Chapter Five

The Doctor and Rose ran through the woods trying to reach Martha and Donna before something happened to them. The Doctor was already beating himself up inside. If he hadn't stopped to snog Rose, they would have never wandered off and gotten in trouble. If anything happened to them, he would never forgive himself.

He and Rose held their staffs across their bodies ready at a moment's notice to fight anyone who might try to attack them. Rose tried to keep up with the Doctor, but it was hard to run through the underbrush and keep upright while holding a staff in front of her and toting a rucksack on her back. A couple of times she stumbled and the Doctor quickly righted her before she fell.

After about twenty minutes, they reached a huge clearing and the Doctor and Rose stopped and looked around them. The Doctor cursed when he didn't see any trace of his two companions.

"Bollocks!" he muttered.

"Maybe we went the wrong way."

The Doctor shook his head.

"No, they came this way, I'm sure of it." He said. "And if anyone has hurt them…"

He took Rose's hand and the two of them walked around the clearing searching for any clues. They were walking by a clump of berry bushes when the Doctor suddenly stopped and bent down. Rose watched as he ran his hands through the twigs and leaves and examined the berries that were lying on the ground. She squatted down beside him.

"Find something?" she asked.

"These berries were picked by someone," he said picking up a few from the ground. "See, some of them are still attached to the broken twigs."

He pointed behind him.

"And you can see a trail of berries leading away from the bushes." He said. "Whoever was here left in a hurry and dropped berries behind them."

He stood up and followed the berries. He walked a couple of paces and then squatted down. He looked back at Rose.

"Footprint," He said pointing to it. "The dirt is soft here so it's very well defined. And whoever made it was barefoot so it's not Donna or Martha."

Rose came over and examined it with him. The Doctor stood up and looked off to his right.

"Some of the underbrush has been disturbed too. Whoever was running went that way through the woods." He said pointing

"So, you think they took Martha and Donna then?"

"I don't know, but it's worth a look," He replied. "Come on."

He took her hand and they walked off.

Donna groaned. Slowly, she opened her eyes.

"Oh Christ, feels like a lorry just ran over me," She muttered. "What the hell happened?"

She tried to move, but couldn't get her arms or legs to work. It took a moment for her to register that she was tied up. She groaned and flopped her head back down on the dirt floor. Having nothing else to do, she scanned her surroundings. She was lying by herself in a domed hut that looked like it was made out of dried grass and mud. She looked all around her and noticed that there was a wooden support pole in the center of the structure, but other than that, it was bare.

"Martha," she muttered. "Oh God, I hope she's alright."

She rolled over onto her side trying to sit herself up. But after a few moments, she gave up and cursed softly.

"Damn, I hope the Doctor heard us." She muttered to herself. "I don't fancy being tied up until someone kills us."

She looked over and noticed that there was a woven blanket covering the door. Donna stared at it for a moment and then rolled herself onto her stomach. Grunting, she slowly managed to get herself onto her knees and breathed a sigh of relief. The only problem was her legs were tied together tightly and her arms were secured behind her back. So, even though she had gotten herself up, she still couldn't crawl over to the door.

"I'm not lying face down in the dirt though; I guess that's something to be proud of." She muttered.

She sat and listened to the activity going on outside the hut. She could hear men and women's voices and children laughing and playing. Every once in awhile, she could see someone's feet as they walked past the hut and she would stiffen thinking they were coming inside, but they would keep on going and Donna would relax again. As she knelt there, she suddenly heard her stomach rumbling and realized she was hungry. For a moment, she wondered if her captors were going to feed her and then decided there were more important things to think about than food.

Finally, after about twenty minutes, the blanket was pulled back and a tall, imposing man stepped inside. Donna gulped as she looked up at him. He looked like he was in his early twenties and was dressed only in a loincloth. Most of his light brown skin was tattooed with intricate, black swirls and patterns, including his face, which was covered completely and gave him a sinister appearance. His nose was pierced with a small, thin sliver of bone that ran directly through the septum. He also had large bone discs through both his earlobes and a little bone plug just underneath his lower lip. His head was completely shaved except for a long sliver of jet-black hair that hung from the back of his head down to his shoulder blades. He carried a spear in his right hand that was adorned with feathers and scalps. Donna knew instantly that this was a man you wouldn't want to mess with under any circumstances. He glared down at her and she quickly tried to hide the fear she felt inside.

"Who is this ugly, pale one who dares to disturb our women?" He said to himself.

Donna bit back the urge to say something about being ugly and forced a smile onto her face. She had seen the Doctor try this technique numerous times and she figured if it was good enough for him…

"Hi, my name is Donna," she said as sweetly as she could. "Who are you?"

The man was visibly shaken and he went back a couple of steps as he stared at her in shock.

"How do you know our language, pale one?" he asked in disbelief. "Only Wacona are taught it. How does an outsider know how to speak with Waconas?"

Donna groaned softly. She had always taken for granted that the TARDIS translated everything into English for her, so she often forgot that whatever she was saying was translated into the other person's language for them. The fact that he now had a hostile look on his face made her regret opening her mouth. She knew she had to think up something fast before she was skewered.

"I…uh…was abducted from my home as a child and lived in another village as a…slave. I learned to speak the language that way."

The man stared at her suspiciously.

"What is the name of this village? What Wacona would dare to teach a filthy slave the sacred words?" the man demanded. "Whoever allowed you to learn our language must die for such an insult!"

"Oh bollocks, now I've just dug myself an even deeper hole." Donna muttered to herself.

She racked her brain trying to think of something that wouldn't lead to her being buried six feet under. Suddenly, she gasped as the warrior, who had been regarding her silently, lunged forward and got in her face.

"Where did you come from? I have never seen anyone with skin or hair like yours. Where did Wacona warriors abduct you?"

She gulped as the man's ebony eyes bored into hers. She honestly didn't know what to say. She guessed that these people were extremely primitive and had probably never been into space and traveled to other planets so she didn't think they would have a concept of people journeying here and landing in ships. She also had no idea what the layout of the land was apart from where they had hiked, so she couldn't be sure if there were other villages around this one and where they might be and for that matter, their names if they had them. She was hesitant to say anything more especially since the man was agitated enough now and she wished to God the Doctor would suddenly burst through the door and rescue her before he ran his spear through her heart. And judging from the way he was tightening his grip on the shaft, she figured that was a very real possibility.

"I command you to speak, slave, and tell me where you are from or I will kill you!" he snarled.

Donna's breathing quickened knowing she was probably only seconds away from death. And unlike Jack, there would be no coming back for her. She figured if she was going to die, she might as well go down fighting and she started to lean back intending to head butt the man.

Just then, the blanket was pulled aside and an elderly man came inside holding a wooden bowl. He was slightly shorter than the warrior. He had a full head of white hair that was parted in the middle and flowed down the sides of his face to his shoulders. He was also tattooed and pierced, but he was wearing a long skin robe and the tattoos on his face had faded with the passage of time so he was not as scary looking as the young warrior was. He sighed angrily when he saw what was going on.

"Nanok, leave her be." He said to the warrior.

Nanok spun around and leapt to his feet.

"But, Gelik, she knows the Wacona language!" he said gesturing back to her. "She claims she was a slave in another Wacona village but she won't say where. We must torture her to find out the name of her master so he can be put to death and then she must be put to death along with him."

Gelik held up his hand.

"I said leave her be. I will handle this, Nanok. Go out and hunt. The village needs food."

"But, Gelik…"

"Nanok," he said sternly. "do not make me tell you again. You have responsibilities to this village that must be fulfilled. I will see to the captive. Now go!"

Nanok looked back at Donna and glared at her before he jerked the blanket back and stomped out the door. Gelik sighed and shook his head.

"I am sorry," he said to Donna. "Nanok is a hothead which is a desirable trait for a warrior; unfortunately he does not know how to control his temper when he is back in the village among his people."

He knelt down beside Donna and held the bowl up to her lips. Donna jerked her head away and Gelik chuckled.

"It is only broth," he said gently. "I suspect you are hungry after your ordeal."

Donna stared suspiciously at the green colored broth in the bowl, but knowing she didn't have much of a choice at the moment, nodded and let him put the bowl to her lips. The hot broth tasted good and she drank it hungrily as Gelik watched her quietly. When she finished, he took the bowl away and looked inside it.

"You must have been hungry." He said to her.

He smiled warmly, but Donna kept quiet not wanting to speak and make things worse for herself. Gelik seemed to understand her silence because his smile widened.

"Do not be afraid to speak, pale one," he said. "I will not kill you for speaking our language."

Donna still was hesitant, but the old man nodded encouragingly and since she couldn't see any weapons on him, she decided that it was alright to talk to him.

"Where is my friend?" she asked him.

Gelik frowned, confused, and then his eyes widened.

"Oh! Yes, there were two of you, weren't there? I'm sorry, I am very old now and sometimes my thoughts wander off into the woods and leave me far behind," He said winking at her. "She is safe, she is being held in another hut. In fact, I am glad you said something. I must go after I tend to you and make sure she has been fed."

Donna breathed a sigh of relief. At least Martha was safe. Now if only the Doctor and Rose would get here and free them…

Gelik put his fingers on the side of her neck and leaned in.

"I cannot see the thorn mark anymore, which is good. The sleeping potion seems to have worn off completely too." he muttered to himself.

He settled back on his haunches and smiled at her.

"So, pale one with hair the color of blood, where do you really come from?" he asked her. "There are no villages close to this one and no Wacona would own a pale woman slave without it being common knowledge among the rest of us. So, come now, tell old Gelik where you live."

Donna hesitated and Gelik chuckled.

"Do not think that you will say something that is so bizarre that I will not believe you," he said. "As an shaman, I have seen many unbelievable things in my life, not to mention I know that our enemies, the Quinok, have pale skinned gods."

His eyes twinkled with mirth.

"Is that what you are, pale one? A Quinok goddess?" he said. "You certainly are beautiful enough to be one."

He chuckled when Donna blushed.

"Why does your blood turn hot at that? I know that I am nearly ready to cross over into the Land of Dreams, but that does not mean I cannot admire a beautiful woman when I see one. I am not dead yet, you know."

Donna laughed at that and relaxed her body. She liked Gelik. He seemed to be a sweet old man, so unlike the brash, young warrior that had threatened her earlier. She only hoped that being a shaman gave him enough influence in the village that he could prevent her and Martha from being killed. She had a feeling his kind treatment of her was the exception, rather than the rule. Taking advantage of the fact that he was being so nice to her, she decided to request something.

"Um…would it be possible for me to see my friend? I just want to know if she's alright." She said gently.

Gelik considered that for a moment.

"It is up to our chief, Romula, but I will certainly ask him. Just give me your word that you will not try to escape if I do this for you."

"I promise, I just want to make sure she is alright." Donna said.

Which was the truth. She wasn't as concerned with escape at the moment as she was with making sure Martha hadn't been harmed in any way. The escape plans could come later if the Doctor hadn't found them by then.

Gelik nodded and picked up the bowl.

"Then, I will go and ask after I have tended to…um, do you have names?"

"I'm Donna and she is Martha."

Gelik nodded.

"Then, Donna, I will go feed Martha and then afterwards I will speak to Romula and see if he will let you see her. I cannot guarantee he will let you, but I will do my best to convince him."

"Thank you so much, I appreciate it."

He smiled and patted her knee. He stood up.

"Just so you know, there are guards standing right outside this hut, so don't think that just because there is only a blanket covering the door that you can just get free and run away. I would advise against it, actually, because most of our warriors are as hot headed as Nanok and they would not hesitate to kill you on sight."

Donna figured as much, but she nodded and thanked him. Gelik smiled at her, pulled back the blanket, stepped outside and left her alone once more.

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