STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

Chapter Eight

We were blindfolded and hooded and escorted out of the building. I couldn't see anything so I had to rely on others to guide me. I could hear Rory groaning in pain and a couple of the male guards taunting him and telling him to keep up with us. It took about twenty minutes to get us outside. When we left the building, I heard an engine starting up in front of us and the sound of someone sliding open a door. We were stopped and someone helped me step up into what I figured was a people carrier. One of the guards stepped inside after me and forced me to sit down. I was sitting on the far side and he sat down next to me. Then I felt a gun pressed against my temple.

"Don't think I won't use this on you, ducky," a gruff voice said to me. "Just behave and things'll go easy on ya."

I relaxed for the moment and didn't put up a fight, remembering River's advice to make them think we were giving up. I decided to try a bit of the acting scared and helpless on my guard.

"Please," I said, trying to sound pathetic to him. "Please, I have money. I'll pay you anything if you just let me go!"

"I heard Amy on the other side of the guard join in, pleading for mercy and saying she'd pay to be released. This made the guards laugh and the guard beside me pressed his gun up against my temple.

"Beg harder and maybe I'll consider it," he purred.

"Please let me go," I said, faking a small, scared voice. "I don't wanna die."

I stiffened when I felt the guard's hand on my knee.

"You're right, it'd be a shame to kill such a good looking girl," the guard purred as he rubbed my upper leg. "And well fit too. What would you give me in exchange for your life, eh?"

"I knew what he was on about and I would poke my eyes out before I serviced him in any way.

"Mmm, yeah, you're a right bit of crumpet, you are," the guard purred. "Seems a shame to do you in when you could be so useful to me."

I fell silent in case the idiot went too far and I ended up being raped. I figured that would shut him up if I didn't say anything but he reached under the hood and tickled my chin.

"Yeah, I could use someone like you," he said and I could only imagine the leer on his face, "little bit of a shag, eh? In exchange for your life?"

"Knock it off, Bradley," another guard said and I breathed a silent sigh of relief when he took his hand and the gun away.

"You're not fun, Jimmy," Bradley said while I relaxed.

I realized I would have to be careful with the begging and pleading before I landed up a rape victim. Everyone else got inside and they were about to close the door when I suddenly heard Donna calling out for them to stop.

"Wait, I wanna go with you," I heard her say.

"What for?" Bradley said.

"Because I want to watch them die, those bastards nearly killed me," Donna said.

"Ain't ya s'posed to be working, luvvy?" Jimmy said.

"I was given permission by the governor to come and watch the execution. So button it and let me inside, Rambo."

I smirked at that and listened. No one said anything for a few moments until Bradley grudgingly told her to get inside. My spirits rose. Maybe Donna had a plan in mind now. The door was closed after her and I sat quietly while we pulled away from the prison. It wasn't a very long drive to Trafalgar Square but on the way I could hear muffled voices crying out for our blood and even a few thumps along the sides when things were thrown at the car. From the sound of the crowd, there were many and they sounded hostile. The crowds grew louder as we turned the corner and then the car was stopped and there was only the angry crowd to listen to along with the thump of thrown things on the sides of the people carrier.

"Stop it or you'll land up in the cauldron with them!" the driver shouted to the crowd after rolling down his window.

The crowd noise lessened but didn't cease as the side door was opened and one by one we were pulled out of the car. I feel something hitting my head and I stagger back, dazed. It didn't feel like a rock, maybe food?

"Knock it off!" Bradley screamed at the jeering crowd. "Anyone throws something and they end up in the cauldron. Is that clear?"

Apparently, the crowd knew he wasn't joking because nothing else was thrown at me while we were led through them to what I supposed was the execution platform. With the hood and blindfold on, I was a bit disorientated and I wondered if we were being led around in a circle since the guards were snickering. Then again, maybe they were just loving the fact that they were going to watch five people boil alive in a few minutes. They finally led us up the stairs and made us kneel on something soft, like a pillow I think. Damn this hood and blindfold, I wish I could see!

Then I got my wish and I felt the hood being lifted off my head and a moment later the blindfold was loosened and slid away from my face. I blinked when the bright sun hit my eyes and I could see that the benches around the platform were all filled up with jeering spectators with more people standing in front of them, in the spaces between them and lining the pavement outside. I could see the huge monitors were filming us and several people were dividing their time between watching it and watching us. I could well imagine that this is how it used to be when they executed prisoners publically. All the ghoulish people standing around and baying for our blood and telling the guards to hurry it up. Looking at them, I wonder why the Doctor bothers with the human race at all. Speaking of him, I can't see him anywhere. We are kneeling on large grey cushions, the four of us side by side on the edge of the platform. Providing cushions for us, how thoughtful that they're thinking of our comfort before they boil us in oil.

I look around and notice that Donna is standing in the midst of the guards off to my life. She catches my eye and winks again and my hopes are raised a bit more. Then the crowd cheers off to my right and I turn my head and watch while five burly guards bring in a large black cauldron. The cauldron sorta looks like the stereotypical kind that witches used and it's wide enough to put someone into it. I thought for a moment it was empty until they sat it down in the center of the platform. Then one guard comes up, dips a ladle into it, holds it up above the cauldron and cooking oil slowly oozes back into the kettle while the crowd cheers its approval. I look around again, still no sign of the Doctor and Donna is still watching from the sidelines. Then another cheer goes up and I turn my head to the right and watch while two guards bring in armloads of firewood followed by another guard who had a flaming torch in his hand. They march up the steps, spread the firewood around the cauldron, use the ladle to pour a bit of the oil onto the wood and the man with the torch sets it alight. Then they leave the stage and some of the guards who had been standing with Donna come up onto the platform and stand in back of us, keeping watch over us while the crowd yells at them to throw us in.

Then another cheer goes up and my heart goes into my throat when off to the right, the guards that brought in the wood and cauldron now bring in the Doctor.

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