Chapter Twenty One

Ortha and Mira were getting ready to leave the throne room when Yumiko burst in, panting and gasping for breath.

"What is it?" Ortha asked her as she stopped and bowed reverently in front of her.

"Ma'am, the door to Arkytior and the Doctor's cell is standing open and no one is inside. We checked the footage and it seems like there was someone in the room with them but we couldn't see them. They left through the door, stood in the corridor for a few moments talking to someone as they took something from thin air and then they both vanished."

"What? Find them! Run scans! We can't let them escape!" Ortha yelled as she jabbed her finger at the doorway. "Have everyone on this ship search for them, including the slaves. Sound the alarm now!"

"Yes, Ma'am," Yumiko said before running out of the room.

"We won't lose them now, not when we're so close to victory!" Ortha growled before she and Mira ran out of the room.


Xapta's head jerked towards the ceiling when klaxons started blaring.

"Damn, they found the open prison cell, I'm betting," Xapta said.

"Set us free then and activate the cloaking devices," Eleven said, looking over his shoulder.

Xapta fumbled around in her pocket and found the key to the manacles and the collars. She quickly unlocked them and the Doctor and Clara let the manacles fall to the floor and took the collars off their necks.

"That's better, more room," Eleven sighed as he took the collar off.

Meanwhile, a young woman spotted them while they were taking off their collars and yelled at them to stop while she ran towards them. Eleven spun around, getting into a defensive stance as he prepared to use Venusian Aikido on her but suddenly, the woman grunted and was stopped short as if she'd run into an invisible brick wall. She staggered backwards and dropped to the floor, unconscious.

"What was that?" Clara said.

"That was me," they heard Twelve say. "I punched her in the face. Now hurry up!"

Clara, Xapta and Eleven turned on their cloaking devices and turned invisible. The forcefield had a heat sensor built into it so Eleven could see the body heat of everyone around him, even if he couldn't see what they looked like. Xapta ran up to the front and told everyone to follow her before they ran down the passageway. As they ran, the Doctor could see the people who weren't wearing the forcefields as they normally looked. He and the others dodged them as they ran past, unaware that they were letting the captives get away. When they got to the hangar though, they noticed that every single glider was being guarded by at least two people, male and female.

"Now what?" Ten said as he looked around.

"We don't have time for this. Just pick one, render the guards unconscious and get inside," the War Doctor said.

They chose the glider nearest to the door and ran towards the guards, two young men who had shaved heads and emaciated bodies. Twelve and the War Doctor slammed their fists into their faces and the War Doctor used his sonic on the door as the other guards yelled alerts and pointed to the two fallen sentries. They became even more alarmed when the door seemed to open by itself.

"In, in, in!" Twelve yelled as he stepped aside.

He and the War Doctor punched two women who were the first to reach them. The others froze and stared since from their perspective, the two women grunted, their heads jerked back and they fell backwards to the floor unconscious.

"Who's there, show yourself!" one of the women yelled.

"Nah, I don't think I will," Twelve said from just inside the doorway. "Have a good day everyone!"

"Get it open!" one of the women yelled, pointing at the door when it quickly slid shut.

"Hurry! We can't keep it closed for long!" Twelve yelled towards the cockpit while he and the War Doctor defended the door.

Outside they could hear angry yells and everything the door started to open, the War Doctor used his sonic to shut it again, prompting even more angry yells and cursing.

"Come on, we don't have all day!" Twelve shouted.

"Nearly there, Xapta's starting it now!" Eleven yelled back.

The War Doctor growled in frustration when he had to close the door again after another attempt at entry.

"I don't want to disable it since we have to exit it again," he told Twelve.

"At last!" Twelve said when he heard the rockets firing.

The yells became even louder and now the War Doctor was fighting like mad to keep the door shut. But after a minute, the craft disengaged from the side of the hull and the crowd noises lessened since the people on the outside had to get away to avoid being sucked out. Then the rockets fired again and there was silence as the ship moved away from the freighter.

"Not gonna stop them for long," Twelve said, turning off his forcefield. "We have to land somewhere and make a stand against them…if they don't catch up to us first."

The War Doctor turned off his force field and followed him up to the cockpit. Twelve walked inside and noticed everyone else was still cloaked.

"Ewww, I have grey hair."

"Oh shut up," Twelve said in Eleven's direction after he heard him say that. "Listen, Xapta, we have to get away from here as fast as we can. I'm sure the others are heading into the other spaceships now and we need a good headstart."

"We need to go back to Karn and get the TARDIS," Eleven said. "Once we're inside that, it won't matter what they do to us."

"Except we need to stop them," the War Doctor said. "We can't let them take over the universe or even one planet. These nutters have got to be stopped in their tracks."

"Not only that but I have to run a scan on Rose, see if she really is pregnant or not," Twelve said.

The others switched off their forcefields and everyone became visible. Eleven smiled at Rose when she came to him and hugged him tightly.

"What if she is pregnant?" Eleven said as he held Rose.

"Then we work around that and figure out a way to make it work," Twelve said. "For now, we need to get out of here. Xapta?"

"Already doing it. Strap yourselves in, I'm going to go to lightspeed and hurry back to Karn. There are seats just beyond the cockpit."

"Come on, everyone, let's get going," Twelve said as he opened the door to the cockpit.

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