Chapter Ten

By the time they got back to the kitchen, most of the noncombatants were gone. Only Jim and Lori were left.

"The TARDIS was ready for them," Lori said to the Doctor. "She used the voice interface thing to talk to us and opened up a doorway. She had one for us as well but we wanted to see our older daughter again before we left.

Lori and Jim walked over to Older Michelle and embraced her. The Doctor came around so he could observe Older Michelle's face. He noticed she was trying not to cry and he wondered how long it had been since she'd seen her parents. She had hinted that she was older than she looked when he saw her on her honeymoon night. It frustrated him that she was being vague about most things, just like River did. But he could still read her face and now he saw a hint of the sad little child as Older Michelle hugged her parents.

"You be careful, okay?" Lori said, cupping her face when she got done hugging her.

"I will, Mom," Older Michelle said.

"I second that and come back safe to us," Jim said as he stepped forward to hug her again.

"I will, Dad," Older Michelle said.

She hugged them both one more time before Lori told the TARDIS they were ready. A doorway opened up in the kitchen wall and Lori and Jim waved to everyone and wished them luck before going through it. The wall closed up and the Doctor turned to the remainder of his friends and family.

"Okay, now that the people we care about are hidden safely deep within the TARDIS. I suppose we could start finding others to join our cause," he said to them.


(London, England, 1889…)

Madame Vastra came into the kitchen and paused for a moment to sniff the air. Her wife, Jenny, was cooking supper for them and she relished the smell of baking meat. Jenny was at the stove, stirring something in a big pot when Vastra came further into the room.

"Roast and potatoes?" she asked Jenny.

"Yes and green beans," Jenny said, pointing to the pot.

"Sounds delicious and will you be the sweet later on?" Vastra purred in her ear as she got closer to her.

"If you want," Jenny said in a seductive voice.

Vastra was about to lean in for a kiss when they heard the front door bell ring.

"Strax, get that for me!" Vastra called out. "I'm busy."

"At once, Madam," Strax called back.

"Now, where were we?" Vastra said softly in Jenny's ear.

Jenny giggled when she licked her ear and growled into it.

"Madam Vastra!" Strax called out.

"Argh, can we roast him as well. He's potato shaped," Vastra said to Jenny. "What is it?" she yelled out while Jenny chuckled.

"It's the Doctor, Madam," Strax called out. "Shall I let him in?"

"You better let me in!" the Doctor called out.

Vastra looked at Jenny.

"Better go see what he wants," Jenny said to her.

"Oh, if I must," Vastra said with a sigh.

She rubbed Jenny's cheek before heading to the front door. The Doctor was standing on the top step with an exasperated look on his face while Strax barred him from entering.

"Call off the guard dog, would you? It's me," the Doctor said, pointing to Strax.

"I am not permitted to allow anyone entrance unless Madam Vastra wills it, sir," Strax said to the Doctor.

"I am not anyone, I'm the Doctor and she knows me. Now step aside, Spud for Brains."

"Let him enter, Strax," Vastra said.

"At last," the Doctor muttered when Strax stepped away form the doorway.

"And to what do we owe the honor of this visit, Doctor?" Vastra said as he came inside.

"I need your help. You and Jenny and…"

He looked at Strax.

"And him…I suppose," he muttered as he gestured to Strax.

"What sort of help?" Vastra said.

"Where is Jenny at?"

"In the kitchen cooking supper," Vastra said.

"Let's go in there. She needs to hear it as well," the Doctor said.


"Everyone…" the Doctor said when he entered the TARDIS kitchen, "may I present Madam Vastra, Jenny Flynn and Strax."

The three of them entered behind the Doctor. Strax was carrying the pan with the roast and potatoes and Jenny was carrying the pot.

"We were in the middle of supper," Vastra said while everyone cleared a pathway to the stove. "We can't fight this Brotherhood lot on an empty stomach."

The Doctor told everyone to get acquainted with them while he headed up to the console room. He entered the room, trying to think of who else to get.


He turned to see River coming into the room after him.

"Yes?" he said.

"Sorry, just thought I might help with some input on who to get for our army," River said. "I also wanted to ask about this older version of Michelle and your feelings about her."

"How d'ya mean?" the Doctor said, wondering if Older Michelle told River about them being married.

"Well, I just thought it'd be a bit unsettling seeing her as an adult now, especially when the child is still inside the TARDIS."

"Yes, it is but…as I was telling John, it's odd seeing me next to me."

River nodded.

"I know she's an adult but I'm going to keep a close eye on her because the last thing I want to see is Jim and Lori seeing their daughter's dead body, even if it is in the future," she said.

"I agree," the Doctor said. "And believe me, I will be watching out for her. I don't know how much training I gave her in future…but then again, if I sent her here, she must be capable enough."

"All the same, I'm going to make sure she's got backup until we know for sure how good she is," River said. "And now that I've said that, what or who do you have in mind for extra help?"

"I think I have someone in mind," the Doctor said. "And for the next candidate, we'll need Jack…"


"You're kidding me," John said as he, Jack, River, Donna and the Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS into a densely wooded area. "Shana? You're asking Shana for help?"

"Shana, who's that?" River said.

"A friend," Jack said as the Doctor shut the TARDIS doors.

"More like a lover," John said.

"That too," Jack conceded. "But she is a very capable fighter and a good choice."

"Capable fighter when she's not shagging Jack," the Doctor said.

"So how do you know this Shana then?" Donna asked as they walked away from the TARDIS.

"When Jack was traveling with my ninth self and Rose. We landed here on a whim, just to explore. This planet is called Mara Soltis and there are a species of fox people here called the Alsoris. Shana is their leader. She thought we were a threat and captured Jack. She was going to interrogate him but apparently it didn't end up that way," he said while Jack chuckled. "When we finally found them, he was her consort. I was thinking of leaving the git behind and letting him be her consort when these poachers from a nearby planet came to get some Alsoris pelts. We helped save her and her people and in return, she told us that she would help us anytime we needed it. I'm going to see if she'll keep her word."

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a long wooden flute that was carved into the shape of a fox with a long tail. They stopped and listened while the Doctor played a melody on it while he looked up at the treetops.

"What is he doing?" Donna asked Jack.

"She gave that to the Doctor and taught him a melody to play if he wanted to summon her," Jack said to her. "They live in the trees, for the most part. That's why he's looking up while he's doing this."

Donna and River looked up while the Doctor continued to play. At first there was nothing and then they saw branches and limbs rustling as something came towards them. The rustling stopped just above the Doctor's head and the Doctor aimed the flute up while he played it. Then something jumped out of the treetop and landed beside the Doctor. The Doctor stopped playing and smiled.

"Shana, good to see you again," he said.

The woman was an anthropomorphic fox with jet black fur and a long, bushy tail. She wore only a belt around her slender waist that had a knife sheath and a leather bag hanging from it. Her eyes were jet black and sparkled in the sunlight. She bowed to the Doctor.

"You have summoned me, Time Lord. I am here," she said in a husky voice. "What is your desire?"

"I need your help fighting an enemy as I once helped you," the Doctor said. "My adopted homeworld is being threatened and I need fighters."

"Then I am yours to command," Shana said, bowing. "This is my wife, River, and my friends, Donna and John. And you remember Jack, of course."

"Ah, how can I forget my consort?" Shana said, walking over to him.

"Shana, pleasure to see you again," Jack said, taking her slender hand in his and kissing the black fur on the back of it.

"And you, I have missed you greatly," Shana said.

"Um…you two will be fighting during the battle, right?" John said when Jack pulled Shana in close to him. "Because if you're going to bonking, I want my wife back."

"We'll fight," Jack said. "We're just getting reacquainted, aren't we?"

They watched while Shana barked playfully and wrapped her long bushy tail around his body.

"Right, I think we better get back in the TARDIS before they have sex right here," the Doctor said to everyone as he beckoned them to follow him.

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