Welcome

Chapter 26

Jet reentered the TARDIS to find River and the Doctor looking like the two proudest people in the universe. However, their smiles began to slip once they saw that he was alone.

"Where's Rain?" River asked, peering around him as though she was only hiding.

His brow furrowed in confusion. "I . . . I don't know."

Of course, after a response like this, the Doctor was instantly on alert. "What's the last thing you can remember, the last time you saw her?"

Jet tried to concentrate, though his mind felt very foggy. He remembered walking along the beach with Rain, talking. Then all of a sudden, she fell down and covered her ears. After that, his memory just sort of cut off, and the very next thing he remembered was running back to the TARDIS. "Well, the last time I saw her, she was on the ground, covering her ears. She said she heard a loud noise, but I couldn't hear anything."

The Doctor and River exchanged a knowing glance, and then began circling the console frantically, pulling levers and punching in coordinates as they did.

Jet kept waiting for one of them to say something, to explain what had happened and where they were going. However, when neither of them did, he couldn't help but blurt out, "Will someone please tell me what exactly is going on here?"

Once again, neither of them answered. They were too focused on trying to sort out the situation in their minds. Finally, Jet stepped in front of the Doctor, forcing him to be confronted. The Doctor sighed, annoyed that his thoughts had been interrupted. "Basically, Rain's been kidnapped by the Silence. The reason you don't remember anything is because they're memory-proof. You can only remember them while you're looking at them. We already know where their base is, though, so that's where we're going."

The Doctor waited for Jet to move, but he just stood there, trying to straighten out this new information. Finally, the Doctor just pushed him aside and continued his orbit around the controls.

River spoke up now. "I was able to trace the Silence that kidnapped Rain. I'm programming the TARDIS to follow them so that we don't end up eighteen years late like last time," she said, throwing a glare in the Doctor's direction. "Okay, we've landed. The brakes are off, but they still have a detection system, so they'll know we're here."

"Right, then let's go!" the Doctor said, heading for the door. He let Jet follow him, but held up a hand to River, preventing her from passing. "And where do you think you're going, Doctor Song?"

"That's 'Professor' to you, and I think I'm going to help find my daughter," her voice sounded more than slightly annoyed.

"We're in the middle of the Silence's base, and you're pregnant. I'd like to have at least one of our children not be kidnapped."

She sighed. He was right, of course, but she still didn't like it. "Fine."

He smiled and kissed her lightly on the cheek before stepping out of the doors. Instead of being greeted by multiple armed guards as the Doctor had expected, there was only one person waiting for them in the deserted hallway: Madame Kovarian.

"Oh, hello again," the Doctor said, trying his hardest to put up a friendly façade. "We're just here for Rain, so if you don't mind, we'll just take her and be on our way."

Kovarian answered this with her usual fake smile. "Hmm, but that would just be too easy. How about a trade?"

Jet and the Doctor exchanged worried glances. "What kind of a trade?"

"I'm not a fool, Doctor. I know that you will soon have another child." Now she began pacing in front of them. "All I ask is that you let us keep him for . . . oh, I don't know, a few years, that's all."

He glared at her, taking a slow step forward. "Not a chance. I'm not letting you take another child from me, and I'm not going to let River spend one more second with you!" he was struggling to keep his voice calm, but he was failing.

Kovarian stopped her pacing to smile wickedly at him once again. "Well then, I guess we're at an impasse."

"I guess we are."

Without warning, Jet hurled himself forward, tackling Kovarian.

The Doctor was completely shocked. "Jet! What are you doing?"

"Just go! I can handle this. They won't want me anyway. I'm human." His voice was strained from the effort of keeping the evil woman pinned down. When the Doctor didn't leave, he shouted again. "Go!"

The Doctor nodded gratefully before taking off down the hallway. Thankfully, most of the rooms had windows, so he was able to see what was hidden inside. Many of the rooms were either storage or were empty. At least, he thought they were empty. In reality, several of them held a Silent or two.

At the end of the hallway, he could hear someone pounding on a door, trying to break it down. This had to be Rain's room. When the Doctor reached it, he found that this was one of the rare rooms without windows.

Hoping for the best, he sonicked the lock. Rain practically fell out of the room, as she had been preparing to throw herself against the door once more. Dry tear streaks were visible on her cheeks, but relief flooded her features as soon as she saw the Doctor.

They threw their arms around each other, glad that the other was okay. "Where's Jet?" was the first thing she asked when they broke apart.

The Doctor smiled at the memory. "Oh, he just tackled Kovarian."

Rain gave him a disbelieving look. "Well then we better go help him," she said sarcastically.

The two of them ran down the corridor that led back to the TARDIS. Once they finally reached the spot where the Doctor had left Jet vying with Kovarian, neither of them was anywhere to be found.

The Doctor pointed to where they had been. "They were right there when I left."

Rain's eyes widened now, as she realized that this could only mean one thing. "Kovarian must have won."

Immediately, the Doctor took out his screwdriver, scanning around for any sort of clue that might help them find where Jet had been taken. Now he dropped to his knees, looking intently at a small red dot on the ground. "Blood."

Upon further inspection, there was more than just one of these dots. In fact, the Doctor found another one every couple of yards. He motioned for Rain to keep up as he followed the trail of blood that had been left.

Finally, the blood ended. The Doctor looked up to find that they were standing right in front of another windowless door. He gulped and turned to Rain. "You might want to brace yourself. I'm not exactly sure what we're going to find."

She took a deep breath, nodding. Now the Doctor sonicked the lock, opening the door slowly. Inside, Jet stood alive, but his hands and feet were cuffed to the wall. A long scratch ran down the right side of his face, dripping blood.

Next to him, Kovarian stood holding a knife to his throat. "If I were you, I wouldn't take another step."

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