Chapter Four

Rose stood by and watched while the Doctor communicated with Sela. She didn't understand what they were saying but she could see a wary look on Sela's face. She also noted the lack of breasts and asked the Doctor if she was a child.

"Yes. She's around nine years old," the Doctor said, looking at her.

"Where's her parents? Were they sold off?"

"No, she mentioned a place where they make babies. Sounds like a breeding area."

"So she might not be the last of her kind then?"

The Doctor spoke to Sela for a few moments before looking at Rose.

"She's not. Her parents are still alive. Or at least they were when she was taken from them."

"So…they keep the parents and force them to make babies they can sell?" Rose said, a sickly feeling coming over her.

"Yes, I think so. That's probably what they do for the other Gallifreyan animals but Sela here is a higher being, not a pet."

"Will she trust you?"

"I think so. I told her that I've never harmed her people, which is the truth. My people spread lies about the Kar'Koch, how dangerous they were, there were horror stories about people being carried off by them but I never believed them. They were persecuted and I know the Time Lords used some captive ones as lab rats when they developed new weapons. The Kar'Koch have every reason to be resentful of the Time Lords but given our situation, I think she's decided to trust me. At least for now. Now…where is Gorsh?"

"Maybe they have to go find the owner," Rose said.

"I'm not leaving here, Rose," the Doctor said. "Not until I talk to the owner. Now granted I could probably get Sela out with the sonic but I'm gonna give the man a chance to defend himself."

"And if he refuses to let her go?"

"Then I get her out by any means necessary."

"But if Sela is here, what about others? This place is so huge…"

"I know," the Doctor said, nodding. "For all we know, they could be trafficking in slaves and using this shop as a front for it. If that's true, it has to be stopped. Come on, Gorsh."

The Doctor stood up and froze when Sela stood up and put her hand against the case. Rose picked up Treasure and walked over to his side. Sela banged on the wall and gave him an imploring look.

"Oh the hell with waiting," the Doctor said, whipping out his sonic. "Rose, keep treasure away from her at first. She might think she's a snack."

Rose nodded and backed up while the Doctor used his sonic to weaken the wall and detached the front panel from the rest. He caught it when it fell out and lowered it to the floor.

"Come out," he said in her language. "You're free. It's okay, she won't hurt you," he added when Sela gave Rose a wary look. "Come out, trust me. I can help you."

Sela slowly came out of the case. Rose smiled warmly when Sela gave her a suspicious look.

"She's another Time Lord?" Sela said in her language.

"No, she's a human from Earth," the Doctor said in her language. "Another planet, far from where Gallifrey used to be."

Sela looked at Rose.

"Hello," Rose said to her.

The Doctor translated that into Sela's language and Sela nodded and waved in return.

"I want to find my parents," Sela said to the Doctor.

"We will but we must talk to the man who owns this place. I don't want the men in charge to put us in prison after we leave."

Rose frowned, wishing she could understand what the Doctor and Sela were saying. She asked what they were talking about and the Doctor was about to reply when he suddenly had a thought. He reached into his trouser pocket and dug deep while Rose rubbed Treasure's chest. He pulled out a small black disc with a button in the center of it and a long wire with an earpiece on the end of it. He pushed the button and it turned red. He said something to Sela and put the disc on her chest and put the earpiece in her ear.

"This is a translator disc. You should be able to understand her and she'll understand you in turn through the earpiece. Say something.

"Hello, Sela, I'm Rose," Rose said.

Sela nodded. She moved her mouth but her voice was muted by the disc and instead she heard a female electronic voice coming from the disc.

"I am honored to meet you, Rose," she said through the disc. "You are not from our world?"

"No, I'm not but the Doctor and I are good friends and I'd like to be friends with you as well."

Sela listened to that and smiled when the translation finished. She walked over to her, touched her chest and extended her arm.

"It's their greeting," the Doctor explained.

Rose imitated the greeting and when she extended her hand to Sela, she took her hand and nuzzled the fingers with her nose.

"And that's a gesture of acceptance," the Doctor said while Sela stepped back.

"If you are a friend of the Time Lord, you are also my friend," Sela said.

Rose was a bit weirded out by the mouth moving out of sync with what was coming out of the disc. It reminded her of badly dubbed films.

"When we get back to the TARDIS, I can ask her to take Sela's language off the restriction and then she won't need the disc anymore," the Doctor said. "Well, it's about time," he added when Gorsh appeared.

Gorsh froze when he saw Sela.

"Sir, that's a violation," he said, pointing to Sela.

The Doctor smirked when Gorsh jumped back the moment Sela hissed at him and barred her teeth. Sela started to attack him but the Doctor laid his hand on her shoulder.

"Don't, he's not the one responsible for your captivity," he said to her. "And speaking of…" he said to Gorsh, "where is the one responsible for her captivity?"

"Darius will meet with you but you can't have her running loose," he added, pointing to Sela.

He stepped back again when Sela hissed at him but she stayed by the Doctor's side.

"I won't let you lot put her back in that case. Rose can stay with her. I give you my word that neither of them will flee while I speak to the man in charge."

Gorsh looked unsure about that. His eyes kept flicking to Sela while he looked at the Doctor.

"What if Darius sacks me for this?" Gorsh said.

"I'll see he doesn't. I take full responsibility for this," he said while Sela listened to everyone. "She's a higher life form, not a pet, and I won't see her returned to that prison. And by the way, I sincerely hope you lot don't have other higher beings being sold as pets. Because if this place is secretly trafficking people, you'll have me to deal with."

Gorsh swallowed hard when he saw the reined in anger behind the Doctor's eyes.

"Sir, I only work here. I don't know what's all in here. I've only been here for a fortnight."

"I understand. But…are you against trafficking of higher species?"

"Yes, sir."

"Doctor. Please, I don't like being called sir," the Doctor said. "Okay. Sela here is a higher being that came from a fully developed civilization. Does she have a right to be free and not be someone's pet?"

"Yes….Doctor," Gorsh said, catching himself before he could say "sir".

"Fine. As long as you think that way, that's all that matters. I understand this place is vast which is why Rose here thought there might be more than Sela in here. If they are trafficking species, I want it stopped."

"How could you stop it, you're only one man," Gorsh said.

"Oh trust me, he can stop it," Rose said.

"Time Lord, he is one of the slave masters," Sela said to the Doctor as she pointed at Gorsh.

"I didn't know she was here. This isn't my usual area, honestly," Gorsh protested.

"Did this man ever feed you or care for you?" the Doctor said to Sela.

Sela studied him for a moment and shook her head.

"No, but he is slave master, he is dressed like them," Sela said.

"But he didn't know you were here, this place is huge. There are many creatures here and he's only been here for a fortnight. So don't be angry at him, yeah?"

Sela considered that for a moment and Gorsh relaxed when she nodded.

"I don't want to go back," she said, pointing to the case.

"Can she stay with Rose while I talk to the head man?" the Doctor said to Gorsh.

"I suppose she can but I'm still afraid of being sacked."

"But if this place is trafficking species, would you want to work for someone who was doing that?" the Doctor said.

"No, I guess not," Gorsh said. "I'll take you to him. Follow me, everyone."

Rose came up beside Sela. Sela smiled and took her hand and walked with her while Rose followed the Doctor and Gorsh to the teleport platform.

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