Chapter Thirty Seven

Once the councilor members were assembled inside the meeting room, the Doctor motioned to one of them, a young black man with chocolate colored skin and short curly hair. The man smiled when he walked over to the Doctor.

"My teacher," he said with a respectful bow.

"Eh, you can skip the formalities, Zarna. I'm not a teacher any longer," the Doctor said.

"You'll always be my teacher though," Zarna said as the Doctor glowed with pride. "What can I do for you?"

"Come with me. I wanna find this storage area Jack found."

He whispered for Rain and Hope to come with him and they waited until Drynar was occupied with the council members and the other members of his group before he led his group out the door. As he thought to Jack and got directions to the storage area, Zarna looked down at Hope.

"I haven't seen you in a long time," he said to her. "You've grown."

"Yup," Hope said.

"She's going to take her placement tests for the Academy in a few days," Rain said to him.

"Really?" Zarna said to Hope.

"Yeah. I'm kinda nervous. I don't want baby classes. I want all the grown up ones."

"I see she takes after you, Teacher," Zarna said to the Doctor.

"Yes, in more ways than one," the Doctor said while Rain snickered. "I took her with us because Miss I Must Get Involved In What Daddy's Doin would have whinged if I hadn't."

They found a teleport pod. The Doctor and Hope stepped into it and went down into the depths of the ship. They got out and a minute later Rain and Zarna appeared. Jack was at the end of a corridor off to their left and he beckoned to them and pointed to a doorway beside him.

"They're in here," he said to them. "You sure Hope can handle this?"

"Are they injured?" Rain said.

"No, just in suspended animation," Jack said.

"I think she can handle it," Rain said, smiling at her daughter while she nodded.

"Zarna! Great to see ya again," Jack said, patting him on the back.

"And you," Zarna said before everyone went inside.

The Doctor sighed angrily when he saw the containers. Hope walked up to one and peered in at a blonde haired three year old girl. The Doctor came up behind her and knelt down.

"Can she come out?" Hope asked him.

"Yes but the problem is she's only one of many," the Doctor said, waving his hand around the vast storage room. "If we wake her up, we'd have to keep an eye on her for the moment and I don't fancy looking after a toddler in here. Besides, we need to figure out where the rest of these people belong so we can bring them all home safely."

"But she's alright? She's not dead?" Hope asked.

The Doctor checked the control panel on the side of the tube.

"No, she's alive, thank heavens and she's stable. She's just sleeping," he told Hope.

"So what do we do?" Hope asked, looking at all the adults.

The Doctor scratched his cheek while he stared at the little girl. He looked at Jack.

"Do you think it would be feasible to teleport this hunk of metal back to New Gallifrey?" he asked him. "That way we can take the prisoners to our prison and have time to sort this mess out."

"What about the other Silurians though?" Jack said. "We still need to sort that out too."

"Yes, which is why we need some people to stay here. We can split up. If you don't mind heading up the group that takes this ship back to New Gallifrey, I'll head up the group that stays here. And…" he said to Hope before she could speak. "You're going back to New Gallifrey, Missy. You need to prepare for your placement exam in a few days. I want you to do well which means you need to open some books and get to studying. We'll try to have another holiday after we get this sorted out. Is that alright with you?"

"I guess," Hope said with a sigh.

"I had to serve my time at the Academy when I was younger and so did your brother and sisters. You need to have an education so no fussing."

"Gee, Doc, you make it sound like prison," Jack said.

"It was for me but that doesn't mean I didn't get something out of it," the Doctor said, patting Hope's head. "Part of being a Time Lady is going to Academy. You want to be like me you have to take the bad with the good and that means school."

"Do you need me to stay here?" Rain said. "Perhaps I should go back with her so she will hit the books and not run amok."

"Oh yes, the little hellion must be contained lest New Gallifrey be imperiled," Jack said, poking Hope on top of the head.

"I'm not a little hellion," Hope said to him.

"Unless…" Jack said to the Doctor, "you want Alan to take her back and look after her."

"Are you off your trolley? I want the child to study, not have endless ice cream parties and pillow fights in my absence," the Doctor said with mock horror while Hope giggled. "No, I can handle this now, my dear," he said to Rain. "Take the offspring home and crack the whip over her head if she won't study."

"Aye, aye, sir," Rain said with a salute.

"Uncle Alan isn't coming home?" Hope said.

"She says hopefully, hoping you really will tell her he can so she can have ice cream parties and pillow fights," Jack said to the Doctor.

"No, Uncle Alan will be needed here but I'm sure he'll hurry things along as quickly as possible so he can get home. We won't take that long, my treasure, I promise."

"Will you take care of her?" Hope asked, pointing to the little girl.

"I will take care of all of them," the Doctor said. "Once the ship is on New Gallifrey, we can have guards come in here who will make sure they won't be harmed."

"And we'll see that they are taken somewhere where they can rest while we find out their identities and send them home," Zarna said. "Xashon and the others won't let them be harmed."

"So…will you do as I say and go home and prepare for your exam?" the Doctor said to Hope.

He patted her head when Hope nodded.

"Good. We'll let the councilors know what's going on and then I'll teleport back down to the surface with my group while you lot take this spaceship back to New Gallifrey."

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