Chapter Four

By the time the others returned, Rose was feeling better and was able to sit up in the bed. Jade nodded to Sheena.

"Did she succeed?" she said to her.

"She did, she has become a warrior," Sheena said, gesturing to Tara.

Tara grinned and held up a rock for everyone to see.

"So are you gonna cut off her breast now?" Jackie said to Sheena.

"That will happen when she gets a bit older and her breast stops growing," Sheena said.

"But that's barbaric," Jackie said. "Cutting off her breast for no reason. Can't you see that?"

"It's what the Earth Amazons did in order to improve their skills with the bow," Sheena said. "You are from Earth, yes?"

"Yes, but we don't cut off our breasts and anyway, that's a myth, isn't it?" Jackie said.

"It's a legend," the Doctor said. "The Amazons were real."

Jackie was shocked by that.

"There really were a tribe of female warriors?" she said.

"Yes," the Doctor said, nodding. "They were led by several women who had tired of the way they were treated in Greece. They journeyed up to where Libya would be today and formed their own society. The women who founded it had been taught battle skills in secret by their fathers and used that knowledge to train others. As for the mastectomies, that began by accident. One woman had a breast lopped off in battle and managed to survive after surgery. She found that she could wield a bow and arrow better without her breast getting in the way so other women began to do it."

"But you're not from Earth so why are you so keen to follow the Amazons?" Jackie said to Sheena.

"Our ancestors were from Earth and descended from some of the Amazon women. We decided to form our society and emulate them in tribute."

"But do they have to have their breasts cut off?" Rose said. "Or are they forced to do it?"

"They have a choice, we do not force it on them, "Talya said. "But those who don't aren't permitted to become archers and archers are regarded as the elite of all the warriors. Most women opt to undergo the ritual so they can do that."

"And is that what you want to do?" Rose asked Tara.

"Yes. I want to be one of the elite," Tara said, raising her head proudly. "That is why I did this today," she said, holding up the rock. "This is another way to become one of the elite warriors and show your bravery."

"Chieftess, this man is a Time Lord. He is the Doctor of legend," Jade said, gesturing to the Doctor.

Sheena and Talya gasped while Tara frowned in confusion.

"So…that is why you will not submit like other men," Sheena said.

"No, I won't," the Doctor said.

"The council will be interested in this. We were told that the Doctor perished long ago," Sheena said.

"Nope, still alive and kicking," the Doctor said. "I do respect your right to run your civilization as you see fit but if you try to make me one of your brood mares, there will be dire consequences, just a friendly warning."

"Trust me, Time Lord," Talya said. "After hearing who you are, no one would dare put you in the stables or the mines."

They decided to leave. Jade put her mask back on while the Doctor took the gas masks out of the emergency kit. He decided to take the kit with them, not knowing how many supplies the women had. He gave one to Jackie and to Rose and they put them on while the Doctor did the same. Unlike the half masks, theirs were full face masks and the Doctor leaned over to Rose when he had his on.

"Are you my mummy?" he said to her.

Rose giggled while Jackie stared at them in confusion.

"Private joke, Mum," Rose said, sensing her mother's confusion.

Jackie shrugged and watched while the Doctor gathered Rose in his arms and she put her arms around him. They followed the women out of the room and the moment they were outside, Jackie gasped when the searing hot air hit her skin. The interior of the room had been cool and pleasant but she understood now why they needed the gas masks because even with it on, she could tell the atmosphere was oppressive.

"The air is hot, how come we didn't feel that inside the room?" Jackie said to the Doctor as she walked alongside him. There was no door to Rose's room.

"No, but the TARDIS has an emergency force field that activates if the rooms are separated from her, just in case someone is still inside," the Doctor said. "The force field protected us from the heat and kept the cool air contained. "It doesn't last forever which is why I'm glad we finally decided to move."

"How can anyone live like this?" Jackie said, looking around at the barren rocks and volcanoes."

"They said they don't live here, Mum. This is just one area of their planet," Rose reminded her.

"Good thing they don't," Jackie said.

The women led them to an opening on the side of the nearest volcano. They went into it and went down a narrow rocky path to an underground cave system. Near the path was a large white futuristic car with white leather seats. The car was large enough to fit everyone comfortably and the women got into the front while the Doctor put Rose in the back seat and she and Jackie got in beside her. Once everyone was inside, Sheena pushed a button and a force field dome appeared over the seats, sealing everyone inside a protective dome. She then pushed a button on the panel in front of her and the car lifted up a foot into the air and then the hovercar began to glide through the passageway on its way back home.

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