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FANFIC: Doppleganger...PG-13 Parts 19-23/36

 

Chapter Nineteen

There was a moment’s pause while Rose and the Doctor stared at each other. Martha looked from one to the other waiting for someone to make a move.

“Doctor.” Rose whispered.

It was her voice that brought the Doctor back to his senses. He ran towards her wanting nothing more than to embrace her. He grunted when he slammed into the invisible barrier. Martha saw the disbelief in his eyes before his face contorted into an enraged look.

“No!” he bellowed as he slammed his hand on the invisible barrier.

The sight of Rose so near to him and yet so inaccessible brought back all the rage and pain he had felt that day at Canary Wharf and he screamed as he completely lost his mind. Both Martha and Rose shrank back at the insane look in his eyes as he pounded mindlessly on the top of the force bubble.

“NO!” he screamed. “No! This can’t be happening! Not when I’m so close to her!”

“Doctor!” Rose cried out.

As she crawled towards him, Martha glanced over at the alternate Doctor and she felt her blood boil when he saw the smirk on his face. She knew he was getting a sadistic pleasure from all this and for the first time in her life, she felt the urge to kill with her bare hands.

“Doctor, please, stop!” Rose begged her Doctor as he continued to pound on the force bubble.

“It can’t happen again! It can’t!” the Doctor said. “There can’t be another barrier between us! Not when I can see her!”

Martha’s breath caught in her throat as she took in what was happening. She glanced back over and saw the alternate Doctor was giggling insanely.

“That’s enough!” Martha said to him. “You’ve had your fun, now let him through!”

The alternate Doctor grinned at her.

“Why? I’m enjoying this.” He said gleefully. “I love seeing my double acting like a spineless wimp over a mere human!”

His words somehow got through to the Doctor’s brain. He stopped pounding, spun around and stared at his double with such hate that Martha was terrified. She had never seen the Doctor so angry. His brown eyes were now jet black and he looked like he was about to rip the other Doctor into pieces with his bare hands.

“I swear to Rassilon, if you don’t set Rose and Martha free, I will rip you to shreds with my bare hands and then I will rip the shreds to shreds and I won’t give a moment’s thought to the fact that you’re me!”

The alternate Doctor raised his eyebrows.

“Wow, the little whelp does have a backbone in him after all.” He said.

The Doctor narrowed his eyes and balled up his fists.

“One chance; that’s all you get.” He said in a deadly tone of voice.

The alternate Doctor aimed his blaster at his heart.

“You seem to forget who’s holding the weapon here.” He said.

Now it was the Doctor’s turn to smirk.

“I don’t need a weapon. I AM a weapon.” He said. “And if you don’t want to find out the hard way what I mean by that, you will turn off the force bubble and set Rose and Martha free!”

Martha looked at the two Doctors. She gulped wondering if any second there was going to be a bloody free-for-all. She narrowed her eyes along with her Doctor when the other Doctor began to giggle. The alternate Doctor paused for a moment staring into his twin’s black eyes. He shrugged.

“Why not? I did promise Rose you would get to hold her before you died.” He said.

He stepped back out the door.

“You get five minutes alone with your pets. You better make each second count.” He said.

He put his finger on the door panel.

“TARDIS, deactivate force bubble.” He said.

Rose gasped as she fell forward and her hands hit the floor. As the Doctor turned around, the alternate Doctor pushed the button and the door slid shut and locked leaving the three of them alone in the room.

The Doctor fell to his knees. He grabbed Rose and pulled her into a tight embrace.

“Oh Rose, at long last I can finally touch you again.” He said.

Martha felt tears come to her eyes as she quietly watched the two lovers embrace and kiss one another.

“Oh Doctor, I’m so sorry.” Rose said as she ran her fingers through his hair.

The Doctor leaned back and took hold of her face.

“What do you have to be sorry for?” he asked confused.

“It’s my fault the other Doctor is here. I got too close to him. Everyone tried to warn me that he was evil, but I couldn’t believe it because I couldn’t imagine your double being that way and then when I finally figured it out, I went with him to Gallifrey thinking I could lead him into a trap and he turned the tables on me. If I had gone and gotten help in the first place, he never would have caught me and we wouldn’t have ended up here.”

“Rose, you’ve done nothing wrong.” The Doctor said soothingly. “You did what you thought was best, that’s all anyone can ask of you.”

He hugged her tightly.

“You’re here with me. That’s the most important thing. Together, we can defeat him, trust in that.”

“I do.” Rose murmured.

The Doctor kissed her cheek. He glanced over and smiled at Martha.

“Of course, when I say together, I mean you as well.” He said.

He opened his right arm and pulled Martha to him.

“Are you alright?” he asked hugging her.

“Yeah, I just had to listen to that git’s insults until you showed up.” Martha replied.

“You’re not hurt?” He pulled his head back.

“Both of you are alright?” he asked staring at them.

Martha nodded.

“I’m hungry, but other than that I’m okay.” Rose said.

The Doctor leaned his forehead against hers.

“When we get back to the TARDIS and get away from here, I’ll make you a seven course meal with all the trimmings.” He whispered. “I promise.”

“But, how? How are we going to escape? If this Doctor’s TARDIS is like yours, he can control it and use it against us, can’t he?” Rose replied.

The Doctor nodded.

“Yes, that’s why we have to lure him out in the open where he won’t be able to use it.” He said.

“How do we do that?” Martha asked.

“Um, not sure yet, but you know me, I’m brilliant at improvisation.”

His eyes twinkled when Rose giggled softly.

“Was that a smile?” he asked.

Rose smiled and shook her head.

“That was a smile.”

“No, it wasn’t.”

“You smiled.”

Rose paused and a smile spread over her face as she nodded. The Doctor chuckled and pulled her closer to him. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and glanced at Martha.

“Sorry, little inside joke of ours.” He said.

“Yeah, I kinda figured that.” Martha replied.

The Doctor smiled. He laid his head on Rose’s shoulder and rubbed her back. He continued to rub her back while he stared off into space. Martha remained quiet knowing that the Doctor was thinking up a way to escape. He sighed contentedly when Rose ran her hand down the back of his head and gave him a kiss.

“Rose.” He murmured as he continued to stare off into space. “I won’t lose you again. I swear that to you.”

“My Doctor.” Rose murmured back.

The Doctor glanced over at Martha and caught her stealing a nervous glance at the door.

“He won’t take me away from here.” He assured her. “Not without a fight. I’m not about to die and leave you two to his mercy.”

“How do we defeat him though?” Martha said. “If he’s your double, then he’ll be just as strong and as clever as you, plus he has that blaster.”

The Doctor snorted.

“Sod the blaster. I can disarm him without breaking a sweat.” He said.

He leaned up and stared at the door. Rose laid her head on his chest and stared up at him while he thought.

“We’re on the planet Noxis.” He mused. “Most of the planet is made up of swamps and jungles.”

“Yeah?” Martha said. “So, you thinking we can use that to our advantage?”

“Yes.” He replied. “We know we need to get him outside the TARDIS, so he can’t use its defenses against us.”

“How?” Rose asked. “He told me that he would let us be reunited and then he would get into the vortex and hurl you out into it.”

“And then kill you afterwards, I suspect.” The Doctor mused.

He became lost in his thoughts again as he stared at the door. Suddenly, a smile spread across his face.

“Of course, if he is exactly like me, then he’ll like a bit of a challenge.” He said.

“What do you mean?” Rose asked.

He turned his face to hers and stroked her hair.

“Just watch. I believe I can lure him out onto the planet with a little manipulation and ego stroking.” He said.

“What about us?” Martha asked.

“Oh, you’re coming with.” The Doctor said. “I’m not about to leave you in here.”

“Will he let us leave?” Rose asked.

The Doctor smiled at her.

“He will, once he hears my proposal. After all, what I have in mind will be intriguing to him. And if he thinks so low of you then he’ll consider you both handicaps.”

Rose and Martha looked at each other.

“Handicaps?” Martha said. “What are you planning?”

“Weeeeell…”

The three of them looked over as the door slid open and the alternate Doctor walked in.

“I hope you said goodbye to your precious Doctor because he’s about to die.” He said.

“Wait!”

The alternate Doctor paused and stared at his twin.

“Wait for what?”

“I have a better idea. I know a way to make my death more enjoyable for you.”

The alternate Doctor eyed him warily.

“Yeah, and what is this idea?”

The Doctor smiled widely.

“A hunt.” He said.

 

 

Chapter Twenty

Rose and Martha glanced at each other and looked up at the alternate Doctor who was eyeing the other Doctor warily.

“Explain.” He said.

“Weeeell, I figure since we’re the same, it might be more fun to see who the better Doctor is.” The Doctor replied.

He stood up making sure to keep himself between his double and Rose and Martha.

“After all, wouldn’t it be better to make sport of my demise rather than just hurtling me out into the vortex?” he said. “Sounds kinda boring to me personally.”

“There is no contest, I’m the better version.” The alternate Doctor replied.

“Care to put that to the test?”

The alternate Doctor smirked.

“I don’t need to put anything to the test. You are weaker than I am. You just proved that with your little display of histrionics a moment ago. All you’re doing is stalling for time and trying to escape. You should know since you are me that escape is impossible. I will kill you, kill your pets and then the universe is mine to do with as I please.”

“Well, if you are me then you know that I won’t let that happen.” The Doctor replied.

The alternate Doctor snorted.

“You will never defeat me.” He said.

The Doctor came closer.

“Then, if I have no chance of winning, what’s the danger in letting me and Rose and Martha making an escape attempt. If you really are the superior version of the Doctor, you should be able to dispatch us with no trouble, right?”

The alternate Doctor frowned.

“Wait, nothing was said about your pets being included in this idiotic hunt of yours.” He said.

“But that’s the beauty of it. Rose and Martha are weaker than I am and if I’m forced to wait for them to keep up with me, it’ll give you even more of an advantage. Won’t it?”

The alternate Doctor glanced down at Rose and Martha. He looked back at the Doctor.

“You realize you are only prolonging the inevitable.” He said. “Plus, you are willing to sacrifice your pet’s lives right along with yours.”

“I would rather die with my Doctor than be your prisoner.” Rose said.

“Same here.” Martha added.

“See, you have three idiots willing to try their luck at escaping and dying for your amusement. What could be better than that?”

The alternate Doctor looked at each of them.

“What’s the catch?” he asked the Doctor.

The Doctor rubbed his ear.

“Weeeell, first off, we get a half hour’s head start just to make it fair.” He said. “Secondly, you leave your blaster behind. I figure if you are the superior Doctor, you won’t need it to finish us off.”

The alternate Doctor considered this for a moment.

“Done.” He said. “Anything else?”

“Yes, TARDIS’s are off limits. Yours and mine. No fair disappearing and reappearing right in front of us; that would be very bad form.”

“You would forgo the safety of your TARDIS?” the alternate Doctor asked.

The Doctor shrugged.

“I don’t need my TARDIS to take my foes down.”

He leaned in and gave his double a pointed look.

“Unlike some Time Lords.” He said.

The alternate Doctor snorted.

“TARDIS or no TARDIS, it makes no difference. You will all die just the same.” He replied.

“And lastly, if we win, you will go back to your reality and turn yourself in to the Gallifreyan high council.”

The alternate Doctor raised his eyebrow.

“You really think I will?”

“Oh, I know you will. Because I will take your little toy, put it in my TARDIS and tow you and your TARDIS back to Gallifrey personally.” The Doctor said.

“Okay,” the alternate Doctor said. “And if I win, I will of course kill you and claim this universe as my own.”

He smirked.

“And to add to your misery, you will have the honor of watching your precious Rose have the mind raper machine strapped to her head and slowly go insane as it goes through her thoughts and memories and tears her mind apart, and as for Martha, I will slowly take her apart molecule by molecule starting with her feet and working my way up until she is nothing but atoms on the breeze and then and only then will I be merciful and let you leave this existence.”

He smirked when the Doctor glared at him.

“What? You are so willing to enlist your pets for this little hunt, but you can’t accept the consequences if you lose? If you feel you can’t handle the challenge…”

“I accept.” The Doctor replied.

He glanced down and smiled at Rose and Martha who were staring up at him with wide eyes.

“We…accept.” He corrected himself.

The alternate Doctor looked down at them.

“Well, speak; you seem to have a lot of confidence in the Doctor to let him bargain with your lives like this. Are you willing to accept the terms as well?”

“I trust you completely, Doctor.” Rose said without hesitation.

“As do I.” Martha added.

The alternate Doctor shrugged.

“Well, since you and your devoted little apes are in agreement, it would be impolite of me to deny you the chance to save yourselves.” He said. “I agree to this idiotic contest out of sheer morbid curiosity. Plus, you’re right; it wouldn’t be much of a challenge for me to hurl you into the vortex.”

“Splendid.” The Doctor said slapping his hands together. “Let’s get started, shall we?”

“After you, my double.” The alternate Doctor said, stepping aside.

Rose and Martha stood up and the Doctor smiled at them as they stared at him with complete trust. He knew whatever happened, they would succeed together. Taking Rose’s hand in his, the three of them walked past the Doctor towards the console room.


 

Chapter Twenty One

The Doctor, Rose and Martha stopped when they reached the TARDIS’s front door. They waited patiently while the alternate Doctor stepped around them and opened it.

“You really want to go through with this?” he asked the Doctor.

“Yup!” the Doctor replied.

The alternate Doctor shook his head.

“Your funeral.” He said stepping aside.

He watched and snorted as the Doctor took Rose’s hand.

“Pathetic.” He muttered.

The Doctor paused for a moment and then looked around.

“You know. I just had a thought.” He said to the alternate Doctor.

“Oh yeah, what?” he spat back.

The Doctor rubbed the back of his head.

“Well, I just noticed that you only have one eye and a huge scar running down your face.”

“Yeah, so?”

The Doctor smirked at him.

“I have both my eyes and no scar. So who’s the pathetic one then?” he asked.

The alternate Doctor glared at Rose when he heard her snicker. He looked back at the Doctor who was wearing a smug grin, and his eye narrowed.

“I lost my eye and gained this scar in battle. I’m sure you know nothing about fighting battles since you seem to spend all your time snogging apes.”

“Oh, I’ve seen plenty of battles. Hundreds, in fact, and I’ve fought them all bravely.”

He leaned in.

“And the only thing I ever lost was my right hand and I managed to grow that back. Other than that, I’ve got nary a scratch on my gorgeous body. You see, when you fight a battle, the object is to come out of it intact.”

He made the L sign on his forehead.

“Duh! They should have taught you that at the academy. In fact, I learned that little factoid in the nursery. So, once again, who’s the pathetic one? Hmmm?”

He grinned at Martha and Rose as they giggled.

“See that, I just dissed myself. Damn, I’m good!” he said.

The alternate Doctor rolled his eyes.

“I suppose you think you’re funny.” He said.

The Doctor grinned.

“Oh I know I’m funny. Along with witty, cute, sexy, brainy, brave, cheeky, funny, crazy, caring and concerned. My hobbies are fixing my TARDIS, reading books and going for long walks in the rain. I’m a man who’s not afraid to cry and show my tender side. My turn-ons are Rose Tyler, Banana Daiquiris and Kittens. I’m seeking a mate who will love me for me---”

“That’s enough!” the alternate Doctor yelled as Rose and Martha giggled. “Now, get out that door and get started before I change my mind and kill you all right here!”

The Doctor shrugged.

Well, come along, you two, before I get pissed off and kill myself.” He said to them.

The alternate Doctor glared at him as he turned to leave. The Doctor hesitated a moment and then looked back at him.

“Oh by the way, this is for imprisoning Rose and neglecting to feed her.”

Without warning, the Doctor’s fist shot up. He hit the alternate Doctor in the face and grabbed Rose and Martha’s arms as the alternate Doctor fell back to the floor.

“Okay, on that note, let’s get going.” He said as he rushed them out the door and into the woods.

“Wait, what about me? You didn’t mention me!” Martha said.

The Doctor looked at her.

“Oh yeah, right, sorry.”

He let go of their arms, ran back and kicked the alternate Doctor in the face as he was getting to his feet.

“And that’s for Martha.”

He spun around and ran back to her and Rose.

“Happy?” he asked Martha.

“Yup.”

“Good, then let’s go. We only have a half hour and I’m sure he’ll be Hell bent on killing us now!” the Doctor said.

They ran into the woods while the alternate Doctor got to his feet.

“I’ll make you pay for that, Doctor. Just you wait.” He muttered.

A smirk spread over his face.

“And I have just the thing to beat you at your own game. You mentioned some things were off limits, my double, but you didn’t say we couldn’t disguise ourselves.”

With a snicker, he closed the door and headed out of the console room.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“There. “

The alternate Doctor smiled as he stared at himself in his bathroom mirror. He had glued a flesh colored strip of rubber over his scar and blended it in with flesh colored makeup and he had put a special contact over his cybernetic eye. It was painted to look like his other eye and when he wore it, no one was able to tell it was a fake. He looked at his appearance and his smile widened. With the makeup and contact, he looked just like the Doctor.

“Now, after I give you your little head start, Doctor; let’s see how long it takes before your pets become confused and walk straight into my open arms.”

Smirking, he checked his appearance one last time.

“Now, I’ll just go up to my dressing room and find something that fits what the Doctor is wearing and the resemblance will be complete.”

He chuckled.

“I’m so glad my dimwitted double thought up this hunt, it’s going to be so much fun!”

Shutting off the light, he walked out and closed the door behind him.


 

Chapter Twenty Two

The Doctor paused a moment and surveyed his surroundings.

“This way.” He said pointing off to the left.

“Why?” Martha asked.

The Doctor shrugged.

“No reason.” He said.

“I just hope you can get us back to the TARDIS after this.” Martha said.

The Doctor widened his eyes.

“Martha Jones, I have an impeccable sense of direction. How dare you question that?”

“What about that time you took a wrong turn on the planet Dangia on our way back to the TARDIS and we almost got eaten by cannibals?” Rose asked.

Martha looked at her.

“You almost got eaten by cannibals?” she asked Rose.

“Yeah, brainy boy here swore we were going in the right direction and the next thing I know I had a dart in my neck, and when I woke up, I was tied to a spit over a fire being roasted alive and---“

“Ahem, I think break time is over.” The Doctor said. “It’s time to get moving.”

Rose and Martha exchanged a glance and smiled knowingly at each other as the Doctor gestured for them to follow him.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The Doctor scratched his chin thoughtfully as they walked through the thick forest.

“Now, where would be an excellent place to hide so we can plan our strategy?” he muttered.

“Doctor!”

The Doctor looked behind him at Martha.

“Yeah?”

“We need to rest. Rose is exhausted.” She said pointing to her.

The Doctor hurried to Rose who was slumped against a nearby tree.

“Rose? You alright?” he asked worriedly.

“I’m tired.” She said softly. “I haven’t had anything to eat in awhile and…I’m so hungry.”

“Here, lean on me.” The Doctor offered reaching for her back.

“No, you go on. You guys need to hide. I’m only gonna slow you down. I’ll…catch up…with you.”

The Doctor shook his head.

“No, we’re all in this together. I’m not leaving anyone behind. Now lean on me and I’ll keep an eye out for something that you can eat. We need to keep going.”

Rose nodded. She put her arm around the Doctor’s neck and leaned on him as he wrapped his arm around her side. Mustering the strength she had left, she forced herself to walk as the Doctor led her and Martha deeper into the woods.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After about ten minutes, Rose felt like she was going to drop. She glanced up at the Doctor and watched as he scanned the surroundings taking in everything around them. She considered asking him to leave her behind again, but she knew it would only be a waste of breath. She felt sick to her stomach. She had seen what the Doctor’s double was capable of and she knew she was slowing down both the Doctor and Martha. She wanted so much to just break away from him and run, but she knew she wouldn’t get far in the condition she was in. She sighed softly feeling like a third wheel in all of this.

“There.”

Rose looked up at the Doctor and saw him pointing straight ahead. She followed his arm and saw a bush laden with purple berries. She looked back up at the Doctor who was smiling down at her.

“Found you some grub.” He said to her. “I know it’s not filet mignon, but it’ll do for the mom---“

“No!” Rose cried out.

The Doctor frowned.

“Rose?”

“I…we don’t have time to eat, Doctor. He’s coming for us.” Rose said. “You have to leave me behind before he catches up to you and Mart---“

The Doctor put his hand over his mouth.

“No, out of the question.” He said to her. “In the first place, I told you no one gets left behind. Secondly, you are weak and I’d rather risk losing our head start so you can rest and eat and get your strength back. These are pulava berries and they are highly nutritious. So, I want both you and Martha to take a rest and eat while I keep a look-out and no arguing.”

He looked at Martha.

“From either of you.” He said to her.

Martha and Rose glanced at each other. They both nodded.

“Excellent.” The Doctor said.

He led Rose over to the bushes and helped her onto the ground as Martha settled down beside her.

“Don’t eat the green berries, they’re not ripe yet.” He said. “Just the purple ones.”

Rose and Martha nodded. They began to pick the berries off the bush while the Doctor paced around them protectively keeping watch for danger.

Rose grimaced when she bit into one of the berries and the sour taste of it flooded her mouth. She glanced over at Martha and saw her making the same face.

“Is the Doctor absolutely sure these berries are safe to eat?” Martha whispered to Rose. “They taste horrible.”

“I know.”

“Has he ever been wrong about something like this and accidentally got you poisoned?”

“No, when it comes to berries, he’s been right…so far.”

Martha widened her eyes.

“Dear God,” Martha prayed softly. “Please don’t let me die on a strange planet from poisoned berries that an alien recommended I eat.”

She picked another berry off the bush and, with a look of disgust, popped it in her mouth.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The alternate Doctor swung open the door of his TARDIS.

“THIRTY MINUTES ARE UP!” he yelled into the woods. “READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!”

Stepping outside, he closed the door behind him. He walked over to the Doctor’s TARDIS and stared at it for a moment. He ran his hand along the side of it as he rolled his eyes.

“Why the stupid git won’t get his chameleon circuit repaired is beyond me.” He muttered. “His TARDIS stands out like a sore thumb.”

He stared at it for a moment. Reaching into his jacket, he brought out his sonic screwdriver and aimed it at the lock. He frowned when he tried the door and it remained locked.

“Eh, had to try.” He muttered. “No matter, when I catch him and bring him back here, I’ll make him open it before I kill him. A spare TARDIS might come in handy sometime.”

He sighed as he put his sonic screwdriver back in his jacket.

“Anyway, I can get into it later. I have a hunt ahead of me.”

He smirked.

“I hope you and your apes have found a good hiding spot, Doctor. Because when I catch up to you, all bets are off!”


 

Chapter Twenty-Three

After about fifteen minutes, the Doctor walked back over to Martha and Rose.

“All done?” he asked.

“Yeah, I was done about ten minutes ago, these berries are disgusting.” Martha replied.

The Doctor shrugged.

“I know, but it’s the best I could do right now.” He said.

Martha stood up followed by Rose. The Doctor grabbed Rose’s arm when she started to walk off and gently pulled her close.

“You feel better?” he said softly.

“Yeah, I still feel weak, but I’m better than I was.”

“Good.”

“Doctor, you have to leave me behind. I’m slowing you down.”

The Doctor shook his head.

“No, Rose, I won’t abandon you. If we have to move slower, then we’ll make do, but I’m not letting you sacrifice yourself to save my own skin.”

He leaned in closer.

“I just got you back, Rose.” He whispered. “And I’ll be damned if I lose you again.”

Rose smiled at him and leaned in for a kiss. The Doctor met her lips and pulled her close as he eagerly returned her love.

Martha quickly turned her head away and fought back her tears. Even though she considered Rose a friend now, she still couldn’t help but be jealous over her relationship with the Doctor. She pushed away thoughts of her and the Doctor and concentrated on the task at hand. Steeling herself, she turned and saw that the Doctor was looking at her.

“Martha? Everything alright?” he asked.

“Yeah, everything’s fine. I’m just letting you and Rose have some private time, that’s all.”

She could see in the Doctor’s eyes that he wasn’t buying it, but to her relief, he only nodded and took Rose’s hand.

“Well, come on, we gotta get going.” He said.

Martha nodded. She waited until they had passed her and then with a sigh followed along behind them.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Martha gasped and ducked as a branch almost smacked into her head. She and Rose were walking behind the Doctor as he tried to lead them through a dense part of the forest. When the Doctor grabbed another branch and pushed it aside, she ducked again as it quickly snapped back.

“Are you sure this is the right thing to do?” Martha asked.

“Yes,” the Doctor replied. “We need to hide and in order to do that, we have to go into the thickest part of the woods so we won’t be seen.”

“Yeah, but I’m tired of being smacked in the face with branches.” Martha said.

“You’re better off dealing with the branches than you are with the Verbolas.” The Doctor replied.

Martha and Rose looked at each other.

“The what?” Martha said.

“Verbolas. They’re native to this planet. Um…kinda like Vampire Bats. Very big with huge sharp fangs. They live off of the blood of other animals.”

Martha and Rose’s eyes grew wide.

“They do?” Rose asked.

“Oh yeah, they fly through the woods looking for prey and when they find them they swoop down, land on them, and sink their fangs into em. Vicious animals. Now…which way should we go?”

The Doctor calmly walked on unaware that Rose and Martha were now frantically searching the skies behind him.

“’Course…there are other dangerous things in these woods.” The Doctor added. “There are Traksas which are enormous spider like creatures that live in the underbrush. Very poisonous. And Shaltaks which are venomous dragonflies. Very big, they are. ‘Bout 3 meters in length. Oh! And also---“

“Doctor.” Martha said.

“Hmmm?”

“Shut…up!”

He glanced around and saw that Martha and Rose’s eyes were as big as the moon. He coughed nervously.

“Yes, sorry about that.” He said sheepishly.

They walked for another ten minutes. Suddenly the Doctor raised his hand. Martha and Rose stopped behind him.

“What is it?” Rose asked.

The Doctor looked around and grinned at them.

“Got an idea how about how to throw my double off the scent.” He said.

Martha and Rose looked at each other.

“Yeah? What?” Martha asked.

The Doctor said nothing; he turned to his right and started walking. Martha and Rose followed him. A few minutes later, they came through a dense patch of trees and saw an enormous swamp in front of them.

Martha and Rose looked at it and looked at the Doctor.

“You made a wrong turn.” Martha said. “Now we’ll have to turn back.”

“On the contrary, I know exactly what I’m doing and where I’m going.” The Doctor said confidently.

Martha gestured to the swamp.

“But, this is huge. If we go around it, it’ll take awhile.” She said.

“Who says we’re going around it?”

Martha and Rose’s eyes grew wide.

“Oh, bloody Hell no.” Martha said.

They looked at the Doctor who was nodding vigorously.

“You can’t be serious.” Martha said.

“I am perfectly serious.”

He pointed to the ground behind him.

“You see those broken twigs on the ground? They snapped when we stepped on them and if this double is anything like me, he’ll be looking for telltale signs like that. So, in order to throw him off the scent, we’ll have to go somewhere where we can’t leave tracks.”

Martha and Rose’s hearts sank as they stared at the murky swamp in front of them. Martha groaned.

“Oh God, something tells me I shoulda stayed in that bubble.” Martha said.

“Me too.” Rose added.

“Come on.” The Doctor said cheerfully. “Sooner we get in, the sooner we can get it over with.”

They made a face as they watched the Doctor wade into the green, algae infested water. Martha looked at Rose.

“You first?” she asked.

“No, you can go.” Rose replied.

“No, that’s okay. I insist.”

“No, you can go first.”

The Doctor sighed as he turned to them and held out his arms.

“Here, each of you take my hand and you’ll go in together.” He said.

Martha and Rose looked at each other. Each of them took the Doctor’s hand and stepped into the water as he pulled his arms back.

“Ugh!” Martha said as her tennis shoe sank into the mud.

She made a face as she lifted her shoe and felt the mud around her foot.

“Come on. I don’t like this either, but it has to be done.” The Doctor said.

He pulled both of them to him and put his arms around them. The three of them slowly walked through the waist deep water towards the far side of the swamp. As they walked, the Doctor kept an eye on them both making sure they stayed upright. He glanced over at Rose and he frowned when he noticed she was still showing signs of weakness. He knew he had to get her somewhere where she could rest before she fainted. He also knew they had to move quickly because another dangerous creature lurked in the swamps. He didn’t want to say anything to Rose or Martha because he didn’t want to alarm them, so he kept his eyes peeled for any sign of danger praying that they would reach the far bank before a Gilgoth appeared.

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