Chapter Thirty Five

The Doctor couldn't resist a snigger when the klaxon went off and Drynar looked around in shock and horror. An impish grin spread over his face as he telegraphed the image of his distress to his family and friends.

Charlie looked around in confusion when most of the adults suddenly started giggling and chortling when they'd been relatively quiet before.

"What's so funny?" she said.

"We have a telepathic link and right now the Doctor is showing Drynar panicking because of the virus Nigel released into the ship," Rain said while Nigel chuckled softly. "And actually, my husband is now prancing around and shaking his booty in my mind's eye. So he's celebrating at the moment."

"Wow, that's amazing," Charlie said.

"Um, Nigel," Rain said, laying her hand on his shoulder. "You better think back to the Doctor because now not only is he dancing in my mind, he's crowing about how he's number one and this was all his doing. I think you better set him straight before he takes all the credit. Yes, it's handy," Rain said to Charlie while Nigel laughed and thought to the Doctor. "It keeps us linked and we can check on one another and when something happens and we lose consciousness, the link goes dead. When my children were knocked out, we knew they were in trouble because we lost their minds."

Charlie was impressed with that. She kept thinking of their offer and the more she thought about it, the more she liked the thought of being a Time Lady.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, Duer and Xashon were watching with smirks while Drynar was yelling into an intercom on the wall, trying to find out what was going on. Only Srylana was confused and she finally asked Xashon what was going on.

"Yes," Drynar said when he heard her, "what is going on here since none of you are panicking."

"My nephew has released a very potent virus into your ship and now you're crippled," the Doctor said.

"What? Tell him to fix it then!" Drynar said, coming back to the table.

"No. You're going to listen to us now," Xashon said. "You are crippled and can't go anywhere and if you don't release the humans you took from Earth and put them back where they came from, the Gallifreyan air force will be summoned and your ship will be attacked. So I believe it's in your best interest to not only release your claim on the Earth and all the humans you stole but also tell us where this auction house is and lead us there so we can shut it down."

"You have no right!" Drynar yelled.

"We have every right!" Duer bellowed at him. "The buying and selling of planets is illegal and you know it. You nearly committed genocide, you attacked without provocation and kidnapped a species who have free will. You kidnapped us and now you're threatening us with death if we don't obey you. You have some very serious charges leveled against you, Drynar. So as Councilor Xashon says, it's in your best interest to cooperate!"

Drynar glared at all of them but his glare grew fierce when he finally looked at the Doctor. The Doctor shrugged in response.

"You knew what you were doing was wrong," he said. "You did the crime, now do the time."

"From what I've heard, you've done your fair share of atrocities in your lifetimes," Drynar said.

"Yes, but unlike you, I'm clever enough not to get caught so don't shift the focus onto me. You got caught and now you'll have to face justice," the Doctor said.

"I'm summoning the other councilors here," Xashon said. "Since we are the guardians of Earth, we need all of them here while we determine Drynar's fate."

"Wait, don't I get a barrister?" Drynar said, panicking.

"Do you have one?" the Doctor said.

"You're allowed a barrister if you have one," Xashon said. "If not, one of our councilors will be happy to represent you. We all read law at the Academy."

"So, do you have one?" Duer said when Drynar said nothing.

"Well, to be honest, no," Drynar said.

"Why? Because no sane barrister would represent you?" the Doctor said. "Do more illegal things, have ya?"

The three Time Lords shared a look when a guilty look crossed Drynar's face.

"Volag Nok anyone?" the Doctor said, folding his hands in his lap.

He smirked when he saw the horror on Drynar's face.

"No, you wouldn't send me there," Drynar said.

"Then you better own up to your crimes and cooperate," Xashon said. "If you do, we might show leniency."

While Drynar grumbled about that, the Doctor thought to his wife.

Rain was waiting for word from her husband when suddenly he appeared in her mind's eye with an enormous bouquet of roses. She smiled at that.

What's the occasion? She thought to him. Has Drynar surrendered?

Not yet. We're going to have a hearing with the councilors. I must be present and I want you with me.

Oh? Why is that?

Because I miss seeing your face and I need you here to keep me from nodding off and going snoozy bye. Interested?

Oh, that's the only reason you need me, eh? Just my face?

No, I need the rest of your body and your mind. Your face is just the frosting on the cake.

Anyone ever tell you you're a smooth talker when you want to be?

Um…you have.

Rain chuckled and told him she'd come with the councilors when they teleported up to the ship. While she was finishing up, she felt a tug on her trousers and looked down at Hope and Faith.

"I wanna come too, Mummy," Hope said.

"Yeah, I wanna go see Daddy and help him," Faith said.

The children were listening in, Rain thought to her husband, Hope and Faith want to be Time Ladies again.

Wait a tic, I'll sort this out, the Doctor thought back.

Hope and Faith saw the Doctor in their minds' eyes. He pulled up a chair in their minds and beckoned to them. Both Hope and Faith projected a mental image of themselves into their minds. They walked over and sat on his legs while the Doctor put his arms around them.

"You're just bound and determined not to make it to your ninth birthdays, aren't ya?" he asked them.

"I wanna help," Hope said. "The bad guy is caught, yeah? So we're safe, right?"

"Erm, depends on what safe means. Just because we caught him doesn't mean we're out of danger. Drynar hasn't summoned the others on his ship yet. If he does, we could be surrounded and back in the tubes you go."

"I'm not afraid," Hope said.

"Me neither, I wanna come," Faith said.

The Doctor let out a sigh and shook his head with a fond smile.

"You definitely have our DNA running through you," he said to them. "Any danger, you're right there in the thick of it. Okay, if it's alright with your mums and with your dad, Faith, it's fine with me. But the usual warning about staying near us applies, yeah?"

They nodded and the Doctor patted their shoulders. They broke the connection and Faith asked her mother and father if she could come on board the ship while Hope told her mother what the Doctor told her.

"It's okay with me but stay by us and don't go running off," Rain said.

"I won't, Mummy. I promise…"

Rain frowned when Hope trailed off.

"What is it, baby?" she said to her.

"Daddy's telling me to do something to Uncle Alan," Hope said.

Alan perked up at that and walked over to Hope. Rose followed him while Alan strolled up to his niece.

"Do something for me? What? Give me a trophy for greatest person ever?" he asked Hope.

"No, give you a trophy for biggest dork ever," Adam yelled.

Alan flipped him off without looking his way, his attention still riveted on Hope who was now giggling and nodding. Then she walked over to Alan and Alan frowned when Hope began to tickle his armpits while saying "Gitchee-gitchee-goo!" then she stepped back and giggled at the confused look on Alan's face.

"Trophy?" he finally said.

"Daddy said to tickle you so I did," Hope said smugly.

"He did, eh? Well, I'll have to take a mallet to his head then as a thank you. Imagine the cheek of that man. Grandpa needs to be taken down a peg or two or three."

"That's nice, dear. We need to go," Rain said pointing to a young councilor who was signaling for her and Hope and Faith to come with him. "Have fun plotting your vengeance while we're gone. Ta-ta!"

"Bye, loser!" Hope said as she ran past Alan.

"You'll be a recipient of the mallet as well and perhaps a pneumatic drill on top of it!" Alan yelled to her as she, Rain and Hope followed the councilor out of the room. "Hear that, Starlight? They will pay for tickling my pitty poos!"

"Yeah, yeah, let's go get you something to eat and you'll forget all about it, yeah?" Rose said, patting him on the shoulder and taking his hand.

"How dare they violate the sanctity of my pitty poos. I will have my vengeance, I swear it!" Alan said as he followed Rose out of the room.

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