Chapter Fourteen

After landing outside the cave entrance, the women left their gliders and headed for the Ritual Room. The leader was a young woman named Xapta, a short woman with long raven hair that hung down the front of her dress like all the other women. She had a lean look to her face with a hawkish nose, alabaster skin and thin lips that were pursed as she and the others headed for the entrance. She and the other women carried blasters for protection as well as an electricity net that was contain within a large metal ball hidden inside one of Xapta's pockets. When a button was pushed, the ball snapped open and the net was flung out onto the prey, containing them and delivering an electric shock that would incapacitate them as well. If it were up to Xapta, she would have just shot the ape dead and had done with it but she also recognized that Clara could be a valuable hostage and a tool to help break the Doctor and Rose's wills. After that, she wasn't sure what would happen to the ape but she guessed she's either be converted or killed.

After entering the Ritual Room, the sisters formed a tight grouping for safety. Xapta and another woman used portable lighters to light two of the torches before going down the passageway. When they reached the Tapestries Room, they didn't find anyone there and they began searching in a group, keeping watch for everything around them in case of traps. They searched until they reached the dining room and everyone froze when they saw Clara sitting calmly by herself on the golden throne. Rage filled Xapta's mind as Clara gave them a smug look and waved.

"Hello everyone, been waiting on ya," she said to them.

"Blasphemy," Xapta growled as the women slowly came towards her. "How dare a mere ape like yourself sit on the throne of the High Priestess."

"Oh I was just trying it on for size. I'm very ambitious, you know," Clara said smugly.

Xapta and the others pointed their blasters at her.

"You will surrender and come quietly or we will use force," Xapta said to her.

"But I'm comfortable here," Clara said.

Xapta frowned. She noticed that there was no fear at all on her face and she seemed confident, too confident for her liking. She looked around and the others did the same but she couldn't see anyone besides them in the room. Yet, something was off, she could sense it and she took another look around before focusing on Clara.

"What is going on here?" Xapta said to her.

"Just sitting," Clara said, shrugging. "What's going on with you?"

"You're unafraid," Xapta said.

"Yeah, well, you're not scary to me," Clara said. "I've seen far worse. In fact, I've been inside a Dalek before."

That gave Xapta pause. Suddenly, she wondered if the Doctor had been right when he said that none of his companions were ordinary.

"You lie," she said, seeing what her reaction would be to that.

"Nope," Clara said, folding her arms across her chest. "But if it'll make you feel better and more confident around me, believe what you like. Just know that there's more to me than meets the eye and I've been around far more fearsome things than you lot and your blasters. I've not only seen Daleks, I fought Cybermen and Zygons and Ice Warriors and lived to tell the tale. So go ahead, fire your little blasters at me and see what happens."

Xapta studied her. She didn't see any signs that she was lying but she also wondered if the Time Lord trained her to lie and not show any signs of it. She found it hard to believe that the child had fought all those monsters, let alone been inside a Dalek. Still, she wasn't in the mood to argue with her so she told her again to surrender or else.

"I don't think so."

Xapta heard a man's voice beside her and she jerked her head around just in time to see the shimmer that came from a cloaking device being activated. A young man was stood beside her, pointing a blaster at her and she looked off to her left and saw another young man pointing a similar blaster. She looked around and noticed an old man was behind them, pointing a third blaster at them.

"I think you should put your blasters down and surrender before we start shooting," the young man with the bowtie told Xapta.

"Who are you?" Xapta asked him.

"I'm the Doctor," Ten and Eleven said in unison.

"And I was the Doctor but now consider myself a warrior," the older man said. "And I will not hesitate to slaughter you all if you don't drop your weapons and surrender to us."

"You cannot defeat the Sisterhood!" one of the women yelled at them.

Eleven raised his blaster towards the ceiling, fired it and Xapta flinched when he lunged at her and held the blaster against her cheek.

"Drop it," Eleven growled at her. "Now!"

"Do as he says," Xapta said to the women before dropping her blaster onto the floor.

The other women dropped their blasters and the three Doctors urged the women away from them, keeping them herded in a tight circle while Clara walked over, grabbed one and took up her position at the front of the group.

"You were saying something about surrendering?" Clara said sweetly while Xapta and the other women glowered at her.

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