WRAITHS OF THE RIPPER

Chapter Seven

Rose walked into the kitchen, trying to mentally process everything she'd just heard. She was washing out her mug when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned to see the tenth Doctor standing in the doorway.

"I'm sorry I left you here without saying goodbye," he said to her.

"I understand why you did, your other self spoke to me about it. I'm not angry," Rose said.

"I would never hurt you, Rose. I don't know why my ninth self would try to kill you. He wouldn't have hurt you either."

"What if it isn't true, Doctor. What if this thing is messing with your head and making you think this stuff to get you to turn evil," Rose said.

"But you just tried to ring your mum and she's not here and Pete's never heard of you, so why did that happen if nothing happened to Jackie and Mickey? There's something out there, even my other self feels it. I don't think it was just a fantasy to torment me, I think it's happened and me and the other bloke in there are the only ones left now. Well, apart from John but John isn't connected to us so he's not in danger of turning like we are."

"And you think that Jack the Ripper is doing all this?" Rose said.

"Well, someone claiming to be him, at any rate," the Doctor said. "Makes me wonder if Jackie and Mickey and Peri were torn to shreds then. God…I'm killing my friends and companions," he said, putting his head in his hands.

Rose walked over to him and embraced him.

"You'll fight this, we'll help you, all of us," Rose said.

"Just promise me one thing," the Doctor said as he held her. "If I look like I'm going to kill you, run. Just run, don't try to help me, alright?"

"I promise," Rose said.

The Doctor kissed her cheek and rubbed her back before letting go.

"I wonder who else is dead now," he said sadly. "Susan, Sarah Jane, Romana? Did my other selves kill them to land up like this?"

Rose's heart was in her throat. She put her hand on his back, wishing she could help dispel the torment he felt inside. Ten smiled tenderly at her and put his hand on her cheek before both of them stepped outside. The others were conferring silently in the lounge. They looked at Ten when he and Rose came into the room and Eleven stood up.

"I think we might have a partial solution," Eleven said to Ten.

"Yes?" Ten said.

"Do what we did when the Family was harassing us. Use the chameleon arch and take our minds offline for the moment. Perhaps if we switch identities, the entity won't be able to harass us. I explained to them what it is and what it would mean and they could keep the watches safe for us until we're ready to switch back."

"But the TARDISes, he could still track those and if it's the Valeyard, he'd know what we look like," Ten said. "How would we deal with both of those scenarios?"

"Well, with the TARDIS, we can remove the telepathic circuit so the Valeyard or Ripper or whoever it is can't find it, at least not telepathically. As for our appearance, we could use the TARDIS to alter our appearances, all of us, so the Ripper will hopefully be fooled."

"And this lot would be entrusted with the telepathic circuits as well?" Ten said.

Eleven nodded. Ten turned to everyone.

"If we do this, you must guard these items at all costs," Ten said to them. "The fob watches will hold our essence inside them. Without that, we won't be able to become the Doctor and we'll be trapped in the other persona. The telepathic circuit is what allows us to communicate with the TARDIS, it's part of the reason why she's a living thing. Without it, the TARDIS will be just a machine. So in essence, you will be guarding both our souls and the TARDISes as well. Just letting you know what's at stake here. Will you do this for us?"

"Yes," the Children of Time said without hesitation.

Eleven chuckled.

"Nice to have friends, eh?" he said to his counterpart.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

In the end, the Doctors decided to leave Ten's TARDIS behind in the flat for safe keeping while they went back across the void. In addition, John brought along the coral from the flat so there would be a chance to grow another TARDIS should the Doctor's TARDIS be captured or destroyed. Ten examined the coral which was now the size of a softball.

"Coming along nicely," he said to John and Rose while he ran his hand over the coral surface. "Donna was right when she told you how to increase the growth rate. Good old Donna. Blimey, I hope she's alright and Wilf and I suppose Sylvia, although she was a pain in the neck at times."

He handed it back to John.

"Keep it safe, John. If something happens to this TARDIS, you'll have to grow this coral in order to get back to this universe and my TARDIS," he said.

"I will, along with everything else," John said.

"I'll lend you one of my trousers with the bigger on the inside pockets so you can have it with you at all times," Ten said.

There was a pause as the two men stared at each other. Ten dropped his eyes to the floor.

"I'm sorry for the way I treated you," he said.

John held up his hand.

"Water under the bridge. What's done is done," he said. "You did what you thought was right. Besides, this isn't the time to split hairs. You need all the help you can get right now."

"Thank you," Ten said gratefully.

"Besides, the last thing you need is another dark, guilty thought plaguing your mind, not with the Ripper trying to get at you," John said.

Ten nodded and smiled when John patted his shoulder.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

When they got airborne, Eleven prepared to go back over the void while the others went into the wardrobe room. They had agreed to go to modern day London first, to check on it and see if anything had changed before jumping back to Victorian London. After that, both Doctors would undergo the chameleon arch and the TARDIS would have her telepathic circuit removed.

"You lot have to watch us carefully until we change because once we're back over the void, the voice will be stronger and probably more insistent," Ten said to everyone as they stood inside the wardrobe room. "Me and my other self will fight it but we can't stay in London very long, not as we are. We need to change so our minds will become human and go offline as my other self puts it. Hopefully, that will be enough to throw the Ripper off the scent and we can stop him."

"So we're going to change history and prevent Jack the Ripper from killing anyone?" Rory said.

"I don't know," Ten said, shaking his head. "I certainly hope we can but our main objective is finding and stopping him, whether or not he's killed anyone. But since we know when the murders start, we can go back far enough that we'll land before the first murder is committed. Maybe we can intercept him then."

"But I don't understand, Doctor," Rose said. "If you're going to become a whole new person, how will you remember all of this?"

"I can program the arch to allow me a glimmer of my old self, enough to know that I need to track down the ripper. I was thinking I could pose as an inspector, that way I would have a reason for tracking down the Ripper in the first place. I won't remember being the Doctor but subconsciously, there will still be a hint of me. I have to do that anyway so I'll have an awareness of all of you. Otherwise, I'll think you're just a bunch of random people and want nothing to do with you."

"And so we'll have to make up identities for ourselves to fit in with that," River said.

"Yes but…you're married to my other self so you could still be his wife," Ten said. "John could be another inspector, Rose could be his fiancée and I suppose Rory could also be an inspector and Amy would be his wife. They didn't have women detectives at that time so you women will have to pretend to be housewives who help us out or something like that. The only problem is if this is the Valeyard, he'll know all of you so you also have to disguise yourselves as a precaution. The TARDIS can help with that. Also, you lot have to be very dogged about protecting me and my other self because we're not gonna remember that someone is hunting us so if we say something nasty or tell you to piss off, don't take it personal."

"What about Sarah Jane or Donna?" Rose said. "Can't they help as well?"

"Dunno," Ten said. "At the moment, I'll be glad if they're still alive. We'll see when we land."

He gritted his teeth when the room began to shudder and shake.

"Here we go," he said to them. "Back over the void and back into the fray."

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