REBIRTH OF THE GOJI

Chapter 12

With another enraged scream, the angry villager tore across the clearing at them. The mule snorted, pulling back on it's tether and the duck quacked and flapped in protest. Standing in front of Clara the Doctor palmed his sonic screwdriver, aiming it at the charging peasant.

"What good's that gonna' do?" Clara snorted. "It's a wooden pitchfork he's got, not a locked door."

"Have you got any better ideas? If so, I think now would be a quite a good time to let me know." The Doctor answered curtly.

"Run! We run. We're rather good at running, if you'll remember." Clara told him.

"Rather late for that, I'm afraid. Nice idea, though. I'll give it a six out of ten. Afraid you've lost points for lack of originality."

"Glad I never had you grading my exams, Doctor." she muttered under her breath.

"Here! Catch!" The Doctor said abruptly, throwing the sonic screwdriver over his shoulder.

Giving a shout of surprise, Clara barely had time to grab at the sonic, before the Doctor whirled about, whipping out of his jacket.

As the peasant charged up to them, the Doctor did a graceful side-step and threw the jacket over the pitchfork. He then used it to yank the pitchfork right out of the peasant's hands. The man barely had time to register his surprise, when the Doctor used his own weapon against him to trip the peasant. It sent the man sprawling into the mud, face first.

As the Doctor stepped away from him, Clara half expected the man to bound up and attack them, so savage had been his attempted assault. Yet, instead the man only cowered in fear at the Doctor's feet.

For his part, the Doctor seemed to be taken slightly aback at this sudden change in the peasant's attitude. Clara gave shot him a cross look when the man began to sob uncontrollably.

"Now see what you did, Doctor?" She said, crouching down by the weeping peasant. "You made him cry. Shame on you."

As soon as his mouth closed, the Doctor protested, almost whinging, "But...I didn't..."

"Yes, you did. I think you should apologize for scaring the poor man." Clara countered.

"But...but..." the Doctor stammered..."he was trying to murder us, in case you hadn't noticed."

"Doesn't matter now, does it?" She shook her head. "He obviously was only afraid. So get down here and tell him you didn't mean it."

"I did mean it!" The Doctor replied, looking askance at them. "Did you think I was just going to stand there and let him turn me into some sort of medieval shish kabob? Anyway, it's not like I actually hurt the man. He's fine."

"P-please. Please." The peasant pleaded, "Kill m-me now, demons. Don't drive me mad like the others."

"Come on, Doctor. He's afraid. So get down here and help him." Clara reiterated softly.

The Doctor looked down at the muddy track where the filthy man lay, and threw Clara a sour look.

"Oh, must I really? Can't I do that from up here?" He cupped his hands and shouted down at the man, "I'm sorry!"

The Doctor raised his eyebrows at Clara and turned to leave, "See? All done. Can we go now?" Then he stopped mid-stride and abruptly squatted down beside the peasant. "Hang on. Did you say something about other people going mad? What happened?"

"P-please don't!" The man cringed away from the Doctor's touch.

In response, the Doctor's features softened. "It's alright, it's alright now." He spoke gently to the man, "I give you my word. We're not demons. And we're not here to hurt you. We're here to find the demon and take him away, so he won't harm anyone else. Now why don't we all get up from here? You can tell us what happened, hmmó? The sooner we find your demon, the better off everyone will be."

"What's your name?" Clara asked as they helped the peasant limp over to sit on a barrel outside one of the huts.

"They call me Bernefons, my lady." The peasant replied humbly, tugging at his forelock.

"Right then, Bernie." The Doctor said to the man, "You don't mind if I call you, Bernie?"

"Whatever you wish, my lord." The peasant nodded, though his puzzled expression indicated clearly that he didn't understand why his name needed to be changed.

"Not my lord, Bernie. Just call me the Doctor. Now, you said something about people going mad. What happened?"

"Didódid Romanus send you, my lord? I mean, Doctor. Sorry, my lord...eróDoctor."

"Romanus? Who's that?" Clara threw the Doctor a questioning look.

A light seemed to spark in the Doctor's eyes. "Ah. So that's why we were brought back here. The Goji's plans are far worse than I thought." He nodded to Clara, "A word in private for a moment, I think."

Stepping away to the side of the hut, the Doctor explained, "We must be in the seventh century, somewhere in France, near Rouen. It's near here were Bishop Romanus organized an army under King Dagobert to counter the invasion of the Goji. With a little help from me, of course."

"Wait a second, Doctor." Clara interrupted him. "Does that mean there might be another you, wandering about around here?"

"Oh, I'd say that's definitely the case." Said a voice from behind them.

Without turning around, the Doctor winced. "Oh, not you again."

Clara looked behind them and raised both eyebrows in surprise. "Where did you come from?"

"Oh, who cares? It's just a party crasher, Clara. Ignore him." The Doctor replied, too miffed to bother looking at the newcomer.

"Hello." Said the man, smiling and extending a hand to Clara.

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