Chapter Eight

The Doctor stood up when he heard the door unlocking and waited until the door opened. Ortha entered first with a laser blaster pointed at him and then Rose and Clara entered. The Doctor stared hard at Clara, trying not to laugh. Clara had red painted all around her eyes while Rose only had red dots on her face. He could tell Clara was mortified as she stared at the floor and kept her gaze away from his face. He cleared his throat to force back the laughter and looked at Ortha.

"So…you made her one of you," the Doctor said, gesturing to Clara. "So what, am I going to look like a demented badger as well?"

He glanced at Clara and saw her biting her lip at that, trying not to laugh. He saw Rose's jaw tightened as she stared at him passively and knew she was trying not to laugh either.

"You will have a chip put inside of you as will your companion," Ortha said, nodding to Clara. "You will be given a small measure of freedom…for the moment but you will be watched and if you dare to harm the High Priestess or take her away or if you or your companion flees, we will track you down and you will be put to death. However, if you will do as you are told and obey the Sisterhood, you will be given more freedoms."

"And Clara" the Doctor said, nodding at his friend. "Will she be given more freedoms as well?"

"Clara will be under the tutelage of the High Priestess," Ortha said. "How much freedom she has will be left up to her."

"And I'm supposed to give you knowledge in return for my life?" the Doctor said.

"That is the bargain," Ortha said.

"And what sort of knowledge do you wish to have?" the Doctor said.

"We are interested in many things," Rose said, feigning a dull tone of voice.

"Such as?" the Doctor said.

The Doctor smirked as they stared at one another and he could tell that Rose was still trying not to laugh and keep her passive demeanor. He knew he shouldn't do it but he couldn't help it. The teasing and banter used to be the norm for them in any situation.

"The knowledge of time travel," Rose finally said.

The Doctor glanced at Ortha and held back a snort when he noticed she was nodding gleefully at that.

"So…you want me to build you a TARDIS then?" the Doctor said. "Because you can't have mine."

"You will give us whatever you require or you will be destroyed," Ortha said.

The Doctor couldn't help himself as he walked over to her.

"Listen here," he snarled at her. "I saved you lot from Morbius and I saved your sacred flame from going out. I will cooperate but I will not be ordered about like a dog. I'll give you knowledge but I choose what the knowledge will be. Clara and I will not be slaves here."

"No one said you were slaves," Ortha said angrily.

Rose looked away from Ortha and bit her lip when the Doctor gave Ortha a withering look.

"Whatever you call this forced stay then," he said. "I call it enslavement but let's not split hairs. I will not harm the High Priestess, I give you my word."

"You attacked her earlier as well as me."

"I was checking to make sure you lot didn't harm her mind and you didn't, so I'm satisfied," the Doctor said. "I apologize to you and to the High Priestess. I wish to cooperate now but I won't be bullied into giving up information or you won't get any at all. And if Clara is in any way abused by you lot, the deal is also off."

"She will not be harmed as…"

"As long as she obeys, yeah, I got that," the Doctor said annoyed. "I do have a brain and can remember things even if I do look old. I think Clara gets it as well. So can we move along or did you just come to show off Clara's badger look to me?"

He smiled when Clara finally let out a giggle at that. He glanced at Rose and noticed that her jaw was clenched even tighter in her effort not to laugh. He realized he better quit before she really did laugh and they realized that she wasn't hypnotized any more. So he moved on and changed the subject.

"So…why are you here then?" he said to Ortha.

"It is time to eat. The High Priestess wishes you to join us unless you intend to make trouble?"

The Doctor walked over to Rose. He noticed a wary look in her eyes, even though she kept her passive expression and he figured she was wondering what he was going to do now to try to get her to laugh. But instead, he knelt down on one knee before her.

"High Priestess, I offer myself to you as your servant," he said, bowing his head. "I promise I will not harm you or the Sisterhood if you will allow me to serve you."

He kept his head bowed but he smiled when Rose laid her hand on the back of his head.

"I allow it," Rose said. "Arise, Doctor."

She took her hand away and the Doctor stood up. He looked at Rose. She still had the passive expression but he could see the familiar loving look in her eyes and he had to fight not to take her in his arms. He looked at Ortha. He sensed she wasn't entirely convinced but she nodded in agreement.

"Now, perhaps we should eat?" Rose said to Ortha.

"As you wish, High Priestess," Ortha said, bowing.

"Follow me," Rose said to the Doctor.

The Doctor stepped over beside Clara.

"Wow, never thought I'd see the day when you'd be on your knees offering to be a servant," Clara muttered to him as Ortha followed Rose.

"Keep talking, Clara, and you'll be bowing in front of me next," the Doctor muttered back.

Clara sniggered softly at that and squeezed the Doctor's hand, letting it go before the two of them followed Ortha and Rose out into the passageway.

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