Chapter 4

Sweat rolled down the Doctor's face as he made his way though a thick jungle landscape. He'd been on the run for hours. His light brown curly hair lay plastered to his forehead. The Doctor's breath heaved as his keen blue eyes searched the map in his hand for some point of reference.

Then he spied what he was looking for! A set of tall palm-like trees in the shape of a big X. Looking up, he could see the dark crossed trunks, their magenta coloured fronds waving invitingly in the humid tropical breeze. Beckoning him on.

That meant that a few hundred meters beyond them, hidden by the jungle foliage, lay The Most Worthy Temple of Azradeem. The place where the Doctor's enemies had supposedly taken his TARDIS. He checked his jacket pocket again for the large ruby stone which was the key that would open the golden doors to the tomb. The Doctor's hand found nothing.

Staring down in dismay, the Doctor saw that somehow the pocket of his multi-coloured jacket had been ripped. Everything in it was gone. Lost forever on the jungle planet of Mon Lazio. He frowned upon the errant pocket, as if it was solely responsible for all his problems.

The Doctor felt a sudden, intense itch on the back of his neck. There came the buzz of a mosquito. A hand shot back, and the jungle clearing he'd paused in resounded with his slap.

"Missed!" The Doctor said in an exasperated tone. It sounded like a curse. The insect's high pitched whining continued to tease him around his left earlobe. He waved his hand at it in irritation. "The most nettlesome noise in the universe." The Doctor gave a melancholy sigh. "Reminds me of Peri. Maybe I should have gone with her to visit her cousins in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee..." He shook his head, gave a shudder, ", on second thoughts, I'd rather listen to mosquitos...ya'll." He said to himself, empahsizing the last word with a strong southern accent.

Several minute's more walking brought him past the two trees that marked the spot. There was the temple. It rose above the jungle, a man made mountain. A great white marble pyramid, it was forty stories tall. However, the marble was moss-covered and crumbling with age. Barely visible through the tangle of jungle vines which seemed to be almost strangling the ancient structure in a death grip. They rendered it nearly invisible from the jungle floor, until one came right up to the wide marble steps at its base.

The doors of the temple were locked tight. Without the ruby key there was no getting in. "I really must remember to make myself another sonic screwdriver." The Doctor said to himself.

"'Ere now, what you want then?" Came a gruff voice from behind him.

Turning around in consternation, the Doctor found himself face to face with a portly, very officious looking man. He was dressed in a ragged, dirty red and gold uniform. The tall pointy green hat on his head was missing half its black brim. However, the long, sharp sword hanging from his shoulder strap looked shiny and new. As did the old-fashioned flint musket he carried at his side. Hanging from the belt holding up his trousers was a gold chain. At the end of the chain was a large ruby.

"Hello, maybe you can help me." The Doctor glibly lied with a friendly smile. "I seem to have been separated from my tour. They went inside to look at the carvings. I hear they're quite beautiful, by the way. Only, I can't seem to find my way in."

"They ain't nobody allowed in the temple." The guard said. "No one but the Grand Zorbann and his acolytes."

"Really? Are you quite sure?" The Doctor feigned surprise. He edged towards the door. "If you'd just allow me to look, I'd only be a moment..."

"They ain't nobody allowed in the temple, sir." The guard stubbornly shook his head, almost casually blocking the Doctor's way with his musket.

"But, the Grand Zorbann himself granted me...I mean us, access. Didn't you get the memo?"

"Don't know nothin' about no memo. All's I know is, they ain't nobody allowed in the temple. Not ever." The guard repeated.

"I thought you just said the Grand Zorbann was allowed in."

"Yeah, but ain't nobody else allowed in temple." The guard insisted.

"What about the acolytes?" The Doctor asked.

"Them too. But no outsiders is allowed in temple."

"Well, they wouldn't be outsiders if you'd let them inside." The Doctor reasoned.

"No one is allowed in temple what ain't the Grand Zorbann or an acolyte."

"Well then, perhaps you could do me a favour and loan me your dictionary." The Doctor asked him.

"My what?" The Guard frowned in puzzlement, scratching his ear.

Perhaps he'd been bitten by a mozzy as well, thought the Doctor. He inwardly smiled at the throught of poetic justice.

"Can't say I got me one a' them, sir." The guard shrugged, after giving the matter some thought.

"No?" The Doctor said, feigning disappointment. "What a pity. Because looking up the word 'monotonous' in the dictionary, would be much more intellectually stimulating for me than having a conversation with you."

"There's no call to be rude, sir. I's only doin' me job."

"And I'm sure you are the role model for every jobsworth in the universe." The Doctor muttered, turning away.

All at once, there came shouting and crashing from somewhere inside the jungle. It was the Doctor's pursuers, closing in on him.

"What's that?" The guard said, staring in the direction of the noise.

"Oh, them." The Doctor gestured towards the jungle. "That's just the French tour group. Vicious lot. Shot, hung and quartered the last guard who told them they couldn't enter a closed temple. I wouldn't say 'no' to them, if I were you."

"Oh yeah? We'll see about that, mate! Now if you don't mind, shove off. I've got work to do." The Guard said, shouldering his musket and stamping off importantly into the brush.

"Cheers!" The Doctor smiled and gave a cheery wave. His other hand clutched an identical ruby to the one he'd just lost. The key he'd quietly lifted off of the man's belt while they'd been talking.

Breathing a sigh of relief, the Doctor pushed back a big red lever on the console with a flourish. With a reassuring hum, it shut the TARDIS doors. Inside the gleaming white control room, the gentle light behind the glass roundels on the walls let off an inviting glow. The Doctor gratefully took in the familiar smells, sounds and feelings of his ship.

"Ah! Home sweet home, at last!" He said, patting the console affectionately.

Just then, a strident beeping came from the console. The Doctor gave a martyred sigh. "What now? Probably Peri asking me to come and get her. I'm beginning to wonder if she thinks my TARDIS is her own personal car hire service."

Bending down, he read the incoming message. His eyes widened with surprise.

"I need my help? What have I gone and gotten myself into this time?" He shrugged. "Peri can wait. Whatever is happening in my future, it sounds infinitely more interesting than being Soddy Daisy's only intergalactic taxi."

Back                         Home                              Doctor Who Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted.