Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

“Doctor?” He looked up from his rather awkward position on the floor by an open panel under the life-support console. Maureen Grey stood hesitantly at the open TARDIS door. He stood up and went to greet her. “I thought you might like to keep this,” she said handing him a sheet of paper. He looked at it. It was a child’s school composition. Short and to the point.

“Last week, I was kidnapped by a very bad man who locked me in a cupboard. I was very frightened. It was dark. I was there for a long time. But then I was rescued by a very nice man who is an alien from another planet. His planet was blown up by bad aliens and now he lives in London in a big blue box. He plays football with us and supports Preston North End, which is all right for an alien to do.”

And beneath it was a very well drawn picture of the TARDIS and The Doctor standing beside it.

The Doctor smiled.

“His teacher says it’s good that Mark is learning to deal with the trauma of his abduction, but we shouldn’t really encourage these fantasies too much.”

“Tell his teacher to go boil her head,” The Doctor said. “Mark’s doing just fine.”

“I think so.” Maureen smiled. “You’ve been really decent about it all. After…” She blushed as she looked for words to express how she felt about the false accusations that were made by her and her neighbours against him.

“All that matters is that Mark is ok,” The Doctor said, easing her embarrassment by moving on from the incident. He was just as anxious as she was to put it behind him anyway. “I hope he won’t be too upset when we leave. Free parking or not, I really do have other corners of the universe to visit soon.”

“I think all the kids are going to miss you,” Maureen said. “You ARE the only parent who takes notice of them. We should make more effort.”

“Well, you can do that without me hanging around the yard.” He saw Rose and Jackie appear from the flats. They’d been shopping. He didn’t even bother putting the credit card back in his wallet when they were on Earth. It seemed more at home in Rose’s purse. “Time for us to be going, I think.”

Rose brought her shopping into the TARDIS and left it on the White House sofa. She went to the console and pressed some buttons. “No stowaways,” she said. He had made sure the TARDIS’s lifesigns schematics could be called up quickly. For the past week, the door had been open a lot as the local youngsters satisfied their curiosity about his spaceship. He wanted to be sure none of them got any ideas about extended visits.

“Good, we can be on our way in a few minutes.” Rose came to the door again and hugged her mum. The Doctor shook hands with Maureen, who told him she’d be glad to have him and Rose to tea next time they were ‘in town’. Then Jackie stood before him. She reached out and hugged him quickly. “Going to miss you,” she said. “Look after yourself, and Rose. Look after each other.”

“You look after YOURSELF, Jackie,” he told her. “Lady Jacqueline of Powell Estate,” he added with a smile. “Never let anyone make you feel less than a Lady.”

“Go on,” she said. “Before I start to cry and make a scene.” He grinned at her and closed the door. She stood back and watched as the TARDIS disappeared. She WOULD miss them both. She would miss that lifestyle that she was allowed to be a part of when she was with Rose and The Doctor. She already felt less like Lady Jacqueline and more like plain Jackie Tyler, broke, between boyfriends and feeling very lonely.

She turned from the empty space inside the yellow square and began to walk back to the flats. She stopped and looked around at the shadowy place at the corner of the yard by the entrance. She thought she saw somebody there. When she looked again there was nobody. But it unnerved her a little. If The Doctor was still around she might have asked him to walk her up to her door.

“Silly cow,” she told herself. “Getting soft. Never needed a man to walk you from the yard to the flats before.” And she folded her arms around herself in the sudden cold of the early evening and hurried home.


“You’re an old flirt,” Rose told The Doctor with a grin nonetheless as she locked the TARDIS into temporal orbit. “Putting your moves on my mum.”

“Who me?” he protested his innocent. “All my moves are strictly for you.”

“Mmm. I suppose I’d better forgive you, then. So what do you want to do for the evening, My Lord?”

“That’s a dangerous question, Lady Rose.”

“We haven’t danced for a while.”

“Dancing it is then,” he said, happily contemplating a few sweet hours in her arms. Just don’t let any kind of trouble wander into their orbit until morning.

“I bought a new dress and shoes,” she said. “Just for you.” She grabbed the shopping bags and disappeared towards the bathroom. “See you in there.”

He smiled and paused to tape young Mark’s essay and artist’s impression of him to the side of the life-support viewscreen before he made his leisurely way to the ballroom where they loved to spend quiet evenings when they wanted no more than each other’s company. When she came in, he gasped in appreciation of the low cut powder blue chiffon dress with matching shoes, hair fastened high on her head with a feathery topknot. His two hearts both speeded up a beat or two. He didn’t have to say anything. Her smile in response to his told him she knew he loved the outfit. He snapped his fingers and their favourite tune began playing as he took her in his arms and danced.

She looked so much a sophisticated woman as they danced. Afterwards, though, when she got ready for bed, she wore those pink bunny pyjamas that made her look so much the little girl. One day, he thought, he would consign those bunny pyjamas to the trash compactor. Meanwhile he remembered that she WAS a young woman and that he loved her and yearned for her as a woman. He turned down the lights in the console room and kicked off his shoes and shrugged off the leather jacket and slipped into the bed beside her. She responded to the feel of his arms around her as he hoped she would. He sighed with pleasure as her kisses slid from his mouth to his neck and shoulders, tantalisingly licking his exposed flesh. She loved to do that. The taste of his honey-flavoured skin enthralled her and he just loved the feel of her mouth against him, the gentle love bites that would disappear a few seconds afterwards and the feel of her soft breath on him. He closed his eyes and sighed with delight at that deliciously sensuous lovemaking that only he in the whole universe had the pleasure of.

She was starting to drift to sleep in his arms, and he was telling himself firmly not to fall asleep too when they were disturbed by the sound of her mobile phone ringing. She reached for it on the floor by the bed and saw it was her mother’s number. Her watch told her it was after one o’clock in the morning by Earth time. She was worried. When she pressed the button to take the call her heart froze. Her mum was hurt and crying. The Doctor, with his superior hearing, heard it as clearly as Rose did.

“Rose,” her mum sobbed. “I’m sorry… please help…. These guys have me. They said… They want the Doctor. They want him to… He has to come to these co-ordinates or they’ll kill me.” She read the co-ordinate out then sobbed again loudly. “I’m sorry. They made me. DOCTOR! Don’t do it. They want to hurt you… It doesn’t matter about me. Stay there with Rose. Keep her safe.”

The Doctor snatched the phone from Rose as he stood up. “Jackie, tell whoever they are, I’m coming. But they’ll live to regret it when I do. You just hang in there. I’m coming to get you.” Jackie began to speak again but the phone was obviously grabbed from her and switched off. The Doctor put Rose’s phone in his pocket before he went to the console and set the co-ordinate. He saw from the corner of his eye Rose rush off to get dressed. He put his shoes back on and girded himself with his leather jacket. As well as containing his trusty sonic screwdriver that had got him out of more scrapes than he could remember it felt like a kind of armour against the spitefulness of the universe.

Rose came back into the console room, dressed now. He turned to look at her as the materialisation began. She had her jacket on. Ready to come with him.

“Rose,” he said. “You know I’ll do everything I can to help your mum. To stop them - whoever they are – from hurting her. But we both know this is an obvious trap. And we don’t need to both walk into it. I want you to stay here.” She began to protest. “Yes, I know, it’s your mum who’s in trouble. Yes, I know I promised not to leave you out of the loop. I’m not. I’m leaving you here as back-up, to come and get me if this IS a trap. I’m counting on you.”

She wasn’t sure she believed that, but she trusted his judgement. If he really thought it was better for him to go into this alone, she wasn’t going to make a fuss. Not when her mum’s life depended on it.

The materialisation completed. He stepped towards the door then turned to look at her. “I promise you it’ll all work out.” He knew he shouldn’t make promises he couldn’t guarantee he could keep. But making her that promise, knowing she would believe him implicitly, somehow made it easier for him to believe he could do it. And he needed to believe in himself.

“Course it will,” she said, trying to sound brave. “Cos you have a plan.”

“I wish I did. I don’t even know what we’re up against. But I’ll make one up as I go along.” He kissed her once, quickly, then he turned and went out of the door. Rose watched him go. Her heart was torn. She knew even if he hadn’t told her, that this was a trap. And he was deliberately stepping into it, because whoever was setting the trap had her mum. And he couldn’t do anything else but his best effort to save her.

It was about him. He knew that. Rose would work it out sooner or later. So would Jackie. She had been taken by – whoever had taken her – because they wanted control over him.

Somebody who knew who he was! Somebody who knew WHAT he was! Somebody who wanted to have control over a Time Lord!

That was dangerous. How many people on Earth knew who he was?

Well, lots of them. There were over thirty people at the Christmas party. And they were just his CLOSE friends. Then there were any number of military and government people with a security level high enough to know who he was. And the population of the Powell Street flats. He could rule out his friends. He ruled out the Powell Street people, too. A few bits of playground chat, Mark’s little essay, maybe a bit of a joke down the pub or the bingo hall, was as far as anything to do with him was going to go. They were ok. That left the government and military. If he was a betting man, he’d put his money on some information leaking from one of THOSE sources.

That was something to sort out later. Right now, he had to find out what was going on here without being caught in the trap that was set for him.

HERE was some kind of large, old fashioned house. Old and neglected - his feet trod in an inch of dust on the bare floorboards. Not wholly undisturbed dust. He could see that three or four people had trodden a path through it. They just hadn’t bothered with any housework for a long time.

The footprints continued along the landing of the house – he could see a large hall below. The stairs had been used but the most frequent path taken led into a darkened room. It was dust free, unlike the landing. His Time Lord eyes were already adjusted to the dark and he could see that it was a library. His eye was drawn to the symbol inlaid into the leather spines of almost all the books. His hearts lurched with a sudden feeling of bitter homesickness.

It was the seal of Rassilon.

A library of books about Gallifrey and the Time Lords.

ON Earth.

He knew there were more important things to do, but for a moment he couldn’t help himself. He reached out and touched the books. They WERE real. He took one from the shelf and opened it. A book of Gallifreyan poetry. He sighed and put it back. He looked at the shelves. He once had a library like it in his home on Gallifrey. A place where he spent quiet hours reading, a peaceful place that was HIS own personal space.

He turned from the shelves and saw the armchair. With a shock he realised it was not empty. He stared at the man sitting in it. For a moment, he thought it was a corpse. He touched him and realised he was alive but very, incredibly old. Well over 100 and for a Human that was good going.

The man seemed to be asleep but as The Doctor looked his eyes snapped open and he stared at The Doctor. He stared back, surprised by the intensity of his look. The eyes seemed the most alive thing about him.

“So… you came… Time Lord….” The old man said in a worn voice.

“Time Lord!” Being addressed that way gave him a jolt even though he realised this was the house of one who knew about his people.

“I came because a woman has been kidnapped and brought here,” The Doctor replied. “If that is anything of your doing….”

“You fell into our trap so easily. It’s almost disappointing.” Too late he became aware of near silent steps behind him. He felt the sting of a hypodermic needle in the back of his neck and something being injected into his bloodstream.

And then a pain that enveloped every nerve in his body. He staggered and fell to his knees. He tried to scream but his voice seemed as paralysed as the rest of his body as the drug spread through his system.

“You’re wondering what it’s all about.” A light snapped on and it hurt his eyes after the darkness - especially as he found himself unable to blink. Tears filled his too Human eyes because he could do nothing to prevent the ducts overflowing. His body was frozen. Only his brain was working. And if that was anything but a superior Time Lord brain the agony his body was going through would have overwhelmed even that.

The man who had incapacitated him so successfully - so blindingly stupidly successfully he reproached himself - stood in front of him. He wore, The Doctor noted, a copy of a day cloak of a high caste Gallifreyan. But neither he nor the old man were Gallifreyan. With every other part of his body paralysed, his brain was more than compensating. His telepathic nerves were taking over. And he could see that these WERE just Human beings.

“I am Karl Andrews,” the man said, offering his hand to The Doctor then laughing at the huge joke that he could not return the gesture. “This is my father, Vincent Andrews, millionaire recluse, aged 115 years. Through you, he will live another hundred years…. If not forever.”

“Oh hell,” The Doctor thought. “These fools are going to attempt the Rite of Transference.”

“How many lives do you have left?” Karl asked bending and looking closer. You look young, healthy. Must have at least ten of your twelve incarnations left.”

“I wish!” The Doctor thought. “If they’ve studied Time Lord biology, surely they realise physical appearance has nothing to do with it.” He WAS young to have gone through eight regenerations already, mind you. He lived a dangerous lifestyle. He’d messed up too many times. He knew he wasn’t going to break any records of longevity among his species.

“Eighty years of his life spent gathering every fact it was possible to know about Time Lords, about what you are, where you are from. How you BECOME what you are. He knew there have been at least two Time Lords on this planet. Maybe more. He tracked YOU down through contacts in government who let him into secret files. The library… that took years. Got easier recently thanks to the wonders of ‘Ebay’. At last we knew HOW to achieve my father’s greatest dream - life beyond that of an ordinary mortal. All we needed was a Time Lord. And we have you! A shame, really, that you will be dead when we’re finished. Father would so enjoy speaking to you. He has so many questions he’d like to ask. But I’m afraid tea and crumpets by the fire aren’t really an option.”

“Too right,” The Doctor thought. “When I’m through you’ll be drinking your tea through a straw in a hospital bed.”

There was a soft knock at the door and Karl Andrews said ‘enter’ in the peremptory voice of one who considered himself superior to others. The Doctor couldn’t move. But he heard the scuffling sound of somebody being brought into the room against their will, and a female sob that told him it was Jackie. She was alive at least. That was something.

“Doctor!” He heard her scream and then she was kneeling beside him, embracing him around the neck and wiping the tears that flowed down his cheek. “What have you scum done to him?” she shouted. “Doctor…” Her voice softened as she held him tighter. “Can you hear me? What HAVE they done? Oh! You shouldn’t have come. I hoped you wouldn’t. Not for me. I’m not worth your life.” She screamed again as she was pulled away from him.

“Take her to the laboratory. We need the final piece of the puzzle yet and she will give it up before long.” He heard Jackie sobbing all down the passage outside, and then there were other people in the room, two of them hauling him upright and dragging him out of the room. Others carefully put the old man on a stretcher to bring him as well.

The laboratory was in the basement. An old fashioned weight and pulley lift with a rattling gate brought them there. And if the idea of a basement laboratory in an old house conjured visions of Doctor Frankenstein, it was not far wrong. More modern, perhaps. Bright overhead lights and a white, clinical finish. But the contraption that he and the old man were both fixed into was straight from a mad scientist handbook.

They must have been expecting the paralysing drug to wear off eventually, The Doctor thought. Because he was secured onto the metal table by tight fitting leg, arm and neck braces before it was swung around to an upright position. His legs and arms were forced into a star shape, like a variation of Da Vinci’s Vetruvian Man. If he was not paralysed the drag on his muscles would have become painful after a very few minutes.

As roughly as he was treated, Vincent Andrews was reverently and gently laid down on the table next to him and leather restraints tenderly applied only to prevent him falling off.

He couldn’t move. He could only see and hear. He heard Jackie’s screams mixed with the low buzzing noise that told him that one of the other machines in this room administered what was euphemistically called Electroconvulsive therapy – electric shock.

“You will tell us the Time Lord’s name.” He heard Karl Andrews’ voice, again peremptory as if he expected to be answered.

“Go to hell,” He heard Jackie reply with defiance in her tone as well as fear and pain. He felt a surge of pride in her. She was an ordinary woman. She lived an ordinary life of shopping, ready-made meals and TV. She wasn’t prepared for this. She had no defences against being tortured by madmen except that toughness that comes from being a single parent on a council estate. Maybe it would prove enough. He hoped so.

“HIS NAME?” Andrews shouted louder and The Doctor knew the ECT had been turned up a notch. The buzz was louder and Jackie’s cry as the pain wracked through her body was shriller. But she still replied with defiance.

The Rite of Transference! He knew it was a very old, very rarely performed procedure in which a Time Lord could choose to give his life force to another. He knew of three legendary occasions when it had been done. Twice a father had given his remaining lives to a son. On another occasion it had been a Time Lord who had given his lives to the woman he loved in order to save her life – though at cost to his own. He actually doubted THAT one was true. The first two, there were pragmatic reasons – giving the life to the son so that he would carry on the family line. But he would not believe any Time Lord was that sentimental as to give his life for a woman.

“Not even you?” his inner demons said. “For Rose?”

“What would be the point?” he answered. “She wouldn’t want to live a thousand years without me, any more than I want to live a thousand years without her.”

But that was irrelevant. The point was that the Rite of Transference needed one crucial element. The NAME of the Time Lord who was giving up his lives. The incantation required it to be recited so many times.

“TELL US OR DIE,” Andrews demanded again and Jackie screamed. The Doctor felt deeply for her. He knew that ECT administered without anaesthetic was excruciating. And he was sure they had already exceeded the limits prescribed for ‘medicinal’ purposes.

He wasn’t even SURE if Jackie KNEW his name. She’d heard it said a few times. Usually by either Rose or himself teasing her with the fact that she DIDN’T know how to say it properly. But if they thought she did, then the longer they went on believing that the better. These seemed like people quite capable of killing her if they thought her no longer of use to them.

He reached out with his mind. She had touched him recently, and that made a psychic connection possible. Especially as his bodily incapacitation meant that his mind felt so much freer. He connected with her. And he felt her pain surge through his own body. He absorbed the pain, taking it from her. Then he touched her thoughts. He approached her gently, not wanting to scare her any more than she already was.

“Doctor?” He felt rather than heard her recognition of him. “Are you ok?”

“I’m in a bad state,” he admitted to her. “I’m sorry I can’t help you at the moment. But I’m not finished. Not by a long shot. I’m sorry they’re hurting you because of me. I’ll try to stop it.”

“It’s…. no worse than childbirth,” she said. “You men have no idea what pain women put up with.”

“You’re the best, Jackie,” he told her. Then he screamed in his own head as he felt the jolt of electricity in his own body. He felt her surprise as he took on her pain. And her gratitude.

“His name…” The same demand again and he felt Jackie suddenly laugh in her head.

“His name is…. LOVE,” Jackie said to her captors.

The Doctor laughed with her in his mind. It was what – three or four weeks - since they saw that beautiful opera in Bejing. He remembered his own words as they talked about it afterwards.

“If I knew somebody was being tortured to find MY secret I wouldn’t stand around like a lemon hoping they would kill themselves first and save my skin. I’d move heaven and Earth to rescue them.”

And he had added…

“And if I couldn’t… if the only thing that would save somebody else from torture and death is my surrender… then I’d give myself up first.”

“Jackie,” he told her. “Thanks for reminding me. Here’s what I want you to do.” He felt her become attentive to him. “Tell them my name.”

“NO!” she cried. “They can kill you if they know it. Besides… I don’t know…”

“Repeat what I say,” he said. “Tell them… TRUST me, Jackie. I DO HAVE A PLAN.”

“Chrístõ….” Jackie sobbed as she repeated the syllables of his name slowly and haltingly. She understood that he was doing something. But she was afraid that what he was doing WAS sacrificing himself for her. And she didn’t want him to do that. Rose would never forgive her. “Davõreen... diamõndhært...” She paused and gulped for air. “Doctor… please…” She pleaded with him in her head. “Don’t do this. We need you.”

“I know what I’m doing,” he assured her. “Please do what I say. I know taking orders from me sticks in your throat. But this time… Jackie, please just do it.”

“Mal….lõup….” she continued, tears of sorrow falling from her eyes. “Dracœ..fire… de…lun…mian…
de Lœngbærrow.”

“Thank you!” Andrews said with a malicious laugh and then he addressed the operator of the ECT. “We’re done with her. Turn it up full.”

“NO!” From somewhere The Doctor found enough strength to scream out loud. Maybe the drug was starting to wear off. Andrews turned and looked at him.

“Not to worry, Time Lord. You’ll both be together in paradise soon. Or do your people believe in the afterlife? I’m afraid I didn’t study as thoroughly as my father. But your lover has given us the means to kill you in order to save her own life. What an irony that it DIDN’T.” And he gave the order again.

The Doctor screamed aloud as he took the force of the blow on himself. His own hearts went into arrhythmia for a brief moment. But even though he had absorbed most of it, he knew Jackie was in trouble. He reached and touched her heart with his psychic connection and forced it to keep beating. He literally massaged her heart with his mind, keeping it going.

“Lovers?” he asked, as much to distract her from what he was doing as anything else.

“They think I’m your…” He could feel her embarrassment.

“They’ve made worse mistakes than that,” he said. “Messing with me in the first place was their first. Thinking they can REALLY perform the Rite of Transference is another.”

“Doctor…” Jackie’s inner voice was weak. She was just hanging on. “You may not be my….” He never knew it was possible to blush psychically. “But there isn’t another man in the universe who would put his life on the line for me…. And that means a lot…..”

He felt her slip into unconsciousness. The emotion he caught as she did, almost proved Andrews right. It was as close to love as you could get without BEING love. He didn’t have time to think about it though. He was still forcing her heart to beat with the power of his mind. They HAD hurt her badly. Fortunately, they thought her of no consequence now as the followers, employees, lackeys, whatever they were, of the demented Andrews father and son turned to their main objective.

Karl Andrews stepped towards him.

“I thought the drugs would not hold for long,” he said as The Doctor blinked away the stinging tears that had fallen unbidden and clenched his hands into fists of frustration. His muscles ached and the cruel shackles bit into his wrists and ankles and held his throat so tightly he could take only the shallowest of breaths.

“That steel will hold you just as well, for as long as it takes. Afterwards it won’t really matter.” Then Andrews raised his hands rather theatrically and began to recite the incantation that invoked the Rite of Transference.

The Doctor knew it would work. They had everything they needed to make it work. The correct incantation, a Time Lord with lives to spare, a body near death to transfer the lives to. It didn’t need anything more. It didn’t need cabalistic symbols or a high priest of Rassilon or anything so dramatic. The power was in the words of the ritual. That’s why Time Lords kept their full names secret to all but a few. Those who knew their names had power of life and death over them.

Andrews laughed as the ethereal glow surrounded his father. It was working. He was being renewed by the essence of a Time Lord. He had done it.

Or had he? He frowned as he looked again.

He reached to touch his father on the arm. The arm crumbled to dust. The whole body collapsed in on itself as it disintegrated.

Of course, it depended on them having the RIGHT name. The Doctor thought. He was the eighth generation since a Time Lord called Chrístõ sired his particular line of the Lœngbærrow family. A smart man, a scientist and philosopher who pioneered one whole new field of temporal science and produced a son – Chrístõdavõreen de Lœngbærrow. And he in turn had a son...

Cuimhne – remembrance, was the suffix the eighth generation of Chrístõ de Lœngbærrow’s line inherited. His father was given the suffix “Mian”- it meant desire or ambition. Ironic, really. Vincent Andrews and his son both suffered from over-reaching ambition.

Yes, a Human could take a Time Lord’s lives and acquire as near to immortality as a Human could fathom. BUT if the Time Lord was already dead, the lives simply crumbled, taking the Human with it. He had told Jackie his FATHER’S name, not his own.

Sacrificing yourself is all very well in opera. But in real life, it was better if the bad guys died instead.

For a moment, he thought he could hear his father’s voice in his head, even his soft laugh. But Karl Andrews’ rage as he turned towards him drowned even his thoughts.

“YOU did this,” he screamed and charged towards him. “I’ll kill you.”

And he might have, The Doctor thought, seeing as he was unable to defend himself. But Andrews suddenly gave a cry of surprised pain and fell flat on his face. The Doctor just about had enough movement in his head now to look and see that the man had a Shaolin sword straight through his shoulder. He was alive, but he was going nowhere for the moment except hospital.

Meanwhile, the lackeys found themselves on the wrong side of an irate blonde who had learned well the lessons he had patiently taught her about immobilising the enemy without killing.

“You never told me how long to wait before coming in as back-up,” Rose said when she was at last able to take a breath. She looked at her lover, trapped in a way that was horribly reminiscent of the Arachnoid web that had almost claimed both their lives. She looked and saw her mother, unconscious – DEAD? She made a logical calculation. Save The Doctor. HE could save her mum.

She pulled the Shaolin sword from the man’s shoulder. She wiped the blood on his cloak and checked the blade. It was still sharp enough to cut through metal. She turned and looked at The Doctor. She pushed the mechanism that put the table back into a horizontal position and raised the sword. She brought it down on the leg and arm manacles with the precision he had taught her. It broke the metal but his flesh beneath was untouched. Then she looked at the neck brace. It was so snug fitted around him. If she got this wrong….

“Rose, I trust you.” His eyes met hers. He DID trust her. Just as he did in their practice. His eyes stayed on her. Anyone would be forgiven for closing them, for not looking as the blade came down that could mean instant death. But he kept them open, trusting in her.

The metal split apart. He grasped the pieces and pried them apart and raised himself up. She was still holding the sword by her side, stunned by what she had done. He embraced her quickly.

“I have to get to your mum,” he said. His concentration had been broken. For maybe 30 seconds he had been unable to keep her alive by the power of his thought. He ran to where she lay, still attached to the foul ECT machine. Electric shock could be used to restart a heart, but he wasn’t about to use that thing again. He pulled the electrodes from her as he felt her pulse. It was almost non-existent. Her heart was still failing and she wasn’t breathing. The old fashioned way would have to do. He laid her on the floor and bent over her and began artificial respiration. Fifteen chest compressions, then he pressed his mouth against hers and breathed into her lungs before repeating the process. It took five cycles before he felt her chest heave as she breathed in sharply and he was aware of her heart beating unaided at last.

“Rose, come and look after her now,” he said. “And if we can avoid it, let’s try not to tell her what I had to do there. I’m not sure if me kissing her would be her worst nightmare or her wildest dream, but either way I think it should be our secret.” He stood and went to where Andrews was bleeding onto the floor.

“I would let you die, but I don’t want Rose to have to live with having killed you,” he said coldly. And he adjusted his sonic screwdriver and applied it to the wound, repairing the damaged muscle and flesh and closing the broken skin. Then he made another adjustment, to the setting he jokingly called ‘sleepy-bye’ and Andrews slumped unconscious, and likely to stay that way for many hours, along with his already not too happily slumbering lackeys.

He returned to where Jackie was lying and lifted her in his arms. He carried her to the TARDIS, Rose walking quietly by his side. He laid her on the cabin bed gently and made her comfortable. Then he went to the communications console and put a call through.

Rose listened with amazement as he identified himself as “Theta Sigma” and a minute later was apparently talking to the head of MI5 – who was apparently prepared to get out of his bed in the middle of the night for a call from “Theta Sigma.” He wasted very few words as he informed the head of MI5 that there was a government security breach at the highest level and that they ought to speak to Karl Andrews, son of the LATE Vincent Andrews, about it.

“That’s him sorted,” he said. He looked at Rose as she sat on the edge of the cabin bed holding her mum’s hand as she slowly came around from her ordeal. “There’s something else I have to do before we get out of here.”

He slipped out of the TARDIS and went back to the library. His hand reached out and stroked the leather bound covers tenderly.

“Another piece of my world that still remains,” he murmured. There were practical considerations, he told himself, as WELL as the desire to hold onto these precious remnants of Gallifrey. If they remained here, sooner or later they’d end up on Ebay again and they’d be stopping another nutter from doing the same thing or worse.

He could destroy them, of course. Libraries burn easily. He shoved that thought away. These things were too precious to burn. He took out his sonic screwdriver and made a note of the exact co-ordinate of the library. Then he returned to the TARDIS. He adjusted several settings on the console and then pressed the spatial drive initiator. The TARDIS moved for a few seconds and was quiet again. He smiled and slipped into the corridor. He found a door that had led to nowhere before. One of many unused spaces on the TARDIS. He opened it and stepped in and saw Vincent Andrews’ library transplanted to HIS new library. The books were real. The TARDIS had brought them on board in much the same way it acquired the two sofas from the White House. The soft armchairs and the antique Gallifrey globe on the table beside them were real too. But they had been created by the TARDIS’s morphic field in the same mysterious way it created Rose’s bedroom and the kitchen and the milk in the fridge and the soap and loo paper and headache tablets and other necessary supplies in the bathroom cupboard. This, like the dojo, would now be a part of the TARDIS for as long as he needed it. He felt he might need it for a long time.

“Wow!” He heard Rose’s voice at the door. She stepped inside and looked around. “This is nice. Old fashioned. Cosy. Doesn’t quite seem YOU, though. Maybe more like one of the old guys that used to be you.”

“I am all those old guys,” he said. “And this is more ‘me’ than you’d think.” He span the globe and smiled sadly for a moment.

“I came to let you know MI5 just broke in the door downstairs,” she told him. “Might be time we thought about getting on our way. And mum is awake and pretty much ok considering. But… I don’t think she wants to go back to her flat just yet. Some dorks did kidnap her from her bed. Do you think a couple of days at Susan’s might do her some good?”

“I think it would do us all some good,” The Doctor agreed. He looked at her. “You did well. I didn’t get chance to tell you yet.”

“We did well together,” she told him. “We’re a team, you and me.”