Chapter Five

The Doctor walked with Jessica as they made their way back to the TARDIS. People from the sidelines yelled at them that he and his friends were going the wrong way but they ignored their insults and catcalls and focused on getting Jessica back to the TARDIS. She managed to walk independently until they were almost to the park and then her legs gave out and she collapsed from exhaustion. The Doctor gathered her up in his arms and walked with her as the others followed. Several people asked if she was alright as he walked through the park but the Doctor kept on walking, calling out to them that she was tired and felt ill and he was taking care of it.

When they reached the TARDIS, the Doctor let Rose use her key to get them inside. When they walked inside, Jessica frowned in confusion as she looked up at the ceiling and Candace stopped short just inside the doorway.

"Is this a special effect or something?" she said to Bart who was shutting the door.

"Trust me, you get used to it and no, it's for real," he said to her.

Candice mentally shrugged and followed Bart as they followed the others out of the room. The Doctor led them back to the med bay where he lay Jessica down on an examination table. He then began directing everyone to bring him supplies so he could take a blood test and start an IV drip. He brought over a portable scanner from the other side of the room while he told everyone where to find the supplies he needed. He instructed them to put everything on a metal trolley and when they were done, Candice wheeled it over to the Doctor's side. He thanked her and everyone gathered around and watched as he used the scanner to do a scan of her body while putting in an IV and taking some blood samples. Jessica watched passively as everyone worked to find out what was wrong with her and stabilize her body.

"How many people does this man have?" the Doctor said as he looked at the results of the scan. "Can you give me a rough estimate?"

"He had two living people, a young man and a middle aged woman but he has hundreds of zombies working for him," Jessica said as the Doctor directed Rose to start the IV drip.

"Doing what?" Rose said.

"He has a large estate," Jessica said. "They work his fields, tend to his house, make food for him."

"So he's lazy and gets the dead to do it all for him," Candice said.

"Yes, I think so. He's evil and he needs to be stopped," Jessica said, nodding.

"Any idea how he makes the zombies?" Bart asked.

"I…don't know, I didn't see that part but he does wear a skull mask as part of it, like his," Jessica said, pointing to the Doctor's face.

"Yes, well, I'll be taking this makeup off just as soon as you're stable," the Doctor said to her. "As for you, he beat you, yeah?"

"Yes," Jessica said, shuddering while Rose put her hand on Jessica's shoulder.

"The scan indicates bruising, old bruises, and you have a hairline fracture on the second rib down on your left side. He hit you there as well?"

Jessica nodded.

"Bastard," Bart said, shaking his head.

"Your body is dehydrated as well but that goes without saying," the Doctor said. "I have a drip going that will help with that. I also can add some a few other things that will get your body back to normal. As for food, how long has it been since you've eaten a proper meal?"

"A week, maybe? He never fed me that well but when I wouldn't cooperate, he starved me."

"Could you drink some broth?" the Doctor said.

"Maybe, I'm not sure," Jessica said.

"I'll give you a bit of soup and see if you can hold it down. We have to introduce foods gradually so you won't be sick. For the moment though, I want you to rest and recover. Don't worry about a thing, you're safe here. He or his undead slaves can't break in here so just focus on getting better, yeah?"

"Thank you," Jessica said.

The Doctor smiled and patted her shoulder. He and the others wheeled the exam table out of the med bay and down the corridor. He mentally asked the TARDIS to prepare a room for her and the TARDIS quickly did and moved it so it was at the end of the corridor. Inside the room was a hospital bed, bedside table with some magazines, puzzle books and a pitcher of water with a plastic cup. Across the room was a wall mounted TV and there were flowers in vases under it. Everyone helped transfer her into the bed and arranged it so she was comfortable and the IV could continue to drip without risk of being pulled out. The Doctor found a combination remote control and call button and handed it to her as Rose put the upper bedrails up on either side to keep her from falling out. When they made sure she was comfortable and she understood that she could push the call button and call them at any time, they left her to recuperate while the Doctor led them to the makeup room so they could take their makeup off and change.


Three hours later, there was a knock on Jessica's door. Jessica was watching a chat show on TV while slowly sipping some water. She looked towards the door as it opened and the Doctor peeked inside. He was now makeup free, showered and had his old suit and trainers back on.

"Hi, this is me without the skull," he said to her. "Just coming to check up on you."

Jessica looked him over when he entered the room.

"You're a big improvement over the zombie," she said to him.

"Am I a pretty boy?" the Doctor said, coming to the side of the bed.

"Um…yeah, a bit but I fancy pretty boys," Jessica replied.

"So does Rose but I don't see it," the Doctor said with a shrug. "So…how are you feeling? You look and sound stronger."

"I feel better, thanks," Jessica said.

"Can you keep the water down?" the Doctor asked, concerned.

"So far."

"Like to try a bit of soup then?"

Jessica nodded. The Doctor went back outside and returned a moment later carrying a bowl filled with chicken broth and a soup spoon.

"It's not much but it's a start," he said, putting it on her bedside table.

He pushed a button on the side of the bed and the front of the bed raised up as Jessica moved into position. He then pushed the bedside table over so it was in front of her.

"I hate to ask but…where did this Lord Morte live?" the Doctor asked.

Jessica thought for a moment.

"It's away from the city, in the countryside," she said. "In a forest in a huge clearing. There's his estate and a gate around it and then the forest surrounds it and there's a path that goes through the woods to the road. It's…east of here."

"I can have the TARDIS scan for an estate in the middle of a forest east of here. Thank you," the Doctor said.

"But I'd stay away from it, if he catches you, you'll be tortured and beaten and he'll do something to turn you into zombies," Jessica said fearfully. "I don't know you and your friends that well but I wouldn't wish what he did to those people on anyone, let alone you."

The Doctor smiled.

"I've helped many people across the universe and I've met scarier things that some bloke and his gang of zombies. But I do appreciate the warning. The truth is, this Lord Morte has to be stopped and my friends and me, we're the only ones that can do it."

"You're sure about that?" Jessica said.

"Fairly sure, yeah," the Doctor said. "I may look like a pretty boy to you but this particular pretty boy is a force to be reckoned with."

"I wish you luck then," Jessica said. "I wish I could do more than give you information."

"You've done plenty for us," the Doctor said, putting his hand on her shoulder. "Just relax and get your health back and that'll be thanks enough for me."

Jessica nodded and the Doctor patted her shoulder.

"Well…better let you eat before the soup gets cold and that's a scary thing too!"

Jessica laughed when he bulged his eyes at that before he grinned and gave her one more pat on the shoulder. Jessica watched him go before breathing a sigh of relief, comforted in the knowledge that she was safe now as she started to eat her soup.

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