Chapter Seven

After what seemed like ages, the door opened again and Mira came inside with several women. They were angry and the Doctor guessed that Rose had instructed them to take him back to his cell and not harm him. He resisted the urge to gloat and acted like he didn't know what was going on.

"So am I to be burned at the stake then?" the Doctor said, feigning ignorance.

"The High Priestess has further need of you and your friend," Mira said as she and the others unstrapped him.

"Does she now? In what capacity am I to be of further need?"

"You and the female will be trained in our ways. We have need of your knowledge of time and space and your friend cannot remain here without becoming a part of the Sisterhood. The High Priestess has agreed to teach her and you will assist her by providing her with information."

"And if I resist?" the Doctor said, playing his part to avoid suspicion.

"Then you will be put to death along with the female," Mira said.

"After consulting with the High Priestess of course," the Doctor said.

Mira said nothing and the Doctor suspicions were confirmed. That Rose was a puppet ruler for these people and if they didn't agree with her ruling, they would simply do whatever they wanted. He hoped that Rose wasn't so naive that she wouldn't see that they might not ever let their guard down around him or Clara, especially since Ortha knew his identity. But despite that, he was confident that he could formulate a plan that would free them all and get Rose back to her proper timeline.

Once he was freed from the chair, he let the Sisterhood walk him back to the cell. When the door opened, his eyes widened when he noticed Clara wasn't there and he spun around to face his captors.

"WHERE IS SHE?" the Doctor asked as he pointed at the empty cell.

"She is with the High Priestess at the moment," Mira said. "She is beginning her training."

Inwardly, the Doctor relaxed at that but he kept up appearances and snarled at them when he told them that Clara better not be harmed in any way. He could tell that Mira wanted to roll her eyes at that but she remained her usual passive self and they used their blasters to urge him towards the back wall before they filed out and locked the door behind them.

"Hope you know what you're doing, Rose," the Doctor muttered softly before he walked to the side wall and sat down.


Meanwhile, Clara was with Rose inside a cupboard filled with dresses and regalia as they tried to find one in her size. Rose had told Ortha to leave them alone and wait outside the closed door, something that didn't sit well with her from Clara's perspective. The room was another stone room that had racks of dresses and shelves of headgear with shoes lined up neatly under the dresses, all black leather shoes Clara noticed. The makeup wasn't here but Clara figured they had a bathroom or dressing room for that sort of thing. Rose told her that everyone received two pairs of dresses and shoes and one headdress and only the dresses and shoes could be worn day in and day out. The headgear was for rituals and special occasions or to receive visitors. The dresses weren't grouped by size so they were trying to find one that looked like it would fit her along with the shoes.

"I have another reason for doing this," Rose said softly as she chose a dress from the rack.

"And that reason is?" Clara said softly.

"I love meeting other people who traveled with the Doctor," Rose said. "I would love to hear about some of your adventures with him."

"And some of yours as well," Clara said.

She made a face when Rose put the dress against her body to see if it was short enough.

"This is ugly," Clara said.

"Yes and hot and sweaty but if you want to live while you're here, you have to wear it and pretend," Rose said.

"What about the Doctor?" Clara said softly.

"I told him that me and the Sisterhood have need of him and his vast knowledge."

"And you think they'll leave us alone?"

Rose shook her head.

"Not entirely and probably not for long but I'm trying to buy us time so we can get out of here," Rose said softly as she leaned in close to Clara. "I know they're not fools but hopefully I can convince them I'm still under their control while we're here. That's why we need to hurry. Ortha is already angry that I let the Doctor live after he pushed her to the floor. They've killed people for less than that. So just put that on and put the shoes on and I'll find a hat for you."

"What about the zombie makeup?" Clara asked.

"Unfortunately, you have to wear that as well," Rose said with a sympathetic look. "I have to wear it also which is why I need to put it back on. I took it off to show the Doctor that I wasn't under their control but they haven't said anything yet since I'm the High Priestess. But everything I do that isn't in character arouses their suspicions and you have to act subservient as well."

"Ugh," Clara said, making a face.

"Yeah, tell me about it. I'm not the subservient type either. Still, it's nice to have someone here who isn't a complete nutter."

"I agree," Clara said, smiling.

After they finished dressing, Rose left Clara's outfit hidden in a corner of the cupboard where no one could see it, explaining that they made her burn her own clothes after forcing her to wear the outfit. She quickly whispered to Clara a few pointers on how to act around her and Clara nodded before Rose opened the door. Clara stayed behind Rose, holding her headdress in her hands, her head slightly bowed but she could still see the Ortha was a bit peeved at having to wait for them. They were inside a large room with several velvet lined chairs against the walls, the red matching the color of the dresses. There was nothing else inside the room besides the chairs and Clara guessed it was some sort of waiting room as she closed the door behind her at Rose's bidding. Rose had resumed her posh accent and regal bearing and Ortha fell in beside Clara, eyeing her as they walked side by side behind Rose.

"You have received your instructions from the High Priestess?" Ortha said to her.

"I have received some instructions from her," Clara said, keeping her head slightly bowed and her eyes on Rose's feet as they walked.

"And you will obey the High Priestess?"

"I don't believe I have a choice," Clara dared to say, figuring that at the moment she would still be indignant about being made to be a member of the cult and it would be a more realistic response than just answering yes.

"We would like you to have a choice," Ortha said pompously.

Clara resisted the urge to roll her eyes and kept them focused on Rose's feet.

"Being a part of the Sisterhood is an honor and a privilege," Ortha said, continuing her pompous lecture as they walked along a corridor. "Women hold the true power in the universe, men are nothing but tools to be used when needed."

Clara resisted the urge to smile at that when she wondered what the Doctor would have to say about that.

"In time, you will see that we are right and the Sisterhood is where you belong," Ortha said.

Yeah, after you brainwash me the way you brainwashed Rose, Clara thought as she stared at Rose's feet.

Rose led them into a room that had several more tapestries on the walls. In the center of the room was a long vanity with a long mirror that was lit by tiny light bulbs. There was another vanity back to back with it and each vanity had about ten chairs along the length of it with the same red velvet as before. On the white tables were makeup kits, brushes and sponges. Rose told Clara to sit down and she sat at the first chair at the vanity closest to the door and put her headdress in her lap. Rose pulled out the chair beside Clara, sat down and instructed Clara to stay still while she applied the makeup. The makeup was greasepaint which felt gross on her skin but Ortha was sitting on the other side of Rose, watching her like a hawk so Clara allowed Rose to apply the makeup.

"Why do we have to wear the makeup" Clara asked when Rose paused to put more of the white greasepaint onto a sponge.

"The white symbolizes the purity within us, the red symbolizes the fire of our passion and conviction," Ortha said.

Rose caught Clara's eye and Clara had to fight not to laugh when she rolled her eyes at that before applying more of the makeup to her face. When she was finished with Clara, she watched while Rose applied her own makeup. When they were finished, Rose told Clara to follow her and Clara waited until she had risen before she and Ortha stood up and resumed their places behind Rose as they walked out of the room.

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