Chapter 25

The fifth Doctor's atoms coalesced in a beam of white light. As his body once again took on solidity, he checked out his surroundings. He was curious, and just a little apprehensive. It took the Doctor but a fraction of a second to adjust his eyes from the bright TARDIS interior to the ebony shadows and sapphire moonlight of the quarry. A stiff, chill breeze ruffled the Doctor's neatly combed blond hair, and sent the ends of his cricketing jacket flapping. Yet, he hadn't noticed. Though his face revealed nothing, the Doctor was gravely concerned for Tegan.

Still within his sight, the TARDIS loomed in the background, the moonlight gleaming against those less worn spots of its aging paint. Unfortunately, it was not quite close enough for him to make a run for it. And even if he could, the Doctor silently reasoned, with that chain and deadlock on the door, there was little point in even trying. At least, not for the moment.

"It's taken me five years to track you down, Time Lord." Came a surprisingly cultured, if roughened, voice from behind him. "And ten years before that, I was trapped inside a Storm Cage. Thanks to you. When I finally escaped, I thought of nothing but revenge. Then a certain party, a fellow enemy of yours, offered me an indecently generous sum for your capture. And a marginally lower amount if I brought back only your head. Well, how could I not say yes to such a wonderful employment opportunity?"

"How, indeed?" The Doctor said genially.

Making no sudden moves, he slowly turned and faced Rogerious. The Doctor squinted, trying to make out the features of the dog-man, dressed in his black helmet and matching battle fatigues. Rogerious was standing in the shadow of the cliff face. Mostly all the Doctor could see was the dull metallic gleam of his helmet—and what appeared to be a long barrel of a blaster rifle, which was probably pointing at him. The bounty hunter's face was obscured by shadow, but the Doctor marked the puffs of white fog as his hot breath met the cold air.

"It wasn't until I stole a special device from a Dalek. An experimental bit of technology, which enabled me to monitor the Space-Time vortex."

Then I'd say you have much bigger problems than capturing me." The Doctor told him seriously. "I doubt the Daleks will take that sort of thing lying down."

"Raagh!" Rogerious gave a sharp bark-like laugh. "The gods were on my side this time, Doctor. That Dalek never knew what hit it. And they will think the device was lost along with everything else, when the Dalek saucer exploded."

"Ah. I see." The Doctor nodded sagely. Then stated firmly, "Now that that's settled, perhaps you can let me see Tegan. I won't go along with any more of your requests, until I know for certain that she is unharmed."

"I am afraid not, Doctor. You will see your friend soon, never fear. But Tegan shall remain in my grasp until you do as I tell you."

Giving a long, patient sigh, the Doctor replied, "Very well. Then it seems we have a bit of a stalemate. Because I won't do another thing until I know she is safe."

"On the contrary, I have something which may well change your attitude, Time Lord." Rogerious sneered.

"And what could possibly make me change my mind?" The Doctor asked skeptically, digging his hands in his pockets.

"Look up, Doctor. The cliff edge."

The Doctor squinted beyond Rogerious to the top of the cliff. There was a shape there. A looming hulk beyond the row of low, neatly spaced rocks which formed a sort of crude safety barrier.

The bounty hunter pressed a button on his utility belt. Without warning, the cliff face was lit up like Times Square on New Year's Eve. High powered utility lights illuminated a scene with made the Doctor gasp with dismay. The chill he abruptly felt was not entirely from the outside temperature.

"No! You wouldn't dare!" He protested.

"I would. And I will. If you do not do as I say." Rogerious answered ominously.

Inside the TARDIS, nine Doctors and four companions stood by helplessly, watching the two distant figures on the monitor. Suddenly, the Doctors all began talking again. Each discussing to one of the others what their next move should be.

Watching them, the first Doctor shut his mouth and frowned deeply. This was getting them nowhere. Taking up the brass-headed walking cane he'd brought with him, the first Doctor rapped it hard on the floor three times. Doctors and companions alike turned to him.

"Will you all be quiet?" Shouted the first Doctor. "I can't hear myself think!"

"My dear fellow. How are we to work out a plan if we can't speak?" The third Doctor said patronizingly, "What are we supposed to do? Waggle our eyebrows at each other, like the Delfon's do?"

"Oooh, I remember them." The tenth Doctor nodded. "Nearly ended up in gaol, one time. They mistakenly thought I was soliciting something very er—personal. Bit of a translation issue. Never go to Delfon after you've just singed off your eyebrows."

"I was hoping I'd forget all about that." The ninth Doctor rolled his eyes at the tenth and then said to Jack, "Took me forever to talk my way out of that one. I was shopping at a market stall. Decided I wanted to buy Rose a pretty clasp. Turns out, the woman thought I was trying to sell her my ar—"

"As I was saying, gentlemen." The first Doctor interrupted, "We need to be silent and simply observe, at this juncture. You can learn a lot I feel," He said, arching his eyebrows at his older selves, and adding dryly, "by taking note of other peoples gestures, their behavior."

"Oh yeah? You'd love the tube during rush hour, mate." Donna said. She gave Amy a cheeky wink, "I've given people a few gestures in my time." Despite the situation she was in, Amy smiled. She really liked Donna.

The seventh Doctor shook his head, saying, "That reminds me. Ace used to used to do some very odd things. I still have no idea what the significance of an erect middle finger means."

"Yes." The forth Doctor nodded wisely. "Body language. It can be quite useful, at times."

Sarah glanced over at Donna and Amy. The three girls suddenly couldn't help themselves. They burst out in a fit of giggles. The Doctors all shot them puzzled looks.

"Right now I'd say that body up there is giving off a message, loud and clear." Jack said, pointing at the view screen on the wall.

The thirteen occupants of the TARDIS turned as one to the view on the wall screen. They all watched mutely, as the cliff above the two figures outside was suddenly illuminated with an almost daylight brilliance. Standing near the edge of the cliff was the formidable figure of the kill-bot. Its enormous hand—the one without the weapon attached, was holding something over the cliff. A distant, struggling figure attached by the waist to a long chain which dangled, swaying slightly, in the kill-bot's clenched fist.

None of those inside the TARDIS had to guess who that might be. They knew already. It was Tegan.

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.