High-pitched shrieks pierced the darkness.

River and The Doctor shot awake in bed. "No!" River screamed, immediately sensing who the murderous cries came from: her daughter. She threw back the covers and dashed frantically across the hall towards the nursery. The Doctor stumbled closely behind, sonic screwdriver in hand. Disoriented by the quick succession of events, he nearly crashed into his wife, who stood frozen in the nursery doorway. His hearts skipped a beat when he saw the source of the panic: Several tall figures with large, pale heads loomed over the cot where baby Freya lay screeching. The wrinkles in the suits they were illuminated by the night light glowing against the wall. Shadows danced across their mouthless faces, especially the large, dark, hollow chasms they had eyes. Giant claw-like hands hovered above the infant in a grasping stance, moments away from scooping her up. But the creatures had stopped in mid-action; they stared blankly and menacingly at River, their eyes locked in each other's glare.

Then there was the sound of a gun being cocked.

"River, no!" The Doctor said.

"Get away from her." River demanded, emphasizing every syllable threateningly. Her hands wavered slightly, but her eyes burned with determination and pure, unadulterated loathing.

She inched towards the figures. "I said, get away from my baby."


"No." River said, ignoring her husband's warning. "You may have taken me, but you will not take her." Her voice shook in desperation and anger.

The Silent turned towards River and hissed. Sparks began to flicker from their fingertips.

Boom. A bullet passed through one of the creatures' skull. It crumpled to the floor, dead. One after another, the Silent continued to fall as River's bullets ripped through their brains. Although the Doctor didn't like killing much, he still defended his wife by deflecting the Silent's retaliations with his screwdriver. A few moments more, all the Silent were dead, but River continued to put rounds in the aliens' corpses.

"River…River….RIVER!" The Doctor shouted, grasping his wife's shoulders frantically. "Stop! They're dead."

The gun clicked, signaling it was out of bullets, and River dropped it on the ground, in complete shock of what had just happened. She fell to her knees and began to sob uncontrollably. The Doctor knelt beside her and held her close.

"River, shhhh. It's alright. They're gone."

But River wasn't the only one crying; the sound of gunshots had turned their infant daughter's cries into heart-wrenching screams. The Doctor reluctantly left his hysterical wife's side and approached to the cot. River heard the sound of his sonic screwdriver momentarily between sobs. Satisfied with his exam, the Doctor bent over and tenderly lifted Freya out of the cot. Immediately her cries softened at the comforting touch and familiar face of her father.

"Here, River, hold our daughter." He said, slowly kneeling back onto the ground and offering her the baby.

"Is she…?" River said, taking Freya from him and securely cradling her on her shoulder.

"She's fine. She's not The Flesh, I checked. She's our daughter."

"Oh thank God." River gasped. She kissed Freya on the forehead and rocked her softly back and forth.

"Shhhhh. Hush , Freya. Mummy's got you. You're safe. Hush…" She whispered.

Freya's cries turned into soft whimpers.


She met his stare. He saw the fear and realization in her eyes matched his own.

"They're back." She whispered.

The Doctor didn't want to believe it, but when he looked at the corpses on the nursery floor, and saw the desperation in which River clutched their infant daughter, he knew it was true.

"Yes." He said solemnly, "and they want Freya…"

River insisted that Freya slept in the master bedroom with them that night, and The Doctor had no objections. Despite the daunting threat the return of the Silence posed, he couldn't help but smile at the sight of at his little daughter lying sound asleep, cradled against her mother's chest, with her tiny hand wrapped around River's index finger. He knew that the safest place for their little girl was right where she was then: In her mother's arms. And nothing, not even an army of Daleks, Cybermen, and the Silence combined could tear them apart.