Author's Note: Sorry... again. You know what, I should stop apologizing to you guys. Not that you don't deserve an apology. It just gets old after a while...
I'm not sure who, if anyone, is still reading this, but if anyone actually is, than you deserve the next chapter. I still have quite a few to put up, so maybe I'll get to those, too. I wonder if this is as fun to read as it is to write.
Again, many many thanks to Miache.


Chapter Twelve

Welcome Party

The Doctor was the first to step off of Captain Jack's ship into a bright silver docking bay. It was large enough to house nearly four more of their own small ship, but the metallic room was empty enough to hear a pin drop. An important-looking humanoid alien entered and walked toward him, making no doubts about his destination, flanked by three shorter ones. Their eyes appeared to be like a cat's, the pupils stretching from the top to the bottom of each colored iris.

The Doctor lifted Jack's chin in an important way and presented himself as the captain of the ship, smiling.

"I'm Captain Jack Harkness," he said in an official manner. "And to whom do I owe the pleasure?"

The slightly green-tinged humanoid in front of him made no effort to nod, instead looking down his nose - as he was a very tall alien - at the Doctor. "Commander Campton," he introduced without a smile. "Of the War Aeyro Jux. Your crew?"

The others stepped out of the small ship, footsteps echoing loudly off of the shining floor. The Doctor introduced each as they stepped off of the ship. "This is Mickey, Martha, Gwen, and..." He waited for himself to uncomfortably climb down to the silver floor. "This is the Doctor." He clapped Martha on the back.

Commander Campton eyed Martha, sizing her tall, slim figure as if searching for something. "This is the Doctor?" he asked warily.

"You've heard of me?" Martha asked, smiling.

He frowned and lifted his chin a little. "We mustn't underestimate their kind again. Guard!"

One of his shorter followers stood to attention.

"Prep the Suite."

The guard bowed and turned to walk away in an official manner.

Commander Campton turned back toward the Doctor and smiled as a clean adult would at a dirty little child. "Captain Harkness, we've had rooms prepared for you and your crew."

"May I ask," the Doctor said quickly, before the Commander could step away, "Why did you hail us in such a, let's be honest, rude way?"

He smiled that smile of disgust again and ignored the question. "If you could follow me." Commander Campton turned on his heel and began walking toward a door. One of his followers stayed with him and the other waited for the Doctor and his companions to pass.


"What did you say?" the Doctor asked angrily, turning to face the Commander against the starry backdrop of the bridge.

"It's very simple. You have temporal transportation, have you not?"

"No!" he lied, taking a step toward the officer. "And even if we did, we wouldn't use it to help you defeat your enemy!"

"It's quite a noble cause," Commander Campton assured him.

"It's one man," Martha said. "You can't tell me you'd go through all this effort just to get one man?"

"If you only knew what we'd been through, Doctor," he sighed, shaking his head. "This 'one man' is threatening the safety of our entire government. We need to take him down now before he unravels all of our hard work."

"How can one man be so much of a threat to you?"

"You tell me, Doctor." The Commander looked her in the eye. "This is why we've chosen you. We need people who behave like him - people who think like him. Simply chasing after him won't do anything, and he seems to get out of any prison we keep him in. We need to know how he works."

"And just how are you going to do that?" Mickey asked.

"I'm going to send you after him." He didn't look away from Martha. "The lot of you. Only you can track him down properly and bring him to us."

Rose crossed Martha's arms. "And what happens if we refuse?"

Campton looked toward her but didn't respond. "Guards!" he called instead, and five shorter aliens came to stand by him. "Escort these men and women to their accommodations."

The guards bowed and removed what looked like silver guns as thin as twigs from their pockets. Four of them ushered the group toward an elevator, but one grabbed Martha's arm.

"You come with me, Doctor," he said, pulling Martha in the other direction.

"Where are you taking him?" the Doctor shouted.

"We have special lodgings for that one," Commander Campton said simply, turning away.

The Doctor, the TARDIS, Mickey, and Rose were led roughly by the arm down an elevator and through a long, silver hallway. At the end of the hallway, each guard pressed a hand to a panel next to a steel door. The doors slid open and the guards threw their respective prisoners simultaneously into identical cells.