Chapter Four

The Doctor grunted when the women dumped him and Clara unceremoniously into a jail cell deep underground. The cells were carved out of the dirt but lined with concrete. It was windowless and there was nothing inside it except a small hole that was used as the latrine. Several of the women blocked their way as the others filed out of a stone door that had one barred window in the center of it.

"You won't get away with this," the Doctor snarled at Mira who was helping to block the door. "I will make you sorry you ever did this to Rose."

"The High Priestess will be consulted and her punishment for you will be relayed back to you in due time," Mira said.

"Let me guess, burning at the stake," the Doctor said.

At a signal, the women guarding the door began to back up towards it. Several women standing beyond the door withdrew laser blasters and aimed them at the prisoners while the others departed the room.

"I beg an audience with the High Priestess," the Doctor said to Mira as she stepped backwards through the door.

"You have insulted her, you will be punished," Mira said.

"I want to apologize to her and make amends," the Doctor said calmly. "Please let me start over again because I made a mistake."

"I will inform the High Priestess of your request and if it is granted, you will be allowed to speak," Mira said. "Until that time or the time of your punishment, you will stay here."

The Doctor flipped her the vees as Mira shut the door and locked it. He sighed angrily and looked around.

"Wow, this must be the height of luxury on Karn," he said gesturing to the walls.

"Will they kill me as well or try to brainwash me, I wonder," Clara said.

The Doctor had walked over to the hole, bent down to look inside and then jerked up, repulsed by the smell.

"I would vote for dying," the Doctor said, walking away from the hole. "Then you wouldn't have to wear a funny hat and be Marcel Marceau every night."

He walked over to the door, peered out at the dirt wall of the tunnel they were in and with another sigh, walked over to the right side of the wall and sat down with his back against it. Clara followed suit and sat down beside him.

"See. This…" the Doctor said, gesturing to the door. "This nonsense here, this was the ruling class of Gallifrey for centuries and anyone who didn't believe in them was put to death…that is to say, anyone with a rational mind snuffed it and all because they believe some mystical flame gives them power."

"And if they don't put us to death, they might brainwash us."

"Oh no, not me," the Doctor said, putting up his hands while Clara chuckled. "They're not putting me in a dress and putting clown makeup on my face. They can kill me first."

Clara chuckled at that but then a thought came to her that made her sober up.

"If they burn you, you'll regenerate again," Clara said. "And if you can't escape, you'll keep on regenerating in the midst of the flames. Oh God…"

"Which is why, Clara, I don't intend to die that way," the Doctor said gently as he patted her arm. "No, I intend to get you and Rose out of here before you end up doing interpretive dance at her feet."

They looked over when they heard the door unlocking. Mira opened the door as they got to their feet and entered the room with a laser blaster.

"The High Priestess has allowed you to petition her for mercy," Mira said. "The female can stay here in the meantime."

"No, the female cannot because I'm afraid the female will be gone by the time I return and headed off to reconditioning classes," the Doctor said.

"The High Priestess has granted you permission to approach her, not the female."

"The female is called Clara and the High Priestess can see her as well. She doesn't bite. Well, maybe she does but she'll be on her best behavior, promise."

"This is not negotiable. You will see the High Priestess alone or not at all," Mira said.

"Alright. Then promise me that Clara is not harmed or carted off or done in or just touched in general while I'm gone."

"She will be unharmed," Mira said.

"Not sure if that's comforting to you but it's the best I can do," the Doctor said to her.

"I'll be alright just go get Rose back," Clara said.

The Doctor nodded and touched her shoulder before walking towards Mira. Clara made sure to stand far away from the door so Mira wouldn't have a reason to shoot her. She watched as the Doctor walked out with Mira and the door was shut and locked.

"I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes right now, Lady," Clara muttered to herself as she slid down the wall to the floor. "Because I have a feeling you're not going to like what the Doctor has in store for you and your friends."


Mira led the Doctor back to the Throne Room. When they entered, Rose was sitting in her chair. Beside her was an elderly lady wearing a red dress but no headdress. Her silvery hair flowed down past her breasts and to the Doctor's surprise, she was wearing no makeup. The woman wasn't standing with the wrists crossed pose but had her arms down at her sides, waiting with Rose while the Doctor was stood in front of her. When he was finally in place, the woman told Mira to go. Mira bowed and left the room, closing and locking the door behind her. The Doctor gazed at Rose for a moment but saw no recognition in her face. He then turned his attention to the elderly woman.

"And you are…" he said to her.

"I am Ortha, the High Priestess's mentor and advisor. You asked if someone was here when Arkytior was found, I am one of the people who was there when she found us."

"Good. Tell me what happened then."

The Doctor looked at Rose.

"If it pleases the High Priestess," he said politely.

Ortha glanced at Rose and Rose nodded her consent.

"The woman you call Rose arrived on Karn about ten years ago," Ortha said. "She was lost and looking for a man called the Doctor. She told us that the stars were going out and she needed his assistance."

"What?" the Doctor said. "Wait, sorry…did she appear out of thin air then?"

"I have no idea. We were performing a ritual in our cave when she came to the entrance and asked for help."

"Okay, I'll ask the High Priestess then. High Priestess, how did you get to Karn?" the Doctor said to Rose.

Rose didn't speak.

"Come on, Rose, how did you come to Karn? The dimension cannon? Because if the stars were going out and you were searching for me and this lot took you and brainwashed you, they have just interfered with a major event in time and you lot need to let her go so she can be taken back to where she was and let the proper timeline be restored. So was it the dimension cannon, Rose?"

"I am the High Priestess and you will speak to my advisor on this matter."

"Damn it, she has been brainwashed by you lot!" the Doctor yelled.

"If you insist on yelling, you can go back to your cell," Ortha said.

"I am yelling because I am furious," the Doctor said to her. "You nutters took Rose, presumably against her will, and brainwashed her into…this," he said, pointing to Rose. "She is not your High Priestess; she is a young woman who needs to fulfill another destiny that doesn't involve sitting on a throne and wearing clown makeup."

"On the contrary, she has great power within her," Ortha said. "The Sisterhood recognized it and instructed her and turned her into the High Priestess she was meant to be. That is her destiny!"

"What power? Chav power?" the Doctor said.

"A great guardian spirit lives within her. One that protects her and keeps her young and powerful. She is exactly the sort of woman we need leading the sisterhood."

"What guardian spirit?" the Doctor said, exasperated.

Ortha pointed to a tapestry off to the left. The Doctor looked where she was pointing and did a double take. When he first entered, he hadn't really paid much attention to the tapestries because he was fixated on Rose but now that he got a good look at it, he was astonished to see a white wolf with a golden aura around it and his throat went dry.

"No, that's impossible. I took the power out of her ages ago," the Doctor said, turning his attention back to Ortha.

"Then it seems you failed. We have seen the power ourselves," Ortha said. "In fact, the woman's aura is this golden glow that you see around the wolf."

"Okay, for the sake of argument, let's say that Rose has this Bad Wolf entity inside of her."

Ortha did a double take.

"You know the name of the guardian spirit?" she said.

For the first time since he saw her, the Doctor noticed something click inside Rose and he swore for a few seconds there was a hint of recognition before her face became passive again. Whether or not what he just saw was correct, the Doctor was determined to hold on to that. So he ignored Ortha and addressed Rose personally.

"Rose, I was with you when the Bad Wolf signs kept appearing. Remember?" he said. "We saw so many of them and wondered what it was. And then on the Gamestation, you saved me. I watched you turned the Daleks into atoms. How could I know that happened if I wasn't there with you? It's me, Rose. See me!"

His hearts leapt when he could see that Rose's face was straining as if she was trying to bring back the memories of those days he spent with her. But before she could recall anything, Ortha yelled for others to come and get the Doctor and take him back to his cell. The Doctor gritted his teeth and without warning, lunged at Ortha, toppling her off the dais. Ortha landed hard on her back behind the throne while the Doctor quickly put his fingers against Rose's temples and entered her mind. He found a massive mental barrier surrounding her memories and quickly tried to break through it while Rose's eyes shut and she went limp. The Doctor was aware of the door being unlocked and Ortha screaming for someone to come and pull him off the High Priestess so he used all his mental ability to force a bit of his consciousness into Rose's mind, leaving it there to do his work for him before he pulled out of her mind and stepped away from her.

By now, the door was unlocked and the women were streaming inside. The Doctor put his hands up and stepped away from Rose, who was now unconscious and slumped in her chair. Ortha was behind the throne screaming at the women to take him back to his cell and bellowing what the Doctor did to their High Priestess at the top of her lungs. The Doctor let himself be seized and with one last look back at Rose, let himself be led out of the room and back to his cell.

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