Chapter Twelve

Thomas felt sick to his stomach the moment he came in the room. Awinita was lying there weeping quietly. Her back and butt were riddled with whip marks and blood was all over her, the table and the floor. He felt rage at the Cyber Messiah for doing this and he hoped that the Doctor did find Awinita and did something nasty to him in return for what he did to her.

He moved towards the table and put his hand on the side of her head.

"Awinita," he said gently. "I'm gonna get you cleaned up and get you out of here, alright?"

She swallowed hard and nodded. Thomas let out a sad sigh while he walked over to the cabinets. He pulled a flannel out along with some soap, iodine, gauze and tape. He had been a victim of the whippings and had seen others whipped so he knew what had to be done. He found a box of surgical gloves and put a pair of them on. He turned the sink on and waited till the water was warm before he ran the flannel underneath it. He wrung it out, lathered some soap in it and moved back to Awinita.

"This is just soap and water, alright?" he said to her.

She nodded. Thomas gingerly touched the warm washcloth to her back and very carefully cleaned the blood off her body. He glanced at her and saw her wincing but other than that, she remained still. To get her mind off what he was doing, Thomas asked her about traveling with the Doctor and some of the places she had gone. Weakly, she began to talk while she stared at the closed door. Thomas listened with interest while he continued to clean her off. He knew he had done the right thing because Awinita was keeping calm while she talked. He moved the flannel down towards her butt, rage flaring up when he noticed one of the whip marks went right across her beautiful butterfly tattoo marring it permanently. He shook his head knowing that she was going to be carrying nasty scars on her body for the rest of his life just like he would and her sister would.

He finished cleaning her off and wiped down the table before he took the bloodied washcloth back to the sink. He set it inside and grabbed the iodine, gauze and tape. He took them back and asked more questions about traveling with the Doctor while he applied the iodine to her skin. Once that was finished, he took the gauze pads and put them over the nastier looking wounds protecting them from infection. Then he taped them to her skin and took everything back to the cabinets when he was finished. He put the bloodied flannel in a biohazard bin, took off the gloves and also tossed them in. He walked back to Awinita and loosened the restraints. He helped her turn over and winced when the pressure made her grit her teeth. Quickly but carefully, he helped her to sit up and went to fetch her clothes which were still in a heap on the floor. Walking back around he noticed that Awinita was so preoccupied with the pain that she hadn't bothered to cover her private parts with her hands and he got a eyeful of them before he averted his eyes. He didn't bother with the bra or panties since they would rub against the wounds. He just helped her put the gown on and then he helped her to stand. He grabbed her underwear and held it in his right hand while he supported her with the other and helped her move out of the room back towards her room. When they finally reached it, he urged Awinita to lie on her stomach and only restrained her wrists. He put the ends of the leg restraints underneath the cover to make it look like they were on and covered her completely up to her shoulders. He squeezed her shoulder.

"I have to go clean up the rest of the blood but I'll be back soon," he said to her.

She nodded and he gave her shoulder one more squeeze before he turned and walked out of the room behind him. Once he was out of the room and the door was closed, Awinita began to weep softly.


After that day, Thomas held out hope that her family would find her quickly but to his dismay, one day turned into two, then three, then a week, then two and finally a month and four days since the incident. Awinita had been tortured off and on with intervals in between to allow her to recover but according to her the Cyber Messiah never turned off the block to allow her family to feel it. Thomas guessed they were being tortured anyway since it had been a month since she had any contact with them. The exit doors were all guarded so she couldn't go back out and make contact with them. He figured she wouldn't try it anyway since she knew they were torture rooms.

Apart from torture sessions with the Cyber Messiah, Thomas was the only other person she was allowed to see. He hadn't administered any more whippings and the wounds on her back had healed up for the most part and she was able to sit up without agony. Thomas kept looking for ways to help her but he had been restricted to the building and his sole duty now was being her caretaker so there was no chance of him sneaking away from his apartment and going to find Edison and the others. He figured her family was probably looking everywhere for her but there was no way he could contact them. There were no phones, the computers all were password protected, there were no exits save the ones to the torture rooms and the corridors were constantly watched. There was no real way to save her from the torture either. He couldn't take her outside and if they found out he was sympathetic to her, he would be tortured alongside her or end up with his brain drained or dead. So he did the only thing he could do, care for her and provide some companionship and comfort while they waited for someone to rescue her.

In the month that Thomas had known her, the two of them had become close friends. Awinita finally trusted him and had opened up to him, talking to him to ease the boredom and ease her fears. Thomas had actually learned a great deal about her. He knew about her human life and about her becoming a Time Lady. He in turn told her about his life, although he admitted to her that it wasn't quite as interesting as traveling in time and space. She also told him more about the Doctor and the more he heard the more he realized Awinita was right about him and the Cyber Messiah was wrong. The Doctor was a fascinating man. He had heard numerous stories about him over the past month and he was envious that Awinita actually got to travel though time and space at his side.

He also had to admit that he had feelings for her after getting to know her better and seeing how warmhearted and loving and kind she was. He had been attracted to her physically from the start; the woman was a looker after all. But the more he found out about her, the more he loved her inside beauty. But for the moment he kept those feelings to himself since it was hardly the time or place to start up a romance when the poor girl was getting tortured on a regular basis. Still, he found that he was becoming more and more protective of her and stepped up his efforts to find a way to escape, at least find a way out for her so she could get back to her family.

It was now a month and five days since she was abducted and on that morning Thomas rose from the camp bed that had been put just outside the door to her room. He yawned and walked inside. He knew that Awinita didn't sleep much but she was still being drugged and that caused her to sleep more than she normally would. He walked over to her side and stared down at her while she slept. He smiled when he saw how peaceful she looked and how beautiful she was. Hesitantly, he reached out and brushed a strand of hair away from her right eye. He gazed at her for a couple more minutes before he lightly shook her.

"Hey, Nita, time to get up. It's breakfast time," he said.

Awinita slowly opened her eyes and turned her head to look at him.

"Nita?" she mumbled.

He shrugged.

"I've known you a little over a month now. I can't use something more informal than Awinita?"

"I wasn't aware Awinita was a formal name," she mumbled.

"Okay, okay, I'll use Awinita then," he said.

She shrugged.

"Nita's okay, I guess. I've just never been called that before."

Thomas unbuckled her restraints.

"Never? Seems like an obvious nickname to me," he said to her.

"My family called me hon or sweetie or sugar pie or little fawn since my name means fawn, but never Nita."

"Little fawn? I like that too," he said lowering the bedrail. "So, did you ever get called Bambi then?"

"No," she said, rolling her eyes while he chuckled.

He put his arm around her and helped her to sit up and then helped her to the bathroom.

"Have you heard anything about the Doctor from the Cyber Messiah?" Awinita asked.

"No, he never mentions him anymore. I'm pretty sure he hasn't lost interest so I'm betting this is just his way of tormenting your family."

He helped lower her to the toilet and stepped outside, leaving the door ajar so they could talk.

"He's making a huge mistake doing this," Awinita said to him. "The longer he does this the more enraged my family's gonna be when they do find him and he's gonna pay for tormenting them and me. I've seen the Doctor when he's royally pissed off. It's not a pretty sight.

"Well, if he did earn names from other people like The Destroyer of Worlds, I can imagine how pissed off he will be once he finds you."

"I'm done now."

"Okey-dokey, Nita, let's get you back in bed and I'll get you some breakfast."

"Great, more crappy food to eat," she said while he walked back in.

He smiled and flushed the toilet for her while he helped her to stand. He helped her back into bed, laid the restraints across her arms and legs and covered her up to her shoulders. He raised the bed rail and smiled at her.

"I'll be back with the crappy food," he said to her.


He walked out of the room while Awinita sighed and closed her eyes. He walked down the corridor, turned and walked halfway down the second one to the kitchen. Inside there was usually a tray that someone had made up for her the night before with food that he knew had some sedatives in them. It was usually on the counter by the fridge, covered with a couple of napkins to keep flies away. But when he entered the kitchen there was no tray there. He looked around in confusion but he couldn't see it anywhere. He opened the fridge, the oven, the microwave but there was no tray.

"What the hell?" he muttered. "Where's her damn food?"

Sighing, he opened the fridge and rummaged through it, grabbing some slices of turkey and some mayonnaise. He set them on the counter and grabbed the milk. He looked in the breadbox and grabbed some wheat bread. He made her a couple of turkey sandwiches and poured a glass of milk before putting everything back. He carried the plate and glass back down the hallway towards her room.

Awinita stared at the food when he came in and set them on the bedside table.

"Where's my usual junk?" she muttered.

"I have no idea. They didn't fix anything for you so I fixed you this," he said.

He lowered the bedrail, helped her to sit up and handed her the plate while he set beside her. While she ate they talked and he helped steady the glass when she took a drink of milk. Once she was finished, he took the dishes away, helped her back into bed, placed the restraints over her body and covered her back up. He took the dirty dishes back into the kitchen. When he entered he was shocked to see an older cult member glaring at him.

"I saw you carry that food out and watched you take it to the girl. That food was not for her," he said to him.

"Well, maybe if the person in charge of fixing her tray did their duty I wouldn't have to resort to feeding her out of the fridge."

"She's not to be fed at all."

Thomas was stunned.

"What? Why?"

"The Lord has decreed it. She is to be denied food until further notice. She is only allowed to have water."

Thomas fought to keep his anger under control.

"She has done nothing wrong," he protested. "She has obeyed for a month now. Why is she being punished like this?"

The cult member narrowed his eyes.

"Why do you care if she suffers?"

"Because she is under my care and I would like to know why the Lord suddenly decided to starve her."

"That is not for you to question; the Cyber Messiah's word is law. You are to obey it. If he decrees the female is not to be fed then she will not be fed. And just to make sure that happens, the Cyber Messiah has ordered locks on the refrigerator and all the cabinets. From now on, only certain people will be able to get food out."

Thomas felt like punching the man when he saw the haughty look on his face. He kept calm, quickly washed the dishes and put them in the strainer. He calmly walked past the man fighting the urge to scream out a steady stream of curses.

God this is getting worse and worse, he thought to himself. I gotta get Nita out of here before she ends up dead. I gotta reach the Doctor somehow. But how?

He paused by an open door and walked inside the room so he could get his anger under control so he could break the news gently to Awinita. The room was a living room. There was a filtered TV that blocked out news from the outside world. There were two chairs, a couch, a coffee table, a smaller table beside one of the chairs with a lamp on it and a computer desk and chair at the back with a password protected PC sitting on top of it. Thomas walked over to the couch and slumped down on it. He put his head in his hands at a loss as what to do to save his friend.


He jerked his head up and saw a odd looking man on the computer screen. At first he thought it was just some kind of weird screensaver since the background behind the man was rotating but then the man looked right at him.

"H-hey, where am I?" he said to him.

Thomas got up and walked over to him, completely confused. He raised his eyebrow when the man's head tilted up to look at him. He walked to the left keeping his eyes on him and the man turned his head to watch him. He walked back to the right and the man followed his movement. He walked back to the front of the screen and the man smiled at him.

"Have a nice w-w-walk?" he said to him.

"Are you talking to me?"

"N-n-no, I'm talking to the ghost of my d-d-dead auntie behind you," he said sarcastically.

Thomas pulled out the chair that was in front of the computer desk and sat down, keeping his eyes on the man. The man stared right back at him.

"Hello," the man said.

"Um…hi," Thomas said hesitantly. "Who are you?"

"My name is M-M-Max," he said, proudly. "You?"


Max stared at him.

"Wait, ww-w-eren't you the guy that Edison talked talked to?"

"Wait, you know Edison?"

"I know him int-t-t-timately," Max said with an enigmatic smile.

"Where did you come from?"

"Outside. I've been jumping screens searching for the cyber c-c-cult."

"This is it."

Max blinked.

"I b-b-beg your p-p-pardon."

"This is the cult, you found it."

"I d-d-did? At last, I can finally go back home to Edis-s-son! Thanks for the info, T-T-T-Thomas. I'll be seeing you!"


Max stared at him, waiting for him to speak.

"The Doctor, he's with Edison Carter, right?"

"As f-f-far as I know."

"Awinita is here. She's being held prisoner. The Doctor and her family haven't heard from her in a month but she's still alive. They've tortured her in that time and now they're going to starve her. Please lead them here so they can get her out of here. And tell the Doctor that I'm not evil and I'm not with them, I've been caring for her as best I can, but there's only so much I can do or I'll end up tortured and dead. She's alright at the moment but I don't know how much longer that'll last. You've got to bring them here so they can get her and stop the Cyber Messiah before it's too late, alright?"

"G-g-gotcha," Max said.

"Go, hurry! Bring the Doctor here."

Max vanished and the screen went back to being blank. Thomas felt hope swelling in his heart while he got up, pushed the chair in and hurried from the room.


Edison unlocked the door to his apartment and he, the Doctor and his family came inside. For the past month, they had been all over the city searching for Awinita and the location of the cult. But there had been only silence, not just from Awinita but also the cult. There had been no more brain drained cult members turning up out of the blue, not a peep from them which Edison figured was the idea. All of them were distraught, filled with fear about what might be happening to Awinita and they ran themselves ragged searching for any hint of the cult. In fact, Edison finally had to step in and demand they rest before they all had a nervous breakdown.

That was what they were doing at the moment. Edison had gotten some Chinese takeout and insisted they all go home to rest and have some lunch before they went out again. Theora was at work and Edison had her manning the computer there searching for any sign of cult activity from the news feeds or any lead they could hunt down.

Edison took the food to the kitchen to prepare it while the others slumped down on the sofa and chairs and on the floor. The Doctor and Alan sat on the floor and held their wives while the others stared at the walls, dejected.

"This isn't working," Alan said. "We can't go over the entire city inch by inch. We have to figure out something else or we'll drop dead of exhaustion before we even get to her."

"But what else can we do?" Mingxia said. "With the damper and the mind block there's no way to track her and she doesn't know where she is, so there's no way she could tell us even if she was able to think to us."

"There has to be a way, there's just got to be," the Doctor said. "I don't care how clever a person is; sooner or later they're gonna slip up and make a mistake. We just gotta figure out the mistake."


Jenny was sitting at the end of the couch when she heard a voice coming from the computer. She got up and looked at it.

"Max!" she said, smiling. "We haven't seen you in ages."

"I know. I have n-n-news. I found the c-c-cult."

There was a hushed silence for a moment, everyone wondering whether they had heard him right. Then Jenny quickly turned the computer around so it faced all of them.

"You found where the cult is hiding at?" Jenny asked.

"Yup, I d-d-did."

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and murmured "Thank God".

"Jenny, run and get Edison," the Doctor said.

Jenny leapt up and ran into the kitchen. She returned a minute later with Edison behind her.

"Max, you found it?" Edison said, grinning.

"Yes, I d-d-did."

"Where? Where is it?"

Edison winked out and the screen was replaced by a 3D building layout. There was a four story building with what looked like a subterranean structure underneath it. Edison studied it for a moment and shook his head.

"I'm sending this to Theora, maybe she can tell us where it's at," he said.

He minimized the map, brought up the vid phone and contacted her. There were a couple of rings and then she appeared on the screen.

"Yes, Edison?"

"Max did it, he found the location of the cult but he gave me some building's layout. I don't know where it is but I want you to take a look at it and tell me if you can figure out the location."

"Okay, send it to me."

Edison brought the file back up and sent a copy of it to her. He minimized it and watched while Theora stared at it on a different screen.

"I know this place. I've seen old news reports about it. This is an old government installation that was built a long time ago, back when there was the danger of nuclear war between us and The United Soviet Empire," she said. "I'm not sure about the function of the building up above, most likely offices, but the structure underneath is a fallout shelter that was built to shelter the most important people in New York in case there was an attack. Every major city in the US has one. But they are completely underground which means…no windows."

The Doctor and his family shared a look.

"Well, I'll be damned," Jack said, "No wonder we couldn't find it."

"The shelter is fairly large," Theora said. "Because it was designed to house people for a long period of time and that means they have everything down there you might need to survive. But it's been abandoned for God knows how long, Edison, along with the building above it. I'm sure the fallout shelter's been forgotten by now by most New Yorkers."

"Well, I certainly didn't know about it. Do you have directions to it?"

"Yup, I can bring that up, print it out and send them to you."

Edison grinned when the others whooped and hollered.

"See, I told you, the villain slipped up and made a mistake, he didn't count on Max being able to get in and out without being noticed," the Doctor said.

"So when Awinita went through that exit door, she was going into another room in the fallout shelter," Mingxia said to the Doctor.

"Yes and I'm sure they installed an exit sign there to make people think it was a way out and lure them into a trap. If it's a fallout shelter, they would have to have an independent source of electricity in case of nuclear attack. And if they have that, they don't have to worry about being charged for the electricity and people finding out that they're there. It's ingenious. A perfect place to hide a cult."

"Yeah, now we just have to pray Awinita's still alive down there," Rose said.

"I'm betting she is. He still wants me and he's not gonna give up his advantage. As long as she lives, he has power over me…or so he thinks."

They watched while three pieces of paper came through the fax under the computer. One was a 3D map of the building. The second was a 3D map of the bunker and the third was the directions. Theora smiled at them.

"I'm glad we finally got a break," she said to them. "I hope Awinita's alright."

The screen switched back to Max.

"I can answer t-t-that," he said to them. "Awinita is alive."

They breathed sighs of relief.

"But she's b-b-been tortured," Max added.

"Oh God, no," Rain murmured while the Doctor put his hand on her shoulder.

"I found that T-T-Thomas and he's told me to t-t-tell you that he's been t-t-taking care of her. He's not evil and he's not with the c-c-cult. He's tried to look after her but there's only so much he can do do or they'll kill him t-too. He wanted me to t-t-tell you that."

"Well, it's nice to know she had someone down there caring for her," Edison said. "Theora, you get that?"

The screen switched back to her.

"Yeah, I did. I'm glad Thomas was looking after her. I hope she's still in one piece when you find her."

Max came back.

"Oh! I'm s-s-sorry, mem-memory circuits are going in my old age. He also said that they just started s-s-starving her too."

The Doctor's face went pale.

"That settles it, we have to get over there before she ends up dead," he said.

"The only problem is we just can't go waltzing in there," Edison said, "they know our faces now. They'll nab us in a heartbeat. So if any of you have an effective alien disguise we can use…"

They thought. Suddenly, a huge grin spread over the Doctor's face.

"What is it, Love?" Rain said.

He let out an insane giggle while he leapt up and sprinted back into the TARDIS.

"Oh, this oughta be good," Jack muttered.

Ten minutes later, he strolled back out with his hand behind his back. He walked over to his wife, leaned down beside her and held his hand out to her.

"Do you remember this, Latara?" he said.

Her eyes widened.

"Oh my God, you found the imager?" she said.

"Yup, asked the TARDIS to look for it and bring it to me and she did. Told ya it would come in handy one day."

"What is it?" Edison asked.

"This is a holographic imager. It projects a three dimensional hologram around someone that looks completely realistic."

He briefly explained the Valeyard and how he was forced to impersonate a woman.

"This is actually how Rain and I ended up together," he said, winking at her when she giggled. "And I fooled her completely. She didn't know it was me until I revealed myself. But if I wear this around my neck I can look like a completely different person and pass myself off as a cult member while I search for Awinita."

"That's wonderful but what about the rest of us?" Edison said.

"I don't want you coming with me. I'll go in alone."

"But…you need us," Edison said.

"Edison, think about it. If ten people go in there someone's bound to notice it. If I go by myself in disguise I can move around and hopefully no one will question me. At the very least let me go in first and then I'll phone you if I need you."


He looked at Donna.

"She has a mobile and I have one that a friend of mine once gave me. I'll take it with me and if I need help or need you to summon the police I'll ring you and tell you so. But I want to go in by myself anyway. It's me the Cyber Messiah wants and I wanna face him and put an end to all this."

"But who are you gonna look like?" Rain said. "Surely they keep track of all their members."

The Doctor thought.

"I'll pose as Thomas. I know what he looks like and I know his voice and we're about the same height. And I assume his story about being dressed in a gown fits the outfit that teenage girl was wearing. I can program that in and hey presto, I'm a cult member."

"You sure you don't wanna go as Morana?" Alan said.

He shot him a look while they all snickered.

"No thanks I don't fancy going as a woman again if I can help it," he said, rolling his eyes.

"Well, if you insist on going in alone, take Max with you. Max can help disable alarms and cameras and guide you through the shelter. Can't you?"

"I most certainly c-c-can," he replied.

"Okay, he can come with me."

"Gee, you say that like you have a choice," Edison said with a grin.


"Okay, everyone," the Doctor yelled through the door of the TARDIS. "Are you ready to see me as Thomas?"

"Yes!" they yelled in unison.

The door opened and "Thomas" stepped outside. They stared at him. He looked exactly like Thomas. He was wearing the long white gown, which looked odd since they had only seen him in street clothes. He strolled over to Edison.

"Alright, Carter," he said, imitating Thomas's voice, "buzz off, I don't know anything about any cult."

"God, that's…disturbing," Edison said.

He reached out and touched him.

"You're touching me and my clothes," the Doctor said in his normal voice, "and if you touch the hands you'll feel my hands, which isn't as big a problem as it was when I was impersonating Morana. But this disguise plus my sonic screwdriver will hopefully get me inside and once I'm inside, Max can help me out. And with luck, I'll find Awinita and get her to safety before I go back and deal with the Cyber Messiah once and for all."

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