Chapter Twenty Two

The Master grinned at Jack.

"Comfy now?" he asked him.

Jack had been strapped into a metal chair in the middle of the Master's laboratory. Leather straps held his wrists, arms, ankles, legs, chest and forehead in place. Jack glared at the Master while he gave him a gleeful look.

"You're not gonna get away with this," Jack said.

"Oh? I already have I believe," the Master said. "And that line is so cliché, come on, Harkness, think up something better. I heard that all the time from the Doctor, I don't need it from you."

"Whatever you're going to do to me, I'm going to resist it!" Jack said.

"Ooo, brave words. But I'm afraid you're going to be knocked out while I do this. I'm going to put some sedative in your veins and deliver the hypnotic suggestion subconsciously. That way you won't be able to fight it."

The Master leaned over him and grinned.

"And the best thing is, the Doctor can't kill you. Well, he can kill you but you'll just get back up again after a minute or two and carry on. The perfect assassin!"

Jack grunted as he tried to fight the straps. The Master whistled and calmly walked over to the counter to fetch the IV bag so he could turn Jack into his slave.


Rose lay down for awhile while they waited for their ride to Dover. The Doctor waited by the stairs, his hands in his pockets while Rose watched him.

"D'ya think when we get to Dover, we'll have someone waiting to take us to France?" she finally said.

"Well, we've been lucky so far and if there really is a sort of underground railroad being set up all over Europe, we might be able to catch up to Martha in no time."

"Wish there was a way to tell her we're down here so she'd try to wait."

"I know," the Doctor said as he sat down on the steps. "But on the other hand, I don't want her to stay long enough for someone to detect her. She has her perception filter and that's helping to conceal her but it's not foolproof. If she slips up and draws attention to herself she can be seen."

"And so can we," Rose said.

The Doctor nodded. He held up his hand and put his finger to his lips when they heard movement up above. Rose lay in the bed and listened to people walking on the floorboards above them.

"Alright, you lot, get to bed!" someone barked.

"Those poor people," Rose said softly. "Makes me wish Harry was up there being ordered about."

"Things'll be set right, I promise," the Doctor said softly as he looked up at the trapdoor above him.

"I said, get to bed!" the voice said. "Prisoner 606, get to bed before you're punished for insubordination!"

"Took their names away," the Doctor said softly. "Dehumanizing them."

"Get to bed, 606!" the voice bellowed.

"No!" they heard someone else say.

"Sounds like someone is tired of being ordered about," the Doctor said.

"I'm warning you, 606!"

"My name is Bill, not 606, and I'm tired of being a slave! You can't tell us what to do! You're not better than any of us!"

"Good for Bill, whoever he is," Rose said softly.

"For the last time, 606, go…to…bed!"

Rose lifted her head up when they heard sounds of a struggle and the sounds of distress from other people. They heard the sound of fist hitting flesh and a thud as someone hit the floor near the trapdoor. Rose looked at the Doctor. She could tell by the clenching of his jaw and fist that he was resisting the urge to go up and join in the fight. Rose swallowed hard when they heard the slave master cursing out Bill as he hit him repeatedly over and over. Then they heard repeated thuds like a hammer being pounded onto the wood.

"Stop, you're killing him!" they heard a woman cry out. "Leave him alone!"

Then the thudding stopped and they heard the faint crying from women as the assault ended.

"You killed him!" the woman cried out.

"Silence or you'll be next!" the slave master bellowed.

Rose clenched her teeth when the crying ceased and there was an eerie quiet above them. They heard scuffling sounds and Rose figured that was the sound of someone moving the body away. The Doctor shook his head and Rose could see him mouthing something. She guessed he was cursing the Master and she didn't blame him. She wished again she'd never listened to her friends and talked to him. It'd been nothing but chaos and disaster since. She got up from the bed and walked over to the steps. The Doctor put his arm around her when she sat down beside him and she leaned against him, guilt flooding her mind while she imagined the man taking the body out to be buried or more likely, incinerated.

"You can fix this, can't you?" she said, more to herself than to the Doctor.

"I will do everything I can with every last breath in my body," the Doctor said. "If the paradox machine is destroyed, time will reverse and Bill will not only be alive but he'll be free with no memory of ever having undergone this terrible ordeal."

Rose was comforted by that and she sat with the Doctor listening to the stillness above them while they waited for the people to come and get them.

It was nearly midnight and Rose had lain back down before the men came and was currently asleep. The Doctor was still on the steps, lost in his thoughts, when he heard a soft scratching coming from the plywood followed by a soft knock. The Doctor walked over and removed the plywood. He stepped back in shock when he saw who was there. There was a man and a woman. The man was Caucasian with pockmarked skin and a blue Mohawk. He had a nose ring in his left nostril and a lip ring on the lower lip. He was dressed all in black with block gloves on his hands and black army boots on his feet. That wasn't what shocked the Doctor. It was the woman, a very familiar looking woman who gave him a shocked look in return.

"Donna?" the Doctor said.

Donna was also dressed in black, her long hair pulled back in a ponytail. The Doctor noticed she looked thin and a bit haggard but other than that, she hadn't changed from the last time he saw her. The man beside her looked at Donna.

"You know him?" he said to Donna.

"Yeah, I do. What are you doing here?" she said to the Doctor.

"Escaping with Rose."

"Rose? You found her?" Donna said, stepping inside the room.

Rose, hearing the conversation, woke up and lifted her head.

"Are you the ones coming to take us to Dover?" she said.

"Rose is the Prime Minister's wife?" Donna said to the Doctor.

"It's a long story but she's on our side," the Doctor said as Rose got up from the bed.

"Never thought I'd see ya again. I thought something happened to ya after the Toclafane attacked and the Master took over," Donna said. "This is John, we've been moving people out of England for a month now."

"Good for you," the Doctor said proudly.

"Lost my family. Mum, dad, granddad, I was out with Nerris when they attacked and the fucking Toclafane destroyed our house, shot it to bits and…cut up…"

"I'm sorry," the Doctor said. "I will fix everything and undo what was done."

Donna nodded and smiled. John asked if they were ready and when they told him they were, he and Donna turned on his flashlight and they led them through the tunnel. John led the way and Donna hung back with the Doctor and Rose. The Doctor introduced Rose to his old friend and Donna shook her hand.

"Heard about you from him," Donna said, pointing to the Doctor. "Met him just after he lost you. He was grieving for ya. I'm glad he found you again."

Rose gave the Doctor a questioning look.

"This was part of the proper timeline," he said to her. "Donna, the Master took Rose out of her proper timeline before I ever met her. As far as I know, the original Rose is still in the other universe, this Rose doesn't know about Canary Wharf."

"Oh," Donna said, frowning. "Then how could you know her if you never met her?"

The Doctor explained about the paradox machine while they walked. John kept glancing back at them and giving them odd looks while he listened to the Doctor's story but they ignored him. By the time they reached the woods, the Doctor had brought Donna up to date with all that'd happened.

When they reached the end of the tunnel, they climbed up a metal ladder and pushed aside a fake bush make of chicken wire and leaves. Rose and Donna went up first followed by the men. John shoved the bush back over the hole and led them through the woods to a battered old lorry parked just inside the treeline. He opened up the back and the Doctor helped Rose into the back while John and Donna shone their flashlights inside. As before, there were pallets of medical supplies and Rose went in between them to the mattress behind it. The Doctor followed her and he sat down beside her.

"Go ahead and drive, I want to sit back here with my friends," they heard Donna say.

The Doctor and Rose turned on the flashlights by the bed as Donna walked to the mattress and sat down on the end of it. John closed the door and locked it.

"Shouldn't be too long," Donna said. "A couple of hours since we take some back roads to avoid suspicion. Once we're there, we have some friends waiting to row you across the channel."

"Come with us," the Doctor said. "Help us."

"You sure? I might get in your way. I'm not an alien fighter."

"Neither is Rose, especially since she never traveled with me before but she's risking her life to come with me. Please, Donna, we need all the help we can get."

"You really want me to come?" Donna said.

"I really do. I asked you before if you wanted to travel with me and I only extend that offer to people I feel are capable of fighting evil. You have nothing holding you here, come with us to China and help us find Martha."

Donna smiled.

"You have no idea how glad I am to hear you ask that. Been regretting my decision to leave you behind. You're right, with my family dead, there's nothing for me here now. There are others who help us out with the transportation so John won't be shorthanded. If you'll have me, I'll come."

The Doctor hugged her tightly.

"Welcome back, Donna Noble," he said, letting go.

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