Chapter Eleven

Once Tania and Circady got over the shock of seeing the TARDIS, the Doctor left his companions with them while he ran back to the wardrobe room. He returned carrying a small cardboard box and called Rose and Circady to him. When they walked over, he handed Rose a white dress that was ankle length along with a part of white plimsols and some white socks.

"I think that'll hide your legs," the Doctor said to Rose. "And for you…I chose a long robe since you're not used to clothes."

Circady frowned and looked at the white robe the Doctor handed him. The Doctor helped him put it on and Circady pulled at it, uncomfortable now that he had something covering his body. The Doctor had a pair of leather sandals and tried to get Circady to wear them but he refused and the Doctor finally gave up, thankful he at least got the merman to wear the robe. He hoped whoever saw Circady's blue feet would think it was some kind of foot covering.

They went outside and the Doctor closed the door. Tania walked around the box and touched the sides of it.

"How does this work? How did you fit all that inside here?" she asked the Doctor.

"Oh, I have many tricks up my sleeve," the Doctor said with an impish smile. "Now come with me and we'll go back to the council house. We have one day and then Rose and Circady go back to the ocean for good."

He put his arm around Rose while they walked back up to the town. Amy walked beside Circady while Rory walked with her and River walked behind them. Amy noticed that Circady looked uneasy as they approached the town.

"It'll be alright, we won't let anyone hurt you," Amy said to Circady.

"These humans have hurt my people and invaded our territory and you want to trust them?" Circady said to her.

"We don't have to trust them but we need to find out what happened to your fiancée and everyone else," Amy said.

"And what if they're all dead, what then?" Circady said.

"Then we'll find a solution that's for everyone's benefit," Amy said. "You can't take Rose as your wife, she's already married to him," she said, pointing to the Doctor.

"Then I will fight him to the death for her," Circady said.

The Doctor looked over his shoulder at Circady, his eyes flashing him a warning look. Circady smirked at that and shrugged.

"Your mate agreed to come back with me after today," he said.

"That's if we find your fiancée and your people and we haven't begun to look yet. So don't plan your battle strategy just yet," the Doctor said tersely. "What is your fiancée's name?"


"Then we'll make them tell us what happened to Lalura and the others," the Doctor said to him. "But until the twenty four hours is up, Rose is with me so don't think of spiriting her away and hiding her somewhere. You might think I'm a pushover but trust me, I'm more than a match for you in battle."

Circady snorted at that but said nothing more as they neared the town. By now, several townspeople spotted them and were running to tell the elders. By the time they got to the council house, Zan was outside the front door, waiting for them. The Doctor introduced Rose and Circady before revealing that Circady was a merman. Zan was taken aback by that and didn't believe him until Circady showed him his feet.

"And Rose is now a mermaid as well. She was transformed by the king into one of them so she would be Circady's fiancée. You see, Circady's fiancée was taken by the fishermen along with nine others and Circady claims you have them."

He studied Zan's expression. There was surprise on his face but the Doctor thought it looked unrealistic. But he kept that thought to himself while Zan recovered from his real or feigned shock.

"What about the people you took from us?" Zan said to Circady. "Did you turn them into merpeople like you did to her?" he said, pointing to Rose.

"Yes. We took them and changed them to replace the missing people," Circady said defiantly. "What did you do with our people?"

"We didn't take your people," Zan snarled at him.

"Whoa, wait!" Rory said, stepping between them when he noticed people were beginning to stop and watch the heated exchange. "Can we go inside and have it out there?"

Zan noticed the townspeople gathering and nodded.

"Follow me," he said, opening the door.

They went inside and walked back to the meeting room. Now the room was empty and Zan directed everyone to sit at the larger table while he stood in front of it. The Doctor took Zan's seat while everyone sat down around him. He folded his hands on the table and waited for Zan to speak.

"Why do you think we have your people?" Zan said to Circady in a much calmer tone of voice.

"Because once our people went missing, we posted spies and they watched the fishing boats. They put their nets into the water and pull up fish by the hundreds. Fish we eat as well. We thought that was all they were doing until one of our people tried to cut the nets and he was trapped by a second net that pulled him up. We watched the humans pull him into the boat but they didn't let him go, they just left in a hurry. When our spies reported back to us, that's when we knew what happened to the others. So where are they?"

"I have no idea," Zan said. "I don't control the activities of the fishermen unless they bring something to the attention of the council. If they took your people, they didn't tell us about it."

The Doctor studied his face and this time he could tell he was telling the truth.

"Do you know the names of the people who fish the waters?" the Doctor said.

"I do. There are thirty five of them though. They use three boats," Zan said.

"And are there any among the thirty five who would do something like the thing Circady is describing?" the Doctor asked him.

Zan paced back and forth for a moment while he ran the names of the thirty five people through his head. Then suddenly he stopped and the Doctor raised his eyebrow when he looked at him.

"There may be one man who could have done something like this," Zan said.

"And that one man is called…"

"His name is Furnish. He's young, about twenty five, I believe. But he's not popular with the other fishermen and he's very greedy."

"That doesn't necessarily mean he kidnapped the merpeople," River said.

"No. But Jean, the elder woman, was at market the other day and saw Furnish there. She told me he was boasting to other people that he was going to be rich because he had a great treasure in his possession but she said when people asked him about it, he wouldn't say anything further."

"And do you know where Furnish lives?" the Doctor asked.

"Yes. Near the outskirts of town. I'll give you his address and you can go and speak to him. I don't know if he'll tell you what this treasure is though. He wouldn't tell the others in the market what it was."

"Don't worry, I'm very good at getting people to talk to me," the Doctor said.

Zan nodded. He told them to wait and he hurried out of the room. He came back five minutes later holding a slip of paper in his hand. He gave it to the Doctor and told him that was Furnish's address and directions to his house. He wished them all luck and watched while they got up and left the room.

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