Inthixit City, GaGaSaSa, 11.12.2730
On the screen, the woman danced.
There were other women dancing, actually, but they were just back up. They blended in with each other, both in outfit and in style, and directed attention to the main attraction. It was obvious which one of them was for sale.
That woman showed off her moves. She danced, grabbed her crotch, twisted her hips. She threw out a shower of jewels and stopped them in midair. "She's a number cruncher," the Doctor said, not sounding pleased at all. Rose had no idea what he meant by that.
On the screen, the woman gave a few lap dances. During the second one, she licked the faceplate of one of the bidders, whose name, according to the label underneath him, was Warlord Supreme Commander Dizon. The faceplate was metallic, bolted on, and Rose couldn't imagine Warlord Dizon could actually feel anything through it. He seemed totally indifferent to the woman, actually, but he nudged his controller - under the circumstances, Rose refused to think of it as his joystick. At the bottom of the screen, his numbers got bigger. Rose wondered how much those numbers translated to in pounds.
The Doctor glared at the screen, then at the bar filled with modified humans - all men, Rose noticed as she tracked his gaze. The Doctor turned his eyes to the five-handed bartender, then, with equal dissatisfaction, to the mould-like substance crawling unnoticed across the ceiling. He finally looked back at Rose, wearing an expression she had learnt meant trouble.
"This isn't right," he said, emphasizing each word. "This isn't right at all."
Rose recognized the sounds of an impending mission. She waved Jack over from where he was flirting with a - well, safe to say a being. She wasn't really sure what kind of being. "Hey," he said, slipping back. "Just talking to that hermanoid over there - zie's been telling me some amazing -" he broke off, seeing the Doctor's face. "What's wrong?"
The Doctor gestured at the screen. Jack, his expression shifting to what Rose thought of as his Serious Time Agent at Work face, studied it. The woman was still dancing, and the screen was displaying a series of numbers and letters and weird squiggles that presumably meant something to someone - the watchers, the bidders - but nothing to Rose. The woman showed off something that reminded Rose of the satellite receivers they'd seen on CombiNet, big metal hoops, and Jack said, "Oh, she's also a telephone." A couple of men - First Leading Strategy Master Kino and Tertiary Squadron Commander-in-Chief Ancialion - boosted their bids.
After a few more seconds, the numbers on the screen all froze, and it was obvious a winner had been declared. Looked like it was Dizon, the man with the faceplate. They watched and waited through a long series of commercials, and then the program came back, but to the, well... to the post-auction bit. Rose watched for a second, feeling her eyes widen, and then looked hastily away; she wasn't a prude, but some things she just didn't feel like watching. Even not looking, though, she could still hear the man moaning and the woman murmuring submissively. She looked at Jack, expecting him to be enjoying the sight - it was always fun to watch him enjoying himself, and when did he ever not enjoy anything to do with sex? But he was frowning, his expression almost a mirror of the Doctor's.
Rose had a very bad feeling about this.
"I know her," Jack said.
"Not much of a surprise," Rose told him.
"No - I mean." He paused, his brows coming together. "I, I've met her. She's - a part of my timeline. Not like that," he added, seeing her eyebrows go up. He gave her a smile that was a shadow of his usual high voltage grin. "I can't really remember, but -" he massaged his temples.
The Doctor watched him, his frown deepening. "She's supposed to be the Lady Monstrous," he said. "A great leader. A time campaigner. A hero to all Time Agents."
"Yeah." Jack sat down at their table suddenly. He looked ill. "I - sort of remember that. Didn't she overturn the Temporal Anomaly Division? The original one, that took the bribes for beneficial anomaly induction?" The Doctor nodded.
Jack rubbed his temples some more. "I met her at least once, I think. Maybe more than once. I just can't remember."
Rose looked at the Doctor and gestured at Jack. "Maybe we should go?"
The Doctor leapt to his feet, suddenly all motion. "Yes," he said. "You're absolutely right! We have to go. We have time to fix."
Inthixit City, GaGaSaSa, 9.12.2730
The three of them pressed against the alley wall, which was a fairly heroic undertaking, given the slime dripping down it. In the sky, some kind of flying craft circled, shining searchlights on the ground, so minutes of almost pure blackness alternated with seconds of blinding light. Rose couldn't see a thing except the data crawl running along the top of the wall near her. Every building she'd seen on this planet had one, just an endless string of characters in soft blue lights against a midnight blue background.
"Through there, I think," Jack said. His eyes apparently worked better, or maybe he was just sounding confident again. He did that, projected confidence like he'd done a training course on it.
The Doctor was looking around, eyes narrowed. Rose didn't think it was from the searchlight. "Right you are, Captain," he said, and they plunged ahead. The Doctor found a door and yanked it open. Bath Haus of GaGa, Rose read on it as they went through. She wondered why just GaGa, when the planet was named GaGaSaSa.
It wasn't exactly pretty inside. "Ah, the Concrete Minimalism school of architecture," Jack said, surveying the empty room. "So very dystopian empire, I always think."
The Doctor said, "Always makes me think of those little cheese nibbles with the crackery bits. Love those." Rose and Jack exchanged glances and shrugs. The Doctor led them forward, through the room of cracked cement and bare light bulbs and weird twisted metal rods, down a corridor. After a few seconds with the sonic screwdriver, he opened a door and walked in.
The girl from the auction was taking a bath. At least, Rose thought it was the girl from the auction. She looked different, big-eyed and sort of pink-haired and vacant. She had headphones on, and she was singing to herself. Her hands didn't seem to work right - they twitched, but not in rhythm. It was hard to look at them.
The Doctor tapped her on the shoulder, and she turned to look at him, but much too slowly, not at all like a person startled in the bath. After a moment, she hesitantly removed her earphones. "Hello," he said. "We're here to rescue you."
She blinked. "Hello," she said. "I'm more than a woman. I'm a lady. I give good value for money."
Rose leaned forward. "We're here to save you from the auction," she explained. "Do you want to be in the auction?"
"Oh, you're pretty," the woman said. "So pretty." She turned to Jack. "How may I serve you today, master?" Jack frowned at her, and Rose stepped back.
The Doctor said, "Sorry. Wrong time," and led the way out.
"Blanked?" Jack said. "I didn't think they were using that in these parts."
"Blanked?" Rose asked him.
"A kind of selective brain damage," Jack told her. "Readies the body for cyberbiological reprogramming. Can't be reversed. Banned. It's one of the big illegal mindhacks."
Rose said, "I'd hope that would be illegal."
"It's not only that. I didn't think anyone knew how to do it during this time. It was supposed to have been developed during the Sancifrangi 73 Second War, and that's not for another, oh, seven hundred years."
Jack and Rose both turned their eyes to the Doctor's back. He was walking in front of them, radiating anger. "This isn't right," the Doctor snarled.
"So what're we going to do?" Rose asked him.
"Back to the TARDIS. We've got to find the way in," he said.
Inthixit City, GaGaSaSa, 1.12.2725
Same alley - full dark, this time, no light anywhere. At least they knew the way; no need to crouch against the walls, which didn't have the data crawl yet, but already had the slime. The three of them walked towards the Bath Haus, following more their memories of the previous walk than anything they could see.
A distant explosion lit the night, too far to be any trouble for them, although the ground shook alarmingly. They walked a little faster.
"If she's still in there, won't she still be blanked?" Rose asked.
"Maybe we can catch her before they blank her," Jack said.
"There's got to be a way," the Doctor said. "There's always a way."
"Nice to hear you being cheerful," Rose told him.
"Was I?" The Doctor gave her a bright smile, there on his face and then gone again seconds later.
They walked through the Bath Haus - fewer cracks in the cement, but otherwise just like it was before. Or like it would be, anyway. They checked the room where the woman had been in the bath. It was empty, but the walls were lined with shelves holding odd-shaped bottles labeled Lex Nemiroff. Vodka, Rose would have guessed back on earth. Could be anything here.
The Doctor looked around once, shook his head, and walked towards a door in the back. Jack, following him, paused to look at the bottles. "Huh," he said. "Basic mindhack, memory type." He slid one of the smallest ones into his pocket. "Could come in useful," he told Rose. "Never know when you'll be wanting to forget something. If only so you can do it all over again."
"You're incorrigible, you are," she told him.
He grinned at her. "And you love it."
"Come on, then. We're going to lose him, the mood he's in."
The Doctor was already in the next room. Jack and Rose followed him in. It was filled with - well, they looked almost like closed white sunbeds, except that they had locks on the side.
Jack moved forward, Compact Laser Deluxe at the ready, and began checking each bed. Rose started for the other side of the row, but she stopped in front of one of the beds - unlike all the others, it had a label on it. "Monster," she read. "I thought she wasn't Lady Monstrous now?"
The Doctor looked at the label, arms folded, and Jack came to stand next to him. "She isn't."
"So this isn't her?" Rose asked.
"Bet you anything it is," Jack said. "This has paradox written all over it."
"Someone knows who she will be," the Doctor said. "Explains a bit, doesn't it?"
"Time Lord?" Rose asked.
"Time Agency?" Jack asked.
"Should be fun finding out," the Doctor said. "But we can't do it here."
"Why not?" Rose asked.
"These are growth-medium vats," Jack said. "Grow you up a clone real well. But you can't grow true humans in here; they end up crazy. No stimulation. You can only grow someone who's already blanked."
"Earlier?" Rose asked.
"Earlier," the Doctor confirmed.
Inthixit City, GaGaSaSa, 1.12.2710
The TARDIS took them to a different big cement box building. "Everywhere on this planet looks the same," Rose said.
"It's daytime, though. That's different," Jack pointed out. They rounded a corner of the building and saw what was clearly the front entrance, with big glass doors. Rose blinked, and the characters on the door swam into focus. HOSPITAL, they said.
Ahead of them, two women in white coats went in through the door. They cut in after them, and found themselves in the nicest place Rose had yet seen on this planet. It was pretty clearly a lobby, with a reception desk and some fairly comfortable-looking chairs and two tellies, both showing some kind of game. "Hey," called the receptionist, seeing them.
"Hi there," Jack said, stepping forward with a smile, and the receptionist gave Rose an absolutely filthy look.
Rose stepped forward. "Quiet," she snapped at Jack, and he winked at her before bowing his head. "Sorry," she told the receptionist, feeling her way. "He's new."
"I'd be ashamed to go out with one that new," the receptionist said, rolling her eyes. "Anyway, you know better. You can't have them in here. I'm not saying anything about them in particular, you know, I'm sure you have them under excellent control, but we've got to be strict nowadays. You wouldn't believe the spies we've had in here."
"Oh, I understand," Rose said to her. She didn't, of course, but she'd learned how to fake it. "Go home," she told the Doctor and Jack. "Wait for me there. Do nothing until I get back." They swung around in unison and walked out. Rose didn't like their chances of doing nothing - not those two - but at least she'd be free to get what she could here.
"So," the receptionist said, smiling at her conspiratorially, "just in from the country?"
"Does it show?" Rose asked, looking down at her clothes. They were fairly nice, she thought - a greenish A-line skirt, with a laced bodice top and a big long scarf she'd found in one of the TARDIS wardrobes.
"Oh, yeah," the receptionist said, patting her hand. "It shows. But no worries, we don't judge. I just thought maybe I should drop you a hint -" she trailed off, raising her eyebrows at Rose slightly.
"Please," Rose said. "Don't want to put my foot in it more than I already have, do I?"
"It's not like it used to be. Things have changed. You can't just walk around with your men like that - everyone's saying they're responsible for the plague. Coders, you know? And people are saying it's a code plague. They're liable to get hurt." The receptionist sighed. "Things'll get better, though, I know it. The Mothers will figure out the plague. Bound to."
"Absolutely," Rose said.
"Is that why you're here? We've had so many people coming in, from really deep in the country, even. It's hitting hard," the receptionist said. "And it's so - well, you know. It's terrifying, thinking about it. All those memories, all of you, just gone - well. Like I said, I'm guessing you know. Who are you here to see?"
Rose sniffled and pressed her hands to her eyes. "My sister. I just - I'm not sure if I can face seeing her this way, you know?" She pressed really hard on her eyes, hard enough to redden them, and wiped them. "Actually, I think I need to take a moment before I - I go in there." She sniffed again. "Is there -?"
"Round the corner to the left," the receptionist said.
Rose followed her directions to what she assumed was the ladies' - it was just labeled TOILET. She ran water and splashed some on her face and into her eyes, and then headed out again, going down the hall, away from reception. She passed a lot of women in white, all looking harried, many talking into headsets and even tapping on little screens as they walked. "Cerebral function down below 17 percent" one was saying as Rose passed her.
"Rewrite speed cresting at 1.7 per mili," another said.
"Negative, negative, negative," a third droned, tapping on her screen with each repetition of the word.
Rose turned down another hallway, and sirens started blaring. A bright green light flashed, making it hard to see anything. "Hey, you," a woman called to her - she had dark hair, sensible shoes, and three screens in her hands, so she was obviously important. "No access without a full biosuit! Do you want to be a mindwipe?"
"Sorry, I'm lost," Rose told her. "I was here visiting -" she let her voice shake a bit "- and I wasn't thinking about where I was going, and I just. I'm just looking for the way out."
The woman frowned at her. "Right," she said, drawing the word out. "Why don't you come with me, and we'll talk about it?"
"Can't, sorry," Rose told her, and turned and ran back the way she came. She'd had lots of practice running in her time with the Doctor, and she easily outdistanced the woman. She ran back through the lobby and out the door, waving to the receptionist. Then she headed straight for the TARDIS.
When she burst into the door, the Doctor and Jack were already there, arguing - the Doctor with a lot of emphasis, Jack with a lot of hand gestures.
"There's a plague," Rose told them, catching her breath. "It's got to do with brain blanking, just like what happened to the Lady."
"There's also a war," Jack told her. "Just started. And we've got anomalous readings from the timestream."
The Doctor picked up his sonic screwdriver and used it on a panel that was displaying a lot of staticky lines. When that didn't work, took off his shoe and hit it against the panel three times. "She's not usually this cranky," he said. Apparently that did the trick, because the static resolved into some kind of text. "This says this society will lead to Mindwipe Plague, the Code Wars, and the eradication of life on three planets."
It was obvious to Rose that the Doctor thought this was wrong, but it perfectly matched what she'd seen outside. "I can believe that," she said.
"This society leads to the Eighth Glorious Singularity."
"The plague and the Code Wars are what's going on out there," Jack told him.
"I was here for the Eighth Glorious Singularity," the Doctor said. "Fairly standard, as biomachine ascensions go. Loads of pink everywhere, and then some mediocre music. Have you ever noticed that most higher intelligences aren't really very interesting? Why do you suppose that is?"
"Wait," Rose said, trying to drag them back on topic. "I thought we were saving Lady Monstrous. Are we stopping a war now?"
The Doctor lifted his head up and stared at her. "Excellent point," he said. He looked back down at the panel on the TARDIS. "What are the odds," he said slowly, "that this is all unrelated?"
"Well, normally I'd say it's just Lai's Fourth Law -" Jack began.
"What's Lai's -" Rose interrupted.
"Sometimes time goes all funny in spots for no good reason," the Doctor told her. Jack opened his mouth to object, and the Doctor said, "That's what it says! You can't say it any better than that in less than twenty words. Go on, I dare you."
"My point is, usually where we go there's a reason things 'go funny'," Jack said, making the air quotes and rolling his eyes. "It's like Lai's never heard of you."
Rose waved the distractions away. "So, can we stop the war by saving Lady Monstrous?"
"No," the Doctor said. "The origins of the war come before she does. The men who started it - the software warlords - started pulling the strings the year before she was born."
"Then are we saving Lady Monstrous by stopping the war?"
The Doctor looked down at his panel again. "We can't stop the war," he said. "It's happening. It's in the timestream. Whatever I remember about the future, this is history now."
"Well, can we stop the plague?"
The Doctor shook his head once, lips pressed tight together.
"But we can still save Lady Monstrous?" Rose asked.
The Doctor looked up and grinned. "That we can do."
"But you just said there was no way in here," Jack said.
"Ah, but now we know the problem."
"We do?" Rose said, and looked at Jack. He shook his head.
"What's the one thing we know for sure happens to Lady Monstrous, in this timestream?" the Doctor asked.
"Well, she gets blanked -" Rose started.
"Right, but in that auction, she wasn't just a blanked vessel. She's been filled. So she's a cyborg, but she probably didn't have full volition. No cyborg would put up with that if it had full volition. Some kind of slave cyborg, probably," Jack speculated. "With one of the illegal operating systems, the kind that limit sentience, I'd guess."
"And what's the main thing you and I know about Lady Monstrous from our own timestreams?" the Doctor asked him
"She was amazing," Jack said. "She was the best Time Agent who ever lived. She did the impossible."
"She also gave the commencement address to every Time Academy graduating class for 400 years," the Doctor said.
"Can't be all in a row. The speaker the year after I graduated was the Fieldlance," Jack said.
"So yours was the last," the Doctor said. "I always assumed she just spent a year and a bit attending commencements, one every day. Thought she must really like mediocre speeches and shiny hats. But supposing she didn't?"
"Employees of the Time Agency may not prolong, extend, or otherwise alter their lifespans through the use of unnatural -" Jack recited, and then broke off.
"Exactly," the Doctor said. "You see? A cyborg has a prolonged lifespan naturally. She could've lived far more than four hundred years and done everything she's said to have done. Explains how she survived closing that Rift, too. See?"
"So," Rose said, thinking it out, "we want her to be a cyborg. We need her to be a cyborg. But when she's a cyborg she's, what you said, a slave cyborg. We need to make her an ordinary free cyborg."
Jack blinked and jerked upright. "Right," he said. "We need to make her a free cyborg." He pressed his hand to his forehead like he had a killer headache.
The Doctor looked at him with narrowed eyes, and then smiled. "Back we go," he said.
Inthixit City, GaGaSaSa, 11.12.2730
Jack adjusted the silver bands on his face.
"You look ridiculous," Rose told him.
"It's the height of fashion here," Jack told her, "and I look fantastic."
"We can't give you the proper neural connectors, though," the Doctor said, "at least, not if we want you still walking and talking when all this is over. So you'll just have to hope these chaps aren't the chatty kind."
"There's hardly ever any small talk at sex-slave auctions," Jack told him, in a tone that suggested he was being reassuring. "At least, not among the bidders."
"So what are you going to do?" Rose said. "Just going to the auction and improvising doesn't seem like a good idea. These software warlords don't sound easy to put one over on."
"They've been suppressing an entire half of their race for fifty years on the strength of one piece of viral mindhacking software," Jack said. "They've got to be weakening by now, getting soft off their own success. But it doesn't matter. I have all the answers." His eyes went dark and he looked down. For once, he wasn't smiling. "I've been given all the answers."
"But you don't even remember meeting her," Rose said.
"I'm remembering more all the time," Jack said, and he sounded tense. He touched his wrist strap and jerked his chin up. "Let's go save some time," he said.
Rose and the Doctor picked a different bar to watch the auction broadcast from. "So embarrassing, running into yourself," the Doctor said, "and it gives me a headache, every time. Not to mention, seeing what I used to wear -" he shook his head.
They watched more of it, this time. Rose winced as they saw the blanked Lady-Monstrous-to-Be getting prepared for the auction. Women in white forced some liquid down her throat - it looked like the same stuff Jack had stolen, actually - and put her in a bath filled with what looked like jewels and mercury. "Standard cyborg matrix," the Doctor told Rose, sipping at his drink. The blanked girl fought back, but not especially well, until the third time the women pushed her down in the matrix. Then she went very still.
"This'll all be background material," the Doctor said. "Must've done it days ago. You can see a non-sentient cyborg isn't worth much at first - we met her when she was like this, just after this, in fact, and she was still just like she'd been blanked."
There was a series of commercials, all for software and gadgets, and then the program came back with the actual auction. Rose could just barely see Jack sitting on the edge of the circle; he had the silver bands on, but she recognized his hair and his ears. The camera focused on a couple of the men: First Leading Strategymaster Kino and Warlord Supreme Commander Dizon, the gold faceplate man. Rose snorted, studying the names. "They're like little boys with those titles."
The Doctor nodded thoughtfully. "Makes sense. Known a lot of little boys who've enslaved half a planet."
On the screen, Jack watched the Lady dance, almost as stone-faced as the other men. She moved forward, and he gestured with his controller - Rose couldn't see him move at all, but the numbers next to his name increased. The Lady moved over and slid onto his lap, gyrating and pulsing. The crowd in the bar with them cheered and shouted obscenities.
Rose only saw it because she was watching for it - Jack closed the Lady's hand around his wrist, and for a second, her fingernails went silver and stretched. She froze and twitched once, convulsively, before continuing the lap dance. She stared hard into Jack's eyes and drew one fingernail, still silver, down his arm; she left behind a little trail of blood, Rose noticed. Then the Lady stood up, looked around, and saw Warlord Supreme Commander Dizon. Rose thought she saw just a hint of a smile on the Lady's face before the next lapdance started.
Dizon won, just like last time. When the program came back from the commercial break, it was to the same bedroom. Dizon sat on the bed, still totally expressionless, just waiting, and Rose wondered if maybe it hadn't worked. They couldn't put Jack back in the auction somewhere else, and there wasn't another chance to save Lady Monstrous, since her entire cyborging process was recorded. And then the Lady stalked in, dragging a ridiculous dress behind her. She was in no way the submissive slave from the last time, and Rose took a relieved breath.
The Lady dropped the dress, and Dizon watched; Rose thought he was interested, but she couldn't be sure. The camera was directly behind the Lady, so Rose didn't see what she did. She just saw the flames start.
A few minutes later, she saw Dizon's burned corpse, and then someone, somewhere, developed some sense and shut off the feed. TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, the screen said.
Rose and the Doctor were having drinks when Jack strolled into the bar. "Well, I think that did the trick," he said. "Whose round is it?"
"Oh, mine," the Doctor said, punching some orders into the table service monitor.
Rose took another cautious sip of her drink - it was sort of like a strawberry caramel alcoholic milkshake, and she wasn't sure if she liked it or not. "But what did you do to her?" she asked Jack.
"It's not really what I did to her. It's what she did to me."
"You mean the bit with the wrist strap?"
"Yeah. But not in the auction - back when I graduated. She infected me." Jack's voice took on an edge when he said that, and Rose watched him, worried. "Me and my wrist strap both. In all these years, it never has worked exactly right, and I think it's because of her." Jack's beverage, a greenish purple thing, was delivered to the table by what looked like a table-person hybrid, and he took a long drink from it.
"You mean she did that thing to you? The mindhacking? I thought she was supposed to be so noble!"
"A great Time Agent isn't noble," Jack said. "A great Time Agent is effective. And she's the greatest one there ever was. Will be, I mean." He drank again and shrugged. "Well, she came from here, so she had access to the tools. Or she will, soon. She already took down Dizon, so it'll mostly be cleanup from here on out, and then she'll have all the software she could ever need - weapons of mass deletion, softwards, mindhacks, metaviruses, whatever. And she's already got the hardware. She just needed a free OS to unlock it, to unlock her. So that's what she gave me, plus enough amnesia to get me here, and enough stimulus-triggered recovery points that I could remember what I needed to do when it was time." He drank again, and his mouth twisted a little, like the drink was bitter.
"So you saved her, so she becomes a Time Agent so she can make you save her?"
"She always was the queen of the paradox loop," Jack said, and finished his glass. The Doctor wordlessly handed him another. "There was that whole deal with the Temporal Anomaly Division, remember? Oh, right, you can't. Well, now I can."
"I remember," the Doctor said. "I knew I'd seen Dizon somewhere before. The faceplate was distracting. Kept making me think of those things humans put on their teeth, you know, with the rubber bands and all."
"You knew him?" Rose said.
"Dealt with him a few times. He was the first head of the Temporal Anomaly Division. Liked to play with time, he did."
Jack choked on his drink. "You know, they always said Lady Monstrous killed the first head of the TAD."
"And she did, too," the Doctor pointed out. "Just not right away."
"I'm not sure I follow," Rose said.
"Lady Monstrous took down the corrupt officers in the TAD," the Doctor told her. "Took down Dizon's dirty little empire. Obviously, Dizon decided he'd make one last anomaly, go back and take her down. Conquered the planet to do it, derailed the Eighth Great Singularity, mindhacked millions, enslaved at least that many cyborgs. All to take down Lady Monstrous."
"But he couldn't," Jack said. "Because she'd given me the Free BTCH OS, to give to her when the time was right."
"Takes more than planetary warfare to destroy someone like Lady Monstrous," the Doctor said. "She's unwarped so many paradoxes she's practically a fixed point in time. Gives me the shivers, that does." He did, in fact, shiver a bit, and then he got up and rubbed his hands together. "Well, we're done here. What say we do a little touring?"
Rose smiled at him. "Brilliant! Where are we going?"
The Doctor offered her his hand. "How'd you like to visit Woman Wept?"
Rose loved it instantly, before she'd even seen it. "So why's it got a name like that, then?" The Doctor started to explain, and she looked over her shoulder. Jack was running his fingers over his wrist strap, staring at it, shaking his head. "You coming, Jack?" she called.
Jack looked up at her, smiled, and swallowed the last of his drink. "Absolutely," he said. "I'm game for anything. When should we start?"