Chapter Twenty Nine

Duer held onto little Alan while he and Hope walked down the corridor back to the console room. While they walked, Duer looked down at her.

"So…after all this is done, are you going to go take your entrance exams at the Academy?" he asked her.

"Yeah. Daddy made an appointment with the people there and I take them in a couple of days."

"Faith's appointment is next week. She's very nervous."

"Me too. I'm afraid I'm gonna fail it and end up in baby classes."

"Baby classes? Is there such a thing?" Duer teased. "Nah, you'll do just fine. You and Faith are smart and your dad and I have both been teaching you both things since you were old enough to understand. You'll do well."

They walked into the console room and Hope followed Duer over to the counselors.

"Yes?" he said to them.

"We were thinking of enlisting the assistance of other planets around us for a tribunal that will decide the Silurians' fate," Zeronith said. "If some of the Silurian are guilty of kidnapping, they need to be punished. And if the Silurian attacked without provocation and nearly wiped out the humans, they could lose their right to Earth and could be relocated to another planet where they wouldn't interfere with the rights of humans to exist."

"That won't be an easy thing," Duer said. "It could set off a war between our planets and the human survivors could get caught up in it."

"That's why we need to find out how many are left, if we can. We need to know what we're dealing with here and how devastating a war would be. Of course, it might not affect the humans at all since they've already been through an invasion and depopulation. Most of the humans are probably with the Silurian now."

They heard someone clearing their throat and saw Charlie standing by the back door.

"Are you going to take the humans somewhere then?" Charlie asked as she came towards them.

The councilors looked at each other.

"If there aren't a lot of survivors on the surface, we might harbor them inside the TARDIS or take them back to New Gallifrey until this is sorted out," Zeronith said. "We can't risk the extinction of the human race and who knows what the Silurian will do to their captives if we declare war on them. They may kill off the humans they have to try to prevent your species from reclaiming the planet."

Duer put his hand on her shoulder when he saw the shocked look on her face.

"We're trying our best, Charlie," Duer said. "This whole invasion was one of those tipping points in time where several things could have happened. If the workers hadn't disturbed the hibernation chambers, this never would have happened. We now have a planet that's mostly depopulated and we have to figure out how best to sort this out. If there aren't many humans left on the surface, we might bring them to New Gallifrey for a time so they can be protected just in case something happens to the hibernating humans and the slaves. If they're killed off, the survivors will be all that remains of humanity since at this point in time humans haven't ventured away from Earth. The actions we take now determine whether or not the human race survives."

Charlie's head was swimming at the thought of humanity being wiped out entirely. At the same time, she had to admit she was hoping that they would take them back to New Gallifrey. After everything she'd seen, she was curious about their home world and what it was like. She also wanted to see where her child would grow up.

"Is it possible for the TARDIS to run a scan of the Earth and see how many humans are on the surface?" a female council member said to Duer.

Duer nodded and walked over to the monitor while Hope and Charlie followed. Charlie stepped back when Duer looked at her but she relaxed when he gave her a warm smile and turned his attention back to the monitor.

I see Charlie is following you around now, he thought to Hope while he ran a scan.

Yeah, she's friendly, Hope thought back. I don't think she's a bad person, Uncle Duer.

Nor do I, she just made bad decisions, he thought to her. I think she's very young and she was one of the ones shouldered with the responsibility of keeping the human race going after the invasion and she got overwhelmed when she had a special needs child that needed a lot of care and attention and she took out her anger and frustration on poor Alan Junior. I think you should try to be her friend and perhaps you can help heal her and make her a better person. How about it, little Time Lady. Would you like that assignment?

Okay, Hope thought back.

The scan finished and Duer's mouth dropped open.

"According to this, there's 120 people left on the surface. Whatever the Silurians did, they were through," Duer said to Zeronith when he and the others came up to the monitor.

"There's only 120 humans left?" Charlie said.

"On the surface," Duer said. "We're not counting the ones the Silurians are holding underground.

Charlie staggered backwards, her mind blown at the thought that only 120 people were still free in the world. She sat down on the jump seat, her mind reeling. Hope came over and took her hand.

"120 people, Jesus," Charlie said, shaking her head. "Who are these things? How were they able to take so many of us hostage?"

"The things are Silurians and there are many of them," Duer said. "Not quite as many Silurians as humans but enough to overrun the Earth and invade it."

"But…"Charlie said. "Can you get them all back? I mean, you guys and the Doctor and the others. Could you convince these…Silurians to give their hostages back?"

"I don't know," Zeronith said. "That's what we're here to find out. Hopefully we can bring this all to a peaceful conclusion without having to resort to war. New Gallifrey has enough worries without getting in a war with the Silurians."

Srylana stopped everyone when they reached the bottom of the shaft. Ahead of them was a burial chamber and they could hear Srolan talking in hushed voices to the other guards. Everyone positioned themselves on either side of the narrow door that had been cut out of the limestone. The Doctor could see Jenny from his position. She was awake and staring up at the ceiling. She had tubes going into her arms and he assumed that those would be used to change her into a Silurian. He had a quick flashback of Peri nearly being changed into a bird and he gritted his teeth and balled up his fists. He looked at his family and Srylana. Alan held up his fingers and counted to three. On the third count, all of them let out an enraged yell and Srolan and the guards spun around when they came through the door. Srolan pulled out his gun but the Doctor was on him before he could fire. Srolan grunted when the Doctor's fist slammed into his face and the Doctor grabbed him and slammed him against the back wall. The Doctor punched him repeatedly watching with satisfaction while blood poured out of his nose.

"Whoa, Brother, stop!" Alan said, grabbing his shoulder. "I think he's incapacitated now."

The Doctor had his fist pulled back for another punch at Srolan's face but he stopped himself and saw the battered bloodied mess in front of him. With a disdainful snort, he let go and Srolan slid to the floor. He started to turn but Alan stopped him.

"Gotta warn ya before you see her," he said.

"See who?" the Doctor said.


He put his hands on the Doctor's shoulders when he saw the rage flare up.

"I'll tell you before you go over there and see it. Jenny's fine, we think, but they started to change Tara and well, she's half herself and half Silurian now."

He grabbed the Doctor when the Doctor started to spin around to resume his assault on Srolan. The Doctor forced himself to come with his brother and Srylana took his place, guarding Srolan while the others led the Doctor over to Tara. He looked inside the open tube in horror when he saw Tara's scaly green skin. She still looked human with her hair but her skin had the lizard texture of the Silurians. The Doctor looked at his wife and embraced her when he saw the anguish on her face. He used his screwdriver to open the tube while Alan used his on the other one. Jack and Rain helped him get Tara out. Once she was free, The Doctor carried her away to safety while Alan carried Jenny.

"We need to get them back to the TARDIS," the Doctor said. "Especially Tara so we can reverse this before it has a chance to take a permanent hold."

Alan nodded and thought to Duer, telling him to bring the TARDIS to them as they headed towards the pyramid's entrance.

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