SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

Chapter Seven

The Doctor shook his head, trying to get over the disorientation he felt after he was teleported to the middle of the forest. He looked around but for the moment all he saw were trees, ferns and thick undergrowth. He called for Jack and got no response. He listened for a moment but all he heard was the buzzing of insects high above him.

"So apparently that wooden stage was hiding a highly sophisticated transmat platform. This Gamemaster bloke is very clever," the Doctor muttered to himself while he cautiously picked his way through the undergrowth. So far he saw no evidence of dinosaurs but he knew he had an hour before the raptors would be set loose so he decided to try to find one of the rucksacks so he could have some form of protection.

Not that he really fancied killing anyone. He decided that if it came to that, he would only do it as a last resort. He wanted to use his usual methods of trickery and deception first. But he knew that sooner or later he would probably have to confront some of the fighters. Especially Trevor. He hoped that the burly man had been teleported far from him so he could have some time to think and come up with a strategy.

He jerked his head back when a dragonfly with a six foot wingspan buzzed past him.

"Okay, there are also giant insects to avoid. Glad Rose wasn't here for that one, she woulda had kittens," the Doctor muttered as he watched it fly away.

He thought of Rose and was thankful that she was safe for the moment. He wondered what she meant by rigged though. Was it rigged in his favor? Was the mysterious Gamemaster an ally? He wished Rose had been able to give him more information before he left but he figured whatever surprises lay in store for him would come to light sooner or later.

After five minutes of making his way through the trees, he came to another ridge and could see the stage far below him. This drop off was a bit steeper than the other one but he could tell from his position and the sound of the waterfall off to his left that he was across the valley from his TARDIS. He could see Rose in the distance walking with the Gamemaster. He came up to the edge of the treeline and squinted, trying to see what was happening. She looked relaxed so he surmised that she wasn't in any immediate danger. In fact, it looked like she was taking a walk and conversing with the Gamemaster. He hoped she was gathering some valuable information that she might pass on to him when he came back. He stood there for a few minutes more before he decided to go back to the task of finding a rucksack. He turned and froze in his tracks when he looked to his left and saw a female combatant about thirty feet away. She had stepped out of the trees to get a look at the valley and noticed him. She was skinny, bald and muscular and her skin resembled military camouflage with patches of green, black and brown covering her body. She had in a leather bra and loincloth and leather sandals. Strapped to her right leg was a leather sheath containing a small dagger. The Doctor waved cheerfully at her but she narrowed her catlike eyes and crouched down.

"We don't have to fight, let's work together," the Doctor said.

"Amala works alone," she said in a husky voice.

She then let out a high-pitched howl and the Doctor had enough time to see Rose jerked her head around and turn towards them before Amala sprinted towards the Doctor. He heard Rose call out his name before he ducked back into the trees. He ran diagonally through them while Amala used the branches of a large tree to climb up, trying to get above the Doctor so she could follow him without fear of his attack. The Doctor cursed the fact that his sonic didn't work on wood while he ran through the undergrowth. He knew running wouldn't help since Amala would be able to see his position as she ran through the treetops. He decided to stand his ground and use the only weapon he had at hand, his yoyo. He came to a stop in a small clearing and pulled his yoyo out. He could hear her body moving through the trees.

"Not even trying to disguise her movements," the Doctor muttered as he slipped his finger into the loop on the end of the yoyo string.

Amala reached the clearing and stood on a thick limb high above the Doctor. She crouched down on it and the Doctor could tell she was sizing up the situation.

"I don't want to kill you but if you fight me, I will defend myself," he warned her.

"I don't fear you," Amala said. "You are thin and weak."

"I may be thin but I'm not weak," the Doctor said. "You do remember that everyone here are the greatest fighters in the universe. If I'm here, I must be one of them."

"Everyone makes mistakes," Amala said with a shrug.

She hopped off the limb and landed catlike on the ground before standing up. The moment she did, her skin changed and became completely green to match the foliage under her feet.

"Ah, a chameleon, eh?" the Doctor said. "Very clever."

Amala took her dagger out of its sheath and the Doctor let the yoyo fall away from his hand. Amala watched with interest while the Doctor swung the yoyo around and around over his head.

"You are fighting me with that?" Amala said, pointing to the yoyo.

"I would underestimate it as a weapon," the Doctor said. "The yoyo is made of wood and I'm pretty sure it'll knock you out if I slam it into your head. Not to mention I'm a master of Venusian Aikido and several other fighting styles. I'm not as helpless as I look so I say again, let's team up andů"

Amala didn't let him finished. She rushed him, her blade at the ready and ducked when the Doctor tried to hit her head with the yoyo. She rushed him again when the yoyo fell to the ground, trying to get him before he could get it airborne again. The Doctor kicked out and Amala reeled back to get away from his foot. She glared at the Doctor when he snickered.

"See, I do know a trick or two," he said.

Amala stepped back several paces, sizing him up again while the Doctor quickly wound the string up into the yoyo. When the loop was next to the yoyo, he held it in his hand in a ready stance while Amala paced back and forth in front of him, trying to find a weak spot and intimidate him at the same time. The Doctor stepped back a couple of feet and then suddenly lunged towards her. He let the yoyo fly from his hand and Amala gasped when he hit her fingers hard with it and she dropped her dagger. The Doctor did a roll and snatched it up while he was on the ground. He grinned when he got back up and showed Amala her purloined weapon. He spun the yoyo around and around over his head while he held the dagger in the other hand. Amala quickly scrambled up a nearby tree, her body changing back to the camouflage pattern. The Doctor stepped back, watching while she scurried up the tree into the leaves. He dropped the yoyo to the ground and knelt down, stabbing the blade of the dagger into the ground. He kept his eyes on Amala while he quickly wound the string back up.

"Give yourself up, Amala, if you know what's good for you," he said when he finished winding up the string.

He picked the dagger back up and stood back up. He waited for a response but Amala moved off into the trees, away from him.

"Thanks for the dagger, Amala!" he yelled when he heard her running away from him.

He waited, figuring she was going to sneak around and attack him from another vantage point. But after ten minutes of waiting, he figured she'd just run off and even if she hadn't, he didn't want to wait around in an open area for more combatants to come. Keeping his senses alert, he turned and headed further into the forest. He used the dagger to cut away some of the twigs and branches and blaze a path for himself. About fifteen minutes into his task, he heard a distant anguished scream and he froze. The scream belonged to a man and it was somewhere in the distance, off to his right. He waited but he couldn't hear anything except insects. He wondered if that was another combatant being killed somewhere. He glanced around; making sure Amala wasn't following him before he continued on.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

"Well," Eleven said, stopping Rose in the middle of their walk, "it's time to let the raptors loose."

"And you're sure they won't hurt the Doctor or Jack?" Rose said.

"Positively sure," Eleven said, smiling at her.

He reached into a pocket on the side of his robes and pulled out a black device that looked like a remote control. He pushed a button near the top of it and Rose watched while the patrolling raptors froze for a moment and then began to run off towards the perimeter of the valley. She noticed one seemed to be headed for the spot where she'd saw her Doctor. She kept looking at that spot but so far he hadn't shown himself again. She could see someone chasing him into the trees. She hoped he was alright.

"There we go," Eleven said, putting the remote back in his pocket. "They have their orders and they're running out of the valley now."

"One is heading for the spot where I saw the Doctor," Rose said.

Eleven shrugged.

"That doesn't mean anything. He won't attack him. I told the raptors to run off to random locations. That one just chose to run that way. Don't worry about him, he'll be fine."

"I was just wondering, where's your TARDIS at?" Rose said when they resumed their walk.

"It's camouflaged. I made it invisible. Would you like to go inside for a bit?" he said to her.

Rose nodded and Eleven turned her around and they walked towards one of the smaller tents. He led her around the back and grinned at her when he stopped.

"See?" he said.

Rose looked around but couldn't see the TARDIS. Then the Doctor raised his hand and struck what looked like thin air off to his right but when his hand connected, Rose saw the TARDIS flash into view before fading away. Then Eleven snapped his fingers and the invisible doors opened. Rose was taken aback when she saw the interior.

"It's different," she said, stepping inside.

"Yeah. It was a matter of necessity. Sometime happened to the old girl and she had to change the interior," Eleven said.

"I like it," Rose said. "Looks more futuristic."

"I like it as well," Eleven said, closing the doors behind her.

Rose walked up the steps and looked at the glass floor. Eleven followed her and put his hand on her back.

"Love, I'll be right back, alright? Need to see a man about a dog," he joked.

Rose chuckled and nodded.

"See ya when you get back from the loo then," she said.

Eleven headed up the steps and walked out of the room. He hurried along the corridors until he reached the room where his captives were being held in suspended animation. He punched in a code on a keypad by the door and the metal door slid open. He entered and the door slid back behind him. Inside the room were three metal capsules connected to each other by wires and cables. The wires and cables also led to a steel console that regulated the cryostasis. Inside the capsules were his captives, Amy Pond, Rory Williams and River Song. He had managed to render them and the Eleventh Doctor unconscious with sleeping gas. He put them in here but he decided to put the Doctor a few seconds out of sync with time so he could see what he was doing and be tormented by it. He couldn't see the Doctor but he sensed he was near.

"I have your children, Doctor," he said aloud as he looked around. "Your best friends and your beloved women, Rose and River, all belong to me now. And there's nothing you can do to help them. But don't worry; I will take good care of your precious Rose and soon she will be enslaved just like the rest of these idiot apes."

He chuckled to himself before he walked over to the door. It slid open and he took one last look at the capsules before he went outside and the door slid back behind him.

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