Chapter Sixteen

"Wait," Rose said when they got back to the hut and the Doctor finished filling Rose in on what just happened. "They let some of the warriors meet this war party? What if they kill them on sight before they even put one foot inside the village?"

"I doubt they'll do that since they think you're Shizara. Wouldn't want to risk your displeasure, would they?" the Doctor said.

"But what if it fails?" Rose said.

"I s'pose the war is on then. So it's all down to us and our negotiating skills," the Doctor said.

Donna looked at Martha.

"Better get your camouflage ready," she said to Martha.

Hatarok came to the door of their hut and pushed aside the hide flap.

"The war party just arrived. They need you in the village square," he said.

"It's showtime," Donna said as they got to their feet.

Rose fought to keep her nerves from working overtime while she walked with the Doctor to the village square. The Doctor told her the Bad Wolf wouldn't take over but she would know what to say and she hoped that was true because her mind was a blank right at the moment. As they approached the square they saw that most of the Quinok had gathered around the perimeter. Baor was in the middle with several Wacona warriors. All the warriors had war paint on their bodies and they were carrying tomahawks and wooden clubs. The Doctor noticed Pavan was with him. Pavan caught his eye and sneered at him. He glared when the Doctor gave him a cheerful wave in return. The crowd parted and let them through. Pavan looked at Gelik and pointed his club at him.

"Traitor! You will die along with them!" he yelled at him.

"Be silent," Baor commanded him.

Pavan gave him a look of death as he tightened his grip on his war club but he said nothing while the Doctor and his friends came up beside Baor.

"You have trespassed here and by law, you should be put to death," Baor said.

"We were hunting for them, they are our captives and we have every right to take them back," Pavan said, pointing at the Doctor.

"No, you captured us and we had every right to escape," Martha said to him.

"You have been chosen for sacrifice. You must return and be sacrificed to our gods," Pavan said to her.

"There will be no sacrifices."

Everyone turned their attention to Rose when she spoke. The Doctor glanced at her eyes and didn't see any glow in them. He smiled when she seemed unafraid and he figured the Bad Wolf was giving her courage along with the ability to speak.

"You, be silent," Pavan said to Rose. "You are a woman and have no standing here."

"I have far more standing than you have, Pavan," Rose said in a deep voice. "I speak with the words of one who has existed eons before you were even born."

"Oh gods, here we go again," Gelik muttered to the Doctor when the Quinok fell down and prostrated themselves.

"Now, now, you have your gods too," the Doctor said, trying to keep the laughter out of his voice. "It's just a case of mistaken identity is all."

Rose stepped in front of the Doctor.

"The Wacona have committed atrocity after atrocity against the Quinok and the time has come for it to stop."

The Doctor gritted his teeth when Pavan and his warriors laughed at that. He stiffened when Pavan stepped up to Rose and put the ball of his war club underneath her chin.

"Just like a woman, can't stand a bit of bloodshed," he purred. "Who are you to order us to stop killing."

"Get away from Shizara!" Baor said.

"No, stop!" the Doctor said to him, holding out his head when the other Quinok leapt up and began heading towards the Wacona. "Everyone stop! Let her speak!"

The villagers stopped but the Doctor could tell they were ready at a moment's notice to attack and he wasn't about to let him, his lover and his friends end up in the middle of it.

"I speak for the spirit inside me," Rose said, gazing at Pavan without fear. "I represent her."

"Bah, there is no spirit inside you, foolish girl. It's just an act. If there's a powerful spirit inside you, let it show itself to us!"

The Doctor leaned up and looked at Rose. Rose fell silent and he could tell she was waiting for the Bad Wolf to show up. An angry sigh escaped from the Doctor's nose when nothing happened.

"You see!" Pavan said to the Wacona. "This child is lying. I see no powerful spirit inside her. She's fooling you all!"

The Doctor began to wonder if Bad Wolf was doing this on purpose to provoke a fight. He heard Donna muttering about how BW needed to show up before Rose was clubbed to death and he looked back at her and shook his head, silently urging her to be quiet before something did happen. He glanced at Rose and noticed her confidence was wavering so he stepped up beside her and took her hand, letting her use his strength and courage to bolster her own. He smiled when he noticed the fearless look returning to Rose's face while Pavan gazed at him.

"Oh look, another woman is trying to speak for this tribe," he sneered while his warriors chuckled. "Is that who speaks for you, old one?" he said to Baor, "women and those who act like women. Is that why the Quinok are so weak?"

"What's wrong, love? Jealous that I don't fancy you?" the Doctor said in a feminine voice.

Pavan growled and walked over to him. The Doctor was unflinching when he showed him his war club.

"Silence, woman, or I'll ram this into your pretty face," he snarled at the Doctor.

"Enough!" Baor said. "You are here under a temporary truce as negotiators and you will not threaten others. Is that understood?"

"Very well, if you wish to avoid war, give us the escaped prisoners and we'll leave in peace," Pavan said to Baor.

"That is unacceptable," Rose said.

Pavan looked at her.

"Oh, really…goddess?" he sneered. "And how are you going to stop me? Going to call on your cowardly spirit to save you and your friends?"

"Come on, BW, pull your finger out," Donna muttered under her breath.

"She won't," Martha whispered to her. "She said she wouldn't help us. It's all down to Rose."

"Great, I'm about to get my head bashed in because BW wants Rose to be William bloody Wallace now," Donna muttered.

"All of you need to stop the bloodshed," Rose said to everyone. "Both sides must find a way to come to terms with what's happened and seek peace. Otherwise, the retaliatory killings will continue until both tribes are wiped out."

"Wrong!" Pavan said. "The killings will continue until the Quinok are wiped out. Only then will there be peace! However, if you give us these captives," he said to the village, "we will leave without killing anyone today."

"You can't have Shizara and her friends," Baor said.

"You daft old man, she is not a goddess, she's a stupid female and she can be killed just as easily as you can. If she harbors a spirit, where is it? It won't show itself so I say that she is lying in order to escape sacrifice! We will take what is ours, with or without your consent and if any Quinok tries to stop us, they will die!"

The Doctor gasped when Pavan seized Rose's wrist and tried to jerk her away from him. Everyone froze when a bellow of rage escaped from the Quinok's lips and they watched in horror as the villagers on the perimeter rushed the Wacona. Pavan was busy staring at the charging villagers and had loosened his hold on Rose's wrist. The Doctor pulled her away and she ran with the Doctor to the perimeter of the square followed by Donna, Martha and Gelik. The angry villagers parted around them like the Red Sea and they reached the edge of the square and turned to see the Quinok stabbing all the Wacona to death except for Pavan who managed to break through them and was now on his way out of the village followed by a small group of pursuers. The group of angry villagers fell back when Pavan withdrew a dagger and threw it into a young woman at the head of the group. It struck her chest and the other villagers froze when she fell dead at their feet. Pavan screamed his vengeance as he ran out of the village and the Doctor sighed, knowing that tribal war was now inescapable.

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