"Rose," he pulled her into a tight hug. "You're the smartest stupid ape I've ever meant."
She laughed, "I'll take that as a complement."
He laughed and gave her a quick kiss on the forehead, "Come on, we should see if flyboy and pain in the ass have killed each other yet."
When they got back to the flat, Jackie was silently watching the couple and waved them over.
"Aww, their adorable," Rose said about the site in front of them. Aiden was leaning against Jack, whose one arm was wrapped around her waist so she wouldn't fall off the couch.
"Yea, when there asleep," Rose playfully punched him on the arm. He smiled. "We should take a picture."
"Already did," Both turned around to Jackie, who was holding out the picture.
Theta grinned, "Blackmail!"
"Rose, can you hand me the sonic inducer?" The Doctor asked from under the TARDIS controls. It was early in the morning (or at least on earth) and they were waiting for the two sleepy heads. So he had decided that he would do some fine-tuning on the TARDIS, and Rose decided she wanted to help too.
"The what?" Rose asked, frustrated.
The Doctor rolled his eyes, "The thing that looks like a deformed drill." He heard her digging through the toolbox and moments later, hand him the tool. The sound of the TARDIS door opening and closing caught his ear. 'Finally,' he thought and got out from under the controls. "Good morning sleepy heads! Did you two have a good sleep?"
Aiden blushed and walked off, mumbling something about her room. Jack rubbed the back of his neck. The Doctor laughed, but changed the subject, "So were to next?"
The two companions looked at each other and shrugged. "Alright, a mystery planet it is!" He ran over to the controls and started randomly pulling levers and pushing buttons. After a few minutes of moaning and shuddering, the TARDIS came to a stop.
"So were are we?" Aiden asked as she walked back into the room. All three of them shrugged and she rolled her eyes. "Okay then, how about we look then."
The planet was lush and green, with lots of trees and a warm climate. Three men dressed in, what looked liked capes, stood near the TARDIS. One of the men stepped forward. "Welcome back Aiden," he said.
Aiden blinked and then grinned. "Cojeck, how are you? I haven't seen you in a while!" Aiden said and gave Cojeck a hug.
"Indeed it has. Who are your friends?"
Aiden smiled, "This is Jack, Rose, and my brother, Theta."
The welcoming party bowed, "Welcome to Aru Orub. Please, follow us to the chambers were we can talk more comfortably."
The four fell in step behind the welcoming party. Aiden and Rose were chatting away like old friends, but The Doctor and Jack continuously scanned the area for any threats.
After about 15 minutes, they entered a beautiful village full of people. Cojeck led the group to a white marble building with classic Doric columns. They followed him inside to, what appeared to be, a banquet hall. A feast was set out before them on a low table and brightly colored pillows were spaced around the table on the floor. As they entered, so did the Orub's (as Jack dubbed them). Cojeck introduced them to the Protectorate, the leader of the planet.
"This is a special occasion. You arrived just in time for Kuron! Please, join us."
"We would be honored to join you. You know I loved Kuron," Aiden grinned and bowed in thanks.
"Aiden," The Doctor said in a warning tone.
"Theta," she said in a low voice. "This is an important event, we can't insult these people."
"You know how dangerous it is to sample food from planets I've never been to. Plus, we don't even know what this is!"
"Actually, no I don't, but I know these people. I spent over two years with them. Trust me. And Kuron is a festival for a celebration after a successful harvest."
The Protectorate invited them to take seats at the table, indicating were each person should sit. He split them up with two Orub's seated between them. The Doctor was at the head of the table, Aiden next to Cojeck and across from Rose. The Protectorate indicated a seat at the end of the table for Jack.
The Doctor, Rose, and Jack exchanged worried glances, but took their seats at the low table. Servant girls brought out trays of fruit, mini cakes, and pitchers of wine. After everyone had a cup full of wine, the Protectorate held up his goblet, "To a long and profitable year." The group held up their cups then hesitantly took a sip.
"Protectorate, this wine is the best wine I've ever tasted!" Jack enthused.
Rose, not the biggest wine consumer, also agreed, "Yeah, this is great!" she said and took a drink.
"Have to agree with ya there Rose," The Doctor said.
"Wonderful!" the Protectorate said as he clapped his hands twice, at which the servant girls returned with pitchers to refill everyone's glasses.
The Doctor awoke to find himself laying on a cold flagstone floor, a dull, thumping ache behind his eyes. The room was dimly lit and dank. "Ooooh," he groaned "I knew we shouldn't have eaten the local cuisine." He hauled himself up off the floor and was shocked to find he was in a prison cell, his sonic screwdriver gone.
Rose was passed out on the single cot in the cell. A man he had never seen before cowered in the corner of the cell. The young man had very short brown hair and wore an earth tone tunic and baggy pants.
"Who are you?" The Doctor snarled at the man, although he didn't mean to snarl, it was just that waking up in a cell never made him happy.
"My name is Luce." The man stammered.
"What is this place, why are we here?" The Doctor asked as he walked over to check on Rose.
He checked her pulse. It was strong, she was apparently passed out as he had been. The Doctor turned back to look at Luce. "Well?" He asked.
"You, you don't know?" Luce stammered.
"No! I don't know!" The Doctor nearly shouted.
"We are all to be sold into slavery." Luce confessed timidly.
"What!" The Doctor spun around and glared at the young man. "Why are we being sold into slavery?"
"I don't know why you are" Luce began, "but my amator is very sick. I could not leave her alone so I did not go to my work. They came and got me and put me here to be sold as a slave"
"Have you seen any others like us?" The Doctor asked.
"No." Luce shook his head. Then he nodded toward the still sleeping form of Rose. "Is she your amator?" He asked.
"My what?" The Doctor asked
"Your, uh,... your mate."
"Oh. No. She and I ah,... work together"
"That is too bad." Luce said dropping his eyes to the floor and looking profoundly worried.
His demeanor made The Doctor nervous. "Why is that?" he asked.
"Well," Luce stammered "She is a beautiful woman. They will sell her to the brothels."
"What!" The Doctor exclaimed.
"It is very bad there. Many men will attack her. If she resists they will kill her." Luce paused for a moment. "It is too bad she is not your amator, your ah, mate"
"What would happen to her if she was?" The Doctor asked.
"Then the two of you would be sold together, as a pair, and she would not be sent to the brothels"
"Here in your land, how do you prove that someone is your mate? Do you have papers, rings, what?"
Luce looked confused. "We do not need proof. We merely declare in front of a witness that we wish to claim one as our mate."
"And this is binding?" The Doctor asked.
"It is." Luce replied
The Doctor knelt on the hard flagstone floor by the cot where Rose was still passed out. He grabbed her shoulders and gently shook her. "Rose, wake up!" He said in a tone that was urgent but not harsh.
"Huh?" She reached up and put her hand over The Doctor's
"Rose, you've got to wake up." He insisted.
"Doctor? Where are we?" She asked as she struggled to get up. "Oh!" She put her hand to her head and sank back down on the cot.
"Yeah, I know." He said. "But we have bigger problems. I have no idea where Aiden and Jack are, but we are going to be sold into slavery. You have to pretend to be my ...ah..." He looked up at Luce.
"Amator." Luce supplied.
"Yeah, what he said, or you will be sent to a brothel!"
"What!" She nearly shouted as she jumped up off the cot.
"I hear the guards coming!" Luce exclaimed in a hush whisper.
"Ok, Luce, what do I do to make her my mate?" The Doctor asked.
"Tell her that you claim her as your mate and kiss her. I will be your witness"
The Doctor turned to look at Rose who looked totally confused. The footsteps were getting louder. "Rose, I claim you as my mate." He said in a rush. He grabbed her by the shoulders and gave her a quick, chaste kiss then turned to Luce. "Ok, is that good enough?"
"Yes. She is now your mate." He said. Just then four guards appeared outside the cell.
The guards wore black tunics, black pants, knee high black boots and carried weapons. The Doctor wondered how the SS fit into this society that seemed to be more ancient Greek or Roman than Nazi.
"What's going on here? Where are our friends?" he demanded of the guards.
"Silence slave!" The head guard shouted and the other 3 guards immediately aimed their weapons at him. The Doctor backed down but still glared at the men.
The head guard signaled to one of his subordinates who unlocked the cell. The three guards then entered while the head guard kept his weapon trained on Rose. He said "Do not attempt anything slave or I will kill the woman."
The Doctor figured this was as good of time as any to make his claim on Rose. "No! Don't hurt her, she's my mate!"
"What!" Exclaimed the leader. "She is to be sent to the brothels by order of the Protectorate."
"It is true." said Luce. "She is his amator."
The head guard glared at the Doctor and Rose before nodding. "Very well, the Protectorate will get more money for a man and his mate than a mere woman." Rose bristled but said nothing. To his men the guard said "Shackle those two together." He indicated The Doctor and Rose.
"Yes m'lord." Said one of the guards as he placed an iron shackle on Rose's left ankle and the Doctor's right ankle. Then he placed a wrist shackle on Rose's left wrist and the Doctor's right wrist. The other guard put ankle and wrist manacles on Luce and shoved him toward the open cell door.
"Doctor, what is going on?" Rose asked, a little scared.
"Rose, I don't know any more than you do." He whispered
"Move!" Shouted the head guard as he shoved his staff weapon into the Doctor's back.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm moving!" He growled.
The guards led them down a long corridor with rough hewn rock walls illuminated by torches set at 45 degree angles out from the walls.
The corridor opened up into a small auditorium with the prisoners standing on what appeared to be a stage. From another corridor the Doctor and Rose heard a familiar voice.
"Um, look, there must be some mistake here, we are friends of the Protectorate." It was Aiden
Aiden and Jack were shoved onto the stage along with a haggard looking woman and an old man.
"Aiden, Jack! Are you guys alright?" Rose questioned.
"Fantastic," Aiden said sarcastically.
"Aiden, what the hell is going on here?" The Doctor continued "The last thing I remember was that wine the Protectorate had us all drinking."
"I don't know Theta, but it appears that we were drugged." Said Aiden.
"Fantastic." The bustling room quieted down and they looked to see what was going on. The Protectorate himself appeared on the stage with Cojeck at his side.
"Um, Protectorate, thank goodness you're here to rescue us." Aiden blurted.
"You are mistaken Aiden. I am the one who had you sent here."
"But, ...why?" Stammered Aiden.
"Umano!" He nearly spat the word in his hatred. "You think we are simpletons! That we don't know the value of our aquanda?"
"Uh..." Aiden stammered.
"We have a very delicate balance here Aiden." The Protectorate went on. "Our people, our slaves, mine the aquanda and the Scorpions send a ship every 3rd lunar cycle to collect. In return for the aquanda they leave our world alone. As long as we mine it for them they see no reason to bother with us. There are not many of us on this planet, they have no need to enslave us when they get what they want for free"
"But you're enslaving your own people for cryin' out loud!" Jack said, a little too boisterously.
"They are our people Jack. We are free to do with them as we please."
"So, why didn't you just say that? Why all the subterfuge?" Asked Aiden "We would have gone away, I mean we will still go away, and not bother you again."
"No!" Responded the Protectorate. "We cannot risk the Scorpions finding out that you made contact with us. We have a delicate balance here and you are a threat to our very existence!"
Cojeck spoke up "Not to mention that because of our very small population we are always in need of more slaves to work the mines. It couldn't have worked out better for us"
"My Captain tells me that you, Theta, claimed the Rose as your mate to save her from a life of prostitution."
Jack looked confused and Aiden mumbled something under her breath.
"How noble of you. But no mind, that works in our favor too. Our population is small and your children will be taken from you immediately and become citizens of our world." The Protectorate gloated.
"Our children! What the hell are you talking about! We are so NOT having any children, I can guarantee you that!" Shouted Rose.
"That is too bad Rose. I'm sure the men who guard the slaves in the mines will be quite pleased when I make a present of you to them!" The Protectorate's voice was oily.
Suddenly one of the Nazi guards approached the Protectorate and bowed deeply. "Sir," he said, "The men are here for the slave auction and are anxious to begin."
Another Nazi ushered in one more woman, who looked to be about 18 and a young man in his 20's. The Protectorate pointed toward the young man who had just been brought in "He looks strong, he will fetch a high price. As for the Theta and Rose..." he turned toward them, "Theta, although you have claimed Rose as your mate our marriage laws are not binding on you. You may work in the mines and Rose will be given to the men"
"No!" The Doctor responded vehemently. "I claimed her and I meant it!"
"Very well." Said the Protectorate. "Send the four Umano to the mines. Do not sell them."
"And what of this one?" The head Nazi indicated Luce.
"I have worked in the mines before, Protectorate, when I had a debt to pay." Luce confessed humbly.
"Very well." said the Protectorate. He turned to the head Nazi and with a wave of his hand said "Send this one with the Umano. All the rest of these go on the auction block." With that the Protectorate was gone.
The Nazi guards shoved the rest of the 'slaves' into a straight line on the small flagstone stage as the prospective buyers shuffled to the stone benches facing the stage.
The slave buyers were an eclectic group. Some wore filthy clothes and looked like escaped criminals. Others appeared to be upper middle class and a few even wealthy. The bidding began with the young woman. She wept silently as two rival brothel owners haggled over her. Finally, the wealthier looking of the two won the bidding and she was taken off the stage. The other brothel owner purchased the haggard looking older woman.
He said to his rival, "My patrons won't care, as long as she is breathing."
His cold comment sent a shiver down Rose's back.
Several of the men were showing great interest in Rose and Aiden until the head guard told them they were not for sale.
"I feel like a piece of meat on display in a butcher shop!" Rose whispered to the Doctor.
"Silence slave!" Shouted one of the guards as he shoved her in the back with his weapon.
"Hey! Everybody just play nice now!" Jack said which earned him a painful crack in the back with the weapon.
Two of the Nazi guards approached carrying a heavy chain between them. "Captain!" One of the men addressed the head guard, "Here are the chain for these slaves"
"Good. Hook them up!"
The chain circled around each prisoner's waist, with two separate chains with wrist shackles attached to the chain at each individual's waist. Jack was chained at the head of the line. A three foot length of chain separated him from Aiden, who was second in line. Luce was in the middle of the line, followed by the Doctor and three feet of chain later, at the end of the line, was Rose.
The Captain addressed the new slaves. "Do not attempt to escape. My guards carry modified weapons that inflict great pain. While it will take several simultaneous hits from one of these weapons to kill you, that is not their main purpose. They are meant to keep you in line with the pain they will cause to be endured."
With that he walked away and mounted his horse. Some of his higher ranking guards also rode horses but the rest walked, some in front of the group, some behind them and half a dozen on either side of them.
"Move slaves!" Shouted one of the guards from behind the group and gave Rose a shove in the back causing her to stumble forward.
Aquanda: a power source that powers ships. The Scorpions and Aru Orub's use it.