Chapter Eighteen

Eleven opened the TARDIS door and peeked out while the others waited. After ditching the nosy farmer, he managed to move the TARDIS somewhere else on the planet. The TARDIS jiggled and shook and everyone held on to the railings while Eleven gripped the console. But the trip only took thirty seconds before she stopped. Now Eleven was making sure they were still on the correct planet. The other stood and waited while he looked around, then they heard him groan softly. When they went outside, Rose and Robert stopped short when they saw the devastation around them. There was a huge castlelike structure dominating the surroundings with a glass dome around it. But the dome was in ruins, broken like a goldfish bowl and there was heavy bomb damage to both the structure and the surrounding area.

"What happened?" Rose said as she came up beside Ten.

"The Daleks happened," Ten said grimly.

"Yeah, but…we didn't see this sort of devastation at that farm," Robert said, pointing to the building.

"It wasn't a high-profile target," Eleven said. "I suspect the farm was on the other side of the planet, away from the cities and the Citadel here," he added, gesturing to the damaged structure. "The Daleks bombed the entire planet but they concentrated their firepower on areas like this where people fought back. That farmer was lucky. If the farms survived, the people have food. But for now…follow me, we need to meet with the general and high council and find out what's going on here."

Everyone followed him as he led the way towards the Citadel. On the way there, they avoided craters where bombs had dropped and stepped around parts of destroyed spaceships and Daleks. Rose noticed several charred corpses of soldiers as they got closer to the building and took her Doctor's hand.

"You fought like they did?" she said, pointing to the corpses.

Ten looked where she was pointing and sighed.

"With great reluctance," he said sadly as he looked away.

They nearly made it to the enormous double doors of the Citadel when the door suddenly opened and several soldiers streamed out, their laser blasters trained on them. Eleven's arms shot up in the air.

"Wait, whoa! I'm the Doctor!" he said while everyone else put their arms in the air. "The Doctor! I wish to see the General and the high council!"

"How do we know that?" a young soldier said as he neared closer to Eleven. "You look different."

"That's because I regenerated. Do a mind scan on me if you like, just let us inside," Eleven said, annoyed.

"Do it," another guard said. "If they're lying, we'll have them executed."

"That's big of you, thanks," Eleven said dryly before the guards parted to let them through.

They waited until they walked past and then fell in behind them, their laser blasters still aimed at their backs. Inside the building was heavily damaged with dim lights and paintings of prominent Time Lords on the walls of the corridors along with a huge Seal of Rassilon. Rose was looking around at the portraits as they passed by but she noticed Clara wasn't awestruck like she and Robert was. In fact, she seemed to be nonchalant about the whole Gallifrey thing. She wondered why she could be so unimpressed since she was sure this was the first time in centuries that the Doctor had stepped foot on his own planet. She decided privately to ask her about it later as they headed for the War Room.

When they reached the massive double doors of the War Room, the guards told everyone to stop and the young one who had accosted the Doctor stepped around them and told everyone to wait while he announced their arrival. He closed the door and Eleven stared at the engraved Seal of Rassilon on each door while he waited for the guard to return. While he was doing that, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye and looked over when Clara stepped up to him.

"Do you think the Time Lords are responsible for the whole cult thing on Earth then?" she said in hushed voice.

"Dunno, but I'm not leaving until I get some answers," he said softly.

The door opened and Eleven and Clara stepped back slightly as the guard poked his head out and told them they could come in. He opened the door up and Eleven led them inside. Around a large table stood the General and several male and female council members, all of them dressed in Time Lord robes and regalia. Everyone stopped near the table as the guard walked to the General.

"He said he's the Doctor," the guard said as he pointed to Eleven.

"He is, I recognize him and the other one," he said, pointing to Ten. "You men may leave us. We need to talk to them in private," he said to the soldiers.

The soldiers saluted and left the room, closing the door behind them. Eleven glanced over his shoulder at him before he turned his attention to the General. The General was out of his armor and was dressed in Time Lord robes like his colleagues.

"I gather your calculations were off, Doctor, since we're not frozen in time," the General said to Eleven as Ten walked up to the front.

"It was a complicated maneuver," Eleven said mildly. "I suspect one of us was off in their calculations. Most likely my sixth self, he was a bit dodgy anyway. We did manage to send you to another universe, however."

"Yes, we surmised that from the planets in the sky and the lack of Daleks," the General said dryly. "So now that we're here, how do we return, Doctor?"

"I don't know," Eleven said.

"So, we're stuck here forever?" a councilwoman said as she walked up beside the General.

"This is Counselor Trina, one of my aides," the General said, gesturing to the middle aged woman dressed in scarlet robes.

Eleven and Ten bowed respectfully to her.

"I don't know, Counselor Trina," Eleven said. "As I said, this is the first time this has ever been attempted, I have no idea if we can bring you back to the original universe or not."

"I have a question of my own, if you don't mind," Ten interrupted.

"Yes, Doctor?" the General said.

"Are you behind this whole mass worshipping of me on Earth?" Ten said.

The General and Trina glanced at one another.

"Mass worshipping" the General said, confused.

"Someone has started a cult dedicated to me on Earth," Eleven said. "Someone with expansive knowledge of me and Gallifrey."

"We know of no such cult on Earth," the General said, shaking his head. "We didn't even know if there was an Earth in this universe."

"Then who is behind it?" Eleven said.

"I have no idea, Doctor. We're concerned with rebuilding and finding a way back to our universe, we don't have time to establish a Doctor cult on Earth," the General said.

"Permission to conduct an investigation then so we can find out if someone from Gallifrey is behind this cult?" the Doctor said.

The General glanced at his aides.

"Granted. But your energy would be better expended helping us rebuild and get back home," the General said.

"I understand that but I have reason to believe that this person or persons who are behind this cult have evil intentions, not just for me but perhaps for all of us and we need to investigate and find out what's going on."

"Very well then, I will send a soldier with you."

"That's…not necessary," Eleven said quickly. "We can take care of ourselves."

"I wish one to go with you, both for protection and to report back to us. If we truly are in danger, I want to know about it. I assure you, Doctor, the soldier will defer to you and be respectful."

Eleven sighed and nodded, sensing this point was not negotiable. He gave his consent and the General told them to wait outside the Citadel and he would send the soldier out after choosing one. Eleven glanced at Ten and both men bowed deeply before they turned and walked out of the room with their friends.

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