A RARE BREED

Chapter Thirteen

After putting the chips into place, Arjunk walked with the Doctor and Rose as they headed for the quarantine room. While they walked, Arjunk stayed slightly behind the captives so he could observe them. He noted how closely Rose was to the Doctor and the loving looks the Doctor was giving her while they spoke softly. Arjunk knew without a doubt that these two had a deep emotional connection and it pained him that she couldn't bear his children without complications.

Still, there is always adoption, he thought to himself.

He noticed someone turning the corner up ahead and groaned when he saw Doctor Malachi. Malachi was a three foot turtle alien, old and wizened with a lab coat covering his huge shell. He also had a problem with his sight so he wore huge lenses strapped onto his sleepy looking eyes like goggles. The Doctor and Rose stopped with Arjunk when Malachi walked up to the Doctor and looked up at him.

"What is this, Arjunk?" Malachi said, pointing up to the Doctor's face with a clawed finger.

"Taking two new patients to quarantine," Arjunk said.

Malachi pulled on the Doctor's arms and the Doctor bent over. Malachi studied his face intently.

"What species is this, Arjunk?" he said.

"Time Lord," Arjunk said impatiently.

"He's wearing a green collar," Malachi said, pointing to it.

"He's endangered, last of his kind," Arjunk said.

Malachi moved his head closer to the Doctor's face, peering at him through the Coke bottle bottom lenses strapped to his head.

"Hello," the Doctor said cheerfully.

"He's ugly, who'd wanna breed with him?" Malachi said to Arjunk.

Rose giggled at the incensed look on the Doctor's face. Malachi cupped the Doctor's face and moved his face until his beak was next to the Doctor's nose.

"Can you talk?" he asked the Doctor.

"I just said hello to you," the Doctor said.

"Apologies, Doctor, he's a bit deaf," Arjunk said.

"I JUST SAID HELLO!" the Doctor said louder.

"Ah, so he is intelligent. I suppose that makes up for the ugliness then," Malachi said.

Before the Doctor could say something sarky, Malachi let go of his face and walked over to Rose. The Doctor leaned back up and gave Malachi a wary look while he peered at Rose.

"I thought you said he was the last of his kind," Malachi said to Arjunk.

"He is. This is a human," Arjunk said, gesturing to Rose.

Malachi pulled on her arms and Rose bent over. Malachi scratched his chin thoughtfully while he peered at her.

"She smells. I suggest you hose her down," Malachi said to Arjunk.

"Oi!" Rose said while the Doctor hid his smile. "Maybe you're the one who smells, Michaelangelo!"

"Eh? I'm sorry, can't hear you," Malachi said, cupping his earhole with his hand.

"NEVER MIND!" Rose said.

Malachi walked away and Rose leaned back up.

"Interesting specimens, Doctor," Malachi said to Arjunk. "If that one is the last, however, perhaps he belongs in the zoo."

"I CAN'T. DARIUS WANTS HIM HERE!" Arjunk yelled to him.

"Ah, well, Darius is in charge and what he says goes. Anyway, I'll be off, Doctor."

"Good day, Doctor," Arjunk said primly to Malachi.

He sighed when Malachi went on his way and walked over to the Doctor and Rose.

"Sorry, I don't like him that much. He's a bit senile if you hadn't noticed. I don't think he even gets he's a captive here. His charges suffer because he's absentminded and lets them fall into ill health but of course, Darius does nothing. But let's keep going before the guards get suspicious."

They walked on for awhile until finally Arjunk stopped them in front of a locked door. Beside the door was an ID scanner and Arjunk scanned his ID card.

"This isn't it. I want to show you something before we go to quarantine," he said to the Doctor and Rose.

The door unlocked and Arjunk opened it. They went into a supply cupboard and the Doctor saw twenty empty Perspex boxes. Arjunk closed the door and beckoned to his patients while they walked to the nearest one.

"This is what they keep the animals and people in once they're outside," Arjunk said. "As you can see, it's not a big cage. Ten foot long and five foot high."

"So we can't even stand up in it," Rose said.

"No, you can't unless you're as short as Malachi. And if you look at the bottom, there's a steel grate. Now you do get straw to lay on but all the same, there is no toilet in here. You pee in the straw and what doesn't stay in the straw goes through the grate to this metal drawer underneath."

He reached down, grabbed a metal handle and pulled the drawer out for them to see.

"Urine, feces, bodily fluids catch in here. If you're lucky…Most doesn't catch and it goes into the straw, which only gets changed once a month."

"So we'd be sleeping on filthy straw for a month," Rose said, feeling sick to her stomach.

"Why do you think they need so many doctors here? I try to take care of my patients and change their straw and see to their needs, even though that's not supposed to be my job. But if I don't, they'll grow ill and die. Perhaps with these collars, you might get better treatment but I doubt it."

"But we'll be gone before then, yeah?" Rose said. "We'll find a way to get out of here before we have to go into this thing."

"What about the quarantine room? Is it a cage like this?" the Doctor said.

"No. That's why I ordered you into it. It's three rooms, a living room, bathroom and bedroom. You'll have comfort and space inside it. I consider you my friends now and I wouldn't wish my worst enemy in this thing."

"What about the Kar'Koch. Are you in charge of them?" the Doctor said.

"No but I can tell you who is," Arjunk said, pulling his Ipad out of the pocket of his lab coat. "Are they friends of yours?"

"One is. A Kar'Koch child was brought to the pet shop and I freed her because they were also inhabitants of my planet. Her parents are still here and I want them rescued because this family group are also the last of their kind now."

Arjunk searched for Kar'Koch on his Ipad.

"Oh God…" he said after a few minutes.

"What's wrong?" Rose said.

"My friends, I'm afraid the doctor in charge of the Kar'Koch is one of the most sadistic doctors around here. He's known for his cruelty. I'm afraid these Kar'Koch have probably been abused and tortured. He relishes it when his charges are in pain."

Rose glanced at the Doctor and saw the rage contained in his eyes.

"Can you get them away from this doctor?" the Doctor said.

"No. Darius wouldn't allow it. But I can make a point to check on them if you wish."

"Please do. The child finally trusted us and I want to make sure her parents are safe," the Doctor said.

"I will, my friend. I'll go just as soon as you're secure in the quarantine room so if you follow me, I'll take you there."

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