Chapter Twelve

(Meanwhile, deep within the TARDIS…)

Rose sat on a bench inside a simulated amusement park. All the adults except for Jim and Lori chose to come here and they were having fun, enjoying the free entertainment and drinks and food and listening to the children's laughter. Rose decided to take a rest and watch while Mandy and Michelle played on the helter skelter across from her. She watched while Mandy got off the bottom of the slide. She was just about to run around to the stairs when she noticed Rose. She stared at her for a moment before walking over. Rose smiled lovingly at her.

"You okay, Rose?" Mandy said when she reached her.

"I'm okay, love, just having a bit of a rest," Rose said. "Go ahead and play, sweetie."

"Nah, I want to rest a bit too," Mandy said, sitting down beside her.

They sat together, enjoying the simulated sun and sky while Michelle continued to play on the slide.

"This is a magical place," Mandy finally said.

"Oh yes, it's very magical," Rose said. "The TARDIS is one of my favorite places in the whole world!"

Mandy nodded at that.

"Will they be back?" Mandy asked her.

"Will who be back, love?" Rose said.

"Mommy and Daddy."

"Oh yeah, they just needed to go off and be alone and love each other."

"Do they love me?"

"Yes, love," Rose said, putting her hand on Mandy's head. "They love you a lot. It's just that sometimes Mummies and Daddies need to be alone so they can love each other. That's why the TARDIS made this, so you can have fun while they do that."

"Do you have kids?" Mandy asked.

"No, sweetie, I don't. We wanted some but we were busy working and the Brotherhood came and we never got around to it," Rose said.

"Do you still want kids?"

"Well, maybe someday," Rose said, smiling at her.

Mandy thought about that for a moment.

"I wanna do it!" she finally said.

"Do what, love?"

"Be your daughter, if you want. I can be yours and Mommy and Daddy's daughter. It's easy. I can love lots of people."

Rose swallowed hard while her eyes misted over.

"Really?" she said.

"Tommy is your little brother but I wanna be your daughter cause I like you," Mandy said. "You and John are nice people and your funny and silly and I wanna be your daughter. I can ask Mommy to make a certificate that I can give to you."

Rose laughed at that and scooted closer to her. She put her arm around Mandy and Mandy snuggled in close to her.

"John will be surprised when she finds out I have a surprise daughter now," Rose said.

"Nah, I'll just give him the certificate," Mandy said.

Rose chuckled and kissed her lips.

"I'm gonna get something to drink, Mommy. You want something?" Mandy said.

"Um, I'd like a glass of lemonade," Rose said.

"Okay, I'll be back in a minute. You stay there, Mommy," Mandy said.

She walked away while Rose watched her with a loving look on her face.


(Meanwhile, up front…)

Here we go again," the Doctor said as the TARDIS zoomed them to another location.

The TARDIS stopped and powered down. The Doctor listened for screaming coming from outside the door and relaxed when there was none. He was about to move to the front door when some information came on his monitor. The Doctor checked it and his eyes widened in delight.

"We're on Thoros Alpha," he said to everyone.

"Is that significant?" River asked.

"Very. This is where one of my companions came. Her name is Peri and as far as I know, she became the consort of King Yrcanos. She can help us."

Everyone followed the Doctor to the door. He opened it and peeked out. He stepped outside when he saw the coast was clear. Everyone followed him out and looked around. They were standing in a white marble throne room that had gold trim all over the walls. In front of them was a white marble dais with two golden thrones on it. Above that was two gold curtains that were hanging down from the ceiling. Each curtain had the royal coat of arms on it. The Doctor looked behind the TARDIS. The throne room was vast with stained glass windows and a gold carpet that led to a twenty foot set of golden doors. On either side of the doors were huge painted portraits of King Yrcanos and Peri in royal regalia. The Doctor stared at the portrait of Peri. She was older, mid thirties, and her hair was down to her waist and braided but he recognized his old friend.

"Nice," Grace said as the others came up beside him. "Is that your friend?" she said, pointing to the portrait.

"Yes, it is," the Doctor said.

"Where are they?" John said. "Where is anyone? You'd think the throne room would at least have some guards posted."

The Doctor beckoned for them to follow him and they walked towards the doors. The sun shone through the stained glass windows, throwing colored patterns on the floor, making the room look even more beautiful. But the Doctor sensed a coldness that usually happened after a room has been unoccupied for awhile. He listened intently but there were no signs of life or no sounds beyond the room. He started to think something was horribly wrong as he and John threw their weight against one of the doors. It opened slowly and they stepped out into a white marble corridor with gold. The Doctor's mouth dropped open when he saw giant spiderwebs all over the place and webbing in the corners.

"Wow, they really need to clean," River quipped while she looked around.

"I think something's wrong," John said.

"So do I," the Doctor said. "I think we better get everyone else before we investigate. Judging from the size of the webs, they have something bigger than a tiny pest problem. I'm betting Peri and her kingdom is in trouble and we need to find out what's going on and save them."

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