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Sleight of Hand (10/10)

Title: Sleight of Hand
Characters: Seven, Ace, Romana, Original
Word Count: 2361
Rating: PG
Summary: The Doctor, Ace and Jenna continue to search for the Key to Time
FollowsCuriouser and Curiouser
Notes: OK, this is yet another story version of a sim done by "Dr Who & Co". This follows "Curiouser and Curiouser". This one is a bit long, but you can blame the same folks : ) Enjoy!. This was first posted on FFN on 3/26/02

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine



Sleight of Hand


X

Trav and Arcanus entered the solar. Inside was a large table set up in front of the window, On it were steel straps to hold arms and legs in place. Arcanus indicated to the guards to put Trav on the table. They headed towards her, but Trav genially jumped on the table herself. "So, what original and insane way are you going to try to kill me this time?"

Arcanus nodded to the guards and they started to secure her arms and legs to the table. "Beautiful night, isnt it, Traveller?"

Trav saw the sun dip below the horizon. "Uh-huh."

Arcanus pulled out a syringe and filled it with a fluid. "You ever read about Vampires? They die when the sun touches their bodies...a chemical reaction. Quite horrible."

Trav turned her head and saw the needle. "Oh crap."

Arcanus grinned evilly as he squirted some of the fluid out of the syringe in front of Trav's face. "Once this is in your system, if exposed to sunlight, you will spontaneously combust. I knew this Solar was good for something." He lowered the syringe to Trav's arm.

"Hey, Anus!" Arcanus turned around to see Alan standing there. He held up the canister of Nitro-9. "Get away from Trav or I pull the pin on this and we all go together!"

"Alan! Get out of here!" yelled Trav from the table.

"Yes, Alan." Arcanus raised the empty syringe. "You're too late."

"Run, Alan! Get out of here!"

Alan tried, but he was grabbed by two of the guards and tied him to the same table. He struggle against the straps, but that only made them dig deeper into his wrists.

Arcanus stood over them. "Once your friend combusts, I'm sure she'll take you with her." He picked up the dropped nitro-9. "Pity. I knew you didn't have the courage to use it. I think we'll leave you to get your thoughts together before you die. I shall be back to watch the sunrise," he grinned and beckoned his guards to follow him out the door.

"I told you to head back to the woods," Trav said.

"Well, I didn't. I came to save you!"

Trav just looked at Alan and said nothing. A little time later, she broke the silence. "Why is it, that whenever your hands are bound, your nose always itches?"

Jenna marched through the woods, determined to keep far away from Moriarty. She didn't trust herself to be near him. When she came to the edge of the woods overlooking the castle she stopped. She wasn't foolish enough to approach on her own.

The others soon arrived. Adam was the first, followed closely by Ace and Chenney. Chenney had been able to take more of his weight off Ace due to the exercise pumping the medicine through his system.

Moriarty walked along ahead of the Doctor and behind that coarse girl from London. How could I have let this happen?

"We'll need to take the secret entrance," Adam told them. No one knows about it, but my most trusted friends."

"What, a castle with a secret entrance? Where is it?"

"We can skirt round to the side of the castle and enter through an underground path under a large stone tile. I always thought it woud be used as an exit, not an entrance." He laughed lightly.

"You never thought you would lose your throne, albeit temporarily," said Jenna.

Adam nodded. "Indeed, m'lady. Indeed. It's around the left side of the castle wall."

Ace looked up at Chenney. "Now don't overdo it, Buddy. You still look green in the gills."

Chenney smile. "I won't." I don't much mind leaning on this stranger.

"Right, then," said Roderan. "We should head out now, while we've still got a few hours night ahead of us." He looked to Adam. How long are nights on this planet?"

"Ten and one half hours," the king answered.

"All the more hours for the night life," commented Ace. "Where's a good club around here when you need one?"

"Yes, but less time than you think. An hour or two before dawn, the staff starts preparing things for a predawn breakfast for the guards."

The Doctor pulled out a telescope from his pockets and looked down at the courtyard. "Hmm, I don't see many guards. I think we have enough darkness to slip by without a diversion."

"Aww...." Ace was not pleased with that idea.

Adam nodded. "Yes. Now or never, everyone. As Trav would say...bonzai!" He dashed down the hill.

Jenna, wielding her staff like a weapon--just in case, followed.

Roderan shook his head and wondered how many more strange folks he'd meet as he followed.

The Doctor nudged Moriarty ahead of him. "After you. And please, don't try anything."

"Yeah, we're watchin' your every move," Ace told him.

Chenney placed a hand on Moriarty and squeezed with surprising strength. "Perhaps our new 'friend' will give you a break, Ace."

"Break my head, more like."

"What?" Moriarty was aghast.

The Doctor grinned. "That's not a bad idea, Chenney. I'm sure you can handle him."

Chenney squeezed Moriarty painfully. "Now you'd never do that to Ace, would you?"

"I'd like to see him try," said Ace with a challenging look in her eyes.

"No, of course not," Moriarty grunted painfully.

Adam was the first to reach the stone tile. "Yes, this is it."

Roderan squinted in the dim light. " 'The World is Square?'"

Adam shrugged. "I don't know. This was here since before I became king. Probably the original colonists put it here."

"Do these tunnels run under the whole castle, Majesty?" the Doctor asked.

Adam pushed aside the tile. "In we go. This castle is actually built on top of a castle ruin, Doctor, so this passage was here long before Castle Caravel was built and could be just one of many. We've found some very interesting artifacts, but...still, on to business."

Adam motioned for everyone to go ahead of him. "Watch your step," he cautioned. He pulled the tile back after everyone had entered.

"What's all this writing on the walls?" asked Roderan.

"Are these lights always on?" questioned Jenna. "Some kind of wonder gas?"

"As far as I know they burn unless blown out," informed Chenney.

"Yes. Trav came up with the compound. As for the writings, they were here on the original foundation before Caravel was built. I've no idea what they mean."

"Where is Arcanus most likely to take Trav?" asked the Doctor

"I.. I'm not sure, Doctor." Adam was at a loss.

"Don't prisoners always get thrown in dungeons? They got a dungeon in there?" Ace asked eagerly.

"That would be my guess," said Adam.

"I'd guess the solar," said Moriarty from his place beside Chenney. "From what I understand, there's no love lost and he'd want to enjoy the moment."

Roderan looked at him. "Can we trust you, or are you leading us into a trap?"

"Yes, for some reason, that fake king seems to like the Solarium," said Chenney.

"As much as I hate to say it, the jerk has a point," put in Jenna.

Roderan still needed convincing. "Does he? He may still be working with Arcanus."

"Arcanus is nuts...I mean really nuts. He was ready to turn on me, I could sense it."

Chenney sneered at Moriarty. "Why would anyone turn on such a fine fellow as yourself?"

Moriarty smiled crookedly. "As I said, he's nuts."

"Unfortunately the one who best knows him is Trav. From what I've been able to pick up, I think the solar as well," commented the Doctor.

"This tunnel has a secret door leading right into the Solar. It's got several branches that lead to various parts of the castle. Very useful, I find."

"Good," said the Doctor. "You lead the way."

After a few minutes walking the tunnels, Adam stopped by a small metal ladder, similar to the one Trav climbed up earlier. Here it is."

"Can you hear anything? I don't want to end up at the business end of a sword.

Roderan was just as cautious. "Wait now. We need to make sure no-one's about up there."

Adam whispered, "I'll just take a tiny peek." He lifted up the stone a crack and scanned the room. "All I see is a large table. I wonder if he's been holding banquets in my solar?"

Roderan looked around tentatively. "Ok, who's first?"

Jenna spoke up. "I'll do it."

"Perhaps a more expendable target," said Chenney with a glare at Moriarty.

"I don't know..." The Doctor was unsure about her taking such a risk.

Jenna became defensive. "I can be stealthy. I was with Holmes after all." Adam raised a hand to halt her, but she was already halfway up the ladder.

"You go next," Chenney said to Moriarty, "and I'll follow right behind you. So I can steady myself by grabbing your ankle just in case I get dizzy and think I might fall," he smiled.

Moriarty looked at him. "Don't grab too tight. I might mistakenly kick you in the head. Instinct, you know."

"Would be a pity... in that case we'd both fall, wouldn't we?" Channelling his strength, Chenney placed Moriarty on the ladder. "OK, climb, little man."

"Shouldn't we wait for an all clear or something?" said Moriarty as he was forced up the rungs.

"Don't worry I'm right behind you."

Jenna squeezed through the opening and, staying in the shadows, made her way to the table. She could hear Trav trying to pass the time. "Alright, I spy with my little eye something that begins with a... did you hear something?"

Alan looked around as much as he could. "I dont' see anything."

Jenna took this moment to make herself known. "Something that begins with 'J'. Are you guys all right?"

Trav lifter her head slightly. "Ahh, hey, Jenna! Nice to see you," she said quietly.

"Man, you scared the.. um.. you really scared me there," Alan told her.

"We're in the tunnels below," Jenna said as she tried the straps. "What are these made of?"

"I'm not sure," said Trav. "Whatever it is, it's not from Amanos."

"OK, let me get the others." Jenna made her way to opening and nearly butted heads with Moriarty. "I didn't know you had it in you."

"I had no choice. Is it all right?"

Jenna backed up. "Yes. C'mon out."

Chenney pushed Moriarty and started climbing out. "Are they here?"

Trav looked over and heard more arrive. "Oh, a party?"

Ace was still clinging to the ladder just below the opening. Chenney reached down and gave her a hand. "It's okay m'lady." She gladly accepted it.

"Is Trav there?" questioned the Doctor from further down the ladder.

"Yes, and Alan too!" Jenna called down.

"Shhhh!" Trav hissed.

"Yeah," said Alan. I think we'd better be as quiet as we can. Anus is probably just in the next room."

"We need to undo these straps," said Jenna. "I can't untie them so there must be a switch or something."

"It felt like they closed around my wrists of their own accord," Trave told them. "Theta, do you have anything to change the composition of metals?"

The Doctor made his way out of the hole. "I'll have to check."

Chenney drew his dagger and slid it under a strap. He pulled hard and blade snapped. "How can that be?"

Trav looked at the guard. "It's not like any metal you've ever seen, Chenney...nor your planet's ever seen."

Chenney picked up the broken dagger blade and muttered softly, "This blade has peirced mail yet it snapped like a twig."

Alan called Ace over to his side of the table. "Arcanus took off with that Nitro 9 you gave me. Sorry."

"Sorry?" Ace couldn't believe what she heard. "Oh bloody hell!"

Adam smiled fondly at Trav. "How are you, old friend?"

"I'm fine, Adam. And I see Chenney is doing well."

The Doctor made his way over to the table and examined the straps. "Possibly the sonic screwdriver." He took the item from his pocket.

Trav looked in awe at the sonic screwdriver. "Cool. I guess that beats my swiss army knife."

"Let me know if things get a little hot." He adjusted the settings and used it on Trav's right wrist.

"Professor!" Ace went over to him. "Professor. Arcanus has a can of Nitro- 9 on him."

"What? Oh, that can't be good. Two unstable items like that together?"

"I'm sorry. I thought I could..." Alan averted his eyes, ashamed.

"Don't worry Alan. You meant well, and we haven't lost yet." Trav tried to make him feel better.

The straps were being stubborn. "Let me try a different setting."

"And it's not that unstable," defended Ace. "Not as bad as it used to be."

"I'd say Arcanus is more unstable than that stuff and that's saying a lot," said Jenna.

"Too right," agreed Ace.

The Doctor freed Trav's one wrist and set to work on the other.

Chenney turned to Ace. "Unstable? What is this Nitro 9?"

"Yeah, you know. Blows up easily," she added softly.

"I was kind of afraid to ask earlier, but.. what did Arcanus mean about you combusting and takeing me with you?" questioned Alan.

Trav flexed her freed wrist. "Oh? It's nothing, Alan."

Chenney smiled. "I'll be right back." He crossed to the door.

"Where you running off to?" Ace asked.

Chenney eased the door open a crack and peers about. "Don't worry just out into the hall." He opened the door and whispered, "Be right back."

As Ace debated whether or not to go after Chenney, he returned and shut the door. In his right hand he hefted a crossbow. "Why do you think we decorate with weapons?" he smiled.

"Wicked."

Chenney put his foot in the stirrup and cocked the crossbow. "Hmm, seems a bit stiffer than usual."

Moriarty spotted the hypodermic. "What's this?" He examined it. "It's been recently used."

Trav looked at him. "Oh that was another of Arcanus's attempts to kill me."

"You mean it didn't work?" Alan wanted to know.

"Let me see that." The Doctor took the needle and sniffed the tip. "Ugh. What did he say, Trav?"

Trav realised she couldn't sugar coat it any longer and decided to tell them. "That hypodermic had a compound, that when combined with my chemical composition and sunlight, will cause me to spontaneously combust. I'll be fine if I never see the sun again."

Ace whipped her head around, staring open-mouthed and shocked.

"In your line of work, that's highly uncertain," commented the Doctor with underlying concern.

"Are you still crazy from that regeneration of yours? You .. I.. Damn!" Alan couldn't believe how lightly she was taking this.

"Just finish releasing Alan and I. We'll worry about that later."

"No we'll worry about that now!" Alan was not going to let her gloss over this.

"You can fix it though, can't you Professor?" Ace looked at him hopefully.

"I'll need bloodwork, and to study the remnants in the needle..." The Doctor finished Trav's bonds and moved to Alan.

"Thanks." Trav got up briskly, rubbing her injection mark. "I wondered what he was going to do with that blood he drew from me last time we met," she said absently.

Chenney looked at Ace. "Now if we get within a hundred yards of that Nitro stuff... boom."

Ace looked back over at Trav. "Yeah. Boom." The thought of what had happened to Trav made her a little less enthusiastic than usual.

"Wouldn't Arcanus have some sort of antidote?" said Jenna.

"Not necessarily. Arcanus doesn't strike me as a very conscientious scientist," said the Doctor as he finished Alan's hands.

Trav looked at Jenna. "Well, it seems he made this just for me. Hmm, I wonder if he still has my blood somewhere. He may have kept it in case he needed to whip up another batch of boom juice." She turned to the Doctor. "Is any of my blood on that syringe?"

"There might be traces," said the Doctor. "Isn't it flattering when an enemy comes up with something just for you?"

"Oh, it makes me feel so loved."

"Yeah, just great. Least you can shoot back if they send flunkies after you," said Ace.

Adam looked worried, then angered. "Arcanus, he will not get away with this!"

Chenney stood to attention. "Should I seek the fiend, my liege?"

"How much night do we have left?" asked Roderan as he kept his distance from Trav.

She noticed this. "I'm not going to explode in your face, kid."

Chenney tapped the solarium's sundial. "Well this isn't much use. There are hourglasses in the guard room, but there's always someone there."

"If we get you to the TARDIS, we might be able to work something out," mused the Doctor.

Trav nodded. "I don't think I'll be affected by artificial light. Let me look." She took a torch out of the Doctor's pocket and shined it in her face.

"Trav!" Alan cried in a hushed whisper.

"Nope. I'll be fine."

"Dammit, I wish you wouldn't do things like that!" he hissed.

Trav smiled at Alan, and put the Doctor's torch back in his pocket.

Moriarty took this chance to sneak towards the door. I need to find his TARDIS.

Ace spotted him. "Oi, you going somewhere?"

Moriarty stopped and looked guilty. "No, I was just trying to think of where Arcanus might be."

"And you were just gonna find him and deal with him yourself, yeah?" Ace was not believing his story.

Chenney shifted the crossbow to casually point at Moriarty. "One needs to be careful not to slip off this saftey catch," he said with a quick glance at Ace.

"I thought I might be able to persuade him," said Moriarty, trying to explain.

Ace smirked. "Right, mate. More like weasel your way into his inner circle."

Trav looked out the windows at the night sky. "Let's see, from watching the stars and their position in the sky and the passing of the Bronde Sattelite--whoops Amanos wasn't supposed to know abut that one--I can deduce...absolutely nothing." She sighed. "I guess when the horizon over there starts to get light, it's time to panic."

"I've got a question," said Alan. "What are we doing just standing here talking? Aren't we going to give Anus major pain?"

"I'm in for major pain," declared Ace. "Causing it, I mean."

"If we can get to the creek there's a poacher's trick we could use," said Chenney. "They coat their skin with clay to blend in with the bank. That would keep sunlight off her skin wouldn't it?"

"Til it dried probably," said Ace. "Then it'd start crackin' off."

"Oh, yeah, away from the creek it...it would dry out." He hung his head.

"Good thought, though," she said, trying to make him feel better.

Trav patted Chenney on the back. "Yep, good thought."

"I think it best to get you back to the TARDIS and not take any chances," Jenna told her.

Trav shook her head. "I'm partially responsible for Arcanus even finding this place. Don't worry, when the time comes I'll be sure no one's in my blast radius."

"If worse comes to worse, Trav, you get into the tunnels and we'll get the TARDIS to you."

"Indeed, Theta. Simple."

"Of course! With that settled, shall we be off?" Jenna was anxious.

"Very well. Let's go. I've a feeling he'd be in the throne room. My throne room."

Alan turned and found Arcanus in the doorway of the Solar, blocking it. "Uh, guys."

"What?" Ace followed his gaze. "Oh, bugger!"

"My my," said Arcanus. "Look at all the people who've joined the party. I must say, Traveller, you have a way of spiriting folks to and fro. I'll have to seek out any secrets this castle may contain after you are all dead," stated Arcanus matter-of-factly.

Chenney aimed the crossbow. "Yeld or die, fiend!"

Arcanus pulled out the canister of Nitro-9. "Shoot me, hick, and we all die here.. and I mean it," he added with a glance at Alan.

"By your command, my liege."

"Stand down, Chenny," said Adam. "He appears maddened enough to do it."

Chenney set the safety and lowered the weapon. "As you command."

Moriarty's eyes darted nervously between Arcanus and his temporary companions. "See, I'm still on your side. I brought them all here."

The Doctor glared at Moriarty for this betrayal, yet seemed to believe it was an act so went along with it. "A wasted second chance, Moriarty."

"A leopard can't change its spots, Doctor."

Arcanus looked to the opportunist. "Well done, Moriarty. Just like we planned."

"You.....you.....bastard!" decalred Jenna as she fought back the urge to pummel him.

"You rotten, stinking..." Ace leapt at Moriarty. Her target put his arms up defensively.

"No, Ace! Stay back!" called Trav.

"No!" Chenney cried out as he placed himself between Ace and Moriarty.

Ace yelled at Chenney. "Let go of me!! I'll rip his lungs out!"

The Doctor grabbed Ace and whispered in her ear. "It's all been planned." She calmed down slightly, but still looked like she was ready to spring.

Arcanus looked towards the windows. "As you can see, the horizon is brightening. I will not be robbed of my show!"

Jenna stared helplessly out the window.

The beginnings of a plan began to form in Trav's mind as she watched the sun peeking over the horizon.

"Any minute now."

Trav suddenly yelled, "Go, everyone! Get out of here.. down the hole!" She jumped on Arcanus. "Now!"

The Doctor, with Ace in his grip, ran back to the hole. With tears in his eyes, Ala joined them, followed by Roderan and Adam, whose eyes were also streaming. Jenna, with a shake of her head, grabbed Moriarty, tugging him into the tunnel. Chenney jumped into hole, grabbing the ladder part way down.

They all ran down the tunnel, Adam stumbling due to his watery eyes. "Damn! God, why?" A distant explosion was heard. "Oh God... no..." He staggered and kept running.

Roderan was also stunned by the explosion. "Was that? Oh no."

The Doctor stopped running when he was sure they were far enough away from any fallout from the explosion. "She was always like that. You know she wouldn't have had much of a life if we couldn't find a cure."

"What do you mean 'couldn't'?" questioned Ace. "You could have done it, Professor."

"I said 'if', Ace. I may have found a cure eventually, but it would have been a tortured existence until I did."

They all continued on in silence until they reached the ladder to the outside. Adam opened the stone slab leading outside and the first rays of the morning sun streamed gently down on the dewy grass. "So that was what we heard. So sad. There will be a monument built, I promise it."

Jenna looked up at the morning sky. "I don't think I'm gonna have the same enthusiasm for sunrises again."

Alan fought to hold back more tears. "I just hope she took that bastard with her."

Ace looked down at the ground, scuffing her boots around, wiping at her face occasionally. Chenney clumsily patted her on the shoulder.

Moriarty looked at Jenna. "Why did you do that? Why didn't you just leave me?"

"I hope it was so I could get another halberd," joked Chenney.

Jenna really didn't know why herself, but covered the uncertainty with anger. "If you're going to die, I want to play a part in it."

Alan looked to the Doctor. "Well, Doctor? What now?"

The Doctor sighed. "We have to head back into the castle. We can't let the people think that Adam was the one who died in the blast."

The large stone slab moved a bit. Immediately alert, Ace looked around. Chenney grabbed a large stone for defense.

The slab was pushed to the side and Trav's head popped out. "Beautiful morning, isn't it?"

Alan stared, eyes agape. Chenney, stunned, dropped the stone. The Doctor merely smiled widely.

Jenna cried out with joy. "Trav!"

Ace yelled, "Trav!" as she ran to help her.

Trav climbed out with Ace's help. "Thanks, Ace." She was covered with soot and had a small cut on her forehead.

"What was that explosion?" asked Jenna.

"Ace's nitro-9. Arcanus dropped the canister when I jumped on him and the cap came off."

"But....the sunlight?" Moriarty could not get over the fact that she was standing before them in the sun.

"Well, I managed to find this on him," she said holding up an empty phial, "when I jumped him."

"Wicked luck," grinned Ace.

"There was an antidote," mused the Doctor.

"I almost didn't make it. That's why I'm so...sooty."

With everyone's eyes on Trav, Moriarty headed for the castle to locate Arcanus' TARDIS.

"Is Arcanus...gone?" questioned Ace.

"Gone as in Dead, no, but he is gone. He vanished into the back of that huge chair he keeps in the solar and dematerialised." She then looked at Adam. "I'm sorry, Adam, but your solar has flow through ventilation now."

"No worries, Trav. It's just wonderous that you came out all right."

"Does that mean I don't get a monument?"

Alan just rolled his eyes.

Jenna saw Moriarty sneaking away. "It's gone, Moriarty! Arcanus took off! Looks like you're stuck after all!"

"And if you're not at the gate ten minutes before, we're taking off without you," added Ace.

Moriarty stopped and stood head down, dejected. Will nothing go right?

"You could always stay here and help me practice with my halbred..." Cheeney told Moriarty with a grin.

Moriarty shuddered. "No, thanks. I'd rather take my chances."

"I meant what I said about second chances, Moriarty," the Doctor reminded him.

"And I meant what I said about the leopard, Doctor."

"Then stop being a leopard."

Trav decided to take stock of where they all stood. "Any other circumstance, I'd say myself and Alan must be on our way, but since I am responsible for the Princess's being here and her capture by the two weird sisters, I say that we should stay and help you, Doctor." She looked at her companion. "What do you think, Alan?"

"I'm all for it. Besides, I can help keep that Sherlock Holmes Baddie in check."

"Another reason I'm coming with you, Thete; my TARDIS is back on that planet where you knocked us," Trav said with a smile.

"Yeah," said Alan. "We lost two weeks of adventure thanks to you and your lousy driving." He smiled in jest.

"Great. Just one big happy family," commented Jenna.

Ace smiled and said to Jenna, "I'm locking myself in my room for the next two weeks."

"I'll protect you, Ace!" declared Alan.

Ace rolled her eyes.

The Doctor led the group to the front of the castle and the courtyard where the TARDIS stood. "Will you be all right, Adam?"

"Don't worry Doctor, I see to that," Chenney assured him.

"I believe that you will, Chenney. Good man," Chenney actually managed to blush.

"Oh, indeed? See? It seems that Arcanus's hold on my men has broken with his departure. They're looking like themselves again." He beamed. "Feel free to come back and visit us any time, Doctor.. and Trav, you as my advisor are always welcome.. your friends too!" He shook hands farewell with them all.

"Good luck." Ace shook Adam's hand, then gave Chenney a hug. "Watch your back, mate."

Chenney took off the cloak pin that the king had given him when he became Lord High Executioner and gave it to Ace. "Thank you m'lady."

"Ace!" She pinned it right above her Challenger patch.

Jenna smiled at Adam. "I'll see if we can get him to bring us back for a vacation or something when we can actually enjoy your home."

Trav shook Adam's hand and gave him a friendly hug. "You take care of yourself, you old Catfish.. I'll be back. You take care too, Chenney."

Moriarty stayed to the back during all the good-byes.

"Well, it's been a pleasure, your majesty. Though this experience I feel I can't really put up with much more of.. I request that I be taken back to Atrios, Doctor.. please?"

"Very well, Roderan. I want to check on Romana and Merak anyway. Let them know what's happened."

"I shall await the return of our princess there, with my family."

"We'll do our best to bring her back safely, Roderan."

Roderan smiled. "I know you will, Jenna."

Chenney bowed to Trav. "Thank you. Thank you all."

Trav shuffled from one foot to the other, fidgeting. "Ok, let's rock and roll." Realizing she's not the leader of this particular expedition, Trav looked at the Doctor. "Er.. whenever you're ready, Theta."

The Doctor took out the key and unlocked the TARDIS. "Farewell, your Majesty. One Chop!" He smiled and waved before entering.

Chenney looked at Trav. "Ah, that one I know, 'A rolling rock gathers no moss'."

Trav smiled. "Something like that, Chenny." She entered the TARDIS.

Chenney waved back and laughed heartily.

Alan entered behind Trav, closely followed by Ace and Jenna. Knowing he had nowhere else to go, Moriarty followed the others into the TARDIS.

"Mind yourself with Lady Ace, little man!" Chenney yelled at Moriarty as the doors closed.

With the wheezing, groaning sound of ancient machinery, the TARDIS dematerialized.

"Godspeed, my friends.. And thank you," said Adam as it disappeared.

Chenney kneeled to King Adam. "At your command, my liege."

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