Chapter Fourteen

Arjunk led them to another room on the other side of the building. There was a plaque beside the door that said Q-4 on it. Below it was an ID scanner and Arjunk scanned his ID. The door unlocked and they went inside. Inside the walls were stark white and devoid of decoration but there were two black leather sofas along the back wall and two black leather chairs along the side wall. There was a large teak coffee table in front of the sofas and there were several magazines on them. The room was lit by a large glo orb attached to the ceiling. The light was as stark as the room. On the right side of the wall was a holo tv and a stereo system and beside the TV on the back wall was a closed door. Arjunk closed the front door and led them to the back door. He opened it and they walked into a spacious bedroom. The walls were once again stark white and unadorned but there was a huge double bed on the back wall that had black pillows and a black eiderdown on it. Across from it, beside the door was a large cupboard and on the right side of the wall was another closed door. They entered that room and Arjunk showed them the bathroom. Once again, the walls were white and bare and the toilet, bathtub and sink were black.

"They do like the whole white and black color scheme here," the Doctor said as he looked around.

They walked out of there and back into the living room.

"Everything here is climate controlled and dust and germs are eliminated before entering the room. If you get sick in here, it'll be a miracle," Arjunk said to the Doctor and Rose. "They're supposed to serve you meals three times a day but I'll go ahead and take care of that in case the staff is a bit neglectful. If you must…plan, do it quietly because they do listen and watch. Well…I'll go get your food and check on the Kar'Koch and I'll let you know their condition."

"Thank you," the Doctor said. "One thing though…"

Rose watched while the Doctor leaned into his ear and whispered something. Arjunk nodded while he whispered but the Doctor was saying it so softly, she couldn't hear anything. When he finished, Arjunk nodded and patted his shoulder.

"Make yourself at home, Doctor and Rose. I'll be back," he said.

Rose sat down on the sofa while Arjunk walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.

"After seeing the cages, I feel guilty being inside here," Rose said to the Doctor while he sat down beside her.

"I know but we have a safe environment to hatch a plan," the Doctor said softly.

"What'd you tell him?" Rose asked him.

The Doctor leaned over and whispered in her ear.

"I told him about the sonic and the psychic paper and told him to get them from the remains of our clothes. I thought perhaps he could keep it safe for us and use it if he needs to. I gave him a basic course on how to use them."

Rose nodded as he pulled his head away. She looked around and picked up one of the magazines from the table in front of her. She examined it.

"Looks like a gardening magazine," she said, thumbing through it.

"Great. We can grow a garden in our own little cage once we get one," the Doctor said.

"What do we do?" Rose whispered to him.

The Doctor leaned back into the plush sofa and thought that over, twiddling his fingers while Rose watched him.

"There are hundreds of species out there," the Doctor said softly. "Enough for a rebellion perhaps?"

"D'ya think the other captives would go for that?" Rose said softly.

"Well, here's our problem. Not every being out there would have the intelligence to understand rebellion or undertake one. I don't know how many sentient beings there are in Darius's little menagerie and we need more than just us, Arjunk and Sela to succeed in this.

"Would Arjunk know about all the sentinent beings out there?" Rose said softly.

"Doubt it. There's hundreds out there and I'm sure Darius only assigns a select few to each doctor. He probably only knows about the patients he's assigned to. He didn't even know which doctor was looking after Sela's parents."

"Sounds like they're not looking after them at all."

"Yes. And if I find them injured, the Doctor in charge of Sela's parents will get injured."

They shut up when Arjunk came back into the room, wheeling a trolley filled with food in front of him.

"I hope you're getting settled in," Arjunk said, closing the door behind him. "Didn't know what you'd like so I picked out several things."

"Thank you," the Doctor said as he wheeled the trolley over to the back door and left it there.

"Arjunk, I was just wondering if you know if there's other intelligent beings like us here," Rose said.

"I believe there are several, Rose. But the majority would be considered animals and pets," Arjunk said. "Why?"

Rose leaned in to him and told him about their rebellion plan.

"I can check but I doubt there's enough to make a proper…rebellion," he said, whispering the last word. "Most of the animals here wouldn't have that level of intelligence."

"Just a thought," the Doctor said.

"I have another question," Rose said to Arjunk.

"Yes?" Arjunk said.

"Um…when we were in the shop, there were these vine things that eat animals."

"She means Bulgara Vines," the Doctor said to Arjunk.

"Ah. Well, those certainly wouldn't have the intelligence you need for…"

Arjunk mouthed "rebellion" to them.

"I know. But I was just curious. Do you take care of those things as well because I was wondering how you prevent them eating ya," Rose said.

Arjunk chuckled.

"The Bulgara Vines are very tough. They don't get ill so there's no need to treat them. As far as I know, they only get fed and that's not my job…at least, it's not supposed to be. They're built to exist in many climates. They're survivors, as is your sweetheart here," Arjunk said, gesturing to the Doctor.

"But how do you move them from this place to the pet shop?" Rose said.

"Well, they gas the vines. The vines take in oxygen through pores in their vines so gas will knock them out. Once they're knocked out, they're moved into a small cage, loaded onto the back of the lorry and transported back to the shop. Actually, that's the standard method for most animals here."

"Rose, why are you asking about these vines all of a sudden?" the Doctor said.

"Because," Rose said, lowering her voice. "I wanted to use them as part of our plan to escape. I thought we could stun them and turn them against Darius and his staff."

The Doctor's eyebrows rose as he considered that possibility.

"Is there something that can stun them for a short time?" he said, leaning in and whispering to Arjunk. "Long enough for us to get them out and use them?"

"They have many different strengths of gas here. Some last longer than others. I think the gas with the shortest amount of time is thirty minutes."

The Doctor glanced at Rose.

"What is your plan then?" he whispered to her.

Rose brought them in close and whispered her plan to them.

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