Chapter Two

Rose lay in bed, cursing her bad luck. She was still a bit dizzy and unable to help her lover and mother in any real way. Meanwhile, there were now four women inside her bedroom. All of them were keeping the Doctor at bay while they talked to her and Jackie. All the women were dressed identically, although one of them was very short and looked to be no more than eleven or twelve. All of them were wearing gas masks and all the adult women seemed to have had a mastectomy and was missing the right breast. Her mother was trying to tell these women that the Doctor wasn't their servant so they'd stop guarding him with blasters while at the same time, she and Jackie were trying to get information since no one was letting the Doctor speak. They were knowledgeable about Earth since they told them that they based their civilization on the legend of the Amazons. Rose remembered hearing about that in school, an all woman civilization. Women warriors who fought bravely and regarded men as lesser than they were. She thought she also remembered something about the women cutting off their right breasts so they could handle a bow better. The youngest girl was just beginning to grow her breasts and Rose noticed that the right one looked intact for the moment. She wondered if it was cut off during some sort of rite of passage ceremony or just cut off when it grew too big for their liking.

One of the women had a medical kit with her and Sheena was now examining the wound on Rose's head. Rose winced when she pressed on it and she could see a wary look on the Doctor's face but there were two women guarding him with blasters so he didn't dare move towards her in case they fired and he was forced to regenerate again. But he wasn't taking his eyes off her while Sheena examined the stitches.

"Are you feeling better, Rose?" Sheena asked her.

Rose was struck by how much respect they were giving her and her mother compared to the utter disdain and distrust they were showing the Doctor. But she didn't want to cause trouble for anyone so she nodded. She was feeling a little better but still a bit dizzy and she told Sheena that. Sheena put her kit on the end of the bed and opened it. She took out a bottle filled with a blue liquid along with a syringe.

"What is that?" the Doctor said when he saw it.

"Silence!" a black woman said while she guarded him.

"I will not be silent. I demand to know what you're giving Rose," the Doctor said, fed up with the disrespect and restraint.

Jackie sighed and walked up to Sheena.

"Look, I know you don't think highly of men but that's her lover and he has a right to know what you're doing to her so answer his question!"

Sheena glared at Jackie but Jackie didn't flinch and glared back. The Doctor smirked when Sheena withered under her glare and sighed as she put the syringe and bottle back in the kit and told the women guarding the Doctor to back away.

"Thank you, Jackie," the Doctor said when the women guards backed away from him and lowered their blasters. "I understand your society is matriarchal and men are lesser than you are but I mean no harm. I just want to know what you're putting inside Rose."

"It's distilled from the Artros flower, it's a non drowsy sedative that will help with the pain, is that alright?" Sheena said to him.

"Yes. I know what the Artros flower is and you may give her that," the Doctor said.

"I'm sorry but we do not think highly of men," Sheena said while she prepared the syringe.

"I gathered that," the Doctor said dryly. "But we're not from your world. We were jettisoned here when someone took over my ship. We're stranded here and we need to get back because we have friends that are in danger at the moment. Can you help us?"

He could tell Sheena wasn't used to a man speaking to her as an equal because she bristled at his question. But she managed to nod as she put a bit of iodine on Rose's arm.

"I don't know if we can but we can give you shelter while you try to find your ship," she said to him while she gave Rose the injection. "We have antigravity skimmers that can take everyone back home. But we must go beneath the volcanoes to reach them. We travel underground and for that, Rose must be moved."

"I can take care of that," the Doctor said. "I take it we need gas masks then," he said, pointing to her face.

"Only for this sector. We live far away from the volcanoes," Sheena said, withdrawing the syringe.

"Then why come here?" Jackie said. "Especially since it looks like the volcanoes are going to erupt soon."

"Every woman must undergo a test of stamina and courage before her puberty ceremony," Sheena said. "Tara," she said, pointing to the preteen girl, "is here because she must climb the volcano and bring back a piece of rock from the top of it."

Tara came forward at the mention of her name and raised her head proudly.

"And have you completed this test?" the Doctor said to her.

"No, we were beginning it when we found you," Sheena said. "Until it is finished, she cannot become a warrior."

"Then why don't you do it and get it over with while I recover," Rose said. "By the time she's done, I'm sure I'll feel better and the Doctor could move me easier."

"I agree. Might as well do it while you're here," the Doctor said. "I think we'll be alright in the meantime."

"Do you wish to continue, Tara?" Sheena asked her.

"Yes, Chieftess," Tara said, nodding.

"Talya, come with me," Sheena said to the black woman. "Jade, stay here and make sure they are safe. Contact us if there is a problem."

"Yes, Chieftess," Jade said, nodding.

Sheena nodded. She told everyone that they would return soon. The Doctor, Rose and Jackie wished them luck and everyone except Jade left the room.

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