katherine_b: (DW - Hurt Doctor)
posted by [personal profile] katherine_b at 11:46am on 16/11/2013 under , ,
Title: Redemption 44/50
Author: [livejournal.com profile] katherine_b
Rating: PG
Summary: When you have lost everything, what do you do to get it back?
Characters: The non-Doctor first glimpsed at the end of Name of the Doctor and a lot of old friends.


“But what are they?” Oswin demands.

“Whatever they are, they won’t be anything for long once they’re floating in open space!” The Vadlott tears around the console, watching out of the corner of his eye as the screen shows an opening forming in the side of the ship beside which they are travelling. “Transmat prepared?”

“Ready to activate on your word,” she tells him.

“Then do it!”

The switch on the console changes position and the transmat is started, flashing out to collect the first few figures who seem to have been flung or dropped out of the nearby ship.

“Keep it open, Oswin!” the Vadlott calls. “We don’t know how many there are!”

Light flickers in the reception area and solidifies into six figures, at the sight of whom the Vadlott’s eyes widen.

“Silurians! Hello!” He frowns a little. “You’re a long way from home.”

The newcomers blink as if only just waking from sleep, apart from two, a male and a female. The man steps forward in the direction of the Vadlott.

“Thank you!” he exclaims in obvious relief. “We picked up a man and he had his robots take over our ship! He woke my brethren from their long travel-slumber and is forcing us all out of the Ark.”

“Second wave, Vadlott!” Oswin interrupts.

“Move away from the reception bay,” the Time Lord orders, “or it will interfere with the incoming signal!”

He grabs the arms of the closest Silurians, seeing as the one with whom he was speaking and the other who shares enough of his features to suggest they are brother and sister do the same, dragging the other groggy creatures toward the middle of the room. No sooner have they done so than more arrive, and the process has to be repeated many more times until the entire crew are finally brought into the safety of the tardis, which, even with her huge size, seems suddenly crowded.

Finally, after many hours, Oswin reports that the doors on the Silurian ship are closed and the Vadlott tells her to shut off the transmat before turning back to the only fully conscious Silurians. The others stand motionless, staring blankly or giving drowsy blinks, still clearly affected by the deep state of hibernation in which they have been travelling.

“They will awaken in the fullness of time,” says the woman, solemnly contemplating her fellow Silurians. “They must warm up to recover completely.”

“That won’t take long.” The Vadlott turns up the heating in the room to hasten the process. “And so you were the only one in charge of the ship when your would-be murderer arrived?”

“He called for help,” the reptilian man replies. “I had no reason to believe he was not telling the truth.”

“Ah, so that’s why I’m here.” The Vadlott checks his psychic paper. “I got a mauve alert and arrived to answer it. I’m the Vadlott, by the way.”

“My name is Mikava,” the male Silurian tells him. “I was chief engineer and pilot on the Ark. And this is my sister, Aalihaja, who is also my assistant pilot. It was I,” he adds in shame-filled tones, “who brought that evil man on board.”

“You couldn’t have known,” the Vadlott says soothingly. “And what matters now is – actually, what I want to know first is why he wanted to kill you all!”

“He felt our cargo would be valuable.”

“I presume your ship wasn’t just filled with these examples of your own kind.”

“No, we had the last of the dinosaurs on Earth, which we were transporting to a new home on Siluria. At least,” he looks uneasy, “we were supposed to.”

“In that case I can certainly imagine why someone would view them as valuable,” muses the Vadlott. “His ship is a trading vessel, so I suppose he viewed your beasts as pure profit. But,” he leans against the console, seeing as the other Silurians slowly become more alert, “why were you going to Siluria? What was wrong with the Earth? It’s still millennia before it’s swallowed by the sun! Oh, but your empire...”

“Exactly.” Mikava nods.

“Many of our people remain behind on Earth to sleep beneath its surface,” Aalihaja adds, “but we chose instead to leave and to take with us examples of those creatures we valued most.”

“And which are, of course, also of most value to your murdering trader.” The Vadlott nods, but glances at the screen, which still shows the ship from which he has rescued these people. “But why isn’t he taking off for some market where he can sell off the dinosaurs?” he demands, glancing up at Mikava in time to see a slight smile flicker over his features and understanding that he has somehow prevented it. “Oh, you clever man!” he exclaims.

“We were left alone for a few moments,” that man explains, nodding at his sister, “and I reset the controls. The ship will now head for Earth until two people of shared blood can send it to a different destination. And,” his eyes sparkle, “our villain is unaccompanied by his kin so he cannot make them work.”

“Aren’t you brilliant?” the Vadlott says admiringly. “Quick thinking in a crisis. What do you think, Oswin?”

“Definitely,” says that young woman. “But why the ship moving so slowly?”

“It would not do for it to arrive on Earth without giving due warning to our kinfolk, or even to the homo sapiens,” replies Aalihaja, looking around, clearly wondering where Oswin is.

It’s at that moment that the Vadlott realises how difficult it will be to explain Oswin’s presence to anyone who joins him on board. After all, Daleks are not exactly a secret throughout the universe, and he has no intention of becoming an object of terror to his unexpected guests.

“My A.I.,” he says quickly, hoping Oswin won’t contradict him. “Now,” he adds, scarcely giving anyone time to respond, “perhaps it’s time for me to help you finish your journey.”

“Yes, please,” agrees Mikava, and there is a murmur of agreement, which sounds almost shockingly loud, from the many thousands of Silurians crammed into the console room. Only now does the Vadlott realise his ship has had to enlarge the space substantially for them all to fit.

He sets the co-ordinates, and frowns as a light on the console begins to flash, showing that the time and place he has arranged for them to arrive will bring him into contact once more with the Doctor. About to clear the details and put in new ones, he changes his mind, deciding to let the other Time Lord see that he can save lives as well as take them.

But by the time they materialise, the light has stopped flashing and the Vadlott knows the Doctor has already left. His relief, however, is swamped by astonishment when the Silurians closest to the doors open them and begin to pour outside, exclamations of surprise filling the air as they find their stolen cargo grazing contentedly on the lush, green planet on which they have just landed.

“Well!” he is beginning, but then Mikava and Aalihaja seize his hands.

“Thank you!” they exclaim together. “Vadlott, thank you so much!”

For once he decides not to bother explaining and instead allows himself to enjoy the moment as his unexpected guests fan out across the plain. This, he realises contentedly, is how the Doctor must feel, knowingly or otherwise, when he takes credit for the Vadlott’s work as well as his own. And it’s rather nice for once to have the shoe on the other foot.

* * *

“No!” the Vadlott exclaims in horror, but it is too late and he hears the terrible grinding of a large asteroid as it comes into contact with the side of the tardis.

“Oh, no!” Oswin’s voice is deeply apologetic and full of shame. “Vadlott, I’m so sorry! I never even saw it!”

“That’s why I told you to keep an eye on both screens,” he snaps, taking back control and starting to run a diagnostic to see how bad the damage is. “Sometimes you don’t know best!”

There is a pause. “I said I was sorry,” she murmurs.

“Yes, I know,” he says hurriedly, feeling guilt fill him at his unreasonable response. After all, the tardis is not going to be that badly damaged by a minor fender-bender. “It’s not the end of the world, at least as long as we can fix it. And luckily,” he notes their location, “we are close to one of the only places where that might be possible.”

“What, Gallifrey?” she demands in obvious disbelief. “How can we? Are we going there?” she adds, eagerness in her tones.

As reports come back to show that the damage, while significant, is not irreparable, the Vadlott recovers his temper. “You know full well that even attempting to break through the Time Lock would send both of us insane,” he points out. “Your psychotic tendencies are showing, Oswin, so put them away please. Now hang on to something. This will be a rough landing.”

He has to fight to maintain control as they come in to land, unable to materialise and having to resort to a physical descent. On the screen he watches as the ground gets ever nearer, and sees as the occupant of the closest hut comes out to watch them arrive, his distinctive facial marking giving the Time Lord a clue as to his identity. As soon as they are on the ground, the Vadlott switches off the shields and then dives for the doors.

“Hello!” he exclaims. “Kahler-Len? Oh, good,” as that man nods, “Bit of a problem with my ship. Could you have a look?”

“Certainly!” The man wipes his hand on a rag and then smooths a hand down the dented paintwork. “What happened to it?”

“A collision with a rock,” the Vadlott admits. “A rather large rock. It seems to have knocked a couple of things loose, but if you check the outside, I’ll make sure nothing needs replacing inside.”

He is relieved to be able to leave such things in the capable hands of Len and, as he checks the cables and controls, rewiring the parts necessary for dematerialisation, which have been knocked loose, he explains to Oswin about the skills of the people on this planet.

“Give them a box of bits and ten minutes, and they can probably build you anything you ask for,” he explains. “If we were going to have a crash anywhere, this was the best possible place.”

Collecting the few parts that were damaged, either in the collision or the landing, the Vadlott carries them out to where Len is smoothing a hand down the wall, which looks just as it did before.

“You painted her as well?” the Time Lord demands in disbelief.

“Actually, I think your ship did that,” Len replies with a smile. “I turned my back and it was done. I did tighten up a few things, though. Some of the caps under here had worked loose.” He removes the panel again to show the Vadlott what he has done. “Just a bit of reattachment – oh, and a new bit there. Whipped that up for you. No difficulty at all.”

As he replaces the panel, the Vadlott holds out his own findings. “Is there any chance you can repair these, or replace them? Then we should be ready to go.”

“Of course!” Len leads the way into the large workshop nearby where a fire is roaring in the open stove. “That will take no time!”

While the other man is working, the Vadlott takes advantage of the moment to look around at the belongings hanging off the walls. He smiles at a photo of Len with a young boy. “Your son?” he asks.

“Yes,” agrees Len, having glanced at the picture, “Jex. He’s a grown man, now, of course. That picture is quite old now – from long before the war.”

“What war is that?”

Len sighs sadly. “A battle our people fought for nine years. Millions died. But,” he brightens a little, “millions were saved, too, when some of our best soldiers were converted into cyborgs so that they could fight more efficiently. Jex was at the heart of it all,” he adds proudly. “He worked hard to come up with the technology. But then, when the war ended, he disappeared.”

He crosses the room and gently takes the photo out of the Vadlott’s hand, studying it, before raising his eyes to his visitor. “You travel a lot, don’t you, in your blue box?”

“I do,” agrees the Time Lord.

“Then, if you ever find my son,” he swallows hard, “ask him to come home. That’s all I want. Just to see Jex again. That,” he lifts the repaired pieces of the tardis and places them in the Vadlott’s hands, “would be more than enough payment for this.”

“I will,” the Vadlott vows. “I promise. If I can find him, I will send him home to you.”

Next Part


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