Chapter Nineteen

Hope walked into the kitchen and saw Alan sitting at the kitchen table, sipping some tea. He had a melancholy look on his face but he brightened when he saw Hope.

"I'm bored, I want something to drink," Hope said to him as he walked towards the refrigerator. "I hate being a kid. I don't get to help Daddy when it really counts. I have to stay behind and wait."

"That's because Daddy and Mummy love you and want you to live to see your twenties," Alan said.

Hope pulled a bottle of grape juice out of the refrigerator, closed the door and walked over to him.

"I can't wait till I'm old enough to do neat stuff like my sisters do," Hope said, sitting down next to him. "Being a kid is no fun."

"I'm a kid at heart and I have lots of fun," Alan said.

"Yeah, but you're an adult too."

"Yes, but I've always been an adult, I was born this way to quote Lady Gaga. I was never a child so you should treasure it. Don't grow up too fast; it's not all fun and games helping your father."

"Why aren't you out there?" Hope asked.

"Because I'm unloved," Alan said with a sniff. "I was asked to stay behind to take care of the brats, I mean, children."

"Oi!" Hope said while he sniggered.

Alan tousled her hair and smiled while he watched her drinking her juice. He loved his niece with all his hearts but he wished his children were her age. He had to admit he felt a bit jealous of Adam for getting a new son. But he felt thankful that at least he was here where he could be with his brother's children rather than be stuck back in the other universe. He finished up his tea and decided to get a second cup while Hope drank her juice.

Meanwhile Srylana was leading the Doctor and the others further into the city. Travis looked around at everything, his jaw nearly to the floor.

"All this is underneath the Earth," he said.

"Yes, this is our home," Srylana said. "At least we considered it a temporary home until we regained the Earth again."

The city was a series of caves that went off in every direction along with rock house and houses made out of rock crystal. Some silurians were in the city and the few that were there stopped and watched as everyone walked by.

"You find more slaves, Srylana?" a male called to her.

"Guest, Darzan, they're my guests under a flag of truce."

There was scattered mutterings about that but no one attacked and everyone got out of the way as they walked past. She led them into one of the tunnels. The narrow tunnel was lit by flaming torches and it sloped downwards gently. Srylana led them down the tunnel and the farther they walked, the hotter it got. In the distance they could hear the sound of metal hitting rock. After twenty minutes, they came out of the tunnel into a large room. The room had many tunnels leading out of it and they noticed a few bedraggled and half starved humans were pushing wheelbarrows out of them. The wheelbarrows were loaded with broken rock and the humans pushed them into one tunnel off to their right. The Doctor most of the men were wearing nothing except dirty trousers and shoes and the women were dressed in dirty shirts, trousers and shoes. They didn't see any children which was a good thing since the Doctor was livid.

"You criticize the humans and yet you treat them like they're beasts of burden?" he said to Srylana. "How are you better than the humans when you do things like this?"

"This is being merciful, we could have had them killed," Srylana said.

"No, you could have let them live their lives and tried to coexist with them or stay down here and live in your cities. This is barbaric," the Doctor said.

While he was talking, he noticed his wife was texting something on her IPhone. When Srylana tried to defend herself, the Doctor took a quick glance at what she was typing.


Then he watched while she filmed the slaves so she could send it to her father. She glanced at the Doctor and noticed he was watching what she was doing.

Dad asked me to find out what was going on and get footage for the High Council, she thought to him. He was thinking Xashon might help us out if she sees what the Silurians did since they invaded and attacked the humans without provocation.

Good thinking, the Doctor thought back.

The Doctor kept Srylana busy while Rain discreetly filmed what was going on. She got a few minutes of footage of the slaves working and the condition of their bodies before sending the footage to her father. Once she was finished she put the phone back in her pocket. The Doctor and Duer approached some of the slaves who stopped and gave them a terrified look when they saw Srylana walking with them. The Doctor soothed their fears and both he and Duer conducted scans on their bodies while Jack came up beside them and asked some basic questions about their care. The slaves looked hesitantly at Srylana and didn't speak until Srylana assured them they would not be punished. The Doctor was pleased that they were truthful with them about their care, citing their frequent lack of food, clean clothes and bedding.

"Is there any way you can get them more food, fresh clothes and change of bedding?" the Doctor said when they finished the interview. "They need all of that or they'll die."

"I'll see what I can do," Srylana said.

She looked over when Rain's mobile rang but since the mobile rang last time she paid it barely any mind when Rain excused herself and walked away from everyone. But the Doctor knew it was John calling back to talk to her about the footage. The Doctor kept Srylana talking, asking her to show them around the city so she wouldn't hear Rain speaking to her father. To his relief, Srylana was glad to show them around and Rain followed at a distance, telling her father what she was seeing while the others listened to Srylana giving the tour. By the time Srylana stopped talking, Rain was off the phone and had it back in her pocket and the Silurian was none the wiser.

After the meeting, Srylana agreed to meet them again in a few hours after telling them she would talk to the elders about arranging better conditions for the slaves and asking them to arrange a meeting with all the leaders so they could negotiate. Everyone thanked her before Srylana showed them back out. Once they were up on the surface, the Doctor pulled Rain away from the hole and asked her about John.

"I told him everything and he saw the footage," Rain said as everyone gathered around her. "He's going to Xashon now with the information."

"Good, with any luck we may get some help from our people and not have to do this alone," the Doctor said. "But for the moment let's go back and rest before Srylana comes back."

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