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The Night The Doctor Came Back To McClarens
It all started when Barney saw the redheaded woman at the bar. As he got up to do what usually does, Ted asked, “Ah, Barney, where are you going?” He had the feeling all night the eccentric [to put it nicely] man was going to something he’d regret.
“You see that redhead over there?” The group-which, consisted of Ted, Marshall, Lily, and Robin, as per usual- simultaneously turned their head towards the bar. Then they turned back. “Yes?” Ted said nervously.
“I’m gonna do-what I usually do.” Barney replied awkwardly, as he too had feeling he was going to do something he’d regret.
Robin was the next to speak. “She seems kind of old for you. And also kind of confident.” She had seen the woman earlier that evening -Donna, she thought she heard her say her name was-and she seemed at least somewhat sure of herself.
“Well,” Barney said, sounding more like his usual, arrogant. Womanizing self. “Challenge accepted!”
“But Barney –I didn’t even-issue-a –challenge.” Robin said, but he had already run off towards the bar. “Oh, fine. Go then.”
Lily threw her arms up to the heavens and cried, “Not this again! How many times are we gonna wind up back here?! The guy’s a yo-yo! He goes from endless string of one night stands that only end in sorrow, to a healthy relationship, back to the endless string of one night stands!” She slammed her hands on the table. She was taking Barney’s issues personally.
Just then a male accented voice from behind said, “Excuse me, miss, I couldn’t help overhearing,” Lily, and Robin, who were sitting on the same side of their booth-the right side to be exact, or precise- turned to face the voice and saw a gangly looking man with dark brown hair done up in a crazy style sticking out from the top of his head, dark brown eyes, wearing a light brown pinstriped suit covered by a long brown coat. “What were you saying about that gentleman ever there and one nightstands?” What they didn’t know was he had some personal interest in the matter.
“Not that long ago he was dating this woman, Nora,” Lily began, “She’s actually a very nice woman, she’s British like you, actually, anyway, they broke up and now he’s back to his old ways, which leave a path of destruction, sorrow, and degradation in their wake.”
The man started to get up, but stopped in mid-air “No, Doctor.” He thought to himself, “You can’t. If she sees you, she might remember, and if she remembers her mind will burn up and she will die.” But if what the pregnant woman said was true, he couldn’t let this horrible man degrade her. “I’ll just have to make sure she doesn’t see me then,” He said out loud, then took off.
Lily and Robin turned back around to face Ted and Marshall. Robin was the first to speak.”Okay, what was that all about?”
Ted was the next to speak. “What was that guy drinking?”
Robin turned back around, picked up the glass the man had been drinking, and sniffed it contents. It smelt like ginger. She cautiously put the glass to her lips and tasted from it. It tasted like ginger. And was carbonated. She turned back to the group.”It’s just ginger ale.”She sated, confused.
“Then why in the heck was he acting so weird? “ Ted asked. “Did someone drug it, or something?”
“That'd have to be a really strong drug.”Lily added, “If that’s the case, Robin should start acting weird in a couple minutes.”
“Hey, guys, we may have a bigger problem than that,” Marshall cut it, tapping on Ted’s shoulder, “Look.” They all turned in time to see the strange man drag a struggling Barney out of the bar. “Okay, let’s go.” Ted said, and they all got up and headed for the door.
By the time they got outside the man had Barney backed up against the wall and had a strange sliver tube shoved up in his face. “You see this?” He said. Barney nodded. “Well this,” he said then pointed it towards the sign above the door, “Can do this.” Suddenly there was buzzing sound. The group stepped back a few inches as the sign came crashing to the ground. The man turned back to Barney and said his voice palpable with anger, “So believe me when I say that if you hurt that woman in any way, I will personally throw you into a super nova! Are we perfectly clear?”
“Crystal,” Barney groaned, “I will never flirt with that woman, hit on her, or even look at her lustfully.”
The man patted Barney on the shoulder than said as if they had just had a pleasant conversation, “Have a nice day.”
Robin could contain herself no longer. “What is wrong with you?!”
The man turned to face his critic, suddenly aware the audience that had gathered in the doorway. Robin walked toward him, continuing her rant. “First, you butt in on our conversation, then you start acting all weird, when all you had was ginger ale, then you drag Barney out here, take down the sign with your weird flashlight thingy, then you threaten to throw him into a super nova, then you pat him on the shoulder like nothing happened, and tell him to have a nice day! What are you bipolar or something?!”
“Well,” The man began, “When you put it that way I can see how it can look-derange, but there I have good reasons for all of it.” The man walked towards them as he talked.”You see, I use to travel with her but then, she sorta forgot about me,” he suddenly became very somber, “But I still think of her as my best friend, still care about, so when this lady here,” He gestured toward Lily, “congratulations on the pregnancy, by the way.”
Lily smiled awkwardly, “Thank you.”
“Anyway, when she told me this guy was a pig, I knew I had to do something, and yes, I know I probably went too far, at the very least I shouldn’t have took down the sign like that, it’s completely unfair to the owner of the establishment, he didn’t do anything wrong. For that, I’m sorry.”
After a moment of silence, Barney turned to Lily and said, “You’re the one who set this guy off on me?!”
“Just for the record, I never used the word pig.”Lily responded, “And the guy’s heart was in the right place.”
“Wait, wait, wait.” Robin cut in, “What do you mean sorta forgot you? How do you sorta forget someone?”
The man hesitated. “Maybe this one time it won’t hurt to tell the whole truth.” He thought to himself. “Okay, before we get started, there’s something you need to know for everything to make sense, but you can never tell anyone, because it’s not exactly something I’m shouting it from the rooftops. “
“Well, what is it?” Ted asked
“I’m an alien.”
“As in here illegally?”
“Well, that too I suppose. But I meant the extra terrestrial variety.”
Marshall gapped, garbed Lily in both his arms and shouted, “Did you hear that, Lily?! Did you hear that?!”
“Yes, yes, Baby! Yes I did!” Lily shouted. Marshall let go of her, turned back to the man and said, “I’ve always wanted to meet alien. This-is so-awesome!”
“Hold on, you two,” Robin interrupted, “This guy is not an alien. He’s just some nutcase who thinks he’s an alien.”
“So,” The man said, tumbling through his jacket pocket, “You don’t believe me then?”
“No.” Robin said, with all the bravado she could muster.
“Well, then,” He said starting to pull out whatever he was looking for in his jacket. They all got a little a nervous. To the relief, and some confusion, all he pulled out was a stethoscope. He extended the hand holding it towards Robin.
“Are you serious?”
“As the plague.”
“Oh, just give that,” Ted snapped, and snatched the stethoscope from the man’s hand. “This is getting ridiculous.”
“It passed ridiculous five minutes ago.” Robin quipped
Ted ignored her and said to the man “Now what do you want me to do with this?”
“Just put the end on my chest,” The man instructed, guiding Ted’s hand to his chest. “Now, what do you hear?”
“Your heart beat.”
“Good. Now move it to the other side.” He led Ted’s hand to the left side of his chest. “What do you heat now?”
“Another heart beat.” Ted said slowly, “From a completely different heart. In the same chest as your other one. Oh my ga! You really are an alien!”
“Give me that!” Robin said, taking the stethoscope away from Ted. She put the ear bubs in her own ears and listened to the man’s chest. Then she moved it to the left of the chest as Ted had. Then she heard the second heat beat. “Oh my ga, he’s not crazy!” Robin shouting jumping back. “He’s really an alien!”
“Yes, “The man replied, “Now will let me finish, or are you going yell my private business out into the streets all night?”
“Can we finish this inside?” Lilly asked, rubbing herself for warmth, “It’s freezing out here.”
“We can’t.” The man stated, “Or at least, I can’t. Not with her in there. You see, the reason she forgot me, is because there was an incident and if she ever remembers me she will burn up and die. What I did just now was risky enough, I-I can’t risk it again, I just can’t.”
“Well she might not even be in there anymore,” Ted suggested, “I’ll go in and see, and if she’s gone, we can all go in.”
Two minutes latter Ted came back, and said, “Okay, I talked to Carl, and he said she went out the back after you dragged Barney out here, and suggested he call the cops, so I’m pretty sure that means she still doesn’t remember you. Don’t worry, he didn’t call the cops, I told him we had the situation under control.”
It was Barney’s turn to interrupt.”Under control? The guy tried to throw me into a super nova!”
“Hey!” The man said defensively, “I never actually tried to throw you in one. I just said I would if you messed with my friend. And I said I was sorry.”
“Can we please have this conversation inside?” Lily interjected, “There’s a pregnant lady about to get frostbite here.”
The man took off his coat, walked over to Lily, and draped his coat over her. “Thank you,” She said, Mr.-“
“Oh. I’m The Doctor.”
When they had gotten back inside, and had all got seated, The Doctor began again. “Remember how the earth moved a couple years ago?” The group nodded. [This was before the cracks in the skin of the universe had erased the event from history, you understand.] “Well, me and my friends kind of defeated the Daleks and move the earth back to here, but in the process, Donna underwent what’s called a meta crisis. A Time Lord-Human meta crisis to be exact. Time Lord, that’s what I am, anyway, basically she had my mind jammed in her head.” He suddenly became very somber as he continued. “There had-never been a Time Lord Human meta crisis before. Because there couldn’t me. My mind-it was too for her. I had to take it out her, and remove all her memories of me. It was the only way to save her. Like I said earlier, if she ever remembers me, her mind will burn up, and she’ll die.” After a moment of silence, The Doctor said, “I’ve already taken up enough of you evening. I won’t keep you any longer.”
“No, Doctor,” Lily said, putting her hand on his shoulder, “Stay. Stay a little while. At least finish your drink.” She reached behind her, brought The Doctor’s glass around and sat it down on their table. The Doctor set down and took a sip of the ginger ale awkwardly.
“So, Doctor, I gotta ask,” Robin begin curiously, “Why does an alien come to earth, come to a bar, and only order a ginger ale? I mean, can you not process alcohol or something?”
“Actually,” The Doctor answered, “I can process it; I just can’t handle my liquor very well. There was this one time in 17th century France, I had one, maybe two glasses-“
“Hold on a second,” Robin interrupted, “Did you say 17th century France?”
“Oh. Yes. I can travel through time, too. Hence the name, Time Lord.”
Robin wanted to say the time travel was impossible, but then she remembered she hadn’t believed in aliens until a few minutes ago, so she decided to steer the subject back to why he was there. “So, about the ginger ale-“
“Oh. Yes. I had a rough day; I just came in here to unwind a little bit before I went back to the TARDIS. The TARDIS, that’s my space time machine. Normally, I’d just head back but, this was a really rough one, it was even worse than the last time I was in New York. Well, maybe not worse than the last time I was in New York, because that was pretty bad, with the crazy Irish murderess, and that poor Topibic girl, and the FBI and UNIT got into the fist fight that turned into a riot. But then this, ugh, a Draconian kidnapped a man, and the one guy wasn’t really a lawyer, and there was that sign-“
“Wait a second.” Ted said, “The FBI and UNIT got into a fist fight? And it turned into a riot?”
“What’s UNIT?” Robin asked
“It stands unified intelligence taskforce.” Marshall answered. “It’s a British military organization, it’s been-rumored they’re involved in alien stuff. Now what’s this about some guy saying he’s a lawyer when he’s not?” A lawyer himself, Marshall took anyone claiming to be a lawyer who wasn’t personally.
“Perhaps I need to explain a few things.” The Doctor said
“Yes, you do.” Ted said, “And please, start with the last time you were in New York.”
And so the stories began.
The Doctor had been flying the TARDIS through the time vortex, where he was headed he wasn’t sure yet, when he heard a strange beeping coming from one of the monitors. He ran over to and found a disturbing surprise. According to the monitor, some sort of cargo was being transported to Manhattan, viva a teleport system Earth shouldn’t have in the 21th century. “Something’s defiantly wrong here.” He thought to himself.”I should probly pop in and see what’s going on. Doesn’t Martha live in New York now? Maybe I should stop by, see if she knows anything about this.” And he began to part the TARDIS.
Meanwhile, actually in Manhattan, Neal Caffrey, unaware of the important part he and his friends would play in our story, knocked on an antique shop door, then anxiously stood back on his heels, recalling the conversation he had with Peter only minutes before in the van.
“Would you acting so nervous?” Neal had asked Peter as he slipped the watch on the former’s wrist.”You’re making me nervous, so I’m gonna be nervous when I go in, and then I’m gonna slipped up and be tortured to death by a sociopathic Irish woman.”
Peter grabbed Neal’s wrist tightly, shook him a little, and looked him, strait in the eye, saying, “Hey, don’t even joke, okay?” He'd seen the pictures of the remains of the last agent that had been sent under cover, or rather what they found of him. O’Ryan was vicious, she didn’t just kill the man, she destroyed him. A part of a leg, and three fingers, that’s all they found. And those had been covered in cigarette burns and it looked as if the leg had been torn from its socket. And they still had no clue how she found him out. “This is the most dangerous person we’ve ever investigated, bar none.”
“Who’s joking?” Neal had also seen the pictures. And one of the agents originally on the case, on hearing someone else was being sent undercover, fall to her knees and start praying for the safety of whoever they sent in, her whole body trembling. “At least everyone else is considerate event to act like they’re not already thinking about what to do with my remains, amusing you find some.”
Peter let go of Neal and put a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, nobody’s thinking about that. Just-“He tumbled for words. He hated the feeling of not knowing what to say. “Be careful. I mean really careful. I mean walking through a minefield with no clue where the bombs are careful. Get what we to take her down as quickly as you can.”
“Now that,” Neal, walking towards the door, “I can do.”
Now Neal waited for the violent fence to answer the door, now starting to worry again. It had been two minute since he had knocked on the door, and he was convinced it was because she had already found out he wasn’t really an expert in unusual antiquities, and was preparing an inquisition rack for him, and buying a new pack of Camels. Just then the door opened, and a pale-skinned woman with dark brown hair done up in some kind of bun, and dark brown eyes, poked out her head. “You’re the guy Vance sent, yeah?” She asked in a tick Irish accent.
The Vance she was referring was to Vance Hardwick, a smuggler they had made a deal with in order to get Neal in. O’Ryan only worked with people refaced to her by associates. “Yes, mum,” Neal replied, extending his hand to shake. “Nate Carolla, antiquities expert.”
“Not out here, you bloody idiot.” The woman, who Neal assumed was Anna O’Ryan, said, very annoyed, grabbing him, and pulling him into the building. “Vance told me you were discreet.”She continued, walking away from him. “How is that discreet?! Just yelling your name and occupation out in the middle of the blooming street!” She turned around, and looked at Neal as if she was just noticing him for the first time. “A bit overdressed for a first meeting, aren’t you, Nate?”
Neal looked down at himself. He had to emit a his suit and tie did seem a bit out of place when the only other person in the room, O’Ryan, was wearing a light red flannel shirt, and khaki slacks. “No one told me the meeting was going to be so informal, Mrs. O’Ryan.”
“Oh, well,” O’Ryan said, looking up at the sealing, nonchalantly,” I suppose it doesn’t matter, anyway. Now, before anything else happens, there’s someone you have to meet.” As if on some sort of cue, the door behind her opened, and out came a willowy young girl, about 14 maybe, well-tanned with long blonde hair done up in a neat braid that rain down her back, and inky blue eyes. She smelled of lavender and rose water. For some reason she seemed sort of familiar, but Neal couldn’t place her, and he hoped he didn’t seem familiar to her.
O’Ryan, walking over to the girl said, “This is Marie-Grace. She’s my-apprentice, of sorts.”
“An apprentice,” Neal said quizzically, “For a fence?”
“I know it seems a little unorthodox, Mr. Carolla, but I assure you, I have-good reasons. You see, Marie-Grace here has a special- talent, of sorts.” She said, stroking Marie-Grace’s hair. “She can get a sort of-feel for people. Learn about them, learn their- secrets.” She started to walk away from the girl, and towards Neal. “Without them ever uttering a single word.” She gestured for Marie-Grace to fallow, and Marie-Grace was quickly at her side. “Marie dear, this is Nate Carolla, the antiquities expert Vance told me about. The one who specializes in-unusual artifacts.” She looked to him, and then looked back at Marie-Grace. “Do you need me to leave the room?”
“Yes, mum,” The girl said, “That would be best.”
“Wait,” Neal said, thoroughly in a state of I- don’t-understand-would-somebody-please-explain-to-me-what’s –going –on puzzlement, “Best for what?”
“For checking you out of course,” O’Ryan said as she turned to leave, “Making sure you are who you say you are.” And with that she walked away, went into the back room, and shut the door behind her, leaving Neal alone with the strange child. “So,” the girl said, walking around him with a strange, palpable air of malice surrounding her, “That was best they could come up with? Nate Carolla? You were better off with your actual name.” Neal felt a thrill of fear and kick of anger, as he realized why she looked familiar. Fear because he was sure she would tell O’Ryan who he was. Anger because, frankly, his pride took a beating that day, a week earlier. She had somewhat changed her appearance, with the tan, and the blue contacts covering her eyes’ natural bright green color, and even her body structure changed somehow, but Neal was sure it was her.
He was certain it was the girl who had picked his pocket the previous week.
To understand the connection we have to go back to the incident. Neal and Peter had been walking to headquarters, going over the file for the O’Ryan case when suddenly out of nowhere a panicked female voice cried out, “Help me! Somebody please help me!” Then out of nowhere, thought it was probly from somewhere across the street, a young girl with long blonde hair flying wilding and bright green eyes opened wide, came flying up to the men and grabbed on to Neal, causing the file to fall from his hand, and said desperately, “Help me! Please! You have to help me! It’s horrible, it’s just it’s so horrible, I can’t even describe it!”
“Miss clam, down,” Neal said, trying pull himself away from her. Peter tried to pull her off, but to no avail, all the while she screamed about something horrible happening, and somebody please help her. Then, as soon as she had started, she became clam, and went limp in Peter’s arm. “What’s going on? “ She asked, looking around. It was then; it occurred to the men that she might not be sane. “You came up going on about needing help and something horrible happening.” Neal said, wondering if they should try to find somebody who knew her. She slowly backed away from them slowly saying, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” She turned around, and started to walk away saying, “Well, I won’t keep you, Mr.-“She stopped a minute, and then say, “Mr. Neal Caffrey, FBI. Not exactly the vibe I was getting from you. Oh. That explains it. Just a consultant.”
“How did you-“Neal started, but then he quickly found himself dogging his own credentials as she threw them at him, aiming strait for his head. She then waved his wallet at him, as he were dog, and the wallet was a milk bone, then took off down the street, with him in hot pursuit, ignoring Peter calling out his name. “Why didn’t you see she had my wallet?” Neal asked Peter, as they ran down the block. “You didn’t see she had it either.”Peter responded as they turned the corner. It was the first of four corners, each with her three feet ahead of them, no matter how fast they ran. Then she disappeared completely. They looked around trying to figure out where she went. Then they heard her call, “Excuse me,” Then Neal’s wallet hit the ground with a small thud. The men looked up to see the manic pickpocket on top of the tall building above them, twirling around in a half-circle and laughing her head off like a Bond villain. “Neal,” Peter said, slowly, “How did she get up there?” “I don’t even know.” Neal responded numbly. “Why don’t you find out?!” She called out to them, “Come up here and try to catch me!” Then she leaped to the next building, to Neal and Peter’s amazement. Realizing there was a no way to pursue her without breaking their necks, the pair made their way back with blisters on their feet and bruises on their egos, and one of them sixty dollars poorer and utterly humiliated.
Now, she nodded at the look of recognition on Neal’s face. She walked up right next to his left ear, and whispered softly, but threateningly, “Good. You remember me.” She then stroked her hand across Neal’s temple, and started to figure out in his mind how quickly he could make it out the door. Then she whispered something else in his ear that took him by surprise. “I can save you. On one condition.”
“What?” Neal asked, his voice barely a whisper.
“You mean what condition, or do you want me to repeat the question?”
“Excuse me?” He asked, this time at regular speaking volume. Then he remembered O’Ryan was in the other room, and that was why Marie-Grace, or whatever her name, was whispering right in his ear.
“When you’re ready to arrest her, give me warning so I can get out. I have places I can hide until I can put a new appearance together, I just need some warning.”
“You make this offer to agent Black too?” He remembered to whisper this time
“Agent Black was before my time. Another poor girl found him out for Anna. Then she killed him the way she did, and said poor girl freaked out and ran away, went to some safe haven for people like us, or something, and then I came along.”
Neal was quiet for a moment, absorbing the possibly game-changing information. “You mean there’s been other apprentices?”
“Yes. There four others before me. From what I got, three ran off, and one killed herself because she thought it was the only way out.”
“Where did she get the others? And you, for that matter?”
“We all came of our own free will. An empath approached her once, and ever since then she keeps one around to make sure everyone she works with has a clean bill of health. You’ve never heard about us, because those who pass keep it a secret, and those who don’t-well, you know.”
“Yeah. I know.” They weren’t going to tell anybody. They were dead.
“So do you promise to give me a heads up or not? And remember, I’ll know if you mean it or not.”
“Well, it’s not like you’ve got anything to lose. And she did just give you some possible new leads if we can find the other “apprentices.” “Neal thought to himself, and then said out loud to her, “Okay. I promise.”
“I’ll go talk to her then.” Then she walked over to the back room door, knocked on, and then it opened, and O’Ryan stood in the doorway. Marie-Grace walked into the room and the door shut behind her. Neal walked over to the front door to prepare for a quick getaway. He then put the watch up to his lips and whisper into it, “You better get ready to get in here, guys. I don’t know how much you heard, but things just got really, really weird.”
A few minutes later the pair went out, with Marie-Grace looking slightly unsure of herself, and O’Ryan with a small smirk on her face. “Marie-Grace tells me that not only are you completely on the level,” She said, walking over to the counter in front of the back wall of the building, “but I should but you in my highest place of trust.”
“Well, I guess that means I pass then.” He said, but what he was thinking was “No wonder you look like you’re not sure about this, Marie. You tried to sell me to her too highly.”
“That still remains to be seen.” She said, and then pulled a necklace out from under the counter. Neal could see why she had chosen an antique store for a front. “Come here,” She said, beckoning towards him, “take a look.” Neal walked over to the counter and looked at the necklace. It was sapphires held together by silver. “What can you tell me about this necklace, just my looking at it?”
Neal took a closer look at the necklace. “Well, it’s made of sapphires that appear to be high quality, and sliver. She gave him a look that said he just told her what she already knew, and she was not happy about it. She stretched her body, with her hands still on top of the counter and said; now let’s see what you can give me in an hour.” She got up and started to walk away. “I’m gonna be in the back room, if you need anything to do job, ask Marie-Grace.” Then she went in the back room, shutting and locking the door behind her. “So,” Marie-Grace started, “Do you need anything?”
Neal turned his head towards her. “Could you get me a microscope?” She to the closet on the left side of the room without a single word, opened it, took a microscope out of the closet, and hauled it over to the counter. She plopped it down on the counter causing everything on it to shake a little. “You want me to plug it in?”
At the end of the hour they both stood behind the counter, waiting for her to come out. “Alpha Five.” Marie-Grace murmured suddenly.
Neal moved his eyes in her direction. “Excuse me?”
“If she asks you the planet of origin, say Alpha Five.”
“Why would she ask me planet of origin? And what’s Alpha Five anyway?”
“Look, just do it, okay?! It’s both of us in trouble now if she doesn’t believe you, so do whatever I say.”
Before Neal could response, O’Ryan walked out of the back room, and stood in front of them. “So?” She said, with her hands on her hips, “What did you find?”
“Like I said earlier, the stone are sapphire of very high quality, actually, amazing high, and there are 16 of them in total, the metal holding them together is pure silver, also very high quality, maybe even a hundred percent pure, and the piece itself is about 40 years old.”
“Planet of origin?”
Marie-Graced smirked. “Alpha Five.” Neal answered.
“Good.” O’Ryan walked behind the counter. “Excuse me.” She said, and Marie-Grace and Neal quickly backed away in unison. O’Ryan pulled a small, white cardboard box from under the counter saying, “Mr. Carolla, I think this could be the start of a very good relationship.” Then she put the necklace, then walked over to a coat rack in the corner, saying, “I’m going to take this back to the seller, I need to talk with him about the price. Neither of you are to leave until I’ll be back, which should be in an hour or.” As she said this, she put on a dark green woolen coat. Then without another word she walked out the door, and they heard the sound of a lock clicking. They looked at each other awkwardly, and then Neal walked over to the door and tried to open it. Sure enough, it was locked. Neal found himself really wishing he had brought a lock pick, when Marie-Grace walked over to him holding a bobby pin, and said, “Try this.” He took the pin from her, trying his best not to seem grateful, only saying, “So you’ve had to do this before?”
“Yeah, a couple times.”
“She makes trips like this a lot?”
“You ever fallow her?”
“No, I pick the lock, and then I just stand there. Of course I fallow her!”
“You know where she’s going now?”
“Yeah. She always goes to the same place.” Marie-Grace leaned on the wall. “Always the same place.”
“You mind telling what that place is?”
A smile slipped on Marie-Grace’s face. “You know what?” She said, moving away from the wall. “Why don’t I show you? You know, if you can get the door open?”
“That’s actually not a bad idea.” Neal said, pausing for a moment, they stepping away from the door somewhat. “Because now I think I got it.” Then he opened the door. “Ladies first.” He said as he gestured towards the outside. Marie-Grace rolled her eyes, but walked out.
After they got outside, and Neal was about to walk away, Marie-Grace grabbed a hold of his arm. “Whoa there, buddy. We still have one more thing to do.”
“What?” Now Neal was starting to get frustrated. He had the feeling she was stalling.
“First, my bobby pin, please.” Neal placed it in her hand. “Thank you.” She said, and turned around, putting the pin back into the lock. Within seconds the door was locked again.
“And how are we supposed to get back in?” Neal asked skeptically.
She turned back around and said, “Oh, I have a way. Don’t worry. Just fallow me.”
A block latter, Neal decided to ask a question that had been weighing on his mind. “How did you wind up as O’Ryan’s apprentice, anyway?”
“Why do you care?”
“I’m just curious, you know, first you’re picking pockets and leaping on roofs, now you’re doing personality readings for a crazy Irish woman who sales stolen jewelry, and kills people.”
“Let’s just say, she approached me about the position and she was the lesser of two evils.”
Neal shuttered at the thought of what the other evil must be for a manic, maladjusted, sadistic murderess with a bad temper, control issues, and the self-control of an over-indulged two-year-old in the candy isle to be the lesser one. “What was the greater evil then?”
“What does it matter?”
“You’re what, 14? I don’t see how someone that young can get a mess like this, and there still be a worst possibly. So what’s the worst possibility?”
“Look,” Marie-Grace said, speeding up her pace, “If you think you’re gonna get my life story out of me you can forget it. Let’s just get there, you see what you need to see, get out, get back to the shop before she does, and then your people can hand this over to UNIT when you get back.”
“Unified Intelligence Task Force, they’re British military, but they have people in New York and some authority to go with it.”
“Why would we hand the case over to them?”
“You’ll see.” She tend waved her hand in the air, summoning a taxi and opening the door, and getting in.
The cab ride took about half an hour. Then Marie-Grace told the driver to stop, then handed him the money for the ride, which she had out before he even told her how much the ride was. “I’ve took this route a couple times.” She explained. When the cab drove away, she said, “We’ll walk the rest of the way.” Ten they into a seemingly abandoned storage unit complex. “This is the place.” Marie-Grace said.
“An abandoned storage complex?” Neal asked looking around, “That’s the big mysterious place that’s gonna make us hand the case over to British Military?”
“I haven’t shown you the best part yet.” She responded, walking over to the middle storage unit. She knocked on the door three times, paused then knocked one, paused again, then knocked three more time. To Neal’s surprise, a slot opened in the metal door, and a brown eye looked down at them suspiciously. “Password?” A voice from behind the door asked.
“Swordfish.” Marie-Grace replied calmly, and then stood there as if she was waiting for something to happen. Then the door started to rise and Neal got the latest shock of that day.”
The man raising the door hand three eyes, and four arms.
As this was going on, the Doctor was making his way to Martha’s apartment. He decided to park a block away, so not to startle her, or her neighbors, she did have to live with them after all. Before he got there, he heard someone screaming in anger and looked up. He saw a bearded man in dark clothes being tossed out of an apartment by an unseen person, and dogging the vase the unknown person threw at him, but the Doctor soon knew who it was when he heard Martha yelling from the inside, “I don’t ever want to see you again!”
“Same here!” The man shouted back
“Tom Milligan, you are a bloody, rubbish, grade-A idiot!” Then Martha walked up to the doorway, and yelled at the fleeing man, “And so’s your mum!”
The Doctor wondered if maybe he should back when Martha and her faïence weren’t having a row, and there less screaming and vase throwing and use of coarse language, when Martha noticed him. “Doctor? Is that you?”
“Yes.” The Doctor answered stepping forward a bit, “It’s me.” He coughed awkwardly then said, “So. That was- Tom.”
Martha looked mortified. “How much of that did you see?”
“Just everything after you tossed him out of the house and threw the vase at him.” There was an awkward silence for a minute then the Doctor said. “Is this a bad time? Well, obviously it’s a bad time; you just had a row with your boyfriend. I mean, I can come back latter.”
“Oh, no,” Martha said quickly, “Come in. I mean, wasn’t exactly looking forward to being alone anyway.”
After they had set down, and the Doctor had made them some tea, he asked, taking his seat, “So, what was that all about, if you don’t me asking?”
“Ugh,” Martha said, rubbing her forehead, “It’s just ever since we moved to New York, Tom been acting like a total nutcase. He snaps at everyone, asks me a million questions whenever I leave the apparent or come back after being out, while he’s out ‘till all hours of the night doing God knows what, God knows where, because whenever I ask one little question, he acts like it’s a bloody interrogation. And when I asked him to rinse his plate before putting it in the dishwasher tonight,” She spread out her hands to mimic an explosion, “Boom. We started fighting about everything we ever fought about. I think this is it, I really do. I think we broke up this time.”
“I’m sorry. Truly, I am. Are you going to be alright?”
“Yeah. Actually this has been a long time coming. I just don’t know what I’m going do with his things, and the stuff we planned for the wedding, and my wedding dress, and…I don’t think I wanna talk about this anymore. What are you doing in New York?” She cocked her head and asked, “Aliens aren’t going to invade again, are they?”
“Actually, I’m not quite sure to be honest. One of my monitors showed that some kind of cargo was being transported to New York by a teleport system Earth shouldn’t have yet, I decided to pop in and look around. I was actually hopping-“ Just then there was a knock at the door. Martha got up from the loveseat to get the door, saying, “If that’s who I think it is, you should put another kettle on.” The Doctor got up too, to do as Martha suggested, but kept his head partially turned to see who was at the door. To his surprise, when Martha opened the door, an angry, and concerned looking Mickey Smith was standing there. “Mickey,” Martha said, as if she wasn’t at all surprised to see him, “Come in.” He did, saying, “Martha, I heard what happened. I can’t believe him, I just can’t. Are you alright?”
“Yeah, Mickey, I’m fine.” Martha replied, embracing Mickey, “All the better that you’re here.”
“What?” The Doctor said from kitchen.
Mickey then took notice of him, “What are you doing here? And what do you mean what?”
“Nothing, I just-didn’t know you two knew each other.”
“Yeah, I moved here a little after they did. Wait, enough about me, what are you do here?” He turned back to Martha and asked, “Don’t tell me aliens are invading again. I mean, seriously, we’re like catnip to these guys and I don’t know why.”
The Doctor had feeling this was going to be long night.
Meanwhile, back at the storage complex, Neal was learning that this was no ordinary storage complex. “So this is an alien black market?” He asked, looking around in disbelief at large population around them, and the strangeness of many of them, including a large bipedal creature covered in reddish hair that walked past them. “It’s called the Hob,” Marie-Grace answered, “It started sometime in the 1960’s. UNIT soldiers would sneak out bits of alien technology acquired during encounters, and trade and sell them to other UNIT soldiers. Then groups other countries had put together to deal with aliens got in on it, then Torchwood got in on it, then actual aliens that had crash-landed here, or got stranded here some other way, made their way here, and then thing just expanded, and took on a life of it’d own.”
“Un Hun,” Neal said watching a guy in full military uniform haggling over something with an old woman, “And why would we hang a case over to UNIT that’s focused around their own black market?”
“Weren’t you listening to a word I said? It’s not there’s anymore. At the most it’s only five percent there’s , maybe less. And anyway, just to try keep it covered up, they’ll probly just get Anna and leave it alone from there.” She then turned to Neal, handed him a gold chain with a yellowish crystal on it, and said, “Put this on.”
Neal stared at her blankly. “What is it?”
“It’s perception filter.” Marie-Grace answered.
“I’m gonna need a bit more explanation then that. I’m new to this stuff, remember?”
“Allow me to demonstrate,” She pulled an identical necklace, out of her pocket, put it out in front of her, as if she was performing for a large audience, and then put it around her neck. Immediately she became out of focus, like one would see if one took a bad blow to the head. “Hello,” She said, waving her hand, “Over here.”
“It’s like I’m seeing you, but,” Neal paused a moment, tumbling for words, “I don’t want to.”
“Yeah, that’s basically how it works. It’s actually how this place is bigger on the inside then the storage unit it. They took the back of the complex out years ago, they just made it look like it’s still there’s with another one of these boys, just a different modal.” She then took Neal’s, from his hand and put it around his neck saying, “It’s how I keep from running into Anna unexpectedly.” She started walking away, then said, still walking, “Don’t worry about your wire or recorder or whatever they got on ya, it’s still recording all of this.”
Neal had forgotten all about the watch recording all this. He smiled at the thought of the team’s reaction to all this. For once he actually wished he was in the van, just to see what was going on. It was probably pandemonium. He knew for a fact that Peter did not believe in aliens. He also knew for a fact that Jones did. He didn’t know Diana’s point of view on the matter as the one time it had been discussed, after the thing with the earth moving, when asked for her option, she just walked away saying “I only know what it looks like.” Without saying what it looked like. So anyway way you slice it, they were all likely in a state of utter chaos, and someone was probly trying to get UNIT on the phone. It then occurred to Neal that they someone was probly hopping he’s ask Marie-Grace the obvious question. “So, earlier when you were talking about O’Ryan using empaths for apprentices, you meant they were aliens.”
Marie-Grace rolled her eyes. “Nothing gets past you, does it, Caffrey?”
“Are you an alien?”
That made her stop. She turned to him and said, “Excuse me?”
“Well according to you all the other girls were aliens, you have some mysterious greater evil, you know about other planets, so it’s only a natural question. “
“Two of the girls were aliens, then other two were terrestrial creatures known as abnormal, but me-“ She sighed, “I’m human. At least, to my best knowledge I am. I’ve just-always been able to feel things. Not just people feelings, but facts about them that no one else might not even know, without anyone telling me anything about them ever since I was a little girl. I can’t explain it. Now, can we go back to the shop or have you not seen enough yet?”
“Just one more thing, than we can go. About the other girls-“
“What about them?”
“Do you know where they are?”
“If you mean, are they here, I can’t say for certain. All I know is that when I came to work for Anna, she told me that she had four other apprentices before me, that they were all like me, and that it didn’t work out. But she didn’t tell you why.” She folded her arms, and stood there a moment as if thinking about something, then put her arms down and said, “But then I found some things under my cot the second night there. Letters from the girls, even a diary. Each of them left something for whoever came after them. Their names were Mirabelle, Alice, Cicely, and Kass. According to their notes, Mirabelle, and Alice were headed here, but I have no clue if they made it, where in here they’d be if they made it, if they stayed, or what they even look like. Cicely headed back home, and Kass-“She paused, not wanting to finish the statement. This time it really was to horrible to say. “Kass was the one who killed herself.”
Marie-Grace didn’t want to go on, but she knew had to explain everything that happen to Kass. “She told Anna one of the thieves that sells her their loot was trying to cheat her, and she-she just went ballistic, grabbed the guy off the street, and dragged him to –“ She had to pause a minute. “Anna has this room, she uses when she’s-“ She swallowed hard, “You get the idea.”
“Where she kills people.”
“Yes. And the room-it’s like Eli Roth did a historical piece. Just going into it’s hard for me because the fear and pain that’s been inflicted there has left an imprint. So where she tortured and killed the guy in question, Kass couldn’t handle it, between the suffering she had felt from him, and her guilt for partially causing it. She wanted to leave, but she knew Anna wasn’t just gonna let her go-“
“Wait a second, I thought you said we all came to her willingly.”
“We did, but from that point on, we’re trapped. And she couldn’t find a way to escape. According to her dairy, while she was out one day with Anna, she snuck off, and brought some rhubarb-“
“The leaves are poisonous. That night she cut the rhubarb leaves off the stalk put them into the lentil stew she made herself for dinner every night. There’s nothing in her dairy after that, so I have to assume that-“ She paused again for a second it looked like she was about to cry. “She succeeded in killing herself.” It was clear that this bothered her. “Can we go now?”
“Yes.” Then they turned to go with Neal leading the way this time, when suddenly he heard someone softly crying. He realized he probly had pushed Marie-Grace too hard with that last story, so he turned around to check on her. Only it wasn’t her that was crying.
It was the girl the in the cage behind her.
It was a large wooden cage, being dragged by a horse. There were some people around it, but Neal barely took notice of them. He was too focused on the girl. She extremely frail, and small. Long light brown hair fell all around her, as she clung to the bars with both her hands, which eyes had tattooed on the back of them. They were also tied together.
“Are you okay?” Marie-Grace asked. He was starting to freak her out.
“She’s the one who was crying.” Neal said numbly. “I thought it was you, but it wasn’t it was her. Marie, what are they gonna do to her?”
“What do you mean whom? That girl in the cage with her hands tied.”
“You see those guys leading the horse, and behind the cage?”
It was only then Neal took notice of the two men leading the horse and the two behind the cage. “Yeah?”
“They’re Plexian slavers, a real sick bunch. They kidnap beings from the lower level planets. You know, those that in the equivalent of the bronze age, medieval-like places, nomadic tribes’ like that poor girl’s probly from. That way, the people of the world can’t come after them for retaliation, or rescue their stolen people, or anything. Hey, where are you going?”
Before she had even finished, Neal started fallowing the cage. “What do you think you doing?” Marie-Grace asked as she caught up with him.
“I’m getting her out of there.” He answered, his voice determined.
“I’ll think of something. They can’t see us, remember?”
“A perception filter won’t work if you draw attention to yourself, and once they get to the auction block, which is likely where they’re going, there’s nothing you can do that won’t drawn attention to yourself. And once that happens, you’ll be lucky to get out alive. Now, I feel as sorry for that poor girl as you do, but there is no way to save her.”
“ She’s what, nine, ten maybe?! I can’t just do nothing!” Just then he felt something hit the back of his head. He figure Marie-Grace had done, so he turned to confront her. “Real mature, Marie! You know, throwing things at me, isn’t gonna change my mind.”
Marie-Grace gave him a blank look. “What are you talking about? I didn’t-“ Just then something hit her too. She picked it, and examined it. It was a clay figure that looked like a wide triangle, with five vertical lines craved into it. She walked over to the spot where Neal had been hit, and picked out the object that hit him. It was the exact same thing that hit her. Then she realized what it was. Wait a second, this is Plexian currency.”
Neal turned to her, and said, “What?”
She walk over to him, and held the clay objects out in the palm of her hand for him to see. “They use clay figures that represent valuable trading items.”These,” She said, holding up one of the triangles, “each one represent one bar of silver.” She then turned her head towards Neal and said, “I don’t know who threw them, but it wasn’t me.” She thought for a moment, then said, “Wave your hand in front of someone. Anyone.”
“Just do it, quick.” Neal did as he was told, waving his hand in front of man with purple spots all over his body. The man took no notice of him. The Marie-Grace did the same. The man took no notice of her either. “That’s weird,” She said, turning back to Neal, “We didn’t break the illusion.”
Just then Neal felt several more little pieces hit the back of his hand. He turned around and picked up the little clay figure. “What are these?” He asked, handing his hand out to Marie-Grace. “These two,” Marie-Grace said, pointing to the two circles with a cross drawn through each of them, “Are sheep, and these,” She pointed to the two shaped like jars, “Are jars of oil, and this,” She pointed to the piece shaped like a tongue with a line drawn through him, and three dots on each side of the line,” “is-“ She stopped.
Her sudden silence gave Neal a good idea of what it was. “A slave.”
“Yes.” Marie-Grace answered. Neal looked around to see who threw the clay pieces at him, but he couldn’t spot anyone. But he thought he knew what they wanted him to do. “speaking of slaves, these pieces add up for enough to buy an actual one?”
“I can’t say for sure, but, probly. I mean, it is a lot, and those traders usually only deal in Plexian cash, but I it’s not like I’ve ever been- “ She then realized Neal wasn’t there. “Oh, not again!”
By the time Marie-Grace found Neal, he had followed the caravan’s tracks all the way to auction clearing. He was looking through the crow for the girl. Then a voice from behind him said “I thought I’d lost you.” Startled, he turned around to see it was only Marie-Grace. Without so much as a word, he turned back around and renewed his search. “She’s over there,” Marie-Grace said, and Neal turned to look at her he saw her pointed to the left of the building, and, sure enough, there she was, futilely fighting off her captors, as they tried to remove her from the cage. Neal took off his perception filter, letting it drop to the ground, and ran up them, waving his hand and shouting, “Gentlemen,” as pleasantly as he could, given how much they disgusted him.
“What do you want?” A large one wearing a dirty white shirt, and some kind of animal fur vest, who had the girl by arm, asked him gruffly
“I was interested in that girl you got there. She for sale?”
A man with a smaller build, blond hair, and hard stare stepped forward, “What are willing to pay?”
“Let’s see,” Neal said, pulling the clay pieces out of his pockets, “I got two jars of oil, two sheep, two bars of silver , and a slave.” He held out the pieces for the man to see. “That enough?”
The man smiled wickedly, “That’s enough,” He took the pieces from Neal, then nodded towards the gang, and said, “Hand the little brat over to him.” The gang dragged the still-fighting girl over to them. “I should warn you though,” he said to Neal as he walked over to the gang, and their captive, “She’s freshly caught, and not at all docile. You’re probly want your money back before you’re even out of the market.” But by then Neal was tuning out every abhorrent word he was saying. He took the girl’s arm gently, but the girl pulled back violently, screaming, “ Don’t Zouc me! Get avay from me!” Then she fell to the ground. Neal crouched down on the ground, put his head right next to the girl’s, pushed back her hair, noticing for the first time she had black swirls tattooed on her cheeks and barcode on her temple, and whispered in her ear so the group around them wouldn’t here, “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m gonna get you out of here, alright?”
The girl said nothing, but let Neal pick her up, and lead her away. They went up to Marie-Grace and Neal said, “You ready to go?” Marie-Grace handed him the perception filter and said, “I just have to one more thing while you’re untying her.” She looked up at him and said, “You are going to untie her, right?”
Neal looked to the girl; the he looked back at Marie-Grace and said, “Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I?”
Marie-Grace started to walk away saying, “Then you can do that while I go take care of my business, and I’ll be right back.”
Neal wanted to inquire more about where she was going, maybe even fallow her, but now had a very frightened, possibly hurt, bound girl to attend to, so he turned back to said girl, and started untying her hands, saying “You got a name, sweetheart?”
“Lea,” She answered,” Me name’s Lea, ser. Lea of the MacNab clan.”
“Lea,” He said, continuing to work on the ropes, “that’s a nice name. Lea tell me, are you hurt?”
“How old are you, Lea?”
“Zen?” Neal was confused for a moment, but then he realized she probly meant to say ten, but her accent made it sound like she was saying Zen. “Do you mean ten?”
Neal had a feeling her accent was going to make communicating very, very difficult. Then again, he should be grateful they even speak the same language, considering the circumstances. But she would have trouble blending with all those tattoos the gold swirls that ran the length of her arm were kind of hard to hide.“You don’t have to call me sir.”
“Zen vat should I call ya?”
Before he could answer there was fracas from a pair of nearby stand. A tentacled creature was arguing with a very muscular man. Something about the muscular man throwing a rock at the tentacle creature. Other people got in on the argument. Then other fights started breaking out. With seconds all Hell broke loose, and Neal, with firm grip on Lea’s wrist, was looking for the nearest exit.
An hour later, Neal and Lea hand made their way back to the street O’Ryan’s antique shop was on. Neal was wondering if he shouldn’t just walk away because, there was no way to hide Lea from O’Ryan, the case was probly already blown anyway, and as much as he hated to emit it, Marie-Grace was right, they’d probly hand the case over to UNIT, when the door opened. Neal stepped back, expecting an angry O’Ryan to step out, but instead it was a rather disheveled-looking Marie-Grace. The first thing to come out of her mouth was, “Don’t worry, Anna’s not back yet.” She then gestured towards the inside of the building. “What are you waiting for? Get in.”
As they walked in, Marie-Grace asked, “You still have the perception filter I gave you?”
“It’s in my jacket poc-“ Then he remembered he had given his suit jacket to Lea, because all she was wearing was a sleeveless dress made of some sort of animal hide, and it 50 below zero. “Is there a golden chain with a type of yellow stone on it in my jacket pocket, Lea?”
Lea tumbled around in the pockets for a minute and then pulled out the perception filter. Neal took it from her, and handed to Marie-Grace. “Actually, you could’ve just let Lea keep it,” Marie-Grace said, “I was going to tell you to put it on her.”
“Oh.”Neal said, then handed it back to Lea. Lea put it around her neck.
“And I’m gonna need you to take your jacket back from her.”
Neal gave her a look that asked if she was serious.
“Look, when Anna left, you had a jacket on. She can’t come back with you not wearing a jacket, and said jacket nowhere in sight. In fact, just have it on so she doesn’t accuse you of anything else.”
Lea handed the jacket back to Neal. “And I’ll need her to hide under the counter.” Marie-Grace instructed, “The last thing we need is Anna bumping into her and breaking the illusion.”
Lea spoke up, “Veer’s zee counter?”
Marie-Grace pointed to it, and Lea scurried over to it, and got under it. Marie-Grace ran to the backroom, and came back dragging two chairs. “She not gonna believe we just stood there for over three hours,” She explained. “We set here, and when we hear her come in, we stand up, and act like we didn’t want her to see us sitting around and talking.”
“Is that why you started that mayley down at the Hob? “Neal asked, buttoning up his jacket, “So while O’Ryan was fighting her way through the mob, we’d have time to get back to the store and make it look like we never left?”
Marie-Grace turned around, “What’s make you think I started the mayley?”
“You go off on some mysterious business, never come back, and all of a sudden that tentacled thing’s accusing the muscle man of throwing something at him? Please, the whole thing had your fingerprints all over it.”
She gave him a look that demanded he give her more than that.
“We both know how you like to throw stuff at people.” Neal added.
“I have my reasons.”
Before Neal could ask what that meant, the door opened. “Sorry, it’s so late,” O’Ryan said, as she shut the door. She turned to the pair, cocked her head and said, “What’s going on?”
“Oh, nothing.” Marie-Grace said quickly, “We’re just talking.”
O’Ryan said nothing, but walked over to Neal, and handed him a handful of neatly stacked bills, and a beeper saying, “The pay for your first job, and for when I need to reach you.”
“Thank you.” He replied.
“And with that, Mr. Carolla, I believe our business this evening is over. Marie-Grace, I have some work to finish up in the backroom, would you see our Mr. Carolla out, and lock up the door?”
“Certainly mum,” She said, and started leading Neal to the door. O’Ryan went into the backroom, and Marie-Grace gestured for Lea to come out from her hiding spot. She reclaimed her perception filter from the girl, and showed the both of them out. Before she closed the door she asked Neal, “What are you gonna do about Lea? I mean, no matter where this goes they’re not gonna let you-keep her.”
“We’ll figure something out. “
And with that she shut the door, and Neal lead Lea away, draping his jacket back over her. He knew exactly what he had to do next.
Neal had been right about the state of things in the van: it was absolute chaos from the moment O’Ryan brought in Marie-Grace. Everyone was trying to figure out since when did O’Ryan have an apprentice. Then why hadn’t anyone discovered this before, then when Marie-Grace showed Neal the Hob, everything just fell to pieces. Peter couldn’t believe what he was hearing, Jones was acting all smug, and Dianna was demanding someone get UNIT on the line. When Peter finally tried to call UNIT, they got nowhere, because they got stuck on that if you’d like to do this press one thing, they didn’t notice what was going on Neal’s end for a while until they heard him talking about buying a girl. Then they couldn’t call anyone, because Peter was so stunned at what they were hearing he dropped the phone, and it broke. They were trying to figure out what was going on, what to do about, and get in contact with Neal, when something happened that had never happened before: someone was knocking on the van door.
“What is that?” Jones asked, staring at the door.
“Who knocks on the door on an FBI surveillance van?” Dianna asked.
“No one’s suppose to know it’s FBI surveillance van.”
“Well, who knocks on the door of a random van then?”
“I think I know who is.” Peter said, angry and annoyed, put he took his gun out just in case, and went to open the door. Sure enough, just he thought, there was Neal standing next to a young girl about ten years of age, with black swirled tattoos on her cheeks, and a barcode, of all things, on her temple, with Neal’s suit jacket draped over her shoulders. “Get in here,” Peter said through gritted teeth. The pair obeyed. Lea drew in closer to the man who saved her, but whose name she did not yet know. She had never seen anything like the things in the strange room, and people were staring at them, and, like all the people she had seen since those men took her, they had no tattoos to tell anything about them, but the man who summoned them in seem to carry the authority of a clan chieftain.
Peter paced the floor a few seconds before turning to the pair. “Neal-“ He begin but stopped when, to his surprise, the girl hit the floor on her knees with her head bowed. “What the-what is she doing?” Peter asked, stepping back, unsure of what to do. “I think I can explain this,” Dianna said suddenly, getting up and walking over to them. “You see, Neal isn’t a Topibic name, and they don’t have a name close to it, but do have the word k-n-e-e-l kneel, as in the synonym for bow. And you, boss, are obviously a person of authority, so when you said Neal-“
“She thought I was commanding her to kneel. As in bow.”
Both Dianna and Neal crouched down, but Dianna was the first to speak. “Am I right? Is that what happened honey?”
“Oh, God.” Peter said, “ That is not what I meant. Little girl, I didn’t mean for you to bow down to me, I just saying his name.”
Lea turned to Neal. “That’s my name. My name’s Neal. “ He took Lea’s hand and helped her up. “And this young lady is-“
“Lea.” Dianna finished.
“Yes. How did you know?”
“The bar code on the side of her head. Each line is different letter. You see the Topibic clans use the tattoos on their bodies to display important information. For example,” Dianna stroked the young girl’s cheek, “These tell me you’re one of the clan’s huntresses. “
“Thought so. That’s very impressive at your age.“ She picked up Lea’s hand and said, “And if I’m right, these are connected to golden swirls on your arm.” She pulled up the jacket sleeve, “And if I remember correctly, that’s the mark of the NacNab clan. You’re a MacNab girl, aren’t you?”
Lea nodded again.
Dianna smiled sweetly, “You know, the MacNab’s were always my favorite.”
Peter his head to Dianna and asked, “How do you know all this?”
Dianna was silent for moment, thinking of what to say. “You should’ve known they’d asked you that if started explaining things,” She thought to herself, “Well, what’s the worst that could happen, they’ll think you’re crazy? Ha, this whole night has been crazy. In fact because of tonight they might actually believe you.” “I’ve never told anyone this.” She said aloud.
“It won’t leave this van.” Neal assured her.
“You guys will never believe it.”
“If I may cut in a moment,” Jones interjected, “After tonight, you could tell us you were an alien, and we’d believe you.”
“The reason I know is…” She stopped talking. “Come one, Dianna, just spit it out.” “Okay, when I was in collage I met this guy, called the Doctor. He turned out to be alien and I traveled with him through time and space for awhile. “
There was a simultaneous chorus of “What?” “Hun?” and “Could you repeat that?” from the group.
“When I was in collage I traveled with an alien through time and space.” She then took off the bracelet she was wearing-lava stone with one terra cotta rose-shaped charm that hung off the side-and held it in her hand. “You see this?”
The group nodded, wondering where she was going with this.
“Got from another planet. It’s really the only proof I have that whole thing happened. I know so much about Topibic is because it was one of the planets we visited.”
“Dianna, this guy,” Neal began, “Do you have any way to contact him?”
“He gave me a number of a phone he had that belonged to another girl he traveled with once. Why?”
“I was thinking-maybe he could take Lea home.”
“I’ll try to call him, and see what I can do.”
“Okay,” Peter started, “Now that we’ve got that explain, and some plan action concerning Lea, let’s get back to the other subjects we need to cover.” He turned to Neal and said, “Starting with what are you doing buying a human being?” He looked down at the Lea and said, “I’m assuming you’re a human being.”
Lea nodded. “Peter they were going to sell her into slavery.” Neal said, “What was I sapost to do, just walk away?”
“You could let the proper authorities handle it.”
“By the time they got there, it would be too late for her. And besides, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, we’re a little out of our depth, and even if we weren’t, you heard Marie-Grace, we hand this over this over to UNIT, they wouldn’t do anything about it. “
Dianna cut in, “We got bigger fish to fry any way. Speaking of Marie-Grace what are we going to do about her, and the other girls, and are we going to do about UNIT’s jurisdiction?”
“Dianna, you’re the lead expert on all alien-related matters at the moment,” Neal said, “What would UNIT do the Lea if they knew about her?”
They all stared at him.
“Well, it’s a valid question and someone’s gotta ask it.”
“Neal, she’s human, they’re not gonna dissect her, and they can’t kill her.” Peter stated.
“Are you sure about that last part? I mean, they do have some power here.”
“They’re not allowed to kill people in Great Brittan, they’re not gonna be allowed to kill people here.”
“Can you promise me that?” Neal nodded towards Lea. “Can you promise her that?”
Peter rubbed his forehead as if the argument was making his head hurt. “Look, you’re being paranoid-“
“Can honestly tell me you want hand over jurisdiction to them?”
“No, but I don’t what else to do. I don’t even know where to start with everything we’ve learned tonight, and if you put someone on the witness stand that saids they’re an empath, they’re gonna get laughed off that stand, so we still have on evidence we can use to get her for anything we suspect she’s done.”
“We have statements that she killed two people.”
“Did miss that whole empathic witness thing I just said? And besides, statements from other people are not confessions, and we only have a name on the one the victims, and she actually said she wasn’t there.”
“What if I talk her into testifying about O’Ryan buying stolen goods?”
At this point, Dianna cut in. “I think we can come to compromise here. Look, we wait until I get the Doctor here, then we call UNIT. He use to work with them in 70s anyway, so he might be able to help stay involved in the case, but on this note I make no promises. Until that time, we keep working the case, and try to find some evidence that isn’t tainted by alien intervention. Now, does this work for everyone?”
“Now we just have to figure where Lea’s gonna stay in meantime.” Jones added. “I mean, it’s not as if we can just call social services.”
Peter, and Neal looked at each other awkwardly. “Peter, look,” Neal began, “I’m the one who got her out of there, she trust me, I’m the only one she’s actually talked to, and it’s not like we got anywhere else put her. And Jones is right, it’s not as if we can just call social services, they’d think was a prank and hang up. It’s not gonna hurt for her to stay with me.”
“I know, it’s just-still at the back of my mind there’s a little voice nagging with the fact that the good people of Topibic, probly won’t thank us if they start getting counterfeit bows and arrows, because you gave her a couple tips.”
“How do you make a counterfeit bow and arrow?”
“I don’t know, but I’m sure if there is you’d find it.”
Dianna cut in again. “If I stayed with tonight would you be less worried about Caffrey corrupting the child? He’s probly gonna need me around anyway in case there’s anymore-confusion, like before with the whole Neal/kneel thing.”
“That could work.” The two men said simultaneously. After a moment of awkward silence Neal said, “Now that we’ve got this all settled can I take her home? Look at her, she’s about to fall asleep right here.” He nodded to Lea, who leaning on his side, desperately trying to keep her eyes open.
“We’ll take my car. It’s two blocks away.” Dianna said quickly and walked out of the van. Neal picked Lea up and fallowed her. After the two left, Peter and Jones looked at each other as if they didn’t know what had happened and Jones asked, “Did they just leave us here?”
“Yeah,” Peter said, looking back at the still-open doorway, “I think they just left us. And now we have to figure out how to explain it to everyone else.”
“Well, we’ll just simply tell them the truth. That O’Ryan fencing alien jewelry, and now we have to find three alien girls, and there’s an alien black market on the outskirts of Manhattan.”
The awkward silence that fallowed told the two that the night was far from over.
“Why did you park your car out here?” Neal asked Dianna they walked down the street.
“There was no where to park at work this morning. I drove around for a couple minutes, found a parking lot here, got a cab to get back. Didn’t realize it was so close to where we were gonna be or wouldn’t have risked it.” By that time she finished they were at the parking lot. They walked down it until they came to a small silver car in the second row. “This is it.” She said, unlocking the door, “Put her in the back.” Neal, did and started to buckle her in, when Lea jerk out of her stopper, and pushed him away yelling, “Na!” Then crawled backwards to the other side of the car, and cowered in the corner. “Lea-“ He began
“Ya don’t ‘ave zo bend me!” Lea said, hugging her legs, and looking even more smaller then she was, “I von’z run, I promise.”
“Is that what you-“ Neal began, then chuckled, “Look, I wasn’t trying to bind you. This,” He pulled out the seat belt for her to look at. “Is called a seat belt. It’s for protection, to keep people from getting hurt if they were to get in an accident in one of these things.” He patted the side of the car. “I have to where one too, and so does Dianna.” Lea slowly crawled back over to Neal and let him help her back up into the seat, and l stretch the strap over her and buckled her in without further fight. “See?” Neal said, “That wasn’t so bad was it?” Lea shook her head.
As Neal shut the back door, he turned to Dianna and said, “Looks like I can clear up any confusion all on my own.”
“That one was easy.” Dianna said curtly, walking to the driver’s side door, “Trust me, there are a lot of differences between Topibic culture and our own that are much harder to clear up. I’ll give you credit for understanding the accent though.” The Topibic accent was so affected Dianna was impressed with anyone who could understand at least part of what they were saying.
“I didn’t actually understand it.” Neal admitted, “I just happened to figure out what she was trying to say. Sometimes it’s a bit inaudible actually.”
“Well, how do think she feels? I mean, to her, with our diction, and words with crisp edges and letters she never heard, we probly sound pretty inaudible to her too.” Then Dianna got in the car.
“I didn’t mean it in bad way.” Neal said, getting into the car. Then, afraid Lea might hear he shut up, and hope Dianna wouldn’t say anything more about it either. Then he decided changing the subject might be a good idea. “So, you and an alien…”
“What do you mean me and an alien?”
“How did that happen? I mean, people just don’t meet aliens and go off with them. Or if they do, the story usually begins with a tractor beam.”
“He didn’t abduct me. Why would I get a contact number from someone who kidnapped and probed me?” She didn’t give him a chance to answer, “Look, everything I told you back in the van is basically everything that happened. I met him in collage, he offered to show the wonders of time and space, me being a young impressionable nineteen-year-old , I said yes, and then left after I got stick of wondering when it would all come crashing down and how badly it would end.”
“And what made you think it would end badly?” Neal knew he was probly crossing a line by asking that, but he did it anyway.
Dianna sighed. She had a feeling this wouldn’t end until she bared all. “You see, when you’re out there, it’s mind-boggling, and the Doctor-he’s wonderful, and not a bad traveling companion once you get past some of his more-eccentric behavior, but trouble seems to fallow him everywhere he goes-and when I say fallow, I mean hunts him down like heat-seeking missile, and sometimes-he’s like fire. Stand to close and people get burnt.” She didn’t want to give Neal the chance to ask what that meant so she decided to change the subject. But very carefully, so that Lea wouldn’t here. “Caffrey, what I’m going to ask you next could be very important,” She whispered, “Do you know the planet of origin of the dirt bags you bought Lea off of?”
“Marie-Grace said they were Plexian, remember?” Neal also whispered, realizing why Dianna was whispering.
“What do you mean remember?”
“I was still wired when the whole thing went down, you should’ve heard the whole thing.”
“To be honest at that point things had got a little chaotic and we weren’t really paying close attention. Or any attention for that matter, we were so caught up in trying to get UNIT on the horn. We only started listening again when you said, you were interested in a girl someone had there and asked if she was for sale. That got our attention. “
“Why does it matter who I got her from?”
“The Doc’s gonna want to know who it was, he’s gonna want to take them down. “ After a moment she added.”And trust me, Caffrey, they’re not gonna know what hit them.”
Dianna parked the car. She and Neal got out of the car and Neal retrieved Lea from the back seat. Dianna felt around in her pockets, and then realized she didn’t have what she was looking for. “Great,” She whispered under her breath.
Neal turned to her. “What?”
“I left my phone back at the office.”
Neal stopped down so that he was about as tall as Lea. “Lea, I need to look in here for just a second.” He pulled the side of his jacket and tumbled thought the pocket. He pulled out his own phone. “Vaz’s zat?” Lea asked. Neal looked up at Dianna for help. “Okay, this time, I do need a translation.”
“She’s asking you what that is,” Dianna explained, pointing to the phone. “The people of Topibic pronounce the letter w like the letter v, the letter t like the letter z, and they don’t say the letter h.” She then turned to Lea and said, “That’s called a phone, Lea. People use it to talk to each other.” Neal handed the phone to Dianna and the trio started to walk across the street.
“Vy do tey need zo use zose zo zlak? Vy can’z tey just zlak?” Lea asked.
“Well,” Dianna said, looking down at the device. “Well, it’s not for talking to people who are right here, it’s for talking to people far away.”
Lea looked like she still didn’t understand. Because she didn’t. But she just turned away, looked ahead and said nothing else. She didn’t understand half the things that had happened today, anyway.
By the time they got up to Neal’s room Dianna was at the end of the rope. She had called the Doctor Fifteen times and each time had got the answering machine. Or rather, Martha Jones’ answering machine. “Where could he be?” She though as she dialed the number in for the sixteenth time. She listened to dial tone and then, “Hi, this is Martha. I’m can’t come to the phone, please leave a message after the beep.” Dianna rubbed her temples and sighed. “Doc! It’s me, Dianna again! Where are you? I know I’ve done said this fifteen times, but we really do have a situation here. And there’s a child involved. As a matter of fact, there might be multiple children involved. “ She pause a moment then added. “You know what, it’s a good thing the world’s not in danger, or we’d all probly be dead by now. In fact, you better be trying to prevent Armageddon somewhere else, or I’m gonna be really mad. I mean, I know you’re busy, and there bigger things in this universe, but would it kill you to answer a message every once in a while?!” Then she hung up.
“Couldn’t get him again?” Neal asked, pulling a blanket over the small, sleeping form on the couch that was Lea.
“No.” Dianna said, then, perplexed added, “How long was I on the phone?”
It took Neal a minute to figure out what she meant. “Oh, this. Yeah, the little brush of energy she got from earlier had essentially gone away by the time we got up here. I picked her up; put her on the couch, when I came back from getting a blanket she was fast asleep. And after the day she’s had, I don’t blame her.” He gently brushed a lock out of the girl’s face. “How long do you think it was, Dianna? How long was she their prisoner?”
“If you’re right about them being Plexian, she could’ve been in Topibic this morning.” Dianna answered, “The dirt bags do love a teleport.” She dialed the number into the phone, well knowing the adage, about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, but she was that determined to find the Doctor. The recording started again. Annoyed as she was, she had to admit, she did like Martha’s voice, soft, and accented, and somewhat lyrical. She remembered one time she thought she heard it on the street. But it couldn’t have been. Martha was in England, wasn’t she?
Then Dianna got an idea. She hung up the phone, and asked, “Do you have a phone book?”
It took a couple minutes of thumbing through the phone book, but eventually she found it. “There she is,” Dianna stated, pointing at the name, “Martha Jones.”
Neal looked up from the table. “Are you sure it’s her?”
“Only one way to find out.” And then she dialed the number in the phone.
Back at Martha’s after explaining to Mickey that the Doctor wasn’t sure if aliens were invading or not, Martha and Mickey were explaining to the Doctor that Mickey had moved here for his freelance work, and since he and Martha were already acquainted, the two became close friends.
“So now whenever Tom makes a complete idiot of himself,” Mickey said, slipping his arm around Martha’s shoulder, “I’m always here for her.” Martha turned her head towards and Mickey added, “Sorry, Martha, had to be said.”
“No, I completely agree with you,” Martha responded, “And I’m really glad you’re there for me, Mickey. Thank you.” They stared at each other for a minute and the Doctor was started to wonder if work was the only reason Mickey had came to New York, when the phone rang. “Excuse me,” Martha said, getting up and picking up the phone. “Hello.”
“Yes, is this Martha Jones?” A female voice Martha had never heard before asked.
“This is she.” Martha said, wondering who this was and how she knew her name.
“Hi, my name is Dianna Berigan, I’m with the FBI, oh, that was a horrible way to start. Look, you don’t know me, but, we have an mutual old friend, the Doctor…look he didn’t give me this number or anything, I found it in the phone book, but I need to find him, and I can’t reach him on that cell you gave him, and I was actually calling out of the desperate hope you might know where he is, and I know how stupid that sounds, but it’s kinda an emergency and…”
“Actually, it’s not stupid at,” Martha reassured the stranger on the phone, turning her had towards the Doctor, “In fact, he’s right here.” Martha handed the phone to the Doctor, saying, “Someone on the phone for you. A Dianna Berigan, saids she’s with the FBI?”
“Ah, yes,” The Doctor said, taking the phone from Martha, “I know her. The FBI part’s new thought.” He put the phone to his ear and said, “Dianna Berigan. It’s been a long time.”
“Too long,” Dianna said on the other end of the phone, “But this isn’t a pleasure call.”
“Yeah, I thought so. People don’t usually take the effort to find the number of someone they’re trying to find for pleasure calls. How did you know Martha lived in New York, anyway?”
“I didn’t. While I was trying to reach you on Martha’s cell, I remembered the time I thought I heard her voice somewhere. I grabbed a phone book and took a chance. By the way, while we’re kind of on the subject, there are some angry messages from me on her cell. I little-vexed at not being able to reach you, and sorta went off.”
“Don’t mention it. I probly would’ve never known if you hadn’t brought it, I never check it. Well, I never check it, ‘cause it isn’t mine, and Martha’s the only one who ever calls me on it, and the only people who have the number are her, me, and you. What was it wanted to talk to me about?”
“Right. I’m with the FBI White Collar Division now, in case you didn’t know, and we’re working on this case, this fence, Anna, O’Ryan, you ever heard of her?”
“Yeah. I’ve heard of her. Fence, blackmailer, harlot, murderess. She died in a madhouse. Or rather, will die. Time travel, you know how it is.”
“Yeah. What’s this about her being a blackmailer?”
“Oh, you don’t know about that yet? Well, probly best if we skip over that for now and get back to what you were telling me.”
“Yeah, right. Anyway, what we also didn’t know was that she was doing business on an intergalactic scale. Or at least we didn’t until we found out she had a girl that she referred to as her apprentice, and Marie-Grace, the said apprentice, decided to the guy we had under cover the Hob, while O’Ryan was out, and most likely in the Hob.”
“And did your guy try to find her while they were there?”
“No, but he did do something else. He saw this Topibic girl that some Plexian slavers had got their hands on decided the only way to save her was to buy her.”
After a moment of thought, the Doctor said, “You know, the reason I’m in town is because I picked up some odd teleport signals on one of the monitors, and Plexian activity would explain it. Is the girl all right?”
“Yeah, all things considered, she’s fine. A bit shaken up, and possibly in a state of shock, but she’s not hurt. She’s actually handling it better than you’d figured she would.” Dianna sighed, almost mournfully, “Doctor, she’s only ten years old, only a child. I mean, what kind of stick, depraved mind-“
“Don’t worry, Dianna, when I get my hands on them I’ll give them what for, plenty of it. And I’ll get that girl back home, too. ” After a moment of thought, the Doctor added, “How your guy pay for her anyway? Plexians only deal in their own currency.”
“I’m not sure. It was helter-skelter after the alien bomb dropped and we stopped paying attention for a little while. Knowing him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he picked the guys’ pockets.” The last part was more to herself then the Doctor.
“Excuse me?” The Doctor said, confused, “What would a federal agent be doing picking someone’s pocket?”
“I should’ve explained that part better. The guy that we have undercover isn’t an actual agent; he’s a consultant. He’s serving out a five-year sentence for breaking out of maximum security prison.”
“Well what was he in a maximum security prison for in the first place?! He didn’t kill anyone, did he? Is this girl safe with him?”
“He was in prison for bond forging. He’s suspected of a bunch of other stuff, but noting violent. And I’m here, so Lea won’t pick up any bad habits from him. She’s perfectly safe.”
“I take it Lea’s the girl?”
“Yeah, that’s her name. And Doctor, there’s something else. The issue’s been brought up about the jurisdiction. Not about the thing with Lea, over the O’Ryan case.”
“What about it?”
“Is there any way we could have joint jurisdiction with UNIT?”
“You actually want joint jurisdiction with UNIT? “
“It’s not a matter of wanting, look, there’s no way for us to deal with the alien angle, but we want O’Ryan. We want her bad. You know what you said earlier, about her being a murderess? Well, one of the people she killed was an undercover FBI agent, and this time I mean an actual FBI agent. Tomas Black. They never even found the whole body, just three fingers and the upper part of a leg. But it was still pretty obvious he’d been tortured. It looked like the leg had been pulled from its socket, and there were cigarette burns on it, and the fingers too.”
“Oh. I see. In that case I’ll see what I can do, but no promises. So, what do you want to do from here?”
“Wanna met me at the office tomorrow? The team will have to make a new plan anyway.”
“That sounds good enough. I think Martha might be able to help, too. And Mickey, he’s another old friend of mind, really an excellent bloke, while we’re on the subject might I ask where your office is, so that I know where I’m going?”
“Oh, yeah, of course.” And then Dianna precede to give him the directions, and then the Doctor hung up the phone. “Doctor,” Martha began, when he hung up the phone, “What did you just volunteer us for?”
“Aqutience of Dianna saved a Topibic girl from Plexian slavers, and now I got to take her home, and take them down, and maybe find a way to help the FBI keep some jurisdiction along the way. You wanna help me?”
“Sure.” Martha and Mickey said simultaneously .
“Wait a second, Doc.” Ted said, back at MaLarens. “You jump all that on them, and they just agree to it?”
“Yeah. “ The Doctor replied, “What you don’t believe me?”
“No, I do, it’s just that part’s a little hard to believe, especial since they said it simultaneously.”
“You can believe an alien black market, a slavery ring, a race of human beings who use their skin like paper, an empathic runaway, and three people who know me all living in the same city, and one of them tracking me down with a phone book and hunch, but you can’t believe two people would agree to something simultaneously?”
“Okay. When you put it that way I see your point. Not the most unbelievable thing of thing we’ve heard tonight.”
“Now that we’ve cleared that up, do you mind if I get on with the story?”
“No. Please continue.”
“Gladly. So, the next day….”
“So how exactly do you know this woman, Doctor?”
The question Martha just asked was the first thing anyone had said since the three had entered the elevator. The silence had actually been pretty awkward .Of course, the question was pretty awkward, too, at least for the Doctor it was. “We-traveled together for a few months,” The Doctor explained, “But then she decided she wanted to pick up her studies again, and went back to college. But that was years ago for her, she must be in her late twenties, early thirties now.”
“Must made some impression thought, for you to give her my number.”
“That just sorta –happened. She saw the phone once, she asked about it, when I explained where it came from, she asked for the number, and I gave it to her. I didn’t think you’d mind, as long we didn’t use it, and rack up a bill.”
Thankfully, the uncomfortable conversation was ended by elevator coming to their floor. As they got out, a dark-skinned woman with long, strait black hair rose from her desk, and walked over to them. Judging by the smile on her face, Mickey and Martha assumed that this Dianna. The Doctor smiling back strengthened this assumption. “Doctor,” The woman said, embracing him. “Dianna Berigan,” The Doctor said, then the hug broke. “It’s been a long time. Nice to see things turned out well. I mean, look at you! A federal agent, always knew you would go places.”
“Thanks. And I guess these two are Mickey and Martha.” She gestured towards the pair behind him.
“Oh, Yes.” The Doctor lead her over to them, saving, “Dianna, these are my friends, Martha and Mickey.” “Hey,” Mickey said, shaking Dianna’s hand “Hello,” Martha said doing the same.
“Nice to be able to put a face to the voice.” Dianna said, then gestured down the way, “Everybody’s this way.”
They all fallowed Dianna. “Did the Doctor explain to you what happened?” She asked.
“Yeah. But only after he volunteered us for the job.” Mickey answered.
The Doctor was about to say something, but stopped as they walked into a nearby office. In there were two men, and young, tattooed girl in white long sleeve shirt, and black pants. The younger of the two men seemed to be explaining something to the girl. “So, you’re gonna stop bowing to people, right?”
The girl nodded.
“And no other submission poses, right?”
The nodded again.
“And no going on and on about someone being noble , or of an esteemed clan or any of that stuff, okay?”
The girl once again nodded, this time adding, “Aye.”
“Did she bow to you again boss?” Dianna asked.
“Oh, no.” The older man replied. “She bowed to Huges this time.”
“He called us into his office to-understandably- ask what ‘s going on, and she was with us, and she just drops to her knees-completely unbidden this time-and starts rambling about Huges being a noble chieftain of an esteemed clan. Huges was so freaked out by the whole thing, he told us that as long as we weren’t doing anything illegal was could sort this one out on our own, and told us to leave. We just spent the last few minutes explaining that our system is different from hers, and we don’t have clans, and chieftains, and we don’t do the whole bowing, submission poses thing.” After a moment he asked, “So who are your friends here?”
“Boss, this is the Doctor,” Dianna answered, gesturing towards the Doctor, then she gestured towards the trio and said, “Doctor, this is Agent Peter Bruke, Neal Caffrey, and Lea MacNab.”
The Doctor shook both of their hands, saying “Please to meet you. Wait a second- Oh. Oh. You’re-“ The Doctor pointed his finger back and forth between the two of them, “Peter Bruke, and Neal Caffrey, I don’t believe it! And you actually work with the two, Di-“ The Doctor face palmed, and said, “That’s where I heard your name before. Boy, when I told you you’d go far-“
“Dianna, want is he talking about?” Peter asked bluntly
“ I have no clue.” Dianna responded, her eyes going back and forth between Peter, Neal, and the Doctor.
“Oh.” The Doctor said, as if just realizing something, “Well, you don’t know yet. Let’s just say, you all leave an impression, but I’m not saying any more than that. As a mysterious, very tragic, woman I once met cautioned me, spoilers.” Quickly, the Doctor changed the subject, turning to Lea and crouching down. “Now Lea, I know this might be hard, but I need you to tell what happened to you.”
Seeing Lea look as if she was in pain, Neal quickly interjected, “Lea told us she was hunting a deer with the rest of a hunting party from her village, and she got separated from the party, then someone grabbed her from behind, she tried to fight them off, but couldn’t, she got this weird feeling, next thing you know, a gang’s loading her into a cage at the Hob.”
“Okay, that’s a start, that’s something.” The Doctor said. Really, he wanted to hear from Lea, but he knew Neal meant well, and saw Lea looked as if she was about to be stick, so he decided to let it go. “Now, Lea, this weird feeling, could you go into more detail?”
“Ez Vas like-almosz like I vas bein’ pulled aparz. Like I vas en little pieces.”
“Good, good. “ He turned to the group, which was now huddled around him, and Lea, and said, “Okay, that’s definitely a teleport.” He turned back to Lea and said, “Lea, is there anything else you can remember after you were taken here, any strange devices?”
“One Of zee men-‘e ‘ad a strange leather strap on ‘es arm, with a square made out of some kind of material I’ve never seen before.”
“Are you sure that’s what you that’s what you saw? Now, you’re absolutely certain?”
“Aye! I know vat I sav!”
“It’s okay. Calm down, I just want to make sure.” He turned back to the group with a perplexed look on his face, “That doesn’t make any sense. What she described was a vortex manipulator, and Plexian use a completely different kind of teleport. I mean, it’s much bulkier than a vortex manipulator, but they don’t like straying from tradition.”
“Vortex Manipulator,” Martha said, “isn’t that what Jack had?”
“Yeah.” The Doctor replied “Which is another reason it doesn’t make any sense. What are Plexian slavers doing with a Time Agency issued vortex manipulator?”
“Maybe they got stranded here, didn’t have their usual teleport, somehow got their hands on one of these vertex manipulators and decided to adapt.” Neal suggested.
“That actually make sense.” The Doctor said, then turned back to Lea and said, “Lea, I this will be the last thing I have to ask you. The men who took you, how many were there?”
“I’m not sure,” Lea said, starting to look stick again. “I think, four, five, maybe six. I vas just so-so-“ She was trembling now. “ I vas just so scared!” She then burst into tears. The Doctor reached a hand out to her, but she pulled away. Instantly, as if on instinct, Neal grabbed a hold of her, letting her cry into his chest, whispering, “It’s alright, you’re safe here.”
The Doctor stood up, and started to walk away, saying, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” He turned to the rest of the group, and said, “We should probly leave them alone.” They all silently agreed that was a fine idea, and quickly walked out of the room, almost all at once. They all regrouped in a nearby corner. The Doctor said, “Okay, so the stranded option’s looking good, but I still need to find them. Dianna, that other girl you told me about, this-apprentice, do you think she might know anything?”
“Yeah.” Dianna answered, “But why do you want to talk to her? I mean, why not just ask Lea if she knows where they are?”
“She’s already been through enough, we don’t need to put her through anymore. Especially after what happened back there.” He motioned towards the office with his hand.
“Yeah, plus, if you go at her like that again, Neal’s gonna have to be physically restrained.” Peter added.
“Speaking of Neal, do think he’d know where to find her?” Martha asked, “The apprentice, I
“We could send him back in with O’Ryan,” Dianna added, “Try to get Marie-Grace alone.”
“Maybe,” Peter said, “If we can get him away from Lea for little bit-“
Just then they were interrupted by the elevator opening and four people walking out. Or more like marching out, very loudly, all thought they did not say a word. All of them were wearing UNIT uniforms.
“Doctor,” Peter whispered, “You use to work with UNIT right?”
“Yeah,” The Doctor answered in an even tone, “Why?”
“What’s their policy on humans for other planets?”
“Didn’t you tell Caffrey he was being paranoid ?” Dianna asked.
“Yeah, I know, but better safe than sorry,” Peter answered, then turned back to the Doctor and said, “So?”
“I’m not sure ,” The Doctor said, “Just in case, tell Neal to hide Lea away for awhile, alright? We’ll try to stall them if we can.”
Peter rushed into the office as the men walked up to them. They all looked surprised and confused. “Doctor?” The one who was apparently their leader, a man in his late twenties with jet black hair, asked, “And Dr. Jones? What are you doing here?”
“We were asked by an old friend of mine to help them with an-unusual situation.” He then whirled his head around to Dianna and mouthed, “I thought you said you hadn’t contacted UNIT.”
Dianna mouthed back, “We didn’t. “
“Then who did?” The Doctor mouthed.
“I don’t know,” Dianna mouthed back, surging.
The turned back to UNIT soldiers, doing best to hide his disconcertion, and the fact that he didn’t want them here. The leader of the UNIT soldiers had got over his confusion, and now saluted the Doctor saying, “Major Charles Anson, and might I say, it’s an honor to meet you sir.”
“No, don’t do that. Please. “The Doctor said, “I don’t like people saluting to me, you people really should write that down or something. So,” The Doctor changed the subject quickly, “Who told you about this?”
“Well, sir,” Anson began, “We don’t know, it was called in anonymously, but the voice was that of a young woman, maybe even still in adolescence.”
The Doctor suddenly found himself wishing he had got more detail on that apprentice. Before he could say anything else, Anson took a small slip of paper out is pocket, held it cupped in his hand as if he was hiding it, and said, “I’m need to talk to an agent Peter Bruke, do you know where I can find him?”
“Ah, yes,” The Doctor said, trying to draw this out as slowly as he could, “He’s...um…. well, he’s…”
“Right here,” Peter said, coming out of nowhere, and walking up to the front of the group. “And you are?”
“Major Charles Anson with the Unified Intelligence Task Force,” Anson said matter-of-factly, “We’re here to take Jurisdiction of the O’Ryan case.”
“And why would do that?”
“We we told that the case involves things of…significance, to UNIT.”
“Well, I don’t see how an American FBI investigation has any bearing on anything important to a British military operation. Come to think of it, because UNIT is British military, I’m not sure you actually have the authority to take Jurisdiction.”
“Well, I’m sure we can find a way, considering this time you,” Anson reached out and lightly shoved Peter, “Might be a little out of you dept.”
“Well, “ Peter said, shoving Anson right back, “We’re a lot more capable, able than you give us credit for.”
“Oh, I’m sure you’re all very capable, Agent Bruke, just ,” Anson, shoved Peter again, this time harder, “not in this matter.”
With an unreadable expression, Peter said, “Not in this matter,” In a neutral tone, so they couldn’t tell whether it was question or a statement, or what. Then he turned away from Anson as if to face the group, then quickly turned around and punched Anson, right in the face, sending the man to the ground. Then with hand on his hips, he looked up to the other four soldiers and began, “This case is ours, you have no right to it, so all of you just-“ Then he fell to the ground. Anson had tripped them, and then the two were rolling around on the floor like a couple of children. As the Doctor walked over to try to break up the fight, a female solider from the UNIT side- young, thin, surprisingly mousy looking girl with brown hair tied back in pony tail, and brown doe eyes-, jumped in and helped Anson pin Peter to the ground, and before the Doctor knew it, Dianna was pushing him out of the way, yelling at the two soldiers on the ground, “You are not getting away with that!” And then she grabbed the female solider by the hair and tossed her aside. Soon, the four were all up on their feet, hitting, and pulling, and all sorts of other things, with the Doctor trying to find an opening to safely break it up. Then, one of the two remaining soldiers [both of which were men], went to hit Dianna with the butt of his gun, when out of nowhere came Jones, who grabbed the guy and knocked him out cold. At that point Neal came back, and went over to the Doctor, Martha, and Mickey, and asked, “Ah, Doctor?”
“Yeah?” The Doctor replied.
“What happened while I was gone?”
“Anson tried to take jurisdiction, he and Peter started shoving each other, and then Peter decked him, Anson tripped Peter and then things just exploded.” After a minute, the Doctor added, “You put Lea someplace safe, didn’t you?”
“Yeah,” Neal answered, “In one of the hall closets. Wait, who’s Anson?”
Before the Doctor could answer, the final solider stepped into the fight, and made to come at Peter from behind, and Neal ran into the fray, and kneed said solider in the groin. At that point the Doctor decided there wasn’t going to be a way to safely break it up, so he just stepped in, only to take a foot, he wasn’t sure whose, to the head. Then Martha and Mickey tried to break it up, but it only made things worst. Then the onlookers got involved, soon, people who had no idea what was going on jumped in, and before they knew what had happened, the fight had turned into a full-scale riot that covered two blocks, and involved a lot of hitting, pulling, screaming ,biting, one THIS –IS-SPARTA!, shouter, even thought it was New York, and not Sparta, several lessons in why it’s a good idea to have long nails, a run-away hot dog cart, and-creative use of umbrellas.
“Wait, a second,” Ted said, back at the bar.
“What now?” The Doctor said, a bit annoyed.
“I actually know what you’re talking about, that thing was all over the news! They called it the Lucky Riot because nobody died despite how horrible it got, they never could figure out what caused it!” He turned to Marshall and added, “There’s our tax dollars at work.”
“Hey,” The Doctor said, “It’s wasn’t Peter’s fault. Anson was the one who shoved him first, if anything, it was British tax dollars at work.”
“Good point,” Ted conceded, turning back to the Doctor, “Please go on with the story, I promise I won’t interrupt again.”
“Gladly. Now, as Ted pointed out, two hours later after the police had broke the thing up, and everyone was taken to the hospital, well, everyone expect me who had been overlooked in the helter –selter of it all, I found the hospital everyone had been sent to, and got in using my psychic paper…
To the Doctor’s surprise, all ten of them had been put in the same room. Even more surprising, for some reason, was the extent of their injures. “What in the universe happened to all of you?!” He said, as he surveyed the motley crew before him. Mickey was covered in bruises, and had bandages on a spot on his forehead as well as wrapped around his right hand, Peter hand his right arm in a sling, Dianna had a bag of ice against her head, apparently she had a concussion, Anson had a big red welt on his face stitches in his right arm, and more being sewed into his leg by Martha, who despite her own right arm being in a sling, was trying to help the hospital staff as best she could, the female solider apparently had a concussion and was walking with a limp and both her hands were broken, Jones had his left leg in a cast and bandages on his right shoulder, one of the two other soldiers had his right ear covered up, and stitches around his lips and on his left arm, the last solider had a broken nose, and had on ice pack on his lap, and Neal was pressing a raw steak to his face, and blood was trickling down his right arm.
“You were there, Doctor, you saw,” Martha said, not looking up from her work, “This one’s mouth wrote a check his body couldn’t cash, and it started a full-blown riot that took two hours to contain.” She turned to the female solider and said, “Fawn, don’t stop walking. If you fall asleep with a concussion, you could go into a coma, or worse. Doctor, would mind looking at Neal’s arm?”
“Certainly,” The Doctor said, and went over to inspect the wound. “So what are you doing up and about? I thought you were sapost to be a patient.”
“The staff’s practically buried alive with all the people they’re bringing in,” Martha explained, “So I told them I was a Doctor, and volunteered to pitch in.”
“Yeah, I can see they need it,” The Doctor said, thinking about the crowds he had saw on the way in. “Now let’s see what we have here.” He parted the torn sleeve of Neal’s shirt and hissed as he viewed the source of the trickling blood. There was gaping hole in the upper portion of Neal’s upper arm. The Doctor was surprised it was only a trickle. “Martha,” The Doctor began, “I’m gonna need some surgical thread, gauze, cloth bandages, some cotton ball, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic, or something like that to clean the wound with, and a local atheistic. “
Martha walked out to the get the supplies. The Doctor pulled a tissue out of his pocket and put it on the wound to stop the bleeding. “How’d you get this anyway?” He asked.
“One thing no one tells you about the people of Great Brittan,” Neal began, nodding towards the rest of the room, “Is that they like to eat human flesh. “
“You mean one of them actually bit you?” The Doctor looked out toward the room, and asked, “You actually bit him?”
“Oh no, not one of them,” Neal said, “Someone from our own team.” The Doctor fallowed Neal’s accusing gaze to Mickey.
“Hey, it was an accident,” Mickey said defensively, I was aiming Anson, he was holding me down, it was all I could do. If you hadn’t had gotten in the way-“
“I was trying to get Anson off of you. “
“Yeah, well I managed to do that on my own. And I didn’t eat the hunk I bit off, I spitted it out.”
“Yeah, right in my face,” Anson interjected.
Just then Martha came back with the supplies the Doctor had asked her. “They were out of local anesthetic, but I was able to get my hands on a few tongue depressors,” She said handing the stuff to him, “I figured he could bite down on them.”
“Thanks,” The Doctor said, then started to tumble through jacket, “Actually, I think I might have some anesthetic right here,” Then he pulled out a small white jar. “Not sure if it still works though. Maybe you should bite down on this, just in case.” He then stuck the depressor sideways in Neal’s month and had him bite down. “What are you doing with that steak on your face, anyway?” The Doctor asked as he sterilized the bite with rubbing alcohol.
“Mmmm, mmm,” Neal said, trying talk with the depressor in his month.
“Oh, sorry,” The Doctor said, removing said tongue depressor. “Better?”
“Much,” Neal said, then continued, “They were out of ice packs, so they started using steaks from the butcher’s shop next door. Yeah, I’m gonna need that depressor back. You’re right, that local doesn’t work-eyaaah,” The Doctor quickly put the depressor back in Neal’s mouth, and Neal quickly bit down.
“How’d he get that anyway?” Martha asked
“Basically, Mickey’s a cannibal.” The Doctor answered, Matter-Of-Factly.
“I spit it out!” Mickey said defensively.
“Hey, it’s not his fault anything,” Martha pointed out. “Anson was the one that started the fight.”
“Hey,” Anson interjected, “I don’t know if you notice, Bruke was the one who hit me first.”
“I only hit you because you push me, twice, and on top of that you were being a condescending ass.” Peter pointed out.
“Don’t take it personally,” Fawn said, still walking around. “It’s his first week as a major, and he’s hiding his insecurities by throwing his weight around. He’s always done that ever since we were children.”
“Shut up, Luteniet, and that’s an order!” Anson screamed, as if he was afraid of the statement.
“No, I’m curious,” Peter said, clearly enjoying his foe’s discomfort, “What do you mean since you were children?”
“He’s my older brother. We just happened to get transferred to Manhattan at about the same time.”
“He doesn’t need to hear all our business, Fawn.” Anson said, clearly wanting the conversation to end.
Neal took the tongue depressor out of his mouth, pointed it at Peter and said, “Hey, none of this would’ve happened if you hadn’t called UNIT.”
Peter put his head in his good hand, and said, “Neal, I already told you I don’t know who called UNIT but it wasn’t me.”
“Yeah, according to Anson an adolescent girl called it in,” The Doctor said, putting the medical supplies a side.
“Marie-Grace…” Neal said through gritted teeth.
“I take it that’s the apprentice I was told about.”
“Yeah, and I’ve about had enough of her.” Neal slid down from the table, “I’m gonna go find her, and tell her what’s what.” He sat the stake down on the table reveling a giant knot on his forehead, and started to walk away with a bad limp. “I can’t let you go out alone in this condition.” The Doctor said. He walked over to Neal and let the man lean on him. “I just realized something,” Neal said suddenly. The Doctor turned to him with a questioning look on his face. “We have to go get Lea,” Neal explained, “When I put her in the closet I told her not to come out until I came to get her.”
“Who’s Lea?” Anson asked.
“An a human girl from another planet .” Dianna answered, “Caffrey was afraid you’d locked her or something, that’s one of the reason we didn’t call you. We compromised that I would call the Doctor before we did anything.”
“Oh. That was probly a good idea because…” Anson looked around awkwardly, “We don’t actually have a procedure for that.”
Neal and the Doctor decided it was a good time to leave.
Outside of the building, as they walked down the street, the Doctor turned to Neal and asked, “What if the building caught on fire?”
“Excuse me?” Neal asked.
“You told Lea only to leave if you came to get her, what if the building caught on fire?”
“I figured that went without saying, Lea’s a smart kid.”
“Oh. Good point. So do you have any idea where to actually find this Marie-Grace?”
“Not a clue. But I figure,” Neal stumbled, and the Doctor gabbed a hold of him quickly, “we start back at the antique shop, and work from there. But just in case you see her, she’s willowy with a suntan that’s I’m pretty sure is fake, since it’s the middle of winter, blond hair back in pony tail, either green or blue eyes-“
“Excuse me, green or blue?”
“First time I saw her, her eyes were green, but yesterday they were blue, and I’m not sure which is her natural eye color. Oh, and she also jewel-toned ruby red nails.”
“Does she also travel ‘round with a rather wolfish looking dog?”
“Because except for the dog that girl over there matches that description perfectly.” The Doctor pointed towards someone and sure enough, it was her with a dog that did look like a wolf. “That’s her.” Neal said,” She doesn’t seem to been in a hurry, I think we can sneak up on her.”
“I don’t think we have much of a choice,” The Doctor said, “you can still barely walk, and I don’t think I can prop you and run at the same time.” And they started over to her. As they got closer , the Doctor did wonder why she didn’t take notice of them, as the street didn’t have that many people on it, but the Doctor did noticed that she looked a little scared. Was she expecting someone to confront her for calling UNIT? Or did something provoke the call ? He started to open his mouth to tell Neal his suspicions, but Neal hand already broken away from him and was walking over to Marie-Grace. “Marie-Grace,” He called out to her. She turned around just long enough to see who had spoke to her, then grabbed a tighter hold on the least she had made out of rope for the dog, and tried to walk away.
“We need to talk,” Neal said firmly, trying to keep up with the girl.
“About what?” Marie-Grace asked, still walking away.
“About you calling UNIT?”
“Okay, what do you wanna say about it?”
“Well,” Neal actually hadn’t planned that far ahead. “For starters, why did you do it? I mean, I promised I’d give you a heads up before we arrested O’Ryan, and I know you wouldn’t get the same courtesy with UNIT.”
Marie-Grace turned on her heels, and gave Neal a hard stare, “Well, maybe it’s because after last night I decided you were two much of a loose cannon to be trusted to keep your word. Maybe I was worried that even thought you meant it then, latter you won’t mean it.”
“So you’re worried about getting arrested?”
Marie-Grace scoffed bitterly, “You think I’m scared of you? You think I paid sixty dollars at tanning booth over you? That I put in colored contacts, poured peroxide all over my hair. This isn’t my natural hair color you know! Do you think I took a bath in lavender and rose water for you?! Do you think I altered my body with shaping pads, padded brief and backs supporters because I was scared of you?! Ha! You’re even more pompous then I thought you were.”
Then she started to walk up the stairs of the dilapidated apparent complex they hand come to. Neal went after her fallowed in quick succession by the Doctor. “So let me guess,” Neal began walking up the stairs, “The thing you’re so scared of is that greater evil?”
“What greater evil?” The Doctor asked, having no clue what Neal was talking about.
“I’ll explain latter,” Neal answer then turned back to Marie-Grace and said, “Well?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m scared of,” Marie-Grace said, her arms screeched out, “Now will you please leave?” She started to walk away.
“No,” Neal said, fallowing her, “ I need something else.”
She opened one of the apartment doors, “What is your obsession with me? Is this about that thing with your wallet, or something?”
This took Neal aback, “No. And that wasn’t just a thing, you picked my pocket and threw the contents at me. Hard.”
“You know what I think?” She asked, standing in the doorway. “I think it wounded your pride and your ego that the infamous Neal Caffrey, con man extraordinaire, got his wallet stolen by a pubescent girl who did it on a bet!”
Neal stepped a few feet back. He felt a mixture of anger and shock. “Go on then! “ Marie-Grace scream, “Hit me! I know you want to! That’s what all men want!”
Neal was too stunned to say anything, so the Doctor leaned over and said, “Neal, maybe I should take it from here.”
Neal nodded and limped away. It looked to the Doctor that the trek up the stairs had aggravated the injury. “Just don’t got too far.”
Then it was just the Doctor and Marie-Grace. And the dog. They all stared at each other for a whole minute. Marie-Grace was the first to speak. “You’re not gonna get anything out of me either.” She cocked her head and added, “Who are you anyway?”
“I’m the Doctor.”
“Like, a physiatrist?”
“Oh, you could say I’m a doctor of all things. A friend of mine called me to ask for help with this whole-situation. Do you want to talk inside?”
“Sure.” Marie-Grace said. Her better judgment told her to say no, but something about the strange man intrigued her, so she walked in and let him fallow. She didn’t even say anything when he shut the door behind him. “So,” he began, “I think an excellent place to start,” he talked as he sauntered over to her, “would be your real name.”
“What makes you think Marie-Grace isn’t my real name?”
“Oh, if you go to all that trouble to change the way you look, you’re not gonna chance not changing your name.”
Marie-Grace sighed. She knew he had her there, “Kyra. Kyra Jennings.”
“Well, Kyra Jennings, I’m not gonna beat around the bush. Who hit you?”
“Who hit you? After that scene out there I’m guessing a man, but I can’t be certain who.”
“When you say hit, you mean like, abuse.”
“How else do you mean it?”
“And what makes you think I was abused?”
“You’re severely untrusting, you’ve all but said you’re running from someone and you’re scared of them, scared enough to drastically alter your appearance, and desperate enough to seek shelter with a woman who will one day die in an institute for the criminally insane. And just to save time, don’t ask me how I know that last bit right now.”
“I won’t.” Then for a minute Kyra was silent. “It was my father.” She finally said, “He’s got mental problems. He would hit me at least once a day. And strait out beat me. He’d could find any -reason to do it. Hurting me was the only thing that gave him pleasure. Still is.” Kyra looked as if she was about to cry. And then she did. The Doctor walked over to her and took her in his arms. “It’s alright, I got you, there you go.”
“He’d say I deserved it, ‘cause I was freak.” She sobbed, “ Two months a just got sick of it, decided to run away, like mom did.”
“You can stop now if you want. You don’t have to go on.”
“Thank you.” And then she just cried for a while.
After Kyra cried herself out, she and the Doctor sat down on the cot in the middle of the room. The Doctor was the first to speak. “Now, I have to ask about your empathic abilities…how long have you had them?”
Kyra shrugged, “My whole life, I guess. The first time I actually remember using it was when I was four. I warned Sara Johnson that Tommy Strait wanted to take her cookies. We were in daycare.”
The Doctor couldn’t help but laugh. “And did he try to take her cookies?”
“Yeah, but he didn’t get them. Sara started screaming like a flipping banshee.” Kyra couldn’t help but laugh too. Then she became serious again. She stared up in the Doctor and asked, “Do you know what I am?”
“Of course I know what you are, you’re a human with special abilities. Superhuman some would call you. Then again some people would call you an Alpha. See, basically what happened is that a certain part of your brain is bigger than its sapost to be, and you can access another part of your brain the most humans can’t normally access, and on top of this you were born with some low telepathic fields, all combining to make you a human empath. “
“I think I understood some of that. Enough to know my Dad was right, I’m freak.”
“What are you talking about? You’re not a freak. You’re just special that’s all. Just like everybody else. You see,” He leaned in close to her, “in my experience, I’ve found that every human is special, in a different way. So you more a freak than anyone else. You’re dad was wrong. About everything. Never forget that, Kyra Jennings. You know I mean everything I’m saying.”
Suddenly, without any explanation Kyra felt as if a tremendous weight had been lifted from her shoulders, and constricting restrains had been removed from her soul. “I do. Thank you.”
“Now, what I’m gonna ask next is just out of curiosity. Where did you get the dog?”
“Oh, White Fang?” She said, stroking the top of the dog’s head. “Last night as the Hob, this guy was kicking him, and it made me angry, so I figured, why should Caffrey be the only one who gets to be the hero? And there are these two other guys at the Hob, Bob, This Cranean, and Tristram, this pumped up human from Trud, and the two hate each other, so I knew all I had to was throw something at Bob, and he’d accuse Tristram, and they’d cause a huge scene and I’d be able to get away with the dog. Which is exactly what happened. I just didn’t expect was the was a fracas to engulf the whole Hob. That part was an accident.”
“Yeah, please forgive an observation, but you’ve accidently caused two riots in a matter of two days.”
“Yeah, did you hear about that riot that happened earlier today?”
“It was over the jurisdiction of the O’Ryan case.”
“Well, I think I know how you can make it up. Speaking of the Hob, do you know where I can find those Plexian slavers?”
“I wanna stop them.”
Kyra liked that idea. “I don’t know them directly but I know someone who probly will. So, what’s your plan?”
“From the information we have we think that they’re probly a small group who got stranded here and are using a vortex manipulator, so I’m gonna find them, break the vortex manipulator, and intimidate them into crawling under a rock, and never kidnapping anyone again.”
“And how do you plan to intimidate a bunch of hardened slave traders?”
“In some circles I’m known as The Oncoming Storm.”
Kyra hadn’t been immersed in the alien underworld very long, but even she knew who that was. “No way.”
“No way, no way! You’re The Oncoming Storm?”
“Well, I don’t like to go by it, I don’t usually like being thought as this scary dangerous guy, but sometimes it can come in handy. Sometimes. So, are you in?”
Kyra smiled from ear to ear. “Yes.”
“Good.” After a moment the Doctor said, “We were on our way to get Lea when we saw you, you wanna join us?”
“Sure.” Kyra said, sliding off the cot, “It’s not like I have anything else to.” As the Doctor opened the door she added, “Oh, and Doctor,”
The Doctor turned around, “Yes?”
Kyra looked almost self-conscious as she sheepishly asked, “You won’t tell Caffrey about any of this will you?”
The Doctor smiled sympathetically, “No. Not if you don’t want me to. Nothing we discussed has to leave this room.”
As they walked down the street, Kyra decided there were some things she wanted Neal to know. Just some things. “So let get this strait,” Neal said, as he walked down the street, still leaning on the Doctor for support, “You started that whole mess at the Hob to rescue the dog?”
“Yea, that’s basically what happened.” Kyra answered back.
“That’s why you ran away from O’Ryan, is it? To try to hide the dog from her? “
“No.” Then after a minute of Neal staring her down, she emitted, “Fine. I did it to hide White Fang.”
“And then you called UNIT, so someone would still put a stop to O’Ryan. Is that right Marie-Grace?”
“That’s right. Only, while we’re on the subject, my name’s not Marie-Grace, its Kyra. Any more questions?”
“Yeah, actually. Where’d you get the name White Fang?”
“You know, from the Jack London novel. You’ve never heard of it?”
“Yeah, I’ve heard of it. It’s just not in the for front of my mind.”
“What is at the for front of your mind?”
“Michelangelo, Picasso,” The Doctor said, jokingly, “Van Gogh.”
“Actually,” Neal said, “I’ve never took any interest in Van Gogh.”
After a moment of the thought the Doctor said, “Keep it that way. Seriously. If you so much as even think about and I hear about it, I will personal make rue the day you did. You know, I bet he’s brilliant, Van Gogh. I’ll have to meet him sometime.”
“How would meet him? He’s been dead for a hundred or so years.”
Kyra laughed. “Why do I have a feeling this is going to be a long, long, walk?”
“We can discuss that later.” Neal decided, “Doctor, while you were talking in there, did you happen to talk to her about the Plexians?”
“Yes.” The Doctor answered.
Kyra beat the Doctor to talking. “The Doctor’s got a great plan, weight ‘till you hear…”
Later, after they had all regrouped, [The they being the Doctor, Neal, Kyra, Lea, Peter, Dianna, Jones, Martha, and Mickey] the Doctor told everyone his plan. There was, to say the least, a mixed reaction from the group.
“So your plan is to find out where the Plexians are from Kyra’s friend?” Jones began.
“This person’s really not my friend,” Kyra interjected, “Just someone I know from the Hob. She’s like the unofficial record keeper or something.”
“Yeah, anyway, so you’re gonna do that, they just walk up to them, break the vortex manipulator, and just scare them into stopping.”
“Yeah,” The Doctor answered, “That’s pretty much it.”
“That it the most insane idea I’ve ever heard.” Peter said, “And you’re talking to someone who works with him.” He pointed to Neal to show who he was talking about.
“Hey,” Neal said defensively.
“Don’t ‘hey’ me. You know how many stunts you’ve pulled, and what kind of stunts you’ve pulled.”
“Sorry Neal, but he’s right,” The Doctor commented, “I mean, if half the stuff I’ve heard is true, I commend him for not just shooting you. And that’s coming from a man who hates guns.”
“What have you heard, Doctor?” Dianna asked from her stop by the doorway.
“Do you really want me to answer that, Dianna? It’s your life too, you know.”
“Good point. I’ll figure it out when it happens.”
“Yeah, speaking which,” Peter interjected, “Why do you keep talking about us like we’re famous or something?”
The Doctor looked over to Dianna. “You didn’t tell them?”
“I mentioned that we traveled through space and time,” Dianna answered, “but I didn’t elaborate, and they didn’t ask.”
“Probly because we didn’t notice,” Jones pointed out, “So you’re telling us you can travel through time?”
“He’s a Time Lord, isn’t he?” Kyra interjected.
Everyone looked at her with various looks of surprise, shock, concern, and confusion on their faces. “What?” She asked. Then she realized, “I’m an empath, remember? And besides, even if I wasn’t, in the Hob, you meet a lot of spacers, and hear a lot of stories. Like of a legendary race of people who knew how to travel through time and space, of the glory of them, of aspects I don’t want to say out of courteously to the Doctor.”
They all accepted the answer and went on. “And what happened?” Peter asked, “One of us wrote a memoir, or something?”
“Actually, two of you did. Together. Very inresting read actually, the way it was written. Multiple people said they’d love to be a fly on the wall when it was written; myself included ‘cause the thing read like one of those interviews where they interview two people at once. But there was stuff leading up to that, and I’m not gonna tell you about it.”
“Can you at least tell us which two of us got together and wrote a book?”
The Doctor pointed back and front between Peter and Neal. Their gazes met each other and disbelief.
“Can we focus on the present, please?” Kyra said.
“Oh, right.” Peter said, “Anyway, that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard because, you have no clue if the information is trustworthy, then they might be able to fix the vortex-whatever again, then how are you gonna intimidate a bunch of hardened criminals who kidnap children from medieval, nomadic planets?”
“That part got me two until I found who he was,” Kyra said, “he’s not called The Oncoming Storm for nothing.”
“Okay, that means nothing to majority of us here. Except Dianna, and Martha, -and Mickey-and maybe Lea.”
They all looked down at Lea with questioning looks. She just shook her head, “Na, never ‘eard of ‘im. Vay are you called Zee Oncomin’ Szorm?”
“Well,” The Doctor began, seeming embarrassed. Then ashamed. Kyra said what he couldn’t. “He had to destroy two planets to save the universe.”
Everyone was silent as that sent in. “Yes,” Peter began, “I can see how that would intimidate people. In fact, I’m a little scared right now.”
“Yeah, me too.” Neal said.
“Same here,” Jones added.
“And that,” The Doctor said, calmly but a bit frustrated, “Is why I don’t advertise it.”
“Why do you need to scare them off, anyway?” Jones asked, “Wouldn’t just breaking the teleport put them out of business?”
“In theory, yes, but Vortex Manipulators aren’t that hard to come by and are relatively cheap. So the only way to make sure there’s not gonna be another Lea is to put the fear of God in them.”
“Good.” Lea said, “Zey deserve to be scared.” Lea wanted them to know the fear she had felt. She wanted them to know what it was like to be trapped, and helpless.
“Yeah, but that still doesn’t deal with the problem of not being able to trust Kyra’s record keeper.” Peter added.
“Actually,” The Doctor interjected, “When Kyra said that I think I know who it is. A smuggler by the name of Claudette Magnum. I’ve encountered her a couple of times in my travels.”
Suddenly Dianna looked as if she had just realized something. “Wait, was she that Claudette I met at that spaceport?”
The awkward silence from the Doctor was her answer. “Was she a smuggler then?” She asked him.
“I’m… not sure. You and her hit it off, and I knew it’d hurt you if you knew and that’s why I never told you.”
All the others were just staring at her with horrified but questioning looks as a picture of the relationship between Dianna and Claudette formed in their minds. Everyone except Mickey. “Why is everyone looking at her like that?” He asked nervously.
“Dianna’s gay.” Neal answered, his voice hallow.
“She was the one who gave me this.” Dianna explained, holding out the bracelet, “Said it was a gift from her mother before she left her home planet.”
“If it helps that probably was true.” The Doctor said, “Do you need a moment?”
“No, I’m fine. So what makes you think you can trust her?”
“For one thing, while it seems with her everything goes, she hates slavery. And during those past encounters her information has always been good. Of course, it always comes with a price.” The Doctor’s eyes shifted towards Neal. “Are you aloud to trade him?”
“I thought you said she hated slavery!” Neal said, sounding panicked.
“Yeah but everything else goes, if you know what I mean.” The Doctor answered.
Everyone was silent for a minute, trying to figure out what the Doctor meant. “He means assistant.” Kyra said, “Or in Neal’s case, maybe a concubine. Or both. But if the second one or the last one’s the case, she’s not gonna want him in this,” She gestured to the knot on Neal’s head, “condition.”
“I’m pretty sure there are rules against this.” Neal interjected, actually sounding kind of desperate.
“Calm down, there are,” Peter said, “I think. At the very least, the concubine thing would get us into major trouble. Plus, that one I have problems with. And I’m not so hot on the assistant option, either.”
“Yeah, knew that one was a long shot, but I also knew it was an easy option,” The Doctor confessed, “I’ll come up with something to give her then.”
Peter pursed his lips, then said, “Okay, I’ll give you all those points but I don’t want you going in alone. It may be just out of habit, but I want one of my people going in with you.”
The Doctor bent his head back in frustration. “Look, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but your whole team is out of commission. Your arms in the sling, he’s in a wheel chair with a broken leg, and this one can barely walk even if the Plexians and over a dozen other people hadn’t all ready seen him.”
“I’m still available.” Dianna interjected.
The whole room turned around to face her. “I’m still able bodied, nobody’s seen me, and we’ve both changed so much in appearance since we last saw each other Claudette probly won’t recognize me.”
“Or she’ll be happy to see an old flame.” Kyra cut in.
“So it’s settled then,” Martha said quickly, “The Doctor, Dianna, and Kyra go in, the rest of us wait in the surveillance van, they run the Plexians off, the Doctor takes Lea back to Topibic and we all live happily ever after.”
“But then we still have O’Ryan to deal with.” Jones interjected.
“One thing at time,” The Doctor reassured them, “I have a few suggestions for that as well.”
The next day The Doctor, Dianna and Kyra went to the Hob. “Okay guys, we’re in.” Dianna whispered into her sleeve.
“Good.” Martha said from the van. They decided that since Martha had more experience with aliens, she’d run the show from there end. “Everything going okay?”
“So far, so good.”
Kyra lead them to a woman in her mid-30s with a head thick, long, wild brown hair, dark brown eyes, loading a brown wooden crate off a spaceship. “Claudette.” Kyra called out to her. The woman looked up, “Hi there, Kyra.” Then she saw the two people with her. “Who are your friends?”
“Oh, you already know them. This-“
“Doctor,” The woman said, “Dianna.”
“Nice to see you remember.” The Doctor said.
“I didn’t know you two still traveled together.”
“We don’t.” Dianna said, “I asked him to help me with…something.”
“I know you’re a federal agent , Di.” Claudette said. “When I realize you lived on this planet and in this era, I tracked you down. I then stopped when I realized you were taken.” After a minute she finally said, “So what do you want?”
“Some Plexian slavers have been brought to my attention,” The Doctor said, “We want to stop them. Do you know where they are?”
“The ones using the vortex manipulator?”
“How did you know?”
“Because at this current date, those are the only Plexian slavers in the whole Hob.”
“So where are they? And for the record we have payment ready.”
Kyra pulled out a pearl hair pin from her pocket.
“Look,” Claudette began, “since we know each other so well, and you all know how I feel about slavery, just this once I’ll tell for free this time. They’re right over there.” She nodded towards a group of four very ruff looking man, fighting over what appeared to the Doctor to be a pile of Plexian currency. “Their names are Forest, Brutus, Jasper and Birch. Each one nastier than the next. Forest is the one in charge, a clinically dinosed sociopath, he always wears the vortex manipulator on his right arm.” She turned her head to face the trio and said earnestly, “Good luck. And give them what for from me.”
“We will.” The Doctor replied and led his companions over to the group of squabbling men. “Excuse me,” The Doctor called out to them, “Gentlemen.” They all turned to look at him. “What do you want?” A blonde man who was apparently Forest said.
“Well, first off,” The Doctor said, still walking over to them, “To do this.” He tore the vortex manipulator off Forest’s wrist, and threw it to the ground and started to stomp on it. Dianna and Kyra joined in. Soon they were all taking turns stomping on it until they had pounded it into a fine mesh of metal, plastic and leather.
“You’re gonna pay for that.” Forest said, the rage in his voice palpable. The largest member of the group walked up them, clearly with violent intent. Before he raised his hand, ready to strike the Doctor, but then Dianna rusted up and kneed the large man in the groin. He fell to his knees. “Now,” Dianna said, stepping back, “My friend has a few things he’d like to say to you, and unless you want me to do to all of you what I just did to that guy, you’ll listen. “ Then she turned to the Doctor and said, “The floor is yours now, Doctor.”
“Thank you, Dianna,” The Doctor said, then walked over to the gang, and began, “You see what I just did to your little teleport?” He stepped on the pile of remains once again for emphasis. They nodded, officially scared, as they were not use to people standing up to them, especially in this manner.
“Well, you’re going out of business right now unless you wanna end up like it.” The Doctor got right up into Forest’s face. “Do you think you’re the first guys to come here, and try to pull off something evil? Well, you’re not. Oh, there have been so many! I mean, if I had a dollar for every one of them well,” He waved his arms towards Kyra, “Let’s just say, I could put her through Harvard. And you wanna know what happened to all of them?”
The men nodded.
“Me. And most of them I let leave, but a few of them I didn’t. Did you hear about the Christmas that giant star attacked people in London and the Themes drained? Well, that was me. Downing Street blowing up? Yeah, that was me, too. And so was that mall blowing up that blew up before that! Sigerax? Sent them packing by winning a sword fight with their leader. There’s a reason I’m called The Oncoming Storm, and unless you want to discover that reason first hand, you will close up shop, and leave this planet first chance you get, and never come back! Do I make myself clear?”
The men nodded and quickly ran over Claudette, and started begging her to take them with her on her next run.
Dianna gave the Doctor a high-five, and said, “Way to go, Doc,” Something she hadn’t done since she traveled with him.
“Yeah, that was awesome!” Kyra exclaimed.
“Oh, it was nothing,” The Doctor said, “All in a day’s work really.”
Meanwhile, in the van they were so moved by the speech-and surprised that it not only actually worked, but worked well-they all calmly clapped. Except Mickey, who grabbed up Martha from her seat, and passionately kissed her. When they broke away there was a look of complete shock on Martha’s face. “Martha, I love you,” Mickey said, earnestly, and desperately, in a way that only a man head-over-heels in love can, “I have for a while now. That’s why I moved here, not for work, but to be near you.”
“Oh, my gosh,” Martha said, sounding very excited, “I love you, too.” Then after a moment of silent, she added, a little unsure of herself now, “Mickey, I know this may sound a little crazy, and I can understand if you say no, but I still have all this stuff for a wedding anyway, so…”
At the same time, both Martha and Mickey said, “Will you marry me?” They both laughed than Martha said, “Yes.” Then they kissed again.
Meanwhile back in the Hob, The Doctor, Dianna, and Kyra where making their way to leave, when Kyra suddenly said, “Would you mind waiting here for a moment? I just realized there’s something I got to do.” Before they could answer she ran off, and rushed back to Claudette, and whispered something in her ear. Claudette nodded, and then Kyra ran back yelling, “Thanks.” When she got back to them, Dianna asked, “What was that all about?”
“Just something I thought might help with the O’Ryan case.” Kyra answered, “I’ll tell you what I did if it pans out.”
“Speaking of which,” The Doctor said, as they walked away, “I think I know a way to deal with that case that will work for everyone.”
“What?” Dianna and Kyra asked simultaneously.
“Oh, I’ll tell you when we’re all together.” The Doctor answered, “But believe me, it’s going to work.”
“In the time I’ve been Anna’s apprentice, she’s fenced five different pieces, not counting the necklace from last night,” Kyra said into the recorder. Part of the Doctor’s grand plan involved her testifying against O’Ryan.
“And by the necklace from last night, you mean the sapphire and sliver one she showed to Mr. Caffrey on the night Tuesday, December 21st, 2011?” Peter, who was the one recording the statement, asked.
“Can you describe the other four pieces, and who gave them to her?”
The first one was a diamond ring, the next a pair of rose quartz earrings, then a gold thimble, the forth was another ring, this one an emerald. And I only saw one of the guys. He was Caucasian with short light brown hair, gray eyes, and really bad teeth.”
“Now, earlier you said something about a room where O’Ryan would take people she felt had wronged her or otherwise angered her, and-“ Peter swallowed, hard, “murder them.”
“It’s in the backroom of her antique shop,” Kyra said, her voice quivering a bit, “That’s why she doesn’t allow anyone back there. I’ve only caught glimpses of it, but I still saw,” she started to count the devices off on her fingers, “a inquisition torture rack, a strapodo, an whip, several different knives, a cat o nine tails, several coils of rope, and a-“ she looked as if she was about to be sick, but managed to get out, “a bone saw. They were all clean, but the floor-the floor still had blood stains on it. It looked like someone had tried to clean it off, but failed, and there-was a drain in the middle of the floor.” She looked as if she was about to throw up. “Are we done now?”
“Yeah. We’re done.” Peter turned off the recorder and walked out of the room, leaving Kyra alone, trying to catch her breath.
Peter walked up to the Doctor who was waiting outside. “So?” The Doctor asked, “Is it enough to get a warrant?”
“Maybe, but it’s a long shot.” Peter answered, “ And even if it wasn’t , she never actually saw her kill anyone, and there’s no way to prove that jewelry was stolen, or if it even existed.”
“Well, what if we could get the other girls to back her up?” Neal asked, “Wouldn’t that as least make it easier to get a warrant?”
“That’s another maybe,” Peter said, “But we still don’t know where any of the girls are.”
“I made contact with a friend of mine who works with Abnormals,” The Doctor said, “I was hoping Cicely might have to her, but so far she hasn’t contacted me with anything. I did give her the right name, didn’t I? Cicely was the Abnormal girl?”
“Yea, Doctor,” Neal said, “Cicely was the Abnormal was. Whatever that is.”
“They’re creatures that live on this planet that still aren’t human, and a lot of them have human intelligence.”
“Yeah, well, whatever she is,” Peter said, “we still can’t find her, or Alice, or Mirabelle, so I hope you have another plan.”
“I don’t think I need one,” The Doctor said, staring off into the distance, ”Look.”
The group looked to where the Doctor was looking, and saw four people walking towards them. Two of them were a man in his mid-twenties with light brown hair, dark brown eyes, wearing a light blue shirt, blue jeans, and a green jacket, holding the hand of a young girl, thirteen at the most, with black hair done in pig tails, with dark brown, almost black , eyes, wearing a pink, yellow, light blue, and white splotched designed hoody, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. They appeared to be separate from the other two, two teenage girls. The older one appeared to be about sixteen, and was frightenly thin and pale, with golden eyes, and the younger one appeared to be about twelve, with tan skin, long blonde hair, wearing dark sun glasses even thought it was the middle of winter.
The man with the girl was the first to approach the group. He pulled a picture out of his pocket, then looked at the Doctor and said, “I guess you’re the Doctor.”
“Yes, yes I am,” The Doctor said, “And you are?”
“Dr. Will Zimmerman,” The man replied, “You apparently know my boss, Dr. Helen Magnus. “ Will looked back down at the picture and added, eyes wide, “At least well enough for her to have this picture.”
That perked the Doctor’s curiosity. “May I-“ he began
“Oh, sure,” Will said, handing the picture to the Doctor. The Doctor looked down to see a black and white picture of him holding a young woman in Victorian area clothing with a two very uncomfortable looking men-one with his hair back in a male pony tail and ridiculously long sideburns, the other with a funny looking mustache that broke in two in the middle. The Doctor couldn’t help but laugh. “I had no idea Helen kept this.” He said, and then handed the picture back to Will.
“Yeah, why are you holding her, anyway?” Will asked flatly, but with a note of apprehension in his voice. He knew Magus wasn’t exactly the clingy type. He also knew that people who called her by her first name were usually trouble. With the exception of Watson and her father, of course.
“Oh, we were just goofing around,” The Doctor answered, “We just wanted to make John scrim, really. Well, Nicola wasn’t too happy about it, either. It was pretty obvious he had feelings for her. Well, obvious to everyone expect her. Has he ever told her?”
“I think once,” Will said, “But less than an hour later she discovered he was trying to revive the vampire race, so they’re still just friends.”
“Well, Nicola always knew how to mess things up really badly. Did either of them ever tell you about the time he tried to build a weather machine? Oh, it was horrible.”
“Wait,” Jones interjected, “Do you mean Nicola as in Nicola Tesla? As in Tesla coil?”
“Yeah,” The Doctor said, casually, “Met him and the rest of the Five in a park in Victorian London. Really kind of an annoying fellow actually.”
“And what was this about vampires?” Mickey added, “Vampires aren’t real, are they?”
“There’s no way vampires are real.” Peter said, really hopping the Doctor would back him up, “I mean, I know we’ve all seen some pretty unbelievable things over the past forty eight hours, but there are no way vampires are real. “ After the Doctor said nothing Peter added, “Okay, I refuse to believe vampires are real.”
“Well, not anymore,” The Doctor said, “They died out centuries ago. But for awhile there they did rule the world. Really horrible grandiose megalomaniacs, all of them.” Their stunned silence told the Doctor now was a good time to ask Will why he was here. “So,” The Doctor said, turning back to Will, “Why did Helen want you to find me?”
“When you told her you were looking for a young empath, we asked around and sure enough,” He nodded at the girl, “we found her. This is Cecily. She’s been at the Manhattan Sanctuary for few months now. She hadn’t been very talkative about where she’d come from, but when Magnus sent me down here, and I asked her about it, she told me the whole story.”
The girl looked up at the group for the first time.”Hello,” She said softly.
“Is she in any trouble over this?” Will asked
“No, of course not,” The Doctor said, “So far it appears none of the girls took any part in the illegal acts. The only thing they’re guilty of is putting their trust in the wrong the person. We just want them to testify so these guys can get a warrant to get some actually evidence to arrest this woman. Then you can take her back to the Sanctuary.”
Peter nodded towards the room behind them all. “Right in there. I’ll be with you in a minute.”
Will and Cecily walked into the room, where Kyra greeted them in the doorway, clearly happy that one of the other girls was here. The two teenage girls walked up, and the older one said to Peter, “I take it you’re the one we need to talk to.”
“It depends.” Peter said, wondering why the strange pair was there, “What do you want to talk about?”
“I’m Alice,” The girl said, then looked down at her companion and said, “And this is Mirabelle.” Then younger one recoiled a bit in fear. “It's okay, Mira,” Alice said, gently stroking the girl, “They won’t hurt us. You know that.” Alice then looked back to Peter, and said, “We’re the other two apprentices. Someone at the Hob started a Grapevine, which is a message to everyone, saying they were looking for us into come here. “
The Doctor looked knowingly over to Kyra, who was now standing in the doorway with a huge grin on her face. “So that’s what you were talking to Claudette about before we left.” The Doctor said, more of a question then a statement.
“Yeah, but I had no clue it would work so soon.” Kyra answered.
“You know how fast things can spread at the Hob.” Alice replied.
“Well, she does now.” Neal cut in, recalling the scene from the night before, and how fast it had turned into a complete madhouse.
“And it also helped that we were already together,” Alice said, “Mirabelle found me a few a days after she ran away, and we’ve been living together ever since.” She turned her attention back to Peter. “I take it you want us to testify as well.”
“Yes.” Peter said, “In there please.”
As Kyra lead them into the room, the elevator stopped on their floor. They turned to see a lone girl, fifteen years old, with long black hair, and yellow-green eyes, with pupils like pea pods, in a ragged, dirt brown shift walk out of the elevator, and head towards them, with a confidence none of the others had possessed. Kyra mouth was gapped open in disbelief. “It can’t be,” She breathed. “I think it is,” Alice whispered back. Will walked up to him and said, “What’s going on?”
Walked straight up to Peter and said firmly, “My name is Kass; I was the O’Ryan’s first apprentice. Just tell me what you need me to do.”
“Wait,” Neal said, walking up to them, “Kass as in the Kass that killed herself?”
All four of the girls walked out of the room cautiously. “I won’t lie to you, I had planned to kill myself,” Kass emitted, “But then I notice that O’Ryan had left the doors unlocked that night by mistake and I decided that it was some sort of sign that I shouldn’t do it, that the best revenge was to live. I didn’t take the time to write it down in my diary, just left it under my cot and took off without anything.” She walked over to the girls and said, starting to tear up, “I didn’t mean to mislead anyone. I’m so s-sorry.” There was a stream of tears running down both her cheeks now.
Kyra walked up to her and said, “It's okay sweetheart,” And Then she embraced Kass and said, “You didn’t know. “
“There’s no way you could’ve.” Alice said, stroking Kass’s shoulder. Soon all four of the girls were embracing their lost sister in a gentle, understanding embrace. When the hug broke, Kass turned to Peter and said, “Do you want me to testify as well?”
“Yes,” Peter said, smiling, “Yes, I do.”
Three hours later they had their warrant. When they raided they antique store they not only found several thousands of dollars worth of terrestrial jewelry, most of which had been reported stolen, but the backroom, just horrifying and evil as Kyra and the others had described it. Worst, even. And, what’s more, when they sprayed luminal (the spray used to make blood that’s been washed away show up) the whole room, literally, the entire room and everything in it, turned blue. They promptly arrested Anna O’Ryan, and then went back, to meet the Doctor, Martha, and Mickey at the office, as they still had business to finish up.
“So, what exactly are we sending Lea back to?” Jones asked as he, Neal, Lea, Dianna, Martha, and Mickey waited outside Peter’s office as Peter, the Doctor, Kyra, Alice, Mirabelle, Cecily, Kass and Will discussed the issues concerning the girls.
“What do you mean?” Neal asked.
“I mean does she have parents?”
“Of course I ‘ave parents,” Lea said, “Me mum, me da, and me older sister, Kenya.”
“I already talked about this with her,” Neal explained, “You honestly think I'd send her out there without knowing she had someone to care for her?”
“Well, you could’ve told us.”
Just then The Doctor, Peter, Will, Alice, Mirabelle, Cecily, Kass and Kyra all walked out. “So,” Peter began,” The girls will stay here until the trail to testify, Alice, Mirabelle, and Kass will stay with Cecily at the Manhattan Sanctuary until it’s over, then the Doctor will take them home, after he takes Lea back to Topibic, and he’s got other arrangements for Kyra.”
“And what does he plan to be doing until he the trail’s over?” Jones asked.
“I got a time machine, remember?” The Doctor said, “I can drop Lea off, and then be in about three weeks from now in five minutes. Now, since there’s nothing else to discuss I reckon I ought to be getting Lea home, don’t you think? I’m sure her parents are worried to death.”
“Mine if I come with?” Neal asked, “You know, just ‘till you get to that machine of yours. To make sure you get there okay.”
“I don’t see any reason why not.” The Doctor said
“If he’s fallowing you, I’m coming too.” Peter said, “To make sure he gets back.”
“I might as well go to.” Dianna said. She only wanted to be with the Doctor a little longer.
And so it was the Neal, Peter, and Dianna fallowed The Doctor, Lea and Kyra back to the TARDIS. “That’s your ship?” Peter asked, upon seeing the blue phone box.
“It’s just a disguise.” Dianna explained, “It’s actually sapost to look like something from whatever time period it’s in or what planet it’s on. For example, if the thing that disguises it was working properly, it might look like a skyscraper. But that thing jammed one time when he was in the 1960s, so now it looks like a British Police Box. And it’s much bigger on the inside.”
“Makes as much sense as anything else that’s happened in the last two days.” Peter emitted, then thought to himself, “Certainly makes more sense than vampires were not only real at one point, but ruled the world.”
“Well,” The Doctor said, turning around to face the three. “I guess it’s time to say goodbye.” The Doctor turned to Dianna and said, “Lovely seeing you again, Dianna,” The two old friends hugged as Dianna said, “You too, Doctor,” As they broke away, she added, “And don’t be such stranger.”
“I’ll try not be.” The Doctor said, then turned to Peter and Neal, took Peter hand and shook it, saying, “It was pleasure meeting you,” He shook Neal’s hands adding, ”both of you, really, it has.” The he stepped back, and let Leas say her goodbyes. Lea walked up to Dianna and said, “Zank ya for doin’ everything ya did for me, Dianna.”
Dianna took her hand, and said, “You’re welcome.”
Then she walked over to Neal and said, “And Zank Ya, Neal, for rescuin, me. I don’z vant zo-zink abouz vat vould’ve ‘appened if ya ‘andn’t.”
Neal couldn’t help himself, He scooped Lea up in arms, and said, “You’re welcome, Lea, you’re welcome.” Then he sat her back on the ground, and added, “Just-just take care of yourself, okay?”
Then she turned to Peter and said, “And Zank ya, zoo, Pezer. I knov yer noz a chieften, buz ya voul’ve made a good one.”
“Thank you,” Peter said.
Then as the Doctor open the door and stepped into the TARDIS with Lea, Kyra walked up to Neal to and said, “Since I didn’t have to give to Claudette,” She pulled out the pearl hairpin and put it in Neal’s hand, “Consider it restitution for the sixty dollars I took from you, any damage the wallet might of sustained when it hit the payment, and the forty dollars I got from the bet.”
Just then the Doctor called, “Kyra, are you coming?”
“One second!” Kyra yelled back at him, then she turned back to the group and said, “So long guys. See you later.” Then she ran to the TARIS, and got in.
Peter and Neal started to turned to leave, but the Doctor stuck out a hand to stop them. “You’re gonna want to see this next part.” She said with a little smirk. Just then they all heard the strange sound of ancient engines starting, and watch the TARIS fade into nothingness.
After a moment of amazed silence, Peter turned to Neal and said, “What was Kyra talking about?”
“Really?” Neal said, “British Police Box disappears into thin air and that’s what you want to talk about?”
“Yes, I admit, that blew my mind, but I still want to know what she was talking about.”
Neal rolled his eyes then surrendered. “Remember when my that girl picked my pocket last week?”
“Someone picked Caffrey’s pocket?” Dianna asked, almost gleefully.
“Last week.” Peter answered, “He was embarrassed it happened, I was a little embarrassed that we had been outwitted and outrun by a pubescent, and she didn’t take anything that could leave to identity thief, we decided not advertise it.” Then he turned back to Neal and said, “That was her?”
“Yeah.” Neal replied, “She finished altering her appearance after the incident, it took me a few minutes before I recognized her.”
Dianna snickered as they walked down the sidewalk, “What am I gonna do with you two?”
“Apparently make history for one thing.” Neal replied.
“Yeah, by the way, Dianna,” Peter said, “Do you have any idea how we do that?”
Dianna grinned from ear to ear. She felt nineteen again. “Not a clue, boss, but don’t worry. We’ll find out in time. All of us, together.”
Meanwhile, in his house in a subbrud, Dr. Lee Rosen was working on a Sudoku puzzle when the doorbell. “I wonder who that is,” he thought as he walked towards the door, “Probly the same people it always is. Some Alpha’s causing trouble somewhere and the team and I need to deal with it.” But when he opened the door to his surprise there was a fourteen-year-old girl with suntan skin, blonde hair done back in a braid, and bright green eyes. He noticed a note had been taped to the front of her black and blood red striped shirt. He looked awkwardly at the girl and said, “Do you mind I take that-“
After realizing he was talking about the note, she said, “Oh. No, not at all. “
The Rosen removed the note from her shirt, and started to read it.
This is Kyra Jennings. She’s an empathic Alpha who ran away from home because her father was physically abusive. Then she got in with the wrong people, and now she has to testify at said wrong person’s trail a few weeks from now. She’ll give you the rest of the details.
Love, The Doctor.
Rosen looked back at Kyra and said, “So, Kyra, you’re an empathic Alpha?”
“Yes.” She answered.
“Why don’t you come in and we can talk.”
The Doctor pulled on the hand break and the TARDIS came to shaky stop. Lea looked up to him in anticipation. “Are Ve ‘ere?”
“Yeah.” The Doctor said, then looked at the door and added, “Though, just to be safe, I better take a look before you go out there to be sure.”
The Doctor opened the door and poked his head out. He saw they were in the middle of a forest, and several people covered in tattoos looking around, calling out Lea’s name. One pair was a man with light brown hair and brown eyes holding a woman with long orange-red hair, who was holding her head in her hands, sobbing. Before the Doctor could say anything, Lea had run out the door, yelling, “Mum! Da!” She ran up to the couple where the woman had been crying, who had looked up to see who was calling to them. Lea ran up to them and both of them embraced her. A teenager girl with long orange-red hair ran up to her, and joined in on the hug. When the embrace broke, her mother looked down at her, stroking the girl’s face, and asked, “Vat ‘appened to ya?”
“And vere ded ya gez zese szrage closes?” The teenage girl-probably Lea’s sister-asked, pulling on one of the sleeves.
“Ez’s a long szory,” Lea said, “I’ll ‘ave zo szarz az zee beginin’”
Seeing that Lea had got back safe, the Doctor went back to the TARIS and started to leave, ready to retrieve the girls. But then he had thought and changed his destination. He had one more stop to make before he left.
After he had made that stop, he went straight to the courthouse where the trail was being held. It took him a couple times before he found the right courthouse, but eventually, he found it. Or course, it helped that Dianna was in front with a giant poster board with DOCTOR: WE’RE HERE in big, sharpie black, bubble letters.
“Oh, very shuttle,” The Doctor said, “You couldn’t just flag me down, or do the phonebook trick again, or something?”
“The phonebook trick only worked ‘cause you at Martha’s,” Dianna said, putting the sign down, “and I didn’t know if you’d see me if I just stood there waving. I’d figured this was my best option.”
“Good point,” The Doctor said, as they started walking, “So, where are the girls?”
“Over here with Kyra,” Dianna answered, “when I left for my vigil they had joined Kyra and this Alpha boy, Gary, in a game of keep away with Caffrey’s fedora.”
“Sounds like they’re doing good.”
They walked up to find Kyra, a boy in his early twenties or maybe even late teens with bowl cut dark brown hair, wearing blue jeans and a red hooded jacket, Alice ,Kass, Cecily, and Mirabelle in a circle around Neal, tossing a black fedora back in forth in the air, just out of Neal’s reach. Kyra just threw it at the boy. “Nice catch, Gary,” Kyra said, when he caught it. Gary smiled as if he had received the greatest compliment in the world. As a very flustered Neal ran over to try to retrieve the hat, Gary threw it to Kass. It was actually surprising to the Doctor how much Kyra had physically changed since the last time he saw her. Her tan had faded and her skin was now a place ivory color. Her real hair color was a nice auburn. But there was something else different about her, too. She seemed a little lighter, a litter freer.
“Having fun?” The Doctor asked.
Kyra turned around to see who was behind them. A wry smile appeared on her face when she saw the Doctor, “Well, look who it is,” Kyra said, placing her right hand on her hip, “The guy who’s so busy he doesn’t have any time introduce two people, just stick a note on me, drop me on strange man’s doorstep, and go.”
“All right,” The Doctor said, rolling his eyes, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have left you there like that,” desperate to change the subject, he added, “but I see it worked out alright. Who’s your friend?”
It took Kyra a minute to realize who the Doctor was talking about. “Oh, you mean Gary?” She turned her head, and shouted, “Gary, could you come over here for a second?”
The young man hurried over to Kyra. “Gary, “Kyra began, “This is the man I told you about, the Doctor. Doctor, this is my friend, Gary Bell, he’s an Alpha,” she smiled as she added, “Like me.” She paused for a moment contemplating that statement, then quickly thought to add, “Well, not exactly like me, he can see electronic waves and frenrentcies and such.”
“You’re the Doctor,” Gray said,
“Yes, Gary, that’s him.” Kyra said nervously
“You left her,” Gary said, “You left her all alone. At Dr. Rosen house.”
“Yeah.” Kyra added flatly.
“You can’t do that.” Gray said, “You can’t do that to people. “
Kyra turned around to face him, “Gary, we get it. You can stop now, okay.”
“Okay.” Gary responded, “It’s just you can’t do that to people.”
“Okay, Gary, you can go back now.” Kyra said. Gary did what he was told; still going on about how the Doctor shouldn’t of left Kyra there. Soon his attention was back on game of keep-away.
The Doctor was now perplexed.”Is he alright?”
“Yeah,” Kyra answered quickly, turning back to the Doctor, “He’s find, that’s just-how he is. He-talks like that a lot.”
“So,” The Doctor said, changing the subject quickly, “How’d the trail go?”
“We won. Anna O’Ryan was convicted on all charges, and sentenced to life in prison.” Then, realizing the obvious truth, Kyra added, “But you already know that, don’t you?”
“What?” The Doctor said, fanning shock,” No, no, I had absolutely no idea. Good to hear, though. She got just what she deserved.”
Kyra laughed as she slapped the Doctor’s side gently as she said, “Liar.” She turned around, turned her head to face the Doctor, and added, “Come, on. I know you came to get the girls. Let’s go.”
They walked up to the group. Kyra called out to them, ”Hey guys, look who’s here.”
They all looked over to the Doctor. Then Alice started to walk over to him. Then Mirabelle fallowed her, then Kass and Cecily, then Gary, then Neal, picking his hat up from the ground, then Will and Peter, who had been watching from the corner.
“Come to take us home, Doctor?” Alice asked, although she already knew the answer.
“Yes,” The Doctor answered, “Heard the trail went well.”
“It did.” Alice answered.
“These girls did better than we could’ve hoped for.” Peter added looking at them.
“Well, the empathy thing probly helped,” The Doctor pointed out, ”Nothing the authorities ask can throw them.”
“That did help,” Alice, the apparent leader of the group, said with a laugh.
“Too bad empaths apparently have no empathy.” Neal murmured. The group glanced over to him.”Hey, don’t look at me like that, they’ve been playing keep-away with me for over ten minutes.” He turned to Peter and added, “And you. Why didn’t you do anything to try to help me?”
“They’re six kids, all put one of them under the age of eighteen. I figured you could handle it.” In truth, Peter was actually kind of enjoying the girls having some actual fun. He figured it was the first time in a while they could actually act be kids. Plus, he liked watching Neal swrim.
“If you gentlemen don’t mind,” The Doctor said, before anything could escalate, “Can I take Alice and Mirabelle now?”
“Oh,” Peter said, turning towards the Doctor, “Sure, don’t let us stop you.”
Alice turned to the Doctor. “Can we have a minute to say goodbye?”
“Oh.” The Doctor said, “Well, I see no reason why not. Although I do have something I’d like to ask Kyra and Neal before we go.”
“What?” Kyra asked nervously.
“When you got hit with the Plexian currency were you seriously hurt?”
“No,” Neal answered, “How did you-“ Neal grinned as he realized what must’ve happened. “That was you?”
The Doctor nodded. “Only realized it at the last minute. Wasn’t gonna tell you, but then I started to get worried about how hard I might’ve hit the two you.”
“Don’t worry,” Kyra said, “We’re fine. Now can we all say goodbye?”
Alice turned to Kyra, hugged her, and said, “Take good care of yourself, Kyra.”
“You too.” Kyra said
Then they let go, and Alice walked over to Kass and Cecily. “You take care of yourselves too.” Alice said as she hugged then both.
Mirabelle then silently exchanged hugs and goodbyes with the girl, then along with the Doctor, and Will, Kass Cecily exchanged their goodbyes. Kass and Cecily would know be living together at the Manhattan Sanctuary, and Will was going back to the Sanctuary.
When they reached the bottom of the steps, the Doctor looked up one more time, seeing Kyra saying her goodbyes to Peter and Neal, and walk off, holding Gary’s hand.
He had a feeling Kyra Jennings was going to be fine. In fact, he had a feeling she was going to be brilliant. He had a feeling they all were going to be absolutely brilliant.
“So what happened next?” Lily asked, back at the bar.
“Well, basically that was it,” The Doctor said, I took the girls back to Alice home planet, Trivia, Mirabelle was an orphan, so Alice’s parents agreed to let her live with them, and they all lived happily ever after. Although, I did see Kyra one more time, during an incident in Hallow Earth, but that’s another story.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up there, Doc,” Robin said, “Did you just say Hallow Earth?”
“Yeah.” The Doctor answered.
“You mean earth,” Robin said, “that’s hallow? “
“You can get to that latter,” Marshall said, “Right now, I wanna hear about that-“he paused a minute to compose himself, “Dirt bag who’s practicing law without a license.” Realizing that without context he sounded a bit like a crazy person, he explained, “You see, I’m a lawyer, so I take things like that personally.”
“Oh,” The Doctor responded, “I see. Well, it will take a few minutes to get to that, but, here goes. I hadn’t put a destination in for the TARDIS so I wasn’t entirely sure where I had landed….
The Doctor rushed out of the TARDIS, excited as always to see where she had taken him this time. To his utter let down, she had taken him, to a parking complex. And dull looking one at that. The walls and floor were a dull gray color, with white lines drawn on the floor, marking the bondtries of the parking spaces. The only color at all came for a few red cars, though most of them were black or white or silver. Not exactly the most exciting place in the universe.
He didn’t have to be disappointed for long, because just after he had finished surveying his surrounding, a crashing sound-like a body being slammed hard against a wall-came from the other side of the complex. He ran over to see what it was, sure enough, an alien that even frightened him a little bit had a skinny young man backed up into a corner. The alien in question was a reptilian creature, with thin, human-like torso, two long skinny arms that ended in clawed hands and two legs that ended in clawed feet. Long treadles that appeared to be dead snakes, hung its head, lifeless. Its body was covered in Onyx scales. “You know,” The creature said, stroking its captive’s face and twirling a piece of his sandy blonde hair, “I’m not entirely sure I should eat you. You’d make a nice little pet.” The creature’s voice sounded female.
“I’d probly pee on the rug.” The young man said defiantly. The Doctor was impressed at the young man’s bravery, and then he decided he should step in before this went any further.
“Actually,” The Doctor said, “I think our Draconian friend is better off letting you go completely. “
That was the first time either of them had taken any notice of the Doctor. The Draconian turned around to face him, her dilated, bright yellow eyes filled with rage. “How do you have this knowledge?”
“Yeah,” The young man said, struggling to get out from the Draconian’s grasped, “How do you know that?”
“Well,” The Doctor said, sauntering closer to them, “I’ve been around, done a lot of things, met a lot of people. A lot of different species, so I was bond to meet a few Draconians along the way. They tried to eat me, of course, because they assumed I was a human. I kept telling them, no, really, I’m not, but they said I’d taste good either way, and tried to toss me into a boiling pot of water. I mean, if you’re going to boil me, at least kill me before you do it. For example, you were probly going to kill that boy before you cook him. Well, at least you would’ve if he hadn’t just escaped.”
The Draconian turned back to see that her pray was no longer in the corner. While the Doctor was rambling on, he had distracted the Draconian and allowed the young man to wriggle free and run over to the Doctor. Now he was standing right beside him. He leaned over to the Doctor and whispered, “So what do we do now?”
Looking at the enraged Draconian, the Doctor answered, “Now, we run.” Then he grabbed a hold of the one man’s wrist and the two of them legged it down the walk way.
“Wait,” The young man said, as they ran, “Shouldn’t we do something to try to catch her or contain her or something?”
“We’ll do that in minute,” The Doctor answered, “I’m the Doctor, by the way.”
“Well, Doctor,” The young man looked back, then continued, “thanks for the rescue. I’m Mike.”
A few minutes after that, they were at the TARDIS, and the Doctor quickly ran in, pulling Mike in behind him. “Wow.” Mike said, taking in his new surroundings as the Doctor locked the door, “It’s bigger on the inside.”
“Yeah, you’re not the first person to say that,” The Doctor said, then he turned around and ask, “So Mike, how did you get into this mess?”
“Well, it all started when Harvey and I…” Suddenly all the color drained from Mike, and he looked horrified. “Oh my God. Harvey…”
“Who’s Harvey?” The Doctor asked, now totally confused.
“He’s my boss.” Mike answered quickly, “And they have him. That’s how I found out about this. I think they took him back to that shack, and that’s hours away, so there’s no way they’ve eaten him yet.” Mike was clearly distraught at this point. “They couldn’t have, right?”
“Mike, I need you to calm down,” The Doctor said patiently, “Tell me what happened, and please start at the beginning.”
To fully understand what happened, we need to go back to the previous day.
It all started when Harvey told his driver to pull the car over a desolate spot on the highway. At first, thinking Harvey must have had to relive himself, a privilege Mike had been denied earlier, Mike said, “Oh, so when I need pee we don’t have time to even stop on the side of the road, but when you need to do it, it’s a different story.”
“I don’t have to pee,” Harvey responded while getting out of the car, “We’re here.”
“Wait,” Mike said, quickly fallowing Harvey out of the car. “This is where they live? This is the place we’ve been driving for the last fourteen hours to get to?”
“You got a problem with that?”
“No.” Then they saw the sign. It was a large white sign, with a bit of dirt on it, made of metal. It said on the sign in big, bold, black letters: KEEP OUT: ALL TRESTPASSERS WILL BE EATEN. Harvey started to walk pass it like he didn’t even see it. Mike grabbed Harvey and pulled aside, while, saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, man. Did you miss the sign?” He pointed to it before Harvey could answer. “All trespassers will be eaten. Eaten, Harvey. Not shot, eaten. Well, probly shot too, ‘cause I doubt they’re just gonna tie us up and toss us in a giant cauldron of boiling water, but still.”
Harvey pulled away from Mike, then said, “I highly doubt they’re really cannibals, Mike. They’re just kidding to get people to stay off their land.”
And with that the two went on until a few feet latter, when they met with another sign with the same big, bold, black letters: WE’RE NOT KIDDING, WE ARE SERIOUS AS THE PLAUGE.”
Mike turned to Harvey with a look of perurbence and vindication on his face, and said, “They’re just kidding, huh?”
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Harvey said, sounding certain of the fact, “But I should let you know, if it does turn out they’re cannibals, I’m throwing you in front of me to get a head start.”
“That’s nice to know.” Mike replied as they walked.
A few minutes later, they came to a small wooden shack that was falling apart at the seams. Mike could contain himself no longer. “Harvey,” Mike whispered, leaning his upper body closer to the older man, “I am seriously getting a The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn, Bunnyman kind of vibe here.”
“And I’m getting a vibe that you’ve seen too many horror movies.” Harvey retorted, really hopping the last one was a horror movie, as he had no idea what it was, and was not use to looking like a fool, and not wanting to get use to it.
Before Mike could respond, the door to shack opened with a horrible creak to revile a beautiful young woman standing in the doorway. Her ivory skin was flawless, and long blonde curls fell all around her head. Her two chocolate brown eyes stared suspiciously at the two men. “Who are you? And what are you doing here? Didn’t you see the signs, either of them?” She spat out at them, with acid in her voice.
“To answer your first question,” Harvey answered, completely unphased, “I’m Harvey Specter, this is my associate Mike Ross. We’re lawyers with Person-Harman, we’re here to talk with Robert Dusa about the incident that occurred here a few weeks ago. You may or may not know that one he is being sued over it. And you are?”
“Barbara Dusa,” The young woman answered, now sounding more annoyed then vicious, “Robert’s sister. Oh, well, you might as well, since you’re already here. I thought the idiot boy had taken care of this….” Then she walked into the shack, mumbling on, Robert being on idiot, and Mike and Harvey being idiot busybodies who needed to mind their own business, and how everyone expected her to do everything. The two men fallowed her cautiously into the shack.
The inside of the shack was even worse than outside. As expected, it only had one-room, and had a dirt floor, dust from the dirt covered everything. They could also see now, that some of the wood planks and beams making up the walls and the roof were rotting. There was an old- fashioned, black metal wood-burning stove near the left corner of the room. In the center of a room was a black wood table, surrounded by seven miss-matched chairs. Three of the chairs were dark brown and crudely constructed, two of them were framed with greenwood, and had white wicker for the seat, and part of the back, the last two were rusty red. All of them appeared to be very old. There were three men at the table. The oldest man appeared to be in his mid-40s,extremely tall and very muscular, with long black, hair and black eyes. The mere sight of him was intimidating. The second oldest was a man in his mid-20s, boney and gangly, with long light brown hair that fell into his eyes, a manic grin on his face, twisting a dirty rag back and forth. The youngest wasn’t even a man. He was a boy, no more than thirteen years old, with the shortest hair of the group, even thought it surrounded his head in a shaggy blonde mop-top, and blue eyes.
“Robert,” Barbara said, looking at the man twisting the dirty rag, “These men are here about that man you bit two weeks ago. You’re gonna talk to them, you’re gonna tell them everything they need to know to get them to leave, and then you’re gonna shut up. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Barbara.” Robert replied, still grinning manically, and twisting his rag.
“Tobias,” Barbara said flatly, point towards the right corner of the shack, “Can I talk to you over there for a minute?”
The giant with long black hair got up, and walked over to the corner with Barbara. The blonde boy got up and moved to the other side of the table, and Mike and Harvey sat down beside Robert. “Mr. Dusa,” Harvey began, “My name is Harvey Specter, this is my associate, Mike Ross, we’re here to discuss the suit brought against you by my client, Kenneth Masters. He alleges that on the evening of January 5th, while he was hiking with his girlfriend Chynna Richardson, they got lost and came across your…house, and tried to ask you for directions, you responded by biting his hand. It got infected, and had to be amputated. Do you contest this statement?”
“No,” Robert sneered, “I bit that man. I remember he was very tasty. It would’ve finished him off if Natalie hadn’t got Barbara. Him and his pretty little woman too.”
“Uh, excuse me,” Mike interjected, “Who’s Natalie?”
Harvey gave Mike a perturbed look.
“Well, she wasn’t in any of the reports,” Mike said defensively, “You seriously don’t want to make sure she won’t come back and bite us? Uh, please pardon the expression.” Mike realized considering the circumstances, any reference to biting was probly a poor choice of words.
“I’m Natalie,” said a voice. Mike and Harvey turned to the direction the voice was coming from, and sixteen-year-old girl covered in dirt from head to toe in a ragged dress stepped out from the shadows.
“Natalie!” Barbara bellowed, “Don’t you dare say anything to them! In fact, get outside, right now! Go, look for Preston and Avery.”
A very frightened Natalie meekly walked out the door. Barbara then turned to Mike and Harvey and said, “I think it’s time for you and Mr. Ross, to leave, Mr. Specter.”
“Very well,” Harvey said, getting up from the table. “We’re contact you latter to discuss the possibility of a settlement, Mr. Dusa.”
When they were well out earshot, Mike said, “Harvey, I think we need to do something about that girl, Natalie. I mean, did you see how scared she was when Barbara yelled at her? I mean, she can’t be more than sixteen…”
“Mike for once, we are on the same page. When we get back to the city I’ll call social services. I know a possible case of abuse when I see one.”
“Why is your client even suing them?” Mike said, looking back into empty space, “I mean, they can’t have a lot of money.”
“Which is why Kenneth didn’t want to file any criminal charges, and said it was a dog bite, but Chynna learned he did that, she got upset, and they came to a compromise that he would sue. When he came to me about it he actually asked me to get it down to the least amount of money I could. But that’s gonna be hard when I can’t even talk to him, because his crazy sister’s running the show.”
When they got back to the city, the first thing Harvey did was call social services. And he got nowhere for about five minutes. First, he kept getting the run around from everybody and their Uncle Tom, then when he was able to get someone on the phone, a social worker, she kept saying since they didn’t actually see any abuse take place, she couldn’t do anything. For the first time since he could remember, Harvey was actually finding himself getting frustrated. It was not a sensation he liked.
“What do you mean you can’t do anything?!” He yelled at the woman on the other end of the phone, “They live in complete squalor, she was wearing rags, and when he sister screamed at her, she scurried out in terror! What more do you need?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Specter, but it’s not a crime to yell at your kids, or make them wear old clothes,” The woman said, “But if you elaborate on ‘complete squalor,’ I might be able to do something.”
“They got at least five people, maybe more, because the sister mentioned two more people, living in a one-room shack that’s violating about dozen building codes, with a dirt floor, and everything covered with a layer of dirt. And when I say she’s wearing rags, I do not mean that her clothes were just old, I mean that the dress she was wearing was made out dozens of different little patches, all of them thread bare, in various shades of brown, the bottom of the skirt was tattered, and so are the selves, and she was bare foot, without so much as tights, and it’s February, and I can tell you, today it was bitterly cold out there. Oh, and one of those five people is a crazy man who bit my client, causing him to lose his hand. Is that enough for you?!”
The woman was silent for a moment. “Why didn’t you mention that last part before?”
“Because my client is suing him over the incident, I’m tendering on the line of breaking anthorny client privilege here. Now can you do anything about it or not?”
“I’ll go out there tomorrow, and if things are as bad as you say they are, I’ll remove the girl and any other children there from the parent’s custody. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”
The next day, as Harvey was about to walk into the firm, when an small, worn-out , black car with dirty windows drove up, and one of the large doors swung open with a loud whack causing him to turn around. To his surprise, Barbra was in the driver’s seat. But it was the passenger side door that was open, which was weird. “Mr. Specter,” Barbra said, sounding strangely clam, “We need to talk.”
“About what?” Harvey said, as he tentively stepped towards the car.
“About that call you made to social services.”
“How do you know it was me who called? Those calls are suppose to be anonymous.”
“I just had a feeling it was you. Now, come with me so we can talk.”
“I’d rather not.”
“Come one,” Her voice had taken on an almost sickening sweetness, “Get in the car.”
Harvey started to back away. He was starting to get creeped out.
“I’m starting to lose my patience,” Her voice was more forceful now, but her voice still had that sweetness to it, “Get in the car.”
For some reason, Harvey found himself walking towards the car, but he was able to stop himself by the time he was a foot away. But for some reason, he seemed unable to move at all. What was going on?
“Come here, and get in the dam car!” All the sweetness was gone from voice now, replace by pure, undistilled rage. Then, she reached out of the car, and grabbed Harvey’s arm. Harvey pulled back automatically, and tried to shake her gripped on his arm, but she kept pulling. Suddenly her pupils grew to twice their size, and her eyes went from dark brown to the color of snow when an animal has peed in it. And fangs appeared in her month. As Harvey stared in disbelief and fear at the transformation, two pairs of hands from the back of the car, reached out and grabbed onto him, quickly pulling him into the car. Before he knew what was happening he had been pulled over the front passenger seat was being pinned down in the back seat with two muscular men with short hair. As he struggled with the pair, Barbra floored the gas, and sped away, nearly hitting someone on a bicycle.
And it just so happened that the person on the bicycle was Mike. He was already stunned by almost being killed by some crazy reckless driver, going at least five miles over the speed limit, and then to his horror he looked up to see Harvey struggling with two men in the back seat, and a rather dangerous looking Barbra Dusa driving. Emeditly, Mike got up, got back on the bike, and started to fallow him as fast he could. What he planned to do if he did catch up to them, he wasn’t sure, but he had a feeling if he let that car get away Harvey was as good as dead. He had fallowed the car for four blocks and was actually starting to pick up speed when suddenly, a great force came from his left, and knocked him off the bike and sent him flying several feet, landing on the side walk. For a second Mike was blind and deaf. When his vision and hearing came back, to his utter shock, standing in front of him was Natalie.
“N-Natalie?” Mike sputtered, “What are you doing here?”
“Social services came today.” Natalie answered softly, as she helped Mike to his feet, “They tried to take us away. Barbra said she knew you had something to do with it.”
“So social services brought you here?” Mike asked as he stepped away from Natalie, who kept walking closer to him, eventually forcing him into the door way of a parking complex.
“I never said that.” Natalie moved her neck in a sideways motion as she continued to back Mike further, and further back into the complex, then continued, “You see, Barbra and my father, Tobias, you remember him, wouldn’t let them take me and Max, the little blond boy, you remember him , away. And they were so very delicious.” Then Natalie grinned to reveal two pairs of large fangs, a set on the top of her mouth, and a set on the bottom. Her pupils dilated to twice their size, and the rest of her eye turned a bright, slightly stick looking yellow. Her skin started to dry before Mike’s eyes, and it began to have a scaly look about it, and it started to turn black. Lastly, Natalie twisted her head again, and her brittle blond hair started to clump and unravel, and form into ebony snakes. But unlike the Medusa of Greek Mythology, whose snakes were alive, Natalie’s snakes were dead, and hung lifelessly from her head. Within seconds the fail girl that evoked sympathy, had turned into a monstrous beast that evoked terror.
Mike stepped back several feet. “What are you?” He asked, his fear clear in his voice
“We are called Dracoians.” Natalie crooned.
“Okay, as long as we’re talking I’m alive.” Mike thought, then out loud he asked, “So when you say the people that came to take you and Max were delicious, you mean you ate them?”
“Shouldn’t you be more worried about yourself?”
“I got a pretty good picture of what’s gonna happen here, so just-let me die happy and answer the question.”
“Yes, Barbra, Preston, and Avery will eat him too.”
“And they sent you out to eat me?”
“Yes.” And then Natalie lunged at Mike. Mike quickly jumped out of her way and made for the stairs. He bounded up the stairs with Natalie on his tail. He ran into the next level of the parking complex. He did get far when once again he slammed by an unseen force into a wall- hard. Natalie-or whatever her name was-had him pined against the wall. “You know,” Natalie said, laying a cold hand on Mike’s face and stroking it, and playing with his hair, “I’m not entirely sure I should eat you. You’d make a nice little pet.”
Mike looked into Natalie’s eyes. If he was going die here, he was not going give his killer the satisfaction of showing her any fear. “I’d probly pee on the rug.” He said defiantly. He probly would’ve spit at her, or said something else, but at that point the Doctor had intervened.
After Mike had finished the story, the Doctor was quiet for a moment, then said, “Well, then, I guess this calls for a rescue mission.” Just then a very angry pounding started on the TARDIS doors, and Natalie could be heard screaming on the other side. “Starting now.” The Doctor stated, then flung the door to basement open, and jumped in. Mike ran over to the whole in the floor the Doctor had gone down in, and the Doctor called up, “No, stay right there, Mike, I might need to hold a few things.”
“But what are we gonna do about Natalie?” Mike asked, staring at the door as the creature on the other side pounded it, “I think she’s about to break in.”
“Don’t worry,” The Doctor reassured him, “Whole armies couldn’t break through that door, and believe me, and they’ve tried. As for stopping her,” The Doctor pocked his upper body out of the basement holding a length of rope, “I’m about to do that right now. “ Then he pulled a long, cylindrical, silver, object from jacket pocket, and walked towards the door, “Mike, in case this goes wrong, get on the other side of the console, so you have some distance between you and her.”
Mike ran to the other side of the console and crouched down. “Ready?” The Doctor asked. Mike nodded. “Okay then,” The Doctor said, then he flung the doors open, raised the sliver object in the air, and screeching sound came from, cause Natalie to but her hands on her ear holes, and recoil in pain, screaming. The Doctor took the rope, with he had made a lasso out of, and lassoed her. He pulled into the ship, and slammed the door behind him. Mike ran over to the Doctor and the now captive Natalie. “So what are you gonna do with her?”
“I’m not sure,” The Doctor said, crouching down to Natalie’s level-Natalie was sitting on the floor, “I have an idea, but, I’ve never done this by force before.”
“Now’s not the time to be concerned with morally!” Mike exclaimed, “At least one person’s died all ready, and a man’s life in danger.”
“Yeah, I was more concerned with rather or not what I want to do is possible by force, but thanks for bringing up that issue, Mike” The Doctor looked at Natalie. Mike was right about one thing; time was of the essence here, and this was all they had. He had to try. The Doctor put his fingers on Natalie’s temples and concentrated. Hard. Between Natalie’s physical struggling, and mental resistance it took her a minute but he was able to get in. Just as he had thought her name wasn’t really Natalie. It was Natbler, Natalie was just the closest name her family group could find when they came to Earth. And, as the Doctor had also suspected, they fell through The Rift and made their way to the New York state woods. He knew that Draconians didn’t like to go too far from home, as far as space travel was concerned at least, and if a tribe or family group lost their permanent settlement, their first instinct was to migrate, and find a suitable place to resettle by any means possible. And as the Doctor had also figured, Barbra’s harsh treatment of Natbler was because Barbra was trying to keep her down. Draconians are a Maternal society where women were the leaders, and in pack-like setting of a family group, other females were seen at a threat to the Group-Leader’s power, and the Group-Leader would either kill all the other females, or intimidate, and beat them down so much, they were terrified of Group-Leader, and wouldn’t dare make any kind of power play. The Doctor looked deeper into her mind. He found what he needed.
“Okay,” The Doctor said, jumping back on his feet. He ran over to the console, and started punching buttons and pulling levers like crazy. “They figured you two would fight back, so the plan was to snatch you guys when you were separated. The thing is, they didn’t plan on you fallowing the car, so Natalie improvised, and attacked you out on the street, and backed you into some place deserted. Which is actually kind of lucky in a way, ‘cause they’re not planning to take Harvey all the way back out to the homestead to do him in.”
“What?” Mike said, panicked
“Don’t worry, the abandoned building they’re planning to stop at is nearby. It should only take us a few seconds to get there. Mind pulling down that lever? That one your right there.”
“No, not all.” Mike answered, sounding rather unsure, then pulled down the lever. Instantly, things started moving, the room started shaking, and the place was filled with the whirling noise of tired, ancient engines. “You might want to hold on.” The Doctor said Mike grabbed a hold of the bottom of the tube in the middle of the console. Just as suddenly as it started, the shaking stopped, things stopped moving, and the whirling noise had stopped.
“Okay,” The Doctor said, “We’re here.” The Doctor scurried towards the door, and Mike quickly followed him. “So what’s the plan?” Mike asked
“Not sure yet.” The Doctor responded. Mike stopped dead in his tracks and seeing that he had stopped the Doctor stopped. “What?” The Doctor asked, turning around to face Mike.
“You’re not sure what the plan is?” Mike said, “I the reason you took off was you had a plan!”
“Well, my plan was to here, then think of another plan.”
“We’re going up against a tribe of man-eating monsters and you don’t have a plan?”
“Look, they could be tearing apart your friend’s flesh as we speak, do you really want to waste time standing here arguing with me?”
Then they both headed back for the door, but then the Doctor rushed back up the ramp, severed the rest of the coil of rope from the lasso with his sonic screwdriver, grabbed the coil, and headed towards the door, commenting to Mike, “Think we might need this,” and then they both ran out the door.
The pair stopped short in an empty entry way. The two turned their heads back and forth throughout the room, and the Doctor stopped an open door that lead down a flight of stairs. “There.” The Doctor stated, “That’s where they probly are.” They quickly made their way towards the stairs, then Mike grabbed the Doctor’s shoulder, saying, “Wait, wait, wait. Shouldn’t we split up, make sure they’re not on the upper level?”
“Yeah, if you want to get us killed.” The Doctor responded, “Mike, there’s three of them, with their leader, they have claws, fangs, they’re hungry, relatively organized, and we only have one coil of rope. We’ll just have to move very fast.”
“But you already said-“ Mike stopped talking when a very familiar thumb came from the basement. Mike and the Doctor looked at each other. “They’re down there.” Mike said
“Yeah, they’re down there.” The Doctor responded, and they quickly headed down the stairs. The pair put their backs to the wall and slid down the stairs. As they got closer, they started to hear voices. “This will go a lot quicker if stop trying to run away, Mr. Specter,” The voice was Barbra’s. “You’re trying to kill me, what do you expect?” That voice belonged to Harvey. Mike was taken aback. He had never heard Harvey sound scared before. The two hurried their pace down the stairs, being very careful not to make any noise. When they got to the point where the wall ended, they stopped and the Doctor looked down. Below he could see two wiry Draconians standing close to the stairs, several feet away from a Draconian that he assumed was Barbra, standing in front of a man with his hands tied behind his back, which had fallen down into a corner. He turned back to Mike and whispered, “I see them. Mike, is Harvey a rather muscular man with black hair?”
“Yeah.” Mike answered, “Is he okay?”
“Yeah.” Then the Doctor looked back, to see if they should make their move. He saw that Barbra now had Harvey by his shoulders, and was about to bite his neck for a death blow. “Okay, now the time’s to move.” The Doctor said, then jumped into open view, and lassoed the nearest Draconian. Barbra turned around to see what had happened and let out something that sounded like a cross between a gasp and a hiss.
“So far, I’m liking your plan.” Mike commented as the Doctor severed the rest of the rope from the lasso.
“Avery, don’t just stand there!” Barbra bellowed, “Get them!”
The Draconian that was apparently Avery ran up, and the Doctor raised the rope above his head and lassoed him. Then he rushed down to floor to face Barbra, who was charging at them. He twirled the rope a couple times over his head, then lassoed her. Then he turned to Mike, who had joined him. The Doctor handed Mike the sonic screwdriver and said, “Just press this button here, it’ll untie your friend. That one rope’s not gonna hold them for long, I’ll secure them better while you’re doing that.”
Mike ran over to Harvey, who was struggling to get up. Mike grabbed a hold of Harvey’s right arm, and hoisted him up, saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay. Harvey, did they hurt you?”
“No.” Harvey said, “Just a little sore from the wall.”
“Okay, that guy said he was some kind of Doctor, we’ll get him to look you over to make sure you’re okay. And no arguing about it.” Mike said. Then he pressed the button on the sonic screwdriver, there was a whizzing sound, and the ropes fell off Harvey’s wrist. It was then that they both turned to the Doctor and the Draconians, and saw that Natbler-who had somehow untied herself-sneaking down the stairs, her arms raised in an attack stance. “Doctor look out!” Mike called. The Doctor turned around to see Natbler ready to pounce on him. Then a black blur of a screaming Barbra-who had untied herself as well-lugged at Natbler and held her down on the stairs. The Doctor had a feeling he knew what Barbra intended to do. “Barbra, don’t!” He cried as he hurried up the stairs. But he was too late. Barbra had her hands around Natbler’s throat, screaming at her, “You can’t even do one thing right! I should’ve done this a long time ago ! You should’ve died with your mother! You deserve to die, you worthless pest!” It took all three men to get Barbra off Natbler. But it was too late. Natbler laid on the stairs, dead. “She killed her.” Mike said, stunned, “Just because she messed up. Just because, she was mad at her.”
“We need to get away from her body, now.” The Doctor commanded, “Draconians have a retraceable poison in their fangs and claw, and when they die it’s automatically released.”
“Natbler!” One of the two other Draconians ran up the stairs. He stared at Natbler’s body for a moment, tears falling down his face. He took her body and held it in his arms. “No!” The Doctor cried out. But it was too late. The other Draconian fell to the ground, dead. “Well,” Barbra snarled, “Presto was always weak. We’ve always said he’s died shortly after his beloved Natbler. I just didn’t think it’d be a only a few seconds after.”
“Wow, Barbra,” Harvey said with distain in his voice, “You are a piece of work, even as far as flesh-eating aliens are concerned, you are a real piece of work.”
“And you’re going to pay for this,” The Doctor said, “Come on; we need to get Avery and go.” The Doctor grabbed her left arm tightly, and Mike and Harvey grabbed her other arm tightly, and they walked down the stairs, walked over to where they left Avery-the only one they had thoroughly bound before Barbra murdered Natbler-then stopped dead in their tracks, horrified at what they saw. Avery had managed to free himself enough to stab himself with his claw with it secreting poison. “Oh, Avery,” The Doctor said, “Why?”
“My brother is a part of me,” Avery said, “I can’t survive without him.” And then, with one last gasping breath, Avery died.
“Mike,” The Doctor said numbly, almost coldly, “Take Harvey and get back into the TARDIS. I’ll be there in an hour when the bodies are done secreting poison, and can be moved. We can’t leave them here for people to find.”
“What about her?” Mike asked, looking at Barbra.
“She’ll stay here with me until I can move the bodies.” The Doctor said, now completely cold, “Let her look at what she’s done.”
An hour later, The Doctor came in dragging in Natbler’s body. Mike and Harvey walked over from there spot on the console operator bench-Harvey had been sitting, Mike had been leaning on the side- and Mike asked, “Do you need any help?”
“No, I’m fine. You just stay here.” The Doctor answered solemnly, and then he looked up at them, adding, “How are you two doing with all this, by the way?”
“I’m fine too,” Mike said, not sounding fine at all. Then he turned to Harvey, clearly concerned about him and asked, “And you?”
“You know me, Mike,” Harvey replied, smiling weakly, “I don’t rattle easily.”
The Doctor looked at the pair as if he didn’t believe of them, and then walked out of the TARDIS to get another body. Once he had left the two men looked at each other with same look of asking for the truth on their faces. After what seemed to be a least a full 30 seconds of this, Harvey said, “I should probly call in to the office. They’re probly wondering why we didn’t come in. The least we can do in this mess is make sure we don’t get fired.”
“You got your phone on you?” Mike asked.
“Yeah, it’s in my pocket.” Harvey answered, pulling the small silver device from his pocket, and started dialing numbers into it with unsteady hands, then put it up to his ear. After a minute whoever was on the other end picked up, “Oh, Donna,” Harvey said, sounding rather surprised as well as shaky, “I was trying to call Jessica, I guess I dialed you my mistake. Yeah, I’m fine. No, no one’s found out Mike’s not a real lawyer.”
“Uh, someone has now,” Mike said suddenly.
Harvey looked to see the Doctor looking at them as he put Presto’s body on the ground. “Donna,” Harvey said quickly, “I have to go. Look, just tell Jessica there’s been an incident and Mike and I won’t be able to come in today.” And then he hung up the phone and looked at the Doctor. “I suppose you want an explanation for that statement.”
“Yeah,” The Doctor replied, “That’d be nice. Just let me get the last body and Barbra in, and then you can explain.”
Mike didn’t want Barbra to hear this. He was about to say so when the Doctor added, “Don’t worry, I’ll sedate her. She won’t hear a thing.”
After the Doctor had brought in Avery’s body and Barbra, and then forced some dark purple concoction down her throat that made her lose consciousness in a few seconds, he walked down the hall, came pack with a leather bag, walked up to Mike and Harvey and said, “Okay, who’s first?”
Both of them while relived that he wasn’t pressing the “Mike’s not a real lawyer,” thing, they also had no idea what the Doctor was talking about. “Excuse me?” Mike asked.
“I wanna look at you two and make sure you’re okay,” The Doctor answered, as if that was obvious, “I would’ve already done it, expect we had to go on a rescue mission, and then-“ The Doctor paused for a minute, looking down at the ground, then looked up again and said, “Things kind of spiraled out of control.” The Doctor demander suddenly changed to a more casual, almost up-beat one, as he said, “So, who’s first?”
The two men looked at each other awkwardly, then Mike said, “You can go first. If anything was wrong with me that couldn’t wait, it’d probly showed up by now.”
“I don’t need to be looked at,” Harvey argued, “I’m perfectly fine.”
The Doctor and Mike both gave him looks that said, “You’re not getting out of this so you might as well sit down,” so Harvey did. The Doctor opened the bag and pulled out a medical flash, shined it in Harvey’s eye, and said, “So, what’s this business about Mike not being a real lawyer?”
The two men turned their heads to each other, as if silently discussing what to say, they both turned back to the Doctor and Mike began, “I was-well-okay, I was running from the cops, and I happened to run into a room to hide where Harvey happened to be interviewing potential associates, and one of them hadn’t shown up, and-“
“And said you were him?” The Doctor asked, with a note of surprise in his voice, but amazingly it didn’t sound like he was judging Mike.
“No, “ Mike stammered, “I didn’t I mean, I told Donna I was trying to hide from the cops.”
“And Donna is-?” The Doctor asked.
“My assistant,” Harvey answered, “She was letting them in that day. I told her if any of them said something impressive to give me a wink, and Mike came in she winked.”
“Really?” Mike asked, surprised, “You never told me that.”
“Okay, so when did Harvey find out you weren’t a lawyer?” The Doctor asked, pulling a small orange medical hammer out of his bag.
“Right after he came in,” Harvey answered, “He told me everything the minute he got in there.”
“And you hired him anyway?” The Doctor asked, now sound a bit judgmental.
“He has-very useful attributes.” Harvey replied, then looking down and for the first time realizing the Doctor had his up his shirt, and was feeling around on his chest asked, “What the Hell are you doing?”
“What, you mean this?” The Doctor asked, continuing to feel around on Harvey’s chest.
“Yeah, that.” Harvey answered.
The Doctor realized how weird this probly looked.”Oh, don’t worry, I’m just checking for broken ribs.” The Doctor removed his hand, backed away, and added, “And it looks like you don’t have any. Surprisingly enough, you’re fine. The worst damage is a lot of bruising.” Then the Doctor turned to Mike and said, “Now, let’s have you.”
As he was finishing up looking at Mike, who appeared to be fine except for some bruising from his early encounter with Natbler, the trio heard a groan from across the room. They all turned to see that Barbra was starting to wake up. “We need to get going.” The Doctor said, and ran over to console and started pushing buttons again.
“What are you going to do to her?” Mike asked, getting up from the bench and walking closer to the Doctor.
“Well, first I’m going out to that shanty to pick up the rest of the lot,” The Doctor turned to Barbra, “If they’re all still alive. “ He turned back to console and continued talking, “And then I’m gonna drop them in the most God-forsaken part of Dracionia I can find.” And with that he pulled one last lever and they were off.
Within seconds they had landed. They all walked out of the TARDIS, with the Doctor dragging the bound Barbra behind him, and they met yet another horrifying sight. A small male Draconian who couldn’t have been more then thirteen was standing in front of the crumpled remains of what was left of the shack, just staring at it, apparently still in shock.
After a moment of horrified silenced, the young Draconian said, “They failed, didn’t they?”
“Yes,” The Doctor answered, walking up to the Draconian boy and standing beside him, “What’s your name?”
“I mean your real name.”
“Max. I was born after we were stranded here, so they gave me a name from this planet. And now they’re all gone.”
“Max, what happened here?”
“We were getting ready to leave, it wasn’t safe here anymore, and then suddenly the roof started to shake. I was scared, so I ran out of shack, but I was the only one who got out in time, before the roof caved in. And then the whole thing just-collapsed.” Tears started to run down Max’s face.
Suddenly, Barbra rushed up beside them screaming, “No!” And then freed her hand and raised it to her chest. The Doctor grabbed her hands, having a good idea what she was going to do, but she violently shook off his grasp, and stabbed her secreting poison claw directly into her head, and collapsed to the ground, stone cold dead. “Mom, no!” Max cried out, and ran over to Barbra, but the Doctor garbed a hold of him, saying, “Max, no, you can’t. The poison will kill you.”
“But it’s my mom!” Max cried, and then slipped into hysteria, as the Doctor put Max’s face in this chest, and rocked him back and forth say, “It’s all right, it’s gonna be all right, you’ll be okay.”
While the Doctor tried to console Max, Mike and Harvey walked over to Barbra’s body, and just stared down in shock and disgust. Barbra had just killed herself in front of a child. More still her own son. She didn’t care about him at all. She had lost control of everything, and that was all she cared about. Barbra was a monster. No, not just because she was a human-eating alien, but because she was so selfish, so cold, so evil.
After Max had stopped crying and calmed down, which took a little over an hour but seemed to take ages, he looked up at the Doctor and asked, “What happens now?”
“We need to bury the bodies,” The Doctor said solemnly, “There’s this woman I know at a local alien black market who takes care of orphans like you. I’ll take you to her.”
“There’s some shovels in the old shed over there.” Max said numbly, pointing over to another decaying building a few feet away from the remains of the shack.
“I’ll go get them.” Mike volunteered, walking over to the shed.
They spent the next two hours removing all six bodies from the TARDIS, or the wreckage and burying them deep and the ground. Then Mike had the idea to put wooden crossed over the graves as markers, which they did. Then, seeing all six crossed lined up in a row, marking where his family lay, the realization that his entire family was dead and he was alone in the world hit Max once more, and he fell to his knees and started sobbing inconsolably once again. The Doctor walked over to Max and gently put a hand on his shoulder. “I know,” Was all the Doctor said. Then he just stared off into the distance while Max cried his hand ever vigilant on his shoulder. Then he said, “We need to go.” Then he helped Max to his feet, and lead the still weeping, only now softly, Draconian boy to the TARDIS. Mike and Harvey turned their heads, and stared at the pair walking into the ship. “That kid the only innocent Draconian in all this, isn’t he?” Mike said
“You’re telling me Mike,” Harvey responded, “You’re telling me.”
Then the pair fallowed The Doctor and Max into the TARDIS.
The first thing the Doctor did was take Max to the woman at the black market, an elderly woman with snow white hair, and kind, violent eyes, who took the clearly grieving Draconian boy no question asked, except, “How bad was it?”
“It was bad, Alexa,” The Doctor answered, “It was the worst it can be.”
“We both know the worst it can be.” Alexa answered, and then she walked off with Max.
Then he landed the TARDIS in front of Mike’s apparent building. Due to the circumstances, the Doctor did something he didn’t usually do: he stayed for a little bit. At least long enough to see the pair up the stairs, and into Mike’s apartment. The Doctor could tell the two were heading for a breakdown, he decided he should go. Which was probly a good thing, because as he was walking out the door, Mike started to get sick, and Harvey picked a nearby wastepaper basket, and held it up to Mike, so he could vomit in it.
The Doctor wasn’t sure what happened next, but the next thing he could remember, was standing in front of a pub called McLarens. He wasn’t sure how he got there, but he figured he might as well go in. He walked into the surprising brightly light room, then slipped into both, and ordered a ginger ale from the waitress, a lovely young woman dark hair by the name of Wendy, and started to sip it slowly.
We all know what happened next.
After a minute silence, soaking in the terrible tale, Lilly was the first to speak, “Oh, my gosh, those poor men, and poor Max.”
“I actually feel bad for being mad before,” Marshall said, his eyes looking down, “So many terrible things have happened today.”
“Are you sure the Max is gonna be okay?” Robin asked, clearly concerned.
“I think so. As okay as anyone can be under these circumstances,” The Doctor answered, ”He’ll grieve, but he’ll live, and he’ll learn how to live with it.”
They glanced at the Doctor and though about the loses they knew he had suffered, and wondered what other loses he had been through but they didn’t know about.
Finally, Ted broke the silence, “Does it always end like that, Doctor?”
“End like what?” The Doctor asked, looking up at Ted.
“You know-with a bunch of people dying, and people being traumatized and well, just-sad.”
“I hate to emit it, but-“The Doctor paused for a minute, and then continued, “There does tend to be a body count when I get evolved in something. I never mean for it to happen, but it does. And people get ruined, too. Sometimes I destroy them for life.” The Doctor stared off sadly into space.
“Well, they can’t always end so bad,” Lilly said reassuringly, afraid that the Doctor might leave the bar and jump off a bridge, “I mean, that first story had a happy ending.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Marshall said, picking up on his wife’s lead, “I mean, there has to been sometimes you’ve got involved in something in everybody lived.”
There have been,” The Doctor responded, looking as if he was thinking back to another time, “In fact, I remember this one time, in the Hamptons…”
The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS and looked around at the yellowish sands of the beach around him, and smelled the slat from the sea. Then he looked at the large, beautiful house with a large, white front porch. He had to emit, Ace had done very well for herself. He had been really surprised to get her message from out of the blue. Even more surprised that she had figured out how to get that message to him using physic paper. Especially since he didn’t have that physic paper when Ace traveled with him. At least, he thought he didn’t. He hadn’t seen Ace since the early 90’s and a lot had happened since then, so some of the finer details-like whether he had the physic paper or not-were a little hazy in his mind.
He walked up to the door and knocked. Nothing happened. ‘Hey, Ace,” The Doctor called, “It’s me, The Doctor. I know I look a lot different from when you last saw me, but it’s me. I just regenerated. Look, I’m here because of you message on the physic paper.” Still nothing. “You know, the one about some issues you were having with an alien?” Still nothing, but now he could hear a voices in the background, two male, two female, but he couldn’t make out what was being said. “Is someone in there with you-“Suddenly the Doctor got an idea of how to get Ace’s attention. “Dorothy. There I said it. Dorothy, Dorothy, Dorothy. We both know how much you hate that name. Dorothy!” The door abruptly opened, and a woman in her late 40’s with dark brown hair streaked with gray, and dark brown eyes grabbed his arm and pulled him into the house. “Don’t ever call me that again.” The woman commanded in a London accent. There was a sense of urgency in the air. As Ace dragged the Doctor by the arm down the hallway, she said quickly, with a sense of urgency in her voice as well, “Nice to see you again, but we have emergency. That alien issue I told you about just collapsed.”
“There’s this pregnant girl from some planet called Duro, she’s been living with me, I wanted to call you in for the delivery, and she just collapsed. The doctor I’m been seeing was already here, she’s trying to wake her up as we speak.” They walked into the living room, where a young man in his late 20s or early 30s, with short dark brown hair, and a young woman of the same age range with tan skin and long black hair were kneeling over an unconscious, thin girl in her early twenties with long blonde hair that was spread out all over the floor, taking her pulse. The Doctor rushed over to them, and knelt down beside them. “You must that doctor Ace told me she was using.” The Doctor said
“And you must be the doctor Ace had called to treat Gilda.” The other doctor responded.
“Yep. That’s me.” The Doctor answered, “So, did she just faint?”
“Yeah, just a second ago.” The other doctor answered.
“Okay.” The Doctor looked over to Ace, and asked,” Ace, you said she was from Duro right?”
“Yeah.” Ace answered.
“And could she talk to you?”
“No, she had to write everything down. Told me the atmosphere made her mute.”
“Uh, excuse me,” The other Doctor cut in, “What are you guys talking about?”
The Doctor looked up at Ace. “You didn’t tell them?”
“I didn’t get the chance to.” Ace emitted.
The Doctor looked back to the man. “Gilda here is an alien, and her atmosphere is different from her home world, Duro. Not enough that she can’t breathe it, but enough for it to have some effects, like the muteness. And add that with some things Dunes woman go through during pregnancy, it’s a mixture for fainting.”
“And again how can she be nine months along and still be so skinny!” An unseen male voice cried out. The Doctor looked up to see another man, slightly younger the other doctor, with the some brown hair and eyes. The Doctor decided to find out who that guy was latter, and just said, “Because she an alien. Her biology is different.”
“Are you really serious about that alien?” The other doctor said.
“Yes I am.” The Doctor responded.
The other doctor looked up at Ace. “He’s serious, Hank.” Was all Ace said.
Seeing as he has no answers himself, the other doctor, whose name was apparently Hank, said, “Okay, so what do we need to do.”
“We need to expose her to the air she’s use to breathing, of least something similar to it.” The Doctor explained, “Do you have an oxygen tank?”
“Yeah.” Hank answered.
“Go get it. I have some samples and chemicals that I can put it, and mixed with the oxygen to turn it into the air on Duro.” The Doctor looked up to the other young woman who had also been taking the pulse and said quickly, “I take it you’re a Doctor, too.”
“Physician’s assistant.” She answered.
“That’ll work.” The Doctor said, “Now, ah-excuse me, but what is your name.”
“Divya,” She answered.
“Okay, Divya, keep taking her pulse, call for us if it drops.” And with that, the Doctor and Hank got up, and ran in opposite directions. Both returned at the same time, Hank and the younger man hauling an oxygen tank, and the Doctor can back with his arms full of vials, jars, and tubes. “Okay,” Hank began, “What do we do now?”
“ I just need to hook these tubes up to your oxygen tank,” The Doctor began as he took two long tubes , one translucent yellow, the other clear, and hooked them up to the tank, “and I’m gonna put this,” he held up a jar through an ice pink glass, “And put it connect it to the tube,” he quickly reveled a small opening in the jar cover and jammed the translucent yellow tube into it, “And then,” the Doctor thumbed through his mess of jars and vials on the floor, then finally came up with a vial filled with what the others guessed was some sort of clear gas, “do the same with this one,” With is exactly what he did, “wait until the pink gas is half gone,” and then he removed the jar with the ice pink gas from the tube, and quickly removed the tube from the tank, “and then wait until all the clear is gone,” then he removed the vial of the clear gas-which was much smaller than the jar-and yanked out the clear tube, “And then we give it to her. Did you bring the oxygen mask?”
“Yeah, I figured we’d need it.” Hank answered, holding up oxygen mask. It was already attached to the machine. The Doctor hurriedly picked up Gilda and ran the already short distance over to Hank, who put the mask on her face. Within seconds her eyes fluttered opened. Clearly scared and confused, her frightened eyes darted back and forth between everyone in the room. “It’s alright, you just fainted. “ The Doctor reassured her, “We got you some air from you’re planet, you only have to breath it in for a few minutes, and then breath it in at hourly intervals and you should be fine.”
Gilda pointed a figure at her stomach. The Doctor knew she was trying to ask about her baby.
“I haven’t got a chance to do any examination yet, but, your little guy should be fine, from what I can tell.” The Doctor reassured her. Then he removed the mask from Gilda’s face. “Better?”
“Much,” Gilda breathed. Then a surprised look crossed her face. That was the first one she had been able to say in months. “Oh, thank you, thank you.”
“Don’t thank me yet.” The Doctor said, “I don’t know how long you’ll be able to talk.”
“Yeah,” Hank said, “So while she can, let’s have some explanations. Starting with who you are, who she is, and what is going on here.”
“I think it’s time we all set down and talked,” Ace said, “Don’t you think so, Professor?”
The Doctor beamed. It had been a long time since somebody called him that. “Yes, I think we should.”
The group set down, The Doctor, Ace, Gilda, and Hank on a wicker couch, Divya in a wicker chair, and the other man who’s name the Doctor still did not know on the arm of the wicker couch, staring protectively at Gilda.
“So,” Hank began, “Let’s start with this whole, ‘Gilda’s an alien’ business.”
“I’m from a planet called Duro, and am from a people called Dunes.” Gilda explained, with a velvety smooth voice, “But I fell through some sort of rift and was stranded here on Earth. I lost my voice because of the differences between Earth’s atmosphere, and Duro’s atmosphere. I just started-wandering, trying to find somewhere to go, some way to take care of myself. Then, I met this boy, Mason. He told me he’d helped me, told me he loved me, and then-“Gilda looked down at the ground, ashamed.
The Doctor said what she couldn’t, “You gave yourself away to love, but those backseat promises faded like mist.”
Gilda nodded. “And then he left me. He didn’t even say goodbye, just-I woke up one day and he was gone. And I was alone again. And then I started getting stick-“
“And that’s when you found out you were pregnant.” Hank said
“That’s horrible,” The man on the arm of the couch said, “That’s just horrible. You don’t deserve that. You know what? I’ll marry you.”
Hank looked over at the man and said, “Even, you can’t marry her.”
“Well why not?!” Even cried
“Because you’re already engaged to someone else.” Hank answered.
“Oh.” Even said, calming down a bit, “Good point.” Even looked at Gilda again and said, “Well then Hank will marry you.”
“Even-“Hank began, sounding a bit exasperated.
“No!” Even cried forcefully, “No, Hank! You need to marry her! Someone we know and trust needs to marry this poor girl right now!”
Gilda looked up at Even and said, “It’s a lovely gesture Even, but neither of you need to do that.”
Divya cut into the conversation, “Okay, so how does Ace play into all this?”
“When I made my way here, Ace saw me in front of a grocery store, and noticed that my eye color was strange.” That was a point they could all agree on. Not the color, the color of her eyes was gray, but how deep gray they were, like two stones in her head. And that the eyes themselves were large, one might even call then doe eyes, that contrasts with her thing face. Gilda continued, “She approached me and told me that she had traveled in space and had met aliens before, and I told her what had happened to me, and she took me home with her and let me live here. She even said she knew a doctor who could help with the delivery.”
“I take it that would be you, Professor.” Hank said, looking over at the Doctor.
“Yeah, Ace sent me a message saying she needed some help with an alien issue, and I came here. Only, I’m not called the Professor. That’s just something Ace would call me. I’m the Doctor.”
“Doctor who?” Divya asked.
“Just the Doctor.” He answered, thinking to himself, “If I had a pound for every time somebody asked me that.”
“Okay then, Doctor,” Hank began, “What’s all this about Ace in space?”
“Not just space,” Ace interjected, “Time too.”
Hank, Even and Divya all turned their eyes to the Doctor and Ace, all three of them wearing the same bewildered expression on their faces.
“I better explain this next part,” The Doctor said, “You see, I’m an alien, and I’m also a time traveler. “ His audience nodded almost simultaneously, as while it sounded unbelievable, so was everything else that had happened so far. The Doctor continued, “Anyway, me and this other girl I was traveling with at the time, Mel, had wound up on this place called Iceworld.”
“And I had wound up there too after an accident teleported me there.” Ace interjected.
“Yes,” The Doctor said, “And then we all met up, and long story short, after all was said done, Mel decided to travel with this other guy, Sabalom Glitz, and Ace opted to travel with me.”
Hank, Even, Divya, and Gilda all looked at Ace, thinking she might have something to add. Picking up on the cue, she said, “I was a teenager and I wanted to see the wonders of time and space.”
The Doctor gave her an almost put upon look. “Oh, don’t get wrong,” Ace said, “I don’t regret doing it.”
“Did he give you your nickname?” Divya asked.
“No, I went by Ace before that. I always hated my real name.” Ace answered.
“So,” The Doctor said, “How do you all know each other? You know, you lot and Ace.”
“Well-,” Hank began, but then Even cut in saying, “Me and Hank and Divya run a conseurge doctor business together. Hank and Divya do the medical stuff, and I’m the CFO.”
“And Ace is one our clients.” Hank added, ”She called us over today because she had cut herself really deep, and needed stitches, while we were doing that, we noticed Gilda here hiding in the corner, Ace introduced her as a cousin, and then she collapsed, and you know what happened next.”
The Doctor turned to Ace and said, “Cousin? She looks nothing like you.”
“I told them she was my husband’s cousin.” Ace said, defending her decision.
“With all due respect Ace,” Hank interjected, “I’ve met your husband, she looks nothing like him either.”
“Husband?” The Doctor asked, sounding confused.
“After I left you, I met a man called Roger LaRue,” Ace explained, “We feel in love and got married. I’ve been Ace LaRue for 18 years now, and we have one 16-year-old son named Preston.”
“Congratulations,” The Doctor said, “Now back to Gilda. Even said she was nine months along. Is that right?”
“Yes.” Gilda said, “Nine months. And the due date’s today.”
“Oh.” The Doctor said blankly.
“You’re right, oh,” Hank said, concerned, “Doctor how accurate are Duro’s due dates?”
“Well, since she didn’t realize she was pregnant right away there could be some discrepancy, but usually,” The Doctor began, “Her water should break any minute now.”
“And you’re just mentioning this now?!” Hank cried, alarm in his voice.
“Well, I just found out the due date was today a minute ago.” The Doctor replied, standing up, “I think I have some supplies for this sort of things in the TARDIS. Never know when you’ll need assist a home delivery.”
“I’ll get anything we could use from the Hummer.” Divya said, jumping up.
“I’ll go with you,” Hank said, fallowing her out the door.
“I’ll get some towels.” Ace said, getting up.
“Well, what should I do?” Even asked
“Stay with Gilda,” The Doctor instructed from outside.
Even got up the arm of the couch, sat down beside Gilda and said, “Don’t worry, Gilda, we will make sure you and unborn baby get through this. We will lay down our lives in your defense if we have to.”
“Even, she’s not giving birth to the kid that’s gonna stop the apocalypse.” Divya commented, setting a bottle of rubbing alcohol down on the floor.
“Even so Divya, she might need defending,’ Even insisted, “And we might have to die doing it!”
“Even-“ Gilda whispered.
“What is it, sweetheart?” Even asked. Then he looked down as saw what it was a line of clear fluid ran down her bare foot.
Gilda was about to go into a labor.
“Okay,” Even said, panicked, “Just, lie down on the floor, I’ll go get Hank, and the Doctor.”
Even ran out the door, screaming, “Doctor! Hank! It’s starting! She’s going into labor!”
The Doctor and Hank ran up to Even, and the Doctor said, “What? Right now?”
“Yes right now!” Even screamed, “What do we do? Do we-boil water or something?”
“First thing we need to do is calm down,” The Doctor instructed firmly, “Gilda’s probly gonna be freaking out soon enough as it is. The next thing we need to do-is get in there, and get to work.” And with that they ran back into the house. They found Gilda lying on a bath towel with Ace holding her hand. “How far apart are the contractions?” Hank ask as they ran over to them, then he turned to the Doctor and asked, “Do Dunes have contractions?”
“Yes, “ The Doctor said, knelling down, and looking up Gilda thin lien dress to see if she was dilating. “Gilda, how far apart are the contractions?”
Gilda opened her mouth as if to speak, but nothing came out. “Even, give her some of the altered oxygen.” The Doctor instructed. Even took the oxygen tank and put the mask on Gilda’s nose and mouth. She breathed it in for a few seconds and then removed it. “Two minutes.” Gilda breathed.
“Gilda, could you spread your legs out for me?” The Doctor asked. Hank stared at him. “I want to see how much she’s dilated.” The Doctor said defensively, “Get your mind out of the gutter.” The Doctor looked, turned back to Hank and said, “It’s only dilated half the way, that’s why the contractions are so far between, she’s not set to pop.”
“So, how long do you think until she’s set?” Hank asked, urgently.
“ Could be a few minutes, could be an hour, could be longer.” The Doctor said, “ Even, how long ago did her water break?”
“A minute ago, that’s why I came and got you.” Even answered.
“Okay, so what I just said still stands. Dune women just cut to the chase as far as labor is concerned, but it takes somewhat longer for the baby to actually come out. One of the downsides to having a womb that doesn’t result in a baby bump. Okay, Gilda, I need you to breath slowly.”
Gilda breathed in and out, slowly. Hank looked over to the Doctor and whispered, “So what do we do now?”
“Well,” The Doctor said, “The only thing we can do is just-watch and wait.”
“Are you serious?”
“That’s all we can do until her cervix is fully dilated and the contractions are a few seconds in between. That and try to make her as comfortable as we can. That’s exactly what do on Duro, in fact.”
“Uh, Doctor,” Even begin, “ Are the Dunes some kind of primitive tribal people?”
“No,” The Doctor said, “Not at all. I mean, they live in mesa-like villages, but they’re actually quite an advanced race. Why?”
“Because if they were so advanced, you’d think they’d have better maternity care!”
“They have good maternity care, they just-haven’t found any way to speed up labor.”
Just then, Divya ran in saying, “I got that cream you needed,” Then she saw what was going on, drop the cream and ran over to Hank and the Doctor saying, “How long has she been in labor?”
“For few minutes,” Hank answered, “And we got a long way to go.”
“What?” Divya asked, thoroughly confused.
“Apparently , the way Dunes deliver children is slightly different then the way humans deliver children.” Hank explained.
“In that case,” Divya began, “Is there anything special we need to do?”
“That ointment you dropped over there,” The Doctor began, “Go get it, and rub it on the area where the baby’s gonna come out at. It’ll help it stretch, and she’d probly feel more comfortable if you did it. Since you’re a woman.”
“Okay,” Divya said, then she ran over to where she had dropped the jar of cream, picked it up, and ran back over to the group, and did what the Doctor told her to. Then they all crouched down and waited. “Is there anything I can do?” Even asked.
“Rub her shoulders.” The Doctor said. Divya and Hank turned their heads to the Doctor at exactly the same time and said simultaneously, “Seriously?”
“Again, another thing they do on Duros,” The Doctor said.
Even knelt down and started rubbing her shoulders. Then there were a few moments of clam waiting for something to happen. “Okay, now all we need to do is to have someone ready to catch the baby. “ The Doctor said, then got in that position himself. “Gilda, tell me when you contractions change, or you start feeling any new pain, or anything else for that matter. Alright?”
“Alright.” Gilda gasped.
“Hank, when the baby comes out, we will need to make a small slit so it’ll have room to move, could you or Divya go get some scissors for me?”
“I’ll go get them.” Divya said, then got and raced away.
Just then Gilda gasped in pain and jumped a bit even though she was on her back. “Doctor,” She breathed, “The contractions-“
“Okay,” The Doctor said, “She’s ready. I can see the baby’s head. Where’s Divya with those scissors?’
Just then Divya came running back with the scissors. The Doctor made the split and soon the baby’s head was out. And then the rest of the baby. “It’s a boy.” The Doctor said, grinning from ear to ear. Then he rapped his trench coat around the baby and handed him to his mother. Gilda took the baby lovingly in her arms, and crested his face.
“Do you a name picked out for him?” Ace asked.
“Tristan,” Gilda answered, not taking her eyes off the child, “His name is Tristan.”
“That’s a lovely name.” The Doctor commented.
“Well, I think we need to get Gilda and Tristan to Hamptons’ Heritage,” Hank said, “I know someone there. She can get them in discreetly, so no needs to find out their aliens.”
An half hour later they were at Hamptons’ Heritage Hospital, standing in front of the private room Jill had managed to get, discussing the possibilities for the young mother and child’s future.
“I could always just take them both back to Duros.” The Doctor suggested.
“But she’s given birth to a child out of wedlock,” Even interjected, “What if they-shun her or something?”
“Even, she was impregnated by a man who took advantage of her and the fact that she was stranded a strange planet.” The Doctor pointed out, “I’m sure they’ll understand. And besides, I’m sure her family will help her.”
“She doesn’t have much family.” Ace said, “She told me her parents died when she was young, and she was an only child.”
“I still say Hank should marry her,” Even cut in.
“Again, not an option,” Hank said.
“Shouldn’t we talking with Gilda about this?” Jill asked.
“Yes, we’re gonna do that later, but after you guys had finished examining her and Tristan she fell asleep,” The Doctor explained, “And we decided to just let her sleep for awhile.”
“She seems pretty awake now.” Jill said, looking into the room, “Uh, guys we may have a problem.”
The group turned around and saw that a brown-haired young man about Gilda’s age in hospital scrubs standing beside Gilda, both of them fawning over Tristan. “Jill,” Hank began, as the group walked to the door, “Who’s that?”
“Jeff,” Jill answered, “He’s a new male nurse. He probly got lost. He does that lot, but except for having no internal compass, he’s harmless.”
The group poured into the room, and Gilda and Jeff looked up. “I just got lost and wondered in here. She started and to wake up and we started talking.” Jeff began,” I wasn’t-“
“It’s okay, Jeff,” Jill reassured the very nervous boy.
“Although, Gilda,” Ace began, “We do need to talk about a few things.”
“I know,” Gilda said, and the group split into two and sat down on either side of her, “And I’ve been thinking about that. Like I told Ace, I don’t have any family back on Duros, and I have friends here. And I can find some way to support myself and the baby, I know I can. I-“
“You want to stay here.” The Doctor said, more of a statement than a question.
“Yes,” Gilda answered.
“If that’s really what you want Gilda,” Ace said, “Me and Roger will help you in any way we can.”
“Yes, and us to.” Even added.
“You can count me in.” Jeff said.
“Well,” The Doctor said, getting up, “Now that we got that settled, I should probly be going. I’ve served my purpose here and I’m not mush for long goodbyes. Gilda, good luck, and congratulations. And you Tristan,” He knelt down and stroked Tristan’s temple, “Have a nice life, kiddo. Hank, Evan, Divya, Jill, nice to do meet you. And Ace,” The Doctor helped Ace up, and gave her a big hug, “It was good to see you again.” When they broke the embrace, he added, “Really, it was.” And then he left, letting the door shut behind him.
After a moment of awkward silence, Jeff and Gilda went back to fawning over Tristan with Jeff saying, “He really is a beautiful baby. He looks like his mother.”
“That he does.” Ace said. Hank looked over to her and smiled repeating, “That he does.
Back at the bar, after the Doctor was done telling the story, Lily was the first to speak.”See? I knew all your misadventures couldn’t be bad.”
“Although I do have one question Doctor,” Ted began, “How is Gilda going to support herself and the baby, especially when I highly doubt she has anything documentation employers tend to look for in background checks.”
“Oh, well, that worked out all right, too,” The Doctor said, “You see, after Gilda got out of the hospital, Even suddenly decided he needed a secretary. Guess who he got for the job.”
“Oh! I know! I know!” Marshal exclaimed excitedly, raising his hand in the air. Both Ted and Lilly gave him a very pointed sideways glance, and he lowered it a bit bashfully, but whispering, “It was Gilda…” half to the others, half to himself.
“That’s correct, Marshal,” The Doctor said, “And then latter on that summer, she and Jeff got married, and they all lived happily ever after.”
“Yeah, not to put a damper on that story, Doctor,” Robin interjected, “But I noticed something about all of your stories.”
“What, Robin?” The Doctor asked.
“They all take place on Earth. “ Robin said, “In fact they all take place in this state. If you’re an alien with a time-space machine, how come you spend so much time here and now? I mean, don’t you go to any other planets of times?”
“Yes, of course I do,” The Doctor said, “They just- didn’t come up. I’ve been to plenty of different planets and times, plenty of times. In fact, I remember this one time a little while ago…”
“Oh, this is gonna be good, I know it.” Robin said, grinning from ear to ear.
“Once again, I hadn’t put a destination into the TARDIS….”
The Doctor slammed the break on the TARDIS. He ran down the ramp grabbing his coat and putting it on, and opening the door, and looked down in surprised at what he saw. In the middle of the forest, a very shocked looking girl of about 15 with shoulder leant light brown hair, large, at the moment very frightened dark brown eyes, wearing a red and yellow striped hooded shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes, was lying on the ground with arms spread out, as if something had knocked her over, with her hand lying flat on the ground reveling a port wine stain birth mark on her left hand.
“Oh.” The Doctor said, feeling somewhat guilty that he had stared the poor girl, and not entirely sure what to do, “Hello.” The Doctor wasn’t sure what prompted him to say this, if it was that startled look of the girl, the silence throughout the whole forest, or something else, but for whatever reason, after the Doctor looked back and forth, he asked the girl, “I didn’t land on any evil rulers of the realm, did I?”
“No,” The girl breathed, “But you just missed that Morgana chick everybody’s afraid of.”
The Doctor turned around and saw a young, pale woman and about her early or mid-twenties in a black dress, standing up from the spot she had fallen, dusting herself off. The Doctor got a good look at her. Her dark hair the fell down in dark tresses around her head stood in contrast with her pale skin, but matched perfectly with her black dress. When she looked at the Doctor her pale blue eyes were filled with rage.
“Oh.” The Doctor began, “Sorry. I take it your that Morgana chick that everybody’s afraid of. Well, at least according to…” He turned back to the other girl and said, “Sorry, but I didn’t get your name earlier.”
“Begonia.” The girl responded, “My name’s Begonia. Like the flower.”
“Really? “ The Doctor said, “What a lovely name. Tell me, where exactly are we?”
“The name they gave us was Gamma 5.” Begonia answered.
“Ah, Gamma 5.” The Doctor said, “Lovely planet. Beautiful woods, well, you can see that, I mean you’re in them right now.”
“I hadn’t actually noticed that much,” Begonia said solemnly.
“Well, that’s okay, you still have lots of time to , now back to you,” The Doctor said, spinning on his heel back to Morgana, “Why is everyone so scared of you?”
“Because,” Morgana began, seductively walking closer to the Doctor, “I’m a powerful sorceress on a campaign of vengeance and my eventual rule of Camelot, and I will destroy anyone or anything that stands in my way.”
“Really glad I’m not standing in your way then,” The Doctor said, turning back to Begonia, “And what about you, Begonia? Are you scared of her?”
“She doesn’t need to be scared of me,” Morgana interjected bitterly; “She’s always protected by that fortress, with those butchers. Oh, don’t look so surprise I see you with them. I saw you when they took some of the others, I should kill you right now! And I think I will.” At that point Morgana charged at Begonia, but fortunately the Doctor grabbed her, and was able to hold her back as he said, “Wait! Before anything goes any further, both you need to explain a few things. Starting with, what fortress? And what butchers? What do you mean by butchers? And why are you dressed like that anyway, Begonia? Last time I was here, Gamma 5 was almost exactly like medieval Earth, and if Morgana is any indication it still is, and here you are in jeans and a hooded shirt. And on that note, Morgana, where did you get the purple eye shadow? Like I said earlier, this is a medieval like planet, where would even find eye shadow?”
“Doctor,” Begonia began, apprehensively, as if she unsure of the ground she was standing on, “You seem like someone who knows a lot more about other planets, and things, than I do.”
“Yes,” The Doctor said, “Well, actually I’m not sure how much more I know than you, that really depends on how much you know.”
“Not much. But my point is, Doctor-“ Begonia stopped for a minute with an almost stick look on her face. Then she started to cry. “So many, horrible things have happened. I want to stop them but I-I- I don’t know how! I don’t know what do!” She then slid into near hysteria, just sobbing and sobbing and not trying to say anything at all.
The Doctor walked over to her and put his arm around her shoulders. “It’s alright, it’s alright. Look, stopping horrible things is one of my specialties. Look, why don’t we all sit down under one of these trees, you can calm down, and then you can tell all about those horrible things that you need help stopping.”
To understand the horrible deeds at work here, we have to go back to events that lead Begonia to be in those woods.
Only minutes her encounter with the Doctor-a half hour at the most thought it’s not for certain-Begonia was standing in the security room of the lab that for the past five months she had been forced to call home(this was the “fortress” Morgana was referring to) surrounded by several of the guards and scientists, including the boss man of the “Impala Project” Julius Wilson, watching their latest subject, and the boy they had wound up holding as well to control the subject-basically just sit there not even looking at each other.
And in that room, Arthur was just staring down at the bandages on his wrist, desperately wishing Merlin would stop staring with that look of “why did you do it,” on his face, directed towards him. Finely, Arthur looked up at Merlin and sighed, “Would you please stop looking at me like that?”
“Like what?” Merlin, asked trying to straiten up a bit, only to have the resistance of the restraints on his arms remind him he was strapped down to the gurney.
“Like you’re asking why I did it with your face!” Arthur groaned.
“Well, it’s not like it isn’t a fair question,” Merlin retorted, “So, why did you try to kill yourself?”
It was true; the reason they were in there was because Arthur had attempted suicide by slitting his wrist. Somehow he was able to get his hands on one of the scalpels the scientist used in the seemingly endless operations the scientists preformed on the subjects, hid it away until he knew he was alone, and silt both his wrist. He probly would’ve succeeded if it wasn’t for the fact that there was at least one camera in every room in the building, including the one where he was being kept, and the security guard on duty called in two more security guards and a doctor, and they were able to stop him from bleeding out.
After another minute of silence, Merlin asked, sounding rather inpatient, “Are you going to tell me or not? Why did slit your wrist?”
“Because I thought if I was out of the picture you could get out of here!” Arthur screamed, “We all know that the only reason I’m alive right now is to keep you in line, to make sure you don’t fight back, and I can’t stand to hear you scream anymore!”
Merlin threw his head back, recalling how this all started. There had been over a dozen reports of people coming across a strange, pale white fortress in the woods, encounters with oddly dressed people with weapons that no one had seen before, strange happenings that could only be linked to sorcery, but with no sorcerer to be found, and one death after a man had been shot by one of the people with the weapons, so Arthur decided to investigate, and, as per usual, Merlin got dragged along. They just reached the border of Camelot when four men and one woman, the men in strange fitting dark green, dark drown, and lighter brown uniforms, the woman in a black pair of pants, black boots, a black shirt that showed her bare arms, and a black hat jumped out from behind the trees, all them holding strange tubular black objects pointed right at Merlin and Arthur. “Don’t Move!” Shouted their apparent leader, a dark skinned young man in tan shirt that had been cropped so that the sleeves only to a bit above his elbows, with a silver necklace with strange plates dangling from them, “Hands in the air!”
He didn’t have to tell Merlin twice, but Arthur just sat on the horse staring the leader of the group down.
“Arthur,” Merlin murmured, “Maybe you should do what they say.”
“No, Merlin,” Arthur said, sounding annoyed, “I am not doing what they say. In fact, put your arms down.”
Merlin didn’t move a muscle, just stared at the black tubular weapon in the leader’s hand. The leader spoke again. “Look, Blondie,” The comment was clearly directed at Arthur, “Your friend’s doing the smart thing. Now, I’d really rather not have to explain to my boss how another local got killed, and then have to go through the trouble of having to cover it up, which will probly involve having to kill your friend here, too. “ He looked over at Merlin and added before continuing, “Nothing personal kid, we just can’t afford to leave witnesses. Anyway, since I really don’t have to do all that, I’m gonna give you one more chance to do the smart thing, and put your hands up.”
When the man put it like that, Arthur could see no other alternative, so he put his arms up as the man instructed. “Now,” The man said, “Get off the horses, both of you.” Arthur and Merlin dismounted at about the same time, than just stood there, hands above their heads, trying to figure out a way out of the situation.
The woman stepped forward, her arms folded across her chest. “Who has the scanner?” She asked, holding out her right hand to the side, palm flat open. Almost emeditly, one of the men on the right handed her a square gray object, she grasped the object and sauntered over to Arthur. She took the lid off the device, which was apparently called a scanner, pressed something on the scanner, and a whirling sound came from it. “Oh,” The woman said, “ I almost forgot.” She snapped her fingers and said, “Restrain them.” Again almost instantly, the four men stepped forward and two of them went over to Merlin and two went over to Arthur, and pinned their arms behind their backs. Emeditly both of them begin to struggle against the men. “Let go of us!” Arthur angrily screamed.
“Hey, hey, hey!” The woman said, grabbing Arthur’s face with her free hand, “Look, this will only take a minute. Now, according to the information we’ve gathered, the Impala Gene is only carried by one in three people on this planet, and from what I can see there’s only two of you, so odds are, neither of you are gonna have it, and as long as you don’t give us any trouble you and your friend can be on your way in a couple minutes. So don’t give us any trouble, and open your eyes wide. “ Arthur stopped struggling. The woman looked him for a minute and then said, “Um, wide enough.” Then she held the scanner up in front of his face, and red light came out of it, that flashed into his eyes. Surprisingly, the light didn’t hurt at all. “Give me his right hand.” The man on the right held out Arthur’s right hand. He looked as if he wanted to hit all of them. If it wasn’t for the fact that his captors had such a good hold on him, he probly would’ve. The woman took Arthur’s glove off his hand, and threw it to the floor. She put a small clear tube with a silver needle sticking out of it onto the scanner, grabbed Arthur’s hand, and stuck him with the needle. After a minute she removed the needle and looked at the scanner. “This one doesn’t have the gene,” She said, without looking up. Then she walked over with Merlin. Merlin looked up at her and stared. Something told him whatever happened next was not going to be good.”Okay, kid,” The woman said, rather coldly but with a slight edge in her voice, “You should know the drill as well now. “ And with that she raised the end of the scanner from which the red light came out, and shined that red light in his eyes. Then she took a small clear box with another tube and needle, and put it in the other end of the scanner. “Right hand.” She commanded, and instantly Merlin felt the tight grip on his right arm subside; only to tighten one again as it was forced to the front. Merlin tried to yank his arm away, but they only gripped his arm tighter, and attempted to hold it straight. He was seriously considering using magic, when the woman took his face and her free hand-this seemed to be her signature move-and said, “Hey, so far you’ve been the smart one, so don’t start acting stupid now. Just let me get this sample and we can get this over with.”
“Just tell me one thing first,” Merlin said, “What’s the Impala Gene?”
The woman sighed. “That’s very complicated, you wouldn’t understand.”
“I think I would. You said it yourself, I’m the smart one.”
“Yeah, but you’re not acting very smart now.”
“Oh, this is getting ridiculous!” The young man who had been in charge earlier snapped; “Now without getting into too much of the scientific details, the Impala Gene is what causes the phenomenon that you backwater people call “magic.””
That made Merlin struggle even harder. He didn’t know what they wanted with people who had magic, but he wasn’t about to let himself get outted. His looked at the tree behind the dark haired woman dressed all in black, closed her eyes and whispered a spell. A second latter the three fell to the ground, and the woman jumped out of the way barely in time, and the startled men loosened their grip enough on Merlin and Arthur for the pair to get lose and run for it. The five attackers cased after them in hot pursuit. The chase went on for six minutes before Merlin and Arthur saw something that stopped them dead in their tracks. A flat, long, building made out of some kind of pale white stone spread out several feet. But it they couldn’t see the individual stones that made up the structure. It was as if it was all carved out of one giant stone. And the roof was flat. And it was surrounded by a strange wall made from some sort of silver material. All this the pair saw in one second, because then they were being garbed by their pursuers, who forced them to the ground. Just then they heard a new voice, “What’s going on here?” They couldn’t see who asked it, because their faces were pressed to the ground.
“We came across a couple locals and tried to test them for the gene.” The voice of the women answered, “We got one done, but the other one got feisty and then a tree fell and they got away. We chased then here. Sorry boss.”
Just then Merlin felt a prick in his arm and his heart sunk into his stomach. He was just seconds away from being reveled as sorcerer. He felt the needle leave his arm, and looked up as the scanner made a beeping sound. “Well, I’ll be damned.” The woman said. She waved the scanner in the air and called out, “Hey, boss, you’re not gonna believe this! The kid’s got the gene!”
For a minute the world seemed to stop. Everything grew quiet and everyone stood still and turned their heads towards Merlin and the woman. A man with light brown hair, wearing a white shirt, and trousers made from a strange blue material who had been standing at the wall walked up to them. A man with grey hair wearing a long white coat, young girl with long brown hair wearing a blue shirt, and trousers made out of the same strange blue material as the first man, and two guards in the same uniforms as the four men wore, fallowed after him. The brown haired man looked over the woman’s shoulder at the scanner. “Was this the one who got feisty?” The man asked. Merlin eminently recognized his voice as the one who had asked what was going on.
“Yeah, boss,” The woman answered, “He’s the one.”
“I can see why.” The man said. “Take him inside, get him sterilized, and strapped.”
The two men who were holding Merlin down forced him to his feet and started to drag him into the structure as he struggled with them.
“And what about this one?” The woman asked, nodding towards Arthur, who was clearly still in shocked over the revelation the Merlin was a sorcerer.
“Does he have the gene?” The man asked.
“No.” The woman said coolly.
“Take him out somewhere and kill him.” The man commanded. “Oh, and Jack-“
The young man in the tan shirt looked up.
“Make sure you do a good job disposing of the body this time.”
“No!” Merlin screamed and tried to break away from the two men holding him. He managed to stretch his arms out, but they still had a hold of his wrist, but still somehow he managed to get over to the man in charge and say, “Let him go! Just let him go, I promise I won’t run. I won’t even try. I’ll let you do whatever you want to me.”
When he had finished speaking the young girl rushed up to the man, and said, “Take him up on his offer.”
“Begonia,” The man in the long white coat hissed,” Get back inside, now.”
“I can’t leave a witness to stir up the locals, Begonia,” The man who apparently in charge said. Then Begonia stood on her tiptoes, leaned up to the man’s head, and whisper something in his ear, her hand over her the side of her mouth. The man’s face turned pale and a blank look came on his face. Begonia put her feet back flat on the ground and said in a whisper, “You know I’ll do it, Julius.”
“You’re right.” Julius said, blankly, “I do.” Then he turned to the men holding Arthur down and said, “Take him inside, too. Have him sterilized and restrained.”
“Dr. Ro,” Begonia began, “What are you doing?”
“I’ll meet you two half way,” Julius said calmly, then turned to face Merlin and added, “Your friend stays here, and as long as you comply with us, he won’t be harmed. You step out line and –well, I think you know. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” Merlin said, “I understand. “
“Good.” Julius said, and then headed back to the fortress, with the rest of the group that gathered outside. Begonia looked back at Arthur and Merlin apologetically. “Begonia!” The man in the white coat shouted. She looked back at the group and shouted, “Coming Dad!” Then ran off to join them. While they were being pulled and pushed up to the wall, Arthur looked over at Merlin with pure anger on his face.
“I’m sorry you had to find out this way,” Merlin said sincerely, with a pang of sorrow in his voice.
“Me too.” Arthur said coldly, with a hint of rage poking through.
When they were in the fortress, they were lead down a white hall to a large white room filled with strange contraptions. There were three women and two men in long white coats wearing white gloves. They all turned towards the group when they walked in. “You know the drill,” Julius said, “Dr. Melvin, Dr. White, take them to the decontamination room and do a thorough decontamination and disease test.”
“Umm, Dr. Ro,” A thin women with reddish light brown hair said, “There’s two of them.”
“Yes, Felicity,” Julius said, a bit condescendingly, “There’s two of them. Is there something wrong with that?”
“No, sir,” Felicity said, “It’s just um… until now we’ve only ever had one subject at a time. When the Impala Project started it was decided that we only needed one subject and that um,-two would be too hard to control at once.”
“Well, Felicity, only one of them is a subject. The other one’s our way of making sure the subject stays in line. But we need to decontaminate them both to keep the lab sterile; otherwise it could put the whole project in jeopardy. Now, any more questions?”
A wiry man with light brown hair spoke up, “Which one’s Subject Number 5?”
“The one on the right.” Julius answered. “I better help you two with this.” And with that the three walked off, Julius, Felicity, and the wiry man, followed by Merlin, Arthur, and the two guards restraining them. They went into yet another room, where there pair were forced to striped, shoved into small chambers with a sliver half circle with holes in it, that sprayed water down on them, given new clothes, Merlin a thin white gown with blue dots that had no back, Arthur a white shirt and whit trousers, then put through a cruel, humiliating medical examination where they were knocked on their knees with hammers, hand their tongues pressed down with a stick and their throats looked at, and countless injections that either took their blood or gave them serums. They were both given a clean bill of health. Then they were lead off in different directions, Arthur to the right and Merlin to the left. Merlin turned his head back as they lead him away. The idea of them being separated terrified him. “Then again,” Merlin thought to himself, “That’s likely what they want. If I have absolutely no idea where he is, I’m less likely to risk an escape attempt.” After what a walk that seemed like an eternity, they took Merlin into a room that just like everything else was unnaturally white, clean, and had a sharp smell to it, with a small metal cot with a white mattress, with brown leather straps on either side, and one at the head of the cot. The guard and the wiry man dragged Merlin over to the cot, and the guard said, “Get on the gurney.”
Merlin got up onto the cot.
“Lie down.” The guard commanded.
Merlin laid down, and didn’t even try to fight back when the guard and the wiry man went on either side of him and put his arms in the straps. Or when they strapped down his forehead. Then he felt two straps being fascine around his ankles. “Oh,” He thought to himself, “I didn’t see those straps.” Then without a word, the guard and the wiry man left, leaving Merlin alone. Merlin eased let out a long slow breath, untensed his muscles, gave in and started shaking, partially out of cold, partially out of fear.
After a few hours had pasted Merlin looked down at the arm strap that held him down and started to think. “Maybe I could use magic to undo the strap. Alright, I know that I could use magic to undo that the strap, the question is, whether or not I do it, and find Arthur before they can kill him, and get out without getting caught. If I could only do that-“
“Don’t even think about it.” A girl’s voice said.
Merlin tried to raise his head up, but the tug of the head strap against his forehead reminded he was tied down. At that point the only merciful thing that happened all day occurred. The owner of the voiced walked into the room, came over to Merlin and stood over him where he could see her. It was that young girl, from the wall, -what was her name? - Begonia. After a moment of complete silence, she spoke again. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m sorry, but it’d be a huge mistake. There’s at least one security camera in every room in this building, there’d be a team of security guards storming down that hall before you could get anywhere. And your friend would get a bullet through the head less than 90 seconds after you did it. I’m sorry, really, truly, you can’t believe how sorry I am, but that the way it is.” Then she just stood there, as if she was waiting to do something else, with a sorrowful, pained look on her face.
“Alright. Tell me one thing then,” Merlin began, “You obviously need people with magic, but why? What do you want with us?”
Begonia inhaled, then exhaled, then said, “When UNIT learned about the abilities of some of the people here-you call it magic-they wanted to try to harness it, to use as a weapon. You can imagine what someone could do if they could figure out how to do that, they could do just about anything, they could wipe anything they wanted to off the map. So they set up a team here on the planet, seven scientist, nine security guards from various places, some UNIT, some from private security firms, I have clue where they got Amity, the Irish woman, the one who scanned you, all lead by Dr. Julius Ro, the head scientist.”
“And how do you fit into all this? You don’t seem-like the others.”
“That’s because I’m not. One of the scientist is-is-my father. He made me come with him, and convinced Dr. Ro to let me live on the site, though my Dad’s the only one who brought their kid with them.”
“Why didn’t he just leave you with your mother?”
“Because she’s dead. “ Before Merlin had a chance to respond, Begonia continued, “Look we don’t have much time, before someone notices I’m in here. “ She looked as if she was seriously considering something. Finally, she said, “I know I’m going to regret this, but what’s your name?”
Begonia raised her eyebrow, then after a few seconds said, “Well, Merlin-smile for the camera.” The she raised a small black box up to her eyes, and a flash of light a click came out from it. Then Begonia slowly walked out of the room.
The next day was the first time they came for him. Julius, wearing the long white coat that seemed to signify that one was a scientist, as well as two other scientist, and carted him down the hall and back into the main lab, still strapped to the gurney. The five other scientists were waiting. Julius undid the straps and Merlin instantly sat up. Julius grabbed Merlin’s arm. “I can get up myself.” Merlin said.
“All, the same, this is standard procedure.” Julius said. With his hand firmly on Merlin’s wrist, Julius lead him over to a long steel table. Merlin sat down on it.
“Now lie down.” Julius ordered.
Merlin laid down on the table. The first thing that registered was the fact that it felt cold against his body. Two metal bars sprung out from the table and wrapped around Merlin’s wrist. The next thing he felt was some kind of wet, cold, sticky substance being smeared on his temple. Then on his arms. Then his hands. Next he felt a small weigh on his temples. He looked down at his arms to see a gloved hand place a small cream-colored circle on connected to a cream-colored string on his arm. He had no idea what it was, but he had a feeling whatever it did wasn’t going to be good. He raised his eyes to look at one of the scientist placing the circles-a woman with long black hair-looking for an one once of emotion, of sympathy, of guilt, of pity, of sorrow like he had seen in Begonia-but found nothing. Just eyes that refused to meet his.
“You’re doing this again?!”
Every head in the room turned to see Begonia standing in the middle of the entryway.
“Begonia,” One of the scientist, the man with the gray hair began, “You know you’re not sapost to be here.”
“I got lost,” Begonia answered, “But I also know that the last four times you tried this, you didn’t get any results. So why are you doing it again?” It was obvious that she was doing her best to stay calm.
“Begonia, this does not concern you,” Julius said firmly, ”It’s my decision what test are done, and this is one of the test we need to do. Now, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Begonia looked as if she were about to cry, and she said, “I’m sorry,” and then turned around then ran down the hallway.
“Clint,” The woman scientist with the long black hair began, turning towards the man scientist with the gray hair, “What was that all about?”
“I don’t know,” Clint said, “Teenagers, I guess.”
“We can’t keep on with her going on this,” Julius said, “You need to talk to her, Clint.”
“Clint must be Begonia’s father.” Merlin thought to himself, “But what did she mean by “last four times”?”
“Start out at five volts.” Julius ordered.
The next thing Merlin knew was the searing pain coursing through his body.
By the time the electric shocks had started Begonia was halfway down the hallway. She was running towards the place she always went when the experiments started, her room. But that was still a long way away, and she couldn’t bear to listen to the screaming for even one second, so she did what she always did when an experiment would start. Right there in the middle of the hallway, she crouched down, put her hands over her ears and started quietly singing. “Jesus, friend of sinners, we have stayed so far away. We cut people down in your name, but the sword was never ours to swing,” She crooned out in a shaky voice.
“You shouldn’t get so upset,” A voice from behind her said, “He’s not worth it.”
She slowly removed her hands from her ears, stood up and was stunned at who see saw. There, staring at her through a glass window in the door was the guy who had been brought in with Merlin. After what happened yesterday, this was the last person Begonia would expect would be saying such an awful thing. “His friend as good as sacrificed himself to save him. If anything he should be getting even more upset than I am.” Begonia thought to herself, and out loud she said, “Why would you say such a horrible thing? Do you have any idea what’s going on in there?”
If he didn’t already know a scream coming from down the hall gave him a pretty good hint.
“You hear that?” Begonia said, “That’s the sound of ten electric volts being serge into his body. Now, I know you guys don’t know much in the science department, but electricity going through a human body is very painful, and can be used as an execution method.” As if on cue to drive the point home there was another scream, this one more pained. “Still think he’s not worth it?”
It looked for a moment as if the young man was considering what Begonia was saying, but the next second he had regained his composure, and was once again stone faced, unreadable and said, “Well, it serves him right. Now, I know you don’t know much in the how things work around here department, but sorcery is-“
“A crime,” Begonia interrupted, “Illegal, against the law. In fact, I’m not sure, but I think it might be considered treason.” A stricken look came upon her face. “Oh my ga, are you acting like this just because it’s illegal? For crying out loud, he can’t help it! It’s a genetic quart, like blue eyes or flat feet!”
The young man’s face went bank and he said, “I’m one of the people who don’t know much in the science department, remember? I have no idea what genetic means.”
“Genetics,” Begonia began, “Are part of what we call DNA, a strain of information we get from our parents that’s impossible to see with the necked eye, and it determines certain things about us. It’s why you have blue eyes, why Merlin has black hair,” she held out her left hand so he could see the red splotch on it as she said, “Why I have a port wine stain birthmark, and it’s also why Merlin can do the things he can! And what’s more, the Impala Gene is a resistive gene which is a gene that if it’s there is dormant unless both parents have it in either dormant from or active from! It’s not his fault! “Just then there was another scream. This one was the worst so far. “You want to know why he’s being tortured in there? It’s because a secretive military organization found a teleport to here, found out about the gene, wanted to harness it for a weapon and decided it was a good idea to let a bunch of -idiots lead by a macivalian, sadistic prevent lose on the planet! I mean, they don’t even check in. You think they would. I mean, if they knew half the things that were being done here they’d stop the project emeditly.”
“Why?” The young man asked, “What are they doing?”
“Merlin’s not the first subject.” Begonia said, “There were four other subjects before him. And all the experiments began with trying to activate the ability with electric shocks. Then it was a craniotomy, then worst things, unspeakable things, and then, at some point or another, they died, their bodies just gave out, and each and every time the deaths were horrible. But at least they would fight back. At least they would fight back, and struggle, and scream and beg and maybe even cry, and tried to escape sometimes. But he’s not the doing anything. And you want to know why? It’s because he knows if he does, you’ll get a bullet to the head. And you know what? If you’re such a stick, calloused ingrate that you can’t even be upset about what’s happening to him, just because you don’t like what he is, then you’re not worth it!”
The next scream finally broke his resolve. “You’re right,” The young man admitted, “After what he did, I shouldn't just cast him aside. Is there-“ He paused a minute, then started again, “Is there any way I could talk to him?”
Begonia paused a moment before speaking, surprised that her tirade had gotten trough to the young man. “I can’t make any promises,” She said finally, “But I’ll see what I can do.” She then turned around, crouched down, put her hands on her ears and started to sing again. She remained like that for an hour.
Later that day, Begonia stood in the hall in front of Julius’ office. She could see he was in there by himself, at his desk, engrossed in some kind of paperwork. Begonia took a deep breath. The thought of being alone with him terrified her. She didn’t know what she would do if he tried to what he tried to do that fateful day, a month before. She didn’t think she could fight him off. If Dr. White hadn’t walked in on them before, she didn’t like to think about what could’ve happened. But scared as she was, Begonia was determined that Merlin and his friends were going to see each other. She walked into the doorway. Julius didn’t even look up from his paperwork. “Dr. Ro?” Begonia said quietly.
Julius looked up from his paperwork. “Oh, Begonia. What a pleasant surprise.”
“There’s something I need to talk to you about.” Begonia said, sounding half nervous, half firm.
“Well, certainly,” Julius said, standing up, and walking away from his desk, “Come in.”
Begonia cautiously walked into the office. She made sure she stayed within the line of the doorway. What she wanted to say suddenly stuck in her throat. “So,” Julius began, “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“I want you to let Merlin see his friend.” Begonia said so quickly the words almost ran together.
Julius looked confused. “Who’s Merlin?”
Begonia was horrified. She always knew that they never asked the subjects their names, an act up until now she had also been guilty of, but something about that question made it really sink in. “The new subject.” Begonia responded, her horror clear in her voice.
Julius seemed to think a minute, and then finally said, “I can’t do that.”
“It’s too big of a security risk. They could form an escape plan.”
“There’s at least one security camera in every room in this building, they’d never be able to get away with it! And if you’re that nervous about it, you could always have a guard or another scientist or someone watch them while they were together! Look, I’m not asking for you to keep them together all the time, just-let them see each other for a little bit. And besides, it might help. Merlin hasn’t seen his friend since the decontamination room, I bet. I mean, for all he knows you could’ve killed him, and just said you didn’t. He sees you kept your end of the bargain he’ll be more inclined to keep his.”
Julius thought on it for a minute. “You have a good point. Give me some time to consider it.”
Begonia stood there a minute wondering if she should use her trump card. She had already used it yesterday, and if she used it too much he’s start to believe she wasn’t really to actually tell, and she was.
As if he knew what she was thinking, Julius said, “If you use it too much, it’ll get old fast. Save it for latter.”
She turned around and left without a word.
The next day while Begonia was reading a book, lying on her cot in her room, Julius came to her. “Begonia,” He said.
Begonia looked up, put her book down and got off of the cot. She stood there, waiting to hear what he had to say.
“I decide you were right,” He continued, “I’m letting Subject Number Five see his friend. They get one hour, no more, no less.”
“And when are you going to do this?” Begonia asked
“Actually the friend’s being escorted to where Subject Number Five is right now.” Julius answered
“That’s great,” Begonia said, trying to step out of the direct line from where Julius was, “If you excuse me, Dr. Ro, there’s somewhere I have to be.” And then she rushed out the doorway and walked down the hall as fast as she could without drawing attention to herself. She turned to where she knew Merlin was being kept, and sure enough, there was the other boy, hands cuffed behind his back, being led into the room. And also sure enough, there was a guard standing in front of the door. Begonia knew that between that and the security cameras, they wouldn’t have any privacy. And she knew that could be risky. She knew what she had to do. She ran down the right hall, made another right and then stopped at a large grey fuse box. She knew the lock was broken on this one so she pulled it opened and turned off pushed down all the fuses causing the whole building to go dark. And the cameras to turn off. Begonia rushed back down the hall and saw the guard was still there, trying to get the status of the situation on the walkie talkie. Begonia ran up to him and said, “Dr. Ro told me to come find you and tell you to join a group of other guards on the other side of the lab to try to find what caused the power outage.
“But who’s gonna keep an eye on these two?” The security guard asked.
“Dr. Ro said he’d send someone else this way, and until then I could do it.” Begonia answered.
The security guard looked at her suspiciously.
“He said it wouldn’t be too dangerous,” Begonia added, “Since they’re both restrained.”
“All right.” The guard said, still sounding a bit suspicious, but he still ran down the hall any way.
When she was sure the guard was gone, Begonia whispered through the crack in the door-the door was locked so that was all she could do-“Okay, there’s no one here except me, and I won’t listen in . So whatever you’re gonna say, say it now.”
Inside the room, there was only silence. Merlin and Arthur didn’t realize it, because it was pitch black, but they were just staring at each other. Merlin was the first to speak.”So, do you hate me now?”
“I’m not sure,’ Arthur admitted, “I did at first, but then, yesterday, with those electric shocks, and that girl laying into me about being an ingrate for behaving the way I was, and I started to see her point. How is she involved in this anyway?”
“She’s the daughter of one of the scientist.” Merlin answered,” Though I was given the distinct impression that she hates what he’s doing.”
“Yeah,” Arthur replied, “I got that impression, too. So, how long have you been a sorcerer?”
“How long have we known each other?” Merlin asked.
Arthur darted his eyes back and forth even though he was still unable to see anything. He didn’t like where this was going. “Four years.” He said nervously.
“Four years.” Merlin said, mater-of-factly, “Actually, more. I was-well, I was born with magic.”
“Yeah, the girl pointed that out yesterday,” Arthur said, “A lot. “ There was another moment then Arthur asked, “Are we friends?”
“Of course we are.” Merlin said, wondering what the question had to do with anything, “Remember what happened two days ago? You know, when I begged for your life and said if they let you go I wouldn’t run? Why would I do that if we weren’t…” His voice trailed off as he realized what the question had to do with their situation, “Honestly, Arthur like I said earlier, we’ve know each other for four years. If I was going to kill you I would have done it already. And if I had any other sot of diabolical plan I would have already acted on it.”
“Good point,” Arthur admitted, feeling rather stupid that he had ever thought that, though he would never admit it.
“I mean,” Merlin continued, “I you had any idea how many times I have saved your life by using magic, you would have no doubt that I would never intentional use it to hurt you.”
“How many times have you saved my life magic?” Arthur asked, “Exactly?”
“Well,” Merlin said, “I haven’t counted the instances. But-a lot.”
“Well, even if you haven’t counted them, can you at least tell me about the instances?” Arthur asked.
“You want me to start with the most recent time or the first time I saved you and work my way down?” Merlin asked.
“Start with the first time and work your way down.” Arthur answered nervously.”
And so Merlin reveled every individual incident in which he had used magic in some way to save Arthur’s life, and by the time he was done Arthur had no problem what so ever with Merlin being a sorcerer.
When the power came back on, Merlin and Arthur were taken back to their sides on the buildings. From that point on they only saw each other after the scientist had done some sort of experiment on Merlin. The next procedure was a craniodmy. The one after that they dilated his pupils and shined lights in his eyes to see if there was anything different there. Then they strapped him into an MRI only to find the same thing that had always found before, that people with the Impala Gene can access an extra 5 percent of their brain. Then they did the craniodomy with electric shocks to see how his body’s pain receptors reacted. At least when they did the procedure after that-live dissection-they put him under heavy sedation.
Two days after they did that one, Arthur slit his wrist.
Now, there they were, Merlin still in a lot pain of the dissection-the sedation he was given during the procedure was the only pain medication he was given-watching Arthur rub his face in his hands, fist full of hair. “Arthur,” Merlin said softly, “Look at me.”
Arthur looked up at Merlin. “Come over heard a minute,” Merlin said gently, “I’d came you but, in case you haven’t noticed-“ He gestured at the straps holding his down. Arthur walked over to him, resting on hand on the gurney. The two looked each other right in the face. “While yes, you are the reason I don’t try to escape of fight back,” Merlin began his voice barely a whisper, “Even if you weren’t here I probly wouldn’t be able to get out. There’s at least one security camera in every room in this building, several of them more than one, so they would know the minute I did anything and they would come for me and have stop me somehow, pin me down tranquilizer dart, something, and then they either heighten security, or just kill me. So killing yourself is not going to help anything. So don’t, alright?”
“Alright,” Arthur said, “No need to get all sappy about it.”
Back in the security room, after watching the scene unfold, Begonia turned to her father and said, “Dad, can I go outside for a little. I mean, like out of the building outside? I need some air.”
Clint looked over to Julius. “She can go out.” Julius said, then he turned to Begonia and said, “You have two hours.”
Begonia turned around and walked out of the room without a word. She didn’t remember leaving the lab, but the next thing she knew she was standing outside if the electric, barb-wire fence, and staring out at the endless forest before her. And then she started to run. She ran as fast as her legs would dare to carry her, running away from helpless people being tortured in the name of science, from cold, compassionless sheep who called themselves researchers and the father who thought her that the only thing nessarcery for evil to win was for good people to do nothing who now was turning into a person she didn’t even recognize, from a megalomaniac who thought he could do whatever he wanted, from everything. She ran and kept running until she ran into something hard and was knocked to the ground. She looked up and found to her disbelief a blue wooden box standing just standing there in the middle of the woods. Before she could even comprehend what she was seeing the door opened and a skinny man in long brown coat stood in the doorway. “Oh,” The man said, “Hello.” Then after a moment of awkward silence, the man said, of all things, “I didn’t land on any evil rulers of the realm, did I?”
That’s when Begonia saw a black shape up on the grown behind the box. Then that shape started to form into a person and she realized who it was almost emeditly. “No, but you just missed that Morgana chick everybody’s afraid of.”
After Begonia had finished telling her story there was a moment of silence. Surprisingly enough, Morgana was the first to speak, “So Merlin’s a sorcerer? How’d I miss that?!”
The Doctor turned to Morgana and said, surprised, and shocked, “Wait, you know him?”
“Yes,” Morgana said as if it was obvious, “We’ve been enemies for two years now. This would explain while he’s been so hard to get rid of.”
“Would you mind elaborating about who he is?” The Doctor asked, “Because it would help to try to fix things. And if you know the other guy could you tell us about him?”
“The other’s one my half-brother, Arthur Pendragon . “ Morgana answered, “Merlin’s his servant although the two of them are strangely close.” The way Morgana was twirling her hair with her finger, she reminded the Doctor of a high school mean girl.
“Doctor,” Begonia interjected, “Do you know what’s going on with all these little similarities to…well, you know. I mean, aside from all this stuff with the names, earlier she,” she pointed to Morgana, “mention a kingdom called Camelot.”
“What’s so significant about that?”Morgana asked.
“Well,” The Doctor said, turning towards Morgana, “There’s an old Legend on Earth, the planet that Begonia’s from, about a place called Camelot and it was ruled by a king named Arthur who was advised by a wizard named Merlin. You’re even in their too, to a certain extent.”
“What do you mean to a certain extent?”
“Well, some sourced will have the name Morgana Le Fay, others have Morgan Le Fay.”
“Oh.” Morgana was starting to get intrigued. “And-how exactly am I involved in this legend?”
“Well, actually, You’re ah, still the crazy psycho evil half sister. And on top of that you sleep with King Arthur, you’re half brother, and you have a son with him.”
“What?!” Morgana screeched, clearly alarmed, “Does anyone have ink, a quill, and a piece of parchment?”
“I have a sharpie.” The Doctor said, pulling it out of his coat, “You could write what you want to write down on your hand, and then write it down on parchment later.”
Morgana took the sharpie from the Doctor, took the cap off and started to write on the palm of her hand, saying aloud, “Do not sleep with Arthur.”
“Actually,” Begonia started, looking up at the Doctor, “Didn’t the son, Morgrid, kill King Arthur in a battle?”
“Yes,” The Doctor said, “I believe he did.”
Morgana turned her head to look at them for a second, and then turned back to her hand and wrote, saying aloud, “Okay, maybe sleep with Arthur.”
The Doctor turned to Morgana and said, “Just so know, Morgrid was also killed in that battle.”
Morgan turned back to her hand and wrote, saying aloud, “Still have to think about it and weight out the good in the bad.”
“Why do you want to kill your half-brother, anyway?” The Doctor asked.
“Like you just said, he’s the King of Camelot.”Morgana snapped.
“I said the one from the Earth legend is I had no clue about this one.” The Doctor said, “Wait, before we started talking about all this you said that you were on a campaign to rule Camelot, so why haven’t you tried to take it over while its monarch’s been missing? I not an expert in taking over countries but that kind of seems like a golden opportunity to do it.”
“I haven’t tried to invade because for one thing, I didn’t know he was missing.” Morgana said bitterly, And besides, even if I did, these scientist haven’t exactly blended in as much they’d liked to, so I’ve been trying to keep a low profile. I don’t want them to take me, too.”
Begonia pulled on the Doctor sleeve. “Doctor,” Begonia said, “This all interesting, but what about the Impala Project. We have to stop them. And we have to get Arthur and Merlin out of them. I’m not sure-I’m not sure how much more Merlin can take before-before-“
“Before his body gives out and he dies like the others?” The Doctor asked.
Begonia nodded, looking as if she was about to cry again.
“Hey,” The Doctor said, stroking Begonia’s cheek, “We’ll get them out, and we’ll stop the Impala Project. In fact, If I’m not mistaken I think you’ve already done something that could help already.”
“Begonia looked up at the Doctor, and said, “How?”
“Earlier you mentioned that you took a picture of Merlin after he got there. Something tells me that you took pictures of the other four too.” The Doctor said.
“I did,” Begonia said, “I thought that if UNIT ever sent someone to check in on the project’s progress I could shoe it to them and they’d stop everything. But no one ever came. I don’t know why even bothered with taking Merlin’s picture.”
“Actually,” The Doctor said, “I think it might still be able to help. If UNIT won’t come to you, I’ll just have to take you to UNIT. I know some people there and between those pictures and whatever you used to blackmail Julius.”
Begonia froze for a second shocked. She had never told him about that. How did he know?
“I just figured you had to have something on the old boy to make him do what you wanted.” The Doctor explained,” It’s alright, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
“Thank you,” Begonia whispered.
“Now,” The Doctor said, standing up, “Since we got that worked out, we better get going.” He helped Begonia to her feet. Then he walked over to Morgana and held out his arm. Morgana responded to this gesture buy looking up at him and saying, “You’re joking, right? I just told you I hated these men, now you want me to help save them? What makes you think I would do that?”
“Because,” The Doctor said, “Although yes, you would be saving the people who are apparently your arch nemesis, you’d also be stopping the people you are so terrified of you can’t go about your daily business, and I need three people for this to work, so I think you can call a temporary truce.”
“All right.” Morgana finally conceded, cocking her head to one side, “On one condition. Begonia tells us what she’s using to ‘blackmail’ as you put it, Julius.”
Begonia looked like someone had knocked the wind out of her. “No,” She said desperately, “No. No, I can’t. Doctor, I can’t!”
“Don’t worry, I’m not gonna make you tell her anything,” The Doctor reassured Begonia. Then he turned back to Morgana and said, “Whatever it is, it obviously involved something he did to her. Something she doesn’t want to talk about.”
“But if she’s keeping secrets how do I know I can trust her?” Morgana challenged,” Better yet, how do you know if you can trust her? I’m actually doing both of us a favor by asking about this.”
Before the Doctor could say anything else, Begonia sighed and said, “When we first came here, I was in one of the rooms one day, by myself, and Julius came in. We started talking and somehow it got around to my school, you know the one I went to before Dad dragged me out here, and I happen to mention the head cheerleader, Millicent Roads, and how good-looking she is. You know, cornslik blonde with baby blues and all the right curves in all the right places. Then, out of nowhere, he says she can’t be anywhere as beautiful as me. I tell him thank you, and then next thing I know he’s kissing me. So naturally, I pushed him off and asked him, “What are you doing?” He responds to my question by trying to feed me a lot of lines and basically trying to seduce me. I asked him to stop and-“ Begonia looked as if she would start to cry again for a moment but then chocked back the tears and continued, “That’s when he got rough. He grabbed my arms and held me to the side of the wall, and starting crying to kiss me again, but I moved my head out of the way and started yelling, ‘no, no!’ but then he grabbed my face and told me to shut up, but then Dr. White walked in, and Julius let go of me before he saw anything. When Dr. White asked what was going on, Julius said I had stumbled and was about to fall over, so he caught me. I was so scared that when Dr. White asked me if it was true, I said it was. We all left the room together, and I went to my room, and just sat there. A few minutes later he came in and told me that he had erased the security footage so if I told there’d be no proof and no one would believe me.” Then an inexplicable look of anger came over her face as she continued, “But that made me mad, so after he left I rolled up my sleeves and saw that the bruises from where he had grabbed me had already started to show, so I took my camera and took pictures of them. I tried to show them to my Dad, but I never could get him alone. As time went and on and things started getting worse, I knew he’d wouldn’t care, that he had been sucked in by Julius, that the Dad I knew was gone.”
A stricken looked came across Morgana as she got up as said, “You poor girl. I’m sorry. If I had know that was what you were hiding, I wouldn’t have made you tell it.” She was then right up next to Begonia and actually hugged her. The Doctor just watched as the scene unfolded, wondering how Morgana had gone from wanting to kill Morgana to hugging her.
“What?” Morgana said when she turned around and saw the Doctor’s questioning look, “She just told us she was pursued and attacked by a man old enough to be her father, and that she lost her father to that man’s influence. I may be a psycho, vindictive, witch who does whatever I have to get what I want, but I’m not completely heartless.”
That’s when they heard a scoff from behind a tree. They all turned towards the direction the scoff had come from. “Who’s there?” The Doctor called out.
A dark-skinned young woman, with long wavy black hair stepped out from behind one of the trees a little deeper in the forest. She just stared at them. At first the Doctor though it was just because of the strange sight. Even he knew that himself, Morgana, and Begonia were an odd trio just to look at, let alone when you had their back stories.
“Guinevere?”Morgana said, surprised.
“Wait, you know her, too?” The Doctor asked but thinking to himself, “Please don’t let this turn into another weird coincidence.”
All hope of that being the case was dashed when Guinevere explained, “She hates me too. Merlin’s a good friend of mine, and Arthur’s my husband.”
“Oh,” The Doctor said, “You want to help us then?”
“What do you think?” Guinevere said as she walked over to the group.
“Well, come on then!” The Doctor said, walking back to the TARDIS, “Allons-y!”
And so the four of them walked into the TARDIS, unsure of what the plan was, only that it would fix everything.
“What kind of magic is this?” Guinevere whispered as she looked around the inside of the TARDIS.
“It’s not magic,” The Doctor answered, jumping back and forth around the counsel , pushing buttons, and pulling levers as he went, “It looks smaller on the outside because of a device called a chameleon circuit and-can one of you come help me up here?”
Begonia ran up the ramp, and stopped just short of the panel.”What do you need me to do?”
“Push that button right there, and keep pushing it until I tell you to let up.” The Doctor said, tweaking something on the other side.
Begonia pushed a blue button. “You’re not human, are you, Doctor?” She asked looking up at him.
“What was your first clue?” The Doctor asked.
“Well, I knew it was odd, that there was this blue box that said police on the front in the middle of the forest especially on a planet where the closest thing they have to police are knights, but I was in shock at the time so it didn’t really register for a little bit. And then you started asking about what planet this was and just going on about it, the first thing I thought was hey, this guy might be able to help, rather than how does this guy know all this, which really should have been my first thought. But it was only when we saw,” She gestured around the counsel room, “All this, and it all started to come together. “ After a second Begonia added, “So-“
“So what?” The Doctor asked, really not sure what she wanted to know now.
“So, why do you look human?” Begonia asked, “Is it like some kind of skin suit, or hologram or-“
“Oh no, no skin suits, no holograms,” The Doctor replied sincerely, “This is just what I look like. And I don’t look human, you look Time Lord. We came first.”
Guinevere cut into the conversation, “And what, Lord Doctor, may I ask, were you doing here?”
“Oh, sorry,” The Doctor responded quickly, “I’m not a lord in the sense of having the title of Lord, Time Lord, is the name of my species. Don’t ask me how we decided to call ourselves that, I may be old but I’m not that old. As for what I was doing who, well I just traveling, that’s what I do, I travel ,and fix thing, and meet different people, and run into trouble a lot. Well, I don ‘t look for trouble, trouble just seems to find me, well, more than just find me, sometimes it seems to track me down and home in like a heat seeking missile. And it’s a good thing I did show up here, otherwise you guys might have never worked this mess out.”
“So that means you have a plan?”Begonia asked.
“Well, not a plan, exactly,” The Doctor admitted, “But I do have-a layout of what needs to be done, which, for me is an improvement. Usually I just-make it up as I go along. So, back to the layout. Okay, the first thing we need to do is get Merlin and Arthur because since they’re living breathing people they’re the most important aspect here, then we have to go get Begonia’s pictures. Then we take them all to UNIT, I’ll call in a few favors, and if everything goes as I hope, they’ll shut this operation down, and hopefully most of the people involved in this do some serious jail time.” It was then that the Doctor remembered that Begonia’s father was one of the people involved. “Begonia, I’m sorry. I didn’t think-“
“It’s okay, Doctor,” Begonia said, although she sounded more than a little sad as she said it, “I don’t know that man anymore. That’s not the Dad I grew up with, the one that raised me on his own after my mother died of a brain tumor when I was three. The one that taught me to be compassionate, and that the only thing nessarcery for evil to flourish is for good people to stay on the side lines and do nothing about it. Julius Ro’s influence destroyed that. I don’t know who that man is, but, he’s not my father anymore.”
In that moment, they all realized that Begonia was a shattered person. After all these months of these pent up emotions, these feelings of fear, and confusion and guilt, and anger, and helplessness, it was all coming out.
The Doctor had shown up just in time.
As Morgan walked around one of the brown tree like thingies-even the Doctor wasn’t sure what they were, she inadvertently changed the subject by saying, “You know, Doctor, I could do some real damage with this thing, you know, if you’d let me borrow it or-maybe we could work together sometime.”
“You know, Morgana,” The Doctor began, still moving around the consul, “You seem to have a lot of anger, in you.”
“So they tell me,” Morgana responded casually.
“I didn’t mean that as a compliment,” The Doctor said, “I think you should find a better way to channel your anger.” The Doctor continued to work as he talked, “You know, find something more constructive to do with it.”
“Like what?” Morgana asked.
“You know,” The Doctor said, still working on something on the console panel, “Some people build things, some people crack nuts, Taylor Swift writes rather unflattering song that becomes a almost instant hit, and makes her another million dollars. I mean, seriously, all her ex-boyfriends and that one critic should just from a club, call it the Taylor Swift Wrote A Rather Unflattering Song About Me Society, and get matching T-shirts.”
Both Morgana and Guinevere looked over to Begonia for a translation of what dollars meant, and what in the world the Doctor was talking about.
“Dollars is a monetary unit from a country called America,” Begonia explained, “And a million is a lot in any language.” After a moment of awkward silence, she added, “Taylor Swift is really popular. She writes her own songs and a lot of them are about her ex-boyfriends, and are, as the Doctor put it, very unfaltering. I’m big fan myself.”
“Begonia,” The Doctor called, “Can you come over here for minute? I need to talk to you about where I need to land.”
“Can I let go of the button?” Begonia asked.
“The button?” The Doctor asked, confused, but then it dawned on him what she was talking about.”Oh, the button. Yes, you could’ve let go of the a while ago. We just got to talking and I forgot you were holding it down. Sorry about that.”
Begonia didn’t say anything, just let go of the button and walked over to the Doctor. They talked for a bit in hushed whispers and then the Doctor took one last lever and said, “You might want to grab hold of something.” Then he pulled the lever down and everything started to move. Morgana gripped onto of the tree like thingies, Guinevere took hold of another tree like thingy, and Begonia fell back into the pilot’s bench. “Is it always this bumpy?!”Begonia shouted over the noise.
“Sometimes it’s much worst!” The Doctor shouted back.
“Doctor!” Morgana yelled, “You know how asked if I could borrow this?!”
“Yeah!” The Doctor yelled back, still moving around the consul.
“I take it back!” She screamed, “In fact, I think I just might try that singing thing!”
After she said that, the rasping whorl of ancient, tortured engines filled the air. Then all the moving and noise slowly faded until all they heard was the whorl of those engines, until finally, they came to a complete stop and everything was quiet. “Are we there?” Guinevere asked, still clutching her tree thingy.
“Yeah,” The Doctor said, “We’re here.”
The motley crew quickly walked to the ramp. “The way I see it, we need two people to get each man.” The Doctor began,” If I did it right the TARDIS should be right in the middle of the building, so Morgana and I will go to the left and get Arthur. Begonia, you and Guinevere go to the right and get Merlin.”
“Doctor,” Guinevere said cociously, “Are you sure it’s a good idea to have Morgana go get Arthur, especially given what you know. She’s tried to kill Arthur on more than one occasion.”
“Which is why I want her with me just in case she decides to try something,” The Doctor explained,” You’ve haven’t had the best of luck with her, and Begonia’s a child, do you really think if Morgana were to turn on Begonia, she’d be able to take her? And besides, she has reason to kill Merlin now too, remember?”
“Under the circumstances, I think I can control myself,” Morgana said, “I mean unless he’s…” Suddenly Morgana got a stricken look on her face and then said in an obvious state of shock, “Oh my God, he’s Emrys, isn’t he?”
“Since I don’t know who that is I’m going to say no,” The Doctor said, really just trying to speed things along, “Now, let’s go. We’ll do this as fast as we can, and meet back here, then we’ll get Begonia’s evidence.”
And with that they opens the doors and were emeditly hit with the sharp smell of antiseptic, and then split up, Begonia looking like she was afraid to go with Guinevere on the right, and The Doctor gently nudging Morgana as she said, in a daze, “He can’t be Emrys. Emrys was an old man and Merlin’s only twenty-four.” And the Doctor saying, “That’s right. Now can you move a little faster, please?”
Begonia and Guinevere ran down the hall as fast as they could hoping against the security guards weren’t on their tails. “Is he nearby?” Guinevere asked, looking back and forth as they ran.
“Yes, unless they moved him after what happened today he should be in the next room.” Begonia answered, the urgency of the situation clear in her voice. She ran into that room, and Guinevere fallowed her, and sure enough Merlin was there, strapped down to the cot, asleep, but writing in the obvious terror of a nightmare. The girls could make out the slight murmur of a “No, no. Don’t, please. No.”
Guinevere raced over to Merlin and started shaking his shoulder saying, “Merlin, wake up. Wake up.”
Merlin woke with a gasp and looked around and disbelief. He turned to win and whispered in a raspy voice, “This dream’s a lot better than the one I just had.”
Guinevere gently pushed the hair that had just fallen in front of Merlin’s eyes out of his face, saying, “It’s not a dream, Merlin, I’m really here to rescue you. Me, and Begonia and, oddly enough Morgana, and this man called the Doctor. Begonia told us everything that’s been happening.”
“So that means…” Merlin’s voice trailed off, but then he got himself together and said, “You know I’m a, a…” He couldn’t bring himself to say the word and he wasn’t sure why.
“Yes, I know you’re a sorcerer.” Guinevere said, “And I don’t see any differently. You’re my friend and you’re in trouble, and that’s all that matters.”
“I’m not the only in trouble,” Merlin rasped, “Did you get Arthur out?”
“The Doctor and Morgana went to get him.”Guinevere explained.
“Morgana!” Merlin half cried, half rasped, rather panicked.
“Don’t worry.” Guinevere said quickly, “The Doctor wanted Morgana with him in case she tried anything. “
“Now that we have that established can we untie him before we’re discovered?” Begonia asked urgently.
As Guinevere and Begonia started to undo the strap on Merlin’s left arm, Merlin whispered a spell and the straps flew off. Merlin sat up only to have searing pain crossed through his body, which had yet to recover from the dissection.
“Okay,” Begonia said, grabbing Merlin’s left arm and putting it over her shoulder, “Let’s get you out of here. Do you think you can stand?”
“Yes.” Merlin answered, as Begonia and Guinevere helped him off the gurney. The girls let go, and Merlin could stand thought somewhat awkwardly, but when he tried to walk he fell. A combination of the dissection, the other procedures that he had been forced to endure, and being strapped to a gurney when he wasn’t being examined had left his legs too weak to walk on his own. Begonia and Guinevere quickly helped him to his feet, and propping him up with one girl on each side, started to walk out of the room. Begonia’s foot caught on a circular opening in the floor, and all their stomachs contracted when they thought of why a room would need a drain. The human miseries that must have been hosed off those white tiles…
While all this was going on, on the other side of the building The Doctor and Morgana looked over the wall into the next hallway, and saw a guard standing in front of one of the rooms. “Let me guess,” Morgana said, “The room with the guard in front of it is the one where Arthur’s being held.”
“Suicide watch,” The Doctor confirmed, “We just need to find a way to distract him.”
“I think I have a way.” Morgana said, and stepped out from the corner, put her arms in front of her, and moved them in a swaying motion, and said a spell the Doctor couldn’t even understand. When she was done her eyes glowed gold for a second after the glow had faded the guard flew across the room, hit the wall and was reentered unconscious.
The Doctor stood up, and walked to her very angry, and asked, “Why did you do that?”
“You wanted him out of the way, so I got him out of the way.” Morgana said nonchalantly.
“I wanted to distract him, not clobber him.”
“Well it worked, didn’t it?”
The Doctor was still frustrated, but knew they had no time to lose, so he just said, “Let’s go.” Then, as an afterthought, turned around and added, “And don’t kill anyone.”
The pair walked into the room to find Arthur with one hand cuffed to a gray plastic chair. The hand cuff clanged as he stood up when they came into the room. He was obviously on edge and surprised to see them.
“It’s alright,” The Doctor said, as if he were trying to calm down a frightened child, “I’m the Doctor, and-well, you already know Morgana, but I got her to call a temporary truce. Because, well, basically she’s scared of these guys too. We’re here to get you out of here.” The Doctor pulled the sonic screwdriver out of his pocket, pushed a button on it, and the hand cuff tethering Arthur to the chair came undone.
“What about Merlin?” Arthur asked, looking at them as if he was still unsure whether or not to trust the pair, “Have you rescued him too?” A second later he got a stricken look on his face, and said, “Oh my God. They haven’t…”
“To my knowledge he’s still alive,” The Doctor reassured him, “Begonia and Guinevere went to get him.”
“Gwen’s here too?” Arthur asked, surprised.
“Yes, now if you don’t mind we all need to get out of here as fast as we can before somebody notices something’s amiss.” The Doctor said, grabbing Arthur’s wrist and heading towards the door.
“How come they haven’t sent anyone after us, anyway?” Morgana commented, “The way Begonia made it sound they’d be on us the minute we penetrated the walls.”
“I used electrical fecerncies and my sonic screwdriver to turn the cameras off.” The Doctor explained.
“Impressive,” Morgana responded.
Just then Arthur noticed the black writing on Morgana’s hand. “Morgana, what’s this?” He asked taking her hand and read the note. “Why do you have a note that saids, “Do not sleep with Arthur. Okay, maybe sleep with Arthur. Still have to way out the good and bad,” written on your hand?”
“No reason,” Morgana said nervously. She wasn’t sure if she was going to carry out a plan involving having a child with Arthur or not, but he still didn’t want him to know about her possible plan, just in case.
“ We told Morgana that the set up you guys have here is similar to an old legend on a planet called Earth,” The Doctor explained, “ And in that legend a king named Arthur has a son with his crazy half sister named Morgana.”
“What?!” Arthur shrieked, horrified.
“That was her reaction when she first heard it. But then when we explained that that son would one day kill Arthur she started to consider the idea. Then when we told her that the son also died in that battle she decided she weigh that pros and cons, in case she got attached to her son, I guess."
“Whatever she used to write that on her hand, do either of you still have it?”Arthur asked urgently.
The Doctor took the sharpie from his jacket pocket, handed it to Arthur and said, “Knock yourself out.”
Arthur snatched the marker from the Doctor hand, and quickly scribbled on his own hand, also reciting aloud, “Never, under any circstances sleep with Morgana.” He then looked up at Morgana and said, “I don’t how even you could even consider that. I’m your brother for God’s sake! And you don’t even like me! “
The two groups arrived at the TARDIS at the exact same time. The Doctor was horrified to see Merlin’s condition. He knew the young man would be worse for wear, but this was worse than he ever imagined. His skin was so pale it was translucent, his saved head reveled stitches from a procedure of some sort, and the short sleeves of his hospital gown reveled stitches going down his arms and hands, there was dazed, glassed over look in his eyes, he was so week that Guinevere and Begonia had to prop him up and help him walk, and his lips were tinged with the blue of the beginning stages of hypothermia.
All this the group saw in an instant. The Doctor quickly ran over to Merlin with Arthur right behind him. The Doctor took off his coat and threw it over Merlin. “We need to get him in the TARDIS. Now.”
Everyone tried to get into the TARDIS at once, which made it difficult for anyone to get in, but eventually they managed it, and the Doctor, Begonia, Guinevere, Arthur and the Doctor rushed Merlin over to the consol bench and laid him on it. “W-what is this place?” Merlin managed to get out.
“This is the TARDIS,” the Doctor answered, “It’s how I travel.”
“You’re the Doctor, I take it,” Merlin said.
“Yeah, that’s me,” The Doctor said, and then turned back to the group and instructed, “Okay, I found his pulse. I need one of you to keep track of it.” Begonia started to walk to the bench, but the Doctor grabbed her arm, saying, “Oh, no, not you Begonia. I have something I need you to do.”
“I can do it,” Guinevere volunteered, “Just tell what a pulse is, and how to take it.”
“Come over here,” The Doctor instructed, beckoning with his hand to the bench. He took Merlin’s wrist in his hand and began to explain. “A pulse a beat in a person’s neck of risk that help someone keep track of their heartbeat. Now, you take two fingers,” He held up two fingers and then placed them in the center of Merlin’s wrist, saying, “And place them here. You should feel a steady beat,” The Doctor handed the wrist off to Guinevere, continuing to say,” Do you feel it?”
“Yes.” Guinevere answered.
“Good, now make sure that beat stays right where it is. If it starts to go down or get week, call me over here.” The Doctor instructed, “Now he’s also in the beginning stages of hypothermia, so make sure nothing changes, if he inexplicably starts to feel hot or fall asleep, get me over here. If he falls asleep with severe hypothermia he might not wake up.”
Merlin spoke up, “How severe is the hypothermia I have now?”
“Like I said,” The Doctor began,” “You’re in the beginning stages, but I was sugar coating it a minute ago. If you fall asleep with any degree of hypothermia, you might not wake up.”
“I’ll just have to make sure I don’t fall asleep then,” Merlin responded.
“Doctor!” Begonia called out.
The Doctor turned around. Begonia continued, “You said you needed me to do something.”
“Aw, yes!” The Doctor said, remembering what he wanted Begonia to do and taking her aside, “Now, I don’t how much time we have before they catch on, and catch up with us, so what I’m gonna do is park the TARDIS outside your room, and you need to run in there as fast as you can, gather up all your evidence as fast as you can, and then run back here as fast as you can. I’ll leave the motor running.”
“Okay,” Begonia replied.
Without another word the Doctor ran over to the consul and starting pushing buttons and pulling levers once again. Then once again the TARDIS shook and bumped and made all sorts of noise and once again the whirl of tried, tortured, ancient engines started up again. Both Arthur and Merlin looked to Guinevere. “This happened last time,” She explained, once again having to shout to be heard above the noise, “And it’s apparently not magic!”
“Then what is it then?!” Arthur screamed back.
“I have no idea!”Guinevere screamed back, ”But I think I’m actually starting to like it!”
The shaking, and whirling and wheezing lasted just long enough for everyone to find something to hold on to, then it slowly faded, and then finally ceased all together. Without even having to be told, Begonia rang down the ramp, trussed the down opened and ran into her room. She threw the thin mattress off of the cot and grabbed a small black camera, and a vanilla folder, and turned back to the enter the TARDIS when she heard a familiar voice behind her say, “Begonia?”
Begonia turned around to see her father standing in the door way, clutching something in his hands.
“Dad.” Begonia said, trying to keep the fear out of her voice. What was he going to do? Would he call out for help? Were people already on their way? Would he try to stop them himself? Cloud they fight him off?”
“Begonia,” He said again, although now his voice was weak and somewhat weepy, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so, very sorry.” Then he ran over to his daughter and hugged her, crying. Begonia looked around, stunned, confused, and still scared of being discovered. “Dad?” She asked, “What’s going on?”
Begonia’s father pulled back out of the embrace, and revealed what he was holding. It was some kind of tape. “I found this in Julius’ office.” He said solemnly.
Begonia started to put all the pieces together and dawned on her what it must be on that tape. “Does that mean…you know what he tried to do to me?”
“Yes!” Her father cried, “Why didn’t you tell me, sweetheart?”
“ I tried to,” Begonia said, her own voice now on the edge of tears, “But, Julius told me he had destroyed that tapes, but I took pictures of the bruises anyway, but I could never get aside to try to tell, and then you changed. You became so distant, so cold, you did anything Julius told you to…you did such horrible things to those poor people!” Begonia could hold back the tears no longer.
“I know, I know,” Begonia’s father said, grabbing his daughter once again in a tight embrace ,”I see that now, and when I look back I can’t believe abhorrent things I’ve done. I don’t know how I let myself get sucked in or how it went this far. I never meant for it to go this far, believe me, I didn’t. I promise you, I’ll do everything I can to earn your forgiveness and make penitence for these horrendous atrocities I’ve committed. I’m sorry. I’m just so sorry.”
Just then Clint Slaney felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see a serious looking man with dark brown and eyes and dark brown hair staring at him and Begonia, and he was a bit startled by the mysterious new arrival.
“This is the Doctor,” Begonia explained, breaking the hug and gesturing towards the strange man, “He’s helping us escape. Merlin and Arthur and…and me.”
“Oh,” Clint said in a slightly hallow voice, “I see.”
“Come with us,” Begonia said, almost pleading, “If you truly mean what you say, you can start making amends by telling UNIT what’s happened here, back us up. Please.”
Clint looked down at Begonia, “I’ll come with you, and tell them everything I know.” He took hold his daughter’s hand and squeezed it. “Let’s go.”
The Doctor headed back into the TARDIS, a smile slipping onto his face as Begonia and her father fallowed behind him hand in hand. After months in a dark fog, seduced into mindlessly fallowing Julius and doing whatever terrible crime he told him to, Clint had found a way through the madness back to humanity.
Begonia had her father back at last.
When they got inside the TARDIS Begonia and her father stood off to the side, unsure of where to go, while the Doctor rushed back up to the consul once again and started working on it. This time almost everyone instinctively found something to hold on to and clung to it for dear life. Begonia’s father looked around, confused.
“Trust me,” Begonia said, as took firm hold of one of the tree thingies, “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” Then she took a glance over to Merlin, Arthur and Guinevere. Guinevere caught her peeking. “Do you want something, Begonia?”
“Oh,” Begonia said nervously and more than a bit embarrassed at being caught, “I was just wondering if you guys were okay.”
“Why don’t you come over here and see for yourself?” Guinevere suggested, her mouth in a little half smile.
“I didn’t think you’d want me over there,” Begonia said, half-mumbling the statement, “Not after everything’s that happened.”
“You mean, after you saved our lives?” Arthur put in.
“And gave us the things we need to keep them from doing this again,” Morgana added from her spot in the tree-thingies, far away from any of the others.
“But they did all those experiments,” Begonia said, her guilt evident in her voice, “And I did nothing. They tortured those people and killed them. Look what they did to Merlin.” She took a deep breath then added, “Don’t you hate me for that?”
Guinevere started to walk over to Begonia but then the TARDIS started moving again and she fell down. She sat up, frustrated. Of all the times for the TARDIS to start up, why now? Now, when she needed to tell Begonia they didn’t hate her. That none of them hated her. In truth, it was hard to hate Begonia. In fact, it was quite easy to feel sorry for her, even pity her. At age 15, Begonia had seen more human misery, more abused bodies pushed beyond human endurance, more madness, megalomania and death than any human being should have to witness in lifetime. All of a sudden, the TARDIS stopped bumping and shaking, and became almost-smooth. Smooth enough for Guinevere to walk over to Begonia, take Begonia’s hands in hers, and say, “Begonia, I can guarantee you that no one in this room hates you. We know that none of this was your fault. You no power over what was going on and you didn’t ask for any of this. But you found a way to do something. You gather proof, kept it safe, and when you found someone that could help, you got the help and together we got them out. Merlin and Arthur are here because of you. They’re alive because of you. If anything, we’re grateful to you. But no, no, we could never hate you.”
All of a sudden, Begonia felt as if an enormous weight had been lifted off her body. “Oh, thank you, thank you,” She whispered ,throwing her arms around Guinevere. It startled Guinevere for a moment but then she wrapped her arms around Begonia, returning the embrace.
Back at the consul, the Doctor leaned down and whispered into it, “Thanks, old girl.”
The TARDIS came to a stop. The Doctor turned around and said, “Now, if everyone’s done setting the record straight with everyone else, there are some UNIT people outside who would probly like to talk to us.” He then gestured towards the door and then headed down the ramp, followed by Begonia, Clint, Morgana, and lastly, Guinevere on the left, Merlin in the middle, and Arthur on the right.
They all walked out and sure enough, there was a line of full-uniformed UNIT personal standing outside wearing a mixture of scared, surprised, confused, disbelieving, and even a few happy looks. A somewhat familiar looking young woman with her light brown hair pulled back in a pony tail step forward and greeted the Doctor with a salute. The Doctor threw his head back and rolled his eyes.”Why must they always salute?” The Doctor thought to himself.
“Doctor,” The young woman said, “I’m Captain Fawn Anson.”
“Oh,” The Doctor said, as it dawned on him where he had seen her before, “From New York. But then you were a luteintet. “
“What?!” The gang cried simultaneously, back at the bar.
“Yeah, I know,” The Doctor said, “I could hardly believe it myself.”
“So what happened next?!” A very excited Robin practically squealed.
“Well, after I said that, Fawn said…”
“Yeah, after that whole fiasco in New York we all got demoted, obviously, I mean, we caused a full-blown riot but then I work my way back up, and I worked my way all the way up to Captain.”
“Good for you,” The Doctor said, “But, I’m here about a very serious matter. Do you know what the Impala Project is?”
Fawn seemed stunned for a minute, and then said, “Of course I know about it. We’ve been trying to reestablished contact with them for weeks; we were just about to send out a rescue party.”
“Well, I’ve done all the rescuing already for you. What you really need to do is the arresting.” The Doctor said.
“Wait, what do you mean you’ve been trying to reestablished contact?” A very confused Clint asked.
“We’ve lost contact with the impala project several months ago,” Fawn explained, “We’ve been trying to send a search party to try to find them, that’s what all this is, but complications keep popping up.”
“What kind of complications?” The Doctor asked.
“Well, for starters, the transporter we had discovered that allowed us to go back and forth between Gamma 5 and Earth mysteriously broke,” Fawn said, “And we couldn’t figure out what caused it.”
“I have a feeling I know,” The Doctor said, the implication clear in his voice, “Fawn tell me, did you give them permission to hold natives against their will and do experiments on them?”
“What?!” Fawn cried, obviously shocked, “No. We only authorized them to observe the natives in secret, maybe approach them and talk with them if they felt they could without getting hurt, or hurting anyone else, but no, we never sanctioned any experiments on anyone. I’ll be honest, yes, Dr. Julius Ro, the head of the project repeated asked for permission to do the very thing you speak of, but we told him no every time. I mean, these are still human beings we’re talking about here. Doctor, why are you looking at me like that?” She was referring to the knowing look that Doctor had on his face. Then her eyes moved back and forth between the look of horror, disbelief, surprise and shock on the faces of the group behind them, and added, “Why are you all looking at me like that?”
“Oh, God,” Clint sobbed.
With that, the dots connected in Fawn’s mind and the reason they were there hit her like a ton of cinder bricks in a bad made of Kevlar. “Crap,” Fawn said, hollowly, “He did it anyway, didn’t he?”
“Yes,” The Doctor said, “They had five “subjects” four of which are dead, the other one’s standing behind me, the one with the saved head being held up between two people. His name’s Merlin.”
Fawn gave him a look that clearly made it known she was thinking, “Are you serious?”
“Yeah. I know.” The Doctor said “He’s in need of medical attention. Aside from being left extremely weak because they’ve preformed several major surgeries on him mere days apart, he’s also got hypothermia, probly the result of wearing nothing but a backless hospital gown for two weeks, and I’m worried about infection, he seems somewhat out of it.”
“We’ll take care of it,” Fawn said, then turned around gestured towards of the soldiers in line, saying, “James, Pinkerton.”
Two men stepped forward from the line and walked over to Guinevere, Merlin and Arthur and tried to retrieve Merlin, but the couple kept a firm grasp. “Don’t worry,” One of the soldiers said gently, “We’re not going to hurt him.”
The Doctor walked over to the group. “Would it help if I went with them?” He asked.
“We trust you, Doctor,” Arthur said, “But all the same, we want to go with them.”
The Doctor looked at Fawn, asking her permission with his face.
“They can go with them and so can you,” Fawn said, “But I want to talk to all of you later. And Doctor-“
The Doctor turned around from where the group was already walking away, “Yes?”
“Who are these three?” Fawn was pointing at Begonia, Clint, and Morgana.
“Oh,” The Doctor said, realizing he had forgot to explain their presence, “Well, that’s Begonia, she’s the daughter of one of the scientist, she’s the one who started this whole rescue mission, and she gather proof of what had been going on, she wanted to show you the proof when you checked in, but you never did, I guess we know why now. And that’s Morgana, she’s a native of the planet, she also has the Impala Gene, we convinced her to help us because she wanted to get rid of the project because they scare the heck out of her, and that’s Clint, he’s Begonia’s father. He saw the light and came with us to tell you what’s been happening.”
After the Doctor had finished speaking, the group rushed off to the infirmary. Fawn walked toward the three left behind, stopping short of Begonia. “So, Begonia, may I call you Begonia? I didn’t get your last name.”
“It’s Slaney,” Begonia said, quietly, “My name is Begonia Slaney, but yes, you can call me Begonia.”
“Thank you. Now that we have that settled,” Fawn began, “Do you have that evidence with you?”
“Yes,” Begonia her lips going up to form a smile, the first sincere, unforced smile she had smiled in months, “yes, I do.”
Two months later, Begonia found herself sitting in a near empty courtroom audience. The only other people in the audience were the other peopled called by the prosecution to testify, which were Fawn, Arthur, Guinevere, The Doctor, James and Pinkerton, and several scientist, and security guards from the Impala Project who made deals for less jail time, including her father. At that moment, she looked over at him. It was the first time she’d seem him outside of prison since that day at UNIT. His sentence was eighteen months, so in the meantime Begonia was living with her Aunt Joy in Dorset. Aunt Joy was actually waiting for her outside of the courtroom, as they weren’t allowing any civilians in who weren’t testifying against or for Julius Ro. Everyone else was with UNIT; the judge was with UNIT, the entire jury was with UNIT the crown prosecutor was with UNIT, even Julius’ barrister was with UNIT.
Begonia turned back to the witness stand, where Merlin was testifying.
Merlin looked down at his hands, which he had in his lap, and then looked up again at the crown prosecutor. That’s what the crown prosecutor told him he was called when they were prepping him for the trail. What Merlin didn’t get was if the Royal family had very little power in government anymore and the Prime Minister and Parliament were the ones in charged why the prosecutors were still called crown prosecutors, he even asked about it, but no one would explain it to him. They were too busy making sure he was ready to testify. Even right before today’s proceedings started, the prosecutor was concerned Merlin wouldn’t hold up on cross examination. Merlin couldn’t blame him. He was worried he wouldn’t hold up on cross examination. The crown prosecutor, The Doctor, Begonia, and about a dozen other people had explained to him, the barrister defending Julius would try to destroy Merlin’s creditability, probably using the fact that he had magic, or the fact that he had kept it secret for years, making it look like he was crazy or a liar, or maybe even both. But that wasn’t the part he was dreading the most. The part he was dreading the most was happening right now: having to recount the whole ordeal from the moment he and Arthur was attacked in the forest to the moment he was allowed to leave the UNIT infirmary and go back to Camelot. He hated telling it, because telling it meant remembering it and remembering it meant reliving it all over again. “Just one more time,” He told himself silently, “Just one more time and everything goes back to normal, and you can try to forget this ever happened.” Of course he knew that last part wasn’t true, the part about forgetting it ever happened. In fact things were already starting to get back to normal, which the expectation of the Doctor taking them back and forth between the two planets, of course, but there was no way he could even attempt to forget it never happened it had changed too many things. Arthur, Guinevere, and Morgana all knew he was a sorcerer. They hadn’t told anyone and they weren’t treating him that much different, but still, there were little, shuttle things they would do. Like whenever something would fall, break or anything else happened inexplicably, they would sometimes look at him as if they were wondering if he had a part in it, and if they were alone he’d insist he didn’t do it until they said they believed him, this was a thing Arthur was more often guilty of doing then Guinevere. Then there were the times when was jumpy, and he couldn’t stop feeling jumpy, and when they noticed it was one of those days they immediately became concerned. And two weeks before when Morgana made her first attempt to take over Camelot since they parted ways after the rescue [And by parted ways we mean sunk off after they got back to their planet before she could be apprehended for the other times she had tried to take over Camelot], the first thing she did was try to kill him, where usually that was more of an afterthought for her. Fortunately, since the two were completely alone, and it wasn’t as if he had to hide the magic from her anymore, he was able to use his strongest magic, not only was he able to fend her off, they actually apprehended her. Unfortunately they only apprehended her for two hours and then she escaped. So, no he couldn’t forget this ever happened, but things could go back to some resemblance of normal.
The crown prosecutor asked his next question.”Merlin, can you tell us what happened after Mrs. Pendragon and Ms. Slaney retrieved you from the Impala Project facility?”
Merlin paused a minute, then said, “We went to the TARDIS, the Doctor put his coat around me, and we went in, we got Begonia’s pictures and then we went to UNIT headquarters, and they took me to the infirmary and interviewed all of us.”
“Now Merlin,” The crown prosecutor began, “You said, the Doctor put his coat around you before you all enter his vessel, the TARDIS. Now, why did he do that?”
“He realized I had z condition called hypothermia,” Merlin explained, “a condition where a person gets too cold and the body begins to shut down.”
“And Merlin,” the crown prosecutor said, “Was the Doctor correct in his assumption?”
“Yes,” Merlin answered, “They confirmed it at the infirmary.”
“And Merlin were there any other conditions or injuries discovered during your time at the infirmary?” The crown prosecutor asked.
“Yes,” Merlin answered, “In addition to the hypothermia, I had several small cuts on my body as well as some internal organs as a result of the dissection, and several of my stitches from other procedures had become infected from being reopened over and over again. I had to stay in the infirmary for four weeks before I was permitted to leave. After the infections were gone, and the stitches and cuts had fully healed.”
“Thank you, Merlin,” The crown prosecutor said, “I’m through with this witness.”
Julius’s barrister, a woman in her early forties with dark brown hair and cold gray eyes, stepped up and sauntered over to the stand. “Now, Merlin,” The barrister began, “Will you tell the court why my client was allegedly holding you captive?”
“Allegedly.” Merlin hated that word, allegedly. There was nothing alleged about what Julius had did. But he held his tongue and said, ”It’s because I have what UNIT calls the Impala Gene and what my people call magic.”
“And when you say your people, whom do you mean?” The barrister asked.
“Objection, my Lady, “the crown prosecutor said, standing up from his desk, “Relevance?”
“Sustained,” The judge said from the bench, “Next question Ms. Mack.”
“Merlin,” the barrister, Ms. Mack, said, “Is it true that, “magic,” as your people call it, is illegal where you come from?”
“Yes,” Merlin answered. He wished he could tell her it only use to be, but, alas, Arthur hadn’t said a word about lifting the ban on magic, and he was the only one who could do it.
“In fact, it is a crime punishable by death, is it not?” Ms. Mack asked.
“Objection, my Lady,” the crown prosecutor cried, once again standing up from his desk, “Relevance?”
“If you let me continue, you’ll see my Lady.” Ms. Mack said.
“I’ll allow it,” The judge said, but she pointed her gavel at Ms. Mack and added, “But tread lightly, Ms. Mack. The witness will answer the question.”
“Yes, it is punishable by death.” Merlin said. He thought he knew what the relevance was. She was going to try to make him seem like a liar because he was still alive.
“But you’re not dead,” Ms. Mack said, “Why is that?”
“Well, I’ve kept it a secret,” Merlin replied, “Only a few people know about it and thankfully they haven’t told anyone.”
“Have you ever had to lie, to keep your secret, Merlin?” Ms. Mack asked.
“No,” Merlin said firmly, “I have not told people things, I have let them draw the wrong conclusions and failed to correct, but at least when it comes to magic I have never lied.”
“A lie of omission is still a lie,” Ms. Mack said, “I’m done with this witness.” And with that he walked away with a satisfied smirk on her face.
The crown prosecutor stood up again walked over to the stand. “Merlin,” he began, “Was it explained to you ramifications of lying under oath?”
“Yes,” Merlin answered, “I was told it was called prudery, and I could go to prison for it.”
“And with that knowledge, have you lied here today at any point?” The crown prosecutor asked.
“No,” Merlin answered, firmly.
“Have you not told us anything, or let us draw wrong conclusions and failed to correct us?” The crown prosecutor asked.
“No,” Merlin said, this time more forcefully than he meant to, “I told you everything you asked about.”
“And so you any reason today to lie here in any sense of the word?” The crown prosecutor asked.
“No,” Merlin said, being careful to keep his voice in check this time.
“And do you have any reason today to lie about what happened to you?” The crown prosecutor asked.
“No,” Merlin answered.
“And Merlin, why are you testifying here today?” The crown prosecutor asked.
Merlin paused a minute, swallowed and finally said forcefully, “For two weeks they,” he had to pause a minute to get his bearings together and said, “they cut me, tortured me, humiliated me, held my friend captive, and threatened to kill him to keep me and line, but I honestly thought we were both going to die there. And they had done this before. Four other people were put through the some ordeal I was, only they weren’t so lucky. They died. No, they were murdered. And Julius Ro was the one who murdered them. He oversaw all of the procedures and took part in all of them, he gave the original order to kill Arthur, my friend, and he’s the one who took it back, he was the one in charge. And he’s the one who needs to be punished. He needs to be stopped. And I’m one of the only people who can tell what happened. That’s why I’m testifying here today.”
“Thank you, Merlin,” The crown prosecutor said sincerely, “The prosecution is done with this witness, my Lady.”
The judge looked over to Merlin and said, “The witness may leave the stand.”
Merlin got up and resisted the urge to run back into the audience, walked slowly down the aisles and slid into the spot between Guinevere and Begonia. Begonia grabbed his hand and whispered, “You were very brave.”
“Thank you,” Merlin whispered back. That meant a lot to him, considering he felt like he was about to faint.
After Merlin’s testimony there was nothing much else, the judge sent the jury out for deliberation. The people in the audience had been ordered to stay in the courtroom until the jury came back, unless this took more than one day, then, of course, they would be allowed to go home. Fortunately it never came to that because the jury was back in half an hour. “The defendant will rise.” The judge ordered.
Julius stood up in the defendant box.
“Foreperson, please rise.” The judge said.
A scrawny man with short brown hair stood up.
“Has the jury reached a verdict?” The judge asked.
“We have, my Lady.”The foreperson answered, “On the first count of the incitement, kidnapping, we find the defendant, guilty. On the second count of the incitement, kidnapping, we find the defendant, guilty. On the third count of the incitement, kidnapping, we find the defendant, guilty. On the forth count of the incitement, kidnapping we find the defendant, guilty. On the fifth count of the incitement, kidnapping, we find the defendant, guilty. On the sixth count of the incitement, murder, we find the defendant, guilty. On the seventh count of the incitement, murder, we find the defendant, guilty. On eight count of the incitement, we find the defendant, guilty. On the ninth count of the incitement, we find the defendant, guilty. On the tenth count of the incitement, attempted murder, we find the defendant, guilty.” As the foreperson caught his breath, the courtroom broke into quiet applause.
After that Julius was quickly sentenced to four life sentences for the murders and 169 years for the other accounts. Then everyone got up and left. As the group left the courtroom, Begonia turned to the rest of them and said, “ I guess this is goodbye.”
“Yeah,” Merlin said, “I guess it is.”
They all paused a moment and then Begonia threw her arms around Merlin’s neck. Merlin was surprised but after a moment returned the embrace, wrapping his arms around her upper waist. “I’m sorry we couldn’t have met under better circumstances.” Begonia whispered in Merlin’s ear. It was true. If things had been different, the pair might have been good friends, instead of the awkward aqutiences they now were. And she had to emit, if it wasn’t for the age difference she might even want to date him.
“Yeah,” Merlin whispered back, “Me, too.” He knew exactly where Begonia was coming from. He was having the exact same thoughts. Except for the dating part. He was the older one after all and from his perspective Begonia was just a child.
“You take care of yourself, okay?” Begonia whispered, her voice chocking a little.
“I will,” Merlin reassured her, “And thank you. Thank you for everything.”
Then the pair broke the embrace, and as it broke Begonia said, “You’re welcome.”
Begonia turned to face Arthur. Arthur, never one to show his emotions, and a married man, stepped back. He and Begonia stood there awkwardly for a moment and then Begonia through him a bone by extending a hand to shake. Arthur extend took Begonia’s hand and shook it, saying, “You be good, alright?”
“I will,” Begonia said, then she turned to Guinevere. Guinevere instantly grabbed the girl up in her arms, allowing Begonia’s head to rest on her bosom. After a minute they let go and the pair looked each other strait and the face and Guinevere said, “Thank you for helping us so much.”
“You’re welcome,” Begonia said, ”But it’s really the Doctor you should thank.” Then she finally turned to the Doctor, and threw her arms around his neck. Instantly, the Doctor wrapped his arms around her, unafraid and unashamed. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. And you’ll never know how grateful I am to you for that. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” The Doctor said, sincerely, and in way that made it known he wasn’t used to being thanked for the things he did.
The Doctor and Begonia broke the hug, just in time because right after they did, a female voice called out from some distance behind them, “Begonia!”
“That’s my Aunt,” Begonia said, breaking with the group, “Gotta go.” She quickly walked backwards and called to the group, “Goodbye!” And then she turned around ran towards her aunt, and the group started to walk away, both parties heading towards uncertain futures.
“So what happened?” Ted asked, back at the bar.
“I took them back until and then I left,” The Doctor answered.
“Yeah, I figured that, ”Ted said flatly, then with an inquisitive tone continued, “But what about Merlin? Did his friends ever except him for who he is?”
“They were already on their way to doing that,” The Doctor said, “But I don’t know if they ever fully came ‘round, I never went back. That’s what I do. I go to places and then I don’t go back.” The Doctor stared into his glass, which was over half drunk by now, thoughtfully, and again said, “I don’t go back.”
“Doctor,” Barney piped up, trying to change the subject, “I’ve been thinking about something you said earlier, and I’m curious, what is Hallow Earth?”
The Doctor thought about then remembered mentioning it, and said, “Oh. Right. Well, Hallow Earth is basically what it sounds like, it’s somewhere around the center of the Earth, and several difference types of Abnormal species, and it’s an extremely advanced set up technology wise. Or at least they were until Adam Worth destroyed Praxis.”
“And what were you doing down there?”Lilly asked.
“Well,” The Doctor began, “My friend Helen Magnus, you know the one I mention earlier-”
“Yeah, the one who’s over a hundred years, knows a “dead” famous inventor, and helps out these Abnormal guys.” Robin cut in, recapping what they had already been told about the woman.
“Yeah,” The Doctor said, “That’s the one. Well anyway, she run this network, she calls it the Sanctuary Network, and they protect Abnormals and one of the things they’re involved in is trying to get refugees from Hallow Earth that are stranded on the surface and wish to return to Hallow Earth, back to Hallow Earth, and during one of those trips a team head accidently awakened a small tribe of Silurians. It was a small tribe, only five of them in all, but still, they were mad.”
“Excuse me Doctor,” Marshall cut in, “What are Silurians and what are they doing in our planet?”
“Well it’s their planet, too,” The Doctor said, “The Silurian reptilian creatures who are natives of Earth, but their asromermers saw the moon coming into obit and thought it was a meteorite that would hit the Earth and destroy everything, so they, literally, went underground, and waited for Earth to become habitable again. So, anyway, Helen couldn’t get down to deal with it at the time, so she asked me if I could.”
The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS and looked around at the barren landscape around him. He was the only living thing there. “Hmm,” The Doctor thought to himself, “That’s strange. Helen said that girl she has down here would met me here.”
As if on cue he saw three people walking towards him. One was a brown skinned you woman with a neat mess of raven hair tied up on her head, the other a man slightly older than her, but not too much older with short black hair and pupils shaped like pea pod. There was a third person, but they standing behind the other two and the Doctor couldn’t get a good look at that person.
When the people got a few feet away from the Doctor, the young woman said, “You must be the Doctor.” She extended her hand and she and the Doctor shook hands. “And you must be Kate Freelander.”
“I am,” She said, and then nodded at the man next to her and said, “And this is my, fiancé, Garris.”
“Congratulations,” The Doctor beamed.
“That camp’s this way,” Kate said, turning around.
After five minutes they came to an encampment consisting of six people, five of them clearly Abnormals. Kate called out, “Hey, Kyra!”
The sixth person, a small, willowy girl with long auburn hair held back in a braid, who had been playing with a fanged, red eyed toddler, looked up.
“Can you come over here a minute?” Kate asked.
The girl walked over to them. As she got closer and the Doctor got a better look at her, he realized there was something familiar about her, like he had seen her before. Something about her ivory skin, her bright green eyes, even the red and black stripped shirt she was wearing. Then, when she got a few feet away from them, and a wolfish looking dog ran up from out of nowhere and she started petting him, saying, “Hey, White Fang! Where have you been?! Did you go off on a little adventure?” He realized where he knew her from.
“Oh, my gosh. Kyra? Kyra Jennings?”
“No way!” Robin exclaimed, “Kyra Jennings from New York? That Kyra Jennings?!”
“I know,” The Doctor said, “I couldn’t believe it either! Which is why I said…”
“What are doing here?!”
“Things didn’t exactly work out with Rosen’s team.” Kyra explained, “Clay found out about my criminal past and wanted to through in Briminton, so I hitched a ride with a bunch of Hallow Earth Abnormals.”
“And we decided to put her in charge of the camp while we went to meet you.” Kate chimed in.
“Oh,” The Doctor said flatly, not sure what else to say. He made a note to talk to Rosen about this latter, when all was said and done. “Now what about these angry Silurians?”
“They tried to attack us two days ago. We were able to fend them off.” Kate explained, “I was able to meet with their leader and convince them not to go to war with us until you got here to try to work something out, convinced them we didn’t want any life lost if we could help it.”
“Good. That’s-good,” The Doctor commented, “They agreed to a meeting?”
“Yeah,” Kate said, a note of apprehension in her voice, “But there’s a catch. They want us to bring the whole camp with us. They say they’ll do the same with their tribe.”
“Why would they want to do that?” The Doctor and Kyra asked at the same time.
“I don’t know,” Kate said earnestly, “But we need to get going. The meeting’s in ten minute.” Then she whistled loudly. Everyone turned to look at her. “All right,” Kate began, “We need to get moving, so we can talk to these Silurians creatures who want to kill us! Now, I know that might not sound like that best idea, all right it sounds like the worst idea in the world, but it’s the only way they’re gonna talk to us, so we can convince them not to kill us!” And with that Kate Freelander walked away fallowed by Garris, the Doctor, Kyra, and five frightened Abnomals, four of them children.
“Kate, is just me or does this whole batch of Abnormals seem a little…young?” The Doctor noted.
“Yeah,” Kate said, “Real sad story, actually. Apparently what adults were in this group died of illness, or accidents, or were hunted down by humans, with the exception of that guy,” She nodded towards a large bipedal frog creature, who was holding the hand of a smaller bipedal frog creature, “then a few other kids with no parents showed up, Kyra included, and they just sorta-stuck together.”
Just then the tribe of Silurians came into view. A thin, muscular female stood up, and walked over to them. She didn’t look very happy. In fact she looked angry. Very angry.
“Doctor,” Kate began, “This is the Silurian leader- you know, actually, I don’t really know her name.” She turned back to the Silurian leader and asked, “W-what is your name?”
“Huette.” The Silurian answered.
“Huette, this is-that Doctor.” Kate answered.
“I’m the one Helen got to negotiate an agreement between you two.”
“Very well,” Huette said, “Then you will tell them to leave emeditly.”
“Uh oh,” The Doctor thought to himself, “This is already off to a bad start, and I don’t think it’s gonna get any better.”
The Doctor was right, the negotiations didn’t get any better. In fact, it only got worst. Huette wouldn’t budge on their wish for the Abnormal group to leave, and Kate was insisting that was the one thing they couldn’t do. “There are a lot of bad people trying to hurt these guys up there!” Kate exclaimed, “What else are we sapost to do?!”
“If that’s true than why don’t you bring every Abnormal down here?!” Huette demanded.
“Because not every Abnormal if from Hallow Earth and this is the Hallow Earth Abnormals home!” Kate screamed.
“This is our home, too!” Huette cried.
“Alright,” The Doctor said, stepping in between the two women, arms stretched wide, “I think that we can both agree that this is home to the both of you.”
“Actually, Doctor,” Kate snipped, “The Hallow Earth Abnormals were born here, while the Silurians moved down here because they mistook the moon for an asteroid!”
“At least we know how we got here which more than can be said for apes like you!” Huette snapped back.
“Okay, that’s enough,” The Doctor said, “From both of you. Now, I think we can all agree that we need to go our corners and cool off a bit, don’t you think?”
Without so much as a word, Huette stomped off to the left where the Silurian encampment was, and Kate stormed off to the right where the Abnormals had grouped. The Doctor fallowed Kate. Kyra and White Fang ran up to the Doctor and Kyra said, “Doc, what the heck happened? I could feel the aggression all the way over here.”
“The only thing they could agree on is that they couldn’t agree on anything,” The Doctor said, his frustration clear in his voice and gesturing wildly, “Huette thinks they have full right to the inside of the Earth because they’re the original owners of the planet, Kate’s okay with the Silurians being here because they have as much right to be here as the Abnormals do, but the fact is the Abnormals have nowhere else to go and neither of the them will budge.” The Doctor rubbed his head in his hand, looked up and added, “And you know what really stinks, Kyra? Really, if you think about the Abnormals and Silurians aren’t that different. They’re both groups who out of desperation did what they had to do and made the best of a bad situation and now have nowhere else to go but here, and if they just put their differences aside they could work together, like you and the Abnormals did.”
“What do you mean like me and the Abnormals did?” Kyra asked.
“Well, think about it, Kyra, technically an Alpha is not an Abnormal, but still they let you hitch a ride down here with them, once you explained that you were in trouble,” The Doctor said, “Because really you guys aren’t that different and it’s the same with the Silurians.” He looked over at the Silurian camp and added, “I just wish they could see that.”
Kyra got this semi-intense look on her face, where the wheels were clearly turning her mind, and said, “Well maybe we can show them.” Then walked toward the Silurian camp.
“Kyra?” The Doctor asked, starting to go after her, ”Kyra, what are you doing?!” Then he stopped fallowing her as she walked to a Silurian boy that was about her age and said, “Hi, I’m Kyra, and this,” She added petting her dog, “Is my dog, White Fang.” Then they had a conversation the Doctor couldn’t make out and then Kyra said, “Hey, you wanna go over there?” The Silurian boy replied, ”Yeah, sure.” Then the pair walked over hand in hand and walked over to the three oldest Abnormal children and Kyra, said, ”Hey guys, this is my new friend, Almund. Almund, this Honora,” She said, pointing to a tall girl with light purple spots on her skin, “And this is Benny,” she continued, pointing to a 15-year-old boy with wide, intense, crazy-looking green eyes, “And this is Vera,” She said, pointing to a girl whose lower body was that of a snake. The group talked for a while, and Almund gestured for some of his friends from the Silurian camp to come over, and then the parents came to retrieve their children and started talking with the Abnormal adults, Garris and the frog humanoid, and before anyone knew what was the happening, all the Silurians and Abnromals were talking and laughing and playing as if they had all been good friends for years. The Doctor watched it all happen for over an hour until Kate and Huette walked up the Doctor. After a moment of awkward silence, Huette said, “It appears I was wrong about you, and your people. We’re, a, not that different after all. Perhaps we could both stay down here.”
“You know,” The Doctor began, “I think I have the solution to your problem.”
The two woman turn towards the Doctor. He had their attention.
“Since your people get along so well, and as Huette said, you’re not that different after all, perhaps your groups should become one large group, and travel together.”
Kate looked at Huette and said, “I’m okay with that if you are.”
“Yes, I am okay with that,” Huette said, “I am very okay with that.”
Kate smiled, “Let’s go tell the others.” Kate whistled loudly and everyone’s attention emeditly turned to her. “Okay everyone, we’ve come to an agreement! We’re going to all travel down further together!”
Everyone cheered. In the mist of the celebration Kyra ran up to the Doctor with White Fang fallowing behind her. The first thing that came out of her mouth was, “So, it worked?! It really worked?!”
“Yes,” The Doctor said, grinning from ear to ear, “It really worked.”
“What really worked?” Kate, who was still standing beside the Doctor, asked, and then she looked at Kyra and said, “What did you do?”
“I just talked to Silurian boy, and invited him over here,” Kyra answered.
“That’s…actually quite brilliant.”Kate admitted. She slapped Kyra on her left shoulder and said, “Walk with me. I think we could use your help down here.”
As the pair started to walk away Kyra turned her head around and said, “Doctor.”
“Yes?” The Doctor replied.
“If you see Gary,” Kyra began, “Tell him I’ll try to come up and visit.”
“I will.” The Doctor said.
Kyra gave him a small smile, ”Thank you.” And that Kyra turned around and she and Kate walked up, discussing the future and the Doctor turned around and headed back to the TARDIS.
“That was great, Doc,” Ted said, extending his hand for a high-five.
As the Doctor’s hand met Ted’s, Robin exclaimed, “Yeah, that was awesome. You totally saved the Siurians and Abnormals from killing each other.”
“Yeah, well, “The Doctor said, modestly, “I had help. Lots of help.” The Doctor took the last gulp of his ginger ale, sat the empty glass on the table and looked up at a clock on the wall. “Oh, my gosh would you look at the time! It’s 12:30 A.M., I really should get back to the TARDIS and you all probly want to be getting home, especially you, Lilly, in your state.” Then he got up from the table and said, “Thank you all for the wonderful evening,” and then he walked away. After the Doctor had walked out the doorway, Marshall leaned into the table and whispered, “I don’t know about you guys, but after hearing about the TARDIS all night, I wanna go see it.” And then without a word the five friends got up from the table and ran out the door.
The gang got outside just in time to see the tail of the Doctor’s coat slip behind the side of the building. They quietly ran to catch up with him and saw him walking down the sidewalk. They followed him quietly, making sure to stay a good six feet away so not to catch his attention. As they fallow the wonderful, tragic, mysterious man they only just met, but it seemed as though they had come to know him well, several thoughts ran through the minds of each member of the gang. Marshall was relishing the confirmation that aliens were real, which he had always believed, but wondering why the discovery also terrified him at the same time. Lilly was silently dealing with the realization that she was bringing a child into a world were at any given moment one of any billion space creatures could blow them right out of the sky. Robin was completing being wrong about something she had been so sure about and wondering to herself, “So how come I feel nothing but delight?” Barney was wondering how a man that was capable of doing such good, was at the same time capable of doing such harm. And Ted, well, Ted was pondering a lot of things. His head was swimming with them mysteries and wonders of the universe several of which, tonight he realized, were right here on Earth, of a man who had saved the day so many times, yet was known to many few, and how thanks to that man so many people were safe, people right here in this city, whose lives he had touch.
The group came to a stop as the Doctor approach a small wooden blue box that had a siren on top, and a sign that said POLICE BOX. The Doctor walked up to the box, and unlocked the door. As he pulled the door opened, which required him to turn around slightly he saw the gang standing five feet away. After a moment of just staring at each other, Lilly brushed out, “Fallowing you was Marshall’s idea!”
“What?!” Marshall exclaimed, looking at Lilly, ”Way to just go and rat out your husband, Lilly!”
“Guy, it’s okay, it’s fine, really,” The Doctor said, raising a hand to silence the group. “I’m actually kind of glad you get to see this. I think you’re gonna like this bit.” And then the Doctor set inside the TARDIS and shut the door. He stood there at the door for a minute and sighed. Of all the people he met, criminals, and officers of the law, real lawyers and fake, doctors and kings and teenage sorcerers and strange creatures, of all the ones he told the gang about and the hundreds he hadn’t told them about, there was something about these crazy, slightly strange, wonderful people, who actually seemed to care about him. He wouldn’t mind seeing them again. But in case that didn’t work out, which it most likely wouldn’t, he could at least give them a good show before he left. The Doctor ran over the consul and got to work.
Back outside, the gang stood in front of the wooden blue box that was apparently the TARDIS waiting for something to happen. Just as they were about to give up hope, the siren on the top started flashing a red light, and the sound of ancient, tortured engines filled the air. And then the most amazing thing of all happened, the box started to fade until it became a transparent silhouette, and then it slowly, completely, disappeared.
The gang stood there agape for a moment, and then Marshall broke the silence by exclaiming, “That was awesome!” Then there were several loud, callings of “yeah” of agreement and Barney cried, ”Yeah, that was legendary!”
Then the group grew quiet again as they looked into the still, silent night. Marshall turned to Lilly and said, ”Let’s go home.” Then the gang turned around and walked away, hopping one day the Doctor might come back to McLarens, and knew they would never forget the night he did.
New York, Hawaii
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