Chapter Fifty Eight

"Rose, we're here."

Rose opened her eyes when the Doctor gently shook her shoulder. She noticed they were nearing a city.

"Phoenix?" she said.

"Yes. Gotta find a slip road and find the airport. I thought we could drop the car off there and take the bus, try to find something fun to do before we call the TARDIS to us."

"Sounds good to me," Rose said, straightening up in her seat.

The Doctor took the next exit, went down the off-ramp and found a McDonalds. He told everyone to wait while he went inside for directions to the airport before he got out and went inside. He came out ten minutes later with a small McDonald's sack and got in the car.

"French fries for all," he said, passing out four boxes of fries among them, "and I got directions to the airport. "

They ate their fries while the Doctor made his way to the airport. Once he , he found someone at the waiting area and asked where the car rental places were. Rose laughed when he got the directions and drove off and the Doctor gave her a quizzical look.

"Man asking for directions. That's not s'posed to happen," she teased.

"I'm not human so it doesn't apply to me," the Doctor said, winking.


After dropping the car off at Avis, they took a shuttle back to the airport. The Doctor asked about buses and he was told that the shuttle would take him to a light rail station that would bring them into downtown and the central station. The Doctor thanked him and they stayed on until the shuttle stopped at a parking lot next to the light rail station. The station was in the middle of a road. It was a long concrete platform with a steel partition down the middle of it. On either side were steel chairs and on each side was an electronic sign that gave the time. Everyone hurried across the road and walked up a short concrete ramp that led up to the platform. At the entrance to the platform was a ticket dispenser for the train and the buses. The Doctor got everyone day passes and passed them out.

"The next westbound train will arrive in…five minutes," a female voice said from speakers hidden in the electronic sign. It was followed by the same message in Spanish.

"I think west is where we need to go," the Doctor said, pointing to the skyscrapers off in the distance.

"Westbound train goes to Phoenix," Rose said, pointing to a sign on the side of the partition. "East goes to Tempe and Mesa."

"Brilliant. Just in time then," the Doctor said.

"The next eastbound train will arrive in…five minutes," the female voice said followed by the translation in Spanish.

"I asked the bloke at Avis about things to do and he gave me a few ideas. We can find out where everything is at the central station," the Doctor said.

"Just let it be inside. This is horrible," Rose said as she blanched at the intense heat. "I'm glad it doesn't get this hot in England."

"It doesn't bother me," the Doctor said smugly. "I'm not human."

"The next westbound train is arriving in…two minutes," the voice said.

"We'll all be dead by then," Jack said, standing in the shade cast by the partition while Ianto stood beside him.

"Oh, you babies. It's nice, better than freezing your balls off," the Doctor said to him.

"Freezing sounds good right now," Rose said.

They saw the train coming towards them. It was long and streamlined and silver. The train operator dinged a bell as he slowed down and pulled into the station. There were two trains hitched together and the four of them got into the second train when the doors slid open. Inside there were two person seats facing the front of the train while three person seats were positioned on the other side, facing the two person seats. Behind the two person seats was one three person seat and behind all of it was a higher level with more two person seats. There was a corridor that led to another section that was like theirs and in between in the corridor were three person seats facing each other on either side of it and overhead racks for bicycles. One bike was hanging off the rack by its front wheel while two people sat beside it. In the other section were three more people sitting on the upper level. The Doctor and Rose sat down in the front two person seat while Jack and Ianto sat behind them. Rose sighed with relief when the air-conditioning hit her face. The doors slid closed and there was more dinging as the train started slowly and gained speed as it left the platform.

There were doors on both sides of the trains and on the right hand side, there was a map of the stops above that door. The Doctor got up and held onto a black rail while he studied it. He looked over at a young Indian woman who was sitting by herself in one of the three person seats. He went over to her and sat down beside her. He introduced himself and found out her name was Lynda. He spoke to her and pointed to the map and asked where the central station was and where they were supposed to get off. He also asked if there were any museums or tourist attractions along the light rail and found out there was an art museum near one of the platform stations.

"Wanna go to the art museum?" he asked his friends. "We wouldn't have to get off and find a bus."

"I do," Rose said. "I like the air-conditioning in here."

"Sounds good to me," Ianto said, nodding.

"Eh, art museum? Let's go find a gladiator battle!" Jack said.

"Don't mind him, he's crazy," the Doctor said to Lynda.

He thanked her and went over and sat back down beside Rose.


They went past the central station for two more stops and got out near the main library. The museum was just down the street and they walked down the ramp towards the exit while the train went on.

"Now the heat is starting to get to me," Jack said, wiping sweat from his brow.

"Well, if I can find a scythe, I'll slice your face off and that'll solve the problem," the Doctor said as he and Rose walked behind him.

"Look at Ianto, he's dressed to the nines and he doesn't care," Jack said, pointing to Ianto in front of him.

Ianto was wearing brown trousers, a pink shirt, black tie and brown jacket. Jack caught up to him and noticed sweat was beading on his brow. Jack knewPhoenixwould be hot so he left his coat in the TARDIS. He wasn't used to the familiar feel of his coat covering him but he was glad he left it since the heat was sweltering. He looked back at the Doctor wearing his pinstriped suit. He noticed no sweat was on his brow and he was insanely jealous of him.

When they got to the exit, they crossed the street and turned left, heading for the museum. They crossed one more street and walked about a block to get to the entrance. Rose gasped again when they got inside.

"Never will complain about the bloody weather in England again," she gasped as she wiped the sweat off her brow. "Why would anyone wanna live here?"

"On the other hand, the winters are very mild," Jack said to her.

"Yeah but you can't enjoy the winter because you die during the summer of heat stroke," Rose said.

They walked up to the front desk and after paying for the tickets, they got a guide to the museum and headed for the lift.

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