THE MASTER, THE DOCTOR AND THE WOLF

Chapter Twenty Seven

Sheila led them to an abandoned semi detached brick house eight houses down from theirs. When they entered the house, Sheila led them to the Daleks who were still in the same place they'd been when they shut down. The Doctor scanned them with his screwdriver and nodded.

"No life," he said to everyone.

He used his screwdriver on the dome of one of the Daleks and then grabbed the eyestalk, lifting the dome up on a hinge. Everyone gathered around while he peered inside at a complex tangle of wires and circuitry. The Doctor poked around with the tip of his screwdriver.

"I think you're right. This is just a robot without a Dalek in it. This mess controls it and I suspect acted as its brain and I can see what looks like a digital clock near the bottom. Most likely the time delay mechanism."

He sighed angrily and slammed the lid down hard onto the Dalek frame. Then everyone gasped when he suddenly kicked it hard, propelling it backwards into a nearby wall. The Doctor glowered, his teeth gnashing in rage as he headed towards the front door. The others let him walk past and then followed behind him in case he decided to take his rage out on something else.

No one said anything as they walked back to the other house. By now, flies were buzzing around David's corpse and the Doctor shooed them away before he instructed everyone to lift him up. He let Susan get the legs so she wouldn't have to walk with her lover's head in her stomach. He left that up to himself and grabbed under David's armpits while Sheila and Clara handled the torso. They slowly walked back to the spot where the TARDIS had been and gently laid him down on the ground before the Doctor took out his screwdriver and did another scan of the area. He smiled when his screwdriver picked up Eleven's TARDIS from the artron energy. He walked over and snapped his fingers and a door flew open, seemingly out of nowhere, revealing the console room within. Sheila stepped back in amazement and gawped at it.

"Clara, fill in our new friend on what this is," the Doctor said, gesturing to the console room before he walked back to David's corpse.

Susan helped him pick it up and Clara and Sheila hurried to help them as they carried him inside. Clara noticed that Sheila was looking around the console room with shock and awe but they kept on going and Sheila went with them out of the room and into the corridor beyond it.

"How big is this box?" she asked as she helped them carry the corpse down the corridor.

"Bigger than you can imagine," the Doctor replied. "And my ship is very helpful as well. TARDIS, please give us a shortcut to the cryo room."

Sheila blinked when the long corridor was suddenly blocked by a wall with a metal door in the center of it. The Doctor directed Clara to open the door and when she did, she shivered as a blast of cold air hit her skin. The room was made of stainless steel, cold and sterile with a steel table that was bolted down in the center of the room. There were twenty small doors on the back wall that opened to slabs where a body could be stored. By now, David was beginning to decompose and he smelled but the Doctor told them that they needed to cut the clothes off his body and prepare him for a shroud as they put him on the table.

"Susan, you know the traditional Gallifreyan burial," the Doctor said. "Can you handle the preparation and direct the others?"

"Yes, Grandfather."

"Are you sure?"

Susan nodded and the Doctor patted her on the shoulder.

"I will be back, promise. Just want to start up the TARDIS and have her scan for the other one," he said before he hurried out of the room.

Clara shivered when he shut the door and the only source of heat vanished from the room. Underneath the table was two metal drawers the opened out. Inside were some implements, including three metal scissors. Clara, Sheila and Susan used the scissors to cut the clothes off David's body. Clara was working on getting the shirt off. As she cut it away from the corpse, she kept glancing at Susan. Susan had tears in her eyes while she and Sheila worked on the trousers but so far she was composed enough to keep to the task at hand. The blood was beginning to pool in spots along David's back, making it look like he was severely bruised. David's mouth was hanging open and his eyes were open as well so Clara gently shut the eyes before returning to her work. Sheila had stopped asking questions about the TARDIS and Clara guessed it was because she was too busy working to ask or perhaps she was getting used to being inside a magical box with a morgue inside it.

By the time, they cut away the clothes and took them away, the Doctor had returned. David was dirty and smelled so the Doctor prepared a preparation to wash the body and deodorize it with some chemicals stored inside the drawers. There were some flannels in the drawers and the Doctor poured a bit of the solution onto all of them and they set to work washing various body parts. Clara sniffed at the air as she worked on the head and upper torso and realized the solution had a lavender scent that was very pleasant. She gently washed the dirt from David's face, gazing at it. He'd been quite handsome and she shared the Doctor's rage that a fake Dalek had taken his life. She heard Susan's subdued sobbing and looked up to see that she was trying not to cry as she washed David's left leg. The Doctor stopped what he was doing, lay the flannel on near David's crotch and walked over to her. To Clara's surprise, the Doctor pulled her voluntarily into a hug and held her while Susan wept. It was then that she realized that perhaps there were differing standards to this Doctor. He might be averse to hugging her because he was trying to set up boundaries in their relationship but Susan was family and she could tell that despite his gruff demeanor, the Doctor loved his granddaughter very much and cared for her deeply. Clara caught Sheila's eye and both women returned to the task at hand while the Doctor soothed and comforted his granddaughter.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Wow, this is a very boring planet they have here," Eleven said as he and Rose walked together through the barren wasteland. "Not even a spoon. A spoon would be nice at the moment. At least it would something other than dirt and craters."

He glanced at Rose when she chuckled.

"Haven't changed that much, have ya?" she teased.

"Well, I have a bigger chin and floppier hair and I like bow ties so yes, I believe I have changed that much."

"Yeah but you still have your sense of humor," Rose said.

"Well, I don't lose that…usually. Course there is Old Man Grumpy to consider," the Doctor said, lowering his voice. "And I was Captain Grumpy as well, as well as Big Ears Grumpy who first asked you to tea…or chips…or tea and chips."

By now, Rose was giggling uncontrollably.

"I fail to see the humor in this situation," the Master said as he and Xelok followed at a distance.

"Just trying to keep things light so our situation doesn't look so bleak, Mister Master," the Doctor said to him.

"Just Master will do and I prefer to be a realist and look at things as they really are. Not be all cutesy and touristy about a barren planet that might have a thousand dangers on it."

"All the more reason to be lighthearted. Never know when a sandworm might gobble you up so die laughing," the Doctor said.

Rose put her hand over her mouth to keep her laughter in when she looked back and saw the peeved look on the Master's face.

"And there's another grumpy person," the Doctor said softly as he surreptitiously pointed back to the Master. "We could die a horrible death, true, but that's no reason to be a sourpuss killjoy in the meantime."

"Shut it, I'm trying not to laugh," Rose said between gritted teeth.

"Laugh all you like, I'm not afraid of Mister Master back there," the Doctor said through gritted teeth of his own.

Rose giggled again and the Doctor squeezed her hand.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After twenty minutes, they finally found a large rock in the middle of the landscape that was about thirty feet high. It took them another ten minutes to walk around it and the Doctor smiled when he noticed a huge cavelike hole in the center of it.

"Ooo, we found ourselves an opening," the Doctor said to Rose. "Shall we explore it?"

"You really wanna die, dontcha?" Rose teased him.

"Do you wanna stay out here in the middle of Nowhere, Planet Nowhere?" the Doctor said.

"Good point. Lead on then, Leader."

"Gladly."

By the time the Master and Xelok came around the rock, the Doctor and Rose were already squeezing themselves through the narrow opening. The Master watched them, dumbfounded, as they entered the rock.

"Are all humans thick?" the Master said to himself.

He sighed as he looked around the barren landscape.

"Still, it's better than walking around in this godforsaken land. Come on, Boy, let's find out where these idiots are going," he said to Xelok before they walked towards the opening.

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