Chapter Seventeen

Rose watched as the chaos died down with Baor finally getting control of his people. She looked around for the Doctor when she noticed he was no longer by her side and saw him heading out of the village. She called to him and ran towards him. The Doctor went into the forest and by the time she caught up to him, he was sitting on a fallen tree trunk, a sullen expression on his face while he stared at the ground. Rose swallowed hard as she slowly walked up to him. The Doctor looked up and smiled warmly at her when she sat down beside him.

"I'm sorry, Doctor," Rose said. "I'm sorry I failed and now there'll be a war. I tried."

"I know you did, my hearts, it's not you I'm angry with. I'm angry with what's inside you and how she's pushing you into this," he said. "Now I'm finding her name ironic. Bad Wolf, yeah, it's bad alright and getting worse."

"So what do we do?" Rose said, taking his hand.

"I s'pose we fight. That's what all this has been leading up to, right?" the Doctor said. "Killing innocents in order to force the innocents to stop fighting. I s'pose Bad Wolf is taking her cue from the Spartans and Persians at Thermopylae? Or Custer's Last Stand? Is that your game, Bad Wolf?" he said, leaning up and speaking at Rose's face.

Rose waited but there was no appearance and the Doctor leaned back up.

"And now there will be no response from her because we're all demanding she show up and do something. So basically she's throwing you to the wolves."

"But she said she'd protect us," Rose said.

"I don't doubt that but will she protect all the innocent people who are going to get slaughtered in this war," the Doctor said. "I don't understand why we couldn't sort this out with negotiation."

"Maybe they're too far gone for that," Rose said.

"And so we slaughter them to teach a lesson, how will that help since both their cultures advocate revenge killings. If people die on both sides, wouldn't that escalate the animosity and ratchet up the kidnappings and killings or am I missing something here?"

"I don't know, Doctor. She's not giving me any information either," Rose said.

The Doctor sighed and put his arm around Rose, pulling her close.

"Well, I s'pose we just go along with whatever's happening and make the best of it as usual," he said, "and trust that the Bad Wolf knows what she's doing."

"Yeah, but you don't like it, do you?" Rose said. "Not being in charge of something and not knowing what's going on?"

"Yeah, but I'll give your helper spirit the benefit of the doubt since she's kept you alive so far. Now if you end up with a spear in your gut, then I will be very cross with her."

"Oh? That's it then? I'll bleed to death while you yell at me and tell the Bad Wolf you're very cross."

"Yeah, pretty much."

"Well…after your rant will you then grab a spear and plunge it into your chest so you can join me in death?"

"Uh…no," he said while Rose giggled, "because I wouldn't join you in death, I would regenerate and then mourn you as I cremate your body."

"You mean you wouldn't keep killing yourself until you die for good?" Rose said, poking his side.

"No, because that would hurt and be very tedious and I would get bored after six or seven hundred lives," he said, poking her back. "By then you would be dust and there would be nothing for me to hold onto as I die a Romeo and Juliet death."

He smiled when Rose giggled at that and squeezed her hand.

"We'll muddle through somehow, we always do, Warrior Goddess," he said to her.

They looked to their right when Donna walked into the woods and headed for them.

"And here comes Noble with the bucket of cold water to throw over us," the Doctor said.

"Ha ha, funny," Donna said. "I'm just glad I found you before you started mounting her like a stallion."

Rose laughed when the Doctor stared at her for a second with wide eyes and then pretended to think that over. Donna walked over, swatted his arm and sat down beside him.

"Baor wants you and Rose to come to his hut for a meeting," she said. "They're preparing for war now and want…Shizara to advise them."

"What about me then?" the Doctor said. "They want Rose, why do they want me?"

"Because you're my consort," Rose said.

The two women chuckled at the Doctor's raised eyebrow.

"Well, I'm a lonely goddess," she said, patting his leg. "Gotta have me consort along."

"Oh boy, here comes the mount her like a stallion bit."

Rose laughed when the Doctor turned his head to Donna and gave her a long, hard stare. Donna shrugged.

"I know what you lot get up to when me and Martha aren't looking so don't give me that look, Alien Boy," she said to him. "Now come on, they're waiting!"

"Rose, do you notice that lately I've being bossed around by women. First Bad Wolf, now Bad Ginge, have I been emasculated and not know it?"

"You're gonna think emasculated when I rip your testicles up. Now get up and get going!"

Rose laughed when the Doctor shot up and stood before Donna, feigning fear while he put his hands over his crotch. Donna chuckled and gave him a fond pat on the shoulder while the Doctor gave her a fond look. Rose stood up and they walked back into the village.

Everyone fell silent when Rose entered Baor's hut. Baor stood and indicated that she should sit at his side. The Doctor tried to follow but Baor told him and Donna to sit with Martha near the door.

"But…I'm her consort," the Doctor said.

Baor gave him an odd look while Rose snorted laughter. The Doctor and Donna settled down beside Martha. Gelik was on her other side and he leaned up.

"It's inevitable now, they're planning war," Gelik said to the Doctor.'

"Well, I'm sure the Wacona will have the same thing in mind, especially after Pavan gets back with the news of what happened here. Might as well prepare for a fight."

"Great Shizara, you saw what occurred today," Baor said to Rose. "We need your advice. Should we attack the Wacona after we slaughtered their war party?"

The Doctor noticed that Rose wasn't trying to speak and was trying to stall for time. He knew she was just as reluctant for war as he was but after what happened in the village square, he knew they had very few options left. Although…

The Doctor stood up.

"Wait, I know a solution that wouldn't involve war," he said.

He saw the grateful look on Rose's face and wondered if she'd been waiting for him to say something like this. Baor and the warriors turned their attention to him.

"And that solution is…" Baor said.

"I have a…magical machine that can take you far away from here, beyond the reach of the Wacona. I can take you to a new home and you need never worry about the Waconas again."


The Doctor looked at Baor in disbelief when he spoke.

"I'm sorry?" he said.

"We don't want to leave our ancestral lands, Doctor. Our relatives sleep in the ground and who would look after them and tend to their needs? We must stay here to guard them from the Wacona."

"Look, I admire your traditions but your traditions are the reason you're in the mess you're in right now," the Doctor said. "The dead can look after themselves, trust me. More than likely, the spirits of your ancestors will follow you wherever you go and I'm sure they won't be angry if you leave in order to protect yourselves. If you all end up slaughtered, there won't be anyone to tend to the souls of the dead anyway, yeah?"

"We will not run from the Wacona. Quinok are not cowards," one of the warriors said. "We won't let them win!"

"They have killed a woman, her soul screams for revenge!" another warrior said.

"No, I'm sure her soul isn't screaming for that, it might be screaming for you lot to get the hell outta here though."

"We must stay, Doctor," Baor said. "We must end this once and for all."

"Even if that means you all end up dead?" the Doctor said to him.

"Shizara will protect us. She will lay waste to our enemies and we will dance on their dead bodies in triumph."

The Doctor's shoulders sank when the other warriors agreed with this. Donna patted his shoulder when he sank down onto the ground beside her.

"Nice try but I think the Bad Wolf's still getting her way," she said to him while everyone voiced their support for Baor's decision to stay and fight.

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