Chapter Five

Rose and Mickey stood near the locked door, watching while the lid opened.

"This isn't good," Mickey said while the lid went up to the ceiling and stuck there.

Rose thought that was an understatement, especially since the Doctor had a stricken look on his face that she rarely saw. She glanced at Runt who was still crouched down behind the table, hooting in distress while she looked at the open door and then at Rose. She felt guilty that they had brought her in here, especially since she wasn't a time traveler. They should have made her go back but it was too late now. She turned her attention back to the sarcophagus. Steam was rising up out of it and she saw a woman's hand come up and grip the side.

"Rose, Mickey, all of you stay behind me," the Doctor said, looking over his shoulder at them.

"Doctor, what is it?" Rose said, guessing from his expression that he knew who the hand belonged to. "Who is that?"

"Someone I thought was dead," the Doctor said. "Just stay back."

Rose and Mickey backed up against the locked door and watched as another hand came up, gripped the other side and slowly a woman stood up. She was young, in her late twenties and Asian with dark hair that went down to her waist. Her face was angular with high cheekbones. She was wearing a red jumpsuit and a thick gold bracelet on her right wrist. She stood for a moment before turning to face the Doctor. They locked eyes for a moment before the woman let out a low chuckle.

"Fancy you being here," the woman said with a deep, smoky voice. "But then I anticipated that you might find me one day which is why I took precautions."

"The deadlock seal," the Doctor said as the woman climbed out of the sarcophagus.

"Precisely," the woman said as she finished climbing out. "I never underestimate you, my old schoolmate. Not after all the times you tried to stop me."

"Did stop you," the Doctor corrected. "And I'll do it again, whatever you're planning to do now."

"I'm planning on having a nice cup of tea after sleeping so long," the woman said lightly while she stepped into the main room.

She noticed Mickey and Rose and smiled.

"Are they the newest recruits?" he said sweetly to the Doctor. "It amazes me that you keep finding people foolish enough to travel with you."

"Who are you?" Rose said to her.

"Well, I'm an old acquaintance of the Doctor's," she said to Rose. "I am known as the Rani. Did Theta not tell you about me?"

"Don't call me that!" the Doctor growled at the Rani.

Rose and Mickey exchanged glances. Rose wondered if Theta was his real name and that's why he was so upset when the Rani said it. The Rani looked at Rose and she glared back when her eyes assessed the young human before a smirk spread over her face. The Rani looked around the room and noticed Runt behind the table.

"You travel with that as well? Isn't she a bit primitive?" Rani said to the Doctor. "Or have you gotten to the point where you need them to be stupid enough to obey your orders without question?"

The Doctor glared at her and she snorted.

"You can be obstinate as usual, it makes no difference to me," she said, waving her hand dismissively. "Activate the holding cell," she suddenly yelled out.

A blue light shot down from the ceiling and surrounded the Doctor. The Rani smirked again.

"Like I said, I took precautions, Theta," she said sweetly while the Doctor glowered at her.

"Why d'ya call him Theta?" Rose asked, no longer able to contain his curiosity.

"Because that was his nickname at the Academy when we were attending classes together," the Rani said, walking around the force field prison.

"Leave them alone," the Doctor snarled as he turned around and followed her movement.

"He's so protective of his apes, it's very endearing," the Rani said to Mickey and Rose. "But as I was saying, he and I attended what you would call university. We go way back, him and me. Unfortunately, he developed a conscience and I didn't."

"What are you going to do to us?" Rose said.

"Well, I'm not sure at the moment. First, I want to find out what's been going on since I fell asleep. So, Theta, what of the Time War? Those fools tried to recruit me to fight it and I fled to the past and built this sanctuary and put myself to sleep. I'm a scientist, you see, and they wanted me to think up newer and better ways to kill the Daleks. Problem was, the Time Lords hated and persecuted me and I wasn't about to help them win their pointless little war. So, how about it, Theta? Is the war still going on?"

"No," the Doctor said.

"Oh good, I was afraid the fools sent you to find me and bring me back. Nice to know they came to their senses then."

"They didn't. They were insane and I had to stop them," the Doctor said.

"Oh?" the Rani said, raising her eyebrow. "Their little pet turned on them, did he? So, what happened after you stopped them? Who's ruling Gallifrey now?"

"No one, I burned the planet and put it in a time lock," the Doctor said. "We are the last of the Time Lords."

The Rani raised her eyebrow again.

"Really?" she said.

The Doctor nodded. He narrowed his eyes when he noticed the Rani was now thinking while she walked back and forth in front of the prison. She paused at Runt and leaned down while Runt hooted in fear.

"So this is the first human," she said to Runt. "This thing evolves into something intelligent? Well, almost intelligent," she said, standing back up. "I still have doubts about their level of intelligence," she added, turning back to Rose and Mickey. "However…"

She paused at the Doctor's prison and their eyes locked again.

"Whatever you're planning, I advise you not to act on it, Ushas," the Doctor said.

"My name…is the Rani," she growled at him. "Just like Koschei is now The Master and you…"

She paused and an impish grin spread over her face.

"Well, I could reveal your real name to your pet apes and make you really angry but I have to admit I don't know it. Theta kept it well hidden, didn't you, love?"

Rose raised her eyebrow at that and she looked at the Rani, wondering if there was something more between them than old university buddies. She studied the Doctor to find a clue to that since she knew he wouldn't say anything openly but at the moment he was only glaring at the Rani while she chuckled and walked back in forth in front of his prison. She stopped again at Runt and stared at her thoughtfully while the ape tried to hide from her. Then after a few minutes, she chuckled again and slowly turned to face the Doctor. The Doctor gave her a warning look but she ignored it and crossed over to Mickey and Rose.

"There is no escape," the Rani growled at them. "Do what I say and cooperate or your beloved Doctor will be reduced to atoms right in front of your eyes."

Back                         Home                              Doctor Who Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted.