The patients all advanced, backing the group of four against a wall. “Mummy? Mummy? Mummy?” they chanted.
As was becoming a habit, Lilith swore in Gallifreyan. “Ah, hell.”
The patients were almost within touching distance. ‘I have an idea.’ Lilith thought.
“Well try it.” Rose said. Lilith stared at her incredulously before shaking it off. I must’ve said that out loud. She looked straight at one of the patients and said sternly, “Go to your room.”
They all froze.
“Go to your room,” she repeated. “I mean it. I'm very, very angry with you. I am very, very cross. Go to your room!”
The patients hung their heads in shame and shuffled away back to their beds.
Lilith sighed in relief. “Thank Rassilon that worked. Those would have been really embarrassing last words.”
Rose went over to one of the beds. “Why are they all wearing gas masks?” she wondered.
“They're not.” Jack said. “Those masks are flesh and bone.”
“How was your con supposed to work?” the Doctor asked.
“Simple enough, really.” Jack shrugged. “Find some harmless piece of space junk, let the nearest Time Agent track it back to Earth, convince him it's valuable, name a price. When he's put fifty percent up front, oops! A German bomb falls on it, destroys it forever. He never gets to see what he's paid for, never knows he's been had. I buy him a drink with his own money, and we discuss dumb luck. The perfect self-cleaning con.”
“Yeah.” Lilith said, a bit mockingly. “Perfect.”
“The London Blitz is great for self-cleaners. Pompeii's nice if you want to make a vacation of it though, but you've got to set your alarm for volcano day.” Jack laughed, but stopped at the Doctor's glare. “Getting a hint of disapproval.”
“No, really?” Lilith muttered.
“Take a look around the room. This is what your harmless piece of space-junk did.”
“It was a burnt-out medical transporter. It was empty.” Jack insisted.
“Rose,” the Doctor said curtly, “Lilith.” He nodded to and walked towards the door.
“Are we getting out of here?” Rose asked.
The Doctor shook his head. “We're going upstairs.”
“I even programmed the flight computer so it wouldn't land on anything living,” the former Time Agent continued. “I harmed no one. I don't know what's happening here, but believe me, I had nothing to do with it.”
“I'll tell you what's happening.” the Doctor snapped. “You forgot to set your alarm clock. It's volcano day.”
A siren sounded, Rose jumped. “What's that?”
“The all clear.” Jack told her.
“I wish.” Lilith muttered.
Lilith and the Doctor were far ahead of the two humans. “Mister Spock?” Jack called.
“Doctor? Lil?” Rose yelled.
The two Gallifreyans were already on the next level. “Have you got a blaster?” the Doctor asked.
“Sure!” Jack answered with a grin and darted up the stairs. They ran up to join the Doctor and Lilith outside a secure metal door.
“The night your space-junk landed, someone was hurt. This was where they were taken.”
“What happened?” Rose asked.
“Hell if we know.” Lilith shrugged. “Let's find out. Get it open, Jack.”
Rose looked at her. “What's wrong with the sonic screwdriver?”
Jack disintegrated the lock with his blaster; probably the same one Lilith had tucked away in her coat pocket.
“Sonic blaster, fifty first century,” the Doctor noted. “Weapon Factories of Villengard?”
“You've been to the factories?”
“Once.” The Doctor took the blaster and examined it.
“Well, they gone now.” Jack said, slightly disappointed. “Destroyed. The main reactor went critical. Vaporized the lot.”
“Like I said. Once. There's a banana grove there, now. I like bananas. Bananas are good.”
Lilith snorted. Something every Doctor had in common. Their inane love of bananas.
The observation room was a flat out mess. The glass pane across the room was broken. “What do you think?” the Doctor said to Jack.
“Something got out of here.”
“Yeah. And?” he prompted.
“Something powerful. Angry.”
“Powerful and angry,” the Doctor agreed.
In the actual room, a child's crayon drawings were scattered on the floor and walls. “A child? I suppose this explains ‘Mummy.’” Jack mused.
“How could a child do this?” Rose motioned to the extensive damage. The Doctor turned on a tape machine.
Constantine’s voice played. “Do you know where you are?”
“Are you my mummy?” Jamie asked on the recording.
“Are you aware of what's around you? Can you see?”
“Are you my mummy?”
“What do you want? Do you know—?”
“I want my mummy. Are you my mummy? I want my mummy! Are you my mummy? Are you my mummy? Mummy? Mummy?”
“Doctor,” Rose said, “I've heard this voice before.”
“Me too,” he said.
“Mummy?” Jamie’s voice continued to repeat.
“Always ‘are you my mummy?’ Like he doesn't know.” She looked at Lilith. “Why doesn't he know?”
Lilith shrugged. “Nancy and Jamie lived on the streets. Maybe Jamie doesn’t remember knowing her.”
“Are you there, Mummy? Mummy? Please, Mummy. Mummy.”
“Can you sense it?”
“Sense what?” Jack asked the Doctor.
“Coming out of the walls.” He responded. “Can you feel it?”
“Funny little human brains. How do you get around in those things?” the Doctor snarked.
Lilith sighed. “When he's stressed, he likes to insult species.”
“Lilith, I'm thinking.”
“He cuts himself shaving, he does half an hour on life forms he's cleverer than.” Rose added.
“There are these children living rough round the bombsites. They come out during air raids looking for food.” the Doctor began.
“Suppose they were there when this thing, whatever it was, landed?”
“It was a med-ship. It was harmless.” Jack said again.
The Doctor waved him away. “Yes, you keep saying harmless. Suppose one of them was affected, altered?”
“Altered how?” Rose asked.
“It's afraid. Terribly afraid and powerful. It doesn't know it yet, but it will do.” The Doctor gave a small laugh. “It's got the power of a god, and Lilith just sent it to its room.”
“Doctor…” Rose said slowly.
“I'm here. Can't you see me?”
“What's that noise?” she asked.
“End of the tape. It ran out about thirty seconds ago.” Lilith’s eyes went wide.
“I'm here, now. Can't you see me?”
“I sent him to his room,” the Time Lady realized. “This is his room.”
The four turned towards the door. There stood Jamie. “Are you my mummy? Mummy?” He looked right at Rose.
“Doctor?” she said shakily.
“Okay, on my signal make for the door.” Jack said. “Now!” He aimed his blaster at the child. Except it wasn’t his blaster, it was a banana.
The Doctor pulled Jack's blaster from his belt and made a nice square hole in the wall. “Go now! Don't drop the banana!”
“Why not?” Jack cried.
“Good source of potassium!” the Doctor yelled back.
“Give me that!” Jack took back his blaster and used it to repair the hole in the wall. “Digital rewind. Nice switch.” He tossed the banana to the Doctor.
“It's from the groves of Villengard. I thought it was appropriate.”
Lilith didn’t try holding back the giggle that bubbled up. He would.
“There's really a banana grove in the heart of Villengard and you did that?”
“Bananas are good,” the Doctor shrugged.
The wall started to crack.
“Uncle!” Lilith warned.
They turned to run, but the patients were coming at them from the other direction chanting, “Mummy. Mummy. Mummy.”
Lilith instinctively reached for her vortex manipulator, just remembereing that she had grabbed it before leaving the TARDIS. But she didn’t think she could teleport all three of them out of there. Not with a homemade one.
“Okay,” Jack said, aiming the blaster, “this can function as a sonic blaster, a sonic cannon, and as a triple-enfolded sonic disrupter. Doc, what you got?”
“I've got a sonic, er,” he pulled out his screwdriver, “oh, never mind.”
“What?” Jack asked.
“It's sonic, okay? Let's leave it at that.”
“Disrupter? Cannon? What?”
“It's sonic! Totally sonic!” the Doctor insisted. “I am soniced up!”
“A sonic what?”
Lilith rolled her eyes. “Oh for Rassilon’s sake, it’s a sonic screwdriver!”
The child broke through the wall. Rose grabbed Jack's blaster and pointed it at the floor.“Going down!” she yelled as they fell to the floor below. Jack jumped up and repaired the hole in the ceiling.
“Doctor, are you okay?” Rose asked.
“Could've used a warning,” the Doctor mumbled.
Rose crossed her arms. “Oh, the gratitude.”
“Who has a sonic screwdriver?” Jack asked.
“I do!” he said defensively.
Lilith ignored the two men. “See a light switch anywhere around here, Tyler?”
“Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks, ooh, this could be a little more sonic?”
“What, you've never been bored? Never had a long night? Never had a lot of cabinets to put up?”
Rose found a switch and flicked it on. The patients all sat up in their beds. “Ah, bad idea.” Lilith said.
“Door.” Jack pointed the blaster at the doors, but nothing happened. “Damn it! It's the special features. They really drain the battery.”
“The battery?” Rose repeated as Lilith ushered her through the now sonic opened door. “That's so lame!”
“I was going to send for another one, but somebody's got to blow up the factory.” Jack looked pointedly at the Doctor.
“Oh, I know. First day I met him, they blew my job up. That's practically how he communicates.” Rose said.
“There were Autons! In London!” Lilith protested.
The Doctor joined them. “Okay, that door should hold it for a bit.”
“The door? The wall didn't stop it!”
“Well, it's got to find us first!” he reasoned. “Come on, we're not done yet! Assets, assets!”
“Well, I've got a banana, and in a pinch you could put up some shelves.” Jack said sarcastically.
“Barred. Sheer drop outside. Seven stories.”
“And no other exits.” Lilith sighed.
“Well, the assets conversation went in a flash, didn't it?” Sarcasm still dripped from Jack’s voice.
The Doctor turned to Lilith. “So, where'd you pick this one up, then?”
“She was hanging from a barrage balloon, I had an invisible spaceship. I never stood a chance.” Jack grinned at Rose, who flushed. Lilith gagged.
“Okay,” the Doctor said. “One, we've got to get out of here. Two, we can't get out of here. Have I missed anything?”
“Yeah. Jack just disappeared.”
“Of course he did.” Lilith groaned. Damn it, Uncle Jack. “I’ll follow him. Be back in a sec.” She pressed a button on her vortex manipulator and it followed the most recent teleport feed to Jack’s ship.
“What?” Jack gasped when he saw her. “How?”
She held up her wrist. “Homemade vortex transport. Handy, huh?”
“Who are you?” Jack marveled at the tech on her wrist.
“No one super special.” Lilith shrugged. “Just Lilith Smith.”
“If you can build a vortex manipulator from scratch, you must be pretty extraordinary.” Jack said. “And good with your hands.”
Lilith stepped back. “Ok, ground rules. No flirting. A, you really aren’t my type. B, it’s so wrong. If you knew who I was—” she stopped midsentence and swore at herself.
Jack’s face hardened. “Are you from those two years I’m missing?”
Lilith sighed. “No, I’m not from your past. I’m from your future.”
He took a second to process the information. “You’re not linear with the Doctor and Rose either, are you?” he guessed. Lilith shook her head.
“Nope.” she said, popping the p. “Haven’t been since he first met me.”
“You traveling with them breaks the laws of time, you know.” Jack said seriously.
“Who’s going to send me back?” Lilith snorted. “Besides, he remembers me being here, so here I am.”
Something on the dashboard lit up. “Ah ha.” Jack turned back to the ship’s controls and pressed a button. “Rose? Doctor? Can you hear me? I'm back on my ship. Used the emergency teleport. Sorry I couldn't take you. It's security-keyed to my molecular structure. I'm working on it. Hang in there.”
“How're you speaking to us?” the Doctor questioned over the speaker.
“Om-Com. I can call anything with a speaker grill.” Jack told him.
“Now there's a coincidence.”
“Jamie can Om-Com, too.” Lilith said.
“He can?” Rose asked.
“Anything with a speaker grill,” the Doctor reiterated. “Even the TARDIS phone.”
“What, you mean the child can phone us?”
Jamie’s voice suddenly spoke. “And I can hear you. Coming to find you. Coming to find you.”
“Doctor, can you hear that?”
“Loud and clear.”
“I'll try to block out the signal. Least I can do.” Jack said.
“Coming to find you, mummy.”
Jack pressed a few buttons. “Remember this one, Rose?” He pressed another and ‘Moonlight Serenade’ started playing. Jack turned back to Lilith. “So how did an American end up with two British time travelers?”
“Oh, I’m British too.” Lilith said. “I just spent a lot of time training with… with someone American.”
“I see.” Jack looked at her suspiciously.
“So what do we do until your ship can transport them up here?” she asked.
Jack shrugged. “We wait.”
Lilith bit her lip. She sort of wished she was still in the store room with the Doctor and Rose, but she knew that they were having a moment that she didn’t really want to intrude on.
The world doesn’t end because the Doctor dances.
Future Rose often teased Lilith’s father about that; about his ‘moves’. A subject that would make him pout and then whisk the three of them away to some ball where he would spend the entire night with Rose to prove a point.
About ten minutes later, Rose and the Doctor (the Ninth Doctor, not Lilith’s) appeared on the ship standing very close to each other.
“Most people notice when they've been teleported. You guys are so sweet.” Jack said. The two jumped apart, both flushing. Lilith inwardly cursed her godfather for interrupting the moment, but burst out laughing at the Doctor’s face. “Sorry about the delay. I had to take the nav-com offline to override the teleport security.”
“You can spend ten minutes overriding your own protocols? Maybe you should remember whose ship it is,” the Doctor said.
“Oh, I do. She was gorgeous. Like I told her, be back in five minutes.”
“This is a Chula ship.”
Jack nodded. “Yeah, just like that medical transporter. Only this one is dangerous.”
The Doctor snapped his fingers and a golden glow enveloped his hands.
“They're what fixed my hands up.” Rose said. “Jack called them er…”
“Nanogenes.” Lilith supplied.
“Sub-atomic robots. There's millions of them in here, see? Burned my hand on the console when we landed. All better now. They activate when the bulkhead's sealed. Check you out for damage; fix any physical flaws. Take us to the crash site,” the Doctor said to Jack. “I need to see your space junk.”
“As soon as I get the nav-com back online.” Jack said. “Make yourself comfortable. Carry on with whatever it was you were doing.”
“We were talking about dancing,” the Doctor claimed.
“It didn't look like talking.” Jack said knowingly.
“It didn't feel like dancing.” Rose murmured.
‘Talking about dancing.’ Lilith mentally scoffed.
‘It’s not what it looks like!’ the Doctor tried to convince her.
‘Really? Cuz it looked like you were about to tell her how you feel. Either that or kiss her.’ Lilith smirked at him.
“So,” Rose said conversationally, “you used to be a Time Agent now you're trying to con them?”
“If it makes me sound any better,” Jack said, “it's not for the money.”
“For what?” she asked.
“Woke up one day when I was still working for them, found they'd stolen two years of my memories. I'd like them back.”
“They stole your memories?”
“Two years of my life. No idea what I did. Your friend over there doesn't trust me,” he nodded at the Doctor, “and for all I know he's right not to. Okay, we're good to go. Crash site?”
Lilith smiled to herself. Geronimo.