Chapter Three

When Rose woke up the next morning, she found clothes at the foot of her bed and a large tray of food on the table. She examined the clothes. It was a one piece bodysuit made of some alien latex. The suit had boots attached to them and it was ultra-lightweight.

"Is this what we're supposed to wear?"

Rose looked over at Sharon when she said that and she was holding up an identical suit.

"S'pose so. Maybe it's designed to protect you when you're hiding," Rose said.

"Yeah, but I'm seeking," Sharon said as the others woke up and looked at their bodysuits. "Still, I guess everyone has to wear them."

Rose closed the door and the women stripped off their clothes and put the bodysuits on. To her surprise, her suit was an exact fit and she wondered how they managed to get her measurements. She decided she didn't want to know and she and her friends began eating what was on the tray. They ate sandwiches with some kind of alien meat that Rose thought was delicious and a brown drink in a tall glass that tasted like an energy shake. While they ate, the Doctor appeared at the door wearing an identical bodysuit to Rose's. Rose stopped drinking; staring with barely disguised lust at the body hugging outfit that accentuated the Doctor's body, including the crotch.

"I see you lot were also forced to wear these," the Doctor said. "I just had an argument with a member of staff because I'd rather not wear this but I lost out."

"It flatters your body though," Sharon said, giving him an appreciative glance.

"Yes, I'm sure you women are enjoying the sight of every curve and dimple in my body but this feels funny. I hate it. I'm not even hiding, why am I wearing it?"

"Because everyone has to wear it so you do as well," Rose said.

"But there are no pockets, where do I put my sonic?" the Doctor said, walking over to Rose.

He blushed when he noticed the women were staring at his crotch and they giggled when he put his hand over it.

"No, not there," he said as they laughed harder.

"Carry it in your hand and put it down when you need both your hands," Rose said with a shrug.

"Perhaps I'll wear my coat over this thing," the Doctor said. "Surely they won't object to that."

"I have a feeling they might," Rose said.

"Tough. I'm doing it anyway, I need pockets and I'm not leaving my coat behind so someone can pinch it. The coat stays with me."

"Here, calm down and have a sandwich," Rose said, getting up and getting him a sandwich off the tray.

The Doctor took it, sniffed it and took a bite.

"Mmm, Smevlovian gut meat, one of my favorites," he said with a mouthful of sandwich.

The four women exchanged glances.

"Gut…meat? We were eating something's guts?" Rose said.

"Mmm, Smevlovians are a sort of cat-like creature on Veshlula. Tiny creature, sort of Yorkie sized but their entrails are very tasty."

"No wonder I liked it. We live on entrails," Ssslisa said.

The Doctor grinned when Rose and Sharon exchanged nauseated glances. Actually, Smevlovians were more like cows and it was closer to cow meat but he enjoyed teasing his companion and watching her squirm at times. He took another bite of his sandwich and winked at Rose.


After eating, the Doctor fetched his coat and made sure to transfer all essential objects from his suit to it. Tarana and Cephos walked with them while Ssslisa, Sharon and Nanos went to find their partners. Everyone was heading back to the arena and once they were inside, everyone was directed to sit in the seats. The Doctor, Rose, Tarana and Cephos sat in leather chairs near the bottom, close to the playing field. Rose looked around, trying to find her friends but they hadn't entered the arena yet. She giggled when her eyes turned towards the Doctor. The Doctor gave her a quizzical look.

"What's so funny?"

"You're the only one in here who's got something on besides the bodysuit. You stick out," she said, fingering the trench coat.

"Good. I like sticking out," the Doctor said, raising his chin defiantly. "I have the bleeding outfit on so they can't say anything."

Rose stared at him for a moment and then began playing with the flap of his coat. The Doctor raised his eyebrow and jerked the flap out of her fingers. Rose picked up the flap and played with it again and the Doctor feigned exasperation before he pinched her arm. Tarana gave the two of them a puzzled look when they started a poke war between each other.

"Is this something you do on your planet?" she asked as Cephos turned his head to see what they were doing.

"No, this is something we do to annoy one another," the Doctor said as Rose pressed down on top of his head with her finger and quickly ruffled his hair. "You see, apes like Rose have very tiny IQ's, so simple things like poking amuse them. I, as a higher being, indulge her ape mind because that keeps her happy. Sorta like having a dog at times, only slightly smarter and…OW!" the Doctor said when Rose pinched his arm as hard as she could.

"Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Ape brain and all," Rose said with an innocent shrug.

She giggled when the Doctor took hold of her head and lightly butted it. Tarana shared an amused glance with Cephos when Rose swatted his arm in return. They stopped their teasing when an elderly man wearing a crimson robe walked to the center of the playing field with a microphone.

"Welcome," the man said. "I am Gar, the coordinator of the Hide and Seek competition. I welcome all of you and I'm glad we have so many participants this year. The game area is approximately 200 miles long so there will be plenty of hiding places for everyone. A new addition this year will be the predators who will be hunting the participants and trying to keep them on the move. It will make it more difficult for the seekers to find their partners and make the game more interesting. Now…will all those who are hiding come down into the playing field so we can get the game started?"

"See ya," Rose said to the Doctor.

"Oh don't worry, I'll find you in about ten minutes," the Doctor boasted.

"Yeah, right. You keep telling yourself that," Rose said as she and Tarana walked over to the steps that led down to the playing field.

As they walked down the stairs, people on either side of the open doors handed each person a black wristband. The Doctor leaned forward, trying to get a good look at the devices.

"Those look like Time Agent Vortex Manipulators," he said to Cephos. "They're using those for teleporters?"

"I'm not sure, Doctor. I don't know what a vortex manipulator is," Cephos said with a shrug.

"Well, it can teleport but it can also travel in time but maybe these are modified manipulators. Now I can't wait to get one so I can examine it."

Once everyone was down on the playing field, Gar instructed them on how to wear and operate the teleporter. Rose strapped hers on and lifted up a leather cover. Underneath was a small screen and a keypad. She held it up to her face, examining it closely.

"The teleporters are set to miles," Gar said. "For instance, if you want to teleport 120 miles from here, input 120 using the keypad and press the enter key. There is also a decimal key if you want to go 120 and a half miles. Obviously for that you input 120.5. The game space is 200 miles in all directions so 200 is the limit you can input into the device. Now, you'll also notice a small directional pad beside the enter button that has four arrows. After you input 120, choose which direction you wish to go, the arrow pointing up is north, bottom arrow is south and so on. This is how you will travel. If you wish to travel back here, simply input 0 and push the enter button and you'll automatically come back to this field. Any questions now, raise your hand."

Rose looked around and noticed a squid headed man raised a flipper. Gar acknowledged him.

"What happens when someone wins?" he asked.

"Good question. All of you will automatically be transported back here," Gar said. "Everyone will then switch places with their partners and have another go. Once a winner is determined from that, the games officially will end. Any more questions?"

No one raised their hand.

"Good. Then everyone here is free to travel. But remember, the seekers won't start until you all leave so leave as quickly as you can. Good luck."

Rose glanced up at the Doctor and he raised his ten fingers up. Rose snorted and shook her head at that and the Doctor winked and gave her a thumb's up. Rose looked down at her teleporter and thought about where she wanted to go. She glanced at Tarana who was waiting.

"Let's go together. At least at the start," she said.

"Alright, you choose a number, I'll choose the direction," Rose said.

"Okay, how about 97?" Tarana muttered.

"Okay, I choose north then," Rose said.

Both women entered 97 and pushed the up arrow. Rose glanced at the Doctor once more before she hit the enter button and traveled out of the arena.

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