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And Doncha Come Back Part 7

"We have to get to the TARDIS!" The Doctor yelled over the self-destruct countdown.

The scientists had disappeared from the lab, either by the same teleportation that had spirited away Jerrid and Morton, or by an emergency exist. The Doctor hoped Morton wouldn't blow up a building full of her own employees, but there was no way he could check.

"Who has a self-destruct?" Marty asked no one in particular. "No seriously. Why does anyone build something and think: Know what would be awesome? If it blew up the second I left town."

"The window!" Jack shouted to Rex and the two men lifted their machineguns and opened fire. The bullets scratched and shook the glass, but after emptying both their clips, there wasn't any sign that the glass would break. They both threw down their guns in frustration.

"39... 38..."

"Uh, boys," Marty pointed towards the Doctor, who flipped his sonic screwdriver in the air with a smug grin on his face. The door into the lab was wide open.

"We should get one of those," Rex smiled and followed the Doctor into the lab.

As the count hit 30 the building began to shake. Marty ignored it; the Doctor was at the door, he was opening it, they were home free. They had won.

"Going so soon?" Captain John Hart stepped around the TARDIS, not blocking their way in, but holding a gun, which was good enough to stop all of them.

"You've got a lot of nerve showing your face again," Jack glared.

"My home is about to blow up because of you. I think you've gotten your revenge."

"Almost," Jack pulled out his gun.

The two were staring each other down, completely ignoring everyone else in the room, completely ignoring the countdown.

"18... 17..."

"Let it go Jack," the Doctor whispered to Jack.

"He betrayed me - us - again!"

"Not you, just them."

Jack raised his gun, his finger twitching on the trigger. "Same difference."

"If we stay we all die!" Marty shouted.

"I won't," Jack's voice was cold.

"I bet it'll still hurt though," John smiled.

"It'll be worth it."

"5... 4..."

"No time to argue!" Rex tackled Jack through the open TARDIS doors. Jack struggled to get back up, but Rex held firm as the Doctor followed.

"3..."

Marty jumped in, but not before seeing John reach for his arm...

"2..."

A blue light enveloped him and Marty slammed the door shut behind him.

"1."

The TARDIS shook, sending everyone standing to the floor. The Doctor was by the consul, he reached up and grabbed a lever and then the all-too familiar breathing sound drowned out that of the explosion.

"You should have left me!" Jack screamed at Rex.

"He's dead anyway," Rex shoved Jack aside and got back to his feet.

"Uh," Marty pulled himself up, about to tell Jack what he saw, but then thought better of it. What did he see? For all he knew John was dead. "Maybe he had one of those teleporter things?"

"It's called a vortex manipulator, and there's no maybe about it," Jack finally stood. "He was a Time Agent too, they all were."

"Jack, did you know that woman?" The Doctor asked.

Jack shook his head. "I never met her, but..."

"But?" Marty leaned forward.

"Once, before the agency dissolved, I heard about a Time Agent who went rogue - and I mean really rogue. She was linked to assassinations and robberies over the span of 2000 years - that we knew of. She was the Time Agencies most wanted. That was the beginning of the end for us."

"She wanted to turn people into time machines."

"Huh?" The three men looked at Marty in confusion.

"Like, she wanted to travel through time without a time machine."

"Is that possible?" Jack looked at the Doctor, who shrugged uneasily.

"Anything's possible."

"But is this possible?"

The Doctor was silent.

"Well we blew up their man factory, right?" Marty looked around the room. "Can't we cross them off as defeated?"

"As long as she's alive, you haven't defeated her," Jack replied solemnly.

To Be Continued in Episode Ten: Get Marty!

(This episode brings this entire story over 88,000 words! To be precise, the last chapter did, but because I didn't bother figuring out how much of that was actual story and how much was author's comments, I'm not entirely sure when we crossed that bridge - hell, we might not have actually hit that yet. Either way, can you believe how long this bloody thing's gotten? Oh man, I need another break...)

[Sorry about the mix-up earlier!]