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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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The Clash of Worlds: The Three Paths
Submitter: Date: 2011/10/30 Views: 387
Chapter 5

Martin tasted the liquid on his fingers and spat it out. "Foul blood, Okrani probably."

"Well we knew that," Orlando sighed. "Did you have to lick it?"

"I was just checking." He wiped his fingers off on his trousers and lifted a broken branch. "Their pursuer came this way."

"There's a scrap of Tosh's jumper caught on this bush," Orlando pointed out. "Their pursuer was on the right track." He paused and held a hand up. "Rick, there's someone out there."

Rick moved silently to follow his line of sight and breathed out an agreement. "Orli, you are wasted in research. Keep your weapons to hand."

"You think it's..."

"Probably the Master, or one of his cronies," he finished for him. "Don't let him speak. He has powers of mind control stronger than any."

They nodded at each other and stood their ground, guns raised. The figure approached through the trees and stood, framed by a shaft of sunlight and shielded by a whippy bush. "Now... that's not very nice, is it?"

Rick glanced at Martin and flicked the safety off his gun. "Show yourself."

"You're looking for Captain Jack's teammates. They passed this way some time yesterday. Morning, I think... or afternoon. Anyway." He jumped down a step and smiled at them. "Hello."

They lowered their weapons, just a little. "Hello?"

"Yes, hello. You're not going to repeat everything I say, are you?" He watched them closely. "Oh, good. Right. Now, where were we?"

"Who are you?" Martin growled.

The man stopped and looked at them curiously, then grinned. "I'm the Doctor."

They followed him, hurrying to keep up with his loping pace. "Doctor?" Orlando asked, sharing a confused look with Martin. "I don't understand. You didn't... you died!"

"I'm a Timelord, we don't die," the Doctor explained. "We sort of avoid it, by changing everything about us. Every atom replaced, good as new. Well, completely new. New face, new body, new hair... still not ginger, though. New Doctor. New Sonic Screwdriver." He held it up to show them and beamed, then waved them off and resumed leading them through the forest. "It's a long story, and one which can wait for later."

"But what happened, Doctor?" Martin asked. "You fell into the river."

"Yes, I did. It was cold and wet, and I'd rather not do it again. I washed up in a little village downstream, had a fight with it... that was fun, actually, I've never done swordfighting with washing line posts before, should do it more often. I won, but it was cold and hard and, well, I regenerated. It's alright, though, I'm not as miserable any more, see? Oh, and Perdita sends her love, Martin."

"Perdita?" Orlando asked, frowning.

The Doctor stopped and turned to look at him. "Yes, Perdita, your boss. Funny things, human brains. Hard wired for jealousy. But we can't go back there, not yet. The bad boys of Greece have been putting up too much of a fight too close to one of my old... Yes."

"You're not making a lot of sense," Rick pointed out.

He stopped staring at Orlando and wheeled around, pushing through the forest again. "Get used to it, I don't seem to any more. Could be fun, could be a very short disaster. Greece. We have to go to Greece."


"Because someone has stolen the king's mind." He grinned at them. "We have to give it back."

Rick followed in the wake of the Doctor's motorbike flying motorbike with Orlando and Martin behind him. They'd come down from the foothills and hit the plains again, heading down wide roads towards Athens and the palace. It was seated on a low hill in a wide floodplain, with a commanding view of every approach but very little in the way of serious defences, especially in the modern day. The defensive positions were up in the hills to the North, hidden in ravines with caves behind them, but they did not lend themselves to diplomacy or entertaining.

The gates were wide open, but the town around the palace had a sombre feel and the townspeople kept their heads bowed and their eyes averted until the three bikes had gone past. They were met at the door of the palace by guards who barred the way. The Doctor smiled at them and pulled out a wallet. "Hello, I'm the Doctor. UNIT representative and counsel."

The guard took the wallet from him and studied it, then handed it back. "Your face has changed, but you've not, Doctor. No weapons are permitted into the palace."

"Of course," the Doctor agreed. "Give the nice soldier your weapons, boys."

"Doctor..." the guard started.

The Doctor held up his hands. "Unarmed, as always. I'm a strict pacifist."

"Your sonic device."

"It's a screwdriver." He frowned. "What can I do with a screwdriver?"

"Alright, sirs." The guard looked dubious, but stepped back to let them in. "The king will see you now."

The Doctor inclined his head, nearly serious for a moment, then swept through the doors with Rick, Orlando and Martin in his wake, as always. The hall was filled with guards and servants, tending to and protecting the ailing king, and his niece sat close by his throne at the head of the hall. The Doctor, as usual, ignored all of them, and strode down the middle of the hall, admiring the carvings he passed along the way. "Lovely day," he commented. "Although, it could be more cheerful in here. Maybe open the curtains, put some music on, food and wine maybe?"

Behind the throne, a tall, blonde woman bent to whisper in the king's ear and he smiled grimly. "Why should it seem welcoming, when you are not welcome, Doctor?"

"A wise question," the woman told him approvingly, and the Doctor tensed as she moved into the light. "You are late, Doctor. But wasn't that ever the way?"

"Lucy," he greeted her. "I thought you were dead."

"No such luck," she smiled tiredly and approached further, frowning when he backed off. "Don't you trust me, Doctor?"

"Not as far as I could throw you, which probably isn't that far. Anyway, King Kiron. Long time no see, and you're not looking very well. Is that rude? I don't want to seem rude, but sometimes there's no other way. It must be quite a party in your head, sharing it with the Master. Come on, Master, leave him. This isn't about him."

"Is it not?" the Master laughed through Kiron's lips. "I thought it was about all of them. Every. Last. One. But you were always such a bleeding heart, Doctor. Maybe you've changed at last."

"Nothing about 'the world is ripe for the taking', 'join me and we could rule the universe'?" the Doctor asked. "No? Oh, good. I hate having to turn down temptation like that."

The king laughed again and the guards drew in closer. "You have walked into a trap."

"I know."

"Noble, stupid."

"Suprising," the Doctor corrected. "Because I know that you can't control someone without a signal. Oh, Lucy got you in, but there must be something in this building boosting the signal and making total control possible. It's probably why the guards are trying to arrest us, actually. I should probably stop them... Rick, could you?"

"Are the words 'distract the guards' coming our way?" Rick asked with a sigh.

The Doctor let them get on with it and strolled forwards, hands in his pockets. "Give it up." He smiled absently. "There's no way you can win. You should just sit it out and then pick up the pieces, surely?"

"Greece is mine."

"And Greece is too close to the fight and getting in the way. Soon you'll be in the middle of a war with the Lashimi and you will lose, they're too powerful. Give Greece up, take your mind worm somewhere else and start again."

Kiron laughed, and the guards attacked. "Don't kill them. I want them to see him fail. It's too late for that, Doctor. I made my play, now make yours."

"Fine." The Doctor looked grim as he pulled his sonic screwdriver out of his pocket. "New screwdriver. I asked, 'what can I do with a screwdriver?' and there's a lot of things I can do with a screwdriver. I can put up shelves, resonate concrete, blow lightbulbs, destroy bridges whilst I'm standing on them... not my brightest hour. But, I can also track down signals. Like, for example, the psychic control signal being sent to this building. And once I've tracked it down I can do this..."

Kiron relaxed back into his throne. "The signal booster is protected from sonic waves, and you can't drown out the signal without giving them brain damage."

"I know." The Doctor smiled. "But it's only held to the ceiling by screws."

They watched in slow motion as what looked like a security camera box dropped from the ceiling into the centre of the room and smashed apart at the Doctor's feet. Lucy clutched her head and dropped to her knees, whilst the guards swayed on their feet and released their prisoners and the King sagged back into his seat. "King Kiron," the Doctor greeted him. "Welcome back."

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