Chapter Twenty Two

When they found the correct door, Ten paused a moment and held back while the others watched him.

"This is it, yeah?" Rose said as Ten's hand hovered over the door handle. "Third door on the left?"

"Yes, I'm just afraid I'll find another Tasha inside when I open it," Ten said.

He finally opened the door, very slowly, and looked inside when he opened it enough for his head to poke through. He saw the studio near the back of the room with three cameras positioned in front of it and beyond that stadium seating with red leather seats. Men and women were running around and there appeared to be some confusion. Then a young black woman spotted him and the Doctor flinched when she pointed and yelled, "There he is!" and everyone stopped to see where she was pointing.

"Darius, stay right behind me," Ten said before he slowly opened the door.

By now, a middle aged man with salt and pepper hair pulled back in a long ponytail and a beer gut was heading towards him with a clipboard in his hand. His blue flannel shirt and khaki pants were rumpled and there was a pair of headphones around his neck. The cords snaked down the front of his body and jiggled and bounced as he hurried towards the Doctor. He was wearing old brown shoes that had a few holes in them and he had a look of relief on his chubby moon face as he came up to the Doctor.

"There you are, we've been looking all over for you and Gareth," the man said when he stopped in front of the Doctor. "Where did you swan off to?"

"Um…just stepped out to the loo," the Doctor said, deciding to play along. "Why, where did you think I went?"

The man frowned at the Doctor's entourage for a moment before the Doctor snapped his fingers and turned his attention back to him.

"Where did you think I went?" he repeated impatiently.

"Well, someone said that they saw a bright light that came down and spread around you and Gareth and you looked like you disappeared," he said to the Doctor. "Frankly, she's young and I thought she was on drugs but I wasn't around at the time and…"

"Where did this happen?" the Doctor said, cutting him off. "Who saw it?"

"Well…Felicity saw it. Wait a tic, I'll find her," the man said.

He turned and then hesitated.

"Won't be running off again, will you?" he asked the Doctor.

"I'm through with the loo so I'll be right here," the Doctor said.

The man nodded and walked off, shouting Felicity's name. While he was doing that, the Doctor turned to everyone.

"So…sounds like a transmat beam took John away," he said to them.

"Then someone is controlling him," Eleven said. "I doubt he came here of his own free will."

"Yeah, he was just upset by all this as the rest of us," Rose said. "He's not evil, Doctor, even if he did destroy all the Daleks."

The Doctor nodded at that but kept silent preferring to reserve judgement on his clone till he was sure. He heard the man calling to him and turned to see him coming towards him with another young lady. She was in her mid twenties, Caucasian with a thin face and prominent cheekbones. The Doctor noted that she carried herself with an air of sophistication and dressed in a navy blue pantsuit with white blouse and black high heels. She looked more professional than her boss and he looked even more slovenly next to her. She wore glasses with thick black frames and she pushed them up on her nose while she got a good look at the Doctor. Unlike Tasha, she was composed and professional, although the Doctor did notice her giving him an appraising look.

"Doctor," she said, extending her hand to him. "Felicity Brown, I'm an intern here."

"Ms. Brown, pleasure," Ten said, shaking her hand. "Tell me what you think you saw then."

Felicity snorted.

"I don't think, I know what I saw, Doctor. I saw you and Gareth vanish in a ball of light."

"Where?" Ten said.

He sighed when Felicity gave him an odd look.

"Just…humor me," he said to her.

Felicity shrugged. The man stepped aside and watched while she led them to a spot halfway between the set and the doorway. She stepped back and watched confused while Ten and Eleven knelt down and sniffed the air while their hands hovered above the spot where John and Gareth disappeared.

"Transmat exchange," Eleven said after giving the air another sniff.

"Yes and residual warmth, definitely the spot," Ten said softly as he waved his hand over the floor.

"What's going on?" Felicity said to the others while the Doctors continued to examine the spot with their sonics.

"Just some scientific stuff," Clara said, waving her hand dismissively. "They do this all the time, trust me."

"And who are you?" Felicity said to her.

"Clara Oswald, I travel with…him," she said, pointing to Eleven.

Rose bit her lip when Felicity looked at Eleven and shrugged dismissively, not realizing who the man really was.

"So are you a…fan of the Doctor?" Rose asked her.

Felicity beamed.

"I admire him," she said, pointing down to Ten. "I think he's the solution for this planet."

"I think not," Ten muttered to Eleven as they continued to scan the floor.

"I think he will bring peace and prosperity to Earth," Felicity continued.

"Excuse me, butting in," Eleven said, standing up. "Tell me, are you a Christian?" he said to Felicity.

"Um…yeah, I suppose so," Felicity said, frowning. "I mean, I'm not churchy or anything but I do believe in Jesus."

"So if Jesus hasn't brought peace and prosperity to Earth, what makes you think the Doctor can?" Eleven said.

Ten bit his lip and glanced up at Felicity who was now flummoxed and silenced by the question.

"I suppose because that's how he's presenting himself," she finally said to Eleven. "He said in the interview that he wants to make the world a better place. You said that, yeah?" she added to Ten as he stood up. "So if he can offer that, why not take him up on the offer?"

"Because I never said it," Ten said to her.

"Huh, you said in the interview…"

"That wasn't me," Ten said, cutting Felicity off. "Long story but I have a clone and I'm afraid someone nefarious is forcing him to say things and putting forth the idea that I'm the rescuer of planet Earth. I care for Earth, I defend it but I'm not fixing every problem you have. I don't want to be a god. It's hard enough being a Time Lord most days."

"I don't understand," Felicity said to him.

"Look, I'm the Doctor as well although you haven't seen this version of me and I agree with what he's saying," Eleven said. "I'm afraid his clone and Gareth may have been kidnapped and what you saw before, him and Gareth vanishing in a ball of light, is in fact what happened. It's called a transmat and it's like a teleporter."

"Why would someone do that?" Felicity said.

"We don't know why someone is turning me into a god but we suspect that my clone is being forced to do this. As for Gareth, I think he was an innocent victim and now we have to find and rescue him as well. And I believe we did enough scans that the TARDIS can lock on to their position. So if you'll excuse us…Doctor?" he said to Ten as he gestured towards the door.

They turned to leave but Felicity grabbed Ten's arm. Ten sighed and turned back to her with an impatient look on his face.

"Thank you…for defending us," Felicity said to him.

Ten smiled.

"My pleasure, Ms. Brown. Thank you for helping us. Now if you'll excuse us…"

Felicity nodded. She let go and watched as Ten turned and walked with the others towards the front door.

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