Chapter Thirty One

The Doctor worked as quickly as he could to dismantle what the Master did to his friend, gritting his teeth in frustration when he saw all the various barriers in place to Jack's mind and the complicated conditioning.

"You put up a good fight, my friend, because the Master had to use every trick in the book to enslave you," he murmured as he studied Jack's mind. "It'll take awhile to undo all of this."

"Do we have that kind of time?"

The Doctor opened his eyes and saw Rose standing at the door. He took his fingers away and rested.

"Jack has a strong mind; the Master used just about every hypnotic method he knew to subjugate him. Not to mention, he's blocked portions of his mind. I don't know if we have that kind of time but we'll have to trust that the Master will let Jack try to bring us in first before sending anyone else."

"Do you want some tea while you work?"

The Doctor smiled and shook his head.

"No, I'll have some afterwards. I want to keep my full attention on the task at hand," he said.

"Clarice was the one who saved you," Rose said.

"I noticed that. I owe her my thanks."

"When you went to the door, she took the scissors and gave them to Donna to show she wasn't going to turn on us," Rose said.

"She's a good person. I'm glad she's trying to prove herself to us. Makes me trust her that much more."

"Me too. I'll let you work though. Just let us know if you need anything."

"I will. Thanks."

Rose smiled and left the room. The Doctor sighed and glanced at Jack before he shifted his body and put his fingers back on Jack's temples.


The Master paced back and forth in his office. It'd been a few hours since he sent Jack off to capture the Doctor and Rose and he was growing impatient. He summoned one of the Toclafane and the orb appeared just above his head.

"I want one of you to go and check on the house outside Calais to make sure that Harkness is there," he said to it.

"One of us already has. He is there, sir, with the rebels."

"Good," the Master said. "At least I know he's managed to infiltrate them."

"There were more people there besides the Doctor, Mrs. Saxon and Harkness, sir."

"Oh? Who?"

"A young woman with long, blonde hair was there."

"Oh her? That's Clarice, she owns the house," the Master said dismissively.

"There was also a woman called Donna Noble there, sir. She was part of the medical squad. She said the blonde woman was sick and she was taking care of her."

"Donna Noble? Why does that name sound so…"

Then he remembered the name. When he looked at the Doctor's datafiles, he saw a red haired woman inside the TARDIS just after the Doctor's last communication to Rose. She was called Donna Noble.

"This Donna Noble is another companion of the Doctor," the Master said. "She joined him after Rose left. She is one of his assistants."

"What do we do, sir?" the Toclafane said.

The Master drummed out the four part beat on his desk while he thought. The Toclafane drew near to his master.

"Sir?" he said.

"Thinking," the Master said testily. "I don't want to give Harkness away, at least not yet. Keep an eye on them though…discretely. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir."

The Master clenched his fist when the orb disappeared.

"So, Doctor, you're gathering your followers around you now? Well, perhaps I can find more of your beloved helpers before you can. I know several who may still be on Earth if my Toclafane haven't killed them. If I gather them up and lock them away here, perhaps I can use them and the threat of their deaths to get you to surrender yourself, Rose and Donna to me."


The Doctor rested after a couple of hours. He was nearly finished but the strain of undoing everything the Master had done to Jack was beginning to tire him and he had to take a break. He smiled when he heard the women laughing in the living room. He was glad they were all getting along so well. He was drawn by the sound of their laughter and he rose and went into the living room to rest for a moment.

"Is he alright?" Donna said when the Doctor came into the living room.

"I'm nearly finished, I just had to rest a moment because the mind control was extremely complicated and it's taking all I have just to undo it."

"We put a kettle on. It's on the stove," Rose said.

"Thank you, I will have a cuppa now," the Doctor said.

He went into the kitchen and found an extra cup for him on the kitchen island. He poured some tea and put some milk in it. He stirred it and went back into the living room.

"No soldiers knocking at the door?" the Doctor said, settling down into a chair beside Clarice.

"Nope, nothing," Donna said. "Been quiet. We've been chatting while you worked on Jack."

"I heard that. I'm glad you are becoming friends. That's what I like to see," the Doctor said.

"Me too?" Clarice said.

"You too, what?" the Doctor said to her.

"I'm a friend?" Clarice said.

"Well, Rose said you gave the scissors to Donna when I was at the door to show you weren't going to turn on us and you saved me from Jack…so yes, you're a friend."

Clarice smiled at that, happy that they were beginning to trust her now. The Doctor chatted with the women while he finished his tea. When he downed the last gulp, he excused himself and went back to work on Jack. It took him another two hours before the last barrier on Jack's mind was broken and the Doctor sat back, exhausted. He called to his friends to come into the bedroom.

"I think it's done," the Doctor said to them when they came into the room. "I got everything I could see. Jack should be himself again. I'm knackered though. The Master made sure he could be controlled, that's for damn sure. Anyway, here goes nothing…"

The Doctor put his fingertips on Jack's temples and brought him up out of his coma. He took his fingers away when Jack opened his eyes. The women tensed when Jack looked around the room. Jack sat up and looked around.

"Where am I?" he said to the Doctor. "How'd I get here?"

"Long story. But you were brainwashed by the Master to come and get us or kill us. You said your name was Assassin Delta."

Jack rolled his eyes.

"Sounds like he picked the name out of a comic book," he said. "Why does my eye hurt?"

He felt his swollen eye and groaned.

"Shit, he clocked me," Jack said. "Damn him!"

He looked at the Doctor.

"You're young again."

"Lazlabs. We went back to the lab where Lazarus had his technology and I used his machine to make myself young again."

"Good, I was tired of the grandpa look," Jack said. "And I see Blondie has a new look. I like it. Now, who are you?" he said to Clarice and Donna.

"I am Clarice, we met," Clarice said, confused.

"He wasn't himself," the Doctor said to her. "The Master created a new persona for him and it was that persona that met you. When I took that all away, the real Jack came back and that's why he doesn't remember meeting you."

"Sorry, normally I would remember a beautiful woman like you…and you," he said, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and getting up.

Clarice and Donna reintroduced themselves and Jack nodded a hello as he shook their hands. Clarice offered Jack some tea and Jack smiled as he took her up on her offer. Rose watched while Jack followed Clarice and Donna out the door before she walked over to the Doctor.

"I'm spent, took all I had to erase what the Master did. I keep tellin' ya that he's very powerful and he is, so don't feel bad that you fell under his power because Jack suffered the same fate."

"Will you be alright?" Rose asked.

"I will once I rest."

"Then please rest," Rose said, laying her hand on his cheek. "I know you said you don't sleep much but whatever happens here, we can handle it, especially if Jack is here. Please have a lie down so you can get your energy back."

The Doctor nodded and she kissed his forehead and murmured her love for him. The Doctor kissed the back of his hand and when she left the room, he lay down on the bed, closed his eyes and went into a deep meditative state that would allow him to get his energy back.

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