Chapter Forty

(A few days later)

Rain led Hope down the hallway as the other students walked by them and Rain smiled down at her. Hope had studied for hours until she thought her brain would explode as she sighed and pressed her lips together. They stopped at the door to the examination room when Rain turned her to face her and lifted her chin so she was looking up at her.

"Are you ok, Sweetie?" Rain asked.

"Yeah," Hope sighed when the door hissed open and Hope straightened her shoulders, lifted her chin and walked in the room. The door hissed closed as she walked down the stairs and looked at the other children sitting at the desks. She knew some of them as she headed for the desk in the front row then sat down and sighed. The Doctor had told her that the examination room was blocked so no one could use telepathy during the examination as she looked around the room then noticed Moira McCrimmon, one of Duer's great-granddaughters, sitting three rows behind her. They nodded their heads at each other when the sound of a door hissing open filled the room and Hope noticed that the room had gone silent.

"What?" she whispered then turned and a soft clicking sound filled the air. The clicking sound grew louder as she looked toward the doorway and her eyes widened. Wearing a long, white robe and skullcap with matching boots, Hamish McCrimmon headed for the desk and the wooden stick in his right hand clicked on the tile floor. Hope knew that Hamish was Duer's grandson and had been born blind, but his vision was restored years ago and he was reported to be one of the strictest teachers at the academy.

"Good morning," he said with a nod of his head and Hope beamed, sitting straighter in the chair. Hamish glanced at them with his eyes when he sat down and placed the wooden stick on the desk. He placed his elbows on the top of the desk then placed his hands together and tapped his index fingers against each other. "First off, I do nae tolerate cheating. Any cheating means immediate dismal from these exams. Second, there will be no talking. Third, keep your eyes on your exam at all times. Finally, if you finish the exam, place it in the slot on the desk, press the blue button then quietly leave the room."

Hope noticed the nervous looks of the students around her when Hamish looked up at the clock on the wall and sat back in the chair.

"Begin," he said as the students turned the exams over and Hope titled her head to one side. Raising an eyebrow, Hamish pointed with his hand toward her exam and Hope sighed, turning the exam over. She started writing when she noticed Hamish standing up and picked up the wooden stick. The wooden stick clicked on the floor while Hamish walked from one end of the front row to the other, lowering a head or two, then went up the stairs and Hope wondered what he was doing. Moira wondered the same thing when Hamish stopped in front of her, looked down and gently patted the top of her head then walked by. She knew how strict her father was as she gently smiled and twirled the pencil between her fingers.

After a few minutes the students finished the exams when Hamish walked back to the desk and turned to see Hope and Moira still sitting at their desks.

"Is there something wrong?" he asked, leaning the wooden stick against the desk.

"No, we're just waiting for you to grade our exams," Hope said and Hamish arched his eyebrows up.

"I don't grade them," he said as Hope sighed, got up and walked up the stairs. Hamish watched when Moira walked to him and stood in front of him. Watching Hope leave the room, Hamish wiggled a finger as Moira moved closer and he placed his hands on her shoulder. "I'm very proud of you, mo leannan."

"It wasnae easy with your stick clicking all over the room," she teased as he gave her a slightly shocked look then softly laughed, rolling his eyes.

"You sound just like your mother," he teased then kissed the top of her head and Moira giggled.

"I'm going to tell her you said that," she said then ran for the stairs and he laughed as she left the room and the door closed behind her,

Jack walked toward the Omegazan spaceship when he headed up the ramp and walked by the security personnel. Nigel and Cameron were sitting at the console as they typed on the keyboard and Cameron had what appeared to be the semantics of the engines on the screen in front of him and a coffee mug sat on the floor. Reaching down, Cameron wiggled his fingers and the coffee mug shivered then slowly rose up into his hand. Jack was surprised how easily Cameron used his telekinetic powers he developed after spending two hundred years in a mirror world and Cameron sipped on the coffee, glancing at Jack.

"Hello, Jack," he said when Nigel looked over at him and a small smile moved over his face.

"Find anything?" Jack asked as he leaned over the back of the chair and looked at the screen.

"I'm not really sure," Cameron said while looking at the screen and tapped his finger on one of the drawings. "If I didn't know better, I would swear that looks like something that makes wormholes."

"Why would they need something like that?"

"Well, if you have to travel, say, from one universe to another, you open a wormhole and, bang, there you are," Nigel said and Jack looked at him, nodding his head.

"Have you gone down to the engine room?"

"We wanted to, but these wankers won't let us," Cameron said as he nodded with his head toward the guards while Jack stood up and looked at the security personnel.

"Someone's in trouble," Nigel thought with a sing song tone to his voice and Cameron smiled, nodding his head. Jack walked to the security personnel while they looked at him and saw the anger in Jack's eyes.

"Can we help you, Sir?" one of the men asked and Jack locked eyes with him, balling his hands into fists.

"Those two," he said while pointing to Nigel and Cameron and they smiled, waving to them. "They work for Torchwood and Torchwood is aiding in the investigation of this craft. That means YOU will allow THEM to go anywhere they need to go! Understand?"

The men looked at each other then looked at Jack and nodded their heads. Nigel and Cameron got up when they followed Jack out of the room then went down the hallway and Nigel walked closer, gently nudging Jack.

The door opened while Adam and Marion led Little Alan in then closed the door and Little Alan looked around the room, eyes wide with wonder. They watched him moving around the room when he headed for the kitchen and headed for the kitchen island. He moved the stool back then climbed up when he spotted the cookie jar and crawled onto the counter. He inched closer while scanning the room with his eyes then opened the top of the cookie jar and started stuffing the cookies into his pockets. He hopped off the counter when he looked around then walked to the cabinet door, opened the door and started pulling things out. He scooted inside the cabinet when he closed the door and sat against the wall. He didn't know that they had heard the noise he was making when he saw the door to the cabinet open and his eyes widened.

"Yah!" he screeched then started kicking his legs out and Adam fell on his bottom, looking at him.

"Why is he doing that?" Marion asked as Adam pulled his legs up and placed his wrists on his knees.

"I think he's making a den. Can't see that I blame him," Adam said while Little Alan glared at him and held the cookies to his chest. "They treated him like an animal."

"How do we get him out?"

"I have no clue," Adam sighed while Little Alan saw the sadness and worry in Adam's eyes and he blinked his eyes a few times. Slowly he moved out of the cabinet when he stood up and walked to Adam then held a cookie out to him. Adam smiled as he took the cookie then Little Alan sat on his lap and Adam kissed the top of his head. Adam looked at the digital vocalizer when he picked up the digital vocalizer and pushed the buttons.

"You don't have to hide or take food. This is your home," the mechanical voice said while Little Alan looked at the screen then at Adam and Adam nodded his head. Little Alan looked at Marion when she nodded her head and Little Alan got up, walked to her and handed her a cookie. Suddenly his eyes widened when he saw something at the back door and he moaned, pointing to the door. Adam smiled then got up when he opened the door and led Clover, their Irish wolfhound, in the room and closed the door. Little Alan hid behind Marion when Adam signaled for Clover to sit when she sat and Adam reached out his hand for the digital vocalizer. Marion handed the digital vocalizer to him when Adam typed on the keypad and Little Alan held onto Marion's legs. "Do not be afraid. This is Clover. She's our doggie."

Adam knew there were feral dogs in the park when he wiggled his finger for Little Alan to come closer and nodded his head, assuring him it was alright. Little Alan slowly moved toward him while Clover went to lie down on the floor, yawned and resting her head on her paws. Little Alan looked at her when he tilted his head sides to side then knelt down and patted the top of Clover's head. Clover's tail moved side to side as Little Alan sat on the floor and stroked Clover's head. He looked up at Adam when he pointed to the digital vocalizer and Adam handed it to him.

"My home. My doggie. Mine," the mechanical voice said as Little Alan gently leaned against Clover and Adam smiled, placing his arm around Marion's waist.

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