be fine once she wakes up. Jack, hand me the iodine so we can mend the wound. I think we might need sutures, it's a bit deep," he added, moving aside her hair to get a look at the deep cut on the back of her head.

Jackie sat down beside the Anthrosis so they could work and get what they needed without bumping into her. She glanced at the humanoid lizards, thinking it odd that she was sitting beside them as if it was a normal, everyday thing.

"So…how long have you known the Doctor?" she said, trying to ease her fears by talking to them.

"I haven't know Kel'shak long," Pagos said. "But I have great respect for him."

"I fought beside him during the Time War," Tiana said.

"Oh…" Jackie said, not really knowing what to say to that.

"He is much revered among our people," Tiana said to her. "I have much respect for him. He protected our people during the Time War."

"He is legendary," Pagos added. "I wasn't alive during the Time War but it is taught in our schools and everyone knows his name. When I was given the opportunity to come with him, I took it. He is a great warrior. Have you known him long?"

"I met him after my daughter met him," Jackie said, nodding to Rose. "She went with him without telling me and he made a mistake when he brought her back and I didn't see her for an entire year. I was furious and because of that, we got off on the wrong foot. And I haven't always been friendly towards him but now I do see what makes him great and why Rose admires him so and is willing to risk her life to be with him. Even this," she said, pointing to Rose. "She won't blame him for this; she just accepts it as the risk she takes when she travels with him. She loves him dearly."

"She is his mate?" Tiana said.

"Um…" Jackie thought about that. "They act like it but I don't know for sure. He's very secretive sometimes."

"Yes," Tiana said, nodding. "Kel'shak is a very secretive person indeed but at the same time, he is very open and friendly towards those he considers his friends."

Jackie nodded. She turned her attention back to her daughter. Ianto had stepped back while Jack helped the Doctor. Jack was holding Rose's head while he put a few stitches in the wound to close it.

"It's not as bad as I thought, only five stitches," the Doctor said to Jack. "It could have been much worse."

"What happened to the TARDIS, why did it do that?" Jack said.

"I don't know but that's the next thing on my agenda after this," the Doctor said, glancing at him.

They finished with Rose and Jack put everything away while the Doctor put a clear circular plaster over the spot on her head. Jackie stood up and walked over to him.

"I think she'll be alright," the Doctor said to her. "She just needs to rest. This plaster is better than the Earth ones; it'll protect the wound and the stitches. Other than that, we just take her to her room and let her wake up on her own. Come with me, Jackie. I'll take her to her room and you can stay with her and be with her when she wakes up. You can use her shower and the TARDIS can supply you with clothes and you can rest with her while I figure out what made my ship go berserk."

Jackie nodded. The Doctor gently gathered Rose in his arms. He asked Jack to take the Anthrosis to the guest rooms so they could rest too. Jack nodded and he and Ianto stood back and let him and Jackie walk out of the room.

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