I do not own Doctor Who or The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne

Chapter 3

Ace and Passepartout worked the night straight through to finish building the engine for the Phoenix and then install it. Both were tired with badly frayed tempers when they finished just before the sun came up, but the knowledge that they were finished filled them both with a sense of exaltation that helped wash their weariness away.

They grinned at each other like children as they gazed at their finished creation.

"So, Miss Ace, would you like to be doing the honors?" Passepartout asked her with a bow as he gestured with his arm towards the Phoenix.

She nodded and stepped through the opening to sit in the chair.

"I still don't understand how more than one person is going to fit into this contraption," she said skeptically. She had thought they would be using the Timelord technology was to make the Phoenix larger on the inside, but it was still the same.

She shook her head. Maybe that would happen after the engine was turned on she thought with a shrug and reached down to activate the engine.

The crystals Passepartout had built into the matrix of the machine began to glow and she heard a low hum as the engine came to life. She suddenly jerked in the chair as she felt a blast of energy pass through her. She ducked her head out of the opening and watched as the energy field rippled through the walls and was gone.

She looked at Passepartout who was grinning widely.

"What was that?"

He gave a short shake of his head as a mischievous expression crossed his face. He gestured again and she turned to look at the engine and gasped as a small, holographic field unfolded above the engine itself showing an external view of the Aurora. As she looked at the "screen" she saw the energy field expand and enfold the whole of the dirigible and she suddenly realized what Passepartout had done.

"You externalized the field!" she gasped as she stepped out of the Phoenix. "You've turned the whole of the Aurora into a time machine."

"Yes, I did," he replied proudly and folded his arms as he gazed at the Phoenix in satisfaction.

"Is it stable?" she wanted to know.

Passepartout stepped to the entrance of the Phoenix and motioned that she should sit down again. He pointed at the holographic screen and the image of the Aurora it contained.

Ace looked again and realized she energy field was clearly visible surrounding the Aurora. It pulsed strongly and she looked smooth, seamless and above all, stable.

"Any problem in the field and it should show up on the screen," he told her. He pointed to the grouping of crystals that were giving off a pulsing glow. "You touch those crystals there to be adjusting the field and correct…" he paused as he searched for the word, "instabilities," he finished.

"Passepartout, this is nothing short of amazing," she breathed. She couldn't believe he, a mere human, had managed to alter and adapt Timelord technology to this purpose. She narrowed her eyes and looked back up at him. "Are you sure you're human?"

Passepartout chuckled. "But of course I am being a human, what else could I possibly be?" he asked her. "You are sometimes saying very strange things Miss Ace," he added.

"Yes, I guess I am," she conceded. Just human, but clearly a very talented one. She was drawn to Passepartout, she had to admit to herself. His intellect and skill matched and in some ways, outstripped, her own Timelord modified attributes. It was hopeless, however. She wasn't entirely human anymore and any relationship she might want to enter into would end in a great deal of pain as he grew old and died and she did not. She swallowed the lump she felt in her throat and allowed herself to examine the engine controls and familiarize herself with how they worked.

"Miss Ace," she heard Passepartout say her name and she looked up to see Fogg standing next to his former servant.

"So, this field that surrounds the ship also seems solid enough for there to be air out on the deck," Fogg informed her. She looked at Passepartout and he nodded.

"It is protective and yes, is making it okay for us to breathe anywhere on the ship," Passepartout explained.

"All right, then," she sighed. "Passepartout, you take the Aurora as near to the warehouse where the Count was keeping Jack as possible without our being seen."

"If you touch there," Passepartout indicated, "we will be blending in and they will not see us. Also, we are not being heard through the field."

Ace smiled. "Perfect. Then fly us directly over the warehouse. I'll then activate the time jump and take us back to as soon after Jack was taken as possible," she told them. She was just thankful she could remember the sound of the bells she had heard not long after she had come to after Jack was taken. Jules had explained to her it had been a nearby clock tower striking the time. It gave her a rough idea of the time frame she needed.

Passepartout nodded and headed for the control room. Fogg gripped Ace's shoulder. She looked at him and nodded once. He nodded back and then turned to follow Passepartout to the control room.

Ace's fingers danced lightly over the controls as she programmed the time they needed to get to, pausing only when she felt the slight jolt of the Aurora changing course to fly them to the warehouse. She waited, with her hand poised over the panel, almost holding her breath, to hear Passepartout announce they had arrived at the warehouse.

She finally heard his voice come through the speaker. "We have arrived." She took a deep breath, sent out a silent prayer and pressed the control. A familiar sound began to issue from the engine, it sounded just like the engine of a TARDIS. She couldn't help the smile that tugged the corners of her mouth as the sound washed over her. All too soon it stopped and she looked at the screen. Under the image of the Aurora hovering over the warehouse appeared the date and time she had programmed in. They had arrived.

She locked the controls in place and climbed from the Phoenix, pausing only to grab her knapsack as she jogged to the control room.

"We're here," she told them. Fogg nodded and checked his sword and then his gun.

"Shall we," he said and gestured towards the now open hatch. She and Phileas would go down and get Jack back from the Count. Jules would provide cover fire if they needed and Passepartout would be ready to fly away as soon as they were on the winch platform with Jack.

Ace and Fogg dropped lightly to their feet and crept quietly across the roof of the warehouse. At this time, it was crawling with the League of Darkness. Ace realized their rescue of Jack had been an elaborate trap. She thought perhaps Jack, no, not Jack, the Count was planning to kill them all, but they'd responded to quickly to Rebecca's scream and he'd had to run.

The Count could not have expected this, however. But it would be tougher to rescue Jack this time. They would have to be careful. She and Fogg went to the edge of the roof and crouched there before looking over the low railing. They mentally noted the positions of the soldiers and ducked back behind the low wall around the roof.

"I have Nitro-10," she told Fogg softly. He nodded.

"I think our best chance is to wait until the ones with Jack get near the door, then drop Nitro-10 on them. We can get Jack under cover of the smoke and hopefully get him away from the blast area before it goes off."

"You go down and wait over there," Ace pointed at the corner of the building to their left. "I'll go down just over there after I drop the canister."

Fogg nodded and quickly moved to the corner of the building, edged over and then dropped out of her sight. She heard nothing and smiled. No guards over there. She peered back over the edge and glanced towards the road and finally saw a wagon approaching. She felt her heartbeat speed up in excitement as she watched the driver rein the horse to a stop and jump down from the wagon seat.

She watched several guards approach the wagon and they carefully lifted Jack from the bed of the wagon and began to carry him to the door. She waited until one of the three guards moved to open the door and then dropped the canister.

She jumped to her feet with a cry of dismay as the canister detonated. It must have been faulty, she realized and watched as the guards and Jack were flung into the air like rag dolls. She shouldered the knapsack and began to climb down the building as quickly as possible as she watched Phileas run for Jack's limp form. She fished out the radio and brusquely ordered Passepartout to move the ship. Jack was dead and there was no way she and Fogg could get his body onto the roof and to the safety of the Aurora.

She bit her lip so hard it bled while she watched the airship slowly maneuver in their direction so that the winch platform would come within their reach. She looked over at the front of the warehouse. At least no guards would be coming out that way, but she was sure there was an entrance at the back and knew guards would come running towards them at any moment.

"Bloody hell," she heard Fogg yelp as a bullet hit the ground next to him. He shifted and lifted Jack into a fireman's carry and began to move towards the direction of the Aurora. Jules must have seen and said something, for the platform suddenly hit the ground with a thump just in front of Fogg.

She watched Fogg get himself and Jack onto the platform and then Ace pulled her gun and fired back at the guards on the roof of the warehouse as she ran for the platform. She heard gunfire from above and saw Jules giving them covering fire from the deck of the Aurora. She tucked her gun into the waistband of her trousers and leapt for the platform.

She felt a blazing pain across her calf just before she landed on the platform. She rolled into a sitting position just in time to watch the warehouse recede into the distance as the Aurora flew away.

She shared a victorious smile with Fogg as they were lifted into the ship. Jack was dead, but he would revive and they had managed to escape from the Count otherwise unscathed. She guessed in a way it had been a good thing that canister had been faulty. They might not have made it out otherwise.

Fogg lifted Jack once again and carried him into a bedroom. Ace got up and cried out in pain.

"Miss Ace, you have been shot!" Passepartout exclaimed in dismay. Ace groaned and grabbed onto the winch to haul herself to her feet and suddenly Rebecca was there, ducking under Ace's arm to help her stand.

"If it's any consolation, I shot the man who shot you," Rebecca said with a grin. Ace half-nodded, hiding her surprise at seeing Rebecca. Of course Rebecca was alive now and it was probably best they didn't say anything about her having been dead.

Rebecca helped Ace limp into the study and then cleaned and bandaged Ace's leg.

"At least the bullet just grazed your leg, we don't have to try and dig it out."

"At least," Ace agreed, deadpan, and then chuckled.

"Can you help me down to the Phoenix?" she asked. Rebecca nodded and looped Ace's arm around her shoulder to help Ace hobble down to the workroom.

Ace eased herself into the seat and began to work the controls to send them all back to their proper time. She smiled once again as the familiar sound swirled around her. She closed her eyes and leaned back in the chair with a sigh.