Chapter Nine

Edison returned about a half hour after Theora completed her calls. He was holding a large brown bag and had a Styrofoam cup in his other hand. He smiled at them.

"I got some Chinese food. I'll put it in the kitchen and all of you are welcome to it if you get hungry," he said.

They nodded and thanked him. He walked into the kitchen with Theora and set the bag on the counter.

"Any luck?" he said softly.

Theora shook her head while he ripped open the bag and took out an egg roll.

"No, tried the morgue, body bank and hospital. She's not in any of them. Which I guess is comforting but then again whoever kidnapped her could be doing anything to her right now."

Edison shook his head while he munched on his egg roll.

"I just hope they find her especially if she is an alien," he said. "I'd hate to see her end up in some lab being slit every which way. All of them are very friendly and they've offered their help when they didn't have to. I don't want to see Awinita's organs end up for sale on the black market somewhere."

Theora nodded.

"I agree but I'm at a loss right now. There's gotta be a reason she was taken and…"

She trailed off when Edison's eyes widened.

"Thomas," he muttered. "Maybe…Theora, you got a clear shot of his face today, didn't you?"


"Can you run his face through police records? I suddenly have a funny feeling that he might be behind this. It seems too coincidental that we were over there questioning him and making him angry and suddenly Awinita disappears."

"Maybe someone really was watching him and took her to get you to leave him alone," Theora offered.

"Maybe but I'm not completely convinced of that. He was reluctant to talk to us and I'm not so sure the reason was because he was afraid of being killed. I don't think he got out of the cult unscathed. I'm willing to bet they did something to him. Anyway, I'd appreciate it if you could run a search for me."

"Course," Theora said.

He grinned.

"These are damn good eggrolls too, you need to try one," he said, smiling, while he held out his half eaten one.

"Not right now," she said.

He shrugged.

"Suit yourself," he said.

He followed Theora out of the kitchen and explained their theory to the others while she sat down in front of the computer. They let out angry sighs.

"We had that thought as well," the Doctor said. "He seemed very interested in her earlier. When he winked at her, we joked about it at the time but who knows he could have been sizing her up and targeting her and we took it for casual flirting."

"Well, it's a long shot, especially if he is a blank, but you never know, he could have just been impersonating one. It's something else to check and possibly rule out."

"She's been out for several hours now," the Doctor said. "I'm not going to say she's dead until we see the body in person and if she has been knocked out they must be keeping her heavily sedated, almost comatose, because we could feel her otherwise."

"And the moment she wakes up, you'll feel her again?" Edison asked.

"Yes, which is what we're waiting on. When she wakes up we'll feel it and then we can communicate with her telepathically. Hopefully she'll be able to give us details about where she's at," the Doctor said.

Theora shook her head.

"There's no match. He must be a blank," she said to him.

Edison cursed.

"Well, screw that then," Edison said.

He ran his hand through his hair.

"So apart from Max out searching monitors, there's nothing else we can do right now. I'm sorry, guys, but you might as well get some sleep. It won't do any good for you to stay up all night and worry and deplete all the energy you'll need to search for her."

"We don't sleep. Our kind survive on a short nap every two weeks or so. Even if Awinita hadn't gone missing we still would have spent the night awake because we don't need that much sleep to keep our energy levels up," the Doctor said.


They all looked at Alan who had a wide eyed look.

"Love?" Rose said, putting a hand on his back.

"OH! WE HAVE BEEN SO THICK!" Alan yelled.

Everyone looked at him.

"What is it, Bro?" Rain said.

"The artron energy," he said.

Both Edison and Theora noticed the dawning comprehension on their faces.

"Oh! Brother, you're right, we are incredibly thick!" the Doctor said.

"What? What is this artron energy?" Edison said.

"Artron energy is this background radiation that exists in a TARDIS," the Doctor said. "If you travel in it, you soak it up. It's harmless but it permeates your body and it can be picked up if you have the right scanners, which we do. I can go to my TARDIS, run a scan and the energy around her body will show up even if she is knocked out. And since only people who travel in the TARDIS have the energy around them we'll know it's her. Ah! Brother, you are a genius!"

"Tell me something I don't know," he said, grinning.

The Doctor leapt to his feet along with Alan. Edison frowned.

"You're going now? It's dangerous going through the fringes at night," he said to the Doctor.

"Sod that, I don't care. I've handled worse than tramps and my sister is in danger. I'm not waiting."

"I'm going with you," Alan said.

"And me," Jack said, standing up. "Even if I don't shoot anyone I can still scare them away with my gun because let's face it, Doc, the sonic screwdriver isn't that menacing."

The Doctor sighed.

"Only as a last resort though, Harkness. I don't want the police to hear the gunshots, come running and throw us back in jail."


"You sure you'll be alright?" Edison asked.

The Doctor nodded.

"I have to risk it. I don't want Awinita hurt or killed because I waited till morning to scan for her energy signature. Although…if we can get to the TARDIS, I can move it inside here and save us a walk back."

"Will it fit? I mean the inside was huge."

"Yes, but the inside is in a completely different dimension. The police box part is the front door and it's the same dimensions as an ordinary phone box."

Edison looked around the room and pointing to an empty spot in the corner.

"You can put it there but are you guys really gonna carry that thing back?"

They chucked.

"No, I don't have to. It'll dematerialize and appear right in this room. No carrying necessary."

"Well, hurry back. It's still dangerous out there at night," Edison said.

"We will."

He and Alan gave their wives a quick kiss and the three of them hurried out the door.


Awinita groaned and slowly opened her eyes. She tried to focus her vision but it was still a bit blurry. She frowned while she tried to get her fuzzy mind to work again.

"Hello?" she slurred out. "Is anybody there?"

She tried to reach out with her mind and sensed one other mind but to her dismay, it wasn't the minds of her family, this mind was unknown, which scared her. She tried again, tried to call to the Doctor telepathically but she got no response.

"Damn it," she muttered. "It's never easy when you travel around with Bro. Somehow, something always manages to happen. God, I hope you guys are alright. I have to get up and find them if they're in here."

"They're not, Awinita, so don't bother trying."

She jerked her head to the right when she heard someone in the room. She tried to focus her eyes while the person walked up to her. She couldn't see him clearly but she did see a purple blur where his hair was supposed to be and her stomach suddenly sank into her knees.

"Thomas," she slurred. "Shit, shoulda known. No one else had been able to escape from the cult so why should you be any different."

"No, you don't understand, Awinita," he said quickly.

"I understand you kidnapped me and I'm telling ya right now, you might as well start torturing me right now because I'm not telling you anything. And I swear to God, if you've harmed or killed my family…"

"They aren't here, alright? You're the only one out of all of them that's here. As far as I know, the others are alright."

"Then how come I can't feel them in my mind?"

"There's some kind of barrier that keeps you from feeling them."

Awinita sighed.

"Oh crap, not another damper. Then who is the person I can feel?"

Thomas frowned.

"I…I don't know."

"Well, I can feel someone and I have no idea who it is."

"I don't know who it is, sorry."

"So whoever's doing this knows what I am, I guess, since they've gone through the trouble of blocking my mind?"

"Yes, the Cyber Messiah doesn't want Ka Faraq Gatri to know about you yet."

"Who? Who the hell is Ka Faraq Gatri?"

"The Destroyer of Worlds?"

"Sorry, buddy, don't know any destroyer of worlds."

"The one you travel with. The Time Lord?"

"His name, for your information, is the Doctor, not The Destroyer of Worlds or Ka Faraq Gatri."

"Well, it's the truth, isn't it? He destroyed his own world and several others besides. He's the scourge of the universe?"

"No, he isn't. He saves planets, he doesn't destroy them. He destroyed Gallifrey because he was basically tricked into it by his own people who told him he didn't have a choice when he probably did. The Doctor is a kind, caring, loving individual but if you cross him or do things like kidnap me, you're gonna find him in your face really fast and believe me, you don't want that. So I suggest you let me go before he finds you and rings your scrawny neck!"

"I can't do that.

"I suggest you do before you live to regret it. Like I said, you don't wanna get on his bad side."

"Because he destroys worlds."

"No. He doesn't do that but he is very protective of me and he's not gonna be too happy that you drugged me up and he'll be even less happy if you do whatever it is you plan to do with me. So I would do what you did before, go back out the way you came and take me with you."

"That whole escape story was a lie."

"Yeah, well I figured that since you're standing here with me. We shoulda figured it out when you kept beating around the bush in your apartment. So what exactly are you going to do to me then?"

"I'm not going to do anything to you except take care of you."

Awinita frowned.


"The Cyber Messiah needs you alive for the moment."

"Why? Because I'm bait for the Doctor?"

"Yes. And he also wants information about him from you."

Awinita snorted.

"Tough shit, I'm not saying anything that'll jeopardize him. I love him and I'm not about to give him up to you and your little cult."

"Then the Cyber Messiah has no choice but to use the mind probe on you, Awinita," Thomas said gently.

"He can mind probe me until he's blue in the face, it won't work."

"Why not?"

Awinita gave him a smug grin.

"Several months ago this creature called a Skinwalker possessed my mind and tried to turn me into an assassin. After that happened and my mind was restored, a series of complicated barriers were put in my mind to prevent anyone from accessing my mind or controlling me. There are so many barriers in my mind that it's impenetrable. So, like I said, he or you or whoever can use mind probes on me all you like, you won't get anything and I won't talk."

"Then he'll torture you."

"Torture me then. I'm not afraid. I'd rather suffer and die than betray the Doctor. I assume eventually I'll be put to death anyway so you might as well get it over with now."

"Why would you die for someone else?"

"Because unlike you, I love others and care for them and I don't want to watch them suffer. The Doctor allowed me to travel with him and he trusts me completely and I will never betray that trust because I couldn't live with the shame otherwise. I really don't care about dying or being in pain, I've experienced the latter and come close to the former and it doesn't faze me anymore. But I will warn you, if you put me to death, you and this "Cyber Messiah" better start running for the hills because the Doctor will be after you and won't stop until you pay dearly for what you've done. So just a friendly word of warning, Thomas, from me to you."

"I'm not the enemy here, Awinita."

She snorted.

"Coulda fooled me. I notice you're not helping me up and out of the building which means you're with them and if this is the cult, you're the enemy."

"I can't."


"Because I'm being watched, Awinita," he said getting down next to her ear. "And if I do anything, I'll end up dead. I was snatched off the street a couple of years ago and enslaved and I've been tortured and brainwashed, although that hasn't worked like they think it has. The Cyber Messiah singled me out to be his assistant which means I'm watched constantly everywhere I go and if he summons me, I gotta go and do what he says right at that moment or be punished. Don't you think I would have tried to escape by now?"

"What about your apartment?"

"That's not really mine. Eron isn't really my friend either. He's a cult member who, unlike me, has been brainwashed and he keeps watch over me along with a couple others. So if you're thinking I can just walk out of that building and not get killed, think again."

"So that's how you get new recruits? Lure them to your apartment?"

"No, it's a stopping place so we don't have to come back here when we need to take a break. But we knew sooner or later Edison would want to talk to me since I supposedly escaped the cult and the Cyber Messiah ordered me to go to the apartment on a daily basis and wait for him. Edison was allowed to go to my apartment because the Cyber Messiah wants him to back off and leave him alone. The plan was to abduct one of you and drain your brain as a warning to him but apparently the fact that you are allied with Ka Faraq Gatri saved your skin, for now."

"Don't call him that," Awinita hissed.

"Fine, the Doctor, sorry," Thomas muttered. "I followed you to the restaurant wearing a wig and beard and when I saw you going to the restroom, I followed. I waited till you were in the stall, came in, got in another stall and waited. Once your head was down I ran out and knocked you out. Then I took you outside to a van and brought you here. There was nothing special about you in particular, Awinita. You just made the mistake of going to the bathroom and separating from the others, allowing me to take you."

"Then why did you wink at me?"

He shrugged.

"Why wouldn't I wink at you? You're cute."

"Oh Jesus, my abductor is in love with me," Awinita muttered. "As if things couldn't get more bizarre."

"Look, I'm sorry, I really am. But at the moment, there's nothing I can do."

"So you're just content to be a slave then?"

Thomas sighed.

"Awinita, I have no choice! I keep telling you I'll die if they find out I'm rebelling against them. I've seen it. You know those people who got their brains drained? Those were people who tried to fight back and escape and now they're as good as dead. I admire your bravery and your loyalty to the Doctor, I really do, and I understand your wanting to protect him at all costs but how much good will you be to him with all your memories gone? If you cooperate, things will go easier on you and you won't suffer. I've been assigned to take care of you and I will. I'm not gonna hurt you, I promise. I don't wanna hurt you. I've seen too many people hurt and killed and you seem like a nice girl. Don't become a corpse or a vegetable because of your blind loyalty to one man."

Awinita tried to study his face through the drug induced haze.

"What will become of the Doctor if he's caught?" she asked.

"I don't know. The Cyber Messiah claims he's a tool, whatever that means. Supposedly, he has this other like him he calls the "lost one" and he figured the Doctor would come in search of him eventually."

Awinita's face was unreadable but her hearts were beating a mile a minute.

"You don't know what he means, do you?"

Awinita kept a poker face while she shook her head.

"We were just traveling and ended up here," she said. "I have no clue what he means by lost one."

"Well, supposedly, it's another Time Lord like the Doctor and you and I guess the Doctor's twin brother," Thomas said.

"Oh, well, we didn't know anything about it. We're just traveling like we always do," Awinita said, shrugging.

"Well, all I know is I've never seen anyone like you. So if there is a "lost one" he has him hidden."

Awinita cursed inside her head. She cursed again wishing there wasn't a barrier between her and her family so she could let them know. She hoped wherever Nelak was, he was alright.

"Listen, do you need to go to the restroom? Are you hungry? I'm your caretaker so you might as well put me to work doing something."

Awinita thought.

"I'm not hungry but I do need to pee again," she said.

He nodded and grabbed her legs. He moved them until they were hanging over the edge and then he put his arm behind her back and helped her to sit up. He supported her when she stood up and helped her walk over to the restroom beside the door.

"Please just cooperate," he begged. "I don't want to see you get hurt."

"I'll cooperate to some extent but I'm not telling them anything vital about the Doctor. Like I said, they can mind probe me all they want. I'm not about to let the Cyber Messiah use him as a tool or whatever he has in mind for him."

Thomas sighed while he helped her sit on the toilet. He walked out and shut the door slightly folding his arms over his chest while he waited for her to get done. He hadn't known Awinita for very long but he liked her. She seemed like a nice woman and he hated to think that the Cyber Messiah might torture her or do something worse if she resisted. He knew that he would be furious when he found out about the mental barriers and might try to penetrate through them with as much force as he could. He dreaded to think what that would be like on her.

"Okay, I'm done," Awinita said.

Thomas went back in slowly, just in case she found something to club him with. Awinita raised her eyebrow when she noticed his hesitation.

"I can't even see straight at the moment let alone knock you out," she said to him.

He relaxed, helped her up and helped her pull up her underpants. He helped her to the sink and after she washed her hands and dried them, he helped her back to bed. She lay back down and he pulled the covers up.

"Please, just trust me, alright?" he begged. "I know this might look like a trap or some scheme to get you to open up to me and talk about the Doctor but it's not. I'm sorry that I don't have the courage to resist but think about this, if I do resist right now and I end up dead, where will you be? You need me at the moment and until we can figure out a way to escape, it's best to just play along and behave, alright?"

Awinita nodded.

"Thank you. Now, get some rest. I'll be outside if you need me so just yell, alright?"

She nodded.

He smiled and went outside the room while Awinita sighed and reluctantly closed her eyes.

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