Chapter Eighteen

Moaning, Charlie opened her eyes when she sat up and placed her hand against the force field. She looked around the control room when she saw Dawg sitting on Marion's lap and he was smiling. Charlie couldn't remember the last time she had seen him smile and he reached up, wiggling his fingers at Marion. Marion stood up then picked Dawg off the floor and headed for the back door. He looked down when he saw Charlie looking at him and buried his face in Marion's neck. Marion glared at her then left the room and Charlie sighed, wiping the tears out of her eyes.

"What do you expect?" Adam asked when he sat down on the floor in front of the force field and she glared at him.

"Go away," she snarled as he arched the fedora back on his head and crossed one leg over the other leg.

"Look, Martha's right, I'm not someone who takes another person's kid. It's just that I can't see why you want to hurt him. He's a great kid. He has a wonderful smile and he is so smart! I don't know many five year olds that can spell words like he can. Guess that's from sitting in while the other kids had their lessons," he said and Charlie snorted.

"No, he's just smart. He could walk at eight months. Had to tie his feet together to keep him from running off," Charlie said and Adam arched an eyebrow. "Ok, I admit that doing that was wrong, but what was I supposed to do? He can't hear!"

"And living in a world like this, I can see why that's a problem," Adam said as he nodded his head. "Did you really try to drown him?"

"Yeah," Charlie sighed.

"Why?" Adam asked while giving her a pleading look.

"Look, you don't know me! You don't know what happened!" she half shouted and he hushed her.

"Ok, I'm listening. What happened?" he asked and she saw in his eyes that he really wanted to know.

"His name was Mitch. He was one of the older guards and he taught me everything I know. I was his best pupil. One night he got really drunk. No one knows where he got the booze, but he was pissed and he came into the woman's dorm. He told the others to get out and he locked the door. I tried to fight him off, but he was too strong!" she said and tears rolled down her cheeks. Slightly nodding his head, Adam watched as the force field came down and he scooted closer, sliding his arms around her. Charlie blinked her eyes a few times then leaned into him and wrapped her arms around him. He sent comfort into her mind as she cried and he gently rubbed her back. After a few minutes she settled down and he gave her a handkerchief to blow her nose.

"He…he raped you?" Adam asked softly and she nodded her head.

"Travis must have heard me screaming because he kicked the door in and dragged him off of me. I never saw Mitch again. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I could have aborted the baby, but I wanted to be a mother. The thing was, the more I thought about what Mitch did to me, the more I hated the baby growing inside of me. When Dawg was…"

"Don't call him that," Adam sighed and she sniffed, wiping her nose.

"When the baby was born, I didn't know what I wanted. His being born deaf made it doubly hard. I couldn't handle him. So I decided the best thing was to drown him. Travis stopped me and I told him to give the baby to someone else."

"Why didn't he?"

"He said that having a baby would give me something to protect. The thing was I didn't want him!"

"Is it because of what happened with Mitch? Was looking at him a constant reminder of his father?" Adam asked and she gave him a blank look.

"I never thought of it like that."

"Let me ask you this. If he had been born deaf and a girl, would you have beaten him?"

"Hell no!" she said then her eyes widened and he slightly smiled at her. "Oh god, it is true. I beat my son because I can't beat the crap out of his father!"

"That's what's called misplaced anger. You are so mad at Mitch that you're taking it out on your son," he said and she titled her head to one side.

"Are you a shrink or something?" she asked and he smiled, arching the fedora forward.

"No, but I went to a shrink once. Anyway, can you be honest with me about something?"


"I'm not playing mind games or controlling you in any way, but do you really think that Dawg would have a better life here with you and the others instead of coming with me and my wife?"

"What kind of a life would he have if he went with you?"

"Well, I do admit that some of my family is a little off the wall," he said as he pointed with his head toward Alan, who was making faces at Faith and Hope and they were doubled over with laughter, and Charlie looked at him. "But I assure you that he would be totally safe."

"Would they care if he was deaf?"

"Nope," Adam said as he shook his head. 'I told you I have two family members that are blind and no one cares."

"What happens if someone picks on one of them?"

"Ah, well, see, my nephew's blind, but if someone picks on him, he beats the snot of them."

"How can he do that if he can't see?"

"I have no idea," Adam said with a laugh in his voice and she smiled at him.

"Would he be able to go to school?"

"Yeah, we may have to see if we can get him some lesson aides so he can answer questions, but he would be able to when he's eight years old."

"What do you mean when he's eight years old?"

"The children are home taught until they're eight years old then they go to the academy," he said and her eyes widened.

"Whoa, I wish I could see this world of yours," she said and he sat her up, placed his fingers against her temples and closed his eyes. Charlie gasped while Adam set up a privacy block and showed her New Gallifrey. She staggered a bit after he let go and opened his eyes and she blinked her eyes a few times.

"Are you ok?" he asked, placing his hands on her shoulders.

"That's where he'll live?" she asked softly and he nodded his head. The tears rolled down her cheeks again as he held her and rocked her back and forth. "Please, take him there."

"Are you sure? I know I was being forceful, but that's because I was ticked off. I'm normally the level headed one," he said with a smile and she sniffed, wiping her nose with the handkerchief,

"I'm sure. I know that I can't be a mother to him and he really likes you."

"And I like him."

"Do you have any kids of your own?"

"Yep, I have three, two boys and a girl. They would love to have a little brother," Adam said as he wiped the tears from her cheeks with the pads of his thumbs and she softly smiled at him.

"Just do me a favor. Let him forget me," she said and his hearts caught in his chest.

"No, I won't do that. You're…" he said and she shook her head.

"I've seen the way he looks at me. Please, just take him and let him forget all about me," she said then got up and walked to a corner of the control room. Adam looked at her when Alan walked over and knelt down next to him.

"Sorry, but I was listening to what you two were saying and…." Alan said and Adam gave him a blank look.

"Not now," Adam whispered when he got up, walked to Charlie then sat next to her, pulling her into his arms. Alan watched while Adam held Charlie then he stood up, sighed and walked to the console.

Srylana led the way while the Doctor walked alongside her and the lights that had been installed in the walls cast a yellow glow in the tunnel. She turned the corner as they looked down the tunnel and the Doctor could feel the warm air coming from the vents in the wall.

"We use the thermal energy from the planet core to heat our tunnels," she said as he nodded and they walked down the tunnel.

"Do you really think an alliance between the Silurans and my people are possible?" Travis asked Duer as he walked next to him and Duer blinked his eyes a few times.

"Well, when I dealt with them, they were willing to listen to reason," Duer said.

"And the humans and Silurans live side by side?"

"Well, more like they live top to bottom. The Silurians gave certain agencies maps of their tunnels and the humans have been careful not to dig where they're not supposed to. True, there were some accidental breeches into either a hatchery or a hibernation chamber, but they were able to repair the damage without bloodshed."

"I don't know if the other groups will be as willing to listen as we are," Travis said when Srylana stopped and they walked closer. Travis' eyes widened when he saw what was in front of them and Duer walked to the Doctor, standing next to him.

"To paraphrase my son-in-law, look at the size of that, Doctor," he said and the Doctor smiled.

"Yes, it is big, isn't it?" the Doctor said and looked at the city spreading out around them.

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