Chapter 7

"Wh-what are you?" Mari asked the Dalek, her journalistic instincts from kicking in. "Wait. I remember now. I think. You're one of those things that fought at Canary wharf...what? About eight years ago? Then you came again. That time all those planets suddenly appeared in the sky. But you disappeared after that. What on earth are you doing down here? What do you want with me?"


"I only wanted to..."


Gesturing with its gun arm, the Dalek told Mari, "MOVE!! MOVE!"

"I—I can't." Mari stammered, thoroughly frightened. "S-orry, but it's my headlamp. It's broken. I can't see to walk."


The Dalek stood silently regarding her, the light of its eyestalk looking like a beacon of death. Mari was half-certain that it was contemplating killing her. In reality, it was communicating with its leader.

A few minutes passed and another Dalek appeared around the corner of the tunnel. Different than its mate, the half-globes on this Dalek's body shone with a bright blue florescent glow, similar to an LED light.

"THE PRISONER WILL FOLLOW. FOL-LOW!" The first Dalek ordered, bidding Mari to follow the second.

After a quarter hour of being force-marched through tunnels, Mari felt like livestock being herded into an abattoir. And that let an unwelcome thought into her mind. Her knees felt weak and a pain grew in her chest, like an pick gouging out a block of ice. Mari wondered if this was to be her last walk she would ever take in her life.

The Doctor and Clara ducked as one of the warriors shot at them. Only instead of an arrow, this time the alcove was lit with a flash of green. Clara cringed as the Dalek ray gun spouting from Manchert's arm blasted chunks of painted plaster from the wall behind them.

"Got any bright ideas?" The Doctor asked.

"Me?" Clara gaped at him. "Why me? I thought you were the Dalek expert."

"Oswin was a Dalek. Reckon that makes Oswin—you, an expert."

"Hello! Earth to Doctor! I'm Clara, not Oswin." She frowned at him, "Seriously? You're comparing me to a Dalek? Where'd you get a stupid idea like that?

"From the Idea Store, of course. They come flat packed. Takes forever to put them together. All the instructions are in Danish."

"OK, Doctor. When you're through being cheeky, you might want to come up with a real thought on how we're gonna' get out of this."

"Erm—?" Was all the Doctor would say, his brows furrowed together as his brain began ticking off their choices. He came up with nil.

Another ray shot towards the alcove, nicking off a corner of the altar. The pair cringed as they were sprayed with a shower of marble dust.

"SURRENDER, DOCTOR. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE US." Spoke Manchert in his new deeper, grating voice.

As they crouched near the floor with their backs to the altar, Clara shook her head.

"I don't understand, Doctor. They must have twigged by now that we're unarmed. Why don't they just come and get us?"

But the Doctor didn't appear to be listening. He was staring at a particular spot on the painted wall behind them.

"What?" The Doctor turned to look at her.

"I said, why aren't they coming for us? Why just stand there issuing threats? What are they afraid of?"

"Why indeed, Clara." The Doctor pondered.

At that very moment, his face brightened. "You're right! They are afraid of something. The one thing they might be loathe to damage. Oh, I do take back everything I said about you being a Dalek. You're much, much, more cleverer than that!"

Without warning, the Doctor hauled her to her feet as he glimpsed something on the wall directly above them.

"What would I do without you?" He said, as he threw one arm around Clara and embraced her.

"Uh—Doctor. Now is really not the time for a happy hug."

"A happy hug, no." The Doctor told her, grinning from ear to ear. "But a transmat hug, oh yes!"

On that last word, the Doctor's fingers jabbed a particular spot in the painted wall. With an audible click, the two of them began to dissolve.

Even as he vanished, the Doctor's last word rang off the stone arches of the temple roof, "Geronimo!"

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