Chapter Sixteen

On the way back to the village, the Doctor and Rose guided their friends to the TARDIS. The three women took turns carrying the dead girl while the Doctor carried Ana and kept watch over her. Katalin and Frida were shocked when the Doctor had Rose open the TARDIS door and they followed them inside.

"What magic is this?" Katalin said in awe.

"It's bigger on the inside," Frida added.

"Yes, it's my combination coffin and home," the Doctor said while Rose chuckled. "Don't worry, everything's fine. Just follow us."

He led them to the med bay and diverted their attention when they looked around in awe at the space age interior. He asked them to put the dead girl on a bed in the corner while he laid Ana on an examination table. He put his hand on her forehead and softly apologized when she groaned at the pressure of the cold steel on her back. He asked Rose to fetch a blanket for her and she got one from the cupboard. He decided to keep Frida and Katalin in the TARDIS so they could help and he instructed them on where to find things while he started an IV drip for the dying girl. Katalin and Frida concentrated on the task at hand and the three women assisted the Doctor while he put an IV drip in and gave the woman a sponge bath and tried to make her comfortable. Rose tried to explain as best she could what the Doctor was doing with the drip while he used a syringe to put some pain medication into the plastic tube. The Doctor looked at Ana's hair, matted and dirty, and shook his head.

"We might have to cut some of this off," he said to Rose. "It's a mess and it would be better to get rid of some of it rather than hurt her by trying to comb through it. But for the moment we need to get her stabilized. Can you go with Frida and Katalin to the authorities while I do this? I can manage on my own now."

Rose nodded and the Doctor gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and wished her luck. He said his goodbye to the three women as they went outside and then he turned his attention fully to Ana. He worked quickly to stabilize her, asking the TARDIS to scan her body and help him. Ana watched him through half open eyelids, having only the strength to follow his movement with her eyes. He noticed she was watching him and smiled tenderly.

"Are you from the village?" he asked her.

"Yes," she said in a barely audible voice.

"Who are your parents?" he asked.

"I have none. My dad died when I was little and my mum was killed by the countess."

"How old are you?"


"I'm the Doctor, poppet, and you're safe now. I'm going to make you better, okay?" he said gently.

"Where will I go?"

"Do you have other family members?" the Doctor said.


"We'll think of something then. For the moment, I want you to rest and heal," he said, putting his hand on her forehead.

"You're cold," she murmured.

"I know. But I have a warm heart, two of them in fact. And I won't let anyone hurt you. Just rest and try to get some sleep."

"Where am I?"

"My hospital. It's a very special hospital. Are you uncomfortable?"

Ana nodded weakly and the Doctor asked the TARDIS to put some padding underneath her. Ana gasped when a soft body pillow appeared under her and she was raised up a foot off the table. The Doctor comforted her and asked if that was better. He smiled when she nodded and continued his work while Ana watched. But she was weak and couldn't keep her eyes open. The TARDIS heated the padding under her and added a massage feature. The padding vibrated gently and combining that with the warmth made Ana even more sleepy and she drifted off while the Doctor mentally thanked his ship for doing that for her.


Once Ana was stabilized and out of pain, the Doctor left her for a moment to tend to the dead girl. He cradled the corpse in his arms and walked down the passageway with her.

"Poor thing," he said, looking at her while he walked. "I'm sorry we couldn't save you in time but I will give you a dignified funeral and cremation."

He went into a morgue the TARDIS designed for him and gently laid her body on a metal table. He divided his time between cleaning and preparing her body and checking on Ana. He was pleased that Ana was resting peacefully and growing stronger and he added an antibiotic to the saline solution going into her vein along with more painkillers.

"You might have to stay with us for awhile," the Doctor said softly while she slumbered. "I want to make sure you're at the correct weight and completely healthy before I take you somewhere. You're in good hands now, poppet. I promise that."

He then walked back to the morgue and finished cleaning and dressing the dead girl. While he was doing that, the door opened and he looked up to see Rose.

"We went to the sheriff and the mayor," Rose said. "I helped explain what happened and I told them Katalin was a victim and made sure they knew she was blameless. I said I'd come check on ya. Katalin went with Frida to her house and the authorities are on their way to the castle right now. They also sent word to neighboring villages to ask if she stole people from other places."

"She must have. We have her," the Doctor said, laying the back of his hand against the dead girl's cheek. "She was stolen somewhere outside the village so I'm sure other villages had abductions. Taking them all from one village would have looked too suspicious. Besides, she wouldn't want to deplete the female population."

Rose walked up to the table and looked at the girl. She was clean, her long hair had been brushed and she was wearing a long white robe with white slippers.

"She's beautiful," Rose said.

"Yes, she is. I'm going to wrap her body in a shroud and cremate it, Gallifreyan style. The robe is Gallifreyan as well," he said, gesturing to it while he rummaged through a steel drawer at the back of the room. "We'll build a pyre for her on a distant planet and send her off with respect and reverence, something she should have had in life."

He walked over to her with a golden medallion on a gold chain. He asked Rose to raise her head up and he slipped it around the head and pulled her hair through. Rose lowered the head and he put the medallion on her chest. Rose noticed there was concentric circle writing on it.

"What's it say?" she asked, pointing to it.

"Honored dead," the Doctor said. "It's a medallion worn by those who died heroic deaths. Mark of respect. The metal will melt with the body and mix with the ashes."

"I like that, honored dead," Rose said.

She noticed the Doctor's eyes were shut and there was a flash and a bracelet hovered in the air before him. He opened his eyes, took it and thanked the TARDIS for making it. Rose noticed a series of small concentric circles on the gold band while he slipped it around her right wrist.

"And that says?"

"Romanadvoratrelundar or Romana for short. It's the name of an old friend. Not her real name but at least she'll have a name now. I just don't want her to be anonymous when we have the funeral."

"Romana. I like that," Rose said.

"It's also a close match to Roma which is the actual name for gypsies. I thought it fitting," the Doctor said. "She's ready now for the funeral. So we'll leave her here for the moment and check on Ana. Follow me," he said before they headed for the door.

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