Chapter 6

Davros cautiously lifted the eyestalk and surveyed his surroundings. He activated the long range scanner but he couldn't locate any life forms on the entire planet. He tried to engage the time shift but it fizzled into nothing. He had an overwhelming feeling of frustration. Stuck forever in the form he feared becoming, strived for so long to avoid. He screamed as only a Dalek can.

The Doctor stroked the TARDIS console while making comforting and apologetic noises.

"I'm sorry old girl…it's really me now. Everything is back to normal. Now, let's get going."

He flicked a couple of switches and tried to activate the dematerialisation process but the central column wouldn't move. It groaned instead. The Doctor's face fell and he immediately dived underneath the console, sonic screwdriver in hand.

"What did that bully do to you?"

He franticly pried the access panel from its housing pulling out and replacing wires, chips and crystals apparently at random.

"Come on," he yelled. "Come on work damn you! Argh! Work please…for me…I'm sorry for the cursing but you know I didn't mean it. Will you please help me out here! I'm doing my best."

He reached out for the toolbox discarded in a fit of enthusiasm. It was laying a few feet away lot of various alien looking tools spilling out across the floor.

"I have one last idea," said the Doctor wagging his finger. "Now, you had better be a good little ship and put your back into it, ok?"

He lifted up an orb shaped device which began to glow.

"This is important. We need to go back to the station and collect Rose and I need the landing to be precise. This may tickle."

The Doctor opened one of the panels on the top of the console and lowered the orb into place before shutting the panel again. There was a sound that cold almost be interpreted as a giggle from the TARDIS.

"I did warn you."

He activated the dematerialisation process again.

"Second time lucky."

The cooling system was at maximum power but it hardly offered any respite from the sweltering heat. Rose could feel the sweat pouring down her and her mouth was dry. There was no water and she found it hard to swallow. Anything metal was now scolding hot. The bottoms of her shoes were melting, sticking to the floor. Her breathing was laboured and shallow the atmosphere was so close. Even the electronics had begun to go haywire with the heat.

The TARDIS juddered and wined as it tumbled through the vortex. There was something wrong with the ship it seemed uneasy and unwilling to obey the Doctor's coaxing. It was like a stroppy teenager conforming only as a last resort and with much protest. The Doctor knew that sometimes the ship knew things he didn't and she tried to protect him but he had no idea why it wouldn't want him to find Rose.

"Don't be so contrary. I need to collect her before the sun goes nova," he said simply. "There is no need to be jealous. I won't have you being vindictive towards my companions, you know you're the only girl for me."

He flashed a charming smile, and grabbed hold of the console to steady himself as he adjusted the trajectory.

"That's better!" he declared almost punching the air with his fist. "Woo!"

The sound of time and space being ripped apart echoed down the corridors until it reached her ears. With extreme effort in the oppressively hot atmosphere Rose headed toward the noise and her hope of rescue.

The TARDIS settled uncomfortably in a corner of the main corridor. The Doctor opened the door stepping out cautiously. On meeting the blistering atmosphere he let out an exclamation hoping from one foot to another.

"Ooh, hot…" he took a small portable fan from his pocket and set it to maximum, "ah, that's better. Now…Rose!"

"Doctor! Doctor I'm here," she called out. "Wait for me."

Rose ran into the corridor and flung her arms round the Doctor. He gave an expression of immense surprise.

"Hello to you too," he said extracting himself from her grip. "I think you are going to need a cold shower."

Suddenly she slapped him round the face.

"What was that for? Has the heat gone to your head? I wasn't implying you smelt or anything."

"You left me behind! You shoved me out the TARDIS and abandoned me!"

"Well, if you're going to use violence…" he paused as she gave him a cautionary look. "I think we should go somewhere cooler, don't you?"

"Alright, but you've got a lot of explaining to do."

"Now, isn't that better," said the Doctor once the TARDIS was in full flight.

He handed Rose a glass of water. She wasn't quite sure where it had come from but she was so parched she didn't care. Rose just gulped down the refreshing liquid in one go.

"Ahhh," she let out a sigh of satisfaction. "So much better."


"Why did you leave me behind?"

"Oh, we're back to that again are we," replied the Doctor, looking away as if he wasn't interested.

"Did I do something wrong? Is it because I rescued you? Some kind of bloke-ish pride stopping you from accepting help from a girl?"

"It's not that at all," he snapped. "The person you released was Davros…the Dalek Emperor."

"Don't be stupid."

"I'm serious."

"If that's true how do I know you are you?"

"My winning smile and sparkling personality? They say the eyes are the window to the soul," he faced her, looking her straight in the eye. "Do I look evil?"

Rose saw the twinkle in his eyes and shook her head.

"It's you in there…that's for sure. But which you, is a different matter."

"Which me?"

"You're the Doctor, but you aren't my Doctor. There's something different about you, something…"

"Good I hope."

He smiled reassuringly.

"So do I."

"Onwards and upwards then," said the Doctor, feeling less sure about himself than his companion was of him. "Once more into the breech and so on, and so forth."