Chapter Three

"Ah, another perfect landing." The Doctor said as he stepped outside the TARDIS doors.

The three women stepped out behind him while he scanned the surroundings. He put a hand to his ear.

"What are you doing?" Martha said.

"Checking for the presence of bloodthirsty, warring tribes. I don't see anyone or hear anything except birds, so see, I am good."

He gave them a smug smile and walked back into the TARDIS.

"Now," they heard him say. "Let's set up the campsite."

Several minutes later he came outside carrying a tiny, narrow black briefcase in his hand.

Donna looked at the others.

"Is he going to a meeting in the middle of the woods or something?" she said.

"Nope, that's the tent." Rose replied.

Donna and Martha looked at her as if she had gone insane.

"You guys never went camping with the Doctor?" she said.

"No," both women said in unison.

"Oh, well watch then. It's really neat. It's a Gallifreyan tent." Rose replied.

The Doctor walked to a clearing several feet away from the TARDIS. He sat the briefcase down on the ground on its side and punched in a code on a little keypad in the middle of it. Then he sprinted back towards the three women. Just as he reached them, the briefcase flung open and a huge white mass exploded out of it. The mass expanded and formed a small, domed tent.

"There," the Doctor said. "All done. Our temporary home away from home."

Donna and Martha looked at him.

"That's it; we're all sleeping in there?" Donna asked.

"Yeah, why, don't you feel like roughing it for a night?" the Doctor said.

"Yes, but not if we're gonna be lying stacked on top of each other."

The Doctor looked at Rose and let out an exasperated sigh.

"Have you two learned nothing about Time Lord technology?" he said to Donna and Martha. "This is a Gallifreyan tent."

He walked over to the TARDIS and patted the outside.

"Okay, let's review, small on the outside."

He opened the door.

"Big on the inside." He said gesturing inside.

He closed the door and walked over to the tent. He patted the top of it.

"Small on the outside…"

He gave the two women a pointed look as Rose giggled. Martha and Donna looked at each other for a moment before Donna walked over to the tent. She got down on her hands and knees, parted the tent flap, and peeked inside. The Doctor stood by the tent watching her as she looked at the interior.

"Oh my God, is that a chandelier?" They heard Donna say.

"Yes, it is, it's a very expensive chandelier I acquired in Paris around the time of the French Revolution." The Doctor replied.

"What, there's a bloody chandelier in there?" Martha said.

"Yeah, come and look!" Donna said looking back at her.

The Doctor rolled his eyes as Martha walked over, got down on her hands and knees, and peeked inside. They lingered for a moment and then crawled inside.

"Oh my God, look at the size of this room." They heard Martha say. "He's got a bleedin' fountain in here!"

"Where the hell do we sleep?"

"Maybe on this settee thing?" they heard Martha say.

"No, you are not sleeping on the settee. It's an antique from Venice." The Doctor yelled out.

Well, where the hell are we supposed to sleep then?" Donna yelled back.

"I will show you where it is when it's time to go to bed. I just wanted you to see that I have more than enough room in this tent for the four of us. In fact, I have more than enough room in this tent for four hundred of us. So, if you would kindly come back outside and help me set up the rest of the campsite so we can get going on our hike that would be most helpful!"

Martha peeked outside the tent.

"You have marble on the floor?" she said.

"Yes, I have marble on the floor. It's very, very expensive Venusian marble, so don't track mud inside the tent. It takes all day for me to clean and polish it."

Martha stared at him for a moment before crawling out of the tent and standing up beside him. The Doctor started to go back to the TARDIS when Martha tapped him on the shoulder. He turned and looked at her.

"Yes?" he said.

"I just have to ask this before I forget." Martha replied as Donna crawled out of the tent and stood up beside her.

The Doctor put his hands inside his pockets.

"Yes, what is this question you just have to ask me before you forget?" he said rocking back and forth on his heels.

"What is with this whole Venusian thing?" Martha asked.

The Doctor frowned.

"I'm not quite sure what you mean." He said.

"Well, awhile back you claimed you knew Venusian Aikido."


"And shortly after you told me that, there was something else you said came from Venus, so after you said that, I went online and looked up some facts about Venus."


"According to this website I found, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, its atmosphere is filled with deadly gases, and the atmospheric pressure is something like 90 times that of Earth. So, how were you able to survive long enough to learn this Venusian Aikido and get the marble flooring and whatever else you got from there?"

"Martha, how old am I?"

"Um, 904."

"Mmhmm, and how old was I when I learned Venusian Aikido?"

Martha frowned.

"I don't know." She said.

He pointed to the tent.

"How long have I had that marble floor?"

"I don't know."

He pointed to the TARDIS.

"What does that do?" he asked.

"Travel in time and space?"

"Mmhmm, now on your little fact finding mission to try and prove me wrong, did you happen to study up on your own planet by chance?"


"Well that's a shame because if you did study up on your planet, I think you'd find that the Earth at one point was also filled with deadly gases and was extremely hot and quite uninhabitable and yet…you live on it now. Weird, huh? Makes you think that the reverse might be true for Venus, eh? Because you see, those little factual websites are written by humans who A, have limited knowledge of the solar system and B, cannot travel in time. Therefore, they only put down the facts as they see them now. But, if they were to travel back, ooooooo, about two hundred thousand years ago, they would have seen a very different solar system. You see, my dear Martha Jones, it might interest you to know that once upon a time the planets around yours were quite active. Positively teeming with life. In fact, every planet in your solar system save one has supported life at one time or another, the one exception being Jupiter because Jupiter was, is and always will be a big ball of gas…and speaking of big balls of gas, remind me at some point to tell you guys about the time I attended the Slitheen chili cook-off on Raxacoricofallipatorius. Rassilon, the stench after everyone finished eating the chili was horrendous…but anyway, back to my point… So, imagine me in my younger days traveling back to a point when Venus did have life, learning Venusian Aikido from the natives, purchasing the marble, and doing other Venusian things. Because I did just that. If you don't believe me, I will be more than happy to take you back there and show it to you. It was quite an interesting planet. The natives had six arms, which is why Venusian Aikido is extremely difficult to learn for non-natives, but by Rassilon, I did it. Anyway, I hope that answers your question. Now, can we get back to the business of setting up the campsite? I would like to start the hike before it gets too dark to see, k?"

He patted her on the shoulder and walked over to Rose.

"Come along, little helpmate, I need assistance bringing out the artificial, self-sustaining fire pit." He said taking her hand.

They walked back inside the TARDIS. Martha looked over at Donna who shrugged.

"You ask a silly question like that, you shoulda known you'd get a long-winded, haughty answer, my dear. Even I could see it coming and I haven't been with him as long as you guys have." She said to her.

"Yeah, yeah," Martha grumbled as she followed Donna inside the TARDIS.

"At last," the Doctor said looking around the finished campsite. "We're done and now let's get the rucksacks on and head out. We have a planet to explore."

He grinned at Martha.

"Unless of course you have other questions for me that just can't wait." He said.

"No, I think I'll lay off the questions for today."

"Brilliant, then let's get going. Now, if memory serves me correctly, there is a spectacular waterfall located a short walk from here. That okay with everyone?"

The three women nodded.

"Then, away we go!"

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