Chapter Six

The Doctor and Rose made their way through the dense forest in search of their companions. With each passing minute, his worry increased along with his guilt. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked over at Rose.

"Doctor, please don't blame yourself," Rose said.

He sighed.

"I can't help it, I love all of you, and I made a vow to look after you and protect you from harm just as I've always done with all my companions. Even if your mother hadn't made me promise her, I still would have kept an eye on you because I'm the one that asked you to come and all of you are my responsibility. So when someone goes missing, I take it hard because I feel like I've slacked off in my duties."

Rose ran her hand through his hair and he smiled at her. She could understand his reasoning, but just the same, she wished he wouldn't be so hard on himself. It amazed her he didn't get sick from all the worrying he did. She supposed it was because of his alien physiology. If that was the case, it was a good thing he had it. Otherwise, he would have gone through all thirteen incarnations in a hundred years or so.

They came upon a dense part of the forest and the Doctor helped Rose to navigate through the trees and thick underbrush. The canopy of leaves above them blocked out the sun making the woods look sinister and uninviting. The moss and ferns at their feet were thick and Rose was terrified that some poisonous creature was lurking in the dense vegetation ready to deliver a death-dealing bite. She said as much to the Doctor and he reassured her that she would be alright, but she still poked at the vegetation in front of her with her staff just in case.

High above them in the treetops, two Quinok warriors followed the two strangers, staring at them angrily as they neared their village. They leapt nimbly from limb to limb taking care not to announce their presence to the oddly dressed intruders as they prepared to ambush them.

After another twenty minutes, they noticed a clearing through the trees up ahead and the Doctor could smell smoke and made out a couple of wooden huts. He tugged on Rose's arm and brought her to a stop.

"Village up ahead," he whispered to her. "We must be cautious. We need to try to sneak in and see if Donna and Martha are there without alerting the villagers."

They gasped when they heard a thud behind them. They spun around and saw two tattooed warriors thrusting spears in their faces.

"Or we can surrender and walk into the village that way," the Doctor as he and Rose put up their hands.

Rose frowned when she noticed the warriors weren't moving. Instead, they were standing there staring at them intently with odd looks on their faces. Their eyes settled on her and she could see a hint of fear in their eyes.

"Shizara," one of them whispered.

Rose glanced at the Doctor wondering if he knew what that meant. The Doctor, understanding her silent query, shrugged.

One warrior looked at the other.

"Go get Baor and Hatarok," he said. "I will guard these two."

The warrior nodded and hurried into the village while the man kept his spear aimed at the intruder's chests.

"Bringing out the welcoming committee for us?" the Doctor asked. "Did you do the same thing for Donna and Martha?"

The Doctor noticed the warrior's confusion.

"Donna and Martha, two women, one had red hair and the other dark hair, one had pale skin like us and the other had brown skin, you know what I'm talking about?"

He noticed the man seemed even more confused now. He groaned softly when he suddenly realized why.

"Oh Rassilon," he said to Rose. "I have a feeling that Donna and Martha aren't even here."

"Great and I suppose we're gonna get skewered now," Rose said staring at the spear.

"Just leave it to me, I'll talk our way out of it like I always do," the Doctor whispered. "Just keep calm."

They looked around when two men approached. One man looked to be in his early thirties and was wearing a skin robe decorated with picture glyphs and symbols. The other man was elderly and wearing an undecorated skin robe. Both men paused and stared at the strangers. The younger man had a look of shock on his face, but the elderly man didn't seem surprised at all. In fact, he was smiling warmly at them.

Oblan and I were following these two, Baor," the warrior said to the younger man. "We were up in the trees and we couldn't get a good look at them since they were in shadow, but look at them. Look at their skin. You don't think?"

The Doctor and Rose glanced at each other.

"Don't think what?" Rose muttered.

The Doctor opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted when Baor shoved his spear in his face. He quickly closed it. Baor stepped closer and regarded him silently.

"Who are you?" he finally said.

The Doctor smiled at him.

"I'm the Doctor, hello!" he said cheerfully.

"The Doctor, I have not heard that name before and we know all the gods in the pantheon."

The Doctor raised his eyebrows.

"God?" he said. "Oh, you think I'm a god?"

"Great, just what his ego needs, more stroking," Rose muttered to herself.

"Well, what else would you be with skin like that?" Baor said pointing at him. "Only the gods possess pale skin. But we do not know a god called the Doctor, so where do you come from?"

"Well, I'm from another species's pantheon, I often come round to visit with your gods and have a pint or two. We kick back on our cloud chairs and swap stories about those crazy mortals we watch over, it's great fun."

Baor gave him a long, hard stare while the Doctor gave him a cheerful grin.

"I wasn't aware there were other pale gods out there. Our enemies, the Wacona, do not have any with pale skin. All of their gods are blue skinned."

"Weeeeell, you and the Wacona aren't the only people around," the Doctor said shrugging. "There are many races scattered all over the universe and just as many gods to watch over them. You weren't aware of that since you don't have the means to leave the planet and take a look for yourselves."

Baor was now completely confused. He looked over at Hatarok.

"Perhaps you are better able to converse with these gods. I do not understand his strange words." He said to him.

He stepped back as Hatarok stepped forward.

"Greetings, Doctor," he said smiling at him.

He looked at Rose and bowed reverently.

"Greetings, great Shizara," he said as Baor and the other warrior bowed with him.

Rose looked at the Doctor.

"Apparently you look like one of their gods," he whispered to her.

"Great Shizara, you honor us with your presence," Hatarok said.

"Um, thanks, I guess, but I'm not who you think I am, my name is Rose and---"

"Is it true, great Shizara," Baor interrupted. "that you have come to save us from the Wacona and put an end to the bloodshed at last?"

Rose stared at him.

"Um, no, the Doctor and I were looking for our friends. They're lost in the woods or they've been taken and---"

"The pale skinned woman with hair the color of blood and the dark woman?" Hatarok said.

Rose was taken aback as the Doctor narrowed his eyes at him.

"Yes, you know them?" she said.

"Of course I know them, great Shizara, you showed them and the Doctor to me in a vision, don't you remember?"


"Yes, I was in the woods begging for the gods to help us after the latest raid by the Wacona and your furry emissary from the spirit world brought you to me and you showed me a vision of you and the other gods emerging from a tiny blue hut and defeating the Wacona once and for all!"

Rose's mouth fell open.

"Tiny blue hut? You know about the TARDIS?" she said.

"Oh Rassilon," the Doctor said glancing behind him. "Why do I suddenly have a horrible feeling a bunch of half naked tattooed tribesmen are in my tent getting mud and dirt all over my expensive Venusian marble floor?"

"Of course I know about it, great Shizara," Hatarok said chuckling. "You were the one who showed me. You showed me a vision of the Wacona warriors lying dead all over the woods and said that you had come to make things right. I have been awaiting your arrival ever since. You will lead our warriors into battle and wipe out the Wacona once and for all."

"Whoa, wait a minute, I'm not leading anybody!" Rose said throwing up her hands. "The Doctor and I are looking for our friends. All we want to do is find them and get back to our…little blue hut. We don't want to fight anyone."

"Then why did you bring a message to me the other day if you were not intending to carry out your promises?" Hatarok asked.

"Um, I'm sorry, but I never brought any vision or message to you. I've never met you before now."

"But it was you I saw," Hatarok said firmly. "Your furry emissary came to me and changed into you. Then, you showed me our victory and said that you would come to make things right. You are Shizara."

Rose blinked.

"Wait, you saw a furry thing change into me?" she said confused.

"Yes. I had no name for it since I have never seen anything like it before, but there are many beings that reside in the Land of Dreams that are not found here."

"Furry thing," Rose muttered.

She swallowed hard.

"Um, can…can you describe this furry thing?" she asked him.

Hatarok frowned.

"You do not know what your emissary looks like?"

"Just…humor me, alright?" Rose said.

Hatarok bowed his head briefly and smiled at her.

"The furry creature was as white as the snow. It walked on four legs and had eyes that glowed like the sun."

Rose staggered back as the Doctor glanced up at the sky and groaned.

"The…Bad Wolf. You saw the Bad Wolf?" she stuttered out.

Hatarok glanced at Baor.

"If that is the name of your emissary, then yes, I saw it," He said.

Rose looked at the Doctor.

"Apparently the Bad Wolf is finding things for us to do so we won't get bored," he said.

"Doctor, we can't…I can't lead people into battle. He couldn't have seen us. It has to be a coincidence!" Rose protested.

"Then it's one hell of a coincidence because he just described Donna, Martha, the TARDIS, and the Bad Wolf."

"But, I can't do this!"

The Doctor held up his hand.

"Just calm down. We'll work this all out, alright? For the moment, we need to focus on finding Donna and Martha. That's our first priority."

Rose nodded. They looked over at Baor and Hatarok.

"I'm not sure about the whole leading you into battle thing, but we need help to find our friends. They are lost in the woods or have been taken. Do you know where they might have gone?"

Hatarok stepped forward.

"I can help you, Doctor, if you will let me enter the spirit world, I can implore the spirits to show me where they are."

The Doctor nodded and smiled.

"I would appreciate that, thanks." He said.

Hatarok bowed.

"Then wait here and I will get what I need to bring about a vision," he said.

He bowed again and turned to Baor.

"They are not a threat to us; neither you nor Yulanis needs to watch them."

Baor nodded. He nodded to Yulanis who nodded back and walked around them into the village. Baor watched him leave and then turned to the Doctor and Rose.

"I hope that you will reconsider and help us, we need your aid now more than ever."

Without another word, he turned and walked into the village leaving the Doctor and Rose alone.

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