Chapter 2

The Doctor and Clara had been hustled inside the Coal Hill police headquarters by the young policeman. But as he was leading them to the cells, a fight broke out ahead between several drunken football fans. Being called to assist, the policeman ordered his handcuffed prisoners to seat themselves on a nearby bench and stay put.

Next to them on the bench was another prisoner. The old man leaned towards Clara and spoke to her. She jerked her head back as her nose was assaulted by his beery fumes. She was worried he might be trying to get a peek down her blouse. Thank goodness she decided to wear her black cardigan that morning.

"Mambrota ma girsh?" He asked her.

"Sorry?" Clara wondered if he was speaking in Welsh or Gaelic.

"Agron bandivo cranty." The elderly man replied.

Clara shrugged and glanced at the Doctor. "What's he want then?"

"I haven't the foggiest idea, Clara." The Doctor shrugged back, causally watching the fight raging in the hallway.

One of the prisoners had gotten loose and was swinging a potted plant like a cricket bat.

"But...I thought the TARDIS had that translation circuit thingy. Why isn't it working?"

"Probably because it can't, in this instance."

She gave him a puzzled look. "Hold on. I thought you said the TARDIS could translate any language?"

"Clara," the Doctor explained patiently, "the TARDIS can translate your speech into, 'I surrender' in Sontaran. It can tell you which switch is for the bomb, and which one opens the door. It can even keep you from saying something stupid in French, like, 'That toilet smells delicious'. But what it can't do, is translate drunk. Sorry."

"Oh. Yeah, right." Clara responded, feeling somewhat foolish for not realizing the obvious.

"You might try talking to him very slowly and very loudly." The Doctor suggested.

"Why would I want to do that?"

"Isn't that what your lot does when you can't understand what the other person is saying?"

"Not...all the time." Clara admitted begrudgingly. "And what's with this 'your lot' stuff? You are beginning to sound like a human bigot, Doctor."

"What, me?" He looked at her in surprise. "Never! I'll have you know that humans are quite my favourite species."

The drunk leaned past Clara and said to the Doctor, "Taken mato thath urgh tran."

"No, still no clue." The Doctor shook his head, gently pushing the drunk back in place. The old man swayed back and forth as if he were made on a spring, before slumping down again. "How 'bout you, Clara? Any ideas?"

"Take me to the ugly train?" Clara suggested.

But the Doctor was no longer listening. He'd spied a little boy in bare feet and pyjamas standing nearby, his hand held by a police woman. His eyes narrowed as he took in the boy's blank expression, and clothing.

"You're not going to believe this one, Safara." The officer manning the desk told the woman. "But upstairs called down a few minutes ago. They say this little lad has prints on file."

"Not so surprising, Charlie." The police woman replied. "His mum and dad probably did one of those C.I.P. cards. Don't they include thumbprints?"

"It's not a child identification card they have on file. It's an arrest record. Wonton or furious driving in...2003. Let off with a fine and one hundred hours of community service, so they tell me."

Safara frowned at the man behind the desk. "That can't be right. Perhaps it is the boy's father?"

"With the same fingerprints?" Charlie asked skeptically. "You know that no two fingerprints are ever alike. Still," he scratched his chin. "Wouldn't hurt to check out the address. Take the child along with you. And have your partner wait near the car. In case you need him on the radio to contact children's services."

As Safara went back out of the building with the child in tow, the young constable had finally helped to corral the brawlers and send them on their way to the cells. He then returned his attention to his own prisoners. Charlie was startled a moment later when the young man cried out in alarm. He was staring incredulously at a bench against the far wall, on which sat a sleepy drunk. And two pairs of handcuffs.

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