Chapter Fifteen

"Thank you, my friend," Gelik said to the Doctor after he finished having a bath and getting dressed in clean clothes.

He had waited until everyone else had taken a bath in the large wooden tub since the others needed to get the dirt and grime and paint off their bodies. Now everyone was relaxed and sitting on some animal skins stuffed with feathers. A few of the Quinok came in and brought them food and some reddish juice to drink. The Doctor noticed they bowed deeply to Rose but he said nothing, knowing that he couldn't convince them she wasn't Shizara and he figured that he wasn't supposed to do that anyway if she was to lead them in battle. It still frustrated him that Rose didn't seem to have any choice in leading the battle but he couldn't argue with the Bad Wolf's logic. He just hoped everything would turn out alright in the end and they could leave in one piece.

As if reading his thoughts, Rose took a sip of juice and looked at Donna and Martha.

"If I'm s'posed to be their goddess and lead the battle, I wonder what I'm s'posed to do?" she said.

"Make a stirring speech like in Braveheart?" Martha said with a shrug.

"Yeah, go out there into the center of town and tell them to follow you and go kill the Wacona," Donna added.

"I'd rather not," Rose said. "Maybe the Bad Wolf will do it for me, after all, she's the goddess or spirit or whatever she is. She can do it for me."

"Somehow I doubt she will, Rose, you'll probably have to do it," the Doctor said, passing her a bowl of fruit.

"I'm sorry, I don't understand this Bad Wolf, what are you talking about?" Gelik asked.

"The Bad Wolf is the spirit that resides in her," the Doctor said. "It protects her and us. But according to the Bad Wolf, Rose was chosen by her at birth and she lives inside her because she wants to help protect the universe and she does that through Rose."

"Then you are a goddess?" Gelik asked.

"No, I just have some sort of... helper spirit within me," Rose said. "I'm not a goddess, I'm a normal girl."

"But the Quinok seem to think that you're a goddess," Gelik said.

"Yes, but that's because I think she resembles one of their goddesses," the Doctor said. "She's mortal, trust me."

"But they expect this child to lead a rebellion against my people?" Gelik said.

"Yup, well... the Bad Wolf expects it," the Doctor said.

Gelik nearly jumped out of his skin when Rose closed her eyes and the Bad Wolf opened them.

"Greetings, Shaman, I am the Bad Wolf," she said as her eyes glowed with a bright light.

Gelik stood and bowed deeply.

"Greetings, Spirit Helper," he said, sitting back down. "I'm sorry; I must confess I've never heard of Bad Wolf before."

"My true name cannot be pronounced by mortals so I named myself Bad Wolf," she said.

"I was wondering why a spirit would name herself that," Martha said.

"But why Bad Wolf?" Donna asked.

The Bad Wolf smiled.

"A private joke between me and a fellow spirit," she said to her.

"Nice to know spirits have private jokes then," the Doctor said.

The Bad Wolf chuckled.

"My dear Doctor, I think you'll find that you and I are not so different. I'm not some mirthless goddess that does nothing but sit and watch. I do have a life of my own and we in the spirit world do have a sense of humor, same as you."

"But why do you want to destroy my people?" Gelik asked her.

"I do not want to destroy your people or the Quinok," she said to him. "However, the fighting must cease between your two tribes and unfortunately, it might take a major battle before both sides come to their senses. Surely, you agree with this, otherwise you wouldn't have risked your life to rescue my friends."

"I do agree with it. I just wish that there was another way."

"As do I, Shaman, but there is no other choice. Even now, the Wacona are riding here to take back all of you. Once they reach the Quinok border, there will be bloodshed. It needs to end and I will make sure it does through my avatar, Rose."

"So will you be the one leading the battle?" the Doctor asked.

"If you mean, will I be the dominant one at the time, no," the Bad Wolf said. "However, I will think to Rose and give her the words to say and guide her through the battle, so in that respect, yes, I will lead the battle indirectly."

"What about the rest of us?" Martha asked her.

"You will assist her as usual. As I said to the Doctor earlier, I don't expect you to sit on the sidelines and do nothing."

Everyone looked over when they heard movement outside. Bad Wolf shut her eyes and Rose blinked in shock when she opened them.

"Whoa, what happened?" Rose said, looking around.

The Doctor held up his finger for silence as Hatarok came into the hut.

"Baor wishes to speak with all of you, including him," he said, pointing to Gelik. "Please follow me."

"Doctor, what happened? I feel like I blacked out, did the Bad Wolf come back?" Rose said, taking his arm.

"Yes. She left before Hatarok came inside. My guess is she didn't want him seeing her and start to worship you," he replied as they walked out of the hut.

They blinked when they stepped into the bright sun. As they followed Hatarok, they noticed that the other Quinok were clustered around their huts, muttering to themselves and pointing at Gelik. A few of the tough looking warriors tried to come up to Gelik but they were stopped by a warning glance by the Doctor. Hatarok led them to Baor's hut and all of them went inside. Baor's hut was dark since there was a very heavy skin covering the entrance and a small fire filled the interior with dim light and smoke. Rose, Martha and Donna coughed and waved the smoke away while the Doctor used his respiratory bypass system until they got used to being inside. With Baor were several warriors, all of them in their early twenties, tattooed heavily with Mohawks or shaved heads. They were sitting in a semicircle around the fire and Baor invited the others to fill out the circle.

"We have called this council because of what has happened today," Baor said to them once they were sitting down on the fur pillows. "We are glad that all of you have returned unharmed. However, we're not sure what to think about him coming with you," he added, pointing to Gelik.

"I give you my word that he's not a threat," the Doctor said. "He got us away from the Wacona at great personal risk and even now, the Wacona are coming here to get us and him."

Boar, Hatarok and the warriors shared a look.

"How do you know this?" Baor asked the Doctor.

The Doctor hesitated for a moment before he decided to play along with the Rose is goddess concept.

"Shizara told us," he said to him.

Everyone's eyes fell on Rose while she shifted uneasily in her seat.

"Okay, BW, come back and save Rose before they rip her heart out," Donna muttered under her breath.

"Shizara, is this true?" Baor asked.

Rose had no idea since she was unconscious when the Bad Wolf took over her body but she figured that someone would discover they'd escaped and come after them so she nodded.

"Yes," she said. "It's true. They're coming here at this very moment."

"We must prepare!" one of the warriors said. "We will kill any Wacona who dares step foot in our village!"

The other warriors agreed loudly with this but Baor held up his hands for silence and looked at Rose.

"Great Shizara, what do you think we should do?" he asked.

Rose was about to look to the Doctor for advice when she suddenly felt compelled to speak words that she didn't feel were hers.

"The battle is unavoidable," she said in a slightly deeper voice than usual. "The Wacona will not give up the fight so we must either fight or capture this war party."

"If we capture them," the Doctor said. "Perhaps, we can negotiate with the Wacona and get them to sue for peace."

Rose shook her head.

"I doubt that will do any good," she said to him. "They refuse to listen so I'm afraid that bloodshed might be the answer."

"Well... Shizara, may I respectfully disagree with you?" the Doctor said. "I don't think it's so far gone that we have to resort to killing them. Not if we can capture them and get their leaders to talk. Killing may be necessary but let's exhaust all other options first."

The Doctor saw a hint of a smile on Rose's face in the dim light as she studied him silently for a moment.

"Very well, we'll try to negotiate," Rose said to everyone. "If that fails, then we must go to battle."

"Wait!" the warrior said. "You lead this council now? An outsider?"

"I do," Rose said.

She closed her eyes and the Bad Wolf opened them. The Quinok's gasped and Gelik smirked when they got up and prostrated themselves. Gelik and the Doctor shared a look and the Doctor stifled a grin when Gelik rolled his eyes.

"Great Shizara, so it is true, you are here among us," Baor said.

"I am and you may rise," the Bad Wolf said. "From now on, I will be in charge and I say that we try the Doctor's idea first, have warriors meet the Wacona but do not kill them, bring them into the village for another council. These are my words, Quinok, obey them."

"Yes, Great Shizara," Baor said as they prostrated themselves again.

"Is that all you needed?" the Bad Wolf asked.

"Yes, Great Shizara," Baor said.

"Then let us go back to our hut and rest. In the meantime, send out warriors to meet the attackers."

The Wacona all prostrated themselves again and Gelik rolled his eyes while the Doctor, Martha and Donna fought to keep from laughing. The Bad Wolf retreated back into Rose and she blinked in surprise.

"Again?" she said to the Doctor.

"Yes, but wait till we get back to the hut and I'll explain," he said to her as everyone stood up and started to leave the hut.

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