Chapter Eleven

The Doctor and Rose expected the royals to give the commands but they seemed to rely more on the slaves so eventually the Doctor and Rose began to explore the ship since the scenery really didn't change. They went below and stared at the men using the oars. They were all naked except for a loincloth and sweat rolled down their brow while they moved the oars in unison. The men were chanting in unison in order to keep time with the rhythm of their rowing.

"Are they slaves?" Rose said softly to the Doctor.

"Not sure, they used both servants and slaves," the Doctor said. "They're not chained to the wall so they might be volunteers. But on the other hand, there's nowhere to run to so they might be slaves."

"I'm beginning to think it's all the same," Rose said, shaking her head.

They walked on and examined the rest of the boat. There were a few mats on the floor and some of the crew was napping while a few slaves stood over them and fanned them. Rose shook her head again at the inequality of making people stand in the intense heat and cramped space of the lower deck and fan other people. She wished she was the Pharaoh so she could make some real changes in the country. But she knew that was a pipe dream so she had to be content with being allowed to roam the boat with the Doctor at her side.

At the back of the boat was a painting of a being with a man's body and the head of a crocodile. The being was wearing a cloth head covering like the Pharaoh's wore with a snake at the front of it. Beside him was hieroglyphic writing.

"Hail, mighty Sobek," the Doctor read to Rose. "Guardian of the sacred Nile, provide safe passage for this boat in return for our adoration of your majesty."

"Crocodile god?" Rose said to the Doctor.

"Crocodiles are feared here," the Doctor said with a shrug. "People have been snatched off the shore while they wash their linen or fish. So they worship him in the hopes that he will be benevolent."

"And keep his crocodile pets away from the people?" Rose said.

"Wouldn't you if you were in danger of being killed by one?" the Doctor said. "I'm sure some of the servants in the palace face that danger whenever they wash the laundry. They don't have a launderette in the palace, you know."

"Did you have something to do with this?"

"Do I have something to do with what?" the Doctor said, confused.

"The Egyptian gods."

The Doctor stared at her, even more confused.

"Why would I be responsible for that?" he said.

"Because I know you. You keep talking about how you were involved with this or invented that. Come on, you invented the gods, didn't ya!" she teased.

"I told you I was Osiris, I believe I mentioned that earlier," the Doctor teased back with a huge grin on his face.

"So who was this? A companion of yours?" Rose said, pointing to Sobek.

"Um…no, I never had a crocodile for a companion," the Doctor said.

"You never had a woman with reeeeeally horrible scaly skin?" Rose teased, waggling her fingers at him.

"Well, there was Hortrude. She had a bit of sciatica once," the Doctor said, scratching his chin thoughtfully. "Perhaps someone saw her and thought she was a reptile and it got back to Egypt."

"Hortrude?" Rose said as they walked away.

"Yes. Hortrude Bellaflop, also known as Hortrude the Itchy due to the times she had to scratch to relieve the itch of her skin," the Doctor said. "She helped me by shaking her head and throwing dandruff on a Dalek and the Dalek fled in terror. I took pity on the poor thing and took her with me but I had to delouse her frequently and give her creams so it was a full time job keeping her noncontagious."

Rose laughed and the Doctor winked at her.

"So did aliens build the pyramids then? Did you build the pyramids?" she added, poking his side.

"You think I do everything, don't you?" the Doctor said as he stopped walking.

"Yes. This is your planet and you're responsible for everything in it," Rose said, stopping with him. "You're the secret emperor of Earth and you've been secretly building up Earth and its civilizations since the beginning."

"My, you have quite an active imagination," the Doctor said as they resumed walking.

"So, what was it like being Osiris and ruling over everyone?" Rose said.

"Yup, active imagination," the Doctor said as he pretended to inspect a splinter in a piece of wood.

"So when people die, do they go to you?" Rose said, poking his side.

"This splinter shouldn't be here, they needed to sandpaper this section better," the Doctor murmured, pointing to the splinter while he ignored Rose.

"Osiris," Rose said, poking him.

She froze when the Doctor suddenly pulled a piece of wood out of the wall. He had found a small groove near the splinter, put his fingers inside it and pulled. He looked around to make sure no one except Rose was watching before he put his hand inside the small hole. He pulled a small leather-bound book out of the hole and showed it to Rose.

"They don't have books at this point in history; they write on papyrus and store them as scrolls."

"So what is a book doing here?" Rose said while the Doctor nodded.

He replaced the piece of wood and beckoned to Rose to follow him. They went to the other side of the lower deck where it was fairly secluded. There was a bit of light coming from the long slit that the oars went through and the Doctor used that and his enhanced eyesight to start reading through the book while Rose waited patiently for him to tell her his findings. The heat was slowly rising below deck and Rose wiped the sweat off her brow as fast as she could while it dripped down her face. The Doctor wasn't affected by it which made her jealous of his alien physiology. She knew something was wrong when she suddenly saw the surprise and then disbelief on his face.

"What is it?" Rose said.

"A journal, that's what it is," the Doctor said. "A record of alien intervention in Egyptian civilization."

"So aliens really did build the pyramids?" Rose said.

"Yes but it goes beyond that. Aliens have been posing not only as the gods but acting as viziers to the Pharaohs and helping them to rule," the Doctor said. "Why is this here though?"

He flipped through the pages rapidly and a folded note fell out of the back and fell on the floor. Rose picked it up and unfolded it while the Doctor watched.

"Dear Doctor," she said, giving him a pointed look after reading that. "I left this journal for you because I remember you would find it. This is a brief history of alien activity concerning the Egyptian civilization. There is more but I decided not to include everything, only the most important parts. Read on and you'll find out the reason why you were meant to find this. Good luck."

Her eyes bulged.

"It's signed The Eleventh Doctor," she said, handing the note to him. "So at some point in future, you come back here and put the book in this ship because he remembered finding it in the ship as you?"

"Wibbly wobbly timey wimey," the Doctor said. "Not the first time something like this has happened to me."

"So I wonder what information you need from the book then," Rose said.

"Well…since this isn't the property of the Pharaoh, I can read it openly so let's go up on deck where there's more light."

"No argument from me, I'm sweating to death down here," Rose said.

The Doctor took her hand and they walked over to the ladder that led to the upper deck.

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