Beckett was at Twi's side the minute he went down, her mind cooly running through the facts. The shot had seemed more like an electrical shock than anything, so there was no specific wound. She went to check on him, but Felix reached him first. The young man crouched by Twi's side, fingers gently checking his wrist. "He's alive," the man breathed. His amber eyes were wide with horror and fear, but his voice was still calm, and he didn't waver as he took his coat off and folded it under Twi's head.
Beckett quickly positioned herself between the donors and the Dalek that had shot Twi. The two Daleks behind them and the two positioned by the TARDIS still had clear shots on Dowess and Twi, but none of them had moved since the shot had been fired, so Beckett kept her attention on the trembling Dalek.
She could hear Castle's frightened cry of her name from the speakers, but she ignored him and forced herself to focus on the Dalek. The creature was acting very unstable, twitching and shuffling. A very dangerous person to hold a gun. Beckett made her voice as calm as possible as she reasoned, "There's no need to kill anyone here. The Doctor will do what you say, and we won't cause any problems. No one has to die."
The Dalek shuffled uncertainly for a bit before turning back to the security camera. "FIND A SHIP FOR THE DA-LEKS, OR THE COM-PAN-IONS DIE!" the creature screeched. With that, the Dalek by the door raised its plunger to the control panel there. The soft static from the speakers was cut off, leaving silence behind once more. Message over, apparently.
Beckett backed up slowly, keeping herself between the Dalek and Dowess as she crouched beside the fallen Twi. "How is he?" she asked Felix.
A few moments passed before a shaky reply came. "Unconcious, but his heart's steady." Now confident the Dalek wasn't shooting anyone else, Beckett turned her attention to Felix. The silver-haired man had been calm enough when Twi had been shot, but now his amber eyes were wide with fear, and he was trembling slightly. Beckett was struck with just how young he was – by the looks of it, he couldn't be more than twenty. Felix gulped slightly before admitting hoarsely, "I – I've never seen anyone get shot before..." The man's soft voice was a little rougher with fear.
Beckett could see the cat-eyed man was starting to fall to pieces, so she lowered her voice to a more soothing tone. "Felix, look at me."
The wide amber eyes met hers as she continued, "I wasn't honest with you earlier, Felix. I'm not just a friend of Tara's. I'm a cop from a planet far from here. I'm a homicide detective, head of my (squad?), and that man I was with before is my partner. I've been in situations like this before, and I promise you Felix, I'm going to get us all out of here, but I'll need your help."
Felix looked surprised. "My help? Why me?"
"Twi's unconcious, and I don't get the feeling Dowess is going to be much help." The man in question was currently gaping at Twi's unconcious form, face white as a sheet. He'd made no effort to help Felix and Beckett with Twi, and he didn't appear to be hearing their conversation.
Beckett turned back to Felix. "I'm going to need someone here with their head still on their shoulders," she said gently. "You're smart, and you know this planet better than me. I need your help."
After a slightly panicked glance at Twi, Felix took a deep breath. The fearful look in his amber eyes faded a little, and his trembling subsided. "Alright. Anything you need," he said in a calmer tone. He was clearly still scared, but Beckett's words seemed to have calmed him somewhat.
As Beckett turned to look back at the Daleks, she couldn't help but wish she had her real partner with her.
As the Doctor walked away, Castle tried to push the sound of that gunshot out of his head, and the memory of that terrible moment when he'd thought Beckett had been the one who was shot...
He was snapped out of his thoughts by the Doctor's voice. "Alright, so we need to figure out how to get Beckett and the others away from the Daleks without getting anyone killed." The Time Lord was back to his energetic, bouncy self, but there was still that steely look in his eyes. "Wha-what were those things?"Violet Dowess's voice had been reduced to a shaky whisper. Her hand was still closed in a vise-like grip on Lewart's shoulder, and she was staring at the now-empty screen with a deathly white face. However, she seemed to regain some of her former fire as she ordered, "I demand you tell us, sir. Those things have my husband! What are they?" The Doctor glared impatiently at the old woman. "Your husband and others have been captured by a species called the Daleks who will very definitely kill every one of us if we don't do something. Any questions?"
There was a dull silence before a new voice spoke. "Yes." Everyone turned to face Lewart, who had freed his shoulder from Violet Dowess's grasp and was straightening his frumpled jacket. "Why don't we just do as these… Daleks tell us and find them a ship?"
"Because the Daleks told us to," the Doctor answered dismissivly.
Lewart glared at the Doctor. Drawing himself up to his full height, the manager sniffed, "Now Doctor, I don't know who the hell you are, but you seem to think you're in charge here. I believe you will find that this is my museum, and that puts me in charge. I say we give these creatures what they want and be in our way."
The Doctor seemed thoroughly exasperated at that point. He leaned down to Lewart's level, getting right up in his face. "Let me explain something. A Dalek at full power is enough to level a large city. Five is enough to take out the whole planet. Your biggest guns couldn't scratch the surface. Send an army after one of them and it'll mow them all down without blinking. You give them a ship, they'll use it to burn this entire planet out of the sky. And since I'm the very clever Time Lord with the sonic screwdriver and the plan, I rather think that puts me in charge."
Something hard and cold blazed in the Time Lord's eyes. The determination mixed with hatred brought to Castle's mind a name he'd heard from Tara earlier. The Oncoming Storm.
There was something dangerous brewing just under the surface. Castle had only seen the man in the bow-tie as an interesting friend and traveler, if broken inside, but now he could see something of a vengeful god in the ancient Time Lord. Someone who could lay waste to entire races and bring kings and empires tumbling down. Lewart took one look at the dark expression the Doctor wore and snapped his mouth shut.
The Doctor smiled again, but it lacked the usual warmth. "Good." With a sudden burst of energy, he turned back towards the monitors.
A tense silence fell over the donors. They looked to each other with clear fear and confusion, but no one seemed willing to interrupt the Doctor's brooding silence as he scanned the monitors. Finally, however, Fi stepped up, Ki right beside him. "Doctor,"he said with a low, gruff voice that surprised Castle, "is Twi going to be okay?"
The Doctor turned to them with a frown, but he didn't seem angry at them, just thoughtful. "Oh, lots of fun medicine in this century, and if there's nothing here I've got stuff on the TARDIS," he answered with forced cheerfulness. "But do you know what? I've been fighting the Daleks a long time, me, seen a lot of the universe. But you know what I've never seen? Someone survive being shot by a Dalek at point blank range."
The Time Lord began to pace around the room, anticipation and ideas giving him energy. "Something's wrong. Daleks travel in fleets. When they're alone, it usually means they're on a mission of some sort. But these Daleks don't seem to have a plan beyond taking hostages."
Castle spoke up, forcing his worries about Beckett to the back of his mind. "They must have been trapped here somehow. Why else would they need a ship?"
The Doctor nodded appreciatively. "Yes! So! Daleks that have been separated from the fleet, stranded on an unknown planet, damaged." His frown began to fade, slowly being replaced by a thrilled grin as he realized, "They're weak. Twi survived because their guns are damaged."
Hope tightened in Castle's chest for a moment. "So does that mean they can't kill?"
The Doctor gave a small, bitter laugh. "If there's one thing a Dalek will always be able to do, it's kill." He looked sadly at Castle. "No, they're not so wounded as that, and there's five of them."
Castle's heart clenched in fear. "So Beckett's still in danger," he said quietly.
He hadn't even intended for anyone to hear him, but the Doctor replied grimly, "Don't worry. As long as they need me, they won't harm Beckett."
"How do you know?" Castle asked, half surprised, half desperate.
There was something bitter in the Time Lord's eyes as he answered, "Because they know me. And they know how I am about my companions." He gave the writer a small smile.
Castle felt a chill run through his spine at what the Doctor seemed to be hinting at, but at the same time he couldn't help but smile at the thought that the Doctor cared about them that much, that the Daleks wouldn't dare to hurt either of them for fear of angering him. They'd only known the Time Lord for a few days, but those had been an extraordinary few days, and dangerous times sometimes create fast friendships. He returned the Doctor's smile for a moment before his stomach clenched again as he remembered the danger Beckett was in.
The Doctor suddenly whirled around from the screens and bounded towards the doors. "Well, we're not getting anything done in here, and the Daleks know we're in here. We better move." Without further explanation he started off into the hallway, leaving the stunned donors behind.
Lewart muttered under his breath, "The man is mad." Castle threw him a quick glare, and he fell silent again.
Violet Dowess took a few uncertain steps towards Castle, her expression caught between haughty pride and hesitation. "Does that Doctor know what he's doing?" she asked quietly.
Without hesitating, Castle gave a firm nod. "Absolutely."
Violet Dowess nodded to herself for a moment before straightening once again, the haughtiness back. "Better follow him then, I suppose." She swept out of the room, soon followed by Fi and Ki. Lewart hesitated before finally following, muttering darkly, leaving Castle and Tara to bring up the rear. Castle gave the empty screen a final look before they left the room.
As the small group wandered through the halls, Castle tried to fight the mounting fear for his partner. He knew logically that Beckett had been in dangerous situations before and they'd always gotten through them. But somehow, this was different than ever before. For one, he wasn't there with her. He knew he always felt safer when he had his partner watching his back, and even if it had taken her forever to admit it, so did she.
There was also the unusual feeling of helplessness. They were stranded on a completely unknown planet with an unfamiliar culture, no way of fitting in or hiding, no way to know how or where to escape, no weapons, and no way of getting home except one little box, which they currently didn't have. If they couldn't get the TARDIS back, they were well and truly trapped.
Oddly enough, Castle wasn't as worried about her captors being Daleks rather than humans. Guns were guns, criminals were criminals. These Daleks may be a race of genius, racist killing machines, but the one shot Castle'd seen fired had shown him that these Daleks weren't any more deadly than a human behind a gun. There were criminals they'd faced before who'd been just as hateful, just as impossible to bargain with or sway. They could be defeated, just like anyone else.
The writer nearly jumped when a voice sounded behind him. "Mind if I walk with you?" He turned to see Tara following behind him, the earlier fear she had shown at Twi being shot replaced by calm confidence. Castle was impressed by her rapid change of manner.
With a shrug he answered, "Sure."
The Silurian came to walk to his side, and for a few moments neither spoke. It was Tara who finally broke the silence. "She's going to be fine."
Castle blinked at her in surprise. "Huh?"
The sheriff as giving him a sympathetic smile, her pale eyes somehow understanding. "Beckett. I know you're worried for her, but I'm sure she'll be fine. I talked to her earlier, and she's tough. She'll get them through it." Tara smiled. "She seems like a really good cop."
Something seemed to get caught in his throat for a moment. So many memories of cases and late nights working flashed through his mind. He had to wait a few moments before he could answer. "Yeah. Yeah, she is. She's the best cop I know." The writer smiled as he thought about the brilliant, stubborn detective. "She doesn't let anything come between her and a case. She just attacks it with everything she has, you know? She doesn't back down."
Tara listened to his description of Beckett with a knowing and slightly wistful smile. "I almost wish I had a job more like that," she admitted. "Being able to help more people. I've got my hands full here, true, but it's mostly domestic stuff. I'm not really making a difference like you and Beckett, solving all those murders." She was silent for a few moments, lost in her thoughts, before shaking her head. "But at the same time, this is home, and I don't think I could ever leave."
Castle thought sadly of his flat in New York, where Martha and Alexis were probably wondering where he'd gotten to, and replied quietly, "I know what you mean."
Tara seemed to realize that she'd brought up something painful, because she didn't continue the conversation. When she did speak again, it was in a quiet, serious tone. "I'm not your partner Castle. I've never dealt with something this big before. I know that I'm not as experienced as you or Detective Beckett with dangerous situations. But I am a cop. It's my job to look after anyone who comes into my town, and that's what I intend to do. I'll help you do whatever it takes to stop the Daleks and get Detective Beckett back."
Castle looked at the sheriff in surprise. He had liked her well enough before, but he hadn't really had a chance to talk to her much. Now he found himself re-evaluating her. She didn't seem nearly as hardened or single-minded as Beckett, but that same determination rang through in her promise. She still seemed scared of the Daleks, and she clearly wasn't as experienced with danger, but she was determined to do what had to be done.
What Castle appreciated the most was that she wasn't informing him that she, as a cop, would save her. She was offering to help alongside him. Tara was acknowledging Castle as a cop in his own right, and was offering her help, not parading her authority.
He gave her a warm smile. "Thank you, Sheriff," he said solemnly.
The Silurian smiled. "No problem."
Beckett listened apprehensively as one of the Daleks approached the one that had shot Twi. "THE AREA IS TOP EX-POSED. NEED EN-CLOSED AREA TO KEEP THE PRI-SO-NERS."
The Dalek that had shot Twi seemed to agree. "IN-SIDE THE BUIL-DING." It turned to Beckett and the other hostages. "IN-SIDE! IN-SIDE!" it ordered insistently.
Beckett slowly turned, conscious of the Daleks' guns trained on her unprotected back, and helped Felix to lift the unconscious Twi. He was light enough that the two of them could carry him easily, so once they had him secure, they started off towards the museum.
The hostages entered the building in silence, the Daleks following. No one dared speak. Two of the Daleks rolled along towards the front of the group while the Dalek that had shot Twi brought up the rear. Two had been left outside to guard the TARDIS, apparently. The aliens surrounded the hostages with military precision, and the cold metal exterior made them completely expressionless. There wasn't any face to read, just a smooth metal head and an eyestalk. Soldiers with no faces. Beckett was left floundering with nothing to read, and couldn't help but feel apprehension at such cold-seeming killers. The Dalek had shot at Dowess in anger, and didn't even seem to care where its shot had hit.
The Daleks led them further and further into the museum, not seeming to have any destination in mind, but they finally stopped by what looked like a storage closet. "THIS WILL SU-FFICE," Twi's shooter, who seemed to be the lead Dalek, said abruptly. It advanced threateningly towards the hostages, gun shifting slightly. "IN-SIDE! IN-SIDE!" Beckett nodded, concious of Felix stiffening fearfully. "Alright. Give us a second," she requested calmly. She and Felix waited as Dowess opened the door for them, then the two of them worked together to carry Twi in. They set him down gently on the ground, Felix and Beckett quickly sacrificing their jackets to give him a suitable headrest. The room was small, a little larger than the TARDIS appeared from the outside, with a low ceiling only a foot or two above their heads. It was dusty inside, probably unused for some time, with a few shelves and some cleaning equipment inside. A janitor's closet, by the looks of it.
And for now, it was their prison.
Urgh, it's midnight and I've got a show tomorrow so I really don't know what the hell I'm still doing up, but here's a new chapter! I'm sorry for the delay, but I've had rehearsal for my upcoming skating show all this week plus laying out the next edition of the school newspaper, so I've been insanely busy. And yet I managed to finish this. *shrugs*