Chapter Twenty Seven

Charlie walked around the corridors of the TARDIS, still in awe at the enormous time ship. She'd been exploring for the past half hour and she got the sense that there was much, much more to the ship than anyone had ever seen before. It still blew her mind that she was in an alien spaceship. It blew her mind even more that the aliens all seemed normal, even the Doctor who presumably wasn't ever a human like the rest of them. The more she saw, the more she liked and she felt certain that her child would be raised in a far better environment than she could ever give him.

She found her way back to the console room and paused at the door when she saw Hope. She was the only one in the room and she was sitting on the jump seat, sulking while she stared blankly at the unmoving rotor in front of her. She slipped quietly into the room, keeping her eyes on the young child. She was so quiet that Hope didn't know she was there until she was nearly at her side. Charlie held up her hand when Hope gasped and jumped up.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you," Charlie said. "I was just taking a walk. This is a cool spaceship."

"Yeah, she's the greatest spaceship ever," Hope said, sitting back down. "She's more than a spaceship though, she's my friend. She talks to me all the time and my mummy and daddy and everyone in my family. She's alive."

Charlie considered that for a moment. She listened but didn't hear any breathing from the ship. Still, she figured that a ship could be alive in other ways. After all, it managed to trap her in a force field without anyone pushing a button. She decided not to dwell on that and turned her attention back to the young girl in front of her.

"Are you alright? You looked upset," she said to Hope.

"Daddy and Mummy went to go get my sissies back and I wanted to go and they said no. I want to help everyone and be a good Time Lady but Daddy and Mummy want me to be safe."

"Well, isn't that a good thing?" Charlie said, sitting down beside her.

"I s'pose but I'm gonna be a Time Lady when I grow up and I wanna help now so I can train."

Charlie didn't know what to say to that. She didn't know anything about Time Lord society or how they raised their children. For all she knew, the Doctor was supposed to be training her and was neglecting his duties. She and Hope looked over when the console started beeping. Hope leapt up and walked over to it.

"What you need, TARDIS?" Hope asked.

Charlie watched silently while Hope appeared to listen for a moment and then nodded. She was fascinated when the TARDIS seemed to illuminate things she wanted Hope to push and Hope moved to them and did what the ship asked.

"What are you doing?" Charlie asked.

"People coming to see Daddy and Mummy," Hope said while she flipped a switch. "The Time Lords in charge of things and the TARDIS wants me to help bring them on board. There, that's done."

She pushed a button and there was a flash and a group of men and women appeared near the ramp. Hope and Charlie walked over to them. An elderly man met them halfway to the console.

"I am Zeronith," he said. "Xashon summoned us here?"

"I'm the Doctor's daughter, Hope. Xashon isn't here right now and neither is Daddy."

"Hope, I remember you," he said, patting her on the head. "You've grown. And you are…"

"Oh um, I'm Charlie, I'm a guest here," Charlie said, surprised the man spoke to her.

She was even more shocked when they bowed hello to her. It felt strange for others to treat her with this kind of respect. She never had much respect growing up.

"Do you know when the Doctor or Xashon will return?" Zeronith asked Hope.

"Um, I'll think to him and ask. Hold on," Hope said.

The Doctor and his family were hiding behind a high sand dune watching while Srolan and a few of the guards were heading into the remains of Khufu's pyramid with Jenny and Tara. The largest pyramid out of the three was in ruins, the top had collapsed down onto the lower levels making it look like a pile of rubble but Srolan seemed to know where there was an entrance since he and the others were heading inside. He could tell his daughters were awake but his attempts to reach them with telepathy were futile and he was getting angrier by the second. They were trying to come up with a way to sneak up on them without being detected and they were batting ideas around when suddenly the Doctor saw an image of Hope in his mind, frantically waving her arms.

Yes, love? He thought.

Hey, there's some people here for you and Xashon. They're from the High Council. I let them into the TARDIS but they wanna know how long you're gonna take.

"Bollocks," the Doctor muttered under his breather before he told everyone what was happening.

"I'll go back and meet with them," Duer said. "You concentrate on the situation at hand."

"Be careful," the Doctor said before he told Hope what was happening.

He gave his daughter a virtual kiss before he cut off contact with her. Hope looked at Zeronith and the other councilors.

"Uncle Duer's coming back here. My Daddy's busy trying to save my sisters," she said.

There was a flash behind her and Duer composed himself before he walked over to the councilors.

"Zeronith, councilors, it's nice to see you again," Duer said, shaking their hands.

"What's going on?" Zeronith asked.

Duer quickly filled them in on what was going on while Hope and Charlie listened. Meanwhile the others waited until everyone was inside the pyramid before they went up and over the dune and headed towards the pyramid. They reached the hole and waited a moment while Srylana went inside. She came out after thirty seconds and told them to come inside. They turned on torches while they made their way through a narrow corridor. Up ahead, they saw one of the guards. He was guarding the corridor and as he turned his silver face mask caught the light of the torches. He nearly shot everyone before he recognized Srylana.

"Identify yourself," Srylana hissed as she strode up to him.

"Vros, Srylana."

"Where are the others?" Srylana growled at him. "Where has Srylon taken the children.

"Into the burial chamber down under the pyramid."

"You will follow me and you will assist us or your punishment will be greater than it is now."

The Doctor expected Vros to put up a fuss but he merely turned and followed Srylana. As they walked though, Vros looked back and the Doctor could tell he was looking right at him. He imagined the glare coming from behind the dark lenses of the mask but at the moment he didn't care if he was hated or not. He wanted his children back.

They walked for several feet and then Srylana suddenly froze.

"The gene manipulator, it's here, isn't it? We store it here in the desert so it would stay dry, right?" she asked Vros.

"Yes," Vros said.

"And is he planning to use it?"

Vros hesitated a moment and Srylana grabbed his clothes.

"Is he planning to use it?" she snarled at him.

"He wants to use it to change the humans into us," Vros said timidly.

The Doctor let out a curse and Srylana growled at Vros that he would be greatly punished for this before she told him to move. Vros stepped in front of her and Srylana ordered him to take them to the burial chamber.

Back                         Home                              Doctor Who Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted.