Chapter Three – The Female God Saves the Town Settle Point


Princess Moon stood with her hands clasped tightly behind her back.

"Oh no!" she cried. "There's church clock-rocks hanging from the apex, not stuck to every opening leaf."

"The doors will jam," said the Female God. "The bag's too heavy. The church must have sunk under the lava if they had to use the door-openers in the sack as well."

"My poor people," cries Princess Moon. "How many must have evacuated!"

"Let's hope they all did, child."

"Child?" bridled the Princess. "I'm not a child! I'm a teen!"

"Poor teen," she said. "One who has been in office since childhood, to have seen such a travesty."

"Poor me," she agreed. "But my poor people. I hope Clarence is in the thermostat control room."

Clarence rescued the clock-rocks with two swoops of the gilded wings. He slid them back into a woman's knickerleg.

The Doctor scratched his hair. "Damn it, Clarence! Why didn't your clock-rocks work?"

"I don't know, Doctor. They're very good at opening the church doors every day."

"Damn! But the church is under lava and – oh, sorry."

"Almost everyone got out," said Clarence, watching the monitors. Most of the town was choked with fumes and ash. Individual fires burned their way across the lava.

Three separate monitors revealed people still swimming for safety through the cool water channels. Other water channels were hissing with steam.

Another large screen showed the fire-fighters being redirected towards other piepwork valves and trying to calm the fires of rage among the rescued townsfolk.

Char-lie had stopped sobbing and was watching one monitor avidly. His palms found his mouth, and he looked giddy.

"Didn't know Tree-Vour at school," said Clarence to him.

"Ah, yes, my sweet!" said Charlie.

"Charley!" called the Doctor. "What else did you learn from your blind teacher about the disc?"

"It needs anti-virus," said Clarence, "before it runs and loads. But it never did that at school. I've always had to lug that bag around. It never uploaded itself."

Upended, I think you mean, said the Doctor to the TARDIS.

No, she replied back, uploaded. They only have one word they learnt from humans. It means NASA.

The Help Human App binged back.

"It's NASA!" cried the Woman God. "They say contact the Doctor first."

A God spun itself over the dome until it met the opening apex. It dropped to the ground.

"Argh!" cried the Doctor. "What's that?"

"Our God," said Clarence, falling into a religious position, as did the several men and women. Only Charlie remained, glued to a monitor.

"Charlie the Poet," said the God angrily. "Acknowledge your Gods, now."

Charlie fell to the floor and prayed.

"That's enough," said the God thankfully. "Doctor, welcome to our world. I am one of the Moons of Catswept Ness. This is the town of Settle Pont. We are grateful for your services. How can the Gods assist you?"

The sprinkler system sprang to wonderful watery life above the God's head.

"Helper Human App!" cried Clarence. "Who or what is your Doctor?"

"Bingley beep!" said the App cheerfully. "The Doctor is a biped non-human alien who likes saving disasters from worlds; who likes children; who likes young adult companions out of human; who likes fish fingers as food; who does not like sleeping; and does not enjoy sex."

"Gods of Catswept Moon," said the Doctor. "Who programmed that thing?"

"NASA," the God replied. "My other Gods await with our Princess Moon."

"The town is not saved, Doctor," said one of the several men, still bowing his arms down in front of their God.

"You may rise," said the God.

Several women and several men including Clarence stood up.

Charlie stood in front of his monitor, catching sight of his husband with Tree-Vour in tow. He sighed.

The Doctor asks, "So how do you bung up your volcano?"

The God shivered. "We don't. I haven't been alive long enough to have seen the last eruption. We keep records in poetry."

"And you were President when I first met you, Doctor," said Char-lie.

"Not now, Charley! I've got to work the computer and hopefully drag the sprinkler system over the town. Weird place this."

"Doctor!" warned a woman. "The sprinkler system's getting warmer. I'm soaked," she added.

"In a minute!" he cried. "The damn computer just froze!"

He swirled his tongue around his mouth, activating the headset's backup.

Charlie kept winking. The icon stopped flashing on and off.

Clarence ripped a headset from the wall and wore it.

"Heave over, Charley, I've got to do it."

Clarence ripped off Charlie's headset and also ripped off the Doctor's.

The computer sparked into life.

"Clarence! Why did you do that? I have to access the backup folder!"


"I need to hack into the sprinkler systems!"

"What does –" arm wave "– mean?" said Clarence to the God.

"It means," she said, "that the Doctor will do it for free while NASA will charge us later the longer we use the Helper App."

"And we lose our plutonium," said Clarence.

"Precisely," she said.

"Forget about the damn plutonium," said the Doctor. "Charley, get your headset back on and help me!"

Charley tried grovelling in front of the God. "Please?" he begged. "Release me from the Doctor's orders so I may rejoin my sweet and Tree-Vour."

"Let him go, Doctor," said the God. "Charley requires no further attention. Clarence will do whatever you want."

Clarence whacked the headset into his frontal lobes. The computer died, just as the Doctor had grokked into the sprinkler systems. They were already moving over the town and rained upon the fiery lava.

The town smoked and steamed. Further down the control room stairs, people began cheering.

"Thank you, Doctor," said the God, bowing for once. "You saved our town."

The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS in Settle Pont five thousand years later, just to make sure.

In the museum stood a towering statue of the Female God, the Woman God and the Princess Moon, all clasping their hands together. There was another smaller statue of several men and several women, including Charley.

But centre stage was Clarence and the Galfreyian Helper App.